About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

And on the cross as Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied

First look at this list of questions:

  • Do you find correction hard to take, especially when it is of a theological nature?
  • Would you be happy arguing a point to the death even when you are losing?
  • Are you submissive in your handling and reception of Scripture?
  • Do you rate critics of your position as troublemakers, lacking in intelligence, narrow, harsh, power hungry and bigoted?
  • Do you see all theology as in flux or are there some truths that are fixed in place and should never be moved?
  • Do you change your mind on issues often?
  • When you are persuaded of a new position, are you zealous in advocating it (as zealous as you were when you held the opposite view)?
  • Good questions to ask yourself from time to time.
- - - - - - - - - - - - -

The illustration about slavery of mankind in the spiritual sense was well illustrated. The bondage that man is in, with sin was strong, but because of Christ’s death on the Cross those who have been born again have been set free.

My sins have been forgiven, period.

One of the most glorious truths of the gospel is that God saved us in a way that upheld His justice. Justice was neither compromised nor set aside; it was completely satisfied. God Himself was thus fully propitiated, and our salvation is therefore grounded in the justice of God as well as His mercy.

That is what the apostle Paul meant when he said in Romans 1:17 that "the righteousness of God [is] revealed" in the gospel. It's also what the apostle John was saying in 1 John 1:9: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive." He doesn't set aside justice and grant us an unholy amnesty; He forgives because it is an act of justice to do so.

Christ offered a full atonement that included payment in full for all the sins of every sinner who would ever believe. "[God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21)—"whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness" (Romans 3:25). "He Himself is the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 2:2).

This is the reason that I have such a passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. Christ satisfied God’s demand for justice for sin, buy the shedding of his Son’s life on the cross.

The greater sin, if there is one, is not to have a passion for the Lord Jesus Christ. There are those who would never smoke, or cuss, or go to a movie that have no real passion for the Lord. There are some of us who see our sinful fleshly patterns as a motivation to move us toward Him in prayer, and reading His word, and moves us in our spirit toward Christ.

What I am attempting to say, it’s not how bad a sinner we are, because all sins have been paid for. We who have believed in Christ have been set free from the bondage of sin. Sin by definition is falling short of the divine expectations of God. Sin is the cause on the human nature to do the opposite of God’s purpose for us. Sin gives the human nature an inclination toward evil, a preference for sin. All of us could spend time speaking how we sense we have failed to come up to the expectation of the glory for God in our lives.

I feel my greatest sin is when I cannot be preaching/teaching every Sunday. I sense a greater sinfulness when I don’t preach than I would if I had drunk a beer, or lost my temper. When I don’t praise the Lord Jesus Christ in my spirit there is a greater sin than getting angry when a car pulls out in front of me.

Sin has takes on collective dimensions; the whole structure of society inflicts hardships and wrongs upon individuals. We live in a society that sin has influenced in every level of life. We wake up every morning or walk out of the door for a walk or work and are affected by sin’s principles.

That warm intimacy that should characterize one’s relationship with God has been lost by the sin principle. The basic change in the direction of one’s life from an inclination toward sin to a positive aspiration to live righteously happens in our regeneration, or literally, new birth. There is an infusion of a spiritual life, there is an infusion of a positive spiritual energy.

Proverbs speaks of understanding, knowledge and wisdom. From knowledge you gain understanding and from understanding you gain wisdom. Wisdom comes from knowledge and understanding, and one is wise to seek those who have wisdom that comes from an understanding of God’s Word.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Read by Charity Whisnant

Cross - References
Whisnant’s Style
Part Six

J. I. Packer is surely correct when says that... "If I were the devil, one of my first aims would be to stop folk from digging into the Bible."


Theological interpretation is characterized by:
an extension of the grammatical meaning to discover its fuller theological significance
a synoptic view of all the Biblical data on given subject.

Peter is talking about Redemption:

Who are we Redeemed by:? Jesus Christ. Christ is the spotless lamb, that was the sacrifice for sin. Vs. 19 says it was blood, but not just blood, but precious blood. The blood is the life. The value of Christ’s blood is precious because of the dignity of His nature, because of His perfect character. Without blemish, that is without sin. Without spot, that is, not defiled by contact with sinners. And thus it was adequate for the work of cleansing away the terrible aggregate of sin.

  • When viewed in connection with the Father’s purpose and the Father’s love
  • When viewed in connection with the person of Christ and
  • When viewed in its bearing upon men.

Don’t we think of one who has shed his blood as one who willingly, resolutely gave the whole force of his moral nature, the whole wealth of his heart, his character, and his soul! In like manner we should think of the blood of Jesus Christ, which cleanseth us from all sin, not as deriving its worth or its efficacy from that which was outward or physical or material, to as being vested in the blood itself as blood. Should we not rather a thousand times say the preciousness of the blood of Christ was in inward, and personal, the spiritual and Divine life which dwelt and throbbed in that blood?

Word Pictures in the New Testament by Archibald T. Robertson 1933
I Peter 1:19 comments: Word study, Cross References, Greek Grammar, etc.

  • "But with precious blood" (alla timioi haimati) Instrumental case of haima after elutrothete (repeated from verse 18). Peter here applies the old adjective timios (from time, of Christ in I Peter 2:7) to Christ as in 1:7 polutimoteron to testing of faith.
  • The blood of anyone is "precious" (costly), far above gold or silver, (18) but that of Jesus immeasurably more so.
  • "As of a lamb" (hos amnou). This word occurs in Lev. 12:8, Num. 15:112 Deut. 14:4 of the lamb prescribed for the passover sacrifice (Exodus 12:5). John the Baptist applied it to Jesus (John 1:29, 36). It occurs also in Acts 8:32 quoted from Isa 53:7. Both John and Peter have this passage in mind.
  • Elsewhere in the N.T. Arnion is used of Christ (Rev. 5:6, 12). Jesus is the Paschal Lamb.
  • Peter sees clearly that it was by the blood of Christ that we are redeemed from sin.
  • "Without spot" (aspilou). Without (alpha privative) stain (spiolos) as in James 1:27, II Peter 3:14, I Peter 6;14).
  • "Even the blood of Christ" (Christou) Genitive case with haimati, but in unusual position for emphasis and clearness with the participles following.]

Biblical Theology of the New Testament: Charles C. Ryrie

  • Biblical Theology is concerned with the reason why something was written as well as with the content of what was written. It not only examines the product but investigates the procedures and presuppositionals that went into the writing of the Scripture
  • The theology of the Bible emerges out of the thought of the writers as seen in their writing; it is never superimposed on those writings
    From the Gospels to Revelation it’s a progressive history of the revelation of God..
    I used this book in 1966. It analyzes topically each verse in the Bible Topics from Aaron to Worship, with scriptural verses under each name, place, topic. 1500 pages.
  • John MacArthur’s series on First Peter of course without John’s notes I would have been a duck out of water.
  • While I used mostly over 50 reference books for this series, there was a lot of study involved in these one hour sermons taught. I typed these series. The 34 messages printed on 384 pages plus 34 outlines. But the message that still stands out today in my mind after 12 years is 1 Peter 1:18-19.
  • Study for Discipleship Hour at Bigelow Church Easter Sunday April 8th 2007
    Series on I Peter preached at First Baptist Church September 1994 to July 1995
    I Peter 1:18-19 60.27 on April 30 1995 and 60.28 on May 7, 1995

60 being 60th book in the Bible, and .27 the number of sermons in the series.
You put all this study together and a sermon is developed. Which I did for over 13 years at FBC.


Christian students who are not Pastors/Preachers/Teachers should do at least the following:

Reading the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is the first priority of any student of the Scripture.
Read the Scripture systematically, one book at a time. Start with Genesis and the 39 books in the Old and then the 27 books in the New.
Any serious student will read the Bible not less than once a year.
Any serious student will have a biblical library of books of reference helps.
Any serious student will have CD’s library on biblical helps.
Any serious student will study on his own the Word of God.
Any serious student will listen to John MacArthur, Jr.
Any serious student will listen to Bible Teachers who teach the Word of God one book at a time.

Prior to 2004 I did not use the Internet for any Bible study, only books. Today there are many web sites that will help you in this area of study. CD’s will also help.

Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant in 1995 Posted on my web April 2007 Check by Charity Whisnant 04 11 07

Cross - References
Whisnant’s Style
Part Five


I PETER 1:19

but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ:

I Peter is a study of the doctrine of Redemption
Practical exhortation and comfort for the daily needs of believers.
1 Peter 19
Peter designates the Lord as the Lamb without spot (inherent blame) and blemish (external defilement).

The Complete Biblical Library The New Testament Study Bible 16 Volume 1986. I had the first volumes as they came out over a year and a half in 1986. Outstanding without comparison.

"The ransom price was the "precious" (timio, most valuable) blood of Christ. As a lamb brought to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7), "without spot" (aspilou, unstained), fitting the requirements of the Paschal Lamb (see Exodus 12:5). The "Lamb of God" (John 1:29,36) must be perfect. Any lesser sacrifice would be unacceptable (see Leviticus 22:20)" First Peter 1:19


Theological interpretation is characterized by:
  • an extension of the grammatical meaning to discover its fuller theological significance
  • a synoptic view of all the Biblical data on given subject.

The justification for doctrinal hermeneutics is the claim of Scripture to contain a knowledge of God which may be expressed as teaching.

  • Jesus was in His own ministry a doctrinal teacher.
  • People were astonished at His teaching (John 7:16)
  • He invited men to discover its divine origin (John 7:17)

Paul speaks

  • of obeying doctrine from the heart (Romans 6:17)
  • warns us of false doctrines (Eph 4:14)
  • warns Timothy to be careful of sound doctrine
  • refers to doctrine at least 12 times in the books of Timothy.
  • the first profit of the Scripture is doctrine. 2 Tim 3:16-17

Doctrine gives the Christian faith its substance and form.
The Blood Of Christ refers to the means by which God can redeem the lost.


Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Read by Charity Whisnant
Cross - References
I PETER 1:19
Part Four (April 11, 12,13 2007)

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old: ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats:

  • Leviticus 4:32 And if he bring a lamb as his oblation for a sin-offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish.

as of a lamb without spot and blemish; Christ is comparable to any lamb, for the innocence of his nature, the meekness of his disposition and deportment, and for his patience under sufferings and in death; and to the lambs of the daily sacrifice, which were typical of the continual and constant virtue and efficacy of his sacrifice to take away sin; and particularly to the paschal lamb, he being the true passover sacrificed for us; and which, as also the lambs of the daily sacrifice, and all others, were to be without spot and blemish: and in which they prefigured Christ, who is without the stain of original, and the spot and blemish of actual sin; and so was a very fit person to be a sacrifice for sin, and a Redeemer of his people.
  • Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
  • John 1:29 On the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world!
  • John 1:36 and he looked upon Jesus as he walked, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God!
  • Acts 8:32 Now the passage of the Scripture which he was reading was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before his shearer is dumb, So he openeth not is mouth:33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: His generation who shall declare? For his life is taken from the earth.:34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other?

    1 Corinthians 5:7 Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ:
  • 1 Corinthians 5:8 wherefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
  • Revelation 5:6 And I saw in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth.
  • And I say unto him, My lord, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they that come out of the great tribulation, and they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
    • Ps 49:6 They that trust in their wealth, And boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; 7 None [of them] can by any means redeem his brother, Nor give to God a ransom for him; 8 (For the redemption of their life is costly, And it faileth for ever;) Ps 49:9 That he should still live away, That he should not see corruption.
    • Psalms 72:14 He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence; And precious will their blood be in his sight:
    • Nu 6:14 and he shall offer his oblation unto Jehovah, one he-lamb a year old without blemish for a burnt-offering, and one ewe-lamb a year old without blemish for a sin-offering, and one ram without blemish for peace-offerings,
      Lev 22:17-25 21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto Jehovah to accomplish a vow, or for a freewill-offering, of the herd or of the flock, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.

      BLEMISH <299> meaning:
      rom 1 (as a negative particle) and 3470; TDNT-4:830,619; adj
      AV-without rebuke 2, without blame 1, unblameable 1, without spot 1, faultless 1, without fault 1; 7
      1) without blemish
      1a) as a sacrifice without spot or blemish
      2) morally: without blemish, faultless, unblameable
      Hebrews 9:14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

    SPOT <784>

    • Song of Solomon 4:7 Thou art all fair, my love; And there is no spot in thee.
    • Ephesians 5:27 that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant


    Charity and I make our annual trip to see mom each year in Texas. This year though, mom wanted to go to Lynchburg, Virginia, for her 85th birthday. My sister Ellen was going to take her son Stephen to visit Liberty University so this was going to be a good time to go to Lynchburg. With mom being 85 years old, the trip was going to be a challenge. To our surprise, mom was rather spry, considering the wear and tear this trip took on everyone.

    My sister held up very well under all the stress of this trip, and Stephen provided the necessary help to mom and Ellen as well. The exhaustion has been real for sure. Mom did so well, but I have not talked with them since they went back to Texas.

    This trip to Lynchburg was about mom. We would have been happy and overjoyed just to see mom and Ellen and Stephen. Mom was the reason for the season. April 15th . She has been the rock of our family. She has remained true to her faith in Christ. She has remained strong in her resolve. She has battled several major illness and yet she has come through very well. When my dad died in 1966, she resolved to continue in her love for the Lord and her family. When we were falling apart in our lives at times, mom would step in and provide the necessary love to bring us back together. More than once one of her children was back home for a while until we got back on our feet. Mom’s will do that you know. This is for another article and another day.

    Our trip was great. Charity again was able see the West Virginia Turnpike. And then we got into Virginia. From I-65 we took Route 501. It was 37 miles to Lynchburg. If you had a straight road the distance would have been four miles, I believe. (Ha) Blue Ridge Mountain roads are turning and twisting and climbing for sure. We were glad we had day light so we could see the mountains and valleys below. (Way below!)


    I had a few probing questions for Jerry. He spoke on the Emergent Church movement. (A most informative lesson. He has sat down and talked with the founding preachers of this movement.) I asked how he is continuing to reach new people after fifty years of ministry in Lynchburg, and yet has not compromised his biblical position. I inquired how Liberty University is still reaching new young people in today’s cultural climate. I asked how he has been able to see growth in the University not only in number but in quality of education. Stephen asked how he was able to see the sport’s program go Division 1. The Debate Team at Liberty accomplished something no other University has ever done. They won first place in all three major debate contests. How did they do that? Great! I looked at their new church facilities, 6,000 seat auditorium, filled four times on Sunday. (This is not counting Liberty Students who have their own services) I looked carefully how the building was designed. The foyer of the church, amazing. Beautiful. People didn’t mind staying after the services to fellowship. How does this happen I asked? Two hundred people in the choir who don’t drink beer, or smoke, but live godly Christian lives. How does that happen? A praise team that are in love with the Lord. How? How have you been in Lynchburg for 50 years and you still have a desire to see much more accomplished before you die? How do you still preach out of the KJV? How do you have the music that youth will listen to, yet you don’t personally like it? How has he been able to attract some of the best Christian teachers and coaches in the nations? The church and school have 3500 employees.

    I didn't want to get into a lot of things with Jerry at O'Charlie of dinner. Charity and I were happy to be eating with Jerry and Macel.

    And while I was asking question, I asked another five or six people on staff their opinion about the ministry. I asked ushers questions.

    I asked Mae Arrington who sings in the choir if Jerry was correct about the choir? She said they all love singing, and loved the Lord. She has known Jerry and Macel most of her life, and she said he and Macel are as real a Christian as you will ever want to know.

    I talked to the sound tech director, he said, "We designed the building around the sound system. There was not a limit as to cost. And Jerry said, do it right."

    I asked, "Jerry how is it that so many churches and pastors are failing to reach people for Christ, and so many of their members are leaving the church?’

    Then I asked him, "How is it that you drive your own car with your wife?" I didn’t ask him but I thought it: "How is it that you have sat with Presidents of the U.S. often, and yet today you and your wife are sitting here at O’Charleys eating with my sister, her son, my mother, and Charity and me, for over an hour?" And at no time did I feel uncomfortable.

    In both Macel and Jerry Falwell, there was true humility. A very unique quality for those who are in their position.

    I must say Charity and I have never been so well treated.

    When I recover from this trip and the emotions of Virginia Tech, I am going to take an attempt to put this experience is perspective and post the article on GROW BY LEARNING. And that is how you learn.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant April 18, 2007 Proof Checked by Charity April 19th 2007

    The emerald quads of Virginia Tech stood empty. The swimming pool at McComas Hall was still, the basketball courts silent. Signs were taped on buildings across campus: "CLOSED DUE TO TRAGEDY."

    But the 10,000-seat Cassell Coliseum was jampacked midday Tuesday with mourners, young ones wearing spirited garb unusual for a memorial: orange and maroon T-shirts, school colors in honor of their lost fellow students, the sense of peace lost from this idyllic valley.

    Citing the biblical Job and his struggle to understand suffering, Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) told the crowd that violence-weary people around the world are watching Blacksburg.

    "As you wrestle with despair, do not lose hold of that spirit of community you have," he said, asking mourners to help the victims' families and react in a way that will benefit people watching. "The world needs you to."

    Playing the Blame Game -- Who Is to Blame for Blacksburg?
    Just observe much of the media coverage surrounding the Virginia Tech killer and his murderous slaughter. Some quickly moved to assign blame to the university's administration and police department. There will no doubt be a thorough review of both in the future, but they are not to blame for the killings. We must blame the killer.

    Other commentators and theorists attempted to place the blame on society as a whole, on the young man's parents, or on his generation. The theorists of the therapeutic culture have rushed to argue that a stigma against mentally ill persons drives some to heinous acts of violence, and thus this stigma is to blame. Still others try to blame guns, grades, or any number of other factors -- anything and anyone but the murderer.
    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant

    Evil Exists; Faith Endures
    Virginia Tech University to the Sadriya Neighborhood
    Blacksburg to Baghdad
    The Christian Worldview vs. the Worldview of these events are so different.
    Cal Thomas in one short article wrote:
    • There is evil in the world.

    • It has existed since the fall of Man. Some argue that a tragedy such as Virginia Tech proves there is no God.
    • If that were true, what does selflessness prove? If we learn that some students sacrificed their lives to protect others (as occurred at Columbine High School where some also gave their lives after testifying to their faith in God), would that prove God exists?
    • The important point is that God, through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, has overcome evil. While we all must die -- some by tragedy such as the Virginia Tech shootings and others after living long lives -- the important question is not how many years we live on the earth, but where we shall spend eternity.

    This article was on newsweek.washingtonpost.com Here you will have a comments from people from all walks of life.

    Here are a few of those comments: from a Worldview idea:

    • "Does Cal Thomas really believe that, of all the dead at VTech, those who accepted christ are now sitting happily with the lord, and those who happened to be muslim, buddhist, jewish, agnostic, etc. are getting tortured by satan?" (just as printed on post)
    • This stubborn persistence in positing an entity called "evil," and then assigning causal power to it, merely results in continued ignorance as to the actual causal factors for real events.
      The brain tumor in Charles Whitmans hypothalamic region was not "evil," it just "was." And it played a primary causal role in the killing of 16 other people. Of course, if everyone throughout time had been satisfied with assigning "evil" as the cause for every painful event, we would never have known what a brain tumor was, or how behavior is affected in those who have them. If one really wants to understand how natural events occur, one must study the natural world itself. The rest is merely fiction.
    • As per the contemporary Christian theologian, Father Edward Schillebeeckx, (from his book, Church, the History of God,Crossroad, 1993, p.91 (softcover)"Christians must give up a perverse, unhealthy and inhuman doctrine of predestination without in so doing making God the great scapegoat of history" . "Nothing is determined in advance: in nature there is chance and determinism; in the world of human activity there is possibility of free choices. Therefore the historical future is not known even to God; otherwise we and our history would be merely a puppet show in which God holds the strings. For God, too, history is an adventure, an open history for and of men and women."And with this profound observation, Schillebeeckx rendered all prophets, i.e. Isaiah, Jesus, Mohammed, Smith et al, and prophecies moot!!!!!

    Here are two quotes from two fellow believers I know:

    1. I too share in the shock andsadness at VT. I watched some of the convocation yesterday and was filled withdespair. Not just regarding the murders, but also VT's (and ourworld's) view of the place for religion in today society. Muslim,Jewish, Hindu, and Christian leaders all spoke offering their words ofcomfort and solace. All faiths on an equal plain and yet all equallymeaningless. There were no words of true hope, only a hope that one ofthe gods would comfort and make sense and meaning of it all. Somehowthat we would overcome by strength of self. So this is our emerging America. In times of tragedy, we call out togod/God. We ask for comfort and solace and for Him/her/impersonal forceto help us make sense of it all. Eventually, America will also rejectthis mix for it is nonsensical. We will in 25 years, be a nation whohas rejected God and replaced Him with other gods who are no gods atall. True Christianity is being marginalized, will be ostracized, andthen rejected... eventually becoming illegal. This could all happen, I believe in the next 50 years. Bruce

    1. It seems with no lack of churches in town, the the resources are in place for the flow of God's love and care into a hurting world sufficient so that no person in our community, or in our pews, should ever be left behind or unsupported. Which means our work is more than to offer a Bible class to study facts or learn rules for nice behavior, or to create programs for busyness to increase attendance and offerings, or even to expand outreach around the world in the name of missions. Not while people all about (everyone really) are suffering from loneliness and rejection, wandering, lost, making foolish, failed decisions to deal with their unhappiness, and growing in anger and disappointment and desperation.

      The answer to violence in a community is an engaged church living out its passion and commitment to invest in support ministry for the recovery and renewal of the boy next door and his family. Don Whisnant, GracePoint

    What is the definition of "evil?"

    The actions of those who kill and kill themselves in Baghdad is evil.

    One person writes this able Cal's point of view about evil"

    • " Phaedrus is absolutely correct that Cal's world view leads to a personification of evil, and represents an abdication of responsibility to seek out its real-world causes and remedies. "

    Evil does exist, but so does good. We can't live in fear of evil, but live by faith in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant

    April 14- April 16 2007
    • My emotions have been deeply effected today. The event at Virginia Tech yesterday and today have been close to home. I had planned to go to VT before going to Seminary. I have followed VT for years. And since we were in Lynchburg over the week end we were present when the killings took place in Lynchburg a short distance from Blacksburg. Its been such a sad day for sure.
    • Charity and I had a wonderful time in Lynchburg. My mother was 85 years old on Sunday. And mom’s request was to go to Lynchburg, Virginia. My sister Ellen and her son Stephen took her. And mom wanted to visit with Jerry and Macel Falwell. And they were so gracious to mom and us while we were there. They took us out to eat at O’Charlie’s and then took time to visit with mom. Then Sunday Evening in the service, Jerry was gracious to honor mom. So mom was very happy that she came.
    • In one day your emotions go from total joy to anger. From Thomas Road Baptist Church to Virginia Tech. Thank the Lord we have friends and the spirit of the Lord in our hearts.

    More on this trip later, I want to post Al Molher's article on Virginia Tech's :

    Facing the Reality of Evil

    The unspeakable evil of the killings at Virginia Tech bring us once again face to face with the reality of human evil. Christianity faces this challenge honestly, and acknowledges the horror of moral evil and its consequences. The Bible never flinches from assigning responsibility for moral evil. Human beings are capable of committing horrible acts of violence, malevolence, cruelty, and killing.

    The Bible locates the problem of moral evil in the human heart. As the prophet Jeremiah reflected: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"[Jeremiah 17:9]

    In taking moral evil seriously, the Bible affirms that we are responsible creatures. Our Creator will hold us fully accountable for our actions. All are sinners. Some sinners embrace evil with virtual abandon -- leading to horrors such as these killings on a university campus. We dare not attempt to minimize this moral responsibility.

    Then, as C. S. Lewis so powerfully reminded us, we must trust that God's perfect justice will destroy evil and reset the moral equilibrium of the universe.

    A central tenet of the Christian faith is the claim that, on the cross, Jesus Christ willingly suffered the full force of evil, even unto death -- and that in raising Christ from the dead, the Father vindicated Christ's victory over sin, death, and evil.

    The Virginia Tech horror reminds us all what human beings can do to each other. The cross of Christ reminds us of what Jesus did for sinners in bearing the full punishment for this evil.
    Christianity does not deny the reality of evil or try to hide from its true horror. Christians dare not minimize evil nor take refuge in euphemisms. Beyond this, we cannot accept that evil will have the last word. The last word will be the perfect fulfillment of the grace and justice of God.
    In the meantime, we are witnesses to the true nature of moral catastrophes such as the killings at Virginia Tech. We mourn with those who mourn, and weep with those who weep.

    Who could calculate the pain and suffering of these victims and their families? Even as I pray for those who grieve and suffer such excruciating loss, I place my confidence in the assurance that God will bring all things to the perfect conclusion of his judgment. Without this confidence, how could I make sense of what surely appears to be senseless evil and violence?

    Posted by R. Albert Mohler Jr. on April 17, 2007 12:01 PM


    April 2007

    The month of April is more than taxes, baseball, and apple pie, its my mother’s birthday. She will be 85 this year on the 15th. Charity and I are driving to Lynchburg, Virginia today to meet up with mom and my sister Ellen and her son Stephen. I was born in Lynchburg Virginia in 1947. My father was pastoring a church in Lynchburg when my brother Don and I were born. So I am glad to see mom again, inasmuch as she lives with Ellen in Texas I don’t get to see her except once a year. Mom (Pauline) talked Ellen into taking her to Lynchburg, and Stephen will be checking out Liberty U., and on Sunday going to Thomas Road Baptist Church.

    • So I looked forward to a tax return, the opening of the Red’s Baseball, and getting to see mom and Ellen and Stephen. And also watching the Masters Golf Championship. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods.

    Tom Norvel has written this article about the Masters, and he communicates so well what I think about the Masters that I will let you read what he said.

    A Tradition Like No Other, by Tom Norvel

    The person who loves golf, particularly The Masters Golf Championship, will recognize those words as the Jim Nantz' description of the CBS coverage of the tournament. For several years, the ads begin running in late February leading up to the first week in April when the greatest golfers in the world assemble in Augusta, Georgia, to compete in the greatest golf tournament in the world. The Masters Championship is not only a tradition in itself, but the tournament is full of traditions.The tournament traditions include the ceremonial legends of the game serving as honorary starters by teeing off early on the first day of the tournament. This year Arnold Palmer hit the first drive. Of course the green jacket is a tradition like no other.

    The fact that the tournament is often decided on the back nine on Sunday afternoon has become a tradition. Amen Corner is a tradition. The beauty of the azaleas and dogwoods is a tradition. Skipping the ball across the water on the 16th hole during practice rounds has become tradition that results in boos from the crowd if a golfer chooses not to participate.For many patrons, planting themselves by the 16th green or the 18th green is a tradition.

    Hearing Pat Summerall say, "CBS Sports proudly presents the Masters!" to introduce the broadcast is a tradition.Traditions are important in most areas of our lives. Our schools use traditions to build school spirit. There are winning traditions and losing traditions with sports teams. Families have food traditions,vacation traditions, holiday traditions, wedding traditions, anniversary traditions, and birthday traditions.

    Churches have traditions. Even those who vow to be non-traditional develop their ownset of traditions. As best we can, we try to preserve our traditions.The Masters: a tradition like no other. You don't mess with the traditions of the Masters. Those who run the tournament do all within their power to preserve the traditions of the Masters Tournament.

    Some traditions are easily accepted as traditions and can be changed or rejected or ignored with no risk of penalty. Then, there are those traditions worth fighting to preserve. When it comes to your life, what is the tradition that is like no other?Allow me to offer a suggestion based on what Jesus said: They change how we live!

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. When Jesus was asked what He considered as most important, this was His response (Matthew 22:34-40). These are often called "The Greatest Commands." To adopt something like this as our "tradition like no other" will revolutionize our lives. Most of the traditions we hold onto will determine some of our direction and many of our actions. But to adopt "The Greatest Commands" as our greatest tradition, will alter the course of our futures. Nothing will be the same. These commands change how we treat people. They change how we think. They change how we worship. They change how we live.

    Now that's a tradition like no other.Lord willing, I can look forward to the first weekend in April for years to come. I'll look forward to watching the Masters and enjoy hearing Jim Nantz say, "The Masters, a tradition like no other." Of greater importance, however, are the words of the Master that I hope to drive the course of my life, all the days of my life.A life of love lived for the Master. Now that's truly "a tradition like no other!"

    2007 Tom Norvell tomnorvell@mac.com.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant

    A Study on the Practice and Methodology of Effective Bible Study
    Cross - References
    I PETER 1:19

    Respected expositor John MacArthur emphasizes that... "In Bible study, get the right message from the right passage. Don’’t ""proof text"" your bias or opinions by making the Bible say what you already know you want it to say." (MacArthur, J., F. How to get the most from God's word.

    Howard Hendricks adds that "Telescopic reading is based on this principle (of examining the text in the broader context). It never settles for close-ups alone; it always demands the wide-angle lens of perspective. It always asks, What is the big picture?" He goes on to comment that evaluation of "the passage in light of the book as a whole... is the ultimate extension of checking the context. It ?’’s like flying a plane over some land in order to evaluate distances and relationships." (Hendricks, H. G. Living by the book. Chicago: Moody Press)

    One example that I like to use most is from 1 Peter 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, even the blood of Christ:

    "http://www.OnlineBible.Org" for latest material and information.
    Online Bible: CD: I have used this CD since 1983 at FBC. It’s KJV, and most valuable. PRECIOUS
    5092,5093(Strong’s number of PRECIOUS)
    rom 5099; TDNT-8:169,1181; n f
    held worth, estimated, honored, hence, valued, prized, precious.
    AV-honor 35, price 8, sum 1, precious 1; 43

    1) a valuing by which the price is fixed
    1a) of the price itself
    1b) of the price paid or received for a person or thing bought or sold
    2) honor which belongs or is shown to one
    2a) of the honor which one has by reason of rank and state of office which he holds
    2b) deference, reverence

    • Ex 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old: ye shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats: Ex 12:6 and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at even. Ex 12:7 And they shall take of the blood, and put it on the two side-posts and on the lintel, upon the houses wherein they shall eat it.
    • Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and latter rain.
    • 1Co 3:12 But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble;
    • I Peter 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb without spot, [even the blood] of Christ: of very great value or price rather than much more precious
    • But with the precious <5093> blood <129> of Christ, as a lamb <286> without blemish <299> and without spot <784>

    • Heb 9:22 "And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission." (A pouring out) By the shedding of blood; not by the shedding of it, as it flows out of the body of the sacrifice, but as it is poured out on the altar; for the pouring of the blood at the four corners, and at the bottom of the altar

    A CRITICAL Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament by Bullinger

    • 1 Peter 2:22 who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:23 who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:24 who his own self bare our sins in his body upon the tree, that we, having died unto sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.
    • 1 Peter 3:18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
    • Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are decreed upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.
    • Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
    • Matthew 26:28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins.
    • Acts 20:28 Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops, to feed the church of the Lord which he purchased with his own blood.
    • Ephesians 1:7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
    • Colossians 1:14 in whom we have our redemption, the forgiveness of our sins:
    • Hebrews 9:12 nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh::14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
    • 1 John 1:7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
    • 1 John 2:2 and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.
    • Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loveth us, and loosed us from our sins by his blood;
    • Revelation 5:9 And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation,

    Next we will look that the word "lamb." cross references....

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Read by Charity Whisnant


    A Study on the Practice and Methodology of Effective Bible Study
    Whisnant’s Style

    The Problem of InterpretationHow do we know if we are interpreting the Bible correctly? Is there even such a thing as a "correct" interpretation?

    Cross - References
    • Are you serious Charles, you want to address this subject of how to study the Bible?" Note I said, how I have studied the Bible. That is different. A number of trustworthy books provide Bible study methods.On the Web there are many.

    The Most Essential Tool - An open and willing heart. Without this most important tool we will never profit from our study, no matter how much we may learn. We must be willing to be taught whenever we approach the Bible, allowing it to be an instrument of change in our lives rather than bending it to support our treasured ideas. The word of God possesses great power but only if it is studied honestly and with a willingness to allow God to speak through it to us.

    As we read the Bible we must constantly be thinking of what the Bible is telling us, not what we want it to tell us.

    Howard Hendricks

    • "Dusty Bibles lead to dirty lives. In fact, you are either in the Word and the Word is conforming you to the image of Jesus Christ, or you are in the world and the world is squeezing you into its mold."

    Henry Ward Beecher wisely said that...

    • "The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars."

    As D. L. Moody said...

    • "The study of God’s Word brings peace to the heart...light for every darkness, life in death, the promise of our Lord’s return, and the assurance of everlasting glory."

    Phillips Brooks said that...
    "The Bible is like a telescope. If a man looks through his telescope, then he sees worlds beyond: but if he looks at his telescope, then he does not see anything but that. The Bible is a thing to be looked through, to see that which is beyond; but most people only look at it; and so they see only the dead letter."

    Cross Reference - A system of cross references, like those found in most modern reference Bibles or in dedicated works such as "The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge," (which contains over 600,000 cross references, several different indexes, and a comprehensive note system) can refer you to other passages that relate to the one being studied. Cross references are quite possibly the single most important and useful Bible study tool available as they operate on the foundational principle of allowing the Bible to be its own interpreter. When purchasing a study Bible it is a good idea to review the type of cross referencing system it employs as well as the quantity of references printed. Many of today’s study Bibles have an average of 50,000 cross references. A concordance, such as those mentioned above, is useful in cross referencing specific words and phrases so that methods of usage of a specific word sequence may be discovered. A good cross reference system allows you to follow concepts and ideas throughout the Bible as well as specific words and phrases.

    Below is a portion of the entry for Genesis 1:1 taken from "The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge," edited by Jerome H. Smith: I used the old Treasury of Scripture
    1. beginning. Pr *8:22-24. 16:4. Mk 13:19. Jn 1:1-3. 15:27. Ac 1:1, 22. He1:10. 1 J 1:1. Re 3:14. God. Heb. Elohim. S#430h. Ge 2:2 +19:29. Ex +2:24. Ps +45:6. 89:11, 12.5p 3:9. Col *1:16, 17, 18. He *1:2. Created. Ge 1:21, 27. 2:3……

    As you can see, there are entries keyed to each major word (in bold text), allowing you to follow specific themes, ideas, and usages through the entire Bible. In certain instances the Hebrew or Greek original meaning is given (in italic text) and numerous topical entries are also catalogued and extensive notes are included as well. A complex but understandable system of symbols allows you to determine which cross references you wish to follow.

    Cross references, either in a study Bible or in a stand alone resource, will indicate to which words the cross references apply by a letter, symbol or some other method.

    Give yourself a lot of time to properly explore the cross references, especially if using a resource such as The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge (which contains several hundred thousand cross references).

    Avoid distraction. As you explore the cross references you will come across verses which seem to require follow up (this is especially true if you are using a computer based study Bible). Stay close to your primary area of inquiry and follow the side trails as time permits.
    If possible use two Bibles, one to keep open to the passage you are studying and the second with which to look up the various cross references.

    EXAMPLE USED FOR CROSS REFERENCES IN THE STUDY OF A MESSAGE USED FROM I PETER 1:13-20. Used in a sermon preached at FBC in 1994. This article is SIX pages thus I will post over several days. Charles E. Whisnant


    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, Proof Read by Charity Whisnant

    Cross - References
    Whisnant’s Style
    • Today I am going to start a series on articles of how I have studied the Scriptures since 1982. All my studies were by reading books. I can’t conceive what it would have been like with the current ability to use the material on the in Internet. I will list the references books used in my studies and some current tools for Bible Study as well.

    It is important to keep in mind the need to arrive at a basic understanding (author’s intent) of the passage being studied before moving on to other passages, in order to avoid making inaccurate comparisons

    Keep in mind the "word study" method is different than Cross References. You are looking at the word as used in the Old or New. Cross Reference you view the thought as well as the words.

    Protestant Biblical Interpretation, A Textbook of hermeneutics for Conservative Protestants: by Bernard Ramm 1956
    • Used in Bible Baptist Seminary 1967 Summer School - Dr. George L. Norris


    There is no other commentary on the Bible so helpful as the Bible itself. There is not a difficult passage in the Bible that not explained and made clear by other passages in the Bible.

    • The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge From Genesis to Revelation. Key words of verses and scripture references, parallel passages. List of verses.
    • The Reference Passage Bible (with O.T. references. Complied by I.N. Johns
      Since 1984 I used this book. All the books of the New Testament are printed out, and what are good reference passages are written out as well.
    • Word Pictures in the New Testament by Archibald T. Robertson - Six Volumes
      Used since 1984 at FBC, Altoona. Book by book Verse by verse. Theological. Greek. Grammar. Excellent. And great for cross-references.

    The topic may occur two or more places in Scripture, and the interpreter may gather information from one reference to guide his interpretation of another.

    Cross References may be Verbal, or Conceptual, or Parallel.

    1 Verbal is a reference which contains the same word or expression occurring in the passage being interpreted, but not all verbal are valid for exegetical purposes.

    1 Read Verbal
    CR is a reference in which the words used in one instance aid in the understanding of the same word in another instance. "Soul." "Spirit." "Flesh." "Son of man." etc. Hebrew/Greek concordances
    A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English/Greek New Testament
    By Bullinger

    • The design of this work is to give every English word in alphabetical order, and under each, the Greek word or words so translated, with a list of the passages in which the English word occurs. Showing by a reference figure which is the Greek word used in each particular passage.
      Thus, at one view, the Greek word with its literal and derivative meaning may be found for every word in the English New Testament, in the KJV
      One English word might have several Greek words.

    2 Apparent
    References containing the same word or expression could be coincidence. Etc. sacrifice, wood, or save.
    An uncritical listing of word-occurrences can lead to some silly mistakes.

    2 Conceptual CR: are those references which, although not containing the same words, contain the same substance. Etc.

    • Hebrews 2 / Philippians 3 discuss the incarnation.
      I Corinthians 15/ Revelation 20 discuss the resurrection from the dead.
      They enable one to see a given passage in greater depth and detail. What one passage omits the other contains.
      What we would be tempted to read into a passage is checked by what a conceptual CR contains. Example.
      Paul apparently considers "the filling of the Spirit and letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly? (Eph 5:L18, Col. 3:16) as equivalent expressions.

    3 Parallel CR: are those passages in one book of the Bible which recount the same events or material in another part of the Bible.

    • To get a full account and the necessary facts before us, it is necessary to have all parallel passages examined.. A harmony of all four Gospels would be necessary data to interpret any given passage in the Gospel.
      I studied the Life of Christ in Seminary. My College notebook had three hundred and fifty eight pages.
      The Harmony of the Gospel, by A. T. Robertson (used in Seminary)
      The life of Paul, may be reconstructed from the book of Acts and from biographical remarks in the Epistles.

    The Life and Epistles of Saint Paul: W.J. Conybeare, 1914

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant: Proof Checked by Charity F. Whisnant 00 04 11 07

    • I’m having a difficult time bringing myself out of the pastoral mode; thus, I have to keep myself focused on other things. When you are not pastoring you do feel like a fish out of water, especially when you are in a church where they don’t want you to have any pastoral responsibility. The mindset that you have as a pastor is directed toward watching over the sheep in the flock. I have found just because I am not pastoring doesn’t negate my mindset in this area. While being a member of another church in which you are not a pastor, understanding your role as a member is difficult. Thus, my outlet has been my blog GROW BY LEARNING and e mail. Since August 11th there have been 200 articles.
    At church John came up to me and said, "And there are people who think we are not going through the Tribulation." The Pastor said, "I am not sure that there is going to be a Tribulation." And Paul said something entirely different. And I believe there is going to be a Rapture of the church and a seven-year tribulation and a 1000-year Reign of Christ. What saith thee?

    Can someone read and study the Bible and understand what the Scripture is teaching on any subject? Most people in our churches are on the first grade level of understanding how to study the Scripture, and they generally have to rely on what the Sunday School Teacher is saying or on what the Pastor is saying. Which is what many pastors really like in their membership. Really.

    Many preachers really do not like to reveal how they study the Bible. One group of preachers don’t study themselves. Another group get their sermons from someone else without studying. Another group of preachers like to make people believe they don’t study

    There was a time that I wanted people to believe what I was preaching/teaching was a revelation from God Himself. And if I said it, they were to know what I said was a direct revelation from the Lord. I knew better for sure. I have never heard a word from the Lord like Moses did. Wouldn’t that be wonderful!

    There was a time when my own study was totally dependent upon what someone else said. There was a time that my skills of Bible Exegesis were slim to none. I was not taught the skills of Bible study. . I was taught the Word of God by some very good professors (preachers). They taught correctly the Scripture. The issue was they didn’t teach us how to study the Scripture for ourselves. They said to read the Bible and ask the Holy Spirit for a sermon to preach. They believed that if they taught us the meaning of the Scripture that was what was necessary for us to know the Bible.

    Later when I learned some skills on Bible Study, and I was able to purchase the necessary books which helped me study the Bible, I was fearful that the members would believe what I was saying wasn’t from the Lord but from books. You really wanted people to believe what you were saying was coming directly from the Lord.

    "This sermon this morning from I Peter 1:19 came this week from the Lord." "The Lord spoke to my heart and mind, and I sat down and began to write this message, so listen up folks."" I have heard that line for sure. Preachers like to believe what they are teaching is correct. And they should have that attitude.

    But members of the church should be taught how to study the Word of God and learn themselves how preachers of the Word arrived at their thinking about the interpretation of the Word of God.

    Yes, it’s our profession; and yes, it’s our work to study and learn the Word of God. We are supposed to know and study and preach the Scripture. But I also believe as teachers of the Word, we should teach the flock how to learn the Scripture. "Do like I do folks, just read the Scripture, and the Lord will give you the proper interpretation." Yep.

    Now others may arrive with a different point of view through their own study, but they are studying the Scripture. They are not pooling their ignorance in their own study, nor are they totally accepting what others are saying without some study on their own. What you really want is when they argue with you, they are arguing with some knowledge of what they are saying. Well, truthfully, you don’t really like people disagreeing with you. So it’s best that you know how you arrived with the conclusion you have.

    The objective in your preaching/teaching is to so teach the Scripture that your people will believe that you have studied the text fully. They will be satisfied that you have a knowledge of the Word of God.

    Teaching members of the church what really is required to know the Scriptures is really the task. Teaching members that the preacher/teacher’s first responsibility is to teach the Word of God, and what is required for that task is necessary. Giving members confidence that the Teacher is faithfully learning the Word so that the dispensing of the Word of God is done faithfully is meaningful. John MacArthur said, "The most important thing you can do for your church members is to study the Word of God."

    It is important to actually teach members that as a teacher of the Word you do need to study. Showing them how you study will bring more confidence.

    "I already know the scripture, study is not necessary." seems to be a prideful attitude rather than a correct attitude. I do think at times it’s a pride attitude when you would like your people to believe you already know the Scripture and a lot of study is not necessary. On the other hand, telling them how much you study gives the idea you know too much. Saying you don’t know the Scripture very well is also a prideful attitude as well. There is to be a balance I am sure.

    In my earlier ministry, church members believed the preacher didn’t have to study, nor did they think they should. They believed the preacher received his inspiration from revelation through the Holy Spirit. I have been criticized for studying too much and not being filled with the Holy Spirit. Using notes is a sure sign of not being filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit for sure.

    Well, may I say, Holy Spirit filled preachers will have a mind filled with the Word of God.

    "Shouldn’t we just accept what the teacher is saying at face value?" No. The Pastor/teacher needs to earn that acceptance. He should demonstrate that he does study the Scripture.

    Of course, it’s easier for the Christian to just accept the preaching as correct. I would hope that if you are a member of a good Bible teaching church that you do have a preacher who faithfully dispenses the Word of God faithful to the text of the Bible.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 00 04 09 07 Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant
    How Do We Know What God Wants Us To Do?
    Post No. 200

    "God spoke to me." This statement is often used by people to say that God has directly spoken to them in divine revelation. They are saying that God is speaking to them outside the Scripture. This is a more direct way of knowing what they need to be doing, God will speak to them directly through their spirit. So the question is: Does God speak to us, personally?

    My argument is this: God has already spoken through the Word. The question is how are we going to know what God wants us to do in living daily our lives?

    I have said this statement for years. Our general decisions we make daily are made upon:

    • Our upbringing from our parents
    • Our training in Sunday School by our teachers
    • Our interactions with other people
    • Our developed sense of right and wrong
    • Our belief system we have developed by study
    • Our reading of books and articles from many resources
    • Our understanding of the events before us

    How do we make spiritual decisions?

    • As our spirit is made alive from the dead by the Holy Spirit
    • As we learn the principles from God’s Word

    * Our personal reading of the Bible

    * Our hearing the Word from Godly teachers/preachers/pastors

    * Our interactions with Godly people
    * Our reading of books and articles

    * As our minds become trained in discipline in the matter of truth

    • As we learn theology/doctrines of the Word of God
      * One truth at a time
      * One doctrine at a time
      * One book of the Bible at a time
    • A Belief System that has been developed over a period of time of study and reflection.
    • We hear this a lot: "DO WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT?" If the truth was known, it would be that we believe that we are doing right less than 25% of the time.
      * This is developed over a period of time.
      * First we do what our parents instruct us what is right.
      * Second we do what we are taught by society and our education.
      * We develop a sense of knowing through a better understanding of who we are
      * "I don’t know yet." This is normal. Most of us have an idea of what we are doing, somewhere around 50% or less.

    • How do we know what we believe is right in the first place?
      * Getting the information from Fox? No
      * Spiritually: the only way is from the understanding of the Word of God.
    • I have always said, Live today. Do today what you believe is the best way to live it. Leave the result to the Lord."

    • I have never been able to see very far down the road of life. I have thought wrong more times then being right. If I were to predict the future events I would be wrong most of the time. Example: Pastoring a church in Fla. I was almost sure I would be, but that never happened. I have thought I would be here or there and I am still here. This has happened at least five times in the last several years alone.
    • Most of the time I act upon a sense that it’s right. Now after 50 years of being saved, I should have a little sense of what is right. The Lord has not personally spoken outside His Word, but He has spoken to me in many ways.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant and Proof Checked by Charity Whisnant for accuracy.
    Written in 2006 Posted April 09 2007


    Religion: definition: Religion is used in this paper so here is the definition:
    • "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs."

    God's glory and our responsibility to appreciate that glory are trivialized by our culture.

    • Trivialized by requiring that we change the scale of our thinking and the perspective from which we think about the earth and the events that have taken place here. We are expected to see that praising God is but one of a number of possible responses of the otherwise non-religious, objective events of reality.

    • We are supposed to realize that Biblical history even Jesus himself——is but a tiny element of the history and composition of the universe as a whole. Our religion is just our spin on that tiny part of the universe that happens to fall within our naive range of experience. Salvation in Jesus Christ is but one of a myriad of issues and topics we could choose to pursue. Glorifying God is not viewed as an intelligently engaged or enlightened response to the real world. It is merely a personally meaningful way of ordering our very limited range of perceptions and experiences. So we're told.

    Seeing the Bible as something capable of articulating reality is scorningly deemed old world guilibility. This is because, of course, the Bible was generated on the human scale and from within the human frame-of-reference. Its language is restricted to a narrow range of experience from within those dimensions.

    As our knowledge and awareness goes beyond these primitive restrictions, we're better able to frame questions and concerns to fit our more comprehensive grasp of reality. We can step back and appreciate the diversity of perspectives from which to view the real world. (In my own denomination, there was an officially sanctioned traveling sideshow designed to teach this very thing. It is so sad to see Calvinists who once worked so hard to give our religion cultural expression now being satisfied in merely giving our culture religious expression).

    God created this universe to serve his purpose. And he has chosen to speak to us on the human scale and from within the human frame-of-reference. It is here at the center of things that God revealed himself to us in his Son-revealing himself in a fullness and clarity unprecedented in all of the universe, at any possible scale or from within any possible perspective. The earth isn't important because of where it is in the universe. But because this is where Jesus came. The events of the Bible aren't important because of where they fall in the line of history of the universe. But because those events have to do with Jesus.

    The best place to begin understanding the real world is with the fear of the Lord and in departing from evil. This is true for both the scientist and the carpet cleaner. What we Christians are about has everything to do with reality. Not just some personally meaningful, fringe realities. But the very heart of reality itself.

    You see, Genesis 1 is not a artless conceived account of things. There's no reason why it would have been written differently if it were written today instead of in Moses' time. We should not confuse our assessment of our cultural sophistication with the wisdom of God. And we ought not presume that God had to condescend to the ancients but not to us. As if we have gotten beyond where they were so that we don't need to listen to what Moses says in Genesis 1. We haven't. Maturity isn't measured by cultural technology. For we in western culture are no more grown up than any son of Adam or daughter of Eve has ever been. The 'darkness' of an age is not determined by its religious devotion, but in what it does to either acknowledge or to conceal reality. Reality that was created by God to glorify God.

    The fact that God did not choose to send Jesus to the expanse center of the universe, or to reveal Himself only to particle physicists does not make the history of redemption incidental to reality. Nor does it make our interest in the things of God merely an arbitrary choice out of a whole universe of possible interests.

    Our religion deals with what the Creator says is important and significant in the universe he made. If we look elsewhere, our grip on reality will be compromised. The Holy Spirit, through Moses, wrote Genesis to introduce us to God, the Maker of the real world. We ought not presume to rise above His condescension to us.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 02 18 07 Posted O4

    I JOHN 3:4-11 (8)
    Until then we are simil iustus et peccator - at one and the same time both justified and sinners. Yes this is true, as Martin Luther said.

    And I agree with imputed righteousness we have now in Christ, and would say the final stage of the process of salvation is termed "glorification." It involves the perfecting of the spiritual nature of the individual believer, which takes place at death, when the Christian is absent from the body and present with the Lord. (Which is open for thought).

    In this life, while believers have been granted and given the gift of righteousness, our spiritual perfecting will occur in a future completion of the process, begun in regeneration and continued in sanctification.

    Our "position" is perfect in Christ now, our "practice" in ever growing into Christ likeness.
    • I believe I John 3 teaches "whosoever abides in Him does not continually habitually practice sin." So Believers sin? Yes. Do they sin on purpose? Occasional, sometimes, once in a while intermittent. But if they do, they will respond with grief and repentance. Ps. 51. And this is the thesis of I John 3:4-10.

    I don’t know how long one can continue in deliberated sinning. A day, a season! But I know he will not enjoy it for long.

    But I think the question given by Dan was: Didn’t Christ come to destroy the work of Satan? And if so, why do believers continue to live in sin?

    The point of John in I John three is a believer will not live is life as if there was no law (I John 3:4) The sin that is spoken here, I think, is "to live as if there were no law of God is to live as if there were not God." Which is the definition of sin.

    Christ will one day destroy Satan himself and all his workers who seek to destroy Believers today. That is a future event. What Christ accomplished when He became the Son of God, as Jesus Christ, was to provided the means whereby God could justify granting unbelievers salvation.

    What Christ did was to destroy the power of the devil in the life of the Christian. I often said "You don’t have to sin, you chose to sin." The fact is, to the believer, we are a lost cause to Satan. The work "destroy" means "to loosen" or "to undo" or "to remove." Christ didn’t destroy sin, but threw off the chains and freed us from sin. The work that Christ did was to unite us with Himself in His righteousness, and release the work of the devil. The work of Christ was to give us a new nature, we are given as my brother likes to say, "a seed" that remains. A seed of divine existence. i.e. God himself was planted in us. I became a "son" of God. Sin can no longer be the habit of such a life.


    The ground of the imputation of our sin unto Christ. He took on him the person of the whole church that had sinned, to answer for what they had done against God and the law.

    If it be a perfect righteousness that is imputed unto us, so it is esteemed and judged to be; and accordingly are we to be dealt with, even as those who have a perfect righteousness; and if that which is imputed as righteousness unto us be imperfect, or imperfectly so, then as such must it be judged when it is imputed; and we must be dealt withal as those which have such an imperfect righteousness, and no otherwise. And therefore, whereas our inherent righteousness is imperfect (they are to be pitied or despised, not to be contended withal, that are otherwise minded), if that be imputed unto us, we cannot be accepted on the account thereof as perfectly righteous, without an error in judgment.

    This imputation is an act of God "ex mera gratia," of His mere love and grace; whereby, on the reflection of the mediation of Christ, He makes an effectual transfer and gift of a true, real, perfect righteousness, even that of Christ Himself unto all that do believe; and accounting it as theirs, on His own gracious act, both absolves them from sin and grants them right and title unto eternal life.

    That the righteousness of Christ is imputed unto us as unto its effects, has this reverberate sense in it,--namely, that the effects of it are made ours by reason of that imputation It is so imputed, so reckoned unto us of God, as that he really communicates all the effects of it unto us.

    All that we aim to demonstrate is, only, that either the righteousness of Christ itself is imputed unto us, or there is no imputation in the matter of our justification;

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant

    Pyromaniacs: Question for discussion: Christ came to destroy the works of the devil, sooo....

    Now I was over at Teampyro reading Dan's thread, and I was going to make a comment, and I didn't realize "Link to the post" was going to bring my comment to my blog. How about that? Nevertheless here is my comment.

    What was Christ going to destroy in I John 3:8? What were the works that the devil had that Christ was going to destroy? Christ came to destroy the works of the devil! Why would He want to do that? This verse also says ""for the purpose the Son of God was manifested." What does this have do to with Christ coming to destroy the works of the devil?

    Will this is going to take another threat since, I am on another subject. So here is a brief point and then I will get back to this point later.

    "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
    I John 3:8 (4-11)

    There will be a day Christ will destroy the devil himself, but He came primarily to destroy the devil's works. What are the works of the devil? Sin of every kind. Since Christ died on the cross to destroy sin, righteousness has replaced sin in the life of a believer.

    Since Christ came to dismiss sin, unite us with Himself in His righteousness, and release the works of the devil, for a believer to regularly practice sin would render the entire work of Christ null and void. The Christian cannot frequently sin because it is incompatible with the law of God and the work of Christ.

    The term "practice sin" and "frequently sin" would is the point of thought.

    Part Three
    Our culture seems to think that its sciences actually see behind the stage-set that most of us think of as reality. They can see behind it, what props it up and what makes it seem to be something it's not. Even God himself is seen as part of this facade of reality. The sciences have gone backstage and know what's real. This is just plain nonsense.

    Nonsense or not though, that's where we are. And such depreciating of the human scale and the human frame-of-reference has taken its toll on Biblical thought in our culture. Obviously, Biblical Christianity doesn't come about by looking at the subatomic scale of things. Nor does it originate from considering large scale motions in the universe either. So it stands to reason that unless our Biblical thought is actually revealed to us by God (which is patently absurd to our culture, and therefore not a real option at all), then it must have been dreamed-up at the human scale——the naive scale of things. And, in fact, and Christian religion is widely regarded as the outcome of efforts by human imagination to cope with reality rather than to actually understand and articulate it.
    Religious belief is assumed, thereby, to have no more grounding in reality than does our imagination. Our religious belief is reduced to mere personal and social conventions——categories imposed upon reality——rather than being intelligently engaged articulation of reality like science is supposed to be. Again, you just aren't required to know anything specific about reality to have a religious belief. Christian belief, religious, or isn't thought to be anchored in reality but in second-hand, remote impressions of reality.

    To understand reality, we're expected to turn to our culture's sciences rather than to the Bible. Because human consciousness is at arm's length from what is real, it will be impossible to live out our lives in an engaged, intellectually responsible way if we rely on Biblical belief. So we're told, anyway. And this attitude has a profound effect on what is considered acceptable as far as Genesis 1 goes. Obviously, we can't understand it in a straightforward manner. That's so unrealistic!
    Genesis One: (John MacArthur has done a great service on teaching on Genesis One: (more on a later post, or thread.

    We Christians should know better than to buy into this cultural deception. But I wonder sometimes. Hence this digression from Genesis 1. Reality is not at the limit of atomistic reduction of things. We don't find reality by smashing things into pieces until, at last, the pieces won't break anymore and then call that "reality". Nor do we find reality by flying off into space to see what we look like from way out there.

    It ought to be plain enough from reading Genesis that "reality" is what was made to be viewed and experienced on the human scale and from within the human frame-of-reference.
    • God did not place our consciousness at the wrong scale or within the wrong perspective. What we know as "reality" is the venue God created for his own glory.

    That's not just some sort of biblical spin that we put on an otherwise inert, non-religious object called the universe. The universe is actually a thing to display the glory of God. And because this is so we'll never find the bedrock of reality——that which is irreducibly real——by scientific inquiry. There isn't a more accurate scale on which we can perceive reality than the human one. Nor is there a more accurate temporal or spatial frame-of-reference that what we find ourselves in. For centerstage in the theater of reality is our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • This certainly does not mean that science says nothing about the universe. But a scientist does not, by his work, get as close to reality as he would if he understood Scripture and faithfully responded to God.

    The more he moves away from the human scale and the human frame-of-reference, the more he moves into incomprehensibility. Over the years some amazingly ridiculous claims about reality have been made based on the apparent behavior of subatomic particles. Again, the assumption being that this subatomic thing gets us to the real-ness behind the impressions of our scale of experience (our "reality"). But, in fact, our culture isn't understanding reality better.

    Reality is becoming more and more incomprehensible. And as the absurdities multiply, so does our confidence that we understand more and more about the universe and the nature of reality!

    It's awfully easy to lose sight of the centrality of Christ and the fit-ness of Scripture to substantively articulate reality. Our culture seems to have so much knowledge. And the way that such knowledge is presented to us doesn't help any, either.

    • For instance: from millions of miles out in space, a camera was turned so that we could see what we look like from way out there. The earth looks like a bluish dot in a sea of darkness and stellar light. And we were given expert commentary on what we were seeing. What we saw is powerful evidence of our insignificance in the grand scheme of things. Just see for yourself. All of which trivializes man and the events that have taken place on earth.

    Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant Didn't we like our Science teachers.