A Study in Revelation/End Times pt. 3

IV.

JESUS AND THE END

Matthew 24:24 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Jesus’ disciples were often asking for clarification on his coming, and on the end of the world. It is a fascination we still have today.

Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

All the time we hear people say wars are an indication of the end of days.

Jesus says, no, they are not. False Christs and antichrists will deceive, wars will grow greater and greater, but what? The end is not yet.

Matthew 24:7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

False christs, wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilences are only the beginning of sorrows.

Matthew 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

In all nations today, the gospel of the kingdom is preached. Now we look for ‘the abomination of desolation.”

Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Daniel spake of occupation and destruction of Jerusalem, which had taken place both during his life, and during the reign of Messiah.

Daniel 9:16 O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord’s sake.

18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

See? Destruction so great it was referred to as ‘desolation,’ which is ‘devastation’ or ‘ruin.’

Daniel 9:19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

20 And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;

21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

The ‘man’ Gabriel, a messenger of God, is giving Daniel understanding.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

These ‘weeks’ are not each ‘a seven day period.’ They are ‘shabua,’ a seven. A seven of days was referred to as a ‘shabua,’ but so was a seven of years.

Thus, this is not a figurative usage of shabua that means where ever in Scripture we see ‘week’ it might mean seven years. It was Gabriel expounding clearly.

This was not some mystical code.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Gabriel was clearly saying that from the time Darius commanded the Temple to be rebuilt to Messiah (Jesus referred to as the anointed) would be 62 plus 7 shabua, 69 periods of seven years.

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

After the 62, Messiah was ‘cut off.’ We know this as his crucifixion. We know this crucifixion occurred after his triumphant entry into Jerusalem where the people greeted him as a king shortly before he was executed, cut off, not for his sake but for ours.

The 40 days between his crucifixion and his ascension are all that are gone of the last of these shabua.

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

And so we again will see desolation in Jerusalem. We cannot assume this week of confirmation is immediately after the 62. In fact, we find no real mention of the seven shabua immediately after the 62.

But in the last week, the Messiah confirming the covenant to Israel, there will be desolation in Jerusalem, and the people of a prince will come to destroy the city and the Messiah will cause the sacrifices to cease.

Keep this in mind, we’ll get back to these missing seven years.

Matt. 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

When this desolation occurs, a prince will come to destroy the city, and there will be a flood. During this flood, head for the mountains, or stay on the rooftops.

Matt. 24:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

These days will be horrid. But this happens before the second coming.

Matt. 24:23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

There are numerous men in history and even today who claim to be the second coming of Christ.

Simon the sorcerer in Acts hinted he was Christ. Hong Xiuquan, who led to the deaths of countless millions and started the infamous Boxer Rebellion. Sun Myung Moon. At least sixteen religious leaders today claim to be Jesus and have followers.

But the second coming, meaning the return from Heaven, of Christ shall be a global show. Jesus won’t be teaching in the desert or in chambers like during his ministry to Israel.

It will be a global phenomenon, a light show coming out of the east and shining to the West.

Matt. 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

After this great tribulation that except the days are shortened no flesh would survive, the very powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then, when all this is done, shall the Son of Man come with power and great glory.

Matt. 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Keep this in mind: Tribulation, the heavens shaken, coming of Christ, the elect gathered.

Matt. 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Here we seem to have a problem. That generation had come and gone, but these things have not happened.

But what does verse 34 really say?

The word “parelthe” is the word “elthe,” meaning “go” or “come,” with the prefix “par,” or “through.” Its literal meaning is to “come through” or “go through,” and has been translated “Come along” or “pass through,” the latter its idiomatic connotation.

Literally Jesus said, “This generation shall not come along unto all these things being fulfilled.”

Matt. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Jesus is a man. He doesn’t know the hour. Some mock and say, taking his time, huh? And they either reject Scripture or worse, twist it to mean something else.

If Jesus was saying these things were to happen very soon in verse 34, why was he preparing them for a long time in verses 35 and 36?

But realizing that he was really preparing us for a long haul, that we need to bunker down and be patient because no one in that generation would even be around to see it, we know that indeed, Mankind will see that Heaven and earth will melt, but his word will come to pass.

Matt. 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Even if it seems Heaven and earth will pass first (its already been two millennium) the words of our Lord will not pass.

Matt. 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

“Be ye ready.”

Mark 13 agrees with Matthew 24:

Mark 13:1 And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!

2 And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,

4 Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?

5 And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:

6 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Again, we see the pattern: false Christs, wars, the gospel to all nations, and wars but the beginning of sorrows.

Mark 13:7 And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.

8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.

9 But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.

10 And the gospel must first be published among all nations.

Today, there is not a nation on earth that does not have Christians in it. Even in the 50 or so nations where almost 3,000 were killed in 2013 for clinging to the name of Jesus Christ, his gospel is preached.

And the first or second tongues of all people either have translations, or the work is being done.

Christ will not return just because of this. He will not come faster if this is completed faster…the time and the season is in God’s power, no man knows the hour but He does.

But this was foretold.

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

12 Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.

13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

We see this hate rise and become greater.

Today, Christians are harassed and persecuted by ‘humanists,’ human secularists, communists, autocrats, Islamists, Hindus, Shinto, animalists, and ‘liberal Christians.’

The followers of Christ are indeed hated for Christ’s sake.

Mark 13:14 But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

15 And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:

16 And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.

17 But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

18 And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.

19 For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.

20 And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.

See? Agreement with Matthew 24.

Mark 13:21 And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:

22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.

23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.

27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

28 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:

29 So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

30 Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.

Again, that generation did not come unto all those things coming to pass. Same as Matthew 24, this was mistranslated because of misunderstanding the nuance of usage.

Mark 13:31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:

36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.

37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

It may seem as if the Lord is slack. He is not. He will be here when the time is right.

 

 

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A Study in Revelation/End Times pt. 2

III.

THE “SECOND COMING” OF CHRIST REVEALED DURING THE FIRST

We learned from Old Testament prophesy that a King will establish an everlasting kingdom, a “forever” throne. We learned of certain political events leading to this, of a time this King (whom we know to be Jesus the Christ) would arrive and set things right.

But if the Old Testament  prophecy, or the New Testament prophecy, is to be trusted it has to match, it has to fit together.

Matt. 13:36  Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

Jesus spoke in parables to those who did not believe, but clearly to believers. We make great mistakes when we try to exalt that spoken in parables over that spoken clearly to those who believe.

Matt. 13:37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

See? The sower is the Son of Man, Jesus himself. No guesswork.

Matt. 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

The harvest is the end of the world…again, no guess work. We are told plainly.

Matt. 13:40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Again, a very clear sequence of events that agrees 100% with what we learned from the Old Testament: a burning at the end of the world, referred to as a judgment in the Old Testament.

Matt. 13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Very clear. THEN, when the casting into the furnace takes place, THEN shall the promises to Israel take place.

Matthew 16: 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

28 Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

There are some who argue that Jesus was telling them they would see the Second Coming, but Jesus, being human, not knowing the future as well as his Father, made a mistake.

Jesus is human, he is the Man who makes intercession for us. Let’s look at two other versions:

Matt. 16:28 Contemporary English Version: 28 I promise you that some of those standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.

If you believe Jesus made a mistake, that he foretold “coming with” his kingdom, this is a great translation. But it is not entirely accurate.

Matt. 16:28 Amplified version 28 Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in (into) His kingdom.

This is a very accurate rendition: Jesus coming into his Kingdom. Literally,

(αμην λεγω υμιν εισιν τινες των ωδε εστηκοτων οιτινες ου μη γευσωνται θανατου εως αν ιδωσιν τον υιον του ανθρωπου ερχομενον εν τη βασιλεια αυτου)

Verily tell you is some those here standing who no not taste death unto whosoever seen the son the man coming in the kingdom his.

There were those there who saw the risen Jesus, saw Jesus coming unto the glory of the Father.

Matt. 10:7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It is NOT synonymous with Christ coming with his angels.

Matt. 13: 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

He shall. But there is no indication this will be an instant process.

Context of Matt. 16:29? 19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Ercho=come menos=abiding

The very power these disciples would have in his name, to bind not only in earth but Heaven would be because Christ came unto his authority. This would happen at his resurrection, not wait until his return.

Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.

We have seen this power told, some of us have witnessed the power of Christ’s kingdom for ourselves, in signs, miracles, in healings.

Luke 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:

16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:

18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.

Jesus said he would not eat or drink until the Kingdom of God was come. Look at Luke, a period of time after resurrection but prior to ascension.

Luke 24:34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.

35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.

41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

He would not eat, would not drink, until he had come unto his Kingdom. Obviously, he has come unto his kingdom. And not all who heard him speak in Luke 22, before his resurrection, had died.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Israel had crucified him, but God made Jesus Lord and Christ.

Was he Lord and Christ before God made His Son that way?

Of course not.

But we see that at some point after the resurrection before the ascension, Jesus had come into his Kingdom, and at least some of those who heard him in Luke 22 saw the King in Luke 24.

Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…

The message from Revelation is from God, and from he who is (not will be, is) the prince of the kings of the earth.

It is not when Jesus would return from his ascension Jesus was speaking of in Luke 22:18, but when he would legally be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But here the Old Testament prophesies take an ‘abeyance.’ The prophesies of a time of great cruelty, and of the elect being overwhelmed by the Beast, are on hold.

To find out what happens, we will next start to look at what Christ himself said regarding his second coming.

 

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A Study in Revelation End Times

THE LAST TRUMP

I.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROPHESY OF REVELATION, THE END TIMES, AND THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

In this study that we be posted in installments in the weeks ahead, we will look at scripture from various periods of Scriptural development to see exactly what it says about the end times, about the redemption of Israel, about the Rapture of the Church, and about the return of Jesus Christ.

We will start in the Old Testament, the promise of redemption to Adam and Eve, regarding the prophesies to Israel and the Jews.

Next we will go line by line over what Jesus said to his twelve disciples, men of Israel and heirs to the promise of Israel.

After that we will look at the Mystery of God, the Body of believers (Jew and Gentile fellowheirs) whose doctrine had been hidden but is now clearly revealed, and what the revelation to the Body says about the end times and about the return of our Lord and Savior.

Finally we will go line by line through Revelation of Jesus to John regarding his return.

And in each step we will compare it to what we’ve already seen, because we know that when properly understood for what was written rather than for what we assume it will say, Scripture never ever contradicts itself.

Is this study ‘the final Word?’ Of course not. That distinction is reserved solely to what God Himself has, is, or will reveal via His words to us. But I believe it will help give you a firm blueprint, written directly in the Word of God, regarding the promises made and those things supposedly kept secret, but the New Testament prophets declared were freely given to you.

We need not that day overtake us as a thief. This study can show you why that is so.
God bless you. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ open the eyes of you understanding so that you can know what to expect, and can build your life accordingly.

After all, our hope itself is in the return of our Lord, and God Himself has promised that the eyes of our understanding can and should be opened.

II.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHESY AND CHRIST

Gen. 3: 14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

In Gen. 3:14-15 the pattern of God’s redemption for all Mankind. The bruised head of the serpent lethal, the bruised heel of the redeemer in reality not so.

Isaiah 9: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

His name shall be called. This clearly says what his name will be, not what he shall be. There is a huge difference.

Elihu’s name literally meant “God Himself.” But it was an honor to God, not a claim Elihu was God. Same with Elijah, but no one in or out of Scripture seriously entertains that the prophet Elijah was God in the flesh.

With Jesus, it was not “he shall be…The Mighty God,” as many read this, but very specifically “his name shall be called “The Mighty God,” just as Elihu’s and Elijah’s names were God.

7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Once he is upon his throne, it is permanent. We shall see in this study the point when his reign officially begins.

Isaiah 11 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

“…for the meek of the earth…” has already happened. But “…and he shall smite the earth? Not yet.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

At that time, in that day, these things will happen. They haven’t yet but they will.

11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Real quick point: Prophesy of Scripture can tell forth things that have happened, are happening, or will happen. Prophecy is not automatically fore telling. It IS speaking for God.

“Luke 4:15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

Jesus said this Scripture was fulfilled IN THAT DAY, the day (period of time, era) he was in. But let’s look at the Scripture from Isaiah he was reading:

“Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”

Not all of Isaiah 61 was fulfilled IN THE DAY Jesus read the passage. He stopped at what had was occurring. The rest is future: the rest occurs sometime IN THE DAY of a future point, which is obviously after his return from the Heavens.

But in understanding Scriptural prophecy, we must learn to separate what has happened from what is happening from what will happen. And keep in mind that often times, as with what we will see with Babylon, something is exactly as written but contains a piece of revelation about future events.

BUT also keep in mind we only know this if other revelation tells us…we can’t just guess.

Isaiah 12 And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me.

2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.

3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.

6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

See? This speaks of what will happen when he is among his people Israel.

13:1 The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.

2 Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.

3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.

4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.

6 Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

The day of the Lord is at hand when these things happen.

7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt:

8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.

9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

We read Jesus say the day of vengeance comes before the comforting of all that mourn. It will be a cruel day.

10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.

13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

14 And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.

15 Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.

16 Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.

17 Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it.

18 Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eyes shall not spare children.

19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Remember this. In this cruel day, Babylon, THE GLORY OF KINGDOMS, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.

Some say that this spoke of the original city and that these things are past.

True.

This EXACTLY happened to the kingdom of Babylon, just as Isaiah spoke.

But in Scripture, there are sometimes things known as “duel prophesies.”

It both speaks of things occurring now, plus is a foretelling of things to come.

Heb. 1: 8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

This is what is said of Jesus Christ. It is also a quote from Psalms, which is rich in prophesy of Jesus Christ, and in duel prophesies.

Isaiah 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.

4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things.

5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.

6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.

7 Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

8 All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

9 Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women: upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.

See? The original prophesy concerned the King David, whom God Himself refers to as “God” because of his throne, this ‘forever’ throne David’s grandsons would inherit, including Jesus Christ.

But Jesus never took women as wives as did David, not King’s daughters, not the queen of Ophir.

Back to the prophecy of Babylon:

Isaiah 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.

21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there.

22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.

Once the Babylon that conquered Judah is overthrown, it shall never be inhabited again.
Remember this.

Isaiah 14:1 For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.

2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.

3 And it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve…

Isaiah 13 is a foretelling of what was to happen to Babylon, never to be inhabited again.

Isaiah 12 & 14 make a “burden of Babylon” sandwich…relates it to what will happen to Israel in reference to the fall of Babylon.

But we will find, ONLY because Scripture will tell us this later, that Isaiah 12-14 is a duel prophesy, like Isaiah 45:6 referred to both David and Jesus Christ.

We see in Revelation, chapter 16:

19 And it came — the great city — into three parts, and the cities of the nations did fall, and Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the wrath of His anger,

And in chapter 18,

18:1 And after these things I saw another messenger coming down out of the heaven, having great authority, and the earth was lightened from his glory,

2 and he did cry in might — a great voice, saying, `Fall, fall did Babylon the great, and she became a habitation of demons, and a hold of every unclean spirit, and a hold of every unclean and hateful bird,

3 because of the wine of the wrath of her whoredom have all the nations drunk, and the kings of the earth with her did commit whoredom, and merchants of the earth from the power of her revel were made rich.

So we see that the end of ancient Babylon is not the only event the Scriptures in Isaiah referred to. But more on that when the time comes.

Daniel 7 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

We will see later these are kingdoms. Which kingdoms they are will be obvious WHEN these things take place, but are spoken of in riddles till that day.

I.E., we can try to say “The ten kings are Rome,” or “Europe,” or whoever all we want, but until the Word tells us we do not know.

One thing coming up will tell us when these things have taken place.

9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

Keep this in mind.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

This refers to the Beast and his prophet cast into the lake of fire, when Satan will be chained for a thousand years. It is clearly written here. Revolution wraps it up, so keep these in mind.

12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Note that in segments, these are chronological events, but the segments are not necessarily chronological, not 100% revealed in the order they will take place.

Verses 2-7 tell of fairly simultaneous events. It doesn’t say “I saw after this,” it says “After this I saw,” meaning the revelation came after, not the event revealed. Verse 8, however, clearly is subsequent to all these having occurred.

They could be subsequent but we cannot just assume. Either it will tell us later, or it will be unimportant and we will not know until it happens.

15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

“Same horn made war with the saints (the sanctified people) and prevailed…” Keep this in mind.

22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

We know from this there will be a kingdom ruling the whole earth, a one-world government.

This will happen.

And now we are learning details of these kingdoms.

24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Most scholars agree this ‘time, times, and the deviding of time’ is 3 1/3 years, a year (time, singular,) 2 years, (times, plural) and ½ a year (the dividing of time).

26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

After Jesus is given the Kingdom, there will be one last assault on it, at the end of the time spoken of in verse 12. But it will be an eternal kingdom.

28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart

 

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Servants

Do we serve a risen savior?

Well, what does it mean to serve? How do we serve our savior?

It is so easy to get frustrated by the circumstances of one’s life. How many times in work, in marriage, in friendships, in life can we find ourselves in a situation we thought we were done with?

If (if?) and when this happens, we should remember one thing: we serve a risen savior.

What will we be doing forever? Remember, this life is a practice run, a trial run; it’s the time we have to get it right best as we can. When Christ comes back, the new Heaven and Earth are established, what will we do?

Serve.

Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines the Gr. New Testament word “diakoneo” as “to render any kind of service,” but “douleuo,” which is when we’re whole-hearted, as “be servants to,” with “suggestion of acting as a slave.”

Wow.

A “doulos” is used as a noun (you the doulos, the servant) indicating subjection without the idea of bondage.

“For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.”  1 Cor. 7:22

When God leads us to a situation (or if disobedience leads else elsewhere) then what are you there to do?

Be Christ’s servant.

That means men won’t always treat you with the superior respect you’ve so clearly earned, will not always understand you are really on a mission from God, will not always recognize your true brilliance or virtue.

God does.

And we serve His Son.

And God will not be watching how much we’ve proven ourselves in the past, how important our “real” ministry is, how much we’ve worked to learn truth, how well we’ve stood for Him.

He is watching us now, eager to see us rise to our current situation, to serve as we need to right now, to see how we strive to see what’s right for now, to stand in truth and love and service: right now.

The appearance of anticlimactic event is just that: an appearance.

The truth is, that can be a very important opportunity to rise to love, to believe, to serve better than ever.

I don’t know that we will get a chance for any do-overs in the “next” life, so we should approach the ones we get now with the faith and joy we wish we’d had the foresight to have approached the last ones with.

So let’s serve.

Amen?

Amen!

 

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How To Do Word Studies

How to Do a Word Study: Dispensations

Why Word Studies

 

A “word study” in Scripture is a simple means of trying to better understand what any given word might mean in Scripture, and how it is used, and thus better understand what scripture is trying to tell us.

We should understand that all Bible versions we have today are copies and translations. We no longer have the very original manuscripts. The original manuscripts would have been written either in Hebrew, Hebrew-Aramaic, Greek, and possibly Latin. (Romans.) Without getting into the details of each, these were the languages the writers of the original manuscripts wrote in.

When first written, each “book” of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Kings, the various psalms, Jeremiah, Matthew, Acts, Romans, Revelation were all written on separate scrolls.  When Jesus read from the scroll or “book” of Isaiah, he read from the scroll that contained Isaiah and nothing more.

At first these books, these scrolls were copied, then they eventually, some centuries later, were translated. They were rewritten in other languages.

The oldest Hebrew texts were rewritten in a Hebrew form of Aramaic after the Babylonian, Assyrian and Persian captivities. More books were written in the newer Hebrew These all were rewritten, translated into Greek (eventually the Septuagint) after the age of Alexander and Greek homogeny.  Which was fine: in ancient times, a scribe would lovingly recreate each word, each stroke, as if recreating a rembrant, then his work was checked by the master scribe, each jot and tittle. (Those are the dots and dashes the characters of Aramaic letters all seem to have.) This was how Hebrew scholars were trained.

 

Then came the “New Testament,” the books of the Christian Church. All the scrolls, Old and New Testament, were written by Jews of Israel. But Would Paul have written to the Greeks in Corinth in Hebrew? Would he have written to the Romans in Rome in Hebrew?

To the Galatians Paul said he wrote with his own hands. Why would this have been necessary had he written in Hebrew, his native language? He was a learned man, a scholar, even before his service to Christ.

“I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.” Romans 16:22

We see here he who actually wrote Romans, who would have been he who took Paul’s dictation, was Tertius. Tertius was a Roman name, a Roman would have written in Latin as a first language.

But Paul, being of Israel a learned man. likely read and spoke Greek very well. Greek was the lingua Franca, the ‘universal language,” of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. But to address the Romans in Latin, Paul had a scribe.

When Scriptures began to be canonized, the were translated (or translations were used) into the language of the Churches using the canonization. You soon had  Syriac versions (the Peshitta), Hebrew versions, Greek versions and Latin versions of the books.

Centuries later, translations into other languages were made. Point being, we can have translations of translations. Think of that game in school where the first student is told to whisper in the ear of the second, “Dan has a cupcake,” and by the time the message is whispered in the thirtieth students ears, she hears “Tracy does cartwheels.” Only not quite as bad, because in old times, each word was carefully transcribed. In ancient times, careful recreation was emphasized. In the Christian era, a shift in emphasis has placed a premium on staying faithful to accepted doctrinal assumptions.

So the point of doing a word study is to try to get past translation errors, or errors in our understanding, and try to get to where we understand what was originally meant.
Tools and How to Use Them

Since we are dealing with books that were written centuries ago, how are we going to find out what was really meant? What can we do that we can’t be sure the translators did not do for us?

When we do a word study, we are going to pick our word from a Scripture we are trying to understand, and we are then going to go to a dictionary to find out what it meant in the language it was written in. We won’t learn all there is to learn about doing a word study in this one study, of course, but we’ll hopefully either get a foundation or see more clearly.

Now, we cannot use an English dictionary, such as Websters, because the Bible was written in other languages. The words of the Hebrew or Greek don’t always mean  exactly what the words they were translated to mean. Sometimes, different words in the Greek were translated the same in English, or the same word in the Greek was translated different ways in the English.

We look at 1 Cor. 14

For example, the Greek New Testament word “mallon” is translated “rather,” as is “perissoteros.” But “mallon,” which indeed literally means “moreso,” or “more often,” is also translated “more.” Would you like peas but MORE mashed potatoes, or would you like peas RATHER THAN mashed potatoes?

The English dictionary tells us “rather” means “prefer,” whereas “mallon” connotes “in addition to.”

So we cannot really depend on an English dictionary to necessarily clear up wrong translations.

We will therefore use reference tools that take us to the Greek  and Hebrew meanings.

There are many such tools. There are Bible Dictionaries, Concordances and Lexicons. They are much the same thing in many ways, so don’t let the terms throw you. Think “dictionary,” only for the Bible.

 

And while these are useful regardless of what version you use as your general reference, if you use an Amplified version, then try to use tools geared to the amplified version. If you use an NIV, concordances geared to NIV will be much more useful. For this study we will use KJV, though I cite Vine’s, which is geared to an old English version more closely related to the American Standard.

Easton’s Bible Dictionary is English language, does not get into the textual (the older language copies) differences at all. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament  Words however, does. “Rather” is broken up by part of speech, then the word translated from. In Vine’s we find four different words that are all translated ‘rather.” Mallon is an adverb  and is defined as “very, very much.”

Thus, “I would that ye speak with tongues, but rather that ye prophesy,” we realize really means “I would, I want that ye speak with tongues, but very, very much that ye prophesy.”

So in doing word studies we really want something that can give us a more accurate textual definition.

A Greek lexicon can do that, but may assume we already know what Greek word we’re looking for. “Lexicon” literally means “dictionary” so its similar to the aforementioned dictionaries. One gives us the Strong’s number (more on that shortly) and defines “mallon” as “more, to a greater degree, rather

  • much, by far
  • rather, sooner

more willingly, more readily, sooner”

It also tells us how it is translated. “KJV Word total: 83 – more 32, rather 33, the more 12, better 2, misc. 4”  Then it references where to find the usages.

So lexicons can be good. But you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. Bullinger’s starts from the English, very much like a Vine’s in structure. Bullinger’s is my favorite Greek lexicon. But you’ll notice that some tend to define terms theologically rather than according to general usage. Be careful with those. Their definitions may favor certain theological views at times, which as objective students of God’s Word we should be leery of.

Concordances are a list of all words in a text. You’ll usually find a small one in your Bible, but based on the language it is translated to, not from. So it can be useful in location some of the common or popular verses, not much more.

Analytical and critical concordances are usually the most versatile tools. Young’s is basically an alphabetical English concordance with an alphabetical listing of each Hebrew, then each Greek word these are translated from. Then each textual word is broken up into the books and verses, in order, of where you will find that word.

Once you’ve found the Hebrew or Greek word you are looking for, you can go to the Hebrew or Greek lexicon in the back of the book and find all the English words each is translated in. Looking up “rather,” we find ve-al, bachar, (Hebrew), e, thelo, Mallon, perissoteros. Or word “rather” in 1 Cor. 14:5 is there.  “Mallon” is defined as “more” and “rather.”

We go look up “mallon” in the lexicon in back. OT Hebrew lexicon, then the NT Greek. We find “mallon” has been translated “more” 30x, “much” 1x, “rather” 32x, “the more” 11x, “the rather” 1x, “so much the more” 1x, but the last is combined with “perisso” to get that translation.

I want to point out this is a learning process. If we’re honest and patient we get better. But words studies are a foundation.

So we look up the fisrt uses of each of these. We find the first usages of the word “mallon” either according to book (Matthew, then Mark, etc.) or we can get the first use or two from each book. (Or we can simply go through all 83 usages, which as time allows a good thing.)

“Mallon” can be translated “rather,” as you’ll see if you look up all 83 uses, or the first few, or all 83. But “more so” will fit in every one, an adverb that modifies another action rather than replacing it. To quote the extended definition, “it does not do away with that with which it is opposition, but marks what has the preference…”

Strong’s Concordance? We look up the English word, in the main concordance. Find where it is used. It will have a number. We go to that number, it will give us the Hebrew or Greek word that number is keyed to and where to find it, and how it is translated. Some Bibles and reference materials also are keyed to these numbers.

“Mallon” is Strong’s G3123, the root is “mallista” (you can look that up too, 3G122,) an adverb, defined as more, to a greater degree, and finally rather. Even “rather” connotes “sooner” rather than “instead of.”

So as we see, many resources will give us the same result. Strong’s tends to be a little more complex but can save later steps, plus many consider it to be more accurate. I prefer to keep Strong’s on hand as a comparison.

But Young’s is very easy to use for most projects.  We will use it for the purposes of this word study.

Word Study: Dispensations

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:” Eph. 3:1-2

If we look up “dispensation” in our Young’s, we find it is the Gr. “oikonomia,” which Young’s defines as Law, or arrangement of a house.

In the lexicon, we find oikonomis is translated dispensation 4x and stewardship 3x. We might also want to look at oikonomos, which is chamberlain 1x, governor 1x, and steward 8x.

The reason we want to do this is by finding out what the steward, the oikonomos who performs the office of the oikonomia, does, thus more accurately what a dispensation, an oikonomia is.

But before anything, let’s look at the root: oikos. Oikos is a house.  Thus, oikonomia, the arrangement (the stewardship) of a house makes sense.

So by definition, the oikonomos is the house manager, over the oikonomia, the house management, of the oikos, the house.

Now,  the first three usages of oikomomia also match up with several of the uses of oikonomos:

“And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward (oikonomos); and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

“And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship (oikonomia); for thou mayest be no longer steward. (oikonomeo).

Then the steward (oikonomos) said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship(oikonomia): I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship (oikonomia), they may receive me into their houses.(oikous).” Luke 16:1-4

Here Jesus tells of a steward, the manager of a rich man’s house, who got into a spot with his boss. He was afraid he would be fired. So he devises a scheme, which he hopes will redeem his name enough to allow him to be hired elsewhere, “received unto their houses.”

What exactly was this “oikonomia?” It was the rulership, the governance or management of the affairs of the rich man’s house. Ran the servants, paid the bills, supplies etc., maybe even arranged schooling for the boss’s kids.

This steward was the manager of the house.

Who was the absolute ruler? The rich man. But the steward managed the day-to-day affairs.

“For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” 1 Cor. 9:17

Here we see Paul has a stewardship of what? The gospel. He will announce the glad tidings. He has authority within the gospel, as a steward. Although here he gives reasons why he himself is not using full authority, to be a partaker moreso than a ruler, he still points out he has measures of authority, the more so for the very fact he will not even appear to abuse his authority as an apostle, as a preacher of the word.

What “stewardship” is commited to Paul? Of the gospel. He is discussing those who are challenging his carrying out of his apostleship.

“Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?

If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.

Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,

Have we not power to eat and to drink?

Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?

Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

“Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?” 1 Cor. 9:1-7

He had authority to act like the rich man, but took upon him the dispensation, the stewardship, not to rule but to serve. A steward has authority, true, he is the manager of the house. But it is as a servant.

Like the unfaithful servant in Luke, a steward is not the governor of a political administration, he is the chief servant, the manager, of a house.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ…

“…Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:” Eph. 1:3, 9-10

Dispensation is again the management of a house. Here we see an oikonomia regarding the fullness of times, that future time all are gathered in Christ.

Does it give the doctrinal specifications of this administration of His household, or spell out how everything pertaining to that period of time pertains to the administration of the household at that time?

No.

Exactly what is revealed?

That God made known the mystery of His will that in the stewardship, the household management of the fullness of time God will gather all in Christ in Him.

Sorry, not a lot of detail.

We think of “mystery” as a secret, but a “mystery” (do a word study on THAT) is that which has been revealed to us!

And what is revealed to us is that inherent in the management of God’s house, we get gathered in Christ in God.

So now we have a dispensation of the fullness of times, and we know we will be gathered in Christ in it.

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,” Eph. 3:1-3

This was a stewardship given to Paul. While it was concerning the revelation of the mystery, is this administration of Paul’s the Mystery? No. But Paul had a stewardship, an oikonomia, because of the revealing of the mystery.

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:” Eph. 3:4-6

Remember, what is it discussing? Is it discussing a “dispensation of the Mystery?”

What does it say?

It is discussing Paul’s stewardship of the Mystery.

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.” Eph. 3:7

See how we’re looking at how it is used? Paul’s stewardship of what was revealed to him is that he is made a servant, a minister of the Mystery revealed to him.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;” Eph. 3:8

Correct. The stewardship of that grace of God was that among the Gentiles Paul should preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, that though Christ could be searched in other times, these riches could not: they were hidden in other ages.

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:” Eph. 3:8-11

There is a stewardship of the fullness of times, but this Ephesians 3 speaks not of a stewardship of the mystery, but specifically of Paul’s stewardship of the Mystery that was revealed to him.

That’s what is says, isn’t that what it means?

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:

Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:” Col. 1:24-26

Exactly what is Paul saying?

Again, the “oikonomia” is not the time of the Mystery: it is that responsibility Paul personally has regarding HIS personal ministry as a steward, TO fulfill the word of God.

After a careful word study of the word “oikonomia,” do we really want to apply it where it isn’t applied?

We see it applied to the fullness of times: Yes, there is a “dispensation” of the fullness of times. Scripture says it, says what will be happening.

But do I want to turn what Scripture says was Paul’s personal  stewardship of what was revealed to him, his “oikonomia,” into a doctrinal division the scriptures do not clearly make regarding this entire age? Do I want to infer that the term rightly applies to other ages, where the Scriptures themselves do not apply it?

No. I will not.

“Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” 1 Cor. 4:1-2

You see, here and elsewhere, Paul referred to stewardship as a man’s personal management of the word of God, of the Mysteries revealed to the church. If he was supposed to be applying the term to an entire age, the only place he seems aware of it was in applying it to management of the fullness of time.

For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;” Titus 1:5-7

You see, here a “steward” is also a “bishop,” an overseer, not of an age, but only one of plurality in a city. Or a bishop, an overseer, is also a steward. Each has a personal responsibility of oversight, of ministry.

In the fullness of time there will be a stewardship, a governance of God’s house, but the administration of that has not been doctrinally revealed. Of our own, it is stewarded,  “dispensated,” “administered” according to personal ministries of service.

Scripture speaks vaguely of “other ages,” and clearly of certain specific ages.

But if you want to build doctrines upon “a specific dispensation of the age of the mystery,” or “the dispensation of the age of Law,” or of  the patriarchs, or of others, Scripture is oddly silent about these other ages being “dispensations” or “administrations.”

I’d be very leery after this word study of teaching about these supposed dispensations or administrations, and would rather preach regarding this specific age of grace, and the ministry of the Mystery Paul preached.

After all, that seems to be clearly revealed.

Amen?

Amen!

 

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My Beloved Son

“And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.” Mark 3:11

Here, devils identified Jesus as the Son of God.

Not as God, but as the Son of God.

This is the testimony throughout the New Testament. If only of devils, we could take it with a grain of salt, even though these were the fallen of heaven who knew God, and see him with spiritual eyes.

Paul?

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

“(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

“Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

“And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:” Rom. 1:1-4

Either Eusebius was right in the 4th Century, and Jesus is God, or the writers of the New Testament were right in the 1rst, and Jesus is the Son of God.

“For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

“For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

“And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” 2 Pet. 1:16-18

It’s our choice…believe cunningly devised 4th Century fables, or the eyewitness of God Himself regarding His Son.

God Himself said Jesus is who, Himself? No, His son.

If you believe Jesus is actually God, by definition you deny that Jesus is really God’s Son.

Thus,

“He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” 1 John 5:10

“And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17

“And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Mark 1:11

“And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.” Luke 3:22

Here you have the agreement of six NT writers and God Himself that Jesus is the Son of God, not God.

What about John the writer of the Gospel of John,  and our Lord Jesus Christ?

“Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” John 10:36

Here we see that John reports that when Jesus was accused of making himself God, he answered by saying he had said he was the Son of God. I.E., he pointed out he did NOT say he was God, but the Son of God.

Which is he? Well, who do all these, God, Jesus, the apostles, the NT writers keep saying he is?

The Son of God.

In the 3rd and 4th Centuries, many verses were reinterpreted to make them seem like they supported a sameness of God and His Son, including individual verses by all of the aforementioned persons. Several in the Gospel of John. But what was the testimony of John?

“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” John 20:30-31

We are to believe Jesus is God, who anointed Himself and calls Himself His own Son, which by definition would be a misnomer?

No.

We are to believe Jesus is the Christ, the anointed, the Messiah of the Old Testament, the Son, the Son, the Son of God.

You either believe Eusebius who at Roman sword point devised the Trinity; or you believe on the Christ, the Son of God, and do not make the witness God gave of His Son a lie.

You either believe Jesus is NOT truly the Son of God but God Himself, or you truly believe on the Son of God.

Your choice.

Amen?

AMEN!

 

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By Things Made

By Things Made

“Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Rom. 1:19-20 KJV

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/ic-cr.htm

“For a nonliving system, questions about irreducible complexity are even more challenging for a totally natural non-design scenario, because natural selection — which is the main mechanism of Darwinian evolution — cannot exist until a system can reproduce. For an origin of life we can think about the minimal complexity that would be required for reproduction and other basic life-functions. Most scientists think this would require hundreds of biomolecular parts, not just the five parts in a simple mousetrap or in my imaginary LMNOP system. And current science has no plausible theories to explain how the minimal complexity required for life (and the beginning of biological natural selection) could have been produced by natural process before the beginning of biological natural selection.” Craig Rusbult, Phd, Irreducible Complexity

Back in the late 20th Century, “irreducible complexity” was referred to as “minimum complexity,” and the first explanations weren’t very in depth and were easily disputable. So that’s what the naysayer’s cling to.

But take the simplest living cell. (Even granting viruses as living cells, which I do, they are actually MORE complex because they require everything they have PLUS a complete cell to reproduce.)

http://nicolemillseventing.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/simple-animal-cell-diagram-labeled

http://dickinsonn.ism-online.org/tag/cell-membrane/

If you’ve looked at these two diagrams, two realities become very clear. First, the simple cell has every function, but on a molecular level, of any animal. Reproductive, digestive, nervous, circulative, propulsion and muscular, hormonal and chemical, the organism body, etc.

In fact, it is at the cellular level that life is at its most complex, not as advanced organisms.

Plant cells have mostly the same elements.

At some point, all these elements had to come about simultaneously for even pro-life to develop: A cell body, a cell wall, digestive, circulative, hormonal and chemical. as the article I originally posted points out, these are numbered at over a hundred separate functions.

Then you have to add reproduction.

All the functions have to be copied in a genetic blueprint!

And this has to take place simultaneously, by accident.

The idea it can is a “philosophical” (not scientific) fraud perpetuated by mystics who have expanded the ridiculous notion of spontaneous generation into psuedo-scientific mumbo jumbo like primordial soup or panspermia (the latter revolving on circular reasoning…you still don’t have the “how”.

http://www.livescience.com/13363-7-theories-origin-life.html

IE, they scoff at a creation they say we can’t prove by offering theories they can’t prove, that will work as models till they fill out the gaps. (Of course by then Jesus Christ will be back.)

But like Jason Amato pointed out regarding this subject, where we or they when God put it together? We weren’t and without God have to guess. With God we can know Him and He can tell and show us.

Now, where else does minimum complexity come in?

RNA became DNA? But RNA AND DNA comes from what? Biological activity. I.E., the life has to already be there.

Proteins (biologically processed) had to arrive from?

Over a hundred processes simultaneously.

In the simplest cells, there are a minimum of a score proteins and fats and other molecular structures that are only created biologically. Interactive elements?

Organelles from maternal DNA provide proteins for the nucleus to split.

The functions of digestion, nervous functions, hormonal production, protein production, growth are all as complex.

Over a hundred processes simultaneously.

Of course evolutionary philosopher priests have to dismiss intelligent design as

“psuedoscience,” because when you look at the complexity of God’s universe, it shatters there own philosophy quite thoroughly.

Over a hundred processes simultaneously. At some point, we realize that “scientific” explanations (techno-philosophizing) of origins of life, whether the “cold press” theory or biogenesis is nothing more than superstitious acceptance of spontaneous generation.

IE., deliberate (intelligent) design is the most logical explanation. IE, “…the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…”

God bless.

 

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Happy Birthday, America

God bless!

As an American, I am blessed and happy that we celebrate our nation’s 237th birthday.

As an American, I take my civic duty, not only to engage in civil discourse and the election process, but to become as informed as possible very seriously. Being a citizen in America gives me  a responsibility to use my political voice very carefully.

But as a Christian I am not a believer in democracy, and even my appreciation of America’s Constitutional Republic carries only so far.

I am a monarchist, and my monarch, my king, my Lord, is Jesus Christ.

Rom. 10: 8-13: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

See? In the KINGDOM we are part of, there is no difference. We can retain loyalty to our nations just as we are to do with our families and our jobs and our communities, but Jesus is our Lord. He is MY Lord.

My voice and my vote in this current world will answer to him. I will be held accountable for every idle word. I will be accountable for that which I take action on, and actions left untaken.

So should we be thankful for this run of historically unparalleled liberty and the mechanisms inherent that allow us to adjust the wrongs, strengthen the rights, and pursue our conscience and dreams?

Of course.

And am I thankful for my country? May she heal and continue until Christ returns!

But while I celebrate the nation to which my family, my clan, and most of the people I love belong to, I will also remember my greater loyalty, and ask for the hand of my King to be upon those I love and the nation I am part of.

Happy Birthday, America!

Amen?

AMEN!

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God’s Foreknowledge

There are two extreme points of a very old debate.

One of these extreme points is that if God has foreknowledge, Man has no freewill, it is predestined because God knows what will happen. Since its inevitable what will happen, otherwise how could God know, how can it be said Man has any real choice?

Whatever Man does, it’s all God’s plan. Thus Man has no free will, and needs none.

The second extreme view is that Man has free will, thus God’s foreknowledge is limited.

Both these extremes hinge on the idea that a thorough foreknowledge on God’s part would negate real choice for Man, both ideas buy into the idea that foreknowledge equals a lack of true choice on Man’s part.

Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) has set out the problem in the traditional manner:

…”Does God know or does He not know that a certain individual will be good or bad? If thou sayest ‘He knows’, then it necessarily follows that [that] man is compelled to act as God knew beforehand he would act, otherwise God’s knowledge would be imperfect.…”

But these are philosophical points. Are they issues that in either of the two contexts the Scripture say we are to concern with as doctrine?

As philosophical issues, let’s look at these two extremes philosophically, and then see what Scripture actually says about God’s foreknowledge, and Man’s free will.

Regarding God’s foreknowledge, Man says that if God knows what will happen, it is inevitable, and thus not really free will.

First, who says? Man says. Man has decided this will be true. Philosophy is “world wisdom” which Scripture says we are not to be corrupted by.

By Man’s irrefutable logic, we have deduced that there is no possible way we have free will if God knows how we are going to use it.

By the same token, if God indeed knows what we are going to do, before we do it, it therefore must be inevitable, thus we can say we never really had a free will decision.

All things are thus God’s plan, and God controls everything.

Accepting this philosophy, we either accept God’s foreknowledge equals predestination and God’s control of our actions, or we reject God’s foreknowledge in favor of a “kinder, more human” God that learns what we’ll decide when we decide it.

All because we’ve decided there are only two options, and you have to pick a side because there are no other options.

But what does the Word actually say about God’s foreknowledge? What does it actually say about free will?

Regarding what God knows, let’s look at Exodus 9:29-30: “And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the Lord; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the Lord’s. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord God.”

This was Moses speaking to Pharoah.

How does Moses know? He was speaking for God. God had told him.

Ex. 9:34-35: “ And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the Lord had spoken by Moses.”

See? Moses spoke for the Lord. The Lord knew Pharoah’s heart would harden.

How did the Lord know this? This does not say. But this short term foreknowledge was dead accurate. It was not a guess, it was not wishful thinking, it was not probabilities or keen psychological observation.  “Pharoah will not yet fear the Lord.”

God already knew what choices Pharaoh was going to make, yet Pharaoh made those choices. It was Pharaoh’s hard heart that caused the difficulty.

Let’s look at something a little longer in the future.

Jer. 25:12 “And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.”

Now was this dead on? God had to know, 70 years in advance, that a neighboring nation would be able to take them down. There are so many various factors, God had to know them all to be able to say “seventy years.”

Well, maybe they would repent like Ninevah, right? After all, if God doesn’t know what choices Man will make, maybe the Medes will go after Asia Minor instead of Babylon.

But the important people of a nation saw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego toss into the fiery furnace, and did not.

So God knew that it would be seventy years…unless we have an arbitrary timetable.

But in seventy years, the Parthians and Medes poured out of the northern mountains. God said Israel would fall in 65 years. It did.

So His longer term foreknowledge? Dead on accurate as well.

Isaiah 14:24-27 “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
“That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them, and his burden depart from off their shoulders.
“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations.
“For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?”

So how often does God get something in His mind that “as I have thought” doesn’t come to pass? Unless God is active in making people do these evil things, rather than just knowing they will do them, which is a topic for another day.

Amos 6:8-9 “ The Lord God hath sworn by himself, saith the Lord the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein. And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.”

Pretty specific, right?

Look at what Daniel says to Nebuchadnezzar:

Daniel 2:28-29 “But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
“As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass.”

“What shall come to pass.”

Look a what else God showed Daniel:

Daniel 10:18-21 “Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me,
“And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto thee, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me.
“Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.
“But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”

This was during the reign of a king who died in 530 BC.  Alexander the Greek, this king of the Greeks, was born a hundred and eighty four years later. Let’s see how accurate God’s foreknowledge is regarding the life of a man not born almost two centuries later.

Daniel 11:1-4 “Also I in the first year of Darius the Mede, even I, stood to confirm and to strengthen him.
“And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.
“And a mighty king shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
“And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.”

Darius became king in 522 BC.  His grandson kings stood up. His grandson, Artaxerxes I, died in 424.  His three sons vied for power…three kings stood up. Artixerxes, who was probably legitimate heir to the throne, was killed by his brother Sogdianus later that year, ruling mere months. Sogdianus was killed by his brother Ochus, who became Darius II, a year or so later.

Darius II’s son Artaxerxes II put together a huge army of all the nations under his rule and influence (it is said he easily ruled over 40% of the world population and had influence even wider) and invaded Greece. He funded inter-Grecian wars against Sparta, using his vast wealth both to keep a massive standing army and to finance the enemies of his enemies.

But an agreement with Sparta left the Eastern Greeks of Asia Minor in Persian hands, while the Greeks in Grecia were left to develop themselves under Sparta. This was the Greece that was later incorporated into Philip, then Alexander’s, war machine that conquered Persia.

And when Alexander stood up, he ruled with great dominion, and when he died, two centuries AFTER this prophesy, his kingdom was divided among Ptolemy (Egypt), Seleucus I Nicator (Syria, Persia, Babylonia), and Lysimachus (Thracia), Alexander’s trusted generals and advisors. Cassander (Macedonia and Greece) was a successor as well but not in Alexander’s inner circle. Alexander’s two legitimate heirs, a son Alexander IV born after Alexander’s death, and his half-brother Philip III were murdered.

Look at Daniel 8:20-22 “The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.
“And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
“Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.”

Josephus wrote that when Alexander came to Jerusalem, which was then under Parthian and Median rule, the priests showed him Daniel and how his conquests had been prophesied.

These details may seem very broad and vague, but upon close examination, no they are not.

In all cases, God was revealing precise information regarding the lives of people not even born yet.

If Man’s decisions could have affect the outcome in a way God couldn’t know, God was taking a big chance here.

First, he limited himself to the kings of Persia. He knew three kings would rise. What were the odds two of the brothers would choose to be murderers of their own brothers? What were the odds the heir apparent would turn out to be weak and without popular or without military support? What are the odds the second brother was incapable of consolidating power or protecting himself from his brother?

These prophesies told to Daniel were dead on. God wasn’t guessing or hoping.

Deut. 18:20-22 “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
“And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?
“When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”

Wow.

God is so certain that what He tells His prophets will come to pass, that he says death is the remedy for a false prophet of Israel, for which the words of his prophesy  do not happen.

Now, how certain is God of anything He tells His prophets is going to come to pass?

Any of literally millions of choices from hundreds of thousands of people could have prevented three kings from rising, or a fourth from changing war and diplomacy as God told Daniel through His angels.  An extra son, momma going through post partum depression…Either God knew exactly what would play out, or He interfered awfully hard to make sure that happened, that the right people were killed, etc.

But the Devil is the one with the power of death, and from a New Testament perspective we understand that God merely allows Man to go about his business unless He is asked to intervene through faith.

And the Greek king who conquered Persia?

Even down to the number of divisions the kingdom would be divided to among those not Alexander’s heirs.  The “butterfly effect.” A lot of choices could have made this not happen.

Jer. 28:9 “The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.”

Only if it comes to pass. Big words if the future is uncertain to God.

For men, we are told to hope in the promises of God. Hope is defined as “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

But Scripture never tells us God has hope in us, needing something of us and our choices that He is uncertain of.

If Scripture does not tell us God hopes, should we teach He does?

Heb. 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Men are told to believe. To have faith. Faith is of the God, is from the God. But while Scripture tells us clearly God loves us and is love, it never tells us God has faith, believes in what He does not see, has hope.

What then?

It says He knows.

He knows us.

We are in His foreknowledge.

Acts 2:22-23 “Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
“Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:”

If you study the life of Jesus Christ, and the many prophesies fulfilled exactly, it is a study in the “determinate counsel and foreknowledge” of God.

In prophesy, God gave warning that Jesus would be born, and when. The Magi from the East followed his very star set in the heavens.

God warned that His Son would be of David, born in Bethlehem, that the rulers would kill the children of specific cities trying to kill him, that he would flee to Egypt, that he would do certain things in his ministry never before done.

He knew certain people would believe for those things to come to pass.

He warned of John preaching the path before him.

He warned of the very intimate details of Jesus’ death. The betrayal by Judas, the cost thereof, the dragging before the Gentiles, the scourging and torture, the beatings moreso than done to any other.

And that through all this, Jesus would stay faithful.

This is just a few of the specific prophesies of Christ.

1 Pet. 1:19-20 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”

You see? Jesus was foreordained before the foundation of the world.

Eph. 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

See? We were chosen in Him, in God, before the overthrow (the cataclysm) of the world. Since our being chosen for what we have received requires the redemption in Christ, that had to be part of God’s planning as well. It did not take Him by surprise.

God did not want Adam to sin. He warned Adam against it. But He knew what Adam would do, and worked in that situation to accomplish something greater…not just the redemption of those who believed on Him, but a secret kept hid.

1 Cor. 2:7-9 “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
“Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

See that?

If I had been God’s enemy, I might have refused to crucify Jesus based on the promises that were revealed about what his crucifixion would accomplish. But God knew exactly what to hold back!

And the prophesies regarding the end of this age are as specific.

So you see, no Scripture tells us specifically God knows the future.

It does repeatedly and clearly reveal future things that come to pass exactly as foretold. It does tell us that events now unfolding were foreknown by God. It tells us of future decisions Men will make.

Believe it or not, these are only the tip of the iceberg  regarding what Scripture reveals God does know, about things past, present and future.

Now, how about free will?

Lev. 22:18-19 “Speak unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel, and say unto them, Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings, which they will offer unto the Lord for a burnt offering;
“Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.”

Whenever you see “freewill” in Scripture, it refers to what men choose to do or give for God above what is expected.

It connotes a willingness, a desire.

But “will” itself connotes a decision.

Ex. 17:9 “And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.”

“Choose” connotes a multiple choice as in a test. You have options, pick one. Or in Joshua’s case, pick many.

But unless someone else is in your head, it is your option. You make the call.

Unless, “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
“And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Tim. 2:25-26)

If in your life you allow devilish influence to be your guide, then you can be subject to his will, at his bidding.

But other than that, do you have a choice?

Yes.

Do you have a will?

Of course.

Regardless of what men may say, regardless of philosophy, God knows what will happen, and you have choices, you have “free-will.” As long as you do not abdicate to the snare of the devil.

Luke 22:42-43 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
”And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”

Oh, yes. Jesus had a will. He had that choice. He asked for God for God’s will to turn out to be something else. After all, all the gory details are in Scripture, revealed by God’s foreknowledge, down to what Jesus’ face would look like (think “hamburger”) by the time it was done.

God has foreknowledge of events, including the choices that bring them about, yet we all have free will. Our choices are ours, we cannot blame them on God just because He knows what they will be.

But our philosopher says, “But if God knows what I’m going to choose, it is inevitable, thus I really don’t have freewill.”

Sounds like a loophole to me.

Rom. 3:5-6 “Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
“Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?”

So first of all, the loophole does not hold water.

Second,

Rom. 2:6-8 “Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
“To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,”

Your deeds are the things you decide to do.

Listen, say yesterday you bet a lot of money on a horse that turned out to lose. Your choice. Today, I find out your big bet made the underdog (or, “underhorse”) pay a lot better.

You did it already, and I know that.

Now, it has happened. You no longer have a choice, but you did when you laid a lot of granola on the favorite.

So say I were able to go back and tell myself to bet on the underdog. What you are going to do is inevitable. You’ll make the same choices you already made. But the difference? I know what they were.

Now, men cannot go back in time. But physics demonstrates that time isn’t what we perceive it to be. It’s relative to who we are, where we are, what we are doing, and our natural physical makeup.

God does not have the physical limitations that define our perception of time.

So yeah, He foreknows, and we make choices we will be held accountable for.

Believe it or don’t.

 

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I Am That I Am

I Am That I Am

One particular section of Scripture has confused generations of Bible students and even scholars, who have failed to discern what it really means. As a result they have been all over the map in teaching this section.

We will attempt to look at it through fresh eyes and stick to what it was originally intended to mean, as best we can.

Ex. 3:13-15: “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
“And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
“And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.”

God was sending Moses to His people Israel, the people who inherited the promise to Abraham through their forefather Jacob, who was also known as Israel.

But the people Israel did not know this God. They had been in Egypt, had been slaves to the pagan Egyptians, for centuries. In fact, it had been about four hundred years that they had been in Egypt.

And they did not know this God of their fathers, Abraham and Israel.

In the pagan lands, the name of a “god,” of a pagan deity, was not simply a moniker. It also tended to represent what power that deity might have.

Many centuries later, in 1 Kings, the Syrians thought that the reason the nation of Israel defeated them in a battle in the mountains was that “Their gods are gods of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.”

But in 1 King 20:28, God responded by sending His servant: “And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the Lord, Because the Syrians have said, The Lord is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”

So Moses wasn’t just asking God for a title to identify God, he was also searching for a comprehension of what “kind” of God He was, what powers did He have.

For example, Moses would have known of the Egyptian deity Horus. Horus was not just its name, it meant “falcon” and “he who is above”: the sky itself.

So Horus was not “just” its name. It was what it was, what it did.

So Horus both had the head of a falcon, and was a dominant deity, superior to the gods of Sun and Moon, and it watched over the affairs of men.

Moses asked, “What is his name, what shall I say unto them?” In other words, what is your nature? What are your powers? What can you do?

God answered, saying “I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you”

“I Am That I Am.” “I Am hath sent.”

“I Am That I Am” are in the Hebrew texts the words “Ehyeh asher ehyeh” and literally mean “I will be” (“ehyeh”) “what” (“asher”) “I will be” (“ehyeh”). “I will be what I will be.”

When Moses asked God for His name, he was not just asking His powers, he was also assuming His limitations.

after all, as a god watching over the Egyptians and who controlled other powerful deities, Horus was quite a character.

But what power would Horus have in a cave in the depths of the earth?

No, there Osiris would be supreme.

But God said He was  “Ehyeh,” or as we say, Jahweh, “I Will Be.”

Not, “I Am,” but, “I Will Be.” “I Will Be has sent you.”

Why is His name “I Will Be?”

Because He has no limitations. He will be, He will do, whatever He needs to do to keep His word. He is not just the God of the sky, or the mountains, or the plains. He rules over all. He is Supreme. He has the versatility to keep whatever He says He will do.

And we are to mimic Him.

Eph. 5:1: “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;”

This word “followers” is in the text the word “mimetai,” from which we get our words “mimic” or “imitate” from. And the Greek word “mimetos” of which this is a form literally means “imitator.” We are to be imitators of God, as dear, as beloved children.

Imitators? Are we supposed to create worlds?

No.

We mimic character traits.

God will be. He will be what He will be, He will get the job done.

We too are supposed to “get the job done,” to be what He will have us to be to do His will.

1 Cor. 13: 1 “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

Often when you point to certain things in Scripture and tell those you are teaching or witnessing to they can do certain things in the name of God, they will tell you “All I have to do, all I should concentrate on, is the love.”

Then they will point to 1 Corinthians 13:1 and verses like it to “prove” their point. “Charity” is translated from the word “agapen,” a form of the word “agape” which means loosely, “unconditional love.”

Does 1 Corinthians 13:1 lie? Of course not. We are indeed called to love unconditionally, as God so “agepeson” (“loved”) the world He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes on him doesn’t have to perish, but has everlasting life.

But is that all God ever did? No, He will be what He will be.

And so, yes, we love.

But people mistake what may be an act of love, such as kindness, gentleness, teaching, patience, forgiveness, for the love itself. Someone who loves will manifest these things, at appropriate times.

But a seducer will feign all these things.

A person loving will be kind, gentle, teaching, patient and forgiving, but will also be the rock of certainty, the reproof, the assurance of truth, one who reminds us of what we are supposed to be.

Look at the context of 1 Corinthians 13:1:

1 Cor. 12:27-31 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
“Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?
”Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
“But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

We all are members of the Body of Christ.  We all have positions, we all have jobs we are good at.

But as we covet the best gifts, we find a more excellent way.

The way of love.

What are “the best gifts?”

The word “gifts” is “charismata,” literally a gift, or an act, of grace. Covet the best acts of grace.

What are the best acts of grace we can do?

Heb. 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Genuine grace meets needs. The best “gifts of grace,” the best charismata, are those that meet whatever is most needed at any given time!

Yes, do your job, that which you are called to do. But be God’s Scouts: Always be prepared.

There are apostles, sent ones who personally sent by the Lord to preach the gospel and represent his coming. But if the need is a plate of food, the needed gift of grace might be a simple home cooked meal.

But if the wickedness of a congregation is causing the name of the Lord to be blasphemed, a prophet might be in order.

Is that you?

Paul did not say, “I will show you a way that will make apostles and teachers and speakers of tongues etc. unnecessary.”

He said “Do you job, but AS YOU DO THIS, I will show you a more excellent way than only doing your job, only doing the minimum.”

For those only doing their job, but not looking to present the best acts of grace?

1 Cor. 13:1: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

Nothing wrong with the tongues, but if my love isn’t energizing me into doing more than what I think is what I have to do, I am a tinkling cymbal, a sounding brass.

1 Cor. 13:2 “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, and have not charity, I am nothing.”

Again, Paul s not criticizing the prophesy, or the mysteries, or the knowledge, which those who refuse to study and understand what they need to do often say these verses excuse them from doing. But look at verse 3:

1 Cor. 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

See? This “feeding the poor” and do-gooding that people who use these verses to excuse themselves from actually walking spiritually is also said, not to be worthless in itself, but to be without profit for those not doing it in love.

1 Cor. 13:4-6” Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
“Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
“Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;”

Love DOES endure, it IS kind. But it does not envy. It does not promote one’s ego. It thinks NO evil.

One aspect of this is it does not assume the worst motivations for those who disagree. God may tell us another’s motivations are off, that is a different story. But we are not to assume evil, we “thinketh no evil,” nor do we allow that we know to be evil to influence our actions.

That would not be gifts or acts of grace.

1 Cor. 13:7 “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

All the things the word says to do, seeking to meet needs by our acts of grace rather than sticking to that we are comfortably good at (our job,) we bear. We hope through all things that the word says to hope for. We endure through whatever comes our way because we love, and our life is motivated by genuine care for others, not just what we want or need.
And because we believeth all things whatsoever saith the Word of God by prophet or direct revelation, we know God’s got our back anyway. So we endure, we concern ourselves for others.

1 Cor. 13:8-9 “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.”

We will not take our limited knowledge with us in eternity…the bits and pieces God tells us by revelation shall be as a child’s playthings, forgotten and discarded upon adulthood.

We need them now, just as a child needs toys and play to grow and develop. But what we do and what we know? Not so much when we shall be like our Lord, face to face. Harity never fails, we take the grace we strive to live with us into eternity. Love never fails.

The other things?

1 Cor. 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
”When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
”For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

See?

It is not a pat job God has called you, the Christian to, it is to imitate Him, to be what He will have you to be, to meet whatever He needs you to do.

1 Cor. 13:13: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”

That’s so true. Faith, the trust in the Word that causes you to covet earnestly the best actions of grace, abides right now. As limited as the knowledge, and the hope, we now have is in comparison to what we will have, they still abide.

And the greatest of these three, faith, hope and love, is the love.

Love motivates our actions with genuineness, it energizes our faith. Without it, even when we “do the right things” our faith is dead, it profits us nothing.

Love genuinely motivates us to “covet earnestly the best acts of grace,” which is to do whatever we need to do, speak in tongues, prophesy, be sent, reprove, rebuke, correct, minister healing, feed the poor, give the shirt off our backs or our lives if need be.

It also keeps us from doing these things when such things are inappropriate actions that will not meet the needs of the Body of Christ.

But just as God is Elweh, He Who Will Be What He Will Be, we are imitators. We will do what He needs us to do, and not be satisfied with just doing some job.

For the sake of God our example, we will learn to learn, to teach, to pastor and counsel, to receive the words of God, to warn, to reprove, to correct, to be His follower in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

And no matter what state we are in, God has our back.

Phil. 4:11-13 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
“I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

We can imitate God, to be what He will have us to be, because we have Christ.

We are brothers of the Lord.

Christ strengthens us. When God gave Jesus the authority, when He made Jesus lord over all, He gave Jesus the ability.

He gave you ability in Christ, in your real relationship with your Head, Jesus Christ.

In Christ’s authority, in Christ’s name you can be what God will have you be, to do the job you need to do, not the position or title in the Body, not what you do usually and are good at, but at what He needs you to do to “give grace,” to meet the needs of those you need to minister to at any given time.

Amen?

AMEN!

 

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