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About this blog

Just some things that leak out of my head! I live in the desert, some people accuse me of wisdom, so a desert sage seemed a witty title.

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Omegaman 3.0

Recently a young man asked me how one knows when one is mature enough for marriage. I responded to him, with some thoughts that went beyond his specific question. I am about to include my reply here. I should add though that some of these principles are for men and women both, and can also be considered in other aspect of life in addition to marriage.

Also, I would like to add, that before getting married, I think it is wise (in terms of human wisdom, not Biblical revelation) for people to consider carefully the idea of being established as individuals before starting life in marriage. Finances, careers, education, and other skill in living, can go a long way to reducing the stresses that marriages can encounter. When considering marriage, good, Christian, pre-marital counseling can be a very good thing.

Try not to start off a marriage with financial problems. Learn about another before learning about them in marriage. Be aware that people often put their best foot forward during courtship, and then become lazy in marriage, revealing their true character. Be careful people, this is a life long commitment,and you do not want to make mistakes here.

In my country (U.S.A.), it has become common practice to engage in a ritual we call dating. Unfortuneatly, dating often interferes with learning about one another. We have a tendency to make dating about being entertained in each other's presense. We go to a movie, or a theme park, or a restaurant, things like that. That can be enjoyable, but it typically prevents us from having meaningful communication about things we need to know about each other.

I think it would be better, to meet with other people, more often than going out on a date. I suggest that being around people who are more experienced in life, especially people who already have long term, sucessful marriages. It is not the most enjoyable way to spend time perhaps, but it is a better way to learn about each other, and focus on important things, than watching the latest Fast and Furious movie. Group Bible studies and prayer meetings, even getting together with others for fellowship, are better ways to get to know each other.

Group situations are better, being together as only a man and a woman, is giving opportunity to temptation. Any time spent kissing, is time spent NOT getting to know one another, and you know, once you start down a path, it is hard to turn around. Stay on the true path, do not get side-tracked.

Anyway, what I wrote in answer to the question of know when one is mature enough for marriage, was this:

That is an excellent question, and I am not sure that I am wise enough to provide a good answer, but I will offer some thoughts.

First, if marriage is something you seek to do, as in something you are persuing as a priotiry in your life, you may have your priotites wrong. Pleasing God, pursuing His will should be your priority.

When I say pursuing His will, I do not mean things, like "where should I live", "where should I work or go to school" or questions like that. One can pursue God's will no matter where one lives or where one works. Paul, as an example, pursued God's will from a Roman jail. Jesus did the will of the Father by dieing on the cross. Paul instructs us to expect troubles and persecution and learn to be content in our circumstances. Jesus tells us to take up our cross daily, and to count persecution as something to be joyful about and count as a blessing.

So, I think that much of what we are called to, as Christians, has to do with our attitude, and our willingness to serve, both God and others. If we pursue worldly pleasures as a priority, it will not be long before we go off track. This can be true even in subtle and harmless, even good things.

There is nothing from with things like good food, or entertainment, a shiney new car, a wonderful home, the latest smart phone, or even a wife and family. However, when any of these things, distracts us from God, or cause us to split our loyalty or to seek them first over the kingdom of God, they we have allowed them to become idols. Take note that niether Jesus nor Paul ever married.

Paul pointed out that there is a danger in being married, in that pleasing our wives, can distract us from our service to the Lord. When you think about it, the world was cursed, because one man, decided to listen you his wife over listening to God.

Paul also tells us that it is good stay single, but if a person lacks self-control then the should marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with lust. Of course, it is better to have self control, and I suggest that since self control is part of the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit, that we really have little or no excuse to not have self control. That is part of Christian maturity.

I think one way we know that we are ready for marriage, is when we have come to a place where (instead of looking for the right person) we are concerned with being the right person.

Paul gives husbands the intruction to love our wives, as Jesus loves the church, and died for her. To translate that to human action, husband to wife, we are willing to sacrifice for her, and serve her, and most of all love her.

The problem with modern, western men, is that we have come to think of love as having warm, fuzzy, pleasurable feelings about someone. This is very distorted. Love is about serving others, sacrificing for others, seeking the well being of others.

As much as it appeals to our flesh to live with a woman and enjoy the benefits of marriage, it is more loving to seek her well being, doing what is best for her instead of cooperating with her in fulfilling mutual pleasure.

I believe grounded Christian women, and grounded Christian men, recognize that men have been assigned the role of being the spiritual leader of the couple. That is not something that we hold over our spouse, as some sort of boss or authority, it about being wise, caring, and wanting the best for her, and nurturing her realtionship with God. A functional couple is not spending all of their lives, gazing into each others eyes, it is looking outward (and upward), in the same direction.

I think also, that we not only need to seek being the right person for our spouse, we should seek a spouse that is right for us. They do not need to be perfect, and certainly things like appearance are extremely low on the priotity list. People who are of good character, who both love the Lord first over all, are great candidates for each other. That can take a lot of patience, but to settle for too little, will lead to the people in a relationship, dragging each other down when they should be pulling in the same direction.

A couple like that can accomplish a lot for the kingdom of God, and will have a very fulfilling relationship if they can manage to maintain that focus.

Take some time to familiarize yourself with 1 Cor, chapter 7, and 1 Cor, chapter 13. Meanwhile, I shall pray for you, and suggest that you not be to shy, to ask others to do so as well.

Omegaman 3.0

 

oblogani.gif The Post-trib position in a nutshell compared with the Bible
A short Bible study on a topic that some want to make way too complicated - Omegaman
Post-Trib Belief What the Bible (NASB) Says

The software here makes formatting difficult. There is an easier to read version if you prefer

July 28th, 2014 - Omegaman 3.0

 

There will be a time of trouble Jesus called birth pangs

You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.7“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. 8“But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Followed by persecution, even to death, a time of tribulation 9“Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. There will be a sign 15“Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 

Then the tribulation will be great, but it will be limited

21“For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. 22“Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. After the tribulation, Jesus will come visibly in the sky 29“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. He then will send angels to gather His elect 31“And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. In Jesus time, only the Father knew the exact time of Jesus visible return 36“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. But it will be like the days of Noah, when calamity overtook the surprised unbelievers 37“For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38“For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Believers should also be ready for His return, though they do not know the exact time. 42“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 44“For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

The Bible, to prevent deception. tells us the order of the events:

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you."

Every verse listed so far, was from the 24th Chapter of the book of Matthew. You have just read them yourself, exactly as they are in the bible, and in the same order, so you can see for yourself, what Jesus said about these things.As you can see, He did not use figurative or symbolic language, he was very clear, and used lots of words which indicat time sequences, words like "then" and "at that time". There is no need to spin Jesus' words or make unwarranted assumptions, as many are tempted to do.
Let's look at some more info from the apostles Paul and from John 

There will be a time when Jesus catches up (raptures) His church.


From 1 Thess chapter 4

Notice again the sequence: The Lord descends from Heaven, a shout, and angel, a trumpet, and those who have died in Christ rise, Then the living Christian join them in the air.


13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 

Like Jesus before him, Paul also said there was a sign to look for, a sigh that would appear before our gathering to Him in the rapture. Beleivers are to look for this man, and by that will now that the 2nd coming of Jesus, is then imminent.

2 Thess 2

1Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 

Jesus will come like a thief on unbelievers, but watchful Christians will know that He is about to come.

1 Thess 5

1Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 

Since we know that the dead in Christ rise first, followed by the rapture (vs 16 & 17 of 1 Thess 4) of the living believers, if we only knew if that resurrection was before or after the tribulation, we could understand if the rapture was before or after the tribulation. Believers who die in the tribulation, for their testimony of Jesus, come to life in the first resurrection, to be followed by the rapture (1 Thess 4:17) rapture.

4Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5(The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were completed.) This is the first resurrection. 

This has been a summary of the Post Tribulation Rapture viewpoint, also known as Historic Premillenialism, along with some scripture passages which can be said to support this understanding. There were assertions, and there were supporting verses and passages, without inserting things like an invisible, secret coming (is there even one verse that says that? If so, I have never seen it), and idea that has become popular in modern times.

I tried to keep this faithful to scripture, I tried to make it simple and clear. Jesus and Paul warned about deceptions to come, I take those warning seriously. Paul had this to say as well:

3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 5But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 2 Tim 4

I will end with this thought from the book of Acts:

19“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Some versions render that as "He must remain in heaven until the time"

Personally, I find all these verses harmonize perfectly well with each other, and I beleive the Post-Trib rapture position, is consistant with them as well. I hope you found this helpful and informative
 



(Reply to a question - question asker asked for question to be deleted - but ok to leave answer if name not mentioned)

Your reply touches on something that is always an issue, the idea of interpretation. I have no idea if I am right or I am wrong, I believe I am right of course, otherwise I would change my view, lol.

However, where I think my understanding and belief is different from many, is that I try not to interpret at all, I just read, and try to understand. If you read my post, and I assume you did, you will have noticed that I did two things - I stated aspects of the doctrine which I accept, and then I stated the scripture that appears to support those points. 

You will have noticed that what I did not do was things like:

"You see where it says 'elect', that is the Jews!" or:

"See where it says the restrainer?" - that is the Holy Spirit:

Those sorts of things, are interpretations, I just pointed out scripture and let it speak for itself.

The things that are usually used to demonstrate a pre-tribulation rapture, are interpretations at best, usually they are arguments from silence, or assumed inferences not warranted by the text.

For example, all of the ways people try to see a sudden, secret, any moment visit by Jesus, well, it is just odd, since the text never says any such thing. While I know people do not intend harm, it strikes me as dishonest to treat scripture so carelessly.

Of course, I just stepped on millions of toes with that statement, but it frustrates me that people cannot see the difference between their assumptions and what the Bible actually says, and does not say.

In my post I didn't even mention all the evidences that demonstrate the errors of pre-trib assumptions, I just tried to give positive evidence for a post trib position, and I did not have to assume or twist anything to do that - just posted scripture. I could still be in error for my understanding, but I do not think my understanding is unreasonable, and I expect that many others might notice that. My main point in my reply, that I would like you to take away, is that stating scripture, is not an interpretation, it is just stating scripture. I pointed out how, those scriptures might represent what I have come to believe. If the difference is not obvious, then I just wasted my time, but it will not be the first time I have done that.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and respond.

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Omegaman 3.0
oblogani.gif June 1st, 2014
Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme? I think I originally posted this as a regular post. Later, the worthy news bot published it. However, it definetly qualifies as one of my rants, so I am republishing it in my blog, Also, if you read it, and want to reply, you might want to do so in the regular part of the forum, where some have already replied.

Is Social Security a Ponzi Scheme?

Reading a lot of forum comments, I see that when Rick Perry referred to Social Security as a Ponzi Scheme, that many people took exception to that characterization.
I will give my opinion on that topic in this thread, because I did not want to hijack another thread where this topic is incidental, not the main point.

I will give my opinion on that topic in this thread, because I did not want to hijack another thread where this topic is incidental, not the main point.
First, let me say up front that I do not think Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme, and I will give a few reason why in a moment.
It would be helpful if we had a working definition of a Ponzi scheme, but I cannot help you there. Looking for a definition on the web, was not that helpful, as the term in general, come from a specific case of fraud perpetrated by one Charles Ponzi, but the term has grown to include many schemes that have some of the same characteristics, so the definitions can vary somewhat.
Since we are talking about a government program, it might be best to find out what some of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme are, from the U.S. government itself. From the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website, I learned that Ponzi schemes have the following characteristics:

1.They involve the payment of purported returns to existing investors from funds contributed by new investors
2.They focus on attracting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage investors instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.
3.They divert funds from the investors to other purposes, besides the generation of return on investment

So far, we can see why Perry (and others before him) refer to S.S. as a Ponzi Scheme, because:

Social Security involves the payment of purported returns to those “investors” who are now retired, from funds contributed by “investors” still in the workforce
Social Security focuses on collecting new money to make promised payments to earlier-stage “investors” instead of engaging in any legitimate investment activity.
Social Security diverts funds from the “investors” to other purposes, besides the generation of return on investment for retirees etc.

Now, with such striking similarities, you might ask:
 “Why do you say that Social Security is NOT a Ponzi Scheme”?


That is a good question. Let’s look at some of the differences instead of the similarities, and we will see a few reasons why.

Does a working person have the choice to not join?
Ponzi scheme yes, Social Security no.

Is there an upper limit on how much you can get back?
Social Security yes, Ponzi scheme no.

If you are collecting your return on installment payments and you die,
can you will your balance to your descendants?

Ponzi scheme yes, Social Security no.

Is there a huge, inefficient, expensive bureaucracy that guarantees the investors money is wasted on overhead, so that much of the money is not available for the investors later?
Social Security yes, Ponzi no. (although most Ponzi schemes have dishonest operators who do siphon off funds)

When there are too few new investors to pay the early investors, will the plan collapse?
Ponzi yes, S.S. no, the govt. just mandates more and more money to be taken from paychecks, increases the retirement age of earlier investors, and reduces their benefits, and possibly declares a needs assessment in order to qualify for benefits.

Does the law prosecute systems that seek to knowingly and intentionally fleece victims by taking more from them that they will get back?
Ponzi yes, S.S. no, it is immune to this sort of prosecution.

Does the system increase the required contribution over time?
S.S. yes,: 2.25% of pay between 1935 and 1953 to 4.5% by 1960, 6.9% by 1970, 8.1% by 1980, and 15.3% by 1990.
Ponzi, no, all investment is voluntary.

So, now you can see for these reasons, that I do not consider Social Security to be a Ponzi Scheme. I feel it is an insult to the memory of Charles Ponzi, a criminal, cheat and crook, to compare the more abusive and lame-brained Social Security system, to his particular fraud.

Omegaman 3.0

The McDonalds Hot Coffee Lawsuit - What You Didn't Hear

Published May 6th, 2008

mcdonalds 

Probably at some point, you have heard of the woman who spilled hot coffee in her lap, and sued McDonald’s for millions. What you usually hear, is how this woman drove into the drive-thru at McDonald’s and bought hot coffee, that she then stuck between her legs. Because it was a Styrofoam cup with a slip on slid, the coffee spilled in her lap. Then you hear that that this lady was awarded nearly 3 million dollars because she burned her lap. Generally, most people tend to feel more sympathy for an individual, than they do for multi-billion dollar corporation. In this case some people side more with McDonald’s, reasoning that this woman doesn’t deserve much, if anything, afterall, McDonald’s did not spill the coffee, she did that herself, it was her poor judgement that led to the accident. They also think that 3 million is a ridiculous amount of money, for a coffee scald.

Perhaps, you are one of those people. We are always hearing of frivolous lawsuits and/or excessive judgement is lawsuits. Perhaps this angers you some, because you know that these things, cost us all money. Perhaps you believe that if you were in her shoes, you would not have brought this suit, but just admitted your own fault and move on, after you stopped screaming from the pain. McDonalds Hot Coffee Lawsuit

Those are easy positions to take, aren’t they? You may not have your facts strait however, or at least you may not have all of the facts. For example, this woman was not driving, she was a passenger in the car, and the car was not in motion. She was opening the lid to add cream and sugar, yes, the coffee was between her legs as she attempted to remove the lid. The lid was on tight enough (which is good, because you would not want the lid to come off if the cup overturned while driving) that she had to squeeze the cup with her legs to keep the cup from lifting, while she pulled the lid off, but, once the lid was off, the cup lost reinforcement, and the pressure from her legs squeezed cup out of round, and the coffee squirted up and out of the cup. In a moment, the coffee was absorbed into her sweatpants which kept the hot coffee in contact with her skin. The pain made her react instinctively and uncontrollably, spilling the rest of the coffee – you get the picture.

Now, this doesn’t make the spill the responsibility of McDonald’s, but it does transform the incident from one of a really foolish driver with hot coffee in her lap, to a mistake and accident that anyone of us might have made.

Now, what you also might not know, that this was not simply a painful burn. The burns she received were extensive. Six percent of her skin was third degree burns, with additional second and first degree burns. How did it get to such a large about of her body? Well, after the initial burns on her legs and groin, the coffee ran downhill to the car seat, where her buttocks were burned. Without getting too detailed, she was burned everywhere in between. She spent the next eight days in the hospital, having dead tissue removed and receiving skin grafts.

The woman sought $20,000 from McDonald’s, but McDonald’s refused. This is when she sought relief through a lawsuit. During the discovery portion of the trial, McDonald’s produced documents which showed that there had been at least 700 claims by people burned by McDonald’s coffee, in the ten years prior to this woman’s case. This shows that McDonald’s knew that it had a problem with the temperature of it’s coffee.

McDonald’s also provided information, to the effect that they keep their coffee on hold, at 185 degrees, plus or minus 5 degrees. This is substantially hotter that other establishments. Coffee at home, is usually served at 135 to 140 degrees. To give a perspective, most adults cannot make themselves, no matter how hard they try, hold their hand in water over 130 degree. Water at 105 degrees, is about the most people can tolerate in a hot tub, 95 to 100 still feeling quite hot. Eighty  degrees above that, is quite hot! Water at 180 degrees, can give you a third degree burn, in as little as two seconds.

There are other facts that you may not have heard, but I will skip most of them. Remember that three million dollars? Well 2.7 million of that was punitive damages. For those of you not familiar with how are civil court system works, punitive damages are not awarded to the plaintiff, because the plaintiff deserves or needs them. The are designed to punish the defendant (McDonald’s), so that they will have an incentive, to change their behavior, and stop serving coffee that unnecessarily burns 70 people every year. This amount, at the time, was the equivalent of two days worth of coffee sales for McDonald’s.

 Millions of Dollars  Damages, the amount awarded to the plaintiff as compensation, was awarded by the jury in the amount of $200,000, but it was reduced to $160,000, because the jury found that the plaintiff was 20% responsible. The punitive damages, were reduced by a judge, to $480,000, but the judge said that McDonald’s was reckless, callous, and willful. The parties entered into a secret settlement subsequently, so we do not know how much McDonald’s actually payed. I am guessing that it was less, that McDonald’s threatened to appeal the verdict and/or awards, and that the plaintiff might end up with nothing, so, a compromise was stuck. I do not know, this is just a guess.

O.K. What does all of this have to do with a Christian administrator’s blog?

I do not know if know the facts of the case that I presented about, change your opinion about it at all, that is not the point. But you can see, that someone might come to different conclusions, if they have all of the facts, or in some cases just admit that they do not know all of the facts, and suspend judgement until they do have the facts.

We, as Christians, have a lot of insecurity usually on the topic of judgement. Some of us think think that it means that we should not criticise others. It does not mean that. If you want, you can see my thoughts on judgement as a theological topic, you may, but that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about how quick we can be, to leap to false conclusions, when we do not have the facts. Sometimes we think we have the facts, but we do not know how much more to a story there is than is apparent. Sometimes, it is none of our business to know all of the facts, and in such cases, might we want to consider suspending our opinions out of recognizing our own ignorance? We often have too much pride, to consider that we might be wrong, might not have the facts (who wants to be ignorant?).

How do we do this? How does it manifest, where is the harm?

We do this when we become critical of others, when they behave in a way that we do not approve of, but we may not realize, that we might have done the same thing in their position. Friendships can be damaged, congregations torn apart, or, if not torn apart, we separate into factions or cliques, where we justify why we are not like those other guys, as the do the same thing concerning us. This is not pleasing to God, we are one family, we are to love the brethren, bearing one another’s burdens, making peace, forgiving each other, as God also forgave us. Before you are tempted to reply and scold me and tell me that the Bible instructs us to judge those in church, save your breath, I understand that. Again, that is not the subject here. My topic is more about jumping to unfounded conclusions.

Another way that we manifest this faulty type of judgement, is we sometimes blame God, when something in our life is not as we think it should be. We have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. God is the only one who knows all of the details, that lead Him to the actions He performs, or allows things in our lives, that we may not like. We do not know what greater purpose might be served by our discomfort, or how those things are shaping us into better people, perfecting us in areas that need change inour lives. Perhaps the biggest thing we forget, is that while we may approach His throne and make requests, the decisions are His, and they are always right. We were bought with a price, we belong to Him, and we have no rightful claim on our own lives. To the extent that we maintain our own sense of entitlement, we are outside of His perfect will for us. We are at our best, when we complete surrender ourselves to His will. It is not a natural thing for us to do, it is a supernatural quality. Jesus said it best:

“Never-the-less, thy will, not my will, be done.”

Omegaman

Omegaman 3.0

jumpingani2.gif

 

     So what is all of the above about? Hopefully, you took a little time to look it over, and to consider it. Given enough time (about a minute), it should have changed a little from when you first looked at it.

At the very top, is what appears to be a phrase, with  the letters partially obscured. Most people who look at that, I assume will make a conclusion of what the phrase says. However, since there is some obscurity, not total revelation, it is possible to assume something that is not true.

We can do this in the Bible. When you looked at the "phrase", did you make an assumption on what was meant - what the meaning was behind the obscured letters? When you did not have "all of the picture", was your assumption correct?

When we read, we do not just perfectly see letters, and perfectly understand. We come to sentences and make judgments, based on things we have learned it the past. It is hard for us to read scripture, without importing our pre-conceptions to it's pages. This is what I am trying to illustrate above.

There was also the little graphic, many people perceive that there is a different shade on letter "b" than on letter "c". That image has a sort of 'context' to it. We perceive two objects, or two parts of one object, and it might appear to us, the the two objects are different, due mostly to the different background. Sometimes we might do this, for example, when comparing scripture of the Old Testament to the New Testament. Sometimes we might be right, and the nuance is different. Good exegesis, takes a lot of things into consideration. 

Some people see the Old Testament, and see a lot of rules that need to be obeyed, and might even conclude that salvation depends on following those rules. They might look at the New Testament, and perceive that as having more tolerance, being more relaxed, less rigid, and tend to say it is the 'age of grace', where God forgives us, and the rules are not as important.

In that picture though, when you can compare the two objects to something in common to both (the band of grey overlaid when the image changes appearance), we see that both objects are the same shade of grey.

If we are familiar with scripture sufficiently, we can see that salvation was never earned, not even in the Old Testament. It is the same God in both testaments, and it is His grace that saves his people no matter when, where or who they are.

Finally, there was a paragraph with a lot of "f"s in it. Were you able to correctly spot them, accurately count them? If not, why not. Many people fail to see them all, and count to the low side. They miss a few, because they do not pay enough attention to details, again, making unwarranted conclusions.

So, my point here is "don't jump to conclusions", and try to learn disciplines that help you discover things (in the Bible) that are not always easy to see. You can read the Bible casually, and derive benefit from that, but getting the most out of it, might take a little work sometimes.

(for a little help on exegesis, studying the Bible to get more out of it, see my topic on that!)

Omegaman 3.0

howistudy.png

Originally published September 28th, 2008

In as much as several of you lately, and many over the years have asked how I go about Bible Study and why I think my approach is a good one, I have decided to blog on that topic.

First off, I do three different types of Bible studies. Expository, topical, and word studies.

As I define the terms, an expository study is one were I select a passage, a chapter, a whole book, or some other contiguous grouping of words from the Bible, and then go verse by verse, looking at the verse, it’s context, the intended audience, the historical setting and any parallel or related passages, to gain an understanding of the grouping of words which I am examining.

I would say that a topical study, would be an examination of a specific subject, such as abortion, the rapture, tithing, marriage, etc.

Finally, a word study is where I begin by looking at a word in a verse or verses in English, where either I am uncertain of it’s usage, or just want to more fully understand it’s significance and nuances, Then look ate the original Greek or Hebrew word that was translated into the specific English word at the location in question. Once having identified the original language word, I then look at every occurrence of that word in the Greek or Hebrew to see the ways the word is used, and also consult works written for the purpose of original language study, such as Lexicons.

My favorite type is the topical study, but the methods I use are based on principles that can be applied not only in these different studies, but can be applied to other historical literature as well as current literature.

There are rules of interpretation than most conservative theologians agree upon. By and large, they look to me to be good common sense rules, so I try to stick to them. This minimizes the “that’s your interpretation” phenomenon, which is so silly. I prefer to have a good interpretation any day, than MY interpretation. Many of these rules come from traditional Jewish rules of interpretation. Now immediately, we must concede, that there are obviously limitations to these rules, or most Jews would have recognized their Messiah. The problem is, that we are human, we make mistakes, and we bring our own prejudices and preconceptions to the interpretive table. It is true for me, it is true for you also. So, sound rules are a foundation for understanding the Bible in a consistent manner, they are there to help you see past your own prejudices, but they will only work if you are willing to be consistent, and not change the rules to suit an interpretation you prefer.

So what are some of these rules? In no particular order.

                Always examine a verse or passage in it’s context

This means that you look at the verses leading up to that passage, and following, so that you can see what the cubject actually is, being discussed. Ignore the chapter heading and number, these are man-made, it is up to you to determine when a subject begins and ends. Examining a passage in context, also involves not just reading and understanding the nearby verses, but also identify who is being addressed in a passage, for whom is the message intended. Sometimes it is a specific individual, some times Israel, sometimes the church, sometimes it applies universally to mankind, determine this. The historical context is also important, Understanding things about a time and place, can affect how you understand the passage. Context, is one of the most important aspects of Biblical interpretation.

Okay, suppose we have done all that. We have arrived at what we think the verse is saying and to whom. Remember that the scriptures are divinely inspired. Therefore, they will never contradict each other. We can use that to help us check our understanding of a verse or passage in question. The next rule is:

                Compare Scripture with Scripture

Here, we search out other passages on the same topic. For example, let’s say we examined the ten commandments, and saw there: “Thou shalt not kill.” We have now the understanding that it is always wrong to kill. However, as we read in other places in the Bible, we find that God ordains wars, and prescribes putting people to death for certain crimes. Knowing that the God does not contradict himself, we understand that we must have a faulty understanding of “thou shalt not kill”. This brings us to another rule of interpretation.

                Examine the Verse in the Original Language

Time was when you had to own quite a library to follow all of these rules effectively. In modern times, there are theological libraries in the form of software, which are substantially less expensive than they would be in printed form. Additionally, many of these helps are online. Go and experiment with sites such as blueletterbible.org, biblestudytools.com, and/or biblehub.com. You will find many things to aid your understanding on those sites. In the case of thou shalt not kill, we would find that a better translation of the Hebrew would have been “You shall do no murder”.

Another tool which is indispensable is a concordance. A concordance let’s you look up Bible verses by words that exist in English in the verse. For example, if you looked up the word “locusts”, you would discover the word occurs in 17 verses. The concordance would show you part of the verse - a partial context. This is useful if you want to find verses that have a word in common with a verse you are examining. Seeing the context, lets you see if the verse is related to the topic you are studying, or to the verse you are studying, In the Gospels for instance, the different authors some times have additional details that another Gospel writer left out. Perhaps you are wanting to find a particular verse you are thinking of, a concordance can be useful for that. This can also be done with online Bible search sites.

The next ones are not rules, but recommendations. Read a passage in several translations. Translations are not all alike, nor equally good, and none is without error. Most are pretty good for casual reading of the scriptures, but by reading a passage in a different version, you can often uncover some nuance, that you may want to explore further.

Additionally, it is a good idea to to read about a given passage in a commentary or two, or three. In that way, you reap the benefit of the work that someone has already put into understanding the passage you are looking at. Here again, none is without error. In fact, by reading commentaries, you may come across views you never considered. Consider them, but stick with the Bible text itself, which brings me to the next rule.

                Let Scripture Interpret Scripture

What do we mean by that? Sometimes a verse you may be considering, is already discussed in another passage in the Bible. Since the Bible is inspired by God, you have to accept the Bible’s explanation of itself. How would you know that a passage is commented on in another section in the Bible? My primary answer is read the Bible until you are familiar with it. I realize than not everyone will follow this advice, so there are other ways. The commentaries I spoke of, will often point such passages out. A good reference Bible, such as Thompson’s Chain Referance Bible, will show related passages - a very helpful tool.

                When reading a passage, assume it is literal, 
                 unless there is a compelling reason not to. 

In John 10:9 (NASB) Jesus says:
I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

A literal translation of that would be to think of Jesus claiming to be a slab of wood on a hinge. There is no need to be so literal. The context of the passage will usually indicate what the author was saying. Parables and visions, similes and metaphors are frequently used in the bible. There is an excellent book on parable and metaphors, learn to spot them. Some times it may not be so obvious:

John 11:11-15
after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, that I may awaken him out of sleep.” 12 The disciples therefore said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.” 13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. 14 Then Jesus therefore said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead",
(NASB) 
In the passage above, we see that even the disciples took things too literally.

Understand the Historical Background

This takes some digging, but it is most helpful to understand figures of speech, customs and historical circumstances surrounding a passage. Where is the author, why is he there? To whom is he writing and why? These type of things are very useful to stay aware of. For example, some passages are written directly to a person of a people, and may not apply universally. Strive to avoid interpreting through the eyes of your own experience and culture. A helpful tool for this is the book: "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah"

Keep with precedents

Some people love inventing new meanings for words. Understand what the words meant when they were written from the original languages, if you are working in your own language, understand the meaning of the word when they were translated. For example, you may run across the word “quick” in the King James Version. Quick meant ‘living’ or ‘alive’ in 1611, not ‘fast’. Many modern commentators have erred by insisting that certain words mean certain things that they did not mean when written, don’t make the same mistake and don’t make the mistake of assuming that what they say is true, do your own research.

                Use Common Logic

This one seems like a no-brainer that I should not even have to mention. Ask yourself, if a given understanding of a passage makes sense. Be careful here though, not everyone thinks alike. When I say to ask if it makes sense, I don’t mean does it make sense to you! I mean is the conclusion a rational one given the words used, the circumstances etc. is it where the majority of scriptural evidence points you? Don’t make the mistake of using you logic to over-rule the plain revelation of scripture. For example, I don’t like hell. It makes no sense to me that such a place would exist, why punish someone eternally for things done during the short span of a lifetime. However, I must keep in mind, that my thoughts are not His thoughts, and my ways are not His ways, so, I go with what scripture plainly teaches - there is a Hell.

                Recognize and determine the validity of inference

This is similar to the above. You may find it difficult, for example, to discover a verse that indicates God is a triune being. However, you might fine a verse that refers to a person known as the Holy Spirit, and that the person is called God. You might find a reference to the fact that there is a person called the Father, who is also called God. Then you may find a reference to a person who is called the Son, again, He is called God also. You will find verses that indicate the these person are distinct. You will also find versed that categorically state that there is only one God. Putting them all together, we realize that there are three separate persons who are each God, and there is only one God. Therefore, the three persons are the one God. That is inference. For some, this makes no sense, I have no problem with it. This is a case however, where you may have to suspend what you think is logic, and accept that this is what is revealed in scripture, we have no right to over-ride revelation with our opinions.

                Recognize the unity of scripture

The 66 books that make up the Bible each has it’s own story to tell. However, there is one author behind each of them, and He has His story to tell as well. When you read and study the Bible, be aware that there are themes that thread their way through the various books of the Bible, some books cannot be fully understood without the benefit of the other books. If you have an interpretation of a passage, that is a contradiction to another passage, then you have not reached a correct understanding, for God does not contradict Himself.

There may be more that I am forgetting, I will add them in if they occur to me, but that is the way that I approach the study of the scriptures, I hope some of these principles, are ones that you will find helpful in your own studies. Be Blessed!

Ω Omegaman 2.0

This page has been visited 11,913 times since September 28th, 2008

5 Responses to “How I Study the Bible - one approach”

  1. Sharon Graham Says: 
    December 12th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Thank you for explaining how to study the bible it is a big help.

  2. FresnoJoe Says: 
    February 28th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    “there is one author behind each of them, and He has His story to tell as well”

    Oh So Amen Dear Brother, So Amen!

    “Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,” Psalms 40:7

    “Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” Hebrews 10:7

  3. AyinJade Says: 
    March 2nd, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Lol Mega, with a date of Sept 28th, you are always assured of having this post as the first one seen in the admin blogs. I had a hard time finding my latest blog entry until I realized that the date of this blog was incorrect.

  4. Omegaman Says: 
    March 4th, 2009 at 3:09 am

    That is when it was posted, Sept. 28th, 2008

  5. jayblayze Says: 
    April 23rd, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Thanx for your thoughts and all the support at http://www.worthychat.com tonight april 23 You keep on speaking the truth will ya. Thanx again,
    Jamie

Omegaman 3.0

Should everyone vote?

Going out on a limb here, but, I have always been of the (somewhat unpopular) opinion, that not everyone should vote. Some think it is the right of every adult, U.S. citizen. Some think it is an obligation of every adult, U.S. Citizen.

True rights and true obligations, come from God, not from documents written by governments made of men. However, dispensing with this technical opinion of mine, I am saying that I do not believe that being an adult, U.S. citizen, should be enough of a qualification to vote. The voting should be a privilege, not a legal right. Actually, I think it might be a privilege already. As far as I know, felons are not supposed to be voting, so it seems to me that if that has been taken from them, we already recognize voting as a revocable privilege.

I think there is a reason, that we have a minimum voting age, and I suspect that the reason for this, is because we deem children to have insufficient knowledge and wisdom to take part in deciding policies for the country. Let's face it, children could conceivably vote to have candy bars and soft drinks everyday as a public school provided lunch.

If we recognize that children may not be the best mentally equipped people to take part in deciding matters of government, then why does that same concern NOT extend to adults? Does it really make sense, that people with and I.Q. of 40, should vote? Do we really want people, who do not understand or know, history, economics, germ theory etc, deciding matters like what form of government we should have, what manner of economic policies we should employ, or the types of things that the Center for Disease Control should be concerned with?

Supposedly rational, educated adults (the people in charge now) don't do that well of a job at these things, so maybe it would not hurt that much, but I prefer not to risk it. I believe there was a time, when  only white, male, property owners could vote in this country. While I would not want to go back to that situation, I think in principle, there is wisdom in NOT having a one person, one vote policy.

For example, if it comes to the place where the impoverished in this country, significantly outnumber those financially better off, should we not expect that someday, the poor will rise up, and demand that their representatives tax the rich, confiscate their bank accounts, retirements, etc, in order to make the lives of the poor more pleasant? 

Charity is a good thing, and should be encouraged, but the confiscation of property without an owners permission, is called theft. It would not be all bad, for the government to tax the rich to provide for the poor, after all, there could be a benefit to some in doing that. However, if such things are not done sensibly, then eventually, the rich will no longer be able to pay taxes themselves, and will not be building the businesses that keep people employed.

The founders of the constitution, were pretty smart fellows. They understood that people need to be protected from their government. When the people are not familiar with history, and the contents and purposes of the constitution, then they will undo it's benefits eventually, and repeat the mistakes of the past.

I am 64 years old, chances are I will not live long enough to see this country unraveled, but my children may. I hope they do not, but it seems to me as if, the U.S. is peculiarly missing from note in Bible prophecy. My suspicion is, that this is because in the future, the U.S. will be a minor player in terms of military might, economic solvency, and social influence in the world. I do not think that there is anything that is to be done to prevent that. I have no reason to really think that it needs to be, or should be prevented. However, I do think that it is a good thing, if citizens do what they can to do good at home and abroad.

It is my opinion, that responsible voting is part of that. I also believe that responsible voting, requires responsible voters. Voters should not be only interested in their personal welfare, but in the welfare of their neighbors. By neighbors,  I mean everyone other than themselves.

When we naturalize a person of foreign birth, to become a U.S. citizen, we expect them to know a few things about what is to be their new country. I just took a test online, of sample questions, the sort of questions asked of those who desire to be U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens, have the right to vote in our elections. Does it make sense, that we allow people of U.S. birth, to vote in elections, who do not possess knowledge that we require of immigrants before we let them vote? Personally, I do not think it does.

The test I took, was at http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0104/Could-you-pass-a-US-citizenship-test/Who-signs-bills/ .

When I finished, I saw this:

 

cstest.jpg

I am certainly no genius politically nor historically. I don't think public education was all that good when I was going to school. I suspect though, that it has become much worse, and I have to wonder if our current average citizen, could achieve the 58% percent expected of them on these tests.  I think as Christians, we should be able to, but that is just my opinion!

Omegaman 3.0

Five Minute Theology (updated from May 8, 2015)

I recently purchased a small book entitled "Concise Theology - A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs" by J.I. Packer. I think the book is excellent, and it is what is describes itself as. Each topic in the book is only a page, or a page and a half, so it is truly concise. The topics also cite scripture verse addresses to support the conclusions. The book is also easy to understand for most people I think, assuming that they have normal capacity for understanding, and God's grace of the Holy Spirit to enable them to understand and accept spiritual truths.
I was calling this, "Five Minute Theology, because that is about how much time it takes to read each topic.

Those who are not born again, might have difficulty accepting it, as they do many things of God, and of course, even believers have trouble accepting and understanding the things of God at times. If that were not true, then all believers would agree on all doctrines, and likely denominations would be far less common or important.

Copyright issues will keep me from posting the entire book online, but I thought perhaps, some people might be interested in reading a chapter at a time, so I thought perhaps I could quote small amounts of it at a time, in the Bible Study room of the Arrow Chat or Comet Chat feature of Worthychat.

For those who choose to participate, they will not receive a seminary level degree of instruction on Christian theology, but they will come away knowing the basics of historic Christian theology, which in my estimation, would bring them easily into the upper 5% of believers, in terms of knowing what the church has believed and accepted, as the teaching of the Bible, concerning faith and practice. This amounts to, essentially, an elaborate statement of faith.

My idea is to paste quotes of this book, into the room, and those present may read these quotes. Then afterward, if people have questions, or want to comment or otherwise discuss what was posted, they are of course, welcomed to do so.

Now, of course theologians and lay Christians alike, disagree over so details or peripheral theology, and that will be no different here, so there may be some debate, some disagreement on some points discussed. This is okay, that can be done as long as people are willing and able to be civil and respectful in their discussions. For those who do not care to attend this event, or do not want to participate in the discussion and or just hate debate and disagreement, the regular section of Worthychat is open for them, without be disturbed by the activities in the Bible Study room.

My hope and goal here, is that this will prove to be both instructional, and edifying, and that the discussion of these topics, will add a dimension of depth for our chatters, that is too often absent at times.

We had the first chat session in July of 2015. I cannot commit to the frequency of these events, but I hope to make them a regular feature. This is still a bit of an experiment. Our chatters come from every time zone, and some have schedules which will keep them from participating no matter what time is chosen.

This is a problem for which I know no solution. Possibly, it can be reduced by doing this at more that one day of the week, or hour of the day, we'll have to see.

There are 94 topics, so as you can see, if we did this once a week, this would take about one year and 9 and a half months to finish. That is a big commitment for those who would want to attend, and for the one leading.

Of course, chatters do not have to commit to attendance, but I do not think there is a chatter who would not benefit from attending.

Of course, if you are interested, you can always just purchase and read read the book , but my thinking is, that we would or could benefit, from the discussion of the topics. Perhaps, we could even do more than one topic per week, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and suggestions - about if you would be interested in participation, and best of good times to do this, etc.

I am going to disable comments on this post here in my "Thoughts and Rants Blog" - I put this here for the exposure. If you want to comment, I suggest that you do so in the Worthychat section of the forum.
qr.gifYou can see more of my blog entries here.

Omegaman 3.0

Is the Old Testament for today - one opinion
Posted by Omegaman 2.0 on the January 15th, 2007

 

I got tired of seeing my last blog, as the latest blog, so I did another to bump my position.


I came in at the tail end of a conversation in chat one night, not long ago, it was close to venomous between a few, or at least in seemed to me to be so. As near as I could figure out, it began on a topic like war or the death penalty, or something along those lines. Those topics are still what I would call peripheral theology, yet I cannot deny their importance, because human lives are at stake. What I saw in that chat, was that everyone was under the assumption that their opinion was the right one or the superior one, and felt that their view was justified by scripture.

Now, it is great, that everyone is willing to back up their ideas, and form their beliefs, from the scripture. I Try to do that, and just like all of these good people I watched, I too, have opinions, which I have formed from the scriptures. Unlike some of those I observed, I am willing to entertain the notion, that my understanding is limited, and my opinions can be wrong, very wrong. I am going to let some of those opinions show through in this blog, they are not the subject, they are the illustration, feel free to have your own convictions, in fact, you are not only entitled to them, you SHOULD form you own conclusions, for you are accountable to God, not to me, only somewhat to your brothers.

At the same time, we should all be open to hearing the opinions and convictions of others.

To quote Paul (out of context): 1 Cor 8:1-3

Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies. 2 If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.

Now, in the discussion that night, there was a recurring theme. “That is not in the New Testament”, “We are not under law, we are under grace”. There were others, but the point seemed to be, that we do not have to bother with the Old Testament anymore, the New Testament is what runs the show.

Is this notion true? Is the question which Testament we are under? Is it, which parts of the Old Testament, can we dispense with? Or, is it possible, that we should be asking, if the New Testament is an edition to the Old Testament, a clarification, not in any way a replacement? Are there other ways we could ask this question?

I have some thoughts on this, and, I have some of my opinion on social topics, woven in as well. If you think that you would like to see it, I would be happy for you to do that. I am afraid, however, that it will not be received well by some, because my opinions are there. They will be unpopular with some, and I accept that. I ask you, to consider, whether you can read my opinions, opinions which I would share openly in chat, without holding them against me personally. It is our responsibility, to love each other, and harbor no ill feelings, yet recognize, that differences of opinion are inevitable. We can agree to disagree, agreeably. If you have that maturity, or if you can isolate good principles from a mans opinions, then by all means, check out my thoughts at the link I will provide. Also, feel free to leave you comments in this blog, about what you read, but be forewarned, I am not going to drawn into a debate in this blog, the one I watched, got too close to ugly.

 

http://www.omegascripture.info/worthystudy/opinions/law-grace_OT

 


15 Responses to 'Is the Old Testament for today - one opinion'
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Rebekah David said,
on January 20th, 2007 at 2:01 pm
Read your link oman . Interesting ideas can not say i agree with them all tho that is okay.
I do have a question tho when Jesus was talking about the law i have always understood that to mean the Ten Commandments? is this incorrect?
My humble opinion is that the OT is just as important as the NT and have seen the same Lord (of both) making them each very relievant to my life. I will say there are parts of each i do not understand and yet do see them as both compatible and neccessary to understand a small glimpse(and darkly at that)our Wonderful Creator.
Omegaman said,
on January 26th, 2007 at 2:34 am
Thank you for your taking the time to read it Rebekah. I do not expect everyone to agree with me, when they do, I will assume I am wrong.
I do not think that Jesus, in referring to the law, is talking about the ten commandments. Observe this familiar passage:
Matt 5:17
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
Notice there are two things He did not come to destroy. The Prophets, is a reference to the Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, etc. Similarly, the Law, is also a collection of books. It was terminology well known to His audience. The Jews had divided the scriptures into categories, but these are manmade, just as our chapter and verse number system is. Jesus was basically saying “I have not come to destroy the scriptures, but to fulfill them.” There are other similar phrases Jesus used.
Luke 24:44-45
“These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures
There - you see Jesus talking about the Law of Moses. This is probably a longhand version of what He meant by the Law in the previous verse. The Law of Moses, might sound again like the ten commandments to our ears, but it is a referance to the first five books of the Bible. Christians sometimes refer to these as the Pentateuch, to the Jews, it is Torah. The Torah, is obviously more than the ten commandments.
When we divide things into categories like this, it is good for some purposes, we like things organized.
Consider this. Jesus was always being criticised for things like violating the Sabbath. That, is a violation of law.
In the following, you can see that Jesus saw the law as prophetic. Maybe one could make the case that the ten commandments are a prophecy of the Messiah, but I won’t try.
Matt 11:13 “For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
Here is more evidence, that the Law is more than a few “thou shalt nots”:
Luke 2:21-24
21 And when eight days were completed before His circumcision, His name was then called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days for their purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every first-born male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what was said in the Law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”
Now all that being said, I think there is a sense in which you are correct. If you think of the Law as rules for behavior, it is obvious that we do not obey the law flawlessly. Whether you limit yourself to just the ten commandments, or the multitude of other commandments in the Bible. Since we do not obey, we need a way to deal with sins. In Old Israel, they depended on the sacrifice of animals. This, was only a picture of what was to come. The blood of a few animals is not sufficient to cleanse us of sins. Faith in God, and His provison for us, is how we access cleansing from sin. I believe all the animals in the world. can not atone for a single persons sin. I do not belive that the sacrifice of a single sinless person, could atone for the sins of mankind. The math just doesn’t work. However, if God Himself were to sacrifice His body, He is of sufficient worth to cover all of mankind. Problem is, in order for God to do that, He would have to have a body which can shed blood and die. This is why the Diety of Christ is a vital doctrine.
Pauls refers to the Law as our schoolmaster, as I believe I mentioned in the link you read. It teaches us two things. The first, is that we are not good enough, the second, is that it points out, through prophecy, who would save us from our sins.
I know that was way more than your questioned looked for. so I will do a recap after all my typical longwindedness.
Your short question:
I do have a question tho when Jesus was talking about the law i have always understood that to mean the Ten Commandments? is this incorrect?
My short answer:
Yes, it is incorrect, lol.
Donna Ps25 said,
on February 20th, 2007 at 12:02 pm
Wow Omegaman,
As always God amazes me. My sister told me this weekend she plans to obtain a new tattoo. So I asked her what the Bible said about it. She mentioned well, there are many Christians she knows that have tattoos. I said yes. And so she thinks we can do as society says is correct?? Then she is conforming to the world. I showed her the passage in Lev. 19 about Tattoos, and so we discussed how several items in that passage are still things we consider we should practice today (as Christians) but yet things like weaving 2 types of material together and cutting sides of hair we have never thought twice over.
Later that evening, I just happened to check blogs, and this new one had been posted by you. Very interesting that it came together.
Thank you for adding in to our study on the topic. It’s now up to her to pray about her decision.
Rebekah David said,
on April 27th, 2007 at 1:21 pm
Thanks oman! (sorry this reply was so late in coming)
I appreciated your long version as it really clarified my misconception and also the short recap as my mind got lost thinking about your long version
jackie said,
on May 24th, 2007 at 12:49 pm
Greetings brother, I after many years of bible study am inagreement with you. I would like to to go even deeper about the role of the Jews and what we owe to them. God tells us to pray every day for Jerusalem. This is very important and again why the Old testement is very important to all of us. We are adopted into Gods family. Sorry I hope I didn’t open up any problems. Thank you for sharing your thoughts (well done) 2 Tim 3: 16-17
Have a blessed day
nobdy said,
on May 27th, 2007 at 4:38 pm
Thank you for your blog.
In order to understand the new testement and specifically what Yeshua teaches, you must have the Old Testement.
Myself, I have never read a scripture written by God that tells me to do away with the Old Testement.
I think however, one must discover that which is created by man (Church dogma), and that which is commanded by God.
An example of what I mean…..for a very long time and maybe still, catholics were not allowed to eat meat on friday….so who deceided this….God or the pope.
It has always amazed me that christians do alot of man inspired things and totally ignore the commandments and the Festivals commanded by God.
Another example, it is my belief that the Puritans were not celebrating “Thanksgiving”, but the Feast of the Tabernacle.
It is by the Grace of God through our belief in He Who is the Christ that we are saved.
How folks think that eliminates the Old Testement and it’s teachings is beyond me.
Donna Ps25 said,
on June 13th, 2007 at 10:00 pm
I’m currently reading an amazing book I’ll recommend by Ray Stedman called ‘Adventuring through the Bible’. It has really opened my eyes to looking at the Holy Book in different ways. He very much ties the OT and NT together. The prophecies, the fullfillments, the reason behind each book and why it was written and to whom. I just started the NT part, but the OT was a wealth of info to me.
Joel R. said,
on June 28th, 2007 at 12:45 pm
I have read your link and it is very ineteresting. Like you said we can have a discussion about meanings and literal translations but the Lord taught us in the OT to be responsible for our own actions, something of a rare occasion in our present time. To ignore the OT, which spawned what are now the three main religions of christianity, judaism, and islam (yes even islam) and to replace it with the NT is rather extreme. Watching the end of the movie is much less enjoyable than watching it in it’s full context.
Robert Cartwright said,
on July 5th, 2007 at 8:35 am
I had an ‘out of body’ experience when I suffered a cardiac arrest. The comment I have to make about,” is the Old Testament relevant for today.” is simple. Yes it is!
I say this because I thought and quite rightly that my last breath had been taken from me.
I uttered the words, “well I’ve finally bought it Lord and I’ve failed you.”
The reply came back, “My ways are not your ways, neither are your ways my ways; I have chosen you with all your faults, you didn’t choose me. I know your faults. Now go back and follow my laws, do this and you will greatly please me.”
So where did I go? To the ten commandments of course. Then I began to study different laws and see if they were relevant to my situation and the modern day or if they were directed to the peoples of that period in time.
A great deal of wisdom, understanding and discernment are needed to interpret these correctly and that is why we have God’s Holy Spirit who will direct us into all truth and knowlege. We are human and we will continue to make mistakes but remember that God knows us and all our ways.
The Old and New Testaments compliment each other and there is a wealth of instruction and hope in the old as well as the new. Prayer is the key to heaven and faith unlocks the door. Enjoy both old and new.
Bryan said,
on July 29th, 2007 at 11:59 pm
Jesus did not come to “replace the law but to fulfill the law”.
God does not change and people are not different from thousands of years ago. Societies and mans laws change.
What applied to mankind b.c. still applies today. Living by faith instead of the law does not negate the law. God still expects the same from mankind as any other time.
RJAVF said,
on August 18th, 2007 at 1:51 pm
I am aware that not many Christians truely know what OLD TESTEMENT means. Some even those who retun tihe believe that the OT is simply the book from Genesis to Malachi.
But the OT in reality refers to ANIMAL / BLOOD SACRIFICES.
When we say that we are not under the OT what we must undrstand from this is that we are no longer obligated to use animal sacrifices, or high priest or any of the ” shadows” that represented Jesus.
The book of Hebrews chapters 7-10 give a good discription of the old covenant and new. and the book of Acts chapter 15 gives a good indication that we ( NONE HEBREW BELIEVERS IN JESUS) must continue to obey the laws writen in the book which we call the OT.
The division of the bible into books of OT and NT is not divine. Its a human doing. God divided His SCRIPTURE into two divisions: THE LAW ( written by Moses) and THE PROPHETS. Now these are the divisions made by God and are divine, and ALL of them regardless of what book we read apply today
Marguerite said,
on September 4th, 2007 at 3:23 pm
Hi, Omegaman,
Read your blog, superfantastic, meaty with scripture and none ramming - down - your - throat - style. I have and still do struggle with new and old testasment scripture, but know that Its not about me, its about God.
I do stuff wrong, we all do, but I just say, hey God I mucked it up again looks like I really do need you. he just needs us to acknowledge our sin and he gives us his grace. Don’t know about you but I live by faith and Grace and Gods Love alone.
I have left the pentecostal church I attended because of legalism, saying we should be right with God and be righteous, but We can never be right with God, He makes us right by sending Jesus Christ to shed his blood for us. That and only that Is being right with God. Be real people, stand for Jesus just as you are. live under Grace, and let him love you into being holy through faith in Jesus and his grace and mercy.
Thank you for writing what I feel is inspiring to my walk. Refreshing and Real.
May God truley and richly bless you with his Love.
marg
bobinthegong said,
on November 9th, 2007 at 6:15 pm
Hi omegaman.
I’d say that the old testament is alive and well. I only just escaped from a christian chat room where they were discussing the merits of castrating child molesters and rapists! When I asked what we do with women who do those things, stony silence was the stern reply.
Seriously though, I have to agree with you. The old testament is rich with God’s promises, the fulfillment of which we see in the life, death and ressurection of Christ. In truth, I don’t think you can have one without the other. The old testament, taken as a whole, is the story of God’s law, and how utterly we are unable to live up to it. The new testament is about what God did about that.
I am what could best be termed a ‘returning backslider’. I have been in the wilderness for many years, but just last week I finally took the Book off the shelf, blew the dust off it, and asking God for a ’sign’, for want of a better word, opened up at Isiaih 41. It got my attention, especially vs 8-20. I couldn’t think of a better scripture for someone in my position. There were no flashing lights, no bells or whistles; just a feeling of assurance that I am loved, that God has not forgotten me, that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
My conclusion? The Word of God is a thing of beauty, of promise, of love and grace. Check out John 1:1-5. Jesus is the Word of God. And it says somewhere,(Revelation?) that not one jot or tittle of the word will be nullified, or words to that effect.
As for you, Omegaman,(revelation again!), you seem to be a fairly sensible, well adjusted bloke. I think, in my experience, that a lot of Christians forget one of the Lords greatest gifts to us: Commonsense.
Grace and peace.
Ruth said,
on November 11th, 2007 at 8:39 pm
After reading most of the blogs on this issue about the Old and New Testaments, I felt strongly moved to chime in. It’s funny– I’ve been reading the books of Exodus, Numbers and Leviticus lately because I’ve grown deeply fascinated with the Tabernacle in the wilderness and Yahweh’s Laws concerning its building and sanctification. All things about the tabernacle symbolize our Lord Jesus Christ: the sacrificial bronze altar, it’s annointing with blood, the priest’s robes, and the curtain that is before the Most Holy Place. One of God’s instructions to Moses was to use the colors red, purple and blue year when making the curtain of the tabernacle [Exodus 26:1-2],when making Aaron’s priestly sash and other things. [The Jews Torah? states that the purple yarn represents the Messiah. Purple as you know, is a mixture of red=earth and blue=heaven. There is so much more symbolism that points to Christ, just as he told his apostles. Is the Old Testament relevant for Christians. You bet. I was able to understand Jesus’ even better after reading about the very detailed laws and procedures that Yahweh gave to the Israelites through wonderful Moses.If we don’t consider the ancient symbols that represented the Savior, I feel the we’ll miss out on a lot.(Exodus 26:1-2). PLEEEZE read the Old Testament books–then look at Revelation 1:9-16). Peace.
Ruth
Rev Albert said,
on November 14th, 2007 at 12:37 am
Omegaman
In all you have said, you have demonstrated what the church currently suffers from. Not the subject on the Old Testament, but about how every uses the Scriptures to push forward their own opinions. I am truly impressed with your level of Comprehension as one who has stepped back and look at everyone doing their own thing.
This day, the day you read this tread, declares the Lord God of the heavens, and his only begotten Son Jesus Christ, the Angel of the Lord will make camp with you; and will endow you with all the Gifts of the Spirit and indeed increase your understand.
In God’s word we are commanded to humble ourselves; and God will raise us up. You can never know personally that you are humble, but your demonstrated love through how you deal with others shows your humility. You think about your words before you write them or say them; that speaks about your heart.
The Angel with you will teach you how to heal the sick and raise the dead; and will also teach you how the power of healing works; and will move you to show love to everyone that you want to help. Once you desire to help, he will move upon anyone you touch and give you tangible evidence that he is there. Even if you do not believe that he is there, he will not leave; and only when you start desiring to show love to someone by either giving or helping them, that he will move upon the person.
And God Bless you

Omegaman 3.0
blog-0593581001436645432.gif

In as much as I enjoy writing from time to time, I do so in a blog here. In as much as my ego demands that I assume a few other might enjoy or benefit from what I write, I have made a table of contents of my blog entries. Also, at the bottom, I added a link to diagrams and charts. Occasionally, they are helpfull was to illustrate beliefs, doctrans and other things, so that is a place to store them and find them when I need them, you can look and see too if you like. You might disagree with them, I do not pretend they are perfect, just a growing colltion of illustrations of a growing understanding.

 

Fun with Numbers and the Probability of God's Existence

 

 

Five Minute Theology - Ongoing online study here, begins July 2015

 

 

 

 

 

(should you?)

 

- Updated July 2015

 

 

 

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-43-is-social-security-a-ponzi-scheme/

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-42-how-i-study-the-bible-one-approach/

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-41-did-jesus-rise-from-the-dead/

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-40-its-my-right-or-is-it/

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-39-propaganda-deception-myth-junk-science-can-you-distinguish-the-truth/

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-38-what-worthy-means-to-me/

 

http://www.worthychristianforums.com/blog/25/entry-37-lessons-form-the-mcdonalds-hot-coffee-lawsuit/

 

Charts, diagrams, graphical illustrations