Thursday, September 27, 2012

Discuss the dangers of “Replacement Theology" BIB 547-1-12-4

Replacement theology makes the claim that as Israel rejected Jesus as Yeshua she forfeited the promises/ covenants made to her by God and these passed to the Church which became “spiritual Israel.” The concept of replacement theology marginalizes Israel and the Jewish people making it easier for the world to turn its back on the Jews, most notably during the Holocaust.
If God cannot be trusted to keep His word to Israel can Christians expect Him to keep his word to us and honor our salvation? Of course God will honor His covenant with Israel as well as our salvation. To suggest other concepts such as Replacement theology is pure heresy. We serve an awesome God, unlike the capricious god of Islam (more about that later).
In another KI class I suggested that...“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” the ultimate victim of replacement theology." I was so taken by the movie “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” that I couldn't pass up an opportunity to recommend it again.
Set during World War II, the movie “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” involves the growing friendship between two 8-year-old boys separated by a fence in a concentration camp. Bruno is the son of the commandant of the concentration camp where Shmuel is imprisoned. Shmuel’s crime is being born a Jew. Boys being boys, Bruno sneaks into the concentration camp. Shmuel and Bruno search the camp looking for Shmuel’s father who disappeared a few days before. The boys make the mistake of entering a building that is holding dozens of men about to be herded into the gas chamber.
The movie ends with the door to the gas chamber being sealed and crystals being dropped into the chamber as Bruno’s father frantically looks for him. Sad as the ending of the movie is, Bruno’s father was about to learn the deadly efficiency of his camp of extermination.
So much for my usual discussed of replacement theology. That said, and in my opinion, there is an even more dangerous replacement theology coming to the forefront today. When Muhammad had his hallucinations he first thought he was demon possessed. He went running home to his wife and she assured him that this was not a demon and to go back and meditate some more and the rest is history. After Mohammed's death his followers pieced together the Quran, a hodgepodge of misinformation taken from the Bible and twisted around to Islam’s advantage. Ishmael replaces Isaac as the son of promise and the inheritor of the covenant that God gave to his friend Abraham. This is pure fantasy however 1 billion or so people on this planet actually believe it. Islam has their own antichrist named Dajjalis who interestingly is blind in one eye. The Islamic Jesus would fit our description of the false prophet. Is the antichrist from the Islamic faith? A subject for another DQ.

What OT "arrows" do you have in your quiver when it comes to proving that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah -- the Christ? BIB 547-1-11-3

The hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament that were fulfilled by Jesus in the New Testament are the "arrows" in the Christian's quiver when it comes to proving that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah. I often referred to a simple table presentation that really puts the cookies on the bottom shelf:

Starting with Genesis and the seed of the woman through the birth and crucifixion of Jesus we can follow the Scarlet thread throughout the Bible. One of the most unique episodes in the Bible is how God got around the blood curse that He had declared on Jehoiakim and Jeconiah originating from King David through his son Solomon. Actually Joseph, the stepfather of Jesus, came through the line from King David’s son Solomon. The Messiah had to come through the line of King David. To get around the blood curse and to fulfill Jesus coming from the “From the seed of a woman” Jesus came through King David’s son Nathan down through Mary's father to Mary herself.

Teachings such as CM's "The Footprints of the Messiah" prove statistically that Jesus was/is the Messiah. A false theory quoted by many is that Jesus never claimed that he was the Messiah. Not so he claimed any number of times that the Scriptures spoke of Him. Jesus reading from Isaiah 61 stopped at a comma just before, “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God.” Jesus came first as the suffering Messiah and will return as the Lion of Judah.

Numbers 21:8-9 “The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived.” Using a bronze snake to cure those who had been snake bitten would have been very confusing at the time. This was later understood through John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus had to be lifted up on a cross to cover our sins. Jesus is the stone that turns into a mountain and topples the statue in Nebuchadnezzar's Dream.

One of the most amazing prophecies was given to Daniel by Gabriel was actuate to the day when Jesus would ride into Jerusalem. With all the fulfilled prophecies, how can people not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Luke 17:42 “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” So perhaps the Jews of today have some defense as their ancestors didn’t know the time of their visitation, but what of the unbelieving Gentiles.

Compare Ruth 3 and 4 to Genesis 24. BIB 502-2-17-4

The Book of Ruth is prophetic of Jesus as the Kinsman-Redeemer. Just as the Kinsman-Redeemer Boaz redeemed Ruth as his Gentile bride and Naomi her land, Jesus has redeemed the Church and He will redeem Israel. As the son of Abraham, Isaac was one of the patriarchs and inheritor of his father’s covenant with God. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son of the spirit emulated the later sacrifice by God of his only begotten son, Jesus.

Both Ruth and Rebecca were Gentile brides. Ruth left her home to follow Naomi to Bethlehem. She was giving up the pagan gods of her family and made the famous statement, “Your people will be my people and your God, my God.”

When Rebecca met the servant of Abraham she gave him a drink and then watered his 10 camels, the sign he was looking for to confirm Rebecca as the chosen wife for Isaac. When asked if she wanted to go with this stranger she just met to marry a man that she didn't know she said yes and left the next morning. Through Rebecca as his wife, Isaac became father of nations.

Both Ruth and Rebecca displayed great courage as well as obedience to God’s plan. In both cases there was an unnamed servant as an intercessor. An unnamed servant informed Boaz who Ruth was and an unnamed servant went to fetch Rebecca. An unnamed servant is an equivalency to the Holy Spirit. In the case of Rebecca the unnamed servant was named a few chapters earlier as Eleazar.

Once back in Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth were destitute and Ruth gleaned in the fields of what turns out to be Naomi’s kinsman Boaz. Naomi realized the possibility of Boaz being a kinsman redeemer, the Go'el. So Naomi set events in motion that resulted in the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. Boaz and Ruth had a son they named Obed who had a son named Jesse and in turn Jesse had a son named David, later known as King David.

What does it mean to you to take the Bible seriously? 502-17-

My first response to the question would be to say that the Bible is the inherent word of God. I would point out that there are hundreds of prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled providing a historical as well as a spiritual basis for the Bible. However I think this question has more to do with what figures of speech such as allegories metaphors etc. represent.

With thanks to CM from whom I borrowed most of the following:

· A simile is a resemblance as in Genesis 25:25, “The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.” Esau may mean hairy.

· An allegory is a comparison by representation. In Gal 4:22, 24 Paul was comparing Abraham’s sons by two women, his wife Sarah and her slave Hagar as representing two covenants. Hagar was compared to Mount Sinai (legalism) as the mother of slaves.

· A metaphor is a representation, Matthew 26:26, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” The Catholic Church takes Jesus literally with the heresy that the wine and bread are the actual blood and body of Jesus Christ.

· A hypocatastasis an implied resemblance or representation. Matthew 7:3, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” is a favorite of mine. How freely people criticize without first looking to themselves.

· A type is a figure or example of something future used by Paul in Romans 5:14, “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.” With thanks to Adam for this mess we live in.

· An analogy is a resemblance in some particulars between things otherwise unlike. Perhaps this is what part of my answer was to Revelation discussion question #2 Jesus opens and closes the Olivet discourse with what phrase? How can we put this into practice? “The deception of the Antichrist will be somewhat analogous of the spiritual blindness that Jesus pronounced upon Israel when they did not know the time of their visitation. During the tribulation many hearts will have been so hardened against God that it will be like a spiritual blindness.”

Figures of speech aside, I like Paul’s simple message. “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

Jesus opens and closes the Olivet discourse with what phrase? How can we put this into practice?BIB 547-1-11-2

The desolation Jesus spoke of in Luke 21:20-21 was a warning to the Gentiles from a past event, “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city.” This gave the people of the Way a heads up to get out of Jerusalem before the destruction of 70 AD.
When Jesus spoke to Matthew about the abomination of desolation he was referring to the end days when the Antichrist would desecrate the Temple and declare war on the Jews; the Jews were to seek refuge at Petra.
Jesus opens the discourse with a warning against deception. In Matthew, Jesus closes with the warning of coming judgment and in Luke to be ready for the coming of Jesus for His Church.
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.” Matthew 24:4-5 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:46
“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.” Mark 13:22-23 “What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!” Mark 13:37
Luke 13:8, He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Luke 13:36, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
The deception of the Antichrist will be somewhat analogous of the spiritual blindness that Jesus pronounced upon Israel when they did not know the time of their visitation. During the tribulation many hearts will have been so hardened against God that it will be like a spiritual blindness. Those of us who count ourselves as being saved should emerge ourselves in the Word while making the bringing of more into the kingdom a priority.
Wilfred Hahn has a series of articles published on the Rapture Ready website titled “Prophecy: Right- or Wrong-Headed?” The following is a quote from Part 1:
“While deep knowledge of the Bible is not necessary for salvation, at the same time, the Bible is a document that is specifically inspired by the Holy Spirit to impart all the written information that is crucial for followers of Jesus Christ to know, in matters of faith, life and prophecy. If we study the entire counsel of the Bible, we will be less inclined to give vent to baseless speculations.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

List three of Abraham’s shining moments and list a few of his shortcomings? BIB 502-2 - 16-7

When three supernatural beings called on Abraham he recognize them as such and didn’t hesitate, he immediately called for water to wash their feet and a meal to be prepared for them. He then stood by respectfully while they ate.
Abraham was a friend of God and as such he could talk to him as a friend. Abraham spoke up for his son of the flesh, Ishmael, and asked God to accept him. Abraham accepted God’s rejection of Ishmael in favor of his son of promise Isaac. Abraham spoke in defense of Sodom and Gomorrah. He had enough trust in God’s friendship to actually bargain with Him about sparing Sodom and Gomorrah.

When God told Abraham to take his only son and sacrifice him he did not hesitate. Abraham Left the next day to fulfill God’s command. While nonbelievers consider this to be a moral equivalency to the sacrificing of children to pagan gods it was not. Abraham knew that Isaac was the son of promise and through him he would be the father of nations. So it would be a reasonable assumption that either God would interfere and stop the sacrifice or would resurrect Isaac. So while Abraham had faith that Isaac would be okay, it still must have taken every ounce of obedience in him to climb that mountain with his son Isaac.


God appeared to Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia and said, “Leave your country and your people, and go to the land I will show you.” Abraham settled in Harran and stayed there until after his father died and then obeyed God commend to “go to the land I will show you.”

On at least two occasions Abraham referred to Sarah as his sister rather than his wife. Actually they were half brother and sister so it wasn’t a lie so much as not quite telling the truth. This put Sarah in the position of possibly being compromised but apparently Abraham trusted in God to protect her. As a result, Abraham came away with both his wife and great riches.

Abraham either had a lapse in faith that God would provide a son of promise or perhaps thought a son born while Hager sat on Sarah’s lap, as was the custom, would be the son of promise. Not so, Ishmael was born, the son of the flesh. In the Book of Galatians Paul spoke of grace verse law and of spirit verse flesh. Galatians 6:8, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” The result of the birth of the son of flesh is seen on the nightly news.

What lessons can we learn from Lot’s wife? What one thing do you get tempted to look back at? BIB 502-2 -16-6

The question about Lot’s wife looking back deals with being disobedient to the word of God and to looking longingly at the past rather than forward to the future. Her husband appears to have had a good position in town and she would likely have enjoyed a decent home and all that goes with it. Now she's told to run for her life and leave everything behind. Perhaps if Lot’s wife had not turned around and had fled with him and their daughters, there would not have been any incest.

That said, my current situation makes it a little easier to understand her reticence to leave her home. This time last year I was packing my RV for the return trip from my Michigan summer home to my Arizona winter home. In Michigan I’m a member/owner in a really beautiful RV Park located in the Bible belt of Michigan. We have our own outdoor chapel and Bible studies. It is an absolutely wonderful place to spend the summer. When I get back to Arizona I regularly attend the local Baptist church and less often the Assembly of God church with a couple of close friends. I attend Bible studies both in church and in an environment that really seems close to Jesus, in a 10' x 20' tent in the Arizona desert. Not an exciting life but a fulfilling life that I was enjoying very much.

In January of this year my mother became very ill so as a result I moved in with her to help care for her. Family love and responsibility can be draining on one hand and fulfilling on the other. I've had some very enjoyable times with my mother and some very frustrating times being here. I don’t care for Southern California and often joke that I'm surrounded by atheists, agnostics, New Agers and Catholics. Also, the park my mom lives in and is for seniors so no laughter of children, rather it seems like never ending visits to Doctor’s offices and medical labs. While I regret my loss of freedom, I can't help but feel guilty about having such of feelings.

Now what does all this have to do with lots wife? For some reason this last week I’ve been doing a lot of looking back. While God hasn’t turned me into a pillar of salt, I do feel very torn between duty to my mother and duty to myself. Perhaps it's because I turned 71 last month and I see my life slipping away. In the past when I stayed with my mom to help care for her it was just temporary, this time it’s for the foreseeable future. I suspect that after eight months God may find my requests for help in accepting my situation to be whining. I don't know what God has in mind for me but I'm learning that looking back is just too painful and too conflicting.

Why is the book of Ruth so important in terms of understanding Revelation 4 and 5?BIB 547-1-10-1

John revelator was translated to the Throne Room of Heaven where he witnessed many wonders. “Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?” But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:1-5

Then John saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain. And the lamb was worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals. Jesus was that Lamb of God who was slain for us; our bridegroom and Kinsman-Redeemer.

So how does the Book of Ruth relate to the Book of Revelation? The Book of Ruth is a very short book and sometimes dismissed as a pretty story of Ruth’s devotion to Naomi and the love story between Ruth and Boaz and their Levirate Marriage. It is so much more! The book is prophetic of the coming of Christ, the grafting of the Gentile Church to the olive tree and the re-birth of modern day Israel.

Due to a famine, Naomi and her family left their home in Bethlehem for Moab. Naomi’s husband and sons died. Later Naomi heard that the famine was over in Bethlehem and decided to return. Her widowed daughter-in-law Ruth, the Moab, went with Naomi to Bethlehem.

Once back in Bethlehem, Naomi and Ruth were destitute and Ruth gleaned in the fields of what turns out to be Naomi’s kinsman Boaz. Naomi realized the possibility of Boaz being a kinsman redeemer, the Go'el. So Naomi set events in motion that resulted in the marriage of Boaz and Ruth. So much in this short book.
Boaz and Ruth were in the line of Jesus. Boaz was the son of Salmon and Rahab who was said to be a prostitute. Boaz and Ruth had a son they named Obed who had a son named Jesse and in turn Jesse had a son named David, later known as King David. So a prostitute and a Gentile were in the line of Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David; what redemption!

The Book of Ruth is prophetic of Jesus as the Kinsman-Redeemer and the Church as the Gentile Bride. As Boaz redeemed Ruth as his bride and Naomi her land, Jesus has redeemed the Church and He will redeem Israel.

Give a brief explanation of the doctrine of imminency. How does this impact how you live your daily life? BIB 547-1-10-4

Through the Doctrine of Imminency we who are believers expect Jesus to come for His Church at any time. Jesus cautioned that:
· “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Matthew 24:36.
· “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Matthew 24:42
· “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:44.
Then there is The Parable of the Ten Virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of were ready with oil for their lamps and five were not. The five that had oil for the lamps were ready to go when the bridegroom came for them and other five had gone to purchase oil. “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.” Matthew 25:10. “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13
So how does the fact that Jesus could come for His church at any time impact me? On days like today which has been especially trying I find comfort in knowing I’m just passing through this world. When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and reflect on Jesus it’s just a wonderful warm feeling of comfort and expectation. I try to be the best caring and giving person that I can be and to keep my thoughts and life centered on Jesus. I read the rapture ready website in the morning and look up as I point to the computer screen like I’m saying to Jesus “well anytime now would be good with me.” After a day like today when I felt rather less than compassionate I am so grateful that I have eternal security. I often joke that when I get to heaven that instead of a mansion I will be rewarded with a pup tent. Actually this will be okay with me as long as I’m in the presence of Jesus.
Wonderful as it is to feel secure in my salvation as I wait with excitement and expectation for the imminent return of Jesus, I still have work to do in bringing others into the Kingdom. I keep saying that time is short and it seems to keep getting shorter every day. Two of our American embassies were attacked on the same day as we were remembering the horror of 911. Our embassies were attacked and our people killed and our administration apologizes for us as if we’re at fault. This is just typical of today’s reality when is good is called bad and bad is called good.
Come quickly Lord Jesus, please…

Explain why the Church is not considered the “Israel of God?” BIB 536 - Session 08-6

Before studying the Book of Galatians I would’ve been quick to answer this discussion question by pointing out the unconditional and eternal covenant that God has with Abraham that was passed down to his son and grandson. A question dealing with God’s covenant with Abraham, etc., would have been far easier to answer then the current question, so on with the challenge of a new understanding.
Paul introduced me to the concept of the “Israel of God.” Paul classifies physical Israel as including all Jews. However, spiritual Israel includes those Jews who are believers. In this respect circumcision or non-circumstance has no real relevancy. When speaking of “the circumcised” it was a mind set, an equivalency to those who live by the Mosaic laws rather than the removal of a little piece of skin. Those known as “the circumcised” were adding works to grace and/or being trapped in legalese.
Paul also spoke of circumcision either of the heart (spiritual) or of the flesh (outwardly). Romans 2:27-29 “And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Circumcision of the flesh sounds like it was being done out of pride rather than devotion.
As for the church, rather than being considered as the “Israel of God,” we are Gentiles who are in Christ but not a replacement of Israel. This would border on replacement theology which has been responsible for unspeakable evil and genocide.
We in the Church can take comfort in Colossians 3:11 “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” And 2 Corinthians 5:!7 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” Plus Galatians 5:6 “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

Have you experienced the support of a fellow Christian in bearing your burdens? BIB 536 - Session 08-3

Since leaving my church family in Arizona I’ve stayed in close contact with a very good Christian friend Jeanelle by way of telephone. Jeanelle is the leader of a Bible study that I’ve attended in Arizona the last few winters. She is truly one of those totally giving people who usually thinks about everyone but herself.
Rather than going into details about any human to human problems, this is about my dog Phoebe and how Jeanelle is helping me. Dogs have always been a big part of my life. 20 plus years ago I would get up in the morning and sit on the top step of my loft bedroom with my arm around my German Shepard mix AJ. AJ and I would just sit quietly with our heads together supporting each other as we started the day. AJ was getting older and suffering from hip dysplasia common with shepherds. I struggled with the thought that I should have her put down and then one day AJ went to sleep and didn’t wake up. I still grief for her but at least I didn’t have to have her euthanized. Now years later I have another aging dog named Phoebe, an Irish setter mix. Phoebe has been the four legged love of my life for nearly one and a half decades. We’ve traveled the country together since she was weaned and she has been my loyal companion and protector while on the road.
That same Phoebe who would look like a blaze of fire when she ran can now barely walk. She falls down and I have to help her up. As I watch her struggle I realize that I should let her go. I’ve been in contact with a veterinarian clinic where she can be euthanized and cremated but I just can’t seem to make that final commitment. Phoebe is a comfort to me as she lies close to my work area and sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. I pray that soon God will take Phoebe as he did my AJ.
So where does my Christian friend Jeanelle fit into all this? Jeanelle has a pray group back in Arizona praying for Phoebe, not that she will get better as that ship has sailed, rather that she will go to sleep one night and not wake up.
Being so invested in the emotional pain of needing to let go of a loved but aging dog probably seems rather frivolous and self-absorbed as we finish the book of Galatians. Paul made so many sacrifices for others and ultimately gave his life. However, my example is to demonstrate how Christians can help each other with seemingly little burdens as well as with the major ones.

A Little Leaven.....BIB 536 - Session 07-8

Mary Poppins sang about “a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, the medicine go down….”, however, a little leaven can puff up, puff up... Galatians 5:9 “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Leaven is comparable to sin and always puffs up. And what is a better picture of puffing up then as described in the Bible by Jesus concerning the Pharisees and the Sadducees and their legalese. Matthew 16:11 “How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?”
The Galatians had been doing so well and then begin to stray from the simple truth of the Gospel. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:7 “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?” While the Judaizers provided a stumbling block for the new believers, perhaps the faith of the new believers wasn't strong enough to convict them. In my opinion, law vs. grace much the same today. Whether it’s today’s Catholic who combines works with the gift of salvation given us by Jesus or it’s the person who falsely believes that salvation comes through works; both are practicing a false belief.
At my age I’m allowed to repeat myself so that I will once more add how very simple Paul explained it. “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 Jesus was all about love; John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Paul hammered home again and again grace versus law; “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:6 and of course Paul was talking about an adherence to the law rather than the cutting away a little piece of skin.
Love vs. law: with thanks to Dr. Missler:
- Man who loves his country vs. one who is simply "law abiding" ...
- Servant vs. lover;
- Maid vs. wife ...
-Sabbath day: vs. every day is a "sabbath"!
Through love someone does something because he or she wants to; often has a deep and instinctive need to. As for the Sabbath: “And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:” Mark 2:27 Jesus confirm this several times by twisting the tail of the Pharisee by healing on the Sabbath.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Why is the Pearl a perfect idiom of the Church? BIB 547-1-9-5

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:45
Jews are told to only eat seafood that has scales so oysters are not kosher. A grain of sand or a similar irritant is placed in the oyster and the living oyster reacts and forms a beautiful pearl. While to the Jew the oyster does not have value as a food, the pearl can be sold to the Gentile. The oyster is killed to procure the valuable pearl. This would be analogous to Jesus giving up his life so that Gentiles could have the gift of salvation rejected by most Jews. A further analogy could be that we Christians are an irritant to much of the world; however, we do spread the gospel.
There are so many parables in which Jesus alludes to the acceptance of his gift of salvation by some and the rejection of it by others. Also, we are told to always be ready for His return for His church.
The Parable of the Net is analogous to the judgment that will occur at the end of the age. “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:47-50.
“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son them to come, but they refused to come.’ Matthew 22:1-3. Some of the invited guests refused outright, some attended but were not dressed properly and were denied entrance. Finally the pretty much average people on the street were invited and accepted. Again this is analogous to the gift of salvation being refused by some and accepted by others.
In the Parable of the Ten Virgins, five were ready with oil and five were not. The five that had oil for the lamps were ready to go when the bridegroom came for them and other five had gone to purchase oil. “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.” Matthew 25:10.
We must always be ready for the coming of Jesus for His Church!.

Why is the tent an emblem for Abraham? What does that mean? Is the tent an emblem for your life? In what ways? BIB 502-2-15-4

This discussion question made me think of the western themed movies in which the 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. He would embark on a journey to some random destination; an unknown destination but one that called very strongly to him. How often have I felt like that cowboy and that I am just passing through and not really at home here on our current planet earth. I have both an eagerness and a sense of anticipation for the return of Jesus for His Church.
I can remember years ago the concept of “walk-ins” was being bandied about by the New Agers. The theory was that someone who really was unhappy with this life would yield his or her body to a being from another dimension. That being would just walk and occupy that physical form. I observed that those few women that I met who felt they were walk-ins were unhappy with their family and/or their present living conditions. They said they just didn’t feel that they belong here. Perhaps if these women had turned to Jesus instead of the New Age they would have realized that these feelings were possibly an inmate desire for the call from Jesus to come up yonder.

I suspect that the tent becoming an emblem for Abraham was due to his willingness to fold his tent and follow the Lord’s directions, well, after his father died. Genesis 12:12, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you….followd by The seven I wills.” God sent Abram “down to Egypt” where he gained wealth in livestock as well as in precious metals.
“So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold. From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.” Genesis 13:2-3-4.

Abram was obedient to God and fathered a nation. As followers of the Rabbi we should lead lives worthy of Him but recognize that our home here is like a tent, a temporarily structured. By being obedient to the Lord and ready to fold our tent and follow him we will be rewarded with a wonderful eternity with Jesus.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

How does today’s culture claim the Gospel is “offensive” to some? Explain. BIB 536-7-2

It’s been about a half-century (two generations) since we in the United States threw God out of schools. In today’s culture many people just don’t want to believe that there is a God to whom they will someday be accountable. Many people have hardened their hearts so against the gospel that just the mention of it is offensive to them.
Tonight was the second night of the Democratic National Convention. Among the delegates were 100 Arab Americans and more than 400 gays. Also there were many delegates representing a woman’s reproductive rights, code for abortion. This group also is pushing for companies and organizations such as religious organizations to be forced to pay for their contraceptives. Tax payer money for abortions and a companies being forced to provide contraceptives coverage flies in the face of many Christians. I would assume that to Arab-Americans the Christian gospel is offensive as it is to those who are active in a homosexual relationship. And of course abortion is murder and prohibited by the Bible.
As long as you are an unbeliever you are mostly free to engage in immoral behavior. Many people preferred to continue their sinful behavior rather then to embrace the salvation offered by Jesus. As long as they’re in denial I suppose they don’t really think about the fact that they are condemning themselves to an eternity in a less than desirable place.
The Democrats have come under fire for leaving God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel out of their platform they were to adopt earlier today. So President Obama gave in to public criticism and said to add it back, however, it had to pass a vote by the delegates. An unfortunate Democrat had to present the addition of God and Jerusalem to the delegates. He called for a voice vote likely expecting an easy two thirds majority. After the first vote it sounded like there were slightly more ayes than nays but lacking a two thirds majority. So it was decided to go for a second vote and then a third vote. Although it sounded to me like an even vote, these in charge decided that there was a two thirds majority so God was welcomed back into the platform as well as Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The thing that rather frightened me was the reaction of the delegates. To say that today’s culture claims the gospel is offensive to some is an understatement. There were delegates who looked like they were ready to tear the place apart. I could almost feel the evil emanating from the TV set.
I want no part of a second term for president Obama. I rather expect that there will be riots in the street should he be defeated. Intentionally or on unintentionally, Obama’s party and Obama are doing the work of the devil.

List each of the seven churches with a summary sentence of the personal application we can learn from each one. Which one speaks to you the most?BIB 547-1-9-7

The church in Ephesus is the Church of the Apostolic Age. The people were so busy bringing people into the Kingdom that they didn’t spend enough time in their devotional life. I tend to get caught up in my studies and trying to be an apologist in chat rooms and my blog. I do not spend enough time in devotion to God. I am currently taking three KI courses and find that I can keep up, however, rather than closing the day in prayer I spend that precious time doing my homework. I decided that two courses are enough to keep me engaged in study while leaving more time for devotion to the only one who truly matters.
Smyrna is the Persecuted Church and was told by Jesus to hang in there through horrific persecution. The Christians at Smyrna had nothing negative said about them. Like the people in the church of Smyrna I’m born twice so I will die only once.
Pergamus is the Compromising Church who had a “mixed marriage” with the pagans. The lesson here is that staying focused on the Word will keep me from falling into the trap of distorted teachings.
The church in Thyatira is the church of the dark ages also known today as the Roman Catholic Church. The church is mired in the trap of legalism and teaches a corrupted Christianity. The finished work of Jesus on the cross is not enough to the Catholics. The lesson to me is stand strong in my faith and that when Jesus said “it is finished” it truly was finished. Since this is the only church that has been promised that it is going to go into the tribulation, I sure don’t want any part of it or its false teachings.
Sardis is the church of the Reformation that started as a blessing to the world in that it freed people from the legalism of the Catholic Church. Most of these churches today teach replacement theology. Few members actually carry a Bible into church. The church at Sardis is told by Jesus they are dead but to be watchful, hold fast and repent. Organized religion is not for me and I much prefer small groups.
The church at Philadelphia is the missionary church and, like the church at Smyrna, has no indictments from Jesus, They will be raptured before the Tribulation and like most of us I would like to think that my membership is in the church of Philadelphia. For reasons mentioned above, the church at Ephesus would be more applicable to me.
The church in Laodicea is comparable to the mega-churches of today that preach the gospel of name it and claim it to members of the “me” generation. It is a lukewarm church, neither hot nor cold. Jesus said, “I will vomit you out of My mouth.” The lesson here is once more to stay focused on the Word as the absolute authority.

When Lot lifted his eyes … what did he see? How did this affect his choice? What spiritual lesson can be learned from this? How does Satan use our eyes?BIB 502-2-15-5

“Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)” Genesis 13:10 Satan’s favorite portal through which to tempt man is his eyes. Lot likely saw the riches of the city and the ease of living. “So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.” Genesis 13:11-12
Lot chose the ease of city living while Abram became a very prosperous herdsman. Lot must have known the depravities of the city but stayed on and held something of a political position.
Abram was visited by what appeared to be three men; two Angels and one an early incarnation of Jesus. Because Abram was a friend of God he was given advance notice of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abram actually made his famous attempt to bargain with God but there were not enough righteous men in Sodom and Gomorrah to spare the cities from destruction.
Lot greeted the two angels as they approached the city gate and insisted that they stay with him. That night the men of Sodom demanded that Lot produce the two angels so that they could “know them.” Lot offered his virgin daughters as a substitute for the two angels likely knowing that the men outside were interested only in other men. The Angels finally convinced Lot and his family to leave Sodom. Lot’s wife looked back and was turned a pillar of salt.
That wasn't the end of Lot’s problems. He and his two daughters were reduced to living in a cave and engaged in incestuous relations; “So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab; he is the father of the Moabites of today. The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the Ammonites of today.” Genesis 19:36-38
There are several spiritual lessons from the story of Lot. The eyes can deceive you as Lot was deceived when he chose Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot’s wife had to have one last look back at all they were leaving behind and she was turned into a pillar of salt. Except for fathering enemy nations, Lot was a footnote in the Bible while Abram went on to produce the nation of God’s chosen people.
God would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot and his family were removed thus giving us assurance of the Rapture before the Day of the Lord.

Added Later:

During the first night of the Democratic national convention there already was a push for same-sex marriage and unfettered abortion. Also, it is rumored that there will be little reference to God during the convention. A rather large percentage of the delegates are homosexuals.
Last week the Republican national convention was held and God was definitely included. In these last days the line between good and evil is certainly being drawn. The Republicans are opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion and the Democrats are pushing for their acceptance. People don’t seem to understand that is not the sin itself; it is when it becomes acceptable to a group as a whole that God holds the whole group responsible.
As I understand it, the Republican platform is somewhat friendlier to Israel than that of the Democrats. Nevertheless, both parties are ignoring Genesis 12:3.
I wonder how much longer God will put up with America which is becoming like Sodom and Gomorrah. The removal of Lot before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah offers assurance that we will be removed before a final disaster occurs here.

What is the thread that connects the Church of Thyatira, the parable of the Woman and the Leaven (in Matthew 13) and Babylon?BIB 502-2-14-6

Matthew 13:33, “Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Jesus started to speak in parables after the Nicolaitanes of the Temple accused Him of being demon processed. Two parables found in Matthew 13 are somewhat similar and yet are very different; the tares among the wheat and the leaven. In the case of the tares and the wheat they were left to grow together and at the harvest the tares were burnt and the wheat was saved. In this case sin (tares) was mixed with good (wheat); however, the wheat was salvageable. In the case of the leaven, the whole loaf was leavened or puffed up. Leaven is synonymous with sin.
Matthew 13:33 suggests that even a little sin will ruin the whole, rather like what is referred to today as zero-tolerance.
After the flood God commanded the people to go forth and replenish the earth. Instead the good citizens of Babel elected to stay in one area and built a temple mostly to read the skies. This could have been all well and good except that they were disobeying God plus they perverted the original Mazzaroth into astrology and soothsaying. The Babylonians renamed the constellations in the Mazzaroth to those of their pagan gods and goddess. Originally the Mazzaroth told the gospel story starting with the virgin holding a sheath of wheat to Leo the lion of Judah. God confounded the Universal speech of citizens of Babel to babble and they were dispersed throughout the earth. As an aside, as a supporter of “The Jewish Voice” I was given a Star of David pendant with a sheath of wheat.
Following the thread of sin from before the patriarchs to the writing of Revelation and the church at Thyatira we find a wealth of puffed up Nicolaitanes. Just as was the case with the simple gospel told in the Mazzaroth, the simple teachings of Jesus were hidden under layers of legalese. The church in Thyatira is synonymous with the medieval church better known as the Roman Catholic Church. Some, including myself, believe that the woman who rides the beast in Revelation is the Roman Catholic Church. One has only to attend a service at a Catholic church to realize how puffed up they are. The regalia worn by the clergy are very royal looking and nothing like the simple robe worn by Jesus. A friend of mine from Mexico commented that in small towns in Mexico you’ll see people living in shacks while there is a magnificent cathedral nearby.
“What Would Jesus Do?” Magnificent Cathedrals and royal robes, I think not!

As I Delve a Little Deeper....BIB 547-1-8-8

While evangelical Christians are grateful to Israel for giving us Jesus, most Christians belong to churches that somehow managed to forget and/or ignore the fact that Jesus was born a Jew. Perhaps if more Christians remembered that Jesus was a Jew they might be more supportive of the state of Israel.
The world in general and Christians and Muslims specifically have treated the Jewish people with utter disregard for their humanity. The Muslims have killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in the name of Allah. As for the Christians, the Roman Catholic Church has likewise killed hundreds of thousands of Jews in the name of Jesus Christ. Even within the Protestant churches there is much blame to shoulder.
Martin Luther was a great man in freeing Christianity from the yoke of the Roman Catholic Church, however, he was anti-Semitic. Within the Christian community of churches there are those who believe in the unconditional covenant that God has with Israel. Unfortunately, the vast majority of churches adhere to replacement theology. Israel is labeled as the aggressor and as occupiers on the land given them to by God.
Many Christians have a great love for the Israel for the state of Israel. Many support Israel monetarily and speak out as ambassadors for God’s chosen people. However, do we Christians think a little more deeply about the eternal destination of the Jewish people, what of those who have died since the time of Jesus?
What of the Holocaust victims? Did those of the 6 million who were of the age of accountability and who did not come to Jesus as they were herded into the gas chambers go to hell? Did God’s covenant with Israel completely take a sabbatical during the Church age until the Rapture of the Church?
The Jews are back in the land in unbelief with a very small Messianic (Completed) Jewish population which will be Raptured; an estimated 10,000 according to Wikipedia. During the Time of Jacob’s Troubles one third of the remnant will come to faith; are the two thirds that are killed during Jacob’s trouble and who are not Tribulation saints consigned to hell?
When I was a little girl one of my Catholic friends told me that it was a shame that I was was not a Catholic and that I would go to hell. All these decades later I can still remember the resentment I felt. I can only imagine the same resentment that many in Israel likely feel about Christians as they preach hell but, by the way, thank you for Jesus!
Luke 19:41-42 “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” Since much was hidden from the Jews nearly 2000 years ago, are the Jews born since then with blinders on accountable?
Added later:
Perhaps the danger to Israel has progressed to the point that it no longer matters if Obama leads this country further away from supporting Israel. Perhaps the seemingly worldwide hatred of Israel as gotten to the point of no return and only divine intervention will save Israel as prophesied. "He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep" Psalm 121:4
God will protect Israel, however, we do seem to be under judgment in the United States. The remnant of hurricane Isaac is still being felt in parts of the United States.
That said I still am very concerned about where millions of deceased Jews are spending eternity.

What does the following phrase mean, “that we may reach up unto heaven?" In what ways are people today trying to do this very thing? BIB 502-2-14-1

“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.” Genesis 11:1-2
The people had been told to go forth and repopulate the earth. Instead they decided to stay put and build a tower to the heavens, more likely an astrological tower. Thus was born the practice of predicting the future based on the stars and the planets. However, I would suspect that God found this undertaking to be very arrogant and rather dismissive of Him who ”stretched out the Heavens.” Add to this, the people remained in one place rather than repopulating the earth. God wasn’t please with this disobedience and said let’s go down and confound their speech. That had the effect of scattering the people across the planet.
Fast-forward to the 20th Century; for the past several years (decades) there’s been an encroachment by the Eastern religious movement into the United States. Rather than trying to build a spiritual tower to heaven by immersing themselves in the Word of God, many people try shortcuts. Gurus from India became commonplace in the United States as did people sitting around chanting mantras. About 25 years ago and for a very short time I had a boyfriend who was so taken by Sai Baba that he visited Sai Baba’s Ashram in India several times. More recently the Sai Baba “miracle” of creating gold teeth in people’s mouth was recycled in Florida. Also the manifesting and sprinkling of “gold” dust and throwing out orbs of light were just more stuff emanated from the East. There is truly nothing new in the New Age, it’s just pagan practices recycled.
People use chants, going within, drugs and other means of trying to elevate their consciousness to a higher plane. Currently there is a seminar leader in Phoenix training people to reach the third heaven. I find it interesting that Paul, the same Paul who spent three years being tutored by the Master, wouldn’t even speak of himself concerning his trip to the third heaven. Rather the self-effacing Paul spoke of himself in the third person. “I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” 2 Corinthians 12:2-4
I hope that God has a sense of humor; however, I rather expect him to once again come down and destroy the tower Babel.

In what practical ways do you apply the teaching of Genesis 12? How are you blessing Israel? BIB 547-1-8-2

“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” Genesis 12:1-2
God made a promise to Abraham. Even though Abraham did not immediately do as God directed, God still was true to his word. So from this I understand that we can depend on our awesome God. Unlike the capricious Allah of Islam, our God is God and to quote CM, “God says what He means and means what He says.” Also, though I may dither in following God’s lead, He is forgiving.
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.” Here God is giving a warning to the world including the United States; a warning not being heeded. We in the United States are not supporting Israel unconditionally and keep pushing Israel down the road to peace via a two state solution or as I call it the road to a two state disaster. Every time Israel gives up land for peace all she gets is a closer location from which her enemies launch missiles.
So what do I do to apply the teachings of Genesis 12:3, in one of the most practical ways, I donate to various causes that support Israel directly with aid and to causes that serve as ambassadors for Israel on the world stage. And prayer; we are told to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Prayer is the strongest weapon we have in our arsenal, one that I use frequently.
For years I have talked about someday visiting the Holy Land. The Holy Land really, I realize now that this is a generic term that marginalizes Israel. I am trying to now talk about visiting Israel, the true Holy Land where our Jewish rabbi once walked. Words are very important and as an ambassador for Israel I must be aware of what I say and how I say it.
Like millions of others, I have a Facebook wall where I often share articles about Israel. Israel has done so much to bless the world in the medical area as well as maximizing the utilization of their resources. I also share articles that seem to correlate a curse from God when we in the United States harm Israel. Perhaps the best example was the formation of Katrina as Israelis were withdrawing from the Gaza Strip.
So in my small way I’m getting the truth out concerning the blessings Israel provides to the world and providing a little practical cold hard cash to her.

Do you think children who die go to heaven? Give at least one scripture that supports your viewBIB 536-6-1.

Yes, children who die go to heaven. Although children are born into a fallen race, I am of the opinion that they have a special dispensation. I base this on several quotations found in the Bible.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 As I understand, poor in spirit would mean not having the spiritual arrogance of the Pharisees rather than having a lack of spirit. Such is the mind of a little child.
Jesus loved little children and having the innocence of spirit as children was important enough to Jesus to be quoted by several of His disciples.
  • “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14
  • “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14
  • “But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God Luke" 18:16.”
Plus Jesus said “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:14
I remember a story I read years ago that went something like this. A small child kept asking to be left alone with his newborn brother. The boy’s parents were concerned that perhaps it was sibling rivalry and that the little boy might hurt the baby. So they allowed the boy to be alone with the baby but listened at the door. The little boy asked the baby to please tell him what the voice of God sounded like as he was forgetting it. In my opinion, when we’re born or as a believer bordering on the edge of death, we have a special closeness to God.