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Tuesday, January 28, 2014, 10:24 PM
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (RNKJV)
Just as in ‘love the world’ or ‘hate the world’, hate not his family in 26 above is referring to taking our family’s will or lifestyle or notions as opposed to living the life and teaching the way of Jesus. We are to LOVE all people, including family, but if you should find yourself in a situation where your family’s position is contrary to Jesus’ teaching, the you are to “choose” (love) the teaching of Jesus, and “reject” (hate) the teachings of anyone else, even if it is from your own family. If God calls you to be a missionary in some far off place, but your family wants you not to leave, then you are to follow God’s leading, even if it means leaving your parents and siblings behind.
If you’re going to build anything, you should certainly first take note of what you will need and how much you have to invest. It is the same with choosing (preferring, loving) to follow Christ. Jesus may not call everyone to leave everything behind, but he wants everyone to know that if He should call them to leave all earthly friends, family, possessions, etc. and follow Him, then we should be prepared to follow in faith that He will work His purpose out through our choosing to follow Him. Jesus said that we were to take up our CROSS and follow Him (Luke 9: 23). That cross is to be our works that we do for His kingdom (Ephesians 2: 10), not works that earn our salvation, but the works that come from our hearts filled with the love that is His law that comes when the Holy Spirit brings us into that closer living of His law. Living the Christian life has burdens, but not to be burdensome, but burdens that we take willingly for our love for doing His will. That is the burden of taking the needs of others on ourselves, as love compels us to bear one another’s burdens, and the burden of reaching lost souls for Christ, as our love for others would not wish us to see the suffering of others meeting God’s wrath.
Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, Elohim, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, Elohim be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (RNKJV)
It is one thing that some people may strive to live God’s law to the fullest, but some people seem to take the attitude that they follow God so closely that they are so much better than others are. Jesus does not want people to feel smug, and certainly not for people to think that they are so “good” (righteous- right living) that they can earn a place with God (or to earn God’s ‘ear’ when they pray). God will accept the lowliest sinner, but we must recognize our lowly position in need of Him as we reach out to Him. Those who try to boast and make themselves out to be someone ‘important’ or ‘worthy’ or ‘high-minded’ will be brought down, and those who recognize their lowly position and obediently submit will be raised to a higher position (not in this life, but in the eternal kingdom to come).
Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? 8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? 9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. 10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (RNKJV)
Jesus said that we were not to do our works, and then suppose that we should be rewarded for doing what we were supposed to be doing to anyway. If we are truly motivated by God’s law of LOVE, then we should be grateful to God that we were able to serve. Love doesn’t seek its own reward- or rather the reward for LOVE is knowing that what needed to be done was done. We do not deserve praise for doing what we should be doing anyway. We should be grateful that God LOVES us in spite of the fact that we are so undeserving of His LOVE. So anything done from pure love doesn’t seek to parade itself as the man in the earlier passage who prayed, “Lord, thank you I’m not like that sinner over there.”
Monday, January 27, 2014, 8:59 PM
1st John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. (RNKJV)
Perfect love casts out fear. Oh, that my love were perfect. One day when this old body is transformed into the similitude of Christ at the resurrection then I will never again no fear. But for now I sometimes feel fearful because my faith is often weak and my love is so far from what it should be.
Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; (RNKJV)
For those who study this sort of thing- Aser is from the Greek spelling for the Hebrew word for Asher, one of the sons of Jacob (Israel) and the name of the tribe from his descendants. (This RNKJV usually goes back to the Hebrew words, so I’m a little surprised that they went with the Greek here- the markings on the Hebrew letter here indicates that the Hebrew pronounces the letter shin with the ‘sh’ sound rather than the ‘s’ sound.) Anyway, this is something of a footnote for the study of what some call the “Ten Lost Tribes of Israel”. Asher would have been one of those ten tribes that were supposedly lost, yet here it appears in New Testament Israel.
Luke 4:24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of EliYah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; 26 But unto none of them was EliYah sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. 28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, (RNKJV)
Again we have some spelling based on the Greek. EliYah would represent a proper Hebrew spelling for the prophet Elijah in the regular KJV and other versions. However Sarepta is the Greek spelling for the Hebrew word usually spelled as Zarephath. One note on this, though- the Hebrew doesn’t traditionally have a letter to represent the letter we know as ‘Z’. The more correct pronunciation in Hebrew would be the sound ‘ts’, which is sort of a spitting sound.
Anyway, Jesus pointed out that even though the Jewish nation were selected by God to bring God's law to the world through Moses, that did not mean that the Jewish people were the only people that God showed His mercy to, and of course many in the Jewish people did not believe in YHWH to the fullness of His salvation. This was something the people in New Testament time Israel did not want to hear.
Well, for now I’m caught up on a lot of verses I had copied and pasted to comment on later, so I may take a break from some posting.
Monday, January 27, 2014, 4:55 PM
1st John is my favorite epistle (letter).
1st John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of YHWH abideth for ever. (RNKJV)
Honestly- I love this world. We live in a fleshly body, and the things of this world are so very alluring. Paul said in Romans chapter 7 that we live in a fleshly body, even though our minds may serve Christ. Still, we are to strive to let the mind that is from Christ overrule our fleshly bodies. Still, there is more to ‘love not the world’ than is obvious with our definitions and understanding of love. In both the Hebrew and Greek, often ‘love’ and ‘hate’ are used as terms of preference, and not so much emotion. Love not the world could be interpreted as ‘choose not this world above the spiritual heavenly realm’. Then also, the term ‘world’ may sometimes refer to ‘all the people on the world’, or ‘all material qualities of this world’, or ‘this world system as it is run by Satan, who is the ruler of this world’. I believe ‘love not the world’ is referring to this world system as it is run by Satan. We may all say that it is wrong to love money, but inside- wouldn’t we all feel sort of pleased to have more of it?
Facts are facts and I believe in taking every Scripture literally, although we must remember that the literal message is not always a ‘word by word’ reading. Words are meant to be understood in context. Euphemisms in the Scripture have literal meanings, and I take meanings literally, but we all know that realistically, what any euphemism means is not necessarily the actual wording of the euphemism.
1st John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antimessiah shall come, even now are there many antimessiahs; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. (RNKJV)
Any antichrist (antimessiah, above- messiah and christ have the same meaning- ‘anointed’) is anyone who is not in keeping with the will of Christ. In a technical sense, and non-Christian is an antichrist because he is not pro-Christ. There is the discussion in the Scriptures of the ‘Antichrist’ who will appear in the last days, but the Scriptures speak of other ‘antichrists’ who are already in the world. This would generally refer to any who are working against the cause of Christ. Many of these may be in the ‘church’ (depending on your definition of ‘church’), but not truly of the church. Many of these may believe they have ‘good’ intentions, and may believe themselves to be true Christians, however they may be deceiving their own selves. Then there are others who ‘go out from the church’ with the intent of changing the entire work of the church to their own causes. Beware of any who wish to teach something differently from sound Scriptural doctrine. Just because everyone may not agree on every detail of that doctrine, most are agreed on the basic concepts. We are not perfect, and we may disagree, but when it comes to any Scriptural interpretation, each person is responsible for studying the Scriptures to see if the teaching agrees with their best understanding of it, as revealed to each individual based on how they believe the Holy Spirit is leading. Not being perfect, we may not all perfectly understand the Spirit’s leading, and thus we have ‘denominations’.
1st John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of YHWH in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. (RNKJV)
John is called the Beloved Apostle and 1st John teaches much about God’s law of LOVE. If you have that genuine love, then it should be seen. This is like the candle that is not hid, but placed so that it may give light. Yet there are those who talk about love (“let us not love in word, neither in tongue”) and some put on a show of ‘pretended’ love, but genuine love is seen in one’s deeds, and the truth of those deeds should reveal whether the deeds are genuine or a show to be seen.
The next verses are beautiful and should require absolutely no comment. I think it makes a very good closing for this post.
1st John 4:5 They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of YHWH: he that knoweth YHWH heareth us; he that is not of YHWH heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of YHWH; and every one that loveth is born of YHWH, and knoweth YHWH. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not YHWH; for YHWH is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of YHWH toward us, because that YHWH sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved YHWH, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if YHWH so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen YHWH at any time. If we love one another, YHWH dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. (RNKJV)
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 11:13 PM
A lot of people talk about faith- but the TRUTH about faith is in Whom or what you put your faith. Don’t put your faith in karma. Don’t put your faith in hopes, dreams, and wishes. Don’t put your faith in fairy tales. Put your faith in your Creator knowing that you need Him above all else, but because of our unworthiness, we can only approach Him on His terms, and that is through the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of Elohim, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. …
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to YHWH must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (RNKJV)
He rewards those who diligently seek Him with the promise of an eternal home in His kingdom. Carefully examine yourself- do you DILIGENTLY seek Him?
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of YHWH, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. (RNKJV)
Temptations try the faith. These trials of temptations are to prove that faith to be genuine and help us to grow into that patience that allows God’s will to have its perfect work in our lives, whereby we live by the good works which He hath before ordained (Ephesians 2: 10).
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (RNKJV)
If you truly trust in the Lord, then you will trust His Word, and His Word will teach you about yourself, others, this world, and the world to come. Some may learn more, some may learn less, but we should strive to learn what we are to be doing for Him as we live the life He gave us. If we are not doing the Word, then do we truly have Him in our heart’s faith? We are not perfect, and we do not perfectly live that Word, but we should at least be “doers” in our best efforts. Being a sinner does not mean one is not saved, for we are all sinners (though in God’s eyes we may be seen as righteous through our Savior’s blood). But we need to carefully examine that our faith is true, lest we be deceiving our own selves. One may call himself a ‘doer of the Word’ by working for the church, but are we working based on that heart of love which the Holy Spirit has shared of God’s law within us; or do we work to be seen of others; or do we work because we think we are earning our salvation? Remember- our salvation is from our faith; the works are from God’s law of love planted in our hearts. We cannot earn our salvation by our works, but our works should be the fruit of our salvation.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. (RNKJV)
James is often misunderstood here. He is trying to make a point. Faith leads to good works so that without works then one must question if the faith is really there. “Can faith save him?” is merely the suggestion that if there are no works, then where is the faith. If you have the faith, then you have God’s law of love planted in your heart. If you truly have that law of love in your heart, then that love would compel you to do the works if you see another in need. So if you do not show the works, then where is your love; and if you do not show your love, then where is your faith? To say that a man is justified by his works means that the works would show that his faith is real, so the faith saves, and the works indicate the justification. There is a problem here though in that ‘not all works prove one’s faith’. As has been pointed out, there are those who work to put on a show of good works, and those who work thinking that the works will save them. It is the works that come from a heart of love (which is God’s law) that prove the presence of the Spirit in one’s life and shows the justification of the faith that saves.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of YHWH, and he shall lift you up. 11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? (RNKJV)
Who are we to judge for we did not give the law, but we have all been shown guilty under the law?
James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. (RNKJV)
A good closing thought in James 4: 17 above.
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 9:21 PM
2nd Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before YHWH, and the Master Yahushua the Messiah, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. (RNKJV)
Paul was telling Timothy to keep on preaching to as many as would hear the TRUTH of God’s Word. It is certainly a time for people with itchy ears to find preachers who tell them what they want to hear. They will turn away from the full truth. They may find some pretty Bible verses, but they will not teach the full TRUTH of the Gospel of Christ. Remember Jesus said woe to those who were rich (Luke 6: 24). How many preachers get rich pan-handling the blood of Jesus?
1st Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is righteousness: from such withdraw thyself. (RNKJV)
How many preachers get rich telling people how God wants them to prosper (get rich)? They quote Bible verses, but they would look pretty silly in their expensive suits, expensive jewelry, and luxurious automobiles on a street corner telling people how much persecution and tribulation they will experience following Christ. They would look terribly silly teaching homeless people they should sell their riches and follow Christ. Oh, but people with itching ears love to listen to the beautiful words of these people who got rich pan-handling the blood of Christ. Why? Because people with itching ears want to hear what they want to hear, and they don’t want to hear the whole truth. So rich preachers know how to tell the pretty words, but don’t tell the whole TRUTH. So what did Paul mean by telling Timothy that “… men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that GAIN IS RIGHTEOUSNESS: …”? What is the teaching of prosperity preachers? Is it that righteousness leads to gain? Isn’t that like saying, “I can show you how righteous I am by how much I’ve gained.”? So to me, the Bible clearly teaches that prosperity preachers are “men (and/or women) of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth”. Please pray sincerely for the poor people who have been led astray by filthy, rich preachers (and I do mean ‘filthy’). But they are still responsible for their own decisions in not faithfully studying God’s Word.
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living Elohim. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of the Messiah, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Hebews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. (RNKJV)
Sometimes in reading the Bible we may end our reading at the end of one chapter and pick back up at the beginning of the next chapter later.When the Bible was written it was not divided into chapters and verses. Sometimes a though at the end of one chapter doesn’t end that thought, but it continues into the next chapter. From Hebrew chapter 3- chapter 4 is just one of those places. Abraham was saved by believing in God (Genesis 15: 6). The Jews (Israelites- they weren’t that early in their history called Jews, but I may say Jews because it is the same descendants of Abraham) were expected to go forth in the Exodus in faith. Because their faith was so weak, they did not fully believe. We must be sure that our saving faith is a real faith based on the real truth.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of YHWH is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (RNKJV)
Anyone who is faithfully studying the Scriptures can tell you that if often feels that it is cutting into your very soul. We can come to realize deepest truths about ourselves that we would have denied if we were told by another. It also allows you to see truths in others and in life in general that you would not have realized before. It can reach to the deepest you inside of you and you won’t even feel a cut until the truth is actually laid bare.