PRI Articles

Guest Article-- Dallas Burdette Devotional

We have shared other devotionals by my friend Dallas Burdette before, with positive feedback. Here is his latest. Please keep Dallas in your prayers, as he is experiencing health problems.

Don K.

 

God's Coming in the Flesh

Calls for Renewal

Dallas Burdette PhD

What does God's coming in the flesh mean to us? How do we view our relationship to God, to Christ, and to the Holy Spirit? Is there true commitment on our part to the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Since we are the people of God, we should reexamine our lives to see if there is renewal within our lives to the things of God. Our study of the Bible, our spiritual singing, and our meeting with God's people are constant reminders of Jesus and of our redemption. Our study of the Hebrew Scriptures reveals the children of Israel as the "people of God," which designation is the basic definition of the Church. The Church is the rightful successor to the remnant of Israel and stands in the continuous history of God's promise to the nation that the Messiah would come through Judah (Genesis 49:10), which history is still governed by the same design of God-a people premeditated to carry out good works and to bear fruit for His kingdom (Ephesians 2:4-10; Luke 3:9; Hebrews 13:15-21).

When God's unique community reflects upon its own renewal, we cannot help but reflect upon God's call for the rekindling of our zeal over and over in our lives (Romans 12:9-21; 1 Peter 2:4-10). The prophets of old recorded with brute frankness the need for revitalization on the part of His people (Jeremiah 7:1-11). The coming of the Redeemer is announced in the Old Testament (Genesis 3:15; 22:17-18; Numbers 24:17; Deuteronomy 18:15; Isaiah 9:6-9; 11:1-11). This event is embedded within the history of God's people who murmured against Him who sought to save them. Beginning with the Book of Genesis and continuing through the Book of Malachi, we witness God seeking His people and, at the same time, making known an event that would change the world-the coming of His Messiah to redeem lost humanity (John 1:1-14). As we read and reflect upon the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings, we need to keep in mind that there is a common thread that runs throughout the entire Old Testament Revelation-the coming of the Messiah. With the coming of Jesus, we observe that a new power invaded history-God became flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

God's New Israel (the church) is to guard itself against the mindset of Old Israel, which nation was characterized by ingratitude and disobedience to the God to whom it owed everything (Isaiah 1:1-21). In spite of their acts of rebellion, God continued to work for the salvation of His people. Over and over again, we perceive pure grace from God to the nation of Israel. God foretold the day when He would enter into a New Covenant with the house of Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-34). God's New Covenant is none other than Jesus Himself (Isaiah 42:6). This New Covenant is associated with repentance. Under the New Covenant we are confronted with the God who does not give up His plan of salvation for the redemption of lost humanity. God's plan of salvation is easy-salvation by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ upon Calvary (Romans 3:21-31; Galatians 2:14-16; 3:15-16).

For those who respond to God's Way of salvation by faith, this response demands repentance as well as faith in Jesus as the Way (Mark 1:14-15). In Galilee, Jesus began His ministry with the call to "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17). To repent is to turn from our old lifestyles to a new way of life (Ephesians 2:1-10). What does it mean to repent? Renewal is to give up our previous ungodly conduct. Again, what is the old approach to life? It is the way of rebellion against God and His Law; it is the way of self-seeking; and it is the way of self-absorption. There is a tendency among many of us to think that God's election is a guarantee of our salvation in spite of our behavior. Just a casual glance at the Old Testament prophets reveals that God pronounced a woe upon all who refused to live holy lives. God proclaimed wrath upon all those who were at ease in Zion (Amos 6:1).

Isaiah (739 BC), Jeremiah (627 BC), and Ezekiel (593 BC) prophesied concerning God's New Covenant. Unlike the Old Testament Law, God's Law is now inscribed upon the hearts of men and women-the law of love, which law entails loving one another as Jesus has loved us (John 13:34; Romans 15:7).  Ezekiel expresses the "age to come" this way: "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh" (Ezekiel 36:26). Because of what God has done for us, we should renew our wills to obedience to God. Remember, the New Covenant is not embodied in a Law, but in a Person.

The Servant (Jesus Messiah) is the New Covenant. It is not possible for us to go on living in the old way when we come face-to-face with the kingdom of God, which kingdom was announced by John the Baptist and Jesus the Messiah. Daniel (605 BC) announced this Messianic kingdom over six hundred years before its arrival (Daniel 2:44). As we celebrate the Lord's Supper, we cannot help but recall that Jesus' Twelve disciples stood on the threshold of the new world (a new heaven and a new earth, see 2 Peter 3:10-13). The past event of the Exodus from Egypt finds its ultimate fulfillment realized in the Kingdom of God. The coming of Jesus is the in-breaking of a new age-the age of grace in its fullness (Galatians 4:1-7). The set phrase, the Israel of God, has now been transferred to the saints in the Kingdom of God.

The New Jerusalem is here, that is to say, the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21:1-4), which is the church of firstborn ones (Hebrews 12:22-29). The bodily Resurrection of Jesus is the victory over spiritual death, which death is overcome through His Atonement upon the Cross of Calvary. Today, we are the beneficiaries of His grace and forgiveness. With the coming of Christ in judgment against Jerusalem for its rejection of Him as the Savior of the world, the Kingdom of God has entered into this world. God has issued a call for all to partake of the beginning of the "age to come" that has no end. Jesus is the "firstborn" from the dead, and He has entered fully into the glory of the fulfillment of all that Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings foretold would come to pass (Luke 24:44-49; Daniel 7:13-14).

As Christians, we are not living in the "last days." The "last days" pertained to the last days of the old covenant world of Judaism. Today, we are living in the age without end (Isaiah 9:6-9; Daniel 2:44). We are invited to share with Christ in this new life. This new life calls for renewal (Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:1-14). Paul utters it this way: "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" (Romans 6:4; 15-23).

Since we have "tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the coming age" (Hebrews 6:5), we are now experiencing the "coming age" as foretold by the prophets "in" and "through" Jesus (Luke 6:46). We should endeavor to renew our commitment to Jesus as Lord of our lives. Have we made our commitment of loyalty to the kingdom of God and His righteousness? Are we working toward the advancement of God's new heaven and new earth? We should listen and meditate upon the following admonition of Peter:

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us." (1 Peter 2:9-12)

Please share this study with others. Also. I encourage my readers to visit my website: www.freedominchrist.net. Also visit Amazon for a list of my five books.

Yours in Jesus,

Dallas Burdette

Another False Prophet Exposed

Another “Prophet” Proven To Be False
Don K. Preston

 

Several months ago someone sent me a copy of a book: 2008 God’s Final Witness, by Ronald Weinland. It was suggested to me that perhaps I should challenge Mr. Weinland to debate me. As I scanned the book, I decided that the best response overall was to allow time to respond to Mr. Weinland, and my thinking has been vindicated. You see, Mr. Weinland claims that, “When this book is published at the end of summer of 2006, there will be a maximum of two years remaining before the world will be plunged into the worst time in human history” (p. 244). Mr. Weinland is (was) so absolutely positive of his predictions that he actually claimed to be one of the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11, “I am God’s end-time witness and spokesman” (p. 111). So, here we are in 2012, nothing, absolutely nothing that Mr. Weinland-- God's final witness!!-- predicted has come true. 


Mr. Weinland claims that the Sixth Seal of Revelation has already been opened, and that we are in the critical period of the first 3 ½ weeks of the Great Tribulation period. The fall of the Twin Towers was one of the signs that “The end is near!” America is doomed to fall!


In the famous words of Charlie Brown: “O good grief!”


When will Bible students stop denying the words of Scripture? Mr. Weinland says that the events of Revelation were not near when John wrote, but of course, they are near now. But, how much clearer could the Father have expressed the true nearness of the events than He did? He said “The things which must shortly come to pass.” The word shortly does not mean rapidly. It means soon, and the Father emphasized it by saying “The time is at hand” (Revelation 1:1-3). What time was at hand? The time for the fulfillment of the vision!


Furthermore, Revelation reiterates the prophecies of Daniel. Daniel foretold the end time, the resurrection, etc. Daniel was told to seal the vision of his prophecy of the end, because fulfillment was far off. He, Daniel, would die. The events were not for his day, they were not at hand.
In direct contrast, John reiterates Daniel’s prophecies. But, now, John was told “Do not seal the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand” (Revelation 22:10).


This temporal contrast must be honored. (See a full discussion of this contrast and all of the time statements in Revelation in my book Who Is This Babylon?). The point is that if the events of the end were not near when Daniel wrote, but, they were near when John wrote– which is irrefutably true– then Mr. Weinland, and anyone else that posits the events of Revelation in John’s distant future, is wrong.

As a side note, it just staggers me that some are so desperate to avoid the time statements of Revelation and scripture, that they are now claiming that "there are no temporal markers in Revelation!" Once again, "Good grief, Charlie Brown!" 

This is simply unbelievable desperation! Anyone making this claim is either totally ignorant of the Greek in the NT, or, they are simply willing to deny the linguistics of inspiration. If the Spirit wanted to communicate temporality-- time-- what other words would have been used? If God wanted to convey the idea that the time of fulfillment was near, how better could He have expressed Himself? But, I digress. Back to Mr. Weinland and his "prophecy."


So, here we are in 2012, and Mr. Weinland’s two year prediction was proven false. (I wanted to allow a lot of time, post 2008 just to give some "lee-way" for Mr. Weinland!!)

 

Mr. Weinland is not God’s final witness. He is not a prophet. He is a false teacher.


It is time, past time, for Bible students to accept the inspired truth that the events of the end were near in the first century, and they were fulfilled in the first century, just as predicted. All futurist eschatologies are false. Men such as Mr. Weinland are an embarrassment to the cause of the truth of Christ, and give the skeptics of the world ammunition for their attacks on the Lord.

Jerry McDonald's Charge of the Hymenaean Heresy

What About Hymenaeaus

Jerry McDonald says Preston is like Hymenaeaus "those who say the resurrection is past."

Clearly, Jerry has given little or no thought to his objection!

If the resurrection is what Jerry says, an earth burning, time ending, cosmos destroying event, how could anyone, convince anyone that it had already happened, Jerry?

That would be impossible! All anyone would have to do is say "Look around!" The graveyards are still full!"

This is not how Paul refuted Hymenaeaus, however.

Fact: Daniel said the resurrection would be "when the power of the holy people is completely shattered."

Jerry has not touched this indisputable fact, top, side or bottom!

Israel’s last days had not ended; her power had not been shattered when Paul wrote!

Of course it was wrong to say it had already happened– before it had happened!

f it was wrong to say it had already happened– before the fact– Is it proper to deny that it has happened when the divinely appointed time for its accomplishment has come and gone?

Scripture: The resurrection would be "when the power of the holy people is completely shattered."

Jerry McDonald– I deny that the resurrection occurred "when the power of the holy people was completely shattered."

Jerry explicitly rejects the divinely appointed time of the resurrection

On the Light Side-- True Innocence

Ah, the innocence and naivity of youth, right? My wife sent this little story along to me, and I thought I would share it with our visitors.

 

One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.'

'Good morning Pastor,' he replied, still focused on the plaque. 'Pastor, what is this? '
The pastor said, 'Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service.'

Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked, 'Which service, the 8:00 or the 10:30?

Hey, Christians, It is Time To Wake Up!

Christians, WAKE UP!

Don K. Preston

As I write this, in the USA Today Newspaper of 8-23-10, in the Forum section, the problem of Jesus’ “delay” is discussed. Likewise, NewsMax Magazine of August, 2010 depicts Jesus on bended knee, and the caption is “Will He Ever Return?” Just this last week, I received an email telling of a Christian minister who has recently become an atheist because, “Jesus’ predictions of his soon return failed.”
Jesus challenged everyone, friend and foe alike: “If I do not do the works that the Father has given me, do not believe me. Do not believe me for my words sake, but believe me for my works” (John 10:36-37).

Jesus, unlike the other major religions of the day, welcomes us to examine his claims. If he did not do what he said he would do, he is not the Son of God. It is that simple.

Jesus said he was going to be betrayed, buried, and raised the third day. This would be a sign that he is the Son of God (Matthew 16). If Jesus was not raised from the dead, he is not the Son of God, our faith is in vain, we are yet in our sin (1 Corinthians 15). No works fulfilled, no faith in him is justified!

Jesus said he was coming back, in judgment, in his generation (Matthew 16:27-28– See my Can You Believe Jesus Said This?, for a full refutation of those who seek to deny the power of his words). Jesus said the Father had committed all judgment to him, and that he would judge as he had seen the Father judge before. He would judge so that men might honor him as they honor the Father. Catch that! Proper honor to Jesus would follow recognition that he had acted in judgment as the Father had acted in judgment before! This is just another way of saying “If I do not do the works that the Father has given me, do not believe me. If I do the works, believe me!” It is simply, but powerfully saying Faith in Christ springs from the fulfillment of his prediction to come in judgment!

Yet the world, and much of Christianity says, “Well, no, Jesus did not do what he said, when he said he would!” The atheists say it. The Muslims say it. The Jews say it. And even many Christians say it!

But, Jesus did come back, in the first century, just as he said he would! He came “In the Glory of the Father.” He came in judgment in the same manner as he had seen the Father come many times before! (See my book: Like Father Like Son, On Clouds of Glory, for positive proof of this claim.

Christians, it is time to wake up! It is time to “take back the Bible” as it were. Jesus did not fail. He was not deluded. He was not mistaken! The modern church needs to stop giving the enemies of the Cross the ammunition to attack Christianity. The modern church needs to abandon its false theology of a failed, frustrated, postponed eschatology, and to militantly march forward with the message of a victorious, promise keeping Savior!


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