Theology

Taken out by feet!

  September 7th, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org/ |
Where does your help come from? Of whom do you seek deliverance and assistance? What is your support mechanism? Are you sure? Or are you a living a double standard?  Read on and see >>
  Hebrews 13:6  “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”  Do you think that you do this? But, do you?
There was a king in Judah many years ago.  Asa was his name. He was a pretty good king.  2 Chronicles 15:17b   “…nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.”  His heart was perfect towards God.  But, does that mean that all of his actions were? Did he do some things because he saw the normal way to do things and never questioned it? Let’s see what happened.
 2 Chronicles 16:7-13 “And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.
  For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.
Then Asa was wroth with the seer, and put him in a prison house; for he was in a rage with him because of this thing. And Asa oppressed some of the people the same time. And, behold, the acts of Asa, first and last, lo, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians. And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.”
  So, Asa had things in his life to deal with. He had seen God do great things for him before. “Were not the Ethiopians and the Lubims a huge host, with very many chariots and horsemen? yet, because thou didst rely on the LORD, he delivered them into thine hand.” When he relied on the LORD it went well.
  Then, he either got cocky, or full of himself or overconfident or something and tried to do it in his own strength. He went to the king of Syria for help rather than to the LORD.  So he messed up that situation.  Now they would be plagued with wars all the time!
  So, Asa did like most and rather than self examine and admit error he got angry and punished the guy who told him the truth.  Then he became more mean and bitter and started bullying the people.
  Eventually he ran into health problems. “And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.”  And when he was diseased he still had not learned anything! He went to physicians, not the LORD.  Now, physicians, Doctors, are fine to use. Luke 5:31  “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.”  Jesus said if you are sick you need a physician. The point was he went there before and instead of seeking the LORD first.
  Do you do like Asa?  If you have a problem, do you turn to the first medicine, advisor or human rescuer available? Do you search the internet for information on it?  Do you just run to the Doctor? Do you see what your money can buy or your wisdom can conjure up?  These things might wind up being used as tools, but first you should seek the face of the Lord.
  Lord, Why is this happening? Am I not serving you correctly or enough? Is there something that you want to show me? Is there sin in my life that is causing this? Lord, should I wait or go to a physician now?  Is this from my diet, Lord? Is this because I won’t read my Bible? Is this because….?
   Proverbs 3:5, 6  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
   Don’t know how to fix your plumbing? Pray about it first. Don’t just grab the first self help book before talking to the Lord about it.  Don’t understand scriptures? Pray, read more, fast and pray, before you just grab a commentary or book and copy off of someone else’s homework.
  Imagine Mr. Dad and his son M’ijo.  Dad says, “Let’s build a dog house out back. Mom said something about you being in it anyway.”  They gather wood and nails, saw and tools and go out back.  They begin to work and after a while Dad says, Ok, M’ijo we are stuck here. Tell me son, how do we get the square fittings of equal lengths?”  Ring, ring… “Phone honey!”, Yells Mom from in the house. “Be right back, M’ijo”, “Ok, Dad.”
  An hour later Dad comes back and finds the dog house complete. “What happened son?” “Dad, you’ll be so proud! I called my big brother and then my friends came over with their tools and one brought his dad. We cranked that thing out within the hour!”   Mr. Dad bowed his head and a tear came to his eye. “Dad why are you so sad?”  He replied, “M’ijo, this was not about getting the dog house erected. This was about you and me, doing this together, learning about your dear ole Dad by working through things with me.  I hate this dog house, though humanly, it’s perfect. I hate it!”
  Walk with God, not perform tasks to impress him or get it done some other way.
Let’s shed some light on this!
 September 7th, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org/ |
What do you really need to learn from the Bible?  What is the goal of all of the knowledge in it?  What should be the meter that tells you that you are getting the message?  Read on and see >>
   A lot of people learn Bible facts. Many learn Bible doctrines. Doctrines are sets of teachings on an issue. There are man-made doctrines and God-made doctrines.  Focusing on doctrines is not bad, in and of itself.  Many people see the scriptures as a historical data base. It tells us historical information that is relevant and applicable.  The scriptures are relevant scientifically and accurate way past modern standards of science.  There are good recipes for foods.  There are diet advise and teachings that could have prevented all of the health problems plaguing our societies. The scriptures are so full of information on all subjects pertaining to life that it is unmatched by any library!  However, that is not the main purpose of the scriptures.
   The main purpose of the scriptures is for us to know the author of them. Jeremiah 9:24  “But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.”    “that he understandeth and knoweth me”
  Everyone I’ve ever heard speak on it thinks that God made Adam for the purpose of hanging out with him in the garden of Eden, however, man fell into sin.  That is not correct. Yes, the LORD was planning on visiting and eventually seeing if man would grow into a person to fellowship with, but it was not the original plan.
  Here’s the proof: God makes man> Genesis 2:8  “And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.”  Next, before Adam had even sinned > Genesis 2:18  “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”  Let’s also clear up another fable; there is no such thing as a “help-mate” nor a “help-meet”.  The word “meet” in English also means “appropriate, applicable” or “fitting”. It means God would make a “help” meet for him (appropriate for him).
   Back to the proof >  “It is not good that the man should be alone”.  God was planning on leaving the man alone. Why?  Amos 3:3  “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”  How does a righteous, holy God walk in fellowship with a man who is a child with no understanding of right and wrong? How does God fellowship with a little man that doesn’t know how to stick to principals, push through issues, deal with life and maturity?  God can visit, be like a visiting God and Father, but walk together with a man that has no understanding, made a little lower than even the angels?  Psalms 8:4, 5  “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”
  So, the plan was to facilitate man (make a facility in which he could learn).  The devil was already made and evil was already present on the earth. Now man could learn and grow by reason of the liberty and beautiful freedom to make mistakes and screw things up royally!  And that he did.
  To be fair, now you understand why salvation is free. As a good Creator, GOD knew that it was his facilitation that allowed Adam to sin at no cost to you and me, so GOD gives the free gift of his Son Jesus Christ to save us with no cost to us.
Romans 5:18, 19  “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.  For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”  God made a plan that started you as lost without consulting you, so he made a plan to save you, without consulting you. You just decide if you want Jesus or hell. A lack of deciding for Jesus is a decision for hell.
  So, since salvation is a free gift to take and that’s done, religion is out the window. No struggling to find God or a righteous walk through commandments and ceremonies.  Now you are free to do what he wants you to, learn of him! Matthew 11:28-30  “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  “and learn of me”
  So, when you read your Bible read it to learn about God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Don’t read it to gather facts, history and information first.  First priority: Learn about God.
  Isaiah 55:6  “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:” 
Jeremiah 29:13  “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
 
    September 7th, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for  http://www.baptist.org/ |
 
 Understanding the scriptures is indeed “puzzling” to many.  Well, yeah!  That’s the best lesson on how to study them. Read on >>
  Understanding what you read in the scriptures seems like the first responsibility of the the reader.  It is not.  Our job is to read. Understanding is irrelevant. Isaiah 34:16a  “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read:..”  Revelation 1:3a “Blessed is he that readeth,..”  Understanding will come when he wants to give it. Luke 24:45  “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”
Back to the puzzle. Imagine you have a bunch of pieces to a jig-saw puzzle in front of you.  You have no idea what to do to use them correctly.  First thing then, is to accumulate pieces. You start gathering pieces on the table. That is your #1 job. Don’t try to put them together, even if they seem to fit together. You just don’t have enough pieces to judge rightly.
  As you accumulate those pieces, the Lord is watching to see if you’re faithful at accumulating. Are you consistent? Do you accumulate with the right attitude? Do you believe the puzzle can be solved?
  After a while you start to notice patterns. You start putting orange pieces with orange and red with red. You notice that some are clearly edge or corner pieces and you begin a rudimentary categorizing (putting them in basic groups).
    Luke 16:10  “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
 When the Lord sees that you’ve been faithful at that, even that little thing, he quickly flashes a little view of some of the box top that has the picture of the finished product.  Just a little glimpse, but it is an “Ah Ha!” moment, none the less.  Now you start to see where many more of the pieces fit in.
  Now as you study and remember to avoid pride (after all- you were shown, you did not solve it) you start to see that the more pieces you find places for, the more pieces make sense and the more pieces you find places for. After a long time the pieces speak for themselves.
 
  Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
   When the Lord sees that you are diligent and faithful…That you do not cheat and you really, really want the truth (whether it’s what you wanted it to be or not) he shows you the whole box top clearly and sets it on the table for future reference.   Though when you see the box top you want to think, “Yeah, I knew that” you don’t.  Instead, the other pieces taught you to be humble and self inspect. So you keep the box top there for reference and assurance and further, continual self inspection.
Hebrews 4:12  “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” 

The Bible is more open than you think!

 September 7, 2011 | Buen Consejo | for http://www.baptist.org | 
 Understanding the scriptures can be puzzling to many. There are so many false teachings and false beliefs that claim to come from the scriptures. Some people like to take verses from one area of the Bible and others from other areas. How do you know what is right or wrong?
  Here are a few points that will greatly help you clear up all the chatter and mess. Read on>>>
2 Timothy 2:15  “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  What is meant by “rightly dividing the word of truth”? Rightly dividing means that some things apply to some things and other things apply to others. Some things apply to more than a few things.  Here’s the perfect example: If everything in the scriptures is directly applied to everyone, then you should be gathering a few metric tons of gopher wood and getting ready to build a giant ark that could hold a bunch of livestock. But you say, God was talking to Noah when he said that stuff. Right. Others might think that we should then get rid of Genesis because we are not going to build and ark. Wrong. Romans 15:4  “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”  There is a lot of use of the old testament for us.
  From Noah’s ark experience we learn that the flood of God’s judgment will come. Jesus Christ, who hung on the wood of a cross, will be our only refuge from that flood. Get on board, not around Christ, in Christ. Soon the door will close and it will be too late.  That’s an example.
  Keep the application of scripture in it’s place and don’t wrestle it out! 2 Peter 3:16  “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
  Here are the basic keys to understanding scripture:
  Key #1- Historical application.  That means that you must place the occurrence in it’s chronological (time frame) place. God, 4,000 years ago, talking to a man named Noah.  All scripture has a real and literal timeframe.
  Key  #2- Doctrinal application.  Doctrinal means according to it’s set of teachings. Doctrinally, Noah is before the law, before salvation through Christ, after the garden of Eden, etc.
  This is where 99% of bad teachings and false doctrines come from! Here’s the problem, here’s the solution: Romans 3:19  “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”  The commands of the law and it’s requirements are for those under the law.
  Many people think that new testament books mean new testament teachings.  Not necessarily so. Hebrews 9:16, 17  “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.”  What that means is that the new testament did not begin at the gospels’ chapter 1.  The new testament begins at the death of Jesus Christ. And that is when the old testament finished. Mark 15:38  “And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”
  This is a big hang up for most. They are looking at what Jesus did in his flesh and blood life and saying we must do likewise in all aspects.  He was walking as an old testament Jew, under the law, not under grace and keeping the law of Moses.  Gentiles are not.
  Next comes a transition period where the church’s teachings are beings set up. It isn’t until Acts 15 that the apostles even figure out what to do with these Gentiles that believe.
  Peter was given the keys (plural) to the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 16:19a  “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven:..”  Not the key to heaven! Some think he sits on his duff and decides who gets into heaven. How silly! Repent and trust Christ for your salvation and you go to heaven. Don’t and you won’t.  Peter had the keys to the kingdom of heaven. He took one key and opened it to the Jews, (Acts 2), to the Samaritans (Acts 8) and the Gentiles (Acts 10).  Acts is about the transition.
  Now we have the place where you focus your view of scripture and application of the rest of the scriptures: Paul’s writings, Romans through Philemon.  Paul said, Galatians 2:7, 8  “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)”  Paul is the apostle to the Gentiles. There are many mixed up people that study fancy things that think Paul left his calling and wrote Hebrews. Paul said he did not, 2 Thessalonians 3:17  “The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.” Paul said he signs every epistle with his name. If you couldn’t find a bowling ball in a bathtub with a Marine helicopter you could still see that Paul is not mentioned or signed in Hebrews.
  Now, both during the transition and again to be used in the tribulation period when the Lord will work primarily with through the Jewish people, there need to be the Jewish books. Hebrews through Revelation.  In the tribulation they are only sprinkled with the blood of Christ, not washed as we are. 1 Peter 1:2  “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.”  They can fall away and lose their walk with the Lord permanently: Hebrews 6:1-6, because they only taste of the heavenly gift (vs. 5) and must endure to the end of the tribulation (or their lives) to even get saved (Matthew 24:13). 
     So, #1 place to get bad doctrine? The gospels. #2 place, the book of Acts. #3 Hebrews through Revelation.
   Key #3- Spiritual application.  Spiritual application will show you how to apply the spiritual principals expressed in the passage. Remember the first example I showed of how Noah’s ark teaches about Jesus and his salvation. That’s a spiritual application.
  Key #4- Personal application. That is the application of scripture to your own walk and experience with the Lord. This can have a wider margin of application.  Such as: You’re trying to fix your car. One mechanic says it the catalytic converter (I tried to get a Cadillac converter for mine- didn’t work). Another mechanic says it’s the exhaust manifold. You don’t  know who to trust.  You apply the Noah teachings. You enter into the protection of the Lord.  You pray and don’t worry about the rains and the clouds. You trust in the Lord for leadership. Proverbs 3:5,  “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” You walk closer to the Lord and he leads you into the right decision through the flood of information, doubt and fear . Psalms 37:23, 24  “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” And the Lord directs and leads.
   Keep things in their places. Rightly divide the word of truth and he will open your understanding. Luke 24:45  “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”

Genesis chapters 22-24

John 8:56: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.”

Introduction

No doubt Abraham had many tests of faith from the time in Ur of the Chaldees, when the true God spoke to him as he lived there among his people, who made and worshipped idols. Monotheism, while once known and practiced in the days of Adam, had diminished as Paul describes in Romans from the worship of the Creator God to a worship of the creature more than the creator, exhibited in the worship of gods of wood and stone. In Abraham’s day the godly line of Abel had about died out, until God in his sovereignty chose to speak to Abraham. The Scriptures declare that Terah, the father of Abram, was a maker of idols. Abram’s revelation of the one true God was an act of sovereign grace as no preacher or missionary imparted it to him, and God’s choice of Abram to receive the revelation cannot be described any other way.

The revelation set Abram on a new course and called for a new direction in which he looked for a city, whose builder and maker was God. Abram’s faith was imperfect, growing, learning and we see this exhibited in his taking with him from Ur his father and his nephew Lot, both in direct violation of the command of God to get away from his kinsmen. So they came to Haran and there they stayed until Terah was dead, and this event seems to have once again spurred Abram to action.

But of all the stories we could cite of Abram’s journey of faith, and in light of the statement of Christ concerning Abraham’s revelation of Jesus Christ himself, we have to ask the question—where in Abraham’s life did he come to understand the truth that as Savior—Jesus Christ himself was coming into the world to die? I believe Abraham was taught this truth in the offering of Isaac. Those of us who look at Bible Typology understand that God would sometimes teach great truths by allowing them to be lived out in a story. There is none greater than the story of Isaac’s sacrifice. Of course, a type is never perfect and as we know, Isaac did not die, but what is portrayed in the account certainly allows us a great look into the heart of God and showed Abraham a glimpse of the coming of which Jesus declared that “Abraham rejoiced to see my day and was glad.” Let’s pick up the great story and see what Abraham saw so many years before the advent of Jesus Christ on the earth.

Genesis 22 begins with God testing Abraham and asked him to offer his son, Isaac. The King James word is “tempt” and requires that we think beyond how we usually define the word “tempt.” The Holy Spirit in the Holy Writ is careful to tell us that Isaac was Abraham’s only son. The writer of Hebrews says that in Isaac resting all the blessings and promises of God not only to Abraham himself, but those who would come after him. And the Holy Spirit reminds us also in 22:2 that Abraham loved Isaac. We get a glimpse in type here of a heavenly Father foreshadowed in Abraham, and his love for his son who was about to become a sacrifice.

Notice first the significance of the place of sacrifice. It was on the peaks of Mt Moriah. This was not accident. In later years this is where the Temple would be placed. In fact, even in the mosque which today covers the site is a large stone used in the sacrifice of all the animals and you can still see the drilled holes were the blood of more than one million lambs would drain off the altar and out into the Kidron Valley during the Passover celebration. But there is one other point worthy of consideration here. Calvary, the place of the Lord’s offering was also on the same peak. God ordered Abraham to offer Isaac on the same hill top that later his Son would hang and die for the sins of the world.

Abraham arose early the next morning and taking wood, and two of his young men and with Isaac when to the place God had appointed. Beginning in verse 4 the transaction of sacrifice began. First, it says they traveled three days and there Abraham stopped and left the two young men. Now, it might be stretching typology, but it seems the significance of three days is no accident of inspiration. Why was Jesus three days and three nights in the grave? Abraham leaves the two men there. If you will, think for a moment of the cross. There were three men there as well, but the two thieves never entered into the transaction of what God was doing there. In fact, the transaction was so private that God put his handkerchief over the sun and darkness ensued for three hours while Jesus paid the debt and make an end to sin forever.

But look in verse 5 at the faith of Abraham. “And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.” Do you see that? Abraham had already given Isaac up in his heart. Isaac was already dead and yet Abraham is talking about both of them returning. Hebrews 11:17 (remember that the Scriptures are always the best commentary on themselves) tells us that Abraham already believed that if God was to take Isaac that he would raise him up from the dead—because in the son were all the promises of God.

But then notice the next verse of our text. Genesis 22:6—Abraham takes the wood (which is a picture of sin—remember Jesus died on a cross of wood) from off the back of the donkey (which is a picture of the sinner) and places it on the back of the son. Abraham (a picture of God the Father) takes the fire in one hand (the judgment of God against sin) and the knife in the other—and “they went both of them together.” This great phrase in the KJV is mentioned twice here (verses 6, 8) underlining as it were the importance that the sacrifice to come was agreed upon by both the father and the son. I remind you of the Biblical phrase which says that “Jesus was slain from before the foundation of the world.” Jesus’ death was not accident. He was not a martyr. He did not get killed trying to reform the world. He died willingly, purposefully for you and me and he carried our sins and nailed them to his cross. God the Father and God the Son in the eons of eternity past before the first mudsill of this world was ever laid and worlds spoken into existence, God knew that if he made man that man would sin and require a Savior and Jesus stepped up and said—Father, I will go and redeem them! What love it this? What great grace? What sovereign power? He loved us even when we were unlovely.

Verses 7-8 are some of the greatest verses of the Bible. Isaac says to Abraham—but dad—where is the sacrifice. Abraham replies—“My son, God shall provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering.” How interesting that Abraham should use those words—a burnt offering some 1,000 years before Moses and the Tabernacle would institute a burnt offering for sin.

And of course you know the rest of this story. Abraham builds an altar and laid the wood and tied his son and was ready to plunge the knife before stopped by an angel. God provided a substitute, and atonement was made, but there is a final point of the story to be made. Isaac came down off that mountain that day on resurrection ground. Hebrews 11 says that he was as good as dead in Abraham’s mind and Abraham believed that if he died God would raise him up. But it was the resurrected Isaac who became the reason in Genesis 24 for the searching out of a bride. Because of the resurrection of Christ the need for a bride, composed of the body of Christ—those Christians from Jesus’ death and resurrection up until that last soul saved before the Rapture are part of what the Bible calls the bride of Christ.

We will leave Genesis 24 for another day to talk of those things, but I believe it was here that Abraham saw His day and rejoiced and was glad. Thank God for the cross and the sacrifice and the redemption, prefigured in Isaac and consummated in Isaac’s greater Son, the Lord Jesus.

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