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The Ten Horns Have No Kingdom as Yet!

Delegated Authority

from Google Images

The ten horns mentioned in the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse are described as ten kings (Revelation 17:12). Yet, these ten kings have no kingdom of their own. One could say that a king without a kingdom is no king at all, at least no king of any consequence. This understanding is true, but not entirely so, that is to say: it may be a rule, but there are exceptions to the rule. Notice that these kings “have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast” (Revelation 17:12). Moreover, the text concludes that they give their power or authority as kings over to the beast (Revelation 17:13). In other words, they are the beast’s source of power. Without these ten kings, the beast, upon whom the great harlot sits (Revelation 17:3) would have no power at all to carry out its will! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Great Harlot, Drunk with Power

Great Harlot - 2

from Google Images

John tells us that he saw the woman, i.e. the great harlot of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse, and she was drunk (Revelation 17:6).The state of drunkenness is usually caused by an over consumption of alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol impairs one’s speech and one’s mobility. Yet, this doesn’t completely describe the state of intoxication. One doesn’t behave normally, while intoxicated, but this isn’t simply a matter of one’s normal speech being impaired, or one’s normal activity being impaired. Drunkenness also emboldens one to act differently and to say things one normally wouldn’t say. Drunkenness often removes the barriers one normally uses as a guide, concerning what is customarily accepted in civilized society. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Ruling with Christ Through the Gospel

Boss and leadership

from Google Images

In this study of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3, I have been demonstrating that the church of Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29) had been doing well in the business of preaching the Gospel. However, Jesus did find fault with them in the fact that they had been permitting Jewish teachers (Jezebel in the text) to seduce Jesus’ disciples into believing the doctrines of the Jerusalem authorities, whose doctrines, if practiced, made the word of God of no effect upon his people. In so doing, the leaders in Thyatira were permitting those under their care to be removed from the authority and protection of Christ and placing them under the authority of Christ’s enemies at Jerusalem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Keys of Hell and Death

Keys

from Google Images

Jesus told John that he had the “keys to hell and death.” A key, of course, is able to open or lock something. It is often used in Scripture as a symbol of authority or power. For example, the scribes and Pharisees had the authority or power to allow the Jewish populace to enter into the Kingdom of God by permitting them to believe in Jesus (Luke 11:52; cf. Matthew 23:13), but they hindered the people. Not only did they reject Jesus, but they slandered him before the people (Matthew 12:23-24; Mark 3:20-22), in order to cause them to be afraid of placing their trust in him. Moreover, these same authorities threatened the people, saying anyone who trusted in Jesus would be cast out of the synagogues (John 12:42-43; cf. 9:22, 28-34). So the “key of knowledge,” which Jesus attributed to the scribes and Pharisees, does not mean they possessed such knowledge. However, it does mean they had the authority to open the door to knowledge or at least not lock it so others could possess it, even though they, themselves, rejected it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Controversy Over Authority

Jewish AuthoritiesAuthority is a very sensitive matter. Who has authority? The state claims authority over much of our lives. Some consider that they intrude upon matters they should not, that some personal things shouldn’t interest the state. In America it is claimed that the ordinary citizen has certain inalienable rights, or put another way, we have inalienable authority over certain matters. A case in point would be we have personal authority over our faith. The state has no right or authority to intrude upon that personal authority, unless we abuse it by intruding ourselves upon the personal rights or authority of another person. Authority has always been a sticky matter, and Luke tells us of the suspicion of the Jewish authorities over the claims Jesus was making against them in matters dealing with authority. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Surprising Power of False Doctrine

Lies we believe - 3

from Google Images

Jesus had been seeking to prepare his disciples for the shock of his death that would occur in the near future. The problem was that the death of the Messiah had no place in the disciples’ understanding, nor in the understanding of anyone who looked for his coming in the first century AD (cf. John 12:32-34). Each time the Apostles showed any sign that they were listening to the voice of God within them (cf. Matthew 16:17), Jesus revealed that he would be taken from them, tortured, killed and rise the third day. Such was the case in Matthew 20:17-19 (cf. Luke 18:28-30 and 31-33). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Disciple’s Faith Will Be Tested

Persecution - 2

from Google Images

One of the most thought provoking Scriptures I’ve read is Luke 22:31-32. There Jesus tells Peter that Satan desired to sift Peter as wheat. What is surprising is Jesus doesn’t say: “I will save you from him,” or “I won’t let that happen to you!” Rather, Jesus told Peter it would happen, just as Satan had requested, but Jesus prayed for Peter, in order that his faith wouldn’t fail. In other words, we have no promises of an easy life as a believer. In Luke 12 Jesus told his disciples that the day would come when they would be delivered up to the authorities and beaten in the synagogues etc. (Luke 12:11), which began to be borne out very soon after Jesus’ ascension into heaven (cf. Acts 5:40-41). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Unnoticed Significance

SignificanceAuthorities have traditionally considered the common man to be unimportant, as far as being able to implement their desires are concerned (cf. John 7:48-49). Those who have no power of their own are treated as such by those who have the power. Although they might not put it this way, just as the bully usually gets his way, so do governments who don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves. At times governments may have to guard how they do a thing (cf. Acts 5:26), but in the end they are usually able to manipulate the people to desire whatever the authorities want to do (cf. Mark 15:10-14; Matthew 27:20). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Parables of Light and the Eye

Light of the World - 1

from Google Images

It would be ludicrous to light a lamp or a candle in order to hide it away in a secret place or place it under a covering that doesn’t offer those in the room the benefit of its light. If we are to understand what Jesus says in Luke at this point, we must look elsewhere to define the words used in the parables of Luke 11:33-36). Jesus claimed he was the Light of the world (John 9:5). He had come into the world (John 1:9) and shone out of darkness (John 1:5). Clearly, darkness is powerless to extinguish light, and Jesus is the Light through whom men, who live in darkness, believe (or see – John 1:7). Jesus’ proper role in the metaphor of the Parable of the Lamp or Candle (Luke 11:33) was to illuminate the house (Israel). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Forgive Us Our Trespasses

Forgive - 1

from Google Images

While Jesus was in Jerusalem for his third Passover of his public ministry, he taught his disciples how to pray for the Kingdom of God. What we sometimes call the Our Father is that prayer, and we have come to its final four clauses, which probably should be taken together. In Luke 11:4 Jesus tells us to pray for the Father’s forgiveness over the sins that we have committed. At first this appears like a contradiction with respect to what Christ intends to do later. Aren’t our sins once and for all forgiven when we receive Christ as our Savior? Why, then, do we need to pray for forgiveness of our sins (Luke 11:4) whenever we pray to our Father (cf. Luke 11:2)? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Spiritual Warfare

Authority - 5

from Google Images

The Seventy returned from their mission rejoicing in the Lord, and their experiences far exceeded their expectations. They told Jesus that even the demons were subject to them through his name. Indeed, we are engaged in a great spiritual battle. It is the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Revelation.16:14). It is a battle of authority. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus (Luke 10:22; cf. Matthew 28:18), and he gives this authority to us (Luke 10:18-19; cf. Matthew 28:18-20;). Satan had fallen when Jesus first sent laborers out into the fields to bring in a harvest, and his authority continues to crumble at the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Satan fell, when he first began to lose ground[1] to God. Jesus and his servants fought and Satan and his servants (religious leaders and heads of state) fought (Revelation 12:7-9). Satan began losing the hearts of men at that time and continues to lose today. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Demonic Possession

Demonic-possession

from Google Images

One of the saddest matters that the New Testament records is that of the possession of a young child by a demon (Luke 9:37-39), who had control of the boy even from the time he had been an infant (Mark 9:21), implying his condition existed since his birth. One has to wonder how this could ever occur. While in the case of Job, God permitted Satan to torment Job’s person with sores, disease and the destruction of his family and his wealth, Satan was not permitted to control Job’s reaction to it all. In other words, Job was still free to either accept his circumstance as God allowed it, or to curse God for allowing it. Job’s freedom to choose was never in question. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Gospel and Myths

Transfiguration - 2jpg

from Google Images

At times on the internet discussion boards folks who opposed Christianity tried to tell me the New Testament was a collection of myths. They would immediately add that this didn’t mean the New Testament wasn’t true. It just wasn’t historical. That it, according to them, the New Testament was an invention of men who wished to convey great moral truths to their contemporary audience. For those men who wrote the New Testament, the myth had great religious or spiritual import. In other words, what I have come to believe about Jesus (according to the critics on the internet) was nothing more than a collection of myths that embodied what has become known as the Christian faith or the Christian worldview. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2017 in Epistles of Peter

 

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The Authority of Jesus

authority

from Google Images

Authority is a strange thing. One cannot see authority, touch it, smell it, hear it or taste it. In other words, authority is something we may know and understand, but such a thing cannot be witnessed through our five senses. Nevertheless, we know when we are in the presence of authority. A man of authority is able to move many men to act according to his will, and some men are able to move nations by the word of their power. Jesus represented Heaven, so he spoke and acted out of the authority of God. It is interesting to see, as we read the Gospel narratives, who recognizes Jesus’ authority and who does not. One may even be surprised with the fact that the very men, who were given authority over God’s people, were unwilling to recognize God’s authority over them in the person of Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 8, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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God and Dualism

Good and Evil

from Google Images

Before we discuss Jesus’ temptations (Luke 4:1-2), it might be a good idea to consider the problem of evil in our world and how this affects God. One of the problems of traditional Christian thought about God and evil spirit beings, including Satan, is that the doctrine makes out like God and an evil-spirit-world are in conflict, a conflict in which God seems to be losing. In fact, Jesus, himself, was asked if there would be only a few people saved (Luke 13:23). This idea is a product of dualism, which is a philosophy or, in our case, a theology that claims God (the good) is in conflict with Satan (the evil), and these entities are equal or nearly equal in power. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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