Why would some Scriptures [from the Bible] seem to be contradicting if it is God’s Word? How certain are we that it is God’s Word? These questions can be answered by also perusing the meditations such as “The Bible” and “Who is Jesus Christ?” on this website. But, typically, we discover that prime examples such as Is 45:7 and Ex 7:13 are explained perfectly well by our own self-righteousness! More about this later in chapter five of this meditation
We shall also discover that this subject of apparent controversies in The Bible correlates directly to the fact that The Bible has the perfect ability to explain itself. Christians readily say that “Scripture explains Scripture”, but almost always desolately and tragically fails to come up with an example on the spur of a moment! Chapter five in this meditation offer a few good examples how Scripture indeed explains Scripture.
Be patient and read with this author through this website, to see the crux of mankind’s problem – the self! This is briefly discussed in the example # 5.32 further on in this meditation as well. After having read this meditation in its entirety (with the others on www.gospel-truth.co.za), we shall discover our initial superficial reading of the Bible. Those challenging (questioning) its infallibility will be put to shame. We shall receive enlightenment when discovering Jesus Christ [God, Truth] really for the first time (Jn 3:3).
The reader will probably get a few humbling clarifications when contemplating the examples in chapter five and in it discover that most the apparent difficulties had not to do with physics but language! In fact, misinterpretations caused by the [literally] incredible self-righteous mindset! The revelation for the reader is that God shows us through His supernatural Word why and how we need a savior, and then why only one can [could] do! Hermeneutics and prejudiced perceptions will be exposed in context, so read on expectantly.
The second example already, in section 5 (5.2), will satisfactory explain how the seeming irreconcilable verses 11 and 20 in Exodus 33, should pose no problem for the Christian knowing God as a Trinity! The delightful discovery is then yet another proof of the supernatural property of The Bible that no other book has to offer! Observe how true and applicable scriptures such as 2 Cor 3:14-15 and 2 Tim 3:5-7 and 4:2-4 are still today for the so-called “modern man” in his disgraceful, deplorable conceit.
Further on, in examples on the Law, the reader should see the astonishing illustration that The Bible could only be inspired by God [His Spirit, Jn 4:24; 14:26; 2 Tim 3:16-17], and not written [thought out] by man as all the other religious works we find in the different religions. To illustrate, observe the general difficulty in understanding Jesus’ words in Mt 5:38-39. The universal misinterpretation of Ex 21:24; Lev 24:20 and Dt 19:21 is at once revealed by Jesus Christ as God’s Word (God, Jn 1:14)! If we read “eye for an eye” and “tooth for a tooth” in self-righteousness, our thoughts [interpretation and application] is on retaliation and this is what the world and blinded theologians then “quotes” from the Bible in pitiable ignorance. If, however, we would have read it with true Love (not seeking its own interest, 1 Cor 13:5; 1 Jn 4:8), we would have understood it is about compensation. Now see Jesus’ summary in Mt 7:12, “So then, whatever you desire that others would to do and for you, even so do also to and for them, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” This is expanded on in the meditation “The Covenant and the Law”.
Every careful student and every thoughtful reader of the Bible finds that the words of the Apostle Peter concerning the Scriptures [the epistles of the apostle Paul], that there are some things in them hard to be understood (2 Pet 3:16), “which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own utter destruction, just as they distort and misinterpret the rest of the Scriptures”. This “difficulty” is thus caused by our own spiritual displacement (Rom 1:18-22; Gen 3:9).
It is not wise to attempt to conceal the fact that these “difficulties” exist because it is exactly the vehicle that imparts God’s Word in a supernatural way to us. It is the part of wisdom, as well as of honesty, to frankly face them and consider them. The discovery that awaits the honest and humble seeker of Truth is perhaps a designed “hide and seek” to reward the diligent and faithful lover and friend of Jesus Christ – the Word that was made visible to us. So this suspicion probably stems from our inborn [imparted] desire to know the Truth (Jn 8:32,36) but sadly are often a self-righteous camouflage of a denial of the fact that we could be misled by pride [be wrong]! This is why doctrines of man are so dangerous.
1. A few observations about these difficulties in the Bible are the following:
1.1. From the very nature of the case difficulties are to be expected. These “difficulties” will prove to be the opposite, a confirmation that God [Love] is seeking a personal relationship, not [external] religion with empty rituals, traditions and ceremonies. Remember this great truth: Faith cannot exist [in you] when you know or understand everything (Heb 11:1; 2 Cor 4:8; 5:7) – this is why God is worthy of praise, worship and trust. He is the most intelligent, creative, trust-worthy Person in His universe and is the Source of Righteousness. Note that Ps 100:4 does not say that we have to praise God in order to receive anything (we don’t buy blessings): but that anyone that knows God truly will not but praise [acknowledge] Him (Rom 11:6; Jn 1:17; 14:6)!
Some people are surprised and staggered because there are difficulties in the Bible. For my part, I would be more surprised and staggered if there were not. What is the Bible? It is a revelation of the mind and will and character and being of an infinitely great, perfectly wise and absolutely holy God: in Jesus Christ. God Himself is the Author of this revelation. This revelation is made by the Source of Love [Who never manipulates] to men, to finite beings who are imperfect in intellectual development and consequently in knowledge, and who are also imperfect in character and consequently in spiritual discernment. The wisest man measured on the scale of eternity is only a babe, and the holiest man compared with God is only an infant in moral development. There must then, from the very necessities of the case, be difficulties in such a revelation from such a source made to such persons. When the finite try to understand the infinite, there is bound to be difficulty. When the ignorant and egotistical contemplate the utterances of one perfect in knowledge, there must be many things hard to be understood, and some things which to their immature and inaccurate minds appear absurd. When beings whose moral judgments as to the hatefulness of sin (Jn 16:9) and as to the amazing grace and mercy of a Perfect Father, listen to the demand of trust of an absolutely holy Being, they are bound to be staggered by His teachings, and when they consider His dealings, they are bound to be staggered by them. The startling revelation will later come, that this only shows “hardness of heart”! These dealings will appear too severe, too stern, too harsh. Until you see what Jesus Christ came for, why He could be the only solution, and that only He can be our righteousness and everlasting LIFE.
It is plain that there must be difficulties for us in such a revelation as the Bible has proved to be. There must be in any complete revelation of God’s mind and will and character and being, things hard for the beginner to understand; and the wisest and best of us are but beginners. But see here Eph 4:12-25!
1.2. A difficulty in a doctrine, or a grave objection to a doctrine, does not necessarily prove the doctrine to be [totally] untrue. When the Copernican theory, now so universally accepted, was first proclaimed, it encountered a very grave difficulty. If this theory were true, the planet Venus should have phases as the moon has, but no phases could be discovered by the best glass then in existence. But the positive argument for the theory was so strong that it was accepted in spite of this apparently unanswerable objection. When a more powerful glass was made, it was found that Venus had phases after all. The whole difficulty arose, as most all of those in the Bible arise, from man’s ignorance of some of the facts in the case. God knows what we cannot [yet] see.
1.3. There are many more, and much greater, difficulties in the way of the doctrine that holds the Bible to be of human origin, and hence fallible, than there are in the way of the doctrine that holds the Bible to be of divine origin, and hence infallible. The biggest difficulty is the self-righteousness (law) that blinds. Oftentimes a man will put forth some difficulty and say, “How do you explain that, if the Bible is the Word of God?” You may not be able to answer him satisfactorily. Then he thinks he has you cornered. Not at all. Ask him, “How do you account for the fulfilled prophecies of the Bible if it is of human origin? How do you account for the marvelous unity of the Book? How do you account for its inexhaustible depth? How do you account for its unique power in lifting men up to God?” For every insignificant objection he can bring to your view of the Bible, you can bring very many more deeply significant objections to his view of the Bible. And any really candid man who desires to know and obey the Truth will have no difficulty in deciding between the two views. See Numbers 23:19; Rom 3:4; Heb 6:17,18; Tit 1:2; etc.
The difficulties that confront one who denies that the Bible is of divine origin and authority are far more numerous and vastly more problematic than those which confront the one who believes it to be of divine origin and authority. Contemplate 1 Cor 1:19-21; 3:18-20; et cetera.
1.4. The fact that you cannot solve a difficulty does not prove it cannot be solved, and the fact that you cannot answer an objection does not prove at all that it cannot be answered. It is remarkable how often we overlook this very evident fact. There are many who, when they meet a difficulty in the Bible and give it a little thought and can see no possible solution, at once jump at the conclusion that a solution is impossible, and so they give up their faith in the inerrancy of the Bible and in its divine origin. Any man should have a sufficient amount of modesty, being so limited in knowledge, to say, “Though I see no possible solution to this difficulty, someone a little wiser, Biblically more literate or spiritually more mature than I might easily find one.” Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:25,26 (and Mt 12:29 with 1 Pet 5:5!!)…
What would we think of a beginner in algebra who, having tried in vain for half an hour to solve a problem difficult to him, declared that there was no possible solution to the problem because he could find none [by or in himself]!
1.5. The seeming defects of the Book are exceedingly insignificant when put in comparison with its many and marvelous excellencies. The sobering fact however, is that we are to blame (Rom 8:7; Jer 17:9,10…). It certainly reveals great perversity of both mind and heart that men spend so much time expatiating on such seemingly insignificant points which they consider defects in the Bible, and pass absolutely unnoticed the incomparable beauties and wonders that adorn and glorify almost every page. Even in some prominent institutions of learning, where men are supposed to be taught to appreciate and understand the Bible and where they are sent to be trained to preach its Truth to others, much more time is spent on minute and insignificant points that seem to point toward an entirely human origin of the Bible than is spent upon studying and understanding and admiring the unparalleled glories that make this Book stand apart from all other books in the world. The irony is that almost all these seeming insignificant “faults”, points to the divine beauty and depth of this Word (see, for instance, example 15 below). What would we think of any man who in studying some great masterpiece of art concentrated his whole attention upon what looked like a flyspeck in the corner? A large proportion of the much vaunted “critical study of the Bible” is a laborious and scholarly investigation of supposed flyspecks. The man who is not willing to squander the major portion of his time in this erudite investigation of flyspecks but prefers to devote it to the study of the unrivaled beauties and majestic splendors of the Book is counted in some quarters as not being “scholarly and up to date.” Still, take up God if you will but pause first at Ps 2 and buckle up.
1.6. Difficulties in the Bible have far more weight with superficial readers than with profound students who know His voice. Take a man like Colonel Ingersoll, who was totally ignorant of the real contents and meaning of the Bible, or that class of modern preachers who read the Bible for the most part for the sole purpose of finding texts to serve as pegs to hang their own ideas upon. To such superficial readers of the Bible these “difficulties” seem of immense importance, but to one who has learned to meditate upon the Word of God day and night they have scarcely any weight at all. That rare man of God, George Müller, who had carefully studied the Bible from beginning to end more than one hundred times, was not disturbed by any difficulties he encountered; but to the man who is reading it through for the first or second time or with prejudice and distrust or “puffed up” and impressed with his own qualification(s) and pre-conceived and parrot-like ideas, there are many things that perplex and stagger.
1.7. Difficulties in the Bible rapidly disappear upon careful and prayerful study. How many things there are in the Bible that once puzzled and staggered us, but which have since been perfectly cleared up and no longer present any difficulty whatever! Every year of study finds these difficulties disappear more and more rapidly. They disappear when we stop being suspicious of a Perfect Father-Creator-God! All these “difficulties” that still remain will all disappear upon further study, or the moment we start conversing with the Person this is all about! Is it when, or then, He returns ( 1Jn 3:2)?
2. CLASSES OF DIFFICULTIES
All the difficulties found in the Bible can be included under ten general headings:
2.1. The text from which our English Bible was translated. Probably no one holds that the English translation of the Bible is absolutely infallible and inerrant. The doctrine held by many is that the Scriptures as originally given were absolutely infallible and inerrant, and that our English translation is a substantially accurate rendering of the Scriptures as originally given. We do not possess all the original manuscripts of the Bible. These original manuscripts were copied many times with great care and exactness, but naturally some errors crept into the copies that were made. We now possess so many good copies that by comparing one with another, we can tell with great precision just what the original text was. Indeed, for all practical purposes the original text is now settled. There is not one important doctrine that hangs upon any doubtful reading of the text. But when our Authorized Version was made, some of the best manuscripts were not within reach of the translators, and the science of textual criticism was not so well understood as it is today, and so the translation was made from an imperfect text. Most of the apparent difficulties in the Bible arise from this source. You might find the information regarding Bible translations/manuscripts in the meditation on the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” by this author helpful here.
For example, we are told in John 5:4 that “an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.” This statement for many reasons seems improbable and difficult to believe (Mt 4:23; 10:8), but upon investigation we find that it is all a mistake of the copyist. Some early copyist, reading John’s account, added in the margin his explanation of the healing properties of this intermittent medicinal spring. A late copyist embodied this marginal note in the body of the text, and so it came to be handed down and got into the Authorized Version. For this reason it has been omitted from the Revised Version. The NT is about a lasting glory and power [Life] of God, not fleeting ones of the Old System.
The discrepancies in figures in different accounts of the same events as, for example, the differences in the ages of some of the kings as given in the text of Kings and Chronicles, doubtless arise from the same cause, errors of copyists. Such an error in the matter of figures would be very easy to make, as in the Hebrew, numbers are denoted by letters, and letters that appear very much alike have a very different value as figures. For example, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet denotes one, and with two little points above it, denotes a thousand. The twenty-third or last letter of the Hebrew alphabet denotes four hundred, but the eighth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, that looks very much like it and could be easily mistaken for it, denotes eight. A very slight error of the copyist would therefore make a change in figures. It is actually quite remarkable [supernatural] that so few errors of this kind have been made.
2.2. Inaccurate translations. For example, in Matthew 12:40 Jonah is spoken of as being in “the whale’s belly.” Many a skeptic has made merry over the thought of a whale with the peculiar construction of its mouth and throat swallowing a man, but if the skeptic had only taken the trouble to look the matter up, he would have found the word translated “whale” really means “sea monster,” without any definition as to the character of the sea monster. So the whole difficulty arose from the translator’s mistake and the skeptic’s ignorance and haughtiness (Job 42:3).
Note at Mt 12:40: A Mediterranean fish has been caught, whose head alone weighed six tons, and whose jaws had an opening of eight feet. In the April 4, 1896 Literary Digest, a story was recounted of a whale in the Mediterranean Sea that destroyed a harpoon boat and swallowed a sailor named James Bartley. A day and a half later, Bartley was found alive in the whale’s belly with only his skin tanned by the gastric juices. Another fish, caught off the coast of Florida, weighed 15 tons and had a 1500 pound fish in its belly.
2.3. False interpretations of the Bible. What the Bible teaches is one thing, and what some men interpret it to mean is oftentimes something wildly different. Many difficulties that we have with the Bible arise not from what the Bible actually says, but from what men interpret it to mean – especially those forcing parts of Scripture into their often false pre-conceived ideas when still blinded by self-righteousness.
A difficulty with Jesus’ statement that He would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of what method was used to count the days and nights and not with what the Bible actually says, but with the interpretation that men put upon the Bible. No. 18 in the discussions of some “specific difficulties” below, attempts to expand a little more on this.
2.4. A wrong conception of the Bible. Many think that when you say the Bible is the Word of God, of divine origin and authority, you mean that God is the speaker in every utterance it contains; but this is not at all what is meant. Often it simply records what others say—what good men say, what bad men say, what inspired men say, what uninspired men say, what angels and demons say, and even what the devil says. The record of what they said is from God and absolutely true, but what those other persons are recorded as saying may be true or may not be true. It is true that they said it, but what they said may not be true.
Very many careless readers of the Bible do not notice who is talking—God, good men, bad men, inspired men, uninspired men, angels or devil. They will tear a verse right out of its context regardless of the speaker and say, “There, God said that”, while God said nothing of the kind. God’s Word says who has said it. What God says is true, namely, that the devil said it, or a bad man, or a good man, or an inspired man, or an uninspired man, or an angel. So, be careful with Scripture: what they said may or may not be true. Understand the Character of God, know Who He is and Who not, and the context.
It is very common to hear men quote what Eliphaz, Bildad or Zophar said to Job as if it were necessarily God’s own words because it is recorded in the Bible, in spite of the fact that God disavowed their teaching and said to them, “Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right” (Job 42:7). A very large share of our difficulties thus arises from not noticing who is speaking. The Bible always tells us, and we should always note it. This is a basic fact. By the way, did God speak “through” Elihu (Job 36:1)!…
In the Psalms we have sometimes what God said to man, and that is always true; but on the other hand, we often have what man said to God, and that may or may not be true. Sometimes, and far more often than most of us see, it is the voice of the speaker’s personal vengeance or despair. This vengeance may be and often is prophetic, but it may be the wronged man committing his cause to Him to whom vengeance belongs (Rom 12:19), and we are not obliged to defend all that he said. So in studying our Bible, if God is the speaker we must believe what He says. If an inspired man is the speaker we must believe what he says. If an uninspired man is the speaker we must judge for ourselves—it is perhaps true, perhaps false. If it is the devil who is speaking, we do well to remember that he was a liar from the beginning; but even the devil may tell [some] truth sometimes (Lk 8:28; Js 2:19). Note that many claim to be of God, but Scripture or an anointed of God does not bear them out (Jer 23:21,30-32).
2.5. The language in which the Bible was written. Consider also the meditation “The Bible” that will reveal how often it catches us out in play-acting by revealing our camouflaged self-righteousness. The Bible is a book of all ages and for all kinds of people, and therefore it was written in the language that continues the same and is understood by all, the language of the common people and of appearances. It was not written in the terminology of what the world today calls science. Bible “language” is timeless and always applicable, and useable, to any person or circumstance (1 Tim 3:16,17), outside time. Thus, for example, what occurred at the Battle of Gibeon (Josh 10:12–14) was described in the way it appeared to those who saw it, and the way in which it would be understood by those who read about it. There is no talk about the possible refraction of the sun’s rays, and so forth, but the sun is said to have “stood still” (or tarried) in the midst of heaven. It is one of the perfections of the Bible that it was not written in the terminology of “modern science” (who still cannot fully explain or manufacture an eye or faith). If it had been, it would never have been understood until the present day, and even now it would be understood only by a few. Furthermore, as science and its terminology are constantly changing, the Bible if written in the terminology of the science of today would be out of date in a few years, thus dated by [present] “modern speech”; but being written in just the language chosen, it has proved the Book for all ages, all lands and all conditions of all.
Other difficulties from the language in which the Bible was written arise from the fact that some portions of the Bible – not all – are poetical and are written in the language of poetry, the language of feeling, passion, imagination and figure. Now if a man is hopelessly prosaic, he will inevitably find difficulties with these poetical portions of the inspired Word, and 1 Jn 1:5; 2:8; Col 1:11-21; Mt 10:26,27. God is Light and we are meant to be [mature] sons of Light (Jn 1:1-17; Heb 2:8; Jn 11:26)!
For example, in Ps 18 we have a marvelous description of a thunderstorm, and it relates to Mt 4:16; 6:23; 1 Pet 2:9; etc., but let the dull, prosaic and carnally minded get hold of that and its beauty is lost [to him]. For example, verse 8 : “There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it,” and he will be head over heels in difficulty at once. But the trouble is not with the Bible, but with humans own blind carnality (2 Cor 3:14,15; 4:3-6; the Law in 2 Cor 4:4).
2.6. Our defective knowledge of the history, geography and usages of Bible times. For example, in Acts 13:7 Luke speaks of “the deputy” (more accurately “the proconsul,” see Revised Version) of Cyprus. Roman provinces were of two classes, imperial and senatorial. The ruler of the imperial provinces was called a propraetor, of a senatorial province a proconsul. Up to a comparatively recent date, according to the best information we had, Cyprus was an imperial province and therefore its ruler would be a propraetor, but Luke calls him a proconsul. This certainly seemed like a clear case of error on Luke’s part, and even the conservative commentators felt forced to admit that Luke was in slight error, and the destructive critics were delighted to find this “mistake.” But further and more thorough investigation has brought to light the fact that just at the time of which Luke wrote the senate had made an exchange with the emperor whereby Cyprus had become a senatorial province, and therefore its ruler was a proconsul. Luke was right after all, and the literary critics were themselves in error. Lk 1:1-4 indeed states that doctor Luke wrote an “orderly report”…
Time and again further researches and discoveries, geographical, historical and archaeological, have vindicated the Bible and put to shame its critics. For example, the book of Daniel has naturally been one of the books that infidels and destructive critics have most hated. One of their strongest arguments against its authenticity and veracity was that such a person as Belshazzar was unknown to history, and that all historians agreed that Nabonidus was the last king of Babylon, and that he was absent from the city when it was captured; so Belshazzar must be a purely mythical character, and the whole story legendary and not historical. Their argument seemed very strong. In fact, it seemed unanswerable. But Sir H. Rawlinson discovered at Mugheir and other Chaldean sites clay cylinders on which Belshazzar (Belsaruzar) is named by Nabonidus as his eldest son. Doubtless he reigned as regent in the city during his father’s absence, an indication of which we have in his proposal to make Daniel third ruler in the kingdom (Daniel 5:16). He himself being second ruler in the kingdom, Daniel would be next to him. So the Bible was vindicated again. Are you surprised, delighted or in awe?…
The critics asserted most positively that Moses could not have written the Pentateuch because writing was unknown in his day. But recent discoveries have proved beyond a question that writing far antedates the time of Moses. So the critics have been compelled to give up their argument, though they have had the bad grace to hold on stubbornly to their conclusion.
2.7. The ignorance of conditions under which books were written and commands given. For example, to one ignorant of the conditions, God’s commands to Israel as to the extermination of the Canaanites seem cruel and horrible, but when one understands the moral condition to which these nations had sunk, the utter hopelessness of reclaiming them, and the weakness of the Israelites themselves, their extermination seems to have been an act of mercy to all succeeding generations and to themselves. Contemplate again Is 9:6; 55:8; Jn 3:31; and so on. Note that we bring calamity upon ourselves (Is 5:18-20; 54:13-17…)…
2.8. The many-sidedness of the Bible. The broadest-minded man is one-sided, but the truth is many-sided, and the Bible is all-sided. So to our narrow thought one part of the Bible might seem to contradict another. For example, religious men as a rule are either Calvinistic or Arminian in their mental makeup. And some portions of the Bible are decidedly Calvinistic and present great difficulties to the Arminian type of mind, while other portions are decidedly Arminian and present difficulties to the Calvinistic type of mind. But both sides are true. Many men in our day are broad-minded enough to be able to grasp at the same time the Calvinistic side of the truth and the Arminian side of the truth; but some are not, so the Bible perplexes, puzzles and bewilders them. The trouble is not with the Bible, but with their own lack of capacity for comprehensive thought. And this because their enemy is their own mind (Rom 8:6-9).
2.9. The fact that the Bible has to do with the infinite, and our unrenewed minds (Rom 12:1-3) are yet finite. It is necessarily difficult to put the facts of infinite being into the limited capacity of our finite intelligence, just as it is difficult to put the ocean into a pint cup. To this class of difficulties belong those connected with the Bible doctrines of the Trinity and of the divine-human nature of Christ. To those who forget that God is infinite, the doctrine of the Trinity seems like the mathematical monstrosity of making one equal three. But when one bears in mind that the doctrine of the Trinity is an attempt to put into forms of finite thought the facts of His infinite Being, and into material forms of expression the facts of the Spirit, the difficulties vanish. The simplicity of the Unitarian conception of God arises from its shallowness. See Is 8:14; Rom 9:32; and so on.
2.10. The dullness of our spiritual perception. The man who is farthest advanced spiritually is still so immature that he cannot expect to see everything yet as an absolutely holy God sees it, unless he takes it upon simple faith in Him (Heb 11:6). Contemplate here for instance Scriptures such as Mk 8:18; Jn 3:3; 1 Cor 1:18; 1 Cor 2:9-16 as well. To this class of difficulties belong those connected with the Bible doctrine of the covenant and the Law of Moses (refer to the meditation “The Covenant and the Law” and example 5.19 below. The whole section 5 below, in fact hopes to [also] illuminate this.
As we look back over the ten classes of difficulties, we see they all arise from our imperfection, and not from the imperfection of the Bible. The Bible is perfect, but we, being yet imperfect (Heb 5:13-6:1), have difficulty with it. As we grow more and more into the perfection already provided by God (Eph 1:3; 4:12-25; Jn 11:26; Rom 8:29-39), our difficulties grow less and less, and so we can have no more difficulties whatever with the Bible [God], when we get our minds renewed; to fully trust our worthy Lord-King and be sons – like Jesus Christ! (Jn 14:12-14)
3. HOW SHALL WE DEAL WITH THE “DIFFICULTIES” OF THE BIBLE?
Before taking up a few specific so-called “difficulties” and alleged “contradictions” in the Bible which have caused the most trouble, let us first consider how these should be dealt with:
3.1. Honestly. Whenever you find a difficulty in the Bible frankly acknowledge it. Don’t try to obscure it. Don’t try to dodge it. Look it square in the face. Admit it frankly to whoever mentions it. If you cannot give a good, square, honest explanation, do not attempt any at all. Untold harm has been done by those who in their zeal for the infallibility of the Bible have attempted explanations of difficulties which do not commend themselves to the honest, fair-minded man. People have concluded that if these are the best explanations, then there are really no explanations at all, and the Bible instead of being helped has been injured by the spiritually deficient zeal of foolish friends. If you are not really convinced that the Bible is the Word of God, you can far better afford to wait for an honest solution of a difficulty than you can afford to attempt a solution that is evasive and unsatisfactory. And remember Mt 18:1-4…
3.2. Humbly. Recognize the limitations of your own mind and knowledge, and do not for a moment imagine that there is no solution just because you have not yet found one. There is, in all probability, a very simple solution, even when you can find no solution at all – yet. Meet Jesus Christ (Jn 10:27-28)!
3.3. Determinedly. Make up your mind that you will find the solution if you can by any amount of study and hard thinking, but more so by humble prayer (Js 1:5; Ps 119:27). The difficulties of the Bible are our heavenly Father’s challenge to us to set our brains – and faith – to work for Him. Do not give up searching for a solution because you cannot find one in five minutes. Ponder over it and work over it for days if necessary. The work will do you more good than the solution does. There is a solution, and you will find it if you will only search for it at Jesus’ feet – answers then come instantly. He is a real Person!
3.4. Fearlessly. Do not be frightened when you find a difficulty, no matter how unanswerable or how insurmountable it appears at first sight. Thousands of men have encountered just such difficulties, and still the Book of all books stands. The Bible that has stood twenty centuries of rigid examination, and also of incessant and awful assault, is not likely to go down before your discoveries or before the discharges of any modern critics. To one who is at all familiar with the history of critical attacks on the Bible, the confidence of those modern critics who think they are going to annihilate the Bible at last is simply amusing in a pathetic way.
3.5. Patiently. Do not be discouraged because you do not solve every problem in a day. If some difficulty persistently defies your very best efforts at a solution, lay it aside for a while. Later it will likely be resolved, and you will wonder how you were ever perplexed by it. Get help, but especially from Him.
3.6. Scripturally. If you find a difficulty in one part of the Bible, look for another Scripture to throw light upon it and dissolve it. Nothing explains Scripture like Scripture [while conversing with Holy Spirit].
3.7. Prayerfully. It is simply wonderful how difficulties dissolve when one looks at them in submission. Not only does God shine His Light in answer to prayer to behold wonderful things out of His Word, but He gave us the ability to look straight through a difficulty that seemed impenetrable before we prayed. One great reason why many modern Bible scholars have learned to be destructive critics is because they have forgotten how to pray. God’s seed-principle (Mt 13; Mk 4; Lk 8) teaches that our receptiveness [motive, expectancy, honesty] determines the [size and quality of the] harvest. Our own resistance diminishes and destroys our own spiritual growth; ears that do not hear, eyes that do not see, rebellious and suspicious attitudes toward a perfect heavenly Father is what prohibits our spiritual growth.
4. So then, the Scriptural way of assessing all that is said (Mt 12:35-37), is to measure it to:-
4.1. What did Jesus Christ say about it? What does the Bible say about it (2 Tim 3:16,17)? In other words, say what Jesus says, as Holy Spirit counsels or teaches or reveals
4.2. How does Jesus’ obedience to His death, His resurrection, and His present position as Lord, relate to what I say or believe?
4.3. What did Jesus demonstrate about it?
We are not to be in a “become” mode, but should be in an “I am” mode (1 Cor 15:10, based on what Jesus has done). The difference in interpretation comes from our mind [mindset], when we read God’s Word. As long as we are under law [attempts at self-righteousness], are we blinded to God’s Spiritual Truth(s); while, when we are truly open to God’s Spirit, do we for the first time really believe Jesus Christ, the Word of God. Consider studying the meditations entitled “The covenant and the law”; “Christian suffering”; “The will”; “unclean food”; “Messianic Jews”; “The Gospel”; and so on, by the same author.
A good example of reading diametrically opposed to what the Word of God is saying to us, can be seen in Ps 8 and Js 1:2-3. When Jesus Christ is your righteousness, you will see that we are to be His stars and reflect light to the world; otherwise we will think we have evolved from slime and be powerless in dead religion. In the other meditations by this author, these aspects are dealt with in greater detail and it should become clear how religion [ceremony, tradition, rituals, the self] has indoctrinated us. In all of these discussions, remember this: God wants a lasting genuine personal relationship, not religion.
5. Specific “difficulties” examined
As an introduction to this section where we look at specific “difficulties”, we might just discover the wonderful relief that – due to our own ingrained self-righteousness and blindness thereto – the writers [and ultimately God as a Spirit, Jn 4:24, 14:26] was just beyond our minds and is Holy Spirit helping here so that we can be enlightened in a higher Life in Christ. We see in scriptures such as Is 55:8; 59:7; 66:18; Micah 4:12a; Mt 5:19; Lk 2:35; Jn 5:38; 1 Cor 3:20; 14:20; 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 4:12; that we will fail to see scriptures from God’s perspective as long as we are too full of ourselves, thinking always of ourselves first in a type of “over-sensitivity”, taking offense… We can perhaps use an example here such as 1 Cor 14:34. It is very likely that Paul was merely addressing this specific assembly in Corinth for their apparent chaotic services (vv. 28,36,40) and was not necessarily making a general statement about all woman on earth. They had to be told to speak one at a time in an orderly fashion and not in such a way that it would sound like a chaotic bazaar or wheeling and dealing money-spinners. Likewise 1 Tim 2:11 goes on in context with reference to what happened in the beginning between Eve and Adam (1 Tim 2:13-14; Gen 3:6; 2 Cor 11:3 – that is about mankind’s self-righteousness or attempts to live of our own knowledge between good and evil, blessing and calamity… Law… instead of utilizing God as our Source and Guidance. The meditations “Mixing Old and New” and “The Covenant and the Law” by this author expands on this). Suffice for now to point to the activity of woman in the early church with scriptures such as 1 Cor 11:5; Titus 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:3-7; even the image of Rev 17:18! Elsewhere in these meditations is a discussion also on the fact that the “submission” of a woman (Eph 5:22) was only in reference to a wife and her own husband (v 21,22) and then her supporting role while he should take liability [“the punch”] and is not saying that all woman are lesser beings and must serve under all men!
We will now continue with some specific “difficulties” to see if this is problematic or self-induced…
5.1. Question: Does Genesis 1 contradict Genesis 2?
The supposed contradictions:
Gen 1 Gen 2
|Verse 11: Grass, plants, trees on day 3||
Verse 9: Grass, plants, trees after man on day 6?
|Verse 20,21: Birds out of water, day 5||Verse 19: Birds out of ground on day 6?|
|Verse 24: Animals before man on day 6||Verse 19,20: Animals after man on day 6?|
Answer: No, there is no contradiction. Genesis chapter two refers to day six and expounds [“recaps”, summarizes] on what God created for man, very much like an overview of the six-day creation. For some, God even seems to have made one more of each animal out of the ground for Adam to name on day six. This is [for one] so Adam could see there is no mate for him amongst the animals (animals are not made to God’s image; no man “evolved” from animals or slime). The correct sequence is:
Day 1: Light appeared (2 Cor 4:6; John 1:4,5,9; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 21:23-27… Col 1:13-20; Eph 5:5-11)
Day 2: God made the Heavens
Day 3: God made plants according to kinds (not species)
Day 4: God made sun, moon, stars (for seasons to come – Gen 8:22; and Ps 19:1-6)
Day 5: God made water creatures and birds according to their kinds out of water
Day 6: God made the living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creeping things, wild beasts and domestic animals – all according to their kind. Then God made man according to His image [Love], and placed him [Adam] in the garden called Eden [delight] to rule [have authority] over all creation [not man] on the earth (Ps 104:30; Heb 1:2; 11:3).
5.2. Does Ex 33:11 contradict Ex 33:20 or Dt 5:24?
In other words, how could the Lord spoke to Moses face to face in verse 11 yet is told in verse 20 that no man could see God’s face and live?
Superficially, this seems incongruous; but closer examination – of the whole Bible – will reveal the unparalleled magnificence of the Bible’s one, progressive, unfolding revelation of God’s grace and righteousness in Jesus Christ. The Bible will reveal to those open to God’s Spirit (Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14; 2 Tim 3:16-17 with special note to Jn 14:6-11,17,23,26; 1 Jn 2:16-23), the crux of this Book consisting of a compilation of books: self-righteousness as opposed to God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ! I.e. our own attempts under the Law vs God’s grace, Love and Life everlasting! Christianity is not about heaven or hell, but a living, lasting relationship with a living eternal God (Jn 4:24).
Yet another new insight awaits the open reader of the Bible. In the meditation “Who is Jesus Christ”, more detail are discussed, but for now, we will discover a Jesus pre-incarnate! Don’t freak out! Contemplate Just Jn 1:1-4; 14:6,9; Gal 3:8 and Col 1:15-18 quickly first! We’ll then ponder the uncertainty of the exact date of birth of Jesus Christ (of Nazareth) and contemplate the enigmatic identity of Melchizedek (Heb 7). We’ll see why Moses was told he’ll never enter Canaan yet stood on the mount of transfiguration with Elijah and Jesus (Mt 17:2-8). Moses represented the Law (self-righteousness, Jn 1:17; Phil 3:9) and Elijah the prophets (Heb 1:1-2); but God wants us to listen to [follow, cling to] HIM – Mt 3:17; 17:5; Jn 3:3; 14:6!
The Lord that spoke to Moses in Ex 33:11 was (is) יהוה (H3068, yehôvâh), from H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah the Lord. Compare H3050, H3069. The Amplified Bible note that we read further about an “Angel of the Lord” or “of God” or “of His presence” in Gen 22:11 that can be identified with the Lord Jesus Christ (Gen 16:11,13; 22:11,12; 31:11,13; Ex 3:1-6 and so on). This is a distinct person in Himself from God the Father (Gen 24:7; Ex 23:20; Zech 1:12,13, and other passages). Nor does this “Angel of the Lord” appear again after Christ came in human form, hence of necessity the One of the “Three in One” Godhead (refer to the meditation “The Trinity”). It is possible that this “Angel of the Lord” of the OT could be the visible Lord of the OT as Jesus Christ is to the NT. The deity of this Person is clearly portrayed in the OT. The Cambridge Bible observes, “There is a fascinating forecast of the coming Messiah, breaking through the dimness with amazing consistency, at intervals from Genesis to Malachi. Abraham, Moses, the slave girl Hagar, the impoverished farmer Gideon, even the humble parents of Samson, had seen and talked with Him centuries before the herald angels proclaimed His birth in Bethlehem”…
Ex 33:20 says that no man can face God in self-righteousness (under Law) and stand the test (Rom 3:20,23), as even Uzzah discovered (2 Sam 6:3-8). This is discussed in the meditation “The Covenant and the Law” (Law has no mercy while God is about the grace and righteousness that Jesus brought [back] for those willing to accept His blood offer on His cross on behalf of all following Him. This is a personal choice free to all alike. No man and no one else can be an intermediate other than Jesus Christ (1Tim 2:5) and God will not force anyone in any way! Love [God] does not manipulate – everyone has a genuine free choice. The will God gave us is discussed in meditations such as “The Will” and “Body, Soul, Spirit”). Facing [experiencing] God in a New Testament in Jesus Christ, however, is a completely different matter of living in God’s grace and righteousness (Rom 3:24-28; 8:29-39). Acts 4:11-12!!!
In Ex 33:18 Moses asked God to show His glory. Now read verse 19 with Jn 1:17; 3:3,6,16-21… get it? The Old had fleeting glories and the New offers a lasting glory, but only in Jesus Christ because no man can face [challenge, test] God and be found worthy in self-righteousness (own merit). God intended for us to have a close, personal and lasting relationship with Him since the beginning. This Adam revealed when he (Adam) declared that he was naked (unclothed) when God asked Adam where he was (spiritually). Now contemplate Rom 13:14. (The meditation “The Covenant and the Law” expands on this).
Observe as well, that Jesus in Jn 4:24 states that God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being, unseen). In the sentence prior to this (v 23) Jesus said that true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. Then Jesus [of Jn 1:1-4,14,17; 3:3,15-20] made the statements of Jn 1:18; 6:46; 12:45; 14:6-26; 20:29; even 15:1-7! So indeed no one can see God the Spirit and God the Father literally [let alone continue to live self-righteous; Rom 3:20,23; 8:1-39 ]; but in Jesus Christ we could [can] see and understand God and talk to Him! Moses surely discovered this in Exodus 33, even on Mt. Sinai. So much more significant then, that Moses was there on the mount of transfiguration (refer to Lk 9:30,35,62; Mt 17:3,5; and Mt 9:16-17 with the meditation “The Covenant and The Law” and “Mixing Old and New”). Refer also to # 5.23 below. Indeed, we should read the Bible more carefully, agreed?
5.3. Josh 10:12-14. How could the sun have “stood still” for one day?
By implication, not the sun (in space), but the earth, meaning the earth stopped rotating? This obviously would bring about immense geophysical and physiological problems and thus off the cuff sounds highly improbable.
The Christian approach, “What is impossible to man, is possible for God” (Mt. 19:26) might be absolutely true but in this case seems to be applied out of context unnecessary; sadly once again, to make something straight-forward to be unnecessary virtually insurmountable – due to our perceptions and attitude towards a perfect Creator-Father-God and His Word given to us for a specific purpose.
There was a story circulating the internet that NASA had run a program and found a calendar day missing in Joshua’s time. Observations: (a) Verification with NASA will prove this to be a myth. (b) Any mathematician can tell you that the whole series of days will have to be known in order for any one missing day to be “found”. We do not historically have the days from day one. (c) No mention is made of a calendar adjustment for a lost day in Joshua’s time.
The theme of the book Joshua, who was from the tribe of Ephraim (Num 13:8) and commissioned as leader before Moses’ death (Dt. 31), is the establishment of Israel in the promised land but mostly the Lord’s triumph over the Canaanites that testified to the world that God [then mostly perceived “of Israel”] is the one true living Creator-God that remains actively involved as a Perfect Father that also provides.
Now, in this context, let’s consider the following:
- The leading character of the book Joshua, was an Israelite (Num 13:2-3,8; Josh 3:7; 4:14; 10:4).
Joshua was a fore-shadow of Joshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ – read “Who is Jesus Christ”). Moses led them in the desert where that generation all died except Joshua and Caleb who then led the remaining younger generation out of the desert into the promised land (Num 13:6; 14:6,24,30; Jn 1:17).
- A normal period of daylight (“day”, daytime), is around twelve hours. A calendar day today is 24 hours (uncorrected) that include both day and night [-time].
- The Jewish “day” (see #5.20 below) was counted in two segments of six hours each.
Josh 10:12 states the “sun” stood still at Gibeon and the moon in the valley of Ajalon. Note that it was (i) not claiming a global event occurring across the whole planet at once as for example the flood (Expanded on in the meditation “The Flood”); and (b) that for the sun “to stand (stay) still” in this context is a mere manner of speech where Joshua asked for the sun to linger a while longer before it shines brightly again (re-appear after the immense storm), lengthening the element of surprise and possibly pandemonium under the enemy and hence so keep the advantage they had gained. We are thus reading about a longer period of “darkness” not light!
- “Sun” in verse 12, is from שׁמשׁ (shemesh, H8121), from an unused root meaning to be brilliant; the sun yes, but probably specifically here, by implication rather a ray (rays, [day] light emitted by the sun) and not the whole celestial body of burning gas known as the sun.
Interestingly, a little off the topic, note that Ajalon (v12) is the name of five places in Palestine (compare with the figure of five kings mentioned in v 5) where the moon was “still”.
- The surprise attack (Josh 10:9-10) chased them “descending” to Beth-Heron and a tremendous storm dropped hail on them that killed more than what the Israelites slain with the sword (v 11). “Then Joshua spoke to the Lord (on the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites…”) asking for the rays to be “still”… The shadow in a valley combined with an effective eclipse due to thick storm clouds can indeed make the sun’s rays “still” and let “darkness” linger for six hours longer – a Jewish “day” – all this during that calendar day (v14).
- In a valley, the “day” is observed to be shorter than when observed from up on the Plato above.
A very dark shadow from an unusually thick cloud can add sufficient more hours of darkness to get a total of six or twelve hours “darkness” where the sun’s rays – even the moon – is “still”.
In a supernatural type darkness (ominous shadow of a recent immense and devastating storm), the element of surprise would easily have been retained for Joshua and his men to clinch this victory – just as it was recorded in The Bible.
- The superstitious heathens, believing in multiple gods (such as for storms, hail, lightening and so on), must have been at a psychological disadvantage during this storm that killed so many.
- The cross reference in Hab 3:11 is a similar description of how God helped Joshua to keep that element of surprise darkness and subsequently the victory by letting the sun and moon “stand back”. To “stand back” fits in well with an eclipse of some sort and not earth stopping to rotate.
In other words, the planet earth did not have to stop rotating for 24 hours to make this account accurate! Neither was some other radical geophysical event necessary, such as to tilt on its rotational axis. All that is required to have happened is that “darkness” lingered 6 (or 12) hours with the sun’s rays “still” or “held back”; i.e. “eclipsed”.
5.4. Does Gen 1:29-30 and Rom 5:12 say there was no non-human death before Adam?
The apparent problem is that, even though we are post-flood, do current physical observations and fossils suggest that, for example, bacteria, sharks, animals with canine teeth and poisonous creatures most probably had cause death before the fall of mankind. Some thought should reveal that (1) human [death] is different from other created forms (1 Cor 15:38-40), and (2) this should not pose any problem whatsoever for the idea of a young earth. Surely God could have created the ecology like this from day one of their existence and found it to be good! We need no long periods of time to make Gen 1:29,30 and Rom 5:12 true. The meditation “Evolution” expands on this. Rom 5:12 simply makes no mention of death or loss of non-human life. It is concerned with us as humans and our sinful nature since Adam and our only salvation in Jesus Christ, our last Adam (1 Cor 15:45). Rom 5:12 should therefore pose no problem for advocates of a young (or even an old) world – unless the intent is to dispute the inerrancy of The Bible as God’s Word and the purpose for [of] Jesus Christ and His deity.
God did not leave us a scientific explanation and technical formulae of how He created, only that He did create everything (for example Col 1:12-21). Exactly when God created is also rather inconsequential unless the Bible is misquoted, misrepresented or disputed regarding God and His Good News of our salvation and authority in Jesus Christ. Fair deductions can be made, though, based on the genealogies found in the Bible and is mentioned in the meditation “Who is Jesus Christ”.
It is possible that death and predation was present outside the paradise before the fall and not within up to the fall. We simply don’t know. We can’t argue meaningful about what none of us know for a fact and what is not crucial to our salvation; but more importantly, our relationship with God [Jesus Christ].
5.5. Does 2 Chronicles 4:2, and 1 Kings 7:23 contain a mathematical error?
The argument is that the circumference of a circle is the diameter times π. π Is roughly 3.14159265… so the diameter should really be 31.41592654 cubits (not 30).
Answer: Two possibilities are: 2 Chron 4:5 mentions the thickness: a handbreadth. The outer and inner diameters obviously differ. Verse 2 seems to refer to the outer diameter, while the inner circumference could very well be 30 cubits. A cubit is the length from the fingertip to the elbow. This differs from person to person, but interestingly enough, on average, a cubit divided by the handbreadth, gives π. This is therefore unlikely to be an oversight, but quite accurate! The lip was wider, shaped like a lily (2 Chron 4:5; 1 Kings 7:22).
5.6. Question: Do the size contradict each other (1 Kings 7:26 vs 2 Chron 4:5)?
Answer: No contradiction – the liquid capacity was probably 3 000 baths (a Hebrew liquid measurement, one bath equalling about 22 litres), while it was apparently usually only filled to contain 2000 baths (44 kl).
5.7. Question: Why the difference between 1 Kings 4:26 and 2 Chron 9:25?
Answer: There is no difference – the 4 000 stalls each held 10 horses. The KJV is correct, most other translations have forced these due to grammatical reasons. They also used 10 horses per chariot for redundancy [in war].
5.8. How many did David slew – 700 or 7 000 (2 Sam 10:18; and 1 Chron 19:18)?
Answer: 7 000. Ten men per chariot times 700 chariots (in 2 Sam 10:18).
5.9. Question: Why the difference paid in 2 Sam 24:24 and 1 Chron 21:25?
Answer: The 50 shekels silver in 2 Sam 24:24 was for the threshing floor and the oxen; while the 600 shekels gold in 1 Chron 21:25 was for the site. No problem.
5.10. Does Gen 10:31 contradict Gen 11:1?
Answer: No, Genesis 11 expands [recaps] on Genesis 10. Read it again carefully. Anyway, this city that man wanted, opposes that planned by God (Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; Rev 21:2; 1 Pet 2:1-10 ; Eph 1:22-3:6,18-21…).
5.11. Question: Does 1 Corinthians 10:8 contradict Numbers 25:9?
Answer: No contradiction. 23 000 died in one day, and 1 000 the next day = 24 000.
5.12. Question: Jonah 2:1 – was it a fish or a whale that swallowed Jonah?
Answer: Jonah 2:1 mentions a fish, while Matthew 12:40 a sea monster or whale (depending on translations, other than the KJV). The Bible classified all swimming creatures in the sea the same (Gen 1:21) fish. Modern classifications are irrelevant.
5.13. Is Leviticus 11:3-6 revealing a biological inaccuracy in the Bible?
Answer: No. A hare (rabbit) eats its secretions, which amounts to the same principle: namely again chewing – by choice – on what its own body had already rejected. The point is that it resembles a principle of what is regarded as unclean (repent is opposite to accept a rejected lie (2 Cor 3:7) and not return to a Perfect Loving Father (Rom 10:4). You can return to dreg [law, self] or you can return to Love [grace and mercy of Father], your choice – Jer 5:3; Hos 12:6;14:6; Prov 26:11; Gal 3…). We are to contemplate (“chew”) God’s Word day and night, not thoughts of destruction of the world of self.
5.14. Which is correct: 1 Kings 9:26-28 or 2 Chronicles 8:17,18?
Answer: Both are likely to be correct. Both Solomon and Huram had a fleet [navies] and travelled back and forth many times, so once it could have conveyed 420 talents of gold and on another occasion 450 talents of gold (1 talent was about 30 kg!). The Amplified Bible mentions Hiram in 1 Kings 9:27, but a Huram in 2 Chronicles 8:18.
5.15. Was it “Passover” or “Easter” in Acts 12:4? Does it make a difference?
Answer: There is a drastic difference. The KJV has it right, because it was translated from the right manuscripts (See meditation on Bible translations). The sequence was:
1. Passover on the eve of April (Nisan) 14
2. Followed by seven days of unleavened bread (no sin)
3. Then the pagan festival of Astart (Ishtar or “Easter”) followed. This is what Herod (Eusau’s descendant) was celebrating – the fertility idea of earth “regenerating itself”, using symbols such as rabbits and eggs that you seek out and consume. But God wants us to consume His body and His blood (Jn 6:56-58; Ex 12; Gen 3:22; with Rev 2:7; 3:21-22; 1 Cor 11…). William Tyndale translated “pascha” to “passover”, but used the word “Easter” in Acts 12:4 (KJV).
5.16. God is Love (1 Jn 4:8,16), and says in Ex 20:5 He is a jealous God; but in 1 Cor 13:4 says love [of God] is never envious or never boils over with jealousy – is this not a contradiction?
Answer: Not at all, there is only a contradiction in our [remnant?] fleshly reasoning. This “apparent contradiction” is possibly yet another in His Word designed to reveal to us a presence of our old nature [thought-processes in enmity toward God that must go, distrustful thinking and offence, minds alien to Him] still not really crucified by us (1 Tim 3:16,17; Gal 2:20; Rom 12:9; Jn 1:9,10; 8:30-51, and so on).
Think of it this way: God is the Author of Life, not any man. You do not “make babies” – you have sex and God’s natural laws are activated. When or how did you form that baby’s eye? Or was it more a case of hoping “your” baby would be born with eyes? Just be sure to know that any defects are not from God, but rather eventually by man’s intervention, offense, unbelief. So then, we actually belong to God and He gave us the choice to love Him back . Love [God] does not manipulate [is real, genuine, true]. As the Author, He has “copy right”. God the Creator-Father alone has the right to be jealous – He alone is the actual Owner. He alone is the Source of righteousness, grace, intellect, creativity, love. He knows best. He is worthy of our trust. He is worthy to be praised. He is worthy to be our only Father-God.
Then there is another aspect to this Love. When God uses a word, it is perfect [in its intention, application, effect]. God can speak things into being. He is the Word that became flesh and revealed His Glory (Jn 1:1-5,14). He made us to His image – if Christ be in us and we in Christ. God is a Perfect Father, Ruler, Sustainer, Savior, Teacher, Guide, and Friend. When He uses the word “jealous”, it is to protect us [from false gods: from self, from self-righteous love for money that give the temporary illusion of control and happiness; from greed and lust, from evil and fear, from law or any attempts at self-righteousness]. Jesus is the Servant-King. But when we use [live] the same word “jealous”, it is corrupted, implying God is not Who He says He is [a liar] because He – in our minds – somehow unfairly allows other to have what we should have now, causing bitterness, offense and hate (1 Thess 3:12,13; 1 Jn 3:16, Rom 13:10; etc.). So when we use [apply] the very same word “jealous”, we actually use it to hurt and destroy. When God speaks a word it is perfect – to protect us… from ourselves.
5.17. Is Paul contradicting James (Rom 3:28 vs Js 2:26)?
Not at all. Paul and James are not opposing each other, but are fighting the same enemy (religion, religious attitudes, self-righteous mindsets, rulers of “law-tabernacles”) standing back-to-back. Jesus did not obey His Father to become His Son, He obeyed Him perfectly because He was [is] His Son. The right place to be is to produce the right fruit [words, results, Light, Life] and reflect HIS Light, not to be unreflecting [His Light and lasting Life] and be bewitched by law or works of self-righteousness. The kingdom of God is for [His] believers, not [self] achievers.
5.18. Does Isaiah 55:10,11 (for example) show God’s Word as “old, unscientific, even wrong”? (Scientists can say rain and snow evaporates, and – even in part – eventually does return to heaven. Not as it seems to read, as not returning).
God asked Adam (your old nature, see Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45): “…where are you?…”. This is not saying God did not know where Adam was, or that He is unaware of your deepest thoughts (Ps 139; Jer 17:9; 1 Sam 16:7). God is asking you to see that you [your thoughts] are in the wrong place when in self-righteousness [blind to this self-righteousness!] Adam replied, “I am naked” (Rom 13:14). He is calling you back to Him (Jn 6:44).
Isaiah 55:10,11 is not saying rain or snow does not return [at all], it says “as rain and snow not return…”. This means it falls one way (visible), but returns another way (unseen, visually undetected). Just so [in like manner, unseen, undetected by human senses] does the Word of God not return empty and void (eventually manifests in the natural realm). This means it never returns without a result. God’s Word is self-activating! So speak His Word!!… When His Truth is brought to a man, immediately a choice of man’s will must be exercised: accept or reject. This result [report] then returns to the Lord. The seed in fertile ground will receive what it needs to let it grow, unseen but true. You possess roughly the same surface ratio water to earth as the earth – ideal for Seed to grow…
1 Peter 1:23 tells it like this: you are first born in the natural realm, in the flesh, by carnal desires and only later, when you receive [accept, submit to] Jesus as the Christ, you are born anew from above – supernatural, in Spirit, and you are a new creature (2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:18; 2:24) with God as your Father. You “return”, not as you came, but in a different form (Jn 1:12; 3:6). Go figure Acts 4:13 with Mt 11:25,26 and start showing results – not to impress [try to earn], but out of love [a result, outflow].
5.19. Does Psalm 19:7 contradict Galatians 3:13?
No. Contemplate 2 Corinthians 3:13-18. The previous glory was temporary and the latter glory continuous; ultimately for us to really believe Jesus Christ unconditionally (Jn 16:9; Jn 11:25 is defining after life as a fleeting glory and verse 26 everlasting life as a lasting glory. See the meditation entitled “The Testimony” by the author, if you will). See Hebrews 8:12,13; 9:8. Think carefully what Romans 12:2 is saying! Galatians 3 teaches the main purpose of the law – that was for an appointed time only:
– We are all guilty by it (Rom 3:23; 6:23; Js 2:10). Only Jesus can set us free!
– It quiet our mouths, humble us before God (1 Pet 5:5; Ps 51:17; Ez 21:26,27)
– The law (rules) is a curse because of human nature
– Laws [rules] gives a mentality of minimum requirement [not excellence]
– Law and rules are only for the unruly, and was given unto them (Gal 3:19; Rom 9:4)
Therefore, by the way, does the term “Messianic Jew” contradict Galatians 3:26-29; 4:9-12,24-29; 5:2-6. You are either under a “self-righteous-merit-system”(law), or you have received a Testament (Heb 9) from Jesus Christ our Lord. Contemplate Eph 2:6; Rom 8:17; Heb 10:14. Also, remember Rom 8:14; Mt 22:35-40; 7:21-24; 1 Jn 4:4; and so on. Be blessed! The goal is to get to that place where you realize once for all that you can never distrust God. Know the meaning and implication of 1 Pet 5:5. Know that “faith” was given in equal measure to all (Rom 12:3) as a mechanism, an ability, as a gift from God; and that “believe” is your response, your gift back to God in trust (Heb 11:6). He makes possible and you choose. Refer to number 24 below, and may you be totally free in Jesus’ name!
Consider also that Gal 3:29 points not to Moses (Dt 28), but Abraham (Gen 12:3; 22:17)! Yes, the law blinds indeed (2 Cor 3; 2 Cor 4:4-7)! The promise was made to Christ (Gal 3:16) and His Body, the church (Gal 3:29; 4:21-31; 1 Cor 6:17-20; 12:27, 2 Cor 6:14-18; Rom 8:8) not to a Jewish nation that rejected Him as Messiah (Acts 26:17-18 Ampl; Jn 9:28) and will only be saved – as a nation – if they accept this fact as a nation – Jn 14:6; Rom 10:12,13; 11:23! The Church [followers of Christ] is blessed.
Genesis 3 teaches to never think wrongly about God, or lightly about God, or suspiciously about God. To believe, is to trust His Person, rely on His promises, His teachings, and to cling to His unchanging faithfulness, goodness, glory, and to never reject His perfect Love, His grace, His mercy and His Life.
Jesus Christ is your righteousness and holiness, irrespective of what you mess up [Heb 10:26-29], as long as you just go to Father through Jesus Christ. Jesus alone is our righteousness that in effect says more than “Mercy, please?” [as if just in self-interest]! May you get the revelation of the High Priest that is there for you – not to judge and condemn you, but that understands temptation, has made you, knows the deepest most hidden part of you, and has paid with His Blood for you, interceding for you when you admit He is Who He said He is: your Brother and Friend (Heb 2:8-10; 4:12-16; 5:13). See # 23 below, and no, you will not frustrate His grace and be like a beast (1 Jn 3:9,10; 4:4,19-21) in Christ!
Jesus was not obedient to show how to be a Son of God, He was obedient because He was (is) a Son…
5.20. Is there a discrepancy or anomaly between Ex 4:10 and Acts 7:22?
No. First of all, God gave His word in Ex 4:11-12, but then Moses showed his real problem in verse 13 – he felt unqualified and afraid. Why? Probably because he was “mightily” trained and confident in Egypt’s [natural] ways but was uncomfortable in God’s [Spiritual] way yet. Compare here with us (Jn 14:26; 1 Jn 4:4; Heb 11:40; and so on). Moses had an awesome relationship [dialogues] with God.
5.21. Is the three days between Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection accurate?
Note at Mt. 12:40: It has been traditionally taught that Jesus was crucified and buried on a Friday and resurrected on a Sunday, the first day of the week (Mt. 28:1; Mk. 16:2; Lk. 24:1; Jn. 20:1). However, Jesus here prophesied being three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. That would mean the crucifixion took place at least on Thursday and possibly on Wednesday depending on what you believe the method of counting was. John 20:1 shows that Mary Magdalene found that Jesus was already resurrected while it was still dark. That means Jesus actually rose from the dead some time during the night prior to sunrise on Sunday. If you interpret Jesus’ statement here in Matthew 12:40 as meaning three complete 12 hour nights, then Saturday night could not be included and would thus push the crucifixion and burial back to Wednesday. Friday could not have been the day Jesus was crucified if 72 hours (3 X 24 hour days) were involved.
The interesting fact is that two calendars, or methods of counting the lengths of days, were in use at the time Jesus was crucified. One was the Roman way of counting full days of 24 hour periods as we know today, and then there was a Jewish calendar known as the “lunar calendar” because it was designed for a farmer culture according to the rotation of the moon around the earth. According to this principle, each day begins at sundown, about 18:00, and then also lasts 24 hours because it takes about 29.5 days for the moon to rotate around the earth. There are only 354 days in a Jewish year, which makes the “Solar Year” 11.25 days days longer. To compensate for this difference, the Jews add an extra month, consisting of 29 days, to their calendar every year. Furthermore the Jews had a dual calendar [two parallel calendars]; namely a civil calendar (based on the Jewish agricultural seasons); and a religious calendar that started the year at the time [the month] God delivered them out of Egypt (Ex 12:2). This first month was originally called “Abib” but during the captivity in Babylon, it changed to “Nisan” which coincides with the months of March and April on our [world-wide standardised] Gregorian calendar, which was decreed by pope Gregory XIII in 1582. In A.D. 532, however, Dionysius Exiguus invented the calendar of the Christian Era based upon the time of the building of the city of Rome, and this kind of time was called ab urbe condita, or A.U.C. (or simply, U.C. time). Dionysius placed the birth of Christ U.C. 753. Later when it was ascertained that Herod had died in U.C. 749, Jesus’ birth was moved back to the latter part of U.C. 749, a little more than three years before A.D. 1. Therefore, Jesus was 30 years of age in A.D. 27. The “Child” had been born in Bethlehem (4 B.C.); the “Son” was given 30 years later at the Jordan (Is 9:6,7)! But back to those three days…
The reason the crucifixion was traditionally set on Friday is because of an assumption of verses like Luke 23:54 that speak of the Sabbath as being the day after the crucifixion, and then assuming this Sabbath was the Sabbath of Ex 20:11. John 19:31 seems to imply the Sabbath spoken of was a high Sabbath (or special, other festive “Sabbath”. “Sabbath” simply means “a day consecrated for God”) – specifically the feast of the Passover. But closer examination of Lev 23 and Num 28 shows this is probably indeed the Sabbath [of Ex 20:11], that is, what we know as on Saturday, and then the second one in the Jewish month of Nisan.
Were these special feasts – that Jesus fulfilled with His coming and the crucifixion and resurrection – called Sabbaths also, regardless of the day of the week on which they fell (Mk. 15:42 with Jn. 19:14 and Dt 21:22,23;Gal 3:13), or were the Passover Sabbaths designed by God to all fall on [Ex 20:11] Sabbaths? Note that Lev 23 clearly shows these Sabbaths of the Passover were all on the Sabbath of Ex 20:11, set as “markers” around which the “filler days” fell (Lev 23; Num 28). This means that Sabbath of Jn 19:31 was that Sabbath that fell on 15th Nisan, a Saturday.
So then, seeing that Jesus as a Jew, came for the Jews first (who rejected Him, Jn 1:11; Mt 21:43; Gal 3:28,29; Jn 1:1:11; 19; Acts 2:23,36, etc), we can safely assume this account was relating to the Jewish system. We see that the notation is exactly that in Scriptures such as Jn 19:14; Mk 15:34; Mt 27:45. So here then an explanation of these “three days and three nights”:
|Friday||12:00 – 18:00||“day” one|
|Friday||18:00 – 24:00||“night” one|
|Saturday (Sabbath)||00:00 – 06:00||“night” two|
|Saturday (Sabbath)||06:00 – 12:00||“day” two|
|Saturday (Sabbath)||12:00 – 18:00||“day” three|
|Saturday (Sabbath)||18:00 – 24:00||“night” three|
|Sunday||00:00 – 06:00||Resurrection|
Mk 15:25 tells us Jesus was crucified on the Friday 09:00 (the third hour from 06:00) and that He gave His Spirit at noon (when darkness fell, the sixth hour from 06:00) as noted in Mt 27:45 and prophesied in Amos 8:9. (Refer also, Mt 27:1; Lk 23:44-45). Jesus, to fulfil for example Jonah 1:17 as well, had to be “in the heart of the earth” for three full days and three full nights (Mt 12:40); and this counts perfectly well in the Jewish tradition, as shown in the table above.
Jesus was crucified on the Passover in its fulfilment. Moreover, contemplate 1 Cor 1:18-2:2; 15:1-8. The meditation “Who is Jesus Christ” tries to show the importance that we understand that all prophesies about Jesus Christ were all accurately fulfilled. This is why we can’t have the facts wrong.
5.22. The Sabbath
7676 שַׁבָּת [ shabbath / shab• bawth /], From Hebrew Shabbat, “to cease, desist”, weekly day of rest and abstention from work enjoined upon Israelites.
Origin: An etiological origin for the Sabbath is supplied in Gen 2:1-3, which speaks of God ceasing from the work of creation on the seventh day, blessing the day, and declaring it holy. Scholarly explanations of the Sabbath’s origins have focused on certain days in the Babylonian monthly calendar on which normal activities of the king and certain professions were restricted. These days, known as ‘evil days,’ were determined by the lunar cycle, corresponding with the quarters of the moon. While the postulating of a dependence on the Babylonian calendar is tempting, it cannot be objectively sustained. The Biblical Sabbath was ordained as a weekly institution with no relation whatsoever to the lunar cycle. Moreover, the somber nature of the Babylonian ‘evil days’ stands in stark contrast to the joyous nature of the Sabbath.
Of uncertain relation to the lunar ‘evil days’ was the day of the full moon on the fifteenth of the month, known as shapattu, a term possibly related to sabbath. This day was described as a ‘day of pacifying the heart [of the god]’ by certain ceremonies. No significant similarities between this day and the Sabbath are known, however. The closest analogy between the Biblical Sabbath and Babylonian culture is the shared literary motif of the god(s) resting after having created humans (see Enuma elish 7.8, 34). Even here, the parallel is distant: the Biblical God rests at the conclusion of his creative efforts, while the Babylonian gods are freed from the labors required to feed themselves since humans were created to relieve them of that task. The utter nonsense of religion is in stark contrast to a real relationship.
Contextual meaning of “eternal”. As with references to the hell, do “not be quenched” and “eternal fire” mean “always burn”? Not necessarily, no. Certainly not when comparing Jer 17:27b with 2 Chron 36:19-21. That fire is not burning now, but what burned is consumed with everlasting effect or result. The same can be applied to Mt 25:41; Mk 9:43,48 and Lk 3:17. The fire will not be able to be extinguished by anything or anyone, for God will use it to finally and utterly destroy evil and the wicked for all eternity [the result will be eternal, once they have been completely destroyed by unquenchable fire]. The fire will be unquenchable until the fire has burned and destroyed the wicked, then it will never burn again. Evil and its practitioners will be no more and will have no more reason to exist – ever again [still]. Now, likewise, observe the use of “forever” in Lev 16:31.
First, note the specific reference to Israel with “… a sabbath of rest unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls…for ever” (emphasis mine). If you think this applies to you today, even as a non-Israelite that did not live in that time, and you think you have to obey that law to the letter, then be consistent and comply with Ex31:15 and Ex 35:2!! (It clearly instructs to kill “whoever works on a sabbath”!). No, please see that there was an Old and there is a New – Heb 8:13! Observe the use of “they” and “them” by Paul (a Jew, ex-Pharisee) in Rom 9:4 -5, even so with Nehemiah (Neh 9:14).
Second, note the use of עלם עולם (H5769, ôlâm ‛ôlâm) for the concept “for ever” which is in fact to be properly concealed, that is, the vanishing point; generally time out of mind (past or future), that is, (practically) eternity. And this is amazingly, from עלם (H5956, ‛âlam) a primitive root; to veil from sight, that is, conceal (literally or figuratively): – X any ways, blind, dissembler, hide (self), secret (thing). Now carefully consider this with 2 Cor 3:10-18 and Gal 3:3-15; 4:4-11; 5:4,18!
With (H5769) and (H5956) above, also compare נצח נצח (H5331, netsach nêtsach), properly a goal, that is, the bright object at a distance travelled towards; hence (figuratively), splendor, or (subjectively) truthfulness, or (objectively) confidence; but usually (adverbially), continually (that is, to the most distant point of view): – alway (-s), constantly, end, (+ n-) ever (more), perpetual, strength, victory. Compare here Gen 49:10; Num 24:17; Gal 3:19 and Heb 9:8-26! Selah (Pause, and calmly think about that)! Please read on for this great revelation.
Observance: The Sabbath was a cornerstone of Israelite religious practice from earliest times. (Consider the first point above with reference to Israel). This can be seen from the consistent mention of the Sabbath throughout all the strata of Pentateuchal and extra-Pentateuchal sources, with the exception of wisdom literature. In the Pentateuch, Sabbath observance is legislated repeatedly in general terms (Ex 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:12-17; Lev 23:3; Dt 5:12-15), though the types of work prohibited are relatively limited; those mentioned include gathering food, ploughing and reaping, kindling a fire, and chopping wood (Ex 16:29-30; 34:21; 35:3; Num 15:32-36). The positive specifications of Sabbath observance include giving rest to one’s servants and animals (Ex 20:10; 23:12; Dt. 5:14). Remember we are dealing with worlds BC side and we are AD side of Jesus’ cross (Heb 8:13). Worth pondering here is the fact that according to Jesus (Jn 1:14,17), the Israelites who observe the Sabbath is not saved [by it] until they can confess what is stated in Rom 10:9-10 with Jn 3:16; 14:6-13 (observe that “My commandments” in Jn 14:15 refers to the precepts of Jesus Christ – not the ten commandments given by Moses, as expanded on in the meditation “The Covenant and the Law”). We’ll come back to this point later in examining Lk 4:40-41.
Outside the Pentateuch, evidence relating to the practical observance of the Sabbath is not overabundant, but it is more extensive than that found for most laws. During the monarchial period (ca. 1050-586 bc), the Sabbath (as well as the New Moon) was marked by visits to prophet and Temple (2 Ki 4:23; Is 1:13). Business activity came to a halt (Amos 8:5). The Sabbath was a joyous day, much like the festivals (Hos 2:13; Lam 2:6). Its desecration was severely attacked by Jeremiah, who lashed out against those who carried burdens from their houses or through the gates of Jerusalem (Jer 17:19-27). During the period of the restoration, Nehemiah enforced observance of the Sabbath by locking the city gates of Jerusalem in order to prevent traders from selling their wares (Neh 13:15-22). Contemporary papers from a Jewish colony in Elephantine, Egypt, likewise mention the Sabbath, attesting to its recognition by Diaspora (i.e., non-Palestinian) Jews in the fifth century B.C.
In addition to these features of popular observance of the Sabbath, one can also piece together a picture of Sabbath observance in the Temple. The Pentateuchal prescriptions of additional sacrifices and changing of the showbread on the Sabbath (Lev 24:8; Num 28:9-10) apparently reflect accepted practice (cf. Ez 45:17; 46:4-5; 1 Chron 9:32; 23:31; 2 Chron 2:3; 8:13; 31:3). The sacrificial service may have been accompanied by a special psalm (Ps 92:1). There is also a somewhat cryptic reference to the changing of the royal guards at the Temple on the Sabbath (2 Ki 11:4-12). Note, however, that we are dealing with an Old system (Heb 8:13) that was BC and applied to Israelites! Consider the meditation “Mixing Old and New”. Note for example, that the “Temple of God” is rather our bodies (1 Cor 6:19-20), not buildings of man (Acts 7:48)!
Purpose: Two major rationales for Sabbath observance are presented in the Pentateuch. The concept of the Sabbath as a memorial of God’s resting from the work of creation is expressed in Gen 2:1-3 and repeated in Ex 20:11 and 31:17. The latter passage broadens the concept in defining the Sabbath as ‘a sign forever between Me and the people of Israel.’ Although God had already sanctified the seventh day at the time of creation, he did not reveal its special status to humankind at large, but only to his [then] people Israel (bear in mind here the true Israel in Amos 8:2; Mt 21:43-45; Acts 10:35; Rom 2:28-29; 3:19-28; 6:14-17; 7:4,6,9,10; 9:7-9, 25,26; 10:1-4,12,13,17-21; Gal 2:4-6,13,14,16-19; 3:7-13; 4:21,30,31; 5:4,18,25; Eph 1:22-3:6,18-21; Rev 21; 1 Cor 3:9,16; and so on). Thus, Israel’s observance of the Sabbath was to underscore its special BC relationship with God. This rationale was emphasized by Priestly writers, and would “forever” have its special effect [since it was done]; but would be different from Jn 19:30 onwards in the form and application for those re-born in Christ.
Along with the theological rationale, a distinctly practical approach is to be found in Ex 23:12 and Dt 5:14-15, both of which ground the observance of the Sabbath on the need to give servants, strangers, and work animals an opportunity to rest. The added reminder in Dt 5:15 of Israel’s experience in Egypt most likely intends to bolster the owner’s feeling of compassion for the weak and destitute (Dt 15:15; 16:12).
Sabbath observance took on an added significance with the prophets active shortly before and during the exilic period. Jeremiah attaches the very fate of Jerusalem to the observance of the Sabbath, thereby expressing a radical new conception (Jer 17:19-27; Neh 13:17-18). Ezekiel subscribes to the same line of thought in equating the Sabbath with all the other commandments (Ez 20:11-24). The prophecies in Is 56:2-7 and 58:13-14 likewise seem to single out the Sabbath as the primary commandment, observance of which they thought would bring personal as well as national salvation to them (Rom 9:4; Jesus however, gave us the pointer to Dt 6:5,6 in Mt 22:34-40; 23:37-39; that reveals salvation was actually to be in only the Messiah Jesus Christ – Jn 3:3,16; 8:32,36; 14:6; Phil 3:9). The mention of the Sabbath in the Elephantine papyri and the appearance of the personal name Shabbetai, meaning ‘born on the Sabbath’ (Ezra 10:15) likewise attest to its importance in this period. But they sadly missed Christ. For a crucial insight, refer to the meditation entitled “The Gospel”, “The Covenant and the law”, “Israel racism” on www.gospel-truth.co.za, if you will.
This unique prophetic idea may stem from the ever-growing need for Israel to preserve its own BC identity in the face of a hostile pagan world. To this end, Ezekiel significantly draws from the Priestly formulation in describing the Sabbath as a ‘sign’ between God and Israel (Ez 20:12), though his stress on the national consequences of Sabbath desecration represents a new application of the Priestly concept. Another explanation for the prominence of the Sabbath in the exilic literature is the fact that observance of the Sabbath was not dependent on the Temple cult. Although some of the old Sabbath practices, such as the additional sacrifices, became impossible with the destruction of the Temple, the continued observance of the Sabbath on the lay level would ensure Israel steadfastness to its faith.
What they missed here was the meaning in Ps 118:22; Is 28:11-18; and the warning in Is 51:15-17; 60:14 (Mt 5:14) with Is 65:17. This Jesus pointed out in Mt 21:42; Mk 12:10; Lk 20:17 and Luke in Acts 4:11-12; Paul in Eph 2:20 and Peter in 1 Pet 2:6-12 (2 Cor 1:20). Carefully compare Is 65:17; 66:22 with 2 Pet 3:13 and Heb 9:26!!! This crucial understanding and great Truth (Jn 8:32,36 with Jn 1:17) is expanded on in the meditation “The Old and The New” in www.gospel-truth.co.za. It is worth serious contemplation.
In addition to the weekly seventh day of rest, the term ‘Sabbath’ and its related form Shabbaton occur elsewhere in the Pentateuch referring to some of the festival days and to the seventh ‘Sabbatical’ Year, on which the land was to lie fallow (Lev 16:31; 23:24, 32-39; 25:2-6; 26:34,35,43) Each of these occasions shares the chief characteristic of the weekly Sabbath, namely, the restricting of work. It has been suggested that the Sabbath day and the Sabbatical Year express the belief that Israel’s time and land belong ultimately to God. Then of course Jesus revealed His Word in passages like Mt 21:42-45; and even just Mt 15:6-9; 19:24-26 (Jn 10:9; Acts 2:21; 4:12; 15:7-11; 16:31; Rom 5:9-10; 9:27; 10:1-4,9-10)!
In the earliest Christian community, observance of Sabbath regulations fell into disuse among Christians of Jewish descent, principally because Jesus himself had been unperturbed in his obedience to them (Mt 12:1-8 ; Mk 3:1-5; Lk 13:10-17; Jn 5:1-10) even though he continued to take part in synagogue services held on the Sabbath (Lk 4:16). Jesus’ claim to lordship over the Sabbath (Mk 2:28) was an important element in the hostility he aroused in those who felt that Sabbath traditions were incumbent on all Jews (Mk 3:6; Jn 5:18). Note Jn 1:17 and 9:28 as well. Jesus’ attitude toward the Sabbath, coupled with the tradition that his resurrection occurred on the first day of the week (Sunday; Mt 28:1), and the Roman Catholic influence that instated the Sun-day tradition, meant that Sunday rather than the Sabbath (later Saturn-day!) became the chief liturgical day for “Christians”. Nowhere in the NT except in the book of Acts do you find Jesus’ disciples going to the temple, but instead discover that they realized they were [we are] the temple in whom He dwells – His city on a hill (Mt 5:14). The cross of Jesus Christ is on that hill. Church is not a building [made by human hands] – Acts 7:48-53; Ps 127:1; Is 66:1,2; 60:14; Heb 9:1; Acts 17:24; Church is the Body of Christ, the people in Whom He dwells (Eph 1:22,23; 2:18-23; 4:12; 5:32; Col 1:24; 1Pet 2:5; 1 Cor 3:16; 1 Jn 4:16). Note: “dwells”, not “visit”, or [occasionally] “work”, not an office, but His ecclesia. This is His heavenly city (Jerusalem – Gal 4:24-31; Is 60:14b; Mt 5:14), the true Israel (Amos 8:2; Mt 21:43-45; Acts 10:35; Rom 8:25,26; 9:7-9, 25,26; Eph 3:6,18-21; Rev 21; and so on). Jesus Christ is the Head of His church, His Body, His people in whom He dwells. (Col 1:18; 2:19; Eph 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Is 60:14; Mt 5:14). It is now for the NT believer a continuance [lasting] glory, not a fleeting [passing, occasional] glory of the OT. The rest of the Lord (Heb 2) is now in His peace and the trust [faith, belief] in Him continuously. Every day is so supposed to be dedicated and consecrated to God.
A question at this point: why keep on watching a trailer of a film after you have seen the film? The Jewish feasts were for them to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, but for us as believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ, He has come! We now spend every day with Him when we are in Christ and He is in us (Col 1:27; Gal 4:5-11). See the meditations “Church” Part one through three, by the author, if you will. Remember, if you are adamant to stick to that Law, then comply with Ex 31:15 and 35:2 as well!
Jesus appeared to His disciples over 6 weeks at least 11 times and for the next four Sundays after His resurrection – not the OT Sabbath – He appeared publicly where many saw Him preach and witnessed His ascension in fulfilment of the feast of the Pentecost [50 days after His crucifixion]. Also see Mk 16:9-20; Mt 28:11-15; Acts 4:15-20; Jn 21:14-25; and so on.
Note at Lk 4:40. The “setting of the sun” here indicates that the people had to wait until their Sabbath (Mk 2:27; Dt 5:3) was over before they could come to Jesus for healing (the Sabbath prevented their wholeness – Mt 7:21-23; 15:6-9; Mk 7:13; 12:24; Lk 6:5-11; 1 Pet 1:18)! Consider Gal 4:9-12; 5:4,18; Heb 9:8; Jn 4:23-24. Read it, don’t skip these Scriptures! Lk 4:41 even says that demons came out of many of these faithful Sabbath-followers! In Rom 10:1-4 Paul says, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth”.
Contemplate carefully and prayerfully Acts 28:26-28. Observe that Dt 5:3, read with Gen 49:10 and Gal 3:19, clearly says that those rules were for them [only] until Jesus Christ would set us all free. These Scriptures alone should shake the religiously stubborn that refuses to hear the Jesus of Jn 8:32,36; 6:47-50,63. They just do not grasp that Mk 2:21-22 is about not mixing old and new (Heb 8:13; 9:8-14; 10:14) then it continues from Mk 2:23 to Mk 3:1-6!…
Prayerfully contemplate the meditations referred to in www.gospel-truth.co.za for a fuller exegeses of Scriptures such as Jn 1:17; Rom 3:20,24-28; 4:13; 7:4,6,10; Gal 5:4,18… and be truly blessed in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:9)!
5.23. Is Jn 14:6 contradicting Jn 6:44,65?
And the answer is… No contradiction! 2 Cor 5:18 and Eph 2:18 (to name but two Scriptures) tells us that the first statement in Heb 11:6 teaches God (Jesus Christ, Jn 1:1-3; Col 1:15-17) had made us with the ability [the mechanism] to believe. This ability is called faith, and is given to all in equal measure (Rom 12:3). Faith is God’s gift to us. We, however, now uses our God-given ability to “believe” [choice exercised] as our gift back to Him to activate legally our authority He has given [allowed, prepared, desires for] us. Refer to Jn 12:32, remembering Father, Son and Holy Spirit is One [God]. Jn 1:1-3, 6:63 was Gen 1:2b; Ex 3:14-15; Jn 12:14:9… Now think about Jesus’ statement in Jn 11:15… do you believe Jesus (Jn 11:26)?
Consider again Jn 3:14-15 with even just 1 Cor 1:18-2:2; then Jn 6:40,45 with Gal 3:10-14; 5:4,18; Rom 3:20,28; 7:4,6,10; and so on (the meditation “The Covenant and The Law” expand on this). The place Jesus prepared for us is the same as the “many places” in God’s household (Jn 14:2; 1 Tim 3:15)! Indeed there are many “dwellings” in God’s household – Jn 14:23-26; Rev 21:3; Is 60:14; Mt 5:14; 1 Pet 2:4-10!… Observe that the place prepared by Jesus Christ at Golgotha is the Kingdom of God in and around us (Lk 17:20-21), that is our hearts; hence ultimately the heart [dwelling place] we believe with – Rom 10:9-10.
Observe the glory of God in Jn 5:37-47 (note vv 39,44); also mentioned in the apparent controversy discussed in # 5.2. Contemplate that place besides God (Ex 33:21), on the rock. A rock that was struck instead of spoken to (Num 20:8-12; Dt 32:4-41). Ponder again Gen 49:24; Ex 17:6 with Ps 18:2; 19:14; 31:3; 61:2; 62:2,6; 71:3; 73:26; 89:26; 92:15; 94:22; 144:1; and Is 26:4; Mt 7:24 with 1 Cor 10:4-17…
5.24. If all sins are forgiven by Jesus’ Blood, what was He saying in Mt 12:31,32?
Observe that (a) verse 30 leads to verse 31-32; and (b) Rom 8:26,27 makes it clear that it is utterly self-destructing to resist/reject the Holy Spirit of God (1 Cor 14:39; Jude 20; Jn 14:23-26).
Heb 10:26-29 is another aspect and the easier, more recognizable answer – ignore God’s grace by choice and die under self-righteousness that makes you so easily swallow the law. (See Phil 3:9). The hypocrites was calling what is of God, evil [from Satan] – this is self-destructing blasphemy. Even dispensationalists today, do the same by claiming some will be saved without Holy Spirit and by their own blood (in a false, eschatolocal doctrine of a “rapture”)! The context was the fig tree frustrating the lord with their hypocrisy. The fig tree resembles the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, and hypocrites (not Israel, the vineyard) who killed all God’s prophets and placed themselves in their [God’s] stead with their own [added] law (Mt 23:2), hence the 400 year silence and degradation [“desolation” that became an “abomination”] between Malachi and John the Baptist. Their high priest went in behind a veil with no arc there (Jer 3:13-17; Mt 27:50-54). See Mt 21:33-45; 21:18-19; and realize that Mt 24:32-33 was when they (the fig tree) had their wish and Jesus was crucified! That was the end of that world [the law] Jesus was not the King of – Heb 7:14-19; 8:13; 9:8-14,26; Gal 4:4-5; Col 1:20; 1 Cor 1:23; 2:2; Jn 17:16; Eph 4:12-15; 2:19-20!… Mt 12:7! The increase of Jesus’ kingdom is forever and shall not end (Is 9:6; Dan 2:44; 6:26,27; 8:17; Lk 1:32-33; 12:32; 17:20-21; Jn 3:3; et cetera!) Allelujah!
5.25. Is there a contradiction between Mt 10:34 and Lk 9:56?
No. Jesus brought [provided for, paid for with His Blood] peace between God and man, not between men that operate as free moral agents with their own beliefs and choices. The sword in Mt 10:34 can be likened to Eph 6:17; Heb 4:12 and Rev 1:16. In Lk 2:14 we read, “Glory to God, in the highest, and on earth peace amongst men with whom He is well pleased”. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Jesus came thus to bring peace between God and man (Jn 3:16-21; 1 Thess 5:9; Is 9:6; Dan 2:44; Lk 2:11; Jn 1:45) and also that there should be peace between those who follow Jesus Christ (Jn 15:12,17; Eph 4:4-5; 1 Jn 3:17-23; 4:7-8). However, not all will follow Jesus Christ (1 Jn 2:4-6). Jesus warned us in Jn 15:18-21; Mk 4:15-19 and indeed Mt 10:34-36 that we’ll be tested for our courage and conviction first and foremost by those close to us that do not [yet] genuinely follow Christ. Hence Mt 10:37-38 and Lk 14:26-27 does not say that we must hate our parents! It is saying that if they force us to choose between them and Jesus Christ, there is – and should be – no contest or difficulty! Contemplate also Acts 13:37-41; 28:27-29.
Incidentally, about the authority Jesus Christ gave us [back] on earth, have you noticed the “and on earth” in Mt 28:18 (compare with Gen 1:28; Ps 115:16)? And now we – Rom 8:17; Heb 2:8 – rather follow teachings of men and think we are powerless because we render to the [uncertain] future what Jesus Christ already provided for us here on earth!??) Who is the adversary of Jesus Christ in Heb 10:13; 1 Cor 15:25? Note the plural “enemies”. It is not the devil (Col 2:15-20; 1:13-20)!! Carefully consider Eph 1:17-23; 2:18-22 [Eph 4:4-5???]. Read “Church Part 1” by this author for more on this religious adversary that misses the mark (Jn 1:17; 6:32,48-50,63; 5:37-47; 8:51,52; 11:25-26; 12:47-50; Acts 13:39 (Mt 19:26; Mk 9:23; Lk 1:37). So, is “church” missing even Eph 3:9; Is 25:8; Lk 24:44? We don’t even grasp Jn 3:16, let alone Mk 12:26-27; Jn 11:25-26; or 1 Tim 1:10-12. So here we are, more than 2 000 A.D. still as dull as dirt. Shame on us!
This is expanded on in the meditation called “The Testimony” by this author.
5.26. What was Jesus saying in Mt 6:13? (Js 1:13-14 and 1 Cor 10:13)
The Greek lexicon tells us that the word “into” in Mt 6:13 is εἰς (eis, G1519). A primary preposition indicating the point reached or entered, of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result); also in adverbial phrases.: – [abundant-] ly, against, among, as, at, [back-] ward, before, by, concerning, + continual, + far more exceeding, for [intent, purpose], fore, + forth, in (among, at unto, -so much that, -to), to the intent that, + of one mind, + never, of, (up-) on, + perish, + set at one again, (so) that, therefore (-unto), throughout, till, to (be, the end, -ward), (here-) until (-to), . . . ward, [where-] fore, with.
Just as examined in the principle from the example in Gen 3:9 discussed in 5.27 and 5.33 below; is it about God’s Word (The Bible, 2 Tim 3:16), admonishing us to do some introspection to check for self-righteousness! It reveals our point of departure in the reasoning of our inner man. If we attempt to make sense of the question [statement] from a self-righteous stance where we suspect [accuse] God’s character, we read “Do not lead us into…” as if we are instructing God to not take [force] us into trouble or great [even insurmountable] difficulty! This is obviously a huge error in reasoning and quite possibly blasphemy. But, if we read “Do not lead us in…” in the sense that Jesus pointed out that we should not end up [by our own choices and doing] in a bad place where we would need His guidance to get out from an undesirable place; then we would more humbly ask God to “… protect us from the evil one…” so that we remain in His presence as the best way to live (Jn 14:23-27; Rom 8:14…) In other words, will we discover the immense difference between “out of” and “into” in that we should take heed to get into places where we would need God’s guidance to get back as opposed to not going there in the first instance because we were in His presence all along. I hope this makes sense?
From the meditation “The Gospel” the following analogy: Suppose that you slightly damage your car by bumping a rubber trash can in your driveway and while submitting your claim with the insurer, learns of someone else who totalled their car and narrowly escaped death. Suddenly an irrational jealousy gets hold of you and you wish that you too could claim such a big sum of money. We have to agree that this would be ludicrous and unwise, yet is exactly what corrupt reasoning is displayed if we hope to also receive “more grace” as those who were “more lost” when they got saved – by the same price paid by the same Jesus on the same cross! Now, apply this knowledge to get a better understanding of Mt 6:13(Js 1:13-18).
The point is Js 1:13-14 and 1 Cor 10:13. But perhaps a clue where to start is: Js 4:7,8 and 1 Pet 5:8-11; Eph 1:2-23; 4:18-31; Is 54:14: Col 1:11-19; 2:9-10; with Lk 8:28 (Jn 17:15-26)! The context is the issue of forgiveness (Mt 6:12,14-15; 18:35). Jesus admonished the religious play-actors (us?) in Mt 5:27-29 to not think they are morally superior (Rom 3:20,23; Jer 17:9-10) because neither they were to God’s standard. In other words, we should take care [admit that we need God’s guidance, 1 Pet 5:6] to not end up in a place where we would have to face the same temptation than the persons we are so looking down upon for falling. Incidentally, one can only be tempted by something you do not hate [loathe, detest] – Rom 12:9. This is discussed a little more at the end of the meditation “Counseling and deliverance ministries”.
The daily Bread is Christ [Jn 1:4; 5:37-47;11:25-26] inside of us permanently (Jn 4:24; 6:27-63). If this Bread be in us continuously [“daily”], we will not have to be lead “in temptation” [out from it, not into it]. It is not God that will lead us astray; we must not wonder off when [spiritually thoughtlessly] on our own (Phil 3:9) and so it is prudent to ask Father for protection from the evil one (Js 1:5, 6-8…4:7!)!
All right, try Mk 4:15; and Heb 12:1-3. Now note the very next verse (Mt 6:14) starts with “For if you…” and the following verse starts with “But if you…”. Note Jesus compared the empty rituals, ceremony, and traditions (external religion) of the hypocrites (the “play-actors”, vs. 5-8), saying when you pray [that is sincere, with a genuine relationship with your Father], you ask one thing once only (Mk 11:24; 1 Jn 5:10-14; Jn 14:10-15), then guard that request with thanks (Col 4:2; Heb 11:1). Your prayer-life, must be unending, not one and the same individual request [in unbelief as if you nag God in distrust until you get Him to give you anything, just to get you quiet, as if He will not be able to handle your incessant and repetitive nagging anymore, and you control God this way to even get Him out of His will for you!]. So, just for the parrot-like reciting of this as “the Lord’s prayer”, the shallow professing followers of Christ will have to – at some stage – think what they are saying (with Mt 6:13). The “Lord’s prayer” is anyway rather Jn 17 [before He was crucified], and Mt 6:9-13 rather “a model prayer” showing elements in prayer, and the importance of forgiving (Mt 6:14; Jn 20:23; 2 Cor 2:10), not exact wording to memorize and mindlessly recite! In other words, know the doctrine on righteousness (Jn 16:7-12; Heb 5:11-14; 10:1-14; Rev 1:5; 5:9,10; Phil 3:9)! More about this righteousness in the next question ( no. 23). Consider the meditation “Prayer” by the same author.
So, the “For” in v. 14 implies that your attitude of gratitude and understanding for His grace and mercy for you, will cause you to not have grudges or bitterness [offense] against anyone in your heart (Acts 13:51-52; Lk 10:5-6), and this is closer to His nature (1 Cor 2:16; Ps 30:5; 103:8; 8), making you an open vessel for His purposes (Rom 9:23-33).
Then, the “But” in v. 15 points to Jn 20:23; 2 Cor 2:10; Mt 18:32-35. Note here what Jesus said in Lk 23:34. Had the Son of Man not forgiven us there [before all our sin was laid on Him on the cross], we could not have seen Him risen with us in Him (Eph 2:6)!
Jesus Christ is the only Savior, we do not save people by forgiving their rejection of Jesus Christ; we simply do not hold any grudge or bitterness (unforgiveness) against any one. Jesus is our Advocate and Intercessor, not an accuser (Jn 5:45). “Devil” means “slanderer”, “accuser” – that we should never do.
You might ask if Paul in 2 Cor 12:8 is contradicting Jesus in Mt 6:7-8? Seeing that Paul wrote Col 4:2 (discussed above), the answer could be that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians rather shows Paul’s immense frustration with the religious Jews that apparently at least three times tried to corrupt the people [again] whom he has just taught about God’s grace as opposed to Law (self-righteousness; Jn 1:17; 9:28; Phil 3:9- expanded on in the meditation “The Covenant and The Law”); so Paul mentions this specifically. Hence Paul’s statements such as those in Rom 9 and Gal 1:6-9; but specifically at least those in Rom 10:16-21; 11:6; 1 Cor 1:22;-22-23:17; 2 Cor 3:10-18; 6:14-18; 7:2; Phil 2:15; 1 Tim 6:5.
5.27. Is Jn 3:17 contradicting Jn 12:31?
Of course the answer is no!
To understand this accurately, we’ll first look at Mt 6:25-33 with Lk 17:20-21(Lk 12:32); and Rom 14:17). This question about fretting about what to eat and drink and wear (Gen 3:10 with Rom 13:11-14), might seem trivial, but is intensely profound! But we first need to prepare some ground here, so please exercise a little patience (stay hungry and thirsty). The meditation “Unclean Food” by the author may prove interesting.
Adam actually implemented [the] law!! The fruit (words) Satan offered had (has) the promise of life in it (you can expect to live by fruit). But the fruit the devil offered (offers as thoughts), was (is) a lie: you cannot live from applying knowledge between good and bad (2 Cor 3:6-7; Gal 3:10; Rom 8:2b). This is called “law”. If there is no law, you cannot be judged or condemned (Rom 8:31-34) – think about it. So Adam and Eve was supposed to have kept God as their [Source of] wisdom, council, intelligence… they had to say what His Word says (Jn 1:1-3,14, 5:19); instead they implemented [trusted] on a new way – to live by their own acquired knowledge of what is right and wrong. In other words, they implemented [the] “law”! Yes, this might disrupt your theology, but selah and test it with God’s word, not doctrines of man!
They unclothed themselves [by choice, distrust] of God’s Righteousness and substituted their own (Phil 3:9; Rom 13:14)
About 2 750 years after the account in Genesis 1 God, through the instrumentality of angels (Heb 2:2; Gal 3:19; Acts 7:38,53!), gave via Moses the rules [letter] of this law – for them until Jesus would come [only]! This was to prove to them that – until Jesus came another 1250 years later – they could never comply (live by it), for law can only condemns. Here a magnificent revelation enlightens us: (a) Jesus, the only One Who could ever comply with the law, did so and succeeded by not following the Law!! He demonstrated as the Son of Man (as a man) that we can only do right by being led by God (Rom 8:14)! Any system of trying to do right [knowing right from wrong and then attempting to live by applying that knowledge], is nothing else than self-righteousness [that implies God is superfluous, unnecessary]. This is a self-conscious soul, not God-consciousness (Spirit, Jn 4:23-24; 1 Cor 15:45-49). (b) nothing happened yet when Eve ate this fruit (promise) – only when Adam partook of it, did they realize they were not clothed with the Christ [Spirit, Sonship] of God [yet, Rom 8:19; Heb 11:40]. This is so because Adam represents man, not Eve (1 Cor 15:45; Rom 5:12). The point is, we as the Bride might today eat of this fruit, but will not effect our children that are re-born, because our Bridegroom Jesus Christ does not [and never has] partaken of that tree (Jn 8:42-47), only studied it! We, and they, will be born from above (Jn 3:6-7). The Tree of Life redeemed us and set us free (1 Pet 1:18; Col 1:13). Praise the Lord!!!
Now then, this kingdom implies rulership [dominion]. Note that Jesus in His conversation with Nicodemus, essentially explained what He did in Lk 17:20-21. His kingdom is righteousness, and it is within you! Reject thoughts that will make you worry about what you will [have to] eat or drink or wear (Is 54:14-17; 2 Cor 10:5), or do! Nicodemus, in John 3, knew the right words but still did not understand [see the internal, eternal Truth, that he was supposed to be a ruler [each over his own wicked thoughts – not manipulating or controlling other man] on this earth – Gen 1:26-28]. See Ps 118:19-23; and 1 Pet 1:18, 23. You have been bought by the Blood of Jesus Christ and is not in the slave market any more. You are through the gate and transferred into the kingdom of Light. Isaiah 53 with 2 Cor 5:21: Jesus was made sin (it was no gradual process over time), and in that exchange on His cross we who accept His offer were made righteous (also not a “growing into” or “becoming”) the instant we were born again from above (Jn 1:12; 2 Cor 5:17)! God’s grace is His ability, willingness and mercy to abode Himself inside us, to recreate a sinner so that HE can shine through us. We were made to glorify Him, worship Him, and rule for Him (Rev 1:5; 5:9-10). So, you [with Christ in you, Heb 9:9-14; 10:1-2,9-14] are the righteousness of God!!! Be abundantly blessed in His glory, His power, His righteousness – you! Choose to live Him!
So, next time you ask Father something (pray), expect a result because you did not enter a throne of judgment, but a throne of grace. Furthermore, you are not unworthy, but righteous before God your Father if you believe [take Him seriously, not call Him a liar], that He made you righteous! See Rom 4:3-8; 8:1-3,10,11; 10:4-8; Ps 18:6,19-24; 1 Jn 3; 4:17; Js 5:16b – if you believe [is clothed with] Christ. Therefore, the more effective “prayer” is to prophecy, say what He has said [is saying] and believe it!!!
5.28. Does Paul (Rom 10:4) contradict Jesus (Mt 5:17)? (Remember 2 Tim 3:16,17)!
5.28.1. There was an Old and now there is a New. The Old was a covenant, The New is a Testament. Carefully consider Heb 8:13; 9:8,16-18,26. Num 16:30 is not contradicted by Eccl 1:9-10! Understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and begin by grasping Mk 1:17 (Mt 10:8; Jn 8:41-52); Mt 13:35; 25:34; 2 Cor 3:18 (the old glory/power was fleeting or passing; the new is supposed to be lasting!); Eph 1:4; 2 Tim 2:19; Heb 11:10; 1 Pet 1:20-23; Rev 13:8; 17:8 (22:18-19!)… Do you understand Lk 9:62, or Jesus’ teaching/explaining in Mt 9:14-17? See 2 Cor 5:17; 1 Pet 1:18!…
5.28.2. How does Jesus fulfill the law? By ending it altogether as a means to obtain righteousness before God, because He is our righteousness since He paid with His blood on His cross!! Now, we as NT believers, follow Christ in us, not Moses and our knowledge between right and wrong, blessing and calamity (Jn 14:26; Rom 8:14)… Mt 5:17 leads to v18b which Jesus proclaimed in Jn 19:30 [about 2000 years ago]! Consider Jn 5:37-47; 2 Cor 3; Gal 2:4,14-21; 3:1-29; 4:1-31; 5; Col 2:14; Heb 7; 8:13; 10:9-14… Jesus Christ is all we need and holds everything together, He is the Author and Finisher of our faith, not us with our attempts at righteousness (Phil 3:9).
Believe Jesus the Christ of God (Jn 16:33), did you see 1 Jn 4:17 says “…we in this world”? There is a “this world” Jesus is not the King of – the Jewish law-world… get it (Ps 24:1)? Don’t be blinded by the god of this world [law, self-righteousness] – 2 Cor 4:4 follows 2 Cor 3; Js 4:4-7. Who is this devil? Read on (v 8-10). Read and carefully contemplate Jn 8. Directly after Jesus announced He is not an accuser [but a Savior, from law], He talked to who (in v 22,31,59)? And what did Jesus say (v 34-49)? The law makes you haughty before God (1 Pet 5:5) and makes you miserable in guilt when [not if] you fail (Rom 3:23, but read on, v 24-28!).
Guilt is only an attempt, a [self-centered] emotion, to thinking you “earn” your own way back to God by punishing [crucifying?] yourself until you decide in your wisdom when you had had enough! This has nothing to do with Jesus Christ! Why not believe what Jesus taught in Scriptures such as 1 Jn 3:20-24; 4:17; 5:4,5,10-14; Rom 1:17; Heb 10:10-14? Did you notice the words “self-accusation” (1 Jn 3:20), and “with us”, and “are we in this world” ( 1 Jn 4:17); and again “this world” (1 Jn 5:4,5)? Think about it honestly and then read on…
5.28.3. Is the 10 commandments (law) God’s purpose for man? What is God’s agenda? Did God give the law as His original plan? No! He used angels (Heb 1:7,14), see Heb 2:2; Acts 7:38,53; Gal 3:19 (note the law, the 10 commandments) was added later on – and only for a specific time for a specific people. Acts 9 – Paul (ex-doctor of law, Saul of Tarsus) get God’s agenda directly from Jesus Himself. Acts 9:30 with Jn 15:18; 12:25; Lk 14:21; Mk 8:38!! The promise came 430 years before the law (Rom 3-9). The promise was made to Abraham and his Seed (Gal 3:16), not Moses or Jews! Consider Rom 4:13; Gal 2:21. The church inherits the promise made to Abraham (Gen 12:3; 22:17), not the Jews [as a nation]. This is exactly opposite to the “Israel-teaching”.
5.28.4. What did God say? Mt 17:6 (Moses represents the law, and Elijah the prophets, and Who must we listen to?…); Jn 14:1; Rom 10:1-5 holds so true. See the reasoning in v 6,7 (1 Cor 1:19-25; Jn 14:22,23; Jn 1:11,17; Mt 11:25-30) – after they still, stubbornly, chose stones (law) over Bread (Jn 6). Be careful here to really open your heart to Holy Spirit and Christ inside.
5.28.5. They wanted a city, a king, a law… Throughout history [His-story] God allowed it to reveal which tree they are eating from. God is Love, and Love does not manipulate (understand Mt 23?). As God allowed them to choose a king, He allowed them their rules – until HE stepped in to save us all from that self-destructive system of thinking we/they) can save ourselves. The Jews, as a nation, rejected Jesus and still does today. Read Jn 14:6 and Heb 13:8 (1 Jn 4:1-4).
5.28.6. End of the world Heb 9:26; Gal 4:4,5; Col 1:20. God is a good and perfect Father and had to end this system of only getting what we deserve (Js 1:17). We now can get what Jesus deserved by only believing HIS nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news (gospel) – Heb 11:6. He saved us from ourselves and our stupid ideas. He is indeed the Truth that sets us free – indeed – from our self.
5.28.7. Why did God come as Jesus and died on a cross? 1 Jn 3:8; Gen 3:14; Acts 26:15-18; Heb 9:28; Heb 2; Eph 1:9-12, 19-23; 2:6-22; 1 Pet 2:1-10; Col 2:9-23; Jn 10:10; 19:30; and so on…
The revelation is then that any set of rules basically is knowledge between good and bad, blessing and calamity. This knowledge essentially then, is an attempt to save yourself and obtain your own righteousness by merely following these rules [your own knowledge and wisdom]. This is called self-righteousness, which opposes God-consciousness (Phil 3:9). This is what all worldly religions have – laws, rules, rituals and ceremonies to win favor with their gods. Only one faith says we all need a Savior, and He already came [saved] once for all for whoever believes HIM.
The meditation entitled “The Covenant and the Law” by this author might also help you with this issue.
The first is Adam, earthy, soul, self-centered, flesh; and the last is heavenly, Spirit, Light and the glory of God and Life (1 Cor 15:45-49) – by His grace and mercy alone. The first is like the sand of the sea [dust from the lowest thing on earth – the sea, the legalistic, carnal-minded, self-righteous people that is eaten by Satan of old], the second is like stars in the heaven [light from the highest place there is]. See Gal 4:21-31 again. Which group do you choose to belong to?
Are you trying to make all Christians Jews again, or to make all people – including Jews – Christians? God [Jesus] commissioned us to make all people HIS followers [Christians].
Test Jews to 1 Jn 4:1-4. There is no special dispensation for them, not any time AD. Even Acts 7:51; Mt 21:33-44. Also Rom 3:9; Jn 3:7; Acts 10:34-36; Jer 7:16,26-28; Jn 14:6. Yes brother and sister in Christ, the Jews are lost until they confess Jesus Christ as Lord just like any unbeliever. But, alas, you cannot make disciples for Jesus, if you are not a disciple of Jesus yourself [but one of Moses, Jn 9:28; Gal 2:4; Rom 8:1-3]. If the religious Jewish leaders knew the two were opposing groups, how enlightened are you to think today – over 2000 years after them, in the year of our Lord – that you are HIS Light to the world (Is 28:14; Mt 5:14) whilst reverting to Judaism or to have an unhealthy fear for those rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord [the unsaved]?
“Repent” means to change your mind [way of thinking law, self-righteousness]. The kingdom of God – on earth – was heralded by saying, “repent, for the kingdom of God (not man) is near” (Lk 12:32; 17:20,21)! Yes, this was the place that Jesus prepared (Jn 14:1,2, 23-25)! Right there inside of you while in your body (individually His temple, collectively His city) right here on earth! Grow up and be His glory here on earth and start to rule as a royal [Kingly] priesthood (Rev 5:9,10,13 – remember Rev 16:17 was written by the same author as Jn 19:30)! Amen?
See the kingdom of God – on earth (Mt 12:25; Jn 3:3; Lk 17:20,21). God is a God of the living! Live to God, don’t pretend to die for Him – He died so we [you] can Live [abundantly!]! This is a package-deal (1 Pet 1:18; 2:24). It is accomplished, finished and paid for by the Blood of the Lamb of God. Be matured enough (Jn 14:13-15) to not be gullible to lies of a powerless and defeated church fearing great tribulation and a “rapture” to come. Don’t let thieves steal your sonship! Don’t postpone out of unbelief and deny what Jesus Christ paid for you to enjoy right now right here! Don’t sit waiting for a salvation [package, sozo] that came 2000 years ago!
5.29. Is Jesus’ Words in Mk 11:24 contradictory to Jer 17:9-10?
The KJV (in red) says Jesus said “… whatever you desire [in prayer]…will be given you…”! Read with Rom 8:28-39; 13:14; Phil4:13; Jn 17:15-26, Ps 103:2; 1 Cor 2:910, there is no problem.
Read around Mt 5:45, and it is obvious that the basic truth also is that Gen 1:26-28 is [also] true! You can do what you choose and there will be a corresponding result! But then, Jesus Christ changes the desires of your heart; for He sends His Holy Spirit to indwell you – if you invite Him and cling to Him and so let Him indwell you (Mk 1:8; Jn 3:3; 14:23-26; Acts 19:2-6; 2 Cor 5:17). Talk to Him, and when that desire strengthens, it is Him you are hearing – do it. If that desire diminishes in God’s presence, it obviously was flesh speaking.
This is how you either fulfill your [God-given, approved] destiny or shuffle in uncertainty. When you are in the presence of your Creator-Father, with Christ inside of you, following your heart, you will be beyond enthusiastic – you will demonstrate [live] ultimate passion and supernatural drive (Eph 3:16-21) with real results as a sign following (Mk 11:24; 16:16-20; Lk 1:37; 18:27).
So, when you are truly reborn, follow your heart [inner man, Christ] not man (Jn 14:23-26)!
5.30. What is Jesus saying in Lk 16? Does it not contradict His Righteousness?
No, Jesus can never contradict His Righteousness. This is a prime example of the necessity to talk with/to Jesus Christ personally rather than talking after [even big] scholars in parrot-like fashion!
In short, and in context, was Jesus asking how it is that the wicked can use a wicked system to their advantage while we [His followers] are unable to use His Kingdom principles to our advantage? We claim to be all wise and informed but still misunderstand grace and self-righteousness. We scoff at, and reject everlasting Life and instead cling stubbornly to after life!
Jesus was not commending [approving] dishonesty [wickedness, self-righteousness]; Jesus was asking about the unnecessary and amazing stupidity of the “sons of Light” (Jn 1:4,11-13; 3:18-21). Study the meditation “The Testimony” by the author, if you will [if you dare].
Lk 16:10-13 reiterates this principle. Of course the play-acting religious did not get it and failed to see past the natural, to see past what they thought is their provider – dead money [and material things that they insist belongs to them, forgetting Ps 24:1]. Verse 18 again enforces verse 13 and can certainly be read with Rom 7:4! It is about a Bridegroom [Christ] and His Bride [His Church, Body, in whom He dwells]. The meditations on “Church” might shed more light on this subject.
We hear further from Jesus in vs. 19-31 about the subject of fleeting glory [after life]. About a rich [“self-made” millionaire who habitually clothed himself in splendor and probably also reason of man, v 19; Rom 8:6-8,13] but whose name is not mentioned (Mt 7:18-24); while the one looked down upon by blind followers was listed in the Book of Life of the Lamb of God, even we know his name. He had the same name as the one that was risen from dead by Jesus Christ (Jn 11; 12:9-11 – Jesus’ Words of Life like in Jn 3:15,16; 5:37-47; 8:51; 10: 10; 11:26;12:48-50)… We will not go into the other aspects in Lk 16:19-31 here – that is discussed elsewhere. Amen?
5.31. Is Jesus, in Mt 18:6, suggesting suicide?
Not necessarily. Contemplate Jn 10:10 and Mk 3:4. Then Mk 4:16-17; Mt 13:41; 15:6-15 (Gal 2:19-21; Col 2:20; 3:1-8!); 19:25; 23:13-15. It is very possible that Jesus, in Mt 18:6, was telling the self-righteous-minded that they would give a more accurate teaching [demonstration] of the result for attempts at self-righteousness [by following a Law, or a set of rules, religious ceremonies/rituals/traditions as a means to be saved or remain saved –like a millstone around your neck and see if you could keep your head above water [stay alive, remain saved]. (Compare here Rom 12:2 that point to superficial, external customs and any falsity; also Rom 10:1-3). Works will not save you, nor keep you saved. Only following Jesus Christ will. See 1 Jn 2:4 and Rom 12:9. Now hear Jesus in Jn 11:26; Mt 19:26. Consider the meditation by this author called “The Testimony” with your Bible that explains itself. If Jesus is real [a Person] to you, you should also demonstrate what He said in Jn 14:26 (Rom 8:14)…
If, however, religious hypocrites mislead (especially young ones), it would be better for them to remove themselves from their false teaching position (Js 3:1-18), for a similar reason some were apparently removed from the congregation (1 Cor 5:2; 1 Tim 2:19-20. Also refer to Jn 8:43-45; Acts 13:10; 1 Jn 3:8-1-; 1 Tim 4:7; 2 Tim 3:5; 4:2-4).
5.32. Is Paul in 2 Tim 1:7, contradicting Jesus in Mt 5:39?
Well, no. First, there is Rom 12:14-19. Then consider that God is [a] Spirit (Jn 4:24), so He cannot be a coward (1 Jn 4:4; Jn 14:6,23-27)! This is what Paul is saying. Note that Paul also pointed to calmness, discipline, a well balanced mind and self-restraint in 2 Tim 1:7. Also, to the fact that God does not delight in those who draw back and shrinks in fear (Heb 10;38; Lk 9:62 with Jn 15:17-22; Mk 4:3-20,23-25). In Mt 5, Jesus was teaching that we should demonstrate trust in God as a Provider, Protector, Guide, Comforter, and so on. Jesus’ idea becomes clearer in verses 45-48. See how v. 38-39 reveals that man’s self-righteousness makes us interpret Law as a means to retaliate, while God (Love, 1 Cor 13:13) is diametrically opposed and about compensation! Don’t see it? Apply Mt 7:12! Observe how Jesus practiced what He preached in 1 Pet 2:21-25. Also, ponder vv 16-20 and Phil 3:9 and refer to the meditation “Mixing Old and New”).
5.33. Did God harden [some] hearts? (Did God make some men to be lost?)
Not according to Scriptures such as 2 Peter 3:9 and Jn 3:16-21. So we read “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart” in Ex 7:13,14,22; 8:15,19,32; 9:7,12,34,35; 10:1,20,27; 11:10; 14:8. Even Sihon seems to be an unfortunate soul who was “hardened by God” (Dt 2:30); as were the poor righteous Jews (Jn 12:40). Superficially, Is 44:18, for example, seems to show that God made them not accept Him (?? – 2 Pet 3:9; Is 5:18-24; 54:13-17; 2 Cor 5:10; Heb 12:2,15-17; Eph 4:22-23); but when you know God for who He really is [and is not], even the verses immediately preceding such as 6-17 will show that it is a mere statement that God [Love] made us all free moral agents and that we can [is able to] apply this will [choice] wickedly when we take offense at God’s untouchable superiority. People that have taken this offense can then be said to have been hardened “by God”, meaning “because of their own obstinacy and in rebellion to who God is [and is not]”; and because God does not change, will those obstinate in whatever is wrong be in conflict with God and so be caused to stay in disagreement, by their own error.
Another example could be the following: Say you are visiting your brother, John, who is hospitalized and in a coma. Someone at the hospital asks you what brought you there (why you are there). You reply, “John brought me here”; meaning it was because of your empathy [love] for John that his hospitalization “caused you” to go and see him. Someone, not informed about the real situation and overhearing your conversation might then incorrectly deduct that John literally took you to hospital. This person might then – very convinced of his “facts” – tell someone else this incorrect version of his perception because he had heard it firsthand.
Similarly, did Judas Iscariot betray Jesus on his own and was not “programmed” to do so! (Mt 26:14-16; Jn 13:21,26-38). This is also discussed briefly in the meditation “The Last Supper” where we read that Judas had ears to hear [sound] but not the words that Jesus was speaking [the meaning, information parted], it did not enter Judas’ heart [mind] due to Judas’ own conceited and self-righteous falsity and his own agenda (Jn 12:4-6;13:21)! No, contrary to what many “Christians” wrongly think, and as revealed with reading in Law retaliation when God had in mind compensation (Mt 5:38 with Mt 7:2,12; Prov 24:29; Rom 12:17,19!), just so are we blinded by none else than our own camouflaged self-righteousness!!! (Contemplate 2 Cor 3, and verses 5-7,10-18. This is expanded on in the meditations such as “The Covenant and The Law”, “Mixing Old and New”, on this website).
Observe Scriptures such as Ex 8:15,32; and Nebuchadnezzar’s case in Dan 2:30; and Zedekiah in 2 Chron 36:11-13; and Job’s own admission in Job 9:4 (:1-4). Note also, in Ex 9:34, how “Pharaoh sinned yet more” by hardening his own heart! This is where we should all bow our heads in shame! How could we even dare to be so self-righteous to suspect [understand incorrectly the opposite] of what was being penned here (2 Tim 3:16-17)??? Are we so suspicious of God’s character and nature that we fail to identify even grammatical styles such as irony or an oxymoron (as with the simile in Lk 10:18, explained in “Lucifer Part 1” on this website)? Observe how Jesus used sarcasm [wit] in Mt. 11:7-8 (3:3-4).
God is the Source of righteousness, perfect ethic and perfect morality, honesty, fairness, etc., and hence cannot ever be underhanded and – as Love – manipulative (note that God is certainly overwhelmingly awesome – see the meditation “The Will” by this author for an explanation), but God will never make someone do something wrong and then regard that action as sin (Jn 16:9)! No, this is another key example of our self-righteousness! These Scriptures quoted above, will actually all in fact reveal man’s own choice of hardening their [own] hearts toward God due to their offense taken, their own pride, conceited, haughty self-opinions and own pre-conceived ideas (dogma)! When God said He has done this, He is just saying He takes responsibility for having made [design] us, and then to the extent of Jn 3:16-21. (See “The Testimony” before being too hasty in claiming to fully grasp God’s good intent for us!!!…)
The word “hardened”, (H2388) חזק châzaq, is a primitive root; “to fasten upon; hence also to be strong (figuratively courageous, causatively strengthen, fortify), so as to be obstinate; to restrain, conquer, encourage (self), be established, fasten, force, fortify, make hard, harden, become (wax) mighty, prevail, be (wax) sore, strengthen (self), be stout, be (make, shew, wax) strong (-er), be sure, behave self valiantly, withstand”. It is therefore a very plausible interpretation to rather understand these “hardened hearts” to have been merely pointed out by God that by those people’s own choices as free moral agents, He [God] “caused” them to harden themselves against Him! So, “God”… hardened their hearts! See it? It’s like trying to break a rock with your hard head and then saying that the rock cracked your skull. As in Pharaoh’s case, where he probably proudly resisted [attempt to outdo] the idea of a God bigger than himself! The Jews became guilty of the same sin by resisting God’s Perfect Salvation plan in Jesus Christ, probably being offended by a Man from Nazarene claiming to be their Joshua Messiah and Son of God [God Himself] while they think themselves privileged merely by their own lineage [blood] from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (even missing that Abraham was a Chaldean, and both Isaac and Jacob were not first-born); and even by trying to prove themselves worthy/holy/righteous by merely following rules. God, however, showed us all that not even those ten rules given via an Angel and Moses (Acts 7:38,53; Heb 2:2) could be adhered to by any man – especially if the thought-life is counted in (Mt 5:28; Rom 3:20; Gal 5:4,18). Now we can read Mk 6:52; 8:17; Mt 21:42-45 again (see also “Israel Racism” and “The covenant and the Law”, Mixing Old and New”).
The statement that “God hardened” their hearts is in fact therefore merely stating the observation that their offense taken and their withstanding God already caused their hearts [minds] to be hardened “by God” [their obstinate withstanding even God’s mere existence, His Holiness, His Righteousness… and basically disagreeing with God! Compare Jn 15:17-23; Rom 1:17-22]; so saying, “God hardened their hearts”. God’s sovereignty does not mean God does everything, it means that God is above [superior to] everything. The statement that God hardened their hearts is therefore a manner of describing the result of a “hardened” [rebellious, haughty] human’s reaction resisting the unchangeable [sovereign] God of Ex 3:14. The right reaction to God’s grace is as true, that God is Love and nothing can change that either (Col 2:12-15; 1 Jn 4:8-11; Heb 13:8 and hence Jn 1:17; 3:3,16-21).
God is omniscient and omnipresent, so when God asked Adam where he was (Gen 3:9), was it so that Adam (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45) could realize that he was not spiritually where he used to be nor where he was supposed to be. God knew where Adam was! Note Adam’s give-away reply in the next verse (v 10). Adam’s “nakedness” (Rom 13:14) means his spirituality had changed from being God-centred to being self-centred. The meditation “The Covenant and the Law” and “Mixing Old and New” expand on this; but for the purpose of this brief discussion, we can see that to “eat” from the “tree” of the knowledge between good and evil and blessing and calamity (Gen 2:9; Rev 2:7; 22:14,19) is simply to apply your own knowledge (righteousness) and trying to live by it (your own righteousness). This is to not being “clothed with Christ” (contemplate Jn 1:1-4; 4:24 and observe that “Christ” implies God’s anointing, His Spirit, power and Life inside of us. The meditation “The Testimony” will shock you to your core if you consider what in fact this Life might/should be! Should you be still confused about what the Law was for, calmly consider those meditations by this author that will point to, for instance, Gal 3:19. The Law was not given as a means to save yourself by following rules or your own righteousness (Rom 3:20; 7:4,6,10; Gal 5:4,18). The purpose of the Law was to reveal to a stiff-necked and self-righteous people that no one’s self-righteousness can save [himself] – Phil 3:9-11. We all need the one and only Saviour, Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6, 23-26; Rom 8:14… Jn 1:4,12-13,17; 3:16; 9:28…)…
This understanding should make us more humble when considering Rom 12:9 (with Prov 8:13,17; 11:20-21; 16:5; 1 Jn 2:4; even 1 Pet 5:5; Prov 16:18… even with 2 Pet 3:9; Js 5:18-24…). So then, when we read the Bible and misunderstand Scriptures such as Ex 7:13, we are probably just caught out, like Adam was in Gen 2:9 (Rom 13:14; 8:14)… it seems to this author if the Bible was designed this way (2 Tim 3:16-17; 2 Pet 1:20-21), so we can see how close and personal we really are with God as a perfect Father. What a shame that we fail tests as in Eph 4:3-6; 1 Cor 1:17; 1 Jn 3:1-3… without living [remaining, 1Thess 5:23] in Rom 3:24-30; 8:2…
From the meditation “The will”, we observe the following at Dt 30:7. God does not [cannot] “curse” the man He has made with a free will in the way some preach it! It is illogical to think that Jer 10:23, for example, is saying that man has no choice and is absolutely controlled and manipulated by God, and that God then “curse” the actions that He [God] Himself had the man done! This is absurd. Jer 10:23 is saying that in oneself, without God’s Guidance, we are doomed- by our self, hence Jn 4:24; Rom 8:14, Ps 37:7, 22; and so on. The word curse (H423 אלה ‘âlâh) is from H422 (adjure); an imprecation: – curse, cursing, execration, oath, swearing. In context it means that God, in the Bible (2 Tim 3:15-17), declare where man finds himself that is an abomination to God (Prov 8:13; 11:20,21; 16:5; Rom 12:9). This Jesus (Jn 3:14) did similarly in Mt 23:13-15 by “cursing” (declare) to the Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes (the fig tree) that they were doomed by their [own] stubborn self-righteousness (Jn 3:17-21; Rev 22:11-15). Carefully contemplate Jn 5:36-40; 13:17; 14:9-17,21-26; 15:7-11; 17:15-20; 20:21-23; Mt 5:8; Jn 1:18; 12:45… See the “roadmap” following in the meditation “The will of man and the will of God” for a pictorial explanation.
5.34. Is [God in] Ps 40:6-8 contradicting [Himself in] Ex 29:18?
Of course not (Num 23:19; Rom 3:4; Titus 1:2-3)!! Hearing Jesus, we will grasp that no offering [as an external deed, ritual, ceremony] could ever purify any man (even Rom 3:29-28) – it was rather at most the submission – if voluntary – that should have commenced a thought-process [mindset]. Consider here the numerous verses like Mt 3:2; Mk 1:15; 6:2 and so on with 2 Cor 10:5; Rom 12:1-3 (with v. 3, note Phil 2:9; 3:9). Observe how the spirit [God-consciousness] has to be re-born to know God the Spirit.
Offering (H4503) means to apportion (Ps 24:1; Col 1:16-20; Jn 14:6!), bestow, tribute – usually bloodless and voluntary! Note here also Dt 6:5-12 with Jn 4:24 and those scriptures about changing your mind(set) to take thoughts captive (Eph 6:12-14; Is 54:13-17)… Note also, Rom 12:9; Jn 14:15. We will, of course, remember that God = Love and that this Love never manipulates…
Burnt offering (H5930) means to ascend, intransitively; also (H5927) to be high or active (mount. How about Rev 4:1; and Zech 9:9 vs Ez 23:6,12; Jer 22:4; and Rev 6? Note Lk 9:48;12:26-32; 16:10; 19:42; 20:46; Mt 5:3; 7:21; 18:1-4; 25:45; ). So, this burnt offering probably speaks of something lofty (Rev 1:10), a spiritual position, there where Adam was not in Gen 3:9. This is why we needed the Last Adam (1 Cor 15:45; Heb 10:12-14). Do we realize what John was saying in 1 Jn 2:18-26? Do we really?…
To read Ex 29:18,25,42; 40:6,10; Lev 1:3-17 and misinterpret what God is saying [teaching, illustrating, means] is incredibly dull. This is why Scripture explains Scripture [for those not experiencing Jn 10:27-28]. Reading Scriptures such as Ps 40:6-8 should effortlessly steer us to Ps 6:5; 9:13; 13:3; 18:4; 23 (!); 89:48; 116:8… Read around Is 28:15,18 and connect Ps 102:20; 1 Cor 15:22-26. Note again Jn 10,15-18; 13:37-38; 15:13 with Stephen in Acts 7:60. Read this with Jn 3:16; Mt 10:39-40; 16:25-28; and then Jn 5:24-47; 6:27,33-40,43-51,53-58; 6:63 (Rom 8:11); 8:12 (1:4),51-59; 10:10-12; 11:25-26!!!
This is where you might discover the immense possibility of what Jesus Christ actually is all about – not what was preached by the “church” establishments/industry for too long but LIFE EVER LASTING. Not the lesser fleeting glories of an Old, but a lasting glory of a New! Consider the meditation entitled “The Testimony” on www.gospel-truth.co.za for a better understanding of what we are talking about. Selah.
Hear Jesus in Jn 10:15-18; 13:37-38; 15:13 and then go in peace and enjoy – and abundantly live – His promise… His Word – Christ on earth!!!
Do not give up on LIFE EVERLASTING, do not give up your continuous, genuine, relationship with Jesus Christ! Keep talking with Him and fellowship with Him. See results that will be Light [Life] to the world! (Eph 4:6-9)
5.35. Is there a limited lifespan for all humans, so willed by God?
Mention of life expectancies of 120 years (Gen 6:3) or 70 years (Ps 90:10) are addressing specific issues of specific OT people. (a) We discuss the interpretation of Gen 6:2-3 in more detail in the meditation “Lucifer Part 2, pages 4-5; so will mention here only the following: We are A.D. and is supposed to have a NT Life everlasting (Jn 3:16; 11:26; Rom 8:2,11; Heb 8:13) when we abide in Christ and He permanently [also] in us! (b) Gen 6:3 has to do with the controversial “sons of God” mentioned here but would never the less put an end to any claims of humans being gods. (c) Isaiah 5:18-30 also shows that God (as in Dt 32:39) merely indicates that God allows mankind to reap the results of our own choices (refer Dt 32:1-38; and 41 onwards stating that a judgement [fair result] befalls “them that hate me”. Observe that it is, at any rate incorrect to assume that God would say He determined [those] people to only live 120 years for we find the following ages of people in that time, such as Noah who died at 950 – Gen 9:29 (although Gen 6:8,9); Sham died at 600 (Gen 11:10-11); Arphaxed died at 403 (Gen 11:12-13); Salah reached 433 (Gen 11:14-15); Eber died at 464 (Gen 11:16-17); Peleg was 239 (Gen 11:18-19); As was Ren who died at 239 (Gen 11:20-21); Serug was 230 (Gen 11:22-23); Nahar, 138 (Gen 11:24-25); Terah, 205 (Gen 11:32); Sarah, 127 (Gen 23:1); Isaac, 180 (Gen 35:28); even Ishmael reached 137 ! (Gen 25:17); Jacob was 147 (Gen 47:28); Abraham, 175 (Gen 25:7)
Note at Ps 90:10. It seems to indicate a limited lifespan for [all] mankind of 70 years but is not the case. Ps 90 is accredited to Moses, who was interceding with God to remove the curse which made it necessary for every Israelite over twenty years of age (when they rebelled against God at Kadesh-Barnea) to die before reaching the promised land (Num 14:26-35). Moses says most of them are dying at seventy years of age. It is mistaken to mean a limited lifespan for all mankind. It was not intended to refer to anyone except those Israelites under the curse during that particular 40 year period. Seventy (or 120) has never been the average lifespan for humanity. When Jacob, the father of the twelve tribes, had reached 130 years (Gen 47:9), he complained that he had not attained to the years of his immediate ancestors. In fact, as for seventy being regarded as a limited age; we find that Moses himself lived to be 120 years old, Aaron 123, Miriam several years older, and Joshua 110 years of age. Is 65:20 says that in the millennium a person of 100 years will still be thought a child.
The meditation entitled “The Testimony” on www.gospel-truth.co.za expand on this.
5.36. Num 23:19 and 1 Sam 15:29 seem to mention that “… God is not the son of man that He should repent…”; yet Mt 3:13-14 seems to say that Jesus had to repent (μετανοέω, G3340, metanoeō, to change your mind, way of thinking or morally feel compunction). But, Jesus referred to Himself as the Son of Man (Mt 12:8,32 and more than 400 other NT references). How can this be reconciled?
First, the context of this statement in Num 23 and 1 Sam 15 is rather about God’s sovereignty and superiority over man as His creation. This correlates with scriptures such as Is 55:8-9; Jer 17:9-10; Rom 3:3-4; Tit 1:2; Phil 2:8-11; Col 1:11-20; and so on. Second, it reiterates that God [Jesus Christ] can be trusted absolutely (Jn 1:1-4; 14:6; Heb 13:8); unlike man. Third, the change of mind necessary for baptism (see essay “Baptism”) does not mean Jesus had to alter His ways from a sinful or Godless life like man! He had no wrong to alter. For Jesus to genuinely represent man [whilst simultaneously God], there had to be the possible progress of Jesus from Son of man, to Son of law, to Son of God. For a fuller exegesis on this, refer to the meditation “Who is Jesus Christ”.
5.37. Can we impress God?
The argument used is that if God [Holy Spirit] can be grieved, the assumption is made that He was somehow shocked or felt injury and anguish [torment, suffering, torture, distress, regret] like a human.
Logic alone dictates that omniscience could not be surprised [be caught unawares, unprepared]. So, if God [Holy Spirit] is grieved; it would rather point to a Father being saddened with a sorrow about the tragedy that we stubbornly persist with our God-given free will – in self-righteousness – to ignore God’s sound advice and guidance [His perfect Love and the accomplished and finished work of His Son Jesus Christ (Jn 16:9)]. But, this does not mean God can be shocked or impressed! It is not the same thing.
Metal, for example, can only be “impressed” [receive indentation, alteration, malformation] by a punch [a subject or material harder, of greater substance, than the receiving material]. None of our goodness could therefore ever possibly “impress” God. God might be content with what we do and give credit like a good Father would, by saying, well done! But, not because we have outperformed His wildest expectations! This should be abundantly clear from just Eph 3:14-21; Heb 2:6-8…
Think about it carefully (See the meditation “The Covenant and The Law”; “The Gospel”, et al).
5.38. The Angel of the Lord vs Heb 1:5.
From the meditation “Trinity doctrine”, the following:
Note on Heb 1:5. This verse clearly states “For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, You are My Son, today I have begotton You”. Then we note Heb 1:13-14. We also read of an Angel in Ex 33:3, that connects with Gen 16:7 and Zech 1:11. This “Angel of the Lord” also in Zechariah – as in Gen 16:7 – is not to be confused with interpreting angels such as Zech 1:9,13-14; 2:3; 4:1,4-5; 5:5,10; 6:4-5. If God called no angel His Son and neither created this Son, The Angel of the Lord clearly cannot be a normal angelic being such as for example the Mikael of Jude 1:9. Incidentally, note (i) that the word angels in Heb 1:13, is from ἄγγελος (G32, aggelos) , from ἀγγέλλω (aggellō), and probably derived from G71; compare G34; to bring tidings; a messenger; especially an “angel”; by implication even a pastor or messenger (Refer to Gal 1:6-9); and (ii) that Michael in Dan 10:13 could possibly have been not celestial but simply one of the princes of the kingdom of Persia; for Dan 10:13 clearly states that this Michael was “one of the chief princes” while the archangel Mikael is mentioned in Jude 1:9 (Zech 3:1-2) as the chief angel. The Angel of the Lord is an uncreated messenger (“Angel”) distinguished from [other] normal angelic angels and in many places identified as the Lord God – this is undeniable. The conciliation with passages that seem to distinguish this Angel of the Lord from God the Father, can most simply be reconciled with the old view that this Angel is Christ, the second Person in The Godhead, even at that early period appearing as the Revealer of the Father (Johan P.Lange, A Commentary). Refer to Gal 3:8 and Gen 12:3.
Commentary in the Amplified Bible at Gen 11:7 reads: The “Angel of the Lord” or “of God” or “of His presence” is readily identified with the Lord God (Gen 16:7,11,13; 22:11,12; 31:11,13; Ex 3:1-6 and other passages). But it is obvious that the “Angel of the Lord” is a distinct person in Himself from God the Father (Gen 24:7; Ex 23:20; Zech 1:11 and other passages). Nor does the “Angel of the Lord” appear again after Christ came in human form. He must of necessity be One of the “three-in-one” Godhead. The “Angel of the Lord” is the visible Lord God of the OT, as Jesus is Christ is of the NT. Thus His deity is clearly portrayed in the OT. There is a fascinating forecast of the coming Messiah, breaking through the dimness with amazing with amazing consistency, at intervals from Genesis to Malachi. Abraham, Moses, the slave girl Hagar, the impoverished farmer Gideon, even the humble parents of Samson, had seen and talked with Him before the herald angels proclaimed His birth in Bethlehem”.
For the purpose of this meditation, we will stop here with 1 Thess 5:23. (Refer to the meditation “The Testimony”)
Peace, joy, and love to you…
… a brother in Jesus Christ.
Notes referred to
 Gal 4:21-31, connecting with the children of promise (Gen 22:17); some like stars (Num 24:17; Judges 5:20; Job 25:5; Dan 12:3; Jude 13; Rev 12:1), and the others like dust (Gen 3:14; Job 4:19; Is 52:2; Mt 10:13,14; Lk 10:8-12; Acts 13:50-51; 1 Cor 2:2,5-9; Ps 102:14). Some above [in Christ], others below [in self-righteous law, the devil].
 God our Creator shows He knows us (Jer 1:5). The moment you forbid, it controls your thoughts and you will be tempted by it out of your own doing (will) as a free moral agent. Not God, but your own thoughts, thus showing your biggest enemy is your own old unrenewed self [nature, lust, greed, need for self-glorification]. Jesus free us from ourselves. 2 Cor 10:5; Heb 12:2; Eph 4:22-24; 1 Cor 2:16; Phil 2:5,6…
 Mt 5:41 (the “extra mile” principle or attitude). Jesus gave us more than we could ever deserve
 “Sin no more” refers to Jesus’ words in Jn 16:9; not the 10 commandments He “fulfilled” (v 5,7,8; Rom 8:1-3)!
 “Commandments” in Jn 14:15; 15:14; 1 Jn 3:23 should read “precepts”, “teachings”, “Words” – see context.
 Contemplate Gen 3:14; Job 4:19; Is 52:2; Mt 10:13,14; Lk 10:8-12; Acts 13:50,51; 1 Cor 2:2,5-9; Ps 102:14. Rom 8:19-25 and v 25 is likely to be us (Jn 11:26; prophesied in Hab 1:12; Ps 92:15 (Amplified Bible says “living memorials”); 102:16-20; 119:144; Is 28:14-18); to fulfill Gen 2:7!!! To the increase of His kingdom will be no end, and His glory will…
 Aspects such as (a) No communication between the dead and living; (b) Abraham as the recognized father of faith (c) The rich man’s continued rejection of Jesus as Savior even after his arrival in hell (d) Stubborn hearers