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Friday, January 8, 2021

Logic, is it necessary?

Logic, is it necessary?
By Shawn Cahill
1/8/21

Often in our culture we do things and use certain words because that's what everybody else does. For us saints it's always good to see what scripture has to say about such things.
Case in point is with the word logic, which before proceeding further allow me to define:
Logic = "the systematic study of valid rules of inference".
I have heard the saints appealing to logic, saying things like "that's logical", "God is logical", while appealing to the Greek word logos in order to ground logic into the Lord himself.
According to Online Etymology Dictionary the word logic is said to come from the Greek words logikḗ, logikos, and logos. The three words are defined as such:
Logikḗ = the reasoning art.
Logikos = pertaining to speaking or reasoning.
Logos = reason, idea, or word.
Only logikos (#3050) and logos (#3506) appear in scripture, and notice that the above definitions are different than the one for logic. Hence we must not read the definition of "logic" into the Greek words that appear in scripture.
So "logic" as defined above is not something that originated with God, but rather with man. This is why others have said "there is no universal agreement as to the exact definition and boundaries of logic".
Two other interesting quotes are:
1) "In the Western World, logic was first developed by Aristotle, who called the subject 'analytics'."
2) "In Europe during the later medieval period, major efforts were made to show that Aristotle's ideas were compatible with Christian faith."

The ability to perform logic is rooted in the fact that God created people with "understanding" which is defined as "the power of comprehending".
Logic is based on propositions that can be correct, or incorrect, and for the saints the basis of truth is God, and his word.
In Job 38:36 God told Job "Who has put wisdom in the innermost being or given understanding to the mind?".
In John 17:17 Jesus said to the Father "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth."

One can use logic, but it is hardly necessary to arrive at truth, or convince others.
So rather than appealing to logic, cut out the middle man and go straight to the word of God, while relying on him for wisdom and understanding.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Precept upon precept exposed

Precept upon precept exposed
By Shawn Cahill
12/5/20

Hebrew Israelite's have this method of how to understand scripture they refer to as Precept Upon Precept (PUP).
This phrase comes from Isaiah 28:10 which in the King James Version reads as:
"For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little".
The Hebrew word translated as "precept" means command, or commandment as it appears in Hosea 5:11 (KJV):
"Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment."
In this scripture the commandment was not from God, so the context will determine how the word is to be understood.
It's important to understand that Hebrew Israelite's have a different definition of "precept" and that is: a scripture that explains another scripture.
They would first suggest being familiar with the history, otherwise known as the cultural context, which is indeed wise to do.
Their next step I believe is what often leads them into error.
To fully explain this, I want to use an example some Hebrew Israelite's used when explaining Precept Upon Precept to me.
The example is John 3:16 which in the KJV reads:
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The Hebrew Israelite doctrine teaches that God only loved the nation of Israel, and they assume that Jesus was referring to Old Testament scripture when he used the word "world".
They then find a scripture (in the KJV) that says "world" which they apply to Israel. 
Isaiah 45:17 in the KJV reads:
"But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end."
So the Hebrew Israelite conclusion is that "the world" in John 3:16 is referring to Israel.
Aside from this, it is also said that one must obey the old covenant law in order to use PUP correctly. So if one does not obey the law, they somehow will not be able to use PUP.

There are multiple problems with using such a method in understanding scripture, so I will number them.
1) PUP was apparently first revealed through Isaiah, which means no one prior to that moment was able to have a sure understanding of scripture. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 Moses told Israel "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children...", so apparently they were teach the word of God despite not yet knowing how to understand it.
2) PUP was apparently able to be understood without using PUP. Such demonstrates that scripture can be understood without utilizing this method, despite claims that it is used every time scripture is explained. In fact there is no "precept" that says that "precept" means "a scripture that explains another scripture", though sometimes it is properly understood as meaning a "command".
3) PUP assumes that scriptures with the same words are talking about the same subject matter. This causes one to ignore the immediate context of the passage, and the greater context of the particular book.
4) The final and perhaps most damning problem is that PUP is not found in Isaiah chapter 28. I will quote from the KJV since the Hebrew Israelites seem to prefer this version, and there's a reason why.
Isaiah told the southern kingdom about "the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower" (Isa 28:1). He also said "the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment" (Isa 28:7). Isaiah went on to ask a rhetorical question "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts" (Isa 28:9). The answer is no, so the question remains; who will God teach? It should be noted that the phrase "must be" is not in the Hebrew of Isaiah 28:10, so this verse is not a didactic instruction, but rather a prophetic narrative. Isaiah goes on to add to Isaiah 28:10 by saying "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people" (Isa 28:11). So God will speak to the drunkards of Ephraim through a foreign tongue (language), and since Isaiah spoke Hebrew, we know God did not speak to this people through the Hebrew scriptures. Also the word translated as "stammering" is to be understood as "mocking" as it is translated as "mockers" the other time it appears in scripture (Psalm 35:16). Isaiah went on to say about "this people" (Isa 28:11) who "would not hear" (Isa 28:12): "But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken" (Isa 28:13). Notice the "precept upon precept; line upon line" is connected with Ephraim being "broken, and snared, and taken", not them understanding scripture. When was Ephraim "taken"? Earlier that century by the Assyrians. Isaiah then went on to warn the kingdom of Judah, so that God will not speak to them with the same judgement "Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem" (Isa 28:14).

If one wants to take Isaiah 28:9-10 out of their context, they can twist it to fit some agenda of theirs. But if scripture is read within it's context such an interpretation will not be reached, and thus other scriptures will not be misinterpreted by the faulty method of PUP.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Baptism kinds

Baptism kinds
By Shawn Cahill
11/8/20

I always find it surprising to learn that there are saints who believe there is only one kind of baptism that is referred to in scripture. The purpose of this short article is just to show the different kinds, so people can be aware of them, and thus better understand various scriptures that refer to the different kinds of baptism.
This can be done easily by simply searching the words translated as "baptism" and "baptize", and here are some examples.

1) "The baptism of John, from where did it come?..." (Matthew 21:25).
Also known as the "baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins" (Mark 1:4).
This was a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, that the disciples of Jesus also performed (John 4:1-2), but before Jesus died and rose.

2) "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19)
"Paul explained: 'John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the One coming after him, that is, in Jesus.' On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus." (Acts 19:4-5).
This was a baptism professing one's repentance, and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins. It is performed by man, and is also known as "water baptism" to distinguish it from the other kinds of baptism.

3) "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11).
"For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit." (1 Corinthians 12:13).
This baptism is the one the results in salvation (Mark 16:16 & 1 Peter 3:21), and is performed by the Lord himself. Sometimes people refer to this as "Spirit baptism".

4) "I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!" (Luke 12:50).
"and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea," (1 Corinthians 10:2).
This kind of baptism is a figurative way of expressing different things, but is included as often English translations choose to translate such as "baptism" or "baptized".

So I see at least three kinds of baptism, not counting #4 as such is merely a figurative usage.
Some people correctly see that #1 is replaced by #2, but they want to say that #2 and #3 happen at the same time.
In Acts 10:47 Peter described some people who were baptized with the holy Spirit:
"Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"
Later in Jerusalem Peter recounted this to some of the Jews:
"As I began to speak, the holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the holy Spirit" (Acts 11:15-16).
So first these people were baptized with the holy Spirit, and then after that Peter "commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord" (Acts 10:48).

Some people want to claim there is only one kind of baptism since Ephesians 4:5 says "one Lord, one faith, one baptism". First of all it says "one baptism", not 'only one baptism'. This shows that Paul had one particular baptism in mind, but which one? Consider the context:
"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:1-6).
Since Paul mentions the Lord he is not referring to #1 (the baptism of John).
Not everyone who is baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus, actually believes in him. Paul speaks to the saints who make up the "one body", so he is not referring to #2 (water baptism).
Rather the "one baptism" being focused on is the one that brings one into the "one body" through faith in Christ (Mark 16:16, Romans 6:3-4 & 1 Peter 3:21).

Friday, October 23, 2020

Emotions of God

Emotions of God
By Shawn Cahill
10/23/20

In scripture Yahweh is often depicted various emotions (or feelings), and below is a list of many such emotions.

Anger
"So the anger of Yahweh burned against them and He departed."
Numbers 12:9

Compassion
"Then Yahweh passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "Yahweh, Yahweh God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;"
Exodus 34:6

Displeasure
"And the thing which he did displeased Yahweh; therefore He killed him also."
Genesis 38:10

Grief
"For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways."
Psalms 95:10

Hate
"The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity."
Psalms 5:5

Indignation
"And I will pour out my indignation upon you; I will blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and I will deliver you into the hands of brutish men, skillful to destroy."
Ezekiel 21:31

Jealousy
"For you shall not bow to another god, for Yahweh whose name is Jealous, He is a jealous God;"
Exodus 34:14

Joy
"Yahweh your God is mighty in your midst; He will save. He will rejoice over you with joy; he is silent in his love. He rejoices over you with a joyful shout."
Zephaniah 3:17

Love
"Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end."
John 13:1

Pleasure
"and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."
Matthew 3:17

Some people reject this and claim that such scriptures are merely anthropomorphic, meaning they are not meant to be taken literally, but are to convey something about God.
So I asked such people; what are such emotions supposed to convey?
I received only two answers:
1) "They are meant to illicit emotions in the human."
This appears to be an odd answer as God is the subject matter. Apparently this shows "a part of Him", but not that man moved God.
2) "The letter of the word in some parts of scriptures hold apparent truths to help us understand scriptures and God better."
Apparently scripture saying God has anger is to help the saints understand that he is not angry.

Such answers do not seem reasonable, but I welcome any additional one's or clarifications on the one's I  have received.
I think it is reasonable to understand these scriptures literally and trust that God has emotions, rather than being one devoid of feelings.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Killing & war

Killing & war
By Shawn Cahill
10/17/20

This is a difficult subject, and one I am not currently dogmatic on so allow me to start my investigation into such from the beginning.
In my studying of God's word I am convinced that Yahweh values the life of man. I also realize that as the creator he has the right to decide when to end a life. Often in our world we have saints either taking the lives of others with seemingly no authorization from God, or claiming that such is permitted. Scripture condemns murderers (Revelation 21:8), with murder being unlawful killing. The question is where does God permit the killing of man? Many saints give the military (at least the one in their land) a green light on the killing of man. This made me curious where in scripture they were getting this allowance from, so I asked. Many times I was given answers such as "wars are exempt" but no scripture. 
One scripture was provided which I will go into:
-Numbers 25:6-12 "And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped. Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand. And Yahweh said to Moses, 'Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel".
The idea is that Phinehas decided to kill two people on his own initiative, and God praised him for the killing.
Earlier in Numbers 25:4-5 God commanded the killing of those involved in idolatry:
"And Yahweh said to Moses, 'Take all the heads of the people and hang them in the sun before Yahweh, that the fierce anger of Yahweh may turn away from Israel.' And Moses said to the judges of Israel, 'Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor".
So while Phinehas was not a judge, the initiative to kill these people was not his, but God's.

I then wondered:
If God wants man to end a life, how would he communicate such? Here are a few of the answers given from my fellow saints:
1) Through scripture.
2) Through a prophet.
3) Through good sense.
4) Through God speaking audibly.
5) Through some kind of personal nudge from God.

Number 1 & 2 can be verified through properly interpreting scripture, or through validating if one is a prophet of Yahweh.
I wondered about self deception, and then asked "Is there any way to validate number's 3-5? If yes, how?" Here's a few of the answers I received from some saints.
1) One's conscience that can be good or evil.
2) One's good sense.
I don't see how good sense validates good sense, and what man considers good sense may not actually be, as God said "my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways" (Isaiah 55:8). Nevertheless good sense is from scripture, so it seems like scripture, or a prophet are the only reliable channels for such direction.
With this in mind let's turn to scripture, as I don't have any word from a prophet today.

Below are a few scriptures that I believe can inform one on this subject with godly sense/understanding.
-Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image."
Here God audibly told Noah and his sons to kill those who killed others. Of course this was before governing authorities were set up, so is hardly a license for anyone to kill someone who has killed another.
-Genesis 14:15-20 "And he divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them and pursued them to Hobah, north of Damascus. Then he brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot with his possessions, and the women and the people. After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, 'Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!' And Abram gave him a tenth of everything."
Here Abram made the decision to attack the forces of four kings who had taken Lot captive. It says he "defeated them" which most likely involved the taking of lives, and this resulted in Melchizedek pronouncing the blessing of God upon him. Abram's motive in this example appear to be praiseworthy.
-Exodus 17:8-13 "Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. So Moses said to Joshua, 'Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.' So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword."
Here Moses made the decision to engage Amalek in war, and it is implied that God enabled Israel to be victorious. This may have been since the motive of Moses was to defend Israel.
-Exodus 22:2-3 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is beaten to death, no one shall be guilty of bloodshed. But if it happens after sunrise, there is guilt for his bloodshed."
Here God told Moses an allowance of taking a life seemingly if one thinks their life is in danger, though when such was not the case such a killing would be held accountable.
-1 Chronicles 28:2-3 "Then King David rose to his feet and said: 'Hear me, my brothers and my people. I had it in my heart to build a house of rest for the ark of the covenant of Yahweh and for the footstool of our God, and I made preparations for building. But God said to me, ‘You may not build a house for my name, for you are a man of war and have shed blood."
Here David was forbidden by God from building the temple due to his being involved in war. This implies that there are wars that God does endorse, or look favorably upon.
-Luke 22:26 "He said to them, 'But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one."
Here Jesus told the disciples to buy a sword shortly before he was to be arrested and later crucified. He then sent them out to preach a message many rejected, and this seems to imply that the sword would be used to defend themselves.
-Romans 13:1-5 "Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience."
Here Paul told those in Rome to subject themselves to those God has put in authority to punish those under their care who do wrong.

There may be more scriptures that can lend more to this discussion, but to sum up what I believe scripture shows let us consider the following:
1) Killing is permitted to restore captives from those who took them captive.
2) Killing is permitted to defend oneself.
3) Not all wars are endorsed by God.
4) Premeditated killing appears to be appointed to the governing authorities.

With this in mind every individual (including soldiers) need to consider if they have validation to take a life in God's eyes, because the defense of "I was just following orders" will not excuse murder.
This is a difficult subject, and as saints we need to always argue from scripture, rather than opinions which is what I mostly received while asking others about this subject.
If we feel justified before God in taking a life, let us always strive to " live peaceably with all" (Romans 12:18).

Friday, September 11, 2020

Judged according to

Judged according to
By Shawn Cahill
9/11/20

In evangelizing to the lost I have heard people say things like "God will judge man according to the ten commandments". I always found this odd since the ten commandments were given to Israel under the old covenant. This made we wonder what kinds of things will God judge the wicked for in the time of the new covenant. The below is so far what I have discovered, with some things possibly appearing more than once but under a different description. I'm certainly open to receiving any I have yet to discover. Many things are only in regards to the saints, as the wicked will not be judged for failing to preach the gospel, hence why such things are absent from the below list.

Adultery - 1 Corinthians 6:9
Anger - Galatians 5:20
Blasphemy against the Spirit - Matthew 12:31
Cowardice - Revelation 21:8
Covetousness - Ephesians 5:5
Denying the Lord - 2 Peter 2:1
Despisers - Revelation 21:8
Disobeying the gospel - 2 Thessalonians 1:8
Dissension - Galatians 5:20
Division - Galatians 5:20
Drunkenness - 1 Corinthians 6:10
Envy - Galatians 5:21
Evil desires - Colossians 3:5
Fraud - 1 Corinthians 6:10
Greed - 1 Corinthians 6:10
Hatred - Galatians 5:20
Homosexual sex - 1 Corinthians 6:9
Idolatry - 1 Corinthians 6:9
Impurity - Colossians 3:5
Jealousy - Galatians 5:20
Lying - Revelation 21:8
Murder - Revelation 21:8
Rioting - Galatians 5:21
Rivalry - Galatians 5:20
Self seeking - Romans 2:8
Sensuality - Galatians 5:19
Sexual immorality - Ephesians 5:5
Sorcery - Revelation 21:8
Starting destructive sects - 2 Peter 2:1
Strife - Galatians 5:20
Stubbornness - Romans 2:5
Theft - 1 Corinthians 6:10
Unbelief - Revelation 21:8
Verbal abuse - 1 Corinthians 6:10

This list may not be exhaustive, so if you have anything else from scripture please share it.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Salvation defined

Salvation defined
By Shawn Cahill
9/10/20

The Greek word most often translated as salvation is sōtēria [G4991], and the corresponding word in Hebrew is yeshuw`ah [H3444].
Both words convey the same meaning which is deliverance. Deliverance is "the act of delivering someone or something: the state of being delivered".
Scripture describes different kinds of salvation such as:
Exodus 15:2 - Deliverance from enemies.
1 Samuel 2:1 - Deliverance from being barren.
Job 30:15 - Deliverance from death.
Jonah 2:9 - Deliverance from the belly of a whale.
Luke 1:77 - Deliverance from ones sins.
Romans 13:11 - Deliverance from life in a fallen world.
Philippians 1:19 - Deliverance from prison.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 - Deliverance from the wrath of God.
2 Timothy 3:15 - Deliverance from the ways of the world.

In my experience, most of the time when the saints speak of salvation they are referring to deliverance from ones sins through the offering of Christ.
This salvation is the sole act of God, but one must believe in Christ in order to be saved (Acts 16:30-31). While God grants belief, it is the person who chooses to believe, and then salvation is the result.
As it says in John 20:31 "by believing you may have life in his name".