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Introduction to Personal Bible Study - Videos (2007)

4 short introductory video studies First recorded in 2007, posted to GodTube in 2010  These short videos were made nearly 14 years ago. ...

Friday, August 27, 2021

Quick Thought on the Laying On of Hands

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

-Hebrews 6:1-2

The laying on of hands was part of the early faith and is not essential to a mature faith. It is seen as both symbolic and the means of transference. If we maintain this practice today (which is not unreasonable), we must understand it merely in its symbolic aspect.

The laying on of hands in the Acts Age carried with it an apostolic transference in some instances and merely as a symbolic recognition of that which already existed. Note that nothing was conferred upon Stephen when he had hands laid upon him (and the other deacons).

And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

Stephen was one of a number who already had the gifts and wisdom. He was charged with a duty, not with any gifts or empowerments (this was in the Acts Age in any case, but even here there is no transference) . Those chosen were already "full." They received no more "faith" and no further "gifts" of the spirit. They were neither "more saved" nor "more empowered." 

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost [gifts] and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

Paul and Barnabas had hands laid upon them, but they were already certainly full of all gifts, wisdom, and calling.

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

On the other side, there is a conferring of gifts connected to the Apostles. Gifts were only conferred by Apostles (that I can see) while offices could be conferred by others as well.

We must also note that Timothy's selection as the "faithful" man Paul chose had been part of a prophecy:

This charge I commit to thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies as to thee
, in order that thou mightest war by them the good warfare, maintaining faith
and a good conscience; which (last) some having put away, have made shipwreck as to

Timothy is charged with defending the faith, the correcting of those who had fallen away from sound doctrine. This charge is not a supernatural power. This charge is conferred upon some to protect the flock. These have a high calling and will be subjected to many attacks (from within and without) and a face a stricter judgement of their service. This charge must only be given to "faithful" men. Etc.

Thou therefore, my son [Timothy], be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 
Lay hands suddenly on no man.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Seed of David in 2 Timothy 2

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, raised from the dead according to my gospel

-2 Timothy 2:8

This verse has long puzzled me. Let me explain. Second Timothy is Paul's last epistle. It closes out the Word of God (not the last prophecy, but the final revelation). In Paul's seven post-Acts epistles, "seed of David" is only used this one time. A similar phrase, "Son of David" is never used post-Acts. So the question arises: why, at the end of his ministry in the current age, does he use this earthly reference to the Lord?

"Son of David" is used 17 times in the New Testament. 15 times of the Lord, one time each for Joseph and Nathan. It is used exclusively in the Gospel accounts (Matthew 10; Mark 3; Luke 4). It is exclusive to Israel. The Greek canon starts with the phrase in the Kingdom Gospel of Matthew. It is in Matthew in which the Lord restricts the preaching of the Kingdom to Israel alone (Matt 10:5-7) and states that he was sent to no one, but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 5:24). We have looked at these thoughts in previous studies.

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham

-Matthew 1:1

We've noted in other studies the use of "Son of David" by the Canaanite woman (Gentile) in Matthew 15:22, and how the Lord ignores her request. We noted that this is because the promises connected to the kingdom (healing being the one she was seeking for her daughter) were not promised to Gentiles. But when she pleads with him as "Lord" only (not as "Son of David") and takes her place beneath the "children" (Israel), the Lord answers her plea (Matthew 15:23-28). 

The name "David" appears some 56 times in the New Testament, but only once post-Acts. The name "Abraham" appears around 70 times, yet not once in Paul's seven post-Acts epistles. These names are connected to the promises of the land and the kingdom to the descendants of these men. The lack of references post-Acts makes sense as the land and the Kingdom promises are not in sight. That plan was put on hold. Israel was temporarily set aside. The hope of Paul's post-Acts epistles is the "far above the heavens." Unsearchable riches from the risen and ascended Lord who sits at the right hand of the Father in the far above the heavens (Ephesians). 

So, why this one reference to David in 2 Timothy 2?

I believe the answer can be found in the context of the passage surrounding its use. While our hope is in the "far above the heavens," our daily lives are lived here below. In the context of suffering here, our Apostle asks us to "remember" the Lord in his patience and endurance while in the flesh. 

Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect [chosen ones], that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

This is a faithful saying:

For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.

Let's pause and pull out the word "obtain" from our passage. This is not a section dealing with the free gift of life through his name by grace alone. We have as our scope the attaining of that which is beyond the gift. A gift is never "attained." Just one example:

If by any means I may attain unto the out-resurrection, out from among the dead.

-Philippians 3:11

To qualify for the crowns, rewards, or the prize of the high calling, we are called on to suffer for the Lord. In our look at those who are "the enemies of the cross of Christ" in Philippians 3, we noted these are believers. They are not our enemies. They are not the enemies of Christ. They are the enemies of the "cross of Christ," that is, the sacrificial life of suffering when one seeks to do God's will.  

We've noted in several studies how the great faith chapter from the Acts Age in Hebrews 11 speaks of those who, by faith, sought a "better resurrection" and "a city whose builder and maker is God.

That they might obtain a better resurrection.


In 2 Timothy, Paul is instructing Timothy to pass on the truths of this age to faithful men. Defending the scripture and the revelation given to the Apostle Paul alone will come with rejection and suffering. Ony truly "faithful men" will suffer in the flesh while having an eye on the blessings in heavenly places.

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

-2 Timothy 2:1-3


The word translated "endure hardness" (Greek: kakopathéō) is also translated "suffer trouble" and "endure afflictions" elsewhere. This is the call on our lives in this world. This section of 2 Timothy is all about living in the world while not being part of the world. We have no hope here.

2 Timothy 3 speaks of "the the last days" in which "perilous times will come." We must always be prepared to endure hardship as the Lord did in his earthly walk. We look back at 2 Timothy 2 and we read this reminder as we "remember":

Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

-2 Timothy 2:14-15

We must "rightly divide the Word of Truth" as we walk this earth. When we do so, we will be rejected of men, both in the world and in professing Christendom.

But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

-2 Timothy 2:20

All of God's own have the free gift of life through his name by grace alone, but not all will be found honorable. As we seek to lead an honorable life, we look to the Son of David in the flesh who endured hardship and shunned all temptations of the world system. It is in this context that Paul introduces this lonely phrase. Let us find strength in his strength to endure suffering and walk uprightly.

Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

-2 Timothy 2:21-26

Other words of note:


Saturday, August 14, 2021

The Sure Foundation of the Work of Christ Plus Nothing

Recognizing Our Limitations on All Things and Our Need for Christ

We're all going to find out that we had something wrong (why I choose to write in pencil on a number of issues), but the centrality of Christ and his sacrifice for sin as the remedy for the plague of sin and death is a firm foundation that many refuse to accept. This is not generally because they've studied it out, but because they refuse to see themselves as having nothing to offer and on the same level as the worst criminal in the eyes of a thrice holy God. but we know from the witness of scripture, that, without Christ, we are all in the same condemned boat.

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
-Romans 3:9-11

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

-Romans 3:21-26

I came kicking and screaming into grace. In all my study and religion, I could not allow myself to accept the clear teaching of scripture of my lost and hopeless state. How could that be true after years of service and devotion to the "Church?" God had to crush me beneath my sin.

Those who cannot see the glory and completeness of grace cannot see it because of a "false humility" which attempts to offer the works of their own hands to God. This is the way of Cain.

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. 

-Hebrews 11:4

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain... 

-Jude 10-11a

Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. 

-1 John 3:12

What was the difference between righteous works and the evil works? The sacrifice they presented. We present only the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world and nothing of our own hands. The door was always open to Cain.

The Lord's Perfect Sacrifice is Not Far from Any Who Seek

And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin [offering] lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. 

-Genesis 4:2-7

The sin-offering here is, of course, a type of Christ. The reality is here. It is a sweet-smelling savor unto the Lord. Anything we seek to add to that is both sin and foul-smelling.

walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 
-Ephesians 5:2

Christ's work is complete and his love asks for nothing in addition. Nothing. It was a joy for him to provide all we need. It is an insult to both Christ and the Father should we seek to add anything (especially in a "false humility").

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

-Hebrews 10:5-10


looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 

-Hebrews 12:2

The work is complete. The father is satisfied. We dare not try to add anything to that.

In the true humility of giving ALL glory to Christ by recognizing our frail state and our corrupt flesh and minds, we must approach secondary issues recognizing that Christ comes first.

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (touch not; taste not; handle not; which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.

- Col 2:18-23

Thursday, August 12, 2021

How Was the Lord Tempted "As We Are"

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. (Matthew 4:1)

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

-Hebrews 4:15 


Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man

-James 1:13

Temptation has two aspects... external and internal.

  • You can "tempt" me externally with the finest whiskey known to man... I will have no internal temptation. There is nothing in my nature that cares.
  • You can "tempt" an alcoholic with the same and he will be tempted internally.
  • You can tempt me externally with a date with Kelly Preston (c.1986) and I'd be tempted internally
  • You can tempt a homosexual with the same, and nothing internal.

Satan "tempted" the Lord externally, but there was no sin in him to be tempted internally. Each of us has different sins which appeal to our old nature (our flesh). The Lord has no old (Adamic) nature. Satan knows our weak points and will try to exploit them. This is why we are warned not to give him a foothold in these areas and the reason we are given several items of defense in Ephesians 5 and only one offensive weapon (the Word of God).

Couple of quick thoughts for starters.

As noted, we know that God cannot be tempted with evil (James 1:14). We also know that men have tempted God in the past, and there was no evil on God's part. There was nothing in God which could fail the "test." Let's keep the word "test" in mind.

Israel tempted the Lord on occasion. 


And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust.

-Psalm 78:18

Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times 

-Numbers 14:22

God never had a desire (internal lust) to do evil. He was merely put to the test by Israel again and again and again, but always without lust or sin. So when we come to our verse in Hebrews 4, we have to turn to the idea of "in all points like as we."

Let's stay in Hebrews and look at the concept of temptation. Context, as it were.

Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, 8 harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.

- Hebrews 3:7-11

(Little aside on God's "works"... did they make or maintain his Godhood or merely reveal his Godhood? Works never secure or add to anything, they merely reveal.)

Tempted = peirázō = tested
Proved = dokimázō = tried

The tempting of God by Israel in the wilderness was a testing of God's faithfulness. This did not please the LORD, but it did prove his trustworthiness and his faithfulness to his promises. His works proved his being. So we see he was "tempted," but obviously all that did was to "prove" his sinlessness. God cannot lie. God cannot be tempted with evil.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

tempted = peirázō = tested

The context of the Book of Hebrews is about going on to perfection (maturity) versus falling back into perdition (loss). The goal, for those servants, would be to attain the New Jerusalem. Abraham did not settle for the land, but looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. They looked for a "better resurrection." Resurrection life is a free gift by grace BUT crowns, rewards, New Jerusalem, etc. are attained by faithful service.

Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection... 
-Hebrews 11:35, etc.

In that endeavor, one must suffer testing (temptation). And to that end, they had a high priest who was tested in every way, yet without sin. Are we to hold that tested in "all points" must include every temptation of man? That is, things from heroin to pornography to child sexual assault to murder to homosexuality to self-mutilation (and on and on and on)? Do we want to say the Lord was tempted with a desire (lust) to commit all these sins?

I contend again that heroin has no appeal to me. Am I thus greater than the Lord? Or do we again note that I can be tempted externally with zero internal draw. I can be tested by heroin and in this area and  proved to be free from a desire for that sin. One who may be tempted by heroin can find hope in the Lord in that the Lord was tempted (externally) yet his nature was pure. There can be victory in the new nature.

This the difference is found between our decision to walk according to our OLD NATURE or walking in our NEW NATURE. Adultery, say, may appeal to my old nature (my flesh), while my new nature (spirit) is repulsed by the idea. The Lord had no old nature.

The Temptation (Testing) of Abraham

Let's turn back to Abraham (I love that the Lord chose this example in both Hebrews and James as a great work born out of faith). God instructed Abraham to commit human/child sacrifice (is this a work we should emulate?). Abraham's faith was tested and made perfect (mature).

By faith Abraham, when he was tried [peirázō = tempted], offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son 
-Hebrews 11:17


Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect [mature]? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

 -James 2:22-23

Abraham had already been declared righteous by faith alone (as both James and Paul attest), yet the testing of his faith wrought the works that proved his maturity. It was that loving struggle (no evil involved) that strengthened his faith and led to his inclusion in the great faith chapter, Hebrews 11.

Would we ever conclude God tempted Abraham to sin? God forbid. "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man"

The idea of being "tried" in the context of moving on to maturity can be seen in light of the opposite. That is, the "untried." These are those of no skill, the immature. The opposite of peirázō is a-peiros (tried and untried). It would not be those that tempted the Lord in the wilderness that would enter the land, but the babes and sucklings (the untried, unskillfull). That's just to show the full richness of the concept.

OK, back to Hebrews 4:15. Commentators want to read "yet without sin" as "not sinning." But do we believe the Lord desired to kill, steal, fornicate, (see above) etc., but resisted? He desired any sin that any man has ever desired? Is that was "yet without sin" suggests? Lust that just did not give way to action?

What is the Greek here? "Yet" is added for English reading. The two words there are "chōrís hamartía." A little help from Hebrews and Matthew (the scriptures in view).

"For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate [chōrízō] from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" 
-Hebrews 7: 26

Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder [chōrízō]
-Matthew 19:6

So, the idea in Hebrews 4, in context of going on to maturity, in context of seeking the "better resurrection," in context of not falling back into loss, in context of seeking and welcoming trials and testing (James 1:2) (for in them we grow more into maturity)... in that light, Heb 4:15 is saying that the Lord is with us in our testing. He was tried and found faithful. There is no idea of lust in his heart to do evil.

The idea is "the Lord was tested as we are, but he was always remained separate from sin."

God Neither Tempts Nor Can Be Tempted With Sin

God does not have any desire to sin. God cannot be filled with a lust to sin. There is nothing in God's character that could fail any test. He is the example of perfection and maturity. He was tested and found pure. Gold is tested (tempted) to test its purity. We have dross rise to the top in trials, the Lord had no dross to rise. He was found to be pure, separate from sin.

Note we read that God tempts no man (James), yet we read that God tempted Abraham (Hebrews)? Is this another contradiction? Of course not. Here again we see the two sides of the coin. The idea of "evil" is suggested and needs to be understood in James 1.

"Let no man say when he is tempted [to do evil], I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man [with evil]". But every man is tempted [to do evil] when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed" 
-James 1:14

The Lord could not be drawn away of his own lust as he had none. He tempts no man with evil. The context of the word "tempted" ("tested") is paramount in understanding this issue. May we not find ourselves accusing the Lord with a desire to do wicked by failing to consider all the Word of God.