Friday, 25 November 2011

The Godly Woman’s Guide to Appropriate Apparel For all Ladies and Young Ladies


Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed
(Romans 12:1, 2 NKJV)



Dear Ladies and Young Ladies,

We live by the word of God. Everything we say and everything we do is modelled by the Bible.

Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 NKJV).

The clothing styles of our day present a challenge to all of us. We must take the extra time to shop wisely and not compromise on how we dress, not only at church, but everywhere we go.

After much prayer and consideration, we present these guidelines as a tool to equip and assist you with evaluating how you currently dress and modifying it accordingly, based on God’s standards. We trust you will receive them in the same spirit of love and concern.

Ladies and young ladies, be feminine, but be modest.



THE FASHION CHALLENGE

The marketplace is full of fashion that has been designed by people who are trying to lure women into accentuating sexual appeal. It is everywhere, from the racks in the stores to the mannequins on display, to television advertising, television shows, and magazines.

At times, it may seem that adhering to God-pleasing, modest dress is practically impossible. Know that it is possible! It may mean taking more time to shop for the right outfit, trying on many items before purchasing, layering tops for maximum coverage, choosing a larger size, or tossing out items from your current wardrobe that fall short of a Godly standard.

with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV).



CLEAVAGE

Never acceptable, not even a hint.

It is never appropriate to reveal the feminine aspects of your body to anyone other than the man to whom you are married. Your tops need to be two inches above your cleavage to insure coverage in all positions. Brassieres should be discreetly worn at all times, meaning the straps do not show or the colour/design does not draw attention under your clothing.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Ephesians 5:3 NIV).



TIGHT CLOTHING

As Godly women, we dress to look nice and honour God's ways. Skin tight clothing overemphasises the shape of your body. Give yourself permission to go up a size.

Spaghetti straps, strapless tops, halter tops, and backless tops should always be covered by a sweater or a jacket.

Shorts above the knee of any length are considered recreational wear and are not appropriate when coming to social gatherings.

Skirt lengths should be no shorter than “at the knee” when standing, sitting, or kneeling.

As you dress every day, stand in front of a mirror and make sure that your cleavage, midriff and thighs are covered in all positions. Raise your arms over your head and kneel down to check all areas.

Panty lines and panties need to be discreetly covered.



TATTOOS & PIERCINGS

Many have asked us for insight on this subject. First of all, let us say that our comments concerning tattoos and piercings are not meant in any way to make someone who already has them feel any condemnation.

If you are considering tattoos and piercings, please study God’s word and pray before making this life long decision. Bible references are provided on the next page to assist you. Many people have shared with us that they regret getting tattoos when they made the choice in their youth in a moment of emotion.

Many people who have multiple piercings and/or tattoos admit that they find themselves obsessed with acquiring another. Others have admitted they are “addicted” to this behaviour.

Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD” (Lev 19:28)



BIBLE REFERENCES

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1,2)

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV).



NO CONDEMNATION…

Again, if you already have tattoos, we do not condemn you. We love you and we want you to know the Bible principle in Romans 8:1, which says that there is no condemnation to those ... who no longer walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.



Original by Alice Stephens
W.O.W. - Women of Wisdom Ministry - Faith Assembly of God, Orlando, FL
407-275-8790, ext. 123 - stephensa@faithassembly.org

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Atheism vs Theism


The Logical Case For Theism

An atheist from the University of Windsor emailed me and asked for my best argument for the existence of God. I wrote him these logical syllogisms:


Everything that had a beginning is finite.
Everything that had a beginning had a cause.
Therefore, everything that is finite had a cause.


Everything that is finite had a cause.
The first cause cannot have a cause.
Therefore, the first cause cannot be finite.



Everything is either finite or infinite.
The first cause cannot be finite.
Therefore, the first cause is infinite.


Everything that is finite indicates the existence of a first cause.
The first cause is infinite.
Therefore, everything that is finite indicates the existence of the infinite.


That which is infinite had no beginning.
That which had no beginning needs no cause.
Therefore, that which is infinite needs no cause.


That which is infinite needs no cause.
Our first cause is infinite.
Therefore, our first cause needs no cause.


Effects cannot be greater than their cause.
Humans are sentient, intelligent, moral beings.
Therefore, our cause must be greater than us in consciousness, intelligence, and morality.


Effects cannot be greater than their cause.
Humans are sentient, intelligent, moral beings.
Therefore, our cause cannot be an unconscious, unintelligent, amoral thing.


The only logical conclusion which my mind can come to is that there is a God who created us and who is greater than us.

Jesse Morrell

Friday, 4 November 2011

A most surprising quiz on hell!

The Bible warns about the judgment of God and banishment to hell. But did you know that many popular ideas about hell actually sprang from ancient pagan myths and not from the Word of God?

In the following quiz, see if you can spot the biblical truth and the traditions of men. After the quiz, you'll find the correct answers -- and references to appropriate biblical passages for further study.


1. According to the Bible, the human being is:
a) a mortal body housing an immortal soul;
b) a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury;
c) a perishable creature wholly dependent on God for existence.

2. Two historical events which biblical writers use most often to illustrate God's final judgment against the wicked are:
a) expulsion from Eden and the collapse of the Tower of Babel;
b) the fall of Jerusalem and the defeat of the Spanish Armada;
c) the Flood and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

3. Based on an actual event, the Bible uses the expression "eternal fire" to signify:
a) fire that destroys forever (Sodom and Gomorrah);
b) fire that cannot destroy what is put in it (Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego);
c) fire that continues to burn indefinitely (the Burning Bush of Moses).

4. The "brimstone" in "fire and brimstone" is:
a) a symbol of terrible torture;
b) burning sulfur that suffocates and destroys;
c) a preserving agent that keeps someone alive forever.

5. Throughout the Bible, "gnashing of teeth" denotes:
a) excruciating pain and agony;
b) gingivitis;
c) extreme anger and hostility.

6. When the Bible portrays "smoke rising" to warn of judgment, we should think of:
a) people suffering horrible pain;
b) a completed desolation or annihilation;
c) a closed arena when cigarettes were still allowed.

7. When Scripture speaks of smoke rising "forever," it signifies:
a) a destruction that will be irreversible;
b) conscious torment that never ends;
c) a battery-powered rabbit that short circuited.

8. The "worm" in the expression "worm that dies not" is:
a) a maggot that feeds on something dead;
b) a symbol for a pained conscience;
c) a figure of speech standing for everlasting agony in torment.

9. Throughout the Bible, the expression "unquenchable fire" always signifies:
a) fire which burns forever but never burns up what is put in it;
b) fire which comes from a volcano;
c) fire which is irresistible and therefore consumes entirely.

10. The Old Testament's final description of the end of sinners states that:
a) God will put fire and worms in their flesh and they will feel their pain forever;
b) they will be ashes under the soles of the feet of the righteous;
c) neither of the above.

11. John the Baptist warned of "unquenchable fire," by which Jesus would:
a) burn up the "chaff";
b) torment the lost forever and never let them die;
c) purge sinners of all evil and then send them to heaven.

12. Jesus compared the end of the wicked to:
a) someone burning chaff, dead trees or weeds;
b) a house destroyed by a hurricane or someone crushed under a boulder;
c) all the above.

13. Jesus personally described Gehenna (hell) as a place where:
a) God is able to destroy both soul and body;
b) God will perpetuate the soul in everlasting agony;
c) Satan reigns over his evil subjects and tortures damned humans.

14. The phrase "eternal punishment" signifies:
a) punishment which occurs in the Age to Come rather than during this life;
b) eternal life in horrible agony and pain;
c) punishment which has everlasting results;
d) (a) and (c) but not (b). 
 
15. The context and "punch line" of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus talk about:
a) what happens to the wicked after resurrection and judgment;
b) the urgency of responding to God while there is opportunity;
c) details about the "intermediate state" between death and resurrection.

16. Throughout his writings, Paul says that the lost will:
a) go to hell and burn alive forever;
b) die, perish, and be punished with eternal destruction;
c) go to heaven but hate every minute of it.

17. The New Testament uses the adjective "immortal" to describe:
a) the soul of every person, good or evil;
b) the resurrection bodies of the saved but not of the lost;
c) no human being now or hereafter.

18. The Jewish-Christian books of Hebrews and James contrast salvation with:
a) unending conscious pain;
b) inescapable destruction;
c) going "gently into that good night."

19. Peter's epistles say that the lost will:
a) be burned to ashes like Sodom and Gomorrah;
b) perish like brute beasts;
c) both the above.

20. John interprets his vision in Revelation of a "lake of fire" as:
a) a picture of indescribable, everlasting torture;
b) a place Eskimos might like to visit;
c) the second death.


CHECK YOUR ANSWERS BY THE BIBLE . . .


1. I hope you marked (c). According to the Bible, the human being is a perishable creature wholly dependent on God for existence.

The notion that your mortal body houses some kind of immortal soul sprang from the pagan Greeks and was popularized by the philosophers Socrates and Plato. The "tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury" line originated with Shakespeare's fictional Macbeth, not with the Word of God.

Genesis 2:7; Psalms 103:14-16; Romans 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:16.



2. Again the correct answer is (c). Biblical writers point back to the Flood and to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to illustrate the fate awaiting the lost.

Adam and Eve walked away alive after their expulsion from Eden, something no one cast into hell will ever do, and the Bible does not say the Tower of Babel collapsed. Jerusalem's fall and the defeat of Spain's navy armada don't qualify here, either.

On the Flood, see Genesis 6-9 and 2 Peter 3:5-7. Concerning Sodom and Gomorrah, see Genesis 19:24-29 and 2 Peter 2:6 and Jude 7.


3. In the Bible, the expression "eternal fire" signifies choice (a), fire that destroys forever, as with Sodom and Gomorrah.

Popular tradition says hell will be like Moses' Burning Bush which never went out, or like the non-consuming furnace into which their enemies threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. However, the Bible warns that hell is a consuming fire which destroys both body and soul.

Jude 7; Matthew 25:41; Matthew 10:28.


4. This time (b) is biblical. The "brimstone" in the expression "fire and brimstone" is burning sulfur that suffocates and destroys.

The figure comes from the destruction of Sodom, which was incinerated without a trace. God is love, not an eternal torturer. The Bible really means it when it says the wages of sin is death!

Genesis 19:24-25, 29; Deuteronomy 29:22-23; Psalms 11:6; Ezekiel 38:22; Revelation 14:10; Romans 6:23.


5. Surprise! Throughout the Bible, "gnashing of teeth" denotes (c) extreme anger and hostility.

The picture of people grinding their teeth in unending torment owes more to Dante's Inferno than it does to the Bible. We learn about gingivitis, of course, from a television commercial for a brand of mouthwash.

Job 16:9; Psalms 35:16; Psalms 37:12; Psalms 112:10; Lamentations 2:16; Acts 7:54; Matthew 13:43, 49-50; Matthew 22:13-14; Matthew 24:50-51; Matthew 25:30; Luke 13:28.



6. Again (b) is biblical. Smoke rising symbolizes a completed desolation or annihilation, if we let Scripture interpret itself.

This figure of speech also originates with the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah, and appears in both the Old and New Testaments afterward. Hell might well involve conscious pain, but conscious suffering will be according to God's perfect justice and will stop with the death of both body and soul in hell. (You didn't guess the one about cigarettes anyway, did you?)

Genesis 19:27-28; Isaiah 34:10-15; Revelation 14:11; Revelation 18:17-18; Malachi 4:1-3.



7. See for yourself! When Scripture speaks of smoke rising "forever," it signifies (a) destruction that will be irreversible.

That battery-powered rabbit came from the television commercials -- it is no more biblical than the other choice, the notion of unending conscious torment.

Isaiah 34:10-15; Revelation 14:11.



8. Another big surprise for most folks! The "worm" in the expression "worm that dies not" is (a) a maggot that feeds on something dead until there is nothing left on which to feed.

The idea of everlasting agony in torment originated with former pagan Greek philosophers who also thought human beings had a "soul" which will never die. More tender-hearted traditionalists later defined the "worm" as a pained conscience. If they had read Isaiah 66:24 in context, they could have avoided the confusion to start with.

Isaiah 66:24; Mark 9:47-48.



9. This time (c) is correct. The expression "unquenchable fire" in the Bible always signifies fire which cannot be resisted and which therefore consumes entirely.

Long after Christ, certain church fathers invented the doctrine of hell as a fire which burns forever but never burns up what is put in it.

Isaiah 1:31; Jeremiah 4:4; Jeremiah 17:27; Ezekiel 20:47-48; Amos 5:5-6; Matthew 3:12. Contrast human fire which can be quenched or put out, mentioned in Hebrews 11:34.


10. No surprise here if you chose (b). The Old Testament's final book describes the end of sinners as ashes under the soles of the feet of the righteous.

Long after Malachi, the apocryphal book of Judith introduced the non-scriptural idea that God will put fire and worms in people's flesh so they will feel pain forever.

Malachi 4:1-3.



11. John the Baptist warned of "unquenchable fire," by which Jesus would (a) burn up the "chaff". Not surprising, since fire that cannot be extinguished (quenched) does exactly what we expect fire to do!

Missing this biblical truth, some later theologians claimed that God will torment the lost forever and never let them die, while others theorized that God will purge sinners of all evil and then send them to heaven. Both theories have modern advocates, but neither of them reflects the Bible's teaching.

Matthew 3:12.



12. Jesus compared the end of the wicked to someone burning chaff, dead trees or weeds, and also said it will be like a house destroyed by a hurricane or someone crushed under falling rock. Check (c) here to be correct.

Matthew 3:12; Matthew 7:19; Matthew 13:30, 40; Matthew 7:27; Luke 20:17-18.



13. Choice (a) is accurate on this one. Jesus personally described Gehenna (hell) as a place where God can destroy both soul and body -- the entire person.

The just and loving God of the Bible who loved sinners will certainly not perpetuate the soul in everlasting agony. On the other hand, if you pictured Satan reigning over his evil subjects and torturing damned humans, you might be watching too much late-night television!

Matthew 10:28.


14. If you selected choice (d), you are right on target. By describing hell's punishment as "eternal," the Bible tells us that it is a punishment which occurs in the Age to Come rather than during this life, and also that its results will be everlasting.

You'll find nothing in Scripture about eternal life in horrible agony and pain. Jesus warns of everlasting punishment -- which Paul further explains as everlasting destruction.

Matthew 25:46; 2 Thessalonians 1:9.



15. The context and "punch line" of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus concern (b) the urgency of responding to God while there is opportunity.

When they read this passage carefully, most people are surprised to find that the context of Jesus' parable has nothing to do with what happens to the wicked after resurrection and judgment, or even about a so-called "intermediate state" (which is not necessarily the same as what happens after resurrection and final judgment).

See Luke 16:9-16 for the context, and Luke 16:31 for the "punch line."



16. It's choice (b) again. Throughout his writings, Paul says that the lost will: (b) die, perish, and be punished with eternal destruction.

If you picked choice (a) "go to hell and burn alive forever," you will really be surprised when you look for anything like that in Paul's writings. Choice (c) is wrong, since all who finally inhabit God's eternal kingdom will enjoy every "minute" of unending eternity!

Romans 6:23; Romans 2:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 3:17; Philippians 1:28; Philippians 3:19.



17. The New Testament uses the adjective "immortal" to describe (b) the resurrection bodies of the saved but not of the lost.

Some philosophers in Paul's day taught that every person has an immortal soul -- a doctrine which later crept into the Christian church but is now increasingly rejected as unbiblical. Still others said no one will ever be "immortal" or deathless. Scripture rejects both those errors, when it declares that there is life only in Christ but promises that all who truly trust him will live forever! You will always be correct to remember that the Bible always ascribes immortality to the saved, never to the lost; always in the resurrection, never now; and always in a glorified body, never as a disembodied "soul" or "spirit."

1 Corinthians 15:54-57; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 John 5:11-13.

18. Did you choose (b)? Good for you! The Jewish-Christian books of Hebrews and James do indeed contrast salvation with inescapable destruction.

Read every word and you'll never find a hint of unending conscious pain. Going "gently into that good night" is poetic but comes from Welsh poet Dylan Thomas rather than the Bible.

Hebrews 10:27, 39; Hebrews 12:25, 29; James 4:12; James 5:3, 5, 20.

19. Choice (c) is correct. Peter's epistles clearly say that the lost will be burned to ashes like Sodom and Gomorrah and will perish like brute beasts.

2 Peter 2:6, 12; 2 Peter 3:6-9.

20. John is careful to define the "lake of fire" in Revelation as (c) the second death.

Read from Genesis to Revelation and you'll never find a picture of indescribable, everlasting torture. Does that come as a surprise?

Revelation 20:14; Revelation 21:8.


For a thorough investigation of everything the Bible says about the destiny of the lost, you might wish to read The Fire That Consumes, by Edward William Fudge. This detailed book has stirred a worldwide rethinking of the doctrine of hell among evangelical Christians, and was a selection of Evangelical Book Club.

Original by Edward Fudge