Etikettarkiv | stone

A new heart which will cause us to perfectly walk in God’s statutes? Ezekiel 36:26-27

Ja 4

Ez. 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

Calvinists normally love the idea that God randomly chooses some individuals out of a crowd of people and give the former a new heart, a new Spirit, which will enable them to have faith in God and to be able to follow him. (Who cares about the rest, right?) Unfortunately they run into problems within the same verse when we can read about being caused to walk in God’s statutes. In NIV it reads ”move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws”. So if Calvinists are among those who have been given a new heart as per Ez. 36:26-27, does this mean that they always obey God’s decrees without failing even once? Have they completely stopped sinning? It is a relevant question because Calvinists are usually more keen than others to teach that all men ”always sin in thoughts, words and deeds”.  Or can we conclude that God fails at times when he tries to cause his elect to walk in his statutes, knowing that also Calvinists can choose to sin at times?

I think the better solution is to side with the Free-will option which suggests that it is the holy Spirit which is referred to here as the great Helper which can guide us (move us) on the right path, but not necessarily unconditionally or without our participation. Hebr. 10 phrases it as ”I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them”. ”Causing” could signify ”forcing” but it could also mean ”influencing” which would here make a lot more sense. That would also help the Calvinists who must try to explain why God fails to ”force” people to always obey him, as they suggest the verse says. On the other hand, loads of Calvinists confess that they believe God also causes people to sin (since nothing happens against his will) so whether people avoid sin or not, God would still be the one who makes them behave the way they do. This leads to another question:

If some people are given a particular heart that suddenly makes them obey God and walk in his statutes (which would here include sin), does this mean that prior to this moment they were not forced to walk in his statutes and in whatever way God wants them to walk? If they were forced to obey God also prior to the new heart, what difference did the new heart really make? If God chooses some people (his elect) to always walk in his statutes, will the rest (the non-elect) be able to deviate from God’s preferred path and walk their own ways?

The promise of a new heart is by faith, and concerns the holy Spirit in our heartsBlood of Jesus

The promise of a new purified heart is by faith as can be seen in the verses below and it can be cleansed in the blood of Jesus. The new heart is in reference to a heart that is dedicated to God and the holy Spirit indwelling in our hearts as well as through participation of a the covenant which Paul describes in Rom. 8. It is through the power of the Spirit that the believer can put to death the misdeeds of the flesh and live according to the Spirit. This is the fulfillment of the promise given in Ezekiel 36:26-27, but we can also read about other prophesies in the same chapter (concerning the promise that the dispersed Israel will be able to come home). The passage is in harmony with the Bible’s teaching that the promises and benefits of the new covenant are by faith (not being born as a Jew under the law of Moses) and include a new heart and the holy Spirit which we will get in response to our true repentance.

The author of Hebrews encourages us to draw near to God with a true heart in full assurance of faith. How do we get a true heart? By having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. How can this be achieved? By repenting of our sins which God expects us all to do (Acts. 17:30):

Hebr. 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;21 And having an high priest over the house of God;22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

The covenant referred to above is the one mentioned in Jer. 31. Here we can read about a former covenant which Israel broke:

Jer. 31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.35 Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.

We are also asked to cleanse our hands and purify our own hearts

Ja. 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. CLEANSE your hands, ye sinners; and PURIFY YOUR HEARTS, ye double minded.

So how our WE going to cleanse our hands and purify our hearts? By standing on faith and by confessing sins, repenting and thus become cleansed in the blood of Jesus. We do not have the authority to forgive ourselves for breaking God’s law, but it is up to us to repent and start living a holy life with the help of the holy Spirit given to us after our conversion.

Peter speaks about the heathens and their possibility to also receive the Holy Ghost (without having to go through a circumcision of the flesh) and explains that our hearts are purified BY FAITH:

Acts 15:8 And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts BY FAITH.10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

Through the mercy of Christ we can be forgiven for our past iniquities and thus be cleansed from our sins and be complete. Sinning will always cause spiritual death, but we can be quickened (becoming spiritually alive) if we decide to repent from our sins. We can be risen with him ”through faith”!:

Col. 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

repent 4The order of salvation: pursuing faith, confessing sins, repenting, being cleansed (regeneration), being born again, getting the holy Spirit and becoming a child of God

Peter makes it clear that the order of salvation is 1) having faith, 2) repenting, 3) resulting in cleansing/washing (=regeneration), 4) resulting in being born again, 5) resulting in getting the holy Ghost and becoming a child of God. God will certainly not declare us cleansed and righteous while we are still living in sin:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:

Also John says that we must confess our sins (repent) in order to be cleansed from them:

1 John 1:9 If we CONFESS our sins, he is faithful and just to FORGIVE us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

And below we can read that his own received him not (strange if people are chosen to be chosen elect from the foundation of the world) but that those who a) received him were given the power to b) become the sons of God (those who believe in his name). It does not say the other way around that the sons of God were given the power to believe and receive him:

John 1:11 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:

Below we can read about Paul’s disappointment concerning some Galatians (for whom Jesus was crucified) who risked to believe in vain despite having begun in the Spirit. He asks ”who has bewitched you?”, and if Paul was a Calvinist he should have known that the answer must be ”God did, because he directs all of our steps” if nothing happens against God’s will. Paul also asks if they received the Spirit by works of the law (the law of Moses) or by the hearing of FAITH, indicating that they were not first given the Spirit and afterwards given faith. No, naturally faith is first and then we are provided with the Spirit:

Gal. 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Other information in the same chapter – Ez. 36

Hes. 36:5 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen, and against all Idumea, which have appointed my land into their possession with the joy of all their heart, with despiteful minds, to cast it out for a prey.

What would be the reason for God’s jealousy if all things turn out God’s way?

17 Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.18 Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it:19 And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.20 And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.21 But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.23 And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

Wow, above we read about Israel (God’s elect) defiling land, worshiping false gods, profaning God’s name, and this naturally cause God’s fury. Why would God be furious about things that turned out the way God wanted? We can read ”according to their way and according to their doings I judged them”. I thought it was always God’s doing if nothing ever happens against his will? And why judge people who constantly obey God whether they avoid sin or not?

25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Also above we can read about Israel turning to filthiness and idols which they must be cleansed from. After the washing of sins, the holy Spirit is the great Helper.

31 Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.32 Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.33 Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.

Above we can read about ”your own evil ways” and their doings that were ”not good”. Why were they not good if God made them act the way they did? No, here we can once again read about people who have walked on their own ways, against God’s will. They have been guilty of iniquities and abominations before God, and obviously a righteous God would not cause anyone (must less Israel) to perform wicked abominations. Why does God suggest they should be ashamed and confounded for their own ways, if their ways always lined up with God’s way?

Examples of hardening of a heartlove4

Deut. 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 17For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward

Jer. 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Hebr. 3:7 Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness

Ps 95:7 For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.To day if ye will hear his voice, 8 HARDEN NOT YOUR HEART, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:

Pro 28:13He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.14 Happy is the man that feareth always: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

2 Chron 36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. 12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORDhis God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

Deut 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.

Deut 30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,2 And shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 6And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. (Notice that God will circumcise their hearts AFTER they return to Him which is a condition.)

1 King. 8:58 That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.—61 Let your heart therefore be perfect with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day.

2 Chron. 12:14 And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.

Read about Pharao’s rebellious heart here.

Annonser

Jesus Christ is the chief CORNER-STONE worshiped by angels

hörnstenOur lives should be built on the foundation of Jesus Christ – the chief corner-stone and the ROCK

The son of God decided to be born as man on earth and die for all mankind as God in flesh. For a brief time Jesus was made lower than the angels – the same angels who would later worship him as God according to Heb. 1. We can read in Heb. 2 that Jesus was made ”a little lower than the angels”, and in the previous chapter we can read that he was ”so much better than the angels” and that he ”obtained a much excellent name than they”. This is not a contradiction since Jesus is also fully capable of placing himself in a free will temporary subjection to his own Father, with whom he shared the glory from eternity past (John 17:5).

John 10:18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of MYSELF. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

Heb. 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.9 But we see Jesus, WHO WAS MADE A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Heb. 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:4 Being made SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE ANGELS, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And LET ALL THE ANGELS OF GOD WORSHIP HIM.7 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

Phil. 2:Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus is the most important stone in the building

The Old Testament contains numerous prophesies about the Messiah – Jesus Christ. He is also called the chief corner-stone, and that is a stone which is considered to be the most important part of a stone building since it is carrying the weight of the stones built on top of it while there are no stones UNDER it. Since Jesus Christ is the foundation of our salvation, it is important that we spread this information to the rest of the world to encourage people to seek the true Savior and thus be saved. People might be convinced of that they are on the right path to eternal salvation, but if they are not choosing to build their lives on the corner-stone, they are still off track. It is vital to identify this corner-stone. God does not share his glory with anyone, but shares it with Jesus. This means that Jesus must be God.

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Is. 48:11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah. Corner-stone below is a translation from the Hebrew word eben (Strong’s 68)

Isa. 28:2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.—16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.

Zechariah 10:2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together

Unfortunately people are refusing to accept this head stone of the corner despite that it is the most important building block! We can see this statement in Ps. 118:20, and we can also read about the gate of the Lord and ”Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord”,  which is quoted in Matt. 21 – when Jesus entered Jerusalem and people were cheering their Hosianna.

Ps. 118:15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.16 The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.”—20 This gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter.21 I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.26 Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: we have blessed you out of the house of the Lord.27 God is the Lord, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.

Jesus confirms that he is the stone that the scriptures speak about (read the above psalm) and whosoever falls on it shall be broken.

Matthew 21:8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.—42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone (lithos, Strong’s 3037) shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet.

Luke 13:32 And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Luke 19:38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Luke 20:17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

Jesus Christ is the stone, the head of the corner-stone…There is no salvation in anyone else.

Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.11 This is the stone (lithos, Strong’s 3037) which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

”Chief corner-stone” in the New Testament is a translation from the Greek word akrogōniaios (Strong’s 204) and this word can be found in Eph. 2:20 and 1 Pet 2:6.

Eph. 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Peter urges us to believe in this chief corner-stone from Sion, because there is salvation in no one else. If the corner-stone of the Old Testament is about our Lord God, then the same applies for the New Testament. Jesus Christ is our Lord, God in flesh. Jesus has become the rock of offence to many people who refuse to accept his deity, much like the pharisees who wanted to kill Jesus because ”thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (John 10:33)

1 Peter 2:4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,8 And a stone (lithos, Strong’s 3037) of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

Again, Peter above is quoting these scriptures:

Isa. 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

You can also read about Jesus Christ being the ROCK in this article.

Can we all be called GODS, as per John 10:34 and Ps. 82:6?

Jesus4Is it not written in your law, I said, YE ARE GODS? (John 10:34)

Yahve (Strong’s 3068) is used 6220 times in the Bible, and it’s the name of our only Creator God. No one else but our only true God is called by this name. (Yahve was one of three who ate with Abraham outside his tent – see my article about the angel of the Lord.)

Elohim (Strong’s 430) is another name for God and is used 2598 times in the Bible. This word has a little broader meaning even if our only true God is the most common meaning. – divine (1), divine being (1), exceedingly (1), God (2326), god (45), God’s (14), goddess (2), godly (1), gods (204), great (2), judges (3), mighty (2), rulers (1), shrine* (1).

El (Strong’s 410)  is used 248 times in the Bible and also means God in singular or plural. (A suitable name for a trinity.)

Adon (Strong’s 113) is used 325 times in the Bible and means Lord or Master, which of course God is

Theos (Strong’s 2316) is used 1327 times in the Bible (NT) and means God and/or Creator of all

People who refuse to accept the Biblical message that Jesus Christ is God

Whenever the above titles for GOD are used, the majority of the time they concern either 1) our only Creator God, or 2) false gods who are not real Gods at all according to the Bible. It’s not difficult to understand whether the text is referring to our real God or false gods, and we also get a great help by knowing Jahve is only used for our real God. However, it seems like the only times when some people are in doubt about which type of god the text is talking about, it’s only in those verses where Jesus Christ is called God, as in Hebr. 1:8. That’s because they often have an agenda to never accept the deity of Jesus, even if the verses clearly say so. It’s actually not surprising that some people take it as their mission to promote the idea that Jesus is not the WORD who was with God and who was GOD and lived among us (thus Jesus is God) because the spirit of Antichrist is active among us:

John 8:24 I said, therefore, to you, that ye shall die in your sins, for if ye may not believe that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins.’ Young’s Literal (I AM = ego eimi)

1 John 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and anantichrist.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD.The same was in the beginning with God.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.—14 And THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Excuses – ”Anyone can be called God, so it’s not a big deal that Jesus too was called God in Hebr. 1:8”?

We can read that Moses was to be AS GOD  for Pharao, and it’s not to be understood as though Moses is one God among many other gods. That would only make God the Creator to be a liar for suggesting that he is the only God if the truth is that polytheism is a reality. JAHVE (God) is only applied to our only Creator God in the Bible, but here Elohim is used.

Ex. 7:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god (Elohim) to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. (KJV)

Ex. 7:1 And the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have made you LIKE God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (ESV)

Ex. 7:7 Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I make you AS God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron shall be your prophet. (NASB)

God said something similar about Aaron, and his status in relation to Moses:

Ex. 4:15 And thou shalt speak unto him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with thy mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what ye shall do.16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and THOU SHALT BE TO HIM INSTEAD OF GOD. (KJV)

Ex. 4:16 He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and YOU SHALL BE AS GOD TO HIM. (ESV)

Ex. 4:16 Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and YOU WILL BE AS GOD TO HIM. (NASB)

So the above cannot be used as support for that people other than God can be called gods. There is, however, one particular verse that some people desperately put all their hope and energy on, in order to escape the clear meaning that Jesus is God – and that is John. 10:34

John 10:34 and Psalm 82:6 – ye are Godsjesus 4

John 10:33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for BLASPHEMY; and because that THOU, BEING A MAN, MAKEST THYSELF GOD.34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?*) 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand (* See Ps. 82:6)

The above is a reference to the below psalm, and psalms often contain POETRY that MIRRORS the truth and uses SYMBOLIC PHRASES with a deeper meaning. Let’s keep this in mind so we don’t interpret such text in the wrong way and end up starting a false doctrine.

Ps. 82:1 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.

To start with, the reason these jews provide for wanting to stone Jesus is due to blasphemy, ”because you being a MAN, make yourself GOD”. The jews were experts on the Scriptures, and they understood that human beings should not call themselves GOD. The first commandment is, after all:

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

If people other than GOD can literally be called ”gods” (like mighty judges) by others, then we end up having other gods before GOD, and we also end up making God to be a liar for falsely saying that we should have no other gods when he himself endorses multiple gods. But doesn’t Jesus confirm the availability of other gods in his statement in John. 10:34? He confirms this PSALM and the correct meaning of both the psalm and the term ”gods” in its proper context – the way they are supposed to be understood. If certain individuals (like judges and leaders) can also commonly be addressed as gods, then there would be a huge risk that the above commandment would be watered down, and this wouldn’t be according to God’s plans. The jews did not relax the slightest bit when Jesus confirmed that he was the son of God and that the Father is in him and he is in the Father, because calling oneself the son of God and suggesting that the Father and the son are inside each other, is still calling oneself GOD! God certainly doesn’t have any children together with a woman, so if you’re a son to God you have your origin in God himself which means you’re God. So the jews still wanted to kill Jesus, and they knew exactly which psalm that Jesus was quoting from.

The jews were familiar with all the psalms, including Ps. 82:6 which Jesus was referring to when he said ”Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods”. If godly judges can be called ”gods” because they represent God, how much more should not Jesus Christ be able to call himself this (despite not being a judge) since he is sent by God the Father who was with him from eternity past in the trinity? This seems to be the way the jews understood him too, because we can read n v. 39 that THEREFORE (for this reason) they tried to take him once again. They felt Jesus confirmed his deity by referring to that passage where he gave his arguments for why he had the right to be called God.

The word for God in Ps. 82:6 is not ”Jahve” but ”Elohim”, and while this usually refers to either the Creator God or ”false gods who are no real gods”, it can also be translated as ”mighty ones” which could apply to judges who are ordained by God to do his work, and God himself is a mighty one – even the mightiest one. ”I have said, Ye are gods”, i.e. ”in my law I have called you gods”. They are given such name and status since they judge on God’s behalf and act as his representatives, but they are not ”gods” in the strictest sense. They are possessing a derived divinity, and in a sense ”children of the most high”. In the law, they were so by God’s appointment because he constituted them judges and  although they were gods by office, they were also mortal men and would die. It’s not likely that any of those judges were at any time literally called ”god” in real life, due to the commandment to have no other Gods but GOD.

Examples of judges appointed by God to do his work:

Deut. 1:13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.18 And I commanded you at that time all the things which ye should do.

2 Cron. 19:And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment.

Ps. 58:1 Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men?Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.—Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.—10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.11 So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.

Rom. 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

Paul explains why there on one hand exists only ONE God, and on the other hand we learn about multiple gods, and even multiple lords. ”There is none other God but ONE”, says Paul, and ”TO US there is but ONE GOD”. (Do read my blog article about the claim ”the only true God” in this blog article.) Surely we can trust him? So if God the Father dares to call his son ”GOD” in Hebr. 1:8, he isn’t contradicting what Paul is saying here, and neither does he contradict himself from his own previous claims where he says there is ONE GOD only. Other lords are only lords in the sense of being ”masters” (and they are certainly not ”Lord of Lords” which the Father AND the son call themselves), and other gods are either false gods (so no gods at all), or gods in the symbolic sense due to their office and they are likely never literally addressed as gods by others (in order to not disobey God’s commandment about serving only one God).

1 Cor. 8:As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idolswe know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that THERE IS NONE OTHER GOD BUT ONE.For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)6 But TO US THERE IS BUT ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

5 Mosebok 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.— 39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.

John is told to NOT worship the angel but to worship GOD. John didn’t ask ”which one of all gods should I worship?”

Rev. 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: WORSHIP GOD: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Rev. 22:And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.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.

If it’s alright for other individuals apart from God to be called God, then why was the prince of Tyrus (or Satan, which is the angelic comparison) sinning for also calling himself God? As a prince (or as a messenger of God, as Satan was) he would be a person in lead of others, and he was also supposed to act as a judge for them, so maybe calling oneself ”god” in the Psalm 82:6- sense was rather fitting? Yet, God is not at all pleased with prince of Tyrus calling himself a god, and he criticizes him heavily and calls him proud. Why did God motivate his criticism towards him with ”yet thou art A MAN and not God”? That sounds like God finds it preposterous for a mere human being to call himself God. So did the jews who wanted to kill Jesus!

Ezekiel 28:Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God

The house of David will be ”LIKE” God, so LIKE the angel of the Lord (who is Jesus Christ incarnate) going before them – just like the angel of the Lord (Jesus) went before the Israelites in the desert.

Zechariah 12:8 On that day the LORD will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them.

Jesus is trying to get the jews to understand that if the symbolic term god can be applied to certain individuals with a certain mission from God and with a proper office, and this is NOT considered blasphemy, then neither should they accuse Jesus of blaspheming, because he is in the Father and the Father is in him. Who can make such a claim unless you’re the son of God? Being the son of God equals having the source in God, meaning you originated in God which means you’re GOD!

Do read another blog article about Hebrews 1:8 where Jesus is called GOD by his Father.

Criticising a stone-thrower often means throwing stones ourselves

Thanks to Britt Williams for the below

cast the first stone2

Quoting Jesus’ words in John 8:7, ”He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone…”, in a futile attempt to correct others for exposing sin, error, and reproving men for disobeying the Bible, is a gross misapplication of Scripture for two glaring reasons:

1. It is brazen hypocrisy. If we define correcting men with the Word of God as ”casting stones” then we dare not invoke John 8:7 to correct the ”stone-thrower” else we be guilty of ”throwing stones” ourselves. It is akin to erroneously interpreting and applying Matt 7:1’s, ”judge not” without making a judgment, which of course, is impossible. If a man believes others cannot judge or correct with God’s Word, he must refrain himself, which is demonstrably impossible. We all judge and we all correct according to what we deem the Word of God teaches, the question is, ”are our judgments in accordance with God’s Word or not?”

2. Correcting someone with the Word of God, even telling someone they are lost and in danger of hell-fire, is not remotely comparable to literally executing someone by stoning. Jesus’ was not teaching that confronting and reproving others for sin was wrong, in fact, HE CORRECTED THE WOMAN AND TOLD HER TO STOP SINNING. The religious hypocrites Jesus confronted in John 8 wanted to kill the adulteress, not save her. Confronting sin and correcting others with God’s Word, according to the Scriptures, is essential to love (Lev 19:17; Rev 3:19) and is an effort to save, not destroy. Hence, exposing sin and error is not hateful, but loving. Those who suggest otherwise are, at best, spiritually blind, carnal, and Biblically illiterate. Generally, such people have an agenda, namely, they sympathize with and defend sin and error because they are in sin and error

Saved as by fire as per 1 Cor. 3:15? Yes, but NOT if we sin!

eldIf any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Cor 3:15)

This verse does not say that we can be saved in our sins, and notice that sins are not even mentioned in the context. This is a warning to christians (not sinners) who might not always build their lives on a proper foundation, and sometimes also lack the proper motivation for doing good works.

There are christians who are satisfied by with having a ”fire insurance” – an insurance that gives them the right to at least be exempted from hell, as long as they believe in Jesus Christ. They are content with this type of  insurance because this means they can still get away with sinning once in a while, and the only thing they would ever risk amounts to reduced rewards in heaven. They might think it’s worth it because heaven is always heaven, and with this type of insurance they can both have their sins and their salvation too. You might exclaim that ”true christians wouldn’t reason in that way!”, but isn’t it true that also christians can choose to sin? And isn’t it likely that they might give in for sins more readily if they are being told they won’t end up in hell for it? The tragic thing is that we do NOT have an unconditional fire insurance. We risk to be cut off the vine and thrown in the fire if we lack fruit (John. 15), and we will not reap eternal life in heaven if we break the commandments and sin. If we love Jesus, we obey him (John. 14:15).

The context in 1 Cor. 3:15 shows that it concerns believing christians and their building material and building methods. Sin is nowhere mentioned, and it’s not even needed to be mentioned since we already know from the rest of the Bible that sins separate us from God unless we repent. Nothing unholy shall enter heaven, and sins evidently make us unholy.  We can read that the foundation that we build upon must be JESUS CHRIST (and not ourselves, a philosophy, a pastor, a church, a dear friend, money, high status, tradition or someone/something else).  It’s the motives in our hearts that will be judged by God. He can see what ground we are building on, and the reasoning in our hearts.  Our motive should be to spread the gospel about Jesus Christ in order to see people saved.

Paul is addressing ”brethren”, but he is warning these brethren. He also lists a few sins that would make us carnal, and if we are carnal we are not saved:

1 C0r. 3:For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

Rom. 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Speaking about christians, Paul says that they shall receive ”his own reward” according to their LABOR. This indicates these christians at least do some work, which means they produce some good fruit. That is a good thing because we know that lukewarm christians are not saved. We will reap the reward of eternal life if we show our faith with good works, and we will also be rewarded individually depending on our works.

1 Cor. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Revelation 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Galatians 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Rom. 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Paul warns christians that they must take heed on the way they build their lives, and every man’s work shall one day be made manifest. Do we work in order to get a popular position in the society, or because we want to go with the flow? What are our true reasons?

1 Cor.3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

Paul says ”IF any man’s work abide”, meaning it’s not certain it will. It’s still ”work”, but will it abide? It depends on the motives. If it abides, the man shall receive both eternal life and individual gratification, but if the work does not abide but burned he will be saved but as by fire. If the man would be sinning on the other hand, he would not even be saved as through fire, but he wouldn’t even be able to enter the kingdom at all. This story is about christians who WORK, in combination with their motives for doing so. Paul ends with a warning to christians that if they defile the temple of God, which they all are, they will be DESTROYED.

1 Cor. 3:14 IF any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.15 IF any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Read also the next chapter which is also about the intent of the heart.

1 Cor. 4:Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Three chapters later Paul lists sins that will prevent us from entering the kingdom of God, and christians are not exempted:

1 Kor. 6:Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

We can unfortunately be the cause for that a brother stumbles/falls/is offended, by the way we are living our lives:

1 Kor. 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (”stumble” NKJV)