Posted in theology

South Afrikaaner swallowed by a whale

By Elizabeth Prata

The video program Snapped in the Wild by Barcroft TV is a show that presents exciting wild animal-human interactions or animal-animal interactions snapped on camera.

In this latest episode, as the Youtube blurb states,

Rainer Schimpf, 51, has worked as a dive tour operator in South Africa for over 15 years. But in February, he experienced something very rare – the inside of a whale’s mouth. In perfect sea conditions, Rainer and his team set off to document a sardine run – a natural event where gannets, penguins, seals, dolphins, whales and sharks work together to gather the fish into bait balls. Rainer and his colleagues film the expedition for educational and environmental purposes.Split into two groups, Rainer led his team into the ocean, about 25 nautical miles from shore.But it was when the sea suddenly churned up that the team knew something strange was happening.

The whale apparently accidentally gathered Ranier into his mouth while scooping up fish and suddenly the photographer was inside the whale. As the Bryde’s whale closed his mouth he began to dive, but then the photographer felt the whale turning. Soon Ranier was popped out of the whale’s mouth again safely back onto the surface of the sea.

Ranier finished his description of the event by saying “I now have some knowledge of the inside of a whale that no one else has.”

I’m glad that the event turned out harmless for the man, the whale and the onlookers and other photographers. Ranier and the crew attribute the event to a total accident, with no malice on the whale’s part and none of the animals were apparently harmed.

However, lol, I could not let the concluding statement by the animal photographer go unreplied to.

I am a Christian who believes the Bible is inerrant. I believe that all the things that happened in the Bible’s recordings happened as they are presented. That means I believe that God who is three-in-one, created the heavens and the earth in 6 literal days. That decomposing Lazarus was resurrected from the dead after 4 days in the tomb. I believe that the minuscule amount of oil lasted 8 days, enough for the prophet’s wife to pay her creditors. I believe that the blind were healed and the lame walked. All of it.

So when I read Jonah and the great fish in Jonah 1-2, I believe Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Moreover, I believe Jonah dwelled inside the whale for 3 days, was conscious and in his right mind, prayed to the Lord, and was popped out of the great fish’s mouth onto dry land alive.

Wildlife photographer Ranier Schimpf may have had the surprise ride of his lifetime, but there was one before him who has knowledge of the inside of a great fish, Jonah.

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17)

And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it vomited Jonah out upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:10)

The Lord God is great, holy is He in His habitation and sovereign over all that happens in the universe!

iron decorative fish

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

The pro-consul believed in the doctrine, not the miracle

Believe in the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, not in the miracles.

Miracles happen every day. God is always at work, and even now, Jesus is working. One miracle is that God revives dead hearts and makes new creations out of unbelievers. Another is the miracle of the very earth upon which we stand. (Romans 1:20, Jeremiah 51:15, Job 12:7). Healings by God also occur, as families affected by them can attest.

rome forum marble
EPrata photo

The pro-consul was astounded. Acts 13:12 says. In the New Testament days immediately after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the Apostles were given power to perform miracles. One of these was the miracle that occurred by Paul in front of the pro-consul Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, so says Acts 13:7. Paul confronted a false prophet, a magician called bar-Jesus, and pronounced him false and then the power of God descended and caused the false prophet to go blind on the spot. The Pro-consul saw this happen.

Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord. [underline mine]

Did the pro-consul believe in the miracle? NO. He believed the teaching of Jesus Christ. He understood the miracle was authentic, but it was the teaching in which he was moved.

The MacArthur Commentary says,

The missionaries’ victory was not only negative, as seen by the defeat of bar-Jesus, but also positive. Satan’s emissary had been defeated and silenced, and now Paul and Barnabas were about to win the battle for Sergius Paulus’ soul: … as so often is related in Acts, God used a miracle to confirm the authenticity of His messengers, and the truth of His word. Significantly, it was the teaching of the Lord, not the miracle he had just witnessed, that prompted the proconsul to believe. He was amazed at the teaching of the Lord, not at the miracle.

Remember, doctrine matters.


Further Reading

Why Doctrine Matters by Albert Mohler

Doctrine is, quite literally, the teaching of the church–what the church understands to be the substance of its faith. It is no substitute for personal experience

Why Doctrine Matters, by Ligonier

Doctrine is Biblical. Our English word doctrine is derived from a Latin word, doctrina, which means, “that which is taught.” In Christian usage, it refers to Christian teaching about Scripture, God, man, Christ, salvation, church, and the end of all things.

Doctrine Matters: Eternal Life Depends on It, by Kevon DeYoung

If you are interested in abiding with Jesus and abiding with the Father, you will care about the truth abiding in you. We will not know God unless we know the truth. Which is another way of saying: You do not get to heaven without theology. The promise of 1 John is that if the truth abides in you, you abide in God and you will receive what is promised to you: namely, eternal life.

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

A Warning to Miracle-mongers

I abhor miracle-mongers. These are the people who clamor to see or experience a miracle but do not know the first thing about the other attributes of God. These are the people who come to church only in hopes to see a sign. The pray for glory dust to fall down so they can say Jesus showed up. They pray for healed legs so they can run toward sin. People like that existed in Jesus’ day and in our day too. (John 6:2, John 12:18).

Be warned, miracle-mongers, “most of the miraculous events in the Old Testament killed people.” Most of the miracles in the OT (and some in the NT- Ananias, Sapphira) simply, flatly, killed people, as a demonstration of God’s justice and holiness.

John MacArthur preached,

His justice is demonstrated at the cross. It is God who said the soul that sends it must die. It is God who says the wages of sin is death, and death there will be. Death there must be. And justice prevails at the cross. God is so just, so just, that He will even take the life of His own beloved Son. If the sins of the world are to be laid on His Son, then His Son must take the death that they deserve. You will never see a greater illustration of the justice of God. You can look in the past. You can look in the Old Testament. You can see most of the miracles in the Old Testament killed people. If you’re looking for miracles in the Old Testament, most of the miraculous events in the Old Testament killed people, drowned entire armies, drowned the entire world, burned up people, holes opened in the ground and swallowed them up. People were literally killed by angelic beings. Most of the Old Testament miracles were miracles of divine judgment.

“So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” (John 4:48)

Do you love Jesus for who He is? Or for what He can do for you? A warning to those who seek and cling to and desire miracle after miracle, be careful what you wish for–

For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. (Matthew 24:24).

miracle growth