Two Natures—One Person: The Unipersonality of Christ.

By Vijay Chandra

After noting how the orthodox statement of Chalcedon beautifully and succinctly defends the doctrine of two natures in one person, we need to examine and analyze some of the Chalcedonian propositions more closely. This examination will involve review.

A. We noted that Christ is truly God and truly man.

Everything that can be predicated of God is true of Christ. He is truly God and truly man. He is consubstantial with the Father according to the Godhead. When the creed speaks of the Mediator having God’s nature (Greek, ousia’ Latin, substentia, or natura), it means identity of essence and implies numerical unity. God is three persons (Muslims reject this) who are one in being. God the Son (who was and is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit) became man. The second person of the Trinity assumed a human nature. When Chalcedon speaks of Christ assuming human nature consubstantial according to manhood, it refers to [generic] unity with man. Jesus has all the attributes of humanity: a real flesh and blood body, a rational soul that grows in knowledge, which is finite (i.e., He doesn’t know all things), that experiences the full range of human emotions.

 

B. In Christ, two distinct natures or substance are united in such a manner that the distinct properties of both natures are preserved.

The attributes of God are not somehow passed to man and the human properties are not transmitted to God. There is no mixing, intermingling or confounding of the two natures to form a new third substance. Not only is intermingling or mixing of the two natures impossible (the finite cannot be made infinite), even if possible it would destroy the incarnation. Such a mixed being would be neither God or man. Hodge writes “In teaching, therefore, that Christ was truly man and truly God, the Scriptures teach that He had a finite intelligence, and will, and also an infinite intelligence. In Him, therefore, as the church has ever maintained, there were and are two wills, two energeia or operations. His human intellect increased, his divine intelligence was, and is infinite, His human will had only human power, his divine will was, and is almighty” (Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 2:390).

 

C. The Bible and the Chalcedon creed insist that the mediator is one person, not two.

When the second person of the Trinity was incarnated He was hypostatically united to a genuine human nature. The mediator did not unite Himself to a human person with a separate personality but with a human nature and thus the personality of Christ and the personality of the Logos are one and the same.

 

The unipersonality of the Mediator is by far most difficult aspect of the incarnation to understand. The doctrine of two natures in one person is to a certain degree beyond human comprehension. Thus, the best way to explain it is to first present the Scriptural evidence for the unipersonality of Christ and then define it theologically as best as we can. Note the following argument from the Scriptures.

If our Lord was two distinct persons and not one there ought to be some Scripture evidence to prove it. However, there is none. On the contrary, Jesus always speaks, prays and acts as one person. With the doctrine of the Trinity there are three persons and one God.

Thus, there are abundant examples of the Father speaking to the Son (Mk 1:11; Luke 3:22), of the Son speaking to the Father (Mt 11:25, 26; 26:39, Jn 11:41, 12:27-28) and the Holy Spirit praying to God (Rom 8:26). Yet, we never encounter the human person Jesus praying, speaking or worshipping, or communing with the Son. There is no I—You consciousness or relationship within the Mediator.

The Mediator is always represented as one person. He is called or addressed as prophet (Acts 3:22), priest (Heb 5:5-6), King (Ps 2:6), the good shepherd (Jn 10:11), the Christ (Matthew 16:16), the lamb of God (Jn 1:29), the Mediator (1 Tim 2:5, Heb 8:6), Lord of lords (Rev 19:18), God (Jn 20:28, Rom 9:5), man (Jn 8:40), redeemer (Prov 23:11; Jer 50:34; Ga 3:13), savior (Eph 5:23); Son of God (Ps 73:15, Mt 24:36, Mk 13:32), and Son of Man (Mt 16:27). These titles and functions are predicated of the God-man and apply to the whole person. Does this mean that the divine and human natures are mixed or confused in any way? No, not all! It simply means that the one person Jesus Christ partakes of the attributes of both natures “so that whatever may be affirmed of either nature may be affirmed of the Person.” Theologians refer to this doctrine as the communion of the attributes.

This union in one person explains why the human nature of Jesus receives special treatment by the holy angels and men. The God-man Jesus Christ is the object of worship (Matt 2:1, 2; 14:33, 28:9, Rev 15:3, 4), prayer (Rev 5:8, Mt 8:2, 15:25) and adoration (Rev 5:8-12). Although the ground of worship and prayer toward the messiah lies in His deity, nevertheless the union in one person of two natures makes the religious worship of the divine-human person lawful, appropriate and commendable. The adoration of Jesus’ body would not be lawful if He were two persons.

Christ the person will make “I” statements that can only be applied to His divine nature (e.g., “Before Abraham was ‘I am’” (Jn 8:58, 10:30). At other times He will make statements that can only be applied to His human nature (e.g., “I thirst” Jn 19:28). Further, there are passages where what can only be said of our Lord’s human nature are applied to the Lord of God (e.g., “crucified the Lord of glory,” 1 Cor 2:8; The Son is said not to know the day or hour of His own coming (Mk 13:32). There are even passages where the person Jesus Christ is addressed according to His human nature and then explicitly spoken of as God “from whom according to the flesh Christ came, who is over all, the eternal blessed God. Amen”(Rom 9:5; Rev 5:12, Jn 6:62). If our Lord were two separate persons the writers of Scripture could not freely and simultaneously ascribe to Christ attribute of humanity and divinity. “They call Him Lord, or Son and attribute to Him, often in the same sentence, what is true of him only as God, what is true only of his humanity, and what is true of Him only as the God-man (John 1:1, Rom 8:3, Gal 4:4, 5, 1 Tim 3:16, Heb 2:11, 12, 13, 14, 1 John 4:2,3).

 

Only the orthodox Chalcedon doctrine of the two natures in one person does justice to Christ’s works, especially His work of redemption. One encounters Jesus the person controlling the weather (Mk 4:39-41), forgiving people’s sin (Mt.9:2), telling people that they are saved (Lk 23:43), saying that He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Mt. 12:9), creating food (Mt 14:14-21), shining like the sun (Mt 17:1-6) and offering Himself on the cross (Heb 10:12).

The incarnate Son of God is the only source of life for the elect. Only people who believe in Him as fully God and fully man (who as one person secured a perfect redemption) can obtain eternal life. Only a Mediator who is both God and man in one Person can offer a sacrifice of infinite value and can provide a perfect righteousness for God’s people. It is because of the union of two natures in one person that the infinite merit and efficacy of His work are due. The heretical idea that Christ is both two persons and one person at the same time not only contradicts Scripture but also defies simple logic. Jesus cannot be two persons and one person at the same time. If the mediator were two separate persons then the incarnation would not be a true personal union but would be in effect a mere  indwelling of the divine nature in the human person. Such a view is essentially adoptionist in nature.

 

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Sabbath Questions and Answers

The Nugget:

Mar 2:27  And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 

Mar 2:28  Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. 

My Comment:

Jesus Christ as the Son of Man declared He is Lord of the Sabbath. As such, He has authority to bring us new revelation, revelation recorded for us in the New Testament. The New Testament shows by direct example as well as by omission that for genuine believers in Jesus Christ, observance of the Seventh-Day Sabbath is no longer required. Christians may worship God on any day of the week they so choose, including every day! Practice as recorded in the New Testament shows conclusively that the Apostles met for specifically Christian worship on the First Day of the week, and that practice has continued until this day. The First Day keeps in constant memory the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ arose from the dead on the first day of the week, “the third day since these things were done” (Luke 24:21).

There has been a continuing but now completed discussion regarding the Seventh Day Sabbath issue. I wrote several responses during the discussion thread. I thought it would be good to share what I wrote here for future ease of reference.

Now that I have transcribed that discussion here below, I am amazed at how long this post is. Despite the length, including considerable repetition for good measure, this ought to teach anyone who will take the time to read it just what the Bible says about this issue.

The Challenge:

“If we follow Christ should we not walk as he and the apostles walked ? We know if Christ didn’t keep the sabbath this would have been transgression of the law making him a sinner . Our rest in Christ is speaking in a spiritual sense because through Christ we attain the Holy Spirit and it is the spirit that changes our heart so it is not us that does good but the spirit within us.”

Jerome Smith are you implying Paul didn’t honor the sabbath ?? And you are aware the sabbath was set apart sanctified at creation and kept prior to the law.” (Rali Mosley)

My Responses:

My response to Mr. Mosley:

Paul NEVER kept the Seventh Day Sabbath as a matter of specifically Christian worship (involving participation in the Lord’s Supper or Communion).

Paul attended the Synagogue for a time as a witness to the Jew first, in obedience to the command of Christ in Acts 1:8.

Paul does allow for Seventh Day Sabbath keeping and worship for those Jews who had recently become Christians as a matter of their conscience (Romans 14:1-5.

Paul sternly condemns the practice of Seventh-day Sabbath observance for those of the Gentile churches Paul founded (Galatians 4:9-11).

The Sabbath was NOT set apart at creation and kept prior to the Law.

God is the One who rested in Genesis 2:3, not man. The Sabbath is never once mentioned by name in the book of Genesis. There is no observance of a weekly day of rest anywhere in the Genesis record.

I have discussed these matters at my own website:

http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?cat=393

Manage

 

Mr. Mosley’s response to me:

 Jerome Smith you understand that would make Paul a liar right ?

My response to Mr. Mosley:

 Rali Mosley, if you are in error then what Paul has to say may seem like a lie. But Paul always tells the truth.

Mr. Mosley’s response to me:

 Jerome Smith you understand that would make Paul a liar right ?

When Paul was accused of teaching against the law he went to go take a Nazarite vow and paid for the other two to take there’s

 Jerome Smith “And they neither found me in the temple disputing with anyone nor inciting the crowd, either in the synagogues or in the city. Nor can they prove the things of which they now accuse me. But this I confess to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect, so I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭24:12-14‬ ‭

 Jerome Smith “but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. What then? The assembly must certainly meet, for they will hear that you have come. Therefore do what we tell you: We have four men who have taken a vow. Take them and be purified with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads, and that all may know that those things of which they were informed concerning you are nothing, but that you yourself also walk orderly and keep the law.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭21:21-24‬

Please don’t try and make Paul out to be a liar . He walked orderly and kept the law which included honoring the sabbath.

 Jerome Smith Thoughts ??

 TruthSeekers Read, help ya brotha out.

My response to Mr. Mosley:

Of course, Paul was not a liar. Paul did reach out to his fellow Israelites in his attempt to win them to Christ. But that has nothing to do with the issue of Christians being obligated today to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath as a matter of law-keeping.

I believe I made reference above to Paul’s statement in Galatians 4:9, 10, 11. There he commanded that Gentile Christians must not involve themselves in observing Jewish days and seasons, the expression includes the Seventh Day sabbath observance.

The commandment to keep the Sabbath was given exclusively to the Jewish nation and those living within its borders. The Fourth Commandment was never given as a commandment to Christians.

There are no instances of the Fourth Commandment being stated in the imperative mood in the Greek text of the New Testament as a commandment addressed to Christians.

Paul warned against any attempt to impose the observance of the Fourth Commandment Sabbath Law given exclusively to the Jews upon Christians.

Those who today attempt to make the Sabbath Observance a central issue as though it is an obligation to be placed upon other Christians are not walking according to the Gospel of Christ and often have missed the whole message of the transforming power of the Gospel through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is the emphasis of the New Testament.

Rali Mosley, here is a passage I’m sure you know about that states the motivation behind what Paul did:

Co 9:20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
1Co 
9:21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
1Co 
9:22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.
1Co 
9:23 And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.

 

Mr. Mosley’s response to me:

I just showed you where Paul said he didn’t teach against the law and kept it himself.

My response to Mr. Mosley:

Rali Mosley, thank you for reading my comments. You must read and understand the Bible in terms of what it says, not what you or I may want it to say. We must believe and teach according to the balance of truth presented in the New Testament and the Bible as a whole.

Paul was a Jew, and in order not to offend the Jews, he did some things that we as Christians today have absolutely no obligation to do. Paul never commanded his Gentile converts to make vows and go to the Jewish Temple and follow the prescribed rites in the manner that he himself did.

Every false doctrine and every false cult or religion or belief will fail the test of matching the balance of emphasis upon the doctrine or teaching involved as given in the Bible itself.

Your emphasis upon the Seventh Day Sabbath observance and the Fourth Commandment does not agree with the balance and emphasis of New Testament teaching.

I have stated that the Fourth Commandment regarding Seventh Day Sabbath observance is never repeated in the New Testament as a commandment.

I have stated that there is not even a single example of specifically Christian worship involving participation in the Lord’s Supper or Communion taking place on the Seventh Day Sabbath.

Now, in the logical form which I have expressed my argument, my argument is very easy to refute. All you have to do is produce just ONE example of the Fourth Commandment stated as a command in the imperative mood in the New Testament.

Or, you may produce evidence to show that Christians met specifically for Christian worship (as evidenced by partaking of the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion) on the Seventh Day Sabbath.

My comment that the Sabbath issue does not represent the emphasis given in the New Testament is based upon the fact that such an emphasis is simply not there in the text. If this were a matter of concern, surely the new Gentile Christians would have been in need of instruction in this matter and evidence of this instruction would be reflected in the New Testament. Gentile Christians surely would have been cautioned against Sabbath-breaking. But no such instruction is found in the New Testament.

The motivation which underlies what Paul himself did is well expressed by what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:22,

“To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

What Paul specifically did in those special and individual particular historical circumstances does not form a rule of conduct we are to replicate today. Paul instructed us to be followers of him as he was a follower of Christ. Christ brought new revelation through the Apostle Paul which has been preserved in the letters of Paul found in our New Testament.

Paul’s emphasis is the witness to the bodily resurrection of Christ as the supreme evidence of the truth of the Gospel. That is what we should be emphasizing today.

 

Mr. Mosley responded to me:

Paul’s own words make it very problematic for anyone to argue he didn’t keep the sabbath.

Before I address what you said can we first agree your statement that Paul didn’t keep the sabbath was in error?

 

My response to Mr. Mosley:

Produce your evidence that refutes the two claims I have made:

(1) The Fourth Commandment regarding keeping the seventh day Sabbath is never once found repeated in the form of a commandment (in the imperative mood in the Greek NT) anywhere in the New Testament.

(2) There is not a single example of Christians meeting for specifically Christian worship (as evidenced by partaking of the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion) on the Sabbath.

Now produce your evidence from the New Testament record that refutes either or both of my assertions. But be very careful to produce evidence that fulfills the requirements.

READ MY CLAIM ABOUT PAUL very carefully: Paul NEVER kept the Seventh Day Sabbath as a matter of specifically Christian worship (involving participation in the Lord’s Supper or Communion).

Nothing you have presented refutes my claim about Paul whatsoever. It is your misreading of my claim, not my claim itself, that is in error.

 

Mr. Mosley’s response to me:

ok so then we agree Paul Kept the sabbath ??

A simple yes or no will suffice

And let’s be clear the burden of proof is on you. The sabbath was made holy at creation it was kept prior to the law being given and was kept by Christ and all the apostles. Christ says he didn’t come to destroy the law Paul says we establish the law. Yet you say because we don’t see a commandment that was kept before the commandments were given commanded again it is void ??? If you follow Christ you will walk as he walked and we know he kept the sabbath. We actually see Mary wait until the sabbath was over before visiting Christ tomb.

This is what happens when you ask questions that causes one to think for themselves and not copy and paste what they learned at Bible study.

My response to Mr. Mosley:

And just who is “copy and pasting what they learned at Bible study”?

I write my own material from scratch based upon my own long and careful study of the Bible.

So far, you have NOT addressed my challenge at all.

Kindly go back and actually READ with understanding what I wrote and provide the evidence I requested to refute my two assertions.

Until you do, you have failed to address my argument, and have lost the debate.

 

Mr. Mosley’s response to me:

lol first this was a dialogue not a debate . Second as I said the burden of proof is on you and none of your answers sufficed any of the questions I’ve asked . But if saying I lost the debate is pleasing to your flesh then fine I lost lol

 It took 6 hours to come up with that excuse ??

My response to Mr. Mosley:

You know very well that what you have said here in response to my challenge and correction of your expressed point of view regarding the Seventh Day Sabbath has not addressed the challenge I presented you.

So, whether you want to call this a dialogue or a debate, I raised two or more crucial issues that refute your position regarding what the New Testament and the Bible as a whole teach about the Seventh Day Sabbath question.

As for six hours, I do not spend much time using this computer. I have my own studies to pursue. But the time delay provides you some time to prepare a good answer to my two challenges, neither of which you have addressed yet:

(1) How is it that the New Testament nowhere in its pages contains a command for Christians to keep the Fourth Commandment?

(2) How is it that there is not a single example in the New Testament of Christians keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath for specifically Christian worship involving participation in the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion?

If the issue is as important as you seem to suppose, your view of this matter of keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath Holy ought to have some degree of emphasis in the New Testament. So far, you have not shown that this is the case.

I have already answered you in full regarding Paul’s actions regarding his accompanying individuals in the keeping of vows at the Temple in Jerusalem. What Paul did in that incident has nothing to do with keeping the Seventh Day Sabbath. Paul did what he did to avoid unnecessarily provoking conflict with Jews who mistakenly thought that Paul taught Jewish converts not to keep the law of Moses. I cited the Scripture from Paul’s own writings that stated the principle Paul was following.

Mr. Mosley’s response to me:

Maybe you aren’t understanding something here . As I said prior simply saying it’s not directly commanded in the New Testament some how makes the commandment void is folly . You must first show where the change was made in the commandment we see the sabbath being observed all throughout the New Testament Jews and gentiles alike observing the sabbath . Again the burden of proof would be on you sir.

So you are saying Paul lied to avoid conflict.

To address your questions even though the burden of proof is on you .
1) listen to what you said “ nowhere in the nt is there a command to Christians to keep the [Sabbath or Fourth] commandment” 🤔.

It’s a commandment so you have to show where any commandment contained w
ithin the moral law / Decalogue was commanded to be changed. That’s how it works my friend .

2. The fact is we see Jews and gentiles alike honoring the sabbath in the New Testament. You are asserting it wasn’t for Christian worship. I think first you have to deal with the term Christian which didn’t come until later and was said as an insult . But it simply means followers of Christ . So again did Christ honor the sabbath? If so are you walking as he did ?

Also the first day of the week was never thought to be the new sabbath it was simply a day they gathered together to discuss finances, etc. and most likely they did that on that day because they honored the sabbath the previous day.

My response to Mr. Mosley:

Thank you for your good replies and additional challenges to my position.

(1) The Seventh Day Sabbath has not been changed to the First Day of the week. It remains as it was originally instituted for the Jews in Israel. It remains still in force for the Jews today, so it has not been changed.

(2) Jesus was a Jew. During His earthly life he kept the commandments perfectly. Jesus observed the Seventh Day Sabbath in accordance with the Ten Commandment Law.

(3) Paul was a Jew, a Hebrew of the Hebrews, a Pharisee of the Pharisees, and while he lived as a Jew before he met Jesus Christ on the Damascus Road he surely kept the Jewish law fastidiously. Paul received new revelation directly from our Lord Jesus Christ, and that new revelation is reflected in the doctrines taught in the Pauline Epistles.

1Co 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

We, therefore, must study and obey the new revelation given by our Lord Jesus Christ through Paul as preserved in the Pauline Epistles and the Book of Acts.

(4) If anyone today believes they should carefully observe the Fourth Commandment as given in the Law of Moses, they should realize what is meant by keeping the Sabbath holy. There are many specifics given in the Old Testament Scriptures that detail how the Jews were instructed to keep the weekly Sabbath. It is highly unlikely that there are any Christians today who actually fulfill the stipulated requirements that accompany the command to keep the Sabbath holy as given to the Jews in the Hebrew Scriptures.

You are correct that the First Day of the Week was never regarded as the new Sabbath. Gentile Christians were never taught to observe the Jewish Sabbath. In fact, Paul quite sternly commands his converts not to do so in Galatians 4:9, 10, 11. The First Day of the Week is observed by Christians in the New Testament as the day for Christians to gather for specifically Christian worship. The nature of those worship services can be discerned from the record of their observance recorded in the Pauline Epistles. The services included the singing of hymns, prayer, preaching of the Gospel, mutual instruction and correction in the ministry of the “one another gifts,” and so forth. The First Day of the Week had special significance for Christians then and now because that marks the day that our Lord Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead “on the third day.”

As for the term “Christian,” it appears as early as Acts 11:26. The term also occurs at Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16. The term simply means “follower of Christ,” and does not necessarily have any negative association with its first use as recorded in Acts that I can see.

As for walking as Christ did, just because Jesus observed the Seventh Day Sabbath as an obedient Jew does not at all mean that Christians today who are not Jews must do the same.

We are not under the law, but under grace:

Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

I have established by your lack of specific response to my two challenges that, at least so far, you have found it impossible to answer them.

Of the Ten Commandments, nine commandments are repeated in the New Testament for our admonition and instruction. One commandment is never repeated in any listing of the ten commandments in the NT, neither by Christ nor any of the NT writers. The reason is plain to read: the commandments which were against us have been nailed to the cross (see Colossians 2:14 and 2 Corinthians 3:7 and its context).

Those who truly believe in our Lord Jesus Christ have become new creations in Him. True faith results in regeneration (Titus 3:5) and transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17), such that we walk in newness of life, empowered by the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23). This is the focus of our new life in Christ, not law-keeping (Galatians 2:21). We are now free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2).

Mr. Mosley replied to me:

ok so you agree Israel should keep the sabbath 👍🏽
The revelation Paul received was not and could not contradict the Torah as Christ and Paul both said they believe all things in the law and prophets and neither came to destroy .

You stat
ed Paul told converts not to keep sabbath in ga 4:9 this is a grave error and completely out of context . This is why audience relevancy is very important.
We must first understand who Paul was writing to. Former pagans
“But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, Gal 4:9.
Notice he says they didn’t know God prior so why would they be turning back to the sabbath that makes no sense. Context is key.

Sadly most don’t understand what Paul meant by saying we are not under the law. Romans 7 in its totality explains this. The law of sin no longer has dominion over us because we have attained the spirit and now we are given the grace to repent.
Hebrews 10 tells us if we sin willfully there is no more sacrifice.

Gal 5 tells us the lawless will not inherit the kingdom, as does Rev 22:14 .

God created the sabbath for us it was not meant to be burdensome it’s sad most reject the gift god gave
.

I wrote this response to Mr. Mosley:

Thank you again for a kind and interesting reply.

I believe the balance of Bible evidence demonstrates that you have not correctly understood Galatians 4:9, 10, 11.

Here are my notes and cross references as I have prepared them for my Bible reference study tool, “The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury”:

Galatians 4:10
Ye observe. or, observe carefully. Gr. paratēreō (S# G3906, Mar 3:2). Leviticus 23, Numbers 28, 29, Luk 14:1, +**Col 2:16.

days. The weekly sabbaths (Hogg & Vine, p. 202). Lev 23:2, 3; Lev 25:1; Lev 25:13, Num 28:9, 10, 1Ch 23:30, 31, 2Ch 2:4; 2Ch 8:13; 2Ch 31:3, Neh 10:33, Eze 45:17, **Hos 2:11, Zec 7:5, 6, **Rom 14:5; **Rom 14:6, **Col 2:16; **Col 2:17.

months. The new moons. Num 10:10; Num 28:11, 1Sa 20:5, 1Ch 23:31, 2Ch 2:4; 2Ch 8:13, Ezr 3:5, Neh 10:33, Psa 81:3, Isa 1:13, 14; Isa 66:23, Ezek 45:17; Ezek 46:6, Hos 2:11, **+Col 2:16.

seasons. The three annual feasts of the Jews. (1) Feast of unleavened bread, Lev 23:5-14; (2) Feast of Pentecost, Lev 23:15-22; (3) Feast of tabernacles, Lev 23:33-44, Exo 23:14; Exo 23:17; Exo 33:23, Lev 23:4, 2Ch 8:13, Zec 7:5, 6.

years. Sabbatic years, and years of jubilee. While it is improbable that the Galatian churches had actually been observing a year of jubilee, yet if they observed the least of the ceremonial days, they acknowledged the principle, and it was as though they had observed them all. The Apostle had heretofore mentioned only circumcision as indicative of the declension of the Galatian believers. But of course they could not draw the line at that; once they put themselves under the law, they became debtors to do all the law enjoined (Gal 5:3). Moreover, the religious observance of days [including the Sabbath] is inconsistent with the spirit of the gospel; to keep a day is a tacit admission that that day is, in some sense, holier than other days, whereas, to the Christian, every day is holy (see Hogg & Vine, pp. 202, 203).

Paul received his doctrine directly by revelation from our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 1:12. **1 Cor 14:37.). The gospel Paul preached and taught did not include the necessity of Sabbath observance. Paul criticizes the Galatians for listening to the Judaizers that had come among them, and warned them that to follow their lead would be to deny Christ, and lose the benefit of Christ’s death for them (Gal 2:21; Gal 5:2), and make Paul’s labor to bring them the gospel utterly in vain (Gal 4:11). Falling from grace (Gal 5:4) surely means loss of salvation. Paul nowhere in Galatians suggests that the Galatians had gone this far (Gal 3:26), and speaks of them as brethren (Gal 4:12), but the warning is clear.

While Paul grants some degree of liberty in the matter of choice of day of worship (see Rom 14:5, 6), yet he clearly teaches here that to observe the Sabbath as a matter of keeping the Fourth Commandment is to turn back, thus to turn away from Christ, to place one under bondage (Gal 4:9).

It is very striking that the Fourth Commandment is never once given as a command in the New Testament, though the other nine are repeated as commands for Christians [(1) Exo 20:3 with Col 3:5 and 1Jn 5:21; (2) Exo 20:4 with Act 17:29 and 2Co 6:16, 17; (3) Exo 20:7 with Rom 2:24, 1Ti 6:1, and Jas 5:12; (4) Exo 20:8 but not enjoined in the NT, though mentioned as observed by Jesus (Luke 4:16) and the Jews (Luke 23:56); (5) Exo 20:12 with Luke 18:20 and Eph 6:1, 2; (6) Exo 20:13 with Mark 10:19 and Rom 13:9; (7) Exo 20:14 with Mat 5:27, 28 and Jas 2:11; (8) Exo 20:15 with Mat 19:18 and Rom 13:9; (9) Exo 20:16 with Luke 18:20 and Rom 13:9; (10) Exo 20:17 with Luke 12:15 and Rom 7:7; Rom 13:9].

Christians never met for specifically Christian worship on the Sabbath in order to keep the Sabbath. In obedience to the command of Christ (Act 1:8), Jewish Christians attended the Synagogue on the Sabbath for witness to the Jews, not for Christian worship. They regularly met upon the first day of the week (Acts 20:7 note. 1Co 16:2) for Christian worship and fellowship.

The Sabbath was never changed to Sunday. Jews still worship on the Sabbath, but properly taught Christians worship Christ on the First Day of the week, and have done so since the beginning of the New Testament Church. See related note at Isa 58:13 note. Lev 25:2, 3, 4, 5; Lev 25:8-17.

Mr. Mosley made this response to me:

 While I you seem to be rather exhaustive with your studies the problem is you are looking to prove your point rather then find truth.
When we look into ancient Roman culture we will see they observed many holidays some were annual , weekly and monthly. With that being said you would have to reconcile the beginning of gal 4:9 I noticed you started at 4:10 . You would have to explain why he says they didn’t know god prior . Here’s some info on ancient Roman holidays . (Not my writing)

Festivals in ancient Rome were a very important part of Roman religious life during both the Republican and Imperial eras, and one of the primary features of the Roman calendar. Feriae (“holidays” in the sense of “holy days”; singular also feriae or dies ferialis) were either public (publicae) or private (privatae). State holidays were celebrated by the Roman people and received public funding. Games (ludi), such as the Ludi Apollinares, were not technically feriae, but the days on which they were celebrated were dies festi, holidays in the modern sense of days off work. Although feriae were paid for by the state, ludi were often funded by wealthy individuals. Feriae privatae were holidays celebrated in honor of private individuals or by families.[1] This article deals only with public holidays, including rites celebrated by the state priests of Rome at temples, as well as celebrations by neighborhoods, families, and friends held simultaneously throughout Rome Feriae were of four kinds:

Stativae were annual holidays that held a fixed or stable date on the calendar. Calendars helped back then.
Conceptivae were annual holidays that were moveable feasts (like Easter on the Christian calendar, or Thanksgiving in North America); the date was announced by the magistrates or priests who were responsible for them.
Imperativae were holidays held “on demand” (from the verb impero, imperare, “to order, command”) when special celebrations or expiations were called for.[2]
One of the most important sources for Roman holidays is Ovid’s Fasti, an incomplete poem that describes and provides origins for festivals from January to June at the time of Augustus.

Manage

Mr. Mosley made this response to me:

And as I stated previously the burden of proof would be on you, so you would have to show where the change in days occurred. Now I know you are saying the sabbath didn’t change but you said “properly taught Christians worship on the first day of the week.” This infers that there was a change in days which one should worship.

My first statements were never addressed:

1) the sabbath was made holy at creation prior to the commandments.

2) the sabbath was observed prior to the law being given to Moses at Sinai.

If we see it was holy before the law of Moses and we see it being before the law was given to Moses at Sinai . How can we take it upon ourself to say because it wasn’t commanded AGAIN it has become void. I think Paul would say god forbid rather we establish it.
The New Testament is clear as I stated previously: the sabbath was made for man by our creator why reject what he made for us ??

Pastor Anderson made the following comment to Mr. Mosley:

You are selective In Your thinking. No one never said that you could not worship on Saturday. The problem is when you seek to judge others in relation to the CHRISTIAN CHURCH following the practice of the Apostles (early church) worshiping and breaking bread on the first day of the week (Sunday). As you well know these were Jews. You may [need] to use a time capsule and go back to the first century to correct things and tell the Lord he rose on the wrong day. I Applaud professor Smith who have exhausted biblical truth on you for days on my original post. You could learn something, if you parked the “I know mind set.”  He is the only reason I didn’t turn off notification on my own post.

Mr. Mosley responded:

I would say you should take your own advise my brotha . As I stated the text he used Gal 4:9 is clearly not speaking to people that were keeping the sabbath prior. 
Secondly I am not judging you Christ will do that. Breaking bread and fellowship is one thing that does not change the fact the sabbath is set apart and was created for us . Continue to reject the gift of god [if] you want.

[My response to Mr. Mosley, here on Real Bible Study, not posted on Facebook:

Some very good scholars and modern commentaries would agree with you that the Galatians as unsaved Gentiles before the ministry of Paul to them with the gospel of salvation did not observe the Jewish Sabbath.

What those scholars and you have failed to see is that Paul is telling them that for them to step back from the Gospel truth he had taught them and to instead follow the Judaizers by observing the Jewish Seventh-Day Sabbath was tantamount to forsaking our Lord Jesus Christ to now follow a very mistaken idea promoted by the Judaizers, namely, to follow the Law of Moses in addition to the commands of Christ. Paul said that would put them in a position even worse than they were in as pagan Gentiles and that this would result in the loss of their salvation.]

The disputant (Rali Mosley) addressed this comment to Pastor Robert Anderson:

The difference is you were taught by a man; my only teacher is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God . You guys are merely parakeeting what you learned in seminary whether you recognize it or not. And that is why you would be the one to suffer from selective thinking cause a man taught you how to think. Hence, Pastor Moss is no different than Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell or Muhammad. When we get our understanding from men and not the Holy Spirit we are destined to be in error.

Pastor Anderson responded before I did with the following comment:

Stop lying on the Holy Spirit and following every lesson we put up. Ignorance can lead to arrogance; YOU should be so blessed as to be taught biblically by the likes of Pastor Moss, Professor Smith, and others. You show your ignorance in putting these men in the same category of Charles Russell and Paula White. But I understand your childish tactics. But Neither Moss or Smith needs defending, because they don’t point people to themselves, skin color, organizations, etc. These two men point to one person, Jesus Christ. You have been coming from the background on our FB lives for over a year claiming humility, but are here as a serpent in disguise. So since you won’t unfriend us and we are false teachers, I’m going to help you. I’ll block you out of love. You can thank me later.

The points you suggest I did not address I believe I actually did address.

(1) Genesis 2:3 speaks of God’s resting from his act of the creation of the earth. It does not constitute a command to keep the Seventh Day Sabbath. Actually, the Hebrew word for Sabbath does not occur in the Book of Genesis. Most importantly, there is no evidence in the Book of Genesis of the keeping of any weekly observance of a stated day of complete rest.

It is the case that what is said in Genesis 2:3 is appealed to at the giving of the Ten Commandment Law in Exodus 20:11. When the Ten Commandment Law is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:12, 13, 14, 15, where the fact that God delivered Israel from Egypt is the appeal.

In both instances, an appeal is made to what we might today call a “type.”

But notice that in Deuteronomy the Fourth Commandment indicates just for whom this commandment has been given: those who had been slaves in Egypt, those the Lord delivered as a nation from Egyptian slavery.

None of us today among Christian Gentiles are a part of that group! That constitutes some evidence that the Law of the Sabbath does not apply to us, for it was given exclusively to Israel. This is also stressed in Deuteronomy 5:6.

Take a look at Deuteronomy 5:3,

Deut 5:3 The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.

Here are my notes and cross references for Deuteronomy 5:3 from “The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury,”

Deuteronomy 5:3

The Lord. Deut 11:10, Exo 34:10.

made not. Deut 29:10-15, Gen 17:7; Gen 17:21, Psa 105:8-10, Jer 32:38, 39, 40, Mat 13:17, Rom 4:23, 24, Gal 3:17-21, Heb 8:8, 9.

this covenant. Deut 29:1, Exo 34:10, Jos 24:25, 2Ki 11:17, 2Ch 23:16, Est 9:27, Jer 31:32; Jer 34:13.

with our fathers. Deut 8:16, Gen 15:15, **Neh 9:13; **Neh 9:14; Neh 10:29, +2Pe 3:4.

but with us. This is a most clear statement that the Law was given first on this occasion at Mount Horeb to Moses, and never given at a prior time, including the Sabbath commandment, an affirmation confirmed by the combined witness of the following Parallel Passages. +*Deut 5:2, %+*Gen 26:5, **Neh 9:13; **Neh 9:14, *Jer 11:4; Jer 34:13, **Eze 20:9, 10, 11, 12; **Eze 20:20, **Mal 4:4, **Rom 5:13; **Rom 5:14.

even us. Jer 31:32.

here. Deut 11:7.

live this day. Deut 26:17; Deut 29:12; Deut 29:15, Heb 12:19.

(2) “the sabbath was observed prior to the law being given to Moses at Sinai.”

Your second point I have now answered from Scripture, for my note at Deuteronomy 5:3 for the keywords “but with us” provides the answer with Scriptural proof in the form of the cross references I have supplied. The Bible directly states that the Law was first given at Sinai, not previously, and not previously given to “our fathers.” This should settle the question.

 

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The Hypostatic Union

by Vijay Chandra

 

The Bible teaches that the Christ is both God and man. Proving the deity and the genuine humanity of the Mediator is not difficult. Therefore, we should not be surprised to find that the church has always dogmatically affirmed that Jesus is both truly God and truly man. The major difficulty in defining the Mediator has been how God and man exist together in the one Person. Not only are there several heresies [false teaching about the Person and work of Christ propagated by Islamic scholars, Hindu scholars, SDA, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.] regarding the person of Christ, but the orthodox definitions of the two natures in one Person is a very difficult doctrine for our small minds to fathom. Therefore, we will examine the orthodox confessional statement regarding the two natures in one person and then explain it in the simplest language possible.

 

The most complete statement of Christological orthodoxy that to this day has not been supplanted or improved upon, even by the reformed symbols, is the Creed of Chalcedon [A.D. 451]. It declares “We, then, following the holy [Nicene] fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in godhead and also perfect in manhood, truly man, of a reasonable [i.e. rational] soul, body; consubstantial with the Father according to the godhead, and consubstantial with us according to manhood; in all things like unto us, yet without sin; eternally begotten of the Father according to the godhead, and in the latter days, for us and our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary the mother of God, according to the manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, only-begotten to be acknowledged in two natures, without mixture, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but, one and the same Son, and only begotten, and only begotten God the Word (John 1:1-18, Phil 2:1-10), the Lord Jesus Christ, as prophets from the beginning have declared concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself has taught us, and the creed of the holy fathers has handed down to us.”

 

Before we define and analyze terms such as nature, person and consubstantial, it will be helpful to guard the church against a wide variety of heresies. In God’s providence, the council of Chalcedon was the brilliant orthodox capstone to generations of conflict over the person of Christ. Note how virtually every perversion of Christology under the sun is refuted by the Creed of Chalcedon.

 

Chalcedon refutes everyone who teaches that the Messiah was not truly God, or, was not consubstantial [i.e., of the same substance, or, identity of essence] with the Father. The denial that Jesus was really God in every way was a common problem that had to be dealt with by the early church as it still does today. There were second-century Jewish heretics, the Ebionites [this group was zealous for ceremonial law; refused to fellowship with Gentile believers and denied the divinity of Christ] and Eikasites [i.e., ascites versions of Ebionites] who taught that the Messiah was only a man.

There were the Arians [A.D. 320] [the modern Jehovah’s Witnesses] who plagued the 4th century and beyond. They believed that the Son was the first created being [same as the Koran]. He was the highest or greatest of created beings [Mormons hold this view as well]. However, he was not God and “there was a time when He was not.” They also believed that this great creature simply inhabited the flesh of Jesus; the Messiah did not have a real human soul. The modern Jehovah’s Witnesses have a heretical Christology almost identical to the early Arians.

Then there were semi-Arians who taught a mediating position between the orthodox and the Arians. The Arians taught that Jesus was dissimilar or different substance [anomoios] with the Father. In other words, Jesus is not just a man but he is not the same as God either. Such a compromise is really no better than Arianism. It is a damnable heresy. The Orthodox said that the Son was of the same substance [homousios] with the Father.

Against all men who taught that Christ did not have a genuine human soul, Chalcedon declared that Jesus had a rational soul. This statement refutes Apollinaris [A.D. 310-390] who applied platonic psychology to the person of Christ. Instead of following the biblical concept of dual nature of man as spirit and body, he combined the Greek concept of man having an animal or irrational soul, a spirit and a body. He believed that if the Logos assumed a true and complete human nature which included a human spirit, then Jesus would have been corrupted with human sin. Therefore, Logos took the place of the human spirit. Such a view does not really recognize the true humanity of the mediator and thus needs to be condemned.

Chalcedon preserves the truth against all forms of Monarchianism that caused problems in the real church. One form developed by Paul of Samosata called Dynamic Monarchianism asserted that although the Logos was consubstantial or of the same essence with the Father, it was only because the Logos was an impersonal force or power from God. In other words, they rejected the apostolic teaching of the Son as the second, distinct person in the Godhead.

Another form of this heresy is called Modalistic Monarchianism [or Patripasianism because it asserts the Father suffered in the form of the Son]. This view was first propagated by Sabellius [early 3rd century] who asserted that God is one person who sometimes exhibits himself as the Father, sometimes as the Son, and sometimes as the Holy Spirit. Once again the distinct personhood of the Son, as well as the Spirit, is denied. All modalistic theories are essentially Unitarian in their concept of the Godhead. Such views are still quite popular today and can be found in cults such as the Jesus-only and Oneness Pentecostals.

When Chalcedon asserts that the Son is truly God of the same essence with the Father and at the same time asserts that the Logos is eternally begotten of the Father, it recognizes that although Jesus is God of very God, He also is a distinct person in the Godhead. He is not an impersonal force or simply the Father appearing as the Son.

Chalcedon condemned the idea that Jesus was two distinct persons by declaring that there are two natures in one person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons. This statement is a rejection of the heresy of Nestorianism [Nestorius died c. A.D 451] which held that Christ was two persons, that there was not a unity of the one person. According to this view, one should not think of Jesus as the God-man but as a man controlled by God. Nestorianism destroys the undivided [hypostatic] union of the two natures and the universality of the Messiah.

The Chalcedon creed refutes all forms of Docetism by teaching the real undivided union of the two natures in one person and by declaring that Mary was the mother of God [God-bearer].

Docetism is a heresy which redefines the true humanity of Christ. Its Christology was not derived directly from Scripture but from Greek philosophy. In the first centuries of the Christian era, platonic and non-platonic philosophies were quite popular. According to the Platonic worldview, there were traditions of reality and ethical quality in the world. Spirit or mind is far superior to that which is material or matter. Physical things [according to this view] such as flesh, blood, and bones were inherently defective and evil. Men who accepted these pagan Greek presuppositions argued that Jesus could not have developed inside of Mary or have had a real human body. Therefore, Jesus only appeared or seemed to have a body; thus, the name ‘Docetism’ comes from the Greek verb dokeo—‘ to seem or appear.’ The rejection of the true humanity of our Lord was a serious problem in the early church and was advocated by other heretics such as the Gnostics (John the apostle dealt with an early form of Gnosticism in 1 John) and the Marcionites.

In order to combat such thinking, Chalcedon affirmed that “Christ was ‘perfect in manhood,’ ‘truly man’ with a rational soul and body consubstantial with us according to the manhood. Further, Mary was a God-bearer.” Jesus derived his human nature directly from her and was truly of the seed of Abraham and David.

Chalcedon condemns all varieties of kenoticism. This theory [which became quite popular in the nineteenth century] asserts that when God the Son became man he voluntarily laid aside all or some of the divine attributes. This view is based on an erroneous interpretation of Philippians 2:7, which in some translations says that our Lord ‘emptied Himself.’ The Chalcedon creed refutes kenoticism by saying that “the distinction of nature being [is] by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved.” The union does not alter the divine nature in any way. Further [as noted above], the idea that God could somehow cease to be God is unbiblical and absurd.

The Chalcedon creed refutes the Lutheran doctrine of the communication of attributes between the divine and human natures. Luther and some early Lutherans occasionally spoke of a communication in both directions — In the subsequent development of the doctrine, however, the communication from human nature to the divine nature soon receded from sight, and only from the divine to the human nature was stressed. Chalcedon says that the two natures are united “without mixture, without change.” The hypostatic union preserves the property of each nature. If, as Lutheran theologians assert, the divine attributes are communicated to Jesus’ human nature, then the Messiah ceases to be truly human. Further, the gospel accounts make it perfectly clear our Lord’s human nature was truly human in every conceivable manner [e.g., intellectual growth, limitations of knowledge, physical weakness, etc.]. The Lutheran view probably came into being to explain their bizarre understanding of the Lord’s supper [i.e. consubstantiation: Jesus’ real flesh and blood is in, with, and through the elements of the bread and wine all over the world at the same time]. Lutheran theology virtually destroys the incarnation.

Chalcedon condemns all forms of adoption. Adoptionists hold to the view that the Messiah was born a regular man. Then, at some time during His life [most Adoptionists choose Jesus’ baptism, while some prefer the resurrection] God adopts our Lord’s body. In other words, Christ exists independently for a lengthy period of time before God enters His body.

The Chalcedon creed rejects this heresy when it refers to Mary as the “God-bearer” [theotokos]. The orthodox view is that there never was a time when the human nature of the Savior existed independently of the divine nature. From the very moment of conception, Jesus was both God and man in one person. The orthodox teaching is clearly supported by the conception and birth narratives in the gospels, the meeting between the pregnant women, Elizabeth and Mary, the virgin birth as well as the worship that the baby Jesus received by men and holy angels.

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Does Genesis 12:3 apply only to Abraham or does it apply to Israel?

The Nugget:

Gen 12:3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (KJV)

My Comment:

I have just re-read an interesting post on Facebook that makes the claim that the promise of Genesis 12:3 only applies to Abraham himself and not to the nation of Israel:

Possibly one of the most used scriptures of the century. People who haven’t even read one verse from the Bible will quote you this verse to justify their undying support for Israel. Why? Because this scripture has been used to imply that the blessing to Abraham was not just to Abraham but to all Israel, and therefore for all Jews, FOR ALL TIME. If it is, it would have to be the only unconditional (promise) verse in the Bible.

The person making this claim may not have studied the Bible carefully. To suggest that if this verse applies to Israel and not just to Abraham himself makes this “the only unconditional promise” in the Bible has missed the fact that there are many more  unconditional promises in the Bible besides this one!

Genesis 12:3 forms a part of the Abrahamic Covenant. There are provisions in the Abrahamic Covenant that are unconditional. So Genesis 12:3 is not the only unconditional promise in the Bible.

How about Genesis 3:15?

Gen 3:15  And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (KJV)

Genesis 3:15 is regarded by careful students of Bible prophecy to be the first Messianic Prophecy in the Bible. It predicts that the Messiah will be born of a woman. It was precisely fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ and no other (Galatians 4:4). It is an unconditional promise. Read it for yourself. It is obvious.

Here is another unconditional Bible promise that pertains to Abraham and the Abrahamic Covenant and to the nation of Israel:

Lev 26:42  Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. 

Notice particularly the promise that “I will remember the land.” That means that God has promised to remember and keep the Land Promise provision of the Abrahamic Covenant. This is another unconditional promise. There are no “strings attached.” The promise is absolute. Again, read it for yourself. It is obvious.

So, we can know for sure that there are unconditional promises in the Bible. I just showed you two of them off the top of my head.

Now, as for the claim that Genesis 12:3 applies only to Abraham himself and not to the nation of Israel, the answer to this mistaken claim is readily found if we:

(1) follow the rule of interpretation that we must consult all the Bible declares about a subject before we draw any firm conclusions;

(2) check this claim by following out what are called cross references which lead us to the other parts of the Bible or places in the Bible where the promise is repeated and note to whom the Bible applies the promise in those places;

(3) recognize that the claim as made states absolutely that Genesis 12:3 applies only to Abraham himself and that the claim can be proven false if the promise is applied anywhere in the Bible itself to the nation of Israel rather than just the person of Abraham alone.

It is so applied:

Num 24:2  And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him. 

Num 24:3  And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor hath said, and the man whose eyes are open hath said: 

Num 24:4  He hath said, which heard the words of God, which saw the vision of the Almighty, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open: 

Num 24:5  How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! 

Num 24:6  As the valleys are they spread forth, as gardens by the river’s side, as the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the waters.

Notice that Balaam in his inspired prophecy is speaking of the nation of Israel (see Numbers 24:5 immediately above).

Num 24:8  God brought him forth out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows. 

Num 24:9  He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up? Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee. 

Notice that Numbers 24:8 tells us that the nation of Israel has been brought forth out of Egypt by God. Balaam then (Numbers 24:9) applies the very promise God gave to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 to the nation of Israel, saying “Blessed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that curseth thee.”

Since the Bible itself applies the promise of Genesis 12:3 made to Abraham to the nation of Israel in Numbers 24:9, the unconditional promise is properly applicable to the nation of Israel, proving the claim that it only applies to Abraham personally to be false.

The poster makes the further claim:

This was never a Christian teaching until the arrival of John Darby a defrocked Anglican minister who began to teach that this blessing to Abraham was not just for Abraham but for all Israel. Bear in mind that Israel was never a place. God never said to Abraham I’m taking you to Israel but rather that God was taking Abraham to the land of Canaan. John Darby became immortalised in the C. I. Scofield Bible (a dubious character in his own right). The teaching of Darby and C. I. Scofield became known as Dispensationalism. Dispensationalism is the belief system that is now prevalent in the Christian Evangelical Church.

Somehow this paragraph contains a number of logical flaws and factual misstatements. That John Darby is not the source of the teaching that Genesis 12:3 applies to the nation of Israel is clear because it is taught in the Bible itself in the passage from the book of Numbers that I have cited above.

To suggest that Israel was never a place, but rather Canaan is the place God was taking Abraham, misses the plain fact that what was called Canaan has since been called Israel. Both names apply to the same geographical Land Promise.

Notice that the argument of the second paragraph of the post is in the form of an ad hominem argument, which is a logical fallacy by which the character of someone or something supposedly associated with (in this case) a particular Bible teaching is impugned by mere reference to a person or  persons (Darby and Scofield, in this case) who taught the doctrine.

Posted in Bible Promises, Bible Prophecy, Doctrinal Discussions, How to Study the Bible | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Ladder for Classic Novels

Mr. J. H. Smith Selection Number: 2201

Special Skills File

Classroom Use Only Copy Number:

Please DO NOT write on this page. Handle this material very carefully as more students need to use it after you. Sign this material out and check it back in yourself.

F#2201.doc of 3/31/01 modified from CTHS/LP of 9/19/72. page one

SUGGESTED READING

LEVEL A

Treasure Island. Robert Louis Stevenson

The Secret Garden. Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Call of the Wild. Jack London

Tom Sawyer. Mark Twain

Black Boy. Richard Wright

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. Mark Twain

Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte

Silas Marner. George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson

Robinson Crusoe. Daniel Defoe

Animal Farm. George Orwell

Looking Backward. Edward Bellamy

LEVEL B

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain

Puddin Head Wilson. Mark Twain

The Pathfinder. James Fenimore Cooper

Alice in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll

Far from the Madding Crowd. Thomas Hardy

The Mayor of Casterbridge. Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D’Urbervilles. Thomas Hardy

Green Mansions. William Henry Hudson

The Jungle. Upton Sinclair

  1. George Orwell

The Red Badge of Courage. Stephen Crane

The Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wuthering Heights. Bronte

Great Expectations. Charles Dickens

Woman in White. Wilkie Collins

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. J. H. Smith Selection Number: 2201

Special Skills File

Classroom Use Only Copy Number:

Please DO NOT write on this page. Handle this material very carefully as more students need to use it after you. Sign this material out and check it back in yourself.

F#2201.doc of 3/31/01 modified from CTHS/LP of 9/19/72. page two

SUGGESTED READING

LEVEL C

Billy Budd. Herman Melville

Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky

Dr. Zhivago. Boris Pasternak

Father and Sons. Turgenev

Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim. Joseph Conrad

An American Tragedy. Theodore Dreiser

Madam Bovary. Gustav Flaubert

Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen

Tale of Two Cities. Charles Dickens

Les Miserables. Victor Hugo

The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexander Dumas

LEVEL D

The Brothers Karamozov. Dostoyevsky

The Invisible Man. Ellison

The Idiot. Dostoyevsky

Moby Dick. Melville

Nostromo. Joseph Conrad

Notes from the Underground. Dostoyevsky

Penguin Island. Anatole France

Resurrection. Tolstoy

Souls of Black Folk. Dubois

Tristram Shandy. Sterne

Vanity Fair. Thackeray

War and Peace. Tolstoy

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How to know who is right about Bible prophecy

The Nugget:

Act 1:6  When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (KJV)

My Comment:

When Jesus answered the question posed by His disciples as recorded in Acts 1:6, He did not deny or correct their faith in a literal restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Many modern commentators do deny this faith expressed by the Apostles, and fault them for asking the question. Those commentators are wrong in their interpretation of Acts 1:6.

Acts 13:34  And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David.

Just what are the “sure mercies of David”?

I have asked this of Jehovah Witnesses who have come to my door. So far, none of them have a clue. But they are not the only ones. I have asked this question of many Christians, and with very few exceptions, if any, they do not have a clue either!

I have noticed just this past week or so as I have been reading the New Living Translation day by day which places the text of the Bible in chronological order arranged in 365 daily readings, that the translators of the New Living Translation had no clue either, for they have so worded the translation in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 55:3) and the New Testament’s citation of that verse in Acts 13:34 in a manner that completely obscures the connection.

The reference is to the Davidic Covenant provisions, which contain “Sure mercies,” that is, promised and guaranteed benefits, which will come to pass when the unconditional  provisions of the Davidic Covenant are ultimately fulfilled.

Now, “So what?” you might ask.

Consider one more prophetic passage taken again from the Book of Acts:

Act 15:13  And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: 

Act 15:14  Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. 

Act 15:15  And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 

Act 15:16  After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: 

Act 15:17  That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. 

Act 15:18  Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Note carefully the succession of ideas in this prophecy:

(1) God is now taking out a people for His name from the Gentiles (Acts 15:14).

This process is still going on in our own day.

(2) “After this” I will return. This refers to the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 15:16).

(3) Upon His return, our Lord Jesus Christ will build again, that is, restore the Kingdom of David (Acts 15:16).

Scripture elsewhere teaches us that our Lord Jesus Christ will Himself sit on the Throne of David forever (Luke 1:31, 32, 33).

(4) This will be done, as the very purpose of God, “that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things” (Acts 15:17).

By the way, James is quoting Old Testament prophecy from Amos 9:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, which is most clear indeed in declaring what God is going to do:  He will re-establish the nation of Israel in their own land permanently, never to be removed again.

This passage of Scripture in Acts 15:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 is one of the most important prophetic passages in the New Testament. I have spent the last month studying it in great depth and detail. I began this study because of a question that was asked, which I answered, on Facebook.

The Question:

Where does the New Testament ever indicate that the Jews are to literally return to their own land?

The poster thought, I believe, that there is no such verse or passage.

I posted Acts 15:13-18 as the answer, for this passage expressly declares that Israel will be back in the Land of Israel when the Messiah restores the fallen tabernacle of David, meaning the Kingdom of David.

The group where this question was raised is called “Anti-Zionist Christians for Truth,” a group  to which I was invited to join by a fine Christian lady who respects my scholarship and knows I will not intentionally “rock the boat.”

But here on my own site I have now “rocked the boat.” Anyone, or any theological system, that denies Israel belongs on the land today that it occupied at the time of Christ must be wrong in terms of what the Bible teaches and predicts.

Anyone who denies that Israel today has a divinely established right to the land of Israel they occupied at the time of Christ is clearly mistaken about what Bible prophecy teaches. This is one sure way to detect teachers, preachers, and even theologians who are wrong in their understanding of Bible prophecy.

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Daily Bible Nugget #487, Proverbs 11:4

The Nugget:

Pro 11:4  Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. (KJV)

Pro 11:4 When God is angry, money won’t help you. Obeying God is the only way to be saved from death. (CEV)

 

My Comment:

In the light of eternity, riches here on earth will not profit. Riches will not profit in the day of wrath. What is the day of wrath? The “day of wrath” may have more than one meaning in the Bible, but here in the book of Proverbs “day of wrath” may well refer to the eternal day of wrath that represents the final destiny of all who are not saved. It is a reference to spiritual death. This interpretation is reinforced by what is said at the conclusion of this verse: “righteousness delivereth from death.” Naturally, this cannot be a reference to physical death, for even good people experience that.

In this life, make sure that in addition to your pursuit of wealth and riches that you do not miss out on the spiritual riches available through genuine faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Learn more about that by reading the New Testament for yourself. Yes, you can understand it.

Cross References for Proverbs 11:4

Riches. *Pro 10:2; Pro 13:11; Pro 18:11, *Job 36:18; *Job 36:19, *Psa 49:6, 7, 8, Ecc 5:13, Jer 9:23; Jer 48:36, *Eze 7:19; Eze 27:27, +*Zep 1:11; +*Zep 1:18, +*Mat 6:19; *Mat 16:26, *Luk 12:20, Jas 5:1.

day of wrath. Job 20:28; +*Job 21:30, Isa 10:3, **Eze 7:19, +*Zep 1:11; +*Zep 1:18, Zec 9:4, +*Rom 2:5, +*Jas 5:1.

but righteousness. Pro 11:19, Pro 8:18; *Pro 12:28, Gen 7:1, 2Ki 20:3, 4, 5, 6, Eze 14:20; Eze 18:27, Rom 5:17, +*1Ti 4:8.

delivereth. Pro 11:6, Pro 10:2, Gen 7:23, Psa 49:9, Ecc 7:12, Eze 14:14, +*Jas 5:20.

from death. Psa 49:10, Eze 18:4; Eze 18:21, Jas 5:19, 20, 1Jn 5:16, 17.

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Daily Bible Nugget #486, Proverbs 11:1

The Nugget:

Pro 11:1  A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. (KJV)

Pro 11:1 The LORD hates anyone who cheats, but he likes everyone who is honest. (CEV)

My Comment:

Anyone who has experienced the feeling brought on by realizing he or she has been cheated should be able to appreciate the fact that God does not like cheaters.

The use of “false balances” and unjust weights not only applies to business transactions but to many other areas of life.

This ties in to the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.”

I suspect this may well include stealing the reputation of someone by saying or reporting things that are not true about the person. I believe this is done in the news every day by journalists who seem not to know the difference between news and opinion, much to the disadvantage of those not skilled in seeing the difference between news and propaganda.

I heard the report of a poll mentioned in the news today about 54% of the people polled disapproved of President Trump’s Helsinki performance, while 34% approved. Those results suggest to me that too many people get their opinions by listening to or watching news from what I call the “poisoned wells of misinformation.” Such sources fail the test of “fair and balanced reporting.” When 90% and more of the news is negatively slanted against the President, but fails to report anything of significance about the flaws displayed by the political groups that oppose him, you ought to recognize the bias immediately.

We would be far better off if we lived up to the moral standards of the Bible and carefully reported the truth. Failure to report the whole truth is contrary to good journalistic practice as well as contrary to the Bible.

At Helsinki, President Trump was a peacemaker. President Putin was a truth-teller when he reported that $400,000,000 was escorted out of Russia with the help of American intelligence assets and made available to the Hillary Clinton campaign. You may not have read or seen much about Putin’s revelation in any of the major news media. That is an example of a current instance of failure to report the whole truth.

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Neither side is always right or always wrong

On a Facebook discussion last night, those who support President Trump were asked to defend him if they could!

I wrote some comments in response. I seem to be the only Trump supporter who did. I guess now I am in the proverbial “dog house.”

But it was all in good fun, I trust.

One person asked:  “Jerome, why do you people always bring up President Obama? It’s about the Trumpster right now. He brought up Hillary today, anyone to get the heat off of him. Did anyone ever call Mr. Obama a racist?  Did President Obama push his people under the bus? Oh well. You know if it wasn’t for him, Trump wouldn’t have pushed them under the bus.”

I wrote the following in response:

President Obama is an honorable man. He was elected as our first black President. For that, I give him honor.
 
I have written about President Obama on my own website under the category “Politics and the Bible.”
 
Read what I wrote and judge for yourself.
 
I will try to post links to some of my articles, but please understand that I am not skilled at using this modern technology the way many younger people are.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It looks like I have mentioned President Obama a few times in my posts about “Politics and the Bible.” I have said some nice things about President Obama. Anyone who takes the time to read carefully will notice I have criticized Republicans in no uncertain terms as well. Neither side is always right or always wrong.
 
 
 
 
 
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The Language Enrichment Program now available

For the benefit of everyone who reads here, I am letting you know that my book, The Language Enrichment Program is now available through Amazon. It may be purchased as a 350-page printed paperback book 8 by 10 inches in page size ($19.99), or may be purchased as a Kindle book ($9.99).

Several very careful readers of this Real Bible Study site have noticed that I mentioned this book from time to time and asked how to get a copy for themselves or their children. I have not been able to share this resource until today. But now it is available to everyone worldwide through Amazon. You can search for it by the title, The Language Enrichment Program, or by my name as the author, Jerome H. Smith.

Who needs this resource?

  • Anyone who needs or wants to improve his or her reading ability or reading comprehension.
  • Anyone who needs to improve his or her knowledge of English, especially those for whom English is their second language.
  • Parents who have children or students who need to improve their grades in academic subjects.
  • Parents whose students are struggling to meet standards in order to advance to the next grade level.
  • Parents who homeschool their child or children. This self-instructional resource would make a very helpful resource to further boost the academic achievement and motivation of your student. This program also prepares anyone who uses it to study advanced material with much greater success.

Here is the text of my informal announcement of this resource that I wrote today with the link to where to get it:

The Language Enrichment Program by Jerome H. Smith is now available for purchase from Amazon in the Kindle and also printed book format.

Any person of any age who needs or wants to improve reading ability should make use of this book.

Need reading help for your child, for your student, or yourself? Get this book and use it. This book works!

Read the full description at the Amazon link.

Don’t miss this opportunity to help yourself or your child to get ahead. Even if you don’t need help yourself, share this information with anyone who does.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/198317730X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1529519058&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Language+Enrichment+Program

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