RSS

A Widespread Trial of Faith

A modest modification of Image:Roman Empire Ma...
Image via Wikipedia

A lot of Christians, especially evangelicals, would disagree with evolution. The logic being that a world such as ours with all its teaming life demands a Creator. One simply cannot throw a bunch of matter together and come up with what we have today. It just isn’t possible, or so goes the argument—and I quite agree, but this is not a blog against evolution. My point in bringing this up is this: Peter sends an epistle to all the churches in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, which covers approximately sixty percent of modern Turkey. If we were speaking of our modern age with nearly instant communicative abilities etc., then perhaps one could logically believe all these churches could be undergoing a common trial without there being a conspiracy behind it. However, this is the first century AD we are reading about, and Peter sent his epistle to address the common problem of a fiery trial of faith affecting generally everyone in all the churches in at least five different Roman provinces (1Peter 1:7). Does anyone believe this is not the result of a conspiracy? Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 23, 2016 in Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Resurrection at the Coming of Jesus

The Resurrection

from Google Images

Believers today have been taught very well what our salvation is and what Jesus went through to secure eternal salvation for us. Moreover, even many unbelievers understand what we mean when we speak of our salvation. Nevertheless, in the first century this was something very new to one’s thinking. When the Pharisees spoke of resurrection, they spoke of rising from the dead to live again on earth. Whether they believed in eternal life is hard to say. Certainly the Jews teach eternal life today, but did they back in the first century AD? Personally, I believe this was strictly a Jesus’ teaching, and it caught everyone by surprise. Folks in Palestine who waited for the Messiah simply believed he would “save” the Jewish people from the Romans and make them a supreme power that would defeat all their enemies. The proposition that the Messiah would come and give us eternal life was simply not suggested. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spiritual Warfare in the End Times

slander

from Google Images

In the final chapter of his epistle, James addressed the troublemakers, the false teachers that had arisen and divided the churches. He foretold their judgment (James 5:1), because they held back what they could have offered to help their brethren (James 5:2-3). James implied that these false teachers worshiped among the brethren for some time, because he claims they held back the “hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields.” In other words, they had been helped by true leaders of the churches. Their lives were better, because of the Gospel that was preached to them, yet they held back the “wages” of those who labored on their behalf (James 5:4-5), and not only so, but they had lifted up their voices against the very ones who had labored to make their lives better (James 5:6). Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 18, 2016 in Gospel

 

The Deceptiveness of the Prosperty Gospel

Prosperity Gospel

from Google Images

Either Christians throughout the Empire were murdering one another and stealing from one another in order to satisfy their own selfish desires to obtain what others possessed (James 4:1-2), or James wrote his epistle at least partially in code. The fact is, the churches of God were at the very time of James’ epistle experiencing and empire-wide trial in the form of a conspiracy (James 1:1-2) coming out of Jerusalem, intended to destroy the Messianic wing of Judaism. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 16, 2016 in Gospel, New Testament History

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Be Not Many Teachers

Mystery of Iniquity

from Google Images

In the third chapter of his epistle, James gets down to the nitty-gritty. The empire-wide trial that had come upon the churches of God had to do with false doctrine spread by false teachers. This was an organized conspiracy begun by Annas, the high priest of Jerusalem, the very same who had Jesus crucified. It was a secret plan whereby he had planted false brethren throughout the Christian assemblies in Asia, Galatia and Greece (cf. Acts 5 and the Ananias and Sapphira incident). Paul knew about the plan, but, of course, was not privy to the identity of the false brethren. He told the churches in Greece that the conspiracy was already at work (2Thessalonians 2:7), but Paul’s presence among the churches in the area was enough to keep secret evil plan from gaining a strong foothold among them. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 14, 2016 in Gospel, New Testament History, persecution

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Favoritism and the Prosperity Gospel

Saving Faith

from Google Images

James warns believers that God will show no mercy toward those who do not practice mercy when judging others (James 2:13). But, what does James mean when he speaks of believers judging other believers? Well, he explains in verse-1 that we are not to express our faith by judging with partiality. In my opinion the translators have erred in the phrase “Lord of glory” or “glorious Lord” (depending upon the translation). First of all, the word Lord is added by the translators; it is not in the Greek, so to whom does the Greek word doxa (G1391) refer, to Jesus or to those to whom James wrote his epistle? Secondly, when James refers to having respect of persons, he seems to be referring to the Scriptures in the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 1:17; 16:19; 2Chronicles 19:7; Proverbs 24:23; 28:21), and in each case it refers to “having respect of persons” concerning judgment. The Greek word translated glory, which the translators used to describe “the Lord,” can also be translated opinion or judgment[1] and used with “respect of persons.” Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Endurance is the Key to Victory!

Orbit of the Moon and phases seen from Earth.
Image via Wikipedia

Thus far in James’ epistle we have seen that he had pointed to a great trial that had come upon the churches in the Diaspora sometime after Paul’s imprisonment. Paul had warned the brethren when he was with them that the man of sin would be restrained, until he (Paul) was taken out of the way (2Thessalonians 2:7). The “mystery of iniquity” or the secret (plan) of wickedness was already working, but Paul was able to keep it at bay while he was free. Now, however, he was in prison, and no man had the clout Paul had with the churches in Greece and Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2016 in Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,