Revelation 2:28 – What is the morning star?

There are three possibilities here:

First, this could be a reference to Daniel 12:3, which states: “Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Under this view, God would be promising believers that they will be rewarded for their faithfulness.
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 2:17 – What are the secret names and the white stones mentioned here?

Let’s consider each:

Secret name?
The concept of getting a name from God was predicted in OT passages like Isaiah 62:2 and 65:15. Some commentators believe that the name on the stone is the name of God (Rev. 3:12), which Christ also has (Rev. 19:12). However, this doesn’t seem to fit with the notion that only the believer would know this name. In the OT, the concept of a name was closely associated with one’s identity. This concept of a name becomes important at the end of the book, when only those names found in the book of life will enter heaven (Rev. 20:15).
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 2:10 – What does John mean by 10 days?

Problem: This time indicator is unclear. Should we read it literally or symbolically? The number of ten days was probably given to tell the original audience that their suffering would be limited (“It’ll only last ten days…”). The number of ten days is normally used in the Bible to refer to a small amount of time (Gen. 24:55; Num. 11:19; Dan. 1:12; Num. 14:22; 1 Sam. 1:8; Job 19:3; Acts 25:6). Moreover, Daniel was tested for ten days, when he was sitting under Babylonian persecution (Dan. 1:12-14).
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 2:9 – Synagogue of Satan?

Problem: John writes of the “synagogue of Satan” (Rev. 2:9). Of course, many Jewish readers have taken offense to this statement. Was John anti-Semitic?
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Revelation 2:6 – Who were the Nicolaitans?

The only information that we have on the Nicolaitan movement is found here in Revelation 2:6 and 2:15. Irenaeus linked this movement with Nicolaus, who was one of the seven deacons in Acts 6:5, but it is doubtful that this was a valid account (Against Heresies 1.26.3). Another church father—Clement of Alexandria—argued that this was false (Stromata 2.20). Osbourne speculates that this could be a Gnostic false teaching, because of the mention of Balaam in verse 14. This is also mentioned in 2 Peter 2:15 and Jude 11, which is linked to a Gnostic, licentious false teaching. He also argues that the language of the “deep things of Satan” could likewise be Gnostic language (Rev. 2:24).[1] While the teachings of the Nicolaitans are unclear, their practices are crystal clear. The text tells us that their primary sin were idolatry (v.14) and sexual immorality (v.20-21; Greek porneia).

[1] Osborne, Grant. Revelation. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. 2002. 120.


“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate. (Rev 2:5)”

Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching

Ontological, Cosmological, & Teleological Arguments for the Existence of God

The Cosmological Argument for God

This is a philosophical approach to the question of whether or not there is a God. This argument is presented in philosophy in a general way; ‘is there a God’? Not, ‘is there a specific being from any one religion’? The Cosmological Argument for God is the answer to the question; ‘where did all of this (everything contained in our universe; space/time, energy, matter, etc…) come from’?

The basic idea is this; nothing comes from nothing. If there was ever absolutely nothing, nothing could ever come into being; therefore there had to be something. This something must be transcendent. It must not be bound by space/time, since space/time is the very thing that had a beginning, that had to come from something.

This is why the Cosmological Argument is sometimes referred to as the “First-Cause” Argument. The first cause is God. Also, a similar title for God; the Unmoved Mover comes up as well. The universe is in motion…to have energy there needs to be “motion.” Nothing can begin to move unless acted upon by a force…so, there has to be something to act to get everything moving.

These things point at the logical conclusion of the self-existence of God. Many skeptics, at this point, ask; ‘Well, who created God, and where did He come from’? This question shows a basic lack of understanding of the philosophical arguments here. [God is transcendent and does not need a cause.]

One simplistic way to explain it is this; Every event (and effect) must have a cause and every created thing must have a creator. God is neither an event (nor an effect), nor a created thing; therefore He has no need of a cause nor a creator. God has no beginning, since that first “thing” would be transcendent, or outside of time. If there is no time, there is no “beginning” only self existence.

Now, does the Bible back this idea up? Absolutely.

Exodus 3:14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

God reveals truth in His names, and He is very clear here; He is I AM; eternally self-existent.

John 8:57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto

them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Just further support for the Cosmological Argument pointing at the Christian God…and also support for the triune nature of God.

Again, as a remind, if you are taking a philosophy course this argument is presented for the general idea of a God. You can see that the Bible not only backs this argument up, but it also points directly at The One and only God; The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

(thechristianscribbler.com)

The Teleological Argument for God

Many people just refer to [the Teleological Argument] as the Design Argument…however, it isn’t just limited to “design” as in the design of living organisms, but also of the apparent “purposefulness” of the universe; which includes the ordered nature of it, such as the laws of physics.

This would also include things like the apparent unity, and harmony of systems within the universe. I’ve posted before on Ecological Biodiversity, and how the whole system works together to the point that naturalistic explanations fall flat.

Paley often comes up in the discussion of the Teleological Argument for God; he and his famous watch analogy. If you happened upon a watch…even laying on the moon…would you believe it just happened to assemble itself, or would you assume it was designed by an intelligence?

The Intelligent Design movement has kind of resurrected this idea and really grounded it in more technical science. The mass amount of information contained in DNA is one example of a subject now scrutinized by ID…not only the amount contained in DNA, but also how that information is read and interpreted and if there can actually be any logical naturalistic atheistic explanation behind all of this, which, thus far, there is not.

If we want to move more to the specific, we find that indeed God Himself puts forth a teleological argument in several places in the Bible, for example;

Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

Romans 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

(thechristianscribbler.com)

The Ontological Argument for God

St. Anselm is kind of the “go-to” philosopher for the Ontological Argument, and it revolves around the idea of God as [‘that’ of which] nothing greater can be conceived. Then, through different logical arguments winds up with the conclusion that God must then exist.

If God is defined, not as just a definition, but as a being that is the most perfect being in existence, or the greatest being possible, then the argument goes that He does indeed exist. Why? Because God is the greatest or most perfect being, and it is greater to exist than to not, therefore God must exist.

To put it simplistically; which would you rather have a million imaginary dollars, or a million real dollars? Which is greater? The big argument against the Ontological argument for God comes in the form of a question; Is the existence of ‘God’ [an important and meaningful idea?] Does the fact of existence actually add anything meaningful to the idea of God? The “second” argument of Anselm’s revolves around this notion; God is a greater being if He cannot not exist; if His existence is necessary. If His existence is necessary, then it would indeed be a predicate [(meaningful requirement)].

Basically the logical idea boils down to two possibilities; since God is not a limited being, either His existence is impossible or it is necessary. The existence of God is not impossible, therefore because of His nature and the nature of existence, His existence is necessary.

[Anselm postulated that] “things existing in reality are greater than things existing in the mind only; therefore God must exist in reality, or he would not be the greatest possible being. In other words, since God exists in our minds, he must exist in reality as well, since it would be absurd to be able to think of something that is greater than that which nothing greater can be conceived.” (tcapologetics.org)

Genesis 17:1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God…

The idea of God as the ultimate being is readily apparent as well:

Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

His necessity is also clear, when we read of Him being The Creator of all things;

Isaiah 40:28 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

God Himself has revealed to us that He is indeed the greatest being possible, that His existence is necessary, and that He does indeed exist.

(thechristianscribbler.com)

“Because of the inability of this argument to lead to neither a rational proof of God nor a rational disproof, some Christian philosophers agree with Karl Barth that the Ontological Argument should be used more as an assurance to those who already believe in God than as an apologetic method for those who do not.” (tcapologetics.org)

Posted by petra1000 in Apologetics, Creation

Revelation 2:1 – Was this an angel or the pastor of the church?

Problem: John explains that Jesus was speaking “to the angel of the church…” (Rev. 2:1). The Greek word for angel is aggelos, which literally
means “messenger.” Some commentators have argued that Jesus was actually speaking to the pastor or “messenger” of the church. Is this the case?
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Posted by petra1000 in Bible Difficulty, Bible Study, Bible Teaching