Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Protecting one-self from false teachings and such

Hebrews 13:9, "Be not carried about with divers (G4164) and strange (G3581) doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart (G2588) be established with grace (G5485); not with meats (G1033), which have not profited them that have been occupied therein."

With thanks to Strong’s:

Divers, “Of uncertain derivation; motley, that is, various in character: - divers, manifold”

Strange, “Apparently a primary word; foreign (literally alien, or figuratively novel); by implication a guest or (vice-versa) entertainer: - host, strange”

Heart, “Prolonged from a primary κάρ kar (Latin cor, “heart”); the heart, that is, (figuratively) the thoughts or feelings (mind); also (by analogy) the middle: - (+ broken-) heart (-ed).”

Grace, “From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude): - acceptable, benefit, favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, -worthy).”

Meats, “From the base of G977; food (literally or figuratively), especially (ceremonial) articles allowed or forbidden by the Jewish law: - meat, victuals.”

Throughout his walk on earth Jesus warned against fault Christ’s and false prophets. Mark 13:21-23, " And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: For false Christ’s and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things."

Acts 20:29-30, “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”

We are without excuse as we have been warned by the master himself.

The best protection against false teaching is to study the Word and “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11. CM reminds to be like the Bereans, Acts 17:11, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

For a number of years I was involved peripherally in what is known as the New Age. I morphed from this to the more grounded New Thought doctrine. Through a boyfriend I was exposed to Eastern religion, specifically the Guru Sai Baba. Decades ago Sai Baba would be preaching to his devotees and would manifest gold dust, gold teeth and jewels. Much the same is being done in some circles today. Truly, there is nothing new in the New Age. I’m grateful for this exposure as it has made me very discerning. My only concern is that I may be so discerning that I could miss true miracles resulting from manifestations of the Holy Spirit. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Proverbs 6:16-20, “ These six things doth the Lord hate....

Proverbs 6:16-20, “ These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:”
Before CM and KI I naïvely 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. To me being an ambassador for God means to home my skills as a Christian apologist. I hope in my small way to counter damage that has been done/is being done in many main stream churches. Too often lost is the message of justification by faith coupled with an inspiring message of what the blood of Christ has done for church members; rather, a great concern with filling the pews.
Paul tells us in ll Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” I do my level best to be a positive and productive ambassador for God. A favorite is to talk to people about the simple message of the Good News: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV.
I attempt to be a better Christian apologist by being informed of other worldviews. The Issachar Track course I 605: Worldview, Research, and Analysis was very informative concerning the seven worldviews. These include Atheism, Deism, Pantheism, Panentheism, Finite, Godism, Polytheism and Theism. It was demonstrated that Theism is the only logical worldview and would include Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Since Judaism and Islam reject the divinity of Jesus Christ, these religions also fall by the wayside leaving Christianity is the logical worldview.
Ephesians 6:11, "Put on the whole armour of God that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." There have been so many books written that are great asset in countering false religions. “Fast Facts® on False Teachings” by Ed Decker, 2002 is a quick overview of many of the so-called world religions and/or cults written in a fairly simple style that puts the cookies on the bottom shelve.
I maintain an online blog that likely has had little impact on nonbelievers, however, I seem to be reaching a few readers in far-flung parts of the world such as China and Russia. To date no readers from Muslim countries, go figure.

Friday, June 20, 2014

The cosmic war of Psalm 2:1-3. What are the rage and vain imaginations all about? 542 - 14 - 5

I found CM’s take on Psalm 2 very unique as he breaks it down into four voices. The first voice is that of the nations. Voices two through four are those of the Trinity.
Psalm 2:1-3, “Why do the heathen rage (H7283), and the people imagine a vain thing (H7385)?” The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed (H4899), saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords (H5688) from us.”
According to Strong’s, rage is “A primitive root; to be tumultuous” and vain thing is “emptiness; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain: - empty, to no purpose, (in) vain (thing), vanity.
More descriptive of rage is AMG International. Inc. Word Study, H7283, “A verb meaning to be in commotion, to rage against. This word appears only in Psalm 2:1 where it denotes the uproar and plotting of the wicked against the righteous. The image of a gathering lynch mob conveys well the action suggested here.”
The AMG International. Inc. Word Study, is also more descriptive of vain thing (H7385), “A masculine noun meaning emptiness, vanity, a delusion. It is used with a prefixed le to mean, in vain, uselessly. It stands for an imagined plot or plan that is a delusion, vain or something that is worthless It refers to professed help that is useless, vain before the Lord. Figuratively, it describes Israel being treated in judgment as an empty vessel.
Imaginations with thanks to AMG International. Inc. Word Study
H6250: A feminine plural noun indicating a thought, a plan. It refers to the ideas, imaginations, desires produced by a person while alive. Referenced Psalm 146:4. Psalm 146:3-4, “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." 
Also H7808: A masculine noun meaning thought. It refers to the ideas and imaginations formed in a person's mind, consciously or unconsciously; they are all known to God. Referenced Amos 4:13, “For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.”
There are so many other areas that I could go into concerning man’s arrogance and his vain imaginings. The creator is rejected and the created worshiped with the results of rampant homosexuality; Romans Chapter 1.. Also, as man shakes his fists at God strong delusions will likely convict him of a belief in his own superiority. 2 Thessalonians 2:11, "And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:"
Isaiah 66:4, "I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not."

Imagine mere man thinking he can make war on our Almighty God. It would be truly laughable if it weren’t for the fact that man is doing just that. More every day we can see that so many leaders throughout the world are doing Satan’s bidding. We are a microcosm of the real cosmic war between good and evil. That said, we know how it will end because we have the Book.
Added later:
I've always found this Psalm to be very interesting. Actually, I attending a new class at church Wednesday night and the Psalm was brought up as an example of God having a sense of humor. God may have a sense of humor, however, I suspect he is getting rather annoyed with the increasing immorality of mankind.
In searching through several sources of commentaries concerning Psalms 2 I found this summary and would like to share it.
SB Summarized Bible (K.L. Brooks) Psalms 2:1-12:
"Contents: The psalm of the king; rejected, established and finally reigning.
Characters: God, Christ, kings of earth.
Conclusion: The kings of earth are ever setting themselves in array against God and His Annointed King, but in the day when He comes those who will not bend will be broken. Infinitely wise is he who yields his life to Jesus now and dreadful is the folly of those who continue in enmity to Him.
Key Word: God’s King, Psa_2:6.
Strong Verses: Psa_2:8, Psa_2:12.
Striking Facts: Psa_2:12. The yoke of Christ is intolerable to a graceless neck but to the sinner, saved by His precious blood, it is easy and light. Mat_11:29."
204 words

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rewards (Crowns) as We enter Heaven 542 - 14 - 4

As we enter into heaven and stand before Jesus on the Bema judgment seat we may or may not receive rewards for what we did during our lifetime. The question is, were we a metachoi. According to CM there are at least five crowns to be rewarded according to what one did during his or her incarnation.

The Crown of Life is promise for those who have “suffered for His sake.”
• The Crown of Righteousness is promised to those who loved His appearing.
• The Crown of Glory is promised for those who “fed the flock.”
• The Crown Incorruptible is promised for those who press on steadfastly.
• The Crown of Rejoicing for those who win souls.

The Crown of Life is unlikely as I haven’t suffered for Jesus other than facing ridicule by my family. With the exception of my mother, I feel like I have to be very discerning in what I say to family and friends. This seems almost trite, however, having to downplay my passion for Jesus and for studying the Word of God is very distressing to me. However, my distress is nothing in comparison with the suffering throughout the world as Christians are being imprisoned, tortured and slaughtered. The Voice of the Martyrs website provides painful detail of this persecution throughout the planet.

I do expect a Crown of Righteousness to offer to Jesus as I’m eagerly awaiting the Rapture and being in His presence. The expression “The God-Shaped Hole in the Human Soul” certainly applies to me. I consider myself to be a sojourner who never really fit into this world. The Bible says it best, "In this world but not of it."

I have donated monetarily to feeding the flock, however, the Crown of Glory is likely more for feeding the flock on the Word. I use the Internet for social networking and maintain a blog; both used as witnessing tools. Whether or not these attempts to feed the flock result in bringing anyone into the kingdom is unknown as these are impersonal in nature. I also witnessed in person whenever possible. I don’t really expect a crown of glory for this limited effort.

The Crown Incorruptible could possibly be a reward as I do press on steadfastly in becoming a better Christian apologist. After more than 2 ½ years of studying at KI, my family finally is beginning to understand that I’m expending great effort doing something I feel compelled to do; feed on the word.

To me, the Crown of Rejoicing goes pretty much with feeding the flock so not very likely a reward as I cannot make headway even with many members of my own family. I continue to pray for friends and family, however, I leave it to the Holy Spirit to convict them.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chastening as in Hebrews 12:5-11 542 - 13 - 1

Chastening: with thanks to The Free Dictionary,
1. To correct by punishment or reproof; take to task.
2. To restrain; subdue: chasten a proud spirit.
3. To rid of excess; refine or purify: chasten a careless writing style.
Acts 4:32, “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” In Acts chapter 5 we read that after selling a piece of property Ananias and Sapphira suffered the ultimate chastening as they “fell down dead.” They were not required to give all the proceeds from the sale to the common purse, however, they lied and said that they did. So God “took” them.
Hebrews 12:6, “For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son (G5207) whom he receiveth.” Here son (uihos) is “Apparently a primary word; a “son” (sometimes of animals), used very widely of immediate, remote or figurative kinship: - child, foal, son.”
2 Samuel 7:14, "I will be his father, and he shall be my son (H1121). If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:" Here son (bên) is “From H1129; a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc.,”
After searching through the Bible for words such as chastisement I found a number of applicable verses. My take away from all this is that if you were originally justified by grace and go on and lead a very sinful life you will incur chastisement. In the extreme, God would take you to keep you from greater sin. You would not lose your “sonship,” rather you would lose rewards and inheritance.
As a very young child I answered an altar call and had a very early and innocent love of Jesus and had accepted him as my Savior.
It was after graduation from college that I started drifting away from church attendance. To say that I lead a sin filled life would be an understatement. Later as I looked for a renewed relationship with God, I drifted into the fringes of the New Age movement and from there to New Thought. While those in the New Age and/or New Thought are often very spiritual it's pretty much a case of anything goes and all roads lead to God and don't you know that you are god yourself.
When I look back on the years of drifting I have to wonder if I was truly justified. Would God not have greatly chastised me or in the extreme case taken me if I were justified? Actually, I think that Jesus knew I belonged to him and kept a firm grip on me through my years of less than exemplary behavior; I knew his voice.

Esau loses his birthright and blessing 542 - 13 - 4

Esau was not justified in his anger towards Jacob!

The conflict between Jacob and Esau began in the womb of Rebecca. Esau was actually first in leaving the birth canal, however, Jacob was holding Esau’s heel. Interestingly enough, Jacob means heel catcher, i.e. supplanter, Strong’s H3290 .
Genesis 25:22-23, “And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.”

Years later as Esau returned from the field he was very hungry and asked Jacob for his bowl of pottage. Jacob did so on the condition that Esau would sell him his birthright. Esau was more concerned with things of the flesh and said, “I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me?” Thus in God’s eye, “Esau despised his birthright;” analogous to spiritual fornication.

Esau was a successful hunter and would prepare a “savoury meat dish” that his father Isaac craved, again of the flesh. While Esau was hunting Rebecca and Jacob tricked the blind Isaac with a savoury meat dish that Rebecca had prepared. As a result Jacob received the blessing that normally would have belonged to the firstborn.

Carnal nature came into play both with Isaac's desire for Esau’s stew and with Esau’s selling his birthright for a bowl of pottage. 

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently (G1983) lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
16 Lest there be any fornicator (G4205), or profane person (G952), as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance (G3341), though he sought it carefully with tears.

Common opinion seemed to be that Jacob was deceitful and stole the blessing that should have belonged to Esau. However, God allowed (orchestrated?) Jacob to receive the blessing. And so God’s covenant with Abraham that had passed from Abraham to Isaac now passed to Jacob. This is just one of several examples of God bypassing the firstborn and favoring a younger brother. As a profane person Esau had crossed a line drawn in the sand by God and there was no repentance possible. A profane person (G952) comes from the base of G939 and βηλός bēlos (a threshold); accessible (as by crossing the door way), that is, (by implication of Jewish notions) heathenish, wicked: - profane (person). And Esau did indeed cross over a threshold!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Noah, my hero in the "Hall of Faith" 542 - 12 - 4

Over the years I have enjoyed watching reruns of the series, “Golden Girls.” I can almost see and hear Sophia recounting Noah building the ark. “Picture this, here’s a man building a humongous ark for 120 years in the middle of the desert where no rain has ever fallen. And whoever heard of gopher wood and two of every what?”

Years ago Bill Cosby did a humorless skit of his impression of a conversation between God and Noah,

The movie “Evan Almighty” was, in my opinion, entertaining and a tongue-in-cheek spoof. However, from the reviews of the recent movie “Noah,” it would seem that it was written and produced by those who worship at the altar of evolution and at the altar of distorted ecology.

So what was so unusual about Noah building an ark that it is still a subject of much discussion and speculation four thousand years later?

As an aside, it has been stated a number of times that the names in the direct line from Adam (man) to Noah (rest) are prophetic of the gospel.
Genesis 5:29, "And he called his name Noah (H5146), saying, This same shall comfort (H5162) us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed."

Genesis 6:8-9, "But Noah found grace (H8435) in the eyes of the Lord. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."

Noah was untainted by the cesspool of genes caused by the fallen Angels taking wives and fathering children as told in Genesis 6:4-5. God regretted creating man and instructed Noah to “Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.” Genesis 6:14. The only humans to survive the great deluge were Noah and his family.

The dimensions that God told Noah to build the ark to have been analyzed extensively over the years. As I recall, the center of gravity was so located that the ark would always returned to its upright orientation even after being tossed around by the rising seas. Also, there were sufficient room on the ark for Noah and his family and the animals.

So for 120 years Noah follow the dictates of God and built the ark. One can only imagine the ridicule he and his family endured building an Ark in a dry climate that had never known rain. Also, I would imagine the procurement of the gopher wood, etc. required was quite an undertaking. Nevertheless, Noah fatefully followed God’s instructions and through his righteousness mankind survived. Noah fulfilled God’s command and "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened." Genesis 7:11. We all are descendants of Noah.

Every day that that I wake up still on planet Earth rather than having been rapture I am trusting in God for a glorious outcome.

Word study added later:

So here is perhaps the most relevant verses dealing with of the why of God’s destruction of all humans with the exception of Noah and his family. Genesis 6:4-5, "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. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
The following is from Strong’s concerning the words referenced in the above post; Noah (H5146), comfort (H5162) and grace (H8435). The following include the Greek and Hebrew spelling as well as an aide to pronunciation.
The same as H5118; rest; Noach, the patriarch of the flood: - Noah.

A primitive root; properly to sigh, that is, breathe strongly; by implication to be sorry, that is, (in a favorable sense) to pity, console or (reflexively) rue; or (unfavorably) to avenge (oneself): - comfort (self), ease [one’s self], repent (-er, -ing, self).

תּלדה    תּולדה
tôledâh  tôledâh
to-led-aw', to-led-aw'
From H3205; (plural only) descent, that is, family; (figuratively) history: - birth, generations.

Word Studies on "Evidence" and "Substance" and Might I be Judged 542 - 12 - 2

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance (G5287) of things hoped for, the evidence (G1650) of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:2, “For by it the elders obtained a good report.”

I could find just one occurrence of the word evidence in the New Testament, Hebrews 11:1. There are four  occurrence of substance in the New Testament in addition to Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 10:34, "For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance."

With thanks to Wikipedia:

“Evidence, broadly construed, is anything presented in support of an assertion. This support may be strong or weak. The strongest type of evidence is that which provides direct proof of the truth of an assertion. At the other extreme is evidence that is merely consistent with an assertion but does not rule out other, contradictory assertions, as in circumstantial evidence.

In law, rules of evidence govern the types of evidence that are admissible in a legal proceeding. Types of legal evidence include testimony, documentary evidence, and physical evidence. The parts of a legal case which are not in controversy are known, in general, as the facts of the case."

Not so simple is substance with its multiple meanings including these:
  • Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition
  • Matter, anything that has mass and takes up space
  • Substance theory, theory positing that a substance is distinct from its properties
According to Strong’s number G5287, substance is from a compound of G5259 and G2476; a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): - confidence, confident, person, substance.

G2476 leads us to: A prolonged form of a primary word στάω staō (of the same meaning, and used for it in certain tenses); to stand (transitively or intransitively), used in various applications (literally or figuratively): - abide, appoint, bring, continue, covenant, establish, hold up, lay, present, set (up), stanch, stand (by, forth, still, up). Compare G5087.

G5287 takes us to: From a compound of G5259 and G2476; a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively): - confidence, confident, person, substance.
Strong’s is less verbose in defining evidence.

G1650: From G1651; proof, conviction: - evidence, reproof.
Next to G165, Of uncertain affinity; to confute, admonish: - convict, convince, tell a fault, rebuke, reprove.

So with evidence we have reproof which brings to mind 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

Substance is mentioned many times in the Old Testament including Psalms and Job. This verse caught my attention, Job 30:22, "Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance." Although Job was under great attack and was suffering greatly was this a type of Rapture?
Perhaps by verse Hebrews 10:34 Paul is implying a far better outcome in heaven if we endured to the end.

I rather expect that any report written of me would bring out my good intentions, however, too often lacking in follow-up.