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I Timothy 3 Part 3

New King James Version 8. Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

The Resultant Version 8. The servants in the same way must be dignified, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not a lover of money,

God has apparently completed His instructions regarding the choosing of over-watchers, and so He now goes on to describe qualifications for deacons. This word, though we probably recognize it from its frequent use in English, is really a transliteration of a Greek word diakonos. It is therefore not really an English word, and has never been translated. It seems to come from an ancient root that had to do with running errands. The word speaks of a servant, and so a “deacon” is one who serves. Read the rest of this entry »

chess02I Timothy 3

New King James Version 1. This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

The Resultant Version 1.  This is a faithful saying: If any man desires the over-watch, he desires a good work.

Now we come upon the second of these “faithful sayings” that Paul gives us in his personal letters. The first we came on in I Timothy 1:15. Now, we come upon the second. It has to do, as the New King James Version has it, with a man desiring the position of a bishop. Yet we might wonder, what does this mean? And what exactly is a “bishop” in the Bible? Read the rest of this entry »

poor02I received the following question:

I greatly enjoy your studies.
Thank you for the time you spend writing them.
Had a question.
 
I’m very intrigued by the emphasis the Bible and NT specifically puts on being poor.
Jesus mentions the poor often.
You read things like “hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith” in Hebrews
I plan to study this topic myself.
Have you ever looked into this?
Why would you be special because you have little money?
Or does “poor” really carry a different meaning than just having little wealth?
 
Thanks for any thoughts you might have

Glad you are enjoying the studies. You are very welcome for the time spent writing them.

You have hit on something with the idea that the “poor” carries a deeper meaning than just those with little money. Read the rest of this entry »

angelart02I received the following question:

Hi Nathan, clear this up for me from the last Bible study you said Satan at one time was guarding Gods throne and he was a Cherubim. In Isa. 6:1-7 it has the Seraphim hovering over God’s throne and they have six wings the highest order. That would make the Cherubim the 2nd order of Angels. Talk to you soon.

Thanks for the good question!

I would agree that the cherubim are guarding the throne of God, as we see in Ezekiel 10, which reveals that the living creatures surrounding the throne of chapter 1 are the cherubim. Read the rest of this entry »

water02I received the following question:

Nathan, will you please explain to me your views on water baptism? Thanks.

Thanks for the question regarding water baptism. I will try to answer as briefly as I can, and as clearly as I can. Yet this is a complicated issue, and the answer is not simple.

The fact is that the word “baptism” is basically a Greek word that has not been translated when bringing it into English. Whatever our English ideas about baptism might be, the real question is what the idea of baptism was to one who spoke Greek? To answer this, we would need to consider the use of the Greek word baptisma, and its related verb baptizo. Read the rest of this entry »

definesin02I received the following question:

I have a question for you.  We have recently been studying/discussing the meaning and definition of “sin.”  Does the definition change between the Old Testament, the Gospel Period, the Acts period, and now in the Dispensation of Grace?

The definition I’ve been given is “missing the mark.”  Appropriate, but kind of vague.

My main question has to do with Christ Jesus.  It focuses on sin, particularly referring to II Corinthians 5:20 & 21  –  (20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.  21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.)

Since Jesus “knew no sin”, it has been suggested that his only sin was the fact that he died.  Can the unavoidable reality of death be a sin?  I have a hard time accepting this concept.  I lean towards the belief that death is the consequence of the original sin, not a sin itself.

Good to hear from you! Very good question. I will answer as best I can. Read the rest of this entry »

soulmaybe02I received the following question:

Well I know I haven’t written to you in a while with questions but lately I’ve been having discussions with others that are getting me thinking but stuck.  What’s the difference between spirit and soul?

A complete study of the word “spirit” should be undertaken to get the exact use of the word that the Spirit of God makes of it in the Scriptures. I will not take the time to do that here, but I think a quick concordance of the first 10 occurrences of the word for “spirit” in the Old Testament Scriptures, which is the Hebrew word “ruach,” should demonstrate for us its basic uses.

The first occurrence of the word “spirit” is in the very second verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:2. Read the rest of this entry »

In our last message, we set out to discover what the Bible teaches about hell. To do this, we set out to learn exactly what the Scriptures have to say about the topic. We learned that the Old Testament word that is translated as “hell” in English is the Hebrew word Sheol. We followed this word out, and we saw that it is used as a place where both the righteous and the wicked go after death. Though it is sometimes hard to see what it means since it is often used in poetry, it seems clear enough that Sheol means the state of death. Those who are in Sheol are in the death state, in contrast to those who are still alive.

We examined the first nineteen occurrences of this word in the last message, which took us through all the occurrences up to the end of the book of Job. Now, let us continue to examine this word from where we left off at the beginning of the book of Psalms.

Psalm 6:5. For in death there is no remembrance of You;
In the grave who will give You thanks?

The twentieth time this word occurs is in the book of Psalms. In Psalm 6, David is speaking. He is calling upon the LORD to save him, and he makes this argument as a reason He should do so. In death, he insists, there is no remembrance of the LORD. No one gives Him thanks in Sheol. Notice again the parallel thought here that characterizes Hebrew poetry. Death and Sheol are spoken of as being parallels. When one is in the state of death, he is unable to remember the LORD or thank Him. This shows that Sheol is viewed as a place of powerlessness and of forgetfulness. Whatever orthodoxy might say, there is no indication here that “hell” is “conscious.” Read the rest of this entry »

reaper02The topic of hell is one about which believers often have much to say. Like heaven, hell is an emotional topic, and one that few are willing to compare with the Word of God to come to any kind of advance in truth. What most who claim to be Bible believers think about hell is no different from what the world around them thinks about it. Many would have to admit, if asked, that their beliefs about hell after they were saved did not really change much from what they believed about hell before they were saved. If they did change, this was usually because they were taught orthodox Christian beliefs about hell, and not because someone led them to the Word of God to find the truth the Spirit placed for us there.

Because of these things, a study of hell is one that few are willing to undertake, at least not with the Bible as the central and only source of this study. The Bible is decidedly unorthodox when it comes to this topic of hell, and so to maintain what Christians have always believed, many other sources need to be consulted and given equal weight with the Bible in determining what churches call “the truth about hell.” Yet since we are only really interested in the Bible’s teaching, not that of men or churches, we reject all such additional sources. Neither Plato, nor Dante, nor the ancient Greeks shall be allowed to give evidence to override and negate the testimony of the Word of God. We want only what the Bible teaches about hell, and only God’s teaching on hell will satisfy one whose desire really is God’s truth. Read the rest of this entry »

ladder02It is doubtful that there is any single belief Christians have that is so deep-seated and so taken for granted as those regarding heaven. For those of us who base our beliefs on the Bible, not on the Christian church, there are still very few who dare to re-examine the issue of heaven, or to compare what they believe with what is written in the Scriptures. Long before one comes to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the idea that “good people go to heaven when they die” is solidified in the mind. When one becomes a believer, that might transfer a bit to “those who believe in Jesus Christ go to heaven when they die,” but other than this change, this belief really is never reconsidered or examined in the light of God’s Word.

Perhaps there is no one view out there so in need of study and thoughtful examination in the light of God’s Word than this view regarding heaven. Yet there is also probably no view out there which so few would ever be willing to reconsider. The idea of heaven is taught to most of us from almost the time we can talk by our parents, whether they were true believers or not, and it is one that has so much emotion tied to it that few would even be open to any changes regarding it whatsoever. The fact that we claim loyalty to the Bible makes no difference regarding this. It has always been believed by most that the Bible teaches about people going to heaven, and this idea has been so brainwashed into the minds of men that they never would even consider going to the Bible to see if this is really so.

That said, the true student of Scripture should not shy away from subjecting any teaching or belief, no matter how foundational or obvious in the minds of the majority, to the revealing light of the Word of God. If we desire to be believers in the Scriptures rather than just more traditionalists, it is beliefs such as this one that we most need to subject to a Biblical examination. And perhaps there is no better way to do this than the method I have demonstrated before in examining the subjects of the spirit and the soul. That method is to take the Hebrew and Greek words involved, and to examine every occurrence of them to see how the Spirit of God uses them in the Word of God. Then and only then can we get God’s teaching on this subject, rather than man’s.

Read the rest of this entry »