Thursday, September 21, 2017

The OT Law in the Life of the Church

Today’s blog is on a subject that is dear to my heart. What is the role of the OT Law in the life of the church? When I first had the desire to preach/share the gospel with people, I searched for a method. One of the methods that I came across was promoted by a man named Ray Comfort who lives in California. He called his method, “The Way of the Master.” I read his book, “Hell’s Best Kept Secret.”

In his book Ray speaks of the evangelist as being a salesman and gives four principles for selling: relate to the person, create on opportunity, convict of sin, reveal Jesus Christ.1 However, the majority of the book does not focus on who Jesus Christ is or His death, burial and resurrection, but on the third principle which is conviction.

“The way to produce conviction in the heart of a sinner is to take him through the Ten Commandments.”2 According to Ray Comfort, using the ten Commandments to bring conviction, is Hell’s Best Kept Secret. He describes the Ten Commandments as being like ten great cannons pointed at the sinner.3

It was early in 2010 when I read this book. I had been following the Lord Jesus Christ and reading His word daily for about seven years when the Lord gave me the desire to share the gospel with people. I saw logic in using the Law to Convict the sinner and liked the structured approach taught by ray Comfort in the Way of the Master. Therefore, I took off and ran with it. I connected with others who were using this method and went on mission trips preaching in open-air.

All the while something about using the Law this way nagged me. I had been reading the scriptures daily and kept reading them daily. I knew that there were many more laws given in the Pentateuch4 than the Ten Commandments. The apostle Paul did not believe that he or any other Christian was under the Law.5 The question that I kept asking (silently); “Why the Ten Commandments and not these other Laws?” In fact, there are more than six hundred commandments given in the Pentateuch.6

I was told that there were different types of laws given in the Pentateuch: ceremonial laws, civil laws and moral laws. I was told that we are no longer under the ceremonial laws or civil laws to keep them, but solely under the moral laws. This really did not make since to me for two reasons:

1. There is not a clear distinction in scripture between ceremonial, civil and moral laws; in the way that they are given, they are all moral.

2. I found nothing in scripture that said that the ceremonial and civil laws are done away, but we must keep following the moral laws.

What is the role of the OT Law in the life of the church?

It wasn’t until I understood covenant that I understood the role of the OT Law in the Life of the church. Covenant is a major theological theme throughout the Pentateuch7 and not only the Pentateuch, but the entire Bible. Covenant: “a solemn commitment guaranteeing promises or obligations undertaken by one or both covenanting parties.”8 There are several covenants in scripture, but the major theological covenants are: Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Mosaic, Davidic and the New Covenant in Christ Jesus. In order to understand the role of the OT law in the life of the Church, you must first know what covenant(s) you as believer in Jesus Christ are under.

I am a gentile, that means that I am a non-Jewish person. I am a Christian, that means I follow Jesus Christ as Lord and put my trust solely upon Him for salvation. The Mosaic covenant was given by God to the Israelites, in the desert, at Mt. Sinai, through a mediator named Moses.9 I have never been an Israelite. The OT Law is a covenantal law, if the Israelites kept the Law, God would bless them with physical blessing and if they did not keep the Law, God would curse them with physical curses.10

The prophet Jeremiah speaking for God, spoke of a New Covenant to come.11 It is this New covenant that was ratified by the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross and promised to all who repent and believe, both the Jew and the Gentile.12 Listen to what the writer of Hebrews says about this, “When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”13 Not only were gentiles never under the Mosaic covenant with the laws to keep them; that covenant is now obsolete, because there is a New Covenant in Christ Jesus.

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!”14 Christ has given many commandments for us to follow as Christians; some OT laws He restates, some He modifies, some He intensifies, some He changes and some He does away with all together.15 Take for example the eating of certain foods in Mark 7:14-23. Have you ever eaten a Ham Sandwich? It was forbidden in the OT Law.16

Therefore, since Christians are not under the OT laws to keep them, what is the role of OT Law in the life of the church? The overarching principle that the OT law teaches is that God is Holy.17 Therefore, the role of the OT Law in the life of the church is to teach us the Holiness of God.


[1] Ray Comfort, Hell’s Best Kept Secret (Bellflower: Ray Comfort, 2004)., 112-113.
[2] Ibid, 167.
[3] Ibid, 34.
[4] The Pentateuch is the first five books of the Bible.
[5] Cf. Romans 6:14-15, 1 Corinthians 9:20-21, Galatians 3, 4:21 & 5:18.
[6] J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 355.
[7] T. Desmond Alexander and David w. Baker, Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 139.
[8] Ibid.
[9] cf. Exodus 19:5-24:8.
[10] Cf. Deu 28.
[11] Cf. Jer 31:31-34.
[12] Cf. Rom 10:12-13.
[13] Heb 8:13, NASB.
[14] Rom 6:15, NASB.
[15] J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 363.
[16] Lev 11:7 & Deu 14:8.
[17] J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 367.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blog #3, Isaiah 14:3-23, What Does this Passage Mean?

The passage that I have been explaining in this blog series is Isaiah 14:3-23. In Blog #1, I explained who the author is, the date and occasion of his writing, the Biblical audience along with their historical and cultural context, and finally the literary context of the text itself. In Blog #2, I gave a verse-by-verse commentary of Isaiah 14:3-23 in light of the historical cultural and literal context given in blog #1.

In this blog, I will list the similarities between us and the original audience, as well as the differences between us and the original audience. When interpreting a biblical passage like Isaiah 14:3-23 it is important for us to understand the similarities that we share with the original audience and the differences that we have, because those difference form a hindrance when we attempt to go straight from meaning in their historical and cultural context to meaning in ours.1

As stated in Blog #1, the original audience is Judah during the reigns of the Kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh. Isaiah prophesied and wrote between 740 B.C. and at least 680 B.C. We know this, because Isaiah recorded the king of Assyria, Sennacherib’s death, which according to Mcdonald was in 681 B.C. Isaiah died during the wicked king of Judah, Manasseh’s reign.2

Similarities

· The original audience was watched over by One sovereign God who created all things, though many worshiped false gods. In 21st century American culture there is One sovereign God of the universe, yet people worship false gods.

· The original audience communicated with one another by language. Today we communicate with each other by language.

· The original audience had a cultural leadership structure. In 21st century America we have a cultural leadership structure.

· During the time that Isaiah wrote the people of Judah faced enemies from within and without. Today in 21st century America we face enemies from within and without.

· During the time that Isaiah wrote people got married and raised families. Today in 21st century America people get married and raise families.

· During Isaiah’s time families lost loved ones do to unexpected deaths. In 21st century American culture we lose loved ones to death.

· For the original audience, the basic needs for life were food, clothing and shelter. In 21st century American culture the basic needs for life are food, clothing and shelter.

Differences

· The biblical audience in Isaiah’s day spoke to one another in the Hebrew language. In 21st century America the primary language by which we communicate with one another is English.

· The original audience grew and raised the majority of what they ate. In 21st century America, for the majority of us, someone else grows our food, we go to a grocery store and buy it.

· During Isaiah’s day, they were under the Mosaic Covenant. In the 21st century American church we are under the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.

· The original audience had a few books of the Bible (Pentateuch), but primarily heard from God via the prophets. Today we have the entire canon of scripture to hear what God is saying.

· During the days of Isaiah, they traveled by foot or used animals. In 21st century America we travel to and fro by motorized vehicles and air travel.

· During the days of Isaiah, the culture was taught by oral tradition. In 21st century America we are taught using written word and electronic audio-visual presentations.

· In Isaiah’s day, the biblical world was Palestine, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Philistia, Moab, Damascus, Ethiopia and Tyre. (cf. Isa 13-23) In the 21st century, the world is a globe containing seven continents, vast oceans and very many nations.


[1] J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s Word: A hands-On Approach to Reading, interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 42.

[2] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 938.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Verse-by-Verse Commentary: Isaiah 14:3-23


14:3-4. Once the Lord frees Israel from pain, turmoil and harsh service for which they have been enslaved, they will taunt the king of Babylon. They will do this in song.1 This taunt song has the metric of a dirge. A dirge eulogizes the dead and is usually song during a funeral procession. However, this song while having the metric of a dirge serves to do the opposite of eulogizing. This song mocks the dead king of Babylon.2

14:5-6. A ruler has a scepter by which he rules the nation. He could extend this scepter to you as an act of mercy, as was the case when Esther came before king Ahasuerus, king of Persia, unsummoned. (cf. Est 4:11-12, 5:1-2) This king of Babylon’s scepter was more like a staff with which a cruel owner might beat his slaves and he did so unceasingly, without any moral restraint. In this taunt song, the Lord has broken the Babylonian king’s staff/scepter. By his unrestrained anger the king of Babylon demonstrated himself to be an unfit to ruler.3

14:7. This king so struck the nations with fury that at his death the whole earth is at rest and is quiet. This king was enemy to all the earth. He was powerful and mighty on the earth, this is evident because his death brings joy to all the earth.4 What did the earth look like during his reign?

14:8. Not only did the men of the earth rejoice, but trees rejoice. The forest of Lebanon was likely denuded by the king’s armies to build his palaces.5 The forest of Lebanon was considered to be a treasure by kings of the ancient world. The forest of Lebanon would have been an area of conquest for the kings of the ancient world.6 Having such a forest would have given them the materials to build grand palaces and cities. Now with the king of Babylon dead the forest is able to grow and replenish.

14:9-10. The Hebrew word Sheol occurs 66 times in the Old Testament. Sheol is the underworld. It is the place to which the dead descended.7 So death is excited to meet him when he comes. Sheol will raise up the kings of the earth from their thrones. Death is the great leveler. The king of Babylon is no longer enthroned in death. All the dead kings before him, from all the nations stand at his arrival, but they do so in mock tribute.8m// 

14:11. How can one be prideful when they have become a rotting corpse covered by worms and maggots?9 All of the pomp of his kingdom has passed away for he sleeps on a bed of maggots and his blanket is worms.10 Everything that this king of Babylon thought that he was rots away.

14:12-15. Some commentators believe that the theme of the taunt seems to expand at this verse from the king of Babylon to the fall of the one who gives energy to his wicked kingdom, Satan or Lucifer.11 The Hebrew word “helel” which is used in this text does not occur anywhere else in the Old Testament. When Jerome translated this text into Latin12 he used the word “lucifers” which literally means shining one.13 Here the prophet addresses him as a star who desired to be above God and His stars. The patristic, Tertullian, believed that this passage referred to the fall of Satan as described by Christ in Luke 10:18.14 “And He said to them, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightening.” Edward J. Young in his commentary on the Isaiah passage does not believe that this passage refers to the fall of Satan, but solely to that of a tyrannical earthly king.15 I am having a tendency at this point to agree, but I do see similarities between the fall of the king of Babylon and Satan at the final judgment. However, there are differences between the two, this king of Babylon is thrust down to Sheol while Satan will be cast into the Lake of fire. (cf. Rev 20:10) “Sheol is the Hebrew word for the Netherworld. Though it might have been considered an act of judgment for a person to be consigned to Sheol from life, it was not in itself a place of judgment to be contrasted to the reward of a heavenly destiny.”16

14:16-17. People will see this king in death pondering over him. In death, he goes from power to complete humiliation. Those who gaze at him will see a dead man, a nothing who was once the most powerful of all the kings on the earth.

14:18-21. Many earthly kings are honored at their funerals and by the sight chosen for their burial, but not the king of Babylon. He is not given a decent place of burial. There will be no monument erected in his honor and his children will be cut off from ever taking his place as king.17

14:22-23. Here the text departs from the mocking dirge song about the king of Babylon. The text returns to the theme of the destruction of Babylon as depicted in Isaiah 13:17-22. This text seems to be a summary of what was said in the text leading up to the taunt against the king of Babylon. According to McArthur, Israel will have a remnant, but Babylon will not.18 Babylon will be a place for creatures and dirty water.



[1] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 950.

[2] John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Isa 14:3-23.

[3] Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah Volume I Chapters 1-18 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), 436.

[4] Ibid.

[5] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 950.

[6] John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Isa 14:3-23.

[7] Robert L. Thomas, Ed., New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries (Nashville: The Lockman Foundation, 1981), 1600.

[8] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), 1165.

[9] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible (La Habra: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 958.

[10] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 950.

[11] Ibid.

[12] J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 26.

[13] John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Isa 14:3-23.

[14] Edward J. Young, The Book of Isaiah Volume I Chapters 1-18 (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), 441.

[15] Ibid.

[16] John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Isa 14:3-23.

[17] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 950.

[18] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible (La Habra: Thomas Nelson, 2006), 958.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

BLOG #1WHAT DOES THIS PASSAGE MEAN?ISAIAH 14:3-23



For the next seven weeks I will be writing about Isaiah 14:3-23. This is Blog post #1. I invite you to join me as I learn what the Lord has to say to us in this passage.

Author 

Some would say that the book of Isaiah was authored by more than one person if not several authors.1 These are the theories of modern biblical critics. This same group says that Moses did not write the Pentateuch and the Book of Daniel was not authored by Daniel.2 “Until the late 1700’s virtually all Jewish and Christian scholars accepted Isaiah as one long prophecy given by one very gifted writer, Isaiah the son of Amoz.”3 The Book of Isaiah begins, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz concerning Judah and Jerusalem, which he saw during the reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, Kings of Judah.” (Isa 1:1) The book never states that it is a different vision at any time; therefore, I must maintain that the entire book is written by one author, Isaiah the son of Amoz.

Isaiah is a prophet of YHWH. He was commissioned by God during the year that King Uzziah died, which would be about 739 B.C.4 “The name Isaiah means ‘salvation of the Lord.’”5 Isaiah’s ministry continued through the death of Hezekiah. Hezekiah died in 686 B.C. “He saw God’s Son and God’s glory (chap. 6; John 12:41), he heard God’s message, and he sought to bring the nation back to God before it was too late.”6 Isaiah lived and ministered in the nation of Judah.7

Date and Occasion of Writing 

Isaiah began his ministry in the same year that King Uzziah died, approximately 739B.C.8 Isaiah recorded Sennacherib’s death which was in 681B.C.9 There is a time variance among commentators, but most come within a year or two of this time frame. Therefore, he likely wrote the Book of Isaiah over a period of 60-80 years, 740 B.C. to 680 B.C. The specific passage of Isaiah 14:3-23 falls in the middle of the first part of Isaiah’s writings. Isaiah chapter 14 occurs along with a series of other oracles against the nations.10 The taunt itself is prophetic; speaking of events that are in the future. Isaiah speaks of Israel’s judgment, a second exodus and a coming Servant King. The book looks forward to a final redemption of Zion in a new heaven and new earth. Chapters 1-39 deal primarily with Jerusalem during the time period of the Assyrian threat, but looks ahead to the future threat of Babylon.11

Audience: Historical & Cultural Context 

The audience is Judah and the Jews in Jerusalem during the reigns of kings of Judah: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh. For further reading on the original audience, read 2 Kings chapters 15-20 and 2 Chronicles chapters 26-32; these historical accounts depict Judah, Jerusalem and its Kings during the time that Isaiah prophesied and wrote.

Literary Context

According to William MacDonald the meaning of Isaiah’s name gives the main theme of the book.12 “The name Isaiah means ‘salvation of the Lord.’”13 The word salvation occurs 26 times in the book of Isaiah.14 The theme is the Gospel. Almost all agree that the book of Isaiah has two major sections; chapters 1-39 and chapters 40-66, chapters 36-39 are an interlude between the two major sections.15 The book of Isaiah is like a gospel presentation; the first section depicts man’s need of salvation and the second section gives God’s provision of grace.16

Following on the heels of God’s gracious provision comes in the last verse of Isaiah one of the harshest depictions of judgment in all of scripture for those who reject God’s gracious salvific provision, much like that found in Revelation 20:15. Therefore, the theme of Isaiah is the theme of the entire canon of scripture, “Salvation is from the Lord.” (Jon 2:9) “Israel has been saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated To all eternity.” (Isa 45:17)

Isaiah 13:17-22 prophesies that Babylon will fall to the Medes and declares its complete destruction saying, “It will never be inhabited or lived in from generation to generation; Nor will the Arab pitch his tent there, Nor will shepherds make their flocks lie down there.” (Isa 13:20) Only desert creatures will inhabit what was formally a great kingdom on the earth. When its calamity comes it will come swiftly. Then in Isaiah 14:1-2 he prophesies a future time in which the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and foreigners will join them, attaching themselves to them. The Babylonians captured the Israelites, 14:2 says that they will take their captures captive. The Babylonians oppressed the Israelites, Isaiah prophesies that Israel will rule over them. Following the taunt against the king of Babylon (Isa 14:3-23), Isaiah prophesies judgment against another nation, Assyria.



[1] Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville, ed., Dictionary of The Old Testament Prophets: Isaiah, book of (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2012), 364.
[2] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 935.
[3] Ibid, 936.
[4] John H. Walton, Victor H. Matthews and Mark W. Chavalas, IVP Bible Background Commentary Old Testament (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2000), Isa 1:1.
[5] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), 1154.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ibid.
[8] Mark J. Boda and J. Gordon McConville, ed., Dictionary of The Old Testament Prophets: Isaiah, book of (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2012), 364.
[9] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 938.
[10] Gordon D. Fee and Douglas Stuart, How to Read the Bible Bok by Book a Guided Tour (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002) 175.
[11] Ibid, 174-175.
[12] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 938.
[13] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (Colorado Springs: David C. Cook, 2007), 1154.
[14] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), 938.
[15] Ibid, 936.
[16] Ibid, 938.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Theodicy

As a Critical Care Registered Nurse I see a great deal of human suffering. Theodicy is the theological field of study that contemplates the existence of evil and suffering in a world created by a good God who is both omniscient and omnipotent. The Bibles answer to the problem of evil is the same throughout the entire Cannon of scripture; trust the Lord your God. 

The books of Job and Ecclesiastes deal with this question on a personal level, but neither gives the full answer as to why there is human suffering. These two books acknowledge that evil and human suffering both exist. These two books also acknowledge God’s sovereignty, omniscience, kindness, righteousness and justice.  

In the face of human suffering people have a tendency to doubt God. Human logic makes a God in our own image all the while forgetting that God is incomprehensible. The book of Job gives an answer for Job's suffering, but Job himself is not given an answer. We the readers get to look in on a scene in heaven that Job is not privy too. The preacher/teacher in Ecclesiastes says that all is vanity, that the good and the bad alike die. Neither Job nor Ecclesiastes gives the answer for human suffering, both point to the fact that human suffering does exist.

Therefore, when talking with someone who is suffering we should not deny that evil exists nor pretend that we have all the answers. What we do know is that God is sovereign and good, but let us never forget that God is incomprehensible. Therefore, let us not put him in a box. So when others are suffering acknowledge their suffering. Walk with them in their suffering, hold their hand and pray with them. Let them know that you do not have all the answers, but also let them know that God is good and God is Sovereign even in the face of their suffering and loss, therefore, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)


Thursday, August 24, 2017

What Does this Passage Mean: Isaiah 14:12-14


Isaiah 14:12-14
“How you have fallen from heaven,
O star of the morning, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
“But you said in your heart,
‘I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of assembly
In the recesses of the north.
‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.’

Prophetic passages like this one usually have more than one meaning. The passage itself is part of a song, a taunt against the king of Babylon. Biblical prophecy is a lot like skipping rocks on water. The prophet cast the stone and it touches the water (the first meaning of the prophecy); the rock then lifts up off the water and touches the surface of the water again (the second meaning of the prophecy); eventually the rock reaches its culmination and plunges into the deep (the final meaning of the prophetic word).

In Isaiah chapter 13 the prophet has already told us that Babylon will fall to the Medes. (cf. Isa 13:17-22) Through scripture being the interpreter of scripture we know that the first meaning of our passage is a taunt against the king of Babylon. (Isa 14:4) The taunt is a mocking one in the manner with which Elijah taunted the prophets of Baal. (cf. 1 Ki 18:27) When one exalts himself as the king of Babylon did, part of his punishment is to be stripped of all honor and glory. Therefore, the first meaning of Isaiah 14:12-14 is a mocking taunt against the king of Babylon.

Belshazzar was a historical king in Babylon who fell to the Medes, (cf. Dan 5) but he was also a type of the antichrist. The taunt says that he has fallen from heaven and calls him “O star of the morning, son of the dawn!” (Isa 14:12) We know from the New Testament that Jesus is the bright and morning star, (Rev 22:16) the Son of God who came from heaven. (Jn 1:14) We also know that Jesus said that He watched Satan fall from heaven. “And He said to them, ‘I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.’” (Luk 10:18) The Devil, the beast and the false prophet will all be tormented; “And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Therefore, the second meaning of Isaiah 14:12-14 is a mocking taunt against Satan, the beast on which Babylon the great, the mother of all harlots and of the abominations of the earth sits. (cf. Rev 17)

In conclusion, prophetic scripture has more than one meaning. It is like skipping stones on water. In Isaiah 14:12-14 the first meaning is a taunt against the historical king of Babylon. The second meaning is a taunt against Satan at the eschaton.



Friday, August 18, 2017

Skunk on a Table


Today is my last day off before beginning the fall semester, on-line, at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Tomorrow I will be working in the CVICU, then classes begin on Monday. I'm beginning my eighth class; Introduction to Hermeneutics, which will be the halfway point in obtaining a Master of Theological Studies. I thought I would take the time today to discuss a problem that I have with Facebook.

I have had a problem with Facebook for several years, because of this, I have been off of it several times. What do I enjoy about Facebook? Seeing pictures of my friends and family, also reading what they are up to. What I do not enjoy about Facebook is the tendency by some to purposely through skunks on the table. Skunks stink really bad!

I've noticed that some do this for the purpose of creating a discussion and others do it for martydom. Neither of these reasons are for love. 

"I was very glad to find some of your children walking in truth, just as we have received commandment to do from the Father. Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (2 John 2:4-6)

The discusser does this, because he/she enjoys a fight. You can call it debate, but it is still fighting. The marytr does this that he may feel superior and acts like he is being attacked if anyone disagrees with the stinking post. 

Recently I had a friend who kept making blanket negative statements about evangelicals on Facebook. I commented on a couple of his post, giving a brief biblical and historical account of what an evangelical is, but because the media and others use the term evangelical broadly he would not listen to me and continued to make these blanket statements.

To clarify Evangelicalism:

  1. Evangelicals are Trinitarian Christians
  2. Evangelicals believe in the Inerrancy of scripture
  3. Evangelicals believe in the centrality of the cross
  4. Evangelicals believe in the importance of evangelism
  5. Evangelicals believe in the resurrection of the dead when Christ returns
  6. Evangelicals believe that while waiting for the consummation it is our duty to make the world a better place in the present

While I still consider this man a friend and brother in Christ I could not continue to see these post. When making a post to Facebook or any other social media sight that could be seen as controversial ask why you are making the post. Are you doing it to cause argument, or to play martyr when someone disagrees with you?