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Jul 15, 2011

49 Is God’s law too hard to follow

It's Deuteronomy vs Acts

In the Old Testament book Deuteronomy, God says his Law isn’t too hard for people.

But wait a minute! 

In the New Testament Book of Acts, the apostle Peter says that the Law is too hard.

Deuteronomy says the Law isn’t too hard to obey

Deuteronomy 29:29 He has revealed his Law, and we and our descendants are to obey it forever. ... 30:11 The command [Law] that I am giving you today is not too difficult or beyond your reach. 12 It is not up in the sky. You do not have to ask, “Who will go up and bring it down for us, so that we can hear it and obey it?” 13 Nor is it on the other side of the ocean. You do not have to ask, “Who will go across the ocean and bring it to us, so that we may hear it and obey it?” 14 No, it is here with you. You know it and can quote it, so now obey it.

But Peter claims that the Law is too hard

Acts 15:5 Some of the [Christian] believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and told to obey the Law of Moses." ... 7 Peter stood up and said ... 10 Why do you now want to put God to the test by laying a load [the Law] on the backs of the believers which neither our ancestors nor we ourselves were able to carry?

Recap: God and Peter don’t see eye to eye here. And elsewhere in the Bible, people complain that the Law is too big a burden. Yes, God says the Law isn't too tough to obey. But the chosen people and Peter say it is. Thus Deuteronomy vs Acts.

Jul 11, 2011

48 So, is God a jealous God

Now 1 Corinthians vs Exodus

The New Testament letters 1 John and 1 Corinthians say:
That God is love and not jealous.

But wait a sec!

The Old Testament book of Exodus
                 God is jealous.

1 John teaches that God is love

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

And 1 Corinthians teaches that love isn’t jealous

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud.

 But in Exodus, God says, “I’m a jealous God”

Exodus 20:5 You shall not bow down to them [idols] or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand {generations} of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Exodus 34:14 I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Recap: So it's a strange case of when “jealous” doesn’t mean “jealous.” Go figure that one out.

Jul 10, 2011

47 Did the disciples ask where Jesus was going

It's John 13 vs John 14

The Gospel of John chapter 13 says:
Jesus’ disciples asked their master where he was 
going where they couldn't go.

But hold it!

John 14 says:
Jesus said none of them asked where he was going.

While at the Last Supper, Jesus said in a little while the disciples couldn't go where he was going

John 13:33 My children [disciples], I shall not be with you very much longer. You will look for me; but I tell you now what I told the Jewish authorities, "You cannot go where I am going."

So Peter asked him where he was going

John 13:36 "Where are you going, Lord?" Simon Peter asked him. "You cannot follow me now where I am going," answered Jesus; "but later you will follow me."

After a little while Thomas asked the same question

John 14:5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; so how can we know the way to get there?"

However, Jesus didn't really answer the question. Instead he said, Let's leave the room 

John 14:41 “Come, let us go from this place.”

A little while later Jesus rebuked his disciples because none of them asked where he was going!

John 16:5 But now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me where I am going.

Recap: Uh, the disciples asked him in the dining room. But a little while later Jesus said none of them asked. Thus John vs John.

Jul 8, 2011

46 Did Jesus say he came to judge the world (1)

Now Mr. John vs Mr. John

The Gospel of John says:
That Jesus came to this world to judge it.

 Wait a minute!

 The Gospel of John says:
 That Jesus came not to this world to judge it.

Jesus says that he came to this world to judge

John 9:39 Jesus said, "I came to this world to judge, so that the blind should see and those who see should become blind."

John 5:22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.

But then Jesus says he did not come to judge! In fact he says that judgment is for only the Last Day

John 12:47 If people hear my message and do not obey it, I will not judge them. I came, not to judge the world, but to save it. 48 Those who reject me and do not accept my message have one who will judge them. The words I have spoken will be their judge on the last day!

Thus John vs John.

Related post:
79 Did Jesus say he came to judge the world (2) 

Jul 5, 2011

45 So, can Christians still sin

It's 1 John vs 1 John

The New Testament letter 1 John says:
That Christians cannot sin.

Uh, hold on!

1 John says, too:
That Christians can sin.

In 1 John, believers cannot sin

1 John 3:9 Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God's seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God.

But then again in 1 John, believers can sin

1 John 2:1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.

1 John 5:16 If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that does not lead to death, he should pray and God will give him life.

Recap: Now believers can sin and now they can't. Thus 1 John vs 1 John.

Jul 4, 2011

44 So, does God sometimes hide the truth

Now Mr. Paul vs Mr. John

    In the New Testament letter 2 
    Corinthians, by Paul, Paul
    Satan hides the truth from non-


   But wait a sec!

                           The Gospel of John says:
                           God hid the truth from non-

So both God and the devil sometimes hide the truth.

The apostle Paul says the devil keeps non-Christians in the dark. Paul blames the devil 

2 Corinthians 4:4 They do not believe, because their minds have been kept in the dark by the evil god of this world. He keeps them from seeing the light shining on them, the light that comes from the Good News about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

But the Gospel of John says God stopped people from seeing the truth about Jesus. John says it was God

John 12:37 Even though Jesus had performed all these miracles in their presence, they did not believe in him, 38 so that what the prophet Isaiah had said might come true: "Lord, who believed the message we told? To whom did the Lord reveal his power?” 39 And so they were not able to believe, because Isaiah also said, 40 "God has blinded their eyes and closed their minds, so that their eyes would not see, and their minds would not understand, and they would not turn to me, says God, for me to heal them." 41 Isaiah said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him.

Recap: How strange that Jesus wanted people to believe him, but God hid the truth away so that people wouldn’t believe Jesus!

Meanwhile the devil clouds the minds of non-believers, too. Since both God and Satan sometimes hide the truth, it makes me wonder who’s minding the store.

Related post:

Jul 2, 2011

43 Does God sometimes cause infirmities

It's Exodus vs Mr. Mark

The Old Testament book Exodus and the New Testament Gospel of John say that God sometimes claims responsibility for people’s infirmities.

Meanwhile the Gospel of Mark says that a demon was responsible for making a man deaf and dumb from birth.

As far as those go, it's hard for me to say whether God or the demon is the bad guy. 

In Exodus God sometimes causes infirmities

Exodus 4:11 The LORD said to him, "Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the LORD.

And in John, God takes responsibility for a man that was born blind 

John 9:2 His disciples asked him, "Teacher, whose sin caused him to be born blind? Was it his own or his parents' sin?" 3 Jesus answered, "His blindness has nothing to do with his sins or his parents' sins. He is blind so that God's power might be seen at work in him.

Over in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus casts out a demon spirit that had made a boy deaf and dumb

Mark 9:17 A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, because he has an evil spirit in him and cannot talk. ... 20 they brought him to Jesus. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a fit, so that he fell on the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. ... 25 Jesus noticed that the crowd was closing in on them, so he gave a command to the evil spirit. "Deaf and dumb spirit," he said, "I order you to come out of the boy and never go into him again!"

Recap: God and demons cause infirmities. It's ironic that people can catch hell from either side whether or not they deserve it. Isn’t that swell?

Related post:

Jul 1, 2011

42 Does God ever get tired or weary

Mr. Isaiah vs Mr. Isaiah

In the Old Testament, Isaiah the prophet teaches:
That God never grows tired.

Hold on there!

Isaiah also says:
That God sometimes grows


Isaiah says God never gets weary or tired of anything

Isaiah 40:28 The LORD is the everlasting God; he created all the world. He never grows tired or weary. No one understands his thoughts.

But, uh, Isaiah says God is really tired of some things, too 

Isaiah 1:14 I hate your New Moon Festivals and holy days; they are a burden that I am tired of bearing.

Isaiah 43:24 You didn't buy incense for me or satisfy me with the fat of your animals. Instead you burdened me with your sins; you wore me out with the wrongs you have omitted.

Thus Isaiah vs Isaiah.

41 Why I say God doesn't always know the future

  Mr. Isaiah vs Mr. Hosea

In the Old Testament, Isaiah the prophet says:
God knows the future.
      But wait!

       In the Old Testament, Hosea the
                       prophet says:
                       God is uncertain about the future.

Isaiah declares that God knows the future

Isaiah 46:9 I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. 

But Hosea the prophet says God wonders about the future 

Hosea 8:5 I [Lord] hate the gold bull worshiped by the people of the city of Samaria. I am furious with them. How long will it be before they give up their idolatry?

Recap: Here's a case in which God asks how long somebody will embrace idolatry. It sounds to me as if God isn't able to look into the future and see the answer for himself.

Related post:

40 Does God really know every thought and deed

Now Psalm vs Deuteronomy

The Old Testament Psalm 44 teaches:
That God knows everybody’s thoughts and deeds.

Uh, but hold on!

The Old Testament book Deuteronomy teaches:
That God doesn’t always know the hearts of men.

Psalm 44 says God knows all of our thoughts

Psalm 44:20 If we had stopped worshiping our God and prayed to a foreign god, 21 you would surely have discovered it, because you know our secret thoughts.

But Deuteronomy says God may need to test people to discover how far they love him!

Deuteronomy 13:1 A prophet or an interpreter of dreams may promise a miracle or a wonder, 2 in order to lead you to worship and serve gods that you have not worshiped before. Even if what he promises comes true, 3 do not pay any attention to them. The LORD your God is using them to test you, to see if you love the LORD with all your heart. 

Recap: The Bible says God knows people’s thoughts. But elsewhere it says God must test people in order to determine how far they love him. It sounds to me like a 180 degree turn. 

Related post: