Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 19, 2019

Prophecy Everywhere

Some prophecy seems obvious, like Daniel or Revelation.  What is less appreciated is that large portions of the old testament are prophecy.  Some are of the opinion that all the stories are also prophecy.  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the Exodus, Ruth, Samson, Esther, Saul, David, Solomon, etc.; all these stories and more are prophecies.  Esther has a couple references to the third day, which pictures restitution in the third day from Christ – 3,000 years.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 19, 2019

The New Creation

Six days of work followed by a Sabbath day of rest is the pattern for the whole bible.  YHWH sets the example.  “So the heavens and the earth and everything in them were completed.  By the seventh day God completed His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done.   God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.”  Genesis 2:1-3  He has 7,000 years of rest before he starts creating anew, which is several centuries future to us.  In this regard, any christian restored to life in heaven now is not yet truly a new creation.  That must wait.  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  2 Corinthians 5:17-18

“Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is the new creation.”  Galations 6:15

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea no longer existed.  I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:

Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.”  Revelation 21:1-3

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 23, 2019

Storming Heaven

In the mid 1600s there was a schism in Russia over worship.  Reforms had been made which many did not like.  Disputes about instrumental music and making the sign of the cross with two or three fingers caused many to flee.  In fact, about 20,000 were burnt at the stake for keeping the old style of worship.  Did these people secure themselves a place in heaven?  Does God really care whether there’s instruments in worship or how many fingers one uses to make the sign of the cross?  No.  We cannot force God’s hand.  What really counts is the heart.  Paul says, “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”  1 Corinthians 13:3.  Conversely, look at David.  He was an adulterer and a murderer.  Yet God is going to set him over all Israel and the world!  “‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.”  Ezekiel 37:24  Or look at Paul.  He was a murderer.  Yet he became perhaps the greatest Christian.  Both Paul and David repented.  Rank in heaven is not primarily about giving one’s life to the flames.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 23, 2019

Joseph’s bones

 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”  Genesis 50:24-25

Why did Joseph demand his bones be taken to Israel?  It’s probably prophetic of the resurrection where people’s bones will be returned to them.  Egypt is also symbolic of the worldly condition, and YHWH does not want us to stay there.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | May 31, 2019

This Generation

Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”  Matthew 24:34

Much ink has been spilled on the meaning and timing of this verse.  Upon much consideration, it appears to us that the emphasis is not on the timing, with the exception of Jesus’ direct audience, who would experience the destruction of the temple in 70AD and the ensuing persecution.  We think the sense is: “Truly I tell you, this generation (humans) will not pass until…”

Jesus said, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”  Matthew 24:37  The question is, what aspect of the days of Noah?  Race could be a major component.  As Noah’s flood was cleansing the earth from angelic/human hybrids, so in our day we see much genetic experimentation.  Perhaps in several generations humanity will be severely compromised??  We don’t know.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | April 30, 2019

Tamar

Tamar sometimes gets a bad rap.  She’s one of four women listed in Matthew’s chapter 1 geneology of Jesus.  Sometimes Rahab gets a bad rap for being a prostitute.  Ruth is universally recognized as a saint.  It would seem these four women are listed for a reason – they’re all saints.  Tamar’s ‘marriage’ to Judah seems weird and icky at first glance.  Genesis 38 tells the story.  For starters, Judah should’ve never married a Canaanite woman.  Noah said, “Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:

“May Canaan be cursed!
    May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.”  Genesis 9:25

What exactly happened is not recorded, but it must have been very bad.  Judah’s wife died, as did his two elder sons.  Judah got a wife for Er, but evidently not from the Canaanites.  After Judah instructed Tamar to go back and live with her father, it became clear that Judah would have no heirs.  So Tamar came up with a plan to have children for Judah and preserve his line without Canaanite blood.  This is why Tamar is a saint.  She took a very awkward position to preserve the line that ultimately lead to the Messiah!

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | March 26, 2019

Revisiting Joseph

The story of Joseph takes up a full 14 chapters of Genesis (37-50).  It is widely recognized that Joseph’s life parallels Jesus’ in many ways, probably more ways than people realize.  The obvious part is Joseph being rejected by his brothers who then decide to kill him.  Reuben convinced his brothers to lower him into a cistern (Genesis 37:21,22). Not all the brothers want to kill Joseph. Not all the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. Some of the leaders like Nicodemus were secret followers. But Joseph is lowered into the well then rescued out. Similar to Jesus death and resurrection. He then is sold off to a far country. Like Jesus going to heaven. Genesis chapter 38 is a bit of a mystery, but it seems to show the Jews almost apostasy in between the first and second visits of the Messiah. Chapter 39 resumes with Joseph being bought into a prominent house and succeeding wildly. But then Potiphar’s wife causes trouble. Perhaps Jesus had success then trouble when he went back to heaven(??) Some will find this a heretical thought since we are told that, “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:19-20
This interpretation could be wrong. But it’s very interesting that Joseph apparently has trouble 2+ years. “Some time later….” Genesis 40:1 and “Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River.” Genesis 41:1 After this, Joseph is put at Pharoah’s right hand. According to Moses, “For you, a thousand years are as a passing day.” Psalm 90:4 and “I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days—one day for each year of their sin.” Ezekiel 4:5 So, a day=year=thousand years. 2+ years is 2000+ years. When Joseph was placed on the throne, he was given a wife, the daughter of a priest. When Jesus is placed on the throne, he will be given a wife from the line of priests, the church. Then Joseph immediately went to work during the seven years of plenty, gathering wheat into the storehouses. “He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Luke 3:17 This represents Christians being gathered to heaven in preparation for the seven years of want. During the famine the Jews will be desperately missing the Christians. This will cause the Jews to seek out the blessing, but Joseph will not reveal himself until all brothers are present. When all the brothers are present (including the church(priests) and bride’s helpers(Levites)), then Joseph(Jesus) will dramatically reveal himself to the Jews and the Jews only. He will invite them to live in the best of the land to ride out the famine of no Christians. Then they will miraculously multiply, eventually causing the ire and envy of the surrounding peoples. This will then result in their being chased out of ‘Egypt’. They will be surrounded. “And when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then you will know that the time of its destruction has arrived. Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. Those in Jerusalem must get out, and those out in the country should not return to the city.” Luke 21:20-21 Jesus will miraculously come to their rescue. “Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city.

Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south. You will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes, you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.” Zechariah 14:1-5 After Jesus rescues them, taking them safely through the Red Sea (while destroying evil Pharoah), they will try to enter the promised land, but some will prove unfaithful. Then there is 40 years (1000 years) of delay until they finally make it to the promised land (heaven). The story of Joseph (spanning through Moses) tells the whole story of redemption from the cross of Jesus to the great Jubilee, 4,000+ years.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | March 15, 2019

All Powerful

Is God all powerful, all knowing, all loving?  According to the Southern Baptist Convention:

In the Baptist Faith and Message (Article II.A.), Southern Baptists confess that God is all of these things: “all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and all wise.” We believe these attributes properly describe the character of God, because that is how the inspired Bible presents Him. Unfortunately, some people have downplayed or denied one or more of these attributes of God. They have difficulty reconciling the Bible’s presentation of God with their own limited and uninspired observations.  (http://www.sbclife.net/article/1700/god-the-father-%E2%80%94-all-powerful-knowing-loving-and-wise)

This is based on Isaiah:  “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless.”  Isaiah 40:28-29

It doesn’t actually say God is all powerful.  It seems to say he is all knowing.  It’s silent on love.  While the creator of the whole earth is certainly extremely powerful, does that mean he controls everything?

This author thinks not.  If people and animals and angels have true free will, then by definition they aren’t controlled.  But God in his wisedom has put strict limits on our freedom.  I might will to jump over a tree, but gravity prevents me.  I might wish to do something diabolical, but God has the power to kill me.  “But the Lord considered it evil for Onan to deny a child to his dead brother. So the Lord took Onan’s life, too.”  Genesis 38:10

It is like parents and children.  When children are little, parents have to physical power to overpower the child if necessary.  This does not negate their free will, it just overwhelms it.  This answers to the question of evil.  God has allowed some evil into the universe, else true love is not truly free.  We might not like the arrangement, but Paul counsels:

“Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not!  For God said to Moses,

“I will show mercy to anyone I choose,
    and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”

So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.

For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”  So you see, God chooses to show mercy to some, and he chooses to harden the hearts of others so they refuse to listen.

Well then, you might say, “Why does God blame people for not responding? Haven’t they simply done what he makes them do?”

No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”  When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?  In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction.  He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.  And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.”  Romans 9:14-24

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | February 18, 2019

Herd Immunity

Suppose there are 100 people on a desert island.  99 have natural lifetime immunity from a disease because they had the disease.  Is the other one immune?  No.  Simple common sense tells you that that person is susceptible to the disease.   Yet media and the medical establishment are constantly harping that at least 95% need to be vaccinated to protect the other 5%.  This makes no sense.  Such is Babylon.

“A second angel followed and said, “‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”  Revelation 14:8

Obviously, this process isn’t yet complete!  Satan is the author of confusion.  Truth and error are like oil and water.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | January 12, 2019

Holy Kiss

“Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.”  Romans 16:16  There are at least 4 references to this in the new testament.  I heard a sermon on this and it got me thinking.  The church is the bride of Christ.  Married people kiss.  But Christ’s bride will be many just as Solomon’s were.  Solomon had 1,000 wives/concubines; Jesus will have 144,000+(?)  It will be a case were polygamy works. Or maybe this view is wrong.  Christians should be careful not to be too dogmatic.

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.  Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.”  Revelation 7:1-4

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.  And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.  And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.  These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as first fruits to God and the Lamb.  No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.”  Revelation 14:1-5

The bride of Christ could also consist of 144,000 on earth and 144,000 in heaven.  Notice the numbers in 1 Chronicles:

Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman were under the supervision of the king.  Along with their relatives—all of them trained and skilled in music for the Lord—they numbered 288.”  1 Chronicles 25:6-7

“This is the list of the Israelites—heads of families, commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and their officers, who served the king in all that concerned the army divisions that were on duty month by month throughout the year. Each division consisted of 24,000 men.”  1 Chronicles 27:1

Notice that David had 288 musicians and 288,000 soldiers who rotated service monthly.  Further, notice who’s in charge in the future:

This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land.  I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.  They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offenses, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.

“‘My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees.  They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever.  I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them forever.   My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people.  Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them forever.”  Ezekiel 37:20-28

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