If we don't separate the three events in this passage, the middle fig tree account becomes a symbol of how Jesus viewed the fruit of the temple. There was no fruit only leaves. Being out of season (coming new covenant) shows that it in no way could be expected to bare fruit either.
The idea that the author here put these two teachings so closely together brings up some interesting thoughts. The first teaching is not to shut out a needing neighbor no matter how inopportune the moment. The second to ask and knock no matter how inopportune the need. We assume that this asking is just of God given the concluding verses, but it is also true asking of man. How many of us will ask of God, knowing that God will provide, but, not ask of man through God may well intend to do His providing, and then reason that God doesn't want to answer because He hasn't provided. It is an odd logic on our part when considered this way. God does implore the first neighbor to give; right?
This statement from Jesus may well be just as much about Satan's tight control over his host and methods and means and pressures he must use as it is about the goodly kingdom we casually assume He is talking about by hurriedly reading through. How hard it must be to keep the loyalty of his scandalous permissive and yet ultimately defeated troops.
Great and terrible things shall come. He could have said be strong or be prayerful etc... but He says to be patient. It is not that these other things are not each important, it is that they all come as a result of patience. Therefore posses your soul in patients.
This prophecy was fulfilled near AD 70 at the destruction of the temple by the Romans. It is said by critics that Jesus cannot be classified as a prophet because none of His prophecies have come true. Well what is this prophecy, chopped liver?
Each of the authors of the four Gospels presents the material needed to be covered in such delightfully different individualized ways. Here one of the original disciples John delivers the same story of John the Baptist in a way that will pierce the ear drums of a mostly Jewish first century audience. The notion that one God could be of three united wholes, that the one particular entity through and for whom all things were created would humble Himself to become flesh would be a radical departure from the interpretations that they had until now given the scriptures. John presents this in such a open and descriptive way.
The word for Satan here can also be translated adversary. It is hard to imagine what type of human or political adversary would have pricked or enticed David enough to make him do this, especially knowing such a census was forbidden. Given the way God responded and the measure to which God responded, it is my belief that the KJV translation Satan is highly possible.
I am not sure that this could be read that we all sleep when we die just as not all sickness is for the glory of God. In this particular case it is certain. Sickness unto death is most often because it is appointed for all men to die the first death. Once dead it is most likely that that very day we see Him in His kingdom.
This is not to say that incurable disease is caused in this manner or reason in all cases. It was true in this particular case because we are told that it was so. How often this happens we do not know, we are not told. This is a very important time in Judah given what he had done to the remaining descendants of David, what he had encouraged Judah to sin in, and by his own idolatrous practices and alliances.
The acts of the Spirit are now giving indications to many regarding Paul but not necessarily revelations of the exact divine will; or at least they are not accepting it as such. They give their counsel based on their response to the indications not to the will. Of course they are thinking as friends in Paul's best interest and safety; the two things are different. Paul must be prepared not only for what he will soon face but for what they are now facing in this turn of events.
Like with so many of these psalms, with some careful interpretation as to the haste mentioned here and the removal of kjv@Psalms:31:10 these could almost be our Lord's words. Jesus did quote "Into Thine hands...". That David could perceive in his own experiences much of what his Seed would in His is astounding. It would be interesting to know what particular experience of his David is speaking of. Sometimes it feels as if we share this experience in our lives as well.
The muddy situation surrounding Paul's arrival to Jerusalem is perfectly clear; there is nothing that Paul will be able to say or do or concede that is going to appease the zealous masses gathering against him. It will be factions of his very own faith that will do him in. We can see that not even the counsel of other Apostles is going to be able to steer him right and may in fact steer him wrong. What is going to happen is going to happen for God has much greater purposes.
There will always be a tension between the sexes that the mischievousness can manipulate into near frenzy. The fact is that Paul could have said anything about male female relations, gone any direction with it and still have been sharply criticized. In the culture to which Paul was specifically addressing certain customs took on profound spiritual meaning. Their assembly was being torn on both sides by the debate over these roles as related to public worship. The debate inflamed them to the point that meaningful worship and assembly ceased. Our culture is plagued by much the same debate and sadly to much the same end. What then is the principal to follow? Subjection for the sake of worship. Do not let your liberty inflame the conscience of a weaker believer or your worship get in the way of everyone else's. And remember if allowed into worship that God is not the author of chaos.
There is concern over the way this congregation views and implements it's Holy Communion. This is not to be a drunken party nor a food line, it is a solemn partaking symbolically of the flesh and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Anything other, anything reason less becomes a curse or judgement.
Interesting tid bits that should not be overlooked. There are divisions today just as there were back then. We are to look at divisions as a means to observe who is approved, they will stand out all the more. Also, the churches are judged within so that they will not be judged without; if so what happens when they are unwilling to accept judgment? Also, there seems to be a connection between the misuse of the Holy Communion and sickness even fatal sickness.
If the preparations of the heart are the Lord's kjv@Proverbs:16:1, if his goings forth are from the Lord and his way cannot be understood outside of the Lord kjv@Proverbs:20:24 and if it is only the counsel of the Lord that will stand kjv@Proverbs:19:21, what do we have other than to choose which of His steps to take? In light of kjv@Romans:1:18-24 God prepared hearts to follow after Him, He gave them a choice, as much as He prepared they still chose contrary, their steps now are directed (that choice leads to these steps) yet His counsel must stand - they are condemned for transgressing the preparation laid into their hearts.
Solomon has spent a great deal of time considering the ends of things. Sure they seem right to us here and now but, what of it in the end? He concludes that while somethings are better, some are wiser, all things are temporary, that they all end as vanity. Not everyone goes as far as to consider these things, the thought being "what does it matter?". It matters to the life to come and the abundant entrance ministered unto us into Christ's eternal kingdom kjv@2Peter:1:11.
The fact that Paul has been addressing these things throughout this letter must mean that somebody(s) were accusing Him him of such. Other Jesus's are what we still face today. Selling another Jesus often involves placing doubt upon character of the saints of the true Jesus. Paul is attacked even today by numerous groups presuming to have a clearer definition of Jesus. It is not the same Jesus however.
You would think that a messenger of love and truth would be well accepted as people need a good bit of love and truth. You would think that people would be thankful for a man willing to suffer such things to bring us such truth and not complain that he was too soft or too hard or too.... We would like to think that if we are anything as believers that we are much like this man. Most likely though it is overwhelmingly possible that we are like the many that inflicted such upon him or looked away and that the people that we have put in charge of putting us in rememberence of these truths are not this type of man who has for a long time suffered our whims.
If this were to mean singled out beforehand, it could just as well mean that those specifically who first believed (early church, disciples) were singled out and not necessarily the rest of us who believed because of their testimony. Jesus for instance chose Peter at the shoreline and may have chosen him before even creation. This is not to disregard the predestination of all but to confirm at least this much.
Idolatry and worshiping works of ones own hands seem to go together. Now days, it can be said that we no longer have other gods by name, that we don't see idolatry like this anymore. Rather, where there is the worship of the work of ones own hands there is likely idolatry. Logic today has been twisted, that we all could worship the same God just in different ways. We know however how Jehovah looks upon this twisted belief, it being another god just as vile as Baal or Malack. This is part of what makes Jehovah so despised amongst these so called worshipers. These are not the worshipers of Jehovah. How can they be the worshipers of the one true God?
I see two possible explanations as to why the language very similar to kjv@Genesis:1 would be used here. 1a: This coming judgment will so severe as to symbolically set Israel/Judah back to the beginning as if none of this covenant had ever been. 1b: It will be so devastating as to appear as dark and chaotic as earths infancy. 2: Gap theory suggests a gap between kjv@Genesis:1:1 and kjv@Genesis:1:2 where this type of judgment actually occurred to a pre-Adamic human or angelic race on earth; that what we read is not an account of creation but of a earth's first restoration. Both explanations may not be exclusive as well.
This is the type of opposition I most often run against. They set out only to disprove my position, not that they have any better position of their own, to them all positions are faulty. To them the fact that I would have a position suggests a flaw within me, regardless of what it is. So is it that I need to argue my position better? Or is it that I need to argue their defilement in this particular mindset better?
Some of Israel (not all) was regathered at the end of the seventy years. The Temple was rebuilt and put back into service but, the hearts of Israel barely changed. They awaited an even more horrific judgment that Jesus himself would prophecy. In Jesus Christ a new spirit is given and hearts were changed but, Israel not regathered awaiting a final gathering yet to come in the end of the age of Gentiles. We see that every word of this prophecy is accurate, the time-line however not as direct as we might read.
Faith is most commonly defined as something we believe or hope for. Here it is better defined as something that totally moves us and shapes the course of things to come, a leaving of ourselves to commit/pursue the greater promises laid before us. Faith is a both a destination and the road/process of getting there. It is it's own country.
The questions raised by this description of Lucifer are numerous. Of primary importance would be when did this fall happen and where, especially if the where was here on earth. If on earth, that would most likely place the when between kjv@Genesis:1:1 and kjv@Genesis:1:2 suggesting a gap between creation, a world that then was, and later a complete 6 day restoration following a major judgment perhaps like the world has since never known (not even the flood). This would explain why the Spirit hovered over a earth that was void and without form.
The forth reason for the four judgments, this on Edom itself. Edom, the descendants of Jacob's brother Esau in their unrelenting wrath not only received all the Israelite captives from Damascus/Gaza/Tyrus but pursued more with vengeance.
It is a time for judgment and reward. How do the nations respond? They are angry. It doesn't say repentant notice, doesn't say sorry, doesn't say softening or contemplative. Such horrific events they have witnessed, so many catastrophes. Yet they see these matters in the opposite. To them it is not their anger and hatred and transgression that destroys the earth, it is God's.
So this is where Paul twice and the author of Hebrews once get "the just shall live by faith". Now we have the original context. Given our tendency to box God into the corners of what we think He should and should not be doing, given our blindness to everything except what is immediately before us, given our own personal track record and what we ourselves are being chastised over, we if seeking through this to become just should live by faith. kjv@Romans:1:17kjv@Galatians:3:11kjv@Hebrews:10:38
Those that say things like this are typically hiding behind something that they know they shouldn't be doing. These men are settled on the dregs of wine called lees. In order to do this they have to say and believe that. To them, God is simply not engaged or attached. What does God care about little old man? It makes perfect sense to a man awash in the bottom of a keg.
Two separate identities, the Angel of the Lord and the Lord of Hosts are identified here. The Angel asks a question of time frame, how long. In a sense the mercy has not left, it is there all along. In another sense on the ground the appearance is one of His displeasure; which itself ties back into His mercy. It would not be mercy if He had not had a plan/means of dealing with it.
Of the many details about creation given in this first chapter, perhaps the most peculiar is the division between verse strkjv@Genesis:1:1 'in the beginning' and verse strkjv@Genesis:1:2 'and the earth was'. To me the key word is 'was' which I suggest more properly should be translated 'became' as used in other text. Notice Heaven and Earth created in the beginning strkjv@Genesis:1:1. Notice Heaven and Earth not being divided till strkjv@Genesis:1:9. What happened that they were in the beginning but not divided until the third day? Many would say that they were created without form and void, the native language can just as easily say they became uninhabitable being a place suffering judgment.
Another peculiarity we should not let escape our attention is that while there is a division between light and dark strkjv@Genesis:1:3-5 called Night and Day, the actual objects visually determining those observances for earth were not until kjv@Genesis:1:14-19 after even vegetation. Light and darkness till then were from a different source and that source was sufficient for massive plant life. In kjv@Revelation:21:23 we see a similar occurrence in the new earth.
The bloodline of Jesus is of course important to scholars in confirming the qualifications of Jesus determined by existing prophecy. In the gospels we have two bloodlines written in case we were to misinterpret or loose the one. Both are valid to authenticate Jesus, Mary's perhaps slightly more as it is actual blood Jesus would have.
The human ancestry of Jesus is not as dry a reading as one might expect. It flies by in 16 quick verses, but, the personal histories of these individual lives cover an amazing 42 generations. You can imagine someone someday reading over your descendent's genealogy and skipping over your name as dry and inconsequential. What is important here is the lives, the lifetimes, passions and interests and occurrences, successes and set backs, wishes and desires, health and sickness, riches and poverty, sin and righteousness, freedom and captivity. Much like our lives, these people had the hope that despite everything that this life or at least the lives of our offspring was leading to something good. In these peoples case it lead from a promise to a patriarch to a fulfillment of that promise the living Messiah.
There is the physical temple and there is a temple of individual men's hearts. Where a man's heart is there will be his treasure. There are men who treasure making money from the religious needs of many. There are men who treasure peace that do not confront them. There are men who treasure their position in the church that allow for even profit from such allowance. There are men who treasure the way things just the way they are, the way things have long time been. There are those who treasure their own ideals of the temple and not the ill image it projects to those it mistreats. These are the types of men who would be displeased by Jesus' message carried out in the temple for they do not treasure Him. When we look as individuals upon a collective temple such as this we look upon men's collective hearts. The object is not to avoid coming to the collective temple, it is to call upon all men's hearts by a higher calling; to call upon all men to come observe the most holy heart of our Lord and Savior; to meet with Him by His grace then and there. And if need be, shake a few tables of our own.