2nd Corinthians 6
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Links to my sites here and the bottom of every post- https://ccoutreach87.com/links-to-my-sites-updated-10-2018/
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. Hab. 2:1
2nd Cor. 6 videos-
.David- Solomon- Moses- God gave them a Divine pattern [Tabernacle- Temple]
.Jesus gave us one as well- the simplicity of the seed sower
.Prison epistles of Paul- even in prison the ‘ministry’ of Paul could not be stopped
.He wrote letters from jail- they were sent out- and the churches he established were built upon the Spirit and Christ
.They were not dependant on some external structure- they were indeed the people of God
.The lost quotes? [Explained on video]
.The Essenes [Dead Sea scrolls- Qumran community] Essenes – Wikipedia
.Geek philosophy and Logos
.Answering the critics [An apology- meaning apologetics]
.They copied us! [The Jewish prophets pre- dated both the Essenes and Greek philosophers]
.Patience is a weapon
.Tabernacle of David
.Watchers on the wall- a type of the prophetic ministry
.Know the acts of God thru the history of the church
.The Tertullian quote [Shown on the video]
.Rejoice in suffering too
.The goal is not personal comfort- but finishing your mission in life
.Simple ‘Church planting’- it’s easier than you think
.When Paul was in jail- he said the Word of God was not bound
.His apostolic ministry was not hindered- because the Spirit of God was operating in ‘the church’- even while he was sitting in jail
.The ministry was not dependant on some outward organization- or funding- but the New Testament churches he founded were thriving because God was dwelling in his people
.Oral tradition in both Old and New Testaments
.Biblical separation versus legalism
.Grace in all things
.My encounter with a Muslim at the Kingsville fire dept [See note below]
.The field is the world
NOTE- On the video I shared a story about speaking to a Muslim student who was walking around the fire trucks one day. He did not realize we were inside the dorm.
I mentioned on the video that something made me suspicious after this encounter. I forgot to mention it on the video.
About a month later the Federal government sent out a warning to all Fire Departments that they had intelligence that radicals might try and steal a fire truck or ambulance for the purposes of terrorism.
It made me wonder later on about the intention of the student.
But most of all I had a chance to witness and tell the story of Abraham and his sons- and how Jesus came to redeem all men unto himself.
When I asked the student if he had ever heard this before [The Gospel] he had told me no.
This was the ‘real’ reason he was there that day.
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited. Isa. 54
.So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. 2nd Samuel 5:9 [These are some of the verses I quoted on the video- all verses below]
PAST POSTS [These are links and parts of my past teachings that relate in some way to today’s post- verses below]
https://ccoutreach87.com/hebrews-links-updated-10-2018/ [I mentioned chapter 12 on the video- here are links to the whole study]
https://ccoutreach87.com/acts-links/ [I also talked about Acts 15- here’s my complete study]
2ND CORINTHIANS 6- Paul tells them to not receive Gods grace ‘in vain’. He quotes a very popular verse among Evangelicals ‘now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation’. He says the Lord heard their prayer and ‘accepted/saved them’. Paul is referring to salvation in the sense that after his first letter, they repented, asked God for forgiveness and responded in the right way. Now in this letter he’s saying ‘look, God heard your heart. He has received you. Don’t keep repenting over the thing’. Paul also gives another list of his trials. He gave one in chapter 4, will give another one in chapter 11. I like the part where he says ‘we are unknown, yet well known’. In today’s Protestant/Evangelical churches, we are often ‘well know, yet unknown’. Let me explain. In Paul’s day he raised up quite a stir. In the book of Acts we see how when he was at the temple in Jerusalem someone finally recognized him and accused him. He wasn’t’ well recognized/known like we are today. Yet his writings and the communities of believers he was establishing were well known. People knew his message and gospel. Yet today, we have so many Christians who follow a cult of personality. They associate ‘the church they attend’ with the main leader. Often these men are well meaning, in some cases their public persona is known world wide. Yet the average viewing audience has no grasp on what they are teaching. They see our famous images [well known] yet what we are speaking is often irrelevant [unknown]. And last but not least Paul teaches what I like to call ‘an incarnational ecclesiology’- in simple terms, God lives in his people in a real way. The real presence of God in society is manifest thru his actual people. Often times the historic churches will emphasize the Eucharist as the way Gods presence is in the world. Some argue for ‘an incarnational sacramental’ view of Christianity. They teach that because God manifested himself in a material way thru Christ [the incarnation] that this principle continues today thru the sacraments that the churches practice. I respond this way; while this is true that God has/does manifest himself in real ways in the world, the primary method of him dwelling in the world in a real way is thru the people of God. Paul refers to us as Gods temple in the world. While the history of Israel in the Old Testament is somewhat liturgical, I feel to carry sacramental theology too far into the New Covenant misses the point. Jesus did give us the communion meal, and we do ‘show his death’ while celebrating it. But Gods primary means of ‘showing’ himself to the world is thru the charitable deeds of his saints. They will ‘know we are Christians by our love, by our love’. This theme is woven thru out the entire New Testament. Its’ fine for believers to have ‘sacred space’ [church buildings] to celebrate liturgy and traditional forms of Christian worship, but to keep in mind that we are the actual dwelling place of God in the world, we are his temple. During the first millennia of Christian history the church developed an idea that said because Jesus did come in the flesh, therefore it is now permitted to have Icons [special religious paintings that have special meaning in the Greek/Eastern Orthodox churches] and physical ways for Gods presence to manifest. The western church [Catholic] would struggle over this issue. One of the Popes would condemn iconography and some would destroy these religious paintings from the church buildings. Eventually an Orthodox theologian [I think John of Damascus?] would develop the theology that I explained above and the church would accept the practice of God manifesting himself in a special way thru religious objects. I personally enjoy the Catholic/Orthodox and traditional expressions of Christianity, but I think they over did it in this area.
I mentioned Bultmann and the Herodians on today’s video- below are some past teachings I did on them-
During the time of Jesus you had a divided people. In 1st century Palestine the Jewish people split into 4 basic sects. 2 of them are pretty well known- the Pharisees and Sadducees- they are mentioned often in scripture.
The other 2 are less well known- the Zealots and the Essenes. The Zealots are named in the bible- but only in passing. We have no references to the Essenes.
The Pharisees were sticklers for the Torah [Jewish bible] and the Sadducees centered their life around the Temple- they were more of a political/religious type group.
They stuck to the Torah alone. That is they only received the actual first 5 books of the Old Testament- which is the Torah [also the term is used to speak of the entire Old Testament] and that’s why the Sadducees rejected miracles and angels and stuff. Most of those stories are found in the other O.T. books.
The Zealots were a group of people who hated compromise- they were actually a 1st century ‘terrorist’ group- who carried out assassinations. Not on Rome- but on their own people!
The zealots hated those who compromised with Rome- and if they felt a leader was too chummy- they killed him.
The Essenes were a separatist group who lived in ‘the hills’ [Qumran community] they simply gave up completely on any political solutions for the day- and went and lived in the hills. These are the ones responsible for hiding the Dead Sea scrolls [old bible books found in the last century] in a cave.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus had both a Zealot on his team [Simon- not Peter who also went by that name] and Matthew- a Tax collector. Tax collectors were considered the biggest sell outs of all- they actually worked for Rome and scammed their own people- it must have been hard for Jesus to lead this group [the 12 disciples] who came from such opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Yet Jesus did lead them- he was even offered earthly rule a few times [once from satan- and once from the people who heard him] he rejected it both times. His kingdom was not ‘of this world’.
In the New Testament book of Philippians- the bible says that though Jesus was in the form of God [deity] yet he became a man and humbled himself to the death of the Cross- a shameful way to die.
We have one letter written in the N.T. by a ‘family’ member of Jesus- that’s the epistle of James.
Protestants believe that Mary had other kids after Jesus was born- our Catholic friends teach that she remained a Virgin her whole life. My purpose right now is not to get into that.
James was considered the ‘half brother’ of Jesus [Mary was the mom of both boys- Joseph was the dad of James- Jesus’ father was God]. Okay- James was slow to believe in his brother- but over time as Jesus was declaring himself to be the Messiah- I’m sure James had to wonder- you know- think back ‘gee- come to think of it- I can’t’ remember a time where my brother got in trouble’.
Wait- now I remember- yeah- that time when Jesus was 12- we all went to Jerusalem for the big feast- and Jesus stayed behind while we started the trip home. Yeah- we went 3 days before we realized he was gone. Boy was mom mad that day.
So we went all the way back to get him- and when we found him- he was sitting in the temple- asking these questions- I mean questions that only theologians knew- Jesus was still a kid.
Mom said to him ‘son- why did you stay behind- we were worried’! Yeah- she was mad- if there was ever a time my brother came close to getting in trouble- this was it. But Jesus said ‘why were you worried- didn’t you know I would be doing my Fathers business’ yeah- he sure seemed different- but the Messiah- come on.
So as the ministry years of Jesus role by- there are all these reports of miracles and healings- blind people seeing- dead people coming back from the grave.
Yeah- James has got to be wondering now- but no- he could not accept that his own brother was the promised Son of God- no- too much.
Then the day came- that terrible day where mom had to watch Jesus die on that rugged Cross- on Golgotha- man the hill looked like a skull.
Yeah- it was a strange site- I mean the sky got dark- an earthquake shook the place- and even the Roman soldier who witnessed my brother die said ‘surely this was the son of God’. Wow- too much- my bother has carried this thing too far- even in his death he won’t let this obsession go.
Then James hears some disturbing reports- his friends are saying that Jesus has come back- that he pulled it off- the greatest miracle ever- the one Houdini himself couldn’t do.
But are the reports true? I mean if anyone could tell if this guy walking around is really Jesus- James would know.
We don’t read of the account- but all we know is James became a believer- a believer that his brother was indeed the Messiah- the Son of God.
I guess it went something like this- Jesus sitting there with his men- James shows up and sees his brother- the perfect one- not a spot on his record. Maybe Jesus looked up- maybe he said ‘brother- do you now see’ and yeah- he saw.
James would go on to be one of the leaders/Pastors of the church at Jerusalem- we read about him in Acts chapter 15. Most scholars believe this was the same James who penned the short letter we find in the N.T. that bears his name.
One thing James hits on a lot in his letter- is he defends the poor- the downtrodden- and he rips into the rich- the elite of the day. He warns us not to be biased- not to use ‘uneven scales’ when dealing with people.
James hit on social justice issues- he picked them up from his brother.
We need to be concerned about the world- if a raped woman is forced to marry her rapist- then we ought not say ‘she was pardoned’. When we critique one person for past failures- then we must do that to all.
But at the end of the day- Jesus never took the earthly crown- he did not see the solution to be a political one- he brought Simon and Matthew together on the same team- and he showed them what it means to lay your life down for others- to live without the praise of men- the earthly standard of success- he chose another way- and he left that path for us.
2nd Corinthians- Links
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’.
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?]
THALES AND THE PRE-SOCRATICS
Ok- let me do a little teaching- maybe finish it tonight.
Christianity is not simply ‘made up stories’ from some bible.
No- the history of Western Thought- Philosophy- ideas- all of the various World Views are imbedded with God- our concepts of God- and ask the ultimate question ‘where did all this come from- and why are we here’.
We usually trace the beginning of Ancient Philosophy to the 6th century BCE.
A thinker by the name of Thales sought to find ways to describe natural phenomena without the use of Greek Mythology.
Even though Philosophy deals with Metaphysics [things beyond the natural- physical realm- Physics] yet Thales wanted to find explanations for existence- without leaning on Myth.
He is considered a ‘Pre Socratic’ thinker [before Socrates] and espoused an idea that water was the key source of all things.
These guys were looking for a singular thing to explain stuff.
Sometimes referred to as a unified theory- the same thing that Einstein was seeking to find some 2 Millennia later.
So- Thales surmised that water was the key thing.
There are various ideas of why he came to this conclusion- but one reason might have been the idea of motion.
Many Geek thinkers were looking for the source of motion- where did it come from?
And to the natural eye- if you observe the ocean- rivers- etc. – there does seem to be no cause for the moving of water- so to these guys it seemed like water itself was the source- motion came from water.
Now- there were other religions who taught a sort of idea along these lines.
Some pagan religions said that the ‘god’s’ moved upon the water- and life came that way.
If you read the Christian account of creation in Genesis- you will notice that God did move upon the waters- and the account in Genesis does indeed say that he brought forth life from the water.
Thales came from for Miletus- in Asia Minor.
He was famous for the prediction of a Solar Eclipse that occurred on May 28th– 585 BCE.
The earliest account of this is found in the writings of Herodotus.
Thales is considered one of the 7 sages of the time.
Christianity was born at a time where Greek thought/ideas were a big part of society.
We do find the early apostles using the language/ideas of the Greek philosophers when describing the reality of Christ.
The apostle John refers to Christ as THE LOGOS- The word Logos- is a Greek word for ‘word’.
Jesus is called ‘the word of God’.
Now- the Greek thinkers were in fact seeking for the Logos- they used this term to describe the ultimate answer to all tings.
They were on a search for some Divine principle that could explain things.
So- the writers of the New Testament were in a way saying ‘look- we have found the Logos- the thing that you guys are looking for- it is Christ- the Divine Logos’.
We also see the apostle Paul debating with the Greek thinkers in the city of Athens [the seat of Geek philosophy- the city/state where Socrates was forced to drink cyanide].
In Acts chapter 17 he is preaching to these guys on Mar’s Hill- he says ‘In him we live AND MOVE and have our being’.
Now- today as we read this- we don’t get the full import of what he was doing.
But- to the Greek mind- the source of motion was a big thing.
Paul was a smart guy- and he was saying ‘in him we move’ showing that yes- the ‘source of motion’ [Thales water] is not found in the natural world [Physics] but the source comes from the Metaphysical world [God].
He also says ‘when I was walking thru your town- I saw one of your altars- to the unknown god’.
At the time many believed in a Pantheon of gods- and to cover their bases- they had an altar for any god they might have missed- smart thinking!
So Paul says ‘him I declare unto you’.
Notice how Paul was able to debate- converse with them- and at the end actually use their own ideas- to present the gospel.
In this chapter- Acts 17- we read of the only 2 groups of philosophers mentioned in the bible.
The Epicureans and the Stoics.
The Epicureans were an early form of what we call Hedonism today- the idea that pleasure is the principle purpose of man.
The Stoics believed in ‘stoicism’ that man should have no emotional response to pain or pleasure- that’s why we call people today ‘Stoics’- when they seem to not be moved by anything.
Ok- that’s it for now- might make some comments tonight- but I’m getting ready to fly out soon- and trying to wind down before I leave.
If I don’t write tonight- I’ll talk again when in North Bergen- God bless you all.
HERACLITUS- Ok- lets pick up on my philosophy stuff.
Heraclitus lived in the 6th/5th century BC. – He was from Ephesus and his key thought was Ever Present Change.
That is he saw everything as being in a state of continual flux- one of his famous sayings was ‘No man ever steps into the same river twice’.
He is called the Weeping Philosopher- sort of like the prophet Jeremiah in the bible- also called the Weeping Prophet.
Heraclitus is known for his concept of the Logos- the Word- or thought/reason.
Now- this aspect of his thought plays a role in the development of the Christian understanding of Christ himself- in our New Testaments [written in Greek] Jesus is indeed referred to as the Logos- or Word of God.
The Greek philosophers understanding of the Logos was not the same as the Christian view- mainly expressed thru the writings of John [The gospel- the 3 epistles- and Revelation].
But- some see the Greek view as a precursor to Christ.
In the work of one of the early church fathers- Hippolytus ‘The Refutation of all Heresies’ he attacks Heraclitus view of the Logos as an early form of heresy.
The apologist Justin Martyr is more gracious- he [Like Ulrich Zwingli- the great Swiss reformer of the 16th century] viewed the early Geek thinkers as ‘pre- Christian’ or ‘Christians before Christ’.
Though many reject this view- yet there is some scripture to back it up.
The apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans that if the Gentiles [non-Jews] do by nature the things contained in the law- then they are justified in God’s sight.
Of course these things are debatable- but I add this to show you that some great Christian thinkers did indeed view the early Greek thinkers- who did live by a moral code- as being right in God’s eyes.
And the bible does teach a theme that we will be judged according to the amount of light [understanding] that we had at the time.
I should note that Plato [one of the 3 titans that arose after Heraclitus- from the city/state of Athens] disagreed with Heraclitus on all things being in a state of constant change.
When [if?] we get to Socrates- Plato and Aristotle- I’ll try and cover the ways they advanced- built upon- the thought of the pre Socratic thinkers.
As a side note- the most famous student of Aristotle- who was the most famous student of Plato- who was the most famous student of Socrates- was Alexander the Great.
This goes to show you how great an influence Greek philosophy had on the ancient world.
A few nuggets from Heraclitus- ‘all things come to pass in accordance with this Logos’ ‘follow the common’ ‘not having their own judgment’.
Recently I covered Acts chapter 2- and we see some of these ideas in the early Christian movement.
The first Christians did ‘follow the common’ they sold their goods- and had ‘all things common’ [communal lifestyle].
The apostle Paul teaches the early church to all ‘speak the same thing- that there be no divisions among you’.
And the New Testament also says the scripture should not be given to Private Interpretation- meaning- ‘not having your own personal judgment’.
All in all- we do indeed see a sort of pre Christian thought in the pre Socratic thinkers- they did indeed speak of the Divine- God- though there understanding of him was not the same as the Christian church.
In a sense- Heraclitus idea that in life- the only ‘constant’ is the fact that there is no constant- that life itself is made up of an ongoing journey- we live day by day- not ever knowing what ‘the next day will bring forth’- Jesus.
Yeah- the man had some good points- the later Stoics would consider Heraclitus as the father of their movement.
And in the study of Philosophy- the Stoics- who had a good run from a few years before the Common Era- were overtaken in the 4th century [as the main influential philosophy of the time] by some new and lasting philosophy- started by a man named Jesus Christ- who his followers claimed rose from the dead.
Yeah- this New Way was called Christianity- and this philosophy has endured now for over 2 thousand years.
So- the Roman Empire of Jesus day [who at one time were under the rule of the Greek Empire] continued to write in Greek.
It wasn’t until around a few centuries after the time of Christ that the first Latin bible was written [by Saint Jerome].
But even his bible [the Latin Vulgate] used the Greek Old Testament [called the Septuagint] instead of the Hebrew- for his Latin translation.
Ok- the point being- the Greek world did indeed have a strong influence on the early church.
And the church had to refute the belief that all matter was evil.
The Christian doctrine of creation [developed under saint Augustine- the 4th-5th century bishop of Hippo- North Africa].
Was the teaching that matter was good- that God created the material realm- so it is not inherently evil.
But- after the fall of man [Genesis 1-3] a curse did indeed come upon the earth [some times when the bible says ‘the world’ it is speaking of the earth- but other times it is speaking of the fallen order- the sinful realm of man. That’s why there is some confusion- till this day- among Christians. They might read verses like this- and think the bible is saying the earth itself- the planet- is wicked. Actually in those verses it is speaking about the fallen order of sinful men. See? ‘For all that is in THE WORLD- the lust of the flesh- the lust of the eyes and the pride of life- is not of the father- but is of the WORLD- and the WORLD is passing away’- this is one example from the epistle of John- here the World is not saying the planet- but the world of sinful man- a fallen ‘world’ order.]
So- in conclusion [if I ever get there!] we- as believers- reject the belief that all matter is evil.
No- man was created in the image of God- and God is the creator of all things- both visible [earth- man- etc] and invisible [mentioned in the above chapter].
The evil we see in the ‘world’ today is simply a result of mans sin- mans choice to live in rebellion against God.
We can’t escape ‘this world of sin’ by simply denying ourselves [though that is one aspect of the Christian life].
But God sent his Son into the world to redeem man- Christ died for all men- and this is the Divine act of Salvation.
When we as humans partake of this Salvation- we are then free- free to enjoy this life- that God gave us- and we don’t have to have the mindset of a Socrates- who saw this natural life as evil.
The apostle Paul says in his letter to the Romans;
‘Present your bodies as a living sacrifice- HOLY and acceptable to God’.
Our bodies- the actual flesh we live in- can be Holy- sanctified- when submitted to the will of God.
. HEBREWS 10-13
There’s more on the video- Kant, John Mill- Moral Theory- Utilitarianism, Kantianism. Dead Sea Scroll-s ‘Lost Books’ of the bible- Septuagint- Jerome- Alexander the Great- Ptolemy- Seleucids- Essenes- Qumran community- Ecclesiology- Local Church etc.
GALATIANS 5- Paul’s main theme is if we possess the Spirit as believers [being indwelt by God’s Spirit] then let us also walk in/by the Spirit, as opposed to trying to please God by the law and being circumcised. Paul will use the somewhat controversial term ‘ye are fallen from grace’ which simply means that these Gentile believers started by faith and went back to the old Jewish system, much like the themes in the book of Hebrews. Paul says when you go back to the law you have left grace. Christ has ‘become of no effect to you, you who are justified by the law’. This is a good example of how words and certain phrases can develop over the centuries of church history and develop a different meaning over time. In essence the bible does teach that a person can ‘fall from grace’ but this does not describe what the modern reader might think. The first church father who attempted to formulate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity was a man named Tertullian, he lived in the second century and was what theologians refer to as one of the Latin fathers [as opposed to the Greek ones- Origen, etc.] Tertullian was famous for the sayings ‘what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens’ and ‘I believe because it is absurd’ he was resisting the influence of Greek philosophy on the church, he felt that Greek wisdom was influencing the church too much. He was trained in law before becoming a theologian [like Luther and Calvin of 16th century Reformation fame] and he used the words ‘God is one substance/essence and also three persons’ later church councils would agree with this language. But the word ‘person’ at Tertullian’s time was the Latin word ‘personi’ which was taken from the theater and meant a person/actor who would put on different masks during the play; the word had a little different meaning then what we think of today as ‘person’. Later centuries would come to condemn certain Christian groups who seem to have formulated language on the Trinity that expresses the same thing as what the original developer of the doctrine meant to say, but because words and their meanings change over time we get ourselves into disputes that might be getting us off track. Paul also tells the Galatians that if they become circumcised that they are obligating themselves to keep all the law. Of course the medical procedure that many have done in our day is not what he is speaking about, but in Paul’s day getting circumcised was the religious rite that placed you into the religion of Judaism, and this is what Paul is refuting among the Galatians, he tells them not to go down that road. This chapter has lots of good ‘memory verses’, the famous lists of the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Spirit are found here, and it seems pretty clear to me that Paul identified circumcision with the moral law of the 10 commandments, that is he saw being circumcised as an act that obligated you to ‘keep all the law’ some theologians are discussing whether or not Paul meant the law of Moses when speaking about going ‘back under the law’ some think Paul was speaking only of the ceremonial law and the system of animal sacrifices when he was telling the gentiles that they should not go under the law, I believe if you read Paul in context both in this letter and the book of Romans, that he is speaking of the moral law too, not just the ceremonial law. All in all Paul exhorts these believers to fight for their right to be free from the past restraints of religion and bondage, he tells them to not desire to go back under a system of bondage, that Christ has made us free from that legalistic way of life and he has liberated us by giving us the Holy Spirit- if we ‘walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh, for the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these two are contrary one to the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would’ amen to that.
The church has debated for centuries on whether or not Philosophy should be taught to Christians. One of the early church fathers- Tertullian- said no- his famous quote is ‘what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens’.
Meaning what does Philosophy have in common with Christianity [Athens- Greece was the seat of philosophy in Jesus’ day].
For the most part- the early church fathers would embrace the study of philosophy- and try to make arguments for the Christian faith by presenting Christianity as ‘thee’ philosophy that best answers the questions of man.
These early Christian thinkers are called Apologists- men like Justin Martyr are in this class.
Apologist is a word we use to describe those who defend the faith- it comes from the Apostle Peter’s letter in the N.T. where Peter says ‘give an answer to those who ask you about the faith’. In the Greek language- the original language the N.T. was written in- this phrase is talking about a defense- an ‘apology’ in the sense of ‘making the case’ not in the common sense of apologizing.
In the book of Acts- chapter 17- we read the famous sermon of the apostle Paul- given at Mars Hill. He was in Athens at the time- and he was debating with all the philosophers of the day. He tells them ‘as I was looking around town- I saw that one of your altars is addressed to The Unknown God’.
He would go on and declare unto them that this Jesus is the true God- the one raised from the dead.
Paul also said ‘in Him we live and MOVE and have our being’. Kind of a popular verse quoted by preacher’s today- but we often overlook the significance of the MOVE part.
I mean- why say we MOVE in him too? Paul was a smart guy- he knew these children of Socrates questioned where motion came from [Remember Thales?] So he was basically saying ‘I am declaring to you the one true reality- the true 5th Element- the missing God particle from your system’ and he went on and preached Christ- being raised from the dead.
Paul knew that you can’t really do true philosophy- to grapple with the questions of life and being and ‘motion’ without realizing that God is indeed the ultimate answer to all things.
Even Peter Singer- who claimed that you don’t need God or religion in order to do Ethics- even he unknowingly quoted Jesus in attempting to give a basis for his Philosophy- yes- he quoted a God- one unknown to him- just like the altar at Athens- but a God never the less.
An inescapable 5th element- the missing part to the whole puzzle.
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.
On today’s video- I attempted the impossible- to tell the story of ‘everything’ in 1 hour.
Ok I bit off more than I could chew.
It took 2 hours [the next video ‘history of the world- part 2’ will finish it].
But- to sum up today’s video.
Is the biblical account of creation accurate?
We read that God made everything- by speaking.
Is this even possible- or some silly fable?
Over the history of time we read the story of the Jewish people- their trials and failures.
That’s the majority of the history of the Old Testament.
They believed the story in Genesis- while others questioned whether or not all things actually had a beginning point.
In time- we see the rise of the Greek philosophers- during what we call the intertestamental period [the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew].
These thinkers were looking for the answer to these questions- and the Greek word they used to describe this answer- was LOGOS- which is the Geek word- for WORD.
Then we had the appearing of Christ in the 1st century- and the apostle John calls him the LOGOS.
That’s the same word that the Greeks were looking for- John says ‘we have found him’.
Remember- this is Jesus Christ- the living Word.
Ok- over time we had the great movements of history- the Renaissance- the Reformation- the Enlightenment- the scientific revolution- the industrial revolution.
Most scientists believed that all creation was eternal- so- for them- the answer to ‘everything’ was- it was always there.
In the 20th century we had the great breakthroughs of Einstein- and we call one of them the Big Bang theory- meaning- all things did not always exist.
They had a beginning point- which we call the point of singularity.
Ahh- now we are back to ‘where did it all come from- if at the start- there was nothing’.
Yes- ‘In the beginning God spoke’.
So- at the end of the story- of everything- we find the answer at the beginning.
In the beginning God spoke-Yes- the early followers of Jesus called him by this name- THE WORD.
And science and logic show us that all events need a cause [even the ‘event’ of creation].
So- this history of the world- recorded in the scripture- was true all along!
VERSES [These are the verses I either quoted or taught from on today’s post- Links to all my sites below]
2Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
2Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
2Corinthians 6:3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
2Corinthians 6:4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
2Corinthians 6:5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
2Corinthians 6:6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
2Corinthians 6:7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
2Corinthians 6:8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
2Corinthians 6:9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
2Corinthians 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2Corinthians 6:11 O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged.
2Corinthians 6:12 Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels.
2Corinthians 6:13 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.
2Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2Corinthians 6:15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
2Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
2Corinthians 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Isaiah 49:8 Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;
Isaiah 52:12 For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.
2 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;
3 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
2nd Samuel 5:9
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
9 According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.
10 And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
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.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern.
1 Chron. 28:19
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.
2nd Tim. 2:9
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
The sower soweth the word.
John 20:30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
John 20:31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances,
21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not;
22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Ps. 61:2
And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. Ps. 18:10
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
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