Daily Bible Nugget #534, Proverbs 22:5

 

The Nugget:

Pro 22:5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them. (KJV)

Pro 22:5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked; whoever guards his soul will keep far from them. (ESV)

Pro 22:5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the pervert; he who guards his soul is far from them. (ECB, exegeses companion Bible)

Pro 22:5  Thorns and nets are in the way of the twisted: he who keeps watch over his soul will be far from them. (BBE, Bible in Basic English)

Pro 22:5  Crooks walk down a road full of thorny traps. Stay away from there! (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

 

My Comment:

Sister Cris Jackson posted the following on Facebook this morning:

WATCH OUT FOR THOSE SNARES: “Thorns and snares lie on the path of the perverse; he who guards his soul stays far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). When we walk in darkness and not the light of God’s Word, when we walk contrary to His Word not allowing Him to direct our paths, Satan is laying snares for us to fall into. All kinds of difficulties and trouble lie in the way or path of the perverse-wicked-evil person. The person who keeps themselves clean avoids them.

Glory unto God, who removed my feet from the net and snares of the enemy! He sets them on solid ground. Who teaches my hands to war and separates evil from me. Who has chosen the right way that I should walk in it. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name. Praise ye the Lord.” (Isaiah 30:21).

 

I posted on Facebook the cross references for two very significant Bible studies on the subject of snares from the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:

 

Snares laid by sinners:

Psalms 5:9
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
King James Version

inward part. T702. Psa 10:7; Psa 12:2; +Psa 12:3 (T198). Psa 28:3; Psa 38:12; Psa 51:6; Psa 52:2; Psa 58:2; Psa 62:4 mg. Psa 64:5, 6, Psa 106:13 (T411). Psa 140:5; Psa 141:9, 10, %+**Deut 7:25, 2Sa 15:5, 6, 2Ch 24:17, 18, Pro 7:21; Pro 11:18; Pro 12:5; Pro 20:14, Isa 29:20, 21; Isa 66:5, Jer 3:10; Jer 4:14; Jer 8:5; Jer 9:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; *Jer 17:9, Eze 33:30, 31, Dan 11:21; Dan 11:32, Hos 11:12, Mic 3:10, 11, +Mat 7:15 (T474). Mat 26:48, 49, *Mar 7:21; *Mar 7:22, Luk 11:39; +Luk 18:12 (T194). +Joh 8:44 (T416). Rom 1:29, 30; Rom 16:18, 2Th 2:9, 10, +2Ti 3:5 (T191). *Heb 3:13, +Jas 3:6 (T728). Rev 18:23.

Snares of the devil:

Deuteronomy 7:25
25 The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.
King James Version

snared. Deut 7:16, Deut 12:29, 30, +*Gen 3:6, Exo 10:7; Exo 23:33; Exo 34:12, Jos 23:13, Jdg 2:3; Jdg 8:24, 25, 26, 27, *1Sa 18:21; 1Sa 28:9, Job 18:8, 9, 10; Job 31:1, +Psa 5:9 (T702). Psa 9:16; Psa 91:3; Psa 101:3; *Psa 106:35; *Psa 106:36; +*Psa 119:110; Psa 140:5; *Psa 141:9; Psa 142:3, **Pro 1:10; +*Pro 6:2; *Pro 7:6-23; +*Pro 14:15; Pro 16:25; +*Pro 19:27; Pro 20:25; Pro 22:5; Pro 22:24, 25; Pro 29:6; Pro 29:8; *Pro 29:25, *Ecc 7:26; Ecc 9:12, +*Isa 66:4, Jer 5:26; +*Jer 10:2; +*Jer 14:14 note. +*Eze 14:10 note. Amos 3:5, +*Zep 1:3, 1Co 7:35; +*1Co 15:33, +*Eph 4:14, +Php 3:19 (T199). +*1Th 4:3; +*1Th 5:21, +*1Ti 2:9; 1Ti 3:6, 7; 1Ti 6:9, 10, 2Ti 2:26; 2Ti 3:6, 7, Jas 2:10, 2Pe 2:14; +*2Pe 3:17.

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Daily Bible Nugget #533, Matthew 5:17-18

The Nugget:

Matthew 5:17  Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
Mat 5:18  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The Muslim Challenge:

Abu Husna challenged…

“How Antichrist Paul says, “Jesus abolished the Law? Didn’t Christ say that the “Law would not be destroyed; that it would last as long as heavens and earth?
Who gave this authority to Paul to change the fundamental teachings of Christ?
Christ says, ” Think not that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the Law, till all things be accomplished” (Mt 5:17-18).
Where are those wise men in Christianity as desired by Jesus in above verse?”///

My Answer:

First, I must thank my friend Levi Akamigbo for posting the above challenge on Facebook. Levi posted his answer, but a kind Muslim correctly responded that while Levi posted many Bible verses, he did not directly address the problem Abu Husna posted. I will attempt to address the challenge directly:

(1). “How Antichrist Paul says, “Jesus abolished the Law”?

Notice the Muslim is using an “ad hominem” argument by “attacking the man,” not by providing any evidence that justifies labeling Paul “an Antichrist” or “the Antichrist.”

I have found that many who are followers of false religions and false theologies are prone to attack the Apostle Paul in this manner. Such attacks are unjustified, not true to the Bible’s account of how Paul was converted to Christ and appointed by Jesus Christ Himself to be His Apostle to the Gentiles. See the account in Acts 9:15, 16,

Act 9:15  But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
Act 9:16  For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.

It is our Lord Jesus Christ who is spoken of as “Lord” in Acts 9:15. Notice that Jesus Himself appointed Paul to become “a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles.”

It is therefore a grave error to identify Paul as one who is in opposition to Jesus Christ, as Abu Husna has done. It would be profitable for Muslims and everyone else to carefully read Acts chapter 9 in full.

(2) Did Paul say that Jesus abolished the Law?

Unfortunately, Abu Husna did not furnish the documentation from the New Testament which would support this important claim about Paul.

The New Testament record does show that the enemies of Paul made such claims about him:

Acts 21:21
21  And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
King James Version

Those same enemies accused Stephen similarly:

Acts 6:11
11  Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.
King James Version

Before Paul was converted to Jesus Christ, Paul was among those who debated Stephen. We know Paul was among those who debated Stephen because Paul was from Tarsus, and the text (Acts 6:9) mentions the synagogue of Cilicia, a province of Asia Minor, of which Tarsus was the capital. Those who disputed with Stephen were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spoke. Since they could not defeat Stephen in debate, they attacked him physically, and ultimately brought Stephen to the Council, setting up false witnesses:

Acts 6:13  And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
Acts 6:14  For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us.

The Jews and their leaders, like Muslims today, were not well-informed in the Scriptures, and so made false accusations against Stephen and later against Paul, saying these men spoke blasphemous things against Moses and against God. Remember that Jesus said of the Jews and especially the Jewish leadership, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (John 5:46).

The answer to the question, “Did Paul say that Jesus abolished the Law?” is clearly “No.” But those who are sufficiently taught in the Scriptures know that Jesus did not abolish the Law: Jesus did what He said He would do–He fulfilled the Law.

Now, if Jesus fulfilled the Law, then those who have placed their faith in Him for salvation are no longer under the Law:

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
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.
1Co 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.
Gal 3:23  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
Gal 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
Gal 4:5  To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Gal 4:21  Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?
Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

Paul is not the only one that speaks of us as not being under the Law, but under Grace:

John 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it is most evident, that the Apostle John taught the same thing as Paul did.

(3) Didn’t Christ say that the “Law would not be destroyed; that it would last as long as heavens and earth?”

The Law has not been destroyed. It has been fulfilled. It has been fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ. Since the Law has been fulfilled, the Law is no longer in force in terms of what God requires us to believe in order to be saved, in order to have eternal life.

If we could perfectly obey the Law, we could before the time of Christ be saved by doing so (Leviticus 18:5). But since no one has ever perfectly kept the Law except the Lord Jesus Christ, no one can be saved by keeping the Law. We are now saved when we place our faith and belief in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us (Acts 16:30).

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Daily Bible Nugget #532, Titus 1:16

The Nugget:

Tit 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (KJV)

Tit 1:16 Such people claim to know God, but their actions prove that they really don’t. They are disgusting. They won’t obey God, and they are too worthless to do anything good. (CEV, Contemporary English Version)

My Comment:

When reading the Bible, I often come across some very striking verses. Titus 1:16 is one of them.

There are some other very striking verses in the near context:

Titus 1:15 Everything is pure for someone whose heart is pure. But nothing is pure for an unbeliever with a dirty mind. That person’s mind and conscience are destroyed. (CEV)

Here is another one:

Titus 1:13 That surely is a true saying. And you should be hard on such people, so you can help them grow stronger in their faith. (CEV)

So, what’s the point?

I believe we should be motivated to pray for specific people that God would help them grow stronger in their faith. I believe God is able to answer prayer even when we ourselves have no way to affect the outcome.

I believe that many who are Christians would grow deeper in their faith if they would choose to read the Bible, starting with the New Testament, faithfully on a daily basis.

I believe that our lives should demonstrate to others how to walk with God and live for God in obedience to His word in the Bible.

When reading the Bible, I try to pay attention to related verses that shed light on the verse I am studying. These related verses are collected in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. Such related verses are called “cross references.” For Titus 1:16, I noticed a reference just now for the keywords “they deny” made to Titus 2:12,

Titus 2:11 God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people.
Titus 2:12 He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world. (CEV)

The reason why Titus 2:12 is related or connected to Titus 1:16 is seen better when reading a more literal translation like the King James Version:

Titus 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 2:12  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

The underlying Greek word is the same in both verses, which is why it is helpful to read a more literal translation in order to see the connection better.

For any who may be interested in exploring the cross references given in the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury for Titus 1:16, here they are:

Titus 1:16

They profess. Gr. homologeō (S# G3670, Mat 7:23). Num 22:18; Num 23:12; Num 24:16, Deut 6:4, Jdg 2:10, *Prov 30:12, Isa 29:13; *Isa 48:1; Isa 58:2; Isa 58:2, Jer 12:2, +*Eze 33:31, Hos 8:2, 3, +*Mat 7:21; Mat 21:19; Mat 21:30; Mat 27:4, +*Mar 7:6, Luk 13:26; Luk 21:8, **Joh 8:54; **Joh 8:55, Rom 2:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; **Rom 10:9; **Rom 10:10, *2Ti 3:5, 6, 7, 8, *1Jn 2:4, Jud 1:4.

know. Gr. oida, Joh 8:55 note. Psa 147:19, 20, Amos 3:2, Jer 5:2; +**Jer 22:16, Rom 2:20; Rom 3:1, 2; Rom 9:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, %1Th 4:5, +*1Jn 2:3, 4, 5; 1Jn 4:20.

but in works. Gen 27:41, Lev 11:5, Deut 14:7, Jdg 2:10, 2Sa 15:12, Job 18:21, Psa 14:1; Psa 14:3; Psa 36:1, Mat 23:3, Luk 20:47, Php 3:2, Col 1:21, 22, %Heb 11:4, Jas 2:14, 1Jn 2:9; 1Jn 2:11; 1Jn 3:15; 1Jn 4:20.

they deny. Gr. arneomai (S# G720, Luk 12:9). Tit 2:12, Jos 24:27, Job 31:28, Isa 1:12, 13, 14, 15, Jer 6:20, Amos 5:21, 22, 23, +1Ti 5:8, 2Ti 2:12, 13; 2Ti 3:5.

being abominable. Gr. bdeluktos (S# G947, only here), detestable, that is, (specifically) idolatrous (Strong). *Job 15:16, Prov 14:1, Prov 17:15, Mat 24:15, *Rev 21:8; *Rev 21:27.

and disobedient. Gr. apeithēs (S# G545, Luk 1:17), unpersuadable, that is, contumacious (Strong). Tit 3:3, *1Sa 15:22-24, *Eph 5:6, 1Ti 1:9.

and unto every good work. Tit 2:7; Tit 3:1; Tit 3:8; Tit 3:14, Jer 6:30, Mat 26:10, +Act 9:36, *Rom 1:28, 2Ti 2:21; *2Ti 3:8; *2Ti 3:17.

reprobate. or, void of judgment. Gr. adokimos (S# G96, 2Co 13:5). %Jer 22:16, +*Rom 1:28, +1Co 9:27 g. 2Co 13:5.

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Daily Bible Nugget #531, 1 John 2:28

The Nugget:

1Jn 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

My Comment:

I am concerned that there are young people I know that are former students of mine or friends of my former students, for they seem totally unaware that their lifestyle choices are not at all in line with how the Bible teaches us to live. One person in particular was deeply concerned and asked for prayer on behalf of her brother who was hospitalized. But upon his successful recovery, she celebrated by turning to the use of alcohol. That is not “abiding in him.” “Abiding” in Him means to remain in Him, to live according to what Jesus taught us about how to live.

Unless we faithfully abide in him, that is, abide in our Lord Jesus Christ, we have no basis for confidence, and will be ashamed before Him at his coming.

We have no basis to know exactly when our Lord Jesus Christ will appear. We are commanded by Jesus Himself to watch (Mark 13:33, 34, 35, 37.  Luke 21:36) and be ready. What we do know is that Jesus is coming again.

The fact of the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is to be a strong motivation for us to always live in a manner that is pleasing to Him:

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

May these words of encouragement and instruction from God’s Word encourage us all to make wise choices about how we live, remembering to ask ourselves, “Is this pleasing to Him?” Are my life-choices reflecting obedience to God’s command that we pursue holiness?

Hebrews 12:14
14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
King James Version

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Daily Bible Nugget #530, Deuteronomy 28:64

The Nugget:

Deu 28:64  And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

My Comment:

A question arose about this verse, Deuteronomy 28:64, in a Facebook discussion I saw and responded to this morning. It is important to know how to do real Bible study. I think this is a good example to follow.

My response on Facebook:

The only proper way to understand the Bible correctly is to consult ALL that the Bible itself declares about the subject under consideration. This can only be done by considering the immediate context, the verses before and after, of a given verse being studied or at issue, AND by carefully considering the cross references given for that passage and its related passages.
 
Deuteronomy 28:64,
 
Deu 28:64  And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
 
Here are the cross references given in my book, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, for Deuteronomy 28:64,
 
Deuteronomy 28:64

scatter. See on Deut 4:27, 28; Deut 29:28; Deut 32:26, Lev 26:33, 2Ki 15:29; 2Ki 17:6; 2Ki 25:21, 2Ch 6:36, Neh 1:8, *Psa 44:11; Psa 59:11; Psa 92:9; Psa 106:27, Pro 2:22, *Isa 24:1, *+Jer 9:16; Jer 10:18; Jer 13:19; Jer 13:24; *Jer 15:4; *Jer 15:14; Jer 16:13; Jer 18:17; Jer 24:9; *Jer 34:17; Jer 49:32; Jer 49:36; Jer 50:17; Jer 52:27, Lam 4:16, *Eze 5:10; Eze 11:16, 17; *Eze 20:23; *Eze 22:15; Eze 36:19, Hos 9:6; Hos 9:17, Amos 9:4, *Zec 7:14, *Luk 21:24, Jas 1:1, 1Pe 1:1.

among. Hos 8:8, **Amos 9:9.

all. FS171A, +Exo 9:6, Jer 29:18; Jer 49:36.

from the one end. Deut 30:4, 1Ki 8:46, Isa 23:12; Isa 26:15, Jer 14:18, Zec 2:6.

and there. Lam 1:3, Hos 9:17.

thou shalt serve. Deut 28:36, Jer 16:13, Eze 20:32, Rom 11:10.

other gods. Deut 29:26; Deut 32:17.

which neither. Jer 19:4.
 
I have used the double asterisk symbol, ** , to indicate a crucially important cross reference. That symbol is used just once among all the references given for Deuteronomy 28:64. It is given for the key word “among” for the reference to Amos 9:9,
 
Amos 9:9
9  For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.
King James Version
 
Note the expression at Amos 9:9, “yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.”
 
Here are the cross references for the clause, “yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth”
 
yet shall not. Gen 19:22, 2Ki 10:23, Isa 27:12; Isa 65:8, Jer 30:11; **Jer 31:35; **Jer 31:36; *Jer 46:28; Jer 51:5, +*Eze 9:6; Eze 12:16; **Eze 39:28, Hab 1:12, *Zec 10:9; *Zec 13:8; *Zec 13:9, *Mal 3:6, +*Mat 3:12; *Mat 10:29, Luk 22:31, Act 27:44, +*Rom 11:1, Rev 7:3.
 
Once again, take special note of the cross references I have given emphasis to by means of the double asterisk symbol: Jeremiah 31:35, 36,
 
Jeremiah 31:35
35  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
King James Version
Jeremiah 31:36
36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
King James Version
 
The other cross reference given the double asterisk emphasis is Ezekiel 39:28,
 
Ezekiel 39:28
28  Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.
King James Version
 
The Bible clearly predicts that though the nation of Israel has been scattered among the nations, God will regather them all, down to every last individual, in the future back to their own land. God affirmed in Jeremiah 31:35, 36 that this promise to the nation of Israel is as secure as the fact that the sun still shines by day and the moon and stars shine by night, and the promise will not be negated until those ordinances cease.
 
I think this fully settles the issue for anyone with eyes to see and the ability to read what God has written in His word, the Bible.
 
This is fully confirmed by Malachi 3:6,
 
Malachi 3:6
6  For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
King James Version
 
 
 
 
 
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FB TOPIC: “Do you think Jesus would care that they ‘Aren’t from our country?'”

TOPIC: “Do you think Jesus would care that they “aren’t from our country”?

The Nugget:

Mat 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Mat 25:35  For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, (ESV)

Mat 25:35  When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, (CEV)

 

My Comment:

A very nice friend on Facebook posted the topic above. That post has attracted quite a lively discussion! I include only my three comments. The last comment did not post. Fortunately, I saved the comment before attempting to post it.

My first comment:

He most certainly would care! Jesus would be against lawlessness. Jesus could never support the violation of God’s written word found in the Bible. National borders are divinely ordained.

Deuteronomy 32:8
8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
King James Version

Deuteronomy 19:14
14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour’s landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
King James Version

Here is the note on Deuteronomy 19:14 which is included in my Bible study software resource, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:

Deuteronomy 19:14
shalt not remove. Note: Before the extensive use of fences, landed property was marked out by stones or posts, set up so as to ascertain the divisions of family estates. It was easy to remove one of these landmarks, and set it in a different place; and thus a dishonest man might enlarge his own estate by contracting that of his neighbour. Hence it was a matter of considerable importance to prevent this crime among the Israelites; among whom, removing them would be equivalent to forging, altering, destroying, or concealing the title-deeds of an estate among us. Accordingly, by the Mosaic law, it was not only prohibited in the commandment against covetousness, but we find a particular curse expressly annexed to it in Deu_27:17, A similar law existed among the Greeks, as appears from Plato; and Numa Pompilius made this crime capital. Josephus considers this law a general prohibition, intended not only to protect private property, but also to preserve the boundaries of kingdoms and countries inviolable. *Deut 27:17, Job 24:2, *Pro 22:28; *+Pro 23:10, Hos 5:10, Act 17:26.

Notice the cross reference given to Acts 17:26,

Acts 17:26
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
King James Version

The principle of the inviolability of national boundaries is therefore also a New Testament principle. Notice “the bounds of their habitation.”

There is much more in the Bible that relates to this question, but I think I have highlighted some principles that Jesus would not violate. It would be much better to solve the problems in the countries these people are fleeing than to open our borders to everyone who wants to come here illegally.

My second comment:

From what I have read and studied about our current border crisis, there are many strange anomalies. Remember that the news sources generally available to all to see and hear are extremely biased and unreliable.

In the first place, it is my understanding that under international law, refugees are to seek asylum in the first country they come to upon exiting their own country. This would seem to be Mexico, not the USA.

In the second place, the videos I have seen of the crowds of refugees coming to our border are well dressed. Some are even carrying the flags of the country they are allegedly fleeing from.

In the third place, if individuals are asylum seekers, they surely should not be breaking our laws as their first act by entering our country illegally.

In the fourth place, it is a known and widely reported fact that there is a significant number of individuals among the group of alleged refugees that are gang members who have committed serious felonies in their own countries. They are dangerous, lawless individuals.

In the fifth place, allowing such a great number of alleged asylum seekers into this country seriously negatively affects the available entry-level job opportunities of poor people, minority people, and those already here who need to have access to entry level jobs.

In the sixth place, we need to ask and find the answer to the question: who is funding this operation, and what are their motives? Any individual or group who favors lawbreaking on such a wide scale is highly suspect to me.

THE ANSWER may well be to strictly enforce on all employers the law, already in place, that requires the consistent use of “e-verify,” and make the penalty for breaking that law or for the failure to enforce that law so high that all employers will enforce it or go immediately out of business.

The principle is simple and straightforward: Where there is no penalty, there is no law.

Jesus Himself warned that one of the signs of the last days would be lawlessness. That is just what we see before our eyes going on with the massive, unrelenting assault on our borders.

No other country in the world has the policy of “open borders.” It would be an unwise policy for us to have such a policy here.

My third and final comment:

Alexis Epps That is a link to some very good material. Thank you for sharing it here. I listened to the entire podcast. I also downloaded for reference their study about how aliens are to be treated according to the Bible.

The three professors did not address the issue as directly as I did in my comments above. I did find their reference to Ezekiel 47:22 to be most helpful. That may have been the only direct reference to the Bible text by chapter and verse included in the podcast itself.

Their document containing a Biblical study about aliens and their treatment does include an abundance of good Bible references.

The professors seem to be addressing problems that they assume exist at the border. The main issue I heard them bring up is the matter of separating children from their parents.

That matter may have been corrected since they thought through their position.

But there are other issues they no doubt could not address in the brief time available even in a 48 minute podcast.

For example, the claim of a family relationship between children and alleged parents is often questionable. Children may be being used as a means for adults claiming to be the parent to enter this country illegally.

The solution appears to be to stop making it so easy to break the laws of this country and get away with it. If the laws we already have were properly enforced with real penalties, then the crowds of individuals now seeking to enter this country illegally would be greatly diminished. I mentioned this in my comment above about enforcing E-verify. I myself as a teacher in Detroit at one point had to produce proof of my citizenship! I see no problem in requiring others to do the same.

There is much in the Bible itself that instructs us how we are to treat genuine aliens. That is a whole different issue. That is likely the aspect almost every other commenter here is addressing.

The aliens and foreigners in the Bible were not trying to enter Israel illegally. They were not trying to overrun Israel. They were not being illicitly attracted to come to the land of Israel for the purpose of changing permanently the demographics of the country for political purposes as is the case with what is happening at our southern border at this time. They were not being enticed to enter Israel as a source of cheaper labor to displace the native citizens by depressing wages artificially.

So, as for what the Bible itself teaches about how innocent aliens and strangers or foreigners are to be treated, the Bible is most clear and insistent.

God will severely judge both individuals and nations which treat others unjustly.

I think that Malachi 3:5 is one of the most striking verses in the Bible about this. I will give this verse in three different English translations (King James Version, English Standard Version, and the excellent and very clear Contemporary English Version):

Mal 3:5  And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV)

Mal 3:5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. (ESV)

Mal 3:5 The LORD All-Powerful said: I’m now on my way to judge you. And I will quickly condemn all who practice witchcraft or cheat in marriage or tell lies in court or rob workers of their pay or mistreat widows and orphans or steal the property of foreigners or refuse to respect me. (CEV)

 

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The Origin of Idolatry

by Vijay Chandra

The Origin of Idolatry: Genesis 1:26, 27, 28, 2:15,  3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Introduction:

Though Genesis 3 does not explicitly label Adam and Eve’s sin as ‘idolatry’, we must investigate further whether or not a concept of idolatry is present there. It would  be strange to find  the sin of idolatry often throughout the Old Testament but not in the first sin of Adam and Eve at the beginning of the history, which plunged the rest of humanity into iniquity (Rom 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). I will here try to show that when Adam stopped being committed to God and reflecting his image, he revered something else in the place of God and resembled his ‘new’ object of worship. Thus at the heart of Adam’s sin was turning from God and replacing reverence for God with a ‘new’ object of reverence to which Adam became conformed. Now the word ‘idol’ does not appear in the texts. But let us look anyway in these texts.

GENESIS 1-3:

  1. Adam as the image and likeness of the Creator: 

    a. In order to explore the possibility of this idolatrous idea in Genesis 1-3, the purpose of Adam and Eve’s creation and placement in Eden needs a brief

Genesis 1:28 affirms that Adam was to subdue the entire earth:God blessed them;……  Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that creeps on earth’. Genesis 1:27 provides the means by which the commission and goal of Genesis 1:28 was to be accomplished: humanity will fulfill  the commission by the means of being in God’s ‘image’. They were to reflect God’s kingship by being his vice-regents on earth.

b. Adam and Eve and their progeny were to be created in God’s image in order to reflect his character and glory and fill the earth with it (Genesis 1:27, 28).

c. What was Adam’s commission according to Genesis 1:27, 28?

  1. ‘to cultivate’ [with connotations of serving and ‘to guard’ (Genesis 2:15) as a priest King is probably part of the commission given in Genesis 1:27, 28. Hence, Genesis 2:15 continues the theme of subduing and filling the earth by humanity created in the divine image.
  2. This ‘ruling’ and ‘subduing’ over all the earth is plausibly part of a functional definition of the divine image in which Adam was made. Just as God, after his initial work of creation, subdued the chaos, ruled over it and further created and filled the earth with all kinds of animate life, so Adam and Eve, in their garden abode, were to reflect God’s activities in Genesis 1 by fulfilling the commission to ‘subdue’ and ‘rule’ over all the earth and to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Gen 1:26, 28).They were to reflect him by reflecting his activities in Genesis 1 of subduing—God’s subduing of the darkness and activities of ruling [God’s rule over creation  by his creative word], of multiplying [= God creating] and of resting.

Point:

Even the name of the tree—‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’—of which he was not to eat was suggestive of Adam’s magisterial duty—‘the discerning between good and evil’ is a Hebrew expression that refers to ‘kings or authoritative figures being able to ‘make judgments’ in carrying out justice. In the Scriptures the phrase usually refers to figures in a position of judging or ruling over others (2 Sam 14:17; 1 Kings 3:9; Is 7:15, 16). It is in this connection that Solomon prays to have ‘an understanding heart to judge’—- to discern between good and evil’ (1 Kings 3:9; cf. 1 Kings 3:28), not only reflects his great wisdom, but he would appear to echo “the tree of the knowledge [for discerning] of good and evil” (Gen 2:15), from which Adam and Eve were prohibited to eat (Gen 2:17, 3:5, 22).

Many commentators differ over  the meaning of this tree in Eden but the most promising  approach explains the tree by determining the use of ‘know/discern good and evil’ elsewhere in the Old Testament.

  1. In this light, the ‘tree’ in Eden seems to have functioned as a judgment tree, the place where Adam should have gone to ‘discern between good and evil’ and thus where he should have judged the serpent as “evil” and pronounced judgment on it, as it enters the Garden. Trees were also places where judgments were pronounced (Judges 4:5; 1 Sam 22:6, 19; cf. 1 Sam 14:2) so that trees were places that were symbolic of judgment, usually pronounced by a prophet. So Adam should have discerned that the serpent was evil and judged in the name of God at the place of the judgment tree.

Point:

The notion that Adam was set in a sanctuary as a ‘royal image’ of his God is an ancient concept found even outside Israel. Parallels from Assyrian and Egypt typically show that images of gods were placed in the god’s temple and that kings were viewed as living images of a god and thus reflections of that god.

The following examples of this show how natural it is that images of a god are placed in a temple after it has been constructed. Ashurbanipal II, 883-859  B.C. “created an icon of the golden Ishtar……from the finest stones, fine gold —[thus] making her great divinity resplendent,” and he “set up in [the temple] her dais [throne platform] [with the icon] for eternity”.

Pharaoh Seti the first [302-1290 B.C.] built for the underworld god Osiris a temple, like heaven;  its divine ennead are like stars in it, its radiance is in the faces [of men] like the horizon of Re [sun god] rising therein at early morning. The Egyptian believed that the sun god, Re, would empower other lesser  deities to enter stone images placed in the temple.  Accordingly, an inscription from the Pyramid Age affirms that the Creator Ptah “fashioned  the lesser god’s—He installed the god’s in their holy places——he equipped their holy places. He made likeness of their bodies—Then the god’s entered into their bodies of every wood and every metal idol. Ramese the 3rd [1195-1164 B.C.] said that in the temple of the sun god Re he fashioned the god’s in their mysterious forms of gold, silver, and every costly stone. Indeed, ‘the king is a sacred image, the most sacred of the sacred  images of the Great One. The Egyptian King is not merely a ‘sacred image’ of the deity, but he is a living image of the god. Other Egyptian texts say that the god Horus has acted on behalf of his spirit in you [the Pharaoh],  and one king is recorded  as saying, “I am the essence of a god, the son of a god, the messenger of a god.

  1. Adam an Image-Bearer was to Reflect the Character of God.a. Just as Adam’s son was in Adam’s likeness and ‘image’ (Gen 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5) so as to resemble his human father in appearance and character, so Adam was a son of God who was to reflect his Father’s image.

    b. This means that the command for Adam to subdue, rule and fill the earth  includes uppermost that he is a king, filling the earth, not merely with progeny, but image-bearing progeny who will reflect God’s glory [“the chief end of men is to glorify God and to enjoy Him” (WCF)].

    c. As we have noted before through examples, ancient Near Eastern kings were considered to be ‘sons’ of their god and to represent the image of their god in their rule, especially reflecting the god’s glory and, accordingly, the manifestation of his presence. And the image of gods in Mesopotamia and Egypt were intended  to represent the god and manifest his presence.

    d. The Genesis portrayal of a human king created in the image of God and being placed in the sanctuary of Eden is even generally in line with the ancient Near Eastern practice in which images of god were placed in a ‘garden like temple’ and were to represent the likeness of and reflect the glory of the god. There is a fascinating parallel from Mesopotamia, where the creation, animation and installation of divine images followed a strictly specified set of rites. A series of rituals were acted out in the workshop of a craftsman, at a riverbank and finally in the temple. Through these actions the image of a god was born, brought to life, clothed and changed into a living manifestation of the god. Its image was  then installed in a temple.

    e. In the same manner God likewise did the following:

  1. God formed Adam in his workshop (Gen 2:7a), Adam was transmuted, a living person by God’s breath (Gen 2:7b), and was fully brought to life (Gen 2:2c).
  2. Next, he was installed into the Garden (Gen 2:15). Such a background suggests further that Adam was a living image of the true God not of a false pagan deity, and as such was placed into the Garden temple and as living image he was to reflect  God’s glory and likeness. These ancient Near Eastern similarities are only imperfect shadows of the genuine task described in Genesis 1-3.
  3. Adam in the Distorted Image and Likeness of the Creation:a.

    Genesis 3 recounts however, that Adam and Eve sinned and did not reflect God’s image.
    b. They violated God’s command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam failed in the task he was commissioned to do, which included not permitting anything unclean and antagonistic to God to enter into the Garden temple.
    c. Though Gen 2-3 does not explicitly say that Adam’s ruling and subduing task was to guard the Garden from the satanic snake, the implication is there [Beale: The Temple and the Church’s Mission, pp 66-67], Adam did not guard the Garden but allowed a foul snake to enter, which brought sin, chaos, and disorder into the sanctuary and into Adam and Eve’s lives. He allowed the serpent to ‘rule over him and his family’ rather than ruling over it and casting it out of the Garden.
    d. Rather than extending the divine presence of the garden sanctuary by reflecting it as he and his progeny moved outward, Adam and Eve were expelled from it. Though it was to be only in the Eden temple where Adam and Eve were to reflect God’s rest, outside the Garden, where they were exiled, they could find only wearisome toil (Gen 3:19).They disobeyed God’s mandate in Gen 1:28, could no longer reflect God’s living image, as they were designed to do, and now would experience death (Gen 3:19). Instead of wanting to be near God to reflect him, Adam and his wife “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the Garden” (Gen 3:8,  3:10).

Point:

There is no explicit vocabulary describing Adam’s sin as ‘idol worship’, but the idea appears to be bound up with his transgression. But how can we discern this? We may recall from Ex.20:1, 2 that God forbid idol worship. So what is idol worship? It is revering anything other than God. At least Adam’s allegiance shifted from God to himself (self-focused) and probably also to Satan, since he comes to resemble the serpent’s character in some ways.

  1. The serpent was a liar (Gen 3:4), and a deceiver (Gen 3:1, 13), and Adam does not answer God forthrightly when God confronted him: “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded not to eat?” (Gen 3:11). Adam answers God, “The woman who you gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate” (Gen 3:12). He was deceptively blaming Eve for his sins which shifted accountability from him to his wife, in contrast to the biblical testimony that Adam was accountable for the ‘Fall’ and not Eve (Rom 5:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19).
  2. Adam, like the serpent, does not trust the word of God (with respect to Adam, cf. Gen 2:16, 3:6; and with respect to the serpent, cf. Gen 3:1, 4, 5). Adam’s shift from trusting the serpent meant that he no longer reflected God’s image but must have begun to mirror the serpent’s image.
  3. Eve’s misquotation of God’s commandment in Gen 2:16, 17, mirrored the serpent’s intended change of the same command in Gen 3:4, “You surely will not die” which was already implied by the serpent’s question (in Gen 3:1). We need to remember that after God put Adam into the Garden in Gen 2:15 to ‘cultivate’ and ‘to guard’ the garden, Adam’s threefold statement to remember by which he would be helped to serve and guard in Gen 2:16, 17.


When confronted by the serpent, Eve failed to remember God’s word accurately or intentionally changed it for her own purpose.

  1. First, she minimized their privileges by saying merely ‘we may eat’, whereas God had said ‘you may freely eat’.
  2. Second: Eve minimized the judgment by saying ‘lest you die’, whereas God said, ‘you shall surely die’.
  3. Third: she maximized the prohibition by affirming, ‘ you shall—not touch it’ becoming the first legalistic in history [for God had originally said only that they ‘shall not eat’—it]. In effect, the serpent’s questioning of God’s word (Gen 3:1) and negation of God’s command (Gen 3:4) was a nullification of the truthful effect of God’s word. Eve’s changes to God’s command were a reflection of the serpent’s ungodly stance, which also represented a negation of the full truth of that command. She made changes to God’s Word from Gen 2 which shows that her reverence for God had subtly shifted from God to Satan and that she began to resemble the devil’s character, and it led to her ruin. As Adam had done, she deceptively shifted her own blamefulness to Satan.

Conclusion:

There also seems to be an element of ‘self-worship’ [idol worshipping is ‘self worship’] in that Adam deceived himself to think that he knew what was better for him than God did, that he wanted to advance himself at all costs, and that he trusted himself, a created man, instead of in the Creator. He had likely heard the serpent’s tempting word to Eve (Gen 3:5, 22, 23).

On the one hand, Adam could only become like God and resemble him by trusting and obeying Him. But there was a way in which Adam had become like God that was not good; indeed, it was blasphemous. Adam had arrogated to himself the authority to make ethical law, but this is the prerogative of God and not the role of human beings. Knowing good and evil refers to making judgment. The tree, I contend, was a place of where Adam was to recognize either concurrence with or the breaking of God’s law. Accordingly, as a priest-king he was to pronounce judgment on anything not conforming to God’s righteous statutes. Adam, however, not only stood by while his covenantal ally, Eve, was deceived by the serpent, but he decided for himself that God’s word was wrong and the devil’s word was right. In fact, in doing what he did, Adam was reflecting another feature of the serpent who exalted his code of behavior over against the dictates of God’s righteous judgment standard.

I believe this is the origin of ‘idol’ which comes from Adam.

Christopher Wright says the following:

God accepts that humans have indeed breached the Creator-creature distinction. Not that humans have now ‘become god’s’, but they have chosen to act as though they were—defining and deciding for themselves  what they will regard as good and evil. Therein lies the root of all other forms of idolatry; we defy our capacities, and thereby make gods of ourselves and our choices and all their implications. God then shrinks in honor from the prospect of human immortality and eternal life in such a fallen state and prevents access to the ‘tree of life’.

At the root, then, all idolatry is human rejection of the Godness of God and the finality of God’s moral authority. The fruit of that basic rebellion is to be seen in many other ways in which idolatry blurs the distinction between God and creation, to the detriment of both [Mission of God].

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #529, 1 Peter 3:12

The Nugget:

1Pe 3:12  For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (KJV)

1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (ESV)

1Pe 3:12 The Lord watches over everyone who obeys him, and he listens to their prayers. But he opposes everyone who does evil.” (CEV)

My Comment:

I saw this verse on Facebook a few days ago. The Facebook meme did not include the last part of the verse, “but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.”

Peter in his letter was quoting Psalm 34:15, 16,

Psa 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
Psa 34:16  The face of the LORD is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. (KJV)

Psa 34:15 If you obey the LORD, he will watch over you and answer your prayers.
Psa 34:16 But God despises evil people, and he will wipe them all from the earth, till they are forgotten. (CEV)

There are many encouraging promises in this passage. Psalm 34:15 provides a condition, which if met, promises that in return for obedience God will watch over you and answer your prayers.

I posted a thorough study here of why some prayers are not answered (see Psalm 66:18). Psalm 34:15 provides an example of one reason the Bible gives: failure to obey the Lord.

The Bible is very clear that the Lord is against them that do evil. In our day, that might well mean that a great many individuals are in serious trouble in the light of eternity!

To dig further into what the Bible says about all these matters found in 1 Peter 3:12, read the cross references from The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury shared below:

1 Peter 3:12

the eyes. FS22A7, +Deut 11:12. Deut 11:12, 2Ch 14:7; *2Ch 16:9, Ezr 5:5, Job 36:7, +Psa 11:4; Psa 33:18; +*>Psa 34:15; Psa 34:16, +*Pro 15:3, *Jer 24:6, Zec 4:10.

of the Lord. +*1Pe 2:3 note. Jas 5:4.

are over. Gen 39:21, Ezr 8:22, Psa 11:7, Jer 39:12.

the righteous. 2Pe 2:7.

his ears. +*Exo 22:23, 2Ch 7:15, Psa 5:1; Psa 10:17; Psa 34:6; Psa 55:1; Psa 65:2; +*Psa 77:1, *Pro 15:8; *Pro 15:29, Isa 37:17, +*Joh 9:31, +*Jas 5:4; +Jas 5:16.

prayers. Gr. deēsis (S# G1162, 1Ti 2:1). *1Jn 5:14; *1Jn 5:15.

but. Lev 17:10; Lev 20:3; Lev 20:5, 6; Lev 26:17, +*Psa 66:18; Psa 80:16, Jer 21:10; Jer 44:11, Eze 14:8; +Eze 15:7, Amos 9:4.

the face. FS22A4, +Gen 19:13, Lev 17:10; Lev 20:5, Psa 68:2, +Act 2:28.

against. Gr. upon. **+Gen 6:13 (T566). 2Sa 22:28, Psa 21:9; +Psa 34:16 (T303). *Jer 23:30, Lam 4:16, Eze 13:8; Eze 34:10, Amos 9:4.

do evil. +*Psa 34:16; +*Psa 37:9, Isa 14:20, 2Ti 3:13, Rev 11:18.

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Daily Bible Nugget #528, Psalm 116:15

The Nugget:

Psa 116:15  Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

My Comment:

I and several family members witnessed the final hours of my mother-in-law, Grace Opificius, on Tuesday, June 24, 2019, when she drew her last breath at 12:30 am. She is now at home with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).

In Bible language, “saints” include every even very ordinary believers, so my mother-in-law is most definitely included in that category. There may be some faiths where a funeral is a very sad, even frightening, occasion. But for those who truly have been saved, while we may experience sorrow here, it is most certainly a time of rejoicing for any departed saint to be welcomed into heaven.

Known in our home affectionately as Grandma Grace, she was delighted to engage in Real Bible Study. For the first five years of the posts on this site, I often had her read my post before I hit the key to make it live on the Internet. I had her check what I wrote for clarity and suitability.

We studied the Bible together as a family. We did more than just read the Bible. We studied the Bible using the cross-reference Bible study method. We worked our way through a set of cross references by reading each reference in turn, round robin style.

We spent much time studying Bible prophecy. I read aloud from George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom, and read through most of the three volumes twice.

We also studied Bible doctrines. We were especially interested in what the Bible actually teaches about the mode of Christian baptism. I read aloud to the family not only the relevant passages in the Bible, but also some older printed books on the subject.

I enjoyed taking Grandma Grace to Bible studies with members of my adult Sunday school class.

I also took her each month to get her food allotment. We had good fellowship during the ride to and from where she needed to go.

Grandma Grace served at a local elementary school as a “foster grandparent.” She helped students with their work, as needed. One boy was especially needy, and during a parent-teacher conference, Grandma Grace mentioned to the boy’s grandmother that her son-in-law had written a reading program that might help him. The grandmother bought a copy, and the boy did much better the rest of the way through school. Now my reading program is available on Amazon. Just search for the title, The Language Enrichment Program.

Some years before that, Grandma Grace drove me around. She took my wife and I to the hospital each time a son was born. When I was shot in the school parking lot in Detroit, she drove my wife and two young sons to come get me and take me home from the hospital.

I think I have been closer to my mother-in-law, Grandma Grace, than I was to my own mother! We will dearly miss her, but we know she is in a better place now.

For those who read here and have the time and inclination, I provide below the cross references for Psalm 116:15 from the Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury: 

Psalms 116:15

Precious. Note: That is, the Lord accounts the death of His saints of so much importance, that he will not suffer their enemies cut them off before His appointed time; all the circumstances of their death being regulated by infinite wisdom and love for their final and eternal benefit. William Kay notes: “Precious;”—not lightly permitted:—and, when permitted, prized by Him as the final act of self-surrender, in which their souls are made partakers of Christ’s atonement,—sprinkled at their exodus with the blood of the Paschal Lamb. “The Apostolical Constitutions recommend this (among other passages from the Psalms) for use at the funerals of the faithful. In the Decian persecution, Babylas, Bishop of Antioch, sang these words cheerfully on his way to martyrdom” (Delitszch). Psa 9:12; Psa 31:15; *Psa 37:32; *Psa 37:33; Psa 49:7-8; *Psa 72:14; Psa 126:5, 6; Psa 139:17, 1Sa 3:1; *1Sa 25:29; 1Sa 26:21, 2Ki 1:14, *Job 5:26, Pro 20:15, Isa 28:16, Hos 11:4, Mat 26:7, *Luk 16:22, *Rev 1:18; **Rev 14:13.

the death. Gen 4:10, Num 23:10, +**1Co 15:55.

of his saints. or, separated ones (CB). Psa 4:3; Psa 16:3; Psa 31:23; Psa 37:28, 1Sa 18:30, 2Ki 20:6, Isa 38:5, Act 12:17, Eph 3:18.

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Daily Bible Nugget #527, Hebrews 5:7

The Nugget:

Heb 5:7  Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

My Comment:

There are now some among us of other religious faiths who try to use Hebrews 5:7 to make false claims about our Lord Jesus Christ.

These individuals ask, “If Jesus is God, how could God pray to God?”

If you are a Christian, can you answer that question? If not, read on!

The Bible teaches that Jesus has always existed as a Person. There was a time before his birth in Bethlehem when he was not yet a man but he existed as a Person.

John the Baptist said:

John 1:15  John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

Notice that John states:  “for he was before me.”

Yet we know that the birth of John the Baptist took place before Jesus was born to Mary.

So, when John the Baptist states “for he was before me,” John the Baptist must be referring to the existence Jesus had from all eternity past before he became a man when he was born in Bethlehem.

Jesus himself asserted his prior existence:

John 8:58
58  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
King James Version

John 17:5
5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
King James Version

The writer of the book of Hebrews makes a similar assertion:

Hebrews 13:8
8  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
King James Version

Jesus made the claim that he was seen by Abraham, and that Abraham rejoiced to see him (John 8:56). When we read the account in the Old Testament where this event is recorded in the book of Genesis, we realize that Jesus is claiming to be the Angel of the Lord who visited Abraham. In that Genesis passage, this divine visitor is also called Jehovah.

Jesus was truly a man. He had a human nature. Jesus was also at the same time truly God, and had a divine nature. The doctrine of the two natures of or in Christ is in theology called the hypostatic union.

Individuals from other faiths are probably not familiar enough with Bible doctrine and Christian doctrine to understand these things about our Lord Jesus Christ.

Going back to Hebrews 5:7, I have seen, probably more than once, individuals from another world religion ask “Why was Jesus afraid to die?”

They read that Jesus “offered up prayers” with “strong crying and tears” unto him that “was able to save him from death.”

They argue that Jesus, therefore, never died. God saved Jesus from experiencing death. Therefore, Jesus did not die on the cross. Therefore, it was someone else, not Jesus, who was crucified in his place. Of course the historical record in the Bible does not suggest this at all. The text of Hebrews 5:7 is being woefully misread.

But what about the statement in Hebrews 5:7 that says Jesus was heard, “in that he feared”?

Doesn’t that statement prove (1) his prayer was answered so he did not die, and (2) he was afraid to die?

To suggest this is what Hebrews 5:7 says is to completely misread the text.

The statement that God “was able to save him from death” is stated in the underlying original Greek text that God was able to save him not from (Greek, apo) death but out of death. Thus Jesus went down into death but was saved out of (Greek, ek) it by resurrection. God most certainly answered that prayer, for Jesus arose bodily from the grave on precisely the third day by resurrection just as Jesus repeatedly predicted (John 2:19; Matthew 17:23. Mark 8:31. Luke 24:7. Luke 24:21).

Furthermore, Jesus is not said to be afraid to die.  The expression in Hebrews 5:7, “in that he feared,” is given the alternate translation by the King James Version translators themselves, “or, for his piety.” His piety surely has absolutely nothing to do with being afraid! Later in the book of Hebrews itself we read:

Heb 12:2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Note especially the statement, “who for the joy that was set before him.” That hardly reflects any notion that our Lord Jesus Christ was afraid to die for us.

And as for the question, “How could God pray to God?” That is answered quite directly and simply by understanding that our Lord Jesus Christ has two natures:  a human nature and his divine nature. As a true man he was able as man to pray to God. I see no problem with that.

It will greatly help you to grow in your faith if you will take the time to become very familiar with the contents of the Gospel of John! You can learn more by studying the verses related to the questions others are asking by using the cross references and notes found in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury which I often share here.

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