Jesus teaches what really defiles them

Posted by admin on 17 January 2021 in Leviticus, Mark |

In the past two weeks, we studied topics related to ‘uncleanness’ (Our guilt of uncleanness Jesus died for, Peter’s vision and its meaning). Mark 7:1-23 is also related to it. Let us study Mark 7:1-23 over the next few weeks. Today, let us briefly study key points only.

The Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, ‘Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with defiled hands?’ (Mark 7:5)

Jesus teaches that a person is not defiled by unwashed hands or unclean food (Why? See Mark 7:19a) but by evil thoughts (such as lust, hatred, covetousness, arrogance, and folly) that come from within, out of a person's heart (See Mark 7:20-23 for details).

 

Peter’s vision and its meaning

Posted by admin on 10 January 2021 in Acts, Leviticus, Mark, The Book of Romans |

Acts 10:9-16

About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’

14 ‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’

15 The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’

16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

Message

We studied ‘uncleanness’ and ‘cleanness’ last week. In addition to this, let us learn Peter’s vision to understand the issue better.

I. Peter’s Vision

To understand Acts 10:9-16, Acts 10:1-8 and Acts 10:17-48 should also be read. However, let us start from verse 9 to kick-start the study today.

In Peter's vision, a voice told him to get up, kill and eat unclean animals (Acts 10:11-13). Peter refused (Acts 10:14). The voice spoke, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ (Acts 10:15).

II. The Meaning of the Vision

In the Law, the Jews are not to eat unclean creatures but to eat clean ones (Leviticus 11:1-46).

First, the above vision does NOT abolish the Law written in Leviticus 11:1-46.

This vision was shown to Peter to let the Gentiles saved. The meaning of the vision is shown in Peter’s statement in Acts 10:28.

28 He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.

So, this vision is not asking us to eat unclean animals. The vision is asking us not to call anyone impure or unclean.

The Law does NOT say whether a person would become unclean if he/she touches live animals unclean to eat.

But the Law says a person becomes unclean till evening if he/she touches or picks up the carcass of any of them (Leviticus 11:26-28).

The Gentiles eat them in their ignorance. However, we should not consider them unclean because of their food (Acts 10:28, Romans 14:14, Mark 7:14-23).

‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ (Acts 10:15).

Therefore, we should evangelise them regardless of their food as God enables this.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Our guilt of uncleanness Jesus died for

Posted by admin on 3 January 2021 in Leviticus, Numbers |

Leviticus 5:2-3 ‘ “If anyone becomes aware that they are guilty—if they unwittingly touch anything ceremonially unclean (whether the carcass of an unclean animal, wild or domestic, or of any unclean creature that moves along the ground) and they are unaware that they have become unclean, but then they come to realise their guilt; or if they touch human uncleanness (anything that would make them unclean) even though they are unaware of it, but then they learn of it and realise their guilt;

Leviticus 5:6 As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring to the Lord a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for them for their sin.

(Message)

I. Uncleanness (Leviticus 11-15)

“Cleanness and uncleanness” is written in Leviticus 11:1-46 (food, carcass), Leviticus 12:1-8 (childbirth), Leviticus 13:1-59, Leviticus 14:1-57 (skin diseases, moulds), Leviticus 15:1-33 (unusual bodily discharge, emission of semen (men), flow of blood (women)). Uncleanness lasts till evening or more depending on the type of uncleanness.

II. Uncleanness that can cut them off from the holy community if without two purification rites (Numbers 19:11-21)

Numbers 19:11-21 is about uncleanness by touching a human corpse, a human bone, or a grave. Such uncleanness lasts seven days (Numbers 19:16). Note the difference: the uncleanness by touching the carcasses of unclean animals lasts till evening (Leviticus 11:24-25). They must also purify themselves with the water of purification on the third day and on the seventh day (Numbers 19:12-13). Failure to do this purification results in being cut off from the holy community (Numbers 19:20). The water of purification can be made by using of ashes of red heifer without defect or blemish and that has never been under a yoke (Numbers 19:1-10).

III. Uncleanness is transmittable

Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.’ (Numbers 19:22, Leviticus 5:2-3)

IV. Our guilt of uncleanness

Bearing the above in mind, let us read Leviticus 5:1-6, which lets us know

(a) Uncleanness has to do with guilt (Leviticus 5:2-3, Leviticus 5:6).

(b) Uncleanness is transmittable and spreads (Leviticus 5:2-3, Numbers 19:22). Thus, guilt increases.

(c) Guilt by uncleanness requires confession of the sin (“they must confess in what way they have sinned” (Leviticus 5:5)).

(d) As a penalty for the sin they have committed, they must bring a sin offering to the Lord (Leviticus 5:6).

V. Conclusion

Why is the above important to mention? Many people may not know that living their lives without knowing ‘uncleanness’ would be full of guilt before God.

Why do you need the sacrifice of Jesus (See (d))? When you first believe Jesus, what sin would you acknowledge? Not sure? Now you just learned the concept of the sin related to uncleanness in the above, which you can admit.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, Le 15:31). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Zaphenath-Paneah

Posted by admin on 27 December 2020 in Genesis, Hebrews, Matthew |

Exodus 41:45a Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah.

I. Background

Joseph was one of twelve sons of Jacob (Genesis 35:22b, Genesis 35:24). His brothers sold him to merchants for some silver due to their jealousy (Genesis 37:27-28). The merchants sold in Egypt Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard (Genesis 37:36). Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him after he refused to sleep with her, and Potiphar imprisoned him due to her lie (Genesis 39:1-23). The cupbearer and the baker of Pharaoh who offended him were imprisoned and had dreams. Joseph interpreted their dreams. The cupbearer was restored to his position, but the baker was impaled, according to the interpretation (Genesis 40:1-23). When Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret, the cupbearer remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about him. So, Joseph got the opportunity to interpret Pharaoh’s dream. The dream was about coming seven years of great abundance and seven years of severe famine to follow after that. Joseph advised Pharaoh to collect all the food during the good years and use it during the famine. Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of Egypt (Genesis 41:1-57).

As a result, Joseph saved Egypt and other countries during the severe famine.

II. Jesus Christ

The religious leaders were jealous of Jesus (Matthew 27:18). Jesus Christ sold for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15). He was innocent but sentenced to die on the cross (Matthew 27:26). Jesus was raised back to life (Matthew 28:5-6) and became the Saviour of the world (Hebrews 5:8-9).

III. Zaphenath-Paneah

Finally, let us study the name of Joseph that Pharaoh gave. See Genesis 41:45a.

Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah.

This name is translated to be ’revealer of secrets’, ‘the man to whom secrets are revealed’, ‘saviour of the world’, ‘salvation of the age’, or  ‘the god speaks [and] he lives’ [2].

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, Ge 41:45). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaphnath-Paaneah

From darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God

Posted by admin on 13 December 2020 in 1 John, 2 Timothy, Acts |

Acts 26:15-18

15 ‘Then I asked, “Who are you, Lord?”

‘ “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” the Lord replied. 16 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

Paul was persecuting Christians (Acts 26:9-11). On a journey, Paul saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around him and his companions (Acts 26:12). They all fell to the ground and Paul heard a voice saying “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” (Acts 26:14)

When Paul asked “Who are you, Lord” (15a), Jesus answered him. See v15b ~ 18.

‘ “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” the Lord replied. 16 “Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”

Let us pay attention to the last part of the above paragraph, which is v17b ~ 18.

I am sending you to them

  • to open their eyes
  • to turn them
    • from darkness to light
    • from the power of Satan to God

So that they may receive

  • forgiveness of sins
  • a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me

Here, let us note “from the power of Satan to God”. Before saved by Jesus, people in the world are under the power of Satan.

Similar verses are in 2 Timothy 2:25-16.

25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Before saved by Jesus, people in the world are in the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

They need ‘rescue’.

This reality is also written in 1 John 5:19.

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, Ac 26:15–18). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

God vindicates His servants

Posted by admin on 6 December 2020 in Colossians, Isaiah |

Scripture: Isaiah 54:1-17

Keyword: Isaiah 54:17

17    no weapon forged against you will prevail,

and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,

and this is their vindication from me,’

declares the Lord.

It is good to learn the New Testament first if you are new to the Holy Bible. However, we should not neglect the Old Testament. The first part of the Old Testament is filled with real stories from which we can know God. Then the Old Testament continues with the books of prophets such as ‘Isaiah’, from which we can know God.

I. One of the key messages from God in the Old Testament

For example, we can frequently encounter the fact that idolatry and subsequent evil they commit brought God’s fierce anger and His judgement.

The New Testament teaches that ‘greed’ is ‘idolatry’ (Colossians 3:5b).

II. One of the verses of inspiration in the Old Testament

Isaiah 53 describes ‘Messiah’ and His sacrifice. Isaiah 54 is a subsequent chapter.

Isaiah 54:17 specially came into my heart while listening to “Bible.is” app. I close this short message after I leave it to the audience to read or listen to the Old Testament, including Isaiah 53 and 54.

 References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition, Is 54:17). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

No one ever seen God, but the one and only Son has made Him known

Posted by admin on 29 November 2020 in 1 John, Exodus, John |

See John 1:18.

18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

I. No one ever seen God (18a)

Moses closely encountered with God, but was not allowed to see His face, but only His back (Exodus 33:18-34:8).

II. The One and Only Son has made Him known (18b)

They saw Jesus face to face. Moreover, Jesus left his face for us to see. His face has been imprinted on the shroud that covered his body laid down from the cross. This shroud is called Shroud of Turin.

This amazing experience has been described again by John in 1 John 1:1-4.

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.

The Word became flesh! This is most awesome and amazing miracle! Good News of Great Joy! Immanuel! God With Us! The Word has made Him known!!

We have been posting on John1:1-18 for 12 weeks from 13 September till 29 Nov.

Week 1: In Him was Life (John 1:1-5)

Week 2: The true light that gives light to everyone (John 1:6-13)

Week 3: The Word became flesh (Part 1) (John 1:14)

Week 4: The Word became flesh (Part 2) (John 1:15)

Week 5: The Word became flesh (Part 3a) (John 1:16-17)

Week 6: Grace and Truth through Jesus Christ (John 1:17b)

Week 7: Grace

Week 8: Defining ‘Truth’

Week 9: The Importance of ‘knowing’ truth

Week 10: The importance of ‘listening to’ Jesus

Week 11: What spirit do you have? How to accept Jesus?

Week 12: No one ever seen God, but the one and only Son has made Him known (John 1:18)

What spirit do you have? How to accept Jesus?

Posted by admin on 22 November 2020 in 1 John, John, Matthew, Revelation, The Book of Romans |

Previously, we learnt that one’s ‘hearing’ God would show one’s ‘belonging’ to God (John 8:47). ‘hearing’ God or not was the test to know where one belongs.

Today, let us learn about another test to know where the spirits are from.

I. How to test the spirits whether they are from God

1 John 4:1 says,

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

See 1 John 4:2-3.

This is how you can recognise the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

If the spirit you have makes you resist or refuse to believe Jesus, that spirit is the spirit of antichrist.

II. How to accept Jesus

First, let us know how near He is. See Revelation 3:20 and Romans 10:8a.

20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

8a But what does it say? ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’

Accept Jesus by believing and confessing. See Romans 10:9-13.

if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, ‘Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.’ 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’

An example of confession of faith is written in Matthew 16:13-20.

The importance of ‘listening to’ Jesus

Posted by admin on 15 November 2020 in John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, The Book of Romans |

‘Hearing’ is prerequisite of ‘believing’ (Romans 10:17).

I. It is God’s will (command) for us to listen to Jesus.

See Matthew 17:5.

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’

Mark 9:7 and Luke 9:35 also testify God’s voice from the cloud.

II. ‘listening to Jesus’ shows that you are on the side of truth, and you belong to God.

They couldn’t fully figure out truth when they only had the law, and Jesus came to reveal truth. Ironically, some teachers of the law didn’t listen to Jesus but opposed Him. This showed they were not on the side of truth as Jesus said,

Everyone on the side of truth listens to me (John 18:37b).

Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.’ (John 8:47)

The Importance of ‘knowing’ truth

Posted by admin on 8 November 2020 in John |

I. Truth sets us free from sin.

See John 8:31-32.

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

This freedom is freedom from slavery to sin (John 8:34-36). The Condition of becoming ‘to know the truth’ is ‘if you hold to my teaching’.

II. ‘knowing’ God and Jesus Christ is ‘eternal life’

See John 17:3.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Knowledge

“The word know in verse 3 is ginosko, emphasizing an experiential relationship rather than just necessary information. The verb also appears here in the present tense, suggesting a continuing personal experience and contact with both the Father and the Son.” [2].

“In Judaism, the knowledge of God is primarily the revelation of God contained in his Law, and obedience to this Law means life. That is, true knowledge of God was tied to a particular historical revelation, and this knowledge demanded faith and obedience. The same belief is reflected in the Gospel of John. The knowledge of God referred to here is the knowledge which comes through a specific revelation in Jesus Christ, and it demands a response of love and obedience on the part of those who follow. Knowledge, then, for both Old Testament and New Testament writers is not a beatific vision or an intuitive feeling about God; rather it is based on an objective revelation and demands a positive response in obedience and love.” [4]

Eternal Life

“Christ’s definition of eternal life is important because it differs from the current concept of endless existence” [2].

"Tenney [3] writes, “However fully man lives in the world, he ultimately reaches the point where nothing is new because he has reached human limits. Only the knowledge of God can give enduring satisfaction, because God alone is eternal. Contact with God will provide the fullest experience, and the experience of God’s eternal being will be eternal life”." [2]

References

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version (Anglicised Edition, 2011). (2011). (Revised and updated edition). London: Hodder & Stoughton.

[2] Gangel, K. O. (2000). John (Vol. 4, p. 313). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[3] Tenney, Merrill C. John: The Gospel of Belief (pp. 245–46). Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Newman, B. M., & Nida, E. A. (1993). A handbook on the Gospel of John (p. 527). New York: United Bible Societies.

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