Showing posts from December, 2016

Love in Bullet Form

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patientLove is kindLove does not envyLove does not parade itselfLove is not puffed upLove does not behave rudelyLove does not seek its ownLove is not provokedLove thinks no evilLove does not rejoice in iniquityLove rejoices in the truthLove bears all thingsLove believes all thingsLove hopes all thingsLove endures all things.Love never fails
But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that whic…

Running For The Prize (Life After Justification)

1 Cor. 9:24 All run, but only one receives the prize.

Phil.3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize.
(Literally: According to a mark, I press toward the prize)
One of the all-too-common accusations against the gospel of the free grace of God (salvation by grace alone through faith alone) is that it’s merely an excuse to sin. Well, apart from that being nonsense and addressed by Paul with a “God forbid!” (Rom 6:2, etc.), it is wildly and eternally dangerous should a Christian believe it.

There are two reasons for this. First, when a Christian (still having an old nature in these corruptible bodies of death) tries to live according to his flesh, he finds himself vexed and miserable. Secondly, he is forfeiting a “better resurrection.” There is a judgment for Christians. There is a prize to be won. There is a “better resurrection.” This is what we will briefly address in this note.

In the great “faith” chapter of Hebrews 11, we are told that the patriarchs and matriarchs eschewed the riches …

Thoughts on The Olivet Discourse

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" – Matthew 24:3
Note that this entire section is a response to a very specific question… when will the Lord come into His kingdom (Greek: parousia – the presence of a King). This is a specific word and is not associated with the post-Acts epistles. The events laid out in Matthew 24 correspond with the three sets of judgments in the Revelation. The “revelation” is the revelation of the King in His return to establish His throne. This is the “parousia” of the King. 
Charting the wording of Matthew 24 against the sequence of events in each of the judgments (seals, bowls, trumpets) will show this. Christ will return according to the prophets and according to the Feasts of Jehovah (given to Israel). The Acts age started with the Jewish feast of Pentecost and will culminate (after…

More on This "Yeshua" Business

Follow-up post on THIS POST

Let me start by again noting that I have no problem if people want to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as “Yahushua” or “Yeshua” (we’ll see why it differs). Lately, I’ve been finding myself calling out to him as (phonetically) “Ee-ay-sooce’.” But all of these names are Anglicized versions of non-English words. “Jesus” is a westernized rendering of the Anglicized “Joshua,” the Lord’s name according to the flesh.

So what’s the problem? The problem arises when people and groups start to distinguish between real Christians and those who apparently and secretly worship Satan based on the name we use for God or for the eternal Son of God. As one writer chastised us in a group, “Yahushua Ha maschiach is the only way , truth , and life in the Father Yahuwah!” He went on to argue, “jzeus [sic] christ [sic] is not the messiah !!!!!!!” Exclamation points in the original.
There is a tremendous irony at work here. Both “Yahushua” and “Yahuwah” are Anglicized versions of He…

We Must Worship in Spirit and Truth

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.- John 4:23
Worship in Spirit
In spirit and truth. If I want to worship as a true worshiper, I must worship him in spirit and in truth. But what does that mean in practical terms? This can be a very extensive topic, but I just want to focus on the large picture. In each age, the Lord wants his people to worship Him in SPIRIT and in TRUTH.
"Spirit" refers to that which originates with God. The breath of life is given by God and taken by God. The Lord on the cross cried out "into your hands, I commend my spirit" and he "gave up the spirit" as he "breathed his last." (As God, the Lord Jesus willingly gave the life that no man could take from him.)
The spirit is distinguished in scripture from our flesh (our outward tent) and from who we are (our soul). Adam, for example was created from dust (flesh).…

The Monkees, The Messiah & Me

God's Prerogatives
Earlier this year, at Daystar Church, Pastor Allen taught from 2 Cor 4 starting with the verse below . The reminder to confess our full dependence on Him alone to accomplish His will, shook some cobwebs in my mind.
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. (2 Cor 4:7) The first thing I must do is to state what I am not saying. I am not saying that we are to use the rudiments of the world to accomplish the will of God. That is not our prerogative. What I do acknowledge is The Lord is free to use our weaknesses and our own desires to draw us unto himself. Often that involves bringing us to an end of ourselves, the revelation of the futility of our efforts or carnal pursuits, thus, opening our eyes to our need for him. Other times, The Lord may use an interest we have to draw us into the truth. Again, that is HIS prerogative, not ours.

I placed my full knowledge of salvation and my resting in the finish…

Quick Post on the Use of "Yeshua HaMashiach"

I want to be clear that I have absolutely no problem with the use of the (Anglicized) "Yeshua HaMashiach" (and similar) to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ. My beef is with movements which (a) demand all use it and (b) think somehow it is superior. Several growing movements demand we refer to the Savior that way, and demand vehemently. Many of these people say it is the sign of the truly regenerated.

Truth be told, it's not scriptural.
The English word "Yeshua" is an Anglicized version of the Hebrew for "Joshua." No problem, but the NT was written in Greek. Even if you include Aramaic, we know Paul never used anything except "Iēsoûs Christós" (transliterated Greek). The other Apostolic epistles only know the Greek as well.
Some argue that Greek exclusively means "son of Zeus." I don't see any justification for this, but if they hold to that, I suppose they reject the New Testament. And, if they did value the written word as the…

Thoughts on "The Good Samaritan"

Writing these notes helps me work through scripture as I think (write) out loud. I have been in the process of undoing my theological assumptions since I became a Christian (25 years ago this October). So, today, I’m taking a fresh look at the parable of The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).

My first reaction is that I’m upset with myself for not immediately recognizing it as a parable. Of course I know it’s a parable, but I have failed to treat it as such. Parables are not nice stories to make a point, they are given to hide truth from the shallow and to challenge the seeker to go deeper. That’s not my opinion, it is what the Lord says of them.

To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’ (Luke 8:10)

I have to give a hat tip to A.C. Gaebelein, but I really should have seen it myself. The Lord’s parables must be seen through the prism of his stated earthly…

The Revelation is for Israel

A brief look at Revelation 5:9; 7:9; 10:11; 11:9; 13:7; 14:6; 17:15 and the “nations” in the Revelation in light of Israel’s centrality in the book.

It is my contention the whole of the Revelation is given to Israel through John, an Apostle to the Circumcision (the Jewish people); commissioned to the Circumcision (Gal 2:7-9). To that end, I want to take a very quick look at the “nations, kindreds, people, and tongues” in the Revelation, in context.

This is an important question, because as we seek to rightly divide the Word of Truth (2 Tim 2:15), we must know the to whom the Word is speaking and the conditions under which the words are spoken. If not, we could end up building arks for a flood that isn’t coming or refusing to minister outside of Israel, etc.

Traditional, Classic dispensationalism has the first three chapters of the Revelation (as well as the end of the book) as given to the current age Church (and to gentiles in general); the Jewish section starting in chapter 4. I …

Thoughts from Genesis on Death and the Sabbath

Personal Study 2007 The Warning to Adam In Genesis 2:16-17 
Adam stands as the head of the human race and is warned: 
“And Jehovah [Yahweh] Elohim commanded Adam, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou shalt freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt certainly die.” Here we see the covenant God (Yahweh) who is also creator God (Elohim) both commanding and warning Adam. These were given before the creation of Eve (2:22) yet the command and punishment apply to her (3:2-3). She was in effect “in Adam” just as we were “in Adam” (I Cor 15:22). However, when she disobeyed, sin did not pass unto all men (although she was still held accountable for her individual act – Gen 3:16). She was beguiled and was first in the transgression (cp. 1 Tim 2:13-14), but it was Adam’s sin that placed the curse of death upon all men (Rom 5:12). 
Note in Genesis 2 that Adam is only warned that he would die. Eve re…

Thoughts on Matthew 26 - The Poor and The Passover

Personal Study 2008 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. "Why this waste?" they asked. "This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor." Aware of this, Jesus said to them, "Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her."
How many people in the church in this hour have committed themselves to the (public) poor? Surely this is commendable, but it is not the call of God’s people (Israel or the church which …

Prayer in The Present Age

Original from July 2014 (slightly revised). Applying the principle of Right Division to prayer.
Prayer is the breath of the new nature.

It doesn’t need any artificial props and helps - anything of that kind. And you don’t have to put it on. It should be a spontaneous function of the new nature. Prayer is fellowship and conversation with God. .. So it’s up to us to take the low place, and not tell God how to run His Universe, as we’re so inclined to do, but to be occupied with Him. -Oscar M. Baker (What is Prayer?)

I guess I have wrestled with the concept of prayer all my life. From my days in religion wherein prayer had a mystical aura and prayers often resembled an Athenian calling on the gods to intervene on his behalf (or on behalf of loved ones) to times when I doubted that God would ever act in this age of grace.

I have studied, discussed and agonized over this topic for countless hours since becoming a Christian almost 25 years ago and I’m certain I’ll continue it until I fall aslee…