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Category Archives: Old Testament

What is the New Testament and what is its Significance?

New Testament_resized
(emphasis added in textual quotations)

The New Testament was a concept that Jesus Christ introduced at his last Passover on earth, what we call the Last Supper. To study the meaning of what the New Testament involves, take out a concordance. Let’s explore all of the uses of “testament” in the Bible. In some cases, we may examine whole chapters of where this word is found. For this study, I find that the “received text” of the King James Bible is better. The KJV is not copywrited language like most modern version, and I also like that. In no way should holy scripture be copywrited except by God, as if something new is produced instead of ancient, holy writ. Instead of “New Testament”, modern versions like the NIV will use other words like Covenant, at times dropping both the “New” and “Testament” wording. While Covenant and Testament are similar, using different words for the sake of being different seems to muddy the waters.

When we think of the word “covenant”, we often think of a marriage covenant, or “the ark of the covenant”. So when people think of a “new covenant”, they might think almost that we are getting a divorce from the Old Testament or the God of the Old Testament. Or they might think since the tablets of law were in the Ark of the Covenant, that the New “Covenant” gets rid of that. Maybe that is what the modern versions WANT you to think. However, when we hear the word “Testament”, we think of scripture itself, and we think of Last Will and Testament. The New Testament is something we receive by inheritance, and it is associated with the concept of death. It is worth your time to compare the KJV and the other versions with respect to the “New Testament” concept.

We commonly refer to the Bible in two parts as the Old and New Testaments. Interestingly, I could not find the word “testament” in the Old Testament. In each of the Old and New Testaments, blood was an important concept.

Let’s Explore the uses of “Testament” in the Bible

In the first instance of “Testament” in the Bible, we have the gospel of Matthew. Matthew was the former tax collector, or we might call him an accountant. I simply love that he is the one who uses the word remission, as in payment of a bill, invoice, or debt.

The use of new testament wording in the gospels, was only communicated during Jesus’ last Passover on earth, and at no other time.

“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” –Matthew:26:28

Then, we have Mark’s recording, the evangelist companion of the apostle Peter.

“And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.” –Mark 14:24

Next, we have Luke, the physician. His rendition is more personal, using the word “you” and “cup”.

“Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” –Luke 22:20

The gospel of John is the only account that records the passover footwashing and it alludes to the passover observance in John 13, but it doesn’t actually talk about the unleavened bread and wine or the New Testament concept itself. But the book provides great context of explanation in chapters 14-17, where Christ introduces concepts like the Holy Spirit and that that the commandments of God are still in effect.

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

–John 14:20-26

The Apostle Paul backs up the Gospel accounts with the understanding of the New Testament

The apostle Paul was not a witness of Jesus’ earthly ministry, but the evidence is that this “last” and “least” apostle by his self-description in I Corinthians 15:8-9, was personally mentored by the risen Jesus Christ for a period of approximately 3 years, similar to the period the other apostles were mentored by Christ (Acts 1:21-26). During Paul’s apostle training, he went “off the grid” so to speak, in Arabia, for a period of 3 years (Galatians 1:17-24).

As Paul wrote to the Gentiles, he expounds upon the concepts.

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.” –I Corinthians 11:23-26

In one whole chapter, Paul explains the Old and New Testaments.

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

–2 Corinthians 3:1-18

So are all of the many, many pages of the Old Testament done away with?

I think not. Jesus warned about this, the bible is very clear.

“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” –Matthew 5:18

Furthermore, in the last words of the Bible, the apostle John warns about the penalties for adding or subtracting from God’s words.

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” –Revelation 22:18-19

It is evident that the Gentiles Paul taught kept the feasts. Paul was merely explaining that we need to keep the laws, but do it in sincerity, truth and love.

“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” –I Corinthians 5:6-8

In Hebrews, Paul explains that Jesus Himself is our High Priest, and has taken care of the fulfillment

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

–Hebrews 7:22-28

God’s Law was Permanent, but the Old Testament of Animal Sacrifice and was Transitory

It was always God’s intention to sacrifice His Son, because there was no way that the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament would pay for our sin.

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” — Revelation 13:8

We are, however, able to be sanctified forever with Jesus’ one-time sacrifice. Paul expounds:

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

–Hebrews 10:1-10

Hebrews Chapter 9

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

–Hebrews 9:1-28

New Testament Concepts

As seen in the scriptures cited above, the New Testament introduces two important concepts.

  1. Christ’s once and for all sacrifice on the cross is remission for the sins of mankind, of those who receive it.
  2. While the moral law of the 10 commandments and every other law introduced to us is still in effect, the administration of that law has changed. Previously, the law was administrated by consequences including the death penalty. We have gone from a “ministration of death” to a “ministration of the spirit”, and from a “ministration of condemnation” to a “ministration of righteousness”. See again II Corinthians 3:7-11

So the law is not done away with. The law is still there, and we are all transgressors of the law. We cannot gain eternal life unless we have remission for those sins, and that only comes from our Savior Jesus Christ.

“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” –Hebrews 9:22

The most important concepts of the New Testament may actually be the concepts of love and mercy.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

–John 3:16

——————-

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.

In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

–Hebrews 8:7-13

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Posted by on April 16, 2017 in Old Testament, The Bible, Uncategorized

 

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(Video) Prophecy Parallels

As the video shows it is very interesting when you take in the Bible verse by verse, and line by line.

As one pertinent example, we have the “Cyrus” prophecy:

“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight…” — Isaiah 45:2a

Speaking of crooked – what is going on with the Clinton foundation?

Here is Pastor Ben Heath’s message:

Will The Inauguration of Trump Mark The Downfall of The NWO?

 
 

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A Time of Change – God’s Message to Joshua

Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,

Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Be strong and of a good courage:

for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Only be thou strong and very courageous,

that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage;

be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

—Joshua 1:1-9 KJV

 
 

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God’s Contract of Grace

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” — II Chronicles 7:14
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It is often said that scripture is taken out of context or in some way doesn’t apply to us today. But God had many promises throughout the Bible and His promises are sure.

I have only a very casual interest in numerology but found something interesting referring to the scripture promise above. II Chronicles is the 14th book of the Bible. Then you have the 7th chapter and the 14th verse of the chapter. In total, you have five (5) sevens in that scripture reference.

So if you look at the Biblical significance of five, what do you find? The number is associated with grace, man, and the torah- having 5 books. Torah literally means: ‘instruction, doctrine, law,’ from yārāh ‘show, direct, instruct.’

Here are some links about the Biblical significance of the number 5:

agapebiblestudy

seekingtruth

You can also see that the number seven is analogous to completeness and spiritual perfection.

So, taken together, what do we see? The promise of II Chronicles 7:14 is a contract of grace with man to the seventh power of completion. God says if we do these things, i.e. humble ourselves and seek him, that he will come through in perfect grace. Seven times grace. That is a lot of grace.

It is less about who we are, and more about who HE is.

What can God do for a people?

Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen. Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord GOD, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited. Then the heathen that are left round about you shall know that I the LORD build the ruined places, and plant that that was desolate: I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.

Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them; I will increase them with men like a flock. As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the LORD. – Ezekiel 36:22-38

Do we claim this promise?

Do we, who are called Christian, humble ourselves and pray?

Do we seek God with a perfect heart, and reject wickedness?

In many ways, it seems that we are at a tipping point.

Will God hear us, or is it too late?

Where does our help come from?

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

–Psalm 121 ESV

Here is a message that should motivate Christians. Below is the short version, full version in link below.

 

http://www.trunews.com/listen/trunews-10-18-16-rick-wiles-will-god-grant-america-a-reprieve

 

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The Evil Shepherds and the Good Shepherd – Ezekiel 34

Prophecy against Israel’s Shepherds

1And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

2Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

3Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

4The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

5And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

6My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

 7Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

8As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

9Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

10Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

The Good Shepherd

11For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.

12As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

13And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

14I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

15I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD.

16I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

 17And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.

18Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

19And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

 20Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.

21Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

22Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

23And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.

24And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

The Covenant of Peace

25And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.

26And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

27And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

28And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

29And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

30Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.

31And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

–Ezekiel 34–

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2016 in Old Testament, The Bible, Uncategorized

 

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Bricks of Babylon, Stones of God

Is God looking for his followers to be living stones created and fashioned by Him, or cutout figures of the same shape, size and substance? Here is some food for thought.

Nimrod was the first king who popped up in Bible history, and he sought to become the first king of the whole world. He wanted not only to rule, but to dominate the lives and spiritual realm of his kingdom. This topic is worth taking time to study.

This rebellion of Nimrod, came only about 150 years after the flood. Nimrod’s name itself means rebellion.

And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. –Genesis 10:8-10

Nimrod and Babylon are the most clear example of early idolatry.

 

The Babylonian system was based on pride and total domination of society. Nimrod’s system threatened the faithful line of God which would come through Abraham.

What about ancient Egypt? Was it also based of the Babylonian system of bricks and toil? Technical engineers agree that the Great Pyramid – the oldest pyramid – was made of extreme precision and with a design that we could not execute today. Was this a tribute to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? Or was it the opposite?

Was even CHRISTMAS a nod to Nimrod? Honest scholars agree that Christ was not born in the winter.

Putting this all together, what does the Bible say? Is God seeking stones or bricks?

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. –Psalm 118:22

The BUILDERS rejected the chief corner stone — who are the BUILDERS?

“Build the altar to the LORD your God with uncut stones, then offer a burnt offering to him.” –Deuteronomy 27:6 (NIV)

To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

–I Peter 2:4-8

the stone

This final message really ties the whole of this together for me. Let’s let God’s word speak to us.

Let’s look for a minute at the Hebrews 11 “Chapter of Faith”

Here we have Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses’ parents, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets, and all the martrys mentions. Did these seem like cut-out figures to you? Where they a sea of sameness, mere cogs in a system of domination? Or were they very unique individuals, just as natural stones are unique and shaped and placed by God?

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. –Ephesians 4:16


Here is the temple God Himself is building:

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. –Ephesians 2:19-22

 

 

 

 

 

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Men and Women in the Service of God – Hannah’s Son and Jephthah’s Daughter

In the Bible, Hannah and Jephthah have something important in common – they both are recorded as having dedicated their child to God. What were the similarities in these events, and what was different?

Some Christian scoffers actually believe that Jephthah offered his daughter as a burnt sacrifice, but I will show that is false.

Vows

Hannah and Jephthah both uttered a vow. Hannah’s vow was specific – she vowed that if she had a son, she would dedicate him to God.

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no rasor come upon his head. –I Samuel 1:9-11

Hannah was making a vow that should God bless her with a son, that her firstborn would be dedicated to God, presumably as a Nazirite, because he would not cut his hair.

Jepthath, in contrast, made what some people believe was a rash, non-specific prayer. But was it rash, or was he moved by God’s Spirit as the passage indicates?

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon. And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. –Judges 11:29-33

Some people erroneously believe that Jephthah offered his daughter as a burnt sacrifice, but this cannot be. Human sacrifice was never practiced by any of the saints, and the pagan practices of such were expressly condemned. See analysis further below.

An interesting thing that we can observe is that while Hannah’s husband could have voided Hannah’s vow had he chosen to — in God’s eyes Jephthah’s vow was had to be paid. This evidence is in Numbers 30 – a woman was protected if she did something unwise and her husband chose to revoke it, but a man had to fulfill his promise to the Lord. Similarly a single woman could have her vow voided by her father. When Adam and Eve sinned, Adam specifically was pinned with the finalization of the sin, since he was not deceived (Romans 5:12, I Tim. 2:14). Since Hannah’s vow stood, we can assume that her husband endorsed it.

Did any of God’s Saints Practice Human Sacrifice? Let’s explore the evidence.

Human sacrifice was associated expressly with witchcraft and heathen practices.

“And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.” –Kings 17:17

“Twenty years old was Ahaz when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and did not that which was right in the sight of the LORD his God, like David his father. But he walked in the way of the kings of Israel, yea, and made his son to pass through the fire, according to the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel.” –II Kings 16:2-3

Manasseh was known as a very wicked man in Israel, and his idolatry, witchcraft, and other transgressions are recorded below.

Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel. For he built up again the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. And he built altars in the house of the LORD, of which the LORD said, In Jerusalem will I put my name. And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD. And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house, of which the LORD said to David, and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: Neither will I make the feet of Israel move any more out of the land which I gave their fathers; only if they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that my servant Moses commanded them. But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel. –II Kings 21:1-9

“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” –Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Rebellious Hebrews sacrificed their firstborn, and God punished them.

I am the LORD your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them; And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the LORD your God. Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth. I lifted up mine hand unto them also in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the heathen, and disperse them through the countries; Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live; And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the LORD. –Ezekiel 20:19-26

’And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols.” –Ezekiel 16:20-21 (NIV)

While those that rebelled against God and God’s law were known to follow the heathen practice of human sacrifice – in conjunction with idolatry and witchcraft – God’s saints rejected it.

What does God say about the blood of innocents?

“Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon.”  –II Kings 24:3-4

“But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them.Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.” –Psalm 106:35-38

“And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three: That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.” –Deuteronomy 19:8-10

“Manasseh also shed so much innocent blood that he filled Jerusalem with it from one end to another. This was in addition to his sin that he caused Judah to commit. Consequently, they did what was evil in the LORD’s sight.” –II Kings 21:16 (Holman CSV)

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,” – Proverbs 6:16-17

“For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; if ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.” –Jeremiah 7:5-7

“Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard. Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you. As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.” –Jeremiah 26:12-15

“Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.” –Joel 3:19-21

A Chronological Examination – stories of Abraham, Jephthah, and Hannah

Certainly the Bible gives us an example of what is good with its books of law, statutes, history, prophecy, poetry and wisdom and perhaps the most influential – the stories about God’s faithful. Some things in the Bible will not make sense to someone who is not really interested in it, and Jesus admitted that he spoke in parables partly to confuse the people with hard hearts.

There is another example of where a child was to be offered up to God – and surprisingly, God is the one who commanded it. In chapter 22 of Genesis, God commands Abraham to take his precious, promised son Isaac, and to offer him as a burnt offering. Here was Abraham – the father of the faithful – commanded to do the unthinkable. But because of the covenant relation Abraham had with God, he knew he had to do what God commanded. There was no argument. Abraham knew God’s perfect character – he just had to trust God.

Abraham had to make the three-day journey with Isaac to offer his child as God had commanded. At the very last moment, God called out to Abraham to stop him from killing his son and offering him as a burnt offering. A ram was provided instead. God had both tested Abraham in covenant obedience, and had him experience some of the anguish of both God the Father and Jesus in Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross.

Abraham was the grandfather to Jacob/Israel, who was the father of the Israelites, God’s chosen people to be a light to the rest of the world. God thought it necessary to give this very powerful example for us. Abraham was tested to the end — but ultimately, he was not asked to sacrifice his son, nor was that what God wanted.

The next story is how it came about that the mighty warrior Jephthah dedicated his only daughter to God. It should be noted that before Jephthah makes the vow in Judges 11:30-31, that the preceding verse of 11:29 says “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah…” So we can assume this vow was under inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit.

Here is a reading of Jephthah’s vow in Young’s Literal Translation:

And Jephthah voweth a vow to Jehovah, and saith, ‘If Thou dost at all give the Bene-Ammon into my hand — then it hath been, that which at all cometh out from the doors of my house to meet me in my turning back in peace from the Bene-Ammon — it hath been to Jehovah, or I have offered up for it — a burnt-offering.’ –Judges 11:30-31.

In the above translation, it is very important to observe the conjunction “or”. If that which preceded from his house had been a lamb, it could have been a burnt sacrifice.

Here is commentary on the text from The Defender’s Study Bible, compiled by Dr. Henry M. Morris:

offer it up. Some competent Hebrew scholars say this clasue could as well be translated, “and I will offer to Him a burnt-offering.” In any case, Jepthah was a true man of faith (Hebrews 11:32) and surely knew God’s prohibitions against human sacrifices (Leviticus 18:21). He would hardly make such a rash vow as to offer a human sacrifice or carry it out if he had. Jepthah’s daughter was his only child. Although he knew about God’s right to the firstborn (Exodus 13:2), he knew also that she could be redeemed (Exodus 13:15; Leviticus 27:1-4) with a payment of 30 shekels.

Here also is exerpted commentary from the Companion Bible (Kregel Publications, 1990):

and = or. The Heb. (Vav) is a connective Particle, and is rendered in many different ways. It is also used as a disjuntive, and is often rendered “or” (or, with a negative, “nor”). …. Here, Jephthat’s vow consisted of two parts: (1) He would either dedicated it to Jehovah (according to Lev. 27); or (2) if unsuitable for this, he would offer it as a burnt offering. He performed his vow, and dedicated his daughter to Jehovah by a perpetual virginity (vv. 36,39,40); but he did not offer her as a burnt offering, because it was forbidden by Jehovah, and could not be accepted by Him (Lev. 18.21; 20.2-5).

Jephthah was very upset that his only daughter (his only offspring) would be dedicated so that she would serve God in a virgin state and not have children, and Jepthah would not have grandchildren (Judges 11:34-40). However, Jephthah’s daughter was very willing to perform her part of this vow. She was left alone to be with her friends for two months and made no attempt to run away. Instead of any record of any killing sacrifice, it says in Judges 11:39: “… and she knew no man.”

God had respect that Jephthah would not try to go back on his vow to the LORD (Judges 11:35) and Jephthah received a special mention in the “chapter of faith” – Hebrews 11:32. Paul, the writer of Hebrews was mentored by Christ in the wilderness for 3 years before he was activated as an apostle (Galatians 1:17-18), and would have known the truth about this “difficult” passage of scripture.

Hannah’s dedication of Samuel came next. Samuel was a remarkable man, as he became a prophet (I Samuel 3:19-20), priest (Psalm 99:6, Jeremiah 15:1, I Samuel 2:18) and civil authority – a judge (I Samuel 7:15). Samuel was genetically a Levite (I Samuel 1:1 with I Chronicles 6), the tribe designated for prieshood, although he grew up in a location within the tribe of Ephraim (I Samuel 1:1). Being part of the priestly tribe of Levi which kept knowledge and taught the law (Malachi 2:4-7, Ezra 7:10), Hannah would likely know the story of Jephthah’s dedication of his daughter perhaps a couple hundred years before in the book of Judges. God honored Hannah’s dedication by making possible Samuel’s great ministry and service to God, and God blessed her with more children after Samuel.

The beautiful story is recorded below:

But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD. –I Samuel 2:18-21

Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving is also recorded in I Samuel 2:1-10.

There was something very different about Samuel’s dedication and Jepthah’s daugthers dedication. Samuel fully dedicated to God, but was married and had children. Jephthah’s daughter’s dedication required her to remain a virgin. God willing, I will explore this difference in a later post.

 

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2015 in Bible history, Faith, Old Testament, The Bible

 

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