Dan A. Rodriguez Articles and Podcasts

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October 27, 2017  

Finding Genuine Faith on the Earth- Part 2: Where did Paul’s definition of faith come from?

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“…When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8b NET)

Evidently, real, vibrant, Bible faith will be in comparatively short supply when Jesus returns. Will we have the genuine kind of faith He is looking for? (See 1st Peter 1:7 in the NKJV.) I pray that we do. That is the purpose of these articles, to examine our faith as Paul stated in 2nd Corinthians 13:5.

I now feel compelled instead to write to encourage you to contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 1:3 NET).

We are contending earnestly for the faith once for all entrusted to the saints in these articles!

Grandma, grandpa, your mother or father, or your denomination probably never taught faith quite like you will read in these articles.

“Well, I was taught that faith is just believing God, and that is all there is to it.” Have you ever heard that?

Many believe firmly that their particular Church doctrinal statements are their faith. Then, you have a multitude of people that ask, “What is your faith? To what faith do you subscribe?” Of course, they are asking you about the particular Christian group you associate with or belong to.

Others take faith into the realms of believing and trusting, full persuasion of God’s promises, speaking the Word, or believing (trusting) that you receive your answer to prayer. There are sound Biblical truths to be studied in those areas, but faith is much broader in scope in Paul’s epistles and the rest of the New Testament than these definitions alone.

Did you know that obedience is an intimate part of faith? How often do you hear from today’s pulpits that obedience is an integral part of faith? Paul connected them forever.

Through Him we have received grace and our apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name… and through the prophetic scriptures has been made known to all the nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5, 16:26 NET).

Did you know that there are teachers today that reject the idea that obedience to God and His Word are essential parts of your faith in Christ? Can they read? Paul began and finished his great epistle to the Romans with the principle of obedience of faith. Obeying the Lord is not an option in Scripture in the Old and New Testaments, that is, IF we want God and the Lord Jesus by His Spirit working in our lives (John 14:21-26; 1 John 2:3-6 NET).

These articles will tear down some traditional interpretations, but they should not be construed as a denial of other areas of faith not covered in them. Faith is a BIG subject! For that very reason, I am adding audio messages to these articles that give you some other sides of Biblical faith. I hope you listened to the audio message, “Only Believe” with Part 1 of this series of articles. I suggest you listen to all the 37 audio messages in the series, “Removing Doubt from the Heart.” Only Believe was #28 from this series.

Bible faith as Paul understood it, was solidly based on the Old Testament or the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). He also based his understanding of faith on the words and example of Jesus in the Gospels. Jesus was the Word of God made flesh, so He and the written Word must agree (John 1:1-3, 14). That must be included in any assessment of Paul’s view of faith.

As we saw in the first article, Paul used the Scripture profusely in his epistles, either by direct quotations or by allusions. By allusions, I mean that he was constantly hinting at Scripture even though he was not necessarily quoting verses or naming the books where they were found.

Here is an oft-quoted verse used to establish Paul’s teaching on faith. There is no guessing game here!

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17 NKJV)

“The just shall live by faith” is a quotation of the second part of Habakkuk 2:4.[1]

 

Where did Paul’s definition of faith come from?

Was it from some special revelation only given to him? Paul’s definition of faith was confirmed by his choice of a proof text from the Old Testament, written almost seven centuries before he wrote Romans 1:17.

Paul almost exclusively used the Septuagint (LXX) Greek when quoting the Old Testament. The Septuagint was an ancient Jewish translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. The language was analyzed and the conclusion is that the Pentateuch was translated near the middle of the 3rd century B.C., and the rest of the Old Testament was translated in the 2nd century B. C.[2] The Greek of the New Testament reflects the Septuagint in hundreds of places.[3]

Gustav A. Deissmann (1866–1937), the renowned German Protestant theologian, said it like this:  

"A single hour lovingly devoted to the text of the Septuagint will further our exegetical knowledge of the Pauline Epistles more than a whole day spent over a commentary… Every reader of the Septuagint who knows his Greek (New) Testament will after a few days’ study come to see with astonishment what hundreds of threads there are uniting the Old and the New."[4]

Follow me in this. I am not splitting hairs here. It’s information every single believer should have.

Paul quoted Habakkuk 2:4 in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11 by using the Greek word for faith (pistis) as it came to him from the Septuagint, but that was not its origin. The Hebrew original text was standing behind the Greek Septuagint and Paul’s usage. Hebrew has to be the place to look for the original meaning. That makes perfect sense to me, yet many prefer to see only the Greek, and do their best to dismiss the Hebrew standing behind it. That, my friends, is a huge lack in judgment!

Going back to the original Hebrew that stands behind the Greek is not only necessary, but it is doing an honest word study, whether you are a scholar, preacher, teacher, or a student of the Word. If one refuses to admit or rejects the Hebrew that stands behind all Greek Septuagint quotations (and word usage) in the New Testament, then one subscribes to a dishonest form of Biblical study. I don’t think any of us want to be accused of dishonesty.

What is the Hebrew word translated faith in Habakkuk 2:4, quoted by Paul in Romans 1:17 and in Galatians 3:11?

Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (BDB) is relevant today, even though newer dictionaries are in circulation. The Hebrew word that is generally translated faith in Habakkuk 2:4 is emunah, and BDB states that it means: firmness, fidelity, steadfastness, and steadiness. (See H530, 53b.) Those definitions are the ones found in the summarized version of the BDB on the Bible software on my cell phone. When looking at the definition of emunah (H530, 53b) in the full BDB, [5] we see that faithfulness and trust are added to the definition.

On page 53, column b, under entry #530, around the center of the page, we come to the BDB translation of Habakkuk 2:4: “a righteous man by his faithfulness liveth.” Pay close attention to the code right after the translation: (>faith LUTH AV RV). The list of abbreviations at the front of the dictionary is the place to decode it. The parenthesis means that the preceding translation of emunah as faithfulness is preferred to how Luther, the Authorized KJV, and the Revised Version translated it as faith! Luther, the KJV and the AV (among others) did not translate emunah. They injected into Habakkuk 2:4 their translation from the Greek New Testament back into the Old. That is backwards!

I am suggesting that we do the exact opposite, take the Hebrew definitions and inject them into the New!

Faithfulness is not “by faith alone” or “believing alone”. Not even close! Oops! That is contrary to centuries of protestant theology that began with Luther emphasizing “by faith alone”, one perpetuated by the KJV, RV, and the majority of versions.

Look back at these definitions of emunah. The words faith and believe are completely lacking in the Hebrew definition. “By faith alone” is missing in the BDB translation of Habakkuk 2:4.

Look at the NKJV translation of Habakkuk 2:4, one basically in agreement with the KJV and RV:

“Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith.” (NKJV)

Translations like the NKJV are simply bringing into the Hebrew original text a translation of the verse according to the Greek New Testament that came from the Septuagint. They paid NO attention to the original Hebrew text!

Now, watch what happens when you don’t take the Greek as the final word or inject it back into the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. The Hebrew original text of Habakkuk 2:4 gives us a completely different picture.

“Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, but the person of integrity will live because of his faithfulness” (NET).

A few other translations have the better word faithfulness: God’s Word, Good News Translation, Lexham English Bible, New International Revised Version, NIV, New Living Testament, Voice. Young’s Literal Translation has steadfastness. The Common English Bible has live honestly. The Complete Jewish Bible has trusting faithfulness. The Message has loyal and steady believing. All of these are much better than the word faith.

The New English Translation in Habakkuk 2:4, under note 15 says about the traditional translation of emunah as faith that it “nowhere else refers to ‘belief’ as such.” “Honesty, integrity, reliability, faithfulness” define emunah when used in reference to human conduct and character, as in this verse.[6]

Belief, faith, and believing are not even in the equation!

Here’s where it really gets messy.

Even though the NET gets it right in Habakkuk 2:4, they ignore the Hebrew background in Romans 1:17. They honestly believe it is the best scholarship to translate the text from the Greek and let it stay that way without elucidating the Hebrew behind it. They missed the point of Habakkuk 2:4 in Paul’s reference.

Don’t misunderstand me. Translators are working with the texts in front of them to the best of their abilities. They translate a word, generally, looking for a word or words that convey the meaning clearly into their target language. I believe translators are doing an excellent job, as far as word-for-word translations go, especially in the newer translations like the New English Translation and others. The issue I am referring to is in the realm of looking at the original language behind the Greek when Old Testament verses and allusions are found in the New Testament.

When the original emunah is translated from the Greek pistis as faith in the New Testament, without further explanation, it is misleading and woefully incomplete. It has to be elucidated based on Habakkuk 2:4, and other Old Testament verses we will get to. That is especially true if the verses are quoted in the New Testament!

Translators could include a footnote next to the word faith (and many others) in the New Testament. There should be a fuller explanation and definition based on the Hebrew original, but these are nowhere to be found! It’s better to translate faith (and believe) as a phrase based on the Hebrew definition. My God! That would have enhanced richly our faith in Christ in so many ways, and kept the church out of many strange and unfruitful interpretations. 

If I had known that Bible faith was, and is, correctly defined by faithfulness, steadfastness, loyalty, obedience, and trust, it would have made a huge difference in so many ways. Fidelity, firmness, and steadiness are not primarily (nor secondarily or even thirdly) your beliefs, but your Covenant relationship-fellowship with Him, your lifestyle, and actions according to His Word. Glory to God!

I learned some powerful lessons in the realm of faith from 1974 until 1986 (and I am still learning), such as trusting in the promises of God, speaking to the mountain to be removed, speaking of things that are not as though they were, getting your words to agree with God's Word, and so on (Romans 4:17-22; Mark 11:22-26). 

When I first learned some of the things I am sharing in these articles, sadly, I started to discard many of the things I learned earlier. I did not realize that what I was learning was not to take away from my faith, but to tweak and adjust me in it. God’s purpose was to take me further into the realm of faith than I had ever been. I threw out the baby with the bathwater! That was not a good idea! 

Now in 2017, I can look back, grin, and laugh at how ignorant I was, but it was no laughing matter then. It was havoc and sheer hell! That is one story that I will spare you from. I stepped away from the Lord and His Word over my errors (and sins) from 1989-1999, but (PTL) I came back to Him through repentance and renewal in April of 1999.

Looking back, since my initial commitment to Jesus in early 1974 (under the big tent of R. W. Schambach, Tampa Florida), I can truthfully say, that I am finally getting a clue! As I continue to study, finally, I am receiving from the Lord some understanding on how all these areas of faith complement each other and work together. They are not contrary to one another.  

I trust that these messages will take you much further in Him, and in faith, than I have ever been. I also trust that it will happen for you in a whole lot less time. 

Be mightily blessed! 

 

NOTES:

[1] Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 also repeat, “the just shall live by faith.”

[2] https://www.britannica.com/topic/Septuagint

[3] An interesting question is, which Hebrew text stands behind the Septuagint (LXX)? According to the evidence of the Dead Scrolls, there were a few Hebrew manuscript traditions. One agreed more with the MT, one was like the LXX, and another like the Samaritan text of the Pentateuch. Then, there was the one that was different than those, like the one reflected in the great Isaiah Scroll, and there were more. This is important because scholars believed, until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found and examined, that the LXX had many Christian additions. The DSS proved that assumption wrong because they were pre-Christian! They found clear evidence of a textual tradition similar to the Septuagint. See Ostling, Richard N., “Dead Sea Scrolls” yield “major questions” in Old Testament understanding, (University of Notre Dame; https://news.nd.edu/news/dead-sea-scrolls-yield-major-questions-in-old-testament-understanding/, accessed 10-26-17); Tov, Emanuel; Searching for the “Original” Bible, (https://members.bib-arch.org/biblical-archaeology-review/40/4/10, accessed 10-26-17), and Tov, Emanuel. Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible. 2nd Rev. Ed. Fortress Press: Minneapolis, 2001, 114-117; where he states that Qumran-specific texts were 20%, Proto-Masoretic texts – 35%, Proto-Samaritan texts – 5%, Proto-Septuagint texts – 5%, Non-Aligned texts – 35%. 

[4] Deissmann, The Philology of the Greek Bible, its Present and Future, (1908, Hodder and Stoughton, London), pp. 12, 13.

[5] The BDB Hebrew and English Lexicon, (Hendickson Publishers, Massachussetts, 1996) coded to Strong’s numbers. Reprinted from the 1906 ed.

[6] The Lumina NET at Bible.org, translation note 15 in Habakkuk 2:4, https://lumina.bible.org/bible/Habakkuk+2 (accessed October 17, 2017)

 

________________

 

The audio message that follows is #29 from the series, “Removing Doubt from the Heart.” The name of the message is: Light Burden vs. the Devil's Heavy Weights. Messages 1-28 are already published on our website.

 

October 23, 2017  

Finding Genuine Faith on the Earth- Part 1: Unlocking Paul’s Interpretation of Faith

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On our website, you will find teaching on different areas of faith. The audio podcast series, “Removing Doubt from the Heart,” addresses numerous vital aspects of faith. These articles address another part to faith, one that is by no means less important. Why are we doing this? We are contending earnestly for the faith!

Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:3-4 NET).

There was a faith that was once for all delivered to the saints, and in these articles, we are contending earnestly for it. Do you know how faith was viewed in apostolic times? You may think you know, but allow this series to challenge you, and possibly, to bring you additional light to whatever concept of faith you may have.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV).

These articles have to do with examining and testing yourself to see whether the faith you and me have is genuine.

…That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ… (1Peter 1:7 NKJV)

We need some solid information properly drawn from the Scripture to know about this genuine faith in order to function and live by it.

For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.” (Romans 1:17 NET)

Real Bible faith is not commonplace. Actually, before the coming of the Lord, it may be in comparatively short supply.

Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8 NET)

What a question! It's there as a challenge to you and me in Christ. I want to be among those that Jesus says when He comes, “I found faith in him.” Don't you?

I am doing my part earnestly so that the message of faith gets out to the Body of Christ. Are you doing it too? You can help spread the word by forwarding these articles and the audios on the subject of faith on our website. We need this message of faith today  because we are closer to His coming!

 

The key that unlocks Paul’s own views and interpretations

Here is how we will begin to study this side of the subject of faith. We begin with a question.  

How did the great apostle Paul (and others) use the word faith?

How can we be 100% positive as to the apostolic interpretation of that word 2000 years ago? Wouldn’t that be the most important consideration when reading the epistles? We do not want to take our modern idea of the definition of faith and read it back into the New Testament. Yet, that is precisely what is done on many fronts.

The key that unlocks Paul’s own views and interpretations can be found in the many quotations, references, and allusions from the Old Testament in his epistles.

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:14-17 NKJV).

Paul was not filling up space when he quoted Old Testament Scripture. It was the basis for his teaching. Paul’s doctrine (teaching) was centered on the Old Testament, the Holy and inspired-by-God Scriptures. The New Testament wasn’t yet written in his day. All that existed in his day was the Old Testament.

For some reason, many believe that Paul’s doctrinal position came uniquely via a special revelation unrelated to the Hebrew Old Testament. Paul’s doctrine or teaching was constructed out of that already revealed in Holy Scriptures, according to 2nd Timothy 3:15 and 16. The Hebrew Bible was his foundation even though he wrote in Greek, and quoted from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. We will say much more about all that in the next article.

To make it even harder to swallow for those in the grip of modern interpretations, Paul stated that the OLD TESTAMENT Hebrew Bible (The Holy Scriptures) was “able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Paul was solidly basing the salvation message he taught through faith in Christ Jesus on the Old Testament Holy Scriptures. What? Paul was preaching Jesus and salvation through faith by using the Old Testament? That alone, throws some traditional thoughts into a tailspin, and we are just getting started!

Paul’s doctrine was rooted and grounded in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures. Yet, some foolishly throw out the Hebrew Holy Scriptures in favor of Paul’s epistles viewed according to new interpretations that have nothing to do with the apostle’s doctrine.

Some even throw out the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and have proclaimed Paul the “savior” of the Gentiles. It is truly disgusting how some deny the words of our Lord today. Not only is it repulsive, it is deeply anti-Christ to reject the words of our Master, Jesus.

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words… (1Timothy 6:3, 4 NKJV)

We must consent to the words of Jesus in the Gospels (and Acts and Revelation), and to the doctrine which accords with godliness. [1] Those that reject these are full of pride, they don’t know anything, and they are obsessed with disputes and arguments. Have you come across any people like that? They believe that the words of Jesus and the Old Testament are irrelevant for believers today because they believe His words were contrary to grace and were under the law. Is that teaching anti-Christ and anti-God? Yes it is. It is also anti - the Holy Scriptures.

To present this study properly, a few things must be addressed before we begin a discussion on the subject of faith and believing.

It is vital to understand the immense importance of the Old Testament to New Testament word studies.

According to David H. Stern’s translation, The Jewish New Testament, there are 695 verses of the Old Testament quoted from Matthew to Revelation.[2] Those are direct verse quotations (or parts of verses), but there are many more references and hints to Old Testament passages in the New Testament.

Roger Nicole, in the The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, [3] stated that some of the quotations and references in the New to the Old Testament could be as high as 4,105:

The New Testament contains an extraordinarily large number of Old Testament quotations. It is difficult to give an accurate figure since the variation in use ranges all the way from a distant allusion to a definite quotation introduced by an explicit formula stating the citation’s source. As a result, the figures given by various authors often reflect a startling discrepancy…. C. H. Toy lists 613 such instances, Wilhelm Dittmar goes as high as 1640, while Eugen Huehn indicates 4105 passages reminiscent of Old Testament Scripture. It can therefore be asserted, without exaggeration that more than 10 per cent of the New Testament text is made up of citations or direct allusions to the Old Testament. The recorded words of Jesus disclose a similar percentage. Certain books like Revelation, Hebrews, Romans are well nigh saturated with Old Testament forms of language, allusions and quotations.”[4]

Did you get that? Certain books like Revelation, Hebrews, and Romans are well nigh saturated with Old Testament forms of language, allusions, and quotations. My question is simple. How could we possibly understand books like Romans, Revelation or Hebrews without looking closely at the Old Testament verses quoted and alluded to in them? If we don’t study the Old Testament, especially the sections or verses quoted in the New, we are left with a huge doctrinal and interpretational void.

Many have made up new interpretations because they have completely ignored the Hebrew Biblical text. So that we are clear, ignoring the original Hebrew of the Old Testament is not a new problem, but one that has dogged the Church relentlessly for centuries. We will tackle that issue on a basic level in these articles.

If so many verses, references, and allusions to the Hebrew Scripture are all over the New Testament, does that make the Old Testament obsolete, or does it grant the Old Testament a place of prominence in the New Testament? Yes, the Old Testament has a highly visible and prominent place in the New Testament. It has a place of honor and respect, and it is indispensible to gain a right doctrinal perspective in the New Testament.

Since Paul quoted profusely from the Old Testament Holy Scriptures, should we pay close attention to these quotations?

Here’s a verse I quoted above to start our study of faith. Paul cites an Old Testament verse as a proof text for what he was teaching.

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17 NKJV)

Paul quoted a part of Habakkuk 2:4 in the second half of Romans 1:17.[5]

Where was Paul’s definition of faith coming from? Was it from some special revelation only given to him? No! His definition of faith was from the Old Testament, written centuries before he wrote Romans 1:17. If Paul quoted from an Old Testament verse, then he was relying on its definition and message.

More to come!

 

NOTES:

[1] Doctrine is the same Greek word in 2nd Timothy 3:16 and 1st Timothy 6:3.

[2] Lederer Messianic Publications; 1st edition (September 1, 1989)

[3] Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1979, Vol. 1, p. 617

[4] Roger Nicole, “New Testament Use of the Old Testament,” Carl F.H. Henry, ed., Revelation and the Bible. Contemporary Evangelical Thought. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1958 / London: The Tyndale Press, 1959. pp.137-151. See also: https://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/rev-henry/9_ot-in-the-nt_nicole.pdf .

[5] Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 also repeat, “the just shall live by faith.”

 

So you hear another audio teaching on "Removing Doubt from the Heart", here is Part 28: "ONLY BELIEVE."

October 13, 2017  

Did the Grace of God Cancel Biblical Commandments? - Free PDF study-62 Pages

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Be blessed with this 62 page FREE PDF!

Why do we need a message like this today?

Look around and note the modern teachings spreading among the churches. There are those that emphasize we should keep Sabbath days, feasts and festivals, laws concerning foods, and other ritual laws of Israel. On the other hand, there are ministers, churches, and books that insist that we are not under any law and that we should not obey Old Testament commandments. I have heard it taught that we are not subject to any of the Ten Commandments because all commandments were under the law and they are not a part of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

What teachings are right? What does the Scripture say about these things? What did the apostles teach?

In this 62 page treatise, you will see what the Word says about these things, and you will be able to share it effectively. My purpose is not argument, division, or trying to prove others wrong, but to enlighten, help, and bless. 

Table of Contents

Part 1: Why Force the Gentiles to Live like Jews?

  • Why force the gentiles to live like Jews?
  • The Temporary Nature of Ritual Ceremonial Laws
  • Have you heard that we should learn more about our Hebrew roots?

Part 2: The Effect of the Destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and How That Relates to Christians Today

  • The Birth of a New Jewish Interpretation of the Ritual-Ceremonial Laws Given to Moses at Sinai
  • The Lack of Emphasis in the Epistles on Keeping any Ritual-Ceremonial Laws or Commandments

Part 3: The Acts 15 Church Council, Moral Laws, and the Summary

  • The Acts 15 Church Council
  • The Necessity of Obeying MORAL Commandments in the New Testament
  • The Summary of ALL Moral Commandments in Scripture

Part 4: Moral Commandments and Inheritance in the Kingdom of God and Christ

  • Inheritance in the Kingdom of God and Christ
  • How did Paul form these lists of things prohibited for all believers?
  • The Righteous and the Unrighteous
  • Inclusion or Exclusion from the Kingdom of Christ or God
  • A Little Yeast Affects the Whole Batch
  • Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins
  • Positive and negative moral commandments
  • The Steadfast Endurance of the Saints

Part 5: Commandments of Moral Conduct Revealed from the Beginning- A

  • A short summary and a double obsolescence
  • Paul's usage of the word law
  • God’s Commandments to Adam and Eve
  • Commandments of Moral Conduct Revealed from the Beginning

Part 6: Commandments of Moral Conduct Revealed from the Beginning- B

  • Christ the end of the law
  • The shadow overtaken by the reality and fulfillment
  • Paul's use of the word commandments
  • A covenant addendum
  • The Book of Genesis- Beginnings

Part 7: Did Jesus Invent the Love Commandment?

  • A new commandment
  • Love from the beginning
  • The Golden Rule- Love in Action
  • The Only Commandment for the Church is Love?
  • Condensing the law and the prophets into two commandments
  • If you love Him, then you will obey His commandments

Be blessed with this 62 page FREE PDF! Originally this was published as 7 long articles on our site, but now you have it all in one place. The footnotes appear on the bottom of the page instead of at the end end of each chapter. It's a lot easier to read and study the treatise in this format, and great to have this info at your fingertips.  

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October 5, 2017  

Faith Expects God’s Best- Removing Doubt from the Heart Series #27

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Faith expects God's best. That being stated, sometimes preparation looks like you are expecting the worse, but that is not necessarily so. I say that because sometimes people express preparation before a hurricane like this, "Prepare for the worst, but expect the best." Since we had devastating hurricanes that hit Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, USVI, and other Caribbean islands last month (September 2017), I heard and read that statement repeatedly. 

Some years ago, I began to see that preparation is never lost time, and it does not need to be done in fear. Faith does not mean that we are to fly by the seat of our pants living in a constant state of unpreparedness in the face of danger. No! Preparation can and should be done in faith.

A horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory is from the Lord (Proverbs 21:31 NET).

A horse disappoints those who trust in it for victory; despite its great strength, it cannot deliver. Look, the Lord takes notice of his loyal followers, those who wait for him to demonstrate his faithfulness by saving their lives from death and sustaining them during times of famine. We wait for the Lord; he is our deliverer and shield. For our hearts rejoice in him, for we trust in his holy name (Psalms 33:17-21 NET).

This is why armed forced train, drill, and practice, practice, practice! They prepare on every level for the day of battle. That is powerful, but it is not enough! We are to take it much further and put our trust firmly in the Lord for His supernatural protection.

Look at runners or boxers. Athletes prepare consistently and thoroughly IF they want to win! We are not preparing to fail, but to win. Paul used athletic preparation as an example:

Do you not know that all the runners in a stadium compete, but only one receives the prize? So, run to win. Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything. They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run uncertainly or box like one who hits only air. Instead, I subdue my body and make it my slave, so that after preaching to others I myself will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NET).

My heart and prayers are with all believers that went through those terrible hurricanes last month (September 2017). My wife and I prepared a lot before hurricane Irma, but at the same time, we were trusting for God's mighty protection according to Psalms 91. 

We should notice two things about Psalms 91. First, sometimes God's deliverance is to keep harm away from you (it will not reach you- v.7 NET), and other times, God's mighty protection is manifested in the middle of the storm!

I will be with him when he is in trouble; I will rescue him and bring him honor (Psalms 91:15 NET).

Note that he (or she) was right smack in the middle of trouble, but God rescued him (or her).

There are a number of examples in Scripture of God taking people out of one kind of trouble or another, but here are five: 

  1. In the parable of the storm coming against those with a solid foundation and how their house stood up to a great flood - Luke 6:47-48 
  2. The three Hebrew men were thrown into the fiery furnace, but God delivered after they were in it. They came out without even the smell of smoke on their clothes and not one hair was singed! - Daniel 3
  3. Jesus in the middle of a storm on a sinking boat on the lake of Galilee! - Mark 4:35-41
  4. Paul in the storm and ship that sunk, but God protected them from dying in the storm - Acts 27:9-43
  5. For good measure, remember NOAH and his family. They went through the most destructive flood in history, and God protected them all the way through it. Genesis chapters 7 and 8.

All the above means that sometimes your prayers will keep you away from the storm (or the storm away from you), and it won’t come near you. Other times, even with your prayers, you may go THROUGH a storm, but you can be delivered OUT of it IF your trust is in God! 

In the days of the end, before the coming of the Lord, many horrors will happen on the earth. All of creation is groaning and convulsing in pain waiting for it’s deliverance from the curse, sin, darkness, and the corruption it was subjected to after the fall of Adam and Eve (Romans 8:18-22; Luke 21:25-28- Look at these verses in the Amplified Bible). Hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes are all evidence of this groaning and reeling with pain. Generally, they do not come because God pronounced a direct judgment on a specific area like He did on Sodom and Gomorrah, or on the whole world like He did in the flood in Genesis. Judgment has happened on certain occasions throughout history, but mostly (though not exclusively) these events are happening today because the planet is trying to get the curse off it! That day will come in the thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth and in the new heavens and new earth. Glory to God! Come Lord Jesus!

The closer we get to the coming of the Lord, the more the earth and all of creation will groan and convulse. It's happening right now, and it's just the beginning. More than ever before, we need to read, study, and apply Psalms 91 to our lives every day. 

The short teaching above is not covered in the podcast, so you are blessed with a double portion of God's Word. 

Please hear the short podcast I recorded some time ago on Faith Expects God’s Best from the ongoing series: Removing Doubt from the Heart. Be mightily blessed with the Word and the anointing of the Holy Spirit that is on it!