Chatting with a Dispy – 5

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.

I’m sorry, I’m the one who owes you an apology.  I did not see, I was blind, I did not see that you noted that passage DID mention the “trump of God”, but that your position had nuances that I did not detect right away.  More often than not, I get people who claim the text does not contain the words it does contain, and the debate is rather simple, yet they will still refuse to admit error.

I can see this discussion may be very good.  Now I will admit confusion further, as to the nature of how you reason and argue.

Repeatedly, you are saying to me to not “build doctrine on silence”, yet, when the text of 1 Thess is silent on the issue of whether the trumpet is sounding, you build upon that, and use that silence as somehow enough proof to discern a difference of significance.

Well, when do you apply your standard, and is your standard Biblical, because it does not seem to me that you are consistent here in applying it.  In other words, you appear to be grasping at gnats, but swallowing a camel.

Since you make a big issue over the “different” trump reference in 1 Thess 4 vs. 1 Cor 15, but the entire lack of a trumpet in Zech 14 and Rev 19 seems to not bother you at all, as if you are willing to “swallow” the idea that there is a trumpet in passages that do not mention it, and yet, claim that there is enough of a difference in the trumpet in 1 Thess 4, that it’s somehow significant of something?

Brother

I am glad that we can continue with our discussion.  I do hope that in the midst of our discussion you may see more than just comments on the Text, but a desire to edify and build each other up in the faith.

Now I will admit confusion further, as to the nature of how you reason and argue.  Repeatedly, you are saying to me to not “build doctrine on silence”,

Agreed

yet, when the text of 1 Thess is silent on the issue of whether the trumpet is sounding, you build upon that,

My intent is to point out that your comment “Both chapters also teach the resurrection and of the trumpet blast” is not accurate.  The second passage – (1 Thess) does not mention any noise from the trumpet.  Just that the Lord is “coming with… the trump of God”

and use that silence as somehow enough proof to discern a difference of significance.

The significance is minor, but I only sought to draw to your attention a point you may want to edit on your site.

Well, when do you apply your standard,

As to a standard to apply, I assume you are referring to my understanding passages within the Word.  I seek to be as literal as possible unless the context demands I consider a symbolic/poetic/spiritual interpretation.  You see, I was a very good dispensationalist for much of my Christian life.  One of the items I believed was that every prophecy of the first coming of the Lord Jesus in the OT was fulfilled literally in the NT.  I believed that passionately for many years.  I was so convinced that I assumed it was unassailable.  Then I began a study a few years back on how the apostles interpreted the OT showing the messianic fulfillment in Jesus.  This study began my reconsidering of my literalistic interpretive methods.


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 4

jealousy

Let’s consider the jealousy of God one more time, and this time I promise, it will become obvious, if it isn’t already, what emotion is linked to jealousy. 

So, let us move onto to the book of Nahum.  Nahum has one of my favorite Old Testament verses in it. 

(This one, I confess, is not it!)

Nahum 1:2
 
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God;
the LORD is avenging and wrathful;
the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries
and keeps wrath for his enemies.
Anger

Nahum brings the wrath component into the mix.  The wrath and the vengeance – He is making a serious point that the reader cannot afford to ignore.  The people of Ninevah were in for judgement from an avenging God.  Nahum links jealousy and avenging together.  This seems natural in my mind.

Rabbit Trail Coming

Let’s think about this.

Nahum identifies those upon whom wrath will fall.  It is God’s adversaries and God’s enemies.  But Carl, Nahum is pronouncing judgement on the nation of Assyria, that judgement being the impending invasion of the Babylonian army.  The Assyrians are the enemies of God and of Israel.

Of course the Ninevites are the enemy, the adversary.  Why would this lone prophet be sent to this non-Israeli nation, this people group that has no knowledge of God’s holiness, expectations, etc.

jonah-and-the-whale-dan-phyillaierLet’s remember that about 150 years earlier, a prophet by the name of Jonah wandered into the city of Ninevah, preaching repentance.  The greatest non Israeli revival in history occurred due to Jonah’s preaching.  God reached out to the nation of Assyria, in the midst of their idolatry and revealed Himself, with the entire city of Ninevah repenting.  

Now, about 150 years later, Nahum is calling down judgement on the people of Ninevah.  Because He is a jealous God.  The Ninevites were going after other god’s after they had begun worshiping the true God!

You may remember in previous posts that I have sought to define the remnant within the nation of Israel, those who had faith in the living God among the general populace of Israel.  (See Daniel 9:24-27 – 8).  Nahum is warning the general populace of the nation of Assyria, but an interesting (disturbing) truth erupts in my mind, and I’m sure in yours.

 
battle of Ninevah
In the city of Ninevah, there may have been those that were truly God’s, and were going to experience the wrath also.  If the wrath is the invasion of Babylon, (which the nation of Israel would experience soon enough) then the entire nation would come under the judgement of God, both the remnant (if any left in Ninevah – I’m thinking there was) and the adversaries/enemies mentioned in Nahum 1:2.
 
This concept bothered me for many years, sometimes thinking that it wasn’t fair.  (Carl – let’s get over this thing about life being fair!  That is poppycock!)
 
With God’s people being in the midst of judgement on a nation, it just bugged me, that is until I came across another Old Testament verse that gave some relative comfort.
 
Habakkuk 3:2
 
O LORD, I have heard the report of you, and your work, O LORD, do I fear. In the midst of the years revive it; in the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy.

 

 


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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Chatting with a Dispy – 4

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.

I’m open to discussion to the extent that the Bible commands; I’m to try to be able to give a ready answer to all who ask for the reasons for my faith; and yet also, given the limited amount of time in life, I’m also directed to not waste time with people who are unworthy, or who are blind, or people who simply are not yet able to bear truth.

1 Corinthians 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

That being said, to discern what kind of person you are, I have one basic question; why did you write the following:

RE: Disagree

1 Corinthians teaches that “the trumpet shall sound” and 1 Thessalonians that the Lord descends “with…the trump of God.”  Only 1 Cor specifically teaches the sounding of the trumpet.

Can you read the following, and why didn’t you see it, or do you have an explanation, or apology?  Or, how do you react when proven wrong?

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

See, it’s one thing to be ignorant, it’s another to be willfully ignorant.  In the first case, people just don’t know where in the Bible it teaches about the rapture.  In the second case, like yours, you have known for 30 years, and you specifically claim that the Bible does not say what it so clearly does.  What can explain that kind of willful blindness?  I’m very curious.

Sincerely, Brother

Brother – I am a little confused – the text in 1 Thessalonians is merely stating that the Lord is descending with the trump of God.  (He may be blowing it, but 1 Thessalonians doesn’t specifically say that! – As a matter of fact, 1 Corinthians doesn’t say that the Lord will be blowing the trump, just that the trump sounds …”at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound”….)

I am a little confused about who I owe an apology to?  I asked you some questions because a brother informed me that you were open to discussion and debate.  (I find it very profitable to engage with believers in discussion to sharpen my own understanding.)  When I am proven wrong I would like to think I accept it.  (Admittedly, I sometimes become quiet, but eventually realize that truth is more important than my ego or traditions.)  If I have offended you or caused you any conflict, I will not continue this discussion.  If you would like to continue, please do so, understanding that my concern is – “What does the text say!”

In any case, may God bless you and draw you into His love.

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.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

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 3

jealousy
 

Last we discussed the jealousy of God, we considered the first two Hebrew words in the Old Testament that are translated jealousy.  

We understood jealousy to be in the nature of God and in the nature of man, and yet there is a difference.  Jealousy is a characteristic of God that is a part of His image, and as such, when man was created, became a part of man’s being.

Of course sin twisted the entire image of God in man, including jealousy.

As I mentioned above, we looked at the first two Hebrew words translated jealousy in the Old Testament, and with this post, will proceed with one additional Hebrew word. 

This word includes a corollary emotion that needs to be considered in it’s relationship with jealousy.  (Can you guess what that emotion this is?)

Gods Jealousy קַנּוֹא

One additional word is used when referring to God’s jealousy.

The Hebrew word H7072, קַנּוֹא (qannow’), jealous or angry:—jealous, which occurs 2 times in 2 verses

Joshua 24:19

But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins.

I have never really understood what Joshua is trying to say here.  It turns out that Joshua’s statement is true, but it seems so anti-motivating to bring it out to the people of God.  I can’t see it as a prophecy of the future of the nation, because he says “they can’t” so it isn’t associated with destiny or free will, as far as I can tell.

Also, the admonition to serve in verses 14 – 15, which includes Joshua’s commitment to serve, adds tension to the passage.

Joshua 24:14 – 15

“Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Joshua’s first verb in verse 19 is a clue I think.  They are not able.  They have no strength?  Maybe. 
 
Let’s continue with the verse. God is described in two ways.  He is holy.  He is jealous.  They are not able to serve the Lord because He is Holy.  He is a jealous God.
 

I think the issue is the differences of nature in man and God.  With Israel’s decisions of the past 40 yrs in Joshua’s rear view mirror, he is calling them to repentance.  He is telling them they are not able to serve Him in the manner they live.  He is a jealous God and will not accept their current manner of life.

Could it be similar to the Master’s statement in Matthew 6?

Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Joshua 24:19 will continue to give me more questions than answers, but the core truth is the challenge to live according to God’s nature, and not our own.

I intended to get to the corollary emotion associated with jealousy, but didn’t quite.  I promise to address it with the next post.

By the way, have you got a thought on what emotion might be linked with jealousy?

Hope to see you next time as we continue Considering the Bible.

 


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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Chatting with a Dispy – 3

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.

Revelation 19

Of the many methods of interpreting Revelation, you have opted for the “futuristic” method. 

What is going on in Revelation 6:1-2? Could this be a picture of the Christ going out to conquer?

What about Revelation 7:15 – 17? I bring this passage into the discussion only due to the reference to the living waters, which I believe you may associate with the millennial kingdom, after the return of Christ.

What is Revelation 11:15-19 describing? Could this be a picture of the return of Christ? How can you place the return of Christ in chapter 19, when it also seems to be taking place in Revelation 11

What about Revelation 14:14-16? It seems that if I were to take this passage literally, the earth will have been reaped by the end of this passage. This is usually associated with the second coming(?)

Although chapter 19 is commonly thought of as being a picture of the return of Christ (and I think it is, for whatever it is worth), these other passages also have some merit to them.

My point is this – Revelation is a book of the revelation of Christ, and is apocalyptic in nature, which demands that we look at each passage carefully, considering each argument. With so many (valid) interpretive methods for the book of Revelation, it seems unwise to depend on a debatable passage to build a highly detailed doctrine.(ie. the return of Christ after the tribulation. (There is no absolute time line given in Revelation, nor should we expect one, since it is written in a highly symbolic form.)

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.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

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 2

jealousy

 

Let’s continue our study on the jealousy of God, looking at one more Hebrew term translated as jealous in the Old Testament.

God’s Jealousy קַנּוֹא

The following words for jealous are used only of God, and the remainder of the post will consider God’s jealousy

The Hebrew word H7067,קַנּוֹא qannôwʼ, kan-no’; jealous or angry:—jealous, which occurs 6 times in the following 5 verses.

Exodus 20:5

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Jealous for me

Moses, in the first occurrence of this concept of God’s jealousy, directly links jealousy with worship and service.  This is a recurring theme in the verses we will look at.

Jealousy is also rooted in covenant, since the law is being given in this passage, and this passage is the establishment of the Sinaitic covenant, the covenant that establishes Israel as a Theocratic kingdom on earth.

Consider the marriage covenant.  Two people promise themselves to one another.  One breaks the promise by being unfaithful.  Jealousy rears it’s head.  As humans, we tend to immediately seek selfish revenge.  Can we attribute this selfish revenge to God?

The covenant warns those entering into it the severity of the covenant.  Iniquity will be visited up.  There were no secrets, or hidden clauses that Israel could accuse God of.  And yet, the visitation of God upon the nation of Israel was not swift and severe.  It tended to be forgiving, patient and merciful.

Now Carl you have gone to far!  

Consider the verse we are looking at. Note that God will visit the iniquities of the fathers generations later.  The average Israeli could expect judgment upon his life, or 60 to 80 years after the sin, (if I read this right, given that a generation is 20 years).

Exodus 34:14

(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),

A reiteration of the above conditions the nation entered into at Sinai.
 
Deuteronomy 4:24
For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Deut-4-24-200x300
This verse should sound very familiar if you read the New Testament.  The author of Hebrews quotes this passage, warning the people of Israel of the coming judgement on their nation.
 
The nation’s rejection of the Messiah certainly roused the jealousy of God.  They not only serve other gods, and worship other gods, but they wholesale murder the God whom they were to worship and serve.
 
And yet note, that the judgment that fell on the nation that killed the Son of God was held off for about 40 years.  Did I mention one of the differences between our selfish jealousy and God’s jealousy is the merciful forgiveness and patience He exhibits.
 
Please be clear that God’s jealousy is not to be discounted, assuming He is different somehow today than He was under the Old Covenant.
 
The author of Hebrews bring this passage into the Christian experience in order to remind us He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Deuteronomy 5:9

You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,


As the book title means “Second Telling”, this verse repeats Exodus 20:5

Deuteronomy 6:14-15

You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—

for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

God’s jealousy in this verse is directly associated with anger.  We will find this concept of anger /wrath associated with the second Hebrew word translated jealousy also, which we will look at in our next post.
 
But let us consider this verse for the time being.
 
The Lord their God in their midst is a jealous God.  Does this not imply that the Israelite’s were currently chasing other gods?  As many readers may know, this habit of chasing other gods became a consistent sin for the nation.
 
Due to this sin, the Jealousy of God was kindled and many passages in the Old Testament speak of this anger and wrath. (I may look into the difference on the two terms of anger and wrath in a separate post at a later time.)
 
The nation hobbled along for approximately 500 years before the Babylonian exile took the nation away from the land.  Even then, the Lord watched over His people for 70 years, sending them prophets and leaders to give them direction.  Eventually, the people returned to the land, with God again sending prophets and teachers for close to 600 years eventually culminating in the Messiah.
 
We are talking of approximately 1200 years of the Jewish nation, in varying degrees of idolatry, being patiently dealt with by the Father.  Yet the verse says He will destroy you (the nation of Israel) from off the face of the earth.
 
The Jealousy of God is so different from the human counterpart in many ways. 
Is anger a common thread?  Yes.  Is the competition of ones devotion involved in both?  Yes. 
Is both jealousies patient and concerned about the “traitors” life?  Not so much. 
Human jealousy is selfish and impatient, concerned only with my rights and refuses to consider the responsibilities of the relationship.
 
Father Son HugGod is not so.  When a relationship is broken, the Father heart of God seeks restoration. 
 
When the idolatry/adultery is raging, and the anger is building, the heart of restoration continues to beat in the breast of God.
 
Jesus pronounced woes on the nation of Israel throughout the 23rd chapter of Matthew, speaking of the judgement to fall upon that generation.   Jesus left the mount of Olives that last time, speaking of the broken heart of God, and giving a lament of the stubbornness of the nation to the patient kindness and long suffering of God.

Matthew 23:37

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

God is a jealous God, and His patience and longsuffering in the midst of His anger is beyond understanding. 

But it isn’t beyond some limit.

 


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Chatting with a Dispy – 2

mount-olives-split-2

A 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.”

There is no debate that Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 teach on the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power after the tribulation.

Disagree

There is much debate that both Revelation 19 and Zechariah 14 teach on the physical return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power after the Tribulation

Let’s discuss Zechariah 14 first. Zechariah is considered an apocalyptic book, with the last chapters containing visions that are difficult to understand, and is very similar, in some aspects as the book of Revelation. For Zechariah to mention that “His feet shall stand on the mount of Olives” and considering the highly symbolic nature of the vision (see below for considerations on the symbolic nature of the vision), it is difficult for me to take this completely literally.

It is important to compare scripture with scripture, so with that in mind, consider some of the OT prophets who spoke of similar circumstances – ie His feet on mountains….

Amos 4:13 – God “treads on the high places of the earth”

Does God literally walk on the mountains?

Micah 1:3-4 – states “the LORD cometh forth out of his place” and that He will “tread upon the high places of the earth” causing the mountains to be “molten under him” and the valleys “shall be cleft, as wax before the fire…”.(v4)

Will God literally come down out of heaven and walk on the high places causing the mountains to melt?

It seems Zechariah, along with many of the prophets, are describing future times of judgment (for at least the prophets current generation) in pictures that communicate to the Hebrew mind. (Remember that we live in a scientific, analytical age, that might not be as conducive to understanding the prophets as it is to understanding physics or mathematical concepts.)

Symbology of Zechariah

A few question to address if we take Zechariah in a literal manner

Zechariah 14:8 – the “fountain of living waters,” Could this phrase represent a spiritual truth? Zechariah 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 waters cleanse from sin.

Zechariah 14:10 – All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.

I assume that if the Mount of Olives will be literally split, the same interpretive stance would be used to understand verse 10. If so, all of Jerusalem will be lifted up. Comparing scripture with scripture, I see Micah making some similar comments about Jerusalem (house of the Lord) in Micah 4:1

Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.

Taken literally, the house of the Lord will be close to 6 miles above sea level (Mt Everest, at 29,000′ above sea level is 5.5 miles above sea level) How people will flow into this is hard to understand, with winds up to 177 mph, and temps dropping to -76^. (I hope the living water has antifreeze in it!)

I hope you understand that I am being a bit facetious, and I hope it is taken in with a “grain of salt”. (You see, even nowadays, we understand each other using phrases that are particular to our culture – ie a grain of salt.)

I find it to be a great challenge to try to understand the mindset of the OT prophet, and it takes time and patience to fit it all together.

One example is that when a prophet mentions “mountains” in a vision, he can sometimes mean a “kingdom. Check it out – it is a quick study that helped me in a somewhat better understanding of the Old Testament prophets.


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.


Follow Considering the Bible on WordPress.com

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 1

jealousy

I was in my favorite Sunday School this morning, when the teacher challenged us to find out more about the God we serve.  He suggested attributes such as grace, mercy, and jealousy.

Jealousy?

Jealous muchI told him that would be my topic for study for the following week and I would get back to him about my findings.  Hence this series on the Jealousy of God


During class he did warn us that when studying the attributes of God, a natural reaction is seeing the sin in us.  I fully expect this, and was surprised when, as a young believer experienced this for the first time.  I was hanging out with the brother who led me to the Lord, and was discussing how dirty I felt. He asked me what I had been studying and told me to get used to it.

OLD TESTAMENT JEALOUSY

To start with, I wanna know if the jealousy that God is defined by is the same as that which, by association, is evil in us.  

General Jealousy

The English word jealousy is first found in Genesis 26:14.

Green eyed monster

Genesis 26:14

He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines envied him.


The Hebrew word is H7065, קָנָא qânâʼ, kaw-naw’; to envy, be jealous, be envious, be zealous.

This word occurs 42 times in 29 verses. 

I understand this word to define common or general jealousy, since it seems to be dealing with jealousy and envy between men.

Another good example of this jealousy being displayed is between the sons of Israel (God’s people?).

Genesis 37:11 describes Israel’s sons attitude toward Joseph.

Genesis 37:11

And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.


In this world we tread, suspicion, fear and competition enter into our experience and create a sometimes irrational emotion described as jealousy.   Actual (or feared) loss of the love of a friend, sibling or parent will cause jealousy to rear it’s ugly head.  The results of this jealousy is at most times evil.  From spreading slander to fits of rage, to murder and self destruction, jealousy has some wicked fruits.

To be jealous is to see true love slipping away, to fear the attention of your love to be directed to someone else.  The results or outcome of jealousy can vary wildly.  I believe this will become obvious as we venture on.


As you can see from a cursory glance of the verses following, jealousy is closely associated with worship, the act of love from the saint to the Savior. 

This makes sense since jealousy is closely related to the competition for ones love. 

Hope you can visit with me next time we look at this topic of jealousy.  In the mean time, Love God and His Son.  


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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Chatting with a Dispy – 1

mount-olives-split-2

A 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 chat with a “Dispy.”

Brother

A friend directed me to your page and mentioned that you are open to discussion. If you don’t mind, I would like to challenge you on some of your teaching. I hope I do not come off as offensive or argumentative, but I do want to know what the Bible, and only the Bible says.

I have been a believer for many years and have spent much of my Christian life in the dispensational camp. Although many of your points are familiar, I do not want to assume too many things. I have spent the last 3-4 years considering alternate approaches to understanding the Word of God and have slowly pulled away from a literalistic approach for some passages.

What I intend to do is to copy some teaching from your website and comment within the text. (my comments are indented & italicized)

Rapture in: 1 Thessalonians 4, 1 Corinthians 15:

There is no debate that 1 Thessalonians 4, and 1 Corinthians 15 teach on the rapture.

Agree

Both chapters also teach the resurrection and of the trumpet blast.

Disagree
Actually 1 Corinthians teaches that “the trumpet shall sound” and 1 Thessalonians that the Lord descends “with…the trump of God” Only 1 Corinthians specifically teaches the sounding of the trumpet.

Neither chapter mentions anything about having to endure the tribulation before the rapture comes.

1 Corinthians was written in response to heretical teaching about the resurrection, 1 Thessalonians was written due to “their ignorance” (verse 13).

I do hope you are not going to build doctrine out of silence. It is true that neither chapter mentions anything about having to endure the tribulation, but it also doesn’t teach on the indwelling of the saints with the Holy Spirit. The apostle was addressing a specific issue, and his silence on other issues neither proves or disproves anything!


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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Chatting with a Dispy – Introduction

mount-olives-split-2

As many who follow this blog may know, I used to be a single minded, zealous dispensationalist.

My passion for “the truth” was unassailable, and I would keep myself from any teaching that might weaken my biblically pure understanding of “the truth”.

To be anything other than a “dispy” was a sign of theological weakness and compromise with the world.

Looking back at my attitudes and actions, I was an offensive blow hard that built walls around people, and tore down bridges of discussion.

I lived in this condition for decades and only by the grace of God, did I allow myself to consider other biblically based opinions.

Currently I consider myself a post dispensational Christian.

A more important lesson learned was not simply a theological understanding, but the manner of discussion when chatting with fellow believers of a different stance. The Word is clear, and provides a challenge for this writer!

Gracious words

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person

With Gentleness and Respect

1 Peter 3:15

…in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,

After this shift in my eschatological thinking and manner of discussion, a brother in the Lord asked if I would visit with a brother who held to the dispensational doctrines. The discussion was to center around Zechariah 14.

I gladly accepted the invitation.

This and following posts 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 meet together at our next post to begin chattin’ with a “Dispy.”

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 – The Bottomless Pit – Part 6

Question GIF

Welcome back my friends.

I have finally got a chance to get back to my bottomless pit study. I am looking forward to this portion, since I hope it is the passage that holds the most information!

Lets get started!

Rev 20 :1

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain

Questions

  • Is this the same angel as in Rev 9:1?
  • How heavy is this chain?
  • What is the key made of?

I guess I have more questions than answers for this verse, but to think that the chain is a literal physical(?) chain that somehow restricts spiritual beings seems farfetched to me.

Rev 20:2

And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,

As an aside, a brother has also asked about the thousand year teaching and if Satan is bound at the present time. To avoid being distracted from the bottomless pit study, I will post something on that topic after this study.

Rev 20 :3

and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.

chain gif

What happened to the chain?

Did the chain have any part in sealing the dragon in the pit?

Satan was thrown into the bottomless pit. This is the first time any one is described as actually going into the pit – earlier, some locust type creatures escaped the pit.

Regarding the thousand year topic, and the phrase “deceive the nations no more” see my next posts. I want to focus on the pit for now, though there be many topics in this passage that call out to me to my distraction!

We know that the dragon is (or will be) in the bottomless pit. This verse tells us that. Golly, even this verse states that the pit is simply a temporary confinement for the dragon, since he will be loosed at some time. What I can’t seem to find out is if any other creature actually is thrown into the pit.

If the pit has some characteristics of the grave associated with it in John’s mind, it might make some sense when death and hell are thrown into the lake of fire. I think that since the pit is associated with sheol/gehenna, the bottomless pit may actually give up her dead into the lake of fire. It seems to make some sense to me, but I am open to comments.

This study has been interesting in my opinion since it shows the shallowness of my understanding of one topic in this difficult book. As you surely noticed through the posts, I had more questions than answers.

This is acceptable in my mind, since we are dealing with a symbolic book, crafted by the Spirit of God through a man Jesus loved.

The message of the Bible is an eternal message, a message that needs to be studied and wrestled with to make it your own. Time and effort is required to understand the message, and we have less than a century to do it in our lives.

Garfield

It is not a Garfield comic, that can be understood in 3 seconds and as quickly forgotten!

I suppose the only thing I know for sure is that the pit is a place I want to avoid.

He has made that possible!

Thank you Jesus!


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Conditional Security – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8

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1 Thessalonians 3:1-8

1 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone,

2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith,

3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.

4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.

5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you–

7 for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith.

8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.

Oh how he loved them Thessalonians!

Paul proves his love when he speaks of going without, of sacrificing his brother Timothy and to be left alone in Athens due to his concern over the Thessalonians.

But what was Paul’s concern?

Though he had warned the young believers of distress, pain and suffering to enter into their lives, he was concerned that these forewarned trials might still nullify his work in the believers.

You see, Paul’s concern was their faith. For these believers to be “moved” by afflictions is a threat that Paul could not endure. Would the believers maintain faith in the midst of trials?

It seems Paul’s faith in the Thessalonians faith was a bit weak – but fully understandable, since the Thessalonians faith was being tested, and their faith seemingly hadn’t been tested prior to this. Beyond all this, Jesus is the only One we really can trust to be fully faithful!

Wagging Tail

But what else was Paul trying to infer/imply? It is interesting that the term “moved” in the Greek, generally refers to a dog waggin his tail.

Strongs Concordance

Moved – σαίνω saínō, sah’-ee-no; akin to G4579; to wag (as a dog its tail fawningly), i.e. (generally) to shake (figuratively, disturb):—move.

Isn’t that interesting, that Paul uses such a word. Somewhere else in his writings he refers to troubles as being not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.

Paul is referring to trials “moving” the believer. Is he implying the trials have the potential to control the believer? Like a dog controls his tail? Am I making too much of this?

Maybe.

But if trials have the potential to control a believers life, and if the believer being controlled by these trials would nullify the work of the apostle….

But alas, Paul had no reason to fear that his work in the believers would be in vain. They were standing strong in their faith, exhibiting love to each other and desire for the apostle.

Which implies that apostles work being in vain (empty) would be that they did not stand strong in their faith.

Strongs Concordance

Vain, κενός kenós, ken-os’; apparently a primary word; empty (literally or figuratively):—empty, (in) vain.

Hang on Carl – according to some great Bible teachers, if these Christians were not strong in their faith, they would still be Christians. The work of the apostle would still be evident, just a bit dimmed and blunt.

But not nullified Paul!

Come on – they gotta still be Christians!


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Conditional Security – Jude 5

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Jude 1:5

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Can Jude be any less blunt?

Wow – these Israelites, whom Jesus saved out of Israel, were destroyed by Jesus later, due to absence of faith.
Did I read that right?
OK, so Jude may be talking of the people, the family of Israel, the tribes, the entire gaggle of people that were delivered from Egypt. I get that.
But those that Jesus destroyed? No that is not what I think it means!
Jesus destroyed those who did not believe.
Those without individual faith are destroyed by Jesus.
Let that sink in. Can it get any more disturbing to the modern Christian to hear a statement such as this!
OK, lets get back to the point. Could the first deliverance refer to simply being delivered from the tyrants of Israel? I’m thinking the first deliverance was a type, a foreshadowing of a greater deliverance, of a greater salvation, of a greater redemption intended for all who saw the acts of God, heard the words from Moses and internally exercised faith in the God of Israel.
What was the difference between one who was destroyed and one who wasn’t, even though both had been delivered? The duration of their faith separated these two groups of folk – all believed once, some believed continuously.
Only one condition, and that condition is the individuals duration of faith in the Savior, and Jude is preaching this story to believers.
one condition
Seems kinda obvious as to the intent of the author. One condition to avoid destruction in the Christian experience.
And that condition is continuous faith. Dang the people above made the one decision to join the deliverance from Egypt. And were destroyed. By none other that the One who initially delivered them.
Remember Jesus did not say “You must become born again” (referring to a point in time!)
Nope – He didn’t say it that way, and that wasn’t His message.
You must

Be

born again (a state of being!)

Consider!

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Conditional Security – Hebrews 11:13-16

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Hebrews 11:13-16

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.

16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

They desire a better country!

Because of this desire, that is the desire that the Old Testament saints had, that is their witness of being strangers and exiles on the earth.
Therefore…  Therefore 2
Because these saints did not think of their previous land, (because if they did they would have returned), God is not ashamed to be called their God.
What?
Something is missing here.  The Old Testament saints decided to think and speak of a better country, a better place to be, a better homeland.  This decision to think and speak this certain way impacted God’s attitude towards them. 
God’s attitude was determined by these Old Testament saints decision to think correctly.  And the result of God not being ashamed? He has prepared for them a City
Oh, to have right thoughts, to be aligned with His thoughts in the midst of a busy day, full of distractions,  concerns and problems.   Desire a better country, brother and sister! Desire the heavenly one, where the Heavenly One is.  May He not be ashamed to be called our God.

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Conditional Security – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

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1 Corinthians 1:4-9

4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,

5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge–

6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you–

7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would look at verses that seem to support the eternal security teaching and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these passages.

Today’s passage is found in 1 Corinthians 1:8, but I would like to consider the passage from verses 4 through 9.

Is Paul seeking to instruct the believers in Corinth about eternal security? Or is he breaching upon their lack of stability?

Security and Confirmation

Verse 8 clearly states that Jesus Christ shall confirm them unto the end, which must surely mean that once a person becomes a true believer, Jesus Christ is responsible to independently supply the believers security and deliver that person to God at their death. At least that is how I read it in the past and suppose it is the common understanding among those who lean toward the eternal security teaching.

But I do have a few concerns.

I would like to start with Paul’s description of the Corinthians confirmation in verse 6. The passage is telling me that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in the Corinthians. This is the very same word that Paul uses two verses later in verse 8.

So lets consider what is going on in these verses.

Testimony

In verse 7, Paul states the purpose of the confirmation described in verse 6. The testimony of Christ – that is the witness/proof of Christ, was confirmed in the Corinthians via the gifts they received, the knowledge and utterance they experienced. The confirmation had a purpose. The confirmation had two participants, that is, God supplied the gifts, but the Corinthians exercised these gifts of knowledge and utterance. This is important to consider.

In verse 8, Jesus Christ is confirming the believers for the purpose of presenting them as blameless in the day of Christ.

Lets think about this.

Security Synonym?

confirmation 1

Is confirmation a synonym (a word that means the same) for security?

As I read this passage in my earlier belief of eternal security, I would have to say yes! But the question begs to be answered honestly. Please remember that security has synonyms such as safety, defended, protected, sheltered, unharmed and shielded. Confirmation does not relate to these concepts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Additional Questions

confirmation

Is this confirmation something that is performed only in heaven? Or is this confirmation something that is being accomplished within the believer’s life?

Of course, if it is some type of mystical confirmation in heaven that is a completely independent activity of Jesus Christ alone without the participation of the believer, then adherents to the eternal security may have a valid argument with this verse.

But if the believer participates in this confirmation by obeying the direction (however imperfectly ) of the Master, following His teaching and seeking His direction, then somehow verse 8 includes a human component, a willingness and desire to conform to a blameless life, under the power and enabling of the Lord.

The greek word used in both verse six and eight has the the root meaning of “to be firm”.

When used of persons, it signifies someone who is trustworthy, someone who inspires confidence. In verse eight, the verb is in the future tense and active voice. The active voice represents Jesus Christ (the subject) as the doer or performer of the action.

Let me ask this simple question. As Jesus is confirming these believers to be blameless, would it not be obvious to all? Remember that to confirm someone is to produce someone who is firm, trustworthy, and one in whom you can trust and depend on.

Would not this fruit be evident in the believer’s life? A life that is becoming more like Jesus. He is certainly firm, trustworthy and One in whom we can place our confidence!

This is most interesting since many in the eternal security camp may speak of those who have no outward witness of Christ living in them as still being believers that are eternally secure and guaranteed entry into heaven, simply due to some statement of belief in the past.

break covenant

Of course this is a difficult statement to say in these days of sensitivity, where we must not offend any. But I wonder what engenders God’s trust in a believer who breaks covenant without concern and who claims a vital relationship with Him in the midst of obvious sin and rebellion.

Consider.

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