Showing posts from May, 2018

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…

The Parable of the Ten Virgins - Part 1

We now look at the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25.

We've established elsewhere that Israel is seen as "virgin" in the New Covenant (Jer 31; etc.) and it is specifically virgins of Israel who are sent to preach in Rev 7 (Rev 14:4).

The Revelation tells us the New Jerusalem "comes down as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev 21:2,9). This is the "better resurrection" reward, "the city whose builder and maker is God" (Heb 11:10,35), that faithful Israelites looked for (and why they shunned comfort in this life). We looked at the "better resurrection" and the difference between life (free gift) and reward (earned) in recent studies.

In the previous parable of the wicked servant, we noted that the central figure is a "servant." He is in employ of the Master. Here we have Virgins and they are invited to the wedding feast. We, again, are looking at a called-out company (Israel).

"The foolish ones took their lamps but…

Introduction to the Parables of Matthew 25

At the risk of upsetting Andy Stanley's sensibilities, we dip our toe back into the parables in Matthew. We've come a long way and we now find ourselves with three end-time, return of Messiah parables (Matthew 25).

If you search for information on the parables, these three come up quite a bit. They are heavily used by the sacramental and works-oriented groups. The irony is that these parables do address works, but the "WHY" and "WHO" and "WHEN" are not "rightly divided" and, thus, tremendous error and slavery result.

Remember our context for Matthew 24-25.

The context is still his "coming and of the end of the age" (Matt 24:3). We are solidly on Jewish ground. All things are seen in light of the Kingdom promised to Israel (the good news of the Kingdom); which the Lord forbade his disciples to preach to anyone but to Jews (Matt 10:5-7; cp Acts 11:19).

"When shall these things be?", and "What shall be the sign of Thy c…

Andy Stanley Teaches Scripture is Dangerous to Faith

If you're a masochist and you've followed my posts, you'll notice that I if I reference a teacher with whom I disagree on something, I reference people I generally like. Most often I quote and point to teachers I really like.

I take something they're teaching and break it down and suggest another interpretation. I can disagree and remain in fellowship... but there are lines we cannot cross.

Today, I take a slightly different tack.

Today I want to briefly say something about a rising star in Evangelicalism; someone whose materials have started to permeate otherwise solid local churches. That teacher is Andy Stanley.

The man has, not just a "low" opinion of scripture, he has a blasphemous view of scripture. He epitomizes the warnings we receive in scripture about Satan and his ministers. Strong language? Yes. Because he's becoming very dangerous and very wealthy.

(Andy would probably love to read that. One of his tactics is to create straw-men "fundame…

The State of the Dead

In light of Tyndale’s thoughts on the resurrection and the state of dead that we looked at in the previous study, let’s look at the death of Jacob and Joseph’s reaction.

“And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people. Then Joseph fell on his father’s face and wept over him, and kissed him.”
-Gen 49:33-50:1

Jacob was dead. There is nothing here (as there is nothing anywhere in scripture) about comforting Joseph with the idea that Jacob is in bliss somewhere.

In covering this passage, teacher David Hocking points to John 11 where we see Jesus weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus. Hocking states that Jesus wept, not because Lazarus was dead, but rather because the others did not believe in him.

What sayeth the Scriptures?

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him…

Luis Palau Rewrites The History of William Tyndale

K-Love radio offers a daily short message from Luis Palau. I take each vignette on its own. Sometimes I think he's OK, other times, not so much.

Today, Palau ventured into an area about which I would usually get excited, He was talking about William Tyndale. Tyndale happens to be a personal hero of mine. Of course, that doesn't mean I agree with everything he taught, but he is a very important figure in the history of the church of this age, We owe him quite a lot.

If you don't know who William Tyndale is, you're probably familiar with at least some of his work. It is estimated that at least 70% of the KJV New Testament is based on his translation of scripture to English (unfortunately, the KJV translators were under the influence of the state church, but we'll leave that there). Much of the KJV Old Testament reflects his work as well.

Because of his work translating and publishing the Bible in English, he was sentenced to die. For years he avoided capture by escap…

Satan Will Be Cast Down - Part 2

We're considering the casting out of Satan from heaven in Revelation 12. We looked at the pre-trib position that this is John (author of the book) seeing a PAST event. We showed that the context reveals it is yet future and deals, not directly with Christ, but with Israel.

I wanted to address the Lord's reference in the Book of Luke to seeing Satan cast down. I wanted to look at it in context of Revelation 12 (comparing scripture with scripture).

"And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
-Luke 10:18

It seems like an odd statement in context.

"But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to h…

Satan Will Be Cast Down - Part 1

I was watching Dan Goodwin, author of "The Mystery of the Jubilee," on Prophecy in the News and as part of the discussion on the concept of time, he went to Revelation 12 and Satan being cast to the Earth.

"Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child."
-Rev 12:13 (NKJV)

The traditional "pre-trib" position (held by Dan Goodwin) postulates that this is a vision of the past and not the future. It wasn't the focus of the discussion, but I think it's something we need to dig into.

They teach this as Satan being cast from heaven to the Earth (specifically to the Garden of Eden).

The immediate context of Rev 12:13 seems to point to Satan pursuing Mary and the Christ child (since he is now on the Earth). We can see this in the verse quoted above and by the reference of fleeing into the wilderness (Mary taking the Lord to Egypt, etc.).

But if we continue to look at the passage, it become cl…

The Seventy Nations and the Great Parenthesis

We have been looking at Israel's central part in the plan of God for the earth. Through Israel, God will bless and refresh the nations. We see this pictured as the children of Israel left slavery in Egypt by the hand of God:

"And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."
-Exodus 15:27

In scripture, the gentile nations are seen as the 70 nations.

"The haggadic assumption that there are seventy nations and languages in the world is based upon the ethnological table given in Gen. 10., where seventy grandsons of Noah are enumerated, each of whom became the ancestor of a nation."
-Kaufmann Kohler (Jewish Scholar)
It is through Abraham that the gentiles would be blessed:

"And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.'"
-Gal 3:8

Through the seed of Abra…

The Bride, The Lamb's Wife

In his excellent series on Genesis, David Hocking makes an ironic statement. In his rightful defense of Israel as still being in the plan of God and still having a glorious future, in the middle of chastising Replacement Theology, he talks about "the church" as the Bride of Christ.

This is yet another common failure to rightly divide the word of truth and a failure to mark things that differ.

Israel is the Bride of Christ, not the current church.

In this age, the Lord is gathering his Body. The bride has her own head, while the Body's head is Christ.

We do not have Israel's covenants (old or new) and we are not the bride. These errors are expected from those who have sought to rob Israel of her place and promises and highly disappointing for those who should know better.

Replacing Israel (in any way) is part of an old heresy. The phrase "the bride of Christ" is nowhere found in scripture. What we do have is "the bride, the Lamb’s wife." This is near th…

Gentiles in the Coming Age

We've been looking at Israel's future back in the land. We looked at the 12 tribes. We noted the 12 Apostles of the Lamb sent to Jews. We noted the 12 Apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging those 12 tribes. We saw that in the New Jerusalem, which will come down to earth as a reward, has the name of the 12 sons of Israel on its gates and the names of the 12 Apostles on its foundation.

We haven't said much about Gentiles.

We are going to go back the parables in Matthew 25 in the coming weeks and we will soon see the Gentile nations in judgment when the Lord returns. Again, all that has to do with the earth and the coming kingdom is seen through the filter of Israel and the Jews (the only nations we see in the OT are those who come in contact with Israel or a Jew).

In regard to a mini-timeline of the ages to come (when this age of grace and the silence of God ends) is roughly this:

-Israel is placed at the center of God's plan again-Israel finishes the final 3 weeks of D…

Comparing the Different Listings of the Twelve Tribes

Carrying on from our last two studies, we now look at the "things that differ" in regard to the 12 tribes. Let's start with the original 12 sons of Israel (Jacob):

"And these are the names of the sons of Israel who had come into Egypt; with Jacob had they come, each with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher... and Joseph was in Egypt...
-Exodus 1:1-5

When they occupy the area around the tabernacle in Numbers 2, the list omits Levi, and includes Ephraim and Manasseh; the sons of Joseph.

Jacob had prophesied this. He gave the sons of Joseph a place among his sons:

"And now thy two sons, who were born to thee in the land of Egypt before I came to thee into Egypt, shall be mine: Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon."
-Genesis 48:5

In Numbers 26, God tells Moses how the inheritance of the land will be divided. He names the tribes and their families. In that chapter, again, …

Comparing Things That Differ in Scripture

We have looked at Philippians 1:10 in a number of studies. We discovered that the translation in the KJV and a number of other translations have imposed human reasoning and doctrine onto the verse.

"that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ"

The NIV inches us closer:

"so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ"-NIV
But when we look at literal translations we see a clearer picture of the charge:

"for your proving the things that differ, that ye may be pure and offenceless -- to a day of Christ"-Young's Literal
"To the end ye may be putting to the test the things that differ, in order that ye may be incorrupt and may give no occasion of stumbling, unto the day of Christ"
-Rotherham Translation

The KJV isn't horrible. We do need to look for the "excellent" thing. But, unfortunately, "dokimázō"…

The Twelve Tribes in God's Plan

The Twelve Tribes of Israel are an integral part of God's earthly plan. They are not a relic of the past, but an essential element in our understanding of the New Testament (past and future).

The Apostles are promised that they will each sit on a throne, judging the twelve tribes in the promised Kingdom.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
-Matthew 19:28

The Apostle James writes his epistle to the twelve tribes:

"James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ: To the 12 tribes in the Dispersion."
-James 1:1

James refers to them meeting in synagogues (Jas 2:2). Unfortunately, this has been sanitized by Replacement Theologians and those who will not accept that James was writing to Jews, in the dispersion, who still identified as the 12 tribes.

Of the 58 English translations avai…

The Parable of the Wicked Servant

We're back in the Olivet Discourse (finally!) and we move on to the parable of the wicked servant.
“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
-Matthew 24:45-51

Noting from recent posrs, we must understand this concerns believers. Both here are "servants." But we must also recall from our studies that the context i…