Let Not Many of You Become Teachers

 God warns that teachers will receive a stricter judgment, So I must come to you and tell you I shouldn’t have endorsed the “gospel sentence” that some saw in the Hebrew meanings of the ten names listed in Genesis 5.

For those of you who have just joined us, this is what I found so fascinating, but now about which I have serious doubts. I’ll explain why, what I learned, and ask for your forgiveness,  

For a few of you, this raised red flags, and I’m thankful, for it caused me to check with Hebrew scholars, to whom I am so grateful. I learned a lot, though I wish I had checked before I posted. I don’t know Hebrew and I certainly don’t know the finer art of Hebrew: Semantics.  I had looked up all the names in two concordances, but I see now that was not enough to keep me in the clear.

I’ve learned enough now to stay away from interpreting names. I was wrong to go there without checking with those who are experts in Hebrew. I hope I can re-establish trust with you.

When I’m writing a book, this blog is so helpful to test things on, to see what is clear and what is not, and to get your wonderful input, for God has mericifully gifted us here with women of depth and discernment. Perhaps when I get to heaven I’ll find out Missler was right all along, but I don’t think so. I also know that after I faced this and repented, the uneasy feeling in my heart went away — and I believe that was the blessed conviction of the Spirit. I know that God holds teachers to a strict account so I will stay away from the interpretation of names in the future. I have taken down the original post, and have edited last week’s post, and I will be more cautious in the future.

What I learned from both of the scholars with whom I checked is that Hebrew, and particularly with the names of people, is complex. For example, Seth can be translated appointed or substituted — and which translation is right makes a big difference in the gospel sentence.  Missler, who first published the above, said you have to sometimes go to the root, but I learned that can be dangerous too, as you will see from the article I’m posting that Professor Greg Scharf sent me. He is the lead teaching professor at Trinity Evangelical Seminary and he checked with one of his astute scholars who in turn sent this link to an article  by a trained “Semiticist” (I had to look that one up — it comes from semantics, or the study of language) Dr. Scharf’s friend thought the article a bit harsh and would have stated it more kindly, but still that the Semiticist’s points were true. I too wish he could have been kinder, yet this certainly clarified for me the problems in Missler’s approach. I do think Missler is a godly man and I still think it is possible there is something to what he says, but I am more doubtful now and if I err, I want to err on the side of caution and I am persuaded that is dangerous to go into this deep, dark water for we can be misled. When our own Lizzy said, “I’ve never heard this before but I trust Dee,” I felt a catch in my heart. I believe was God’s Spirit warning me because He loves me and He loves you, and He is a good Shepherd who leads us into safety.

Our own Diane said, “Why study what is unclear when there is so much that is clear?” Dorian Coover-Cox, the first professor with whom I checked at DTS said the same. Of course much in Scripture is challenging, and I don’t think that means we should avoid challenging passages, but we must be careful especially with “new” findings as we are continually warned in Scripture to stay with what we were taught “from the beginning.” If there is something hidden in the Old Testament, it is often confirmed in the New Testament, and then we know we are on safe ground.Dear Dr. Scharf commended to me D. A. Carson’s New Testament Commentary on the Old Testament “to keep me on the straight and narrow.” I have that and will use it more than I have. I do know God holds teachers accountable!

So, I’ll give you the link to the article which I’d love for you to read today or tomorrow and then we’ll go on to see what is the clear teaching of this passage of the names in Genesis 5 and also consider some ways to avoid false teaching. 

I am so thankful to you for your graciousness. Here is the article from the Semiticist. On the chance the link stops working, I’ve also included the PDF>

http://drmsh.com/allegorical-interpretation-names-genesis-5/

Pdf of the above:

Allegorical Interpretation of the Names in Genesis 5

 

So now let us turn our attention to the same passage, but see what is CLEAR FOR IT IS FASCINATING. I hope you’ll trust me again and stay with me!

 

Sunday/Monday

1. Share anything you’ve learned from this or from the above article.

Tuesday-Wednesday: Bible Study: The Genealogy of Genesis 5.

Last week we saw, in looking at the first gospel in Genesis 3:15, that two families began: one of Satan and one of God’s. That sets the stage for the rest of the Bible drama! That of God’s would lead to the Messiah. This is confirmed in the New Testament, as we will see. Let’s just look at what we learn about some of the men from each line in this Genesis account.
2. Read Genesis 4:17-24  What things do you learn about the descendants of Cain?

3. Lamech from the line of Cain was the first polygamist and that led to grief and abuse throughout Genesis. As you will see next week, Noah’s sons were not polygamists. Give an example from Genesis of the grief polygamy brings.

4. In Keller’s free sermon (please listen!) he contrasts Genesis 4:24 with Matthew 18:21-22. Before you listen, what do you see?

5. What do you learn about the descendants of Seth from:

A. Genesis 4:26

B. Genesis 5:22-24

C. Genesis 5:28 (This Lamech is different than the descendant of Cain)

D. Genesis 6:6-8

6. What contrasts do you see between these two lines?

 

Cain’s line is credited with what might be called worldly progress and achievement whereas Seth’s were often (but not necessarily always) men of faith who grasped the fact that sin was the root of their troubles. I liked so much a comment by Derek Kidner: A biased account would ascribe nothing good to Cain. The truth is more complex. God was to make much use of Cainite techniques for his people.

I liked that because I see so much good often in some non-Christians — and indeed, they certainly can be more loving and giving that some Christians. As Kidner says, “The truth is more complex.” We are made in the image of God, so there is greatness, even in the line of Cain. Some of the best books I have read are by non-Christians — because all wisdom is from God. Yet we who have the seed of Christ, as 1 John so clearly shows, should walk as He did, love as He did, and  be known by our love and light.

7. Read 1 John 3:11-15

A. To whom did Cain belong and why did he murder Abel?

B. What does verse 13 say and how does this confirm Genesis 3:15?

C. What is one test to show we have passed from death to live according to verse 14?

8. It was a red flag to me when a couple of you said, “I’ve never heard this before.” What are we told in 1 John 2:24 and how could we apply this for protection?

 

9. The closing of 1 John is a climatic summary of truths expressed throughout:

    A. What is characteristic of a child of God according to 1 John 5:18 and why?

    B. How do you see the two families in 1 John 5:19?

    C. Find three reasons Jesus came according to 1 John 5:20.

    D. How does John end and how is this related to everything he has been

        teaching  about walking in love, light, and truth?

Thursday-Friday: Free Sermon from Keller: A Tale of Two Cities

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jYhGSFzFJA

10. Share your comments or notes from Keller’s sermon.

 

Satruday:

11. What is your take-a-way and why?

 

COMMENTS (89) Post a New Comment ↓
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Dear Dee, don’t be so hard on yourself. I am not as schooled in the Bible as you, or others on this blog, and thought the sentence was interesting, but didn’t think much further on it. I read the posts and loved that Diane (and someone else…Rebecca?) gave us caution. That made me think a little more. I never “committed” myself to the idea, and we, as learners have an obligation to take in info and think for ourselves too. Sometimes, in the back of my head, I hear a little voice that says, “well, that’s just a crazy idea!” The voice was there this time but tried not to be judgemental, just interested. Anyway, the whole week wasn’t spent on this sentence, you gave us homework to research about lineage, and my friend and I had a “…you can’t take the Bible literally…” discussion. You helped me see the passages about there being too many stories to tell if all were included, and this idea was broached somewhere else in my week (?), that if God wanted to do something, then He could, right? I’m referring to Cain and Seth having a wife to continue the lineage. I am looking forward to this week to answer my questions though. I guess what I am trying to say is you do more good here than harm sweet teacher! And, I love you for that. You have helped save my life with this blog several times; when I have wanted to give up. Thank you Dee!

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    You are so gracious, Laura! Thank you. I love having you here.

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I am most struck, again, by your humility Dee and your deep heart’s desire to teach the True Word and be a faithful, godly teacher. I thank Him for His conviction in you and for the godly counsel He has given. I’ve always been a “skeptic at heart”–about many things, but especially Spiritually. Some see that as “narrow minded” and I do have to be careful that I not fall into judgment about things that don’t matter. I struggle to be “open minded” and Dee often stretches me to think “outside the box” of my comfort zone! But this morning I thanked God for giving me that in my spirit and I pray He will use my natural skepticism for discernment. Your words too reminded me of a song I love that we sing in Church, the chorus “I will leave this road for the narrow”.

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    Such wisdom, as always, from Lizzy. And grace. Thank you.

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Dee, I don’t know what to say.  Heisers critic of Misser, I agree is harsh but he did say something appreciative of him at the end. I am grateful for your humility to ask for forgiveness. When you said you had a catch in your heart when reading lizzy ‘ S comment, I did too as I read your entry today. For I lead Sunday school class at our church and my time in the Word is not obviously as much time that you put into it as seen by the depth of this blog! And yet your readiness to be taught as a teacher is an encouragement to me to do likewise.  Like Lizzy, I trust you even more now and like Diane , I will look to what is consistently clear in the whole of the Bible. I love you more than ever.

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    You dear women bring me to tears.

    We can help each other stay on the narrow path.

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1. Share anything you’ve learned from this or from the above article.

I see this as a great opportunity to learn to always be careful and also an opportunity to be thankful for how God has made Dee’s heart teachable-open to criticism in order to hear from God-and she is. Also to be thankful for the godly women here! What’s better is that Dee went further by consulting godly scholars to help her sift through what she was hearing. This solidifies further that God’s hand is on and in Dee’s teaching and His hand is here on this blog. I find this encouraging rather than disappointing. :)

I do know of 2 women ministry teachers who are really popular and many solid churches are doing their studies yet there are some troubling issues with what they are teaching yet women are doing their studies in droves. I am not sure if they have been challenged or not. I know if it were Dee she would carefully consider any reproof or correction. That is one of the many things I love about her and about how God glorifies Himself in and through her.

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    That you would say this is encouraging rather than disappointing is a balm to my soul, Rebecca!

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      So glad! This is a beautiful picture of how God wants this to go whenever we stumble. All of us do, and all teachers will stumble but must correct it as you have. The key is are they teachable..Teachers must be teachable.

      Why did God tell us in Scripture we must be like the Bereans, and teachers must be careful, if we never needed to be reminded.  You modeled this whole incident beautifully.

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2. Read Genesis 4:17-24  What things do you learn about the descendants of Cain?

Cain had one wife and they had children who had children and Cain’s decendant from that line, Lamech, had two wives and had children who were the first to raise livestock and live in tents, make music, and make tools of bronze and iron. I also see how they passed down the story of Cain killing Abel and God’s curse upon anyone who kills Cain.

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3. Lamech from the line of Cain was the first polygamist and that led to grief and abuse throughout Genesis. As you will see next week, Noah’s sons were not polygamists. Give an example from Genesis of the grief polygamy brings.

The two I thought of were Jacob marrying Leah and Rachel as well as having other concubine wives.  Leah always knowing she wasn’t truly the loved one-and being treated as such. I still can’t get over how awful that must have felt to her on her wedding night feeling loved and then the next morning enduring rejection when he woke up and realized it was her and became angry.

 

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    Oh yes, Rebecca. You really got into Leah’s shoes! And have you heard Keller’s quip? “When we cling to our idols, in the morning, it is always Leah.” That’s a bit mean to Leah, but does show how Jacob’s idol of Rachel brought him pain.

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Dee, I wish so much I could give you a hug. I love you so. Not in spite of this mistake, but, even more, because of your response to this. You are SO modelling a godly spirit here, listening to our words of caution and checking with godly scholars, admitting you were perhaps mistaken.

Dee, you said, “if I err, I want to err on the side of caution and I am persuaded that is dangerous to go into this deep, dark water for we can be misled. .. much in Scripture is challenging, and I don’t think that means we should avoid challenging passages, but we must be careful …” I understand and hear your concern and the warning God gives to Christian teachers. You are leading and leading us well. All of us can be led a bit off base, but God is ever gracious to bring us back as we listen to his often still, small voice.

I too noticed with a bit of concern Lizzy’s statement, “I’ve never heard this before but I trust Dee.” Your honest searching and very humble repentance makes you a much greater teacher and mentor in my eyes than ever before.

Rebecca says, “What’s better is that Dee went further by consulting godly scholars to help her sift through what she was hearing. This solidifies further that God’s hand is on and in Dee’s teaching and His hand is here on this blog. I find this encouraging rather than disappointing. :)”

I agree wholeheartedly. This blog is such a breath of fresh air in my life.

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    Just a quick comment as I don’t think I’ll have time to join in this week. I think I’ve been a little misunderstood–I DO (still, and always will) “trust Dee”. That doesn’t mean I take everything she says as absolute truth, but I heard her to say last week she was seeking wise counsel, and I trusted where she would lead–again, with the same caution I have with even my own pastors. If there is something I do not feel aligns with Scripture, I am not going to agree with it regardless of how much I respect the teacher. What I had also said last week is that I wasn’t interested in digging any further into the names meanings because my time in Scripture is better spent on more important truths (and my time feels especially limited these days). Anyway, just wanted to clarify that I do not blindly believe anything any teacher (even Keller!) teaches–I do believe I use careful discernment. But I DO trust Dee to dig and keep holding it up to the light and ultimately speak truth–as she has shown us this week.

    Love & prayers for you all this week!

      Reply

      Good clarification, Lizzy. That is how we should all be with all teachers. I was almost glad when I found something I disagreed on with Keller for anyone who knows me accuses me of putting him on a pedestal. I know we all get things wrong. In speaking to one I love who really likes Chuck Missler, I am not saying he is a false teacher either. To me a false teacher is someone who purposely distorts and is a tool of Satan. 1 John makes that very clear. Every teacher makes mistakes — and I’m not even positive Chuck Misller has — but I know I want to err on the side of caution so that’s why I had to back away. I do want to be worthy of trust but Lizzy is ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. Check out what anyone says — like the Bereans!

        I still laugh about the time I pulled up your blog and you had something about Rob Bell in the title and I said out loud “oh NO! not Dee!”, fearing you were it was in support, but of course it was not! not that I want to open that can of worms here!

      Reply

      I appreciate your clarification of “trusting” Dee and Keller and others, Lizzy. You are so wise.

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    Thanks so much, Diane. You are most gracious!

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Dee,

Thank you, once again, for your willingness to be vulnerable in this public place.    That is always your best avenue to this heart in Montana, for I often identify with what you describe in your vulnerability.

As I read through this week’s study, I remembered a little book I found years ago on an obscure sale rack, entitled Humility by Andrew Murray.       I probably need to blow the dust off of that little book and glean from it again, for I am often in need of putting my pride to death.     Especially today in a situation that I know my defenses could easily rise up.    This quote from that little book:   Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow-men as a help to abide humble before God. ― Andrew MurrayHumility

 

 

    Reply

    What a great quote from Andrew Murray, Nila!

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Wow, this has been a learning experience for me…I’m so impressed by your “teachableness” Dee, & humility. I tend to err on the side of believing too easily without digging in, so you are all an example to me in being wary. On the other hand I still felt that as long as the Gospel is being brought to light there was no major concern? Loved sharing our name stories too  :)  I s’pose we need to be careful not to put anyone on a pedestal except our God, eh? Thank you for your openness & courage Dee. You are all wonderful sisters in the Lord & I feel priveleged to be on this blog with u! Dee, you keep marching on with joy & grace!  <3

    Reply

    Oh Jenny — so good to have you here. We are learning together for certain!

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Dee, I posted here early this morning and at first it showed up.   But no more  ?

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    For some mysterious reason I had to approve it, Nila.

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    Nila, I could be wrong but I think if you use a different email address than the one you used when you first came on and were first approved, and or perhaps included your last name when you didn’t at first, Dee will have to approve you again.

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I am so glad you posted the article that spent time examining in depth the gospel sentence. As others have said, to be like the Bereans is so important. Thank you, Dee, for being transparent in this. I would have wanted to give a disclaimer and then sweep it under the carpet.

I am learning a lot about myself and my sin in this blog, and am grateful for each one of you and your contributions to making it what it is.

2.  What about the sons of Cain? They had some fine skills. But what comes first to my mind is that unless the wives of Noah and his sons were of Cain’s descent, none of Cain’s descent survived the flood.

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    Interesting thought about none of Cain’s descendants surviving…yet we know there are still children of Satan — oh — a mystery.

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Dee, I love what you said here ” I also know that after I faced this and repented, the uneasy feeling in my heart went away — and I believe that was the blessed conviction of the Spirit.” Oh, that I would have a listening heart to the conviction of the Spirit and be led to repentance. Because I know repentance would lead to confession and confession leads to forgiveness and then, cleansing. I John 1:9

I do love the hearty conversations here of honesty, confessing, and loving one another.

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I was thinking today about the wives who just seem to appear for both Cain and Seth….could it be that this is a mirror image of Mary being “with child,” though she was a virgin? Or vice versa really…It happened in the same manner? That God wanted it so He made it happen?

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    Oh Laura — such interesting pondering. I just keep thinking of the last verse in John’s gospel, and that helps me let it go.

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Well this has been a very interesting discussion as a result of last weeks blog. My praise to you as well Dee for being sensitive to God’s leading and doing some good research in seeking council from credible resources. Voices from people who are well educated because you really did take us into some deeper water. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a mistake because you didn’t lead us blindly down an interesting path  but with caution from the start and turning around and walking back out of that discussion is a wise decision. Thank you for the article that muddled my head a little with the nuances of   Hebrew linguistics. (-: But I clearly saw the dangers of just skimming the surface of some of the meanings of names as they related to proper interpretation. It was a good wakeup call to be cognizant of what scholarship is really behind a teaching that is probably well intended but ends up being weak. I was particularly impressed by the point made that God doesn’t hide the truth of the gospel in His written Word. And though I don’t think (but honestly don’t know) that Missler sees himself as having any new kind of revelation from God it can come across that way. I agree with the article that God would have revealed “the name sentence” to other writers of the Old Testament and to the Apostle Paul in particular because God clearly revealed the mystery of the church to Paul so he could make it known to the world. I believe there are things God has left as mysteries that we need not know in this life and if they aren’t specifically taught in His Word we should not speculate but the gospel is not a hidden teaching. It’s present in every book of the Bible. 
I appreciate the many references about being good Bereans. That is not lost on me since my husband and I attend a church that belongs to a smaller group of churches called The Berean Fellowship of churches of which my son is a pastor. When it was formed many years ago the intent was to stay true to accurate teaching of the Bible. My son even says from the pulpit to not take his words and teaching without checking it with the Bible. 
 
I also appreciate that this group following the blog recognizes we dare not trust and follow man alone. God has to be our final authority. I respect Dee for listening to the Holy Spirit and the check He put in her spirit about this teaching. I found comfort in her comment she even found something she disagreed on with Keller. As I was studying last week I found something I disagreed with Keller about. It is actually kind of significant to me and it gave me pause briefly but as I considered the strength of other areas of his teaching it would not be wise of me to throw the baby out with the bath water so to speak. I am disappointed but still love and value him for his excellent preaching.  I feel the good I have learned is sufficient to contribute to my walk with the Lord. He is my brother in Christ and to discredit him because of my differences would be inappropriate. I don’t see the difference as something that would enter the discussion here.  If it ever did I would feel at liberty to present my position biblically and consider the discussion. Thanks to all for their input. “Iron sharpens iron.”

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    So much wisdom here, Bev. Would you be willing to share what you disagreed with Keller? And yes, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater, for he is so good. But it just heightens our need to be Bereans and to make Jesus our Solid Rock. I disagree with him on the interpretation of The Song of Songs. He thinks it is primarily about marriage and sex — and that surprises me because he says his two main mentors are Jonathan Edwards and C. S. Lewis, both of whom she Christ and His Bride as primary. Interesting — but yes, iron sharpens iron.

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    Yes, I agree that we will find we don’t agree with other brothers and sisters in varying places but that doesn’t mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater-I so agree.

    I have to say I don’t agree with other godly teachers in regard to Genesis being poetry. I think it is historical. I believe in the literal 6 days of creation because there is a problem with death happening before the fall when we insert evolution. Not trying to start a debate -but I still listen to sermons of some great teachers who believe Genesis is poetry and therefore believe God could have created everything over millions of years.

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2. Read Genesis 4:17-24  What things do you learn about the descendants of Cain?

 

The descendants of Cain (wife just appears) are men who are born, no women in the picture until Lamech. There are four generations after Enoch.  Then suddenly, Lamech has two wives. Each bears boys until one bears a girl. Lamech how admits to his wives that he has killed a man for striking him, and fears his punishment far worse than Cains ever was. Each of the children has some sort of gift. One wife (Adel) has a son (Jabal) who is the father of all who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother (Jubal) is the father of all those who play the lyre and harp. Tubal-Cain was born of the other wife (Zillah) and was forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. His sister was Naamah.

 

 

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3. Give an example from Genesis of the grief polygamy brings.  

 

Well, the line of Cain did not follow the Lord. That would be grief, right?

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3.  The most detailed account we see of polygamy is with Jacob. There was rivalry, jealousy, fighting, manipulating, and multiple children who also had divided loyalties. It is a big mess.

4.  Comparing Gen 4 and Matt 18. Lamech wanted to wound or kill seventy seven times in retribution, but Jesus said to forgive that many times.

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Dee, appreciate your humility and that you consulted biblical and Hebrew scholars on this….we can all take a lesson from this because in our flesh, we can just want to “be right”, but you modeled the right approach….even the teacher has a teachable heart! Just being honest here, I didn’t participate last week, not because I was skeptical, but because the subject of the names and codes didn’t interest me, and I didn’t feel it would lead me closer to Jesus. I’ve gone back to Nancy Leigh Wolgemuth’s study on the Song of Songs. I must be more right-brain (emotional) than left-brain!

It is good to question the teaching of others, though, even leaders you respect. Lately, I’ve been listening to a podcast and reading a couple of blogs by Christian women, and some things have given me pause. Reading blogs about mid-life….some of the posts are a little bit of spirituality/mysticism….a lot of self-introspection and delving into how you bridge the gap between the two halves of your life, but I pause when I read some stuff that encourages things like “finding your inner child” or seems to talk more  about “self” than God. I wonder if that is not perhaps the right path? Did Biblical people struggle with “mid-life”? Paul seems to say, in effect, that he lost his identity because he so identified with Christ. I’m thinking that the way to navigate hard periods in life isn’t to delve inward, but to look at Him; He becomes bigger, and me, lesser. One post said something about how the author and her husband went away from the Christian community and joined an “Eneagram group” and found more support there. Hmmm. I think a lot of this stuff just feeds our flesh. I appreciate that you, Dee, always point us to God. This is a rabbit-trail, but it’s stuff I’ve really been pondering lately.

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    Love your rabbit trail — this sentence is so good “I’m thinking that the way to navigate hard periods in life isn’t to delve inward, but to look at Him…

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Is anyone else having trouble posting here?   I’ve tried twice.

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    Nila,  Not sure what might be happening for you but sometimes if I am searching for things and moving in or out of my browser I will lose what I have written. I have to be careful to keep the window open that I am posting in. But I really am not that tech savvy. Do you have any sense how your question gets posted but not the things you write out?

     

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2. Read Genesis 4:17-24  What things do you learn about the descendants of Cain? 
The sons of Cain began to establish a civilization that had an ungodly world view that still remains today.   It is a thinking that doesn’t want God or for God to be in control of  their lives. It is the line of Satan which was introduced in the Garden to Adam & Eve and caused the fall of man.  The original sin of stepping away from God’s command to not eat of the fruit. Eve was deceived by the lie but Adam chose to join her in eating. So sin entered and we find it manifested in Cain’s rebellion against God and magnified in Lamech who boasts to his wives of what he  deserves or will do to serve revenge.

 
3. Lamech from the line of Cain was the first polygamist and that led to grief and abuse throughout Genesis. As you will see next week, Noah’s sons were not polygamists. Give an example from Genesis of the grief polygamy brings.
The account  of  Abraham and Sarah is one of great grief where they took into their own hands the decision for Abraham to take the servant girl Hagar and father a child.  Hagar made Sarah’s life miserable and in the end Sarah made Hagar’s miserable by casting her out. They both made Abraham’s life full of grief.  And the battle still rages even today.
 
4. In Keller’s free sermon (please listen!) he contrasts Genesis 4:24 with Matthew 18:21-22. Before you listen, what do you see?
Not sure on this but there seems to be an arrogant attitude in Lamech that if God would avenge for Cain if someone killed him for his killing of Able then Lamech thought God should avenge for him only in even greater measure. 70 x 7 but Jesus turns that thinking on it’s head by saying we should forgive 70 x 7.

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    Love your parallel with forgiving 70X7

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OK, I know we’re not technically doing “God sightings” this week, but I still have to share mine from today!!! After 2 1/2 years of regular emails, I finally got a HUGE ANSWERED PRAYER today and got to meet Mary E. face to face!! : ) And she even met Philip & Jon too, and I got to meet her dear parents…oh what a GIFT!

A testament too to the fellowship we have here-that we can know one another so deeply and feel so tightly knit to one another even if we never meet face to face…but when we can, that is an extra-special kiss from Him!

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    Lizzy — this is wonderful!!! How did it happen. We want details!!!!!!

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    Oh, I am so glad you and Mary e. got to meet, Lizzy, (and Jon and Philip as well). You have become such good long distance friends!! Please update us on how Mary is doing from your perspective.

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    So sweet Lizzy! Excited for this God sighting! Tell us how Mary is, please.

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    Wonderful God sighting and a delight to hear for you.  Thanks for sharing.

    Mary remains on my prayer list.

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    Give us details, I saw the picture on our f.b. prayer page totally made my night! :) :)

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1. Share anything you’ve learned from this or from the above article.

I’ve learned that you are not only humble, but willing to go the extra mile to give us detailed explanations and links for what you say. Instead of just saying “After further research, I retract what I stated previously.”  you explain why it is important for us to understand the reason behind it.

I found Dr. Heiser’s article to be very informative although some of it went over my head.

And I agree it is better to err on the side of caution on things that really are unclear and could be misleading.

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    Thanks so much, Dawn. As I’ve gotten to know (and love) you, I knew you and others would care about the details. I appreciate this!

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4. In Keller’s free sermon (please listen!) he contrasts Genesis 4:24 with Matthew 18:21-22. Before you listen, what do you see?

 
The avenging of Lamech (of his sin by God) is seventh seven fold. Isn’t this presumptuous of Lamech though? For him to believe he would be avenged for his killing? The answer Jesus gives regarding a brother who sins against another is to forgive seventy times seven.
 
5. What do you learn about the descendants of Seth from:

A. Genesis 4:26 
 
The descendants of Seth prayed to God.
 
B. Genesis 5:22-24 
 
Enoch didn’t walk with God until he fathered Methuselah. Then he walked with God until he died. God took him. He had other sons and daughters as well.
 
C. Genesis 5:28 (This Lamech is different than the descendant of Cain) 
 
Lamech was Noah’s father.
 
D. Genesis 6:6-8
 
The Lord was disappointed in man and decided to “…blot him out…” all but Noah.
 
6. What contrasts do you see between these two lines?
 
Not sure which two lines you mean here? Enoch didn’t always walk with God, but Noah did? This is the same line though. To whom should I compare it? 
 
Rabbit trail…I think I found the verses to back up the wife thing, although it would technically mean the people were in-breeding I suppose. If anyone is interested. Adam and Eve had other children (other than the three boys). Here it is:
 
“The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/gen.5.4.esv

“Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭5:5-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
http://bible.com/59/gen.5.5-8.esv

    Reply

    That is right Laura, Adam and Eve had many children and those children had children. So Cain would have married a sister or perhaps even a neice or great neice down the line.  But what sounds troublesome for us today at the thought of inbreeding we must consider it was truly a different world at the time of Adam and Eve. They would have been genetically pure as God’s first created man and woman.  They lived in a world perfectly suited to their needs physically.  And as we have been reading they lived for hundreds of years. It was only over time and many generations that mankind slowly degenerated to the point where in Psalm 90:10 the psalmist says :

    “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.”

    Now we  live in a modern day time where recessive genes take over when there is inbreeding.

    Interesting discussion.  (-:

     

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      Good points from Bev!

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5. What do you learn about the descendants of Seth from:
A. Genesis 4:26 
People of the line of Seth began to look to God and call upon Him

B. Genesis 5:22-24 
Down the line of Seth, Enoch walked and lived so closely with God he did not die.

C. Genesis 5:28 (This Lamech is different than the descendant of Cain) 
Still from the line of Seth Lamech was looking to God for hope and gave his son the name of Noah meaning rest ir comfort

 
D. Genesis 6:6-8
 

When all of mankind had become evil only Noah remained with a heart for God.

 
6. What contrasts do you see between these two lines?
The difference between the line of Cain and the line of Seth  would be how they viewed God and where they gave Him place in their lives. Bottom line it is a heart issue.

Cain from the start refused to bow his heart to God and bring the required sacrifice. That rebelliousness and attitude continued down through his family lineage.

Seth had an attitude of submitting to and calling on God which carried down to his prodigy. His people continued to have a heart for God.

 

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5.B.  Gen 5:22-24 Enoch so walked with God that he did not die, but was ‘no more, because God took him away’.

C.  Gen 5:28 Lamech, the son of Methusalah and father of Noah. If my math is right, Lamech was 113 when Enoch was taken. That means he had the opportunity to know Enoch.

 

6.  Contrasts between the line of Adam and that of Cain. In the line of Cain, the only positives you see had to do with creative ability. Both lines had evil in them, or more men than Noah would have found favor with God. Yet there were incredible bright spots, like Enoch. I really liked the line from Kidner, “the truth is more complex”. When we try to compare people or cultures, there is so much that we don’t know. And it is so easy to be desirous of having a name for what we can do or achieve or even ‘be’, such as a good person, instead of throwing our all toward His name being glorified and people pointed to Him.

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1.  I have not read the article yet (just got home from GA, via a stop in NC!) but just wanted to say that I never took your (Dee) sharing of that concept (about the gospel in the names) as being something you were presenting as gospel truth… just took it as something you thought to be an interesting possibility…and I agree!  However, I do love and appreciate that you want to be very careful about what you teach, being someone in that position of authority.  I think I tend to have a bit of a child-like thinking about our great and amazing God and think there could be millions of gospel truths woven into any number of things, even creation, but I wouldn’t want to teach that as gospel truth… like seeing a cross in dogwood tree blossoms, etc…  but it wouldn’t surprise me if He were to declare the truth of His love for us and gospel message in multiple ways.  However, as others have pointed out, we have the clear message of the gospel right in His written Word and even that can be interpreted and misinterpreted, so caution is the very best policy.  I worry sometimes (though I’m not really a teacher) that people place far too much importance on some of the things I share because I prove to myself on a daily basis what a very fallible human being I am, and so desperately in need of His constant direction, correction, and GRACE.  I like what you said about false teachers, Dee…they KNOWINGLY lead the church astray and that is not what you are about, Dee…far from it.  I feel the same as Lizzy that I don’t want to set up any human being in my heart/mind as being beyond error (pastor, teacher, author, etc…) because we are all on this journey together, constantly learning.  Thank you for being so diligent as to go to great-lengths to investigate this name idea and clarify your thoughts on it.

To add to what Lizzy shared:  It was also a huge kiss from God to me that I was able to meet her and Jon and Philip!  In short, it worked out because my parents were going down to GA (just north of Atlanta) to visit my older brother and his wife and kids and I decided to try to make the trip as well, but I knew I could not do what they normally do (drive 10 hours in one day!)  I flew down (the same day they drove down) and then told them I’d ride back with them on the condition that we break the trip up into two days, go a different route (though the Carolinas) and stop to meet my dear friend! :D After meeting Lizzy we drove another 30 mins to a WONDERFUL B&B and then made the last leg of the trip today (6 hours, which clearly showed me I definitely could not ride for 10!)  I’m so grateful to the Lord for allowing us to meet, this side of heaven…and so grateful for the eternity He has so graciously prepared for us to spend not only with Him (which will be the best thing, of course) but with all of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

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    Oh Mary — this is so BEAUTFUl. How wonderful you went to these lengths to meet the sister to whom your heart has been knit. Will post your picture together next week! Love love love this.

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      We are off for a transfusion day but just wanted to quickly add this– it was extra special for me to meet her parents too, but especially for her to meet Philip. I have told Mary this many times, but the idea to adopt again, especially a child with major medical needs, was never on our radar–only in the last now year and a half, did God being to stir that in my heart, and a huge part of what He used to “stir” me, is my friendship with Mary. She has helped me not fear the scary medical trials–she has helped me to not see it all as something to avoid, but rather, a path where the Lord is THERE, holding, sustaining…I wish I had the words right now to share more eloquently what I feel, but the Lord so used Mary’s walking through the fires to give me the courage to take this path and KNOW He will carry us, just as He has so far beyond my dreams!

        Lizzy, I don’t know if you will see this but WOW, just WOW! The penny just dropped for me! How God used Mary’s medical trials and her  courage to “stir” your heart to move towards adoption of a medically needy child! WOW! And God has brought such deep joys (and with it also pain). My heart is stirred to the depths in a way I cannot explain.

        Ditto to Diane’s WOW, Lizzy. This thrills my heart to see how the Spirit of God is working here.

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    Lizzy, yes, this is such a WOW! Ephesians 3:20-21 And now to Him who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine-to Him be the glory! (my own words)

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    I love your connecting with Lizzy. We are one in the bond of love and how special that bond is between the 2 of you.

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Dee, I have been falling behind a bit, but I wanted to let you know that agree with the others. You have not discouraged or disappointed me in any way. Its more of respect and love that I have for you. You were sensitive to God’s word and allowed Him to show you what he wanted you to know. I’m thankful that you have the relationship you do with our God so you can show us and direct us in what God wants to share. I would ask for prayers. My little sister is going through a diagnosis with her youngest son. I am introducing the idea of a Bible study with tomorrow. She believes in God, though her faith has been choked by a spouse with unbelief.

Love you Dee and all the beauty and joy you give us through sharing God’s word!!!

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    Brenda, I will be praying for you as you  try to show the love of God to your sister and to her about the possibility of a Bible Study.

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    Brenda-love love your heart and am praying for her.  Do you think she would be okay with coming on the blog or is she hesitant with sharing this way? It is sweet how God works..with your diagnosis with your son and how God has helped you press into Him instead of away.  I know your passion for him will attract her to Him.

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    I received a text update..There is beautiful news in regard to Brenda’s post but I will let her share! :))) :))) He is mighty!

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    Dear lovely Brenda — thank you. Praying for that little sister — how we’d love to have her join us. We have several godly women here married to unbelievers.

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2. Read Genesis 4:17-24  What things do you learn about the descendants of Cain?
Lamech  had two wives and based on v. 24 was a murderer
3. Lamech from the line of Cain was the first polygamist and that led to grief and abuse throughout Genesis. As you will see next week, Noah’s sons were not polygamists. Give an example from Genesis of the grief polygamy brings.
Jacob had several wives. And it brought grief to the 2 sisters, Leah and Rachel.
4. In Keller’s free sermon (please listen!) he contrasts Genesis 4:24 with Matthew 18:21-22. Before you listen, what do you see?
In Genesis, the numbers have to do with avenging and in Matthew, the numbers have to do with forgiveness
5. What do you learn about the descendants of Seth from:
A. Genesis 4:26
 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.
At that time people began to call on[a] the name of the Lord.
 
B. Genesis 5:22-24
 
He had descendants who lived a long time. And Enoch was taken by God and did not die because he walked faithfully with God.
D. Genesis 6:6-8
Noah found favor in the eyes of God.
6. What contrasts do you see between these two lines?
 
 The Cain’s line seemed to have gone down in history with much grief but Seth’s line were favored by the Lord with long life and walk with God.

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7. Read 1 John 3:11-15 
A. To whom did Cain belong and why did he murder Abel? 
 

Cain was of the evil one. He murdered Abel because he was jealous. Abel was righteous and Cain was not.

 
B. What does verse 13 say and how does this confirm Genesis 3:15? 
 

The world will hate us (Christians). Verse 3:15 says that sin will be between the snake (evil) and the woman (good) and bruising will occur.

 
C. What is one test to show we have passed from death to live according to verse 14? 
 

A test is that we show  love like Jesus.

 
8. It was a red flag to me when a couple of you said, “I’ve never heard this before.” What are we told in 1 John 2:24 and how could we apply this for protection?
 

Abide in Christ. Soak in what we have always known about God; we will then have eternal life.

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4. In Keller’s free sermon (please listen!) he contrasts Genesis 4:24 with Matthew 18:21-22. Before you listen, what do you see?

In Genesis 4:24 Lamech is seventy times seven avenged when someone sins against him meaning that person deserves to die at Lamech’s hands-The complete opposite of Jesus. In Matthew 18:21-22 the sinner is seventy times seven forgiven even though he deserves to die for Jesus took our punishment-avengement.  The contrast is stark!! Lamech is just a man and gets to avenge those who sin against him putting them to death yet Jesus is God who has every right to strike us all down yet instead HE took our punishment-death, and died so that we might live clothed in His righteousness.

Can’t wait to hear what Keller says!! :))) I plan to listen while I am getting ready for work and as I drive to work. Sweet to be able to do that. :)

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7A.  Cain belonged to the evil one and murdered because Abel’s righteousness put him in a bad light.

B.  I John 3:13 says not to be surprised if the world hates you, confirming Gen 3:15 and the enmity between those of the devil and those of God.

C.  One test in 1 John 3:14 that we have passed from death to life is if we love our brothers. It is easy to read it as if it said ‘love those who think like me’, but God says humankind are brethren, and it is up to Him to sort the sheep from the goats, not for me to pick and choose.

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7. Read 1 John 3:11-15 
A. To whom did Cain belong and why did he murder Abel? 
Cain was of the evil one (Satan)  He had adopted the attitude of a rebellious and selfish heart like the Devil.  He murdered his brother because of hate and jealousy toward his brother who practiced righteous ways which was doing what God asked with the right attitude of the heart.
B. What does verse 13 say and how does this confirm Genesis 3:15? 
We should expect that the world with it’s self promoting attitude will hate us because it goes against the truth of Who God is and what He wants from us and for us.  Genesis 3:15 has been borne out throughout history and the writer of 1 John was just acknowledging how the sin and hate of Cain was still being lived out toward believers in God.
C. What is one test to show we have passed from death to live according to verse 14? 
Love for others is a mark of a true believer in Christ.  It is not possible to have the Holy Spirit of God living in your heart and life and also carry hate and jealousy toward others.  The two are not compatible.  The love of God always overcomes.
8. It was a red flag to me when a couple of you said, “I’ve never heard this before.” What are we told in 1 John 2:24 and how could we apply this for protection? 
“Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father.”  1 John 2:24
The apparent truths of the Gospel are written on our hearts by the Holy Spirit when we experience salvation in Christ.  God puts a seal on our hearts and lives through the power of the HS.  The gospel is not a hidden mystery when we are saved and we are to remain (abide) in that truth.  There is no “new” thinking with God.  He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  We have security and protection in Him.
‭‭
9. The closing of 1 John is a climatic summary of truths expressed throughout: 
    A. What is characteristic of a child of God according to 1 John 5:18 and why? 
Sin is no longer the habit in the life of one who is born of God because of Jesus and His protection.
    B. How do you see the two families in 1 John 5:19? 
Those who know God reflect Him and the world is controlled by the power of the Devil. The two conflicting ways of life (two families) are still clearly observed in mankind today.
    C. Find three reasons Jesus came according to 1 John 5:20. 
1. To give us understanding

2. So we may know Him

3. So we can be “in” Him

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.”
    D. How does John end and how is this related to everything he has been teaching  about walking in love, light, and truth?
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭5:21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

By living our lives abiding in Christ and the power of his love we will not give oursevles instead to serve idols in His place that would rob us of love, light and truth.

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    Beautiful, Bev. Loved how you really meditated on the closing of 1 John.

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A. To whom did Cain belong and why did he murder Abel?
He belonged to the evil one and he murdered Abel because his actions were evil.
 
B. What does verse 13 say and how does this confirm Genesis 3:15? Vs 13 says the world will hate us and Genesis 3:15 says there will be enmity between the offspring of the woman (us) and the offspring of the serpent. (Devil)
C. What is one test to show we have passed from death to live according to verse14? That we love one another
8. It was a red flag to me when a couple of you said, “I’ve never heard this before.” What are we told in 1 John 2:24 and how could we apply this for protection?
 
What we have as truth should remain true and that should be a plumb line to guide us for something that maybe questionable or unclear? Not sure.
9. The closing of 1 John is a climatic summary of truths expressed throughout:

A.   What is characteristic of a child of God according to 1 John 5:18 and why?
We do not continue to sin because Jesus keeps us safe.
 
B.    How do you see the two families in 1 John 5:19?
We are under the control of God and the world is controlled by the evil one.
C.    Find three reasons Jesus came according to 1 John 5:20.
He came to give us understanding
He came so we might know Christ who is true
So we know we are in Him
D.   How does John end and how is this related to everything he has been teaching  about walking in love, light, and truth?
 
Vs. 21 says Dear children, keep away from anything that takes God’s place in your hearts. As long as we have God in the center of our lives, our “Walk” here on earth will be in light, love and truth because He is all of these and we can know Him through His Son for who He really is.

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    And Bing — great meditations.

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8.  1John2:24 see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you…

Applying this for protection. Meaning to keep the whole counsel of Scripture and rely on God constantly, rather than cherry picking just one scripture to go off from?

9.A.  1John5:18 characteristic of a child of God is to not continue to sin, because the one born if God, Jesus, keeps him safe. I suppose that means gives the indwelling power to resist sin, though I am struggling with that concept. Seems like I make two steps forward and three back.

B.  The two families are named in the next verse as the children of God and those under the control of the evil one.

C.  Jesus came to 1) give us understanding

2) so that we may know Him who is true God, Jesus

3) to give us eternal life in Himself

D.  Exhortations at the beginning and at the end, like bookends, that we should keep ourselves from idols. When we turn aside from a passionate pursuit of God, Who is love, light and truth, substituting Anything else, we end up with hate, darkness and lies.

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    Good, Mary. I understand your frustration about 1 John 5:18 — had similar feelings, though I wondered if it had to do with our final victory and the security of our salvation. Would love thoughts from others.

    On “stay with what you had from the beginning” I would say it means watch out for “new” teaching that refutes what you have always known to be true from the original teaching — as when Paul came to the Galatians for they had embraced the “new gospel” that said they had to trust Christ and be circumcised to be saved

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    Mary and Dee,

    I John 5:18 is an enigma for me, too. That verse resonated with me because the day before I read it, I was praying with a teacher colleague (we pray once a week for our school building as we are able) and in her prayer she confessed her feelings of jealousy at times of our other colleagues. I was thankful for her honesty and I know at times that ugly monster rears its ugly head in me also. When I read that verse, I had to pause and really think about it. I prayed and said to God that I want jealousy to leave my heart, that I would be happy for colleagues instead and that I believe His Word in I John 5:18 and also the several verses before that “14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

    And yet, just like you two, yesterday, when all else have left the the building and I was still not finished grading test papers, I went on a downward spiral of feeling jealous again. Why do they leave and seemed to be ready for a week-end of fun and I am left with work to do?  Hah! I think the “kept safe” is a comfort. That God will always bring me to a point of repentance (Tim Keller addressed that in his sermon below), confess and move on with the promised victory now and final victory when Jesus comes again. Sorry for the rabbit trailing here. Smile.

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      Bing — thanks so for sharing that. Really good thoughts. He won’t let us go. And He won’t let Laura go.

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9. The closing of 1 John is a climatic summary of truths expressed throughout: 
    A. What is characteristic of a child of God according to 1 John 5:18 and why? 
 

Those who are born of God do not keep on sinning. Jesus protects them.

 
    B. How do you see the two families in 1 John 5:19? 
 

The world is of Satan and we are of God.

 
    C. Find three reasons Jesus came according to 1 John 5:20. 
 

He came to give us understanding; to know Him and be in Him because He is the true God and eternal life.

 
    D. How does John end and how is this related to everything he has been teaching  about walking in love, light, and truth?
 

He tells us (the “little children”) to keep away from idols. Jesus should be our one focus, nothing else.

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    Laura — you are so faithful in doing the homework. Good answers!

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      To be honest, Dee, I am clinging to the Word; waiting for Him to speak to me, to change the horrible situation we are in at our home. The children are wonderful, but my daughter is lost. She is so lost, I fear she may not wake up. She is being led by a man who is a criminal with no ambition but to scam people. I am really sad. I don’t understand why we have to go through this hell. I feel abandoned by God. I am hoping there will be a break soon. I would love to see how God makes beauty from these ashes, but I may be Job 😔. Meanwhile, I plead with Him to answer us, throw me a bone, read  Habbakuk, and listen to Keller sermons that correlate – and I WAIT.

        Oh Laura — and so, we pray for you our dear sister.

        Father, how we cry out to you to awaken Sara, to reach out to her in rescue, and to give Laura hope.

         

        Much much love

        Laura, I so feel for you. I am in a similar boat with our daughter. She is so resisting God and is suffering for it but will not humble herself. Lord, I agree with Dee’s prayers-awaken the hearts of our children, help them see their rescue is from you and give us hope as parents.

        Laura and Bing–joining in prayer for both of your daughters–for Sara and Ruth Ann, Lord–bring Your rescue. And for Laura & Bing, Father–comfort, hold them, restore their hope in You. We cling to the truth that You hear, You are always at work, and You love our children more than we ever could begin to know–our trust is in You alone.

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10. Share your comments or notes from Keller’s sermon.

 

I love Keller and wondered when I would have that questioning of his thought process as other have had here. I guess this was the sermon. I was disappointed in his explanation of the wives and citizens of the city. It wasn’t very convincing and left me skeptical.  Since I don’t live in a city, I was kind of lost through that whole dialogue of his, and even a little bored. But I do agree that we need to repent for our sins, and I do agree that we should make Jesus our focus, not the things of this world.

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    Interesting, Laura! Keller has been criticized for his belief that the city is the best place for evangelism. I see his points, simply as there are more people there, yet it seems we need to listen to God’s voice on where we are called. So I disagreed with that part too — or at least the heavy emphasis!

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Comments on Tim Keller:

He had a three point sermon: the ruin of Cain, the culture of death sin brings and the future city.

Cain remonstrated more about what his sin has done for himself rather than to see his sin as such and repent. His descendant Lamech was even worse as his pride brought about an even more vengeful attitude to those who he perceived has done him wrong, even though how small or trivial example: a young lad bruising him

Sin brought death to the city; but there is a future city of God where death does not exist. But while here on a city, we are to be a city within a city and he quoted a verse in Matthew about us being a city on a hill and that others might see our example.

 

Just like Laura, this was not my favorite-kind of disjointed. I do appreciate his thoughts about the city where culture can either flourish or die. I think of cities of OT that no longer exist nowadays except for being a rubble. Because the light was extinguished, darkness prevailed. Oh, how I feel a great burden to be a “city” on a hill- part of the body of Christ in words and in deeds.

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I don’t know if it was planned that way, but I like how the Keller sermon ends– with repent every time you get the chance, every time you are confronted– and it happened that you, Dee started out this week repenting of jumping the gun on the name thing.

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