Jesus the social worker?
“To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? “They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.” (Luke 7:31–35, NASB95)
There are a number of ways that God indicates His acceptance. In Leviticus 9, fire comes out from before the Lord and consumes the first offering in front of the Tabernacle. God approves of the presentation, and His fire consumes it. People made an offering to God, and God seals the deal with approving fire. There are many other sacrifices after this that do not get the same treatment, but this sets the pattern of acceptance. So as long as the others are done the same way they are also acceptable.
There are at least five times mentioned in the Word where fire from the Lord consumes a sacrifice. The other four are in Judges 6 (Gideon), 1 Kings 18 (Elijah and the prophets of Baal) 1 Chronicles 21 (David’s sacrifice) and 2 Chronicles 7 (Solomon’s sacrifice). These examples illustrate for us what happens when God approves. When God disapproves, fire destroys the person rather than the offering.
Fire from God can show acceptance, or rejection, and it doesn’t have to be in connection with an animal sacrifice. When fire rained down on Sodom and Gomorrah, it was a rather obvious rejection of their behavior. Moses calls down fire on the Egyptians (Exodus 9). Fire from heaven also destroyed two captains of fifty and their men when trying to arrest Elijah (2 Kings 1). Fire pours from the mouth of God’s two prophets or witnesses of Revelation 11 if anyone tries to harm them. The second beast of Revelation 13 fakes a fire that looks like it comes from heaven, but it’s not from God. Not like the final fireworks that fall on the armies of Satan in Revelation 20.
If Nadab and Abihu had stayed within the Law, depending on God’s grace and doing exactly what He said when He said it, then there would’ve been no reason for the fire from God to consume them. Grace, in the Law, would’ve saved them. Just like it saved all the other priests who followed the rules. The grace was in telling them how to approach and be acceptable. Love, in following what God said, is the other way to look at, and observe, the Law.
Nadab and Abihu get toasted right after the accepted sacrifice of Leviticus 9. It was not only that they did the process wrong, it was also their hearts. They were willfully doing something they knew to be wrong. This is called a high-handed sin. When you’ve been told, warned, cautioned, and seen others punished for wrongdoing, and you do it too, there is no excuse. The sons of Aaron stepped out of God’s boundaries and tried to demand acceptance based on their own actions. Paul calls this “works of the Law” in Galatians.
From Berea at Whole Bible dot com – Manna, 26 Shemini
In Matthew 24 and Luke 17 Jesus gives us an outline of what will take place at the “end of the age” as the apostles asked. At one point Jesus says, “Two men will be in the field, one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one left.” Most Christians think these are verses about the rapture. There was a nifty song in the ‘70’s that spoke of people being taken as being raptured (I Wish We’d All Been Ready by Larry Norman), translated into imperishable bodies to be with Jesus forever. The people remaining were “left behind.” It’s a good thought, but wrong. It is clear from the context that ‘taken’ means destroyed.
Jesus compares this time to the time of the flood, when people were going about their daily living as sudden destruction came. “They were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away.” If the proportion (50%) is intended to be exact, that means at least half the world’s population will be destroyed.
There are other places where ‘taken’ is obviously related to destroyed or killed.
Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. “Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men, also; both husband and wife shall be taken, the elderly and the very aged. (Jeremiah 6:11, ESV)
To be “taken” is not a fun thing. To be consistent with the rest of the Word, ‘taken’ in the context of what Jesus is talking about is not fun at all.
‘Whole Bible Prophecy’ manuscript by Bruce Scott Bertram
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. (Luke 6:22–23, NASB95)
“For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this. Indeed, from now on you will surely have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NASB95)
Building on yesterday’s post about Jesus telling demons to shut up about His being the Christ, what else can be learned?
Demons can say the right thing, and still be demons. Their nature and behavior doesn’t change just because they know the truth. In fact, they are intimately acquainted with the truth. They know it backwards and forwards. They just don’t adjust themselves to it. Even though the demons “confessed Jesus” with their mouths, their hearts were not in it. Confession goes all the way to the heart. It doesn’t stop at the lips.
The “doctrines of demons” Paul mentions to Timothy (1 Timothy 4:1-5) are doctrines that seem right, but they are not God’s truth. The truth is God’s Word. Those who know the truth and adjust themselves to it (change of heart) will know the difference between the truth and a doctrine from hell. We know the truth if we do everything God says. The demon doctrine might use some of the words of the truth, but will be a lie. A lie is any teaching that departs in the slightest from the Word.
One is coming who will pass off a lie as the truth in such a convincing manner that most will be buy into the lie. Only those who know the truth and follow it, whose heart is completely His, will be able to tell the difference. The lie will be close to the truth, perhaps even using some of the same words that God uses, but the end is death. And the spirit of antichrist is already here.
They bend their tongue like a bow; falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me, declares the LORD. Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer. Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity. Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:3–6, ESV)