The Result: Our Reliance 1 Peter 1:20-21

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20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 

20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world

The Greek term in English; “foreknown” has the meaning of something that has been chosen beforehand. We see the same exact term used by Paul in Romans as he wrote “for those He foreknew He predestined to conform to the image of His Son. It tells of the knowledge of the Son before the creation of the earth. It has the understanding of eternity past. Christ existed before the creation. We see in John 1:1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  The Word is logos in Greek that pertains to Christ. The Hebrews knew that the Word was the coming Messiah as John used this term to signify the arrived Messiah Jesus. But as we see in verse 5 in John that He was light but they did not comprehend it. They rejected the Messiah.

There is more support given to us by John in his Gospel as he wrote about the love the Father gave Him before the foundation of the world (Jn. 17:24). Using the same grammatical structure as John, the Apostle Paul pens the same Greek construction as he wrote concerning our predestination of salvation before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4)[1]. In Revelation, we see John once again speaking of salvation being a predestined act of God as their names being written in the book of life before the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8, 17:8).

but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you

Peter tells of His existence in eternity past where He was with the Father and all things were created by Him and through Him. But what we see here is the contrast Peter makes. Setting up with the foreknowledge, Peter then tells of the arrival of the Messiah, the life of Christ while He was on earth by stating that He appeared in these last times for the sake of you. These last times signifies the period after the incarnation. The term last days can be found all over the NT as we see in 2 Tim 3:1 in the last days difficult times will come; Heb. 1:2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son.; Jas 5:3 James, speaking of gold and silver and earthly treasures says that they will perish and you will be consumed but in the last days you have stored your treasure; 2 Pet 3:3 in the last days mockers will come with their mocking following after their own lusts. We are in the last days. They are also considered the days before the Second Advent of Christ. So from the time of the birth of Christ, till He returns, these are the last days.

It is in these last days that Christ came by virgin birth, lived a sinless life, was crucified, killed, buried and then resurrected in order to save us. This is our Redeemer! Peter goes on to write:

21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

 Our salvation is only found through Christ. Peter writes through Him are believers in God. Faith is directed to God (εἰς θεὸν) “from God” through Jesus. God is the One who both raised Christ and endowed him with glory. For these persecuted communities, hope lies not in the present life, but in the power of God who raised and exalted Jesus and who will soon give them glory as well (vs. 1:7, 13; 5:1, 4). Peter once again encourages the hearers not to fret much over the current circumstances but to know that God, who planned their redemption is now the object of their trust. The word translated have confidence (pistos) can also mean ‘faithful, trustworthy’, but it should not be defined as that in this case because Peter summarizes this confidence as reliance on God: so that your faith and hope are in God. When Peter says that it is ‘through’ Christ that they trust God he rules out any idea that Christians should ‘fear God but trust Christ’. Rather, as Christians trust in Christ they are also through Christ trusting in God.[2]

The main point Peter makes is that our faith is in God through Christ. Peter is reaffirming the truth they already knew and were taught. Peter understood what wavering faith was all about personally as he himself denied Christ 3 times. He knows what it means to waver under persecution. But he also knows that faith will overcome persecution. This only happens when the fear of God is fully understood and fully at work in our lives. Verse 17 showed us why we need to be reverent and fear God. But what we see here is not fear but faith and the faith that comes through Christ with the fear of God. The fear of God as explained is actions that Christians take that produce obedience and submission. The fear of God is the removal of all human logic and the implementing of what God commands and acting this out without question. We see how Noah, Abraham Moses, etc.. The list goes on and on how we see faithful men who feared God displaying such courageous faith that goes beyond any human comprehension. This is real faith!

In Christ

[1] Greg Forbes, 1 Peter, ed. Robert W. Yarbrough and Andreas J. Köstenberger (Nashville, TN: B&H Academic, 2014).

[2] Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2009).

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The Cost of Our Redemption: 1 Peter 1:18-19

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18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

In verse 17 we see how Peter had spoken of the reverence that all believers of Christ should possess. We also saw how God’s judgment is the same for every person and there is no bias from one believer to the next. In these next few verses that complete this passage of 1 Peter 1:17-21, we will focus on the redeeming work of Christ that all the glory would go to God. Yes, we are the beneficiaries of this work but it was completed for the Father’s will to be done.

Verse 18 starts with the participial “knowing” and when this Greek term is followed by the conjunction oti which means because, since or that, causes the meaning to of knowing to be of something that is a well-known fact that one holds to be unwavering truth. Peter is affirming that the believers in Asia Minor “KNOW” the unwavering truth of their salvation. As Peter writes “that you were not redeemed with or by perishable things” and he lists two of the most valuable earthly items we know, gold and silver. The redemption that they KNOW was a ransom that was paid on their behalf. The gold and silver are terms that they knew very well as Isaiah used it in verse 52:3 “You were sold for nothing and will be redeemed without money. Isaiah told of the coming redemption and how money and valuable earthly items would not be the way of salvation. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6:20 that we were bought for a price. The author of Hebrews tells us that it was not by the blood of goats and calves but by the blood of Christ that obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:2).

 Moving along this verse we see the connection with the fall in the Garden where all humanity fell into judgment and sin by Adam and Eve losing the once intimate communion with God. Peter tells of how our futile way of life that we inherited from our forefathers. This is a direct connection to the fall where every human is born with the sin cures that is handed down generation to generation. In Ephesians, Paul writes pertaining to our salvation and sanctification that we are not to walk as Gentiles in the futility of their mind. In verse 18, we see that salvation is not something that can be achieved by works or by any means of payment. The term futile carries the meaning of useless, idle, empty, fruitless or lacking truth. James uses this term when he was speaking of the tongue and the dangers of not bridling one’s tongue. Deception and worthlessness are what James is warning us (James 1:26).

Verse 19 nails the coffin shut, so to speak, as Peter lays out the price of our redemption. Christ was the spotless lamb and with His precious blood. Peter is expressing the infinite depth of the value of Christ’s blood. We cannot place a price on the cost of Christ blood shed for the Father’s will.  It is an inestimable value. Many of today’s evangelicals do not even mention Christ’s blood and the bloody violent torture Christ received. His blood is more more than a symbol to these preachers who water down the Gospel message. But this was the cost to save you and I. We will never ever understand the price fully until maybe when we are in glory with the Father.

As Peter speaks about the spotless lamb without blemish, this mirrors the quote by John the Baptist as he remarks of Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). The criteria were set that Christ had to be the perfect sacrifice according to the Levitical system. The mentioning of this by Peter was probably an allusion to the Passover mentioned in Exodus (Ex. 12:1-13) as Christ is the Lamb of God. But we see as Peter mentions the term blood once at the beginning of this verse but most translations emphasize the blood of Christ again which is in most Bibles “the blood” of Christ but is not present in the Greek. The emphasis on blood is important because it is by this shedding of Christ’s blood that we are saved. The act of sacrifice and the shedding of blood was foretold in the Old Testament. The Levitical rituals were designed to be a shadow of what was to come. What the Old Testament was showing the believers was the coming Messiah and His shedding of blood on the Cross. They were to be looking ahead to a time that this would be fulfilled. Christ was the Superior sacrifice that will take away the sins of those who would come to believe in Him and repent of their sins. Hebrews tells us that Christ’s offered one sacrifice for the sins of all time (Heb. 10:12). John writes in his first epistle that the blood of Jesus the Son of God cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

So as believers of Christ, we must follow the charge of Peter that “knowing” means that we should already know without a doubt concerning our salvation and what the cost was. It was nothing we could obtain in ourselves by purchasing or a system of works but all of what Christ did by the shedding of His precious blood. Even in our best mind, there is no possible way we could ever have come to “know” anything pertaining to Christ but it is all by God’s grace that we can “know”. There is a verse taken out of context almost 100% of the time stating that knowledge puffs up. All will believe that this pertains to theology and doctrine. We must educate ourselves as much as each one is able in God’s Word. We must know the Bible so we can know God and Christ and what His will is for our lives. There is no other way to know God’s will but to saturate yourself in His Word!

In Christ

1 Peter 1:17: Our Reverence

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1 Peter 1:17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

Peter, in his epistle to the church in Asia Minor, encourages the hearers of this letter to live a life that is according to the “fear of God”. Peter explains that the Christian life should be an example of reverence and obedience no matter what persecution the church in Asia Minor was facing in that time nor what we faithful believers might be facing today.

We first see the term, “address”. This is a specific term used to show a certain call out to deity, this address is to the Father. In Psalm 89:26 we see the psalmist wrote, “He will cry out to Me, You are my Father! This address or calling out to the Father is the calling out to God. Peter tells of who the calling out is addressing; the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work. Peter says in Acts 10:34 that God does not show partiality. Does not show favor one over another. He judges righteously across the board towards everyone. God uses the same grading scale not showing any favor, there is no curve. God judges people by what they do and say. He does not respect our persons nor give special treatment to the high and mighty. He has no favorites. The participle “κρίνοντἀ”, means judging, This is a present active participle and is an ongoing action so could also pertain to current judgment that we are receiving as we are here on earth. Chastening and correction is a part of the Father’s love for those who are called His children. “He chastens those He loves” (Heb. 12:6).

An example of false external behavior is seen in Ananias and Sapphira, a couple who pretended to emulate the example of Barnabas, who had sold some property and donated the proceeds to the church (Acts 4:36–37). Peter saw this first hand as they were eager to get in on some of the praise that he, Barnabas, apparently, had received. He had given unstintingly to the Lord’s work. So Ananias and Sapphira decided to sell some property, too, and give it to the church. The sale went through, and, with the cash in their hands, they put part of the proceeds at Peter’s feet, pretending that they were giving it all. The Holy Spirit struck immediately, not because they kept a portion, for it was their money to do with as they liked. Their sin was lying. They had said one thing and did another. They lied to Peter, they lied to the church, and they lied to the Holy Spirit. Death smote them down, one after the other. Sadly, this does not happen today to those who are blatantly lying to the church, stealing or false teaching. But not to worry, God will have His vengeance, it’s not ours.

We see the Greek term ἀναστράφητἐ -which means to conduct oneself in terms of certain principles, act, behave, conduct oneself, live, a reverence to fear God. This is an imperative verb which states a command that we must follow. This is how, we are to be as Christians, living in reverent fear of God because it is by this that He will judge us. Not that this determines our eternal fate because we are secure in our salvation but that our rewards will be based on our works and deeds (Rom. 14:12; 1 Cor. 3:10–15; 2 Cor. 5:10,). Either they (deeds) will survive the purification fire or they will be burned away like wood hay and stubble (1 Cor. 3:12). This points back to the impartial judgment that God will perform on every believer. Therefore, we must be in this type of reverence and fear to please our Lord with our lives while we are still here on earth. Remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10).

παροικία- The time of your exile refers to this present life, during which Peter’s readers are ‘temporary residents’ on earth. The word translated ‘exile’, paroikia, is used elsewhere in the New Testament only at Acts 13:17 (of the ‘sojourn’ in Egypt). This term is best used as exile because as Christians we are not residents of this world but merely sojourners traveling in our pilgrimage to the kingdom of Heaven. The attitude of all believers must be this; that we are just passing through and not to get too attached to the things of the world for they are fading away and are perishable. We are strangers in a strange land.

It is often the most difficult thing to live each day to this level of obedience. Life is fast and complicated, and we tend to get wrapped up or distracted by life, events, and people. Our eyes must be fixed on the goal prize of eternal life in heaven and paradise. Too often we get pulled away and we then find ourselves outside the peace and joyful promises of God striving and living for the things of the world only to come to a point of frustration in our Christian walk. Wondering and becoming doubtful at times, we forget that we have the promise of God found in His Word that we hold in our hands. God has spoken to us directly in the special revelation of His Word. We tend to forget this and only trying to do it ourselves but only to fail time and time again. When we are broken of this truth we humbly come back to the Father, crying out and calling Him, as the psalmist says in Psalm 89:26, he will call out to Me, “You are my Father!”

Christological Errors of Mormonism

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INTRODUCTION

 

In the realm of Christianity today, we see so many denominations that have been developed since the first church we see documented in the book of Acts. Within each denomination, there are various beliefs and systems that have been implemented to separate each apart from one another. By the way of sacraments, constitution and even church polity play a key essential role for each modern church and the churches that have passed from past history. There is one aspect that centers each denomination or even religions, is their view on Jesus Christ. They each have developed their own personal view on who this Jesus Christ truly is.

Many of the different religions and denominations have built their foundations just on that very point, who is Jesus Christ. Time does not allow, as weeks and even years discussing each religion’s view and how it differs from what the Word of God, the Bible, specifically communicates to us about the true Jesus Christ. One of the most tragic beliefs that exist today, is the Mormon Church or aptly known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints (LDS). The Mormon Church has taken the Word of God so far out of context and even supplement God’s Word with a book that was published by Joseph White in 1830 to add to their own self-made religion supporting their flawed views and values.

Besides having a plethora of fallible and unsound doctrines, the Mormons had distorted many of the major doctrines of the Bible pertaining to soteriology, eschatology, and theology proper. Their most absurd view and teachings is that of Jesus Christ. It is their view of Jesus Christ that is the foundation of their skewed view of Christianity. It is the person of Jesus Christ that they have re-created to fit their heretical religion. The Jesus Christ of the Bible is a complete stranger to them. It is in their belief system that Jesus is not who the Word of God tells us He is.

ERROR OF VIRGIN BIRTH

 

Their flawed view begins at the very beginning with the birth of Jesus Christ. The Bible documents the “virgin birth” of Jesus Christ. This birth was prophesied in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah, “Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (Isa. 7:14)[1]. Jesus Christ was also spoken of in Genesis as the one who would crush the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15) in order to fulfill the plan of redemption over fallen humanity by God. Jesus Christ was to come for a specific reason, at a specific time to fulfill the specific will of the Father but most importantly Jesus came by a specific birth. The virgin birth was specific but also was the ancestry of Jesus which came by the way of the lineage of David of whom God has made the Davidic Covenant with (2 Sam. 7:12-16).

From the line of David, a King would be born and it can be observed in the New Testament account in Matthew 1:1-18 where the genealogy of Jesus is stated. In Matthew’s gospel account, it states that Mary was found pregnant before Joseph and she came together (Matt. 1:18). Jesus was of the Holy Spirit as He was conceived in Mary without relations with Joseph (Matt. 1:20). Matthew then documents the prophecy of Isaiah that the “virgin will bear a child” (Matt. 1:23).

The Mormon Church believes in the virgin birth but believes that Mary did have relations with God. The conception was not from the Holy Spirit but of God in a physical act of intercourse. They still hold that Mary maintained her virginity because she did not have relations with any mortal man but was impregnated by an immortal man Elohim.[2] Bruce McConkie was a member of the First Seventy of the LDS Church who published many works associated with Mormon Doctrine. McConkie redefines the term virgin in Mary’s case to mean that she conceived and delivered her first-born Son because the Father was an immortal person.[3]

The second prophet on the Mormon organization, Brigham Young, had stated “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers,” (Journal of Discourses Vol. 8). Young in his various entries in the Journal of Discourses continues his view of the birth of Christ as not being of the Holy Spirit as Young stated “Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51). Young’s understanding is not from the Bible but of what is also stated in the Book of Mormon. This distorted and damnable view has no truth of what God has revealed to us in Scripture.

The virgin birth, in the eyes of the Mormon Church, is in agreement with the Bible only concerning Mary and her virginity but not in the way of conception. The Mormons accept the New Testament as scripture and add additional validation to the concept of virgin conception in their other scriptural records. The Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ, offers the testimony of Nephi, an ancient prophet, who heard an angel declare, “Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh” found in the book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon.[4]. Additionally, Nephi rendered Isaiah’s prophecy the same way Matthew did: “Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign–Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (2 Nephi 2:17)[5]. The Book of Mormon prophet Alma testified that Jesus “shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:10).[6]

The Hebrew term for virgin is “almah” which refers to a woman who has not had relations with a man (Gen. 24:43).[7] The significance of the virgin birth is crucial to the Gospel. It holds all prophetic requirements for Jesus Christ to be the Messiah. The eternal Son coming in the fullness of a man through the mortal virgin and the work of the Holy Spirit fulfills Scripture. The New Testament explains the conception of Jesus as it was by the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). His incarnation allows Christ to be the God-man, one person with two natures.[8] Joseph Smith said that Christ is not the Son of the Holy Spirit but of God.[9] Brigham Young, in speaking about the virgin birth stated “that Mary was impregnated by God the Father to produce Jesus in the same way Brigham’s mother and father had sired him.[10] Dan Vogel, another Mormon who published many works, views the Father as when Jesus is called the Father. Making it more complex to the understanding, Vogel says that the Father decides when Jesus can represent Him. Jesus is just a representative by the role of the Father and might be called by humans the Father but in reality, the LDS use the term God as there Heavenly Father.[11]

ERROR OF CHRIST’S RELATIONSHIP

 

The influence of the Book of Mormon over their understanding and interpretation of Scripture has tarnished their ability to come to a total belief in God’s Word and truth about the virgin birth. In their view, they have created another Jesus that is not in full agreement of the Jesus of the Bible. The heresy in the aforementioned shows the development of Jesus as a heavenly created being by physical means. They teach that Jesus was a spirit child of a heavenly mother and father who also had heavenly or spirit brothers including Lucifer. They use Scripture to support this claim of Lucifer being His brother in Colossians as one of their “proof texts,” because it says that “Christ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” (Col. 1:15). Their justification is that Lucifer was the second born of God where Christ was the first. They ignore or just bypass verse 16, where we see that “By Christ, all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth. All things; thrones, dominions or powers. This line of teaching continues as they believe that the heavenly Father was once a man who became God. They believe by obedience, they too can become God.[12]

The Bible states that Jesus had always existed from eternity past. The Gospel writer John documents what Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am” (Jn. 8:58). In the first chapter of the Gospel of John, John writes that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (Jn. 1:1). The deity of Jesus is plainly seen here as He always is. In Heaven and in eternity past, He always was with the Father. From this, we can see that they have no understanding of the Trinity where Christ is in union with the Spirit and the Father, the three persons making up the one essence of God.

Jesus Christ was not a created being as Scripture tells us. The preexistence of Christ in eternity past shows that He always was. Jesus was never born, especially in the manner of which the Mormon Church believes. Jesus came down from His eternal Haven where He existed. In the Gospel account of John, there are many verses that specify and support this point. The ever so famous verse John 3:16 says “that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” His home is in Heaven with the Heavenly Father where He existed ruling from above in Heaven. John 3:31 tells us this very truth as Jesus said: “that He who comes from heaven is above all”. Since Christ has existed in Heaven with the Father, this supports the truth of the Trinity. Jesus existed before the world was created, the Father existed before the world was created and the Holy Spirit existed before the world was created and all are eternal in this relationship know as the Trinity.[13] This is essential to show how Jesus was not created in a heavenly conception as the Mormon Church teaches. Scripture shows us that Jesus existed before the foundations of the world as He chose us for redemption (Eph. 1:3-4).[14]

The Mormon Church rejects the Trinity because they do not believe that Jesus was the only Son of God, but that God had many sons. Jesus is considered “a” son of God as it is stated in the Book of Mormon (Alma 36:17).[15] The Mormon Church, as stated previously, believe that another son of God was Lucifer, and this is well documented in their teaching materials.[16] The Mormon founder, Joseph Smith, rejected the Trinity as he states “Many men say there is one God; the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit are only one God. I say this is a strange God all crammed into one God according to the Christian faith…. He would be a giant monster”[17] James Talmage, who wrote the “Articles of Faith”, a Mormon publication that published the articles formed by Joseph Smith, where it states the denial of the Trinity. Talmage believes that the Athanasian Creed is inconsistent and contradictory.[18] He states “ It would be difficult to conceive a greater number of inconsistencies and contradictions in so few words.” Gordon Hinkley, the 15th president of the LDS Church stated that their belief is that there is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but they are not one person in one essence as Christianity believes but three different and separate gods. The Mormon Church does not follow Biblical truth concerning the Trinity.

It is not beyond any imagination to see that in their establishment of who Jesus Christ is in their system that they can continue to develop more heretical teachings. In their relationship of who Christ is to the Father alone, derails the truth of Scripture. It is the understanding of who Christ is and that He has been an eternal being since eternity past, that effects the whole understanding of the Bible. Joseph Smith’s view on the Trinity is viewed as a Godhead. This Godhead is defined as consisting of two “personages” (the Father and the Son) united by a single mind, the Holy Spirit.[19] Smith held to the view that the Father and Son had physical bodies and the Holy Ghost did not have a body but were in the form of a personage. Before his death, Smith stated that Father, Son and Holy Spirit were three Gods.[20] Christ does not even come into the realm of their view of the Trinity, just an offspring who was created not God. The Mormon Church has failed to understand the foundational point that Jesus is God.

The relationship between the Father and Son is a relationship of equality. Jesus says that the Father and He are one (Jn. 10:30). He is not claiming that He is a lesser God but equal to the Father and was with the Father as John states that the Logos was with God in the beginning and all things were created by Him (Jn. 1:1-3). Looking at the relationship that the Mormons believe Christ had with Satan is absolute insanity. How could this possibly be if Christ created all, even Satan? Christ is Deity as the fullness of the Godhead dwells in Him (Col. 2:9). It is at this juncture that the Mormon Church does not claim Jesus Christ to be God. Denial of His virgin birth, preexistence, and relationship to the Father, the Mormon Church cannot embrace the truth of Scripture as it pertains to Christ.

CONCLUSION

 

The Mormon Church has developed a heretical view of Christ Jesus. Their erroneous theology was a man-made system that has been changed over time. The teachings of Joseph Smith have been altered from its original meanings to cater to what other leaders have deemed appropriate for the Mormon Church. The issue at hand is the clear breakdown of the language of the Bible and the additional writings of Smith, The Book of Mormon. It is clear for anyone who has the simplest biblical understanding that this system of the LDS Church is not adhering to God’s Word and the truth that God has revealed to man.

Within the context of who Jesus is and His virgin birth alone, shows major changes in what God has told us about His Son. This leads to a plethora of faulty teachings and beliefs that historically and presently being taught within the Mormon organization. Looking at the errors of the virgin birth we see that this error also causes the relationship of the Father and the Son and even to the Holy Spirit. In the degradation of the truth by the horrific translations of the Bible, the Mormons have supplemented God’s Word with man’s word through the imagination of Joseph Smith. The darkness of the lies continues as one would study in a deeper context of The Book of Mormon finding that their view does not associate itself with anything that the true interpretation of the Bible truly illuminates to those faithful students of God’s Word. This is just one of many heretical systems of religion that plague the earth. This is all done just by the simple misinterpretation of God’s Word.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

Abbott-Smith, G. A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament. Forgotten Books, 2016.

An Introduction to Mormonism. Cambridge University Press, 1864.

Brown, Francis, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Reprint edition. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994.

Church, Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint. Book of Mormon Talks. Forgotten Books, 2018.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem (3-Nov-1994) Hardcover. First Edition edition. IVP, 1994.

Lectures on Faith by Joseph Smith. Deseret Book Co, n.d.

MacArthur, John. Ephesians MacArthur New Testament Commentary. New edition. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1986.

NASB, MacArthur Study Bible, Bonded Leather, Black. Updated edition. Place of publication not identified: Thomas Nelson, 2006.

MacArthur, John, and Richard Mayhue, eds. Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2017.

MacDonald, Margaret Y. Colossians and Ephesians. Collegeville, Minn.: Liturgical Press, 2008.

McConkie, Bruce R. Mormon Doctrine. 2nd edition. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966.

McKeever, Bill, and Eric Johnson. Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-Day Saints. Revised, Expanded edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2015.

Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism by Dan Vogel. Signature Books, 1864.

Smith, Joseph F. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co, 1977.

Smith, Joseph Fielding, and Bruce R. McConkie. Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith. Bookcraft, 1974.

Talmage, James E. The Articles of Faith. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015.

[1] John MacArthur, ed., NASB, MacArthur Study Bible, Bonded Leather, Black, Updated edition (Place of publication not identified: Thomas Nelson, 2006).

[2] Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101: Examining the Religion of the Latter-Day Saints, Revised, Expanded edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2015). P. 53

[3] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd edition (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966).

[4] Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint Church, Book of Mormon Talks (Forgotten Books, 2018).p. 20

[5] Church.p. 88

[6] Church.p. 224

[7] Francis Brown, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs, The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Reprint edition (Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson Publishers, 1994).

[8] John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, eds., Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2017). P. 262

[9] Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith (Bookcraft, 1974). 1:18-20

[10] An Introduction to Mormonism (Cambridge University Press, 1864). P. 153

[11] Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism by Dan Vogel (Signature Books, 1864). P. 22-23

[12]Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages (Deseret Book Co, 1946). Pp. 105-106

[13] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne Grudem (3-Nov-1994) Hardcover, First Edition edition (IVP, 1994). P. 250

[14] John MacArthur, Ephesians MacArthur New Testament Commentary, New edition (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1986). P. 11

[15] Church, Book of Mormon Talks.

[16] McConkie, Mormon Doctrine. P. 163

[17] Joseph F. Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co, 1977). P. 372

[18] James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015).p.p 47-48

[19] Lectures on Faith by Joseph Smith (Deseret Book Co, n.d.). V. 2

[20] Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. p. 370

Continuity and Discontinuity Book Review   

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In the book, Continuity and Discontinuity, several well-respected authors have contributed to and have the task of describing the differences between continuing or discontinuing views of the Old and New Testament. They also had taken aside and defended their positions which also included the covenantal and dispensational views. For me, this is a vast study into something that I have not gone into such depth and served as a learning tool which I greatly found useful in developing my own convictions of how Scripture of the Old Testament relates to the New Testament. This also served as a study that allowed me to gain a better knowledge of covenantalism and dispensationalism and again strengthen my understanding and position on both views.

The very first chapter, which was written by VanGemeren, I really enjoyed because it dealt with the position of Calvin and the Reformation. Having been a believer of many of his positions, I never realized that Calvin was covenantal in his view. I never took the time to really see where Calvin stood on this topic. The major impact that Reformed Theology has had on Christianity molded so many proper doctrines that Scripture held but was not being observed. Calvin was a major player in the Reformation where he held onto a belief that we can see in the Institutes. Here Calvin shows that his view was not a dominating covenantalism but more of a view where the covenants were held to honor God for the sake of the Gospel to be delivered in clarity.

Calvin’s view on soteriology and the covenantal view felt that there was unity between continuity and discontinuity between the church and Israel. He said that there was everlasting fellowship with God driven by divine grace. Many followed Calvin in the pursuit of Covenantal Theology. What was surprising to me was the notable church theologians who I respect hold onto a covenantal view.

The Reformers hold unto a continuity system where the Trinity is seen at work and has always been at work. They feel that the continuity is held by the Triune God where all the person is playing a specific role in redemption. Their major platform is on eschatology, redemption, and creation, old and new. It is this view that there is a covenant between God and man through the persons of the Trinity.

The Westminster Confession, which distinguishes between the covenants of works and the covenants of grace which specifies the salvific view of the covenantalist. The Westminster Confession holds onto the soteriological position between God and the role of Jesus Christ. This where I feel that I can agree with the covenantalist to a very slight degree. As it pertains to salvation and how man is given the gift of redemption, I believe that this is said in the Confession. Where Jesus came down in human form to offer the free gift of salvation to fallen man, I agree with. Requiring faith to be the central part of man’s salvation, I agree with. Where I feel I hold a different view is when it specifies that Jesus “made” a covenant of grace with man. I hold to a dispensational view of salvation where it is about choosing us by predestination and election (! Thess. 2:13; Eph. 2:8-9).

I find it difficult to find a chapter that was least liked or appreciated. The book in its entirety was a good learning process. Each chapter heading had interesting information inside. The chapter pertaining to the Law and the Testaments was of great importance but what I felt was difficult or least liked was the chapter the continuation chapter by Knox Chamberlin. I found it a tough read following his viewpoints on the Law. What struck me the most was his view towards the end of his chapter when he was discussing the hermeneutic concerning and determining the Old Testament Law. After reading much about source-critical and historical-critical scholars, Chamberlin hits on what I have seen in the past readings. Hermeneutics is determined by cultural and their views on the Law. Liberal in this view, in my opinion, will have a skewed hermeneutic. As I have read before concerning Law and the source-critical hermeneutic, is that the Law can be understood in a variety of definitions all determined by the cultural factor not what the literal-grammatical-historical hermeneutic develops.

In this chapter, I respect the view from Douglas Moo. I respected his thought of how he stressed the importance of discontinuity and how that view is the main-line but also not throwing out continuity. He mentions about how the Law of Moses is to be seen as fulfillment and not commandments held over the Christians. The Mosaic Law is to be distinguished between the Law of Moses and the Law of God. Citing 1 Cor. 9:20-21, Moo uses Paul as an example of how these two can be differentiated. Moo also comments about the importance of the Law. Moo explains how the Law can be viewed in the eyes of antinomianism. This view holds to “no moral law” for the Christian that needs to be followed. It is this point that Moo is making that it is a moral law that we should be trying to uphold since it is the Law of God and that we are to honor Him in moral living. The cheap grace view of the antinomianism is well beyond what Scripture tells of the Law.

He says that the Law was shadowing something better to come. This was the sacrificial system that was put to sleep when the One final sacrifice was done by the spotless lamb Christ. Hebrews specifically speaks about Jesus and the New Covenant being a better one then the Mosaic. Moo’s defense of discontinuity was well made by support of Scripture and showing that discontinuity from the Old Testament to the New Testament not in total abandonment but with the use of continuity to a degree.

This book has deepened my understanding of both views. I am dispensational because it has a more grounded foundation that covenantalism. With covenantalism, there are too many differences I see within Scripture when it comes to salvation. I don’t believe in their salvific method but there is the importance of God’s grace. They often hold the view of infant baptism of which I do not. I do hold to a position where Gentiles are grafted in as per what Paul writes in Romans. I do find it difficult to wrap my mind around the exact specifics of how this all plays out for Israel.

Outside of the book, I was able to read more on covenantal views and beliefs where I was, even more, a dispensationalist in my conviction. I have always held to a view of the Old Testament working in the New Testament not discontinued but used by the inspired writers. When it comes to the arguments of why the New Testament writers did not quote Old Testament scripture verbatim, I feel that even when they referenced the Old Testament they were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. 2 Tim 3:6 tells us that all Scripture is inspired.

Having a proper literal historical-grammatical hermeneutic, a dispensational will understand the proper use of the Old Testament with the New Testament. The covenantalist will also allegorize the text in interpretation including some key prophetic texts as it pertains to God’s plan for Israel. Also, the covenantalist cannot make the sufficient distinction between the conditional Mosaic covenant of the Law, the other unconditional covenants established by God for Israel, and the “better covenant” established by Jesus (cf. Hebrews 7:22; 8:6-13). Along the lines of hermeneutics, we see that the covenantalist have used the method of allegorizing Scripture which does not allow for a proper hermeneutic which leads them to develop their systematic set of doctrines which I have stated above are not solid building blocks. The Progressive Covenantalist use a close to dispensationalist hermeneutic of grammatical-historical. But they still have issues due to their thinking of partially fulfilled covenants which causes friction with the grammatical-historical hermeneutic.

This book is definitely a must-have for your library. An in-depth view of how the Bible is knitted together with the Old Testament and the New Testament. Reading this book allowed me to grasp the “big picture” and see how the Old Testament is a vital part of the New Testament.

Purchase here:  https://amzn.to/2HxjlW8

Satan’s Plan Part 3

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Many Antichrists

The exodus from Egypt shows us how the enslaved people of God were in bondage at the hands of Pharaoh. God used Moses to deliver the people out of Egypt to return them to the Promised Land.  Satan again tried to thwart the birth of the Messiah by enslaving the nation through which the anticipated “seed” would come from. But we see that God circumvented Satan’s plot through the Exodus event allowing for the line of the Messiah to stay intact early in the history of the Old Testament.

Queen Athaliah, who rose to reign soon after her son, king Ahaziah, had died was an extremely evil woman. Another antichrist used by Satan who was so vile that she murdered the royal offspring in fear that she would be taken off the throne (2 King 11:1). She was successful except for the sovereignty of God that moved Jehoshabeath or Jehosheba, the wife of priest Jehoiada, to kidnap[1] and hide the grandchild, Joash, from Athaliah. Joash was hidden and was not found nor murdered. Jehoiada was God’s instrument to bring a plan to remove Athaliah which she was and was put to death ending her evil stint as Queen and Satan’s tool (2 Kings 11:16). Soon after, Joash was established as king and the family line of David was not destroyed.

Satan’s attempts did not work in the Old Testament but he refuses to relinquish his pride and desire to destroy the “seed” who is the Messiah. Shortly after Messiah was born king in the New Testament, Herod learned from the magi of the arrival of the King of the Jews he was troubled (Matt. 2:2-3). The murderer Satan, had his agent to rid the baby Messiah in Herod. Herod was so troubled by the arrival of Christ that he sought to destroy Christ. Just as Pharaoh sought to kill every firstborn male in Exodus, Herod set out to kill Jesus by issuing an order to kill every male child two years or under (Matt. 2:16). Apparently, the Magi had informed him they had first seen the star two years earlier, so he told the soldiers to murder all boys that age or younger.[2] What we see is God’s providential hand in these attempts by Satan to destroy the Messiah.[3] We also see the same parallels between Moses and Jesus; the flight to escape, the decree of death by an evil ruler, the slaughter of innocent children and the return after the death of a wicked ruler.[4]

 

Conclusion

There are numerous methods that Satan uses to destroy the plan of God. The Bible has shown us the evil work of Satan and the outcomes that these works have produced. Satan has accomplished many wicked deeds over time by influencing various ungodly men in biblical history to perform such acts of wickedness. We have in God’s Word the documentation of these works of Satan as what he has done in the Old Testament and the New Testament. This allows us to observe his modus operandi. As Satan himself is filled with pride, he knows that man has fallen and preys on the fact that man is sinful by nature and by using man’s pride against him, Satan sets out to employ his plan of destruction.

Since the fall, Satan has been hard at work at trying to stop the promise of God that through the seed of Eve, the one would come to destroy Satan. This task of stopping the seed shows Satan trying in all his might and influence to pollute the lineage of the Messiah. From Genesis into the New Testament, Satan pulled out his best to stop the Messiah from ever being born and even shortly after His birth, Stan employed Herod to murder the Messiah. But to no avail, Satan’s best attempts were foiled and unsuccessful. God’s promise of the Messiah was fulfilled. The sovereign God was successful and Satan was unsuccessful in this cosmic match between good and evil. The result of this victory was Messiah being born from the pure prophesied lineage. What God had promised in His covenants with His people, He kept intact. Orchestrating events and persons throughout history, God providentially kept the purity of the lineage of Jesus Christ. It is with this intercession by God that stopped Satan’s plot from being fulfilled.

Bibliography

 

Barbieri, Louis A., Michael Boyle, James Coakley, Charles H. Dyer, David Finkbeiner, John K. Goodrich, Daniel Green, et al. The Moody Bible Commentary. Edited by Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham. New edition. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014.

Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology. GLH Publishing, 2017.

Boice, James Montgomery. Genesis: Genesis 37-50. Paperback Ed edition. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2006.

Brown, Francis, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs. The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon: With an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic : Coded With the Numbering System from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Reprint edition. Peabody, Mass: Hendrickson Pub, 1996.

Bruner, Frederick Dale. The Christbook: A Historical/Theological Commentary : Matthew 1-12. Waco: W Pub Group, 1987.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Leicester, England : Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan, 1994.

Holladay, William Lee. A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament: Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1972.

MacArthur, John, and Richard Mayhue, eds. Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2017.

Merriam-Webster. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary New Edition (c) 2016. New edition. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2016.

 

Osborne, Grant R. Matthew. Edited by Clinton E. Arnold. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Academic, 2010.

Phillips, John. Exploring Genesis. Grand Rapids, Minn: Kregel Publications, 2001.

SJ, Daniel J. Harrington. The Gospel of Matthew. 1st edition. Collegeville, Minn: Michael Glazier, 1991.

Wenham, Gordon J., J. Alec Motyer, Donald A. Carson, and R. T. France, eds. New Bible Commentary. 4th Century ed. edition. Leicester, England ; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: IVP Academic, 1994.

Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Real. 2 edition. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2009.

Wiseman, Donald J. 1 and 2 Kings. Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2008.

[1] Donald J. Wiseman, 1 and 2 Kings (Downers Grove, Ill: IVP Academic, 2008). 245

[2] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Academic, 2010). 100

[3] Frederick Dale Bruner, The Christbook: A Historical/Theological Commentary : Matthew 1-12 (Waco: W Pub Group, 1987). 58-59

[4] Daniel J. Harrington SJ, The Gospel of Matthew, 1st edition (Collegeville, Minn: Michael Glazier, 1991). 47-49

Satan’s Plan Part 3

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Genocide Attempt in Esther

In Satan’s assault regiment, he has many who are under his direction who are known as “antichrist”. The Bible depicts that there will be the antichrist who Paul describes as a “man of lawlessness, the son of destruction” (2 Thess. 2:3). Even though there will be one antichrist in the end times, there has been and will continue to be many antichrists that have already come and will come (1 Jn. 2:18). Antichrist is shown as one who is against or denies Christ, a false teacher who embodies this spirit and a person who will head up the final assault.[1] The forces of Satan are at work now and we have seen historically many who have been involved in Satan’s evil work such as, Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot just to name a few in recent history. When we look at Scripture we see many evil men who were under the inspiration of Satan performing many deeds that were intended to wipe out the nation of Israel as Hitler attempted in the ’40s.

Another attempt to sever the Messianic lineage was documented in Esther. The king during the time of Esther, Ahasuerus or translated in Greek as Xerxes I, reigned over a large number of provinces from Ethiopia through India (Esther 1:1). After a broken rule pertaining to the conduct of a king’s wife, Ahasuerus was without a wife (Esther 1:12-15). Following the advice of the king’s attendants, Ahasuerus looked over the provinces for a virgin that would replace Vashti (Esther 2:4). An exiled Jew by the name of Mordecai who was raising Esther as his own but was his uncle’s daughter was in Susa where the king had gathered many young virgins for his approval. Esther caught his eye and was then thrust into the position of replacement for Vashti.
The king had promoted Haman[2] into a position of power but was a hater of the Jews. Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman which created a great conflict. Haman was an instrument in the hands of Satan who was enraged by the lack of respect that Mordecai had for him and Haman’s pride fueled his hatred against Mordecai and the Jews. Haman was able to convince the king to sign an edict to exterminate all the Jews in the empire (Esther 3:6). Haman’s desire was the total destruction of the Jews, young and old women and children (Esther 3:13). Just as Hitler desired eradication of the Jews and performed genocide against the Jews, Haman had the same desire for genocide resulting in the complete annihilation of the Jews.

The importance of this story is crucial to Satan’s strategy in an attempt to sever the lineage of the Messiah. In the event that Haman was successful in the extermination of all the Jews, then there would be no line to David from the Jews during this time if they were exterminated, leaving no line from David to the Messiah. After hearing of this plot to kill the Jews, Esther, with her influence over the king was able to thwart the edict and plan of Haman. God orchestrated all the events that allowed Esther to enter into a prominent position and influence with the king of Persia to protect the covenant that He entered into with Israel. Satan failed once again as his servant Haman was hanged (Esther. 7:10). God’s hand was all over the story of Esther although it is never mentioned even as Satan is hard at work to destroy God people, He is faithful and victorious against the evil one. Biblical history plays out the long list of evil people that Satan tied to use for his plan and strategy to stop the coming Messiah.

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Real, 2 edition (Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2009). 89

[2] William Lee Holladay, A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament: Based upon the Lexical Work of Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub Co, 1972). 81

Satan’s Plan Part II (The Genesis Attempt)

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The Genesis Attempt

The account of the fall of humanity in the Garden we find in Genesis 3, shows us the active working of the serpent. The serpent tempted Adam and Eve with his usual tactic of lies. Satan asked Eve “has God said”? (Gen. 3:1) He knew that he could deceive her just by playing her intellect against herself. He began the temptation with Eve and not Adam. Satan knew by putting her in the place of headship, engaging her in an intellectual discussion concerning right and wrong that this would work in his favor. He thoroughly lied and deceived her. The result was the human race plunging into ruin (1 Timothy 2:11–14; 1 Corinthians 11:3).[1] So, the deceiver and liar Satan used the oldest trick in his toolbox, make them think about what they deserve and desire.

Satan was not created as evil by God but was created as His brightest angel in heaven (Isa. 14:12).  In the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, we see Satan described as having been created a cherub, apparently the highest created angel and one of magnificent beauty (Ex. 28:12-14). Having become filled with pride and not wanting to follow God but wanting to become like God he wanted to sit on a throne above that of God (Isa. 14:13-14; Ez. 28:15; 1 Tim. 3:6). It is documented how Satan’s pride led to this fall. With the many “I will” statements in Isaiah 14, his pride had swelled beyond anything holy in heaven. Because of this God permanently removed Satan from his exalted position and role. Satan was cast out of heaven and with him, one-third of the angels were cast out with him “And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth.”  (Rev. 12:4). Pride is Satan’s biggest issue and fault, he knows too well how to use this to tempt mankind.

The retaliation by God from this heinous act by Satan and the irresponsibility of Adam and Eve spurred God to make a direct threat to Satan. Satan’s days are numbered and there will come a time where his head will be bruised (Gen. 3:15) and eventually cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10). It is with this threat and promise by God that a “seed” will be born. Satan’s immediate action is to stop this “seed” from being born. It was through this promise that the lineage or genealogy of Christ becomes so important. In Matthew we see the lineage being documented by Mathew for the sole purpose that Jesus was born of the lineage that was uncorrupted (Matt. 1:18). Satan had to infiltrate and pollute this lineage.

Satan rushed immediately into action as he figured that he could eliminate the “seed” simply by influencing Cain. As Cain and Abel were making offerings to God, Abel’s offerings were accepted by God because they were his first fruits and Cain offered the fruit of the ground and was rejected (Gen. 4:4-5). Cain’s deeds were evil as Abel’s were righteous (1 Jn. 3:12). Cain’s deeds were evil and Satan was right there influencing Cain to the point of murder. Satan figured that he would end the line right there if Abel was out of the picture then there would be no seed. Adam and Eve gave birth to Seth ruining Satan’s plan. Cain received a lesser punishment that the capital punishment for his offense which also could have been Satan’s plot as he is also known as a murderer (Jn. 8:44).

Genesis 6 shows us how Satan developed a plan to defuse God’s plan and corrupt the lineage of the “seed”. Genesis 6:1–2 refers to a second and deeper apostasy in the ranks of the angels. A host of one-third of the angels had already followed Lucifer in the initial rebellion against God; now some of those fallen angels descended even lower.[2] Defying the limits set by God, they went after “strange flesh” (Jude 7). Saying that the Sons of God saw women and took them as wives (vs. 2), There are several views that believe that these were the offspring of Seth and others who believe that these were angelic beings. The sons of God refer to spirit beings or translated ‘angels’ as in Job. 1:6; 2:1, though they are not benevolent either here or in Job. There are some uses in the OT Israel (Deut. 14:1) or kings (2 Sa. 7:14) who are called ‘sons of God’, but neither meaning is appropriate here. The text says, “the daughters of men” (vs. 2) who refers to ordinary human women. The term Nephilim refers to the ancient supermen who are supposed to be the offspring from these spirit and human unions. Numbers states that some Nephilim were also in Canaan when Israel invaded (Nu. 13:33).[3]

No matter the stance that is taken, there was absolute immorality gaining traction on the earth. In any case, the story of the growing lawlessness of Noah’s day begins with a brief account of the great apostasy of the antediluvians. For centuries things had been coming slowly to a head. But now came the final expression of the perversion of man (Gen. 6:1–2). The acceleration of the world’s population led to moral and spiritual decay, to shameless depravity, to social dilemma, and to strong delusion. The forbidden sexual liaison between women and fallen angelic beings—and to the rise of a hybrid race of “giants” or Nephilim. Who was behind this? Satan.

It was these angelic beings who were corrupting and polluting the human race. Satan’s hopes were to damage the purity of the lineage of Christ so that the Messiah would be disqualified by not coming from the pure lineage. God’s sovereign plan caused an intervention and the destruction of these people who fell into the great apostasy. The same tendencies to evil that had led to the wickedness of the antediluvian[4] world were in them all. By Satan’s plan, they would sin so great, and this would pronounce a fresh judgment of God. Hence, the flood. All were destroyed except those who were not apostate, Noah and his family. The lineage was not broken, and the plan strategy of Satan was foiled. God had to clear the earth of these hybrid beings so that the purity of the lineage of the Messiah would be in-tact. Satan does not surrender easily and he has many tricks in his toolbox to corrupt the lineage disqualify Christ as Messiah.

[1] Louis A. Barbieri et al., The Moody Bible Commentary, ed. Michael Rydelnik and Michael Vanlaningham, New edition (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2014). 45

[2] John Phillips, Exploring Genesis (Grand Rapids, Minn: Kregel Publications, 2001). 80

 

[3] Gordon J. Wenham et al., eds., New Bible Commentary, 4th Century ed. edition (Leicester, England ; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: IVP Academic, 1994). 63

 

[4] James Montgomery Boice, Genesis: Genesis 37-50, Paperback Ed edition (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 2006). 374

 

Satan’s Plan (Part 1)

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No better place to start this new blog site concerning Jesus Christ than with the very beginning narrative that shows how the “deceiver” Satan began his destructive plan to wipe out mankind. Being once an angel of light, Lucifer, an angelic being, was cast out of Heaven along with 1/3 of the angels who shared his desire. “And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.” (Rev.  12:4). The war that rages on each and every day is an invisible war which Satan is pursuing to destroy man. He is described as a lion seeking who he can devour in the epistle by the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:8).  

In Genesis 3, we see documented for us, the fall of man. Eve had been deceived by Satan in the form of a serpent (Gen. 3:1) and by the process of lies and deceit, Satan was able to convince Eve to take of the forbidden fruit just by a simple question in her ear, Did He say that? As per God’s commands, nobody was to eat the fruit of the tree of life but every other fruit was fair game. But see how Satan used a twisting of the truth to cause Eve to sin. Satan caused doubt in Eve. He also played on her pride and desires, such like Satan’s, he pressed Eve with lies and promises of equality to God as he told her that she would be like God (Gen. 3:5). Maybe there was a little truth in what Satan said to Eve. What the Bible tells us is that God told Adam not to eat of the tree of life (Gen. 2:16-17). Eve had not even been fashioned at this time when God spoke to Adam. There is a shred of truth to that lie. God never spoke to Eve about the tree of life. Either way, Eve took of the fruit and convinced Adam to do the same casting all humanity into sin (Gen 3:13-19).

So, now man, all generations, has been found guilty of sin by birth. Since Adam and Eve ate of the fruit, the curse that their transgressions produced was a death sentence for all mankind. Romans 6:23 states that the wages or penalty for sin is death. But in God’s lovingkindness,   חֶסֶד  “hesed” in the Hebrew, God developed a plan for salvation that will allow mankind to enter into the Kingdom finding those who come to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, to escape the eternal death sentence. Looking at Romans 5:18-19 we see:

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Going back to the Garden when God spoke to Eve and to Adam and told of curses to the serpent, and to each of them stating what will happen to all men and women (Gen. 3:13-19). But the point I want to show is what God says in verse 15. God states, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” God just told of what the plan of redemption is to come by the “seed”. God tells of an offspring of Adam and Eve, the seed, that will come to crush the serpent’s head. This is the promised Messiah. In Genesis, we have the very first evidence of the Gospel, protoevangluim. “The seed”.

This serves as the introduction to the series I will be sharing in the next few contributions here. The study we will embark on here will show how Satan tried to thwart and pollute the Messianic line tarnishing it so that the purity will be destroyed and disqualifying the Christ as the coming Messiah that will crush the serpent’s head.  Looking forward to sharing this in-depth study in you and I hope and pray that this will glorify our Lord. Please comment and reach out with any questions.

In Christ

Welcome to Walking in Truth Ministry!

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I want to welcome you to the Walking in Truth Ministry page. Please follow us and also click the link below and follow us on Facebook. What will be happening on this page is biblical teaching and articles, journals and videos that glorify Our Lord!

May 2019, I will be graduating from The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles. I am completing the Masters of Divinity program. It has been such a blessing to have attended The Masters Seminary. After serving as a layman performing bible studies and evangelism in jail ministry on the island of Guam, I began attending the Shepherd’s Conference at Grace Community Church, where the Seminary is located, to further my knowledge of the Bible.

In 2015 I applied at Master’s and got accepted. My wife and I moved from Guam, sold everything we had and moved to Los Angeles to attend Masters. In short, we lost everything and the future looked bleak and I began to think that maybe Seminary was a mistake. But God, in His faithfulness and grace provided for us these (4) years and we have sustained ourselves by His grace allowing us to complete this program. I will have to give a detailed testimony about this one day.

I started thinking about doing this for a while in order for biblical teaching. I have a burden for God’s people to be properly fed. This has only grown more and more bringing me to this point. I have started a YouTube channel as well and have uploaded some videos here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1895vFFWDXuQ7NU4WCU5lw

So, this is the welcome message and in a couple of weeks, after graduation, I will be posting on a regular basis. I look forward in serving you in the future and meeting many new brothers and sisters. Again, please follow!

In Christ