Unanswerable Questions? You decide.
As you well know, our Father’s watching over our work.
Sometimes … He sends advice that’s not asked for.
Because of His love for us.
Usually that kind of advice is like strong medicine, hard to take … but ultimately helpful.
Only pride is capable of blocking it.
At this moment in time, you have no need to reconfirm your theology and the way we “do church”.
What you’re doing is perceived as working.
And we all know the axiom – “if it aint broke … don’t fix it”.
Quite frankly, we’re too busy to worry about it anyway.
The goal is to stir you to take a look anyway.
I know what you’ll find. I’m excited for you to make that find.
I suspect the Holy Spirit has the same goal.
My only question is His timing.
You’re good at thinking outside the box. He designed you that way for a reason.
Perhaps now is the time?
I hope you’re still teachable … just as you hope your parishioners are?
Pride will determine that.
I’m also mindful that you answer to our Father alone, not to me.
I can only encourage you to try.
A tall order since things are working just fine … as is.
If the timing is correct and the Holy Spirit moves, this info may be of value to you. At least as a start.
We Christians rightly hold that Jesus is among other things the Truth and that there’s no other way to be “saved”. Therefore, the Jew, the Buddhist, and the Hindu, have placed their “faith” in a lie. By contrast, our “faith”, is not in a lie. Faith – the portion of our understanding of theology that we can’t empirically or forensically prove. Our faith is based on logical conclusions from the evidence that we do have.
Or is it partly in traditions?
Imagine our colloquialism of walking a mile in a man’s shoes before you judge him being mothballed for 1,600 years and then suddenly rediscovered by the church? Imagine the church then instituting an annual exchanging of shoes and walking a mile … as a sacrament. Silly isn’t it.
Yet isn’t it interesting that the New Testament never instructs us on how a worship service at 11:00 on Sunday must be structured. But we know that our way is right and pleasing to God. It’s been done this way for eons. It must be right!?
If the old King James was good enough for Paul, it should be good enough for us! Right?
During the 400 years of prophetic silence, the Pharisees significantly morphed our Father’s truths. By the time the Landowner sent His Son to correct the situation at the vineyard, the morphers were rightly accused of teaching the precepts of men … rather than the word of God. In fact, the Landowner had accurately predicted that they would!
Mat 15:7 You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:8 THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME. 9 BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.
What are the Landowner’s predictions of our time? Might do us well to find out? Don’t you think?
For us it’s been 1,600 years. Four times longer than the original vineyard workers had to goof it up. 1,600 years from the time of the canonization of the New Testament to today. Not to mention the time from the cross to the canonization itself being almost 400 years. That’s longer than from July 4, 1776 to today.
Think about it?
Surely we’re smarter and more righteous than they? We would never morph the Landowners truths as they did?
How is it that Martin Luther “discovered” being saved by grace through faith when it had always been clearly written by Paul? How many years of morphing until that point? How many years of having to do pharisaic “works” to be “saved” until the simple truths that Jesus taught were “re-discovered”? The so called church did exactly what the vineyard workers had done.
But surely since Martin’s great “discovery” we have it correct now? Yet the Landowner’s Son warns us in advance of morphing so significant that even those who are sincere followers are at risk of being deceived.
Mat 24:24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
Even those with insight will eventually fall. Think of this kind of insight as knowledge alone.
1Co 8:1 Now concerning food sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes one conceited, but love edifies people.
Dan 11:33 And those who have insight among the people will give understanding to the many; yet they will fall by sword and by flame, by captivity and by plunder for many days.34 Now when they fall they will be granted a little help, and many will join with them in hypocrisy.35 And some of those who have insight will fall, to refine, purge, and cleanse them until the end time; because it is still to come at the appointed time.
This one is a bit difficult to put into context. Once you gain an accurate picture of the end time, this prophecy makes perfect sense. During the beginning of the end time there will be “professionals” who traffic in sensationalizing end times … for a profit. By the time the rapture occurs, those professionals will have a much clearer picture than they arrogantly have today. Their picture today is, by our Father’s design, 180 degrees out of phase. Yet that clearer picture just after the rapture will be perceived by the masses as “insight”. Even though they had it as wrong as could be prior to the rapture, the professionals will continue to hold themselves out as “special people”. Pride is so difficult to eradicate. It’s those “special people” that will fall. They’ll be purged so that the God given insight of the true followers will be of great value to the entire world. To all who heed their message. A guiding light.
Dan 12:3 And those who have insight will shine like the glow of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
I’m intrigued with how Jesus always had His head screwed on right when we had ours on backwards. When the Pharisees tried to trap Him with the question of pay taxes to Rome or not, He asked for a coin. They should have started running at that point. When they brought the woman “caught” in adultery and had Him “trapped” again, I suspect He first wrote out something like:
Deu 22:22 If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.
Because the woman was most likely lured into the trap and by design the man left the scene, the accusers were fooled by Jesus. For those young conspirators stupid enough not to realize what was about to happen next, I suspect that Jesus wrote out a fundamental law:
Exo 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Then, even the young and stupid left.
When they tried to trip Him up with the question of a woman who marries and is widowed several times asking: Mat 22:28 In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had married her.
Jesus explains that Mat 22:29 You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
It’s that concept of not understanding that I hope to attack.
Evidently, we humans are more prone to create and follow traditions than truth?
Think about a modern American wedding today. We have known “rules”. The groom should spend at least one months salary on the ring for the bride. The groom’s parents pay for this. The bride’s parents pay for that. The bride must be allowed to have a magnificent dress. A specific dramatic song is played while the bride walks down the aisle. The religious official says some relevant things and then the bride and groom repeat an unoriginal set of vows found nowhere in scripture. Then the groom is finally allowed to kiss the bride. Then they exit and are showered with rice? Then we must have a reception!
Not one bit of it is commanded in scripture. But today we treat it as gospel.
It gets worse.
We pious Christians insist that a Christian couple wishing to be “married” must get a marriage license from the State. Once again, not a single hint of that concept in scripture anywhere. Yet we again hold it as gospel. Interesting that George Washington didn’t have a marriage license. The concept of a license was instituted in America to prevent whites from marrying blacks.
Shame on us.
In that same way we’ve taken as gospel man’s “traditions” when it comes to our thinking of how we act as followers of the Son. We have unfortunately done the very thing that the Son warned would happen.
I’m cognizant of not throwing out the baby with the bath water, but I do want to throw out the rancid bath water. One way to do that is to solve several difficult to explain biblical passages. Those passages are difficult to explain because of the construct of morphed theology that we’ve let go unchallenged. As you take a sincere interest in correcting our misunderstandings, a childlike simple picture of salvation emerges. The very picture that Jesus taught his men. Come as a child. Like the pharisees, we’ve made it so complex.
Mat 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”2 And He called a child to Himself and set him among them,3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you change and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.4 So whoever will humble himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Unfortunately, as you begin to untangle the web of distortions, things will temporarily get more complex. Lots of head scratching. Lots of wondering – how can this be true … if that is true? But as chunks of the morphing become evident and are cut away, the true picture becomes ever clearer. Once they’re all excised, the picture becomes childlike simple. Just as Jesus said.
Fascinating, that just as some of us are able to assist others in this delineation between our traditions and our Father’s truths, there’s a devastating movement known as Deconstruction that will understandably cause weak people to shy away from trying to sort through the assembled years of useless traditions.
Unlike deconstruction, what seekers of our Father’s truths will find is a Father who we knew was full of grace … as having grace off the charts! A Father who we knew was patient … as having patience beyond our capacity to grasp it. A Father who is of course righteous … as being so much more righteous than we could comprehend that if we were able to be in His presence, we would fall on our faces as a dead man. As the message of the Landowner’s Son gets closer to the original version, both the Landowner and His Son become ever so more desirable. Worth giving all that we are to follow.
I sometimes ask people the trick question when were you saved. Most try to give me a date and year. So far, only two have thought about it and said … at the cross.
That’s the kind of clear insight that our Father desires for at least a portion of His children to have.
Perhaps you’re one of them?
Consider the oft repeated phrase of “I will bless those who bless Israel”. See if you can find that one anywhere in the bible? Anywhere?
How about the concept of the antichrist as revealed in the book of Revelation? See if you can find the word antichrist anywhere in Revelation? See if you can find it mentioned anywhere other than in John’s epistles?
At funerals we tell the bereaved that their loved one is in Heaven with God. Yet Paul clearly states that they will not enter His presence until the catching away.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
We talk about God’s “wrath” during the tribulation as though God’s finally lost His temper and He’s going to squash humans. The older son syndrome. We long for God to punish those who chose not give up things and act like the rest of us goodie two shoes. But I ask you to think about what it is that God “does” that’s “wrath”? Does he send snakes to bite people? Does He poison our food? Does he cause lightning bolts to strike sinners? What does God “do”. What is His “wrath”? He does allow a major earthquake? But He also warns those paying attention to evac just before it hits. That sounds more like grace than wrath. As you consider this question, the Holy Spirit will help you realize that His “wrath” is finally giving us what we’ve been demanding for so long, to LEAVE US ALONE!!!
Indeed He will.
He finally will.
And all hell will break loose. His so called wrath … is finally giving us what we demand.
For 1,260 days, He won’t interfere.
We came to the Lord via people who taught us things … and they seemed right. No need to question them. And now we’ve repeated their errors so many times that they’ve become fact!
Those examples above are the simple ones.
Modern Christianity puts forth that Jesus is “the way” and that “no one comes to the Father except through Him”.
How were people before Jesus “saved”?
Perhaps you’re really sharp and have the plausible answer of – they followed the Jewish laws and sacrificial system. OK. That solution works if you were Jewish?
How were non-Jews saved before Jesus?
Rahab the harlot (who was in the blood line of Jesus)?
Ruth the Moabites (also in the blood line of Jesus)?
Abraham (who was considered right with God well before the Mosaic law)?
See the problem?
How about this one. “It is appointed for man to die once, then comes judgement”. So we apparently have a time limit on our ability to “decide” for Christ? We imply that you never know what might happen, so make your decision quickly before you die! Purchase your FIRE insurance while you can! You only die once!
The widow’s son?
The man buried next to Elisha?
The daughter of the synagogue official?
Those taken in the rapture?
We hold that we are unconditionally forgiven by the grace of our loving Father, yet His Son had these words:
Mat 6:15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
John had these words:
1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We have songs about being washed in the blood. Must seem rather morbid to the atheist inquiring into Christianity? Clearly the OT Jews were saved by the blood of bulls and goats weren’t they?
Heb 10:4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
But we hold that Jesus “died” for us? That His “shed blood” saves us? An onlooker could rightly ask the question “what does some guy dying on a cross 2,000 years ago have to do with making me right with God”? My father often used the old saying “what does that have to do with the price of tea in China”?
Most today ask the question “how is one saved”? But the more pertinent question asked of Jesus by a tape measure … I mean a ruler, was:
Luk 18:18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
You would agree that we will all live eternally … somewhere. So why ask the question?
We say that anyone who confesses “Jesus as Lord”, anyone who “knows” Jesus is “saved”. But when we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:22 where He indicates that not all who say Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, what do we think? He goes on to tell us that “many” will say “Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles”? To those “many” Jesus replies “I never knew you; depart from me …” Wow! How can that be? He has the same response to the five virgins in Matthew 25:12 saying, “truly I say to you, I don’t know you.” How can we know Him … but He doesn’t know us?
We talk about a “blood bought born again Christian”. Slightly redundant, but in any event, how is one “born again”? Is it when an individual asks Jesus to forgive their sins and welcomes Him into their life? Or is it that Jesus means that unless He separated from the Father so that He could take on humanity’s infinite sin debt in a finite amount of time (the only entity capable of doing that) and then resume fellowship with His Father, our Father, that we all would be lost?
Are all “born again” because of His work at the time of the cross?
God said to Adam “in the day that you eat the fruit, you shall surely die”. But Adam lived on into his 900’s? Perhaps God meant that Adam would die “spiritually”? OK?
How was Adam brought back to life spiritually?
I have friends who are 5 point Calvinists. In their TULIP acronym, the “L” stands for Limited Atonement (Jesus died only for the sins of the elect and not the sins of the reprobate). The “T” stands for Total Depravity (man is totally depraved, spiritually deaf, and unable to hear the call of God unless the Holy Spirit “quickens” them). And only some (the elect) are “quickened” by the Holy Spirit.
They claim that God has a general “call” to all men. They acknowledge that creates an unsolvable dilemma: God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. They describe the dilemma as two parallel lines that somehow meet. But they can’t solve the geometry. Hint – solve the “L” first. Twice, Paul indicates that in Adam we all died spiritually. Adam was our federal head, so as his offspring, we inherit Adam’s “dead to God” nature. Fair enough.
Just as an aside, how did Jesus avoid the same condemnation as we do of being born spiritually dead? He was still one of Adam’s offspring? But we say that He was without sin?
Anyway, Paul goes on to say that in Christ all are made spiritually alive.
Rom 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
1Ti 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.
Tit 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men,
Does “all” really mean “all”? How can that be? Doesn’t that lead to universal salvation? We know that Judas is Hell bound. We know that the beast and the false profit are Hell bound. So it can’t mean universal salvation? Can it?
And what of the concept of a “second death”? The word never occurs anywhere in the bible until it occurs four times is the book of Revelation. Why did our Father wait 62 years after His Son’s departing and 25 years after the diaspora to give us this magnificent picture of the end time? Why wait that long to introduce a here to fore unheard of doctrine?
Is it possible that our Father was referencing a doctrine that had been lost or overlooked prior?
As an example, even though the rapture was never directly mentioned in the Old Testament nor by Jesus in the gospel accounts, somehow Paul knew of it? How did he know? Was it a direct revelation to him only? If the other disciples taught him, why didn’t they mention it in their writings? In like manner, could it be that Paul and the other 11 knew of the doctrine of a second death but had no occasion to write about it … so we have no record of it? Anything that would have been universally known would have no need to be written about. Did the universally known doctrine fade from the time of the cross to 397 AD?
In our understandable ignorance of the issue, and based on the construct of morphed theology that we hold as gospel today, most think that the second death is a spiritual death after a first physical death. A reasonable position to hold. Logic would dictate that one MUST therefore physically die first in order to be resurrected (for the great white throne judgement) to be able to endure a second death. That being the case, how do we explain the two beasts of Revelation being thrown alive into the lake of fire which in Revelation is also called the second death?
Rev 20:14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
How do we explain the living people at the end of the seven last years of prophetic history who Jesus calls goats being cast alive into the lake of fire – the second death?
If on the other hand the second death is a second separation from the Father (spiritual death), it would stand to reason that all men were at some point made alive (spiritually reborn) such that any of them could spiritually die a second time. Could that be? Did Jesus cause the rebirth of the entire human race at the time of the cross? If He did, then all men are completely forgiven of their “sins”. Why then would we tell people that to be “saved” they must ask Jesus to forgive their sins? He already did? Right?
See the issues?
We say that Jesus is the Messiah. The modern Jews reject that claim. Interesting that the translation of the Hebrew word to our modern word “Messiah” never occurs in the original Old Testament texts. Twice in the book of Daniel, the Hebrew word we always translate “anointed” (as in kings and prophets), is now translated “Messiah”. On what linguistic basis have we made that grammatical change?
We look at the beginning of the gospel accounts of Matthew and Doctor Luke and see a remarkable lineage proving that Jesus was as He said, a descendant of King David.
Mathew lists the descendants after David through his son Solomon. Dr. Luke lists the descendants after David through his son Nathan. Mathew’s list of descendants is of the line of Joseph. Dr. Luke’s list of descendants is of the line of Marry. With that we have two difficulties. The first one is the curse of Coniah, AKA Jeconiah. By my count, he’s the grandson x 12 of David.
Mat 1:11 Josiah became the father of Jeconiah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
Jer 22:24 As I live,” declares the LORD, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;
Here’s the verse disqualifying Coniah and his descendants.
Jer 22:30 Thus says the LORD, ‘Write this man down childless, A man who will not prosper in his days; For no man of his descendants will prosper Sitting on the throne of David Or ruling again in Judah.’
So Matthew’s genealogy via Joseph is invalid. No harm no foul you say. Joseph wasn’t a blood line father. He was a stepfather.
The line of Mary may have an even more difficult issue? Luke’s genealogy via Marry is problematic because her line is from David’s son Nathan, not Solomon.
2 Sam 7:12 12 When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever.”’” 17 In accordance with all these words and all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David.
1Ch 22:9 Behold, a son will be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quiet to Israel in his days. 10 He shall build a house for My name, and he shall be My son and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.
A classic Christmas verse:
Isa 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
But Marry didn’t name Him Immanuel?
If the “virgin” of Isaiah 7:14 gave birth, then there would have been nothing unique about Mary giving birth to Jesus? Yet Matthew apparently referenced this prophecy to evidence Jesus’ divinity:
Mat 1:22 Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:23BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
If the Isaiah prophecy was about Jesus and there never was a virgin who would give birth as a sign for King Ahaz that God would protect the Jews from the impending invasion, then why did God give the prophecy to Ahaz?
In Ezekiel chapters 40- 46, our Father instructed Ezekiel in the architectural design and the operation of what we call the second temple. Zerubbabel eventually constructed a second temple, but it was nowhere near the specifications outlined by our Father? Not even close? Two totally different structures. Not even Herod’s remodel put the second temple into spec?
God gave Ezekiel a vision of that completed temple and remarked:
Eze 43:7 He said to me, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the sons of Israel forever. And the house of Israel will not again defile My holy name, neither they nor their kings, by their harlotry and by the corpses of their kings when they die,
Was this metaphoric? “Souls of My feet”? Sounds literal? “Dwell”? You decide.
Eze 43:9 Now let them put away their harlotry and the corpses of their kings far from Me; and I will dwell among them forever.
“Forever” sounds like He meant to stay?
Yet we know that the second temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD?
Perhaps this “temple” is what we know will be the third one? The one to be constructed by the midpoint of the last seven prophetic years? If so, how do we deal with the following direction from our Father:
Eze 45:17 It shall be the prince’s part to provide the burnt offerings, the grain offerings and the drink offerings, at the feasts, on the new moons and on the sabbaths, at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel; he shall provide the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering and the peace offerings, to make atonement for the house of Israel.
I thought Jesus completed the sin atonement at the time of the cross?
Some have surmised that this must be a fourth temple that will exist during the Millennium? If so, how do we deal with the description of the New Jerusalem that our Father gave to the Son, who gave it to His Angel, who gave it to John, who gave it to us:
Rev 21:22I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
Our Father’s use of the word “forever” in Ezekiel becomes problematic?
As you struggle to figure this one out, and with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, a magnificent reality comes clear, and the glory of this Jesus that we put on a cross becomes overwhelming.
Sometimes when I ask these biblical dilemma questions, a get a response of “we don’t know”. As if to say “no one can know”! I typically respond with the follow up question of “who is we”?
I know the answers. Once the morphed and faulty thinking is jettisoned, the solutions are clear.
I’m not very bright. I wish I was … but I’m not. I’m not holy. Not even close. I’ve never had dreams or visions from God. Never heard His voice. I did some notable things that were unusual, and then relied on our Father to help me better understand these kinds of things. It’s God who must have helped this slow learner arrive at the simple answers.
So that you know, my contention is that Jesus was and is the Messiah. He is my Lord and my Savior. I owe all that I am and all that I will ever be to Him. I would be utterly content to return to the Father as a shamed sinner asking only to be treated as a slave, a servant. I recognize that when I do that, He’s likely to say NO! But you are my son. Enter into My Kingdom.
Grace that is beyond comprehension.
About twenty five years ago I recognized that if I had been there at the time of Jesus, I would have put Him on that cross. I’d like to think that I’m like the apostle Paul or John, but the reality is that my base personality is by far and away most like Judas. Do it my way Jesus or else I’ll force the issue. I’d of made a great Pharisee, a legalistic do as I say not as I do, crucify that blasphemer Jesus. I’d of made a good Roman. By nature, I’m brutal and arrogant. I’d of vied to drive the nails! Even as a member of the crowd that shouted “hosana” thinking they had their king, their deliver from Rome, when it was evident that He was a miserable failure, I would have shouted “give us Barabbas! Crucify Him!” Any way I attack the issue, the reality is, I’d of put Him on that cross. To my shame.
His response to me is the proverbial “beyond words”. But if I had to try to put it into words, this old picture of me that I found in the attic would give you the first 1,000.
It’s a devastating picture!
Perhaps this picture describes His response to you as well?
Righteousness and mercy personified.
A working definition of grace.
Utterly unearned grace.
Indeed, at His name, every knee will bow.
This is the Jesus that I desire to serve.
The one who I know loves me.
The one who taught Michael to throw off John’s attempt to worship him when John saw his glory which illuminated the entire planet! I am a fellow servant of yours, Michael said. Worship God.
If I ever grow up, I wana be like that angel. I know who trained him.
At the cross, Jesus paid for the right to serve me. His Father was well pleased and gave Him all things.
What would you pay for the right to serve?
Are you capable of placing the last vestiges of pride in the blender and hitting the frappe button?
If you are, there’s much more for you to learn about the near future … and your potential role in it.