J1 – Judgment of ACTIONS & Consequences

judgment of actions

Judgment of ACTIONS

Why do we have to die?

The first level of judgment is: There are consequences to every action! In everyday life, we have to give account for our actions to our supervisor at work or our teacher at school – or even worse, we must give account to our wife! ūüėČ ¬†When we disobey the speed limit, we must be prepared to pay a fine.

There are also physical (natural) laws that extract consequences to specific actions. If you jump from a 10-story building, there is a consequence. It is a physical reality in life. To quote a law enforcement motto, “If you do the crime, you serve the time.”

Although such laws (of the land, and of nature) were initially set in place by God (Romans 13:1), that is not what the “Judgment of Actions” is really all about. The Judgment of Actions is a judgment by God that is described in the Bible. It refers to the fact that¬†anyone – and everyone – who commits sin will die.

Ezekiel 18:1-4¬†The word of the Lord came to me: 2¬†‚ÄúWhat do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel:¬†‚Äú‚ÄėThe parents eat sour grapes,¬†and the children‚Äôs teeth are set on edge‚Äô?¬†3¬†‚ÄúAs surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. 4¬†For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child‚ÄĒboth alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.

Read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 18 to get a better understanding of our individual accountability.¬†Some teachers talk of “generational curses” and say that we must be forgiven for the sins of our ancestors. Although there are some personality traits that are handed down from others, this portion of Scripture clearly states that we are NOT responsible for the sins of our fathers (see Note1, Generational curses), or our children, or our national leaders, or anyone else. We must give account to God ONLY for what we have done.

Ezekiel 33:17-20¬†¬†‚ÄúYet your people say, ‚ÄėThe way of the Lord is not just.‚Äô But it is their way that is not just. 18¬†If a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, they will die for it. 19¬†And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so.20¬†Yet you Israelites say, ‚ÄėThe way of the Lord is not just.‚Äô But I will judge each of you according to your own ways.‚ÄĚ

Since all have sinned against God, then all must¬†die.¬†The only possible exception to the Judgment of Actions is that some people will be “changed” at the Rapture (see Note2, The rapture). But that is a different judgment so we will just skip over that thought for now and discuss it further in the article on the Judgment at Rapture.¬†In this study, we are looking at how each person¬†is accountable to God for his or her actions¬†and¬†how those actions result in physical death.


Notes

Note1, Generational curses. Please read Ezekiel 18 (the complete chapter) to see that, although some physical and emotional qualities are passed from one generation to another, and although some Scripture seems to suggest it, God disallows the idea that we are accountable for the sins of our fathers. For more, see our article on Generational Curses.

Note2, The rapture. The word “rapture” is not found in any of the common translations of the Bible. But, it is a commonly used term to describe the church’s elation at the event described in¬†1Cor 15:51¬†–¬†which says that we (the members of God’s true church) will be “changed.”


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Continue to the next article,Judgment at death.

Using Context in the Bible

context in the bible

Context in the Bible

Facebook includes lots of¬†images (memes) showing encouraging Scriptures from the Bible. Most are accurate quotes of a verse but is the concept they suggest¬†Biblically sound? What about the people who quote a single scripture as a “proof” of some doctrine? Is that proper? What could be wrong if they have a Scripture to back them up? To find out, we need to learn how to¬†¬†“correctly handle the word of truth.” Read the entire second¬†chapter of 2 Timothy to learn more:

2 Timothy 2:15, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.

There are some defined rules for studying the Bible.¬†Dr¬†Tremper Longman III has posted his “Seven Keys to Understanding Scripture” while¬†Ron Rhodes and Richard Anthony have “Eight Rules of Bible Interpretation.” Both of these lists (and many others) are great tools for guiding us in the proper methods of studying God’s Word. Although there might be slight differences of opinion between the lists, one thing that is common in¬†virtually every guide is to consider the CONTEXT of each verse.

Google’s definition of context:

con¬∑text¬†ňąk√§ntekst/ ¬†noun
1) the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.
2) the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

When reading a verse of Scripture, we must consider the verses prior to and following the verse – and how that concept is covered in other parts of the ¬†Bible. Rarely can a verse stand on its own without us having to weigh the other verses in the chapter where it is found. And, always, a verse must be taken in the broader context of the entire Bible. If a verse seems to “conflict” with other verses, we must try to ascertain why and attempt to resolve the difference.

Look at Matthew 4:6 (the temptation of Jesus), Read more

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Prior to getting started with the study of Prophecy in the Bible, we need to set some boundaries. The teachings held by some groups depend upon verses found in the book of Ecclesiastes. Can they be trusted? Why, or why not?

The Meaning of LifeUnderstanding the Book of Ecclesiastes

Solomon¬†(King David’s son and the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes) spent many years trying¬†to find the meaning of life. In the first 11 chapters of the book of Ecclesiastes, he reported many proverbs – things that seem to be common sense, but, under scrutiny, they are not always true. (This is why not all proverbs are to be followed. See Ezekiel 18:1-4)

Proverb:¬†a brief popular saying (such as ‚ÄúToo many cooks spoil the broth‚ÄĚ) that gives advice about how people should live or that expresses a belief that is generally thought to be true, Mirriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary

An example from Ecclesiastes: “There is nothing new under the sun”, Ecc 1:9. It is like the more contemporary phrase, “It’s the same old drag every day!” Although commonly accepted and never called a lie, neither of these statements is factual. Actually, tiny changes are occurring all the time. (Like the loss of our hair and the increase in our weight!) See our article on Change Blindness.

False Doctrines

Many false doctrines have their basis in the teaching of these first 11 chapters of the book.¬†The phrase “under the sun” is often by Solomon. ¬†In Ecclesiastes, it describes events as they are seen from man’s eyes (vice God’s view). From our view, everything seems futile and a waste of time. A prime example is Solomon’s statement (Ecc 3:19) that “the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both… (v.20) All go to the same place.” Indeed, from man’s view, this is all there is… we are born and we die. It is the same with humans and with animals. But the New Testament¬†clearly teaches that some souls will go to heaven while others will burn in the lake of fire.¬†(Rev 21:15)

Purpose of the Book

God’s purpose for Scripture is to help us understand – the Bible is not meant to be confusing. Evidently,¬†the purpose of these chapters in the Bible is to expose¬†the “meaningless” of life, as viewed exclusively from man’s viewpoint. A life (such as Solomon’s) lived without God is futile, vain, and meaningless.

Folly

In the first portion of the book, Solomon tells us how he tried¬†to find meaning in all manner of human endeavors, from the folly of chasing wisdom (Ecc 1:17,18), to pleasures of the flesh (Ecc 2:1), to fun, alcohol, and other follies (Ecc 2:2,3). He tried good works (Ecc 2:4-6) and wealth and it’s benefits. He tried various sexual delights, (vv. 7,8). He went so far as to say, “I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure” (v.10). But Solomon found no lasting benefit in any of them. He wrapped up his feelings:¬†“[E]verything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun” (v.11).

Conclusion

Understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes requires reading the last chapter of the book, where¬†the picture changes drastically when we “remember [our] Creator”, (Ecc 12:1). Our lives cannot be viewed exclusively from “under the sun” (man’s understanding). We must keep God (the Creator) in the equation if life is to make sense. And, when viewed from ABOVE the sun, (e.g., from God’s eyes), a man’s life clearly has purpose and meaning. In Ecc 12:13 Solomon states that after one has heard all the facts, “here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. (14) For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.“`

So, the bottom line for Christians today: The book of Ecclesiastes has real value but it has to be read with care and discernment. A¬†major portion of the book is a compendium of Solomon’s false steps toward fulfillment. And his repeated statement of the futility of trying to live a fulfilling life outside of God. In common language, Solomon is saying, “I have been a bad example. Don’t follow my mistakes.”

That concept is summarized in the last chapter. Therefore, any doctrine that depends on a very literal reading of verses from the first 11 chapters (man’s viewpoint – not God’s) is automatically questionable. Only Solomon’s comments in the last chapter¬†can be accepted as stating¬†the plan¬†of God.


This article is another illustration of how context can reverse the true meaning of a verse. To learn more about using context in your study of the Bible, visit our article on “Using Context in the Bible. ”

Now that you have¬†a better understanding of how to study the Bible, begin your study with our series of articles on the Judgments which individuals¬†must face. The first article is “What Happens When I Die?

 

01 – What happens when I die?

What Happens When I Die

 What Happens When I Die?

I have made a very unscientific study of what goes on at funerals. According to the religious preferences of those involved and according to the societal influence, the style and tone of funerals may vary widely. Some are short and sweet (well, maybe not “sweet”) while others are long and drawn out affairs.¬†Aretha Franklin’s funeral in 2018 lasted eight hours! Some are very formal while others seem¬†to be off the top of the head. Some are restricted to just the family and others are community events. But one thing that is common to all is what people say.

In every funeral that I have ever attended (regardless of whether the deceased was a “saint” or a self-proclaimed atheist), more than a few people said, “He/she is in a better place.” Has there ever been a funeral where that phrase was not uttered? I think not. Read more

Why Study End-Time Prophecy?

Why Study End Time Prophecy?

There are some significant issues related to end time prophecy  Рboth positive and negative. Here are some such issues that will illustrate the point:

Issues that may not be appropriate reasons to study prophecy:

  • Idle curiosity: Scripture is not written to satisfy our curiosity (Acts 17:21-23¬†& Is 55:5-11)
  • Test of fellowship: If a questionable¬†doctrine must be¬†accepted in order to belong .
  • Spiritual pride: Some act like “professional prophecy teachers” who claim to know everything about the future (2Pe 1:20,21)
  • Absolute symbols: Don’t look for a “concrete” definition of every symbol. Symbols in the Bible are intentionally vague so as to apply in varied situations and over a long period of time. (Symbolism in Revelation)

Reasons why we SHOULD study prophecy: Read more

Prophetic Timeline of Future Events

Time Line of Prophetic Events

Prophetic Timeline

(Updated Oct  26, 2018)

(c) Copyright 1999-2018, Ray Waldo,  Loranger, LA 70446. All rights reserved.

This single sheet Prophetic Timeline has a wealth of information about what future events. It reveals what will happen, and when, in reference to other prophetic events. Biblical references are given for each event with links to the NIV.

I hereby release the users of this site to make a small number of paper copies for personal distribution to friends. No charge can be made and no further distribution is allowed. Of course you are always encouraged to share this page on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc). Any other use of this material must be first approved in writing by the copyright holder.

Events on the Prophetic Timeline:

  1. Day of Grace/ Day of Wrath – from the cross to the rapture
  2. Saints begin eternal life
  3. First half (3.5 years) of tribulation
  4. Second half of the tribulation (“great tribulation”)
  5. Satan is bound
  6. Millennium – 1000 years under the righteous rule of Christ
  7. Rebellion at end of millennium
  8. Great White Throne judgment
  9. Endless eternity
TimeLine-1018c

Hover over the image to see the toolbar at the bottom. Use the curved arrows to move between pages. If you wish to copy/print this document, just click on the download button (looks like a down arrow ‚Äď on toolbar). Then click on either the little printer (upper right) to print, or the second down arrow to ‚Äúsave as‚Ķ‚ÄĚ and follow the prompts. The image will be saved to your local drive and you may print it with whatever software you have installed. (Please comply with the copyright notice at the top of this page.)

This is my outline for explaining the timeline:

Prophetic-Timeline-Class-outline

Your comments are encouraged. Please add your questions in the comment area below.

Holiness is Aweful (sic) – Can WE be Holy?

Holiness is Aweful

Holiness is Aweful

Updated Sep 5, 2018

(BTW, I know that “aweful” is incorrectly spelled, but it has a meaning… read on.)

There is a tremendous disparity in understanding of the doctrine of holiness and/or sanctification. The definition of those terms is a matter of debate among many teachers and preachers. It is also one of the primary differences between some major denominations.

Many people today believe that no one can be holy except God Himself. I have heard people “quote” the Bible as saying that. However, the Scripture they think they are quoting is not found in any Bible that I have ever read. The nearest that I have found to such a statement is Luke 18:19 where Jesus asked, “‘Why do you call me good?’ …. ‘No-one is good‚ÄĒ except God alone.‘” But this speaks of “good” — not “holy.” And even the statement of “good” is not to be taken literally – Jesus taught that true disciples would be “GOOD and faithful servant[s]” (Mat 25:21).

Still others understand holiness as the elimination of all sin in our lives. When I first joined the Church of God (in 1968) that was the prevailing belief about holiness. We were taught that “Christians do not commit sin.” The problem with that concept was that each of us (without voicing it) realized that we were failing in that area. The reality is that we DO fail God – even to the point of sin. But even frail, failing humans like us can still be holy. Read more

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