Posted by: biblestudyseattle | August 3, 2018

Dust

“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  Genesis 2:7

Many assume this statement is about the material Adam was made from, but it can also represent man’s mortality:

“You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”  Psalm 90:3  Written by Moses.

Thus, without access to the tree of Life, Adam and Eve would have died even if they hadn’t sinned!

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 27, 2018

Objections to Jesus as Messiah

Three prominent objections to Jesus as Messiah are:

  1.  God will never come in human form
  2.  There is no precedent for the Messiah to come twice and
  3.  Justification by faith alone and a Pauline anti Torah mindset

The first point is correct.  God (the Father) didn’t and will never come to earth in human form.  “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  1 John 4:12

The apostle John never saw God?!?  Didn’t he see Jesus??  Yes, but Jesus isn’t God, he’s the son of God, a separate person.  Can the immortal God die?  No, yet Jesus really died.  The Messiah is not God, but ‘god’, lower case.  Remember his argument with the Pharisees:

 “I and the Father are one.”  Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”  “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”  Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’?  If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’?  Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father.  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 10:30-39

Notice that Jesus did not claim to be God, but God’s son.  He did insinuate that he was a ‘god’.  As the Psalmist says:

“God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment among the “gods”:

“How long will you defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
    you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”

Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
    for all the nations are your inheritance.”  Psalm 82

The psalmist talks about many ‘gods’; Jesus claims to be at least like one of these.

With regard to point 2, there is precedent in scripture for the Messiah to come twice.  Joseph came ‘twice’ as did Moses.  Joseph was ‘killed’ in the pit, but ‘raised’ from the dead.  Then sold off to a distance country for a long time.  Then raised to second in command, only second to God (Pharaoh).  Moses went up the mountain twice to get the stone tablets with the law etched on them, interrupted by the golden cafe incident, similar to the apostasy of the church after Jesus first brought the law.

And to the third point, Paul does ascribe salvation to faith alone, but he is not against works.  He’s also not anti Torah as some believe, but against legalistic observance of Torah.  Nobody will ever save themselves by Torah since no one can keep it perfectly (except somebody named Yeshua).  Jesus himself said, ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”  Matthew 5:17-18

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 18, 2018

The Ultimate Battle?

After saying this, he was taken up before their eyes; and a cloud hid him from their sight.  As they were staring into the sky after him, suddenly they saw two men dressed in white standing next to them.  The men said, “You Galileans! Why are you standing, staring into space? This Yeshua, who has been taken away from you into heaven, will come back to you in just the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”  Acts 1:9-11

And he comes back…

On that day his feet will stand
on the Mount of Olives,
which lies to the east of Yerushalayim;
and the Mount of Olives will be split in half
from east to west, to make a huge valley.
Half of the mountain will move toward the north,
and half of it toward the south.”  Zechariah 14:4

And another man…

“How did you come to fall from the heavens,
morning star, son of the dawn?
How did you come to be cut to the ground,
conqueror of nations?
You thought to yourself, ‘I will scale the heavens,
I will raise my throne above God’s stars.
I will sit on the Mount of Assembly
far away in the north.
I will rise past the tops of the clouds,
I will make myself like the Most High.’

“Instead you are brought down to Sh’ol,
to the uttermost depths of the pit.
Those who see you will stare at you,
reflecting on what has become of you:
Is this the man who shook the earth,
who made kingdoms tremble,
who made the world a desert,
who destroyed its cities,
who would not set his prisoners free?”  Isaiah 14:12-17

They will come together…

 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out in a loud voice to all the birds that fly about in mid-heaven, “Come, gather together for the great feast God is giving, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of generals, the flesh of important men, the flesh of horses and their riders and the flesh of all kinds of people, free and slave, small and great!”  I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to do battle with the rider of the horse and his army.   But the beast was taken captive, and with it the false prophet who, in its presence, had done the miracles which he had used to deceive those who had received the mark of the beast and those who had worshiped his image. The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.   The rest were killed with the sword that goes out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”  Revelation 19:17-21

Yahshua will yet vanquish his foe Satan in human form in the sight of multitudes.  He will be thrown alive into the lake that burns with fire (the dead sea).

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | June 2, 2018

Lakes

Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the Lord drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.

The Egyptians pursued them, and all Pharaoh’s horses and chariots and horsemen followed them into the sea.  During the last watch of the night the Lord looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw it into confusion.  He jammed the wheels of their chariots so that they had difficulty driving. And the Egyptians said, “Let’s get away from the Israelites! The Lord is fighting for them against Egypt.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.”  Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the Lord swept them into the sea.  The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.”  Exodus 14:21-28

“…and each person was judged according to what they had done.  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.  Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.”  Revelation 20:13-15

Pharaoh appears to represent the kind of person who will die a second time never to rise again.  He appears to repent, but keeps changing his mind and going back to his incorrigible insolent ways.  Historically, the lake of fire is the Dead Sea.  It used to spontaneously catch fire.  Death by fire is particularly peculiar in the Law of Moses.

“If a man marries a woman and her mother, it is depravity; they are to be put to death by fire, both he and they, so that there will not be depravity among you.”  Leviticus 20:14

Most biblical capitol punishment is by stoning, which seems to represent witnesses doing the killing.  Death by fire seems to represent that which is permanent.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | April 16, 2018

Romans 1

After giving thanks for the faithful, Paul describes those without faith in God.  He describes many of the ‘smart, progressive’ people of our day whose ‘wisdom’ graces the pages of many popular magazines.  “This is why God has given them up to the vileness of their hearts’ lusts, to the shameful misuse of each other’s bodies.  They have exchanged the truth of God for falsehood, by worshiping and serving created things, rather than the Creator — praised be he for ever. Amen This is why God has given them up to degrading passions; so that their women exchange natural sexual relations for unnatural; and likewise the men, giving up natural relations with the opposite sex, burn with passion for one another, men committing shameful acts with other men and receiving in their own persons the penalty appropriate to their perversion.  In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things.  They are filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and vice; stuffed with jealousy, murder, quarreling, dishonesty and ill-will; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God; they are insolent, arrogant and boastful; they plan evil schemes; they disobey their parents; they are brainless, faithless, heartless and ruthless.  They know well enough God’s righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same.”  Romans 1:24-32

Obviously the degree of vileness varies greatly.  But this passage would not be read in many churches today!  There is so much compassion and tolerance for evil, yet we do have compassion for those who are off course (which is all of us to some degree).  We long for the day when everything is pure and right.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | April 1, 2018

Selecting the Lamb

Adonai spoke to Moshe and Aharon in the land of Egypt; he said, “You are to begin your calendar with this month; it will be the first month of the year for you.  Speak to all the assembly of Isra’el and say, ‘On the tenth day of this month, each man is to take a lamb or kid for his family, one per household — except that if the household is too small for a whole lamb or kid, then he and his next-door neighbor should share one, dividing it in proportion to the number of people eating it.  Your animal must be without defect, a male in its first year, and you may choose it from either the sheep or the goats.

“‘You are to keep it until the fourteenth day of the month, and then the entire assembly of the community of Isra’el will slaughter it at dusk.  They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the two sides and top of the door-frame at the entrance of the house in which they eat it.”  Exodus 12:1-7

Jesus had to satisfy the requirements of passover.  He had to be slaughtered on Nisan 14.  He had to be selected on Nisan 10.  Christians overlook this.  It is very likely that the triumphal entry (“Palm Sunday”) was the selection of Jesus as THE Lamb of God.  He was male although he wasn’t a literal lamb.  If the 10th was Sunday, then the 14th was Thursday.  If he was cruficied Friday, then we should be celebrating Palm Monday.  Furthermore Jesus had to rise on firstfruits:
Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘After you enter the land I am giving you and harvest its ripe crops, you are to bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest to the cohen He is to wave the sheaf before Adonai, so that you will be accepted; the cohen is to wave it on the day after the Shabbat On the day that you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a male lamb without defect, in its first year, as a burnt offering for Adonai. ”  Leviticus 23:9-12

Paul clarifies:

But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died.  For since death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man.  For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive.  But each in his own order: the Messiah is the firstfruits; then those who belong to the Messiah, at the time of his coming; then the culmination, when he hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after having put an end to every rulership, yes, to every authority and power.  For he has to rule until he puts all his enemies under his feet.  The last enemy to be done away with will be death” 1 Corinthians 15:20-26

Firstfruits was likely Nisan 17 (there is debate on this).  It was likely a Sabbath selection, Wednesday crucifixion and Sabbath resurrection.  We can ask in the next life.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | March 28, 2018

Spy Wednesday

Tradition has it that Friday was the crucifixion of Christ.  Tradition is wrong.  According to the prophecy of Jonah, Jesus would be in the grave for three days and three nights, where a ‘day’ is twelve hours, and a ‘night’ is another twelve hours.  Even if we assume partial days or nights, we still have a minimum of 48.1 hours in the grave.  If Jesus rose as late as 6am Sunday, he would have had to have been lain in the grave before 6am Friday.  But tradition has his death at 3pm Friday afternoon.  It’s also possible that Jesus rose on Saturday.  It appears to be impossible to say which day from the scriptures.  Jesus was laid in the tomb before the Sabbath – the high Sabbath at the start of Passover week.  There were two Sabbaths to Jesus’ resurrection.  Remember what Jesus said, “For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the One who sent me.  And this is the will of the One who sent me: that I should not lose any of all those he has given me but should raise them up on the Last Day.”  John 6:38-39  The Last Day could be the millennial Sabbath (seventh day) or the millennial Jubilee (eighth day).

There is another tradition that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday (some also say Thursday).  John Parsons has a chart of this:

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/First_Fruits/first_fruits.html

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | March 17, 2018

Torah Observance

The early church had its controversies as does the current church.   Torah observance was one of the hot buttons since all the original Christians were jews!  But the early christians took a graceful approach to the Torah in contrast to non believers who took a legalistic approach.

On hearing it, they praised God; but they also said to him, “You see, brother, how many tens of thousands of believers there are among the Judeans, and they are all zealots for the Torah Now what they have been told about you is that you are teaching all the Jews living among the Goyim to apostatize from Moshe, telling them not to have a b’rit-milah for their sons and not to follow the traditions.

“What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.  So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow.  Take them with you, be purified with them, and pay the expenses connected with having their heads shaved. Then everyone will know that there is nothing to these rumors which they have heard about you; but that, on the contrary, you yourself stay in line and keep the Torah.”  Acts 21:20-24

So Paul and companions kept Torah!  But for the Goyim (or Gentiles) their advice was: “However, in regard to the Goyim who have come to trust in Yeshua, we all joined in writing them a letter with our decision that they should abstain from what had been sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled and from fornication.”  Acts 21:25

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | March 2, 2018

Idols

Today, many people do not have carved idols.  But sometimes a life change can reveal idols in our hearts.  One example is an inheritance.  One day working hard to scrimp and save, and the next day being very close to financial independence.  Suddenly you need something new to focus on.  Or, how about kids?  Years of work, work, and missed sleep.  Then suddenly they move out.  Now what?  We must be careful not to cultivate idols.  We must keep our eyes on the main thing, which is eternal life with our Lord.

Posted by: biblestudyseattle | February 10, 2018

This Generation

There will appear signs in the sun, moon and stars; and on earth, nations will be in anxiety and bewilderment at the sound and surge of the sea, as people faint with fear at the prospect of what is overtaking the world; for the powers in heaven will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with tremendous power and glory.  When these things start to happen, stand up and hold your heads high; because you are about to be liberated!”

Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, Indeed, all the trees.  As soon as they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves that summer is near.  In the same way, when you see these things taking place, you are to know that the Kingdom of God is near!  Yes! I tell you that this people will certainly not pass away before it has all happened.  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away.

“But keep watch on yourselves, or your hearts will become dulled by carousing, drunkenness and the worries of everyday living, and that Day will be sprung upon you suddenly like a trap!  For it will close in on everyone, no matter where they live, throughout the whole world.  Stay alert, always praying that you will have the strength to escape all the things that will happen and to stand in the presence of the Son of Man.” Luke 21:25-36

Luke 21 is a long discourse on the end times.  But notice in the version (CJB) verse 32 says, “this people”.  Most versions say ‘generation’.  Many people have tried to figure out if they might be that final ‘generation’.  But the meaning changes entirely with ‘people’.  The word in question is Strong’s #1074 ‘genea’.  It can mean generation, people, etc.  But clearly Jesus is talking about at least two different times, the first being the Roman sacking in 70-73AD, and another future to us.  If Jesus meant that the Jews would not pass away till the coming of the Messiah it makes more sense to use ‘people’.  A little study will show the fig tree representative of Judah.  The Jewish people will certainly be in Jerusalem when the Day of Atonement happens.  A good article about the fig tree: http://www.hope-of-israel.org/symbolfigtree.html

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