Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rich Man And Lazarus

The Rich Man And Lazarus Parable - What does this illustration mean?

Luke 16:14-31

A parable is an illustration. What is the story of the Richman and Lazarus an illustration of? Is is one of afterlife? Well, let's examine it part by part. It tells us that the beggar died and went to Abraham's bossom. Well, the Bible says that Abraham was still in the grave, since no one went to heaven before Jesus died. Acts 26:23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 So, where was Abraham? Abraham was in the grave, like King David, and all mankind were. Acts 2:29,34 So, how could a beggar literally go to Abraham's bossom? These and other questions will be answered shortly.


The Greek word hades is translated as "hell" and so is the Greek word "gehenna."  What's the difference, if any?

 In a previous note below, I outlined the Bible's meaning of hellfire translated from the Greek word "gehenna, " as being the valley outside of Jerusalem that was used as a garbage dump that was kept burning day and night to turn all the waste to ash.  Included in that waste were the dead bodies of animals and criminals.  But, neither the animals, nor the criminals felt the flames of the garbage dump, since they were dead. [Death is defined in another paragraph below.]  But, we find that the "hell" mentioned in the parable or illustration that Jesus gave about the Rich Man and Lazarus is translated from the Greek word "hades," not "gehenna."   Luke 16:22-23 tells us in part,  ". . . . .the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell [hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments . . . . ."    Is there a difference between this hades [hell] and the gehenna [hellfire]? 

Monday, December 20, 2010

What is hellfire?

Yes, there was a literal "hellfire" in Jesus day. The KJV of the Bible translates the Greek word "gehenna" into the English word "hellfire;" but, do you know what "gehenna" means?

It was the Greek name of the Valley of Hinnom outside of Jerusalem that was kept burning 24.7 with brimstone (sulphur) for the purpose of burning up the refuse thrown there. This refuse included the dead bodies of animals and criminals who didn't deserve a descent honorable burial in a tomb. But, these dead bodies did NOT feel anything, since they were already dead. Death according to the Biblical definition is an unconscious state. Psalm 146:4 explains, "His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish." Also, please read Ecclesiastes 9:5-6,10. Therefore, "hellfire" represented the dishonorable death of evildoers. It didn't mean they were tortured. It meant they were not worthy of a resurrection to an eternal life. How do we know?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Begotten & Created 2

Some are confused regarding the word ‘begotten’ thinking it means the same thing as ‘created’. The difference between ‘begotten’ and ‘created’ is clearly seen when we compare Christ with Lucifer (before his fall). What is the difference between Christ and Lucifer?

Proverbs 8:24, 25 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth.

- Twice we are told that Christ was “brought forth” or “begotten.”

Ezekiel 28:13, 15 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

- Twice we are told that Lucifer was “created.” Christ was “brought forth” while Lucifer was “created.” There is a world of difference between these two words.

To say that “begotten” means the same thing as “created” is to equate Christ with Lucifer! People should be careful before they dishonor Christ in such a way.

Jesus Christ is the only-begotten Son of God. He was begotten of the Father in the ages of eternity past. He was not created out of nothing, as Lucifer was, but was brought forth from the substance of His Father. This is the evidence and proof of His divinity and deity. This was His consistent teaching while here on earth, and this is the testimony of the Scriptures.

Ten Commandments

Ten Commandments are often referred to as the “testimony”.
The Ten Commandments are recorded in full in Exodus 20:3-17. Briefly they are as follows:

1. You shall have no other Gods before Me.
2. You shall not make unto thee any graven image.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5. Honour your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness.
10. You shall not covet.

The first four deal with our love to God, and the last six deal with our love for our fellowman. They can be divided into these two sections. There is one underlying principle behind these commands – LOVE. In these commands we see a transcript of God’s character: “God is love”. At first they may appear to be a list of “don’ts, but when a Christian is motivated by love, he wants to please God and respect his fellowman.

James 2:8-12 If you really fulfill the ROYAL LAW according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well; but if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever shall KEEP THE WHOLE LAW, AND YET STUMBLE IN ONE POINT, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL. For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be JUDGED BY THE LAW OF LIBERTY.

There is no virtue in keeping 9 commandments instead of ten. If a man is hanging from a great height by a chain with ten links, and only one link breaks, he falls. The strength of the chain is dependent on its weakest link. If we willingly break one of God’s commandments, we are as guilty as if we break them all. True, we are not saved by keeping the law, but this text shows we will be judged by it. If Jesus reigns within, He will give us the strength to keep it.

Psalm 111:7,8 The works of His hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. THEY STAND FAST FOREVER AND EVER, and are done in truth and uprightness.

God’s commandments are eternal.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints; HERE ARE THOSE WHO KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD and the faith of Jesus.

God’s last people on earth before the end of time are commandment keepers. There is no thought that the law is abolished, instead they establish it.

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: FEAR GOD AND KEEP


The test of love is obedience. Friend, do you love Jesus enough to obey Him? Remember, He loved you enough to die for you. His plea to you today is to keep His commandments. They are not grievous – in fact to keep them, will keep you out of trouble in this life, and bring you happiness. God’s way of willing obedience is the best way, and if Jesus is supreme in your life, He will give you the strength to keep the commandments of God.

Remember the SABBATH

Exodus 20:8-11 REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but THE SEVENTH DAY IS THE SABBATH of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. FOR IN SIX DAYS THE LORD MADE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

There are many who say all is well providing we worship one day in seven, but God is specific. He says; “Remember the SABBATH day”, not any other day. He further states, “The SEVENTH DAY is the Sabbath”. A Look at most calendars shows Saturday to be the seventh day. Some modern calendars have made a change in the order of the days of the week, but this is a very recent change.

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and THE WORD WAS GOD. He was in the beginning with God. ALL THINGS WERE MADE THROUGH HIM, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

The “Word” in this chapter is Christ (see verse 14). Here we see that nothing was made without Christ. If Christ therefore is responsible for the existence of all things, then He also made the Sabbath.

Man changes his views and ideas, but God is perfect – He never changes. In His sight good is always good and evil is always evil. His principles of righteousness are eternal.

Genesis 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and HE RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY from all His work which He had done. Then God BLESSED the seventh day and SANCTIFIED it, because in it He RESTED from all His work which God had created and made.

Here is this world’s first Sabbath. God set the example by working six days and resting on the seventh. Notice how He blessed this day. To bless means to make happy, but obviously it has a deeper meaning than the mere surface happiness – it involves real satisfaction. Secondly, God sanctified it, or “set it apart” for a holy use. It was a day different from all other days. No matter how sincerely a person may keep another day other than the Sabbath, it does not make it a holy day. Only God can make a day holy. Thirdly, it is a rest day.

Begotten & Created

Christ is not a created being. The misunderstanding in people’s mind is due to the false assumption that the words ‘begotten’ and ‘created’ mean the same thing. The fact is they do not mean the same thing at all.

The Bible gives us examples of both showing the difference between them. From the Bible we learn that God created the world out of nothing.

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Psa 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 

Psa 33:7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. 

Psa 33:8 Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 

Psa 33:9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.

Thus we see a clear demonstration of the meaning of the word “create”, which is to make something out of nothing. It is when something comes into existence while there was no pre-existing matter for it to come from. Therefore it is created.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Question of all Questions

Matthew 19:16, “And, behold, one came and said unto Him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do,, that I may have eternal life?”

Isn’t that the question of all questions? What must I do to have eternal life? That was the earnest question of this young man who came to Jesus. I don’t know of any more important question to answer than the question that the young man asked, What must I do to have eternal life?

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 

Remember that that is the reply of the greatest person that’s ever lived, on religious matters, Jesus Himself, and He said, If you’re going to enter into life, keep the commandments.

The Sunday-keepers who preach on the subject of what must I do to be saved, I have never heard one quote the text of Jesus, and that is, “If ye enter into life, keep the commandments.” The text that they usually turn up is Paul’s statement in Acts 16, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” I have never heard them turn up this verse in Matthew 19. And yet this is a strange thing that the greatest authority, when it comes to eternal life, is Jesus Himself, and He is never consulted. Jesus said, “If you’ll enter into life, keep the commandments.”

If you’ll read on there’s no question as to what commandments He’s referring to. You see, there was an argument amongst the Jews as to which commandments you had to keep, the Jewish law, the old ceremonies, or the Ten Commandments. That’s why in the next verse the young man says to Him)

Verse 18. “He said unto Him, Which?”

Which Lord? The Jewish ones, traditions, or the Ten Commandments? What did Jesus say?

Verses 18:19. “Jesus said, Thou shall do no murder, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness,
19. “Honor thy father and thy mother.”

Where’s He quoting from? The Ten Commandments. And so Jesus said, if you’ll enter into life, you keep the Ten Commandments. Remember this, that that’s the greatest authority on religious matters that ever walked this earth, Jesus Himself. He said, “Keep the commandments.”