Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Context is king!

I know we are not to rely on the Greek but I did find it interesting that the word translated in 1 Corinthians 14:2 as "understandeth" is translated 132 other times as "hear." 

1 Corinthians 14:2
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Obviously if you can't hear someone you can't understand them but I'm wondering why the translators chose to use understandeth? If it were the word "hear" then this "private prayer language" would be inaudible as is the Spirit praying for us in Romans 8, another passage also used to "prove" a private prayer language. 

The way that I see it, as far as why the translators translated the Greek word as "understandeth" instead of "hearing," is because understanding that language which was spoken is the issue in chapter 14. Not just hearing the voice, but actually, truly understanding what is being said!

Notice that when Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, the men with him heard the Lord, but they did not really hear, that is, understand what the Lord was saying to Paul.

Acts 9:7
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Acts 22:9
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard [understood] not the voice of him that spake to me.

So why did those translators translate that word the way that they did? It is because they were more knowledgeable as a group of men in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic than any other group of men that ever sought to translate the bible.

Plus, they were believers who believed and understood God's promise to preserve His Word and to get it in every language of the nations, and so they did it with that in mind (unlike other translators of other versions who have a ‘politically correct’ variety of people, including lost people)!

Plus, they did it under a believing king (King James) who commissioned them and protected them and gave them the security and resources to do it.

Ecclesiastes 8:4
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Therefore, I believe that God, through his divine providence helped those men with the KJB translation!

They used the majority text, and not the ones with errors, the minority text! They knew why translating that word there as ‘understandeth,’ instead of simply ‘hearing,’ was right, even though they translated it ‘hearing’ everywhere else! They knew the doctrine, that which God was trying to teach!

The issue, in context, is not just hearing, but understanding.  So that is why I believe God in his providence had them translate it that way.

What saith the scriptures…

Psalm 12:6-7
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Hopefully this helps!

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Seal of authority

Please help me understand what scripture means when it uses ‘seal’ or ‘sealed.’  

In the scripture, the word ‘seal’ has a couple of different meanings; therefore the context of the verse will define it.

One meaning has to do with closing something up with the intention to open it up again at a later date.  This is what the angel tells Daniel about his prophecies:

Daniel 12:4
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

The second, and most referred-to use of the word ‘seal/sealed’ has to do with a stamp of a king's insignia—showing authority, that no man can change; thus preventing anyone for messing with something that belong to him.

1 Kings 21:8
So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

Esther 8:8
Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's ring: for the writing which is written in the king's name, and sealed with the king's ring, may no man reverse.

Daniel 6:17
And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel.

Revelation 7:2
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Now in the bible, people could be sealed also.

We today, as members of the church the body of Christ have been sealed by God with the Holy Ghost...

2 Corinthians 1:22
Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 1:13
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

Ephesians 4:30
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

But God does not just seal those who are his in this present dispensation of the Mystery, He also sealed those Jews who were his in prophecy [Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21].

Revelation 7:3-4
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

Notice that in prophecy, those that were sealed by God were 144,000 Jews; 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes of Israel in the future tribulation period!

By the way, God knows who they are...they themselves don't know whether they are sealed or not!

All this from Revelation with these Jews was prophesied about in type/picture in the book of Ezekiel 9. During the Tribulation period, God will not allow the death angel to touch those Jews that trust Him. What must they do to trust Him? They must keep Christ’s commandments!!

Ezekiel 9
He cried also in mine ears with a loud voice, saying, Cause them that have charge over the city to draw near, even every man with his destroying weapon in his hand. And, behold, six men came from the way of the higher gate, which lieth toward the north, and every man a slaughter weapon in his hand; and one man among them was clothed with linen, with a writer's inkhorn by his side: and they went in, and stood beside the brasen altar. And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house. And he called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer's inkhorn by his side; And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,  Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seeth not. And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head. And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me.

So we see that those who are sealed in the prophecy program (God’s word that was spoken of by the mouth of his holy prophets…since the world began) are Jews in the future, and they endure to the end and go into the earthly kingdom. And those who are sealed in the mystery program (God’s word that was kept secret since the world began)are we who are in his body and go up at the rapture!

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

P.S.  Therefore, by biblical definition, since we are sealed with God, the Holy Spirit, himself, at the moment we believe the gospel of grace, no man—not even ourselves—can break that seal.  Once saved, always saved! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Could they or couldn't they forgive sins

I would appreciate any help you can provide on John 20:21-23.  Of course I believe the bible for what it says, and I tried to explain to my friend (also a Baptist Pastor) that the 12 did have authority to remit and retain sins as part of the prophetic program.  He got a bit angry/defensive and said that it doesn’t mean that.  He then went on to preach on Easter Sunday that the 12 didn’t actually receive the Holy Spirit here; that Jesus was talking about the future at Pentecost.  He also explained the verse as if it applied to us that:  When someone believes the gospel, we are in essence remitting their sins and when someone rejects the gospel we are retaining their sins.

As far as you sharing God's word with a Baptist pastor (or any other denominational preacher), it is nearly impossible to get them to see the word rightly divided because of their pride.

1 Timothy 6:3-4
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings).

Even so, below are verses so that you can have while talking to him. 

Now, regarding your question about the passage in John...

John 20:21-23
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

You both are right! You are right in that the Lord Jesus Christ did give his apostles his power to forgive sins or to not forgive them.  Your friend is also right in that they did not actually receive the Holy Ghost at that specific time.

Regarding the power to forgive sins…

John 20:21
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Notice that the Lord tells them that the same way God the Father sent him (to preach, heal, forgive sins in Israel), so he sends them in his stead!

We also actually see the Lord gave them his authority to forgive sins way back in the book of Mathew...

Matthew 18:18-20
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

These verses prove that part of their commissioning as his apostles to Israel; they had the power to do everything that he did—including forgiving sins!

Look what he says even earlier in the book of John...

John 14:12
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

So what do the words remit and retain mean from scripture?

The word remit is only mentioned once in the bible, but it is the root word of remission and in the bible, remission is always related to forgiveness for sins!!!  It is used 10 times, including…

Matthew 26:28
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

The word retain is used in the bible as "to keep," as in “they will keep their sins.”

Job 2:9
Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

Proverbs 4:4
He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Romans 1:28
And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

So for the Lord to give Israel's apostles the power to remit and retain sins in his stead meant that they could take away a person's sins, and chose to have that person keep them as well!

We actually see this with Peter in Acts 8...

Acts 8:13, 20-23
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.

But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

Here we see that Simon believed the gospel of the kingdom, yet, because of his evil heart (God, the Holy Ghost, gave Peter the power to read his heart!), Peter said that he was still in the bond of iniquity, which is sins/lawlessness against God! So Peter made him retain his sins!

In fact, Peter all by himself could forgive sins as the head apostle to Israel

Matthew 16:18-19
And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

So when did this power to forgive sins take place? Well, the same time that they got the Holy Ghost; that is, not at that time in John 20, but later in after Acts 2!

The Lord already told them earlier in the book of John that they would not get the Holy Ghost until he goes to heaven and send him!

John 16:7
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

So they did not receive the Holy Ghost, nor have the ability to forgive sins in Christ stead until after Acts 2—which was 10 days after his ascension.

Acts 2:1-4
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Also notice that all the apostles had to be there to receive the Holy Ghost (v. 1), yet in John 20, when the Lord breathed on them, Thomas was not there. That is even more proof to me that the giving of the Holy Ghost and the power to forgive sins was future from that day!

John 20:24
But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

In conclusion, the book of John shows the Lord as Israel's Jehovah God, which means that the book of John (as well as 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Revelation) all have a future look at Israel's program!

John 3:13
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

The Lord was not in heaven yet while speaking these words to Nicodemus!

Romans 4:17
(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

When John writes, he shows God's ability to prophesy/predict/foretell events as though they were!

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In his shadow

You also made an old testament reference in regard to there being healing for Israel/Jews in the "shadow of his wings."  Do you have the reference for that too?

This is most likely from the study of…

Acts 5:14-15
And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.

I believe that I mentioned in that study that the issue of those Jews receiving healing from Peter's shadow might be a reference to a couple of Psalms that Israel was to think about as Peter's shadow passed by.

Psalm 91:1
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Because Peter was the Lord's official representative to/for the nation of Israel, God used Peter's shadow to heal—as a symbol of the 'shadow of the Almighty' and its power to heal.

When God brought Israel out of Egypt, he would usually remind them of that great victory by comparing himself to an Eagle.  (Each of the four gospels depicts Christ as one of the four faces of a cherub:  in Matthew, the lion (as King); in Mark, the ox (as Servant); in Luke, the man (the humanity of the Son of Man); in John, the eagle (as Jehovah God.))

Exodus 19:4
Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

From that point on, when Israel needed help, God would "cover" them under the shadow of those wings that he bare them on just like a mother eagle covers her chicks to protect them from all harm.

Psalm 17:8
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings

Psalm 36:7
How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Psalm 57:1
Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

Psalm 63:7
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

So because Peter is teaching and showing the blessings of Jehovah's earthly kingdom and the kingdom includes physical healings...

Isaiah 33:24
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.

Therefore, thru Peter, and his shadow, the Lord is showing himself to Israel as their Jehovah-Rapha—the LORD that healeth thee:

Exodus 15:26
And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Little Flock...past and future

You once mentioned that those of the little flock who believed the kingdom gospel up to Paul were sealed.  So can you give more information about this?  

Are there parts of Hebrews- Revelation that were directly for the little flock of Peter's time and other parts that are directly for the Jews to come in the tribulation? 

How do you know which teachings are for which group?  

The little flock of Peter's time is of course gone and won't need instruction in the future...exactly which Jews have to persevere and endure to the end and which are sealed?

First, which Jews in the future must endure to the end, and which ones are sealed?

All the Jews in that future day must first believe that Christ is their Messiah and endure to the end. What does it mean to ‘endure to the end?’ To keep Christ's commandments and to not take the Antichrist's mark, aka the mark of the beast. Those who "fall away" will do so because of tribulation, among which you would not be able to buy or sell unless you take the mark of the beast.

Listen to what the Lord says...

Matthew 10:21-22
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

The Lord foretold about the different Jews of that day and how they would respond in the parable of the sower.

Matthew 13:18-23
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

So depending on the heart condition of the Jew who believed, he would be tested to see whether he would endure to the end or not. That is what happened to Simon in Acts 8.

Acts 8:13-23
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

So those Jews, whose hearts are right before God will endure to the end of their life or until Christ returns!

As to your question about the little flock who were trusting Christ as Messiah at the moment Paul was saved, I mentioned how they were sealed to the kingdom.

Romans 11:2-7
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Here, just like Elijah thought that God did not have any one in Israel who believed him beside himself, and yet Elijah was mistaken because God had a small remnant. So too, God had a small remnant of Jews left, when he saved Paul to begin the dispensation of Grace after the majority of the nation fell away!

Paul calls that remnant the "election" those who will serve him in the kingdom. They are not all that will go in because he will raise up more Jews in the future, but they were assured that they would be resurrected into that earthly kingdom.

Romans 11:5, 7
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

The election hath obtained the kingdom, but the rest of the nation was blinded and will not get in.

Paul refers to this remnant in other passages:

Galatians 6:16
 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.

Romans 16:7
Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.*

Colossians 4:11
 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellowworkers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me.


So what about those who are sealed?

Well, God and his angels will know who those that are sealed are, but the people themselves won't!

They will have to endure by faith!

That sealing in revelation takes place from God's heavenly viewpoint, but those on earth don't know who is sealed or who is not!

Just like you and I today don't know who is truly saved in our church, but God knows.

2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The Lord knows who is saved today, and we who 'name the name of Christ' should depart from the iniquity of not rightly dividing!

So although God knows those who will be sealed in the tribulation period, they won't know—they will have to endure by trusting his word by faith and not take the mark of the beast!

Hopefully this helps! 

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

*  As far as those said to being "in Christ before" Paul, just shows that they had faith "in him." Even in the kingdom program to Israel, the Lord made it clear that those members of his little flock were saved "in him."

Isaiah 45:17
But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

Isaiah 45:25
In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

John 6:56
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

John 14:20
At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

1 John 4:13
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1 John 5:20
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

All true believers are "in Christ," whether in the kingdom program of time past and the ages to come, or today in the body of Christ in the dispensation of grace.  ALL who trust him are said to be "in him." We today are in his "Body" which was a mystery until revealed to and thru Paul.