Calvin’s Concerns – Is Faith a Gift?

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


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Psalms for Psome – Psalm 1

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

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

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

Psams 1:3


He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

Often in our Christian lives, we stumble through life with little fruit. At least in the day to day fruit bearing of patience, faithfulness and love, the base level of the Christian life is exercised. It is the “normal” Christian life.

Yet this passage speaks of the believers life as having seasons of fruit bearing. The leaf never withers, but the fruit comes in it’s season.

The Psalm speaks of the leaf/life as always vibrant, not withering. The joy peace and self control are evidence of life, and yet the tree yields it’s fruit in its season.

This is encouraging, very encouraging in that our day to day fellowship with Him will be punctuated with seasons of fruit bearing.

The opposite is true though, and we need to continue to be near the streams of living water when the fruit isn’t in it’s season. Sometimes, as the dust that we are, this can be discouraging.

Are you in a “dry” spell with the Lord? Is there a quietness from Him, or maybe you are not experiencing a fruitfulness that you long for?

Get back to the water, the living water and be patient. Let Him who controls the seasons, produce the fruit and the timing of the fruit.


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Calvin’s Concerns – Man-Centered Doctrine?

In a previous post, I have sought to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

Comments in a few of the previous posts made claim that Dr. Flowers was a heretic and was espousing a man centered teaching.

Of course, some (if not most) of the comments were reactionary, condescending and derogatory, with a bit of judgement and condemnation thrown in for good measure. And some were gracious, seasoned with a bit of salt, which is a preferred method according to Paul.

Colossians 4:6

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Find the following clip, which has Dr. Flowers agree that he is espousing a man-centered doctrine

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


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Proverbial Thoughts on Speech 1

Proverbs 4 23

Thoughts on the topic of speech from the book of wisdom

It is appropriate that, on a post dealing with the wisdom pertaining to speech, that I have two posts, seemingly misunderstanding the admonitions provided in this first post.  Nevertheless, this is one of the topics that the book of Proverbs speaks much on (pun intended!) and that although this post will deal with the wisdom of quietness, there is so much more guidance from Solomon and his co-authors that I couldn’t resist a multiple post.  So to reduce the introduction to this topic on longwindedness, let us start

Speech

Proverbs 10:19

In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

This is my favorite all time Proverb when dealing with speech.  Whether it is my first memory verse in proverbs, the pithy KJV flow of the verse, or the simple message that appeals to me is hard to decide. No matter – I like / hate this verse!

There doesn’t seem to be any qualifier to the quality of the words; it is simply a statement that covers every situation I find myself in .  Too many words are an invitation to sin.  

It is interesting that the term “multitude” in the Hebrew can be translated as greatness, and this may reflect a proud mouth, a mouth that spews boasting.  This is not definite of course, and no other translation uses this connotation, so I am stretching the meaning a bit much.  

But let me ask you a question.  

When was the last time you met a man (or woman) that spoke many words, and that didn’t, in those words, speak words of greatness, great and swelling words of pride? 

Might there be a link?  

Proverbs 13:3

He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

Proverbs 13:3 speaks on the same problem, but defines the end game.  So often in the Word, the long game is defined, the end result, that without careful consideration on life would be missed.  By this I mean, how often have you had verbal diarrhea and not once considered the result of your spouting?  

This verse speaks of two results. 

A man with restraint maintains his life.  A man with out restraint shall have destruction.  Notice that the proverb does not say he shall receive destruction.  Some of the translations I reviewed speak of destruction occurring, as in above, and some speak of the destruction coming to the one speaking.  No matter.  This is a splitting of hairs in my opinion, for what believer wants to be a vehicle for destruction?  Destruction of family, friends, possessions, possibilities…

Even the destruction of enemies.  What?  Remember that destruction, for the believer is off limits.

Matthew 5:44

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you

Out last proverb for this post is.

Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Solomon is speaking the same thing twice here. He is speaking of a fella that for some reason is quiest, and the perception is that he is a man of wisdom and understanding. Of course, this is an “accidental” result, since Solomon doesn’t state that he IS wise, simply that he is thought of as wise.

I will take it! My wisdom quota is sub par, and if I can gain the appearance of wisdom, simply be “shutting my mouth”, so be it.

But Carl, should not we be concerned about reality as opposed to simply the appearance. Totally agreed. It is so far better to own wisdom, than to appear to have it and fail in the pinch. (Nothing worse than clouds with no rain!)

Proverbs 17:27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.  

Having knowledge and appearing wise are two different things. In this culture of appearance, it might be good to remind each other that substance is preferred!

I will close with 4 verses from the New Testament Proverbs, otherwise known as the Book of James for your consideration

Jas 1:26

If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless.

James 3:5

Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

James 3:6

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

James 3:8

But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.


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Parable Surprises – The New Wine

In our last post, we looked at the parable of The New Cloth, and noted that it was spoken within an inhale of this parable. Many parallels run through the two parables, like when and where it was spoke, to whom it was spoken and such.

This post will attempt to show some possible distinctions that may be of interest.

Let’s take a look at

The Parable of The New Wine

Matthew 9:17

17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”

As mentioned in our introduction, we have a number of questions that will provide guidance in understanding each of these parables. Let’s review and delve into this parable

Questions to Consider

Who were the audience?

Matthews dinner guests, and those asking the question – John’s disciples, along with possibly some Pharisees. (See previous post for a few details)

When did the Lord give this parable?

During or after the meal with Matthew. (See previous post for a few details)

Where did the Lord teach the parable?

This parable was likely spoken in Capernaum, Matthews home town. (See previous post for a few details)

Why did the Lord give this message?

Changes are a comin’, as Bob Dylan used to sing, and never was this concept actualized more than during the time of Jesus among His people!

What was the message for the original audience?

This is the question that may supply some distinction between the two parables. The new cloth was a parable teaching of an external patch on an unyielding garment. This parable speaks of a growing medium in an unyielding container.

There is a difference.

Consider the stresses on a unyielding bag when the pressure exceeds its limitations! It is an instantaneous explosion. (Sorry ’bout that but I am an engineer, so I tend to go anal at times!). The Greek word used for “burst” in this passage actually may be translated as “break forth”. The wine is gonna break forth! The wineskins ain’t gonna hold it back.

At the very least, the useful wineskin becomes unusable. Both parables speak of the original garment/wineskin being destroyed, and the new patch/wine being wasted.

But the difference is also to be seen in the growth of the new medium. The wine grows (or ferments) and nothing stops it. The patch of new cloth actually shrinks in relation to the old garment, which creates the stresses leading to future tears. (Again with bringing up the pressure / stresses thing, Carl!)

In the first parable, the New Covenant is compared to a shrinking material (the new cloth), and in this parable (the new wine), the New Covenant is compared to a growing medium.

The ramifications are kinda interesting in my mind! Let’s consider in the next question.

What is the message for us today?

In some ways the New Covenant causes a shrinking of obligations (at least seemingly to the religious man).

“Shrinking?”

Let me try to explain before you dismiss this thinking.

During the ministry of the Lord, the Sabbath became a huge issue between the Pharisees and the Master. Continually, the Master challenged the conventional wisdom of the currently accepted observance practices of the Sabbath. Check out my recent series Jesus on the Sabbath. It seems the Sabbath observance is an issue that is simplified in the New Covenant, that the Sabbath is a Person we can rest in. This is an incredible truth that I personally need to appropriate in my life.

The sabbath simpler, “smaller”? Kinda, but the reality is so much deeper!

One more example to consider.

For the first century church, much discussion was had over circumcision. To be in right relationship with the God of creation, the Old Testament directed the Jewish people to adopt circumcision as a sign of being the people of God. Many in the first century church fought to retain this obligation for the new covenant people of God, and yet the stories of the conversion of the Gentiles logically showed that physical circumcision did not make a difference. The New Covenant speaks of circumcision of the heart, and of the new life given to us a believers.

Physical circumcision simpler, “smaller”? Kinda, but the reality of heart circumcision is so much deeper.

Do you remember the time your heart was circumcised?

“Growing?”

The New Covenant is a covenant that is alive, living via the life of the Living God. The Spirit of God is the “wine” in the believer (or globally, the church) that will not stop growing.

The believer (or church) will continually be challenged by the “new wine” of the Spirit of God to break out of old structures and religious restrictions that are constantly being laid upon and into their lives.

When was the last time you pushed a religious teaching out of your belief system (and subsequently out of you life) because the Word expanded your understanding?



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Song Squawk – By His Grace

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!


This post will consider the song

By His Grace – by Van Morrison

My wife and I would take our kids to the library for five books each when they were young, and one afternoon I tripped over a double album of Van Morrison, called Hymns to the Silence. I signed it out of the library, took it home and listened to it constantly.

Years pass and I get my little red Buick, and this album shows up in my recordings – Don’t worry, I bought a copy after I returned the disks to the library.

Occassionaly, I would give that ol’ bass box a break, and cruise in that ol’ Buick, listening to Van. This particular song speaks of Philippians 2:12-13.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Or as Van Morrison might sing…

You’ve got to try for the Kingdom … By His Grace

Take a listen!

By His Grace – by Van Morrison

By His Grace – by Van Morrison

You’ve got to try, for the kingdom
You’ve got to try, for the kingdom
On high, you’ve got to try,
By His grace, by His grace

You’ve got to live your religion
Deep inside, when you try
For the kingdom on high
By His grace, by His grace

Open your mind to the wisdom
When you try for the kingdom, on high
By His grace, by His grace

Open your heart to the wisdom
In your mind when you try
For the kingdom on high
By His grace, by His grace

One day at a time, you got to try
Open your eye, it will come
By and by, when you try
By His grace, by His grace
By His grace, by His grace.

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!


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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.

Love Like Jesus – Without Envy Reconsidered


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.

Without Envy Reconsidered

In our last post, we considered that Christian love is not expressed through envy. We learned that envy and jealousy are two different emotions, and that envy is prohibited in the believers life.

And then I mentioned that envy is to be a positive characteristic in a believer’s life.

So now I am surely considered a lost cause. As my momma used to say, Carl you are speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

It may seem so, but bear with me.

The verse we primarily dealt with previously, contained the description of love as not envying.

1 Corinthians 13:4 

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast

I then found that John 2:17 uses the very same Greek word for envy in describing the Lord’s motivation for cleaning the Temple. Kind of shook me a bit.

Then, as I was looking at the context of the passage above, an additional question rose in my thinking. Check out 5 verses earlier in 1 Corinthians 12:31

1 Corinthians 12:31

But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

What’s the problem Carl? Check out that the term “desire” is the very Greek word we were looking at above. Paul is commanding the Corinthian believers to earnestly desire the higher/best gifts, to be “envious” of the higher/best gifts, to want the higher/best gifts.

But Paul, you mention five verse later, that love does not envy! What is going on?

I see two issues to be addressed with this problem. The first is a misunderstanding of my common concept of envy.

Positive Envy

Envy may have a positive characteristic in a believers life, in that it may be describing envy in the pursuit of good, righteous and holy things. The ESV translates the word zeloo, (translated as envy in verses discussed in our earlier post), as zealous in the following passage.

Galations 4:18 (KJV)

But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

Paul is encouraging good “envy” in the believer, that emotion which fuels us to do good, to be zealous in a good sense. We are so often considering envy in a bad sense, and rightly so, but the New Testament is not restricted in this way.

The Lord himself, as considered above, was consumed with “envy” for the Father’s house.

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

We are commanded to be zealous in Revelation 3:19

Revelation 3:19

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Yet, I can’t seem to get away from the fact that Paul is telling the Corinthian believers to be envying the “better gifts”. This seems to be against the spirit of love, expressed in humility and preferring others that is taught elsewhere in the Word. (Remember it is only five verses later that Paul teaches that love does not envy!)

Selfish Envy

The context of 1 Corinthians 12:31 may give us some help in understanding the intent of Paul’s message.

Are we to be desiring the higher/best gifts? Let’s consider a few questions that may clear help the reader understand the point.

  • I do not know of another passage that defines any gifts as higher/better than any other. The lists of gifts are lists, not rankings of quality. (Paul does describe a gift later that is “spiritual” that is to be sought, but that discussion will come soon enough!)
  • Paul just finished with an extended passage speaking of the importance of accepting the gift you have, of exercising this gift or gifts that has been given to each of us. The ear is not to be seeking to be an eye!
  • The Corinthian church is known for division, infighting and a competitive spirit.

Is this phrase in the last verse of chapter 12 describing the immaturity of the Corinthians. As baby believers, the Corinthians were seeking the showy, flashy gifts. Is he simply stating a fact, that is, you Corinthians are seeking the better gifts? I have read in the past that this passage may be translated this way.

It is an interesting idea, and seems to fit the context. Paul is going to show them a better way, a way that is better than seeking the “higher/best” gifts. This way includes not seeking what others have, which we have addressed in the previous post.

Another Monkey Wrench in my Mind!

Ok Carl, that may be, but how do you handle Paul’s clear exhortation for the Corinthians in the 14th Chapter

1 Corinthians 14:1 Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

Good question! (Tough question, but good question!)

Paul may be simply stating a fact in the last verse of chapter 12, but it is clear that Paul is commanding the Corinthians to earnestly desire the spiritual gifts. It is interesting that Paul uses “best” gifts in 12:31 and changes the modifier to “spiritual” gifts in chapter 14:1.

Could Paul be a bit sarcastic in 12:31? “You Corinthians are chasing the best gifts (in your opinion, that is!)”

1 Corinthians 14:39 So, my brothers, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

Paul summarizes the intent of his message regarding the the difference between prophecy and tongues in this verse, stating that prophecy is the gift to seek after. (The Corinthians can allow tongues.)

Consider the 3rd verse of this chapter, where Paul identifies the intent of the gift of prophecy

1 Corinthians 14:3

On the other hand, the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.

Paul has spoken of love as being about others. Prophecy is about building up others. Pursue love Corinthians, and in doing that, find that prophecy is a clear expression of love.

Prophecy syncs with the better way of love. The gift of prophecy the Corinthians are told to seek is a natural outgrowth of true biblical love. Tongues seems to be a distraction for Paul, and I feel it was overemphasized by the Corinthians to the point of division.

If you are seeking another’s gifts or talents, stop. Put that envy off like an old shirt. Hoping to have someone else’s gift will only cause you pain and heartache. Wanting some one else’s abilities or talents is sin.

1 Corinthians 14:12

So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

As believers, Paul instructs us to exercise love. Love is not exercised by envying another’s abilities, but in supporting their ministry. Find your own talent and ability and quit wasting time and effort on envying someone else’s gift.

Love does not envy.

Thanks for visiting. I do hope you found something of interest and of challenge in this post. Drop me a line to discuss and hope to see you in our next topic, where we look at the topic of boasting in the life of loving like Jesus.

Its going to be the absolute greatest post ever written in the history of the world!!!!

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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Calvin’s Concerns – Bondage to Sin and Free Will

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


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Simple Thoughts – Colossians 1:14

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 verse.

Col 1:14

in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

I recently published a few blogs on the concept of redemption and remembered that it has manifold meanings, but primarily the concept is that of buying, or more specifically that of buying back, to redeem something or someone.

It is in Christ we have our redemption. He bought us through His bloody tortuous death on the cross. This is a wonderful truth, a truth that needs to warm our hearts daily and encourage us to stand for the Master, to love others sacrificially, and to give of ourselves as He did for us.

Such love.

To redeem, as I said earlier, is to buy back.

I got myself a friend who’s child got in a wee bit o’ trouble with the law. He had to go down to the cop shop late one night and provide bail for little Joey. He was furious, and having “redeemed” his son from a night of deserved punishment, he drove home with Joey, but the trip was ominously silent. Of course, at home the mother gushed over Joey’s return, but my friend simply sent to bed.

Weeks pass, and no communication, no contact, no concern over the son’s condition. My buddy redeemed his son. That is true.

But that is all.

Not so with our Father in heaven.

He redeemed us, even though we were enemies. When He redeemed us, He “blew it all”! The ransom was the ultimate price.

And when He began to take us home, there was no silence, no begrudging the payment, no avoidance of relationship.

This added act of love was reinforced with the above verse. He ransomed us, redeemed us with His blood, AND forgave our sins. There is nothing between us, other than our own misunderstanding of the depth of love He has for us.

Praise Him for His boundless love.


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Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 22

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the twenty second post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

22. Both taught the same things concerning slavery – The ideal master is generous and kind

Jesus

Matthew 24:46-47 — “Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.”

Luke 12:37 — “ [the master of the good servants] will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.”

Paul

Colossians 4:1 — Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Philemon 16 — [Receive back the runaway slave] no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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Evangelism – A New Method!

In my forty years of Christian life I have sought to evangelize by many methods.

One that I especially enjoy is door knocking.

I began to go door to door while I was working in a church in Quebec, with a six question survey. You see, I needed the survey because my French was so weak, I needed the survey to be able to communicate with the populace. I was in a very small church, and we needed to find new folks to join us.

The survey asked six questions,

  • Do you believe in God?
  • Have you obeyed all the ten commandments?
  • Can you tell me the 8th commandment?
  • Have you ever stole anything?
  • Why would God allow you into heaven if you have broken His commandment?
  • Who is Jesus Christ?

It was a feeble attempt to get people to consider their standing before God. I would like to tell you hundreds rushed to the church and we had a revival, but such was not the case. I spent many days in front of puzzled Quebecois, trying to communicate good news to a religious people.

Our family eventually ended up in an English part of Canada and I brought the door knocking method with me. It was so much easier to communicate, I found a partner who has been a great friend for decades, and we had some minor success in communicating good news to our neighbors.

All of that as an introduction to a letter I received 3 days ago.

A hand written envelope carried a hand written letter addressed to me.

Dear Carl – My mother and I live in the same area with you . We cannot speak with you personally, but we have some important information we want to share with you.

Right away I’m thinking this realtor has got a strange way of getting my attention. That misconception didn’t last long, for the letter continued with a few statements on how scary the world is, and yet there is hope in Jehovah. At this point I assumed the letter came from a Jehovah’s Witness adherent, and I always love to chat with these folk, so my interest was piqued.

The last paragraph continued with..

We engage in this activity because we are genuinely interested in our neighbors.

The author eventually gave me their email address. No signature, phone number, physical address or any other way of contacting this person – Golly, I don’t even know if the author is a male or female.

Immediately, I mocked this effort, and then realized I was falling into a judgmental/condemning thought pattern. Definitely not the life I want to exist in! Who knows if the author is physically disabled and cannot leave his/her home.

I decided to send off an email, seeking to be of assistance to this family.

Hello
I received a handwritten letter from you this evening, where you stated you cannot speak with us personally.
Since you know our name and where I live, it occurs to me that you may have some restrictions that are keeping you from coming to my home.
I would be happy to visit with you at your residence if you are physically disabled or unable to venture out for some other reason.
Please supply your name, address and available times to visit.  Hopefully we can schedule a mutually conducive time to visit and get to know one another.
Thank you 
Carl

I am waiting for a response and hopefully will get an opportunity to discuss.

Let me know your thoughts on this effort of evangelism, or any other thoughts this blog has brought to your thinking


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Parable Surprises – The New Cloth

As our first parable, the story of the new cloth is closely linked to our second parable, that is the parable of the wine skins (Next weeks study!).

During our Lord’s teaching, the two parables were separated possibly by only an inhale of the Lord, but there are a few differences I would like to highlight in the next post, so we will only consider the new cloth parable with this post.

Let’s take a look at

The Parable of the New Cloth

Matthew 9:16

16 No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.

As mentioned in our introduction, we have a number of questions that will provide guidance in understanding each of these parables. Let’s review and dig into this parable.

Questions to Consider

Who were the Audience?

As we read through the immediate context, we see that previous to the parable being given, Jesus was calling (and eating) with Levi the publican, the tax collector that eventually became the apostle Matthew. Therefore, the audience most likely were those who were eating with Levi., and the ones providing the questions.

When did the Lord give this parable?

As this is the first parable it goes without saying it was relatively early in the career of Jesus. Specifically, it seems to be given right after Jesus sat down with sinners and publicans, and the Pharisees started questioning His eating habits. During the supper at Levi’s house, the Pharisees started finding fault. (Did they ever stop finding fault?)

Matthew 9:11

11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

A short time later, (it appears) John’s disciples come to the Master with further questions. It is interesting that these disciples group themselves in with the Pharisees in their eating habits, but I am getting ahead of myself!

Where did the Lord teach this parable?

This parable was likely spoken in Capernaum, Matthews home town.

Why did the Lord give this message?

We must remember who spoke these words. Jesus is not simply a good teacher or “nice guy”. He is, in this instance, One preaching the Kingdom of God to a nation that is committed to the pharisaical understanding of the Old Testament.

The Pharisees considered fasting as a sign of piety, and would express their “godliness” openly. Fasting, per the Old Testament, as I read it, seems to be linked with repentance and contrition.

John’s disciples may be following this spirit of fasting, but during the time the Messiah is on earth, even that right spirit of contrition over sin is to be left behind. Jesus Himself says

…Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them?

What was the message for the original audience?

As mentioned earlier, we must remember Who is giving this teaching out. Throughout the gospels, Jesus is constantly informing the nation of Israel (and it’s leaders) that the Messiah has arrived, the Kingdom is now.

In this instance Jesus speaks of Himself as the Bridegroom. What would the hearers understand when they heard this?

Throughout the Old Testament, God is spoken of as the husband of Israel. Consider one of many verses that speak to this truth.

Isaiah 54:5

5 For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.

A husband to one wife. So how could Jesus say He is the bridegroom? This created a conflict in my mind for many years, until I read a couple of verses that shook my thinking.

Isaiah 50:1

1 Thus says the LORD: “Where is your mother’s certificate of divorce, with which I sent her away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities you were sold, and for your transgressions your mother was sent away.

Isaiah is speaking to the people of Israel, and telling them the reason their mother (The nation of Israel) was sent away into captivity. The transgressions of the nation caused the divorce decree to be given. Israel was no longer the wife of Jehovah.

Jeremiah speaks of the Judah playing the whore, even though the northern nation of Israel was sent away with a decree of divorce.


Jeremiah 3:8

8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore.

This is incredible. Not only for my understanding of divorce within the Christian community, but more so, for the impact of Jesus statement.

A new wedding, a new covenant with God was being offered to those who would hear it, who would accept it, who would follow.

The days of repentance and sorrow were to be over with while the Bridegroom was on earth. These are days of celebration, of a new opportunity to relate to and love God. No sorrow. This brief time of Jesus sojourn on earth was to be of the greatest celebration!

And Jesus speaks the parable of the new cloth.

It is detrimental to both the old garment and the new cloth to mend the old garment with new cloth. Wash that garment a few times and the new patch with shrink, and the old garment will not be flexible enough to adjust. The new cloth will be wasted and the old garment will be further destroyed. (Nowadays, with pre-shrunk materials, patching has some limited success, but the point of the parable is mismatched covenants, and not new technology!)

Flexibility for the New Covenant, the New Cloth.

Can the old garment of the religious order in Israel accept the new? This is a huge challenge to the people of Israel, and an insurmountable problem to some of the leadership.

The patch could not fix the garment! The garment was not flexible enough. Will the people (and the leadership) of Israel abandon the old garment or cling to the new? Or will they try to combine both, and make the situation worse?

We know the end of the story.

What is the message for us today?

This is the difficult part of the post, where I make my estimation of this parables application.

Old Covenant in the New Covenant

Christians have to grapple with the relationship of the Old Testament (OT) religious order with the New Covenant (NC) we are living under. Over the centuries, the church has wavered between completely accepting the OT norms into our NC life, and rebelling from the OT order of things.

I would suggest an example of accepting the OT in the NC is the confusion of every believer being a priest (check out 1 Peter 2:5,9) and the designation of a church clergy.

Where did the concept of church clergy come from? I would suggest that this concept of an order of people elevated to an office above the common believer smacks of the OT order.

Does God use this system or order in the church? Of course. He is God and can use all things to His glory.

But the question remains for the reader to consider. Is this an example of the Old Testament order of things creeping into the New Covenant life?

Can you think of another instance where the Old Testament (garment) is being repaired with the New Cloth?

Personal Application

Personally, I need to be flexible. I need to cling to the truth of the gospel, and yet be flexible in the application of the truth of the Word. This is a daily challenge since I am a “dyed in the wool” religious fella. (Aren’t we all?)

Is there something in my life that is not being ruled by the love of God, but simply by a tradition or religious history.

An example might be such.

My early life in Christianity taught me many things, and I am thankful for the men and women who took the time to show me the Scriptures. One Scripture that was given to me by a dear brother was on the topic of divorce in the Christian community.

Malachi 2:16

16 “For I hate divorce,” says the LORD….

This topic comes up since we breached it above, but early on, I made a clear stand on the topic of divorce. It seemed so obvious! God does not allow divorce in the Christian community!

Take a look at the verse above. It seemed so obvious, and I felt I was taking the moral high ground which would make God proud of me – how foolish now that I said it out loud!

God hates divorce – this hasn’t changed. Does God allow for divorce? Yes, under certain conditions, the believer is allowed to consider divorce. We can consider these conditions (I think there are two conditions) in a later post since this one may be getting a bit “long in the tooth”.

Suffice it to say, I had to repent (be flexible) of my understanding, my high moral position, in order to comply with the New Covenant teaching on this subject.

Where are you needing to be flexible (like new cloth) in relation to the Master’s will? I can promise you that if you are in the same struggle I am, that is as a believer, you are struggling with something even today.

Be flexible.

Don’t be such an old garment!



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Song Squawk – Drowning Machine

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!


This post will consider the song

Drowning Machine – by Tourniquet

These guys are about the heaviest I listened to during my Buick days! The hook for me was the incredible drumming by Ted Kirkpatrick.

This song speaks of addiction, and the dangers of self confidence.

The water is fast, but it ain’t deep
I waded out before
I could do it in my sleep
Another line, another fix
Another “I don’t care”

Take a listen! But be warned – this one has some volume…

Drowning Machine – by Tourniquet

Drowning Machine – by Tourniquet

The water is fast, but it ain’t deep
I waded out before
I could do it in my sleep
Another line, another fix
Another “I don’t care”
The place you thought you’d never be
Guess what, you’re there

Drowning machine
Drowning machine

Sow a thought, reap an action
Sow an action, reap an habit
Sow an habit, reap a destiny
Do anything, be anyone
But you’re not free

Drowning machine
Drowning machine

A three foot river drop
A circular hell
Drowning machine is
Ringing the death bell
Your lifeless soul floats to the shore
You couldn’t stop
Had to have more, more, more

Drowning machine
Drowning machine

Drowning machine
Tragic death scene

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!


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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.

Love Like Jesus – Without Envy


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.

Without Envy

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 does not envy or boast

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 does not envy or boast

Envy

1 Cor 13 - envy

Let’s look at the first of the terms describing what love does not do.

The term zeloo means to burn with zeal, to be zealous, to desire earnestly.

Let’s think about something that is often equated in my mind. The synonyms of envy and jealousy. Surely they mean the same thing! Is that correct?

I have previously penned a series on A Jealous God, which may be beneficial to refer to if of interest. With that study, I found that jealousy, rightly held by the believer, was of benefit to both sinner and saint. You see, God’s jealousy sought out our best, by directing our love away from distractions and sin, and toward the springs of living water.

Envy, is not associated with God. Jealousy is. Interesting! Let’s consider the difference.

Jealousy

Jealous behavior is borne of the fear you may loose something or someone. It is rooted in a love relationship, and when referring to God’s jealousy, the love is towards His people. Therefore to be jealous has three participants. The one who is jealous, the one who is the object of jealousy and the one who is causing the jealousy.

Consider a cheating spouse, and the participants in the trial. The victim, the cheating spouse and the third party.

So often the Word of God describes His people as adulterous, and the emotion of jealous is directly linked to this.

Envy

Envious behavior is not so. Envious behavior has two “participants”

The one envious, and the object/person of envy.

Envy is addressed in the decalogue, where God’s command is clear. It seems clear that envy is not to be found in the believers life

Exodus 20:17

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

So lets conclude that jealousy and envy are different animals. Both jealousy and envy may have positive and negative intents associated with them.

Love has the component of jealousy, but properly held in the life of the believer, seeks out the benefit of the one loved. This is not the common practice of jealousy in our lives, where we act out of our own hurt, seeking revenge. Of course, this type of jealousy is not to be found in the believers life. Godly jealousy is selfless in its exercise.

Envy in the believers life is two fold also. Envy, in the natural realm is to be shunned by the believer. Love does not envy, and the New Testament commands us to not envy.

Galatians 5:26
Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

This passage is linked with pride and a spirit of challenging our fellow believer. Envy, in the believer, has a source of separateness, of being in a “us vs them” relationship. Of course envy is to be shunned, and for me, it is an alarm that I have not the correct attitude toward my fellow believer. I am conceited, and from that heart, I become envious!

1 Peter 2:1

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

Galatians 5:26 addressed envy in relation to our fellow believer. Even as I was commenting on it, I was considering if envy would be addressed in the believers life in relation to those out of the body. Golly, wouldn’t you know it, but Peter speaks on that very topic.

Peter notes that we are to put away all envy. Notice the group of characters related to envy in this verse! Definitely a group of sins that believers need to reject.

As a matter of fact, Peter tells us to lay these sins aside, as an old garment, toss them off, and not to pick them up again.

Jesus replacing Love

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

Jesus does not envy?

The root word of the term Paul uses in our passage is used once in a description of our Lord in the book of John

John 2:17

His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Oh my, that throws a monkey wrench in my thinking. The term for envy, which I described as not being acceptable for a believer to exercise, is actually used to describe the Lord as His motivation for cleaning the Temple.

What was all this post about then Carl? Are we to be envious or not?

Please join me in our next study where we will consider where “envy” is to be sought after in the Christian life. I hope you can join me.

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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Calvin’s Concerns – What is Predestination?

In our previous post, I tried to give some of my interactions and history with the Calvinistic thought process and teachings.

With this post, I would like to introduce you to the teacher I referred to earlier. He is a former Calvinist also, and has recanted, and has become a bit of a lightning rod for provisionism soteriology teaching.

Many of his videos are quite lengthy, and have kept my interest now for weeks. What I would like to do is offer his “60 Second Soteriology” clips to introduce you to Mr Leighton Flowers.

I do hope you will consider the teaching with an open mind.


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Proverbial Thoughts on Listening

Thoughts on the topic of listening from the book of wisdom.

Listening.  Am I really listening?

My workplace  is a stress filled environment, with deadlines, miscommunications, unrealized expectations and frequent disappointments.  One of those irritants, that is miscommunications between my self and my co-workers, is one that I have some control over.

Let me explain a day in my life when this became apparent to me.

I arrive at work before anyone in the office and take 15 minutes walking the parking garage, praying and doing my memory work.  One morning, my assigned verses included Proverbs 28:13.

18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.


For some reason I dwelt on this verse a bit longer than the others and asked for help with this in my life. 

You see, with deadlines always before me, my mind tends to race, and I do not listen to those I work with.  I realized that I answer matters before I hear them, and it has created problems for my projects and those associated with my projects.
 

Definitely a shame on me. 

Since that morning, I have sought to “slow down” to gain production, and though it sounds contradictory, it has produced good results.

Less confusion in my mind, and the minds of my workers, increased team building, since I consider others input, deadlines are still hit, and my stress level has dropped. 

Don’t hear me say I have no stress.  We have to have stress in our lives!  It is the unnecessary stress that we should seek to avoid!

 
23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

I had this verse included in our blog prior to my application of the verse above to my life.  Without this truth I would not have found success in the counsel of the verse above.


How often do I read, study or memorize the Word and come away from it unchanged?

  
28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.

 
This verse is somewhat of the other side of the coin for the previous verse above.  When we come to a passage and “turn our ear away”, it is the opposite of applying my heart unto the instruction.


Often when I let the Word simply go in and go out, I consider the effect to be neutral.  This verse simply corrects that error.


Even my prayer shall be an abomination.  The NLT translates it…

God detests the prayers
of a person who ignores the law.

A disturbing thought, but it is not a rare teaching of the Word. 

Consider 1 Peter, where he speaks to husbands and our relationships with our wives.


1 Peter 3:7


Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Consider listening.

As my momma used to say, God gave you two ears and one mouth!

Thanks for visiting. Leave a comment or question below. I would love to discuss with you.


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Jesus & Paul – Different Messages? Part 21

PaulIn the past few months I have noticed that there are rumblings – at least in my world – of some internet folks trying to make out the message of Paul to be different that that of Jesus.

Never mind the fact that Jesus was dealing with a nation in the last gasps of it’s life and His pleading for their repentance, and Paul’s focus on “making that tent bigger for them dirty Gentiles” (See Isaiah 54:2-3)

Why?  I don’t know, and at this point I am not concerned with their motivation, since I will assume the worst, which may not be fair.

Nevertheless, as I was browsing my computer bible study files, I providentially tripped over the following information.  I must have found this info years back, and will not take credit for the compiling of the verses, but for the life of me, I am not sure where I found this.

This is the twenty first  post addressing different topics from the New Testament that both Jesus and Paul taught on showing similarity in their teachings.  My comments will be sparse, (unless they are not)

21. Both taught the same things concerning slavery – The slave should humbly obey

Jesus

Matthew 24:45-46 – ““Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.”

Luke 17:7-10 — “And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

Mark 10:44 — “And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.”

Paul

Ephesians 6:5-7 — [Slaves], be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men…

Titus 2:9-10 — Exhort bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.

1 Timothy 6:1-2 — Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved.

Colossians 3:22 — Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord.

A short post to encourage you with the consistency of the Word.  May the Lord strengthen you and bless you as you seek His Kingdom.

Leave a comment as you may desire.


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1 John – Testing to Know – Part 12 – Summary

that-you-may-know.jpg

Summary Statements

At the beginning of this series, I made mention of the purpose John had in giving these tests for believers.  Was it to confirm fellowship or to confirm identity (i.e. whether you are a believer or not).

Let’s read the following passage afresh and consider the message John is giving us.

1 John 5:10
Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son.

1 John 5:11
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

1 John 5:12
Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5:14
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

logic-a.jpg

John, in his summary statement, seems to make it clear.

Lets follow his logic…

  1. God has supplied a message – a testimony.
  2. This message is that He gave believers eternal life.
  3. This life is in His Son.
  4. Have life as defined in the epistle? You have the Son.
  5. Don’t have the Son, as evidenced by the tests supplied? John says you do not have life.

It all hinges on the relationship, if any, with the Son.

His is the only One who has the life of God resident in Him.  We do not have the life resident in us, other than through Him.

Then John supplies the summary statement

1 John 5:13
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5 12But John, you just taught of who had life and who didn’t and now you are addressing believers?

Is this simply a reminder of where believers come from, i.e. that at one time we did not have the Son and therefore had no life?

Is John providing tests in order that some believers may experientially know of their relationship before God?  Does this imply that some believers do not have that experience?

Or is John’s purpose a call to faithfulness in passing the tests?

Does the message of John challenge you to greater love and faithfulness, or does it simply define the life you are living currently?

Let me know of how you understand this book, reasons for thinking the way you do and how this entices you to follow Him.  Let me know if our journey together in the book of 1 John has challenged you in a specific area.

Although this series of posts is complete, I intend to chase down a word study in the book of 1 John, looking at the term “know”.  If this is of interest to you, please come join me in looking at 1 John – Knowledge to Know

I hope you found a truth that was helpful in your life within this post.  Drop me a line, or send this post to a friend that you thought of recently.


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Parable Surprises – Why?

One sunny day, as Jesus was in the middle of teaching by way of parables, (in the 13th chapter of Matthew) Matthew makes a brief comment that may help us in understanding why Jesus taught in parables.

Matthews first comment is on the regularity of Jesus teaching in parables. His second comment is on the the fulfillment of prophecy in doing so.

I’m sorry – What was that? Teaching in parables was a fullfillment of prophecy?

Hang on – we will get to it, but first lets look at the passage from the gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 13:34-35

34 All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.

35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”

Verse 34 seems to be telling us that Jesus limited Himself to teaching only in parables, yet we know that He taught in many ways, sometimes with object lessons, or with a simple direct narrative. He is the Great Teacher, and exercised many methods of teaching.

So what is Matthew saying? At this time in Jesus ministry, and with the current audience, He taught them with parables. That, in my opinion was a simple observation. Verse 35 is where I am struggling.

A Difficulty – Apostolic Interpretation

My first difficulty is the fact that this method of teaching is a fulfillment of prophecy. Let’s consider the Old Testament verse we find the prophecy in.

Psalm 78:2

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old

It appears that the psalmist is stating the current condition for his writing, that is, he will open his mouth in a parable. It is his chosen method of teaching in his current historical context. As a young believer, reading through the Old Testament, there were prophecies that were obvious, such as Isaiah 53 or Psalm 22, concerning the Messiah. Psalm 78, without the apostles direction, would not have occured to me as prophetic.

This is critical, for the apostles are the teachers of truth, based on the Lords method of reading the Old Testament.

Which makes this next passage so amazing.

A Difficulty – Parabolic Reasons

The Lord supplied the reason for speaking in parables in the following verses.

Matthew 13:13-15

13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “‘”You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”

15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’

Again, let’s consider the passage Jesus is referring to in verse 14.

Isaiah 6:9

And he said, “Go, and say to this people: “‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’

God is speaking to Isaiah, telling him that the people of his day will hear the words, but not understand the message. When I read this passage, it seems to be directed to the people Isaiah was ministering to over 700 yrs before the Messiah. I wouldn’t have seen this as prophetic, and that is why the apostolic interpretation of the Old Testament is such an important concept to grasp as we read through the New Testament.

As amazing as the apostolic interpretation of the Old Testament is (which is such a gift!), the reason why the parables are Jesus’ preferred teaching method is even more amazing.

Jesus tells His apostles that the reason He teaches in parables is to teach only to the teachable. (And yet some of his disciples didn’t understand the parables!) He tells stories that only those who are willing and able to hear can understand. The people He is teaching at this time, that do not “hear” Him, only become deafer and blinder.

Another Feature of Grace

Truly amazing when you think of the loneliness of the Master as He taught. No-one was getting it! How frustrating. The Master Teacher came to earth, spent His days speaking out truth, and yet His best students/disciples were struggling with understanding the message.

What hope do we have? The Spirit of God and prayer are critical for this effort. As I have quickly reviewed the parables in accumulating them for the study, I am concerned I may be biting off more than I can chew.

No – that is wrong. I am definetly biting off more than I can chew. I need guidance and strength to understand, see and hear His message.

I do hope you will venture along with me on this trek. It promises to be a whopper!



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Song Squawk – All Over Me

In the mid nineties, I had a little red Buick and a big ol’ bass box in the trunk, and would listen to “Christian Rock”, cranked to 11.

(What did you say?  Huh?  Can  you say that again, I didn’t hear you….)

I have gotten away from that genre for many reasons, the least of which may be a loss of hearing, but some songs have stuck with me over the decades.

The artist’s I listened to sought to reflect Scriptural teaching for the most part. They ranged from “preaching” pop culture religion to significant theological teaching. As I listened to the lyrics, I found some to be quite challenging.

To be honest, I listened because I could justify the rock beat with “sanctified lyrics”.

Occassionaly I will post a song, supply the lyrics and make a comment or two. If you decide to listen to the tune, turn the speaker down unless you are already deaf. Some of the songs tend to have a certain “volume” about them!


This post will consider the song

All over Me – by The Benjamin Gate

This group was from South Africa and had a lady front woman (Adrienne “Adie” Camp), with a great voice. It was a fun group, but like I mentioned with X-Sinner, these guys were having fun with thier music. There seemed to be a generality about this song, but nevertheless, it was catchy and I tended to find I came back to it occasionally.

Wave come, wave fall
Cast me on your broken shore
Sun come, sun fall
Cast me on your love so warm

Take a listen!

All over Me – by The Benjamin Gate

All over Me – by The Benjamin Gate

Wave come, wave fall
Cast me on your broken shore
Sun come, sun fall
Cast me on your love so warm

Jesus’ love is
Jesus’ love is

All over me, all over me
Your love is all over me
All over me, all over me
Your love is . . .Christ come, Christ crawl
Nailed to a cross so tall
All come, all fall
All walk with hearts so torn

Jesus’ love is
Jesus’ love is

All over me, all over me
Your love is all over me
All over me, all over me
Your love is . . .

Let me know what you think of the lyrics, and of the tunes!


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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.

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.