Archive for May, 2012

Philemon, A Portrait of Forgiveness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 31, 2012 by paulthepoke

Object Lesson:  A paycheck to contrast the wages of sin and the gift of God.

I wonder how many of you have ever been paid for doing some job. You know that I work and so I brought my check along today to use as our object lesson. 

Let me tell you about another paycheck. In my Bible I read, “The wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23. My employer pays me in money, but sin pays its wages in death. Since everyone is a sinner, everyone receives this paycheck of death. 

If I should go to the bank to cash my check and find that the bank had failed and could not pay, do you know what would happen? Very likely the government would step in and cash my check, for the money in most banks is insured and the insurance would cover the loss. That is exactly what happened in regard to your sins and mine. Jesus Christ stepped in and paid the debt of our sins, not because we couldn’t die for our sins but because He loved us so much. He became our insurance against having to die. 

Now instead of death for your sins, you may have complete forgiveness. For in the place of death, the Lord Jesus offers you eternal life. “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 6:23. I had to work for this check, but you cannot work for salvation. God says that salvation is for “him that worketh not,” Romans 4:5. Which will you have, the paycheck of death or the free gift of eternal life? 

Object Lesson by Charles Ryrie, Easy Object Lessons, p. 10.

As Christians, there will be many times in our lives when we are wronged by others. The issue is our response. How will we handle it? What example will we demonstrate? Mind you, forgiveness does not excuse punishment. Remember, Christ was still punished on the cross. Yet, we are forgiven. Forgiveness is often a concept that is misunderstood by our society. Forgiveness does not mean excuse a person from punishment. A punishment does fit a crime. But that person can still be forgiven. 

The letter to Philemon is written by the apostle Paul. The epistle is regarding a slave named Onesimus who has run away from his master Philemon. The penalty for a slave leaving his master was a high price to pay. But something happened after Onesimus left his earthly master. Paul introduced him to Jesus and he believed. Onesimus was now a fellow believer. 

Paul requests that Philemon take back Onesimus as a fellow brother in Christ and no longer as a slave. From Paul’s perspective, he is now more useful as a believer than he was previously as a piece of property. Paul had the authority as an apostle to command Philemon what to do, but he chose not to. Instead, Paul appealed to Philemon as a friend and to his sense of compassion, character, obedience, and forgiveness. 

This letter provides examples of how Paul follows the standard set by Jesus. Paul had not sinned against Philemon yet he was willing to pay the penalty of the crime committed by Onesimus against Philemon. Likewise, Jesus had not sinned and He was willing to pay the penalty for sin on our behalf on the cross by His death. 

Debts have to be paid. Onesimus’ debt to Philemon had to be paid just as the penalty for sin had to be paid. Paul accepted the responsibility of Onesimus’ debt. Christ paid the debt for the sins of humanity on the cross.

 

 

Advertisements

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , on May 28, 2012 by paulthepoke

Here we are in May 2012, roughly 14 months after the Egyptian uprising. We are on the eve of the Egyptian Presidential Elections and they are fighting across the country regarding the choices they have for a president. Just a point of consideration with this reblog. I am not suggesting what we are seeing is the prophecy of Isaiah 19. It is definitely worth watching. The surprise will be if the leader is not a brutal dictator. There have not been many peaceful leaders emerge from Egypt or the Middle East.

Things could get real interesting on planet Earth if the Nile River goes dry as suggested later in this chapter.

PaulthePoke

“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; and I will confound their strategy, so that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead and to mediums and spiritists. Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, and a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

Verse 3: Look at the two verbs in the initial part of the verse. The Egyptian spirit is to be emptied and demoralized. The translation of “confound” does not tell the whole story. The idea communicated is intentional, intensive, and repeated action of swallowing their strategy. One could get the idea that the Egyptians will have many ideas and solutions to try to stop the civil war.  These ideas (political, economic, religious, etc.) will be repeatedly shot down by God. The Egyptian solutions to the civil war will not…

View original post 323 more words

Isaiah 4:5-6 Smoke and Fire

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 4:5 then the LORD will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy.

Although this event is future, the imagery conjures up memories from the time of Moses. The cloud, smoke, and fire were guidance for Israel in the desert wonderings. Exodus 13:21-22 The LORD was going before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way, and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

The smoke and the fire were sources of protection and leadership. Exodus14:19, 24 The angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. At the morning watch, the LORD looked down on the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and brought the army of the Egyptians into confusion.

It will be different in the future. The Lord Himself will be bodily present to protect and guide Israel. We know this to be a resurrected Jesus. He will return to Earth and establish His Kingdom. The second half of this verse also draws up memories from the time of Moses and the tabernacle. Exodus 40:34-35 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

Isaiah 4:6 There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain.

Jerusalem is a shelter from the elements of weather. Finally peace and protection have come after judgment and cleansing.

Jesus Post Resurrection Resume

Posted in Gospel with tags , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by paulthepoke

Key Theme: Jesus is coming again. The career of Jesus following His resurrection: rapture, wrath, return, and reign.

Rapture: Jesus comes for His church. He is the head of the church (Matthew 16:18). For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16).

The term rapture is from the Latin translation of the Bible. The Greek word is harpazo. It means to snatch, seize, or take away by force. At this point, the dead in Christ will be resurrected. The dead will be raised imperishable (1 Corinthians 15:52).

The second part of the rapture event is those who are alive will be changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Corinthians 15:52). This is new information revealed by Paul, a mystery (1 Corinthians 15:51a). We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (resurrected dead) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Wrath:  The tribulation will begin with a covenant or treaty of seven years between the false messiah and Israel. He will break his promise at the half way point of the covenant (Daniel 9:27). The seven year period is broken into a series of judgments in the book of Revelation. The initial series is contained in the seal judgments of Chapter 6. After a brief pause, the seventh seal is noted at the beginning of Chapter 8. The seventh seal contains seven trumpet judgments. The first six judgments are initiated in Revelation 8:7 and continue through 9:21. The seventh trumpet is sounded in Revelation 11:15-19. The initiation of the bowl judgments occurs in Revelation 16. These events lead up to the return of Jesus.

Return: Acts 1:11b, “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.” There are over 300 references in the New Testament alone regarding the second coming of Christ. His return is chronicled in Revelation 19. The beast and false prophet are seized and thrown into the lake of fire. Satan is bound by chain in the abyss and has his own personal guard.

Rule and Reign: It is mentioned six times in Revelation 20:2-7 that the period of the earthly kingdom is 1,000 years. References in Daniel 2:44-45, 7:27 indicate that this kingdom will not be overcome and it is everlasting. Jesus will rule as king of the world (Daniel 7:14, Revelation 19:15). The church will rule and reign with Christ as kings and priests (Revelation 1:6, 5:10).  Characteristics include joy, justice, peace, no more war, holiness, glory, comfort, full knowledge, instruction, removal of the curse, no sickness, healing, protection, freedom from oppression, no immaturity, plenty of work, prosperity, increase of light, one language, unified worship, fullness of Spirit (Things to Come, Pentecost, pp. 487-490, scripture and verse noted for textual support).

At the end of the 1,000 years, Satan will be released to deceive the nations. He gathers the people of the nations for war against Christ in Jerusalem. They are consumed by fire and Satan is thrown into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10).

Next is the judgment of the great white throne. This is the judgment of the dead who are judged according to their deeds. If one’s name is not found in the book of life, they are thrown into the lake of fire with death and Hades (Revelation 20:11-15).

Eternity: The new heavens and the new earth emerge. The old heavens and old earth have been burned. New Jerusalem descends from heaven. It is described with 12 different jewels. The size is great. There is no darkness. The water of life is there with the trees of life. The Father and the Son are present with man. Their reign is forever and ever (Revelation 21 and 22).

Isaiah 4:4 Getting Rid of the Filth

Posted in Isaiah with tags , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 4:4 When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and purged the bloodshed of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and the spirit of burning,

Adonai is the Hebrew for Lord in this verse. It means ruler, master, owner, or sovereign. It can be used of man or of deity. Adonai is plural. When in reference to God, it emphasizes His sovereignty and majestic greatness. Definition per Systematic Theology The Doctrine of God, Chester McCalley.

Filth or tsow’ah in the Hebrew is defined as filth, excrement, or dung. The root of this word is noted in Zechariah 3:3-4 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” In these two verses, some have translated these “filthy garments” as menstrual rags. Whether it is dung or menstrual rags, it is equated with sin or iniquity.

The filth is in reference to excesses of the women in Isaiah 3:18-24. God equates excessive materialism with moral decay. Frankly in today’s vocabulary, all that stuff is a bunch of crap. All of the materialism and bloodshed will be washed and rinsed away.

This judgment will take place as a result of a “spirit”. The word for spirit is ruwach in Hebrew. This is the word that can mean spirit or wind. There is debate as to whether this would be a physical wind or storm that would bring about destruction. Some think the washing away mentioned previously in the verse could be a violent storm with wind and rain. The other possibility is the Spirit of the Lord could bring about judgment. It is plausible that it could be both.

The grammar indicates that a judgment is taking place. The result is an intensive and intentional action to kindle, burn, consume, and remove guilt. There is no doubt the party being  judged is guilty.

PaulthePoke

Prophecy Watch

God in a Nutshell project

A Trey Smith project

%d bloggers like this: