Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Spiritual View of Homosexuality


A Spiritual View of Homosexuality


Spiritual Perspective


 Perhaps you have heard the book written about Flatland by Edwin Abbott. In it there is a story of people living in a 2 dimensional space much like a piece of paper, while a 3 dimensional sphere is passed through their world.  The 3 dimensional sphere appears as a line changing from short to long to short to them as it passes through their paper flat world.  The 2 dimensional Flatland dwellers can only see the sphere at the point it intersects their plane. To them, it is clearly a line and not a sphere.

 The spiritual realm is interwoven with our physical world and is preeminent.  Like the metaphorical realm of the sphere, the spiritual realm is one that contains within it the lower dimensions.  We see the spiritual realm’s at the point it intersects our physical one.  The spiritual realm’s interactions with our world are mysterious, incomprehensible, and indescribable.  We have trouble describing it in much the same way that Flatlanders seeing a sphere pass through their world as a line could not imagine nor describe a sphere.

 This is the marvel of the Bible.  It is in our 4 dimensional world (height, width, depth, time), describing a 5th dimension, that of the spiritual realm.  Jesus clearly made reference to the separateness of His spiritual kingdom from the physical in this passage:

John 18:36 LEB  Jesus replied, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But now my kingdom is not from here."

 Paul also pointed out the existence of the separate but interrelated physical and spiritual realms in this passage:

Galatians 6:8 LEB  “because the one who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” 

 In the same manner that Flatlanders cannot see the sphere, but are limited to seeing the line, we also are limited by our human bodies to the 4 dimensions, and cannot see the spiritual realm.  Yet, the Paul tells us that where we “sow”, or draw our strength from, will determine if we experience decay and corruption, or abundant and eternal life.

Spiritual Instruction Through Physical Example


 Flatlanders have no concept of what 3 dimensions would be like, and do not have the capacity within themselves to comprehend a sphere.  In the same manner, humans have no concept of what a spiritual dimension is like, and do not have the capacity within themselves to comprehend it.  Paul points out this problem and its solution in the following passages:

1 Corinthians 2:9 LEB  But just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him."

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 LEB  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God,  (13)  things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.

 The Bible is inspired by God, and as such is written from the vantage point of the spiritual dimension.  As we become spiritually aware, through entry of God’s spirit, the words in the Bible begin to crystallize or come into focus in our hearts and minds, and the spiritual realm begins to make sense.  It is like the Flatlanders reading and learning about the 3rd dimension, and starting to comprehend what it is like.

 One of the primary ways the Bible teaches us what this spiritual realm is like is through examples called types or shadows. Jesus used parables to give us examples what the spiritual realm is like.  He used the terms “the kingdom of heaven is like…” dozens of times, and a great part of the Bible is written to reveal the spiritual realm using this means.  (cf. Matthew 13, Mark 4) The Bible writers used physical examples to illustrate what spiritual reality is like.  Like the example of “Sowing and Reaping”, they also compared the sowing of physical and spiritual seeds, compared spiritual light with physical light, spiritual darkness with physical darkness, spiritual blindness and leprosy to physical blindness and leprosy, spiritual life and death to physical life and death, and so on.  In fact 1 Corinthians 10:6-14 indicates that most of the Old Testament was recorded so as to be an example to those of “on whom the end of the ages have come”.  The Old Testament is a book of physical examples that illustrate spiritual realities.

 The Example of Physical Union and Spiritual Union


 One of these examples reveals the spiritual relationship of marriage between Christ and His Church with physical relationship of marriage between man and woman. 

Ephesians 5:31-32 LEB  "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."  (32)  (This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.)

2 Corinthians 11:2 LEB  For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

Revelation 19:7-8 LEB  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself.  (8)  And it has been granted to her that she be dressed in bright, clean fine linen (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints)."

In the Bible, the physical relationship of a man and woman is a type or shadow of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church.  Christ’s marriage with His bride is also the model for the physical marriage of man and woman. 

 A key aspect of this example is the life giving sexual joining of man and woman, and the life giving relationship between Christ and His bride.  When a man and woman are sexually joined, they experience the ultimate in physical intimacy, pleasure, and joy.  The entry of God’s word into the heart of man has the same attributes, and we experience spiritual intimacy, pleasure and joy. 

 The fundamental miracle of this relationship however is the conception of life.  Through the physical union of a man and woman, life is conceived.  This is a powerful dynamic example of what happens when we have an intimate relationship with Christ, spiritual life emerges from the relationship.

 The life-giving example of a the joining of man and woman with conception of life in the context of marriage is a beautiful one showing the spiritual depth of the life giving relationship that Christ desires with His bride.  Christ desires to come into us, and live in us intimately, and give birth to everlasting life. 

 In another aspect of this image, we see that it is “seed” that is the agent bringing life.  The man’s seed enters the woman’s egg, and physical life comes forth.  Likewise, Jesus plants His seed in us, (Luke 8:11  "… The seed is the word of God.) and spiritual life comes forth.  The analogy of being “born again” is integral to this type.  In the same way that the union and physical seed of a man into woman brings forth new physical birth, so too does the union between God and man through the “seed” of the word of God bring forth new spiritual birth. The spiritual birth is the second birth, hence, we are “born again”.

1 Peter 1:23 LEB    … you have been born again, not from perishable seed but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

This example of the physical union of a man and woman in its various facets is a powerful oft repeated example to us.  It is a living parable of our relationship with Christ, an example designed and created by Him to reveal His nature to us.  The conception of life coming from the joining of man and woman is a revelation of the spiritual life that comes from the joining of Christ with mankind. 

 Homosexual Relationship A Corrupt Type


 Those who legitimize the homosexual relationship have replaced the example Christ gave us of a man and woman bringing life forth with that of man and man or woman and woman, which cannot produce life.  It is a false image, an incorrect type or shadow of spiritual reality.  Since it is God who gave us the example of marriage to show the facets and depth of His desire and the results of relationship with us, it is dishonorable to corrupt this image into one that cannot produce life.  God’s very nature is that of giving life.

 Homosexual advocates attempt to explain away the prohibition on homosexuality by attempting to legitimize it through adding love, commitment and faithfulness.  But adding these things to the homosexual relationship does nothing to resolve the issue that the relationship cannot bear life, and the image or example it presents is of a Creator who cannot give life.  It is the act itself that is corrupt.  It replaces the illustration of a life-giving relationship with God one that is lifeless, thus presenting a false image of God.

 The Due Penalty of Their Error


 In Romans 1:27 we read of those who practice homosexuality "receiving in themselves the penalty that was necessary for their error".  I would like to examine this in the context of the spiritual perspective of this article.

If we turn again to our metaphorical Flatlanders, their instruction book says that if they break the line, they will experience decay and corruption in their lives.  But there are those Flatlanders who scoff at the book and decide to attempt to break the line into two lines anyway.  When the sphere that they are mistaking for the line is breached, unintended consequences being pouring out of it, and they become sick.  They will be looking at the line in perplexity; never realizing that the consequence they are experiencing is coming from another dimension, from a sphere and not a line.  Unless they become 3 dimensionally aware, they may never connect their reality of their action with the reality of the consequence.

 It is in a like manner that the “penalty necessary for their error” is manifested in our physical world.  The spiritual realm is set up a certain way, just as the physical realm is.  There is a physical “physics”, and there is a spiritual “physics”, so to speak.  When the “Laws of Spiritual Physics” are broken, there are attendant consequences, just as there are when the “Laws of Physical Physics” are broken.  In the same way that the Flatlanders reaped unintended consequences due to the error of acting as though the line was a line and not a sphere, we reap unintended consequences due to the error of acting as though there were only a physical realm and no spiritual realm.

 When the Bible warns against immorality, including homosexuality, it is for our protection, not to ruin our fun.  The preponderance of sexually transmitted diseases and broken hearts is a red flag for mankind that alerts us to the presence of spiritual “physics” that are exercising unseen influences from the spiritual realm in our physical realm.  Like the Flatlanders who were perplexed at the consequence of breaking the line into two, and not understanding where the consequence is coming from, we also are perplexed at the consequence of immorality, and not understanding where the consequence is coming from.  This is spiritual blindness of the sort illustrated by physical blindness.  What is worse, we ignore the red flag that the consequence is waving in our faces.  It is unfortunate that humanity is more in love with their sexual desires and activities of all sorts than hearing what God has to say about it, and we are reaping decay and corruption because of our inability to perceive the spiritual realm.

 Conclusion


 There is an interesting passage in Romans that states:

Romans 1:19-20 LEB  because what can be known about God is evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  (20)  For from the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, both his eternal power and deity, are discerned clearly, being understood in the things created, so that they are without excuse.

 That the sexual relationship between a man and woman in the context of marriage is life giving is clear.  It is also clear that this is an example through which we can discern God’s invisible attribute of being a life giving Spirit who wishes entry into our very being.

1 Corinthians 15:45 LEB  Thus also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul"; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit.

 The red flag of disease resulting from immoral activity is clear as well.  Our ignorance or rejection of the spiritual realm brings down on our heads decay and corruption.  This passage reveals that given such clear types and examples, we really are without excuse.  If the book says don’t hit your thumb with the hammer, and you scoff and rebel and hit your thumb with the hammer anyway, you are without excuse when you reap pain and suffering.

 Homosexual behavior cannot be condoned; the examples and consequences illustrate the foolish nature of such a path.  Yet, we must love those who through ignorance or rebellion are in the path of consequences coming from a place they know not where.

John 6:63 LEB  The Spirit is the one who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

 In closing, I would like to echo John’s words:

1 John 1:1-3 LEB  What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched, concerning the word of life— (2)  and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was revealed to us— (3)  what we have seen and heard, we announce to you also, in order that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 28, 2014

God's Separate Plans For Jews and Gentiles



God's Separate Plans For Jews and Gentiles

God's Unconditional Covenants For His Names Sake

God has some covenants that are unconditional. He keeps these covenants for His names sake. This passage below tells us that His covenant with Abraham will not be broken regardless of what the Jews do. This passage is foretelling the return of the Jews to their homeland, not for their sake, but for His name.

Eze 36:22-24 LEB "Therefore thus say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord Yahweh: "Not for your sake am I about to act, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you defiled among the nations to which you went. (23) And I will consecrate my great name, which was profaned among the nations and which you have profaned in the midst of them, and the nations will know that I am Yahweh!"' a declaration of the Lord Yahweh, when I show myself holy before their eyes. "'And I will take you from the nations, and I will gather you from all of the lands, and I will bring you to your land.

The following two passages talk about the unconditional nature of the Abrahamic Covenant even if Israel should reject Him:

Psa 89:30-34 LEB If his sons forsake my law and do not walk in my judgments, (31) if they defile my statutes and do not keep my commandments, (32) then I will punish their transgression with a rod, and their guilt with wounds. (33) But I will not break off my loyal love from him, and I will not be false against my faithfulness. (34) I will not defile my covenant, or alter what proceeded from my lips.

Jer 33:20-21 LEB "Thus says Yahweh: 'If you could break my covenant with the day, and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their time, (21) then my covenant could be broken with David my servant, from having a son who could rule on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, my ministers.

The Effect of Sin

The Jews lost the land for a time, starting at the time "the anointed one [was] cut off" (Dan 9:26) even though they were given it in an everlasting covenant. They lost the land because they did not recognize the time of their visitation by their Messiah.

Luk 19:41-44 LEB And when he approached and saw the city, he wept over it, (42) saying, "If you had known on this day—even you—the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (43) For days will come upon you and your enemies will put up an embankment against you, and will surround you and press you hard from all directions. (44) And they will raze you to the ground, you and your children within you, and will not leave a stone upon a stone within you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Daniel's 70 Week Message to the Jews

Dan 9:24-27 LEB "Seventy weeks is decreed for your people and for your holy city, to put an end to the transgression and to seal up sin and to make atonement for guilt and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint the most holy place. (25) And you must know and you must understand that from the time of the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed one—a leader—will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be restored and will be built with streets and a moat, but in a time of oppression. (26) "And after the sixty and two weeks an anointed one shall be cut off, and he shall have nothing, and the people of the coming leader will destroy the city and the sanctuary, and its end will be with the flood and on to the end there shall be war; these desolations are determined. (27) And he will make a strong covenant with the many for one week, but in half of the week he will let cease sacrifice and offering and in its place a desolating abomination comes even until the determined complete destruction is poured out on the desolator."

Daniel is speaking to Jews. He is saying that from the command to rebuild the temple following the Babylonian Captivity to the end of this age is 70 weeks. The Jews here are to understand that there are 70 weeks of years in which God will bring them to the completion of His plan for them.

At the end of the first 69 weeks, the anointed one, Jesus, is crucified. At this point, time stops for the Jews.... but we know this is temporary because there is still one more unfulfilled week in Daniel's prophecy. That week was spoken to the Jews by Daniel. So they have to come back as a nation to fulfill that 70th week. These are exciting times, because the return of Israel to their land portends the coming of the fulfillment of Daniel's 70th week.

God's Dealings With the Gentiles

The time period between the 69th and 70th week is a pause in God's dealings with Israel. The following verses indicate that God's focus has changed from Jews to Gentiles due to Israel's rejection of their Messiah. This time period will conclude

Act 13:46 LEB Both Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you, since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life! Behold, we are turning to the Gentiles!

Rom 11:25 LEB For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own sight, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,

The passage above is quoted from Isa 6:9 is spoken in reference to the blindness and deafness of the Jews in Jesus' time.

Mat 13:13-15 LEB For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand, (14) and with reference to them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says, "You will listen carefully and will never understand, and you will look closely and will never perceive. (15) For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they hear with difficulty, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them."

Additional passages speaking of the changing of times from Israel to the Gentiles follow:

Mat 21:42-43 LEB Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the cornerstone. This came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? (43) For this reason, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who produce its fruits.

Rom 11:7-11 LEB What then? What Israel was searching for, this it did not obtain. But the elect obtained it, and the rest were hardened, (8) just as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, until this very day." (9) And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, and a cause for stumbling and a retribution to them; (10) let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see, and cause their backs to bend continually." (11) I say then, they did not stumble so that they fell, did they? May it never be! But by their trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy.

God's Dealings With The Jews Again

So the time period between the crucifixion and the commencement of the 70th week is directed at the Gentiles. But when the 70th week commences as the Tribulation, the focus will be returned to Israel. This supports a Pre-Trib rapture view, since the rapture will remove the church from earth, returning to the focus of Daniel's prophecy, the Jews.

This passage in Luke speaks to the time of the Tribulation, and that the Jews will be trampled. But we see that the trampling will only occur until the "times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

Luk 21:22-24 LEB because these are days of vengeance, so that all the things that are written can be fulfilled. (23) Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people, (24) and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

At the conclusion of the Tribulation period, the Jews shall see Christ coming in glory and power, and recognize in sorrow their Messiah, Jesus:

Zec 12:9-10 LEB And then on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations coming against Jerusalem. (10) "'I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look to me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn over him, as one wails over an only child, and they will grieve bitterly over him as one grieves bitterly over a firstborn.

National Israel in the Millennium

Following the Tribulation, Jesus will come to national Israel:

Isa 59:20-21 LEB "And a redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn away from transgression," declares Yahweh. (21) "And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says Yahweh: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have placed in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your children's children," says Yahweh, "from now on and forever."

We know this speaks of Israel, because Paul refers to the "partial hardening" that happened to them until "the fullness of the Gentiles". He then quotes Isaiah 59:20, clearly correlation it with the post tribulation salvation of the Jews, who still exist as a people. He finishing up by stating that although they turned away from the gospel "for our (Gentiles) sake", they are still dearly beloved, and that He will still honor His irrevocable Abrahamic Covenant regardless of their behavior.

Rom 11:25-29 LEB For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own sight, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, (26) and so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, "The deliverer will come out of Zion; he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. (27) And this is the covenant from me with them when I take away their sins." (28) With respect to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but with respect to election, they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. (29) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Israel has a prominent position following the Tribulation. Isaiah speaks of Israel during the millennium in the following passage, showing that Israel exists as a nation and location, and that Jesus will rule from there (v3):

Isa 2:1-5 LEB The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: (2) And it shall happen in the future of the days the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established; it will be among the highest of the mountains, and it shall be raised from the hills. All of the nations shall travel to him; (3) many peoples shall come. And they shall say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob, and may he teach us part of his ways, and let us walk in his paths." For instruction shall go out from Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. (4) He shall judge between the nations and he shall arbitrate for many peoples. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. A nation shall not lift up a sword against a nation, and they shall not learn war again. (5) House of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of Yahweh.

Conclusion

There are those today who teach that God does not have a separate plan for the Jewish people apart from the church. This article clearly shows that is simply not true, and that God does have separate plans. But it is important to distinguish between the individual people of Israel, and the entity of national Israel.

Although Paul taught that Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ, he is speaking here of individuals, not national entities.

In the following passage, Paul clearly says that Gentiles who were apart from Christ, have been made one with the Jews through His death and resurrection, and we now both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Eph 2:11-18 LEB Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, the so-called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision in the flesh, made by hands, (12) that you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, not having hope, and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you, the ones who once were far away, have become near by the blood of Christ. (14) For he himself is our peace, who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of the partition, the enmity, in his flesh, (15) invalidating the law of commandments in ordinances, in order that he might create the two in himself into one new man, thus making peace, (16) and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in himself. (17) And coming, he proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to the ones who were near, (18) because through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Individual Jews have and do accept the New Covenant through Jesus, but as a nation, they have and are continuing in rejecting Him. So while the path is open to both Jew and Gentile, there is still the rejection of Christ by national Israel to deal with separate from the Gentiles, and that is the entire purpose of Daniel's prophetic 70 Weeks.





Monday, April 28, 2014

Man's Inner Being


Theology - The Doctrine of Man
(Foundations of Pentecostal Theology - Duffield, Van Cleave)


Man Created a Living Soul (Being)

Man became a living soul - (Gen 2:7)  As a result of the creative combination of an earthly element and a heavenly element, man became a living being in the image of his Creator.


Man Is Given a Body 
    1. The Greeks and many of the ancients thought of the body as a prison of the soul and the source of all evil.  Gnostics held this low esteem of the body to the extreme of denying that Jesus had a physical body.  John countered this:  (1 Jn 4:1-3)
       
    2. Scriptures teach us to honor and respect the body as God's creation  (Gen 9:6)
       
    3. The following are ten facts about the body important for the believer to know:
       
      • It is a mortal body that will return to the dust out of which it was fashioned   (Gen 3:19; Gen 18:27)
      • Man is made of mere dust; but that dust, in the hands of God, became something wonderfully made.  (Psa 139:14-16)
      • Man's natural, physical body is only a temporary tabernacle for the real person who inhabits it   (2 Pe 1:14; 2 Cor 5:1)
      • In the resurrection, man will have a new house not made with hands; however, that new body will have a relationship to the present natural body.  (1 Cor 15:44; 1 Cor 15:53; John 5:25; 1 Thess 4:16)

        Paul says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom (1 Cor 15:50, but Jesus in the resurrection had a body of flesh and bones, but not blood (John 20:27; Luk 24:39).  The new body is related to the old as the new plant is related to the seed from which it came (1 Cor 15:44)
      • The body is redeemed man is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore it must not be an instrument of sin. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
      • Man's body, when dedicated to Christ's service, is reckoned a living and holy sacrifice.  (Rom 12:1)
      • The redeemed man may employ his body as a weapon against Satan.  (Rom 6:13)
      • Redeemed man enjoys certain benefits of Christ's redeeming work in his body, even in this world  (Mat 8:16-17)  Also (Jas 5:14-15; Rom 8:11)

        That this redemption pertains to the present experience, and not just the future is seen in these facts:
         
        • Paul is speaking of believers present  victory over the flesh (Rom 8:9)
        • He refers to our mortal bodies, not dead bodies.  Moral means "subject to death".
        • Before the quickening of the resurrection, the bodies will be dead in the grace, not "moral".
        • The argument in this verse clearly pertains to the present walk -->  (Rom 8:12)
        • If the Spirit delivers from carnal domination through faith, so also can the Spirit deliver from bodily infirmity through faith.
           
      • The believer will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ on the basis of things done in the body.  (2 Cor 5:10)  Also (1 Cor 3:11-15; 1 Cor 9:27)
         
      • Man's body of "dust" which he inherits from Adam, bears the image of Adam as well as the image of God  (1 Cor 15:45-49)
         

Man Is Given an Immaterial Life

A man's immaterial life and personality are derived from God's creative breath and our life's breath depends upon the sustaining grace of our Creator  (Gen 2:7; Job 12:10; Psa 33:6; Isa 42:5; Act 17:25)

  • The Immaterial Elements

    Each of these  refers to the immaterial self from a discernibly different point of view, or describes different functions of the self.  John describes the Spirit of God as "wind" that "blows".  (John 3:8)  This could also say, "The Spirit breaths where He wills".  See also (John 3:8; John 3:4)
    • Life (Mark 8:35)
    • Soul (Mark 8:36)
    • Spirit (Psa 31:5)
    • Mind (Rom 7:25)
    • Heart  (Eph 6:6)
    • Strength (Luk 10:27)
    • Self (1 Cor 4:3-4)
    • Will  (1 Cor 7:37)
    • Affections  (Col 3:2)
  • Scripture attributes both soul and spirit to animals (Ecc 3:21; Psa 104:25-30)  Man is distinguished from the lower creatures by the quality of his faculties, not the number of them.
  • Errors include:

    Unregenerate man has only a body and soul, spirit imparted at new birth. This confuses the human and Holy Spirits. Ungodly men also have spirits (1 Chr 5:26)

    The soul is a human element, and the spirit is the divine element, again confusing the human and Holy Spirit.  (Rev 6:9; Heb 12:23) Soul and Spirit are both attributed to God the Father and Son (Mat 12:18; Isa 42:1; Mat 26:38; Isa 53:11-12; Luk 23:46)
     
  • Arguments for Trichotomy  (Body, Soul and Spirit)
     
    • Gen 2:7 - The combination of a body of dust and the breath of God resulted in a third part, the soul.
       
    • 1 Thess 5:23 - specifies three parts of man.
       
    • Heb 4:12 - declares that soul and spirit are capable of being divided.
       
    • 1 Cor 2:14 to 1 Cor 3:1 - Paul speaks of men as "carnal", "natural"  (soulish), and "spiritual", referring to three parts.
       
  • Arguments for Dichotomy  (Body and soul/spirit)
     
    • Gen 2:7 - only 2 distinct parts are mentioned, the body of earth and the breath of God.  The living soul is not a third part, but the result of body and spirit.  It does not say that man had a living soul, but  "became" a living soul.
       
    • John 12:27 - The terms soul and spirit are used interchangeably.  See also (Gen 41:8; Psa 42:6; Heb 12:23; Rev 6:9; Rev 20:4)
       
    • Ecc 3:21; Rev 16:3 - The terms soul and spirit are both used of animals and men.
       
    • Jer 9:9; Isa 42:1; Isa 53:10-12; Heb 10:38 - The term soul is attributed to Jehovah.
       
    • Mark 12:30 - The highes spiritual exercises are atributed to the soul as well as to the spirit.  See also (Luk 1:46; Heb 6:18-19; Jas 1:21)
       
    • Mark 8:36 - According to Jesus, to lose the soul is to lose everything.  See also (Mark 8:37; Mat 16:26; Mat 10:28)
       
    • 1 Thess 5:23 - The dichotomist says that Paul does not imply that body , soul and spirit are three distinct and separable parts of man, but uses the terms similar to how Mark does in Mar 12:30, as attributes.
       
    • Heb 4:12 - The dichotomist answers this passage by saying the passage doesn't speak of dividing the soul from spirit, but penetrating into the deepest recesses of one's being, even to "the thoughts and intents of the heart.

      W. E. Vine - "The Word of God pierces through all the lies deepest in human nature, not actual separating soul from spirit and joints from marrow, but piercing and laying bare the inmost being, cutting through the most secret recesses of the spiritual life, penetrating the soul, and deeper still, the spirit as through joints to their very marrow.
       
    • The dichotomist does not say that there is no difference whatever between the words soul and spirit.  Although they are frequently  used to designate the same immaterial part of man,  more precisely, they refer to man's inner-self in different relationships.

      When the words are distinguished in meaning, the soul faces earthward, and the spirit heavenward.  The soul is man in his earthly relationships, the spiritual is man  in his spiritual and immortal relationships.
       


Man Becomes a Living Soul (Being)

The two views, tri and di chotomy  are not greatly different, and no other major doctrine is affected by the difference.
  • Man as a Unity

    There is a strong tendancy among conservatives to think of man as a unity rather than divisible parts. The soul is separated from the body at death, but only until the resurrection. Paul speaks of the soul as naked without the body (2 Cor 5:1-4) See also (Rom 8:23; 1 Thess 5:23; Mark 12:30)
     
  • The Origin of Man's Soul or Spirit
     
    • Preexistence -  A theory of Transmigration of souls is the position held by Hinduism, Theosophy, Rosicrucians, and many occult religions.
       
    • Creationism -   held by  Roman Catholics and many reformed theologians.  Holds that the soul is created directly from God in each newly conceived person sometime between conception and birth, only the body is propagated by the parents.  Scripture quoted in defense are (Zec 12:1; Isa 42:5; Isa 57:16; Ecc 12:7; and Heb 12:9)

      It is urged against this position  that it makes God the creator of sinful souls or represents God as putting a pure soul in a depraved Adamic body.  It can also be shown that the scriptures in support of  direct creation of each soul would with equal force support the indirect agency of God in procreation.
       
    • Traducianism - (The preferred theory among conservative scholars.)  The human race was created in Adam, and from him, both body and soul were procreated by natural generation.  (Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Psa 51:5; Psa 58:3; John 3:6; Eph 2:3)

      Dr. Strong - "Traducianism holds that man, as a species, was created in Adam.  In Adam, the substance of humanity was yet undisturbed.  We derive our immaterial as well as our material being, by natural laws of propagation, from Adam - each individual man after Adam possessing a part of the substance that was originated in him.

      Arguments in favor of Traducianism:
       
      • There is no biblical record of God's creating a human being more than once.  (Gen 2:2)
         
      • It best explains the inherited sinful nature  (Psa 51:5)
         
      • Strongly supported by a vital statistic of Jacob's family  (Gen 46:26)
         
      • Seth was begotten "in the likeness" of Adam  (Gen 5:3)
         
      • It explains personality likenesses between children and parents.

        The traducianist, however, does not posit a purely natural origin for new souls; he maintains that all souls since Adam are indirectly created by God as the Sustainer of the process of procreation  (Heb 1:3; Col 1:17)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Fruit of the Spirit as Evidence

The Fruit of the Spirit as Evidence

Stan Feldsine

Matthew 7:20  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.


There are many today, both Christian and secular, who believe that we as Christians are told not to judge based on what Jesus said in the "judgment" chapter of Matthew 7.  The oft quoted first verse, "Judge not, that you not be judged." is used in an attempt to redirect any light shone in the dark places being sheltered by Christians and the world alike.  Isn't it seemingly ironic then that Jesus in verse 20 instructs us in the very means by which we should render a judgment, that we would know them by their fruit. 


There is ample evidence in Scripture that Christians are not called to turn a blind eye to injustice, immorality, and other sin, and we are called to render righteous judgment.  Jesus instructs us in John 7.24 "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment."  Later, Paul reminds us that "...he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one." (1 Cor 2:15)


The question then to be answered in this paper is what is righteous judgment, what is the true standard of rightly judging?  How can we correctly determine what activity leads to life, and which leads to death, and thus, rightly judge.  And perhaps more importantly, who then CAN rightly judge?

The Fruit...
First, let's look at what this "fruit" is.  If it is by their fruit we will know them, or in otherwards, by their fruit we can judge, what is this fruit?  In Galatians 5:22-23 we read "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law."  The fruit then, refers to personal character.  Each of the fruit mentioned here is a descriptive characteristic of a persons interaction with others.  When we interact with others, is that interaction characterized by joy, peace, kindness, longsuffering (or patience), goodness?  We can look at ourselves and judge ourselves by these characteristics, do we treat those with whom we disagree with kindness?  With love?  Are we full of joy in our presentation to others?  These fruit are indicators or evidence of where we are at personally.  Likewise then, it follows that we can view others and judge by the light of these characteristics.

...of the Spirit
We now come to the question of from where does this fruit come?  Paul refers to this fruit as "of the Spirit". The implication then regarding the origins of the fruit is that we cannot manufacture this fruit ourselves, it is a product of the Spirit of God living in us and empowering us.  Guy P.Duffield in The Foundations of Pentecostal Theology states:

 "...these above named virtues, achieved by purely human effort, are not the fruit of the Spirit, but an imitation of it.  They are wax fruit in contrast with real fruit, just as beautiful as the real to view from a distance, but immeasurably inferior to the taste."

If we look at nature from where this metaphor comes, we see that natural fruit comes from trees and vines.  Fruit cannot grow itself, but depends on life from the host plant. Samuel Chadwick, quoted in 'The Foundations of Pentecostal Theology by Duffield speaking of human vs. Spirit fruit observes that:


 "The most striking feature of the contrast is the emphatic change from works to fruit.  Works belongs to the workshop; fruit belongs to the garden.  One comes from the ingenuity of the factory; the other is the silent growth of abounding life." 

 From where then does the real fruit come?

The Vine
Jesus made it abundantly clear where the source of fruit is. It is He Himself.  In John 15:1 Jesus states, "I am the true vine..."  And how does the vine produce fruit in us? Jesus in vs. 5 states "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."   It is clear then that there is more to fruit production than just a human will to be kind, gentle, and so on.  The fruit "of the Spirit" is produced through our connection to "the Vine", Jesus. Abiding implies an unbroken connection with the Lord of Creation, reading His Word, praying without ceasing, fellowship with other likeminded believers. Abiding means yielding oneself to the working of the Spirit in our life on a continual unbroken basis.


This fruit is more than the outward appearance of human kindness, but produced by an inner spiritual regeneration powered by the Holy Spirit as we abide in Christ. From the Holy Spirit flows a spiritual life force, that is often referred to as water. John illustrates the concept for us in John 14:13-14:  "Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

The image is clear that as we take in the "water" of the Spirit, our cup will be filled, and outward from us will overflow a fountain of living water.  Another way to illustrate this concept would be to say that as we plug into Jesus, He will by the Spirit flow His life into us resulting in an abundance of fruit. As the Spirit gives to us, so we fill up, and the Spirit doesn't stop when we are full, but continues to overflow from us outwardly to those around us in love.  It is our connection to the vine, abiding in Christ, that makes this possible.

Righteous Judgment
The nine characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Gal 5:22-23 are all outward manifestations of love.  In reading 1 Cor 13.1-3 it becomes apparent that Paul is speaking of our interactions with those around us.  The message is clear, no matter how spiritual we think we are, if we act without love, then we are nothing.  Love is the central point from which all our actions are to be influenced and guided. 


Paul makes an interesting and pertinent statement about love to the Phillipians:
Php 1:9-11  "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,  (10)  that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,  (11)  being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God."

He prays that our "love" may abound to knowledge and discernment, that we may make a judgment call, approving that which is excellent.  The implication here is that without love, we have no foundation from which to make judgment calls.  From this and other passages it is clear that righteous judgment is judgment that is borne from a foundation of love, having been filled with the Spirit and overflowing with kindness, gentleness, patience. When we render a judgment on a brother or sister, or on a non-believer, we can hold up our words and actions against this banner of love, with the helpful definition of love from Gal 5.22-23 "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  (23)  gentleness, self-control".  Is what I am saying or doing peaceable, kind, good, and so on?


At this point it is worth pointing out that the word translated faithfulness, or faith, depending on the translation is frequently understood by people as "being personally full of faith", but this Greek word "Pistis" is derived from the Greek "peitho", which unveils the meaning to be that of projecting faithfulness outwards towards others, as is consistent with every other fruit listed.  In this sense, faithfulness implies having faith in others, believing the best about them and making friends, being loyal, in contrast with viewing others with suspicion. This is in line with 1 Cor 13, in which we are given several ways in which love manifests itself towards others. (1 Cor 13:4-7)  Love suffers long and is kind, does not behave rudely, thinks no evil, bears all things, and so on.  Having a basis of suspicion is sandy ground on which to launch judgment of others.

Answering the Questions
Righteous Judgment - So back to the questions to be answered.  What is righteous judgment, and what is the true standard of rightly judging.  Perhaps the reason the world is so fearful of being judged by the Christian community is because so many have been judged without love.  They have been the receptors of unkindness, rudeness, harshness, impatience, and so on.  It is no wonder that they  misuse the words of Jesus and fire back at us to "not judge lest we be judged".  Righteous judgment is this.  It is the judgment of those who are abiding in Christ. Who have received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and are being transformed into His image which is one of love, with all it's shades. It is kind judgment, gentle judgment, patient, good, and friend making judgment. It is judgment that demonstrates unmistakable love to the receiver.

Discerning Between Life and Death - Drawing on Paul's letter to the Phillipians, Phil 1:9-10 a  "And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,  (10)  that you may approve the things that are excellent...", we understand that it is in love that we may discern properly.  John said in 1 Jn 4:16 that "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." Every judgment that God makes is borne from a center of love toward us.  If we are to judge as He does, then we also need to do so from that same center of love, and we do that by abiding in Him.  With love we can discern between the issues of life and death, physically but more importantly spiritually.

Who Can Judge - Everyone it seems wants to be a judge.  Judgmental statements it seems are epidemic, across social media, news media, blogs, and various articles across the internet.  But Jesus has set the standard for being a person who judges rightly, and few measure up to it.  He has said that those who can judge are those who love.  But it is not a worldly love, a wax imitation of love shown forth in human emotion and works.  It is a love that is placed into us by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit with our spirit.  It is a love that we lay hold of by faith that the God who said He would cause living waters to spring forth from us like rivers will actually do it.   It is a love that the Lord places into our innermost beings, that grows from the continual nurture of the Spirit, as we abide in Him, drawing close to Him in prayer, study, and fellowship that continues in an unbroken chain of time.  It is the Lord who is the judge, from perfect love, which He shares with us.

Conclusion
The Fruit of the Spirit stands forth as evidence of love in our lives.  With love we can discern the spiritual health of those around us.  We can discern who can judge, first by the fruit that we ourselves emit, for if "we will know them by their fruit", then we will also know ourselves by our fruit.  If we ourselves have poor fruit, then we should not be a judge of others at all, for love has not matured in us.  We run the risk of calling out a speck in the others eye when we have a beam in our own.


If we put forth good fruit, we have love.  Only in love can we tentatively judge righteously, but we must take care, lest we fall. (1 Cor 10:12)


It is my desire that this paper will lead some to come to see love as the greatest good, far above the calling out (judging) of the errors of others.  If love were mature in Christianity, there would be far greater unity, with the resulting far greater witness of the love of Christ amongst ourselves, and then with the far greater inpouring of the lost to the kingdom. (Jn 17:23)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Criticism Undermines Revelation

Criticism Undermines Revelation

By Stan Feldsine



The Rushing Wind of Revelation

While reading the preface for a book recently, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made", I  became aware of a building rush of Wind coming from it's pages.  The author, Phillip Yancy was describing an individual whose life was one of continual worship, the world renowned surgeon, Paul Brand.  Paul had given the very foundation of his life to Jesus, entirely built on Christ Himself, and the magnificent "building" that made up his life, every facet was completely given to the worship of his Creator.  In this preface, Phillip was describing insights regarding the human body's relationship to the heavenly kingdom that Paul Brand had shared with him that were so profound, in which the Holy Spirit was such a part of, that the Spirit literally rushed out of the pages and through me such that my hair almost perceptibly was moved.  My emotions however, were completely moved by the revelation I was sharing such that I could not contain myself as tears of joy rolled down my face as I came to see by illumination another facet of Jesus' care and love in the construction of His body, the Bride.  I was at once aware of how incomprehensible God's works are, how unimaginably deep His love is, and how complete His perfection.  This experience of fellowship with the Spirit was truly indescribable, as these feeble words testify.
 

Coming with a pure heart to gaze upon His majesty, it is by His great mercy and grace that He opens just an unimaginably small pinhole through which His infinite glory blinds us with overwhelming light and emotion.  We are shielded from the unimaginable pressure of His glory, holiness, and divine wisdom through the infinitely wise dispensation of progressive revelation.  Paul must have seen the glory constrained by this pinhole for he prayed for all of us:

Eph 1:17-20  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,  (18)  the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,  (19)  and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power  (20)  which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,

I pray that all will be transformed from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18), and know the unsearchable riches by revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, as we lay aside every weight that constrains us. (Heb 12:1)  In this paper, I would like to look at one of the many restraints that can cause us to fall short on the path to having our understanding enlightened.  This obstacle is a form of spiritual impurity running rampant in the church today, criticism.


The Deadness of Impurity

Jesus said in Matthew 5:8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God."  The implication here is clear, if we harbor an impure heart, we will not see God, and thus put at risk our transformation. (2 Cor 3:18)
 

James gives us instruction in the truth about the heart and purity when he tell us Christian brethren:
 

James 1:26  "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless." 

He continues, speaking to Christian brethren:


James 3:8-11  "But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.  (9)  With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.  (10)  Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.  (11)  Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?"

Jesus provides a clear indication of the relationship between the heart and speech in:


Luke 6:45  "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

If then the mouth reveals the heart, and a pure heart will see God, then by our mouth we can discern one obstacle to knowing Him in His fullness.  We must ask ourselves, do we comprehend fully the holiness of God's pure heart, which He commands us to have? (1 Pet 1:15-16)  To attempt to gauge our understanding of the holiness we are called to, we should consider the humility and depravity of Isaiah when, after viewing the Seraphim cry "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts..." (Isaiah 6.3)  Isaiah cried: 


Isaiah 6:5 "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts."

To be "undone" means to "be brought to silence", according to Strongs definition of the Hebrew "damah".  How great is the holiness of the Lord God that the prophet Isaiah should be so moved, and to such humility. 


When we consider Isaiah, lamenting His low stature of holiness and purity in the presence of God Almighty, and associating with others of the similar virtue, we have a hint of our own present status of purity and holiness.  Our realization of our own true measure of purity in relation to Jesus should generate a like measure of humility as that found in Isaiah. When looking around the church today, a proud spirit has come in, and those afflicted by it are shouting insolence from the rooftops. Observe a few from thousands of examples of actual comments by Christians taken from Facebook and blogs:



  • Regarding "The Purpose Driven Life" by Rick Warren - "Warren is a heretic and his congregation that still has a Biblical foundation should run quickly."  "You know, I shook my head when all these people gave me this book. (Purpose Driven Life) My wife passed away, and they gave me this crap!!"  "Warren will be the one to account for these souls in misleading them."
  • Regarding the death of Rick Warren's Son - "Rick warren False Prophet in my book Sorry for his lost maybe GOD giving him a wake up call."  "rick warren supports gay marriage and crislam. If he dont repent and stop compermising the gospel of jesus christ so every body can like him. I dont understand u preachers who think u can drink the cup of the lord and of devils!!! repent or go to hell its that simple period!!"
  • A song by a Christian Rap artist, Fal$e Teacher$ by Shai Linne - (Accuses 10 teachers) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl4WevY-GPU - "This really is an excellent song. I'm glad a christian isn't afraid to call these false teachers out."
  • Regarding Paula White - See the comments following the web article linked here, where many Christian brethren exhibit unmistakable "evil speech" -   http://wadeoradio.com/paul-white-ministries-responds-to-shai-linnes-fale-teacher-song/
  • Regarding Joyce Meyer and Perry Stone - "I am quite aware that she (Joyce) has many followers and supporters. However, she utilizes this eastern technique and Christians should be aware of what it is and why it is not to be used."  "Perry Stone and his father both said that they talked to dead "friends"... that's necromancy... forbidden by God. I used to follow Perry Stone until I saw, from his own lips, that both he and his father both received a "word" from their dead friend. Once I heard that, I saw so many unbiblical teachings from him. Pray from him but don't follow him because he's preaching another gospel"

James comes to our aid in properly judging comments such as these: 


James 3:17-18  "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.  (18)  Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." 

To those that make such comments under the cloak of discernment, I ask, do these comments reflect humility?  Is this wisdom from above, and as such are these words peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits?  Are you sowing the fruit of righteousness in peace, as one who makes peace, or is this hurtful to those who are targeted?  Is your view of holiness of God shaded by limited human understanding, such that you believe Christ has modeled such speech as this?  He has not.


Matthew Henry advises us:


"If we are wiser than others, this should be evidenced by the goodness of our conversation, not by the roughness or vanity of it. Words that inform, and heal, and do good, are the marks of wisdom; not those that look great, and do mischief, and are the occasions of evil, either in ourselves or others." (Matthew Henry Commentary - James 3:13)

Paul provides stunning insight into this problem,  speaking of religious leaders, with whom he disagreed, and unintentionally spoke evil of:


Acts 23:5  Then Paul said, "I did not know, brethren, that he was the high priest; for it is written, 'YOU SHALL NOT SPEAK EVIL OF A RULER OF YOUR PEOPLE.'"

We are all of miserable unclean lips, speaking evil of our religious leaders.  While we may have some discernment, some of our responses as illustrated in the comments above are proud, haughty and arrogant, when we should be driven to silence before a holy God to seek His purity in our own lives, remembering in humility that none was found worthy to cast the first stone at the adulterous woman, (John 8:7) and that we will give account for every idle word we speak. (Matt 12:36)


An incredible consequence of arrogant finger wagging is our own blindness, and the risk falling into the trap of being a false witness against others, calling bad what God has called good, as is happening with heartbreaking regularity.  (Job 18:8, Prov 18:6-7, Prov 22:24-25)


Love Purifies

The reality is that comments such as those shown reveal impurity in the heart, for they do not lift up, are not kind, gentle, peaceable, loving nor longsuffering.  There is no reflection of the Lord's goodness in them.  It is not within the scope of this article to address the teachings of those listed above, but instead, the Christian response to these teachings, good or bad, is in focus.  It is the impact upon our own heart and speech that is in focus.  It is our response, revealing our heart, which is affecting our ability to behold the face of God and to can keep us from experiencing our own transformation from glory to glory.  Whether you have discernment or not, your response to what is thought to be discerned displays where your own heart is, and itself condemns or frees you.

The great tragedy brought about by giving in to this impure spirit of criticism is this purity lost, without which we cannot truly see God, and especially the deep things of God. (Psalms 92:5)  Satan is relishing his ability to distract Christians believers from a pure heart and the knowledge of God by causing them to receive his critical spirit, and respond to others from a critical heart with critical words, thus introducing impurity into the body.  He desires that men fail to come to the knowledge of God, and he is succeeding. 


Can light and darkness exist together? It is in the pure light that we can see, the light from which illumination and revelation comes. (2 Cor 4:6)  It is through revelation that we are changed into His image from glory to glory.  (2 Cor 3:18) 


I pray that you, the reader, would come to gaze into the face of God, that you would banish spiritual impurity, that you would set aside evil speech in favor of revelation in the knowledge of Him, that you would cease criticism in favor of illumination, that you would come to the knowledge of God's eternal, unending, unbounded, and unconditional love for every person, and that you would follow the example of Isaiah and wear humility. For John advises us that without love in our heart, which produces kindness and gentleness, we will not know Him with intimacy:


1 John 4:7-8  Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  (8)  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Christians and Social Justice



Christians and Social Justice

Stan Feldsine September 27, 2012


Jesus commanded us to care for the poor; of this we are sure. In Matthew 25:34-40 Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is our inheritance if we take in the poor, feed and clothe them, a clear and unmistakable message.

In today’s Christian world, there seems to be considerable confusion about just how to do that though. In particular, should we feed them by throwing our support behind government sponsored social justice programs, and tax the rich so we can give to the poor, or is there a better way?


What is Social Justice?

The aim of “social justice”[1] as it is known today is “equality of outcome”[2]. Equality of outcome is defined as “a state in which people have approximately the same material wealth or, more generally, in which the general economic conditions of their lives are similar. Achieving this requires reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society.”[3] This fairly accurately describes the current political strategy for balancing the living standards of the poor and rich through taxation and redistribution. This is being done through various government programs in an effort to raise the living standards of the poor. It is supported by a large segment of Americans who have a well-meaning concern for the plight of the poor and the more vocal among them are making their voices heard in Occupy Wall Street and other movements as well as the anti-rich and anti-conservative rhetoric being heard on the streets and public forums today.

As Christians, we should be very concerned with what the Bible teaches, and question whether social justice is a legitimate primary strategy that will match the model that Jesus provided to feed the poor.


God’s Model for Caring for the Poor

In attempting to find solutions to poverty, one thing that cannot be ignored is that in all Jesus’ and His follower’s teachings, there is never a mention of partnering with the state, the Roman government to feed the poor. Rather, Jesus teaches that the poor are cared for first by their family, then by the church. Paul is quite clear about this in his first letter to Timothy.

1Timothy 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1Timothy 5:16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows
.

Note that in 1 Timothy 5:16, the church is called to care for those widows who are without family, and by application, this principle can be applied to caring for the poor as well. The principle of care for the poor by the family and the church is corroborated in Acts 4:31-35, the story of the Pentecost where the multitudes of believers had received the Holy Spirit. These Spirit filled people were acting out what would later be confirmed in Paul’s letter to Timothy. These initial members of the church shared their possessions as each had abundance, and as others had need. Additionally, in Acts 6:1-7 we read of the administration of the daily distribution of a public charity. In each of these passages we see the well off giving of their abundance to those less well off. Scripture is consistent in that there is nothing to indicate that either Jesus taught, nor anyone subscribed to a line of thought that a program of “equality of outcome” was needed to raise the living standard of the poor. There is no evidence of coerced giving to balance inequalities between individuals or households anywhere in scripture. God’s plan for caring for the poor is for the family to care for them. If the family is unable, then the spirit filled church will share what they have as each has need. This mode of operation is consistent throughout scripture, we are always invited to participate, and never coerced.

It should be noted that the church spoke of here is a body of believers, the Bride of Christ, not a church building. The bride could be manifested as the members of a church who meet on Sunday, home fellowships, believers organized by common interests, charity groups, or any other gathering of believers.


The Causes of Poverty

Today, as Christians, many of us tend to look at the problem of the poor through worldly eyes. Through those eyes, the problems seem insurmountable, impossible to solve. God’s lifelines for the poor appear to have been broken for some time, if not for all time. Our families, our churches, charities and so on are falling far short, and poverty, which always seems to be with us, is on the rise. The empirical evidence seems to indicate that God’s plan is failing.

Should we as Christians abandon God’s plan, and decide for ourselves what the best plan is, or should we stay with God’s plan no matter how it seems to be doing? Before we can answer questions regarding how to address systemic poverty, we need to determine what makes a person poor. There are a number of causes for poverty, not the least of which is laziness:

Proverbs 19:15 Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, And an idle person will suffer hunger.

Proverbs 24:30-34 I once walked by the field and the vineyard of a lazy fool. (31) Thorns and weeds were everywhere, and the stone wall had fallen down. (32) When I saw this, it taught me a lesson: (33) Sleep a little. Doze a little. Fold your hands and twiddle your thumbs. (34) Suddenly poverty hits you and everything is gone!


1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Try your best to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work hard, just as we taught you to do. (12) Then you will be respected by people who are not followers of the Lord, and you won't have to depend on anyone.


Poverty can also be caused by injustice:

Proverbs 13:23 Much food is in the fallow ground of the poor, And for lack of justice there is waste.

Poverty can also be brought on by a number of other factors, including death in the family, oppression, and other causes.


The Remedy for Poverty

The following passage from Ezekiel is interesting for it tells us what the primary need of the poor is, as well as illustrates the justice eventually delivered when a nation does not care for it’s poor.

Ezekiel 16:49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy

Note that Sodom was condemned in part for “not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy”. It does not say they were condemned for holding back food and provisions. The Hebrew for “strengthen” here is ‘to strengthen, cure, help, fortify’ and to ‘encourage’. These verbs clearly indicate that the role of the family and church is to rise up the poor out of poverty by encouraging and helping them, with the implication that they would be taught to become productive and learn to care for themselves. This truth gives understanding that programs put into place by the family, church, or even the state to address poverty should primarily “strengthen their hands”.

This is corroborated in 1 Timothy 5:9-16, where Paul is instructing Timothy in the care of widows, with practical application to the poor as well. Widows are not to be taken under the care of the church unless “she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.” Furthermore, Paul warns Timothy regarding the tendency of younger widows, “they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.” Paul instructs Timothy, “Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

This passage is loaded with information that guides us in how to lift a person out of poverty. Clearly, Paul is teaching Timothy that widows who have been industrious have learned to be productive, and it is these who are taken under the care of the church when they have need. Those who tend to idleness are turned away from the churches care and sent to the care of the family. An implication here is that how to lead productive lives is taught in the home.

It is clear that a significant cause of poverty according to God is idleness, and that the remedy for it is “strengthening of the hands”, rather than in-discriminant distribution of food.

There are additional passages that indicate that the greater need of the poor is other than satisfying their hunger needs. One of these passages is frequently used out of context by the social justice advocates, John 21:15-17:

John 21:15-17 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." (16) He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep." (17) He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

In this passage, Jesus tells Peter once each to feed his lambs and his sheep, and once to tend to His sheep. Many Christians use this passage to justify their advocacy of social justice programs to feed the poor, as indeed, Peter is told to feed the lambs and sheep food twice. However, a deeper look at this passage reveals truths that may be overlooked, and Matthew Henry in his commentary helps us to understand this passage. The first thing to note is that Jesus is primarily commissioning Peter to feed his sheep spiritual food. The following passages corroborate the importance of spiritual food over physical food:

John 6:27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

Matthew 6:31-33 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (32) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.


Additionally it is interesting to note when taking a look through the history of Peter that after hearing these words of Jesus, did not set up a great food distribution system, but rather, he was a great teacher in the early days of the church, and he fed the sheep spiritual food. Peter’s life and teachings were a great example of “strengthening the hands” of the poor, and this seems to be completely overlooked in the general argument that handouts to the poor should be without expectation that they should learn to be productive.

Another important observation is how sheep actually are fed. Sheep of the day had shepherds, whom fed the sheep by leading them to green pastures. They were led to where the food was, and did not simply have the food laid before them. There is a real picture here that reemphasizes the plan God has for feeding the poor that their providers should lead them to where the food is, helping them along and giving them a role to play, rather than just laying the food before them.

A well-known and applicable quote comes to mind, especially considering Peter was a fisherman, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime”.

Although it may seem incongruous to claim we can end poverty by providing the poor with spiritual food, in reality, this is in fact the most effective way to end poverty according to God’s Word. We read above in Proverbs that idleness leads to poverty, and God’s word teaches us to “strengthen their hands” thus helping to eliminate idleness..


The Christian Response to Poverty

Modern social justice seeks to reduce the disparity between the rich and poor by legislating programs and taxes that manipulate the flow of money. These programs forcibly move money from those who are well off into state programs with budgets that seek to uplift the poor. In spite of what appears to be a caring response to the poor, as we have seen, there is no scriptural precedent for this. These policies are fraught with pitfalls. Clearly, those who have worked hard and earned what they have are being robbed when coerced via unequal taxation. These policies do little to “strengthen the hand” of the poor. There is no scriptural involvement of family nor church, in fact, the state appears to be creating dependents, rather than assisting families and churches in taking on that role.

As Christians we have to ask ourselves whether or not the problem of poverty today isn’t due to our failure at large to believe that God is able to care for the poor. Our actions and words of encouragement to each other demonstrate what we believe. During this election season so many of us are promoting a primary message to vote for one candidate or the other so that they can make inroads into the elimination of poverty. We have turned to the state, rather than to God and his model to solve this problem. Rather than understanding the biblical view of salvation from poverty, we ignorantly promote secular state policies that have no chance of success. They have no chance of success because God is being left out of the solution, and his model is being ignored.

The problem of poverty is persistent, and we fall short in part because we as the church promote political solutions by secular government at the forefront rather than making our primary message about God, His care and love for the poor, and His biblical model for dealing with poverty.



Conclusion

In conveying this message in public forums, I have been accused of wanting to “starve the poor until they turn to Jesus”, by more than one liberal Christian. No, I have no desire to starve them, but only that we find the true way out of poverty, a way that will “strengthen the hand” of the poor, feed them, AND secure their eternal destiny.

I believe that our nation has gone so far off course that Christians among us who are not grounded in the Word are unable to see the truth. Sin has overlaid sin, nationally and individually, and confusion reigns. When we, as Christians fail to promote and encourage the biblical role of the family and the church as God’s solution to poverty, and promote politicians who promise secular social justice instead, we are directing our fellow brothers and sisters away from God’s plan and model. And ultimately, any plan other than God’s is going to fall short.


[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_justice
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_of_outcome
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_of_outcome

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

20 Prophecies of the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ

20 Prophecies of the 1st Coming of Jesus Christ

Thanks to Chuck Missler, on the Beyond Coincidence DVD.

2Pe 1:19-21  And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;  (20)  knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,  (21)  for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The coming Messiah, Jesus, was to be a Decendant from King David's family line.

2Sa_7:12-17  And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.  (13)  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.  (14)  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:  (15)  But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.  (16)  And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.  (17)  According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Psa_89:3-4  I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,  (4)  Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

Psa_110:1-4  The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.  (2)  The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  (3)  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.  (4)  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Psa_132:11  The LORD hath sworn in truth unto David; he will not turn from it; Of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne.

Isa_9:6-7  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  (7)  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isa_11:1-4  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  (2)  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;  (3)  And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:  (4)  But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

He would be born of a virgin

Gen_3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Isa 7:14  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

He would be born in Bethlehem

Mic_5:2  But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

He would sojourn in Egypt

Hos_11:1  When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

He would live in Galiliee

Isa_9:1-2  Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.  (2)  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Mat_4:12-16  Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;  (13)  And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:  (14)  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,  (15)  The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;  (16)  The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

...In Nazareth

Isa_11:1-2  And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:  (2)  And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

He would be announced by an Elijah-like herald

Isa 40:2-5  Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.  (3)  The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  (4)  Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:  (5)  And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Mal 3:1  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mal 4:5  Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:

Would occasion massacre of Bethlehem's children

Gen 35:19-20  And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.  (20)  And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day.

Jer 31:15  Thus saith the LORD; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

Would proclaim a Jubilee to the world

Isa 58:6  Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Isa 61:1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

His mission would include the Gentiles

Isa 42:1-4  Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.  (2)  He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.  (3)  A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.  (4)  He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Ministry would be one of healing

Isa 53:4-5  Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.  (5)  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

He would teach through parables

Isa 6:9-10  And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.  (10)  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Psa 78:1-7  Maschil of Asaph. Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.  (2)  I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:  (3)  Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.  (4)  We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.  (5)  For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:  (6)  That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:  (7)  That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:

He would be disbelieved, rejected by Rulers

Psa 69:4  They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.

Psa 118:22  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Isa 6:10  Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Isa 29:13  Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Isa 53:1  Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

Would make a triumphal entry into Jerusalem

Zec 9:9  Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

Psa 118:20  This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.

Betrayed by friend for 30 pieces of silver

Zec 11:1-13  Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.  (2)  Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.  (3)  There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.  (4)  Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;  (5)  Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.  (6)  For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.  (7)  And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.  (8)  Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.  (9)  Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.  (10)  And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.  (11)  And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD.  (12)  And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.  (13)  And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

Psa 41:9  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

Would be like a smitten shepherd

Zec 13:7  Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

Would be given vinegar and gall

Psa 69:21  They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.

They would cast lots for His garments

Psa 22:18  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

His side, hands and feet would be pierced   

Zec 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

Not a bone would be broken

Exo 12:46  In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Num 9:12  They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.

Psa 34:20  He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.

Would die among malefactors

Isa 53:9  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Isa 53:12  Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

His dying words foretold

Psa 22:1   My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Psa 31:5  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Would be buried by a rich man

Isa 53:9  And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Rise from the dead on the 3rd day

Gen 22:4  Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

Psa 16:10-11  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  (11)  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Jon 1:17  Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Hos 6:2  After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

Resurrection followed by the destruction of Jerusalem

Dan 9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Dan 11:31  And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.

Dan 12:1  And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Dan 12:11  And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.