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The Way

    by Kevin Pauley

January 12, 2021

Bibliology – Communication

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not give up. Instead, we have renounced shameful secret things, not walking in deceit or distorting God's message, but in God's sight we commend ourselves to every person's conscience by an open display of the truth. - 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 HCSB

The Messiah once taught, "You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are…  ( Click for more )

January 5, 2021

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. – Psalm 119:105 HCSB

Men are notorious for not reading instructions. They don’t want to read the map or ask directions. We laugh and many sitcoms have used this premise as the basis for a comic situation. “How foolish of him to be so arrogant as to think he can go it alone!” we think. What is it that makes us feel this way?

We learn as children that to learn something, we must ask someone older, wiser than ourselves. Ideally, this lesson would stick with us as we mature, but sadly, many of us…  ( Click for more )

December 29, 2020

A Davidic psalm. Give the LORD--you heavenly beings--give the LORD glory and strength. Give the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness. The voice of the LORD is above the waters. The God of glory thunders--the LORD, above vast waters, the voice of the LORD in power, the voice of the LORD in splendor. - Psalm 29:1-4 HCSB

There is an understandable emphasis in devotional theology on listening for the “soft whispering voice”[1] of the Lord as we meditate upon His word.

However, I am concerned that too much emphasis on one…  ( Click for more )

December 22, 2020

Don't all of us have one Father? Didn't one God create us? Why then do we act treacherously against one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? – Malachi 2:10 HCSB

A righteous man had many children. He loved each for their unique approach to life. One child was quiet and reserved. The next was outgoing and brash. One floated through life blissfully unaware of nearly anything going on, while another was intellectually and emotionally involved in everything. Each was beautiful; each was wonderful.

The man and his wife taught the children to express their love.…  ( Click for more )

December 15, 2020

Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. - Ephesians 6:11-12 HCSB

Not only the Twelve, [1] but all of Jesus’ disciples were authorized to drive out unclean spirits.[2] At first, they were not universally successful because they didn’t realize how much prayer and fasting played a part in the matter.[3] Besides, they had not yet been…  ( Click for more )

December 8, 2020

For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection, and no angel or spirit, but the Pharisees affirm them all. - Acts 23:8 HCSB

[1]I find it ironic that two thousand years later we are still debating this issue. Both the Scriptures and practical experience indicate that demonic influence has not waned. There is no indication in the Word that their activity ever declined during the beginning of the Church.

Jesus taught that people will attempt use their powers of exorcism as an argument for their salvation on the Day of Judgment[2], which would seem to indicate that demons…  ( Click for more )

December 1, 2020

To the weak I became weak, in order to win the weak. I have become all things to all people, so that I may by all means save some. - 1 Corinthians 9:22 HCSB

Have you ever wanted to determine, once and for all to your intellectual satisfaction, that there actually is a God? Have you ever had to deal with someone who did not believe in the existence of a Supreme Being and placed your faith on the same order as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? Have you ever, in those late night hours when you were alone and looking on the shambles of your life, reached out with your heart…  ( Click for more )

In the case of abuse

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to peace. - 1 Corinthians 7:15 HCSB

To this point in our series on divorce, we have seen that if a believer leaves outside of the two allowable conditions of porneia or abandonment he/she must not remarry, but must continue to seek reconciliation.[1] Paul argued that in light of Christ's command, she/he may not marry again. Rather, the separated or divorced couple is to be reconciled. Clearly, the ideal is that marriage should not…  ( Click for more )

In the case of abandonment

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to peace. - 1 Corinthians 7:15 HCSB

The Pharisees, in questioning Jesus concerning divorce and remarriage, specifically mentioned the phrase “on any grounds.” As stated earlier in this series, at that time there was a sharp debate between two religious schools of thought. Shammai’s interpretation of Deuteronomy 24:1-4 held that “some indecency”[1] meant “immorality”, as in Matthew 19:9.…  ( Click for more )

In the case of porneia

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to peace. - 1 Corinthians 7:15 HCSB

The Lord made sure that divorce would not be easy and that accountability would exist. A certificate of divorce citing specific transgressions was required. Outside authorities and witnesses had to be involved to ensure that the divorce was not enacted frivolously.[1]

Jesus conditioned the law of Deuteronomy 24:1 in the Sermon on the Mount citing the higher law of creation.[2] We infer…  ( Click for more )

Old Covenant view

But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you to peace. - 1 Corinthians 7:15 HCSB

Elders (zaquenim) often have to address the issue of divorce and remarriage. An appropriate understanding of the biblical terms and the historical context in which they were written is therefore essential to successful derash (life application) in the often messy and emotionally charged situations involved in divorce and remarriage.

Mosaic Law addresses the issue of divorce. Being written within…  ( Click for more )

But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me. - Philippians 2:17-18 HCSB

[1]Ransomed faith should be sacrificial by its very nature. After all, Christianity as we know it has its roots in the Old Testament - a book full of laws and commands that deal with sacrifices. In the New Testament, we see the fulfillment of those sacrifices, and many believe that to have been the end of sacrificial living. However, the coming of the…  ( Click for more )

November 19, 2020

Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. - Romans 12:1 HCSB

[1] In order to gain the joy of sacrificial living, we must first understand what type of sacrifice we ought to be giving. Asceticism - sacrificing something just for the sake of giving it up, or sacrificing something so others can see how holy we are - will not produce the joy which Paul speaks of in Philippians 2:17-18.

In the metaphor of a shepherd offering his sheep in sacrifice, we are not…  ( Click for more )

November 18, 2020

If you find honey, eat only what you need; otherwise, you'll get sick from it and vomit. Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house; otherwise, he'll get sick of you and hate you. - Proverbs 25:16-17 HCSB

Just about everyone loves honey, but it’s so sweet that a little bit goes a long way! Of course, being a proverb, this verse isn’t just about honey! It is about a fundamental principle of life that applies to just about any activity. It’s called “moderation.” A joke well told can make the day pass quickly or a difficult job less onerous. Someone…  ( Click for more )

November 17, 2020

Foolishness is tangled up in the heart of a youth; the rod of discipline will drive it away from him. - Proverbs 22:15 HCSB

America loves babies. That’s easy to understand – most cultures appreciate their offspring. Unfortunately, America’s love of all things youthful has taken on aspects of a cult and ranged into the irrational. It is not uncommon to hear parents say concerning their children, “I just want them to be kids as long as possible.”

What? Why would anyone want to stunt their children’s growth and maturation? It is narcissistic…  ( Click for more )

November 16, 2020

But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way you also should rejoice and share your joy with me. - Philippians 2:17-18 HCSB

True sacrifice is derived from faith. It comes in proportion to it. The greater our faith, the more we sacrifice to God, and the more we sacrifice to God, the greater our faith becomes. Without faith, sacrifice is meaningless for we need to have faith in the one that we are making our sacrifices to. However, neither faith nor sacrifices are in and of themselves…  ( Click for more )

November 15, 2020

The instruction of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. - Psalm 19:7 HCSB

We have all been had by unreliable people. We’ve all known people who said they would be somewhere at a certain time or do something for you and did not fulfill their promise. Concerning these kind of people the Bible says, “A man giving false testimony against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow. Trusting an unreliable person in a time of trouble is like a rotten tooth or a faltering foot.”[1]…  ( Click for more )

The completeness or sufficiency of the Scriptures

It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. The instruction of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. - Psalm 19:6-7 HCSB

Long ago, our ancestor Adam was warned, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die."[1] Adam and Eve did not fully trust the Lord’s instructions and as a result, their spirits…  ( Click for more )

The completeness or sufficiency of the Scriptures

It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. The instruction of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. - Psalm 19:6-7 HCSB

God’s instructions are perfect in the sense that they are the perfect theory of human good. They are “tamim,”[1] meaning complete, whole, entire, sound, healthful, unimpaired, innocent or possessing integrity.

They are perfectly designed to bring…  ( Click for more )

The completeness or sufficiency of the Scriptures

It rises from one end of the heavens and circles to their other end; nothing is hidden from its heat. The instruction of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is trustworthy, making the inexperienced wise. - Psalm 19:6-7 HCSB

The first six verses of this Psalm teach the reader about God’s general revelation. The writer demonstrates that it is possible to know of God’s existence simply by observing the heavens. This is a gift given to all of mankind. “Their message has gone…  ( Click for more )

November 11, 2020

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "Look, you are old, and your sons do not follow your example. Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have." When they said, "Give us a king to judge us," Samuel considered their demand sinful, so he prayed to the LORD. But the LORD told him, "Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have rejected you; they have rejected Me as their king. - 1 Samuel 8:4-7 HCSB

When Israel was in the wilderness of Kedemoth,…  ( Click for more )

November 10, 2020

For I was very glad when some brothers came and testified to your faithfulness to the truth--how you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth. - 3 John 1:3-4 HCSB

It should come as no surprise that the Bible has much to say on the subject of faithfulness, seeing that God is Yahweh Aman (Faithful God). When we hear the word “faithful”, we humans tend to jump to the context of sexual fidelity. In fact, there is some Scriptural basis for this, for Quoheleth taught in Proverbs, “Take pleasure…  ( Click for more )

November 9, 2020

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations. - Psalm 100:4-5 HCSB

Human ideas of faithfulness are so inadequate! Supermarket tabloids celebrated Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley’s first anniversary by touting “And they said it wouldn’t last!” Very soon afterwards the marriage failed. The problem is not so much that their marriage ended quickly. Divorce is so rampant today that no one is even…  ( Click for more )

November 8, 2020

or “The Insufficiency of Science”

I applied my mind to seek and explore through wisdom all that is done under heaven. God has given people this miserable task to keep them occupied. I have seen all the things that are done under the sun and have found everything to be futile, a pursuit of the wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. I said to myself, "Look, I have amassed wisdom far beyond all those who were over Jerusalem before me, and my mind has thoroughly grasped wisdom and knowledge." I applied my mind to…  ( Click for more )

Speak up for those who have no voice, for the justice of all who are dispossessed. - Proverbs 31:8 HCSB

It amazes me that this would even be in question. Just a few chapters before this one in Proverbs, Hashem warned, “If you do nothing in a difficult time, your strength is limited. Rescue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter. If you say, "But we didn't know about this," won't He who weighs hearts consider it? Won't He who protects your life know? Won't He repay a person according to his work?”[1]

There was…  ( Click for more )

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