Arkiv

About Trump’s claim that Sweden was wrong for not having a Corona lock-down

sweden-3Sweden compared to neighboring countries

Below are some reasons why I personally believe Sweden has had a much higher number of deaths (at least for a couple of weeks in April) compared to the other neighboring countries.

 

  1. Sweden has the most amount of inhabitants of the Scandinavian countries, 10 million and rising (about 2 million immigrants).
  2. Sweden has accepted approx. three times more asylum seekers than the other Scandinavian countries together. What does this have to do with anything you might ask. Lots! A friend of mine works an assistant nurse at Karolinska Sjukhuset – the largest hospital in Stockholm. She told me a couple of weeks ago that 100% of the patients she worked with on her ward for Corona patients with intensive care, 129 patients, were all immigrants! Not even one ethnic Swede. Countries which stand out are Somalia, Iraq and Syria and she expressed how difficult it was to communicate with some of them who did not speak either Swedish or English. This naturally does not mean that all Corona patients in Swedish hospitals are immigrants, but it could give us an idea in which groups we can find the most deaths. (According to Karolinska Sjukhuset, 80% of the patients survive at the unit for Corona intensive care.) My friend is an immigrant herself so this has nothing to do with racism.
  3. Mainstream media has admitted that certain countries do stick out in the statistics, like Somalia. The life expectancy rate in Sweden is 84,7 years for women and 81,3 years for men. Compare this with for instance Somalia (2016, Wikipedia): Women 56,6, Men 53,5.
  4. We can also find lots of deaths among the elderly who live in retirement homes. Sweden has lots of elderly people, and due to Sweden’s poor economy the homes are often very crowded. Sweden has a shortage of retirement homes which means that there are tough conditions to be entitled a place. If you do not meet the conditions, there is no point standing on a waiting list with the hope to get a place. To make the matters worse, we sometimes hear about cases where retirement homes are shut down with the excuse that they need severe maintenance work. After the retirement facilities have been reconstructed, immigrants are moving in. The cost for retirement homes always falls on the local communities, but hosting immigrants will bring the communities a nice income from the state for a couple of years. Horrible news have surfaced lately that the elderly in retirement homes do not get oxygen treatments if needed, and oxygen machines are only found in the hospitals. But the hospitals are full, and maybe therefore sick people at a younger age must be prioritized … ? The staff is told to give the elderly with breathing problems other types of care, like the use of morphine, but not oxygen treatments likely because it is not available as an option. The elderly will basically only get palliative care when they have reached a certain stage.
  5. Due to a constant bad economy, few care givers must provide help to lots of elderly people at a retirement home. One common complaint from the elderly is that the care givers are lacking in the Swedish language which makes communication difficult. This applies for areas with a lot of immigrants and those areas are quite common. Again, immigrants from certain countries seem to be more at risk to catch the Corona virus than others, and the elderly belong to another risk group. We know that certain factors increase the risk, such as other known illnesses, asthma, diabetes, hyper-tension (high blood pressure), over weight, smoking, etc. It looks like the lack of vitamin D and C also plays a part. Interestingly, my immigrant friend above actually told me that both she and her husband have been diagnosed with a lack of vitamin D.

Please note that Swedish hospitals were in DEEP TROUBLE long before Corona! At times patients had to sleep in rows in the corridors due to the hospitals being so over-crowded. The problem is not the lack of physical beds but due to a permanent shortage of nurses, doctors and other hospital workers. The situation has been unbearable for many years, but it has still grown increasingly worse. It is not uncommon that  nurses are offered extra money if they skip their summer vacation and work instead. If you need to go to the Emergency department, at least in certain cities, you have to expect to wait for many hours before a doctor will finally assist you. Obviously not if you are close to death, but certainly if you (or your kid) have a broken arm or similar. It can be a true night mare, and the poor doctors are often working over time in order to see as many patients as possible.

Was it really a choice to avoid lock-downs, or is the case that Sweden had no other option due to lack of police (or military) who can help out enforcing the lock-down laws? Sweden is not like the US where you can call a cop just because you have a nasty quarrel with your neighbor. The police will come if there is a murder, but other than that you can never be sure they will come. We have a huge amount of rape cases in Sweden (and gang rapes) and the police have a hard time to keep up since they cannot even keep up with all the frequent shootings, thefts, car fires and school fires in or outside of the many no go zones. 

Even if Sweden has not had any lock-downs, you can still see empty restaurants and public places because people are too scared or not in the mood to visit them. There will be loads of bankruptcies soon, and naturally the unemployment numbers are rising. 

Seems like it does not matter whether a country has a lock-down or not, and if that is the case, why do we even have lock-downs? How will crashed economies help anyone but the globalists?

Interesting fact: Compared to the previous years’ first six months, 2015-2019, Sweden actually does not have a higher death rate this year, 2020. I have no idea how the situation is compared to the other countries.

Jesus came to save that which was LOST – Luke 19:10

Jesus 3For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost – Luke 19:10

Who are the lost? That would be everyone. Still, even though Jesus died for the world and came to save the world (that which is lost), it does not mean that he promises to save everyone unconditionally. Jesus did his part by dying for the world (making everyone savable, and making the animal sacrifice system obsolete) but we must do our part if we want to use the key he has provided us to his Kingdom. We must believe, repent and endure to the end. Without Jesus Christ our Messiah, we would not be saved no matter what we did because he is the rock and our corner-stone. 

The atonement is likened to a shepherd and his sheep. It is quite possible that a shepherd might lose a sheep, and if that is the case he will naturally go out and look for it. It is not always the case that he will find it (dead or alive), but IF he does, there is much rejoice. A LOST sheep has been FOUND again! A sheep can obviously go from being alive, to being lost to being found again, and that is also the same route that the prodigal son took.

Matt. 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?13 And IF so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, —  24 For this my son was DEAD, and is ALIVE AGAIN; he WAS LOST, and is FOUND. And they began to be merry. — 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

This is the reason why there is much joy in heaven over each sinner that repents, because this means that someone has gone from death to life! God does not want anyone to perish.

Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

2 Pet. 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Ez. 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Jesus came to save the world rather than judging the world (John 12:47) but in a way people will judge themselves unworthy if they reject their Savior. God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked.

John speaks below about the mission of Jesus. He was not just the light of certain chosen ”elect”, but ”the light of men”. John the Baptist started to witness of the Light (Jesus) that ALL MEN through him might believe (not ”all sorts of men”). Jesus ”lighteth every man that cometh into the world”. It could not be more clear. EVERYONE can be saved through our Messiah, Jesus Christ. So why are not all saved? We read why when we read further about the condition:as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name”. Here we have it. Those who receive him and believe in him (and if we love him, we obey him ….) will become the sons of God. This means that those who do not take this path will not be saved. We can even read that Jesus came to ”his own”, but that his own did not receive him. This is likely a reference to the Jews. 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 The same was in the beginning with God.3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name

Who are heavy laden? Only certain chosen elect? Not at all. All who are heavy laden can come to Jesus, and their background does not matter because true repentance takes care of their sinful history. Jesus does not say that he will take the responsibility to place his easy yoke on people by force, but he urges people to ”take my yoke upon you, and learn of me” . This is our responsibility:

Matt. 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Believers are the salt of the earth, but against God’s will salt can lose its savor. If this happens, when we have lost all interest in learning from Jesus, then we are good for nothing and are cast out. Naturally therefore Jesus urges us to not lose the salt but to endure to the end. Again, God does not want anyone to perish!

Matt 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matt. 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

We are created to seek the Lord, even though he is not far away from any of us.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:— 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Sometimes in the Bible, we can read about ”the lost” when it comes to Israel and/or the Jews (or the house of Israel) as in Matt. 10:6, and Matt. 15:24 but this is another, but similar context of being lost. Similarly the Jews could/can be considered lost when they reject Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Israel has a major part of the Old Testament, and Jesus was born as a Jew to live in the world among Jews.

You can read this article about Jesus dying for the world.

 

Corona, WHO’s Dr Tedros Adhanom, Bill Gates, the UN, Event 201, etc

bloodInteresting films about the Corona outbreak

It is wise to compare Corona with the flu in order to see if one is more dangerous than the other, and if it is worth it to shut down the economies in the world and cause a huge crisis when it comes to one virus and not the other. A flu is always dangerous for someone with a weak immune system – not just this year but every year. Read here about the Corona and the Bill Gates connection.

Read here about the Event 201 exercise from October 2019: ”Event 201 was a 3.5-hour pandemic tabletop exercise that simulated a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult, true-to-life dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic. 15 global business, government, and public health leaders were players in the simulation exercise that highlighted unresolved real-world policy and economic issues that could be solved with sufficient political will, financial investment, and attention now and in the future.”

An article in The Telegraph concerning a leading German virologist who says there is no proof the Corona virus can spread while shopping or touching objects here.

Example:

”Prof Hendrik Streeck, leading the response in one of Germany’s worst-hit regions, said Covid-19 might not be spread as easily as people believe. — In his research, Prof Streeck said the home of an infected family his team visited ”did not have any live virus on any surface” including on phones, door knobs or even the pet cat’s fur. He told German TV ”there are no proven infections while shopping or at the hairdresser” and that Germany’s ”patient zero” only infected her colleagues and not other guests or diners at the hotel where she was staying.”

Below is an interesting film about the background of Dr. Tedros Adhanom and the WHO, in relation to how corruption can aid a preferred politically correct person to the highest power.

Below is a film with Dr. Wolfgang Wodarg, a pulmonologist who compares Corona with the flu.

Below is Dr Sherri Tenpenny who exposes Corona lies.

Below is a film with David Icke concerning 12 Virus:Health Experts Condemn Extreme Covid19 Response. (Note that I personally do not agree with all his views, but just the fact that his films are prone to be removed from social media is interesting in itself. )

Below ”An outstanding exhaustive compilation of documented information and expert testimonies regarding the dangers of vaccines and the agendas being pushed by those who propagate the lies.”

Below Dr. John Ioannidis ”discusses the results of three preliminary studies, (including his latest, which shows a drastically reduced infection fatality rate); the worrisome effects of the lockdown; the Swedish approach; the Italian data; the ups and downs of testing; the feasibility of ”contact tracing”, and much more.”

Short hair for girls in the 1960’s due to TWIGGY

1968 Bröllop 01

1968 during a wedding

My first memory – a sincere desire to have long hair! 

I have a couple of vague memories from the time when I was very little, maybe from the time I was only a baby (but hard to verify). Apart from those baby memories, I suspect that my first memories derive from the time when I was about four years old – as in the picture here to the left (where I was not recently cut but actually had a little length to my hair).

One of my very first memories/feelings concerned my sincere wish to have long hair instead of the short hair that I was forced to have. The British model Twiggy was popular at the time, and also her hair cut which was unfortunate for me.

The picture is from a wedding and I remember that there was another girl just like myself on that wedding. She was about the same age, and she was also blonde with blue eyes. The difference was that she did not have short hair like I did, but she had longer and a little curly hair. If I would be allowed to have longer hair, that is what my hair would have looked like. Still, at this time I did not care about hair color or even hair type. I just wanted longer hair!

Did I long for long hair just because other girls had long hair? No, I was not the only girl with short hair during this time in the end of the 1960’s, but then again there were also girls with long hair and I wanted to be like them. I believe that I naturally longed for long hair and that it would be my true wish even if every single girl around me had short hair.

Having hair long enough to be able to braid it or put it up in a pony tail would be too good to be true for me, and therefore I did not even consider it as a possibility. I felt that  it was totally out of question so I only dared to dream about something within my reach; as in at least not having short hair. In shops I would sometimes see pretty things to wear in the hair but I knew that I could not even wear the smallest types of barrettes in my very short hair. I envied girls who wore various hair ribbons or barrettes.

After some time (after a visit at the hair dresser) my hair started to grow out a little and I remember how I liked to sit in the bath tub (we kids took a bath every Sunday …) with my hair dipped into the water so that I could feel it spread out, even if it was still very short. My hair grew each day but when I started to feel successively more content it was time for a visit at the hair dresser again together with my brothers, and I felt so depressed and sad after each visit. My brothers and I actually had a similar hair cut. I remember that I sometimes placed a cardigan on top of my head as a veil and pretended that it was my own really long hair that I felt on my back.

I just felt so unnatural and ugly. It did not help that my brothers and/or their friends occasionally teased me about being a boy. In order to compensate for my short hair I liked to wear skirts and dresses to feel more feminine, but I sadly did not have that many. I do not even remember owning or wearing a dress during those times, apart from the dress in the picture above. I do remember wearing a skirt occasionally, and I just hated wearing trousers which I had to wear from time to time. I complained to my mother that people would think I am boy with my short hair and trousers, but she did not believe me. However, it turned out that I was right about my fears.

twiggyI remember once when I went out shopping with my mother when she ran into an acquaintance who later in the conversation asked with reference to me: ”What’s his name?”. I was really hurt that she thought I was a boy but how could someone blame her? I had short hair and I wore pants, so why would she not assume that I was a boy? For some reason my mother seemed to think that this woman should have known better. 

Another time I sat with my brothers on the stairs in front of  our little village shop, and a girl (maybe someone who knew one of my brothers) asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I replied ”a girl”, whereupon she requested that I should sing to prove it (!). Just as though singing a tune would be able to prove my gender. I was hurt (and I did not sing for her). This girl apparently was allowed to have long hair, so why was I doomed to have short hair?

When I started school there were at least a couple of other girls who had short hair like myself, but not all girls had short hair. There was particularly one girl with very long hair and we told her how beautiful we thought her hair was. I do not think she cut he hair for the whole duration of our school years together …

There is a lovely picture of my mother at around the age of three, and she looks just like Shirley Temple with long curly hair partly tied up with a large bow, and she was wearing a lovely dress. I believe she was even holding a doll to top it off. How I wanted to look just like that! Maybe she grew up being tired of all the hair brushing, the hair ribbons, the dresses and the white socks that she had to wear. Maybe she wanted her own daughter to look more modern/casual and took the chance when the Twiggy movement came along.

I do not believe it is unnatural for girls to long for long hair. It is true that it is sometimes harder to maintain long hair when growing old when the hair becomes more fragile and gray, but that is another story.

1 Cor. 11:14 Doth not even NATURE ITSELF teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

Today our neighbors have one little boy and one little girl and both children have really long hair and look like girls. As far as I know, and from what I have heard myself, they are both called ”boys” by their parents (unless they perhaps take turns and sometimes call them ”girls”). It is more common today to be ”gender neutral” towards children, but I do not believe this is beneficial for the children.

I believe it was the British super model Twiggy who influenced my mother and other mothers during this time to cut their hair short, as well as their daughters’ hairs. Twiggy apparently started a new phenomenon, but at least she had bangs which I did not have. In our family we even named our dog Twiggy. Later in life I had a daughter myself and I would not dream about cutting her hair short.

1993 Ungern 1

In Hungary on vacation

1968 Målke

When one of my brothers fell in to a bucket of paint

 

 

 

Can only the ELDERS in the church heal the sick? – Jas. 5:14

händerThe gift of healing, available only for some?

Some Christians do not believe that the spiritual gifts (such as healing, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, etc) are meant for today, and others believe that IF they are still around today they are not to be actively sought but can still be received and accepted if God would one day choose to give a certain believer one or more gifts. The Bible however is clear on that we should be eager to seek the spiritual gifts, and particularly the most important ones. Even if we can be saved without these great tools that God has provided us, they are still important for our Christian life and they provide an extra dimension to our communication with God and each other.

1 Cor. 12:31 But COVET EARNESTLY the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

1 Cor. 14:1 Follow after charity, and DESIRE spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 

Not only the first apostles had the ability to transfer the Holy Spirit and/or the spiritual gifts to believers by laying on of hands, and neither is it exclusive to only priests/pastors and elders. All Christians can make use of the spiritual gifts and teach or encourage others to do the same!

But what about Jas. 5:14? Does it not say there that only the elders can heal the sick?

Jas. 5:14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

Based on Bible Hub, the word ”elders” above is a translation from the Greek adjective πρεσβύτερος (presbýteros Strong’s 4245), and when used as a noun it can be applied to an elder of a Christian assembly. It holds the meaning of a mature man (which is usually an old man) having seasoned judgment (experience) and/or a senior in a group. There is also a feminine counterpart which is presbyteras, as in 1 Tim. 5:2 and there is refers to mature/old women. Aged individuals are usually more experienced and wiser than younger ones. Note that the description does not mean that the individual must have a church position or a title, but neither is it an oxymoron that a pastor is also an elder/presbyteros. A church leader should definitely be a wise and mature person, and Paul lists many other qualifications for a church leader/presbyteros in his letters to the Corinthians and in his letter to Titus.

1 Tim. 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

If we go back to Jas. 5, it makes sense for the author James to advise believers to go to the elders in the church to get help since they are (supposed to be) wise and mature. During this time they were experienced when it comes to the gift of the Holy Spirit, such as healing. James also says that the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and ”the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availaeth much”. In order to be a righteous man, he must confess his sins and repent, which is also confirmed in many other verses in the Bible. James clearly says that ”pray one for another that you may be healed”, which shows that not only the elders have this ability – but they could certainly lead the way.

We should not erroneously believe that a certain case of healing must be ”fake” because we know that the healer (the person with the gift of healing) has not always been theologically correct or perhaps even acted in the wrong way on occasions. Healing is a gift of God but a person’s faith has lots to do with it – both when it comes to the person who heals as well as the person who gets healed. Jesus said on a few occasions ”Your faith has healed you”. 

Jas. 5:15 And the prayer of FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

All pastors/church leaders are (supposed to be) presbyteros, but not all presbyteros are pastors/church leaders

Other interesting verses where the word is used, and which prove that the description is not exclusive to church employees:

Mat. 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Mark 7:3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

Luke 7:3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.

The prodigal son Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing.

The woman about to be stoned John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams

Acts 11:29 Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea:30 Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.

Acts 15:22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas and Silas, chief men among the brethren:23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia.

Acts 24:15 About whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, desiring to have judgment against him.

1 Tim. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.18 For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

Hebr. 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.

1 Pet. 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:— 5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

Rev. 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.

It makes sense that the word presbyteros ended up being gradually used interchangeably with a pastor/church leader, because the wisest and more experienced Christian men were often also appointed church leaders.

Here is Torben speaking about the gift of healing and he is also touching on the subject of presbyteros. 

The earth takes shape like clay under a seal – Job 38:14

Clay 2The earth takes shape like clay under a seal

Job 38 contains the famous verse ”Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (Job 38:4). The whole chapter revolves around God’s creation and that Job has no reason to question or criticize any of that since he is created unlike God. Job is also a book that contains many poetic expressions and analogies, but they all have meanings which the author would like to provide to the  readers. We are not supposed to ignore such descriptions and comparisons under the excuse that ”it’s only poetry and means nothing, so we are free to interpret it as we like”.

Here is the beginning of Job 38, in NKJV to make the language more up to date:

Job 38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding.5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone,7 When the morning stars sang together,And all the sons of God shouted for joy?8 “Or who shut in the sea with doors,When it burst forth and issued from the womb;9 When I made the clouds its garment, And thick darkness its swaddling band;10 When I fixed My limit for it, And set bars and doors;11 When I said,‘This far you may come, but no farther, And here your proud waves must stop!’12 “Have you commanded the morning since your days began, And caused the dawn to know its place,13 That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, And the wicked be shaken out of it?

sheet

Notice that it is all about God’s creation and how everything came about/took form. We can read about God stretching out a line on and over the earth (easiest on a flat level), foundations being fastened, a corner stone, the sea being shut in with doors likened with a womb which will stop the water and the waves to go no further, a fixed limit for the whole construction with bars and doors (sounds like the restrictions of Antarctic), the earth having ends which you could take hold of to shake people off, etc.

Then comes our verse Job 38:14 which describes in which way the earth took form:

Job 38:14 It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment. KJV

Job 38:14 It takes on form like clay under a seal, And stands out like a garment. NKJV

clay 2We already know from Genesis that the earth after coming into existence was ”without form and void”, and this could absolutely be likened to a piece of clay (empty and void of anything else but the clay itself).

Gen. 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Job 38:14 tells us how the earth originally got its form. The procedure to form the earth is likened to clay under a seal. ”Seal” is a translation from the Hebrew word ”chotham” (Strong’s 2368) and apart from seal it can mean a signet-ring. From Blueletterbible we learn that the Hebrews were used to carry with them a signet ring in a string.

A  signet ring could be used to seal and sign a piece of correspondence through applying soft clay on it which is pressed down by this uniquely made ring. If placed right in the opening, this seal would reduce the risk of an unauthorized person reading the material since it would be obvious on the broken seal. At the same time as a distinctly made signet ring can be used to seal a document it is also used to prove identification and authenticity.

sealHere are some other verses containing the same word:

Gen. 38:18 And he said, What pledge shall I give thee? And she said, Thy signet, and thy bracelets, and thy staff that is in thine hand. And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him.

Ex. 28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.

1 King 21:8 So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.

Jer. 22:24 As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were the signet upon my right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence

Job 41:15 His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. (likely describing the scales of a dinosaur)

Sng. 8:6 Set me as a seal upon thine heart,as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame.

Hag. 2:23 In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.

flat earthWhen a signet ring is pressed down on soft clay, the area in contact with the ring will get engraved according to the ring’s pattern and the excess clay will be pressed out and collected in a ring around the area, slightly elevated. This happened to be exactly the way a flat earth map looks like (the Antarctic being the outer ring)! At the same time this analogy is very difficult to understand when applied to a ball. How could a spinning ball be the end result of a signet ring pressed into clay? Things get more flattened out if pressed down, rather than getting shaped as a ball. (Other Bible verses suggesting the earth is flat here.)

The ”features” (the continents of the earth, including the hills) stand out like those of a garment. It is difficult to get the picture of garments and clothes appearing as a ball.

This is no proof of a flat earth, but on the other hand it is not a sin to trust the information in the Bible. God will never be mad at us for accepting his words as they stand – in context and without trying to reinterpret them. He knows our hearts and if our aim is to simply stand corrected by his Word. Sometimes we can get help from other Christians who point out misunderstandings for us, and vice versa. We should also always be ready to modify our understanding if the Bible requires it – in the immediate context and also in a wider Biblical perspective. Just like the Bereans.

2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness 

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

We are created to seek and find God – Acts 17:26-27

acts 17.jpegWe are all created to seek and find God

Maybe this is self-evident, but there are reformed Christians who do not believe this at all. They rather believe that some are created to seek and find God while others are created to be spiritually blind and unable to do so (according to God’s will which is sometimes ”mysterious” for us).

Acts: 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should SEEK THE LORD, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be NOT FAR FROM EVERY ONE OF US.

The same text also tells us that we are all commanded to REPENT from our sins, and to make it clear we can read that this applies to ”all men every where”. This means that while God can be viewed as being very patient with us, the commandment still stands.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now COMMANDETH ALL MEN EVERY WHERE TO REPENT 

Since all are commanded to repent it means that we are capable of doing just that. Compare with God’s command to Adam (and Eve) in the garden, where Adam is asked to not eat from a certain tree. God informed him about the consequences should Adam take the decision to eat despite of the commandment. (Note below that the English translation/phrase ”for in the day”, yowm, Strong’s 3117, according to Blueletterbible can be understood as ”when …”, as is the case in my own language in Svenska 1917 års Bibel ”när”.)

Gen. 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The fact that God informs Adam of the consequences for being disobedient proves that Adam has a genuine choice. The same is true with all of God’s commandments, such as the one in Acts 17. We are all commanded to repent from our sins, but not all of us will make this choice.

We are also told that God will still judge us in a very fair way. He knows our capabilities:

Rom. 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing SEEK for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Reformed Christians might then quote Rom. 3:10-11 where it says that there is no one righteous and ”none that seeketh after God”, but they fail to see that the apostle Paul is quoting from a couple of Psalms (”as it is written”), and if we go to these psalms we can read about unrighteous people who do not seek him, but in the same context we can also about righteous people who DO seek him. On top of it all, Paul calls himself righteous and also to having lived with a totally clean conscience (1 Thess. 2:10, Acts 23:1), so he would have contradicted himself if he claimed there were no such individuals to be found. Read more here.

We are promised that we will find the Lord if we search for him with all of our heart:

Jer. 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart

Matt. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you

More examples which show that we are able and requested to seek God:

Deut. 4:29 But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.

1 Chron. 22:19 Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the LORD.

1 Chron. 28:9 And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

2 Chron. 11:16 And after them out of all the tribes of Israel such as set their hearts to seek the LORD God of Israel came to Jerusalem, to sacrifice unto the LORD God of their fathers. 

2 Chron. 15:4 But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them. 

2 Chron. 19:3 Nevertheless there are good things found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek God.

Ezra 6:21 And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat 

Psalm 10:4 The WICKED, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 

Psalm 70:4 Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, LetGod be magnified.

Isaiah 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts.

Isaiah 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

Daniel 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Hosea 3:5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days. 

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Not one sparrow shall fall on the ground without the Father’s knowledge

SparvarGod is aware of our sufferings, and even when sparrows fall dead to the ground 

God has never promised us that we will never ever suffer nor die. Sometimes we might think that God is not aware of our sufferings, but the Bible says that not even a sparrow will fall to the ground without the Father knowing about it. He even knows the amount of hairs on our heads.

Matt. 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

In Luke it is phrased ”not one of them is forgotten by God”: 

Luke 12:4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.6 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

The price for the above mentioned sparrows was very low (birds were the cheapest animals that you could offer) and sparrows are rather insignificant animals which can often be found in large quantities. Still, God takes interest in the life of each little sparrow because they too are animals and part of God’s creation. Our journeys on earth are sometimes filled with misery and agony, but thankfully we will not have to live in this world for ever. We have something greater to look forward in the life to come, and God’s kingdom will last for ever. When we start to live in the new Jerusalem we will not complain that our struggles on earth was not worth it, because in the new kingdom there will be total bliss, with no tears or sorrow.

Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Matt. 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

From the beginning animals were not supposed to be for consumption – those animals that were considered nephesh cayah, i. e. living animals as in animals with blood and that can breathe. This was before Adam and Eve sinned and were driven out from the garden of Eden and away from the life-bringing Tree of life. Ever since this incidence, death has ruled over both man and animals, and this is a consequence of sin and the need to get our life spans shortened and ended so that we will not have to live eternally in a cold and hard world affected by much sufferings. The wages of sin is death, and death is considered an enemy that must be conquered (1 Cor. 15:26). Until then, death is something inevitable and even essential in this world (after sin made its entrance)  and can be seen as a gracious gift from God to limit our pain. He has something better in store for us which will be ever-lasting.

It was not until after the flood that God gave the permission to eat meat. (It is quite possible that some people ate meat before then, but in that case it was against God’s will and permission.)

Gen. 1:29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

Gen. 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.3 Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.4 But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.5 And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.

In the teachings of the sparrows we are told that we are even more valuable than they are, and God even knows the number of hairs on our heads. It is natural to fear for our lives if the enemy wants to harm us, but our general attitude should be to not fear people (at least not more than fearing God) because people can at the maximum only kill our bodies. The one we really should fear and respect above everyone else is our Creator because he has the power to do much more than that. In the final Judgement, our Creator has the power to throw people in Gehenna (those who reject him and who want nothing to do with him) which is far more serious than the fact that all human beings will one day die and decay. All that decays can be restored by the power of God, but not the body that is thrown in Gehenna.

The first person who died was killed by his own brother. God does not hinder people to disobey him and commit crimes in this world where man’s free will is a factor, but  God sees everything and does not forget.

Gen. 4:10 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.

Jesus makes yet again a comparison with the birds below. Jesus speaks about faith, which results in security and expectations of what God can do for us. If we allow the troubles of this world overpower us and our spiritual lives, we will have a harder time having faith in that God hears our prayers and sees our needs. The promise is that we must first seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all the rest shall be added to us.

Matt. 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Heb. 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

The peace that Jesus provides is different than the one the world provides:

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Does the Bible say that nature and flesh are SINFUL in Rom. 8:3?

sinCan flesh be sinful?

A sin is something that a person does based on his/her own choices. Also Jesus had flesh just like us, and he was obviously no sinner so this means that flesh cannot be sinful in and of itself or else Jesus too would be sinful.

The term ”sinful nature” cannot be found in the Bible (KJV), but ”sinful flesh” is found once in Rom. 8:3. Since flesh cannot really be sinful in itself (without a person living in it), why can we find this phrase in this verse?

It is a reference to what Jesus did for us when he was born into this world – ”in the likeness” of sinful flesh.

Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh

According to Blueletterbible, ”flesh” is a translation from the Greek noun σάρξ (sarx, Strong’s 4561) and apart from flesh/meat from man or animal it could also signify the human body as opposed to the soul or spirit. It could also signify the human nature with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions, or simply a human being as such. So the translation could be flesh, body, human nature, carnality or materiality; kindred. 

But why does it then say ”sinful flesh”? Likely to convey that flesh is what human beings use to sin with, as Paul explains below when he is using the words ”mortal body” and ”members” as instruments to perform unrighteousness. If we have no body (or members) we have nothing to sin with. Granted that our minds are involved when we make plans to sin, but with no heart or brain we cannot even have any thoughts.

Rom. 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

Angels are living in another realm but they too can appear as physical beings and they can disobey God (as obviously Satan did) which is sinning. When it comes to ”flesh”, it is something that is tied to human beings and animals (created on the sixth day) rather than angels who live in another habitat – even if angels temporarily can take the shape of human beings. The description of Jesus coming in the likeness of sinful flesh is therefore a good description when it comes to what Jesus did for us. He became flesh for our sake, and while ”flesh” is usually used in a negative way we naturally also need our physical bodies/flesh to do the good works which we are called to do. 

Jesus suffered for us in the flesh, and the reason for this is because man has sinned, which he did in flesh. The description of Jesus becoming flesh:

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Phil 2: 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Heb. 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil

1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

1 Pet. 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries

righteous 5Paul describes his choice between living on in the flesh (in his physical body) or to depart from this world into a permanent life with Christ:

Phil. 1:22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 

Jesus had no advantage over us when it comes to sin (he was tempted like we are) and this means that it is a false idea that human beings are born with a sinful nature and Jesus is not. None of us have a sinful nature, and we certainly cannot blame our bodies if we choose to sin. We have been promised that we will not be tempted beyond our ability to say no.

Heb. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, yet without sin.

1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Paul explains further what it is to live in the flesh vs walking in the Spirit. He makes it clear, that if we choose to live in the flesh (which is the same as living in darkness or living ”in the world”) then we simply cannot please God. That would be impossible, for living in the flesh is the opposite of living after the Spirit. To be carnally minded (to live after the flesh) is death, but to live after the Spirit is LIFE. The choice is ours, and we have no excuse. Paul also provides examples of what it is to live after the flesh:

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, but after the Spirit.

Rom. 8:4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

1 Cor. 6:15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Rom. 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Since the flesh is weak we can make it easier for ourselves if we pray and become stronger spiritually.

Mat. 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mark 14:38)

In a way we must continue to live in our bodies and ”walk in the flesh” in this particular sense (continue to live in the world). In another sense we must avoid ”walking in the flesh” in the sense of giving in for temptations and sin (living in darkness).

2 Cor.2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

1 Cor. 5:9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

2 Pet. 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

The order based on James 1 is 1) lust, 2) temptation, 3) sin and 4) death. Not the other way around as many Calvinists would have you believe; where we start off being dead, and due to this predicament we sin due to our weak nature which is easily tempted.

Ja. 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

The Bible does not say that having flesh is a sin, but rather breaking the commandments of God. Sin is transgression of the law, and God is naturally disappointed when we break his commandments which is all about disobeying him.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

What kind of transgression could it possibly be to have flesh? Why would this hurt or harm God? Would God be upset and disappointed each time someone is conceived and starts to develop flesh? No, the doctrine of the sinful nature is not Biblical. Read more about Romans 5 here.

Is it God’s responsibility to KEEP US, even by force?

John 8.jpegGod and his ”responsibilities”

There are some Christians who erroneously believe that it is God’s responsibility to make sure that born again believers are kept, and some even believe in the concept that God keeps us from falling (sinning). They might suggest that if a true Christian falls away and is no longer a child of God, then God’s power was not great enough to keep him, as though the Bible says it is God’s responsibility to keep people by force.

The truth is that we have a free will and we are therefore able to walk away from God without him preventing it from happening. If we on the other hand repent and come to him (or return back to him) he will accept us (keep us) us rather than rejecting us. Had it been up to God to make sure that we do not fall (sin) then we would of course not sin a single time for the rest of our lives. If we sin, it is always our fault and never God’s fault.

God created us to seek him and come to him, which means that we can. We have also been provided with the ability to repent, which we are all requested to do.

Acts 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;— 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27That they should SEEK the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though HE BENOT FAR FROM EVERY ONE OF US. — 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent

Clearly not everyone seeks God, nor repents, which means that God has chosen to create us with free will and with the ability to both obey and disobey. This does not hurt his ”sovereignty” (a non-Biblical word – KJV).

But what about verse 2 Thess. 3:3? Does it not suggest that God in fact is the one who keeps us, and does so no matter what we do? No, he can indeed keep us from evil, but he does not promise to do so unconditionally – and he does not promise that we will never be affected by persecution or pain. If we walk our own ways and even seek to be tempted, then we cannot expect to be kept from the snare of the devil since we have chosen to remove ourselves from God and his protection.

2 Thess. 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

Examples 1

The word ”keep” in the above verse is  a translation of the Greek verb φυλάσσω (Strong’s 5442, phylassō). The same word can also be translated observe, bewaresave, guard and watch.  

When we read the examples below (words in green are based on another verb) where this word is used, we can see clearly that what is ”kept” is not necessarily kept unconditionally or for ever. A choice is involved. We can for instance read that shepherds ”keeping” watch over their flock, but this does not mean that sheep can never ever stray away and be lost. We can also read warnings such as ”Little children, keep yourselves from idols”, which is evidence of that we can not sit back and expect God to take this responsibility instead of us. If some of us do to get involved with idols, then we can be certain of that it is not due to God lacking in power but due to our own choices when we oppose God’s commandments.

Matt. 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Mark 10:20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. (+ Luke 18:21)

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Luke 12:15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

John 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. — 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. — 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. — 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

Acts 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. — 19 And when Herod had sought for him, and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death. And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.

Acts 16:3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.4 And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for TO KEEP, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

Acts 21:23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

Rom. 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?

Gal. 6:13 For neither they themselves who are circumcised keep the law; but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh.

1 Tim. 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

1 Tim. 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: — 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

2 Tim. 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keepthat which I have committed unto him against that day.13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

2 Pet. 2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

2 Pet. 3:17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. 21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

choiceExamples 2

There is also another verb often translated ”keep”, which is τηρέω (Strong’s 5083, tēreō). This word can also be translated observe, reserve guard, watch, preserve, hold fast, etc – i.e. it is often used interchangeably with the verb φυλάσσω above. The examples show that there is a choice involved in this case as well.

Matt. 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Matt. 23:3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.

Matt. 27:36 And sitting down they watched him there

Matt. 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Mark 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. 52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.— 55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. — 20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Acts 15:5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses. —24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: — 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

1 Cor. 7:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

2 Cor. 11:9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Eph. 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. — 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

1 Ti. 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

2 Ti. 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Ja. 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Ja. 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 3:22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Jude 1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. — 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Rev. 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Rev. 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations

Rev. 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. —8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. — 10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Rev. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Rev. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Rev. 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Rev. 22:7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. — 9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.  

We also have a noun tied to the the above Greek verb, which is τήρησις (Strong’s 5084, tērēsis):

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

We also have the verb παρατίθημι (Strong’s 3908, paratithēmi), and in this verse we can clearly see that the righteous are not forced to remain righteous by God as though they would lose their ability to sin. It is true that it is not likely that a born again Christian would like to return to the world and his/her old vomit, but once in a while it still happens:

1 Pet. 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.