Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 3

hell-awaits-fire-redA while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends.  It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did.  This is the continuation of my brothers concerns over my blog post.  As a reminder, my comments are indented, in red, and interspersed within my brother’s comments.


What is the point of judgment if you are going to be forgiven anyways?

Judgement (krino and its compunds – anakrino, diakrino ) have many shades of meaning, from simply to “discern” all the way to “condemnation.” To judge (krites and its compounds – dikastēs, kritērion) defines the one judging.

You surely will agree that at the believer’s judgement, condemnation is not considered. Also, we who have been forgiven, will be judged.

New Testament (Greek) for “judge”
G350 ἀνακρίνω anakrinō examine, judge, ask question, search, discern
G1252 διακρίνω diakrinō doubt, judge, discern, contend, waver, misc
G1348 δικαστής dikastēs judge
G2919 κρίνω krinō judge, determine, condemn, go to law, call in question, esteem, misc
G2922 κριτήριον kritērion to judge, judgment, judgment seat
G2923 κριτής kritēs judge, Judge

Judgement has concept of separation, or of making a determination between right and wrong.  Katakrino is the term that strictly refers to condemnation, and at that, I am not sure if there is a time element associated with it. By that I mean, the word itself simply means condemn, not necessarily condemn forever. ( I bring this up since the term is used of condemning the Lord Jesus, and we both know that He was not condemned forever – Praise God!) The context may supply that information, but I do not see where the word itself carried a time element.

It is also interesting to note that the work Katakrino is used 19 times in the New Testament. Of those nineteen time, none of them refer to God condemning any one

As a matter of fact, it looks like men do a lot of the condemning (ie the men of Ninevah, the Queen of the South, even ourselves (Rom 2:1, 14:23)). Other occurrences in the New Testament speak of the Messiah receiving condemnation. One time the Messiah spoke on condemning, but that He would not condemn the sinner. He is something else, eh? (John 8:10-11)

The “Katakrino” list may be found at the end of this note (if of interest).

(As I am studying this concept of judgment, I have found a much larger body of data in the New Testament than first reviewed. In the interest of brevity, I will leave the above mini-study as is, know that it is incomplete, and I will return to it.)

That is a minor point but has no explanation if I conceded to believing in “soul sleep” or universal salvation for all.

I am not sure your intent of the previous sentence. The soul sleep question is a nonissue for me.

So When Jesus said it was better for Judas not to have been born, (Matthew 26:24, Mark 14:21) woe doesn’t have any significance if there is no consequences for betraying the Son of the living God.?

I am going to assume the consequence you are referring to above is Eternal Conscious Torment (ECT).

Mat 26:24

The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Mar 14:21

For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

I understand your point, but note that the Messiah said “it would have been better” for Judas to not exist than to be born, not “Judas will burn in hell forever”

“Better” is a comparative term. If I said “I am better than Joe” this doesn’t mean I am equal to the great apostle Paul. Better simply compares to conditions, but it does not supply the extent of the difference between the two things being compared. In other words, Judas destiny was defined as being less than nothing. A negative condition.

So, if the Scriptures teaches ECT, Jesus may have been hinting at Judas destiny. (A negative condition!)

If He meant something else, (like living and dying under the guilt of condemning a just man), that is also possible. (Also a negative condition!)

Both of these destinies (I am sure there are additional destinies that may be possible for Judas) for Judas would surely fit the description Jesus provides of “not existing”

To demand ECT is taught in this passage would be considered eisegesis. The verse does not clearly inform us of Judas destiny, other than being a negative condition.

Or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

One verse in the New Testament speaks of blasphemy against the Spirit

Mat 12:31

Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

There are multiple ways to understand this passage, but if we use the grammatical, historical method, a possible interpretation could be that Jesus was condemning the people he spoke to in the historical setting, that is the pharisees that just claimed the work of the Spirit as sourced out of Satan.

Or the woes of Matthew 23.  Greater condemnation, v.33-how will they escape the condemnation of Hell?

I guess you don’t believe what Jesus said in v.35 either?  No purgatory in Scripture.  No escaping the judgment of God having received the knowledge of the truth ( Hebrews 10:26-31).

If you believe otherwise with all due respect I pity you.


With that said, my discussion with my brother has concluded.

Our final post in this series will consider some after thoughts on this interaction.  I do hope we can get together again.  Thanks for reading and may you have a blessed day.


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OT in NT – Colossians

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of Colossians and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand Paul’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

12-OT in NT – Colossians

 


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Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 2

hell-awaits-fire-red

A while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends. It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did. He sent me the following concerns and my comments are indented, in red, and interspersed within my brother’s comments.


Brother

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my blog, “Did Jesus go to Hell?” I had been looking forward to your comments since Monday.

I would like to clarify a few items if you don’t mind. I may have written something that was not clear and I would like to correct that. With that said, I have taking your comments and inserted some of my thoughts (in red) for your consideration.

With all due respect It is written… you have a copy of scripture. I read some of it to you Saturday. I believe in a plain normal grammatical historical plenary interpretation.

Brother – I would like to discuss your interpretive methods for a moment.

Plain

    • When you mention the plain interpretation of scripture, I assume that you are referring to a literal reading of scripture. In many portions of the Word, I would agree with you. Some passages give me pause though.
      • When Acts 2 speaks of tongues of fire, would you understand it to be literal fire?
      • I am sure you do not consider the Messiah to be a door, or a sheep, or a light.
      • I think the apostles and prophets spoke in a manner that would communicate clearly to to their audience, in their culture, language, social structure and religion. It is our labor to try to decipher their message from that environment, and not to read the Word as if it has been written for 21st century American believers. (That just seems a bit provincial.)

Normal

    • I looked up normal for a definition and found “conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural”
    • I would appreciate a little clarification on what you mean when you say normal. It’s seems other terms in this description describe your “normal” reading of Scripture

Grammatical

    • Definition for grammatical
      • Of or relating to grammar, conforming to the rules of grammar:
        • I assume you are describing your method of Bible interpretation / understanding as being different than my efforts. I tend to analyze a passage through word studies, the flow of the sentence structure and the context of the sentence / verse / paragraph I am studying. I think I am on the same page as you on this.

Historical

    • I believe the historical context of the passage when spoken / written is critical to understanding the message. Let me supply an example.

When Jesus spoke of thine eye being evil, I used to think He was referring to a general evil or wickedness.

Matt 6:23

But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

What does it mean “if thine eye is evil”? Could it refer to a murderous intent, wicked thoughts or evil schemes? I never really understood this verse until I checked the historical background in

Deuteronomy 15:9

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

When I read Matthew 6:23, I assumed I understood the phrase “if thine eye be evil”. But when I studied the historical background of the phrase, and how it relates to the audience Jesus was immediately addressing, the application for my life becomes so much clearer. So I would heartily agree that the historical interpretation of any passage is critical

Plenary

    • If by plenary, you mean that the canon of Scripture is complete (plenary = full), I would also agree.

Much of your Bible reading and study methods are the same as mine. I do not understand your concern.

If we don’t believe the scripture itself when read, how can we expound upon deeper truth?

I think we need to understand the Scripture (as much as possible) in order to believe it. I consider belief / faith is an action word.

Gal 5:6 – For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

and not mental consent, and therefore the day to day decisions I make, exercising my faith/belief has to come from an understanding of the message God has provided.

If Christ went to the grave and that’s it. We are still dead in trespasses and sins.

I do not recall saying that Christ went simply to the grave. If I did, I spoke wrongly. What I was considering in the blog post was whether the Messiah went to hell, ie the place of torment. The few NT passages that seem to speak of the Messiah going to hell are not convincing to me in my study.

What is the point as Paul said in 1 Cor 15? The early church got it right historically as I told you Saturday. I stand with them even though the “Soli Scripta” Scripture alone speaks for itself.

Sola Scriptura is what I am trying to do as I study. I seek to find how the Scripture interprets itself, and in the blog, I made mention of a few Old Testament passages that may supply hints as to what the apostles were pointing to.

An example was the “lowest parts of the earth” phrase that Paul used in Ephesians. The OT supplied three possibilities for understanding what Paul meant when he wrote “the lower parts of the earth”

Regarding the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15) I feel you still consider my thoughts to be of denial of the resurrection. I am not sure where you get that from, but let me assure you that I believe in the bodily resurrection more now than when I first believed.

My brothers comments begin a discussion on judgement that is somewhat lengthy (Come on Carl – it is your response that is lengthy – Just admit it!)

Okay – so the next post will continue our discussion with my brother.

I do hope you can visit with us.


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Chatting with a Dispy – 11

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.  During this discussion, I fear my brother may have lost some focus on the questions at hand.  I will leave this to the reader.

Sin is often a misunderstood concept.  I know it can mean a range of things, from “missing the mark” to “debt”.  Can literal water cleanse that?  Also, many of the “do nots”, resulted in the condition of being “unclean” until washing in literal water, which did fix the uncleanness.

So, literal water was not a spiritual thing, but actual instructions for washing the physical flesh.

When a people decided to obey the Bible literally, say, in the USA about 100 years ago, and actually wash, diseases that had unknown causes began to go away, particularly infant sepsis.

See, doctors would open dead bodies doing autopsies, and then help mothers deliver babies, without washing, and moms and babies were dying at a rate of like 9%, which is high, and they did not know the source was dirty bacteria that could be eliminated simply by hand washing in water.

So, does literal water cleanse sin?  Often, YES!

Furthermore, are our waters impure?  Often, YES!

And this water is specifically stated that it is “for Jerusalem”, it is not “for the world” which it would be if it were some sort of spiritual water, therefore, I see it as literal.

Why would you have a problem with those waters being literal?

Didn’t God cause a literal stream of literal water to come from the rock that Moses struck?

Didn’t one of the prophets instruct a man to wash himself in the Jordan River 7 times to become clean, and even though the Jordan was not the cleanest river, still, it worked?

Sincerely,

Brother


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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Did Jesus Go To Hell? – Concerns of a Brother – 1

hell-awaits-fire-redA while back, we were enjoying a time of Bible study in our home, after enjoying some supper together with our friends.  It was a very relaxed time and I think we were discussing Mark’s gospel.

An innocent question came up and the discussion veered to the topic of hell, specifically, if Jesus went to hell.

It turns out I had wrote a blog post titled “Did Jesus go to Hell?” a few months prior and suggested that instead of chasing this rabbit trail, that anyone interested in that topic may pursue my thoughts in their free time.

One brother did.

I might better not have offered.  It seems this blog offended my brother.

Different Thinking

You know, it made me consider my own reactions to those who think and believe differently than I.

One weakness I have is to pass judgement on brothers that have differences of opinion or faith in secondary and tertiary matters.  Of course the apostle describes the foundation of our faith as

…One body and one Spirit, one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

This is a non-negotiable in determining one that is “of the faith”.  After that, many differences erupt between believers and I used to be very frustrated with those that hadn’t come around to my truth.  Oh dear – did I say my truth – I meant the truth.

Different Worldviews

Ever notice that Jesus chose Matthew (a tax collecting sellout to Rome) and Simon (a zealot, who would die to free Israel from the Romans) to be in His band of followers.  They hated each other.  They were like a capitalist and a communist trying to get along.  But Jesus chose them to be with Him, and the command to love each other must have made them choke the first time they understood it.

But differences are awesome – I have learned much after realizing I lived in a tiny, tiny corner of Christendom, not having met some of the believers that think differently than I.  It has been a blessing (and a great challenge), since I need to come to grips with what I believe and not simply what a man or organization has taught me.

Different Faith

The arena of faith is so vast, and full of expression, so open within the boundaries of the basics.  Jesus Christ, crucified, raised and glorified has supplied to His church a multifaceted faith that can be expressed in seemingly endless ways.

We can (and will) come to different conclusions and we need to give our brothers room for their understanding.  It’s called grace and to give a brother room in his belief’s is a sign of maturity (I hope).

Somewhere the apostle tells us

The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.

We also need to be patient with those who may feel threatened by teaching that is new to them.  The apostle reminds me that

…the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

It hurts greatly when a tertiary teaching such as the topic of “Did Jesus go to Hell” becomes a litmus test for brotherhood in the faith.  I’m afraid in this instance, it did.  I have reached out to my brother numerous time to discuss and come to a peaceful resolution, yet without success.

I lost a brother and a friend over that blog post, and I wonder if I failed my brother in some way.  I don’t see any benefit in removing a blog post that might be remotely offensive from the site, since this does nothing for the readership except to supply them pablum and tasteless milk.

I also didn’t expect this topic to cause offence!  (My goodness, what other posts may cause offence?)  Deleting studies that may not conform to a specific Christian mind set seems unacceptable in my mind.  I revel in the differences I experience with my brothers and sisters.  Oh to have open discussions, where emotion does not control the comment, where there is more light than heat being generated, where the Word is considered and viewpoints are allowed.

With that long introduction, I would like to supply my discussion with my brother for your consideration in my next post.  I open myself up to your comments, suggestions and rebuke (if necessary).

Thanks for reading!


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Faith – Elpis – Hope

Faith 2As mentioned in my earlier post, I was in discussion with my Sunday School teacher and we verred into the topic of faith.  This topic addresses the first Greek word in our table below

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

This post will consider the term Elpis, ἐλπίς

Strong’s Definitions
ἐλπίς elpís, el-pece’; from a primary ἔλπω élpō (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence:—faith, hope.

Romans 5

One of the most hope laden passages in the New Testament is found in Romans 5.  Based upon the believer finding peace with God, hope is born.  Not some nebulous hope that someday things will turn out.  No – Paul gets specific.  This hope refers to the glory of God.

The first time (verse 2) hope is referred to, I believe is the hope that is received upon your initial salvation experience.  That hope which the believer experiences, which the Lord supplies, immediately upon finding peace with God through the Lord Jesus.  That hope is the eager expectation of seeing God glorified in our lives, to bring Him honor and love, and in the midst of that hope, rejoicing in the middle of it!

Now the second time hope is referred to in this passage (verse 4) is the hope that becomes our hope – that is, the hope that each believer acquires through experience.  My hope, like all believers, is in the Lord Jesus and His resurrection from the dead.

HopeBut my hope, unlike any other believer, is a result of the working of the Lord Jesus personally in my life, bringing endurance and character into my life. My experience with the Master is unlike any other believer, and this is the beauty of the body of Christ.  But that is a topic for later.

We must remember that the goal of the Christian life is to become like the One who died for us.  And that requires suffering.  And I don’t like that at all.  But on a personal note, every time my wife and I have went through a period of suffering, the Lord has been faithful, supporting us through it, helping us to hang on, and providing relief when He considers it best. (Usually much later than I would consider it best – But He knows best!)

Let’s read the passage in review

Romans 5:1-5

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

all-i-have-left-is-hope

Can we think about hope just a bit more?  Hope in the English language is sometimes used to refer to as a last resort.  Something like you might say when a person is in the hospital, ” We can only hope now.”

I’m not convinced that is the connotation in the Scripture.  This hope is a confident hope, a hope that is a “first” response, not a last resort. I believe the glory of God is not something that may happen, but that we look forward to since He has already won the victory.  The hope of the glory of God is not somewhat possible.  The glory of God is inevitable.  If you are a believer, rejoice in that.

Romans 8

Romans 8:24

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

Isn’t it obvious that hope carries with it an expectation, a confidence, an anticipation of some pleasurable experience.  No one in thier right mind hopes for a tragedy.  Hope is always associated with positive life experiences.

Note that hope is associated with the future. Nothing in the present, physical existence can be regulated to the concept of hope.  It is upon our faith in the risen Messiah that we can have confident hope that great things will occur.

1 Corinthians 13:13

1 Corinthians 13:13

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

FaithHopeWhat is the difference between faith and hope in this verse?  If I understand it, faith is associated with a person, with the Person of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures.  Hope is built on that faith, but it is associated with future happenings and experiences.

Faith is a present tense thought – Hope is always in the future.  The two concepts are two sides of a single coin.  (Somewhat like faith and repentance)

Faith in the person of Jesus, and the gracious message He brought through His life and death,  gives us an earnest expectation of good and holy things in the future.

2 Corinthians 3:12

2 Corinthians 3:12

Since we have such a hope, we are very bold,

boldnessBoldness is the direct result of hope, of a specific hope that we can find in the resurrection of the Messiah.  Wonder if Paul is going to refer the the resurrection in this passage??

Philippians 1:20

Philippians 1:20

as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.

I spoke earlier of hope having expectation associated with it and Paul is reiterating the same thought here.  Occasionally, I will express the same thought differently to get a point across. Paul is doing the same here.  Or he may be trying to emphasize the thought of expectation.  Yes – since again hope is connected directly with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus in the next verse

Acts 23:6

Acts 23:6

Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”

hope 2Paul – you must stop connecting hope with the resurrection.  It seems to be a habit of yours!
Saint – where is your hope?  A better job?  To become rich?  For things to go my way.   I understand, since I also have these temporal hopes.
As believer’s let us remember our greater hope.  Dwell on the hope we have in His life, for just a few moments.  A hope that is higher, nobler and ultimately secure.  His resurrected life supplies us hope for the future.
Rejoice.
Thanks for visiting.  I look forward to your comments and questions.

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Commandments for Christians – Matthew 5:17

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-LawIn my introduction to this series of blog posts, I drew attention to verses that supported my belief that the ten commandments were no longer applicable to the believer.

Verses like Romans 10:4, that I understood taught the law ended at the cross.

I hope you have noted that during our discussions in this topic, I found that the keeping of the ten commandments is a fruit of living in the Spirit, not a requirement to keep the Spirit.

Massive difference, and one which makes so much sense.  But what about those earlier verses?  I can’t just ignore them, or relegate them to some dustbin of irrelevance.  No no no – that won’t do!

So in this epilogue, I thought I would consider the verses that helped support my erroneous thinking earlier.

So off we go.

Matthew 5:17

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Let’s look at some words – cause as a good friend once told me – Words have meanings!!!

Abolish – καταλύω katalýō, kat-al-oo’-o

to dissolve, disunite

    1. (what has been joined together), to destroy, demolish

    2. metaph. to overthrow i.e. render vain, deprive of success, bring to naught

      1. to subvert, overthrow

        1. of institutions, forms of government, laws, etc., to deprive of force, annul, abrogate, discard

    3. of travellers, to halt on a journey, to put up, lodge (the figurative expression originating in the circumstance that, to put up for the night, the straps and packs of the beasts of burden are unbound and taken off; or, more correctly from the fact that the traveller’s garments, tied up when he is on the journey, are unloosed at it end)

The Lord used καταλύω in the following verse.  This verse the word is translated as “thrown down”

Matthew 24:2

But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

One more time, an accuser used καταλύω when he described the Lord saying  He would “destroy” the temple of God

Matthew 26:61

and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’”

Interesting that καταλύω, at least within Matthews usage, is linked to the law and the temple.  I don’t want to make much of this, other than for a good Jew, which Matthew was appealing to, these were harsh descriptions.
Tearing down the temple (the stones at least), destroying the temple. and in our original verse, abolishing the Law.
But as Jeremiah was sent to tear down, demolish root out etc, so the Master was sent to tear down and to build up.  This is where understanding the next term becomes helpful.

Fulfill

πληρόω plēróō, play-ro’-o

  1. to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full

    1. to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally

      1. I abound, I am liberally supplied

  2. to render full, i.e. to complete

    1. to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim

    2. to consummate: a number

      1. to make complete in every particular, to render perfect

      2. to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)

    3. to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise

      1. of matters of duty: to perform, execute

      2. of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish

      3. to fulfil, i.e. to cause God’s will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God’s promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment

LawProphetsJesusThis is awesome!  If I’m understanding this correctly, Jesus was not here to destroy the law and the prophets, but to bring them to fruition, to the full effect, to bring about the reason the law was granted.

I focused only on the negative portion of the verse, which is so common when I read a passage.

I think that is not so wise.  Let me explain.

When I seek to perform an action, I may describe preliminary tasks that need to be accomplished in order to complete the original task.  The preliminary tasks are not the focus, simply a step to complete the big picture.

When I built my wife her patio, I had to dig into the ground to set piers.  Telling her I’m building her a patio, did not involve telling her all the steps to perform that work.  Digging down, taking material out of the ground, only set the stage for the building up (of the patio!)

In fulfilling the Law and the Prophets, the moral code wasn’t abolished, ie taken away.  It was fulfilled by one Man. To show us the way to walk. 

He supplied the pattern, the steps to walk in, and on top of that, he provided the Spirit of God, the new man to energize, guide and protect as we too seek to walk in the Spirit.


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Questions I’ve been Asked – What Kingdom – Part 3?

kingdom-of-heaven-1 90.jpegkingdom-of-heaven-90.jpegQuite a while back we were enjoying a Bible study in our home, and a good brother came up with a teaching that I had never considered.

In a nut shell, he stated that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven were two different kingdoms.  Initially I considered this to be hair splitting, and not worth chasing, but he was adamant about the difference, stating that the message had to be understood with this difference.

Okay, since I welcome a topic to discuss, and to consider what the Bible is trying to teach me, I resolved to look into it for my brothers sake.  – Spenser – if you are out there, give me a call – it has been too lang since we spoke and I miss you brother.

For the next few posts, I will provide verses where the Master, in teaching of the Kingdom,  sometimes uses God and sometimes uses  Heaven as the modifier (in the same teaching).

Let’s continue with our third (and final) post to see if we can find  any obvious differences.

Teaching of the Kingdom – 7

Matthew 13:33

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.”

Luke 13:20, 21

And again he said, “To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?

It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened.”

Same measurement of flour, same person doing the mixing ( a woman!) and the same reference to leaven.  Wait – what?

Did you see what I just wrote.  Leaven is used in relation to the growth of the kingdom!  No that can’t be!

Time for a Rant (It’s been a while, eh?)

When I was a little bitty baby believer, I was taught that leaven represented sin in a person’s life.  The verses below were used to justify this teaching.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?

LeavenCleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Leaven, is used to represent boasting in verse 6.  In verse 8, the leaven is equated with malice and evil.  One characteristic of leaven is that it permeates any lump of dough (it doesn’t discriminate), and once it is introduced, it permeates the entire lump of dough.

The leaven isn’t related to any moral characteristic except contextually, but the purpose of using the leaven metaphor is to describe its ability to permeate any dough and all the dough.

What leaven has been introduced into your life?  Remember, any lump of dough, no matter how poor or rich, how righteous or vile, when the leaven enters, it will perform the work it was sent to do.

May the leaven be right!

End of rant – But now I have no other discussion to offer for the topic of this post in relation tho the set of verses supplied.

But, let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Teaching of the Kingdom – 8

Matthew 18:3

and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Mark 10:14

Little childBut when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

Luke 18:16

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.

Okay – maybe here there is something.  Regarding the kingdom of heaven, if the conditions aren’t met (that is to become like a child), one cannot enter it.  Not so with the kingdom of God.  The Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like children.

Is this a difference?

Matthew’s verse is describing a restriction to the kingdom.  Mark and Luke describe those to whom the Kingdom belongs.

Matthew speaks of a restriction.

Mark and Luke speak of a permission.

This may be the two sides of the same coin.

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Teaching of the Kingdom – 9

Matthew 22:2

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son,

Luke 13:29

And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God.

Dang – I’m not seeing anything of difference in these verse either.  Golly Spenser, I wish you were here to guide me in seeing the differences, and to help me to see.  I suppose I have lived my Christian life so far without knowing the difference, and if the difference is critical, I ask that the Father in heaven would open my understanding.

But for the time being, I think I will no longer wait and see before we make up our minds – No – I think they are the same kingdom!

Epilogue

The kingdom of Heaven is spoken of 32 times in the New Testament.  Thirty two times Matthew uses this term.  No other author uses this term.

Might Matthew have been using “heaven” instead of “God” to placate the sensitivities of the Jewish audience he was writing to?

That may be, but a quick search let me know that is a short sighted solution.

Matthew uses the term “Kingdom of God” five times in his gospel to the Jews.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 12:28

But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 19:24

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

Matthew 21:31

Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.

Matthew 21:43

Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

It is interesting to note that Matthew may have reserved the term “Kingdom of God” to strengthen his message, and possibly shock his readers.   (That consideration may be good fodder for another blog post.)
Of course all of this is conjecture since I won’t get a chance to discuss these thoughts with the apostle tonight.  But maybe some day I will bring it up when I see him.  Come to think of it, I’m thinking I’m gonna be distracted by the Greater Apostle at that point, and if there is a difference, I will rejoice in it!
Hope you enjoyed our little venture into the difference between these two terms.  Leave a comment to start a discussion.  I look forward to your thoughts.

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OT in NT – Philippians

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of Philippians and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand Paul’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

11-OT in NT – Philippians

 


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Questions I’ve been Asked – What Kingdom – Part 2?

kingdom-of-heaven-1 90.jpegkingdom-of-heaven-90.jpegQuite a while back we were enjoying a Bible study in our home, and a good brother came up with a teaching that I had never considered.

In a nut shell, he stated that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven were two different kingdoms.  Initially I considered this to be hair splitting, and not worth chasing, but he was adamant about the difference, stating that the message had to be understood with this difference.

Okay, since I welcome a topic to discuss, and to consider what the Bible is trying to teach me, I resolved to look into it for my brothers sake.  – Spenser – if you are out there, give me a call – it has been too lang since we spoke and I miss you brother.

For the next few posts, I will provide verses where the Master, in teaching of the Kingdom,  sometimes uses God and sometimes uses  Heaven as the modifier (in the same teaching).

Let’s continue with our second post to see if we can find  any obvious differences.

Teaching of the Kingdom – 4

Matthew 13:11

And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

mk-4-11 small.jpgMark 4:11

And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables,

Luke 8:10

he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’

Golly.  This one ain’t helping either.

I know – maybe there is some overlap in the two kingdoms and that could explain the exact same descriptions used for both kingdoms, even though they may have characteristics that are different in some other aspect.

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Teaching of the Kingdom – 5

Matthew 13:24

sowing-seed small.jpgHe put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field,

Mark 4:26

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.

Difference – One time the farmer is sowing seed, the other time, the farmer is scattering seed.  At least with this set of verses, there is a difference in the message, but alas, it is a difference without distinction.

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Teaching of the Kingdom – 6

Matthew 13:31, 32

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.

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.”

Mark 4:30 – 32

And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it?

mustard-seed small.jpgIt is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth,

yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

Luke 13:18, 19

He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?

It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”

Okay – so this is the parable of the mustard seed.  Not seeing anything jump out a me that will help differentiate between the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God in this instance.

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Hopefully our next post will supply some answers, (or at least produce fewer questions)!
Hope to see you then.
Be blessed.

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Chatting with a Dispy – 10

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.  During this discussion, I fear my brother may have lost some focus on the questions at hand.  I will leave this to the reader.

Brother

Thanks for such a quick response!  I am really enjoying our discussion!  Let us continue.

If you take the landing of Jesus literally, please consider this

Zech 13:1 states “a fountain will be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity”

If we understand the fountain literally, the natural conclusion would be that the fountain waters cleanse from sin.

Would this be acceptable to you, and if not, on what basis do you reject the fountain as being literally able to cleanse from sin, but accept “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives”, as the physical return of Christ

As an aside, notice that it does not say that He lands on the mount, or descends on the mount, or even that he climbs the mount to get to the top.

Thanks again, and have a great day!

Carl


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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Questions I’ve been Asked – What Kingdom – Part 1?

kingdom-of-heaven-1 90.jpeg

kingdom-of-heaven-90.jpeg
Quite a while back we were enjoying a Bible study in our home, and a good brother came up with a teaching that I had never considered.
In a nut shell, he stated that the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven were two different kingdoms. Initially I considered this to be hair splitting, and not worth chasing, but he was adamant about the difference, stating that the message had to be understood with this difference.

Okay, since I welcome a topic to discuss, and to consider what the Bible is trying to teach me, I resolved to look into it for my brothers sake. – Spenser – if you are out there, give me a call – it has been too long since we spoke and I miss you brother.

For the next few posts, I will provide verses where the Master, in teaching of the Kingdom, sometimes uses God and sometimes uses Heaven as the modifier (in the same teaching).

Let’s see if there are any obvious differences.

Teaching of the Kingdom – 1

Matthew 4:12, 17

Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Mark 1:14-15

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Both of these instances, where Jesus declares the nearness of the kingdom, occur directly after John is thrown into prison. Jesus message at that time was that a kingdom was near and that repentance was necessary. Of course, if the kingdom of heaven is different than the kingdom of God, there may need to be some additional repentance for some of these folks who heard the wrong message.

I don’t see anything obviously different in these two passages other than the modifier being used. Might they be the same kingdom?

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Matt 5 3Teaching of the Kingdom – 2

Matthew 5:3

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 6:20

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

The sermon on the plain (Luke’s version) is typically considered having the same basic teaching as the sermon on the mount. Did Jesus teach this message twice? If He did, is there an obvious difference in the message, other than the use of the modifier?

Matthew uses poor in spirit, where Luke simply describes the recipient as being poor. Maybe there is a difference!

Yet the term Luke uses refers to a person who is reduced to beggary, powerless, lowly, destitute of position and honor.

It seems the message is the same. Could the kingdoms be the same?

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Teaching of the Kingdom – 3

Matthew 11:11–12
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Luke 7:28

I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

Dang – the only word revised in this message, describing John the Baptist is the term we are trying find differences in. Every word in the Matthew account is identical to the Luke account except heaven / God.

This passage is not helping with the case for two different kingdoms. But we have more passages so……

Let’s wait and see before we make up our minds

Hope to visit with you next time we are Considering the Bible.

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Faith – Apistos – Unbeliever

Faith 2As mentioned in my earlier post, I was in discussion with my Sunday School teacher and we verred into the topic of faith.  This topic addresses the first Greek word in our table below

Faith

He had told me there are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that are translated “faith” in our English Bible, and I let him know I thought otherwise.

So I came home and did a quick study, using Blue Letter Bible web site.  The following table gives a summary of the New Testament Greek words used when describing our English word “faith”.

Strongs # Greek Transliterated English Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571 ἄπιστος apistos that believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680 ἐλπίς elpis hope, faith
G3640 ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos of little faith
G4102 πίστις pistis faith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103 πιστός pistos faithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066 ὀλιγοπιστία oligopistia littleness of faith

This post will consider Apistos, ἄπιστοςNo Faith

Strong’s Definitions
ἄπιστος ápistos, ap’-is-tos; from G1 (as a negative particle) and G4103; (actively) disbelieving, i.e. without Christian faith (specially, a heathen); (passively) untrustworthy (person), or incredible (thing):—that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever(-ing).

Apistos

This is the root word discussed earlier, with the prefix of “a” attached.  Having this prefix, negates the word, or in other words, creates the opposite of the term.
Consider a man who calls himself a theist – one who believes in God.  Place an “a” in front of this term and you find Richard Dawkins. (an athiest).
Unbeliever/Infidel

1 Timothy 5:8

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

infidelI used to read the KJV religiously, and in that translation, the term “unbeliever” was translated “infidel”.  This always bothered me since it is such a loaded term.
This verse actually convinced me of the need to provide life insurance for my wife, since it was so closely associated with the description of widows in this passage.
Again, this verse will be dealt with in a Conditional Security post I will provide, so I will leave the reader to that.
In conclusion of these past few posts, it seems obvious (at least to me) that the condition of unbelieving is not irreversible.   If you are in a state of unbelief, change your mind. 
Change your will.
Make a decision to follow the Master.  Consider the gospel of the grace of God and don’t throw away the invitation to enter into belief. 

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Commandments for Christians – No Coveting

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-LawAs mentioned in a previous post, I was sent to studying the New Testament by a dear brother years back to understand the believers relationship to the Ten Commandments.

This post will continue with

Commandment #10 – No Coveting

Exodus 20:17

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.

Lets remember the key questions we are looking to resolve as we go through each of the commandments.
  1. QuestionsIs each commandment included in Jesus or the Apostles teaching?
  2. If so, was there anything different about the command as expressed by Jesus or the Apostles?

The NO IDOLS command is included in Jesus and the apostles teaching, but primarily from the positive perspective, from the love angle, not the rule angle.

There is a difference.

Jesus made mention of the last commandment, and in Luke 12 :15, He makes a very startling statement considering the land of plenty and success we live in.

How often have you heard of a friend or colleague “having made it”, of “being successful”, or “living the good life”?

Luke 12:15 – And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

possessionsConsider the phrase “for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”.  There is nothing worse than laying cheap guilt on believers, so I want to be careful to not condemn believers simply because they have a nice car or house.

This is an internal issue.  A covetous man can very likely be a very poor fella, but always wanting someone else’s “possessions”  A covetous man can very likely be a filthy rich man, never sharing or considering others.

The story of JD Rockerfeller always comes to mind when I think of covetousness.  He was on a television talk show decades ago, and the talking head asked him when he will have enough.  He simply stated “Just one more dollar”.

The covetousness in the old Testament was related to wanting other peoples wives, or calves or bowling balls.  Jesus is re-framing this command to include our own possessions.  That hurt!

The issue is focus, where do I find my life?  Am I wrapped up in the things I own?  Troubling question.

Rom 13:9 – For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Paul gives a summary verse, that covers the commandments for the believer.  This is a very appropriate verse to end this portion of the series.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

Hope you will come back to visit, as we look at some of the verses that I leaned on early in my Christian experience, to justify my ignoring the moral code of God.


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Questions I’ve Been Asked – Animals & the Ark – Part 3

Question GIFA while back a brudder asked me about the ark and all the animals that Noah had to “fit” in the ark.

Carl – There is no way in poop that all those animals could fit in the ark – it is foolishness.

In our last post we figgered the room that was available on the ark.

A quick reminder may be best!

Available Floor Space

Using the dimensions supplied by Genesis 6, and converting the cubit to the standard, widely accepted, average, normal, acceptable measurement of 18″ (enough with the qualifiers Carl!), we came up with a floor space. 

With all that said, how much space did Noah have available for all these animals?

450’ (long) x 75’ (wide) x 3 (decks) x 3 (shelves / deck) =303,750 square feet

Required Floor Space

Using a conservative assumption, we choose the average size of an animal that would ride the waves with Noah as the lowly sheep – seemed to be a fair animal to pick on!  This animal could easily reside in a 5′ x 5′ x 5′ “cage, especially if we understand that the animals may have entered into a hibernation for the duration of the trip.  Remember, this is a rescue ship, not a vacation liner, and the efficiencies I am describing are intended to reflect that purpose! 

We also referred to some folks called taxonomers (folks who divide animals up into groups, not the IRS people!) to come up with a conservative estimation for the number of species / animals that would be travelling the high seas with Noah.

If I remember right, that number was 50,000.  Hey – is my sceptic back?  Hope so – that number is just for you!!

50,000 animals will require the following space based on the previous average room required.

50,000 x 5 square feet / average animal = 250,000 square feet

 

Enough Space?

With all these conservative estimates, it is very possible to see the viability of this “box” to carry the required animals.  According to these calculations, Noah had over 50,000 square feet for living quarters for his family and for food storage.  Food for the animals may have been minimal, since I think most, if not all the animals may have entered a type of hibernation during this journey.

Considering the original concern about not enough space for all the animals, spending a few minutes to think of the problem let me see that Noah had quite the pleasure yacht if it wasn’t for the all the animals snoring!  (I am being waggish again!)

How did the animals reach the different parts of the earth?

The animals simply dispersed, finding environments, food supplies and land bridges to accomplish complete dispersion.

Although not the topic of this blog, (and without any solid teaching from the Bible,) it is possible that the concept of continental drift may offer some portion of the explanation of this question.

Why are some species only present in certain areas of the world? 

I like living in Texas.  I am a Canadian, but I have found that I like living in Texas.  It is my certain area of the world I live in

Nuff said?

Anyway, hope to hear your opinion or enter into some discussion with you my friend.  Let me know your thoughts and hope to see you again soon.

Thanks for dropping by.

Hey as I was proofreading, I found a tiny mathematical mistake – Nothing that makes my general argument invalid, but I’m gonna leave the “mistake” in the post for any and all to find – even if you are not my sceptic!

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OT in NT – Ephesians

old_testament_law-450x300.jpg?format=originalHow did Jesus and the apostles interpret the Old Testament?

This post is simply a data dump of information for your struggle.

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of Ephesians and corresponding Old Testament references.

Good luck as you research each of the verses and try to understand Paul’s  justification for using the Old Testament passage the way he did.


 

10-OT in NT – Ephesians

 


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Eternal Security and its Fruit

A fella by the name oEternal Security - 1f George Sodini kept a blog.

I have found a few posts that he published.  These posts are interesting to me since they have a theological leaning.

You see, this man listened to a preacher teaching about eternal security, and the message this man heard allowed him to make some very serious decisions!

December 24th 2008, he states

I should have exit plan done and practiced by then. I know nothing will change, no matter how hard I try or what goals I set.

December 28th 2008, he states

I will shoot for Tuesday, January 6, 2009, at maybe 8:15. I have list of to-do items to make.

December 31st 2008 he states

I hope it doesn’t snow on Tuesday. Just thought of that. The crowd will be thin so I would postpone. —-!

A little later he would write

Be Ye Holy, even as I have been Ye holy! Thus saith the lord thy God!”, as pastor Rick Knapp would proclaim. …. religion is a waste. But this guy teaches (and convinced me) you can commit mass murder then still go to heaven. Ask him.

January 5, 2009

Was at the gym to lift. Very crowded. Tomorrow should be good. …… to be in serious pain so long one thinks it is normal. I cannot wait for tomorrow!

January 6th 2009

It is 6:40pm, about hour and a half to go. God have mercy. I wish life could be better for all and the crazy world can somehow run smoother. I wish I had answers. Bye.

It is 8:45PM I chickened out! —-! I brought the loaded guns, everything. Hell!

May 4, 2009

I was so eager to do this last year.

What is it like to be dead? I always think I am forgetting something, that’s one reason I postponed. Similar to when you leave to get in your car to go somewhere – you hesitate with a thought: “what am I forgetting?”. In this case, I cannot make a return trip!

May 5, 2009:

To pull the exit plan off, it popped into my mind to just use some booze.

August 3, 2009

I took off today, Monday, and tomorrow to practice my routine and make sure it is well polished. I need to work out every detail, there is only one shot.

Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell. Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid. People judge but that does not matter. I was reading the Bible and The Integrity of God beginning yesterday, because soon I will see them.

Also, any of the “Practice Papers” left on my coffee table I used or the notes in my gym bag can be published freely. I will not be embarrassed, because, well, I will be dead.

On August 4th, 2009 George Sodini entered an LA Fitness health club, firing 52 shots into the building, killing 3 women and injuring nine others.  He also took his own life.

This shooting was perpetrated by an imbalanced man, with multiple struggles and personality conflicts.

The referral to seeing God and Jesus, along with the reference to being able to commit mass murder while still being able to go to heaven seems to me to be a warning sign of the eternal security teaching.

Can a sick man take a good teaching and warp it to his own justified benefit?  You bet.

Can this type of teaching also lend itself toWhat does it say allowing for sinful actions to be justified within the believers life?  I think so, and this story seems to indicate this very thing.

Be careful of the teachings you listen to.  Actions are a result of beliefs.  Guard your heart, and follow the truth found in the Scripture, and not from any man.


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Chatting with a Dispy – 9

mount-olives-split-2A brother in the Lord asked if I would discuss dispensationalism and Zechariah 14 with a blogger who owns a bible prophecy website.  I gladly accepted the inviation and will provide to the reader the discussion as it occurred.I have changed the web site owners name to “Brother” for the sake of his privacy, and each of my responses are italicized and indented for clarity sake.

With that introduction,  lets continue our chat with a “Dispy.”  We pick up in continuing my previous response to statements on his web site.  During this discussion, I fear my brother may have lost some focus on the questions at hand.  I will leave this to the reader.

I believe you ask very good questions.  Some of the best I’ve ever heard asked!  To what intent does the prophets say “god treads on the mountains”?  I must reply I know of many possible intentions, and I know that God often teaches mankind through parallels, examples, similitude’s, and first doing things in the natural, and then the spiritual.

For example, when Adam and Eve sinned, God gave them animal skins, not Levi’s.  Thus, there was an “animal sacrifice” from the beginning to teach of death, and consequences of sin, and that a sacrifice can provide a covering for sin.  As we now know, 6000 years later, Jesus’s death for us provides for us white robes that cover our sins.

What is being communicated that God walks on the mounts?  Good question.   I can only guess and make an educated Biblical guess, in fitting with all other scriptures and doctrines.  what is your guess?

I have walked on mountaintops.  Have you?  What did you see and feel?  I see a great view all around; it’s not just “the outdoors”, but it’s an amazing feeling to see so much.  Often  you are exhausted when you get there.  I feel peace.  I feel humbled.  I feel exhilarated.  I feel an appreciation for the creation.  I often feel I can commune with God.

I was a skier.  We take a chairlift to mountaintops.  It’s not the same, but often, just a little bit similar, or only a bit less so.

One thing I have noticed about the outdoors is the sense of freedom, yet also, the sense of lack of security; without the comforts of civilization.  There is freedom, and fear.

There is also no slavery in nature.  Only man engages in debt slavery with one another.  Animals do not do such horrible things to one another.

But what do scriptures say about mountains?  They are often places of worship of God, or of false gods.  The “temple mount” in Jerusalem is a holy spot.  Moses saw the burning bush in the mountains, on holy ground.

Is God “mystical” and so “spiritual” that things can not be understood or  practical?

Our God is practical.  Idolatry is an affront because it is a useless waste of time, dishonors God, and is often used to pool money from misled people and steal from them, as they trust in a false idol rather than reality.

Jesus said about trees that do not bear fruit, to cut them to the ground.

Mountains are not very useful forms of land; the land is often unfit for human use, unfruitful, and in the sierras, the land behind the mountains is desert, since the mountains drain the precipitation out of the clouds as the clouds move up over the mountains, so the mountains also make large parts of the earth less useful.

Perhaps God intends to level the mountains, to make the earth more useful and fruitful?

Perhaps mountains are an affront to God, lifted up places that compete with the Glory of God.

Perhaps mountains represent fallen angels, who will be destroyed.

Perhaps mountains represent kingdoms of man, who will be destroyed.

Perhaps mountains are like temples of worship, like pyramids built in the shape of mountains.

Perhaps God will destroy not only the physical mountains, but all things like mountains, fallen angels, kingdoms, worthless land, worthless idols, etc.

There are video games where you can “terra form”.  Often, tearing down the mountains and filling the valleys lets you build a bigger city with more people.

I have often wondered if there would be any such thing as skiing on a mountain when God comes to restore the earth.  I don’t know.

But in no case can I use any sort of spiritual lesson or teaching to deny what the Bible or the prophets say.

God can, and usually does both, first the physical, then the spiritual.   If Jesus comes back to land on, and destroy a mountain, I believe the best interpretation is to take that literally, and to understand that the literal future fulfillment is the beginning of what will take place around the world, and in the spiritual fulfillment, as God will destroy all kingdoms set against him, as well, which we know he will do.

But in no case, is the spiritual interpretation to be used to deny the physical and literal, when there are no problems with the physical being fulfilled.

Brother


Please visit next time as we continue to discuss issues that arise between my dispensational friend and myself.

Thanks for visiting and as always, I love getting comments from those who read this blog.


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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.

 

A Jealous God – Part 8

jealousy

 

Our final post on jealousy, and I want to thank you for tagging along with me on this series.

Little did I think after taking the challenge of my Sunday School teacher on studying jealousy, that I would find some of the teaching I have – It has been challenging, and rewarding at the same, and I want to thank the Lord for His jealousy for my soul.  His jealousy has sought me out and seeks my good.  His jealousy is not like mine, in that His jealousy is patient, full of mercy and seeks my good along with His honor.

Thank you

So, let us proceed with 1 Peter.

1 Peter 2:1

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander.

I find it interesting that Peter links slander with envy in this verse.

The work of envy will result in malicious gossip and slander of another’s character.  The character of believers and non-believers. 

And yet we are to walk in truth. 

We are to live without deceit, so (follow my logic here…) if someone has a character flaw, is it not proper, nay, even required to inform others of this flaw?

Tsk tsk tsk – you have fallen into the trap I am slowly climbing out of.  Hear Peter calling out to us.

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

If my brother has a character flaw, I can freely go to him and lovingly seek to help him in his weakness, realizing my own weakness and frailty.  I am not to be his judge, passing judgement (real or perceived) upon him in front of others, by spreading slander.  I am to be his brother.

By the way, the Master walked in truth, coupled with grace.  Don’t let truth become your only foundation!

John 1:14, 17

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of graceandtruth.

For the law was given through Moses; graceandtruth came through Jesus Christ.

One more verse that speaks of jealously in the New Testament.  I knew this verse was coming up in my study, and it has arrived.  Let’s consider.

James 4:5

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?

OK – here is the one New Testament verse that links jealousy with God directly. 
 
But I still am not sure of the exact meaning.  I found a commentator that seemed to capture my confusion.
 
David Guzik tries to explain…
 

Is it God jealously yearning for the devotion of our spirit which He put within us, or is it the Spirit within us jealously yearning for the full devotion of our heart

No matter, the jealousy of God is expressed in the New Testament in this verse and calls for each of us to draw closer to Him on a continual basis.

But let me ask you something.  Upon the time you decide to draw near to God, seeking to worship Him in truth and in spirit, competition for your affection from various sources becomes stronger. 

Do you not find that to be true my brother and sister?  This is the battle, and for one, I am finding that my battles are becoming increasingly distractive. 

Constant thoughts of prayer in a few minutes instead on asking for His help at the time.  Too many items to mention at this time, and my intent is not to discourage. I have one challenge for my reader – Right now, before you end reading this post, seek to draw near to God. 

Put away those things that are distractions – this blog being one of your distractions – and draw near to the Living God.


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.

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