For God so Loved the World
Inclusiveness - Can the entire world be saved?
Does the Bible contain the Theology of Inclusiveness?
My heart goes out to those that do not believe. Romans in the first chapter tells the reasoning behind the "why" I feel for them so deeply.
The Bible says, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power, and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1.18-20)
When is the last time you have heard this preached in your church?
The portion "because that which is known about God is evident within them" is telling. God has put it on the heart and mind of each person to know about Him. That is why they are without excuse.
If you commit rape - then go before the judge and expect the honor to let you go free you would be foolish. The same is true when you go before God lying, cheating, stealing, and a adulterer. You cannot expect God to forgive a lifetime of sinning and ignoring Him either.
Luke and Paul Traveled Together
Luke and Paul on Sin, Forgiveness and Salvation!
If you have ever told a lie you are a liar. If you have ever cheated on taxes or a test you are a cheater. If you have ever taken a pen that didn't belong to you then you have stolen. If you have ever looked on anyone in lust you have committed adultery in your heart.
One who participates in sins against the Father then needs to humble themselves and ask God for forgiveness. He will forgive you. Then please accept His Son Jesus Christ into one's life as both Savior, and the live as your Lord.
His Word also says, “Today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3.15)
Jesus was talking to a religious leader among the Jews at night when He told Nicodemus, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'" (John 3.6-7)
Paul told the Corinthians, "For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6.2)
In case you did not know Luke is recorded as the only Gentile author of the New Covenant. He certainly was the only Gentile who was included to write one of the Synoptic Gospels. An arch friend of the prolific church planter the Apostle Paul, Luke often accompany him on the Apostles missionary work.
There is every indication that Luke was even with Paul during his martyrdom. (see 2nd Timothy 4.11)
The Differences Between Groups
Christian History at the Time of Jesus
At the time of Jesus, there were certain groups: the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducee's that held positions of authority and power over the Jewish people. Other groups included the Sanhedrin, the scribes, and the lawyers which worked for these groups when it was expedient and politically correct for them to do so.
Each of these groups held power in either religious or political matters of the Jews and were either disliked or hated.
Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great by his wife, Malthrace, inherited the two regions of Galilee and Perea when his father passed on the way back to Rome. Like his father, Antipas had political wit which he used, working situations to great advantage.
Herod's example had taught him well, placating whichever group he needed to be appeased to keep the peace. Antipas was kinder, not paranoid as his father. His subjects never revolted against him,and things were quiet under the tetrarch's rule. (Tetrarch is a Greek title given to governors of some Roman provinces.)
Herod Antipas may be one of the most important secular figures during the life of Jesus Christ, for he ruled in Galilee, the region where Jesus performed the majority of His ministry. Antipas is also the Herod responsible for the death of John the Baptist.
History has also remembered Antipas' impact on the ancient world: his avid continuation of Herod the Great's Hellenization. His greatest flaw was his lack of character, and as this study will show, this failing was his undoing.
We Do Not Want To Live Like the Pharisees
What is Pharisaism? Pharisaism is making a value judgment on someone else based on one’s own assumed secure position with God. (re. Robert L. Deffinbaugh) Making a value judgment on someone else based on one’s own assumed secure position is a fairly common problem today.
I think we all may participate in Pharisaism from time to time. It is true that I did not specifically name any know atheist or agnostic in my example of some who will not be saved, but we must be careful not to make base value judgments that are reserved for our Father the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me also say that it is not always wrong to make a value judgment either. I have previously published that we live in a cultural environment with strong secular humanism firmly entrenched in all levels of education, the federal government, and the courts, industry, religion, and even down the street today.
Secular humanism as a general rule exhibits strong opposition towards charismatic Christianity. In these environments, we are probably safe to make value judgments. Here is a good guideline in making value judgments.
Before we make a value judgment we must be certain about our own position with God. That is particularly true as Christians where we should be loving, humble, and nonjudgmental about our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. The very word Pharisaism brings up the Pharisees of Jesus' time who were the religious leaders as the Lord walked the pathways of Judah.
Last is the Herodians (Mark 3.6, 12.13; Matthew 22:16; cf. also Mark 8:15, Luke 13:31-32, Acts 4:27) who cannot be identified as either a political party or religious group.
These were the Jews who supported and were part of the Herodian Dynasty, a Judean dynasty of Idumaean, and Edomite descent all the way back to Esau. The Herodian dynasty began with Herod the Great, who assumed the throne of Judea, with Roman support, bringing down the century-long Kingdom of the Hasmoneans.
Like the Sadducees, the Herodians joined with the Pharisees in trying to trap Jesus Christ by asking Him if were proper to pay tribute to Ceasar. (Matthew 22.15-22; Mark 12.13-17; 3.6)
A fascinating study of those in power, appointed by the Romans, at the time of Jesus Christ. The Edomites cheered the Babylonians on when they were taking the young Jews captive at the start of the 72 years captivity.
In summary, the differences between these groups were numerous. They include sociological, theological, and political. In addition, they also hated each other for the dissimilarities.
Nevertheless, they overlooked their differences and united in a common cause against Jesus Christ. However, our Lord reserved his most scathing rebuke for the Scribes and the Pharisees who joined together as a group in hatred and strong opposition to Him.
A similar kind of mixing of nations is to come against Israel eschatologically.
The Scepter Will Not Depart Judah
The Sanhedrin-The Scepter Departs Judah
The Scepter Departs from Judah? The Sanhedrin
In A.D. 6-7, King Herod's son and immediate successor, Herod Archelaus, was dethroned and banished to Vienna, a city in Gaul. Archelaus was the second son of Herod the Great.
The older son, Herod Antipater, was murdered by Herod the Great, along with other family members. The joke being it was safer to be a dog around King Herod rather than a family member.
Archelaus' mother was a Samaritan (1/4 or less of Jewish blood) and was never accepted. After Herod's death (4 B.C.?), Archelaus had been placed over Judea as "Ethnarch" by Caesar Augustus.
Broadly rejected by most everyone, he was removed in A.D. 6-7. His replacement was a Roman procurator named Caponius. The Sanhedrin's legal power was restricted immediately and the adjudication of capital cases was lost.
You could say this was a normal Roman policy. Josephus and the Talmud mention this transfer of power: This transfer of power was recorded by Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 8, also, The Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin, folio 24.
After procurator Festus' death, Albinus was set to succeed him. Before this could take place the high priest Ananias considered it a favorable opportunity to assemble the Sanhedrin without Roman knowledge.
He caused James, the brother of Jesus Christ, and several others, to appear before this hastily assembled council. Without Roman authority, the council pronounced upon the group the sentence of death by stoning, the Jews form of capital punishment.
In doing this Ananias immediately received strong opposition from a number of wise men and strict observers of the law who were at Jerusalem. Some of those who opposed this breach of the law even went to Albinus himself in Alexandria, to let him know of this breach of the law without his approval.
They also informed him that Araneus had acted illegally in assembling the Sanhedrin without the Roman authority. (re. Josephus, Antiquities, 20:9) Josephus not only mentions Jesus Christ and His brother James as historical figures, but it also underscores that the authority of the Sanhedrin had already been passed to the Romans.
Jesus before the Sanhedrin
Panic Reaction by the Sanhedrin
When the members of the Sanhedrin found themselves deprived of their right to adjudicate life and death, they covered their heads with ashes and their bodies with sackcloth, and bemoaned, "Woe unto us for the scepter has departed from Judah and the Messiah has not come!" (see Babylonian Talmud, Chapter 4, folio 37; also, Augustin Lemann, Jesus before the Sanhedrin, 1886, translated by Julius Magath)
To the Sanhedrin, they even thought the Torah, the very Words of God, had somehow failed! They should have known better. God never fails. Judah had lost the scepter, but Shiloh had come.
While the Jews were literally weeping in the streets of Jerusalem, nearby a young son of a carpenter was growing up in Nazareth. He would present Himself as the Meshiach Nagid, Messiah the King, on the very day which had been predicted by the Angel Gabriel to Daniel five centuries earlier. (See Daniel 9.24-27)
Scribes - The Writers of the Torah
The Scribes and The Sadducees
The Scribes Had Sore Fingers
The Scribes of Jesus day were those that studied and wrote about the texts of the Torah. Some Scribes belonged to the Pharisaic Party and wore long and very expensive robes as well.
If Jesus were here today, the debates would be different, however, they would be more shallow, and I do not believe if Jesus were in plain cloths anyone would even recognize him as anyone other than a newspaper or TV man.
Totally unlike the Scribes and the Pharisees were the political party called the Sadducees. They were the group who had favorable attitudes towards the occupying Roman government.
Dr. Diffinbaugh says about the Sadducees “They accepted only the written law and rejected the traditions of the Pharisees. They denied bodily resurrection (Mark 12.18; Luke 20.27; Acts 4:1-2; 23.8), the existence of the angels (Acts 23.8), and the sovereignty of God over human affairs, and believed that man is the master of his own destiny.”
Does this sound very much like the so-called Secular Humanists of today? Because of theological differences, they were not friends or even have cordial relationships with the Pharisees. However, you will recall they joined forces with the Pharisees when both came against the Lord.
They both mocked Him asking the Lord to show them a sign from heaven. (see Matthew 16.1) They had the clear sign of heaven standing before them. Of course, they differed with the Lord about the resurrection as well. (see Matthew 22.23)
Interestingly, most of Jesus Christ criticism went towards the Pharisees. However, you may recall on one occasion the Lord cautioned His disciples of the leaven of the Sadducees as well. (re. Matthew 16:6, 11)
I previously have written that "leaven" in the Bible, 22 times in the Old Testament and 17 times in the New Covenant, represented sin. The disciples in the Matthew 16 account knew exactly what the symbol of leaven represented.
The Pharisees > Not Bad Guys - Just Bad Rules They Could Not Follow
The Pharisees were successors to the Assideans,
The Pharisees were successors to the Assideans, a party of Jews in the time of Antiochus Epiphanies whose members led the revolt against Epiphanies and their heathenizing policies.
Josephus, the great Jewish historian, was the first to mention them in a description as being from one of three schools of which the Jewish faith was divided.John tells us they were a popular party. (see John 7.48)
The other two were the Essene's and Sadducee's. Jesus hated the rules these groups made and could not do themselves.They expected others to follow precisely and to the letter about the Law both oral and written they could not follow themselves. (re Matthew 9.14; 23.15; Luke 11.39; 18.12)
They were lax when it came to morality. (Matthew 5.20; 15.4, 8; 23.3, 14; 23.25; d the religious leaders of his day “vipers and snakes.” (re. Matthew 23.33)
The religious leaders came from a position that what they said and did was right in the eyes of God. They sincerely thought what they were doing was right. But all along they were sincerely wrong.
Instead of serving God they were serving the god of this world, Satan. The term Pharisee means “Separatist.” It seems the opponents of the Pharisee sect gave them the name because of the haughty spirit and holier than thou attitude they possessed.
To be fair to them their ultimate aim was to strictly follow both the written and oral law. When we read in the Bible about the Pharisee sect following the written and oral law this does not necessarily jump off the page now does it?
They had a tendency to look down on others who did not have a chance of fulfilling the complexity of the written law much less remember the oral requirements. The average person on the street looked up to the Pharisees who they thought perfectly followed the Torah. Jesus obviously knew they did not anymore than anyone else.
Jesus was fully God and man on the earth. He both created and condemned the Pharisees in the strongest of terms as being hypocrites. They appeared to others in their fancy garb and pious attitude as outwardly observing the law while inwardly doing no better than those they looked down on for not following the law.
We do not want to follow in these guys footsteps. We find in the Bible that not all the Pharisees were actually bad people. Dr. Diffinbaugh states, “Many of them actually tried to promote true spirituality and piety. Some of the well-known men of the New Testament were Pharisees such as Nicodemus (John 3), Gamaliel the Elder (Acts 5:34), and Paul himself (Philippians 3:5).
Some of them became members of the early church. (Acts 6:7) Paul used the title of Pharisee with great respect and as a title of honor (Philippians 3:5). As you know the Pharisees accused the Lord of committing blasphemy. (re. Luke 5.21)
Other Pharisees accused our Lord as being in cahoots with the devil. (re. Matthew 9.34) Jesus was accused of breaking the Law in doing good deeds on Sunday. (see Matthew 12.2)
He even prompted them to destroy Him even though their ears could not hear the truth. (Matthew 12.14)
The Age of Deceit
“Oh! What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott.
If Jesus were here today theoretically he would be instantly against the Sadducees of today - the relativists, religionist, and rationalists. He does not change, we do. We live in the Age of Deceit and many have fallen for the lies.
In the movie "In Age of Deceit: Fallen Angels, and the New World Order," they investigate why the New World Order and the Global Elite are tirelessly working to form a One World Government and who they are getting this instruction from.
One of my teachers Dr. Chuck Missler says, “Our entire society is totally driven by many myths, none more basic or insidious than the convictions of Evolution, the religion of our age. Dismissing for this discussion the observations of microevolution, the variations within species, but rather using the term in its connotative sense, referring, in fact, to biogenesis: the notion that we are all the result of a series of cosmic accidents.”
The complexity of the human body alone makes biogenesis untenable. Then add the DNA and RNA strings of complexity and information pushing the odds of the humankind a cosmic accident at 1 to the 152nd power.
Write that string of zeros (152 of them) sometimes when you are on vacation.
Pilate asked the maker of the heavens and the earth "What is Truth?" with the absolute Truth standing in front of Him. Have you ever wondered why Jesus Christ did not answer Him?
I suspect that it was because Jesus Christ judged Pilate's heart unable to handle the truth. When speaking of Satan "His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is mischief and wickedness." (Psalm10.7)
Soloman said, "Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil. But councilors of peace have joy." Isaiah speaks of "the offspring of deceit." There is nothing new about deceit among both men and women of the world.
The Psalmist said, "Deliver my soul, O Lord, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue." Where are the deceitful tongues of today? They are in the highest echelons of our government, in the sciences, education at all levels, the local governments, and down the street truth is hard to delineate.
Surround yourselves with those of like minds: brothers, and sisters that can strengthen and support one another. The Bible states: God is light, and in him is no darkness at all (1 John 1.5 KJV).
And ye shall know the truth, the truth shall make you free (John 8.32 KJV). Also wisely saying, "Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being…" (Psalm 51.6 NASB).
Speaking the truth in love you may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head—Christ. (Ephesians 4.15 NKJV).
Being Born Again
2 Thessalonians. 2.9-12
Matthew 3:1–7,Luke 7:28–30
Conclusions on the Topic at Hand
Conclusion on the Topic at Hand
As a Professor and Ordained Preacher of the Word I wish we could some way and somehow save everyone. Education in the last 50 years has abandoned God's Word as the basis for success in every field. Thank God for the Christian schools that have popped up all over the country. I thank God for the Bible Studies that have formed and are learning the Word of God.
I hope you learn from these short essays about issues and advice for the Christians of the world. God's blessings to you and your family, Dr. Gary E. Hill
Greetings: I would appreciate your thoughts and comments on the topic. I thank you in advance for your time and comments. Gary
Eastern America from 18,000 feet
Do you practice Pharisaism?
Do you practice Pharisaism in your life?
© 2017 Gary E Hill