Sunday, July 30, 2017

Israel's Persistence as a People and Nation

All nations, all kingdoms of men, will come to an end. There is only one exception: Israel. Israel also, as a nation and people, would have come to an end (Isa. 1:9, Psa. 124, Deu. 9:4). They wanted to “become like all nations” and would have, except for God’s promise. God promised that Israel’s persistence as a people and nation would be a witness to all the world that He, Yahweh, is God (Isa. 66:22, Eze. 36:22-23). Israel became like the Canaanites and deserved destruction. But because of God’s plan and promise, because of God’s power – not because of Israel’s goodness or greatness - Israel persists. There was restoration. No other nation has the promise of God for perpetual survival or, more specifically, for restoration like Israel. If or when America, Russia, China, and all other nations to an end, there is no divine promise for restoration. Mankind should be able to observe the rise and fall of all nations, except for one, and know that “Yahweh, He is God.” 

"For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain”(Isaiah 66:22).

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Did Jesus "become sin" for us?


Most English translations of 2 Corinthians 5:21 state that for our sake God made Jesus who “knew no sin to be sin.”  A better understanding and translation of this verse is that “for our sake He made him who knew no sin to be a sin offering.”

In Hebrew, the word חטאת hatat can be both “sin” and “sin offering”. There are many examples of both uses. The two meanings can be seen in a comparison of, for example, Lev. 4:14 and Psa. 32:5 (sin), to Lev. 4:24 and Ezek. 40:39 (sin offering).  The same word is used for both “sin” and “sin offering” because the “sin offering” becomes the symbol or representation of sin.  The sin offering becomes the substitutionary means by which the guilt and punishment of the sin is removed.  But the animal which was given as a “sin offering” was innocent.  The animal didn’t become sin, but became the innocent “sin offering” replacement for the guilty sinner.

Jesus didn’t “become sin” on our behalf, but he became the “sin offering”.  The Innocent One bore our sin and sin’s penalty on our behalf.  The Messiah-sin-offering was God’s desire and means of reconciling the world to Himself (Gal. 1:4).  God the Father did not, to quote a modern praise song, “turn his face away” from the sin offering. That implies that the Father didn’t accept the offering, or that Jesus became detestable to the Father.  Rather, it was the will of the Father for the Messiah to offer himself (Gal. 1:4, 2 Cor. 5:19). And the Father was pleased by the offering (John 8:29). Messiah’s self-sacrifice was “a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2).

The Son of Man servant who gave “his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45) was pleasing to the Father.  “Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights” (Isaiah 42:1, Matt. 12:18).

The current translations of 2 Corinthians 5:21 appear to be an example of misunderstanding Scripture because of a lack of Old Testament backgrounds. It is important to note (as others have pointed out when this was first posted) that the Greek translation of the Old Testament (LXX) likewise represents "sin" and "sin offering" with the same word (a`marti,a).  Paul knew the nuance between “sin” and “sin offering”, using a`marti,a in 2 Cor. 5:21 to express both meanings to his Greek-speaking readers. The author of the Book of Hebrews likewise says that Messiah’s one time sacrifice makes it unnecessary for any additional “sin offering” (Heb. 10:14-18).

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Galatians 1:1-10 Deliverance from the Present Evil Age

Galatians 1:1-10 Deliverance from the Present Evil Age
The death of Jesus was a rescue operation.  Jesus the Messiah gave himself for our sins to deliver us from this present evil age.  Indeed we've seen and experienced the goodness of God in this age, but we also know that evil has penetrated this world.  There is deception, unrighteousness, murder, slaughter, pain, and death.  The good news is that there is a way out, provided for by the will of God our Father. Paul became a faithfull messenger of this good news.  49 minutes, English and Hebrew

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Even Though Rulers Sit and Conspire...

Psalm 119 is an acrostic.  Each eight verses begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Every sentence of the 176 verses in the Psalm has a word that relates to the LORD's Word, terms like statutes, testimonies, laws, word, judgments, precepts, instructions, etc.  Psalm 119:17-24 is the third, or "ג" section.  The Psalmist knows he is a foreigner on this earth #r<a'_b' ykiänOa' rGEå . He is not a part of the world’s system, and he needs God’s direction. “Judgments” has the sense of decision making, i.e., good judgment.  We must know the word of the Lord to get good advice (“they are my counselors”) and make good decisions.  Sometimes the world, especially its leaders, are in opposition to the faithful: "even though rulers sit and conspire against me" WrB"+d>nI yBiä ~yrIf'â Wbåv.y") ~G:ÜWhen faced with contempt and scorn from unbelievers, the faithful finds comfort and instruction in the LORD’s word. This was exactly what Jesus did. When the leaders of this world’s system put him on a cross to die, Jesus was meditating on the word of God (Psalm 22, 31:5).  He drew his comfort and direction from God’s word in the face of severe opposition.  The faithful know that in the end the LORD will rebuke (and destroy, "curse") the wicked arrogant ones who don't accept God's word as the standard for truth.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Let Everything that Has Breath

If you know some Hebrew, open to Psalm 150, and follow along.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Need to Remove God from Our Lives

We as individuals and nations are psychologically (or spiritually) motivated to remove the true God from our lives, because the idea of “God” takes away our autonomy. We need to remove God from our lives so that we can do what we want.  We can justify our behavior if there is no God, or if we make up a god that lets us do what we want.

I want a god who is defined by me, who will serve me, who requires of me what I deem necessary to give him.

But there is a cost for rejecting the true God.  A very high cost. This is worse than biting the hand that feeds us.  This is spiting not just our feeder, but our Maker and Redeemer.  “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you must bear the consequences…’” (Ezekiel 23:35).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Choice and Accountability

Modern western man places an emphasis on freedom of choice.  Infant murder is even called pro-choice.  What isn’t emphasized is that with choice comes responsibility, yea verily, accountability.  Yes, God gives mankind choice.  And we will be accountable for our choices.  If we choose to murder someone, we will die. If we choose to deny or ignore God, we will be held accountable.