Tag Archives: righteousness

The River of Life

River of Life

from Google Images

Many Christians think the River of Life that flows from the Throne of God in New Jerusalem is a literal river. Yet, how could this be, if there were no literal sea into which all rivers flow (cp. Revelation 21:1)[1]. Moreover, if there were also no literal sun and moon (Revelation 21:23; 22:5) to cause the hydraulic cycle that produces springs, which in turn become streams, which come together to produce rivers, how could a literal, physical River of Life even exist in that context. Oh, but God is able to do anything! Well, yes and no. God cannot contradict terms. He cannot make a lie the truth or the truth a lie; neither could he make a square circle etc. That would be chaos! God created order in the universe, not chaos. In other words, God can do all things that are possible to be done by a Being of his Almighty power. Therefore, if there is no literal sea in the new heaven and the new earth, there can be no literal River of Life. Yet, even if there are oceans in the new heaven and the new earth, this still doesn’t mean the River of Life is physical. There is more evidence that the river should be interpreted spiritually. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on June 11, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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The Bride Adorned for Her Husband

Bride of Christ

from Google Images

John tells us that he saw the new heaven and the new earth, because the first heaven and the first earth had passed away (Revelation 21:1). This is covenantal language, which implies, first of all, that all things were fulfilled under the Old Covenant (Matthew 5:18), so it passed away to give place for the New Covenant. Secondly, the Old Covenant was represented in the embroidery on the veil of the Temple, symbolically picturing the heavens and the earth.[1] Therefore, when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in 70 AD, “the first heavens and the first earth” were set on fire and destroyed, thus bringing the Old Covenant to an abrupt end, ushering in the new heavens and the new earth. In other words, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple established the New Covenant. This is what John said he foresaw take place. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 19, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Faith, the Currency of Heaven


from Google Images

In the past few studies, I have been demonstrating that the church of Laodicea is not at all as we have been taught. Rather, it sought to preach Jesus through its own resources. Jesus counseled the church at Laodicea to buy from him “gold tried in the fire” and “white raiment” and eyesalve to “anoint (their) eyes” (Revelation 3:18) He counseled the church to buy from him, but how would that be done? What do we have that could be used for currency in heaven? After all, Jesus hasn’t set up a marketplace or a business just down the street in our neighborhood. Therefore, these things point to something spiritual, so what does he mean? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 23, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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Cherry-picking Scripture Leads to Error

Text without Context

from Google Images

Jesus reminded the disciples of what he had told them before they arrived in Jerusalem, namely, that all things written in the scriptures concerning him must be fulfilled (Luke 24:44). Moreover, this pertained to how he would be mistreated and mocked by the Jewish leaders, and how he would be scourged and crucified by the gentiles, but he would rise again on the third day (cf. Luke 18:31-34; 24:25-26). He then began to open their understanding of the scriptures (Luke 24:45; cf. Acts 16:14), but this may not have been like switching on a light in order to dispel their darkness. Rather, it may have taken several appearances, before the disciples fully understood and embraced what Jesus had been telling them for some time (cf. Acts 1:3). One doesn’t rid himself of false doctrine very easily or all at once. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on September 20, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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Almsgiving and Righteousness

Almsgiving - 1

from Google Images

Jesus taught his disciples to be generous with what they had (Luke 11:41; 12:33), which Peter did do in Acts 3:1-8. This seems to put almsgiving in a light that does not necessarily mean to give out of one’s wealth in worldly goods (cf. Luke 21:1). It can also indicate sharing some spiritual gift God has given us with someone in need. The word used by Luke for almsgiving is eleemosune (G1654). According to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, the word means “pity, mercy… the benefaction itself, a donation to the poor, alms.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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The Rich Man and Resurrection

Rich Man and Lazarus

from Google Images

In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The second character mentioned in this story, of course, is a beggar named Lazarus (Luke 16:20-21). According to the text, he is full of sores, which seems to represent the fact that he is a sinner (Luke 15:1-2), whom the Pharisees and other Jewish authorities would never entertain at their tables, where discussion of the word of God was made. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 12, 2017 in Gospel of Luke


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The Context of Suffering for Christ


from Google Images

The idea of suffering comes with a mixed bag of beliefs or practices that one has gotten and retained from being taught as a child and growing up in traditions coming from society. For example, if one has given himself over to be an athlete, he might have heard it said: “It isn’t working unless it hurts!” That is, if one is really interested in the prize, one must endure suffering along the way. This, of course, is also the goal of military discipline. So, suffering, although negative in tone, is often pursued in order to gain a desired positive goal. Jesus had a goal in mind, and he knew suffering was the only path to take in order to achieve that end. Therefore, he embraced the way of the cross, not because he enjoyed suffering, but because it was the only way of attaining the end for which he was born (John 18:37; cf. Luke 12:50; 22:15). The believer is called to follow Christ and, according to Peter, suffering has its place in the believer’s way of life. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 6, 2017 in Epistles of Peter


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Why Put Oneself in Harm’s Way?


from Google Images

Jesus told us that, if someone struck us on our right cheek, we should then offer the other (Matthew 5:39). Isn’t that inviting persecution? Not really! It no more invites persecution than saying: “Don’t kill Bill” invites someone to kill Bill. All Jesus meant was, if what we do for him causes some to treat us unjustly, don’t cease from doing the good, simply because some are opposed to what we say and do. Jesus simply meant that we should be ready to receive insults in order to spread the Gospel.[1] As Peter writes to believers in Asia Minor, it seems the persecution being conducted there revolved around malicious slander (1Peter 2:12; 3:10, 16). The unbelieving Jews seemed to be trying to get followers of Jesus into trouble with the gentile authorities (cf. Acts 13:50; 14:2; 17:5-9; 18:12-13). Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 2, 2017 in Epistles of Peter


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If One Suffers for Righteousness


from Google Images

When I was a youth I was told that Jesus said his followers would be persecuted (cf. Luke 21:12; John 15:20). When we are baptized, the ceremony reminds us that with the Spirit of God comes also the trials of fire (Luke 3:16). We are not promised a bed of roses by coming to Christ, but we are promised his continual presence with us (Hebrew 13:5; cf. Matthew 28:20b). Usually, just knowing the Lord is with us during difficult times is all that is necessary for us to be content, but, even if I found myself perplexed and in fear, when the trial was over I was often astonished, as I looked back and saw the nearness of Christ and his protection through it all. This is not to say that I (or we) live a life of trouble and persecution. Judging from my own history, we do not. Life is usually wonderful, filled with joy and peace, but trouble does come, and Peter spoke to us in his epistle concerning how those times should be lived out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 28, 2016 in Epistles of Peter


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Freedom to Be Gracious


from Google Images

It is a gracious matter to endure suffering, while acting out of one’s desire to be obedient to God (1Peter 2:19), or to behave in a manner pleasing to him. Often, this suffering comes at the hand of others. When Peter addresses the plight of the servant in 1Peter 2:18-20, application can be made to other walks of life, for example one is able to act out Peter’s argument at one’s place of employment. Yet, it needs to be remembered that the primary application is to the one who has no freedom, like slaves and conquered peoples. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Epistles of Peter


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The People of God


from Google Images

In a previous blogpost I wrote of Peter’s argument that Jesus was God’s Chosen One or his Elect One, saying Jesus was the Living Stone (1Peter 2:4) and the chief Cornerstone (1Peter 2:6). The point is that the master-builder doesn’t end with a foundation stone; he begins with it. It is the stone upon which the rest of the structure rests. It is logical, therefore, to assume that Peter intends for us to see that God was beginning a new work in Jesus. Moses even predicted that a Prophet would come, a Prophet who would be like him (Deuteronomy 18:15-19). A covenant between man and God was initiated through Moses. Therefore, a new covenant between man and God (cf. Jeremiah 31:31) would be initiated through the Prophet who was to come. A new foundation would be laid and a new building would be raised. It is to this idea that Peter writes to the Jews of the Diaspora in Asia Minor. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 5, 2016 in Epistles of Peter


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Barbarism and Crude Laws

ANE cultural changeSometimes it is difficult for our Western mindset to come to grips with the ways of the Ancient Near East (ANE)[1]. The problem, at least from a contextual standpoint, is that we evaluate the severity of the Mosaic Law in the light of our Western culture, rather than in the context of ANE traditions. If the new atheists (and those of us who agree with them) would focus on the original context in which the Mosaic Law was given, a new and more positive understanding might develop, rather than merely gaining rhetorical points by dwelling upon the intellectual snobbery motif of the backward ways of the Bible in light of modern Western thought. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in apologetics


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Seeking God’s Will

Although certain aspects of God’s will seemed obvious to Abraham, the actual choice of a bride for Isaac wasn’t fully known. What was her name, and what would she be like? Such questions simply are not known as one steps out to do God’s will. One hardly ever knows the end from the beginning. God alone is aware of such knowledge. Mankind lives in the moment and is aware only of present circumstances. The future holds his hopes for the fulfillment of his present labor, but nothing is guaranteed, or is it? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God


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What Did Abraham Sacrifice to God?

The fact that Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac upon the altar to God was praiseworthy according to Genesis 22:16-18, but why was it so? Sometimes we here of folks today who kill their children, saying either that God told them to do it, or they wanted to be assured their child would get to heaven, believing his or her present innocence was a guarantee for paradise. We know not only that such a thing is wrong, but that the people who do these terrible acts are deluded, because sacrificing the innocent is not a righteous thing to do. Moreover, God doesn’t require such a thing. He later calls the sacrificing of the innocent an abomination. What, then, did Abraham do that was so pleasing to God? Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on August 24, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God


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Friendship with God

I think it is an astonishing thought that a man could be called the friend of God—that God calls him friend. Yet, the Scriptures reveal to us that Jesus considered his disciples his friends (John 15:13-15) and God considered Abraham his friend (James 2:23; 2Chronicles 20:7). What does that look like? Are all righteous people God’s friends? I may be wrong, but I don’t think this is true. Although Abraham was God’s friend, Lot was not, although he was considered righteous and a worshiper of the true God (2Peter 2:23). So, what makes a man God’s friend? I believe the answer to this question comes to us in Abraham’s life and his walk with God. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Abraham, Walking with God


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