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Tag Archives: Abraham

Thinking Outside the Box

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At least most of us have heard the expression thinking outside the box, but what does it mean and how does it occur? I believe the box is a symbol of the world in which we live. It represents our cultural norm and our present worldview. To think outside **that** box requires something extraordinary to occur to us. It cannot simply be done on command or through the force of one’s own willpower. It would be like trying to imagine a color that isn’t based upon the colors: red, blue and yellow. All the colors of the rainbow, which we are able to see, are derived from a combination of two or all three of these colors and in varying degrees. So, imagine a color that is **not** based upon a combination of two or more of these colors? Put another way, think of an original thought that no one has ever thought before (Ecclesiastes 1:9; cp. 1Corinthians 2:9). None of these things can be done on command or through the strength of one’s own willpower. Changing one’s worldview or thinking a new thought occurs only when a person is brought through just the right circumstance that forces him to challenge the truth he knows, in order to embrace a new and greater truth to replace it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2021 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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The City with Foundations

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According to Hebrews 11:8 God called Abraham to leave the place where he lived and go to another place, which he would inherit later. Specifically, Abraham was called by the Lord to leave his father’s house to go to a country that the Lord would show him (Genesis 12:1-4). In other words, it doesn’t appear that Abraham knew what land that would be. Abraham obeyed God (Hebrews 11:8) and left the land where he dwelt, and his father’s house, just as the Lord had commanded. The Lord also promised a reward for Abraham’s obedience. Abraham would become a great nation, would be a blessing to all nations, and the Lord would protect him (Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 12:1-4). However, it wasn’t until Abraham actually arrived in the land of Canaan that God specifically promised to give that particular land to his descendants (Genesis 12:7). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2021 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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Our Hope & Surety of a Better Covenant

better-covenantMost, but not all, of the New Covenant translators have Hebrews 9:16 appear as a last will and testament, but the New Covenant is not a last will and testament, and this can be shown logically from the text. If the New Covenant is a new last will and testament, what was the first last will and testament, and who was the testator who died to ratify or empower it? Certainly, no one believes the Old Covenant was a last will and testament. No one died to put it in force. It was an agreement between God and Israel, and it was ratified through a blood sacrifice. Therefore, if the Mosaic Covenant became old to give place for the new under Christ, then the New Covenant is new, in that it is a better covenant of the same genre as the old one (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6). The New Covenant cannot be “better” than the Old Covenant, unless both represented similar agreements between God and man. Therefore, since the Mosaic Covenant wasn’t a last will and testament, neither could the New Covenant be a last will and testament. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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What Purpose Did the Law Serve?

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Paul tells his readers that the Lord found fault with the first covenant and, therefore, sought to replace it (Hebrews 8:7), which suggests the question: did God offer Israel a faulty covenant? No, but how is this understood? First of all, God had a purpose for offering the first covenant, but salvation wasn’t it (Romans 7:12; Hebrews 8:8). The real problem with the Mosaic Covenant had nothing to do with what God offered Israel, it had to do with them. God found fault with his people (Hebrews 8:8; Jeremiah 31:32). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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Jesus the Reality Who Casts the Shadow

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Paul tells us that Christ’s High Priesthood is founded upon a more excellent ministry, through which he mediates a better covenant that is founded upon better promises (Hebrews 8:6). How does Paul know this, and why should his readers believe him? Consider his argument for a moment. He claims the Law and the things therein, including the ministry of the Levitical priesthood, are but shadows of matters to come (Hebrews 8:5; cf. Colossians 2:17). We saw that the Tabernacle was a copy of a copy of the Reality (Exodus 25:9, 40), and, therefore, a shadow of something else. Logic concludes that the Reality must come before the shadow. In order for a shadow to exist at all, there must exist something of substance in the first place in order to cast it. So, which is greater, the shadow or the substance that casts the shadow? Obviously, it is the thing of substance or the reality, which in the context of Paul’s argument is Christ, the High Priest. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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Jesus, the Surety of the Covenant

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Paul tells us in Hebrews 7:22 that Jesus has become the surety (G1450 – egguos) of a better covenant. The Greek word, translated surety, is found only here in the New Covenant, and it is never used in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Covenant. So, what does Paul mean when he claims Jesus has been made the surety of a better covenant? To help us understand what Paul meant by a better covenant, we need to keep in mind what the Lord declared through the prophets (Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27). The modus operandi of the New Covenant (the better covenant) is the Spirit, which points to the work of God, while that of the Old Covenant focused on an external code, which points to the labor of men. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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The Significance of Melchizedek

Melchezedek -1In chapter seven of his epistle to the Hebrews, Paul begins to address those things that are “hard to be uttered” that the Jews had such difficulty in understanding, because they had become “dull of hearing” (Hebrews 5:11). Here in Hebrews 7 Paul begins to unveil a priesthood that is superior to that of Aaron. It was superior in five ways. First, Abraham, Levi’s great ancestor, submitted himself to this priesthood. Secondly, its coming was prophesied; thirdly, it was more solemn than that of Levi in that the Lord confirmed it with his oath. Fourth, it continues forever; that is, its High Priest never dies, so it is an unchangeable priesthood. Finally, the High Priest’s sacrifice, offered only once, was sufficient to make mankind perfect in righteousness, unlike the Levitical priesthood, which couldn’t make anything perfect, in that its priesthood had to offer sacrifices continually.

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Posted by on November 5, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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Who Is Melchizedek

MelchezedekThe Biblical figure, Melchizedek, is one whose identity has been debated from ancient times to even our own modern day. The Jews have a long tradition that it is Shem, which would account for him being greater than Abraham, but contradictory in that Melchizedek had no lineage. His appearance with Abraham is somewhat of a surprise, especially as the Priest of the Most High God, a title claimed later by the Jews’ Levitical priesthood. Even more surprisingly, he refreshes Abraham and his party with bread and wine, symbols used by Christians for the Lord’s Supper, thousands of years later. The fact that Abraham recognizes him as a priest of higher rank than himself is also unexpected, especially since Abraham is called the friend of God, and all the patriarchs of that day were priests. Every sacrifice to the Most High God that is recorded in Genesis in Abraham’s day was offered by Abraham. So, who is Melchizedek, and why is he considered to be the Priest of the Most High God, but Abraham, the friend of God, holds no such title? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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Our Hope Beyond the Veil

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In the context of Paul’s epistle the two absolutely unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to do is to lie, are when he gives a promise (Genesis 17:2) and when he takes his oath (Genesis 22:16-17). In either case his integrity compels him to be true (Hebrews 6:18). Therefore, God took an oath and swore to Abraham for the sake of Abraham and his descendants, that they might have strong encouragement or comfort (G3874) in the thing the Lord had promised to do. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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The Oath of God

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In Hebrews 6:13 and 16 Paul expresses the significance of the divine oath. In a court of law men assure one another that what they are about to testify is the truth by solemnly swearing to that effect. One’s oath is supposed to be considered true or as close to the truth as the oath taker is able to express and make known. The oath taker swears by someone greater than he (verse-16), which is sometimes by God (Genesis 4:26; 24:3; Deuteronomy 6:13) but at times, as is today’s custom, by the state. Therefore, anyone who lies under oath in a state court is liable to be punished by the state. Under the Old Covenant those who lied with an oath to God were punished by him (Exodus 20:7; Ecclesiastes 5:4-6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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God Speaks to Men

God Speaks - 2

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David expressed it well when he asked God in prayer: “What is man that you are mindful of him or the son of man that you consider him?” (Psalm 144:3). He went on to say that man’s life is but a vapor, like a shadow that vanishes away (verse-4), so why should God take such a great interest in mankind? He speaks to us, demands correct behavior and punishes us, when we become too violent or when we drift too far from him. He doesn’t act this way toward other life forms. Rather, his word claims they praise him, always doing what he has intended them to do. Only mankind is in rebellion, and yet God takes an interest in us. Why? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2020 in Epistle to the Hebrews

 

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Does ‘This Generation’ Mean Race?

This Generation

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In Matthew 24:34 of the Olivet Prophecy Jesus told his disciples “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (KJV). “All these things” include the Second Coming of Jesus and the judgment that his coming would bring (Matthew 24:30), and resurrection (Matthew 24:31; cf. Matthew 13:30, 38-43). Consequently, many dispensational scholars conclude that “this generation” refers to the Jewish race. That is, the Jewish race “shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilled.” Is this true? Can the Greek word genea (G1074) mean race? The natural reading of Matthew 24:34 is that this generation refers to the group of people who lived at the same time as Jesus and his apostles. It would have been a generation of about forty years. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology

 

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Eternal Inheritance

Eternal Inheritance

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When we come to Matthew 25:31-46, many scholars believe Jesus was speaking of the end of the world, the end of time—some say even of the universe. Many conclude it is not only the time of the coming of Christ (Matthew 25:31), but also of the time of the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15). Yet, no writer of the New Testament nor any prophet of the Old, ever taught about or even mentioned “the end of time.” Why would anyone even imagine the end of time at this point in the Olivet Discourse? While I would agree that Matthew 25:31 and following is, indeed, the time of Jesus coming, and that it is also the time of the resurrection and of the Great White Throne Judgment, Jesus did not prophesy of people and events 2000 years removed from the first century AD. After all, he came as the Servant of the Jews for the sake of the truth, in order that God could fulfill the promises made to the fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Romans 15:8). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology

 

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Looking for a Better Resurrection

Better Resurrection

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Arguably, one of the most difficult barriers to accepting an AD 70 Second Coming of the Lord would be there wasn’t a visible resurrection. If the resurrection did occur, what should it have looked like? Should we have looked for the physical graves to open and the bodies of the dead to rise to life—physically? If the dead ones were raised to a physical life, shouldn’t they be living on earth today or, if not, shouldn’t they have died a second time long ago? If the dead ones were raised to a spiritual, eternal life, what would that have looked like, physically speaking? Was the resurrection of Jesus actually witnessed by anyone? Certainly we have the scriptures telling us that an angel of the Lord descended and took away the stone, and for fear of **him** the keepers shook (Matthew 28:2-4), but did the keepers of the grave actually **see** Jesus rise out of the tomb? If they did, why does scripture tell us that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology

 

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How Evil a Man Was Zacchaeus?

Zacchaeus - 5

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I believe Zacchaeus’ testimony reveals that he was not the great sinner he was considered to be. For example, if Zacchaeus cheated everyone, how could he have given half of his goods to the poor and still make restitution according to his own interpretation of the Law? Logic demands that, if Zacchaeus had to give away all his money to make restitution, his goods, minus what he had already given to the poor, could be only 20 % of the total wealth he had left. He would then return what he had stolen, plus four times what he had already returned. Such a thing would amount to the other half of his goods. Therefore, if Zacchaeus was a thief, and I don’t believe he was, he couldn’t have been stealing from everyone. Most of his wealth, he had to have accumulated honestly. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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