This is my response to a Christian brother, on his post, “Why the Antichrist is not a Muslim.”


It is not clear to me how or why the brother picked this topic, but I happen to believe that the Antichrist will be Islamic and not a Roman, as so many adhere to.

You opened by saying, “Obadiah, among others, tells us that the Muslims will be wiped out and that ‘Esau will be left with no descendants;’” and you appear to have quoted from Obadiah 1:18 when you italicized the following words.

‘The progeny of Esau shall be delivered only into the hands of the progeny of Joseph.’

If that was the end of it, this is a hopeless situation for the descendants of Esau.

Allow me an attempt at addressing one issue at a time.

I looked through the 40+ translations of the bible that I have in my computer program, and none of them use the term progeny in association with Obadiah 1:18. I am not asinine, and I understand what progeny means; however, many do not. I can see that Obadiah refers to descendants; subsequently, I can substitute the term progeny in place of descendants, but I do not have to do that as I can follow scripture.

I might add I do not believe that you got your ‘scriptural‘ looking reference from any source which we would be aware of. I feel strongly about my assertion because you placed a link in the middle of your post that directs us to Chabad.org. There I found a somewhat cryptic article by Rabbi Immanuel Schochet. I also learned that he is “a renowned authority on Jewish philosophy and mysticism.” Call me narrow-minded if you wish, but his resume especially the part about mysticism, which probably displeases God and helps to put Israel into the category of the wicked harlot, means nothing to me. I would never have written to my “non-Jewish” audience using his information.

That said, you did not quote scripture; you quoted the Rabbi, who tells us in his post that he also draws from the Targum and Midrash, writings only a Jewish scholar would use and understand. The Apostle Paul saw no need to quote from the Targum and Midrash in his writings, although he was well versed in them, as he wrote,

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! (9) As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!
Galatians 1:8-9 NASB

Rather harsh words, wouldn’t you say, and yet Paul seems to allow some margin of grace if the speaker holds to Jesus Christ as Lord.

“It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached—different spirit, different message—you put up with him quite nicely.” (2 Corinthians 11:4 MSG)

That being said, let’s get back to Obadiah 1:18, and we will use a reasonable translation.

“”Then the house of Jacob will be a fire And the house of Joseph a flame, But the house of Esau will be as stubble. And they will set them on fire and consume them So that there will be no survivor of the house of Esau,” For the LORD has spoken.” (Obadiah 1:18 NASB)

I often enjoy what Dr. J. Vernon McGee has to say. He often comes across much like a country Doctor trying to explain a vicious disease to people who will not understand elaborate medical terminology. Immediately Dr. McGee says, “There will be an ultimate, final judgment of Esau.” Italics mine.

Even I understand that statement, but the question that popped into my head is, when does this happen? Perhaps Dr. McGee has an answer to this question in his next statement.

‘I believe that “the house of Esau’ is a kingdom that will not enter into the eternal kingdoms of this earth which will become the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Straightaway my mind goes to the initiation of our eternal kingdom, the millennial reign.

So Dr. McGee does not seem to think that Esau’s progeny will enter the thousand-year reign and therefore be excluded from God’s mercy. Now don’t get me wrong, I take issue with Dr. McGee’s assertion, much like I disagree with yours, but I’m afraid I have to disagree with some good reasons.

First, this ignores the complete work of the cross – the forgiveness of sin, as He was the sacrificial lamb offered up by the Jewish high priests that day. This forgiveness does not directly apply to Jesus’ statement, forgive them, they know not what they are doing, as that happened before He died; that and, He was speaking specifically of those who put Him there on the cross. A piece of scriptural proof for this forgiveness can be found in Romans chapter six.

For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. (Romans 6:10 NASB)

We are all very adept at sinning, and this is not just in the big flashy stuff; this is things like taking an attitude toward your wife, things you think can be ignored. So, His dying to sin is something other than some physical change in us; this is a change in how God sees us and how we get judged.

Secondly, since an intelligent look at Obadiah would require an understanding of the context. The person studying this would also have seen that Obadiah is referring to the day of the Lord, a period that falls at the end of God’s wrath.

“Will I not on that day,” declares the LORD, “Destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau? (Obadiah 1:8 NASB)

“On that day” has several possibilities, but the primary one happens when He returns in Revelation 19 as the warring Messiah, and the wise can certainly refer to those who thought they could kill the Messiah sitting upon the white horse.

“From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” (Revelation 19:15 NASB)

I get it. Obadiah 1:18 with its question “will I not on that day… destroy wise men from,” compels your argument. The problem with such logic is that the verse does not imply a complete obliteration as you have conveyed; that and, there are other instances of God/Jesus dishing out justice, which indicates that He only destroys those who fight against Him.

“Therefore her young men will fall in her streets, And all her men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 50:30 NASB)

Yes, I am well aware that Jeremiah speaks of Babylon, but Babylon was virtually gone by the time Daniel died. So, in reality, God is not speaking to Babylon, is he? If that is the case, then God is talking to and about those who still maintain the hatred and ideology of Not just Babylon, but of Nimrod and those who participated in the idolatrous ways associated with that tower, that came to be known as Babel.

In Revelation 19, we see the battle at the end of God’s wrath.

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him, the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Revelation 19:19-21 NASB)

Note what the passage says: “ the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war.” After seizing the beast and the false prophet, and throwing them into the lake of fire, He kills the rest.

Who is getting killed here “in that day?”

Only those who came to fight. The general idea is that these are Esau’s descendants, and yet NOT all are killed.

To continue on the side of mercy for a moment, the Apostle Paul said,

“… I would that all men were even as I myself am…” (1 Corinthians 7:7a MKJV)

What was Paul referring to? Sickness, the beatings, poor eyesight, or being a pharisee – an aspect of his life of which he was particularly proud? Hardly. He wanted all men to have the same deep, lasting relationship with the Messiah that he came to understand, and to know that Christ, because of this relationship, lives in them – this is the mystery that Paul speaks of in Ephesians.

“In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight, He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him.” (Ephesians 1:7-9 NASB)

It was Jesus who said,

And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32 NASB)

Did that happen?

It did, as he was lifted up on that cross; that and, because He rose victoriously from the grave. God honors His Word, and we see that there is a massive effort by the Holy Spirit to draw ALL men to Himself.

Along that vein, I will tell you what happened to me several years ago on Halloween night. The wife, her mother, and I went to the Halloween festival in a nearby town. Mom was a bit feeble, and the crowds were typically rude, so I began to part the crowd with my walking stick, so mom would not get knocked down. A few seconds into this, a voice said, you are to be commended for helping her. I turned to see who was talking. He looked middle eastern, but then, so do a lot of people. I said I feel as if I am parting the waters like Moses. Well, that initiated the most amazing conversation, and I learned that this former son of Esau, a former Muslim, had Jesus come to him in his dreams many years ago while he lived in Iran. Jesus shared the gospel with him from a specific verse. This man found it so amazing that he told his brother, the Imam, who told him to keep his mouth shut or he would be killed. Many years passed, and he finds himself in France. There a person gave him the bible in Aramaic. Imagine that, the first verse he turned to and read was the same scripture that Jesus spoke to him about in the dreams. Right there, on the sidewalk in France, he accepted Jesus Christ into his life. Do you know what happened in that moment on the sidewalk? He changed teams and became a part of the body of Christ. He was no longer responsible for the sins of his forefathers, and no longer under the curse of Obadiah 1:18. He is NOT the only one this has happened to, and all those who have turned to the Lord will enter the eternal kingdom and be loved by the Father.

I feel impressed to point something else out at this juncture. One of those thieves being hung next to Jesus that day was admitted into the kingdom upon death. Why? Because of the simple words, he said, “do you not fear God?” “this man has done nothing wrong;” and “remember me.” These progeny of Edom/Esau have and will continue to make the simplest of acknowledgments, while the Father, on the other hand, will respond with, enter into the eternal kingdom.

Obadiah is only one chapter and opens with a command to the nations, calling them for battle against Edom.

“The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom–We have heard a report from the LORD, And an envoy has been sent among the nations saying, “Arise and let us go against her for battle”– “ Obadiah 1:1 NASB.

  • It is a vision given to Obadiah;
  • concerning Edom;
  • and, it commands those who have been sent among the nations
  • who say, ‘Arise and let us go against her for battle.”

Why would God command the nations to come against Edom?

The obvious factor is that Israel, once again, will sustain a grave and deadly attack. As of this moment in time, 09/16/2020, has Israel sustained such a fatal military attack? No, yet many will go back to June of 1967 and the Six-Day war and claim that this was just such a military operation. While Israel sustained losses, that war was much more deadly for others. In the process, Israel gained the Golan Heights, the entirety of Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip (although Israel later complied with the U.N. and relinquished the Gaza strip to the Palestinians. Another dominant war was the Yom Kippur War (October of 1973.) This war was led by a coalition of Arab states, which included Egypt and Syria, and ended in sound defeat for the alliance, so it does not answer the question.

Does scripture substantiate a deadly attack against Israel?

Absolutely and we can see this in Ezekiel.

“One-third of you will die by plague or be consumed by famine among you, one third will fall by the sword around you, and one third I will scatter to every wind, and I will unsheathe a sword behind them.” Ezekiel 5:12 NASB

In Zechariah chapter 12, we learn that all nations will be gathered against Israel.

“It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
(Zechariah 12:3 NASB)

Zechariah 14:2 tells us that the city shall be taken, and half the city will go into captivity once again.

For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zechariah 14:2 KJV

I want to address one more point before I leave this thesis.

You indicated that Edom is the comprehensive designation of the enemies of Israel. Comprehensive by dictionary standards means the quality of comprising much, or including a great extent, extensive; or comprehending many things at once.”

I would venture to say that your use of the term, as it applies to Israel, says that all of Israel’s enemies can be envisioned as Edomites. While your reference to Obadiah, where it says, “Will I not destroy wise men from Edom And understanding from the mountain of Esau?” is a question, it does imply that God will destroy, at least the wise-men, from Edom. If I must consider the rest of the statement as demonstrating a mass killing, then I would have asked, do all men have understanding? The answer is seen in our government today. The riots that allegedly started because of George Floyd began on May 26, 2020, and yet here it is September 18, 2020, and speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi just announced that riots are a bad thing and the people who are causing harm should be arrested and jailed. Do you see any understanding in that? I don’t, especially since she waited months to make the statement.

If you were to look at The Historical Map of the Assyrian Empire and the Eastern Mediterranean about 750 – 625 B.C., what will you see is Assyrians blanketing Edom.

Since the days of Jonah, the Assyrians, or in Jonah’s case, they were called Ninevehites, have been attacking, killing, and torturing the Northern and Southern kingdoms of the Jews. Wikipedia indicates that the Ninevehites were an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located on Mosul’s outskirts in modern-day northern Iraq.

Where do we find Edom?

Out in the Negev desert, about as far south as you can go. Edomites were descendants of Esau, but so were almost all of Israel’s enemies.

The Quora search website and Garry de Vries, a former expositor/teacher of scripture, say this about Esau.

“Esau had many descendants. Five sons and ten grandsons are mentioned (Please read Genesis Chapter 36). Teman, one of the descendants of Esau, gave his name to a district and a tribe of that name in Edom. The inhabitants of Teman were renowned for their wisdom (Jeremiah 49:7). Eliphaz, one of Job’s friends was called a Temanite (Job 2:11). He was a wise man who had a great respect for God. Job was instructed by God to offer sacrifice and intercede for him (Job 42:7–10). This is surely one example of people who did not belong to the line of promise (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), but who nevertheless participated in the spiritual blessings of the original promise to Abraham. One of Esau’s sons, Eliphaz, had a concubine, or secondary wife, called Timna. She was the sister of one of the leaders of the Horites in Seir (Genesis 36:22), and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz (Gen.36:12). Because Amalek did not have the same mother as the other sons of Eliphaz, it may be that he was ostracized by his brothers and that it was this that led him to live in a separate area (identified as the nation of the Amalekites). The Amalekites were the first nation/tribe to wage war on Israel after they had left Egypt (Exodus 17:8–13). As they ‘did not fear God’ but attacked a weary, defenseless people, Israel was directed to blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven (Deuteronomy 25:17–19).”

The last portion of this paragraph is the sole reason we see God ordering the Edomites’ destruction. I am not here to argue whether they deserve to be wiped out or not. It is the realization that we all deserve to be wiped out because of sin, and that is why Jesus Christ came and paid the debt for us all. Jesus’ blood was shed for the Edomites as well, and we seem to forget that fact.

In the prophecy of Daniel, we are told that the descendants of one referred to as the prince that will come, come and destroy the city and temple, just as it was destroyed in 70 A.D. Sadly, many have misled us into believing that this prince was Titus, the Roman general. It was not.

Daniel 9:26 NASB “Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.”

This prince, the one who will destroy the city and the temple once again, has many names, and the Assyrian is one of them.

Isaiah 31:8 NASB And the Assyrian will fall by a sword, not of man, And a sword not of man will devour him. So he will not escape the sword, And his young men will become forced laborers.

This man will fall by a sword not of a man, then what else is left?

The sword of the Lord and we have that picture in Revelation 19.

If Esau is the father of the Arabs, and he is, and, by oppression, the Arabs pretty much all became Muslims, then we, by extrapolation, can see where the Muslims will become the final and fitting players in the end times. These people do not listen to anyone that is not a Muslim, and therefore the only one who can get their attention and call for peace will be a Muslim; hence, the Islamic Antichrist.

Now you don’t have to buy into any of this, nor do I expect you to. But when I found this information in Joel Richardson’s book The Islamic Antichrist, my understanding of end-times events became very clear.

Posted in antichrist, bible study, destruction, destruction, Edom, Esau, Jerusalem, Jews, judgment, lawlessness, Millennium, Obadiah, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, teaching a different doctrine, the nations, Thoughts on scripture, wickedness, wise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon, chapter 5. The end.


The angel begins by expounding upon the beast.

Revelation 17:7b NASB states,

I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.”

 “The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up out of the abyss and go to destruction. And those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will come.”  Revelation 17:8 NASB

While this may not be the definitive answer as to who the beast is, it makes sense to me. Obviously, the beast is first and foremost a fallen angel – a demon. Since we know that Satan is also personified as the dragon, we can exclude him. Secondarily, the beast is also assigned the title of the Antichrist, and therefore must be possessing the man who gains this title.

Again, the dragon gives his power and authority to the beast.

If this world leader is Islamic, then Revelation 17:8 makes all the sense in the world because this is the one entity, that seems to be under the control and leadership of some demon.

Followers of Islam, because of the Quran, have a drive to dominate the world with compulsory worship of Allah. The ideology has been around since early 600A.D. and has practiced dominance and subjugation at every opportunity.

The Apostle John had NO concept of Islam, but he did have an understanding of Romans and Assyrians. When you think of Islam, think Assyrians.

So with Islam’s annoying inclination toward world dominance something needed to be done, and the “modern” world did just that by going to war with the Ottoman Empire and outlawing their ideology in 1923. With that the world effectively thought the Ottoman Empire was dead; this was a logical thought seeing as the leadership was effectively cut off. I could say, the Ottoman Empire suffered a mortal head wound. Ah, but they refused to stay dead. The Muslim Brotherhood flickered with life in Egypt, and the world eventually witnessed the Islamic Revolution in 1979 when they took the American Embassy hostage in Iran.

So the beast, called Islam, lives once again.

 Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,”  Revelation 17:9 NASB

The Bible Knowledge Commentary gives us this explanation. “While Rome is often referred to as having seven hills or mountains, different writers do not necessarily name the same seven mountains. A close study of the passage does not support the conclusion that this refers to the city of Rome. Seiss, for instance, offers extensive evidence that the reference is to rulers rather than to physical mountains (The Apocalypse, pp. 391-94). This is supported by the text which explains, They are also seven kings (lit., “the seven heads are seven kings”). If the mountains represent kings, then obviously they are not literal mountains and refer not to a literal Rome but to persons.”

If you still don’t believe it, then watch this.

“and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. (11) “The beast which was and is not is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction.” Revelation 17:10-11 NASB

They are seven kings.

The word kings, in the Greek, is basileus. According to Thayer’s definition, this person is a “leader of the people, prince, commander, lord of the land, king.”

These are leaders of the people.

If it is an Islamic leader, you can rule out a woman leading.

While we have presidents and prime ministers, most of us can comprehend that these “leaders of countries are not making the decisions about how the world should run. Many call these unseen decision-makers, the shadow government.

If you really want to know who is running this world, then look at the Bilderberg group; the World Economic Forum; the Illuminati, and the NWO. One of the faces of the World Economic Forum is Bill Gates, another name that pops up frequently is George Soros. All of these combined is the personification of the harlot; they are idolaters of self, they are wickedness, and they are responsible for the deaths of many due to this COVID 19 at a minimum; and the godlessness that literally made up Babylon.

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Qualifications for a deacon. 1 Timothy 3:8-13.


Paul started this third section of his letter to Timothy discussing the qualifications for a Pastor; depending on the translation, you might see terminologies such as an overseer or a shepherd.

I am surprised anyone qualifies, as we are all so broken, and many people I know should quickly shy away from being a pastor. I struggled with being a group leader in the recovery group, but there was a leader who was brave enough to tell the crowd what got him into recovery, and this brother in Christ took me under his wing and calmed me down on several occasions.

Fortunately, God sees us in a better light than we do and believes better things for us; (I am speaking bluntly because, by Paul’s admonition, he forbids women from being overseer’s of the flock,) so if a man had problems in the past, they might not have those problems now, because that man has put his faith and trust in Christ Jesus, and allowed for God to change him.

Now when it comes to skeletons in the closet, I am not sure how you prevent those skeletons, some of which should never again see the light of day, from being made public. Perhaps making sure you only talk with safe people is one way, but my trust-er is seriously damaged, and believingthat people can be safe is difficult. Another idea you can try is to keep your mouth shut; it works for me.

One of the methods of background checking, according to Paul, is to ask those that know the person what they are like. Many could see that as a problem especially if they saw you get hauled away in cuffs during the night. And even if you did not get arrested, what makes you think we neighbors can’t hear you screaming at your wife and kids. Look, WE ARE ALL BROKEN and have a propensity to blab/sin to make ourselves look better, and we will rat you out. Phenomenon such as this is highly prevalent in religious circles as we seem to be competing for promotions, I guess.

When we covered Pastors in the previous post on Timothy, I told you that I do not fully understand alcoholism. Oh, sure, I can comprehend the effects, and I have seen the damage it causes the person and their family. Now, I am not an alcoholic, but I had a terrible struggle with rage. The point of this is, having a cold beer, for me, is NOT a problem.

Yeah, I can hear some of you whining now about how I am making you stumble in your walk Jesus. We will get into that shortly. First, look at this, just in case you did not see Paul’s advice on selecting potential pastors.

So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money.
(1 Timothy 3:2-3 NLT)

I am faithful to my wife, but I don’t always practice self-control, and my belly demonstrates that fact, however, I have seen what alcohol can do to me, and I must say, I don’t enjoy being out of control. I also know how much it takes for me to get out of control, and I make a conscious choice NOT to go there. So yes, when it comes to alcohol, I do practice self-control. By the way, I am not looking for a job, so I don’t care what you think about this startling revelation, but if you are a religious zealot and love to judge people, you need to know something.

God will be as hard on you as you are on others! He will treat you exactly as you treat them. (Matthew 7:1-2b CEV)

For the past twenty + years, I have gone out of my way to develop a sound and godly reputation.

Thanks to some terrible decisions many years ago, I ended up working for Home Depot; there, I quickly found out that cussing, among the employees, is a skill set, and I learned that skill. However, I had been straining to be the kind of Christian that my mother wanted me to be, and the internal emotional pressures were pushing me to my limits. To maintain my sanity while I worked there, I would exit the building at lunchtime. In a short time, I began taking my bible to the places I would stop for lunch. I spent at least thirty minutes at lunch, studying my bible, and I read every day, taking notes and writing down the questions and challenges I had for God about what I read. This reading program became a part of my morning breakfast stop before work. I would leave the house an hour earlier to spend the extra time in God’s word. And I would take my bible to dinner with me. I worked at Home Depot for seven years, and I operated on this pattern almost every day. The result of this behavior was that I became skillful with God’s Word and would respond to people’s questions about the Word of God, Jesus, and God’s nature and character.

Now I am up against another set of standards, but this time, for deacons.

1 Timothy 3:8-9 NASB Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, (9) but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Let’s start with this word deacon. First, there are a variety of translations, such as:

  • Church officers (this makes sense to me as deacons, as far as I know, play a considerable role in church financial decisions.);
  • Eugene Peterson’s Message gives us this, “those who want to be servants in the church.” Well, that’s a rather broad definition as some servants, like a friend of mine who before he retired, was a school principal and teacher, but now, among other things, rearranges the chairs in church several times a week.
  • And lastly, the Tree of Life Translation calls them Servant-leaders. They, like Stephen, should be servants and leaders.

These deacons have similar demands to the pastors.

  • One that catches my attention is the statement that they are not to be addicted to wine.
  • From the TLV, not greedy for dishonest gain.
  • Men of dignity. The word in Greek is honorable.
  • Not double-tongued. Don’t change the  rules  to fit the status of the person. Be a person that people can confide in and trust.

1 Timothy 3:10 NASB These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

Tested is to approve or examine. No, we are not merely talking about taking tests, it is watching how the person trying to be a leader performs under pressure. How do they respond to people in the church clamoring for their spiritual help and guidance. 

Note that Paul says these men must also first be tested, but gives no extensive definition like he did the pastors; however, he does give us tests we can use.

Reproach is the Greek word anegklētos and, according to Thayer, means that they cannot be called into account. In defining reproach, the dictionary tells us that this has to do with someone being able to censure you. To censure is the act of blaming or finding fault and condemning as wrong.

So, how or why would someone want to blame or find fault with your choice of a deacon?

Our first example has Paul speaking of women, but we can apply it to men as well.

1 Timothy 3:11 NASB Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

We already covered dignity when we addressed the men. It is the Greek word semnos and means to be venerated for character, honorable. So nothing, in importance, has changed.

If we think that being a malicious gossip is reserved for women, then we are either naive or deceived as we men are quite skilled in this regard.

Temperate is another term that we covered, as it applies to abstaining from wine (in excess,) just like men.

Faithful applies to persons who show themselves faithful in business transactions, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties. This should be expected of anyone, especially since you are dealing with the church finances.

1 Timothy 3:12 NASB Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

I included the emphasis (italics) provided by the NASB.

Note how it says only one wife. Many of the men I have known, and at least one pastor, have been married several times. There is no need to get all judgmental; simply remember that we are ALL broken. The hope is that somewhere over time, we get that brokenness fixed.

I will let you in on a little private information; I am on my third marriage.

How did my brokenness affect my marriages?

Well, with the first, I was a novice raised under highly religious legalism, and seriously co-dependent. If you don’t know what it is to be co-dependent, it means that you become dependent upon how others think and feel about you and, therefore, create a relational atmosphere in your mind based upon their perceived like or dislike of you. If a co-dependent marries a broken individual, this can be an explosive mix. Add to the marriage the fact that she cheated on me twice. I can only handle it once. Still not free of the co-dependency that affected me, I married a second time to a woman with two children. The short of it, I destroyed this one. I know now, that my psychological problems and inadequacies caused that marriage to fail. The third marriage only happened in the last few years, but my desire and attempts to be married were initiated over twenty years ago. With only two weeks before we were to get married, my brother-in-law, the associate pastor, told me that he was disallowed from marrying us and that we would have to obtain counseling from the lead pastor. Now mind you, that lead pastor and I had been involved in a strained relationship which initiated about ten years prior. The other part of this disaster came into play as he had also played a role in my wife’s ill-fated marriage to her first husband. Combined, he saw no hope for us and made hateful accusations concerning the fact that we had both been married previously and had failed marriages. That day he seemed to forget how he also had a failed marriage. Since a rather large religious organization ordained this broken man to be the pastor, I guess the fact that he had been married before was no hindrance to his being a pastor now.

So, this term only implies that you should NOT be married to more than one woman at a time.

and good managers of their children and their own households.”

Again, I am looking at the italicized words, and the word “and” does not change the understanding of the sentence, however, the usage of the italicized word“their” creates the idea that these deacons should be able to handle children, period. What that means, I am not sure.

The word manager is proistēmi and means to be set over or rule. There is nothing here that means rule with an iron fist, but considering that parental attitudes, the influence of education; and, governmental themes and laws have created a generation of children that will refuse to comply with reasonable demands, like sit down. (And we get to watch children like this at the daily riot.)

We will finish this section with this.

1 Timothy 3:13 NASB For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

Well is defined as honestly.

And to obtain is to get possession of.

While there is the possibility that you may obtain some reward now, here on earth, but the greatest probability will be at the Bema seat.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 NASB

On several occasions, I have talked about this idea of being recompensed. When you look at the Greek, it conveys the idea of rewards and wearing a victor’s crown as you might in the Olympics.

So if you serve, do it with honesty, and then allow Him to pat you on the back and say, well done, my good and faithful servant.

  • Holding to the mystery of the faith.
  • He who was revealed in the flesh,
  • Was vindicated in the Spirit,
  • Seen by angels,
  • Proclaimed among the nations,
  • Believed on in the world,
  • And taken up in glory.
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This is the Messiah Jesus that I serve.

 

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Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon. Chapter 4.


A symbolic Babylon does not have to be rebuilt because it never went away. So, there must be something that defines whether this is real or symbolic.

Revelation 18:1-2 NASB After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory. (2) And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.

The peculiar thing about this sentence is that it is in the present tense. The piece of the puzzle that makes this understandable is that this is also talking about both Jerusalem and an ideology.

The NASB tries to tame the language by saying hateful birds. Since there are no hateful birds per-say, then there has to be more to the phrase; and there is. As the references in Revelation 18:2 are taken from Isaiah 13:21, then let’s look there.

“But the beasts of the waste land will have their holes there; and the houses will be full of crying jackals, and ostriches will have their place there, and evil spirits will be dancing there.” BBE

Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible makes this statement:

Babylon the great, and she became a habitation of demons and a hold of every unclean spirit.

Another of our associations is with the fallen angels/demons are those held in the Euphrates river.

Revelation 9:14-15 NASB (14) one saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” (15) And the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released so that they would kill a third of mankind.

The Complete Jewish Bible conveys that it, “be full of owls, ostriches will live there, and wild goats will dance there.” (Isaiah 13:21 CJB)

To the Jewish reader, there is an instant association with the restrictions seen in Leviticus, which warns them to stay away from this place – unfortunately, the place is Jerusalem.

Leviticus 11:13-16 CJB “The following creatures of the air are to be detestable for you—they are not to be eaten, they are a detestable thing: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, (14) the kite, the various kinds of buzzards, (15) the various kinds of ravens, (16) the ostrich, the screech-owl, the seagull, the various kinds of hawks… (the list continues.)

To make this even worse.

Leviticus 11:24 CJB “The following will make you unclean; whoever touches the carcass of them will be unclean until evening,”

So let’s speculate that there are none of these things in Jerusalem. While this theory may work for ostriches, it will not work for most everything else, and it is the uncleanness that is worrisome to the Jew.

Revelation 18:3 CJB “For all the nations have drunk of the wine of God’s fury caused by her whoring—yes, the kings of the earth went whoring with her, and from her unrestrained love of luxury the world’s businessmen have grown rich.”

If what we see here in Revelation 18:3 is to be a rebuilt city, then how is that the nations have drunk of the wine of God’s fury caused by her whoring? A city, cannot of itself be a whore, nor can it create on its own the atmosphere conducive to such references.

From Dr. J. Vernon McGee, Have drunk” (or are fallen) are the two permitted renderings—both have good manuscript authority. Both are true. The normal rendering is “have drunk.” This is God’s judgment on big business which denies God’s authority. This is the unholy alliance of government and business. We have seen some of this in our day and, frankly, it smells to high heaven. The word for merchants means “those who travel.” It is not those who produce goods or manufacture goods, but those who are brokers, engaging in business for a big profit. Business is a sacred cow that nothing must harm or hinder. This is true today, of course. Man uses business as the biggest excuse for having no time for God, yet these same men must finally stand before God. God will judge godless commercialism.”

What about this angel who is saying, fallen is Babylon the great?

If I were to guess, I would say this is Jesus Himself. Did He not show up many times under the guise of The Angel of the Lord?

He did.

Revelation 18:1 NASB After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illumined with his glory.

He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.

Habakkuk 3:3-4 NASB God comes from Teman And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise. (4) His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.

We are still talking about Revelation 18:2 where it speaks of the destruction of Babylon by saying Fallen, fallen.

Fallen is the Greek word piptō, which means to descend from a higher place to a lower; to be thrust down, or to be judged.

[If Babylon is being judged, then here it is either an ideology, a belief system, or a place with people. Since we know that Jerusalem is called Babylon, then it makes sense that the people would be fallen because Israel is part of the judgment.]

Once again, we are not directed to a physically rebuilt infrastructure, but we are directed to Jerusalem.

She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.”

Simply look up pictures of Babylon today and it looks like a typical desert town; sparse housing, little to no shade, it looks HOT and barren. If you were part of the World Economic Forum, where would you have your team meetings? Yeah, I thought so, Davos Switzerland, a place that is lush, green, and appeals to the lifestyles of the rich and famous. NO ONE is going to go there anymore.

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Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon. Chapter 3


What do I know thus far?

That Babylon, in “the Revelation,” is primarily symbolic.

Rev_14:8, “she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” (During the time of Nimrod there was only one language and “nation.” Therefore this statement is a projection to a future time. That future time is upon us.)

Rev_16:19, “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.” (I used the term symbolic because it is still a future event; and, Jerusalem is also called “that great city.”)

Rev_17:5, “on her forehead a name was written, a mystery.” (Mystery is the word musterion – according to Thayer, “religious secrets, confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals.” In general, the church is initiated as we are no longer mere mortals. Still, the terms forehead and mystery are highly indicative of symbolism.)  

Rev_18:2, The CEV states “it is the den of every filthy spirit and of all unclean birds, and every dirty and hated animal.” (So we are looking both to the future and the present to see this.)

Rev_18:10, quoting from the NASB we see this, ” the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For in one hour your judgment has come.” (We have seen that Jerusalem is also called the great city. The practical side of this is the question, how do you destroy such a great city in a day? And, why would the destruction of Jerusalem cause the world’s wealthy to mourn? Unless we have not been told everything.)

Rev_18:21, “So will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.” (These same words were used of Babylon, and yet, to a degree, it is inhabited. Does this make God a liar? No, but there is certainly some verbal painting with a broad brush, and that must be taken into consideration. So we might be looking for a nuclear attack.)

Simply said, we are seeing references to things such as the mother of harlots and the abominations. While most can understand the depth of perversion that is associated with Babel, but the Bible does not spell that information out for us. Since we are biblically based, then we need to lean toward sound doctrine when it comes to interpretation, and that is the Bible points to Jerusalem.

That Jerusalem, which is referred to as Babylon, will be split into three parts by a horrendous earthquake.

Revelation 16:19 NASB The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.

Since everything in the Revelation is based upon some statement within the Old Testament, what do we have as a witness to a massive earthquake? 

One of the most dominant, outside of Revelation, comes from the Psalms.

Psalms 114:3-8 CEV  When the sea looked at God, it ran away, and the Jordan River flowed upstream.  (4)  The mountains and the hills skipped around like goats.  (5)  Ask the sea why it ran away or ask the Jordan why it flowed upstream.  (6)  Ask the mountains and the hills why they skipped like goats!  (7)  Earth, you will tremble, when the Lord God of Jacob comes near,  (8)  because he turns solid rock into flowing streams and pools of water.

I chose the CEV as it describes several events that could easily be associated with a life-changing earthquake, such as the Jordan suddenly flowing upstream, and the mountains and hills skipping around. Note this effect as He turns solid rock into flowing streams. It is easy to associate this with a thermal event like a volcano erupting.

Jeremiah 4:24 might also be one of those references. 

Jeremiah 4:24-27 NASB I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, And all the hills moved to and fro. (25) I looked, and behold, there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. (26) I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were pulled down Before the LORD, before His fierce anger. (27) For thus says the LORD, “The whole land shall be a desolation, Yet I will not execute a complete destruction.

At one time, I used this verse in Jeremiah to make a point about how or why the earth came to a place of destruction. While to most this seems irrelevant, but scripture tells us that the earth was perfect in the day He made it, and yet at some point, the earth became void and without form. Now try to explain that. 

The Harlot that rides the beast is the same harlot/whore that we find in the basket.

Zechariah 5:5-11 tells us of the “woman” in the basket, covered by a lid of lead. She is lifted from the basket and shown to Zechariah, and told, this is wickedness. That woman personifies wickedness.

The Apostle Paul wrote how Israel took pleasure in the wickedness.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NASB (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (9) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, (10) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. (11) For this reason, God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, (12) in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth but took pleasure in wickedness.

Isaiah tells how Jerusalem became a harlot.

Isaiah 1:21a NASB How the faithful city has become a harlot,

The prophet Ezekiel said, you played the harlot.

Ezekiel 16:14-15 NASB “Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord GOD. (15) “But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing.

Revelation 17 tells us that the great harlot sits on many waters; it goes on to explain what the waters are.

Revelation 17:15-17 NASB (15) And he *said to me, “The waters which you saw where the harlot sits, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. (16) “And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. (17) “For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God will be fulfilled.

There is no doubt in my mind that the passages above are speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem/Israel, but not completely.

In Zechariah chapter five, the woman in the basket is wickedness, and she is being taken to Shinar, the place where Babylon began.

What then is Babylon?

  • To Israel, under the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon became their captor, their punisher, and their protector. You see, God often uses others to carry out His will. When we read about Babylon from the book of Daniel, we see that they too had their fair share of idols. During the time of Daniel’s captivity, he tells us that Nebuchadnezzar had a massive statue of himself made, and he forced everyone to bow to it. Israel adopted Babylon’s ways.
  • Babylon is Jerusalem, “that great city“. Since the woman, which equals wickedness is Jerusalem, then “that great city” is also representative of wickedness.
  • Babylon is the whore and the harlot, as these terms are synonymous.
  • Babylon is symbolic, and we see that as Jerusalem is called Babylon; and, referred to as the whore. If the whore/harlot is wickedness, and Jerusalem, in scripture is described as giving itself over to wickedness, then Jerusalem is wickedness and therefore the whore in the basket.
  • She, Jerusalem, made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. What does that mean? That the wrath reserved for Israel will also be poured out upon the world because we too are neck-deep in this money lust.
  • Babylon represents the global banking system and the basis for this money lust.
  • The two witnesses have finally been killed, after preaching in the streets of Jerusalem for 1,240 days. Revelation 11:8 tells us that their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city for three days. The great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

The harlot/whore is pure wickedness.

2 Thessalonians 2:7-10 NASB (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; (9) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, (10) and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.

Revelation 17:5-6 NASB, describes the harlot, but it does not define who or what she is very well.

At this point, with many clues and explanations, it is easy to see that Babylon, the Great, the Mother of Harlots, is Jerusalem, but we still get hung up looking for a rebuilding of some tower, and that leads us to our last point.

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Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon. Chapter 2.


Difficulties with Revelation 17:18.

Revelation 17:18 NASB, “The woman whom you saw, is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth.”

The woman – which we know to be symbolic, is the great city.

When we talk about a city’s greatness, aren’t we describing the beauty, the government, the art, the people, and the architecture?

While that may have been Babylon, it is no longer. There is little about the Shinar region, in the modern physical realm, that makes Babylon great, with possibly one exception, its location between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The former tyrant, Saddam Hussein, had initiated a restoration program on the hanging garden, but that came to an end with the US invasion of Iraq in the early 1990s. There is also one of Saddam’s palaces sitting atop a nearby hill, but that is also in disrepair.

In speaking of the woman, Zechariah has much to say.

Then the angel who was speaking with me, went out and said to me, “Lift up now your eyes and see what this is going forth.” I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is the ephah going forth.” Again he said, “This is their appearance in all the land (and behold, a lead cover was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting inside the ephah.” Then he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he threw her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening. Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming out with the wind in their wings, and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. I said to the angel who was speaking with me, “Where are they taking the ephah?” Then he said to me, “To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar; and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own pedestal.” (Zechariah 5:5-11 NASB)

We just saw that “they” are building that “wicked woman,” a temple in Shinar’s plain. Shinar happens to be the place where the tower was being built, and after God dispersed them all, it was called Babel. But we have a problem. Look at how the New Living Translation reads.

Zechariah 5:11 NLT He replied, “To the land of Babylonia, where they will build a temple for the basket. And when the temple is ready, they will set the basket there on its pedestal.”

They are building a temple for the basket. Perhaps our assumption should be that the woman is included in this deal, but maybe not.

The word bayith, translated temple, can mean any of several things ranging from a house to a prison.

The Bible in Basic English tells us that they are merely making a place ready and put her there in the place, which is hers.

The first piece of information we are given about this woman is that the woman is representative of WICKEDNESS. Wickedness in the Hebrew is rish‛âh and means moral wickedness. Secondly, the angel throws her back down into the basket and slams the lead lid down upon her, demonstrating God’s total lack of respect for this entity. The third thing we need to consider is these two “women” that are coming out to gather up the basket. Look at the description of the two, as they have stork wings. These are not angels, and Dr. J. Vernon McGee points out, “They had wings like the wings of a stork”—that is, powerful wings. In Scripture, the stork is not a picture of an angel. It is a dirty bird, an unclean bird.” (and therefore unacceptable to a Jew.) Emphasis mine.

Since we are plainly told in Revelation 17:18 that the woman is the great city, then what city is being spoken of?

In Revelation 16:19, we get an answer.

The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. (NASB)

Dr. J. Vernon McGee straightforwardly tells us, “This concludes the Great Tribulation period. There is a great earthquake, and it divides the “great city,” which is Jerusalem. The earthquake divides this city into three parts. Although the center of the quake is in Jerusalem, it is not confined to Jerusalem because we are told that “the nations’ cities fell.” This tells us something of the extent and the vast destruction of the earthquake.”

We already mentioned, Rev 14:8, where it says,

“And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.”

To accept Babylon as a literal rebuild, as some would suggest, I have to set aside the bible’s clear communication that Jerusalem is referred to as Babylon. And, I have to ignore what Revelation 14:8 tells us, how that Israel/Jerusalem made all the nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornications.

How is that possible that the entire world must partake of the wrath?

Israel, even before they were called Israel, never stopped following after other gods. Evidence of this can be seen as Moses leads them out of Egypt. In short order, they had set up Moloch’s tent and had Aaron build them the god Moloch, upon which they roasted their babies in sacrifice.

Another possible example of Israel’s sins (fornications.) I have learned that not only is Isaiah 53 forbidden reading, but based upon an ancient Rabbi’s assessment, the book of Daniel is considered to be so holy that it defiles the one who touches it and is therefore forbidden reading material. In both these instances, we are dealing with prophetic books from the Tanakh that expressly define Yahshua as the Messiah. So there has been a united effort to keep the Jewish people away from the truth.

The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature, tells us Babel or Babylon is the name of more than one city in the scriptures and other ancient writings.

The ISBE instructs us that Babylon is used in a literal sense and a symbolic sense. They continue by saying, “All the references to Babylon in Revelation are evidently symbolic. Some of the most important passages are Rev_14:8; Rev_16:19; Rev_17:5; Rev_18:2, Rev_18:10, Rev_18:21. In Rev_17:5, Babylon is designated as mustērion or mystery Babylon. “This undoubtedly indicates that the name is to be understood (in this instance) figuratively.” Emphasis mine.

The Greek word mustērion means a hidden thing, secret, mystery, and, according to Thayer, religious secrets confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals.

I can associate this aspect of the religious secrets to the Rabbis prohibiting the reading of Isaiah53 and all of Daniel.

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Will we see Babylon rebuilt? A study on Babylon.


Isaiah13:1 NASB The oracle concerning Babylon which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw.

Chapter one.

I recently attended a prophecy conference where both Dr. Mark Hitchcock and Dr. Andy Wood spoke. Both of these men have books about Babylon and take a position that says Babylon is a literal place that will be rebuilt. Dr. Mark Hitchcock has a book entitled The Second Coming of Babylon, but he did not speak on the subject during the conference; however, Dr. Andy Wood did.

I might be the only one that feels this way, but I have a tendency to listen to someone with the title Doctor in front of their name and wonder, is it appropriate that my heart and mind disagree with what they are saying.

The conference ended, and only days later, I started looking in my book collection, and there found Mark Hitchcock’s book on Babylon. As I began to reread the book, I paid particular attention to the statement that he also believes that Babylon, in some way, will be rebuilt.

Sorry, I just can’t see it, and I feel a need to ask why they do?

I heard Dr. Andy Wood at the conference speak expressly about Babylon. He reasoned that Babylon must be rebuilt, but like most other university lectures I have attended, I find it impossible to absorb the information given in such a short time and at such a rapid pace. Home, sometime later, and I have my E sword bible application active on my computer, and I just happened to have Smith’s Bible Dictionary opened. It says,

Babylon, in the Apocalypse, is the symbolical name by which Rome is denoted. (Revelation 14:8; Revelation 17:18.)”

If I hold to the thought that Babylon is symbolic, my life will be more at ease, as neither one of these passages above, no matter the translation, speak of Rome.

So the idea that Babylon refers to Rome must come from some other source.

The common assertion is that the legs of iron, and the feet of iron mixed with clay, in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue dream somehow identify the fourth empire as the Roman empire. If that is the case, then why doesn’t scripture tell us, a little more directly, that we should be looking for Rome to fulfill the prophecies of the Revelation when Babylon and the Medo-Persian empires are clearly defined.

The Grecian empire takes a little more work. Biblical scholars and historians have concluded that the third empire was the Grecian empire under Alexander. Fortunately, Joel Richardson, in his book, The Islamic Antichrist, gives an in-depth explanation as to why we are NOT dealing with Rome when we look at the legs of iron and the feet mixed with clay. We do, however, have every reason to consider the Assyrians and those related to that empire.

By the way, one of the names of the Antichrist is the Assyrian, and the prophet Micah is one of our primary resources to support this statement.

Micah 5:5a. NASB When the Assyrian invades our land,

Another prophetic writer that adds their voice in accord with Micah is Isaiah.

Isaiah 10:24b. NASB …My people who dwell in Zion, do not fear the Assyrian who strikes you with the rod and lifts up his staff against you, the way Egypt did.

Isaiah 14:25 NLT I will break the Assyrians when they are in Israel; I will trample them on my mountains. My people will no longer be their slaves nor bow down under their heavy loads.

And finally, Isaiah 31:8b NASB where it says,

“And the Assyrian will fall by a sword, not of man,”

What does it mean a sword, not of man?

The answer is relatively obvious if you have read the Revelation.

Revelation 19:15 NASB From His mouth (Jesus) comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. Emphasis mine.

I do not want to take up space and time here, developing Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar entirely because history and other sources define the statue dream, but I will give you a taste. Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar that he is the head of gold. Under Belshazzar’s rule, we know that the Medo-Persian empire conquered Babylon; and the third empire was the Grecian under Alexander’s reign.

Ah, but what happened at the death of Alexander?

You have to study Daniel 11:3-45 to find the answer to this question. This section of scripture is filled with all the intrigue of a television soap opera, and fast forwards to the Antichrist and his power play. The two final, major kingdoms, signified by the legs of iron, were both initially ruled by two of Alexander’s former generals. By the time we get to the feet, neither of the empires remained true to their Grecian blood. The Seleucid empire in the north, which engulfed Jerusalem, became primarily Assyrian – the descendants of the Babylonian empire

If you look up the word mixed, which you find in Daniel’s explanation to Nebuchadnezzar of the toes, you will find the word Arab.

Rome comes into the picture only because:

First, Rome conquered Jerusalem; Secondly, Herod’s temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. under the Roman rule of Titus. Sadly, few take this study of the destruction of the temple to the next step, as that is where we find Josephus and Tacitus. Both of these historians recorded that the destruction of the temple can be directly attributed to Assyrian conscript troops, who refused to follow orders to quench the fires that they had started because they had an open hatred of the Jews. Since we choose to read Daniel 9:26, where it says, the people of the prince that is to come, as Titus – the Roman, instead of what the historians provided – Assyrians. With such skewed information, we only have one logical conclusion, we must be looking for the Catholic Pope as the Antichrist, and that does not work.

Our entire concept of Babylon is then tainted by the false narrative of a final, Roman, world leader/Antichrist.

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Anyone whose goal is to serve. 1 Timothy 3:1-7


We closed out chapter two with Paul saying, “I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth.” 

While learning about faith and truth is vital, something else is just as essential, and that is the need to pray. 

Paul puts it like this, “in every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.” You can find this in 1 Timothy 2:7-8 NLT.

Controversy is an interesting word. The dictionary defines it as dispute; debate; agitation of contrary opinions.

The NASB uses the term dissension instead of controversy. If you look up the Strong’s concordance for dissension, you get the word dialogismos, which means discussiondebate, and reasoning. 

The logical assumption on my part would be to say that this is where we get our word dialogue. Dialogue, of course, implies that the parties involved are having a meaningful conversation. Welcome to my world, where, in a household of those who claim to be “Christians,” there is non-stop dissension and agitation due to contrary opinions concerning the mandates put on us by our California Governor, and faith. It is painful to watch, as faith means nothing.

By the way, my home has become a model of the church today, as with minor exceptions, the church lives in fear, and pastors, preach nothing to stimulate faith and boldness.

Paul opens chapter three, talking about those that aspire to be church leaders. The assumption here would-be pastors, but it can cover a variety of ministerial titles.

I wonder what Paul would think of us today. 

1 Timothy 3:1-7 NLT “This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.” (2) So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. (3) He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. (4) He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. (5) For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? (6) A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. (7) Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.”

  • If someone aspires to be a church leader, he desires an honorable position.”

If it is your goal, or you are shooting for the role of being a church leader, you do well. That is if your motives are correct. 

What do I mean by that? 

I have seen many come to the mega-churches because that is where the money is. Maybe their motives were pure, and they truly wanted to shepherd people, but you find out quickly that shepherding is often complicated and uncomfortable. You also find out that the bigger the church, the more exhaustively elaborate the organizational system. Timothy found out about people and their eccentricities, because he was asked by Paul to put several of these unruly sheep in their place, and, if necessary, kick them out of the congregation.

If my mother had raised Timothy, he would have found that difficult to do.

The context of 1 Timothy chapter three has everything to do with someone seeking to be the shepherd of a church body.

Verses 2-7 cover the qualifications.

Paul tells us that if any man aims to be the overseer or pastor, it is a fine work he desires to do. 

An overseer, then, must be:

  • A man whose life is above reproach.

Here we are in a Presidential election year, and it doesn’t matter what side you are supporting, as your candidate will have their skeletons exposed. Of course, they will counter with dirt against the opposition and do their best to cloud the issue against them. 

What’s the point here? 

Everyone has skeletons in their closet. Are you willing to take the heat for those skeletons? Maybe the best approach is to air out the laundry at the beginning, and then there will be no secrets that you have to dodge later on.

The Greek word translated as a reproach is anepílēptos and implies one who has nothing which an adversary could seize upon with which to base a charge. (WSD)

Why does this make me think of a church like Victory Outreach, where some of the Pastors will, in their testimonies, tell you that they murdered someone. It seems then, as if this reproach would be more of an active lifestyle thing, but not necessarily. 

  • He must be faithful to his wife.

Sadly, most of us know of some pastor who has had an affair with their secretary or someone else. 

  • He must exercise self-control.

Without some parameters, this could apply to anything, some being nowhere near as destructive as the others. The Word Study Dictionary states: “to be sober. Sober, temperate, self-controlled, especially in respect to wine.” This does not give you any more crazed freedom with whiskey or other libations.

Not being an alcoholic, I don’t understand the dynamics of alcoholism. You see, I put myself in recovery because I was getting far too comfortable, allowing rage to make my decisions for me. You might think I would understand the alcoholic better, simply because I attended recovery and led the anger group. But rage, for me, was a choice. With an alcoholic, I am not so sure there is a choice as it is an addiction.

If you did not check the background on this, new, potential pastor, then their propensity for excess might get past you and explode in all your faces.

  • Live wisely, and have a good reputation.

The NLT has no direct reference to word origins in the Greek, and so I have to try to make an accurate comparison with something that does, like the NASB, or KJV. The words the NLT gives are, live wisely, and have a good reputation.  These are useful words for the moment, but several of these words overlap in their definitions and repeat a theme. The KJV uses terminology such as be vigilantsober, and of good behavior. The Greek words used to make this sentence are nēphálios, sṓphrōn, and kósmios. 

If we look at kósmios in The Word Study Dictionary, we get this, “Plato presents someone who is kósmios, much like the citizen who quietly fulfills the duties which are incumbent on him and is not disorderly.”

Plato associates such a person, as Paul does, with sṓphrōn, where he conveys the idea of a sensible, self-controlled person who voluntarily places limitations on their freedom.

Immediately I can tell you that some will lose their minds simply because Plato, the philosopher, is being referenced. There is no denying that usage, but if good, Godly sense shines through, then the goal is accomplished, and Paul calls for this very thing.

The end of this sentence above is quite telling and might severely impact those who choose to lead man-cave groups that have little to no restraints.

  • He must enjoy having guests in his home.

Well, at least not in its present condition. The wife and I have talked about this very thing many times. 

  • He must be able to teach.

Keep in mind that Paul already went through a long oration about how women are NOT to be Pastors. Honestly, I am not sure about the whys, but many hold to this standard. There is no doubt in my mind that there are women who can teach, and Beth Moore comes to mind as she did a teaching on Daniel that opened my eyes. However, such a harsh rejection is one reason I struggle with Pastor John MacArthur, as he rudely told her to go back home.

If you have sat under a Pastor who clearly could not hold an audience, you can understand what Paul is talking about. 

  • He must not be, as the NASB states, addicted to wine, or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 

Yes, I know, this is a lot to cover in one breath, but, in many ways, we had already touched on this, when we covered self-control, because of the word pároinos. “The word-picture is that of an individual who always has a bottle (or wineskin) on the table and so signifies addiction.”

Moving beyond the alcohol addiction, what about this idea of being gentle. The Greek translates to equitable, fair, gentle.

Equitable, according to Webster’s means: Equal in regard to the rights of persons; distributing equal justice; giving each his due.

  • He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him.”

I guess I just got lucky. When I had a family, I married into it, and then added two of my own. The step kids were well mannered and respectful. I never asked or demanded that they call me dad, but they did, and they complied when I called them. I suppose a lot of the respect I experienced came from their mother, who would back me up. The step kids parted from my fellowship as the price of divorce, but my girls also grew up without me, apparently having their choices forced on them. 

As for discipline, I did not count to whatever stupid number some people ascribe to before I asserted my will on them, as their count was included in the words, “I need you over here.” I managed and coached the ball teams for both the step-son and the step-daughter, and as far as I was concerned, they were my kids. My daughters, without me in their lives, have shown me no respect. I am not sure the circumstances reflect a fair assessment of my ability to run a household.

I have only known one pastor who held the respect of his daughter, and it fair to say, he only had one child. All the others had children that were out of control. One pastor had to put his boy in a military academy in the hopes of straightening him out. I am not sure how that worked out; most I know that did that same thing, got back a child that was now rigidly antagonistic toward their father. 

Even worse, the passage ends like this, “For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?” It seems like a logical assumption, doesn’t it?

  • A church leader must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.”

Here’s the logic. New believers may have enthusiasm, but do they have an understanding of the Holy Spirit? Probably not; it is not impossible, but not probable. The wisdom of the Lord and how to use it, come over time, with practice. 

A new believer, thinking they know everything, can and will become proud and irritating. I speak from experience as this is what happened to me when I was in the faith movement.

  • Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap.”

This is not a command; however, this is a method of judging whether the man is what he says he is. You go to the references, those who know him, and ask some probing questions, as you try to find out what kind of character this person has. If the community feels like he is tense and irritable, then this is a trait that you are likely to experience.

The pastor of the church that I was recently attending, in his introductory message, informed us that he was a recovering pharisee. Most in the church that morning had no clue what that meant. To me, it said that he still had the potential to be another Saul, hopefully stopping short of having people stoned. He also told us that his dream for the church was to have it filled with forty-year-old couples. Considering that the church body’s average age was around 60, that should have made those of us that are older speculate about what our potential we would continue to have there.

Note how this sentence “people outside the church must speak well of him,” in effect, it says that if the people don’t speak well of him, he will be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap. 

To fall is the Greek word empiptō, which means to be entrapped by the community.

In other words, these people, having the dirt on this guy, may be able to destroy any good work he could do.

What’s my take away? 

Don’t hide any skeletons in your closet.

Perhaps, the knowledge of information that could destroy your ministry should cause you to step away from potentially being the pastor.

Maybe an alternate method of dealing with this is to keep your closet clean.

Remember, our secrets become our prison cells.

Posted in 1 Timothy, Apostle Paul, bible study, false teaching, Jesus, sharing the truth in love, Sin, spiritual gifts, strange doctrines, straying from the truth, strongholds, teachers, teaching a different doctrine, the goal of our instruction, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God, who desires all men to be saved. 1Ti 2:1-15


How did we end 1 Timothy chapter one? With a bang, as Paul points us to two false teachers within the church. Here is what he said.

Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.”

Read what Paul said to Timothy as he described the details of what these two were doing.

    • They were teaching contrary to the truth, teaching strange doctrines.
    • As Eugene Peterson’s message states, they were occupying themselves and others, with legends, fables, and myths;
    • and, they were paying far too much attention to myths and endless genealogies, these genealogies merely give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

First off, genealogies seemed to be vitally important to the Jewish community, we can see an aspect of this in Matthew’s gospel.

Matthew 1:1 THE BOOK of the ancestry (genealogy) of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed), the son (descendant) of David, the son (descendant) of Abraham. [Ps. 132:11; Isa. 11:1.] (AMPLIFIED Bible)

The genealogy proved the heritage of Jesus Christ. For example:

Psalms 132:11 NASB The LORD has sworn to David A truth from which He will not turn back: “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.

This was important to the Jewish community, and in scripture we are given two different lines, both of which establish Jesus as the son of David, the son of Joseph and Mary, and therefore, the Son of God. (Yes, I took some liberties in saying it this way, and I was trying to make a point about how, for the most part, is that genealogies, for us, are pointless. Consider when Herod was told that an entourage of wise men were coming toward Jerusalem. Having learned that they were looking for a recently born king of the Jews, he called the chief priests and scribes, and asked them, is this true. Because of what Psalms 132:11, and what the other prophets had said, they affirmed that Yahshua, the Messiah, would have been born in Bethlehem, however, we will not accept this child nor worship him. Herod, on the basis of two sets of witnesses, had all the boys in the region, under the age of twelve, killed. What does this say to you about the genealogies?)

But what did Paul say?

He said that these two, Hymenaeus and Alexander, were blaspheming – God.

Based upon what we know (1 Timothy 1:3,4,) where do you see the act of blaspheming?

Let’s ignore the genealogies for now, and focus on the other two points.

    1. They were teaching contrary to the truth, and or, teaching strange doctrines.
    2. The second thing that could be attributed to their blasphemy, would be what Eugene Peterson’s message states, they were occupying themselves and others, with legends, fables, and myths.

Having said all this, through and to Timothy, how does pull the young man, and his audience, back on track?

He reiterates what truth is, and thus we start Timothy chapter two.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 NASB First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, (2) for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

Alright, what is an entreaty?

It is the Greek word deēsis and means a petition: – prayer, request, supplication. The dictionary says it is to make an earnest petition or request.

Either I am missing something, or I just can’t see the logic of using a fancy word, only to say a moment later, “and prayers, petitions.”

The New Living Translation puts it like this.

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.

Ask God to help them;

intercede on their behalf,

and give thanks for them.

Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

Eugene Peterson’s Message conveys 1 Timothy 2:1-2 in this manner.

The first thing I want you to do is pray.

Pray every way you know how

for everyone you know.

This last portion of Peterson’s Message is especially critical today.

Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.

The next two verses continue the necessity and logic of prayer.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 NET. Such prayer for all is good and welcomed before God our Savior, (4) since he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

Why?

Because he wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:5-6 NET. For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, (6) who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.

Absorb these statements for a moment.

    • God wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.
    • There is one God.
    • There is one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus.
    • Jesus Christ, is a human.
    • Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all.
    • So that Jesus Christ could reveal God’s purpose at His appointed time.

Keep in mind that Paul is writing to Timothy, I suspect to encourage him. In that encouragement he says, the things above, some of the most precise statements about who He is; these statements are a definition of His nature and His character.

When I was 23 I had a dream/vision of Jesus. He laid out my entire life before me. I thought I will never forget this and so I did not write anything down. All I could remember of His being there was that I was filled with joy. Years later, after a horrendous marriage and a loss of everything, including my hope and joy, I was reading in the book of Numbers chapter 12, where it speaks about the attempted mutiny by Aaron and Miriam against Moses. God spoke to Moses and said,

Numbers 12:6 NET. The LORD said, “Hear now my words: If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision; I will speak with him in a dream.

Life continued with its twists and turns. The hope was restored one day, many years later, when I went to a prophecy conference. Sitting in the audience, the speaker that night pointed at me, and said, you have gone through three destructive phases in your life. God is saying to you, the destruction is done, and nothing will impact you in that manner again. There were other things said, but I do not remember them all. What I remember is that I felt like God loved and cared about me. This prophetic word did not speak to what I saw in Numbers 12:6, and I wondered what God had in store for me as time progressed. I never wanted to be a pastor, as I could not endure the responsibility of other people’s lives. It has been years, and I post almost everything I write to the internet. But about two years ago the dream came true as I became the leader of a small Bible Study group.

The point is, that God has a plan and that will be fulfilled in His timeline.

Paul, when he was Saul, may not have seen teaching direction coming, because he had been aligning himself to be a Pharisee, not a teacher of God’s grace and mercy, but here it is.

1 Timothy 2:7 NET. For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle — I am telling the truth; I am not lying — and a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

When you read about Paul’s life in the book of Acts what you see is a Jewish follower of Christ going to synagogues with every turn. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, as Paul did what he knew best, and he preached Jesus from the Tanakh. In the course of teaching and preaching, Gentiles began to join the ranks. However, it was not until the harassment from the Jews escalated that we see Paul saying,

It was necessary that we first preach the word of God to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life, we will offer it to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46b NLT)

To be honest, for me,  the rest of this chapter has become nothing less than an entanglement. Maybe what Paul preaches here is a command from God, if so then rebellion on the part of some, has over time, made it impossible to enforce.

1 Timothy 2:8-15 NLT  In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.  (9)  And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.  (10)  For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.  (11)  Women should learn quietly and submissively.  (12)  I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly.  (13)  For God made Adam first, and afterward, he made Eve.  (14)  And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.  (15)  But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.

  • In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.”

Starting with verse nine, Paul speaks to women. Now there might be a relational issue, but it is NOT often that you see women dressing so gaudy.

  • “And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes.  (10)  For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.  (11)  Women should learn quietly and submissively.

Verses twelve through fifteen are unusual, to say the least. Having been cast aside and practically made slaves, women have fought back, demanding respect. I agree a male and female lumberjack should get the same pay. But I do struggle with this idea of women teaching men. Perhaps someone like Joyce Meyers could shut me up.

  • “I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly.  (13)  For God made Adam first, and afterward, he made Eve.  (14)  And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.  (15)  But women will be saved through childbearing, assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty.

Paul’s reason may not seem logical to most, and, if you think about it, Adam was standing right there, listening to everything the serpent was saying to his woman. For this to make sense, you may have to go back to the creation of man.

In Genesis 1:26-30, it appears that God made man and woman, but there is more definition to come; and it is possible that this is nothing more than a spiritual state, not so different from the angels. The biggest clue we have to understand this creation scenario comes from verse 27, which reads:

God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27 NASB

John’s gospel tells us this:

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:24 NASB

So the initial creation of both the male and female was a spirit, just as every aspect of the trinity.

Genesis 1:26-30 NASB Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” (27) God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (28) God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (29) Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; (30) and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to everything that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

Our second introduction to creation comes from Genesis chapter two.

Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. (Genesis 2:7-8 NASB)

Here, we do not see the woman, so where is she?

Not formed yet.

And where does God put the man?

Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 NASB)

God placed the man in the garden, told the man about the tree, and gave him the only set of instructions necessary.

It quickly became obvious that something was missing, companionship, so God made animals. Well, that was not the answer, and so He makes a woman.

So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man and brought her to the man. (Genesis 2:21-22 NASB)

So where was the woman when passed out instructions?

Not formed yet.

So who then told the woman not to eat from the tree in the center of the garden?

The one person, who had previously been given dominion and the command to subdue the earth and all in it, Adam.

“God blessed them: God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, and every living creature that crawls on the earth.” (Genesis 1:28 CJB)

To the legalistic, who read this and assume that the “them” would be the man and the woman. How quickly we forget that the earth is also filled with animals and flying things, all, like the serpent, had the ability to communicate and had no fear of man. (Oh, yes, this is a very scriptural thing.)

Subdue – Gk, kâbash meaning to tread down; to conquer, subjugate, subdue, and bring into subjection.

Whether you like the word subdue or not is irrelevant, for the man was to bring his woman into subjection, in this case, to the Word of God. The word dominion has comparable meanings.

We never see Adam dominating, in a negative manner, his woman; and, I suppose that is why Paul’s directions toward women in the church are difficult to wrap the mind around.

So when we see the serpent, in chapter three, taunts the woman with “Indeed, has God said,” perhaps you can understand that the challenge/question comes more from the idea that Eve did not hear God speak the word, it came to her from Adam’s mouth; and how can I truly know that he would not lie to me in order to control me.

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 NASB)

Do you see the subtlety and deceptiveness in this transaction?

These were NOT broken people as yet, and therefore Satan has to introduce possibility, probability, doubt; and for Adam, a treasonous motive – the potential that God has not given you all the power that He promised.

Because if, standing there, knowing full well that God did give those instructions, then what kind of evil went through his mind?

Posted in 1 Timothy, Adam, Apostle Paul, bible study, Deception, End times, false teaching, Jesus, Prayer, Thoughts on scripture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An example for those who would believe. 1 Ti 1:12-20.


1 Timothy 1:12 NASB I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,

Strengthen.

This is the Greek word endunamoō and means to empower, enable, to be (made) strong.

Paul felt the need to tell Timothy that God had empowered, enabled, and made him strong. Whatever, Timothy, or anyone else might have thought of Paul and his knowledge of the Mosaic law, he felt the need to point to God as the source of any truth Paul espoused. He took this conversation to the next level when, according to the NLT he said, “He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him.”

1 Timothy 1:13 NASB even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;

Paul is effectively giving his testimony, as he says, I was formerly a blasphemer. To give you a feel for who Saul the pharisee was, I give you the definitions of some of these words he uses to describe himself. Keep in mind that we previously talked about how Paul, in 1 Corinthians said that he was meek in person. Meek and humble are two different things, as humble comes as someone else puts you into a subservient position.

BLASPHE’MER, n. One who blasphemes; one who speaks of God in impious and irreverent terms. Webster’s Dictionary

Many of us have heard people say, I cannot be a Christian as I have blasphemed against God. Many of us have. Fortunately, Christ paid the price for all of our sins, and we are, therefore, forgiven. Jesus, in speaking to the scribes and Pharisees, told them that they had, at that time, crossed the line, as they had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, saying that Jesus had released a young man from his demonic oppression through the power of Satan. This then seems to be the critical departure from truth.

The Greek word for blasphemer is blasphēmos and means scurrilous, calumnious, impious, railing.

Scurrilous – Using the low and indecent language of the meaner sort of people, or such as only the license of buffoons can warrant.

Calumnious Slanderous; injurious to reputation.

ImpiousIrreverent towards the Supreme Being; wanting in veneration for God and his authority; irreligious; profane.

RailingClamoring with insulting language; uttering reproachful words.

This describes most of the rioters taking over our streets. The next also describes Saul, quite well.

PER’SECUTOR, n. One that persecutes; one that pursues another unjustly and vexatiously, particularly on account of religious principles.

Persecutor is the Greek word diōktēs and means a persecutor.

A violent aggressor – is the Greek word hubristēs and it is used twice to convey being a violent aggressor. The word means an insulter, a maltreater: despiteful, injurious.

Note this part of the paragraph. 1 Timothy 1:13b.

Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;”

Did Paul say anything about a lack of knowledge?

He better not have, as he spoke highly of his skill and knowledge of the Mosaic law.

But, did he believe what those words said?

Apparently not. Were you aware of these passages?

‘Also if one person sins unintentionally, then he shall offer a one-year-old female goat for a sin offering. (Numbers 15:27 NASB)

Unintentionally?

Look at the Hebrew word shegâgâh a mistake or inadvertent transgression: – error, ignorance, at unawares, unwittingly.

To be honest, Saul’s actions seemed very deliberate, but then I am aware that I am acting in error by unwittingly judging the man when I make a statement like that.

“then you shall select for yourselves cities to be your cities of refuge, that the man-slayer who has killed any person unintentionally may flee there. ‘The cities shall be to you as a refuge from the avenger so that the manslayer will not die until he stands before the congregation for trial.” (Numbers 35:11-12 NASB)

Now, wait a minute. Doesn’t this passage apply to the person who inadvertently had the head of the ax fly off, strike another person, and kill them? In other words, an unintentional act – manslaughter. If we apply this protocol to Saul, it is difficult to see his actions, in the death of Stephen, as unintentional. The only thing that I can apply to Saul’s situation, is that by his actions, though not a direct participant in the action, he approved of Stephen’s death.

Jesus, by his death, approved of Saul’s forgiveness. And the worst part of it is that those Jews, under the constraints of the “Mosaic law,” were fully justified, in their minds, in stoning Stephen.

Because of God’s grace and mercy!

1 Timothy 1:14 NASB and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.

Picking himself up off the dusty trail, and there is no doubt that there were others there to assist this learned scholar of the Mosaic law to get up, Saul was now aware that it was only the grace of God that allowed him to be standing there, with another chance at life. Let’s recap Acts 9.

“As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus.” (Acts 9:3-8 NASB)

What do you suppose they said, considering that they heard the voice also?

Perhaps something along the line of, whatever you say, sir.

Pay attention to the statement, that Saul, as a new follower of Christ Jesus, made.

and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.”

There is no doubt that Saul immediately perceived the grace, faith, and love that is found in Christ Jesus. Being of a religious mindset, my mind goes back to things that I heard over the years; things that imply that you can never realize the grace, faith, and love of Christ, without accepting Christ Jesus as your Lord and Abba.

Funny, Saul seemed to understand the Lordship of God, but it was not a personal relationship; that is until he got knocked on his butt on the road to Damascus. Surely, with an instantaneous acceptance of the faith and love, Saul could then understand that he had been given grace. The moment does not follow my religious standard; and yet, it does. Isn’t God amazing how He does that! Saul found the grace, faith, and love of Christ Jesus, and it happened in the most unusual way.

Even for Paul, the moment evokes this statement.

1 Timothy 1:15 NASB It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

“It is a trustworthy statement,

deserving (of) full acceptance,

that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,

And a line that fits us all.

among whom I am foremost of all”

Look at the word save for a moment.

Saved is the Greek word sōzō and means to save, that is, deliver or protect, heal, preserve, and make whole.

I find those words to be overwhelming at the moment. There is not an aspect of this sōzō that does not cover all that I was and am.

Sinners? We have covered this word many times. In its simplest form, it is merely missing the mark. That mark can be large or small, deadly important or so non-significant in our minds; and yet, to miss the mark, whether intentionally, habitually, or forgetfully is still SIN.

Be honest, is there a day that goes by in which you don’t miss one of your marks?

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Finally having come to the understanding that he, Saul, was the chiefest of sinners, he is able to say:

1 Timothy 1:16 NASB Yet, for this reason, I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

  • Yet for this reason, I found mercy,
  • so that in me as the foremost,
  • Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience
  • as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

So the Apostle, now named Paul, tells us, that he is an example for all who would believe in Christ.

What an amazing conveyance and Paul ends it with a prayer and an admonition.

1 Timothy 1:17 NASB Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

He ends with this admonition to Timothy, and us.

1 Timothy 1:18 NASB This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,

This is one of those passages where inserting your own name would be appropriate.

This command I entrust to you ____________ (insert name here), my son or daughter, in accordance with prophecies previously made concerning you,

Stop here for a moment. Many of you would say, but no one has ever prophesied over me, and therefore I have no motivation, direction, or drive over my life. Ah, but you do, you have the prophecy of God’s word to speak over your life. Let me explain.

Revelation 19:10 tells us that the testimony of Jesus – this is the Word of God, which conveys God’s hopes, dreams, and wishes for your life. All these things might seem like a variable that might not be available to you. You are right to say they are variables, but not on God’s part. He has dealt this way with humanity since the garden of Eden. We see it when He says, to people like Abram, as for Me. God is saying, is that He will carry out His plan regardless of whether you participate or not. The religious side of me would tell you that you have to be a believer to receive the prophecy of God, but the fact that Jesus shows up in the dreams of the Iranian people, and He leads them into a knowledge of Himself.

Revelation 19:10 Then I fell at his feet to worship him. But he *said to me, “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

that by them (the words of God) you ______________ (insert your name herefight the good fight,

You fight the good fight by doing what you see in 1 Timothy 1:19

1 Timothy 1:19 NASB keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

The word keeping is the Greek word echō and means to hold.

The Greek word for Faith is pistis and means persuasion.

So 1 Timothy 1:19 he is asking/telling you, to hold to that which you have been persuaded, in a good conscience,

Rejected is the word apōtheomai and means to shove away, push off, reject or cast away.

To suffer shipwreck is the Greek word nauageō and it is used twice in order to obtain the phrase we see. The words involved are shipwrecked, stranded, made to suffer shipwreck.

Paul ends this passage with this,

which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

Substituting the alternate words we get this: some have cast away, and been made to suffer shipwreck.

To make his point, a bit more personal, he names off some names they would know.

1 Timothy 1:20 NASB Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

In the litigious world, we live in, people will sue you if you publicly out them.

To be handed over, according to the Greek concordance, is the word paradidōmi and means to surrender.

So Paul surrendered these two over to Satan so that they will be taught.

Taught is the Greek word paideuō and means to train up – as you would a rebellious child (this presumes that you still know what capital punishment is,) educate, discipline (by punishment).

So that they would be taught NOT to blaspheme. We covered this word blaspheme, earlier in the study. In short, the word blaspheme means to vilify; specifically to speak impiously.

For those who think that they have crossed God’s unforgivable boundaries, I suppose that another way to understand this is that God has the option of turning you over to Satan so that you will be taught NOT to blaspheme. If you have been fortunate enough to not be turned over to Satan, then perhaps you have not, as you thought, crossed God’s line of demarcation.

By the way, I do not see this as being turned over to a judgment of hell’s flames, but merely a painful education meant to motivate you toward Christ.

My advice to you, run to Him quickly as time is growing short.

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