From time to time I need to recall that it is not God’s intention to bless me specifically. In all actuality God, the Father doesn’t give me anything. Don’t misunderstand; I don’t mean to imply God doesn’t love us or intend to provide for us, but he doesn’t do anything specifically to or for anyone. He so loved the world—all of us in general—that he gave his only begotten Son, and there in lay all that we shall ever need from God! Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: One God
Only God is omnipresent. If this is so, how can Satan contaminate the entire world? How can he tempt each one of us to sin? If, indeed, Satan and Adam are one and the same creature (see “The Devil, Called Satan, Unveiled“), then it is possible to see how Satan could infect our entire race, because all human life has sprung from Adam/Satan. Pollute the source and the whole becomes unclean. On the other hand, if Satan and Adam are two different beings, then how could Satan get around to billions of people to insure that all rebel against God? Read the rest of this entry »
In Titus 2:13 we are presented with a controversy concerning who we shall one day see. According to some believers in God’s word, we await the appearance of the Father and our Savior Jesus. They take issue with how the KJV and other more modern translations render this verse and point out that other translations seem to show that both the Father and the Son are indicated by Paul. Notice: Read the rest of this entry »
There is a very interesting passage in the book of Jude concerning the Deity of Jesus, as it pertains to how modern critics view him. Jude 1:4 calls for our attention, and we need to pause to take in the full impact of what Jude is saying. Notice what the Scripture says:
Jude 1:4 NASB For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (emphasis: mine)
Does the word only describe Master or Lord or both? If it describes Lord, then Jude 1:5 continues to describe our only Lord as Jehovah, who led Israel out of Egypt. In verse-9 Jehovah (Lord) is asked to rebuke Satan, and finally in Jude 1:14, Enoch prophesied of the Lord (Jehovah) coming with his holy myriad to execute judgment upon the ungodly. This last mention of the Lord is a clear reference to Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »
Some modern critics take issue with how the King James Version translates Acts 20:28. The idea that seems to bother them is that God purchased us “with his own blood.” Several groups would rather see the phrase translated, “the blood of his own (Son).” Notice the Scripture in both the Contemporary English Version and the King James Version:
Acts 20:28 CEV Look after yourselves and everyone the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be like shepherds to God’s church. It is the flock that he bought with the blood of his own Son .”— (emphasis mine)
Acts 20:28 KJV “Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves and to all the flock, over which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to feed the Church of God which he has purchased with his own blood.”— (emphasis mine)
Which translation is correct? How should we understand this Scripture? Did God purchase us with his own blood as the King James Version declares, or should we understand that God (the Father) purchased us with the blood of his own Son (i.e. with Jesus’ blood)? If this Scripture should be translated into “with his own blood,” then Acts 20:28 makes an emphatic statement that Jesus is God, and, since the article is present before the word God, this is a very important declaration. It would virtually end any controversy anyone had with John 1:1. Concerning this point, the translators of the New English Translation say of Acts 20:28,
The genitive construction could be taken in two ways: (1) as an attributive genitive (second attributive position) meaning “his own blood”; or (2) as a possessive genitive, “with the blood of his own.” In this case the referent is the Son, and the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity. See further C. F. DeVine, “The Blood of God,” CBQ 9 (1947): 381-408.[marginal notes in the NET Bible]
The controversy, therefore, is not the grammatical content of the verse, because everyone seems to agree that the phrase could be translated either way and still be accurate. The controversy in Acts 20:28 evolves out of the liberty taken by adding the word Son to the translation. How can we know for certain how to translate this Scripture?
While grammatical content of a Scripture is important in understanding what is being said, context is just as important and more so where grammar fails to be specific enough. In Acts 20 Paul spoke of his faithfulness in preaching the whole word of God (verse 27) and he commanded the elders at Ephesus to be faithful as well (verse 28). The reason given is that the Church of God was bought with the most precious price of all. In verse 29 Paul warned the elders that, after he left men, even of their own number, would come in and not spare the flock. What Paul said here could be compared with 1Corinthians 11:17-29. There, Paul wrote in his letter that he sent to the Corinthians concerning heresy. There, some had entered the Church of God at Corinth and had not spared the flock (1Corinthians 11:17-19; cf. Acts 20:29), seeking to divide the Church and gain followers after themselves.
In 1Corinthians 11 Paul spoke in allegory. In essence what Paul said was that when we come together, it is to partake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We do this through worship (hymns and spiritual songs), listening to the whole word of God as given in a sermon by our pastor, and through prayer. In this way our spirits are fed (John 6:53). This is the Lord’s Supper (of which the bread and the wine are symbols). When we meet together to hear the word of God preached, we are showing the world that we are trusting in the Lord’s death (1Corinthians 11:23-26).
Heresy divides the Church of God. The point of heresy is never one of truth or error. The point of heresy is always one of ownership of the flock. Heretics come into the Body of Christ in order to rob a portion of God’s heritage (the Church) for themselves. Once I begin to teach what I have studied in the Scriptures in an effort to win a following after myself (1Corinthians 11:17-19), I am seeking to take the eyes of my brothers and sisters off Jesus and cause them to look to me as their teacher. It is a matter of spiritual food, and from where one’s meal comes. In the end it is a question of ownership, whose I am. In other words, if I could obtain a following out of the Church of God for myself, I would be feeding upon those who follow me, and I would be using Jesus’ death as a platform to further my ends. Moreover, if members of the Body of Christ trusted in me, as the Corinthian church was trusting in certain teachers in the first century (1Corinthians 1:12; 3:4; 11:17-19), they would be spiritually feeding upon me instead of Christ. We would be partakers one of another. Therefore, we would be unable to be partakers of the Lord’s Supper, because none of us would be feeding upon Christ (John 6:53-57).
Paul continued his argument in 1Corinthians 12. We are all gifted differently and exercise our gifts in different ministries. We cause those ministries to function out of different organizations (works). Nevertheless, we are all of one Spirit, one Lord and one God (1Corinthians 12:4-6). We function collectively as the Body of Christ. We are his. Yet, of necessity, we must partake of one another to work effectively. Notice
1Corinthians 10:15-18 KJV I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? (emphasis mine)
With this in mind and comparing it to what Paul said in 1Corinthians 11:23-26, we see that in a very real sense the Church of God is compared with the body and blood of Christ. Paul said that he was faithful and delivered all that was given to him from the Lord to the Church of God (1Corinthians 11:23; cf. Acts 20:27). God gives teachers to the Body of Christ (1Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11) to build up the Church of God in Christ. However, if I exalt one teacher over another or if I teach others in order to have someone agree with me, I am partaking of the spiritual body and blood of Christ in an unworthy manner (1Corinthians 11:27-29; cf. Acts 20:26-27 & 29-30).
Paul said that he was innocent of any man’s blood, because he declared to everyone the whole council of God (Acts 20:26-27). On the other hand, those who emphasize only part of the truth and get a following after themselves (heresy) are guilty of the body and blood of the Lord (1Corinthians 11:19-20, 27-29). We are, after all, Christ’s and not a man’s (viz. Lutherans, Wesleyans, Catholics, Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses etc.).
Considering all this and applying it to Acts 20:28 we see that Paul is speaking of the exceedingly precious price that was paid for the Church of God. It is the responsibility of all who participate in each and every function of that church to be faithful, because we are not our own, but are bought with an exceedingly precious price (1Corinthians 6:19-20). If I differentiate between Father and Son in Acts 20:28, I am in reality saying that the essence of one is more precious than the essence of the other. The whole point of this verse, however, is to show the exceedingly precious price that was paid for our salvation. If the most precious price was not paid, then Paul’s argument falls short of being the very best.
Leviticus 17:11 says, “the life of the flesh is in the blood…” What kind of life was in Jesus? Was he merely a descendant of Adam? Is this the most precious life he was able to offer at Calvary? Are we then to understand that the life of God was not in Christ when he hung on the cross (cf. 2Corinthians 5:19)? I am not speaking of God spiritually being in Christ as he is in all of us. I am speaking of the literal life of Christ. Was his literal life that of God? Grammatical content may permit me to play games with the meaning of this Scripture, but context demands that Acts 20:28 be translated that God paid for our salvation with the most precious price of all, “with his own blood.” If I add the word Son to this verse, I demean the work and the character of God.
God is love and when he acts, he does so out of the character of love (1John 4:8, 16). If I apply this to the work of God in our salvation, what can I say about Jesus? If Jesus’ death was indeed an act of love, wouldn’t he have had to have the freedom to choose to live or die? Liberty is an inalienable right possessed by love. Jesus had to have both possession of his own life and the liberty to lay it down or not (John 10:17-18). In other words, our salvation had to have been his choice. Otherwise, if our heavenly Father owned Jesus and purchased our salvation with Jesus’ blood, what would it have cost our Father to sacrifice the life’s blood of a slave? If this were the case, our Father could not have acted out of love, because there was no real sacrifice on his part. How can Jesus offer himself as a free-will offering, if he is the property of someone else? If Jesus were his Father’s property, what cause would there be to believe Jesus loves us or even that our heavenly Father loves us? (Since I cannot purchase anything unless I own what I offer as payment, how could our heavenly Father pay for our salvation with Jesus’ blood unless Jesus was his property? It is odd to my own ear to phrase this idea in this fashion, since I believe that God is One. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit purchased my salvation together, not as individuals. However, the differentiation is made by certain groups and modern critics, so I must speak using their terminology. Jesus said in John 15:13, “Greater love has no man than this: that he should lay down his life for his friends” (KJV). For this Scripture to be true, Christ had to be free to offer himself or to decline. An act of love is not an act of love, if there is no freedom to refuse to do the act. If Christ was a slave to our Father, then he did only that which he was commanded to do and is (to use his own judgment) unprofitable (Luke 17:10 KJV). Therefore, the Scripture must read, “…to feed the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.”
Below are a collection of Scriptures that should convey the proposition that Acts 20:28 must be translated to show Jesus purchased our salvation with his own, i.e., God’s blood, or if you prefer, “the blood of his own (body)”. I say Jesus purchased our salvation, but he made manifest what was in the Father’s heart through his work as man. God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – is our Savior, and he purchased our salvation with his own blood from his own human body.
– Christ is the Good Shepherd who gives his life for his sheep.
– Father loves Jesus because he (Jesus) lays down his life that he might take it up again.
– No man is able to take Jesus’ life; he laid it down of his own free will. He had power to lay it down and to take it up again.
– By himself, Christ purged our sins!
– Christ satisfied the Law’s demands when he once and for all time
offered himself. No one offered him, he offered himself!
– Christ offered himself without spot, through the eternal Spirit to God.
– Christ put away sin by the sacrifice of himself!
In summary, just because a Scripture presents a difficult thought or might be troublesome in the Greek, as some modern critics suppose, or does not fit into one’s theology is not grounds for changing the Scripture. I have found that if I lift up Christ and place him in the highest place (Psalm 97:9; Ephesians 1:20-21), I have no trouble submitting to him and caring properly for the Church of God. That is, as a Sunday school teacher (replace this gift with any other spiritual gift) I have respect for Christ as the Master of his house. I do not wish to intrude into his supervision as the Teacher of all. Moreover, I must have respect for my brothers and sisters when we differ in understanding the word of God. The LORD may require me to present the truth as he revealed it to me, but by no means has he demanded me to see to it that everyone tow the line and submit to what I say. The moment I allow myself to demand of my brethren that they believe me, I have already removed Christ from the highest place in my heart and mind. Once I do this, I begin to judge the Church of God, and split Christ’s Church into the faithful and the faithless. I would find myself judging those brethren in Christ who do not believe as I do. In other words, I would be “guilty of the Lord’s body and blood” (1Corinthians 11:27)! May God forgive us for dividing his flock and enable us to partake only of the Lord’s Supper.
Jesus is described the Firstborn in Colossians 1:18 and then again in Revelation 3:14. This Greek word is arche (G746). It is often used by some Christians who don’t believe Jesus is God to indicate that Jesus is a created being. The implication is Jesus is the “beginning of the creation by God,” (Revelation 3:14), or the first one that God created.
In 1Corinthians 15:45 we see Jesus described as our second and last Adam. He is referred to in Colossians 1:18 as the beginning the firstborn from the dead. In other words Jesus is the beginning of the new (spiritual) creation of God. By Jesus rising from the dead and requiring that we be born again in and through him in order to be saved, he became the Beginning of the (new) creation of God. As such, he is the Firstborn (from the dead) and, therefore. the Ruler of the new creation, just as Adam was the “firstborn” and “ruler” of the old creation. The same word (arche) is used in Revelation 3:14, but in Colossians we are able to see its meaning as applied to Jesus. It is in relationship to his being the Firstborn from the dead and, therefore, King of the Creation of God.
With regard to context, Colossians 1:13-18 shows that we, as Christians, have been transplanted from one authority to that of another. The whole context of these verses is one of authority and not one of origin. We were born into Adam’s race. He is the authority (power) of darkness, in as much as he defiled himself in Eden, and we all trace our roots ultimately to him. However, God has “transplanted us into the kingdom of the Son of his love…” (Colossians 1:13).
Adam was the ruler or beginner or leader of his race, and because of his fall into rebellion, we were all born into sin (power of darkness). Jesus is the last Adam (1Corinthians 15:45). In him the new creation has its source or beginning (2Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Ephesians 2:10). It is in this sense that the Greek word arche (G.746) is to be understood. Christ is the Beginning and therefore Leader, Lord, Governor or Ruler of the new creation.
The entire book of Revelation reveals an ongoing battle between the kingdom of darkness (Adam’s race) and the Kingdom of Light (those who are created in Christ). In the third chapter of Revelation, Christ is presented to the Church of Laodicea as the Faithful Witness in contrast to their unfaithful witness. Then he is said to be the Arche of the creation of God – the Leader or Governor of all creation – in contrast to their unwillingness to submit to his authority or Lordship. Making a quick survey of a few other texts where the word arche is used will show that this is the sense here in Colossians and Revelation:
- Romans 8:38 – arche — (rulerships or governments) are unable to separate Christians from the love of God
- Ephesians 1:21 – after Christ rose from the dead, his authority extended far above all arches (governments) etc.
- Ephesians 3:10 – the arches (governments) are taught wisdom through God’s dealings with Christians
- Colossians 2:10, 15 – Christ is the head of arches (government) and authority, and displayed rulership over them in his resurrection, for they sentenced him to die! he brought their authority to naught by rising from the dead.
- Titus 3:1 – as Christians we are to subject ourselves and obey arches , (governments) authorities, and rulers.
That Jesus is eternal is testified in Scripture very clearly:
1 John 1:1-2 KJV That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (2) (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
If we would break the verse down into its parts, we would have:
The Word of Life is
- which was from the beginning
- which we have heard
- which we have seen with our eyes
- which we have looked upon
- and our hands have handled
“Eternal Life was made manifest”
- we have seen it (him)
- and bear witness (of him)
- and shew (i.e. speak) unto you (about him)
In other words Jesus, the Word of Life, is Eternal Life or the Eternal (Being). He came from our Father to be seen and known of men. This is emphasized again at the close of John’s letter,
1 John 5:19-20 NASB We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (20) And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
These two verses stand in contrast to one another. What we know in verse-19 is contrasted with what we know in verse-20. We know the whole world lies in the evil one, or Adam. All that we are and have become is found in him. He rebelled from God and this whole world is a product of that rebellion. All that is contrary to God has its source in Adam. In verse-20 we know that the Son of God has arrived (i.e. the Messiah or second Adam). He has given us understanding that we may know what is true. We are in what is true (or the true One), that is, in his (God’s, verse-19) Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true One in contrast to the wicked one in verse-19. He is the second Adam in verse-20 in contrast to the first Adam in verse-19 (i.e. the wicked one). We, who have been given understanding by the Son of God are in him, which is in contrast to the whole world being in the wicked one in verse-19. John concludes by saying that this one (Jesus) is the true God and everlasting life.
The pronoun, this (is the true God) in verse-20, refers to its immediate noun, which in this case is “Jesus Christ,” but even if it should modify “the true One” as some commentators claim, this still refers to Jesus Christ who is the true One in contrast with the wicked one in verse-19.
In his Gospel, John describes the Word (Jesus) as the Light that gives life to every man (John 1:4, 6). John began his first letter by saying that “Everlasting Life,” who was with the Father, was manifest to him and the other apostles. They handled Life, looked at him and listened to him (1John 1:1-2). John ends his letter by describing the “Everlasting Life,” who was made manifest to them, as the true God.
To summarize, we have found testified in the Scriptures that Jesus is the Creator of all there is (John 1:3; Colossians 1:15-17); yet he was not created by anyone (Deuteronomy 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11). He has been with God from the beginning, and is himself called God (John 1:1; 1John 5:20). We can, therefore, say that Jesus and our Father are One – Creator and God (John 10:30; Hebrews 3:4). That Jesus and our Father are One can be further attested in that, after his resurrection, Jesus commanded the disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). They went out just as he commanded them (Mark 16:20), and baptized all in the name of Jesus. In the Greek the name Jesus is Iesous (G2424); and means “Jehovah is salvation.” Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1, 14) and with the presence of Father (2Corinthians 5:19). God was One in Christ in saving mankind. Jesus, meaning “Jehovah saves,” is the name (singular in Matthew 28:19) of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48 and 19:5)! There is salvation in no other name (Acts 4:9-12). Therefore, Jesus is Jehovah! It has already been brought out in previous studies that the Angel of the LORD (YHWH) is Jehovah. Furthermore, we have seen that Jesus is Jehovah. (YHWH) God and therefore the Angel of the LORD so often figured in the Old Testament.
On numerous occasions I have had the pleasure of discussing the issue of whether or not Jesus is God with people who either do not believe Jesus is God or believe he is something divine, but not “the” God. I have had these discussions either in my home or on a discussion forum over the Internet. According to John 1:3, Jesus is the Creator of all things,
John 1:3 NET. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created. (emphasis, mine)
With this in mind, it is difficult to understand how some Christians could conclude that Jesus is a created being. Some Christians I have spoken with describe Jesus as the Firstborn of God and interpreting this to mean that Jesus is a created being. Indeed, Jesus is called the Firstborn in Scripture, but is the Biblical meaning of this term limited to Webster’s definition of the word firstborn, i.e. the first child born into a family? What is the Biblical definition of the word firstborn, and is it different from Webster’s definition? Notice how Paul puts it in Colossians and compare it with John 1:3 above:
Colossians 1:15-17 NET. (15) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, (16) for all things in heaven and on earth were created by him — all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers — all things were created through him and for him. (17) He himself is before all things and all things are held together in him.
In addition to Webster’s definition of eldest or the child born first, the word of God includes the terms authority and birthright to clarify the full meaning of the word firstborn. This definition is not taken from the Greek or Hebrew dictionaries but is shown within the Biblical text.
In Colossians 1:15-17 the intent or meaning of the word firstborn is shown in the context. The intent there is to reveal Christ as the ultimate authority. For example, consider 1Chronicles 5:1 where it plainly states that Reuben had the firstborn status among the sons of Jacob, because he was born first, just as Webster’s dictionary would define the word firstborn. Yet, because he defiled his father’s bed, Reuben lost his birthright to Joseph (compare: Jeremiah 31:9 where Joseph’s son Ephraim is used for all Israel) and rulership or authority to Judah (cp. Genesis 49:1-4, 8-12). So, the problem with using only Webster’s definition is that, according to Scripture, the firstborn status can go to a younger son, so the son who is born first can lose his status or rights as the firstborn in his family.
Another example of the meaning that Scripture attaches to the word firstborn is found in the covenant God made with David in Psalms 89:20-37. This covenant concerns the blessing that both his seed and his throne would endure forever. Note one verse in particular:
Psalm 89:27 KJV “Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth”.
We find in this Scripture not only a reference to Jesus, the Messiah, but also God’s definition of the word firstborn as it applies to Jesus. Firstborn is defined as the one who is greater in authority than all kings (or rulers) of the earth. One more comparison from the Scriptures ought to put this argument to rest. Notice Revelation 1:5 where the New Testament makes an obvious reference to Psalm 89:27:
Revelation 1:5 NET. and from Jesus Christ — the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, the ruler over the kings of the earth. To the one who loves us and has set us free from our sins at the cost of his own blood (emphasis mine)
The term firstborn in Scripture is definitely richer in meaning than what Webster ascribes to the word in our modern dictionary. We must be particularly careful not to place present day definitions upon words having a peculiar significance in the Biblical record. There may be times when Webster will do a good job in defining something for us in the Bible. However, if Webster contradicts or falls short in interpreting the full meaning that the Scriptures place upon a word, such as firstborn, we should let Webster on the shelf and go with God! May the Lord open our eyes to the truth of his word.
It is not my intention to debate whether God’s name should be pronounced Yahweh or Jehovah or even if vowels should be inserted at all in the Hebrew YHWH. In the last instance God’s name would be unpronounceable. If one tried to pronounce the sound of the Hebrew YHWH only the exhaling of breadth would occur. I know certain groups prefer one of the above references to God over the others. I am comfortable with any of these references when speaking of God. Read the rest of this entry »
John 1:1 is probably the most debated Scripture in the Bible. Some Christians don’t believe Jesus is God (i.e. THE God) and describe him before his human birth as something from divine (including a divine “plan”) to simply “a” god. The controversy seems to arise out of the fact that the final clause in John 1:1 does not have the article before the word “God.” What these groups and other modern critics don’t seem to understand is, if the article were there, it would be a contradiction or an apparent error in the text. Notice: Read the rest of this entry »
Some Christians believe Jesus is a created god, while others conclude he is divine, but only a man. None of those who hold a low view of Jesus believe he is God Almighty or Jehovah / YHWH or of the same essence as his Father. Read the rest of this entry »
We meet the serpent in the Garden of Eden where God says of him that he was more subtle than any beast of the field (Genesis 3:1). The scene opens with the serpent speaking with the woman. Since I was a little boy, I had always visualized Eve speaking with a snake. I wondered how a snake could speak, but I had no doubt that this story of our first parents was true. However, now I am an adult and as Paul said, I need to put away childish things (1Corinthians 13:11). Snakes don’t speak. They never have and never will unless God causes it to take place (Numbers 22:21-30)! If I agree that God’s word is always true, then my preconceptions may need to be adjusted to see its reality. Read the rest of this entry »
Concerning Satan, we Christians paint a picture of an almost invincible creature, whose only rival is God. We envision him at battle with the Son of God in chapter 4 of both Matthew and Luke, and wonder what would have happened if our Lord was tripped up and made a meal out of those stones. I remember reading somewhere, concerning the trial of Jesus, of the writer’s surprise that Jesus didn’t cast Himself off the pinnacle of the Temple. The writer believed such an act would have shown that Jesus had great power and would have attracted many to God. Of course, all this is nonsense for there never was a real contest in the sense that Christ might have failed, but we love a drama and love to exalt the power of Satan. Some men seem to make a business out of casting out Satan and binding him up. They make up a really nifty package that could have top billing on the sci-fy channel. They mold their ideas to attract people to a religious sideshow. I can go on and on, but I should stop here. When I begin to enjoy the put-downs, it is time to stop. I must be careful, because I know such criticism offends some who are caught in their snares. Nevertheless, I have very little patience with people who believe they can preach Christ by exalting the power of Satan, and in so doing, exalt themselves by binding him up and casting him out …through Christ of course. I must not forget to add through Christ, though sometimes it is difficult to believe his precious name has anything to do with how these men parade themselves before the crowds of people, who are attracted to their spectacle. Read the rest of this entry »
“HEAR, O ISRAEL: THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE” [Deuteronomy 6:4 – JPS].
This Scripture down to the ninth verse is what is called the Sh’ma by the Jews. It is the first of the sections of Scripture that were put in their phylacteries. It was recited twice per day, in the evening when they would lie down and in the morning when they would rise up, according to the command in Deuteronomy 6:7. It is repeated even today, “Sh’ma Yisrael, HaShem our G-d, HaShem, the One and only!” Read the rest of this entry »