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Monthly Archives: January 2013


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Please forgive me for the accidental post that was incomplete!!!!!

This is a really important post:

Did you know that the Last Supper was a Passover meal? I like Leonardo Da Vinci, but as a Jew Jesus certainly would not have had a loaf of Italian bread on the Passover table as depicted in his famous painting. The Last Supper by Da Vinci

The Passover or “Sedar” meal is critical to understanding the powerful symbolism of the ordinance of Holy Communion that Christians around the world celebrate.  In order to understand the richness of these symbols of “bread” and “wine” we need to understand what they first symbolized in the Passover meal itself. Now Jews that do not accept Jesus as the Messiah celebrate a Passover meal as described below. Wait until you see how the Sedar meal points to the Jesus the Messiah. Jesus clearly re-pointed two key symbols in the Passover meal from its…

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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Seeing Jesus Christ in the Passover & Holy Communion-Final


Please forgive me for the accidental post that was incomplete!!!!!

This is a really important post:

Did you know that the Last Supper was a Passover meal? I like Leonardo Da Vinci, but as a Jew Jesus certainly would not have had a loaf of Italian bread on the Passover table as depicted in his famous painting. The Last Supper by Da Vinci

The Passover or “Sedar” meal is critical to understanding the powerful symbolism of the ordinance of Holy Communion that Christians around the world celebrate.  In order to understand the richness of these symbols of “bread” and “wine” we need to understand what they first symbolized in the Passover meal itself. Now Jews that do not accept Jesus as the Messiah celebrate a Passover meal as described below. Wait until you see how the Sedar meal points to the Jesus the Messiah. Jesus clearly re-pointed two key symbols in the Passover meal from its types and shadows to Himself.  Personally I believe that the first and second coming of Jesus are represented in the Passover meal.

I am going to focus on the key pieces and not the entire meal.  If you would like to see a nice presentation of the entire “Christ in the Passover” presentation watch this video from my friends at Jews for Jesus:

www.jews-for-jesus.org.   Christ In The Passover

So lets take a look at this important meal in the life of the Jews today and its power for both the Jew and the Gentile who accepted Jesus Christ as his or her personal Messiah.  The “Leader” of the Seder will take the first cup and say a prayer to begin the Seder. There are 4 cups of wine that are part of the meal but I will focus on the first and the third cup since they are specifically mentioned at the Last Supper.  Just wait until you see the powerful symbolism with the Matzah.  I promise you that you will never take communion for granted again!

Wine-Matzah-Scripture

First Cup, the Cup of Sanctification:

Let’s take a look at this part of the Last Supper.

Jesus was the Leader of the Passover feast “The Last Supper”

Jesus:  Luke 22:17-18 “After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.  For I tell you I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the Kingdom comes”

The 3rd Cup “The Cup of Redemption”

Say: This cup is “The Cup of Redemption” and is filled following the partaking of the Afikomen (bread explained next)  

The Hallel are the songs of Praise sung

Luke 22:19-23

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.”  23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

Jesus also said that the cup of wine—The cup of redemption—represented the cup of the New Covenant (cf. Jer. 31:31ff) in His blood.  Jesus raised this cup with the disciples and drank it. This my brothers and sisters is the communion wine.

Now, to the bread the most important piece of the Passover Meal:

Matzah Tosh

The Matzoh Tosh or Matzah bag

Note that THREE pieces of Matzah are placed into the Matzah Tosh.  The Matzah Tosh represents a Unity of 3 in one.

–       There are a few ideas on what this Unity actually is:

  • Some Rabbis say:  A unity of the 3 Patriarchs:  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
  • Some Rabbis say: A unity of Worship in Israel: Priests, Levites, and people of Israel.
  • Messianic Jews and Christians say that you are missing it for this clearly represents God:
    • 3 in 1 (There is 1 Matzah bag and 3 compartments)
    • This is one God but three persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Not convinced? Wait there’s more!

–       The 2nd piece of bread is called the “Bread of Affliction”.  Like ALL unleavened bread.  The dough is rolled out and pierced before it is cooked on a rack.

Matzah-2

Notice that:

  • It is unleavened
  • Striped
  • Pierced

–       During a particular part of the Passover near the very beginning, the 2nd or middle piece “The Bread of Affliction” is taken out of the Matzah Bag, broken, wrapped in linen and buried somewhere in the house. The half that is not broken is placed back into the middle pocket (more on that later).

  • This piece of bread is called the Afikomen which means “it comes later”
    • This is so important to the meal that the Passover cannot be complete until the Afiikomen is found.
    • The children try and find the Afikomen and the one who finds it is given a reward.

–       The Leader (Jesus in this case) takes this piece that is broken, buried and brought back with a reward for the one who finds it:

  • He breaks off pieces and passes it out to everyone at the meal
  • No food may be eaten during the evening after partaking of the Afikomen
  • Does this remind you of anything?
    • Jesus said take and eat and do this in “Remembrance of ME”

Breaking MatzahJesus said that this bread symbolized His body. How?

  1. The bread was without leaven which in the Bible represents sin—Jesus was without sin (2 Cor. 5:21).
  2. Jesus was the Bread of Life (John 6:48).
  3. His body was to receive stripes and to be pierced (Isa. 53:5, Zech. 12:10).
    1. 700 years before Jesus’ birth the prophet Isaiah wrote “He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities…and by His stripes we are healed”—Isa 53:5
    2. Jesus was wrapped in linen, buried, and then raised to life.

To me there is something interesting about the piece of Matzah that is placed back into the middle pocket. Now I have never heard anyone teach this so this is my opinion that I though that I would share with you.  Jesus already demonstrated that this second Matzah piece Afikomen represents Him and his first coming to be pierced, striped, wrapped in linen and raised again. Therefore, I believe that the second piece represents His second coming that remains hidden in God. In addition, the temple and Jerusalem are key to the Passover meal just as they are when He returns.  Just something to think about.

Until HE Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Uncategorized

 

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Romans 1 & 2: Dim the Light of Creation & Darkness Follows


Romans 1 Photo

This is a picture that I took of my Bible of a few verses from Romans 1. There are a few key words and phrases in this chapter that I have highlighted in blue, and I recommend that you highlight them as well.  The key words and phrases are:

gospel, faith, grace, exchanged the, natural relations, God gave them over

All of these keywords highlight what happens when we “surpress the truth” of the obvious fingerprints of God in creation “that have been clearly seen & understood”.  God’s fingerprints are external to us and visible in creation as Romans 1 declares and internal to us via a moral law on our hearts as Romans 2 declares. Ecclesiastes 3:11 adds another internal fingerprint of God “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” This sense of eternity really comes forward when we or one of our loved ones nears the end of life here on earth.

My contention is that the problem in our culture today is that we have attempted to explain away these fingerprints via the philosophy of materialism/naturalism in what is known as Scientism. Like a game from my childhood called simon, after the game “Simon says”, we no longer think for ourselves but follow “science says”, even in areas that science cannot possibly speak such as morals, ethics, meaning, purpose, and destiny. Since you are part of culture, ask yourself who do you believe God or man? Do you live by God says or science says? Science does not say a whole lot, but some scientists say a lot and claim too much.

simon says

Prominent Christian and the founder of the modern scientific method Sir Francis Bacon wrote that “there are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of Scriptures, which express the will of God; then the volume of the creatures, which express his power.” Though this is true, I would note that Romans 1 is stating that without properly reading the Book of Creation you will not properly read the book of the Scriptures! Think about it. How can a person embrace the truth that the Bible is the word of God if he or she denies that there is a God who exists to have a word? How can one embrace that Jesus is the Son of God if he or she denies that there is a God who exists to have a Son? How can a person embrace the moral law without a moral law giver?

I would go as far as to say that this last denial is why we are trying to medicate our bad feelings away. Guilt is our friend for it properly informs us that we are doing something wrong; guilt comes because we are guilty of breaking God’s moral law. Freud the father of psychoanalysis considered guilt bad so we must rid ourselves of these rigid rules. How is that working out for us?  The problem is that a person or a government can remove any moral law outside of themselves, but never inside of themselves. We can certainly make our hearts callous, but remove the callous and then tenderness of the law on the heart once concealed is again revealed.  Moreover, we want to not only surpress the truth but medicate it and try to remove the consequences. Guilt is an internal alarm shouting “warning warning Will Robinson” there is a problem! It is our friend and forgiveness from God in Christ is its companion.

Lost in Space Robot

Now back to the key words and phrases that highlight the key point of Romans 1. First, Romans 1:18 tells us something very interesting about the relationship between immoral behavior and our ability to embrace truth. Living immoral lives actually causes the suppression of truth. So there appears to be an epistemological link between our behavior and properly discerning truth. It seems as if bad behavior done over and over again makes our hearts callous toward knowledge of God in creation and His love for us as His creation. Second, we see an exchange being made in verses 21-23 where we then begin to worship Mother Earth over Father God. Third, we get really scary now where God actually let’s go and “gives us over” to what we want. He actually allows us to exercise our free will. As a word picture it is like my son running away from me and I grab his shirt at the last minute. As the shirt begins to pull and stretch I let go, and he falls. The more individuals fall the more the culture in the aggregate falls.  Rome became so self indulgent in fleeting pleasures that the empire fell and died of suicide.

What is dangerous about this death by suicide in the past is that it is looking like our future. The only way to stop it is to awaken people to the truth by restoring our own love of God’s two books: Creation and Scripture. When this happens, when those whom we love have the callous removed by the pain of suffering from the natural consequences of their sin against God we can boldly proclaim that God exists and loves them! We can look at them lovingly and proclaim that this God who created all that they see loves them so much that He stepped from eternity into time to suffer Himself on the cross in order to pay the penalty of their sin. The life of sin running away from God is what has produced the guilt that you are trying to surpress and ignore. As you were running from God he was running after you! Now my friend whom God loves dearly “repent then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” – Acts 3:19. Do you feel it? Now your guilt is gone not by suppression of the truth when you were lost, but by the expression of the truth on the cross!!!!!!

eh em, but first, we have to believe all of this ourselves…..

If you made it this far through this post may I ask you a question? Are you still reading the book of the Scriptures this year? If the answer is no, then spend some time reflecting today and see if it is because you no longer believe in the Book of Creation. If intellectually you do not believe in God the Creator then you will never embrace God the Savior in the fullness of what it means.

Reflection:  Have you lost the sense of awe and wonder as you look at creation? Is it then any wonder that you lost your sense of awe and wonder as you look at the cross.

Jesus on the cross

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Origins, Uncategorized

 

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Is Your Life a Box of Broken Pieces or A Puzzle of Purpose?


“Broken Pieces orKorea a Puzzle of Purpose?”

Exploring The Messed up Family Life of Joseph and the Purposes of God

Genesis 34  45:15

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

Many of us come from some pretty rough backgrounds.  God is now and always has been in control and all of the circumstances of life are puzzle pieces of the picture of your life that God is putting together.

But WE do have a choice to make! WE can either look at your life as a:

BOX OF BROKEN PIECES 

or

A PUZZLE OF PURPOSE

Our usefulness is dependant upon our view!

I do not know why God allowed the hurts and brokenness into my life, so I certainly do not know why He allowed the hurts and brokenness in yours.  But I do know that He knew that they were coming which is why Jesus never left us alone, He sent another Counselor called along side us.

Now, I do not think that he would have sent us a counselor if He didn’t think that we would need one!

Now they say that “You get what you pay for” and this Counselor did not come cheap.  He came at a price—the blood of Christ on the cross for not only your sins and mine which would be expensive enough, but for the sins of the world.

We are going to see how Joseph, seeing his life through God’s sovereign eyes as a PUZZLE OF PURPOSE, allowed God’s complete healing and restoration in his life. We are going to see how God was always present while Joseph was going through a struggle so that he would not fall to pieces and instead be utterly prepared to be used in fulfilling God’s purpose for for his life.

But before we do, I want to give you a little family background on Joseph.  Now He grew up in a really messed up family!  We will also see how throughout his life he was the victim of continuous injustices. Hey, there is nothing new under the sun—families have always been messy. Like many of us, Joseph has a messy family background that, good or bad, helped shaped him into the person that he is.   So let’s take a look!

 To begin with Joseph had 3 step-moms, 1 brother, 1 step-sister, and 10 step-brothers.

  1. Genesis 34 tells us that Joseph’s step-sister Dinah went to see her friends and was kidnapped and raped by the Prince of the land.  Her brothers Simon and Levi got so angry about it that they got revenge and tricked the men of the city then murdered every one of them.
  2. In Genesis 35 God tells us that sometime during Joseph’s childhood his mother died while she was giving birth to his brother Benjamin.
  3. Genesis 35 reports that while his Dad was away after burying his mother, the oldest of all of the siblings Reuben went and slept with his step-mother Bilhah.
  4. Genesis 37 tells us that his Father played favorites.  Clearly Joseph was his favorite and his brothers knew it.  Listen to this: verse 4 –Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varied-colored tunic.  His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.

To add insult to injury the Scripture says that Joseph brags to all of his brothers about a dream that he had where in the future all of them were going to bow down to him and serve him one day.

Genesis 37:5-8 – Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.  He said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.” Then his brothers said to him, ” Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

So this is Joseph’s childhood home:

  1. Step sister raped
  2. 2 brothers are mass murderers
  3. He loses his mom
  4. His oldest brother sleeps with his step-mom
  5. His brothers hate him

Pretty messy huh?

Not only is his childhood a mess, but from the time Joseph was 17 until he was about 30 he was a constant Victim of Injustice

——————————————————–First Injustice——————————————————–

Joseph goes to find his brothers and they see him coming:

Genesis 37:18-20 – When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer! “Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then let us see what will become of his dreams!”  (sparkling robe in the sun)

His brother Reuben tries to save Joseph from the plot:

Genesis 37:21-23, 25 – But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, “Let us not take his life” Reuben further said to them, “Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him” — that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father. So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him; and they took him and threw him into the pit….then they sat down to eat a meal…

His brother Judah comes up with the idea to sell him to the Ishmaelites:

Genesis 37:26-28 – Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers listened to him.

So, here is Joseph only 17 years old:

(1) Stripped of the special tunic that his dad made for him

(2) His brothers want to murder him out of Jealousy

(3) He is Thrown into a pit

(4) And finally sold into slavery

Proverbs 27:4 Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before Jealousy?

But God was with Joseph during his experience of injustice:

Genesis 39:1-5

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord  caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge.  It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; thus the Lord’s blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field.

Puzzle Piece #1: He is in Egypt

 

Puzzle Piece #2: God is developing his Leadership skills:

——————————————————–Second Injustice——————————————————–

However, Joseph loses his place of leadership when he is falsely accused of rape

Let’s be blunt, Potiphar’s wife has the hots for him!

Genesis 39:6-8 – Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. It came about after these events that his master’s wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, “Lie with me.” But he refused…

So, she sets him up:

Genesis 39:11-14, 19-20 – Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. She caught him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, she called to the men of her household and said to them, “See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed….Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, “This is what your slave did to me,” his anger burned. So Joseph’s master took him and put him into the jail…

Ah, but notice that he was never alone:

Genesis 39:21-22But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it.

Here is Joseph in charge, as a prisoner, of the entire royal prison.

Puzzle Piece #3: He is in the royal prison where he eventually gains access to the Pharaoh.

Puzzle Piece #4: God continues developing his Leadership skills and,

FASTFORWARD  

(1)           Joseph is approximately ~38 years old and his brothers are well advanced in years.

(2)           Joseph interprets the Pharaoh’s dreams that called for 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine.

  1. So the Pharaoh does what?  He makes Joseph second in command over all of Egypt!!!

 

Genesis 41:41-43 – And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put the gold necklace around his neck.

Puzzle Piece #5:  Pharaoh makes him 2nd in command

All of the prep work of the last 20 years gave Joseph the leadership skills that he needed at just the right time.

(3)           The years of the famine that God had revealed to Joseph in a dream have now begun,

  1. People from all of the countries surrounding Egypt have been coming to Egypt to buy grain that, under Joseph’s leadership, Egypt had stored during the 7 years of plenty.

God redeems Joseph’s Dream

Genesis 42:6-9 – Now Joseph was the ruler over the land; he was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. When Joseph saw his brothers he recognized them, but he disguised himself to them and spoke to them harshly. And he said to them, “Where have you come from?” And they said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.” But Joseph had recognized his brothers, although they did not recognize him.  Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them

  1. Richly dressed in a Robe of Redemption (God replaces his old robe)
  2. Dream fulfilled

“The God of the vision is the God of how to get there”

  1. Joseph tests them to see if his brother is alive
  2. He plants Silver Cup to keep Benjamin with him
  3. Judah begins:

 

Now let’s focus on Joseph’s response

(1)           Joseph now saw his life through God’s sovereign lens as A PUZZLE OF PURPOSE.

(2)           This set Joseph free so that:

  1. He could forgive his brothers
  2. He could comfort his brothers so that they wouldn’t feel guilty
  3. He could try and get them to see through this sovereign lens of God as well
  4. He paid the moving expenses to bring them nearby
  5. He provided land for them to live and provisions
  6. He could warn them to save their life even though they tried to take his!

It could have been different!

What if instead he saw his life as a BOX OF BROKEN PIECES:

“A tree of anger stands tall because of its bitter roots” – Pete Lackey

Sin is great—but He is greater still!

17 Years later.  Joseph’s family has settled in the land of Egypt and Joseph’s father dies.

Listen to this:

Genesis 50:15-22 –  When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, ” What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong.”‘ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.  Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.”  But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place?  “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. “So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. 

Conclusion:  God The Comforter is with us! 

The wounds were still fresh……the pain doesn’t go away, and the Comforter doesn’t either

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort , who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

  • Are you a victim or victor?
  1. The victim says “my life is A BOX OF BROKEN PIECES because of what happened in my life”:
  2. The victim is a slave and his body is a prison
  • The victor says “my life is a PUZZLE OF PURPOSE in the hands of a sovereign God”
  1.  The victor is a free man and His body is a temple

How about you?

Are you a Victim or Victor?

Do YOU see your life as:

A BOX OF BROKEN PIECES

OR

A PUZZLE OF PURPOSE

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 19, 2013 in Genesis, Suffering, Uncategorized

 

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The God of The Vision is The God of How to Get There


BIG BOOK OF BIBLE DIFFICULTIES Is God A Moral Monster

In December before we began the One Year Bible that I posted the “17 Mistakes The People Make When Reading the Bible” from Dr. Norman Geisler’s book The Big Book of Bible Difficulties. All of them can be found in order here.

As we have been reading though the Old Testament we see that the Bible accurately records the sins of some of its heroes. This actually is one of the things that serve as what scholars call internal evidence for the Bible’s reliability because the text is honest with the sins of its heroes. In contrast, many texts from history only report the victories of its heroes (some exaggerated) and immediately and correctly come under the suspicion of scholars. Though the Bible is honest with the sins of its heroes, it never condones those sins! Assuming that it does is a classic logical fallacy in reasoning known as the “is-ought fallacy”. This brings us to Mistake 11: Presuming that the Bible Approves of All it Records. It is worth re-reading before continuing this post.

In fact, not only does the Bible report those sins, it also reports the negative consequences of those sins. In the case of Abraham we continue to see the consequences play out today between the Jews who find their lineage of Isaac, and the Arabs who find their lineage through Ishmael. In Genesis 16 we saw Abraham and Sarah take matters into their own hands by “baptizing” a common Ancient Near East (ANE) practice of taking a servant girl as a wife to provide children for Sarah whom remained barren until God stepped in at His timing. As an aside, there is much archaeological evidence confirming this practice; therefore, confirming the historicity of these events.

Abraham knew full well that God intended from the very beginning monogamy not polygamy or bigamy.  Think about it!  Why would a just and holy God make a promise but have its fulfillment through sin?  God’s ideal for marriage is a one-flesh monogamous union between a man and a woman, a husband and wife.  If more women were necessary Adam had plenty of ribs left for God to use. Moreover, notice that the sins of the father passed down from generation to generation as Isaac, Ishmael and Jacob all imitated their father and took for themselves additional wives and concubines. As a father myself I can testify to the truth that more things are caught by our children than taught to our children. Kids are amazing recorders of information but terrible interpreters of it.

A pause for reflection: What cultural practice do you “baptize” in order to get what you want? Has God placed a vision in your heart? How have you taken matters into your own hands in order to fulfill that vision?

Reflect on that a moment before the Lord.

“The God of the vision is the God of how to get there” – Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

future-vision signs

Patience is a virtue, impatience is the vice. In our fast food culture many of us want to pull up to McJesus, make an order, and then pull around for a quick delivery.  But God almost never works that way. He is much more concerned of the product that YOU become through the process of:

Vision–>Development–>Fulfillment

He is the God of not just the ends but the means toward that end. His primary end though is a better YOU!

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 13, 2013 in Genesis, Suffering, Uncategorized

 

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Sodom & Gomorrah: Is There Archaeological Evidence of Destruction?


Archaeological Study Bible

Check out Associates for Biblical Research at  www.biblearchaeology.org for lots of information on archaeology and the Bible.

Here you will find some information about Sodom and Gomorrah taken from The Archaeological Study Bible.  This great resource takes your bible reading to a new level by including every Archaeologically relevant finding and includes it with the biblical text. ‘click’ on the icon above to purchase from Amazon.com.

What is fascinating is the fact that evidence for the existence and destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah started pouring in beginning 1977.  What was found is almost eery! Take a look at the find below:

Two victims of the destruction of Numeira. These two skeletons were found adjacent to the east tower, lying in the ashy debris of the conflagration which brought the city to an end. They were buried under the collapsed stones from the tower.

Picture taken from: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/16/The-Discovery-of-the-Sin-Cities-of-Sodom-and-Gomorrah.aspx#Article [accessed  8 January 2013]

Genesis 19 According to Genesis 19:24 burning sulfur “rained down” on Sodom and Gomorrah, obliterating both of these cities, as well as the surrounding region (vv. 25, 29). To date, the location of Sodom is still disputed (but note possible location of Sodom and Gomorrah indicated by a box and arrow on “Map 1” in the back of this Bible). Some people place it on the southwestern side of the Dead Sea, others on the north side of this body of water near the mouth of the Jordan and still others at modern Bab edh-Dhra on the southeastern side of the Dead Sea.1 Recently archaeologists have focused significant attention upon Bab edh-Dhra, where they have found evidence of several Early Bronze Age2 occupation levels.

Bab edh-Dhra—view east along the south wall. Note the
proximity of the mountain in the background. The angels told Lot,
“Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!” (Gn 19:17).

Picture taken from: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/16/The-Discovery-of-the-Sin-Cities-of-Sodom-and-Gomorrah.aspx#Article [accessed  8 January 2013]

Although a layer of ash and burned debris has been discovered in excavations there, the most dramatic evidence that this may indeed be the site of ancient Sodom comes from a nearby cemetery. The dead had been interred in charnel houses, or mausoleums, constructed above ground. Five of these structures were excavated and found to have been burned. A detailed examination of the largest of these (26 ft x 51 ft [8 m x 15.5 m]) indicated that the fire had begun on the roof. Geological investigations determined that an earthquake had added to the devastation.

Since there were several distinct occupation levels at Bab edh-Dhra (evidence of habitation at the site during various time periods), evidence had to be handled carefully. For example, there is a substantial ash layer associated with the occupation in Early Bronze I (the oldest of the Early Bronze occupation levels), but this cannot be associated with the Biblical destruction of Sodom because its ruins point to a date far earlier than the time of Abraham. In fact, this earlier, fire-related damage appears to have been the work of invaders. The Early Bronze III city is more likely to be the Biblical Sodom. A much larger city, evidence points to its destruction by a combination of earthquake and fire in approximately 2350 B.C. People evidently reoccupied this site in Early Bronze IV, but it appears to have been permanently abandoned for some reason around 2150 B.C.

Kaiser Jr., Walter C.; Garrett, Duane (2010-10-19). NIV Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture (Kindle Locations 4393-4412). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

I pray that this information was helpful in building your confidence in the Bible. It is also my hope that knowing the source of the information in this post, you will check out the Archaeological Study Bible and the wonderful work being done at the Associates for Biblical Research.

Equipping the Saints,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2013 in Archaeology, Uncategorized

 

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Jesus in the Old Testament


Jesus in the Old Testament

Here are some great resources about Jesus in the Old Testament, the Passover, and other feasts from my friends at Jews For Jesus :  www.jewsforjesus.org

How is the study going my brothers and sisters in Christ?  In today’s reading you will find the preincarnate Jesus Christ make His first appearance.  As mentioned in a previous postJesus Christ did not come into existence 2,000 years ago but He always existed as the 2nd person of the Trinity, true God in the Old Testament concealed but in the New Testament revealed when He came down from heaven to live a sinless life and die on the cross for us.

Let me do a short review of Jesus as God concealed in the Old Testament (OT) and revealed in the New Testament (NT).  As the Bible teaches in the OT: “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our own image, in our own likeness…So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Notice the plural references and then the singular.  God is telling us something about His nature, He is a Tri-Unity, a plurality of Oneness as He is only One God, yet 3 in person.  Mathematically speaking God in His nature is not 1+1+1 for that equals 3; He is 1x1x1 which equals 1.  Now we see the Lord Jesus in the NT revealed:  “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was GodHe was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made and without Him nothing was made that has been made….The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”[1] This is significant because this is who Jesus Christ is the Lord God all mighty Maker of heaven and earth, the beginning and the end, the uncaused first cause of ALL things.

As I mentioned earlier this is important because we have the first appearance of the preincarnate Christ; i.e., before He appeared in Mary’s womb.  I want you to write in the margin of your Bible “The Angel of the LORD” and mark every reference to Him as you read through the Bible this year.  The term angel simply means “heavenly being”, but mark the divine qualities of this being.

The Angel of the LORD is thought to be the pre-incarnate Christ because He does things that only God can do and never acts like a created being but the Creator Himself.  For example, in today’s passage we have the first appearance of The Angel of the Lord in Genesis 16:7-11[2].  In verse 13 the Scripture states “So Hagar gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’”.  Hagar knew that God appeared before her and the Angel of the LORD accepted her designation for there is no follow on verse that states a rejection as we find in other Scripture when merely an angel is treated as God.[3] Elsewhere we find that it was the Angel of the LORD that appeared to Moses in the burning bush[4], He took credit for bringing the Jews up out of Egypt and making a covenant with them[5] and more.

Enjoy watching Jesus show Himself throughout the Old Testament.

Until He Returns,

Peter P. Lackey, Jr.


[1] John 1:1-3, 14 NIV.

[2] Genesis 16:7-11 – The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered. Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.” The angel of the Lord also said to her…NIV.

[3] Revelation 19:9-10 – Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! NIV

[4] Exodus 3:2-4 – There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.  So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight — why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” NIV.

[5] Judges 2:1-2 – The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land that I swore to give to your forefathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, NIV.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2013 in Jesus Christ, Uncategorized

 

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