Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 1, 2020

Lot’s wife

What was Lot’s relationship with his wife?

When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”  But he hesitated. So the men seized his hand and the hand of his wife and the hands of his two daughters, for the compassion of the Lord was upon him; and they brought him out, and put him outside the city.  When they had brought them outside, one said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay anywhere in the valley; escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away.”  But Lot said to them, “Oh no, my lords!  Now behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have magnified your lovingkindness, which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, for the disaster will overtake me and I will die; now behold, this town is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please, let me escape there (is it not small?) that my life may be saved.”  He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this request also, not to overthrow the town of which you have spoken.  Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar.

The sun had risen over the earth when Lot came to Zoar.  Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.  But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.”  Genesis 19:15-26

It seems that Lot barely escaped.  But his wife did not, perhaps willfully?

“If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”  1 Corinthians 3:15

We don’t know what his relationship with his wife was, but the following incest his daughters initiated (Genesis 19:30-38) and the characters of those offspring, the Moabites and Ammonites, tells us that there was a lot of depravity.  And yet, years later, a beautiful girl would result – Ruth.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 25, 2020

Objections to Christianity

“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”  Romans 10:9

But what about people who never really heard the gospel of Jesus?  Are they burning in hell?

This is a legit question.  Imagine all the kids who have died in infancy or early childhood.  Are they condemned?

Herein lies the extreme weakness of the belief that eternal JUDGMENT comes at the end of this life.  No, God is not that cruel.  Satan is, and he is the originator of this belief.  There is an interesting thought Solomon brings out: “Even if the other man lives a thousand years twice and does not enjoy good things—do not all go to one place?”  Ecclesiastes 6:6

Lives a thousand years?  Remember Adam: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”  Genesis 2:17  Adam lived 930 years (Genesis 5:5).  “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”  Psalm 90:4  Moses knew that men cannot live longer than 1,000 years due to the curse.  Methuselah lived the longest: “And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died.”  Genesis 5:27

Is it possible that there are two parts to our first Adamic [sinful] life?  No one will be condemned without getting a full understanding and chance at salvation.  “There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.”  Isaiah 66:20  This is during the second chapter of our first life during the millennial reign of Christ.  Notice it says the child shall die a hundred years old?!?  A child of 100 years?!  But time is relative.  “For as the lifetime of a treeso will be the days of My people,”  Isaiah 65:22  Trees live for centuries.

Could a two part first life be symbolized in Jesus’ first and second coming?  Only after the second part is true salvation in play.  How else can we understand the Sodomites’ second chance: “Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to their former state, and you with your daughters will also return to your former state.”  Ezekiel 16:55  The state of life.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 19, 2020

Curious numbers

In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.  You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!”  Zechariah 14:4-5

“And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel:”  Revelation 7:4

“Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.”  Revelation 14:1

We have two mentions of the 144,000, and Zechariah 14:4 talks about Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives with the holy ones.  Just add three zeros – 14:4[000]

“Their number who were trained in singing to the Lord, with their relatives, all who were skillful, was 288.”  1 Chronicles 25:7

“Now this is the enumeration of the sons of Israel, the heads of fathers’ households, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and their officers who served the king in all the affairs of the divisions which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, each division numbering 24,000:”  1 Chronicles 27:1

Here David sets 288 musicians in service of the temple to prophesy as Solomon begins his reign and 288,000 soldiers.  Note that this happens before Solomon is crowned again: “And they made Solomon the son of David king a second time.”  1 Chronicles 29:22

Solomon is first crowned quietly, the second time publicly.  Could this be when Joseph reveals himself to his brothers?  288,000 is twice 144,000.  Could there be 144,000 Hebrew saints and 144,000 Christian saints?

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 19, 2020

Dimensions

“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17-19

What is the length, height, and depth of the love of Christ?  Is one dimension the 370 ‘days’ of Noah’s flood?  Is another dimension the 553 inch length of the pit in the great pyramid?  Noah’s flood ends with the repopulating of the earth.  Just past half way through the year (or millennium) is the Day of Atonement.  This author believes that is when Jesus will “stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.  You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!”  Zechariah 14:4-5

The tenth day of the seventh month (Leviticus 23:27) is 190 days out of 360 or 195 out of 365, which would be about 527 years out of 1,000.  As for height, I have no idea.  These are just thoughts, and subject to correction.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 17, 2020

Rethinking the Resurrection

It is assumed by most Christians (and Jews and Muslims) that we live our life, die, then are resurrected.  This has to be partially true, but is this an oversimplification?  The Jews expected one visit of the Messiah.  We got two.  Actually they still see only one.  The second coming (or the first from some people’s perspective) will be composed of multiple ‘visits’ or manifestations.  Of course Moses came down the mountain twice.  Then there is the Christian interpretation of this verse:  “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment,”  Hebrews 9:27

But what about Lazarus?  “When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”  The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”  John 11:43-44

Was Lazarus judged when Jesus raised him from the dead?  What happened after he died again?  And another case: “He said, “Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him.  But when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up.”  Matthew 9:24-25  Or what about this case: “Now it came about after these things that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his sickness was so severe that there was no breath left in him.  So she said to Elijah, “What do I have to do with you, O man of God?  You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance and to put my son to death!”  He said to her, “Give me your son.” Then he took him from her bosom and carried him up to the upper room where he was living, and laid him on his own bed.  He called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, have You also brought calamity to the widow with whom I am staying, by causing her son to die?”  Then he stretched himself upon the child three times, and called to the Lord and said, “O Lord my God, I pray You, let this child’s life return to him.”  The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived.  Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Elijah said, “See, your son is alive.”  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”  1 Kings 17:17-24

What about these two?  Were they judged after they were brought back from the dead?  And what about Jesus’ comments:  “But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.  For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”  Matthew 22:29-30

Did this girl never marry?  Was she like an angel in heaven?  Lazarus too?  There has to be something more to the picture.  Perhaps Ezekiel gives us a hint.

“Your sisters, Sodom with her daughters and Samaria with her daughters, will return to their former state, and you with your daughters will also return to your former state.”  Ezekiel 16:55

Sodom was long destroyed by the time Ezekiel wrote this, so they must be returning to life.  But their former life?  Notice there’s nothing about a new creation here.  This is talking about judgment leading to repentance: “Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.  Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your sisters, both your older and your younger; and I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant.  Thus I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall know that I am the Lord, so that you may remember and be ashamed and never open your mouth anymore because of your humiliation, when I have forgiven you for all that you have done,” the Lord God declares.”  Ezekiel 16:60-63

The final trial for eternal [new] life must happen at the end of Christ’s millennial reign: “When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.  And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them.”  Revelation 20:7-9

The restanding that we will experience prior to this must be considered a continuation of the first life, although Christians will be in a heavenly/earthly hybrid condition, much as Jesus was during the 40 days he ministered to the disciples after he was raised, but before he returned to the Father.  This interpretation could be wrong, but the problems with the popular, oversimplified view of the resurrection would remain.  If Paul was resurrected straight to immortality, how would this verse be fulfilled: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  2 Corinthians 5:10   Paul might first need to repent before Stephen.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 2, 2020

Love Your Enemies

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”  Matthew 5:43-45

This may be the hardest teaching for Christians.  Why did Jesus command this?  Because:
“…God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  1 Timothy 2:3-4

God wants all people to be saved!  How could Jesus say,  “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.  So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”  John 13:26-27

Although we are to love our enemies, we must be wise.  “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.”  Matthew 10:16

This is why Paul could say, “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.  Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching.”  2 Timothy 4:14-15

Most Christians don’t understand that this life is not the whole story.  There will be a second major chapter to our lives when we return from the dead.  This is the time when, “They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.”  Isaiah 11:9

For the earth will be filled
With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,
As the waters cover the sea.”  Habakkuk 2:14

It will be much easier to reform when Satan and his demons are locked away.  For those of us living with difficult family members or coworkers, there is a reward.  “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?  If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:46-48    If we love difficult people, we will have a reward.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 15, 2020

Flummoxing

Isn’t it disturbing to hear otherwise smart people defend not-so-peaceful demonstrations and super ineffective coronavirus restrictions?  How could PhD’s justify defunding the police?  It can’t be an intellectual problem, it must be a moral one:

The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works.  He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”  2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Some people are so determined to hate president Trump that they will espouse the most ridiculous Satanic rubbish.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 14, 2020

Division

“I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!  But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed!  Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division.  From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”  Luke 12:49-53

Doesn’t this feel like now?  (June 2020)  So much conflicting information is floating around.  Some people dig and dig until they feel they have found the truth.  Others give up and just decide to follow a person or organization that will tell them the truth.  But how will it be when some people find out they were on the wrong side of the truth?

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 6, 2020

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano penned a published letter to president Donald Trump about current events in light of the battle between good and evil:

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/archbishop-viganos-powerful-letter-to-president-trump-eternal-struggle-between-good-and-evil-playing-out-right-now

 

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | May 30, 2020

Christian Obedience

To what extent must Christians obey secular or religious authorities?

You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.  And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”  Matthew 5:38-40

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”  Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.”  John 10:38-39

Jesus resisted evil people; isn’t he contradicting his own teaching??  No!  Context is key.  Turning the other cheek is only when you have no choice.  The Christian life is not about trying to become a martyr.  We are mainly to do good, but also:

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”   Ephesians 5:11  We are to turn people from evil whenever possible:

“Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”  James 5:20

 

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