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Tag Archives: truth

Blowing the First Trumpet

Trumpet - 1st

from Google Images

As the first angel sounded his trumpet, John saw “hail and fire mingled with blood” and they were cast upon the earth (Revelation 8:7). By earth the Scripture means the land of the Jews—Judea and Galilee (and perhaps Samaria). So, the judgments are largely confined to this area. Therefore, the Apocalypse could not be speaking of the whole world, but, rather, it concerns itself with a specific area within the Roman Empire (viz. Revelation 16:2, 10, 12) and a specific period of time. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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The Praise of the Redeemed

Redeemed

from Google Images

When the Lamb (Jesus) had taken the book to himself to reveal its contents, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before his feet and worshiped him (Revelation 5:8). The text says that every one of them had harps and golden censors in their hands, however, I don’t believe this means the four beasts and the twenty-four elders had both a censor and a harp in his hands. If that were true, it would be difficult to use either, because both require two hands to use. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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Ascending to the Open Door

Open Door - 1

from Google Images

At different times in the Bible different people were permitted to peer through an open door, as though they looked into heaven (Ezekiel 1:1; Matthew 3:16; Acts 7:56; 10:11). Different visions were seen, but each one was very significant in its own context. John’s open door, in my opinion, must be viewed in the context of Revelation 1:19. That is, John saw certain things in chapter one, and in chapters two and three, he explained what those things are. In other words, he recorded the meaning in chapters two and three of what he had seen in chapter one. Finally, John was commanded “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things” (Revelation 4:1), which in the context of Revelation 1:19 is to see “the things” beyond the Holy Place, where the seven lamps stood before the throne (cf. Revelation 1:12 and 4:5). Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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The Amen, the Faithful & True Witness

True Witness

from Google Images

I am currently involved in the study of the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22. There, Jesus describes himself to the church as the Amen, the faithful and true witness and the beginning of the creation of God (Revelation 3:14). The Greek word amen (G281) is used 152 times in the New Covenant text, and it is translated either into verily (101 times) or transliterated as amen (51 times). Only here in verse-14 is it used as a name for anyone. It is always used elsewhere as an introduction to a statement that is true or as a conclusion to a prayer or a statement that is true. But, here Jesus claims it as a title for himself. It is interesting that Isaiah uses the Hebrew word otherwise translated into amen (H543), 28 out of 30 times, to describe God as the true God or the God of truth: “that he who blesses himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes” (Isaiah 65:16). Therefore, by Jesus saying he is the “Amen” in Revelation 3:14, it would seem that he claims to be the Truth (John 14:6) or the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16) or both. Read the rest of this entry »

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

 

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Hidden Manna

Hidden Manna

from Google Images

In Revelation 2:17 Jesus changes his general address in order to speak directly to believers who have ears to hear. That is, he is addressing those who have not closed their hearts and minds to his word (cp. John 1:11-12; 3:32). However, the promises he makes are made only to those who endure to the end and overcome the attacks of the enemy both from within and from outside the church. In other words, out of the church of Pergamos, Jesus singles out those who have not closed their hearts and minds, but out of this smaller group, Jesus addresses a yet tinier group of believers who endure all things for his namesake. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation

 

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False Signs of Jesus’ Coming

False Prophets

from Google Images

When we first read Luke 21:8, we have to wonder if the Apostles, who knew Jesus personally, could actually be deceived into believing another man was the Messiah. While I don’t believe the Apostles could have been deceived that another person was Jesus, I think, if they weren’t very cautious to consider Jesus’ words carefully, they could have been deceived into believing Jesus’ return to judge Jerusalem would be sooner than it was, and they could have left Judea prematurely without a witness. The text says that many would come in the name of Jesus and declare the time was at hand (Luke 21:8), i.e. the time of the end, or the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was at hand. Jesus told the Apostles not to believe such people. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 20, 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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Believing the Lie Rather than the Truth

Believing Error

from Google Images

In Matthew 17:22 and for a second time Jesus repeated his teaching or revelation that he would suffer and die at the hands of men but would rise again on the third day. Just as in Matthew 16:16-17, Jesus second revelation of his suffering, death and resurrection follows an incident that offers evidence of the Apostles’ spiritual understanding. In Matthew 17:10-13 the Apostles (three of them) displayed some spiritual growth, showing they were listening to the voice of God in their hearts. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2018 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Luke and Egyptian Folklore

Rich Man and Lazarus - 2

from Google Images

It might be interesting to discuss the possible literary genre of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus. Some scholars believe its theme has been borrowed from Egyptian folklore. The problem with this idea is that Jesus would have no reason to use pagan literature to speak to the Jews, especially his disciples. Moreover, since there are obvious doctrinal issues with the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus, why would Jesus use gentile literature to teach anything about the Kingdom of God. On the other hand, if the Jewish authorities were already using this story, which **they** borrowed from Egyptian folklore in order to support their own worldviews (Titus 1:14; cf. 2Timothy 4:4), then Jesus would have good reason to use it, if he wanted to expose error in the doctrines of the Jewish authorities of his day. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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Is Experience Better Evidence for Truth?

Evidence

from Google Images

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus the rich man believes that a resurrection would alert his brethren to be forewarned of their fate, if they didn’t repent. Since the rich man’s sins aren’t mentioned, one sin that he may have in mind is the doctrine of the Sadducees that there was no life beyond the grave. They didn’t believe in a resurrection, so God’s blessings were to be received in one’s life on earth. There simply was nothing else. Therefore, the rich man thought his brethren needed to be warned that there was, indeed, an afterlife, and they needed to be aware of consequences of their actions. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2017 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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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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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 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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Remembering

Memory

from Google Images

In a very real sense, memory changes us. An emotionally painful memory tends to act as a hedge to keep us from behaving in such a manner that gave rise to that event in the past. Religious and family traditions, or collective memory, cause us to behave in a certain socially acceptable manner, especially while in the company of family and friends who hold to those traditions. And, we probably don’t wander far from those traditions even when we share the company of strangers. Memories of the past that helped make us what we are today jump into focus when they are triggered by something we experience in the present. Visiting old friends we hadn’t seen in years, for example, will trigger memories of people and events we hadn’t thought about in a long time. It isn’t as though we had forgotten our friends or the things we experienced together, but seeing them once again brings many memories of our relationships into focus. Peter points to something like this in his second epistle. He writes that he intends to be an impetus to keep his readers thinking of Jesus and their walk with him. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Gospel of Luke

 

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