I Samuel 14

1. Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father.

Now the story shifts from the failing Saul to his son Jonathan. Remember that Jonathan was the one who started this whole mess back in I Samuel 13:3 when he attacked the garrison of the Philistines in Geba. We are not told the circumstances that brought about this attack, and whether Saul was privy to it in advance or not. Now we will see more of the character of this son of Saul, Jonathan. It seems that even as the rest of Saul’s army is terrified and certain that a terrible loss to their enemies is inevitable, Jonathan is not afraid of the Philistines, for he is trusting in God. It is a pity the rest of Israel was not like him in this, and even more a pity that his father Saul was not like him. If he had been Jonathan surely would have made a worthy successor and next king. Alas, though, Saul did not have the faith of his eldest son.

So Jonathan, not deterred at all by the vastly superior force of the Philistines, decides to carry out a plan of his own. He makes this bold proposal to the young man who is his armor-bearer. He suggests they go over to the other side to the Philistines’ garrison. What he plans to do there, he does not yet reveal. In going, he does not inform his father. Perhaps he is aware that his father is filled with fear, and will likely not be in the mood to risk his son and heir on what he would view as a fool’s errand. Saul just did not have the outlook of faith that his son Jonathan had. Read the rest of this entry »

I Samuel 13

1. Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel,

This verse sounds a little strange as it reads, as of course if he reigned two years, he also reigned one year. Yet things become even stranger if we go into the Hebrew behind this translation. The original Hebrew, if it were accurately translated, reads, “Saul was one year old when he became king, and he reigned two years over Israel.” This is what it reads, and yet none of the translators are brave enough to translate the verse this way. For one thing, we simply know this was not true. As near as we can tell, Saul was about thirty years old when he became king, about the same age as David, his successor, when he took the throne. Moreover, we have read of Saul’s actions leading up to being king, and they are certainly not the actions of a one-year-old, nor even of a child. Yet the problem is that there is no Hebrew manuscript evidence for any reading but this. If this was an error, we would expect that the original reading would have made it through somewhere, and yet that is not the case. As far as the evidence goes, it is all for this reading. Yet how could this reading possibly be right?

I believe that the key to what this is talking about is the “new Saul.” We read that God had produced a new Saul back in I Samuel 10:6. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following questions:

Could you explain Rom 12:1
Present your body as a living sacrifice holy acceptable unto God which is reasonable service.

1Pet4:18
If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and sinner appear?  Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful creator.

Thanks for your help.

To present your bodies to God as Romans 12:1 indicates means to live a life that is separate from the world around you and acceptable to God. It means not being conformed to the world around you by acting like the world acts, but rather being changed by having your very way of thinking about things renewed to accord with the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. It means living a lifestyle that accords more and more with the lifestyle set forth in Ephesians 4-6, which is the worthy walk (lifestyle) of the believer, in keeping the unity of the Spirit, in putting off the old man (manner of life) and putting on the new man, in walking in love, in walking in light, in walking circumspectly, in submitting to other believers in the fear of God, in putting on the whole armor of God, and in praying. Read the rest of this entry »

approved02I received the following question:

My question to you is. Anyone passing the WHITE THRONE TEST, will they be placed in the PARADISE of the kingdom, or as Sellers suggested, they will start a new colony in one of the planets in the New Heavens and New Earth? And your opinion is?

You ask a very good question! I am afraid I cannot really answer. I have trouble believing that people who were judged unworthy of the kingdom of God or the parousia of Jesus Christ would then be thought worthy of the new heavens and new earth, which are beyond those! Yet if the place they are to live is not the new heavens and new earth, then I do not know where else they can live. Mr. Sellers’ suggestion of a colony on a new planet is a good idea. I think he used the verse about God planting the heavens (Isaiah 51:16.) But that verse is certainly of debatable meaning. I just don’t have any Biblical evidence to say for sure. But I do know they will be given a chance at life somewhere. We will have to leave the exact details up to God.

devildown02I received the following question:

Here’s a question from one of my co-workers. I’ve done my best to answer his question on my own, but I’m needing a little more help because I think it’s a bit deeper than I have gone myself. “If God knew (or could have known) that Satan would fall and deceive Isha, why then did God create him?” Thank you in advance. I am always encouraged by your steady study and devotion to the truth.

Thanks for the great question! Hopefully I can help you figure out something to say that will make sense to your co-worker.

Ultimately, this goes back to one’s basic philosophy of God. Many people assume that God must know everything and must control everything. This seems to make sense to us humans, since to us, with only limited knowledge and partial control over our circumstances and surroundings, increasing in knowledge and in power/control is something we are always concerned with. Extrapolating from our perspective, we assume that since God could know everything and could control everything, then He must do so, for why would He not? Yet ultimately, I think there are things that, to God, are far more important than power and control and knowledge. God has access to all the power and control and knowledge that He needs to accomplish His purposes. He is not jealous of these things, or worried about losing them, as a human being might be. The things He is concerned with are far more important. Read the rest of this entry »

olives02I received the following question:

I found Sellers’ booklet on the “Good Olive Tree” confusing. Maybe I caused my own confusion because I thought that pure gentiles were being grafted to become Jews into the Good Olive Tree of Romans 11:

The Good Olive Tree, was Jesus Christ, and the gentiles partook of the blessings of believing, during the Acts period. When a pure gentile believed during the Acts period, it provoked the Jews into jealousy. But these two groups were kept separate. The pure gentiles were grafted into Israel’s blessings and became partakers of Israel’s spiritual things. The pure gentiles did not become Jews, no more than Cornelius and his household became Jews

The Lord would not graft an apple into an orange tree because that would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion. The gentiles stood in separate positions of blessings.

I was confused with the Good Olive Tree, but reading your Malta Omission and a few other Precepts truths you have written helped clarify my confusion. Thanks.  

I am not sure if you are asking me to explain this, or saying you already have it figured out from reading my Precepts. I do think that the “pure” Gentiles were being grafted into Israel’s olive tree of blessings in place of some of the Israelites, the natural branches, who were being cut off. Read the rest of this entry »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI received the following question:

I’m currently in a debate/discussion over whether Paul was arrested once or twice by Rome. This all stems from Paul’s words “I am currently being poured out” in 2Tim. The traditional view as you know says that Paul was expecting to die as punishment by Rome. So with your recent post I noticed this verse:

Acts 26:17. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you,

This verse would seem to indicate rather definitively that Paul didn’t die at the command of Rome (at least as far as this commission is concerned).

A Bible study on II Timothy is now available on my audio website http://preceptsaudio.wordpress.com/category/ii-timothy/ . Read the rest of this entry »

thewell02I received the following question:

In John 4, if Jesus went to the Samaritans, why did He apostello His apostles to go not in the way of the Gentiles or even to a Samaritan city.  Sellers liked to compare His apostello with His 12’s apostello in that “As my Father has sent me, so I send you.”  Can this be looked at as an exception just like the Syro-Phoenecian woman and Cornelius, as Gentile exceptions to His apostello to the Israelites in the land?

When the Lord sent out His disciples in Matthew 10, he was not sending them with the same commission as He did when He sent them in the Acts period in John 20. That commissioning took place after His resurrection. It was then that He sent them as His Father had sent Him. And then they did go to the Samaritans (Acts 8:14,) and even to the nations (Acts 11:19-22, Galatians 2:11, etc.) It is clear that the commission of Matthew 10 only lasted until the apostles returned to Him (Luke 9:10,) and then it was completed. The commission of John 20 was a different commission, this time like the Lord’s commission. The Lord’s commission included going to the Samaritans, as we see in John 4. Read the rest of this entry »

lightning01I Samuel 12

1. Now Samuel said to all Israel: “Indeed I have heeded your voice in all that you said to me, and have made a king over you.

Now Samuel speaks to all Israel. Of course, there were millions of people in Israel, and Samuel could not possibly speak to all of them. This phrase refers to the leaders, who were qualified to represent the people. The message Samuel was given was intended for every person in Israel, but it would get to them through the representative men carrying it back to their places of residence and the people they represented, not by everyone coming together to hear Samuel at once.

First Samuel reviews for them what has taken place. He reminds them that he has done as they demanded in making Saul king.

2. And now here is the king, walking before you; and I am old and grayheaded, and look, my sons are with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day.

Samuel presents Saul to them. Here is the king they asked for! Then Samuel presents himself. He urges them to notice that he is old and grayheaded. He points out his sons, who are with them as representative men. As we have seen, these sons were not admirable characters, as they had chosen to take bribes and pervert justice among the people they represented. Yet here they were. Samuel had hoped to put them as judges in his place, but, alas, their character was not acceptable for the job.

Finally, Samuel sets out his life before them for their judgment. He points out that he has walked before them from his childhood. In other words, they have seen his life and conduct this entire time. Read the rest of this entry »

eyedamage02I Samuel 11

1. Then Nahash the Ammonite came up and encamped against Jabesh Gilead; and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we will serve you.”

Now we read of the invasion of Nahash the Ammonite. The Ammonites were descended from Lot, Abraham’s nephew. Ammon was the son of his younger daughter’s incest. The first Ammonite was Ben-Ammi, whose name means “Son of My People.” He was a result of Lot’s youngest daughter’s incest with Lot himself while he was drunk. Thus Ben-Ammi was Lot’s son and grandson both. The name Ammon means simply “Tribe.” The land Ammon dwelt in bordered Israel on the northeast, above Moab, the nation descended from Lot and his older daughter.

Even though the Ammonites were related to Israel, they were seldom friends and often enemies with them. Nahash, whose name means “Serpent,” was their young king at this time. We will learn that it was actually a threat from him that caused Israel to want a king in the first place, according to I Samuel 12:12. Read the rest of this entry »

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