Daily Bible Nugget #453, 1 Thessalonians 5:21

The Nugget:

1Th 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

My Comment:

We must carefully check on all claims made about what the Bible teaches. Any claim must be backed by direct reference to the Bible.

We must be most careful about accepting as true what we have always been taught by others about what the Bible teaches.

This can be a very painful and shocking exercise at times. I remember when I first experienced the problem of learning that what I thought was true turned out to be wrong! I was studying Ephesians 5:18. I discovered that the expression used there translated “but be filled with the Spirit” in the King James Version ought rather to be rendered “but be filled by the Spirit.” This is a shocking difference, and if you don’t sense the significance of this difference, read the note I have written for this verse in either The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury and you will get the point. At the time I first saw this, I laid out on the living room floor of my apartment all the book resources I had that touched upon this verse. After laboriously reading all of them, I was convinced that the best evidence requires this change from “with” to “by” and means we are not filled with the Holy Spirit like a cup is filled with milk, but rather we are filled by the Holy Spirit with gifts for service to others.

Very recently one of my Facebook friends posted the following striking comment taken from A. W. Pink:

“Not all of the vials of judgment that have or shall be poured out upon the wicked world give such a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin as the wrath of God let loose upon his Son.”  A. W. Pink

Now I must say that I have found many things written by Mr. A. W. Pink very helpful, especially his earlier writings. I have cited Mr. Pink at least twice in my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, at Leviticus 23:17 and at Isaiah 53:7. There may be other citations that I do not recall. I have found his commentary on the Gospel of John helpful. One of my favorite works of his is a relatively small volume on The Divine Inspiration of the Bible and another titled Interpretation of the Scriptures. I have many more of his titles in printed book form. So, I am not attacking the person, but the statement made by the person when I address what is said in the quotation immediately above.

The idea that God the Father “let loose upon His Son” the “wrath of God” is not found anywhere in the Bible that I can find.

This is a popular but very mistaken view of what transpired when Jesus was on the Cross. Nowhere in the Bible does the Bible state that Jesus was punished for our sin. If Jesus paid the penalty, to whom was the penalty paid? Chapter and Verse Please!

The words “penalty” and “paid” are nowhere in Scripture associated with the work Christ did on our behalf on the Cross, so far as I have been able to find using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible.

If it were true that Jesus suffered the wrath of God for us, that God the Father poured out His wrath upon His Son, that would divide the Trinity. The thought is blasphemy, and not the Gospel presented in the New Testament.

As for the penalty for sin, God established just what that penalty was from the very beginning (see Genesis 2:16, 17). The penalty for sin is and has always been spiritual death.

Those who leave this life in the state of spiritual death will suffer for all eternity the punishment originally prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41). That dreadful punishment takes place in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 21:8).

The more accurate view of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ is to affirm that He voluntarily (John 10:18) bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) as both our Priest and the Sacrifice, thus Priestly-Sacrificial Atonement, for He Himself is declared to be both the Sacrifice and the Atonement for our sin in 1 John 2:2, “And He, Himself, is Atonement concerning our sins; but not concerning ours only, but also concerning the world as a whole” (Lavender New Testament).

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Why so much division in the body of Christ?

The Nugget:

Joh_17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

My Comment:

I thought it might be good to share my response to a Facebook post by Cris Jackson, where she has written:

Why is there so much division in the body of Christ? In this world people need two things Christ and love! I will never understand why there are cliques in the body of Christ, they wont let certain people in, that’s not Christ like. In (John 15:19) It says the world takes care of its own, we should do the same as Christians. We are held to a higher standard. How will we ever win souls to Christ without love and respect? We don’t know what people have been through or endured! We owe it to all to respect and love, never disrespect anyone! It does not mean we have to compromise who we are in Christ, or accept a

persons sins. We are to love and challenge them to come higher, speaking the truth in love. That person out there sleeping around, that person out there on drugs, that thief, liar, cheat, that person taking their clothes off for a living, they need love! Remember what Jesus told the thief on the cross, after he repented? (Luke 23:43) And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” It’s God’s grace we’re not still out there! If you read up on Meerkats, if they are kicked out of their clan they die from lack of love. What do you think is happening to humans? (John 15:12) “This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

Lets Be Apart Of The Solution Not The Problem~

My Response:
Some of the division stems from doctrinal disagreements. Most of those would be resolved if all parties would come to the Bible as their source of authority and interpret it according to the rules of interpretation I posted in the October 2010 archives at Real Bible Study.
 
Some division stems from what you address, social cliques in the church. It is fine to have groups of friends with whom we more closely associate, but it becomes wrong when we fail to welcome and fully admit into our fellowship newcomers to our church. Part of the problem underlying that failure is sociological. Some churches have been identified as “village churches.” These are characterized by the fact that only those who were born into the congregation nine months before delivery are welcome. Newcomers are shunned, and never admitted into the inner circle. The other kind of church has been called the “camp church.” These churches are comprised of individuals who are there for spiritual reasons, who are eager to grow spiritually, and who are there for genuinely Christian fellowship, who love to study the Bible and dig deeper into its truths.
 
A central verse that directly relates to this issue is Romans 15:7,
 
Rom 15:7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 
 
Failure to receive one another is a very, very serious matter. I have written a full exposition of the cross references given for Romans 15:7 at my website. You can find it easily by accessing the next to last category displayed at the right, under “Verse-by-Verse Studies.”
 
Too many of our churches are not structured for fellowship. Sitting in a pew seeing only the backs of the heads of those in front of us on Sunday morning is not Christian fellowship. Actual fellowship probably does not take place in any group larger than ten or so persons. These things must be addressed in the light of what the Bible teaches. We have become so bound by our unwritten traditions that we have lost sight of what the Gospel is all about.
 
Every Christian, not just the Pastor, is to share the Gospel with others in their circle of contacts and influence as the Lord makes this possible. This sharing takes place outside of church, not just in church. I saw in a most recent Barna study that the majority of professing Christians do not seem to grasp the truth that they are responsible to reach others with the Gospel.
 
A major and unmentionable problem, if not an actually forbidden topic in the church, is that we ourselves may sometimes be mistaken in our understanding of the Bible, but because we believe what we have always been taught, we may actually be wrong! We need to be open to what the Bible itself actually teaches, and be willing to be humble enough to recognize when we have been mistaken, and be willing to correct our thinking based upon newly learned but well documented truth newly learned from the Bible that contradicts what we thought we understood!
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Are Animals Saved in Heaven?

An article about this subject is posted at

Are Animals Saved in Heaven?

The first paragraph contains the statement:

However, although the Bible is mostly silent on this matter, latter-day revelation and modern prophets have made it clear that animals will be in heaven and that all living things will be saved by Jesus Christ. Simply stated, God saves all that he creates!

Most animal lovers would enjoy seeing the picture that heads the article. But one must consider the source of the article to be able to evaluate if what the article says about the subject is true. The article is from the Meridian Magazine, “Latter-day Saints Shaping Their World.” A side column is headed “Join Mormons worldwide to stand true in a changing world.” That much information should be enough to alert any discerning reader that from a Biblical standpoint, the information in the article will not be in line with what the Bible itself teaches.

The article begins with the statement:

Recently, I saw several of my friends on social media comforted by a news article reporting that the Catholic Pope believes animals will be saved in heaven. 

When determining the truth or falsity of a Bible doctrine as taught by a particular “teaching authority,” we must compare the doctrine to the teaching of the Bible itself. The Bible is divinely inspired. No human teaching authorities can lay claim to being divinely inspired. The Bible is the only valid teaching authority available to us today.

Almost every church, denomination, religion, Sunday school teacher and even Bible believing pastor is mistaken about what the Bible teaches about heaven.

First of all, not everyone is going to heaven. Only those who have truly believed in the Lord Jesus Christ will be there. Furthermore, those that will be in heaven must be saved, that is, must be born again, while they are “down here.” To be saved, we must believe that Jesus Christ arose bodily from the dead on the Third Day. We must confess Jesus Christ as our Lord (Romans 10:9, 10). We must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (1 John 5:10, 11, 12). This means we must believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, that He was God in human flesh (Colossians 2:9). We must be holy in our walk or our life as Christians, for without holiness, no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

Second of all, Jesus told us plainly that there are few who will be saved, and that many who think they are saved will learn to their horror and chagrin too late that they are not saved:

Mat 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 

Mat 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 

Notice the last clause:  “and few there be that find it.” A number of other Bible passages emphasize and confirm this truth (Matthew 20:16;  Isaiah 24:6;  Jeremiah 5:1;  Ezekiel 22:30;  Ezekiel 33:31;  Mark 10:24, 25;  Luke 9:26; Luke 13:23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30;   Luke 18:8;  1 Peter 4:18;  1 John 2:3, 4).

Jesus further warned:

Mat 7:21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 

Mat 7:22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 

Mat 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 

When it comes time to enter heaven, it will be far more pleasant to hear the encouraging words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) than to hear the divine sentence of judgment, “I never knew you.”

Third of all–and this is where most do not get it right–heaven is not our final eternal destination. It is true that believers who die now during this age enter heaven immediately upon death (Luke 23:43), just as Jesus promised the dying thief who on his cross believed in Jesus Christ. By the way, that statement of Jesus from the cross alerts us to the truth that we continue in conscious existence immediately after death, a Bible fact that many false cults like the Jehovah Witnesses and some denominations like the Seventh Day Adventists get wrong.

But though it is true now that those who die with true faith in Jesus Christ go immediately to be with Christ in heaven (Philippians 1:23), that is not where we will spend eternity. Jesus Christ plainly taught otherwise:

Mat 5:5  Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Note carefully that the promised inheritance is eternal (Hebrews 9:15).

Many mistakenly believe that the earth will be destroyed, perhaps in a great conflagration, then God will create a new heaven and a new earth from scratch. This idea is based upon a mistaken interpretation of 2 Peter 3:12, 13.  If that were the case, then God would be contradicting major provisions of both the Abrahamic and the Davidic Covenants. Rather, the Bible clearly states that the earth “abideth forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4). This statement in Ecclesiastes is confirmed by other statements in Scripture (Psalm 89:36, 37;  Psalm 104:5;  Psalm 148:6) which affirm that God has established the earth forever and forever (Psalm 148:6).

The Bible also declares that there will be flesh and blood human beings living on this earth forever and forever (Psalm 72:5). They will be the subjects of God’s eternal kingdom on this earth. Those who have truly believed on Christ will be the inheritors of God’s eternal kingdom on this earth (Matthew 25:34;  1 Corinthians 6:9, 10;  1 Corinthians 15:50;  Galatians 5:21).

Jesus Christ will rule over this kingdom upon this earth forever and forever, not merely for 1000 years, as most Bible teachers and pastors mistakenly suggest. Somehow, they forgot what was said in Luke 1:31, 32, 33,

Luk 1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 

Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 

Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 

Notice the statement:  “of his kingdom there shall be no end,” which clearly defines the preceding “for ever” as meant in its eternal sense, as other passages in the Bible confirm (2 Samuel 7:13, 16;  1 Kings 11:39;  1 Chronicles 17:14;  Psalm 72:5;  Isaiah 9:7;  Daniel 2:44;  7:14, 27;  Micah 4:7;  2 Peter 1:11;  Revelation 11:15).

Will there be animals in this eternal earthly kingdom of heaven? Most certainly there will be (Isaiah 65:25). The animals will be at that time restored from the conditions of the Fall, and live peacefully. Until then, Paul informs us that the whole creation groans and awaits that future time of restoration (Romans 8:22 and context).

But there is no valid evidence in the Bible to support the affirmation of some that animals, such as our beloved pets, will experience resurrection and be in heaven with us.

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Daily Bible Nugget #452, Matthew 21:43

The Nugget:

Mat 21:43  Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. 

My Comment:

This is one of my favorite verses about Bible prophecy. I suspect that most Christians, even pastors, have missed its significance.

Evidently the Muslims are aware of this verse, and have come up with a most interesting but mistaken interpretation or explanation of this verse.

In the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” today, one of the Muslim participants had this to say about Matthew 21:43,

“The kingdom of God has been taken away from You (Christians) [and has been given] to Muslims. You can battle the Bible.”

My Response:

 Mustapha Ibraheem, you have cited a very important verse–one of my favorite.

Jesus was speaking to the Jews when He said this. He was not speaking of Christians at all.

The Kingdom of God which Jesus spoke of was promised to the Jews as seen in the provisions of both the Abrahamic Covenant and the Davidic Covenant.

The Kingdom of God was taken away from the Jews temporarily because they rejected their Messiah, Jesus Christ.

The Bible plainly declares that when Jesus Christ returns in power and great glory and saves the Jews from their enemies, that then the Jews will recognize Who He is, and will believe in Him.

At that time, and not before then, the Kingdom of God will be restored to the Jews in fulfillment of much Bible prophecy contained in the Covenants God made with Abraham and with David.

All this happened in fulfillment of Bible prophecy found in Micah 5:3.

Mic 5:3 Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. 
Mic 5:4 And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
 

Notice the statement, “Therefore will he give them up, UNTIL the time.”

Matthew 21:43 is the fulfillment of this prophecy because our Lord Jesus Christ declared to the Jews in Matthew 21:43,

Mat 21:43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

The Kingdom of God was taken from the Jews, and given to those who truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Bible further reveals that it is the true believers in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who will inherit the Kingdom of God. The Jewish nation in that future day will be the subjects of that Kingdom in the land of Israel. Our Lord Jesus Christ will reign forever and forever in that eternal kingdom here on this earth.

Thank you, Mustapha Ibraheem, for bringing forward such a significant verse from the Bible.

Any questions? Any comments? Feel free to leave them below!

I have explained Matthew 23:41 before on this site. Here is the link:
http://www.realbiblestudy.com/?p=2039
You might wish to read more there.

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Daily Bible Nugget #451, John 11:27

The Nugget:

Joh 11:27  She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

My Comment:

CONSIDER THE QUESTION: Did Jesus Himself really claim to be the Son of God?

Discussions in the “Islam and Christianity Debate Group” touch upon this question.

Muslims firmly believe that God can have no son.

One of the Muslim participants in all sincerity warned Christians:

“Please don’t say “son of God” because God [can] have no parents, sisters, or brothers. So please be careful. If not, you will see your reward.”

I responded:

Abdulrahaman Sabiru Haruna, I know that is what Muslims sincerely believe, because that is what they have been taught.

The Bible declares otherwise. Jesus is called the Son of God in the Bible. Since true Christians believe the Bible, they must believe that Jesus is the Son of God in order to be saved. Anyone who does not believe that Jesus is the Son of God will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon them.

1Jn 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. 
1Jn 5:11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 
1Jn 5:12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 

Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Mat 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 

Jesus Christ Himself claimed to be the Son of God. If Jesus made a false claim, then He could not be a prophet sent by God, but a liar, who was deceived himself.

Joh 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

Joh 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 
Joh 9:36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? 
Joh 9:37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. 

Even the enemies of Jesus Christ testified to the fact that Jesus said He was the Son of God:

Mat 27:43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 

To say Jesus is the Son of God does not mean we say that God has parents, sisters, brothers, or a mother. Jesus Christ has always been the Son of God. The Jews understood well that when their Messiah would come, that He would be the Son of God.

Joh 11:27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. 

Now, notice I have given you direct evidence from the Bible that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. To believe otherwise is to not believe the Bible.

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #450, Matthew 24:28

The Nugget:

Mat 24:28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. 

My Comment:

Now just what might this verse mean?

The most sure way to come up with the right answer is to let the Bible explain itself.

How may this be done?

Consult the cross references that are given for this verse in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.

Here are the references I have collected for this verse:

For. FS74, +Jdg 5:31.

wheresoever. FS184C, +Mat 4:9, +*Deut 28:49, Job 39:27, 28, 29, 30, Jer 16:16, Hos 8:1, Am 9:1-4, Hab 1:8, *Luk 17:37.

the carcase. Deut 28:26, **1Sa 17:46, Psa 110:6, +*Isa 66:24, **Eze 39:4; **Eze 39:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, Mar 6:29, +**#Luk 17:37 note.

the eagles. or, vultures. Lev 11:13, +*Deut 28:49, **1Sa 17:44; **1Sa 17:46, +*Psa 79:2, Lam 4:19, Eze 17:3, Dan 7:4, Hos 8:1, Hab 1:8, Zec 5:9, +**Luk 17:37 note. Joh 11:48.

be gathered. Job 39:30, Pro 30:17, **Eze 39:17; **Eze 39:18, Hos 8:1, *Rev 19:17; *Rev 19:18.

In particular, what does the word “carcase” refer to? Older but highly respected Bible scholars have had various opinions about what Jesus was speaking of. I have presented some of these varied opinions at a note I have placed at Luke 17:37 which is a parallel passage. Here are my cross references and my notes for Luke 17:37 as now given in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:

Luk 17:37  And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

Wheresoever. FS138C, +Gen 22:14. Luk 21:35, Job 39:29-30, +**Isa 66:24, Eze 39:4-5; Eze 39:11-18, +*Dan 9:26; +*Dan 9:27, Joe 3:2; Joe 3:9-16, Am 9:1, 2, 3, 4, +*Zep 3:8, Zec 13:8-9; Zec 14:2, Mat 24:28, Joh 11:48 x, Rom 2:8-9; Rom 2:16, 1Th 2:16, *Rev 16:14, 15, 16; Rev 19:17, 18, 19, 20, 21.

the body. Note: The word σωμα here must signify the same as πτωμα, a dead carcase, in Mat 24:28, by which is intended the Jewish nation, which was morally and judicially dead, doomed to be devoured by the Roman armies, called eagles, partly from their strength and fierceness, and partly from their military ensigns, which were gold or silver eagles. The Roman fury pursued these wretched men wherever they were found: see the horrible account in Josephus, Bel. l. vii. c. 2, 6, 9-11, **Eze 39:11-15, **Dan 7:11, +*#Mat 24:28, Rev 19:18.

Whatever interpretation and application is made here of the term “body,” must consistently apply equally to the term “carcass” used in +*#Mat 24:28.

To suggest the body is that of Christ, or believers, or the nation Israel, does not harmonize with Scripture.

Rather, suggesting that “body” and “carcass” refer to the defeated armies gathered against Jerusalem at the end of the tribulation described in Eze 39:17, 18, 19, 20, 21, seems to fit precisely, and is no doubt the event Christ is alluding to, reinforced by the mention of “eagles” directly in this connection, for the “feathered fowl” are invited to feast upon the carnage after that great battle (Eze 39:17).

To suggest that eagles here represent the Romans is not supported by the context, for the Romans are not otherwise alluded to in this passage, and the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is not the subject of this prophecy, for here these events take place at the second advent, when “the Son of man shall be revealed” (Luk 17:30).

Neither is it necessary to regard the eagles as being angels, nor is it necessary to suggest that they are the saints (the position taken by Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, p. 320). They are literal eagles, birds of prey, gathered to feast literally upon the dead bodies left after the great battle of Eze 39:4, 5, 6.

Peters sees here the translation or rapture of the saints, which my notes (on Luk 17:34 and Mat 24:41) conclusively show to be a mistaken view.

Peters further errs here when he takes the question “Where, Lord” to mean “i.e. when shall this be witnessed or made known” (vol. 2, p. 320, 321). But the question is not when, but where, and Peters’ next statement that “the evidence of such a removal will be openly shown when these very ones shall be gathered together at the overthrow of Antichrist” (p. 321), citing Zechariah 14, Revelation 19, Joel 3, in “his efforts to crush the Jews at Jerusalem,” in a “mighty confederation against the truth” (Peters, Theocratic Kingdom, vol. 2, p. 105), is correct in placing these events at Jerusalem, but incorrect in taking this to be the translation of the saints.

“In comparing prophecy it is distinctly announced that he shall unite nations and armies into an expedition into Palestine and a siege against Jerusalem, Daniel 11, last part and Dan 12:1; Isa 14:24-27; Joel 3; Zechariah 14; Rev 14:20; Rev 16:16; Eze 38:8-19, and that he is to be destroyed by a revelation of Christ in Palestine, Eze 38:21-23; 2Th 2:8; Rev 19:11-20, etc.” (Peters, vol. 2, p. 105).

This passage therefore answers the question where, not when, for Christ already informed them as to when these events would take place (Luk 17:30, at his advent). The eagles are not the saints, and there is not a reference here to the rapture or translation of the saints, for the rapture or translation of the saints logically must be prior to Christ’s revelation in power and glory with his saints (+*Psa 149:5, 6 7, 8, 9, +*Zec 14:5). Eze 39:11, 12, 13, 14, 15, Dan 7:11, +Mat 24:28, Rev 19:18.

the eagles. or, vultures. Gen 40:17-19, %Deut 28:49, *Job 39:27-30, Pro 30:17, Isa 18:6; %+*Isa 40:31, Jer 16:4, **Eze 39:17-21, %Hos 8:1, Hab 1:8, +*#Mat 24:28, %Rev 4:7; *Rev 19:17-21.

be gathered together. **1Sa 17:44; **1Sa 17:46, **Eze 39:4; **Eze 39:17.

When you want to find out what the Bible actually teaches about Bible prophecy, you will find the explanation is given in The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. Cross references to the explanatory passages are given at every verse more completely in this resource than any other. Included are helpful notes at the more difficult passages as seen in the example above.

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #449, Exodus 20:15

The Nugget:

Exodus 20:15  Thou shalt not steal. 

My Comment:

I recently discussed here another of the Ten Commandments, “Thou shalt not kill.” When any of the Ten Commandments are studied carefully by means of cross reference Bible study, much new light is shed upon just what is involved in keeping each one. Much is revealed on how any person may violate a given commandment without being aware of doing so. So, much is involved in not violating the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15) that is not immediately apparent.

I have placed a new note at Exodus 20:15 which discusses the implications of the Eighth Commandment in my new work, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, my vast expansion of my original Bible study reference work, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. Here is the note and associated cross references for Ex 20:15,

Thou shalt not steal. Under this commandment A. C. Price observes “In one sense this Commandment would cover also breaches of all the other Commandments, for every violation of duty to God or man is really robbing them of what is their due, but the reference here is clearly to what we know as theft, i.e. the wrongful acquisition of the property of some other person.

It is not however always recognized how much even in this narrower sense it involves. We are apt…to neglect…the perversion of character and moral blindness from which it springs, for thefts are included by Christ among the evil things which ’proceed from the heart’ (Mar 7:21-22).”

“We forget also that law is only an imperfect embodiment of morality, and tend to regard all that is not punishable by law as morally justifiable. For the Christian at any rate the Commandment must be interpreted by the Law of Love (Mat 7:12), and the gist of it seems to be that he should himself be thoroughly honest in heart, that honesty should characterize all his dealings with others, and that to enrich himself by taking advantage of the weakness or necessities or ignorance of others is a sin in the sight of God.”

“…it is hard to see how the teaching of Christ can be made to square with such things as the confiscations that have been the scandal of most revolutions, …the ’bearing’ and ’bulling’ on the Stock Exchange, …the extortion of enormous rents when there is dearth of accommodation; nor how any nation is entitled to be called Christian in which inferior goods are foisted on poor or ignorant purchasers and caveat emptor is regarded as a legitimate basis for business transactions, or employees are ’sweated’ by their employers, or workmen cannot be trusted to do their best unless under the eye of a master.

As to the last point it may be noticed how stress is constantly laid in the Bible on diligence, both in religious matters (+*Exo 15:26), and also generally (+*Pro 10:4); and as to idleness (+*Pro 18:9), to which we may add the parables of the Talents (Mat 25:14, etc.) and the Pounds (Luk 19:12, etc.), and the references to the continual work of God and Christ (Joh 5:17; Joh 9:4) and to Paul’s labor both religious and manual (+*Act 18:3)” (Biblical Studies, pp. 147, 148). Gen 44:8, Exo 21:16; *Exo 22:1, 2, 3, 4, 5; *Exo 22:7-13, Lev 6:1-7; +*Lev 19:11; Lev 19:13; Lev 19:35, 36, 37; Lev 25:17, *Deut 5:19; Deut 19:14; Deut 23:24-25; Deut 24:7; Deut 25:13, 14, 15, 16; Deut 27:17, *Jos 7:24; Jos 7:25, Job 20:19, 20, 21, 22; Job 24:2, Psa 37:21; Psa 50:18; *Psa 62:10, Pro 1:13, 14, 15; *Pro 3:27; Pro 6:30, 31; Pro 11:1; Pro 16:11; Pro 20:10; Pro 20:23; *Pro 22:22; Pro 22:28; Pro 23:10; *Pro 28:24; *Pro 29:24; *Pro 30:8; Pro 30:9, Isa 1:23; Isa 61:8, Jer 5:26, 27, 28, 29; Jer 7:8, 9, 10, 11; Jer 22:13, *Eze 3:15; Eze 45:10, Hos 4:2; Hos 12:7, Am 3:10; Am 5:11, 12; Am 8:4, 5, 6, Mic 6:10, 11; Mic 7:3, +*Zec 5:3; Zec 5:4, Mal 3:5; Mal 3:8, Mat 15:19; >Mat 19:18; Mat 21:13; Mat 22:21; Mat 23:14; Mat 23:25, Mar 7:22; >Mar 10:19; Mar 11:17; Mar 12:17; *Mar 12:40, Luk 3:13, 14; Luk 18:11; >Luk 18:20; +*Luk 19:8; Luk 19:46; Luk 20:25; *Luk 20:47, Joh 12:6, Rom 2:21; Rom 13:7; **>Rom 13:9, 1Co 5:11; **1Co 6:10, **Eph 4:28, +*Col 4:1, 1Th 4:6, 1Ti 1:10, *Tit 2:10, +*Jas 5:4, 1Pe 4:15, +*Rev 9:21.

steal. Young notes “The primary idea of the original word is, to do a thing secretly, as in Gen 31:27; Gen 40:15; 2Sa 15:6; 2Sa 19:3; 2Sa 19:41; Job 4:12; Job 21:18; Job 27:20,” *S# H1589: Gen 30:33; Gen 31:19, 20; Gen 31:26, 27; Gen 31:30; Gen 31:32; Gen 31:39; Gen 40:15; Gen 44:8, Exo 20:15; Exo 21:16; Exo 22:1; Exo 22:7; Exo 22:12, Lev 19:11, Deut 5:19, Jos 7:11, 2Sa 15:6; 2Sa 19:3; 2Sa 19:3; 2Sa 19:41; 2Sa 21:12, 2Ki 11:2, 2Ch 22:11, Job 4:12 (secretly brought; mg, by stealth). Job 21:18 (carried away; mg, stealeth away). Job 27:20, Pro 6:30; Pro 9:17; +Pro 30:9 (T1712). Jer 7:9, Hos 4:2, Ob 1:5, *Zec 5:3, **Rom 13:9, +*Rev 9:21.

There are other pertinent passages in the Bible that pertain to this theme if we consider them carefully:

Col_3:17  And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

If we do everything in the light of bringing honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, we will maintain a good testimony before others, as in the workplace or at school.

If we are students at school, we will attend our classes faithfully. We will complete our assignments when due. We will not be distracted in class by cell phones and messaging and whatever else goes on. When I last taught, I don’t think students yet had cell phones, but they did have another device that others could alert them to call them. Students were not supposed to have these things in school. But some students said they needed them in case a parent needed to alert them to an emergency.

In this day, we who claim the name of Christ need to take extreme care that we do not allow cell phones to distract us from our work. We should alert others who might wish to call us not to do so during working hours because any distraction from our work causes us to lose the train of thought necessary to accomplish that work. Even as a teacher, I found that school announcements over the public address system during class were very disruptive to both the teaching and learning process. This relates to the commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” because permitting or creating distraction takes away from the concentration needed to properly accomplish the task before us, and slows us down or prevents us from doing as well as we should on the task.

We need to learn how to carefully manage time, both at work and at home. “Lost time is never found again” is one of the quotations I shared with my students at the start of my teaching career. I think my quotations made an impact on at least some of my students. Once when I was leaving school at the end of the day near the close of my career, a former student of mine bringing his daughter to take part in a sporting event recognized me and thanked me for all those good quotations I had shared three decades before, and he even quoted some of them that he had learned by heart, including one by Benjamin Franklin about “there will be sleeping enough in the grave,” if I recall correctly.

Here is a quotation which, though addressed especially to pastors, is really in principle applicable to everyone:

  • “One of the gravest perils which besets the ministry is a restless scattering of energies over an amazing multiplicity of interests which leaves no margin of time and of strength for receptive and absorbing communion with God.”  Andrew Bonar

 

From this quotation we ought to learn that:

  1. We ought to limit our commitments to a fairly narrow range. I found that it is best to do what only I can do, and not take on tasks that others can do. This means I don’t take on tasks that others are better equipped to do than I am.

We would make more progress and improve our skills if we eliminate as many distractions as possible. This means I focus upon what I am already good at, or equipped to do, and I eliminate activities that steal time away from my efforts to further develop my best skills. This means, for me, that I do not spend time watching television. I do not pay attention to sports. I spend time reading books from which I can learn more about what I need to know. I don’t bother involving myself with what others might regard as innocent entertainment. That is how I have managed to produce three major Bible reference works, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, and most recently The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. I limit my time on “Social Media,” but I do take enough time to stay in contact with some of my former students and family friends.

“Of what use is it to have many irons in the fire if the fire is going out?”  Eric Roberts

  • “A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone.”  Henry David Thoreau

 

  • “The problem is…how to remain whole in the midst of the distractions of life….  There is no easy answer, no complete answer…one answer, and perhaps a first step, is simplification of life, in cutting out some of the distractions.”  Ann Lindberg, Gift from the Sea
  • “The only sure weapon against bad ideas is BETTER IDEAS.” A. Whitney Griswold
  • “There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.”
  • “A man’s mind, stretched by a new idea, can never go back to its original dimension.”

 

I trust that some of the ideas I have shared in this post are new to you, and that your mind, now stretched by a new idea, will never go back to its original dimension.

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Daily Bible Nugget #448, Ecclesiastes 3:8

The Nugget:

Ecc 3:8  A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

My Comment:

One of my most valued Facebook friends made the following comment in response to yesterday’s post:

“Amen great teaching. Do you have any suggestion or a good greek study bible that will help me break words down?”

I answered,

“The best one I can fully recommend is my scholar friend Dr. Malcolm Lavender‘s Lavender’s New Testament! It will give you the truth that all other translations have obscured, and will be a spiritual delight for you to learn more of God’s Word.”

My friend replied, “Thank you.”

I continued the conversation, saying:

I made the following comment just yesterday to Dr. R. Lavender:

Popular but very mistaken beliefs about salvation and true holiness are corrected by translating to English the crucial distinctions contained in the grammatical features of the original and inspired Greek text of the New Testament. This is essential information for all Bible believing Christians to know. What most Christians think they know about the teachings of the New Testament is shockingly re-expressed into a biblically and theologically sound presentation of the Gospel message of salvation and personal transformation that takes place when the truth is believed instead of denied.”

My friend responded, “Amen!!!”

Then my friend asked the following question:

Real Bible Study what verse is it that God gave Moses I believe a field where they could kill people?”

My response:

“I don’t recognize that one. If you can think of anything more that relates to the passage, or know of another related passage, I might figure it out. I am sort of “programmed” to recall passages using the King James Version. I stick with the KJV for just that purpose, though I find I can work between other versions in the sense that if I hear a passage in the NIV or NLT or ESV I still usually recognize it.”

This morning, I returned to the question and made the following comment, which I trust will help everyone reading this will find instructive:

“Still thinking about your question. A related subject is the cities of  refuge found in Joshua 20:7 and context. See the note there in my Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury or the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge or the original Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
 
“Another way to get at the subject or topic you mention is to relate ‘killing’ to ‘war’ in your thinking. Then ask a new question, ‘Where in the Bible is it stated that the kings had a regular place and time of year for war?’ I know there is a passage somewhere in the Old Testament about that, but none of the words in my question will lead to the answer using a concordance for the KJV or other translations.
 
“I once spent considerable time searching for the answer to my question. I looked under the topic ‘war’ in single-volume Bible dictionaries old and new. Then I tried Bible encyclopedias like ISBE (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). Then I tried McClintock and Strong’s Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. It had a lengthy article on the subject. Interestingly, I found the same article word-for-word in my four-volume Smith’s Bible Dictionary. But still no mention of anything pertaining to my question.
 
“Then I recalled that there is a verse in Ecclesiastes about “a time of war.” So, I went to that verse (Ecclesiastes 3:8) and checked out my cross references, and I was led directly to the passage I was seeking.
 
“Now, if there really is a Bible text that mentions the subject of your question, you might be able to find it by following the cross references, starting at Ecclesiastes 3:8. I still don’t recall any mention of a “field where they could kill people,” unless it may be connected with the cities of refuge that I mentioned, where if a person did not stay in the city of refuge until the time of a new high priest in Israel, he could be killed by the person or the family member he was seeking refuge from, that might be related. I recall vaguely that there is a related text about taking a person prisoner and killing them at a specific place outside the city involved by a brook or something like that. But where these texts are, I don’t recall specifically. But I have told you enough that you now should know how to find them using cross references from even vaguely related Bible verses that you do know where to find.

 

 

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Daily Bible Nugget #447, 1 John 3:15

The Nugget:

1Jn 3:15  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

My Comment:

This post continues from the previous post on this same Bible passage. And that post is a continuation of the post prior to that one. In the immediately prior post to this one, I attempted to clarify the meaning of 1 John 3:15 by applying the first principle of interpretation–placing the verse in context by reading and studying the verses that come before and the verses that come after this one.

The second principle is to study a verse by consulting its cross references to the other passages found in the Bible that shed more light on this verse.

Many Bible readers have never seen, and so have never used cross references in their Bible study. Where do cross references come from? Cross references have been supplied by careful Bible scholars to the passages they have found that link to each verse in the Bible, including this specific verse, 1 John 3:15. Cross references are given in the center column or side column of reference Bibles and some study Bibles. Cross references were collected by the great commentator Thomas Scott in the margins of his five-volume commentary known as Scott’s Bible. These were in turn placed in the center columns of the Comprehensive Bible published by Bagster and Sons in London in the early 19th century. The cross references and the explanatory notes were then gathered into a separate single volume under the title The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. I, in turn, collected more cross references in my work, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, published in 1992. I have expanded these references once again in 2016 in my latest work, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, available as a premium module for the e-Sword Bible software program.

Here are the cross references that I have for 1 John 3:15,

Whosoever. or, Everyone who. Gr. pas ho. 1Jn 3:9.

hateth his brother. 1Jn 3:10, 1Jn 2:9; 1Jn 2:11, Gen 27:41, *Lev 19:16, 17, 18, +*Deut 15:9, 1Sa 19:4, 2Sa 13:22-28, Pro 26:24-26, +*Zec 7:9; Zec 7:10, *Mat 5:21; *Mat 5:22; Mat 5:27; Mat 5:28, Mar 6:19, Act 23:12; Act 23:14, Eph 4:31, Jas 1:15; Jas 4:1-2.

is a murderer. Gr. anthrōpoktonos (S# G443, only here and Joh 8:44). Joh 8:44. %+*Acts 20:26.

ye know. Gr. oida, Joh 8:55 note. 1Jn 5:18.

no murderer hath. Joh 4:14, +*Gal 5:21, *1Pe 1:23, +*Rev 21:8.

eternal. Gr. aionios, +Mat 18:8.

life. 1Jn 5:11; 1Jn 5:13; 1Jn 5:20, +Mat 19:16, Joh 3:36; +Joh 4:14; Joh 6:53, +Rom 2:7.

abiding in him. 1Jn 3:9; 1Jn 3:17, 1Jn 2:14; 1Jn 2:27, Joh 5:38; Joh 6:56; Joh 15:5; Joh 15:7, 2Jn 1:2, *3Jn 1:9, 10. 11.

The cross references I have listed above should appear as live links on your computer or other device screen. Hovering the mouse pointer will open a pop-up window which displays the text of each cross reference.

I will give the text below of several of the most significant cross references given above with a few comments upon them.

Hateth his brother.

1 John 3:10.

In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 

John plainly discusses how to identify true children of God. Whosoever does not practice righteousness is not of God. Neither is a person truly a believer or a Christian who does not love his brother. The term brother is generic and so refers to another Christian, male or female. The reference is not primarily to a family member who is your blood brother, though that could be included. John, therefore, is warning us not to hate fellow believers.

Hatred to fellow believers evidenced by (1) failing to warn a person when they are in spiritual danger when we are in a position to do so:

Leviticus 19:17

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 

The context of this Leviticus passage is worth further study. The idea seems to be that we should correct a person to save them from the error of their ways. This may be related to what Paul affirms in Acts 20:26,

Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 

And this statement of Paul may also be related to Ezekiel 3:18,

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 

Eze 3:19  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 

The point is, failure to correct a fellow believer when they are on the wrong path is by John stated to be the same as to hate them, and anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and does not have eternal life abiding in him.

Hatred to fellow believers is also evidenced by (2) a mean and selfish spirit when we fail to provide help or assistance to them when we are providentially in a proper position to responsibly do so:

Deuteronomy 15:9

Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 

Deu 15:10  Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 

The thought here is that in Israel a person would hesitate to lend to a poor person as the seventh year approached because all debts were to be forgiven every seventh year, and the lender would not get his money back or the loan would not be repaid. Note the reference to “if thine eye be evil.” Jesus made reference to this evil disposition in Matthew 6:23 and Matthew 20:15.  See also Mark 7:22. Jesus alludes directly to this Deuteronomy 15:7 passage in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:12, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” In the seventh year, all debts were cancelled, and everyone started out with a “clean slate” economically. That is the spirit and manner in which we are to forgive others, though without waiting until the seventh year is up!

Abiding in him.

Another evidence of hatred to fellow believers is (3) the failure to properly extend a continuing welcome, a failure to provide the opportunity to extend friendship and develop lasting friendships with them, a failure to receive them into our group, church, or fellowship. This is pointedly seen in the behavior of Diotrephes, condemned by John in his short Bible book of 3 John, at 3 John 1:9, 10, 11.

3Jn 1:8  We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth. 

3Jn 1:9  I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. 

3Jn 1:10  Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. 

3Jn 1:11  Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God. 

The Apostle John roundly condemns in a not too subtle manner the behavior and attitude of Diotrephes. He labels these unkind and unwelcoming actions of Diotrephes as evil, and states that he that practices evil has not seen God. John authoritatively pronounced Diotrephes an unsaved man, though I’m sure Diotrephes thought he was a saved man.

So, what might be the point or application of all this? We who believe the Bible need to exercise loving care for others, not just economically, but also spiritually, as God gives us opportunity within the circle of those with whom we have some contact. We can pray for those we know who are not saved, or who are not walking in the light of the Gospel as they should. We can, as appropriate, give them warning. We can, as appropriate, extend them help materially or spiritually. We can always welcome the fellowship of other believers, and seek to strengthen them, or be ourselves strengthened by them.

Pastor W. L. Wade of the Lighthouse Bible Church of Danville, Virginia, as always preached an encouraging message this very Sunday morning on Mark 14:8, on the significant words, “She hath done what she could.” That is what Jesus wants us all to do. If we did that, many more would be reached with the Gospel, and the world would be a different and much better place.

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Daily Bible Nugget #446, 1 John 3:15

The Nugget:

1Jn 3:15  Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

My Comment:

This is a very striking statement from the book of 1 John. Since the consequence of “hating your brother” is to be devoid of eternal life, it is most important to understand the implications of this verse!

An important rule of interpretation which must be followed to understand what any given verse means is to carefully consider the context–what comes before and after the verse in question.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

1 John 3:12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

Note the motive assigned to Cain’s action of murdering his brother Abel:  in some sense, Cain was jealous or envious of his brother Abel because he recognized that Abel was righteous and that he was not.

1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

Another motivating factor in Cain’s murder of his brother Abel is hatred:  Cain hated Abel because he recognized that Abel was righteous and that he was not.

1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

Very clearly, the death spoken of here is not physical death, but spiritual death. We know we have escaped spiritual death in our life because we love the brethren. Failure to love our brother means we abide or remain in spiritual death. Abiding in spiritual death means we are not saved (though we may think we are!). One example of our failure to love our brother (or sister–the terms here are called “generic” in English and Greek grammar so that the masculine gender is used for both genders) is to not receive, or not welcome a person into our church fellowship, contrary to the command given in Romans 15:7, “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.” Failure to receive one another may indicate that those who shun and reject newcomers to their fellowship or church may be an indication that they are not saved themselves (though they think they are!). Failure to receive one another really exhibits hatred toward the rejected person or even family. Jesus gave severe warnings about this (see Matthew 25:40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46)!

John echoes this severe warning when he writes:

1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Therefore, anyone who hates his brother is a murderer and does not possess the gift of eternal life. There are different ways of manifesting hatred to our brother, and John will apply this truth to one of those ways shortly in the following context.

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us:  and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Notice also, that 1 John 3:16 indirectly declares the deity of Christ. The words “of God” in the expression “the love of God” are not present in the Greek text, but they are implied, because 1 John 3:17 contains the expression “how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”

When we encounter a brother or sister in the Lord who is in need, and we are in a position to be of help to them, but fail to act to help meet that need, John asks the pointed question, How can we claim that the love of God dwells in us?

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

It is easy to “talk the talk,” but the reality of our faith in Christ is demonstrated when we act in accordance with the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John 3:19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.

When we readily act upon the truth we know that we have learned of our Lord Jesus Christ as it is found in His written Word, this, John tells us, furnishes firm grounds for assurance on our part that “we are of the truth,” another way of saying that we know that we are truly saved and belong to Him.

There is much more vital truth contained in these verses than what I have briefly sketched out here. Now that I have shared the context for 1 John 3:15 with you as the first step in its  proper interpretation and application, the second step will be to share with you what the rest of the Bible has to say about the themes in 1 John 3:15 by means of cross reference Bible study, what I plan to share next time.

 

 

 

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