Post Index

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Yahweh, Lord of hosts

The scriptures testify of God and of his purposes and the fulfillment of his purposes from antiquity to the time Jesus and the apostles walked this earth. (see Ephesians 1 for a succinct testimony of the Lord God and his purpose for redemption, the fulfillment of redemption and the affirmation of redemption.) My purpose in this article is to align a small glimpse of this testimony from the Tanakh, that is, the Old Testament along with the New Testament reference to those same testimonies. I will present the ways in which God refers to himself, the mindset of the hearers and his purpose to fulfill and accomplish his will. I prefer to leave it to the reader to draw the inferences and conclusions concerning the meaning and significance of this testimony of God for themselves.

Israel is a people and a nation who has the unique distinction of having being the people with whom the Lord God chose to associate himself and to declare himself as the God of Israel. Yet, for all the works, wonders and words which Israel heard, both directly from God and through his servant Moses and later the prophets, they did not believe in him. Initially, the first time when Moses informed the leaders of Israel of the words that the Lord had spoken to him they were quick to tell Moses that they would do all that the Lord spoke to Moses. Immediately following that session with the leaders the people heard the voice of God. Their reaction was one of terror and fear. They couldn’t bear to hear the voice of the Lord and pleaded with Moses to talk with God and whatever God told Moses for them to do they would do it.

(check out these two blog articles Christianity Unmasked & Human Sacrifice at Mt Moriah and Egypt
The first article was my response to Rabbi Blumenthal's article. Six months are I published it learned about my article. This led to a prolonged amiable and respectful discussion with the rabbi as well as a few of his congregants who were a little less genial, but it was good that they joined us too. You can read our exchange in the comments  The rabbi saw the second article and we engaged in a much shorter discussion again.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Christian's weapon of choice

Does a Christian have a weapon of choice? Is that weapon to inflict injury or is it to kill? The truth is that the Christian has a weapon. It is not for causing injury. It is for causing death. It is the weapon of choice which he or she received. Think about it as GI, God Issue, from the One whom you follow, Jesus, your Lord and Savior.

a disclaimer
Just to be clear this is not a rant about guns and gun control. You can read my blog article, Out-gunning the un-gunned to dispel such notions.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Jesus: I lay down my life

14 "I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me,
15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
16 "I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.
17 "For this reason the Father loves Me,because I lay down My life so that I may take it again.
18 "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." (the gospel according to John, chapter ten)

Generally, it is acknowledged and admitted that Jesus died; that he gave up his life. This is the quick, easy sharing point. What sometimes follows from this sharing point may be either the affirmation of the deity of Jesus or the denial of the deity of Jesus. This, too, from faithful Christians.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

If God existed . . .

This is not so much an article as it is a simple question for discussion. I will post it on Facebook for discussion or you can comment on the blog. Comments submitted to the blog will be copy/paste to the this page for easy viewing by all participants.

  1. If God existed could he die?
If yes, how could he die? If no, why not?

  1. If God existed would he die?

If yes, why would he die? If no, why not?

Why Do Churches of Christ Not Use Instrumental Music?

It is true that among the fellowship of churches of Christ mechanical instruments are not found or use in the worship of the saints to God. Although the reasons given for this are touted as being, to use the preferred term, “scriptural,” this is hardly suitable for the edification of the saints. This is not because the scripture is insufficient. Rather it is because the explanations often avoid and suppress unpleasant and discomforting realities which would expose the weak, piecemeal smatterings of such explanations. Too often and for too long the assemblies of saints in Christ are either torn apart when a determination is made to include the addition of mechanical instruments of music in the worship to the Father, or they remain locked into the practice of acapella (unaccompanied) singing under the mistaken false safe notion by which they not only believe their practice is safe, but there is a ready condemnation against their brothers and sisters whose practice includes the use of mechanical instruments.

A brother in Christ shared an article via PM on Facebook with me which prompted me to write this article.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Eternal Generation of the Son

There are many doctrines in the Old and New Testament scriptures. There are doctrines which are mentioned in the scriptures, but which were not part of the teaching of the apostles. One example of this is the reference (I Corinthians 15:29) by the apostle Paul to mistaken practice of some who were baptized for the dead. Some of these doctrines span from a virtual to an actual practice.

Monday, September 25, 2017

And Justice for All

What is it that elicits and casts some people into seemingly catatonic fits? I am referring to how Americans and Christians react to a protest march or a kneeling stance in response to a death or during the playing of America’s national anthem. Both, Americans and Christians in America have documents which assert the right to justice, the call to justice and the obligation to uphold justice. (I use the term American separately from Christians only to denote that not all Americans are Christians. There is nothing implied either in subtle questions or suggestions as to their moral character.)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Serving Tables: The Involvement of the Daughters of God in the Assembly

Today is the eve of something great and wonderful. I am a participant in the increase involvement of our sisters in Christ in the assembly of the saints in Christ. This is not a token, gratuitous or condescension gesture. There may not be the understanding by all as to the solid foundation and roots for this decision, but the decision is definitely not one based on the popular cultural notions of equal rights or cries that this-is-the-new-millennium and it’s about time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How do those who are spiritual do justice?

The question as to whether saints in Christ have an obligation to engage and promote social action in the world has often been resisted and even refuted by the church on the basis that the she is not called either to change culture or the world. Of course, the reaction to this self-imposed seemingly uncomfortable and awkward stance has exposed Christians to the charge they are detached, removed and uncaring about the world. This is not quite accurate and I would like to examine the reason for the saints' awkwardness towards the call to do justice. Also, I would like to propose what is the saint's obligation towards doing justice with this question: How does spirituality relate to justice? First, it is necessary to understand what the saints have on hand before stepping out to do justice.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Women and the law of propriety and order

34 The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.

Today the New Testament portion of my daily reading closed out with I Corinthians 14. There is a great bit of irony which whirls around this chapter. Specifically, the irony is that the apostle Paul in a few words did much to clarify our understanding concerning the gifts of tongues and prophecy. He cast a bit of light for us concerning how things are to be done properly and in order, or as I have called in the title of this article, the law of propriety and order. This is especially vital in our understanding of Paul’s words concerning women in the assembly.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ezra: Put away your wives

the marriage of non-believer and believer
This week my daily reading through the scriptures took me through Ezra in the Old Testament and I Corinthians 7 in the New Testament. There is a relevant reference concerning unbelieving spouses in both passages which is significant. When Ezra was informed that the holy race had intermingled through marriage with the people of the land he was appalled. He called on Israel to follow his proposal and to put away those foreign wives. (Ezra 9 & 10) It is a fair question to ask if what Ezra commanded was pleasing in the sight of the Lord. Ezra and Nehemiah, as priests, understood the importance of not only reading the scriptures, but working to explain the law to the people. The scripture notes that there were children involved in some of those marriages which were dissolved. Here are some brief observations with the primary focus on Ezra. I hardly think my observations are new or original.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why did Jesus not choose any women to wash their feet?

Some of you probably recognize the title of this article. It is a take on the retort from some brothers and sisters when the discussion revolves around our sisters in ministry: Why did Jesus not choose any women to be apostles? It sounds impressive. It sounds informative. It sounds knowledgeable. It is none of these.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Parallel objective lessons from Paul

There are two instances of parallel objective lessons in Paul’s teaching in I Corinthians 5 and I Timothy 2. The objective in the former involved the salvation of a certain individual. He was the focus of Paul's admonition in I Corinthians chapter five. There are three progressive points which Paul uses to escalate and build up his point in his letter to the saints in Corinth. Paul gave them 1) an instruction “deliver such a one to Satan,” (I Corinthians 5:5a) 2) the reason or purpose for that instruction, “for the destruction of his flesh,” (I Corinthians 5:5b) and 3) the expected results from that instruction “that his spirit may be saved.” (I Corinthians 5:5c)

Here is the other similar instance of Paul’s teaching

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Principle and Practice, Prophets and Deacons

Much of the discussion concerning prophets and deacons is often framed by gender and exclusivity. It is assumed that these offices are the sole domain of males and they exclude females. This is much the same as to advocate for the presence and ministry of women in the church, but without a lack of understanding of the scriptures. This is equally true of those who oppose the presence and ministry of these women in the church, but who lack an understanding of the scriptures. The inability of the former and the latter to present a consistent understanding and explanation for the edification of the saints is uncannily similar.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Observation and query on Artemis in Acts 19

This observation and query is taken from my daily reading from last week (June 29) which covered Acts 19.

This is the single and only instance in the scriptures of any mention or reference to Artemis. The Holy Spirit in his wisdom introduced the saints in Christ to Artemis in this passage. The temple of Artemis was located in the city of Ephesus. Yet, the overall knowledge of Artemis with those who lead, teach and preach is dismal. Typically, a Sunday morning Bible study on the book of Acts chapter nineteen might meander through a low-grade PG-rated soft porn about sexual immorality and temple prostitutes. (Generally, a way is found to expound with great emphasis regardless of the book being studied, on Gnosticism. Yet, Gnosticism was new to Asia.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Is the Resurrection of Jesus a Falsifiable Prediction?

Atheists, naturalists, scientists, humanists and evolutionists like to tout this claim about the so-called scientific theory: it can be repeatedly tested and, hence, verified. Scientific theory can as well make falsifiable predictions. I understand their use of the term. It is not the same as in the popular sense which views theory as something which is unsubstantiated and speculative. So, we do not need to chase down that rabbit. I am not going to take issue with their use of the term. I accept their use of the term and will abide by it in this article. Let’s keep in mind that repeated testing of a theory does not equate to replication of whatever is being tested nor does it require the replication of that which is being tested in order for it to be considered verifiable or falsifiable. Also, I am not going to take issue with the claim that an aspect of the natural world can be repeatedly tested. Yes, all things ought to be subjected to testing.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Observations and lessons for women and men from Huldah, the prophetess

This article was developed from my recent daily reading which covered II Kings 22. The passage relates the finding in the temple of the book of the law of Moses by the Hilkiah, the priest, during the reign of King Josiah in Jerusalem. The book of the law had been lost for an unspecified period of time. There are some observations and lessons for our learning concerning our sisters in Christ in the royal priesthood of believers.

  1. The book of the law was read by Shaphan, the scribe, in the presence of King Josiah who was the leader of Jerusalem and Judah.
  2. King Josiah, as the leader of the people of God, showed the wisdom into which he had grown. Josiah had ascended to the throne at age eight. Now, at age twenty six his wisdom was evident. After the book had been read to him by Shaphan, the scribe, King Josiah did not close the book and conclude that the content of the book was clear and self explanatory. No, he directed Shaphan to return to the men who had sent him to King Josiah. The king directed them to inquire of the Lord for him concerning the words of the book. They, Shaphan, Ahikam, Achbor and Hilkiah, did not take King’s Josiah’s instruction to mean that they were to discuss it among themselves and to come back to the king with the result of their discussion.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Were the apostles baptized?

Were the apostles baptized? This is a question which starts a flood of speculations and assertions often with little or no support from the scriptures. Of course, for some Christians the difficulty about this question is compounded by the different and diverse use of the term baptism. There is the 1) baptism of John the baptist for repentance, 2) the baptism which Jesus commanded for forgiveness of sins, 3) the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and 4) the baptism by fire. [1] The latter two of these four were experienced by the apostles and they are related in the scriptures. These were the baptism with the Holy Spirit and baptism by fire, or the cup of suffering, just as Jesus told them they would indeed drink. It is the former two of these four baptisms which the scriptures relate partially. These are the baptism of John for repentance and the baptism commanded by Jesus for the forgiveness of sins. A good distinction between these two baptisms was made by the apostle Paul in Acts 19. Like many questions for which Christians seek answers there is no better understanding to be gained than to look to Jesus and learn the lesson from him. What are the lessons and implications for believers with respect to their own baptism?

Monday, June 26, 2017

Announcements, communion and reading in the assembly by women

The three items which make up the title of this article represent three areas in which my sisters in Christ will soon be active in the assembly of the saints. Our sisters in Christ are being called on by the anointed shepherds of the Lord’s people to make announcements concerning the congregation. They will assist and participate in serving the communion cup and bread as well as the collection. Additionally, they will read from the written word of God before the assembly of the saints. I commend and praise our elders for this decision which, even if it is with the understanding and conviction of the written word of God, there can still be an emotional struggle of the heart, both for leaders and those whom they lead. I do not speak for anyone nor does the content of this article reflect the understanding, convictions and expressions of anyone other than myself.

It ought not to come as a surprise to hear different voices and reactions to such a decision.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Spirits now in prison

in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison 1 Peter 3:19

There is a popular view often heard on the passage above. Often it is seen as sort of a second chance for those who lived and died after a life of disobedience to God. However, this popular message represents a mistaken notion concerning those who lived a life of disobedience to the will God. According to this view the “spirits now in prison” received such a second chance when he (Christ, verse 18) went to make proclamation to them.

two presuppositions
There are two presuppositions which are made concerning this passage both of which are indisputable.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Baptism, baptism by fire, baptism with/in the Holy Spirit

The purpose of this article is to examine three separate and distinct references to baptism. Specifically, it is to be noted that the references by Jesus to these three is separate and apart from the baptism for the forgiveness of sins which he commanded his disciples to carry out as they went preaching the gospel into all the world. Furthermore, the baptism performed by Jesus and his disciples was the only baptism which was in effect at the time, namely, the baptism of John for repentance. The passages in the scriptures do not spell out the meaning of the words spoke by John or Jesus concerning either 1) baptism, 2) baptism by fire and 3) baptism with the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, the meaning is made  evident in the entirety of the life and message of Jesus and his relationship with the disciples. John’s words concerning baptism (1) were about what Jesus was to do in contrast to what John was doing. The words spoken by Jesus have to do with a baptism (2 & 3) of his own which he prophesies the disciples would also be baptized.

Monday, June 12, 2017

You Can Always Get What You Want

Yes, Stones fans. You are correct. The title of my article represents my take with apologies to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It is taken from their song title, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” Americans of different and diverse socio, religious and political background clamor and protest for what they desire, that is, they want. Those desires and wants are not necessarily wrong, immoral, evil or illegal.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Charge of Heresy

This article examines the teaching concerning the sons of the kingdom. Also, it examines those who preach the message of the kingdom and how both message and messenger are sometimes lightly esteemed and mistakenly dismissed as heresy or a departure from scripture.

Jesus was accused of speaking blasphemy. Unlike heresy, which involves a thought out, albeit erroneous, message blasphemy may occur when one blurts out without thinking or necessarily believing what they have blurted out. Preaching the kingdom of heaven and the will of the Father was what consumed Jesus. He was forever about the Father's business. When he was pressed at his mock trial to answer the questions he replied that he had spoken his message openly to the world for all to hear. There was no need for him to answer so as to defend himself.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Jesus: The Father is Greater than I

Jesus declared in John 14:28 “the Father  is greater than I.” How is this so? This declaration by Jesus is seized as the dagger against deity claims and the scriptures by atheists, skeptics, Muslims, Jews and others. Others seize these words as a contradiction on the teaching of the scriptures. Still others, including so-called unitarians and so-called trinitarians, seize the deity claims of Jesus
and the scriptures as the divine will of God take these words with a contrived forcefulness, but no less weak explanation for the edification of the saints. They find themselves at a loss to understand much less teach these words which were spoken by our Lord and Savior Jesus.

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Longing Desire of Moses

So-called gender issues get a lot of traction in American society. They take up much attention and time and, simply, they reflect a longing desire of the individual for a change in themselves. I do not think this is unique to America. It probably plays big in other countries. Gender is exerted either as dominant or submissive. There is a current obsession with gender identity. Specifically, it is involves the desire by some to simply claim a different identity other than the one with which they were born. Some others may claim that they have not denied their gender or their sex, but merely identify with another gender or sex than that of their birth.

This article is not about that issue and I do not make any claim to having knowledge on a professional level, but it seems inevitable to touch on the subject. So, I do wonder how much of the desire for those who switch their gender or sex identity stems from a desire to avoid the real or perceived dominant or submissive status associated with the respect old and new identity choices with people embrace for themselves. I do not wish to trifle their struggle.

I do believe this is a mistaken response to a problem, but it is neither my intention, need or desire to cast condemnation on those who have made those choices for themselves. However, the reality of dominance and submissiveness as a sex or a gender issue in the world is preceded by the reality of power. As such, power is exerted by the dominant just as readily over members of their own sex group. This is evident in our institutions and organizations of government, education, sports and, yes, church, too. Oftentimes those who exert their power over others are blithely oblivious. Even when they are made aware of it the best that might follow is some weak, unconvincing response.

Moses was a man in the nation of Israel. It was he who led the children of Israel out of Egyptian slavery after God visited Egypt with ten different plagues. Moses had a intern trainee. His name was Joshua and it was he who succeeded Moses. It was Joshua who led the children of Israel into the conquest of the land of Canaan.Clearly, Moses and his internee were in positions of power as they had been assigned by God.

There is an instance in the scriptures which involves Moses and Joshua in Numbers 11. I encourage you to read the text for yourself. God had instructed Moses to have the seventy elders of Israel come out of the camp. God told Moses that He would take some of the Spirit that was in Moses and put it on the elders. God did so and the men prophesied. The scripture notes that they did that one time, but they did not do it again. There was a point which God was impressing on the elders of Israel, namely, that Moses did not speak his own notions or initiative to Israel, but he spoke as God commanded him.

What happened during this instance was that only sixty eight of the seventy came out of the camp. Two men, Eldad and Medad, for reasons that are not revealed in the scripture, were either slow or chose not to come out of the camp. Nevertheless, when the sixty eight began to prophesy Eldad and Medad prophesied, too.

It was at that moment that Joshua burst out. He urgently pleaded with Moses to restrain the two men. The response of Moses to Joshua is as powerful as it is a portent for those who presume to stand before the children of God by power. It is the notion of power by men, primarily, which they have seized for themselves on the basis of gender; the very same thing which so many deny or flee to where they believe they will be safe with a new gender identity.

"Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the LORD'S people were prophets, that the LORD would put His Spirit upon them!"

Moses and Joshua were men of power, but the longing desire of Moses was that ALL the Lord’s people were prophets. Moses did not speak this about the Aaronic priesthood or the Levitical priests. Those who would dismiss Moses's expression as just a momentary weakness of Moses are seriously mistaken. The reason they are seriously mistaken is because it was the prophet Joel who later took up the longing desire of Moses in his prophecy. This same prophecy was cited by the apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) when he preached the first gospel sermon after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus.

"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29 "Even on the male and female servants * I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”

Furthermore, both the longing desire of Moses and the prophecy of Joel were affirmed by Jesus during his ministry when He prophesied to his disciples the coming of the Holy Spirit as He would ask the Father to do. The Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost of sons and daughters.

God did not pour out His Spirit on his sons to be keep silent or to be silenced any more than He poured out His Spirit on His daughters for them to be silent or to be silenced. Those who would silence either sons (and, yes, there are instances of men being silenced, too) or daughters of God do so at their own peril. Their jealousy and carnal mind is no different than Joshua or the disciples who made their best attempt to stop a disciple (a male, no less) who was casting out demons because he was not walking with them and Jesus. They spoke out of their own mistaken notions of power. Jesus, like Moses, and perhaps much to the surprise of the disciples, admonished them and enlightened them concerning that faithful disciple.

There are no small number of men who have no business teaching and preaching, that is, to prophecy. There are no small number of men who have been called to be about the business of the Father to teach and preach, that is, to prophecy.

There are no small number of women who have no business teaching and preaching, that is, to prophecy. There are no small number of women who have been called to be about the business of the Father to teach and preach, that is, prophecy.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

A Change of Mind

President Donald Trump has changed his mind.

He has done the very thing which he urged President Obama not to do. He has done the very same thing which he assured Americans that he would not do if he were president. The reactions are as trite as they are disingenuous. Some Republican party members reveal, yet again, a serious cause to wonder about the mind of our national leaders. Some have cried that had they known President Trump would do as he has done towards Syria, that is as what they see, an involvement in the middle east they would have voted for Clinton. Briefly, here is why that is so farcical.

We have heard for years and we remember Trump’s and the entire Republican party telling us how they would at lightning speed repeal and replace President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act. There is no one to blame for the fact of that debacle then the Republicans, this despite their majority control in Washington. Americans could reason similarly: If they had known the Republicans were going to be so inept and incompetent in their own plans towards their own party member in the White House and they could have just opted to stay the course with the equally same group of inept and incompetent politicians.

I have said for several decades that once a man gets into the White House the sobering reality begins to set in on them. Trump is experiencing it as much as Obama, Bush, Clinton and every president who has served.

Yes, a change of mind is not always good. Yes, sometimes it is bad.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Confirmations, charges and other noise makers

(The Indwelling of Deity in the Believer by Gilbert Torres: ebook & paperback)

I do not think that Americans have become more vitriolic in their speech. I believe that vitriol has resided in their heart all along. It is just that with the advent of the internet and other communication technologies and devices it is much more readily apparent.

Of course, we know advocates and followers of, say, a politician have their banner slogans and catchy phrases ready for a moment’s notice to attack. Those, and I am one, who might as readily post a message from what some might assume is die-hard stance readily make known their chagrin that I should post such a thing. Are you yourself bothered and upset by those things? Do you know why?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Building a Wall

(Read: The Indwelling of Deity in the Believer by Gilbert Torres. My ebook is now available with paperback version upload coming soon as of 1/30/17. gt)

President Donald Trump is driving hard to make good on his campaign promise to build a wall. It is neither the building of a wall nor the reality of a wall is the problem for Americans. Building a wall along the United States and Mexico border is no more the problem than immigration.

The problem is that Americans, both Republican and Democrats if we must cast it in a political mold, have forgotten and have long ceased to remember those things for which they profess to stand. Those things include our nation’s founding documents such as the Preamble to the Constitution as well as the acknowledgement and commendation of other nations of the world, France, to be specific, concerning our America’s humane and moral character. It was France who gifted our nation with that symbol of America’s liberty and its call to the nations of the world to give up its downtrodden yearning to be free.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Indwelling of Deity in the Believer

The paperback (green color) edition will be down for approximately 24 hours for an update.
The most important change is that I have added an index. Also, I have adjusted the page arrangement so each chapter starts a new page. I apologize for this inconvenience. The price has been changed, too. gt

Friends near and far,

Early this morning I published my ebook: The Indwelling of Deity in the Believer.

Product Details
Click the book image and you will be able to read up to the first page of the Introduction.

Finally, the paperback version is uploaded.

Thank you for reading my book.