Will a generous and charitable grandmother who never got around to receiving Christ Jesus as Lord end up bobbing up and down in the lake of fire, next to Hitler, Stalin and Mao?
This theory is the standard one. However, one of the most stunning outcomes of my study of this theory is how little support it receives from Scripture, or the Scriptures can be interpreted differently than I first expected. Don’t believe it? Read every word of this post.
What will happen to your kind and generous but unredeemed grandmother after she is judged? Will she burn in hell-fires in eternal torment? Terminalists or conditionalists or annihilationists (all three terms mean the same doctrine) say no. There is another and better Scriptural option.
What will happen to your generous and gracious but unredeemed grandmother after judgment? Eternal, conscious punishment in the lake of fire next to Hitler, Stalin and Mao? Universalists say no. They claim to have a better and Scriptural option.
This is an old-fashioned look at a Hebrew lexicon and two Greek lexicons, but in an easy-to-read format for nontechnical readers of the Bible. The definitions are wide-ranging and unexpected.
Here is a compendium of various commentators, who tend to reach one conclusion.
Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics, and Neo-Charismatics) use the term all the time, but do we know what it means? What does the Bible say?
This gift is given in order to proclaim the wisdom about Christ and for any particular or special need through the empowerment of the Spirit.
This manifestation of the Spirit can reveal who Christ is more fully and give you information that you could not have without the Spirit revealing it. It does not come by study and research. It is a gift of the Spirit, not of your own mental faculties.
This is a surge of trust that God will give anyone who needs it and in accordance with his will.
Healings come in all shapes and sizes, so expect God to work in a variety of ways.
This gift is available to all, today, not just a special few. God will give it to you when you need it most.
This gift can be very edifying for you and the church. It is not a preacher’s inspired sermon. And don’t despise it, either, says the Scripture.
It is a broad enough to help you distinguish between the false and the true, the Holy Spirit and evil spirits, deceived and true humans.
It is important to study this gift.
This gift depends on Spirit-inspired languages (‘tongues’). Without them, interpretation would not be needed. This post gives a basic teaching of this gift.
So begins a ten-part series. Though difficult to believe at first, our truly understanding the kingdom of God can just about clarify all of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. So then, what is the kingdom? Can we define it biblically, or is the topic just too complicated? What does it mean for us today?
The cultures surrounding Israel valued kings. Thus, monarchy worked its way into Israel’s government, but only with God’s permission. This post provides background material for the kingdom Jesus proclaimed.
We are living in eternity right now. We just don’t see it yet, because the kingdom of God is not fully manifested—for now.
Yes, the kingdom is partly manifested right now, but it is seen with the eyes of faith and in visible signs like salvation of souls and bodily healings and demon expulsions and harmony in the household–all done by the power of the Spirit.
The “already and not yet” is still a valid and wise statement about God’s kingdom, which unfolds in three stages. This post also answers why healings do not happen 100% of the time right now.
When we understand it, we can know how God is working across the planet today. And we can understand Christ’s parables that proclaim its mystery.
Eternal life and the kingdom of God belong together, and you can experience them right now.
Let’s never overlook the Scriptural truth that righteousness (kingdom living) is important to the heart of God. Four passages in the Sermon on the Mount are discussed here.
It is a life-changing demand. Or perhaps I should say demands (plural) bundled together into one.
This Scriptural list will edify you.
So begins my nontechnical journey through Leviticus. I am learning a lot. The New Testament authors give us permission to use typology to fully explain the elements of the burnt sacrifice in the New Covenant believer’s life. (References: Lev. 1, 6:8-13, and Num 15:1-16)
Let’s learn to love the life lessons in Leviticus by finding out what it is and how Jesus fulfills this food or grain or meal offering, which was motivated by gratitude for the Lord. (Reference: Lev. 2 and 6:14-23; Num. 15:1-16)
It is also known as the peace offering and even the communion offering (n the sense of community). The wave offering is included here. Christ’s fulfillment of this offering has many parts, and they are all wonderful. (References: Lev. 3; 7:11-34)
If we want to fully understand Jesus’s sacrifice, we have to look into Leviticus. The substitutionary theory of the atonement is particularly clear in this offering. The New Testament even teaches that Christ became our sin offering. (References: Leviticus 4:1-5:13 and 6:24-30 and Num. 15:1-16)
It is also called the Reparations offering or Trespass offering. Someone breaks the boundaries of the holy and becomes aware of it later, or he does some dishonest things; then the guilt offering is for him. Of course the New Testament (NT) streamlines and fulfills it in Christ (References: Leviticus 5:14-6:7; 7:1-7)
I’m on a journey through Leviticus, and it is very enjoyable. Yes, their ordination is significant in its own right, but how do New Testament themes enlarge and fulfill priestly consecration?
After Aaron and his sons were ordained (Lev. 8), they performed their first ritual for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. This is the inauguration of the new tabernacle. How does the New Covenant improve on these old rituals?
Those were Aaron the high priest’s eldest sons, and they mixed strange fire against the law, and God judged them instantly. Why? Is God a petty tyrant? Most of this post is concerned with this issue, while the rest of Leviticus 10 gives further instructions for the priests generally.
Leviticus has all sorts of food laws. How does the New Testament relate to them? Are they canceled? Are they kept? What exactly does the New Testament really say? The bulk of this post is about the last question.
These Levitical laws in those two chapters are about reproduction and childbirth, in other words, male and female body parts. The laws, seemingly primitive by our standards, reveal the heart of the God who looks out for his people by promoting cleanliness and health. What does the New Testament teach about ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness?
The laws in those two chapters about quarantine or isolation benefit humanity. They come from God’s heart of love for people. Yet, there is a ceremonial uncleanness that the New Testament rises above even for disease, but how?
This is a simple look at Leviticus 16 in ten steps. The NT streamlines, improves and fulfills it. How?
Modern sophisticates dismiss the blood in the Old Testament as too primitive and unnecessary. But Jesus and his apostles applied the theology behind it to their days, so how could it be below our modern sensibilities and dignity, unless we are above them? (Reference: Lev. 17)
Does the New Testament cancel moral law? What about unlawful sexual practices? Are we free to practice at least some of them? Would grace cover us when we regularly did?
Does the New Testament go so far as to cancel honest business practices, respect for parents, and even sound agricultural practices? Or does it accept some of them and reject others?
The punishments are not pretty, but we can still learn some basic principles of how seriously God takes sin.
This post is a quick summary of those two chapters in Leviticus. I am learning a lot in my journey through this infallible and inspired book, when it is properly interpreted through the filter of the New Covenant or New Testament.
The appointed festivals in this chapter were sacred for the ancient Israelites. They are still sacred for the Jewish community today. What does the New Testament say about them?
Chapter 24 of Leviticus starts off with the command to supply olive oil for the lamp in the tabernacle and bread there. Then in the second half of the chapter a man was stoned to death for blasphemy. And other verses demand the death penalty for taking a life. What does the New Testament say about all of this?
This is a great passage about the Year of Jubilee, because it goes to the heart of the law: redemption and liberty. What does the New Testament say?
What does the New Testament really say about them in light of this chapter in Leviticus? This post will make hyper-grace teachers cringe, but the rest of us will feel sober and be biblically informed.
How could a devout Israelite express his commitment to the Lord? His gratitude? His promise to give to the Lord for a future blessing? By vowing to him, with some property and other possessions–some “skin” in the game. How does the New Testament transform and streamline these laws?
You must be born again. But what does that mean? Does anything result from being born again? Or do we just stay the same?
This post looks at the major Scriptures about the atonement. It also asks whether healing is “in” the atonement.
This is an easy-to-follow study of some key Hebrew and Greek words, all transliterated into English.
Are some theories about it better than others?
God didn’t move. We did. Now he is wooing us back.
This is an easy-to-follow word study in Hebrew and Greek, with all the words transliterated into English. And then redemption and ransom are applied to our lives today.
Ever since the Enlightenment (1600-1800+), modern man does not like the bloody elements of Christianity, the blood that was shed on the cross. This man knows best, right?
Postmodern man after the Enlightenment (1600-1800+) does not like the bloody part of Christianity. Of course this man is shortsighted. This post answers the question and lays out the efficacious benefits of the blood of Christ for our salvation. It also answers whether it is biblical to “plead the blood.”
Start with this post, if you want the Bible basics. It will boil things down and clarify them. Key Hebrew and Greek words, too.
When we experience salvation, we respond to it in our daily lives. How do we and should we respond?
Who brought it about? How did salvation happen? Do we play our part to receive it?
Read the Scriptural answer.
The Scriptures use metaphors or imagery to describe salvation.
Does it merely mean “changed mind,” or does it go deeper?
If you have an overactive conscience, this post is for you. God hurls your sins into the sea and remembers them no more. An old fashioned word study and basic Bible study, with lots of biblical data put in an easy-to-read format.
What is justification? Can God declare a guilty man not guilty?
What does the term mean and not mean? An old-fashioned Bible study offered in a Q&A format.
A thorough study that I hope clarifies this issue.
The parable may not cover the titled theological dispute in detail, but many interpreters believe it does. So let’s explore.
In the old days, this used to be called the “perseverance of the saints” (believers). All that means is the persistence of Christians to keep their relationship with the Lord. So the related question often comes up: Can a truly born-again believer walk away from this relationship?
Can truly born-again believers drift permanently away from or renounce their relationship with the Lord, or are they eternally secure?
Who were the “sons of God” mentioned in Genesis? Were they fallen angels or heroic men from the godly line of Seth? This post also covers the “sons of the Most High” in Psalm 82 and the “sons of God” in Job 1-2 and other verses.
Learn what the Bible really says. This study is essential for our being rooted in the Word, not some desperate quest for angels. Seek Jesus always and only.
Dateline: 11 May 1685: Maybe the Quakers thought it prudent to honor the new king. But there was a problem–his religion. Both sides were part of European and American church history, in the colonial era. At his accession to the throne, he became James II.
Dateline: Philadelphia, 1 Nov 1689: The Council debates how William and Mary became King and Queen. Let’s listen in on a near-verbatim transcription of their discussion on that day. They were part of church history, and so was the council of Philadelphia.
Dateline: 5 July 1702, Philadelphia. People in the New World thought it best to proclaim her queen in order to provide for their own defence and form a militia against invasion and for legal reasons. Both sides of the Atlantic were part of church history.
It is not defined by what the world system or pagan religions say, nor is it what popular Bible teachers seem to preach.
It seems confusion dominates discussions about the righteousness of God. Is it imputed? Imparted? When does it mean vindication? Justice? Holiness? Declared not guilty? Putting things right? All of the above? Find out what the Old Testament and New Testament say!
Paul prays for the Philippians that they would be filled with the fruit of righteousness (Phil. 1:11). Therefore righteousness is a fruit, every bit as much as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are. What does this aspect of the term mean?
Yes, healing is “in” the atonement, like every biblical benefit. So why not 100% healing?
The left! Sexual nihilism. Anything goes or nothing goes. So what? Who cares? In that spirit, I don’t know anymore what’s worse: shouting “fire!” in a crowded theater or “confused boy!” in a crowded girls’ locker room (said a clever radio host).
This theory of the atonement or the significance of Christ’s death on the cross has come under attack of late. And maybe some sermons and illustrations of it have been out of line. But this theory of the atonement is still biblically valid. Here’s why.
Some say yes. What are the historical and social context of three key passages?
Lies and exaggerations and distortions flow through the web and media and harm our society. They must be countered. If not, America will decline–at first slowly, and now rapidly–by moral rot. I also offer some biblical truths. You may certainly copy the images and post them in social media.
I tell my story: Not my racism, but my ancestors owned slaves. Most importantly, what do the Scriptures say about atonement?
Have you ever heard a student or young adult ask it today? It’s still going strong in Europe and numerous countries around the globe. What if Leftists were to rebrand their ideology and hide it under a current political party in American politics? Therefore, it’s important to take a closer look at it.
How are they defined? How many people belong to them?
This issue ranges much more widely than just the current events in 2020 America. We can learn from Scripture any time when it speaks to our nature and satanic lies.
Critics say: “God sent his Son to the cross and poured his just wrath on him? Would any loving Father do that? It’s cosmic child abuse!”
In its simplicity, it is “communication with God.” But what do the Scriptures say about it more fully? This post offers a thorough biblical teaching, with many references, on prayer generally.
That is, is it the morally right thing to do? That question goes beyond current events in America in 2020. What is the government allowed to do, if it intends to restore peace and order? What does the Bible say?
Have you been taught all your life that the rapture and Second Coming are distinct events, years apart? Is it difficult to change your cherished belief? The belief about the Second Coming in the earliest apostolic community was unified, without complications. Here’s the plentiful biblical and nonsymbolic and direct evidence.
What do those verses about being taken away and left behind really teach? The answer may shock many people who have been taught only one viewpoint.
What if the Church is targeted for persecution by the government or by large groups of extremists, but the government does not come to the aid of Christians? For example, rioting Muslims in Nigeria or Sudan attack churches on a wide scale. Can Christians defend themselves, because the State does not come to their aid?
I have often heard confused uses of “turn the other cheek.” The saying seems so imbalanced and out of touch with reality, as it circulates around the world, out of context and isolated.
This post is not about modern philosophy. What does the Bible say about this rich word?
An old fashioned Bible study is offered here.
This a table of Messianic prophecies, which go a long way in building up our faith and the reliability of the Bible. It also answers the question: How does this post help me grow in God?
At first glance he seems to be a mysterious figure. But who was he according to the entire Scriptures that mention him? An old-fashioned Bible study here, with my translation of Hebrews 7.
How do biblical covenants bear on that extremely important question today? Does the New Covenant cancel the Abrahamic covenants? What does the remnant mean in the Bible?
Do you need it? Do you dare pray for it? Learn what it means, and you will pray for it in your family and at your job.
It is the major technique of Jesus’s teaching, right up there with his direct teaching. So how do we define it?
What is it? Do they happen today? Can you experience one?
Why do we need it? Why must we not skip it for very long? A Bible study here, with the famous “one another” verses included.
This post is an old-fashioned Bible study, offering a clear understanding of the church.
How does the Bible describe it? You need to know, so you can fit into God’s plan with other believers.
Certain Christians downplay Scripture. But it is better to say that this book, full of revelations and wonderful teachings, should occupy the top spot in our gatherings. Here’s why.
What does baptize literally mean? Can infants be baptized, biblically speaking? What about adults being baptized twice? Questions like these are answered point by point.
Paul begins and ends each letter with grace. Great for your personal edification or a series in a Bible study or sermons.
What are those alternatives? Only one man, inspired by the Spirit, turned the problem and solution on its head.
One approach says, “Just do it!” The other one says, “It’s already been done.”
Hint to its meaning: Think about it and take it on credit.
Several years ago, my city installed cameras at various intersections, and I got caught three times. I “miraculously” became an awesome driver!
The New Testament issues all sorts of commands and imperatives that many of us can’t live up to. What then?
What does “being justified” mean? Acquittal in law court, put right in a covenant, or both, or what?
This study looks at the Old Testament passages that Paul quotes in his writings, and the post places the references in categories.
The “Grace Revolution” must adequately deal with this topic, for a change.
How does Paul use of the Old Testament in this most important epistle? Does he put people under the Old Covenant, by referring to its Scriptures? If not, then why borrow from them in the first place?
It is never expressed against his New Covenant community (unless you get a speeding ticket).
What’s with all the wrathin’ and a-smitin’ in the Old Testament? If grace teachers don’t explore this topic, some people may accuse them of hiding unpleasant truths and focusing on feel-good, sugarcoated doctrines alone.
Yes, the first-person pronoun “I” is in that old biblical songbook (Psalms), but so is “God” without “me.” Can’t we sing about both “me” and “God” in church? And when do we take “me” too far?
It is also called the Lord’s Table, Communion, Messianic Passover, and the Eucharist. What does it mean? How should we celebrate it?
It is commanded. But wouldn’t it be better if we praised him out of our freewill gratitude?
It is the key to the Christian life. What does the Bible say?
God’s New Covenant plan is much better than an obsolete, national, theocratic tax designed to support an obsolete, national, religious system.
Do we ignore the Old Law so we can be free to live as we wish in the New Covenant? What about Christian Sabbath keeping? What does the Bible really say?
How much continuity and discontinuity is there between the New Covenant and the Sinai Covenant? This article is designed to answer the confusion between hyper-grace on the one side and legalism on the other.
What does the Bible say about it?
Despite the abuse, confession is still a biblical practice, whether for sins or for salvation in Christ. Make it part of your prayer life.
How was it done? To what purpose? Worship leaders must be Bible based, or else their lyrics and mode of worship will become shallow and self-focused instead of God centered.
God relates to humankind by covenants (not dispensations). What does the term mean?
The original words are very rich. Most deeply and richly of all, we can know God personally.
Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics and Neo-Charismatics) believe that all the gifts of God mentioned in the New Testament are for today. They flow from God and are exercised through the Spirit and grace and a yielded, eager heart when the need arises. Let’s study the ones in Rom. 12:6-8.
Renewalists (Pentecostals, Charismatics and New-Charismatics) believe these gifts are for today. This is an old-fashioned Bible study, word by word. line up line.
This word begins the list in Gal. 5:22-23. From it flows all the other virtues. Here is a basic word study of the noun, with application to your life.
Gal. 5:22-23 lists nine fruit of the Spirit. The second one is joy. What is it? Giddiness, or does it go deeper? Also discussed here is the differences between happiness and joy.
It is clear from the news headlines that we need peace in the world. But that can happen only when we have the peace that flows from the Spirit. Everyone on the planet needs to be born again, be filled with the Spirit, and let the peace flow outwardly.
It is also translated as “patience.” Do we have enough of it? Do you dare pray for it?
This attribute should grow in us by the Spirit of God. Will we let him produce it in us?
Have you heard this meme circulating around the American church? “The gospel does not make bad people good, but dead people alive”? Yes, it makes dead people alive, but it also makes now-living persons better.
“Faith” and “faithfulness” come from the same Greek word. They need to be sorted out by context.
It’s the opposite of being harsh and overbearing.
Without this fruit, our lives would be chaotic.
It is possible to have too much love (doormat), too much grace (licentious or antinomian) or too much law (legalism), but it is not possible to have too much wisdom.
It is very sad on a human level. But what is the answer biblically? Is there hope?
This post is a basic Bible study of key words in the Old and New Testaments, all spelled out in English. Worship leaders need to have a biblical foundation. Practical application is offered below each term.
All the key words are here, spelled out in simple English.
Many Renewalists say yes for prophecy. The evidence favors them. Now what about prophets?
How is it done? Can we balance order and freedom? Should we remain passive and just let the professionals worship at church? What about a choir? What about dancing, for example?
Have you ever received a dream, possibly from God, while you were sleeping or a vision before your eyes or mind’s eyes? How would you know it came from God? How do we evaluate them?
Some teach that the Second Person of the Trinity became the Son of God at his birth. True?