Calvin’s Concerns – Why do most Christians resist Calvinism?

It has been a few weeks since I visited this topic and I stumbled (not literally, don’t you know!) over the an interesting question that clarified my ignorance, lack of knowledge of Scripture, my pride and arrogance.

Of my struggle over my “low” view of God,

But God sovereignly and unchangeably decreed my ignorance, lack of Scripture knowledge, pride arrogance and seemingly low view of God.

Huh

Take a few minutes to consider the following question with me.

Why do most Christians resist Calvinism?


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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #6

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #6
Description
The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 12:7
Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
New Testament Fullfillment
Gal 3:16
Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration. Find link below.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Love Like Jesus – Enduring all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Enduring all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love endures all things.

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus is endures all things

1 Cor 13 - 5278 endureth

Remember verse 4? I made a claim that Paul uses two different words for patience.

This is the verse where he pulls the second word in.

If you have been reading along with the entire series, you will recognize “hupomeno”.

If you have not been following the series and would like to consider the post where we compared the two Greek words describing patience, check out this recent post.

To endure under difficult situations, to abide in a trial, to stay under. This patience relates to circumstances that are trying, and produces a fruit in the believer, if he stays under, resides in the trial, even rejoicing in it.

James 1:12

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James does not give the believer any false confidence that God will crown him if he continually seeks to escape a trial, a difficult time, a series of set backs or disappointments, but that he is to abide under trials.

Love endures all things. Love suffers all things, resides in difficult situations.

One of my favorite terms to consider when I or a loved one is going through a trial is the Greek word thlipsis. Say it out loud. It is such a cool word! (Not like kaka! If you haven’t been following along, it is a term that has a graphic definition!)

Thlipsis is a term that descibes the crushing of grapes, of pressure, of squeezing together. Trench, in his awesome “Synonyms of the New Testament”, describes thlipsis in the following histoical picture. “When, according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis.”

2 Corinthians 1:4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God

But Carl, why would we need to reside under a crushing experience if God loves us? Kindly remember that God is looking to create the Son in us, that the gospel message includes suffering for the saints. As modern American Christians, we have escaped physical suffering for the most part, yet there is no guarantee of continued respite.

Rom 8:17

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

God’s love for us includes the ultimate goal of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. This is a lofty goal, which includes suffering before glory.

Rom 8:29

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren

Endurance is the characteristic of love. This endurance, that is hupomeno, is related to the situations we find ourselves in.

It is amazing in this passage that Paul, in his description of love, refers to patience multiple times, and that in using the two terms for patience in the Greek language provides us a full orbed challenge to follow after the Master in quiet submission, waiting on the Lord.

When I was a youngin in the Lord, very very young, I met a godly lady in the church who spoke of a recent evangelistic meeting she attended. She spoke of a young enegetic believer who, when the invitation was given, dragged his friend up to the altar to get saved. She chuckled, but I broke in, commending this fellows love and desire to see others saved.

Carl, it is the Spirit of God who draws them, we cannot but pray and beg the Lord to bring them to their knees. The lost must decide on their own, or it will simply be of no use.

As believers, we are to wait on the Lord, to pray and also to exercise patience. This is not to say we do nothing. We are to pray to Him for souls, and live out the Christian life of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus endures all things. Based on the historical reading of the New Testaments, He has proven to all of His endurance.

Consider

Patience with His enemies

Although patience with people is technically a different Greek term, this summary is intended to exhibit the seemingly unceasing patience of the One who loved His enemies, who drew them to Himself. Some came, and some continued in thier rebellion. This does not negate the power of patience, or the reality of His love, but simply the hardness of our hearts in rejecting such love.

The patience He exhibited includes the scorching message of Matthew 23 and 24, where He condemns the actions of the religious leaders in the nation of Israel. His message to the Pharisees and Scribes is among the harshest messages in the gospels. Is this a proof that He lost His patience and “blew up”, lost control and let it all go? Not at all. His message is methodical, convincing and prophetic. The passage starts out with the phrase ” Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples”. He did not raise His voice, start yelling uncontrollably and “loose it” He laid His argument out, and let the truth speak.

Eventually they crucified Him. His patience with His enemies is unparalleled.

Patience with His disciples

The examples are numerous in the gospels, but let us consider the time of prayer in the garden.

Mark 14:37-38, 41

And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour?

Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” …

And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

The failure of the disciples is evident here. Jesus speaks the truth of the flesh being weak, but also adds that the spirit is willing. Is this a general truth of speaking of the disciples spirit, that is that Jesus knew they wanted to obey, but simply could not due to exhaustion.

My friends, when was the last time you experienced disappointment in a friend or family member.

We have recently experienced a betrayal in our family, in that my daughter has suffered a tremendous disappointment. For her sake, I will not speak of specifics, but understand that this betrayal cuts deep. My first reaction was to find a way to get even.

She spoke of not retaliating, that the betrayer is still a human (that is suffering), and that he will suffer in the future for his current decisions. In her pain, she lived out of this patience I simply write about.

My initial reaction is not the same as Jesus’ reaction with those who disappointed Him. He gave correction, He stated truth, and He did not reject His friends. He saw what they might become, not what they currently were

Patient in His sufferings

1 Peter 2:23

When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.

Consider this verse. Please take a moment to meditate, dwell on this verse and the complete “unnaturalness” of Jesus reaction to suffering.

Patience in His present Kingdom

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

During the building of His Kingdom, Jesus has exercised patience with His followers, taking the failings, fragility and frustrations of His people, turning it around for the Kingdoms good, and continuing the growth of His world wide assembly of believers. Nothing will stop His Kingdom.

Not even the gates of Hades

Matthew 16:18

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Are you alright with that? Are you convinced of His patience, or His endurance? We are to follow His example.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider the summary of all these characteristics of love. Hope to see you there.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #5

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #5
Description
Seed of Abraham will bless all nations
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 12:3
I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Gal 3:8
And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”
 Acts 3:25-26
You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’

God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.”

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration. Find link below.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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Parable Surprises – Yeast

This parable is short and sweet. Nothing difficult nor complicated. Just my type!

Matthew 13:33

33 He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

See Parable Surprises – Growing Seed

When did the Lord give this parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Why did the Lord give this message?

If you have been following this series, you will remember the previous parable (Parable Surprises – The Mustard Seed) and the teaching the Lord gave on the extent of growth, no better yet the unexpected relative growth of the Kingdom.

A tiny seed that grows to become larger than all the garden plants and eventually a tree, providing protection, even a home, for the birds of the air.

This parable also teaches about the growth of the Kingdom, but not the eventual size and purpose of the Kingdom, but of the power of the growth. The leaven in the flour is mixed in until all the flour is affected, till all the flour has been leavened.

What was the message for the original audience?

The Lord gave us a direct link as to what the leaven is equal to in this parable. The Kingdom of Heaven is like leaven.

Ok – So I was recently asked a great question (thanks Andy) about the birds of the air in the previous Parables post and what they represented. I provided an answer that included discussing the leaven of our current study, and leaven’s association with sin throughout much of the Bible. I concluded how I am reluctant to find direct associations beyond the parable’s intended point.

With that said, what does the flour represent? I realize the point of the parable is the continual growth of the loaf, but now I’m wondering what the flour represents.

Church?

Does it represent the future church? If so, I’m confused about what the church is comprised of. Is not the church, the body of Christ, all believers that have received the Spirit of God, been born from above. That would also differentiate the Church from the Kingdom of Heaven, which would continue my confusion. No, that ain’t right!

World?

Ok, so it represents the world the church will be called out from, yet be in, affecting the world and providing the Kingdom’s influence throughout the world?

The implications of this are somewhat surprising.

The Lord stated that the leaven would be kneaded until the entire three measures of flour (entire world?) would be leavened. This parable speaks of the energy for the growth of the Kingdom, which we know after the resurrection and Pentecost that the Spirit of God is the One who provides life and growth. Will the entire world/flour be influenced by the Holy Spirit? Will the entire world eventually be the Kingdom? Am I going too far with the point of the parable?

What is the message for us today?

As with the previous parable, the message could be interpreted in a number of ways, depending on your eschatology. Suffice it to say, that this parable is to give us confidence in the outcome, the unstoppable growth of the Body of Christ. It is easy in our decadent, self loving North American church, to watch the church seemingly shrivel up, ready to die. And my fears are that is a present reality, but let us not be dismayed. Though many may decide through selfish ambition, pride or desire for comfort to abandon their faith, it is a personal decision on each of our parts to follow, to seek to hear His voice, to stand up for His ways, and to encourage one another, as we see the Day approaching.

The Kingdom IS growing. The Messiah said so. “The woman” is still kneading the flour, and that may not be a comfortable condition for the believer (speaking as a flour particle, that is!!!)

But we are to walk by faith, even when sight seems to be screaming at us that all is lost.


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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #4

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #4
Description
 and let Canaan be his servant.
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 9:26-27
He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem; and let Canaan be his servant.
May God enlarge Japheth, and let him dwell in the tents of Shem, and let Canaan be his servant.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Luke 3:36
the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration. Find link below.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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500th Post

Sat down this morning to work on my next “Parable Surprise” post and realized that today’s post is Considering the Bible’s 499th post.

Should I ignore this milestone for the blog? Is it just one more number that comes and goes? Yes, of course it is. But it also represents something that has been coming to my thoughts recently.

Can I remember post 218? What about #62? Or even # 434? Why bring up these posts?

The day will come when I (and you) will be granted a complete and thorough review of not simply a story told or a scripture discussed, but of all our thoughts and actions through our entire life, and what each reveals.

Grace will shine that day, and I will understand like I am understood by Him. I do not deserve the kindness and grace He has showered on my life, and with every trial or blessing, I want to reflect His character in my thinking and actions.

Grace works that way.

He exhibits grace and the overflow of love of necessity has to pour out from the vessel. It is only right.

So, with this post, “Considering the Bible” has crossed a milestone that is somewhat unimportant, other than it reminded me that I have forgotten much. Much of the many ways He has protected, guided and provided for my family and I. Of the wonderful people I have had the privilege to know. And the pleasure of sharing my thoughts with you as you take time out of your day to interact with this blog.

Thank you


Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

Parable Surprises – The Mustard Seed

The Lord used the tiny mustard seed to illustrate two truths during His ministry. One truth was regarding the size of the disciples faith, and the other, the nature of the Kingdom..

11 – Mustard Seed

Matthew 13:31-32

31 He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

See Parable Surprises – Growing Seed

When did the Lord give this parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Why did the Lord give this message?

As the Lord was walking this earth, teaching, healing and challenging those that would hear His message, it became apparent that the message was not being received well, and that the size of the following would expand greater than all could imagine.

There may have been two motives for this, and I am totally imagining this scenario, so judge as you may, but the first motive may have been to encourage the disciples. The movement may not have been growing at the rate they expected. It is good to remember that these men left their livelihood to follow this King, and many times we tend to get anxious about the expected results. This may be a motive for this message.

A secondary reason the Lord supplied this teaching was for the disciples in the future. Remember that often the Lord provides teaching of the future to give confidence after the prophecy has been fulfilled (see Purpose of Prophecy).

Again this was for the benefit of the believing crowd. The masses were not catching the parable teaching (see Parable Surprises – Why?) and until they came to faith, it was so much “pie in the sky”.

May it be that the Lord taught this parable to “show off”, to tell those listening that He was going to have a bigger kingdom than anyone, that “His Father could beat up their father”?

You know – it doesn’t fit in with the meek and lowly Jesus, the One who simply states a truth and let’s the truth do it’s work. Don’t get me wrong when I refer to meekness as weakness. Or lowliness as a shyness in His character. He isn’t shy, or a “wilting flower” – no no no. He enters into environments where the animosity is thicker than pea soup, states the truth and stands His ground. But He doesn’t argue a point, get heated in a verbal “wrestling match”, or enter into “back and forths” with his adversaries. He is confident in His standing before God. He is stating a truth of the Kingdom, not “showing off” He doesn’t need to enter into a vain display of importance. He is Lord.

What was the message for the original audience?

At the risk of sounding like an MLM salesman, Jesus was giving the disciples information of being in on the ground floor of a “tremendous opportunity”. Jesus was (re)introducing the Kingdom to Israel, and this Kingdom would expand beyond the borders of a small middle eastern nation, to envelop the world.

Within 300 years, every king and nation had fallen to the Lord Jesus, with His followers spreading the Kingdom and it’s influence far and wide. Was Jesus hinting at the gentile inclusion into the Kingdom – highly doubtful. Looking back it seems obvious, but the disciples were struggling with the Kingdom’s relationship within Israel at the time!

The Kingdom of God, that was (and is) principally the message of Jesus, started out seemingly insignificant, tiny, and without impact. Sure a dozen or so men and a few women travelled with the Messiah, but these types of groups fell away after the leader was gone. (Consider Acts 5:35 – 38)

What is the message for us today?

We are in the middle or end of the growth cycle of the mustard seed, depending on your eschatology. No matter, the realization of the Kingdom has been accomplished in many ways, and we are to maintain (better yet – expand) the Kingdom. We are to be that “tree” that offers shelter to the birds, that they make their nests in our branches. We are to be a blessing, a sanctuary of protection to those who would seek it.

Birds don’t make nests in trees that are poisonous, full of hazards and insecurities. They avoid trees that are weak and unstable.

Something to consider.



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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #3

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #3
Description
The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 5:24
Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
New Testament Fullfillment
Mark 16:19
So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration. Find link below.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Love Like Jesus – Hoping all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Hoping all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love hopes all things

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus hopes all things

1 Cor 13 - 1679 hopeth

Hope is inextricably linked to expectations

I am a naturally pessimistic fella. I struggle to find the positive in my circumstances, and when I pull back and consider my situation, it is utterly ridiculous the thought life I allow my self to wallow in.

I have a loving wife who would literally do anything for me, five loving children, (although one was taken from us too early). I have 7 beautiful grandchildren. I have a boss that is willing to suffer my inadequacies and give me a chance to succeed in a new career. I live in a wonderful country, a fantastic state, and everything I could want is provided in the city I live in. My neighbors are great, the weather is almost always fantastic (granted August can be a bear!). Need I go on? And yet I fall into a pessimistic thought life too often.

And this is the crunch. What are my expectations for my future? What do I dwell on in my thought life? Do I hope all things, expecting good and right things to prevail? Does the constant wearing down of my expectations, cause me to loose hope? Or are my current expectation unrealistic?

Am I concerned about my possible dwindling mental capacities, my occasional loss of memory, my weakness of body? These are inevitable! It is a process of aging that is ordained by the Lord, and I need to accept it as his way of training me. Since my expectations are not realistic, or worse, not based on the reality provided by the message of the gospel, my expectations are negative, and therefore my hope is diminished.

And this is a proof that I am not residing in the abundant love of God that will produce a “hope all things” environment in my thoughts, heart and life.

Love hopes all things.

Why am I telling you this?

I realize my hopes and fears are a result of living in the wrong world, and I fear there are many believers that are in a similar condition. Dear reader, where is your hope? Is the life you are living focused on the here and now? During this past year, with the trials and struggles we have all faced, the Lord has allowed fear and distractions into our lives. Stately correctly, we have invited these emotions into our lives, listening to the prophets of fear and control.

Let me ask you. Are you under the control of the spirit of the world or of the Spirit of the Lord.

Check out your fruits, for if you are not “fruiting out” the love joy and peace described in Gal 5, along with the other characteristics of the Spirit, you just may be controlled by a different spirit.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Jesus hopes all things. This is not the way I have seen the Lord in much of my past life. I carry with me the image of the vengeful God I was introduced to when I was a itty bitty boy of 7. Check out my testimony for those who may be unfamiliar with the rescue of yours truly.

Don’t get me wrong – We all have to stand before the judgement seat of Christ, and there will be tears. Yet in the memories of all the disappointments and failures of my life, the Word is teaching me that His attitude toward my is of love, that He hopes all things. That
He seeks out the positive of the story, that doesn’t dwell on the negative.

His scars tell me of His love for me, and His constant protection. He is not the pessimist that I am. He is a realist, with a huge dose of grace and love toward those He came to save.

Where is your hope? Is your hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for you, who was buried and who rose again? Is your hope in the One who led the way into eternal life for us mere mortals, us rebels and sinners?

Consider Who our Messiah is. Live under Him.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #2

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #2
Description
He will bruise Satan’s head
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 2:14
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
 1 John 3:8
Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration. Find link below.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us


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Let Me Tell You a Story – Scars

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpg

Chatting with my daughter a few weeks back and she told me of her friend that is a new parent.  The young couple  are dedicated to providing a safe and loving environment for their baby to grow up in.

Maybe too safe? 

You see, my daughter spoke of this little baby having a walking helmet.  Yes, a walking helmet.  Their little one is starting to venture to the vertical method of travelling, but the parents, in all good intentions (I think) are seeking to protect their little one from bumps and scrapes.

Is this wise? Does past experience teach us the wisdom of being overly protective?

When my grandbabies come over, I wrestle with them, throw them over my head, tickle em till they are crying and swing them around to make them fearless, instead of fearful. When they (and I) are dizzy and stumble, even fall down, I distract them from any pain they may experience. (Of course if there is blood squirting, or a bone sticking out, I will call the mama – I’m not that heartless!!!)

If they inadvertently experience a bit of pain, I see it as a necessary experience in life, and that protecting them from all pain is actually detrimental to their successful voyage through life.

It’s funny when I think of my grandbabies, when they come over, that grampa is the neighborhood toy to play with, and they know the treatment they will get, the rough and tumble playtime, the chasing and wrestling, the tossing about, and yet they seek it, look for the “scary”, dangerous(?) and goofy fun

Folks, I am persuaded that scars build character, and that without some scarring in this life, it becomes obvious there is no battle being fought, no cause to seek for, no purpose in the existence granted to us.

This “safety first” consciousness that is so pervasive in our society speaks of a pampered, indulgent society, of comfort and ease at all cost, and the loss of a will to fight for anything.

You might think I am taking a minor item like walking helmets and blowing it up out of all proportion, and you may be right. Each parent has to determine their philosophy of child rearing and mine isn’t perfect, but my adult children are fighters, and they don’t give up after a disappointment. Each of them have had major setbacks in their lives and yet they are fighting to make the best of it, instead of sitting in a pity puddle, crying about how unfair life is.

Scars are evidence of a fight, of a battle fought, of a character being formed, even at very early ages.

As we grow into adults, (and even grampas!), the scarring may take many different forms, but each scar gives evidence of character. Character that is formed from adversity, (not prosperity) from suffering (not comforts) and from struggles (not a life of ease!)

The greatest scarring I can think of are the marks the Lord Jesus carries, even as He is praying for us in our battles. Jesus showed His disciples his hands and side, proving it was He that spoke and not some ephemeral spirit, but a flesh and bone resurrected man.

He fought for us, and for the glory and love of God. His scars give evidence of this.

What scars are you carrying?


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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #1

Bible Scroll

The prophecy of the Lord Jesus for our consideration and edification, written centuries prior to His earthly existence is

Prophecy #1
Description
Seed of a woman (virgin birth)
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Gal 4:4-5
But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,

to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
 Matt 1:18
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

If you are just joining this blog, or are a first time visitor, welcome to Considering the Bible. We would like to offer a document that provides over 350 prophecies of the Messiah found in the Old Testament for your consideration. Find link below.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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Conditional Security – Hebrews 4:13

Conditional Security - if-150x150 - Red with Splash

Hebrews 4:13

13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

While working in a book study a few months back, I found that Paul/Apollos/Barnabas – whoever wrote that book, was dead serious about the condition the Hebrews found themselves in.

Is it Desirable to be “Naked and Opened”?

I had been looking at the words in 4:13 and stumbled across the phrase “naked and opened…”. The word “naked” held no surprise, but “opened” revealed the authors seriousness.

You see, it seems that the word “opened” is the word trachēlizō (Strong’s 5136) (I think the medical term for throat is trachea).

Thayer’s definition is below

1) to seize and twist the neck or throat
1a) of combatants who handle thus their antagonist
2) to bend back the neck of a victim to be slain, to lay bare or expose by bending back
3) to lay bare, uncover, expose
4) laid bare, laid open, made manifest to one

Keep me from being “Opened”

I find it amazing that in the verse previous to this “exposing of the neck”, the author uses a picture of the Word of God as being a SWORD! Consider the 2nd definition under Thayer’s, and the possible implications. Since this book was written just before the Roman’s came to “visit” Jerusalem, the verse seems to hold a completely different meaning to me now.

Of course this understanding only intensifies the original impression of a threat, but now it also brings to mind a visual that is hard to forget.

Oh to be rescued from being a “stiff-necked people!”

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Psalms for Psome – 20

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Occasionally we will be reading through the Psalms and a passage will open up a wee bit for us. This happened last night as we were slowly reading through this psalm of prayer. Lets take a moment to read Psalm 20

Psalm 20

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!
May he remember all your offerings and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices! Selah
May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! May the LORD fulfill all your petitions!
Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.
They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
O LORD, save the king! May he answer us when we call.

David recorded the prayers of the congregation for the King, asking that David’s prayers be answered, and all his petitions be fulfilled. The congregation capped of their initial requests to God with an overarching request to God that all of David’s petitions be granted by the Lord

May the Lord fulfill all your petitions

What jarred us last light was the term “anointed” in verse 6. In David’s time, history tells us that the Lord rescued him in the day of battle. David was triumphal in his battles, not only saving David from defeat, but providing great victory. The anointed King David’s petitions were fulfilled.

Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;

But as we considered this verse, it occurred to me that anointed is the same term as Christ.

As the Savior read the Scriptures, pondering on them, how would he initially relate to verse 6, reading that the LORD saves His anointed. When did He understand that the salvation David experienced would not be the same as the salvation He would experience?

It becomes obvious as we read through the gospels, that the salvation Jesus would experience was the salvation of the resurrected life, that He would have to enter the battlefield of sufferings and death to gain the victory.

He entered a battle field all alone, eventually being abandoned by the Father. All appearances of victory were demolished, and certain defeat was apparent. His suffering appeared to be for naught, the death of an itinerant rabbi that had simply crossed the lines of a jealous leadership.

Place yourself at the foot of the cross. Your hope in the Master completely crushed. Your shock at such a hateful mob, cursing the One who just days earlier was being praised by the crowds. The horror of the sight, of the One whom you had spent three years with, learning from and coming to love, being exposed shamefully for all to gape at. The teasing and the taunting, the fear of association with this movement.

And the disappointment. How could God save Him? He was doomed to an ugly death.

And yet on this side of the cross, we know of the result. He is victorious.

He is Jesus, for His very name means “The Lord is Salvation”.

Trust Him in the darkness, for He is ever faithful. Hang onto the promise, for He will supply a salvation that is greater than you expect.

But know that the darkness is very real.

Trust Him.


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Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Introduction

Bible Scroll

Recently I have considered the faith we have in the Messiah, and how some may call it “blind faith” or that we have “faith in faith”, or that “it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you have faith in something”.

What rot!

Our faith is a faith based in fact. Historical occurrences, where God has not done His work “in a corner” (Acts 26:26).

When I first believed, I received a book that spoke of the prophecies of the Old Testament and the fulfillment of these prophecies in the person of Christ. My faith was repositioning itself from a fear/feeling faith to a friendship/fact faith. (alliteration is somewhat difficult!)

Nevertheless, the prophecies of the Christ (as all of the Word) are provided to us so that we may have encouragement and endurance for the race ahead.

Romans 15:4

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

With this introduction, I would like to offer a document providing over 350 prophecies found in the Old Testament, that the New Testament claims has found fulfillment in the Lord Jesus.

I make no claim to be able to comment on every one of these amazing prophecies in the future, but will occasionally bring one to the readers attention for their edification.

Hopefully you will follow “Considering the Bible” and begin an interaction with us.


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Love Like Jesus – Believing all Things


lovelikejesus_157x157

Lately, I have been exclusively in the Apostle John’s writings, in my personal readings, my blog writing, and my time with my wife.

John reiterates one theme, over and over again in my opinion, and that is that we are to love one another, to love like Jesus, to love.

It is refreshing to be reminded of the core mission of believers.

Love like Jesus.

Believing all Things

Love is the goal of all of Christian life.  Love that is displayed in the life of Jesus.  The life and death of Jesus.  This love is described in 1 Corinthians 13.  Let’s consider

Love believes all things

It has been years since a brother once instructed me to replace the term “love” with “Jesus” to get a better understanding of who He is.  

Jesus believes all things

1 Cor 13 - 4100 believe

Whenever I read this verse, I think – this is so impractical. No one can believe all things. All things are contradictory.

Johnny says the sky is blue and I believe him. Franky says the sky in not blue. I believe him too?

This contradictory belief of all things cannot be what Paul is writing to us about. This is just foolishness Carl.

Okay so smarty-pants, what is Paul talking about?

How bout this – how bout being gullible over everything we are told of? Did you know about this investment opportunity I have? Send me 50 bucks and I will send you the secret.

Okay – that is obviously not what Paul is getting at.

Some folks teach that Paul is teaching the Corinthians that they are to believe all things written in the Scripture. That is a truth that I support. I just don’t see it in this particular passage. There are many passages that teach of that, yet this verse seems to be speaking of something a wee bit different in my opinion

I like what Vine says in his collected writings – This verse “does not mean that it accepts as true all that is stated. Love is never taken in thus. It is, however, ready to impute the best motives even to one whose act is unkind or detrimental. In bearing with evil conduct, it seeks to avoid undue suspicion. Where there is any element of doubt as to the real intention, love decides to regard it as good and honest.”

This love that believe all things is a matter of trusting your brother, believing he has good intents, of thinking your teen age son will do the right thing and telling him so. “Believes all things” when it comes to fallen people is risky, yet love believes in them, in their good intents.

And when they disappoint, or break trust, we are to believe all things. This gets dicey, since a man that lies to me and asks for forgiveness 490 times is to be forgiven. At the 423rd time of requesting forgiveness, it is sheer gullibility on my part that I believe he is still coming to me with sincerity?

Oh Lord – what wisdom we lack. What discernment we need in the exercise of true Christian love.

Jesus replacing Love

So is my brother’s suggestion of replacing the term love with Jesus accurate and helpful?

Is the phrase ” Jesus believes all things” an accurate phrase, a truthful phrase?

How could He believe all things, in the way we considered above? He knows what is in man.

John 2:24-25

But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people

and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

But notice that this passage speaks of knowledge. It is true, He knows what is in man. The evil heart, the greed, the lies, the murder and envy. He knows. And yet He accepts us in our brokenness and failings. He seeks out those who lash out at Him.

Yes – He believes all things. He regards our mixed motivation with a positive response. He accepts us in our brokenness and our self delusions.

Please join me in our next study where we will consider our hope and its relationship to true Biblical love.

I look forward to comments and discussion.  May the Lord give you an understanding heart and a willing spirit to consider the Bible and all it’s wealth.


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Psalms for Psome – 19

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

It seems that every Psalm I come across is too full. Too full to address sufficiently in the arena of the blogosphere.

This particular Psalm is again an experiential psalm, a psalm to reflect Davids reviving’s, joys, desires, warnings and rewards. A Psalm that is to be shared with one another in our experiential relation with the God of the Universe and His Word.

Psalm 19

1 – To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
2 – Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
3 – There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
4 – Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun,
5 – which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
6 – Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.
7 – The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
8 – the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 – the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
10 – More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 – Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12 – Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
13 – Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
14 – Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

His Word. The psalm describes His Word as

  • The Law of the LORD
  • The Testimony of the LORD
  • The Precepts of the LORD
  • The Commandments of the LORD
  • The Fear of the LORD
  • The Rules of the LORD

Four of these descriptors of the Word has its resultant effect on the trusting believer. The last two are statements of fact, referring to the eternality, truthfulness and righteousness of the Word. Of Jesus.

He is the Word

He is the Law, Testimony, Precept, Commandment, Fear and Rule of the LORD, that we are to look to. He is the Eternal, Righteous Truth.

Let’s consider one of these phrases – that is

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul.

But David – don’t we know that the law brings wrath?

Romans 4:15

For the law brings wrath…

David saw behind the rules and into the spirit of the law. The truth of the law is evident, and to those without faith, the law does brings wrath and condemnation.

Yet as a believer, the law of God, fully realized and expressed in the life of the Son of God, is the source and end of all life and blessing for the believer. He truly revives the soul, continually feeds the soul, directs the soul, guides the soul, loves the soul.

Need I go on?

To those who know the Messiah, I am “singing to the choir”. To those who do not know Him, wrath is the only thing the law brings, and it is evident that no-one wants to face judgement.

My friend – You may run from the Law, but it is eternal (and you are not!) Running will simply avoid the inevitable.

Unless – you change your mind about sin & rebellion against the God of the Bible (repent of your sin) and accept that the God of the Bible is the source of all truth, that He is a loving and gracious God who sacrifices Himself for His enemies (Trust/Believe in Him).

Follow His ways, for He is good.

Yes, He revives the soul. Without Him, there is no life. With Him, life, peace and joy.


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Psalms for Psome – 18

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 18 is a wonderful Psalm and David praises the Lord through out the Psalm, speaking of the deliverance afforded him by God.

There are a few verses that are special to me that I would like to bring to your attention.

Psalm 18

2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

In David’s deliverance, he cannot stop in his ascribing different aspects of the Lord’s provision to his life.

Rock, Fortress, Deliverer, God, Rock (again), Shield, Horn of my Salvation, Stronghold.

Each of these descriptors are possessions of the author. God is described as David’s God, David’s rock.

This is not a psalm where the nation is addressed, where the bulk of humanity is spoken of in relation to God. This is a personal, intimate experience we are entering into with David as he writes of his relation to God.

But as you might expect, this is also a view of the more intimate relationship between the Messiah and His Father. David’s relationship, though real and far superior to many during his time, pales in relation to the Messiah’s.

Psalm 18

3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

4 The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me;

5 the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.

Both David and Jesus experienced this salvation from enemies, but as we know the enemies are somewhat different. David was saved from death, whereas Jesus was saved through death. His victory was over death, not from death. Lightyears different, yet the Psalm expresses praise for the God who saves.

Psalm 18

6 In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

Both David and Jesus cried out to God. Both David and Jesus had their prayers heard, yet the greater Son had the faith to enter death to receive His answer. What faith, and trust in the Father, in the midst of such contradiction and confusion.

Psalm 18

30 This God–his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

After the deliverance is granted, and the struggle is complete, the Psalmist concludes, at least at the interim in the Psalm, that His way is perfect. This term is often translated as “without blemish”, or “entire”, “without spot” or “in accord with truth”.

This is a verse I ruminate on often, trusting that in all the struggles we go through, there is purpose and reason and that as we seek to serve Him, He is performing His good work in us. Paul may have been thinking of this verse, or at least the concept, when he penned the following.

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Take refuge in Him.

His way is perfect.


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Conditional Security – 2 John 1:9

Conditional Security - if-150x150 - Red with Splash

This passage, in relation to conditional security is apparent when we realize the apostle is writing to believers, as is obvious in the opening verses, where he rejoices that some (vs 4) are walking according to truth, (implying some of the children are not walking in truth).  He goes on to speak of deceivers going out into the world, a separate group from the church it seems. (vs 7).

His warning to the believers are to watch, to hang on to the truth, do not lose what you have gained, but to win a full reward.

Then John writes vs 9, where he speaks of one who goes ahead of the true teaching, not abiding in the teaching that has both the Father and the Son. 

2 John 1:9

9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

The deceivers were against Christ, speaking of Him as only a man, or only as God, not the God-man.  (I understand two forms of Gnosticism were rising in the church at the time, either restricting the humanity of the Messiah, or the Deity of the Messiah.  

That bit of information was a freeby, since the issue in this post is the responsibility of the believer to maintain the true teaching of the Word, in relation to the Son of God.  

It seems John was giving the church a choice.  You can abandon the teaching of Christ, and not retain God, or you can abide in the truth and have both the Father and the Son.  

I can’t see how John would be addressing two different parties (lost and saved) in the same phrase, unless I was committed to a teaching that didn’t allow this consideration.

Your thoughts?

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