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I have often mistakenly thought King Agrippa was paying Paul sort of a compliment in the passage below. I thought Agrippa was saying or implying that Paul had preached to him so eloquently, so persuasively, that Agrippa was sitting on the fence between doubt and belief. But looking further into the passage and the etymology of the word "Christian" has convinced me otherwise.
Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
What does Christian mean?
EcretinPronunciation /ˈkrētn/ /ˈkritn/ Translate cretin into Spanish
But what does the Bible say about these Cretians?
12One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;
WAIT! Before anyone becomes offended remember, the wisdom of this world is foolishness to G-d, and the wisdom of G-d is foolishness to this world.
So, although it seems to turn out the term "Christian" was meant in a derogatory way, those who obey the gospel , although looked upon by the world as idiots, ought not be ashamed for their faith and obedience .
1 Peter 4:15-17
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.
16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
Although the Cretians were often seen as evildoers, Peter in the above scripture is telling the believers to not suffer as a person who is an evildoer, but if you are to suffer as a Christian, or someone thought of as an (idiot/fool), don't be ashamed.
1 Peter 2:12
Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
No wonder the Apostle Paul said these things-
Ya'll know the Nazarites lived in the land of Canaan (Africa) with "black" people... Not only was their visage blacker than coals according to lamentations, but they were also not known in the streets...Think about it, they fit right in with the children of Canaan and everyone else over there at that time. A white person would have surely been noticed or known if they were in the streets surrounded by the black people living in the land of Canaan.
I recently visited a Facebook page called "Iron Sharpens Iron", which is a Hebrew discussion and debate page in which all sorts of questions and issues come up concerning scriptures. While on that page, I noticed a person who made a statement "If you want to know who the real Jews are, read about the Samaritan woman at the well, then you will understand who the real Jews are". This person also stated that those who call themselves Jews, aren't real Jews and implied that just because the Ashkenazi, or Sephardic may not be real Jews, still doesn't mean "African Americans " are real Jews.
I had come across this sort of thinking before, but I hadn't really bothered to investigate it because the previous discussion with someone else had devolved into an all-out insult contest in which I was called all kinds of names, after being told the Samaritans are the real Jews, and that my people had no place in the body of the Messiah, but were useless slaves who were going to be slaves of the Samaritans, whom she declared where the real Jews, and even called me a wench, and said prepare to start building her house. I am not proud to say, I had not a few choice words for her also.
This time I decided to stay silent on the matter and read what was suggested for further understanding of where this new person was coming from, and then afterwards I would maybe blog about my findings.
First Thing First-Messiah said he came only for the lost sheep of Israel
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Secondly-The Messiah told his disciples to go ye not into the way of the Gentiles, nor into any city of the Samaritans.
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Remember, Messiah came only for the lost sheep of Israel. So how or why did the Messiah end up in a city of Samaria himself you ask...Let's see what the scripture says.
1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.
4 And he must needs go through Samaria.
5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
So the Messiah, trying to avoid the constantly meddlesome and jealous Pharisees, left Judaea departing into Galilee, but he had to go through Samaria. Also being wearied and thirsty from his journey, he knew Jacob's well was there.
3rd point- But the Samaritan woman said "Our father Jacob"...
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
Notice how the woman told Messiah that Jacob, their father gave them the well? We often think that because someone made a statement and the bible recorded it as such, that the statement made must be true. The bible is a historical book in which many statements are recorded as being made, but the statements made by some, may or may not be completely accurate. Example- It is recorded that the Pharisees claimed that the messiah had a devil, but we should all know that's not true! There are many other such remarks or statements made by unbelievers and heathens recorded in the bible.
Again, remember we have established, the messiah said he came only for the lost sheep of Israel (Jacob), and he told his disciples to not go into the city of Samaria. The only reason he was in Samaria himself, is because he was on his way somewhere else, and had to pass through Samaria to get there. Being wearied from his journey, he stopped at the well Jacob had dug. Notice also how the woman herself made a distinction between the Jews and the Samaritans. She said the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans and even acknowledged the Messiah as being a Jew, while still acknowledging herself as something other than a Jew, but a Samaritan, not a Samaritan Jew, but simple a Samaritan.
I almost forgot to add this in also, notice how the messiah kind of took on a sincere, but slightly sarcastic tone with the Samaritan woman when she said she didn't have a husband. He said in that she spoke truly, almost as if to imply she hadn't been completely truthful in some of her previous statements.
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
So how did the Samaritans come to own the land and have possession of the well Jacob dug?
2 King 17:23-25
23 Until the Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.
24 And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
The king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaiim (Sephardic), and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel
(The children of Jacob). This is how the gentiles and heathens came to possess the city of Samaria. This is why Messiah when he said he came only for the lost sheep of Israel and said go not into the way of the gentiles, the city of Samaria was also included in the places he told his disciples to not go.
But how did the Samaritan woman come to believe she was a descendant of Jacob?
2 Kings 17:25-31
25 And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the Lord: therefore the Lord sent lions among them, which slew some of them.
26 Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land.
27 Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land.
28 Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord.
29 Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.
30 And the men of Babylon made Succothbenoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima,
31 And the Avites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.
The people who later occupied the city of Samaria were not the original Samaritans but were people from other lands the King of Assyria had placed there instead of the children of Israel (The children of Jacob). Because those nations were so wicked, lions came and killed many of them, so the king allowed one of the priests of Israel to return to teach the newly transplanted heathens dwelling in Samaria, the ways of the "God" of that land. At some point, the heathens apparently thought they were the real Israelites, or to say the least, just as the Samaritan woman falsely believed she was of the offspring of Jacob...
24No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
What is Mammon?
Mammon in the New Testament of the Bible is commonly thought to mean money, material wealth, or any entity that promises wealth, and is associated with the greedy pursuit of gain. The Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke both quote messiah using the word in a phrase often rendered in English as "You cannot serve both God and mammon."
So if you believe what the scripture is saying, you will then have to accept you can not serve both Yah and money, idols, or self interests in pursuit of gain. The scripture says you will either hate one, and love the other. This means if you love money, or the pursuit of gain, you hate Yah. The bible even says the love of money is the root of all evil.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
The same can be said of those who do not choose to serve Yah, but think being "Christian" entitles them to be all together lawless, or free from obedience to Yah's laws, yet these same so-called "Christians" seem to hold to, and even love the traditions and laws of their lands. They seem to despise the laws of Yah as being brutal and a form of bondage, yet at the same time boast in the man-made laws of their forefathers. It is evident the bible is correct in declaring you will hold to one and despise the other.
I am again reminded of many of those who claimed to be "Christian", who about 3 years ago, made statements such as, "We don't need a godly man to lead us, we just need someone who will turn our economy around".
ECONOMY IS THE PURSUIT AND MANAGEMENT OF GAIN/MONEY
So many Christians who were willing to look passed the wickedness of Trump, in pursuit of gain, acted in hate toward Yah and confirmed this by saying they did not need a godly man to lead them. This reminds me of when the "Jews" having their own agenda, asked for the robber named Barabbas instead of messiah.
40Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
In no way am I remotely suggesting the Democratic choice is for President even close to righteousness, or messiah. Many in the Democratic party are atheist, and immoral, so although I do not agree with Democrats on most of what they stand for, I can actually understand their mindset, having myself been a practicing sinner before coming to the faith.
But what I find disgusting is, Evangelical Christians who are supposed to be held to a higher standard, chose a Barabbas like character in Trump, because money meant more to them than Godliness.
The false doctrine of reincarnation has now crept into churches as well as Hebrew culture . The belief in reincarnation in the Hebrew culture is now called " regeneration".
Regeneration is the belief that the soul returns to God after death, is judged, and then is born again into a new body. I'm told the difference between regeneration and reincarnation, is the person always comes back as the person they were, except they may look different and have no memory of previous lives.
Scriptures some use to support this idea are:
Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish in his sight and love."
2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’
“Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob,
3 but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said, "Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."
I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes-I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me
And as he was passing by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who has sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?" Jesus answered, 'Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works of God were to be made manifest in him.'
4 One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.
5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
6 The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
8 All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.
For all the prophets and the law have prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come."
Addressing the scriptures they use to support their theory
First i'd like to say, God knew what the purpose of the person would be while he was yet knitting them together in their mother's womb. This doesn't imply reincarnation, but the predestined intention and set purpose of the creator for that individual. Romans 9:18-23 addresses the predestination of the individual Reincarnationist try to impose on scripture by using Jeremiah 1:4
Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared
Addressing scriptures in the book of Job used by reincarnationist
In the scriptures the reincarnationist use to support their theory of Job expecting to be reincarnated, Job is not saying he's going to return to his mother's womb. He is saying he came out of his mother's womb naked and naked he will return, but return where?
Job is saying he will return to God who gives and takes away. His spirit will return to God who gave it.
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15: 35-38
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? 36Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
Job was prophesying about his own resurrection on the last day, when the seed that is his body which was sewn ( died) will be resurrected. Notice in verse 38, every seed has his own body, but God gives it a body as it hath pleased him,
Addressing scripture used from the book of Ecclesiastes by supporters of reincarnation
Supporters of reincarnation love to use Ecclesiastes 1: 4-9 as evidence of their theory of reincarnation. They believe the author of Ecclesiastes is speaking of reincarnation when he says there is nothing new under the sun. They use this scripture to say the earth is on a circuit and the wind is on a circuit, therefore they say " Man is on a cycle".
It is true, man is on a cycle, but not a cycle of being reincarnated. Man is on a cycle of reproducing after his kind and after his own likeness.
In the beginning God blessed the man and woman to reproduce. It is the cycle of being born, reproducing, dying, and your soul returning back to the one who gave it.
Genesis 1: 28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Reincarnation supporters also use (John 9:1) to say the disciples thought the man being born blind must have sinned. They take this and run with it as if this is sound teaching on reincarnation .
While I must admit it is a peculiar question for the disciples to ask, It also has to be acknowledged it is peculiar because it's not something clearly taught in scripture. The only scriptures I've come across addressing the subject of whether or not an offspring is thought to guilty or having sinned by birth or through their parents is the proverb God told Ezekiel he wouldn't use again concerning Israel.
What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?
They believe since the messiah didn't rebuke the disciple's question, although he did correct them, Theorists believe the lack of harsh rebuke means messiah agreed with the doctrine of Reincarnation.
Messiah simply answered :"Jesus answered, 'Neither has this man sinned, nor his parents, but the works of God were to be made manifest in him.'"
Yet another scripture used by theorist is, Matthew 11:13-14 . These scripture twisters use the verse in Matthew for shock value. This scripture is used to catch the audience completely off guard. The idea that John the Baptist is Elijah the prophet may have been a hard one to swallow even in the day the messiah himself spoke it, the reason being is it wasn't a common teaching as the believers in reincarnation would have you believe. This is evidence by the fact that messiah had to say to his disciples "And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who was to come."
Elijah and Enoch were both taken by God. Enoch did not see death because the bible says he didn't see death, but was taken and "translated "
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Enoch was taken to heaven by God, but he didn't see death. Theorist will then reply " No man has ascended into heaven except the messiah". This would obviously be correct because that's what the bible says, and I have no argument against scripture as long as it's used within context and correctly harmonizes with other scriptures in the bible. It amazes me how the same people who say precept upon precept, can then take scripture and make a false doctrine by taking scripture out of context and precepts that aren't supported in the bible and it's entirety .
Elijah like Enoch, were both taken to heaven. It is assumed Elijah died, but Enoch, also being taken to heaven did not die because he had this testimony " he pleased God".
Being translated then can not equal death, because the wages of sin is death. There is something with the condition of being translated, which allows that person who God has taken to be with him to not see death. Enoch and Elijah both pleased God and were taken to heaven. There is no reason to think Elijah was not also translated ( changed)as Enoch was.
Example of being changed
1 Corinthians 15:51-54 51
51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory
To think Elijah and Enoch pleased God so much he took them to kill them goes contrary to scripture.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Enoch wasn't taken because he sinned, but because he pleased God. He was taken that he didn't have to see death . Elijah, likewise was also pleasing to God and was taken because he pleased God.
It is appointed for man once to die, and afterward the judgment. I have no problem with John the Baptist being sent into the world as Elijah, who hadn't died but was translated . Elijah who was taken, would be sent back, Just as messiah was sent, and a body was prepared for him. Elijah the man who had not seen death as Enoch had not seen death, was sent to be born as John the Baptist. This is not a usual event, just as being taken and translated is not a usual event for everyone, and does not remotely imply that everyone is sent back as Elijah was sent back. The Israelites didn't believe in reincarnation, and that's why messiah had to say to his disciples "And if you will receive it, this is Elijah, who was to come." Israel may not have been able to receive that explanation of John The Baptist being Elijah because reincarnation was not part of their belief system.
Another evidence against reincarnation commonly taught in Israel is this:
John 3: 3-5
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus, a teacher in Israel, had no concept of being born again. Nicodemus even had to ask if he was to enter a second time into his mother's womb. He didn't ask if he were to enter a second time into mother's womb because he believed he could, but was simply trying to figure out the concept of him being "born again". This also shows that Job was not preaching to his friends a false doctrine of entering a second time into his mother's womb but was simply saying his spirit would return to the one who gave it, and had faith he'd be resurrected on the last day. Notice how Nicodemus Marveled at the concept of himself being born again
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.