Showing posts from 2018

Hebrews 10:25 and Replacement Theology

A commonly quoted verse is Hebrews 10:25.

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching."
It is often used in the context of imploring Christians to go to church. Whereas I fully recommend that Christians gather for prayer and worship and study and encouragement, I believe the emphasis of this verse is something quite different.

The "assembling... together" here (in the Book Of HEBREWS, remember) is the Greek word "epi-synagōgḗ." You can see the word in there, synagogue. This makes sense for Jews. In the Acts Age, Israel was expecting the time of "Jacob's Trouble" ("The Day of the Lord" was "approaching") and "the restoration of the kingdom to Israel" (Acts 1) and the return of the Lord in the clouds (Acts 1-3). None of that applies to believers of the current (Post-Acts) age.

This word is also connected …

Deconstructing Don Perkins' Introduction to "Hell" - Part 2

We continue our series on Don Perkins and his message on "Hell" "The word 'hell' carries the connotation of 'doom,' 'hopelessness,' and "futility.' Its meaning is clear. It represents the place of future retribution, the abode of the wicked, a place of punishment. Hell is a real place. Hell is a place you don't want to go."
-Don Perkins
Trying to list all the uses of "hell" (Sheol) in the Old Testament would take too much space. But let's look at a couple of uses and see if Perkins' description fits (note: some translations play loosely with "hell" and "Sheol" when Sheol is used). "Sheol" is used in these verses.

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
-Psalm 16:10

I said, “In the prime of my life must I go through the gates of death
and be robbed of the rest of my years?”
-Isaiah 38:10

 Both these verses are used in t…

The Evil Fruit of Replacement Theology Explodes in Pittsburgh

In light of recent events, let me say this...

Replacement theology, held by the majority of Christendom and taught in most seminaries, has been a Satanic lie which has led to centuries of cruelty. Israel has a hope and a future.

The Jews are the Lord's "brethren" (according to the flesh).
When the Lord walked the earth, he restricted the gospel of the Kingdom to Israel alone (Matt 10)He came to minister to Israel and to affirm the promises made to them alone (Rom 15)He was sent to Israel alone (Matt 15). He declared salvation is of the Jews (John 4)His disciples went "to Jews only" (Acts 11; Gal 2)In the Acts Age, the Jew was first (Rom 1)In any town with Jews, Paul went to them first ("as was his practice" Acts 17)Paul was in chains "for the hope of Israel" (Acts 28).
Gentiles were without a covenant, without a hope, and without God in the world (Eph). In the Acts Age, Gentiles were "grafted in" to the root (Rom 11) and they could be …

Deconstructing Don Perkins' Introduction to "Hell" - Part 1

HisChannel  [click for link] (which I like) recently ran Don Perkins' series on "hell." 

The first thing he says is misleading, "Hell isn't real. Have you heard that?" Well, as we've covered on this blog several times, we very much believe "hell" is real, it's just not the fiery torture chamber of human tradition. He sets up a straw man to knock down.

Don starts us off with Psalm 9:17
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all nations that forget God. (NKJV) No surprises here. God told Adam if he sinned he'd be punished. But what is that punishment and what is God telling us in Psalm 9?
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
-Gen 2:16
Any threat there of fiery torture? No. Was God being dishonest? No. Can we get "spiritual death" out of that passage…

2 Thess Clarifies 1 Thess (More on the Rapture Doctrine)

Some additional thoughts to our studies on the traditional "Rapture."
After Paul sent his first epistle to the Thessalonians, he quickly sent a second to correct false teachers and those misrepresenting his teaching. So, when the passage in 1 Thessalonians 4 is used to teach the "Rapture," we need to check 2 Thessalonians to see where Paul is pointing those believers.
Now, brothers, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and concerning our gathering together unto Him, we ask you  not to let your mind be quickly shaken or be troubled, neither in spirit nor by word, nor by letter coming as though from us, as if the day of Christ is already here.  Do not let anyone deceive you in any way. For that Day will not come unless a falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself as God.
When we are…

Hell, Romans 8:38, and The New Living Translation

I don't dislike the NLT, but we do need to be careful to remember that an "equivalence" is not a translation (and both are subject to bias).

I noticed that the NLT has this for Rom 8:38:

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love."
A wonderful thought for Christians! However, we have some bias slipped into the NLT here. The Greek reads "archḗ" and "dýnamis." Other translations render these "principalities" and "powers." These would be evil forces, no doubt, but should we impose on them "the powers of hell?"

The latter implies that "hell" is some sort of spiritual HQ. There is nothing in scripture to support that assumption. In fact (and ironically), these principalities and powers are far from the hell of tradit…

A Quick Look at 1 Thess 4 (The Rapture Verse) - Part 2

Now let's see about the ones with whom He comes. In the traditional rapture doctrine which relies on 1 Thess 4, it is assumed these are the deceased believers.
"It is with these words that we are to comfort our selves if believers die- fall asleep in Jesus. They shall return with Him when He shall be manifested; but, as regards their own portion, they will go away as He went, whether raised from the dead or transformed, to be for ever with the Lord."
-Darby's Synopsis of the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 4 This is traditional "Classical Dispensational" view (the believers are the "saints" who escort the Lord.

Let's not ignore the witness of scripture. First, let's correct the translation of a similar passage in the Book of Jude.
Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all the…

A Quick Look at 1 Thess 4 (The Rapture Verse) - Part 1

I'll start by noting that I am a Dispensationalist. No surprise there. However, I don't identify with any of the traditional eschatological (end time) views associated with the position. That is, while I see many of the same end time scenarios similarly, I don't hold to any of the "rapture" positions (pre, mid, pre-wrath, post) while still holding to the concept of a future Tribulation and Millennium.

You can find thoughts on these elsewhere on this blog, but I just want to look at one aspect of the Second Coming of Christ; the coming in the clouds with His Saints.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
-1 Thess 4:16-18 (KJV)

The Lord coming i…

Worship and the Coming Antichrist

I generally subscribe to the idea that we are in the last days. As I have stated in a previous post on the topic, we may still be a few decades from the consummation of the related events and the Tribulation itself, but being awake to this age, I wouldn't be surprised if the end is much closer.

In light of the appearance of the Antichrist and the general works of Satan, we need to be reminded that Satan is not in the carnal sin business, he is in the spiritual sin business. As Charles Welch taught over a half a century ago (already seeing the seeds of the end in his time):

"Deception everywhere. You would not be deceived by outrageous witnesses. You're more likely to be deceived by a gentleman. And we remind ourselves that the apostle Paul told us that the ones that are the ministers of the evil one ('he himself is transformed into an Angel of Light'), [they] are the 'ministers of righteousness.' He doesn't make men commit sin, he makes men feel indepe…

Another Look at Gehenna ("Hell")

Just another quick thought on Gehenna noted in my last post.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire [Gehenna that fire].
-Matthew 18:9b
Here the Greek for “hell fire” is γεενναν του πυρος = géenna ho pŷr = "Gehenna that fire"

While Hades is “the grave, the place of the dead” [Stong’s #86]; Gehenna is “Valley of Hinnom” [Strong’s #1067]. The Valley of Hinnom is a very real place in Israel and a very prophetic place.

The Valley of Hinnom is where great wickedness and idolatry (including child sacrifices) took place. It was turned into a trash dump which continually burned. This was the "lake of fire" where "the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched."

It is not a metaphor for God's afterlife torture chamber, it is a real place. We see it in Isaiah 66 after the events of the Revelation. This is how the Book of Isaiah …

What Happens to the Lost?

What happens to those who reject Christ (the Light and the Life)? Let's look at two verses all Christians know and love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
-John 3:16

Perish = apóllymi (Greek)

Strong's: to destroy fully (reflexively to perish, or lose), literally or figuratively: - destroy, die, lose, mar, perish.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
-Romans 6:23

Death = thánatos (Greek)

The word is used 119 in the Greek NT and overwhelmingly means "death" in the physical sense.

Where it used figuratively, it still points to cessation of life.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life..."
-John 5:24
Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.
-John 8:51

The Law, The Conscience, Sin and Salvation

One of the most prevalent (and dangerous) errors in Christendom is that people were saved under the Old Covenant by keeping the law, but now people are saved by the New Covenant. We've covered these errors before.

In short, no one was ever saved by keeping the law (no one has kept it or could). Abraham was declared righteous while uncircumcised, centuries before the Law was given. When the Law and Old Covenant were given, they were given to Israel alone. The New Covenant is not salvation in this age, it is a future covenant (again) for Israel alone. (Ex 19:5-6; Eph 2:11-13; Heb 8; etc.)
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of…

How Bible Interpretation Goes Wrong

I don't do this much as I think these things are better left alone. However, I think is a great example of how a teaching can go horribly wrong when we fail to rightly divide the Word of Truth and we try to rob Israel of her promises and her place in God's plan.

This is where failure to acknowledge context leads to great confusion.

I was with him until about the 20 minute mark.

The Body is not Israel. It was unknown to the prophets. Israel has a separate hope than does the Body. Israel's hope is connected to the earth, the land and the kingdom while the Body's hope is "in heavenly places" or "far above the heavens." Israel and the Kingdom are still in view in the Acts age.

Israel is known "since" the foundation of the world, while the Body was hidden from "before" the foundation of the world. Isaiah speaks of Israel. Unto her are the covenants (old and new), promises and prophets, not the Body. Paul was witnessing to "the ho…

More on this Titles Business... Stop Using Them

Previously I addressed the issue of giving titles to men. In short, I don't believe it's biblical. I was moved to revisit it after watching some videos of titled men preaching nonsense or defending the wickedness of other titled men; all under the threat "touch not the Lord's anointed!"

Pal, you ain't God's anointed.

For starters, since I believe that a vast majority of people in Christendom with titles and "uniforms"are not even true believers (let alone someone with a calling from God) I really couldn't care less about their titles or degrees.

Paul called himself "the least of the apostles," "less than the least of all the saints," and "the chief of sinners." This was the man who was sent to us Gentiles. If any man could take a title it would be Paul, but he did not. We need a little more of that attitude in our pulpits and pews.

And Paul's apostleship was conferred by God. None can claim that today. And altho…

More On This Names Of God Business

There is a group of Bible teachers who are trying to put people back under slavery to fear and the Law. One way they try to do this is by telling you you are worshiping Satan if you don't use the "correct" Hebrew names for God (or Christ).

Here is my response to one such video:

It seems like you think the entire New Testament was written in Hebrew or Aramaic? If not, I have no idea how you conclude that the Father can only be referred to as "Yahweh." Obviously, Paul uses "theós" [Greek] to refer to the true God and in Acts 17 that is the same word the pagan Greeks also use (the difference being the object of the use). In Psalm 82, scripture (the Father) refers to men as "'ĕlôhı̂ym" (אֱלֹהִים) [Hebrew]. But we know from context the object and difference. 'ĕlôhı̂ym [Hebrew] is also used of false gods (Deut 32:17; etc.).

Scripture also allows for pronouns. Both the Father (Yahweh) and Satan are referred to as "he…

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats - Part 2

We now briefly look at the reward and punishment in The Parable the Sheep and the Goats. As we look, we remember the context and purpose of the Book of Matthew which we have covered in these studies.

Matthew is the "gospel of the kingdom" and is given to Israel alone. It's theme is ENTRANCE into that kingdom. The three main sections (Sermon on the Mount, Parables of the Kingdom, The Return of the King and the End) all involve entering the kingdom.

We also saw that in this kingdom, God remembers the promise to the Gentiles (the nations), that they would be blessed through Abraham and through Israel. Matthew starts with introducing the King as "the Son of David" (Solomon and the united Kingdom) and as "the Son of Abraham" (Issac, the child of promise born before Jacob and his 12 sons).

"I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations [gôy, gôy] of the earth shall be blessed."
-Gen 26:4

Psalm 72 is a psalm of …

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats - Part 1

We now come to, in my estimation, the most dangerously misinterpreted parable in scripture: The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats.

We must note, again, the time frame for this parable.

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.."
-Matthew 25:31

This is not a judgment of all men of all ages. It certainly can't be applied to those who died 100 years ago, 1000 years ago or yesterday. This is the "parousia," the presence, of the King on the Earth. He is coming with the angels. We see the angels' charge in The Parable of the Tares (they separate). This is a future event.

We must also look at who is judged:

"All the nations [Gk: éthnos, ethnic groups, non-Jews] will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats."
-Matthew 25:32

These are judged as nations, not as individuals. And they are judged as to whether they fed…

The Parable of the Talents - Part 2

We now take a quick look at the judgment in The Parable of the Talents for the servant who produced nothing for his Lord.

‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
-Matt 25:29-30

We've looked at the "outer darkness" previously in the Parable of the Wedding Guests and in other studies. We noted that this is not the "fiery hell" of man's traditions; it is a place outside the kingdom.

Remember, in Matthew 8 it is THE SONS OF THE KINGDOM who are cast into the outer darkness. There, these can ONLY refer to Jews as they are contrasted with the faith of Gentile.

The "wicked servant" and the "unprofitable servant" and the guest at the wedding with a garment are all cast into the outer darkness.

The guests at the wedding who answer the invitation are…

The Parable of the Talents - Part 1

We now come to the Parable of the Talents. We note again the context of the end and the return of the Lord.

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them...After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them."
-Matt 25:1,19

We note these are "servants." Mary's song in Luke 1, she declares (in part):

"He has helped His servant Israel,
In remembrance of His mercy,
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
-Luke 1:54-55

This is not unique. Israel is called God's servant all through the prophets. The word is not unique to Israel, but it is very clearly applied to the nation.

But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its farthest regions,
And said to you,
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away
-Isaiah …

The Big Picture Context of the Parables in Matthew

The parables in Matthew are addressed to a blind Israel which had rejected their King and their kingdom. But in the book we also see a picture of Israel having her eyes opened.

Notice how the two healings which include the use of "Son of David" involve two blind men each. There is a reason there are two occasions involving this healing, but we will just look at them in the big picture.

"When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened."
-Matt 9:27-30
"And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!” Then the multitude warned them th…

Texas Shooting and the Subject of Death

I will resume on the parables of Matthew 25 next time.

I briefly wanted to touch again on the subject of death.

After the Texas shooting, a student said this:

"I'm so grateful and blessed that God spared me today."
This seems like a natural response. But in light of traditional Christian teaching on this topic it should seem odd. Imagine the following:

"If you go through this door you will be taken to a villa in the south of France where every need will be met. Food, comfort, companionship, bliss beyond imagination will be yours. About your loved ones? Well, they'll be along in the next few years."
How many would run through those doors? How many would say they were "spared" going to the villa?

E.W. Bullinger gives a quick summation of this reasoning:

God speaks of death as an “enemy” (I Cor. 15:26)
Man speaks of it as a friend.
God speaks of it as a terminus.
Man speaks of it as a gate.
God speaks of it as a calamity.
Man speaks of it as a blessi…

The Parable of the Ten Virgins.- Part 2

Some final thoughts on The Parable of the Ten Virgins.

I left off our last study pointing to the oil in the parable. Let's take a quick look back to Matthew 8 where the marriage supper in the kingdom (future) is noted by our Lord with a warning:

"I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the SONS OF THE KINGDOM will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
-Matt 8:11-12

We note that those who are cast into the "outer darkness" are not unbelievers of all ages (as tradition teaches), but "sons [heirs] of the kingdom." These are Israelites who will be cast out of their reward. We will see this same punishment in The Parable of the Talents.

These sons are juxtaposed with a Gentile in the passage who has "faith greater than all in Israel."

So, where does the oil in our parable come in? Let us review the two healings at the start of Mat…