The scarlet cord that runs through the entire Bible

My wife and I are currently studying through the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. The more believers study the Old Testament, the more we comprehend, through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, that Jesus Christ and His plan of salvation are woven throughout the entire text via symbolism/typology.

Take Joshua, who the Lord chose to be Moses’ successor. Moses had disobeyed God by striking the rock at Kadesh to obtain water for the Israelites rather than speaking to the rock as God had commanded (Numbers 20:2-13). Moses had previously struck a rock at Rephidim to obtain water (Exodus 17:1-7), but a rock was not to be struck again. This is a wonderful typology of Jesus, the Rock, dying only once for sins, and, after that, the living waters of salvation being obtained only through appeal to the Savior by faith and prayer. Because of Moses’ disobedience, God did not allow him to enter the Promised Land. Moses represented the Law. His successor, Joshua/Yeshua/Jesus (meaning “The Lord Is Salvation”), would be the one to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. This is a wonderful typology of salvation only through faith in Jesus Christ rather than through the Law.

Yesterday, in preparation for our next devotion time, I was studying Joshua, chapter 2, which deals with the two spies sent by Joshua to scout the fortified city of Jericho. We all know that it was Rahab* the prostitute who hid the spies from soldiers sent out by the king of Jericho to search for them. The spies made a pact with Rahab, saying if she left a scarlet rope hanging from her window, all those inside would be spared by the invading Israelite army. Scarlet? Why not black? Or blue? Or green? No, the rope was scarlet red because it symbolized the blood of the Savior to come, Jesus Christ, which was also typified by the blood of the guiltless lamb sacrifice smeared on the door posts and lintel of the Hebrew homes in Goshen on the first Passover.

I know many of you are already aware of these foreshadowings of the Lord Jesus, but I just had to stop and praise God for the theme of salvation in Jesus Christ that runs throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation! For centuries, rabbinic scholars have studied the Old Testament day and night, but they were blind to these simple yet profound symbols and types of the Savior Messiah.

*In Matthew 1:5-6 we find that Rahab married Salmon of the tribe of Judah, and that “Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David the king.” Hence, Jesus Christ’s human lineage can be traced back to Rahab, the Jerichoan prostitute. What other religion’s “holy book” would confess such a thing of its founder? The name, Rahab, means “spacious or broad” in Hebrew and some suggest this referred to Rahab’s rather loose morals. Joshua 2:11 says the hearts of all the inhabitants of Jericho melted from fear of the approaching Israelites, but it was only Rahab the prostitute who turned to Yaweh for salvation by faith, calling to mind Luke 5:32, “I have not come to call the (self) righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Advertisements

“You musn’t take THAT Bible passage literally!”

This morning, I was listening to the 10/29/13 podcast of the “Calling All Catholics” talk radio show, broadcast by The Station of the Cross (101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY), featuring priest-host, Rick Poblocki, and moderator, Mike Denz.

About half-way through the show, Trish from Buffalo called in with a concern about her 14-year-old son. The boy’s religion class had been studying a passage from the Old Testament in which God had commanded the Israelites to kill all the inhabitants, including children, of the pagan Canaanite nations they were invading. The boy was upset by the passage and asked his mother, “How could a God who is all-loving, all-merciful, and all-forgiving wipe out a whole nation,” especially the children? The mother didn’t know how to answer, so she called Rick for advice.

Priest Rick explained that when ancient peoples fought over land, they invoked the help of their deities, just as Israel invoked Yaweh. He said the Israelites attributed to God the command to attack the Canaanites and credited Him for all their victories, but that God DIDN’T ACTUALLY command the attacks. Rick went on to say that the Israelites were looking for a way to justify their aggression, so they attributed it all to the will of God. In closing, Rick stated, “So they put then on the lips of God these commands to destroy even to the point of (murdering children),” because they had mistakenly understood that to be God’s will. Trish thanked Rick for his “wise” counsel.

Believers, see anything wrong with priest Rick’s Old Testament exegesis? Yes, God DID command the Israelites through his prophet, Moses, to wipe out the pagan peoples of Canaan. Yes, even children. God is sovereign. He brings new life into the world and takes life away. 150,000 people die each day in this world; men, women, and children. It’s not pretty but that’s the reality in this fallen world. The pots cannot tell the Potter how to manage the pots. God commanded the Israelites to destroy all the Canaanites because He didn’t want them to be ensnared by pagan idolatry. As we know, the Israelites disobeyed the Lord, spared many of the pagans, and did embrace pagan idolatry. But despite the continual disobedience of Israel and its ongoing dalliance with paganism, the Lord’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ prevailed. Praise God!

Like most Roman Catholic clerics, priest Poblocki has a very low view of Scripture. He stands on the traditions of his church, not on God’s Word. If his church’s man-made traditions and philosophies disagree with Scripture, a priest will choose his church over Scripture every time. Speaking of idolatry, just step inside a Catholic church. And speaking of murder, comparatively “enlightened” Roman Catholic prelates persecuted those outside the church right up into the 20th century. There were the crusades, the inquisitions, pogroms, forced baptisms, and murderous Catholic falangists. How does Rick explain all that to the 14-year-old?

“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? – Isaiah 45:9

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” – Matthew 24:35

I had been reading Deuteronomy 20 as part of my daily Scripture reading just yesterday, where God commands the Israelites to exterminate all the Canaanites. Coincidence? Hardly!

Why did God command the extermination / genocide of the Canaanites, women and children included?
https://www.gotquestions.org/Canaanites-extermination.html

Postscript: Old Testament passages that deal with Israel’s fidelity to Yaweh are not dry, useless historical information, but are inspiration for Christians to also remain faithful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and to His Gospel. But as we look around evangelicalism today, we sadly see plenty of accommodation, cooperation, compromise, and betrayal when it comes to false teachers and false gospels.

Emotional feelings and religious rituals no substitute for genuine faith in Christ and His FINISHED work

When I first began this blog over two years ago, there was a flood of comments from Roman Catholics objecting to my posts. One person, a convert to Catholicism from Judaism, engaged me in a somewhat lengthy debate, which included many individual comments back and forth. I did my best to answer her concerns and felt I made several valid points using Scripture and referencing church history. She ended the exchange by stating that, in the end, any arguments I made were irrelevant because the Lord had unmistakably led her to Catholicism and that was all that mattered.

This same individual was recently featured as a guest on the Roman Catholic EWTN cable television show, “The Journey Home,” which features converts and reverts to Catholicism relating their testimonies. In the interview, the woman stated that she was brought up in Judaism, but eventually “accepted Jesus Christ” at a non-denominational evangelical church. She became very involved in the church, but had a gnawing feeling that something was missing. She states that she had grown up with a vast number of traditions within Judaism, but her non-denominational church regrettably had no traditions or ceremonialism (“no altar,” “no candles,” “no reverence”). The tipping point came when she felt the strong desire to pray in a “chapel setting” during the work week. None of the evangelical churches in her area were open during the day to her great disappointment. A friend suggested she read a book about Jewish-to-Catholic convert, “saint” Edith Stein, aka sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, which led to inquiries into Catholicism and the discovery that many Catholic churches are open during the day for people to enter and pray in. One thing led to another and she eventually went through the year-long RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) training and was baptized into the Catholic religion.

As a person who has gratefully been led out of Catholic legalism to salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, this story was very sad to hear. I must examine this individual’s testimony and ask a few questions and make a few observations.

This person says she “accepted Christ” at an evangelical altar call. What does she mean by “accepted Christ”? If a person genuinely accepts Christ as Savior, they could not possibly join a religious denomination that teaches a person must merit their salvation by receiving the church’s sacraments and obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!). Non-christians, like Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, also use the same religious jargon as evangelicals – e.g., “accept Christ,” “have a relationship with Jesus,” “trust in Christ” – but they also mean something entirely different than what evangelicals understand. If a person genuinely accepts Christ as Savior, they could not affiliate with a religious group that teaches salvation by sacramental grace and obedience to the Ten Commandments (impossible!).

The woman made it very clear that she was attracted to the rituals, ceremonies, sacraments, and traditions of Catholicism, which in many ways mirrored the traditions of her former Jewish religion. A genuine relationship with Christ is based upon saving faith in Him and His finished work. Externals like candles, incense, statues, robes, chanting, holy water, ritualistic motions and postures appeal to the senses and become a substitute for a genuine relationship with Christ. I don’t need to drive across town to pray to my Lord inside a “holy” church building. Many people are attracted to “high church” ritualism and ceremonialism, which have little to do with genuine, personal faith in Christ.

For this woman, subjective feelings and seemingly supernatural experiences overrode doctrinal truth. Converts to the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other non-Christian groups also appeal to subjective truth and being “led by the Lord” into their false religions. Emotions and seemingly supernatural experiences cannot be the basis of genuine faith. We must come to Christ by faith without one single plea of our own as directed by Scripture.

As Christians, our faith rests upon Jesus Christ, His finished work on the cross, and His perfect righteousness that He imputes to all those who trust in Him as Savior by faith alone. Christianity proclaims DONE (in Christ). Catholicism proclaims DO (to try to merit Heaven). One is right, one is wrong. If our friend was truly trusting in Jesus Christ by faith alone, she would not have joined a religion which teaches salvation by sacramental grace and merit.

Sad.

But our Catholic friends may never understand that their church does not preach the Gospel of grace if we do not point it out to them.

“Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.” – Galatians 2:16

Testimonies from ex-Roman Catholic Priests

An evangelical minister and a Catholic priest compare beliefs

Letters to a Roman Catholic Priest
By H. A. Ironside
CrossReach Publications, 2016, 47 pages, $1.48

H. A. Ironside (1876-1951) was pastor of Moody Church in Chicago from 1928 to 1948 and was one of the most influential fundamentalist Christian pastors of that time period, along with John R. Rice and Bob Jones, Sr.. Several of Ironside’s pamphlets on Roman Catholicism were recently made available as inexpensive Kindle ebooks from CrossReach Publications including “Letters to a Roman Catholic Priest.”

Ironside had made the acquaintance of a Roman Catholic priest on a railroad journey and a conversation about spiritual matters ensued. The exchange continued afterwards via letter correspondence. In “Letters to a Roman Catholic Priest,” Ironside compiles six of his letters to the unnamed cleric in which he compares Catholic doctrine with Scripture. In the first two letters, Ironsides discusses the doctrine of transubstantiation. The third letter examines the Catholic claim that the mass is a propitiatory sacrifice for sins. The fourth letter analyzes Catholic teaching that Mary and the saints are mediators between God and sinners. The fifth letter discusses whether salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone or by the Catholic system of sacramental grace and merit. The final letter evaluates whether Catholic tradition is on par with Scripture.

This is a brief but excellent comparison of some of the main differences between Bible Christianity and Roman Catholicism. This pamphlet was first published in 1914 by Loizeaux Brothers and was no doubt meant to be given to Roman Catholics as an outreach tool. Ironside’s tone is winsome and yet uncompromising in presenting the Gospel of grace.

You can order a copy of “Letters to a Roman Catholic Priest” here.

I’ll definitely be reviewing the other e-pamphlets on Catholicism written by Ironside and published by CrossReach Publications below:

The Mass vs. The Lord’s Supper

Is Peter the Rock Upon Which the Church is Built?

Shall We Accept the Pope’s Invitation to Unite with the Roman Church?

Should Protestantism be Liquidated?

 

Sketchy Catholic versions of the Bible were stepping stones to salvation by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone

I’ve mentioned many times previously that I grew up in a large Catholic family. I was the youngest child, a boy, with five older sisters. Oy vey! There were daily estrogen-fueled drama battles at our house like you wouldn’t believe. Our family wasn’t devout as some of my Catholic friends’ families were back then, with statues in every room of the house, in the yard, and rosaries hanging from rear-view mirrors, but we did attend mass every Sunday and I was even an altar boy from 5th through 8th grades. My sisters and I all attended Catholic parochial school and Catholic high school. In all of those years of Catholic indoctrination, the nuns and brothers never had us read from the Bible. We read short Bible quotes from Catholic booklets, but never from the Bible itself. I didn’t own a Bible and neither did my sisters. I don’t remember either of my parents ever reading the Bible. I don’t know if there was a single Bible in the entire house. I never saw one. The Catholic church did not promote Bible-reading among its members. In my experience, our religious teachers often recommended books about Mary and the saints but never the Bible.

I can’t explain it other than to attribute it to the Lord drawing me to Him, but in the mid-1970s, after I married my bride, I became curious about the Bible and began visiting the local (c)hristian book store, Alpha and Omega, which was situated in those days at the four corners of Penfield, NY. I was kind of embarrassed about entering the establishment and would look around first to see if anyone I knew was watching. Wow! I was amazed at the number of Bibles on display. “These Protestants really love their Bibles,” I thought. Well, I looked around a little bit and came across the Catholic version of the student edition of The Living Bible, called “The Way” (see the above photo), an easy-to-read Bible paraphrase.* I brought the Bible home but hid it from my nominally Catholic wife – I didn’t want her to think I was turning into some kind of a religious nut. I read that Bible on and off for several years.

After our two boys were born and we moved into our first house in 1979, I wanted to be a responsible Catholic parent so I started attending mass again. I even asked the co-pastor of our new parish, “father” Roy Kiggins, to come over and bless our house withNew Am holy water. Yes, I did! I also went back to Alpha and Omega and bought what I thought was a “real” Bible, the Catholic New American Bible version (second photo), which wasn’t a paraphrase. Catholic versions of the Bible contain seven more Old Testament books – referred to as the Apocrypha – than Protestant Bibles. I began diligently reading the New Testament, which, over time, led to a mounting personal crisis. God’s Word repeatedly contradicted Catholic doctrines. The more I read, the more the Holy Spirit convicted me that the Catholic church was wrong on many counts. I eventually stopped going to mass. A few years later, after being further led by the Holy Spirit, I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior! Praise the Lord!

Four of my sisters are now self-described atheists or agnostics, while the fifth one claims to be a Catholic (c)hristian although she has firmly stated a couple of times that she doesn’t believe the Bible is divinely inspired or that Jesus was and is God. Do you find that strange? Actually, you’ll find millions upon millions of similarly mixed up and confused people within Catholicism. She has zero use for the Bible but finds comfort in the familiar Catholic rituals and traditions she remembers from childhood. Looking back, I’m puzzled why I was the only one in my family to be drawn to God’s Word. I’m actually grateful for those spotty Catholic versions of the Bible that I initially read. They were stepping stones to the true Word and salvation by God’s grace though faith in Jesus Christ alone.

*Bible paraphrases, like the New Living Translation (NLT), are useful tools when studying the Bible, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone use them as a substitute for actual word-for-word translations of the Bible like the NASB or ESV.

Were Peter and the apostles wrong to select Matthias as Judas’s replacement?

My wife and I finished our reading of Deuteronomy the other night. Like the other books of the Pentateuch, Deuteronomy’s not the easiest of reading, especially if you don’t have any Bible aids. As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, Moses repeated the Law to them, requiring their obedience but also emphasizing trust in the Lord. Moses, personifying the Law, was not allowed to enter the Promised Land himself. It was left to Yeshua/Joshua/Jesus (“Jehova saves”) to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, one of my favorite foreshadowings of Christ in the Old Testament.

Last night, in preparation for our journey into our next study, the Acts of the Apostles, I did a deep dive (at least for me) into the first chapter accompanied by my Bible dictionary, two commentaries, and concordance and I came across some interesting information that I’d like to share.

In chapter one, in the opening verses, the apostles witness the ascension of Jesus into Heaven and then return to Jerusalem and wait to receive the Holy Spirit as Jesus had commanded them. In verses 15-22, while still waiting for the Holy Spirit, Peter, always an impetuous fellow, proposes to the 120 believers gathered in the upper room, that they must choose an apostolic replacement for Judas Iscariot. Two men are nominated, Joseph-Barsabbas-Justus and Matthias. A prayer is said, lots are cast, and the lot falls to Matthias, so he is chosen as Judas’s replacement in vs. 26. but that’s the very last time we read of him.

I’ve read this chapter many times previously and always accepted it pretty much at face value as written, but John MacArthur and J. Vernon McGee had some interesting observations in their commentaries. First, MacArthur observes that this was the last instance of the casting of lots by believers in the Bible. He writes, the casting of lots was “a common OT method of determining God’s will” that was “made…unnecessary” by the “coming of the Spirit.”

So should Peter have waited for the Holy Spirit rather than plowing forward?

In his commentary, J. Vernon McGee proposes the selection of Matthias was possibly an error, that the apostles should have waited for the Holy Spirit and His leading on this matter rather than forging ahead. He suggests that the Lord subsequently chose His own replacement for Judas by selecting Saul/Paul, “an apostle—not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead” (Gal. 1:1).

But the opponents of the “Paul over Matthias” viewpoint say the twelve apostles were chosen to eventually reign over the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt.19:28) as opposed to Paul, who was distinctly chosen to be the apostle to the Gentiles (Rom.11:13). Paul didn’t meet the apostles’ criterion for apostleship but did the Lord have His own criterion?

McGee presents his argument as his own personal conviction and obviously not as essential dogma. It’s an interesting viewpoint and I’d be interested to hear if others have come across it as well. This situation with the differing opinions on the Matthias-Paul question is probably “old news” to many of you but it was the first time I had encountered it.

Did Jesus or the apostles ever quote the Apocrypha?

If you take a trip to your local (c)hristian book store, you’ll of course see plenty of Bibles on the shelves. There will be many different Protestant Bibles (including a few very dubious translations) side-by-side with Catholic Bibles. Have you ever wondered what the differences are between Protestant and Catholic Bibles?

Today, I was listening to the 05/19/17 podcast of the Calling All Catholics talk radio show (The Station of the Cross, WLOF, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY) featuring moderator, Mike Denz, and priest-host, Dave Baker, taking questions from the listening audience.

Towards the end of the show, Denz took a question regarding the Bible:

Mike Denz: We’re going to go to Athena, who emailed us this question: “I am currently converting (to Catholicism) and I just received my Catholic Bible in the mail. I’m wondering if you have advice on how I should approach reading it? I grew up reading the King James Bible and just by skimming through the Douay-Rheims Holy Bible, I notice some pretty major differences already. Should I start by reading straight through first or should I just jump between chapters with focus on certain chapters?”

Denz then immediately commented that the King James Version is not a translation approved by the Catholic church. The church used to be forbid its members from reading the KJV or any other Protestant Bible upon pain of “mortal” sin, although the “unchangeable” church seems to have taken a less-militant stand in recent years (see the comments section). Denz also mentioned that Catholic Bibles contain seven Old Testament books that Protestant Bibles do not, as well as four additions to other OT books. This debated material is called the Apocrypha, which was all written in the 400-year period after the last OT book, Malachi, and before the time of Christ. Denz went on to blame Martin Luther for removing the Apocrypha from the Bible but the Jews in 1st-century Palestine didn’t consider this material to be Scriptural. Ancient historians, Philo and Josephus, rejected the Apocrypha. The rabbinical writers of the Talmud from 200 AD to 500 AD excluded the Apocrypha. Jesus and the apostles never quoted the Apocrypha. Even Jerome, the translator of the Septuagint, rejected the Apocrypha as Scripture.

However, Denz claimed the apocryphal books “were quoted in the New Testament,” followed by priest Baker chiming in, “…by Jesus Himself!” I had never before come across a claim from a Catholic source that Jesus or the apostles had ever quoted from the Apocrypha. I did a little digging and found that objective Catholic sources admit that direct quotes of the Apocrypha cannot be found in the New Testament “and that the (religious) themes (alluded to in the NT as quotes from the Apocrypha by overzealous Catholics like Denz and Baker) are so prevalent in Judaism that our Lord may not have intended these works (i.e., the Apocrypha) specifically.” See here. Thanks for your objectivity, priest John Echert.

For an excellent analysis of the Apocrypha from an evangelical perspective, see the article below:

Is the Apocrypha Scripture?
http://pleaseconvinceme.com/2012/is-the-apocrypha-scripture/

If you’ve never read the apocryphal material I would advise you not to waste your time. But the Apocrypha is important to Catholic doctrine because in one of the books, II Maccabees 12:38-46, Jews are exhorted to pray for the souls of fallen soldiers who had worn idolatrous amulets under their tunics. Catholics cite this passage as support for the doctrine of purgatory and praying for the dead. But how could that be? These soldiers were blatant idolaters. In Catholic dogma, idolatry is a “mortal sin,” so these fallen soldiers with their idolatrous good luck charms would have been in hell, not in a spurious purgatory.

Catholic priest: The Bible is full of errors!

Roman Catholicism has an interesting relationship with the Bible. While the church officially recognizes the Bible is God’s Word, it places its non-biblical traditions and teaching authority (Magisterium) on equal par with Scripture. Catholicism did not encourage the laity to read the Bible because it contains so many teachings that contradicted Catholic dogma. I attended Catholic schools for twelve years and although we were told stories from the Bible, we never read it. Not once.

This past Saturday I was driving down the road with my radio tuned to the local Catholic station. A priest (name unknown) was talking about the Bible and said many parts can’t be taken literally, but that one must sift through the myth and error to mine the overarching moral or spiritual message.

As an example, the priest pointed to Mark 2:23-28, where Jesus says David and his men ate the bread of Presence during the time of Abiathar the High Priest. Yet, 1 Samuel 21:1-6, the passage Jesus was referring to, records that the High Priest at the time was Ahimelech. The priest stated that either Jesus was wrong or Mark was wrong but either way the Bible was in error. But he said this technical error wasn’t actually a big deal because the overarching message of the passage, that love conquers doctrinal scrupulosity, was the point. Famous atheist, Bart Ehrman, cites the alleged Ahimelech/Abiathar contradiction as the initial seed of his personal doubt regarding the Bible and Christianity.

But was Jesus, Mark, or Mark’s probable source, Peter, in error regarding Mark 2:23-38? I reject any suggestion out of hand that Jesus the Word was ever in error about anything. But what about Mark? Could the Holy Spirit have allowed him to write an error, especially a glaring one that would have been immediately obvious to any devout Jew?

The article below points out a very plausible solution to the alleged contradiction from an inerrantist point of view.

Was the high priest Abiathar or Ahimelech?
http://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/nt-difficulties/matthew/mk-226-was-the-high-priest-abiathar-or-ahimelech/

It might be surprising to some ecumenically-minded evangelicals that a Catholic priest would claim on national radio that the Bible was full of errors but the Catholic clergy includes many such liberal errantists. But as I also mentioned, Catholicism often relegates Scripture to a secondary role in favor of its man-made teachings and traditions.

Why did Jesus use mud salve to heal the blind man’s eyes?

“Having said these things, he (Jesus) spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.” – John 9:6-7

In reading John 9, I’ve often wondered why Jesus made a mud salve and applied it to the blind man’s eyes? Why didn’t Jesus just heal the man’s eyes outright with a verbal or non-verbal command? What was the mud salve all about?

In his single-volume Bible commentary, John MacArthur suggests that “Jesus may have used the clay to fashion a new pair of eyes.” Hmm, that’s certainly a possibility but it seems like a stretch given the text. In his Thru-the Bible commentary, J. Vernon McGee doesn’t even attempt to explain Jesus’s use of mud salve.

Yesterday, I may have stumbled across the answer. A book I’m currently reading points out that the Mishna of the Talmud prohibited Jews from applying soothing mud salves to a person’s ailing eyes on the Sabbath:

“To heal a blind man on the Sabbath…it is…prohibited to make mud with spittle and smear it on his eyes” (Shabbat 108:2).

Well, of course. That’s it. Jesus not only ignored the traditions of the Pharisees by healing the blind man on the Sabbath, but he purposly used a mud salve in the healing in direct defiance of the specific regulations of the Talmud! This would seem to be an excellent explanation of Jesus’s use of the mud salve.

“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” – Matthew 15:8-9

Praise the Lord for curing my spiritual blindness and allowing me to comprehend the “Good News!” of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone! Are man-made religious traditions coming between you and salvation in Christ Jesus? Accept Jesus as your Savior by faith alone!

Please pray for Paul Washer after heart attack

PW

The media reported yesterday that 55-year-old preacher and missionary, Paul Washer (pictured), suffered a heart attack Monday night. See here.

A post on Paul’s Twitter account from one hour ago reports he’s doing well and resting comfortably. See here.

Please pray for Paul’s health.

There’s a ton of junk on the internet masquerading as “Christian,” but I’m grateful to the Lord for the sermons and teaching from godly preachers like Paul Washer. Paul’s sermons seem to specialize in zealous admonishment, not always easy to listen to but certainly needed in this day of wishy-washy, Laodicean Christianity.

Thank you.