Forgiveness


To know forgiveness.

I used to think I was a really good kid growing up. But as I get older, my brain is working backwards, because now I’m remembering more things about my youth, and not less.

I did some really self centered, foolish and self empowering things when I was growing up. I sometimes think I was the worst person on earth!

And with that comes regret. God forgive me for who I was.

Isaiah 1:18 (KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Remember the time you thought, “If I do this I will hurt a friend. But i’ll get what I wanted. Is it worth it to hurt my friend?”

You know the answer. We all chose to do it and hurt our friend, so that we got what we wanted.

Romans 4:6-8 (KJV) Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

How much worse is it when that friend is God?

That’s the sin nature within us. Since the fall of Adam, all of us are cursed.

The problem is, we can’t just blame it on Adam. The Bible makes it clear, none are righteous.

Not one.

Forgiveness from God is a free gift.

Ask for it.

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Holy Name-ism revisited


Philippians 2:10-11 (KJV) That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The biblical concept of naming was rooted in the ancient world’s understanding that a name expressed essence. To know the name of a person was to know that person’s total character and nature. Revealing character and destiny, personal names might express hopes for the child’s future. Changing of name could occur at divine or human initiative, revealing a transformation in character or destiny (Gen. 17:5, 15; 32:28; Matt. 16:17–18).

Kandy Queen-Sutherland, “Naming,” ed. Chad Brand et al., Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003), 1174.

One thing that ties in with the Messianic movement is holy name-ism.

Recently I’ve had run ins with a holy name-ist (I seem to attract them like flies) and it’s like talking to a brick wall to try to explain Hebrew. God’s name is not Yehuwah, cannot be Yahuwah. It would require a W in the middle of the name, and Hebrew had no w’s. It’s also impossible to make ANY kind of theology in which you make the exact pronunciation of God’s name a requirement for salvation. We only have four consonants, and no clue how they were pronounced.

YHVH.

There. Pronounce that. Is it Yehovah, Yahovah, Yahveh, Yahvah, Yehveh? I was pretty sure a while ago it was Yahveh, but then David Cloud put up an argument online that claimed it’s probably Yehovah, and about now I realize how SILLY it is to argue about how to pronounce something that God didn’t feel was important to preserve!

What’s important is that we know who Jesus Christ is. If it was IMPORTANT how His name was to be pronounced, then it would have been carefully written and preserved. Yeshua is the correct pronunciation – but if it was that important, the Greek manuscripts would have put His name in Hebrew at least once in the text to make sure we said it right.

Do you know Jesus’s name? Remember, it’s said differently in Spain, Germany, Japan and a host of other countries.

It’s more important to know it means “salvation”.

And it’s FAR more important to know Jesus Christ than to know how to pronounce His name in many languages, or even just Hebrew.

Useless


I love thingamablog, but alas, I can’t get the thing to sync with my WordPress site!

That’s not what’s useless.

Two or three times Logos has offered as their free book of the month writings by a man revered by evangelicals – Francis Schaeffer. So I get them, start READING them, and…

Go to something else.

I always feel like I’m missing something when I read him. I find myself asking, “does this man believe the Bible?” He talks a LOT like a theological liberal.

Maybe it’s the way he learned to speak and write in academic circles. His books leave me cold.

I just don’t get Francis Schaeffer.

David Cloud quotes from Schaeffer’s last book “The great Evangelical Disaster”, where Schaeffer speaks like a Fundamentalist. So apparently my impression of Schaeffer is wrong, or maybe he changed at the end.

I don’t know.

But all of the books Logos gives away by Schaeffer are useless to me.

Is a Christian required to know their Bible?


I think this falls under the category of, “What do you think?”

What was your immediate reaction when you read the blog title?

You thought, “Yes.” Right?

Right.

You may not WANT to. But you’re required.

Matthew 12:3 (KJV) But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

Matthew 12:5 (KJV) Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?

Matthew 19:4 (KJV) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Matthew 22:31 (KJV) But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

Mark 12:10 (KJV) And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

Mark 12:26 (KJV) And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

Luke 6:3 (KJV) And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;

Seven times the Scriptures ask this question. “Have ye not read?” It’s used in the sense of someone being in error.

What makes you think you’re any exception?

Luke 12:48 (KJV) But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

I’ve talked with many a Christian. I’ll say this, the average uneducated Christian knows more Old Testament than most of my people!

But there’s more to reading the Bible than mechanically moving your eyes across a page.

I hear Christians say things all the time that violate the simplest and most basic of Biblical rules of Interpretation (called Hermeneutics).

You’re supposed to be bearing the light and witness before all men. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, how are you going to witness to anyone?

Witnessing to unbelievers is not an option. Today, instead of knocking on doors, we put it on the internet. People will be led to what you write.

But if you have no idea what the Gospel is, how can you share it?

Romans 5:6 (KJV) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

It’s a gimme answer. Really. Christians are required to know their Bibles.

Luke 4:4 (KJV) And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

Luke 8:21 (KJV) And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

Luke 11:28 (KJV) But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

How Well do you know your Bible?

Studying The Bible with Logos II


EASY to understand article today.

I gave you a lot of information the other day on how to study the Bible with Logos.

What do you write in your Bible journaling document?

Anything you learned by looking something up. Make it a habit to add things to that file.

You should make a Bible study clipping, and make it a habit to copy things to your clippings. I’ll read and research on my lunch break, just using my phone. Everything I add to my Bible study clippings on my phone updates to my laptop as well.

Keep in mind my other articles on Bible study – they come into play here. Read everything in context, understand the power of dictionaries, concordances and lexicons. If you have the money to buy Logos Bronze (I had to pray mightily for that – and God answered!!!), you’ll find Logos comes with a couple of each to get you started – but also uses a lot of harmonies. A good Bible harmony is valuable, but you really see the value when you realize a harmony is not just of the Gospels! There are harmonies of Paul’s letters, harmonies of Kings-Chronicles-Samuel, etc.

Logos stocks you up with those when you buy a package.

For most of my readers, you’ll have to buy these things one at a time.

The most important thing you can get to make Logos shine is Treasury of Scriptural knowledge. You’ll never need to open it – it binds with Logos and now gives you 400 results in a search instead of 40.

After that, Nave’s Topical, Torrey’s Topical, and Matthew Henry. These three books bind in with Logos to offer you many more results in searches.

You’ll find that everything you buy for Logos will boost its power, and give you many more results. I don’t ever open the TSK – I don’t need to. It functions more as an expander for Logos, and results from TSK are automatically shown when I research with it.

Remember we do not derive doctrine from wisdom books or parables.

Read some of my other articles on Bible study, and get busy!

Studying The Bible With Logos


All the reviewing my writings on the Messianic Judaism cult has brought me to a pause. One of the reasons we end up with Roman Catholicism, Seventh Day Adventists, Charismatic Christianity and Messianic Judaism is that people don’t really know how to study the Bible.

It’s no secret that I push Logos Bible software. I’m still feeling a little guilty that I didn’t push Bibleworks, and I hope I didn’t contribute to the end of a major Bible software corporation, whose employees are now struggling to find new jobs before their homes are seized by the banks.

Here’s a blanket, bottom line statement – if you’re engaged in some kind of ministry, forget E-Sword and Theword. Both programs are okay in a basic sort of way, but the research tools and exegetical tools are basic and fairly lacking.

For basic Bible abilities, they’re okay.

For instance, let’s say you wanted to do a reverse lookup. You want to look up everywhere in the Bible that λόγος is used. Go ahead and open Theword.

Begin.

“um…”

Okay. You see what I mean. Yes, you can open E-sword or Theword and click on a word in English, see it in strongs, do a strongs’ search, look at it in Vine’s if you pay for that…

…and that’s 1990’s technology. One click in Logos, and I can see everywhere that “communication” is used in English, and EVERY TRANSLATION OF IT from Greek! Took me two seconds, and I see it’s Anatithemi, sukoinoneo, aischologia, Eimei Koinoneia, Logos, Koinoneo, koinoneia, and omilia. Took me longer to type the transliterations than to do the research! And I can see at a glance which word is used the most (Logos, 3 of 12 times) and which verses its used in (Mt. 5:37, Luke 24:17 and Eph. 4:29). And I can then with one click create a verse list with all of the results for further use. Oh, and Logos even opened Strong’s Concise dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words to the word I’d clicked on, so I could see it. I could open Vine’s also to see more information, and if I owned HALOT or BDAG, I could really get some research going (at the prices for those tools, I’m probably not going to ever own them).

That’s a lot of research in three seconds.

You can’t do that in Theword or E-Sword.

A good step up is Swordsearcher. For $60 you get the whole shebang, and it’s very good. I use it a lot when I’m just opening something for a quick lookup. Still lacking in original language tools.

Accordance – the most expensive Bible software in the world ($35,000 if you buy everything they offer – yes, they have a one-click “buy it now” option) is the second best. I was interested in Accordance back when I wrote my first “best Bible programs” article, and was researching (see, a lot of work goes into this blog!).

Accordance is about the same price as Swordsearcher to buy the basic “start here” edition. It has many tools, not to mention the least of which is the ability to watch what you’re researching and remember it (creepy). I’m sure the language research tools are fairly good – people swear by it. I lack the finances and time to buy it and compare its strength and weaknesses to Logos.

So let’s play with Logos. Logos Basic is free, and comes with a number of tools. The way the Logos engine is designed, the more quality titles you purchase, the more information Logos can research and process. I’m not going to worry about that right now, just experiment with getting Basic and learning to use it.

On your home screen, you can choose a default layout, or you can type in a passage (jn 3) and start right away.

That’s the code – learn to type in shortcuts. All the Bible software recognize them, Logos is just the only one that tells you the shortcuts! jn 3.16 is the shortcut for John 3:16.

Watch the “logos quick start videos” first, so you learn how to prioritize (not too much of a problem in Logos basic, but you want to prioritize the King James over the Lexham, which they prioritize by default).

Learn the beauty of right clicking. You’ll see the word and its several forms (manuscript and lemma). If you want to do a word study, right click on the word, choose the lemma (it has the little recycle symbol next to it), and now you can look that word up. Or you can right click on the English word and… Do the aforementioned word study on the English word, and see its various translations.

DANGER DANGER DANGER DANGER.

NEVER start by assuming the translators of the King James were trying to translate to suit doctrinal bias. They literally in several cases translated the Bible to read the opposite of what they believed, because they were all Anglican and the Bible doesn’t support infant baptism. They sided with the Bible even when it contradicted their doctrines.

When you do a word study in English, understand we don’t just woodenly translate “communicate” every time from Logia or Logos. The word’s meaning sometimes shifts by its usage and its context. Think of the word “stop”. It can mean cessation of action or it can mean a location. It can also mean a prop designed to hold a door or window open, or the air controller for a pipe organ.

Read a dictionary, and see how many English words have multiple meanings, many shared with other words.

Now, here’s the important part. YOU HAVE TO WRITE DOWN what you’re learning. Logos comes with “Bible journaling” built in. Just open the Journal, and begin copying in what you’re learning.

You can highlight a section, choose “add a note to Bible Journaling notes”. Or heres the cool part – just DRAG the highlighted information over. You can save a HUGE amount of information.

Can you really learn a lot from Logos basic?

Oh, yeah.

Will you learn a lot more if you spend $700 on Logos?

Oh, yeah.

Do you have $700 to spend on Logos?

Oh, no.

So get logos basic and don’t worry too much about it.

Final question – will you learn a LOT more if you spend the thousand dollars or so to get Logos Platinum?

Only marginally. All you really need is Logos Bronze. I have added a lot of books, because every time I get a bonus from work, I usually buy two to three works from my wish list. That’s why I can’t tell you to the penny how much Logos Platinum is – every time I buy something, the price of platinum goes down.

By the way – Logos left one or two books from my one month Platinum trial in my Logos library!

Messianics – The Sabbath


Shomer Shabbos.

It’s a big thing in Messianic Judaism. However, as I pointed out before, Messianic Judaism is fond of teaching about the law – but not keeping it, while claiming they do!

For those not familiar with the words, its a mixing of Yiddish and Hebrew – kind of typical of “Frumspeak”, the language that observant Jews use (a blend of Yiddish and Hebrew words and phrases added to English). Shomer is to “keep or guard”, and Shabbos is the Yiddish word for “Shabbat”. Ashkenazi Hebrew tends to pronounce a Tav at the end of the word as an S, and the Qamatz vowel point almost with an O sound (like the last syllable in Robot).

So, Shomer Shabbos = keep the Sabbath.

Messianics routinely use Sephardi Hebrew, whether they are of European descent or not. And trust me, the well meaninged among them will try to correct your use of Ashkenazi Hebrew until you get testy with them.

The contention of the Torah Observant Messianic is that we must still keep the Sabbath, because (as they teach wrongly) we are still under the law. So, the first step they advise is adding the Sabbath first.

Sabbath observance in Messianic Judaism is usually limited to …

…making sure you take the day, or most of it, off from work. And then you drive to the Messianic Synagogue, and have a Shabbat service. The Messianics carry their Bibles in, plus whatever they need to perform the Davidic dance stuff – flags, props, rubber chickens and whatnot. Then usually a bunch of them will go out to dinner at a favorite restaurant afterwords, enjoying greatly the sitting around and tlaking about Messianic stuff, and “Why the Christians get so offended when you talk about the law! I love the Torah!”

You love it… but you broke it about a dozen times this Shabbos!

23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. Exodus 16:23 (KJV)

25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Exodus 16:25 (KJV) 26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. Exodus 16:26 (KJV)

29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. Exodus 16:29 (KJV)

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8 (KJV)

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: Exodus 20:10 (KJV)

11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Exodus 20:11 (KJV)

14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Exodus 31:14 (KJV)

15 Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31:15 (KJV)

16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. Exodus 31:16 (KJV)

3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day. Exodus 35:3 (KJV)

Okay then… what did we read from a cursory look at the Sabbath in our King James Bibles?

You can’t make food on the Sabbath. You make it Friday afternoon, in preparation for the Shabbos day. Usually this is done by buying a blech (a metal sheet you cooked on), and then you prep up a Shabbos stew called Cholent. Yeah, man… of all the things I miss about Judaism, Cholent is pretty much tops. What’s in it? Nonya bizness! Everyone’s cholent recipe is a little different. Beans, meat, and the rest is a secret. My Rabbi always said he’d tell me what was in his, but then he’d have to kill me. That was one of the things about a Seudah (sabbath day get together) was the surprise of tasting someone else’s cholent, and seeing what their special take on it was.

So you’d cut up the salad, get everything pre-made, cook up the cholent… my wife actually used to make the Challah herself (the sabbath bread). Everything was done before the Sabbath. Then you’d put the blech on the stove, turn the heat down as low as it would go without turning it off, and set the prepped up cholent in a pot on the blech. It now starts cooking and simmering, from prior to the sun setting Friday night. And it’s going to cook until shortly after noon…. wow, I’m getting hungry.

So… why can’t you cook on Shabbos? It’s WORK. The Bible specifically forbids work on the Sabbath. You cut things. You activate a heat source by turning on electricity (which produces a spark – you cannot start a fire on the Sabbath). You mix things.

Okay, we’ll go out to eat! No, you have to abide in your home. Bad news, buddy! Besides… The Torah will not allow you to work on the Sabbath… Or allow Gentiles to do the work for you. So, you’re going out to eat? what about the cooks, bus boys, waitresses, all working for you? And you’re spending money. Can’t do that either.

How’d you get there, walk? “No we drove.” You can’t start a car on the Sabbath. That starts a fire. Cars run from internal combustion… spark plugs light, igniting gas vapors, which burn the gasoline, turning the engine, which turns the tires. Really clever. And really prohibited on the Sabbath.

29 Ye shall have one law for him that sinneth through ignorance, both for him that is born among the children of Israel, and for the stranger that sojourneth among them. 30 But the soul that doeth ought presumptuously, whether he be born in the land, or a stranger, the same reproacheth the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he hath despised the word of the LORD, and hath broken his commandment, that soul shall utterly be cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him. 32 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. 33 And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. 34 And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. 35 And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. 36 And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses. Numbers 15:29-36 (KJV)

In addition, one may not carry a burden in or out of a dwelling place on the Sabbath. It’s work. So those carrying in and out all the Davidic dance props was a violation of the Shabbos.

So, tell me again, why do Messianics claim to keep the Sabbath?

Keeping the Sabbath for them seems to be A). take most of the day off from work on the Sabbath and B). Go to the Messianic synagogue on Sabbath. The rest they conveniently ignore.

Why?

“Because since Moshiach came, those requirements are lifted…”

Okay, here’s where I’m going to agree with you. Why? Because you’re not under the law! You are DEAD to the law if you are saved!

But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that we must all keep the Sabbath – and then not keep it yourself! That’s the kind of hypocrisy that the Lord discussed in Matthew 23.

Either don’t keep the sabbath, or teach it and keep it. My recommendation is the easiest one – quit being a false teacher who advocates legalism and a return to bondage Christians are not meant to be under… And enjoy that Saturday afternoon trip out to Cracker Barrel. When someone asks you why your church meets on Saturdays, just practice saying this…

“we’re a Messianic synagogue. We like meeting on Saturdays.” “Oh, so you guys keep the sabbath?” “Naw, we just like meeting on Saturdays.”

Final question for the Messianic – if you were trying to keep the sabbath the way you do now in ancient Israel, do you think you’d have lived to see the end of that Sabbath?

Think about that for a bit.

Here’s an experiment for the Torah Observant Messianic – I want you to try keeping an Orthodox Shabbos for the rest of the month. Not just one day. The entire month. Oh, let’s pick… all of July. Be Shomer Shabbos all four weeks, from prior to sundown Friday Night to just after three stars become visible on Saturday night.

No tearing toilet paper. Get boxes of kleenexes for the bathroom. No driving. No watching TV. No Internet. No electronic devices. If your synagogue is close to you, you can walk, as long as it’s a Shabbos day’s journey or an Eruv (joined together area). If it’s got overhead power lines, you can walk quite a distance. But you’ve either got to use their Bibles, or bring yours there long before the Shabbos. No writing, either. No playing musical instruments.

Let’s see if you REALLY like keeping the Torah. Really. Do it right.

Matter of fact, now that you’ve started, start keeping the Torah. Complete Kashrus, but you gotta pick a hecksher – either OU, or ChK (Chabad). Well, i guess you can mix the two, but do it Chabad style – ChK where ChK differs from the OU hecksher.

Don’t forget you have to go to Jerusalem three times a year. And you better hope they finish the Temple soon, because much of the Torah requires sacrifices.

Here’s my prediction… The first Shabbos will be fun. Enjoyable. Relaxing.

The rest are going to be an exercise in tedium.

And as you feel yourself trapped in the Torah, turn… And look at the Cross. LOOK AT THE CROSS.

Suddenly you’ll understand why Jesus Christ came. You’ll understand why we no longer need the Torah.

The Torah is a crushing burden, that you cannot bear. You’re aware of your sin, and it’s crushing weight. The Torah is beautiful. Powerful. Holy.

We are not. We are fallen. We cannot keep the Torah.

The Talmud tells a story of the angels, protesting as God prepares to give the Torah at Sinai. “Master, they cannot keep the Torah! Give it to us, we can! They can’t possibly keep it!”

“That’s why I’m giving it to them. They can’t keep it.” is the answer.

And then the second person of the Trinity came to earth, and allowed Himself to be put to death for us.

And when He raised Himself from the dead, He rose us up with Him.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17 (KJV)