Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue:
Numbers 15:38 (KJV)
Fringes – Next time you’re out and about, stop and look around. How different do you appear from the people surrounding you? Whether you’re at Target, Walmart, a school, wherever… do you look any different from the people around? “Certainly”, you might respond. “The light of Christ shines through me and people will see that!” But we know the light of Christ isn’t necessarily a visual light shining forth, but rather a visual through the works one does. So what about those times when you’re standing in line at the DMV, or when you’re sitting in the doctor’s office, or when you’re shopping for shampoo at Target? These are times when nothing particularly exemplary is being performed. There’s no special denotation in your actions that might reveal you as a child of God. How do you stand out from the world at those times? Maybe we don’t stand out. Being a Christian is much more than just looking different, right? Continue reading “A Fringe Case”
And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?
Numbers 11:4 (KJV)
Fell a lusting – The translations of this verse vary from lusting, to cravings, to desires, and even more specific, craving other food. But the Hebrew here says something rather different. Continue reading “When You Have It All”
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 6:17 (KJV)
Delivered – It seems Paul sent a special delivery to the church in Rome. And in this verse their obedience to this doctrine is contrasted by their former lives of sin. There’s an interesting twist here. I’ve found that many who are in sin are waiting to be delivered, but maybe they should submit themselves to the delivery that’s already been sent. Continue reading “Special Delivery”
For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
Leviticus 16:30 (KJV)
Before – Is God forgiving of all sin? Can He forgive all sin? Sure we’re familiar with Mark 3:29 wherein Yeshua explains that blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin, but what about other sin? Is there any sin in which God has no right to forgive? “No”, you might say. “God forgives all sin through the atonement of Yeshua.” But there’s a reason this question arises, and it starts here with this word “before”. Continue reading “Forgiving All Sin”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:1 (NASB)
Crafty – The introduction of the serpent immediately puts us on guard. Crafty is a term to cause even the most gullible person to become timid of another. It’s definitely not how we’d introduce a friend, right? “Hi, Mom, this is my friend Tom. He’s very crafty.” I don’t think Mom would sit well with that one. And maybe that’s the intent of this verse – to put us on guard, to cause us to recoil at the serpent’s entrance. Or is it? Continue reading “The Naked Serpent”
We live in a Greek-based society under a Greek-structured government and taught according to the Greek-model of education. It’s no wonder that we view the world from the Greek paradigm.
This effects every facet of our lives, and directly influences our interpretation of scripture. But did you know there’s a Hebrew world view? There’s a mind set that is shared among the writers of the Bible that differs substantially from our current day viewpoint. I’d like to address the more obvious differences below. Continue reading “Hebrew Worldview Compared to the Greek”
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Romans 12:6 (KJV)
Gifts – Reading this in English you’d no doubt jump to the conclusion that Paul is about to expound on the gifts of the Spirit which he earlier wrote in his letter to the Corinthians. I know I did. I imagined these must be other gifts of the Spirit that Paul forgot to mention to the Corinthians, but would be useful to the Romans. But there’s a difference here from his other letter. Continue reading “Edified by Charisma”
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1 (KJV)
Living sacrifice – I’ve always loved these words and work them often into my own prayers. A living sacrifice has been something I’ve strived to become. I figured in order to be a living sacrifice, I had to follow Paul’s instruction and be holy and acceptable to God. And while Paul’s words were metaphorically beautiful, I never realized this phrase embraced a common cultural Hebraic event, and that I had already been classified as a living sacrifice many years back. But this wasn’t obvious until a study of the sacrificial system was commenced. Continue reading “Living Sacrifices”
You shall not do what is done in the land of Egypt where you lived, nor are you to do what is done in the land of Canaan where I am bringing you; you shall not walk in their statutes.
Leviticus 18:3 (NASB)
Statutes – God is sovereign. So what is a characteristic of a sovereign being? One accepted characteristic is someone who exercises supreme and permanent authority through the enactment of laws. He is a lawgiver. Continue reading “The Sovereign’s Statutes”
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Acts 16:31 (NASB)
And thy house – Does this strike you odd? This prison keeper asked Paul what he must do to be saved. And Paul’s answer is that if he would believe on Yeshua, then not only he would be saved, but his whole house as well. Isn’t salvation an individual choice? How is it that by this one man’s belief his entire household would be saved? Continue reading “And Thy House”