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SILENCE!

“For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain.”

– Titus 1:10-11

Since the time has now come where people no longer endure sound doctrine (2 Tim. 4:3) it is imperative we now, more than ever, “SILENCE!” them with sound doctrine. Sodomy is less to do with the physical and more to do with what it means in the spiritual; The denial of the natural pattern established by God when He created male and female…in HIS image not in our image (Genesis 1:27)!
All too often we hear vain and empty talkers say something like: “The word “homosexuality” didn’t even show up in the English translations of the Bible until 1946” or “The words malakoi and arsenkoitai (effeminate & homosexuals) have been redacted to fit a 20th century biblical slant on traditional marriage.”

I say SILENCE! For the Biblical term effeminate “Malakos” or more secretly known as a transvestite means soft, soft to the touch in a negative sense or a catamite that refers to a boy as the passive or receiving (female) partner in anal intercourse with a man. The Biblical term “Sodomite” or should I say the clinical term Homosexual (“one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual” in the NASB) is a translation of the term arsenokoitai. It derives from two words: arsein (a male) and koitei (a bed), and refers to one who engages in sex with a male as with a female. Paul uses the same term when he writes to Timothy to discuss certain behaviors that are both “contrary to sound doctrine” and characteristic of the one who is not “a righteous man” (1 Timothy 1:9-10). So, what’s the point, right?

The point is Paul is using the LXX to create two ancient but rare Greek words that are described in detail in Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13 that demonstrate this act is a breaking of God’s law! Sodomy now becomes both a sin and a crime, for ecclesiastical law recognizes no distinction between the concepts of “sin” and a “crime.” Sodomy included any form of non-procreative acts including masturbation, oral and anal sex. The point being that we are now allowing a Sodom & Gomorrah Government to declassify Sodomy as a sin!

Under the Law of Moses, God made Sodomy (homosexuality) a capital crime, and stipulated that both participants in the illicit sexual activity were to be put to death (Leviticus 20:13). God would not have required the innocent victim of homosexual rape to be executed along with the rapist unless both were guilty of breaking the law. Thus, we have now come to where the unrighteous rubber meets the righteous road. Breaking of the law of God in the New Testament is SIN (Greek: Hamartia)!

In closing, Paul purposely joins two words: arsein (a male) and koitei (a bed) together into a neologism, a new word (to describe an old word: Sodomy). So, to posit a premise that “homosexuality” didn’t enter into English Bibles until 1946 the conclusion doesn’t follow, for we have many words that exist today that didn’t’ exist 20-30 years ago. For example, the word “locavore” combines roots from two Latin words: locus meaning place, and vorare meaning to devour. The word was created by San Francisco area food enthusiast Jessica Prentice in 2005 as a name for people who mainly eat food produced within a 250-mile radius of where they live. Locavore was the 2007 Oxford Word of the Year but you don’t see anyone arguing or denying this new word that is used to describe what locals have done many, many, years as a false description, thus Paul rightly condemns the unlawful acts of the effeminate & homosexual in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10 using a new word to describe the breaking of the old Levitical law; The law Jesus came not to abolish but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17)!

But from the beginning of creation, God MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE. “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. “What therefore God has joined together, let no man (or Government.) separate.” Genesis 1:27 & Mark 10:6-9

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We have all heard of the Declaration of Independence, arguably the most important document in the history of the United States. Most of us know the author to be Thomas Jefferson but few are aware of the fact that several men, not just one, helped with the concepts, philosophies, and the revisions to help formulate the ideas held in this document and yet we don’t hear anyone questioning the authorship, the dating of the document, or even the document’s authority and integrity over the nation even though fifty six separate individuals representing 13 different states and at different times had their “patriotic” fingers in the literary pot. Why? Because we have confidence in the 25 broad side copies (Bibliographic) from the original document printed by John Dunlap in 1823 (47 years removed). The source copy used for the Dunlap printing has been lost and the Declaration of Independence document now famously displayed at National Archives in Washington, D.C. is a mere signed copy (Jefferson’s original draft is preserved at the Library of Congress) ! We have further confidence for this document for it proclaims the backing of the united 13 colonies and its ultimate ratification by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 (Internal test), and the fact we went to war with Great Britain and won for the sole purpose of our Independence which can be cross checked by the Library of Congress and by every citizen living in America today (External test)!

Much like the Declaration of Independence, if we use the same criteria for the Bible we have very good evidences to advocate for the accurate transmission of the Biblical documents handed down to us today. As a brief example there is over 24,000 copies of the New Testament in circulation, some of which (Rylands Papyrus) dates as early as A.D. 125 (compare with Homer’s Iliad of only 643 copies that is 500 years removed from the date originally written)! Now, let us take Jesus’s own shocking admittance in front of Pilate where He says “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” (John 18:37).” Research it for yourself and you will find that John 18:37 is basically word for word in the Rylands Papyrus (around A.D. 125), Codex Sinaiticus (around A.D. 350), as well as the St. Cuthbert gospel (around A.D. 650-698). I hope this might be a beginning for you to start on your own journey to seek out the evidence and come to the same conclusion that I have and that is the Bible is not only a reliable document, not only a historical document, but a divinely inspired document that has been meticulously persevered and has been proven trustworthy through the ages much like the Declaration of Independence!

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From inquisitiveness (imagination) to lasciviousness (fascination). We have moved away from the deductions of the mind that are self-determined through reading and writing comprehension to the reduction of the mind through the barrage of still and motion images that have been pre-determined without regard for an individual’s terms (public) or for their formation of valued based objective moral (private) concepts.
After explaining to his disciples that He came to fulfill the law not do away with it (Matt. 5:17), Jesus says: “but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).”

In a literature based culture the terms Jesus uses here are quite unambiguous. Terms such as “woman”, “lust”, and “adultery” would have been very clear written terms in the Mosaic written law. So Jesus takes it up a notch and clarifies the written public terms and how it can and would visually effect the formation of (private) concepts they would have already formulated in their mind because in reality woman exist and they can be pleasing to look at in a good (sacred) or bad (lustful) manner. To a nominalist these are merely vague unrealistic words, but in reality these are words to describe objectively real concepts that we see take place in reality like adultery (adultery doesn’t materially exist but it does exist in the minds of those who physically perform it!). This is why, I think, Jesus says in the very next verse “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell (Matthew 5:29).”

Jesus is giving us a very early insight and warning on how moving from a literature based culture to an image-based culture can affect our use of terms or formation of concepts, for reading something effects only the person individually reading it but if it’s image based not only does it affect the person but now it can affect all those who are within visual distance! At one time immoral graffiti and language was limited to what it was written on whether by walls or bathroom stalls but now in a heavily image based society it’s all over TV, and internet chat rooms where not just individual persons can and would be affected but millions all at once! Without a doubt the world is twisting the terms and garbling the concepts. From quality to quantity. From intention to an almost unlimited use of horrible extensions. The problem with evil isn’t so much evil in of itself (written). The problem is with those who acquire (image) and possess it for themselves. James points this out quite clearly when he says “each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (James 1:14-15).”
An image based culture, if allowed, constricts, confines, and conforms us to the worlds pre-determined immoral standards (Ro. 12:2) without regard for our individual’s terms (public) or for our formation of valued based objective moral (private) concepts found only in the logos of God which should be the sole image stamped and coined on the tablets of our hearts (Matt 22:17-21). Now this is an image I long to see!

For Jesus IS the hope of our defense (1 Peter 3:15),

Del Potter

On that first Christmas night, while the shepherds kept watch over their flocks, the angel brought this good news: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10).

Manger destined 4 the crossThis is how heaven celebrated the first Christmas here on earth. On this holy night, in effect, heaven momentarily came to earth. However, sometimes heaven and earth can seem worlds apart and yet other times they can feel separated by only a thin veil. When tragedy hits, when illness prevails and death ensues, heaven can sometimes seem very distant.

But when we join the angels in worship, and see God in His greatness, heaven can seem so very, very close. For us as believers, we are just a breath and a heartbeat away from heaven right now. David explains our situation quite well: “There is but a step between me and death” (1 Samuel 20:3).

You see, in heaven there is peace and righteousness. On earth there is war and sin. In heaven there is perfect harmony and contentment. On earth there is often friction and contention among family and friends. In heaven, there is feasting on holiness and perfection. On earth there are fattening foods and expanding waistlines smothered in gluttony that leave us feeling hollow and empty on the inside.

We don’t need to sorrow for our loved ones who are celebrating Christmas in heaven, but we do sorrow for ourselves over their absence. As Christians we have sorrow because our loved ones are celebrating in heaven while we remain here on earth surrounded by frustration.

How do we get through the pain, sorrow, and frustration? Remember to let your earthly love ones know it by sharing it with them verbally and when necessary use words! Because you never know if you or I or someone we hold dear might be celebrating Christmas in heaven next year. So have a blessed and merry Christmas, as you pause, reflect, and share with someone you love today!

Livin4givin @ Christ-mas,

Del

What’s The Magic Word?

Remember those TV specials back in the 80-90’s starring David Copperfield the magician? I sure do! I remember being so infatuated with all the glitz and glamour of the costumes, the light shows, the disappearing acts, and escaping underwater graves. My most favorite magic trick of all was when David Copperfield, after having been blindfolded, would pick a “random” audience member and would proceed to describe to them everything there was to know about that person except their thoughts! I was mystified to say the least.

 A few years ago David Copperfield was asked in a Canadian magazine interview to reflect back on his many magical contributions and to describe how he has been able to pull off so many stunts through the years that have seemed to appear so real. He quickly responded by saying “First thing’s first-it’s not really magic, it is an illusion and it only appears to be real as to entertain and confuse the eye long enough to convince the mind that it is really happening!”

Unfortunately we see this taking place in some of our churches today. After a riveting motivational speech and a musical concert type performance, a fancy dressed preacher tells his or her audience that somebody there is hurting, or someone there has financial difficulties and that if you give to the “harvest” the Lord will “magically” plant a seed of jubilee! But is this what spiritual gifts such as the word of wisdom and knowledge really mean? And what does the Bible have to say about all this?

In the beginning of chapter 12 Paul warns his audience about the ignorance of spiritual gifts and states that these gifts, talents, and ministries are of the same spirit and of the same Lord. If this is so, then we are truly called by one hope, one faith, and one baptism through the measure of Christ’s gift individually (Ephesians 4:4-7). Christ’s spiritual gift to the individual (not the denomination) is the Holy Spirit.

…for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:8).

“To one is given the word….another the same word.” The Greek meaning for “word” is Logo`s. In John 1:1 the writer describes the Logo`s (word) as being with and declaring that the word is God and that it became flesh (vs.14). The Logo`s literally means the identity of God (where we get Logo) which was manifested in Jesus Christ and then left as a comforter through the Holy Spirit for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).  Paul therefore is declaring that the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge are just that; wisdom and knowledge in His written word.

It is a gift when someone possessing a word of wisdom is able to give kind and gentle words of comfort and biblical insight to a hurting person because they themselves have known hurt and pain (2 Corinthians 1:4). It is a gift when someone possessing the word of knowledge is able to teach and give understanding those who struggle with Biblical interpretation, Biblical concepts, and to understand the original Biblical language that would otherwise prevent someone from having a saving knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ our Lord (1Peter 3:15). Now this is what I call true magic!

Are You In A Hole?

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith ; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19

Christ’s love is total, complete, eternal, and all-encompassing. It reaches every corner of our experience. This verse is an incredible invitation and I dare say urging us to “dive” in to us show that even as we seek to grasp and understand Christ’s love, we will never understand it completely, for it is beyond our mental comprehension.

His love is deep—reaching to the depths of despair, and even to the point of death. You may or someone you know could possibly be at the end of their proverbial rope, or at the bottom of a hole life circumstances has created but when you have reached the end of yourself Jesus is just at the beginning!

Is Trinity Biblical?

Is Trinity Biblical?

NO. But neither are the terms denomination, incarnation, and eternal security to name a few. However these are all terms describing concepts found in the Bible. The real question is; did God really speak to mankind through Trinitarian means, and if so how and why?

John 1:1-14 declares the word was from the beginning and was God and that same word, and that same God became flesh (Isaiah 9:6-7). Jesus is the one who John is referring to as the word. Hence, John is stating that Jesus shares the same nature, or in this case “word” as the Father.

Paul declares to us in Colossians 1:1, 16

“all things were created by him”; and “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”

The only way for Jesus to have exercised creation power and preexistence capabilities is to be God himself. This is why the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. Not for being a great guy or performing way cool and awesome miracles, but claiming to be the God of creation (John 10:30-33)!

Let me break it down. If we were all cows and God wanted to speak to His cattle-like creation, would he send Himself as a chicken to communicate His message? No! We wouldn’t be able to understand a word He was saying through all the cackling noises. He had to send Himself as a man to communicate to mankind.

If this wasn’t enough, Jesus in John 20:22, breathes into his disciples the Holy Spirit. Thus, demonstrating not only His oneness with the Father in the flesh but also having the possession and power of the Father in Spirit!

The term “Trinity” isn’t Biblical but the concept of it is inescapably Biblical.