Wecome to the 'Something to Think About' section.
section we will be including short articles on a wide range of topics
It's all about the punctuation
The Bible has no punctuation in the original Old Testament manuscripts. This means that Luke 23 : 43 can be translated, "Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”(NASB) or “Truly I say to you today, you shall be with me in paradise” (The Sacred Scriptures Bethel Edition). In other words, the location of the punctuation marks can either mean that either:
1) Today is the day on which I am telling you the following… or,
2) This is the very same day on which you will be
with me in paradise.
The first step in overcoming sin is knowing its
source. Sin comes from human nature and not from a fallen angel.
One reason the 12 apostles would not consider modern Christianity as valid is that some biblical words do not have the same meaning today as they did in their original form.
The word ‘cross’ is an example. Originally it meant a single pole, with no additional cross bar, on which criminals were nailed. The two beamed cross that we see outside churches today had its origin in the worship of the God Tammuz. In the middle of the third century the two beamed cross was used by the early churches to attract pagan converts.
‘Baptism’ comes from the Greek word ‘baptizo’ meaning to dip, as in the dyeing of cloth which required full immersion. It never involved pouring or sprinkling.
‘Hell’ had several meanings depending on what Greek or Hebrew word was used. The only Hebrew word for Hell in the Bible is ‘Sheol’ which is translated grave as often as it is used for hell. It means the place where everyone goes at death. Turning to the Greek word ‘Hades’, this has the same meaning as ‘Sheol’ in Hebrew. We also have the Greek word ‘Gehenna’ which is often translated Hell, and means the garbage dump of Jerusalem where fires always burned the rubbish and maggots thrived. Gehenna means the disgraceful end of those condemned at the judgement day.
‘Nephesh’ in Hebrew and its associated Greek ‘Psuche’ (translated as soul) both mean breathing creature and can refer to animals as well as people.
The Hebrew ‘ruach’ and its counterpart in Greek ‘pneuma’ which are translated ‘spirit’ means wind, breath or mind.
To ensure you get the true meaning of biblical terms look up the original definitions in Hebrew of Greek. These can be found in Vines commentary or Strongs/Youngs concordances each of which provide details of the original meanings. Many on-line Bibles also provide a quick and easy option to find the original meanings which enable you to compare original with todays meanings.
“The sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord and Satan also came among then” Job 1:6. In the English language ones name begins with a capital letter as in ‘Smith’. In the Hebrew of the original Old Testament this is not the case. ’Satan’ is the untranslated word for enemy. Was it in this context the actual name of the devil or some other enemy?
Job 1:6 does not say that Satan was a son of God. Sons of God can be angels or believers. The term means ‘believer’. In Hosea 1:10 we read ‘Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God’. See also Deuteronomy 14:1.
Coming into God’s presence can mean going to heaven or going to the place of worship on earth. The ‘devil’ could not have come before God in heaven since no evil can be in God’s presence. Psalm 9 says ‘..no evild wells with thee’. It is a known fact that sinners cannot see God’s face and live. Thus Satan coming into God’s presence is an enemy coming among believers in the house of God on the earth.
Who is this enemy? The Bible does not say. The Bible says that God was in partnership with Satan (Job 2:3-6). Would God have a partnership with the devil or was He in partnership with an enemy of Job?
You have to have an understanding that does not go against any other part of the Bible. Job’s Satan cannot be the devil for this very reason. However, the Bible does not actually say who this enemy was.
Christianity has evolved since the first generation of its existence so that the twelve apostles would not be able to recognize present day Christianity. Luke predicted this in Acts 20:29 which records I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (NASB).
One way this can be seen is to look at the many words and phrases used to define christianity which are not be found in the Bible. They include “Vatican”, “Mass”, “Mother of God”, “Trinity”, “Mother of God”, “Godmother” and “Transubstantiation”. These words and phrases were added to the Christian vocabulary over the centuries, often to describe concepts and activities that were not in existence at the time of Christ and first century believers.
We invite you to open your favourite on line Bible (BibleGateway.com is one of many) and using the search feature enter the following words and phrases (just copy and paste into the search window). The results are quite revealing.
Vatican Mass Trinity Godmother Godfather Communion Monastery Pope Vatican Pontiff Cathedral Transubstantiation
Going To Heaven
The reward of the accepted is on earth and not in heaven. Psalm 115:16 says “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord, but the earth he has given to the sons of men (N.I.V.). Matthew agrees with this in Chapter 5:5 “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth (N.I.V.).
Jesus is the only man who goes to heaven “..no one has ever gone to heaven” John 3:13 (N.I.V.). No one goes to heavenly directly at death as we all get the reward at the same time “and all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us, they should not be made perfect’ Hebrews 11:39-40 (N.A.S.B.). For this reason David did not ascend to heaven (Acts 2:34) even though he was righteous (Acts 13:22).
Our reward is reserved in heaven (1 Peter 1:4, Matthew 5:12). This does not mean we get the reward un heaven any more than having money in a Swiss bank account means we have to spend the money in Switzerland. Only Matthew speaks of the “kingdom of heaven”. Matthew is the only gospel written to Jews, who do not like to say God’s name thus Matthew calls the ‘Kingdom of God’ the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ to avoid saying ‘God’. Also, Matthew never says the kingdom ‘in’ heaven, ‘of’ does not mean ‘in’.
So we see the righteous will inherit the earth not heaven.
The Pre-existence of Christ
John 1:1 is not about Jesus pre-existing at the beginning of the universe. John 1:14 is the introduction to the gospel of John. An introduction always tells us what is the written work is all about and John’s gospel is not about the creation of the universe!
John uses “in the beginning” to refer to the beginning of Christ’s life work. Here are some examples: “what I have been saying to you from the beginning?” (John 8:25 N.A.S.B), “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you” (John 2:24 N.A.S.B.), “you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:27 N.I.V.), “I am not writing a new command but one which we have had from the beginning” (2 John 5).
So what is John 1:1 about? To understand this we must know that the Greek word for “word” here is “logos” meaning “plan”. Thus John 1:1 means “In the beginning was the plan (logos) and the plan (logos) was with God and the plan (logos) was God”. The plan was God because someday all the earth will be full of God’s glory.” (Numbers14:21, Isaiah 11:9, Habakkuk 2:14).
Thus we see that John 1:1 does not support the pre-existence of Jesus.
Click here to return to our home page
Alexandria Dawn Christadelphian Ecclesia
|Updated July 5, 2017|