Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Last Supper

I have occasionally heard that the last supper was not a passover meal. But in Luke 22:15, Jesus says that it is:

"And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:" 

The Greek word is pascha, which means passover.

So my belief has been, and is, that the last supper was a passover meal. If there are details which seem to confuse the issue, they are confusing only because of human misunderstanding of the text.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Holy Spirit

I have heard some teach that there is no separate Holy Spirit, but that He is identical with the Father. However, Jesus says this:

12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  (John 16:12-14 ESV my emphasis)

If the Holy Spirit does not speak on his own authority, then there is someone directing him what to say, and he is separate from the one who is directing him.
Jesus also did not speak or act on his own authority (John 5:19), so the director is the Father.
If the Holy Spirit takes what belongs to Jesus,  then he is separate from Jesus.
Therefore, since the Holy Spirit is separate both from Jesus and the Father, He is an individual.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

James 1:17 The Gifts of God

Jas 1:17  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

I like to make things.  I sew, crochet, and knit various useful and beautiful things. I make jewelry and photographs. I take pride in doing these things well, and am dissatisfied when something I am working on doesn't come out as I have envisioned.

I also enjoy being praised for what I have done. I am human in that! But God teaches a different attitude, one of thankfulness and humility. He pointed that out to me recently.

I had completed a knitted shawl in soft hand-painted wool. I was wrapped in it one morning recently, talking and praying with a good friend over the phone, and God showed me that I DID NOT MAKE IT ALONE. I did not raise the sheep, or sheer them. I didn't clean, spin, or dye the wool. I didn't just automatically know how to knit: my grandmother taught me when I was a young girl. I didn't design the pattern. You get the idea.

It is the same with "my" photography: I didn't create the light or the technology which makes photography possible. I didn't buy my camera, it was a gift from my husband. I didn't give myself the ability to see through the camera in order to make an image which others find pleasing. As my friend said when I shared this insight with her, I "just pushed the button."

So why am I so pleased when someone compliments me for something "I" have made? It can only be my fallen, human nature.

It is right to use what I have been given to the best of my ability, but it is wrong to take credit for what I have not done. God made the sheep, the grass they eat, the people who care for them. He made the light, the elements which are used to manufacture the camera, and the world from which its images come. He has given me gifts: people to teach me, eyes to see with, and a brain to process information. He deserves all the praise, not I.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Galatians 3 To Bring Us to Christ

There are 39 books in the Old Testament.

A person could be beaten with not more than 40 lashes, and it came to be 40 stripes minus 1 (=39).
Deu 25:2  And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. Deu 25:3  Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee. 
2Co 11:24  Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one

The law (OT) is our tutor to bring us to Christ.
Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 
One way we learn is by chastisement
Heb 12:5  And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Heb 12:7  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Heb 12:8  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Heb 12:9  Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? Heb 12:10  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Heb 12:11  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby

So, it seems that the 39 books of the Old Testament are the "stripes" which chastise us and bring us to Christ...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

1 Corinthians 15: He Is Risen!

He is Risen, He is Risen, indeed!

It is a day of rejoicing. As Jesus said, "Rejoice!" (Mat 28:9) He has accomplished the work the Father sent Him to do, and has conquered sin and death. It is a great matter for joy.

But in my heart, I also grieve. I grieve for my brothers and sisters who say "Happy Easter," without realizing they are using the name of a pagan fertility goddess as a greeting. You see,  "Easter" can be  traced back to Astarte (Ashtoreth), the goddess to whom Asherah poles were dedicated and before whom the Israelites repeatedly polluted themselves and incurred the wrath of God. I grieve for these ignorant ones.

I grieve for my brothers and sisters who, knowing this, continue to use this name.

And most of all, I grieve for the institutions called churches, who claim to have and know the truth, who approve and teach pagan practices related to the worship of a fertility goddess, and claim that it is honoring to God and to Jesus Christ. It is a lie. They believe a lie, and they teach others to believe a lie. This is an abomination before God, and I grieve.

It is Firstfruits, rejoice! For Jesus is the firstfruits of them that sleep!
It is Resurrection Day, rejoice! For now is Christ risen from the grave!
1Co 15:20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 

Never again will it be "easter" to me!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Psalm 22: The Crucifixion

 1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 
 2O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.
 3But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
 4Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
 5They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
 6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
Isa 53:3  He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 
 7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
 8He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
Mat 27:43  He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 
 9But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.
 10I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.
 11Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
 12Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.
 13They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.
 14I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
 16For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
 17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
 18They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Mat 27:35  And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. 
 19But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
 20Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
 21Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
 22I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
 23Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.
 24For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.
 25My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.
 26The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.
 27All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the LORD: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
 28For the kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the governor among the nations.
 29All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.
 30A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.
 31They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.
Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Red Sea

The Red Sea crossing is a theme throughout the Bible which shows God's provision for and protection of His people. They crossed from death to life, because He made a way. But each of them had to decide to follow.

This is a picture of salvation for each person. You come to the end of what you know. Ahead is the sea, swelling and surging. Behind is the world and everything you have ever known. You are trembling, certain that you need to cross, but afraid. A voice inside you says, "Go on, I will help you." Do you turn away? Ahead is life, do you refuse it?

Joh 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

Joh 5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 

God has made a straight path for you. His name is Jesus. Cross over!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Numbers 9: The Second Passover

Numbers 9:10-11  Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD. 
11  The fourteenth day of the second month at even they shall keep it, and eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 

The Passover was to be celebrated in the FIRST month, but Yahweh provided a second time to celebrate it for anyone who was unclean through touching a dead body or on a long journey. All the rules were the same, except it was in the SECOND month. 

All who are Christ's are on a journey. We are not yet at home, but are sojourners in this world, waiting to arrive at the New Jerusalem. (Heb 11:13-16) Further, everyone has touched death by sinning (Rom 3:23 & 6:23). But although we have been far from God, and are unclean through our sin, Jesus has brought us near and cleansed us with His blood. So a time is coming when we will celebrate the Passover in the second month.