Why Bivocational? Part 2

      There are many fallacies of bivocationalism. Perhaps the worst is that the bivocational minister is only in “part-time ministry.” No, he is in full time ministry. All Christians are called to be ministers of the Gospel and to use the gifts and callings the Lord has given them; not all are called “to preach.” Nonetheless, bivocational ministers are not part-time although they may give on average 20-30 hours per week to the church on top of their “secular” vocation. Another fallacy is that bivocationalism is only for struggling churches who cannot support a full-time pastor. Again, this is true in some cases, but a growing number of churches of considerable size have a staff of bivocational pastors who fill different roles with their specific gifts and calling. Still another fallacy is that bivocationals are not totally dedicated to the Lord’s calling on their lives. On the contrary, many bivocationals are very adamant about their call to preach from the Lord, yet recognize that He has not called them to do it as a “job”—they aren’t hirelings and are pastoring where the Lord has placed them, not where they could get the best paycheck. The last fallacy that will be discussed here is the fallacy that bivocationalism can’t work and isn’t healthy for a minister. On the contrary throughout history and the Biblical record, most ministers called by the Lord appear to be bivocational. The prophets were bivocational at best if not completely self-supported. The early Christian deacons and elders were bivocational in many instances. Early preachers in America were almost always farmers, school teachers, or mercantile owners in addition to their church work. Bivocationalism is how the church often moves into new communities and meets people were they are with the Gospel message.

Open Door but No Peace, So You Left . . .

Have you ever had the Lord open a door but not been at peace? Paul experienced the same thing. I was reading 2 Corinthians 2 last night at got stuck thinking on this section:

“When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:12-14 ESV

God opened a door for Paul but even though Paul was in God’s will, he was not at rest. Why? Because Titus wasn’t there. We too can be in God’s will and feel unsettled because someone we love and know is not present. Now I want you to notice what Paul does. Although the Lord had opened a door for Paul at Troas, Paul left because Titus wasn’t there. I’m not going to debate the theology of whether Paul should have left or not, that is not the point of the passage because of the next verse-thanks be to God! It is God who always leads us in triumphal procession for the sake of the Gospel! If you have repented of your sins and surrendered to Jesus, then God in His Sovereignty continues to spread the Gospel fragrance through our lives, which He purchased with His own blood despite our shortcomings, mistakes, and failures. (Going on in the context, I don’t want to neglect to mention that Believers are salt and light – refreshing each other and a reminder of coming judgment to outsiders, verses 15-17).

Why Bivocational? Part 1

Beginning this series on Bivocationalism, my goal is to show the benefits of Bivocationalism. You may not receive any pay, minister, for obeying the Lord in your calling. But money is not the object anyway. I in no way wish to diminish the blessing of “full-time” ministers. But, guys, Paul was bivocational and our Lord Jesus spent most of His life in construction in Israel. So without further ado, here begins a series of posts from a course I took from Seminary Extension a couple of years ago:

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Book Review: A Reader’s Guide to the Major Writings of Jonathan Edwards

A Reader’s Guide to Jonathan Edwards probes the historical and theological underpinnings of Jonathan Edwards, who has been called the greatest theologian of America.

I was privileged to obtain a copy through Crossway’s Blog Review Program.

It was encouraging to see that Edwards wrote as a ministry, not merely to get his opinions across but to defend apologetically the Biblical truth that was under attack in his day. It was also interesting to note that Edwards criticisms of Arminianism had more to do with the Wesley extremism than simply a historical matter.

Further, Edward’s legacy is one of a man who stood on the Bible while excitedly looking for evidences of God’s hand of revival in his day. Edwards did not diminish the need or reality of revival, but wrote on how true revival produces long-lasting fruit in individual lives.

Martin Luther’s 95 Theses

In light of Reformation Day, here is a brief biographical sketch of Martin Luther, plus here are Martin Luther’s 95 Theses. Enjoy these and have a blessed Reformation Day!

I also want to recommend an excellent documentary on Martin Luther available on Faithlife TV. It provides a solid overview of the life of the one who brought about the Protestant Reformation.

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Scriptures for Waiting on God

Waiting

Can I tell you this? Waiting is still important. Noah Webster’s original 1828 dictionary (a great, Biblically-based dictionary) defines waiting as: Staying in expectation. Are you expectantly waiting on the Lord? Psalms 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him….” Waiting on the Lord—being in His presence—is our place of rest. We often don’t get an answer from the Lord right away, but we can rest—we can be at peace and total stillness—as we wait upon the Lord. The reason most of us are not still and feel restless is because we do not wait well. Wait patiently, for God will show Himself mighty. Isaiah 48:17 promises us that the “…Lord, thy God [will] teacheth thee to profit, [and] leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.”

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The Church Needs Heresy Hunters

The Church Needs Heresy Hunters

The Church Needs Heresy Hunters

There is yet another piece of logically suicidal propaganda that teaches that heresy hunters are toxic for the body of Christ. They teach that the people who are reading their Bibles and seeking theological accuracy as missing the bigger picture and ruining it for others. What those who propagate this nonsense do not realize is how toxic this teaching actually is for the Church and how it actually gives Atheists less of a reason to believe in Christ.

 

My Argument

The idea that people who are seeking a more accurate theology or even a more Biblically centered teaching are toxic for doing so is nothing more than an ad hominem argument. It neither says how or why people like myself are toxic. The evidence as I will go into Biblically and historically points toward the need for heresy hunters and that they are, in fact, beneficial for the Church.

The reason Atheists add this to their reason as to why not to believe in Christ is simple. If you believe that the Bible is the most important book in the world, that it was so important innumerable people have died for believing and defending it then why do you only take it at face value? Why do you not research the intricacies of the passages? Why do you not want to know what the theological belief of the Bible? I’m sure as some people are reading this they’re thinking, “Because Jesus taught it was more important to love others than understanding theology.” The irony of this is that the statement they just thought is a theological statement in of itself and this is part of the point I’m getting at. Because of the Biblical illiteracy and failure of Christians and their leaders to teach sound doctrine, it is up to the “Heresy Hunters” to use logic, reason and Biblical truth to correct the lies and bring the Church on the right track.

 

Protestant Denominations Exist Because of Heresy Hunters

Most teachers who teach the anti-theology idea are ironically part of Protestant (non–Catholic) Churches. The reason this is ironic is because the entire reason there are more Churches than the Catholic Church is because of a Heresy hunter known as Martin Luther. If it were not for Martin Luther’s convictions with the corruption of the Catholic Church and the doctrine of indulgences he would never have done what he did and by extension most of the denominations might not be here today.

Now he could have just as easily kept his mouth shut and got with the program. He could have just said, “There is no perfect Church” and continued serving under the corrupted state of the Church and teach the false doctrine of indulgences and no one would have bat an eye because very few knew any better and those that did could not possibly care less. These are the results of the anti–discernment belief.

 

The Bible Supports Seeking an Accurate Theology

“The Brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” –Acts 17:10-11 (ESV)

The Jews in Berea were more honorable because they actually received the word with all eagerness and examining the Scriptures to make sure they were true. Already the Bible has discredited the anti–discernment movement. But for those who think that only one passage isn’t enough evidence to discredit the anti–discernment movement, (Which is a non–sequitur; lack of evidence does not nullify truth) here is another article I wrote on my personal blog on 7 ways the Bible praises discernment. http://treyzimmerman.blogspot.com/2017/02/7-ways-bible-praises-discernment.html

 

Conclusion

Biblical discernment is Biblical, historical, logical and beneficial to the growth of the Church. And those who teach or defend the anti–discernment theology are either covering the truth with lies, blind to the truth or going insane denying the truth. I’m sure there are those who are thinking the hearts of these people are in the right place. And they probably are in the right place, but the Bible says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” –Luke 10:27 (ESV) They can have their hearts in the right place but if their heads are not in the right place they still fall short.

An Outline on the Book of Revelation

Revelation Outline

I put this together for a course on Revelation I took during my M Div program at Luther Rice Seminary.

Download a printable PDF version

I. Prologue/preface/introduction of the book (Revelation 1)

A. The prologue from Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:1)

B. The authorship of John (Revelation 1:1-2)

C. The blessing for those who read and heed the book (Revelation 1:3)

D. The destination: to the seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 1:4)

E. The praise to Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:5-8)

F. The provenance of John: Patmos (Revelation 1:9)

G. The proclamation commencing the book (Revelation 1:10)

H. The addressee of the book: to the seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 1:11)

I. The vision of Christ among the seven lampstands (Revelation 1:12-13)

J. The glory and splendor of Christ (Revelation 1:14-16)

K. The commission from Christ (Revelation 1:17-20)

II. Messages to the seven churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 2-3)

A. Ephesus: The “loveless church” (Revelation 2:1-7)

1. The commendation: rejects apostasy (Revelation 2:2-3,6)

2. The condemnation: lost first love (Revelation 2:4)

3. The consequence: repent or “lose candlestick” (Revelation 2:5)

B. Smyrna: The “persecuted church” (Revelation 2:8-11)

1. The commendation: Endured persecution (Revelation 2:9)

2. The comfort: Will receive crown (Revelation 2:10)

C. Pergamum: The “tolerant church” (Revelation 2:12-17)

1. The commendation: Did not deny His faith (Revelation 2:13)

2. The condemnation: tolerated apostate teaching (Revelation 2:14-15)

3. The consequence: repent or Christ will make war (Revelation 2:16)

D. Thyatira: The “pagan church” (Revelation 2:18-29)

1. The commendation: “deeds of late greater than at first” (Revelation 2:19)

2. The condemnation: tolerates “Jezebel” (Revelation 2:20)

3. The consequence: repent or be thrown on “bed of sickness” and children “killed with pestilence” (Revelation 2:21-23)

E. Sardis: The “dead church” (Revelation 3: 1-6)

1. The condemnation: “are dead” (Revelation 3:1)

2. The consequence: wake up and be strengthened (Revelation 3:2-3)

3. The commendation: a few remain alive (Revelation 3:4)

F. Philadelphia: The “mission church” (Revelation 3:7-13)

1. The commendation: kept His word (Revelation 3:8)

2. The comfort: will keep them from the hour of wrath (Revelation 3:9-10)

G. Laodicea: The “lukewarm church” (Revelation 3:14-22)

1. The condemnation: neither cold nor hot (Revelation 3:15)

2. The consequence: will “spew out of mouth” (Revelation 3:16)

III. Throne room vision of God (Revelation 4)

A. John comes up to Heaven (Revelation 4:1)

B. John sees the throne room of God (Revelation 4:2)

C. Throne room described (Revelation 4:3, 5-6)

D. Vision of twenty four thrones with elders (Revelation 4:4)

E. Vision of four beasts (Revelation 4:6-8)

F. The symphony of praise to God by the four beasts (Revelation 4:8-9)

G. The symphony of praise to God by the elders (Revelation 4:10-11)

IV. The opening of the seven-sealed scroll/book (Revelation 5-6)

A. Angel announces who is worthy to open the scroll/book (Revelation 5:1-3)

B. The Lamb (Jesus Christ) found worthy to open the scroll/book (Revelation 5:5-7)

C. All in Heaven praises and gives glory to the Lamb (Christ) (Revelation 5:8-14)

D. First seal broken: antichrist (Revelation 6:1-2)

E. Second seal broken: war (Revelation 6:3-4)

F. Third seal broken: famine (Revelation 6:5-6)

G. Fourth seal broken: death (Revelation 6:7-8)

H. Fifth seal broken: persecution of those saved in the Tribulation (Revelation 6:9-11)

I. Sixth seal broken: catastrophic judgment upon the earth (Revelation 6:12-17)

V. Salvation during the Tribulation (Revelation 7)

A. Sealing of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Revelation 7:1-8)

B. Saving of Gentiles during the Tribulation (Revelation 7:9-17)

VI. Opening of seventh seal and seven trumpet judgements (Revelation 8-11)

A. Seventh seal opened: commencement of seven trumpet judgments (Revelation 8:1-6)

B. First trumpet sounded: one third of grass and trees consumed (Revelation 8:7)

C. Second trumpet sounded: one third of sea creatures perish (Revelation 8:8-9)

D. Third trumpet sounded: one third of waters polluted (Revelation 8:10-11)

E. Fourth trumpet sounded: one third of day/night cut short (Revelation 8:12-13)

F. Fifth trumpet sounded: locusts from bottomless pit sting for five months (Revelation 9:1-12)

G. Sixth trumpet sounded: one third of people killed (Revelation 9:13-21)

H. Presentation of little book/scroll to John from angel (Revelation 10:1-7)

I. John “eats” the little book/scroll (Revelation 10:8-11)

J. Measuring of the temple of God (Revelation 11:1-2)

K. Sending of the two witnesses to earth (Revelation 11:3-6)

L. Destruction of the two witnesses from beast (Revelation 11:7-10)

M. Resurrection of the two witnesses back to Heaven (Revelation 11:11-14)

N. Seventh trumpet sounded: worshipping of God as sovereign (Revelation 11:15-19)

VII. Revealing of six persons/individuals (Revelation 12-13)

A. The woman with the child: Israel and Christ (Revelation 12:1-2; 5-6)

B. The dragon: Satan (Revelation 12:3-4)

C. The archangel: Michael, wars with dragon in Heaven (Revelation 12:7-11)

D. Beasts of sea and earth: antichrist and false prophet (Revelation 13:1-18)

VIII. Five visions revealed (Revelation 14)

A. Heavenly singers: 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Revelation 14:1-5)

B. Angel spreading the gospel across the earth (Revelation 14:6-7)

C. Destruction of Babylon (Revelation 14:8)

D. Announcement of destruction on those who took the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:9-11)

E. Angels announcing the “reaping of judgment” upon the earth (Revelation 14:12-20)

IX. Seven bowl judgements (Revelation 15-16)

A. Prologue to the seven bowl judgments (Revelation 15:1-8)

B. First bowl judgment: sores on people (Revelation 16:1-2)

C. Second bowl judgment: all seas destroyed (Revelation 16:3)

D. Third bowl judgement: fresh water destroyed (Revelation 16:4-7)

E. Fourth bowl judgement: sun scorches people (Revelation 16:8-9)

F. Fifth bowl judgment: place of beast’s rule darkened (Revelation 16:10-11)

G. Sixth bowl judgment: Euphrates River dried up (Revelation 16:12:16)

H. Seventh bowl judgment: Earthquake (Revelation 16:17-21)

X. Judgment against the harlot (Revelation 17)

A. The harlot described (Revelation 17:1-6)

B. The harlot revealed (Revelation 17:7-18)

C. The harlot destroyed (Revelation 17:16-17)

XI. Judgment against Babylon (Revelation 18)

A. Judgment against Babylon proclaimed (Revelation 18:1-8)

B. Judgment against Babylon carried out (Revelation 18:7-9)

C. Judgment against Babylon: the reaction (Revelation 18:9-13)

XII. Marriage supper of the Lamb and judgment against evil (Revelation 19)

A. God alone worthy of worship (Revelation 19:1-6)

B. Marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9)

C. Jesus Christ judges evil (Revelation 19:11-20)

XIII. The binding, rebellion, and destruction of Satan (Revelation 20)

A. Satan bound for one thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3)

B. One thousand Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:4-6)

C. Satan let loose from bottomless pit and revolts, destroyed (Revelation 20:7-10)

D. Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20:11-15)

XIV. The New Heaven and New Earth (Revelation 21)

A. New Heaven and New Earth described (Revelation 21:1-8)

B. New Jerusalem detailed (Revelation 21:9-27)

XV. Conclusion to the book (Revelation 22)

A. New Jerusalem detailed, continuance (Revelation 22:1-5)

B. Final blessing from Christ and commission to John (Revelation 22:6-10)

C. Final conclusion from Christ concerning His eternity and His coming (Revelation 22:12-17)

D. Final warning and conclusion to the book (Revelation 22:18-21)

Works Consulted

Butler, John G., Analytical Bible Expositor. Accordance electronic ed. LBC Publications, 2012.

Butler, John G., Synopsis. Vol. 1 of Daily Bible Reading. Accordance electronic ed. Clinton: LBC Publications, 2003.

Thompson, Frank Charles. Thompson Chain Reference Bible. Accordance electronic ed. Indianapolis: Kirkbride Bible Company, 2004.

Ask FMM: Dinosaurs and the Bible?

Recently I was asked to help with a question that I have been asked more than once and one which I myself had as a young man: what about the Dinosaurs if our Bible is true? To provide an answer and get your feet wet in seeing what the Bible says, here are my teaching notes from several years ago which are related to this topic and evolution in general:

Dinosaurs and Amazing Animals that Defy Evolution

Notes, College/Young Adult Sunday School @RaintreeChurch Dec 14, 2014

9am to 9:30am

Why is the word DINOSAUR not in the Bible?  Because it was coined in 1841 by Sir Richard Owen meaning terrible or tyrannical lizard

Why were dinosaurs’ so large? Because reptiles grow their entire lives and it is logical to conclude dinos were living 900 years or so if people were. Also, the climate was more “perfect” in the pre-flood world and had a higher oxygen content. Plus the average size of a dinosaur was that of a sheep or small pony Read more