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Elijah The Widow And Divine Election 1 Kings 17

Posted by Job on January 4, 2012

But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow.

In Luke 4:26-27, our Lord and God Jesus Christ tells us that God sent Elijah to a Gentile widow woman as opposed to a member of His elect nation. When His fellow Jews were reminded of this fact, they became enraged at Jesus Christ and attempted to murder Him. The reason – or the context – was that Jesus Christ challenged their presumptuous attitude towards God and their standing with Him; an attitude that was due to their faithlessness. Israel had placed their trust in the intellectual knowledge that they were the children of Abraham, as opposed to spiritual revelation concerning God’s nature. Hence is the difference between mere belief – which followers of Jesus Christ in in Name only possess (see the goats of Matthew 25:31-46) – and saving faith. The former is artificial, is the product of human reason and emotion, and does not endure until the end. A great example of this is the case of Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:9-24, who made a human response to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the miracles worked in His Name – the Bible text says that he believed and was baptized – but never experienced new birth, as the apostle Peter testified that his heart was not right and he needed to experience true repentance. (Opponents of the so-called Lordship Salvation doctrine need to take note of Simon Magus). The latter is given only by God, and it always produces true repentance and legitimate salvation from which none can fall away.

Hence we should not be surprised that God sent Elijah to this widow woman. For though Israel was God’s elect nation, not all of Israel was elected unto eternal salvation. An example of this is Judas Iscariot, a Jew whom the Bible explicitly states is eternally damned to hell fire. Further, it is also clearly plain from the Bible that those elected by God unto salvation are not limited to national Israel. This is true of both New Testament times and Old Testament times. The signs are there that God sent Elijah to this widow woman because she was an elect Gentile, and hence a true daughter of Abraham and part of spiritual Israel, Israel of God as described by Paul in Galatians 6:16.

First, consider that this woman knew of God’s nature. In 1 Kings 17:12, this woman swore by God using Yĕhovah ‘elohiym chay, meaning as YHWH lives. By giving an oath upon this divine attribute, she recognized the God of Israel as the living God. Now contrast this with Darius, the pagan king of Medo-Persia during the time of Daniel. He referred to the God of Israel as the living God in Daniel 6, but he did not use the divine name (instead he used a more generic term for deity), further Darius was a polytheist, meaning that he believed in other gods (as evident by Daniel 6:7). Note that the decree of Darius in Daniel 6:25-28 commanded that everyone worship the God of Daniel, but (despite the claims of VeggieTales) did not command that YHWH be worshiped exclusively. Worship of other deities was still allowed, and in a polytheistic nation like Medo-Persia, it was obviously going to happen. Yet this widow woman made no reference to other gods, including the false deities of her own country and people. Thus, the knowledge of God of this widow woman exceeded that of King Darius.

Second, this woman obeyed the commandments of God. She knew that Elijah was an Israelite, and suspected him to be a prophet. When Elijah told her to feed him first with her last portion of food, and then feed herself and her son, against all reason and human nature, she obeyed God’s prophet, and through that action obeyed God Himself. She did this obedience through faith, even though it was yet in a seed form. And again, contrast the faithful obedience of this Gentile woman to the faithless rebellion of national Israel (save for the faithful remnant reserved for God by God’s divine decree) and also of those who claim to be Christians but are not like the goats of Matthew 25:31-46.

Third, this woman was aware of her sin condition before God, and it vexed her to a condition of penitence. This is in contrast with the self-righteousness of the Pharisees and Essenes in the time of Jesus Christ, and of Christians who believe in Jesus Christ only through the power of their own flesh (again i.e. Simon Magus). We know this because when her son died, the first thing that she attributes this great calamity to was her own sin (1 Kings 17:18)! She did not blame God directly by accusing Him, or blame Him indirectly by attributing this tragedy to the unfairness of life, but she asked if God sent His prophet to her to bring about the death of her son as punishment for her sins! And in this, she did not deny being sinful, nor did she deny the propriety of God’s punishing her for her sins!

In all of Israel, was there anyone who had this type of knowledge of the holiness of God, the sinfulness of man, and how sin has its wages, which is death? And how could anyone, whether Jew or Gentile, have this awareness except by divine revelation? And be not deceived, the knowledge of one’s sinful condition that causes true repentance comes only by Holy Spirit conviction! The Holy Spirit convicts the sinner of his sin, gives the sinner the faith to believe the gospel, and then regenerates the sinner. We see in this narrative that this woman already knew of God and His nature, already knew of her sinfulness (and hence God’s holiness) and already knew of the dire consequences. Now we are beginning to see why God’s prophet was sent to this Gentile woman!

Finally, this woman sees the power of God, the revelation of God, through a miracle: the resurrection of her son. Now keep in mind: national Israel had seen the mighty works of God before and rebelled anyway, including virtually everyone who came out of Egypt. That generation perished in the desert because they lacked true God-given faith, and as a result fell away and tried to stone Moses and go back to Egypt! And in Elijah’s time, Israel SAW God miraculously expose and defeat the prophets of Baal, yet they (again save a remnant that God reserved to Himself, see Romans 11:4 and 1 Kings 19:18) soon began serving Baal again anyway! So where the non-elect have God revealed to them to no lasting positive effect (i.e. those who do not respond to the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ) because of their faithless condition, this woman responded by saying that Elijah is a prophet of God and that the word of the Lord in his mouth was true.

Please do not walk away believing that this woman merely attested that Elijah was a reliable fortune-teller and wonder-worker after the fashion of not a few pagans. This woman spoke “dabar Yĕhovah peh ‘emeth.” Ignore peh which only refers to Elijah being God’s vessel. Instead, focus on dabar Yĕhovah ‘emeth. This means “the word of God is truth.” Again, she explicitly stated YHWH, the divine Name, which refers to the Holy Trinity and not merely God the Father (as some, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult and the equally false modern Judaism religion, mistakenly believe). “Dabar” means “word.” As we know from John 1 – and the apostle directly translated “dabar” into “logos”, and we know this from his citation of Old Testament texts – “dabar Yĕhovah” means “the Word of God.” The Word of God is none other than Jesus Christ. Emeth means “truth.” Hence when this woman exclaimed  dabar Yĕhovah ‘emeth she stated “the Word of God is truth”, or “Jesus Christ is truth.” Thus, this woman bore witness of Jesus Christ, a true personal witness that could have only come by the Holy Spirit, and this is so both the Old Testament and New Testament dispensations (for lack of a better term).

Do you doubt? Well, emeth does not only mean “truth” or “true.” It can also mean “faithful.” So, who is referred to in the Bible as “faithful and true”? Why Jesus Christ in Revelation 3:14 and19:11. This Gentile woman in essence referred to two of the Names of Jesus Christ given in the Holy Spirit-inspired scriptures: the Word of God and Faithful and True!

So, she knew of God and His attributes. She obeyed God because of this belief. She knew of God’s holiness and her sin, of the consequences of this sin, and was truly repentant because of it. And she believed in – and publicly testified of – Jesus Christ. The only thing that this woman lacked from the salvation process given in the New Testament was those things that had not yet come to pass (the incarnation and passion of Jesus Christ) and yet her words lacked even less than many conversion techniques and pitches common in evangelical Christianity today! Hence, this widow woman was an Old Testament saint. And it was to this Old Testament saint, whose status as such was by the election and predestination of God the Father from the foundation of the world, that God’s prophet was sent despite her not being a member of national Israel. And therefore this widow woman was an Old Testament example of the New Testament doctrine given in Romans 10:12-13, Galatians 3:28-29, and Colossians 3:11.

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.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.

Be not deceived: though Elijah was not sent to a member of national Israel, he was definitely sent to a member of spiritual Israel. Whether Jew or Gentile, it is imperative that one must be a member of spiritual Israel so that one can reign forever with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem and avoid the wrath certain to come to those who are not members of this spiritual nation. If you wish to join Israel of God but do not know how, please read:

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Posted in Bible, Calvinism, discernment, election, evangelical, evangelical christian, faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Judaism, predestination, Reformed, salvation, soteriology, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

Make no mistake friends, God exists. God is real. Should you countenance thoughts otherwise, this case involving Jerry Sandusky and his committing unspeakable crimes of violation against a number of young boys proves it. This case demonstrates the existence of God by demonstrating the existence of evil. Now of course, evil is not some deity that is the opposite of God who contests God, as dualistic religions and philosophies propose. Neither is evil some force (whether personal or impersonal) as again some religions or philosophies claim, i.e. the “karma” of eastern religions and the New Age ideas that influence them. Instead, Gotquestions.org (a Christian ministry) provides a very suitable Bible-based definition:

A dictionary definition of evil is “morally reprehensible, sinful, wicked.” The definition of evil in the Bible falls into two categories: evil against one another (murder, theft, adultery) and evil against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the prohibition against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9), to the destruction of Babylon the Great, the embodiment of evil to come (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of evil.

So allow it to be said, from a reverse-logic standpoint, that because evil exists – as the Bible clearly bears witness of – then God must necessarily exist also. Moreover, God must exist as the answer to evil, the one who defeats evil, which the Bible also bears witness of. Great, unspeakable, incomprehensible craven crimes against the innocent is evidence of the existence of evil, evidence of a great problem with our existence that must be overcome lest we be destroyed by it, and evidence of a solution to this pressing existential problem and threat that only God can provide. If there is nothing more powerful than evil save God, then God must exist. It is said that love is more powerful than evil. This is so, and the Bible bears witness that God is love and that God is loving.
‘Tis tempting to deny that the actions of Jerry Sandusky were in fact attributable to evil, which one might accuse of being some abstract idea. Instead, one can propose a more rational, reasonable scientific root cause: that Sandusky is simply disturbed, one possessing an abnormal brain biology or chemistry that causes him to both have abnormal urges and be unable to restrain himself from acting on them; that indeed he might have an inability to discern or respond to reality. Legitimate medical science has proven that such is the case with a number of people, indeed those that have committed monstrous crimes against individuals and humanity. And yes, the problem of evil must be explained in such a way that deals with cases as these, just as explanations are needed for such things as natural disasters, epidemics, and stillborn children that lack an identifiable human villain, antagonist or cause.

But in this case, one not need to consider (solely) Jerry Sandusky when it comes to evil. Instead, we have other figures with regards to this case such as Mike McQueary, Joe Paterno, and many other figures at Penn State University and the surrounding community who had knowledge of the crimes of Sandusky for many years and failed to act in a manner that would have punished the guilty and protected the innocent. These figures chose not to act because of the wealth, power and prestige associated with college athletics, in particular Pennsylvania State University football. 1 Titus 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all evil!” At other points in the Bible, the contrast between mammon – the desire for money, power and privilege – and the things of God are given, as are the people who seek the former verses the latter. Thus, even if we deny that Sandusky is evil, then the actions of those who chose not to act in the interests of those that Sandusky victimized and to protect him from committing further harm most certainly was! So the monstrous behavior associated with this case was clearly evil, and evil on this scale demonstrates the need for one with the power and desire to defeat it, and this need can be met only by God.

If God hates and can overcome evil, why does He suffer its existence in the first place? The reason is that the existence of evil was the cost of accomplishing creation. Only God is perfect, containing perfect power, knowledge and righteousness. Thus, anything and everything that is not God will inevitably come to a state of imperfection, and this imperfection is either evil itself, or allows for evil events to occur. So, though creation was not evil at the time that God finished it, creation did what was inevitable, which was lapse into an imperfect, evil state.

The Bible describes this occurring both with Satan in Ezekiel 28:13-19 and Isaiah 14:12-17, and with Adam in Genesis 2-3. The Bible states that both Adam and Satan were created perfect (see Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 1:31 concerning Adam and Ezekiel 28:15 concerning Satan) but that they both abandoned that perfect state of their own accord, through no fault or action of God and without being attributable to any flaw or defect in their making or original condition. God did not create evil, but instead evil was the inevitable result of creation. As God did not cause or force the actions of Adam or Satan, being responsible for creation does not make God responsible for the evil in creation.

That creates the question: if God knows all things, then He knew that His creation would lapse into imperfection and that evil would result. This means that God was willing to allow the existence of evil. Why, then, did God allow the existence of evil, even if He is not to be blamed for evil? The answer is this: God allowed the existence of evil in order to accomplish a greater good: for the glory of His Son. 1 Colossians 1:16 states that all creation was done according to the will of God the Father for God the Son. For God the Father to glorify, honor and please God the Son was the greater good that was accomplished by suffering the existence of evil. This can be put into better perspective when one realizes that though evil will only exist for a time, the exaltation of God’s Son that came as a result of creation will last forever!

It is easy to doubt and mock and say “God was willing to allow the existence of evil because it cost Him and His Son nothing; that His creation that He claims to love – including sentient human beings – had to bear all the negative costs and effects.” Now be not deceived: even were this so, it would be perfectly appropriate and within God’s rights, being that He is the sole Owner and Master of whatever He chooses to create for whatever purposes He chooses to create it. However, it should be said that this is not so! Again, it is not so that creation alone must bear the negative effects of evil; that God kept Himself unaffected and unscathed by such horrible events as what Mike McQueary saw being done to a juvenile boy by Jerry Sandusky yet refused to intervene to save the juvenile, though being a 27 year old former football player he certainly had the ability to. Instead, though He was by no means obligated or required to, God demonstrated the legitimacy and the extent of His love for creation by giving up the very Son for whose glory creation was accomplished in the first place to die on a cross!

You see, the existence of evil in creation was no mere set of bad facts. Instead, it was a situation that required a remedy. It created a debt that had to be paid. It was a crime for which something had to be punished. God could have remedied the situation by simply destroying creation, all of it, forever. But instead, God chose to have His Son, totally innocent and blameless of all imperfection and evil, provide the remedy by paying the debt, by taking on all the punishment upon Himself. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, did this by dying on a cross in place of creation. By paying this debt, this allowed creation – or some part of it anyway – to remain forever for the joy and happiness of God’s Son – who was resurrected from the dead – and as this same Son of God is forever the joy and happiness of His Father, this state of affairs is certainly appropriate. Thus, the logic of the greater good of allowing evil to exist for a time for the joy of God the Son and God the Father for an eternity becomes explicit, apparent and utterly reasonable. Suffering the existence of evil was a great price, but one that God was willing to pay with the blood of His own Son. Far from being the “cosmic child abuse” that some doubters propose, the truth is that God’s Son – also divine and one with His Father and with His Father’s Spirit – is a willing participant, is manifestly pleased with the arrangement, and benefit to Him (and His Father) far outlasts and exceeds (in value and duration) the very real and significant loss.

So whenever you learn of – or experience – any great evil, though you may and should mourn it, always remember: the occurrence of this evil does manage to powerfully demonstrate that God exists. So, remember that the God who does exists has already paid the price of evil – through His own Son on a cross – and will one day put an end to all evil forever. God’s creation will endure, but the evil will not. This does leave one final pressing issue: your fate. Will you be part of the creation that endures forever, providing joy and delight to God’s Son while receiving great benefits from this existence (and absent any and all negative effects or considerations) yourself? Or will you be included in the portion of creation that is destroyed when all evil is destroyed? The answer to this is simple: if you renounce and turn away from all of the evil that you have done and thereby represent and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died to pay the debt incurred by your evil and was resurrected from the dead, then you will be among the portion of creation that remains. Otherwise, you will be among the portion of creation that is destroyed. (As time will no longer exists – for time is part of creation – the process of your destruction will take place in eternity and last for an eternity.)

For make no mistake, even if you had no part in this incident, we have all committed evil, if not according to our own standards, according to God’s standards. Though the debt incurred by your evil actions has already been paid for by Jesus Christ, the Bible makes it clear that only those who renounce their evil actions and ways and believe in Jesus Christ will have their paid debt applied. It is the same as having won a contest, but having to go present yourself and your ticket to those running the contest to claim your prize. Though your debt has been paid, one has to renounce his evil actions and tendencies and believe in the Sonship, Lordship, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to have that paid debt “applied to their accounts.” In order to further explain and assist you in this process, please click on “The Three Step Salvation Plan” link below, which contains information presented in both written and video form. I entreat and implore you to do so – to heed and believe – immediately. Thank you.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in abomination, Apologetics, atheism, Bible, child abuse, child molestation, Christianity, education, homosexuality, humanism, idolatry, mammon, religion, sex crime, sex demon, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, skepticism, societal decline, sodomy, sports, Theodicy, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

When Hannah Mother Of Samuel Prophesied Of Jesus Christ

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

1 Samuel 2:1-10 reads:

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. [There is] none holy as the LORD: for [there is] none beside thee: neither [is there] any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let [not] arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD [is] a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men [are] broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. [They that were] full have hired out themselves for bread; and [they that were] hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

This prayer of Hannah is fascinating in ways that are almost too many to count. I will focus on some things that struck me about it as it read this text this morning.

1. How God uses adversity to bring about His purposes in His elect. This was a time of spiritual crisis among God’s people, during the time of the Judges. In these days Eli was the high priest charged with service of the tabernacle, as were his sons Phinehas and Hophni. However, Phinehas and Hophni were exceedingly wicked, and Eli, though he went through the motions of being outwardly righteous, refused to act to stop his sons, and also was willing to personally benefit from their evil deeds. God does not leave His people without a shepherd, however, so it was his purpose to raise up new spiritual leadership; a special child chosen from before his birth and set apart for this purpose.

In order to bring this about, God selected a righteous man, Elkanah the son of Jeroham, and his righteous wife Hannah. God temporarily closed the womb of this righteous woman, and permitted Peninnah, the other wife of Elkanah and who was bearing children, to vex and torment Hannah over her condition. Now this is yet another occurrence of rivalries between wives that the Bible tells us occurs with polygamy, including to the point of a woman using her children to gain status in the eyes of her husband at the expense of the other wives. However, also remember that during this time, childbearing was associated with God’s blessing and favor being with a woman, so a barren woman was often presumed to be disfavored by God, perhaps due to some sinfulness on her part. When you consider the very strong language that the Bible uses concerning Peninnah’s treatment of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:6 – and her adversary vexed her sore, forasmuch as she upbraided her, because the Lord made her barren – it appears that some very strong accusations were involved, and should make one consider the charges against Job by his friends: that Job’s sins were the cause of his condition.

But rather than her trials and tribulations being evidence of her sinfulness or her not being smiled upon by God, they were instead evidence of the work that God desired to work both within and through her (James 1:2-4)! For God wanted to use the seed of Hannah and Elkanah to raise up new spiritual leadership. God wanted the child of Hannah and Elkanah to be given totally over to Him; to learn about God’s laws and ways to that this child would be able to use this knowledge to execute his leadership more effectively and perfectly. God allowed – or caused! – the affliction of His servant Hannah so that – in her grief – Hannah would make a prayer to the Lord that was acceptable to the Lord. Now of course, this prayer was not of Hannah, meaning of her own flesh and carnal nature, but came as she was carried along by the Holy Spirit. But the point is that the trials and tribulations that God saw fit to have Hannah experience plowed and tilled the ground of her heart, to create the conditions for her to be carried along by the Holy Spirit to make this prayer. She prayed for a man-child (for the spiritual leader had to be male) and dedicated the child to lifetime service to God (thereby renouncing parental or familial rights that were very important in that culture for legal, economic and social status reasons) in her prayer, including the vow that her child would be a Nazerite. Remember the Lord’s Prayer, where we are supposed to petition that God’s will in heaven be done on earth. It was the will of God in heaven for such a child as this to be born and dedicated to Him, so God created the conditions whereby this woman would pray for the birth of this child, and sacrificially offer up her son – and herself – as vessels for this divine service. That Hannah’s motivation may have been to remove her own reproach, take away the ability of her rival wife to torment and provoke her, and thereby gain the peace of her own mind is of little consequence. The main thing is that through her trials, she offered up a prayer that was acceptable to God because it was the will of God, and thus God granted what she requested. And it should be pointed out that by Hannah’s giving the child to God – as opposed to her desiring to hold onto the child herself for the purposes of getting back at her rival Peninnah, the natural thing to do – was evidence of this woman’s righteousness and Godly heart. So, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ that is currently enduring hardships, heartaches, persecution and tribulation, then do not despair but rejoice, because God will use these things to bring about His purposes in you as He did with Hannah! On the other hand, if you are mocker and persecutor of God’s people like Peninnah, well beware! Please note that the Biblical record treats Hannah much more favorably than Peninnah, and moreover just as the evil behavior of Peninnah was recorded for posterity, God is keeping inventory of our behavior in His book!

2. Let us not ignore the positive role and influence that Hannah’s husband, Elkanah played. Though many men did mistreat their barren wives in that day and time, Elkanah did the opposite: he comforted, elevated, loved and had compassion on her! Unlike Peninnah, 1 Samuel 1:5 hints that Elkanah knew that Hannah’s being barren was not any indictment against her value or character, but was of the Lord’s doing. So, rather than despising and rejecting his wife after the worldly manner that his wife took, Elkanah respected and submitted himself to the will of God – to the right and prerogative of God to make his wife barren – and instead loved his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). Rejecting his wife because God decreed her to be barren would have been akin to rejecting the decree of God, and thus rejecting God. But by honoring the will of God through loving his wife, Elkanah honored God. Now perhaps one can fault Elkanah for not intervening when Peninnah persecuted Hannah, but the Biblical evidence in such instances like Abraham dealing with Sarah and Hagar and Jacob dealing with Rachel and Leah leads one to believe that the custom of the day was for men to generally refrain themselves from disputes among their wives.

Elkanah did not merely behave righteously with his wife, but also with his son. Imagine if your wife has a son, and she tells you “No, this is not going to be your child to love, raise, be proud of and carry on your name. No, I am going to give this child – your child – to the church. You are not going to have anything to do with raising this child … you aren’t even going to SEE this child. Instead, I am giving him away.” Even in our modern culture, that would be a difficult, almost unthinkable thing to do: the equivalent of a wife deciding to give up the child – the husband’s child – for adoption. In that culture, where men had almost absolute rights over their wives and children, and where male children gave great honor and esteem to their fathers before society, it was even more pronounced. Yet Elkanah willingly gave up his fatherly rights and privileges and consented to the designs of his wife. Why? Because he knew that the child was the result of God’s blessing his barren wife! He knew that this child came as the result of God’s honoring his wife’s petition, and that this petition included Hannah’s promise to give the child to God’s service. So, just as Elkanah submitted himself to God’s will when his wife was barren, he did the same when his wife was fruitful. This means that Elkanah’s love and obedience to God was not conditional! Instead, he honored and obeyed God regardless of the circumstances. Whether the Lord giveth (allowing his wife to bear children) or the Lord taketh away (causing his wife to be barren), Elkanah honored – or blessed – the Name of the Lord! In this manner, Elkanah reminds us of Joseph, earthly father of Jesus Christ, when he submitted to God’s will in taking Mary as his wife and raising Jesus Christ as his adopted son. Both Elkanah and Joseph chose sacrificial giving over behaving selfishly according to the interests of their own flesh. The union of Hannah and Elkanah was definitely that of a believing, obedient, faithful man and spouse, and such things are blessed indeed. Blessed is the man who has a believing, righteous woman. Blessed is the woman who has a believing, righteous man. And blessed is the God who providently brings the two of them together for His service and to His glory! In this case, God brought together a holy husband and a holy wife for the purpose of producing a child that would lead His people.

3. The angel of the Lord told Joseph in Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Jesus, or Joshua, or Yeshua, means “God saves.” In the opening of her prayer, Hannah rejoiced in her salvation by this same Jesus spoken of in Matthew 1:21. Let no doctrine or teacher deceive you concerning this fact. The Hebrew word used by Hannah was “yĕshuw`ah“, which means salvation by God. Later in this prayer, she states “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up” … a reference to death and resurrection by the will of God, just as the death and resurrection of God the Son Jesus Christ occurred according to the will of God the Father. Further: “He will keep the feet of his saints …” that is none other than a reference to the perseverance of the saints doctrine where Jesus Christ said concerning the redeemed that none could take them out of His hand (John 10:28-29). Instead, “the wicked shall be silent in darkness” which is exactly where the Lord Jesus Christ said that they would be cast (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). As for “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them” recall when our Lord said “the spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the gospel to the poor, 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” in Luke 4:18? Also when Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” in the Beatitudes? Further, “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth” is a summary of “the day of the judgment of the Lord” teachings both given by Jesus Christ and revealed to John in the apocalypse. Thus, this prayer of Hannah was packed with a startling amount of things that Jesus Christ would later teach. By the Holy Spirit, Hannah revealed some of the very things that Jesus Christ would preach many hundreds of years later. But that is not all.

“And he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed!” Keep in mind that this prayer of Hannah was given generations before Saul, generations before David, long before Israel asked for the king or the establishment of the monarchy. Yet here Hannah prophesies concerning the coming king – God’s king – whom she also calls God’s anointed! Christ, or Christos in Greek means the same as Hannah’s term mashiyach (Moshiach or Messiah) in Hebrew: anointed. In this prophecy song of praise, Hannah reveals Jesus Christ as king, savior, and Messiah. And again, as the monarchy had not been instituted and was not even on the horizon or thought process of the Hebrews at the time of the Judges, the context points to a UNIQUE king, savior and Messiah that God will pour out HIS strength upon and that God would uniquely empower, exalt and glorify to the point that through this king God the Father would subdue, rule and judge the entire earth. When one adds the reference to death and resurrection, the only major doctrine apparently absent in Hannah’s Messianic prophecy song is an explicit reference to Christ’s Sonship, and hence His divinity, whereby this anointed king of the latter verse would also provide the salvation of the Lord spoken of in the former verse. Yet by virtue of both being included in Hannah’s song – and one prominently in the beginning and the other prominently in the end, and please remember the nature of Hebrew poetry where ideas that are in the beginning and end of a poem go together, a type of parallelism or harmony – the concept of the divine Saviour and the Messianic king being one and the same is still contained within the prophecy even if it is not yet explicitly given at this point in progressive revelation.

It is amazing to read God’s Word and see how He used His handmaid Hannah to both bear the child Samuel that would lead His people in that time, but also to prophecy of Jesus Christ, who would save and lead His people for eternity! Thus Samuel, the child that Hannah had was the prefigure or the type of the child that Mary would later have. And this came after God created the circumstances for this event by making Hannah (temporarily) barren and having her suffer persecution in her own home for this condition, yet not leaving her alone during this time of affliction but providing her with a believing husband as her minister to comfort her and help her endure it (and view this in the context of the promise of God given to believers in 1 Corinthians 10:13 concerning God’s giving us the ability to bear trials).

The wisdom and might of God knows no end, and neither does His blessings! For these reasons and an infinite multitude of others, let us not be slack in giving God His due praise!

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Messianic Prophecy, Moshiach, prayer, prophecy, religion, Ruach Hakadosh, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John MacArthur: A Survey Of The Soils

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

From the parable of the sower, Mark 4:1-20

http://gty.org

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The Necessity Of The Holy Trinity

Posted by Job on October 26, 2011

Motivated at least in part by the current controvery over oneness heretic T.D. Jakes, (also here and here) please read two very good pieces on the importance of the Holy Trinity. Hopefully, this will help Christians understand that we are to separate with heretics, not dialogue with them.

On The Trinity: Part One – Hermeneutics

On the Trinity: Part Two – The Trinity, Central to Apologetics and Evangelism

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Romans 4:17 – Speaking Those Things That Are Not As Though They Were!

Posted by Job on April 8, 2011

Rom 4:17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, [even] God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Suffer me while I provide three examples of YHWH speaking those things that are not as though they were.

1. Creation

Genesis 1:1 reads “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” In the beginning of what? Space, time, matter, all of creation, the entirety of the existence of all things apart from YHWH Himself, for YHWH alone is I AM THAT I AM (Exodus 3:14). How did God accomplish creation? Well, by Jesus Christ were all things made (Hebrews 1:2 and John 1:3) and Jesus Christ is none other than the Word of God (John 1:1). So, when God said (among other things) “Let there be light”, YHWH accomplished creatio ex nihilo, which means that He made something out of nothing. Before God spoke, there was nothing. This means that with respect to creation, God spoke things that were not as though they were.

Let there be light: and there was light. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God called the firmament Heaven. And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion … over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female!

After God spoke, these things were. Before God spoke, these things were not! God called these things before they were!

2. Sin

After God created Adam, He gave the commandment: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Note that God did not say “if you eat of it, you will surely die.” God said “in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.” We cannot hedge concerning this meaning. It likely did not mean that Adam would drop dead on the very day that he ate it, for that did not happen. Adam lived to be 930 years old. Instead, it was a prediction. God knew that Adam would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil! God knew that the fall would take place! Do not be deceived. When God spoke those words in Genesis 2:17, He foretold the fall of Adam – and through Adam mankind – into sin though it had not yet happened. Adam ate thereof, and because of this in Adam all die (1 Corinthians 15:22). And for all who die in Adam, their fate is the second death; eternity in the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). So, with regards to Adam and all those in him, God spoke things that were not as though they were when He said or in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die! For Adam and those in him are not yet cast into the lake of fire, but rest assured: they will be.

3. Salvation

But do not despair! 1 Corinthians 15:22 also says that in Christ all live! Yes, that text was written after Jesus Christ came, endured His passion, resurrected and returned to God the Father in accordance with the scriptures. But immediately after the fall, in what is called the protoevangelium, God bore witness of this great salvation thousands of years before it occurred! Before the martyrdom of Abel, before the translation of Enoch, before the calling of Abraham, before Moses led Israel out of Egypt, before the star prophecy of Balaam, before the Davidic line was formed, before the children of Israel came out of exile and began longing for the Messianic hope, God spoke a thing that was not as though it were!

To Satan after the fall in Genesis 3:15, YHWH said “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.” God did not say “this woman”, referencing Eve, for Eve is the mother of all humanity, both elect and non-elect, both the Godly seed and Satan’s seed (those of Adam). He said “the woman.” Which woman? Revelation 12:1-2 reads “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” And who is this woman’s seed? It is given in Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” And who is the dragon of Revelation 12:17? Revelation 12:9 tells us. “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” So, clearly in Genesis 3:15, God called the mystery of the salvation obtained for the elect by Jesus Christ – something that was not because Jesus Christ was not yet come into the world and lifted up on the cross as payment for sins – as though it was.

Revelation 21:1-7 gives us a picture of the fulfillment of what God spoke in Genesis 3:15, of what His only begotten Son obtained for His elect, those called out before the foundation of the world. Indeed, that is yet another thing that God spoke that was not as though it were, for God decreed the salvation of those that were elect before they were even born; before they even were!

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Why can only God call things that are not as though they were? It is because God is the only One that is capable of making those things that are not be! Only God has the power to transform that which is not into something that is! With this body of facts at your disposal, how can you resist so great a salvation … one that is so great precisely because of the greatness of the One who makes it a reality for all who believe?

Do not be deceived: this has been the plan of YHWH from before the foundation of the world. Evidence of this is God’s creating man in His image and His likeness, and this makes man unique among all creation, including even the angels for whom there is no remedy, no avoidance of eternal damnation, for those who fell. God made man in His own image precisely so that upon His Word’s coming to the world in human flesh as 100% God and 100% man when He was born of a virgin by the Name Jesus Christ, He would so perfectly reveal God the Father to the extent that to look upon Jesus Christ was as looking upon God the Father! So by making Adam in His image, God called the redemption of those who would believe before Adam even plunged creation into sin in the first place. Though salvation through Jesus Christ was not, God called – God planned – as though it were.

So, now that you are confronted with this overpowering evidence, I urge and implore you to resist this Truth no longer. Instead, be saved by the One who speaks things that are not as though they were, and by doing so makes those things reality! Lest you perish in an eternal lake of fire, repent of your sins and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, Christianity, devotional, evangelism, Jesus Christ, prophecy, religion, salvation, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Judah Falls … And Then Gets Up!

Posted by Job on March 25, 2011

Though little information about him is recorded in the Bible, Judah is an interesting fellow. The messianic blessing was given to Abraham, and this blessing was fulfilled through the line of Judah. However, this was not due to any special righteousness on the part of Judah. Quite the contrary, the most righteous of Jacob’s son was Joseph. Instead, the blessing on Judah’s line seems to have come almost “by default.” Consider the prophetic blessings of Abraham on his sons in Genesis 49. Reuben, the firstborn, disqualified himself by committing fornication with Jacob’s wife Bilhah. (When you consider the circumstances, the fierce rivalry between Leah and Rachel provoked by Jacob’s severe, blatant sinful mistreatment of Reuben’s mother in favor of Rachel, Reuben likely did so in order to humiliate Rachel, and the act may not have even been consensual on Bilhah’s part … compare this with how Absalom forced himself on David’s concubines – and did so in public – in order to humiliate his father.)

Simeon and Levi, next in line, both disqualified themselves by murdering all the males from the tribe of the prince that forced himself on their sister Dinah. Although their actions ironically prevented Jacob’s faithless and horrible decision to intermarry his clan with this pagan tribe (and the result would have been Jacob’s line becoming pagans and not the other way around, see Genesis 34:20-24) they were judged by the Holy Spirit speaking through Jacob as “instruments of cruelty”, murderers, possessing “selfwill”, and cursed their “anger” and “wrath” because it was “cruel.” Apparently, though it was right of Simeon and Levi to seek justice for their sister’s rape (justice that their father, still acting fearfully and trying to exploit situations by cutting business deals at this time because of a lack of faith, pointedly refused to seek) and to scuttle Jacob’s intentions to disobey the wishes passed down to him by his father Isaac by joining his line with an evil pagan tribe, their taking vengeance on people who had nothing to do with the act – and doing so without consulting YHWH for permission or advice first – is what brought this curse upon them.

So, the blessings of Abraham passed to Judah. Again, it is not because Judah was the most virtuous of Abraham’s sons. Instead, though he was not firstborn, he was the first one born who did not disqualify himself with extremely serious abominations. Yes, Judah committed sexual immorality, but that is not the same as having sex with – and possibly raping – his father’s wife, and it is also not the same as mass murder. The acts of Reuben, Simeon and Levi were particularly offensive in the sight of God, and resulted in their being cursed (Jacob, empowered by the Holy Spirit, said of Reuben “you are unstable as water, and you will not excel”). This should be instructive to the homosexual lobby and their enablers among emergent and theologically liberal “Christians” who falsely claim that “all sins are equal.” That Reuben, Simeon and Levi were disqualified for their sins and Judah was not for his proves that Westminster’s Shorter Catechism is correct in their question and answer 83: “Are all transgression of the law equally heinous?” “Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations are more heinous in the sight of God than others.”

Now make no mistake, though it was not like the transgressions of Reuben, Simeon and Levi, Judah did fall! Yet, the grace of God and the evidence of God’s election, God’s calling of him and his line, were evident when he got up again. So by examining this, Christians can learn a few things about our own Christian living.

1. The Leah contrast.

Why did Judah fall? It honestly looks as if he couldn’t take the pressure. When the heat was on, Judah melted. When the going got rough and tough, Judah crumbled.  Understand this important fact of background context: Jacob obviously, sinfully favored Rachel and her children over Leah and her children. Example: when Jacob feared that Esau was going to kill him and his family, he sent Leah and her kids first so that if Esau killed them, Rachel and her kids would have a chance to escape! Jacob was obviously, indefensibly wrong, and it was horrible for Jacob to have his wives and children live in turmoil because of his own behavior, because of his placing his own interests and desires above that of his family, his duty to YHWH, and simply being just. However, as Christians, we must realize that our own situations, whether our family lives, finances, employment situations, churches, and political conditions are not always going to be “good” or “fair.” There are going to be problems in our families. There are going to be financial problems exacerbated by bad jobs and worse bosses and coworkers. There is going to be political oppression and repression, as well as social ostracism, because of our faith. And in our churches, there are going to be Christians who do not act like Christians, as well as actual non-Christians.

The way to respond is not the way that Reuben did, with a form of incest that might have been rape as well. It is not the way that Simeon and Levi did; mass murder. It is not the way that Rachel did, who rather than having compassion on her older sister and working to get Jacob to show love to her sister and ease her heartbreak, actually enjoyed possessing a favored status at her own sister’s expense, and tried to preserve it by giving Bilhah to Abraham in the first place. Instead, it is the way that Leah did, which is to seek God in submission and prayer, and do your best to persevere in a bad situation with grace and upright behavior.

Leah could have responded to Jacob’s grotesque, long-standing mistreatment of her in kind, by becoming a manipulative backstabbing schemer who sought to get back at him and undermine him any way that she could; by taking up the character of the two men in her life that despite being the closest to her and responsible for caring for, loving and protecting her (her father Laban and her husband Jacob), instead neglected, exploited and mistreated her. Laban married her off to increase his own wealth and then stole her dowry; Jacob only put up with her because he was stuck with her because of Laban’s machinations, yet was more than willing to use her as a baby machine to produce heirs for him.

Leah would have been more than justified in a worldly sense for giving Jacob exactly what he deserved, for treating him exactly as he treated her. Instead, Leah responded to the pressure by going to God, oft giving God the praise (Judah means “praise”, and Leah so named him saying “Now I will praise the YHWH” at his birth) and being the wife that God wanted her to be in spite of her low estate in the eyes of her husband and the turmoil that Jacob inflicted on his family; in spite of her circumstances. Leah sought YHWH often in petitions, prayer and praise, so she withstood the pressure. Judah did neither, so he fell. Twice.

2. Judah’s Two Falls

In this context enters Joseph. Now Joseph was not responsible for the evil situation that Jacob created, and was powerless to remedy it. Instead, virtuous Joseph was caught in the middle. He was the eldest son of Jacob’s favorite wife, and was treated as you might expect Jacob to: with a blatant, unjustifiable favoritism that was based solely on pleasing Jacob’s own emotions (Jacob treated Joseph so favorably not because it was in Joseph’s own interests or benefit, but because it gave Jacob pleasure and made him feel good) and not because it was in the best interests of anyone else, whether that someone else was YHWH, Jacob’s other sons and wives, or even Joseph himself.

Instead of going to God over the ill treatment from his earthly father and thereby gaining the strength to stand against the evil influences of his own mistreatment, his own emotions that resulted from this lifetime of mistreatment, and the negative influences of his brothers, Judah went along with the crowd. He allowed his anger, bitterness, envy and jealousy against Joseph (and also his father) to build into a hateful, murderous rage. Judah went along with the other 9 brothers with the initial plot to kill Joseph. This plot was foiled only by Reuben, the oldest and the wisest, who to preserve his brother’s life suggested that they throw him in a pit instead (so that he could later get him out and return him to the protection of Jacob). After the decision not to kill Joseph was already made, Judah then has the idea that profiting off the plot to get rid of Joseph by selling him into slavery was better than murdering him anyway!

So, this is how depraved Judah became. He was willing to murder his own brother and then sell his brother to some unknown fate as a slave. He did not stand up and speak up for righteousness; that was Reuben. It was Reuben who suppressed his own loss at being usurped of his firstborn status – Reuben at this point had lost more to Joseph than had Judah – who stood up and tried to do the right thing. Judah, meanwhile, not only went along with the crowd, went along with the sinful passions of his flesh, but in coming up with the plot to sell Joseph, he was one of the ringleaders! In his dealing with Joseph, he was one of the chief of sinners! And when Judah had a final chance to stand up and do the right thing, to be a just and honest man with regards to this incident, he went along with the cover-up to Jacob in order to escape the consequences of his actions. And that was the first fall.

The second fall was when Judah could no longer deal with his brothers’ conniving and malice – and his own guilt from the consequences over his own actions. Now Judah could have submitted to God, repented of his sins, and told his father the truth. Instead, Judah dealt with his problems by running away from them. How many Christians deal with marital problems that do not rise to the level of sexual immorality (or according to my own belief, domestic violence against spouse and/or children, which justifies at the very least separation for one’s own safety) by simply leaving despite knowing full well that God hates divorce? How many Christians abandon what they know are good churches and ministries simply because they face opposition (despite knowing full well that Satan will oppose such things precisely because he desires to destroy the good ministries, see the bad and un-Biblical ministries prosper, and drive Christians away from good fellowship)? Well, the Christians who pick up and run away from their adversity, from their troubles, lack the virtues of Leah. Instead, they are no better than Judah.

Now when Judah left his father’s house, he rather unsurprisingly fell into a common temptation for males: sexual immorality. Now in one sense, we have to put Judah’s sexual sin into context, because the law of Moses regulating sexual behavior (i.e. no adultery or fornication) was not yet given. Still, Paul told us in Romans that in the absence of the law, because of common grace at the very minimum, people have “a law unto themselves (Romans 2:14-15) that should instruct us concerning righteousness. Note how the pharaoh of Egypt and Abimelech of the Philistines respected the marriages of Abraham and Isaac to Sarah and Rebekah by returning those women to their husbands without touching them. A better comparison: how Joseph, raised in Judah’s own house as his brother, resisted the multiple temptations of sexual immorality by Potiphar’s wife. So, even without the law of Moses, Judah was without excuse.

Judah fell into the common practice of allowing the pressures of life – and the pressures that we face are real – to get him ensnared into sexual sin. (In this way, he was similar to Reuben’s responding to family pressures by resorting to sexual sin, save Reuben’s act exceeding that of Judah because of Reuben’s sinning with his father’s wife.) First, he had a child with a woman of Canaan, Shuah. Then his sons Er and Onan turned out wicked, reflecting the immorality of their father during this period. Next, Judah breaks his promise to the widow of Er, Tamar, by refusing to give her to his son Shelah as a wife. Even when a third child of Judah dies, his daughter, Judah did not consider his own wickedness and turn to YHWH in repentance. Instead, he blamed Tamar, as if she was some bad luck or cursed woman who had brought death to his 2 sons!

So what does Judah do when under the pressure of life? Despite being MARRIED, he goes and gets himself a prostitute (or so he thought, not knowing that it was his daughter-in-law Tamar)! Finally, when finding out that his daughter-in-law was pregnant by him does he (partially) acknowledge the depths of his depravity! Before she showed him his staff and signet ring, he was going to have her executed because of what he believed to be her sexual immorality! Judah was exposed: the sexual morality of a pagan Canaanite woman EXCEEDED that of the son of Jacob, the grandson of Isaac, the great-grandson of Abraham, the line chosen and set apart by YHWH!

And we Christians, who like Judah are also children of Abraham in a spiritual sense, often do the same: fall into sexual sin in response to the pressures of life, and there are an abundance of statistics concerning our involvement in un-Biblical divorce and remarriage, pornography, adultery, abortion, fornication etc. that proves it. And even those of us who do not respond to the pressures of life through sexual sin have other “outlets.” Maybe it is gossip. Maybe it is gambling. Maybe it is excess alcohol or gluttony. Maybe it is an excessive, unhealthy attachment to politics and sports. Maybe we dabble in astrology, yoga, or other “harmless” activities from other religions. Maybe we listen to foul-mouthed comedians or watch movies with all sorts of vile content, deriving pleasure in the sinful speech and acts of others (Romans 1:32). Just like Judah, so many Christians allow the pressures of live to drive them into sin! Now that is the bad news.

The good news: if we confess our sin, God can be counted on to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). All Christians sin. 1 John 1 makes that clear. The problem is our tendencies to wallow in our sins like Judah – who was in this state of affairs for a long time, long enough for him to have at least three children and raise them to adulthood – without repenting. Now I am certainly not apologist for Roman Catholicism, considering it to not be legitimate Christianity, but Catholics do have in their system regular confessions of sin. Of course, their problem (among many others) is that they confess their sins to priests because they reject the doctrine that Christ is the sole mediator between God and man, the truth that Jesus Christ stated Himself as recorded in the Gospel of John and was enlarged by the inspired writer of the epistle to the Hebrews.

But Christians need to confess our sins to God and ask God for forgiveness for our sins and turn away from those sins on a regular basis. For Christians who have a particularly persistent, troublesome area of sin or temptation, well the frequency, urgency and sincerity of the petitions to God in confession, forgiveness and repentance in the Name of Jesus Christ should match the seriousness of the problem! We should not harden our hearts, grieve the Holy Spirit, and let ourselves become so dull, distorted and cold of spirit that it will take something as dramatic and grotesque as Judah’s being confronted by the daughter-in-law that he impregnated to shake us out of our sin stupor! Instead, as Christians, when we fall, we should respond with confession and repentance in the manner described in 1 John as soon as the Holy Spirit convicts us to do so. We should not fall into the temptation of getting too prideful or fearful to do so, that God does not care and will overlook it, or that we need to perform some good works or deeds on our own in order to “make penance” and “get right with God first” before we repent. Instead, we are to turn to God in repentance at the first opportunity that the Holy Spirit gives us!

Please understand: God loves us. God hates sin. Add those two together and you come to this conclusion: God does not want His children, the redeemed bought by His own Son’s precious blood, to remain in sin. Not only does God not want it, He will not allow it. God will not allow you to keep lying in some gutter or alley drenched in urine and vomit. Instead, see Ezekiel 16:6 – “And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live ; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.” Because He so loves us, and also for the same of His own Name and His own zeal for justice and righteousness, God will bring His elect to righteousness!

What is simply amazing is that just as the pressures of life causes us to sin, God can, will and does use those same pressures of life to drive His children back to Him! Example: Jonah. Being in the belly of that whale three days drove a man filled with self-righteousness, pride, rebellion and vindictiveness to repent, didn’t it? The only surprise is that IT TOOK THREE DAYS! (We should never kid ourselves about the depths of our own sinfulness or the breadth of God’s grace in response.) So God did not allow the partially repentant Judah to stay where he was, which while was an improvement, still wasn’t good enough. Instead, Judah was restored. And it was not because of any virtue or good character within Judah. Quite the contrary: it has been demonstrated that Judah’s main “virtues” were not being as bad a sinner as was Reuben, Simeon and Levi (and even this was only because God prevented him from falling that far into sin!) and being born before the more righteous Joseph! But instead, Judah was restored only because He was God’s elect, and thus it was God’s will for him to be so. How did it happen? Well, God applied the pressure, and then God put righteousness in Judah’s heart.

3. Judah Gets Up

First: the famine. Judah left his father’s house because he could no longer deal with the guilt from his own actions, he could no longer put up with brothers that were just as bad as was he or even worse, and perhaps also because Jacob merely transferred his favoritism to Benjamin, the other child of Rachel. So, Judah went off, left his father’s house, and “became his own man”, and clearly not much of one. In doing this, Judah became the patriarch, and was responsible for providing for his own house: his wives, children, servants and flocks. Just as happened in the parable of the prodigal son as told by Jesus Christ, a famine came, which made Judah unable to care for himself and his house! So this Judah, this prodigal, ended the charade of being “his own man”, ended the mess that he was making of his life and of those around him, and returned home. The threat of starvation made Judah stop playing games. But yet, it wasn’t enough. Why? Because Judah’s father couldn’t feed him either. So, Judah had to go to Egypt to buy grain to save himself and his father.

Once in Egypt, the pressure increases. Joseph deals harshly with them, accusing them of being spies, keeping Simeon while sending the rest back with the demand that they bring Benjamin. Then, having returned from Egypt, the pressure increases still more. Already burdened with the guilt of losing one brother, they have to go back to their father without a second, and demanding that they bring a third, his father’s remaining favorite! Plus, what was the money that they paid for the grain doing in their sacks! And that is when Judah begins to step up. He, of all his brothers, including Reuben the firstborn, promises his own fate as a guarantor for the safety of Benjamin. He had to do this, because otherwise he, his father, his brothers, and his own family would have starved to death. Now this only happened because of God’s Spirit dealing with Judah, but make no mistake: it happened with the threat of death hanging over his head!

Back in Egypt, God turns up the pressure still more. This time, in contrast with the rough treatment that Joseph gave them before – and they were expecting again – he switches tactics. He welcomes them. He throws them a party! He tells them that it was he who put the money in their sacks! He loads them up with food and sends them on their way. Everything is merry! Or so they think. Then, Joseph’s silver cup is found … with Benjamin. The one that Judah pledged his own life and fate for. Now Judah had every right to say “this is a deal-breaker.” He would have been within his right to say “I do not have to go be executed by the king or become his slave because my foolish brother stole a cup! I have nothing to do with this! I am just going to explain what happened to my father, and if he doesn’t understand, then so be it!”

But no. Judah fulfills the promise that he made to his father! He goes back to Joseph, and offers to take the punishment in the place of Benjamin, whom he thought was guilty! And keep in mind: Jesus Christ is the lion of Judah, the descendant of Judah’s line. So just as Jesus Christ took the punishment in the place of God’s elect because it was the will of God the Father (and suffered many things, was tempted at all points just as are we, in the course of doing so in order to remain true to His Father), Judah offered to take the punishment in the place of Benjamin because in order to keep his promise to Jacob! Now it would be a theological stretch to call Judah a type of Jesus Christ, but his actions, stepping up to take the punishment for the (apparently) guilty Benjamin for the sake of his father, certainly strongly parallels and reminds us of what Jesus Christ did for the elect for the sake of His Father!

Now in doing this, Judah prefigured what his descendant, Jesus Christ, would do. But this happened only because God turned up the pressure on Judah. And it happened only because God’s grace was with Judah. God put Judah to the test, and Judah was able to pass it only because God was with Judah and would not let him fall! Why? Because it was God’s will. Judah was God’s chosen. Judah’s getting up from his depravity and stepping into righteousness was God’s doing. Make no mistake: it was the will of God to the glory of God. And just as it was with Judah, so is it with Christians. Salvation is of the Lord. Restoration of backsliders is of the Lord. And the perseverance of the saints until our time of perfection is of the Lord. Just as God keeps His elect angels from falling (1 Timothy 5:21) so He keeps us from staying down, from remaining in sin, when we fall!

So, it is not that just as Judah got up, we can get up. That thinking glorifies man, depicting our restoration as our own good works. Instead, it is that just as Judah got up, we will get up. We will get up because it is God who will get us up, and God will do this for us on our behalf because of His great love for us, and because by doing so He is glorified! Those people who do not get up, who do not endure until the end? They were never God’s elect to begin with. They are the goats that Jesus Christ spoke of in Matthew 25:32-40. They are the seeds that did not fall into good soil that Jesus Christ spoke of in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3-23). Do not be deceived. We do not have the ability to save ourselves. We do not have the ability to keep ourselves in the faith. We do not have the ability to restore ourselves when we fall. It is only God who can do these things, and it is only by God’s grace according to His eternal purpose of election and predestination decreed from before the foundation of the world that these things do happen!

So Christian, when you fall like Judah, and when you get up like Judah, know that it is God who gives you the ability to do so, and in this you should rejoice in that same God! Glory be to God for His mercy, His grace and awesome power and love, for He is indeed worthy to be praised! So backslider, restoration is available to you! Soli Deo Gloria!

And to the non-Christian, allow me to ask of you: how long will you continue to despise such a great salvation given by a God who spared not even His own Son for the sake of His elect? Such a gracious loving God who is patient, loving, forgiving and is willing to restore even His Christians who fall into sin? God knows that we are but flesh and during this time of grace is not at war with us (Genesis 6:3) but instead is desiring that we come to repentance in (2 Peter 3:8-9) accordance with His plan and terms. In order to benefit from this great a salvation, one cannot “meet God halfway.” Instead, one can only come to God on God’s terms, and there is no way to God the Father except through God the Son, and there is no salvation other than that worked by God the Spirit. If this is not the case for you, I urge and entreat you to immediately:

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in abomination, Bible, Christianity, devotional, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Romans 11:26 – When Will All Israel Be Saved? See Zechariah 12

Posted by Job on March 11, 2011

Romans 11:26-27 reads “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Now John Calvin, despite his being right on so many other matters, erred when he claimed that this passage refers to spiritual Israel, the church. This cannot be the case, because Sha’ul the Benjamite Jew (more commonly known as Saul, or Paul) had already made the distinction between Israel and the church, between natural Israel and spiritual Israel, earlier in Romans (such as Romans 2:28-29 and Romans 9:3-4), and furthermore declares himself to be a member of both natural and spiritual Israel. Also, “when I shall take away their sins” cannot in any sense refer to the church, because Paul is referring to a prophecy that is as yet unfulfilled with respect to national Israel. For we all know that spiritual Israel, the church, has already had its sins taken away.

So, Romans 11:26-27 refers not to the past/present church, but a future event when national Israel is saved and joins spiritual Israel; when natural Israel becomes a member of both groups just like Paul and the other apostles. John Calvin was unable to acknowledge the plain meaning of that text because of his theological bias; the covenant theology framework that refuses to acknowledge a distinction between Israel and the church, claims that Israel was the church of the Old Testament, and that (among other things) where infant circumcision was the covenantal inclusion ritual of the Old Testament church, infant baptism is the covenantal inclusion sacrament of the New Testament church.

So, allowing Romans 11:26-27 to stand as written, when will this event happen? When will Israel’s national salvation occur? The hint occurs in Revelation 1:7, which reads “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” That text points directly to Zechariah 12:10, which reads “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Now the spirit of grace and supplications (see Romans 8:26-27) is the Holy Spirit. The One who sents the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete (see John 14:16-26), is Jesus Christ. So, Jesus Christ is the “me” whom “they” have pierced, and “they” in this specific context are the Jews, who bear the national responsibility for killing Jesus Christ through the actions of their religious and political leaders in the time of Jesus Christ, Caiaphas the high priest and the Sanhedrin.

So, when this prophecy is fulfilled, the same Holy Spirit that currently indwells the church, spiritual Israel, will also indwell the Jews, natural Israel. And if this prophecy is to be interpreted literally, this will not be the result of individual conversion by way of preaching the gospel as happens with the church, be its members (Messianic?) Jewish or Gentile, but instead an act of national salvation akin to God’s delivering Israel from Egypt and making the covenant with the Jewish nation at Sinai as recorded in Exodus. (It is obvious – to me anyway – that this precludes any notion of “free will salvation.” Just as Israel had no choice in the matter at Sinai, but instead God imposed the Sinai terms on His vassal nation as its Suzerain Lord) they will have no choice to choose or reject Jesus Christ when He comes to fulfill Romans 11:26-27 with respect to the Jewish nation.

And when will this event happen? As Zechariah 12 is obviously linked to Revelation, which deals with the fate of the church (and please recall my position that there will be no “pretribulation rapture”, or even if there is one, it will be a partial one that will leave the vast majority of the church to endure the great tribulation), Israel and the world, this event will happen at some point during the great tribulation. More specifically, as Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 1:7 obviously describe the second advent of Jesus Christ, the best Biblical evidence (again, according to my opinion) is that this blessed event will occur at the time described in Revelation 19:11-21, which is Jesus Christ returning from heaven with His saints and angels to defeat the armies of the beast (or anti-Christ) and – according to those of us with premillennialist leanings – set up His 1000 year kingdom.

It is impossible to claim that Zechariah 12:10, or more accurately the much longer prophecy block that includes much of Zechariah 12-14, has been fulfilled already. It cannot refer to the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem or the Babylonian destruction of the same, as those had already occurred when Zechariah – who lived in the time of King Darius – wrote his book. It also cannot refer to 70 A.D., because of Zechariah 12:7-8, which reads “The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves] against Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.” The fact that God did not defend Jerusalem in 70 A.D precludes any preterist interpretations of Zechariah 12:10, particularly since preterism holds that Jesus Christ came to punish the Jews in 70 A.D., not to fight and overcome their enemies for them.

Still more evidence? Zechariah 12:2-3 reads “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” This is a reference to how during the endtimes, the Gentile nations will attempt to destroy Israel and Jerusalem. It will be at that time that Jesus Christ makes His return. Where will this return be? The Mount of Olives according to Zechariah 14:1-4. “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

Before you stumble at “and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity” and consider that this may refer to the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians or some other event, please recall Revelation 13:7, which speaks of the beast “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Now the Jews at this point are not “the saints”, but it is rather logical to conclude from that verse that the evil forces will inflict no small damage against Jerusalem and its inhabitants before Jesus Christ comes to save them, just as many Christians will perish at the hands of the anti-Christ before the days of the great tribulation are cut short for the elect’s sake (see Mark 13:20 and Matthew 24:22). Further, please recall that Romans 11:28 refers to the Jewish nation as being God’s elect also, thus Jesus Christ will return to ensure that some of both natural and spiritual Israel will survive the great tribulation. From these passages, it appears that natural and spiritual Israel will be combined into one elect church at the second advent of Jesus Christ.

Finally, consider Zechariah 14:6-9. “And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the light shall not be clear, [nor] dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Does this not correlate strongly to the description of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22? Revelation 21:23 reads “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.” Revelation 22:5 also says “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:2 reads “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Zechariah 14:11 reads “And [men] shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.” Revelation 21:4? “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

It is simply inexcusable to ignore all this evidence unless one relies on a symbolic interpretation of not only Revelation, but the prophetic Old Testament material of Zechariah and elsewhere, not to mention New Testament prophecy outside of Revelation such as the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24-25, Luke 21 and Mark 13). The reason for such interpretation is the commitment to a theological construct that demands it (with the covenant theologian John Calvin mentioned at the beginning of this piece being an example). The fact that these texts have regrettably abused by many premillennial dispensationalists provides no justification for denying their plain meaning and application. At the very least, in order to be consistent, one must adopt a symbolic or “spiritual” interpretation of such Messianic prophecy texts as Isaiah 7:14 (yes, almah does mean “virgin” in that verse and not “young woman”, otherwise almah would not have been translated as parthenos, which can only mean “virgin”, in the Septuagint by Jewish scholars who lived over a hundred years before Jesus Christ!) and Isaiah 9:6.

Though the date of Israel’s national salvation will be the second advent of Jesus Christ, the question is the date of your salvation. This is so even if you are Jewish, for A) we do not know the day or the hour of Jesus Christ’s second advent and B) tomorrow is promised to no man. The Bible is clear: whether one is Jewish or Gentile, salvation is of the Lord, and there is only one Name by which men will be saved, and that Name is Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, with the common English transliteration being Jesus Christ. If you have not already been saved through Jesus Christ, I urge and entreat you to make your time of salvation right now.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

Posted in anti - Christ, anti - Semitism, antichrist, Bible, Christianity, covenant theology, election, endtimes, eschatology, great tribulation, Holy Spirit, Israel, Jesus Christ, man of sin, mark of the beast, Messianic Judaism, prophecy, religion, replacement theology, Ruach Hakadosh, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Immanuel: Jesus Christ Is Here!

Posted by Job on September 25, 2009

I was having something of a difficult time this morning. Fatigue, stress, uncertainty, fear, finances and so forth. Plus the world that we live in is in such turmoil. Right now, my hometown is experiencing flooding that has killed several people and left many more without homes, and still more rainfall is on the way. (Ironically, this region recently emerged from a historic drought.) There is also a massive violent crime wave in this city and nation that not only refuses to spare children – even babies – but actually seems to be targeting them. Also, the evil one and his agents keep attempting to buffet my mind to provoke irrational feelings of hate, anger, and resentment against people, feelings that had no cause, justification or basis whatsoever and were thoroughly sinful. Keeping my mind holy and pure this morning, even simple choices such as resisting the fast food breakfast despite knowing that I am A) on a budget, B) on a diet and C) fast food frequently makes me physically ill, was a battle.

And then I began thinking of Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior of all who believe in Him and abide in Him by keeping His commandments! I remembered that I am part of the church, which is the Body of Jesus Christ. The Bible declares the church as the Body of Christ to be a fact (1 Corinthians 12:27Ephesians 3:6, Ephesians 5:23, Romans 12:5). This is not something that the Bible only declares to be true in a mystical, magical, typological or a metaphorical/ allegorical manner, but declares it to be true in the same way that creation, the flood, the exodus, the exile, the incarnation, death on the cross, resurrection, ascension, and the second coming are declared to be true.

Then my thoughts switched to anthropology: what is a person? According to the Bible, a living person is considered to be the union of  a body and a spirit (Genesis 2:7, Ecclesiastes 3:19-21). Again, the church is the Body of Christ, and is unquestionably alive now and forevermore just as Jesus Christ is the same. And the Body of Christ is united with the Holy Spirit, which is the Spirit of this same Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9, 1 Peter 2:5, John 14:16-17, 1 Corinthians 3:16). So if the church is the Body of Christ and it is indwelt by the Spirit of Christ and has as its head Jesus Christ (this same Head which will literally physically bodily return one day and judge the quick and the dead Acts 1:11, Revelation 19-20) then most surely and truly God is with the church while we yet remain on the earth! Emmanuel: God with us (Matthew 1:23)!

God will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), He will never leave lacking strength or reassurance (John 14:17-19) and in our times of sorrow, trial and tribulation He will never give us more than what we can bear, but will instead give us a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even when we sin, our Lord Jesus Christ does not abandon us, but forgives us if we confess our sins and turn away from them (1 John 1:9), and He does not do this haphazardly, arbitrarily or capriciously but justly and faithfully.

What a mighty God we serve. What a mighty God we love. What a mighty God we know. And what a mighty God is with us. Praise be to God! Glory be to God! And thanks be to God!

If you are not in the Body of Jesus Christ, or even if you are unsure, and wish to be in communion with Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and partake of this beautiful, excellent perfect and eternal fellowship, follow the Three Step Salvation Plan below.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Paul Washer: God The Son’s Glory Part 1

Posted by Job on September 23, 2009

http://sermonaudio.com/gcc

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paul Washer: God The Son’s Glory Part 2

Posted by Job on September 23, 2009

http://sermonaudio.com/gcc

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Paul Washer: God The Son’s Glory Part 3

Posted by Job on September 23, 2009

http://sermonaudio.com/gcc

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Paul Washer: God The Son’s Glory Part 4

Posted by Job on September 23, 2009

http://sermonaudio.com/gcc

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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