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Beyond The Four Spiritual Laws

Discussion in 'Christian Newbies' started by Webers_Home, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    374) Titus 2:10b . . but showing all good faith that they may adorn the
    doctrine of God our savior in every respect.

    The koiné Greek word for "adorn" is kosmeo (kos-meh'-o) which means: to
    put in proper order; viz: decorate

    When women buy a pretty new dress, they usually get things to go with it;
    things we call accessories; like a purse, shoes, stockings, necklace, earrings,
    and/or a watch and a bracelet. In the old days, women usually bought some
    gloves to go with their new dress too-- thus they create an "ensemble"
    which gives them a complete look rather than an unfinished look as if they
    just threw the dress on to work around the house or run down to a nearby
    convenience store.

    Well, a Christian who's a Christian in label only is like a pretty dress without
    accessories. In point of fact, they are quite basic: just a house-dress
    Christian. In other words; faith without piety is like leaving the house for
    work in the morning half dressed.

    375) Titus 2:15 . . These things speak and exhort and reprove with all
    authority. Let no one disregard you.

    There's really nothing a pastor can do to prevent people from blowing him
    off, but it is in his power to not let negative people dissuade him from his

    I have been often criticized-- by Christians, no less --for posting daily-bread
    style topics on Christian message boards that nobody reads or responds to. I
    answer my critics that everybody has an audience of at least one, and that
    one is God. Be faithful to God, and He will be faithful to you. Don't ever let
    anyone marginalize you and/or make you feel like a moron in what you're
    doing for Christ.

    Ezk 2:7 . .You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or
    whether they refuse, for they are rebellious.

    Mark 8:38 . .Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous
    and sinful generation, of him also will the Son of Man be ashamed of him
    when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

    2Tim 4:1-2 . . I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ
    Jesus-- who is to judge the Living and the Dead, and by his appearing and
    his kingdom --preach the word; be ready whether it's convenient or
    inconvenient: reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and with

  2. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    376) Titus 3:1 . . Remind your people to submit to the government and its
    officials. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.

    Civil disobedience, no matter the cause, is essentially criminal; it's the
    active, professed refusal of a citizen to obey certain laws of the state, and/or
    demands, orders, and commands of a government, or of an occupying
    international power; i.e. non compliance with constituted law and order.

    Henry David Thoreau insisted that individuals should not permit
    governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a
    duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make
    them the agents of injustice.

    At first glance, Thoreau's ideas makes good sense. However; it's important
    to take into account that Thoreau was a secular humanist indifferent to the
    dictates of a supreme being whose commandments, laws, rules, statutes,
    and edicts take priority over all other forms of government. Thoreau's
    concept of civil disobedience foments anarchy which, according to Rom
    13:1-5 and 1Pet 2:13-15, is strictly forbidden for Christ's followers.

    Below are a couple of scriptural examples of civil disobedience that take into
    account God's supremacy.

    Ex 1:15-17 . . The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose
    names were Shiphrah and Puah, "When you help the Hebrew women in
    childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but
    if it is a girl, let her live." The midwives, however, feared God and did not do
    what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.

    From a strictly legal perspective, the midwives' conduct was criminal due to
    their wanton refusal to comply with constituted authority. But God approved
    the midwives conduct; and the reason He did so is because the women
    defied Pharaoh due to their compliance with a constituted authority superior
    to his. (Ex 1:20)

    Though it would've been perfectly legal to exterminate the Hebrews' baby
    boys, it would have been grossly impious to do so; the primary reason being
    that according to Gen 9:5-6, Pharaoh's superior does not approve the taking
    of innocent human life. Had the midwives complied with Pharaoh's edit, they
    would've been murderers.

    Take for another example the dilemma wherein Christian ministers find
    themselves in Muslim countries where it's illegal to preach Christ and/or
    teach the Bible.

    According to Matt 28:18-20, and the pastoral epistles of 1&2 Timothy, Titus,
    and to some degree 1Peter, Christian ministers are required by God to do
    just exactly what the laws of those countries forbid them to do.

    Christian ministers in those countries are in a Catch-22. No matter which
    direction they take, it'll lead to trouble. If they comply with God's
    requirements, they risk arrest on Earth for breaking the law. If they comply
    with the State's requirements, they'll be shamed in Heaven for
    insubordination and dereliction of duty. In those kinds of situations, Christian
    ministers, faithful to Christ, are pretty much forced into breaking the law.

    Acts 5:29 . . Peter and the apostles answered and said: We must obey God
    rather than men. (cf. Luke 10:27)

    I highly recommend that Christ's followers NOT get themselves involved in
    movements and/or protests, demonstrations, and marches, etc. You'll just
    get yourself in trouble with the law in ways that do not follow the scriptural
    pattern and thus get yourself in trouble with God too.

    A bad example is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's activism wherein he was
    arrested upwards of thirty times. His civil disobedience wasn't scriptural; it
    was secular, i.e. patterned after Thoreau's philosophy with just enough
    religion thrown in to give the impression that King was on a mission from
    God. If you get arrested while following Thoreau's philosophy you will fully
    deserve jail time; and don't expect God to applaud. You'll be on your own.
    (cf. John 15:1-10)

    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  3. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    376) Titus 3:1 . . Cont.

    Seeing as how we're talking about the law of the land, what might be some

    Well; I think should think that Titus 3:1 is talking about more than just
    felonies; but includes lesser crimes like J walking, illegal U-turns, feeding
    parking meters, drifting through stop signs without coming to a complete
    halt, exceeding the speed limit, impeding traffic by driving too slow and
    refusing to pull over, double parking, failure to yield the right of way, unsafe
    lane changes, parking in a red zone, road rage, horn blowing, littering,
    trespassing, fishing without a license, keeping illegal size fish, keeping too
    many fish, feeding city-park ducks where it's prohibited, setting off fireworks
    where they're prohibited, dumping radiator coolant into a storm drain,
    ignoring water restrictions, removing a swallow's nest that has eggs in it,
    killing a protected species, etc.

    If there is one kind of person that God has always despised all the way
    through the Bible it's a scofflaw. In point of fact, according to the covenant
    that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God; scofflaws merit neither
    forgiveness nor atonement; that's how serious it is.

    Num 15:30-31 . .The person, be he citizen or stranger, who acts defiantly
    reviles The Lord; that person shall be cut off from among his people.
    Because he has spurned the word of The Lord and violated His
    commandment, that person shall be cut off— he bears his guilt.

    377) Titus 3:2 . . malign no one, be non-contentious, gentle, showing
    every consideration for all men.

    The koiné Greek word for "malign" is blasphemeo (blas-fay-meh'-o) which
    means: to vilify

    Webster's defines vilify as: to lower in estimation or importance, and/or to
    utter abusive statements against

    Vilification is a clear violation of Php 2:3, which reads: Do nothing out of
    selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than

    Should I consider Bernard "Bernie" Madoff as better than myself? (chuckle)
    No. It isn't vilification to say the man is a crumb when he's been clearly
    proven to be one. That's neither malignant nor malevolent. What we're
    talking about here are innocent victims of mean-spirited, unwarranted
    vilification rather than those fully deserving of it. And besides, pastors need
    to be careful what they say about people because sometimes it seems the
    walls themselves have ears.

    Ecc 10:20 . . Curse not the king, even in your thought; curse not the rich,
    even in your bedroom; for a bird of the air may carry your voice, and a bird
    in flight may tell the matter.

  4. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    378) Titus 3:8 . .This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these
    things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God
    may be careful to engage in good deeds.

    To "speak confidently" implies speaking with an assertive, "no buts"
    attitude; viz: the things a preacher teaches his congregation should not be
    open to debate and/or perpetual bull sessions that never get to the bottom
    of anything.

    The koiné Greek word for "deeds" is very common throughout the New
    Testament; more often translated "works" than deeds. We're not talking
    about Boy Scout kinds of deeds but just simply the spiritual morality of one's
    day to day conduct; viz: a life that pleases God instead of one that irritates
    Him to no end.

    Eph 4:30 . . Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were
    sealed for the day of redemption.

    379) Titus 3:9 . . Shun foolish controversies, and genealogies, and strife,
    and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless.

    The "law" in question is the covenant that Yhvh's people agreed upon with
    God in the Old Testament. Disputes generally revolve around its
    interpretation and its correct application. Yhvh stipulated the formation of a
    panel of lawyers to interpret the law for those among His people who lacked
    the wherewithal to do it for themselves (Deut 17:8-13). But since Christians
    are outside the covenant's jurisdiction, then they can get by without those
    lawyers to interpret it for them; and besides; when you consider there are
    nine Justices on the US Supreme Court who seldom agree unanimously on
    anything, how much chance do you reckon a panel of seventy has of
    reaching a consensus?

    One of the "foolish controversies and genealogies" I would highly
    recommend that believers avoid is Rome's roster of so-called apostolic
    successors. Don't even go there. It's unprofitable, futile, and pointless to
    strive over something like that. Pick your battles, and make sure your
    conflicts accomplish something truly useful for Christ. The Vatican has much
    bigger problems within its walls and its dogmas than that one.

    380) Titus 3:10-11 . . A man that is an heretic after the first and second
    admonition reject; knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth,
    being condemned of himself.

    The koiné Greek word for "heretic" is hairetikos (hahee-ret-ee-kos') which
    means: a schismatic; which is someone in your very own church who causes
    dissent, rebellion, division, discord, and disharmony.

    Heretics are not outsiders; no, a true heretic goes to the same church you
    go to and professes to believe and practice the very same religion that you
    profess to believe and practice; viz: for Catholics, a heretic would be a
    professing Catholic who openly disagrees with Rome, and attempts to
    persuade other Catholics to join their cause in opposing Vatican Council II in
    order to reform the Church.

    Webster's defines a heretic as: 1) a dissenter from established church
    dogma; especially one who disavows a revealed truth, and 2) one who
    dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine; viz: a nonconformist.

    I am an ex-Catholics and I oppose Rome. However, I don't fit the definition
    of a heretic. I'm what's known in Christian circles as an apostate; viz: a
    defector; which Webster's defines as a person who forsakes one's cause,
    party, or nation for another often because of a change in ideology. Heretics
    don't usually defect; but remain inside to foster insurrection: to undermine
    hierarchy, to bring about reform, to weaken, and to cause division. Every
    church has its fair share of heretics and they can be very disruptive in a
    Sunday school class.

    The koiné Greek word for "reject" is paraiteomai (par-ahee-teh'-om-ahee)
    which means: to beg off; viz: deprecate, decline, and shun. In other words,
    don't give heretics the time of day, nor even be seen with them.

    381) Titus 3:14 . . And let ours also learn to maintain good works for
    necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

    The pronoun "ours" obviously excludes the heretics. They don't need to
    maintain good works since they're essentially tares rather than wheat and
    nothing they do in Christ's name is merit-worthy.

    Matt 7:22-23 . . Many will say to me in that day: Lord, Master, have we
    not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in
    thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them : I
    never knew you. Depart from me, you that work iniquity.

  5. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    382) Titus 3:15 . . Greet them that love us in the faith.

    Heretics are of course excluded from the group that Paul labeled "them that
    love us in the faith". It would be a sin to require believers to say hello to
    them for Paul; since his orders are to shun heretics. He he didn't want to
    know them anymore. They were not his favorite kinds of Christians.

    You know what that says to me? It says to me that heretics are even less
    acceptable than a stranger because Christ instructed his disciples to greet

    Matt 5:47 . . And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more
    than others? Do not even the publicans do so?

    So heresy is pretty serious.

    383) Philemon

    In the little communiqué to his friend Philemon, Paul went to bat for a
    runaway slave named Onesimus. By all rights, Philemon could legally, under
    Roman law, put Onesimus to death; but as Onesimus' fellow believer, and
    his sibling around the table in God's home, Philemon was bound by a higher
    sense of duty and association.

    Onesimus ran away prior to his conversion to Christianity. Had he been a
    Christian, he would have been mindful of Eph 6:5-8, Col 3:22-25, 1Tim 6:1-
    2, and Titus 2:9-10a and not run away.

    Now that Onesimus was a fellow believer, Philemon was obligated to comply
    with Eph 6:9a, and Col 4:1.

    You know, I keep using words like "obligated" but though that word is
    appropriate, it shouldn't have to be emphasized because Christianity is
    supposed to be a religion of devotion rather than obligation to duty.

    Gal 5:13 . . By love serve one another.

    Israel's covenanted law requires people to love others as themselves; but
    Jesus commands believers to love their fellow believers with the same
    degree of love with which he himself loves them.

    John 15:12 . . My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

    That being the case, it must have been very easy for Philemon to let
    bygones be bygones and welcome Onesimus back into his home.

    When Onesimus became Philemon's fellow believer, the nature of their
    association took on a whole other dimension; viz: every one of the
    commands that I've posted up till now, in regards to believers associating
    with one another, came into play at the moment of Onesimus' conversion.

    He and Philemon would never again relate to one another the same as
    before Onesimus' conversion. Where once Onesimus and Philemon were
    merely fellow men; in Christ they became siblings, and both will one day sit
    side by side, shoulder to shoulder as equals around the table in God's home.

    Philem 1:15-16 . . For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that
    thou shouldest receive him for ever; not now as a slave, but above a slave,
    a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in
    the flesh, and in The Lord?

    As a conscientious Christian, Onesimus no doubt became a real asset
    because it wouldn't be necessary for Philemon to ever again beat an honest
    day's work out of him.

    1Tim 6:1-2 . . All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their
    masters worthy of full respect, so that God's name and our teaching may not
    be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less
    respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them
    even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and
    dear to them.

  6. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Heb 1:1-2 . . In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the
    prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has
    spoken to us by His son,

    The epistle to Hebrews is a bit tricky to interpret because a large portion of it
    falls into the category of evangelism; i.e. proselytizing.

    The author-- unknown by either name or gender --was apparently Hebrew
    because the pronouns "our" and "us" associate him with the people to whom
    the prophets spoke.

    Moving through the letter, I believe at least three categories are addressed.

    Chapters 1 thru 4:13 addressed nondescript Jews.

    Chapters 4:14 and thru to 10:39, addressed a special group of Jews that
    I've labeled teetering Jews. Those were Jews who heard the Gospel, and
    interested in finding out more, but not quite convinced yet to follow Jesus
    whole-heartedly, and were in very real danger of turning completely away
    from the Gospel and permanently clinging to Judaism.

    Chapter 11, and thru to the end of the epistle, addressed Jews who were
    past teetering: they made a solid commitment to become one of Christ's
    believing followers.

    My divisions of the epistle are no doubt amateurish and rough hewn, but
    they do serve to help put the contents in some sort of useful perspective.

    384) Heb 2:1-4 . .We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what
    we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by
    angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just
    punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This
    salvation, which was first announced by The Lord, was confirmed to us by
    those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various
    miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.

    I don't think the words "drift away" imply apostasy; not in this case anyway.
    No; it's more like a curious crowd that gathers around a soap box speaker,
    and little by little, man by man, boredom sets in-- the audience begins
    dispersing and people move on to find something else to do. That would be
    akin to attending a Billy Graham crusade for its entertainment, and a month
    later totally forgetting everything he talked about.

    385) Heb 3:1 . .Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly
    calling, consider the apostle and High Priest whom we acknowledge: Christ

    The "holy brethren" are Yhvh's people as per Deut 14:2 and Ps 135:4; and
    the "heavenly calling" very likely refers to the nation that God promised to
    make of Abraham as per Gen 12:1-2, Gen 13:14-16, and Gen 22:16-18.

    The koiné Greek word for "consider" is katanoeo (kat-an-o-eh'-o) which
    means: to observe fully; viz: to study; to examine.

    Giving Christ a cursory glance as if he were a curiosity or a brief distraction
    leads nowhere. His purpose and his mission are just too complicated for that
    sort of once-over approach.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
  7. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    386) Heb 3:7-11 . . So, as the Holy Spirit says: Today, if you hear His
    voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time
    of testing in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried Me and for forty
    years saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation, and I
    said: Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known My
    ways. So I declared on oath in My anger; they shall never enter My rest.

    That's a quote from Psalm 95; which pertains to the people of Israel whom
    Yhvh rescued from Egyptian slavery. No doubt there are lots of modern Jews
    who would say: Had I been out there with Moses in the desert, I would have
    obeyed God and entered the promised land when Yhvh said to the first time.
    Sure, sure, it's easy to be obedient in hindsight sans the added handicap of
    peer pressure. But where's the average Jew today? The majority are hiloni
    (secular). And if you were to take a poll of the more than twelve million Jews
    resident on today's Earth, how many would you find who have ever even one
    time read Psalm 95?

    In point of fact, the generation that followed Joshua into Canaan didn't get
    rest; no, they got warfare; years of it. And instead of obtaining a permanent
    state of peace and prosperity, they wound up getting oppression, slavery,
    poverty, environmental disasters, plagues, defeat, and dispersal.

    Heb 4:8-9 . . For if Joshua had given them rest, then would not Psalm 95
    afterward have spoken of a different day. There remains therefore a rest to
    the people of God.

    I'm going to deliberately misquote that last sentence like this: There is
    another rest for the people of God. No, it doesn't say "another" rest; it's the
    same rest, the one they failed to obtain the first time; viz: it's been on hold
    all these many long years; and observers only need look at the state of that
    country today to easily perceive that Yhvh's people have yet to obtain rest of
    any kind: either politically, environmentally, or economically.

    387) Heb 3:12-13 . . Take heed, brothers, that none of you has a sinful,
    unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But implore one
    another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be
    hardened by sin's deceitfulness.

    That's a call to theocratic unity; Jewish theocratic unity. But good luck
    getting the Jews to rally around Yhvh. Oh well, the author was duty-bound
    to try; as all the prophets before him in the past were duty-bound to try;
    usually to no avail.

    Heb 3:16-19 . .Who were they who heard and rebelled? Was it not all
    those whom Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was Yhvh angry for
    forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the
    desert? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if
    not to those who disobeyed? So then, we see that they were not able to
    enter, because of their unbelief.

    Belief is not only consent to a statement's truthfulness. No, Bible belief
    contains the element of trust; the absence of which led to the Jews' downfall
    in the Sinai. God told them to attack Palestine, but they didn't believe they
    were strong enough to do it. Well, that part was true; they weren't.
    However, Yhvh promised to be on their side. That part was true too, and had
    they been as convinced of that second part as strongly as they were the
    first, they would have been okay. But alas, they failed to rely upon Yhvh as a
    man of His word; and subsequently, they missed out on their one and only
    opportunity to enter an era of peace, prosperity, and providence.

  8. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    388) Heb 4:1-2 . .Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of
    entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it. For
    indeed we have had the gospel preached to us, just as they also; but the
    word they heard did not profit them, because it wasn't mixed with faith in
    those who heard.

    When reading the Bible; it's always important to pay close attention to
    language, grammar, and syntax. In this passage we're looking at, the
    pronouns us, you, we, they, and those don't refer to Gentiles; no, not at all.
    They refer to the author's fellow Jewish countrymen. This is, after all, a
    letter to Hebrews, not to the world.

    The "gospel" spoken of in this instance is a concise version of the message
    with which most Christians are familiar, and its focus was mainly upon the
    kingdom of God rather than the grace of God. (e.g. Matt 4:23, Mark 1:14
    15). The Jews' homeland would've been the center of the kingdom of God
    back then just as it will be in the future. In other words: the kingdom of God
    has been offered to the Jews at least twice already-- once by Moses and
    once by Jesus --and will be offered to them yet a third time in the future.
    But I rather suspect that next time the Jews won't have a say in the matter.

    Jews are now in an era sometimes called the church age; which is an open
    season opportunity for them to at least enroll in the kingdom as its future

    Heb 4:6-7 . . It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who
    formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their
    disobedience. Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a
    long time later He spoke through David, as was said before: "Today, if you
    hear His voice, do not harden your hearts."

    389) Heb 4:11 . . Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest
    anyone fall through following the same example of disbelief.

    The "fall" in that instance refers to the Jews' failure to enter the kingdom's
    land when they were given the opportunity; which was indeed a very brief
    open season.

  9. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    390) Heb 4:14 . . Since then we have a great high priest who has passed
    through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us cling to what we

    Prior to Christ, the closest proximity that Yhvh's people had to God was their
    Aaonic priest. But even he was earth-bound and his own closest proximity to
    the actual person of God was the holy place in either the tabernacle or the

    One of the advantages of Christ's priesthood is his immortality; in other
    words: The Lord continues as a priest forever because he rose from the dead
    impervious to death. Aaron and his sons were not so lucky.

    Rom 6:9 . . knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies
    no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

    Heb 7:23-25 . . Also there were many priests, because they were
    prevented by death from continuing. But he, because he continues forever,
    has an unchangeable priesthood. Therefore He is also able to save to the
    uttermost those who come to God through Him, since he always lives to
    make intercession for them.

    391) Heb 4:15-16 . . For we do not have a high priest who cannot
    sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all
    things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence
    to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to
    help in time of need.

    One of the advantages of worship via a human priest is his ability to
    intuitively sympathize with human weaknesses. That is something that
    angels simply cannot do because they are a different species of life. They
    may empathize, but can never truly sympathize.

    Webster's defines empathy as: the action of understanding, being aware of,
    being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and
    experience of another of either the past or present without having the
    feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively
    explicit manner.

    In other words: Christ experienced human weaknesses and therefore
    understands human weaknesses.

    Heb 5:1-3 . . Every high priest is selected from among men and is
    appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and
    sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and
    are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.

    Another aspect of worship via a human priest is temptation. Christ was fully
    tempted (Heb 4:15). Worship did not come easy for Jesus as some have
    been led to believe. That poor guy suffered just as much, if not more,
    temptation in his life as anybody else-- real trials; not just symbolic trials.

    Heb 5:7-8 . . Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers
    and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to
    save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a
    son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered

    The flesh of John 1:14 is the Word of John 1:14, which is the God of John

    Traditional Christianity believes and teaches that God knows everything by
    means of omniscience, but omniscience is head knowledge; God has not
    experienced everything personally, for Himself. In other words: until the
    Word became Jesus Christ, he didn't know for himself just how difficult it is
    to be loyal to God as a human being. Of course He knew it was hard; but he
    only knew it omnisciently, i.e. the Word didn't come by that knowledge via
    personal experience.

    As an allegory: It's one thing to watch a NetFlix documentary made by
    people hiking the Pacific Crest Trail through the Mojave Desert in California;
    but quite another thing to go out West yourself and trek the PCT on your
    own two feet, carry a pack day after weary day, feel the sun on your skin,
    taste the dust in your mouth, be wary of rattlesnakes, get totally worn out,
    pitch a tent and cook oatmeal on a little hiker's stove, treat the blisters on
    your feet, and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow hikers and the generosity of
    good-hearted Trail Angels.

    It was important that the Word come on down here to trek the PCT of life as
    an h.sapiens so that when the Bible says at Heb 2:14-18 that Christ is a
    sympathetic priest, it's not just pious rhetoric.

    It's not that Jesus was at one time disobedient. What he learned was just
    how difficult it is to be faithful to God when everything is working against

    There's an old Native American prayer that goes something like this: Great
    Spirit, help me never to judge another until I have walked in his moccasins.
    Well, the Bible's Jesus walked in our moccasins and he knows by personal
    experience just exactly how it feels. He's not just some indifferent, court
    appointed lawyer; no, nothing like that: Jesus is genuinely kin to his fellow
    men; therefore they can approach the throne of grace with confidence
    because it truly is a throne of grace rather than a throne of criminal justice.

    Christ's constituents don't approach the throne as fugitives; no, we approach
    it as worn-out travelers in need of a place to stay for the night. We're like
    the man set upon by thieves, and Jesus is like the Samaritan who got him
    back on his feet. Christ doesn't pass us by on the other side of the road; no,
    he goes out his way to be helpful. That's really good to know.

    The koiné Greek word for "confidence" in Heb 4:16 is parrhesia (par-rhay
    see'-ah) which means: all out-spokenness; viz: frankness, bluntness. Since
    Jesus is a man who's been around the block a few times; there is no need to
    be reticent with him. It's okay to speak our minds-- be frank, be candid -
    just as we would speak with beer buddies and/or yoga pals. That is a huge
    improvement over stuffing pieces of paper in the stone chinks of the so
    called Wailing Wall.

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    392) Heb 6:1-3 . . Let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and
    go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts
    that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying
    on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God
    permitting, we will do so.

    A large section of Hebrews talks about a man named Melchizedek: a priest
    of the Most High God who lived in Abraham's day. Mel is not a popular topic
    on Christian internet forums; which is really a shame because his
    priesthood, and its constituents, are above The Commandments and
    thoroughly immune to prosecution for breaking them.

    Discussions of Melchizedek are pretty much limited to the acumen of mature
    believers; primarily because the average Jew is spiritually-challenged.
    Another large section of Hebrews talks about the new covenant, but that
    also is too advanced for the spiritual acumen of the average Jew.

    Yhvh's people were spiritually-challenged when they came out of Egypt.

    Deut 29:2-5 . . And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them; You
    have seen all that Yhvh did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh
    and all his servants and all his land; the great trials which your eyes have
    seen, those great signs and wonders. Yet to this day Yhvh has not given you
    a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.

    The condition persisted to Isaiah's day,

    Isa 6:9-10 . . And Yhvh said; Go, and tell this people: Keep on listening,
    but do not perceive; keep on looking, but do not understand. Render the
    hearts of this people insensitive, their ears dull, and their eyes dim, lest they
    see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and
    come back to Me and be healed.

    Continued in Ezekiel's day,

    Ezk 12:1-2 . .Then the word of Yhvh came to me saying; Son of man, you
    live in the midst of the rebellious house, who have eyes to see but do not
    see, ears to hear but do not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

    Was chronic in Christ's day,

    John 12:39-40 . . For this reason they could not believe, because, as
    Isaiah says: He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they
    can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor repent
    --and I would heal them.

    And still a problem in Paul's day too.

    2Cor 3:12-16 . . Since we have such a hope, we are very bold. We are not
    like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at
    it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull; for
    to this day the same veil remains when Torah is read. It has not been
    removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when
    Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to The
    Lord, the veil is taken away.

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    393) Heb 10:21-22 . . Since we have a high priest over the house of God,
    let us draw near to God with a sincere heart, in full assurance of faith,
    having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience

    Sprinkling was a common ritual in the Old Testament-- sometimes with
    water, sometimes with oil, and sometimes with blood --for example: Ex
    29:16, Ex 29:21, Lev 14:7, Lev 14 16, and Num 8:7, et al.

    Sprinkling typically serves to de-contaminate someone or some thing in
    order to make it suitable for God's purposes. Well, in point of fact; none of
    the Old Testament's sprinklings served to cleanse people's conscience once
    and for all time. They had to keep bringing one sacrifice after another in a
    perpetual stream of sacrifices because each sacrifice cleansed their
    conscience just that one time instead of for all time.

    Heb 10:10-14 . .We have been sanctified through the offering of the body
    of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily ministering and
    offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
    but he, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right
    hand of God, waiting from that time onward until his enemies be made a
    footstool for His feet. For by one offering he has perfected for all time those
    who are sanctified.

    Christ sat down at the right hand of God; which is something the covenant
    that Yhvh's people agreed upon with God does not allow for its high priest,
    He dare not linger with God in the holy of holies behind the vail primarily
    because the blood of a beast that the priest sprinkles on the mercy seat
    doesn't suffice to permanently sanitize either himself or the people.

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    394) Heb 10:23 . . Let us cling to the acknowledgment of our faith without
    wavering; (for He is faithful that promised)

    One can scarcely blame the author's Hebrew audience for wondering if
    perchance they're making a really big mistake dumping the covenant that
    Yhvh's people made with God as per Deut 29:9-15. A lot is at stake.

    For one thing, the covenant is their sacred heritage and their cultural
    identity; and for another, the covenant is a contract that obligates God to
    lower the boom on His people with some pretty severe penalties for
    breaching it: they're all on file at Lev 26:3-38, Deut 27:15-26, and Deut
    28:1-69. When Hebrews convert to Christianity, they have to wonder if
    maybe they're stepping off into an abyss from whence there is no return.

    But the reality is: they have nothing to lose by taking that step because the
    original covenant provides neither forgiveness nor atonement for willful sins;
    which can be defined as deeds committed by someone knowing beforehand
    that what they were about to do is wrong.

    "The priest shall atone for the erring soul which sinned inadvertently before
    The Lord, so as to atone on his behalf, and it shall be forgiven him. One law
    shall apply to anyone who sins inadvertently from the native born of the
    children of Israel and the proselyte who resides among them.

    . . . But if a person should act highhandedly, whether he is a native born or
    a proselyte, he is blaspheming The Lord, and that soul shall be cut off from
    among its people. For he has scorned the word of The Lord and violated His
    commandment; that soul shall be utterly cut off; for its iniquity is upon it."
    (Num 12:28-31, cf. Heb 10:26)

    I'm pretty sure it was Num 12:28-31 that Paul had in mind when he
    informed his Jewish countrymen "through Jesus everyone who believes is
    freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the law of
    Moses" (Acts 13:39)

    One of the more common willful sins is dishonesty. Everybody knows it's
    wrong but go about it anyway. Well; dishonesty is forbidden by the original

    "You shall not lie, one man to his fellow." (Lev 19:11)

    So then, when a Torah-trained Jew tells a lie; he acts highhandedly; viz: he
    commits a willful sin for which the original covenant provides neither
    forgiveness nor atonement. That man is a scofflaw and in desperate need of
    a safety net.

    Now, the author mentioned that "He is faithful that promised". So then, what
    is the promise? Well; the promise relates, among other things, to God's
    spirit; which began its journey to His people back in the Old Testament

    "This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I
    will pour out My spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on
    my servants, both men and women, I will pour out My spirit in those days,
    and they will prophesy." (Joel 2:28-29, cf. Acts 2:16-18)


    "I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries
    and bring you back into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you,
    and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all
    your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will
    remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will
    put My spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to
    keep My laws." (Ezek 36:24-27)

    The promise is gold because the forgiveness it promises applies to "all your
    impurities" i.e. willful sins just as much as inadvertent sins; viz; it's the
    safety net that every Torah-trained Jew so desperately needs to get him out
    from under the original covenant's terrible consequences for breaching it.

    "Cursed be he who does not uphold the words of this Torah, to fulfill them."
    (Deut 27:26)

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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    395) Heb 10:24 . . And let us consider how we may spur one another on
    toward love and good deeds.

    Man is a species of life that is quite naturally, and comfortably, inclined to
    provoke and annoy each other and bring out the worst in their fellow men. It
    is Christ's wishes that his own make an effort to do just the opposite; viz:
    bring out the best in each other.

    396) Heb 10:25 . . Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the
    habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you
    see the Day approaching.

    When my brother and I were growing up, we shared the same bedroom.
    Well, one day our parents decided to separate us, so they moved my brother
    to another room. When I asked them why; they said it was because we egg
    each other on. (I guess it was okay for my parents to egg themselves on but
    not okay for us.)

    Anyway, point being, the old strategy of divide and conquer still works even
    to this day. It's much easier to be strong in a group of supportive friends
    and allies than it is all alone when the only resources available are your own.
    It's still true that two heads are better than one; plus, in a group, the right
    kind of peer pressure can work to everyone's advantage.

    For example, there was a time in America when it was mocked as hippy-ish
    to subsist on organic food. But lately, organic has become so popular that
    nobody feels weird anymore when they shop for it. That's what I mean by
    the right kind of peer pressure.

    Anyway; when people are isolated, they're much easier to suppress, and
    prevent from conspiring against a common foe; which is why unions are
    called "organized" labor. One or two workers alone against the front office
    are probably going to get themselves crushed; but when the entire
    workforce is united in a common cause, it's not so easy for corporate
    bulldozers to abuse human rights.

    NOTE: The "day" the author spoke of is the Day Of The Lord, in which
    several judgments are scheduled to take place. The one most pertinent to
    Christ's people is their performance evaluation as per 1Cor 3:5-15, and the
    one most pertinent to the world is the Tribulation depicted in the book of
    Revelation, and the one most pertinent to the lost is their day in court as per
    Rev 20:11-15; and the one most pertinent to Yhvh's people is a sort of Ellis
    Island as per Ezek 20:33-44.

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    397) Heb 10:32-34 . . Remember the former days, when, after being
    enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, partly, by being
    made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by
    becoming sharers with those who were so treated . . knowing in yourselves
    that you have for yourselves a better possession: one that abides

    I think one of the worst injuries to my feelings I had to endure when I was
    an up-and-coming Bible believer was to be called a Jesus Freak; which is a
    denigrating label once pinned on those involved in the Jesus movement of
    the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    It was quickly embraced by some, and soon broadened to describe a
    Christian subculture throughout the hippie and back-to-the-land movements
    that focused on universal love and pacifism, and relished the supposed
    "radical" nature of Jesus' message.

    Well, I was neither a hippie nor an organic gardener; I was just a simple guy
    very interested in Christianity. The heck of it was that the people who called
    me Jesus Freak were (I thought) my friends.

    Another term I was labeled was Mr. Clean; and that was by a girl I had
    known in high school as (I thought) a close personal friend. Well, later in
    life, after she divorced and began sleeping around, my "friend" got ticked off
    at me because I had no intention of getting in her pants so she called me
    that name. There I was the best friend and role model she knew of for her
    four fatherless children and she ridiculed me for being a decent man. (I can't
    help but wonder if a life of promiscuity was the goal she had in mind for her
    little ones.)

    398) Heb 10:35-36 . .Therefore, do not throw away your confidence,
    which has a great reward. For you have need of perseverance, so that when
    you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.

    The kind of perseverance the author is talking about is not the dogged
    determination of US Navy
    SEALS; which are a group of military guys who
    absolutely refuse to be beaten at anything you might name. If
    SEALS were
    to play hop-scotch it would turn violent.

    I would liken the kind of perseverance in mind here as that of a farmer. The
    hard rock band
    ACDC says it's a long ways to the top if you wanna rock and
    roll. Well, farmers have a long ways to harvest if they wanna make it to
    market. First they have to till the soil, then rake it, then plant seeds, then
    wait on mother nature to irrigate them with rain, then they have to wait
    more yet for their crops to grow to maturity before harvesting.

    Farmers look forward to their harvests; they anticipate them otherwise who
    would plow, rake, and plant if there were nothing to expect later on down
    the road?

    That kind of perseverance anticipates a benefit. Webster's defines anticipate
    as: to look forward to as certain; viz: to expect. As a rule, farmers don't
    begin the planting season expecting their fields to produce nothing. No, they
    plan on going to market because they expect to see crops in the fields at
    harvest time. It would be a very strange farmer indeed who looked forward
    to the ravages of drought, disease, and insect plagues every year.

    399) Heb 12:1 . .Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses all
    around us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so
    easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before

    Whether it's meant that all the heroes of faith listed in the 11th chapter are
    in some sort of celestial grandstand as an audience watching those of us
    who are still alive, is uncertain. But if they are . . . . . .!

    Believers aren't Christians for a short distance as if their life of faith is only a
    50-yard dash. No, they're in a marathon not a dash; so they have to hang in
    there if they expect to win an at-a-boy at the end.

    The Greek word for "encumbrance" means weight; which athletes competing
    in track and field generally do their best to keep to a minimum, including the
    shoes they wear; if any.

    400) Heb 12:3-4 . . For consider him who has endured such hostility by
    sinners against himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. You
    have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against

    I'm pretty sure the "sin' spoken of in that passage encompasses a whole lot
    more than merely something of your own; it's the entire sphere of evil in
    this world.

    The Jews to whom the author wrote must have had it pretty good because it
    was only a matter of time before Christians were targets for arrows, swords,
    lances, pyres, and the teeth of beasts in the coliseum at Rome. Even today,
    it is very dangerous to be a Christian in Muslim countries.

    Saturday, August 03, 2009, a frenzied mob of 3,000 Muslims stormed the
    tiny Pakistani Christian village of Gojra. Enflamed by (unconfirmed) charges
    that a Christian had incinerated pages of the Koran, the mob burned down
    fifty homes, cremated eight Christians alive, and wounded twenty others.
    Thousands of Christians fled the area.

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    401) Heb 12:5-6 . . My son, do not despise The Lord's chastening, nor
    detest His correction; for whom The Lord loves He corrects, just as a father
    the son in whom he delights.

    Correcting a son that a father loves is quite a bit different than correcting a
    son that a father despises.

    Father's correct the sons they love to make better people out of them.
    Father's the sons they despise to dominate them and get them to mind;
    which often results in those unloved sons becoming resentful and rebellious;
    if they weren't already that way to begin with.

    402) Heb 12:7-11 . . If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with
    sons; for what son is there whom a father does not discipline? But if you are
    without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are
    illegitimate and not sons.

    . . . Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid
    them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father
    of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed
    best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.

    . . . Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;
    nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to
    those who have been trained by it.

    Child training is quite a bit different than child abuse; training builds
    character, while abuse breaks the spirit.

    NOTE: Seeing as how most of us lack a red phone line to Heaven's front desk;
    there's really no way to know for sure when God is chastening us or if life
    in general is just being its usual unpleasant self. That being the case I
    suggest we reckon all unpleasantness to be providential in one way or
    another; and follow job's example.

    Job 1:22 . . In all this Job did not sin, nor charge God with wrong.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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    403) Heb 12:12-13 . .Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak,
    and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet,
    so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather
    be healed.

    That almost sounds like physical therapy; which of course it is. When I had
    my first knee replaced, the therapist had to teach me how to walk all over
    again-- how to walk properly because with the bad knee, I couldn't; and that
    had gone on for more than a decade. And not only that, but the leg with the
    bad knee had become feeble because I favored it and wasn't using it
    properly. So a large percentage of my therapy involved getting that game
    leg strong again by means of an exercise regimen.

    The Greek word for "straight" is orthos (or-thos') which doesn't necessarily
    define the shortest distance between two points. It can also mean smooth
    and level; in other words: free of tripping hazards; which someone
    undergoing treatment for a joint problem (e.g. hips, knees, and ankles) has
    to really watch out for. In other words: an orthos path is a therapeutic path
    - in this case in respect of one's spiritual conditioning rather than their
    physical conditioning.

    404) Heb 12:14a . . Pursue peace with all men,

    The word for "peace" is eirene (i-ray'-nay) and means not only a lack of
    strife, but also the presence of prosperity; which implies always seeking the
    good of others rather than only your own.

    People of peace are in an advantageous category.

    Matt 5:9 . . Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
    children of God.

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    405) Heb 12:14b . . Pursue holiness, without which no one will see The

    The Greek word translated "holiness" actually means purity; which can be
    defined as free from immorality, especially of a sexual nature; and can also
    be defined as free from contamination.

    There's a day coming when everybody associated with Christ will be pure.

    Eph 5:25-27 . . Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he
    might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he
    might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or
    any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    So, which might the focus be here: the pursuit of holiness or the possession
    of holiness? Well; I'd have to say that pursuit is the focus because I can't
    imagine anyone ever achieving flawless purity in speech, thought, and
    conduct in the brief amount of time we're allowed on earth no matter how
    how hard they try nor how they go about it.

    The word "see" is somewhat ambiguous. It can relate to physical eyesight
    and it can also relate to mental perception. I'm inclined to believe it's related
    to mental perception in this case.

    As an allegory: at one time I had cataracts in both eyes. As a result, my
    vision was really blurry because the cataracts scattered light, thus
    preventing the natural lenses in my eyes from bringing things into sharp
    focus. After surgery to replace the natural lenses with artificial lenses, I can
    now see sharply; i.e. my vision's clarity was greatly improved and I'm able
    to notice details that were virtually invisible before.

    In other words; people with no interest in pursuing holiness lack clarity; i.e.
    their perception of The Lord is fuzzy at best because there are details in view
    that they are unable to make out due to their mind's mental cataracts, so to

    406) Heb 12:15a . . See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God

    Grace comes out pretty early in the Bible.

    Gen 6:8 . . Noah found grace in the eyes of The Lord.

    Noah found grace because he was righteous.

    Gen 7:1 . .The Lord said to Noah: Enter the ark, you and all your
    household; for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time.

    Some Christians are so obsessed with the imputed righteousness that God
    grants via faith as per Rom 3:20-26 that they neglect to cultivate any of
    their own. Well; maybe they have no interest in their own personal
    righteousness; but God is plenty interested. He wants to see it; in point of
    fact: Christians lacking personal righteousness are missing out on the
    sunshine of a father's love.

    John 14:23 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father
    will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

    NOTE: Mother Teresa complained in private letters to spiritual counselors
    that the place for God in her soul was blank, He was not there; there was no
    God in her.

    Teresa felt not the slightest glimmer of the Lord's presence during virtually
    the entire five decades she was in India; and referred to Jesus as "the
    absent one". Her prayers were pings; and God's silence was so extensive
    that she actually came to doubting that a God even exists; and if one did
    exist, it didn't want her.

    In the final weeks of her life, Teresa was greatly disturbed. At the urging of
    Henry D'Souza, the Archbishop of Calcutta (a.k.a. Kolkata), the poor woman
    finally agreed to an exorcism-- performed by Father Rosario Stroscio --if
    perchance demons were clouding her mind.

    All in all, Teresa's spiritual condition was incredibly substandard considering
    her ranking as one of the most pious nuns the 20th century ever produced.
    What went wrong? How did her Christian experience fall into such a state of
    malfunction? Well; the answer to that question can be easily deduced from
    portions of this post so I need not say more.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
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    407) Heb 12:15b . . that no root of a bitter plant, sprouting up, causes
    trouble, and by it many be defiled;

    It's interesting the author didn't say "seed" rather than root. The seeds of
    noxious plants are prevalent: they're everywhere at all times; like cold
    germs. Farmers, gardeners, and landscape maintenance personnel have to
    stay alert for those that germinate and hit them with a shot of herbicide to
    keep them under control. Left unchecked, those noxious plants will dominate
    the surface of the soil and muscle out the plants you want to keep.

    One example of a "root of bitterness" is heresy; which is defined as a belief
    or opinion that does not agree with the official dogma of a particular
    religion; viz: an heretic is a dissident. They don't defect and go outside; no,
    they remain inside and stir up discontent with the hierarchy and campaign
    for reform. Those kinds of church members are invasive species that have to
    be dealt with in a summary manner lest they succeed in destroying a
    church's unity.

    A toxic root that's far more common is tolerance. For example: it's very easy
    to get used to someone's profanity, vulgar language and/or off-color humor
    to the point where we think it's acceptable Christian behavior and start doing
    it ourselves because there's no one to say otherwise.

    Another toxic root is political activism; for example civil rights and/or Native
    American affairs. If somebody wants to get involved in that sort of thing,
    more power to them as long as they do it on their own dime, on their own
    time, and within the confines of the law. But God forbid they use their
    church as a soap box because that is definitely inappropriate and an
    intolerable misuse of resources.

    408) Heb 12:16-17 . . that there be no immoral or secular person like
    Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even
    afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he
    found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

    At first glance it appears that verse is saying that Jacob's brother was
    immoral, but actually two types of spiritual conditions are on display-- the
    one is immoral and the other is secular.

    Worldly church members aren't the noxious menaces that characterize
    heretics; but one thing they are is dead weight. They're indifferent to
    Christ's best interests and have little concern whether a church is operating
    in a manner that honors his wishes. They'd just as soon forgo preaching and
    Sunday school to organize a banquet where they can mingle, talk business
    and politics, and meet interesting people.

    You'll likely encounter very few secular types on-campus during a Saturday
    morning church work day set aside for maintaining the grounds and applying
    fresh paint to the buildings. I once attended a mega church in San Diego
    with over 4,000 members on the books. Less than twenty of those members
    ever showed up on work days. What does that tell you about the spiritual
    condition of that church?

    The problem with secular types is that they typically comprise the majority;
    in other words: as a voting bloc, they carry a lot of weight and they
    contribute most of the money towards a church's budget so its risky taking
    them to task for their lack of appreciation for spiritual things. But too many
    secular types can ruin a church's association with Christ in short order; for

    Rev 3:20-22 . . Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my
    voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and
    he with me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with me on
    my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with my Father on His throne.
    He who has an ear, let him hear what The Spirit says to the churches.

    The church to whom that letter was written was so indifferent to associating
    with Christ that he was left standing outside the building banging on the
    door trying to get somebody's attention to let him in. Not even its pastor
    wanted Christ inside.

  19. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    409) Heb 12:25-29 . . See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if
    they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on Mt. Sinai, much more
    shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
    whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying: Yet
    once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.

    "Yet once more" indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken,
    as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may
    remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be
    shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with
    reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

    410) Heb 13:1 . . Let brotherly love continue.

    Brotherly love is way different than neighborly love. Brothers are kin, while
    neighbors are outsiders; ergo: one's kin in Christ should always have the
    priority when forced to make a choice between a brother and a neighbor.
    The directives are different too. Christians love their neighbors as they love
    themselves (Matt 19:19) while loving their brothers as Christ loves them.
    (John 13:34)

    411) Heb 13:2 . . Do not neglect to be hospitable with strangers; for by
    this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

    The Greek word for angels doesn't necessarily indicate a celestial being. It
    just means a messenger; especially one that truly represents God. Hopefully
    the pastors and Sunday school teachers in your church are people like that.

    In the modern world, it's risky to be too friendly with strangers; especially in
    the USA. Letting strangers into one's home could easily result in the murder
    of your entire family, along with the theft of your belongings. So use a little
    sanctified common sense in applying Heb 13:2.

    Matt 10:16 . . Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves.
    Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

    412) Heb 13:3 . . Remember prisoners, as though in prison with them; and
    those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

    "the body" isn't referring to the overall, worldwide Christian fraternity. No,
    it's a specific human body: the one in which Christ was crucified.

    Eph 5:30-32 . .We are members of his body. "For this reason a man will
    leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will
    become one flesh." This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about
    Christ and the church.

    The prisoners mentioned are not just any jailbird in lock-up; but rather, it's
    limited to those who are "in the body" viz: in Christ.

    1Cor 12:12-13 . . For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all
    the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body

    So then, paying a visit to fellow believers behind bars is like visiting one's
    family-- a heavenly family to whom believers owe far more loyalty than their
    biological families.

    Matt 10:37 . . He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy
    of me. And he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

    The "love" spoken of in that passage is easily mistaken for feelings when
    more likely it's actually talking about loyalty instead.

  20. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    413) Heb 13:4 . . Let marriages be respected: and the bed kept unsoiled;
    for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

    A number of despicable behaviors are listed in the 18th chapter of Leviticus;
    and one of them-- listed right along with incest and LGBT --is adultery.

    Rom 1:18 says that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
    ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, and goes on to list not only LGBT
    as one of those ungodly, unrighteous behaviors worthy of the wrath of God,
    but also sexual impurity and the degrading of people's bodies with one
    another. Sexual impurity and degradation includes not only sleeping around
    and/or cohabitating, but also adultery.

    Some Christians don't know the meaning of "respect" when it comes to
    marriage. It means to treat someone else's spouse as a sacred object. I've
    seen for myself how some Christians think it's terrible to trespass on private
    property and/or steal the silverware when they're invited over for dinner;
    but at the same time get just a bit too chummy with their host's spouse.

    There's a popular song going around with the words "you don't own me".
    Well, if the "me" in that song is married then they very certainly are owned.

    There is no Hebrew word for either husband or wife in the Old Testament.
    No, the English words for husband and wife are derived from the presence of
    gender-sensitive possessive pronouns; viz: her man and/or his woman.

    Gen 2:24 . . Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be
    joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

    The Hebrew word for "wife" in that passage is 'ishshah (ish-shaw') which just
    simply indicates a female; regardless of age. The possessive pronoun "his"
    makes the 'ishshah somebody's wife; same goes for the men.

    Gen 3:6 . . And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and
    that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise,
    she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband
    with her; and he did eat.

    The Hebrew word for "husband" in that verse is 'enowsh (en-oshe') which
    just simply indicates a mortal; viz: a guy, a male; regardless of age. The
    possessive pronoun "her" makes the 'enowsh somebody's husband.

    So the aspect of possession is a key element in marriage; and adulterers are
    nothing in the world but thieves. In point of fact, in 2007, when a suburban
    Chicago man, Arthur Friedman, found out his wife was cheating on him with
    another man named German Blinov, he was heartbroken. But unlike many
    other people, Friedman didn't "get over" it. Instead, he filed a lawsuit
    against Mr. Blinov for stealing the love and affections of his wife. A Cook
    County jury ordered Blinov to pay a total $4,802 to Mr. Friedman for stealing
    his wife.

    While the idea of suing your wife's or husband's lover for stealing their
    affections might sound ridiculous, it is indeed quite legal to do so. Mr.
    Friedman used a lesser-known state law to attack and sue his wife's lover.
    The law is called the "alienation of affection" law. In fact, there are eight of
    these types of laws across the United States. It allows violated spouses to
    seek damages for the loss of love to a wife or husband's lover.

    1Cor 7:4 . . The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the
    husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over
    his own body, but the wife.

    A wedding vow then, could be said to be a transfer of ownership just like
    signing over the pink slip to a car or the deed to real estate. So then, always
    keep those possessive pronouns in mind when associating with somebody
    else's spouse; and keep your pea-pickin' hands off the merchandise!