Posts by Jim Elliff

Posts by Jim Elliff

A Spinning Fox – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, Please read the poem. It isn’t what you have ever been called perhaps — “a spinning fox.” But it may describe you at times. Demons are real and they are spirits that have the nature of their father, Satan. Like that father, they are riled by righteousness. They cannot help this; and, they will never reform. Like their father they wish to destroy you in every way they can. Jesus called Satan “a liar and a murderer”…

William Cowper’s Mother

William Cowper (pronounced as Cooper) was born in 1731. He was a close friend of John Newton (Amazing Grace), and lived next door. Cowper was considered by many to be the greatest literary figure in England during in his lifetime. Like Newton, he was a poet (God Moves in a Mysterious Way; There is a Fountain Filled with Blood). William lost his mother at six years of age. After her death it appears that he did not live at home…

How and When Will All Israel Be Saved? – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW Family, Israel has been on the minds of most of us these days. It seems appropriate to revisit an article I wrote 10 years ago addressing the phrase, “And so, all Israel will be saved” (Rom 11:26). Here is the way I see this: How and When Will All Israel Be Saved? This phrase has often stymied students of the New Testament, and has been a verse with many interpretations. I offer mine. To adamantly conclude that I…

Moses and Elijah at the Ascension?

Is it possible that the two men in white apparel standing beside the apostles at the ascension of Christ (Acts 1:9-11) were Moses and Elijah? —— “And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why…

The Anger of Another

Dear CCW family, Hear the story of a person troubled by the anger of a friend: Sitting outside on the front stoop, the warmth of the sun cloaked my chilled frame. The house conditioned my bones all morning like a drafty stone Reformation chapel. In all my concentration, I hadn’t reckoned with the cold until that moment. I was now fixed to the warm concrete step with a sweet heaviness that tiredness, an uninvited argument, and a surprising and sudden…

Believing What Christ Believes

If we claim to be Christ’s followers, we must, at the very minimum, believe what he believed when he spoke on earth. Jesus believed in . . . God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Heaven and hellHis pre-existence with the Father AngelsSatan and demonsScripture, which “cannot be broken”A future resurrection of the bodyThe creation of man and womanNoah and the floodThe destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah Lot and the judgment on Lot’s wife The exodus from EgyptMoses’ leadership of…

The Way We Look – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, It is an exercise in self-abnegation for me to show my driver’s license or passport, and I have to do it quite often. I am still hoping for somebody to say, “Wait, this doesn’t look like you!”  When comedic author Erma Bombeck handed her passport over for renewal, the man glanced at the photo and said: “Any person who looks like this is too sick to travel.” Paul had this to say about the way we look:…

Consider the Change

The transformation in true Christianity is supernatural and profound. Not everyone who professes to be a Christian has experienced it. But without such a change, there is no authentic Christian life or true hope. Consider that the change is From death to lifeFrom blindness to sightFrom slavery to freedomFrom rebellion to submissionFrom darkness to lightFrom dead spirit to new birthFrom self love to sacrificial loveFrom religious externalism to inner motivationFrom the lordship of our flesh to the lordship of Christ…

The Elderly Mr. Phipp

James, the youth: Is affection necessary for true spirituality? I mean, can’t a man be Christian, yet cold as a stone emotionally? Mr. Brockton: Affection cannot be separated from true religion. James: But are we to strain to be affectionate toward God when it is not natural? Brockton: We are to strain to know God, and that is enough. Mr. Phipp will make my point for me. Hear his story: When the elderly Mr. Phipp lost his wife, he cried…

Silencing Deceiving Teachers

Polybius the historian was not fond of the people on the island of Crete. He stated that they loved money so much “that they are the only people in the world among whom no stigma attaches to any sort of gain whatever.” They were also liars. In fact, to “cretanize” was to deceive. Epimenides said, “The Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies!” This is quoted by Paul in Titus. Remember this when the people in your part of the…

Vain Salvation – A Letter From Jim

Dear CCW family, A well-loved Christian conference speaker once posed this question to me after his message: “Is there any sin in trusting God?” Strange question, isn’t it? The answer has to be, “No.” I know that. You know that. The man who posed the question knew it also. He only wanted to emphasize that the best action all the time, regardless of the circumstance we might be in, is to trust God. But . . . is that what…

Pastors and Salary

It is very likely, despite the admonition to the Ephesians to support their pastors, that the New Testament church elders covered their needs principally through other means as they led house churches. Surely, as Paul appointed elders in nascent churches, he did not arrange a salary package along with the assignment. Only a few hundred years later, as church life was institutionalized, did churches with buildings and larger memberships have enough funds to give salaries to some of their pastors…