Thursday, May 12, 2016

.Legalize pot?
.My encounters  with hookers
.Discipline the mind
.3 pillars
.Working of the work
.Sour Grapes
.Are ‘clean dates’ good
.Silent Lamb
PAST POSTS [verses below]
. Down the road I hope to teach a bit more about the Catholic teaching of ‘the working of the work’- meaning the Church teaches that the Sacraments ‘work’ regardless of the holiness/faith of those administering them. It’s a controversy that dates back to the early centuries of the Church [the Donatist controversy]. The point I want to make here is the bible teaches that there are things we can train ourselves to do- acts of prayer- fasting- etc.- that over time will train the mind to think Godly thoughts [these practices of discipline work over time- regardless of the way you feel]. I think one of the drawbacks from the Protestant Reformation was the neglect of ‘works’- the role that good works play in the Christian life. Paul [in Romans] says ‘as you have yielded your parts as instruments of unrighteousness to sin- so now yield them as instruments of righteousness unto God’. I added this section about Virtues because I felt it covered this theme well.
Proverbs 9:1 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
Proverbs 9:2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.
Proverbs 9:3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,
Proverbs 9:4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
Proverbs 9:5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
Proverbs 9:6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

 ROMANS 11-13
[note- there’s much more on the video than the post]

.What effect did the Renaissance have on the Reformation?
.How did Erasmus differ from Luther?
.Do Catholics exalt Tradition over Scripture?
.Renaissance artists.
.Do Catholics believe in Justification by Faith?
.Catholic teaching on Civil Authorities [Romans 13].
.What does ‘AdFontes’ mean- and how does it relate to the Renaissance/Reformation?

Romans 11
.Was Paul a full time preacher- paid?
.Is he teaching universalism here?
.Elijah was not alone.
(861)Romans 11:13- ‘For I speak to you Gentiles, in as much as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify my office’. Let me just make a few comments today. How is Paul 'exercising’ his apostolic authority over the Gentiles in Rome? We know he hasn’t been there yet [since becoming a follower of Jesus]. He did not have some type of relationship with them where they contributed to him. He was holding no ‘church services’. He exercised it by speaking into their lives and caring for their welfare. He did this by WRITING THIS LETTER! Recently there has been some discussion on ‘Gods government’ and the apostles ‘bringing things into alignment’ [dealing with the mistakes at Lakeland]. Lots of talk that I am familiar with. What is Gods government? In the world we have 2 competing ‘world views’- systems or modes of operation. You have God’s kingdom, and then the worlds system. When the apostle John said ‘love not the world, neither the things that are in the world’ he was referring to this system of lies and pride and sin. In Gods kingdom you operate under his laws ‘love the Lord thy God with all thy heart… and your neighbor as yourself’. In this family [children of God] you have different types of ‘gifts’. Some are apostles, others prophets, etc. All these gifted ones are given for the singular purpose of building you up so you can have a mature faith grounded in Christ and be the ‘glorious temple’ of God in the earth. Paul was playing his part by communicating Jesus to these Roman Gentiles. He did not have some type of a corporate relationship with them where he said ‘commit to my authority over you. Either I will be your ‘covering’ or someone else!’ These are mans ideas. Now, we often say ‘Paul didn’t receive money from the Corinthians, but he did from the other churches’. I have said this myself. Paul did receive support from the Philippians, but that was support for his traveling ministry. To get him to the next place. If you read carefully you will see Paul telling the Thessalonians ‘when I was with you I did not eat, or take stuff for free. My hands ministered to both me and those that were with me’ I think he even said he worked night and day. When he spoke to the Ephesians elders in the book of Acts, he also said ‘I labored when I was with you, I did not take support from you when I was there. I did this to leave you ELDERS an example’. Now, the point I want to make is it seems as if Paul did not take money when he was actually living among the saints. It seems he took it only for traveling expenses [and of course for his ministry to the poor saints at Jerusalem]. Now, I believe and teach that it is scriptural to meet the needs, financially, of laboring elders. The reason I mention this is to show you that being an ‘apostle’ or any other gifted minister in the church simply means you bear extra responsibility to bring Gods people to maturity. It was not some type of office where you were a ‘professional minister’. When I hear all the talk of ‘Gods apostles are bringing Gods government back into alignment’ for the most part these are men’s ideas being applied to an American corporate 501c3 ministry. Gods ‘government’ operates along different lines. So in this example Paul said ‘I magnify my office’ he was simply imparting some truth to them for the purpose of their own edification. Paul did not see them coming under ‘his covering’.

(862)ROMANS 11- let me make a note on the previous entry. Over the last few years, as well as many years of experience with ‘ministry/church’, I have seen how easy it is to fall into the well meaning mindset of ‘I am going into the ministry, this is my career choice. My responsibility is to do ‘Christian stuff’ and the people’s role is to support me’[ I am not taking a shot at well meaning Pastors, I am basically speaking of the many friends I have met over the years who seemed to think ministry was a way to get financial support]. In the previous entry I mentioned how Paul seemed to have a mode of operation that said ‘when I am residing with a community of believers, I refuse to allow them to support me. I will work with my own hands to give them an example, not only to the general saints, but also to the elders. I am showing you that leadership is not a means to get gain’. It does seem ‘strange’ for us to see this. Of course we know Paul also taught the churches that it was proper and right to support those who ‘labor among you’. I have taught all this in the past and I don’t want to ‘re-teach’ it all again. The point I want to make is we ‘in ministry’ really need to rethink what we do. How many web-sites have I gone to that actually have icons that say ‘pay me here’. The average person going to these sites must think ‘pay you for what’? Paul did not teach the mindset of ‘pay me here, now’. Also in this letter to the Romans we are reading Paul’s correspondence to the believers at Rome. He often used this mode of ‘authority’ [writing letters] to exercise his apostolic office. Of course he also traveled to these areas [Acts] and spent time with them. And as I just showed you he supported himself on purpose when he was with the saints. Basically Paul is carrying out the single most effective apostolic ministry of all time [except for Jesus] and he is doing it without all the modern techniques of getting paid. He actually is doing all this writing and laboring at his own expense. He told the Corinthians ‘the fathers [apostles] spend for the children, not the children for the fathers’. So in todays talk on ‘apostles’ being restored. God ‘bringing back into alignment apostolic government’
(1352) ARE YOU A POLITICAL ‘DONATIST’ [what?] – In an effort to mix in a little ‘religion’ with politics, let’s do some church history. In the  4th century you had a debate raging in the church that was called ‘the Donatist controversy’ some taught that the efficacy of the sacraments were dependent on the ‘holiness’ of the Bishops/Priests, that is if your church leaders were really not regenerated then you also suffered spiritually as a result of their lack of integrity. The very influential bishop of Hippo, a city in north Africa, would refute this doctrine and argue that the sacraments and rites of the church did not depend on the spirituality of the leaders, that if you were baptized and believed in the Lord that the sacrament counted even if the Priest was an unbeliever. The famous bishop who argued against the heresy was Saint Augustine. In today’s world we often practice a form of political Donatism, we label our leaders as either liberal or conservative [or any other number of things] and we believe that depending on the tag, that they can either do no wrong or nothing good. I believe good [and bad] can come from all groups whether or not they hold to my political slant. Now, ideas do have consequences and if you are unwilling to change course and run against your own biases, then yes you will get into trouble. But like the argument Augustine made, everything does not depend on the holiness [political bent] of the leader, he might be wrong/hold different views than you and still be able to ‘carry out an effective baptism’ if you will. We need to have enough ‘faith’ in the institution of Democracy and free govt. that we can still believe it to work, even if a less than perfect bishop is running the show.

(1343) One of the other themes that spoke to me from Galatians was the idea that Israel and the world were under a ‘schoolmaster phase’ until the fullness of times arrived. This phase was the whole economy of Old Testament law and rule. I felt like the Lord was saying that many of us have been led, and actually have arrived, at places and purposes the hard way; i.e. - the ‘tutor’ phase. That is God allowed the process of trial and error and discipline to work in us until we arrived at the purpose and goal. Isaiah says that ‘I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction’ yes, this way of ‘arriving’ is much more painful, but it still gets you there. Now the entire discipline phase for the world was the time period before the Cross. The
[parts] CHAPTER 6:


 ‘Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ [in Colossians Paul teaches that the ‘principles/ elementary teachings’ are the law. The law contained all the elementary doctrines of Christ, it held all the ‘shadows’ but not the reality! Here the principles are not Christian doctrine, but law], let us go on unto perfection’ Now, it is commonly taught that Paul is exhorting believers to move on to maturity. While it is true that Paul teaches this elsewhere, here he is not teaching it. Here he is telling Israel ‘leave the basics of the law and move on to Christ’. Why is this important to see? Because if you don’t see it this way, then you will have a doctrine that says to believers ‘you must move on from the Cross’ many well meaning preachers have done this, this is why context is so important. When you see it in context, Paul is not saying ‘move on FROM the Cross’ but ‘move on INTO the Cross’!

 ‘Not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works [law], and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms [washings- Israel had all types of doctrines of baptisms [plural] this is why when John the Baptist came baptizing people in the Jordan, they didn’t say ‘what in the world is this guy doing’ they had the ‘doctrine of baptisms’ engrained in their law! The whole sacrificial system and the tabernacle had all types of lavers {wash basins} and things] ‘and of the laying on of hands [Moses ‘ordained’ 70, you had the ‘laying on of hands’ taught in the law] and of the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment’ Now, all these verses without a doubt describe the law. It is easy to read these verses as applying to the New Covenant, but they really aren’t. In context why would Paul be telling young believers [who these are not! They are Jews on the verge of transition] to leave all the fundamental teachings of Christianity? But he is telling Israel to move on from the basic elements of the law into the reality of what the law was foreshadowing. That is Christ! ‘For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost’ Israel had Gods Spirit anointing her Kings for thousands of years before the Spirit ever came on the day of Pentecost. They had ‘exclusive rights’ to the things of God pre-Cross. They were made partakers of the Holy Ghost! They were enlightened in a way that no other nation was, they had prophets and priests administrating the things of God all thru out their history.

 In context Paul is saying ‘if you Jews, who have had this favorable position all thru out your history, if you ‘fall away’ from God at this point by not continuing with his revelation of Messiah, then it is impossible to renew you AGAIN unto repentance’ Part of their system of law was repentance. All the animal sacrifices and works of humility were for this purpose. Paul is warning Israel ‘if you miss this opportunity to believe, don’t think that you can keep bringing your animal sacrifices of repentance anymore, it is impossible to renew that’ Now do you see? No more arguments over whether these are Christians who lose their salvation, or whether these were those who professed but didn’t possess, that’s silly! In context you now know what this means. That’s why I said in the introduction of this commentary that you can’t read a book on mechanics and apply it directly to the human body. But you can glean principles from it that will benefit you. So we see here the great finality of the sacrifice of Jesus. We see its sufficiency to cover and REMOVE all our sins. We see the great doctrine of redemption thru the offering of Jesus. What we don’t see is Christians losing their salvation and being told ‘you can never re dedicate [renew] yourself back again!’ ‘And have tasted the good word of God [Israel was reading scripture thousands of years before Gentiles even knew their was scripture!], and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they CRUCIFY UNTO THEMSELVES THE SON OF GOD AFRESH, and put him to an open shame’ Here it is real important to understand context. How many believers who have struggled with sin have been told ‘you are crucifying Jesus afresh’? Paul never dealt with believers using this language. He told the Corinthians that because they were God’s dwelling place, and the Spirit of God lived in them, that God would judge those who were in unrepentant sin. But he never used this type of language. So why use it here?

 If Israel rejects Messiah and continues to ‘keep open’ the sacrificial system post Cross, in essence she would be saying ‘we want the sacrifice to continue’ or ‘let’s keep crucifying the Son of God afresh’. In Israel’s mind this would be what they were saying. Paul says ‘don’t do this’ in essence this is an argument, once again, to move on from the law and its sacrifices unto Christ. ‘For the earth that drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, recieveth blessing from God, but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end is to be burned’ In the parables one of the main themes is Israel not bringing forth fruit to God. The parable of the vineyard, the cursing of the fig tree.

 In John 15 the branches not bearing fruit are cut off and burned. In all of this imagery Jesus is saying to Israel ‘the time has come for you to produce fruit, the only way a branch can do it is if it is connected to the vine[Jesus], if you reject me you will never produce fruit and your ultimate destiny is judgment’ Paul reiterates that theme here! ‘But we are persuaded better things of you, that which speaks of salvation… for God will not forget your work and labor of love that you have showed towards believers’ Many of the recipients of this letter were those who Paul had preached to in various cities. He would often preach to the Jews on a Sabbath day. After his departure some believed, others were in transition. They still treated the believers well and sort of shared a common fellowship. To these who were not fully converted yet, Paul says ‘God won’t forget how you treated his children, I am persuaded that you will go all the way and show fruits of salvation in Messiah’. ‘Be followers of those who thru faith and patience inherited the promises’ Paul will go thru the rest of this chapter showing how Abraham received promises from God and after many years of waiting he would get the promise.

 Paul is telling Israel ‘you have waited many years for the promise [Messiah] do like the fathers did, inherit it thru faith and patience’ Paul is showing Israel that the patient waiting for their Messiah was part of the plan. When the promise shows up all you have to do is recognize the time and believe in the promise. Israel was at a dangerous transition time, she could [and did] miss the fulfillment of the promise! ‘Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil: wither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchisedek’ we are going to get into Melchisedek again in chapter 7. Paul lays the groundwork, he is telling Israel ‘we have a great high priest who has entered into Gods presence for us, he is from another tribe [Judah] and therefore you must come out from the ‘law tribe’ [Levi] and into the grace tribe [Judah] and you must leave the Aronic priesthood [law] and enter in to the Melchisedek priesthood [New Covenant]. Everything Paul points to is for the purpose of getting his Jewish brothers to embrace Messiah and the New Covenant, Paul sees everything thru this lens. He is persuaded that Jesus is the only way!

In this study I’m trying to make the case that the writer is appealing to the 1st century Jew- and when we read ‘there remains a rest to THE PEOPLE OF GOD’ OR ‘those who were once enlightened- and tasted of the heavenly gift and were partakers of the Holy Spirit’- that in context- these are indeed references to the Jewish person- in the 1st century.
How can that be?
Because all of these covenant blessings- were indeed aspects of the 1st covenant [law] and were unique to Israel.
Then- when we read things like ‘if these shall fall away- repentance is impossible’-
If the Jewish person- at the time of Christ in the 1st century ‘falls away’- meaning he does not continue in the covenant promises of God- thru the law and prophets- which find fulfillment in Christ-Then yes- he ‘fell away’.
Then- if he continues in the old sacrificial system of the law- he in a way ‘crucifies Christ again’.
The animal sacrifices were a type/symbol of Christ to come.
And if you reject Christ as the Messiah- the last and final sacrifice- then in a theological way- you ‘crucify Christ again’.
In Hebrews this is a theme- we read things like ‘there is no future repentance’.
The church has struggled over these verses for centuries- in the early days of Christianity there were those who ‘re-lapsed’ [called the Lapsy].
They denied the faith- in order to save themselves from death.
Then later- the question was asked ‘can they be received back into the church’.
Well- these verses in Hebrews- were an obstacle- because they seemed to say there was no future repentance for those who ‘fell away’.
Yet- that seems to contradict the concept of Grace and Mercy- which are indeed part of the new Covenant.
We read of the Apostle Peters’ denial of Christ- and yet Jesus did forgive him.
So- does the bible contradict?
No- not if you read it in the context I’m showing you.
In the New Testament-there is no ‘repentance’ for those who reject Christ- who ‘blaspheme the Holy Spirit’-
Meaning they resist the revelation of God [the Spirts witness] about his Son.
And yes- that indeed is the only sin that cannot be forgiven- because it rejects the only solution to sin- which is the final sacrifice of Christ.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit.
Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
Hebrews 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

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