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Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

Elohim_ebraico

 

Recently, at my Jewish roots Bible study, we got into a discussion regarding why one of the words for God in the Bible – Elohim – is in the plural form in the original Hebrew of Genesis 1:1, and also why God says in Genesis 1:26, “Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness…” In fact, there are numerous other passages in which the plural form of God, Elohim, is used instead of other singular forms. Those familiar with the Shema know that God Himself said, “Hear O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4) Interestingly, the word for God in this passage of scripture is Elohim (plural), but in the very next breath it says “the Lord is one!” So, why would God inspire the writers of the Bible to use the word Elohim in some passages instead of a singular form of the word?

At my Bible study, different people gave analogies in an attempt to explain this concept. One person gave the example of water being composed of H20, but with three different states – solid, liquid, and gas. Another example given was the analogy of a candle which consists of the wax, the wick, and the flame – all with different properties, but belonging to the same candle. Then I chimed in with what I had heard someone say several years ago that made a great deal of sense to me. I even wrote about it in one of my previous articles entitled “If I Should Die Before I Wake…

Basically, the person was trying to explain the concept of the Trinity, which we know is a heated point of contention between other religions and Christianity – and even within Christendom. He said that humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26) and we consist of three parts – spirit, soul, and body. (*Genesis 2:7, 1 Thessalonians 5:23)   However, we consider ourselves to be one person – not three. Likewise, God consists of three parts – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19; I John 5:7) And just as the Shema states, He also considers Himself to be one – not three.

So perhaps this is the reason why the Bible uses the plural form for God, Elohim, because He is made up of three parts…just as we are.

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*The word for breath in Hebrew is ruach – the word imitates the very sound of breath – is the same word for Spirit, as is the case in both ancient Greek (pneuma) and Latin (spiritus). God created man by putting His breath, His Spirit, within him.   (David Guzik: Study Guide for Genesis 2)

 

(Image Credit:  http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elohim_ebraico.jpeg)

 

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1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

For the rod of the wicked shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands unto iniquity.

Do good, O Lord, unto those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts.

As for such as turn aside unto their crooked ways, the Lord shall lead them forth with the workers of iniquity: but peace shall be upon Israel.

                                                                                     ~ Psalm 125

 

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The following is a very timely and thought-provoking article from the latest issue of the Prophecy in the News magazine.  Batman enthusiasts should find it especially interesting and unlike any other Joker-related content they’ve ever run across.  This character will probably never be thought of in the same way again.  Enjoy!

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by Gary Stearman

Anyone within earshot of a radio or television heard about the recent movie massacre in Aurora, Colorado. A mad gunman had killed 12 and wounded 58. Why? Instant analysis blamed everything from guns to drugs, but missed the true cause of this egregious event.

Shocked inquiries ripped across the country like bolts of lightning. By the end of the day on Friday, the 20th of July, the whole country expressed shocked curiosity about the shooter: “Who is James Holmes?” Sadly, in the hours that followed the carnage, many were already politicizing the event, attributing everything about the killer to their particular list of grievances.

Holmes had walked into the midnight premier of the latest Batman movie: The Dark Knight Rises. Armed to the teeth and clothed in expensive riot gear, he proclaimed himself to be Batman’s nemesis, “The Joker,” as he walked to the front of the theater and began to strafe the crowd of men, women and children with dozens of rounds of ammunition. Many thought he was part of the performance.

He had dyed his hair red for the occasion, apparently intent upon adopting the persona of Batman’s clownlike arch-enemy, a warped personality named after the wild playing card of the same name. (He didn’t get his makeup right – the hair should have been green!) After his shooting spree, he calmly met the police in the parking lot near his car and informed them of his adopted personality. He had literally inserted himself into the movie!

What was he attempting to do? He is a college student who graduated with honors. Why did he feel the need to project the twisted persona of a comic psychopath? Who is this strange character, anyway?

Many are now trying to make some kind of sense of the entire affair. As we look at the Joker’s history, comparing it with Scripture, a striking truth emerges […]

Read the rest of this article here.

 

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People have many different ways in which they view the world.  There’s a wide diversity of thoughts on this matter ranging from the extremely liberal to the ultra-conservative.  Have you ever sat down and actually mapped out where you fit on this vast worldview spectrum?  Have you ever wondered, “Does it really matter?”

In this article, we’ll examine what exactly constitutes a worldview, some of the contrasting points of view regarding this, and what that means to us personally in the grand scheme of things.  This should help us to pinpoint where we stand in our individual worldview beliefs.

Let’s start by defining worldview.  Simply put, it is how we see the world.  However, a deeper explanation would be “the core beliefs in every individual that steer their thoughts and responses about any given matter.”  For instance, why do some people believe that abortion is okay when other people believe that it’s not?  It’s because of their deeply ingrained beliefs about human life, what it really is, when it begins, and a whole myriad of other variables thrown in that make up the sum total of their beliefs on this matter.

Another good example would be why some people believe that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality while others believe it’s a sin.  Once again, this is because each side has a different core belief about human life, its origins, its purpose, and a great deal of other reasons behind their final conclusion into this matter.

Even people who have similar religious beliefs can have diverse points of view on the worldview spectrum.  These diversities all boil down to how they interpret their particular religious writings.  This is where the different denominations and sects originate within the various religions.

So with all the differing cultural, religious, and ethical backgrounds that form the various worldviews that exist today, who’s to say which is right or wrong?  What standard should be used to measure this?

It is this writer’s belief that the only standard that should be used is that of the One who created the world and everything in it – and that One is none other than God.  It only makes sense that if someone makes something, then they would be the best authority on its care.  For example, if you make an article of clothing, then you are the person to ask about how to best care for that clothing.   It would be ridiculous to ask the clothing for instructions on caring for itself.

Likewise, God knows what’s best for us and everything else He created.  And He also knows how He intended things to be in the beginning before everything got corrupted by a cunning and crafty being known as Satan, the devil.  The Bible says that he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)  And he devours people mainly by the lies that he sets up in their minds; lies such as, there is no God… there is no Heaven or Hell… there’s no such thing as a devil… and many other false beliefs that he’s succeeded in perpetuating throughout society.  (Read more about this master deceiver here.)

So does it really matter what our worldview is?  If there truly is a God who created the world and everything in it – and there is – then it most definitely matters that our worldview lines up with His.  Otherwise, we have an adversarial worldview which is in line with the lies that the devil has perpetuated.  And this has grave consequences.  (Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. ~ Matthew 25:41)

Of course, there are some reading this who don’t believe in God and would beg to differ that our individual view of the world matters.  If this describes you, then once again, you may want to check out the link above to see if there’s even the slightest possibility that you are being deceived into thinking the way that you do.  Wouldn’t you want to know if you are?

Ultimately, we are all responsible for making up our own minds.  And some of us are responsible for influencing impressionable little minds who trust us to tell them the truth.  We should make sure we’re believing the right things; not only for ourselves, but also for them.  (Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ~ Proverbs 22:6)

So what is your worldview?

Below is a flowchart from Feva Ministries that will give you a general idea of the fundamental beliefs on which your view of the world is based.  Hopefully, this will inspire you to delve into why you believe the things you do.  Did you learn your beliefs from others – or did you come up with them yourself?  If from others, are you absolutely sure they’re right?  If they’re wrong, what’s the worst thing that could happen to you?

Anyway, have fun with the flowchart, and be very blessed!

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(Click image to enlarge.)

 For an explanation of your basic worldview according to the chart above, please refer to the following:  http://www.feva.org/pdf/wv_sum.pdf.

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Don’t look where you fall…

 but where you slipped. 

~ African Proverb

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What profound words of wisdom!  “Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped.”  In other words, we shouldn’t look at the end result of making a mistake, but at what caused us to make that mistake in the first place.  Unless we realize what the stumbling block (or temptation) was that caused us to “fall,” we’re likely to repeat the same “mistake” again. 

What would we think of a person who just kept slipping and falling on the same old banana peel over and over… and over again?  We’d probably think, “Now that’s pretty stupid of them!”  (Some of us may have even stronger thoughts about such a person.)  But if we know that a certain temptation causes us to fall or sin every time we’re faced with it, then it should be avoided – no matter what it is. 

I’m sure we can all think of things which have made us fall into sin in the past.  And perhaps some of us keep repeating the same sin over and over.  It may be gluttony, lust, unforgiveness, gossiping, lying, cheating, stealing … or a whole myriad of other things that God considers sin.  Whatever our besetting sin is, we must take actions to avoid the root cause of that sin.  (Hebrews 12:1)

For instance, if a certain person is prone to gossiping about others and draws us into the conversation every time, then perhaps we should limit our contact with that person or even avoid them altogether.  God hates gossip and is grieved when we participate in it.  This includes listening to it. 

Another good example is that if we constantly succumb to the temptation of viewing pornography online, then steps should be taken that make it very difficult to do this.  Maybe getting an internet filter or joining an accountability network would be a good start. 

These are just a couple of examples of what can be done to counter our yielding to sin.  I’m sure we can all think of many more sins and perhaps counteractions that will keep us from following through with them.  But the bottom line is that whatever causes us to stumble and fall into sin – whether it’s a person, place, or thing – should be avoided.  Period.

Here are some very thought-provoking words of King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.  He said,  “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.” – Proverbs 27:12

Just something to think about…

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What do ancient mythology, the Genesis 6 giants, and future end time events possibly have in common?  Perhaps more than you’ve ever imagined!

In the following video, Gary Stearman from Prophecy in the News interviews Christian author and filmmaker, Rob Skiba, about this most interesting topic.

Watch it here!

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Bloom Where You’re Planted

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There’s an old familiar adage that says, “Bloom where you’re planted.”  This basically means that no matter what your situation is in life, make the most of it.

A good example of someone doing this quite well is Joseph – one of the twelve sons of Jacob (Israel) and the great-grandson of the patriarch Abraham.  Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, falsely accused of attempted rape by the wife of a high-up Egyptian government official and as a result, imprisoned for many, many years.  However, in every instance of unjust circumstances that he found himself in, the Lord was with him and he prospered.  As a slave, he was made the head of his masters house; as a prisoner, he was put in charge of all the other prisoners; and after being released from prison, he eventually became governor of the whole land of Egypt, second only to Pharoah!

Joseph’s life is an amazing testimony of someone who “bloomed where he was planted.”  He could’ve curled up in a corner for years, severely depressed and crying, “Oh, woe is me!  Woe is me!”  But no, he made the best of all his bad situations.  He didn’t let them quench his God-given spirit to thrive and to prosper – in the good times and the bad.

We can all learn a lesson from Joseph.  No matter what our physical circumstances are, we should strive to do the best we can with what we have to work with until we’re able to move on to better things.  This is easier said than done, but with God’s help, we can overcome any adversity and flourish – just as Joseph did.

Just something to think about…

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Read about Joseph’s amazing life in Genesis 37 and Genesis 39-50.


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