Daily Bible Nugget #479, Hebrews 12:14 Part 3

The Nugget:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

My Comment:

The importance of holiness cannot be overstated. Without holiness, you will not see the Lord. Now while it is true that “every eye shall see Him” (Revelation 1:7), it is also true that no one has ever seen God (John 1:18). But Jesus promised that “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). When Jesus returns, He does not return invisibly (as the Jehovah Witnesses mistakenly teach), but most visibly:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

All will see Jesus Christ when He returns at His second coming, both saved and unsaved, believer and unbeliever. But seeing Jesus as God in His full glory will be reserved for the “pure in heart,” those who have eagerly pursued holiness (Hebrews 12:14).

I have been expounding or explaining Hebrews 12:14 by means of a much beloved hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy,” and have so far discussed several of its clauses:

Take time to be holy,
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always,
And feed on His Word.

(4) Make friends with God’s children;

This is absolutely important, and sometimes sadly lacking in our day. It is essential for all Christians, especially new Christians, to make the right friends. You need Christian friends of all ages. You need Christian friends who will help you grow in your own Christian life.

The right Christian friends will keep you on the right track:

Heb 3:12  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 

Heb 3:13  But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 

Heb 3:14  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 

True Christian friends will keep track of you, will stay in touch with you, and provide the encouragement and example you need to stay strong in your Christian faith. If you start to slack off in your commitment to Christ, they will lovingly but firmly call you on it.

Note that this process takes place daily, not once a week when you might see them at church. A genuine Christian friend will be there as soon as you need support, encouragement, or correction, before you have had the chance to go too far astray and harden your heart against spiritual things like Christian fellowship, the Bible, and God Himself.

Contrary to those who wrongly teach the false doctrine of “Once saved, always saved,” it is possible for true believers to fail to “hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast to the end” (Hebrews 3:14), a warning against the clear danger of falling into either moral or doctrinal apostasy. Choosing and keeping solid Christian friends and staying in regular contact with them is one way to keep from falling away from your faith in Christ.

Are your closest friends individuals who strengthen your Christian life? If not, and you are a Christian, I suggest that you seek out real Christians, strong Christians, Biblically informed Christians who will be an encouragement to your Christian life. If there are no people like this in your present circle of friends and acquaintances, then I urge you to take the needed steps in your life to find them by going where they are most likely to be found–usually in a strong, vibrant, Bible teaching church which has made the proper provision for Christian fellowship. Unfortunately, most churches do not fit this description. Find one that does.

What if, after a diligent search, and exerting real effort to find such a church, you discover you can find no such church where you live?

I will here directly contradict the assertion of a number of well-known Bible teachers and pastors who claim “There is no such thing as a lone wolf Christian.” Nonsense. Prove to me from the evidence in Scripture that the Ethiopian eunuch who came to firm faith in Christ (Acts 8:37, a verse that might be missing from your Bible). We have no evidence in the Bible or history that he went back home to a vibrant, Bible teaching, Bible believing church that believed in soul winning. That does not mean his spiritual life was doomed to failure. He had a Bible to read and study. And so do you, probably more complete than the one he had at that time. That is all you need. Read and study and obey God’s Word.

Make sure you do not select the wrong friends to be in your life. Wrong friends can do much damage to your life spiritually, emotionally, and even economically.

Paul gave some helpful direction on this theme, but if you, like me, usually read the Bible in the King James Version, you will probably never notice this verse because in the KJV it is poorly translated, at least the KJV English used at 1 Corinthians 15:33 is indecipherable for modern readers. So let me share the verse in modern English:

1Co 15:33 Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you.

That ought to be clear enough!

If you are a Christian and single, having never married, you must take extra care to follow the advice of the Bible and not your emotional attachment or attraction to the wrong kind of friend. You must marry a solid Christian who, if you are a woman, can serve as the spiritual leader in your home. If you are a single Christian man, you must marry a solid Christian woman who shares the positive spiritual values you embrace as a strong believer, and be a strong enough Christian to be the spiritual leader in the home. To fail to follow this advice will stunt the spiritual impact you ought to have on others, and will negatively affect the spiritual lives and destiny of your children as well as generations to follow, to Satan’s delight.

It ought to be obvious just what kinds of friends Christians should make, but just in case you have missed the point, or need more Bible direction and encouragement in this direction, carefully consider Psalm 119:63,

Psa 119:63  I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts. 

The greatest hindrance to “make friends of God’s children” is the failure of individual Christians and individual church congregations to obey Romans 15:7.

Rom 15:7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 

Rom 15:7 Honor God by accepting each other, as Christ has accepted you. CEV

Rom 15:7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. ESV

Rom 15:7 So then, take one another to your hearts, as Christ took us, to the glory of God. (Bible in Basic English) 

Not to receive or welcome or accept one another short-circuits, hinders, the work of God, and will no doubt bring judgment on those who shun others and refuse to make friends of newcomers to their congregation. I would venture to suggest that any church where shunning is practiced is likely a church that is not true to the Bible, and that those who practice this evil are not saved.

Rather, we should “Make friends of God’s children.”

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Daily Bible Nugget #478, Hebrews 12:14 Part 2

The Nugget:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 

My Comment:

It is about time that everyone who claims to be a Christian sit up and take notice what Hebrews 12:14 teaches. It is a direct matter of salvation. Perhaps because so many are mistaken about the subject of holiness they are among the many that suppose they are saved but in actuality are on the broad way that leads to destruction, not the narrow way that leads to life (Matthew 7:13, 14). Jesus Himself said “few there be that find it,” speaking of the “narrow way.”

Back to Hebrews 12:14. Here is my note for holiness that I placed in my newest Bible reference book, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury:

and holiness. Gr. hagiasmos (S# G38, Rom_6:19). Note that holiness is an absolute requirement for salvation in this life. Holiness is a matter of our present state. It is not merely imputed or forensic, a so-called matter of standing that does not reflect our state. While the verb underlying holy has a future tense form in the Greek language, the future tense never occurs in the Greek New Testament. “This fact deals a deadly blow to the false doctrine that complete sanctification or holiness awaits the believer on the other side of the grave… Clearly there is no salvation or sanctification after death” (Malcolm L. Lavender, The Fallacy of the ‘Sinning Christian’, p. 95).

Now, what must one do to be counted holy? The best and most practical instruction about that which I have found is contained in the words to the hymn, “Take Time to Be Holy.”

Last time I covered the clauses:

(1) Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
(2) Abide in Him always,

Today, I continue with the following clause:

(3) And feed on His Word

You cannot succeed in the Christian life if you fail to “feed on His Word.” His Word is found only in the Bible. You need to read it as often as you can. I suggest start first with the New Testament. Just like you need physical food for your body every day, you need the spiritual food provided in the Bible every day. You surely take time to eat your meals–if you didn’t, you would soon starve to death. If you fail to take in spiritual food by reading and studying the Bible, you are inviting spiritual death to take place.

1Pe 2:2  As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

Jer 15:16  Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Job 23:12  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

Psa 119:9  BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Joh 17:17  Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 

Psa 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

Act 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 

The ONLY source of information we have about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the New Testament. I encourage you to read the New Testament carefully and repeatedly in order that you may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a most essential way to “pursue holiness, without which no man will see the Lord.”

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Daily Bible Nugget #477, Hebrews 12:14, Part 1

The Nugget:

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

My Comment:

This is a most important verse to understand. Notice it tells us that no one shall see the Lord without holiness. Knowing how to be holy is a critical issue for if you fail to follow holiness, you fail to have eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven and in His future eternal earthly kingdom.

These important words may sound strange to younger, modern ears. What is meant by holiness? What does it mean to follow or pursue holiness? Just how may this all-important command be obeyed?

I find the answer in a Gospel hymn written well over a hundred years ago titled “Take Time to Be Holy.” The author is William D. Longstaff, who lived from 1822 until 1894. The hymn tune is “Holiness,” composed by George C. Stebbins, who lived from 1846 until 1945. Here are the words to this hymn:

(1) Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord.

We must speak often to the Lord in prayer. There is much in the Bible about this:

1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Pro 15:8  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. 

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. 

(2) Abide in Him always

We must abide or remain in Christ. How do we abide in Christ? The Bible once again has much to say about this:

1Jn 2:5  But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 

1Jn 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
To abide in Jesus Christ involves our keeping his commandments. It means that we walk, or live in a manner, that reflects how Jesus Himself lived.

1Jn 3:6  Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

1 John 3:6 is a very controversial verse because the truth it teaches does not  conform to the theologies most of us have been taught. The plain truth is that a genuine Christian does not practice sin. A true Christian does not live a sinful life style. Whosoever continues remaining in Him does not keep on sinning. It is not morally possible for a person to continue remaining or abiding in Christ and keep on sinning at the same time. It is not possible to mix sin and righteousness in the same life, any more than light and darkness can be mixed in the same space. It is only possible to continue one or the other.

Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 

Joh 15:6  If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 

Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 

Joh 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 

If you are abiding in Christ, you will bear much fruit. If you are not abiding in Christ, your life will not bear fruit for Christ. If your life does not bear fruit for Christ, you will never see heaven.

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Did Jesus know everything at the same time He didn’t know everything?

The Nugget:

Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 

My Comment:

Peter recognized that Jesus “knew all things.” Peter understood that Jesus knew everything. This is the Bible doctrine of the Omniscience of Christ. My elderly friend “Uncle Frank” now many years ago used to ask the question, “Is Jesus God?” Most knew the answer and responded “Yes.” Then Uncle Frank asked a follow-up question, “Does God know everything?” Even children got that one right and answered “Yes.” Then Uncle Frank asked the question, “Did Jesus know when He was coming back?” This one was and is a much tougher question. The correct answer is “No.” Uncle Frank and I discussed this question many times. We thought then that most likely Jesus chose not to know. That may be the one thing the Father has kept as a very close secret. But that does not negate the Omniscience of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Muslim Response to My Answer of Yesterday:

Am sorry that u had to make it long when answers should be simple, anyone who will read your answer will know you havent answered my question, but you are only trying to bring me verses from the bible that supports that jesus is god, please read the question understand then answer, am not being rude mr smith but its the truth. See the question and answer it the way it is, no need to start giving me verses which support he is god

My Response and Answers to the Rest of the Questions:

Amin Imran, please be patient. I am not finished yet. You did NOT ask ONE question. You asked several. Do you want answers or not? Are you seeking the truth or are you just playing games? What may appear to you to be a simple question may well turn out to be a complex matter when I address the issues you have raised carefully. Now I suggest, before you offer any more complaints about my answers, that you go back and read what I have posted several times until you grasp the truth of what I answered. Obviously, to be valid, my answers must be based on what the Bible teaches. So please do not criticize me for appealing to the evidence the Bible provides.
 
(2) Was Jesus finite and infinite at the same time? Yes.
 
Jesus possessed two natures at the same time. He was a human being, a man, born of the Virgin Mary. He was also divine, for in becoming a human being He did not lose His divine nature. In Christian theology, this is called the doctrine of the Incarnation.
 
The human nature of Christ was in some sense finite. The divine nature of Christ was of course infinite. Both natures are evident in the Gospel account as given in John 3:13,
 
John 3:13  And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 
 
In His human nature Jesus at the time He spoke these words in John 3:13 was on this earth. Jesus claimed while He was speaking here on earth that He IS in heaven at the same time, which reflects the fact of His divine and infinite nature.
 
(3) Was He fallible and infallible at the same time?  NO. Jesus was NEVER fallible. He was always infallible. Jesus never sinned. Jesus never made a mistake.
 
John 8:46  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
 
(4) “So he felt hungry and not hungry at the same time because GOD doesn’t eat or feel hungry.”
 
This is not a question but an assertion on your part. Your assertion is misguided and mistaken.
 
Was Jesus truly human? Yes. As a human did Jesus feel hunger? Yes. The Bible teaches that Jesus was tested in all points just like we are but he passed the test and did not sin.
 
Heb 4:15  For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
 
In His divine nature, Jesus could not suffer hunger. That Jesus always possessed a divine nature is taught throughout the whole Bible. I already furnished you PROOF of the Deity of Christ as taught by the New Testament, taught directly and indirectly, in my answer to the first part of your question above.
 
(5) “Did he know everything at the same time he didn’t know everything?”
 
Jesus was fully omniscient.
 
John 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 
 
Notice that Peter acknowledged the omniscience of Jesus Christ when He said, “Lord, thou knowest all things.”
 
I already gave you proof of the omniscience of Christ in my first answer to your first question as evidence of the deity of Christ. Other Bible verses which show the omniscience of Christ include John 2:24, 25; John 11:14 (Jesus knew Lazarus was dead before anyone brought Him word of the death of Lazarus, and days before He got there with His disciples); Matthew 9:4 (Jesus knew their thoughts); Matthew 11:21 (Jesus asserted He knew how the historical outcome of a long-past event would have turned out differently had those people heard His word and seen His miracles); Matthew 17:24-27 (Jesus knew what had been discussed before Peter arrived and knew where to find the required money to pay the tax He and Peter owed–in the mouth of a fish Jesus knew would come along and bite Peter’s fish hook and give up a coin of the right value to pay the tax).
 
One thing Jesus stated He did not know, and that was the exact time when He would return. The best explanation I have learned is that Jesus did not know this fact because the Father determined not to share this information with anyone else, even the angels. This does not negate all the other evidence we are given in the Bible that demonstrates the omniscience of Christ.
 
(6) “Did he worship to God at the same time be worshiped?”
 
This question takes us back to the issue of the two natures of Christ, His divine nature, and His human nature.
 
In His human nature while on earth our Lord Jesus Christ prayed to the Father as “my Father,” and referred to God as “my God.” He offered thanks in prayer to God. Jesus as man worshipped His Father, Who is God.
 
But while He was here on earth “in the flesh” in human form, He also continued to possess His divine nature. I see no problem or contradiction in that fact of Scripture.
 
It is also true that while Jesus was here on earth as a human being, a man, He received worship.   
 
Mat 14:33  Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. 
 
John 5:23
23  That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
King James Version

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Was Jesus Divine Yet Human?

The Nugget:

Titus 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 

My Comment:

Notice that Paul in Titus 2:13 calls Jesus Christ both God and Savior. In the Greek text this is stronger and more evident than in the English translation. This is an example of Jesus Christ being directly and unequivocally called God in the New Testament.

By the rule of necessary inference Titus 2:13 also teaches and confirms the doctrine of the Rapture. Like the subject of the Trinity, which this verse also confirms, the exact word we use to name the doctrine is not used in the Bible text, but by necessary inference the truth of the doctrine is certainly there.

Once we establish the doctrine of the Deity of Christ, we have verified the doctrine of the Trinity by necessary inference.

The Muslim Question:

Was Jesus Divine yet human? was he finite and then infinite at the same time? that he was fallible and infallible at the same time? So he felt hungry and not hungry at the same time because GOD doesn’t eat or feel hungry. Did he know everything at the same time he didn’t know everything? Did he worship to God at the same time be worshiped? HELP ME PLEASE

My Original Comment:

It is all quite plainly told in the Bible. If you will read the New Testament carefully you may begin to understand these truths.

The Muslim Response:

We don’t comment because you want to comment, you comment when you know the answer because I can’t see any answer. If you know the verses why not bring them here please

My Answer:

Amin Imran, thank you for asking. I will be very happy to answer your questions and give you the relevant Bible verses.
 
While some Christians may suggest these things are “mysteries,” I don’t see them that way at all. They are plainly stated in the Bible.
 
(1) Was Jesus Divine yet human?  Yes.
 
The divinity or deity of Jesus Christ is taught by the New Testament and the Bible as a whole both directly and indirectly. What is taught indirectly I define as things we know from what the Bible says by the rule of “necessary inference.”
 
A. Directly
 
John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
 
Notice that Whoever it is that is here called “the Word” is stated to be God.
 
Applying the rule of interpreting according to context, we learn that this Person called “the Word” became flesh and dwelled among us, and that this person is identified as Jesus Christ:
 
John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 
Joh 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. 
Joh 1:16  And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. 
Joh 1:17  For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
 
John 20:25  The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 
Joh 20:26  And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 
Joh 20:27  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 
Joh 20:28  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. 
Joh 20:29  Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. 
 
Thomas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, did not believe what the other apostles told him, namely, that Jesus had risen from the dead and they had personally seen Him. Thomas was absent when Jesus had appeared in person.
 
This time, Thomas was present when Jesus entered the locked room where they all had gathered. Jesus addressed the doubts of Thomas and gave him the direct evidence Thomas had told the other apostles he required before he would believe.
 
Thomas believed the evidence and responded to Jesus Christ, recognizing that He was both his Lord and his God when Thomas said, “My Lord and my God.”
 
This is direct evidence that the apostles now understood who Jesus really is:  both their Lord and their God.
 
Any attempt to reduce this great confession of faith on the part of Thomas to a mere exclamation represents a failure on the part of those who do that to understand the scope and purpose of the Gospel of John, as stated by John in the very next verses:
 
Joh 20:30  And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 
Joh 20:31  But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
 
Titus 2:13
13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
King James Version
 
Notice that Jesus Christ is called “the great God” and also “our Savior.”
 
The grammar of Titus 2:13 both in English but especially in Greek requires that we understand in this passage that Jesus Christ is here called God.
 
B. Indirectly
 
Mar 2:5  When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. 
Mar 2:6  But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, 
Mar 2:7  Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? 
 
Only God can forgive sins. Jesus on this occasion proved that He had the power to forgive sins by demonstrating that He had the power to heal. Those in the audience believed that only God could heal.
 
Mar 2:8  And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? 
Mar 2:9  Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? 
Mar 2:10  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 
Mar 2:11  I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 
Mar 2:12  And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. 
 
On this occasion Jesus Christ demonstrated His Deity two ways:  (1) He perceived what they were thinking, showing that Jesus Christ possessed the divine attribute of omniscience;  (2) He forgave the paralytic his sins, something only God can do, then demonstrated he had that power by healing the man before their very eyes. By the interpretive rule of “necessary inference,” Jesus demonstrated His deity publically where all those present could see the evidence for themselves that Jesus was God in human flesh.
 
There are several more parts to your question, and I am happy to answer those also, but I did not want to make this comment too long.

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How to stop the school shootings

 

There really are sensible, practical, and effective solutions staring us in the face.

Individual students and teachers surely were aware of potential issues with this student. The student came from a difficult background. The student complained of being upset at being bullied.

The direct answer I found as a teacher was to encourage my students to write frequently. I shared with them proverbs and quotations daily to help them focus on better values and moral principles. I had them write what I called “Proverb Interpretation Compositions” and “Proverb Application Compositions.” My students told me verbally and in writing that this assignment “turned their lives around.”

I learned right away as a new teacher that if I failed to reach a student while he or she was in my class, that student might be headed for great difficulty in life, starting with dropping out of school.

If we learn the truth that every person is worth more than the whole world, as Jesus clearly taught, then we will hold each person in the highest regard. We will value every person supremely. We will do everything we can to reach out to every student and connect in a way that will bring out the best in them. When students observed and experienced that I really cared for each of them they usually responded positively. Some did not. It was my hope then and now that they would be reached by another teacher who had contact with them.

This is a most important issue. For many students who seem to end up on the “bad side” of life, the real issue is that they have not been successful in learning to read well.

I solved that problem for my struggling students by writing my own self-instructional reading program. I wrote it that way so they could do the work without my constant help.

I know that when I was allowed to use this program it transformed the attitudes and lives of my students because they showed remarkable improvement in reading comprehension and experienced success in all their other classes too.

When I taught world and American history at Southeastern High School I was given a box of 8 textbooks, not all the same title, to teach five classes of 35 or more students. Fortunately, I had a wonderful department head, Mr. Mercer, who granted me permission to do anything I could to help my students.

I wrote and typed up my own teaching materials. I placed them in sheet protectors and little binders to make what I called “selections” at my own expense. I typed up my self-instructional reading program in this loose leaf sized format. It had been in a 3 x 5 card format until then.

One day, the school principal called me into his office and showed me his latest copy of his principal’s notes. They contained a report at showed Southeastern High School had shown the greatest improvement in reading achievement of Detroit’s 22 high schools. He told me that improvement was traced to my history class students. He said he wanted to appoint me to the position of Reading Specialist. He wanted me to teach reading in a special program. I refused to take the position because I wanted to remain under Mr. Mercer’s supervision. The principal repeated the requests, and the third time I agreed with the stipulation that I was to be free to create my own materials and not be required to use the materials supplied by the Detroit Board of Education. I also requested that the English Department Head be kept off my back. The principal agreed.

I was given the supposedly lowest-achievement students who were at the greatest risk of dropping out. In fact, I was told that most of the students assigned to my new program would probably drop out before the end of the semester.

The first question my new classes asked me was, “Mr. Smith, is this a class for dummies?” I told them, “Absolutely not. If you follow my directions you will turn into geniuses.”

It turned out that most of my students did not drop out, but improved their reading achievement, and successfully went on to college.

Now, if the Lord enabled me to successfully help at-risk students, where are the rest of the Christian teachers in our public schools? At present they are stifled and cannot really teach what they know ought to be taught by those above them that may know less than they do.

That happened to me too, but I refused to be stifled. I even dared the administrators at Cass Technical High School, the first high school where I taught English, to a public debate, and if they did not wish to debate me directly, I challenged them to secure the services of the head of the ACLU. I figured I knew the law better than either they or he did.

I could say that because I had taken a course in school law at Wayne State University where I was working on my Master’s degree. The professor was so impressed with my work he took me to meet the head of the law school.

My “remedial reading” students were so excited about what they were learning in my class that they talked about it to their other teachers. One day the social studies teacher asked me, saying, “Mr. Smith, I know you are a well-educated man. But the students tell me that you do not believe in evolution. Is that true?” I said it certainly was. Then the teacher asked, “Would you be willing to debate the science teachers about this?” I said, “Any time. You don’t need to give me any time to prepare. I’m ready.”

The debate took place.

My science teacher friend, Darryl Hackett, an experienced attorney who taught school for fun and the joy of teaching, not because he needed the income, said in front of the science department teachers at Southeastern High School who had challenged me to a debate, “Jerry, you should have been an attorney.” He was an experienced debate judge and said I had won the debate.

A good while later in my teaching career I was given a handwritten list of 21 students by Coach Stuckey at Denby High School, the last school where I taught, students who had earned full athletic scholarships to college. As a result of having these students use my reading program and my volunteer tutoring of them after school to help them pass the ACT test, they became qualified for their scholarships.

I have never seen the name of any of my former students in the news because they were involved in crime.

I know my solutions work.

If President Trump is looking for answers let him know I have them!

 

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That pesky “Exact Word Fallacy” again

The Nugget:

John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 

My Comment:

John 1:29 is a key verse important to our understanding of just who Jesus is.

What I posted 39 weeks ago:

The Muslim Question:  “If He (Jesus) is God, why did he cry unto God? Vividly, Jesus never said He is God.”

My Response:

I’ve answered this question before on this site, but I am happy to share my answer again with you.

Jesus on the Cross cried unto God. Jesus during His ministry cried unto God (see Hebrews 5:7). While here on earth Jesus was a man.

Careful study of all the evidence in the Bible will lead to the conclusion that the Lord Jesus Christ possessed two natures at the same time: He possessed a human nature, and He possessed a divine nature. In theology this is called the hypostatic union.

As to the claim you make that “Jesus never said He is God,” that does not at all prove that He was not God while on earth as a man.

If Jesus is not God, then why did His own disciples write in the New Testament in such a manner to clearly show that they believed that Jesus was God?

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 10:30 I and my Father are one.

The grammar of the Greek text of the New Testament at John 10:30 clearly declares the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“I” (a singular pronoun) and the Father (a singular noun) connected by a plural verb in Greek, “are” (Greek, esmen), followed by a SINGULAR predicate adjective “one” (Greek, hen).

Jesus and the Father are distinct in Person, but One in essence and being and purpose. They are consubstantial, the very same substance or essential nature.

This declares and makes Jesus God. This means there is more than one person in the Godhead. We speak of the Father as the first person of the Godhead. We speak of His son Jesus Christ as the second person of the Godhead. We speak of the Holy Spirit as the third person of the Godhead.

The New Development on this Older Thread:

Today a Muslim posted a response to what I wrote 39 weeks ago, saying:

“Let’s agree for the sake of argument that Jesus was a man on earth. Now bring an evidence verse from Jesus’ mouth that he says he is God in heaven. A VERSE please. I don’t need your explanations please, only a verse from the Bible.”

My Latest Response:

Ali J. Tari, I do not agree to furnish only a verse from the Bible. The reason that I do not agree is that many readers are not able to correctly understand a verse given by itself. Readers often do not understand the Bible or any other work of written literature for they do not know the rules of interpretation that apply.

 
Your request to “bring an evidence verse from Jesus mouth that he says he is God in heaven” is a good example of the “exact word” fallacy. Such a question is framed on purpose to be impossible to answer. Therefore, such a question is not a valid question.
 
But in answer to your challenge I furnish the following valid evidence:
 
We know Jesus is in heaven now.
 
We know that Jesus Christ was called “the lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
 
In the book of Revelation, we see Jesus depicted as the Lamb. The Lamb is ascribed all the terms of honor and worship that God the Father is given. Since Jesus is given the same honors as God the Father is given, this proves that Jesus Christ is true deity, and that the New Testament writers by divine inspiration indicate this repeatedly. See Revelation 5:12 compared to Revelation 7:12.
 
Rev 5:12  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
 
Rev 7:12  Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 
 
This seven-fold ascription in Revelation 5:12 to the Lamb is given in Revelation 7:12 to God.
 
This is proof enough for anyone whose heart is truly open to the truth.

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Daily Bible Nugget #476, Exodus 23:1

The Nugget:

Exodus 23:1  Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

My Comment:

I was motivated to write about Exodus 23:1 today by something I saw reported that President Trump recently wrote:

“Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation,” Trump wrote. “Some are true and some are false. Some are old and some are new. There is no recovery for someone falsely accused – life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?” AP report

President Trump is exactly right.

There have been repeated waves of slander lodged against President Trump himself.

There have been waves of slander lodged against Justice Roy Moore, of Alabama. The slander actually cost him the election to the U.S. Senate. He would have been a superb Senator because he knows the law, he understands the Constitution, and he firmly stands up for what is right.

It was reported that the opposing political party actually paid for robocalls soliciting anyone who would lodge allegations of impropriety against Moore to come forward with a promised payment of $7,000 for any who would do so.

The Bible has much to say against such tactics.

No Christian who believes the Bible should ever be in support of such wicked slander against anyone, let alone another Christian.

What the Bible has to say about this matter needs to be thoroughly taught to every person, and especially every Christian.

I have been disturbed at the extent to which some Christians have been deceived by the major media reporting, reporting which is almost always propaganda for the “left.” The “political left” in our time is not democratic but socialist, even communist. Those who are taken in by the falsehoods of the left are in a sorry state, having swallowed the poisoned wells of misinformation provided by the “left.”

Jesus warned us not to be deceived.

It is about time we took His warning seriously.

I invite you to dig deeper into the Bible on this subject by studying the following cross references I have given for Exodus 23:1 in my newest Bible study tool, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury. I share them below for your study.

 

 

shalt not. Exo 23:7, +*Exo 20:16, *+Lev 19:16, 2Sa 16:3; 2Sa 19:27, *Psa 15:3; *Psa 101:5; Psa 120:3, *Pro 10:18; Pro 17:4; Pro 25:23, Jer 20:10, Mat 28:14, 15, Rom 3:8.

raise. or, receive. Psa 15:3 mg. +*1Ti 5:19 note.

an unrighteous witness. Deut 5:20; *Deut 19:16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, *1Ki 21:10, 11, 12, 13, Psa 27:12; *Psa 35:11, +Pro 6:19; Pro 12:17; Pro 19:5; Pro 19:9; Pro 19:28; *Pro 24:28; Pro 25:18, Mat 19:18; *Mat 26:59, 60, 61, Luk 3:14; Luk 19:8, *Act 6:11, 12, 13, **Eph 4:25, 2 Tim 3:3, 1Pe 3:16, Rev 12:10.

 

 

Posted in Bible Study Tools, Christian Living, Daily Bible Nuggets, Doctrinal Discussions, How to Study the Bible, Justice and the Bible, Politics and the Bible, Practical Application Bible Studies, Principles of Christian Living | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Paul tell lies to spread the Gospel?

The Nugget:

Rom 3:7  For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 

My Comment:

This is the proof-text that some Muslims (and perhaps some of the Hebrew Roots movement) use to prove from the Bible that Paul was a liar and otherwise a heretic.

Christians need to know their Bible better so that they can refute such claims. So, listen up!

The Muslim claim:

“What about Paul who supplied more books in the Bible than Jesus and the Bible itself said Paul lied? Can’t you see the basis of your faith is all about lies and deception that [has] transformed to madness?”

My Question:

Where does the Bible itself say that Paul lied? Please give the exact book, chapter, and verse reference so I can verify your claim. Thank you.

The Muslim Response:

“Romans 3:7 for sure.”

My Answer:

Thank you for your help.

Rom 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? 
Rom 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

One of the important rules of interpretation is that we must consider the context of the verse we are seeking to correctly understand.

By context, in this instance, I refer to what comes before the verse, and most especially in this case, what comes after this verse.

Careful attention to Romans 3:8 shows that Paul is not affirming the statement of Romans 3:7, but is reporting the false reasoning and false slander that has been made against Paul and the Christians.

Therefore, Paul is not here telling a lie. Rather, he is reporting and commenting upon the lie, the false charges, spoken against him and his fellow Christians.

See if you can find a clearer example than Romans 3:7.

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Daily Bible Nugget #475, Luke 24:39

The Nugget:

Luke 24:39  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 

My Comment:

Some religious groups, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and some world religions, including Islam, are very mistaken about what the Bible teaches about our Lord Jesus Christ and what the Bible teaches about the Holy Spirit.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. They teach that Jesus was raised as a spirit being.

Guess what! If you believe that, you are in for a big surprise when you pass from life into death. It is an absolute requirement for salvation that you must believe that Jesus rose bodily from the dead. See Romans 10:9, 10.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe the Holy Spirit is a Person. Here again, they are utterly mistaken in their belief. Only a person can be grieved, yet the Bible tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit.  See Ephesians 4:30.

The Muslims correctly believe the Holy Spirit is a person. They correctly understand that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter that Jesus promised to send.

But then the Muslims spoil it all when they teach that Mohammed is the Comforter that Jesus promised to send.

The Bible is clear that the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus Christ and that the disciples received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1, 2, 3, 4.

Therefore, the Holy Spirit is not Mohammed!

The Muslim Questions:

A Muslim asked, “Please, what is the difference between holy spirit, holy ghost, angel, and spirit?”

I answered:

“Holy Ghost” and “Holy Spirit” refer to the same Person. These are just different English ways of saying what in the original Greek text is stated using the single word pneuma. The English translators did that for literary reasons to make the English sound better in the KJV. That is an example of how as a literary translation the King James Version ranks the best for English versions.

Angels are spirits but not all spirits are angels.

Another presumably Muslim poster asked, “Jerome Smith, you are absolutely right. But please help us with the other examples of spirits aside [from] the angels as you explained above.”

My Answer (Don’t miss this most interesting Bible study):

There are several verses in the Bible that relate to the subject of spirit or spirits in the Bible.

Upon His bodily resurrection, Jesus Christ said he was not a spirit, because he demonstrably had flesh and bones, and spirits do not:

Luk 24:39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

This was in response to what we read in Luke 24:36, 37,

Luk 24:36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Luk 24:37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.

In Luke 24:37 “spirit” is put for a spirit being or an angel, as in Luke 24:39. In Acts 23:8 “spirit” is distinguished from an angel. In Luke 24:37 the apostles thought what they saw was a disembodied spirit, not the actual person of Christ himself, a misconception Christ immediately and emphatically corrects.

Act 23:8 For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both.

A “spirit” was the common term for one passed into the unseen state. The Pharisees confessed their belief in “spirits,” carefully distinguished from “angels,” and in opposition to the infidelity and unbelief of the Sadducees. “Spirit” used in this sense is taken as ordinarily applying to the spirits of men apart from the body.

The above verses employ the Greek word “pneuma” for “spirit.”

Another Greek word, “phantasma,” is used in Matthew 14:26 and Mark 6:49 and this Greek word is also translated “spirit” but means “an apparition” or “phantom” or what we might think of as a “ghost.”

Mat 14:26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.

Mar 6:49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

The word “spirit” is also used of demons or evil spirits as at Matthew 8:16.

In my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and also in my book, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, I have placed a note at Matthew 8:16 giving a complete breakdown or analysis of all the uses of the word “pneuma” or “spirit” and its Hebrew equivalent, “ruach,” in the Bible.

 

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