It was understood of the Great Commission to make Jews out of the gentiles who believed
This week I am going to try and answer several questions and give shorter answers. These questions are from several readers and cover a variety of subjects.
If anyone has a question, you can forward them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try and use it for a future article or answer you directly.
Q. What is the original translation for the word "word" in the New Testament and what does it mean to "spread the word?"
A. The word in Hebrew is "davar" and Greek is "logos" and I won’t get into the mystical meanings of both but it basically means to teach the concepts behind what the word means.
Both Testaments are written from a Jewish mindset so that is where I would start to get the meaning of the words being used, and then there are cultural meanings and idioms.
To understand the Bible you must study it in its original setting, from a Jewish rather than Gentile mindset, keeping in mind its historical and cultural settings.
To "spread the word of God" we must know what God means by the words He used.
Anyone can tell me what God said, but not everyone can tell me what He means, there’s a difference.
Q. Some people believe that Islam is the religion of the false messiah that is prophesied in the end times.
Can you refute this belief or are they correct?
A. Islam is going to play a role, but it is not the religion of the false messiah.
The false messiah will claim to be "Jesus" and try to deceive believers.
Yeshua said that if it were possible, the very elect could be deceived, but of course they won’t, which tells me that whatever is being taught will resemble the truth, but it isn’t Islam.
No true believer would even be remotely deceived by Islam.
It isn’t even close, but if anything, the false messiah would claim to be Mohammed, not Jesus anyway.
The religion of the false messiah will be a form of apostate Christianity that promotes idols, Islam hates idols.
The false messiah will have an image of himself in the Temple, and sit as God.
Islam would not even allow a Temple to stand.
There are many more differences.
However, I do believe that Islam will be the religion behind the Kings of the East.
Islam and Christianity have fought before and they will oppose each other again in the Tribulation.
Q. Should we consider extra-biblical sources as equal to the 66 canonical books of the Bible, or should we trust those who put it together and only consider the books as we have today as Scripture.
A. I believe we can trust beyond a reasonable doubt that what have in our Bibles is accurate. There was a certain criteria used when considering these books and you can go and study what those were and God can use anyone to preserve what He wants.
One of the biggest areas that differentiates the canonical books from the others is the area of prophecy. Other books, when examined, just don’t measure up and as time goes by more and more prophecy is revealed in the books we have, and the others seem rather amateurish in comparison. I think people need to master the books we have before they worry about all the other books they may feel were "left out" of the Bible, but that’s my opinion.
Q. What does Paul mean when he says that he will be "all things to all men" in 1 Cor 9.22?
A. Paul is teaching the Corinthians how to relate to others who are different. He said he would accommodate customs and practices that did not violate the Torah. He says he will be as "without the Law (Gentile) to those without the Law(Gentile), though not being without the Law himself" meaning he would be like a Gentile but still observe the commandments as they apply (1 Cor 19.21). Paul was not going to compromise truth for the sake of unity either.
Q. What is gossip and how do we handle it?
A. Gossip, by definition, is small talk often involving personal or sensational rumors. We handle it by not listening to it and then spreading it further. Another thing we can do is to verify a story for ourselves. If you hear something, go to the person it is about and find out for yourself, from the person being talked about. But, spreading talk about anyone without verification is gossip, and it doesn’t have to be bad.
Sometimes we need to warn others about someone who is damaging others, or is dangerous and Paul warns others to stay away from certain individuals and even names them, but that is totally different then gossip. For the most part, you’ll know it when you see it.
Q. If Jesus fulfilled the feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, First fruits and Pentecost, why do we still celebrate them?
A. Well, the main reason is God told us to, and we know first century believers did, and these festivals will be celebrated in the Messianic Kingdom, with Yeshua Himself celebrating them. Another reason is these festivals fulfilled prophecy in the first coming of Yeshua. He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, resurrected on First Fruits and sent the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
Now, even the most ignorant of men can see that if these festivals were prophetic of Messiah’s first coming, the remaining 3 fall festivals of the Day of the Awakening shofar blast (Yom Teruah) or Rosh ha Shanah, the day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and the feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will play a major role in prophecy concerning the second coming of Yeshua. The same people who question this also celebrate birthdays, even their own and are often disappointed when people forget. Why celebrate a birthday, after all its fulfilled, right? And anniversaries. You married men who are reading this want to tell your wife that anniversaries will not be celebrated anymore because it has been fulfilled? Well, if we celebrate these things as a remembrance of something significant, how much more should we be celebrating the things of God and what He has done for us in the past.
Q. Are the Bible Codes real, and should we place any validity in the prophecies that are contained in them
A. The Codes are real but they are not to be used for telling the future because certain events may seem to be pointing a certain way in the Codes, but it really doesn’t mean that it will play out the way we expect. There is not enough information in them to predict things and you don’t know what to tell the computer to look for to begin with. But, I believe the Codes are a sign for believers.
The Codes tell me that there is an infinite mind behind the written words, that our days are determined before there is even one of them (Psalm 139) and this was determined before the world was (Eph 1.4). But, I don’t need them ,either because I can have confidence in the Bible I have today, the books contained in them and the words used in Hebrew and Greek. I can trust what it says. The Bible Codes were not meant to be read that way. God has been explicit enough in what He has written already and the codes were there in the first century but they weren’t needed to see that Yeshua fulfilled prophecy. Yeshua went to the written Law and Prophets, not any Torah code, to prove who He was.