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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Bible Resources, Baptisms and Bad Habits

John Bradshaw - Bible Resources, Baptisms and Bad Habits


John Bradshaw - Bible Resources, Baptisms and Bad Habits
TOPICS: Line Upon Line, Bible, Baptism, Habits

John Bradshaw: Welcome to Line Upon Line, brought to you by It Is Written. This is where we get to answer your Bible questions. Thanks for submitting them. And let me tell you right from the get go that if you'd like a Bible question answered, send it to us by email, [email protected] [email protected] I'm John Bradshaw, glad to say that with me is Eric Flickinger. Eric, thanks for being here.

Eric Flickinger: Good to be here again, John.

So what do we have? Looks like some good questions today.

We do, we've got a bunch of good questions.

Question for you, what happens if we don't know the answer?

If we don't know the answer, then it's pretty simple. We're gonna tell you we don't know the answer, but if the answer can be found, we're gonna do our best to bring it to you from one source, and that is the word of God.

Okay, excellent. First question, what is it?

First question, this one comes from Carrie and Carrie asks, "I understand that the word soul in the Bible usually means a living person, but can you explain Matthew 10:28 which says, "And do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Yeah, this is one of these words, soul, that's becomes problematic because of the way it's been used over time, and because of the meaning that is loaded into it. So what we wanna do is find out what the Bible says. We wanna see how the word of God uses the word soul, because so many people believe you die, your soul goes to heaven. And then even in the Bible, my soul this and my soul that, how do we understand it?

Well, even when we use the word soul today, we use it in different ways. For example, if I told you I was walking down the street and I didn't see a single soul?

John Bradshaw: Right.

I'm not telling you that I didn't see any ghosts as I was walking down the street. I'm telling you that I didn't see any people as I was walking down the street. So here's a couple of verses in the Bible to take a look at. In the book of Genesis 2:7, it speaks of where God creates man. And it says that "man became a living soul". You have the dust of the ground being combined with the breath of life and man becomes a living soul or a living being.

John Bradshaw: Right.

So there's one way that the word soul is used in the Old Testament. The word soul often comes from the word nephesh. In fact, it's used 430 times as soul or translated as soul. In the New Testament, which of course is where this verse in question, Matthew 10:28, is, we find also that the Greek word psuche is similarly translated as soul. And it has a double meaning. It could mean the, the individual or the living being, but it could also be like a part of the living being, like the heart, if you will, or the mind.

So the original word can be translated in more than one way.

Exactly.

Okay, what's the common usage and then what's the meaning behind it?

So the common usage is the life or the living being. So here, when Jesus says in Matthew 10:28, "Do not fear those who kill the body, but cannot kill the soul," sometimes well-meaning Christians will say, "Well, there you you go, the soul can't die, it's this living thing inside you that escapes your body when you die and it goes up to heaven". But the Bible does doesn't teach anything like that about death, but it says, the verse continues, "But rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell". That is the living being.

Yeah, body and breath as it were.

Exactly.

Yeah, excellent. If we can steer away from getting really dragged into traditional ideas. You know, you find the tradition that you have a soul that survives outside at the death of the body or survives bodily death and goes on living eternally. I know it's very popular, but it's actually also very...

Non-biblical.

Yeah, non-biblical. Okay, Rodney has a question, what's Rodney's question? Here it is: why did the snake on the pole represent Jesus? Oh, that's a good question. How about we go back and look at the story in the original. We go back to Numbers chapter 21. What a great question. Numbers chapter 21, we'll pick it up in verse four or thereabouts, the Bible says, "They journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea to compass the land of Edom; and the soul of the people was very much discouraged because of the way. Now again, you know, let's hop back to the previous question. That's not saying that there's this entity within them that was discouraged.

Exactly.

Their spirit was bummed. It was saying that they were down, the people. "And the people spake against God and against Moses. 'Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread, neither is there any water and our soul loathes,'" there's that soul again, "'Our soul loathes this light bread.'" We hate this bread. So point number one, soul represents, we represents the people, but boy, listen to what they said. We hate this stuff. This is what God was using to keep them alive. So let's go on. We'll find out about the snake on the pole. And the Bible goes on to say, "The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit, the people, and much people of Israel died". Don't think God was being cruel. God was being gracious. They were focused on themselves and their problems. And they weren't looking to God, God wanted them to turn to Him to say, "Hey, we're in a jam and we need You to get us out of this". We're gonna stop thinking about our problems and our selfishness. "And so the people came to Moses. And they said, 'We've sinned. We've spoken against the Lord and against thee. Pray unto the Lord that He take away the serpents from us,'" venomous snakes. "Moses prayed for the people. The Lord said, 'Make a fiery serpent, set it upon a pole. It shall come to pass that everyone that has bitten when he looks upon it shall live.'" Well that's fascinating because the snake represented Jesus clearly. Let's get back to the snake in a moment. So here's what you get: when sin has overtaken you, when you're down, when you've fall and the venom, the poison within the person represents the poison or the venom of sin, what do you do? You look to Jesus. Everyone who looked to the snake lived. So look to Jesus. It's the look of faith that appropriates the merits of the shed blood of Jesus. So look away from yourself. You're struggling? Look to Jesus. You got a problem? Look to Jesus. Keep on looking to Jesus, it's absolutely vital. But why a snake? Here's why. Because Jesus, according to the Bible, was made to be sin for us. This is Jesus on the cross, having born, having taken upon Himself, the sins of the world, including your sins. So it's not that a snake represents Jesus. It's not like, "Well, wait a minute. We thought this was the devil. Why is Jesus so closely associated with the devil"? This is Jesus, the sinbearer. What a beautiful story. And the key lesson here is look to Jesus and He'll take away your sin.

You know, John, there's another verse over in the New Testament that even draws this out or continues to draw the same idea. It's over in John chapter three versus 14 and 15. In John 3:14-15, it says, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him," there's that look of faith that John was, you were just talking about, "That whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life".

Really interesting, the very next verse, is John 3:16: "For God so loved the world". The chapter begins with Nicodemus saying to Jesus, well, he didn't say anything, did he? He said, "Oh what a great miracle worker you are, O Jesus". And Jesus said, "You need to be born again". This is when he says to Jesus, "How am I to be born again"?

Right.

And it was in the context of that conversation, "How am I to be born again"? that Jesus says "Think of the snake on the pole. And they looked to the snake and faith". That's how we're born again, by looking to Jesus in faith. Excellent question, Rodney. We are grateful. Eric, I'm gonna pitch this one to you.

All right.

It's from Keila. I think it's Keila. "I've heard that the 10 Commandments were carved on blue stone that came from the throne of God. Is that true"?

It's difficult to say. There are some interesting verses in the Bible that equate the color blue with the throne of God, with the law, but to say the 10 Commandments were definitively written on blue stone because of this, it's a little tricky. I'll share a verse or two with you. You can draw your own conclusions here. This one happens to be from Exodus 24:9-10. It says "Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and 70 of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel. And there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone. And it was like the very heavens in its clarity". There was a Jewish tradition, is a Jewish tradition, that the 10 commandments were carved on blue stone. To say it definitively is very, very difficult. Interesting versus, and does it really matter?

No, not at all. To say that the stone came from the throne of God?

Yeah.

I mean, that's a stretch. I would say no.

Yeah.

I wanna be very careful with what I say, but I'm probably not gonna be. I think this is when folks start to get a little bit clever. I mean, if it is true that the commandments were carved on, written on blue stone, it's not clear that that's the case. You gotta really connect some dots. It's not like "Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself". Clear as day. It's pretty cool if I can demonstrate to you that I'm smart enough to prove that the 10 commandments were on blue stone, but I don't know that it's necessary. It's not clear. The Bible doesn't say "And Moses took the 10 blue commandments and threw them down and broke 'em into little pieces". And it just does not say that. So, you know, I think the answer is it's a definite maybe, but in the way I see it, it's a narrow maybe.

I think if we wanna look at the 10 commandments and say, "What's the most important thing about the 10 commandments"? the most important thing about the 10 commandments is you get a picture of God's character by looking at them, you see who He is, the things that He stands for, the things that He doesn't stand for, and what He wants us to experience in our lives. if we choose to, Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments".

That's right.

So less look at my commandments and see what color they are, and more, if you love me, keep them.

All right great question here from Nelly, Eric. "I was baptized when I was a child, but have made some very poor decisions since that time. What kinds of sins would it be appropriate to be rebaptized for? I understand about asking forgiveness and foot washing," which we find in 1 Corinthians, "but when is that not enough"?

All right, so rebaptism. The Bible actually does talk about rebaptism. So I imagine a good place to start would be actually looking at what the Bible has to say about it. And we're gonna go over to the book of Acts, Acts chapter 19, and we'll read together verses one through five, Acts 19:1-5. And see what it says about rebaptism. Verse one says, "And it happened, while Apollos was at Corint, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus, and finding some disciples, he said to them, 'Did you receive the holy spirit when you believed?' So they said to him, 'We have not so much as heard whether there is a holy spirit.' And he said to them 'Into what then were you baptized?' So they said 'Into John's baptism.'" So they hadn't even heard of the Holy Spirit, but they had been baptized biblically. Of course, John baptized by immersion. There's plenty of evidence for that.

Sure.

But it says in verse four, "Then Paul said, 'John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after Him, that is, on Christ Jesus.' And when they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus". So what prompted their rebaptism was a fuller understanding of a significant element of Christianity. Hadn't even heard about the Holy Spirit. They know there's a holy spirit, and they said, "Ah, we ought to be rebaptized".

And another thing too here that were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. This was significantly different to John's experience of baptism John was offering in the wilderness. Now, do you get rebaptized because you had a bad day? Well, it'd have to be an especially bad day. Some times that you might, if you've never been baptized by immersion. Well, that wouldn't be rebaptism. That would be baptism. If you've fallen away, as it were, turned your back on Jesus and walked off, it's like if you're married to someone, you get divorced, you wanna be remarried. Some of this does become a little subjective, but if you've feel like you need to remarry Jesus, then it might be the right thing for you to do. Pray about that counsel and we believe God will lead you. Get your questions to us at [email protected] We'll be back with more of your questions in just a moment. This is Line Upon Line, brought to you by It Is Written.

Welcome back to Line Upon Line, brought to you by It Is Written, where we take your questions and find a biblical answer for them. John, we've still got some more questions here. Lots of them.

Yeah, this is a good one. Let me read it to you. "I'm addicted to a destructive habit and I want to quit. I'm praying and asking God to help me, but does He hear my prayers if I'm still engaged in this behavior? What are some Bible verses that can give me encouragement"? Question comes from Gale.

All right, well Gale, there is some good news. You're basically asking whether God can hear your prayers if you are a sinner. Well, if he can't hear the prayers of a sinner, we're all in a great deal of trouble.

Yeah. Imagine if the answer was no. Imagine if you you've got a bad habit, Gale, and God's just "No, not gonna hear you". Jesus said "Come to me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you a rest". So clearly the answer isn't "Don't waste your time praying". God hears you.

And Gale, it sounds like you're pretty clearly here desiring to be liberated from this habit, the bad habit, and to move your life forward in Christ. So yes, there is good news. And here are a few verses that might be helpful or beneficial to you. One of them is Philippians 4:13. Philippians 4:13 says "I can do a few things through Christ who strengthens me".

There you go.

Or maybe that's not exactly what it says Gale. He says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Remember, Jesus is your rock. He's the one that you turn to. He's the one who lived the perfect life. And he wants to give you strength and ability to overcome these bad habits in your life as well. You can't do it by pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. But what you can do is grab a hold of Jesus, claim His promises, and one of those is that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Yeah Philippians 2:13 says "It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do according to or for His good pleasure". So what you're gonna do is you're gonna take this to God, "Lord, I don't want it, it's destructive. You don't want it, so here's what I believe. I believe I'm forgiven because the Bible says, 'If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins.' And as Jacob prayed, 'I will not let you go unless you bless me.'" Now here's what you don't wanna do. You don't want to have hope because you're having victory. And then no hope because you're experiencing defeat. You are a human being. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". We are not advocating you stay stuck in the destructive habit. You want that out of your life, it's not God's will, nor is it your will, it is a destructive habit. Here's what you gotta know: God loves you anyway. He's with you anyway. He hears your prayers. Think there was a woman taken in the very act of adultery and Jesus said, by the way you read the story, she didn't say, "Oh, I'm so sorry, would you forgive me"? She said nothing. And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you". The woman at the well who had a particularly colorful life going on at that stage, she never came to Jesus and fell at his feet and wet them with her tears. She just went about her business, you know, in the interaction with Jesus. And you understand that Christ drew her and she ended up in the right place as well. So you just don't want to believe that God doesn't hear your prayers. He does, listen to this. In Mark chapter four, towards the end of the chapter, Jesus is teaching, and He's talking about how the kingdom of God grows. And He says, "The word of God is a bit like this. The thing grows first the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear". Here's what you wanna do: grow. Some of us, we are too preoccupied with perfection and we are not preoccupied enough with the journey of growth in grace. You go look in the mirror, you're gonna see some shortcomings. Look in the mirror, you will see inadequacy. No one will see sin quite like you. So that's not always a very constructive plan of attack, to look at yourself and your sinfulness. You know what you're made of, you know what you're made of. God knows what you're made of as well. So look to Jesus. You do that, keep doing that and remember you are growing. Keep on growing in the grace of God and hang on to Jesus as you grow.

"Where sin abounded".

Amen.

"Grace did much more abound". So Gale, grab a hold of that promise, grace abounds where sin does and it abounds even more. He can help you through it. John, we got another question here. This one's from Gabrielle.

Yes.

And Gabrielle asks a, well, she asks a whale of a question. She says, "Can you explain what happens during the Millennium"?

I mean, why would we not? The millennium takes a thousand years. We'll just roll out a quick description of that in about the next 30 seconds. I'm being ever so slightly flippant. Yes, we can, but we're gonna try to shrink down an awful lot of information in a short period of time. Read about the millennium in Revelation chapter 20, it says that the devil is bound for a thousand years. The millennium begins when Jesus returns. It's 1000 years long and it ends when the holy city, the new Jerusalems come, new Jerusalem, there's just one of them, comes down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Now, what are the people of God doing? Let's zero in on that.

So there are several groups of people that Jesus has to deal with when He comes back. You've got the righteous dead, the righteous living, the wicked dead and the wicked living.

Got it.

So what happens to each of them? Now we're giving a very, a lightning quick overview of this. If you want to learn more about it, I wanna recommend that you check out one of our many programs on this very subject. Where can they go to find those programs?

One thing I would recommend, you go to itiswritten.tv, and that's where you're gonna find a lineup of programs. You can watch whatever is streaming then, or you go down the archive, you go to the Revelation Today archive, and you look for the subject that deals with this and you say, "Ah, that's clear".

Yep, but here's the short version of it. Four groups of people when Jesus comes back: righteous living, righteous dead, wicked living and wicked dead. The righteous living, when Jesus comes back, 1 Thessalonians 4 says they get taken up to meet Jesus in the air and they go with Him to heaven. We're gonna talk about what they do in heaven here in just a moment. The righteous dead, they are resurrected, Paul says, and they are also given glorious and mortal bodies. 1 Corinthians 15 talks about that, verses 51 to 55. The wicked dead, they just keep on being dead. And the wicked living, they are slain by the brightness of Christ's coming. But those righteous who are taken up to heaven for the thousand years, what are they doing for a thousand years? Probably more than just twiddling their thumbs.

Yeah, I think you're right about that. It says in Revelation 20:4, "And I saw Thrones and they," that's the saved taken to heaven, whether they were resurrected or translated, "I saw thrones and they sat upon them. Judgment was given to them".

Hmm, yep.

So this is really interesting. It's telling us categorically that the saved in heaven during the thousand years enter into a certain work of judgment with Jesus, how do we understand that?

That sounds to me like a very transparent God, a very open God, a very understanding God, a very loving God; He allows the righteous to participate to some extent in the judgment. Paul also talks about that in 1 Corinthians 6:2. Here's what he says. He says, "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters"? God is going to open up to the righteous all of His reasons for saving those who are saved and allowing to be lost those who have chosen to be lost. That's an act of ultimate disclosure, I guess you might say, where He says, "Here's why I made those decisions". And it only makes sense that he would do that because if He didn't explain, then for the rest of eternity, the righteous might have questions as to why wasn't my mom saved or why wasn't my pastor saved or my children or something like that. God says, "I'm gonna show you every reason, every opportunity that I gave to every person and how they either took advantage of those opportunities or squandered him".

I don't think this means that in the judgment, you know, "Okay, we've got a Larry Smith here and he spent his life living in Bowling Green, Kentucky. There's this record; Eric, you decide, I don't think we're going there. But we enter into a work of judgment where we see why God judged how He judged. And that's gonna settle all questions for all times.

Yep, the Bible says "Iniquity will not rise up the second time". And one of the big reasons for that is because God was honest with us the first go round. He says, "Here's why I made the decisions". In the end, we're gonna look at God and we're gonna say, "You know what? You are right in every single case, there's a reason that we love you and that we serve you".

Absolutely, it says that very thing in Revelation chapter 15 around versus two and three. "Just and true are thy ways, King of Saints". Okay, I got a good question for you here. It's from Martin. "Can you explain Isaiah 45:7, where God says 'I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I, the Lord, do all these things.' I, God, create evil.

Boy, doesn't that sound a little different than the God that we know. Yeah, let's dig into this just a little bit. We'll begin with the start of the verse. He says, "I form the light and create darkness". It has been said that darkness is the absence of light. So if God creates light, then a byproduct, I don't know if that's the right word, but it's way we could say it, is darkness. God creates peace. Well, evil is the absence of peace. Now God go out there saying "I'm going to create evil. I'm going to make evil and wickedness". No, but what God doesn't prevents, He permits He permits evil, He permits wickedness. It's not that God is saying, "I want this to exist, I'm making this exist". But it's part of the fallen world in which we live in.

Yeah, that's right, God kind of, He phrases it in a way where he says, "I take responsible for it being there, responsibility for it being there". But he's not saying, "Yesterday, I went and made me some really good evil for the world. No, God is God, God is love. The evil one is Satan, but God is sovereign. This is why the verse is phrased the way it's phrased. How about we do one more, it's from David. "What resources do you recommend as good companion literature when studying the Bible"?

That's a good question.

It's an excellent question. Well, let's let's dig into it. Well, first we would recommend the Bible.

John Bradshaw: Amen.

Which Bible? Well, several, some good ones that I like to use are the King James, the New King James, the NASB.

John Bradshaw: Amen.

I like to look at a few different translations. Now you gotta be careful that you don't get too much into the paraphrases.

Correct.

But good solid translations are good to compare one with another. A concordance is Excellent, a Bible dictionary and a good website that we might recommend people to go to is the itiswritten.study website, that takes you through studies on a variety of subjects, all kinds of things in the Bible. Itiswritten.study is where you can find that. But several versions of the Bible, a good concordance, a good Bible dictionary, anything else?

So the best book for studying the Bible is the Bible. And as Eric just said, you want to compare perhaps at times in order to get a clearer picture of what it is you're looking at, that's appropriate. Concordance is fantastic, but one thing we wanna say is this. You wanna find resources that will help you in your study, not resources that do your study for you. And there's a big difference there. You want resources that are gonna guide you in your understanding. So sometimes you wanna find something that speaks to the era, what was the custom, why was the person saying this to this person? Where were they? What era? What year? What was the government at the time? What were the factions that were rising up? All of these things help you to get a very clear or a much clearer picture of what the Bible is saying. But I do wanna emphasize Eric, you don't wanna get to the place where you let someone else do your study for you. Study helps that help you study, not to do the study for.

Yeah, commentaries can be good.

Yes.

They can be helpful, but they are by definition biased toward the author of the commentary. So some are better than others.

Yeah, that's right, and I'm glad you mentioned commentaries. I consult commentaries frequently. Hey, thanks Eric.

Thanks.

Appreciate that very much. And thank you, we love to get your questions. [email protected], submit them there and we'll do our best to answer them here. This has been Line Upon Kine. Thanks for joining us, brought to you by It Is Written.
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