Biblical Source vs. Extrabiblical Source: Be On the Lookout For Worms!


I read a lot of authors, but I take every single one with a grain of salt because they are written by men & women and men & women are reliably unreliable. My sole (and soul) authority is God’s Word. The Bible is reliably infallible, completely inerrant, and inspired by God’s Holy Spirit. It is literally God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16).


Those who try to redefine what is clearly defined in the Bible, traffic in folly.

Everything else is measured by it (that’s where we get the word canon = a reed that was used to measure). In other words, Scripture is the authoritative rule of faith & practice. It is the standard.

This is the difference between Biblical source and extrabiblical source.

The Bereans were commended because they would not implicitly believe even the Apostle Paul. Instead, they examined the Scriptures every day to see if what he said was true (Acts 17:11).

May the Lord give us a similar spirit of discernment and humility in all things.

“When we eat an apple–we first cut out the blemishes, then eat what is good, and lastly throw the core away. Such a rule I would observe in reading human authors–the best may be defective, and the wisest may be mistaken.” – John Newton

I think its crazy not to study the wealth of resources available of scholars far more intelligent than we and see what they dug up.

Sometimes I am in the mood for a sour Granny Smith apple (Charles Spurgeon). Sometimes I want a sweet Golden Delicious (D.L. Moody). There are vitamins and nutrients in both! However, I am always on the look out for worms! I am constantly making sure the author is rightly dividing God’s truth! (2 Tim. 2:15)

“Test all things; hold fast what is good.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Without a doubt, the Bible is the primary source. Everything else is second. If you step outside of the Bible, be like the Bereans and discern if that reading aligns or diverges from Scripture. If there is any disagreement, the Bible always takes precedence.

And be on the look out for worms!
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Does God Still Speak?

i can't speak

People ask me, “Does God still speak?” I ask them:

  1. Is the Holy Spirit God?
  2. Does the Holy Spirit speak?
  3. Does the Holy Spirit come to live inside a born again Christian?
  4. Did you answer your own question?

#1. Is the Holy Spirit God?

Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit… How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” – Acts 5:3-4

Peter used the Holy Spirit and God interchangeably. So, yes: the Holy Spirit is an equal part of the Trinity.

#2. Does the Holy Spirit speak?

13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not SPEAK on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will SPEAK; and He will TELL you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and DECLARE it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and DECLARE it to you. – John 16:5-15 [Emphasis mine.]

That was Jesus there. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that Jesus is quite explicit that the Holy Spirit “will speak,” “will tell you things,” and (twice says) “will declare it to you.” Seems definitive to me.

  • Also note the personal pronoun, “He.”
  • Not an “It” (a force or feeling). “The Holy Spirit is not courage, or energy, or the personification of all good qualities, like Jack Frost is the personification of cold weather.” – Tozer.
  • Not “Her” (The Shack got this one heretically shamefully wrong).
  • The Holy Spirit is a Person with a mind (Rom. 8:27), a will (1 Cor. 12:11), and a sensitivity (Eph. 4:30, Isa. 63:10).

#3. Does the Holy Spirit come to live inside a born again Christian?

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, WHO IS IN YOU, whom you have received from God? You are not your own – 1 Cor. 6:19 [Emphasis mine.]

11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead DWELLS IN YOU, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who DWELLS IN YOU. – Rom. 8:11 [Emphasis mine.]

The moment we are saved, the Holy Spirit indwells us, seals us (Eph. 1:13), helps us (Rom. 8:26), and empowers us (Acts 1:7-8) [amongst many other things the Holy Spirit does!]

#4. Did you answer your own question?

Yes. You better believe God still speaks!

“God speaks through His Word, through prayer, through our circumstances, and through His Holy Spirit!” – Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God

The real question is: ARE WE LISTENING?


Tozer, A W. Tozer: Mystery of the Holy Spirit (Pure Gold Classic). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers, 2007.

Click to access 005693757_Seven_Realities_Samplepdf.pdf

Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus

the other side

I want to share a verse with you that I have totally fell head-over-heels in love with.

Jesus has just been arrested and taken to Caiaphas, the High Priest. He doesn’t answer their questions the way they like, so He is struck and lead to Pilate’s tent. He is called inside where He and Pilate have a private conversation. Pilate asks Jesus if He is the king of the Jews. Jesus tells Pilate that His kingdom is not of this world.

Pilate asks Him if He is a king. Jesus answers that He is a king, born to testify to the truth. Then He says this:

“Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” – John 18:37 (NIV)

I want you to let that sentence marinate. Let it percolate. Let it steep. Dwell on it.

Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus.

Jesus is saying if you reject Him, you are not on the side of truth. The opposite of truth is lie. If you refuse to listen to Jesus, you are on the side of lies & fiction. You are on the false side!

If you believe in truth (accuracy, authenticity, fact, legitimacy, veracity, correctness, genuineness), then you listen to Jesus. A loyal subject hears his King. When you side with the light and the truth, you hear the voice of His Gospel both externally & internally; “so as to approve of it, rejoice at it, and distinguish it; and the voice of His commands, so as cheerfully to obey them from a principle of love to Him.” (John Gill)

Here is a litmus test to reveal if you really are a champion of truth. Ask yourself: Do I listen to Jesus?

  • If I do, I am on the side of truth.
  • If not, then I am not.

If I ignore, discount, or deny Jesus, then I am not on the side of truth.

Jesus is the TRUTH (John 14:6). If you believe truth, you believe Jesus and you shall be free (John 8:32). If you do not believe in Jesus, you do not believe truth and you shall be in chains.

Everyone on the side of truth listens to Jesus.

Which side are you on?


Do & Teach; The Holy Knot

Knot on the ropeMy mom is a retired educator. My wife is an educator in a family of educators. So, I know firsthand the real life of teachers: the extra hours, the out of pocket expense, and the grading papers late at night. They have hilarious & heart-warming stories. Stories of triumph & defeat. Stories of devotion & sacrifice. Stories of life.

I also know firsthand the absolute LOVE they have for education and for the future of “their kids.” You see, they are like family.

I have had many wonderful teachers in my life. However, there is One that stands above them all; the greatest Teacher ever, the Master Teacher: Jesus.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.” – John 13:13

In Acts 1:1, Luke says that he is writing “of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.Calvin called to do and teach “a holy knot that cannot be untied.”

That’s a teacher, isn’t it? Do and teach. They not only give you the tools, but also show you how to use them! They get right in the trenches with you! They fight with and for you! Teachers get up every morning to inspire, encourage, and challenge.

Eternal wisdom is imparted from Jesus (John 7:16). Every word that falls from His lips instructs and improves. Abide in the teachings of Christ (2 John 1:9)!

Recently a co-worker was talking about how much his mom hated Latin. Yet Latin was never mentioned. The comments were all about the teacher. The teacher made it a bad experience. Ironically, my mother also took Latin… but loved it.

Same subject. Different teacher. You see, a good teacher can even make Latin come alive.

If you love a subject, thank the passion of a teacher. If you excel in a subject, thank the encouragement of a teacher. And in all things, thank the Teacher of us all, Jesus Christ.


Want To Be Richer?

cave of wonders

I have Col. 2:3 written on a Post-it and stuck on my computer. I read it every single day and marvel at its brilliant simplicity. Don’t be fooled by its shortness; it is a total powerhouse. Each word is worthy of meditation and drips with truth.

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him. – Col. 2:3 (HOL)

Let me unpack it:

All – all is all. Is anything left out of all? Nope. If so, it would only be some. All means “each & every part; the whole, totality, thoroughly, and ‘all manner of.'”

the treasures = “a storehouse for precious things” from thesaurus, where we get the English term “thesaurus” which refers to a “storehouse (treasure) of synonyms.”

of wisdom & knowledgeknowledge is facts, wisdom is application of those facts. We all know people who had the facts, but did not apply them or who misapplied them and it resulted in folly or destruction (Also see Rom. 11:33

are hidden = kept secret; the concept is having something so valued that you store it away. Do we have anything like that today? Banks, maybe?

in Him – this, of course, refers to Xristós, “the Anointed One,” the Christ (Hebrew, “Messiah“): Jesus Christ!

All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Him. – Col. 2:3 (HOL)

Here’s a visual for you, remember the “Cave of Wonders” in Aladdin? Imagine that, only extending forever in every direction. In Eph. 3:8, Paul calls these riches “unsearchable” (boundless, endless, unfathomable, incalculable, infinite). In a million years, the treasures of Christ could still not be fully explored.

The Greek word means “past finding out.” So, as far as you can go, its past that.

Some takeaways: No matter how long you’ve been a Christian, there is still more to learn. Even after a 100 years, you have only scratched the outer edge of the knowledge of the Holy Spirit (A.W. Tozer). The soul prospers when we have clear knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus (Matthew Henry).

  • Want to be richer?
  • Want to be stronger?
  • Want to be healthier? Col. 2:3.
  • We cannot grow from Him until we are rooted in Him!

WARNING: The opposite of Col. 2:3 also exists. “All debts of folly and lies are exposed outside of Him.”

Do you know Him?

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Ref: All definitions from Strong’s & Thayer.

All –

Treasures –

Hidden –

Christ –

Unsearchable –