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Showing posts from March, 2022

If Even An Angel

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Paul warned the Galatians not to heed any gospel that deviated from the one preached by Paul even if it came from an angel .  After a curt introduction, Paul began his letter to the Galatians with a stern warning. What some members were contemplating amounted to replacing Jesus with a false messiah and a false gospel. To turn from the “ faith of Jesus Christ ” to circumcision and other “ works of the law ” as the basis of the faith amounted to apostasy. Thus, the sternness of his language - [ Photo by Andika Christian on Unsplash ].

Righteousness of God

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The “righteousness of God” refers to His faithfulness to His promises, and this is demonstrated in the salvation He has provided in Jesus .  In  Romans , Paul stresses the “ righteousness of God ” revealed in the gospel, the “ power of God for salvation to everyone who believes .” And it is proclaimed throughout the earth to “ Jew and Greek ” alike. By the “ righteousness of God ,” he means  HIS  “ righteousness ,” God's  faithfulness  to provide salvation for His wayward creatures - [ Photo by  Kyle Frost  on  Unsplash ].

Language of the New Testament

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Was the New Testament originally composed in Greek or Hebrew? Overwhelmingly, the evidence points to the former . What was the original language of the documents that became the “New Testament”? For centuries, the consensus has been that it was written in Greek, yet in recent years, a growing minority has claimed it was composed in Hebrew, and then later translated into Greek. After all, the apostles were all Jews and first-century Jews spoke Hebrew. But what does the evidence show, and why does it matter? - [ Hebrew Scroll - Photo by Tanner Mardis on Unsplash ].

Stand Fast

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Believers prepare for the “apostasy” and the coming “man of lawlessness” by “standing firm” in the apostolic tradition – 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 .  Having explained the coming “ apostasy ” and “ man of lawlessness ,” Paul then provided instructions on how believers avoid the coming deception and find themselves standing “ blameless ” before Jesus when he “ arrives with all his holy ones .” And above all, they must “ stand fast ” and cleave to the teachings received from the apostles - [ Photo by Ali Gooya on Unsplash ].

Lawless One Destroyed

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Jesus will destroy the works of the “Lawless One” and “paralyze” him at his “arrival” in glory – 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12 .  Next, Paul explains how Jesus will deal with the “ lawless one ” at his “ arrival .” In doing so, he employs language from Daniel’s vision about the “ little horn speaking great things .” Originally, that image represented the Seleucid ruler who attempted to destroy the Jewish faith through deceit and persecution, Antiochus Epiphanes - [ Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash ].

Lying Signs and Wonders

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The final deceiver will use “lying signs and wonders” to deceive and cause many saints to depart from the faith – 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 .  The “ Day of the Lord ” will not arrive until the “ lawless one ” is “ revealed ” when he “ seats himself in the sanctuary of God .” This will coincide with the “ apostasy ,” and he will be characterized by his ability to deceive, especially with “ lying signs and wonders .” Satan himself will equip this master deceiver to destroy as many saints as possible - [ Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash ].

Sanctuary of God

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In his letters, the Apostle Paul consistently applied Temple language to the church of Jesus Christ .  Quite consistently, Paul referred to the church as the “ sanctuary of God ,” and he also applied related terms to Christian congregations that were applied originally in the Hebrew Bible to the Tabernacle and Temple. While the language is metaphorical, it describes the new realities and identity of the people of God since the death and resurrection of Jesus - [ Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash ].

Mystery of Lawlessness

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Even now, the mystery of lawlessness is preparing the way for the appearance of the lawless one who will cause many Christians to apostatize .  According to Paul, the “ mystery of lawlessness ” is working in the world to prepare hearts and minds for the “ arrival ” of the “ lawless one .” It will continue to do so until the appointed time when this deceiver will “ come out of the midst ” and appear in the “ sanctuary of God .” Thereafter, he will employ “ lying signs and wonders ” to cause many saints to apostatize - [ Photo by Muhammad Haikal Sjukri on Unsplash ].

Until Revealed

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The mystery of lawlessness is at work even now preparing the way for the Lawlessness One – 2 Thessalonians 2:5-7 .  The “ Day of the Lord ” will not commence until two events occur - the “ apostasy ” and the “ revelation of the man of lawlessness .” Next, Paul describes the “ mystery of lawlessness ” that has been operating behind the scenes to set the stage for the “ arrival ” of the “ lawless one ” who will  deceive many - [ Storm Clouds over field - Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash ].

Seated in the Sanctuary

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Prior to the return of Jesus, the “man of lawlessness” will be revealed when he seats himself in the “sanctuary of God” - 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 . According to Paul, Jesus will not return until two events take place, the “ apostasy ” and the “ revelation of the man of lawlessness .” The two are inextricably linked. This malevolent figure will cause many believers to apostatize. And not only will he be “ revealed ,” that unveiling will take place “ in the sanctuary of God ” where he will “ sit down .” - [ Photo by Joseph Pearson on Unsplash ].