Verse of the Day

Friday, October 25, 2013

Links of interest on the Strange Fire Conference

Timothy Raymond, “Three Reflections on the Strange Fire Conference” (23 OCT 2013) on Credo Magazine at [accessed 24 OCT 2013].

James White, “Today on the Dividing Line: Continuationism, Cessationism” (October 24, 2013), on Alpha & Omega Ministries at [accessed 25 OCT 2013].

Denny Burk, “Strange Fire” messages are now available for download” (October 24, 2013), on Denny Burk at [accessed 25 OCT 2013].

Louis McBride, “Michael Brown Interviews Phil Johnson, Sam Storms and Adrian Warnock Regarding John Macarthur’s Strange Fire Conference” (25 OCT 2013), on Baker Book House Church Connection at [accessed 25 OCT 2013].

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pastor's Sermon Notes: Stephen's Sermon, Subtitle: The Defense of Stephen at His Trial (Acts 7)

Stephen’s Sermon
Subtitle:  The Defense of Stephen at His Trial
Acts 7

Overview of Acts and Introduction of Chapter 7:


1.  miracles → witness

2.  preaching to the Jews → Gospel rejected by the Jews → preaching to the Gentiles

3.  Jewish opposition to the Gospel and persecution of the Christians → the spread of the Christians and the Gospel

Significant events - Between the first two “Pentecosts” (Jewish in Acts 2, and Samaritan in Acts 8), and following the birth of the Church in Acts 2

Significant persons - Peter is usually at the forefront in these early chapters of Acts, later Paul’s ministry will be the focus, but in chapters 6-7 there is no mention of the 12 Apostles

Geographical movement - still in Jerusalem (Acts 1:8), soon to move to Judea and Samaria prior to the journeys to “the ends of the earth”


I.  God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia (7:2-8)
II.  God was with Joseph in Egypt (7:9-16)
III.  God appeared to Moses in a bush in the wilderness of Mount Sinai (7:17-41)
IV.  God appointed the tabernacle of witness, drove out the Canaanites, and carried Israel beyond Babylon (7:42-47)
V.  Stephen’s Concluding Application (7:48-50)
VI.  The Response of the Jewish Leaders to Stephen’s Sermon (7:54-60)

Transition:   “Then said the high priest, Are these things so?” (7:1)

Has this sermon appeared to you thus far to be an appartently unnecessary historical review followed by a seemingly disconnected/unconnected/unwarranted conclusion?  Perhaps if we understood what Stephen and his audience did we would understand what is going on in his presentation of these episodes from Israel’s history.  Perhaps then his conclusion and his hearers’  reactions would make sense.

Highlight the personal and place names as you study a passage like this.  Use underlining and bold font to set off significant statements that set each paragraph apart, or that demonstrate the force and flow of the sermon in order to capture its trajectory and main points.

I.  God appeared to Abraham in Mesopotamia (7:2-8)

2 And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, 3 And said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee. 4 Then came he out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and dwelt in Charran: and from thence, when his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein ye now dwell. 5 And he gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on: yet he promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. 6 And God spake on this wise, That his seed should sojourn in a strange land; and that they should bring them into bondage, and entreat them evil four hundred years. 7 And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God: and after that shall they come forth, and serve me in this place. 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs.

II.  God was with Joseph in Egypt (7:9-16)

9 And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, 10 And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house. 11 Now there came a dearth over all the land of Egypt and Chanaan, and great affliction: and our fathers found no sustenance. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first. 13 And at the second time Joseph was made known to his brethren; and Joseph’s kindred was made known unto Pharaoh. 14 Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls. 15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers, 16 And were carried over into Sychem, and laid in the sepulchre that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Emmor the father of Sychem.

III.  God appeared to Moses in a bush in the wilderness of Mount Sinai (7:17-41)

17 But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt, 18 Till another king arose, which knew not Joseph. 19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live. 20 In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months: 21 And when he was cast out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. 22 And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds. 23 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them: but they understood not. 26 And the next day he shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; why do ye wrong one to another? 27 But he that did his neighbour wrong thrust him away, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Wilt thou kill me, as thou diddest the Egyptian yesterday? 29 Then fled Moses at this saying, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begat two sons.

30 And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, 32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Then Moses trembled, and durst not behold. 33 Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from thy feet: for the place where thou standest is holy ground. 34 I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. 35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. 36 He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years. 37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. 38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

IV.  God appointed the tabernacle of witness, drove out the Canaanites, and carried Israel beyond Babylon (7:42-47)

42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? 43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. 44 Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David; 46 Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built him an house.

V.  Stephen’s Concluding Application (7:48-53)

1.  The Point of the Application (7:48-50)

48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, 49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? 50 Hath not my hand made all these things?

The God of glory was in Mesopotamia, in Egypt, in the burning bush in Midia, at Sinai, in the land of Canaan, and in Babylon.  He was with His people and working for their deliverance and fulfilling His promises to them before was any Temple, when they were where there was no Temple, and in spite of their disobedience and rejection.

2.  The Application of the Point (7:51-53)

51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. 52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: 53 Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

Isaiah 66:1-6 - 1 Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
3 He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.
4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not.
5 Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name's sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
6 A voice of noise from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of the LORD that rendereth recompence to his enemies.

What was done to Joseph and Moses was done to the Son of God though with infinitely greater ramifications.

The Homeless God
The Packaged God
The Tamed God
The God of Glory reduced to an Idol among idols
The Creator boxed up in a creation

The God of Glory with no where to lay His head murdered by his kinsmen over the Temple
“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”  (Mt. 8:20; cp. Lk. 9:58)

The Temple as an idol - “templeolatry”
The Transcendant and Immanent God transcends the Temple created by human hands

Their devotion was to the shadow versus the reality.

Col. 2:14-17 - 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Heb. 8:1-9 - 1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Heb. 10:1-14 - 1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Everything in the Temple cries, “Glory!” and yet they did not have eyes to look beyond the Temple to the glorious reality it typified and forshadowed, pointed to and revealed.

VI.  The Response of the Jewish Leaders to Stephen’s Sermon (7:54-60)

54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, 58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

William Varner - “Why was Jesus "standing" to receive the dying Stephen in Acts 7:56? This is the last time the title "Son of Man" is used in the NT, and there is a definite link back to Jesus' statement in Matt 26:64 when He was also being condemned in a court and uses the term "Son of Man" of Himself. The intertextual link continues back to the "Son of Man" passage in Daniel 7, which has many verbal indications of a heavenly judgment/court scene. There are allusions to both Psalm 110 (right hand) and Daniel 7 (Son of Man). The reaction of the Sanhedrin members to both Jesus and Stephen was rage at their "blasphemy." Homiletically, it has been said that the Son of Man was standing to welcome Stephen to heaven. Intertextually, however, the Son of Man was standing up as a witness for Stephen in a court in heaven while he was being condemned in a court on earth.” (posted to Facebook 15 OCT 2013)


What about us and our own sins?
Has this sermon preached to us, or have we kept it at arm's length?
Have we profited from it by way of doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness?
Have we been guilty of the same sinful responses to God and to His deliverances?

The Homeless God
The Packaged God
The Tamed God
The God of Glory reduced to an Idol among idols
The Creator boxed up in a creation

The God of Glory with no where to lay His head murdered by his kinsmen over the Temple
“And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”  (Mt. 8:20; cp. Lk. 9:58)

The Temple as an idol - “templeolatry”
The Transcendant and Immanent God transcends the Temple created by human hands

Their devotion was to the shadow versus the reality.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21)

[Sermon preached 20 OCT 2013 by Pastor John T. “Jack” Jeffery at Wayside Gospel Chapel, Greentown, PA.]


G. K. Beale and D. A. Carson, eds., Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), pp. 513-606.

Darrell L. Bock, Acts, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert W. Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007)
F. F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles: The Greek Text with Introduction and Commentary, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1951, 1952).

I. Howard Marshall, Acts: An Introduction And Commentary, Vol. 5 in Tyndale New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. Leon Morris (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1980; 2008 reprint).

David G. Peterson, The Acts of the Apostles, The Pillar New Testament Commentaries, gen. ed. D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2009).

John B. Polhill, Acts, Vol. 26 in The New American Commentary, gen. ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, Publishers, 1992).

Eckhard J. Schnabel, Acts, Vol. 5 in the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, gen. ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012).

William H. Willimon, Acts, in Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, series ed. James Luther Mays, New Testament ed. Paul J. Achtemeier (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010).

The People, the Land and the Future of Israel

The People, the Land and the Future of Israel

Chosen People Ministries recently hosted a conference titled “The People, the Land and the Future of Israel” (October 3-5, 2013) at the historic Calvary Baptist Church, 123 West 57th St., New York City.  The videos and audio of the messages delivered at the conference are available on the Chosen People Ministries site at [accessed 23 OCT 2013].  The schedule listing the speakers and the titles of their messages is below followed by biographical sketches of the speakers.

 “In addition to the video and audio that have been posted, Kregel will be publishing a book based on the lectures from this conference.”

The Conference “blurb”:

“What does the Bible teach about the role of the Jewish people and the nation of Israel at the present time?
What is God's plan for the future of Israel and her neighbors?
How can believers in Jesus be part of God's peace process in the Middle East?

This conference will focus on the Bible's account of the role of Israel and the Jewish people - both now and in the future. The speakers are renowned scholars with profound insight into God's unfolding plan and purpose for the nation of Israel as the Scripture depicts them.

This event will also help you develop a deeper understanding of both current and future events in the Middle East as described in both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.

The program will also include testimonies of both Jewish and Arab believers serving the Lord in Israel and concluding with a dynamic Saturday evening message by best-selling author Joel Rosenberg and music by Marty Goetz.”

Source:  Chosen People Ministries at [accessed 23 OCT 2013].

The Conference Schedule:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dr. Eugene H. Merrill, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Torah

Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Writings
Note:  “Walter Kaiser was unable to make the conference but his paper was read by Rich Freeman of Chosen People Ministries.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pastor David Epstein, The People, the Land, the Future of Israel and the Local Pastor

Dr. Robert B. Chisholm, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Prophets

Dr. Michael J. Wilkins, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Gospels

Dr. Darrell L. Bock, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel in Luke and Acts

Dr. Michael Vanlaningham, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Book of Romans and the Pauline Epistles

Professor Craig A. Evans, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel According to the Book of Hebrews and the General Epistles

Dr. Michael L. Brown, The People, the Land, the Future of Israel and Traditional Jewish Expectations

Dr. Mitch Glaser, The People, the Land, the Future of Israel and Jewish Evangelism

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Panel Discussion: The People, the Land, the Future of Israel and the Middle East Today
Moderator: Dr. Richard Freeman
Panel: Dr. Mitch Glaser, Joel C. Rosenberg and Dr. Michael Rydelnik

Dr. Craig A. Blaising, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel and Hermeneutics

Dr. Mark R. Saucy, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel: A Necessary Theme in Biblical Theology

Dr. John S. Feinberg, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel: An Eschatological Necessity?

Dr. Michael J. Vlach, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel in Church History

Dr. Barry R. Leventhal, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel in Light of the Holocaust

Dr. Michael Rydelnik, The People, the Land and the Future of Israel as Evidence for the Truth of Scripture

Joel C. Rosenberg, Closing Message: Will There Ever Be Peace for Israel and Her Neighbors?

Source:  Chosen People Ministries at [accessed 23 OCT 2013].

The Conference Speakers:

Dr. Craig A. Blaising
Executive Vice President and Provost as well as Professor of Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Dr. Darrell L. Bock
Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, Center for Christian Leadership. Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Michael L. Brown
Founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry and author of 22 books, including the highly-acclaimed five-volume series,Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus.

Dr. Robert B. Chisholm, Jr.
Department Chair and Professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is translator and senior Old Testament editor for the NET Bible.

Pastor David Epstein
Senior pastor of the historic Calvary Baptist Church in New York City since 1997, where he is also the Chancellor and a faculty member of the New York School of the Bible.

Professor Craig A. Evans
Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia Divinity College, Acadia University, in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Dr. John S. Feinberg
Chair of the Department and Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.

Dr. Mitch Glaser
President of Chosen People Ministries, co-editor of To The Jew First: The case for Jewish Evangelism in Scripture and History, and author of Isaiah 53 Explained.

Dr. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.
President Emeritus and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Dr. Barry R. Leventhal
Distinguished Professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary Matthews, NC. He has published numerous pieces on the Holocaust.

Dr. Eugene H. Merrill
Distinguished Professor of Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX, a position he has held for 38 years.

Joel C. Rosenberg
New York Times best-selling author with nearly three million copies of his books in print and founder of The Joshua Fund, mobilizing Christians to "bless Israel and her neighbors."

Dr. Michael Rydelnik
Professor of Jewish Studies at the Moody Bible Institute, he is the author of Understanding the Arab Israeli Conflict and The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?

Dr. Mark R. Saucy
Professor of Systematic Theology at Talbot School of Theology in California. He is the author of The Kingdom of God and the Teaching of Jesus: In 20th Century Theology

Dr. Michael G. Vanlaningham
Professor of Bible at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, where he served formerly as interim chairman of the Bible Department.

Dr. Michael Vlach
Associate Professor of Theology at The Master’s Seminary, Dr. Vlach specializes in the areas of Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, Apologetics, and World Religions.

Dr. Michael J. Wilkins
Dean of the Faculty and Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, he specializes in New Testament theology, Christology, and discipleship.
Source:  Chosen People Ministries at [accessed 23 OCT 2013].

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Strange Fire, Day three

Strange Fire, Day three - Friday, 18 OCT 2013

"A pastor is someone who faithfully studies the Bible, preaches it in its context and applies it in its context." - Conrad Mbewe, General Session 8: “Are We Preachers or Are We Witch Doctors?” (18 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.

See also:

Tim Challies, “Strange Fire Conference: Preachers or Witch Doctors?” (18 OCT 2013), at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – Are We Preachers or Witchdoctors?  – Conrad Mbewe,” (18 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Breakout Session 2:

"The working of signs and wonders was never meant to be part of the ongoing missionary strategy of the church." - Phil Johnson

"True miracles are undeniable. They can’t be dismissed as parlor tricks or sleight-of-hand." - Phil Johnson

Source:  Phil Johnson, Breakout Session 2: “Providence Is Remarkable” (18 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.

See also:  Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – Providence is  Remarkable – Phil Johnson,” (18 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

"If you want to hear from God, read your Bible. If you want to hear Him audibly, read it out loud." - Justin Peters, Breakout Session 2: “Spiritual Shipwreck of the Word-Faith Movement” (18 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.

Nathan Busenitz, Breakout Session 2: “Charismatic Counterfeits: Do the Modern Gifts Meet the Biblical Standard?” (18 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.


"It should be an absolute in the church that you have a highly defined doctrinal statement." - John MacArthur

"The burden lies with them, to prove their point from Scripture." - John MacArthur

"The real test of good fruit is the underlying core of teaching. If the truth isn’t built into it, it isn’t good fruit." – Phil Johnson

"We are living in the theological parallel to the book of Judges, where everyone does what is right in his own eyes." - Phil Johnson

"When you decide where you’re going to take your family to church you’d better go where there is sound teaching." - Phil Johnson

"Instead of attacking the teacher, attack the teaching." - Todd Friel 

"The majority of these folks are caught up in a very wrong system. Share the gospel with them." - Todd Friel

Source:  Panel Q&A 2: Todd Friel, John MacArthur, Nathan Busenitz, Phil Johnson, and Conrad Mbewe (18 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.

See also:  Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – Panel Q&A 2 – MacArthur, Mbewe, Johnson, & Busenitz” (18 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].


"The most loving thing anyone can do is tell the truth." - John MacArthur 

"Truth is by nature divisive. It's far more important to be divided by the truth than united by error." - John MacArthur

"If this issue is unclear, it has only become unclear under the influence of false teachers." - John MacArthur

"The charismatic movement has significantly diminished worship." - John MacArthur

"If reformed leaders who know the Word of God don't police this movement, the spiritual terrorists will dominate." - John MacArthur 

"I do care about offending people, but not nearly as much as I care about offending God." - John MacArthur

"I'm convinced the charismatic movement has opened the door to more theological error than any other modern movement." - John MacArthur

“Charismatic theology has become the strange fire of our generation, and evangelicals have no business flirting with it on any level.” - John MacArthur

"This isn't a pet peeve of mine; it isn't personal. This is a discharge of my pastoral duty." - John MacArthur

“This is a foundational responsibility of the man of God, to be a guardian of this treasure (Scripture).” - John MacArthur

Source:  John MacArthur, General Session 9: “An Appeal to My Continuationist Friends” (18 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.

See also:

Tim Challies, “Strange Fire Conference: MacArthur's Appeal to His Continuationist Friends” (19 OCT 2013) at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – A Call to Respond – John MacArthur” (18 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].


See also:

Grace to You staff, “Strange Fire Recap: Day One” (17 OCT 2013), on Grace to You at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Grace to You staff, “Strange Fire Recap: Day Two” (18 OCT 2013), on Grace to You at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Grace to You staff, “Strange Fire Recap: Day Three” (19 OCT 2013), on Grace to You at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Tim Challies, “John MacArthur and Strange Fire” (26 SEP 2013) at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Tim Challies, “Lessons Learned at Strange Fire” (21 OCT 2013) at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Eric Davis, “As the Smoke Clears: A Few Afterthoughts on the Strange Fire Conference” (22 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

Strange Fire, Day Two

Strange Fire, Day Two - Thursday, 17 OCT 2013

"Ours is a war for the mind." - John MacArthur

“While the working of the HS is invisible the results are visible.” - John MacArthur

“Satan is behind every stronghold that raises itself against Christ. We must be faithful to the truth in demolishing these.” - John MacArthur

"The last words (2 & 3 John) from the last living Apostle in the last decade of the 1st Century: "Stand for the TRUTH." - John MacArthur

"How do you know you are a Christian? It is not your perfection, it is your direction." - John MacArthur

“…the deadly dangers of the unholy spirit…” - John MacArthur

“The true people of God have always had to battle the false prophets and the liars.” - John MacArthur

"In order for the charismatic movement to succeed, they have to turn discernment into iniquity." - John MacArthur

“It is essential for the Charismatic movement to survive to must silence discernment warriors. When truth prevails, they do not.” - John MacArthur
"If you endeavor to contend for the truth they will condemn you as the sinner." - John MacArthur

“If you try to Biblically correct error in the Charismatic movement, you are condemned by them as the sinner and the divider.” - John MacArthur

"It ought to be enough to make you question the movement just to know that they do not want (scriptural) examination." - John MacArthur

“Test 1:  The true work of the Holy Spirit exalts the Lord Jesus Christ…The first test is a Christological test.” - John MacArthur

"All false religions and cults have an aberrant Christology; the Holy Spirit does not have an aberrant Christology.” - John MacArthur

“All cults and aberrant groups have a corrupted Christology. The Holy Spirit does not.” - John MacArthur

“The true work of the Spirit exalts the true Christ.” - John MacArthur

“The charismatic movement makes the Holy Spirit preeminent. The Holy Spirit makes Christ preeminent.” - John MacArthur

“Show me a person obsessed with the Holy Spirit and I will show you a person not filled with the Holy Spirit.” - John MacArthur

“When the Holy Spirit is the Person sought, His work has been rejected.” - John MacArthur

"Any Spirit-filled preacher will be Christ-dominated" - John MacArthur

“When you're filled by the Spirit, you seek to exalt Christ and humble yourself.” - John MacArthur

"Where are the Charismatics who know the truth about Christ in calling these [well-known Word of Faith heretics] out?" - John MacArthur

“Any movement that can fully embrace Roman Catholicism cannot be of the Holy Spirit because that is a false gospel.” - John MacArthur

“Any movement that accepts the Roman Catholic church is NOT a movement of God!” - John MacArthur

"If this movement can embrace Roman Catholicism it is not a work of the Holy Spirit." - John MacArthur

“The spirit behind the “catholic charismatic renewal” is not the Holy Spirit.” - John MacArthur

"24 million charismatics (i.e. Oneness Pentecostals) deny the Trinity." - John MacArthur

“The defining feature of all Pentecostalism is the health and wealth prosperity gospel.. the prosperity “gospel” preys on the sick and the poor.. it has no interest in the Biblical Gospel…the purveyors of this perversion stand guilty of presenting a false Gospel.” - John MacArthur

“Joel Osteen's gospel is "a shallow, saccharine variety of Universalism." - John MacArthur

“The Only way U can have your best life now is if Ur going 2 hell!  If you're going to heaven, this is not your best life." - John MacArthur

"The prosperity gospel is Christianity's version of professional wrestling" - John MacArthur

“It is worldly men speaking to worldly people about worldly things.” - John MacArthur

“It is a spiritual version of Bernie Madoff.” - John MacArthur

“Over 9 out of 10 of the world’s charismatics live in poverty.” - John MacArthur

“The prosperity gospel movement is more reprehensible than a casino. People expect a casino to take their money.  They take your money in Las Vegas, but you expect it.” - John MacArthur

“Test #3:  The true work of the HS points people to the Bible.” - John MacArthur

“The charismatic movement is about what is in it for me.” - John MacArthur

Source:  John MacArthur, General Session 5: “Testing the Spirits” (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire live streaming at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

See also:

Tim Challies, “Strange Fire Conference: John MacArthur Tests the Spirits” (17 OCT 2013) at

Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – Testing the Spirits – John MacArthur” (17 OCT 2013) on The Cripplegate at


"Every time that a dead sinner is awakened to the truth of the Gospel, it is a miracle of God's divine grace." - Tom Pennington

“Nothing eternal happens in a person apart from the Holy Spirit.” - Tom Pennington

"The man of God needs no additional revelation. It's all right here (the Bible)." - Tom Pennington

"The charismatic gifts are not the same as the New Testament gifts because they are not the New Testament gifts." - Tom Pennington

Source:  Tom Pennington, General Session 6: “A Case for Cessationism” (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire live streaming at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

See also:

Tim Challies, “Strange Fire Conference: A Case for Cessationism” (17 OCT 2013) at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – A Case for Cessationism – Tom Pennington” (17 OCT 2013) on The Cripplegate at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

"Charismatic chicanery: attributing to the Holy Spirit words He hasn't spoken or works He hasn't done." - Phil Johnson

"Charismatics, as a group, suffer from a pathological scarcity of progressive sanctification." - Phil Johnson

“The charismatic movement is a breeding ground for charlatans, and ….” - Phil Johnson

“The charismatic movement from its inception has produced a relentless parade of scoundrels.” - Phil Johnson

 “It is a pervasive problem.” - Phil Johnson

"It's a scandal and it ought to be." - Phil Johnson

“All of the religious rogues on TV are heretics of the charismatic movement.” - Phil Johnson

“They are the most visible face of American Christianity worldwide.” - Phil Johnson

“Charismatics as a group aren't taking their cues from the handful of reformed charismatics.” - Phil Johnson

“Being slain in the spirit had NO Biblical warrant.” - Phil Johnson

"Most of those who describe themselves as 'open but cautious' are cautious in exactly the wrong direction!" - Phil Johnson

“There are times when staking out the middle position is simply the wrong thing to do.” - Phil Johnson

“Biblically--A prophet is someone who speaks the Words of God. They must be true--always!” - Phil Johnson

“Charismatic prophets are not to be trusted. They have no track record of accuracy. All of them prophesy falsely.” - Phil Johnson

“Non-binding, non-infallible prophecy from God is an oxymoron.” - Phil Johnson

“Confusion about whether God has spoken or not is the most dangerous threat that I can imagine.” - Phil Johnson

“I don’t think there is a baby in the bathwater.  I don’t think a baby could survive in a mess like that.” - Phil Johnson

“This problem is in the movement’s DNA.” - Phil Johnson

“It stems from a bramblebush, not a fruit tree.” - Phil Johnson

“It’s time to clean the sink.” - Phil Johnson

Source:  Phil Johnson, Breakout Session 1: "Is There a Baby in the Charismatic Bathwater?" (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire live streaming at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

See also:


"The prosperity gospel has no concept of the sovereignty of God." - Justin Peters

"There is no prosperity gospel; no social gospel. If you add an adjective to the gospel, then you don't have the gospel." - Justin Peters

Source:  Justin Peters, Breakout Session 1: “The Devilish Puppet Master of the Word-Faith Movement” (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.


Nathan Busenitz, “Breakout Session 1: A Word from the Lord? Evaluating the Modern Gift of Prophecy” (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire.

Word #1: Fire

"Theologically speaking, do we really want to call down fire from heaven?" - Todd Friel

Word #2: Anointing

“If you are a Christian, you are anointed.” - Justin Peters

"The "anointing" is actually the promise of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the Word, and every believer has it." - John MacArthur

Word #3: Glory

“If that was the glory of the God everybody in the building would be dead.” - John MacArthur

“I don't see how a true, born again, regenerate Christian can stay in that environment for longer than 2 seconds.” - Steve Lawson

“We are not dividing the Body of Christ in this conference.  We are trying to identify the Body of Christ, and these people are not part of it.” - John MacArthur

“One of the things that makes it so hard to deal with the false teachers is when the good guys start associating with the bad guys…. What makes it so hard to warn the sheep about the wolves is when the leaders of the sheep are associating with the wolves.” - Justin Peters

Word #4: Dominion

“Dominionists say they will usher in the Kingdom. "You can't usher in the kingdom until the King comes.” - Steve Lawson

“Domininism is "an egotistical madness" and "a vast overestimation of the power they have."
- Tom Pennington

On Jesus Culture, International House of Prayer (IHOP), Rodney Howard Browne (Revival Ministries International), Bethel Church’s “Fire Tunnels” (Redding, CA), and Kundalini in the Word of Faith movement and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR):

"Even evangelical churches are using the unacceptable music of the world to draw people in."
-  John MacArthur

"The music is an avenue to draw people into their teachings" - Justin Peters

"It's not that we get more of the Holy Spirit, it's that He gets more of us." - Steve Lawson

“God put the worship of Himself in a box, in the second commandment.” - Tom Pennington

“Those who are in Christ are driven by the mind, by their understanding of truth.” - Tom Pennington

“Worship is either prescribed or modeled in the Bible. God set the standard for worship. Follow it!” - John MacArthur.

“If Satan can make people think that this is Jesus that is the ultimate deception.” - John MacArthur

Source:  Panel Q&A 1: Todd Friel with John MacArthur, Steve Lawson, Tom Pennington, and Justin Peters (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire live streaming at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

See also:  Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – Panel Q&A 1 – MacArthur, Lawson, Pennington, & Peters” (17 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].


"Sola Scriptura:
1.  It was defined by the Westminster Divines
2.  It was deluded by the Quakers
3.  It was defended by John Owen - England’s Calvin" - Steve Lawson

1.  Sola Scriptura Defined by the Westminster Divines

Inspiration of Scripture
Inerrancy of Scripture
Infallibility of Scripture
Authority of Scripture
Perspicuity of Scripture
Sufficiency of Scripture
Immutability of Scripture
Invincibility of Scripture
Finality of Scripture

"God does not stutter in His Word. He has spoken in abundant clarity….God has not stuttered in His Word, He has spoken with precision and accuracy." -  Steve Lawson

"Rome said, 'The man and woman in the pew CANNOT understand the Bible...The Puritans and reformers said, 'NO!'" -  Steve Lawson

“Listen: Right will always be right, wrong will always be wrong, the way of salvation will always be the way of salvation. God's revelation is unchanging because God Himself is immutable and unchanging.” - Steve Lawson

"After the closing of the canon, there is no new revelation of Scripture given to man." - Steve Lawson

"Right will always be right; wrong will always be wrong. The way of salvation will always be the way of salvation." - Steve Lawson

"The Word of God is the most powerful object we will ever hold in our hands." - Steve Lawson

 “All of these truths are inherent in this statement: Sola Scriptura.” - Steve Lawson

“Do not bring your “thus says the Lord” into this house if it is not found in chapter and verse.” - Steve Lawson

"After the closing of the canon, there is no new revelation of Scripture given to man." - Steve Lawson

"All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God, not by the inspiration of God AND man." - Steve Lawson

"This book (the Bible) is not hard to understand. It's just hard to swallow." - Steve Lawson

“As only a diamond can cut a diamond, so only Scripture can interpret Scripture.” - Thomas Watson, cited by Steve Lawson

"The Bible never contradicts itself, it speaks with only one voice." - Steve Lawson

“We’re not just dogmatic about this.  We’re bulldogmatic about it.  Sola Scriptura is non-negotiable.  The Word of God is not up for debate.  ” - Steve Lawson

2.  Sola Scriptura Deluded by the Quakers

“Whenever God is doing His greatest work you can be sure that the devil is right there to bring in his false religion.” - Steve Lawson

"At the heart of the Quaker theology was this message: that one can be saved apart from the Scripture." - Steve Lawson

“You take one step off of Sola Scriptura and you are on a theological banana peel…” - Steve Lawson

3.  Sola Scriptura Defended by John Owen[1]

“Any attempt to add to the written Word of God is actually an attack upon the perfection of Scripture.” - Steve Lawson, summarizing John Owen

“If you are seeking new revelations it is because you have no understanding of the perfection of the written Word of God.” - Steve Lawson

“There is absolutely no room for new revelations.” - Steve Lawson

"If [the Bible] is so incomplete to need poor mortal men to be adding to it where is its perfection?" - Steve Lawson, citing John Owen

"If the Scriptures are complete what need do we have for new revelation and uncontrolled enthusiasm?" - Steve Lawson quoting John Owen

“As the teachings of the fanatics contain matter alien to . . . the Scriptures . . . shun them as diabolical, execrable, useless, groundless, and false.” - Steve Lawson quoting John Owen

"What God has said to everyone, he says to you." - Steve Lawson

"May the Word of God regulate the entirety of our lives." - Steve Lawson

"May the Word of God and the Word of God only be our rule of faith... our standard for what is true in this world." - Steve Lawson

"May God give us much grace, that we may stand upon the Word of God." - Steve Lawson

“May we here tonight have a cessation clause in our personal statement of faith. . . . May the Word of God, and the Word of God alone, be our rule of authority and our standard. . . .” - Steve Lawson

Source:  Steve Lawson, General Session 7: “The Puritan Commitment to Sola Scriptura” (17 OCT 2013) at Strange Fire live streaming at [accessed 17 OCT 2013].

See also:

Tim Challies, “Strange Fire Conference: Scripture Alone” (18 OCT 2013) at

Mike Riccardi, “Strange Fire – The Puritan Commitment to Sola Scriptura  – Steve Lawson,” (17 OCT 2013), on The Cripplegate at [accessed 22 OCT 2013].

[1] John Owen, Pro Sacris Scripturis Exercitationes Adversus Fanaticos (written 1658, published 1659), Eng. trans. A Defense of Sacred Scripture Against Modern Fanaticism found in Biblical Theology, trans. Stephen P. Westcott (Pittsburgh: Soli Deo Gloria, 1994). Full title: Pro Sacra Scripturis adversus hujus tempom Fanaticos exercitaliones apologeticae Quatuor .  See Barry H. Howson, “The Puritan Hermeneutics of John Owen: A Recommendation”, Westminster Theological Journal 63:2 (Fall 2001), pp. 359-365; on John Owen at [accessed 18 OCT 20-13].