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Active
38» What Is Justification?

Rom 4:25 . . He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for
our justification.

The Greek word translated "justification" in that passage means acquittal; which
Webster's defines as a judgment that a person is not guilty of the crime with which
the person has been charged.

To give a rough-hewn idea of how this plays out: according to Rev 20:11-15, God is
keeping books on everyone wherein is inventoried their entire life.

Were those books to be opened to the pages wherein is supposed to be an
inventory of the life of someone who managed to obtain the justification available
by means of Christ's death and resurrection, those pages would be missing because
when someone obtains the justification, God closes their case and it's never
reopened-- not because it's a cold case, but because all charges against them were
dropped, i.e. transferred to Christ.

Isa 53:6 . .We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
way; and The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

2 Cor 5:19 . . God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not counting
their trespasses against them

Rom 8:33-34 . .Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns; Christ Jesus ,who died?
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Active
39» What Is Meant By The Quick And The Dead?

2Tim 4:1 . . Christ Jesus, who will judge the quick and the dead

The Greek word translated "quick" means living, i.e. alive.

The question pertains to judgments rather than spiritual conditions, For example
John 5:24 speaks of spiritual conditions; whereas 2Tim 4:1, along with 1Pet 4:5,
speaks of judgments.

There's a judgment for those alive depicted at Ezek 20:33-38 and another at Matt
25:31-46.

A judgment for those deceased is depicted at Rev 20:11-15.
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Active
40» How Can Death Be Thrown?

Rev 20:14 . . Death was cast into the lake of fire.

Seeing as how Death can't be picked up and thrown like a baseball or a javelin,
then I suggest that casting, in this instance, is speaking of exile. (e.g. Matt 8:11
12)

Death is likely a category consisting of everything and anything one can possibly
imagine that God considers dead to Himself; both visible and invisible. Whatever
that amounts to, it will all be discarded in that fiery impound. In that respect, the
lake of fire could be thought of as a sanitary landfill, viz: a dump for refuse
disposal.
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Active
41» Why The Everlasting Gospel?

Most of the Bible teachers that I've listened to sincerely believe that Jesus' church
will be completely gone from the Earth when the fourth chapter of Revelation
begins coming to pass, viz: the era of the so-called great commission (a.k.a. the
church age) will be over; there won't be any regenerated, Spirit-empowered
Christian evangelists left anywhere on Earth preaching the gospel of Christ, yet
according to Rev 7:9-17, many thousands of people will be saved out of the
Tribulation during the church's absence.

In my opinion, some of those numbers can be attributed to the success of the
everlasting gospel, which can be rightfully called the timeless gospel because it
contains things that have been known all over the world since the very beginning,
whereas Jesus' crucifixion, his resurrection, and his future kingdom on Earth are
relatively new entries in the annals of time.

Rev 14:6-7 . . And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every
nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, announcing with a loud voice: Fear
God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him
that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The everlasting gospel is very elementary; pretty much all it says is:

1) There's a supreme being.

2) He deserves respect and admiration.

3) There's a frightful reckoning looming on the horizon, and

4) The cosmos-- all of its forms of life, matter, and energy --is the product of
intelligent design.
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Active
42» What's To Learn From Moses And The Snakes?

John 3:14-17 . . Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the
Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal
life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who
believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send
his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved
through him.

Long story short: Moses' people became sick and tired of living in the desert and
eating manna all the time at every meal. But instead of courteously, and
diplomatically, petitioning their divine benefactor for tastier food and better
accommodations, they became hostile and confrontational.

In response to their insolence; God sent a swarm of deadly poisonous snakes
among them; which began striking people; and every strike was 100% fatal, no
exceptions. In no time at all, much people of Israel died. Then those not yet dead
got nervous and appealed to Moses for help. In reply; The Lord instructed Moses to
construct a replica of the beasts and hoist it up on a pole in plain view so that
everyone dying from venom could look to it for immunity.

Now the key issue here is that the replica, lifted up, was the only God-given
remedy for the people's terminal condition-- not purity, not sacrifices and offerings,
not tithing, not church attendance, not missionary work, not confession, not holy
days of obligation, not the Sabbath, not charity, not good deeds, not good
behavior, not piety, not Bible study and Sunday school, not catechism or yeshiva,
not one's religion of choice, not self denial and/or self control, not the so-called
golden rule, not vows of poverty and/or chastity, not the Ten Commandments, not
the Eucharist; no, none of that: not even prayers. That replica, lifted up, was it;
viz: it was all or nothing at all-- there was no other option. Whoever failed to look
to that replica, lifted up, for immunity died: no exceptions.

In other words then: Christ, lifted up on the cross to satisfy justice for the sins of
the world, is the only God-given option for protection from the second death
depicted at Rev 20:11-15. The default is terminal; no exceptions. People relying
upon religion and piety, instead of putting all their trust in Christ's crucifixion, are
dead men walking, no exceptions.

John 3:18 . .Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever disbelieves
stands condemned already.
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Active
43» What Is Sheol?

Sheol is an Old Testament Hebrew word that's sometimes transliterated instead of
translated; likely because there is so much controversy about its meaning.

During Jonah's nautical adventure, he spent some time in sheol (Jonah 2:2) which
is a region that he placed at the bottoms of the mountains. (Jonah 2:6)

Well, Jonah's fish was under the sea rather than under the mountains, and seeing
as how no part of a mountain is located in a fish's tummy, then we can be
reasonably certain that Jonah and his body parted company; implying that Jonah
was alive for some of the time during his three days and nights in the fish but not
the whole time; which corroborates Jonah 2:9 that the prophet's body underwent
putrefaction and would've been completely destroyed beyond recognition had not
God resurrected Jonah in time to stop the process from getting out of hand.

Jesus appropriated Jonah's experience to illustrate his own. Jesus predicted that at
some time during his three days and nights deceased, he would be in the heart of
the Earth. (Matt 12:40)

Well; Jesus' body was laid to rest on the surface of the Earth; so in order for him to
be down inside the Earth at same time, he and his body had to part company. In
other words: Jesus spent some of his three days and nights at the bottoms of the
mountains, i.e. sheol. And he too was resurrected in time to stop the process of
putrefaction from getting out of hand. (Ps 16:8-10 and Acts 2:25-32)
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Active
44» How Could Abraham's Posterity Possibly Amount To The Stars?

Gen 22:17 . . In blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy
seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore;

I think it best to interpret stars and sand as ancient idioms representing
overwhelming numbers of just about anything. Compare Heb 12:1 where "cloud" is
a term for the same purpose.

But as a matter of interest: back in Abram's day, prior to the invention of optics,
the only stars that people could see with their own eyes were those in our home
galaxy, the Milky Way; which consists of an estimated 100-400 billion stars. But
many of those estimated billions of stars appear to the naked eye not as stars but
as glowing clouds; viz: they cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye
so those didn't matter to Abram when it came to actually tallying the heavens.

The entire global sky contains roughly five or six thousand stars visible to the naked
eye. However, we can't see all those stars at once; only the ones when the sky is
dark. So then; in Abram's day, he could see at most three thousand discernible
stars from dark till dawn. God had said "if you are able to count them" (Gen 15:5).
Well; even at only three thousand, the task would be difficult.
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Active
45» Why Was Jesus Baptized?

Matt 3:13-15 . .Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by
John. But John tried to deter him, saying: I need to be baptized by you, and do you
come to me? Jesus replied: Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all
righteousness. Then John consented.

An important point worth noting is that everything Jesus did, it was to please his
Father. (John 8:29)

Also, Jesus did nothing on his own initiative. His daily itinerary was planned for him
(John 6:38 and John 8:28). In other words: Jesus was micro managed.

However, John's baptism was unto repentance (Matt 3:11). This is curious because
according to Isa 53:9, John 8:29, 2Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, 1Pet 2:22, and 1John 3:9;
Jesus committed no sins of his own; and as he always pleased his Father, then
there was never a time when Jesus needed to ponder his life's direction and think
about turning from evil and returning to God.

The reason for Jesus' baptism is very simple: his Father required it. Even if Jesus
didn't know the reason why God wanted him to submit to John's baptism, it was the
right thing for Jesus to do at the time because it was God's will; just as baptizing
Israel was the right thing for John to do at the time because it was God's will. Both
men were acting in compliance with God's directions. (John 14:31)

Obedience fulfills righteousness. For example Eph 6:1 where it's said:

"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."

NOTE: Orwellian societies-- e.g. Communist China --tend to ban religions like
Christianity because one of their means of control is to turn children against their
parents. This particular management practice was put into full swing during the
Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao Zedong back in the era 1966-1976. (cf.
Malachi 4:6)
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Active
46» Isn't Christianity's Human Sacrifice Against The Laws Of God?

God's codified law per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy is very
narrow, viz: any human sacrifice-- whether underage children or consenting adults
--is illegal because none are specified.

Deut 4:2 …You shall not add anything to what I command you or take anything
away from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I enjoin upon
you.

Deut 5:29-30 …Be careful, then, to do as the Lord your God has commanded you.
Do not turn aside to the right or to the left: follow only the path that the Lord your
God has enjoined upon you.

However: the codified law isn't retroactive (Deut 5:2-4, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13, Gal
3:17) This is extremely important because Jesus was designated, and scheduled, to
give his life a sacrifice for the sins of the world not only prior to God's codified law,
but also prior to God creating even a single atom for the current cosmos. (1Pet
1:18-21 & Rev 13:8)

The past-tense grammar of the passage below reflects that ancient pre cosmos
determination.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way;
and Jehovah has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa 53:6)

That passage isn't a prediction, rather, it's a statement of facts, i.e. a telling of
things reckoned already gone by prior to Isaiah writing them down more than 700
years before Christ was born.
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Active
47» What Is Meant By Proverbs 27:17?

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."

No sharpening of two metals rubbing together can take place without them wearing
on each other. However, in Prov 27:17 only one of the metals experiences wear
while the other is the cause of it.

In my judicious opinion, that proverb is not speaking of building your friend up but
instead speaks of tearing him down by means of chafing, i.e. relentless fault
finding, mockery, and/or carping criticism; none of which are acceptable social skills
for making friends and influencing people.

Job 16:9 . . He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me
with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.

The eyes of Job's enemy were knives, and reveals that causing somebody's
countenance to sharpen should not be construed a good thing. In point of fact some
of Webster's definitions related to "sharp" in include:

severe and/or harsh: such as

a : inclined to or marked by irritability or anger a sharp temper

b : causing intense mental or physical distress a sharp pain

c : cutting in language or import

NOTE: The Hebrew word for "friend" in Prov 27:17 doesn't necessarily indicate a
buddy; but includes a variety of others, i.e. companions, associates, fellows,
husbands, lovers, neighbors, etc. --just about anybody with whom we come into
personal contact whether temporary or extended, e.g. waitresses, taxi drivers,
retail clerks, fast food workers, gas station attendants, dog walkers, flight
attendants, druggists, coffee barristers, food cart vendors, doctors, dentists,
nurses, et al.

I think everyone, Christians especially, ought to avoid rubbing people the wrong
way lest we become known as a toxic influence that the world would be a better
place without.
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Active
48» Did Jesus Wed And Have Children?

According to Isa 53:8, Jesus left behind no one to carry on his name.
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Active
49» Is 2Macc 12:48-46 A Useful Example?

The story tells of a Jewish military commander's attempt to atone for his dead
soldiers' pagan amulets which he believed is a crime against God for Jews to wear.
So Judas Maccabeus passed the hat among his surviving men and collected about
2,000 silver drachmas which were sent to Jerusalem intended for a sacrifice to
expiate his dead men's sin so that it wouldn't jeopardize their resurrection.

The covenant that Mose's people agreed upon with God as per Exodus, Leviticus,
Numbers, and Deuteronomy is very narrow. There are no sacrifices stipulated in it
for expiating the unforgiven sins that people take with them over to the afterlife;
ergo: the very Law that Judas sought to appease makes it a crime to either amend,
embellish, add to, revise, edit, upgrade, update, or subtract from the covenant.

Deut 4:2 . .You shall not add anything to what I command you or take anything
away from it, but keep the commandments of The Lord your God that I enjoin upon
you.

Deut 5:32-33 . . Be careful, therefore, to do as The Lord, your God, has
commanded you, not turning aside to the right or to the left, but following exactly
the way prescribed for you by The Lord, your God,

Deut 26:16 . . This day The Lord, your God, commands you to observe these
statutes and decrees. Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with
all your soul.

Bottom line: What Judas did was just as pagan as the amulets that his men were
wearing when they died.

NOTE: Just because somebody's personal beliefs are recorded in the Bible does not
make their personal beliefs eo ipso truth. Judas believed it was possible for living
Jews to offer sacrifices for the unforgiven sins of deceased Jews. Is it? No;
absolutely not! Were it possible, then a procedure for that purpose would be
stipulated in the covenant.

Atonements for the dead fall into the category of sins of presumption; viz:
unauthorized behavior.

If 2Mcc 12:38-46 teaches anything at all it’s that the Israel of Judas Maccabeus’
day was spiritually decadent-- just as decadent as it was in the days of the Judges
when every man did that which was right in his own eyes rather than the eyes of
The Lord their God.
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