Proverbial Thoughts on Anger

Proverbs 4 23

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

Anger – it makes me so mad!
I struggle with what my wife calls “simmering anger” I’m sure you know what I mean. Something will tick me off, but I won’t admit it as a problem, will not deal with it, and simply “bury it”
Next thing you know, something else ticks me off. But it isn’t a big issue, so I just ignore it, try to forget about it.
Soon, one more thing ticks me off. (Seems like I git ticked off a bunch, eh?) About this time, I’m starting to feel a bit stressed, but not willing to admit the source of the stress. The latest issue easily looses focus in my mind, because I don’t want to face the issue, even though it may be completely insignificant.
At last, the straw that broke the camels back arrives in some minor irritant in my life, and I let it all out. Simmer simmer simmer BOIL – EXPLODE!
anger 1

One day, my car wouldn’t start and I exploded. Entering the house, I hurled my keys across the table, without realizing my 3 year old son was sitting at the end of it. Thankfully, the keys slid past him and dented the wall instead of my son. (God protects His fool again!)

Anger – such a monster, but why? I heard a fella once teach that anger is the result of unmet expectations.
You get that? If that premise is true, we fuel our own anger problem. Of course some anger is beneficial, even required, but that righteous anger is not considered in this post. This post simply deals with selfish, me centered, gimme gimme anger!
An example

hot tempered man

I am the type of fella that likes to schedule his day, setting aside a couple hours for this, and a couple hours for that. If the “this” gets in the way of the “that”, I git ticked off. But I created the schedule, assigned the time for both “this” and “that”, and yet, I simmer.
Another example.
I expect, (without communicating my expectations), that certain tasks need to be completed within a certain time. Not done? A bit more simmering in the belly.
One more example.
Got a buddy who doesn’t call me when I hope he will. Blow my stack!
Let’s take a few minutes to consider what the Scriptures teach regarding a wrathful, angry man.

Activities of an angry man

15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
29:22
A man of wrath stirs up strife,
and one given to anger causes much transgression.
anger 2

Strife is the work of an angry man.

He isn’t happy with his life, and he finds satisfaction in spreading strife, or division among those he associates with. This type of man eventually becomes lonely, which only fuels the anger, that unmet expectation of love and kindness we all look for.
This unmet expectation of love results in greater anger, and further loneliness and abandonment. The greater the wrath, the greater the suffering. It is a vicious spiral of destruction that only the angry man can stop. Friends and family will suffer when they seek to rescue him, without success.
19:19
A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
A fools wrath is heavy, a burden to himself and to those around him. A dead weight, a heaviness and a ballast to the good life.
27:3
A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
Let’s consider the alternative
One of my wife’s favorite verse is Proverbs 15:1, and she has plenty of practice using this wisdom with her stubborn ol hubby
15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath,
but a harsh word stirs up anger.
She has often provided a soft answer to speak to me of bigger things Her quietness of spirit is deafening at times!

15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

If you are an angry man inside, the only one who can help you is YOU. Do not blame God for this condition, for if you claim the Christ as Lord, He has provided the Spirit of God, and one of the fruits of the Spirit is Self-Control. Anger does not have ultimate power over a believer.

Consider this final proverb, and the wisdom it communicates

Proverbs 16:32
Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Rule your own spirit, and find victory greater than world domination.

Thanks for joining me at Considering the Bible. I hope you find encouragement in these blog posts. If you do, I would be honored if you shared the post with a friend.

Thanks again, and have a wonderful day in the Lord.


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Chatting with a Dispy – 13

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.

If you truly want to follow the Person of Jesus, you would pay attention to the Holy Spirit, which leads us into all truth, and you would gravitate towards the truths of the statements of the apostles of Jesus, who told us that we ought to:

  • to “exercise discernment” (Heb 5:14),
  • to “try the spirits” (1 John 4:1),
  • to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:13),
  • to “meditate” and carefully think about the Word of God (1 Timothy 4:15),
  • to “study to show thyself approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15),
  • to demonstrate your honour as you “search out a matter” (Prov 25:2),
  • to show your nobility as you “search the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11), and
  • to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

I agree wholeheartedly with the above statements, – I am unsure why you are bringing these items up, unless you feel I am in need of correction, of which, if that is the intent, I accept the rebuke.  (I would appreciate a specific issue that I need to address.)

If you are going to do all of that, there are quite a few concepts our Saviour wants you to get, such as the ten commandments,

Are you obedient to the ten commandments?

Search the scriptures Brother.  The New Testament tells me that Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth, and I need to pay attention to Him.  If He tells me to obey the ten commandments, I will seek to.  Show me in the new testament all ten commandments.  It is a very interesting study! (A bit frustrating if you are looking for all ten commandments, though!)

BTW, the ten commandments are not concepts, they are commandments!

and a lot more!

What else, other than the ten commandments, do you see as being a “concept” that Jesus wants me to get?  I need to know, in order to follow them.

I am curious what you consider to be the authoritative source for your life?  Are the ten commandments enough?  What about the sacrificial system and the ceremonial cleansing? Must I follow the commands of the Old Testament to be right with God?

If you don’t follow those, you cannot live in peace with your fellow man, and if you love God, and if you love your neighbor, you will follow them a lot more easily.

I am not sure your intent in saying the above?  If I love God and my neighbor, I am following all the commandments.

Matthew 22:37-41

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Luke 10:26-28

He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

(what do you mean by “a lot more easily”?)

Please note, I still have trouble, because I don’t like defrauding my fellow man with paper money, but what can I do when they demand it?!

I am not sure what you are referring to?  Are you defrauding someone?  What can you do?  You need to obey Jesus!


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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Let Me Tell You a Story – Coincidence?

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

One more story for those out there reading my thoughts.

It was a long time ago, well nigh 40 years now, when I met my future wife, and began to experience things that completely changed my life.

As you may know from previous blog posts, I had been haunted by the Great White Throne judgement since I was about 7, constantly looking for distractions in my life. When that pretty little girl entered my vision, I thought – Awesome distraction!

But a soon as we started chatting, she spoke of Jesus and how He had saved her from death in an auto accident. But she had something that was different and I wanted to know more.

Can I take you on a date? She said yes! (Obviously)

And so our love began. And so I traveled to her home 40 minutes north of my work, every night to be with her.

I was converted, saved from a life of waste and sin a mere week after I met her. On February 19th, 1981, I bent the knee to Christ. All my fears and worries evaporated. Coming out of a drug culture, we had an expression for a permanent smile.

A coat hanger.

Well I definitely had a coat hanger that night.

I was so excited about knowing the Savior, I couldn’t sit still. I immediately went to visit my girl, (I got right at her brothers house, but that is a different story!) but she just went to bed, so I took off to my apartment in Orillia.

French fries

As I entered my neighborhood, I suddenly felt famished, and decided to get me some grub. Off to the local restaurant, where I found an empty booth and ordered some fries.

Before the fries arrived, temptation sat down beside me.

She said she knew me, but it must have been from a previous night in a bar, when I had had just one drink too many. I couldn’t remember her name, or even her face. But she sure wanted to know me. Wink nod.

Golly – a brand new believer, without a whit of Bible knowledge, but surely this was wrong. No matter, since I was so high on Jesus, I started sharing what I knew of Jesus. She looked shocked and left to find some other victim. But this type of activity was not the last I would notice as a young believer.

As I hinted around earlier, my favorite and I got hitched eight months after meeting. Just prior to the wedding, we met a fella that showed an interest in the Lord and he eventually made a confession of faith the day before the wedding (if I recall correctly).

He went away so happy and I told him that we should get together again the next day – before I got hitched! But he didn’t show up. I eventually was able to chat with him and he told me a story that was very eerily reminiscent of my own.

The night he got right with God, he ran into an old friend who offered herself to him. He said he was shocked, since previously she had shown no interest in him other than as a friend.

I suppose it is clear as to why I didn’t see him the next day. Falling into a sinful act upon the very day of salvation must be heartbreaking, and I wanted to encourage him of the long haul. But alas, I don’t think I saw him after that.

My favorite and I got hitched, we moved south and started our lives together.

But I think of him occasionally and hope for the best.

Those experiences taught me that we have an intelligent enemy, and that his methods are “coincidental”.

Roaring Lion

Our defense?

  • Be sober-minded
  • Be watchful

1 Peter 5:8

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Drop me a comment if you have experienced a similar attack, and of how the Lord rescued you from the one who is our enemy.


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Faith – Oligopistos – Matthew 8

Faith 2

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

Faith

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

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

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

little faith

Strong’s Number G3640 matches the Greek ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance.

We will look at the second of the four instances that Jesus (and only Jesus) used this Greek word in the following posts.

Matthew 8:25-26

And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.”
And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Let’s consider the situation.

fisherman

The disciples, many of which are professional fishermen, are in a boat with the Master crossing the lake, when a massive storm erupts. As skilled fishermen, they have seen these squalls come up and of all the men in Israel, would understand the clear and present danger the storm represented. They knew their storms.

Jesus is of a completely different ilk. He is a carpenter, a land lubber. And the complete and only God who controls all. Not concerned. Just ticked off.

By this time in the disciples experience, the true identity of this Jesus had not settled in. In thier walk with Jesus, the disciples had experienced the following….

  • Teaching Jesus Teaching (Mat 4:23-25; Mk 1:35-39, Lk 4:42-44).
  • Miracle A Man With an Unclean Spirit (Mk 1:21-28; Lk 4:31-37).
  • Miracle Simon’s Mother-in-law Sick (Mat 8:14-17; Mk 1:29-34; Lk 4:38-41).
  • Miracle A Leper Came to Him (Mat 8:2-4; Mk 1:40-45; Lk 5:12-16).
  • Miracle They Brought to Him a Paralytic (Mat 9:2-8; Mk 2:1-12; Lk 5:17-26).
  • Miracle Healing at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath day (Jn 5:1-47).
  • Miracle Healing on the Sabbath (Mat 12:9-14; Mk 3:1-6, Lk 6:6-11).
  • Teaching And in His Name Gentiles Will Trust (Mat 12:15-21; Mk 3:7-12)
  • Experience Then He Appointed Twelve (Mat 10:2-4; Mk 3:13-19; Lk 6: 12-19).
  • Teaching The Sermon on the Mount (Mat 5-7; Lk 6:20-49).
  • Miracle A Certain Centurion’s Servant (Mat 8:5-13; Lk 7:1-10).
  • Miracle Raises the Dead Son at Nain (Lk 7:11-17).
  • Teaching Are You the Coming One? (Mat 11:2-19; Lk 7:18-35).
  • Teaching My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light (Mat 11:20-30).
  • Miracle The Woman With the Alabaster Flask (Lk 7:36-50).
  • Teaching Mary Called Magdalene (Lk 8:1-3).
  • Teaching Blasphemy of Holy Spirit (Mat 12:22-37; Mk 3: 19-30; Lk 11:14-20).
  • Teaching We Want to See a Sign From You (Mat 12:38-45; Lk 11:16-36).
  • Teaching Woe to You, Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites (Lk 11:37-54).
  • Teaching He Began to Say to His Disciples (Lk 12:1-59).
  • Miracle Parable of the Fig Tree (Lk 13:6-9).
  • Teaching Parable of the Sower (Mat 13:1-23; Mk 4:1-25; Lk 8:4-18).
  • Teaching Many Such Parables (Mat 13:24-53; Mk 4:26-34).
  • Miracle Jesus Rebukes the Storm (Mat 8:18-27; Mk 4:35-41; Lk 8:22-25).

Before we judge these disciples, consider your situation.

I don’t know about you but my situation is not dissimilar to the disciples. Of course I don’t enjoy the opportunity to physically walk with the Master, but He has supplied much teaching.

Miracles 1

Miracles?

I would suggest that I have seen miracles in the last 38 years of knowing Him.

I’ve seen believers give of thier bodily organs to heal a fellow believer. I’ve seen poor believers supply funds to people they do not know. I’ve seen young men, wild in thier youth, go preaching the gospel from door to door. I’ve seen believers suffer pain and doubt, yet still clinging to the hope of the gospel.

Excuses?

Not so much when I think of it!

Miracles? Yes

Lord – Show mercy to this frail man, and give me strength to stand in the day


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Commandments for Christians – Ephesians 2

The-Ten-Commandments-Tablets-Are-Christians-Under-the-Law

In my introduction to this series of blog posts, I drew attention to verses that supported my belief that the ten commandments were no longer applicable to the believer.

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

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

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

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

So off we go.

Our next verse will be found in the book of Ephesians

Ephesians 2:12-15

remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility

by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace,

Paul comes right out and says it. Jesus abolished the law of commandments. But wait.

Is this the same term Jesus used in Matthew 5:17. Not quite. Matthew 5:17, Jesus says He did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. Different idea.

One New Man

Here Paul is stating that Jesus death accomplished the reunification of the human race. (Oh how we need this today!) The Ephesian church seemed to have some division in it, and it seemed to be based on religious commands and regulations. (How common!)

And how did Jesus unify the church, but by creating one new man, one new humanity that saw the bigger picture, that saw peace as a greater good than law keeping, which tends to puff us up (at least me.)

Did you know that I fasted and prayed and memorized and preached and gave and tithed and sacrificed and…. Carl that is just silly boasting!!!

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for dropping by.


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Judge Judge Judge – Introduction

Because of the CrossStory Time

It has been a few years, (well nigh up to a decade if I am honest with you), that I had the pleasure of working with a fellow I will call Fred.  (Not his real name – don’t ya know!)

Anyways, Fred knew I was a believer, and would sometimes bait me (which is so easy to do) or generally make fun of Christianity (which is also so easy to do).  So with those two objectives, Fred had some good times working me over.

It just so happened that Fred was good friends with another fellow in the office that was a believer.  This fella would occasionally come to my office to discuss things of God during lunch.  It was a blessing, and we started a bit of a Bible study.

This caused some relational stress in the office, revealing itself one day with Fred telling me that Christians are too judgey.  It seemed so out of the blue, and yet somewhat providential.

You see, I had recently been reading the beatitudes and Matthew 7 came to mind.  It seemed to enforce his argument, until I asked him if judging was the same as condemning.

I think that set him back for a moment.  I hope he considered the difference.   I had to get back to my design work, so I left him with that.

Question

Is judging something or someone necessarily the same as condemning something or someone?

That difference has helped me in my general thinking regarding how a Christian is to think regarding his surroundings and those he rubs elbows with.  I hope this study will add some clarification to my thinking, and help others consider what it means to “make a judgement” in the Christian life.

As my next post in this series, I will provide a table containing the Greek words I found associated with judgement.  In each of my following blog posts, I will deal with a specific Greek word, and supply the associated verse list.

Some of these words are found often within the New Testament, and I may highlight certain verses that bring light to the subject (at least in my mind, full of cobwebs and creaking floorboards as it is!).  At other times, every verse within the blog may furnish interest and cause me to chase the concept to ground.

Nevertheless, I do hope you will interact with me in considering the topic we travel through.  Please provide comment and ask the difficult questions.

Remember, if we all see the Word as authoritative, that means neither you nor I are!  (Authoritative that is. – Just a bunch of hungry ol beggars looking for some crumbs along the way)

But as brothers & sisters, we can help each other in our understanding of the Word.

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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OT in NT – 1 Thessalonians

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

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

Find below a spreadsheet embedded into the post that lists  verses from the New Testament book of 1 Thessalonians and corresponding Old Testament references.

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


 

13-OT in NT – 1 Thessalonians

 


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Let Me Tell You a Story – Plowing

 

let-me-tell-you-a-story.jpgIts been a decade or two since I used to go trapping.  Trapping with an elder in a church in the north half of Quebec, Canada.

Let me tell you a wee story, bout a time I was trying to relate to a believer in a church.  He was a trapper in a small northern town in Quebec, where the snow fell deep and the temperature dropped deeper.  He was a big man, and his wife would buy loaves of bread to make him lunches everyday.  She would put all the sandwiches back into the sandwich bag for his lunch the next day!

Much of that info was unnecessary, but he was an interesting fella, and I felt I needed to connect with him.

Did I tell you he was a hobby trapper?  This hobby of his offered me an opportunity to connect with him.  So, I swallowed my fear of blood and eyeballs, and asked if I could help him the next time he goes out.

The day came and we headed north to a trap line, crossing a frozen lake covered with freshly fallen snow.  It was a glorious day, and it was obvious that I was a newby on the trip.  I would be chatting and asking questions, pointing over there and checking that thing out – O wow, hey did you see that over there?

beaver pelt
Beaver Pelts

But not Reynald.

He was focused on the beaver house that was ’bout a half mile out yet.  Oh, he was polite, and super friendly, but he was focused.  Did I tell you I was a bit of a scatterbrain?  If not, I’m telling you now.  And to think of it at the time, it wasn’t obvious.

Until…

Until we got to the beaver house, and I looked back.  Big ol’ Reynalds path through the fresh fallen snow was like a surveyors line.  Straight, linear, without curvature or bend.

Ol dummy over here, my path looked like an ol drunk had stumbled through the snow.

What was the difference between ol Reynald and myself?

A goal, a point of focus, a destination.  Yup – that was all it was.

ploughing with a muleI have never been a farm boy, needing to plow straight furrows.  So, this story is a Canadian’s way of relating to plowing a straight furrow in a field.  To plow a straight furrow, a goal or destination needs to be focused on.  Short sighted goals to the left or right will produce a crooked furrow.

Looking back during the plowing of a field is of course foolish.

Luke 9:62

Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

What is your focus?  Are you easily distracted?  How is your plowing going?

By the way, I ended up skinning some of the trapped animals, and found that my dread of blood and eyeballs could be controlled if I was trying to love a fellow believer.  But don’t ask me to touch your eyeball today – That is just too gross!!!

Oh, and by the way, if you are of the opinion that trapping is immoral, or constitutes a cruelty to animals, let it be known that I no longer trap.

But I still eat the occasional hamburger!


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Chatting with a Dispy – 12

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.

Brother

Wow – a bit surprised by your comment.

I assumed that the cleansing of sin in Zech, due to your association of its description in the same context as the second coming of Jesus, would have the cleansing effect as described after the crucifixion, and not merely a ceremonial act. Hebrews mentions, not a ceremonial washing, but the actual sacrifices given in the old covenant, as being insufficient to “make the comers thereunto perfect”  If the sacrifices were not able, how much less a ceremonial washing?

Hebrews 10:1
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

(It would seem foolhardy to return to a shadow when the body is present!)

During my drive home tonight from work I was thinking about the original verse under consideration in context – Zech 14:3-5 – which states

3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Verse 5 states “and ye shall flee…”

Who is fleeing?  If this is the second coming, all the Lords enemies will be destroyed, all the saved will be with the Lord, and if the mountain is cleft from east to west, any bystanders (who would be left?) will be destroyed by the techonic action.

And what are they fleeing from?  Obviously, if this is the second coming, the lost will be destroyed, the saved will be with the Lord and who else is there?

Have a great weekend!


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

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


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

hell-awaits-fire-red

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

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

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

One brother did. Our previous posts supplied his concerns and the responses I supplied.


Out of all his concerns, his final comment struck me.

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

Brother I do not seek your pity.

I do seek an open ear and a willing heart to discuss face to face the “heresy” I may be swimming in.

Your multiple refusals to accept my invitations to meet together tells me that I am not worthy of your time.

If you consider me an erring brother, accept my invitation to discuss.

If you can’t accept my conclusions, let’s seek to maintain peace and unity of purpose – peace with each other and love toward the lost.

Petty squabbles and hair splitting over doctrines such as this does not accomplish this other than feed the pride of doctrinal purity you may assume I have. This topic is not a core doctrine. At the most, it is simply a topic that caught my attention and my post was an effort to suggest a possible interpretation.

You may accept or reject – but you are still my brother because of the primary issue – Faith in the salvation supplied by the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of the Messiah.

Let us not forget that.

This ends my final response to him. I have called and texted him but to no avail.


I struggle with folk that are hard nosed, unwilling to discuss and understand an others position. I suppose I struggle with these hard nosed brothers, those that are on a crusade to protect the gospel in areas that are not primary.

I struggle with them since I am a recovering hard nosed brother, one that would seek to find a difference with a brother.

If you know a brother or sister that has different opinions regarding the message the Bible gives forth, give them a chance to explain their position.

Other than rejecting the gospel message of the risen Christ, the brother or sister that thinks differently may supply a challenge that will force you to reconsider the Scripture.

Considering the Bible is a good thing – the action of, and hopefully the blog also.

The Christian life is a life of repentance and growth. Without challenges to our thinking, growth may not occur other than from outside circumstances.

Let us not be so limited.


Find below the short study I mentioned in the previous post.
“Katakrino”

Matthew 12:41

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

Matthew 12:42

The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Matthew 20:18
“See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death

Matthew 27:3
Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,

Mark 10:33
saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles.

Mark 14:64
You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death.

Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Luke 11:31
The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Luke 11:32
The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

John 8:10
Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

John 8:11
She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

Romans 2:1
Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.
Romans 8:3
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
Romans 8:34
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Romans 14:23
But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

1 Corinthians 11:32
But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

2 Peter 2:6
if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

In writing this post, I started looking at the Greek words that have the root of “judge” within them. I hope to start a short study on these terms in the near future and will post as I progress through the study.

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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Faith – Oligopistos – Matthew 6

Faith 2

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

Faith

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

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

Strongs #GreekTransliteratedEnglish Equivalent
New Testament (Greek) for “faith”
G571ἄπιστοςapistosthat believe not, unbelieving, faithless, unbeliever, infidel, thing incredible, which believe not
G1680ἐλπίςelpishope, faith
G3640ὀλιγόπιστοςoligopistosof little faith
G4102πίστιςpistisfaith, assurance, believe, belief, them that believe, fidelity
G4103πιστόςpistosfaithful, believe, believing, true, faithfully, believer, sure not tr
G6066ὀλιγοπιστίαoligopistialittleness of faith
 
little faith
 

Strong’s Number G3640 matches the Greek ὀλιγόπιστος (oligopistos), which occurs 5 times in 5 verses in the Greek concordance.

We will look at the first of four instances that Jesus (and only Jesus) used this Greek word in the following post. (Matthew 6:30 is parallel passage in Luke 12:28)

Matthew 6:25-30

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
 

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

 

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

And why are you anxious about clothing?

 
Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,
 

yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

GrubWorry over Grub and Garb

Worry worry worry.

Garb

A concern over food and clothing just doesn’t connect with me, residing in the USA and having much more than I need.  The disciples didn’t have it so good.  They had food for the day, thier daily bread. They may have had one set of apparel, and when it became worn, purchasing new wear would constitute a significant burden on thier resources. An inner garment and an outer garment, a belt and some sandals.  Food and clothing was a justified concern.

Does Jesus simply say not to worry.  No – He elevates our standing before God via  directing our attention to a bird and a little flower.  Amazing.  Let’s consider the lily.

The Lily

Madonna_lilyWe find Jesus talking to His disciples, speaking of the toil (growing exhausted) and spinning of a simple lily compared with the splendor of Solomon, (Israels wealthiest King).

This alone is instructive for us as believers, since we surely estimate King Solomon’s splendor (clothing/appearance) to be greater than that of a humble lily.  But the Master states that thinking to be wrong thinking.

Solomon spent his days toiling to create a splendor he enjoyed.  The lily does not toil, and is simply a splendor. (By the way, in the Lord’s estimation the greater splendor.)

Solomon had splendor that was external.  The lily’s splendor comes from within.

As believers, Jesus tells us the Father will “much more clothe” us.  He has greater concern for us than the lily, yet the lily had great splendor.  He compares the lily of the field (which has a temporary existence) with believers (non-temporary existence) who have so little faith.

Is Jesus simply speaking of the literal clothing on our back?  The Word states He supply’s our every need, so the clothing on my back is provided by the Father.

He is addressing the topic of worry.  Worry over the clothes on our back and the food we eat.  He reminds us numerous times that we are of much more worth than a sparrow or a lily.

MickeyMy greatest downfall in my walk with the Father is worry.  A mind numbing, paralyzing worry.  I have so little faith.

My worry comes from one source.  I have my eyes fixed on the wrong object.  Solomon’s splendor was visual, pride elevating, of this world.  The lily simply exhibited the life God supplied.  The lily didn’t toil for something beyond its reach, or seek to add to its current splendor, or even compare its splendor with a dandelion.

This is against my nature! I continually set goals to gauge my progress, compare myself with others and seek more out of life instead of simply enjoying the life supplied by the Father.

Abstract Watercolor TextureMy perspective is completely upside down.  Oh – I can justify my worry, calling it careful planning, walking in wisdom, careful stewardship.  How shallow and of no impact.

How accurate when Jesus called me out, that one with little faith.  Father forgive me and teach me to keep my eyes on you.

Please leave a comment and come visit next time to continue our look at faith.


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Having Fun

200

When I started “Considering the Bible” back in November 2019, it was primarily for my own benefit. I enjoy putting my thoughts together and working to improve my skill in communicating my beliefs in an orderly and irenic way. Hopefully my progress is somewhat evident.

Since beginning, I have received comments and “likes”, and some of y’all have even decided to follow me.

As a matter of fact, I just broke 200 followers.

I especially look forward to the comments ya’ll post, especially when you have a different opinion and express a convincing argument.

As always, I enjoy your comments and would like to maintain an open and honest discussion with all.

Will we agree on everything?

Most likely not.

Will we understand each others thoughts and beliefs?

Hopefully, and because of that, we all become somewhat richer in the faith.

Thanks again – Carl


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Commandments for Christians – Colossians 2

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

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

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

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

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

So off we go.

Our next set of verses will be found in the book of Colossians.

Colossians 2:14

by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 2:20

…why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations

Col 2 9 10Paul is addressing a church that is having some struggles with false teachers, teachers that are trying to “delude them with plausible arguments (v4).  He is seeking to get these believers to keep their eye on Christ.  Christ is the source and end of all of life.  Paul states that “in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily” Paul elevates Christ in order to reveal the error of those “plausible arguments”.

Rant #1

As an aside, when someone tries to convince you of an alternate type of Christianity, one of the best vaccines against error is considering the elevated Christ as the One supplying that teaching.  Does it sound like something the Master taught in the gospels?

For example, if someone tries to get you to honor God by celebrating a “holy” day, consider the Master, when He healed on the Sabbath (John 5:18).  Why did He do that?  Because He is greater than the type, and some people would recognize it.  Other people would kill Him over it!

The Sabbath had a much greater anti-type (P.S. it is the Lord Himself, as with all OT types!).  To “obey’ the Sabbath, in the form of honoring one day a week, is hearkening back to a type. No one should fall back to earthly shadows, when we have reality. This was Paul’s point.

Sabbath RestStrive to enter that rest, (in the Sabbath), in the Lord Jesus and you will have found the reason for the type!

Consider this.

Back to Colossians.

Paul is addressing the intended effect of the cross on the life of the believer.  No longer do we need to fall under the influence of shadow teachers, but to simply hold onto the Head.

Paul’s reference to regulations, as he defines it, refers to worldly items, items that perish, that have no lasting influence over us unless we desire it.

This passage has high Christology that I am not familiar with enough.  I simply need to know Him better, and to avoid the pitfalls of the shadow teachers.  Allowing myself to be influenced by men who are puffed up in their sensuous mind is judgement on my spiritual maturity.

May God have mercy on our souls as we seek to know Jesus and Him only.


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mat 26:24

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

Mar 14:21

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or blasphemy against the Holy Spirit?

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

Mat 12:31

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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OT in NT – Colossians

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

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

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

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


 

12-OT in NT – Colossians

 


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

hell-awaits-fire-red

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

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

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

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


Brother

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

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

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

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

Plain

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

Normal

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

Grammatical

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

Historical

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

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

Matt 6:23

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

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

Deuteronomy 15:9

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

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

Plenary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do hope you can visit with us.


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Chatting with a Dispy – 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Furthermore, are our waters impure?  Often, YES!

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,

Brother


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

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


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

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

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

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

One brother did.

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

Different Thinking

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

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

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

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

Different Worldviews

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

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

Different Faith

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

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

Somewhere the apostle tells us

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading!


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Faith – Elpis – Hope

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

Faith

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

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

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

This post will consider the term Elpis, ἐλπίς

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

Romans 5

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s read the passage in review

Romans 5:1-5

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

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

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

and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

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

all-i-have-left-is-hope

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

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

Romans 8

Romans 8:24

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

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

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

1 Corinthians 13:13

1 Corinthians 13:13

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

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 3:12

2 Corinthians 3:12

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

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

Philippians 1:20

Philippians 1:20

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

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

Acts 23:6

Acts 23:6

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

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

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Commandments for Christians – Matthew 5:17

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

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

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

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

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

So off we go.

Matthew 5:17

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

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

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

to dissolve, disunite

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

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

      1. to subvert, overthrow

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

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

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

Matthew 24:2

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

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

Matthew 26:61

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

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

Fulfill

πληρόω plēróō, play-ro’-o

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

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

      1. I abound, I am liberally supplied

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

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

    2. to consummate: a number

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

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

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

      1. of matters of duty: to perform, execute

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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