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Sometimes new Christians will ask a question about drinking wine and alcoholic beverages. Is it ok or sinful? The answer to these questions are relatively easy. It is a question of moderation. The improper use of any food, drink, or medication can cause problems.
In the scriptures we find verses that plainly say wine is ok to drink. In Genesis 14:18 we hear about the mighty Melchizedek bringing forth bread and wine (Yayin) to Abram (Abraham) and his companions. "Yayin" is a fermented drink and listed about 130 times in the Hebrew scriptures, despite this we see that generations earlier old man Noah consumed too much of this "yayin" and was drunk. Noah was not exercising moderation! God gave mankind wine to make people glad (Psalm 104:15), but it is something to use properly. And take note that these verses are not about grape juice. Grape juice is not a mocker but wine can be (see Proverbs 20:1).
In the New Testament we find a similar pattern. We see at the wedding in Cana that Jesus produced a good deal of wine (oinos). This was not grape juice. A small amount of wine was even recommended due to its medicinal properties (see 1 Timothy 5:21), but Paul Shaul also warned about overindulging in drinking (Galatians 5:21). As one can see it is a matter of proper use and moderation.
Tags: Wine Drink Paul Cana Moderation
He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters,
at the boundary of light and darkness.--Job 26:10 NAS
In the verse above I found myself intrigued because it reminded me of the Earth from space with the sun shining on half of the planet due to our planets rotation. The many translations vary so I wanted to check and see if a word relating to curvature or circle is actually in the text. I found it, a form of it, to be in the text. It is the word "chug/khug" (Strongs#2328) and does indicate a curvature of sorts even though it is not describing a sphere. Just the same the boundary of light and darkness is on the curved face of the earth and from outer space it looks rather sharp.
Tags: Book Job Circle Rotation Earth Day Night
Revelation 16:12-21 ...'And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.'
In reading about this battle I see that little in the way of weapons are mentioned. In books on the "endtimes" it seems to be treated as an iron battle with tanks and guns. I notice too that many of the symbols listed are often taken literal or taken to represent technology. Frankly, I think the battle of Rev. 16 is largely a spiritual battle and is ongoing. This is not to say that physical battles will not take place on the surface of the earth but the battle is largely a battle between truth and error...and spiritual.
If we look at some of the items in Rev. 16 we see things like "garments", which are representing purity and such. And these are no more speaking of literal clothing than the armor of Ephesians 6 is actual material armor. We also see apocalyptic metaphors such as "and every island fled". What are your thoughts?
Ephesians 6:12 ...'For we wrestle NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.'
Tags: Revelation Armageddon Ephesians Spiritual
As the Lord Jesus walked about healing and bringing people to God he was almost constantly troubled by the pharisees and their followers. Often the priests of this class were focused on the letter of the laws of Moses and legalism, but they lacked compassion and genuine obedience to God. The Lord wants love and compassion rather than just doing sacrifice out of obligations to rules.....
"....and to love Him with all your heart and with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, which is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."---Mark 12:33. (Hosea 6:6)..
As followers of Jesus we must be careful to keep the proper focus and not get caught up in being like modern pharisees. We are commanded to love God and others. Today we do not have burnt offerings and such but some are overly focused on ritual and sometimes throwing a dollar into a pan rather than giving kindness and help to others. And this is something to think about.
Tags: Compassion Love Obedience Sacrifice
We all go through tuff times and unfortunate circumstances but the believer, in the true and only God, will come through these experiences and be better off. We see an excellent example in the experiences of Hagar. She was an Egyptian servant women that Abraham acquired in his travels. As the story goes there was always some issues between Abraham's wife Sarah and Hagar, as Genesis 16- tells us, but things became worse after the birth of Hagar's son Ishmael (meaning: God hears). Because this boy was a son of Abraham Sarah was troubled that he would dominate her own son Isaac. Sarah wanted her gone, although this troubled Abraham. Hagar with Ishmael were sent off (alone) in a very desolate land with only modest amounts of food and water. Imagine how you would feel. She with a child has basically been abandoned in a desert, which is a life and death matter. Finally in Genesis 21:15-we read that she was so distraught that she sat down some distance away from Ishmael so she would not have to watch him die of thirst. A crisis point had been reached. She and her sons circumstances were about as painful and hopeless as one can imagine, yet the God who sees and hears all finally delivered her and Ishmael. Ishmael later became the ancestor of many peoples. One can see the great change of fortune in the story of Hagar.
You too may be going through sad times and trouble but God allowed you to be in such circumstances and can deliver you. This is one reason why we find such stories in the word.
Tags: Women Circumstances Death Hope Hagar
The study of both Hebrew and Greek can be rewarding and opens one eyes to deeper understanding. A good example is the issue of faith and the supposed differences between Paul and James. Actually there really was never a contention as both men held to a Hebrew form of faith rather than abstract faith or an idea. In Genesis 15:6 we find Abraham was counted as righteous because he supported the Lord; he relied on the Lord. He had a form of EMUNAH faith. True faith always has a flowering of good things coming out of it. James was concerned about dead abstract faith being substituted for genuine trust and the good it generates.
I hardly know Hebrew or Greek but over the last 15 years I have picked up some of both languages and it can open one up to deeper understandings. Another thing too is that it is always good to go back and look through the older blogs and postings.
Tags: Faithworks Abraham Truth
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture...-Malachi 4:2
When the messiah Jesus walked the Earth he healed many. He was the Sun (or son) of Righteousness and without blemish or sin. He fullfilled many prophesies and this includes Malachi 4:2.
The Van Gogh painting below is of the raising of lazarus but Van Gogh has replaced the figure of Christ with the Sun shining. I feel he may have been thinking of Malachi 4:2?
Tags: Malachi Healing Son Sun
Genesis 6:4 is one of the most mysterious passages in the Bible. It has been open to a host of interpretations, however, those who hold consistently to a biblical worldview must reject the notion that women and demons can engage in sexual relations. They can not mix and produce fertile or any offspring at all. Despite this evident truth so many keep suggesting that we see in Genesis 6 the production of hybrid giants, yet several scriptures show this can not happen.
Remember that Jesus indicated in Luke 24 that spirits do not have flesh and blood bodies, which means also a lack of DNA. Spirits are also very limited in the ability to create, although they can certainly interact to various extents. I would suggest what we see in Genesis 6 is widespread demon possession and paganism in a very degenerate society. Demons can give knowledge and influence to men and make them mighty (gibborim) although evil at the same time. These would be the "giants" or "fallen ones"(nephilim) of old.
The "possession theory" may lack the luster of some theories but is Biblically more sound and truth is what we want.
Tags: Genesis Deluge Noah Giants
Sometimes issues may build up in ones family or personal life that make us feel concerned...even fearful about the future. It just happens due to our being human and circumstances. There is just too many possibilities of something going bad to avoid all feelings of concerns, but the Bible gives a clear way to operate. Philippians 4:6 says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done". If you follow this peace will come your way as long as you are sincerely trying to do his will.
Most of us are very familiar with this verse but some are not and in this cold and dark winter season be ready to encourage others with it along with related verses. To some it can be a gift.
Tags: Fearconcern Future Paul Cares