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Tag Archives: spies

The Gospel Cannot Be Hid

LeavenThe Lord warns us that we need to beware of hypocrisy. What we are within will be made manifest to others. It is impossible for any of us to hide our true character forever. Eventually, God will bring all things hidden out into the open. The heart of the hypocrite is open to the Lord, and believers are no different. Our hearts, for good or for bad, are open to him as well. The implication Luke 12:1-12 is that the inner realm is much stronger than that of the outer. We cannot hide who we are. In Matthew 10:27, it is the Jesus who spoke in darkness, and what he said had to be proclaimed in the light. In Luke 12:3, it is we who speak in the darkness, and God, for honor or dishonor, will bring that to light as well. What the Lord whispers in our ears will be made public, and what we whisper in the ear of others cannot be hid. It must be made public. There is a power at work here that we are unable to see, but we are able to witness its effect. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 10, 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 Importance of Being Different

holiness

from Google Images

In the second chapter of Peter’s first epistle, he continues to emphasize the believer’s holiness. That is, believers need to be different from the society in which they dwell. Long-story-short, Peter tells his readers, the Jews of the Diaspora in Asia Minor (1Peter 1:1), since they had been saved through a second birth to become the children of God (1Peter 1:23), and since they refer to God as Father (1Peter 1:17), they need to be different from the world around them. This would be especially so concerning those who intend to do evil against them (1Peter 2:1). God is different, incomparable (Isaiah 46:5), which is the essence of his attribute of holiness. So, when he calls his children to be holy, because he is holy (Leviticus 14:44-45; cf. 1Peter 1:16), he means he expects them to be different or separate from the world around them. His children must not allow themselves to be conformed to the mold (i.e. behavior philosophies, goals, knowledge etc.) of the world. Rather, be separate to serve their holy Father. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2016 in Epistles of Peter

 

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Who Were the Generation of Vipers?

Corruption

from Google Images

God sent John, the son of Zacharias, to prepare the people of Israel for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. From the very beginning of Luke’s Gospel, we get the idea that something is wrong. Luke doesn’t come right out and say what’s wrong, but what he does say implies corruption, and his implications cannot be missed by Theophilus, the high priest, to whom Luke’s Gospel is addressed. Earlier, Luke alluded to the days of Samuel, the prophet, when the high priesthood was corrupt. The implication is that in John’s day it was no different. Nevertheless, one cannot openly accuse one’s leadership of wrongdoing during the 1st century AD and expect to live a long life. John accused Herod of committing adultery by taking his brother’s wife for himself, and John was beheaded not long afterward. Jesus openly confronted the Jewish leadership (Matthew 21:23-46) and was crucified within a week. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Why Did Joseph Go to Bethlehem?

Joseph and Mary - 1

from Google Images

Throughout the world the oath of loyalty to Caesar was taken in the Temples of Augustus at the altars, but, as Josephus often shows, exceptions were always made for the Jews who worshiped only one God. Throughout Herod’s kingdom the people would have enrolled themselves at their local synagogues in the cities in which they lived (Luke 2:3), but Joseph and all those who were “of the house and lineage of David” (Luke 2:4) were an exception to this rule. Joseph and others who might be thought of as laying claim to David’s crown had to register in Bethlehem. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Gospel of Luke

 

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The Enemy Retaliates!

Just when Luke has us thinking that nothing could go wrong with this new body of Messianic believers, he brings us back to reality with the sudden jolt. Ironically, he has set the stage of one of the most scandalous affairs of early Church fellowship with the innocent and loving act of Barnabas at the end of chapter four. Then as we begin reading chapter five, Luke drops the other shoe with the Ananias and Sapphira affair. But, who are they? Luke just unloads them into his account of early church history without a word of introduction. He names them, but a name without an introduction is still meaningless. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Acts of the Apostles

 

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