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”
But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
Acts 10:14 (KJV)
Not so, Lord – If the Lord came and commanded something of you, or showed you a vision, would you tell Him, “Sorry Lord, I aint doing it.”? Well Peter did. But then again, Peter was well versed in Torah, and he knew when to say “no”. He had never eaten anything unclean, and he wasn’t about to start now. Sure, we know now that the Lord was using a metaphor for Peter which represented the Gentiles (unclean). We can jump down to verse 28 and grasp the full meaning of the divine instruction, but Peter can’t. He’s living in the moment, and this vision seriously perplexes him. Why? Continue reading “When to say ‘no’”
There’s always discussion about when Yeshua actually died during Passover. Some of the biggest questions I’ve encountered do with the day of His death more than anything else. Some claim that He ate the Passover with His disciples as it mentions in Luke 22, and others say it was the night before Passover that He ate claiming that He had to have died on the Passover while the other sheep were being slaughtered in order to be the Passover Lamb that Paul speaks about. Continue reading “Death to Resurrection”
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
Philippians 3:13 (NASB)
Not laid hold – I’m often asked by other Christians an interesting question. It goes something like this, “If an accident were to happen right now, and you died, are you secure in your salvation? Would you be saved?” And in my former years I always responded emphatically, “Yes!” But I’ve been raised under the influence of main stream Christianity – Paul was not. Paul admits that he himself is not even sure he’s obtained salvation through the resurrection of the dead (Phil. 3:11). How is this possible? Paul is much more inline with the teachings of Christ than I am. Paul’s earnest desire is to be found in Christ, to receive the righteousness of Him by God through faith, to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Me, on the other hand… well I’m just trying to balance my family and work. My battles are much smaller than Paul’s, my trials aren’t life threatening, and because of this, my conviction is quite insignificant compared to Paul’s. Yeshua is the complete center of Paul’s life, and don’t get me wrong, He’s the center of my life too when I’m not completely focused on work, or putting the kids down for bed, or helping around the house. So why am I so sure of my salvation when Paul isn’t? Continue reading “Are You Saved?”
but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’
Genesis 3:3 (NASB)
Middle of the garden – Did you catch what Eve said here? She just told the serpent that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is located in the center of the garden. There’s a problem with that statement, do you know what it is? Continue reading “In the Middle of the Garden”