Tuesday, January 29, 2008
According to Jesus there is a greater persecution that awaits His elect (Mark 13:20). Mark wrote this gospel with persecution in mind and many scholars agree that Mark's gospel is not only an account of one of Peter's disciples but is also a letter of exhortation to the persecuted church.
Keep this in mind.... During the time that Mark wrote his account (ca. 65-70 AD) Roman Colosseum's were just being built and beginning to gain popularity.
The Christians fighting lion's in the Colosseum's for sport did not come for several more years.
Think back to Daniel -- He was placed in a den of lions for what? His faith in the One True God.
The same for early Christians. They were rolled up into the skins of dead animals and used as a filler for the feeding of the lions.
Tacitus writes: "In their very deaths they were made the subjects of sport: for they were covered with the hides of wild beasts, and worried to death by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set fire to, and when the day waned, burned to serve for the evening lights."
What Jesus said (Mark 13):
“But watch out for yourselves, for they will deliver you up to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues.
You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, for a testimony to them.
But "when" they arrest you and deliver you up......
Now brother will betray brother to death....
and a father his child....
children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.
And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
"who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions" Mk 10:30
‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoke to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ Jn 15:20-25.
What Paul said:
11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. Ga 5:11.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you. 2 Co 4:8-12.
I am sure none of these people stood up and said, "Hey! Here am I, persecute me!". They trembled in fear, cried out with pain, suffered before their children, were enraged as their children died, wept as their grandparents were dipped and set aflame........... why?
For His Name's Sake.
These early Christians had to understand without a shadow of a doubt that this man for whom they were about to die; this man "Christ" was who He said He was.
If the enemy still used lions, would you still follow Christ?
Monday, January 28, 2008
Acts 4:12 rings true through both, which is good:
"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." (Jesus Christ)
I know the 5 Points of Calvinism are a response to the 5 Points of Arminianism (or The Five Articles of the Remonstrants which can be read here http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/iv.vii.cliii.htm.
I'm obviously not 100% committed yet toward either and maybe I shouldn't ponder on it but I do. I have my reasons.
Here is another link you may be interested in (or maybe not)
http://www.the-highway.com/compare.html Ta' for now.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I am still at a loss as to where our system of tithing comes from, not because I want to change the way I/we do it. But I don't want to make our own "laws". I.E. things we perceive as right or what we are suppose to do and its no where in scripture. I AM NOT SAYING GIVING OF TEN % OF GROSS INCOME GOES AGAINST SCRIPTURE. I am saying I can't find where we come up with the system we have been taught all of our lives. Our system of tithing and I am speaking of tithing only, I just wonder(ed) if anyone knew how it evolved into what it is today. And that maybe as simple as its been adapted to our culture today. I don't know. I just want to make sure what I do is scripturally based, what I say is backed by scripture, because some of what I have been taught about being a good little baptist all my life is nowhere in scripture. And I guess there in lies the problem, I am being taught about being a good little baptist and not about what scripture says about the Christian life. (Jodey, I am not talking about you, or your current sermon series.) We are going through scripture, that happens to be in the Baptist Faith and Message for those that might not know. But our pastor isn't teaching on how to be a good baptist, he is teaching us what scripture says.
I guess just the more and more I read the bible for myself, I find out some of what I have been taught all my life in baptist churches isn't in scripture. (and that is my fault for not reading and studying scripture for myself) I could not care any less about being a baptist, I want to follow scripture. And I don't want to be a false teacher. I don't want to tell someone something that isn't in scripture, just because I heard someone else say it from a stage in a building, behind a wooden box. Yes Jason, I know what you're thinking and I don't want to be a mockingbird, and I don't want a new law. (ha) Jason will understand and most likely smile and/or laugh.
I just want to know scripture correctly and apply it correctly and I find out more times than not, that I am not.
I'm not saying our system of tithing is wrong, but I don't know if it lines up with scripture or not, and I in simple mind was wandering how it got to be what it got to be. Common sense tells me it just evolved to what it is because of culture, but I really want to know how it got to be what it is today.
As in my original post on tithing I think we can glean that we are suppose to support the ministry and Kingdom work. I don't breed animals or grow crops so money to buy food for widows would have to be given. And maybe our tithing system is that simple. I do understand God doesn't need my dollar, but I also understand He wants my dollar, (not literally cash, like Jason said heaven doesn't have a building fund) He chooses for us to play a vital role in Kingdom work. I don't however always understand that, but He is God and He involves us in a work we cannot do. (He can through us)
And I don't so much have a problem with our tithing system I guess as much as I do with someone saying that buying study material or service to the Lord is tithing because its not. If we define tithing as service some people would never have to write a check. And folks like me should probably write twice as many. I just think we should be careful to define stuff the way it was originally defined, because the way we define things has horribly misrepresented scripture at times.
I'll quit rambling now, I think I have for the whole post.
So, does anyone have any references as to where or how tithing is what it is today?
Romans 14:23 says:
23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.
Obviously, the context here has Paul dealing with eating things that are clean or unclean and the context is also instructing us to not be a stumbling block for our brother. But the final phrase caught my eye, and I believe I'm within the bounds of this teaching to apply it to tithing.
Look at Hosea 6:6
6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
So what would God desire from our giving? Not my check! I'm pretty sure He's not waiting on my tithe to pay on a construction loan for Heaven. He's got that! I believe He would like for me to realize that 1) I have a job because He arranged it for me. 2)I have food and shelter because He provides. 3) As my homey has stated, there is kingdom work to do and He wants me to be a part of it, not only by writing a check every two weeks, but rolling up my sleeves and doing the work; to take up my cross daily, not on Sundays! Guess what. I don't take up my cross daily. A lot of days, it doesn't even make it out of the closet!
So let me try to get back to my initial point. Tithing can become a sin. If we tithe as the Pharisees, to be seen, we sin. How about this...If we tithe and give secretly so that we can be proud of our secret giving and feel worthy in some way of God's favor, we sin! If we are not giving out of faith, knowing first of all that God does not really need it, but we need to give it, then it is in vain and it is sinful because it's of the flesh. God desires our obedience, our hearts. Not the thumpy organ thing, but our inner desires, our passions. Know that I write this as a hypocrite, because I fall so short.
I don't know if I made my point or not, but I'm going to quit writing because I'm starting to ramble and I need to talk to God. It's cool how we can do that. You know, when your spouse, the love of your life, your prize is on the phone and you try to tell her/him something, you get the finger, not the middle one - the index. It means 'Hang on, I can't listen to you right now'. But here is God, sovereignly ordaining and organizing not only the present, but the future (and for that matter the past, because He is infinite and He is right now a million years from now and a million years ago, at this moment! At one time!!!), holding the earth in place, sustaining life in everything! And you come to Him and He turns His ear to listen. Praise God.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Do you need to get saved? Do you tremble at His word? God says "Star's stay!" and they obey, God says "Oceans stop here!" and they obey, God says "Rains fall!" and it obeys, God says to you come to me!........ and you say?
Paul Washer Sermon Beat
tith (ma`aser; dekate):
The custom of giving a 10th part of the products of the land and of the spoils of war to priests and kings (1 Macc 10:31; 11:35; 1 Samuel 8:15,17) was a very ancient one among most nations. That the Jews had this custom long before the institution of the Mosaic Law is shown by Genesis 14:17-20 (compare Hebrews 7:4) and Genesis 28:22. Many critics hold that these two passages are late and only reflect the later practice of the nation; but the payment of tithes is so ancient and deeply rooted in the history of the human race that it seems much simpler and more natural to believe that among the Jews the practice was in existence long before the time of Moses.
In the Pentateuch we find legislation as to tithes in three places.
(1) According to Leviticus 27:30-33, a tithe had to be given of the seed of the land, i.e. of the crops, of the fruit of the tree, e.g. oil and wine, and of the herd or the flock (compare Deuteronomy 14:22,23; 2 Chronicles 31:5,6). As the herds and flocks passed out to pasture they were counted (compare Jeremiah 33:13; Ezekiel 20:37), and every 10th animal that came out was reckoned holy to the Lord. The owner was not allowed to search among them to find whether they were bad or good, nor could he change any of them; if he did, both the one chosen and the one for which it was changed were holy. Tithes of the herds and flocks could not be redeemed for money, but tithes of the seed of the land and of fruit could be, but a 5th part of the value of the tithe had to be added.
(2) In Numbers 18:21-32 it is laid down that the tithe must be paid to the Levites. (It should be noted that according to Hebrews 7:5, `they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood .... take tithes of the people.' Westcott's explanation is that the priests, who received from the Levites a tithe of the tithe, thus symbolically received the whole tithe. In the time of the second temple the priests did actually receive the tithes. In the Talmud (Yebhamoth 86a et passim) it is said that this alteration from the Mosaic Law was caused by the sin of the Levites, who were not eager to return to Jerusalem, but had to be persuaded to do so by Ezra (Ezra 8:15).) The Levites were to receive the tithes offered by Israel to Yahweh, because they had no other inheritance, and in return for their service of the tabernacle (Numbers 18:21,24). The tithe was to consist of corn of the threshing-floor and the fullness of the wine press (Numbers 18:27), which coincides with seed of the land and fruit of the trees in Leviticus 27. The Levites, who stood in the same relation to the priests as the people did to themselves, were to offer from this their inheritance a heave offering, a tithe of a tithe, to the priests (compare Nehemiah 10:39), and for this tithey were to choose of the best part of what they received.
(3) In Deuteronomy 12:5,6,11,18 (compare Amos 4:4) it is said that the tithe is to be brought "unto the place which Yahweh your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there," i.e. to Jerusalem; and in Deuteronomy 12:7,12,18, that the tithe should be used there as a sacred meal by the offerer and his household, including the Levite within his gates. Nothing is said here about tithing cattle, only grain, wine and oil being mentioned (compare Nehemiah 10:36-38; 13:5,12). In Deuteronomy 14:22-29 it is laid down that if the way was too long to carry the tithe to Jerusalem it could be exchanged for money, and the money taken there instead, where it was to be spent in anything the owner chose; and whatever was bought was to be eaten by him and his household and the Levites at Jerusalem. In the third year the tithe was to be reserved and eaten at home by the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow. In Deuteronomy 26:12-15 it is laid down that in the 3rd year, after this feast had been given, the landowner should go up himself before the Lord his God, i.e. to Jerusalem, and ask God's blessing on his deed. (According to the Mishna, CoTah 9 10; Ma`aser Sheni 5 65, the high priest Johanan abolished this custom.) In this passage this 3rd year is called "the year of tithing."
There is thus an obvious apparent discrepancy between the legislation in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. It is harmonized in Jewish tradition, not only theoretically but in practice, by considering the tithes as three different tithes, which are named the First Tithe, the Second Tithe, and the Poor Tithe, which is called also the Third Tithe (Pe'ah, Ma`aseroth, Ma`ser Sheni, Dema'i, Ro'sh ha-shanah; compare Tobit 1:7,8; Ant, IV, iv, 3; viii, 8; viii, 22). According to this explanation, after the tithe (the First Tithe) was given to the Levites (of which they had to give the tithe to the priests), a Second Tithe of the remaining nine-tenths had to be set apart and consumed in Jerusalem. Those who lived far from Jerusalem could change this Second Tithe into money with the addition of a 5th part of its value. Only food, drink or ointment could be bought for the money (Ma`aser Sheni 2 1; compare Deuteronomy 14:26). The tithe of cattle belonged to the Second Tithe, and was to be used for the feast in Jerusalem (Zebhachim 5 8). In the 3rd year the Second Tithe was to be given entirely to the Levites and the poor. But according to Josephus (Ant., IV, viii, 22) the "Poor Tithe" was actually a third one. The priests and the Levites, if landowners, were also obliged to give the Poor Tithe (Pe'ah 1 6).
The explanation given by many critics, that the discrepancy between Deuteronomy and Leviticus is due to the fact that these are different layers of legislation, and that the Levitical tithe is a post-exilian creation of the Priestly Code, is not wholly satisfactory, for the following reasons:
(1) The allusion in Deuteronomy 18:1,2 seems to refer to the Levitical tithe.
(2) There is no relation between the law of Numbers 18 and post-exilian conditions, when the priests were numerous and the Levites a handful.
(3) A community so poor and disaffected as that of Ezra's time would have refused to submit to a new and oppressive tithe burden.
(4) The division into priests and Levites cannot have been of the recent origin that is alleged.
W. R. Smith and others suggest that the tithe is simply a later form of the first-fruits, but this is difficult to accept, since the first-fruits were given to the priest, while the tithes were not. The whole subject is involved in considerable obscurity, which with our present information cannot easily be cleared away.
The Talmudic law of tithing extends the Mosaic Law, with most burdensome minuteness, even to the smallest products of the soil. Of these, according to some, not only the seeds, but, in certain cases, even the leaves and stalks had to be tithed (Ma`aseroth 4 5), "mint, anise, and cummin" (Dema'i 11 1; compare Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42). The general principle was that "everything that is eaten, that is watched over, and that grows out of the earth" must be tithed (Ma`aseroth 1 1).
Considering the many taxes, religious and secular, that the Jews had to pay, especially in post-exilian times, we cannot but admire the liberality and resourcefulness of the Jewish people. Only in the years just after the return from exile do we hear that the taxes were only partially paid (Nehemiah 13:10; compare Mal 1:7; and for pre-exilian times compare 2Ch 31:4). In later times such cases seldom occur (Sotah 48a), which is the more surprising since the priests, who benefited so much by these laws of the scribes, were the adversaries of the latter.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available from Crosswire Software.
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. "Entry for 'TITHE'". "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia". . 1915.
I know, I was the one who said I wouldn't like lengthy posts. After reading and studying about tithing; Where did our system of tithing come from? (just something we adapted for our time and culture?) Obviously I am not saying we shouldn't give 10% of our gross income, but I was just wandering where we get that from scripture? I think we can glean from scripture a responsibility for supporting Kingdom work and ministry, but I don't see where we came up with our system of tithing in scripture (because our system isn't the system spoke of in Scripture, like I said maybe we just adapted it for our time and culture). Tithing in scripture was more than money and from what I've read mostly food, wine, etc. And maybe because we aren't growing our own food as they did we give more money so food can be bought. I don't see anywhere in scripture where our service is counted as a tithe. I heard a person say recently, buying Sunday School material was tithing because it helped us grow in the knowledge of our Lord. And it certainly does that (help us grow). It isn't however tithing. Buying study material, putting on Vacation Bible School or buying and building a playground is what we do with tithes. That is what I call ministry or Kingdom work, and the two are not the same. Tithing can be worshipful, but tithes are used for ministry and Kingdom work. They aren't one in the same. I may be way off base, but something I have studied over for a while and see differently than I think most others do or maybe closer than I think. Comments, ?'s, rebuke....
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
We have to be at Oak Grove First Baptist by 10:30am Friday morning to catch the bus, so be sure to plan out your travel arrangements accordingly.
Conference Promo Video.
Here is the participants video.
Break out session info can be found here.
A Father's Heart Part I
A Father's Heart Part II
A Father's Heart Part III
I pray that we as devoted followers of Christ at The Branch can have this kind of lasting impact on the community in which God has placed us.
5Behold, I was (A)brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me
Soooo, what's the question again?
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I am guessing that Revelation 21 is not part of their documentary process?
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. 8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
I pray that this avenue of media will allow us to stay in better contact day to day and keep each other reprised of our life happenings through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
By the way --- For the world to know, my new favorite song is Shane & Shane's "Embracing Accusation" from their Pages album.
Here are da wizurds yo!
Father of lies, coming to steal kill and destroy
All my hopes of being good enough
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”
He’s right, halleluia, he’s right
The devil is preaching the song of the redeemed
That I am cursed and gone astray
I cannot gain salvation
Could the father of lies be telling the truth of
God to me tonight?
That if the penalty of sin is death, then death is mine
I hear him saying, “cursed are the ones who can’t abide”
The devil’s singing over me an age old song
That I am cursed and gone astray
Singing the first verse so conveniently over me
He’s forgotten the refrain.