This outline shows the textual markers that indicate that Revelation is intentionally divided into an introduction and six heptads each with their own introduction.
I. An Unveiling of Yeshua Messiah (1:1-8, seven assemblies 1:4)
II. "In Patmos, I was in Spirit in the Lord's Day" (1:9-20, 1:10, seven assemblies 1:11)
A. Ephesus, desired | desirable (2:1-7); Nicolaitans
B. Smyrna, myrrh (2:8-11); Satan
C. Pergamos, thoroughly married | marriage | elevation (2:12-17); Antipas, Balaam
D. Thyatira, continual or perpetual sacrifice (2:18-29); Jezebel
E. Sardis, those escaping | remnant | those who have escaped (3:1-6); God
F. Philadelphia, brotherly love (3:7-13); David
G. Laodicea, people ruling | rights of the people (3:14-22); Amen
III. "A door opened in Heaven, the voice 'come up here', and I was in Spirit" (4:1-5:14, 4:2, seven seals 5:1) [Ezekiel 8:3, 11:23]
First living being (6:1-2, coming of white horse, Nikon, conquest 6:2)
Second living being (6:3-4, coming of red horse, Machaira, broadsword 6:4)
Third living being (6:5-6, coming of black horse, Zugon, yoke 6:5)
Fourth living being (6:7-8, coming of bleached horse, Thanatos, death 6:8)
Souls of martyrs under the first altar (6:9-11, completion of their fellow-slaves and brothers 6:11)
Great earthquake (6:12-7:17, wrath of Lamb 6:16, 144,000 counted 7:4, multitude 7:9)
Silence in Heaven half an hour (8:1)
IV. "I saw, by the altar" (8:2-6, 8:3, seven trumpets 8:2, incense altar fire cast on Earth and earthquake 8:5) [Ezekiel 8:7, 10:18]
Hail, fire and blood on one-third of Earth (8:7)
Burning mountain on one-third of Sea (8:8-9)
Star (Apsinthos, wormwood) on one-third of Rivers (8:10-11)
Striking of one-third of Sun, moon and stars (8:12-13, three woes 8:13)
Key of the pit of the abyss (9:1-12, Abaddon or Apollyon, destroyer 9:11, one woe 9:12)
Four angels at Euphrates (9:13-11:14a, little scroll 10:8, two witnesses 11:3, second woe 11:14a)
Behold, the third woe (11:14b-18, "he shall reign forever and ever" 11:15, earthquake 11:19)
V. "The temple of God opened in Heaven" (11:19; seven "signs" 12:1, 12:3, 13:13-14, 15:1, 16:14, 19:20) [Ezekiel 8:14, 10:4]
A. A great sign, woman vested with Sun (12:1-2)
B. Another sign, fire-red dragon (12:3-17, war in Heaven, dragon cast to Earth 12:13)
C. Beast arising out of Sea (13:1-10)
D. Another beast arising out of Earth (13:11-18, their signs 13:13-14)
E. Behold, the Lamb and 144,000 (14:1-13, three angels 14:6)
F. Behold, a Son of Man (14:14-20, three angels 14:15, 14:17, 14:18, reaping 14:15, treading 14:20)
G. Another sign, seven angels having the seven last plagues (15:1-4, sea of glass, song of Moses
VI. "The temple of the testimony's dwelling opened in Heaven" (15:5-16:1, seven plagues after these 15:6) [Ezekiel 8:16, 9:3]
Ulcers on Earth (16:2)
Blood on Sea (16:3)
Blood on Rivers (16:4-7)
Fire on Sun (16:8-9)
Darkness on throne of beast (16:10-11)
Drought on Euphrates (16:12-16, signs of demons 16:14, Armageddon 16:26)
Completion on air (16:17-21, greatest earthquake 16:18, great hail 16:21)
VII. "One saying, 'This way, I show you'" (17:1-2, one of those seven angels having the seven phials 17:1) [Ezekiel 11:24, 43:4]
A. He, carrying me away (17:3-18, woman on a scarlet beast 17:3, the angel 17:7, desolation 17:16)
B. Another angel, coming down from Heaven (18:1-20, fall of Babylon 18:2)
C. One angel, strong (18:21-19:8, stone cast into Sea 18:21, judging the great harlot 19:2)
D. A fellow-slave, saying, "Write" (19:9-16, 19:10, marriage supper 19:9, one on a white horse 19:11)
E. One angel, standing in Sun (19:17-21, war with the one on the horse 19:19, signs of beast 19:20)
F. An angel, coming down out of Heaven (20:1-21:8, millennium 20:2, war of Gog and Magog 20:8)
G. One of those seven angels (21:9-22:21, Lamb's wife 21:9-10, a fellow-slave angel 21:17, 22:8-9)
Some of the overarching patterns:
Six heptads, three of ordered plagues upon the wicked, three of unordered blessings upon the righteous.
Five transitions between the six heptads, relating to John using four gates to approach the Holiest Place (city, court, Holy, Holiest) and returning; mirrored twice in Ezekiel by Ezekiel's approach and return and by the Lord's departure and return.
Seven tabernacle articles (mercy seat of throne 4:2, menorah 4:5, scroll ark of throne 5:1, sacrificial altar 6:9-11, incense altar 8:5, sea or laver 15:1-4, supper table 19:9).
Seven churches each having names relating to their character, each having focus on certain named occupants (four wicked; three righteous).
Four horsemen each with colors and names relating to their character and related to the living beings.
Four trumpets affecting thirds of four domains and four plagues affecting all of the same four domains; three woe trumpets.
Seven total uses of word "sign" to indicate the seven-ness of the internal signs (listed in point V above).
Three beasts, of the Sea (13:1-10), the Earth (13:11-18), and the Abyss (17).
Three sequential uses of the word "Behold" introducing three angels with the fifth sign (the Lamb), and three angels with the sixth sign (the Son of Man), and the third woe that is the seventh trumpet.
Seven beings called angels or fellow-slaves of which the first and last are phial or bowl angels, implying they all are.
I’ve been researching the different denominations recently. Originally I was on a quest to discover the “right” one. Now I’ve begun to think it’s less about the “right” denomination and more about finding a Bible believing and preaching church and just following Christ in your own life as best you can.
I found a new church but they’re praising the vaccine. Sigh.
Heavenly Father we love you ao much. Plz continue to unite and grow everyone bere at this site and all across rhe .win network. Lift up you children and fill them with wisdom so they may become beacons of light for others to folllw. Allow each of us to ignite the spark for you inside of us and to wanna share that spark with the world. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross, so we may have a second chance at redemption. Continue to guide each of your children to where you neeed them, so we can bring glory to your name. Send fresh eyes and hearts to this prayer thread, and fill them with the urge to fall down to there knee's and worship you. We love you so much. You are our father,guide, mentor, general, and God.Use us for great things. In Jesus Christ glorious name amen
This thread is for anyone needing prayer wanting to say a prayer or just want a friend
Please join us at 5pm PDT for 1 min of prayer for each other amd the world
If anyone would like to help out with the prayer thread plz let me or the mods know. It would be awesome if we got a team effort on this. Love you all God bless.
Guys, my heart is heavy in the wake of Officer Chauvin's convictions. I know that Ahab and Jezebel were eventually judged for using the courts to do injustice, but that didn't change that they had taken the life of poor Naboth!
I guess I'm not asking for answers or encouragement. I feel like I should grieve. Both for Chauvin and for those who condemn themselves in taking away years of his life.
Come O Lord, and speedily!
The kingdom of God includes many principles (standards) that when carefully considered and lived out will produce the benefits of living in the kingdom. A principle is “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior…” (google.com)
The king’s responsibility is the benevolence of his subjects or his kingdom’s citizens. The level at which each citizen is taken care of is highly dependent upon their desire and ability to live out the principles of the kingdom. Living out the principles of the kingdom means putting forth some effort to seek and attain the benefits offered. These 5 principles are not an exhaustive list but are instead a sprinkling of the standards God has set in place for us to live out an abundant, kingdom-centered life on earth. They are the principles of Promise, Patience, Praise, Provision, and Power.
#1) The Principle of Promise says all the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). Everything is established, created, authored, and completed through Jesus, from the beginning of time (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1-3). We should learn to trust God, trust His Word and trust His promises.
#2) The Principle of Patience, established and displayed at the beginning of time though God’s process of creation, is a virtue and a characteristic of God (Galatians 5:22). God carefully crafted and skillfully put everything in its place, one by one, patiently creating order from disorder. Even throughout the historic, biblical account of Israel, God displays and teaches patience and demonstrates that “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” (Proverbs 21:5)
#3) The Principle of Praise teaches us that God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). God’s promise to never abandon us is catapulted in our praise and thanksgiving to Him. The walls of the fortified city of Jericho fell down at the sound of praise (Joshua 6:20). Paul and Silas caused the walls of the jail to shake free when they committed themselves to prayer and praise (Acts 16:25) When we praise God, the burdens of life are lifted and we, who were bound, are loosed and set free.
#4) The Principle of Provision says that when we put God first in our lives, He is faithful to provide all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). It is rooted in the Law of the Harvest as defined in Luke 6:38. Our willingness to give determines our provision. If we sow the Word of God into our lives we will reap its rewards, spiritually and naturally. God loves it when we are willing to give up something for Him. And, He never uses something of yours without returning it in abundance. And, my God shall supply all of your needs according to His riches I glory in Christ Jesus.
#5) The Principle of Power says the ability (power) to live and act according to God’s will for your life can only be done through the influence (power) of the Holy Spirit. It’s in Him that we live, move and have our being (Acts 17:28). And, God can do exceedingly abundantly above everything that we can ask or think according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20). If you want to prosper in life, get the power of God in you first.
These 5 kingdom principles and others are rooted in Matthew 6:33 — “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added.” If we’d live these 5 Principles of the Kingdom of God, we’d know the abundant life given to us by Christ. We’d live out our days as the Kings He’s called us to be. We’d be able to speak those things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17). We’d be able to manifest, in our lives, the results of the Kingdom of God.
Don Stewart One of the methods Jesus employed in communicating His message was through parables. A parable is basically an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. When Jesus started telling parables to the people, His disciples asked the obvious question, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" (Matthew 13:10).
Jesus Gives A Revealing Answer
Jesus' answer to the question was quite revealing.
Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given . . . . And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: 'Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive, for the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them' (Matthew 13:11,14,15).
Unwillingness on the part of the people to receive Jesus' message of the kingdom was the reason that He taught in parables. The truths of the kingdom of God were heard by them but not understood. It was not because God was hiding the truth from them-it was because they did not want to hear.
They Had The Chance To Believe
This points to a great truth. God has given the people every chance to accept the message of Jesus. His ministry was attested by miracles. He offered the proper credentials as the Messiah, yet they did not believe Him. The realities of the kingdom, therefore, were not theirs to know. The people who believed in Jesus as the Messiah would understand the parables. They would comprehend the great truths of the kingdom of God.
They Are To Be Understood Spiritually
Some years later the Apostle Paul would echo the same truth:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known they would not have crucified the Lord of glory . . . For what man knows the things of man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God . . . But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:7,8,11,14).
Most People Were Not Interested In The Truth The truth of God is to be understood spiritually. The great majority of the people in Jesus' day were not interested in God's truth. Jesus clearly said,
Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand (Matthew 13:13).
Jesus spoke in parables - earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. He did so that his disciples would comprehend his teachings and that unbelievers would be without comprehension. Those interested in understanding the truth of his message would understand while those not interested would remain without understanding.
“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6 (NIV)
Sometimes God’s Word can feel like an impossible order, don’t you think? Take today’s passage for example: Paul tells us we are to let our words be gracious. I love that the NIV actually reads “full of grace.” Full of it. As in, the bulk of our words should be made up of grace toward the person with whom we are conversing.
Not partial grace. Not halfway grace. All the way grace.
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried this, but it’s hard.
It’s hard when one of the precious people living in your house gets on your last good nerve. It’s hard when a trusted friend deeply wounds you. And it’s incredibly hard when people share their thoughts and opinions so freely and carelessly on social media. Offering thoughts and opinions that can leave you feeling frustrated, angry or even personally attacked.
I don’t know about you, but words laced with grace aren’t typically the first ones that come to mind when someone’s hurtful words have landed like daggers in my heart. I want to defend myself. And point out how they’re misunderstanding my intentions.
But just because speaking with grace is hard, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And Paul’s words to the Colossians remind us that our words matter.
Paul specifically wants us to consider our words in light of unbelievers, telling us in Colossians 4:5-6, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
And look at how Jesus models grace and truth in John 1:14, which says, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (NIV). Every instance in the New Testament where we see grace and truth together is always connected to Jesus.
We are to be people of truth with grace-filled words. People who choose healing and helpful words. Because whether we realize it or not, believers and unbelievers alike are listening intently to the words we speak. They’re reading the words we type. And our words testify to the kind of relationship we have with Jesus and the kind of effect He has on our hearts.
So where is the hope in the midst of words that make our pulse race and our face flush? How do we keep our words full of grace?
We remember that Jesus doesn’t offer us partial grace. He doesn’t offer us halfway grace. Jesus gave, and continues to give, all-the-way grace. Grace that took Him all the way to the cross.
Oh, how we need to let this truth interrupt us and redirect us. The divine grace we receive from Christ should fuel our gracious natures and fill our conversations. Because we are people who desperately need grace, we should be people who lavishly give grace.
And not only are we to be gracious in our speech, Paul also tells us our words should be “seasoned with salt.” In rabbinic tradition, this phrase would have been associated with wisdom. In Greco-Roman literature, it meant to be “winsome or witty” in speech. Paul was reminding the Colossians they were called to be people filled with godly wisdom. To be able to respond to objections to the gospel in a manner that was winsome. He wanted their words, and ours, to attract people to Christ, not repel them.
I don’t know who puts grace to the test in your life, sweet friend. But I do know the Holy Spirit is willing to help us choose grace-filled words, if only we will pause long enough for Him to replace the first ones that may pop into our brains.
We can also go ahead and pre-decide that today, because of the lavish grace of Jesus, we will choose the way of grace. With His help, we can speak with honor in the midst of being dishonored. We can speak with peace in the midst of being threatened. We can speak of good things in the midst of bad situations.
We can choose words that won’t leave the bitter taste of regret in our mouths. Words seasoned with the salt of wisdom and full of the grace of Jesus.
Father God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus. He could have held back His grace. But instead, He chose to pour out every single drop for me at Calvary. May Your grace be what pours out of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
The story of joseph, especially when he explains the dreams.
When moses speaks to the burning bush, and god tells him he will tell him what to say. ( means alot when your a person who doesnt always choose the right words)
When David had the chances to kill Saul and didnt.
When solomon came to god and asked only for wisdom.
This isn't political. Chauvin's trial ended today. It's a hard case with strong points on both sides. Let's pray for the jurors to be able to think clearly, process the TON of information they've been flooded with, do what's right, and have the courage and integrity to work justice.
I'd hate to be a juror on this case.
If a mistrial is called no way can Chauvin afford to do this again.
Let's also pray for physical protection for the jurors, and everyone else involved. One witness for the defense already had a house desecrated, he hasn't lived there for years.
Lord have Mercy!
Well, we've finally made it. This is the part of this series that I like the least, the breastplate. This is partially due to my own lack of confidence discussing this subject. I feel that I'm wholly unqualified to speak on the subject of righteousness, and I feel like there's so much more to be gained than what I'm presenting. I only hope that I might spark something inside someone wiser than I am. Well, this won't get any easier by me putting it off, so let's begin. As always, let's begin with the text. Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The breastplate, or lorica is the single most diverse piece of equipment in the Roman Legion. It can broadly be grouped into 4 styles: lorica hamata, lorica squamata, lorica segmentata, and lorica musculata. I want to single out that last style first, because there are some interesting associations to be made.
Lorica musculata is something that you usually see in art. It's a solid breastplate, sculpted to look like a muscular human torso. Usually, armor like this would be reserved for high ranking generals. That isn't to say that it never saw use on a battlefield, but for the most part, it was for show. This style of armor would usually be cast from solid bronze, or it could be made from molded leather with only a thin veneer of metal over the top.
The first type was heavy, rigid, and cumbersome. It looks impressive, but it would be very difficult to fight in. This brings to my mind the sort of people who make a show of their righteousness. Upholding that kind of strict, rigid moral code is exhausting, and it often masks deep flaws. These sorts of people are, as Jesus put it, whitewashed tombs. They put on a good show. Everything looks good on the outside, but on the inside, there is only death and rot.
The second variant, made of leather with only that paper thin layer of metal on top, was useless. It would never stop an arrow. It was parade armor, never intended for the front lines. I look at this, and I see not only someone attempting to present the facade of righteousness, but one who's trying to do it all in their own strength. As Isaiah 64:6 tells us,
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
So that covers what our righteousness isn't, but it doesn't answer what it is. The other 3 types of armor all share one thing that the lorica musculata lacks, flexibility. Lorica hamata is chainmail; essentially a shirt made of interlocking metal rings. This style of armor was used from the early Roman Republic all the way through the 15th century. It worked. Lorica squamata is scale armor. It features small, overlapping metal plates, like fish scales, attached to a fabric or leather backing. Because this style of armor uses an organic backing of leather, wool, or linen, there are few surviving examples. The fabric decays over time, and all you're left with are loose metal scales. Nevertheless, this style was probably pretty popular because it was economical. It's easy to forge small plates en masse, the construction process isn't as tedious as chainmail, and if a few scales are dislodged, it's easy to rivet new ones in place. Finally, there's lorica segmentata. This is what we're used to seeing in movies. It's the stereotypical "Roman" armor, and it was the pinnacle of craftsmanship at the time. It uses overlapping bands of metal going the whole way around the body. There are leather straps on the inside, connecting each band to the ones above and below. The bands are able to slide overtop of one another, increasing mobility.
This is righteousness that we're talking about. I think it speaks volumes that righteousness doesn't demand us to be locked into these rigid patterns. We don't have to pray 5 times a day facing in a certain direction to be considered good Christians. We aren't required to fast on a certain schedule. We aren't required to do much of anything to be declared righteous in God's eyes. All of that is like the Pharisee in Luke 18. God isn't interested in the appearance of righteousness. He cares about actual righteousness, but Romans 3:10 says that no one is righteous. So what exactly are we supposed to be putting on?
Speaking of Abraham, Genesis 15:6 says,
And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.
Psalm 106:30-31 tells us how,
Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: and so the plague was stayed. And that was counted unto him for righteousness unto all generations for evermore.
Proverbs 12:17 says,
He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
Believe. Stand up. Speak truth. These things are so simple, so basic, yet so important. It isn't perfection that is required of us, simply integrity. Look at any of the great heroes of the faith. These three things are repeated again and again. From Noah onwards, every man and woman held up as an example of faith in action does these three things. They believe in God and His Word. They stand up, even when they're told to sit down and shut up. They speak the truth, no matter what the consequences may be.
Now, we're going to shift gears a little bit. I've always been of the opinion that there's far more truth to be found in Scripture than just a surface reading of the text. You can read the same passage from 2 angles, reach 2 conclusions, and they can both be right. This is one of those instances.
In Romans 4:6-8, Paul quotes,
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
That brings us into my closing thoughts for this piece of the armor. It says that "God imputeth righteousness without works." Throughout history, soldiers have often been required to purchase their own equipment. The Greeks required that every man provide his own helmet, shield, and spear. Vikings used primarily spears and axes because swords were expensive. Knights had their armor custom made to fit them perfectly. The Romans were different. They ISSUED armor to their soldiers. It was given to them, whether they could buy it or not.
This is especially important because of the Greek word for "righteousness." The word is dikaiosune. That word is used 93 times in the New Testament. It's a derivative of the word dike, which is often used in a legal context, meaning "justice." Think about that for a moment.
This is God's justice. Regardless of our inability to pay, He gifts this to us. When our own efforts fall short, we clothe ourselves in "filthy rags" because that's the best we can manage, He comes along, and gives us this miraculous protection. He doesn't do it because we deserve it. There's no possible way that we can earn it. We are justified, declared righteous, through faith in the eternal grace of God. We like to quote Ephesians 2:8-9, but I think we do a disservice to Scripture when we limit it to a bumper sticker's worth of text. Instead, let's read Ephesians 2:4-9,
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Don't be scared by the word "righteousness." It isn't something that you do. It's something you receive. It's given to you to keep you safe, because He loves you.
Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. - Gal 3:15-16 KJV
We must interpret the Bible literally-- as it is written. We learn the rules of literal interpretation, not from theory, but from the practice of how later Scripture writers interpret earlier ones. In Galatians 3:16, Paul makes one of the simplest interpretive deductions, that of grammar. In the Torah verse quoted, he shows that the noun case is significant, as in fact every grammatical feature is to be taken as intended. Because the word "seed" is singular rather than plural case, Paul teaches that we are to infer that a single person is intended rather than a group of people, and that inference indicates another one, namely, that the identity of that one person must be Messiah as the only one who fits. Jesus uses the same type of deduction in relation to verb tense when he tells the Sadducees (great Torah literalists) that Torah says, "I am the God of Abraham", implying that it does not read "I was".
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God. - Acts 15:13-19 KJV
The Bible is to be interpreted like any other book. While its contents are supernatural, and infallible in the original languages as we previously established, they are communicated in the same ways as other human messages. History, poetry, testimony of visions, didactic compilations, and personal and group letters each are interpreted just like any other documents in these categories. James recalled that Scripture spoke of a generic seeking of the Lord by the Gentiles in a prophetic portion. When he realized that there was in his experience a significant seeking event that exactly paralleled the text, he declared that the prophetic text had been fulfilled just as stated, and recognized the prophecy as indicating a call to cooperate with God's work by welcoming the Gentiles under very simple requirements (that is, the "laws of Noah"). This was a promise from God in literal words, and a fulfillment in history just as literally. By contrast, when a prophet testifies receipt of a vision, the testimony is to be taken as saying the prophet literally saw the things described, but the meaning of what was seen may be literal or figurative dependent on context.
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. - Eph 4:11-16 KJV
To interpret Scripture by Scripture means that we must not set one passage of Scripture against another passage. Each text must be understood not only in light of its immediate context but also in light of the context of the whole of Scripture. Ephesians 4 emphasizes the ability of believers in Messiah to come to unity of faith and knowledge in him. This reaffirms also that no Scripture is in disunity with another. When seekers after truth see different, contradictory interpretations in different Scriptures, they should submit further to the covering of Scripture and the assistance of the body at large in seeking resolution.
Other Win Communities notes today:
Verse of the Day ministry is by u/rclgejhhcc. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Comment here!
u/CuomoisaMassMurderer seeks special prayer for the jury trial of worldwide interest that closed today. Please join us in praying for wisdom and protection for the jurors and that we would all be empowered to practice obedience as God's will is revealed through current events.
u/2rainbows requests focused prayer for healing for her best friend (through God's grace and his own self's natural healing resources), for new life in her garden, and for closer walk with Jesus alongside her friend Brittany. Lord, grant even these the desires of her heart.
Today is the 246th anniversary of the Shot Heard Round the World.
We use it so glibly in the church today. Preachers say they preach the gospel, but if we listen to them preach Sunday after Sunday, we hear very little gospel in what they are preaching. The term gospel has become a nickname for preaching anything rather than something with definitive content.
The word for “gospel” is the word euangelion. It has that prefix eu-, which comes into English in a variety of words. We talk about euphonics or euphonious music, which refers to something that sounds good. We talk about a eulogy, which is a good word pronounced about someone at his funeral service. The prefix eu- refers to something good or pleasant. The word angelos or angelion is the word for “message.” Angels are messengers, and an angelos is one who delivers a message.
This word euangelion, which means “good message” or “good news,” has a rich background in the Old Testament. There, the basic meaning of the term gospel was simply an announcement of a good message. If a doctor came to examine a sick person and afterward declared that the problem was nothing serious, that was gospel or good news. In ancient days when soldiers went out to battle, people waited breathlessly for a report from the battlefield about the outcome. Once the outcome was known, marathon runners dashed back to give the report. That is why Isaiah wrote, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news” (Isa. 52:7). The watchman in the watchtower would look as far as the eye could see into the distance. Finally, he would see the dust moving as the runner sped back to the city to give the report of the battle. The watchmen were trained to tell by the way the runner’s legs were churning whether the news was good or bad. If the runner was doing the survival shuffle, it indicated a grim report, but if his legs were flying and the dust was kicking up, that meant good news. That is the concept of gospel in its most rudimentary sense.
When we come to the New Testament, we find three distinct ways in which the term gospel is used. First, we have four books in the New Testament that we call Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These books are biographical portraits of Jesus. Gospel in this sense describes a particular form of literature. During the earthly ministry of Jesus, the term gospel was linked not particularly with the person of Jesus but with the kingdom of God. John the Baptist is introduced as one who comes preaching the gospel, and his message is “repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Matt. 3:2).
Jesus did the same in His parables, proclaiming, “the kingdom of God is like . . .” On the lips of Jesus, the gospel was about the dramatic moment in history when, through the long-awaited Messiah, the kingdom of God had broken through in time and space. The good news was the good news of the kingdom. By the time the epistles were written, particularly the Pauline epistles, the term gospel had taken on a new shade of understanding. It had become the gospel of Jesus Christ. Gospel had a clear content to it. At the heart of this gospel was the announcement of who Jesus was and what He had accomplished in His lifetime.
If we give our testimony to our neighbors, saying, “I became a Christian last year. I gave my heart to Jesus,” we are bearing witness about Jesus, but we are not telling them the gospel, because the gospel is not about us. The gospel is about Jesus—what He did, His life of perfect obedience, His atoning death on the cross, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and His outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the church. We call those crucial elements the objective aspects of the New Testament gospel of Christ.
In addition to the person and work of Jesus, there is also in the New Testament use of the term gospel the question of how the benefits accomplished by the objective work of Jesus are subjectively appropriated to the believer. First, there is the question of who Jesus was and what He did. Second is the question of how that benefits you and me. That is why Paul conjoins the objective account of the person and work of Jesus (particularly to the Galatians) with the doctrine of justification by faith alone, which is essential to the gospel. In preaching the gospel we preach about Jesus, and we preach about how we are brought into a saving relationship with him.
The gospel is under attack in the church today. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get the gospel right and to understand both the objective aspect of the person and work of Jesus and the subjective dimension of how we benefit from that by faith alone.
Recently, a Protestant seminary professor, supposedly evangelical, was quoted to me as having said that the doctrine of imputation—by which our sins are transferred to Christ on the cross and His righteousness is transferred to us by faith—is of human invention and has nothing to do with the gospel. I wanted to weep when I heard that. It just underscored how delicate the preservation of the gospel is in our day and how careful the church has to be in every age to guard that precious good news that comes to us from God.
This excerpt is adapted from Romans: An Expositional Commentary by R.C. Sproul
For me, it was hard to reject copyright because I see myself as a capitalist, and somebody who believes that property is of the highest moral order. The commandments specifically say, do not steal. Ever since childhood I was taught that copyright is a property right that protects creators and incentives creation. The flaw in my reasoning was that just because somebody declares something a property right, doesn't mean that it is. Property rights are defined by "natural law", not by men. We used to call slaves on the plantation a property right, but in truth it was a flagrant violation of the property right that slaves had over themselves and their bodies. Copyrights act nothing like property, incentive lawyers, and protect cartels. They are more about controlling how people share and use information, then they are about property. Anybody who takes a quick look at Hollywood and the Music industry can see how it manifests itself. Rather than protect creators, content is used to form cartels and destroy culture. Property isn't something that some authoritarian made up so they can be incentived to be productive, instead it derives from the nature of God's universe where we live in a world where not everybody can use every physical thing at the same time. Well, with information you can. Also, the history of copyright isn't like the noble history of property rights. Copyrights didn't exist until the "Statute of Ann", which was not designed as a property, but as a reward to publishers who didn't say bad things about the monarchy.
I thought the book, "Against Intellectual Monopoly" ( free online - http://dklevine.com/general/intellectual/against.htm ) made a strong pragmatic case as to why IP doesn't work. And the book "Against Intellectual Property" ( free online - https://mises.org/library/against-intellectual-property-0 ) made a strong philosophical case against it.
Just like Hollywood, there are mini copyright cartels in the Christian community, but I think a strong argument can be made that what is lost is far greater than what is gained. They simply can't compete with Hollywood. There are so many songs and movies that attack culture, and Christians are simply not allowed to co-opt that culture, and make their own versions of the same popular movies and songs. In fact, several years ago there was this Christian video rental store that was splicing out unnecessary sex scenes in movies, and it was sued and forced to stop. Also, the simple fact is that copyright forces the economy to center around content (like licensing) instead of service (think, concerts) which becomes secondary revenue. But the thing is, concerts and media services are where the culture is, and in the end culture is center of community, not licensing, and copyrights destroy and co-opt culture.
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. - 2 Pet 1:12-21 KJV
The Bible is its own interpreter. Peter promises to always remind us of the knowledge of Jesus, then explains that he can do so both personally and by preparations to remind us after he dies. By encouraging the church to retain and copy his two inspired letters, he kept his promise and allowed God to take over the work of upholding his Word and the special testimony of Peter's life. His testimony about seeing Jesus in person adds to and interprets the prior testimony about seeing the Son of Man.
When one speaks plainly to another, one needs no interpreter. When we do not understand some part of the Bible plainly, we do need an interpreter. God has provided the plainest texts in the Bible to interpret the more difficult texts. To modify Sproul's illustration, I would say that the Bible is like the Constitutional law of the United States, except that it is now unamendable. God is like the Supreme Court, because he is the ultimate interpreter of Scripture. We are like the circuit judges, because we have a subordinate duty to interpret Scripture. However, at any time God (through his Spirit) or the written Word (through our discovering the applicable passages) can either affirm or override our interpretations, and he typically remands the remaining judgment back to us for further deliberation! In this way our primary method of interpreting Scripture is to submit all interpretation to Scripture itself, trust that it is impossible for it to contradict itself. When reviewing the canon of Scripture, we recognized that a primary test of Scripture was whether it was in harmony with other Scripture; if we do not speak according to the words of the Law and the Testimony, there is no light of dawn for us.
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. - 1 John 2:3-6 KJV
The Bible is not to be interpreted according to our own desires and prejudices. We must seek to understand what it actually says and guard against forcing our own views upon it. Just as we obey the commands of our Lord instead of writing our own commands, we strive to interpret all his words as he has given them instead of redefining them by interpretation to mean something other. Just like a command, God's word is intended to be understood implicitly by its original audience. So it uses the cultural rules of understanding, housed in its linguistic forms and local references, that allow us to understand it as simply as a child would among the original audience. The more we come to know Jesus, the more we look to the Bible as his love letter to us, his words to be understood as he meant them.
John cites obedience to commands as a proof that "you know that you know" him. If you know and seek Jesus, you will come to know all things in him, including even becoming assured of the fact that you do know him. If you do not know him, everything is in doubt because he is the source of all truth and without him no proposition has any solidity. The more you get to know him, the more his word explains itself to you and even the deep searching for its obscure connections becomes easier. So we are to have the relationship with Jesus first and to submit our interpretations to his guidance, rather than to insist on an interpretation first and only then seek to defend our interpretation before Jesus. Submission to God and letting him improve our understanding of truth is essential; all our knowings can be improved upon except for one, our knowing him.
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. - Matt 4:1-11 KJV
It is the sport of heretics to seek support from Scripture for false doctrines that have no basis in the text. Satan himself quoted Scripture in an illegitimate way in an effort to seduce Christ to sin. As there are false prophets, there are also false interpreters of Scripture. The safeguard against misinterpretation is knowing the one who speaks through Scripture to see whether the interpretation is consistent with him or not. Ultimately it is his power that sustains us in truth, not ours, so we do our part by cleaving to him and learning his Word, and preparing our hearts in and out of season. In this way when God tests us we are prepared to demolish arguments that come from the enemy to question God's character or our relationship in him.
Several rules of interpretation can be put forward to assist us, and they are manifold and not counted in any particular way; many have proposed lists of rules of varying quality, and we will contribute to that discussion. However, even in godly counsels to interpret Scripture, the enemy has slipped in and given counterfeits, such as by asserting that the method of interpretation should be called "hermeneutics", a word which many Christians use neutrally but which comes from the idol Hermes, the interpreter of Zeus. Therefore we should be extra cautious to select our rules of interpretation of Scripture from Scripture itself! For that reason, I say that the idea of Scripture interpreting itself is ultimately an expression of God interpreting himself, which is an expression of God being exactly himself, shown by his name, "I Am That I Am". If we are submitted to him, this is our first rule, that he speaks for himself in the words of Scripture (even when we echo his speech by performing translation and interpretation). He both speaks his Word, and adds nothing to it.
Other Win Communities notes today:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Good evening or afternoon, depending on where in the world you are in. Welcome to this week's Christian Meme Making and Sharing Session here on Christianity.win.
Just one thing before we get started, my request from last week is still active. To repeat myself: ever since maga.host gotten taken offline last month, I am searching for a permanent home to host all of the memes and pictures we have created here. While I found a service to host the pictures and memes, I would like to have a service that can arrange and display all of the memes in separate folders and categories, like an art gallery. If you all have any ideas and recommendations, I am listening...
If you missed the session last week, it can be found here.
If you need a review on the first post on this series, it can be found here:
Included in the post are:
-The reasons for the memes and
-The goals of the sessions
For an up to date list of recommended tools and resources that can be used for our efforts, click here:
And as before, say a prayer to God and Jesus to help guide the creative efforts and that everyone will be fruitful in these sessions...