Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 25, 2020

2020 Thanksgiving Quiz Answers

(5 Minute Read. 25Nov2020)

Wendy’s Marquee
Thanking God in November 2017
Statesville, North Carolina

Thanksgiving is an annual holiday dedicated to expressing thanks and praise to God for His blessings throughout the year.

Forgiveness of sin, eternal life, family, friends, health, jobs, food, shelter, and firewood are some of the many blessings for which I give thanks to the Great Creator.
All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God and ponder what He has done. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in Him. Let all the upright in heart exult! (Psalm 64:9-10)

Last Wednesday I posted my
2020 Thanksgiving Quiz
to commemorate Thanksgiving Day. Before you look at the answers below, if you haven’t taken the quiz yet, click 2020 Thanksgiving Quiz to take the quiz.

Here are the 12 original quiz questions followed by answers and explanations. Links to supporting Bible verses are included with each question/answer.

Questions & Answers for 2020 Thanksgiving Quiz

1. Who was the first U.S. president to proclaim a nationwide day of thanksgiving?
A. George Washington
B. John Adams
C. Thomas Jefferson
D. Abraham Lincoln

Answer: A. George Washington
In George Washington’s first presidential proclamation of October 3, 1789, he proclaimed the first nationwide Day of Thanksgiving. He specified Thursday, November 26, 1789 “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer” in this proclamation which reflects Washington’s faith in Almighty God:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me “to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks, for His kind care and protection of the People of this country previous to their becoming a Nation, for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of His providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war, for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed, for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general for all the great and various favors which He hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions, to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually, to render our national government a blessing to all the People, by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed, to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shown kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord. To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and Us, and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Abraham Lincoln was the next president after Washington to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863.

2. To whom are thanks due on Thanksgiving Day?
A. Mother Nature
B. The Universe
C. Mother Earth
D. Great Creator

Answer: D. Great Creator
The words “thank” or “thanks” or “thanksgiving” or “thankfulness” or “gratitude” are found about 130-165 times in the English Bible, depending on the version. In the Bible, “thanks” are directed to the Almighty Creator, never to the universe, or to the earth, or to nature — all of which He created.
The earth is not anybody’s mother. The earth was created by the Great Creator as a habitation for mankind on Day One of Creation Week. It is man’s place to live, work, and play. It is where man glorifies his Creator through his life and worship. The earth is not a giver of anything. The earth is itself a gift from God. Same for the universe. Both are inanimate entities; they have no life, personality, or character. Any thanks, praise, or credit given to the “Universe” or to “Mother Nature” or to “Mother Earth” robs the Great Creator of the honor due to Him.
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
(1 Chronicles 16:34)

3. Who organized the priests and Levites into divisions for the explicit purpose of giving thanks and praise to the Lord, after leading a destruction of idols and altars for false gods?
A. David
B. Solomon
C. Hezekiah
D. Josiah

Answer: C. Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 31:1-2)

4. Who was arrested and effectively given a death sentence for his daily routine of giving thanks to God?
A. Moses
B. Paul
C. Daniel
D. Nehemiah

Answer: C. Daniel (Daniel 6:1-28)
Daniel’s habit was to give thanks to Yahweh in prayer three times a day. Since these prayers violated King Darius’ decree, Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den. An angel from God shut the lions’ mouths and protected Daniel all night while King Darius fasted throughout a sleepless night. When early in the morning King Darius found Daniel safe, he issued a new edict:
Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations, and populations of all languages who were living in all the land: “May your peace be great! I issue a decree that in all the realm of my kingdom people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel;
For He is the living God and enduring forever,
And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed,
And His dominion will be forever.
He rescues, saves, and performs signs and miracles
In heaven and on earth,
He who has also rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”
(Daniel 6:25-27)

5. Who does the Bible record as giving thanks before a meal on three different occasions?
A. Abraham
B. Jesus
C. David
D. Peter

Answer: B. Jesus (Matthew 15:32-37; John 6:5-13; Luke 22:14-20)
Scripture records that Jesus gave thanks before two miracle meals: the Feeding of the 4,000 and the Feeding of the 5,000. He also gave thanks at the Last Supper before the bread and the cup. Jesus’ example of giving thanks before meals is one reason why most Christians have the habit of giving a prayer of thanks to God prior to eating a meal.

6. Who thanked God for hiding things from the wise and intelligent?
A. Isaiah
B. Daniel
C. Jesus
D. Solomon

Answer: C. Jesus (Luke 10:21)

7. Who fell face down at Jesus’ feet to thank Him?
A. A formerly demon-possessed man
B. A healed leper
C. A forgiven woman of ill repute
D. A healed blind man

Answer: B. A healed leper (Luke 17:11-19)
Jesus healed a group of 10 lepers, but only one, a Samaritan, returned to thank Him. Jesus expressed surprise at the lack of thankfulness from nine of the lepers with these words:
Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine — where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17-18)

8. Who thanked God that he was not like other men?
A. A priest
B. A Pharisee
C. A scribe
D. A tax collector

Answer: B. A Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14)

9. Who thanked God for food after fasting for 14 days?
A. Moses
B. Elijah
C. Jesus
D. Paul

Answer: D. Paul (Acts 27:33-36)
After not eating for 14 days, Paul gave thanks before a meal even in the middle of a shipwreck experience. The storm was so long and so brutal that even the veteran sailors had eaten nothing for two weeks. Paul’s act of eating calmly demonstrated trust in the Great Creator in the midst of a horrific storm.

10. What did the Apostle Paul say giving of thanks should replace?
A. Dirty jokes
B. Meditation
C. Tithes
D. Singing

Answer: A. Dirty jokes (Ephesians 5:4)
Paul was quite clear and explicit:
There must be no filthiness or foolish talk, or vulgar joking, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:4)

11. Who thanked Felix, the Roman governor of Judea, for the peace and reforms enjoyed by the Jewish nation?
A. Festus
B. Caiaphas
C. Paul
D. Tertullus

Answer: D. Tertullus (Acts 24:1-3)
Tertullus was the attorney who presented the Jews’ charges against Paul to Felix. Tertullus started by trying to ingratiate himself with Felix via gratitude before stating his case.

12. For what does the Bible specifically instruct us to give thanks?
A. Everything
B. Blessings
C. Food
D. Children

Answer: A. Everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Christians are to be thankful people every day, not just during Thanksgiving. And we are to be thankful for everything, not just the things we like. Sometimes an unpleasant occurrence turns into a big blessing. It’s easy to be thankful for things we like, but Scripture instructs believers to be thankful for everything — for troubles and ills as well as positives.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Permission to Use

In the past, some readers have asked permission to use my quizzes with Sunday Schools, Bible study groups, or other applications. I give permission for such use provided the source website is included. For this quiz, please credit the quiz to the Bible-Science Guy Blog at 2020 Thanksgiving Quiz

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. Is there an unpleasant circumstance in your life for which you should express thanks?
2. How does expressing thanks demonstrate faith and trust?
3. How many quiz questions did you get right? Which was hardest for you? Which was easiest?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequel:
2020 Thanksgiving Quiz

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 25, 2020 A.D.

Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courtyards with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting
And His faithfulness is to all generations.
(Psalm 100:3-5)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 18, 2020

2020 Thanksgiving Quiz

(3 Minute Read. 25Nov2020)

Thanksgiving is an annual holiday dedicated to expressing thanks and praise to God for His blessings throughout the year. Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the U.S.

Even after the trials of this past year, all of us have much for which to be thankful. Forgiveness of sin, eternal life, family, friends, health, jobs, food, and shelter are some of His continued blessings for which we give thanks amidst trials, turmoil, and trouble.
All men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God and ponder what He has done. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in Him. Let all the upright in heart exult! (Psalm 64:9-10)

Here is a quiz I put together on the topic of Thanksgiving. Most answers are in the Bible, but the answers will also appear in next Wednesday’s blog post
2020 Thanksgiving Quiz Answers immediately preceding Thanksgiving.

Some of these quiz questions are easy and some are hard, but all are intriguing. And all prompt reflection on the Scriptural theme of Thanks. Try to answer first without using the Bible. Enjoy!

12 Quiz Questions on Thanksgiving

1. Who was the first U.S. president to proclaim a nationwide day of thanksgiving?
A. George Washington
B. John Adams
C. Thomas Jefferson
D. Abraham Lincoln

2. To whom are thanks due on Thanksgiving Day?
A. Mother Nature
B. The Universe
C. Mother Earth
D. Great Creator

3. Who organized the priests and Levites into divisions for the explicit purpose of giving thanks and praise to the Lord, after leading a destruction of idols to false gods?
A. David
B. Solomon
C. Hezekiah
D. Josiah

4. Who was arrested and effectively given a death sentence for his daily routine of giving thanks to God?
A. Moses
B. Paul
C. Daniel
D. Nehemiah

5. Who does the Bible record as giving thanks before a meal on three different occasions?
A. Abraham
B. Jesus
C. David
D. Peter

6. Who thanked God for hiding things from the wise and intelligent?
A. Isaiah
B. Daniel
C. Jesus
D. Solomon

7. Who fell face down at Jesus’ feet to thank Him?
A. A formerly demon-possessed man
B. A healed leper
C. A forgiven woman of ill repute
D. A healed blind man

8. Who thanked God that he was not like other men?
A. A priest
B. A Pharisee
C. A scribe
D. A tax collector

9. Who thanked God for food after fasting for 14 days?
A. Moses
B. Elijah
C. Jesus
D. Paul

10. What did the Apostle Paul say giving of thanks should replace?
A. Dirty jokes
B. Meditation
C. Tithes
D. Singing

11. Who thanked Felix, the Roman governor of Judea, for the peace and reforms enjoyed by the Jewish nation?
A. Festus
B. Caiaphas
C. Paul
D. Tertullus

12. For what does the Bible specifically instruct us to give thanks?
A. Everything
B. Blessings
C. Food
D. Children

Permission to Use

In the past, some readers have asked permission to use my quizzes with Sunday Schools, Bible study groups, or other applications. I give permission for such use provided the source website is included. For this quiz, please credit the quiz to the Bible-Science Guy Blog at 2020 Thanksgiving Quiz

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you consciously thank the Great Creator for His blessings on a daily basis?
2. What simple phrase can you use that credits the Great Creator in the presence of others?
3. Which quiz question was hardest for you? Which was easiest?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the sequel:
2020 Thanksgiving Quiz Answers

Click Bible-Science Guy Quizzes for a complete list of links to all my quizzes.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 25, 2020 A.D.

Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courtyards with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting
And His faithfulness is to all generations.
(Psalm 100:3-5)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 11, 2020

Kepler Talks Turkey

(4 Minute Read plus video. 11Nov2020)

Wild turkeys patrolling a campground

Woof! Woof!
This is Kepler, Master’s Jack Russell terrier, writing another article for Master’s Bible-Science Guy Blog.

I have some Thanksgiving advice for President Trump. It’s a message whose foundation penetrates to the heart of Thanksgiving, despite disrupting an ingrained ritual of the season.

My message for the President is short and sweet:
Eat the Turkey!!!

What turkey do I mean?

The National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation has happened for decades shortly before Thanksgiving at the White House. In this meaningless ceremony, the president “pardons” the National Thanksgiving Turkey that has been presented to him.

Don’t “pardon” the National Thanksgiving Turkey, Mr. President. Eat it!

Last year President Trump “pardoned” Butter, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, along with the alternate turkey named Bread. The previous year he “pardoned” both Peas and the alternate Carrots.

Some point out that a side benefit of turkey “pardons” is that it means there are two less turkeys in Washington. But eating them instead of “pardoning” them would accomplish the same thing.

Here is a 1-minute YouTube video of the Presentation of the 2019 National Thanksgiving Turkey where President Trump “pardoned” Butter and Bread, last year’s national turkeys.


 
Instead of continuing this tradition of “pardoning” the National Thanksgiving Turkey, I urge President Trump to follow the example of President Dwight Eisenhower who ate the turkeys presented to him during his two terms.

The National Turkey Federation started the National Thanksgiving Turkey tradition in 1947 when it presented President Truman with a 47-pound gobbler. That turkey and other gift turkeys early in the tradition were naturally used for dinners. Although various presidents sometimes spared turkeys, official “pardons” began with President George H. W. Bush in 1989, while animal rights activists demonstrated nearby.

Turkey meat is delicious and nutritious. I know this because occasionally Master gives me turkey stew for my meal. I absolutely love it! Sometimes he gets little cans of turkey stew that are actually for cats, but I don’t mind. I love cat food even more than dog food. Go to EatTurkey.org for delicious turkey recipes for people (and maybe for dogs – I am always hopeful!).

Turkey “Pardons”

Should the President “pardon” turkeys?

First of all, what is a pardon? According to what Master said when I asked him, a pardon is an absolvement of responsibility and cancellation of punitive consequences for a wrong committed. It excuses an offense and cancels any penalty.

A pardon presumes the capability to sin, to do wrong. Humans have a God-given moral sense. Animals do not. As a dog I am often surprised and puzzled that Master disapproves of something I do — like barking.

Like dogs, turkeys are not morally responsible, cannot sin, and therefore cannot be morally pardoned. Man has moral responsibility, does sin, and desperately needs a pardon.

A neighbor said turkey “pardons” are tongue-in-cheek. But that term sounds wacky to me — I just know the idea of a pardon is significant and serious. So I listened when Master told me the deep truth about pardons.

He said man is pardoned through the death of Jesus Christ. Issuing “pardons” to turkeys trivializes moral responsibility.

One bumper sticker falsely proclaims, “Turkeys are people too!” Another adds the line, “It’s wrong to eat your neighbors.” Turkey “pardons” improperly suggest personhood status for turkeys. Turkeys are not persons and should not be “pardoned.”

Turkey “pardons” arise from the false worldview that since man evolved from animals, man and animals must be morally equivalent.

According to Master, the distinction between people and turkeys is Biblical. At creation, no suitable helper was found for Adam among the animals (Genesis 2:18-20). This shows that man is significantly different from animals. People are not animals and animals are not people. Mankind was created in God’s image – animals were not. Thus mankind stands at the top of creation, even above angels (1 Corinthians 6:3). God appointed man steward with dominion over all the earth, including over animals (Genesis 1:26-28). Animals are for the glory of God and the benefit of man. I like those roles!

I’m an animal, a dog. And I know I’m under Master and not equal to him. I have no moral sense. I only obey for selfish reasons — inducements and enforcements. I always try to get away with forbidden things — like raiding the trash can — and I have no sense of wrongdoing, even when Master scolds me.

Roast Turkey

Eating Turkeys

Turkey “pardons” suggest that it’s preferable not to kill and eat turkeys. So I asked Master, “Is dining on turkey actually Biblical?”

Yes, absolutely! Originally God gave man green plants and seed-yielding plants for food (Genesis 1:29-30). But after Noah’s Flood, God extended the menu to include every living creature that moves (Genesis 9:3). Therefore, turkeys, like eels and cockroaches (and even dogs — horrors), are on the menu.

So, should the President pardon turkeys?

No! Never! Absolutely Not!

Turkeys should be stuffed with chestnut and raisin dressing, succulently roasted, and served with cranberry sauce. Pardons are for people, not turkeys. The President should eat the National Thanksgiving Turkeys with gusto — and thank God for his own pardon.

In a few weeks, eat your Thanksgiving turkey with joy — and thank God for all His innumerable blessings, including forgiveness for sin and eternal life!

I myself am certainly looking forward to turkey stew from Master on Thanksgiving Day. Yum, yum, yum!!!

So that’s how things look from the Dog House!

Till next time, this is Kepler signing off. Woof! Woof!

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you have a different opinion of the presidential turkey “pardon”? Can you explain it to Kepler?
2. Why is your divine pardon so vital?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the 45th article in a series of blog posts on a precocious Jack Russell terrier named Kepler. Numbers 1-8 are by Kepler’s master, the BibleScienceGuy. Numbers 9-45 are by Kepler himself.
Read the prequels:
1. Why I Named Our Puppy “Kepler”
2. Kepler’s Kind
3. Kepler’s Lopsided Trade
4. Kepler’s Amazing Nose
5. Kepler’s Business Card
6. Kepler & the Psycho Squirrel
(with video)
7. Taunting Kepler
8. Adam and Puppies

The following posts are by Kepler:
9. Who Taught Kepler?
10. Kepler Gets a Buddy
(with video)
11. Kepler Chases a Squirrel (with video)
12. Kepler’s Complaint
13. Kepler’s To-Do List
14. Kepler and the Football Weekend
15. Kepler’s Favorite Store
16. Kepler at a Truck Stop
17. Kepler & Henry Catch a Squirrel
18. Kepler Finds Killdeer Eggs
19. Kepler Finds Robin Eggs
20. Kepler Lives to Tell the Tale
21. Kepler, Bears, & Raccoons
22. Kepler Mentors Henry
23. Kepler Gets a Bear
24. Kepler Finds Strange Eggs
25. Kepler Finds Duck Eggs
26. Kepler Gives Thanks
27. Kepler’s Newest Enemy
28. Kepler Loves Bulldogs
29. Kepler Ponders Snow
30. Kepler Wants to Move to Australia
31. Kepler’s Dating Profile
32. Kepler Meets Skunk
33. Kepler Wants to Be Good
34. Kepler on Guard
35. Kepler Chews On Grammar
36. Kepler for President
37. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #1
38. Kepler for President: Grins & Growls #2
39. Kepler’s Water Guns40. Kepler Remembers Henry
(with video)
41. Kepler Gives a Virus Briefing
42. Kepler’s Campaign Advice
43. Kepler Ponders Senescence
44. Kepler’s AK-47

Read the sequel:
46. Kepler ??? coming soon . . .

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 11, 2020 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | November 4, 2020

Sovereign!

(4 Minute Read. 4Nov2020)

Last week’s blog Fear Not! prompted an important question submitted as a comment by a reader. Here is what reader Michael asked:

If He [God] appoints the leaders of men, why would He appoint Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il and on and on back through time? Does “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities” apply in such instances? As a believer I find this extremely vexing.

Here are my thoughts on this insightful question.

First, I affirm that the Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of the universe is completely sovereign over the universe. He certainly did appoint Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, Fidel Castro, Kim Jong Il, et al to rule and govern. This is clear from multiple Scripture passages, as God Himself tells us He is sovereign over leaders and their power.

Based on his vision from God, Daniel spoke these words to Nebuchadnezzar, an arrogant, profane, and tyrannical king of Babylon who was highly oppressive and problematic for God’s people.
May the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
It is He who changes the times and the periods;
He removes kings and appoints kings.
(Daniel 2:20-21)

Nebuchadnezzar himself heard a voice from heaven say,
The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will. (Daniel 4:32)

God did not hesitate to say the same thing about the Egyptian king of Moses’ time. Pharaoh was a cruel oppressor who repeatedly flouted Yahweh’s direct commands to let Israel leave Egypt. God said to Pharaoh,
But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (Exodus 9:16 ESV)

The Apostle Paul repeated this when explaining God’s sovereign decisions:
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very reason I raised you up, in order to demonstrate My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed throughout the earth.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. (Romans 9:17-18)

Again the Apostle Paul emphasized that all authorities and powers are created by and subject to Jesus Christ.
For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16)
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1 ESV)

Second, asking “Why?” God sometimes chooses wicked rulers is a question that humans often cannot fully answer. The Lord does as He pleases, including using the wicked for His own purposes.
The LORD does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. (Psalm 135:6)
The LORD works out everything to its proper end — even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Proverbs 16:4).
Who works all things according to the counsel of His will. (Ephesians 1:11)
I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted. (Job 42:2)
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV)

Third, how should Christians respond to wicked rulers?

Again, the Apostle Paul gives the answer:
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1 ESV)

Paul’s instruction was given when Christians were under the thumb of cruel and wicked Roman caesars. Paul’s epistle to the Romans was written from Corinth about 58 A.D. when Nero was the Roman emperor. Nero reigned 54-68 A.D. and is remembered as a cruel and debauched tyrant. Yet Paul ordered obedience to his authority.

Though difficult, this is a consistent truth of Scripture, echoed often. We are given repeated instructions about how to trust the Lord when under problematic leaders. Yes, it is often vexing. For example, Hebrews 11 acknowledges multiple agonizing outcomes that have occurred for faithful disciples; some have even been “sawn in two.” (See especialy verses 35-38.) That takes a strong confidence in Yahweh’s eternal wisdom and inscrutable hand on a believer’s life for good, especially when you can’t figure it out in human terms.

1 Peter 2:12-23 has extensive insights about this demanding and distressing situation. When we acquit ourselves righteously under difficult authority, we inspire others to glorify God. We literally do it “for the Lord’s sake.” Furthermore, by some remarkable divine dynamic, it will “silence the ignorance of foolish men.“ We are directly following Jesus who submitted to excruciating injustice and mistreatment by unworthy rulers.
Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God, that by doing right you silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:13-15)

The only Biblical exception seems to be when a governing edict is in clear contradiction to God’s Word. In the time of Moses, the Hebrew midwives Shiphrah and Puah defied Pharaoh‘s command to kill all newborn Hebrew males, and God approved and rewarded them for it (Exodus 1:15-21). The Apostles Peter and John illustrated this in response to Jewish orders to stop teaching about Jesus.
But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20 ESV)

It is instructive that Moses respected Pharaoh’s authority throughout their conflict. Moses did not lead Israel out of Egypt until Pharaoh granted permission. (Exodus 12:31-32)

No matter who governs America, the Great Creator reigns supreme. And I will continue to contend earnestly for the faith and for the defense of the gospel, destroying speculations against the knowledge of God because that is Biblical (Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16).

Fear not” is Yahweh’s everlasting word to His people. Place your trust in Him.

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. What other Bible examples show the Great Creator working His amazing plan through unjust authority?
2. When have you seen God’s glory unfold through an oppressive leader?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday November 4, 2020 A.D.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17-18 ESV)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 28, 2020

Fear Not!

(2 Minute Read. 28Oct2020)

“This is the most important election in the history of our country!”
“The stakes couldn’t be higher!”
“This election could change your life!”
“The election will determine your financial survival!”

The American presidential election is next week, and warnings like these have aired repeatedly in candidates’ ads. Voters’ feelings are intense, opinions are strong, and arguments are heated.

People on both sides are fearful of dire consequences if the other side wins.

Why should Biden supporters NOT fear Trump’s reelection?
Why should Trump supporters NOT fear a Biden win?

The answer is in the Bible.

The exhortations
Fear not
Do not be afraid
Do not fear
are repeated over 100 times in the Bible.

Despite daunting, fearful, or dangerous circumstances, people in the Bible are repeatedly charged to “Fear not.”

For example, when the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary regarding her unwed pregnancy, he said to her,
Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” (Luke 1:30)

When the angel and the heavenly host appeared to shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, the shepherds were filled with great fear. But the angel said to them,
Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

The prophet Isaiah delivered this Word of the Lord to Israel when threatened by Assyria:
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:6-8 ESV)

The answer for why Trump and Biden supporters should not fear an electoral win by the other side is that the Great Creator is still in charge of the world, and He appoints whomever He wills to rule over it.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
(Romans 13:1 ESV)
The Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will.
(Daniel 4:32) 

The Great Creator reigns supreme. He has already determined who will win America’s presidential election. Throughout history He is implementing His plan with no mistakes.

No matter who wins, I will continue to contend earnestly for the faith and for the defense of the gospel, destroying speculations against the knowledge of God (Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16).

Fear not” is still Yahweh’s word to His people. Place your trust in Him.

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. What election-time fear will you commit to the Great Creator?
2. What Scripture will you memorize today as an antidote to fear?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 28, 2020 A.D.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Revelation 1:17-18 ESV)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 21, 2020

Moses Does Apologetics with Plagues

(3 Minute Read. 21Oct2020)

Moses’ epic contest with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, some 3500 years ago is still famous today. Even for the unchurched, movies and books have made the basic events familiar.

What was the essence of Moses’ clash with Pharaoh?

It was effectively an apologetics battle — between the gods of Egypt and Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews.

The purpose of the increasingly severe plagues was to demonstrate to both Israel and Egypt the supremacy of Yahweh, Creator of heaven and earth. Moses used plagues to instruct Pharaoh “to know the Lord.”

Throughout the course of the plagues that Moses called down on Egypt, Israelites and Egyptians were urged to acknowledge Yahweh as Lord. Pharaoh repeatedly refused — resulting in the destruction of Egypt by the plagues (Exodus 8:24; 10:7; 12:36).

Prelude
Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
(Exodus 6:6-7 ESV)
But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, Pharaoh will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and bring my hosts, my people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt by great acts of judgment. The Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring out the people of Israel from among them.” (Exodus 7:3-5 ESV)

First Plague: Water Turned to Blood
Thus says the LORD, “By this you shall know that I am the LORD: behold, with the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water that is in the Nile, and it shall turn into blood. (Exodus 7:17 ESV)

Second Plague: Frogs
Moses said to Pharaoh, “Be pleased to command me when I am to plead for you and for your servants and for your people, that the frogs be cut off from you and your houses and be left only in the Nile.” And he said, “Tomorrow.” Moses said, “Be it as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God. (Exodus 8:9-10 ESV)

Seventh Plague: Hail
But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. (Exodus 9:16 ESV)
Then Pharaoh sent and called Moses and Aaron and said to them, “This time I have sinned; the LORD is in the right, and I and my people are in the wrong. Plead with the LORD, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the LORD. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s. (Exodus 9:27-29 ESV)

Eighth Plague: Locusts
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the heart of his servants, that I may show these signs of mine among them, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and of your grandson how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians and what signs I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.” (Exodus 10:1-2 ESV)

Tenth Plague: Death of the Firstborn
For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. (Exodus 12:12 ESV)

Pharaoh’s Pursuit
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD. And they did so. (Exodus 14:4 ESV)
Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”
(Exodus 14:16-18 ESV)

Do You Get the Point?

Pharaoh never got the point. The purpose of the plagues was to demonstrate the identity, supremacy, and sovereignty of Israel’s God.

The same principle echoes today: the point of disaster is to turn people to God.

When Jesus was asked about Pilate’s bloody slaughter of men of Galilee, He added the tragic death of 18 men killed by the fall of the Siloam Tower and said of both,
Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)

Jesus used tragedy to call people to repentance. We should do the same in our own lives, just as Pharaoh should have done.

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. What words of truth can you prepare to help someone respond to tragedy?
2. Is it insensitive or is it compassionate to direct a hurting person to Yahweh’s identity, supremacy, and sovereignty?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

This is the tenth post in the series on Apologists in the Bible. An apologist is one who gives a logical argument in defense of faith in God.
Read the prequels:
1. Elijah Does Apologetics
2. Peter Does Apologetics
3. Paul Does Apologetics
4. John Does Apologetics
5. Jesus Does Apologetics
6. Job Gets a Dose of Apologetics
7. Matthew Does Apologetics with a Sword
8. David Does Apologetics with a Sling
9. Luke Does Apologetics with a Pen
(with video)

Read the sequel:
11. ??? Does Apologetics (coming soon . . .)

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 21, 2010 A.D.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt.” Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the people of Israel go out of his land. (Exodus 11:9-10 ESV)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 14, 2020

Singing Cedars

(3 Minute Read. 14Oct2020)

Many people wonder, “Why isn’t God more obvious?”

It is true that many do not recognize the Great Creator. When He was plainly visible walking the earth as Jesus of Nazareth 2,000 years ago and displaying many miraculous signs, most either did not recognize Him or refused to acknowledge Him.
He [Jesus] was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. (John 1:10-11)

Even John the Baptist, who was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah, did not recognize Him at first.
The next day he [John] saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” (John 1:29-31)

But from another perspective the Great Creator is exceedingly obvious. His “fingerprints” are everywhere, and He is wondrously evident for those who have eyes to see. But sin and the god of this world have blinded men so they are unable to see the evidence of the Great Creator. Only those whose eyes have been opened by the Spirit of God can see Him.

Who do you think created everything you see every day?
Who made the huge amount of water that engulfs the earth?
Who made the dirt and rocks?
Who made the air you breathe?

Can you or anybody you know make water or dirt or rocks from scratch?

What about much more complex entities like the DNA code upon which all life is based? What about the even more complex plants and animals?

Who designed photosynthesis so that all plants, including trees, are built not out of material from the ground but out of thin air? Photosynthesis produces all the organic (carbon-based) compounds and most of the energy needed for plant and animal life. It is also the primary supply source for the oxygen we breathe.

Photosynthesis involves hundreds of chemical reactions among many different complex molecules occurring in the correct order at exactly the right times. It’s an extremely complicated process that testifies of a Designer and Creator, for it could not have arisen by chance accident. If any single part were missing, the whole incredibly complex system would be useless. Photosynthesis is the work of the intelligent Great Creator who designed the process for His own glory and for the benefit of plants, animals, and people.

The God-glorifying process of photosynthesis is hardly ever mentioned in secular education because it is so evidently designed and impossible to have evolved through accidental chance. Every tree and plant daily megaphones the glory and majesty of the Great Creator.

Contemplating creation generates praise and worship of the Creator. And the inanimate creation itself praises its Creator. Cedars, maples, and aspens all testify of their Maker through their mere existence and the beauty He has given them.
Praise the Lord from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.
Let them praise the name of the Lord,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
(Psalms 148:7-13 NASB)

Indeed, Scripture refers to the trees specifically uplifting their Creator’s fame:
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all it contains;
Let the field exult, and all that is in it.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
Before the Lord, for He is coming,
For He is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in His faithfulness.
(Psalm 96:11-13)

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. Do you recognize the Great Creator‘s “fingerprints” in your daily life and consciously praise Him?
2. How can you winsomely direct someone’s attention to the Great Creator’s fingerprints today?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday October 14, 2020 A.D.

Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. (Genesis 1:11-13 NASB)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | October 7, 2020

Volcano Campfire

(3 Minute Read. 7Oct2020)

Several years ago we camped alongside a large river. That night’s campfire was so huge that ships going up and down the river saluted it with their horns.

I love to build campfires. Sitting by a roaring fire on a chilly evening reading a good book is one of the great joys of camping.

Sometimes my campfires get so big and hot that they remind me of Nebuchadnezzar‘s fiery furnace. That furnace got so hot that its heat killed the most mighty men of the army (Daniel 3:20) who threw Daniel’s three bound friends into the furnace.

Now my campfires really don’t compare with Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. But sometimes the fires do get so big that it’s hard to get close enough to throw more logs into the fire because of the tremendous heat. Once the fire was so hot that when adding wood it singed my beard and eyebrows and scorched the hair off one of my arms.

However, I’ve never seen a campfire with enough wood on it, so I spend much time adding wood to the fire. This also requires a lot of time collecting wood. The wood-foraging process is something my wife and I enjoy.

Over the last few years, I’ve tried a new kind of campfire — a volcano campfire. One of mine is pictured above.

Several years ago I came across an oak log about 12″ in diameter and 15″ long. Right in the middle was a 3″ diameter hole running through the middle of the log. Aha, I thought. Time for a volcano.

I built a regular fire to generate a hot bed of coals. After about an hour, I laid two logs across the bed of coals. Then I set the hollow log on its end atop the two logs. This raised the hollow log a few inches above the coal bed to permit air to reach the hollow chamber. Soon flames were coursing through the hole in the center of the log and whooshing out the top.

Volcano Log Campfire

My volcano campfire was the cynosure of all campground eyes!

Since then on our camping trips I have kept watch for hollow or partially hollow logs.

Recently I found three large hollow maple logs of around 40 lbs each. They were 15 inches high with an outside diameter of 13 inches. The hole diameter was 6 inches.

Here is a picture of one of them on fire. Some people call these chimney logs.

Volcano logs burn for a long time with very little tending because the heat reflects back-and-forth from the inside walls. Air enters from the bottom or sometimes through holes in the side of the log.

The big flame emerging from the top of the hollow log is an especially intriguing and enjoyable sight. It attracts lots of attention.

Making a volcano log

Here is a picture of me making my own volcano log out of a 14-inch log with about a 6-inch diameter. I clamped the log tightly to a tree trunk with a ratchet strap and then drilled a hole through the middle.

Fires

I have built hundreds of fires over the years — both at campgrounds and in our home fireplace. And for me accelerants are a “No-No.” From scratch is how I build my fires — starting with tinder, feeding with kindling, and gradually increasing the size of the wood fuel as the flames grow.

When camping I take delight in using a single match per campsite — not per campfire, but per campsite. Even when we stay at one location for a week, I’m usually successful in using no more than one match the whole time.

Here’s the secret to using only one match. A big blaze produces plenty of coals. Cover them with a layer of ashes when shutting down the fire for the night. The next evening, scrape away the ashes until you find heat and live coals. Add paper or wood shavings and watch the inferno ignite.

Log truck delivering firewood

Recently after having built a roaring fire 🔥 from just a tiny bright red spot and wood splinters, I thought about the warning from the Apostle James:
The tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way. (James 3:5-10)

My dog Kepler checks firewood pile

Having just watched the tiny red spot quickly grow into a roaring blaze, I well understood the Biblical illustration of how much damage a tongue can do very quickly.

We take great care with fire, and we teach children to respect its power and use it properly. In the same way we should be extremely careful with our tongues and teach children to use their tongues for the intended purpose — to glorify God and to bless others.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:6)

Questions to Ponder

1. Whether you use a fire for warmth, cooking, incineration, or recreation, what lesson from fire impresses you most?
2. When is your tongue most likely to blaze up? How can you prepare for a “controlled burn?”

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 30, 2020 A.D.

“Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? (Jeremiah 23:29)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 30, 2020

The Ten Commandments

(3 Minute Read. 30Sep2020)

Are you troubled about what you have been hearing in the news? Americans of all political persuasions are unhappy with the state of affairs in the country for a variety of different and conflicting reasons.

What can resolve the problems humans have living together? Innumerable laws, statutes, ordinances, and regulations have been enacted. But all these rules have not solved the basic problem of human sin started by Adam.

Is there a solution?

Yes, there is a solution.

The long-term solution begins with the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth and will be completed by His return to earth known as the Second Coming.

But is there a short-term solution for use until Jesus returns?

I believe there is. The Ten Commandments.

If the Ten Commandments were generally obeyed, most legislation would be unnecessary.

As examples, consider these violations of some of the Ten Commandments, and imagine how much better things would be if the Commandment were obeyed.

Sixth Commandment:
You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)
Every day about 3,000 unborn babies are murdered inside their mothers’ wombs — the same as the number of Americans killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One of the two major political parties and roughly half the political candidates in the country strongly support the killing of these innocent children. This is evil and a violation of the Sixth Commandment. If this Commandment were observed, a major source of national controversy and contention would be eliminated.

Seventh Commandment:
You shall not commit adultery.
(Exodus 20:14)
The overthrow of this commandment with the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s has unleashed a cascade of disaster: innumerable broken hearts, betrayed and shattered families, a million abortions yearly, out-of-wedlock births, divorce, absentee fathers, sexual perversions, over 100 million people with STDs. The Great Creator gave this Seventh Commandment for the protection and benefit of His people. His pattern, initiated with Adam and Eve, is one woman for one man for life. We have reaped tragic consequences by violating it.

Eighth Commandment:
You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
Theft is one of the most common reasons for police arrests. Obeying the Eighth Commandment by stopping robbery and looting would partially reduce the need for police and save public funds.

Ninth Commandment:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)
This commandment may be violated more than any other. Lies are more common than truth in most fields including the worlds of entertainment, politics, media, and government. The one thing that can conquer lies is Truth.

Tenth Commandment:
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s. (Exodus 20:17)
How much sin and crime is generated by envy and covetousness? This commandment is sort of a summary commandment. Instead of focusing on outward actions, it focuses on inner thoughts which lead to outward actions. Keeping the Tenth Commandment makes it easier to keep the other commandments. In a 1948 speech in Perth, Scotland, Winston Churchill said, “Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” The drive toward socialism in America is driven by an appeal to envy, directly contrary to the Tenth Commandment. Adhering to the Tenth Commandment would eliminate all the political arguments and battles over socialist policies.

If the Ten Commandments are too much to digest, consider Jesus’ summary in the Two Great Commandments:
And Jesus 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 foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Jesus gave an even more concise summary in what has come to be known as the Golden Rule:
“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Obeying the Ten Commandments or the Two Great Commandments or the Golden Rule would tremendously improve the life of all mankind, both individually and collectively. These are “instruction manuals” from the Great Creator who made man and built His image into man. He knows what is best for man.

Questions to Ponder

1. Which of the Ten Commandments have been broken by everybody?
2. Which of the Ten Commandments is most challenging for you to keep?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 30, 2020 A.D.

The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:160)

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Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 23, 2020

If God Wanted . . .

(4 Minute Read. 23Sep2020)

If God wanted dogs in the house . . .

Recently my wife read to me from the website of a nearby cat rescue group. This stern warning appears before even showing pictures of the myriad kitties needing a home:
“You will not be allowed to adopt a cat unless you can assure to our satisfaction that it will never be allowed outside.”

Astonished, I exclaimed, “Why would they do that?”

With a straight face my wife answered, “If God wanted cats to live outside, He would have given them sharp teeth and claws.”

Have you heard any of these
“If God wanted . . .” expressions?

“If God wanted man to fly, He would have given him wings.”
“If God wanted people to be vegetarians, He wouldn’t have created bacon.”
“If God wanted women to drive, He would have given them a sense of direction.”
“If God wanted people to be thin, He would have made chocolate low calorie.”
“If God wanted men to do yard work, He wouldn’t have invented TV.”
“If God wanted people to eat healthy, He would have made broccoli taste better than pizza.”

NFL Hall of Fame football player and coach Mike Ditka said,
“If God wanted us to play soccer, He wouldn’t have given us arms.”

Comedian Joan Rivers said regarding her dislike of exercise,
“If God wanted me to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor.”

What other
“If God wanted . . . He would have . . .”
expressions have you heard recently?
Are any of them true, or are they only humorous?

Where Did “If God Wanted . . .” Come From?

Today the only way this “If God wanted . . . He would have . . .” format is still used is in humor and parody. But the underlying foundation is still God’s authority as the Great Creator. The very fact that the phraseology still exists — quoted and recognized — demonstrates something significant: not that long ago, the mindset this phrase reflects was the obvious, ordinary approach. Certainly ridicule has been its use for decades, to sneer at some who misuse the concept: “If God wanted man to reach the moon . . .”

Whether misuse was spoken from backwardness or arrogance, the only reason it could be recognized as humor is because at one time it was being said a great deal. Spoken in earnest sincerity, it was the default. For decision-making, for determining what was right or what was wise, the obvious approach would be to ask, “What would God want?” This is the natural jurisdiction of God the Great Creator in our lives.

Secondly, even in sarcastic usage, what is the common thread? Usually the speaker is referencing the created order to determine God’s preference or God’s intent.

Today, people are freely using a similar paradigm, but they are basing it on a godless foundation, usually on some fabricated evolutionary situation: “Humans are not meant to . . .” An utterly distorted view of man’s origin warps the decision-making process.

I have personally known Christians whose fundamental answer to the self-directed query, “What does God want for me?” is: “God wants me to be happy.” Then it’s just open season — no wrestling with those pesky little moral dilemmas nor weighing Scriptural commands.

What Does God Want?

What God wants is not obscure or tricky. If we are in earnest about it, Jesus promised clarity:
If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17)

Okay, so what does God want? Scripture is abundantly clear. Here are a few clear examples:
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34)
For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality. (1 Thessalonians 4:3)
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:13-14)

It’s not surprising that misinformation abounds relating to various fill-ins for “If God wanted . . .” Thus it is important to heed Scripture’s warning:
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. (Ephesians 5:6-12)

Wrestling in prayer is a key step in ascertaining God’s will for less clear areas. The Apostle Paul commended Epaphras of Colossae for praying for his brethren to know God’s will:
Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. (Colossians 4:12)

And Paul himself prayed non-stop for believers to know God’s will:
We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (Colossians 1:9-12)

When a life is filled with these patterns and principles that are explicitly what God wants, most concerns regarding “If God wanted …” become sorted out like tetris blocks slipping into place.

Apparent results are not the litmus test for whether one has done what God wants. Peter’s first letter urges not to be the kind of person whose life is filled with trouble and distress resulting from immoral or foolish choices. He then notes that affliction is also acute for one who has genuinely embraced what God wants.
Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right. (1 Peter 4:19)

Pursuing what God wants requires an open heart of humility. That is why in the midst of much specific behavioral guidance, James tells sincere Christians this:
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” (James 4:14-15)

How to Complete “If God Wanted . . .”

Be immersed in Scripture to find out “If God wanted . . .”
Be diligent in prayer for oneself and others to know and do what God wants.
Be humble regarding details of daily application.

Question Mark Cufflinks

Questions to Ponder

1. How can humility help you realize a blind spot in your thinking about “If God wanted . . .”?
2. What segue can you prepare to honor the Great Creator graciously when someone says sarcastically, “If God wanted . . .”?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Bible-Science Guy logo

Subscribe – Don’t miss future blog posts!
Click the sidebar’s “SUBSCRIBE” button to follow the
Bible-Science Guy Blog. You’ll automatically receive
new posts free by email. Click SUBSCRIBE NOW!

Click Best of Bible-Science Guy for lists of the best Bible-Science Guy posts of each year.
Click Bible-Science Guy Table of Contents for a list of all blog posts starting in October 2007.

©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday September 23, 2020 A.D.

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Disclaimer: BibleScienceGuy has no control over any advertising that may appear and receives no payment or consideration for it. Ads & “Related” links come from WordPress, not from BibleScienceGuy.

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