The Old Testament sacrificial system only provided a temporary covering for sin, like making minimum payments on our sin debt. Even though we no longer sacrifice bulls or lambs, many of us live much the same way, thinking a good deed here or showing up at church once in a while will keep the Creditor off our backs. Only to have the interest, the guilt and consequences of sin, pile up. But there is good news … Continue reading →
Is there any such thing as white magic? Is it OK for Christians to read their horoscopes or study astrology or numerology? Is there anything wrong with tarot cards, cleansings, Ouija boards, and palm reading?
Have you ever dabbled in those things? Would you know how to talk to someone who has?
If there is a spiritual world out there, should we be afraid of it? How do we resist those things?
1 Samuel 28
White Magic, Jesus & Resisting the Devil
1 Samuel 28:
Mediums and Spiritists
This is one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible and difficult to understand at first glance. The chapter opens by telling us that Samuel has died and that Saul has banished all the mediums and spiritists from the land. Then when God won’t answer him, he resorts to seeking out a medium himself.
How about you? How do you respond when answers to prayer are slow in coming? Do you continue to wait on God or resort to your own solutions?
We can’t put God in a box or demand that He do things on our timetable. Just because we have decided to walk in biblical love and forgiveness toward our spouse, doesn’t mean God is, immediately, going to cause him or her to change.
Just because we give financially doesn’t mean all our debt will disappear or we’ll instantly have the job of our dreams. In fact, our expectations are often part of the problem. We are to obey God out of a desire to please Him, not to get some desired result. Instead, we need to trust Him for the right result. It’s not that blessings don’t come as a result of our obedience, but our attitude is not to be one of “giving to get something.”
God has always forbidden His people to seek after spiritists and mediums.
Deuteronomy 29.29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
In fact, under the law anyone practicing such things was to be put to death! And God’s attitude about them has not changed. There is no such thing as “white” or harmless magic, witchcraft or spiritism, even if its practitioners claim to believe in God or talk about Jesus. It’s not the Jesus of the Bible. Remember, the devil Continue reading →
This week’s question: “How can a man be born when he is old?” (John 3.4).
The chapter opens:
This question came immediately after one of Jesus’ most famous declarations: “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3: 3). And this question was asked by a man named Nicodemus, who was the epitome of moral righteousness and theological acumen, yet he had entirely missed the point of Jesus’ teaching. Jesus was not speaking of a physical birth, but of a spiritual birth.
… it is essential to grasp the meaning— the who, the when, and the what— of this engaging dialogue that took place in a dark alley of a silent night in the city of Jerusalem two millennia ago. Why? Because, like Nicodemus, you too “must be born again.”
First “who”: Who was asking this important question?
Nicodemus was a Pharisee, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. He was a leader. He had power, prestige, and popularity, but he knew something was missing.
Next the “when”:
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night. The Scriptures don’t say why, but commentators have speculated that he didn’t want to be seen by his colleagues or perhaps he didn’t want to fight the crowds that followed Jesus by day. Or as Hawkins suggests, maybe he just couldn’t wait to talk to Jesus.
That made me wonder if Nicodemus was struggling to sleep with all the stories he had heard about Jesus’ miracles, all the criticisms from his friends and fellow Jewish leaders, and all the questions running around is his head. Hawkins: Continue reading →