Friday, September 6, 2013

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Contradictions in the Bible? Part 5

          Just like those who say, there are contradictions in the Bible, the Sadducees (who didn’t believe in the resurrection) asked Jesus what would happen in the resurrection: Matthew 22:23-28.  Those who don’t believe in the Bible will often try to trip us up by asking questions about things they have a desire, because of their unbelief, to be wrong.  Jesus answer, in verse 29 was that they didn’t know what they were talking about because they didn’t know the scriptures, or the power of God.  Then Jesus told them (verse 30-32) the information had been there for them all along, if they had bothered to study it. 


          How can I speak with authority?  It’s not that I know it all; it’s that I have access to it all (at least a lot of it).  I am still in the education process.  Because of their spiritual blindness the Pharacies and Sadducees ridiculed what Jesus taught.  All has not been opened to me yet, but I am open to the Lord’s instruction; which is why I continue to study.  In my walk with the Lord through the years, I have often fallen backwards; however the Lord is always there to catch me (like He did with Peter walking on the water) and give me a hand up.  We need a mind open to the urging of the Lord to continue our growth in Him.  When I wonder if what I am doing is pleasing to the Lord, I remember His instruction to “go into the entire world with the Good News”.  The word ‘prophet’ does not merely mean ‘one who foretells’ but can also mean ‘one who witnesses or one who is God’s spokesman.  It has been said that I am a Protagonistic instigator.  That could easily describe any and all of the prophets. What better way to witness than to make waves in the status quo?  You can’t wake up those who are pretending to be asleep.  “Those who are lead to hear will hear.”  (Gary Stearman)  I stand on Psalm 26:7: I will publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of thy wonderful works.

I have been told that I am an instigator.  In conversation, I tend to bring up controversy.  Controversy initiates inquiry:  It makes people think, and thinking ignites a yearning for knowledge.  Some people think my instigations are attacks, but they are not.  They are an attempt to bring out the inner feelings of others to gain knowledge and understanding of the way they came to their conclusions, especially to know if their conclusions are based on fact and knowledge, or based on their feelings and or misinformation.    

          Who was at the crucifixion?  In Matthew the list consisted of Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses (who was also the mother of Jesus), the mother of Zebedies children (James and John).  Mark also lists the chief priests and scribes, Salome, many other women who came with Him from Jerusalem, and we know that Simon (the man from Cyrenian, who carried Jesus cross) had to be there.  Luke mentions the rulers, which were with the people, derided Him. There were the women from Galilee. Pontius Pilot was there: we know that because the chief priests asked him to change the sign.  In John we see in addition to the above, Mary the mother of Jesus (whom Jesus charged John with her care), Mary’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, Joseph of Arimathaea with Nicodemus who asked for the body, and the apostle John.  This list does not include the soldiers, the officers and servants of the Romans.  There were those passing by that railed on Him, wagging their heads, and saying; “Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross”.  There were two ‘malefactors’ crucified with Him, one on each side. As we can see, there was a multitude of witnesses who saw Jesus crucified.  The exact number is not known, however, there could have been as many that saw Him crucified as there were that met with Him after He rose from the dead; and we know that there were over five hundred that witnessed Him after the resurrection.  


          What is the unforgivable sin?  For years I have wondered about this. I still am not absolutely sure, but I think it breaks down to two things. Jesus said it would be unforgivable to give credit to the Devil for the works of the Holy Spirit.  Not accepting the salvation offered by Jesus will keep you from getting into Heaven.  They may be one and the same as it is the Holy Spirit who calls you to receive Jesus as your Savior.  Both could be categorized as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 


          Who is a Liar?  1 Corinthians 12:3 says: “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”  1 John 2:22 says: “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ?”  John 8:44 says:  “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  1 John 2:4 says: “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Nuff said?


          How many transgressions is God referring to in the Book of Amos?  In the book of Amos, God speaks of judgments for Israel and the transgressions of the nations surrounding Israel. The nations spoken of were Tyre, Damascus, Gaza, Edom, Ammon, Moab, and finally Judah.  The way the judgments are spoken of says they will be judged for three and of four transgressions.   Generally speaking, God is saying that if these people had sinned only once or twice He could have forgiven them; but they continued to sin and their transgressions mounted to a point, and volume He could no longer ignore.  Before announcing the judgment on Israel, Amos proclaims the punishment on neighboring heathen nations for their injurious treatment of the chosen people, thus showing God's care for his elect, and leading them to fear vengeance for their own greater sins towards him”(From the Pulpit Commentary).  God's fulfillment of His threats being more awful than human language can express. "Three and four" imply sin multiplied on sin (compare Ex 20:5; Pr 30:15, 18, 21; "six and seven," Job 5:19; "once and twice," Job 33:14; "twice and thrice," Margin; "oftentimes," English Version, Job 33:29; "seven and also eight," Ec 11:2). There may be also a reference to seven, the product of three and four added; seven expressing the full completion of the measure of their guilt (Le 26:18, 21, 24; compare Mt 23:32)” (From the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary).


          Snakes don’t eat dirt.  That’s right, serpents don’t eat dirt. They take dirt in with their breath as they slither along. God refers to dirt as the dust of the earth. As serpents eat, they have no way of washing the dust from their food, so they take in dust with the food.  Also the bible says that He made the creatures of the earth from the dust. The objection to God’s word here is simply a failure to understand anatomy.


          Atonement; did Christ die for everyone or just Christians?  When Jesus died on the cross, He covered the sins of everyone. The atonement was the price paid for the sins of the world. The atonement, however, doesn’t get you into Heaven.  Only the acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior gets you into Heaven.  Some view atonement as universal salvation which is a heresy.
Because of the atonement, your sins are not counted against you.  Because of the atonement, you only need to use your ‘free will’ to make one decision: to accept or reject the free gift of salvation through Christ.


         Why does God predetermine people to go to Hell?  Predestination is vastly misunderstood.   Some think that God has predestined those who will be saved (the Elect), while others think God simply knows the future.  Here it is important to know that what God gives, He does not take away.  Each of us has the right of free will, given by God.  God did not decide when He created you, whether you would go to Heaven or Hell.  You are the one who makes that choice.  It must be stated, however, that God knows everything; including the future.  He knows who will, and who will not accept the free gift of salvation that He set up, through Jesus, to forgive all sin.




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