Archive for September, 2009
Thanks to Joel for the tag:
1. I believe there is far more dividing the body of Christ than uniting it, when it should be the exact opposite.
2. I believe that cooking with recipes ought to be a sin (it removes the love).
3. I believe people get offended too easily.
4. I believe God has a pretty cool sense of humor. He must given that we are His creation.
5. I believe the first cable/satellite television company to offer by-channel subscriptions will take over the world (I don’t need 200, but I would subscribe to about 12).
6. I believe television shows have gotten smarter and movies have gotten dumber.
7. I believe my child is the cutest child in the world, perhaps of all time.
8. I believe college football is better than professional football.
9. I believe coming up with 10 Random Beliefs is harder than I thought it would be.
10. I believe that none of us have all of the answers, all of us have some of the answers, and God intended it that way.
I’ve mentioned the traffic boost because of satan searchers (here and here), and it’s still steady; but I post about the Sin Map and it goes through the roof – nearly doubling the views of any other post yesterday.
No wonder the Bible Belt is red with Lust and Envy.
And as I mentioned to Jim, who is fond of picking on Texas and Texans, Texas isn’t so bad. We are either in church or in restaurants before and/or after church.
A new reader (Seth) who is both a careful exegete and appropriately cynical seminarian stopped by yesterday, and we have started an interesting discussion which led me to his blog Sententiae Nil. It’s worth reading, check it out.
I would also encourage Seth to get listed on the complete list of biblioblogs.
As I mentioned yesterday, I had a peculiarly large number of hits from surfers searching for satan over the last few days. I mentioned that I had 33 over the previous two days. Well, there were 34 yesterday alone, and today is well on its way to eclipsing even that. So, want to boost your traffic? Write about satan.
As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have been teaching a discipleship class at our church (different from the Hebrews Bible Study that some of you are following). It is a four-part series on Genesis 1:1, among other things. The class is a study of the supernatural nature of the Hebrew language and the ancient Hebrew pictographs making up Genesis 1:1 and other Biblical names and passages.
I have tried to upload the Power Point files, but none of the services that I am aware of allow for the Hebrew fonts I have used, so I have taken screen captures of the slides and included them as images. I hope it makes sense. Also, there are many slides, so I will publish the teachings in multiple parts.
The first class was entitled “Why do you believe the Bible?” We looked at at three key places in scripture where the same event is graphically depicted in the ancient Hebrew pictographs. I will publish the first teaching in three parts.
We began, appropriately enough, “In the beginning,” by looking at the pictographs that make up the Hebrew word “Barasheet,” most frequently translated, “In the beginning.”
In the original Hebrew alphabet, each pictograph represented a letter of the alphabet, a number, and had a symbolic meaning. By looking at those pictographs, a richer, deeper understanding of the text is gained.
Barasheet is spelled in Hebrew BET (the equivalent of our letter B, depicted in the ancient Hebrew pictographs as a house or tent, symbolically meaning “house” as in a lineage; RESH (R), depicted as a man’s head, meaning the first or highest person; ALEPH (A), depicted as an ox head, meaning strength or God, as in, “the Lord is my strength;” SHIN (S or Sh), depicted as two teeth, meaning to consume or destroy; YOD (Y), depicted as an arm from the elbow to the fist, meaning “my” or efforts or works; and TAV (T), depicted as two crossed sticks, meaning mark or covenant.
The first two letters of Barasheet BET and RESH together form the Hebrew/Aramaic word “bar” or “son.” So, when we look at the ancient Hebrew pictographs, we see that “In the beginning” is actually a graphic depiction of the SON of GOD being CONSUMED/DESTROYED with his HANDS on a CROSS. The slides show the modern Hebrew letter, the name of the letter, the symbolic meaning, what is pictured in the pictograph (in parentheses), and the pictograph itself.
That’s quite a remarkable beginning. For a slightly different look at this, you can read my earlier post In the beginning.
During the class, I taught that the traditional belief that the first prophecy in scripture is in Genesis 3 is actually incorrect, and that it is, “In the beginning.” I believe the most powerful and creative force in the universe is the spoken word of God. If so, by its very nature, it must be prophetic especially in view of God’s creativity. God not only created the universe, but in speaking, He created language, an alphabet, math and science, and everything else.
This week, however, I was humbled by the Lord who showed me something else quite remarkable. In Genesis 3, the “first prophecy” is God cursing the serpent saying,
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
“In the beginning,” the very nature of the Son’s destruction on the cross is accomplished by the pictograph depicting two teeth, the very manner in which a serpent would “strike.” So, the first prophecy in scripture is both “In the beginning” and in Genesis 3.
There was obviously a lot more, it was an hour-long class. I will try to put as much as I can in parts 2 and 3 which will follow soon. Enjoy.
As I’ve mentioned before, “satan” is always at or near the top of the list of search terms which causes searchers to land here. Just as of yesterday and this morning (about 10:00 am CST), there have been no less than 33 searchers for “satan” who have found there way to my blog.
I don’t know whether to rejoice or worry (just kidding).
I have written about satan occasionally, but rarely. In any event, to help those searchers out, here are all of my posts taggged “satan” (not including this one):
Following the hugely popular 100 Names of Jesus, our pastor has posted 66 Pictures of Jesus, one from each book of the Bible. There are actually more than 66 listed, a few books have more than one, but it’s a fun list. Check it out.
Last night was the third week of our Hebrews Bible Study. We covered chapter 5 where we now learn that Jesus, the “Son” who is greater than the angels (chapters 1 and 2) and greater than Moses (chapters 3 and 4), is now a high priest. He is not an Aaronic high priest, but rather our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.
There are differing takes on who this Melchizedek character was, but we concluded that he was Jesus (whether pre-incarnate, spiritual, actual, or otherwise we cannot ultimately know). This should not be a theological sticking point, however, and more about this will follow in the coming chapters.
We also learn an interesting point: Jesus learned obedience through suffering. This clearly suggests that believers will experience some measure of suffering to learn obedience and to be remade in the image of Christ. Now, I think there needs to be a distinction between suffering we bring upon ourselves, which Christ clearly did not do, and suffering through which we learn obedience and are made perfect. For example, Christ suffered because of his compassion for others, for the lost sheep of Israel, and leading up to his crucifixion in the garden of Gethsemane.
Finally, there is an additional hard reality for believers to confront, that many if not most believers are still “infants” partaking “only of milk.” This reality becomes crystal clear in chapter 6 which we will cover next week, but merits mention now. This is a wake-up call to the church to move on to “solid food.” A level which, if we are completely honest, we must confess we have not yet reached (generally speaking), as we will see when we study what the author believes to be “milk,” or “elementary teachings” next week.
These are my study notes for Hebrews Chapter 5. I don’t know if they will make much sense to anyone else, but if they are helpful to anyone feel free to use them.
The scripture references and discussion notes should have aligned with the appropriate scriptures, but I lost that somehow when I loaded the table into my blog. On the left is, obviously, the Bible text, the center column contains the scriptures I referenced or wanted to reference, and the right-hand column has discussion topics.
|Hebrews 5 (NASB)
1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;
2 he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness;
3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself.
4 And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him,
6 just as He says also in another passage,
7 In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety.
8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
5:5 – Psalm 2.
5:6 – Psalm 110; Gen. 14.
|Discussion Notes: 5:1 – “both gifts and sacrifices for sins.” Are “Gifts” above and beyond sacrifices for sin or are there “gifts and sacrifices for sin.”
5:3 – “he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins” vs. Jesus who was sacrificial.
5:4 – “No one takes the honor to himself,” is applicable across the board, not just priests. God honors the humble.
5:8 -Obedience learned through suffering – relate to message that suffering serves to mature Christians into image of God. What is this “suffering”? It’s not the suffering we bring on ourselves because Jesus brought no such suffering on himself.
5:9 – “having been made perfect,” born perfect or through suffering.
5:11-“Today”-promise is available today, right now for us to enter into His rest.
5:12 – “you need milk not solid food” true still to this day. Most of the church is still partaking of only milk.