Posted by: thaishin | March 3, 2017

Is Jesus a lesser God?

Passages to be considered:

John 14

28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.  -kjv

John 6

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  -kjv

1 Corinthians 11

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  -kjv

Question from moody radio listener on openline program on February 18, 2017:

I am doing a bible study in John and in John 14:28 towards the end of that verse, Jesus says the Father is greater than I, in that discussion on John, we are also talking about the trinity and how there is only one God and He has existed eternally as three distinct persons, each fully and equally God. So, I am trying to reconcile those two different statements there.

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik:

People who held views like the Arians and even various religious groups today argue from the statement that the Father is greater than I that somehow that Jesus is less than God or a lesser God, that somehow he is a created being, that is clearly not true. The Father and Son have the same essence. So what does it mean that the Father is greater than I? I think one of the clues to that is found in John 6 (actually John 6:37 to 40 is one of my favourite passages because it is really one of the great assurance passages for the believer), if you look at verse 38, what it is saying is the Lord Jesus submits his will to his Father. So, when the Lord Jesus says the Father is greater than the Son, what he is saying is greater in authority and it’s only because of the relational aspect in the Godhead, the Son is submissive to the Father, and it is not because in essence one is greater than the other but it’s sort of a functional relationship, functional greatness, not essential greatness. It is in function the Father is greater, some of you say that the Father is greater in office or greater in glory but the Son was humbled or taking the form of the man but in my understanding in the gospel of John, you go right to the beginning in John 1, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and then it says the Word became flesh. So it is saying the Father and Son are equal in essence but different in function. The Father is the one the Son submits to for He has greater authority, it’s just a functional difference, not an essential difference.

Listener:

So, in the functional difference, there’s an order and in essence, there’s equality?

Dr Michael Rydelnik:

There’s a  verse in 1 Corinthians 11 that I think it’s kind of helpful in seeing that. In terms of male, female relationships in 1 Corinthians 11:3. That’s talking about male leadership in the congregation and so the male elders  in the congregation is the head of women but essentially male and women in essence are equal before God but in function, there’s different function between men and women and the reason we see rather clearly in this passage because it says God is the head (speaking of the Father) of the Messiah, Christ the Son, well it does not mean He is greater in essence but just in function, just as men and women have equal essence but different function.

Listener:

See that makes a great example. I didn’t know it is partly because when Jesus became flesh, he lowered himself.

Dr Michael Rydelnik:

Yeah, that’s part of it, it’s the humbling of the Messiah, somebody called it the humiliation of the Messiah, that’s part of the reason for the Father has a greater authority than the Son and the Son humbling himself and obeying the Father’s will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: thaishin | February 17, 2017

Timothy and circumcision

Question from moody radio listener on Chris Fabry Live on February 17, 2017

I am currently teaching the book of Acts in our home bible study. And we just did the Jerusalem Council in Acts Chapter 15 and when we did that, we went through the Chalcedon Creed, the Nicene Creed and I taught the next week on Acts chapter 16 and I don’t understand why Paul chose to circumcise Timothy when the Jerusalem Creed was so clear in its teaching that circumcision was not being the issue.

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik:

That’s very good reading and a very good question. The circumcision of Timothy showed that the decision by the Jerusalem Council was limited to Gentiles not being circumcised, not Jews. Timothy’s mother was Jewish and so Timothy should have be circumcised as an outward sign of the Abrahamic covenant, which continues by the way, requiring Timothy to submit to circumcision. Paul avoided offending Jewish people for the purpose of ministry and recognized the continuation of the Abrahamic covenant for Jewish believer. In Acts 15, the limitation there is Gentiles don’t need to be circumcised or convert to Judaism before they can become follower of Jesus.

Question on openline program on Feb 11, 2017: What’s the difference between Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology:

Answer from Dr Michael  Rydelnik:

Those are in house discussions. It’s not between the good guys and the back guys, people wearing white hats and black hats, it’s not a conflict between those who are in and those who are out, rather it’s sort of an internal disagreement. It’s sort of what believers deal with when they disagree about things. In my opinion, it’s sort of an interpretive issue. It’s a methodical issue, how we interpret the bible. It’s more of a difference in interpretive method rather than a theological issue. It leads to theological issues based on how we interpret but it’s primarily an interpretive issue. Here’s what dispenationalism believes. First of all, dispensationalism believes in the normal interpretation of the bible consistently. I say normal rather than literal because I don’t think there’s any one that’s a wooden literal interpretor of the bible, for example, when Jesus called Herod the ‘old fox’, no one thought that Herod has a tail that was bushy. We understand that there’s figure of speech but dispensationalism believes that we read the scriptures, we should read them as you read any literature and things are literal, they are literal and so, there’s the first aspect of it. We take things literally in the bible, the other thing you will find is God has promises for Israel, literal promises for the Jewish people that he’s going to fulfil. So, there’s consistent view of that and so it leads to a second view which is the difference between Israel and the Church. So, you have normal interpretation and then the difference between Israel and the Church and God is going to fulfil His promises for Israel and fulfil His promises for the Church and then there’s another part. Dispensationalist read the new testament through the old, covenant reads the old testament through the new. In other words, they read backwards into the old testament, not what the authors meant,but on what they think the authors are changing in the old testament. Dispenationalist says no, we should be informed by the old testament but still read the new testament through the old testament. It’s a matter of direction when you read. Do you read the new testament back into the old or do you read the old testament as background for the new as it was written. So that’s the difference dispensationalism and covenant. Covenant theology believes in normal hermeneutics too but they don’t apply it consistently when it comes to prophecy. When they say Israel, they mean the church and they believe Israel and the church are one thing and lastly they read the new testament back into the old, so it leads to different views in the church and especially to the end of days of what the bible says about Israel.

Posted by: thaishin | February 10, 2017

Does God hear us?

The scripture that says God hides his face from us and does not hear us when we sin.

Isaiah 59

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.  -kjv

2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.  -niv

2 But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen.  -hcsb

Posted by: thaishin | February 3, 2017

Hearing, Doing and Walking with God

Passages to be considered:

Leviticus 8

22 And he brought the other ram, the ram of consecration: and Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. 23 And he slew it; and Moses took of the blood of it, and put it upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the great toe of his right foot.  -kjv

22 He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 23 Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.   -niv

22 Next he presented the second ram, the ram of ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram. 23 Moses slaughtered it,[a] took some of its blood, and put it on Aaron’s right earlobe, on the thumb of his right hand, and on the big toe of his right foot.   -hcsb

Excerpts from Dr Michael Rydelnik on his blog “Learning to Love Leviticus” about above verse:

Here’s one more example of the value of Leviticus for today: when the High Priest was consecrated to serve God, Moses took the ram of ordination, slaughtered it and put some of its blood on Aaron’s right earlobe, right hand, and the big toe of his right foot (Lev 8:22-23). While this might seem weird, there was a purpose. The ear represents hearing; the thumb, doing; and the toe, walking. Basically, it was saying that the High Priest was to be consecrated to serve God every day in every way. He was separated for God’s service, not just when he went into the tabernacle, but every minute of every day.

 

Posted by: thaishin | January 27, 2017

Contradictions in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2?

Passages to be considered:

Genesis 1

11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. -kjv

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. -niv

11 Then God said, “Let the earth produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” And it was so. 12 The earth produced vegetation: seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 Evening came and then morning: the third day.  -hcsb

Genesis 2

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.  -kjv

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground,   -niv

No shrub of the field had yet grown on the land, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not made it rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground.  -hcsb

Is there any contradiction when comparing Genesis 1: 11-12 and Genesis 2:5?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik:

The allegation raised is that Genesis 2 gives a second, contradictory version of the creation account found in Genesis 1. Of course, the creation story is not contradictory but rather it becomes more and more specific. So, Genesis 1:1 gives the big general statement, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” or God made the whole universe. Then from Genesis 1:2-2:3, it gives more details, describing how God made the world in six days. In the next passage, from Gen 2:4-24, it gets even more precise, describing the events of only the 6th day of creation.

But critics will object that on the third day of creation, God is said to have made vegetation, seed bearing plants and fruit bearing trees (Gen 1:11-13). But in Genesis 2:5, describing the 6th day, it says “No shrub of the field had yet grown on the land, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted . . . and there was no man to work the ground.” So what gives? The answer is fairly simple; on the third day of creation God made wild vegetation and trees, plants that renewed themselves. On the 6th day, the text says there were no shrubs of the field, which the Hebrew indicates to be a reference to troublesome plants, like weeds, thorns, and thistles — plants that would only develop after humanity’s fall. Also, there were no plants of the field, a reference to cultivated plants. These did not exist yet because man had not yet been created to work the fields. So on the 3rd day there was only uncultivated vegetation but by the time we get to the 6th day, it only says that neither weeds nor cultivated plants existed yet.  So, this major contradiction is . . . really nothing at all.

The full account is found in this blog post “Answering Bible Critics” from Dr Michael Rydelnik.

 

Passage to be considered:

James 1

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  -kjv

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  -niv

Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  -hcsb

Question:

James 1 seems to say that in order to acquire godly wisdom, one must ask for it from God while not doubting but who does not carry around at least a bit of doubt in their heart? Does having doubt makes one ineligible to acquire godly wisdom?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik on openline moody radio on Jan 14, 2017:

Actually when you look at this verse, it’s verse 5, James 1:5. Let’s put it in context: this whole chapter is about trial and testing. It says consider it great joy when you encounter various trials, then when you lack wisdom … what does the word wisdom means? The best translation or understanding of the word wisdom is skillful living and so it’s really saying if you are going through a trial, I know you should also rejoice but what should you also do? You should ask God to deal with that trial. It’s not just general wisdom in life, it’s talking speficially of the wisdom in dealing with trials. Does that make sense? So,  it should be asked with faith, unwavering … you don’t want to be doubter. Here’s one of the thing that I just want to caution people about the scriptures. The scriptures often are aspirational, in a sense that this ought to be our goal, this is what we want to be the most like, it does not mean that if we are not perfectly like that, then God will just say … sorry … you don’t measure up, because there’s only one person that can ask in faith without wavering and that’s the Lord Jesus himself. I think what’s it saying is what we need to do is to keep our focus on him, really we should intentionally  try our best to trust him through trials, and ask God for  the skill to face those trials from Him and skillful living and that He will answer us. I think it’s a mistake to say that there is this perfect target and if we miss it, God won’t answer us. Rather, we have to aspire to have confidence. The way I ask in faith is like the man who says to the Lord Jesus, ” Lord, help me in my own unbelief” and I think God really appreciates that kind of attitude where we recognize our own weakness as human beings. I want to say to people when you read the scriptures, lighten up, God is easy to please, He longs for us to trust Him. It’s not like He’s getting to slap our back, that’s not like the kind of God that He is. Tozer wrote an article, an essay called “God is easy to please” and it’s really affected me. God always looks at us with kindly good intentions, not with a harsh demand. Isn’t that a better picture of God?

 

 

Posted by: thaishin | January 13, 2017

Did God forgive that act?

Passage to be considered:

1 Corinthians 2

Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  -kjv

Question from moody radio listener on 31 December 2016:

When Jesus was on the cross and those that were doing him in, Jesus prayed to God the Father, “Father forgive them”. Did God the Father forgive and answered Jesus’s prayer?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik:

Yes, I do believe when Jesus said “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”, he was referring to what Paul refers to in 1 Corinthians 2 where he said had they known they wouldn’t have crucified the God of glory. So often when people think of the people involved in the crucifixion, whether it was Pilate or Herod or the Jewish crowd or the Sanhedrin or the roman soldiers  that they were knowledgeable, that they knew what they were doing, they didn’t. They were acting in ignorance, that’s what Peter says when he says brethen you acted in ignorance, so I believe God forgave that act. I am not saying they all became believers or they were forgiven all their sins but because of Jesus’s intercession, God forgave that act when they crucified him, that’s because the Father always listens to the Son.

 

Posted by: thaishin | January 1, 2017

Blood sacrifices once again?

Passages used in this post:

Isaiah 65

20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.  -kjv

20 “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; the one who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere child; the one who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.  -niv

20 “No longer will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, Or an old man who does not live out his days; For the youth will die at the age of one hundred And the one who does not reach the age of one hundred Will be thought accursed.  -nasb

Zechariah 6

11 Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; 12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. 14 And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the Lord. 15 And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.  -kjv

 

Question from openline moody radio listener on Dec 31, 2016:

My bible study teacher is saying that when the new temple is built in Jerusalem, there will be again blood sacrifices, is that true?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik and his wife Eva Rydelnik:

It is true. If you look at Ezekiel 40-48, it speaks of the restoration of the temple in the Messianic kingdom when the Messiah is reigning on the throne in Jerusalem and it includes animal sacrifices, actual blood sacrifices. It is clear that this is going to happen in Ezekiel but the question is why? The reason is they are memorial sacrifices, just like we have the Lord’s supper today, to remember what the Lord did for us. In the kingdom, there won’t be much death as in Isaish 65 where it says if someone dies at a hundred, he will be considered young. There won’t be much death, the predatory animals, the wolf and the lamb will lay down, not much death and so there will be people born in that kingdom who will need to become followers of Jesus to trust in Him, to become believers and they won’t fully comprehend fully this idea that Jesus died for us and rose again and so in the temple there will be sacrifices, not to provide atonement for the forgiveness of sins but rather there will be memorials to remind us of what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection and also they will provide ritual cleansing, not cleansing from sin but ritual cleansing so that priest can serve there. But the main thing is that it is a reminder of what the Lord Jesus did for us in his death.

Question from listener:

Why do we need the bible then? That’s our reminder, isn’t it?

Answer from Dr Michael Rydelnik and Eva Rydelnik:

Yeah, why do we  have the Lord’s supper if the bible is our reminder? Because we need something tangible and even then, in the Messianic kingdom, it appears that the Lord’s supper will be insufficient to teach people who don’t see much death about what’s that talking about. And the bible does not only teach about sacrifices but it teaches about so much else, so we need the whole bible like what we are talking about in the first hour today, to remind us of God’s character, His love for us and what the Messiah’s done. In Zechariah 6, it talks about when the Messiah comes, He will rebuild the temple and what’s the point of the temple but to have sacrifices and He will be the priest king on his throne. It says in Zechariah 6:11-15 and also in Zechariah 14, it describes the Messiah and the nations coming to worship in that temple in Jerusalem, so that it will be a great reminder in the Messianic kingdom of what the Messiah has done for us and so a lot of people think it can’t be but it’s right there in scripture and we have to understand it, they are not there to take away sin but those sacrifices are there to remind us of the one who took away sins through his death and resurrection.

 

Posted by: thaishin | December 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Jesus!

We will be able to see God because of this birth.

Dec 25, 2016

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