Gentile believers should observe the Day of Atonement!

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What is the Day of Atonement (a.k.a Yom Kippur)?

The Day of Atonement (Hebrew: Yom Kippur) is one of seven annual Sabbath days which God commanded His congregation to keep. In addition to the weekly Sabbath observance required by Exodus 20:11, God (in Leviticus 23) revealed seven of His annual appointed times or feast days which He commanded His congregation to observe. Though two of these seven annual feast days are not Sabbaths (i.e. Passover & the Feast of Firstfruits), the other five annual feast days express themselves as seven annual Sabbaths. In relation to God’s religious calendar (Exodus 12:2), the Yom Kippur is the sixth of God’s seven annual feast days, and the fifth of the seven annual Sabbaths. Its celebration occurs on the tenth day of the seventh Jewish month of Tishrei. Continue reading

Gentile believers should observe the Feast of Trumpets!

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What is the Feast of Trumpets (a.k.a. Yom Teruah)?

The Feast of Trumpets is one of seven annual Sabbath days which God commanded His congregation to keep. In addition to the weekly Sabbath observance required by Exodus 20:11, God (in Leviticus 23) revealed seven of His annual appointed times or feast days which He commanded His congregation to observe. Though two of these seven feast days are not Sabbaths (i.e. Passover & the Feast of Firstfruits), the other five feast days express themselves as seven annual Sabbaths. In relation to God’s religious calendar (Exodus 12:2), the Feast of Trumpets is the fourth of God’s seven appointed times. However, with respect to the Jewish civil calendar, the Feast of Trumpets is the first, for it coincides with the beginning of the Jewish new year known as Rosh Hashanah (i.e. the head of the year) which begins on the first day (at the new moon) of the seventh month (i.e. Tishrei). Continue reading

Christians worship on Sunday because of the Sunday Resurrection and the deliberate Sunday appearances of the resurrected Christ. Really?

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Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.

Table of Contents

  1. The Introduction
  2. Christianity is a Jewish faith
  3. God told the Jews when to worship
  4. God wants Gentile believers to keep the biblical Sabbath
  5. The Scriptures say that New Covenant Sabbath-keepers will receive a better name, a better heritage and much more!
  6. Early Christians assembled on the Sabbath Day
  7. If the Sabbath has truly been abolished then why should the Church still assemble?
  8. The Sabbath law was done away with in the New Covenant but it will soon be mandatory in the New Covenant. Wait, what?
  9. The Sabbath law is a necessary inference of Genesis 2:2-3
  10. The seven-day week betrays the ongoing relevance of the Sabbath
  11. Are there certain commandments in the Mosaic Law which are no longer applicable? If so, what does this mean?
  12. The Law has been “abolished” yet it “remains in effect.” Are you confused? So am I!
  13. According to Hebrews 4:9, there remains an “observance of the Sabbath”
  14. Are those who disregard the Sabbath being disloyal to God?
  15. Exploring the origins of Sunday worship
  16. Hijacking the “Lord’s Day”
  17. Extra-biblical Evidence of Sabbath-keeping Throughout Church History
  18. Constantine, Antisemitism and the persecution of Sabbath-Keepers
  19. Ecclesiastical forgeries and the Roman State Church’s involvement in Sunday Worship
  20. Keeping the Sabbath obligates one to keep the whole law? Really?

The Introduction

This may come as a shock to some, but in all of the Bible, there is no verse which commands Christians to come together for corporate worship on a Sunday. Neither is there a verse which records Christians coming together for routine worship on a Sunday.

There is the oft-cited Acts 20:7 which mentions a Sunday evening Christian gathering (which would actually be Monday in Jewish reckoning) where the apostle Paul preached until midnight, but the purpose of this meeting was for fellowship and dinner, hence the term “breaking bread” which is used therein. Sometimes “breaking bread” can also refer to partaking in Holy Communion a.k.a. the Lord’s Supper (e.g. Matthew 26:26, 1 Corinthians 10:16-17). Nevertheless, this biblical phrase, on several occasions including this one (see Acts 20:11), only referred to eating a meal (e.g. Lamentations 4:4; Luke 24:30,35; Acts 2:46; Acts 20:11, Acts 27:33-35 etc.). Another verse often cited is 1 Corinthians 16:2 but this verse pertains to private preparation, doesn’t even mention a Christian gathering, and is therefore wholly irrelevant to the matter of corporate worship. Continue reading

Will God Ensure that Everyone gets a Chance to Hear the Gospel—Even the Aborted Baby?

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Unless otherwise noted, all verses below are taken from the King James Version of the bible.


Election According to Foreknowledge is the Key!

Was the Gospel, as the Bible claims, really preached to every creature which is under heaven? Or should we, like many other Bible teachers, conclude that these words spoken by Paul are merely hyperbole? Curiously, one way to confirm the seriousness of this claim lies in one’s understanding of the doctrine of election. According to the Bible, before Christ created the world, He wrote down the names of several people in His [i.e. the Lamb’s] Book of Life (Revelation 13:8; 3:5; 17:8, 20:15; Luke 10:20, Ephesians 1:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14). It turns out that this book contains the names of all those who are considered ‘elect.’ Elect is a term which refers to those persons whom God has chosen ahead of time to inherit salvation. In Bible verses such as 1 Peter 1:2 and Romans 8:29, the Bible tells us that God’s choices about who to elect were based upon His foreknowledge or His knowledge-known-ahead-of-time. This is what is known as the doctrine of election.
(Also see What Does The Bible Mean By Election?Elect according to the foreknowledge of God & Fore knowledge is a Condition)

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. (1 Peter 1:2)

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [i.e. elect] to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

But what exactly did God know ahead of time and how does this foreknowledge fit into God’s rationale for choosing one person but not another? The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11, Acts 10:34) so we know that God’s foreknowledge has nothing to do with one’s physical appearance, nationality or one’s efforts of any sort. If Hebrews 11:6 is right regarding the claim that God rewards those who diligently seek Him, then the only logical and biblical conclusion regarding the criteria which God used when choosing His elect is faith (i.e. whether a person, if given the chance, would obey the gospel). Continue reading

The Old Testament does not condone polygamy!

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While I was reading an NPR article entitled: Same Bible, Different Verdict On Gay Marriage I ran across a claim that I have encountered one to many times and that has galvanized me into responding with this blog entry. An excerpt from the article states:

LaBerge resigned her post as minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) after the denomination voted last year to ordain non-celibate gay clergy. She says the Bible is clear.

“From the Old Testament and throughout the New Testament, the only sexual relationships that are affirmed in scripture are those in the context of marriage between one man and one woman,” she says.

Actually, the Old Testament does condone polygamy. Still, LaBerge says, from Leviticus to Paul’s writings in Romans and First Corinthians, homosexual acts are called vile and detestable, and legalizing same-sex relationships does not change the sin.

As the author (Barbara Bradley Hagerty) interjects the phrase: “Actually, the Old Testament does condone polygamy,” I am left thinking to myself, Really? Where in the Old Testament is the reader told that God allows polygamy? In Hagerty’s defense, one will undoubtedly find many theologians who utter the same claim without hesitation [7]; but this observation in and of itself does not constitute a proof. To be sure, there are several accounts of Old Testament men who had multiple wives (Genesis 16:3; 25:6; 1 Samuel 1:1-2; 2 Samuel 5:13; Judges 8:30; 2 Chronicles 11:21; 13:21; 1 Kings 11:3 etc.) but then there are also several accounts of Old Testament men who worshiped idols (1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 16:30-31, 2 Kings 21:1-3, Judges 2:11-13, Hosea 13:2 etc.), yet no one in their right mind would claim that the Old Testament condones idol worshiping. The mere existence of polygamous unions in the Old Testament Scriptures is not a rational basis for assuming or concluding that God condoned the practice anymore than the existence of idol worshipers constitutes God’s acceptance of idolatry.

Continue reading

He [i.e. Melchizdek] of whom these things are spoken…is our Lord who sprang out of Judah

melchizedek2In the series “12 reasons why Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Word of God” the following article is reason # 12.

The clearest and most straightforward reason to believe that Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Word of God is because the text expressly calls for this conclusion.

Particularly,

Hebrews 7:6,13-14 says:

6 But he [i.e. Melchizdek] whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. 13 For he [i.e. Melchizdek] of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

In verse 13, the person of whom “these things” are spoken of is clearly Melchizedek. For Verses 1-10 of Hebrews 7 are all attributed directly to Melchizedek. Yet, verse 14 goes on to describe this person–not as Melchizedek–but as “our Lord” who “sprang out of Juda.” Therefore, in the Writer’s mind, there is no functional distinction between Melchizedek and our Lord Jesus Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5).

Melchizedek is said to have no descent and is yet a descendant.

melchizedek2In the series “12 reasons why Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Word of God” the following article is reason # 11.

In the Hebrews 7 description of Melchizedek we come across yet another riddle. Past riddles have included:

  • The realization that Melchizedek is innately eternal and yet only God is innately eternal (See Reason 4)
  • The realization that Melchizedek lives forever and is a high priest forever due to an unchangeable priesthood yet “after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest” of his order Who is also an eternal high priest. (See Reason 6)

This time we have a person (i.e. Melchizedek) who is said to be “without decent” but is yet a descendant of the Israelite tribe of Judah.

For in Hebrews 7:3 we read:

[For this Melchizedek is] Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Yet in Hebrews 7:6,13-15 is says:

6 But he [i.e. Melchizdek] whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises…13 For he [i.e. Melchizdek] of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

The only way to resolve this apparent contradiction is if Melchizedek is actually the pre-incarnate Word of God. For the Word of God lives and abides forever (1 Peter 1:23-25) being found in the beginning with God (John 1:1) and therefore He has no decent. Yet, the Word of God became flesh (John 1:14) and entered the world as a descendant of King David who himself “sprang out of Juda.”

 

 

Everyone (Who Has Ever Lived) Will Hear The Gospel

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The following excerpt is from the essay entitled: Will God Ensure that Everyone gets a Chance to Hear the Gospel—Even the Aborted Baby?

Everyone Will Hear the Gospel

…the Bible gives us reasons to believe that no one will stand before God on the day of judgment without having actually heard the Gospel. After all, if Christ really died for all and is the Savior of every single descendant of Adam as we are told Continue reading

Life is a test and all things in this life are just distractions!

It has become apparent to me that all things in this life are just distractions. Yes, I mean ALL things that do not involve reading, learning and loving the Word of God. There are of course good distractions and bad distractions. A good distraction is that which will eventually lead one to the pages of God’s Word, which in reality are the only words of life (Philippians 2:6, 1 John 1:1). One example of a good distraction is a godly wife who urges her husband to go and lose himself in the pages of the Word of God (1 Corinthians 7:33). Another example of a good distraction is a daily hour of passive commute time (e.g. on a train) which allows a prudent believer to routinely engage the weighty parts of God’s word. It is a distraction because it is a commute, but it is a good distraction (if re-purposed advantageously) because it forces one into a routine of Bible study which might not otherwise be as routine. There are also necessary distractions such as eating and sleeping. Nevertheless, these necessary distractions are still distractions as they do not lead us to the Word of God, though they enable us to continue that quest. Living a spiritually healthy life is all about managing the many distractions that are in one’s life. Do not get caught up in distractions.
God—understanding that we need significant amounts of undistracted alone time with Him in order to truly know Him and excel in this test that is life— prudently designated 1/7th of our time here on this earth as distraction-free. In His study guide for how to pass the test, He called this distraction-free time, the Sabbath. He promised that those who partook of worship and rest during this period would experience the blessings specifically associated with this time segment. However, most have seen this Sabbath as an affront to their own personal time and/or have decided to redesignate another unblessed and unhallowed time-segment as their Sabbath. They have also shunned the idea that the entire time-segment needs to be distraction-free and have hence encumbered their Sabbath with all sorts of distractions which are sure to limit the time spent in the word of God.
Surprisingly, many times our own family members can be the greatest distractions. Jesus in Matthew 10:25 says: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.” A brother, a relative, or a friend can prove to be a bad influence and therefore a bad distraction. We pursue earthly distractions because we think that they will bring us happiness. But the Bible tells us that Christ has gone to prepare mansions in Heaven for those who believe in Him (John 14:1-3). The earthly success that we desire is merely a glimpse of the joy that believers will realize in Heaven. The Bible in Psalms 16:11 tells us that “in God’s presence is fullness of joy; [and] at His right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” Therefore, if we do not seek to place ALL of our dreams, desires, and hopes in Christ then we have misunderstood our purpose here on earth and will surely encounter disappointment. This is why Paul in Colossians 3:2-3 says “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” The success that we desire is “hid with Christ in God.” Though we may encounter success in this life, that is not the purpose of life. Each person whom God allows to live in this world must realize that they have entered a test, a final examination. This a profound test as it involves our future well-being. There are only two outcomes for this test: a future eternal life with Christ in a world which unlike our current one is not cursed (Genesis 3:16-19, Romans 8:20-22, Revelation 22:3) or dying the “Second Death” which the Bible tells us is experiencing eternal torment in the lake of fire (Matthew 25:41, 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Revelation 20:14-15; 21:8). Hence, the outcomes of this test called life involve the greatest incentive (i.e. the good news of the gospel) and the greatest disincentive (i.e. the failure to obey the gospel). No one knows when the test will end; for some people, the test ends a lot sooner than they hoped or expected and some sadly find out that they have not done what it takes to even get a passing grade. Therefore, we all need to be concerned with passing the test with flying colors. How do we pass the test with flying colors? By realizing that all things in this life that do not involve reading, learning and loving the Word of God are distractions. Once we understand this then we can manage the distractions in our life so that we will leave this life with a rich understanding of the true knowledge of God. Do not, therefore, allow the distractions in your life to steal your destiny. Many church-goers will end up in dying the Second Death because they thought it was more important to chase “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16). The Bible reminds us in 1 Timothy 6:10 that in chasing these distractions, many have “erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” From the day we are born, we are told and taught to covet “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” and sadly most people will die in pursuit of these earthly treasures. Jesus urges us not to pursue these earthly treasures and warns us that “moth and rust will corrupt” them and that “thieves break through and steal” them. Christ’s advice is to instead “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” (Matthew 6:20). So how do we lay up treasures in Heaven?

God knows that we all yearn for some measure of earthly happiness which I will hereafter refer to as “these things.” That is why He has provided us with a non-destructive way to arrive at “these things.” A way which doesn’t involve the pursuit of distractions. In Matthew 6:33, God says “seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all ‘these things’ shall be added unto you.” In Psalms 37:4, God says “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” In Psalms 145:19  we read “God will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.”  In John 15:7 Christ says “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”
Therefore, anytime you (or anyone you care about) find yourself yearning for “these things” or wondering whether you will find some modicum of success in this life, just remember God’s advice: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, delight yourself in the LORD, fear Him, abide in Him, and allow His words to abide in you.
To many, this advice may sound counter-intuitive. After all, why would someone want to read a Bible if they can’t eat, buy clothes, or do not have anywhere to sleep? Yet, we must remember that all our help comes from God. I am weak having my own burdens. I need God’s grace every day just to survive. But my King is strong and He is still coming back soon! He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). He supplies my needs in proportion to how relentlessly I pursue His Word.

A Christian’s Funeral Remarks

As a bible-believing Christian, I knew that my brother John would die someday but I never imagined that he would die so young and abruptly (at the age of 40). Many worldviews are content with rationalizing death as a natural part of life. They tell us that death is necessary and even warn us of the dire consequences of a world without death. Death is supposed to be the solution for overpopulation. Death is alleged to be the driving force behind human evolution. Death, we are told, is something that we must get used too since we will all face it someday. Continue reading