Few Messianic prophecies are known better than Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22, yet there are literally hundreds of others scattered throughout the Old Testament. In Acts 13:47 the apostle Paul quoted one such prophecy from Isaiah saying "I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, That you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth." Open up your Bible and follow along as we investigate the this quotation in its original context and discover the beauty of God's grand Word.
People who know me know that I am not up on most holistic practices. I am routinely informed of healthy practices, holistic cures, or naturopathic remedies that have been around for centuries and proven beneficial to thousands of individuals. I am not opposed to holistic medicine; I am mainly ignorant of it.
My ignorance lead to a shocking discovery a while back as a sister from church explained the practice of placentophagy to me. For the record, this sister was not advocating the practice, she was merely informing me of it. For those who are unaware of placentophagy, the name is somewhat self-explanatory. Placentophagy is the practice of a mother eating the placenta or afterbirth of her child to benefit from the iron, vitamins B6 and B12, as well as the estrogen and progesterone it contains.
Luke 22:35-38 (NKJV)
35 And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?”
So they said, “Nothing.”
36 Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’[a] For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.”
And He said to them, “It is enough.”
Why did Jesus command His disciples to get two swords and how are we to interpret this passage in light of Jesus' other teaching on the topics of physical warfare in passages like the Sermon on the Mt.?
A two part discussion of Jesus' contrastive teaching in the Sermon on the Mt. regarding the Sixth Commandment and His New Law.
For several years now I have been outspoken in my opposition to instruments of music being used in conjunction with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19) because of the lack of Biblical authority for such practice (Col. 3:17). Though most members of the church would agree we should not use instruments within the worship services of the church (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16), they would advocate their use is acceptable outside of services for personal enjoyment or entertainment. It is argued that Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16 are limited to worship services, though such is always assumed rather than proven.
In the midst of the Sermon on the Mt. Jesus uttered the following words:
From this passage it is argued that as Christians we must unconditionally give to anyone who asks regardless of circumstances or consequences. When strangers ask for money we are told Matthew 5:42 requires we reach into our pockets and give them what we have, without asking questions or passing judgment, lest we find ourselves violating Jesus’ command. Is Jesus teaching we must give to every beggar who asks of us without using any discretion or wisdom? What say the Scriptures?
Since Scripture cannot contradict Scripture, what appears to be a general statement may be limited by either the immediate or distant context. For example, when Paul later states “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat” (2 Thess. 3:10), we understand that the words of Christ must only apply to men who are willing to work yet are still in need. There is apparently at least one exception to the broad statement of Christ in Matthew 5:42. If there is one exception, could there be more? Indeed, there are. If a man becomes a false teacher, Christians are not to provide him with hospitality, even if he asks (2 John 9-11). If a brother is a thief, he is not to be fellowshipped by either a congregation or individuals (1 Cor. 5:9-13) even if he asks. Also, if a man borrows and then never returns, one should not feel obligated to lend unto him again for there is a difference between borrowing and theft (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
The Lord’s teaching in Matthew 5:42 is clearly not a passage to be held up to the exclusion of all other New Testament teaching on the subject of giving. In fact, when closely considered, Matthew 5:42 has little (if anything) to do with giving aid to random beggars (random being the key word).
The verse under consideration (Matt. 5:42) falls right in the midst of Jesus’ contrastive teaching wherein He compares the Old Law with His New. Over and over in the Sermon on the Mt. Jesus repeats, “You have heard that it was said… but I say to you.” (Matt. 5: 21, 27, 31, 38, 43). In the immediate context of verse 42 Jesus is contrasting the Old Law’s teaching on local justice (vs. 38) and national defense (vs. 43) with His own teaching on the same subjects. What does giving aid to random beggars have to do with local justice (or the law of retaliation) and national defense? Nothing. Christ did not merely sandwich a completely unrelated matter in between two topics that are related.
Rather than teaching His disciples on how to relate to random beggars on this occasion, Christ rather gives instruction regarding how His disciples are to react to those who persecute them. For example, if a man slaps them on the cheek, they must turn the other also. Jesus uses one form of bodily injury to demonstrate how His disciples must react to all bodily injury rather than meeting out an eye-for-an-eye justice as the Old Law allowed. When the disciples suffer loss of property (their tunic), they are not justified in going out and taking it back through means of force. When their personal freedom is taken from them (being conscribed to go a mile) they must bear up with a Christian attitude that triumphs over persecution. After receiving physical, personal, and unjust persecution, they must still offer aid when those who have persecuted them fall on hard times of need (Matt. 5:42).
It would be easy for a Christian to suffer through persecution and then be tempted to withhold the gospel, or forgiveness, or charity to those who had persecuted them when the shoe arrived on the other foot.
A somewhat modern illustration of the Lord’s teaching that stands out is the example of Corrie ten Boom. Having survived the Nazi holocaust of WWII, Ms. Ten Boom returned to the concentration camp where she had been imprisoned and saw again some of the very men who had treated her shamefully and caused the death of her own sister. How easy it would have been for her to wish them ill or to refuse to help them. Yet instead of hating and refusing to help them, she spent much of remaining life trying to help those men learn of Jesus. Though Ms. Ten Boom was not a member of the Lord’s church, her example did emulate the teaching of Christ in Matthew 5:42.
May the Lord’s people always be willing to aid those truly in need, even if those in need have spitefully used and mistreated them. Yet may God’s children also honor all of God’s word and not aid men in their wickedness.
In this final sermon from the 2016 Texas Labor Day Meeting, Brother Ronny Wade discusses a number topics this it is "high time" Christians consider and implement. Topics discussed include church faithfulness, church discipline, christian maturity, and evangelism.
I recently had a gentleman ask me to explain the differences between the giving of the Holy Spirit in Acts 8 and baptism of the Holy Spirit. I provide the following article for the benefit of others who might have similar questions regarding the work of the Holy Spirit.
is an evangelist of the Church of Christ in Arlington, Texas.