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Sunday, October 11, 2015, 10:07 AM
I post a lot of stuff- maybe sometimes too much stuff. I prefer my Bible study posts, but in that I do not ask people to believe my Bible studies, but to search the Scriptures and to see for themselves what they find to be true. I also sometimes post silly stuff; for me it’s just something of a little break from the routine.
I had started years ago checking out YouTube during some of my breaks for Bible study. I was intrigued by the number of ‘conspiracy theories’. I didn’t then, and to a good extent now still don’t, believe all these conspiracy theories. But I did begin to put two and two together in a number of places, and many of these conspiracy theories have some rings of truth to them. This does not mean I trust all these conspiracy theories, but I do believe in a lot of things that are in some of them. Some of those I don’t necessarily believe, but I do see that some of them may be plausible, but I don’t know. Some of them go a little beyond just plausible to seeming likely, but I can’t say for sure, just because they are likely. So sometimes I post some of these conspiracy theories. I don’t ask anyone to believe in them, especially since I don’t always believe, but one may consider whether some of it may not be plausible.
I began to compare these conspiracy theories to politicians. A lot of politicians can use a lot of words that are true, but still, there are those areas where one may ask, “Is one hand covering up something in the other?” Very often, diversions are created to show the people one thing, while something else is being covered up in another thing.
So, just like a lot of conspiracy theories, I think all politicians master the art of ‘talking smooth’ but not revealing the whole story, and making promises to make themselves popular, while at the same time knowing these promises may be next to impossible to fulfill. The US helped to arm most of the terrorists that we are fighting in many ways. When Russian invaded Afghanistan, the US armed the Taliban to fight the Russians. Next we fight the Taliban in Afghanistan with Pakistan as our allies, but Pakistan has Taliban training camps that we are not allowed to target (because Pakistan is our ally), and part of the training of the camps comes in attacking supply convoys going to Afghanistan, that we can do little about, because it’s in Pakistan that we can fight in because they are our allies. Now tell me how that makes much sense.
But then many terrorists were armed under the Iran-Contra deal which Bush and Clinton (two opposing political parties) worked on together. Then Reagan tried to cover it up, and Oliver North became the fall guy. A lot of politicians may tell a lot of truths while at the same time be covering up a lot of little secrets. Even Putin can tell a lot of truth by exposing some of these secrets, but I don’t trust Putin anymore than I trust Obama, or Bush, or Clinton, or Reagan. In short, to trust politicians seems to me to be something of an oxymoron.
But in my posts, I’m serious about Bible study, but still post some silly stuff, and post some conspiracy theories that may be silly, and some conspiracy theories, that whether they are true or not, are meant to make people ask the question that Pilate asked Jesus, “What is TRUTH?” Seriously, with so many lies in this world, and so many areas where truth is obfuscated and what appears to be is not really what it is, then why do so many people seem to worship politicians? Some worship Democrats; some worship Republicans; some worship Socialists; and some even worship Putin. The bottom line is, how many will search for the TRUTH in this world, and discover that nothing in this world is to be trusted, but the only real place to put hope and trust is from a world beyond this world? This world is ruled by Satan, who is the father of lies. The only real place to put trust is in our Creator.
There is a song- Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full at His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace. The things of this world are not to be trusted in. This is one reason I post from some of the conspiracy theories. People need to quit putting so much trust in the things of this world.
Sunday, October 11, 2015, 7:03 AM
The following passage (Luke 6: 27- 38 below) should be familiar to most Bible students. They include a verse known as the golden rule (verse 31), this from the English Standard Version, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” But that verse is not a major part of what I wish to discuss here. This passage also says to love your enemies, but that is not what I wish to discuss here, though I have discussed that in other posts. That should be rephrased as not enemies in the sense of military, political, religious, or philosophical enemies.
Let’s look at verse 30- “Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.” The ‘give’ does not mean that we are to give what we need or can’t spare. How can I say that? Because it would be illogical in its context. But even if we only have a little, we are not to avoid sharing with those who have less, in our own faith that our Heavenly Father will provide. Those who are rich are certainly supposed to be generous in helping those in need, but very often, the needy are seen to be generous in helping those others who are in need.
The second half of that verse may be a little more difficult to understand- “…and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.” Is Jesus saying to overlook thieves? Certainly not! That would be contrary to God’s law, and Jesus does not contradict God’s law. So we see how the context has to be understood. It would only be logical to understand that in the ordinary sense, if someone in need takes from you something that they need, and you can spare it, or their need is greater than your need, then we should be understanding, and again depend upon Yahweh’s faithfulness to provide our needs. Am I saying that the Holy Spirit came down and specifically revealed this to me? No. Does not our LORD expect us to use common sense, logic, and interpreting the context in study of His Word? Essentially, it would be out of context to say that Jesus would say to overlook the law when He says that we are not to expect to be given back what was taken from us, especially when the Torah is very specific about this, even saying to add to what was taken. Jesus upholds the law, but teaches mercy and forgiveness, so it would seem only right that this must be to what He is referring.
So the context to use with the ‘love your enemy’, ‘turn the other cheek’, ‘bless those who curse you’, etc. is further explained in the verses following (32- 38). Enemies love their friends, so how would you be better if you only loved your friends? Enemies lend to their friends expecting to be repaid, so if that is how you operate, then how would you be any better than they are? So if we are used, abused, taken advantage of, then we should consider showing the mercy that our Heavenly Father shows us. This helps the world to see how Yahweh’s mercy operates and stands as a life witness. If the world doesn’t see His mercy in us, then it is as Jesus said, we could expect this world to treat us as it treated Him. But at least when they stand before the judgment, they can’t say that they hadn’t seen how His mercy works, because in showing His mercy, they have seen it in you.
Lastly, if we feel we have suffered loss in being taken advantage of, then that shows that our faith needs to be built up that Yahweh will provide. To say that our reward will be ‘running over’ (as in verse 38 below) does not mean we are to expect those rewards in this world or this life. Remember, Jesus said to store your treasures above because where your treasures are, that is where your heart will be. If you really seek your treasures in this life (as many rich people do), then you need to remember that Jesus said that if you love this life in this world you will lose your real life, but if you hate your life in this world, then you will save your life in His Kingdom. Next time you see a really happy rich person- ask yourself where does he think his treasures are? Has he really traded his home in Heaven for a home in this world?
Luke 6:27 But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. 37 Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.
Saturday, October 10, 2015, 7:05 AM
John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people.
42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"
In the above passage Jesus is speaking to the religious leaders of His day. He clearly points out that they are rejecting Him, whereas they search the Scriptures, supposedly seeking the Messiah, yet it is Him (Jesus) that the Scriptures are pointing them to. They are seeing Jesus and hearing His words, but do not see that He is the one to whom the Scriptures were pointing. It may behoove each of us to search the Scriptures and seek Jesus, and see if it He that they are truly seeing, just as the religious leaders of His day didn’t see Him.
Something else to note here: when Jesus spoke of their searching the Scriptures to see Him, and it was He of Whom the Scriptures spoke, note that they did not have the New Testament. The Greek has the Scriptures as ‘tas graphe’ which means ‘the writings’, and the B’rit HaQadash (Hebrew for New Covenant) has the Scriptures as ‘Kitvey HaQodesh’ (Hebrew for the Holy Writings). Both use the definite article ‘the’, and both Hebrew and Greek have strict rules for the use of the definite article. (Actually, the definite article in Greek has different forms according to the noun it is used with, but I want get into that here.) Also, ‘the’ writings referred to were the Tanach (the Jewish form of our Old Testament) and specifically referenced in the passage to the Torah (representing the first five books of Moses). They did not have the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that we have today. They did not have the B’rit HaQadash (the New Covenant or Testament) that we have today. When the early apostles carried the Gospel message to the peoples, both Jews and Gentiles, they used what we refer to as the Old Testament for their Scriptures. Can we, today, preach and teach Jesus from the Old Testament with no reference to the New Testament.
Jesus said that those Jewish leaders refused to come to Him for life. Is there anywhere that teaches any other way to this life? Are we ready to believe in Jesus and in His words? Now for a little more on the importance of that definite article.
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(GNT) λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς· ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ὁδὸς καὶ ἡ ἀλήθεια καὶ ἡ ζωή· οὐδεὶς ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸν πατέρα εἰ μὴ δι᾿ ἐμοῦ.
(Translit) legei auto [o] iesoss, ego eimi e odos kai e aletheia kai e zoe: oudeis erxetai pros ton patera ei me di' emos.
(HNT) ויאמר אליו ישוע אנכי הדרך והאמת והחיים לא־יבא איש אל־האב בלתי על־ידי׃
I’m not sure how well these fonts will work in posting or being read, but hopefully you will see John 14: 6 in the Greek, the transliterated Greek, and the Hebrew. In Hebrew, Greek, and English Jesus is “the” way, “the” truth, and “the” life. (The definite article in the Greek here is the letter ‘eta’ rather than the ‘tau-alpha-sigma’ which was in the first passage above, which is why I mentioned that there were different forms. The Hebrew definite article is the letter ‘hey’.) Jesus is THE (only) way, THE (only) truth, and THE (only) life in reference to the way, truth, and life that one can find in his/her Creator, Yahweh. No one can come to the Father except through Him. Many religions teach many nice platitudes, but how many religions teach how many ways to find an eternal home with our Creator after our life in this world is finished? I will hold my faith in Jesus the Messiah as THE only way, truth, and life.
Anyone who would teach that Jesus was anything less than He claimed to be would be saying that He was not honest in His teachings, and if He were not honest in His teaching, then who would pay any attention to someone they thought was dishonest? Jesus said to come to Him for life- will you come to Him?
Friday, October 9, 2015, 4:58 AM
Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.
A lot of people talk about God’s law, and that is good. God’s law is always true and right. ‘Keeping the law’ as a formality is one thing. Doing what is ‘right’ (the word ‘righteousness’ comes from ‘being right’) because one’s heart seeks to be right (seeks rightness or righteousness) is the only ‘righteousness’ that the Lord takes notice of. Even a heart that seeks rightness (apart from doing ‘rightness’ as a formality, because it’s written down) still will not be saved by that rightness, because no one has ever lived (except Jesus) who was perfectly (always completely) righteous. Lest we forget, no one is saved by ‘keeping the law’. When one becomes ‘saved’ (in Christian terminology), that one has believed in Jesus as his/her Savior to stand as their advocate before Yahweh (God). That belief is a faith that Jesus died to save him/her by taking the guilt of his/her unrightness upon Himself on the cross. It is a faith that believes that He also rose from the grave, else what is that faith worth if there were no resurrection? When one has that faith, the Holy Spirit of God and His Son, Jesus, seals us and plants God’s law within that one’s heart. That law is LOVE.
Romans 4:13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
Where there is no law, there is no transgression (sin, unrightness, nothing that causes guilt). If there were no law, then no one could break the law. But there is a law, and people have to realize that, because if there were no law, then the human race would be decimated by murder. The fact that there is murder, and that everyone recognizes that it is wrong indicates that everyone knows there must be law. But that law tells each person that if I don’t treat others the way I wish to be treated, then there is no reason for me to expect others to treat me the way I would wish. So in that sense of self-fulfillment, one has to recognize that there is a law, whether that law has ever been written or not.
Romans 6:10 For the death he died He (Jesus) died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Romans 13:8 Owe no one, anything, except the continuing debt to love one another. For he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the Torah. 9 For, "Do not commit adultery," "do not murder," "do not steal," "do not bear false witness," "do not lust," and if there is any other commandment, in this word it is summed up, in the words, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 10 Love does not work evil to the neighbor. Then love is the fulfillment of Torah (the body of Jewish law).
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
So many people will say to do this or that, but in Christ, the whole law is LOVE. Do not concern yourself with what day we are to do God’s law, because if that LOVE is in your heart, then that law is to rule seven days a week. You do not follow mysterious ceremonies or rituals except to the extent the only motivation is to praise and glorify our Creator. It is an individual choice to live by the law given through Moses, or by the grace and truth that came through Jesus Christ. Remember, each will be judged by the law he lives by (Romans 2: 12; 3: 28; 4: 15- 16; 7: 6, 9; 10: 4- 5; Galatians 3: 12- 14)
Galatians 3:12 But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Colossians 2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. 16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.
Thursday, October 8, 2015, 6:36 AM
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; 2 but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. 3 For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies; your tongue mutters wickedness.
LORD in all upper case in Scriptures is for the Hebrew Yahweh. As He clearly indicates, our iniquities separate us from Him, but His hand is not so short that He cannot save us. Later, Yahweh tells Isaiah (in 66: 1, 2 below) who He will “look upon” (euphemism for whom He is willing to accept).
Isaiah 66:1 Thus says the LORD: "Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool; what is the house that you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? 2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Are we willing to bend our hearts in order to humble to Him? Even so, the guilty will not be acquitted as is noted below.
Nahum 1:2 The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. 3 The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
Though He is willing to accept those who turn to Him, that does not mean that the guilt is automatically cleared. A debt must be paid for the guilt. This is why Jesus came and died. But do not be fooled, those who do not accept Him will come before His judgment throne with no defense.
Zephaniah 1:2 "I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth," declares the LORD. 3 "I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the rubble with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.
There are some who teach that there will be those who will live forever on earth. Zephaniah puts that idea aside.
Jeremiah 5:26 For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. 27 Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; 28 they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. 29 Shall I not punish them for these things? Declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?" 30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31 the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
Notice that the ‘people love to have it so’ with regards to the prophets who prophesy falsely. This is in keeping with the New Testament teaching that people with itching ears will accumulate teachers who teach them what their itchy ears want to hear. For those who follow the teachings of such teachers as Ellen White and others, beware, because punishment for those who are not prepared at the judgment will have eternal punishment. She, along with others, teach that the guilty will not go into eternal punishment, but will simply be destroyed and cease to exist. Before these notions are entertained, one should see what the Scriptures say. I wouldn’t see ceasing to exist as equal to shame and everlasting contempt. Notice the eternal fire is for the devil and his angels, but those who don’t come to the Savior will be put there and it goes on to say it will be eternal punishment. Now I hardly see how ceasing to exist can be equated to ‘eternal punishment’.
Daniel 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to SHAME AND EVERLASTING CONTEMPT.
Matthew 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
Luke 16:22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.