And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 18:3 (KJV)
Converted – It took our study group 1.5 hours to get through 8 verses in Matthew 18. I had read these verses time and again, but never actually dug into them. The results of our conversations last night left me in deep thought about something most of us merely pass by.
Continue reading “Become as Little Children”
Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.Acts 1:12 (KJV)
Sabbath day’s journey – Wow, that sounds like a long distance, doesn’t it? Walking from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem must have taken a very long time. A Sabbath day’s journey appears to be no small effort. Or is it? A “Sabbath day’s journey” is a very Jewish term and probably lost on most Christians today. Let’s dig in.
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And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?Matthew 24:3 (KJV)
Sign of the end – In Matthew 24, the disciples of Yeshua approach him asking about the signs of his second coming and the end of the world. Yeshua begins to break it down for them in a way that is vividly familiar to every Jew. He lists several signs that we should watch for. Each of these signs are curses for not keeping the law of God. Interesting!
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For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;James 2:2 (KJV)
Assembly – James is the brother of Yeshua. He was also the most influential leader of Yeshua’s believers in the 1st century after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. As the leader of the “Christian” sect of Jews, he even instructed Apostle Paul to bring a sin offering to the temple under the law of the Nazarite vow (Acts 21:26), and Paul obeyed. Despite all of this, little is mentioned of him.
Continue reading “Synagogues, Not Churches”
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.Leviticus 10:1 (KJV)
Which he commanded them not – When you serve the Lord, do you serve Him the way you want to serve Him, or the way He wants to be served? This verse from Leviticus about Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, show the importance of serving God the way He desires.
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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 2:14-15 (KJV)
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;
Written on their hearts – According to Paul, the Gentiles have the law written on their hearts. The proof of this is that the Gentiles “do by nature the things contained in the law.” So the logic reveals that if the law is truly written on our hearts, then we should be doing the very things the law says to do.
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The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.Exodus 35:29 (KJV)
Willing – My premise is this. If God knows and has seen every choice we will ever make, then we have no choice, no free will. If I am presented with a choice of A or B, and God has already seen that I will choose B, then I cannot possibly choose A, otherwise, I make God a liar.
Continue reading “Predestination or Free Will”
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.Matthew 18:20 (KJV)
Two or three – When two or more people gather together in the name of Yeshua, He is there among them. I’ve heard this verse used always in reference to two or more people praying together. It carries such a strong, beautiful picture of unity and community. Unfortunately, it’s not quite that accurate.
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Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.Galatians 3:19 (KJV)
Transgressions – We’re so quick to say, because of Israel’s transgressions, the law was given. But have you ever noticed that the mention of Israel is missing? The transgressions don’t have an owner in this sentence. So whose transgressions is Paul referring to?
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But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.Ezekiel 18:24 (KJV)
But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness – Concepts like predestination and once saved, always saved provide complacency and a false sense of comfort in life. When we read from Ezekiel who spoke the words of God, the words he uses make us so uncomfortable. Maybe this is why very few read the Old Testament anymore.
Continue reading “Once Saved, Always Saved?”