Archive for May, 2015

What the Hell…Gehenna

Posted in Hell with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2015 by paulthepoke

Luke 12:5 But I will warn you whom to fear: fear the One who, after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him! – Jesus

hinnom

Hell, is it real or not? There are many terms in the Bible that are related and quoted as synonymous. Some of these include Hades, the pit, outer darkness, Sheol, the Lake of Fire, Gehenna, and the chasm from the Bosom of Abraham. They are different places. Some of these terms are not the same as Hell.

The first of these terms to be addressed in this series is Gehenna. This term is used 12 times in the New Testament. Jesus uses the term 11 times and the one other is utilized by His half-brother, James. Jesus teaches about Hell more than anyone in the Bible.

Per Strong’s Concordance, Gehenna is the Greek word used by Jesus. It means: Hell is the place of the future punishment called Gehenna or “Gehenna of Fire“. This was originally the Valley of Hinnom, south of Jerusalem, where the filth and dead animals of the city were cast out and burned; a fit symbol of the wicked and their future destruction.

Gehenna is translated from the Hebrew ge-hinnom or the Valley of Hinnom. In the Hebrew, Hinnom means “lamentation” per Strong’s.

Per Easton’s Bible Dictionary: The Valley of Hinnom became the common receptacle for all the refuse of Jerusalem. Dead bodies of animals, criminals, and all kinds of filth were cast and consumed by fire kept always burning. During the process of time, the valley became the image of everlasting destruction.

The Valley of Hinnom is below Jerusalem to the south and west. The valley is located below what would have been the site of the Temple. God notes this through the prophet and the book of Jeremiah. The Israelites made and placed idols in God’s Temple. They made idols in the valley. The Jewish people sacrificed their children by fire to the false god Molech. Other gods were worshipped. It is not in God’s will for us to sacrifice our children.

Jeremiah 7:30-31  “For the sons of Judah have done that which is evil in My sight,” declares the LORD, “they have set their detestable things in the house which is called by My name, to defile it. They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.”

2 Chronicles 33:6 He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking Him to anger.

Israel broke the first three commandments of the 10 Commandments with their actions at this site: 1) no other gods before God, 2) building of idols, 3) idol worship or worship of other gods.

The irony is Gehenna or the Valley of Hinnom was a place where Israel used fire to sacrifice to and worship other gods. In the final analysis, God will use fire to judge.

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Shavuot/Pentecost, Part 2

Posted in Gospel, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2015 by paulthepoke

Hebrews 5:12-14 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

milkcheese

The author of Hebrews is addressing believers. God’s word is being equated with milk. Grow up! You are going in the wrong direction. Stop acting like a baby! Babies drink milk. They do not eat food. At this point as believers in Christ, there should be more maturity. These believers should be ready to eat real, solid food and should be getting off of the liquid diet. Moreover, they should be teaching others about Christ.

Hebrews 6:1-4 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit…

According to the text, these are the fundamentals of Jesus Christ: repentance of dead works, faith toward God, instruction about washing and laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

There is also a reminder. At the time of the writing of Hebrews, Jewish men had been coming to the Jerusalem for over 1,500 years per God’s instruction for Shavuot (Exodus 23:14-17) since the time of Moses. God gave the instructions for Shavuot to Moses on Mount Sinai on this ordained holiday (Leviticus 23).

Shavuot and Pentecost are synonymous. Shavuot is often associated with God giving the Torah, the birth of Judaism. Pentecost is often associated with God giving the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church. Part of the celebration of the holiday includes eating and drinking milk products. The author of Hebrews is equating milk with the holiday as a reminder.

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/shavuot-101/

This year (2015), Shavuot/Pentecost starts on sunset, Saturday, May 23 on a Gregorian calendar. Today, the tradition of eating and drinking dairy products continues with Shavuot. In addition, the book of Ruth is read. There is a reminder to us as well. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have the Holy Spirit of God within us. We are sealed with the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

Spread the Word. It is time to get off the teat…

Shavuot/Pentecost, Part 1

Posted in Gospel, Pentecost/Shavuot/Feast of Weeks, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2015 by paulthepoke

Leviticus 23:15-16 ‘You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete Sabbaths. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the Lord.

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Other provisions for the holiday include two loaves of bread, sacrificial lambs, a bull, two rams, a goat, and a drink offering of wine. The holiday is also a day of rest with no work (Leviticus 23:17-21).

In the Old Testament and in the Hebrew, this holiday is referred to as Shavuot. The word means: weeks.

Shavuot is one of the three holidays where Jewish men are required to come to Jerusalem (Exodus 23:14-17). The men were to make their presentation and sacrifice before God at the Temple.

As stated in the Leviticus passage, it is seven weeks after Passover. It is a celebration of the completed grain harvest. The holiday is also a celebration of God giving the Torah (instruction or law) to nation Israel. Because of this, Shavuot is considered as the beginning or birth of Judaism.

The Law was given on Mount Sinai roughly 1,500 years before Christ. Nation Israel honored this holiday every year. Eating and drinking dairy products are part of the celebration of Shavuot. Many think the custom of dairy products is in reference to Bible verses referring to a promised land flowing with milk and honey. An example is Exodus 3:8a “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey…

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/why-dairy-on-shavuot/

Fast forward to 33 AD. Nation Israel is celebrating and living the holiday. Acts 2:1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they (apostles) were all together in one place. In the Greek New Testament, Shavuot (Hebrew) is translated as Pentekoste (Greek). Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: the fiftieth day; the second of the three great Jewish feasts, celebrated at Jerusalem yearly, the seventh week after the Passover, in grateful recognition of the completed harvest. We have transliterated the word to Pentecost (English).

This is the day promised by Jesus of the giving of the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. It is seven weeks after the death of the sacrificial lamb, Jesus. Shavuot or Pentecost is also the day God the Father gave the Holy Spirit. Because of this, Pentecost is considered the beginning or the birth of the church (believers in Jesus Christ).

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit…”

Name Game: Believer in Christ (Insert Name) to ???

Posted in Gospel, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2015 by paulthepoke

Revelation 2:17 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’

whitestone

These words come from Jesus Himself. The audience is the “churches”, believers in Christ. In the Bible, the “church” is not a building. This is the Greek word ecclesia. Per Strong’s Concordance, it means: the whole body of Christians scattered throughout the earth; a company of Christians, or of those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs, according to regulations prescribed for the body for order’s sake.

The believers are encouraged to listen to their indwelled Spirit.

Three things are promised: hidden manna, a white stone, and a new name.

Manna is… Psalm 78:24 He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them food from heaven. The Hebrew word for manna is “man”. It literally means: “What is it?” Manna is a bread from grain from Heaven. Numbers 11:7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. Coriander is also known as cilantro. The seed is like a little pellet and its color is yellow/brown. Exodus 16:15 When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.

The manna is concealed or hidden. Likewise, manna is concealed in an urn in the Ark of the Covenant. Hebrews 9:4a having a golden altar of incense and the Ark of the Covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna…

Manna is the food of angels. Psalm 78:25 Man did eat the bread of angels; He sent them food in abundance.

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. As manna came from Heaven, Jesus is the bread from Heaven.

White stone… The Greek word for stone is psephos. Per Strong’s, it is a small worn smooth stone, a pebble; in the ancient courts of justice the accused were condemned by black pebbles and the acquitted by white.

As believers in Christ, we are acquitted of our sin by the bloodshed and work of Jesus on the cross. He is the payment for the crime. We will be given a small white stone. Jesus Himself is telling us this in the verse.

Jesus promises believers in Him a name change and it is personal…and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.

And for good measure, Jesus will have a different name, and it is personal. Revelation 19:12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.

Name Game: Israel to Hephzibah, Beulah Land

Posted in Isaiah, Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2015 by paulthepoke

Isaiah 62:1-4 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not keep quiet, until her righteousness goes forth like brightness, and her salvation like a torch that is burning. The nations will see your righteousness, and all kings your glory; and you will be called by a new name which the mouth of the LORD will designate. You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. It will no longer be said to you, “Forsaken,” nor to your land will it any longer be said, “Desolate”; but you will be called, “My delight is in her,” and your land, “Married”; for the LORD delights in you, and to Him your land will be married.

Genesis 32:28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

Banias-waterfalls

There is yet another name coming for the people and nation who are known as Israel. God Himself will make the change. The Bible says that name will be Hephzibah.

The name Hephzibah is noted one other place in the Bible. She was the mother of King Manasseh and queen to King Hezekiah. 2 Kings 21:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. Per Strong’s Concordance, her name means: My delight is in her.

The land will undergo a name change as well, “married” or Beulah. Per Strong’s Beulah means:  to marry, rule over, possess, own, be lord (husband) over. The relationship between God and the land is that of a marriage covenant. Some know the term from the southern hymn “Sweet Beulah Land”.

This likely speaks to the reversal of the curse on the land. Genesis 3:17a Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; cursed is the ground because of you… The Apostle Paul confirms the curse of the land in the New Testament. Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

God is a redeemer and restorer. Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

Israel will no longer wrestle with God or with the nations of humanity. The struggle will end.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-supreme-leader-touts-9-point-plan-to-destroy-israel/

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Iran-Israel-destruction-annihilation/2015/04/01/id/635729/

For the nations hostile to Israel who say, “Israel will be no more…” They are correct.

God and Israel will prevail. God’s delight will be in His chosen people, Hephzibah… and the land, Beulah.

Name Game: Jacob to Israel

Posted in Prophecy with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2015 by paulthepoke

Genesis 32:24-28 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 

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Name changes in the Bible are not uncommon. Here are some examples. God changed Abram to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), Sarai to Sarah (Genesis 17:15), and Saul to Paul (Acts 13:9).

The verses above are how the man named Jacob had his name changed to Israel. The nation Israel would come from this man.

In the Hebrew (Strong’s Concordance), Jacob means “heel holder” or “supplanter”. It can also mean he cheats or deceives. Jacob was given this name because of the events at his birth. Genesis 25:26a Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob…This name accurately describes Jacob. He cheated and deceived his brother Esau for his inheritance. The deceiver met his match in his future father in law, Laban (Genesis 29-31).

Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. In the Hebrew (Strong’s Concordance), Israel means “God prevails”. Per Holman’s Bible Dictionary, Israel means God strives, God rules, God heals, or he strives against God.

The verse above has proven to be prophetic for nation Israel. The country struggled against Egypt and was held captive for 400 years. God delivered His people out of slavery and bondage in the Book of Exodus.

God’s chosen people were taken captive by Tiglath-Pileser and the Assyrian Empire. Nebuchadnezzar led the Babylonians and plundered Jerusalem. Those who survived were taken back to Babylon. Israel was under Persian rule after they conquered Babylon.

They were dispersed throughout the world in the first century at the hands of the Roman Empire. They survived the Spanish Inquisition in the late 1400’s. Hitler attempted to exterminate the Jewish people during the middle of the 20th century in World War II.

They were reborn as a country in a day in 1948. The rebirth of Israel was prophesied in Isaiah 66:8-9 “Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Can a land be born in one day? Can a nation be brought forth all at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she also brought forth her sons. Shall I bring to the point of birth and not give delivery?” says the LORD. “Or shall I who gives delivery shut the womb?” says your God.

Along the way, God has healed and preserved His chosen people. And they have wrestled with Him.

God prevails. Amos 9:15 I will also plant them on their land, and they will not again be rooted out from their land which I have given them,” Says the LORD your God.

PaulthePoke

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