26 May 2020

A Few Thoughts About Evidences That One is a Christian

A1 Outline
B1 Changed life
B2 Changed attitude
B3 Changed actions
B4 Changed habits
B5 Changed motivations
B6 Changed love
B7 Changed talk
B8 Changed reading
B9 Changed studying
B10 Changed friends
B11 Changed fellowship
B12 Changed family

A2 Changed life
B1 Before
C1 Self and sinful pleasure
C2 2 Timothy 3:2-4 EMTV For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, not loving what is good, 4 traitors, headstrong, having been puffed up, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
B2 After
C1 God and pleasing Him
C2 Hebrews 11:5-6 EMTV By faith Enoch was translated [so as] not to see death, "and he was not found, because God translated him"; for before his translation he had obtained witness that he was pleasing to God. And without faith it is impossible to please [God], for it is necessary [for] the [one] approaching God to believe that He is, and that He becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
A4 Changed actions
B1 Before
C1 Seeks their own self.
C2 Romans 2:8 NIV But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.
C3 Also read Psalm 10.
B2 After
C1 Seeks God.
C2 Psalms 63:1 BSB A Psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah. O God, You are my God, earnestly I seek You; my soul thirsts for You; my body yearns for You in a dry and weary land without water.
A5 Changed habits
B1 Before
C1 Habits of thoughts, desires, words, and deeds that displease God.
C2 Proverbs 12:22 NIV The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.
C3 Proverbs 6:16-19 NLT There are six things the LORD hatesno, seven things he detests: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, 18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, 19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
C4 1 Kings 21:25 CSB Still, there was no one like Ahab, who devoted himself to do what was evil in the LORD's sight, because his wife Jezebel incited him.
B2 After
C1 Habits of thoughts, desires, words, and deeds that please God.
C2 Psalms 15:2 BSB He who walks with integrity and practices righteousness, who speaks the truth from his heart.
C3 Romans 14:17-18 NLT For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.
A6 Changed motivations
B1 Before
C1 This is desiring what is evil. The motive is to satisfy evil desire. Sometimes the motive is because they hate God and want to spite Him.
C2 Proverbs 21:2 NET All of a person's ways seem right in his own opinion, but the LORD evaluates the motives.
C3 Romans 1:30 BSB slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and boastful. They invent new forms of evil; they disobey their parents.
B2 After
C1 Now desiring to do what is holy. They want fellowship with Him, want to serve Him, want to be with those who also want to work for Him.
C2 1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
A7 Changed love
B1 Before
C1 No love for God. Have love for anything else, especially themselves.
C2 John 5:42 GW But I know what kind of people you are. You don't have any love for God.
C3 Isaiah 5:20 NLT What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.
B2 After
C1 Love God. This is seen in their actions in public and private.
C2 Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
C3 1 Peter 1:8-9 NLT You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
A8 Changed talk
B1 Before
C1 Evil speaking in all forms. It includes deception in all forms.
C2 Psalm 52:3-4 NIV You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. 4 You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!
C3 Romans 3:13-14 NIV Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips. 14 Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
B2 After
C1 Now we want godly speaking in truth and kindness.
C2 Psalm 37:30-31 NET The godly speak wise words and promote justice. 31 The law of their God controls their thinking; their feet do not slip.
A9 Changed reading
B1 Before
C1 The eyes and mind want to see evil.
C2 Matthew 6:23 LEB But if your eye is evil, your whole body will be dark. Therefore if the light in you is darkness, how great [is] the darkness!
B2 After
C1 Now the desire is to see goodness and the other godly character traits.
C2 Psalms 119:37 GW Turn my eyes away from worthless things. Give me a new life in your ways.
A10 Changed studying
B1 Before
C1 Many study how to be evil.
C2 Micah 2:1 NLT What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so.
B2 After
C1 Now we want to study God’s ways, thoughts, character traits, worldview, lifestyle, etc.
C2 Psalms 119:15 GW I want to reflect on your guiding principles and study your ways.
A11 Changed friends
B1 Before
C1 They want friends just like them.
C2 Psalms 50:18 GW When you see a thief, you want to make friends with him. You keep company with people who commit adultery.
B2 After
C1 We want friends just like the Lord.
C2 Malachi 3:16 GW Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD paid attention and listened. A book was written in his presence to be a reminder to those who feared the LORD and respected his name.
A12 Changed fellowship
B1 Before
C1 A desire to be companions with evil people who hate God and His ways.
C2 Isaiah 1:23 NKJV Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them.
B2 After
C1 A desire to be with those like-minded people who love God and His ways.
C2 Psalm 119:63 NIV I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
A13 Changed family
B1 Before
C1 Following evil examples and fellowships. Also in the Kingdom of Darkness.
C2 2 Kings 8:27 NLT Ahaziah followed the evil example of King Ahab's family. He did what was evil in the LORD's sight, just as Ahab's family had done, for he was related by marriage to the family of Ahab.
C3 Matthew 12:25-26 NIV Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand?
B2 After
C1 Following good examples and fellowships. Also in the Kingdom of God.
C2 Mark 10:28-30 NIV Then Peter spoke up, "We have left everything to follow you!" 29 "Truly I tell you," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--along with persecutions--and in the age to come eternal life.
C3 1 John 3:1-2 NIV See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

2 Corinthians 5:17 EMTV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, [he is] a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

25 May 2020

A Few Thoughts About Righteous+Unrighteous Anger

Righteous versus Unrighteousness Anger

How do we know the difference?

Psalm 106:32-33 LITV And they angered Him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill for Moses because of them; 33 for they provoked his spirit, and he spoke rashly with his lips.

Both God and Moses were angry.
Both were angry at disobedient, unbelieving, rebellious Israel.

One was righteous anger—God.
One was unrighteous anger—Moses.

The difference appears
B1 God
C1 Is the King of all kings.
C2 Is the Lawgiver.
C3 Is the Judge.
B2 Moses
C1 Is the servant of God.
C2 Is the prophet of God.
C3 Is governor under God’s authority.

There was a situation, a need, an appeal, a decision, and a command. God delegated to Moses.
Numbers 20:2, 6-12 WEB There was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron...6 Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and fell on their faces. Yahweh’s glory appeared to them. 7 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it pour out its water. You shall bring water to them out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink.” 9 Moses took the rod from before Yahweh, as he commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Shall we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Moses lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice, and water came out abundantly. The congregation and their livestock drank. 12 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn’t believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.

Moses did not follow the command of God. He disobeyed by hitting the rock instead of speaking to it. God told Moses that he did not honor God.
B1 Moses did not believe God or sanctify God.
C1 Believe God in this sense is to obey. Obedience shows we believe. Adam did not obey, which shows he did not believe.
C2 Sanctify God in the sense of showing God’s holiness. Just a word is needed without any human effort to strike the rock.
B2 Honoring God is related to recognizing that He is God, giving Him credit for all He has done, and thanking Him. Moses did not honor God by disobedience.
C1 Romans 1:20-21 NKJV For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
C2 Regarding Messiah: Daniel 7:13-14 NLT As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternalit will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed.
B3 In the College Press, it is written on Numbers 20:12:
Initially it appears that Moses will do exactly as the Lord has asked. He gathers the assembly and, after rebuking them by labelling them rebels, addresses himself to the problem. And what was his sin? Some have pointed to the fact that Moses used the plural “we” in reference to the miracle soon to be performed, thus seeming to equate his part in the miracle with the Lord’s; or, to say the least, sharing somewhat in it. Others point to the fact that Moses struck the rock twice, whether motivated by anger, righteousness, or impatience; still others remind us that he was told only to speak to the rock, and should not have touched it at all, Any one of these might have been enough, but if we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture, God Himself refers to Moses’ failure to glorify His name (Num_20:12), thus singling out the greatest offense.

I’m sure I would have done the same as Moses.

Nevertheless, the anger that Moses had, led to a bad decision with serious consequences. Numbers 20:12 CSB But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust me to demonstrate my holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.

Moses’ anger was unrighteous because it caused wrong actions. He disobeyed God.

The Lord Jesus had righteous anger. Let us study Him. (This is adapted from 6 Things That Made Jesus Angry).
B1 At hypocrites. God is interested in truth. We must be true. Matthew 7:3-5 EMTV And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not notice the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how will you say to your brother, 'Permit me to remove the speck from your eye'; and look, there is a plank in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.
B2 At greed. Many problems are caused by greed. We are to love God and His ways (fellowship, worldview, character traits, and lifestyle) more than money or anything. John 2:14-16 EMTV And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers sitting there. 15 And having made a scourge out of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and He poured out the coins of the moneychangers, and He overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those selling the doves, "Take these things away from here! Do not make My Father's house a house of merchandise!"
B3 Non-committal. We need to be one way or another. What is our real commitment to God? Revelation 3:15-16 EMTV I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 Therefore, since you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.
B4 Hardheartedness. Refusing to believe God and His ways. Mark 3:5 EMTV And looking around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
B5 Superiority. This is pride. The idea is, “I’m better than you.”
C1 Matthew 23:4 EMTV For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they do not desire to move them with their finger.
C2 Luke 18:11-14 EMTV The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men--swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, I tithe on all things, as many as I acquire.' 13 And the tax collector, standing far away, would not so much as lift his eyes towards heaven, but beat on his chest, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' 14 I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted.
B6 Practicing religious duties publicly for others to see and praise them. Matthew 6:5-6 EMTV And whenever you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites, because they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and on the streetcorners, so that they may be seen by men. Assuredly I say to you, that they receive their reward in full. 6 But you, whenever you pray, enter into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you openly.

We learn:
B1 When God speaks, take Him literally, at His word. He speaks to us in the writings of Scripture.
B2 Disobedience is easy.
B3 High emotional states can lead to poor thinking, which leads to poor actions, which leads to poor outcomes, which lead to difficulties for all.
B4 We are not to modify God’s plan.
B5 God gives us grace to do what is for every need. 2 Corinthians 12:9 GNB But his answer was: "My grace is all you need, for my power is greatest when you are weak." I am most happy, then, to be proud of my weaknesses, in order to feel the protection of Christ's power over me.

God help us all.

A resource of interest: How Anger Affects Our Body (pdf)

23 May 2020

A Few Thoughts About Deaconesses

Updated 22 May 20

Is it Scriptural?


One who serves the church of God (the believers in Jesus Christ) under the direction of the pastors/elders.


B1 Romans 16:1-2 WEL I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a deaconess of the church at Cenchrea, 2 So you may welcome her in the Lord in a worthy manner as saints and assist her in whatever matter she has need of you, for she has been a helper to many including me.
B2 Other Scriptures mention deacons but otherwise not much is said. It is safe to imply the qualifications of deacon to be applied to deaconess.

Other ancient literature

Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses.
B2 Likewise a number of times in the Apostolic Constitutions as here:
For let the bishop preside over you as one honoured with the authority of God, which he is to exercise over the clergy, and by which he is to govern all the people. But let the deacon minister to him, as Christ does to His Father; and let him serve him unblameably in all things, as Christ does nothing of Himself, but does always those things that please His Father. Let also the deaconess be honoured by you in the place of the Holy Ghost, and not do or say anything without the deacon; as neither does the Comforter say or do anything of Himself, but gives glory to Christ by waiting for His pleasure. And as we cannot believe in Christ without the teaching of the Spirit, so let not any woman address herself to the deacon or bishop without the deaconess. (ii 26)


B1 Duties of deacons/deaconess
C1 A helper for their fellow Christians. Phoebe was a helper to Paul and the local church. Note that she was of the church, so probably she was a church recognized church leader.
C2 Assist with financial matters of church, that is, believers.
C3 Assist sick, helpless, homeless, etc.
C4 Teach the Gospel, what we believe (doctrine), and how we should live (worldview and lifestyle). This is according to Scriptures as given by Jesus Christ directly or through the Apostles, prophets, and prophetesses of the New Testament era (only so because the Apostles could authenticate the teaching because they had personally been taught by Jesus).
C5 Evangelize (aren't we all?)
B2 Qualifications:
C1 Godly character: 1 Timothy 3:8-12 WEL In the same way, deacons must be dignified, not two-faced, not given to lots of wine, not greedy for filthy money, 9 Keeping the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 Let these also first be proven, then, if found blameless, let them have the position of a deacon. 11 In the same way, women must be dignified, not slanderers, free from the influence of wine, totally faithful. 12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.
D1 Dignified, that is, of good character.
D2 Sincerity, that is, not two-faced
D3 Not addicted to alcohol
D4 Not greedy, that is, does not have the love of money
D5 Know, acknowledge, be committed to the truth of Biblical Christianity as taught by the Lord Jesus
E1 Knowledge of Bible
E2 Knowledge of Theology
E3 Knowledge of Practical Theology
E4 Knowledge of God’s rules in the New Testament
E5 Knowledge of how to live the Christian life
E6 Knowledge of godly counsel
E7 Knowledge of finances
E8 Knowledge of how to study, apply, live, and teach the Bible
E9 Knowledge of the faith in order to defend the faith
D6 Be tested, that is, not a new Christian, but one who has lived the Christian life for a few years and has faced the trials of life and remained faithful. The Apostles were with the Lord Jesus for 3 years, so was Paul.
D7 If married, the spouse must also be committed to Jesus Christ.
E1 Good character,
E2 Not be a gossiper
E3 Sober (not addicted to alcohol or drugs) God wants us to have a clear mind at all times, so that we will be alert to make good decisions and to recognize spiritual and physical dangers.
E4 Honest in everything,
E5 Only one spouse
E6 If children, then obedient.
D8 Full of wisdom (not worldly wisdom but Godly wisdom)
C2 Godly wisdom: James 3:17-18 WEL But the wisdom that is from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, approachable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and without hypocrisy. 18 Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.
D1 Pure
E1 Pure has the idea of pure in God’s eyes and opinion. Pure is purged and made clean. The only pure is something that is down by God alone.
F1 Acts 15:9 NIV He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
F2 Hebrews 9:13-14 NRSV For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!
E2 It is consistent thinking and acting according to God’s rules. 1 Corinthians 15:58 BSB Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast and immovable. Always excel in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
E3 It is a purity of thoughts, desires, words, and deeds.
D2 Peaceful, that is, not a bully or trying to start a fight
D3 Gentle Even when needing to rebuke. The object is to have one see the error of their ways, repent, and be restored. We must think like Jesus.
D4 Willingly to yield, instead of being stubborn and pushy for one’s own thinking.
D5 Compassion, that is showing mercy, not giving what one deserves.
D6 Full of good deeds.
E1 This would be helping the brethren with needs. Some examples would be moving, house cleaning, mowing, driving to an appointment, balancing a checkbook, etc. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod describes their ministry as:
Where do deaconesses serve?
Deaconesses serve primarily in three settings:
Missions — both foreign and domestic;
Congregations — teaching, visiting the sick and imprisoned, or serving in family or other caring ministry; and
Institutions — serving as chaplains in hospitals, prisons, retirement communities, and facilities that care for people with developmental disabilities.
In order for a deaconess to be endorsed as an LCMS institutional chaplain, she first must complete a master’s degree in theology along with four units of clinical pastoral education (CPE). As an institutional chaplain, a deaconess provides valuable spiritual care to those she encounters, complementing the Word and Sacrament ministry of an ordained pastor.
E2 Remember the deacons are to be ready for this, too. If they cannot themselves, they arrange for someone to help.
D7 Free from prejudice. They need to treat all with compassion and according to God’s standard of loving our neighbor.
D8 Free from hypocrisy
C3 Not having earthly wisdom
D1 James 3:14-16 WEL If you have bitter envying and self-ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie against the truth. 15 This [kind of] wisdom does not come down from above but is earthly, sensual, [and] devilish. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there [is] disorder and every evil work.
E1 Jealous (of others in any way but especially abilities, etc.)
E2 Bitterness (long-standing anger may result in bitterness)
E3 Selfish
E4 Arrogant about one’s own wisdom(?) as compared to God’s wisdom.
E5 Leads to disorder and every kind of evil.
D2 Philippians 3:17-20 GW Brothers and sisters, imitate me, and pay attention to those who live by the example we have given you.18 I have often told you, and now tell you with tears in my eyes, that many live as the enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 In the end they will be destroyed. Their own emotions are their god, and they take pride in the shameful things they do. Their minds are set on worldly things. 20 We, however, are citizens of heaven. We look forward to the Lord Jesus Christ coming from heaven as our Savior.
E1 Their real god is themselves and pleasure.
E2 Pride of what they should be ashamed of
E3 Thinking of things belonging to this world (power, fame, glory)
C4 Full of the Holy Spirit (that is submitted to Jesus Christ and willing to obey the Scriptures at all cost).
D1 Full in the sense of the fruit of the Holy Spirit
D2 Full in the sense of dedication to God, His kingdom, and all His ways (thus God’s character traits, likes and dislikes, attitudes, desires, etc.)
D3 Full in the sense of ministry effect. Is there just emotional dedication and change from their ministry, or is there a life changing dedication and change from their ministry?


B1 Counsel and console
C1 Counsel by the help of the Holy Spirit:
D1 Proverbs 18:4 NLT Wise words are like deep waters; wisdom flows from the wise like a bubbling brook.
E1 They know how to listen, ask wise questions, and evaluate the real intent and problem.
E2 When asked, or occasionally offered, give godly advice.
D2 Proverbs 20:5 GNB A person's thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out.
D3 Proverbs 8:12-14 NIV I, wisdom, dwell together with prudence; I possess knowledge and discretion. 13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. 14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have insight, I have power.
D4 This would include financial, emotional, spiritual, etc.
D5 The so-called Biblical Counseling is abusive. A true deacon/deaconess will avoid it.
C2 Console
D1 This is prophesied of the Messiah Yeshua, but the Holy Spirit gives a measure that all of us can do the following. God gives the grace. A deacon/deaconess will have a greater ministry in this area because of the graces given by the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 61:1-2 NIV The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.
D2 Philemon 1:7 GNB Your love, dear brother, has brought me great joy and much encouragement! You have cheered the hearts of all of God's people.
C3 Counsel believers regarding any afflictions, situations, difficulties, and questions that they may have.
C4 Counsel believers on financial matters that the Bible teaches about.
B2 Be church administrator, be responsible for church finances, and other helps in the church.
B3 Work in and for the church/assembly/congregation. Philippians 4:3 NKJV And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.


B1 No Bible verse explicitly mentions the office of deaconess.
C1 Roman 16:1 is highly suggestive of it, plus verses speaking of women who have helped in the furtherance of the Gospel. Phoebe is addressed officially.
C2 The word “servant” used here is diakonos and is used in the letters that Paul wrote consistently referring to church officials.
C3 The word their is not in the Greek. Likewise, refers to both a deacon and a deaconess; they are parallel.
B2 The passage in 1 Timothy 3 refers to men only (husbands of one wife).
C1 So? The argument from silence that is, since it is not mentioned means it is wrong is possible.
C2 Again the word “their” as in “their wives” is not in the Greek. If it is their wives, then why aren't the wives of elders mentioned?
C3 Wilbur Pickering notes:
That's what the Text says, just 'women'—no article and no possessive pronoun. Because Paul returns to the deacons in verse 12, most versions take the reference here to be to their wives, but the grammatical construction of verse 11 is parallel to that of verse 8, which is parallel to verse 2. I take it that the grammar obliges us to see a third office in the congregation, one filled by women—deaconesses, or something of the sort. Counseling women can be dangerous for a man; certain matters are best handled by a mature, sanctified woman; if she has an official standing in the congregation, so much the better.
C4 I might add that women do understand women better than men.
B3 1 Timothy 3 was written late in the first century, so there can’t be deaconesses? Huh?


B1 Deacons and deaconesses by Gregory Brown
B2 This article has much information, but as always beware. Why Have Women Deacons?
B4 For further reading how the deaconesses minister is here.


B1 Christian women can be deaconesses.
B2 It is practical.
B3 It is spiritual for meeting the needs of the saints.

22 May 2020

A Few Thoughts About Hell

A Few Thoughts About Hell 
Modern views 
B1 Restored Church of God:  
C1 The most common image of people “roasting in hell” pictures a God willing to burn people for all eternity without ever totally burning them up. Apart from what the scriptures teach, ask yourself, what kind of God is capable of this? Modern “human rights activists” recognize the terrible evil of torture—even in its temporary forms. Would the loving God of the Bible design an everlasting torture chamber? If so, He would have to witness—for the rest of eternity—the suffering of those that He had condemned to such a “hell.” 
C2 We might also ask: How enjoyable could salvation be for the saved if they were forced to watch their children or parents—and other loved ones—screaming in pain and agony for the rest of time? Do you see the absurdity of this idea? Yet millions upon millions come to this conclusion when they accept the beliefs surrounding the popular concept of hell. (Source) 
B2 The Seventh Day Adventist believes in conditional mortality, but they are not very specific about it on their official web site. 
B3 Then there is the Evangelical Conditionalists:  
C1 Statement on Evangelical Conditionalism 
D1 Conditionalism is the view that life is the Creator’s provisional gift to all, which will ultimately be granted forever to the saved and revoked forever from the unsaved. 
D2 Evangelical conditionalists believe that the saved in Christ will receive glory, honor and immortality, being raised with an incorruptible body to inherit eternal life (Romans 2:7). 
D3 The unsaved will be raised in shame and dishonor, to face God and receive the just condemnation for their sins. When the penalty is carried out, they will be permanently excluded from eternal life by means of a final death, implicating the whole person in a destruction of human life and being (Matthew 10:28). 
C2 Ideas Rob Bell and other modern books and authors. 
B1 Athanasian Creed: 
39.He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty; 
40.From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. 
41.At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; 
42.and shall give account of their own works. 
43.And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. 
44.This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved. 
B2 Arminian Confession of 1621: 
"And finally, punishment, especially eternal, is unjustly and cruelly inflicted on him as disobedient by whom this obedience was not performed solely through the absence of that irresistible and truly necessary grace, who really is not disobedient. "We cannot here state how everywhere in the Scriptures it is affirmed of some, that they resisted the Holy Spirit, that they judged, or rather made themselves unworthy of eternal life(h), that they made void the counsel of God concerning themselves; that they would not hear, come, obey, that they closed their ears and hardened their hearts, etc. 
B3 Belgic Confession: 
The evil ones will be convicted by the witness of their own consciences, and shall be made immortal—but only to be tormented in the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 
B4 Westminster Confession of Faith: 
Q. 29. What are the punishments of sin in the world to come? A. The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission, in hell-fire forever. 
B5 Wesleyan Core Beliefs: 
22. Destiny 250. We believe that the Scriptures clearly teach that there is a conscious personal existence after death. The final destiny of each person is determined by God's grace and that person's response, evidenced inevitably by a moral character which results from that individual's personal and volitional choices and not from any arbitrary decree of God. Heaven with its eternal glory and the blessedness of Christ's presence is the final abode of those who choose the salvation which God provides through Jesus Christ, but hell with its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of those who neglect this great salvation. 
B1 Old Testament 
C1 God is eternal and so is His rule: 
D1 Isaiah 40:28 NRSV Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 
D2 Psalms 10:16 NRSV The LORD is king forever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land. 
C2 Life and contempt are eternal states: Daniel 12:2 NRSV Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 
B2 New Testament 
C1 Doing good is defined by God. It is only believing and trusting in Jesus Christ. No human is good except God the Son. John 5:28-29 NRSV Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. 
C2 Jude 1:7 NRSV Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. 
C3 Revelation 20:10 & 15 NRSV And the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever... 15  ...and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. 
C4 Matthew 25:41 NRSV Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 
B3 The Scriptures are clear to anyone who can read. 
A Few Thoughts About Hell 
Hell, torment, everlasting