Saturday, March 26, 2016

Presenting the Trinity by using only the Old Testament 505 - 4 - 2

Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Spirit, wind; by resemblance breath.
Genesis 1:26, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:….”
Genesis 3:22, “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us,…”
Here Lord is yehôvâh, self-Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: - Jehovah, the Lord.  However, in this passage as in verses 1:1 and 1:26 God is in the plural, in Hebrew three or more.
Genesis 11:7, “let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.” Notable is the use of the word us.
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”
Here Lord is yehôvâh, self-Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: - Jehovah, the Lord and God is in the plural.
Psalm 2:2-3, “2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3  Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.”
Again Lord is yehôvâh, self-Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: - Jehovah, the Lord. Anointed is Messiah. Notable is the use of the word us.
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.
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.”
A bit of a reach to the Holy Spirit, angry and wrath deal with rapid breathing and kindled, consume by fire.
Above Scriptures from KJV
The above is my best effort made in a reasonable amount of time, several hours. So at this point I decided to download CM’s commentary, “The Trinity.” My effort is certainly lacking compared to CM’s.
CM listed many more verses and in CM’s unique approach suggested the following Conceptual Models:
“Power, intellect, will?
Body, soul, and spirit?
Motion, light, heat? (The sun, for example.)
Three tones blending into one chord?
Single ray of light, of three primary colors?
Water: solid (ice), liquid, gas (steam)?”
[Chuck Missler’s The Trinity]

The danger of murmuring and complaining 505 - 4 - 5

Complaining – Strong’s H6682, From H6681; a screech, of anguish, crying. H6681, to screech, exultingly, shout. Murmuring – Strong’s H8519, From H3885 in the sense of obstinacy; a grumbling: - murmuring. H3885, includes to stop; to stay permanently. “To stay permanently” certainly applied to all but two of the Israeli.  
Before the Israelite’s were to enter the Promised Land Moses sent in twelve spies, Caleb of the tribe of Judah, Joshua of the tribe of Ephraim and men from the other ten tribes. Upon their return Celeb and Joshua brought their good report, however, the other 10 spies were very fearful and murmured greatly.
Numbers 14:11-12, “And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them? I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.”
 Moses connived God not to destroy the people. Rather God decreed that only those 20 years of age and younger and Celeb and Joshua would enter the Promised Land, as for the rest of the Israeli, Number 14:32, “But as for you, your carcases, they shall fall in this wilderness.”
Later the Israeli decided to do it their way and enter the Promise Land against the advice of Moses, “Go not up, for the Lord is not among you; that ye be not smitten before your enemies.” And smitten they were.
Fast forward hundreds of years; Jude 1:5, “I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.”
Hebrews 3:15-18, "While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?"
If we place our truth in God we can rest in the presence of the Comforter. Or like the Israeli we can chose to continue in disbelief by murmuring, not trusting God and being fearful and come to a less than desirable end. Revelation 21:8, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

The Christian’s bar of soap 537 - 2 - 6

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
The compilers of the Holy Bible Recovery Version take 1 John 1:9 very seriously. They have written lengthy footnotes from which I extracted the following:
“Confess denotes the confessing of our sins, our failures, after regeneration, not the confessing of our sins before regeneration.”
“God is faithful in His word and righteous in the blood of Jesus His Son. His word is the word of the truth of His gospel, which tells us that He will forgive us our sins because of Christ; and the blood of Christ has fulfilled His righteous requirements that He might forgive us our sins.”
“To forgive us is to release us from the offense of our sins, whereas to cleanse us is to wash us from the stain of our unrighteousness.”
“Unrighteousness and sins are synonyms. All unrighteousness is sin. Both refer to our wrongdoings. Sins indicates the offense of our wrongdoings against God and men; unrighteousness indicates the stain of our wrongdoings, which causes us not to be right with either God or men.”
[Living Stream Ministry (2012-09-18). Holy Bible Recovery Version]
On the surface, the Christian bar of soap appears to be straightforward. We confess our sins and we are cleansed and forgiven. However, just when I think I'm beginning to understand the Bible I dig a little deeper into it and the many readily available resources.
That said and In my opinion, the above footnotes draw a parallel to the following passages from Ephesians.
Ephesians 2:7-9, "7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." [KJV]
We are justified before God through the blood of Jesus and not by our own effort. Indeed as believers we are given "the exceeding riches of his grace." So do we apply the Christian bar of soap once or is it an ongoing activity?
1 John 1:10 carries a warning, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
"In this word God exposes our true condition, which is sinful both before and after regeneration. If we say that after regeneration we have not sinned, we make God a liar and deny the word of His revelation."
[Living Stream Ministry (2012-09-18). Holy Bible Recovery Version]
As for me, I’m convicted to confess my sins numerous times a day. I miss the mark every time I’m judgmental of others and when I so often forget to say thanks for my food and dive in. Seemingly little sins, however, there are no little sins; sin is sin. 

IMO, “The lost choose to be lost.” 537 - 2 - 2

In my opinion, “The lost choose to be lost.”
The late Christopher Hitchen and Richard Dawkins were/ are famous atheists to whom atheism is a religion at least in my opinion. Not satisfied just to be atheists, they denigrated believers. Richard Dawkins even calls religion a form of child abuse.
Richard Dawkins wrote The God Delusion and one of his quotes is “We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” Believers are trying to pray Richard Dawkins into the kingdom but apparently with no success.
Christopher Hitchen, author of God is not Great, died of cancer in 2011. His wife added a footnote to an unfinished book describing going through the many notes he left behind. She wrote, "When I do, I hear him, and he has the last word. Time after time, Christopher has the last word." Unfortunately for Christopher, he does not have the last word, God most assuredly does
I recall that before Hitchen died believers pleaded with him to turn to Jesus for salvation but he refused to, at least as far as known. Many people were praying for his salvation so perhaps at the end came to faith or his heart was too hardened. God knows.
I would suggest that both Christopher Hitchen and Richard Dawkins chose to be lost in part for the fame and money that they gained as atheistic word-smiths and due to their pride. Both were very invested in their atheistic positions and took part in several interesting debates with believer John C. Lennox.
Turning to scripture:
John 3:17, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Thayer’s definition of condemn/ condemned includes “to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose. to be judged, i.e. summoned to trail that one’s case may be examined and judgment passed upon it,”
John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Not to believe in the only begotten son of God is a deliberate choice.
John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
Jesus was the light that came into the world and that light was extinguished for three days. Extinguished by a coalition of evil temple leaders and possibly less evil Roman officials.
John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”
Thayer’s definition of reproved includes “to reprehend severely, chide, admonish, call to account, to punish.
John 8:12, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
It is our choice to accept or reject the light by either following or not following Jesus, our Messiah.

Friday, March 18, 2016

My protection against heresy 537 - 1 - 2

One Discussion Question really resonated with me when taking Spiritual Disciplines SD501, “Why is it important to ‘make deposits’? What biblical passages have served you well over the past few months?” Since that time I have maintained a file on my computer desktop of often quoted verses including the words Sola Scriptura. These deposits of verses are a great help to me and I often draw against this account.
CM teaches on the Whole Council of God, citing Acts 20: 27, “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
Most assuredly, Paul taught from the whole counsel of God. Acts 24:14, “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.”
Paul’s advice to Timothy is very relevant today. 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
The word is my protection against heresy. Paul again tutors in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
In Ephesians 6:11-13 Paul tells us to put on the whole armor of God so we “may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Paul reminds that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Ephesians 16-17, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Again in 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” And in Romans 13:12, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”
I often remind myself that I'm in this world but not of this world, I’m just passing through on the way to my eternal home. Another verse that I tried to internalize, Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Keeping my mind stayed on God, studying His Word and praying for discernment protects me from the growing heresy of this fallen world. 

What the phrase “in Christ Jesus” mean to me 537 - 1 - 5

The webpage The Stupendous Reality of Being “in Christ Jesus” by John Piper is a good resource.
“Being “in Christ Jesus” is a stupendous reality. It is breathtaking what it means to be in Christ. United to Christ. Bound to Christ. If you are “in Christ” listen to what it means for you.” This statement is followed by a list of 13 benefits. Mr. Piper also answers the question “How do we get into Christ?”
Jesus said that he must go so that the comforter would come.  Simply put, to me being in Christ Jesus is a wonderful and awesome warmth that washes over me, the Holy Spirit? Rather than stopping at feelings, I often turn to the Word.
“In Christ Jesus” appears 40 times in the New Testament.
Romans 3:24, 8:1, 8:2, 8:39, 16:3; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1:30, 4:15, 15:31, 16:24; Galatians 2:4, 3:26, 3:28, 6:15; Ephesians 1:1, 2:6. 2:10, 2:13, 3:11; Philippians 1:1, 2:5, 3:3, 3:14, 4:21; Colossians 1:4, 1:28; 1 Thessalonians 2:14, 5:18; 1 Timothy 1:14, 3:13; 2 Timothy 1:1, 1:9, 1:13, 2:1, 2:10. 3:12, 3:15; Philemon 1:6, 1:23; 1 Peter 5:14
Romans 3:24, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”
Isaiah 64:6 is sobering as “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” However, Jesus is our propitiation, therefore I’m Justified before God but not of anything I do. Ephesians 2:8-9, "8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Romans 8 assures us that if we are in Christ Jesus and do not “walk after the flesh” we are under no condemnation and we are free “from the law of sin and death.”
A wonderful and awesome gift in Romans 8:39, “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:2 speaks to our being “sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints.” I cannot begin to imagine how empty and fallen I would be if I were not “In Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” YES!
In Galatians 3:26 Paul tells us that “ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” And in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” We are grafted into the family of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:6, “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” How awesome, here we are on planet earth and yet in the heavenlies.
So much more could be added length allowing, so a relevant summation: 2 Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

My Christian Walk, in the world but not of the world.

Paul tells us in ll Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” I try to be a positive and productive ambassador for God while not immersing myself too deeply in the World. 2 Corinthians 6:17, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” I am very concerned that I not be a stumbling block to others by appearing to be just another Christian hypocrite.
There are many relevant Bible verses dealing with our walk with Jesus. However, It is very difficult to avoid the influence of the world as we in the United States are involved in a very critical and mudslinging election year. It can be challenging to follow Paul’s admonition, 1 Thessalonians 2:12, “That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory.”
I have three primary means by which I attempt to advance the gospel. First is to try to be an example to others; to recall the initials WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? Next, I witnessed to people directly and via the Internet, most notably Facebook and my blog. And finally, I financially support Christian organizations such as Voice of the martyrs.
A favorite witnessing tool is to talk to people about the simple message of the Good News: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.
As a believer I’m in this world but not of it. Several years ago a similar discussion question made me think of the older western themed movies. At that time I posted something like “In these movies a lone cowboy would drift into town, get rid of the bad guys, win the heart of a local young woman and then would say “ma’am, I’m just passing through. Then the cowboy would saddle his horse and shake the dust of civilization from his well-worn boots and head for some random destination; an unknown destination but one that called very strongly to him.”
I identify with that cowboy. I’m just passing through and not really at home here on planet earth. Like him I feel drawn to continue my Christian journey while having both an eagerness and a sense of anticipation for the return of Jesus for His Church.

Head knowledge to internalization by the heart 505 - 3 - 3

Although the Church of Ephesians received high marks for adherence to His Word rather than that of the Nicolaitans, Jesus also had this to say, Revelation 2:4, “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
I don't remember a time in my early life that I wasn't in church with the possibility of the six months I spent as a six year old in a children's convalescent hospital. I grew up in a conservative Protestant church, the First Congregational Church of my hometown. As a child I attended Sunday school and then later was in both the junior and senior choir. That said, I don't remember ever bringing a Bible to church. Rather, our minister would select a passage from the Bible and use it as a source for his homily. I would sit with the choir and pretty much daydream.
So where does my first love come from? My best friend's father was the local Baptist preacher and I spent quite a bit of time in his church. I remember answering more than one altar call and Pastor Gillette telling me that I'd already come to the Lord. Such an early and intense love of the Lord Jesus faded but never completely. After decades of falling away I’m back and seemingly insatiably hungry for the Word.
In her book Expecting to See Jesus: A Wake-Up Call for God's People Anne Graham Lotz refers to Tom Landry, former head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Coach Landry said that "the difference between a good athlete and a great one is eighteen inches — the distance from the head to the heart." Mrs. Lotz says much the same about many calling themselves Christians. Getting the head knowledge to the heart is indeed a great distance and certainly describes me, the perpetual student. Unlike the Ephesians, I have not left my first love but sometimes I overanalyze and tend to be critical of those who either reject the Word or don’t have an interest in delving into it.
The war in my life was/ is bridging the distance between my head and my heart, a battle I’m winning. I feel that my intensive study of the Word has been somewhat denigrated by some church member. I much prefer interactive small Bible studies to warming a church pew. I find that in the Bible study environment the head knowledge is more likely to be internalized than in a church setting. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Lots of biblical references to “pieces of silver.” 505 - 2 - 2

In the KJV the term “pieces of silver” is referred to 12 times in the Old Testament, three times in Genesis, twice in Zechariah and Judges and once each in Joshua, 2 Kings, Psalm, Song of Solomon and Hosea.
In the KJV the term “pieces of silver” is referred to 6 times in the New Testament, four times in Matthew and once in Luke and Acts.
Genesis 20:16, 37:28, 45:22
Joshua 24:32
Judges 9:4, 16:5
2 Kings 6:25
Psalm 68:30
Song of Solomon 8:11
Hosea 3:2
Zechariah 11:12, 11:13
Matthew 26:15, 27:3, 27:5, 27:9 *
Luke 15:8
Acts 19:19
Genesis 20:16 is notable as here the pieces of silver were given to Abraham who didn’t tell the complete truth that Sarah was both his wife and half sister. Genesis 20:16, “And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, he is to thee a covering of the eyes, unto all that are with thee, and with all other: thus she was reproved.”
Joseph was sold into slavery for pieces of silver. Genesis 37:28, “Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.”
Samson was betrayed for pieces of silver. Judges 16:5, “And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.”
Zechariah 11 is awesome in its prophecies and fulfillment.
Selling the Good Shepherd for the price of a slave. Zechariah 11:12, “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.”
The silver pieces were not allowed in the Temple cast to the potter, a potter’s field. Zechariah 11:13, “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.”
The idol shepherd, according to CM, a possible description of the Anti-Christ. Zechariah 11:17, “Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.”
Matthew 26:15, 27:3, 27:5 and 27:9 deal with the betrayal of Jesus by Judas for 30 pieces of silver and the ultimate use of the silver fulfilling Zechariah 11.
Added Later:
Various suggestions have been made as to why Jesus was betrayed by Judas. However, Jesus challenged the status quo of the Temple elite and their control of the laity. Joseph was betrayed due to jealousy. Samson betrayal was likely pure greed.
Something of a trifecta of evils, killing to maintain control, jealousy and greed.

King David and Uzzah mishandled the Ark, fear of God? You bet! 505 - 2 - 4

2 Samuel 6:3, “And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.” This was in error as God dictated that the ark was to be carried via two poles so there would be no touching of the ark. In verse 6 we learn that the ox shook the ark and Uzzah attempted to steady it. 2 Samuel 6:7, “And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.”
2 Samuel 6:9” And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me?” So King David offloaded the ark to the “house of Obededom the Gittite” for three months.
As an aside, there is a price to be paid for disrespecting the ark of God. 1 Samuel 4 shares that the Philistines captured the ark. 1 Samuel 4:21, "And she named the child Ichabod, saying, the glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband." Strong's H350 - there is no glory, that is, inglorious; Ikabod, a son of Phineas.
1 Samuel 6:6, “And the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months.” During those seven months the ark was passed from one city to another during which time the anger of God was manifest. First “Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord.” And “there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.” Add to that, the people suffered with emerods. Finally the Philistines wanted to return the ark and included a trespass offering of “five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.”
Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” To me this is not fear in the usual sense rather it is having a right relationship with God, of being absolutely in awe of God, holding him in complete respect and being obedient to His will.
There are many warnings of coming judgment in the Old Testament for disobedience. Warning passed on by Isaiah, Joel, Ezekiel, Job and others. Isaiah 2 speaks to judgment beginning in verse 1 with “a rod out of the stem of Jesse” and in verse 2 “knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” With thanks to Strong’s H3374, here fear is infinitive; morally reverence; dreadful, exceedingly, fearfulness.
There is still the possibility of redemption. 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Added later:
Uzzah not only had the ark placed on a cart, he touched it, both actions in direct disobedience to God's command. IMO, this has relevancy to our/ other countries' treatment (touching) of the State of Israel since her rebirth and before. The Gaza disengagement pushed by the US/ Hurricane Katrina is just one correlation. The sun now sets of the British Empire, In 1939, Great Britain reneged on the Balfour Declaration.