From Jim McGuiggan... Sin, uncreation and the Devil

Sin, uncreation and the Devil

In the New Testament all manifestations of sin are finally laid at the feet of Satan but this is not because he is personally responsible for every sin that we commit. Neither Satan, evil angel or demon can make us sin, but the Bible insists that human sin links us with a rebellion against God that goes beyond the human rebellion. When we become part of the new covenant people of God we join ranks with a vast company (Hebrews 12:22-24). When we choose sin we join ranks with that vast company that has chosen to rebel against the Holy Father. (A rebellion we know only a little about. Compare texts like 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6.)
The constant stress in scripture is on human sin and that sin is seen consistently in terms of guilt. However many elements enter into the discussion of that sin it is still seen as guilt and it is never excused or whitewashed. The awfulness of sin is stressed when it is deliberately linked with Satan. The blame for our sin is not laid on him but the character and cosmic nature of our sin is brought home to us by linking it with God's implacable enemy.
What Judas did the night he betrayed Jesus was not just a friend betraying a friend (which it most certainly was!), it was satanic in its character and connection. Luke 22:3 tells us that Satan entered Judas. When people cunningly lie Acts 5:3 says Satan filled their hearts and when people turn from the gospel Matthew 13:19 tells us that Satan stole the seed. None of this has anything to do with questions about Satan's power and has everything to do with the character of our sin and rejection of God--it's satanic. You can write across all sin: Satanic!
We see this from another angle when the prophets bring a word of judgement against rebellious nations. In Genesis 1 & 2 the language of blessing is creation and life and harmony. When we rebelled against God he finally brought the flood and “uncreation” was the result. Waters once divided came rushing back, death was promoted rather than life, chaos rather than harmony. This actually happened.
When the prophets speak of judgment on, say, Edom , Babylon or Judah we have the speech of uncreation. In Isaiah 14 and 34 the world of Edom and Babylon is uncreated. In Jeremiah 4 and Zephaniah 1 the world of Judah is uncreated. “I beheld the earth,” said Jeremiah, “and it was without form and void.” The birds were gone, humans were gone and in Zephaniah the fish were gone as well. The earth was desolate and without trees or growth or anything else that was an expression of life. None of this literally happened in the judgements on these nations so what was the point?
These texts stress the cosmic consequences of sin against the Holy Father but they also point us back to an original rebellion by using the language of uncreation. From all this we learn that human rebellion is a single narrative, a single enterprise. And when the Bible links Satan with the judgements of God that are on the earth we are being reminded again that our sins aren't a mass of independent and individual sins. We are a sinning race! We are all together in the sinning business and it is part of an even vaster rebellion.
But the sin is ours and not Satan's! Because he is the one who initially tempted us and because that's when we rebelled he is always placed at the center of it. And in that pivotal passage in Romans 5:12-22, where Paul summarizes our situation in Adam and in Christ, Paul lays all our sin at Adam's feet. Satan and Adam have their respective places in the unfolding of the drama but neither of them is personally responsible for the individual and ongoing sinning of the human race.
Jesus in Matthew 23:29-36 masses all human sin together and sees it as a single narrative. He says his peers killed a man called Zechariah though that man died long before they were born. He holds them responsible for Cain's killing of Abel. This is has nothing to do with transferring guilt or federal headship! It is Christ's insistence that sinful human rebellion is a single enterprise and that a modern murder is nothing other than Cain at his work again. 1 John 3:12 links Cain's evil with Satan and warns them against that murderous and hateful way of life.
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

Are All Sins Equal? by Kyle Butt, M.A. Colton Scott


Are All Sins Equal?

by Kyle Butt, M.A.
Colton Scott

At Apologetics Press, we receive numerous questions on various topics. One of the more commonly asked questions is, “Are all sins equal?” In order to answer such a question, we must go to the only definitive source that can speak with authority concerning sins: the Bible. When we do, we see that the answer depends upon the context in which the question is asked.
In one sense, the answer is, “Yes, sin is sin.” James 2:10-11 says: “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” From these verses, we see that any sin is enough to convict a person as a sinner. John said as much when he wrote: “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4). So, even though cultures may view certain sins as more or less important than others, the Bible teaches that any deviation from God’s law is enough to keep an individual from the presence of the Lord if that sin is not forgiven.
This point is further underscored in the story of the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27). The rich young ruler explained to Jesus that he had kept all of the commandments from the time of his youth. Jesus responded to him by saying, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” At these words, the young ruler left sorrowfully. Though he had kept all of the commandments save one, he was still living in sin, due to the fact that he valued his wealth more than his relationship with God. According to Jesus’ statement, the young man only lacked “one thing,” yet it was still enough to keep him from the presence of the Lord. So, in this context, all sins are the same.
However, the fact that any sin can condemn a person does not mean that all sins are judged the same, or have the same spiritual consequences. The Bible plainly states, in numerous places, that God considers some sins to be “greater,” or more evil than others. For instance, in Exodus 32:21, Moses asked Aaron: “What did this people do to you, that you brought so great a sin upon them?” Obviously, this is comparative language, indicating that Aaron’s sin was more evil, or had greater implications than some other sin. We see this concept carried over into the New Testament as well. In Matthew 5:19, Jesus said that whoever breaks “the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” Clearly, certain commandments were considered “least” and, by comparison, others must have been considered “greater.” The concept of “greater” commandments is found in Matthew 23:23. There Jesus chastised the Pharisees for “neglecting the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith.” His point was very clear; the failure to tithe a tiny amount of spices was much less of a sin than the failure to administer justice and mercy to one’s fellow man.
Perhaps the most explicit demonstration of this principle is expressed in Jesus’ conversation with Pilate. In John 19:11, Jesus said to Pilate, “[T]he one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” His statement could not be more direct. The individual responsible for delivering Jesus over to Pilate had committed a sin greater than the sin committed by Pilate.
With this in mind, a person may wonder how all sins can cause a person to be lost, but some sins are judged to be greater than others. A simple illustration will suffice to make this situation clear. Suppose that a person borrows money from the bank to buy a $10,000 car. That person pays the bank back $9,000, but stops making payments on the car. What will happen? The bank will repossess the car, even though the person paid off all of the balance except $1,000. Any unpaid balance is enough to lose the car. Now suppose a person borrows $10,000 on a car and does not pay any of it back. What will happen? The bank will repossess the car. In these two cases, does one person have a greater debt than the other? Certainly, the one who still owes $10,000. But are both debts, even though they are of unequal value, enough to cost both borrowers their cars? Yes. [NOTE: At Apologetics Press we have answered related questions such, “Are There Degrees of Punishment and Reward?” (see Butt, et al., 2000), and “Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit—‘The Unpardonable Sin’” (Butt, 2003).]


We can see that the Bible explicitly and clearly tells how God views sins. Sins vary in terms of judgment and weight, yet any one sin is enough to cause a person to lose his or her soul if left unforgiven. In view of this truth, let us all strive to faithfully obey God so that the blood of His Son Jesus Christ can continually cleanse us from all of our sins, from the least to the greatest (1 John 1:7).  


Butt, Kyle and Alden Bass and Bert Thompson (2000), “Are There Degrees of Punishment and Reward?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=212.
Butt, Kyle (2003), “Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit—‘The Unpardonable Sin,’” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1218.

From Mark Copeland... The Garden Of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42)

                                         "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Garden Of Gethsemane (14:32-42)


1. Following the last supper, Jesus and His disciples went to
   Gethsemane... - Mk 14:32
   a. A garden outside the city, across the Kidron brook and on the
      Mount of Olives
   b. It’s name meaning "olive press", and was possibly a remote          walled garden
   c. A place where Jesus often went with His disciples - Jn 18:1-2

2. Note the contrast between the Garden of Eden and the Garden of
   a. In Eden, the first man (Adam) fell by yielding to temptation and
      disobeyed God
   b. In Gethsemane, the second man (cf. 1Co 15:47) conquered by
      yielding to the will of God

[Yes, "The Garden Of Gethsemane" was a place of victory for Jesus (and
consequently for us as well).  But the victory did not come easy, as we
consider first that...]


      1. He went to pray, accompanied only by Peter, James, and John - Mk 14:32-33
      2. Before He began praying, He was "troubled and deeply
         distressed" - Mk 14:33
      3. Later, Luke records that He was "in agony", and His sweat
         became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground - Lk 22:44
      5. He was likely troubled for He knew that His hour had come - cf.
         Jn 12:27
      6. He knew what was imminent, for He had told His disciples
         earlier - Mk 10:32-34

      1. He described Himself as "exceedingly sorrowful, even to death" - Mk 14:34
      2. The writer of Hebrews refers to His "vehement cries and tears" - He 5:7
      3. His grief and sorrow was partly due to the fact that He was
         taking upon Himself our own grief and sorrow! - cf. Isa 53:4-5

      1. He wanted His closest disciples to watch with Him - Mk 14:33
         a. Those who had been with Him from the beginning - Mk 1:16-20
         b. Those who were privy to one of His greatest miracles - Mk 5:37-43
         c. Those who saw Him transfigured on the mountain - Mt 9:1-2
         d. Including the disciple "whom He loved" - Jn 13:23; 19:26;
            20:2; 21:7,20,24
      2. Yet after each episode of praying, He found them sleeping - Mk 14:37,40,41
         a. When He desired fellowship for comfort, there was none to be
         b. The Psalmist foretold this would happen - cf. Ps 69:20

[Alone in His distress and sorrow, our Lord found "The Garden Of
Gethsemane" to be a place of great suffering for Him.  Then something
happened.  Before He left to face the mob led by Judas to arrest Him,
Jesus found that...]


      1. The agony in His prayer is:
         a. Seen by His posture:  "He...fell on the ground" - Mk 14:35
         b. Heard in His words:  "Abba, Father, take this cup away from
            Me" - Mk 14:36
      2. It was "godly fear" Jesus expressed, and for such His prayer
         was heard - He 5:7
         a. Not that the cup (of suffering) was removed
         b. But that He would be able to drink it

      1. As evidenced by His words:
         a. "Not what I will, but what You will." - Mk 14:36
         b. "if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it,
            Your will be done." - Mt 26:42
      2. When man first said "My will, not Thine be done..."
         a. It opened the flood gate of sin
         b. It turned man out of the Paradise of God
      3. But when Jesus said "Not as I will, but as You will..."
         a. Victory over sin and access to the Tree of Life became
         b. For it prepared Jesus to go to the cross to make it possible

      1. Jesus received an answer to His prayer - cf. Lk 22:43
         a. Not the answer He requested (let this cup pass from Me)
         b. But strength from an angel!
      2. Like the apostle Paul would pray later - cf. 2Co 12:7-10
         a. Asking the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh
         b. Receiving an answer different than requested, but sufficient
            to meet the need!

      1. Strengthened, Jesus was ready to face the hour at hand - Mk 14:41
      2. He was ready to meet His betrayer and those with him - Mk 14:42


1. So "The Garden Of Gethsemane" was a place of both suffering and
   a. Jesus entered the garden suffering
   b. He left the garden strengthened

2. Notice what turned the place of suffering into a place of strength...
   a. Prayer that was fervent and persistent
   b. Prayer that submitted to the will of God
   c. Prayer in which one was strengthened
   d. Prayer that enabled one to face the cup of life given Him

There will be times when we must enter our "Garden Of Gethsemane":
times of distress, sorrow, loneliness.  But such times can also be a
time of comfort and strength, provided we spend them in prayer, willing
to accept the Father’s will in our lives... - cf. Php 4:6-7

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading January 26

Bible Reading   

January 26

The World English Bible

Jan. 26
Genesis 26

Gen 26:1 There was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines, to Gerar.
Gen 26:2 Yahweh appeared to him, and said, "Don't go down into Egypt. Live in the land I will tell you about.
Gen 26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you. For to you, and to your seed, I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.
Gen 26:4 I will multiply your seed as the stars of the sky, and will give to your seed all these lands. In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed,
Gen 26:5 because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my requirements, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws."
Gen 26:6 Isaac lived in Gerar.
Gen 26:7 The men of the place asked him about his wife. He said, "She is my sister," for he was afraid to say, "My wife," lest, he thought, "the men of the place might kill me for Rebekah, because she is beautiful to look at."
Gen 26:8 It happened, when he had been there a long time, that Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out at a window, and saw, and, behold, Isaac was caressing Rebekah, his wife.
Gen 26:9 Abimelech called Isaac, and said, "Behold, surely she is your wife. Why did you say, 'She is my sister?' " Isaac said to him, "Because I said, 'Lest I die because of her.' "
Gen 26:10 Abimelech said, "What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!"
Gen 26:11 Abimelech commanded all the people, saying, "He who touches this man or his wife will surely be put to death."
Gen 26:12 Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year one hundred times what he planted. Yahweh blessed him.
Gen 26:13 The man grew great, and grew more and more until he became very great.
Gen 26:14 He had possessions of flocks, possessions of herds, and a great household. The Philistines envied him.
Gen 26:15 Now all the wells which his father's servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped, and filled with earth.
Gen 26:16 Abimelech said to Isaac, "Go from us, for you are much mightier than we."
Gen 26:17 Isaac departed from there, encamped in the valley of Gerar, and lived there.
Gen 26:18 Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father. For the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham. He called their names after the names by which his father had called them.
Gen 26:19 Isaac's servants dug in the valley, and found there a well of springing water.
Gen 26:20 The herdsmen of Gerar argued with Isaac's herdsmen, saying, "The water is ours." He called the name of the well Esek, because they contended with him.
Gen 26:21 They dug another well, and they argued over that, also. He called its name Sitnah.
Gen 26:22 He left that place, and dug another well. They didn't argue over that one. He called it Rehoboth. He said, "For now Yahweh has made room for us, and we will be fruitful in the land."
Gen 26:23 He went up from there to Beersheba.
Gen 26:24 Yahweh appeared to him the same night, and said, "I am the God of Abraham your father. Don't be afraid, for I am with you, and will bless you, and multiply your seed for my servant Abraham's sake."
Gen 26:25 He built an altar there, and called on the name of Yahweh, and pitched his tent there. There Isaac's servants dug a well.
Gen 26:26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, and Ahuzzath his friend, and Phicol the captain of his army.
Gen 26:27 Isaac said to them, "Why have you come to me, since you hate me, and have sent me away from you?"
Gen 26:28 They said, "We saw plainly that Yahweh was with you. We said, 'Let there now be an oath between us, even between us and you, and let us make a covenant with you,
Gen 26:29 that you will do us no harm, as we have not touched you, and as we have done to you nothing but good, and have sent you away in peace.' You are now the blessed of Yahweh."
Gen 26:30 He made them a feast, and they ate and drank.
Gen 26:31 They rose up some time in the morning, and swore one to another. Isaac sent them away, and they departed from him in peace.
Gen 26:32 It happened the same day, that Isaac's servants came, and told him concerning the well which they had dug, and said to him, "We have found water."
Gen 26:33 He called it Shibah. Therefore the name of the city is Beersheba to this day.
Gen 26:34 When Esau was forty years old, he took as wife Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon the Hittite.

Gen 26:35 They grieved Isaac's and Rebekah's spirits.


From Gary... Warnings, instructions and prayer

Stupidity caused by greed- in other words- lawyers!!! While they do have their place in obtaining "justice", yet most of the time it seems their activities just seem to foster GREED.  However, some warnings on medicine are NOT FRIVOLOUS; they may just save your life!!!  Looking beyond the above foolishness (especially the bottom one), what if a warning was actually worth listening to? Consider the following:

Ezekiel, Chapter 33 (WEB)
  1 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying,  2 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and tell them, When I bring the sword on a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;  3 if, when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;  4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and doesn’t take warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and didn’t take warning; his blood shall be on him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.  6 But if the watchman sees the sword come, and doesn’t blow the trumpet, and the people aren’t warned, and the sword comes, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.  7 So you, son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.  8 When I tell the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you don’t speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand.  9 Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he doesn’t turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.  10 You, son of man, tell the house of Israel: Thus you speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we pine away in them; how then can we live?  11 Tell them, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel?

Why post on this topic? The answer is simple- I don't want the penalty of verse six.  This is the warning to the country I love; The United States of America: Wake up!!! Realize that radical Muslims are poised to begin a major campaign against our country and if something is not done soon, there will be massive bloodshed in our country!!!!  

In our society, everyone has a right to worship as they please (for now, anyway), but if a group wants to kill, rape, pillage and destroy our country, it should be removed from our boundaries as you would remove CANCER from your own body.  Let peace abound in our great land- remove the wickedness of radical Islam from our midst!!! My conscience is clean; I have warned you all. How you respond is up to you. I pray that whatever you do, it will be done peaceably, if possible.  Join with me today in prayer for our great nation- that it musters the intestinal fortitude to combat religious evil in our midst!!!!