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Useful Q & A

Post #1

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1» Was Jesus a Christian?

Jesus was a Jew thru and thru who believed and practiced the Old Testament in
compliance with the Prophets and the various covenants; most especially the one
that Moses' people agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
Deuteronomy. (Gal 4:4)
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Post #31

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30» Isaac Was Abraham's Only Son When He Was Offered?


Gen 22:2 . .Then God said: Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.

Abraham actually had two sons at this time: Ishmael and Isaac. But only one of his boys counted. Here's why.


Gen 21:10-11 . . Sarah said to Abraham: Cast out that slave-woman and her son, for the son of that slave shall not share in the inheritance with my son Isaac. The matter distressed Abraham greatly, for it concerned a son of his own.

Ishmael would always and forever be one of Abraham's biological sons; that couldn't be undone with any more ease than recalling the ring of a bell. However; in the case of slave mothers; there was a way to break Ishmael's legal ties to Abraham; and the way was actually quite to Hagar's advantage.

The common law of Abraham's day (e.g. the Code of Hammurabi and the laws of Lipit-Ishtar) stipulated that if a slave-owner disowned his child's in-slavery biological mother; then the mother and the child would lose any and all claims to a paternal property settlement with the slave-owner.

The catch is: Abraham couldn't just send Hagar packing, nor sell her. In order for the common law to take effect; Abraham had to emancipate Hagar; which he did.


Gen 21:14 . . Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away

The phrase "sent her away" is from the Hebrew word shalach (shaw-lakh') which is a versatile word that can be used of divorce as well as for the emancipation of slaves. In other words: Hagar wasn't banished as is commonly assumed; no, she was set free; and it's very important to nail that down in our thinking because if Abraham had merely banished Hagar, then her son Ishmael would have retained his legal status as Abraham's eldest son.

Ishmael retained his status as one of Abraham's biological sons (Gen 25:9) but in legal matters relative to inheritance he's no son at all.
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Post #32

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31» Why Is Jeconiah's Curse So Important?

A curse, back in the Old Testament, leveled at a really bad king in Solomon's royal line to David's throne reads like this:


Jer 22:29-30 . . O land, land, land, hear the word of the Lord! Thus said the Lord: Record this man as without succession, one who shall never be found acceptable; for no man of his offspring shall be accepted to sit on the throne of David and to rule again in Judah.

The bad king's name was Jeconiah (a.k.a. Jehoiakim and/or Coniah). Jesus' dad Joseph was one of his descendants. (Matt 1:11)

It's commonly believed that the curse extended to Joseph, so that had he been Jesus' biological father, it would have prevented Mary's boy from ascending David's throne.

However, Joseph adopted Jesus and seeing as how adopted children inherit from their fathers the same as biological children; then had the curse extended to Joseph, it would have extended to Jesus too whether he was virgin-conceived or not. In other words: seeing as how Jesus got into Solomon's royal line by adoption, then of course he would've got into the curse too because the throne and the curse were a package deal.

However; the wording "to rule again in Judah" indicates that the curse on Jeconiah's royal progeny was limited to the era of the divided kingdom with Samaria in the north and Judah in the south. That situation came to an end when Nebuchadnezzar crushed the whole country and led first Samaria, and then later Judah, off to Babylonian slavery.

When Messiah reigns, the country of Israel will be unified. His jurisdiction won't be limited to Judah within a divided kingdom, but will dominate the entire land of Israel. So the curse doesn't apply to him.


Ezek 37:21-22 . .You shall declare to them: Thus said the Lord God: I am going to take the Israelite people from among the nations they have gone to, and gather them from every quarter, and bring them to their own land. I will make them a single nation in the land, on the hills of Israel, and one king shall be king of them all. Never again shall they be two nations, and never again shall they be divided into two kingdoms.
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Post #33

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32» What Is Matt 22:42-45 Supposed To Mean?

That's a reference to Ps 110:1 which Jesus interpreted speaking of Christ, a.k.a. Messiah.


Ps 110:1 . . The Lord says to my lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.

There's two distinctly different Hebrew words translated by the English word "lord" in that passage

The first is Jehovah (a.k.a. Yahweh); which is a name restricted to God's use (Isa 42:8).

The second is 'adown, which is a common word for superiors in the Old Testament; both human and divine, for instance: Sarah referred to her husband as 'adown (Gen 18:12).The people of Heth addressed Abraham as 'adown (Gen 23:5-6). Abraham's trusted servant referred to him as 'adown (Gen 24:12). Rachel addressed her father Laban as 'adown (Gen 31:35). And Jacob addressed Esau as 'adown (Gen 33:8). And God is spoken of as 'adown too, e.g. Isa 1:24 and Isa 3:1 et al.

Jesus' interpretation of Ps 110:1 says Christ is superior to David, which is normally unthinkable seeing as the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God ranks parents above their children. (Ex 20:12, cf. Eph 6:2)

Now, the thing is: David has no peers relative to kings on earth, seeing as he was given the rank of God's firstborn son in that respect.


Ps 89:20-27 . . I have found My servant David; with My holy oil I have anointed him . . I will make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.

So, in order for one of David's sons to outrank their father, the son would have to be God's firstborn son in Heaven, viz: David's son would have to be a divine being. (cf. Acts 2:32-36)

The theologians of Jesus' day knew the Old Testament practically word for word, but they couldn't always explain it. No doubt they were aware that Psalm 110 speaks of David's son, and that he would be superior to David, and that he would be a divine being. I'm pretty sure they knew all that. But what they hadn't as yet figured out is how this one particular man of David's biological posterity could possibly become so incredibly exalted.
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Post #34

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33» What Is The "My Church" Spoken Of At Matt 16:18?

Within the global sphere of Christianity is a non-denominational fraternity of individuals joined to Christ in such a manner as to be corporately identified as his body, i.e. his actual body. (Eph 1:22-23 and Eph 5:30)

This concept isn't new. In the beginning it was declared that when a man and a woman are joined to each other as a permanent couple, they become one flesh, i.e. one body. (Gen 3:23-24, cf. Eph 5:31-32)


FAQ: How did these individuals bond with Christ's body?

A: Via baptism by the Spirit. (1Cor 12:13)

FAQ: Not by Christian baptism?

A: No; by Spirit baptism. In other words: bonding with Christ's body is by means of an act of God rather than a ritual, i.e. one's affiliation with a denomination is merely a name tag.
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Post #35

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34» How Was It Okay For Abraham To Marry His Half Sister?

I'm not sure we can say "okay" but a codified law prohibiting marriage to a half sister wasn't instituted till Lev 18:9, which was many years later in Moses' day.

According to Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, and Gal 3:17 the codified law isn't retroactive so Abraham could get away with marrying a sibling in his day.
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Post #36

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34» Is Something Important Hinted By Gen 13:7?


Gen 13:7 . . And there was quarreling between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and those of Lot's cattle. The Canaanites and Perizzites were then dwelling in the land.

How do you suppose that squabbling looked to the pagans? When God's people can't get along, outsiders become disgusted with them and they sure won't be influenced for God in a good way when there's fighting amongst themselves like that.

For example: years ago, when I was a young welder just starting out on my own, I rented a small room in a daylight basement from a man who was the senior pastor of a medium sized church in the Portland Oregon area. He and his wife radiated the luster of polished spirituality whenever I spoke with them out in the yard, but in my location under the floor of the house, I could overhear their bitter quarrels upstairs behind closed doors. Was I favorably inclined to attend their church? No.
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Post #37

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35» What Is Hope Per Christianity?


1Pet 3:15 . . Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.

The Greek word translated "hope" in that verse is elpis (el pece') which means to anticipate (usually with pleasure) and to expect with confidence. Note the elements of anticipation, expectation, and confidence.

In other words: Christianity's hope is a know-so kind of hope rather than a cross your fingers hope-- i.e. it's a sure thing, a.k.a. in the bag: signed, sealed, and aboard the FedEx truck headed your way for delivery (so to speak).


Rom 12:12 . . Rejoicing in hope.

When people are praying for the best, while in the back of their mind dreading the worst, they have absolutely no cause for rejoicing; no; but they do have plenty of cause to fear the unknown.
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Post #38

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36» What Is Grace?

The common Greek word translated "grace" refers to graciousness; roughly defined as kind, courteous, sympathetic, inclined to good will, generous, charitable, merciful, altruistic, compassionate, thoughtful, cordial, affable, genial, sociable, cheerful, warm, sensitive, considerate, and tactful.

*Cordial* stresses warmth and heartiness

*Affable* implies easy to approach, and readiness to respond pleasantly to conversation or requests or proposals

*Genial* stresses cheerfulness and even joviality

*Sociable* suggests a genuine liking for the companionship of others

*Generous* is characterized by a noble or forbearing spirit; viz: magnanimous, kindly, and liberal in giving

*Charitable* means full of love for, and goodwill toward, others; viz: benevolent, tolerant, and lenient.

*Altruistic* means unselfish regard for, or devotion to, the welfare of others; viz: a desire to be of service to others for no other reason than it just feels good to do so.

*Tactful* indicates a keen sense of what to do, or say, in order to maintain good relations with others in order to resolve and/or avoid unnecessary conflict.

*Compassionate* speaks of an awareness of others' distress coupled with a desire to alleviate it
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Post #39

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37» What Is Redemption?

A couple of Greek words are translated redemption.

One is lutrosis (loo'-tro-sis) which means a ransoming.

The other is apolutrosis (ap-ol-oo'-tro-sis) which means to ransom in full.

Webster's defines "ransom" as:

1) A consideration paid or demanded for the release of someone or something from captivity

2) The act of paying the consideration.

In the divine scheme, Christ is the payer; and the life of his body is the consideration; plus. according to apolutrosis, his life isn't a down payment, rather: the entire sum demanded leaving no balance outstanding.


FAQ: Who/What is the captor?

A: The architect spoken of by Genesis 1:1

FAQ: God is holding the world hostage?

A: Not quite like that. A better comparison depicts the world as indicted fugitives in imminent danger of arrest and trial at the great white throne event described at Revelation 20:11-15.

In other words: Christ satisfies the justice due to the fugitives so they can be acquitted-- which is much better than parole because an acquittal leaves behind no record. It's as though a wanted man has never been anything but 100% innocent his entire life.

I cannot imagine a better way to settle out of court with God than by means of the redemption that's available in Christ Jesus.
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Post #40

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38» What Is Justification?


Rom 4:25 . . He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

The Greek word translated "justification" in that passage means acquittal; which Webster's defines as a judgment that a person is not guilty of the crime with which the person has been charged.

To give a rough-hewn idea of how this plays out: according to Rev 20:11-15, God is keeping books on everyone wherein is inventoried their entire life.

Were those books to be opened to the pages wherein is supposed to be an inventory of the life of someone who managed to obtain the justification available by means of Christ's death and resurrection, those pages would be missing because when someone obtains the justification, God closes their case and it's never reopened-- not because it's a cold case, but because all charges against them were dropped, i.e. transferred to Christ.


Isa 53:6 . .We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2Cor 5:19 . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them

Rom 8:33-34 . .Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns; Christ Jesus, who died?
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