Saturday, December 17, 2016

154 - The Spaceship "Theology" Has Docked

The spaceship: Theology, embarked on its journey to go where this man had never gone before.

Launch: Calendar date, 7,17, 2013.

Mission: To study the teachings of the Old Testament and report the findings to earthlings.

Observation: Many humanoids hold to what they think is written in the Old Testament but they really have no idea of what the Old Testament teaches or else they know but ignore its teachings in any case.

On the first leg of this journey, three reports were sent every week; reports which delved into a variety of deeply held and sometimes erroneous theological opinions.

Calendar date: 2,14,2014, saw the beginning of one report a week; starting at Genesis 1:1 and working its way to the end of the Old Testament.  

A serious attempt was made to not follow the traditional religious viewpoints just because they are the most popular, but, surprisingly, in some cases, the Bible and the traditional viewpoint actually agree.

Several times it seemed as though I had "crashed and burned" the spaceship, but the younger crew members in my family pushed a few buttons on the control panel and the ship was ready to sail again.  Many thanks to them all.

To all the passengers, the regular faithful from way back and to the newcomers a heartfelt word of appreciation is extended to you.  All the +1's and the re-shares were very, very encouraging.  Many of the comments were really uplifting; a few were downright nasty and unnecessarily painful.  

In those cases the words of The Captain came to mind, Blessed are you when men shall revile you ... and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. Mat 5:11. 

Recently there have been several developments which have necessitated the recall and docking of the spaceship theology, for the time being at least.  

It is possible that after the necessary repairs have been made the ship will sail again, perhaps under a new flag.  If she does sail again it will be for the purpose of taking a non-traditional look at the New Testament.

I close with these words, Jehovah bless you and keep you.   Jehovah make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  Jehovah lift up His face to you and give you peace.  Numbers 6:24-26.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

153 - Questions and Answers


"Messanger of Jehovah".  He prophesied from 418-400 BCE.  His writings end at about the same time as the books of Ezra and Nehemiah.  

Earlier I wrote, Judging by how well the prophet's names suit their function or personality it is not believed that these were their given names.  Perhaps they are pseudonyms which they got because of their activities or lifestyle.  

The analogy of the headings of the other prophets favors the view that Malachi is a proper name.  Easton Bible dictionary.    Among the minor prophets, Malachi is the one exception to the rule about having a nickname. 

Malachi is a book of questions and answers.  It is written as though the Jews ask the questions and Jehovah answers.

1. The Jews ask: 
In what have You loved us?

Jehovah answers: Here is an example, Was not Esau Jacob's brother? ... yet I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau and made his mountains a desolation and gave you the land of milk and honey. Malachi 1:2-3.

2. In what way have we despised Your name?

Jehovah answers: You offer defiled bread upon My altar;  Consider this, all week long you cuss, swear and take My name in vain and then, on Sunday, you come and sing holy praises. 

If you think you are being religious, but can't control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and everything you do is useless.
 James 1:26. 

Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. James 3:10.

3. In what way have we defiled You? 

Jehovah answers: In your saying, The table of Jehovah, it is a thing to be despised. And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil?  When the Jews brought their sacrifices they were to bring only the best, not the blind; not the one with a broken leg; only the best.  When we give something to charity do we give only the broken or outdated and items that are no good?   As if our gifts to Jehovah can be something cheap.

Then Jehovah says, And if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil (Here the word evil can include displeasing, Strong H7451)

Then, sarcastically, he adds:  Bring it now to your governor. Will he accept you?   Malachi 1:6-8. 

Not only in the realm of worship have you shortchanged me but there is a second thing you have done, covering the altar of Jehovah with tears, weeping, and groaning. You come to church with artificial remorse and weeping but I will not hear you.

4. Why?

Jehovah answers: Because I have been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your covenant wife. And did He not make you one? do not act treacherously with the wife of your youth. 2:13-15.

The one you promised to love forever, in sickness and in health, now, how are you treating her?  You have put the wife of your youth into a position where she may legally and morally divorce you I hate sending away; 2:16.  Sending away is the biblical way of saying "divorce".

Are you surprised that I am rejecting your pretended remorse and tears!

With the expression “wife of thy youth” the prophet appeals to the heart of the husband, pointing to the love of his youth with which the marriage had been entered into; ... “Yet she was thy companion, who shared thy joy and sorrow, and the wife of thy covenant, with whom thou didst make a covenant for life.” K&D.

You have wearied Jehovah with your (empty) words. Yet you say,

5.  In what have we wearied Him?

Jehovah answers: When you say, Every evildoer is good in the eyes of Jehovah, and He delights in them;  There is far too much of this false theology in today's churches.  We hear it all the time, God loves everybody.   

This is what the psalmist saidJehovah ... hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. Psalm 11:5.
6. Where is the God of justice? 2:17.

Some, because they cannot see Him, insist that He does not exist. They ask: where is your God anyway? The way you live does not convince me that He is even real.

7. In what have we robbed You?

Jehovah answers: In the tithe and the offering! You are cursed with a curse; for you are robbing Me, the nation, all of it. Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house.  

It is important to notice here that the tithe is not for the purpose of feeding the preacher or to make sure the church has enough money to run its various entertainment programs.  The tithe is one-tenth of your crop or income, and it is to be used to feed the hungry.  

The tithe is to be brought into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house to feed the destitute.

If you, as a nation, will look after the poor, see if I will not open the windows of Heaven for you, and pour out a blessing for you, until there is not enough room. 3:8-10.

8. What have we spoken against You? 

Jehovah answers: You have said, It is vain to serve God; and, What profit is it that we have kept His charge?

Choose Your Eternal Future

Look into the future for you shall be Mine, ... for the day that I will make up My treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him. 

Then you shall again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God, and him who does not serve Him. 3:13-18.  

For behold, the day is coming, burning like a fire pot; and all the proud, and every doer of wickedness, shall be chaff. And the coming day will set them ablaze, ... which will not leave root or branches to them. 

But to you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise, and healing will be on His wings. 4:1-2.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

152 - Judah's Cause to Celebrate


 "my feast".  A name given in anticipation of the joyous return from exile. Perhaps a Levite, as the rabbis say he was buried at Jerusalem among the priests. Tradition represents him as returning with the first exiles from Babylon his birthplace, under Zerubbabel 536 B.C. Easton Bible Dictionary.

When the captives in Babylon were allowed to return to Judea they began to build a temple but soon they lost interest in it and rather finished their own homes.  The main theme of the Book of Haggai is, why are you living so comfortably at home and not exerting any effort in rebuilding the temple of the Lord.  Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your finished houses, and shall this House (the new temple) lie waste? Haggai 1:4.

You looked for much, (good crops, etc) and behold, little (the yield was poor)! Because My House that is waste, and you, each man runs to his own house. 1:9.  

The people were not in the least interested in worshipping Jehovah until Haggai got on his soapbox, then Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel ... and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of Jehovah of Hosts, their God. 1:14

Then the Word of Jehovah came by the prophet Haggai, saying ... Now speak ... to the remnant of the people, saying, Who is left among you who saw this house in her first glory? (That is in reference to the temple that Solomon built). And how do you see it now? When compared to it, is it not as nothing in your eyes? 2:1-3.  

In the post I shared on July 24, 2015, I wrote, In the seventh month of the year of their return the people started rebuilding the altar on which to worship Jehovah.  In the second month of the second year, they started rebuilding the temple, Ezra 3:8and the ancient men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice.  

It just did not measure up to their expectations or to the grandeur of Solomon's temple.  And many of the younger people shouted aloud for joy because they had a place to worship so that the people could not tell the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people. Ezra 3:12-13.

Some believe that Psalms 146-150 were specially written to be used as hymns for the dedication ceremony of the second temple.


"Jehovah remembers" or "Jehovah is renowned".  

Zechariah was an active preacher at the same time as Haggai.  He also spoke of the restoration of Jerusalem as we see in these words, Then the Angel of Jehovah answered and said, O Jehovah of Hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah against which You have cursed these seventy years? Zachariah 1:12.  It was after 70 years of captivity that the Jews were finally allowed to return home.

Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, four horns! And I said to the angel who talked with me, What are these? And he answered me, These are the horns that have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.1:18-19.  

These are believed to be Shalmaneser (of Assyria); Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon); ... Cambyses (the Medes and Persians), ... and may likewise have reference prophetically to their after troubles and captivity by the Romans. Gill
Everyone in Jerusalem, celebrate and shout! Your king has won a victory, and he is coming to you. He is humble and rides on a donkey. 9:9 CEV.  The Christian church interprets this to mean Christ, especially so since on Palm Sunday He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. 

It seems interesting that a Jewish Bible commentator takes a similar stance as the Christian Church has, It is impossible to interpret this except as referring to the King Messiah, as it is stated: “and his rule shall be from sea to sea.” We do not find that Israel had such a ruler during the days of the Second Temple. Rashi. This, of course, does not insinuate that Rashi is referring to Jesus Christ; people in the Jewish religion are still waiting for the Messiah to come.

My people will go through an ocean of troubles, one wonders if truer words have ever been spoken.  But I will overcome the waves and dry up the deepest part of the Nile.  (Speaking symbolically, Egypt's 'life-line' will be dried up and they will no longer harass Israel.) 

Assyria's great pride will be put down, (it was Assyria that captured and destroyed the Northern tribes of Israel and now, at the end of all Jewish conflicts, Assyria will finally get what she deserves).  What goes around - comes around and Assyria had this coming.

I'll strengthen my people because of who I am, and they will follow me. 10:11 CEV.