Saturday, January 24, 2009

Luke, chapter 1

Luke speaks of Christ as the “son of Man”. The Branch in Jeremiah 23:5 shows Abraham’s connection with the King of the Jews presaging Matthew’s gospel. Zechariah 3:8 is the birth of Christ as the servant hinting at Mark’s. Zechariah 6:12-13 refers also to the Branch as the man hinting at Luke’s, who will trace Christ’s genealogy back to Adam. Isaiah 4:2 shows The Branch is God as does John.
In chapter three Christ’s genealogy goes back to Adam. In Luke there is a great deal of reference to the Gentiles and all men.
There are 24 chapters, 1151 verses , and 25,944 words according to one source, but I have not counted myself.
Chapter One
1 ¶ Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

People have written before Luke. “Many” implies that there were several gospel accounts running around other than the four that the Holy Spirit wanted us to have. Five hundred people were witnesses to the risen Christ.

1Corinthians 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

John, the apostle, recounted his personal witness of Christ.

1 John 1 ¶ That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

He received his information from eyewitnesses. He, too, was an eyewitness to the early church.

3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

See Acts, chapter 1;

Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,

As you can see, Luke wrote both Luke and Acts.

4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Here is one long sentence. This is one reason for some people to believe that Luke wrote Hebrews. Some people say also that Paul wrote the last chapter of that book. The book is written in Luke’s style until the last chapter and then it is in Paul’s style of writing, if you follow this line of thinking.

5 ¶ There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

A course is a clan of men who were responsible for a particular duty like a house is a dynasty or family.

1Chronicles 24:1 Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

1Chronicles 27:2 Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

These people were under the Law. The Church Age, the Age of Grace, had not commenced yet. See what Paul says for us;

Philippians 3:4 ¶ Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 ¶ And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Zacharias and Elisabeth obeyed the Law of Moses better than most and needed the bloody sacrifice to be justified; faith and works.

But, for us;

Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Compare obeying all the commandments and being justified by that compared to the following Church Age doctrine;

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

Rachel, Rebeccah, the great woman of Shunem, Hannah, Sarah, Manoah’s wife, and Elisabeth makes seven as all types of Mary who is given a child miraculously.

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,
9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.
10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Incense represents prayer.

Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Revelation 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Psalm 55:17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

They prayed three times a day.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

I have already explained in my commentary on Revelation that an angel of the Lord in some cases is the preincarnate Jesus Christ. In this case it is Gabriel, we have seen in Daniel.

Daniel 8:16 And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

An angel is usually an appearance of someone who is somewhere else and he is shaped as that person.

Revelation 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

No angel in the Bible has wings. That is a Roman Catholic myth based on ancient Persian religion. Mohammed, Joseph Smith, and even Nietzsche got caught up with angel myths.

12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

Fear would fall upon any of us who saw this appearance.

Track 3, 38minutes

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

Mary, Elizabeth, John, and James are three of the most common names in the English language with all their alternate renderings.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

This is similar to the oath of a Nazarite in the Old Testament. Also, no one else in the Bible outside of Christ was ever filled with the Spirit from the womb. John is unique. Don’t use this verse as an argument against abortion. There are many other good verses but John is unique so you can’t use him honestly.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

John the Baptist is sent to Israel. He is not the founder of the Baptist church.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

John showing up is the forerunner of what happens in Revelation 11. But John doesn’t know he is that person. Jesus says he is in Matthew 11. In the verses mentioned above you have both advents of Christ in the same sentence. Notice how the Holy Spirit subtly changes the verses so that either way things work out God’s will is true. Malachi says that Elijah shall come and in Luke he comes in the spirit and power of Elijah, which is apparently the same thing to God. Notice how God the Son comes in the spirit and power of God the Father. The children of Israel under the Law and the Church Age in verse 17 are separated by a semi-colon. Often, thousands of years, the first and second coming of Christ are separated by only a comma.

Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. 15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Any verse can apply to you and does apply to you unless it contradicts a Pauline Epistle. But, even then, it can be applied practically and spiritually to you. The Church Age doctrine is enunciated clearly in every letter that starts with “Paul”.

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.
19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

This verse defines the meaning of “dumb” in the Bible’s own self defining way.

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

Here is a warning not to discount God’s words as perhaps you won’t be able to speak your own.

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.
24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,
25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.
26 ¶ And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

Gabriel is also referred to as a man.

Daniel 9:21 Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

As an angel is also likened to a man.

Revelation 21:17 And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.

He most certainly doesn’t have 600 wings.

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

Mary and Jesus’ stepfather, Joseph, were both from the line of David.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

Jesus means Jehovah saves.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

This is when Christ comes. Read it. It is future. When He comes in His glory. His throne will be in Jerusalem

1Chronicles 29:23 Then Solomon sat on the throne of the LORD as king instead of David his father, and prospered; and all Israel obeyed him.

Jeremiah 3:17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart.

Jeremiah 14:21 Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

Zechariah 14:2 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…. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one…..16 ¶ And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Acts 1:6 ¶ When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

If a man doesn’t believe in the physical, literal return of Jesus Christ to rule over the kingdom of Israel at the end, in other words, if he is not a premillennialist, then he is a Bible rejecting liar. There is no way to read these verses without allegorizing and spiritualizing the life out of them in order to make Christ ruling now and in order to think that we are living in the Millennium.

The kingdom of heaven is not here and spreading. It is awaiting His return. The kingdom of God, which is within each believer is not a physical kingdom at this point. The Second Coming of Christ is the main theme of the Bible and He is promised the throne of David, on the earth, in Jerusalem.

Note: The Bible is written so that if you aren’t right with God when you pick it up you will be deliberately misled. The Book is alive and if you are not submissive to the God who created you, He will give you either nothing or something wrong. All cults have a Biblical basis and a root in an unsaved hellbound reprobate who picked up the Book and twisted it.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

She is a virgin.

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

She is not the mother of God, she is the mother of the Son of God, the physical manifestation of God. She could not give birth to the one who made the universe. The Son of God is God in the flesh. He was deity but He had two natures; the Son of God and the Son of man.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Cousin is a word used in the Bible, obviously. There is a group of people who say that when the Bible says brethren it means cousins but that isn’t true. Mary had other children.

Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Psalm 69:8 I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother‘s children.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

This is a great verse in the Bible. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t things God won’t do. He will not do anything that is against His nature. He won’t save you against your will. He won’t do something He says is wrong in order to do right.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39 ¶ And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

John the Baptist leapt in the womb, being a six month old unborn baby. He was unique in the entire Bible as having the Holy Spirit in him even in the womb.

Also, look at the greatest man born of woman between Adam and Jesus;

Matthew 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

Now, with regard to abortion, some say that as per Genesis, chapter 2, Adam became a living soul when he breathed, however Adam was, like John the Baptist, unique. Others say that in Ezekiel the great army was alive when it breathed. In the Bible it appears that when you breathe you are alive, from this point of view.

Here’s another set of verses used to oppose abortion. How is this a reference to the birth of any particular individual? In the lower parts of the earth?

Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

But perhaps the above is a reference to the average person. I can’t say. You must come up with a decision on your belief.

Exodus 21:22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman’s husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

See here the unintentional death of the unborn child requires a fine, not the capital punishment called for in murder.

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Luke 11:26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 27 ¶ And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Matthew 12:47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. 48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Beware of how much honor and worship you give Mary.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
John 2:3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

John 19:26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

According to historian Durant, Ishtar was called The Queen of Heaven, The Mother of God. Be careful how you honor Mary as being something she isn’t.

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Mary needed a Saviour. How could someone who was sinless as some groups hold, have needed a Saviour?

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

Here, some say that this shows that Mary has a prophecy of Jesus’ first and second coming. She is, according to them, now revealing the power of Christ’s Second Advent. She is referring to God’s prophecy as if it’s already happened. Jesus will rule in strength and power. Notice in all prophecy how many times the prophet speaks in the past tense for a future event that hasn’t happened yet.

53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

When did this ever happen? It’s a future prophecy.

54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

What did Abraham get told about Jesus? Examine it closely. What did he say to his seed?

Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Notice how Hannah prayed in 1 Samuel.

1 Samuel 2:1 ¶ And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. 5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.
9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

See how the prophecies they have been given don’t seem to have any bearing on their immediate situation. God speaks of both Advents of Christ in the prophecies.

Here, the prophecies of the first and second advent are in reverse order;

Psalm 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 ¶ I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Jesus was not the king on the hill of Zion the first time He came but He was begotten as the physical Son of God.

In Psalm 89 and others you find the prophecy of the Second Advent first and then it reverts to the first. This Book will trip you up if you don’t come to it with the right attitude.

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57 ¶ Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

Cousins are cousins, not brothers and sisters. God knows the difference, even if the Vatican doesn’t.

59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

Read verse 19 again.

65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.
66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Read the end of Malachi again and read Matthew 11 again.

67 ¶ And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

The Holy Spirit in its active agency in which it is called the Holy Ghost has filled John the Baptist’s father and he will speak as instructed. Notice this verse;

2Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

God spoke to men and they spoke to us.

Hebrews 1:1 ¶ God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

This contains both the first advent for salvation from sin and the second advent for salvation from physical danger for the nation of Israel. John is coming to preach the literal, physical kingdom of heaven.

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

They were not delivered out of their enemy’s hands in the First Advent of Christ so this is a continuing prophecy that will apply to Elijah’s return with Moses as one of the two witnesses in the Great Tribulation.

76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Psalm 107:10 Such as sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron;

Isaiah 42:7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.

Micah 7:8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.

Psalm 119:105 NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Isaiah 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

John the Baptist will now go out at some point and begin declaring Christ after he sets up His appearance by demanding repentance from sins. He is going to get the people of Israel ready to receive Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Leviticus 27

1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy estimation.
3 And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.

Notice the expectation was for males from 20 to 60 years old. This is one of the many verses that gives you a hint of when God regards that a man has reached maturity and when he should retire. There are some indications that 20 years might be the age of accountability, as well. We put a lot of pressure on parents of young children to “get them saved” long before they can even fully understand what that means.

4 And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels.
5 And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels.

A heavier cost is laid on the man, perhaps, because more in the way of ritualistic duty to the state was required of the men but I’m not sure. I do know that more is expected of men than women.

6 And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver.

Different ages and sexes called for a different amount to be assessed for a vow.

7 And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels.
8 But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him.

Then, again, it appears that this assessment refers to value placed on a person. So, if that is true, in the Hebrew theocracy a man was worth more than a woman, and children of varying ages, plus old people had differing values. This is a problem for feminists.

9 And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be holy.
10 He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy.
11 And if it be any unclean beast, of which they do not offer a sacrifice unto the LORD, then he shall present the beast before the priest:
12 And the priest shall value it, whether it be good or bad: as thou valuest it, who art the priest, so shall it be.
13 But if he will at all redeem it, then he shall add a fifth part thereof unto thy estimation.
14 ¶ And when a man shall sanctify his house to be holy unto the LORD, then the priest shall estimate it, whether it be good or bad: as the priest shall estimate it, so shall it stand.

Notice, the priest not only graded meat, he appraised houses. His role was pretty complete in Ancient Israel.

15 And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be his.
16 And if a man shall sanctify unto the LORD some part of a field of his possession, then thy estimation shall be according to the seed thereof: an homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver.

Israel was not under a free market system. The Lord set the values of things. Certainly people would have used the standard the Lord set as a way of judging the value of something. Of course, I don’t know who that would have affected foreign trade. Still, we know that in times of famine prices for things could go way up, so, at least, that was the exception.

17 If he sanctify his field from the year of jubile, according to thy estimation it shall stand.
18 But if he sanctify his field after the jubile, then the priest shall reckon unto him the money according to the years that remain, even unto the year of the jubile, and it shall be abated from thy estimation.
19 And if he that sanctified the field will in any wise redeem it, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him.
20 And if he will not redeem the field, or if he have sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed any more.
21 But the field, when it goeth out in the jubile, shall be holy unto the LORD, as a field devoted; the possession thereof shall be the priest’s.
22 And if a man sanctify unto the LORD a field which he hath bought, which is not of the fields of his possession;
23 Then the priest shall reckon unto him the worth of thy estimation, even unto the year of the jubile: and he shall give thine estimation in that day, as a holy thing unto the LORD.
24 In the year of the jubile the field shall return unto him of whom it was bought, even to him to whom the possession of the land did belong.
25 And all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary: twenty gerahs shall be the shekel.
26 ¶ Only the firstling of the beasts, which should be the LORD’S firstling, no man shall sanctify it; whether it be ox, or sheep: it is the LORD’S.
27 And if it be of an unclean beast, then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto: or if it be not redeemed, then it shall be sold according to thy estimation.
28 Notwithstanding no devoted thing, that a man shall devote unto the LORD of all that he hath, both of man and beast, and of the field of his possession, shall be sold or redeemed: every devoted thing is most holy unto the LORD.
29 None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed; but shall surely be put to death.
30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.
31 And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof.
32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.
33 He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.
34 These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

This wraps it up. It is clear that the priest under the Law exacted a kind of tax to the Lord for the support of the tabernacle, his office, and to sanctify things as separate to the Lord. The rules were very specific. Those “judaizers” today among the Protestant and Catholic Christians who insist upon putting their people back under the Law seem to pick and choose which law they will believe is our rule, disregarding the rules under the new covenant.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Latest Reading

The Laughter of God, by David James Burrell, D.D., Fleming H. Revel Company, New York, 1918. This is a collection of sermons by the author given during The Great War. They are very good, very inspiring and doctrinally sound, which is refreshing.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Leviticus 26

1 ¶ Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.

They were not to make an idol, something to worship. You laugh at the primitiveness of these people? Well, we make idols of things all the time whether it be sports, money, education, entertainment, or other things. Speaking of entertainment, in the early days of our country Congress even stated that the official who attended theater entertainments wasn’t fit to serve his country. Yet, many Americans enjoy several theater entertainments each night on television.

We have created monuments to stand for things other than God, as symbols of our freedom as in Lady Liberty or our power and might as in the numerous historical monuments around the country. Ultimately, as a nation we worship ourselves.

Our limited view of what worship actually is keeps us from seeing this clearly. Whether you have your child get the autograph of a ballplayer or you accept the justifications for war of your political leaders without question you have an idol other than God. If the Lord Jesus Christ is not your “commander in chief” then you are an idolater.

But, this is specifically made to the Hebrews so that God could set a people apart for Himself.

2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.

As we have seen, there is more than one type of Sabbath so this should be a help for you in looking at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion.

3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Prophetically, there are a lot of verses I’ve missed but let me take a spiritual look at these verses.

5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
13 I am the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.

This shows that living by the letter of the Law had to do with how God would bless you while you lived as a group, a nation, on earth. The Law is a list of temporal commands for a physical nation living in its collective flesh. The Law can not save you nor did it ever promise to save you spiritually. But, these Hebrews had to live under it in order for the nation to be successful. Or, they would die. Promise.

14 ¶ But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

These are all physical calamities against a physical people who violate a physical law. The Law was what God required of the Hebrews to live as His set apart people. For all the things that would eventually happen to them He gave many warnings.

17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.

For any people of God many of these things hold true. We have turned our backs on His word in His Book and He is against us. Cynical politicians who have no real regard for us rule over us and we are paranoid and see an antichrist under every bush.

18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.

He does accomplish this in the Babylonian captivity because they did not obey Him even in the laws concerning letting the ground rest.

19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:

What imagery! The sky above and the earth below seem to close in on you.

20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
I’ve seen this in my life. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, because you are in opposition to God, nothing works out for you.

21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.

God promised them physical trouble seven times over. Look at this in the light of the following;

Leviticus 25: 1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD. 3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof; 4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. 5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. 6 And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,
7 And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.

There is no evidence they followed these instructions;

Jeremiah 25:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

All I am trying to say is that God had a purpose for not only the punishment of Israel but the length of that punishment, to prove a point.

22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.

Look at the first part of this in light of the following;

2Kings 2:24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.

23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.

This is the third time that it is mentioned that he will punish them seven times for their sins.

29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

2 Kings 6:24 ¶ And it came to pass after this, that Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his host, and went up, and besieged Samaria. 25 And there was a great famine in Samaria: and, behold, they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver, and the fourth part of a cab of dove’s dung for five pieces of silver. 26 And as the king of Israel was passing by upon the wall, there cried a woman unto him, saying, Help, my lord, O king. 27 And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee? out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress? 28 And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. 29 So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son. 30 And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.

Once again, see Jeremiah 25:11. You can see reference to God’s anger and punishment all through the prophets. The amazing thing is that He kept warning them over and over again and again.

35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.
36 And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth.
37 And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies.

Mass paranoia and fear is the sign of a defeated nation.
38 And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up.
39 And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
40 ¶ If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
41 And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes.

Accepting our punishment is essential to getting right with God. So many times I’ve c complained when God laid something hard on me. I know its my fault but I whine anyway.

44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.

Like the stray Christian, God promised not to completely abandon Israel, which is one reason I see the Jews having their part to play as a nation at the end of history.

45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
46 These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.

God promises that no matter how hard He buffeted Israel and no matter how hard he chastises the individual Christian, He will not forget us.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Latest Reading

The Wild Frontier, Atrocities During The American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, by William M. Osborn, Random House, 2000. A very readable and probably the most well balanced book I have read about the conquest of the continent by people of European descent. It really gives a fair assessment of the cannibalism, butchering, lies, and murder committed by both sides in this long war. Any American History enthusiast should read this book. Very thorough bibliography.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Latest Reading

The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution by Kevin R.C. Gutzman, J.D., Ph.D., Regnery Publishing, Washington D.C., 2007. This is a fascinating read and sure explains a lot. Certainly, it would not please either conservatives or liberals constantly shouting about our constitution. One of the things he shows very convincingly is how, from almost the beginning, it has been subverted by activist judges, beginning with John Marshall.