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The Third Bowl & the Troubled Fountain

seven vials - 3

from Google Images

Presently we are in the midst of a study of the seven bowls of wrath in Revelation 16. The third angel poured out his bowl of wrath from God upon the rivers and the fountains of waters (Revelation 16:4), and the wrath of God turned the waters into blood. It may be that Revelation 16:5-7 is a summary of the first three bowl judgments.[1] What occurs here is the angel of the waters speaks out and declares the Lord righteous for his judgment (Revelation 16:5). The reason he offers for his declaration is that they (i.e. the earth and the sea and the fountains of waters, which include the rivers that form from the flow of the fountains) **they** have shed the blood of the saints and the prophets. Therefore, i.e. because of the blood guilt of the earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters, the Lord gave them blood to drink (Revelation 16:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Church of Philadelphia

Philadelphia

from Google Images

The city of Philadelphia was the sixth city on the Roman mail route, which originated in Ephesus of Asia, and it lay about 28 miles east and southeast of Sardis and forty miles north and northwest of Laodicea. It was one of two churches[1] for whom Jesus had praise but no specific rebuke. Some folks like to interpret these letters to the seven churches to represent specific eras in church history, rather than see the interpretation in the days of the addressees themselves. I liken such interpretations to newspaper and / or historical eisegesis, because it certainly isn’t exegesis. Absolutely everything that is proposed in those interpretations is purely subjective. Not one word of such interpretations could be objectively supported in Scripture. Nearly, always the eisegesis is held in greater honor than how its original readers understood the writing of its author, thus making the word of God of no effect to modern readers. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Repairing the Damage at Sardis

Remember

from Google Images

In a previous study I demonstrated that the church at Sardis allowed herself to fall in disrepair, just as the ancient city did, before it was conquered. Her works weren’t perfect before God, and she failed to watch and pray, which placed her in a dangerous position. Jesus told the church to do three things: 1) remember how they had both received and heard; 2) hold fast; and 3) repent (Revelation 3:3). How would attending to these three matters affect the dangerous state in which Christ found her in Revelation 3? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Deception in Thyatira

Jezebel - 1

from Google Images

Thyatira was the smallest of the seven cities on an ancient Roman mail route. Beginning in Ephesus one would travel north to Smyrna and then to Pergamum. At this point the mail rider changed to a southerly direction and came to Thyatira on the left of the road from Pergamum to Sardis.[1] The church of Thyatira is sometimes called the corrupt church, but I believe this has more to do with a forced historical interpretation of the seven churches than anything else. The idea that these churches represent seven eras of church history is completely false. It is eisegesis rather than exegesis. Jesus had some very good things to say about this church, and to conclude that it was a corrupt church in order to fit it into a corrupt era in church history is simply ridiculous. There is absolutely no good reason to do so. In fact, it is slanderous to do so, in my opinion, and that against brethren whom Jesus commended for their labor. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Trouble in the Church of Ephesus

Trouble in Ephesus

from Google Images

When he left Ephesus for Macedonia Paul left Timothy behind with authority to oversee the church there (1Timothy 1:3). So, Timothy was left to confront certain believers who had a tendency to teach in a manner contrary to the way of Paul (1Timothy 1:3). Later Paul met with the leaders of the churches of Asia, including Ephesus, when he was making his final voyage to Jerusalem. He told the elders to really consider the positions they had been given in the church by the Holy Spirit, and feed those entrusted to them (Acts 20:29). Paul warned that after he left, men would enter the church who would have no love for the brethren. Rather, they would scatter the church, abuse the brethren and become a burden to them (Acts 20:30). Even men of their own number would arise to teach false doctrines in order to gather a following after themselves (Acts 20:30). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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False Teachers

john-darby

from Google Images

Have you ever wondered what life would have been like had the Jews not rejected Jesus? For example, would there be a need for a Second Coming? Would Christ, today, be reigning out of Jerusalem, and would the world be at peace? This seems to be the position taken by the dispensationalists, because they expect Christ to return sometime in the future and do exactly that. In fact, according to the father of modern Dispensationalism, John Darby, the Cross was the work of Satan. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2017 in Eschatology, Prophecy

 

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The Kingdom of God Versus the World

Spirit of Error - 1

from Google Images

The Apostles wondered (Luke 9:43b) at what Jesus had done and asked him why they couldn’t heal the boy (Mark 9:28; Matthew 17:32). At that time Jesus told the disciples that they needed to keep in mind that he would be turned over to his enemies and would be killed (Luke 9:44), but they simply were unable to understand what he was saying, because what Jesus meant was hid from them (Luke 9:45). The problem is that the rabbis taught that the Messiah would come and successfully free the Jews from those who enslaved them (the Romans in the context of the first century AD). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Spies of the First Century AD

Spies - 2

from Google Images

It is inferred by Luke that Annas, the high priest, had sent Ananias and Sapphira into the nascent church (cf. Acts 5:1-13) in order to spy out what was done and bring believers under the authority of the high priest. The same is inferred in Galatians 2:12-13, once one realizes that James didn’t send these people to do what they had done (cf. Galatians 2:4). From time to time Paul had to rebuke a wrong spirit of prophecy or a message or letter that was allegedly from him or one of the other apostles (2Thessalonians 2:2), inferring that others were seeking to gain a foothold in the churches he raised up. Moreover, John also shows there were people who had identified themselves with the apostles but broke away, showing ulterior motives existed among those who did so. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Way of Balaam

False Teachers - 6

from Google Images

Jude spoke of the error of Balaam (Jude 1:11), which was that one could manipulate God into cursing those he has blessed. Revelation tells us about the doctrine of Balaam (Revelation 2:14), which concerned getting Israel to worship Baal of Peor instead of or as though he were the God of Israel. However, Peter’s epistle concerns itself with the way of Balaam or the **method** he used to deceive Israel into doing what he wanted done. In 2Kings 18:18-21 Elijah, the prophet, confronted King Ahab of Israel who had sent out the prophets (teachers) of Baal into all the tribes of Israel. In doing so, he was able to corrupt Israel and draw them away from the God of Israel. This is what Balaam did by telling Balak to send women (prophetesses) into the camps of Israel to deceive them into following after the ways of Baal, rather than the ways of God. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Sins of the False Teachers

Access Denied

from Google Images

There seems to be some misunderstanding about Peter’s second epistle, as it pertains to the false teachers, whom he describes in his second chapter. Most commentaries I’ve read believe they were licentious men who taught believers to commit open adultery and the like. However, I don’t believe this is true, either contextually (why would a believer be tempted to do such a thing, believing he honored God), or when one compares Peter with Paul. If the destructive heresies were to be brought into the believing community privately (2Peter 2:1), I don’t see how this could be done by men who were openly sexually immoral. Their immorality had to have been spiritual, and the fact that they were secretly coming against the Bride of Christ was spiritual adultery (cf. Romans 3:5-8). If the accusation against the apostles and Messianic believers was that they claimed doing evil brought good, it stands to reason that the false teachers didn’t believe it was appropriate to openly live in wicked manner. Therefore, they wouldn’t seek to tempt believers to commit open adultery. Something else is in view rather than open sexual immorality. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Speaking of Evil of Angels

False Teachers

from Google Images

Some interpret 2Peter 2:11 as though Peter were speaking of angelic beings. However, if one understood Peter referring to angelic beings, of what good would that serve? If an angel was slandered, what has that to do with the Gospel? It seems to me such an understanding is high sounding, but it has little value, as it pertains to how one should walk with Christ in this world. As I’ve said elsewhere, the Greek word anggelos (G32) can refer to either an angelic being or a human messenger. It can even refer to a physical annoyance (2Corinthians 12:7) that serves to recall something in the past or remind us of something that would come later. To simply say 2Peter 2:11 refers to angelic beings, I believe goes beyond the context of Peter’s epistle. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The False Teachers

False Teachers - 2

from Google Images

God knows very well how to rescue the godly out of trouble, while still reserving the wicked for judgment. Both Noah and Lot were counted righteous by God (Genesis 6:9; 2Peter 2:7). However, at least in the case of Lot, the righteous had to be literally pushed by the angels before they would leave their wicked environment (Genesis 19:16). On the other hand, Zacharias and Elizabeth, who were also considered righteous (dikaioi – Luke 1:6), praised God for what he was doing in their lives (Luke 1:68). The righteousness of Lot is seen in the fact that both he and Noah stood alone in their respective wicked environments. God is just, and it is not his intention to destroy the righteous with the ungodly. Therefore, the believers in Asia Minor could take heart and be encouraged through Peter’s epistle (2Peter 2:9). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The World of the Ungodly

Genesis 6

from Google Images

In 2Peter 2:4-9 Peter wrote of three examples of God’s judgment in the book of Genesis, which he likened to the judgment God would bring upon the false teachers and those who trusted in them in the first century AD. In a previous blogpost I discussed the first example, the angels (2Peter 2:4), saying they were not spirit beings, but men. They were messengers, whom God intended to lead the world in the antediluvian period and teach the people about God. Nevertheless, most of them seemed to have rebelled, so God darkened their minds (cf. Romans 1:21), which is the sense of the Greek word tartarus (G5020). This darkening of the mind keeps one from seeing his tragic fate brought on by his sins. The only remedy for this darkness is to repent and come into the council of God—submitting to the Gospel. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Folks Tend to Believe False Teachers

False Teachers - 1

from Google Images

In the second chapter of his second epistle Peter began to tell of the prophesied false teachers. Like the false prophets of the Old Testament, they took their place in the assembly of God claiming to represent him, but, instead, they preached the dreams and desires of men. The prophets of old prophesied peace when they should have sounded out an alarm. They claimed to speak for the Lord, but they spoke out of the imagination of their own hearts (Jeremiah 23:15-16). Had they stood in the council of the Lord, pondering his word, they would have been equipped to turn God’s people from evil (Jeremiah 23:21-22). Rather, they invented stories, claiming disaster wouldn’t come (Jeremiah 23:25-27) and the people hardened their hearts and continued in their evil ways. Similarly, Peter warned of teachers of his own day who sought to turn the hearts and minds of believers away from the Lord, changing Scripture into something God never intended to say. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Sleeping Spirit!

Spiritual Sleep

from Google Images

William Barclay[1] brings out an interesting point concerning the sleep of the Apostles at Luke 9:32, which corresponds to spiritual sleep of men, including believers. Another way of referring to this sleep would be the hardness of our hearts to receive spiritual truth. The disciples didn’t see Jesus’ glory, until they were fully awake. Likewise, we miss so much of what God would like us to see, because our spirits are lulled to sleep, showing we simply don’t have a heart for the truth God desires that we learn. While it is God’s will for us to know him, and nothing can prevent God from doing his will (Daniel 4:35), God has also willed to work in and through mankind. That is, he has willed to work in and through our limitations, which include the limitations we place upon him, due to our hard hearts (cf. Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:4-6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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