Thursday, May 28, 2015

Would the Pharisees, the Sadducees and/ or the Herodians come to Christ? 533-1 - 4 - 3

With thanks to CM:
“Pharisees are the legalists, the literalists. They, to a fault, tried to take every detail of the Law and make a burden out of it. They were the extremists.
Sadducees were the opposite kind, they were the modernists, the liberals. They did not believe in the resurrection, and did not believe in angels, and did not believe in the supernatural.”
With thanks to, “Definition of HERODIAN, a member of a political party of biblical times consisting of Jews who were apparently partisans of the Herodian house and together with the Pharisees opposed Jesus.”
First, which of the above would be the least likely to come to Christ and why. The Sadducees like many of today’s liberals did not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. Paul tells us in Romans 6:4-5, “4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” IMO, without a belief in the resurrection of Jesus there is no real coming to Christ.
Was King Herod even Jewish? According to, “King Herod's father was an Idumean and his mother was a Nabatean Arab. Herod was king of Judea because he conquered Judea by force, leading a Roman army. So, Herod was not ethnically a Jew and the Jews had every reason to resent his rule.”
King Harold seem to adhere to when in Rome do as the Romans do and when in Jerusalem be a token Jew. The Herodians not only oppose Jesus but were aligned with Rome. Coming to faith in Jesus would seem a remote possibility.
As the Pharisees were bound up in legalism they were very likely to have a thorough knowledge of prophecy. Of course 2000 years ago there was no Google so the information that Jesus was a Nazarene and born in Bethlehem would not have been as readily available to them. At least two members of the Sanhedrin came to faith prior to the crucifixion and resurrection, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. After the resurrection I would think there would be a crash course for the Pharisees who hadn’t earlier equated the activities of Jesus with the century-old prophecies . I would suggest that those of the Pharisees who could overcome the extreme guilt of knowing they facilitated the death of their Messiah would be convinced by the overwhelming evidence; that Jesus was indeed the long awaited Messiah.

Love that Psalm 2 533-1 - 3 - 6

Psalms 2:1-4 is very relevant today when reviewing the extreme arrogance on the part of not only our administration but in the world in general as they attempt to marginalize God. I can understand that the Trinity found the efforts of mere mortals to denigrate God to be humorous. Those in control cannot say that they have not been warned by the Holy Spirit in Psalm 2:10-11
Recently a courageous young Marine Christian, Lance Corporal Monifa Sterling, was given a bad conduct discharge for displaying part of the Isaiah 54:17 passage on the desk she and others used. She was told to remove the passage and refused. Given the verbiage in the verse, it seems in line with Psalm 2:3. Isaiah 54:17, "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord." I can nearly hear the laughter of the Lord, Psalm 2:4, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.”
Psalm 2:7-9 refer to the second in the Trinity, the son. Jesus has been given the heathens to the outermost part of the world. In spite of the fixation on homosexuality, the unchecked murder of babies in the womb and throwing Israel under the bus, presently Jesus seems to be sparing the rod of iron and has yet to dash them to pieces. There is a warning in verse 12. Psalm 2:12, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”
IMO, we have not entered into the tribulation, however, the people of the world are certainly going through tribulation. The world seems to be very upside down today as bad is called good and good is called bad. Islamic jihadist often are not labeled as terrorists while Bible believing Christians sometimes are.
 As an aside and as my Facebook friends know, I play slotmania and my favorite game is Elvis. Over the year plus that I've been playing slotmedia I have gone through every level to qualify to play every game. Sadly, most games are occult and/or pagan so I stick to the relative normality of Elvis.
The dark forces are often presented in a positive light. Even Fox Network is jumping on board and will provide Lucifer with prime time exposure. Fox "will present the good, the bad, and the truly ugly." Interestingly enough when Lucifer leaves Hell he becomes a resident of Los Angeles, no comment.

What are the differences in worldviews between the (a) Pharisees, (b) Sadducees and (c) Herodians.533-1 - 3 - 2

With thanks to CM:
“Pharisees are the legalists, the literalists. They, to a fault, tried to take every detail of the Law and make a burden out of it. They were the extremists.
Sadducees were the opposite kind, they were the modernists, the liberals. They did not believe in the resurrection, and did not believe in angels, and did not believe in the supernatural.”
With thanks to, “Definition of HERODIAN, a member of a political party of biblical times consisting of Jews who were apparently partisans of the Herodian house and together with the Pharisees opposed Jesus.”
With the exception of Revelation 2:6, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” I see something of an equivalence between the church of Ephesus and the Pharisees. Revelation 2:4, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” Both were wrapped up in legalism. The Pharisees observed the letter of the law and were so busy performing blood sacrifices that they missed the finish work of the Lamb of God. Those in the church of Ephesus were so occupied with checking the validity of the claims of those in the early church that they seem to have lost sight of the glory of the son of God.
The church in Sardis could be somewhat likened to the Sadducees, both dead. The church of Sardis relates to the efforts in the Reformation which was never completed by those of the Protestant church. The Sadducees would perhaps be comfortable with some aspects of the Emergent Church, those that are redacting the Word of God.
Just as the Herodians represented a marriage between those Jews and the state, there is a correlation between the Herodians and the later marriage of the early church and Rome represented by the church in Pergamos. This brought much compromise into the church and led to the church in Thyatira, the Roman Catholic Church. The Herodians opposed Jesus and the RCC denies the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
It has been said that the greatest distance is the 18 inches between the brain and the heart. While I delve deeply into the Word of God, I tend to over think at times. This can lead to legalism. Conversely, and in my opinion, leading with the heart can result in following false faiths just because they feel good, subject for another time.

Ananias and Sapphira concerning lying to the Holy Spirit 533-1 - 4 - 1

In the early church the people had all things common by choice and by not compulsion. A couple by the name of Ananias and Sapphira sold their property and claimed to have given the full amount to the community of the early church. This was a lie as they had held back a portion of the price they had received for the property. While holding back the money was not a sin lying about it was. God hates hypocrisy and both Ananias and Sapphira fell dead at Peter’s feet. First was Ananias and then several hours later his wife Sapphira. Peter gave Sapphira the opportunity to be truthful, however, she continued the lie. Ananias and Sapphira did not lie to the early church, they lied to the Holy Spirit.
Were Ananias and Sapphira justified? Yes, however, when they appear before the Bema judgment seat they likely will have lost any rewards. I’ve read that if a person who has been justified strays greatly God will take that person out of this world prematurely. This prevents them from placing their salvation in jeopardy.
I had a conversation with a member of my extended family whose brother died of AIDS at a fairly early age. She said that both she and her brother had come to belief in Jesus at an early age. I shared the story of Ananias and Sapphira but I don’t know if it gave her any comfort.
As for the Holy Spirit, not to be taken lightly. Matthew 12:31, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” Taken in the context of Matthew 12:30-33, not only will those who oppose Jesus will be scattered abroad, if their tree is corrupt, so will their fruit be.
James warns us in 5:12, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

Friday, May 22, 2015

. Comparing and contrasting the life of Judas with the life of Peter after both failed Jesus 533-1 - 1 - 6

Peter knew that Jesus was the long sought Messiah while Judas was looking for a King David to overthrow the Roman authority. Some think by betraying Jesus Judas was trying to force him into declaring Himself while others think it was just sheer greed.

Both men failed Jesus, however, Peter repented and was forgiven. Shortly before His ascension to heaven Jesus shared breakfast with the disciples. Jesus allowed Peter to overcome his fall from grace. John 21:17, “He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he ‘sknowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”

Was Jude is ever a true follower of Jesus and then an apostate? Would Judas have been better off if he had never known Jesus? By knowing Jesus and being part of His ministry would Judas be held to a higher stander? Had Judas crossed a line in the sand from which he could not retreat? Hebrews 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and later tried to return the silver to the temple. The “blood money” was used to buy a potter’s field; fulfilling prophecy with amazing accuracy.  Zachariah11:12-13, “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.”

From Peter we learn that our human nature and the will to survive can cause us to fall from grace. The really good news is that repentance brings forgiveness. After the resurrection, and the later filling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter became a much convicted apostle capable of performing miracles; even Peter’s shadow could heal. Unlike the televangelists of today, the early apostles had little in the way of material things and traveled by foot. The passage I like so well is from Acts 3:6, “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”

The “gifts of the Spirit” are active today..533-1 - 2 - 7

Paul had much to say about the gifts of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:7, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Paul goes on to list them:
1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 8, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10, To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:”
So are the gifts of the spirit active today? There are two extreme views. There is Cessationism, the doctrine that these gifts ceased with the passing of the original apostles. At the other end of the spectrum is the Charismatic Movement, a rather aberrant view of the work of the Holy Spirit. Other names would be Hyper-Pentecostal and Hyper-Charismatic.
In the last several decades The New Apostolic Reformation, NAR, provided many tele-evangelists espousing views such as we are little God’s, holy laughter, angel guides, gold dust and more. While many claim the role of apostle, not one could fulfill the requirements in Acts 1:21-22. Also, there are many in the NAR who claim they are prophets. Fact is there are now schools where you can learn to be a prophet, for a price.
I like what one pastor said about discernment. He said discernment wasn't between right and wrong, rather between what is right and what is almost right. Even Satan quote Scripture. Those in the NAR and the Word of Faith Movement used just enough Scripture to appear to adhere to the Word of God.
But I digress. In Acts 2:17 Peter quoted Joel 2:28-29, "28. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29, And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit."
Peter used the words "in the last days" rather than "afterward" as did Joel. This makes it very clear that these gifts would last throughout the Church Age.
So yes, the spiritual gifts are active today, however, I would add discernment is of the utmost importance. As an aside, the Assembly of God Church that I attend when at my winter home really emphasizes the spiritual gifts of healing and tongues. Tongues, to be continued.

Oh That Waging Tongue! 533-1 - 2 - 8

James 3:5, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”
Winters I attend the local Assembly of God Church and have repeatedly failed the speaking in tongues test. Therefore in accordance with the following I haven’t been baptized in the Holy Spirit.
"Though many non-Pentecostals teach a baptism in the Holy Spirit without speaking in tongues, the position of the Assemblies of God is clearly declared in Section 8 of its Statement of Fundamental Truths: "The baptism of believers in the Holy Spirit is witnessed by the initial sign of speaking with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives them utterance (Acts 2:4)." The evidence always occurred (and still does today) at the time believers were baptized in the Spirit, not at some indeterminate future time."
Nevertheless, according to CM and other Christian Apologists the Spirit’s baptism occurs once for each believer at the moment of salvation.
1 Corinthians 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” Jesus spoke the word and the person was healed. Peter’s shadow would fall across the afflicted person and he or she would be healed.
We read in Act 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” When the apostles spoke in tongues on the day of Pentecost it was not some kind of babbling, rather it was in a language and/ or dialect understood by those present in Jerusalem. This was a corporate type of tongues spoken in an orderly manner unlike the sense of confusion I experience at church.
Our church is very involved with the Spiritual Gift of healing. Several members of the church will surround a person needing healing prayer and lay hands on him or her. Then most will start praying out loud and several in tongues with no interpretation. The same people will ask for healing prayer for the same condition again and again
It is my understanding that in addition to corporate speaking in tongues, there is private prayer that is accompanied by speaking in tongues. It is my further understanding that in this case the Holy Spirit is conveying the prayer to God in a language He will understand even though to it sounds like babbling. Also, it would seem to me this to be better done in one’s prayer closet.
I agree with Paul. 1 Corinthians 14:19, "Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Closing a replacement for Judas, one who met the requirements of Scripture.533-1 - 1 - 1

Saul, later known as Paul, has been suggested as a possible replacement for Judas. What of the other authors of the Gospels? Mark recorded Peter’s journeys with Jesus and compile them into the Book of Mark. Luke was a physician and an able researcher and recorded his findings in the Book of Luke.
To be selected as an apostle one had to meet three basic requirements. The apostles were to have been baptized by John the Baptist, have traveled with Jesus and have had to be a witness to the resurrection of Jesus.
These requirements are spelled out in Act 1:21-22, “Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”
At the time a replacement was being selected for Judas Paul was actively persecuting believers. Also, Paul would not have met any of the three criteria as he was not baptized by John the Baptist, he didn't travel with Jesus and he did not witness the resurrection of Jesus.
Paul later met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus and possibly spent three years in Arabia under the tutor-age of Jesus. Rather than being an apostle to the Jews, Paul was to carry the gospel to the Gentiles and carry it he did.
It is possible that Mark would have met the three criteria to become an apostle, however, I understand that he was just a boy at the time.
Luke was not present until years later when he became a physician and sometimes traveling companion with Paul.
Matthias was selected by casting lots, likely with the approval of Jesus. According to Fox's “Book of Martyrs,” Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem and then beheaded.