Thursday, December 1, 2011

All the host of them, 3rd heaven, and the creation of angels.

You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
(Nehemiah 9:6 ESV)

This verse shows that God created the angels in the beginning. The heaven of heavens is what Paul refers to as 3rd heaven in 2nd Corinthians 12:2. We see this host of heaven worships God and the host of heaven is the angels. We see this host mentioned in Genesis.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
Genesis 2:1 ESV)
 So we see the angels of the host of heaven are mentioned as being created with the heaven's and the earth in Genesis 1:1-2.

What is Paul talking about in 2nd Corinthians 12:2?
I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows—
(2 Corinthians 12:2-3 ESV)
This is not, like Shepherd's Chapel would claim, Paul being taken to the third earth age. This is the same heaven of heavens that is spoken of throughout the Old Testament (1 Kings 8:27; 2 Chron. 2:6; Neh. 9:6; Ps. 148:4). Here is a the note on 2nd Corinthians 12:2 from the ESV Study Bible on the topic of third heaven:

This phrase does not imply belief in a simplistic “three-story universe” but reflects a commonsense distinction between (1) the atmosphere where birds can be seen to fly, (2) the higher area where the sun, moon, and stars can be seen, and (3) the unseen realm where God dwells. This third area is equated with paradise (Gk. paradeisos, a Persian loan-word used in the Septuagint to refer to the garden of Eden [see Gen. 2:8–10; 13:10; Isa. 51:3; Ezek. 28:13; 31:8–9] but in the NT to refer to a place of blessedness where God dwells [Luke 23:43; Rev. 2:7]). Both terms would be recognized by Jewish readers as references to the realm of God’s direct presence.

Monday, November 21, 2011

With Child from the Holy Spirit

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 1:18 ESV)

I've heard it argued by Trinity deniers that if you believe that God the Father was Jesus' Father then why does it say that Mary was with Child from the by the Holy Spirit.

there presuppositions have guided their interpretation though. They assume that Jesus didn't exist before his incarnation but God the Son was always with God the Father in eternity past.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1-3 ESV)

They simply overlook that Jesus was Eternally the Son with the Father in all of eternity and the Holy Spirit simply brought about Jesus' incarnation in the flesh.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

He Caused it, and it Lasts Forever.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (1 Peter 1:3 ESV) 

It was according to God's Mercy that he caused us to be born again. It wasn't anything we deserved or did. We didn't cause it ourselves it was the work of God. Now since it was God that caused us to be born again and he did the work then guess what, it lasts forever!

to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:4-5 ESV)

The inheritance is imperishable, which means it cannot go away it will last forever. Our salvation is being guarded by God. That is powerful stuff!

Since God caused our Salvation he will make sure it lasts forever!

All Glory to God!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chosen by Grace

Romans 11:5-6 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. (NIV)

I have heard some argue that election is by faith and that is how God makes his choice. Here we see that election is by grace, and grace is given as a gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (NIV)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last Days

Are we living in the Last Days? Yes! and we have been since the days of Acts Chapter 2:

Acts 2:16-17 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ' And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.

Peter declares that the Last Days began some 50 days after the Resurrection of Jesus because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

We also see this in Hebrews:

Hebrews 1:1-2 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Salvation in Jesus

Our belief is in Jesus Christ who is God. And has always been in all eternity with God.

John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

Jesus became flesh and walked among us.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Christ was risen from the dead.

Luke 24:34 saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"

His Resurrection has brought us Salvation.

Acts 5:30-32 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."

Jesus died for us sinners.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Salvation is only obtainable by Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

He bore our sins, he took the punishment for us.

1 Peter 2:24-25 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness --- by whose stripes you were healed. For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

To have salvation you must believe that Christ was God in flesh, that he died for our sins, that he was buried and that he rose again.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you --- unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

Since we are Justified by this faith we can have peace.

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Whoever believes on Jesus will have eternal life.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Then Comes the End - Millennium

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. (1 Corinthians 15:22-24 ESV)
We read in this verse that we have the resurrection of believers when Christ returns. Did you notice what happens after that? "Then comes the end". You will also notice that when the end comes Christ destroys all powers and authorities. This is clearly laid out in Rev 19:11-22. This event is vividly described by Peter as well in 2nd Peter chapter 3.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:10 ESV)
We see that the coming of Christ will be immediately followed by the dissolving of the earth and the works in it. Where does that leave a literal 1000 year reign as some interpret Rev. 20:1-6? It doesn't, so there isn't.

There is a major problem with premillennialism in 2nd Thessalonians chapter 1 as well.
since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ESV)
We see very clearly in these verses the second coming of Christ. When he does come "on that day" he will punish unbelievers. These texts leave no room for a premillennial return of Christ.

Daniel's 70 Weeks

Daniel, in the ninth chapter of the book that bears his name, gives us a vision of 70 weeks. 
Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. (Daniel 9:24)
70 weeks is literally in the Hebrew 70 7’s (or 70 sets of 7). These are 70 weeks of years. You can read from this verse, without getting into too much detail, that 70 weeks are determined for the end of time.
Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.(Daniel 9:25)
From the time of the command to restore Jerusalem (2 Chron. 36:21-22) until the Messiah (Jesus) there will be 69 weeks of years. This, of course, was fulfilled just has it was fortold to happen.
And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:26)
The Messiah being cut off is foretelling of Christ's Crucifixion. The prince that shall come is Titus, the Roman general, whose armies destroyed the city of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 a.d. This of course was fulfilled just as it was written. This gives so much credibility to Scripture!
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)
This he is referring back to the Messiah, Jesus Christ. His covenant is the Gospel age we are in now. This is the covenant of the New Testament and Christ’s first advent. Remember this is talking about the 70th week. In the middle of the week He (Jesus) brings the end to sacrifice and offering. Jesus ministry was a physical/literal 3 ½ years (the first part of the week) then he was crucified. At his Crucifixion Christ brought and end to sacrificial offerings. In other words those offerings no longer held any power to cleans sin. Now we are in the spiritual/symbolic 3 ½ years. We are currently in the 42 months, times time and half a time, 1260 days, and 1000 years spoken of throughout Revelation. We are currently in this Gospel age (the Kingdom of Heaven).

Now we see that sometime during this Gospel age of a figurative 3 ½ years we will see the abomination of desolation (the antichrist) appear. That is the one who makes desolate that is talked about in this verse. Christ called it the abomination of desolation in Matthew 24. He is also the beast and false prophet in Revelation and the man of sin / son of perdition in 2nd Thessalonians.

The problem we see with the dispensational and pretribulation view is they strip this whole last week and postpone it to the end-times. They stop the prophetic clock so to speak. Nowhere in the context of these verses would lead us to believe that there is a gap of some 2000+ years between the 69th and 70th week. The clock is still ticking. We just happen to be in the second part of the 70th week now and have been since Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection. Nowhere in the New Testament or Revelation ever mentions a future 7 year tribulation.

His Will, not our own.

Jeremiah 17:9 ” The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

Romans 3:10-12 As it is written: ” There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”

We as fallen humans are deceitful and desperately wicked. None of us is righteous, nobody seeks after God. Since we are so wholly and completely depraved and deserving nothing but the wrath of God how can we ever choose by our own free will to believe and have faith in Christ’s completed work on the Cross?

John 6:44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

We can’t. We simply do not have the will to come to God. Only God can draw us to faith in Christ.. It is not our will but His!

John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Our will will never lead to salvation. It is the Will of God that will bring us to that salvation. To have faith you must be born not of blood (our human will) but of Spirit (God’s Will).

John 3:5-7 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’

Being born again is not from us or our will but it is God who causes us to be born again.

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

The Holy Spirit will regenerate us and draw us to Faith in Christ.

Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

God gives us His Spirit while we are still sinners and spiritually dead and on the way to hell.

Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

And so salvation is not of our will, it is not something we can work for. It is the mercy and free gift from God.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

And it is God’s will that we are saved. It is His mercy, His grace. Not our will, not our desires, not our works. God decided this long before we were here. He chose us before the world began.

Ephesians 1:4-6 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

God’s mercy and grace are His sovereign right to give or to withhold.

Romans 9:15 For He says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion."

And even though Christ’s Crucifixion was sufficient for all. It was only effective for His sheep, His elect, the Church.

John 10:14-16 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

Christ died only for the ones God predestined to salvation. His blood purchased the Church.

Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

The Church alone receives the salvation and sanctification from Christ’s sacrifice. He bore the sins of the elect, the saints so they can be blameless before God.

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Since we were predestined for salvation and bought with the Blood of Christ we will continue until the end. Our faith will persevere.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

We are given eternal life, we will not perish. And nothing or no one can take salvation away from us.

John 10:27-29 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.

Soli Deo Gloria

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Original Sin and Ezekiel 18

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

Does this verse contradict original sin? First lets look at what original sin is. Original sin as viewed (briefly) by most Reformed/Calvinist is that we as humans are born into this world with sinful natures due to Adams sin.

A sinful nature was not man's original state at his creation:
Ecclesiastes 7:29 Truly, this only I have found: That God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Adam's fall brought sin and death:
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

And all humans are born into sin and have no righteousness:
Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

Romans 3:10-11 As it is written: " There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.

Now we are condemned by our own sins. But we are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.  But if mankind's sinfulness comes from Adam what are we to think of Ezekiel 18:20? The key is in the next verse:

Ezekiel 18:21 "But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die.

God already laid out that "the soul that sins shall die". We have seen that we all sin and none are righteous, therefore we  all earn this death from the start. But God in his mercy allows us to repent and live even though we don't deserve it! You see the whole 18th Chapter of Ezekiel is about repentance and if we repent we can not be held accountable for the sins of our fathers. This chapter is not discussing the fact of the Fall of Adam and it's consequence on mankind, but it is showing repentance and how we don't deserve it!