Showing posts from November, 2011

John's beatific vision of God

Revelation 4
 ¶1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
 3 And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
 4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beast…

A reply to a YouTube video called "Untangling the church music debate"

I realize this video is satiric.  I like satire, even when the shoe is on the other foot.  This video made me laugh, angry, and jealous.  There are people who have legitimate questions about church music.  Though not everyone approaches the topic with a sincere desire to know the truth from God’s Word, there are those who do.  Often the answers to their questions are just as hollow as the answers from the character purported to represent the conservative.  The stupidity of certain responses made me laugh.  What made me angry is the serious tone (that aspect of satire) that is supposed to reveal the folly of its recipient.  Basically, godly music advocates are ridiculed.  I could have easily dismissed this video as a time waster.  Perhaps I should have, and perhaps it is.  But then as I thought about how I would respond towards a serious seeker about godly music, I would hope that I could give a more substantive answer than what was portrayed.  This is where my jealousy kicked in…

Deconstructing Jacob's prayer

Gen. 32:9-12
(9)  And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee:
(10)  I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands.
(11)  Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children.
(12)  And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

1.  Jacob addresses God by acknowledging his personal relationship with God. (v.9a)

2.  The basis for Jacob's prayer is God's promises. (v.9b; 12 cf. 31:3, 13) - see also Ps. 119:49.  The key to effective prayer is claiming the promises of God in His word.  This is also another reason why we want to …

A USA TODAY article on church music

Here is an article in the USA TODAY newspaper.  The topic is basically traditional music vs. contemporary "Christian" music, and styles of worship.  The article I would say is quite objective.  Both sides of the coin are presented.  Ms. Grossman (journalist) even quotes David Cloud (which Bro. Cloud never said - come to find out there are some inaccuracies with the article.).  The article explained that 50% of Protestant churches (of the 14,000 which was surveyed) now use electric guitars and drums in worship, which was a jump from 35% in 2000.  Here are some of the reasons used by the CCM proponents in the article, and what follows are my own reflections.

1.  "Just because you don't like the tunes, doesn't mean it is theologically incorrect." -  Music isn't simply a matter of taste.  Yes, there is room for preferences, but when the music crosses Scriptural boundaries it becomes sin, and to indulge in it is sinful.

2.  "The Bible doesn't have a…

Disciplines for New Believers (paperback)

"Disciplines for New Believers" ($5.00 + s&h) is now available in the paperback format besides the Kindle format.  If you would like to place an order please feel free to email me at "hardecker-at-google-dot-com"  please include your name, address and qty.  I will do my best to get it out to you a.s.a.p.  or you may use PayPal if you wish:

A short study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the book of Acts (part 2)

Isaiah 40:12-17

Isa 40:12-17  Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?  (13)  Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?  (14)  With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?  (15)  Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.  (16)  And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering.  (17)  All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

These verses demonstrate the magnificence of God.  V.12 tells us of His power to create. V.13-14 speaks of His infinite wisdom, and omniscience.  V.15-…

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Three online tools to learn more about Mt. Zion Baptist Church

1.  Our church website.  Obviously, this is the most elaborate tool.  It contains everything you would want to know about MZBC.  You can look at current events and calendar items, read our doctrinal statement, a succinct background on our Pastoral Staff, see the various ministries and so much more.

2.  This online tool archives our audio and video sermons.  We also live stream our Sunday morning service at 10:45am EST.  If you are like me, you like listening to the preached Word, then help yourself to some good old fashioned preaching.

3.  Follow us on Twitter @mtzbc.  If you would like to receive announcements, updates, and more information about MZBC, then feel free to follow us on Twitter.  Send us a request, and if we determine that you aren't a spammer, we will gladly add you to our Twitterverse.