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Posted by Matt Postiff February 9, 2016 under Bible Texts 

When you read Acts 7, you might feel a little lost in it because of the length of the chapter. Perhaps what I gleaned this morning in my reading will be a help to you.

Stephen points out that the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt (verse 9).

He goes on to say that Moses was misunderstood by his Jewish brothers (verse 25).

Stephen continues by saying that they rejected Moses (verses 27, 35, and 39).

The Jews turned into idolaters (verse 40 and following).

The climax of Stephen's defense and sermon comes in verse 51. He has said that the Jews were jealous, did not understand, rejected God's appointed leader, and turned into idolaters. Stephen now drops the main point of his message: "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you." Stephen's audience of the high priest and his council are just like their fathers! Their forefathers persecuted the prophets and killed God's messengers. Similarly, they persecuted and killed Jesus.

The account ends with their continued hard-heartedness as they kill Stephen before he can even tell them of God's grace in extending an offer of salvation.

Posted by Matt Postiff January 21, 2016 under General 

If you are interested in learning some Hebrew vocabulary, listen in to these audio recordings. The first lesson contains words that occur 1000 or more times in the Hebrew Bible; each successive lesson covers words by groups in decreasing order of frequency of occurrence.

Credit for this list is due to Dr. R. Bruce Compton of Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, but its origin before his time I do not know.

Posted by Matt Postiff December 29, 2015 under General 

With this post, I am publishing the annual set of Bible reading schedules that I have prepared for the past six (now seven) years.

If you would like another schedule that takes you through the entire Bible in the year, and with some chronological ordering in it, check out this schedule from

Posted by Matt Postiff December 10, 2015 under Creation 

From the archive again, this is a 10-page type-written set of notes from the early 1980s on evolution. It is available as a scanned PDF and a re-typed Word document.

Posted by Matt Postiff December 5, 2015 under General 

From the archive: 8 legal-size pages of typewritten notes on the doctrine of theology proper given at the Grace Bible Institute prior to 1981. The topic was Theology proper, the doctrine of God. It is also available as a Word document that is searchable.

Posted by Matt Postiff December 3, 2015 under General 

This time from the archive: 10 pages of typewritten notes for a pastors seminar in Bucksport Maine, May 10-12, 1976. The topic was premillennialism, post-tribulationism, and pre-tribulationism. This is also available as a Word document that is searchable.

Posted by Matt Postiff December 3, 2015 under Church  Bible Texts 

A pastor friend gave me a copy of the following article that he had in his files from October 1, 1981. I do not know what publication it was in, but it looks like it was on page (597) 21. The author is Robert B. Mignard, who I believe is the late former pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Mount Joy, PA. Here is the article:

A young preacher had taken his first pastorate in Philadelphia. One evening one of his members said rather bluntly, "You are not a strong preacher. In the usual order of things, you will fail here, but a little group of us has agreed to gather every Sunday morning to pray for you." The group soon grew to over a thousand people, praying weekly for their pastor. That young man was J. Wilbur Chapman, who became one of America's mighty preachers.

Charles Spurgeon was approached by a delegation of American pastors who inquired of him his reasons for success. In response to their questions, Spurgeon led the pastors to the basement of his church and quietly opened the door. The visits saw more than three hundred people praying for God's blessing to rest upon their pastor, who would be preaching the Word of God that night. "There, gentlemen," said Spurgeon, "is the reason for my success."

In Romans 15:30-32 and Ephesians 6:18-20, Paul asks for the prayers of the church. Who would have thought that Paul needed the prayers of the Roman and Ephesians Christians? After all, he was a man of prayer himself, filled with the Holy Spirit and widely used of God. Yet here is his ardent request: "I beseech you, brethren, ... that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me" (Rom. 15:30).

Stand behind your pastor in prayers and supplications as he proclaims the Word. Pray for him during the week as he studies, prays, counsels, visits, and administers the affairs of the church. A prayerless church inevitably leads to a powerless preacher.

You may entertain your pastor lavishly, raise and praise him, but only through earnest prayer can you ever help him to be an effective instrument in the hands of almighty God. You can do nothing greater for your pastor.

Posted by Matt Postiff November 27, 2015 under Bible Texts 

When I preached through Colossians 2:14-15, I asked if someone might draw a sketch depicting a handbill of charges against the believer hanging nailed to a cross, with the world, Satan and the grim reaper at the foot of the cross in utter defeat. Here is what one of our teenaged young ladies drew:

Debt Blotted Out

Posted by Matt Postiff November 26, 2015 under FBC 

I found at the church nearly complete sets of 1981-86 typewritten bulletins. They will be of interest particularly to our church family because that was from the first six year of the church. It shows attendance, some information on finances, and gives insight into the church life at that time.

Along with the bulletins came 81 typewritten sermon notes that Pastor Raymond Saxe gave as bulletin inserts and from which he preached. Here they are:

Posted by Matt Postiff November 16, 2015 under Hebrew 

At Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary I have just started helping to teach second year Hebrew. That's a task! One of the things we are doing is learning somewhere north of 800 vocabulary words. I have recorded the words as an aid to my study so that as I travel in the car I can review. This is a draft quality, but such as it is...

Posted by Matt Postiff November 10, 2015 under Hebrew 

A great resource for learning a how to pronounce Biblical Hebrew is available at The Academy of Ancient Languages. As that site says, the reader of most of the Hebrew Bible was the late Abraham Shmuelof, a priest born in Jerusalem. Another voice is heard on the recordings as well, but I don't have information on that person.

Posted by Matt Postiff November 7, 2015 under Church 

I often hear about churches calling an ordination council to examine a man as to his call and doctrinal fitness for gospel ministry. This is wise: a church can and must evaluate the man as to his salvation testimony, call to ministry, giftedness, ability to preach and teach, and his character. By calling a council of outside pastors they recognize they need additional objective advice as to whether the man holds to sound doctrine in the entire counsel of God.

What I do not hear about is churches calling a similar council to examine a man who is to be their own next (senior) pastor. I believe it would be wise to have an outside council of like-minded pastors to make sure that the man who is being considered actually holds to the doctrine and practice of the church, is of a temperate spirit so as not to get the church into problems, and is not being recycled from a problematic situation. The church is wise to seek outside objective advice, in order to avoid the "this pastoral search thing is going on too long, let's just get it over with" mentality. Such weariness in finding a good pastor can lead the church to pick "a good available candidate" instead of "the best candidate" for the ministry.

Just wondering, because an ordination often leads to the new pastor going out to minister in another church; a pulpit search brings a new pastor in. If not done carefully, there may be a tough road ahead.

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