Are both Satan and Jesus the morning star?

I have been the webmaster for a religious publisher since 1998, so I get email with questions now and then. Generally I point them to our e-mail discussion group, but today I got a query I figured I’d go ahead and try to answer myself. My response is below (minus names, correcting one tense, and removing a “[a]” in one of the verses that pointed to a footnote in that Bible). First, what she asked:

i have heard ______ say that Lucifer was also Jesus name..does he get that idea from the Hebrew or do you know if there is a direct quote somewhere in the bible

My response… [Read more…]

Not So “Children Stories” in the Bible

I ran into Tim Hawkin’s for the first time last night. It’s great to have another "clean" comedian I can watch and listen to. As I was working on my sermon today, this great bit came to mind. Sadly I won’t be able to work it in. 🙂

Graham Maxwell, a friend of mine (and man who I looked up to) who passed away not too long ago, said that when he was young and heard the story of Noah’s ark, he couldn’t help think of all the people who died. Once for his birthday Michelle and I gave him an old thick Christian book we found that we thought Graham would appreciate. Little did we know within it’s pages was a picture that he had long hoped to find that showed a woman and child clasping to a rock as the water was coming up around their necks…his youthful picture of the worldwide flood. (It’s the style of drawing from old with a whole bunch of lines.)

We should let our kids enjoy the short time they have for innocence, but Graham and Tim both can teach us (in their own ways) a bit about taking an adult look at the harsh truths shared with us by inspiration.

Money (That’s What I Want)

Gold coins

Abu Dhabi

Last week I was in Abu Dhabi–The company I work for has provided services to FIFA Club football matches there and a good friend of mine has been running the ticketing.

After I dealt with exchanging U.S. dollars for UAE dirhams (and back), saw all the expensive cars zipping down the road (a bit disconcerting as they shook my rental car when they passed me the first night I arrived), saw the most prolific items in the skyline — cranes, made sure I’d have enough UAE coins for all the kids here…

The subject for this week’s sermon came to mind.

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When God (Finally) Speaks Clearly

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with​the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2 She was pregnant and ​was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. 3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, ​with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. 4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. 5 She gave birth to a male child, o​one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was ​caught up to God and to his throne, 6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for ​1,260 days. (Revelation 12:1-6, ESV)

How clear was that? Can anyone tell me exactly what God was showing John in that vision?

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Eternal

What does the word "eternity" mean to you?

In my brain unlimited words like "eternity" and "infinite" bring equations like 1/X to mind…

As X approaches infinity…

However X can never reach zero because…division by zero is undefined. Although it could readily become a lousy analogy, mentally God to me is being able to divide by zero.

But I do have a goofy brain. ☺

We are going to look at a different form of the word eternity — Eternal

[ Show, open, and discuss a concordance… ]

As a method of study, sometimes it can be valuable to study every occurrence of a word in the Bible

Although…we have to be cautious…words in the Bible aren't like chemistry equations where you can assume a symbol in one means exactly the same thing in another. Words can have multiple meanings depending on use (and the author using them)…and can change entirely over time. Take Genesis 43:19 in the KJV:

"And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there."

Your version probably says "for" instead of "against" — for example, the ESV says:

"they prepared e​the present for Joseph's coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there."

Translations should, as a whole, remedied any issues with "opposite" meanings…but not treating words like parts of a chemistry equation remains: if it didn't why would people continue to have so much time realizing that Paul and James aren't using the word "faith" in the exact same way?

Eternal

Eternal is a word that lends itself very well to studying using this method.

[Read more…]