Richard Sibbes' comment
Subject:Sibbes on the Word the Instrument
to Open Lydia's Heart
Lydia is a prime example of God working in and through the Word to bring about conversion. Paul preaches (13b); Lydia hears (14a); God's opens her heart through it so that she takes hold of, gives heed to, attends to the word. The word of God is the instrument of conversion.Puritan Richard Sibbes
in his sermon on Lydia's Conversion
(The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes
, Vol. VI) underscores this truth.http://books.google.com/books?id=9dsYAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA6-PA519&lpg=RA6-PA519&dq=lydia'God, by the word preached,' opens the hearts to attend to the word. By the word we are fitted to the word. The Spirit and the word draw us to themselves; the Spirit and the word draw us to regard the word; by the word her heart was opened to attend to the word
And again, As grace is wrought by the word, so it carries the soul to the word
This is well said.
Ian D. Elsasser
NOTE by Bob:
Thanks, Ian, for this quotation. It is consistent with what other Puritans such as Charnock, Watson, and Owen taught, and it further bears out the fact that the later development adopted by some of the Reformed "ordo salutis" theorists was not the original view taught by the Puritans.
See another quote from Sibbes on the Reformed Flyswatter.
Moody lives on
D. L. MOODY'S LEGACY RELATING TO TOM ASCOL
Brother Tom Ascol, head of the "Flounders" (aka Founders Ministries)
, seems delighted to report on his blog that he was interviewed on Moody Radio's Prime Time America
Seems rather incongruous that the head of a "ministry" which has been so critical of, and diverse from, the type of evangelistic
ministry of the late evangelist, D. L. Moody
, should now become associated with a Moody-related outreach. It makes one wonder if the people at Moody really have much knowledge of the Flounders' antipathy to the type of evangelistic work done by D. L. Moody, or if someone at the Moody organization has become infatuated with Hybrid Calvinism
To us, it seems to be just another instance of how the Flounders are of a parasitical nature, willing to take advantage of any opportunity to "piggy-back" their propaganda which is basically focused upon a proselytization effort toward those who are considered to be "Arminian," "Pelagian," "synergist," and advocates of "free-willism."
While D. L. Moody was a zealous promoter of soul-winning, evangelism, and spreading the Gospel by every means possible, the Flounders have been zealous for the promotion of Pedobaptist "Reformed" Hybrid Calvinism
and the practical "reforming" of churches in accordance with Pedobaptist "Reformed" theology and practice.
Evidently, someone at Moody who endorses the work of D. L. Moody needs to be more informed about the antipathy of the Flounders and Tom Ascol to evangelism which does not meet the Flounders' criteria.COMMENTS: Comment for the Flyswatter should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruckman's retreat from Marrs
PETER RUCKMAN'S FLIGHTFROM BIG TEXE MARRS
Back in the 1990's, we were engaged for sometime in dealing with "King James Onlyism"
of the most extreme variety. The "Big Three" advocates of KJVO at the time were Peter Ruckman, Texe Marrs, and Gail Riplinger.
Due to their attacks on what we believe to be orthodox Christian doctrine, it befell our lot to respond to their attacks.
During that period, Ruckman was a "big time" promoter of Big Texe Marrs
, the foremost "conspiracy" theorist of the past several years. In fact, Ruckman had a list of those men who were allegedly on Janet Reno's Government Mafia "Hit List,"
and Texe Marrs was Numero Uno 1.
Ruckman said --"Now, the dykes and sex perverts in Washington have drawn up a hit list. The WEB and the Internet and the fax and the surveillance going on now is to define those targets and then remove them. If you want to know who those targets are, I can name them for you . . . you will see the sudden 'SUICIDE' of these targets or their 'HEART FAILURES' or their ACCIDENTAL death in a PLANE CRASH . . . all kinds of ACCIDENTS happen to people like this . . . They had the 'scope' on them. I KNOW WHO the targets are in the next TWO or THREE years. On this 'prophesy' I CAN'T MISS," and then at the close of the article he lists a number of supporting Scripture references (Bible
May 1997, page 12).He went on to say, "The targets that have to be eliminated" are: "Number one: Texe Marrs of Texas. That man would be considered by all Federal bureaucrats to be the most dangerous man in America. And small fry like Jim Jones, David Koresh, John Dillinger, Al Cappone, 'Pretty Boy' Floyd, or even 'Lucky' Luciano would be small fry alongside of Texe Marrs"
Others names on the alleged "Hit List" were Jack Chick, Don McAlvany, Tom Anderson,
and surprislingly lagging behind at #5 was Peter Ruckman
. He said, "I don't kid myself about these things. I don't overestimate my importance, but I know where I stand with the New World and the New Age and the News Media. I know exactly where I stand. They hate my guts."
We sorta just poked fun
at Ruckman's "prohecy," for after all, he was the same man who had earlier "guessed" when the Rapture would take place, but it didn't. He was also the same man who said the Antichrist would return in a UFO
, land in St. Peters in Rome, and start giving the "Mark of the Beast" by kissing people on their foreheads and hands. And that didn't happen, either.
Ruckman is now 87-years old and neither he nor any one of the others on the "Hit List" has been "hit" or "eliminated" by any assassins, but Ruckman and his palabber have been pulverized by many of those who have enough sense not to fall for nonsense.
But, Lo and behold
, even Ruckman has lately retreated from Marrs. He took flight in his Baptist Believers Bulletin for December 2008,
wherein he says of Marrs:"It is amazing, today, to watch American journalists and writers attack one race of people night and day.. . . "The first one is a Christian who professes to believe the King James Bible, Texe Marrs. He was the first Christian in America to really go after the Jews hammer and nail, fist and mace, shotgun and rifle, and sword and knife. He finally got so tangled up in right-wing stuff that he had the Jews starting the American Revolution and the Civil War and running the Illuminati, the Masons, the CFR, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, and the Vatican." (page 20)
Now -- in his February 2009 Bulletin
-- Ruckman further says of Marrs:
"The great 'falling away' (2 Thess. 2:3), predicted in A.D. 65 and 68 (1 Tim. 4:1–3; 2 Tim. 3:1–9), is now led by the NCCC, Billy Graham, Chuck Colson, Joel Osteen, Texe Marrs . . ." (page 1).
If I recall correctly, the recent findings about the planet, Mars, is that there is no water or life there. It seems that Ruckman may have at last discovered that the same is true when it comes to the writings, conspiracy speculations, and other drivel published by Big Texe Marrs of Austin, Texas. Maybe Ruckman has finally "seen the light" on Marrs.
[For a few of my writings on "King James Onlyism," go to Articles by Bob L. Ross.]
Submit to email@example.com
MacArthur's "sinner's prayer"?
READER REFERS TO INTERESTINGITEM FROM JOHN MACARTHUR
By Ian Elsasser
How many times have we come upon writings by Reformed
men, whether online or in books, denigrating the use of the sinner's prayer?
I came upon this sermon by John MacArthur of Grace Community Church and it closes with what appears to be a sinner's prayer (see this link).
While your heads are bowed for just a moment, if you do not know Christ but you desire to receive the salvation that He offers, the forgiveness of sin and eternal life, will you in the quietness of your own heart say...Lord God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe that He God in flesh died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin, rose again, provided perfect satisfaction and I receive the gift of salvation in His name, turning from my sin I commit myself to follow Him. Pray that prayer and may true salvation be yours this day. Amen.
("Looking At The Cross from God's Perspective," a sermon on Romans 3.24-31)http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/80-83.htm
Since Dr. MacArthur is respected and championed by some of these same men because of his Reformed theology, this must create a dilemma for them. Rather than continuing to oppose the practice, I recommend that these men rethink their position and see that there is a legitimate and acceptable place for the use of such a prayer in a meeting for sinners desiring to come to Christ.COMMENTS: Address comments firstname.lastname@example.org
Loss of a Mother
"There Stood by the Crossof Jesus His Mother" -- John 19:25-27
We extend our condolences and prayers to Brother Phil Johnson
of the Master's College and Seminary in the loss of his mother.
At the hour of His death, the Lord Jesus Christ thought of His earthly mother.
And nearest to Him at this time of His crucifixion was His mother.
One of the greatest experiences of life is the love shared by a mother and her children. Jesus knew that love with His mother, Mary, and it was one of the main features mentioned by the Scriptures in His hour of suffering. She did not forsake Him, and He did not forget her.
Of all the relationships of this life, I count the relationship with my mother as the grandest, most comforting, and most encouraging of them all.
I'm sure Brother Johnson had the same love and high regard for his mother, and we sympathize with him in the loss of his dearly beloved Mom.
My Campbellite debates
CAMPBELLITE DEBATES ARE AVAILABLE ON DVDBrother Larry Wessels
, Director of "Christian Answers of Austin, Texas,"
sent me his latest Catalog of available audio-video productions. For a copy of the Catalog, please email Larry at email@example.com
or you can phone the "leave message" number at 1-218-8022, or write P. O. Box 144441, Austin, Texas 78714.
Any email requests sent to me will be forwarded to Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Brother Wessels is the "official"
source for my debates with Church of Christ ministers, which includes the following:
Bob L. Ross vs. W. A. "Bill" Jackson
Bob L. Ross vs. David Brown
Bob L. Ross vs. Tom Bright
Bob L. Ross vs. Stephen Wiggins
Bob L. Ross vs. Bobby Duncan & Don McWhorter (TV debate)
Bob L. Ross vs. George Williams & Don Bennett (TV debate)
Larry has also produced several other items, including --Bob L. Ross and Stephen Garrett on "Who Are the Hardshell Baptists?"
Bob L. Ross on "C. H. Spurgeon: Man of God"
Bob L. Ross on "A Pilgrimage to Spurgeon Country"
-- audeo/video taped on my 1996 trip to the historic sites associated with Spurgeon's life and ministry. This is available on Google and Yahoo video.
Bob L. Ross on "Campbellism, Its History and Heresies"
Bob L. Ross on "Can Musical Instruments Send You to Hell"
Bob L. Ross and Larry Wessels on the "Boston Movement,"
or "International Church of Christ"
Larry has other programs in which I have participated with Larry, and the Catalog will inform you of these.Christian Answers of Austin, Texas
website, managed by Brother Steve Morrison, is at http://www.biblequery.org/
Please submit all comments to either of the following:
Reformed Flyswatter: Comments
THE FYLSWATTER HAS BEEN SIGNIFICANT TO MANY SBCers
I do not know if, or when, Charles will return to the Calvinist Flyswatter
, but the significance of this blog for almost three years now has probably far exceeded what he expected when he launched it. Wherever you are, Charles, on earth or in Heaven, you did a wise thing in launching the Flyswatter
to swat the Reformed flies.
I have received emails and comments from many in the Southern Baptist Convention, including several well-known Pastors and Seminary professors. In fact, some of these have even asked for more information which might be useful in exposing the Hybrid Calvinist issue of "regeneration before faith."
A very prestigious former SBC pastor and now head of a school recently emailed me to say, "BOB, THANKS FOR INTRODUCING ME TO 'FLYSWATTTER.' I ENTERED IT IN MY FAVORITE LIST."
A current and popular professor at a leading SBC Seminary wrote an email a few weeks ago, and among other comments said, "I appreciate you and your work."
Another ranking leader and pastor in the SBC wrote:"I have just been introduced to 'The Calvinist Flyswatter' and I want you to know how informative and refreshing it is. I thank the Lord for you . . . The 'Flounders' as you call them have gained credibility to a great extent simply because people have, by and large, yielded the floor to them. I thank you for providing an informed and intellectual response to them. . . . I also think you are right on target with what you said in a blog about the SBC and the PedoBaptists."
While the Flyswatter has been belittled, scorned, mocked, and generally flagellated by several of the Reformed Hybrid Calvinists, it has not been without appreciation by those who see the error of the "born again before faith" heresy.
As we begin another year of the blog, I just want to say "Thanks" to our readers, and ask you to continue to keep in touch.COMMENTS: Send comments about Flyswatter posts to email@example.com
Lydia's open heart
REGENERATION OF LYDIA Timmy Brister
-- a 2008 Southern Seminary graduate and now assistant to Tom Ascol
of Grace Baptist Church, Cape Coral, Florida, and head of the "Flounders" -- evidently failed to get proper teaching in the Seminary about Lydia's conversion (Acts 16:13, 14).Timmy alleges
that when Lydia's heart was opened, this constituted Lydia's new birth or "regeneration." He says, "When the Bible says that 'God opened her heart,' it is saying that God did the miracle of regeneration in the heart of Lydia by sovereign mercy and free grace."
Timmy herein promotes the error of Hybrid Calvinism -- "born again before faith."
This would have Lydia a born again person before she had received the Word of God and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ,
making her a "regenerated unbeliever,"
which is the Hybrid Calvinist theology on "regeneration."
We much prefer the exposition by C. H. Spurgeon
in his sermon, LESSONS FROM THE CONVERSION OF LYDIA,
Though our Savior, Himself, puts it, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endures unto eternal life,”
yet we know that salvation is neither by your striving, nor by your laboring, nor by your reforming and amending, but that all these are the fruit of an inward and mysterious work which the Holy Spirit alone can perform. Give unto God the glory if you have been converted, praise Him alone—“Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.”
He alone can cut the bands which fasten the heart. He alone can put the key into the hole of the door and open it and get admittance for Himself. He is the heart’s Master as He is the heart’s Maker, and conversion in every case is the Lord’s work, alone.
Yet — because one Truth of God must always march arm in arm with another, and no man gets at correct ideas by merely grasping one Truth — he has two eyes and two hands, so let him be content to use them both. Although the Lord opened the heart, Paul’s words were the instrument of her conversion
. The heart may be opened and willing to receive, but then if the Truth of God enters not, what would be the use of an open door?
But God always takes care to open the heart at a time when the messenger of mercy shall be going by, that the heart may give him admittance. There shall be the plowed field, but there shall be no cry, “Where is the sower?” for when the plow has done its work, here comes the sower and begins to scatter the seed. Paul speaks the Word as surely as God opens the heart.
Do not decry the ministry. It is a temptation of modern times to be always talking as though the ministry were a magnifying of man, as though to listen to the preacher were a glorification of the creature at the expense of the Maker. Now I believe there is nothing in the world which shows our humility of spirit and tends more to glorify God than a cheerful willingness to receive at His hands the golden treasure of His Grace out of an earthen vessel. The weakness of the preacher becomes a foil to set forth His Glory, and by no means derogates from the honor due to the Lord Himself. God has worked, and always will work, by means
—by chosen men upon whom He puts the anointing of His Spirit. And when the men are lacking to serve the Lord, then is the Church always in a weak state. While she has her Pauls to preach, she shall not be without her God to open hearts to receive the Word.http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs544.pdfMetropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit
, Volume 9, page 689.COMMENTS: Submit any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Reformed Flyswatter.At the Reformed Flyswatter, read "Opening the Heart to Receive Christ."
WHERE IS THE MISSING"CHARLES"?
There have been some questions about whether Charles is going to return to the Flyswatter.
Frankly, I have no idea. He has been "AWOL" since late October 2008 so far as posting anything on this blog. This is his longest period of absence since I began posting about three years ago.
The speculations as to "Why?"
have been endless. Is he sick? Did he die? Is he on a long trip? Did his computer crash and he has not restored it? Has he simply "burned out" on blogging and simply dropped out, as some others have done the past year?
I have no answer.
"Charles" has always been anonymous to me and to those who read this blog. I have a $50 Reward
for anyone who can reveal to me his identity and whereabouts. The only communication I could ever have with him was by email, and even that is no longer operable. For all I know he could have been an "angel unawares" and has fulfilled his mission.
Charles, if you are still out there and reading this, will you please let me know your intentions? If any one out there knows anything about Charles, will you please let me know at email@example.com
I am not as experienced as Charles on managing a blog, but I have nevertheless opened up a "cousin" blog, called REFORMED FLYSWATTER
, and hope to learn more about handling a blog. On the new blog I am able to moderate your Comments
(which I am not able to do on the Flyswatter,
as all I have access to do on the Flyswatter
is post articles and directly post my comments).
As time goes on and the Lord permits, I will continue posting articles on both the Flyswatter
and the new blog, but I will only be able to moderate your comments on the Reformed Flyswatter
I sincerely hope in due time Charles will once again resume his oversight of The Calvinist Flyswatter
COMMENTS: Please submit all comments about this article to either (1) my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, or (2) the Reformed Flyswatter comments section.
Felix was buried Tuesday
BODY OF FELIX PARSONS [1925-2008]BURIED IN PASADENA, TEXAS
Please see the following newspaper report of the recent burial of my longtime deaf friend, Felix N. Parsons
, one the notable architects in his Houston area for many years.PASADENA CITIZEN
Also, see this link: SAVE THE PAVILION
I met Felix in the mid 1970s and we have been "fast friends" ever since. He accompanied us to several Christian Bookseller Association
conventions, was a member our church, played golf with me, and was a great encourager of our work.
For the past few years, Felix endured many physical set-ups, including a broken arm in 2004 and three extended hospitalizations. Paradoxically, Felix died in the Emergency Room of the Hospital which he himself designed as architect.
-- Bob L. Ross
This item will also post on the Reformed Flyswatter
Burial for my friend, Felix
GRAVESIDE BURIAL SERVICE FOR
FELIX PARSONS on JAN. 13, 2009.
There will be a Graveside Burial Service at 10:00 A. M. On Tuesday, January 13, 2009 for Felix Parsons Sr.
The Burial will be at the Grand View Funeral Home and Memorial Park, 8501 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77505 (281) 479-6076 Get directions
A Memorial Service at Park Temple Baptist Church, 3008 San Augustine, Pasadena, Texas, will be announced at a later date.
Anyone needing further information may contact me at (713) 477-2329, or by email.
Bob L. Ross
In the absence of Charles, we have been encouraged to open another blog so as to be able to moderate comments. I have no control over comments submitted on the Calvinist Flyswatter
, but will be able to moderate comments on the Reformed Flyswatter
-- Bob L. Ross
Remembering Stephen's Passing
IN REMEMBERANCE OF
STEPHEN MARK ROSSBorn April 2, 1958
Died January 9, 1960
THE PASSING OF AN INFANT
By C. H. Spurgeon
It is certain that some have wrought their day's work for the Master in their mother's arms; they have spoken of the Saviour in tones which have melted a mother's heart and gone to a father's conscience, and then they have been taken home."Whom the gods love die young,"
said the heathen, and doubtless it is no small privilege to be so soon admitted into glory. Only shown on earth, and then snatched away to Heaven, too precious to be left below. Precious child, how dear wert thou to the good God who sent thee here and then took thee home! Fair rosebud! yet in the perfection of thy young beauty taken to be worn by the Saviour on His bosom, how can we mourn thy translation to the skies?No bitter tears for thee be shed,
Blossom of being seen and gone!
With flowers alone we strew thy bed,
O blest departed one!
Whose all of life, a rosy ray,
Blush'd into dawn and pass'd away.
--From Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 11, 1865, pages 687, 688.