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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Thessalonians chapter 2: Christian Persecution Women Preaching



1: For yourselves brethren know our entrance in unto you that it was not in vain 2: But even after that we had suffered before and were shamefully entreated as you know at Philippi we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God through much conflict[1] 3: For our exhortation was not of deceit nor of uncleanness nor in guile 4: But as we were approved of God entrusted [with the] gospel even so we speak not as pleasing people but God who tests our hearts 5: For neither at any time used we flattering words as you know nor through cloaked covetousness God is witness 6: Nor of people sought we glory neither of you nor yet of others when we might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ 7: But we were gentle among you even as a nurse cherishes her children 8: So being affectionately desirous of you we were willing to have imparted to you not the gospel of God only but also our own souls because you were dear to us 9: For you remember brethren our labor and travail for laboring night and day because we would not be chargeable to any of you We preached to you the gospel of God 10: You are witnesses and God also how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe 11: As you know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you as a father his children 12: That you would walk worthy of God who has called you to his kingdom and glory 13: For this cause also thank we God without ceasing because when you received the word of God which you heard from us you received it not as the word of audawm but as it is in truth the Word of God which effectually works also in you that believe 14: For you brethren became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus for you also have suffered like things of your own countrymen even as they have of the Jews 15: Who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets and have persecuted us and they please not God and are contrary to all people[2] 16: Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved [3] to fill up their sins alway for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost 17: But we brethren being taken from you for a short time in presence not in heart endeavored the more abundantly to see your face with great desire 18: Wherefore we would have come to you even I Paul once and again but Satan hindered us 19: For what is our hope or joy or crown of rejoicing Are not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming 20: For you are our glory and joy.


[1] It was a struggle for Paul to do the work of the Lord at Philippi (where he was mistreated “shamefully”) and also through much conflict at Thessalonica, but he persevered and succeeded in establishing assemblies in those places. He did not allow ridicule and opposition to stop him from obeying God.

[2] God still has a plan for the Jewish people, and we love and honor the race through which Messiah came. God’s promise is not void that he will bless those who bless Abraham and he will curse those who curse him. He was speaking not only of Abraham, but of Abraham and his descendants through his sons Isaac (The child of the free-woman. The child of the promise) and Jacob (who wrestled with God and would not let Him go until he had been promised the blessing his very life depended on). Much joy and knowledge is gained when studying the Hebrew scriptures from a Jewish perspective. But take care not to elevate Jewish culture or Messianic ministry above any other. The apostle Paul did not. In fact, he did not take to pretty things up, when he wrote that the Jews killed the Lord and were contrary to everyone around them. Israel, today, is a secular nation, but God has brought them back to their ancestral promised land, and he will reconcile them—as a nation—back to himself. “Pray for the peace [wholeness] of Jerusalem, for they shall prosper that love thee.” 

[3] Paul said he would be all things to all people that by any means some should be saved. It is a fearful thing to forbid anyone to preach the gospel of Christ, that they might be saved. Jesus spoke of the religious leadership of his day, saying they were not going in to the Kingdom of God themselves and they prevented those that would. What we see, today, is that [since 1987] those influenced by the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) forbid women to preach the Everlasting Gospel to men, that they might be saved. But women need not fear their edicts or censure. Women as well as men need fear only God. Jesus commanded all Christians to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Joel prophesied that God’s daughters as well as his sons would do this. Just as the early Jewish Christians defied Jewish leadership and preached Christ anyway, so women should defy anti-Christ, male-headship, teaching and preach Christ anyway.

Friday, January 26, 2018

1 Thessalonians chapter 1: Predestination Falling Away Rapture Great Tribulation



       1: Paul and Silvanus and Timotheos to the church of the Thessalonians which is in God Father and Lord Jesus Christ Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ 2: Giving thanks to God always for you all making mention of you in our prayers 3: Remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labor of love and endurance of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in sight of God and our Father 4: Knowing brethren beloved your election[1] of God 5: For our gospel came not to you in word only but also in power and in the Holy Ghost and in much assurance as you know what manner of men we were among you for your sakes 6: And you became followers of us and of the Lord having received the word in (through) much affliction with joy of the Holy Ghost 7: So that you were examples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia 8: For from you sounded out the Word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad so that we need not to speak any thing 9: For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God 10: And to wait for his Son from Heaven whom he raised from the dead even Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come[2]


[1] Peter put the subject of election in its proper perspective, by urging Christians to put forth a constant steady effort in making their calling and election sure. The Bible says Christians can receive forgiveness for sins committed after they are born again. Christians can even return to God after backsliding [a state in which a Christian is not serving God and fellowship with God is interrupted, but is reversible through sincere repentance] 1 John 1:8-10, Jeremiah 3:12-15. The Bible also says Christians can fall away. Falling away is not synonymous with backsliding. But backsliding (which is reversible) can lead to falling away—a state which is irreversible. Once a Christian falls away, repentance and restoration back into grace is impossible Hebrews 6:4-6. This exhortation, to make our calling and election sure, follows Peter’s list of things all Christians must add to their faith if they expect to grow and be successful as Christians. Peter included both a promise and a warning in this passage 2 Peter 1:4-10. 

[2] The Church was already experiencing fearful persecution, but Paul knew there was even worse coming—which he assured the believers at Thessalonica they would be delivered out of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, 5:9. When he wrote of the “wrath to come,” he was referring to a future time [which the prophets foretold], and called by various names: the “Time of Jacob’s Trouble, the Indignation,” the time when, “the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate Daniel 9:27.” Christians are never desolate, so Daniel’s reference to the desolate could not have been referring to the Body of Christ. Those who belong to Jesus, have the indwelling power of the comforter, the Holy Spirit. Paul was also referencing Jesus, when he spoke of the “Great Tribulation,” which is still a future event. When he wrote that Jesus had delivered them from the “wrath to come,” he was referring to a pre-tribulational rapture. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Colossians chapter 4: Organized Religion, Itinerant Ministry, Slavery, Equality, Bible Texts



      1: Lords give slaves [that which is] righteous even equality[1] knowing that you also have a Lord in Heaven See commentary on Colossians 3:22-23 2: Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving 3: Praying together also for us that God would open to us a door of utterance to speak the mystery of Christ Eph 3:3-9, Col 1:26-27 for which I am also bound [a prisoner] 4: That I may make it manifest as I ought to speak 5: Walk in wisdom toward them that are without [unbelievers] redeeming the time 6: your speech always with grace seasoned with salt that you may know how you ought to answer every one 7: All pertaining to me shall Tychicus declare to you who is a beloved brother and a faithful diakonos and fellow-slave in the Lord [2] 8: Whom I have sent to you for the same purpose that he might know about you and comfort your hearts 9: With Onesimus Philemon 1:10-21 a faithful and beloved brother who is one of you [3] They shall make known to you all things which are done here 10: Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner greets you and Marcus sister's son [nephew of??] Barnabas touching whom you received commandments if he come to you receive him 11: And Jesus who is called Justus who are of the circumcision These only [are my] fellow-workers in the kingdom of God who have been a comfort to me 12: Epaphras who is one of you a slave of Christ saluteth you always laboring fervently for you in prayers that you may stand perfect Col 3:14 and complete in all the will of God 13: For I bear him record that he has a great zeal for you and them that are in Laodicea[4] and them in Hierapolis 14: Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you 15: Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea and Nymphan [5] [spelling from the KAINH (Koine) Greek NT] and the church which is in her house[6] 16: And when this letter is read among you cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans and that you likewise read the letter from Laodicea[7] 17: And say to Archippus Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord that you fulfill it 18: The salutation by the hand of me Paul Remember my bonds Grace be with you Amen


[1] The Greek word, isot─ôs, used in verse one, is translated as “equality” in 2 Corinthians 8:14.
[2]  Class division was sharp in first century Rome, with slaves and women being at the very bottom of the social hierarchy. Paul’s reminder to masters that they also have a master in Heaven, was radical. When he followed that up by informing them that he was sending a slave, Onesimus, to the free people and slave-owners at the Colossian Church, on equal par with Tychicus and the the rest of them as a beloved “brother” and “one of you,” the apostle backed his strong message of equality by referring to himself as a slave (to Christ) as well. 
[3] Colossians chapter four, is one of many scripture passages where human equality is honored and reinforced. Sadly, so many of these passages have been rendered virtually invisible due to translator bias.   While Paul referred to most every person in his letter as servants and slaves of the Lord, he did not do so regarding Onesimus, who actually was a slave, but rather, used Onesimus as an example to reinforce the functional equality of all Christians, regardless of whether they were *Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, or female.
*Side-note: When Paul listed this hierarchy (Galatians chapter three), it was a deliberate reference to the actual order of things from the perspective of a Jewish male.  
[4] We read in the Revelation, that the Church at Laodicea later degenerates into materialism and luke-warmness towards the things of God. The location of Laodicea was situated near the modern-day city of Denizli located in Turkey. The seven Churches in The Revelation, were all located in Turkey.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/august/vanishing-act-of-church-in-turkey.html 
[5] To avoid doctrinal error through English-Translation-Theology, it is important to compare any English translation with the Greek Text. In doing this, there are many resources readily available to modern Christians. As a rule, the classical Greek [that most eclectic texts are translated from] exhibits textual misogyny, while the koine Greek of the Received Text [New Testament], is exceptionally egalitarian but the translators are biased. Translators of either text cannot always be trusted when it comes to texts placing women on par with men. While many translations correctly identify Nympha (Numphan [Koine Greek NT], Numphas [Berry Interlinear]) as a woman [Col 4:15], translators of some versions transform the feminine Nympha/Numphan/Numphas, into a male.  A partial list of versions [translated from various texts [including the Koine, classical Greek, and eclectic texts] exhibiting translator misogyny in Col 4:15, is as follows: KJV, YLT, NKJV, ASV, DBY, WEB, HNV. Since there are over 200 translations, of necessity, this is an abbreviated list. 
[6] Jesus’ entire ministry was itinerant, as was that of the Twelve Apostles of the Lamb.  
   Virtually all of the earliest churches of the New Testament were house churches—not organizations. 
   This is important to understand, as while this was the case, the Church was entirely egalitarian, unapologetically featuring women as leaders and teachers. On the day of Pentecost, women [who were likely in the majority among the 120] were preaching and prophesying in the street, right along-side the eleven Apostles of the Lamb. Peter knew that these preaching women would shock the patriarchal crowd, and immediately defended their right to do so, by reminding them about “that which was foretold,” that God’s daughters would prophesy. 
   These first women preachers, were standing on the solid rock of the Word of God, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ rocked the world at that time, turning it “upside down.” 
   After the day of Pentecost, the only way for New Covenant egalitarianism to be over-thrown, was for men to take the reins of rulership by transforming the living organism of the Body of Christ into a man-made organization
   The conversion of the early church from egalitarianism to patriarchy was largely accomplished [through organizing and galvanizing the male leaders] by the third century. Though the Gospel cannot be stopped, and the 20th and 21st centuries have brought some measure of freedom to women, Christian women in most denominations are a notable exception. 
   Religious organizations of every ilk [most notably CBMW—the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood] have made the subjection of women the primary focus of their ministries, and have virtually bound and gagged women as concerning the Gospel, and crushed any real leadership they might be called to within the Christian family and the Body of Christ, cheating the world of the ministry and influence of God’s women. 
   The good news is, that God’s women are shaking off man-made bands that have bound them for thousands of years and are obeying His call on their lives in ever-increasing numbers, and many of God’s men, are rising up to defend their right to do so, just like Peter did on the day of Pentecost.
[7] “The epistle appears in more than 100 manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate (including the oldest, the celebrated codex Fuldensis, 546 CE), as well as in manuscripts of early Albigensian, Bohemian, English, and Flemish versions.” –See link. Info on and content of Paul’s letter to the Laodiceans: http://reluctant-messenger.com/epistle-laodiceans.htm



Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System examines Bible commentary and translation practices which have historically been androcentric (male centered) and even misogynistic (anti-woman). These have adversely effected understanding of the scriptures, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel. The book chronicles the early history of the women's rights movements, as well as the role of church leadership in aggressively suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within the movements. Through the complementarian movement, many of the same arguments used to support the institution of slavery, are still used today in suppressing the rights of Christian women. This book documents identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both movements, and is an unparalleled resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender equality from a Christian perspective. The history of women’s rights is traced back [much further than usual] to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. This work, provides valuable historical insight into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s rights, that are rarely included in Christian literature. Visit this link for more information or to buy the book:  Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System