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Regard (נבט)

The word for looking at something in the Hebrew language is typically ראה (rah). After Lot separates from Abram and goes down into the valley to reside among the Sodomites, God has Abram lift up his eyes and look (rah) at the land, showing him all that his descendants will receive, Genesis 13:14. To gaze up on a person is expressed by שׁור (sor), Job 7:8. Those who see (rah) Job will no longer glance (sor) upon him. נבט (nabat) then relates to seeing in a way that gives regard to something; therefore, it is not specifically referring to the physical appearance, but of consideration or concern.

The distinctions in different words for how we see, are important to understand because by their use we are expressing specific meaning. When Lot’s wife turned and looked at Sodom after they had been rescued from its destruction by the Lord, she did not turn and physically glance at the city, or in fleeing decide to turn around and go back to Sodom. She turned her regard back to this extremely wicked place, and as a result God included her in the judgment by turning her to a pillar of salt, Genesis 19:26.

When Abraham is told to look towards the heaven and count the stars, God is not focusing on their appearance but on giving regard to all the stars in the heavens, Genesis 15:5. After God speaks to Moses through the burning bush, Moses hides his face so as to not look intensely or give regard to what he was seeing, Exodus 3:6. Later, the people of Israel give regard to Moses every time he goes out to the tent of meeting. When Moses entered the tent the […]

Regard (נבט)2023-11-23T17:59:41-08:00

Fight (ἀγωνίζομαι)

In 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul encourages Timothy to fight the good fight of the faith. Fight (ἀγωνίζομαι) is a word that describes the struggle that an athlete has in striving to be the best in competition, 1 Corinthians 9:25. Unlike in a battle with Satan where we parlay (πάλη) against him by putting on the armor of God and standing firm, this struggle has to do with laying hold of eternal life; therefore, it involves the exercising of our senses to discern what is proper from what is wrong, Hebrews 5:14.

While Jesus was going through the cities and villages teaching on His way to Jerusalem, one of the disciples questioned Him concerning the number that would be saved, Luke 13:21. Jesus tells them that they are to struggle to enter through the narrow gate, not the way many will seek to enter, for those who do not enter through the narrow gate will not be able to find their way into the Kingdom of God, Luke 13:24. He then speaks of a time coming when the Master of the house will shut the door. All who are outside will not be permitted in, even though they claim to have eaten and drank in His presence while He taught. Jesus is the only way, and all those who seek salvation through other means will not find it, John 14:6.

Near the end of Paul’s life, while giving instructions to Timothy regarding the duties of a Pastor, he writes that he has struggled the proper struggle, for he guarded the faith, 2 Timothy 4:7. The faith Paul refers to is the doctrine concerning the good news of the Christ. Through Christ’s death for our sins, burial, and resurrection […]

Fight (ἀγωνίζομαι)2023-12-14T07:53:43-08:00

Simon the Sorcerer

Seeking to Purchase the Gift from God

Simon was a man in Samaria who practiced magic to astonish the people, through which he claimed to be someone great, Acts 8:9. Therefore, the people, great and small, all paid attention to him, saying that what he was doing was the great inherent ability of God, Acts 8:10. Sorcerer (μαγεύω) is one who practices magic (μαγεία). This is the same type of magic that street performers use today to amaze people and gain financially from them as they seek to be well-known for their skills. Simon was not the only one doing magic to obtain notoriety recorded in Scripture. Elymas, a false prophet who was known as a Sorcerer, stood against Saul and Barnabas, preventing them from speaking the Word of God to the proconsul of Paphos, seeking to turn Sergius Paulus from the faith, Acts 13:6-8. These men used magic to persuade the people that their power was from God and procure a position of high regard for themselves, giving them access to substantial wealth.

When Philip the evangelist came to Samaria proclaiming the gospel of the resurrected Christ, Simon the sorcerer was among those who believed. The signs and wonders that Philip was doing intrigued him, so he continued with Philip after being immersed, Acts 8:13. Although the Samaritans believed in the facts of the Gospel, they had not yet received the Holy Spirit because God was using this as an opportunity to show the Jews that He is accepting the Gentiles into the Church. Therefore, it was not until the Apostles sent Peter and John, who laid their hands on those who believed Philip’s message, that they received the Holy Spirit, Acts 8:16. The […]

Simon the Sorcerer2023-12-14T07:58:18-08:00

An Age (αἰών)

An age (αἰών) is a period in which God shows something about Himself to intelligent beings. Ages are not restricted to time and are distinct from dispensations (οἰκονομία), which are administrations within time during which God shows something to humans about themselves. Ages may overlap with another age, begin at the same time as a dispensation, or run for a period longer than a single dispensation. Ages end when God has finished revealing the intended aspect of His nature to the intelligent created beings. Dispensations change due to judgment coming upon those in the household for failing to abide by the rules and run consecutively and are bound to time.

An age is not the same as eternal or forever. When referring to things that go beyond the ages, such as the eternal life we have in Christ, aiōnios (αἰώνιος) is used, 1 John 5:13. Where aiōn (αἰών) references a period in which God is showing something about Himself to intelligent beings, whether in or out of time. In the future, there will be ages (αἰών) of the ages (αἰών); however, each age (αἰών) is not eternal (αἰώνιος). This is also true in the Old Testament where ōw·lām (עֹולָם) conveys the concept of an age, Psalm 9:6; however ăd (עַד) with the preposition (לְ – to) expresses perpetuity, Psalm 61:8. The Lord will reign from an age (עֹולָם) and perpetually (עַד), Exodus 15:18.

Before the creation of humans, Scripture reveals that there were three ages. God created the spirit beings before He created the universe, Job 38:7. Therefore, the first age was the creation of the universe. During this age, the spirit beings learned of the omnipotent power of God, for they witnessed Him create the universe […]

An Age (αἰών)2023-12-14T08:08:48-08:00

Testing for Approval (δοκιμάζω)

Testing for approval (δοκιμάζω) is to make a critical examination of a person or thing to determine its authenticity, drawing a conclusion about its worth. Therefore, it is testing to establish whether or not there is something of value within who or what is put to the test.

Today, the wrath of God is upon all ungodliness and those holding down the truth in unrighteousness, for they consider the knowledge of God to be of no value and are therefore given over to a mind that, when tested, fails because it is found to be full of unrighteousness, Romans 1:28. This lack of worth is seen in the conclusions that this type of unapproved mind makes, for they go against the facts presented and are not base on reality. Such as a man who claims there is no God; however, he is fully aware that the universe is more expansive than humans have currently examined, and therefore, making such a statement shows that his conclusions are not of any value. Or a scientist who claims humans came from evolution. A hypothesis that is its own worst enemy, for within its declarations, it ignores the facts and presents evidence for support that is contrary to its own theories, because the evidence actually shows that humans were created. Therefore, the mind can be in such a state from the result of rejecting truth and reality that when put to the test for approval, it fails.

A Jew who claims to rest upon the law and makes his boast in God, asserting he knows His desirous will and is able to discern for good all things for he is instructed in the law, yet breaks the very rules he states […]

Testing for Approval (δοκιμάζω)2023-12-23T06:39:18-08:00
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