Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #14

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #14
Description
The Bridge to heaven
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 28:12
And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!
New Testament Fullfillment
John 1:51
And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Uncategorized

Simple Thoughts – 1 Samuel 8

Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.

Such is the following passage

1 Samuel 8:7, 10-11, 15, 17, 19, 22 ESV – And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. … So Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking for a king from him. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen and to run before his chariots. … He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. … He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. … But the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel. And they said, “No! But there shall be a king over us, … And the LORD said to Samuel, “Obey their voice and make them a king.”

A few posts back, we looked at the cattle the Philistines sent the ark back to Israel with, and the typology those cattle represented to me on an early morning commute.

It wasn’t much later in the morning that chapter 8 came up, and again something inside me kicked up. This passage reminded me of the scene where Pilate was speaking to the crowds, “Behold the Man”. The Jewish crowds, fueled by jealousy and rage, yelled “We have no king but Caesar!”

In Samuels day, Jehovah was the King of Israel, with Judges and Prophets bringing God’s message to the people of God. The kingdom was the first true theocracy, and the people were living directly under the reign of God. No standing army, no bureaucracy, no governmental over reach – golly – no government! How can that be?

God was Israel’s protector and guide, and all could have been wonderful. But the desire to be like the nations was a powerful temptation, and the people of Samuels day succumbed to the desire. Give us a king, they shouted at the King. How history repeats itself.

Jesus came to the people of Israel, full of grace and truth, and the people rejected the true King for a king from another nation. Another nation!!! How utterly sad.

The second concept that erupted in my mind was the recurrence of the topic of the tithe. This human king would require a tithe from the people, and if my memory serves me properly, this is the first time a tithe is mentioned in the Old Testament that doesn’t go directly to the service of God. Now we have two required tithes, or shall I say competing tithes.

So what of it Carl. This tithing, (or more commonly called taxation in our day) is a burden placed on the people of a nation to support a government, a king and all of his desires.

Is there a parallel with the modern church in this story? Me thinks so. Consider.

  • Have we sought professional religious leaders to replace the King?
  • Do we depend on professional religious leaders instead of God?
  • Do we support professional religious leaders in order to shirk responsibility?
  • Do we see other religions with structures that we covet, that we want to duplicate?

My friend, if you have read my blog for a period, you know I struggle with the current structure and process of the modern western church. Am I one that simply see problems, and one that only finds fault. To be honest, that is my nature, but I also know that the Body of Christ is an organism, and not an organization. Can an organism live within an organization? (Does the new wineskin parable ring a bell?)

I have experienced a church life that may not be recognizable to most believers, and that I hope I can experience again. A church life that is simple, somewhat spontaneous, spiritual, and with expressions of freedom that shocked me at times. A freedom exercised to serve others, not to lavish on self. A sacrificial love of opening homes and hearts.

It was special and I miss it so. To return to an organization sometimes seems like a thirsty man drinking dust. But we must be with brethren and find encouragement where we can.

Please consider the Bible when you seek out a church. If you can find a part of the organism in the organization, seek it out and give of yourself to it.

But don’t seek a king other than the One who bought your life with His


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #13

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #13
Description
The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 26:2-5
And the LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; dwell in the land of which I shall tell you.
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father.
I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed,
because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 11:18
of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Bible

10,000 views

Sat down to check comments on this mornings post and received the following notification.

Okay who is the culprit?

Come on – someone took the 10,000th view of the blog. Don’t worry. There is nothing to fear. (hahaha)

I was pleasantly surprised that the blog has been perused that often Thanks eh?!


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.

Uncategorized

Simple Thoughts – 1 Samuel 6

Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.

Such is the following passage

1 Samuel 6:10-15 ESV – ……………. took two milk cows and yoked them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. And they put the ark of the LORD on the cart and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. And the cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went. They turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there. A great stone was there. And they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden figures, and set them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the LORD.

I was simply on my way to work, listening the 1 Samuel, when this passage started yelling at me. Yelling about the crucifixion and the the cattle of the story pictures as the Lord Jesus in the story. Let me try to explain.

Consider the reason for the story. Israel had sinned and been soundly defeated. The glory of Israel had been stolen and resided in a pagan nation. The Philistines ruled over the Israelites. Bad times!!!!

Eventually, the God of Heaven struck the cities of the Philistines with boils/tumors and His presence was repulsive to the Overlords (Titus 1:15 …to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure). They had to rid themselves of the ark of the covenant.

In comes the two milk cows that would carry the glory back to Israel. Did not the Messiah bring the glory of God into the nation of Israel, offering grace and truth?

In the ark was the glory, but it was brought on a cart that carried images of tumors and golden mice, symbols of the disease and death that came with the Ark when it entered Philistia. Did not the Messiah provide a solution to sin without reducing the glory of God? Did He not actually magnifiy the glory of God in the Crucifixion?

The cattle were never yoked before, speaking of the innocence (righteousness) of the Savior.

The cattle had a natural desire to return to their calves, yet this natural reaction was overridden by higher requirements. Did not the Lord of Glory leave all that He loved in order to complete His given work for His Father and brothers?

The cattle came unexpectantly to the people of Israel. Surely the nation of Israel did not expect the Messiah when He arrived, yet their prophecies spoke of Him coming, even within the generation living during the time. (They wanted a different kind of Messiah and refused to accept the Truth, but that is a different study!)

It is interesting that the cattle stopped of their own volition. It doesn’t state that the men of Israel steer, guided, man handled or stopped the cattle. The cattle simply stopped. In essence, speaking of their control of the situation. Was not the Son of Man in control, through all His trials and accusations, the beatings and lies, the tearing of flesh and ridicule, the shame and abandonment. He was (and is) in control.

Finally, when verse 14 was read to me, all I could see is the crucifixion.

The One who labored to deliver the glory of God back to the nation of Israel, was sacrificed upon a great stone. What a picture of the Lord Jesus and His life work.

The men of Bethshemesh sacrificed cattle to God, in obedience to God as a burnt offering. In the days of Jesus, the men of Israel sacrificed the Lord Jesus, thinking they were obeying God in condemning the Rabbi of blasphemy.

How completely good is the Lord and His dealings with His creation. In the midst of the darkest day on earth, His love and compassion, His mercy and kindness, His judgement and wrath were all typified in a story during the time of Samuel.

And me thinks the Old Testament is chock full of pictures of the Messiah in unexpected stories. He is good and He is the center and circumference of the Word!

Praise Him for His boundless love.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #12

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #12
Description
As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 22:18
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – All Things

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

Have you ever went through a week where it seems you are right on the cusp of dropping one of the balls you are juggling, right on the edge of loosing some control, walking the precipice of a bad experience, of experiencing a serious fear?

A bit of a long winded question, but I wanted to give you a feel for the week I went through. I will not bore you with the specifics, but looking back, the week was a great week, with none of the perceived and expected failures falling on me.

I am sure I am not alone, and this is a further reminder that I need to press in on the Savior for the calmness He promises in the midst of my day. This is a lesson I am realizing more each day.

But this story has to do with “the hangover” from a week like I described. You see, I had been carrying this nervousness and not dealing with it correctly, until the week was over and then I simply relaxed. But I didn’t deal with the frustration I had inflicted on myself. And because of this frustration, I was ticked Saturday morning!

I mean, my attitude was completely incorrect, unwarranted and super confusing for my favorite wife to understand. She didn’t deserve the friction and when my son came over to chat, he must have walked away thinking that something is wrong with ol’ dad.

Fast forward a couple hours later, when I am over to my son’s new home, painting the inside prior to his family moving in. We were making good progress and the radio was on, with Creedence Clearwater playing in the background. The song “Lookin Out My Back Door” came on, and the phrase “take a rest on the porch” struck me.

This is a song about the imaginations of a young child, watching a carnival come through town.

Immediately, when the porch phrase came on, I realigned my attitude. It was very unexpected, and seemed to be the very trigger that the Lord used in my weakness, frustration and anger. My perspective changed, and I am thankful to the Lord for His kindness

Let me ask you if you have been ministered to by the Lord by words or thoughts not directly from the Scriptures. This may seem like heresy to some, but I am seeing the pervasiveness of the Spirit working through All Things for His intent and goal in our lives

Let me know what you think. Has the Lord spoke to you through secular messages? Has He used a common message and provided you a heavenly meaning, one that aligns with the Word of God and His nature?

I am convinced He is big enough to take All Things, even an old song about a child and a carnival, and use them for His purpose.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #11

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #11
Description
The Lamb of God promised
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 22:8
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
New Testament Fullfillment
John 1:29
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Owner of a House

Another short parable, but I’m gonna warn you that this one also is a bit of a challenge!

Matthew 13:52

52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

The disciples were the audience. Just previous to this parable the Lord asked His men a pointed question, which brought forth this instruction.

Matthew 13:51
“Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.”

The disciples answer prompted this instruction. The Lord then equated them with the title of “scribe”. This is no small compliment and responsibility. But I am getting ahead of myself.

A few posts back I warned my gentle reader that there would be a test, a question regarding the parables that had been explained to the disciples. This test, if you will accept it, can be for you too. These men were learning of the Master. We are learning of the Master. Consider the question for your own possession.

Have you understood all these things?

When did the Lord give this parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

As noted in earlier posts, this teaching was provided for the disciples “in the house”, after the day of telling parables to crowds. Those that were attentive, that were teachable, they were allowed to hear explanations, get understanding, and with it, receive responsibility.

Why did the Lord give this message?

In short, He gave this parable, not of the kingdom, but of the disciples, (of all disciples?), that are to be considered as scribes trained in the Kingdom of God. He laid a story down (a parable) beside the disciples experience, in describing them as scribes. But – what did that mean for the disciples, to be classified as a scribe?

To be a scribe was to be skilled in the Word of God.

Ezra 7:6

Ezra …. was a scribe skilled in the Law of Moses

Combined with a priestly calling

Nehemiah 8:9

Ezra the priest and scribe.

And a duty to instruct the people, priests and Levites

 Nehemiah 8:13

all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law.

To be a scribe was a high calling, and when the Lord mentioned that every scribe, trained for the Kingdom of God (which training these disciples just received), they are to be like a master of a house. But again I am getting ahead of myself. Lets leave the message for the original audience for the next section, and suffice it to say the Lord gave this parable to inform His men of their (and our) responsibility as scribes for the Kingdom of God.

What was the message for the original audience?

The message for the disciples is the responsibility of one who had been trained (lit. in the Greek “who has become a disciple”) of the Kingdom of God, is like one who is in charge of a house, a manger of a house, that is responsible to provide foods, or resources as required for those residents within the house.

But I think there is a bit more than simple distribution to those in the household in a strictly efficient manner being spoken of here. I’m referring to the Lord’s choice of wording when He speaks of the master who “brings out” of his treasure. The manner of providing of his treasure is my point.

This term in Greek is ekballō (G1544) and can be translated (with a notion of violence), as in being cast out, or to draw out with force, (and without the notion of violence) to lead one forth.

I read one study that described the action being described as “flinging out”. To distribute without reservation, to have treasure that is not to be hoarded, hid heaped in the corner, but cast out from the masters treasures liberally and unreserved.

But what are the disciples to “fling out”? Why did the Lord bring up the concept of “new and old”? What is going on here? Is He hinting of two covenants? Of two messages? Of two types of treasure?

It seems obvious (to me) that the reference to old and new would imply to the disciples that what they are hearing from the Lord’s mouth was qualitatively different than the treasure previous scribes were provided to distribute. The old treasure contained truth, yet the new treasure shines light on the old that none could see before. (I’m thinking 1 Peter 1:12)

Remember that the disciples had some training, as children at least, of the Torah and of Sabbath and of the sacrifices. Every Jewish boy learned learned these truths. This “old” treasure would be the basis for the new, yet the new was so much more than expected. And the challenge for the disciples would be to interpret the old to provide teaching in the new. The old applied in a “new” way.

And on top of this task of interpreting of the old, the Lord Jesus was supplying new revelation that hadn’t been hinted at in the Old Testament. This new revelation was to become a portion of their treasure they could and would “fling out”.

What is the message for us today?

With the apostles gone, and with their writings left behind for our instruction, the responsibility of being a “scribe” is just as applicable to us nowadays.

Of course the disciples/apostles gave us examples of the way to look at the old.

One example would be the Passover.

In the old economy, a little lamb was sacrificed to cover the sins of the people (temporarily). The Apostles saw this Old Testament sacrifice fulfilled in the Person of the Lord Jesus, and His death on the cross. The covering of sin became forgiveness of sin, even redemption, and the temporary status was turned to eternality, the granting of everlasting life through His resurrection.

This is, from our perspective, so obvious, since we have their writings and it is so clearly taught in the New Testament. My challenge to present day disciples, who are called out as scribes even today is to search the Old Testament with the attitude of the disciples and pull out truths that reflect the Lord Jesus, and the revelation of the New Testament given by the Apostles. This ain’t no small potatoes as a task, but the rewards are genuine, most enjoyable and a proper response to the teaching of the Lord in this parable.

By the way, how is your treasure increasing?

Study the OT & NT, find the connections and differences, store your findings and then fling ’em around. It is surely a challenge but once your storehouse of knowledge grows, the flingin becomes second nature, since it is a treasure that you want to share.



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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #10

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #10
Description
Seed of Isaac (Gen 21:12)
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 17:19
God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring after him.
New Testament Fullfillment
Rom 9:7
and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.”

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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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.

New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Fishing Net

Wow – this is a big One. I spent some time yesterday just dwelling on this parable. I hope I can transfer some of the message!

Matthew 13:47-50

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind. 48 When it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into containers but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

The audience Jesus is teaching are the disciples, and not the crowds. See Parable Surprises – Growing Seed. Now we have a group of folk hearing a message that are allowed to “get it”. Did they get it? I think the best way to describe their reception of the truth is that they were introduced to it!

If you consider yourself to be one who “get’s it”, that is great. But remember, there will be a test coming up. (See Matthew 13:51)

When did the Lord give this parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

He left the crowd and entered “the” house. This is no geographical adjustment, other than being within four walls without the crowds being present. See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed, for the geographical location if interested

Why did the Lord give this message?

The Lord is teaching about the Kingdom of God. It is His message.

He is reiterating the coming judgement, the safety of those which are righteous (v 49) and the judgement of those who cause sin, the law breakers and all those that are bad (vs 48). The angels will throw away the bad (fish).

“Bad” is an interesting word, where a number of times the Greek word is translated as corrupt, rotten, putrefied, of poor quality, unfit for use and worthless. “Bad” seems to have a scent of “no value” as opposed to “of evil character”.

(Should I have used the term scent when relating to rotten fish? You get me point!)

Whether this discussion on “bad” is of any consequence in this parable is left for the reader to consider.

No matter – Jesus is speaking of the end of the age and the coming judgement. Two times He brings this subject up, with two parables sandwiched in between, speaking of the value of a treasure in a field or a great pearl. The concept of value seems to be a theme through this passage, don’t ya know?

What was the message for the original audience?

The last two parables (The Treasure and the Pearl) were somewhat similar in theme, that is the purchasing of something valuable. This parable has a twin to it also, in the first parable explained, (Parable Surprises – Tares among the Wheat) which hails back to Matthew 13:24-30.

As a quick refresher, it had to do with an enemy sowing weeds in the wheat field, and the owners method of harvesting the good product.

This parable, as in the Tares parable, speaks of the end of the age, separation of the evil from the righteous, servants/angels doing the harvesting, of burning fire, and and finally, of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

A bunch of parallels, but for the sake of our edification today, I would like to consider some of the differences between the two parables.

But first, I got something gnawing at my thinking.

What is the “end of the age”?

Is the Lord speaking of next month? Next year? Could it be in 2195?

When is this “end of the age”?

Could it be, might it be, a time that the disciples would experience?

This is a very difficult question since I have spent most of my Christian life considering the end of the age as referring to the culmination of the church age. You know, when the rapture hits and we abandon this old world to watch it go up in flames.

The general thought is that we get taken out of the world for our judgement and the world waits a period of time until their judgement comes. But even within this parable, the Lord seems to be directing His disciples to a time when the “bad” will be judged at or before the righteous are rewarded.

Consider

Matthew 13:41-43

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Notice the “then” there. Golly I never noticed it before. The righteous continue on after the “bad” are destroyed.

The next parable implys the same order of judgement

Matthew 13:49-50

So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

It seems the pile of fish have the “bad” removed from the “righteous” and are destroyed. No mention of the circumstances of the righteous in between. It just doesn’t seem to be important – The fish will simply wait for the evil fish to be taken care of.

But I digress on the relative timing of the judgement between the “bad” and the “righteous”. I started down this rabbit path questioning “the end of the age” concept. So lets get back to the original question.

A couple years ago, I ventured into the topic of eternal and everlasting within the Word and coming up with some interesting finds ( See A Study of Eternal / Everlasting) Two of the Greek words studied in that post is aion (G165), and aionios (G166). Aion (G165) is the word we find in this parable, that is translated as “age”.

If Jesus, before the resurrection speaks of “this age” could He be referring to the Jewish Theocratic kingdom, established at Sinai, and existing (at least in part) through His life, and beyond. Could the Roman annihilation of the nation of Israel in AD 70 be the end of the age Jesus refers to in His message to the disciples? It would allow the disciples to not only understand the message somewhat, but also some may experience the end of the age in AD 70. (At least a few of the disciples made it to AD 70!)

This begs the question as to what the next age would describe, and if “this age” is properly defined as the Jewish age, then the church age may be considered the age to come. Does that ruffle your feathers? It sure did mine when I first studied it out and came to this tentative conclusion.

So the message for the disciples in this parable is that the Jewish age is coming to a close. Later the Lord mentions “another age”, and extending for many many days (Any one want to venture how many days?)

Well, if you are still with me after this rabbit trail, thank you. You are a most tenacious reader!

What was the message for the original audience? Judgement is coming and the bad/worthless will be destroyed. The righteous will be saved. Destruction of the current (Jewish) age is sure to come. Don’t be a part of it!

What is the message for us today?

Eschatology is so interesting. At times I have used it to beat people into submission to my way of thinking. So foolish! I have spent bunches of my time trying to figger it out and I make no claim that any eschatological system is the pure message.

I simply want to remember that the Lord Jesus is the saving God, that He is coming back, that there is a judgement coming and that He is the One who took my sin penalty away.

He is so good!

BUT

If you have a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, repent and believe the gospel. Follow the Messiah and listen for His voice. His death was not to be in vain, but your rejection of His life giving grace will leave you without any answer.

Remember, if a man could save his soul any other way than through the suffering, sacrificial death of the Messiah, God the Father is a fool for giving up His beloved Son.

But if you think you can save yourself without the suffering sacrificial death of the Messiah, you are the fool.

One way or the other, someone is a fool. Wanna take bets who may be the fool? Don’t be a worthless fool!



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Devotional

Let Me Tell You a Story – Cry Baby

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

My wife and I did some baby sitting this Sunday and it reminded us of the many times we just didn’t know what to do with a child.

As a reminder to my reader, my wife and I have raised five kids, and have had our challenges, some of which we may have succeeded at, some we failed at. But with all of the child rearing, we can look back and see the grace of God in giving us many blessings as a family.

But back to the intent of the story.

We had a little baby with us for close to 7 hours, and when the little one is not asleep, she cries. Cries cries cries. Until she is picked up, but then, after a brief respite, she goes back to crying crying crying. Wow. So much crying.

Prior to experiencing the joys and trials of parenting, I had the attitude of “Make the kid obey” for every parent out there.

Parent the child.

Make em obey!

But with a child comes a will, and with that will comes a difference of desire. After the birth of our children, I slowly (too slowly) understood the concepts of training the will of a youngster, of directing the youth to better things. Telling a child to obey does not work (for long). Sure, they may conform, but that is not the goal is it?

This little one we cared for, she just cried cried and cried some more. She wanted something and in my heart of hearts, I wanted to just figger a way to make her stop. The incessant crying only to get what she wants. Terms like spoiled, coddled and pampered raced through my head, but I fought against such judgmental thoughts, since I know my broken nature is the source of that reactionary thought.

Still, is there no way for this little one to just quit crying?

Eventually I became numb to the crying, sat still and let my thoughts wander. (Oh nooooooo….)

How often have I known a young (in the faith) believer that cries incessantly over some issue. One who claims the name of Christ and yet is divisive, full of gossip, a backbiter and continually complaining.

With both scenarios, discipline is required. Of course with the little one, this is kind of a moot point, since she has such little capacity to understand any type of discipline. (BTW, when I mention discipline, please do not default to understanding corporeal punishment.)

With the young believer, strong biblical verses need to be applied, speaking of the danger their behavior is leading them towards. Grace needs to be understood properly, and wisdom is needed when discussing an immature believers actions and attitudes. Growing up necessitates direction and discipline.

With a young child, as the child understands the discipline, it needs to be administered consistently and under the constant attitude of love. Before a child is one year old, the concept of “NO” should be firmly understood by the child.

Remember how I mentioned my mind wanders a few paragraphs back. You have just entered the “Simpson” Zone, where strange and weird thoughts connect with one another to try to communicate a general life truth. A general life truth of relating to others in their situation.

This bit of a story all started with a little one crying crying crying. And my reactionary thoughts. Golly, if I had just a bit more patience, I would have understood that this little one is only 6 months old, and she is cutting her first teeth.

Can you blame her for crying? Not at all. No discipline required, of course (as if it would have been of benefit!!!) Just an adult that needed to understand the facts.

By the way, when you come into contact with a young believer, understand his or her situation prior to throwing those danger verses out there.

Wisdom my friends. It runs on knowledge and understanding.


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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #9

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #9
Description
The Last Supper foreshadowed
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 14:18
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)
New Testament Fullfillment
Matt 26:26-29
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.”

And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you,

for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

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.

351 Old Testament Prophecies Fulfilled in Jesus Christ

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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Jesus · Love

Love Like Jesus – He Never Fails


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.

He never Fails

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 never ends.

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 never ends.

1 Cor 13 - 1601 fail

The summary statement of all statements. Paul comes up with one statement that caps off his most amazing teaching on the description of love.

Love never ends.

The ESV translated this as “Love never fails”.

Is this “never failing” due to the nature of the love, or the effort of the one exercising true love. If it is of effort, we may be concerned. Let’s consider.

During our study, we have looked at all the description of the term love, but have yet to consider the term “love” itself. As you may expect, when Paul used the term “love” throughout this passage, he used the Greek term agapao.

If there is one Greek word Christians know, this may the be one that is most familiar. There actually are 5 terms the Greeks used to define different types of love. Not all of them may be found in the New Testament, yet it is good to consider each for comparison.

Epithumia — Legitimate physical desire
(disordered form: lust)

This term is not found in the New Testament.

Erōs — Romantic love or sexual love
(disordered form: leads to illicit relationships, treating others as gods and sole sources of our personal needs)

This term is not found in the New Testament but the concept of sexual intimacy and physical love surely is. (1 Corinthians 7:5, 8, 9 and Hebrews 13:4)

Storgē — Affection or belonging, as shared by family members
(disordered form: disdain or ungratefulness; taking for granted)

This Greek term is found, with prefixes and suffixes only, within the New Testament 3 times, but alas only once is there a positive command to hear. The other two instances speak of the darkness of our hearts.

Romans 1:31 ESV – 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.

2 Timothy 3:3 ESV – 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,

Paul writes of believers to love (philostorgos) one another. Notice the double word found in this instance of the storge root word. We will consider philo in our next Greek term. The NASB brings out the flavor of this compound word by translating as “be devoted”.

Romans 12:10 ESV – 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Philia — Friendship and companionship, a love of openness that is occupied with common interests and activities
(disordered form: manipulative relationships, one-upmanship, cliques)

This Greek term is abundant in the New Testament as a portion of a compound word, describing everything from love of money (philargyria) to lover of God (philotheos). As you can see, the moral temperature of this term is influenced by it’s associations!

Agapē — A willful choice to put another’s interests above one’s own; an unselfish, giving (even to the point of sacrifice), and unconditional love
(with God as its source, it is never disordered; elevates and correctly orders the other four loves, making them human-divine loves that fulfill God’s original intentions)

Not so with agape love. I read a book decades ago that defined agape in a way that has not left me. The definition above captures much of the message, yet this book spoke of the love being solely from within the giver, not dependent on the recipient. The willful choice from within the Giver, based on the character of the Giver, in my mind describes the God we worship.

This is the love that is to be produced in our lives. Do we love based on what we get out of it? Not agape folks! Do we love to be seen by others as good Christians. Again, no agape folks.

With this definition of Christian love, is this “never failing” due to the nature of the love, or the effort of the one exercising true love. My friends, the nature of the love of God is from His character, His nature is of love.

The nature of God is defined within the words of the New Testament with the following descriptions

John 3:33 …God is true.
John 4:24 God is spirit…
Romans 3:30, Galatians 3:20, James 2:19 God is one….
1 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Corinthians 1:18 …God is faithful
1 Corinthians 1:25 … God is wiser
1 Corinthians 10:13 …God is faithful
1 Corinthians 14:33 …For God is ..a God .. of peace.
Hebrews 12:29 …God is a consuming fire.
1 John 1:5 …God is light.
1 John 4:16 …God is love.

With this final description in 1 John 4:16 of the nature and character of God, we find that the love that never fails is not based on the continued effort of the Giver but on the eternal character of the Giver. He is the eternal One, and His nature is love.

Paul concludes his treatise on the eternality of love, and by application for us, teaches us that true biblical love will not fail. This love offered based on the character of the Giver.

God is love.

But the question continues – do we accept and experience this love? The offer of this love is of a free gift of eternal life in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believing the gospel, with resultant admission of our sin and bending our knee to His will, gives us entry into the eternal life offered through His Son.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus never fails

This is the character of the Eternal One. Give Him the praise and worship desrving of One so gracious.

In conclusion, this passage on the character of love has alerted me to two overarching themes

  • Love is “other’s” based
    • This is so obvious, yet each of the terms we have discussed in the previous posts relates to our relationships with others. To be sure, there are benefits to our lives, but they are not the focus of the discussion. The focus is that of sacrificing our desires for the sake of others, for unity in the body, for the sake of those we don’t naturally like. Need I go on?
  • Love is not time dependent
    • This last post, which of course is freshest in my mind, is the capstone of all other descriptions of love. Love never fails. If you are in a relationship, and it is failing, check your “love meter”. How are you exercising each of the previously defined characteristics of love given to us in the Word?
    • Understand it takes “two to tango” so I am not intending to lay unattainable goals for our lives that are out of our control, yet many relationships may fail due to our lack of love.

Consider who the Lord Jesus is, and His exhibition of true love throughout His life. Such a lofty, seemingly impossible goal is laid before us. Yet the goal is in front of us, and the Spirit of God is available. Past failings and losses should not keep us from a fresh decision to understand His life, and follow after Him.

We began with my speaking of being in the writings of the Apostle John, and I would like to close with a story I heard of the Apostle Johns finals days. Whether this is a true story or simply a personification of the apostles core message, I will leave with the reader.

During the service, the elders carried a frail old man to the middle of the assembly, usually reserved for those who would teach of the Scriptures. Many famous and powerful men had spoken to this group, including Paul, Barnabus, Silas and Timothy. You see it was the assembly at Ephesus, and as the elders carried the man to the teaching area, the saints recognized him as the apostle. So old and frail, with his every effort being full of labor. The scars of old life were evident on this saint, yet the believers recognized him, for he was the one loved of the Messiah, the apostle John. As he opened his mouth, many expected a theological teaching experience that would find no parallels. His teaching began and concluded with the simple statement.

“Love one another”

That is it. The entire message. He simply let the message make its way into the saint’s hearts.

My brothers, no other message is more important in these days than to love one another.

Thank you so much for coming to visit. As we come to a close on this series, I would like to let you know that I have enjoyed this topic immensely. Many of the individual posts have personally challenged me, revealing failings and loss in my own life. Nevertheless, His Word is encouraging. In seeing my failings, I also see a goal to aim for a bit clearer. We all need to understand the goal if we are to stretch forth to it!

I do hope you have found a challenge and encouragement within these words.


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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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #8

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #8
Description
King of Peace and Righteousness
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 14:18
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 7:2
and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.

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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New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Valuable Pearl

In our last parable, I suggested that a short parable is an easy parable. That may have been a bit foolish, since quantity does not necessarily imply quality.

These two tiny parables (Hidden Treasure and Valuable Pearl), although seemingly similar, have important distinctions that are instructive.

Lets take a second to read our parable today.

Matthew 13:45-46

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

No longer is Jesus teaching the masses, the crowds. Starting with our previous parable, the audience shifts to the disciples only. See Matthew 13:36. Now we have a group of folk that are allowed to “get it”. If you consider yourself to be one who “get’s it”, note that there will be a test coming up. (See Matthew 13:51)

When did the Lord give this parable?

Matthew gives me the impression that this day was a very busy day of teaching for the Lord. See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

The Lord entered “the” house. It is assumed He stayed in the local area and entered a house of a disciple. See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed, for the geographical location if interested

Why did the Lord give this message?

At first blush, this parable and the previous one seems to be identical. But for the estimation of the value of the treasure/great pearl, there are a few items that make this parable a bit different.

With this parable, the “man” is a merchant. A bit more specific. The subject is skilled in the estimation of value and has made a living out of successfully trading items and producing profit.

With this parable, the merchant is searching for treasure. The man in the earlier parable appears to find the treasure without intent, simply “tripping” over the treasure, but he makes every effort to secure the treasure legally. The merchant finds the pearl of great value in the possession of another, and, like the man in the previous parable, sells all that he has in order to secure the treasure.

In the previous parable, the kingdom of heaven was likened to the treasure. In this parable, the kingdom of heaven is likened to the merchant.

This is the big one, the major difference that adds a layer of truth that needs to be considered.

What was the message for the original audience?

The kingdom of heaven is on the hunt. During the days of the Lord’s pilgrimage on enemy turf, He taught us that the kingdom of heaven was in search of fine pearls. For millennium, the kingdom of heaven has been on the search for pearls.

Although nothing in the New or Old Testament gives a direct connection with the Old Testament saints, I would like to suggest that the fine pearls may represent Old Testament saints like Abraham, Isaiah, and Daniel. Men and women that sought to honor God’s name and His loving mercy in their lives. Men and women within the remnant of Israel, hanging on to His promises and living for His glory and honor.

Until One Man came along that completely overshadowed every previous pearl. When this Man came on the scene, the Kingdom of God quit hunting, and realized that all effort could be ceased, for all the potential and realization of the Kingdom could and would be centered on this Man.

He is the Pearl of Great Price. And all that encompasses the kingdom of heaven is found in Him, and not another.

What is the message for us today?

The kingdom of heaven sold all that “it” had in order to pin “its’ hopes on the One who was the Pearl of Great Price. He is the only worthy One and has shown His great worth in the expression of His self sacrificial love not only for those who sought Him but also for those who fought Him, who spit on Him and eventually betrayed Him and crucified Him.

Where are we on the spectrum of self sacrificial love to those we rub shoulders with. Self analysis may be healthy, but staring at the Pearl of Great Price, considering His character and life, His heart is what will transform us.

2 Corinthians 3:18

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Take time to stare.



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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

Old Testament Messianic Prophecies – Prophecy #7

Bible Scroll

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

Prophecy #7
Description
A priest after the order of Melchizedek
Old Testament Prophecy
 Genesis 14:18
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)
New Testament Fullfillment
Heb 6:20
where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

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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New Testament · Parables · Simple Truths

Parable Surprises – Hidden Treasure

A hidden treasure in a field. A parable describing relative worth in a Man’s life, and the natural reaction of the Man who estimates the worth of a treasure greater than all else.

Matthew 13:44

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Up until this parable, the audience Jesus was teaching were the masses, the crowds. See Parable Surprises – Growing Seed.

Starting with this parable, the audience shifts to the disciples only. See Matthew 13:36. Now we have a group of folk that are allowed to “get it”. If you consider yourself to be one who “get’s it”, note that there will be a test coming up. (See Matthew 13:51)

When did the Lord give this parable?

See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

He left the crowd and entered “the” house. This is no geographical adjustment, other than being within four walls without the crowds being present. See Parable Surprises – The Sower of the Seed, for the geographical location if interested

Why did the Lord give this message?

This is always the hardest question for me to try to answer, since it speaks of motive, why a message was given.

I’m thinking Jesus gave this parable to only His followers to communicate their worth. They had left all, had followed the Messiah for months now, and were actively, positively and with intent seeking to understand.

Yes they missed the message much of the time, but they came and asked, showed interest, sought to figger it out.

Have you ever tried to teach an empty chair? No life, no emotion, no passion. Speaking the truth in a prosperous society is discouraging, since so many distractions and deceptions are available. When hard times come, ears open up, at least for a time, and hopefully some accept the truth. It is exciting when there is an interest in the things of God!

Although this may not be perfectly parallel with the Lord’s experience, to have some eagerly follow Him when He knew most rejected not only His message but His own Person, this must have been a tremendous encouragement to Him. They were His treasure, with all the bumps and cuts and bruises they exhibited. They were His.

What was the message for the original audience?

They, the disciples are the treasure. The disciples were a treasure to the Master. He has found them in the world, and will “sell” everything He has in order to purchase the field from it’s usurping prince.

He will purchase the entire field in order to own the few disciples that were following Him.

What is the message for us today?

Of course, this great love that He expressed for His disciples may apply to us today. Are you actively, positively and with intent seeking to understand?

Remember Carl – this Christian thing is a relationship! Show a bit of interest! He definitely has proven His interest!



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Calvinism · Doctrinal · Interpretation

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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Bible · Faith · Jesus the Messiah · Old Testament in New Testament · Prophecy

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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