Archive for February, 2009

JOB – Real Man or Fake Man

February 6, 2009

Summation from my good buddy Matt which sums it all up….

Job was a real person.  He lived definitely before the time of Abraham, but most likely before the time of the flood (note the references to Leviathan and Bohemoth which some take to be references to dinosaur type creatures).

From what I can tell from the English translation, the meeting is not specifically said to be in heaven, but there is nothing to indicate that it wasn’t either – and it is most likely that the angels would present themselves before the throne of God — which is in heaven.  Therefore, I would take it as a reference to Satan having access to heaven at that time.

Scripture does not explicitly give us a specific time/place when Satan is denied access to heaven any longer.  Jesus speaks of seeing Satan falling from heaven like lightning (Luke 10:18), but the exact reference is unclear.

Some say that Satan has been permanently barred from heaven since the crucifixion – the time when he is no longer able to accuse men before God because their sin has been covered by the blood of Christ.  Others posit some time between Job and Christ.

In any case, Satan can no longer accuse us before God (only in our own consciences) because Christ has paid our debt once and for all and Satan has no claim and nothing to argue before God.

I found another summary which looks like a decent starting place.  I can’t say I agree with everything on it (at least not without a bit more study), bit the author does a good job separating his opinion from the clear testimony of Scripture.

Ultimately, there are few things that can be said with certainty about Satan/Angels/etc. (although it does make for some fun speculation sometimes).   Scripture is the story of God’s redemption of mankind – it points out our need for redemption and God’s disposition toward us (including what He has done to accomplish our redemption).  This is where Melanchthon came up with the distinction of "Law" and "Promises".   These things sometimes touch on other areas (including demons and angels), but those other areas are tangental to the real story of Scripture.

The consolation with regard to Satan and the evil angels is that God continually keeps them in Check and while they try to upset God’s will and work, they ultimately operate only with His permission (Cxref Job) and while He neither wills or authors evil, he uses even their activity to accomplish his purposes (cxref the crucifixion where the forces of evil conspired to kill Christ yet God utilized it for the salvation of mankind).

Another help would be A. L. Graebner

Graebner’s Outlines of Doctinal theology (points reproduced below with scriptures cited by Graebner):

59: Within the six days of creation (Gen 2:2; Ex 20:11) God made a great multitude (Dan 7:10; Rev 5:11; Luke 2:13) of angels.

60. Angels are finite spirits, (Ps. 104:4, Hebr 1:14) without bodies, and complete in their spiritual nature (Luke 24:39), personal (Lk 1:19; Dan. 8:16), rational (Lk 15:10, 1 Pe. 1:12), and moral (Mt 25:31; 1 Tim 5:21) beings of great but limited (Mk 13:32) wisdom (2 Sam 14:20) and power (2 Thess 1:17, Ps 103:20 cxref 1 Kings 19:32-35), and of various ranks and orders (1 Pe 3:22; 1 Thess 4:16).

61. Angels, being sexless (Mt 22:30 cxref Mk 12:25) do not propagate their kind, and also being immortal in incorruptible (Lk 20:36), their number is neither increased nor diminished.

62. All angels were created perfectly good and holy (Gen 1:31; Mt 25:31) but a part of only of their number remained in their original estate (1 Tim 5:21; Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4).

63. Those angels who persevered in their primeval state were, in accordance with divine election (1 Tim 5:21), confirmed (Mt 18:10) in holiness (Mt 25:31) and in the enjoyment of everlasting bliss and communion with God (Mt 18:10; Lk 20:36) in a state of glory (Mt 25:31).

64. The good angels serve God in worshiping Him (Dan 7:10), doing His pleasure, and executing His commandments as His messengers and ministers (Ps 103:21) for the promotion of His purposes (Mt. 1:20; Mt 28:2, Mt 4:11, Lk 22:43) especially in the Church and for the protection and guidance of the heirs of salvation (Hebr 1:14, Mt 18:10, Ps 34:7; Ps 91:11; Mt 24:31; Mt 13:39; Lk 16:22).

65. A multitude (Mk 5:9) of angels (Jude 6) left their first estate and make the beginning of sin (1 Jn 3:8; 2 Pet 2:4), became evil spirits (Mk 1:23; Eph 6:12), or devils (1 Cor 10:20; Mk 5:12) with perverted and depraved intellectual and moral faculties (Mt 4:6; Jn 8:44; Gen 3:4).

66.  The evil angels were by the just judgment of God condemned to everlasting punishment in a confirmed state of wrath. (Mt 25:41; 2 Pet 2:4; Jude 6)

67.  The evil angels, being since their fall enemies of God and of His children (Mt 13:25,39; 1 Pet 5:8 Eph 6:11-12), are under their princes (Mt 25:41 – cxref Eph 6:12) ever bent upon destroying the works of God (1 Pet 5:8; cxref Gen 3:1-6; Mt 15:22; Lk 9:39), countering His purposes (Mt 13:19; Mt 13:25,26,38), doing and promoting evil (Jn 13:2; Eph 2:2; 2 Thess 2:9; cxref 1 Chron 21:1; Acts 5:3,4), and, though subject to God’s supreme dominion and control and confined within the con bounds of His permission (Job 1:12; Job 2:6 cxref Mt 8:31,32), they are in various ways occupied in strengthening their kingdom (Lk 11:18; Lk 11:24-26) and exerting their power in the minds (Acts 5:3; 2 Cor 4:4; cxref Lk 11:26; Eph 2:2; Jn 13:2; Judas) and bodies of men (2 Cor 12:7; Lk 13:16; cxref Mt 9:17,18,20; cf Job 1 and 2).

Concordia Seminary – Update

February 6, 2009


Well, the word is already out and I never say it here.  I was accepted into Concordia Seminary on January 12, 2009.  Which means my 33rd birthday now ranks right on the level of the day I got married, was baptized, confirmed, and the births of my four children.  I still plan on working for as long as I can which probably means at most the next two years.  However, my most important priorities will be studying as I progress forward.  It has been a very emotional ride during this process to get to this point.  Now, it seems like June is a lifetime away.  Just knowing I’ll be able to read the Bible in its original text has been something I’ve wanted to do for the past 10 years of my life.  So, that means some hardcore classes in Greek and Hebrew.  Which also means I’ll be able to read the spam messages at work that come in written in Aramaic or Hebrew.

Watch Saint Louis, here I come.  See ya in June.

Trends and Tides

February 6, 2009

Life is about trials and tribulations.  Life is muddled with high and low points.  It is these experiences that shape us as Christians and how we as Christian react to different situations.

The Bible tells us when two or three are gathered in God’s name he is there with them (Matthew 18:20).  Then how is it Christians use this time to plot against the church and God’s ministry?  I’m not questioning scripture, I am questioning the lack of focus to what is important in our daily walk. 

In this post-modern world we have made church services less about God and more about ourselves.  For me (and this is no disrespect to anyone else), the Word stands alone in a service.  Meaning when I sit down in a service regardless if it is traditional or contemporary, I am focused in on the Word of God.  Everything else is fluff or ways to focus in on the Word.  I go to church each week for 1. Corporate Absolution, 2. The Lord’s Supper, and 3. the preaching of God’s Word.  I’ve only found out in the past four years, that I’m the minority in this thinking.  Do I like music? Yes.  Does it make or break my worship experience?  Not at all.  I know what I believe and why I believe.  The same can’t said for everyone else and there in lies our issues in the church.

So let’s get to the title at hand “Trends and Tides”.  I think everyone would agree when things are going good at a church everyone is seemingly on the same page.  However, when the church goes down one of those valleys do the members stick together under one common goal or do the members begin to form factions to forward their own personal wants in the church?  Unfortunately, a little of both happens which means the time in valley last longer than expected.  Sounds familiar doesn’t it?  People wandering in the desert for 40 years because they made things about themselves and not God.  So, God weeded out those that doubted and worked against him and they weren’t around to crossover into the Promise Land.  When will we as Christians learn from examples of the past?

When has church been about entertaining those in attendance?  During all of the scenarios of Jesus and the Apostles this wasn’t the case.  The preached the Gospel in accordance to the Great Commission.  At no point was it about making us feel good, but to reassure us even as sinful and disobedient children that he sent his Son to die for our sins and give us everlasting life.  Be happy and praise the Lord because of what he has done for you.  Not because the choir sang a song well, the band really rocked a song, or the preacher made your heart skip a beat.  Understand that is the Spirit working through them to further God’s ministry.  Understand that it isn’t the deliver of a particular pastor, it is the Word that matters.  Understand that unless we receive a steady dosage of Law (Shows our Sins) and Gospel (Shows our Salvation) we are missing out.

Our priorities as Christians need to be focus less on furthering our own ministry and more on God’s ministry.  What do the pastors say?  Let me decrease while your (God’s) will be increased.  Christians use the Bible as a guide, the ultimate compass in living your life.  Let the Holy Spirit work within you and let those who have other gifts do their work as the Spirit works within them.  Christians come together in the darkest of times.  9/11 was dreadful time, but one of the awe inspiring times of my life.  Multitudes gave up fighting the Spirit and made their ways into church to pray for guidance.  Then why is it when a church goes through a dark time, Christians pick up and leave.  They abandon the church they called home, they stop worshipping all together, or they join a different church to blend in with the crowd for no accountability.

Maybe this is just a smaller issue with the lack of training faithful and competent disciples to go forth in the world to spread God’s Word. Thoughts?

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