The Twelve Tribes, Not Just the Church.

People generally know that the ten northern tribes were divorced by God and sent into exile among the Assyrians. What most do not know is that most of the twelve tribes actually went into that exile. Only Jerusalem and a couple towns nearby were spared that captivity. Even so many believe that the northern tribes became amalgamated into the Assyrian empire and disappeared from history.

James, really Jacob, knew the word that we translate as church. James 5:14 has the phrase, “let him call for the elders of the church”. So James knew the word we translate as church.

Unfortunately these days there is a tendency to spiritualize anything in scripture that is not understood or does not fit with doctrine. In James 1:1 he wrote:

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting.

Many will teach that James was writing to the church. This is partly true, but James wrote “twelve tribes” and that is what he meant. As I mentioned earlier James knew the word for church and if he had wanted to write church he would have. So to teach that James wrote to the church because one’s understanding is lacking on why he would write what he did is not honest study or teaching of scripture.

The twelve tribes were in existence. The Pharisees knew where many of them were living. Josephus wrote, “…wherefore there are but two tribes in Asia and Europe subject to the Romans, while the Ten Tribes are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, and not to be estimated by numbers.” The ten tribes were in Europe. Also Ptolemy spoke of the western isles of Britain and Ireland writing, “They were peopled by descendants of the Hebrew Race .” An early name for Ireland was Ibernia which meant “new land of the Hebrews”. Europe is scattered with grave markers declaring the tribe and family of those buried there. History also records that many of Israel were in the United States. One grave site was found near Knoxville, Tennessee . Those buried there were from the time of Christ.

So the point is that we have been spiritualizing anything we didn’t understand when we should let the scripture writer’s meaning stand. Take a look at John 3:16 and the word perish for another example.

Tim

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So Much of Our Past History is Almost Lost.

I have been reading Tracing Our Ancestors by Fredrick Haberman. The last half of the book has been very interesting.

I knew about the tradition that the prophet Jeremiah took the daughters of King Zedekiah with him when he left Egypt and that one of the daughters, Tea or Tamar Tephi married the king in Ireland. The ancient name of Ireland was Ibernia, meaning new land of the Hebrews. That marriage reunited the lines of Judah’s sons Pharez and Zarah thus continuing the several promises that David would never lack a man on the throne. See Ezekiel 17 and note the twigs, the daughters, being carried away.

Here is what I didn’t know. At that time in Ulster, about 580 BC, Zarah’s descendants had a religion based on Bel and serpents. Jeremiah demanded a renunciation of that religion and an acceptance of the Mosaic law and Yahweh as their God. Once this was done he gave his charge, Tamar Tephi to King Eochaidh the Heremon for wife thus continuing the lineage of King David.

This line eventually moved to Scotland and thus from there to the throne in England. Now when ever a man is crowned as king in England he must recite his lineage back to King David of the tribe of Judah.  The harp has been a symbol in Irish history and the stone of Scone has been a part of the lineage of the kings. It is said that Jeremiah brought David’s harp and the stone with him.

Quoting now from the book, “From this eradication of the serpent worship appears to have grown the legend that the Patriarch, St Patrick, drove the snakes out of Ireland.” Later the Catholic church changed this tradition to their favor.

Tim

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Abraham Was a Godly Man and a Friend of God.

There are times when I feel badly for Abraham. He has been maligned by many Christians.

James 2:23 “And the Scripture had been fulfilled which says “And Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness”, and he is called a friend of God.

Who else do you know who was called a friend of God?

I have heard people say that Abraham was was an idol worshiper and a pagan. Thanks to a translation error and misunderstanding of how terms were used in his day people also believe that Abraham married his true sister.

Knowledge and wisdom makes one wise to see truth. Although not inspired the Book of Jasher is a historical document that the scripture twice tells us to examine for more information. According to Jasher, Abraham grew up in the house of Shem learning God’s law. Terah, Abraham’s father, was an idol worshiper and at one point Abraham gave his father some grief about that. Terah also gave Abraham some grief about that grief.

Concerning Abraham marrying his sister here is the quote from Genesis 11:29.

Genesis 11:29
And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

Let’s take a look at two verses dealing with Abram and Lot.

Gen 14:12
And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.

Gen 14:16
And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.

Did you notice that in Genesis 14:12 Lot is called Abram’s brother’s son or his nephew, as we would say today, and then in Genesis 14:16 Lot is called Abram’s brother. So one might suggest that in Abram’s day the word brother could be understood to also include nephews. Let me suggest that the same is true for the word sister.

In the Hebrew language a noun can be singular or plural based on the context. Strong’s says that the Hebrew word for daughter is bath, 1323. If you do an Englishman’s search for this word you will see that quite a number of the instances are translated as daughters and also some are daughter. So now here is Genesis 11:29 with the word daughters instead of the singular daughter.

Genesis 11:29
And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughters of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.

Interesting! So now let’s get a second source for this idea from the Book of Jasher.

Jasher 12:44
And at that time Nahor and Abram took unto themselves wives, the daughters of their brother Haran; the wife of Nahor was Milca and the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai. And Sarai, wife of Abram, was barren; she had no offspring in those days.

Haran had just died before they took his daughters as wives. Abram then also took upon himself the care of his nephew Lot. Abraham knew God’s law very well and would have known it was improper for him to marry his sister. Sarah was actually Abraham’s niece. Leviticus 18 does not prohibit the marriage of a man and his niece. So it is helpful to remember how Abraham understood the word sister when reading the following. Keep in mind that daughter can also include grand daughter.

Genesis 20:12
And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

Tim

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A Comment about Missionaries and Giving.

The scripture has a lot to say about giving. Much of it is in the old testament, but is unfortunately ignored or not understood for what it is. It is not outdated if you understand and believe the meaning of 2 Timothy 3:16.

It is scriptural to ask for support to preach the gospel. We as a people are generally very eager to give. We give much more than is required and perhaps a lot more than we should. Then one should consider the meager results that come from most foreign missions.

Scripture says that we should give based on our increase. When a farmer plants a garden he receives an increase on his investment in that garden if it grows well. When a man goes to work he exchanges time for pay. That is not an increase. That is hopefully fair exchange.

It has been my opinion for many years that if we preached the gospel here at home and returned this to being a Christian nation then others would come to us and ask. As is we go to foreign nations and in their eyes push our beliefs on them. When they come to us it is something they want.

The gospel is really mostly already available to the world. The world does not really need more missionaries. Once the gospel is preached and accepted in an area then it should grow and flourish on it’s own after a point. Missionaries have been preaching through out the world for centuries. If after they leave an area and the gospel immediately dies there then it wasn’t because we didn’t water, but God did not give the increase. He is the potter and we can’t force people to become and remain Christians on their own. Seems we haven’t learned how to shake the dust from our feet and move on.

Let’s encourage those who want to preach to do it right here and they don’t have to leave their own congregation. Their local congregation may need and appreciate more help than any congregation in Ghana for example. They just don’t realize it. What we need are more people who dig into the scripture and seek the truth in the Hebrew and Greek with out letting church doctrine stop them.

Tim

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Politically Incorrect Scripture

In the previous post I stated that much of the non-politically correct scripture was hidden in the Greek and Hebrew. There is quite a bit that is not hidden. It is either read over or not understood for what it is I guess. Here is one example.

The churches teach that Christ came to save the whole world.

Matthew 15:24  But he answered, “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Remember the event? Christ was ignoring a Canaanite woman. When she came and worshiped before him his response was..

Mat 15:26  But he answered, “It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

So Christ’s response to this woman was to say that it was not appropriate to giver her the blessing that belonged only to the children (Israel) calling her a dog. Because of her response he made an exception. Remember, his intent at the beginning was to ignore her.

You can’t read through Romans chapter nine with out realizing that there are some who God has raised up to show his power. God is the potter and indeed there are some he has created for dishonor, infamy, that is the state of being well known for some bad quality or deed. Scripture makes it clear that God does not love everyone.

The Bible says that God hated Esau. Malachi 1:3, Romans 9:13
The Bible says that God does “hate all workers of iniquity” (lawlessness). Psalms 5:5
The Bible says that God hates “A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren”. Proverbs 6:16, 1

It’s not fun to have to write about what many would consider the darker side of truth, the ignored side of scripture. There is a lot more of it too. The churches only teach what is pleasant to hear with the exception of the occasional hell fire sermon to increase attendance and contributions. By the way, there is no eternal bar-b-que pit misnamed hell. Go read what is the symbolism behind the lake of fire. Then go read John 3:16 and see what it really says and not what is taught that it says.

There is one simple thing we could do that would have God over look a whole lot of sin and future punishment for us in this life. Simply, it is to observe a scriptural Sabbath. Don’t go looking to those who say they keep it today. Only go to scripture to find the correct answers. There was a time in the old testament when God said he would not punish Israel if they would only observe His Sabbath. Churches today teach that it is done away and in most new testaments it is hidden in the translation. The WEB translation got this one right.

Hebrews 4:9  There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

More information concerning the Sabbath. There are two articles there. I actually forgot I had already written one of them when I wrote the other. For more information about true Israel, those with whom the new covenant was exclusively made, see Christian Israel.

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The End of Christianity in America?

I have actually spent a few minutes this afternoon reading some of the current political and societal commentaries. Some of it talked about the decline of Christian America and Christianity in America.

Churches today teach a watered down love and feel good religion. I’ve been told by several preachers and teachers in churches that we only focus on Jesus. These teachers would never ever include the Jesus that said, “But bring those enemies of mine who didn’t want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.”, Luke 19:27.

It’s time that the preachers teach the full gospel. It’s not all love and good times. There is a lot of non-politically correct and even racial teaching. It’s hidden in the Greek and Hebrew, but it’s there. Most churches don’t even know or teach the real meaning of adultery, adulteration, yes even mongrelization. It’s in the language, but is ignored.

If we don’t get with it and proclaim true Christianity, one that treats all fairly, but holds to the whole word of God maybe God will let us fall until a new generation has had enough of the nonsense and returns to God with their whole heart.

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The Sin of Hybridizing our Food

I have been doing a lot of reading concerning food and diet recently. One of the things I have learned is that the wheat that is most commonly grown has been hybridized.

Many years ago we knew a banker who had owned a company that had experimented with corn. He was proud of the fact that they had manipulated corn to grow much taller, seven feet. I can’t remember his answer to my question as to whether they had increased the number of ears. Years later I learned more about the problems with hybridized plants in that their fruit usually lacked nutrition as compared to the non-hybrid or heirloom plant.

So my reading has shown that most of the original wheat crops grown in this country and most of the world have been replaced by semi-dwarf wheat, a very hybridized plant. It was heralded as the answer to the problem of starvation and promised to end hunger. It has in fact made a great stride in that direction. However now we are finding out that at the expense of having plenty of wheat we have created a monster.

This dwarf type of wheat contains Amylopectin A that spikes blood sugar and is very fattening. It also contains more Gluten proteins that cause inflammation and it is also addictive.  All of this I have read from several articles. They say the inflammation is what causes many major diseases the least of which include obesity and diabetes. Also according to what I have read poly-unsaturated fats from things like margarine have a connection to cancer and the production of free radicals.

So what does all this have to do with God’s Law? The seventh commandment forbids hybridization. Thou Shall not commit adultery includes the idea of adulterating farm seed. God made everything and said it was good. Man, in his arrogance, believes that he can improve on God’s creation. God does not make arbitrary law. Much of God’s law is for our protection and our health. Man has corrupted God’s creation once again. In the book of Jasher that is one of the reasons for the flood of Genesis chapter 6. The hybridization of our food is just one aspect of this corruption.

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The Old Testament is Important Scripture for Today.

In my discussions with people over the years I have perceived that many people might not really believe that the old testament is scripture. Verbally people will include it as scripture, but they don’t always seem to treat it as such. I have known some who will only acknowledge that it has a nice moral stories and some history, but nothing truly important for new testament Christians.

I would like to just briefly point out two scriptures.

Romans 1:2  “Which he had promised before, by his prophets, in the holy scriptures”.

Here Paul calls what we know as the old testament, scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16  “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice”.

Paul told new testament Christians that the old testament is profitable for reproof, correction and instruction in equity or justice. I do not think that most Christians give much credence to the last item in connection with the old testament. Most would tell you that the new has replaced the old for that purpose. Many would include reproof and correction as well.

The English translations make Paul seem very difficult to understand. That is why we have so many different groups teaching so differently about Paul’s writings. Some disregard him all together when the problem is the translation. If you believe that Paul’s writings are inspired then you must also give the old testament the respect and attention it truly deserves as scripture.

Tim

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Worship?

Over the years I have received numerous email questions concerning what we today call the “worship service”. Questions have included the items in this list.

  • Should we start with prayer?
  • Is it ok to have two songs before we have prayer?
  • Is it ok to sing or have a song during communion?
  • Is it ok to have singers sing for the congregation after the opening prayer and before the closing prayer?
  • Is it ok to have communion during the Sunday evening “worship service”?
  • Is it ok to have communion in a separate room during or after the evening “worship service”?
  • Is it ok to have Sunday school?
  • Is it ok to have women teach women in Sunday school?
  • Is it ok to have women teach young boys Sunday school?
  • Is it ok to have separate classes for Sunday school?
  • Is it ok to have Sunday school?
  • Is it ok to eat in the building?
  • Is it ok to use an instrument?
  • Is it ok to use an instrument after the “worship service”?
  • Is it ok to ever listen to instrumental religious music?

I suppose I could go on, but that is what I could remember just sitting here writing this.

The truth of the matter is that none of the above items are addressed by the scripture in the context of these questions. The only reason that people are even concerned about such is that we still have very deep ties to the “service” found in the Catholic church. The service that most of Protestant Christianity, including the churches of Christ, is at it’s root Roman Catholic in origin and tradition.

Here is one verse concerning what we do know from the new testament scripture about worship. Worship is something that we do as individuals all of our lives. Our entire lives are to be worship to God.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.

The word service in the Greek is actually worship. We can worship in a group, but it is not something we should always leave for the group to direct. Singing and praying are just a portion of how we can worship God.

Here is what we know from the new testament scripture about gatherings of Christians. When they came together they prayed and sang. They shared some scripture and teaching with each other. They ate together.

People get distracted by the admonition Paul gave the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 11 as if they were never to eat together. The admonition was given because they were not being considerate and polite in their gatherings. They were not waiting for each other. Paul then tells them that the gatherings are for fellowship and to remember the death and resurrection of the Anointed one. It was not a time for a drunken fellowship.

I tell people to consider the youth gatherings of the late seventies. It was during those years that I was able to attend many such gatherings. They were fun with good fellowship, but they were also great times of learning and praising God. We called them devotionals. They were very informal and all participated in every aspect of what we did together. It was always best when we shared a meal. You can not share a meal with an enemy. Meals are shared among those with whom you share a common goal, in this case the continuation and spread of Christianity. That is what I believe scripture teaches us concerning gatherings.

Tim

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What is Food?

I could just as easily ask the question, “What is Murder” or “What is Bearing False Witness”. Where do we find the correct answer for any of these three questions? If your answer is the government or the dictionary then I would ask you where they found the correct the answer to those questions.

God is the source for the answers to all of these questions. Many of our government laws were originally formed based on the answers we find in the scripture. Unfortunately those laws can change based on the whims of the people or the government. We can become used to things changing to the point that we forget that our God does not change. He does not change his morals, thus he does not change what is right or wrong, his law.

Food is not just anything you can put in your mouth. One could try to swallow every metal spoon they have, but the result would not be nutritious or healthy. One could try to swallow anything that they could put on a spoon, but that would also not be nutritious or healthy. Some might argue the health benefits of dirt so I will mention any mushroom one might find in the woods and perhaps rats for examples. Some have argued that since some do eat rats and live that it is fine. They will argue that anything that has been prayed over is safe to eat. If that were the case then no one would ever get food poisoning or an upset stomach from eating something that has been prayed over, but we all know of incidents that would negate that idea.

The false assumption is that scripture, specifically the new testament, makes anything you can eat, and not immediately die, food. Under a closer look scripture is very precise about it’s wording. It refers to food in Romans and Corinthians, but the subject is food that is offered to idols, not the definition for the word food. In 1 Timothy 4:3-5 the word food is used and we are told not to refuse food as it is sanctified by the word of God.

The problem that many do not see in 1 Timothy 4:3-5 is that scripture is not telling one that anything they put in their mouth becomes food because it has been sanctified by the word of God. Rather we are being told that we should not refuse anything that the scripture has set apart or sanctified as food.

1 Timothy 4:3  “who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.”

This verse is specifically mentioning foods that God created for us to eat not things that men decide should be food. I grew up Catholic and we were forbidden to eat meat, other than fish, on Fridays. Later I found that this law of the church was only followed in certain countries thus making it arbitrary. God does not make arbitrary law. Every law of God has a purpose. In the case of food it is a health law to protect us.

If you go back now and look at all those other scriptures, especially with the aid of the Greek, you will see that non-food items are never called food. “Things” is often found, but that is often italicized. The real problem that hinders understanding is Romans 14:14 that is mistranslated.

Rom 14:14  “I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing by itself is common; except to him who esteems anything to be common, it is common.”

I don’t normally check different bible versions, but prefer to look at the Greek. I was able to find only three versions, two of which were by the same man, that had the rendering agree with the Greek. Above is the quote from the Modern King James Version. Akathartos, the Greek word for unclean is not found in Romans 14:14. The MKJV above has common correctly translated from the Greek koinos. So how many have made an incorrect decision concerning the definition of food based on an incorrect translation of Romans 14:14?

What is food? Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 should help you decide. The basic theme is for one to avoid scavengers. Scavengers were made by God to clean his world. If we eat the trash eaters two bad things happen. One is that the world is not cleaned properly. The second is that we become sick and weak. As such we have an unhealthy and shortened life. One can not evangelize when we have some of the many diseases associated with eating non-food “things”.

Tim

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