Friday, September 29, 2017

Expressions of Faith. Hebrews Ch 5. Still, "Got Milk?"


We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
 Hebrews 5:11-14

Still, “Got milk?”

The California Dairy Association did a long series of print ads a few years ago. In each was some “famous” person's picture.

  • Regardless of age, sex, or degree of stardom, every one of those stars had a milk mustache.
  • The only words in the ad were “Got milk?”
  • The ads implied that "every body needs milk"—another Dairy Council ad slogan.

This passage makes it clear that there is a time for milk in spiritual development.


It also makes it very clear that “milk time” should be limited.

Spiritually mature Christians need solid food—a deeper appreciation and understanding of Christ’s teachings.

Who are the mature?
[Those] who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil [v14]

Study and train yourself to leave spiritual milk behind you.


Next Expression of Faith: Grow Up
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Timeless Truths. “Don’t Touch”


David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.
When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.
Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.
David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, “How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?” He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.
Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
2 Samuel 6:1-15
Trust and Obedience
Several parts of the Old Testament are skipped over or ignored because it seems they are hard to reconcile.

2 Samuel 6 is a difficult portion of Scripture.
Bringing the Ark into Jerusalem showed David’s relationship with God.


Uzzah did what anyone would have done.
He protected the Ark.
His intentions were good.
Yet, The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah
because of his irreverent act
.
The best intentions don’t mean anything if we “touch what we’re not supposed to touch”—God’s Throne.

David’s reaction is anger and fear.
Anger at God.
Fear of the Ark.

The Old Testament teaches against trifling with God.
The Ark will not be a pawn in David’s politics.

In John 20:17a, Mary is told not to touch God/Jesus.
Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me,
for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
Just as Uzzah could not touch the Ark, Mary could not touch the risen God in His glory.

Both 2 Samuel 6 and John 20 teach about the glory of God—that is, the lack of containment of God.

A God that is too approachable does not inspire trust and obedience, not the fear of judgment.
We have too often trivialized God’s message much more so that Uzzah did.
We often understand too little and presume too much when it comes to God.


Thank God that He is patient
and loving with us!

Special thanks to Dr. Brent Strawn for the primary teachings used in this post. You can read more of his teachings 


Next Timeless Truth: A Missionary . . . Me?

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Thoughts on Hebrews Study Questions from 9/24


THOUGHTS ON HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  


These questions were discussed in my Life Group Monday. This post presents thoughts from the class discussion.


Chapter 7Vv 1-10

What 2 titles does Mel hold?
1) King of Salem/King of Righteousness/King of Peace. 
2) Priest of the Most High God.

How could Mel be a High Priest when the priesthood hadn’t been established yet?
God appointed him. He was the first High Priest.
Later priests were descendants of Levi. Mel had no beginning and no end. Melchizedek is a "type" of Jesus, not the pre-incarnate Jesus. 
We spent a  long of time here. I've put some of the points with other questions because they fit better there. Here the answer to the question about Mel being Jesus from https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/356-was-melchizedek-the-preincarnate-christ 


“Was Melchizedek the preincarnate Christ?”
No, Melchizedek was not the same person as Jesus, contrary to a rather popular notion that stems from a misunderstanding of certain passages in Hebrews 7.
Melchizedek is first mentioned in Genesis 14. Abram (later called Abraham), returning from the rescue of his nephew (Lot), encountered this ancient dignitary who was king of Salem (early Jerusalem; cf. Psa. 76:2).
In addition to being king, he was described as “priest of God Most High” (Gen. 14:18).
His stature is revealed in that he “blessed” Abraham (the greater always blesses the lesser), and to Melchizedek, the patriarch paid tithes, i.e., gave to the king-priest a tenth of his spoils (the lesser tithes to the greater).
The writer of Hebrews uses this incident (together with a prophecy from Psalm 110), to demonstrate the superiority of the priesthood of Christ to that of the Levitical system (Heb. 7:4-10). Beyond that, there were some similarities between Melchizedek and Christ, so that it may be said that the former was a “type” (a picture or symbolic preview) of Jesus. That does not mean, however, that they were the same person. In fact, the sacred text indicates otherwise.
V3 is… Well, just what up with v3?
Here's the verse: Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
It may mean no record, not really none. Mel's "like" Jesus not Jesus.
More from https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/356-was-melchizedek-the-preincarnate-christ 
Melchizedek was “without father, without mother” (Heb. 7:3a).
The meaning is this: his divine role was not genealogically derived, not handed down from his parents. So, neither was Jesus’ priesthood determined by a physical lineage, as in the case of the Aaronic priests (Ex. 28:1; Num. 3:10).
Among the Tel el Armarna tablets (discovered in Egypt in 1887), there are several letters written to a Pharaoh from one Ebed-tob, who is called “king of Uru-Salim.” The Canaanite king tells the Egyptian ruler that he did not receive his reign from his father and mother, but it had been conferred upon him by “the Mighty King.” This helps to illustrate the phraseology in the book of Hebrews (see A.H. Sayce, “Melchizedek,” Dictionary of the Bible, James Hastings, Ed., Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1908, III, p. 335).
Melchizedek’s administration was without “beginning of days” and “end of life” (Heb. 7:3b).
Again, the meaning is that his priesthood was not for a fixed term (as in the case of the Levitical priests). Under the Old Testament regime, priests began their service at the age of 30, and the Levites served from age 30 to 50 (cf. Num. 4:3ff; 8:24-25).
Apparently, however, there was no chronological limitation with reference to this “priest of Most High God” who reigned in Salem. Again, in this regard, he foreshadowed Christ, who serves continually as our priest throughout the Christian age.
That Melchizedek was not the same person as Jesus is evident in that he is said to be “like unto” the Son of God (Heb. 7:3c).
The participle aphomoioo denotes a comparison (e.g., a “copy” or “facsimile” – J.H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon, Edinburgh: T.&T. Clark, 1958, pp. 89-90). The term becomes irrelevant if the two persons were the same in identity.
The point is made again in verse 15. Jesus is a priest after the “likeness” of Melchizedek. D.W. Burdick observes:

“The verb aphomoioo always assumes two distinct and separate identities, one of which is a copy of the other. Thus Melchizedek and the Son of God are represented as two separate persons, the first of which resembled the second” (“Melchizedek,” The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia – Revised, G.W. Bromiley, Ed., Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986, Vol. 3, p. 313).

What’s the significance of Abe’s act of tithing?
Tithing is always from the lesser person to the greater person.
Mel expected tithes and he blessed Abraham.

Where in Scripture is tithing required by The Law?
Deuteronomy 14:22-29/Malachi 4/Leviticus 18 and 27.
There are three types of tithes required.
The Levites' Tithe--Leviticus 18:2. This is needed because they Levites had no other source of income.
The Lord's Tithe--Leviticus 27:30
The 3-year Tithe. Deuteronomy 14:22-29

Mel’s whole story is in Gen 14:18-20. Why spend so much time on a minor OT character? <see next section, too>
See the above and

A distinction between Christ and Melchizedek is vividly seen in Psalm 110.
In this text, Jehovah addresses David’s “Lord” (Jesus) in the second person, while the reference to Melchizedek is in the third person (v. 4). [Note: See Matthew 22:42-44 for Jesus’ application of this psalm to himself.]
Accordingly, one should not make the mistake of identifying the ancient king-priest of Salem as Jesus Christ.

Mel’s blessing of Abe is emphasized here. Why?
Blessings are always OF the lesser BY the greater.

Chapter 7 Vv 11-22
What does v12 mean?
For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
Aaron's priesthood is in the Law. 
For a non-Levite to be a priest, the Law had to change.
Jesus death fulfilled the Old Testament Law and brought a new Law into place.
Since the Law changed, requirements for the priesthood changed, too.

We Got This Far This Week

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Monday, September 25, 2017

Hebrews Study Questions from 9/24

HEBREWS STUDY QUESTIONS

My Sunday School Life Group is studying Hebrews. Every Monday, I post questions that were discussed the day before in Sunday School. I invite you to ponder/think about them and jot down your thoughts.

On Wednesdays, I post some of the ideas that came up in the Life Group's discussion for you to consider and compare with your thoughts.  


These questions were discussed in my Life Group yesterday. Take time to reflect on them. I'll post thoughts from the class discussion on Wednesday.


Chapter 7
Vv 1-10

What 2 titles does Mel hold?
How could Mel be a High Priest when the priesthood hadn’t been established yet?
V3 is… Well, just what up with v3?
What’s the significance of Abe’s act of tithing?
Where in Scripture is tithing required by The Law?
Mel’s whole story is in Gen 14:18-20. Why spend so much time on a minor OT character? <see next section, too>

Mel’s blessing of Abe is emphasized here. Why?


Chapter 7

Vv 11-22

What does v12 mean?

We Got This Far This Week

If you'd like a PDF of the pages of questions in table form with room for you to write answers, email me at 
Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

I'd appreciate your feedback as a comment on Blogger!

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