Messianics 36 Jeremiah 31


Okay, let’s get Jeremiah 31:31 out of the way.

This is a Messianic proof text, and we need to address it, because it’s crucial in their eyes. This one will be a little long, but i’m trying to make a point by using every example of חָדָשׁ Chadash.

Chadash is roughly equivalent to the Greek καινός new.

Heres’ where the Messianics are part right – I mean, the average Messianic does not have any training in Greek or Hebrew, other than judicious misuse of Strongs’. חֲדָשָֽׁה׃ Chadashah does indeed mean restored or refreshed.

Messianics love to dive into the Hebrew – although precious few can really speak it or read it. Hebrew is a very tough language, for most people. It was easy for me, but I guess how people think of Hebrew is how Greek was for me. Yowza! I was sweating the first semester of Greek.

Anyway.

I very often, when dealing with cults and false religions post the rules for Bible interpretation. They’re very easy to understand. I give them away, because well, that’s my job! And of course it makes my job a LOT easier if everyone could learn how to read the Bible for itself!

It means what it says.

Read it in context. If you’re unclear on what it means, the context usually explains it. What is the chapter saying?

The Bible is its own built in dictionary. It will tell you what a word means, usually if you look up the first time the word is used.

If you find a verse that’s hard to understand, read all the other verses in the Bible that speak on the same subject. You’ll be surprised, but literally the other verses will give you the understanding of what the difficult verse means!

There you go. I’ll add another one I don’t usually list, because I think this is an error that Messianics make….

Do not attempt to force a parable to “walk on all fours”. Parables are teaching stories, and not every last element is to be forced as doctrine. Read the parable of the ten virgins. The oil is salvation, right? That’s obvious from the text, right? Okay, what are we to do with the foolish virgins not having any, and the wise ones being unable to share any? Can you share your salvation? Will you only have half your salvation? See how it can trip you up attempting to make a parable walk on all fours? This is why we come to the rule… “do not attempt to make doctrine from all the elements of a parable.”

Okay. Let’s proceed.

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:31-34 (KJV)

Much is made of the word “new” by Messianics. The thought is to look in the Hebrew, and see it is the word Chadash or Chodesh, depending on tenses, etc. The Messianic will correctly point out the same word is used over and over again for “New moon”, and point out that it means “renewed”. Thus, they argue that Jer. 31:31 should be translated “renewed covenant”.

Can I ask – what is the meaning of the word “Af” in Hebrew? Af. Look it up. It means two different things. “Nose.” and…. “anger”. So, when you’re reading in the Torah in Hebrew, trying to get all sixteen or so chapters (I forget how Messianics divide the Torah Readings, because many incorporate the readings of the New Testament in there as well…) how do you know which it means?

Biblical Interpretation rule number two. Read it in context.

29 Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. Isaiah 37:29 (KJV)

Can you translate this “putting my hook in thy anger”? No. It makes no sense.

We interpret the Hebrew by its context. Yes, Chodesh can mean renewed. It also means New.

8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. Exodus 1:8 (KJV)

Renewed king? That makes no sense.

16 Even unto the morrow after the seventh sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD. Leviticus 23:16 (KJV)

10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new. Leviticus 26:10 (KJV)

26 Also in the day of the firstfruits, when ye bring a new meat offering unto the LORD, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work: Numbers 28:26 (KJV)

5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. Deuteronomy 20:5 (KJV)

8 When thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a battlement for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thine house, if any man fall from thence. Deuteronomy 22:8 (KJV)

5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken. Deuteronomy 24:5 (KJV)

17 They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not. Deuteronomy 32:17 (KJV)

13 And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey. Joshua 9:13 (KJV)

8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? Judges 5:8 (KJV)

13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock. Judges 15:13 (KJV)

11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. Judges 16:11 (KJV)

12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread. Judges 16:12 (KJV)

7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: 1 Samuel 6:7 (KJV)

3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. 2 Samuel 6:3 (KJV)

16 And Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, thought to have slain David. 2 Samuel 21:16 (KJV)

29 And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field: 1 Kings 11:29 (KJV)

30 And Ahijah caught the new garment that was on him, and rent it in twelve pieces: 1 Kings 11:30 (KJV)

20 And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. 2 Kings 2:20 (KJV)

7 And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart. 1 Chronicles 13:7 (KJV)

5 And Jehoshaphat stood in the congregation of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD, before the new court, 2 Chronicles 20:5 (KJV)

20 My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand. Job 29:20 (KJV)

19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. Job 32:19 (KJV)

3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise. Psalm 33:3 (KJV)

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3 (KJV)

1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth. Psalm 96:1 (KJV)

O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory. Psalm 98:1 (KJV)

9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. Psalm 144:9 (KJV)

1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Psalm 149:1 (KJV)

9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 (KJV)

10 Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. Ecclesiastes 1:10 (KJV)

13 The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved. Song of Songs 7:13 (KJV)

15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Isaiah 41:15 (KJV)

9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Isaiah 42:9 (KJV)

10 Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. Isaiah 42:10 (KJV)

19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

6 Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. Isaiah 48:6 (KJV)

2 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Isaiah 62:2 (KJV)

17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. Isaiah 65:17 (KJV)

22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. Isaiah 66:22 (KJV)

10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house. Jeremiah 26:10 (KJV)

22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man. Jeremiah 31:22 (KJV)

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Jeremiah 31:31 (KJV)

10 Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the LORD, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the higher court, at the entry of the new gate of the LORD’S house, in the ears of all the people. Jeremiah 36:10 (KJV)

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23 (KJV)

19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: Ezekiel 11:19 (KJV)

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? Ezekiel 18:31 (KJV)

26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 (KJV)

These are all the uses of Chodesh in the Bible. Complicated question – how do you know when it should be translated “new” or “renewed”?

By context. So let’s look at Jer. 31:31 in context.

31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Jeremiah 31:31 (KJV)

New or renewed? could be either. Keep reading.

32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: Jeremiah 31:32 (KJV)

Ah. “Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers…” so, it’s a different covenant, then! A distinction has been made between the first covenant and the second. So, it’s not a renewed covenant, but a new covenant. If it was renewed, a distinction would not be made between the first and the second, but rather, the Lord would be calling upon them to obey the first covenant. The word “unlike” would not even be present!

6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. Hebrews 8:6-7 (KJV)

We turn next to Hebrews 8, which discusses the “New covenant” at length. Hebrews describes it as a “better” covenant.

“this is my car. It’s better.” “Is it new?” “no, same car.” “how can it be better? Better than what?” “better than my car.” “you need medication, man.”

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 13 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away. Hebrews 8:12-13 (KJV)

In many ways, the New Testament is more difficult than the old. The Lord Jesus Christ specifically made the New Covenant about spiritual things in the Sermon on the Mount. The intent of the heart now figures in. And all the plush bonus points of, “Well, I have two refrigerators… and I wash my hands every morning!” are now gone. So, the Lord is making it a little tougher on us, because well, He’s helping us to do it!

The Old Testament is done. Once you have put on the new man, you have discarded the old one.

1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Romans 7:1-4 (KJV)

Bottom line! The Bible says it, I believe it. That settles it. Amen. I WAS under the law. I DID try to keep the law. And failed miserably, I might add. But thanks be to Christ Jesus, I am a new creation. I was buried with Him in death, and raised to walk in the newness of life!

The law is no longer binding upon a born again believer in Christ.

Please note this: What is the New Covenant? Because I think I’ve made a VERY strong case that it is the New Covenant and NOT renewed here (translation: In the original Hebrew, that means “I’ve proved it beyond any shadow of a doubt) – The New Covenant is this: Our sins are FORGIVEN. Not covered. More on this tomorrow.

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Studying The Bible with Quickverse 2010


How to use Quickverse – if you can find it!

It’s not gone forever – you can still find it on Ebay, and from time to time I see it available online for free (it’s abaondonware).

The illustration by Eugene Peterson is a good example of why I hate sermon illustrations

Okay, so obviously, it’s old. This is QV 2010, which of course means it’s 8 years old. In that time, Bible sofrware has really progressed to a “Whole Library” approach instead of “one book at a time” approach.

Apparently, Wordsearch has haunted my blog, because I’ve mentioned before NEVER to try to register it. Hackers had found the old parked domain, and had installed a drive by trojan. Wordsearch fixed that by buying the domain, and now if you register it, you’re re-directed to the Wordsearch website.

I’m now registered, and don’t have to put up with the constant nag. You can now register yours.

It’s really hard to use any layout other than the default layouts. I tried once to duplicate the classic Quickverse 4 window layout, and crashed the program about 16 times.

I did get it saved, but I’m petrified of it crashing on me.

How do you get started?

Set up a reading plan

If you read your Bible at work on your phone, you can skip this step. I just use Logos, which synchronizes with my laptop. But there was one year (2013) where I decided to do a four times a year Bible reading program, and it was awesome. i think that was my ultimate Bible reading year – I learned SO MUCH that one year. It was at the cost of my health, because I was writing a lot of intensive articles on this blog, and I was also the pastor for my church by default, when my pastor went for knee surgery and ended up being out for six months. I kept getting sick a lot that year.

But I do recommend at least once in your life – take the plunge and do a 4 times in one year Bible reading plan. You’ll be thankful you did it.

Click on the “Bibles” tab and then “configure DRP”. Choose one of the default plans. “Entire Bible in 3 months” or “entire Bible in one year” “Revelation in 1 week”, whatever. They have a lot of default reading plans.

To read the Bible, just go to “Bibles” and “daily Reading”. The window pops open, and you read.

It’s really cool.

Highlight verses

Click and drag to select a verse or verse range. Right click on the selected passage. Choose a color, then “highlight verse”. I’ve found that of the styles and colors they have, some of the highlights are ridiculous – you just can’t see what you highlighted!

Annotations and bookmarks

Annotations will frustrate you. They never worked at all.

But the bookmarks do.

“Bookmarks?”

Yes. You can bookmark a verse for future reference.

And that’s your annotations get-around. You can bookmark a verse, and describe why you bookmarked it. THAT’S where you can now annotate the verse! This drove me nuts for a few years, until I figured this out.

But you’lll do better to just make user books.

User Books

Go to “Library”, and “New User Book”. A woefully horrible word processor is inside it. Choose “by verse”, and name it. You can now find it in the Library/BCV window under “user books”.

It’s really annoying, but you have to make entries for every verse. Click on Genesis 2, then… you’ll see the little green plus light up. You’ll see a window, prompting at “1”. That’s verse one. Click to add that.

Now here’s the added, unneeded step you HAVE to take… click on Genesis 2:1 in your user book, and click the pencil/paper icon, which now is lit up. Now click inside the window.

Now you can type commentary or study notes. And yes, you can write notes in Greek and Hebrew.

When you’re done, just click the pencil icon again.

Ta-da.

Spend time reading through the Library… with caution.

Quickverse had the best collection of commentaries. Some of them I haven’t been able to find in other programs.

Other books in the Library had me searching for how to delete them. The handbook for Christian apologetics turned out to be “Catholic apologetics” and not christian – and it was horrible.

But you literally have several hundred books now to go through, and every major Bible mis-translation except for the NIV.

My advice of course is to use the King James.

I still love my quickverse, even though I open it very six months or so now. But you may find it’s right what you need.

If you’re in ministry in any way, i’ll warn you now – it’s not sufficient. But for the average Independent Baptist, it’s got a lot of goodies you’ll enjoy.

The Best Affordable Bible Software 201i8


I understand that a great many Christians struggle financially. It often pains me, and I wish the Lord would bless me with billions, because literally I’d love nothing more than to distribute sums of money to ease financial burdens. I guess I have the gift of charity.

Alas, I’m in the same boat as many of you, so don’t write me letters asking for help!

It pains me to write how GREAT Logos is. My job had an issue where they weren’t paying the employees what they were supposed to, and the CEO went to bat for us, and I ended up with a settlement payment – one of four. My wife and I talked, and she immediately (because I’m a Bible nerd) went out and used the settlement (plus a little bit she’d saved) and bought Logos for my birthday.

With the next settlement payments, I then upgraded it. I’ve got a premium Bible software now I’d despaired of ever buying.

I know how it feels to read someone gushing about “This five million dollar Bible program is so amazing, it even writes the sermons for you, and it personally goes through the banking of every congregant and checks their tithe for accuracy!” You sit there, feeling this despair. “Man… I wish I had some great Bible program!”

So, of the inexpensive options, what’s the options?

Wordsearch 12

As you can see, Wordsearch 11 is still a viable option. They have recently upgraded to version 12, but I’m not going to upgrade it to the latest version until I’m in a position where I can really financially spend another $40 on it.

The bottom line of Wordsearch 12 is “Good basic Bible program that falls just short of brilliant”.I thought that was the most apt description of it I’d ever heard. I have a lot of work invested into Wordsearch, and sometimes I just end up jumping to it quickly to find what I’m looking for, because after all – I have a lot of work invested into it! I have a lot of notestacks and verse lists I made once those features became available in Wordsearch. And as you can see, I did an awful lot of highlighting in it.

While the basic engine of Wordsearch is essentially just Quickverse with added tools, it’s a good program for anyone who just can’t see spending several hundred dollars on Bible software.

You can assemble lists of verses and annotate (Wordsearch does this in some ways better than Logos, and in other ways not as well), and you can make clippings of quotes from your extensive Wordsearch Library (Wordsearch gives away so many free books, you’ll almost never need to buy any). You also get an extremely sub-par word processor, and can make user books (coded right from Quickverse, but you can’t make any notations in Greek or Hebrew in it).

The biggest drawback to Wordsearch is that while they’re adding new features, they’re not doing anything to improve the old ones – and original language tools are about Nil. You have to pay extra for the Morphology explorer – but they released it in an abbreviated version years ago (promising the full version shortly) – and we’re still waiting on that full version.

Wordsearch 12 has come out, and it’s $40 right now. This program is aimed mostly at Southern Baptists.

SwordSearcher

In many ways a step above Wordsearch 12, but lacking some of the tools. Like the now defunct Bibleworks, you get the whole shooting match for $50. I was VERY satisfied to finally get this program last year. Consider it a budget Logos.

Swordsearcher does just about everything well. It lacks many of the tools that Logos and Wordsearch has – but the user book function works MUCH better in Swordsearcher. I find the setup MAKES me want to write commentary in it. Logos comes in second there for commentary (actually close to neck and neck) – but making user books for Logos is so painfully stupid that Swordsearcher emerges the winner in that one.

I would love to see a sermon illustration database, a sermon database showing where, when etc with report functions, clippings and verse lists added. I think Swordsearcher would just SHINE with those additions.

And yes, you can make notes in Greek and Hebrew!

Swordsearcher is intended for Fundamentalists, especiallly King James only Independent Fundamentalist Baptists like me.

Bible Analyzer

Bible Analyzer is free. You should own this. I can’t see using this as my go-to, one and only main Bible program, but it’s got so many gee-whiz features in it you absolutely must own it.

The illustration by Eugene Peterson is a good example of why I hate sermon illustrations

Quickverse

I list Quickverse every time just out of nostalgia. It’s possible (if you look for it) to find copies of this software. I had Quickverse 4 and Logos 2 when I got my first computer. I liked Logos better, but I ended up using Quickverse a lot more, because I could do things with it faster. Remember, this is in the days of the 486 computers!

I always do mention when I put this screen shot that this is why I DESPISE sermon illustrations. You’ve got almost 5,000 sermon illustrations inside Quickverse, and many of them are horrible – and you have to wade through quotes by Eugene Patterson, Rick Warren, and other heretics.

but since this was once THE KING of Bible software and you can still find copies of it, I still recommend it. Tools are minimal, but the word processor is marginally better than Wordsearch. You can make notes in Greek and Hebrew. Original language features are simply insufficient. If you love E-Sword, you’ll love Quickverse.

Sometimes people make this 4 gig program available for free download, since it’s Abandonware – and you can find it on Ebay from time to time for $20. If you see it, grab it.

Working a Lot


When I have to get a lot of 6 day work weeks in, that takes away my time for the blog. So knowing this (plus I was getting sick and tired of all the people talking about Messianic Jews as if they were Christians), I decided to bring back up the Messianic thing. This way I could quickly re-use some of my old articles, many of which the new people haven’t read yet.

Of course, half the people I used to examine and rant about are now out of the ministry. At least half of the wolves tend to weed themselves out of the ministry.

The poison dissipates to an extent – but the long term effects of Torah Observant Messianics still linger.

There’s a woeful lack of discernment. Apparently the Messianics still love a good conspiracy, and the prejudice against Gentiles in that movement angers me.

But this is what happens when someone who does not believe the Bible is inspired, inerrant and preserved gets into the ministry, and you allow them to buy a tallis – you end up with an open canon of 76 books give or take.

You end up with someone advocating Torah observance who doesn’t believe in the Torah, and picks and chooses what mitzvot they like.

Then you get the people who listen, and fervently believe – and they go through struggling to try to find a way to reconcile all this. How they do this without breaking, I don’t know.

And many Christians hear of this and think, “this is great!” Well, no – it’s because you don’t know what’s going on in Messianic synagogues.

So, I’m exposing a lot of it. The last time, I apparently had an impact on a small amount of people – but one of them was one of the major false teachers.

So after a short break again, we’ll resume the Messianic thing, and bring it to a close!

Paige Patterson


I’m not here to try Paige Patterson.

Recently, one article – the only one where I’ve ever quoted him – has become tremendously popular.

The point was, as I was getting ready to depart the Southern Baptist convention, I saw Patterson was the only one speaking against theological modernists andcalvinists in the SBC. He made a quote – I quoted it.

This does not mean I wholesale approve of everything Mr. Patterson has ever said. I quoted a quote. I was enthusiastic that someone was speaking up in the SBC.

Now, if the charges against Patterson are true, then he needs to step down and leave the ministry. Immediately. And because I don’t keep up with what’s going on out there, this article is really late.

Bill Hybels recently resigned after allegations began to surface – that’s the right decision.

Or better yet, if you know you’ve got anything unseemly that disqualifies you from ministry – don’t go into it!

But after you begin to serve, and you find that you have ANY THING in you that will bring reproach upon ministry and Jesus Christ, then here it is – resign. Immediately.

Do the right thing. Tell your church you have found that there are disqualifiers in you, and that rather than risk serving and falling, it’s best if you resign.

A long list of essential requirements for a pastor can be found in 1&2 Timothy & Titus. There’s a list of disqualifiers also.

“This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:1–7, KJV)

“For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.” (Titus 1:5–9, KJV)

If you find disqualifiers in you, reading that list, pray about it. Use those lists to examine whether or not you’re ready for the ministry.

And if you find after you’ve been in it that you have a disqualifer, step down. Now. Immediately.

If the allegations against Paige Patterson are true, Patterson needs to step down now and forever.

Hell


I’m reading a book I got through Logos recently about Hell.

It seems that most of Christianity has rejected the concept of Hell.

I remember a TV preacher back in the 90’s who uttered in a sincere tone of voice, very gently, that he didn’t believe a loving God would send anyone to Hell.

He lost his TV show. Probably should have waited ten years, he’d have fit right in.

There’s three ways to deny Hell:

  1. Universalism – to believe that everyone is saved. Apparently, there’s a “Beetlejuice” style waiting room, where you’re shown into a room where Jesus Christ sits patiently and explains the Gospel to you. And even though you rejected the Gospel your entire life, now suddenly you accept it. If you think I’m making this up, I’m not – people are teaching this.
  2. Annhilationism – Apparently, where the fire shall never be quenched and the worm dyeth not – but you’re reduced to ash within a week.
  3. redefinition – people teach Hell is a dungeon, where people who absolutely hated and opposed God all of their life and never missed a chance to curse His name suddenly are sitting in a corner forever, sobbing and unhappy because they’re separated forever from the God they despise.

As you can see, none of this is Biblical. But some of the most famous names in Christianity apparently taught this. John Stott taught annhilationism. Billy Graham taught the dungeon theory. Robert Schuller taught universalism. Bruce Metzger consoles himself by teaching Hell and Heaven are myths.

Well, he’ll find out one way or another.

Hell is a reality.

It is a place where the fire dyeth not.

The worms die not.

You die not.

You burn and you burn and you burn, suffering in unendurable heath, but your body remains. Your fingers and toes remain. Hair too I’m sure, but nobody whose been there talks about it, because they’re still there.

Hell is real.

And you’re aware of Heaven, and of God, and of everyone you knew who’s entering heaven.

Screaming, sobbing, crying, begging, bargaining, pleading… to no avail. You will be there forever.

Following the great white throne judgment death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death, the final destination of the wicked. The doctrine of eternal punishment has always been a problem to Christians who enjoy the grace of God and salvation in Christ. The Bible is clear, however, that the punishment of the wicked is eternal. This is confirmed in verse 10, where the beast and the false prophet are still in the lake of fire after the thousand years of Christ’s millennial reign. Though the wicked dead will receive resurrection bodies, they will be quite unlike the resurrection bodies of the saints. The former people will continue to be sinful but will be indestructible and will exist forever in the lake of fire.

Though many have attempted to find some scriptural way to avoid the doctrine of eternal punishment, as far as biblical revelation is concerned there are only two destinies for human souls; one is to be with the Lord and the other is to be forever separated from God in the lake of fire.

John F. Walvoord, “Revelation,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 983.

There’s only one way to avoid this.

Only one.

Get saved.

Now is the Time to Renew


Renew your dedication to God. Renew your dedication to Jesus Christ.

Set yourself a goal – one minute of prayer per day. This will need to increase, but Americans tend to set goals like “Pray for five hours per day” as a starter, then find its too tough. Like, “Lose thirty pounds by Saturday.”

Get on your Bible reading plan.

I’ve written about Bible sttudy – it’s time to get back into a dedicated five minutes of Bible study a day.

Don’t slack off.

Rapture’s coming.