Thursday, July 26, 2012

What is the "Third Commandment" about? In what ways have you been a positive representative of Christ? BIB547-1 - 03 DQ#4.

Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Before I started my studies at KI I na├»vely thought the third commandment had to do with swearing. Now I realize that taking the Lord’s name in vain has to do with being a poor ambassador for God. Many of the churches of today have deviated from the simple message of Jesus as well as being tolerant of immorality. David H. Grisham expressed it this way: They (the churches) have conformed the Word of God to the culture rather than conform the culture to the Word of God. They “have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof”.
Prayer was removed from schools in the 60s and most Christians just let it happen. The Supreme Court legalized the taking of the innocent lives of the unborn. Some denominations are ordaining homosexuals and promoting same sex marriage. An interesting statistic is that thirty-seven percent of women obtaining abortions identify as Protestant and 28% as Catholic. Abortion Statistics from 2011 posted on “Christian Forums.
Satan has successfully whispered into many ears, “Did God really say that?” As a result many no longer believe in the God of the Bible and call the Bible a book of fables.
There is increased effort to force Israel to give up part of their God given land to their enemies, enemies who have sworn to annihilate them. It seems there is no concern for obeying God’s word in 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.” In my opinion, we in the United States are under judgment as evidenced by extreme weather and out-of-control violence. The horrific hurricane Katrina seems to have coincided closely with the removal of Israelis from the Gaza Strip. Did our leaders listen to God then or do they now? Where are God’s ambassadors?
So what have I done to walk the talk? I do my best to honor God and lead a moral life. I advocate for Israel at any opening and give financial support. I remind people that God meant what he said in Genesis 12:3. I talk about the simple message of justification by faith recorded by Paul concerning Jesus, “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 KJV. I continue in-depth study of God’s word to be a better Christian apologist. I’ve risked friendships by being rather outspoken about my beliefs. And I pray for more coming into the kingdom while there is still time.

Have you ever experienced a situation like the circumstances Mark, Paul, or Barnabas faced? How did you resolve it? BIB536-01-04

This is story of four good friends in Arizona. Friend 1 was born and raised a Mormon and converted to Christianity. Friend 2 is pretty much a lifelong born again Christian. Friend 3 was born and raised Jewish and now is a Messianic Jew, also known as a completed Jew. Then there is me, raised in a conservative Protestant church, a limitation that I’ve since overcome. Our little group is retired with the exception of my Messianic Jewish friend who makes her living traveling the country selling mostly upscale jewelry and mineral specimens. After early retirement from the corporate world I also sold jewelry for a number of years.
In the spring of 2011 friend 3 and I decided to do some of the same markets in the state of Texas. Good friends and fellow Christians or not we were competitors and had one or two rough days. Other than that we were very helpful and supportive of each other on the road. We did have a fairly unusual disagreement when we met a hermaphrodite at a market. I’ll refer to him as a man as he was so dressed when I met him. Now I couldn’t make this up if I tried. He was in love with a lesbian and he hated men. He was thinking of having surgery so he would become a female only in the hope that the lesbian would accept him. My friend was tortured mentally over this disclosure. She counseled him that, should he choose to become a female and have a relationship with the lesbian, he would be a lesbian. He would then be under condemnation as a homosexual. My friend was so distraught over this, that she called our other friends in Arizona to pray for him. I was asked repeatedly what I thought of the whole situation and wasn’t it wrong? I said God created him a hermaphrodite and God could best sort it out. I guess that’s how we resolved it, as we haven’t talked about him for some time.
Meanwhile, back in Arizona our other friends were getting involved in seminars held by Patricia King. That is Patricia King of visiting the third heaven fame. I could see the earmarks of the New Age, with just enough truth in it to be persuasive. Now these good friends are very mature Christians and we’ve had a number of discussions. They still go to Patricia King seminars. Luckily, both friends are fans of CM’s teachings, so I steer most the conversations in that direction. I guess the resolution here is just the fact that I trust that given their deep Christian beliefs, their brush with the New Age is a passing phase. Meanwhile, friend 3 wants me to join her in an intervention with them this winter, resolution to be determined. If my word count were not approaching 500, I could also share their efforts to get me to speak in tongues as they do.

How big was the ark (in modern terms)? How many species could it have contained? How many were there to be contained? BIB502-1-12

I’m really interested in responding to this discussion question as by learning more about the construction of the ark I will be better able to defend my belief that the Bible is the inspired word of God. In this teaching, CM brought out again the cartoon most of us saw in Sunday School of the little ark with animals hanging out on the deck.
When God said to build an ark, Noah built an ark, spending more than a century building it. The amount of gopher wood required is mind boggling. And building a huge boat when there had not been rain before, a very great act of faith.
I like the often repeated jokes that the Titanic was built by experts and the Ark by amateurs. The Titanic was billed as “the ship that not even God could sink,” you think?
Noah may have been an amateur; however, he built the ark using God’s dimensions. Genesis 6:15-16, “And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”
Using the smaller value of a Cubit being 18 inches the ark would be 450 ft. in length, 75 ft. in width and 45 ft. in height. This would be about 522 railroad cars and hold 125, 000 sheep. It is estimated that there are about 18, 000 species and most are smaller than sheep. Even with two each of the unclean and seven each of the clean animals, there would be more than enough room for all with room left over for food and Noah and his family.
The ratio of the width to height of the ark plus the displacement assured the ark of righting itself in a rough sea. God also instructed Noah to pitch the ark within and without. Pitch can be translated to mean atonement and or to cover. Given that the ark was pitched on both sides, it will likely be discovered as God has a reason for his requirements.
A few years ago the movie 2012 was released and I watched it on a huge screen and surround sound. The special effects were awesome with the hero staying just ahead of the destruction caused by horrific earthquakes. A small remnant of the billions of people inhabiting planet Earth was saved by boarding not spaceships but arks. In my opinion the majority of the people spared were more representative of Ham and his linage rather than the righteous Noah. Of course the movie was anything but a biblical, however, I found that the use vehicles to sustain life were arks to be very interesting.

Added 7/26/12
It's an interesting concept and I agree with you that "the Ark is a type of salvation through Jesus Christ." The Ark was a barge rather than a powered vehicle that could be steered through the waters. Surviving the flood and its aftermath would require that its design and capacity be correct. Having God as the master designer, one could rest in the peace of knowing that all would be well. Just as Noah (rest) could rest in the Ark, we can rest on the assurance of Jesus of justification through faith.

What three groups of people faced the flood and how were they distinctly dealt with? What are the eschatological inferences therein? BIB502-1-12-3.

The three groups of people facing the flood were:
• Those that were removed prior to the Flood
• Those that were preserved through the Flood
• Those that perished in the Flood
Enoch walked with God for 300 years and God took him. However, Enoch named his son Methuselah (his death shall bring) providing centuries of warning to repent. God called Noah a righteous man and spared him and his family from drowning in the flood. As an aside, it was God who closed the door of the ark, not Noah. And the third group, Genesis 6:17, “And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die.”
As concerns eschatological inferences, Enoch represents the Church which will be raptured before the Tribulation. Those who perished in the Flood would be the unsaved who died either during the Tribulation or survived only to be judged at the Second Coming; Revelation 20:15, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
Noah and his family were preserved through the Flood and are more difficult to place with respect to eschatology. I would expect the modern day Noah’s would be raptured and at the very least today’s Ham to be left behind to face the Tribulation and not become a believer. The rest of Noah’s family would likely represent those who became believers and survived the Tribulation
Noah and his family found the Post-Flood world to be changed. The thermal blanket was gone; the climate now had cycles and more. The long lives pre-flood were gone. The unbelievers who survive the destruction caused by the Rapture will also face a very changed world, a world devoid of those pesky Christians and children below the age of accountability.
So even with the evil state of the world, God did not leave us without a way of salvation. Noah was without fault and saved by grace as we can be today, The apostle Paul says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9).
There are several lessons in the building of the ark by Noah:
• Do as God commands
• The grace of Noah also allowed his family to be saved
• When God says to enter the boat, do it
• Once the door closed there was no chance for anyone else to be saved
• Accept the gift of grace provided by Jesus before your close your eyes for the last time, like boarding the ark before God closes the door.

Are you in a Small Group? What are the advantages and disadvantages? 547-1-03-2.

I much prefer being in a small group to attending church:
· Members of a small group seems to me to bond with each other
· The group can get into a very in depth Bible study
· Members of small groups can be very supportive of each other
· There doesn't seem to be the clicks in a small group that I too often find in church
· No church politics
· Everyone is involved in the discussion unlike in a church setting
I’m not currently in a small group as I moved in with my mother the first of the year to help care for her. Living in Southern California is a radical change from my winner church family in Arizona and my summer church family in Michigan so KI is helping to fill this void in my life.
To me characteristics of a successful Bible study include:

· Staying small or splitting into more than one group

· An informal setting

· Staying on topic

· Leaders who are well prepared and gently controls the flow of the meeting

The disadvantages of a small group include:

· One person monopolizing the discussion

· The discussion can “fall into a rabbit hole”

· Differences of opinions can get out of control and cause hard feelings

· Some participants seem to be there mostly to find fault with Christianity

· Some participants seem to be there mostly to bloviate

· City ordinance such as parking can be used against the group

Before my move to Southern California I would spend summers in a RV park in Michigan in an area called “The Bible Belt of Michigan.” We had a wonderful Bible study where we start out with praise reports and prayer requests. Then we would view a 20-25 minute DVD from the Faith Lessons by Ray Vander Laan and then spend the balance of the hour discussing it.
Winters in Arizona I attended a Bible study held in a private home. It was a fairly small group of about 14 to 18 people. We sat around the room facing each other. Perhaps it was too successful as it was moved to the church and now everyone sits in pews facing the front. In my opinion it lost the closeness of a Bible study group. My favorite Bible study is a small group meeting winters at a camping site in the desert in a 10’ x 20’ tent. Arizona gets a lot of “winter visitors” so the group starts out small in the fall and grows through the winter. There is something about the desert that makes me feel even closer to Jesus

What is key about Genesis 6:4 "also after that?" 502-1-11-5

Genesis 6:4, “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

Latin is called a dead language; however, I took two years of Latin in high school and really enjoyed the myths of the gods and goddesses of the Romans. Mythology was an interesting concept and one couldn’t help but notice the similarity between the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses. Was this mythology just interesting fiction? Did the legends of gods impregnating earth women have basis in fact? Now I understand that it was Satan’s minions, the fallen Angels. Legends of the offspring’s of these unholy unions are told throughout the planet.

The flood wiped out all but the eight people on the ark. Noah’s blood line was not tainted by the Nephilim so he and his family were spared. However untainted Noah’s bloodline may have been, I would suspect that the blood of his wife and/or daughters-in-law could have been tainted. Either it was tainted blood from the wives or the work of Satan and his fallen angels as there were Nephilim after the flood.

When Moses sent twelve spies to investigate the Promised Land they came back with reports of huge men, Nephilim. Then there was David and Goliath and his four brothers. Satan may have manipulated human DNA as evidence by the strange man/animal gods of Egypt and he has had thousands of years to improve his methodology. So rather than creating giants today Satan may have adapted to more modern methods to contaminate the human race.

Last month I complete the course “1601 Intro to Strategic Trend Briefings.” It was enough to make my hair stand on end. During the last week we covered transhumanism. This following is just one slide from the teaching, “More than Human,” a teaching I recommend highly.

Changing Human Nature: A Futuristic Perspective:

· Transhumanism philosophy promotes the idea of human enhancement by technological means:

· Futuristic concepts like intelligence enhancement (up to 'super intelligence ')

· Techniques like genetic engineering, psychopharmacology, anti-aging therapies. neural interfaces, wearable/implantable computers, long lasting internal organ replacement, mental uploading and so forth

· Propagated from prominent positions like the US Nanotechnology Initiative and the Oxford University philosophy department.

The possibility of genetic targeting weapons has been suggested as well as combining humans with computers. Likely the military would like to have the Ultimate super warrior equipped with bionic parts. Viruses/diseases that would home in on a certain human genome are rumored to being developed.

Add to that there is ongoing research involving injecting human DNA into animal; Satan is alive and well and really promoting transhumanism.

Respond to Chuck's assertion that the "crucifixion of Christ was an achievement!" What was your opinion of Mel Gibson's - The Passion of the Christ? What were its positive aspects and how did it impact your life? Or was it a downside for you? BIB547-1-02-1

Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
And so begins Mel Gibson's movie – “The Passion of the Christ.” When the movie was first released, I watched it at a Brenden Theater with surround sound. I sat up close to the huge screen and felt nearly pulled and to the event. I was rather surprised that the audio was in Aramaic with subtitles, a fact that added greatly to the impact of the film. The movie was not sterile as are many of the movies made about the passion. Eight years later I can still remember vividly the scene where Jesus was being beaten. Whiplash after whiplash on His back and then He was turned over and beat about the front of His body. The beating was so realistic that I turned my head from the movie screen several times. No downside to the movie and a greater appreciation of the agony Jesus went through for us.
As to Mel Gibson, it’s interesting to note after all the acclaim his movie engendered; his life seems to have taken a turn for the worse. Mr. Gibson went on an anti-Semitic tirade that was recorded and went viral on the Internet. Perhaps given all the positive notoriety surrounding the movie Satan went on a real push to discredit Mel Gibson. However, the movie remains a classic.
The crucifixion of Christ was an achievement! The Crucifixion was prophesied in the Old Testament many times. That the crucifixion happened as prophesied substantiates the Bible as the inspirited Word of God. A few of the prophetic verses from the Old Testament that were fulfilled include:
1. Psalm 22, could nearly be the script for the movie The Passion as it seemed to have been dictated from the cross.

2. Isaiah 53 was so accurate that opponents tried to post-date it

3. Daniel 9:26 prophesied the actual date of the crucifixion

4. Zechariah 11:12 foretells the price of thirty pieces of silver and that the 30 pieces of silver would eventually end up with the potter after the temple priests could not take back blood money.

5. That Jesus would remain in the tomb for three days was prophesied by Jonah’s three days in the whale.

I've heard it said that it wasn't the nails that held Jesus to the cross; it was His love for us. God stepped out of eternity to become a man. After two thousand years Jesus remains the most important man ever; He was, He is and He will forever be. We are so blessed!

Added 7/26/12
I saw the movie "The Passion of the Christ" when it first came out about eight years ago. After responding to this discussion question I decided it was time to watch it again. I logged into my Amazon account and added the movie to my cyber-land video library and watched it. The movie was as graphic and as bloody as I remembered from so many years ago. How much Jesus loved us to go through that horrific physical pain and mental anguish. The ending was so unique as you could see the three dimension outline of the grave clothes collapsed and there stood Jesus. I wonder if this is what the rapture will be like, in our earthly garb one second and then in our glorified bodies.

List at least seven strategies of Satan to wipe out the Jewish race. Why is he still at it today? 502-1-11-6.

Satan is the father of liars and is a master of creating doubt. From the beginning when Satan said to Eve “Are you sure God said that” until the 21st century and his raising doubt as to Israel’s a right to the land given to them by God the devil has been hard at work.
CM provided these seven Stratagems of Satan:
• Corruption of Adam’s line by the fallen angels (Gen 6);

• Abraham’s seed could have been mixed with Pharaoh Seed (Gen 12, 20);

• Famine however, Joseph was in Egypt for “such a time as this” (Gen 50);

• Destruction of male line, Jewish male babies were to be cast into the river (Ex 1);

• Pharaoh’s pursuit, God parted the sea for His people and then closed it upon the Egyptians (Ex 14);

• The populating of Canaan, a famine caused Abraham to go into Egypt (Gen 12:

• Against David’s line, King David’s line was to produce the Messiah, however, a blood curse was later pronounced by God against all male descendants. However, back in the garden we are told of the seed of the woman. Rather than coming through the line of King David’s son Solomon, Mary was of the line of Nathan. (2 Sam 7);
There have been so many attempts to eradicate the Jewish people over the centuries. The Inquisition was especially devastating to the Jews as were the many pogroms in Russia and other countries. Hitler, a later day Haman, exterminated millions of Jews, however, his guilt is shared by those who stood by and let it happen.

After the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, most of the world stood by as the surrounding Arab countries tried to destroy it. In the ensuing decades Satan has continually whispered in the ears of many condemning Israel where no condemnation is deserved.
Anytime Israel tries to protect itself by building walls, Jimmy Carter, the anti-semitic former president of the United States, calls it an “apartheid wall.” Perhaps one of the most idiotic events in some time is the Global Counter-terrorism Forum that was formed in 2011. Missing from the roster is Israel, counter-terrorism forum/no Israel, an oxymoron. The father of lies and misinformation must be rolling in the aisles over this one. It seems that the current administration is backing away from America standing with Israel.
Organizations such as The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) spread misinformation about the so-called occupancy of the land given to Israel by God.
Circumcision, God’s covenant with the Jewish people, is being called child abuse and is being made to sound like an equivalency to the brutality of the Islamic female circumcision. This would be laughable if we were not so damaging to the Jewish people. Indeed Satan has been hard at work, a roaring lion who knows his time is short.

Added 7/26/12
I've heard Hal Lindsey state when asked for proof of the validity of the Bible, "the Jewish race." Jews have survived so much as God's chosen people, however, it seems the nations of the world are really piling on today. Psalms 83, perhaps or possibly Isaiah 17:1, "The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." Given the civil war in Syria and their storehouse of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, how long can Israel stand by and not take action? On the other hand, perhaps Isaiah 17:1 will be fulfilled by the Muslims themselves.

WHAT is prophecy and WHY is prophecy important? 547-1-02-02-2

Prophecy is history written in advance. Fulfillment of prophecy is important, to quote CM,” God means what he says and says what he means.” There are many so-called holy books and books of prophecy, however, their declarations remain unfulfilled. 2 Peter 1:19-21 attests to the validity of the Word, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

One website that I often share with others is, “Prophecies that Jesus Christ Fulfilled.” These are laid out in a table format with headers; Subject, Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillment. CM has taken us through statistical analysis of several of these proving beyond a shadow of a doubt Jesus was and is the Messiah.

Surpassing the hundreds of prophecies concerning the first coming of Jesus are the many more of the Second Coming. The prophecy of Enoch is mentioned in the book of Jude; Jude 1:14 ‘Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones.” I don’t know if one would call a declaration by God to be prophecy but He said that the seed of the woman would crush Satan's head, a prophecy to be fulfilled at the second coming of Jesus.

There seems to be so little fear of God on the part of many. I used to post in one chat room a lot where there were some people interested in knowing more about the Bible. I shared lots of information; however, it seems more and more to be “casting pearls before swine”, yet I persist. The following was posted by an agnostic: “I don't have a personal feeling about it one way or the other but God was pretty clever in killing him off at a young age, 33. Perfect timing, enough time to build a following and become "famous" but not growing old, cut down in his prime, thereby assuring his followers worship for years to come, ala James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Jim Morrison.” Sadly this is not atypical of the blasphemy often espoused in this chat room.

In addition to the prophecies of a falling away in the end days, it seems that God is giving us plenty of indications that we are skating on very thin ice. Have we have grown so far from God that he is leaving us to own devices much as what Paul spoke of in Romans 1?

How did LTB impact you personally? 547-1-01-03-3

This session combined with the last two weeks of “Learn the Bible in 24 hours” really impacted me by helping me to understand my reticence to attend a church here in Southern California.
I enrolled in my first class with KI in December of last year while at my home in Arizona, “Learn the Bible in 24 hours.” Early January of this year my mother nearly died and I’ve been helping to take care for her ever since. While in Arizona I attended the First Baptist Church on a regular basis and an Assembly of God Church with friends occasionally. Also, I was in two Bible studies, one at the Baptist Church and the other in a tent in the desert. Now that I’m in California I have checked into a few churches but no one church sounded close to what I had in Arizona. I think my lack of interest in the local churches has somewhat to do with the in-depth study of the letters to seven churches in Revelation Chapters two and three.

My mother attends a local Catholic Church that has a seating capacity of 1400 people. The Church has several services each week and is often filled to capacity and more. I’ve attended church with my mother a few times but left feeling sad. I watched the clergy and their helpers in their procession down the aisle in their beautiful regalia. I listened as the priest would say something and the people would respond by rote. I suspect that my electronic Bible was one of the few Bibles present in the church. My Jesus wore plain home spun and sandals, not royal robes. His church was where ever he stopped and His disciples walked “in the dust of the Rabbi.

So as I consider the seven letters to the seven churches I pretty much eliminate them one by one. While there has been a great falling away from God in this country, so far thankfully, we are not really persecuted. I have no interest in attending the medieval church with their doctrine of the Nicolaitanes. I have no interest in any of the churches that embrace the “all roads lead to God” heresy. I’m too old to be a missionary other than maintaining a blog on the Internet. I’m far too passionate about my love of God and his Word to attend one of the many the lukewarm churches.
I do miss the Fellowship found in Bible studies; however, I stay in telephone connection with my Arizona friends. It would seem that this phase of my life is going to be a rather reflective one devoted to learning more of the Word and sharing it on the Internet. To me the Book of Revelation was a revelation that I am where God wants me to be.

What are some things that God loves/ Hates? 502-1-10-7.

God hates pride. Pride was the reason for Satan’s fall when he thought he could rise above God. Satan appealed to Eve in the garden first through doubt and then by appealing to her pride by saying “you could become like God.” God hates idol worship, homosexuality and the sacrificing of children. We in the United States have hit the trifecta with our love of material things, growing acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage and the millions of babies aborted. When one considers that God caused the Jews to wander in the desert for an additional 38 years because they did not trust God to protect them from the Nephilim, what is ultimately in store for our country? In my opinion, we have grown so far from God that he is leaving us to own own devices much as what Paul spoke of in Romans 1.

God loves and abhors many traits in man; however, the unpardonable sin was to profane the Holy Spirit. Matthew 12:31-32 “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. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”

God loved the human race enough to step out of eternity and become fully human while being fully divine. Matthew 22 and 23 covers a laundry list of what Jesus hated. Hypocrites seem to head the list as evidenced by Matthew 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness."

God hates a greedy nature and what was being done to His temple: “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” Mark 11:15-1.

Jesus hated an selfish nature, Matthew 25:45, Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
Jesus loved a giving heart, Matthew 25:40, And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Jesus was born a Jew. He was surrounded by Jews. To me, Matthew 25:40 and 45 verses can be compared to 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.” God blesses his chosen people of the covenant and abhors those who do them harm.

Added 7/26/12

"Circumcision ban is the 'worst attack on Jews since Holocaust'." European Jewish and Muslim leaders combine to voice their growing anger at 'affront to human rights'.

I would suspect that this is more about an anti-Semite attitude then human rights. It has long been known that male circumcision decreases the chances of cancer in women. I would hate to think that the barbaric practice of female circumcision by Muslims to limit the pleasure a woman gets from an intimate relationship with a man is being compared to the circumcision of a male in a hospital. Again, little concern in this world for the words of God in Genesis 12:3. I rather think that God abhors having these anti-semitism people sticking their thumb in his eye.

What special privilege is associated with being a “friend of God?” Elaborate on what it means to you to be a friend of God. BIB547-1-01-7.

The special privilege of being a “friend of God” is that someday I will be allowed to spend eternity in His Holy presence.
Being a friend of God means walking with God; not walking ahead of God and not walking behind God. If I try to walk ahead of God I am basically trying to do it my way. If I walk behind God I lose that connection with him and can stumble. As friends we should spend quiet time together, “Selah Moments.” I must be worthy of God, as Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." And as Jesus said in Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
To be a friend of God also means to daily study his Word; to become knowledgeable about His many prophecies. We are in the end days and it is incumbent upon us as followers of Jesus to be watchmen on the wall. Time is short and we have the great commission to bring more people into the kingdom. After all, if we love being a friend of God, should not we share the knowledge of this wonderful relationship with other people?
Being a friend of God to me would also requires me to be His follower. This would mean being Jesus-absorbed rather than self-absorbed. Jesus said to his disciples, “Come” and they came. Later Jesus said “go” and they went out into the world and made disciples. He chose rather common and mostly uneducated men, men who saw something so powerful and righteous that they followed in his footsteps. A Jewish Rabbi with Jewish disciples. Of his 11 original and loyal disciples, only John was not martyred. However, John survived torture and long-term imprisonment.
Before Jesus stepped out of eternity for His earthly walk there were the Old Testament disciples/prophets such as Elijah and Elisha. Elijah called on God in his challenge to the prophets of Baal and later had to run for his life. Elisha answered the call to serve by cutting ties to his possessions; no questions asked just complete obedience to the call.
James and Jude, the half-brothers of Jesus did not believe Jesus was who He said He was until after the Resurrection. Both became church leaders and authored books of the Bible. They do not mention that they are Jesus' brothers. Rather, they humbly describe themselves as His servants. Josephus reports that priestly authorities executed James around the year AD 66.
Being a friend of God does not preclude one from worshiping his Holiness. God is holy, holy, holy!

What is the significance of the "shedding of blood"? What were Adam and Eve's clothes a type of? BIB502-1-10-3.

After Eva was beguiled by Satan and “ate of the fruit” and Adam elected to join her in her sin of disobedience they immediately could see that they were naked and tried to cover their sin/bodies with fig leaves. By covering themselves with an apron of fig leaves, Adam and Eve were an early example of man trying to do it himself rather than depending on God. God provided them with clothing made from the skins of animals. Recall Shakespeare and the lawyer who said you contracted for one pound of flesh but not one drop of blood. So very true, you cannot take flesh or in this case the skin of an animal without the shedding of blood. It is only through the shedding of blood that our sins are covered or in the case of Adam and Eve, their bodies.
In Leviticus 17 God declared his prohibition against the eating of blood as blood was to be used as atonement; “‘I will set my face against any Israelite or any foreigner residing among them who eats blood, and I will cut them off from the people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, “None of you may eat blood, nor may any foreigner residing among you eat blood.” Leviticus 17:10-12.
Cain offered God the works of his hands as a farmer while Abel offered the blood of a lamb. Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable to God and Cain’s was not. While Leviticus has a provision for offering grains as a sacrifice, Cain’s offering was not in accordance with it. After Cain killed Abel, God said the blood of Abel cried out from the rocks. The final blood sacrifice was Jesus on the cross. Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
Religion is man’s effort to reach up to God using things such as good works and legalism. Jesus is God reaching down to man.

Discuss examples where "God always does the seeking" in the Bible and in your personal life.BIB502-1- 09-2

To quote Dr. Missler, “God Always Does the Seeking.” Here are a few examples he provided.
Adam joined his bride in that fateful bite of the Apple and they hid from God because they were naked. Of course God knew this and sought them out and provided them with clothing made from animal skins. God taught them the lesson that sin must be covered by blood.
Abraham was called by God and told to take his family to a new land. Abraham finally obeyed but not until his father had passed away.
I always thought Jacob got a bad rap. Actually he just outsmarted his older, more materialistic brother. Jacob was called by God and given the name Israel.
Moses was raised in luxury but fled after killing a man. God called Moses to bring His people out of Egypt.
I was raised in a conservative Protestant church from a preschooler through high school. However, thanks to a good friend, I was also exposed to the local Baptist Church. While in college and married, I joined my husband’s church, the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church has beautiful rituals with the priest in colorful regalia, however, little actual study of the Bible. Like the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church has lots of rote recitations.
After college and the mother of two I started to drift away from church and year’s later I skirted the New Age movement. The simple message of Jesus was too straightforward for this technically educated person who was employed for years in rather technical fields. I dated one man who was very much into Eastern religions. I watched a VCR of Siri Baba manifesting gold dust and gold teeth in his devotees’ mouths. I’m repeating myself from past DQs, however, I feel so strongly about why I was allowed to circle the New Age drain. This equipped me to be more discerning and stronger in my Christian walk in my later life. Two of my best friends occasionally attend Patricia King’s seminars. I watched a few Cd's that they had brought back from the seminars. I told him this was old stuff and that Siri Baba was manifesting gold dust decades ago, that it was nothing but recycled New Age apostasy. Thankfully, we're still good friends and they are fans of Dr. Missler and his teachings.
When I went through full immersion baptism about five years ago I made the statement that Jesus never let go of my hand through all those years. Jesus not only sought me out; I belonged to him and he was not about to let me go. Jesus tells us in John 15:16, “Ye have not chosen me, I have chosen you” and He also said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” I know from firsthand experience that once you belong to Jesus he just will not let you go, thank you Jesus!

What would have happened if Adam had stayed in paradise? 502-1-09-8

66 books authored by more than 40 writers over thousands of years and it took only the first two chapters of the first book for man to fall. And as it has been said many times the redemption of man has been far more costly to God than was the creation.

Eve was beguiled by Satan; however, Adam took that bite with full knowledge. I wonder what would have happened to the creation had Adam not been a foreshadowing of Jesus. That Adam chose to join his bride in a hostile world is rather prophetic of Jesus sacrificing his life on the cross for his bride, the Church. 

What if Eve left Eden by herself?

Without Adam would she have fallen to such a lowly level that she would have accepted Satan as her god? Would Eve become the bride of Satan? Would God have created another bride for Adam and if so would they then be restricted to an area guarded by cherubim? The cherubim were posted at the entrance to Eden keep out Satan, however, would Eve be able to see past the cherubim and see her husband Adam with a new bride? Satan uses the eyes is a portal to man or in this hypothetical case Eve. Would she become jealous and seek to aid Satan in his battle against God?

God uses hearing as the portal to man, again in this case, Eve. Perhaps Eve would remember enough of her conversations with God in the Garden to resist Satan out in that cold lonely and hostile world. Would she unite with God in defeating Satan and eventually redeem herself in the eyes of God?

I actually started to reply to DQ#4, “Give examples of "Fig leaves" of man's religious efforts today.” I got as far as Eve adding the prohibition against touching the Apple and then got sidetracked by the thought of “what if Adam didn’t leave Eden?” Perhaps DQ#4 is a discussion question for another day.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What were some of the things ordained in Genesis but codified in Leviticus?” BIB 502-1-08-4.

After Adam and Eve had taken that infamous bite of the Apple they realize they were naked and hid from God. They attempted to cover their nakedness with an apron made from vegetation. Before God expelled them from Eden he made articles of clothing for them of animal skins. This is a preview of covering our sins by blood sacrifice. Later Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb was accepted by God. This would later be codified by the law and animal sacrifices in the Temple. Of course we know who the ultimate blood sacrifice would be and through His death our sins would be covered by His blood. 

Genesis 9:22, “And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.” Noah’s other sons Shem and Japheth took a garment and walking backwards covered their father. Genesis 9:24-25, “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” 

Perhaps it is a stretch to say that Ham observing his father’s nakedness was something ordained in Genesis and then codified the Leviticus, however, Leviticus 18:6 “None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord.” Noah’s knowledge of which animals were clean and unclean was important as it determined the number of each to be brought onto the ark. So Noah knew long before the time of Leviticus what the difference was between clean and unclean animals.

As an aside and from another Book of the Bible, leaven is considered synonymous with sin as it is a puffing up. In preparation for the Exodus Leaven was not used in the Passover meal. When flour was referred to in Leviticus as a sacrifice, there could be no leaven in it.

Genesis 2:3, “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” The Sabbath was codified by God in the time of the Exodus. Manna could be gathered for six days and on the sixth day a double portion was gathered. This way no work would be done gathering manna on the Sabbath. Leviticus 19:3, “Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, and keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God” and Leviticus 19:30 “Ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.”

There is the seclusion of a woman during her time of the month. This was done in Genesis and referred to in Leviticus not only as a time of seclusion but also purifying afterwards. Rachel, the favorite wife of Jacob, used this to her advantage and it saved her life,

Added 7/26/12:

Jacob and his family were in the process of leaving the home of his father-in-law. Jacob was unaware that Rachel, his favorite wife, had stolen her father's pagan gods. Rachel’s father extracted a promise from Jacob, Genesis 31:32, “With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.” Meanwhile Rachel had hidden them by sitting on them as her father searched her tent. Rachel was not found out as Genesis 31:35, "And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched but found not the images." So Rachel used the seclusion of a woman during her time of the month, a practice found in Genesis and referred to in Leviticus, to her advantage and it saved her life,

Are the practices of the early church a reliable guide for us today? Why or why not? BIB 502-1-08-2

Are the practices of the early church a reliable guide for us today? To me it depends on how early one is talking about. The very early church known as The Way was still very close to the teachings of Jesus and met in homes unlike the ornate cathedrals of today.However, it wasn’t long before people started adding to The Way. The Judaizers would follow in Paul’s footsteps and pervert his message. The Judaizers were proponents of legalism rather than the simple gospel of Jesus. Paul was very clear about grace vs. legalism in the book of Galatians. Paul puts it so simply in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “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” [KJV]
In His letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation 1:2-3, Jesus pretty much lays out the “Once and Future Church.”
The church at Ephesus was so busy bringing people into the Kingdom that they didn’t spend enough time in their devotional life.
The church at Smyrna was pretty much told to hang in there through horrific persecution.
The church at Pergamus compromised with pagan beliefs.
The church at Thyatira is the church of the Dark Ages, the Roman Catholic Church. The Nicolaitians of the Roman Catholic turned legalism into a money pot, subject for another DQ.
The church at Sardis is told they are dead but to be watchful, hold fast and repent. Jesus had nothing good to say about them.
The church at Philadelphia, like the church at Smyrna has no indictments from Jesus and will be Raptured before the Tribulation.
The church at Laodicea is neither hot nor cold and Jesus says, “I will vomit you out of My mouth.” This church is typical of many today, whatever brings the “Name it and claim it” members of the me generation. Jesus had nothing good to say about them.
So the very early church became married to the pagan beliefs and practices. Progressing a little bit more we have the medieval church which would be very comparable to the Roman Catholic Church and it’s many heresies including Mary worship and placing papal authority on the same level as the Scriptures. Many of today’s churches are cross between the church at Sardis, the dead church, and the church at Laodicea which is neither hot nor cold.
In summary and in my opinion, the practices of the very early church, The Way, is a good guide for us today. Chuck Missler’s teaching, “The Once and Future Church” is excellent. In my opinion, Dr. Metzler is right on and that eventually believers will move to home-based churches as more and more churches become politically correct and embrace the ecumenical movement.

Later fllwup:
I respectfully disagree with you Justin. The early church, also known as the Way, was close in time to the purity of the teachings of Jesus. Granted within the first several decades the Judaizers started preaching the law along with grace. However Paul was there to keep the record straight. The early Christians, as they became known, were willing to risk their lives to meet in homes and often in secret. Not only do I consider the people of the Way a model for today; the home church and/or meetings in small groups may very well reflect the teachings of Jesus far more than do the stately edifices called Houses of God. Also, as Christians face more persecution we made also be meeting in secret.
I’m confused by what you mean by the desecration of the communion. Do you mean the Lord’s Table where Jesus told us to do this in remembrance of Him? Or are you referring to the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church whereby the Eucharistic elements of bread and wine become the actual Body and Blood of Christ. If so, I sure agree that the Roman Catholic Church has desecrated the communion celebration. Plus they have redacted Scripture and added to it in direct contradiction to Revelation 22:18-19.
I agree with you and Peter that we should adhere to the teachings of Scripture and the influence of the comforter sent to us after the ascension of Jesus. So yes, “give me that old time religion, its good enough for me.”