Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hebrews 10:25, as it was Two millenniums ago, so it is today 542 - 11 - 6

"A War Is Coming, and it will pit Religious Christians against truly Born Again Believers in the bloodiest of battles. You don't believe? You will" reads the header for the new book by Tom Horn, "Blood on the Altar."
Hebrews 10:25, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
In my opinion, Paul is telling the early Christians to stand firm rather than scattering and to support and encourage each other through tribulation. Hebrews 10:25 is very relevant today as we see our world spiraling out of control. Multitudes have lost their moral compass and many do what’s right in their own eyes. Those of us who take a stand for biblical values are experiencing/will experience discrimination. Paul warned the reader in Romans Chapter 1 that denying the creator would lead to homosexuality. Today even suggesting intelligent design is the kiss of death in the academic world. Businesses who refuse to provide goods for same-sex marriage couples are being taken to court.
As churches become more seeker friendly, what was considered as an acceptable standard of conduct is so yesterday. The inerrant Word of God is being marginalized in the prosperity and diversity oriented churches. Bible believing Christians are branded as intolerant.
In the first few centuries after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christians were tortured and killed by non-Christians. The members of what was then known as the Way grew exponentially often meeting in secret. As Christians faced less persecution and more acceptance to by the state, the pure message of the Gospel became entangled with paganism. Soon a ruling class of clerics arose, the Nicolaitanes; Nikao, conquer, above others and Laity, the common people. In 380 AD House churches were outlawed.
The number of Christians killed by non-Christians pales in comparison to the millions of Christians tortured and murdered by other Christians. The vast majority of killings were perpetrated by the Roman Catholic Church over centuries. The Jesuits were especially skilled in rooting out and killing those who adhered to biblical doctrine, rejected papal authority and stood firm against the many heresy of the RCC including transubstantiation. With the advent of mass communications, and with the exception of Islam, there is less obvious persecution of Bible believing Christians.
As mainstream churches deviate from the Truth I expect an exodus of Bible believing Christians. Home churches will increase and eventually face persecution. There is a movement towards a one world religion, now rather subtle, in the future...
I highly recommend CM’s commentary "The Once and Future Church Home Fellowships." CM provides a Historical Review of "The Way It All Started." The commentary also includes good suggestions for starting home study group. CM points out the many computer resources available today. I would add that the Word, Bible dictionaries and commentaries can easily be carried/ concealed on SD cards and flash drives.
It’s hard to say how much worse the decline into evil will be, however, the good news is we can look up as our redemption draws near.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jesus said "It is finished" and the veil separating God and man was ripped asunder 542 - 11 - 5

As an aside, the following paragraph is from an article on the rapture ready website:
“Oil and Armageddon” by Terry James
“The one place on earth that Antichrist will covet is Jerusalem, and in particular, Mount Moriah, and the very place where the Holy of Holies will sit in the Jewish Temple, which will have been rebuilt by that time. Satan wants to claim the very spot where the Ark of the Covenant sat, because that spot seems to be the direct contact point between God and man. Remember this is where the veil was rent from top to bottom, signifying men, women, and children now have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ, His Son who died at that instant of the veils ripping for the sins of the world.”
In the Tabernacle the veil separated even the high priest from God as he only had access to the Holy of Holies once a year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Much preparation went into that brief interface between the high priest and God. Meanwhile, outside of the Holy of Holies, daily sacrifices were made with the shedding of much blood of animals.
Isaiah, 1:11, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.”
With the death of Jesus on the cross the veil was ripped. Perhaps the following was a precursor, Psalm, 40:8, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Rather than depending on the Hebrew priests, the Roman Catholic priests or any mere man, we have as our high priest and intercessor Jesus Christ.
In this age of the Internet and electronic gizmos, the Word is readily available to the vast majority of the earth’s population. Even with this storehouse of available information more than 2 billion inhabitants of this globe are still in compliance with the false doctrines of Islam and the Roman Catholic Church.
Islam says that Jesus was a prophet of lesser stature than their prophet Mohammed. In fact, the Islamic Jesus resembles the biblical false prophet.
The Roman Catholic Church holds that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was not sufficient. Not only does this heresy has the effect of calling Jesus a liar, it aids the RCC in the promotion of the selling of masses, indulgence and the scapula. Rather than removing the veil of ignorance from the laity, the pope’s dictates are considered superior to the Word of God.
Criticism of Islam is deemed racist and any criticism of Rome is equated with hating Catholics. Not true, it has to do with the concern for their eternal destination. It is my prayer that soon the veil that was ripped by Jesus and later imposed by false faiths will again be ripped asunder. That the millions caught in false faiths will pull the veil from their (mis)understanding of scripture that separates them from God and will internalize the following verse:
1John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate (G3875) with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (G1342): And he is the propitiation (G2434) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
An intercessor, consoler: - advocate, comforter.
From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): - just, meet, right (-eous).
atonement, that is, (concretely) an expiator: - propitiation.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Four Unconditional Covenants Revisited 542 - 10 - 1

The Four Unconditional Covenants:

The Abrahamic Covenant:

 “And I will establish my covenant (H1285) between me and thee and thy seed (2233) after thee in their generations for an everlasting (H5769) covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:7-8).

The Land Covenant:

In Genesis 15 God instructed Abram to construct an offering and then caused Abram to enter a deep sleep. God foretold of the time that the Israelites would be strangers in a land not theirs, however, when they would come out of a period of enslavement they would be given an unconditional title to land as described in verse 18 through 21. This was a unilateral land covenant granted to Abram and his descendants.

The Davidic Covenant:

Nathan the prophet told King David God’s unconditional covenant. 2 Samuel 7:12, “And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.” 2 Samuel 7:16, “And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established forever.”

The Everlasting Covenant:

God promised Isaac in Genesis 26:3-4, "Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."

We believers have a new and unconditional covenant which is our justification by the shed blood of Jesus and his proclamation that “It is finished.” As the world spirals out of control with competing and demonic world views, we believers are to look up as our redemption draws near. That said, today Israel is being attacked on all sides both militarily and verbally and most have disregarded this very important declaration by God Genesis 12:3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” And curseth the world is.

From H1262 (in the sense of cutting (like H1254)); a compact (because made by passing between pieces of flesh): - confederacy, [con-]feder[-ate], covenant, league.

From H2232; seed; figuratively fruit, plant, sowing time, posterity: -  X carnally, child, fruitful, seed (-time), sowing-time.

עלם    עולם
‛ôlâm  ‛ôlâm
o-lawm', o-lawm'
From H5956; properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity; frequentative adverbially (especially with prepositional prefix) always: - always (-s), ancient (time), any more, continuance, eternal, (for, [n-]) ever (-lasting, -more, of old), lasting, long (time), (of) old (time), perpetual, at any time, (beginning of the) world (+ without end). Compare H5331, H5703

Added a few days later:

I can't believe that is already Friday evening. This week I spent one day reading an Amish novel, my common practice when I feel the need for more relaxing reading. Now I'm reading "Cold case Christianity" by J. Warner Wallace. Mr. Wallace is a cold case detective and he approaches the validity of the Gospels as he would a cold case. No discussion concerning the old versus the new covenant only, as Sgt. Joe Friday of the old TV series Dragnet would say, "just the facts ma'am, just the facts." At the start of his investigation into Christianity Mr. Wallace was an atheist. Now a Christian's his book is a very good read and one that I recommend.
Perhaps it was all the discussion concerning the law and all the busywork required that prompted to study even more into the busywork of the Roman Catholic Church. There are a number of books available for free online including "The Jesuit Conspiracy" by a Jesuit named Leona. The book is very telling in that one of the leaders owns up to the fact that their religion has very little basis in the word of God.

Here at KI I'm blessed to be part of a group that loves the Lord and delving into the true Word. 

The Red Heifer’s Ashes, The Old Covenant and the New Covenant 542 - 10 - 5 -

In Numbers 19 we read that a female red heifer without spot, etc., would be ceremoniously slain, blood sprinkled and the ashes stored for use either at the temple or in more remote areas of worship. The ashes of the red heifer, when mixed ceremoniously with water was considered "Water of purification."

Numbers 19:9, "And a man that is clean shall gather up the ashes (H665) of the heifer (H6510), and lay them up without the camp in a clean place, and it shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for a water of separation (H5079): it is a purification for sin." It seems that the ashes of a red heifer burnt entire according to cleaning rituals prescribed in Numbers 19, had the ceremonial efficacy of purifying the unclean but of polluting the clean who handled them.

Fast forward hundreds of years to the day that Jesus performed his first miracle during the wedding at Capernaum.  I understand from another commentary that the jars used by Jesus to turn water into wine were actually meant for the water of purification, i.e. a religious use. Likely had the temple leaders knew of the use Jesus had made of the water purification jars they would have considered it an abomination. However and IMO, Jesus was simplifying the many laws of the “Old Covenant” into the redeeming knowledge that we are covered by the blood of the “New Covenant. A bit of a Remez? Perhaps a preview of the wine used during the Last Supper. 1 Corinthians 11:25, “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”

As always, Paul says that so well in Hebrews12-14, “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer (1151) sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth (G37) to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

From an unused root meaning to bestrew; ashes: - ashes.

pārāh: A feminine noun referring to a cow, a heifer. It refers to female cattle. Heifers are female cattle that have not yet borne a calf. Israel is likened to a stubborn heifer (Hos_4:16). It is used derisively of the rich, narcissistic women of Bashan, "cows of Bashan"

From H5074; properly rejection; by implication impurity, especially personal (menstruation) or moral (idolatry, incest): -  X far, filthiness, X flowers, menstruous (woman), put apart, X removed (woman), separation, set apart, unclean (-ness, thing, with filthiness).

Probably from the base of G1150; a heifer (as tame): - heifer.

From G40; to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate: - hallow, be holy, sanctify.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Old Covenant (The Law) and the New Covenant 542 - 9 - 4

John the Baptist said that I must decrease so that He may increase. Fast-forward several years and it would seem that Jesus had to decrease so that the new covenant could increase. Jeremiah 31:31, “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” The old covenant was made by God with the Israelites during their wandering in the wilderness. Excuse the pun, but it was a law written in stone. The new covenant is written on our hearts if only we are receptive to it. God promised to forgive their/ my iniquity, and remember their/ my sin no more.

Under the old covenant/ The Aaronic Priesthood was works oriented. Sinful man did his best to please God by attempting to fulfill 600+ laws, an impossible task. Add to that, elaborate ceremony, elegant regalia and animal sacrifice, much busywork. The old covenant priests had to make a sacrifice to prepare themselves to be pure enough to sacrifice animals for the various offerings required by law.

Jesus was the one time sacrifice and as he gave up his spirit he cried out Tetelesta, it is finished. Our debt has been paid in full by the propitiation of Jesus Christ. Jesus said that he had to leave so that the comforter/ Holy Spirit could come. Now under the new covenant Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us.

The old covenant/ The Aaronic Priesthood was temporary just as the lives of the priest were temporary. Jesus always was, always is and always will be. This brings to mind Psalm 102:25-27, "Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end."

CM refers to the two Greek words for old: the first is arv caio/ j archaios, which means old in point of time; old but still possibly usable. The second word, is palaio,j paleios, which means old in the point of use; useless, obsolete.” Now comes a lesson in the proper use of grammar; palaio,j paleios is in the Greek perfect tense meaning it has been made old in the sense of uselessness and continues to be so. This is the Greek word used in reference to the old covenant.

As an aside, both in college and in the workplace I was rather a technocrat. When I took the I60x series of courses the proper use of tenses was very important and a subject that cause my eyes roll back in my head. However, in my studies here at KI and in my desire to become a better Christian apologist, I realize how relevant the proper use of tenses is in expressing Biblical Truth.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Jesus is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us 542 - 9 - 7

Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author (G747) and finisher (G5051) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

From G746 and G71; a chief leader: - author, captain, prince.

From G5048; a completer, that is, consummater: - finisher.

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Author and Finisher whose death on the cross provided for our justification.

James and John, the sons of Zebedee asked Jesus to be assured “that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.” Mark 10:38-40, “But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?  And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized: But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

Not mine (Jesus’) to give? Perhaps there is a clue in Hebrews 5:7-8 , “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”
Jesus stepped out eternity to become a man exchanging his divine nature for lowly flesh. Although human, Jesus completed his incarnation free from any sin; the author and finisher as an example of perfection. Through his suffering and shame Jesus earned the privilege of sitting at the right hand of the Father.

It wasn't just the anguish and disgraceful death on the cross that Jesus suffered. Psalm 69 provided great insight to the humiliation and rejection Jesus experienced as a child.

The fact that Jesus is sitting on the right hand of the Father and making intercession for me is very humbling and very reassuring.  Jesus became a man and suffer great physical and emotional pain which assures me of His empathy for a flawed human such as myself. 

Additional thoughts:
Shortly before his crucifixion Jesus was interceding for those given to him by God. John 17:9, "I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine."

Acts 2:23-24, "Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."  Again through his work on the cross  Jesus was elevated to the right hand side of God and given great authority. 1 Corinthians 15:25, "For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet;" Reminiscent of Psalm 110:1, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."

Romans 4:23-25, "Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Maturing in our Christian Walk, Milk of the Word or Meat of the Word 542 - 8 - 7

To me, an adherence to the law encourages a person to accept doctrine without question, this is anathema to KI and to Acts 17:11.

In Paul’s day there were limited handwritten copies of the scriptures and much persecution.  Today we are truly without excuse, as an example, I have several versions of the Bible and commentaries on my iPhone.  In spite of such an availability of the Word, I would estimate that many calling themselves Christians read the bible infrequently rather relying on the theology of the clergy.

Perhaps Paul had some inclination of what would transpire in the future. Paul was trying to prevent the believing Jews of his day from again falling under the law. Today Paul would find two plus billion people following faiths that hold to unbiblical doctrines and that are works rather than faith oriented. 

Islam is promoting worldwide adherents to Sharia law.  Actually, the residents of Dearborn in my home state of Michigan are experiencing a real push by the Muslims for Sharia law.  The Muslims marginalize Jesus as a prophet of lesser importance than Mohammad.  To die in jihad is often the desire of the fundamentalists within the Islamic faith.  Such insanity results from hundreds of years of brainwashing and an unreasonable hatred of those they refer to as infidels. 

The Roman Catholic Church holds to many unbiblical doctrines including the superiority of the pope’s dictates to that of the Word of God.  Rather than encouraging the population to mature in their faith, hundreds of thousands of people were tortured and murdered over the centuries for holding to Biblical Truth.  Today the church takes a more moderate approach but still denies the finished work of Christ on the cross. There is even an effort by some to promote Mary as co-creator.

This week I am especially sensitive to the heresy of the Catholic Church as my non-Catholic brother and my cradle Catholic sister-in-law are currently in Rome and will/ have likely visited the Vatican. 

A dear catholic friend gave me a booklet to read, “The Fatima Crusader, emergency issue.”  I dutifully perused the 40 plus pages; not one reference to Bible verse(s) in it.  After all these pages of scare tactics we are told we can help by prayer.  However, these are prayers and monthly offerings to the “Apostles of the Rosary.”

I would like to give my friend and my sister-in-law a copy of Dave hunt’s book, “The Woman Rides the Beast” and/ or “Why I question the Catholic Faith” by Charles Evans.  However, this would most likely cause me to lose a good friend as well as to fracture what is, at best, a tenuous family relationship.  They seem to be content without even the Milk of the Word. Perhaps I’ll be judged at the Bema Seat for being a coward. 

Wine and Bread throughout the Bible 542 - 8 - 3

Genesis 14:18, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.”

Genesis 27:17, “And she gave the savoury meat and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.” Genesis 27:25, “And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine and he drank.” With this deceit Jacob received the blessing from Isaac that normally would have gone to the firstborn, IMO, God’s plan.

While in prison Joseph interpreted the dreams of a baker and wine steward now imprisoned but formally in the employ of pharaoh. Joseph correctly interpreted their dreams as the baker was executed and the wine steward was allowed to return to his duties. Our bodies could be represented by bread and will pass away as did the baker. 1 Corinthians 15:50, “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” That said, we are justified by the blood of Jesus.

Four cups of wine are consumed in the Passover Seder commemorating the Passover:
Cup One, The Cup of Consecration. “I will take you out of Egypt”
Cup Two, The Cup of Deliverance
Cup Three, The Cup of Redemption
Cup Four, “I will take you to be My people!”

Jesus will drink the fourth cup of wine with us at the marriage supper.

Off topic but included as it is prophetic of Jesus as the messiah and mentions both wine and the blood of Grapes:
Jacob speaking to his son Judah, Genesis 49:10-11, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes.”

Exodus 29:40 and Leviticus 23:13 mention wine and flour in the making of offerings.

Deuteronomy 29:5-6, “And I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. Ye have not eaten bread, neither have ye drunk wine or strong drink: that ye might know that I am the Lord your God.”

The Last Supper:
Matthew 26:26, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Matthew 26:28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Saturday, May 3, 2014

When spiritual maturity is lacking, stagnation results and Christianity flounders 542 - 7 - 8

The Apostle Paul called the Hebrews immature, backward, untaught, and dull of hearing. As CM points out the Greek word for dull nwqro,j nothros means “to have no push;” to be lazy or sluggish. In my opinion, this describes many of today’s churches and attendees. As those of us who study here at KI know, digging into the Word requires effort.  Many who call themselves Christians seem to be content to attend church on Sunday and listen to a short sermon, often a sermon that tickles their ears. Not only is there no Meat of the Word, the Milk of the Word is likely more that their seeker friendly churches promote.
 With the emergent church, religious leaders all too often seek a middle ground which results in a compromise of Biblical truth. Some leaders are pushing the heresy of Chrislam. Globally Islam is growing faster that Christianity.
“Is Christian growth keeping pace with Islam?”
Mr Slikker of the Christian mission consultancy group Project Care speculates that “the decline seen among Christians, especially Protestants, in North America and Western Europe is attributable to "increased materialism, secularism, rationalism, rejection of the notion of spiritual authority outside of oneself".”
He also adds, “Christian growth has stagnated globally while Islam's numbers have almost doubled, according to one researcher.”
Last Friday evening Hal Lindsey reported on the woman who has become known as the “Brave German Woman.”
On Nov. 10, 2013 a concert was held at the Memorial Church of the Reformation in the Rhineland city of Speyer, built to honor Martin Luther. A Muslim imam was invited to give the call to prayer. Heidi Mund, now known as the “Brave German Woman” heard about the event and she prayed.
Feeling prompted by God Ms. Mund headed to the concert with her German flag emblazoned with the words "Jesus Christ is Lord." At the Muslim call to prayer and with what she called holy anger she held up her flag and proclaimed that “Jesus Christ is Lord over Germany." And added, “I broke this curse in this church and I broke it over my country."
And she repeated the words of Martin Luther, "Here I stand. I can do no other" and "Save the church of Martin Luther!"
Another concert-goer trying to calm her by saying, "This is a concert for peace." Ms. Mund responded in German, "No it's not! Allahu Akbar is what Muslims scream while murdering people! Don't be fooled! Don't be fooled! This is a lie!"
The article “'Brave German Woman' Rebukes Islam's Lie’” is at:
Note that the original video has been taken down, however, CBN has an interview with her online that includes her brave protest.
“Brave German Woman: Why Heidi Mund Rebuked Islam:”
Ms. Mund added, "Many people ask me, 'Are you afraid of the Muslims?' And I can only say, 'No, I'm not afraid of them.' I know my God." A mature and brave Christian!