Posts Tagged ‘The Bible’

Moslems will often accuse the apostle Paul of changing what Jesus taught, however God found in Paul another Moses.  Moses was trained in the highest levels Egyptian traditions.  Paul was also trained to the highest level of Jewish tradition.  God got both their attention in a miraculous way.  God spoke to both of them.  Both were called and trained to help establish Gods people

Through Moses God brought out a bunch slaves.  God set them free from their taskmasters who treated them cruelly.  Moses led them into the wilderness where he established and taught them to become a people who could govern themselves.  They were to become a physical nation, trained up to establish a physical kingdom.

God took another bunch of slaves delivered them from their superstition and paganism, and setting them free from their wickedness. They too were under a heavy taskmaster.  Then through the apostle Paul taught them how to be a people.  Helping them to see who they were in Christ and to establish what they were in Christ.   Through the apostle Paul God defined  some of the most basic principles which defined our worship, preparing  the way for those would become a spiritual people who would be trained up to establish a  spiritual kingdom

The argument that Paul changed the law and subverted the teachings of Jesus simply collapses when one understand the background as to what was happening.  By the time Jesus was born the temple and all that went with it was well past its sell by date.  God was moving beyond that to something better.  The Jewish people were themselves moving beyond the temple as Jewish people were ever-moving further across the known world.  Synagogues were being established for local Jews in many places including Israel.  Jesus became the final paschal lamb to be killed.  And once that was done the whole structure upon which sacrificial sacrifices were offered was done and finished.   One of the main reasons that Christians do not adhere too much of what the Torah demanded is because most of these things were established around the temple, the Levite priests and the sacrifices.  Once they were gone there was no longer a need to base ones faith around this temple complex.  God was moving away from a structure and into the very lives of those who believe.

Now Jesus asked which of the commandments was the most important.  Many Jewish scholars would spend hours debating which law was the most important.  Jesus cuts through the lot

Deut 6: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might

 Luke 10: 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

 Jesus is simply quoting what the Old Testament itself says.

 Paul reiterates this in 1 Cor 13  

1 Cor 13: 1- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

1 Cor 13: 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing

 Remember through Paul, God was establishing the basic practical principles of the kingdom and how to put those principles into effect.

 Many believe that Paul was very anti circumcision and he developed the idea of doing away with it.  Yet few realise that it was God himself through Moses who established that circumcision had to of the heart long before it was ever of the flesh.

 Deut 30: 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

For what good is circumcision externally if the heart itself has not been changed.  Circumcision therefore becomes a meaningless
ritual without a change life.

A man can have a scar and still be as wicked as a man without one.

 THE FIRST JERUSALEM COUNCIL

 The accusations that many Moslems throw at the apostle Paul that he changed the direction upon which the Christian faith moved is fruitless.  Considering also that even Moslems don’t adhere to what the law demanded either.  They have no background in a Jewish temple, Levitical priesthood or sacrificial offering.  So they themselves would be seen as apostates as far as the Torah are concerned.  More like calling the kettle black.

We are told that Paul; in case he was preaching another gospel went up to the Jerusalem church and submitted himself to the apostles.

 Gal 2: 2  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Acts 15 was the first Jerusalem council where many of this issue were thrashed out.  It should be remembered that this was a predominantly Jewish council

Acts 15: 1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

 Acts 15: 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses.

 The temple and all that went with it was still an active complex at this time.  The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple were still many years ahead.  So the whole issue was very much a hot topic.  Was it salvation by faith alone or salvation plus works rituals etc.

 Acts 15: 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

 Acts 15: 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

 Acts 15: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

 Now it was made clear that NO such message was delivered either by the apostles or Paul that Gentiles believers were to keep the commandments.  This by application meant all the rules and regulations which were imposed
upon the Jews. 

 WAS THIS DECISION RIGHT…….  YES! 

 Within a few decades the temple and all that went with it would be gone.  They knew that salvation had to be in Christ alone through faith alone. 

 Acts 15: 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

  It was made very clear from the chapter that what Paul and other preached was indeed the same gospel.

 The practicalities of keeping the temple rituals were all gone  destroyed by Roman legions.  The Jews were for the most part scattered.   So any continuation of these rituals was now impossible.

 2 cor 6: 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?   for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 The tabernacle was but a shadow of what was to come.  God for a time dwelt within its tents situated between the cherubim which rested on top of the Ark of the Covenant.  There God would meet with the high priest . But God desired a better coveant through which to communicate with his people.

 Jer 31: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 Ex 29: 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God

 Lev 26: 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

 Jer 32: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

                                         

Now as we can see Paul was not in conflict with either what Moses taught or the prophets.    But was Paul in conflict with Jesus ?

John 14: 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Jesus made this promise that he and the father would come and dwell within the believer.  So we can see this whole train
of revelation being revealed from as far back as Moses himself.

 DOES PAUL TEACH THAT WE SHOULD OBEY GOD?

Mar 3: 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (Jesus)

 Rom  12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
[is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God  (Paul)

 1 Peter 4: 2 That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  (Peter)

Again we see that what Paul teaches was what Jesus and the rest of the disciples taught.

 Whilst Moses and Paul lives ended differently it could be said that they never saw the full fulfilment of what
they started.  But on both accounts they were instrumental in establishing two great nations.   Establishing the simple practicalities of worship order decency morality and doctrine  In many ways both were instrumental in establishing the church.  Both received their revelation direct from God.  Both it appears receive that training in the backside of the desert. 

John 1: 17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Rom 5: 15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

1 Peter 5: 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].

So we have an agreement that what Jesus taught the apostles taught.  There was no conflict between them.

WHO DECIDED TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES

 Many Moslems will try to add that the gospel was only to the Jews and that Islam is for the world.  Such a suggestion is just plain foolish.  They will also try and argue that it was Paul that took the gospel to the gentiles.  As you will see that was also not the case.

Let us  see what scripture says on this matter.

Even in the OT with Moses there was a hint that even gentiles would be allowed into the covenant provided they were prepared to keep the law that was established under Moses.

 Ex 12: 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.

This meant there were also Gentiles (Egyptians )  that fled with the Jews.

 Ex 12: 48 And when a stranger (gentile) shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

Nevertheless prophecy did speak of a time when the gentiles would play a greater part in the affairs of God.

Is 60: 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising

(NO arguement there… it says gentiles shall come to the light)

  Is 62: 3 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

(Gentiles would see the righteousness of God)

 John 10: 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

(John confirms this revelation that this is what Jesus  declared)

 Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

(Holy Spirit confirmed by baptising gentile believers)

Acts 13: 46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Hosea 1: 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.

 So from both the old and the new there was still the revelation that the gentiles would indeed come into the covenant of grace.  There is no conflict whatsoever in the Gentiles being brought into the covenant.  From the start it was always Gods intention to save both Jews and Gentiles; to bring them into one fold under one shepherd.

Recently I have done a series of articles on the subject of the sons of God.  It was put forward that Noah was saved because he had all the right genes.  He was physically perfect.  However that is not consistent with the Bible.  From Genesis with the account of Abel, and all the way through the Bible we have story after story about men who were not perfect, or sinless.  Their lives were often marred by sins.  But the Book of Hebrews 11 recounts that they had faith.  These ordinary men despite their faults BELIEVED.  Now there is a consistency which runs like a chain all the way through the Bible and that consistency speaks of FAITH.  Faith is what moved God to extend his grace to mankind.  More than anything else FAITH moves GOD. 

  1. Abel was moved by faith to offer a bloody sacrifice.
  2. Enoch walked with God and was ruptured
  3. Noah was moved by faith to build an ark
  4. Abraham  was moved  to leave  his birthplace to find a place that God had called him.
  5. Job who had only heard of God was moved to believe.

Now none of these men had a Bible in their hands.  God had only spoken once possible twice.  But that was enough.  They obeyed what they were told.  Now we have more than they ever did.   Yet how much are we moved by what we are told.  Can you imagine moving upon a single word from God.  Living your whole life time based upon what you were told years previously.

2 cor 10: 7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ’s, even so [are] we Christ’s.

 If God does not look on the outward appearance, so having the right genes clearly was not what moved God to extend grace to Noah.  But if we were to believe for a moment that God did extend grace based upon the outward appearance then the consistency of God witness to man is cut and the whole gospel is changed.  There is only one consistent message which runs throughout the Bible and that GOD IS MOVED BY FAITH.

 God looks on the heart of man to see if we will believe or not.  If we believe then we will be moved to obedience.  Noah was told one thing by God and that judgement was on its way.  Noah was moved by faith to obey.

 1 Sam 16: 7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

 This was clearly showed that Noah’s feature had little to do with his salvation.  On that I am glad.  David was picked to become the next King of Israel.  Yet David was the smallest of Jesse’s sons.  He was the shepherd lad that looked after the sheep when his older and bigger brothers went of to war.  But David although the weakest had something his brothers did not have….. HE HAD FAITH IN GOD.  That was what GOD saw and was moved by.

 2 Cor 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he [is] Christ’s, even so [are] we Christ’s.

 So the weak and the lame have the same opportunity to receive God as anyone.  Once we accept that Noah was not saved by his genes but his faith the consistent record of the Bible continues unabated and undisturbed.  It stands as a witness to every person that has ever lived.  Simply saying I believe in Jesus is not what faith is about.  True faith moves us.  Convinces us and it will pursue us to embrace that heavenly testimony God has given.  Men are looking for that heavenly land and a city foursquare not because the Bible says it, but because we are so convinced by faith we can almost taste it.

 True faith humbles us.  True faith is never about me but it is always about the one we serve.

 THERE WAS A MAN IN THE LAND OF UZ

 Job 1: 1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect8535 and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

Job they say predicts Moses.  It is even possible that Job heard about God from Abraham.  What we do know for sure is that Job had no Bible and had never had a personal encounter with God.  Yet such was his faith he was moved to obey God.  Job was not sinless but he was moral in his conduct.  God extended Grace to this man.  His faith spoke volumes and this moved the heart of God to give this man this testimony.

 THE PREFECT MAN

 Gen 6: 9 These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect8549 in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.

 The word used of Noah being perfect is the same word that is used by the Palmist to describe the believer in general

 Ps 37: 18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright8549: and their inheritance shall be for ever

Ps 15: 2 He that walketh uprightly8549, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart

 The perfect man may not be sinless buy he believes and follows. 

David was moved to take on a goliath.  Gideon to take on an army, Moses to take a people to the promise land.  Daniel to face a lions den.  All these men received a good report because they had faith.  This consistency runs throughout the Bible.  It is made clearer in the New far more than the old but it is still there.    Now if we turn round and said that Noah was saved just because he had the looks then the gospel is totally changed.  As we have seen the record we have is that God does not look on the outward man but on the inward person.  But what if?  Then those who don’t have the right looks are left out as one minister tries to debate.  It would mean that the blind, the deaf, the downs child, the handicap child all loose out.  What individual today can boast of having the perfect genes?  But is we turn round and say that Noah was saved because he was moved by faith.  Then the gospel of the whosoever fits.  It does not matter what your looks are, what genes you have.  What your background.  Faith will move God to extend grace to the sinner.  That’s the good news.  Black White Asian Chinese and anything in between.  If you will believe God will extend his grace.  The drowning man has to believe that his rescuer has the will and the power to save him.

 MORE THAN ANYTHING FAITH MOVES US TO FOLLOW GOD

 Heb 11: 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

This is one of the most wonderful blessings any man can receive from God.  What a testimony we have had a good report.  We are not perfect but we believe and that belief is transmitted into action.

 Hebrews 11: 4  By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

Hebrews 11: 7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith

 Hebrews 11: 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went

 All the way through this chapter God gives us this witness : “BY FAITH”  Men were moved to follow God.  I cannot understate this fact.  True Biblical Christ accepting faith is moved to believe and obey what God has said and is moved by it.  Just as God is moved by our faith we are moved to obedience by our faith.  The Holy Spirit comes to make that faith real in our lives.

 Today people are being persecuted and killed in their hundreds; all they have to do to stop it is recant off our belief in Go and Jesus d.  But they choose to say yes to God testimony.  They are prepared to lay their lives on that fact.

 THIS IS OUR HOPE

 Hab 2: 4 Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

 Faith moved Jesus to extend his hand to heal.

 Mat 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

 Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great [is] thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

 Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Faith takes us into the very presence of GOD.  Faith obtains the blessing of God.  Faith recognises the testimony of God and embraces it.  Faith acknowledges that Jesus died for our sins and rose for our justification.  By faith we acknowledge our weakness and trust in his provision. 

True Biblical faith will hold to the witness of God.  Now sadly many do not have this Biblical faith and they will be swayed by whatever wind blows.  True faith turns cowards into fighter,  Shepherds into Kings.  Ignorant fishermen to witness to the intellectuals.  You can’t stop true biblical believers.  They are moved by a power not of this world, because they are persuaded by a power that is not of this world.  They have peered over the wall of the physical and see the world that is to come.  They have looked beyond and see what human eyes cannot see.  For they see and are convinced by what they see.  We hope and we embrace that while we do not see clearly we have embraced the witness of our God.  Faith persuades us to bow our knees to the who created us and saves us.  Faith confesses that my allegiance is his.  Men boldly stood up to the burning stake knowing that their flesh will be burned.  Ye they stood and testified to the greatness of God.  They would not be shaken in their testimony.  They could lift their hands as the flames licked higher and declare that Jesus was their Lord.  True faith declare that if this served his glory so be it.

NO I BUT CHRIST

Many have tried make faith about what we can get from God, but that is not true biblical faith. This is a gospel of  selfishness which has been mixed with commercialism .   True Biblical faith is what we  can offer up to God.  True faith recognises our own dire condition and recognises that God is the answer to it.

TRUE FAITH IS THE CHILDS ANSWER THAT LOOKS UP FOR A FATHER TO TAKE THEIR HAND AND LEAD THEM HOME.