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WISDOM- WAR- AND WORLD EVENTS- [ I want to make a note here- for those who have followed my posts/videos about my dealings with Police issues in C.C.- Chief Simpson died in May- 2015. It was a shock to the city- and many good words were spoken about him. I believe the chief was a good man- I posted the newspaper clipping on my prayer wall- and will pray for his wife and 4 kids that he left behind- may God bless them all].

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/1-27-15-american-sniper.zip

I guess – for now- I’ll try and add just a few world events to each post.

At the bottom I posted some old teachings I did that I felt would fit in with some of the videos I made the last few weeks.

Since I loaded the post already- I won’t write much on the movie AMERICAN SNIPER- But I hope to get to it on the video.

Christians are at danger- in my view- when we slip into the mindset of ‘glorying’ in war- the scripture says-

1 From whence come wars and fighting’s among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust , and have not: ye kill , and desire to have , and cannot obtain: ye fight and war , yet ye have not, because ye ask not

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say , Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more

And, behold , one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and struck a servant of the high priest’s, and smote off his ear. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.-

We live in a day where we view war/ killing- as almost a sport event- we have ‘teams’ that we route for-we want ‘our’ team to win- this is built in us- we are a competitive people.

The danger is when we do not see the tragedy of the taking of human life- by ‘both teams’- we can react as a society- to want vengeance- and route for our team-

I have not seen the movie yet- but have read reviews- and am familiar with the controversy- for those who don’t watch my videos- one note-

The real life person portrayed in the movie is Chris Kyle- he is considered the MOST LETHAL sniper in U.S. military history- with 160 confirmed kills.

The movie is based on Kyle’s bestselling autobiography-

The excerpts from the book are quite disturbing- you get a picture of a young man who is somewhat unstable-

Chris was investigated by the military for killing an unarmed civilian- he also killed a boy- and witnessed his mother running up to the body- tearing her clothes- and breaking down crying.

Chris recounts this in his book- and says he was unmoved by it.

I’m not sure if the movie covers how/who killed Chris- he was murdered while the movie was in production.

He was at a shooting range here in Texas on Feb. 2nd– 2013.

He was shot dead by Eddie Ray Routh- who himself had PTSD and mental problems.

Routh shot him twice- once in the back- and once in the back of his head.

In the same style a sniper also kills.

Routh goes on trial next month.

Don’t misunderstand me- I am not portraying Kyle as an evil man- in many ways he is a victim of the tragedy of war.

May we never ‘glorify’ war- it tales human life- and that’s always a tragic thing.

 

The bible chapter for the week is James 1- try and read it- here I’ll post a few verses-

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

James 1:3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

James 1:16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

James 1:23 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:

James 1:24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

 

Philipians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Philipians 2:6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Philipians 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Philipians 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Philipians 2:9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

Philipians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

Philipians 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

 

I just read an article where 170 Fracking workers were laid off- and there’s more to come [last week’s videos I mentioned this- I also read an article by a financial guy- he said when oil was around 60 dollars a barrel, he was advising the banks that loaned money to Fracking, Oil field service business [we have a lot here in Texas] to keep a close watch- now that it’s in the 40’s- he’s telling them to get ready for liquidations].

 

Something I didn’t get to was the European central banks are going to start ‘Qe’- printing money- like we have done in the U.S.

 

Why? – Like I said the other week- the financial crisis has never been fixed- the media just don’t focus on it anymore.

 

This shows us that there are indeed problems in the global economy- I mentioned Govt. debt the other day.

 

But if you look at the numbers [there are many] total U.S. debt is 60- trillion, counting government- business and personal- in Europe- they did what’s called a ‘stress test’ for  their banks- and many of them failed. When you have this much debt- depending on how much the banks/lending agencies are leveraged- we can be looking at another bank failure- but this time worse.

 

So- for this week- the fact that the European banks are going to try what we did- Quantitative Easing- shows us that things are still shaky.

 

I read 5-6 outlooks for the coming year- by expert economists.

For the most part none of them are predicting- out and out- a ‘depression’- but- if you read carefully- the only hope to avoid a bad year- is for the U.S. economy- on its own- to ‘pull’ the rest of the world up.

 

That’s just not going to happen- I only post once a week- but each day I have been reading what I said the week before- just the fact that our Fracking industry is getting ready to go bust [unless OPEC changes its mind- and the price of oil goes back up] that- by itself- will drag us down.

 

But- it’s not ‘by itself’ there are many other things weighing in as well.

 

Today [1-23-15] I just read that the ‘king’ of Saudi Arabia died- at age 90. He was the main leader of the OPEC nations that was keeping gas prices low.

I talked about this the other week- so- we will have to wait and see if the price of oil picks up- that will have an effect on what I have been posting about.

I also watched the whole state of the union speech by the president, and without commenting on the whole thing- he did indeed tie the low oil prices to Fracking [like I thought he would] – and he did another thing that I thought was not wise.

He ‘prodded’ Putin- by taking full credit for the many economic problems Russia is going thru right now.

The sanctions we put on Russia play a role- but the main reason is because the oil prices are so low.

That has little to do with us- and it’s not wise to take credit- like rubbing it in his face- when it’s not totally true.

Our presidents do stuff like this- when ‘rubbing’ it in the faces of the opposing party- but when dealing with life and death issues- not good.

YEMEN –  The Houthi rebels in Yemen just overthrew the leader of Yemen- who was an ally with the U.S. in our fight against Al-Qaida in Yemen- which will cause a lot of instability in the region- especially at a time when Saudi Arabia installs a new king [who rumors say is suffering from dementia!].

 

Just a note- 2 of the most oppressive regimes in that area of the world- Bahrain and Saudi Arabia- are our ‘most beloved’ allies.

Why?

Because they serve our interests- we have a naval port off the shore of Bahrain [the 5th fleet- Covers the Persian Gulf- Red Sea and Arabian Sea] – so- we do little about the human rights issues of Bahrain [though we backed the removal- and murder of the heads of Egypt and Libya- for less].

When people in the region see this- it creates distrust- when we involve ourselves in any future action in the region- and we say we are doing it for moral reasons- they simply don’t believe us for the most part.

 

Matthew 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

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

I added this in- not because I believe we are at the ‘end of the world’ but because there are cycles to things-

Jesus said nations SHALL rise against nations- there SHALL BE WARS and rumors of wars.

Stuff has happened- and will.

As I talk this year a bit more about world issues- I do so from the perspective of actually reading the news- and information that any other person would look at- I’m not ‘using’ the bible to predict outcomes-

 

Though the bible does speak about this stuff.

Some smart financial guys simply believe that we are at a time of Deleveraging- meaning a capitalist society simply has to have a cycle where all the debt- over leveraging- comes to a reckoning point.

 

And some think it will look like a Great Depression- they say these things- not from a biblical view- but from an economic one.

 

It’s funny [strange] but the bible actually has something like this- we call it the Jubilee year.

 

Every 50th year- debts would be wiped off the books- slaves- and prisoners would go free.

[Leviticus 25:8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.

Leviticus 25:9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

Leviticus 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Leviticus 25:11 A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.

Leviticus 25:12 For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

Leviticus 25:13 In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.]

 

 

This was indeed a sort of cycle- much like what these economists talked about.

So- in short- wars- depressions [or another Great Recession] are real life things- that have- and will happen time and again.

Jesus told us NOT TO FEAR- because these are cycles of life- those who ignore the warning signs- they are the ones who are shaken when things happen.

 

Most of us recall the stories of men jumping out of the buildings on Wall Street during the Great Depression.

Why?

All their hopes were in the wrong things- and when those things disappear [even on bank statements] they feel all is lost.

And he spake a parable unto them, saying , The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully : 17 And he thought within himself, saying , What shall I do ,because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18 And he said , This will I do : I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. 20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? 21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God- Luke 12.

 

 

SOME OLD POSTS- I went back and tried to pull up some old teaching I did over the years- I felt they fit in with some of the videos I did recently. These posts have been on my blog for years-

[Old posts below]

In the Greek world you had some very influential philosophers; Socrates most famous student was Plato- Plato’s most famous student was Aristotle- and his most famous student was Alexander the Great.

 

Alexander sought to implement the ideals of his teacher- he wanted to unify the known world under one people/culture- a belief that Aristotle held- a sort of ‘unified theory’ [Einstein] that would seek to bring all learning/knowledge together under one supreme [Divine] principle.

 

Alexander’s experiment was called Hellenization- which was the Greek worlds attempt to impose Greek culture/language on all their conquered enemies- and at the same time allow them to hold on to the their own culture too. Alexander did amazingly well at this experiment- at the young age of around 24 he had accomplished most of his mission. The cities were a sort of composite of Greek culture mixed in with their own culture- this is where we get the modern term Cosmopolitan.

 

Alexander died young and his kingdom was divided between 4 generals- one of them- Ptolemy- would himself make it into the history books because of his keen intellect.

 

The system of cosmology developed under him would last [and work!] until some 17-18 hundred years later when it was overthrown by the Copernican revolution during the time of Copernicus and Galileo.

 

Alexander’s generals would do their best to carry on the system of Hellenization- and other nation’s generals would keep the system going even after Greece fell. One of them- Octavian [Roman general] makes it into the history books by another famous name- Julius Caesar.

 

Alexander established a great library in the Egyptian city of Alexandria [named after him] and many of the great writings were preserved during this time.

 

The writings of Aristotle would be discovered again during the time of Thomas Aquinas [13th century Catholic genius/scholar] and this would lead to Scholasticism [a peculiar school of thought developed/revived under Aquinas] and give rise to the Renaissance.

 

Okay- before the birth of Christ- the Jewish people resisted the imposing of Greek culture upon them- you had the very famous resistance under the Jewish Maccabean revolt- where the Jews rose up and fought the wicked ruler Antiochus Epiphanies- and till this day the Jewish people celebrate this victory at Hanukah.

 

Eventually Rome would conquer the Greek kingdom and the Jewish people were allowed to keep their culture and temple- yet they were still a people oppressed. Hassidism [getting back to the beginning] developed during this attempt to not lose their Jewish roots- the Pharisees of Jesus day came from this movement.

 

Alexander was pretty successful in his attempt to unify language- even though the bible [New Testament] was written by Jewish writers- living under Roman rule- yet the original bible is written in the Greek language.

 

Bible scholars till this day study the Greek language to find the truest meaning of the actual words in the bible [I have a Greek Lexicon sitting right in front of me].

 

It would take a few centuries before a Latin version appeared on the scene [the great church father- Jerome- would produce the Latin Vulgate].

 

Yet it would be the re- discovery and learning of the Greek texts [under men like Erasmus- and the Protestant Reformers] that would lead to the Reformation [16th century] and other movements in church history.

 

 

 

 

[1587] OVERVIEW-  Lets over view a little today- in the last post I mentioned how we will be getting into Marx, Freud and Nietzsche in the coming months- yet I have so many things going on at this time that just in case I never get to them I want to lay out some stuff. First, most challenges to the Christian faith/God- have come from the point of view that said ‘yes- we believe that there is some being out there- God- but we challenge the purveyors of religion and how man has used religion to control- manipulate the masses’. It was not until the rise of these men that the popular approach of ‘no God’ would take a foothold in the minds of many unsuspecting ‘masses’. Before we delve into the ideas and contradictions of these men- let me explain why most thinkers of the Enlightenment did not take the atheistic approach- and instead opted for some form of Deism/Theism. The original debate of ‘where did everything come from’ did not start during the Enlightenment- it dates back as far as 4-5 centuries before Christ- the question is obviously older- but you can read the debate taking place in the great minds of the Greek philosophers; Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Though the idea of God in the minds of these Greek thinkers was not the same definition that Christianity would hold to- yet they did believe in some type of being who for the most part was what we would think of as God- they referred to him as The Prime Mover- a term that the great Catholic thinker Thomas Aquinas would use in the 13th century as he too argued for the existence of God. Okay- the Greeks taught that the universe/cosmos always existed- and there was an initiator who started the ball rolling [motion]. Their ideas about how the solar system worked were primitive- the famous idea espoused by Ptolemy had a sort of crystalline sphere surrounding the earth and the stars and planets were ‘stuck’ to this shield and as the sphere rotated- that’s what caused the heavens to change. Obviously the breakthroughs in cosmology that occurred under Copernicus and Galileo would bring us into a more perfect idea of how everything functions- yet the Ptolemaic view prevailed for centuries. Now- over the centuries those who began to challenge the church- they would hold to a view that while it is obvious that some Divine being exists [yes- very obvious- get to it in a moment] – yet they were not sure about the existence of the universe- did it always exist like the Greek philosophers said- or did the universe- and all things- have a beginning point? It is important to realize that those who would later on [18th– 20th centuries] challenge the actual existence of God- these very intelligent atheists [not joking] understood that if modern science ever taught a view that said ‘there was a point in time where nothing existed’ these men realized if this were true- then the gig would be up- if there was a time where nothing existed- not even God- they knew beyond all doubt that you would have nothing today. In my view these atheists were the smartest. Yet the breakthroughs in Physics during the era of Einstein did finally prove- beyond all doubt- that there was a time in the past where Time, Matter, Space- that all things did indeed have a starting point. This scientific fact [not religious fact] is absolute- beyond all doubt- irrefutable proof that God does indeed exist- and that he does possess all the attributes ascribed to him by Christian theology. If there was a time where nothing existed [not even God] then you would have nothing today- that’s fact- not belief. So- this is the way the world has debated about the subject for thousands of years- and for the recent theories to try and go back to the idea that the cosmos always existed- well that’s stone age thinking- that’s a rejection of what is commonly referred to as Big Bang cosmology- and no serious thinker rejects Einstein’s theories any more. So- where does that leave us? As we get into the many ideas people have come up with about God- religion- etc. we want to give the critics their chance to make the case- I have been reading [and refuting] Christopher Hitchens book these last few weeks [God is not Great- Hitchens is a famous atheist] and I’m giving him a fair hearing- but not going easy on his blunders as well. A while back I got into a debate on a scientific type site- it was Christian in nature- but as I read the feed I realized there were a bunch of scientists going at it- smart men- some on the side of faith- others against it. I added [hesitantly!] my 2 cents worth. At one point- one of the scientists made a major blunder in logic while making his case that there is no God- I wasn’t too mean [heck- he was mocking Christians- I had to be a little mean] and as I posted my correction- proving him to be wrong- not in my area of faith- but in his area of science- he left the debate and never came back. As I checked the posts the next day- I saw another scientist anonymously posted a comment- agreeing with me, about a scientific fact- and admitting that his friend was indeed wrong. The point? It is too easy in this debate to think ‘surely these men must be right- after all they wouldn’t be so popular if they were wrong’- the fact is- this debate is not new, and yes- there are many popular writers/thinkers who are teaching an atheistic view- and these guys are making major mistakes in logic, fact, even in their own fields- they have been proven wrong- time and time again. So for those who are fans of the thinkers I will be refuting down the road- keep an open mind- don’t assume that these men are beyond fault- major fault in my view- and realize that the most prevalent idea espoused by the atheistic thinkers today- has indeed been proven false. You cannot get something from nothing- if there were a time where nothing existed- then nothing would exist today.

 

 

 

 

 

[1586] FREUD-NIETZSCHE AND MARX- Today I need to do a little more on our study of Modernity [the thinkers who have influenced Western culture/thought from the 1700’s- 2000’s]. At this time I have 3 separate studies I have started on-line; Classics of literature, Great Christian thinkers of history, and Modernity. As time rolls on- I will gradually post all new studies once a year in a monthly post [most of the time it will be February] and as I update them you can read the most recent ones from the most recent years.

 

Okay- I am skipping a bunch of stuff to jump into the thinkers who represent the most popular forms of atheism- Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. But first we need to take a look at Ludwig Feuerbach. L.F. [Ludwig Feuerbach] laid the groundwork for these other more famous rejecters of God and Christianity. During the enlightenment period it was rare for the critics of religion to hold an outright atheistic view- men like Hume and Voltaire- though true critics of the church- did not come out openly and deny the existence of God. It was also difficult [impossible?] to hold professorships in the universities if you were a doubter of God. Both Hume and Voltaire did not hold positions. F.S. was Hegelian in a way [he followed Hegel’s idea that ‘God’ comes to self consciousness thru the development of humanity] but F.S. was a Materialist- Hegel was an Idealist. Remember- idealism is the philosophical system that sees reality existing in forms/ideas first- then later comes the material thing. The great ancient philosopher Plato was an idealist. F.S. espoused the idea that reality starts with the material existence of man first- and thru religion man ‘projects’ the idea of God/spirit into society- and as man and Christianity develop [all good things for F.S.] that the ultimate truth that we learn on this journey is that man is really all there is- his ‘phase’ of God and religion were simply necessary stages for man to arrive at this self conscious state in which he finally realizes that man is all there is- God was a ‘crutch’- a needed one- but never the less simply a projection of mans mind until he came to full maturity. For F.S. ‘theology [the study of God] is anthropology’ [the study of man]. So in this sense he follows Hegel- the development of man and society is the development of God- but…..[ didn’t mean to paste this part- but left it on- can’t hurt- I’m not a great ‘cut and paste’ person!]

 

 

Okay- let’s try and transition a bit.

 

In the last Philosophy post I hit on the 10th-14th century development of modern thought- today I want to jump into the 16th-18th centuries. Like I said in a previous post- after the Renaissance and the Reformation and the great scientific revolution- you had the world in somewhat of a tailspin.

 

What I mean is for hundreds of years people trusted in the old institutions [like the Catholic Church] to tell them what was true or false- then with the development of all these modern movements people began questioning stuff.

 

Was it good to question things? Sure. But some challenged the very foundations of thought and knowing [called Epistemology] and went a bit too far.

 

Some thinkers went back to the thought of Plato [400 years BC] and said that the mind is the main source of all knowledge- these were the 17th century Rationalists.

 

Rationalism- as a philosophy- was an outgrowth of all the great strides that man was making in all these other areas of life. The Scientific Revolution totally challenged the age old beliefs of many in the church.

 

Math became a sort of new ‘god’. How so? As science invented the Microscope and Telescope- man was able for the first time to peer deeply into the heavens- and to see deeply into the microscopic world.

 

As the great minds [Copernicus] showed us that the Universe was different than what we thought [Heliocentric versus Geocentric] man was able to do mathematical calculations and to say that a specific planet or star [or Comet] would show up at an exact date- or spot- and Walla- it would happen [you could look thru the Telescope and sure enough the math was right- the object that was calculated to be there- was.]

 

These calculations were mathematical formulas- so math began to be seen as the new religion in many ways.

 

There are even some thinkers in the modern day that still say the only ‘real truth’ that exists is mathematical formulas. Yeah- one guy wrote an entire book on the subject- the problem? Well- his book was not written in math- but words.

 

Yes- even the extreme deniers of Objective truth do make mistakes.

 

Now- what’s wrong with rationalism? Of course being rational is okay- but the philosophy itself denied real Objective truth. Truth that corresponds to some other ‘outside’ reality.

 

This form of thinking [rejecting outside reality] is called Relativism/Subjectivism. While there is some truth to all the various fields of thought- yet extreme Relativism denies ‘reality’ as most of us understand the term.  There was a strong resistance to the 17th century rationalists- we call this Philosophy Empiricism.

 

The main thinker in this field was John Locke. Locke lived most of his life in the 17th century- but his thought laid the foundation for the 18th century Empiricists.

 

This philosophy says that the mind does indeed play a major role in the knowledge of things- but this knowledge does not originate in the mind [Plato] but in the ‘thing’ itself [Aristotle- remember when we covered these men? Plato was an idealist- Ideas were more real than matter. Aristotle was a Realist- closer to the thought of Locke].

 

Locke developed a theory called the Correspondence theory- that truth that the Mind discovers corresponds to real things that actually exist apart from the mind.

 

Locke was a practicing doctor- and most of the other thinkers of the day had room to speculate about reality in a way that Locke could not.

 

He lived in a real world with real patients who had real symptoms- in a nutshell Locke had to diagnose his patients based on his findings- he could not deny that there was a real problem- he had to have his ‘feet on the ground’ [based in reality] while engaging with his head up high.

 

Okay- I think we’ll end with this. Maybe you can go back and read some of my previous posts on this subject- just to become a little more familiar with it.

 

As Christians- we are not ‘required’ to know Philosophy- or current events- or science- but it helps us engage the culture when we do educate ourselves in these areas.

 

Go slow in learning [not too slow!] and try and see how the Christian Worldview agrees with- or rejects certain aspects of these different fields of thought.

 

Most Christians would reject Rationalism as a Philosophy- because it denies real objective truth- it says truth is relative- whatever the mind can conceive- or think- can be defined as truth [Unicorns?]

 

Biblical truth is based on real historic events- 1st Corinthians chapter 15 says that if we deny the physical resurrection of Christ- a real event- then our faith is in vain.

 

Christians base their faith on a real historic event- not simply on a belief system.

—-  In keeping with the above comment [those reading from the ‘most recent- teaching section’] let’s talk a little. Some authors have reintroduced some of the more liberal versions of Christianity and it’s good for people to be aware of the pros and cons. Recently I received a teaching catalog from an excellent company called ‘the teaching company’ as I perused the courses they had some really good stuff; I ordered and have already started on a course on Einstein and Quantum theory [Physics] I love the course and these teachings http://and%20book are really at the university level. But I have noticed an area where the able professor is mistaken; he says ‘the universe is ruled-governed BY CHANCE’. Now, I know what he means, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is violating the laws of logic and reasoning by making this assumption [by the way this professor is also a philosopher, he should know better!]. Basically you can say ‘there are causes, things happening in the material realm that we are unaware of, as of now we have no definite identified cause’ but to say that ‘chance’ itself is the ruling agency is nonsense. The point being we should all have some background before accepting anyone’s teaching 100%. So in some of the recent Christian teaching some have resurrected the older liberal theories that arose in the 19th century out of the universities in Germany. Some teachers taught that the first 5 books of the bible couldn’t have been written by Moses because at the time of Moses writing was unpopular, and that the concept of ‘codified law’ was foreign, and that the commandment against idols was ‘too advanced’ for Moses to have written down around 14-1500 BC. So these liberal theories espoused a sort of view of God and religion that was ‘evolving’ over time. Von Harnack, Wellhausen, the philosopher Hegel all advanced this view [sometimes referred to as the documentary theory]. Well as time rolled on and we became more proficient in archaeology, low and behold we found out that 3-500 years before Moses societies were advanced enough to write down laws. The famous code of Hammurabi was discovered, it was a law code with 282 specific laws written down; something that supposedly was never done at the time. So how did the liberal theologians respond? ‘You are right, Moses  very well could have written down the 10 commandments around 1500 BC, as a matter of fact we now think he copied it from Hammurabi’! Yikes! You see when people exalt their view-theory above the actual evidence, then you have problems. It’s not to say that we should blackball their ideas, it’s just we need to know that some of these ideas have been around for a while and they have been fairly well debunked by other able theologians. Just because a ‘new’ theory sounds interesting, doesn’t mean it’s correct. In the teaching course catalog that the teaching company sent me, they also have stuff on the bible and early Christianity and theology. I did not order those courses because I am familiar with the theology of the professor [Bart Erhman] and though I’m sure he is a good man, I know he espouses views that are really not in keeping with mainstream thought. Now, if I had the teachings already, sure I would work the course, but I won’t spend a few hundred dollars on stuff that I already am aware of and have rejected. The point today is historic orthodox Christianity has answered many of the critics questions over the years, it’s not ‘wicked’ for a teacher/writer to reintroduce some of these ideas all over again, but people need to be aware that these things have been floating around for a while and the historic orthodox view is really the better [more historically reliable] view. Yes, momma and daddy’s church, old fashioned as it may be, probably had it right all along!

 

 

 

 

ROMANS 1-3

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/2-3-15-romans-1-3.zip

I want to make a note here- since last week’s video I saw the movie AMERICAN SNIPER- I also read more comments on this subject.

In the video I mentioned how Chris said in his book he ‘hates all Iraqi’s’- now- I read excerpts- as well as what others said.

I want to clarify- some are disputing these claims- so- the purpose of these posts [on everything] is to GET STUFF RIGHT.

So I want to re-cant that statement [too hard to edit the video] – being I never read the book- I don’t want to defame Chris.

I also was surprised when I saw the movie- it did a better job at showing the effects of war- and even showed how Chris had a fellow soldier who had doubts about what they were doing- from a Christian view.

I thought the movie did indeed do a better job at showing the questions of war- then some of the commentaries I read.

I should note that earlier today I read Jesse Ventura calling Chris ‘a liar’.

In the book Chris says he knocked out some seal at a bar once- who was critical of our wars.

Supposedly he was talking about Ventura.

Ventura said this was a lie- it never happened.

Ventura sued- and won- the book publishers eventually took that part out of the book.

So- all in all- there is still lots of controversy around Chris and the movie.

The views I expressed in the video I still hold to- but I don’t want to attribute statements to Chris if I don’t know for sure that he made them.

 

 

For the next 3-4 weeks I plan on covering the letter to the Romans- written by the Apostle Paul- Below are excerpts from a commentary I wrote years ago- try and read the book of Romans the next week or so.

Actually reading thru the bible- in context- is one of the best habits you can develop.

Rome was the city of influence at the time of Paul- located just east of the bend of the Tiber river- about 18 miles from the Mediterranean Sea.

The letter to the Romans- would be read orally to both Christians and Jews in the city- in the days of the writing of these letters [which now make up our bible] they were living in an ‘oral’ culture- and the letters were intended to be read aloud to those in the early Christian communities [remember- you didn’t have books back then- like we have today- and the mass production of writing/publishing did not yet exist].

So- Paul was a strategic thinker- and he penned this letter hoping it would be a ‘shot in the dark’- that is the darkness of sinful man-

The letter to the Romans is the closest thing to a systematic theology found in the New Testament.

Its impact in church history is great- John Chrysostom- the great 5ht century preacher- had it read aloud to him- once a week.

 

Saint Augustine attributes it to his radical conversion- the story goes he heard some kids singing ‘take up and read’.

 

He picked up a copy of the letter to the Romans- and history was changed.

 

Luther- the great 16th century reformer- was teaching this letter- as a Catholic priest/scholar- out of Germany- when he read ‘The just shall live by faith- therein is the righteousness of God revealed’-

It lead to what we call today ‘The Protestant Reformation’.

 

A few hundred years later- the Great Methodist founder- John Wesley- would say his heart was ‘strangely warmed’ while hearing a message at Aldersgate- and it lead to his conversion- sure enough- the message was from the letter to the church at Rome.

 

So- when the great Apostle sat down and penned this ‘arrow’- hoping it to go forth and have great impact for the Kingdom of God- his hopes were indeed realized.

Enjoy-

 

  • ROMANS 1: 1-16 many believe this letter to be Paul’s best, I wouldn’t disagree. The letters of the New Testament do not appear in chronological order, some feel this to be a huge obstacle in understanding scripture. I think it helps to know the times when Paul wrote the letters, but this in itself doesn’t prevent us from learning scripture. Romans is addressed to the church at Rome and is significant in that Paul did not ‘plant this church’. Unlike the other letters of Paul, he is writing to the believers with whom he had no strong prior relationship. He roots his gospel in the historical facts of history and scripture. ‘The gospel of God that the prophets foretold- Jesus of the seed of David who was proved to be the Son of God by the resurrection’. Make no bones about it, Paul is coming down strong on the gospel of Jesus Christ and he positions himself well right at the start. There were ‘other gospels’ [Galatians] that were circulating and at times might have even outnumbered Paul’s message! The Jewish sect from Jerusalem who embraced both Jesus and the law were very influential in Paul’s day. When Paul combats a legalistic gospel, at times he is running ‘neck and neck’ with the Judaizers. Paul will make a foundational statement that will run true thru out the rest of the New Testament. ‘I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone who believes. For in it is the righteousness of God revealed’. Now, I have hit on this theme before, but it is so fundamental to the rest of this study that we need to spend some time with it. I always wondered why so many Evangelicals, and scholars, could not ‘rightly divide’ this biblical doctrine. I am speaking of ‘Righteousness by faith’ as being the root of all other ‘Salvation’. What I mean is many have confused the doctrine of ‘the salvation of the righteous’ with the salvation of the sinner. The reason why the gospel is one of salvation, is because this is the tool that God has ordained to administer ‘righteousness- justification’ to the believer. When God ‘saves- delivers’ a sinner from an ‘unjust state of being’ this act can be called ‘being saved’ [Ephesians 2]. Also thru out the scriptures you have people who are ‘just- righteous’ who experience ‘continual salvation’ because of the fact that they are righteous. This doctrine can be called ‘the salvation of the righteous’. David in Psalms says ‘the righteous cry and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles’ ‘The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord’. Peter speaks of God delivering the ‘just- righteous’ from wrath. Both Lot and Noah are said to have been ‘saved’ because they were righteous. The whole point here is as we progress thru Romans Paul will use the term ‘salvation’ and ‘righteousness’. Whenever [chapter 10] you have a combining of the righteous [believers] calling, crying out to God for ‘salvation’ it needs to be understood that this does not mean ‘salvation’ in the sense of the initial act of justification. While the two are closely related, the testimony from scripture does make a distinction. So Paul shows us that the reason the gospel is Gods power ‘unto salvation’ is because this is the way God chose to ‘make people just’. Paul will spend a few chapters [3 and 4] laying the foundation of righteousness by faith. But first he will argue his case for why all men need to have this righteousness. [ see entry # 704 for more comments on ‘the salvation of the righteous’]

 

 

  • ROMANS 1:17-21 ‘for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness’. Now, we have already established the ‘mode’ by which the gospel ‘saves’ us. Once we believe in the gospel, it immediately, and progressively ‘saves’ us. The immediate act of justification can be described as ‘getting saved’. But there is also a large amount of scripture that speaks of ‘continual and future salvation’. Now Paul begins showing us how this salvation works. He says ‘the wrath of God is revealed against unrighteousness’ the previous verses showed how the believer is made righteous. So we are ‘delivered from the wrath to come’ [Thessalonians] ‘saved by wrath thru his life’ [Romans 5:9] ‘he will appear from heaven the second time to bring salvation to those who look for him’ [Hebrews] and many other verses testify of this theme. Paul is showing us one aspect of this ‘ongoing, future’ salvation by saying ‘see, since Gods wrath is promised to come upon the unrighteous, once you believe with the heart unto righteousness, you then become someone who is off the radar screen from wrath’ [John 3- the wrath of God abides on the unbeliever, but the believer is in a state of ‘no condemnation’]. This understanding will be important as we get to the later chapters in Romans. Now I also want to share a somewhat ‘unique’ interpretation of the following verses ‘that which may be known of God is manifest IN THEM [some say ‘to them]; for God hath showed it unto them [not necessarily meaning ‘showed it to them from created things’!] For the invisible things of him [his attributes! Invisible stuff] from the creation of the world [since the beginning of time, that is since God created all things he has imbedded a witness of himself into all creation; ‘all creation groans and travails’ Paul will attribute ‘human like’ characteristics to all creation. In essence all creation has this testimony and yearning for God in it] are clearly seen [not with the natural eye, but thru this ‘imbedded testimony of Gods attributes that he has placed in all creation’] being understood by the things that are made [not understood by ‘looking at the things that are made’; creation. But actually being understood ‘by them’] so that they are without excuse’. The normal way of seeing these verses says ‘God has left a witness of himself thru his creation. All people are without excuse because they can see his creation and know he is’. Now, is this concept true? Of course! David says ‘the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament SHOWETH his handiwork’. The only problem is ‘all men can’t see!’ I don’t mean to be trivial here; I want to show you that if you read this passage like I just taught it, that it basically is saying ‘since the beginning of Gods creation he has left man without excuse. He has always revealed his inner attributes to man. The witness of moral law and conscience is imbedded in the creation. All men ‘hold’ [possess] the ‘truth’ [this inner moral witness] in unrighteousness, therefore they are without excuse’. I don’t want to be a contrarian simply for the sake of being one. But if you see what I just told you, this fits in with Paul’s understanding of salvation. God’s wrath is revealed against all unrighteousness, yet those who say ‘that’s not fair, God made us this way!’ have no excuse, because God gave all men [and creation] an inner witness that they could have acted on- ‘when they knew God, they glorified him not as God but became vain in their imaginations’. All men have at one time ‘known God’ even those who have never seen Gods testimony from creation! Therefore they are without excuse.

 

  • ROMANS 1:21-32 the scripture says that all creation ‘knew God’. The indictment is ‘there is no excuse’. The previous verses proved that God not only made man, but that because man was made in Gods image, he therefore had an ‘inner imprint’ of his maker inside him. Now man chose to ‘change the image of God into that of animals’. Man could not escape this inert desire to worship, this thing in him that said ‘there’s more to life than simple flesh’. So he didn’t just become an atheist [though that’s what they would have you believe] but they became ‘changers of Gods image’. They came up with an alternative ‘religion’. Scripture says they changed God’s image into that of an animal [idolatry] and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator. Evolution was Darwin’s feeble attempt at ‘changing the image of God into that of animals’. How so? Modern man was too enlightened [after all we had the enlightenment!] to actually go out and make an image of an animal and bow to it. Instead he bought into the idea that he evolved from animals. Scripture says we are made in Gods image, evolution says ‘we are made in the image of an animal’. Men did not ‘like to retain God in their knowledge’. They had to have some controlling worldview, they came up with one. Now Romans says God gave them up to become like that which they chose to worship. Man was designed to worship God, in seeking and going after God they would become more like him. When man chooses to empty his mind from the creator, God allows him to fill it with what he wants. He receives a ‘reprobate mind’. He fixates on the animal instincts that are a natural result of ‘worshipping four footed beasts’. Now man has no choice but to be formed into the thing that he worships. Paul is here telling us that man became immoral as a result of his own choice to eradicate God from his thoughts. Man received the just recompense of his choice. At the end of the chapter Paul closes with ‘they know that those who do these things are worthy of death’. Once again the idea of judgment ‘the wrath of God is revealed from heaven’. Paul’s summary; Man is unrighteous. God is righteous in punishing man. Man chose to become like this. The only way to escape an inevitable meeting with wrath is to ‘become righteous’. This is accomplished thru believing the gospel. When you believe you become righteous and are no longer on Gods radar screen for judgment.

[One note on Evolution- In the future I hope to cover various views on Evolution- and explain some of the objections that Christian’s have- are actually not good arguments. For instance- in the creation account- Genesis 1- we read that the ‘waters brought forth life’- we see that in the creation account itself- there are progressive acts- God ‘made man’ from the dust- do Christians object to ‘the dirt’? No. We don’t argue ‘no- we weren’t made from dirt! – God made us’! True- but God can use progressive acts- and materials- that are ‘base’ in his creative acts- see?]

 

  • ROMANS 2:1-13 ‘Therefore thou art inexcusable, o man, whosoever thou art that judgest’. Now, this chapter will run with the theme ‘who do you think you are to judge, you do the things that you say are wrong’. Yikes, this type of preaching convicts us all. But we need to understand that Paul is saying a little more [well, a lot more!] than this. Here’s where we need to do some history. This letter is addressed to believers in Rome, those ‘called to be saints’. Paul is also giving one of his strongest defenses of his theology, he realizes that a large Jewish population are also at Rome [Acts 28]. By the time of this letter the lines are being drawn between ‘Paul’s gospel’ [the true gospel] and the ‘Jewish law gospel’ coming from the Judaizers out of Jerusalem. The main fight is over whether or not Gentile believers need to be circumcised and come under the law in order to ‘be saved’ [Acts 15]. Now the mentality of the Jewish mind was ‘we have been given Gods precepts [true] and because we are the inheritors of the law and moral standards of God, this puts us in a better class than the Gentiles’ [false]. In essence the law was supposed to reveal mans sin to himself, it was to show us our need for a Savior. But in the legalistic mind it created enmity between Jew and Gentile. This is what it means when Paul writes the Ephesian letter and says ‘the middle wall of partition has been removed in Christ’ this ‘middle wall’ is referring to the law and how it divided Jew and Gentile. So here Paul is saying ‘you Jews who are trusting in the fact that you were the recipients of the law, who use the law as a measuring rod to justify yourselves. This measuring rod was actually given to show you your sin. Did it never occur to you that the very fact that the ‘rod’ says “don’t commit adultery, don’t steal” that these things are actually sins that you yourselves do [the legalistic Jews]. And yet the very rule [law] of God that you are using to justify yourselves, this law you actually break!’ Now you are beginning to see the context. And not only were they breaking the law, but at the same time they were saying to Paul’s Gentile churches ‘unless you get circumcised, you are not accepted with God’. The Gentile believers were actually born of God and stopped doing the things that the law commanded them not to do. They were ‘fulfilling the law by nature’. So Paul is really rebuking this hypocritical mindset that said to the Gentile believers that they weren’t saved. And at the same time the ‘judgers of the law’ were actually breaking the law, while the Gentle converts were keeping it by nature! In this context verse one means a lot. Now to an important verse ‘for not the hearers of the law are just before God, BUT THE DOERS OF THE LAW SHALL BE JUSTIFIED’. Just the fact that this statement is made by Paul in this letter is amazing. Paul will spend lots of time in this letter saying ‘those who try and become justified by keeping the law are missing it’. He will go over and over again stating that trying to become righteous by works and law keeping are futile. Yet here he says ‘the doers of the law SHALL BE JUSTIFIED, not the hearers’. Keep in context what I just showed in the beginning of the chapter. The New Testament has a theme that I have hit on before [read the Hebrews 11 commentary on this site]. The theme is ‘men are justified’ [declared legally righteous] by faith. This faith also ‘sanctifies’ [which can also be called ‘justified’ a sort of progressive justification. James uses this in his letter. Paul says in Galatians ‘having begun in the Spirit [legal justification] are you now made perfect by the flesh’ [law keeping]. Now the New Testament teaches that God wants people to actually ‘be righteous’. Johns 1st epistle uses this as the marker of whether or not you are a child of God ‘by this we know… those that do what is righteous are born of God, those that do evil are not’. In Jesus judgment scenarios ‘those that have DONE good are raised to life, those that have done evil to damnation’. So Paul in essence is saying ‘God ‘justifies’ [using the term in a ongoing- futuristic sense] the righteous, not the ones who only hear the law [the Jewish legalists] but those who by nature do it’ [Paul’s gentile converts]. Got it? This distinction is very important. One of the historic reasons why the Protestant and Catholic churches are divided is over this issue. The Catholic Pope [Leo] who initially condemned Luther did so on grounds like this. The Pope who succeeded Leo re-read all of Luther’s documents, in an honest effort to bridge the schism, and came to the same conclusion. Now I like Luther and side with him more so than the Pope, but one of the problems was some of Luther’s writings seemed to say ‘Justification is solely by faith [true] therefore sin hardily’ [false]. Now Luther didn’t intend to come off this way, but that’s the way it sounded. So the Catholic doctrine fell more on the side of ‘Gods grace makes you righteous, God cant declare people actually righteous until they actually are righteous’ this is called the ‘Legal fiction’ argument. They said Luther’s idea was a ‘legal fiction’. In essence some of what the Catholic scholars were saying was correct. Now God does declare us righteous at the moment of belief, before we actually ‘become totally righteous in practice’. But the error of the Catholic argument saying ‘God cant declare you righteous until you are’ was missing the point. When God says ‘you are righteous’ then you are! God doesn’t lie. But I understand the Catholic point. I think Paul understood it too. In this chapter Paul says ‘not the hearers of the law, but the doers shall be justified’.

 

  • ROMANS 2:14- 3:18- Paul says ‘you are called a Jew and are confident that you are a teacher and an instructor of the law’. Read my Hebrews commentary, chapters 5 and 6. It is interesting that Paul understood the teaching role that the Jewish nation was to play among the Gentile nations. In Jesus parables he also hits on these themes. Hebrews says ‘when the time has come [the appointed time of Messiah- Galatians 4] that you ought to be teachers, you have need to be taught the first principles again’. Here Paul tells them they are proud to be the ‘possessors’ of the Old Testament, yet thru their disobedience to it the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles [ouch!] Paul fully acknowledges the privileged role that Israel had, he himself was brought up with this ‘elitist/intellectual’ mindset. But here Paul rebukes them for not fully living up to the law. ‘Well brother, how could they live up to it? Paul himself says that this is impossible.’ If they carried thru with the receiving of Messiah, which their law spoke and testified of, then truly they would have been fulfilling the law as new creatures in Christ. In essence their indictment is ‘you never fully followed thru with your own law’! Now Paul will flatly say that circumcision and being the guardians of the law profit nothing. That the ‘circumcision of the heart’ is what matters. He says if the gentiles, who have no historical attachment to the law, if they do by nature the things in the law then they are ‘spiritually circumcised’ [set apart unto God]. But if the circumcised do not obey the law and character of God [thru the new birth] then it profits nothing. I want to note the strong disconnect between the way Paul speaks about natural Israel and her heritage, and how some in the American church present her. Paul, who himself is a Jew, makes it very clear that Israel is in a state of ‘danger’ by not receiving Messiah. Though he will admit their special place and role in history, yet he refuses to exalt her in her natural ‘state’ [of being]. Now Israel’s response to Paul [which by the way Paul interjects himself. I want to make a note here. Paul will give ‘both sides’ of the argument in his letters. He will say things like ‘and you will say to me such and such’. He actually try’s to add both sides of the conversation in his letters. Recently there has been some discussion on whether or not we can really understand the New Testament without fully knowing all the background and history of the letters. Some have said just knowing the letters are like hearing only one side of a phone conversation. To be honest this isn’t really true. The writers of the letters and the gospels lived in an ‘oral culture’. This is why Paul himself gives instructions on his letters being read- as opposed to saying ‘pass the letters around for everyone to personally read’. The point is we can understand a whole bunch of scripture just by reading it!] Now Israel asks ‘what good is the whole thing, why even have Jews or circumcision or any history with God at all’? Paul realizes that his whole argument for law and circumcision meaning nothing without a changed heart, that some would respond back like this. He in turn says ‘the law and all the history of Israel with God were very important! It was Gods way of getting his prophetic word [oracles] to man’. In essence God chose to ‘start a conversation’ with Abraham and extend it forward to his children. Over a long history of God interacting with Israel, God would speak thru prophets and ‘wise men’ and these prophetic words were being recorded [meticulously by the way!]. God would reveal himself and his purpose of Messiah thru these writings that came from this relationship [though rocky!] that he had with Israel. Now Paul will say ‘does their unbelief negate Gods promise’? No! Let God be true and every man be a liar. The fact that Israel as a nation were ‘not believing’ in their Messiah, didn’t effect the actual power of the Messiah to be believed on among the Gentile nations. A couple of things here; dispensational theology teaches that the Kingdom of God has been postponed until Christ’s return. I think this contradicts Paul’s argument. Paul said Israel’s unbelief could not negate the full purpose of God. The fact that Jesus rose from the dead and is presently seated at God’s right hand proves this. Also Paul will teach later in this letter that the actual reason why salvation has gone out to the gentiles is because Israel rejected Messiah. In essence Israel’s unbelief could not negate what God purposed to do all along.

 

  • ROMANS 3:19-31 ‘Now we know that what things the law says, it says to those who are under the law… that every mouth may be stopped and all the world becomes guilty before God’. One of the questions that arise as a response to Paul’s gospel is ‘if the law cannot make us righteous, then why even have it’? Paul will consistently teach the concept that Gods intention for the law was simply to reveal mans sin to him. Man would have this ‘form’ of the law written on stone tablets and as he tried to live up to God’s standards he would come to the proper diagnosis that all men are sinners. This diagnosis would then lead him to a place of faith in Jesus. After he believes in Jesus he then fulfills the law naturally, out of having a new nature ‘yea, we establish the law’ [3:31]. I have found it interesting over the years to teach people this. To explain to sincere people, church goers. To say ‘did you know the bible says that no man can be saved by trying to obey Gods Ten Commandments’? I will always explain that this doesn’t mean that God wants us to break them! But when we come to the Cross we by nature keep them. These verses lay down the foundation of ‘justification by faith’. He that believes is righteous. To declare Jesus righteousness for the remission of sins that are past. Having faith ‘in His Blood’. Both Jews and Gentiles need to be made righteous thru faith/belief in Jesus. I want to establish this fact in your mind. Paul without a doubt describes this experience as being ‘justified by faith’. This is the same as saying ‘believing with the heart unto righteousness’. Later on [chapter 10] this needs to be understood when parsing the verses that say ‘with the heart a man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’ many are confused about this, to get it right you need to see that Paul spends much time early on establishing the fact that ‘those who believe unto righteousness’ are justified by faith already!

 

 

Below are just a few clips from Romans 1-3- I hope to hit on these in the video.

 

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

 

 

 

  ROMANS 4-7

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/2-11-15-romans-4-7.zip

Video

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/700-galatians.wav?_=1 This is an old radio show I made years ago- thought it fit well with what I’m teaching now- you’ll need to use Internet Explorer browser to hear it.

 

The apostle Paul quotes a lot of Old Testament scriptures in this letter- I hope to cover some of them on the video- but as you read these chapters- it would be helpful to read Genesis 12- 13- 15-and 17- these are the main chapters Paul uses in the life of Abraham to show Abrahams faith- and how he was justified by faith- before he was circumcised [Gen 15].

He will describe the faith of Abraham by using the story of Abraham and Sarah having a son in their old age [Gen. 17] – and talk about how the heirs of the promise- that Abraham would be ‘heir of the world’ was made to ALL THE SEED- meaning not just to his Jewish brothers who would believe- but also to the Gentiles- who were never granted the ‘right of the covenant’ [circumcision].

Paul explains that Abraham was justified BEFORE he was circumcised- so- he is the father of all the kids- even the Gentile believers who were never circumcised- but had the faith of Abraham.

Now- there’s’ a lot I am trying to cover in this Romans study- for those who watch the videos- you will see that I’m also covering the divisions within Christianity- primarily those that arose out of the 16th century Protestant Reformation. I quote the book of James- and show how James says ‘was not Abraham our father JUSTIFIED BY WORKS when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar’. It’s important to see- that these words JUSTIFIED BY WORKS- are indeed used in our New Testament- in the videos I’m explaining this- but the point I’m making is James uses the account of Abraham- in Genesis 22- and shows us that the progressive work of ‘Justification’ can- and is- applied to the act of Abrahams obedience- and when God saw Abraham DO A JUST THING [a work] James says ‘he was then justified’- the same word used in the initial act of our Justification- seen in Genesis 15- ok- this might be a bit much to take in now- but over time when we get a better grasp on this- I believe it will help to foster unity in the Body of Christ.

 

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

James 2:22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

James 2:23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

NOTE- As I do this study- I’m copying/pasting an old commentary I wrote years ago- I guess I should read the commentary first- after I penned the above- I read it- I basically covered the same thing- at least I’m consistent!

 

 

ROMANS 4: 1-12  Now, Paul will use one of his most frequent arguments to prove that all men, both Jews and Gentiles, need to be justified by faith and not ‘by works’. The most famous singular figure that natural Israel looked to as the ‘identifier’ of them being a special people was ‘Father Abraham’. Paul does a masterful job at showing how Abraham was indeed justified by faith and not by works. The ‘work’ of circumcision came before the law. It would later become synonymous with law keeping [Ten Commandments] and Paul can certainly use it here as implying ‘the whole law’. But to be accurate this work of circumcision was a national identifying factor that Israel looked to as saying ‘we are better than you [Gentiles]’. Paul is showing Israel that God in fact ‘made Abraham righteous’ before he circumcised him! [Gen. 15] And the sign of this righteousness was circumcision. This meaning that Abrahams faith in Gods promise [a purely ‘passive’ act! This is very important to see. Later on as we deal with the famous ‘conversion texts’ we need to keep this in mind] justified him without respect to the law. God simply took Abraham outside and said ‘look at the stars, your children will be this abundant’ and Abraham simply believed this promise to be true. Much like the passive belief of Cornelius house at their conversion [Acts 10]. The simple belief in the promise of Jesus justifies the sinner! Now this fact of Abraham believing and being made righteous, before being circumcised, is proof [according to Paul] that Abraham is the father of ‘many nations’ not just natural Israel. All ethnic groups who HAVE THE SAME FAITH AS ABRAHAM are qualified to be ‘sons of Abraham/ heirs of God’. The fact that Abraham carried this justification along with him as he became circumcised, shows that all Jewish people as well can partake of this ‘righteousness by faith’ if they have the same faith as Abraham had. Jesus did say ‘Abraham rejoiced to see my day’[ John’s gospel]. In Gods promise to Abraham of a future dynasty of children, this included the promised Messiah. So indirectly Abraham’s belief in the promise of being the father of ‘many nations’ included belief in the coming Messiah. So according to Paul, all ethnic groups who have faith in Jesus are justified/made righteous. The very example Israel used to justify ‘ethnic/national pride’ [Father Abraham] was taught in a way that showed the truth of the gospel and how God is no respecter of persons.

 

  • ROMANS 4:13-14 ‘Now the promise that Abraham would become the inheritor of the world was not going to be fulfilled thru the law [natural Israel] but thru faith [all who believe, both Jew and Gentile]’. I have spoken on this before [see note at bottom] and will hit on it a little now. The historic church can be defined for the most part as ‘a-millennial’, that is they interpreted the parables on the Kingdom of God and the promise of ‘inheriting the world [which includes the Promised Land]’ as being fulfilled thru the church. That Jesus established Gods kingdom and the church basically fulfills these promises by expanding Christ’s ‘rule’ thru the earth. Some historians saw the 4th century ‘marriage’ of Rome and Christianity as a fulfillment of this. During the 19th and 20th century you had the rise of Dispensationalism, a ‘new/different’ way of interpreting these land promises. Many good men showed the reality of Christ’s literal coming and pointed to a future time where Jesus literally sits on a throne in Jerusalem and rules all nations. These brothers are called ‘Pre-millennial’, they believe that Jesus comes back first [pre] and then establishes his ‘millennial rule’ on earth. The Premillennialists would see the Amillennialists as ‘replacement theologians’. They said that these brothers were taking the actual promises that God made to Israel and ‘replacing’ Israel with the church. In essence they accused the Amillennialists of spiritualizing the promises to Israel and saying the church would be the recipients of the promises. Now, both sides have truth to them, I personally believe the Amillennialists have a lot more truth! But I do see some of the good points that the Premillenialists made. I want you to simply read these verses [Romans 4:13-14, Galatians 3:18] and see for yourself how Paul does teach the reality that the promises to Abraham are to be fulfilled thru the church [spiritual Israel]. This does not mean that there is no future physical return of Jesus. But the body of scripture leans heavily on the Amillinnialists side. [see entry 703] NOTE- To be fair, some historic thinkers held to the Premillennial position. The majority were Amillennial.

 

  • ROMANS 4:15-25 ‘For the law worketh wrath, for where there is no law there is no transgression’. I simply want to touch on the concept of ‘wrath’ being a very real part of judgment. One of the ways the gospel ‘saves us’ is by promising a future [and present!] deliverance from wrath. While death ‘reigned’ before the law was given, it wasn’t until the law where you had a clear picture of transgression and atonement. We will deal with this later in Romans. Now Paul once again hits on the theme of Abraham being the ‘spiritual father’ of many nations [all who believe] and how the promises of God to Abraham were to be fulfilled thru this ‘new race of people’ [the church]. Paul is careful to not demean Israel; he couches his terms in a way that says ‘God will fulfill these things thru the circumcision who believes [Jews] and the un-circumcision who believe’ [Gentiles]. I want to stress the very plain language Paul uses to show us that we should not be seeing Gods ‘covenant promises’ thru a natural lens. Christians need to be careful when they support [exalt!] natural Israel in a way that the New Testament doesn’t do. ‘To the end that the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is the faith of Abraham’. Now Paul tells us that when God made promises to Abraham that Abraham believed against hope. When all things looked really bad, he still believed. When he was 100 years old and Sarah around 90, he held to the promise [read my commentaries on Genesis 15-18 and Hebrews 11] and therefore God imputed righteousness to him. How closely are you paying attention to Paul’s free use of Abraham and Genesis? If you carefully read this chapter you see Paul ‘intermingle’ the story of Abraham being ‘made righteous upon initial belief’ [Gen. 15] and the later story of Sarah having Isaac [Gen. 17]. I think Paul was simply using the description of Abrahams faith, as seen in the Gen. 17 [and 22!] accounts of his life, to show the type of faith he initially ‘exercised’ [I don’t like using this term to be honest. God actually imputes faith to the believer at the initial act of regeneration]. The important chapters from Genesis that we all need to have a ‘working knowledge’ of are Chapters 12 [the initial promise], 15 [the oft mentioned ‘imputed righteousness’ verse], 17 [the receiving of the promised seed- Isaac], and 22 [the ultimate act of obedience that Abraham showed in offering up Isaac. This will be described in James epistle as ‘righteousness being fulfilled’. James, who is concerned about ‘works’, will say that when Abraham offered Isaac he was fulfilling the ‘imputed righteousness’ that God gave him earlier. James actually describes this as ‘being justified by works’{James 2:21} and James says ‘the scripture was fulfilled that saith Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness’… ‘see how that by works a man is justified and not by faith only’. The classic view taken by many confuses the ‘justified’ part with the initial act of justification that Paul centers on. James uses ‘see how he was justified by works’ in a future ‘judicial decree’ sense; that is God having the ongoing ‘freedom’ to continually say ‘good job son, you did well’. The word justification is used in a fluid sense much like salvation. Christians need to be more ‘secure’ in their own assurance to be able to see these truths. When we approach all these seemingly ‘difficult passages’ in a defensive mode, then we never arrive at the actual meaning]. When we see the overall work of God in Abraham’s life we see the purpose of God in ‘declaring people just’ [initially ‘getting saved’]. The purpose is for them to eventually ‘act just’ [obey!] ‘Jesus was delivered for our offenses and raised again for our justification’ thank God that this process is dependant on the work of the Cross! [see # 758]

 

  • Romans 5:1-9 ‘Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God thru our Lord Jesus Christ’. There are certain benefits ‘results’ of being ‘made righteous by faith’, peace being one of them. Paul goes on and says we glory in hope and also trials, because we realize that thru the difficulties we gain experience and patience. Things that are needed for the journey, we can’t substitute talent and motivation and ‘success principles’ for them. We need maturity and God produces it this way. Those who teach otherwise have a ‘self inflicted wound’ their teachings are very immature! That is there was a ‘strain’ of teaching in the church that said ‘we don’t learn thru difficulty and suffering, we learn only thru Gods word!’ [that is reading it]. Those who grasped onto this false idea have produced some of the most unbalanced teaching in the church, stuff that even the younger generation is saying ‘what in the heck are these guys preaching’?  If you by pass the difficult road, you will be shallow. Now Paul says ‘God commended his love toward us, that when we were sinners Christ died for us’ ‘being now justified by his death, we shall be saved thru his life’ [saved from wrath thru him]. Once again this theme pops up; ‘since we are justified, made righteous by believing with the heart, we shall be saved [continual, future deliverance] from wrath thru him’. I don’t know if you ever realized what a major theme this is in Romans? The ongoing, future ‘being saved’ is a result of ‘being made righteous’. Later on in chapter 10, when we read that the righteous call for salvation, we need to understand this context. Remember, when the two are linked together in the same verse, it is not saying ‘saved’ in the sense of some sinner’s prayer. It is speaking of the ongoing, promised deliverance [from many things, not just wrath!] to the ‘justified caller’. We have access ‘by faith into this grace wherein we stand’. Wow! That’s some good stuff, Jesus ever lives so that those who come to him are ‘being saved’ to the uttermost. This grace we are in is available to us all of the time, are we availing ourselves of it?

 

  • ROMANS 5:10-21 ‘For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to him by the death of his Son… much more we shall be saved by his life’. Now, some have ‘divided’ the role of Jesus death and resurrection in salvation. I heard a radio preacher teach that all the people who think they are ‘saved’ because Jesus died for them were deceived. He used this verse to say they need to believe in his ‘life’ [resurrection] to ‘be saved by his life’. Well I get the point, but he was missing the meaning of the verse. Why? Because once again we see ‘saved’ as initially ‘getting saved’ while here it is in a continual sense. Paul is saying ‘if God reconciled us [justification] while we were deadly enemies, how much more shall the actual ministry and life of Jesus at Gods right hand do for us!’ The New Testament teachers that we have actually entered into an eternal covenant with God thru his Son. Jesus ‘ever lives’ to make intercession for us [Hebrews]. Therefore he is able to ‘save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him’. The bible teaches an ongoing ‘saving’ relationship that believers have with the Messiah. This ‘relationship’ would not be possible if he were dead. Now we ‘joy in God thru Jesus Christ from whom we have received the atonement’ good stuff! Isaiah says God will meet with those who ‘rejoice and do what is right’. We have both of these ‘abilities’ because of the atonement. The rest of the chapter teaches the Pauline doctrine of original sin. That because Adam sinned, death and sin passed to all men. So likewise the ‘righteousness’ of one man [Jesus- the last Adam] has passed upon all men [those who receive of the abundance of grace and the gift of life]. This is an interesting angle that Paul uses to teach redemption. He shows the reality that there are only 2 ‘federal heads’ of mankind. You are either in the first or last Adam. The ‘righteous act’ is speaking of the Cross [Philippians says Jesus was ‘obedient unto death’. The singular act of obedience that allows this righteousness to pass to all who believe is the Cross. Some have misunderstood this chapter to teach that the obedient life of Christ, his sinless life, saves us. I feel this is a wrong reading of the chapter. The sinless life of Jesus, pre Cross, made him the true candidate to be the substitute for man. He was able to die in our place [obedience unto death] because he was the sinless Son of God. We are now ‘saved by his life’ because he ever lives to make intercession for us]. All who believe in Jesus can now trace their lineage to the ‘last Adam’ [Jesus] and be free from ‘original sin’.

 

  • ROMANS 6- Lets talk about baptism. To start off I believe that the baptism spoken about in this chapter is primarily referring to ‘the baptism of the Spirit’, that is the work of the Holy Spirit placing a believer in the Body of Christ. The Catholic and Orthodox [and Reformed!] brothers believe that Paul is speaking about water baptism. The MAJORITY VIEW of Christians today believe this chapter is referring to water baptism. Why? First, the text itself does not indicate either way. You could take this baptism and see it either way! You are not a heretic if you believe in it referring to Spirit or water. You are not a heretic if you believe in Paedo baptism [infant baptism]. ‘What are you saying? Now you lost me.’ Infant baptism developed as a Christian rite over the course of church history. The church struggled with how to ‘dedicate’ new babies to Christ. Though the scriptures give no examples of infant baptism, some felt that the reason was because the scriptures primarily show us the conversion of the first century believers. There really aren’t a whole lot of stories of ‘generations’ of believers passing on the faith to other generations. So some felt that the idea of dedicating babies to the Lord through infant baptism was all right. The examples they used were the circumcision of babies in the Old Testament. Infants were circumcised [a rite that placed you under the terms of the Old Covenant] though they weren’t old enough to really understand what they were doing! This example was carried over into the Christian church and applied to infant baptism. Now, I do not believe in infant baptism. But I can certainly understand this line of reasoning. As Christian theology developed thru the early centuries, particularly thru the patristic period, you had very intellectual scholars grapple with many different themes and ideas. Some that we just studied in chapter 5. Some theologians came to see infant baptism as dealing with original sin. They applied the concept of infant baptism as a rite that washes away original sin. The church did not teach that this meant you did not have to later believe and follow Christ. They simply developed a way of seeing baptism as ‘sanctifying’ the new members of Christian households. This basic belief made it all the way to the Reformation. The Reformers themselves still practiced infant baptism. It was the Anabaptists [re-baptizers] who saw the truth of adult baptism and suffered for it, at the hands of the reformers! Ulrich Zwingli, the Swiss reformer, would have them drowned for their belief. Some Protestants stuck with the infant rite, while others [the Restorationists] would reject it. Today most Evangelicals do not practice infant baptism, the majority of Christians world wide do. Now, the reason I did a little history is because Evangelicals [of which I am one] have a tendency to simply look at other believers who practice this rite as ‘deceived’. Many are unaware of the history I just showed you. The reasons the historic church developed this doctrine are not heretical! They used scripture and tradition to pass it down to future generations. I do not believe or practice infant baptism, many good believers do.

 

  • ROMANS 6: 1-11 ‘shall we continue to sin, so grace may abound? God forbid! How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?’ Now begins the ‘actual part’ the result, if you will, of being ‘made righteous by faith’. One of the main accusations against Paul, by the Jewish believers, was that he taught ‘sin a lot, because you are no longer under the law’. Paul spends time defending himself against this accusation thru out the New Testament. Here Paul teaches that the believer has been joined unto Christ [baptized, immersed into him] and this ‘joining’ identifies him with Christ’s death. So how can ‘we, who are dead to sin, live any longer in sin’? Paul’s argument for righteous living comes from the fact that we have died with Christ unto sin. ‘We have died with him, and we have also been raised with him to new life’. In Ephesians chapter 2, Paul says we who were dead in sins have been made alive in Christ. Now, we live a new life, free from sin [practically speaking- not absolute sinless-ness!] because we are identified with Jesus in his new life, we are ‘alive with and in him’. ‘Since we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection’! Jesus died once, and now he lives forever unto God ‘likewise count yourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God thru Jesus Christ our Lord’. Paul’s basis for the transformed life is Grace and being ‘in him’. Paul does not appeal to the law to try and effect holiness in the believer, he appeals to Christ ‘in him you have died to legalistic practices, trying to earn salvation and acceptance; and now because of this new position [placement] you too have died to the old man [lifestyle] and are alive unto God’. Paul obviously did not teach ‘sin hardily’ to the contrary he taught ‘live unto God’.

 

(834)Romans 6:12-23    ‘Let not sin therefore rule in your mortal body’ if we have died with Jesus, we are ‘dead with him to sin’. If we are risen with Jesus ‘we are alive unto God thru him’ for this reason don’t sin! Paul makes sure his readers understand him, he in no way was teaching a sinful gospel. He encourages the believers to renew their minds to this truth. ‘For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law, but under grace’ Paul clearly saw the dangers of legalism [living under strict ‘do this, don’t do this’ guidelines] he saw that the law actually quickens the fleshly nature and brings to the surface mans sin. Now, because we are under grace, does this mean we get to keep on sinning? ‘God forbid!’ Paul launches into the explanation of sin and bondage. Remember, sin was in the world before the law. Men were dying ever since Adam sinned. So for Paul, this means even though we are not under the restraints of law, yet the reality of sin, bondage and punishment still exist. Paul says ‘if you yield to sin and allow it to rule you, you will become its slave’. There will be a penalty and price to pay ‘the wages of sin is death’. But because you are identified with Jesus ‘sin shall not have dominion over you… you have been made free from sin’. Paul teaches the victorious Christian life. He does not deny the struggle [next chapter!] but he shows the reality of redemption. He obviously never taught the concept of ‘sin more, so grace can abound’. He understood the dangers of preaching ‘we are not under the law’ but he also understood the reality of ‘being under grace’ he figured it was worth the risk of being misunderstood if he could truly imbed the gospel into the believing community.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Romans 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

Romans 6:10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Romans 6:19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

Romans 6:20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

Romans 6:21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

(835)ROMANS 7:1-4 Paul uses the analogy of a married woman ‘don’t you know that the law has dominion over a person as long as he is alive’? If a married woman leaves her husband and marries another man she is guilty of breaking the law of adultery. Now, if her husband dies, she is free to marry another man. The act that freed her from sin and guilt was death! Every thing else in the scenario stayed the same. She still married another, she still consummated the new marriage. But because her first husband died, she has no guilt. I always loved this analogy. For years I wondered why these themes in scripture are for the most part not ‘imbedded’ in the collective psyche of the people of God. We have spent so much time ‘proof texting’ the verses on success and wealth, that we have overlooked the really good stuff! Now Paul teaches that we have been made free from the law by the ‘death of our husband’ [Jesus] so we can ‘re-marry’. Who do we marry? Christ! He has not only died to free us from the law, he also rose from the dead to become our ‘husband’ [we are called the bride of Christ]. Paul connects the death and resurrection of Jesus in this analogy. Both are needed for the true gospel to be preached [1st Corinthians 15]. Notice how in this passage Paul emphasizes ‘the death of Christ’s body’. The New Testament doesn’t always make this distinction, but here it does. In the early centuries of Christianity you had various debates over the nature and ‘substance’ of God and Christ. The church hammered out various decrees and creeds that would become the Orthodoxy of the day. Many of these are what you would call the ‘Ecumenical councils’. These are the early councils [many centuries!] that both the eastern [Orthodox church] and western [Catholic] churches would all accept. Some feel that the early church fathers and Latin theologians [Tertullian, Augustine and others] had too much prior influence from philosophy and the ‘forensic’ thinking of their time. They had a tendency to describe things in highly technical ways. Ways that were prominent in the legal and philosophical thinking of the West. Some of the eastern thinkers [Origen] had more of a Greek ‘flavor’ to their theologizing [Alexandria, named after Alexander the great, was a city of philosophy many years prior to Christ. This city was at one time the center of thinking in the East. That’s why Paul would face the thinkers at Athens, they had a history in the east of Greek philosophy]. Well any way the result was highly technical debates over the nature of God and Christ. The historic church would finally decree that Christ had 2 natures, Human and Divine. And that at the Cross the ‘humanity of Jesus’ died, but his ‘Deity’ did not. I think Paul agreed by saying ‘we are free from the law by the death of Christ’s Body’ here Paul distinguishes between the physical death of Jesus and his Deity. Note- actually, Augustine would be in the same school as Origen. Alexandrian.

 

 

(836)ROMANS 7: 5-13 ‘But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter’. This is such a powerful statement! WE ARE DELIVERED FROM THE LAW, surely Paul must mean ‘the fleshly law [carnal nature] in our members’? No, he means ‘the law’, the actual moral code that was contained in the Ten Commandments. He writes to the Colossians ‘Jesus took the handwriting of ordinances that were against us [the real law, not the sinful nature!] and nailed it to his Cross’. He tells the Ephesians ‘the middle wall of partition [law] has come down in Christ’. I know it’s easy to develop ideas that justify this radical grace concept in our minds, it’s just part of mans nature to want to be able to do something, contribute some way to our salvation. ‘Surely the law helps me stay in line’? No it doesn’t! You are ‘dead to the law by the Body of Christ’. We now live and are regulated by the ‘Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’. It is the fact that we have been raised to life in Christ that frees us, not the law. Paul goes on and explains that there was a time when ‘he was alive without the law’ but when the commandment came ‘sin revived, and I died’. Paul was a strict Pharisee, the further he advanced in law, the more he found himself to be ‘exceeding sinful’. The more he learned, the worse he got! It’s sort of a catch 22, you see and hear the ‘do not do this’ portions of law, and it stirs up the sinful nature to ‘do it’. Now Paul recaps an earlier theme of the law serving the function of revealing sin to man. He defends the law by saying ‘was that which is good [law] death unto me’? No, but the law simply ‘awakened’ the sin that was always there, hiding under the covers. It brought to a head the ‘disease’. The law revealed the underlying problem of sin, and made it ‘exceeding sinful’. The law is good, we are bad! [apart from Christ and the Spirit of life].

 

(837)ROMANS 7:14-25 Paul now shows us the reality of Gods law and its effect on man. ‘When I do something that I DON’T WANT TO DO, then I consent unto the law that it is good’. Did you ever think of this? The fact that you [or even the atheist!] have done things that ‘you don’t want to do’ proves the existence of God and natural law [which the 10 commandments were only a glimpse, they reveal a small part of Gods character and nature]. So if you, or anybody else, have ever struggled with ‘I am doing something that I hate’. Then why do it? Or better, why hate it? You yourself are an actual living testimony of ‘the law of God’. Your own conscience testifies that there are  ‘good things’ and ‘bad things’. You also testify of the fact of sin ‘why do you keep doing the bad things’? Alas, that thing called ‘sin’ does exist! Paul shows us that the experience of every human member on the planet testifies to both the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man. Freud [the father of modern Psychology] saw this war rage in the psyche of man, he came up with an idea that we need to ‘free man’ from this inner moral struggle. He espoused the idea that in mans ‘head’ he has this preconceived image of ‘God’ and right or wrong. Being Freud was a child of the Enlightenment, as well as a student of Existentialism [though the Father of Existentialism was a Christian, the Danish theologian/ philosopher Soren Kierkegaard] he taught that if we could just eliminate this ‘God idea’ and ‘church moral code’ from mans mind, then all would be well! Geez, I could hardly think of a more destructive thing than to tell man ‘if it feels right, do it’! Paul taught ‘if you can’t stop doing something that ‘feels right’ then you are sinning!’[if that which ‘feels right’ is making you miserable!] And the very fact that you can’t escape the guilt, proves that God exists and that his law is this unstoppable force that invades all human consciences. Paul knew the struggle, he testifies thru out scripture that he tried to become right with God over and over again, but the ‘law of sin’ [the sinful nature. Here ‘law’ is speaking of the ‘principle of sin’ and the fleshly nature] prevented him from keeping the ‘law of God’ [doing what’s right], he then found the ‘righteousness of God that comes thru faith in Christ’. Paul ends the chapter ‘O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death’? ‘I thank God thru Jesus Christ my Lord’. Paul found the answer, his name was Jesus.

Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Romans 7:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

Romans 7:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

Romans 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Romans 7:6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

Romans 7:9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Romans 7:10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.

Romans 7:13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Romans 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Romans 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Romans 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Romans 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Romans 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Romans 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

Romans 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

ROMANS 8-10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDqIktzp8Xc

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/2-24-15-romans-8-10.zip

 

VIDEO- [I cover stuff on the videos that are not in the post- here are a few]

.Council of Trent- what did the Church say?

.Do we get the final say- at the Judgment?

.What are the Catholic virtues- did Paul teach them?

.Augustine, Calvin, Whitfield and Wesley.

.Infusion or Imputation? How bout both!

At the bottom I added some quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic church- to show that the official teaching of the church DOES NOT TEACH SALVATION BY THE LAW- BUT BY CHRIST.

 

. REMINDER- This is a commentary I wrote years ago- the videos are new.

.CHAPTER 8- FEW POINTS;

  • Did God choose us to believe- or did we choose him?
  • When Paul says ‘he makes our bodies alive’ is he only speaking about resurrection?
  • Does God use difficulty- or is it to be rebuked?
  • Was Paul a ‘hyper- Calvinist’?

(839)ROMAN 8:1-4 ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh [sinful nature] but after the Spirit [new nature]’. Now, having proved the reality of sin and guilt [chapter 7] Paul teaches that those who ‘are in Christ’ are free from condemnation. Why? Because they ‘walk according to the Spirit’ the ‘righteousness of the law is being fulfilled in them’. Having no condemnation isn’t simply a ‘legal function’ of declared righteousness, and Paul didn’t teach it that way! Paul is saying ‘all those who have believed in Jesus and have been legally justified [earlier arguments in chapters 3-4] are now walking [actually acting out] this new nature. Therefore [because you no longer walk according to the flesh] there is no condemnation’! This argument helps bridge the gap between Catholic and Protestant theology, part of the reason for the ongoing schism is over this understanding. After the Reformation the Catholic Church had a Counter Reformation council, the council of Trent. They dealt with a lot of the abuses of the Catholic Church, things that many Catholic leaders were complaining about before the Reformation. They did deal with some issues and reformed somewhat. To the dismay of the more ‘reform minded’ Catholics [with Protestant leanings] they still came down strong on most pre reform doctrines. This made it next to impossible for the schism to be healed. But one area of disagreement was over ‘legal’ versus ‘actual/experiential’ justification. The Catholic position was ‘God can’t declare/say a person is justified until they actually are’ [experientially]. The Protestant side [Luther] said ‘God does justify [legal declaration] a person by faith alone’. Like I taught before, both of these are true. The Catholic view of ‘justification’ is looking ahead towards a future reality [The same way James speaks of justification in a future sense- He uses the example from Genesis 22, when Abraham does a righteous act] while the Protestant view is focusing on the initial legal act of justification [Genesis 15]. Here Paul agrees with both views, he says ‘those who walk after the Spirit [actually living the changed life] have no condemnation’.

 

(840)ROMANS 8:5-13 Paul will teach the impossibility of the ‘carnal minds’ ability to submit to Gods law. Those who are ‘in the flesh’ [the unregenerate nature- not simply ‘in the body’. We will get into these distinctions in a minute] can’t submit to God. Society spends so much time and effort trying to get the ‘lost man’ to do what’s right. The prohibition movement [outlawing liquor], the increase in the severity of punishment for crimes dealing with drugs. Making the child kidnappers crime punishable by death. While all these laws are necessary and good [though some debate the wisdom of the kidnapper one, they think the kidnapper might just go ahead and kill the victim if the same punishment applies to both crimes] they have little effect on getting ‘the carnal man to submit’. Paul also says ‘if the Spirit of him who raised up Christ from the dead dwells in you, then he that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you’. Let’s do a little teaching here. Most commentators see this as speaking of the promise of the resurrection ‘your mortal bodies’. I see this more in line with the context of chapter 7. The discussion of ‘mortal bodies’ [your actual body, the flesh- which is different than ‘the fleshly nature’ which refers to the sinful nature] speaks of your actual life now ‘let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies’. Also in verse 13 of this chapter the same theme is seen ‘if ye thru the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body ye shall live’. I believe Paul is primarily saying ‘if you are in the Spirit [born of God] the Spirit of life will make alive your physical life in such a way that you will glorify God in your body and spirit, which are Gods’ [Corinthians]. Chapter 12 says your bodies are living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. Now later on in this chapter [8] we do see the resurrection, which is called ‘the redemption of the body’ [verse 23] so these two concepts work together. The fact that the believer is ‘training his mortal body’ for God [thru obedience] is sort of a precursor to the resurrection! Now, some believers confuse the resurrection of the body and the work of regeneration in ‘making you alive’ [Ephesians 2]. The work of regeneration brings your dead spirit back to life [born again] when you believe [which is a Divine imputation of faith at the moment of conversion, a sovereign act]. This ‘coming alive’ is purely spiritual. This qualifies you for the future physical resurrection of the body [Ephesians calls this the ‘down payment’, the ‘earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession’. The word ‘earnest’ here is used in the same way as ‘earnest money’ in a real estate transaction. The fact that we have been ‘sealed’ with the Holy Spirit is our ‘guarantee of future bodily resurrection’]. Bishop N.T. Wright, the bishop of Durham [the church of England- Durham is the 3rd most influential post in the Church of England. Canterbury is at the top] has recently written on the truths of the resurrection of the body. He is an excellent scholar, way way above my league. He has been instrumental in ‘re introducing’ the reality of Christ’s resurrection as well as our future resurrection as a very real Christian belief [and historic truth as well]. I have read some of Wrights stuff and am a little surprised at some of the ideas on ‘soul sleep’ and the immortality of the soul. Bishop Wright seems to side with some of the ideas that certain restorationist groups [7th day Adventists] espouse, that the Catholic Church kind of corrupted the ideas of heaven and the soul by being overly influenced by Greek thought. While it is possible for Bishop Wright to have come to his understanding entirely thru scripture and history, yet I felt it a little strange to see him make these arguments. For the most part I like brother Wright and totally agree with his stance on the future ‘new heavens and new earth’ as the final place of rest [as opposed to dying and going to heaven now, which is a temporary place] but there is the biblical reality of a present ‘heaven’ and this doesn’t only come from Greek thought. I have often used the Christian doctrine of the new heavens and new earth while speaking with the Jehovah’s witnesses, I always agree on the reality of a future kingdom on earth. I simply steer the conversation back to ‘who qualifies for it’ and get straight to the gospel. Well anyway we have a promise of a future resurrection, and also a ‘quickening of the body now’ [God actually using our physical life to glorify him]. These are both great truths!

 

(841)ROMANS 8: 14-18 ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God’. Many of us are familiar with this verse [I hope!]. We often see it as saying ‘Gods direction in our lives is proof that we are Christians’ true enough. But in context ‘being led by Gods Spirit’ means living the new life thru Christ. The putting to death of the old man and being ‘made alive’ thru Christ is what this is saying. Paul agrees with John [1st John] ‘those that do what is right [led by the Spirit] are of God’. Paul says ‘we have received the Spirit and a natural result of this is crying “Abba, Father”. I don’t want to do too much here, but Paul sees the ‘confession’ and heart cry of the believer as proof, a result of being ‘a habitation of the Spirit’. A sign, if you will, of being born of God is confessing/ praying to the Father. Paul quoted David in chapter 4 ‘for this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found’ [Psalms 32- actually Paul quotes a different section from the Psalm, but this theme is consistent with Paul’s view]. Paul knew the reality of ‘the godly calling upon God’ they have an inner cry of ‘Abba, father’. ‘We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ’. For many years this has been a popular verse among many believers, often times it is used to say ‘God owns the cattle on a thousand hills’ [which he does] therefore if we are heirs ‘give me some cattle’! [stuff]. Here Paul uses this term in speaking of our identification with Christ’s sufferings. ‘If we suffer with him, we too shall share [joint heir!] in his glory’ [future glorification at the resurrection- we shall see him and be changed in a moment, at the twinkling of an eye. This mortal shall put on immortality]. It’s a symptom of modern American Christianity to view all these scriptures thru a materialistic lens, Paul held to the promise of a future reward [at the resurrection] that enabled him to go thru great difficulty and suffering in this present life. He counted the suffering as a privilege that he shared with Christ.

 

(843)ROMANS 8: 19-25 ‘the sufferings of this present time [are you ‘presently’ suffering?] are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us’. Paul compares the difficulty to the reward. The reward here is the future resurrection. Paul did not see suffering as ‘from the devil’ or the reward as something material [monetary stuff! The resurrection body will be ‘material’ – real]. Paul teaches that the whole creation is waiting for this day. Not only will we get a ‘makeover’ but there will be a new heaven and a new earth! The creation itself longs for this [almost as much as Al Gore!] This resurrection is called ‘the redemption of our body’. The next verse says ‘we are saved by hope’. John also says [1st John] that the future reality of the resurrection ‘causes us to be pure in this life’ [every one that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure]. Why? Because we know God has a purpose for our bodies as well as our spirits! The ‘getting saved by hope’ simply means the future hope of the resurrection ‘encourages’ us to live clean now. Once again ‘saved’ is a neutral term. In can apply to all sorts of things. I always found it funny how when you read certain commentaries, that you see the difficulty Christians have when coming across these types of verses. There’s a verse that says ‘the woman will be saved thru childbearing’ geez, you wouldn’t believe the difficulty some writers have when they come across this stuff. Some teach ‘she will be ‘saved’ thru the birth of a child [Jesus]’ and all sorts of stuff. I think if we simply changed the word ‘saved’ for ‘delivered’ [which are basically the same thing] that maybe this would help. But thank God that we have a future resurrection to look forward to, let this truth ‘deliver’ you from the temptation to think ‘what’s all this suffering worth, why even go thru it?’ Because we have a great promise at the other end!

 

(845)ROMANS 8:26-28 ‘Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities’ why does Paul say ‘likewise’? He is saying ‘not only does the future hope of the resurrection sustain us, but also Gods Spirit helps us’! He knows how to make intercession for us in ways that we cannot. I just finished an hour prayer time, not an ‘official’ intercession time [which I do a few times a week now]. But an ‘unofficial’ time where I try and hear what the Spirit is speaking. When you are ‘praying in the Spirit’ [which can include the charismatic expression of tongues] you are depending upon the Spirit to transcend your limited ability to articulate what needs to be said. ‘All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are ‘the called’ according to his purpose’. A very famous verse indeed. What does it mean? It means what it says! Over the years I have heard so many excuses for trying to get around difficult things. Why do the righteous suffer? Some taught it was because of their ignorance of scripture. Why did the things that happened to Job happen? Some said it was because he ‘feared’ that the things would happen [this group seems to miss the whole underlying reason for the book. Job’s friends are continually looking for a reason thru out the book. The point is, sometimes there is no reasonable explanation. I realize you can pick apart certain statements from Job and come up with ‘reasons’, but the meaning of the book is God is sovereign and we shouldn’t always think we can figure him out or ‘work the system’]. Here Paul says ‘whatever is happening to you right now [even very bad stuff!] will eventually work out for you benefit’. What about Hitler? Did he love God? I don’t believe so. This scripture says ‘to them that love God’. Your only responsibility thru the difficulty is to ‘love God’.

 

(846)ROMANS 8:29-30 ‘for whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: whom he justified, them he also glorified’. Let’s talk a little. When I first became a Christian I began a lifelong study of scripture, where I continually read a certain amount of scripture every day for many years. Over the years I have varied on how fast I should read [that is how many chapters per day and so forth]. But during the early stages I always took these verses to teach predestination in the classical sense. Simply put, that God ‘pre chose’ me [and all whom come to him] before we ‘chose him’. The Fundamental Baptist church I began to attend [a great church with great people!] taught that ‘classic Calvinism’ [predestination] was false doctrine, and they labeled it ‘Hyper Calvinism’. I simply accepted this as fact. But I never forgot the early understanding that I first gleaned thru my own study. I also was very limited in my other readings outside of the scripture. I did study the Great awakenings and Charles Finney. I read some biographies on John Wesley and other great men of God. These men were not Calvinistic in their doctrine [which is fine], as a matter of fact Wesley would eventually disassociate from George Whitefield over this issue. Whitefield was a staunch Calvinist! Over time I came to believe the doctrine again, simply as I focused on the scriptures that teach it. Eventually I picked up some books on church history and realized that Calvinism was [and is] a mainstream belief among many great believers. I personally believe that most of the great theologians in history have accepted this doctrine. Now, for those who reject it, they honestly struggle with these portions of scripture. Just like there are portions of scripture that Calvinists struggle with. To deny this is to be less than honest. The Arminians [Those who deny classic predestination- the term comes from Jacob Arminias, a Calvinist who was writing and studying on the ‘errors’ of ‘arminianism’ and came to embrace the doctrine of free will/choice] usually approach the verses that say ‘he predestined us’ by teaching that Gods predestination speaks only of his foreknowledge of those who would choose him. This is an honest effort to come to terms with the doctrine. To be ‘more honest’ I think this doesn’t adequately deal with the issue. In the above text, as well as many other places in scripture, the idea of ‘Gods foreknowledge and pre choosing’ speak specifically about Gods choice to save us, as opposed to him simply knowing that we would ‘choose right’. The texts that teach predestination teach it in this context. Now the passage above does say ‘those whom he foreknew, he also did predestinate to be conformed into the image of Christ’ here this passage actually does say ‘God predestinated us to be like his Son’. If you left the ‘foreknowledge’ part out, you could read this passage in an Arminian way. But we do have the ‘foreknowledge’ part. So I believe Paul is saying ‘God chose us before we were born, he ‘knew’ ahead of time that he would bring us into his Kingdom. Those whom he foreknew he also predestinated to become like his Son.’ Why? So his Son would be the firstborn among many. God wanted a whole new race of ‘children of God’. Those he predestinated he ‘called’. He drew them to himself. Jesus said ‘all that the Father give to me will come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no way cast out’. Those who ‘come’ are justified, those who are justified are [present tense] glorified. Gods design and sovereignty speak of it as a ‘finished task’ like it already happened. God lives outside of the dimension of time. I believe in the doctrine of predestination. Many others do as well. You don’t have to believe it if you don’t want to, but I believe scripture teaches it.

 

(847)ROMANS 8: 31-39 ‘What shall we say then to these things? [what things? The fact that God predestined us and has guaranteed completion of the purpose he has designed us for!] If God be for us, who can be against us?’ Paul teaches that Christ is the only one with the ‘right’ or authority to pass judgment. If the only person in existence who can ‘officially’ condemn and pass legal judgment has actually died for us for the purpose of ‘freeing us from a state of condemnation’, then who ‘gives a rip’ about others opinions and views of us? Most of us struggle with how others view us. Paul did teach that Elders should have good character and a fine reputation in the community. But there is another type of ‘persona’ that preachers can fall into. A sort of ‘concern’ about what the critics are saying. In this context Paul says ‘If the opinion of the only person in existence whose opinion really matters, is one of “I accept you unconditionally, I declare you free from what others think, you are my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Ever since I have known you, you have been pleasing in my sight” [all true scriptures by the way] Then who cares what others think! Paul also teaches that nothing can separate us from Christ’s love ‘not tribulation or distress or famine or persecution’ IN all these things we are more than conquerors thru him who loved us. Most times we view this passage from a ‘Calvinistic’ lens. I want you to see the impact of this statement thru a different lens. In the American church we have taught people ‘would a good father not pay the bills of his kids? Would a good father allow his kids to suffer? If you were really partaking of the New Covenant you would have it made’. While I do realize that many well meaning ministers have taught these viewpoints with honest and sincere hearts, I also have seen how this mindset accuses the saints. It basically tells the struggling believer ‘what kind of father do you have? If he really loved you would you be going thru these things’? In essence we are saying ‘tribulation and distress and persecution’ are all signs that ‘you have been separated from Gods love’! Paul blows this false [materialistic] mindset out of the water. He says it is thru these things that we are more than conquerors. It is the ability to look into the face of Pontius Pilate and say ‘you have no power over me, my father has permitted these things to take place. I am here to lay my life down for his glory’. Paul said all these things we are suffering are opportunities to glorify our father. To look into the face of society and say ‘nay, we are more than conqueror’s thru him that loved us’. The early church set the world on fire when they were laying their lives down for the cause, refusing to deny their Lord even at the point of death. They were ‘more than conquerors’.

 

ROMANS 9-

.PAUL- SPURGEON- AND DAVE HUNT- DID THEY BELIEVE IN PREDESTINATION?

.HOW DOES PAUL DEFEND AGAINST THE SEEMING ‘UNFAIRNESS’ OF IT?

.WHAT DID THAT RUSSIAN ATHIEST SAY?

 

(848)ROMANS 9: 1-8 Paul returns to an earlier theme ‘Christ came, as pertaining to the flesh, in response to the covenants that God made with Israel’ [my paraphrase!] Paul says that natural Israel played a very important role in the coming of Messiah. He was [is] the fulfillment of the prophecies that came as a result of Gods interaction with ‘the commonwealth of Israel’. Now Paul again says ‘they are not all Israel, which are of Israel, but “in Isaac shall thy seed be called’”. Understand something here, Paul is not teaching ‘another’ natural lineage to Christ. The mistake of the worldwide church of God [Herbert Armstrong] which teaches British Israelism, trying to trace the natural lineage of Europeans and saying ‘these are the lost tribes’. Paul is simply saying ‘those who are of the Law, the natural tribe of Israel [Jews] are not automatically counted as ‘the seed’ [children] but those who ‘are of promise’. Paul also uses this in Galatians 3 and 4. ‘Of promise’ is simply saying ‘those who have been born of Gods Spirit [Jew or Gentile] are the children that God promised to Abraham’ he is the father of ‘many nations’. All who would believe. These themes are building upon Paul’s earlier theology in this letter. This letter [Romans] has a little more ‘weight’ than say a pastoral epistle [Timothy, Titus]. Now, I am not saying it is ‘more inspired’ but I want you to see that even in the book of Acts you see Paul place special emphasis on ‘I must make it to Rome’! Paul fully realizes that this letter will be read among the believers and Jews at Rome. Rome is the capitol city of the Empire. He wants the early believers to understand the role and purpose of God for Israel. Paul’s efforts are being seen by some Jewish believers [Jerusalem] as antagonistic. Paul wants to make it clear that he was not trying to start some type of movement that rejected natural Israel. At the same time he wants natural Israel ‘my kinsman according to the flesh’ to receive their Messiah! So in this context Romans is a theological treatise saying ‘God wants to bring both Jew and Gentile together as one new man in Christ [Ephesians]’. When he argues ‘they that are the children of the flesh ARE NOT THE CHILDREN OF GOD[verse 8] but the children of the promise are counted for the seed’ he is simply saying ‘all people, both Jews and Gentiles [which includes all races that are ‘non Jews’ even Arabs!] can partake of this free gift by grace’. The promise is to all who ‘will believe’.

 

(849)ROMANS 9:9-23 now we get into predestination. Paul uses the example of Jacob and Esau [I spoke on this in the Genesis study, see chapter 25], he says God chose Jacob over Esau before they were born. He also uses the story of Pharaoh and says God was the one who hardened his heart. Paul says these things show us that God’s mercy and choice are a sovereign act. He specifically says ‘God chose Jacob, not on the basis of any thing he did [or would do!] but because of his own sovereign choice’. Now, this is another one of those arguments where Paul says ‘you will then say to me, how can God find fault? If everyone is simply doing the things he preordained, fulfilling destiny, then how can God justly hold people accountable’? First, I want you to see that this statement, that Paul is putting into the mouths of his opponents, only makes sense from the classic position of predestination. Second, if predestination only spoke of Gods foreknowledge of the choices that people were going to make [like asking Jesus into their heart!] then the obvious response to the argument would be ‘Oh, God chose Jacob because he knew what a good boy he was going to be’. Not only would this be wrong, Jacob [the supplanter] was not a ‘good boy’, but Paul does not use this defense in arguing his case. He simply says ‘who are we to question God? Can the thing formed say to him that formed it “why have you made me like this”? It seems as if Paul’s understanding of predestination was in the Augustinian/Calvinistic Tradition. A few years back a popular author on the west coast, Dave Hunt, wrote a book called ‘what kind of love is this’? He took on the Reformed Faiths understanding of predestination. Dave was a little out of his league in the book. He seemed to not fully grasp the historic understanding of the doctrine. He quoted some stuff from Charles Spurgeon that made it sound like he was not a believer in predestination. Spurgeon did make strong statements against certain ideas that were [are] prevalent in classic Calvinism. Some taught that Christ’s Blood was shed only for the elect. This is called ‘particular redemption’ or from the famous ‘Tulip’ example ‘limited atonement’. Spurgeon did not embrace the idea that Christ’s Blood was not sufficient to cover the sins of the whole world. The problem with Hunt using this true example from Spurgeon, is that he overlooked the other obvious statements from Spurgeon that place him squarely in the Calvinistic camp. Some refer to this as ‘4 point Calvinism’. I myself agree with Spurgeon on this point. The reason I mention this whole thing is to show you that major Christian figures have dealt with these texts and have struggled with the obvious difficulties involved. I think Paul does a little ‘speculative theology’ himself in this chapter. He says ‘what if God willing to show his mercy and wrath permitted certain things’. He gives possible reasons for the seeming ‘unfairness’ of this doctrine. The point I want to stress is Paul never tries to defend it from the classic Arminian understanding, that says ‘God knew the way people were going to choose, and he simply ‘foreordained’ those who would choose right’. To be honest, this argument does answer the question in the minds of many believers, I simply don’t see it to be accurate.

 

(851)ROMANS 9:24-29 Paul quotes Hosea and Isaiah to show that God has a purpose for both Jew and Gentile. He uses a few verses from Isaiah 10 and 13 to say ‘except the lord had left us a remnant, no one would be left’. Now, once again we come up against the mindset of always reading ‘saved’ as meaning ‘born again’. In context, God ‘saving’ a remnant simply means ‘he spared them from ruin and total destruction’. There is a verse in Revelation that says ‘the nations of them which are saved shall enjoy the new heavens and earth’. Some commentators will show you how some versions leave out ‘which are saved’ which would leave the text as saying ‘the nations [that are left, remain!] shall walk in it’. This is the context here. Paul is saying God always had a few from Israel that remained, he didn’t utterly wipe them out. Now, this of course fits in with ‘having sins forgiven’, being ‘saved’ or redeemed. There are prophets who say ‘the Lord will turn away ungodliness from Jacob’ [delivered from sin] and ‘the lord comes to those who have turned away from their sin’ speaking of Israel. So I want you to grasp the biblical concept of God saving [sparing] a remnant. The word ‘remnant’ actually speaks of the part of cloth/ material that is ‘left over’ from the whole piece. Jesus also said ‘unless those days were shortened, their would no flesh “be saved”’. Once again meaning ‘no human would survive unless God cut short his wrath’. Paul also uses this language here ‘the lord will do a quick work on the earth and cut it short [shortened!] in righteousness’.

 

(853)ROMANS 9: 30-33 ‘What shall we say then? That the Gentiles which followed not after the law of righteousness have attained it, even by faith’.  Paul concludes the chapter by summing up his ‘righteousness by faith’ argument. Natural Israel, who sought to become righteous by law, who were always striving for perfection thru the keeping of the law. They did not attain that which they sought after. Why? Because they sought it ‘not by faith, but by law’. No law could ever make a man righteous. The Gentiles, which were not even looking! They got it. Why? Because they simply believed in the Messiah, it was the best message they ever heard. They were told their whole lives ‘you are separated from Gods promises. You are not included in the commonwealth of Israel’. They never dreamed that the Jewish Messiah would say ‘neither do I condemn thee, go and sin no more’. They received Gods righteousness by faith. Israel ‘stumbled’ at the stumbling stone. Jesus is called a precious stone and also a rock of offence. To those who believe, he is great, precious. To those who don’t believe he is this tremendous obstacle. The unbelieving world doesn’t know what to do with him. I was watching Ravi Zacharias the other night. He is a good Christian apologist. He was telling the story of being in Russia and speaking to a large group of Atheists. During his talk they were really aggressive, making motions with their hands and all. He was told ahead of time to be prepared. At the question and answer time a Russian Atheist asked ‘what are you talking about when you say God? I have no idea what you mean by this false concept’. Ravi asked him ‘sir, are you an Atheist?’ He replied yes. ‘What is an Atheist’? Ravi asked. The man responded ‘someone who denies God’. Ravi said ‘what exactly is it that you are denying’? The unbeliever has come up against this ‘rock of offence’. He tries to get around it, to develop all types of systems and philosophies to deny it. The rock is there, you can either ‘fall on it’. That is admit he is who he claims to be. Submit and be ‘broken’. Or it will eventually ‘grind you to powder’. You will pass from the scene and the next crop of Atheists will rise and face the same dilemma. This rock ‘aint going away’.

 

ROMANS 10 [On the video I give a broad overview of the doctrine ‘the salvation of the righteous’. I cover many verses not in the post].

.DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ‘A SINNERS PRAYER”?

.DOES THIS CHAPTER SAY ‘THOSE WHO CALLED/ASKED- DID NOT GET IT?

.IS THEIR A ‘RIGHTEOUS MAN’S PRAYER’ THAT BRINGS SALVATION?

. PLEASE- LETS STOP DIVIDING OVER SMALL STUFF-

 

(854)ROMANS 10: 1-13 Many years ago I referenced all the back up scriptures for this chapter [and book!]. The study was intense because I saw a fundamental ‘fault line’ that ran thru many in the Evangelical church [the revivalist tradition]. The ‘fault line’ was reading this chapter as in if it were saying ‘ask Jesus into your heart, or you won’t be saved’. Now, I have no problem with those who trace their conversion to an experience like this. But I want to give you my understanding of this chapter, based on the exhaustive study I did years ago. Also, I will probably quote some verses and you will have to find them later [I forget where they all are]. Paul begins with his desire for ‘all Israel to be saved’. I taught in chapter one how come the gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Because all who believe ‘become righteous’. After 9 chapters of Romans, we have seen that when Paul refers to ‘justification by faith’ this is synonymous with ‘believing with the heart unto righteousness’. Here Paul’s desire is for Israel to experience ‘all facets of salvation’ [present and future] to ‘be saved’. Now, he will say ‘Christ is the end of the law to all who believe’ Israel did not attain unto ‘righteousness’ because they sought after it by trying to keep the law. But it comes only by faith. Then Paul quotes a kind of obscure verse from Deuteronomy saying ‘Moses says the righteousness which is by faith’ [note- this whole description that follows is describing ‘the righteousness that comes by faith’] and says ‘the word is near thee, in thy mouth and heart’. Paul then says ‘whoever calls on the Lord will be saved, with the heart a man believes and becomes righteous [which according to Paul means ‘justified’] and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation’. In this text, Paul once again is ‘dividing’ the common understanding of ‘salvation’ meaning ‘getting initially saved’- which is ‘believing and being justified’. And simply saying ‘believers will inevitably call and be saved’ [in a generic sense]. Why would he do this? In the context of his argument, he is simply showing the ‘righteousness which is from the law’ [the man under the law is described as ‘doing something’ continuing under the load and strain of law] versus the ‘righteousness which is by faith’ [described as a person who believes and speaks, as opposed to ‘does stuff’]. It is not inconsistent for Paul to use the term ‘confessing and being saved’ as speaking of something different than meaning ‘accepting Christ into your heart’. Paul is simply giving a description of those who believe ‘all who believe will call’. And yes, they will and do experience ‘salvation’. It’s just in this example Paul is not saying ‘they are saved initially upon confession, calling’. At least not ‘saved’ in the sense of ‘getting justified by faith’. Why? Because the rest of the chapter doesn’t make a whole lotta sense if he were saying this. ‘How can they call on him in whom they have not believed’? He already showed us that ‘believers are justified’. The very argument Paul makes distinguishes between ‘believing unto righteousness, and calling unto salvation’. You can see it like this, there is a verse I stumbled across years ago. It is in one of the prophets [Old Testament] and it says ‘Gods wrath will come upon all them WHO HAVE NOT CALLED UPON HIM’. In this context Paul can be saying ‘whoever calls upon God will never enter judgment/wrath’ [a description of a particular lifestyle, remember Paul said Gods Spirit makes us cry ‘Abba Father’] in this light Paul can be saying ‘all who call [both Jew and Gentile- simply making an argument for inclusion. God accepts ‘all who call’] will not come under future [or present!] wrath’. This would be in keeping with Peters scathing sermon in Act’s where he quotes the Prophet Joel and says ‘whosoever calls upon the Lord shall be saved’. If you go back and read Joel you will see that in context he is saying ‘at the future time of God’s revealed judgment, those who cry for deliverance will be spared’. Peter quotes it in this context as well. He shows Gods future time of judgment and ends with ‘all who call will be saved’. How do we know that Peter was not quoting Joel for some type of ‘sinner’s prayer’ thing? Because after the Jews say ‘what should we do’? He doesn’t lead them in a sinners Prayer! I don’t want to be picky, I simply want you to see context. Paul has already established multiple times thru out this letter how righteousness comes to those who believe. One of the descriptions of ‘those who believe’ are they ‘call upon God’. They even call upon God ‘to save them’. In this chapter the reason Paul uses ‘whosoever calls upon the lord will be saved’ is to simply show God will deliver both Jews and Gentiles. His promise of salvation is ‘to all’. When he uses ‘believing and being made righteous’ along with ‘calling and being saved’ he obviously can not be speaking about the same thing! He even states it this way in his argument. ‘How can they call unless they already believe’? He was simply giving a description of ‘those who believe’. This ‘calling for salvation’ that ‘all who believe’ partake of can speak both of a ‘present tense’ being saved, that is from any and all types of bad things, and a ‘future tense’ deliverance from wrath. Even when Paul quoted David in Roman’s 4, he is ‘describing the blessedness of the man unto whom God will not impute sin’ [Psalms 32] if you go back and read that psalm David says ‘for this shall EVERY ONE THAT IS GODLY PRAY UNTO THEE’. David uses this in the context of his confession of his sin. So the ‘everyone that is Godly’ describes ‘the righteous’ and they WILL CALL! Also in 2nd Corinthians Paul quotes Isaiah ‘now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation’ in the context of ‘God heard you and saved you’. Why would Paul use this in 2nd Corinthians? They need not be told ‘pray and get saved’. In context he used it to encourage them to return back into full communion and fellowship after their restoration and reproof he gave them in the first letter. He is saying ‘I rebuked you guys harshly, you repented and asked for forgiveness. God ‘heard you’ in his acceptable time, now get over it and ‘be restored’. Salvation to them came by ‘calling’ but it was not describing an initial conversion experience. Well, I didn’t realize I would go so long, but this is a good example of having a ‘holistic view’ of scripture. You try and take all the quotes the writers are using, put them in context of the broad themes of scripture. Add that to the immediate context of the letter [Romans] and then come to a deeper understanding of truth. I am not against those who see this chapter thru an evangelistic lens, I just think the way I taught it is more faithful to the text. [NOTE- Thru out this site I have taught the doctrine of ‘the salvation of the righteous’. I mentioned it earlier in Romans and have spoken on it before. If you can find these entries they will add some insight to this chapter. NOTE- verse 20 actually has Paul quoting Isaiah ‘I was found by them who did not ask for me’. This would sure seem strange to say in the same chapter that taught a concept of ‘all who ask for me will enter the kingdom’. It is quite possible to ask and pray and confess everything ‘just right’ and still not find him. And according to this verse, the ones who did ‘find him’ [Gentiles] did not ask! After years of coming to the above understanding I read a church council [Council of Orange?] and I was surprised to see how they actually dealt with the issue of believing versus ‘calling upon God’. They quoted some of these texts to show that before a person could call upon the Lord, he first needed faith. They used this example to show Gods sovereignty in salvation. I though it interesting that they came to the very same conclusions that I did. They even used the same examples! This shows you how the corporate mind of the church is manifestly expressed thru out the ages. I think the council was in the 8th or 9th century?

 

(855)ROMANS 10:14-21 [Just a note for the previous entry. In the conversions recorded in scripture [Acts] do you know how many times there is a reference to ‘calling upon the Lord’ during the conversion? Surprisingly one time. The conversion of Saul [Paul]! During one of the ‘re-tellings’ of his own story he says ‘I was told to arise, and be baptized. Washing away my sins while calling upon the Lord’. Wow, could we have arguments over this one! Do you identify the ‘washing away of sins’ with baptism or the ‘prayer’? I actually previously taught [somewhere on this long blog!] how in the 1st century Jewish mindset ‘washing from uncleanness’ and water were related. I taught it in a way that did not teach ‘baptismal regeneration’ but more along the lines of ‘discipleship’ you might find the entry under ‘my statement of faith’. The point I want to make here is Paul spent 3 days after the Lord appeared to him before he actually got baptized and made an open confession of faith. Paul’s reputation was so bad [he killed Christians!] that his conversion and confession needed to have all the weight possible. Others needed to know that he now ‘confessed Christ’. Most commentators will look to the appearance of Jesus to Paul on the Damascus road as his conversion. The point I want to make is in the book of Acts, the main ‘altar call’ was actually baptism. This was the normal means to identify with the believing community. We also see the fact that once people believed, they then were baptized. The same distinction can be made with ‘confessing’. Neither can take place until one believes. I would assume that Paul said something like this at his baptism ‘O Jesus, please forgive me for what I have done. I killed your people and have committed a terrible crime’. There obviously were some serious things he needed to confess! But the overall view of conversion in Acts does not show a ‘sinner’s prayer’ type conversion.] Paul indicts Israel ‘The word did come to you, you didn’t believe’. He also quotes Moses ‘God said he would provoke you to jealousy by a nation who were “no people”’. We are beginning a portion of Romans where Paul will try and explain the dynamic of Gods purpose for Israel, and his ‘use’ of the Gentile nations to ‘make them jealous’. When we studied the parables we saw this dynamic at work. Israel was offended that God [Messiah] was offering equal access to the promises of Israel thru Jesus. Israel was jealous of this free grace. Paul shows them that Moses prophesied that this day would come. You also see this in Stephens sermon in Acts chapter 7 ‘Moses said the Lord would raise up a prophet like me [Jesus!]’ and then Stephen shows how Israel also did not recognize that Moses was the intended deliverer of the people. So likewise 1st century Israel also did not recognize their Messiah [the first time around!]. God’s acceptance of the Gentiles was difficult for Israel to embrace. It took a divine vision for Peter, and he still ‘fell back’ into a caste system mentality. God is not finished with these dealings [Paul will say in the next few chapters] and he will make every effort to show both Jews and Gentiles that they are both important pieces to this ‘divine puzzle’. He will even warn the Gentiles ‘don’t get proud, if God cut off the true branches to graft you in, watch out! He might do the same with you.’ Paul is striving for both Jew and Gentile to live in harmony as much as possible, he did not want to come off as a defender of the Gentiles only. He was ‘defending the gospel’.

 

(857)ROMANS- Let me overview a little. This entry goes along with the last one [#856- those of you reading this straight from the Romans study will need to find it under one of the ‘teaching’ sections]. Paul deals with the issue of ‘being provoked by/to jealousy’. Many times believers remain divided because of pride and jealousy. We often do not want to accept the fact that God actually is working thru other camps, groups of Christians who are ‘not like us’. It challenges our very identity at times! We feel like ‘well, my whole experience with God has been one of coming out of [name the group- for many it’s Catholicism] and I KNOW that I have found and experienced God by leaving mistaken concepts about God. Therefore any other ‘defender’ of Catholics is challenging my core experience’. I myself attribute my conversion to ‘leaving religious ideas’ and reading the bible for the first time. Though I had various believers witnessing to me, it was the actual reading of Johns gospel [and the whole New Testament] that clinched it for me. The reality of ‘whoever believes’ as opposed to religion. But my own experience should not limit [in my mind] the reality of others who also embraced the Cross without ‘leaving’ their former church. It is quite possible that other ‘Catholics’ arrived at a serious level of commitment to the Cross, while remaining faithful to their church. Now I realize this in itself can become an issue of contention, all I want to show you is we should not limit the power of the gospel to our own personal experience. During the recent controversy [2008] over certain Pentecostal expressions of ‘revival’ some old time churches simply made a case against all the Charisms [gifts] of the Spirit. The fact is most theologians accept the gifts of the Spirit as being for all ages of the church. Sure, there have been problems with them, even early on [the Montanists] but the fact is there has always been some type of Charismatic expression of Christianity thru out the church age. But the more Reformed brother’s sound [and are often!] more ‘biblical’ than some of the crazy stuff that happens under the banner of ‘Pentecostal/Charismatic’. So the divisions exist. In this chapter [Romans 11] Paul is dealing with a very real dynamic that says ‘I find my whole identity in the way God has worked with me for centuries [Judaism]. The fact that he began a new thing with other groups who I detest [Gentiles] has offended me to the point where I can’t even experience God any more’. Israel could not see past her own experience with God. The fact that God was ‘being experienced’ by other groups in ways that seemed highly ‘unorthodox’ did not mean that their former experience was illegitimate. It simply meant that Gods experience with them was always intended to ‘break out’ into the broader community of mankind. They lost this original intent and used their ‘orthodoxy’ as a means of self identification. An ‘elite’ religious class, if you will. I find many of these same dynamics being present in the modern church. We should stand strong for orthodoxy, we also need to expose and correct error when it gets to a point where many believers are being led astray. But we also need to be able to see God at work in other groups, we should not use our own experience with God [no matter how legitimate it is!] as the criterion of what’s right or wrong.

CATECHISM of the Catholic Church-

1963    According to Christian tradition, the Law is holy, spiritual, and good,14 yet still imperfect. Like a tutor15 it shows what must be done, but does not of itself give the strength, the grace of the Spirit, to fulfill it. Because of sin, which it cannot remove, it remains a law of bondage. According to St. Paul, its special function is to denounce and disclose sin, which constitutes a “law of concupiscence” in the human heart.16 However, the Law remains the first stage on the way to the kingdom. It prepares and disposes the chosen people and each Christian for conversion and faith in the Savior God. It provides a teaching which endures for ever, like the Word of God. (161025422515)

1964    The Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel. “The Law is a pedagogy and a prophecy of things to come.”17 It prophesies and presages the work of liberation from sin which will be fulfilled in Christ: it provides the New Testament with images, “types,” and symbols for expressing the life according to the Spirit. Finally, the Law is completed by the teaching of the sapiential books and the prophets which set its course toward the New Covenant and the Kingdom of heaven. (1221828)

 

1977    Christ is the end of the law (cf. Rom 10:4); only he teaches and bestows the justice of God.

1982    The Old Law is a preparation for the Gospel.

1983    The New Law is the grace of the Holy Spirit received by faith in Christ, operating through charity. It finds expression above all in the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount and uses the sacraments to communicate grace to us.

 

I TALKED ABOUT THESE VIRTUES ON THE VIDEO-

I. The Human Virtues

1804    Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good. (25001827)

The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.

The cardinal virtues

1805    Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called “cardinal”; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. “If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom’s] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage.”64 These virtues are praised under other names in many passages of Scripture.

1806    Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.”65 “Keep sane and sober for your prayers.”66 Prudence is “right reason in action,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle.67 It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid. (17881780)

1807    Justice is the moral virtue that consists in the constant and firm will to give their due to God and neighbor. Justice toward God is called the “virtue of religion.” Justice toward men disposes one to respect the rights of each and to establish in human relationships the harmony that promotes equity with regard to persons and to the common good. The just man, often mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures, is distinguished by habitual right thinking and the uprightness of his conduct toward his neighbor. “You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.”68 “Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.”69 (20952401)

1808    Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good. It strengthens the resolve to resist temptations and to overcome obstacles in the moral life. The virtue of fortitude enables one to conquer fear, even fear of death, and to face trials and persecutions. It disposes one even to renounce and sacrifice his life in defense of a just cause. “The Lord is my strength and my song.”70 “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”71 (28482473)

1809    Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion: “Do not follow your inclination and strength, walking according to the desires of your heart.”72Temperance is often praised in the Old Testament: “Do not follow your base desires, but restrain your appetites.”73 In the New Testament it is called “moderation” or “sobriety.” We ought “to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world.”74 (23412517)

Down the road I hope to teach a bit more about the Catholic teaching of ‘the working of the work’- meaning the Church teaches that the Sacraments ‘work’ regardless of the holiness/faith of those administering them. It’s a controversy that dates back to the early centuries of the Church [the Donatist controversy]. The point I want to make here is the bible teaches that there are things we can train ourselves to do- acts of prayer- fasting- etc.- that over time will train the mind to think Godly thoughts [these practices of discipline work over time- regardless of the way you feel]. I think one of the drawbacks from the Protestant Reformation was the neglect of ‘works’- the role that good works play in the Christian life. Paul [in Romans] says ‘as you have yielded your parts as instruments of unrighteousness to sin- so now yield them as instruments of righteousness unto God’. I added this section about Virtues because I felt it covered this theme well.

Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

Proverbs 9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

Proverbs 9:3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

Proverbs 9:4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

Proverbs 9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

Proverbs 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

 

 

 

 ROMANS 11-13

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/3-12-15-romans-11-13.zip

[note- there’s much more on the video than the post]

.ROMANS 11

.ROMANS 12

.ROMANS 13

 

 

END NOTES-

.What effect did the Renaissance have on the Reformation?

.How did Erasmus differ from Luther?

.Do Catholics exalt Tradition over Scripture?

.Renaissance artists.

.Do Catholics believe in Justification by Faith?

.Catholic teaching on Civil Authorities [Romans 13].

.What does ‘AdFontes’ mean- and how does it relate to the Renaissance/Reformation?

 

Romans 11

.Was Paul a full time preacher- paid?

.Is he teaching universalism here?

.Elijah was not alone.

(861)Romans 11:13- ‘For I speak to you Gentiles, in as much as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office’. Let me just make a few comments today. How is Paul ‘exercising’ his apostolic authority over the Gentiles in Rome? We know he hasn’t been there yet [since becoming a follower of Jesus]. He did not have some type of relationship with them where they contributed to him. He was holding no ‘church services’. He exercised it by speaking into their lives and caring for their welfare. He did this by WRITING THIS LETTER! Recently there has been some discussion on ‘Gods government’ and the apostles ‘bringing things into alignment’ [dealing with the mistakes at Lakeland]. Lots of talk that I am familiar with. What is Gods government? In the world we have 2 competing ‘world views’- systems or modes of operation. You have God’s kingdom, and then the worlds system. When the apostle John said ‘love not the world, neither the things that are in the world’ he was referring to this system of lies and pride and sin. In Gods kingdom you operate under his laws ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart… and your neighbor as yourself’. In this family [children of God] you have different types of ‘gifts’. Some are apostles, others prophets, etc. All these gifted ones are given for the singular purpose of building you up so you can have a mature faith grounded in Christ and be the ‘glorious temple’ of God in the earth. Paul was playing his part by communicating Jesus to these Roman Gentiles. He did not have some type of a corporate relationship with them where he said ‘commit to my authority over you. Either I will be your ‘covering’ or someone else!’ These are mans ideas. Now, we often say ‘Paul didn’t receive money from the Corinthians, but he did from the other churches’. I have said this myself. Paul did receive support from the Philippians, but that was support for his traveling ministry. To get him to the next place. If you read carefully you will see Paul telling the Thessalonians ‘when I was with you I did not eat, or take stuff for free. My hands ministered to both me and those that were with me’ I think he even said he worked night and day. When he spoke to the Ephesians elders in the book of Acts, he also said ‘I labored when I was with you, I did not take support from you when I was there. I did this to leave you ELDERS an example’. Now, the point I want to make is it seems as if Paul did not take money when he was actually living among the saints. It seems he took it only for traveling expenses [and of course for his ministry to the poor saints at Jerusalem]. Now, I believe and teach that it is scriptural to meet the needs, financially, of laboring elders. The reason I mention this is to show you that being an ‘apostle’ or any other gifted minister in the church simply means you bear extra responsibility to bring Gods people to maturity. It was not some type of office where you were a ‘professional minister’. When I hear all the talk of ‘Gods apostles are bringing Gods government back into alignment’ for the most part these are men’s ideas being applied to an American corporate 501c3 ministry. Gods ‘government’ operates along different lines. So in this example Paul said ‘I magnify my office’ he was simply imparting some truth to them for the purpose of their own edification. Paul did not see them coming under ‘his covering’.

 

(862)ROMANS 11- let me make a note on the previous entry. Over the last few years, as well as many years of experience with ‘ministry/church’, I have seen how easy it is to fall into the well meaning mindset of ‘I am going into the ministry, this is my career choice. My responsibility is to do ‘Christian stuff’ and the people’s role is to support me’[ I am not taking a shot at well meaning Pastors, I am basically speaking of the many friends I have met over the years who seemed to think ministry was a way to get financial support]. In the previous entry I mentioned how Paul seemed to have a mode of operation that said ‘when I am residing with a community of believers, I refuse to allow them to support me. I will work with my own hands to give them an example, not only to the general saints, but also to the elders. I am showing you that leadership is not a means to get gain’. It does seem ‘strange’ for us to see this. Of course we know Paul also taught the churches that it was proper and right to support those who ‘labor among you’. I have taught all this in the past and I don’t want to ‘re-teach’ it all again. The point I want to make is we ‘in ministry’ really need to rethink what we do. How many web-sites have I gone to that actually have icons that say ‘pay me here’. The average person going to these sites must think ‘pay you for what’? Paul did not teach the mindset of ‘pay me here, now’. Also in this letter to the Romans we are reading Paul’s correspondence to the believers at Rome. He often used this mode of ‘authority’ [writing letters] to exercise his apostolic office. Of course he also traveled to these areas [Acts] and spent time with them. And as I just showed you he supported himself on purpose when he was with the saints. Basically Paul is carrying out the single most effective apostolic ministry of all time [except for Jesus] and he is doing it without all the modern techniques of getting paid. He actually is doing all this writing and laboring at his own expense. He told the Corinthians ‘the fathers [apostles] spend for the children, not the children for the fathers’. So in todays talk on ‘apostles’ being restored. God ‘bringing back into alignment apostolic government’ we need to tone down all the quoting of verses [even the things Paul said!] that seem to say to the average saint ‘how do you expect us to reach the world if you do not ‘bring all the tithes into the storehouse’! When we put this guilt trip on the people of God we are violating very fundamental principles of scripture. Now, let’s try and finish up chapter 11. Paul is basically telling Israel and the Gentiles that God’s dealings are beyond our understanding [last few verses]. God is using the ‘unbelief’ of Israel as an open door to the Gentiles. He is also using the mercy that he is showing to the Gentiles as an ‘open door’ to Israel! He will ‘provoke them to jealousy’. There are a few difficult verses that would be unfair for me to skip over. ‘All Israel shall be saved’. Paul uses this to show that God’s dealings with natural Israel as a nation are not finished. Who are ‘all Israel’? Some say ‘the Israel of God’ [the church]. I don’t think this fits the text. Some say ‘all Israel that will be alive at the second coming’ I think this is closer. To be honest I think this can simply mean ‘all Israel’ all those who are alive and also raised at the return of the Lord. Now, this would be a form of universalism [all people eventually being saved]. I am not a Universalist, but I don’t want any ‘preconceived’ mindset [even my own!] to taint the text. I think God has the ability to reveal himself to the whole nation of Israel in such a way that ‘they all will be saved’. If I were a Jewish person I wouldn’t wait for this to happen! Just like the Calvinists argument of ‘why witness’? Because God commands it. So even though you can make an argument here for a type of universal redemption at Christ’s revealing of himself to Israel at the second coming [which is in keeping with this chapter, as well as other areas in scripture; ‘they will look upon him whom they have pierced’ ‘God will pour out the spirit of mourning and supplication on Israel at his appearing’. Which by the way would fit in with ‘whoever calls on the Lord will be saved’ which I taught in chapter 10. This is a futurist text implying a time of future judgment and wrath’]. So God’s dealings with Israel are not finished. Paul also warns the Gentiles ‘don’t boast, if God cut out the true branches [Israel] to graft you in. He can just as quickly cut you out too’! It would be dishonest for me [a Calvinist] to simply not comment on this. You certainly can take this verse in an Arminian way. Or you can see Paul speaking in a ‘nationalistic sense’. Sort of like saying ‘if Germany walks away from the faith, they will be ‘cut out’. [France would have been a better example! Speaking of the so called ‘enlightenment’ and the French Revolution]. In essence ‘you Gentiles, don’t think “wow, look at us. God left Israel and we are now special!”’ Paul is saying ‘you Gentiles [as a whole group] stand by faith. God could just as quickly ‘cut you out’ and replace you with another group’. I also think the Arminians could use this type of argument for the previous predestination chapter [9]. But to be honest I needed to give you my view. One more thing, Paul quotes Elijah ‘lord, I am the only one left’. He uses this in context of God having a remnant from Israel who remained faithful to the true God. God told Elijah ‘there are 7 thousand that have not bowed the knee to baal’. Paul uses this to show that even in his day there were a remnant Of Jews [himself included] who received the Messiah. An interesting side note. The prophetic ministry [Elijah] seems to function at a ‘popular level’. Now, I don’t mean ‘fame’, but Elijah was giving voice to a large undercurrent that was running thru the nation. If you read the story of Elijah you would have never known that there were ‘7 thousand’ who never bowed the knee! Often times God will use prophetic people to ‘give voice’ or popularize a general truth that is presently existing in the ‘underground church’ at large. Sort of like if Elijah had a web site, the 7 thousand would have been secretly reading it and saying ‘right on brother, that’s exactly what we believe too’!

 

ROMANS 12

.ARE SOME GIFTS BETTER THAN OTHERS?

.HOW SHOULD THEY FUNCTION IN THE ‘BODY’?

. HOW SHOUD WE GIVE OFFERINGS- DID PAUL TEAHC TITHING?

.HOT COALS ON THEIR HEADS- HUH?

 

(864)ROMANS 12:1-8    ‘I beseech you by the mercies of God to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service [spiritual worship]’. Most times we see ‘by the mercies of God’ as a recap of all that Paul has taught from chapters 1 thru 12. This is true to a degree. I think Paul is honing in on the previous chapters that dealt with the purpose of God specifically seen in the resurrection of the body. As we read earlier ‘for we are saved by hope’ [the hope of the resurrection]. Basically I see Paul saying ‘because of what I showed you concerning Gods redemptive purpose for your body, therefore present your body now, in anticipation of it’s future glorious purpose, as a living sacrifice ‘holy and acceptable unto God’. Why? Because you are going to have that thing [body] forever! [in a new glorified state]  Paul exhorts us to be changed by the renewing of our mind, the way we think. I have mentioned in the past that this renewing is not some type of legalistic function of ‘memorizing, muttering the do’s and don’ts all day long’. But a reorganizing of our thoughts according to this new covenant of grace. Seeing things thru this ‘new world’ perspective. A kingdom view based upon grace and the resurrection of Jesus. This resurrection that is assured to us because we have the deposit of the Spirit which is our guarantee that God will complete the work that he has begun in us. And Paul will jump into one of his ‘Body of Christ’ analogies which he uses often to describe the people of God. Because we are all one body, we should think soberly about our different gifts and purposes. God gave some ‘better’ [or more noticeable] gifts for the overall edifying of the body. So don’t boast about it. All have varying gifts, freely given. Administrate them with much grace. Do it with humility and cheerfulness. We are simply children thru whom Gods Spirit manifests himself in different ways. Don’t boast that ‘Wow, daddy gave me a bike’. Or look, I got a more expensive Christmas present than you. Daddy distributes the gifts freely as he wills. They are for everyone’s benefit. Don’t use this grace gift as a means of self importance or prestige. It would be like ‘prostituting’ a gift for self-aggrandizement. People have done it, but it displeases the giver of the gift.

 

(865)ROMANS 12: 13  Paul continues to give some basic guidelines on practical Christian living. Notice his teaching on financial giving ‘distribute to the necessity of the saints’. This basic Christian doctrine from Jesus teachings has become the premier act of giving for the New Testament saint. The reason I have stressed this teaching as opposed to the more popular view of tithing, is because the scriptures place such a high priority on Christian charity. As I have mentioned before, Jesus even uses this basic description to describe those who ‘are righteous’ or ‘unrighteous’. He teaches the final judgment will be based on this outward identifier of ‘what we did to the least of these’. If you read carefully the New Testament epistles you will see a picture of ‘local church’ as a caring community of people who show their love for one another thru these acts of kindness and compassion. None of the New Testament letters teach a  type of financial giving that focuses on ‘support the ministry/institution’ as being ‘the new testament church’ that replaced the ‘old testament temple’. For example a tithe system that supports the ‘pastor/priest’ in the same way the Levitical priests were supported under the law. It’s so vital for us to see and understand this. Because the average believer is taught thru out his life that his primary expression of giving is to ‘bring the tithe into the storehouse’ in such a way that it violates the actual primacy of giving as taught in the New Testament. Which is to regularly give to meet the needs of those around you. The fact that there were instances in the book of Acts or the letter to the Corinthians where believers gave an offering in a corporate way [the collection for the poor saints- 1st Cor. 15, or the laying of the money at the apostles feet in Acts] does not excuse the believer from the teaching that we should all regularly give to meet the needs of those around us. This is flatly taught as a regular part of the Christian experience. The other fact that Paul never once teaches the tithe as a function of giving for the Gentile churches should cause us all to take another look at the way we teach giving in the church today.

 

(866)ROMANS 12:14-21 Notice how Paul puts such a high priority on the principles of Jesus. He exhorts the saints to live by the precepts of the great ‘sermon on the mount’. Often times believers try and make a division between Paul’s revelation of justification by faith and the ‘liberal moral teachings of Jesus’. I see no division here. Paul actually quotes Jesus ‘if you’re treated badly, respond in love. By not getting even you heap “coals of fire on your enemies head”’. Actually, I remember how a few years back, when everybody was coming up with their ‘new revelation knowledge’ ideas on scripture. Things like ‘the camel going thru the eye of the needle’. Some taught Jesus was not really rebuking wealth, he was simply talking about a ‘low gate’ thru the wall of the city that was called the ‘eye of the needle’ and the camels had to crouch a little to get thru, true silliness! This verse ‘coals on the head’ was taught as saying Jesus was simply saying you were helping your enemy on cold nights by ‘keeping his head warm’! Sad. Jesus said don’t avenge yourselves, God will avenge you. Doesn’t sound like the lord is talking about ‘head warmers’! Look at these verses carefully. Paul incorporates the teachings of Christ as having a very high priority for the believer. We are often inundated with modern concepts of ministry. How to raise funds [or amass wealth]. Paul ‘locates’ the important thing as being centered on Christ. He knew if the churches [believing communities] of the first few centuries would follow this idea, that they would truly turn their world upside down for the cause.

 

ROMANS 13

.SHOULD WE OBEY WICKED RULERS?

.IS IT EVER RIGHT TO ‘NOT OBEY’ [Civil Disobedience].

.TAXES AND THE TITHE.

 

(867)ROMANS 13:1-6 Paul teaches that believers should ‘be subject’ unto human government. He shows us that ‘the powers that be are ordained of God’. All human leaders are given their position of authority, ultimately, from God. What about Hitler? Or evil Pharaoh? Did God ‘put them there’? If God is sovereign [which he is!] then he permits all things to transpire, that actually transpire! He does not ‘ordain evil’ in the sense that he initiates unrighteous things. But because he has the power to prevent anything from happening, if ‘it happens’ that a wicked ruler is in authority, then he in that sense ‘ordained it’. Understand Paul is writing this at a time in Roman history where the leaders were quite wicked. They worshipped false gods, and even claimed to themselves the title of ‘a god’. For Paul to use this language in this chapter, he even says ‘they are the ministers [servants] of God to thee for good’ is strong. Paul is also not teaching that there is never a cause for civil disobedience, in the sense of ‘whatever the government says, we will do’. In the New Testament we have Peter resisting the order to ‘not teach or preach in Jesus name’ [Acts]. He even says ‘should we obey God or man’ in his defense. Of course today we have legalized abortion, and in the case of later term abortions, the practice is equal to infanticide. We should do all that is in our legal power to stop the murder of unborn children. This law violates Gods law, from whom all human government is derived.

 

(868)ROMANS 13:7-14 ‘For this cause pay your taxes also, for they are Gods ministers’ I noted earlier how Paul taught ‘give to those around you that are in need’ [chapter 12] and here he teaches the importance of ‘paying taxes’. Where is the exhortation to ‘pay tithes’? In the ecclesiology of Paul, the ‘corporate community of people’ are the ‘new testament temple of God’. Therefore you see the need to ‘pay tribute’ to only two ‘institutions’. One being the ‘local church’ [as seen in simple giving to the needs of the community around you] and the other being ‘the government’. Paul sees no 3rd ‘institution’ that is called ‘the local church’ to which the tribute of the tithe belongs. To correctly apply the verse in Malachi [if you were going to use it at all. It is obvious that the prophet is directing the rebuke towards natural Israel] you would simply see the ‘bring all the tithes into the storehouse’ as ‘give to meet the needs of the community [Gods new testament storehouse] around you’. Now Paul teaches the primacy of the law of love for the believer. If we walk in Jesus command to love, we fulfill the law. And again Paul uses the language of ‘fluent soteriology’ [salvation]. He says ‘now is our salvation nearer than when we believed’. Paul comfortably jumps in and out of ‘being saved’ and ‘will be saved’. It is this free use of the term that we need to become familiar with. The New Testament clearly teaches a future salvation. And it is not as simple as ‘My spirit is saved, my mind [soul- which is really a very weak translation for soul. The soul is much more than the mind, emotions and intellect!] is ‘being saved’ and my body will be saved’. It is not this cut and dry. Your spirit is saved, your spirit will be saved and is being saved [he ever lives to make intercession to God for us- this ongoing intercession deals with all aspects of the humans salvation. Not just the body!]. All 3 modes of salvation [past, present and future] can apply to ‘all of you’ [spirit, soul and body]. Don’t think future salvation only deals with the ‘salvation of the body’.

 

 

END NOTES- I’m adding portions of the Catechism at the bottom to show my Catholic [and Protestant] friends the official teaching of the church.

Some of my Catholic readers who are following along in this study- I want you to know that these doctrines are indeed in line with your faith.

 

RENAISSANCE STUFF –

 The renaissance was the 13-14th century revival of culture and learning that was lost for centuries- It began in Florence Italy.

The catch phrase for it was ‘Ad Fontes’  meaning ‘back to the sources’- both in philosophy- as well as in Christian learning.

This began a revival of studying the Greek New testament again from its original language.

The Catholic Humanist- Desiderius Erasmus [15-16th century] – re introduced the New Testament in the Greek version [He was referred to as a Dutch renaissance Humanist- as well as a Catholic Priest and scholar]

Now- Erasmus was a critic of the Church- like Luther- but chose a ‘middle road’- he did not join the breakaway Protestant Reformers- but chose to stay within the fold of Rome- while speaking out against the abuses he saw.

But his first Greek translation of the New Testament did indeed set a spark- because it allowed the Priests to see the bible in its original language.

And Luther was actually teaching this book of Romans to his students in Germany when the Reformation began.

Today the Catholic Church [as you can see in the official Catechism that I have been posting] does indeed teach the bible as God’s Word.

The divisions between Protestants and Catholics are many- but they did agree that the bible was the Word of God.

Some Protestants do not know this- they think the church holds Tradition higher than the bible.

No- the church does believe that God speaks both thru tradition- and scripture.

They see the tradition of the church as simply another means by which God uses the church [Magisterium] to explain scripture- but the Catholic Church does not elevate tradition over the bible.

And indeed- it was a catholic scholar- Erasmus- who introduced the first Geek version of the New Testament.

NOTE- Erasmus disagreed with Luther on the doctrine of Predestination- which I covered in the last video. Luther was for it- Erasmus was what we would call ‘Free Will’.

In his writings- which were very influential- he wrote in Greek and Latin- the language of the elites.

He did this on purpose- for his target was the influential leaders of the Church.

He rejected offers of money- because he did not want to align himself with any particular movement- so he could be an independent writer with no strings attached.

He had many criticisms of the Catholic Church- and was very influential for the later reforms- those we see at the Council of Trent [Though the church criticized him- they said he ‘Laid the egg that hatched the Reformation’].

He taught that the church/priests/popes should be the servants of the people-

He rejected the idea that the Priests/leaders made up the ‘whole of the church’- but he believed all believers made up the true church.

Erasmus was a firebrand in his own way- rejecting the language that Luther and some of the reformers used [they were vulgar at times]-

Luther respected the works of Erasmus- he thanked Erasmus for debating with him on the nature of Justification by Faith-

He disagreed in the end- but said this debate was at the heart of the gospel- and was glad that Erasmus was willing to engage.

 

RENAISSANCE ARTISTS-

The famous renaissance artists- DaVinci- Michelangelo- Raphael- used their artwork as a form of knowledge- the images taught things- they were not just paintings.

DaVinci’s most famous work was his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel in the Vatican.

It took him 4 years to complete.

The renaissance period- from about the 13/14th century to the 17th– [though there was a sort of Renaissance that took place- yes- in the Islamic world before the European Renaissance] was marked by what we term Humanism.

Today we associate this term with ‘secular Humanism’ which often has a bad connotation- especially among Christians.

But it meant something different back then.

It was a new focus on breaking the limits off of man- and for man to excel in knowledge and skill- and to see man as having value.

There was somewhat of a break away from the church in a sense- in that the church and its teachings were not the only source of wisdom for man.

But- Jesus himself taught that ‘the Sabbath was made for man- not man for the Sabbath’- so- the Humanist spirit- elevating the value of man- does have a Christian basis in my view.

Leonardo daVinci [15/16th century] was what we refer to as a true Renaissance man- meaning his knowledge was in many fields- not just art.

He actually considered himself a sculptor first- then an artist- though he is most famous for his Fresco mentioned above.

1989    The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus’ proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”38 Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. “Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.”39 (1427)

1990    Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals. (14461733)

1991    Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or “justice”) here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us. (1812)

1992    Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:40 (6171266294)

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.41

1993    Justification establishes cooperation between God’s grace and man’s freedom. On man’s part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent: (20082068)

When God touches man’s heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God’s grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God’s sight.42

1994    Justification is the most excellent work of God’s love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. It is the opinion of St. Augustine that “the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth,” because “heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justification of the elect… will not pass away.”43 He holds also that the justification of sinners surpasses the creation of the angels in justice, in that it bears witness to a greater mercy. (312412)

1995    The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the “inner man,”44 justification entails the sanctification of his whole being: (741)

Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification…. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.45

  1. Grace

1996    Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.46 (153)

1997    Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church. (375260)

1998    This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God’s gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.47 (1719)

I added these below for commentary on Romans 13- Civil authorities. In our world today- there are many governmental authorities- and some are changing ‘overnight’- with much instability in the world. So you have cases where one group- government- is in charge- to be ‘obeyed’- but yet- that group is ousted some times in a day. Then do you view the new government- and all the new courts- judges- etc. – as illegitimate? Because they did not submit to the former group?

I find lots of confusion among Christians about our right relationship to civil government- many do not seem to understand that when we in the U.S. rebelled against British/English rule- we too were not ‘obeying’ the authority. We formed a new government- with courts- judges- etc.

So- this portion below shows us that there are indeed times when government loses the authority to govern- given to them by God.

1902    Authority does not derive its moral legitimacy from itself. It must not behave in a despotic manner, but must act for the common good as a “moral force based on freedom and a sense of responsibility”:21

A human law has the character of law to the extent that it accords with right reason, and thus derives from the eternal law. Insofar as it falls short of right reason it is said to be an unjust law, and thus has not so much the nature of law as of a kind of violence.22

1903    Authority is exercised legitimately only when it seeks the common good of the group concerned and if it employs morally licit means to attain it. If rulers were to enact unjust laws or take measures contrary to the moral order, such arrangements would not be binding in conscience. In such a case, “authority breaks down completely and results in shameful abuse.”23

 

 

ROMANS  14-16

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/3-28-15-rom14-16.zip

 

CHAPTER 14

.CAN WE WEAR SHORT, SHORTS?

.THE ATHEIST KNEW

NEW NOTES BELOW-

. ON EATING MEAT [I wrote this commentary years ago- so I added some recent notes below].

.DAVID KORESH- KING CYRUS?

[END NOTES-

.RETHINKING HOMELESS MINISTRY.

.TIMOTHY CHAPTER 6]

 

(869)ROMANS 14:1-9 Paul discusses Christian convictions. Things that are personal habits of discipline where the scripture is silent on. Some believers abstain from certain types of food. Others see certain days as ‘more special’ than the others. It’s important to see that in this discussion Paul is not concerned with ‘who is right’. Though he will describe the legalistic believers as ‘weak in the faith’. And he himself will say he is convinced that ‘nothing is unclean in and of itself’. He is speaking about the convictions mentioned above. When I first became a believer I attended a good church. It was a Fundamental Baptist church that was a little legalistic in these areas. I remember a funny story, some of the brothers went on a canoe trip. We had a blast. One of the guys was wearing these old cut off shorts that looked like ‘blue jean hot pants’ [who wears short shorts, we wear short shorts!] the pants were old and the ‘fly’ kept unzipping. We told the brother ‘hey James, your gonna get us arrested or something if you can’t keep your shorts on!’. He got mad and called us a bunch of legalists! As you can see there are times where this accusation can simply be an excuse. But seriously the church was old fashioned [though well meaning]. I had another friend of mine that I led to the Lord and he asked ‘what’s wrong with the Christian rock, I like it’? He had heard some songs from the group Petra and he thought they were great. He also questioned why it was wrong for his boys to play mixed sports in public school. He was taught that the boys and girls wearing shorts in mixed company was wrong. So things like this are personal convictions that believers should not use to judge others. I want to stress that Paul does not condemn the more legalistic brothers, but he does make it clear that this is a sign of ‘weaker faith’. A faith that looks at the insignificant things and makes them significant. Many ‘Emergent’ church folk [of which I am one to a degree] seem to have had this type of background. Or at least are familiar with the classic evangelical message and preaching. Some have found a revolution in their thinking by re-organizing their lives around the actual lifestyle and teachings of Christ [which is a very good thing!]. But some seem to despise the older type churches and expressions of Christianity that they experienced while growing up. Some even cast away the good with the bad! Though many of the more legalistic churches practiced this type of Christianity, yet I commend them on spreading the gospel of Gods grace. Taking seriously their faith in the Lord. And being historic defenders of the faith at a time when the more liberal universities were throwing out the baby with the bathwater [the 20th century fundamentalist movement].

 

(870)ROMANS 14: 10-23 ‘As I live…every knee shall bow and every tongue confess’. Paul teaches that we will all give an account of ourselves to God. He shows that one of the proofs that ‘he lives’ rides on this fact. How? The context of every one giving an account of his life is speaking of a future judgment day. But we also see the reality of Gods existence in the fact that most people [even atheists!] have at one time or another ‘spoken to God’. I was listening [or reading?] a testimony of a woman who was an atheist. Her child became critically ill and as the days went by in the hospital she had a conversation that went like this ‘I cant pray to God now. I would be a hypocrite. I have denied him my whole life’. The point is she actually knew that in time of need you should pray to God. This universal reality that most people on the planet have at one time or another ‘confessed to God’ is proof of his existence. Paul says because of this fact that we all will give an account to God, therefore don’t judge other people [motives] before the time. If you have the freedom to ‘eat meat’ [less legalistic] then by all means do so. But if this freedom causes another to stumble, then your first priority as a Christian is to live your life in an unselfish way for the benefit of others. So do not let your freedom become an offence to those who have ‘weaker faith’. Do all things with the benefit of others in mind. When Paul says ‘don’t judge your brother’ he is not saying there is never a time for correction and reproof. Paul used very harsh language when dealing with the Judaizers. These Jewish legalists did believe in Christ, they just mixed the law in with the gospel. Paul rebuked them harshly [just like Jesus and the religious leaders of his day]. But when dealing with new believers, those who are ‘weaker in the faith’ you don’t want to overload them with too much stuff. You want them to grow and mature in the proper time. If you used to be legalistic [not going to movies, not eating pork, all types of stuff] and now are more mature in your thinking [though some movies are bad and pork isn’t real good for you!] you should not despise those who still see the practice of their faith thru this lens. Paul said ‘he that eats, eats unto the Lord. He that abstains does it also to the lord’. In these less important restrictions that some believers abide by, most of the times their motives are pure. We shouldn’t demean them. We should try to live peaceably with all men as much as possible, we will all give an account some day.

NEW NOTES-

IS EATING MEAT OK?

The question of food and Holy Days are a subject that the Apostle Paul deals with more than one time in his letters to the churches.

For us today- it might not seem like a big issue- but for various reasons it was an issue for the 1st century church.

When he wrote the church at Corinth- their issue was whether or not it was ok to eat meat sacrificed to idols.

Corinth had a tradition [non-Christian that is] where the town folk would sacrifice animals to various ‘gods’.

Now- the priests who dealt in this trade- would take the leftover meat from the animal- and either eat it- or sell it to the local ‘butcher’.

These sacrifices were to false gods [also understood to be demon entities by the 1st century Jewish/Christian communities].

So- the question was- is it ok to eat the meat?

The apostle Paul tells them that we know there are no other gods but the true God- and meat in general is ok for us living under the New Covenant [he also says in the End Times some will command to not eat meat- and that God gave us all animals to be received with thanksgiving].

So- in general- the meat was fine.

But- if doing it offends a weaker brother- then don’t eat it.

Meat also played a big role in another sense- the Jewish converts to Christianity were indeed taught kosher rules for food/meat.

Were these converts not to obey their old religious rules about food?

We read of this type of debate all thru the New testament- not just about meat- but about the whole transition of the Jewish believers- and their relationship to the Old Law.

In Acts chapter 13- and 15 you can get a good feel of this debate.

There are Christians today who still struggle with the Old Law- and how we today should relate to it.

Paul says he is persuaded that there is nothing unclean in and of itself [here talking about food- not things like adultery- which some of my friends think is ok- I can’t stress enough that when the bible says ‘nothing is unclean in and of itself’- it is NEVER TALKING ABOUT BREAKING THE 10 COMMANDMENTS].

So- in the end- if in areas of what we call Christian convictions- it’s simply a matter of choice-

If the bible is silent on an issue- then lean towards grace-

But- if your freedom hurts your brother- because he thinks it’s a bad thing- then be willing to abstain from it- like eating the meat that was sacrificed to the idol- at least while their around.

Some see a contradiction in Paul’s teaching- at one point he says ‘meats ok- even if part of it was used as a sacrifice to idols’- yet he also says ‘don’t eat at THE TABLE with devils [demons]’.

Ok- one of the practices at the city of Corinth was you ate in a sort of ‘demonic’ Eucharist- those who worshiped false gods had a sort of meal like Christians celebrated- which we call Holy Communion.

These idol worshippers did sort of the same thing- they ate together at their own TABLE_ in a sort of celebration of their gods-

So- Paul did forbid this practice- he told the church at Corinth you cannot eat at the table of the Lord and the table of devils-

If you were actually participating at the Table- eating the meat there- in celebration of the false god- then it’s wrong.

But- if you simply bought some of the left over meat- at the local butcher- that was fine.

See?

No contradiction at all.

 

KING CYRUS- DAVIVD KORESH?

Paul uses a quote from Isaiah 45 ‘every knee shall bow- tongue confess’ – talking about God using a pagan king- King Cyrus- to restore Israel to their land.

We read about him in the book of Ezra and Daniel-

He gave the famous decree for God’s people to return to their land [2nd Chronicles 36, Ezra 1].

Josephus the historian indicates that Cyrus was shown the prophecy about him [written by Isaiah about 150 years before].

It’s possible that Daniel himself showed this to Cyrus- being he held a high position in the Persian empire- at this time.

David Koresh- the infamous leader of the branch Davidians [a breakaway sect from the 7TH day Adventist church] took his name from Cyrus-

Koresh is the Persian name for Cyrus the Great.

 

CHAPTER 15

.IS THIS ABOUT US GETTING STUFF?

.WHO ‘RAN’ THE CHURCH?

.WHAT WAS PAUL’S SERVICE TO THE CHURCH?

 

 

 

(871)ROMANS 15:1-7 ‘we then that are strong [more mature] ought to bear the infirmities of the weak and not please ourselves’. In Philippians we have the ‘KENOSIS’ the act of Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not something to be used for his own advantage. He did not see his purpose in the kingdom as one of ‘let’s find out our rights in the covenant and posses what’s rightfully ours’. A few years back it was common to hear ‘God told me his people don’t have a problem with giving [oh really?] but they need to learn how to receive’. While there might be a ‘speck’ of truth in this, the overall ethos of the kingdom [according to Jesus and Paul] is ‘we are not here to please ourselves, but give up our rights and blessings for the purpose of pleasing others’ [building them up, edifying them]. Paul makes this statement right after the chapter on Christian convictions. He shows us that even if we are right on a particular issue, it is ‘more right’ to not offend or put a stumbling block in our brother’s path. It is possible to ‘be right’ in a particular doctrine or truth, and yet ‘be wrong’ in that we might have used it in a way that destroyed the purpose of God in building others up. Many in the church [at large!] have unwittingly ‘tore down’ the poor and oppressed by seeking ‘their own pleasure’. Many overseas countries have been hurt by the amount of pleasure seeking doctrines that went into their countries. Many 3rd world Pastors gave sacrificially out of their extreme poverty to rich American ‘pleasure seekers’ and their poor people suffered greatly when they did not get a literal 100 fold return as was promised. Paul said ‘we that are strong ought to help the weak, and not please ourselves’.

 

(872)ROMANS 15: 8-14 Paul freely quotes from Psalms and Isaiah [the 2 most quoted Old Testament books in the New Testament] and shows how God always had a future plan to include the Gentiles. In the first century mindset, ‘salvation’ was seen more in a nationalistic sense than an individual ‘me and Jesus’ type thing. The messianic promises were for the ‘commonwealth’ of Israel. As the gospel would expand into the Gentile nations, Peter would call us ‘a holy nation’. Still couching the purposes of God and his kingdom in a nationalistic way [not human ‘nations’ but Gods people]. So for Paul it is significant to show how King David [the greatest king Israel ever had] actually prophesied [Psalms] of the future inclusion of the Gentiles into the corporate ‘nation of God’. Also Paul says ‘you are able to admonish one another’. A theme in Paul’s writings is the ability of the ‘local believers/church’ to have within them a corporate ability for self edification. He teaches an idea that says ‘you are all able members of Christ’s Body, therefore build each other up’. Notice how Paul is not speaking into the modern day concept of ‘the Pastor’ who is usually seen as the main ‘builder’. In all of Paul’s letters he addresses the entire body to carry out the function of the church. He tells the Corinthians ‘when you are all gathered together, commit the unrepentant believer over to satan for the destruction of the flesh’. He gave this very heavy charge to the church. He did not see it as something that was to be carried out by a singular office [Bishop or Pastor]. So here we see Paul admonish the local believers to build each other up.

 

(873)ROMANS 15: 15-20 Paul appeals to his apostolic authority as ‘the apostle to the Gentiles’ in defense of his strong letter. He also says ‘I dare not use any thing that Christ has not wrought by me to make the Gentiles obedient’. Was Paul saying he would not speak about his past testimony and struggles with sin? I don’t think so. He already spoke of these struggles in this letter [chapter 7]. If you keep reading he says ‘thru mighty signs and wonders, by the power of Gods Spirit’. If you read Galatians, Paul says ‘how did you receive the Spirit, by the works of the law or the hearing of faith’ [P.S. for those still stuck on chapter 10 of Romans, see here how Paul saw the passive hearing as the only outward sign of receiving the Spirit- not calling!] here Paul appeals to the Galatians and says they received the Spirit and God wrought miracles among them [mighty signs and wonders] thru faith. In Acts we saw how the primary purpose of the charismatic signs and wonders was for the proclaiming of the gospel. The signs testify of Jesus being the Messiah. So here in Romans I think Paul is simply saying ‘I will not resort to the preaching of the law’, the main tool used by the Judaizers to try and gain ‘obedience’ among the Gentiles in order to make the Gentiles obedient [these are the things that Christ has not wrought by him. They represented Paul’s past experience in Judaism]. But instead he will declare the gospel of God’s grace. He will lean on the Cross of Christ as the functional tool to ‘bring obedience to the Gentiles’.

 

(874)ROMANS 15: 20-33 ‘Now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints’ ‘my service to them’. Paul tells the Romans that he is going to ‘minister’ and have ‘service’ towards the Jerusalem saints. How would you take it if I said ‘I am going to New York to minister, hold a ‘service’ in the church’. You would see me as saying I was going to preach in a building, do my best to encourage the people. And before I left I was going to receive an offering. Paul is saying nothing of the sort! His ‘ministry and service’ are speaking of his charitable work among the poor. He received gifts from the churches for the sole purpose of meeting the needs of the poor. He even says ‘if you Gentiles have been made partakers of their blessings, you should help them out financially’. We are familiar with this terminology when Paul uses it to speak of meeting the needs of Elders, but we very rarely apply it to the meeting of the needs of the poor. Paul had a ‘service’ for the saints, and he was not speaking in terms of going to some town and preaching a message and taking an offering. Service in the first century context was giving of your time and resources for the benefit of others. Doing things at your own expense, not always receiving a recompense yourself. I wonder where they got such an ‘unbiblical idea’. It reminds me of the time when Jesus put on a towel and washed the disciples feet. Another one of those strange passages that seem to teach that leadership is here to serve, not be served. These kingdom precepts do not fit in with the modern idea of ‘ministry/service’.

 

CHAPTER 16

.HOW DO WE UNDERSTAND THE BIBLE?

.DID THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVE THE RAPTURE?

.SHOULD WE ‘PREACH’ AT ALL?

 

(875)ROMANS 16- Some debate the ‘canonicity’ of this chapter. They feel that all the personal greetings from Paul are too personal. Let’s talk a little about the Canon [inspiration of the scriptures]. First, I am a ‘bible believing Christian’ who holds to the historic doctrine of scripture. But you do have varying views on what the historic doctrine is. I hold to the idea that God never intended for the letters that were written in the first century, which have become our New Testament, to be writings that were pulled out of time. That is the writers had to have been writing with a contextual purpose in mind. The recipients of the letters had to have had some type of practical instructions that they could wrap their minds around. So for John to say something to the seven churches in Asia Minor [Revelation] it was just common sense that the actual recipients of the letters would expect something practical for their day. This of course does not mean there are no further applications or instructions for us today, but we need to have a more personal understanding of the give and take between the Apostles and the people they were writing to. So this is how I think we should view the personal stuff in the Canon. This also needs to be understood when interpreting scripture. I have made the argument before for the 1st century belief in Christ’s literal second coming. I have also taught how the early church had no concept of a Rapture that was separated from the return of Christ. The event spoken of by Paul in Thessalonians chapter 4 is a real thing that takes place at Christ’s return. We get ‘caught up to meet him in the air’. Now how confusing would it be for the first century readers of Paul’s letters, to have one letter that speaks of a second coming, and another that spoke of a rapture? It would be next to impossible to have any coherent view of scripture if they did stuff like this. You could then make an argument for any doctrine. There would be no coherent thinking if you were living in Thessalonica and read a letter from Paul that used the same terminology about the return of Christ as he used in a letter to the Corinthians. And if you relocated to Corinth and said ‘Oh, yes. Paul wrote to us about the resurrection and return of Jesus. But when he wrote to us he was speaking of the rapture, but when he wrote to you he was talking about a different event called the second coming’. This type of thinking would have been disastrous for the early church. They were all receiving letters from Paul that contained basic truth. The fact that these letters were not included in an entire collection [as we have today] leads us to believe that the basic message had to stay the same in all of these letters, or else you would have had havoc in the early church.

 

(876)ROMANS 16- CONCLUSION  Okay, lets try and finish up Romans. We do see some good stuff in this last chapter. We see Paul addressing women as  functional ministers in the church. Phoebe is a deaconess, Junia an apostle! I still believe that Elders were only men, but women did function in the first century Ecclesia’s. Paul also says ‘mark those which cause divisions contrary to the doctrine you have learned and avoid them’. Now, I have heard the strict Baptists use this against the Pentecostals, and it did put the fear of God in you! But then I heard the Pentecostals use it against the strict Baptists, and it also put the fear of God in you! [maybe another fear?] The point being you could use this to defend any doctrine you ‘have been taught’ by well meaning men. Here Paul is warning against those who were early on departing from the faith [the basic elements of the gospel and Gods grace]. The apostle John addresses those who ‘went out from us, but were not of us’ ‘whoever rejects Christ as come in the flesh is anti christ’ [1st John]. You did have those who rejected the basic elements of the gospel and the incarnation of Jesus. Paul warned the Corinthians not to depart from the reality of Christ’s resurrection [1st Corinthians 15]. And of course Paul openly rebuked the Judiazers for trying to put the gentile believers under the restrictions of the Mosaic law. So even though these types of verses seem to fit in to our present day controversies and differences among various denominational groups, yet in context they refer to those who were rejecting the basic tenets of the faith. Paul also encourages ‘God will crush satan under our feet shortly’ ‘God is able to establish us thru the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ’. Let me defend the concept of ‘old fashioned preaching’ a little. While I and many others have publicly taught a type of new testament ecclesiology that is absent the ‘weekly pulpit Pastoral office’. Yet there is biblical precedent for the preaching of the Word. Paul taught in chapter 10 ‘how can they hear without a preacher, and how can they preach unless they are sent’? God strengthens believers thru the preaching of Gods Word. While it is wrong for the average believer to depend solely on this preaching to become educated in the things of God, yet there is a strengthening that God gives to the believer when he comes under the pure preaching of Christ. As we end Romans, I want to re emphasize the major doctrine of justification by faith. The reformation of the 16th century did not happen in a vacuum. God restored a very vital truth back to the people of God. All Christians should be grounded and well versed in the reality of God freely accepting us based on simple faith in Jesus Christ. Now, I realize that many are returning to a more ‘sermon on the mount’ orientation of the Christian lifestyle. As I have taught before I think this is a good thing. A ‘re-focusing’ on the teachings and instruction of Jesus. But I think we also need to emphasize the many statements from Jesus himself on those who believe having everlasting life [John’s gospel]. Romans is a masterpiece letter from Paul, one of his main points was justification by faith. God wants believers to be grounded in this truth.

 

RETHINKING HOMELESS MINISTRY

SUNDAY- On the way to church I figured I would stop for gas at the station where I used to help with the halfway house.

I pulled into the Stripes off Laredo Street- kind of a bad area in our city- known for drug problems.

I saw 2 homeless guys at the coffee area-

I offered to buy them their coffee- they said thanks, but they had the money.

So I thought it might have sounded a bit strange for me to offer to buy- I said ‘I worked with the homeless for years- that’s why I offered’.

Sure enough- one guy said ‘Yeah- I know you from the mission’.

I didn’t even know these guys.

About a month ago the same thing happened when I went into a discount store- an older guy said ‘hi John’.

‘Do I know you’?

‘Yeah- I’m Paul- I know you from the streets’.

Oh.

Jesus in his ‘end time’ judgment scenarios says he will say at the judgment to those who have done right- you get in.

How did he describe the righteous?

‘If you have done good to the least of these- you did it to me’.

As he tells the story- he says the righteous will say ‘when did we feed you- help you- visit you’.

He says when you did it to the least of these-you did it to me.

See?

They didn’t even know- remember- that they did what he wanted.

In the video I talked about my last incident that happened last week at the mission.

Last?

Yeah- I have been struggling with moving on from the many years of street ministry- but it is time to move on for various reasons [not just what I shared in the video at the end].

Ministries that serve the homeless- they do a good thing- I’ve done it for 25 years or more.

Yet- these last few years I have told the guys- up and up- that the problem is they need to stop using drugs- drinking- stealing- all the criminal stuff they do- on a regular basis.

Now- Jesus and the New Testament speak a lot about the poor- and defend the poor.

But- the bible also says ‘If a man will not work- he should not eat’.

The poor that Jesus and the bible defend are those who are in need- not because they are committing crimes- or are too lazy to work-

But in need because of circumstances beyond their control.

In Paul’s pastoral letters [Timothy- Titus] criteria are given for the poor who are ‘worthy’ of assistance.

These are widows and children and those who are in poverty because of no fault of their own.

These are the poor that the bible teaches us to help.

But what I see in my 25 years of working with homeless ministries- is they are simply enabling these guys to keep on sinning- or enabling them to not work.

Many receive disability- and are In better shape than me!

Their checks go to drugs- out and out.

The bible does not have a type of ‘ministry’ that preaches to drug users- criminals- etc.- year after year after year- without also preaching repentance.

It might feel good for the homeless/street preachers [of which I am/have been one for 25 years] to keep doing it.

Because it keeps us occupied- and feels good.

But- we have to re-evaluate if we are simply enabling the street guys to continue living criminal lives.

In the end- they too will have to give an account for their lives- and it would be wrong for us- the street preachers- to have not made a real effort to tell them that something needs to change- and fast.

On the video I mentioned a talk I had with a guy at the flea market- I quoted from this chapter below- thought I would paste it to this post-

It really gives a good balance for us today.

10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work , neither should he eat . 2nd Thes.3:10

1Timothy 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

1Timothy 6:2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

1Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

1Timothy 6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

1Timothy 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

1Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

1Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

1Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

1Timothy 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

1Timothy 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1Timothy 6:15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

1Timothy 6:16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

1Timothy 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

1Timothy 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

1Timothy 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

1Timothy 6:20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

1Timothy 6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

HEBREWS 1-3 The next few weeks I’ll be teaching from an old commentary I wrote a few years back [2007-8]- The notes at the bottom of the chapters- and post- are new [as well as the videos].

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/4-12-15-hebrews-1-3.zip

 

NEW NOTE- In the study of the bible- there are debates about who wrote the letters of the New Testament.

In the field of higher criticism- it gets a bit silly at times.

I just finished an on line course from a respected scholar out of Yale university.

He taught from the higher criticism perspective- I enjoyed the course- though I did not agree with lots of his conclusions.

At one point he questioned whether Paul wrote the middle chapter of one of the letters attributed to Paul.

Yet he did believe the first- and last chapters were by Paul.

For the most part- we believe that the letters in the bible- that say in them ‘written by Paul’ are from Paul [or Peter, James, Etc.].

But- Hebrews leaves the authors name out- so some debate who wrote it.

Tertullian- an early church father [2/3rd century] attributed it to Barnabus- Paul’s companion that we read about in the book of Acts-

For about 1500 years- till the time of the Reformation- most Christian scholars attributed it to Paul.

Hebrews is written in a high form of Greek [which is another way we determine who wrote the letters- tough this is not always accurate.

Many say John the apostle did not write Revelation- because the form of Greek used is much lower than the other writings of John- yet- there is internal witness that John [the apostle] wrote it.

In John’s writings [gospel- 1st, 2nd and 3rd John] he speaks about Jesus as the Word [Logos] and this theme is seen in Revelation too].

So- while we don’t know for sure- I personally stick with the authorship of Paul the apostle.

 

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

I have been wanting to overview this book for a long time. I believe there are a lot of misconceptions from Hebrews. Often time’s modern translations take older books of the Bible and want to make them relevant for our day. This can be both good and bad.

 

I like the message Bible, but for in depth study it doesn’t really work. There are certain things that must be interpreted in context  of the time and place when the book was written. Hebrews is one of the most important New Testament books to ‘read in context’. I wont go over every verse in this short commentary, I will hit the high points of various chapters and try to show you what I mean by ‘reading it in context’.

 

I believe it is possible that this book was Paul’s ‘open letter’ to the first century Jewish community, this is quite possibly why it goes unsigned. The ‘Judaizers’ had so polluted the minds of their fellow Jews against Paul ‘he speaks against Moses and our law’ type thing, that if Paul signed this letter, there would be little chance that the intended audience would read it!

 

If you read a book on auto mechanics, and tried to make it relevant for the human body, it wouldn’t work. For instance if you spoke on the engine of a car, and then tried to ‘translate’ that and equate it with the human heart, you would have problems. But if you left it in context and then applied the concept of maintenance and the need for clean fuel lines, and then applied it to the human need for clean arteries, well then that would be OK.

 

So I believe when we read Hebrews, and don’t try to make it ‘fit’ Gentile believers, then it works. You still get great principles from the ‘manual’, but you understand that it is not speaking directly to the Gentile church. God bless you guys, I hope you get something from it.    John.

 

CHAPTER 1:

NEW NOTES AT END OF CHAPTER-

LOGOS.

SEATED.

 

‘God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Many years ago when I was going to a fundamental Baptist Church, they would interpret this passage in a ‘cessationist’ way. They would say because God says in the past he spoke by prophets, but now by his Son. That this means he doesn’t speak thru Prophets any more. The Prophets here are Old Testament voices. In Ephesians it says after Jesus ascended up on high he gave gifts unto men, some Apostles, some Prophets, etc. The fact that Jesus made Prophets after the ascension teaches us that there were to be a whole new class of New Testament Prophets that were different from the old. I find it strange to believe that Jesus would create a whole new class of gifts, and then take them away as soon as the Bible is complete. Why would Paul give instruction in the New Testament on how Prophets would operate [Corinthians] and then to say ‘as soon as this letter is canonized with the others, all this instruction will be useless’ it just doesn’t seem right.

 

The reason Paul is saying in the past God used Prophets, but today his Son. Paul is showing that the Jewish Old testament was a real communication from God to man. But in this dispensation of Grace, God is speaking the realities that the Prophets were looking to. Paul is saying ‘thank God for the Old Jewish books and law, they point to something, his name is Jesus’! The Prophets [Old Testament] served a purpose; they brought us from the shadows to the present time [1st century] now lets move on into the reality. Now you must see and hear the Son in these last days. ‘Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person…when he by himself purged our sins SAT DOWN on the right hand of the majesty on high’ here we are at the beginning stages of themes that we will see later in the letter. The significance of Jesus ‘sitting down’ will be contrasted with the Old testament priests ‘standing up’. Paul [for the record I think Paul wrote this letter, from here on I will probably just refer to the writer as Paul] will teach that the ‘standing up’ of the Levitical Priests represented an ‘incomplete priesthood’ the reason Jesus sat down was because there would be no more sacrifice, and no more priesthood made up of many priests who would die year after year. This doesn’t mean there would be no more New Testament priests as believers, but that there would be no more Old Testament system. Paul will find spiritual truths like this all thru out the Old Testament.

 

Some theologians feel that Paul is a little too loose with these free comparisons that he seems to ‘pull out of the hat’, for the believer who holds to the canon of scripture, it is the Word of God. ‘Being made so much better than the angels…but unto the Son he saith “thy throne O God is forever and ever, a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy Kingdom”. Here Paul introduces another theme that will be seen thru out this letter. The superiority of Jesus over angels. Why is this important? Most believers know that Jesus is greater than angels, don’t they? Here we see why context is important to understand this letter. In Jewish tradition it is believed that the law was given to Moses by God thru the mediation of angels. Some say ‘well, we don’t use Jewish tradition, we use scripture’. First, Paul used anything he could to win the argument. Second, if we believe Hebrews is an inspired book, then when we read later on that the law given thru angels received a recompense if broken, then right here you have scripture [Hebrews] testifying that God did use angels to ‘transmit’ the law to some degree. Now, why is it important for gentiles to see this? Well it really isn’t! But it is vital for a first century Jew to see it. If Paul can show that Jesus is greater than the angels, then he is beginning to make the argument that the New Covenant is greater than the Old.

 

Here is the context. Moses law is highly revered in the first century Jewish community, so here Paul says ‘how much better is the law/word given to us from Gods Son’. Since Jesus is much better than the angels, therefore pay closer attention to the words spoken thru Gods Son, he is greater than the angels! ‘But to which of the angels said he “sit at my right hand until I make thy enemies thy footstool” we end chapter one with the theme of Jesus being better than the angels, yet in chapter 2 something funny happens, Paul will make the argument of Jesus being “a little lower than the angels” lets see what this means.

NEW NOTES- 4-2015

LOGOS.

We see God having created all things thru Christ ‘the express image of his person- by whom also he made the worlds’.

Jesus is called the WORD of God in scripture- the Greek word- for ‘word’ is Logos.

We read in the bible that God made all things- but also that Christ made all things-

Is this a contradiction?

No-

For the first 3-4 centuries of Christianity- as you study the early church councils-

The early church struggled over how to view the relationships between God and Jesus

These debates raged- and at times each side viewed the other as Heretics.

I think it was a mistake to be so quick to judge those as heretics- who were having difficulty in expressing in finite words- the great mystery of God and Christ.

In Genesis we read that God spoke all things into existence- so- here we see God’s Word- Logos [Christ] as being the instrumental cause of creation.

In John chapter one we read that Jesus was the Word- in the beginning- who was with God- and was God.

I’ll try and simplify it [not an easy task to say the least].

God- who is Spirit- spoke- and this expression of God- his Word- is also referred to as Christ-

Christ/Jesus is the Word of God made flesh- and it is thru his humanity [incarnation] that we do indeed see God in ‘the flesh’-

Yes- by Him- all things were made.

 

SEATED.

We see a theme in chapter 1- that will run thru the whole letter-

HE SAT DOWN- In Hebrews we are seeing the superiority of the New Covenant over the old- and there will be many comparisons to show how the Old Covenant- priests- sacrifices- the law itself- was less than what we get in the New Covenant-

And the reality that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God- shows us that he was the last- and final High Priest- and the whole system of Priests under the law are now done.

We will read that the Old Testament priests stood [signifying that there work was ongoing- meaning they would have to keep offering sacrifices that could never put away sin].

But Jesus- after he offered himself- sat down.

All thru this letter we will see these comparisons-

LOTS OF QUOTES- We also see a lot of quotes from the Psalms in this letter- just like we saw in the Romans study.

There is a debate over whether or not Paul wrote the letter- I think he did.

One of the reasons is the author of Hebrews does the same thing as Paul in the other letters- lots of cross references from the Old Testament books- and it just seems to me to have the same flavor as Paul’s other letters.

Psalms 2, 104, 45, etc.

 

CHAPTER 2:

NEW NOTES AT BOTTOM

.HOW SHOULD WE INTERPRET SCRIPTURE?

.PSLAMS, ISAIAH ‘REVEALED’ THRU CHRIST

 

‘Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at anytime we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation that was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by them that heard him’. Now, we see the contrast. If the word spoken ‘by angels’ [law] was so strict in judgment, then how much more will God hold responsible those who reject the word spoken by the Son [gospel], being he is so much better than the angels? This is the theme taught in chapter one. That’s why chapter 2 starts with ‘therefore’ he is saying because of all this truth of the superiority of Jesus to angels, don’t reject the word of the Son! Also now we begin to see context. The ‘not neglecting so great salvation’ is really speaking to Israel [Hebrews]. It is not telling believers not to neglect salvation or they will be lost, it is telling first century Israel if you reject/neglect this true gospel of Jesus as Messiah, then YOU will be lost.

 

Many of the verses thru out this study will begin to make a lot of sense when taken in context. We will do much more of this in the coming chapters. ‘Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, thou crownest him with glory’ ‘thou hast put all things under his feet’ ‘we see Jesus who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and  honor, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man’. Now we see the doctrine of Jesus being made lower than the angels. Does this contradict chapter one? No! He was first made ‘lower’ [became a man and humbled himself more than any other man-Philippians] and for this reason God gave him the highest position at his right hand. He was made lower so he could ‘taste death for every man’ here Paul gets right into the central message of the gospel, that he will spend the rest of this letter explaining. He realizes that 1st century Israel must transition into the death and resurrection of Jesus. He doesn’t take the common evangelical approach to Israel, which seems to defend and extol her on a regular basis. Paul sees her ‘lost ness’ and makes every effort to bring her into the gospel. Jesus died for EVERY man, Israel, so you too must transition into this one new man that he desires to create.

 

‘For as much than as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also likewise took part of the same, that thru death he might DESTROY him who had the power of death, that is the devil: and deliver them who thru fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage’ did you know that Jesus already destroyed the devil? The greatest act of deliverance and redemption that will ever take place, already took place! Evangelicals can be notorious for looking to the 2nd coming as an ‘escape hatch’. Sometimes the 2nd coming is looked to as the event that ‘destroys the devil’ sorry, but he has already been destroyed. Now there definitely will be a future aspect to his final judgment, but its inevitability is sealed by the fact of the death and resurrection of the Son of God!

 

These verses also say that Jesus delivered us from him who had the power of death, that is the devil. Jesus taught in the gospels that God had the power to take life or spare it. Fear God. Then how can the devil have ‘the power of death’. The devil has used death as a ‘sword of Damocles’ over the heads of people. He works thru intimidation. How many people live their whole lives in fear of getting cancer, or some other disease? They often go to extreme lengths to do all they can to avoid death. This type of self survival can be obsessive. People will run back and forth on hopes of escaping some sickness. The devil often accuses people ‘you have this sickness’ or ‘you might get it’. He had ‘power’ thru deception. He knew man did sin, and one of the prices for sin was death. So the enemy constantly accuses the saints. And one of his main weapons is ‘you will die because of what you did’. Jesus dealt with this ultimate fear thru tasting death himself and coming thru the other side. This is why Peter was so eager to go thru death after he saw Jesus do it. Peter was such a chicken before, that he would deny he even knew Jesus, to a girl, just to save his skin. After the resurrection, it was all over! They were convinced that death had no more power over them. They would die someday, but it wasn’t the final curtain.

 

‘Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people, for in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted’ One of the other reasons why Jesus took on flesh was so he could empathize with man. Paul wrote the Corinthians and told them that the things that they suffered were for a purpose. The purpose was that after they went thru stuff, God would show them comfort. They then would be able to comfort others with the same comfort that God showed them. Later in Hebrews we also read that every priest taken from men had infirmity. Therefore he could identify with man.

 

We will also read that Jesus was in all points tempted like us. So here we see that Jesus incarnation allowed him to identify with man and to be faithful to have compassion and understanding with mans weakness. Often times in Christianity you will have well meaning ministers give up on the addict. A lot of times you hear ‘well, if they were serious about God they would do right’ or ‘if they only made a quality decision at the altar’ and things of this nature. Often times those who have not been thru addiction cannot really understand the life of a person who will steal from his own family, go to prison, lose everything he has ever earned. And then get out after 10 years and do it all again! Jesus had compassion because he walked in our shoes. He knew the terrible draw of sin and temptation, and he asks us to come to him for help because he knows what the struggles are like.

 

NEW NOTES-

Psalms 8, 22. Isaiah 8- Notice how the author freely quotes from Psalms and Isaiah- just like we saw in the book of Romans-

Notice how the writer applies the quotes to Jesus himself ‘I will sing praises to you in the midst of the congregation’ ‘made a little lower than the angels’ etc.

I just finished another course- by a Yale university scholar-

He taught from the ‘historical criticism’ view of scripture.

This type of reading of the bible arose out of the German universities in the late19th- early 20th centuries.

It had some good aspects to it- but in many ways it was an unfair criticism [taking apart] of the biblical authors.

I mention that to say when we see the New Testament writers interpreting these Old Testament scriptures in this way- Those of us who believe the bible to be the inspired Word of God.

Then we don’t see it as a ‘miss-reading’. For instance- critics say that some of these verses are not speaking of Christ- now- that may be true in the general sense- when the Jews first read these verses from the Old Testament.

But we- Christians- see it as God revealing the true fulfillment of these prophecies- in Psalms and Isaiah.

So- the critics will note that these verses applied in a general way- and not to Christ.

But the believer sees it as God using the writers of the New Testament- under inspiration- as revealing to us how the Old Testament is now being fully revealed thru Christ.

Psalm 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Psalm 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

Psalm 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:

Psalm 22:22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.

 

 

CHAPTER 3:

END NOTES-

PSLAMS 95.

TRUE SABBATH REST.

 

‘Wherefore HOLY BRETHREN, partakers of the heavenly calling’ I want to submit to you that these terms found thru out Hebrews are really speaking of the privileged position of the 1st century Jew before his final rejection of Messiah as a nation. Most times we read these verses and debate whether it is speaking of someone who is ‘saved’ or not. Later we will see this in chapter 6 ‘those who were once enlightened and partakers of the Holy Ghost’ all these terms can apply to Israel as Gods peculiar people and chosen nation. I feel Paul is still addressing them this way because they are still in a transition stage in the 1st century. There is still hope that they will receive Messiah as a nation. All these terms are referring to Israel as being Gods special people who came for a special purpose. Ultimately they will not live up to this calling [yet!] because they will reject Jesus as a nation, though there will be a remnant of Jews who will believe. So as we read thru out Hebrews we will look at all these privileged expressions as speaking of Israel as Gods special nation.

 

This will clear up the arguments that many believers have over portions of this letter. ‘Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus…and Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things that would come later…but Christ as a Son over his own house WHO’S HOUSE ARE WE if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of hope firm unto the end’ a main theme from Paul is to compare Moses and Jesus. Paul will take lots of Old testament verses and quote them in this letter. I believe more than any other New Testament letter. He quotes them freely, not even giving the chapter and verse, he says ‘somewhere it is said’ and then goes right into it. Sort of like what I do on my blog! The point is Paul is seeing so many shadows of the Old Testament fulfilled thru Christ that his mind is exploding in revelation. It is almost like he can’t stop proving this point. Jesus is seen all thru out the Old Testament and Paul is obsessed with showing this to the first century Jew, his own cultural family. He says in Romans that he would be cursed himself if he knew it would open the eyes of his nation. Paul also reveals that Israel can become this house, if she ‘holds on to the end’. We will read stuff like this a lot in Hebrews. This causes some to read the letter as in if Paul were writing Christians.

 

Jesus taught in John 15 that the branches would be cut off that would not bring fruit. Paul also said that Israel, the natural branches, were cut off so we [gentiles] would be grafted in. These terms of ‘holding on, staying steadfast’ can be applied to Israel in the sense that Paul is pleading ‘you have a few thousand year history with God. God has sent you prophets and anointed your kings with his Spirit [by the way this is why in chapter 6 it will say those who were once enlightened by the Spirit and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost- no other nation on earth had the Spirit of God actively administrating their government like Israel- the argument isn’t whether it’s talking about people who were ‘truly saved’ or not!] you, Israel, have been walking with him for a long time, DON’T FALL AWAY NOW!’ So in context the ‘holding on’ can describe the transition stage. Don’t fall away after all these years of waiting for Messiah as a national hope and promise. You will see Paul use this argument in Acts when he says ‘you guys are accusing me of heresy, and I am just preaching the fulfillment of the promise that our fathers have been waiting for, for over thousands of years’.

 

‘Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost says, today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted me and saw my works FORTY YEARS… so I sware in my wrath they shall not enter into my rest’ Now, a common theme is to teach that Christians cant get the promised land because they don’t have faith. It is taught that Israel in the wilderness are a type of believers and to get the promise you must believe. While all this can be true, this is not the context in Hebrews. Paul is trying to get Israel to BELIEVE in Christ for righteousness, as opposed to her trying to work for it [Romans 9-10].

 

Paul sees the story of Israel not entering into the Promised Land as an example of the danger of not entering into the new covenant by failing to believe in Jesus and be justified by faith. He will later do this in chapter 11, the great faith chapter. He will show Israel how all of her Patriarchs received A GOOD REPORT [justified] by faith. I will explain it when I get there. So keep in mind that Israel in the wilderness is a type of Israel in the first century, and Paul is trying to tell them ‘just like our fore fathers couldn’t get into the promised land because of UNBELIEF, so too you are in danger of stumbling over the righteousness of God which is by faith, not of works!’ I also find it interesting that Paul includes the 40 year period of judgment. It was around 40 years after the crucifixion of Jesus until the destruction of the temple in AD 70.

 

It was a prophetic sign, a sort of probationary period for Israel as a nation. It was like God said ‘40 years are now up, the temple is going to be destroyed just like my Son said, those who haven’t moved on and made the transition into the ‘new temple’ are now being judged’. Israel hasn’t had true temple worship since! ‘Wherefore the Holy Ghost saith, today if you will hear his voice harden not your hearts [as opposed to the voice of Moses which is the law] as in the provocation, the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me and saw my works FORTY years…so I sware in my wrath they shall not enter into my rest, take heed brethren [fellow Jews] lest there be in any of you AN EVIL HEART OF UNBELIEF IN DEPARTING FROM THE LIVING GOD’ We are going to enter a theme that speaks of Israel not entering Gods true rest because of unbelief, not because of a lack of works [law].

 

The apostle will begin to use the story of Joshua entering into the Promised Land as a story of Jesus [which the Old Testament translation of Joshua means Jesus] and his offering true rest [grace] to 1st century Israel. The fact is the only ones who entered in were the ones who believed. The unbelievers [all the adults except for Joshua and Caleb] all died out over a 40 year period in the wilderness. Just like many of the first century Jews would reject Messiah for 40 years until the destruction of their temple. Jesus said we must become like little children to inherit Gods Kingdom. The children of the older generation entered into the Promised Land, the parents died. Why did they die Paul? Was it because they didn’t have the law or do ‘works’? NO! They died because of unbelief. Paul is stressing that the 1st century Jew is also in danger of ‘not entering into rest [grace] because of unbelief’. We often read these verses applying them to Christians, which is OK. But when you read them in context, then you see the real meaning. This will help later when we read others passages. We wont argue over Arminian or Calvinistic interpretations of stuff, we will see that neither one is right as it pertains to certain portions of this letter. ‘And to whom sware he that they should not enter into rest, but to them THAT BELIEVED NOT, SO WE SEE THAT THEY COULD NOT ENETR IN BECAUSE OF UNBELIEF’ Do you see the significance of this argument? Brilliant Paul is using all of these well known Old Testament stories to convince Israel that they must believe [justification by faith] in order to ‘inherit the land’ [the promise of eternal life]. This is the whole context of Hebrews. That’s why when modern preachers use all these verses to say you must believe to get material things, that they are way off the mark. It is true that faith does obtain things. And when we believe God for healing and finances and answers to prayer that it is vital to believe. But so many modern teachers have taught these promises as getting stuff, while in context you begin to see the true meaning.

PSLAMS 95-

Once again we the writer freely quoting- and ‘interpreting’ this passage from Psalms- and showing that the sin that prevented Israel form obtaining rest- was UNBELIEF.

Why is this so important?

If you remember the Romans teaching I did last- Paul stresses that the righteousness of God comes by faith- not of works ‘lest any man should boast’.

So- this letter to the Hebrews [Jewish people] is intended to show them the superiority of the New Covenant over the Old.

And the way you obtain the benefits of the New Covenant [redemption] is thru faith.

The passage from Psalms recounts the history of the Jewish people- and those who did not ‘get in’ [Promised Land] were those who did not have faith.

We also read how Paul teaches that the Promised Land spoken of was still a future event/place-

Paul uses Psalms again and says ‘If Joshua gave them the rest [Canaan- book of Joshua] then God would not have spoken of another day’.

Here Paul says the true day ‘of rest’ also referred to as the true Sabbath day [age of grace- not an actual day] is fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah- and just like God ‘rested the 7th day from all his works’- so we too can rest from our works [the law] and also enter into rest- thru the ‘new Joshua’ [Jesus].

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Psalm 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

Psalm 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

 

 

 

 

HEBREWS 4-6 [Just made the video- so today you get ‘real time’- P.S.- to my kids- the carnival looks good- maybe we will go today? Text me- dad.]

CHAPTER 4:

NEW NOTES BELOW-

.SABBATH REST

 

‘Let us therefore fear [Jews in the first century, not Christians in the 21st century! At least in this context] lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest [now defined as the New Covenant rest. Paul is telling Israel God has left you a promise of rest in Messiah, where you will cease from your own works [law], beware Israel, our forefathers missed out on the promise because of unbelief, don’t do the same!] any of you should come short of it, for unto us was the gospel preached [1st century Israel] as well as unto them [Israel at the edge of entering the promised land had the gospel [good news] preached to them by Joshua and Caleb, they gave the ‘good report’ that the land was great and it was there for the taking, of course they didn’t believe and therefore couldn’t take it] but the word did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

 

For WE WHICH HAVE BELEIVED [the remnant of Jews who were believing in the first century were entering into the rest of the New Covenant of grace, they left off trying to be made righteous by the law, they ceased from their own works] do enter into rest…for he spake in a certain place of the 7th day on this wise, and God did rest the 7th day from all his works, and again, if they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it still remains that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: again he limits a certain day in David [Psalms] today if you will HEAR HIS VOICE [as opposed to the voice of the law/Moses] harden not your hearts. For if Joshua [my king James says ‘Jesus’ this is because the translation is the same] had given them rest then he would not have spoken of another day, there remaineth therefore a rest TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD! [Jewish people ‘of God’ not gentile converts!]. Well, we covered a lot here. Paul takes the creation account, the verses that will later speak of a future rest for Gods people, and then a verse from Psalms where David prophesies that there still remains a future rest. He puts them all together to show Israel that God has ordained a future ‘7th day’ for his people to enter into. He uses the 7th day as a symbol of Gods ‘day of Grace and rest’.

 

He then shows Israel that it really wasn’t speaking of the rest of the Promised Land after all, because eventually Israel did inherit it, but yet David still spoke of it in the future tense. So Paul concludes that the future rest of the 7th day that ‘Gods people’ [Jews] still must enter is the offer of grace to the 1st century Jew. Wow! This is why some theologians feel Paul was a little too loose with the scriptures. I think this stuff is great! Paul basically was using all of his understanding as a first century theologian [Pharisee] and was absolutely proving Christ to Israel in a way that none of the other Apostles could do. He was the only Pharisee out of all the Apostles, one born out of due time. This is obviously why Jesus chose him. It is so important to see the connections that Paul is making here. If Israel were following the timeline that Paul is giving, they will see that their own Old Testament scriptures testify that there was a future ‘place of rest’ that would be offered to them as a nation.

 

And Paul also shows that in history, Israel had a pattern of not entering into ‘this rest’ because of unbelief. And then he says ‘but the rest that Joshua finally did give them [the promised land] wasn’t really the true rest after all, because David still spoke of it in a future tense’ then he says ‘see, there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God’. Seeing this in context clears up many wrong interpretations of these passages. You can still read Hebrews as a Christian and get wonderful principles, but you must see it in context to truly understand what its saying. ‘For he that hath entered into rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his’ amazing, Paul says just like God ceased from creative activity on the ‘7th day’ so likewise when we enter into the covenant of grace, we too will cease from the works of the law. This is so significant to the Jewish community whom Paul is addressing. He is showing them, in their language [Old Testament] the same things he writes to the gentiles in Galatians and Romans.

 

He is using the story of Genesis to show the truth of grace. Out of all the Apostles, Paul is unique in his ability to see Jesus in all of these Old Testament stories. No one could have made a better apologetic for the Christian faith than Paul. ‘Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall into the same example of unbelief’ Now, I have heard it taught that this is telling Christians to ‘work for your rest’. This would be a complete contradiction to this entire letter. But if you see this in context, that the recipients of this letter are 1st century Jews who are already under the bondage of the law, then you read this as ‘those of you Jews who are always working to try and make yourselves righteous, you need to stop working for this, but instead let all your labors and struggles end up at the Cross’ in essence ‘labor [struggle] to see these things I am showing you, and if you do you will find rest’ in the New Covenant of grace! ‘Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession, for we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ This of course applies to all of us. Paul and other New Testament writers saw redemption in a way that naturally included everybody. It was only those who rejected it thru unbelief that were missing out. This is why you will see statements made like ‘Jesus is the savior of all men, specially of those that believe’ there was a real sense in the early church that Jesus really redeemed everybody.

 

They were not preaching universal salvation in the sense that everybody will be saved. But the gospel was presented in a way that simply included everybody. So here Paul says ‘we have a high priest’ he is including Israel in the ‘we’. I also like to apply these verses to all of us. How many times do we feel intimidated to come before Gods throne? We feel unworthy and God seems unapproachable. Sort of like Saint John of the Cross who experienced the ‘dark night of the soul’ as well as Mother Theresa. There are times where believers feel separated from God’s real presence. It is during these times when God says ‘come boldly, I too have experienced weakness and separation thru the incarnation. I know what it is like. Come to me, I can see what you feel like, I can feel your feelings of weakness and inadequacy, come to me for help my child’. In the next chapter we will read this in depth. Jesus and all the high priests of the law were able to identify with man because they were at one time in mans shoes. This is one of the great realities of the incarnation.

NEW NOTES-

.SABBATH REST

 

Remember context- in this chapter the writer is appealing to his Jewish brothers.

And he reminds them of their own history- he says ‘just like our forefathers died in the wilderness- because they did not BELIEVE’-

So beware- if you now reject this new offer of REST- it will be because of UNBELIEF.

The writer is making an argument for Justification by Faith here.

He spiritualizes the promise of the Promised Land- and the story of Creation and Sabbath Day.

He says ‘ok- God RESTED himself on the 7th Day of Creation’.

This REST [a type of rest found in Christ and the New Covenant- based on Faith/Grace- NOT WORKS -The law].

Was not the Rest promised to Israel when they entered the Promised Land.

Why?

Because King David says many years later- in Psalms 95- that a Rest is still in the future.

What Rest?

The 1st century offer of Grace- thru Faith- not works.

See how important context is?

So- when he says ‘there still remains a REST TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD’- He is not talking to Christians- as this verse is often seen.

No- in the letter of Hebrews- the People of God are the Jewish nation- who now must ‘labor- work- strive’ to believe the Promise of Messiah- and enter into rest.

These verses only make sense in this context.

Preachers often teach the verse ‘strive to enter into rest- people of God’.

And apply that to Christians- who are already ‘in rest’.

No- that’s the wrong setting for these verses.

But- to the 1st century Jew- under the law- then it makes sense.

They were at a transition stage- they were still under the law [works] and they had to beware- because this present promise of grace- just like the Old Testament Promise of entering into the Promised Land- is based on faith.

So- when the writer says ‘if you strive- and hear this Gospel of Grace- you can enter into the Sabbath Day Rest’ [a symbol of the covenant of Grace].

And have Rest.

See?

NOTE- It’s not an ‘accident’ that the writer quotes from Psalms 95- written by Kind David.

Jesus is identified as ‘The Son of David’ so it’s thru the Davidic line that the promise of Rest would ultimately be fulfilled.

In a sense the writer is saying ‘The Joshua that lead our Fathers into the Promised Land was not the Real One- but the Joshua of the New Testament [Jesus and Joshua are the same word in the Hebrew/Greek English translation] has now come thru the Line of David- and he will lead us into the True Rest- if you Believe’

Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Psalm 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,

Psalm 95:8 Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Psalm 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:

Psalm 95:11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

Genesis 2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Hebrews 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.

Hebrews 4:2 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.

Hebrews 4:3 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.

Hebrews 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

Hebrews 4:5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Hebrews 4:7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Hebrews 4:8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

Hebrews 4:10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

.

 

CHAPTER 5:

NEW NOTES BELOW-

HIGH PRIEST.

TIME TO MOVE ON.

 

‘For every high priest taken from among men…who can have compassion on the ignorant and on them that are OUT OF THE WAY , for that he himself is compassed about with infirmity’ God once again emphasizes the reality of calling men with faults and weaknesses into leadership. Why? Because according to the law men who themselves have weaknesses could then have compassion and not judge others who are ‘out of the way’. I spent the day yesterday with some homeless friends, a lot of them are ‘out of the way’. They never seemed to transition into the normal routines of life. Many of them will eventually share their experiences of being rejected as kids by their parents. Others have had an abusive childhood. For different reasons they are ‘out of the way’. They also are used to being treated badly by society. One of the guys is a true believer. He is even ordained as a deacon for a homeless church, he reads and teaches the word. Really stands out as a follower of Christ. He is homeless. He told me how sometimes he will go and just sit on church property so he can sense God and spend time praying apart from the other hangouts where guys are drinking and doing drugs. Sometimes the church will call the cops and tell him to move. Now I know the church doesn’t realize he is truly a believer, but it shows you how society treats those who are ‘out of the way’.

 

God chose you, fully knowing your weaknesses and faults, you might think that your faults disqualify you for service, God says they are part of the requirement to be a priest! ‘Christ glorified not himself to be made a priest… thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec’ once again Paul will use his great knowledge of the Old Testament to teach something new. He goes to the story of Melchisedec in the Old Testament. This person was a real priest who Abraham paid tithes to. Later we will read that this means the priesthood of Jesus is superior to that of the law. Many use this verse to justify tithing for gentiles, but it really is showing the superiority of grace over law. Now Paul also finds a prophetic Old Testament verse that says Jesus is a priest from this order. What order? Well there have only ever been 2 priests in this ‘class’ and that was Melchisedec and Jesus. In essence Melchisedec was simply a real person who functioned as a priest before the Levitical priesthood was established. The fact that Paul finds this obscure verse showing that Jesus came from this ‘line’ of priests as opposed to Levi shows that Christ’s priesthood is outside of the law. This is the main reason for Melchisedec’s historical existence. Some teach that he was a preincarnate appearance of Christ because we will read he had no beginning of days or end of life. I kind of lean towards this meaning there is no record in scripture of him having a birth or death. I don’t see Melchisedec as a preincarnate appearance of Christ. I do find it interesting how God raised up a man, before Christ, for the sole purpose of later saying of Jesus ‘you are a priest forever after this order’. In my mind God did it for this sole reason.

 

We know Jesus was slain before the foundation of the world. So basically God raised this priest up just so Jesus could be traced thru his lineage as opposed to Levi. The significance is great in the mind of Paul, because once again this makes the case for Israel to come out of the old system of law [Levi] and come to a priesthood that cannot trace its roots back to the law. This is solely a grace argument; it is not some strange teaching that shows a preincarnate Christ who walked the earth forever. ‘Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec, of whom we have many things to say [I just said some of them!] and hard to be uttered, seeing ye [1st century Israel, NOT CHRISTIANS!] are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers [God raised Israel up to be a ‘teaching nation’ in the midst of a pagan world. The purpose of God for them as a nation was to influence all the nations around them with the true God. This is why God ordained ways for ‘proselytes’ to come and become partakers of Gods blessings on Israel. This is very important to see here, because as we go into chapter 6 this will be the context to clear up many wrong views of this letter] you have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God’.

 

As we go into chapter six I will show you how ‘the first principles of the Word of God’ are all the elementary teachings of the law, not the message of the Cross! Paul is rebuking Israel because they had a long time to fully get grounded in the law, it was now time for them to move on from these ‘basic teachings’ and into Christ. Paul says they need to be ‘re taught’ the basics again because they are unable to see the pictures that Paul has been painting for them thru this ‘old testament canvas’. So in context, Paul is not telling Christians to ‘move on from the Cross’ as many teach. But he is telling Israel ‘move on from the elementary principles of the law’ unto Christ. This is why it is so important to read this letter in context.

NEW NOTES [4-2015]

HIGH PRIEST.

TIME TO MOVE ON.

 

‘High priest- after the order of Melchizedek’-

Once again we see the writer quoting from Psalms [2, 110].

The point the writer is making- about Melchizedek- is that Jesus comes in a symbolic way- not thru Levi- the priestly tribe of the law.

But thru another line [Judah too].

Melchizedek was indeed a real person- a priest talked about in the bible- and we will read later that he had no ‘father or mother’- but a type of Christ- without beginning or end.

Most see this as meaning there is no record of a father or mother- so he fits the type.

Others think this man was a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ-

Either way- the point is Jesus is not a ‘law’ priest- but outside the law.

Showing the readers [Jews] that they too need to move on from the base principles of the old covenant- and receive Jesus as the final high priest.

Now- context- he says ‘the time has come that you should be teachers- but have need to be taught again’.

Ok- I don’t see this as speaking to Christians- but talking to the 1st century Jewish people- the ‘time has come’-

We read in Galatians ‘in the Fullness of time’.

Israel was supposed to move on in the reality of Jesus as the Messiah- and enter the fullness of the Kingdom.

Then as Gods completed people- they would ‘teach the nations’ of the glory of God [in Christ].

Much like what the early disciples did-

But- if Israel rejects Christ- as a nation- then they will forfeit this special calling they had.

We will read later that they needed to ‘move on from the elementary principles’-

Once again- not telling Christians to ‘move on’ [which makes no sense].

But all the elements of the ‘doctrine of Christ’ were indeed contained in the law.

These ‘base elements’ are now fulfilled in Christ.

Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

Hebrews 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Psalm 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

 

 

CHAPTER 6:

 

NEW NOTES-

CAN CHRISTIANS BE FORGIVEN- IF THEY FALL?

CAN THEY CRUCIFY CHRICT- AGAIN?

WHO ARE THE LAPSY?

 

‘Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ [in Colossians Paul teaches that the ‘principles/ elementary teachings’ are the law. The law contained all the elementary doctrines of Christ, it held all the ‘shadows’ but not the reality! Here the principles are not Christian doctrine, but law], let us go on unto perfection’ Now, it is commonly taught that Paul is exhorting believers to move on to maturity. While it is true that Paul teaches this elsewhere, here he is not teaching it. Here he is telling Israel ‘leave the basics of the law and move on to Christ’. Why is this important to see? Because if you don’t see it this way, then you will have a doctrine that says to believers ‘you must move on from the Cross’ many well meaning preachers have done this, this is why context is so important. When you see it in context, Paul is not saying ‘move on FROM the Cross’ but ‘move on INTO the Cross’!

 

‘Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works [law], and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms [washings- Israel had all types of doctrines of baptisms [plural] this is why when John the Baptist came baptizing people in the Jordan, they didn’t say ‘what in the world is this guy doing’ they had the ‘doctrine of baptisms’ engrained in their law! The whole sacrificial system and the tabernacle had all types of lavers {wash basins} and things] ‘and of the laying on of hands [Moses ‘ordained’ 70, you had the ‘laying on of hands’ taught in the law] and of the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment’ Now, all these verses without a doubt describe the law. It is easy to read these verses as applying to the New Covenant, but they really aren’t. In context why would Paul be telling young believers [who these are not! They are Jews on the verge of transition] to leave all the fundamental teachings of Christianity? But he is telling Israel to move on from the basic elements of the law into the reality of what the law was foreshadowing. That is Christ! ‘For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost’ Israel had Gods Spirit anointing her Kings for thousands of years before the Spirit ever came on the day of Pentecost. They had ‘exclusive rights’ to the things of God pre-Cross. They were made partakers of the Holy Ghost! They were enlightened in a way that no other nation was, they had prophets and priests administrating the things of God all thru out their history.

 

In context Paul is saying ‘if you Jews, who have had this favorable position all thru out your history, if you ‘fall away’ from God at this point by not continuing with his revelation of Messiah, then it is impossible to renew you AGAIN unto repentance’ Part of their system of law was repentance. All the animal sacrifices and works of humility were for this purpose. Paul is warning Israel ‘if you miss this opportunity to believe, don’t think that you can keep bringing your animal sacrifices of repentance anymore, it is impossible to renew that’ Now do you see? No more arguments over whether these are Christians who lose their salvation, or whether these were those who professed but didn’t possess, that’s silly! In context you now know what this means. That’s why I said in the introduction of this commentary that you can’t read a book on mechanics and apply it directly to the human body. But you can glean principles from it that will benefit you. So we see here the great finality of the sacrifice of Jesus. We see its sufficiency to cover and REMOVE all our sins. We see the great doctrine of redemption thru the offering of Jesus. What we don’t see is Christians losing their salvation and being told ‘you can never re dedicate [renew] yourself back again!’ ‘And have tasted the good word of God [Israel was reading scripture thousands of years before Gentiles even knew their was scripture!], and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they CRUCIFY UNTO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD AFRESH, and put him to an open shame’ Here it is real important to understand context. How many believers who have struggled with sin have been told ‘you are crucifying Jesus afresh’? Paul never dealt with believers using this language. He told the Corinthians that because they were God’s dwelling place, and the Spirit of God lived in them, that God would judge those who were in unrepentant sin. But he never used this type of language. So why use it here?

 

If Israel rejects Messiah and continues to ‘keep open’ the sacrificial system post Cross, in essence she would be saying ‘we want the sacrifice to continue’ or ‘let’s keep crucifying the Son of God afresh’. In Israel’s mind this would be what they were saying. Paul says ‘don’t do this’ in essence this is an argument, once again, to move on from the law and its sacrifices unto Christ. ‘For the earth that drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, recieveth blessing from God, but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned’ In the parables one of the main themes is Israel not bringing forth fruit to God. The parable of the vineyard, the cursing of the fig tree.

 

In John 15 the branches not bearing fruit are cut off and burned. In all of this imagery Jesus is saying to Israel ‘the time has come for you to produce fruit, the only way a branch can do it is if it is connected to the vine[Jesus], if you reject me you will never produce fruit and your ultimate destiny is judgment’ Paul reiterates that theme here! ‘But we are persuaded better things of you, that which speaks of salvation… for God will not forget your work and labor of love that you have showed towards believers’ Many of the recipients of this letter were those who Paul had preached to in various cities. He would often preach to the Jews on a Sabbath day. After his departure some believed, others were in transition. They still treated the believers well and sort of shared a common fellowship. To these who were not fully converted yet, Paul says ‘God won’t forget how you treated his children, I am persuaded that you will go all the way and show fruits of salvation in Messiah’. ‘Be followers of those who thru faith and patience inherited the promises’ Paul will go thru the rest of this chapter showing how Abraham received promises from God and after many years of waiting he would get the promise.

 

Paul is telling Israel ‘you have waited many years for the promise [Messiah] do like the fathers did, inherit it thru faith and patience’ Paul is showing Israel that the patient waiting for their Messiah was part of the plan. When the promise shows up all you have to do is recognize the time and believe in the promise. Israel was at a dangerous transition time, she could [and did] miss the fulfillment of the promise! ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil: wither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedek’ we are going to get into Melchisedek again in chapter 7. Paul lays the groundwork, he is telling Israel ‘we have a great high priest who has entered into Gods presence for us, he is from another tribe [Judah] and therefore you must come out from the ‘law tribe’ [Levi] and into the grace tribe [Judah] and you must leave the Aronic priesthood [law] and enter in to the Melchisedek priesthood [New Covenant]. Everything Paul points to is for the purpose of getting his Jewish brothers to embrace Messiah and the New Covenant, Paul sees everything thru this lens. He is persuaded that Jesus is the only way!

 

NEW NOTES-

In this study I’m trying to make the case that the writer is appealing to the 1st century Jew- and when we read ‘there remains a rest to THE PEOPLE OF GOD’ OR ‘those who were once enlightened- and tasted of the heavenly gift and were partakers of the Holy Spirit’- that in context- these are indeed references to the Jewish person- in the 1st century.

How can that be?

Because all of these covenant blessings- were indeed aspects of the 1st covenant [law] and were unique to Israel.

Then- when we read things like ‘if these shall fall away- repentance is impossible’-

Why?

If the Jewish person- at the time of Christ in the 1st century ‘falls away’- meaning he does not continue in the covenant promises of God- thru the law and prophets- which find fulfillment in Christ-Then yes- he ‘fell away’.

Then- if he continues in the old sacrificial system of the law- he in a way ‘crucifies Christ again’.

How?

The animal sacrifices were a type/symbol of Christ to come.

And if you reject Christ as the Messiah- the last and final sacrifice- then in a theological way- you ‘crucify Christ again’.

In Hebrews this is a theme- we read things like ‘there is no future repentance’.

The church has struggled over these verses for centuries- in the early days of Christianity there were those who ‘re-lapsed’ [called the Lapsy].

They denied the faith- in order to save themselves from death.

Then later- the question was asked ‘can they be received back into the church’.

Well- these verses in Hebrews- were an obstacle- because they seemed to say there was no future repentance for those who ‘fell away’.

Yet- that seems to contradict the concept of Grace and Mercy- which are indeed part of the new Covenant.

We read of the Apostle Peters’ denial of Christ- and yet Jesus did forgive him.

So- does the bible contradict?

No- not if you read it in the context I’m showing you.

In the New Testament-there is no ‘repentance’ for those who reject Christ- who ‘blaspheme the Holy Spirit’-

Meaning they resist the revelation of God [the Spirts witness] about his Son.

And yes- that indeed is the only sin that cannot be forgiven- because it rejects the only solution to sin- which is the final sacrifice of Christ.

See?

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

 

 

HEBREWS 7-9

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/5-7-15-hebrews-7-9.zip

[note- some of the posts are too long to post on facebook-so if you just see the video- you can go to the blog and read the post- thanks].

END NOTES OF POST BELOW-

WHAT ARE THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS?

OCTAVIAN- A GOD?

CICERO- MARK ANTONY [or Anthony if you like].

WHO WERE THE ESSENES?

DID THE CHURCH ENGAGE IN A GRAND CONSPIRACY?

NOTE- On the video I said that Herod the Great had 4 sons who ruled areas at the time of Christ- actually there were 3.

Archelaus- Ethnarch of Judea. Antipas- tetrarch of Galilee [I did get this right] and Philip- tetrarch of regions east of the Jordan.

 

 

CHAPTER 7:

NEW NOTES-

MELCHIZEDEK/JESUS NEVER DIES.

NEW PRIEST- NEW LAW.

 

‘For this Melchisedek, king of Salem [Jerusalem], priest of the most high God…to whom Abraham gave a tent part of all…without father or mother [no record in scripture!] having neither beginning of days nor end of life [no record of his death or birth] but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually’ first, Paul is showing the superiority of the New covenant over the Old. These verses are often used to teach tithing to gentile believers, they really teach the opposite! In context they are showing that the New Covenant is greater than the law, therefore the law [represented as Levi being in the loins of Abraham] submitted to Grace [The priesthood of Melchisedek/Jesus] and showing how grace is better than law. Paul’s point is to once again use the Melchisedek figure as a type of Christ. Jesus is called a high priest forever after this order, Paul says in essence ‘this order has priests who have no beginning of days or end of life, the priests in this order have a forever priesthood’. It really is amazing how Paul gets all this from the few verses of scripture that speak of Melchisedek. Many theologians today question even the most obvious truths. Some good ones will say there isn’t enough evidence for certain doctrines. Even though the evidence is 100 times more than what Paul used in his teaching on Melchisedek! I find it interesting how Paul continually sees Jesus thru every story! The man was a true ‘Jesus freak’.

 

‘Now consider how great this man was, unto whom Abraham gave the tenth…they that are of the sons of Levi have a commandment to TAKE TITHES OF THE PEOPLE ACCORDING TO THE LAW’ Lets settle this once and for all. To all my friends who teach tithing is for Christians today, many of them justify it by saying ‘tithing was before the law [true] in the law and after the law’ I have tried to explain this many times before. This verse shows tithing to be part of the law, specifically, not just ‘during it’. Also, the whole point of the argument here is that Grace and the New Covenant are better than the law. The tithe here is mentioned in a way that shows the superiority of the new covenant over the Old. ‘Levi also paid tithes in Abraham, for he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedek met him, if THEREFORE perfection were under the Levitical priesthood, what further need was there that a priest should rise after the order of Melchisedek, and not after Aaron? FOR THE PRIESTHOOD BEING CHANGED, THERE IS A NECESSITY FOR A CHANGE OF THE LAW’.

 

The ‘therefore’s’ are real important. They show you the main reason for the argument. If Paul can prove that God raised up Jesus from another priesthood, then there must also be ‘another covenant’. For this reason [therefore] you [Jew] should move on from the Old one and into the New! ‘For it is evident that out Lord sprang [root out of dry ground!]out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood…who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life, for he says “thou art a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchisedek”. Again Paul gets all he can from the ‘Melchisedek verse’. Because this single text of scripture says ‘Jesus is a priest forever’ therefore God knew all along that he would raise up a priest with an endless life. Wow, Paul even gets the resurrection from this verse!

 

As Paul was learning all these things in a new way after his conversion, it was blowing his mind. He saw all these ‘hidden’ nuggets of wisdom that Israel had all along in hidden form contained in their law. Paul is doing his best to present his case from their own ‘bible’ if you will… ‘For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by which we draw nigh unto God…and they truly were many priests, because they were not permitted to continue by reason of death: but this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. WHEREFORE he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him’. Now, we usually read this ‘the guttermost’ but it means something a little different. It means because Jesus has an endless life, he is ‘always’ interceding on our behalf. His very presence continually before the throne is what ‘keeps saving us continually all the time’. It is more along the lines of ‘Jesus never will die; therefore we will continually be saved’.

 

Paul compares this to the insufficiency of the priesthood of the law. Those priest’s ‘meant well’ but the poor brothers kept dying! This showed the total inability of those priests to effectively stand in on our behalf, even though they did all they could do. Jesus, on the other hand, will never die. Who would you prefer to have on your prayer team? Someone who will forget to pray for you down the road, who will last so long? Or someone who will pray for you forever? I know this is a crude way to look at it, but for our gentile minds it gets the point across. ‘For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens’ Paul describes the character of Jesus as ‘harmless’ as someone who would never ‘get even’ who is always pure, the perfect intercessor!

 

There are times in our lives, as well as all ‘natural priests’ that we are not pure, holy or harmless. During these days our prayers can’t get thru. If people are depending on us for true intercession, we let them down. There is never a day where our ‘chief intercessor’ lets us down. There are days when we feel useless, we have failed. Our own agendas get in the way. Days when we are not ‘harmless’. Thank God that our ‘prayer warrior’ is always on the job on our behalf. This is what  it means when it says ‘he is able to save to the uttermost that come to God by him’. All you have to do on those down days is ‘come’.

 

‘Who needeth not daily to offer for sins… he did this once and for all when he offered up himself’ Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice, there will never be another! ‘For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity, but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated forevermore’ Paul takes the verse again where it says ‘thou art a priest forever’ and compares it to the law. He says ‘the oath that God swore when he made Jesus a priest forever, came after the giving of the law. Therefore it supersedes the law. The law made priests that were failing, the oath made a priest who would last forever’ it really is amazing how much use Paul gets from this one verse. He in essence is saying ‘because Jesus was made a priest by this later oath, therefore the former making of priests is no longer in operation. You must leave the Levitical priesthood [law] and enter into the new one made by the oath’ [New Covenant] all the arguments that Paul makes in this letter are always pointing to Jesus as the final word from God. A better covenant with better promises. This is the whole context of Hebrews, for the people to come out of the law and into Christ!

NEW NOTES-

MELCHIZEDEK/JESUS NEVER DIES.

NEW PRIEST- NEW LAW.

Ok- we see the Melchizedek figure a bit more here-

The writer is saying ‘look- my Jewish brothers- in Psalms 110- King David- a prophet- spoke about another Priesthood.

This priesthood is not from the tribe that priests from the law come from [Levi].

But the promise/oath made about this priest [Jesus] says ‘you are a priest FOREVER’.

How can this be?

The writer says this must mean that David was talking about some future priest- who would have an endless life-

How else could anyone be a priest FOREVER?

So- David spoke about another priesthood- outside of the law.

And this priest is superior to the ‘law’ priests- because those guys died- but this one lives.

He also says ‘there must then be a change of the law [Old Covenant] too- because if we have a new priest- then there must be a new TESTAMENT/COVENANT as well’.

The whole argument is showing the superiority of what Jesus has done for us- versus the requirements of the Old Law.

The writer says ‘see- Abraham our forefather paid tithes to him- and Abraham had the tribe of Levi ‘still in him’ [Abraham was the father of Isaac- Isaac was the father of Jacob [named Israel] and he was the father of the 12 tribes].

Levi being one of those sons/tribes.

The point being that this example of Abraham paying tithes to Melchisedek- shows that he [and the priestly line that would follow- Jesus] was superior to the old law/priesthood- because Abraham was blessed by him- and truly ‘the lesser is blessed by the greater’.

Once again- this whole argument only makes sense to the 1st century Jew in transition- it has no real relevance to a new- first century- gentile church.

Notice how much the writer is ‘getting’ out of this obscure reference in the book of Psalms-

We really don’t have a whole lot of stuff in the bible about Melchizedek- but what we do have- is enough.

Hebrews 7:1 For this Melchisedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

Hebrews 7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;

Hebrews 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Hebrews 7:4 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Hebrews 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

Hebrews 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

Hebrews 7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

Hebrews 7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

Hebrews 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

Hebrews 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

Hebrews 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

Hebrews 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Hebrews 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

Hebrews 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

Hebrews 7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Hebrews 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

Hebrews 7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

Hebrews 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)

Hebrews 7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Hebrews 7:23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

Hebrews 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Hebrews 7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

Genesis 14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king’s dale.

Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Genesis 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

Genesis 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 8:

NEW NOTES-

NEW LAW.

NEW PRIEST.

NEW COVENANT.

 

‘Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: we have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man’ Now, to be fair, I have done a lot of teaching on how the Church [people of God] are the place where God ‘tabernacles’. But in Hebrews when Paul speaks of Gods tabernacle he is speaking of heaven itself. Why the difference? Is this a contradiction? The best way I can explain it is when Paul is writing the gentile believers, he is showing them the truth that they are the Body of Christ. When he is writing to Israel in transition, he is not going to address them as ‘the Body of Christ’ because he is still trying to persuade them to ‘come into this Body!’. Is this a contradiction? How can he write the gentiles who believe and tell them God is in you, and then write the Jews and tell them ‘God is in heaven’? Because these are both true! The reality of God dwelling in the church does not mean that God doesn’t also dwell in heaven. He is ‘omni present’. So in Hebrews Paul sticks with the theme as heaven itself being the true tabernacle, as opposed to the earthly one that Moses built.

 

‘Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for see, saith he, that thou make all things after the pattern showed thee in the mount’ Moses was seeing a pattern that God revealed to him ‘on the mountain’. God shows us things in the Spirit first, and then we build. Jesus said he did/said only what he saw the Father doing first. I feel much of modern ministry comes from an insecurity to want to act/do something for God. We all fall into this at times. We want to see action, which is a noble thing, but then because we are impatient we go out and produce an Ishmael! It’s not like Abraham wasn’t believing God at all when he did this. He kind of thought that maybe this was Gods way of fulfilling the promise.

 

I heard a Prophet testify of how he prophesied that a woman was to have a child. She was barren at the time. Years later as they were sharing how it came to pass, they shared how they eventually went and adopted a child. This was a well known Prophet on a national level. I think he might have just missed it! The point is we at times try our best to make Gods word come to pass, we need to wait on the mountain [in his presence] and let him ‘download’ the pattern in his time. After you ‘see’ what God wants, then run with the vision and make it plain upon tables, but wait until he shows you the pattern! ‘For if that covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the 2nd. For finding fault WITH THEM he saith, behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with them when I took them out of Egypt’.

 

Now, God says thru Jeremiah that he would make a new covenant with Israel. Paul starts to tread on dangerous ground with his Jewish readers. He has been accused and slandered as someone who disdains the law of Moses and wants to do away with all Jewish tradition. These were the accusations that Paul had to fight thru out his ministry. Paul taught in his other letters that the law was good, but man was sinful, therefore the law failed as a means to make man righteous [just]. Now Paul clearly teaches [Galatians/Romans] that the law actually had a tendency to bring out mans sinful nature. If you tell a kid ‘don’t touch this wet paint’ sure enough the suggestion itself will cause the kid to think about it and do it. Now Paul taught that the purpose of the law was simply to bring to the surface mans sinful nature. It’s not that the law is unrighteous [Romans] it’s that men are sinful. I have heard preachers teach that the law plays a role in restraining sin In believers. No it doesn’t! It does play a role in society to keep anarchy from overrunning earthly governments, but it does not ‘harness’ the sinful nature of man. So Paul is telling Israel that God all along planned on bringing them into a new covenant [not a ‘completed’ Jew. Only in the sense that the ‘completion’ is that Israel would leave the old covenant and enter into the foretold new one. More of a transition into fullness than a continuation of something old. Jesus said his blood was the blood of the ‘new covenant’ not the fulfilling of an old one. I share this because a lot of believers teach a doctrine of the ‘Abrahamic covenant’ being fulfilled in us. There is a sense where you can teach this, but some do not see what I just showed you!] So Paul is telling Israel ‘leave the old shadows[covenant] behind, the Prophets [Jeremiah] said you were to come into a new one, so COME!’

 

‘For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people…for I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. In that he saith a new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to VANISH AWAY!’ This new covenant is one where God writes his word [law] on the hearts and minds of people. No longer will they strive to keep outward observances, but by nature will fulfill the intent of the law [Romans]. Once again Paul is not telling Israel that they can keep their old covenant [this is what some in ‘New Perspective’ theology teach] but he is telling them the old covenant is decaying and getting ready to pass from the scene. So enter into this new one! Also it says ‘they will have no need to teach every man the law, for all shall know me’.

 

I find it interesting that I will run into Christians who have been homeless for years. Many of them never really had the same advantages of study and research like myself [thru the net, libraries and all types of stuff] and yet many of them have come to the same conclusions and understanding of scripture as I have. God’s Spirit has a way of getting truth to his people in a way that no ‘outward law’ could ever accomplish. In essence Paul is teaching that the New Law will be built into mans nature at the New Birth and God will become his primary instructor [1st John ‘you have no need that any man teach you, but the Spirit in you will guide you into all truth’ This doesn’t mean God has no teachers in the church, because that would contradict Paul’s letters. But it means Gods Spirit is the final authority, he is the one resident in the earthly teachers who is doing the instruction. Teachers are ‘gifts’ made/given by the Spirit to the church]. ‘Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more’ Paul will use this to teach the finality of the one sacrifice of Christ. He will say ‘if God doesn’t remember your sins any more, then there is no more need for sacrifice!’ So he sees the Cross in the simple phrase ‘God will not remember your sins any more’ once again Paul sees Jesus everywhere!

NEW NOTES-

NEW LAW.

NEW PRIEST.

NEW COVENANT.

We see Jesus as the high priest- of a greater tabernacle- a heavenly one.

Moses and the law- and the Levitical priests- were all earthly symbols of the true heavenly kingdom.

Jesus is a heavenly priest [at the right hand of God] and he now serves in a heavenly sanctuary [heaven- also can be seen as the kingdom of heaven/God- he is with us as our high priest- we are the city ‘coming down from God out of heaven’ [Revelation] – we are the Bride of Christ- we are the ‘new Jerusalem’ Galatians].

Once again- we see the contrast.

The New Covenant- has a new- and final high priest- Jesus.

It has a better- heavenly tabernacle [heaven- as opposed to the tent of Moses].

And it has a ‘better law’- that is it’s a covenant based on grace- where the law of God is written on the minds and hearts of those who believe.

The writer quotes Jeremiah 31- which is a prophecy of a coming time [here now] where God would regenerate his people- they would be born anew- and the outward covenant- written on tablets of stone-

Will now be ‘written’ upon the heart and mind.

We read that the first covenant was unable to really change the heart- ‘God found fault with it- them’.

Some manuscripts say it this way- meaning the law was perfect- holy- good [Paul teaches this is Romans and Galatians]but the problem was ‘he found fault with them/us.

Meaning man was unable to live up to the standard- because he has a sinful nature.

And we read in the other letters of Paul that the law only revealed our sin to us- it had no power to change the inner man.

So Jesus is at the right hand of God- he intercedes for us- and his Spirit is within us.

Jeremiah spoke of this coming day- and it was the real ‘promised land’ that Israel was waiting for- it’s now here- in Christ.

Hebrews 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Hebrews 8:2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.

Hebrews 8:4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:

Hebrews 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 8:6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

Hebrews 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Hebrews 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

Hebrews 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Hebrews 8:13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

 

 

CHAPTER 9:

END NOTES [chapter 9]

2 ROOMS.

THE BRANCH THAT BUDDED.

WHEN DOES A WILL HAVE POWER?

 

 

‘Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary’ Let me stop here and cover some stuff. Some ‘old time’ churches [high church model] feel the future of the church is ‘liturgical’. One of my favorite Catholic theologians is Scott Hahn. He believes and teaches that God’s purpose for all these Old Testament symbols was for the purpose of  MORE SYMBOLS! A lot of these brothers mean well, but I take Paul’s position. Here Paul states that the first covenant [notice, he calls the Old Law the ‘FIRST’ covenant, and the New covenant the second [or last]. This refutes dispensational theology which sees the law as the 2nd or 3rd covenant after Abraham and Noah. Paul and Jesus refer to only 2 main covenants. The Old and New] had a ‘worldly sanctuary’ but the second one doesn’t! The second covenant has Jesus in heaven at the real sanctuary in Gods presence. So you see right away Paul showing that all the earthly ‘liturgical symbols’ played a role in Gods purpose, but they were simply pointing to a future reality [Christ] that would be the fulfillment of the shadows. So the future of the church is not ‘liturgical’ in as much as it is ‘reality’.

 

We are living under an open heaven right now. Jesus is really at Gods right hand advocating for us! ‘For there was a tabernacle made, the first [first room]wherein was candlestick, the table and the shewbread..after the second veil the holiest of all…now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle [room]..but into the second room the high priest went alone once every year, with blood, which he offered for himself and the sins of the people: the Holy Ghost signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not made manifest while the first tabernacle was yet standing’ There is a lot here. Some commentaries confuse the ‘2 tabernacles’ as 2 different structures. What it is speaking about is one structure, with 2 different rooms. Now the fact that the ‘first room’ had daily access by the priest, but the 2nd room had annual access only by the high priest once a year was in itself a symbol of grace in Paul’s mind. Paul says ‘the fact that the first room [first covenant] stood in the way of the second room [a type of the 2nd covenant] was a picture of the 2 covenants. And the first one ‘blocked’ free entrance into the second one, so likewise today [1st century] the first room [old covenant] is standing in the way of the second room [new covenant]’. Wow! Paul really did do a lot of ‘reading into’ scripture. Hey, I like this stuff!

 

‘Which was a figure FOR THE TIME THEN PRESENT, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect as pertaining to the conscience; which stood only in meats and drinks,  and DIVERS WASHINGS [remember what we said in chapter 6? ‘baptisms’ can be translated ‘washings’] and carnal ordinances [liturgy!] imposed on them UNTIL THE TIME OF REFORMATION [the 1st century coming of Messiah]’ All the symbols were only given for a time. God always intended for there to be a day when his people would leave the symbols behind and move into the reality. This is not to say that Christians have no reminders or ‘ordinances/sacraments’ in the sense that Jesus told us to ‘do this in remembrance of me’ at the last supper. So God does have ways for us to remember the work of the Cross, but the overall ‘carnal ordinances’ of the law were only for a temporary period of time, when that which is perfect has come [Jesus] then that which is in part passes away!

 

‘But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands… neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place [heaven in this context] having obtained eternal redemption for us…how much more shall the blood of Christ, who thru the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works [law, remember chapter 6 verse 1?] to serve the living God?’ Paul includes all 3 aspects of the Trinity here. Paul is telling the most fundamental reality of the New Covenant. We are redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb! To the Jew who was inundated with legalistic sacrifices his whole life, for him to be told that Gods own Son offered up himself once and for all for all the sins of man, was an unbelievable freedom. Its like if you were brought up in a legalistic church [there are many of them!] and were taught from a young boy that you had to pray for 3 hours a day, read 25 chapters of scripture, wear long pants and suits all day [even in summer!] and you lived under this bondage of a never ending strain to please God. Then one day God reveals to you that you don’t have to do any of it anymore, Jesus did it all! You would be relieved, you would still pray and read scripture, but not out of a sense of obligation, but more from a sense of thanksgiving [you would probably also burn all those suits as a sign of no more sacrifices!] So to the Jewish readers of this letter, it is absolutely too good to be true to be told NO MORE SACRIFICES just rest in grace!

 

‘And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of transgressions under the FIRST [not 3rd!] testament… for a testament is of force after men are dead’ Paul teaches that the death of Christ was for the purpose of redeeming those who had ‘built up’ a record of sin and transgression under the first testament. He shows that the law and its sacrifices were a temporary fix that simply looked forward to Christ. In Peter’s epistle you also see the idea that those who were under the law were in a waiting stage[in death] until the time of true redemption in Christ. These ideas were crucial for the 1st century Jew to understand that God allowed them to continue for many years under the Old Covenant, but it was for the future purpose of Christ. Many times in theological discussions you will find believers saying ‘we have believed and done things a certain way for so long, how can you now come along and shake up the apple cart’? The point is God often allows his people to function in limited paradigms until the time of reformation and change. The fact that he allowed you to continue for a long time in a limited understanding, does not justify never moving on into maturity! Paul is telling Israel ‘God allowed you to build up a ‘record’ [deposit] of past sin and transgression, and he knew all along that a day was coming when Christ would ransom all those who were in this limited system’.

 

‘Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood…saying this is the blood of the testament…he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of ministry…it was necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true, but into heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us’ Paul says that just like the blood of the Old Covenant cleansed both the tabernacle and the vessels, so Jesus blood cleansed ‘heaven’ as well as ‘all the vessels of ministry’[us!] This speaks of themes found in Romans where scripture speaks of all creation yearning for redemption. There is a sense where the curse has affected all creation, therefore the benefits of redemption will affect it as well. In these verses we are taught that the blood of Christ has already had a redemptive effect on ‘the heavens’.

 

‘Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year…but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation’. Here we see the completeness of Christ’s sacrifice. Once and for all! While the Old Testament made temporary provision for mans sin, Jesus, as the mediator of a new and better covenant, makes complete redemption and atonement for mans sin. The proof of this is the fact that Jesus sacrifice only happened once in history, therefore God must have accepted it as sufficient for all time!

END NOTES [chapter 9]

2 ROOMS.

THE BRANCH THAT BUDDED.

WHEN DOES A WILL HAVE POWER?

The writer compares the earthly tabernacle- with the heavenly one [not meaning an actual tabernacle- like the earthly one- but heaven itself].

Under the law- the priests went daily into the first room [the tabernacle had 2 rooms- separated by a veil].

The high priest went into the back room [called the holy of holies] once a year.

In this room the ark of the covenant rest- the ark was the ‘box’ that held the 10 commandments.

It also had Manna- and the branch of Arron the priest- that budded [this was a sign when God chose which tribe would be for priests- they took a branch from each tribe- and the one that supernaturally budded- would be the tribe. This was a sign/symbol of Christ- who was a ‘root out of a dry ground’- also called ‘the man whose name is the branch’]-

These prophecies speak about Christ rising from the dead- and also being born from the Virgin Mary.

The writer says that these Old Testament signs showed us that ‘perfection’ did not come from the law.

Because those priests had to keep doing those things- year after year.

And if their service was really effective- it would have come to an end- because once the offering was made- then that would put an end to the guilt of the people.

Jesus offered himself once- showing that his sacrifice for the sins of men was the final one.

The King James version says that the sacrifice of Christ frees the people from DEAD WORKS.

Some translations simply say works of sin- which can be true.

But I think- in this case- ‘dead works’ is better- because it can actually be speaking of the works of the law- meaning the sacrifice of Christ has freed us [them- 1st century Jew] from these DEAD WORKS of the law- and they can now move on in the Cross of Christ.

We also see that Jesus sealed this New Testament in his Blood- because it is only after the death of a person that the will has power.

So Jesus died for our sins- thus giving power to the covenant.

Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

Hebrews 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;

Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;

Hebrews 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Hebrews 9:17 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Hebrews 9:18 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

Hebrews 9:19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

Hebrews 9:20 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.

Hebrews 9:21 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.

Hebrews 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Exodus 24:6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

Exodus 24:7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.

Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.

 

 

 

END NOTES OF POST-

WHAT ARE THE DEAD SEA SCROLLS?

OCTAVIAN- A GOD?

CICERO- MARK ANTONY [or Anthony if you like].

WHO WERE THE ESSENES?

DID THE CHURCH ENGAGE IN A GRAND CONSPIRACY?

 

 

 

 

END NOTES [I posted the video for this portion a few days ago- it goes along with Hebrews 7-9 video/post] The past few weeks I had a few friends ask me about the Dead Sea Scrolls- and a few other questions about the ‘lost books of the bible’ and some other common- and mistaken ideas [like the original sin being Eve had sex with the serpent].

So- I figured I would cover a little Jewish history- which would help in this study of Hebrews-

And also hit on a few of these subjects.

As we read Hebrews- it helps to also understand some of the history that we don’t have in our bibles [though the Catholic bibles do have some of it in the Apocrypha].

Ok- the ruling empire at the time of Christ was Rome- just prior to the appearance of Jesus- the Roman Emperor- Caesar Augustus- consolidated the Roman Empire under his rule-

Rome was ruled by a senate- some famous names from history were in it- Cicero being one.

Caesar Augustus was the nephew of Julius Caesar- his real name was Octavian [Octavius].

After the death of Julius Caesar- there were some power struggles that took place- between some other famous people.

Marc Antony being one of them [Cleopatra too- he was in love with the girl for sure].

Now- we read about Augustus in the New Testament- and we read in the book of Revelation about the Mark of the Beast- and that those who don’t worship- give homage to the Beast- they will be killed.

So- Many Christians would be killed because they would refuse to give homage to Caesar Augustus [meaning son of the Divine].

‘Wow- how did he get a name like that’ [there was more than one Caesar by the way- as well as more than one Herod- who did play a part in these power struggles- it can get confusing- even to me].

When Octavian defeated Marc Antony at Actium [32 BC].

Herod [The Great] had a problem- he had previously sided with Antony and found himself on the losing side.

Yet he was smart- did some ‘brown nosing’ as we say-and patched things up.

Herod had 3 sons- who would eventually take positions of authority in the Roman government at the time of Christ.

Herod Antipas was over the region that we read about in the New Testament where Jesus did most of his ministry- Galilee.

Ok- Octavian claimed deity because of a heavenly sign associated with his rise to power- and this is how he became called ‘Caesar Augustus’.

He sort of saw himself as a   ‘re-incarnate’- of his great uncle Julius Caesar.

‘John- what in the heck does this have to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls’.

Ok- good question.

The Jews had various responses to the empires that ruled over them during various times.

Alexander the Great instituted Hellenization- a sort of cultural compromise over the people he conquered.

They could keep their religious/cultural roots- but would be subservient to Alexander and Greek rule.

Some Jewish people rejected any compromise- we call them the Essenes- they moved out of town- so to speak, and lived in what we refer to as the Qumran community.

This was a few centuries before the time of Christ- and this was where the Dead Seas Scrolls were found in the 20th century.

A Bedouin boy was looking for his goats- threw a rock in a cave right off the Dead Sea- and that’s how we found the scrolls.

The scrolls might have been hidden there by the Essenes-

Now- when my friends asked me about them- I told them that it’s been a while since I read up on any of this- but to the best of my memory the thing that made them significant was the fact that they were very old manuscripts- from the bible- and they backed up what we had had all along.

I did read up this week- and basically had it right.

The earliest Hebrew manuscripts of the Old Testament we had previously dated back to around 900- 1000 A.D.

These manuscripts went back about 1000 years earlier- and they contained portions from almost every book of the Old testament- and some complete books.

The only book missing was Esther.

So- this was indeed a very significant find for scholars.

But the Scrolls also contain some of the writings from the Essenes themselves- things we never had before- so this too was significant.

There were Jews at the time of the first century who tried to ‘get along’ with Rome- and with the person in charge of their region [one of the sons of Herod the Great at the time of Christ].

These are referred to as Herodian’s in the bible.

Some wanted a revolution to rid Rome from Jerusalem- these were the Zealots [one of Jesus disciples was in this group].

Some thought if they returned to a legalistic obeisance of the law- that this would bring in a deliverer- like the stories we read about in the Old testament- these were the Pharisees.

And some took more of a political compromise- these were the Sadducees.

Eventually a war with Rome would be fought [By the way- Josephus- the famous 1st century historian- fought on the side of the Jews in the war- and after Jerusalem was sacked in A.D. 70- he went to Rome and wrote his great works- thinking he would make a case for the Jewish people with the Romans. This is why we have his works today- which are very valuable to scholars].

NOTE- In time I’ll try and cover how we ‘got our bibles’ [called the Canon- meaning Rule/ Measurement].

Frankly- there is a lot of confusion in the general public about conspiracies [like the Catholic Church had some type of plot to keep certain books out].

Or stories about how the Church taught Mary Magdalene was a prostitute so they could discredit her.

Actually- we read in the gospels that Jesus cast out ‘spirits’ from a woman who was probably living this type of life-

And Jesus had a ministry to the down and out- it is indeed possible that Mary was one of these women-

And if true- it would not demean her in any way-

That’s how this tradition more than likely developed- But- we don’t know for sure.

So a few years back the Church officially said ‘we don’t know’.

Ok- Plot?

No- just being careful.

So there are other misguided beliefs like this- that sincere people have- and over time I hope to get to them.

I’ll do one more in keeping with this post.

I mentioned above that Caesar Augustus did indeed take the title of ‘son of God’.

And some critics of the Church say ‘see- there were all types of religions that had Sons of God’.

I watched one show a few years back- and it stated that these religions had ’12 disciples- a leader named Lord and Savior- and he healed and claimed to be God’s Son- and rose from the dead’.

Ok- that show was ‘fibbing’ to put it lightly- they went too far [historically speaking] in trying to diminish the Christians claim of Christ by doing this.

Now- is there some truth to this at all?

Yes- like I just mentioned above- Octavian did indeed claim deity- a ‘son of god’.

So- how do we explain this?

In the book of Galatians the bible says ‘in the FULLNESS of times God sent forth his Son’.

Jesus came at a set time in history- in fulfilment of the Jewish Prophets- to be who he was- and to do what he did.

Now- this is not special pleading here- but I find it a masterpiece that God’s Son came at a time when the Roman Empire had one sitting on the throne- who too claimed deity.

Yet Jesus was in a region of the lower class- his men were not highly educated- and his followers were people under oppression.

Augustus lived in the wealthy and influential capital of ‘the world’- he had all you could ever ask for- he was worshiped as a god.

Yet in 3 short centuries- one of the heirs of the empire- Constantine- would have an experience – not with a former Caesar- but with a vison of a Cross-

He would convert to Christianity- and declare Christianity to be the religion of the realm.

He would then ‘convert’ the pagan temples- into churches for these followers of Christ.

So I don’t see the fact that Augustus claimed to be a son of god right before Christ- as some type of discredit to the claims of Christ.

No- I see it as God’s way of pulling the rug out from the oppressor- see? [Oh- by the way- only one of them rose from the dead- can you guess?]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 109:1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise;

Psalm 109:2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue.

Psalm 109:3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause.

Psalm 109:4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.

Psalm 109:5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love.

Psalm 109:6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.

Psalm 109:7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin.

Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; and let another take his office.

Psalm 109:9 Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

Psalm 109:10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Psalm 109:11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; and let the strangers spoil his labour.

Psalm 109:12 Let there be none to extend mercy unto him: neither let there be any to favour his fatherless children.

Psalm 109:13 Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

Psalm 109:14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.

Psalm 109:15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Psalm 109:16 Because that he remembered not to shew mercy, but persecuted the poor and needy man, that he might even slay the broken in heart.

Psalm 109:17 As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him.

Psalm 109:18 As he clothed himself with cursing like as with his garment, so let it come into his bowels like water, and like oil into his bones.

Psalm 109:19 Let it be unto him as the garment which covereth him, and for a girdle wherewith he is girded continually.

Psalm 109:20 Let this be the reward of mine adversaries from the LORD, and of them that speak evil against my soul.

Psalm 109:21 But do thou for me, O GOD the Lord, for thy name’s sake: because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me.

Psalm 109:22 For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

Psalm 109:23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust.

Psalm 109:24 My knees are weak through fasting; and my flesh faileth of fatness.

Psalm 109:25 I became also a reproach unto them: when they looked upon me they shaked their heads.

Psalm 109:26 Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy:

Psalm 109:27 That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it.

Psalm 109:28 Let them curse, but bless thou: when they arise, let them be ashamed; but let thy servant rejoice.

Psalm 109:29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle.

Psalm 109:30 I will greatly praise the LORD with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.

Psalm 109:31 For he shall stand at the right hand of the poor, to save him from those that condemn his soul.

Psalm 110:1 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

Psalm 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.

Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.

Psalm 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Psalm 110:5 The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

Psalm 110:6 He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.

Psalm 110:7 He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

Psalm 111:1 Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.

Psalm 111:2 The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein.

Psalm 111:3 His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Psalm 111:4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the LORD is gracious and full of compassion.

Psalm 111:5 He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant.

Psalm 111:6 He hath shewed his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of the heathen.

Psalm 111:7 The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all his commandments are sure.

Psalm 111:8 They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.

Psalm 111:9 He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

 

 

 

 

For the word of God is quick , and powerful, and sharper than any two edged 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.

[ I want to make a note here- for those who have followed my posts/videos about my dealings with Police issues in C.C.- Chief Simpson died in May- 2015. It was a shock to the city- and many good words were spoken about him. I believe the chief was a good man- I posted the newspaper clipping on my prayer wall- and will pray for his wife and 4 kids that he left behind- may God bless them all].

 

 

This is gonna be a tough one to write-

But I feel I need to.

Why did I post the Psalms these past few days?

About 3 years ago- I noticed a strange thing- as I read one Psalm every morning- just about 90 % of the time- it was prophetic.

Meaning- it spoke to some issue that would later transpire that day- or in the near future.

Now- for some of you- just reading the Psalms I posted- might have been offensive- it was for me too- when I read them- in a 3-4 year ‘line of succession’ this past month.

Now- I want to be careful- respectful- and tactful here.

During this ongoing experience of reading the Psalms this way- whenever I come across an ‘imprecatory Psalm’ [these are the Psalms where King David prays for God to ‘get’ his enemies].

I actually say- while reading it ‘God- I want you to know- I would not be praying this- or wishing it- on anyone- but in keeping with this prayer/reading aloud of the Psalms- I’ll read it thru’.

I have said this multiple times- over the past 3-4 years.

Why?

Because it’s scary- to be honest.

Now- the Psalms I posted this week- were the ones I ‘came across’ in this 3-4 year daily pattern- I DID NOT PICK THEM OUT!

On May 2nd– or 3rd– I got up at the ranch-very early- I even think I made a video and talked about how Jesus gives us a kingdom- like God has given him.

And explained it meant we have authority thru our words/prayers-

I’ve known this for a while. So-that morning I read Psalms 109- and it was indeed rough to read- I do feel Leary when I read them- aloud- because whether or not IM PRAYING IT- I DO IT OUT OF OBEDIENCE- ESPECIALLY ONE  like that!

As I left the ranch- I looked right- and saw a Full Red Moon [some describe it as THE BLOOD MOON]

In scripture this denotes a judgment time.

I felt Leary for sure.

Later that night [or the next day? But I think it was that night].

A GOOD CHRISTIAN MAN died.

All I can say is this rocked me- I DID NOT ASK FOR THIS- and I’m not saying it happened because of this- but it rocked me never the less.

So- I posted the Psalms- so as you read them each day- and maybe thought ‘he’s off the wall’- I wanted you to see why I posted them.

Now- I have seen things in God’s kingdom that I don’t always understand- and God is not about ‘getting our enemies’ [this man was not my enemy by the way- none of them are- God’s kingdom is about justice and mercy- and he does things on both sides of this scale].

‘John- aren’t you afraid something could happen to you’ [meaning- you might die too].

Let me say- something might- and it’s not because of anything in particular.

I finally got accepted with the VA insurance- which I have been trying to do for 8 years!

Some of my friends are aware of known medical problems- actual physical stuff- and they have said ‘why don’t you get treatment’?

I never had the insurance- that’s why.

Now- I’m Leary about doing the lab work/blood work- which will be on my birthday- July 17.

And yes- It’s possible that there might be more than one thing- and I am going to tell the doc ‘I don’t want to be checked for anything  else- but just one thing’.

At least that’s the way I’m feeling now.

So- I am not saying FOR SURE that things happened because I read/prayed the Psalms-

But I will tell you that things have indeed happened- thru this reading/praying of the Psalms in this way- and when I come across the ‘tough Psalms’- I read them- even with the ‘get them’ language- but it’s ‘NOT ME PRAYING IT’ so to speak- it’s more like me reading/praying it- out of obedience in keeping with the way I have been reading them for the past 3-4 years.

None of us are better than anyone else- and God does not ‘get your enemies’- but in God’s kingdom- sometimes even very good people die- for things that we don’t fully understand at the time-

Jesus being one of them.

Note- I also found it interesting that I just taught from Psalms 110- Melchisedek- I think I made a video that morning from Psalms 110-

Yet this 3-4 year pattern of reading the Psalms- just happened to bring me to these psalms at the same time.

2nd note- when I went to the VA about 5-6 years ago- at first they/I thought I was accepted- and I did see a lady doctor at the time.

They do ask if you have anything- and I told her I did at the time- but was ‘treating’ it- well- thru vitamins [no joke- I went on line- and did the best I could do].

I also turned down doing the lab/blood work- because I said ‘I’d rather not know if there is anything else’.

Now- she said some people are like that- and I’m one of them.

This time I’ll do the lab work- so- I’m going a bit further-

But- yes- all of our lives are short- whether we ‘have something’ or not- and I know this post is a tough one- I’m just telling you the way it happened- and I’m not saying things happened for sure- because of this- but I wanted you to follow the journey- and this is the best I could do.

3rd note- see- now I have to keep explaining stuff- because people seem to think I lie.

‘John- you’re a retired firefighter- don’t you have insurance’?

Every state- and city- are different.

My dad has full benefits- he retired as a Captain from New Jersey.

He also never paid into Social Security- I did.

When I retired- our contract did not have a good clause for health insurance- I could have kept my family on [which was my primary concern] with cobra- for about 7- 8 hundred a month.

Just too much at the time- so I lost my health coverage.

Now- I took about 40 thousand out of my retirement to pay off my house- that dropped my income from my lifetime check- which I get till this day.

So- I make ‘too much’ to use the ‘indigent’ system- or get Medicaid.

Yet not enough- even under Obama Care- to get insurance-

So- hope that explains it.

4th note-

‘Then why did you retire’?

Good question.

My last year at the Fire Dept. – my back was bad.

I had an old work injury [common for Fire Fighters] and had a bad disk for years.

One day I got up to go to work- and my wife said ‘you can’t go like that!’

It was so bad during that year- that yes- I would fall down- 2 or 3 times in the morning- before I could go. Once you start moving it warms up- and off you go [usually].

But one morning my leg went numb- the pain was unbearable- and I went to the E.R. – in 2007 [just got the old record the other day].

Now- lots of guys fake stuff- yes- even Fire Fighters- but- they did a cat scan over  time- and even a nerve test to the right leg- and the doctor who gave me the test was surprised that there was indeed nerve damage to the leg [the foot is numb till this day- every now and then the right leg goes out- it’s like a cramp- but 10 times worse- you have to ‘go down’ when it happens- last time was about 2 months ago].

So- I could have dragged out the whole Workman’s Comp thing for years- which lots of the Fire Fighters do- but to the cities surprise- I had my 25 years in- and just retried.

Now- they waited about 7 months before they sent me my certificate of appreciation-

Why?

The normal routine is- well- you get a standard settlement if it’s work related-
I wanted none of that- took my 25- and left.

 

One last attempt at trying to digest some of this-

Sometimes- in the purposes of God- there are ‘redemptive deaths’-

Meaning they are not caused by any fault of the person who died.

Also- there are ‘prophetic acts/seasons’-

Meaning God deals with whole nations at times- about specific issues-

So-when these 2 are happening at the same time- God can ‘allow’ a good man- to possibly ‘pay the penalty’ for his own men-

Not in a vindictive way- or just in a local way- but at a certain Kairos time- a set season where God’s purposes are being played out on a much grander scale then you or me-

Now- The reason I posted all 3 [or 4- not sure yet] of these Psalms- in a row- is because I just read them this past week that way- some before certain events transpired[ some on the same day].

And you will notice- in the ‘more gentle’ ones- that in context they are saying ‘all of God’s works are wonderful- and we don’t always understand them at the time- nor should we question them’-

That’s the context you see in these-

When you read stuff like that- right after the ‘judgment ’psalms- that’s what it’s talking about-

It’s saying none of us see the whole picture- so we should not question God.

Note- context-

These types of things are not about particular incidents that happen to me- or anyone else-

Sometimes an incident can cause a person to take on a cause- a much broader cause then the incident itself.

At those times you are now engaging in a cause- that exceeds the local stuff.

These prayers by King David were about things he went thru- but David was a prophet- and these prophetic prayers go beyond local issues-

They ‘reach out’ if you will.

I recently finished reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church [not an easy task- it’s huge].

I found it interesting that near the end- on a section about prayer- they teach this.

The church teaches that the Psalms are the prayer book of the bible- they said it in a way that I actually have been experiencing these past 3 years.

When I say I’m reading them along a line- I mean I started from Psalms one- a few years ago- and just go right thru all year long- one a day [some days I miss- but when I pick up the next day- it still ‘works’].

Now- I have read the whole bible- I guess- hundreds of times over the years [no lie- the New Testament maybe more].

But I started this Psalm pattern a few years back-

That’s why I see significance- I’m not picking Psalms 109- for a reason-

No- the last time it came up- in this pattern- was a year or 2 ago.

It works that way with all of them- when you read one a day.

That’s why it’s significant when stuff happens- along those lines.

Because these psalms are indeed the prayer book for the church.

 

I add this Psalm below [82]- though it was not read in the order I mentioned above.

But a few months back- I did write the last verse on my note/wall- where I post verses I feel are significant.

The last verse I have ‘prayed’ [more like a shout] out loud- every now and then-

The morning when I read Psalms 109- and saw the red moon- I did pray this verse aloud.

What I want you to see in this post is that God rules in the affairs of men.

HE DOES NOT TAKE SIDES! He does what is right and just- for all in his court.

I wrote much about this these past few years.

And in my mind- it’s a dangerous thing to go looking for these verses- with someone in mind [like you want God to get them].

The verse below was written on a tile in my yard about 2-3 years ago.

Actually I have ‘my own’ version [I often combine a few verses- sometimes not even knowing it].

The one in my yard says ‘I WILL FINISH THE WORK AND CUT IT SHORT IN RIGHTEOUSNESS- FOR THE LORD WILL MAKE A FULL  END- EVEN DETERMINED IN THE MIDST OF ALL THE PEOPLE’.

Psalm 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

Psalm 82:2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.

Psalm 82:3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.

Psalm 82:4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psalm 82:5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.

Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

Psalm 82:7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.

Psalm 82:8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

 

Romans 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

 

 

 

Don’t misunderstand this post-

‘John- what are you saying?’

I’m not ‘saying’ anything- I’m just showing you what happened.

 

There’s much more to speak about- many verses- and yes signs- that would be too hard to share with you.

Lots of it had to do with periods of waiting- angels ‘showing up’ things we read about in the prophetic books [Daniel- etc.]

To sum that aspect up- I would put it like this.

I sensed there would be about a 3 and a half year period before things would come to pass- in many areas.

This past month- it hit the 3.5 period.

I also got a strong sense that ‘the watchers/angels have now come’.

16 Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah. Jeremiah 4:16

17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will , and setteth up over it the basest of men. Daniel.

12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand , and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard , and I am come for thy words. Daniel.

 

I won’t tell you this one- but when I ‘saw it’ it scared me.

I knew what it was.

In my teaching- as you know- I rarely teach this type of stuff- I’m trying to teach you historic- well grounded Christianity.

And those of you who have read my stuff- know that I am not a ‘charismatic’ flashy- TV evangelist type- at all.

But I do have experiences- and this was indeed one.

1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass ; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write ; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write ; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth , and no man shutteth ; and shutteth , and no man openeth ;

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.  And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

1 And the fifth angel sounded , and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound , the mystery of God should be finished , as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood , saying , Rise , and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein .

5 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap : for the time is come for thee to reap ; for the harvest of the earth is ripe .

And I heard the angel of the waters say , Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art , and wast , and shalt be , because thou hast judged thus.

Revelation 22:6 And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

Revelation 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.

Revelation 22:9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Revelation 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Revelation 22:15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Revelation 22:21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing : as I hear , I judge : and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

John 8:15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

John 8:16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

 

John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

@

MONDAY- As I get ready to post this today or tomorrow-

I’m mad right now.

The death of the chief was indeed a sad event- and whether or not you think what I mentioned above was God’s dealings with men-

Yet- our city mourned- full coverage all week long- shock- dismay-

Once again- I in no way demean the mourning-

A few weeks ago I gave you 2 cases of Black men on death row- for 30 years- wrongfully.

Both were later exonerated and let out.

In one case- the documentary said that even after the prosecutors had proof the man was innocent- yet out of spite- they still pursued him- and wanted to put the man to death.

Now- that’s what you pastors should be shook up about- that’s injustice on a huge scale!

Yet some of you mourned in shock for a week- over the death of a good Christian man.

A death-  mind you- that will come to us all- in time.

I’m grateful that his family does not have to live with his death being a grave injustice-

Like if someone was drunk and hit him on the motorcycle-

From what I read in the papers it was a 16 year old kid driving a truck- and he swerved out of being tired-

Yes- still bad- but his vehicle did not run the chief over- the chief laid his bike down- his helmet came off at the time- and he went on to be with the Lord.

He died doing what he loved- riding his bike.

Thank God that his death was not caused by a crime-

Yet the ones that are [like the case mentioned above- if it went all the way]-

We barley have the time to even inform ourselves-

And the criminals in that case- were indeed the cops/prosecutors/ and all those who continued to pursue his death- after it was known that he was innocent-

WHERE’S THE RAGE AMONG YOU PASTORS!

Where’s the week’s long mourning- or even the one time mentioning of it form the pulpit!!

Those deaths are what’s called INJUSTICE- those are the ones that concern God more than anything else!

As you can see I’m mad- the cops in NY city- Staten Island- do you know they have been pursing/harassing the family [mom- women- etc.] of the kid who took the video of the murder of Eric Garner.

4 family members have since been arrested and put in jail-

Because the kid legally took a video- those cops drive by the family home in Staten Island- where many cops live- and shine the bright light from the cop car thru the window.

They put that family on alert- illegally mind you- that

We are watching you !

The cops in Baltimore illegally  arrested and picked up the kid there that took the video- held him at the police station- and finally let him go.

Don’t forget the cases where the cops lie about what happened in the various killings- until video surfaced and we all saw they lied.

In those cases- before the videos surfaced- remember- the internal investigations always exonerated the cops- until the video shows that they lied.

That’s injustice- those are deaths that you should be outraged about- those are deaths where the families not only mourn for the loss of a loved one- but the families are then harassed by the agency who killed their loved one- then lied about it.

These are injustices-

So- I will- and have already- prayed for the chiefs wife and kids [did today- by name].

When our city wide mourning stops- his wife and kids will live with the loss for life- and it is sad.

Just remember- when you have the death of a family member- and it was because of an illegal act of another- that adds a tremendous weight to the death.

The family of the 16 year old who caused Chief Simpsons death is broken- and saddened-

As well as the chiefs family- and his men.

God gives us wake up calls- he does not ‘take sides’ and ‘get your enemies’- no- he deals justly in the affairs of men.

And he wants justice for all.

What I wrote in this post is true- the experiences I had- all of it.

And at first I did not think I would mention any of this- but felt I was supposed to.

Now- if you read carefully- you can see [if you have an open mind] that the death of the chief was not in vain- it was redemptive- meaning he- in a sort of substitutionary way- gave his life for a higher cause.

If all I said is true [and I believe it is] then there is purpose in it-

Our country is in a very dangerous time-

I could talk more about why- but things are going to be shaken.

And all across the country these issues are being dealt with.

The chief’s death has in a way brought the community together- people are more sympathetic to the cause of GOOD COPS- and how many of them have to wrongfully deal with the effects of the bad ones.

Good has come from this- it was not in vain.

Jesus himself took a penalty- death- for others who deserved it- yet he was righteous- and took the place of others.

That’s the most noble death a person can die- that gives death meaning- Jesus said ‘no greater love has a man than this- that he should die for his friends’.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEBREWS 10-13

https://ccoutreach87.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/5-17-15-aristotle-and-the-city-of-god-real-windy.zip

 

END NOTES OF POST-

Masada.

Hadrian.

Judaism in transition.

Did they ‘move on’ ?

Who was Elazar ben Yair?

 

 

End notes of chapter-

IS THERE MEANING TO THE ACTUAL ORDER OF BIBLE VERSES?

HOW DID THE SPIRIT ‘TESTIFY’ TO THE FINAL SACRIFICE?

WHY DOES THE WRITER CONTINUE TO SAY THE NEW COVENANT IS HARSHER?

 

 

CHAPTER 10:

 

‘For the law having a SHADOW of good things to come, AND NOT the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? Because that the worshipers once purged should have no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year’. Paul shows how the simple fact of ongoing sacrifices in and of itself testifies of the insufficiency of the law. The on going sacrifices were a reminder that the peoples sins were still there. If the sacrifices really worked, then why do it over and over again every year? He will contrast this with the singular sacrifice of Christ. The fact that Jesus did it once shows the superiority of his sacrifice over the law.

 

‘Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. THEN SAID HE, lo, I come to do thy will O God. ABOVE WHEN HE SAID sacrifice and offering…THEN HE SAID, lo, I come to do thy will O God. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second’ Here Paul uses the actual order of the verses in Psalms to prove that the Old law will pass away and a New covenant will replace it. The fact that David [Psalms] says ‘sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared for me’ in this order shows that God always planned on taking away the sacrificial system and replacing it with Christ [or fulfilling it!] So even in the simple prophetic order of these statements Paul sees the Old law passing away and a new one being instituted. Wow again!

 

‘By the which will we are sanctified thru the offering of the Body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every high priest STANDETH daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, SAT DOWN on the right hand of God’ The comparison here is that the priests under the law stood, showing their sacrifices were never sufficient, they could never say ‘it is finished’. The fact that they stood while offering sacrifices showed the incompleteness of the system. Jesus sat down. This showed that his sacrifice was once and for all. Now, no where does scripture teach this concept between ‘sitting and standing’. Where does Paul get this stuff from? From ‘revelation’, that is God is supernaturally showing this stuff to Paul as he writes. This is the prophetic element of scripture. While we don’t ‘write scripture’ any more today, there are still lots of hidden meanings that we don’t fully see yet. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to ‘bring to our remembrance all the things that Jesus taught us’ [also all the things about Jesus!] So when you read the Old Testament, look for Jesus! He is there in more ways than you realize.

 

‘For by ONE offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us [of what? Of the singularity of Christ’s offering. The fact that the Holy Spirit thru Jeremiah prophesied that God would never remember our sins any more speaks to the truth of the one offering of Christ, we will read ‘if there is no more remembrance, then there is no more sacrifice’] this is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin’. Do you see the point Paul is making? It is common for preachers and Christians to read these letters and to simply glean practical truths from them. That’s OK. But like I said in the introduction, when you see these things in context, then you can still make practical application, plus you are seeing the relevance behind the teaching. The practical part of this is ‘wow, God will not bring my sins back up into remembrance before his face!’ Now that’s practical!

 

‘Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest [true holy place, that is Gods presence in the throne room] by the BLOOD OF JESUS, by a new and living way[ the early Christians were at times called ‘the way’] which he hath consecrated for us, thru the veil, that is to say his flesh’ We now have total access to the Father thru the Son. This is the ONLY WAY man can have this access! It is common today to teach a type of pluralism that says ‘all religions will eventually lead us to God’ some will lead straight to hell! Sorry. The only way to the Father is thru the Son. God ordained it to be so. Don’t fight over it, God says ‘come freely’ those who don’t come, they will never GET THERE! Jesus flesh is called the ‘veil’. During the crucifixion the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. Most believers know the significance of this. I would submit to you that when the scripture says ‘the veil was ripped’ that it was not only speaking of the actual veil that was in the temple on that day, but it was also prophetically speaking of the true veil, Jesus Body, that was being torn apart on the Cross.

 

The veil of the temple not only restricted access for man coming to God, but it also separated God from the true community of people. The tearing of the veil [Jesus body] not only allowed man to have access to Gods presence in heaven, but it also opened the door for the Spirit of God to tabernacle with men on the day of Pentecost. After the tearing of Jesus flesh [which Jesus is also called the door] it is like a door opened, both letting man into the presence of God, as well as ‘letting’ God tabernacle with men [note- Jesus ‘Emmanuel’ was ‘God with us’ so in a sense God was already tabernacling among men thru Christ, but at Pentecost God ‘spread’ this ‘tabernacling’ to a community with worldwide potential, as Christians would increase thru out the ages, so would Gods presence increase as he dwells in men. Thus the Kingdom starts small, like a little leaven, and before you know it the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of the Lord. It culminates at the second coming of Christ].

 

‘And having an high priest over the house of God [remember, even though in Hebrews Paul speaks of heaven itself as the tabernacle, yet he also told the Jews ‘who’s house are we, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end’] let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water [baptism]. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering [for he is faithful that promised] and let us provoke one another to love and good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another…’

 

A few things here. First, Paul is exhorting them to ‘get washed in pure water’ [baptism]. Remember, some of the recipients of this letter were believing in the message as Paul preached it as he traveled thru their cities, others were still on the edge. In this chapter it seems as if he is saying ‘some of you who have heard and seen all of these things, it’s time to make the decision to go all the way. Others have made a good profession, you too need to stick with the message’. Now, to those who would ‘revert’ back to the law, after they ‘received’ the truth, Paul says there is only judgment down the road. Even though they heard and the message reached them. Even though Paul presents the gospel in a way that says ‘you are all sanctified’ yet there was always the danger of apostasy. Those who believe you can lose your salvation [Arminians] take these verses and say ‘see, those who were once sanctified, if they sin, they face judgment’. I have actually viewed this chapter in different ways in the past. I never saw it as the Arminians, but I have debated over whether or not Paul was saying ‘now that you are believers, don’t think you can get away with sin, remember there is only one sacrifice, if you keep sinning God will judge you’ [not hell, but chastening]. But I have come to view it more along the lines of ‘those of you who are still in transition, you have made a good profession, Jesus blood has sanctified everyone [in a sense] so if you continue to sin [go back to the old system that taught that continual sin was part of the plan. Remember, the law made provision for continual sinning. This worldview of sin and judgment was unique to the Jewish community of the day.

 

It really should have been easier to convert Israel, they already had a ‘Jewish’ world view. But one of the dangers of this world view was they had provision for ongoing sin. The idea of ‘continuing to sin’ was engrained in their culture. Paul is warning them that in Christ the fact that there is only one sacrifice means you cant still live with the worldview of ‘I will continue to sin’] In essence Paul seems to be saying ‘if you continue to sin, and think that the Cross is like the old system, then you are fooling yourselves. The fact that the Cross happened only once means that it is sufficient to truly cleanse you once and for all from your sin’ to those who wanted to keep sinning, because it was fun, Paul says ‘watch out, judgment awaits’. So in keeping with what I showed you in chapter 6, I see this chapter continuing to appeal to Jews, some who have even made an initial profession, but he still had to warn them about going back to their old way of continuing to sin. Remember, there were many who were preaching that the law was still necessary for salvation, Paul is telling them it isn’t.

 

‘For if we sin willfully [something that was expected under the law, that’s why they had all the sacrifices!] after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses law died without mercy under 2 or 3 witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?’ Once again Paul contrasts the severity of the law to the New Covenant. Remember how earlier Paul showed that those who ‘neglect so great a salvation’ have more to worry about than those who rejected ‘the word of angels’ [law] Here Paul again says ‘Those who disrespected the old system died without mercy, how much worse shall it be for those who disrespect the blood of the everlasting covenant’ I see this being directed at those who never fully convert to Christ.

 

While Gods discipline is also harsh on believers who continue to live in rebellion [Corinthians] this language is never used of believers. So Paul is saying ‘beware, if you decide to walk away from all that has been presented to you, you will bear a much harsher punishment than those who sinned under the law’. What was the punishment of those who sinned under law? They died. What is the punishment of those who reject so great salvation? Eternal judgment. Let me add a note about ‘not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together’. It is common to use this verse to defend ‘Sunday church’ a lot of times it is used in this way to fight against the house church movement. What is the context here? The Jews already met together regularly before they believed in Christ. They had both temple and synagogue. Paul is simply saying ‘after you convert, keep getting together’ this is not a verse for defending Sunday church! [It is OK  to go to church on Sunday]. ‘For we know him that hath said, vengeance belongeth unto me…the Lord shall judge his people’ In context, remember how I already showed you that ‘his people’ and ‘holy brethren’ and other terms like this in Hebrews can be speaking of 1st century Israel in transition? They were still considered ‘his people’ at the time the gospel was presented to them. Ultimately when they rejected Christ they would lose that designation, but many of the terms in this letter speak to Israel this way. So ‘his people’ can most definitely describe believers. But in context in this letter it more than likely is saying ‘don’t forget Israel, God does judge his people. So don’t think that your natural heritage of ‘being his people’ will get you out of the crunch this time!’

 

The Jews were always appealing to their privileged position with God ‘we have Abraham as our father’ they would always appeal to their ‘pure’ orthodox heritage, here Paul says ‘God will judge all of us based on what we do with his Son, even ‘his people’! ‘For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods’ many of the Jews who were embracing Paul’s message did suffer persecution. Historically we know many of them were plundered. They lost their goods! It’s funny, Paul doesn’t say ‘get back what the enemy stole from you’ [though you can!] but he says ‘don’t worry about the loss of your wealth and stuff, you have a better inheritance of eternal things in heaven’. Most modern preaching doesn’t even think about this. We are so consumed with preaching a gospel that says ‘come to Jesus and you will be rich’ that we never even give a second thought to these verses. We will read in the next chapter how Moses ‘forsook the pleasures of Egypt so he could bear reproach with Gods people’. Now I know that when they fled God gave ‘the treasures back’ but the point was Moses went thru a period of leaving all of it behind for a higher calling. Don’t always tell people [to you preachers!] that the wealth of the world is waiting at your doorstep if you receive Christ. They might be on the verge of ‘getting their goods spoiled’ for a season knowing that in heaven they have a better and enduring substance.

 

‘NOW THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him’. In the original bible you didn’t have chapter divisions. Sometimes the divisions interfere with the meaning of the text. It is important to see that right before Hebrews 11, Paul makes this famous statement on justification by faith! He will go into chapter 11 with this theme in mind. We often read chapter 11 as believers and see the great stories in it of the heroes of the faith, but this is not the primary reason for the chapter. The main reason is for Paul to make the case of law versus grace. He has just spent 10 chapters explaining the superiority of grace over law. Now he will show Israel that all of the great heroes of the faith PLEASED GOD BY FAITH! He will be laying out a grand overview of the great Old Testament figures and be saying THEY ALL RECEIVED  A GOOD REPORT [JUSTIFIED] BY FAITH.

 

It is real important for you to see this as we head into the chapter. When you read it with this in mind, then you begin to focus in on the statements of faith in a different way. While chapter 11 will give all believers a great boost in faith, the primary reason behind it is to say to Israel ‘look, all of our great forefathers [and fore mothers!] pleased God by faith, not the works of the law. Some of them were even law breakers! [Rahab, Samson] yet they were JUSTIFED [pleased God] by faith!’ Well, lets get into the chapter before I preach the whole thing right here.

END NOTES-

IS THERE MEANING TO THE ACTUAL ORDER OF BIBLE VERSES?

HOW DID THE SPIRIT ‘TESTIFY’ TO THE FINAL SACRIFICE?

WHY DOES THE WRITER CONTINUE TO SAY THE NEW COVENANT IS HARSHER?

 

If the sacrifices under the law were sufficient- then why did the priests keep offering them?

The writer says that’s proof they ‘didn’t really work’.

But Jesus offered himself once- for all- and that shows us that his death was the final one.

He quotes Psalms 40- and once again- like we saw earlier- he sees the actual order of the verses in this Psalm as having meaning.

‘Sacrifice and offering you do not want’ first

‘But a body you have prepared for me’ second.

He then says ‘see- God took away the first’ [meaning the Old Law covenant is ending]

‘Then- he established the 2nd’ [meaning the Body of Christ being offered].

He then says ‘the Holy Spirit also testifies to this”

How?

He quotes Jeremiah 31-

‘I will make a new deal with the people- not like the old one- in this deal [covenant] I will not REMEMBER their sins any more’-

See?

If God had some new covenant- in which HE would not remember the sins of the people- that shows that in the new deal- there would be no more sacrifices.

Now- he exhorts the reader ‘let us have faith- draw near to God with a clear conscience- having our bodies WASHED WITH PURE WATER’.

Huh?

See- this is an exhortation to COME INTO this covenant- he’s saying ‘believe- and be baptized’.

This letter is not speaking to ALREADY BAPTIZED PERSONS.

We also see- once again- the writer saying that this New Covenant is MUCH HARSHER than the Old.

‘If those under the law disobeyed- and died under 2 or 3 witnesses- how much worse will it be for those who have the light [thru their Old Law- Christ was indeed in there- thru types and images] and reject it.’

‘for if we/you continue to sin- after having these truths revealed- there is no more sacrifice left- but a fearful waiting for judgment’.

In time I’ll develop this more- but in the New Testament letters- written to the Gentile churches- you don’t read stuff like this.

You do see God judging his people [in those letters- meaning Christians].

But you don’t see the New Covenant compared to the Old Covenant in this way- saying ‘it’s much harsher than the old’.

But- to those outside of the covenant- to the ‘unbaptized- unbeliever’ then yes- this warning holds true.

The theme thru out Hebrews is ‘if the first century Jew does not BELIEVE in Christ as the Messiah- then he in effect does disgrace to the Blood of Jesus’-

He will not find repentance any more [under the old system]-

And he will face a stricter punishment then those who rebelled under the law-

[They died physically- but in this new covenant- if you reject Christ- you suffer spiritual death- and the ultimate judgment of God].

One last note- as we study the letters of the New Testament down the road- we see a theme- yes- about how we should view earthly riches/wealth.

Here we read ‘you suffered the loss of your earthly goods- knowing that in heaven you have a more enduring substance’.

The theme is never ‘claim your covenant rights to wealth’.

But ‘the things in this life- material wealth- are nothing to be compared to the spiritual riches we have in Christ’.

And yes- this is true.

Psalm 40:6 Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

Psalm 40:7 Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

Psalm 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.

Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Jeremiah 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Jeremiah 31:34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

 

 

CHAPTER 11: [see commentary on Acts 21]

END NOTES-

JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.

TORTURED- BY FAITH?

REJECTED MONEY- BY FAITH?

THEY ALL WAITED FOR THE CITY- THE CHURCH.

 

 

‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, FOR BY IT THE ELDERS OBTAINED A GOOD REPORT [JUSTIFIED]’ This is the key verse to the chapter. Paul will go on to prove that all the Old Testament figures that ‘pleased God’ did it by faith, and not by works! ‘Through faith WE UNDERSTAND that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear’ Faith is not ‘blind’. It informs and gives understanding. This understanding is real! Let me show you what I mean. All of the universe and creation had a beginning point. Science did not always know or believe this. Today science teaches this. It is called ‘the point of singularity/density’. Science has traced back the origins of all things and has found scientific evidence to prove that all things had a ‘beginning point’. Now if you were to ask science ‘what did you have right before the beginning point’? They are stumped. Some of course believe in God and will boldly proclaim him at this point. To the others they can not answer this question. Why? Because they realize, thru science, that matter is not infinite.

 

Some have theorized that either all things always existed [which science has now disproved] or that at one point nothing existed [which science also teaches that if this were true then you would have nothing today. You can not get something from nothing!] So all true science has gone back to this ‘point of singularity’ and can not see what is right before ‘the point’. The Christian ‘sees’ God at this point! He ‘understands’ that by necessity there has to have been something that existed before creation, science teaches this. This something can not have been created also, because then where did the ‘being’ who created ‘it’ come from? So science teaches us that whoever got the ball rolling [Saint Thomas Aquinas calls this the ‘prime mover’] had to have been preexistent/ self existent in order to have done it. And we know that creation couldn’t have done it by itself, so therefore all reasoning and understanding leave us at the philosophical point of ‘there had to have been something/someone who existed forever  in order for anything to be today’. So now you see how ‘by faith we understand that all things that now exist were brought into existence by someone who we can not see’. FAITH UNDERSTANDS!

 

As we go thru the rest of this chapter I want you to focus in on all the references of justification by faith. You will be surprised [I think?] on how many examples Paul gives to Israel from their own history [his too!] on God justifying people by faith. I will also try and show you [if I remember] how this chapter links the division between Paul’s epistles to the gentiles [Romans, Galatians] with James letter to the Jews. James was one of the lead Apostles at Jerusalem [Acts 15] and the Judaizers who were always accusing Paul of preaching grace in a way that justified sin, they came out of Jerusalem. James and Paul were rivals in a sense. James had the difficult job of overseeing the Church at Jerusalem, who had all the Pharisees who believed, while Paul was preaching this radical message of grace. This is why James’s letter [book of James] focused so much on faith and works. James was seeing the Genesis 22 account of Abraham’s justification when he offered Isaac on the altar. James will say ‘see how Abraham was justified by his works’. While in Paul’s letters he focuses on the Genesis 15 account of Abraham believing God and being made righteous. James was not contradicting Paul; he was showing the actual outcome of the life of a person who was previously justified by faith. James was saying ‘When God made Abraham righteous [Gen 15] he later actually became what God made him!’ [Gen. 22].

 

Now when Abraham would later do righteous things, he only did them because he previously had faith in Gods promise. But the fact still remains that when Abraham did a righteous act, God still justified him [in a sense, God has the prerogative to say ‘good job son, I am pleased with you’ so this can be described as an act/function of justification]. Well, now that I already showed you all this, I guess I wont have to remember telling it to you later. The point is in this chapter Paul will go down and show all these examples of Jewish leaders acting by faith and doing righteous deeds. This sort of bridges the gap between the strong emphasis on faith in Paul’s letters, with the strong emphasis on works in James letter. Paul is telling Israel ‘yes, all the old saints did do good works that pleased God, but they did them by faith!’ ‘Faith without works is dead’ [James]. So in a sense this single chapter bridges one of the key divisions in the early church between Jerusalem and Antioch [Acts 13 and 15]. Note; I believe all the chapter references above are correct, I write all this from memory so you might want to go back and double check the references. I know all the stories are right.

 

‘By FAITH Able offered …by which he obtained witness that he was RIGHTEOUS…by FAITH Enoch was translated…he had this testimony that he PLEASED GOD…without FAITH it is impossible to PLEASE HIM [all these ‘please him’ references are like saying ‘being justified’ when a person is justified by God, God sees him as acceptable, pleasing. ‘Thou art my beloved son in whom I am well PLEASED’ God to Jesus!] By faith Noah… prepared an ark to the SAVING of his house…and became heir to the RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS BY FAITH [wow, he makes this one real plain] By faith Abraham…went out into a strange land…and sojourned’ interesting, both the aspect of ‘going out to a new land’ and ‘staying in it when you get there’ are both functions of faith. Let me throw in some practical stuff here. Over the years of ‘doing ministry’ I have seen and been a partaker of both of these experiences. Sometimes it takes an act of faith to uproot us from familiar territory and move on to the next level. And do you know what can happen next? The enemy will try to intimidate you once you get in the land of promise, and tell you ‘you cant stay here, look at all the people who hate you. Look at all the mistakes you made’ and it often takes an act of faith to STAY IN THE LAND. Don’t leave the land of your destiny; all true leaders will go thru both of these dealings.

 

‘For he looked for a city which hath foundations [Jesus is the foundation of this city!] whose builder and maker is God’ All of these great heroes of the faith were looking forward towards a future promise of being in Gods true church, the ‘City of God’ the Bride, the Lambs wife. Paul shows Israel that this 1st century appearing of Messiah was for the purpose of Israel coming into the ‘new land’ the Body of Christ. It is important to see this. There are many preachers today who are treating natural Israel as in if everything is just fine. It isn’t! They need Christ as much as the Muslim does. God was telling Israel ‘come into this new city’ [New Jerusalem versus Old Jerusalem] he wasn’t appealing for them to stay in ‘old Jerusalem’ and be a ‘completed Jew’. [I know this sounds harsh, but I want to emphasize to all my evangelical friends that Jews need Jesus, they play a special role in Gods plan, but ultimately they need Christ!]

 

‘Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed’ it takes faith to produce spiritual offspring! It might look impossible, but with God all things are possible. ‘Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky and the sand by the shore’ sometimes God will allow you to bring forth one ‘seed’ [person or act of ministry] and you will be surprised how much fruit can come forth from this singular effort. This is why it’s so important to simply hear and obey God. Often times in ministry we do tons of ‘leg work’ which is OK. But when God gives you an idea or mode of function that you weren’t even thinking of, go with it. These are usually the ‘little seeds’ that produce the great harvest! ‘THESE ALL DIED IN FAITH, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES’ I want to emphasize here that it is possible to live your whole life in faith without actually seeing the fulfillment of all that God has told you.

 

Now faith does obtain promises [verse 33] but sometimes we also see things many years down the road and we must realize that the measurement of faith is not whether or not you are currently getting the actual promise. In the above [and below] verse’s we see Abraham and Sara being told that their offspring would number in the millions. They believed these promises, but it is obvious that they didn’t live to see it fulfilled, but they sure knew that after they were gone it would come to pass. So I want to exhort you to believe to see certain things fulfilled in your life time, but have some greater goals that you initiate while here on earth, knowing that after you depart they will be fulfilled. ‘And truly if they had been MINDFUL of the country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned’ what is Paul saying here? The greatest threat to the gospel taking root in the Hebrew community was the desire to go back to old law and culture. How many believers ‘revert’ back to an older form of church simply because they missed the old culture and ‘feelings’ that they had when they were younger? Many of the Jews would not go all the way with the gospel because they were ‘mindful’ of the good old days of law and sacrifice.

 

I just watched a show the other day that told how even some gentile believers began celebrating certain feasts of Israel with their Jewish neighbors. While it is good to understand and see the significance of the feasts, yet we know Paul wrote the early believers and said ‘you observe days and times and feasts, and I am concerned about it’. So when we [or 1st century Israel] are ‘mindful’ of the ‘good old days’ then there is always a danger of going back! ‘By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…of whom it was said in Isaac shall thy seed be called. Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure’ Abraham exhibited characteristics of the Father [God] as well as Isaac being a type of the Son [Jesus]. It’s interesting that these verses show that Abraham knew for a fact that God was going to give Isaac millions of children, Abraham also knew the voice of God so well that when he ‘thought’ he heard God say ‘offer up this boy’ that in the mind of Abraham, the only way these 2 things could be reconciled, is he came to the conclusion ‘I guess God will have to raise him up, being he has told me this boy will have millions of children, plus he is telling me to kill him’. Most of us would not have come to this conclusion! We would have doubted either the original promise, or said ‘surely this can’t be God telling me to offer Isaac’ [most likely we would have doubted the latter!].

 

There is a real important reason for Abraham to have been a real man of faith. God wanted this ‘picture’ of the offering up of Isaac for a type of the Cross and Resurrection. The only way he could have shown this example was to have had someone so radically filled with faith, that he would have come to this conclusion of ‘well, I guess God will just raise him’. It was necessary for the figure to have been truly fulfilled. It took Abraham many years of hearing and believing God before he would get to this stage. The part of Abraham’s mind that said ‘God will just have to raise him up’ was important for the figure to truly work. God knew he could only bring someone to this conclusion by arranging the whole scenario around a person of faith. It truly took a real person of faith to have come to the conclusion of resurrection as being inevitable! [For Abraham to fulfill the type of God, he had to have been convinced beyond all doubt that after he offered up his son, that he would be raised again. This is exactly what the Father [God] believed and knew about his own Sons death. So not only did Isaac fulfill the type of Jesus in this story, but Abraham also fulfilled a type of God!] [NOTE; Today is September 22, 2007. Israel’s Day of Atonement. I just heard a brother preach on the feasts of the Lord [I have done this also] but he preached it in a way that said ‘because God said you were to observe these feasts perpetually, therefore all gentile believers need to start observing these days’ he added ‘I know Paul taught the law passed and all, but these feasts are supposed to be forever because God said so’.

 

How are the feasts ‘perpetual’? Thru the fulfilling of them in Christ! Paul makes this plain all thru the New Testament [as well as this letter!] I was surprised to hear the brother preach that the first 2 feasts [out of the 3 main ones] were fulfilled and memorialized, but the 3rd one [Atonement/tabernacles] has yet to be fulfilled! What? Jesus fulfilled Passover and Pentecost for sure, and they are still being ‘fulfilled’ God is still bringing people in thru the blood of Christ and the Spirit is continually being poured out on people, and of course the ultimate reality of our atonement thru our high priest is a daily reality [he ever lives to make intercession] that is ‘fulfilled’ all the time[ I understand what the brother meant, that both Passover and Pentecost were fulfilled at the Cross and the day of Pentecost, and Tabernacles still has a future fulfillment. That Jesus will ‘ingather’ all peoples to himself at the end. The way he said it was in a way that he said Atonement, the beginning of Tabernacles/booths, still has to be fulfilled. It really came out badly!] I just thought it worth noting that today is natural Israel’s feast day, and we hold this feast in reality 24/7!]

 

‘By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of pharaohs daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward…by faith the harlot Rahab perished not…’ I want you to see that faith in Moses situation caused him to forsake great riches and leave a successful future. This is in keeping with all the times Jesus called people in the Gospels ‘forsake all and follow me’ mentality. We too often equate the ‘treasures of Egypt’ with following Jesus; the scripture puts a different spin on it! Also Rahab ‘perished not’ because she ‘believed’. Paul teaches in Corinthians that those who believe are ‘being saved’ and those who don’t believe are ‘perishing’. I want you to see that Paul is really making a theological argument for ‘being saved by faith’ in this chapter. Even a harlot can be saved! Wow. The law seemed to have no mercy on someone like that!

 

‘Who thru faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions…women received their dead raised to life…others were TORTURED not accepting deliverance…others had mocking and scourging and bonds and imprisonment, they were stoned, cut in half, were slain with the sword… being destitute, afflicted, tormented…they wandered in deserts and mountains and dens and caves of the earth, ALL THESE [both the ones who shut the mouths of lions as well as the one’s who were tortured without deliverance] OBTAINED A GOOD REPORT THRU FAITH, AND RECEIVED NOT THE PROMISE’ Faith does not always cause you to be better off in this life. I am very familiar with all the verses of God blessing us and providing for us ‘the blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow to it’. I believe and claim these verses just like the next guy. I also don’t want to tell people ‘give your life to Christ and all will go well’ did it go well for the ones who were tortured not getting delivered? Sure did. It went well the moment they saw the face of God. The same for those who were cut in half. It also went well for the women who received their dead raised to life. The point is ‘going well’ is not always defined by your outward circumstance.

 

We must see the overall biblical worldview of all things here being temporary, while all true spiritual riches are eternal. Moses actually was ‘less rich’ by the choice to follow Christ. But he was ‘more rich’ in that he fulfilled Gods purpose. It is important to see that many of these great heroes of the faith died without fully seeing the promise in this life. Now the last verse does say ‘that they without us should not be made perfect’ and this does show that the promise is now fulfilled thru Christ. We have all become recipients of eternal salvation thru Christ. The Old Testament patriarchs have ‘found that city’ in that we are all now members of the great ‘City that comes down from God out of heaven’ we are all in Christ today, even our Old Testament brothers who had faith. The point is don’t always measure a persons faith by their outward wealth and condition. James rebuked this idea in his epistle, he taught us not to show partiality to people who were rich while despising the poor.

 

When believers see faith only from the standpoint of outward things, they are missing the true riches. Jesus taught that all these outward things were not the true riches; I am surprised how many believers spend so much time hoarding and storing things that will all pass away some day. Let’s close this chapter on a good note. Paul has offered Israel all of their Old Testament heroes as an example of being justified by faith. He is saying ‘look, all the great fathers of the faith pleased God, just like you have said and taught for ages. I am declaring unto you they were all ‘justified/pleasing to God’ by faith, not law’. Therefore if you want to follow the example of Abraham and Moses and all the other wonderful fathers, then you too MUST BELIEVE!

END NOTES-

JUSTIFIED BY FAITH.

TORTURED- BY FAITH?

REJECTED MONEY- BY FAITH?

THEY ALL WAITED FOR THE CITY- THE CHURCH.

This chapter is loaded with the history of the Jewish people-

I could teach on each story- but that would be a bit much-

So I pasted the verses below to show that the writer is saying ‘see- all of our forefathers were justified- received a GOOD REPORT- by faith’.

Wait a minute- they DID THINGS- in these stories-

Isn’t that WORKS?

If you read the letter of James- and the letters of Paul- some scholars says there is a disagreement-

Paul says a man is justified by faith- and not by works.

James says ‘see how a man is justified by works- and not faith only’.

If this letter [Hebrews] was written by Paul- then it’s a true masterpiece- because he is combining the examples that James uses [Rahab- and Abrahams Genesis 22 experience- which James uses to say ‘see how works justifies’].

So- to me- Paul would be saying ‘no- I’m not contradicting James- we both believe/teach the same thing’.

If the letter was written by Barnabus- then it also is a masterpiece- because Barnabus might be trying to bridge the gap between Paul and James.

We read about this tension in Acts chapters 13 and 15.

This chapter is certainly not showing us how to obtain stuff [money- etc.] thru faith- because look at the examples- ‘Moses chose to suffer- and reject the wealth of Egypt- BY FAITH’-

‘SOME WERE TORTURED- SUFFERED- CUT IN HALF- by faith’- ‘CHOOSING TO not be delivered- because they had faith’.

We also see the heavenly city- as the goal of the patriarchs- they were all waiting for THE CHURCH- the city that the apostle John spoke about in the book of revelation.

The writer says ‘if they were mindful of the city they came out of [a reference to the law covenant- meaning if the Jews kept clinging to the law- the ‘city they came out from’- they will have a hard time moving on- into the New Covenant revelation of Messiah].

I didn’t quote verse 2- but we could teach modern physics from that one [the bible says all things were made from something invisible- modern physics has come to that reality in the 20th century- yet this verse was penned 2 millennia ago]!

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

So yeah- lots of good stuff in this chapter- but the main point is these ancients were justified by faith- the example of Noah and Abraham actually use that very language- salvation/righteousness [it’s a bit clearer in the King James Version- the above verses are from the NIV].

Yes- the writer is saying ‘everything is based on faith- and even our ancestors were justified by faith- they did all these things because they believed God- and God saw their faith- in action- and they too were made righteous- by faith’.

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

 

 

CHAPTER 12:

END NOTES-

A HEAVENLY CITY.

DON’T BE SAD, HE’S TREATING YOU LIKE A SON.

NO REPENTANCE- OUTSIDE OF CHRIST THAT IS.

CULTURE SHOCK IS HARD ON US ALL.

 

‘Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses [all the heroes of the last chapter!] let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us’ a few practical things. Paul compares the journey to a marathon, not a sprint! The patient runner who paces himself will receive a reward. The sprinter will look good at the start, but you never see him again! I have been blessed by so many gifted people over the years. Some who were on radio, or were doing some type of ministry for the Lord. The gifts and callings were truly on these people. A few years would go by and they were no where to be found. Where did they go? Some of them jumped on the latest ‘Christian movement’ [I am not against movements from God, I just feel we get enamored by them and give up on the main thing the Lord has called us to] some walked away from the Lord.

 

I have come to realize that God will put certain things in you from the early days, things that he predestined for you to fulfill before you were born. These are the things that you should be faithful to. Don’t abandon the original calling, it’s still there! You can spend your whole life leaving one ‘track’ and ‘sprinting’ in another. But God wants you to stay on the original course and run it with patience. It might not seem as glamorous or exciting as the newest race in town, but at the end you will receive a reward. ‘Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him ENDURED the cross, despising the shame and is set down on the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that ENDURED such contradiction of sinners…and ye have forgotten the exhortation that speaketh to you as children [remember what we said about this type of privileged language in Hebrews? It is speaking to Israel] my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art REBUKED of him: for whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If you endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons’.

 

Now, for many years I read this just like you. That God was telling Christians that he disciplines them. True enough. But in context what is Paul saying here? He spent 11 chapters ‘reproving’ Israel. He told them that all the sacrifices and wonderful holidays and family traditions are no more. That Messiah has fulfilled it and you can’t keep doing it. Now, how would you feel if some know it all preacher came along and totally dismantled your whole way of worship? And you knew in your heart he was right! You would take offence. You would feel like you just got ‘chastened’ up and down and all over. Your initial reaction would be ‘this is too much correction in one letter, I am tired of reading it!’ so Paul is telling Israel ‘Don’t take all this reproof the wrong way, Gods intent is to get you to move on with the program. He loves you guys; don’t forget that scripture [Old Testament] says ‘who God loves he chastens’ hey, God is just dealing with you as children who he loves’ get it? ‘We have had fathers of the flesh that corrected us…shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of spirits and live?’ Paul is saying ‘you guys want to live [eternal life] then you need to submit to the correction the father is giving you’.

 

‘For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure, but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness’ Now, God does chasten believers for the purpose of holiness. Scripture says ‘those who have suffered in the flesh have ceased from sin, that they should no longer spend the rest of their days in the flesh pursuing the desires of the flesh, but the will of God’ ‘before I was afflicted I went astray, but after I kept thy word’ ‘thou in faithfulness hath afflicted me’ ‘though he were a son yet learned he obedience from the things he suffered’ ‘the captain of our salvation was made perfect thru suffering’ [the last 2 are in this letter, the others are some where in scripture, I just quoted them off the top of my head. As you can see I have some familiarity with this subject! Ouch] In context Paul is saying to Israel ‘you have tried to attain holiness thru legalistic means, by keeping the law [Romans 9-the last few verses] but until you submit to Gods chastening, and have faith in God, you will not truly have his ‘holiness’ [righteousness].

 

So God is disciplining them thru this letter so they will ‘believe and become righteous’ as opposed to staying in the old system of law. ‘Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous [old brother Paul, he sure knew how to understate things!] nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of RIGHTEOUSNESS to them that are exercised [or exorcised! Just kidding, but it can feel like this at times] thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down…and make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame [broken] be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed’ David said ‘restore to me the joy of your salvation that the bones which YOU HAVE BROKEN may rejoice’ The danger of chastening [both for Christians and Israel] is that we get so broken that we never fully recover. Paul is telling Israel ‘I know it’s been hard on you guys to hear so much rebuke. Don’t walk away totally discouraged. There is a danger that you might respond to Gods correction the wrong way. Lift up your hands, shake off the depression, and let yourselves be healed. God wants to restore you!’

 

‘Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For you know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for HE FOUND NO PLACE OF REPENTANCE though he sought it carefully with tears’. This is another reason why reading Hebrews in context is important. One of the themes of this letter is ‘if you miss out on it now, you can’t repent later!’[Chapter 6]. We know that Pauls other letters to the churches leave open future repentance for those who have sinned. In Paul’s letters to the Corinthians we see this being done. But in Hebrews the idea is ‘if you pass on the Cross, you can not find repentance thru any other means. There is no other place for repentance’. So this is the reason why Hebrews has this theme of ‘no future repentance’ thru out the letter. Paul is certainly not telling Israel that if they decide to repent and accept Christ at a future date, they can’t! But he is saying ‘if you pass over this sacrifice of Christ, all the other ‘sacrifices’ and means of repentance that are contained in the law will have no future effect, remember Esau!’

 

‘For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched…but ye are come to Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem [the church]…and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Able’ Here Paul comes back to a ‘scarlet thread’ that runs thru out this letter. He says ‘hey, you think the first covenant was a fearful thing, watch out! If you disregard this covenant [Jesus blood] then you have gone against something that is much greater than the law’. Also the ‘blood of Able’ cried out from the ground for vengeance, the blood of Jesus cries out from heaven for mercy and forgiveness! It ‘speaks’ better things than that of Able! ‘See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth [Moses and the law] much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him which speaketh from heaven’ again Paul repeats themes he hit on earlier in this letter. He says ‘Moses spoke Gods Word [law] to you from an earthly mountain and place, you are come to a heavenly mountain [Sion-spiritual Jerusalem] and Jesus is speaking to you from heaven. This is much more strict than he who spoke from earth’.

 

‘Wherefore we receiving a Kingdom that can not be moved, let us HAVE GRACE, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: for our God is a consuming fire’ Though Paul doesn’t say it [I think he should have!] but this alludes to the ‘God’ of Moses day, who did not consume the burning bush, compared to the ‘God’ of today [new covenant] who will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire! This fits in with the theme of a harsher punishment for those who reject the covenant of grace as opposed to those who rejected the covenant of law. I know these themes are not popular, but this is clearly the way Paul is presenting them. I also am not saying the ‘God’ of the Old Testament is different from the ‘God’ of the new [this is the heresy of Marcion! I think that was his name. He was an early Christian heretic who comprised the first canon of scripture for a ‘new testament’ it included basically Paul’s letters, and he taught that The God of the new testament was different from the God in the old] but Paul is presenting the new covenant in a way that says ‘don’t neglect this new way of salvation, those who do will receive a harsher judgment than those who rejected the law’.

END NOTES-

A HEAVENLY CITY.

DON’T BE SAD, HE’S TREATING YOU LIKE A SON.

NO REPENTANCE- OUTSIDE OF CHRIST THAT IS.

CULTURE SHOCK IS HARD ON US ALL.

Once again we see the contrast between ‘he that spoke from earth’ [Moses- the law]- and he that ‘speaks from heaven’ [Jesus covenant is more strict- to those outside of it and reject it- because he has heavenly authority- Moses had earthly]. Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

 

The writer says ‘don’t be sad- God disciplines every son who he receives’- though this certainly applies to Christians- Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:

Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

Hebrews 12:7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

Hebrews 12:8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

 

Remember this- though the message of grace and Jesus as the Messiah is wonderful- especially to us Gentile believers-

Yet- it was indeed a cultural shock to the 1st century Jew-

Why?

Even though Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophets- yet in order for the Jewish person to accept this [Like the apostle Paul]

He had to accept a real cultural change in the religion he practiced from his youth-

He was being asked to stop the animal sacrifices- to ‘move on’ from the Law covenant- and to embrace Christ.

Now- in reality- it would be the fulfillment of all that was contained in the law- but it’s often hard for anyone to ‘move on’ from former religious practices that are embedded in his culture.

So- in context ‘Don’t be sad- God is disciplining you- showing you new stuff- and it’s tough for sure- but he does this with all the sons he receives’.

We also see the promise of the heavenly city- As opposed to the earthly one. Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

Hebrews 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

 

The writer is speaking about the church- and how both Jew and Gentile are part of this spiritual community coming down from God out of heaven.

And again we see the warning- of no repentance- for those who keep sinning.

I stress that this is never taught to the Gentile churches- as a matter of fact the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthians- about a sinning brother- sleeping with his father’s wife [his step mom].

And In the 2nd letter- this brother repented- and Paul exhorted the church to receive him back into fellowship.

But to the 1st century Jew- still not fully in the covenant- he says ‘Hebrews 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

In keeping with the theme of the letter- Jesus is now the only acceptable means of repentance- and if you reject him as the Messiah- and continue in sin- then yes- there is no repentance.

Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Ephesians 2:21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Ephesians 2:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Galatians 4:26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 13:

 

Once again we will see an image in this chapter that Paul will take from the Old Testament and use to describe the sacrifice of Christ. It might even be the best image yet! But let’s start with some basics. ‘Let brotherly love continue’ the other day I was shopping at Wal Mart and saw some Cowboys shirts. I have a homeless friend who I have known for 15 years who loves the Cowboys [The football team!] So I bought him a 13 dollar shirt [they had a nicer Jersey for around 40 dollars, but I am not that spiritual yet]. So I bought him the cheaper one. Sure enough he’s been wearing it ever since! Sometimes it’s the little things, the ‘brotherly love’ stuff that we need to do. We are so obsessed with doing ‘religious stuff’ and attending ‘religious meetings’ and ‘tithing’ that we really do not see the underlying reality of going out of our way for others. We will read in this chapter the 3 sacrifices God does want from us, after all the teaching Paul does on ‘no more sacrifices’ he will give us the spiritual sacrifices that God requires of us. They don’t even touch what we think is important!

 

‘Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them’ a regular part of my prayer life includes praying for our fellow brothers and sisters ‘in bonds’. A few years ago a brother from our area got sent to jail for stealing money from a famous Christian mission that he worked for. I met him a few times over the years. He used to go to the church I attended. I really didn’t like him to be honest with you. I loved him as a brother, but a little to ‘I am a Christian, cant you see’ type thing. I don’t want to judge him, but this was how I felt. Well many years later when he got sent to jail he became the talk of the town. I started regularly praying for him and haven’t stopped since. This has been around 5 years or so. I also recently included some other Christians who also did some public crimes and were sent to prison, a girl who was found guilty of murdering her foster child. I also pray for those around the world who are in prison for the faith. True persecution. I want to exhort you to pray for those in bonds. Paul knew how hard it was, he was in jail often. ‘Marriage is honorable in all… but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge’ Paul made it clear in all his letters that he was not preaching a gospel of grace that condoned sin. He will say this time and again thru out his writings. He was accused of preaching a sinful gospel, but he wanted to make it clear that in all of his preaching about the law and sacrifices passing away, that in Christ people by nature will do what is right [Romans]. At the end of this great treatise to the Hebrews he makes it clear ‘don’t go on sinning’.

 

‘Let your conversation [lifestyle] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he hath said ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ Paul once again deals with avoiding a materialistic mindset. He isn’t urging them to believe God for millions of dollars, or to set a goal of what you want and then to use scripture to get it. He tells them ‘you have Jesus, so be happy. Don’t be always trying to find fulfillment in things, they pass away’. You will find this mindset all thru out scripture [read 1st Timothy 6!] so many Christians today think that this mindset is ‘tradition’. But it is in scripture!

 

‘Remember THEM which have the rule over you’ to be fair, I have done a lot of teaching in the past against the authoritarian one man rule over believers. I want to submit to you that both here, and in every other New Testament letter that leadership is always plural. It is ‘them’ not ‘him’. Also there are a few other passages that use the term ‘rule’ you could  also interpret these as ‘those who watch over you, have care for you’ and use more amicable terms. There are actual reasons why the stronger language is used, I don’t really want to get into the whole thing here, but some feel it had to do with the time that the English bibles were being translated. The kings of the time [England] wanted to maintain a strong hierarchy within their ‘nation states’ as they broke away from the Papacy of Rome, and the translators made a conscious decision to use the more authoritarian terms to keep the people under authority. A whole book has been written on this dynamic. But for now I simply want you to see that Paul is addressing a community of people and saying ‘submit to the eldership of your area, they have responsibility for your spiritual growth, they will give an account to God. So listen to them’ this is not a verse to be used to justify the present office of the singular Pastor in the Protestant church!

 

‘Be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them which have been occupied therein’ I like this verse. It summarizes so much of the Christian life. The whole point of this letter is to establish people in grace. To see that in Christ we have been accepted with God. Our main message isn’t all the interesting doctrines and stuff that we like to argue about. It really is Christ and Gods grace being freely given to us thru him. A lot of the reproving I do is not for the purpose [I hope not!] of just arguing about things that don’t matter, but it is for the purpose of bringing Gods people back to a platform of grace. I teach ‘you are not under the tithe [law] but give all you can in love [grace]’ we are all living our lives openly before the face of God, we shouldn’t be running around trying to ‘one up’ the next guy. Or showing everybody how smart or spiritual we are. We are all here to become more like Jesus and to simply see our requirement as living a thankful life and doing good deeds and sharing our goods with others [the 3 sacrifices that we will see later in this chapter!] I like this verse a lot!

 

‘We have an altar [the Cross] whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle [those under the tabernacle system, the law!] For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp [the main area where the tabernacle and all the holy things of God were located]. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate [right outside the City of Jerusalem at the hill of Golgotha]. Let us go forth therefore unto him [leave the Old Covenant and all of its sacrifices, and move on unto perfection found only in Christ] without the camp [outside of the rules and regulations of the law and all of its shadows], bearing his reproach [those who left their Jewish heritage for Christ suffered extreme reproach and ridicule from their friends and family. It was a very unpopular thing to do for the 1st century Jew] for here we have no continuing city [natural Jerusalem], but we seek one to come [spiritual Jerusalem]’ Paul sees significance in the fact that the bodies of the animals whose blood was used for atonement were burned outside the camp. There were different types of sacrifices that took place around the system of the tabernacle. Some were totally burnt [burnt offering] others were eaten [Passover] and for the one whose blood alone was used, these bodies were taken to a place outside of the camp and were disposed of by burning. It was purely a utilitarian purpose. They had to get rid of the bodies and they burnt them. Now Paul sees this as a prophetic symbol of Christ. Paul says ‘remember that place where those bodies were burnt? It is a type of Jesus who suffered outside of the city. It was showing that there would be a day where a sacrifice would be made, outside of the law system, that would sanctify all the people’! Amazing, once again Paul sees things in scripture that no body else is seeing, until now! Paul’s mind was consumed with seeing Jesus in everything. He sees hidden shadows of Gods preplanned coming of Messiah and how God all along would require people to ‘leave the camp’ and come unto Christ. In essence Paul is saying ‘even in the tabernacle system God prefigured a once for all sacrifice that would take place outside of the law’ Bravo!

 

Also you will notice how Paul says ‘here we have no continuing city’ [Jerusalem] but we seek one to come [The heavenly city, the bride the Lambs wife, the church!] Paul does not do what many modern Evangelicals do. He does not exalt Israel’s natural heritage. Interesting that a first century Jewish believer [Paul] writing to a 1st century Jewish audience, downplays their ‘holy land’. If you go back and review everything in this commentary, you will see that there are no references to the prophetic significance to the land of Israel as a geographical ‘holy place’. As a matter of fact the main theme is ‘leave your dependence and cultural pride that comes from your natural heritage, and come into this ‘new city’ that all of our fore fathers were looking for’ there is this amazing lack of exalting the natural city of Jerusalem [which the New Testament calls ‘Sodom’ in a spiritual sense! Revelation] and a plea for all nations, including natural Israel, to come unto Christ.

 

‘By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased’ Paul gives us 3 main sacrifices that the New Covenant priest/believer can bring. Praise, doing good and giving of your goods and money to meet the needs of those around you [communicate means this here]. ‘Obey THEM that have the rule over you and submit yourselves’ again we see leadership in plurality. Every city has spiritual leadership, they are responsible before God for how they lead the people in their area. They are also responsible to bring the people to maturity and independence. A place where people are not co dependant upon leadership. I believe much of the modern system has failed in this respect. The modern system has actually taken these types of verses and used them to tell people ‘your main role is to come to church on Sunday and passively listen’ we have built this audience/ spectator mindset into people, and we have failed in this respect. ‘Pray for us’ I have found this simple request to be one of the most important things you can ask others to do for you. Enlist prayer support. Pray for me! Ask people to pray for you! We all need this desperately!

 

‘Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever amen’ What a great way to end this letter! It is thru the blood of Jesus Christ that we are accepted and perfected in every way. We can only live and function because of the blood! We have true forgiveness for all of our sins because of what Christ has done for us. Paul has penned 13 chapters of revelation showing us the great significance of Christ’s sacrifice. He has urged his fellow country men ‘come out from trying to make yourselves holy and acceptable, and receive the once and for all sacrifice of Christ’ he has trumpeted this theme all thru out this letter. I want to exhort you guys to see the sufficiency of the Cross. We get so caught up in what we are doing that there is a tendency to rely on ourselves and our own ability to change things [even us!] we need to re-focus on the biblical priority and necessity of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He truly is the way, the truth and the life. No man can come to the Father but by him! God bless you guys,

 

John.

 

Hebrews 13:1 Let brotherly love continue.

Hebrews 13:2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

[Try and do this- I have this verse painted on a sign in my yard- I have a consistent prayer time- early in the morning- it includes nations- world issues- many subjects that God is concerned with. During this prayer pattern- which I have done for 30 years now- I also pray for the prisoners- and this verse asks us to do just that. I have friends- even Pastors- who simply do not pray- regularly.

I would encourage all of you- learn a routine pattern of prayer- not a selfish time where you focus on yourself and your needs [though that can be a small part of it]- but a prayer time that consistently covers the issues that scripture teaches us to be concerned with].

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

[This past year- I have talked to my friends about this issue- sleeping around. Many of these friends- are still friends- but I felt my associations with them- sort of ‘overlooking’ this very issue- made them feel like ‘well- John will have to learn to live with it’- meaning they felt like I could still do ministry stuff with them- still hang out- all the things I have done for many years. But time is rolling on- and I fear that these friends- yes- even Christians- think this issue of adultery is a minor thing. The scripture makes it VERY CLEAR- that those who do these things cannot I inherit the kingdom of God.

I am not trying to be mean to these guys [and gals] but this issue must be dealt with in this life- not the next.

And I want my friends to get this issue dealt with- and that’s one of the reasons I have stopped ministry activity with some of the guys].

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

[Over the years I have heard it taught that if you are content with what you have- you are in sin. Because you must believe God for increased wealth- to fund ministry projects. Many of the people who preach this are good men- but I fear the do not see it is a violation of scripture. This is just one- of many verses in the New Testament that warns against a wealth building mindset. The writer is saying when God meets our basic needs- and we show the world that our joy does not come from the things of this world- then that itself is a witness for God].

Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Hebrews 13:9 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

Hebrews 13:10 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

[The altar ‘we have’ is the Cross- he is saying that if the Jewish brothers stay in ‘the tabernacle’- meaning the law covenant- then they can’t partake of the benefits of the final sacrifice of Christ- this verse is not talking about church buildings- as some have said].

Hebrews 13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.

Hebrews 13:12 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Hebrews 13:13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.

[The references to ‘without the camp/gate’ refer to the whole theme of this letter ‘you must go forth- move on from the Old Covenant mindset- and suffer the reproach of being a follower of the Messiah’- it was difficult for the early Jewish believers to embrace Christ. It brought scorn on them from family and friends- it was a price that many of us in the modern day don’t experience. So at the end of this letter the writer exhorts them to bear the reproach- become a believer in the Messiah- it will be worth it in the end].

Hebrews 13:14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.

[He is speaking about the church here- I already pasted some of the verses in this post that show us this].

Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Hebrews 13:18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

Hebrews 13:19 But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Hebrews 13:21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. [Frankly- this sounds just like the apostle Paul- these are reasons why I still lean towards Paul being the writer of this letter].

Hebrews 13:24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.

Hebrews 13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

 

 

 

Masada.

Hadrian.

Judaism in transition.

Did they ‘move on’ ?

Who was Elazar ben Yair?

 

 

In the last video I spoke about what happened to the Jews after the letter to the Hebrews was written.

In a way- the Jewish people made a transition- though forcibly- into some of the exhortations we read about in this letter-

They no longer offered animal sacrifices- why?

The Jews saw the destruction of their city and temple in AD 70 under the Roman leader Titus-

Some continued to resist Rome- they took over the fortress of Masada- a great fortress built by the late King Herod- Herod the Great.

They held the fort for around 3 years- until the Romans built a rampart to invade it.

The fortress was built high on a cliff by the Dead Sea-

The only way to get to it was from a narrow road- called the snake.

It had no ‘hand rails’ or walls to protect you- it was built this way on purpose.

So when the Roman soldiers tried to capture the Jews in the fortress- a small group could easily fight back- and hold the fort.

So the Romans built this rampart- it took about 2 years- and right before they reached the fort- the Jews holed up inside killed themselves.

They chose 10 men by lot- who would kill all inside the fort [women and kids too].

Out of the 10- they drew lots for one of them to kill the other 9- then he killed himself.

Elazar ben Yair was the leader of the Jewish resistance- we read the account in the writings of Josephus Flavius- the great historian who too fought against the Romans.

Here’s a quote from Elazar ben Yair “Since we long ago resolved never to be servants to the Romans, nor to any other than to God Himself, Who alone is the true and just Lord of mankind, the time is now come that obliges us to make that resolution true in practice …We were the very first that revolted, and we are the last to fight against them; and I cannot but esteem it as a favor that God has granted us, that it is still in our power to die bravely, and in a state of freedom.”

Falvius wrote 4 great works [we read about this account in Jewish Wars] – after the rebellion was over- Josephus was brought to Rome- and he began writing his historical works in order to show the Romans that the Jewish people were a great people- with a great history.

Many scholars refer to Josephus works [mostly Antiquities] because they give us history that we don’t find in the bible- it sort of fills in the gaps- and gives us historical context.

The Bar Kokhba Revolt-

The Jews had their last revolt against Rome around 130-132 AD-

Under the leadership of Shimon Bar Kokhba they resisted Rome- Emperor Hadrian would eventually prevail- and ban the Jews from their land- and make laws outlawing Jewish religious practice.

Over time the Jewish people learned/adapted to practice their religion- without Temple/Priest or sacrifice.

The Seder meal became the memorial of Gods deliverance from Egypt- they use the bone of a lamb- but they do not actually have the Passover sacrifice [which the letter to the Hebrews exhorts them to do- to not practice animal sacrifices any more].

The priests were no more- but the people had Rabbis- one in particular tried to help the people transition after such a cultural loss.

He taught them that the ‘new way’ of sacrifice and worship would be thru acts of charity- and prayer ‘sacrifice and offering I do not want’ a quote from the Old testament Prophets.

So- in a way- the Jewish people did ‘move on’ from the Old sacrificial system- and embraced a ‘more Christian’ view of religion.

Of course there are Jews today who fully embrace Jesus as the messiah- but over all- as a people- their Old Law system was done away-

Today you have various forms of Judaism- ranking form the most strict- to the most liberal [we see this in Christianity as well].

But none of them practice ritual sacrifice any more-

Some Christians [and Jews] actually believe the Temple will be restored- and at that time the sacrifices will be re-instituted.

I actually do not hold to this end time view-

But for now- that system has been done away with [or put on hold- if that’s your view].

And the ‘new works’ of religion- are charity and prayer and Mercy-

The same theme we read in this letter to the Hebrews-

5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith , Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: Hebrews 10:5

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is , the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. Hebrews 13:15

 

 

www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com

facebook.com/john.chiarello.5

ccoutreach87.wordpress.com

Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John.#

 

 

About ccoutreach87

my sites- www.corpuschristioutreachministries.blogspot.com- ccoutreach87.wordpress.com- facebook.com/john.chiarello.5

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