Category Archives: Teaching Resources

YOUTH PASTORS AND THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE

By | Bible Study, Teaching Resources | No Comments

I.  Biblical Study:Most of those in Christian ministry know that the Bible is the primary source of material that will be used in preaching, teaching, counseling and personal development. Because they use it so much, the time they give to studying it is very important. Many youth pastors have had some form of formal Bible training which has familiarized them with the skills necessary to do this kind of research. Others have not had any such training and so find studying a fairly challenging task. For either group there is always a need to become more familiar with things that are available to streamline and enrich their time of study. Read More

A Reformation Prophecy

By | News, Sermon Resources, Teaching Resources | No Comments

Related image

“You are going to burn a goose, but in one hundred years you will have a swan which you can neither roast nor boil.”

These were some of the last words of John Huss, spoken in 1415 AD before he was swallowed by flames. Huss, whose name means “goose,” was a forerunner to the Reformation. Huss gained popularity as a preacher at Bethlehem Chapel in Prague, drawing thousands of people at a time to listen to his sermons. The community of believers who gathered to him was marked by the presence of the Holy Spirit. And the words of Huss provoked the imagination of the masses because they often confronted the status quo of unbiblical practices within the Roman Catholic Church. In particular, his opposition to the selling of indulgences crossed a line which led to his execution as a heretic.

In 1515, exactly one hundred years later, the prophecy of the Goose came true. This was the year in which a spiritually tormented monk, frightened by a vengeful God who sought to damn him, was assigned to teach the book of Romans at the new university in Wittenberg, Germany. Illuminated by God’s Spirit, Martin Luther realized that sinners could never be good enough to earn God’s approval, and instead God imputes his own righteousness to us through faith in his Son. Luther, now a priest and professor, was the Swan foretold by the Goose. Intriguingly, John Foxe, a historian from that era, tells us that Luther’s family coat of arms providentially displayed the image of a swan.

Naturally, Luther’s revelation led him, like Huss, to oppose the practice of selling indulgences, which had become a means of so-called penance by which believers could pay the Church in order to escape from purgatory. No! Christians did not need to suffer more for their sin after death. And you could not do anything to pay off God, since salvation comes as a free gift of grace and is received by faith alone. So on October 31, 1517, Luther nailed his 95 arguments against the selling of indulgences to the church door at Wittenberg. That was the eve of All Saints Day (i.e., Halloween), on which hordes of people would pay to gaze in adoration at the relics associated with dead saints, whose excess of good deeds supposedly made indulgences effective. Yet Luther’s act wasn’t intended to be particularly provocative. Posting to the church door was an accepted method of proposing points of debate among scholars. In fact, Luther wrote the points in Latin, not in German, because he simply sought an academic disputation. But the theses were soon taken, translated into German, and distributed with the help of the newly invented printing press. Nonetheless, increasingly, Luther came to welcome the controversy if it meant the glorification of the gospel.

Yet unlike the Goose, the Roman Catholic Church was never able to cook the Swan—though it certainly tried! As Luther later came to realize and proclaim, “We were all Hussites without knowing it.”

<<<    >>>

A note about the authenticity of Huss’ prophecy: I often read scholars deny the veracity of Huss’ statement at his execution. Yet the more I investigate it, the more the evidence stacks up in its favor. And the more I suspect that some scholars are simply unwilling to believe that such an accurate prophecy could occur. Their bias is often rooted in their cessationist theology. At the risk of boring you, here is a brief list of reasons to believe its authenticity. Enough is provided for you to investigate it further if you wish.

  1. Luther himself believed the prophecy pertained to him. And he was much closer to the matter than we. Do not forget, Luther was a brilliant scholar and researcher who, for example, was well enough acquainted with historical records and the official documents of the Church to correct its own cardinals when they misquoted it ever so slightly. (Just look up the account of Luther’s argument with Cardinal Cajetan in 1518.) So I quote a statement made by Luther: “St. John Huss prophesied of me when he wrote from his prison in Bohemia, ‘They will roast a goose now (for “Huss” means “a goose”), but after a hundred years they will hear a swan sing, and him they will have to endure’” (Commentary on the Alleged Imperial Edict, 1531).
  2. Luther must have had access to some record of the prophecy that differed from the one used by John Foxe in the mid 1500’s, whose quotation is slightly different and who portrays these as words spoken during Huss’ execution rather than his imprisonment. This is the sort of minor inconsistency you would expect to find in separate witnesses of the same event. And they are easily reconciled by supposing that Luther is quoting one of the various letters we know that Huss wrote from prison, while Foxe is quoting Huss’ proclamation of the same prophecy at his execution.
  3. Foxe’s statement that Luther’s coat of arms displayed a swan is questionable. The only thing I have been able to uncover in this regard is the fact that Luther’s birthplace was Eisleban, whose coat of arms featured a set of white wings at various times in history.
  4. We have several letters written by Huss during his imprisonment. He often refers to himself as “the Goose,” just as his friends and students affectionately called him. Moreover, he extends this analogy by saying that even if the Goose is trapped by nets, he fully believed that one day “other birds, which by God’s word and by their lives soar to high places, will break their traps in pieces” (letter, October 1412). Huss envisions future reformers as other species of birds which Rome will not be able to entrap, precisely as the prophecy in question states regarding a swan.
  5. And there is a fascinating letter written by a companion of Huss informing the faithful about the situation of their leader, which concludes as follows: “Written at Constance the Saturday before Martinmas. The Goose is not yet cooked, and is not afraid of being cooked, because this year the noted eve of St. Martin’s falls on Saturday, when geese are not eaten!” (John Cardinalis, November 10, 1414). This is intriguing for two reasons. First, and most importantly, Huss and his company were already thinking in terms of “the Goose being cooked,” just as he later stated in the prophecy. This is a great testament to its authenticity. Second (and prepare enter the Twilight Zone), Huss was not to be executed at the time of the letter because it was Saturday and the Eve of St. Martin’s Day. The statement is cryptic, but perhaps we can guess at its meaning. Goose is the traditional cuisine for St. Martins Day and would be slaughtered the day before; but I wonder if “Saturday” (sabbato, lit. Sabbath) is an allusion to the Sabbatical Passover before which Christ had to be removed from the cross in order to keep the Sabbath holy. That is, it could be a nuanced way of saying, “Don’t worry, by the same logic the Council of Constance won’t execute Huss on the holiday or its eve.” Indeed, it would be half a year before Huss was burned at the stake. Whatever we make of the difficult phrase, in time Martin Luther would be born on St. Martin’s Eve (which is why he was named Martin). The irony, of which the writer could not possibly be aware, is baffling: even though Huss was a “goose,” he would not be slaughtered on St. Martin’s Eve when geese were normally slaughtered; yet the more famous St. Martin, born decades later on that very day, would in fact be the man prophesied by Huss to evade slaughter, being a swan and not a goose.

Your Bible is True and Reliable

By | Bible Study, Sermon Resources, Teaching Resources | No Comments
more than a good book

Recently, in our sermon series at City Bible Church, we discussed the trustworthiness of the Bible. Here are some links discussing a few of the illustrations and concepts mentioned in the sermon.

We talked about a few of the seeming contradictions or conflicts within Scripture. Our premise was that the Bible has no real contradictions within itself when it is thoroughly examined in its entire context. Here are a few books that deal specifically with some of these “problem areas” if you are interested in investigating them further.

  1. Hard Sayings of the Bible by Walter Kaiser Jr., et al.
  2. The Big Book of Bible Difficulties by Norman Geisler & Thomas Howe
  3. New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by Gleason Archer Jr.

We also discussed some of the major archaeological finds that support the historical accuracy of Scripture. Here are a few links to some of the examples from the sermon.

  1. This is an article from the Oregonian showing the archaeological evidence for the Biblical account of the fall of Jericho, as mentioned in the sermon.
  2. Here is an article on a recent discovery of a seal impressed with King Hezekiah’s signet. It is significant because the Bible says that Hezekiah was miraculously healed of a deadly illness; and the divine sign of his healing was the shadow cast by the sun going back several steps on a sort-of sundial. The seal comes from the time of Hezekiah, was found in the royal precinct, and has the Egyptian symbol for life with a sun rising on wings, as if to commemorate the event of the healing. It proves that not only was Hezekiah real (an otherwise well attested historical fact), but that the story surrounding his healing was not a fable to evolve long after his death, but comes from his lifetime.
  3.  Here is a link to the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, an illustrated resource focusing on historical and archaeological discoveries that confirm and illuminate the Biblical text.

In the message, we also briefly investigated the textual support for the Bible; that is, the manuscript evidence by which we trust that our English translations accurately represent the original writings.

  1. We considered the fact that we have thousands of very early New Testament manuscripts, produced astonishingly close to the writing of the original documents. If you are interested in how scholars weigh and compare these various manuscripts in order to come to a confident trust in the genuineness of the Bible as we have it today, Is My Bible the Inspired Word of God? by Edward Goodrick is a fascinating book. It is short and easy to read yet scholarly.
  2. We also mentioned a few recent discoveries that help confirm the trustworthiness of the Masoretic Text, the main manuscript we use to translate the Old Testament even though it is quite distant from the originals. Here is a link to a Christianity Today article on the Dead Sea Scrolls by Ed Stetzer. Although some significant differences are present (perhaps due to the separatist nature of the community responsible for them), these ancient manuscripts are quite early and are amazingly similar to the Masoretic Text, bolstering our trust in it.
  3. Here is an article on the En-Gedi Scroll, which was discussed in the sermon. This is a small charred scroll found in 1970 in a synagogue in Israel. It was an official scroll for reading on the Sabbath, meaning it was a respected and accurate copy. It dates to about 250 AD, which means it represents a very early tradition of the Hebrew Bible. In 2015, scholars made a CT scan of the scroll to discover its contents, since unrolling the charred remains would ruin it. Several paragraphs from the Leviticus have been deciphered so far, and every word is exactly identical to the Masoretic Text!
  4. Here is an article on the Silver Scrolls, which are two small silver amulets inscribed with a blessing from the book of Numbers. It dates to the 7th century BC, which is before the close of the Old Testament! Although the text from Numbers is abbreviated to fit on the scroll, the verbiage is identical to the Masoretic Text. The further back archaeology takes us, the more we end up trusting the reliable Old Testament manuscripts that have been preserved for us!

Psalms: 7 Days of Prayer

By | Teaching Resources | No Comments

The Psalms are an amazing gift to believers in the journey and growth of our worship and prayer to God.  The uplifting high peaks of praise, on down to the low valleys of lament and struggle, help us express our longings, emotions, and words.  They direct us in how to verbalize these things to God, providing a vocabulary to say things we find difficult to articulate at times.

This past semester in the Psalms class at Portland Bible College, we have focused on immersing our hearts and minds into these God-oriented songs and prayers, and discovering ways to incorporate their use & deepen our spiritual walk.  One project reflecting this this was putting together a 7-day journey of prayer using selected Psalms, based on specific themes in our experience.

These prayer guides give a daily verse or passage that guide a prayerful response and conversation with God.  Click on the titles to download the attached card.

 

Psalm 23 God's Protection I Am Loved Psalm 103

Video Tutorials for Logos Bible Software

By | Bible Study, Teaching Resources, Tutorials & Documents | No Comments

Here are the Logos video tutorials we have developed specifically for Intro to Bible Study, Bible Research and Hermeneutics. While there are plenty of good tutorials in Logos itself, and on the web, these videos take the time to explain how to use Logos to perform the tasks and assignments given in the PBC classes. The videos are password protected. If you have taken the classes at PBC, you should have been given a password. Contact Travis Arnold if you cannot access them.

  1. Getting Started in Logos – Set up Logos in a way that makes it easy to use for the required tasks ahead.
  2. Basic Search – Learn how to search your entire library for words, phrases, etc.
  3. Bible Search – Learn how to search your Bibles for words, phrases, etc.; and how to analyze the results
  4. Original Languages – Starting with the English Bible that you understand, learn how to find and read definitions of the Hebrew and Greek words being translated into English
  5. Finding Every Occurrence – Learn to search your Bible for Hebrew and Greek words (not just English words) in order to find every occurrence of a particular original-language word
  6. Bible Dictionaries – Learn how to access and use your Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias to study Bible people, places, things and themes
  7. Topical Studies – Learn how to use Nave’s Topical Bible to find pertinent Bible passages related to particular topics
  8. Character Studies – Learn how to use the skills acquired in the videos above to perform character studies according to the Portland Bible College model
  9. Mounce’s Expository Dictionary – Learn how to use “Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words” to go deeper into the meaning and background of key Bible words (required for PBC word studies)
  10. Word Studies – Learn how to use the skills acquired in the videos above (and some new methods) to complete word studies according to the PBC model
  11. Morphology – Learn how to use reverse interlinears and the information window to access morphological information about a Hebrew or Greek word
  12. Comparative Mention – Learn different approaches to finding comparative passages using Logos

Seasons of the Spirit – New Book by Lanny Hubbard

By | News, Teaching Resources | No Comments

 

We’re thrilled to announce the release of a new book by professor Lanny Hubbard, entitled “Seasons of the Spirit”!  Highly respected as a teacher at Portland Bible College for the last 36 years, Lanny is known for awakening a passion in his students for the truth and relevance of the Bible in a down-to-earth, practical manner.  In his first published title, “Seasons of the Spirit” is a clear guidepost for us to consider the patterns and principles we see even in the natural seasons as a reflection for us to understand the seasons of our own lives following after God.

We couldn’t be more excited to let everyone know about this resource from Lanny that you’ll want to read yourself, and share with a friend.  If you’ve had the chance to sit in a Lanny class at PBC or benefit from his ministry in the past, you know what we mean!  Check out the following excerpt and share the social media links & photos with your friends, family, pastors and co-workers with at the bottom of the page.  We encourage you to get your copy today, available for Amazon Kindle (available to read on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or any Kindle device), and leave an Amazon review!

Congratulations, Lanny!


 

Excerpt from “Seasons of the Spirit”

 

Introduction

The Message That Is All Around Us 

“The seasons are what a symphony ought to be: Four perfect movements in harmony with each other.”

– Arthur Rubinstein

For many people, there is a mysterious beauty that comes with each season of the year. Winter brings the muffling blanket of snow that is accented with ice sculptures hanging from the boughs of the trees. Spring brings the first signs of new life that begin to appear. The heads of small flowers push their way up through the cold ground, making their colorful declaration that warmer times are soon to come. The weather patterns of spring often display drastic extremes, as the blankets of cold air clash with warmer ones. Summer is the time of lazy warm days interrupted with the flurry of harvest activity. The air is filled with the sound of harvesting machinery, and the barns are filled with the bounty of the crops. People’s bodies are tired, but their souls are blessed. And finally, fall comes. The brilliant display of fall color is the crescendo to life’s symphony that has played all year. The days gradually get cooler while the air is still filled with the smell of the vineyard and fall apples. Each season is distinct and some people are attracted to one season more than another, yet it takes all of them to form the whole mosaic of life.

 

The title of this book communicates the idea that just as there are seasons in the natural calendar, there are also seasons in the work of the Holy Spirit. There are set things that He does at specific times throughout the life Seasons-of-the-Spirit---Blog-Quote-Boxof every believer. These are not things that randomly take place in some haphazard way. They have as much of an order and purpose as do their natural counterparts. Because people often make no association between natural and spiritual things, they don’t look to natural things to help understand the spiritual significance of what they are going through. They lack a map to help them see where they are in the unfolding of the Spirit’s activity. Because of this, they can often misinterpret what is going on around them, and in turn they will inappropriately respond to it. They can even belittle the very things that are preparing them for greater blessing. They may miss a deeper work taking place simply because they don’t see signs of how their situation can end up being a blessing. As a result, they might end up complaining about what they should be rejoicing in. They value what is fleeting and ignore what has lasting benefit. This can all take place because they don’t understand the season of life they are in and learn to cooperate with it.

The purpose of this book is to help the readers become more aware of what is going on around them. They need to see how the events of life all work together in one large master plan that God has foreseen a long time ago (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 2:10). Each day has in it important ingredients which help to ensure that the overall plan is completed. The success of any person is greatly affected by being able to know the purpose of those ingredients. It is also important to know the order that the ingredients will come.”

(Read more in “Seasons of the Spirit” (c)2014 Lanny Hubbard)

Seasons-Amazon-Widget


 

Share “Seasons of the Spirit” on Your Social Media Streams:

instagram_logo_0  (download all 4 promo pics here)

Right-click / press & hold to save & then share!

Seasons---Instagram-03

Seasons---Instagram-04

Seasons---Instagram-02

Seasons---Instagram-01