God's Plan

Discussion in 'Christianity' started by Azure24, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Jesus was a terrible cheat at hide and seek, so I am to believe.

    Dream... don't start that "I'm too humble" and "pride" thing.... again!
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Didn't Jesus seek out John to be baptized... I don't recall it as them having a personal relationship prior. John fortold him, but not by name.
     
  3. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    Start what up again, Alex?
     
  4. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I assume you're refering to me soleil?

    Am I in the wrong here?

    " ... for the supervisor must be unimpeachable as an administrator of God, not given to self-gratification, not irritable, no toper, not quarrelsome, not avaricious; but hospitable, fond of that which is good, sane, just, benign, self-controlled; upholding the FAITHFUL WORD according to the teaching, that he may be able to entreat with SOUND TEACHING as well as to EXPOSE those who CONTRADICT. For many are insubordinate, vain praters, and imposters ... who must be GAGGED, who are subverting whole households, teaching what they must not, on behalf of sordid gain"
    (Titus 1:7-11). Concordant Literal New Testament


    Now the problem you have is that you say something, which you assume...

    You have in your quote above that

    "I [that's you] do not have any problems with people having different opinions and beliefs..."

    The truth about what I write is that the points I make is not a opinion or a "belief"... No it is FACT according to scripture...

    "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of an private interpretation (Gk: 'is becoming it's OWN explanation')" (2 Pet. 1:20)

    "To understand a proverb, AND THE INTERPRETATION [or ‘puzzle’—the proverb itself is not also the interpretation]…" (Prov. 1:6).

    "Are you able to make known unto me THE DREAM which I have seen, AND THE INTERPRETATION thereof [the dream does not interpret itself]?" (Dan. 2:26).

    "Own" is a little closer to the Greek in this verse than is the word "private." A few examples of how the Greek word, idios, is used in other Scriptures will show this more clearly. In a few cases it should be translated "private," as in, "…the disciples came unto Him privately" (Matt. 24:3). But more than 70 times it is translated "own" as in:

    Matt. 9:1 "…and came into his own city [Gk: idios—not ‘private’ city]."

    John 4:44 "…has honor in his own country [Gk: idios—not "private’ country]."

    I Pet. 3:5 "…unto their own husbands [Gk: idios—not their ‘private’ husbands]."

    No Scripture can be it's own interpretation (self explanatory)...Otherwise people will come up with ludacrus interpretations...Yes God surely did intend this...

    If every scripture was self explanatory then how could we possibly match spiritual with spiritual?

    "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; COMPARING [or ‘matching’] SPIRITUAL THINGS WITH SPIRITUAL" (I Cor. 2:13).

    So If one person wants to interpret Scripture in one way...I don't know let's say John the Baptist was suupossed to be Jesus' disciple and that Jesus went to the desert for 40 days and 40 nights because of John... there ought to be at least ONE other Scripture SOMEWHERE ELSE to comfirm this...Don't believe me?

    Here we are told several times...

    "…that in the mouth of TWO OR THREE WITNESSES every word may be established" (Matt. 18:16).

    "…In the mouth of TWO OR THREE WITNESSES shall every word be established" (II Cor. 13:1).

    "And I will give power unto my TWO WITNESSES…" (Rev. 11:3).

    Now. Most say that I often quote verses out of context...

    To them I say this, it is near IMPOSSIBLE to compare spiritual with spiritual or have two or three witnesses for every scripture if this were true...And besides reading scripture only in context is entirely stupid...

    And not only that, we are told this...

    "Now ALL these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for OUR ADMONITION [to reprove, caution, warn, remind of obligation or duty, etc.], upon whom the ends of the world [‘eons—ages’] are come" (I Cor. 10:11).

    "Now these things were OUR EXAMPLES, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted" (I Cor. 10:6).

    "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for OUR LEARNING…" (Rom. 15:4).

    It is essential that we study the Old Testament Scriptures, for they are often the only key to the New Testament Scriptures...I can give an example.

    I can guarentee eveyone here...That from now on every point I make concerning scripture will have at least two witnesses...I promise...

    Why else is no Scripture its OWN interpretation, we might ask? To protect the integrity of the Scriptures, for one thing. ALL twelve spiritual principles [there are twelve altogether...Honestly] are to be used together in explaining the Scriptures. If every Scripture or even any Scripture can be its "own interpretation," then we wouldn’t need the other eleven principles. How can a Scripture be its own interpretation when we are told to "compare or MATCH spiritual with spiritual?" One standing alone cannot at the same time be a match to something else. Why then the need for "TWO witnesses" if each Scripture fully interprets itself? No, every one of the principles is of paramount importance.

    When I realised all this I was amazed...I'm not here to "teach" anyone anything...

    No one here is "wrong"...

    There are so many things which I have been shown which I honestly... at first could not believe...There is almost physical and spiritual understanding for almost all scripture...

    The Bible itself is not inspired of God but the scriptures (original text) certainly is.

    I don't even believe this...I know this...
     
  5. soleil10

    soleil10 Well-Known Member

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    Greymare, the point about John the Baptist is a sensitive one because for many years now, it is assumed that since JTB through a vision recognized Jesus and baptized him, then everything was ok. If we go deeper, we discover that a real disappointing drama took place. JTB was the last prophet before Jesus' coming and his mission was key in terms of Jesus, the son of a simple carpenter, being recognized and accepted. When people realize trough the scriptures what happened, it is always a chock.
    I really recommend the book, the Virgin and the Priest by Mark Gibbs. He has done such an excelent research on the subject.
    I am reposting here what I already posted as an introduction on the subject.

    God had repeatedly prophesied to the chosen people about the coming of the Messiah, and the chosen people themselves longed for him and cherished the promise of his coming. How could God send the Messiah in such a way that the chosen people were unable to recognize him? Was it God's will that they not recognize and receive the Messiah? Or did the people fail to recognize him despite God's clearly showing them how he was to come?
    In order to find the answers to these questions, let us first examine the second coming of Elijah. In Malachi, the last book of prophecy in the Old Testament, it says, "'Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes ... '" (Mal 4:5,6). The "great and terrible day" that is referred to is the time when the Messiah comes, and thus this prophecy shows that before the Messiah comes, Elijah must first return.
    Elijah was a great prophet of Israel who lived nine hundred years before Jesus. There is record of his having ascended into heaven on a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11). The Israelites' longing for the Messiah was actually intensely focused on the arrival of the historical prophet, Elijah. This was because the Old Testament did not clearly foretell when the Messiah would come, but did clearly indicate that Elijah would precede him.
    It was under these circumstances that Jesus appeared, proclaiming himself the Messiah. He told the Jewish people that he was the Son of God -- this to the very people who thought that he was simply a young man from Nazareth. they had not yet heard any news of Elijah's coming, so they asked, "How could Jesus of Nazareth be the Son of God?"
    Thus, when Jesus' disciples went out among the people of Israel, testifying to Jesus', the people doubted that Jesus was the Messiah and challenged the disciples by asking where Elijah was, since Elijah was to precede the Messiah. So Jesus' disciples turned around and asked Jesus, "' ... then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?'" (Mt 17:10). Jesus replied, "' ... Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased ...'. Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist" (Mt 17:10-13).
    Jesus understood the meaning of the scribes' important question and indicated that John the Baptist was the second coming of Elijah. Jesus' own disciples could easily believe this, but could the Israelites bring themselves to believe it? John the Baptist did not come directly from heaven, and he himself even denied he was Elijah (Kn 1:21). Jesus himself knew that the people would not easily accept it, saying, "' ... if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come'" (Mt 11:14).
    Jesus said that John the Baptist was Elijah who the people had been long awaiting, but since John himself denied it, whom would the people of Israel believe? Naturally, it would depend on how these two men were viewed by the people of that time.
    First, how did Jesus appear to the Israelites of the time? Jesus was an obscure young man raised in a humble carpenter's home and was not known to be experienced in spiritual disciplines. Yet, Jesus proclaimed himself "lord of the Sabbath" (Mt 12:8), was known as one who was abolishing the law (Mt 5:17), was the friend of tax collectors and sinners, and was known as a glutton and a drunkard (Mt 11:19). He put himself on an equal footing with God (Jn 14:9-11) and told the people that they had to love him more than anyone else (Mt 10:37). Because of this, the Jewish leaders went so far as to claim that Jesus was working by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons (Mt 12:24).
    On the other hand, how did the Israelites of that time see John the Baptist? He was the son of a prominent family, and the miracles surrounding his conception and birth were known throughout the country (Lk 1:5-66). When he was older, he lived on locusts and honey in the wilderness, and thus in their eyes, he led an exemplary life as a man of faith. In fact, John was held in such high regard that high priests, as well as the common people, even asked if he were the Messiah (Lk 3:15, Jn 1:20).
    Under these circumstances, the people of Israel tended to believe more in John the Baptist, who asserted he was not Elijah, than in Jesus, who told them that John the Baptist was Elijah. The people decided that Jesus' view of John as Elijah was untrustworthy, thinking that Jesus said this only to make believable his claims about himself.
    B. The Mission of John the Baptist
    Then why did Jesus say that John the Baptist was Elijah? As Luke 1:17 indicates, John the Baptist came with the mission of Elijah. The people of Israel, who believed the words of the Old Testament literally, assumed that the original Elijah would actually come down from heaven. But God chose John and sent him with the mission of Elijah.
    John the Baptist himself declared that he was "sent before" the Messiah (Jn 3:28), to "make strait the way of the Lord" (Jn 1:23). Being a man with such a unique and important mission, John, by his own wisdom, should have known that he himself was Elijah.
    Many of the chief priests and the people of Israel who respected John the Baptist thought that he might even be the Messiah. Therefore, if John had proclaimed that he was Elijah and had testified that Jesus was the Messiah, the Jewish people of that time would have been able to recognize and receive Jesus, thereby obtaining salvation. Then Jesus' family background and seeming lack of experience in spiritual disciplines would not have mattered. However, because of his ignorance of God's dispensation, John insisted that he was not Elijah. This was the main factor that prevented the people of Israel from coming to Jesus.
    In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist said that he baptized with water, but that the one who came after him (the Messiah) would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire; he said that he was not even worthy to untie the thong of his sandal (Jn 1;27). In John 1:33, John said, "'I myself did not know him; but he [God] who sent me to baptize with water said to me, "He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit [Christ]." And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.'" Thus God gave John the Baptist a direct revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. Although John did initially fulfill his mission to testify to Jesus Christ, regretfully he did not testify to Jesus throughout his life.
    After meeting the Messiah, everyone should believe in him and serve him throughout their lives. This was especially true for John the Baptist, who came with the mission of Elijah, which was to prepare the Messiah's way (Lk 1:76). Therefore, John should have served and attended Jesus as one of his disciples. John's father was told of his son's mission when he was born and he prophesied, saying, "... 'And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people ...'" (Lk 1:76,77). However, we cannot find any instance in the Bible where John the Baptist actually served Jesus.
    Just before John the Baptist died in prison, having lived without fulfilling his mission to serve Jesus, he began to have doubts concerning his life and Jesus and sent his disciples to Jesus to ask, "... 'Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?'" (Mt 11:3). This verse proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that John did not believe in Jesus and failed to serve him.
    Jesus was indignant at such a question and answered quite judgmentally, "'... blessed is he who takes no offense at me'" (Mt 11:6), indicating that despite Israel's great respect for John, John had already failed his mission.
    Jesus also said, "'... among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he'" (Mt 11:11). If one were the greatest born of women, surely he should be equally great in the Kingdom of Heaven. Then how could John the Baptist, who was born as the greatest in history, be less than the least in heaven?
    God sent John the Baptist as the greatest of prophets, for he was to serve the Messiah and testify to him before all the people. But he was a failure in fulfilling his responsibility. Matthew 11:12 also explains this, saying, "'From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven had suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force.'" If John the Baptist had served Jesus well, fulfilling his responsibility, he would have become Jesus' chief disciple; but because he failed, Peter, who made the greatest effort among Jesus' disciples, became the leader of the Twelve.
    In order to prepare the people of Israel to have faith in Jesus, God gave many testimonies to John's parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, who were representatives of the Judaism of that time. God continually worked miracles so that the people would accept that he was directly working in the conception and birth of John the Baptist. Undoubtedly, John was told by his parents about his being related to Jesus, and, as mentioned above, he must have received many revelations directly from God.
    Yet, despite all of this preparation, John the Baptist failed because of his disbelief and ignorance. Moreover, his personal ignorance and disbelief led not only to his individual loss, but also to the disbelief of most of the people and ultimately to Jesus' crucifixion.
     
  6. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to catch up on the thread but my attention span is lagging behind my humility, because there is a lot involved in the subject and I am buried beneath some other things. Interesting ideas about John!
     
  7. Dondi

    Dondi Well-Known Member

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    wil,

    You're destroying my creative liberties, here.

    How about this? Let's infer that Mary and Elizabeth were close cousins (perhaps even closer due to the maternal events as told) and during the course of their lives they made visits to each other's houses (indeed, why wouldn't Elizabeth want to frequently call upon the mother of her Savior), all the while John and Jesus were growing up, of course. Now can you fill in the blanks?
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Namaste Dondi,

    I understand the conjecture here...and I have as yet not gone back to look but...I just don't recall any implication they had any contact prior to the baptism...

    I mean we all like to go on about him always being Son of G!d and divine, but other than being very interested in and knowledgable of the scripture in his youth, we don't have anyone following or listening to his discourse until much later in life. (unless of course we want to head to those infancy gospels but they open another whole can of worms)
     
  9. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    they did...(Lk. 1:39-45)

    Apart from what we're told...I wouldn't trust the other sources...Besides It doesn't mention Jesus and John ever meeting each other in the scriptures...In fact John himself says it...(John. 1:33)

    Going back to the subject of this thread and the point soleil was trying to make about the Jews of Jesus' time by mentioning John and his "theory" in the first place...I'm surprised nobodies' mentioned the parable of Lazarus and the rich man...If anyone knows it's true meaning...

    It practically answers the title to this thread and explains soleil's theory...

    This one parable alone...I'll be willing to post it's meaning...

    Though it'll probably be approximately worth several posts and each post would be long...

    It's an amazing parable...Truly words of spirit....100%

    Though there's no point posting all this if no ones going to read it...

    After all I did promise you (soleil) my take on the overall meaning of the scriptures...This would take another ten more long posts in truth, but this is pretty much summed up in almost all of Jesus' parables...Namely Lazarus and the rich man...

    So shall I?
     
  10. greymare

    greymare Well-Known Member

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    please. I would apreciate it
     
  11. Dream

    Dream Well-Known Member

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    Standing by! Lay it down.
     
  12. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    I ABSOLUTELY promise If anyone reads it and God has not blinded them (what?! Trust me... read it and you'll know what I'm saying) then they'll understand God's plan...

    Ok, but for the record it's based on a paper a friend wrote.

    And 'some' may be offended...But if you read it all the same 'some' won't...

    Oh, and one more note. It IS a parable I know some Christians think it isn't...So, I thought I'll just set that straight...

    And I will use other verses to explain these ones (remember "matching spiritual with spiritual" or having "more than one witness" in my previous posts). This also proves most of my other points...

    It's also good if you read the parable first...Just so y'all remember...

    I must first apologize...As the first few posts I'll show how it cannot be taken literally...But please bare with me...

    Ok...brace yourselves... (Part One)

    A VERSE BY VERSE ANALYSIS

    Verse by verse now we will see if this parable can possibly be taken literally. Luke 16:19:


    DOES A WELL-DRESSED WEALTHY MAN SPELL SIN?

    "Now a certain man was rich..."

    Many reading these words immediately conclude that being rich must be a sin. This is the one outstanding feature of this man--he is RICH. Is that a sin? Abraham, just talking distance away here, was very rich (Gen. 13:2). Isaac was rich, Jacob was rich, Joseph was rich, David (a man after God’s own heart) was rich. Job was the richest man in all the East (Job. 1:3). And it was God Who blessed them, that’s why they were rich. Being rich is no character flaw or sin.
    Besides, the Scriptures say:

    "...God is not to be sneered at, for whatsoever a man may be sowing, this shall be reaping also..." (Gal. 6:7)

    And "...who is sowing sparingly, sparingly shall be reaping also, and who is sowing bountifully, bountifully shall be reaping also..." (II Cor. 9:6-7).

    "...he dressed in purple and fine linen (cambric)

    [Gk bussos = COTTON] probably of a fine quality, perhaps a cloth with cotton in the warp and flax in the woof.
    Why should we care what color or what fabric of clothing he wore? Fine clothing are not a sin. What does that have to do with a man’s character, virtue, or deeds? If taken "literally," nothing. But since this is "symbolic" it then is THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THE WHOLE PARABLE!
    The description of the Rich man’s clothing and the position of Lazarus in Abraham’s bosom are the two vital keys in understanding this whole parable.

    "...daily making merry [Gk. cheerful & glad] splendidly..."

    Is having a cheerful and glad spirit a sin? I don’t think so. Paul says: "...that I may be of good cheer..." (Phil. 2:19). David’s heart was "glad" ( Acts 2:26). And the angels dressed "splendidly" (Acts 10:30).


    IS POVERTY AND SICKNESS A VIRTUE?

    "Now there was a certain poor man..."

    Being poor is no virtue! In fact the Scriptures have a lot to say about poverty:
    "...a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come..." (Prov. 6:10-11).

    "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand..." (Prov. 10:4).

    "...The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing..." (Prov. 13:4).

    Many Scriptures show poverty to be the direct result of sin.

    Again, Gal. 6:7, II Cor. 9:6-7. It is God Who makes both rich and poor (I Sam. 2:7).

    "...named Lazarus..." [Heb: helpless]

    Why should we know his name if this is literal? Lazarus was a common name. And who would ever want to be named "Helpless?"
    We are not given the name of the Rich man. What does it matter one way or the other what his name is if this is a literal story and we don’t know which Lazarus this was anyway. Ah, but since this is a "parable" it does matter, and we CAN know which Lazarus this really is and who the rich man really is.

    "...who had been cast at his portal (gate)..."

    Being thrown out into the street is no virtue.

    "...having sores [Gk. elkos = DRAWER] (ulcers)..."

    Being sick and diseased is not a virtue. Diseases associated with "the botch, open sores, boils and ulcers" are very often a direct curse from God in the Scriptures. See: Ex. 9:2, Job 2:7, Deut. 28:27, 35, Rev. 16:2, and many others.

    "...yearning to be satisfied from the scraps (not crumbs)
    [Gk. psichion = SCRAPS--A particle of food which is left over after eating] which are falling from the rich man’s table."

    It is no virtue to be begging for bread. "Crumbs falling from a table" is an idiom, not literal. I have eaten at "Rich men’s tables" myself, from $25,000 a place setting of China from the Ming Dynasty, and I assure you that scraps of food were not falling from that table--Rich people do not eat like pigs! A few "crumbs," is possible, but crumbs are not enough to feed a hungry ant, let alone a grown man.

    Besides, if Lazarus is a godly man why is he begging food? Read Psa. 37:25:
    "...Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, NOR HIS SEED BEGGING BREAD"!

    There is absolutely nothing in the discription of Lazarus that would indicate he was a godly man. But when we identify him, there is much to show that he was a godly man, and that his poverty and sickness was not that of a literally diseased beggar in the street.

    "But the curs (wild dogs) also, coming, licked his ulcers."

    It is a dog’s nature to "lick sores," but they didn’t come to this man’s house for that purpose. They came there to get "scraps" of food as well.
    However, think for a moment. What does this bit of information add to our understanding of this story if it is to be taken "literally?" Nothing! I mean Jesus could have told us that, "the sky was cloudy" or "the cock was crowing" or "there were holes in the street." So what? What do "wild dogs" add to our understanding, if it’s literal? But we learn in Scripture that "dogs" represent something totally different from four-legged animals that bark and bite. Here is a real clue as to who Lazarus and his dog companions really represent. And as this is a parable it was not physical scraps of literal food that Lazarus and the dogs desired. Who then is this Rich man, who being tormented, nonetheless, possessed and disseminated (albeit it small portions) of life-giving food to the poor?

    The Rich man, regardless of his character or lack thereof, was obviously blessed of God:

    "The Lord shall make thee plenteous in goods..." (Deut. 28:11).

    And "...bless all the work of thine hand" (Ver 12).

    "...As he sewed, so he reaped..." (Gal. 6:7, II Cor. 9:6-7).

    He got "good things in life" and the Scripture plainly tells us that

    "Every GOOD gift is from above..." (Jas. 1:17).

    Lazarus was obviously cursed of God:

    "...thou shalt. not prosper" (Deut. 28:16).

    The "botch and scab" (Ver. 27 & 29).

    He obviously sewed sparingly and reaped even more sparingly. When one is homeless, hungry, and diseased in the street; it doesn’t get much worse than this.
     
  13. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Are you with me? Good.

    (Part Two)

    CONTRADICTIONS OF A LITERAL INTERPRETATION

    If this parable is taken literally, we will find more than a few hundred major problems with the rest of God’s revealed Word.
    One will have to use a black marker or cut from the Bible most verses dealing with spirit, soul, body, death, resurrection, immortality, grave, hades, sheol, sin, punishment, chastisement, firstfruits, rewards, justification, reconciliation, prophecy, grace, salvation and the sovereignty of God, just to name a few! All of these contradict the idea that this parable can be literal. All of them.

    "Now the poor man came to die and he is carried away by messengers into Abraham’s bosom."

    Impossible. This statement if taken literally is neither historical nor Scriptural. Many say this represents Lazarus in Heaven. How, pray tell, could Lazarus be in Heaven while his Lord was still on the earth?

    "Yet now Christ has been roused from among the dead, the firstfruit of those who are reposing." (I Cor. 15:20).

    Abraham wasn’t the "firstfruit." Lazarus wasn’t the "firstfruit." JESUS CHRIST WAS THE FIRSTFRUIT OF THEM THAT SLEPT! The latter fruit, Paul tells us, "are [still] reposing."

    Jesus plainly said, not only had David not ascended into the heavens, but that

    "NO MAN has ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven."(John 3:13).

    Teaching that this parable is a literal historical fact makes Christ out to be a liar. When our Lord was alive on this earth giving us this parable, He said: "...NO MAN HAS ASCENDED UP TO HEAVEN..." So how can it be said that at the same time our Lord was telling us that no man has ascended up to heaven, that Lazarus and Abraham are already up in heaven? This is not just an interesting sidelight or opinion of some loser off the internet. THIS IS ABSOLUTE, INFALLIBLE SCRIPTURAL PROOF THAT WHEN JESUS GAVE THIS PARABLE THERE WAS NO MAN NAMED LAZARUS LIVING IN HEAVEN WITH ABRAHAM OR ANYONE ELSE!! So here then is just one of the hundreds of problems with the Scriptures if we insist this parable is literal.
    There are many Scriptures that tell us where a person goes when he "dies." The Scriptures say he "returns" from where he "came." So if he goes to Heaven, then he "came" from Heaven; if he goes to Hell, then he "came" from Hell. But Scriptures do not teach that people "RETURN" to heaven or hell when they die. Read these plain and simple verses that tell us exactly where man came from and where he goes when he dies:

    "...till you return[Hebrew, shub]unto the ground; for out of it were you taken: for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return" (Gen. 3:17-19).

    "Remember I pray you that as clay you did make me, and unto dust you will cause me to return" (Job 10:9)

    "You cause man to return unto dust..." (Psa. 90:3).

    "His spirit [the Hebrew word here is ruach, spirit, not neshamah, breath] goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psa. 146:3-4).

    "...you gather in their spirit [Hebrew ruach, spirit] they expire [Hebrew gava, breathe out, gasp, expire], and return to their dust" (Psa. 104:29).

    "For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; ... as the one dies, so dies the other; yea, they have all one spirit; and man has no preeminence above the beasts [in death]: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all return to dust again" (Ecc. 3:18-21).

    Will any one seriously contend that BEASTS return to either heaven or hell when they die? Have we not just read in Ecc. 3:18-21 that "ALL [both men and beasts] go unto ONE PLACE?" And aren’t "heaven AND hell" TWO PLACES rather that "ONE PLACE?" Am I going too fast for anyone? Seriously?

    For sure our Saviour’s words are so true--the babes in Christ (minors) can understand these spiritual things, but the wise in the wisdom of this world cannot understand them.

    Here is irrefutable Scriptural proof that when a person dies he returns to the dust. Messengers or angels don’t take dead people anywhere when they die. If this is literal, then they would have had to carry a "dead" Lazarus into the ancient cave of a "dead" Abraham. The "resurrection" is yet future (I Thes. 4:16:18).

    Remember how Paul told us of Hymeneus and Philetus who "...swerve as to truth, saying that the resurrection has ALREADY OCCURRED [as defenders of a literal interpretation also contend] subverting the faith of some." (II Tim. 2:18)? Lazarus was carried (in the parable) into Abraham’s bosom. Abraham’s bosom is not the reward of the saved. Abraham’s bosom is not Heaven. Furthermore, no more than one person could fit into Abraham’s bosom. It’s a parable.

    When Jesus gave this parable was Abraham alive in heaven or dead in his grave? First notice what Gen. 25:8-9 says:

    "Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died ... and his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in a cave..."

    When Jesus was teaching these parables Abraham was still dead. "Abraham IS DEAD" (John 8:52)!

    After Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection (nearly 30 years after) Abraham was still dead.

    "By faith Abraham ... sojourns in the land of promise ... he waited for the city having foundations, whose Artificer and Architect is God ... In faith DIED ALL THESE [Abraham included], being not requited with the promises ... for He [God] makes ready for them a city" (Heb. 11:8,9,10,13,16).

    Abraham had not yet as of the writing of the book of Hebrews received the promises God made to him. Besides Abraham was not promised Heaven, but this earth along with King David (Jer. 30:9) and the Twelve Apostles who will be ruling over the twelve tribes of Israel on this earth (Rev. 5:10). And the "City," New Jerusalem, comes down from heaven to the New Earth.
    By the way, after Christ’s resurrection, we read that King David as well was also still dead.

    "...David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day..."

    "For David is NOT ascended into the heavens..."
    (Acts
    2:29 & 34).

    So consider: At the time Christ taught this parable, Abraham was STILL DEAD, David (a man after God’s own heart) was STILL DEAD and the Scripture specifically tells us that David DID NOT ASCEND INTO HEAVEN. Then to remove all doubt and speculation regarding heaven, Christ plainly stated that, "NO MAN HAS ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN!" Which part of the word "NO" is it that theologians do not understand?

    "Now the rich man also died, and was entombed. And in the unseen [Gk: hades], lifting up his eyes..." (Ver. 23)
    Impossible. He died, was entombed, and lifted up his eyes? Where did he get a body in hades, seeing that they just sealed his body in a tomb? Have you never heard of exhuming a body from a grave? Six days, six months, six years after death, when they open a grave, the body is still there. And it’s usually rotten and the "eyes" are decayed away.

    "...was entombed...and in the unseen [hades], lifting up his eyes..."

    If, as theologians teach that the grave is one place and hades is another place, then no man can have his body "entombed" while at the same time the eyes of his body can be lifted up in a place called "hades." And we know his body was still in the tomb, so how can he be simultaneously in hades with a new body?

    And how could this man "literally" lift up his eyes in "hell" seeing that hell is the translation of the Greek word hades which means the UNSEEN or IMPERCEPTIBLE?To "see" one can’t be in the UNSEEN, nor can it be a place of NO perception. The parable says that he "died" and was entombed, but that he "lifts up his eyes" in hades. He can’t be literally dead and literally alive at the same time and in two different locations.

    Hades is a Greek word (and is synonymous with Sheol in the Hebrew O.T.) and it has a meaning. The elements are "UN-PERCEIVED." It can be properly translated into English as "unseen" or "imperceptible." Now how can one "see" in the unseen?" It’s ridiculous. How can anyone have "perception" in the "imperceptible?" The dead can’t "see," It’s a parable.
    There is no consciousness in [Heb: Sheol] or [Gk: Hades](Psa. 146:4)--none. "Sheol" and "Hades" are synonymous in Scripture.
    In Acts 2:27 hades is translated from the Hebrew word sheol. Look carefully at these two verses:

    "His spirit [ruach] goes forth, he returns to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish" (Psa. 146-3-4).

    And "...there is no works, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in sheol where you go" (Ecc. 9:10).

    "Device" [Heb. mchesh- bown--contrivance, intelligence, reason]. Do these two verses in Ecclesiasties sound like "dark sayings?" or "tricky proverbs?" or "difficult parables?" or "deep mysteries?" They are plain, simple statements of facts that any child can understand! But notice how they absolutely contradict the "consciousness in hades" theory.
    One more Scriptural proof on this point.

    "And it came to pass, that the beggar DIED ... the rich man also DIED..." (Luke 16:22).

    So from verse 22 onward, the beggar and the rich man are IN DEATH! Now Psalm 6:5
    "For IN DEATH THERE IS NO REMEMBRANCE OF THEE [The LORD], in THE GRAVE who shall give thee [The LORD] thanks?"

    So, is it possible to take this parable literally without violating Scripture after Scripture after Scripture? I think not.
     
  14. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Still more explanations...sorry...(Part Three)

    WHAT REALLY HAPPENS IN HADES?

    According to many, these literally happen in Hades:

    "lifting up his eyes"
    "existing in torments"
    "is seeing"
    "he shouting, said"
    "cool my tongue"
    "I am pained"
    "you are in pain"


    But according to GOD, nothing happens in Hades:

    "No work"
    "No device"
    No contrivance
    No intelligence
    No reason
    "No knowledge"
    "No wisdom"
    "Not anything"
    "No thoughts"


    Do these things literally take place in hades or only figuratively?


    In the first column we have seeing, feeling, hearing, talking, and reason. In the second column we have nothing. The first column is based on one parable that should never be taken literally while the second column is quoted right from the Scriptures.

    DEATH IS LIKE SLEEP

    I have heard many jeer the idea that souls "sleep" in death. Although the phrase "soul sleep" itself is unscriptural, the idea that the dead are "sleeping" is most Scriptural.
    "And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers..." (Deut. 31:16).
    "And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou [David] shalt sleep with thy fathers. (II Sam. 7:12).
    "David slept with his fathers..." (I Ki. 2:10).
    "Solomon slept with his fathers..." I Ki. 11:43).
    Job said, "...for now shall I sleep in the dust..." (Job 7:21).

    Get this one: David said


    "...lest I sleep the sleep of DEATH..." (Psa. 13:3).


    "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep [are dead]" (ICor.. 11:30).
    "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep ... the dead shall be raised..." ( I Cor. 15:51-52).
    "...the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep" (I Thes. 4:14).
    "...My daughter is even now dead ... the maid is not dead, but sleepeth." (Mat. 9:18 & 24).
    "For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption." (Acts 13:36).

    It is said even of our own Lord:

    "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruit of them that slept" (I Cor. 15:20), etc., etc.

    Now I believe all of these Scriptures. Either Abraham is dead, buried and sleeping with his fathers, just as Moses, David, etc., or these Scriptures can’t be trusted.

    By the way, where do we read of "heaven" in this parable? There is not the slightest hint of the word heaven in this parable! Abraham’s "bosom" is no more heaven than my bosom is heaven.
    Interestingly, not only did all these patriarchs go to sleep, but they went to sleep with their fathers, and many of their fathers were idolaters!
    So there we have a dozen Scriptures stating that God likens death to sleep. In what way is being conscious and tortured in the flames of Hell or being "cut off" analogous to "sleep?" God says death is "sleep." Now in what way is conscious torture in Hell fire or being "cut off" analogous to "sleep?" In what way is a blissful life in Heaven analogous to "sleep?" Well, of course, it’s not analogous at all. Yet God plainly says, many times, that death is "sleep" God awakens dead people out of sleep.
    Therefore, the teaching that the dead Rich man and dead Lazarus are not asleep is wrong and unscriptural. It is only in the figurative language of a parable can it be said to be different.
    Let me give you a Scripture that will "lay to rest" (pun intended) this issue once and for all. What happens after one dies:

    "If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change comes. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands." (Job 14:14-15).

    When a person dies, he must: WAIT ... FOR APPOINTED TIME ... TILL CHANGE COMES ... GOD CALLS ... WE LIVE AGAIN...
    When Jesus taught this parable there were no Greek Scriptures. So when this "rich man died" he went to Sheol [Heb. the unseen or imperceptible, the abode of the dead, the grave] It’s the same sheol that Christ’s soul went to at death:

    Psalm
    16:10--"For Thou will not leave my soul in the unseen [Sheol]."
    This verse is quoted in the New Testament Greek:
    Acts 2:27--"For Thou wilt not be forsaking my soul in the unseen [Gk. Hades]."

    Sheol and Hades are synonymous. The Old Testament says Christ’s soul went to "Sheol," the New says His soul went to "Hades."
    We know that Christ was the "firstfruit" of them that slept (I Cor. 15:20, 42, 43, 52, 53, 55, I Thes. 4:16-18). The "dead in Christ" are now "ASLEEP" according to the Scriptures.

    WHERE DID CHRIST GO WHEN HE DIED?

    Read I Cor. 15 again.
    "Christ died for our sins," "He was buried," "He rose again the third day."
    All right, let’s be Scripturally exact.

    SPIRIT:
    When Christ "died," where did His "spirit" go? Scripture -- Luke 23:46: "Father, into thy hands am I committing My spirit."

    Comment:
    Do other Scriptures verify this truth that at death man's spirit returns to God Who gave it? Yes.

    "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return to the God Who gave it" (Ecc. 12:7).

    BODY:
    Where did Christ's "body" go at death?

    Matt. 27:59-60:

    "And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb ... "

    Comment:
    Do other Scriptures verify this truth that dead bodies are normally buried or entombed? Yes.

    " ... David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day." (Acts 2:29)

    Do dead bodies normally begin to decay and stink after a few days? Yes.

    "Martha ... Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days." (John 11:39).


    Would Christ's body have started to decay had not God miraculously prevented it? Yes.

    " ... nor was His flesh acquainted with decay." (Acts 2:3).

    Was Christ(Himself) said to be where His body was? Yes.


    "They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre ... " (Acts 20:2).

    Comment:
    Do other Scriptures verify this truth that the "person" or "personality" if you will, or whatever you want the pronoun "He" to represent, is where the body is? Yes.

    " ... David ... he is buried ... " (Acts 2:29) It's "his spirit" and "his soul" but it's "he" that is said to be buried with the body.

    It was "The Son of man" who was entombed in the earth (Mat. 12:40 & I Cor. 15:3-5). "Christ [he] died ... [he] was buried ... [he] rose again ...

    So "we" are our bodies...Our souls are our's but "we" are not our souls or spirits...

    SOUL:
    When Christ died, where did His soul go? "For Thou wilt not be forsaking my soul [his soul, not himself..get it?] in the unseen [hades]" ( Acts 2:27).

    Christ did not say "thou wilt not be forsaking me"...but rather "my soul"...

    Comment:
    Do other Scriptures verify this truth that at death the soul goes to the unseen (hades)? Yes.

    Psa. 49:15 " ... redeem my soul from the power of the grave [Heb. sheol]."
     
  15. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Phew!! More? You say?
    NOT ALL PAIN IS PHYSICAL
    "...being in torments..."

    What are these "torments" that the Rich man is experiencing? Is it physical pain from having his skin burned off of his body by real flames of fire? What a marvelous thing it is that we can have access to the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts from which our modern language bibles have been translated. We can check every word that has been translated into our English bibles. And now, dear readers, we shall do just that.

    In verse 23 we have the word "torments" In verses 24 and 25 we have the word "tormented." These three words are not translated from the same Greek word, however. And there is a great reason why. This one point alone will demolish any such theory that this Rich man is actually and literally having his flesh burned by real fire.

    Let us now see if Jesus gives us any indication whether or not this Rich man will ever come out of this place of torments and what these torments really are:

    The Greek word translated "torments" in verse 23 is basanos.
    From Friberg’s Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament, we are told that basanois which is a form of the noun basanos, means, "strictly, a touchstone for testing the genuineness of metals by rubbing against it..."
    In secular Greek literature this word (basanois) was used figuratively to extract information from a person by torture or punishment.
    From the Greek-English Keyword Concordance we read this, torment, literally a touchstone, used to test metals for alloys, [and] then the examination of persons by torture (Page 307).

    Though the Rich man may, indeed, be suffering discomfort or pain, it is not from fire burning his flesh, but rather from being tested and proved through chastisement. .

    It is an interesting fact of Scripture that except for Paul "punishing" the church, there is only ONE SCRIPTURE in the whole new testament that uses the word "punishment." All others use the word "chastisement" which always carries the connotation of correction and bringing things back to what is right again. Chastisement by it’s very definition CANNOT be eternal. There is always a purpose and goal in mind with the use of the word chastise.

    In Verses 24 and 25 we will likewise see that the word translated "tormented" does by no means carry a meaning of being physical pained or physically tortured.

    "...he is seeing Abraham from afar..."

    Impossible. The man is enveloped in "flames" and can clearly identify two personalities from "afar" across a great chasm? Not with human eyes.

    "And he shouting, said..."

    Impossible. Proof: Psalm 31:17--"...let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave [Heb. SHEOL]. There it is! There is no talking and no shouting in sheol. If anyone can literally "shout" in hades or sheol they make God a liar.

    "...send Lazarus that he should be dipping the tip of his finger in water and cooling my tongue..."

    Impossible. If someone were in a literal fire they would not be asking for a drop of water for their tongue. Their skin and eyes would be in much greater pain than their tongue! The tongue is at least somewhat protected in the mouth cavity. Now if anyone is so silly as to debate me on this issue, let them jump into a fire and see for themselves which burns most--the eyes and skin or the tongue? Besides a drop on the tip of one’s finger would be less than useless. It would have no effect. None. It's a parable. This language is figurative.

    "...I am tormented [pained] in this flame."

    Impossible. Yes, it is possible to be "tormented [pained] in flame," however, it is impossible to calmly talk about it while it is happening! If his body were human so as to have a nervous system and feel pain, then of necessity that same body would burn up. It is the destruction of the skin cells that is causing the pain. Within seconds the skin no longer pains (it’s dead). Now it is the deeper flesh that pains. But by then the man would pass out and soon die. I mean really, these are things that people completely unversed in the Scriptures understand. It is not literal fire that is causing him this pain or torment.

    What kind of "torment" is God talking about in this parable? Is this physical pain from the flames burning his flesh as is taught in Christendom? Not at all! Note that he does not say "flames," but rather "flame," singular! The Greek word translated "tormented" in verses 24 and 25 is a totally different Greek word than is used for "torments" in verse 23. The Greek word here is odunao and it means to be sorrowful or pained, but not physically, but rather EMOTIONALLY! We can easily see how the Holy Spirit of God used this word in Scripture. Adunao is used only two other times in all Scripture and both times it has absolutely nothing to do with physical torture, but rather with emotional sorrow or pain.

    1."And when they saw Him, they were amazed: and His mother said unto Him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing [Greek: adunao, same word translated "tormented" in Luke 16:24 & 25]" (Luke 2:48).
    2."Sorrowing [Greek: adunao, same word translated "tormented" in Luke 16:24 & 25], most of all for the words which he spoke, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him into the ship" (Acts 20:38).

    Now then, does anyone believe that they were physically tortured when Paul departed? Does anyone believe the parents of Jesus were physical tortured in their flesh while they searched for Jesus?

    Had the KJV translators been consistent they should have translated Luke 16:24 & 25 the same way. He was emotionally "pained" or "sorrowed" and not physically tormented or tortured! The same word cannot mean both "emotionally sorrowed" and "physically tortured."

    The Rich man was emotionally pained or sorrowed by the flame (the testing and trials), not tortured, and that’s why, as we shall see later, he wanted a drop [a symbolic drop of water] for his tongue and not a barrel of water to cool his body. Let’s not be guilty of adding to the Rich man’s woes.

    "Now Abraham said, Child, be reminded that you got your good thing in your life, and Lzarus likewise evil things."

    If this Rich man is really being pictured literally in a hellhole of eternal torture, why then didn’t Abraham say to him something like this:

    "Scoundrel, be reminded that you were a liar, cheat, robber, blasphemer, drunkard, murderer, ungodly, unholy, unrepentant, incorrigible, piece of slime in your life,so burn in Hell for ever."

    LOL...Honestly...:)

    But no, the Rich man is accused of no such things.
    Most governments do not sentence people to cruel and unusual punishment for minor crimes. Christian theologians would sentence this Rich man to all eternity in Hell fire and I don’t see where according to what this parable "literally says"he did anything bad. He lived a life of "good things!" In the literal language of this parable no sin is attributed to him. Not ONE! The rich man got good things, and for that we are told he will have his flesh barbecued with real fire in an eternal hellhole of insane torture? Lazarus got evil things, and for that we are told he will spend eternity in Heaven? Is anyone in this parable said to be literally good or bad?

    Ok, ok... time for the explanation of the parable...
     
  16. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    If anyone's made it this far...well done!! (part Five)

    MILLIONS OF GALLONS OF WATER IN HELL

    "And in all this, between us and you a great chasm has been established, so that those wanting to cross hence to you may not be able, nor yet those thence may be ferrying to us."

    Impossible. "Thus also is the resurrection of the dead ... It is sown a soulish body; it is roused a spiritual body" (I Cor. 15:42 & 44).

    If Lazarus has a spiritual body in heaven, how can a gulf or chasm keep such a spiritual being from crossing it?

    Notice this phrase, "...those wanting to cross hence to you..." What? Do you think that is translated correctly? I assure you it is translated correctly.

    So why, oh why, would anyone in Heaven be "WANTING" TO GO TO HELL? Isn’t it is time that we concede that this is indeed a parable!
    The last part of verse 26 should read as follows: "Nor yet those thence may be ferrying to us."

    King James uses "pass" twice in this verse. They are different words, however. The first "pass" is [Gk. diabaino = THROUGH-STEP or cross]. But the second "pass" is [Gk: .Diaperao = THROUGH-OTHER-SIDE, and is used of passage over WATER] hence, "ferrying."
    Here is water. Since there is water separating Lazarus from the rich man in this chasm, why doesn’t the rich man just jump into the water? And the word "ferrying" also presupposes "ferry boats." Even if the Rich man can’t swim it would be better to drown than burn.

    DID THE RICH MAN EVEN KNOW WHO MOSES WAS

    "Yet Abraham is saying to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them hear them!’"

    Impossible. The rich man recognized Abraham on sight. Even called him "Father." How could someone who knows Abraham "...hear Moses...?" Moses didn’t live until hundreds of years after Abraham? How could the rich man’s "brothers" hear Moses? Moses didn’t live until far into their future?
    You see these are just some of the dozens of problems and contradictions we face when someone insists that this parable be taken literally!
    And where in Moses and the Prophets does it warn that if one is rich and blessed of God that when he dies he will go to some eternal hellhole of fire and torture? Or that a poor man cursed of God will go to an eternal heaven of bliss? Now I have a few concordances, but I can’t find any such verse. If this parable is literal, then somewhere in Moses and the Prophets it must warn of such a fate for being rich and also promise a heaven of bliss if one is sickly and poverty stricken. But where is there such a teaching in Moses and the prophets? There is no such teaching in Moses and the prophets. This is a parable.

    "No, father Abraham, but if someone should be going to them from the dead, they will be repenting."

    Impossible. If Lazarus isn’t dead. if he’s alive in heaven, why didn’t the rich man say, "No ,father Abraham, but if someone should be going to them from HEAVEN, they will be repenting?" How could Lazarus, who is alive, go "...to them from the dead?"

    "...neither will they be persuaded if someone should be rising from among the dead."

    The rich man is now persuaded. Why wouldn’t they also be persuaded? Because it will take more than Moses and the Prophets and more than one returning from the dead to persuade them.

    DECLARE UNTO US THE PARABLE ...

    I heard Matt Crouch (USA) say on international television that since the Jews were prophesied to not understand, Christ spoke in parables so that this prophecy would be apparently voided and they would understand. The Scriptures show just the opposite:
    "Declare unto us the parable..." (Mat. 13:36)
    "declare unto us this parable" (Mat. 15:15)
    "...the twelve asked of Him the parable" (Mk. 4:10)
    "Know ye not this parable" (Mk. 4:13)
    "...His disciples asked Him concerning the parable" (Mk. 7:17)
    "And His disciples asked Him saying, what might this parable be?" (Lk. 8:9)
    "Now the parable is this: The seed is..." (Lk. 8:11).
    This is so simple a child can understand it. It wasn’t Christ’s explanations that none understood, it was his "parables" that none understood.
    The multitudes did not understand Christ’s parables:
    "This parable spake Jesus unto them; but they understood NOT what things they were which He spake unto them." (Jn 10:6)
    If, as Matt Crouch suggests, Christ taught in parables so that the the masses would understand, then the Scriptures themselves would prove that He failed utterly.
    Christ’s own disciples did not understanding His parables when he spoke them anymore than the multitudes did!
    "Therefore speak I to them in parables; because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand" (Mat. 13:13)
    "Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower" (Ver. 18)
    "Then answered Peter and said unto him, DECLARE UNTO US this parable. And Jesus said, ‘Are ye also [like the multitudes] yet without understanding?’" (Mat. 15:15-16)
    "And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?" (Mk. 4:13)
    Christ had to explain all the parables to them!
    "And with many such parables spake he the word ... but without a parable SPAKE HE NOT: and when they were ALONE, He expounded all things to His disciples" (Mk. 4:33-34)!

    It is interesting what Christ said here. If his disciples didn’t understand "this" parable, "how then will ye know "all" parables?" There is a continuity among most of the parables. They basically speak of the same peoples and the same events.

    The disciples weren’t so foolish, however, as to believe that this parable was to be taken literally, anymore than they believed any of the parables were to be taken literally! That’s why our Lord explained all the parables to them in private. Read it and believe.
    One can only take this parable literally at the expense of contradicting hundreds of other plain Scriptures! I have presented more than ample Scriptural proof that this is a parable and that it cannot be taken "literally!"
    Like most parables, it was prophecy not history! If one persists in thinking this parable can be understood completely "literally" in contradiction of hundreds of plain Scriptures of facts to the contrary, I don’t know what else I can say. Maybe the "Flat Earth Society" of Great Britain is still accepting new memberships.
    Before I explain this parable, please notice something. The condition the Rich man now finds himself in was not something he had anticipated in "life." Abraham making reference to Moses and the Prophets, presupposes that the Rich man was familiar with these writings. However, nothing in these writings gives any warning of going to a "fiery place of torment" immediately upon death. Nor does the parable state that this condition of the Rich man [in torment] and Lazarus [consoled in his distress] is permanent or endless. Furthermore, being "not persuaded" by either "Moses and the Prophets" or "someone rising from the dead" does NOT preclude that there is nothing that ever will persuade them in the future! That is false opinion, not Scripture.
    The truth is, there are many, many Scriptures that do tell us when and what actually will persuade the "Rich man," "his brothers," "all mankind," and "every celestial being" in the entirety of the universe!
    It is that truth of the salvation of ALL that IS the gospel, the "Good News." God is operating to bring all to salvation, (Eph. 1:10-11, Phil. 2:10, I Tim. 2:4-6, 4:10) "These things command and teach" (Ver. 11).
     
  17. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Not long to go now... (Part Six)

    THE PARABLE OF LAZARUS AND THE RICH MAN
    (A Scriptural explanation)


    Before I go into the explanation of Lazarus and the Rich man, I feel a certain amount of background information is essential.
    As most explanations and commentaries on this parable are extremely short (even by those who do understand it’s proper setting). I can see now that one could easily write a sizable book in expounding this parable. Here, however, is sufficient evidence to set us on the right track of understanding this parable. The accepted Christian interpretation of this par- able is unscriptural and heresy of the darkest kind!

    "Jesus came unto His own, and His own received Him Not." (Jn. 1:11)
    Who were these people, "His own?" Many would say, the Jews. And they are right, but who are the "Jews?" Paul was of the Tribe of Benjamin, yet he called himself "a Jew." How can this be? Today, for example, we have HebrewUniversity in Jerusalem, in the ancient land of Judea, in the nation of Israel, and it’s occupants call themselves Jews. Where did all these names come from?

    Biblically speaking there are two broad categories of people in the world--The Children of Israel and the Other nations. Later this designation was shortened to "The Jews and The Gentiles."

    HEBREWS, ISRAELITES, AND JEWS


    It all began with Eber [Heber] who was the forefather of all Hebrews (Gen.10:21). Abraham [Abram] was of this lineage and so is an "Hebrew." There were other lines of Hebrews also. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham signifying that he would become a "Father of Many Nations" (Gen. 16:7-11). Abraham had a son Isaac, and Isaac had two sons, Esau and Jacob.
    God changed Jacob’s name to "Israel" (Gen.. 32:28). And Israel had twelve sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Napthali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin (Gen.. 35:23-16), who then became known as "The Children of Israel."
    The "Children of Israel" became God’s "chosen" people: "For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all peoples that are upon the face of the earth" (Deut. 7:6).

    God’s relationship with Israel was so close that He married them: "For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called" (Isa. 54:5).


    The Tribe of Judah early on was chosen of God to lead in battle (Jg. 1:2). The various Tribes warred against each other during a period of civil wars. They finally became united under two powers, Judah and Israel. David was anointed King of Judah (II Sam. 2:4) and then later King over Israel (II Sam. 5:3).
    In I Kg. 12:19-21 Judah (with the tribe of Benjamin) is again at war with Israel. Israel was then known as the "Ten Tribes." Many of the Priests and Levites left Israel and went to Jeru- salem under Judah (II Chron. 11:13).
    And so the Kingdom of Israel (with its capital at Samaria), and the Kingdom of Judah (with it’s Capital at Jerusalem) were separate nations for several centuries.
    Eventually, Israel was destroyed and driven into captivity by the Assyrians (II Kg. 18:11) and later Judah was destroyed and driven into captivity by Babylon (Jer. 30:9).
    Nehemiah comes to power and returns eventually to Jerusalem to rebuild it, and takes Priests and Levites with him (Neh. 2:1-8). Ezra also returns to Jerusalem with a large company of Jews (Ezra 7:8).
    "Even all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven..." (Jer. 40:11-12)

    I doubt that many in Judea and Jerusalem even knew for sure which Tribes they came from by the time of our Lord’s ministry.
    To show how dominant Judah was in absorbing all these Tribes and passing on his name to them, look at Judges 17:7:
    "And there was a young man out of Bethlehem-judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite..."

    He was a Levite who was considered Juhah’s family.
    The Priests, of course, did have to know their lineage or they would not be qualified for the Priesthood. Paul was an extremely well-educated man and therefore did know his lineage. So let’s see if this makes sense now. With all these things in mind, maybe we can better understand how these different names are used and applied to even the same person.
    Paul, for example, was an Hebrew (Phil. 3:5) through Abraham (Rom. 11:1), and through Isaac, was an Israelite through Israel (Rom. 11:1), was a Benjamite through the Tribe of Benjamin (Rom. 11:1), from Tarsus of Cilicia (Acts 21:39), was educated in Jerusalem, was trained a Pharisee, under Gamaliel, spoke Hebrew & Greek (Acts 22:2-3), was also a Roman (Acts 16:37), and also calls himself A JEW (Acts 21:39).
    So here’s what happened. In the Old Testament all Jews were Israelites, but not all Israelites were Jews. Like all Floridians are Americans, but not all Americans are Floridians. But, because Judah was always the dominant Tribe and Israel was once again gathered in Judea under Judah’s leadership, and because many of the individual Tribes became so mixed in inter- tribal and interracial marriage, many became designated as "Jews" in the New Testament. Even today, many known "Jews" may really be "Danites" or "Reubenites" etc. Many thinking themselves Gentiles could really be descendants of Israelites or Jews or other lines of Hebrews and not even know it..

    But the point I want to make is that at the time of our Lord, Judah (the Jews) dominated to the extent that all non-Gentiles were referred to as Jews, although "Israel" as their historical origin was still used. The name "Israel" is used some 120 times in the N.T., while "Jews" is used some 360 times. So they really are used interchangeably. They are all Israelites, but Judah has always dominated. It will be important to keep these things in mind as we discuss this parable.
     
  18. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    Still more...Trust me it's necessary... (Part Seven)

    WHY PARABLES?


    When one looks at all the parables, as they are "literally" written they really are of little spiritual value, and often are physiological impossibilities, or don’t tell us things we didn’t already know.

    Look at the parable of the tares: A man sews good seed. An enemy sews tares. A servant suggests they pull out the tares. The owner suggests that would pull out the good wheat as well.. So he says to wait till harvest and then separate the wheat from the tares, (Mat. 13:24-30). None of the parables are to be understood in their literal language. Some, like Lazarus and the Rich man, are physiological impossibilities if taken literally.
    Interestingly, this parable of the tares can be taken literally. That is it makes sense even in its literal language, and does not contradict other Scriptures.

    However, it was not meant to be taken literally, and if we take this parable "literally," what do we learn? Quite frankly, not much. Are you suggesting that Christ wasted His time giving little household hints and horticultural tips? Like, how to weed your garden? Come on.
    When Christ explains this parable to His disciples, it takes on enormous meaning never even suggested in the "literal" story. Parables are in some ways like fine poetry. Marvelous word pictures having giant spiritual applications and ramifications can be presented with very few words, AND, it is God’s purpose to conceal many of the truths of His Kingdom except to those to whom it is given to understand.

    See the spiritual application of Matt. 14:37-43:
    The "sower" is none less than the Son of man.
    The "field" is the world.
    The "good seed" are the children of the Kingdom of God.
    The "tares" are the children of the wicked one (Satan).
    The "harvest" is the end of the age.
    Now that’s some pretty heavy stuff! This is no horticultural tip for would be farmers. I have already shown how utterly ludicrous it is to try and take Lararus and the Rich man literally, not to mention totally unscriptural..
    Christ is not telling us about some "one" individual rich man and some "one" insignificant beggar in the street. Look at that parable of the "tares" again. Literally it is nothing. But what it represents in figurative and symbolic language is awesome. It has to do with the operations of God, Satan, millions of people and the very end of this age.
    Through symbolism and personification, God often uses one some thing or person to represent many or even multitudes and whole nations of people:
    "This image’s head was of fine gold...Thou, O king, art a king of kings...THOU ART this head of gold" (Dan. 2:32, 37, 38)
    The "image" represented King Nebuchadnezzar, but the "King" represented all Babylon and all the nations and kingdoms that he conquered.

    "And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah..." (Deut. 33:7)

    This was not "literally" the voice of the one man, "Judah," but of his Descendants. Judah had "literally" died hundreds of years earlier.

    "And Judah said unto Simeon his brother ... and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men." (Judges 1:3-4)

    Judah was dead, Simeon was dead, and two individuals could hardly "slay ten thousand men!" Clearly, Judah represents the children of Judah or as they are called, Jews. Remember this, this is important!
    All of the parables have huge consequences. They depict giant events to come on this world. They deal with the future of millions and billions--not just a beggar in the street somewhere. Let’s not cheapen or demean this parable.
    There is a continuity running through most of the parables. Virtually all of the parables deal with punishments and rewards on the same people at the same event. Although the meaning of His parables were hidden, on one occasion Christ did identify Himself in a parable. Correctly translated thus:
    "Undoubtedly you will be declaring to me this parable: ‘Physician cure your self’" (Concordant Literal New Testament).
    And on one occasion the Pharisees did realize that Christ was talking about them even if they didn’t understand the parable completely:
    "And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on Him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them" (Luke 20:19)!

    It is also important to note that a few verses before this parable it is stated that Christ was giving these parables partly because the Pharisees were "...inherently fond of money" (Lk. 16:14).
    But in the parable of "Lazarus and the Rich man," surely they understood who it was that Christ was speaking of. In the parable of the "tares" no one could even guess who or what the "tares" represented without explanation. But in "Lazarus and the rich man" there are more hints and more identifiable symbols and facts given than in any other parable in the Gospels.
    The Pharisees may have been hypocrites, but they, nonetheless, were highly educated and familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. They knew what "Purple and Fine Linen" symbolized. The name "Lazarus" wouldn’t necessarily have meant too much to them (it was a common name) until we find him "in the bosom of Abraham." Now they knew for sure which Lazarus our Lord was making reference to. And when they were told that the rich man had "Moses and the Prophets" there was little doubt left. And this rich man had "five brothers." That clinched it. Surely they knew for certain who these men are.
    And although they probably hadn’t a clue as to the real meaning of the parable, there was no doubt that our Lord did not portray the rich man in a very favorable light.

    THE RICH MAN IDENTIFIED
    There is only one man who Scripturally fits all the descriptions of the "rich man" in this parable. Only one person who "personifies" all of the symbols and identifying clues given of this rich man. And that man is:

    "JUDAH !"

    But not just Judah as an historical individual, but collectively. All Israel under the headship of Judah, the Jews. And the Jews were "rich."
    Beginning back in Gen. 15:14 God prophesied that Abraham’s descendants were to be very rich. "And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance."
    "Therefore the Lord stablished the kingdom in his hand and all Judah brought to Jehoshaphat presents; and he had riches and honour in abundance" (II Chron. 17:5)

    "...and he built in Judah castles, and cities of store" (Ver. 12)
    Jerusalem had a standing army of 860,000 men! (II Chron. 17:13-18). And that didn’t even include the fortified cities in Judah. (Ver. 19)
    Hezekiah (King of Judah):

    "...had exceeding much riches and honour; and he made himself treasures for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones...all manner of pleasant jewels; storehouses also for the increase of corn, and wine, and oil, and stalls for all manner of beasts ... he provided him cities, possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him substance very much" (II Ch 32:27-29.)

    So yes, Judah was rich. And who to this day are universally known for having money and being successful in the financial world? The Jews. However, these were just some of Judah’s material possessions. Judah was rich in another way--very rich. Judah possessed something far more valuable than all of these possessions. God bestowed on Judah a treasure greater than any other on the face of the earth, in the history of the world.

    "What, then is the prerogative of the Jew, or what the benefit of circumcision? Much in every manner... For first, indeed, that they were entrusted with the oracles of God" (Rom. 3:1-2).

    Prerogative is translated from [Gk. perisson’ EXCESS, SUPERABUNDANTLY] Who has a diamond collection, an art collection, a string of corporations, or fifty Swiss Bank accounts that could begin to approach the value of the oracles of God?
    "For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things..." (Deu. 4:7).
    "He sheweth His word unto Jacob, his statutes and His judgment unto Israel" (Psa. 147:19)
    "Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews" (Jn 4:22)
    So not only was Judah rich materially, but God bestowed on Judah His very word, and through Judah the very salvation of the world. Who but Judah possessed such wealth?
     
  19. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    (Part Eight)

    "...and he dressed in purple..."

    Imagine Christ asking His disciples: "Oh, by the way, would you fellows be interested in knowing what color clothing this Rich man was wearing just before he went to Hell?" Ridiculous nonsense!
    But what is nonsense in the literal is the symbolic sign of this man’s real identity!

    Purple is: "A color used in garments of a bluish red, by a dye obtained from a shell fish, purpura. It denotes rank of royalty" (Greek-English Keyword Concordance p. 236).

    Purple was worn by Kings (Judges 8:26). Even the Caesars of Rome wore Purple as a symbol of their royalty.
    And who was to carry the royal line in Israel?... Judah.

    "The scepter [a symbol of rulership and power] shall not depart from Judah, now a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come..." (Gen. 49:10).

    David was of the Tribe of Judah and was anointed King of Judah. Our Lord was of the line of Judah (Mat. 1:2), and will be not only King of Judah, but King of Kings over all the world.

    During our Lord’s ministry, Judea was under Roman rule, however, there were still rulers in Judea--The Jews. There were Scribes, Pharisees, and Priests. Jesus said they had power and authority from God. "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: all therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do..." (Mat. 23:2-3).
    God has always elevated Judah above the other Tribes.
    In I Chron. 2:1-3 we read:
    "These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Dan, Joseph, and Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. The sons of Judah;..."
    Notice Judah was the third born to Israel [Jacob] and is listed third, but when God gives their children’s names He starts first with Judah.
    To show Judah’s dominance in Rulership, when the Tribes of Israel are enumerated in Revelation 7:4, Judah is put first at the head of the list. He was not, however, the firstborn!
    "...and cambric (fine linen)..."
    The Rich man didn’t just dress in "Purple," but "Purple and Cambric." He wore both. Cambric or Fine Linen is symbolic of the clothing that the priests wore (Ex. 28:5, 25:4). And of the interior decorations of the Tabernacle itself (Ex. 26:1).
    Our Lord would not have told us that the Rich man wore these two specific types of garments except that they have great symbolic value in identifying who this man personifies.
    But if "Purple" symbolizes "Royalty" and "Fine Linen" symbolizes "Priesthood," how can the same man wear both? Only our Lord is both, King and Priest.
    Remember, the Levites and the priests were loyal to Judah through their long history.
    When they got the opportunity, they went with Ezra and Nehemiah back to Jerusalem--back to Judah. They were part of Judah. They were called Jews. Only one, had both the Scepter and the Priesthood: Judah.
    Notice this Scripture carefully:
    "Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites ... God had raised, to go up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem." (Ezra 1:3).
    There it is! Judah had both the royalty and the priesthood. And all these leaders of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, became who were known in Christ’s time as "the Jews." And that’s why, although the Apostle Paul was of the Tribe of Benjamin, nonetheless, he said of himself, that he was "a Jew."
    In Judah were both the Royal Scepter (purple) and the Priesthood (fine linen). And that’s the reason Christ took the time to tell us what the Rich man was wearing! And no other personality in Scripture has both these designations along with all the other identifying features attributed to the Rich man!

    Father Abraham "...Child, be reminded..."

    Judah could therefore legitimately call Abraham, "Father." Abraham was Judah’s Great Grandfather. Abraham could legitimately call the Rich man, "Child." Judah was Abraham’s Great Grandchild.

    "They have Moses and the Prophets..."

    The Kingdom of Judah did have "Moses and the Prophets." They were the protectors and scribes of those very documents till the time of our Lord’s ministry, when Jesus said that they "sit in Moses’ seat." Judah was the very depository for The Law (Moses), The Prophets, and the Writings. Remember the Oracles were given to the Jews (Rom. 3:1-2).
    The Rich man said: "I have five brothers..."
    There’s a rule of Scripture study that is very sound, and I believe is applicable here. It goes like this: "Literal where and when possible." Most of this parable cannot be taken literally. Why? Because for one, it often contradicts the laws of science and physics. And two, it would contradict hundreds of other plain verses of Scripture. It’s the "parable"that cannot be taken literally. That does not mean that certain facts contained "in" the parable are not "literal." Abraham is, undoubtedly, "literally" Abraham. Moses and the prophets are, undoubtedly, "literally" Moses and the prophets. They obviously represent themselves, not someone else.
    With that in mind, who was it who had literally five brothers? Not that these "five brothers" cannot represent something else in the Scriptures. For example, there were five spheres where there were "Jews" who heard Christ proclaimed after His resurrection:



    1.Jerusalem
    2.Judea
    3.Samaria
    4.The "limits of the land"
    5.Those Jews dispersed "among the nations."


    At first glance, you might think Judah can’t be this "Rich man." Didn’t Judah have eleven brothers? Yes and No. True, there were twelve sons of Israel, one of which was Judah, but not all by the same mother.

    Judah’s Mother, Leah, had

    1.Reuben

    2.Simeon
    3.Levi
    4.Issachar
    5.Zebulun
    6.Judah makes six (Gen. 29:31-35, 30:18-19).
    So who had five brothers? Judah.
    That Judah (the Jews), is here personified in this Rich man, there can be little doubt!
    But who then is this "Lazarus?"


    ABRAHAM’S BOSOM
    The answer is not far to find when we see where he is: "in Abraham’s bosom." Being in someone’s bosom shows a very close emotional relationship and position of honor. Christ likens Himself as being in the "bosom" of His Father (Jn 1:18). And John, likewise, who was very fond of Jesus leaned back into Jesus’ bosom (Jn 13:23). To be in the bosom of Abraham, or the bosom of Christ, or the bosom of the Father, are certainly positions of great honor.
    The Jews coveted that relationship with Abraham. They were so proud of their Father Abraham. They knew that God thought highly of their Father Abraham, and they wanted to be connected to that lofty position themselves. However, they did not come even close to qualifying for such an honor. They loved to say: "We have Abraham for our father!" But as Christ told them, they didn’t do the works of faith that their Father Abraham did.
    So Judah is not in the bosom of Abraham, but Lazarus is. Why? Who is this "Lazarus" that he should have such a lofty position of honor with the Father of the faithful?
    I said earlier that the Jews, undoubtedly, understood who Christ was referring to in both the Rich man and Lazarus. Remember that the Jews of Jerusalem knew Hebrew. Their scriptures were written in Hebrew. And they were a lot closer to these symbols and the Hebrew language than we are today.
    "And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said
    "Behold, to me thou hast given no seed; and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir." (Gen. 15:2-3).
    In chapter 13 God had already promised great land and possessions to Abram’s seed. But Abram had no seed!
    Abram told God that since he had no son, his chief steward, Eliezer, would be his heir and inherit all that was his.
    Eliezer was so faithful a steward to Abraham that he was planning to make him his heir and give Eliezer all his possessions and inheritance. Eliezer would have been wealthy. He would have inherited the "promised land." He would have received the "oracles of God" Ah, but no, God had different plans. Abraham would have a son Isaac who would continue the Abrahamic line.
    It appears that Eliezer will be left out. He lost his one big claim to fame. Now he’s just a Gentile from Damascus. All his generations will be Gentiles (dogs). Eliezer knew he would inherit all of Abraham’s posessions one day. And now, that’s all gone. But he remains faithful.
    Eliezer had ample opportunity to do away with Isaac on any number of occassions, but he remained faithful to Abraham. He even took a journey to get a wife for Isaac. Every step of faith and obedience that Eliezer took removed him just that much further from the inheritance he always thought would be his. He did all that a faithful steward should do. But every step of faithful obedience to Abraham caused his inheritance to slip further away.
    Imagine just how faithful and trustworthy a steward would have to be for Abraham to leave ALL his possessions to him. Abraham was extremely rich. Why look for "another" to pass these blessings onto? Eliezer has already proved himself faithful. Abraham had already concluded that Eliezer was the only logical heir:


    "This Eliezer of Demascus ... born in my house IS MINE HEIR" (Gen. 15:2-3)


    It appears that either Eliezer becomes Abraham’s heir, or he receives nothing. Absolutely no spiritual promises or possessions were ever made by God to Eliezer If he is not to get Abraham’s inheritance, which included all that Abraham already had plus all that God is about to bless him with on top of all his other possessions, then Eliezer is going to be poor as far as spiritual blessings are concerned. As a Gentile, all he can ever hope for are the spiritual "crumbs" that fall from the Rich man’s table. Not to fear: Through faith God works many miracles.
     
  20. Azure24

    Azure24 Well-Known Member

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    I'll just post this for now...(Part Nine)

    FAITH OF THE GENTILES

    "Now the woman was a Greek, a native of Syro-Phoenicia [A Gentile], and she asked Him that He should be casting the demon out of her daughter. Yet Jesus said to her, ‘Let first the children [The Jews] be satisfied, for it is not ideal to take the children’s bread and cast it to the dogs.’ Yet she answered and is saying to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, For the dogs also, underneath the table, are eating the scraps from the little children.’ And He said to her, ‘Because of this saying, go. The demon has come out of your daughter.’" (Mk. 6:27-29).

    So clearly this Syro-Phoenician woman was not asking for a small portion of food (crumbs or scraps), but rather a small portion of Christ’s spiritual blessing. And clearly, Lazarus does not represent a street beggar in need of a small portion of food. He personifies something much greater than one single beggar in the street.

    When Christ entered Capernaum a centurion [a Roman, a Gentile] asked Christ to heal his boy. Christ said He would come. The Centurion said He need only to "say the word" and he would trust Christ for the healing!
    "When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to them that followed, ‘Verily I say unto you I have not found so great faith no, not in Israel’" (Mat. 8:5-10).

    Why then, are the Gentiles relegated to "dogs?" Not in all Israel did our Lord find such faith as in these GENTILE "DOGS!" But "Judah" gets all the blessings while the "Gentile" dogs get the crumbs? Ah, just when we think things are going bad and God isn’t fair, He shows us His strange and marvelous wisdom!

    What was Christ’s response to this marvelous exhibition of faith by the Centurion?

    "And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and the west [Gentiles], and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven, but the children of the kingdom [Judah--the Jews] shall be cast into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mat. 8:11-12).

    Christ is not telling us that "Jews" from the East and "Jews" from the West will sit down with Abraham, but that the "Jews" shall be cast out." That’s contradictory. It’s the "Jews" who are the "children of the kingdom" who are "cast out." And those from the East and West are "GENTILES." Christ is telling us who these "many" are because He is commenting on the faith that God has given to this Centurion Gentile.

    LAZARUS IDENTIFIED

    Christ rarely spoke of the Gentiles in His ministry. But He did speak of them. And, although, He said He was sent only to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel, in His human ministry, He nonetheless, was making provisions for the Gentiles, as in this prophetic statement. As Christ’s disciples were to be like "salt" to the earth, this Syro-Phoenician woman, Cornelius of the Italian squadron, the Roman Centurion, the Samaritan woman at the well, and others were certainly like "salt" among the Jews. The very first sermon of Christ’s ministry foretold the calling of the Gentiles, and it nearly cost Christ His life (Luke 4:13-30).
    When it comes to God’s blessings, faith is thicker than blood.
    God has not "cast off" the Gentiles!
    So we find "Lazarus" [Gk: helpless] begging scraps from a rich man’s table. Can "helpless" find "help?" Will God have mercy on him just as He did the Syro-Phoenician woman and the Centurion? Yes!
    "LAZARUS" IS "ELIEZER"!!
    The Greek "Lazarus" is from Lazaros [Heb. HELPLESS].
    But in Hebrew "Lazarus" is Elazar or "Eliezer" from el [God] and azar [HELP]!

    If Lazarus knew his Hebrew name, he would have known that help was on the way. The "God of Help" had already planned this whole marvelous drama from the time of Abraham.
    Just as the Jews can look to their ancient "father" Abraham as a sterling example of faith in God, so now, likewise, can the Gentiles Look to Abraham’s Steward, Eliezer as a "father" of rare faith. Truly there is no partiality with God--it only appears that way when we let the relative get in the way of the absolute.
    It is the Gentiles that God is primarily dealing with today! Paul says there is to be only a "remnant" of Jews. His calling was to the nations. However, Paul knew that God was still calling a "few" of the Jews. "If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh [Jews], and might save some of them" (Rom. 11:14).
    For nearly two thousand years now God is calling primarily the Gentiles..

    GOD’S CALL IS NOW TO THE GENTILES

    Lazarus [Eliezer] was: "...cast at his [Rich man’s] gate [portal]..."
    It was the "Gentiles" who were not allowed into the Royal and Priestly House of Judah. They could go no further than "The court of the Gentiles." Any blessings they received had to come to them from inside where they were never allowed to go! Though designated as "proselytes," they were, nonetheless, like "dogs" who only got the "crumbs" or scraps! Hence we find Lazarus cast "at the gate."
    Little could these Jews hearing this parable realize that in just a few short years all this would change.
    "Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you [Gentiles], who once are far off are become near by the blood of Christ. For He is our Peace, Who makes both one, and razes the central wall of the barrier [middle wall of partition] ... He brings the evangel of peace to you [Gentiles] ... for through Him we both [Jews and Gentiles] have had the access, in one spirit to the Father" (Eph. 2:13-18).
    And so today, the Gentiles don’t have to stand outside the gate, or be separated by a barrier, or stay in their own court, and wait for handouts. They have direct access to God.
    And who has been preaching the Evangel for the past two thousand years? The Jews? Hardly. It has been the Gentiles that have translated the Scriptures into nearly every language on earth. It is those called of the Gentiles that are accepting Christ Jesus as their Savior, not the Jews. It is really a rare thing to find Jews accepting Christ as the Messiah. And that’s why we find Lazarus [Eliezer--the Gentiles] in the bosom of Abraham, and the Rich man [the Jews] engulfed in flames of Anti-Semitism for the past two thousand years.
    "...having ulcers [full of sores]..."
    Lazarus is not full of sores in Abraham’s bosom. He has been healed. In fact, that’s what "salvation" meant in New Testament times. "Salvation" is a beautiful sounding Latin word, however, it was never part of the New Testament Greek Vocabulary. Not until six or eight centuries ago did the word "salvation" come into translations. Before that time it was "health" that was one’s salvation. And all of the very oldest Anglo-Saxon Scriptures translate it "health" not "salvation." So for Lazarus "health" in the bosom of Abraham was salvation!
    Lazarus doesn’t represent materialistically poor Jews, but spiritually poor Gentiles. That’s the whole point here in the parable. Judah was rich and knew it! They were like the Laodiceans who said:

    "I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" (Rev. 3:17).

    "...Father Abraham, be merciful to me, and send Lazarus that he should be dipping the tip of his finger in water..."

    In figurative and symbolic language the Rich man asks for a drop of water on the tip of Lazarus’ finger. How appropriate! Who was it that refused to help the "poor" with so much as their little finger?
    "For they [Judah] bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers" (Mat. 23:4).

    "...and spake unto Rehoboam [King of Judah], saying, ... make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. But he forsook the counsel of the old men ... My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins ... my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions" (I Kg. 12:7:11).
    Now Judah begs the assistance of a finger from a poor man! And not just a poor man, but a poor Gentile! It was custom for pious Jews to cut a section of their garment off if it were so much as touched by the finger of a Gentile. Now the rich and lofty personification of God’s chosen people begs for the assistance of a Gentile FINGER.
    "God is not to be sneered at, for whatsoever a man may be sowing, this shall he be reaping also" (Gal. 67).

    "...and cooling my tongue..."
    It isn’t his flesh that he wants cooled from this flame, but his tongue. This man is frightened. His tongue is swelling. And well it should be. When people are petrified from fear their tongue dries and swells. That’s why some inexperienced speakers often need a whole glass of water just to get through a 10 minute speech.
    David said:
    "By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion" (Psa. 137:1)
    Well, God brought Judah back from Babylon to Jerusalem, but Judah didn’t have the same heart as King David. He failed to remember. David said:
    "...let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth ... if I forget to remember Jerusalem."
    It was because of Judah’s "tongue" that Jerusalem was destroyed in the first place:
    "For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen; because their TONGUE and their doings are against the Lord..." (Isa. 3:8).

    So in the parable we find Lazarus (Eliezer--a Gentile) in the bosom of Abraham, and Judah, who should be there, on the other side asking for mercy. But Lazarus can’t come over to the Rich man even if he wanted to, because of this "chasm."

    "And in all this, between us and you a great chasm [gulf] has been established."

    I'll post the rest later...
     

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