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  • You are here: Blogs Directory / Education / Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20 Welcome Guest
    Eric Rajaniemi's Blog: James 1:22; Romans 1:20
          Have you always had questions about different passages and books of the bible? Me too. Let's explore everything together and find out what God's Word actually says. Are you ready for a life-changing experience? Are you? Then come on!
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    Tue, Oct 28th - 8:11PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "Then certain Sadducees came to Him, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked Him, Saying, Maser, Moses wrote to us, If any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up children to his brother.  There were therefore, seven brothers, and the first took a wife, and died without any children.  And the second took her as his wife, and he died childless.  And the third took her as his wife, and in like manner the seven also, and they left no children, and all died.  Last of all the woman died also.  Therefore, in the resurrection whose wife of them is she?  for seven men had her as a wife.  Jesus answered them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage.  But they which shall be deemed worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage.  Neither can they die any more:  for they are equal to the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.  Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  For He not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to Him (20:27-38)."

        The Sadducees were the liberal-minded faction in Judaism.  Here they came to Jesus seeking to discredit Him.  They presented a logical situation with seven brothers.  Each of the brothers obeyed the Law.  No children were ever conceived, and finally, the woman herself died.  It was a logical point, but rather unlikely to ever happen.  but this liberal-minded group of Jews asked what was an egotistical and blind question.  What was the spirit behind the question itself?  It was an absurd situation; their spirit was cold and coarse, unbelieving, and revolting.  Often the unbeliever's spirit is self-incriminating and self-condemning.  There is blindness and human fraility revealed through the asking of this question.  The Sadducees were thinking that the spiritual world would be exactly like the physical world, that it would be nothing more than a simple continuation of this world both in its nature and in its relationships.  They failed to consider that God is a spiritual Being and not a physical Being. 

       We have to realize that this group of Jews were the religious and political liberals of that day.  They were the wealthy, the aristocratic, the governing class of leaders in Israel.  Many served on the nation's governing body, the Sanhedrin.  The Chief Priest himself was usually a Sadducee who presided over the entire Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin ruled the people in behalf of the Roman empire.  The Romans readily saw to it that the Sadducees held the positions of leadership in Israel, for the Sadducees favored Greek customs over Jewish customs.  They willingly aided the Romans in doing away with religious practices and instituting Greek and Roman customs.  This group is thought to have arisen out of the same struggle as the Pharisees around 175 BC.  But they were always the fewest in number among the various sects of Jewish belief.  

       We must understand that the Sadducees were secular and materialistic.  They were independent thinkers, the rationalists of their day.  They might be fewer in number, but they were heavily entrenched in the priesthod of Jesus' day.  They readily collaborated with the Romans in order to protect their position, power, and wealth.  They denied the supernatural to a great extent: the resurrection and miracles, life after death, and the existence of beings in other dimensions such as angels and spirits.  In their mind there was no heaven nor hell, no existence whatsoever except here on this earth.  A man died and was annihilated; he ceased to exist.  There was no such thing as rewards or punishment in an afterlife; there was no such thing as eternal life.  Thw only Scriptures acceptable to them was the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.  They rejected the Oral and Scribal Law and did not accept the prophets nor the poetic books.  In practice, they were very close to being humanists, believing that man was in control of his own life and destiny.  God had little if anything to do with life, for there was no afterlife.  Whatever was achieved was to be done by a person's own will and energy and effort.  They were diametrically opposed to the Pharisees.

       Their liberal position caused two things: It caused them to stumble at the spiritual and supernatural.  Therefore, in their minds, the teachings of Jesus were the teachings of an unthinking and illogical man, lacking philosophical analysis and natural proof.  Their liberal position caused them to feel threatened and to oppose Jesus.  If people were flocking to Jesus and soaking up His teachings it meant that the Sadducees were losing their grip on the people.  Their position and wealth were being jeopardized; thus, they were compelled to attack and discredit Him before the people.  

    That helps to explain why the Sadducees came and asked Jesus a trick question.  It explains why they chose that particular one to try and trip Jesus up on.  next time I will get into the marriage issue that loomed so large in the minds of the Sadducees.  We will also look at being worthy of entering into heaven, of achieving the resurrection from the dead.  Until then, grace and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior be yours.

    ~Eric


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    Sat, Oct 25th - 2:14PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "And they watched Him,and sent out spies, which should falsely present themselves as just men, that they might grasp His words, so that they might deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.  And they asked Him, Master, we know that You say and teach rightly, neither do you esteem any above another, but teach the way of god only.  Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?  But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, Why do you tempt Me?  Show Me a penny.  Whose image and super inscription does it have?  They said, Caesar's.  And he said to them, Render therefore to Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and to God the things which be God's.  And they could not use His words before the people: and they marveled at His answer, and held their peace (20:20-26)."

       You and I must take note of the deception and conniving flattery that these spies used on Jesus in verse 21.  Don't you just want to reach out and smack them one?  But isn't this how people who seek their own ends always have acted down through history?  We simply do not change the way we behave.  We can get all educated and enlightened, but we still behave the same way.  Frequently you and I can hear the complaints that religion is too institutionalized and political.  And it is quite true.  God's people must always guard against seeking personal recognition, honor, power, position, selfish loyalty, and worldly security.  

       In verses 22-23 it can be observed that there are two false concepts of citizenship.  There was the concept of the religionists who were asking the question.  They believed religion was supreme.  They did believe strongly in the heavenly, spiritual world.  They believed all obedience and loyalty were due God and God alone.  The state and government were to be subject to religious rule.  Thus, they were strongly against paying taxes to a foreign king/monarch/emperor.  Paying taxes to such people was deemed an infringement upon God's right.  But there were also people who held the concept of the secularist or humanist.  These believed that the state was supreme.  They did not hold to the supernatural, not in the sense that a Supreme Being was the creator and sovereign power who was to be actively involved in the affairs of people.  Religion, if it was to be practiced at all, was to be subject to the state.  Religion existed to serve and benefit the state.  God was either ignored or denied, viewed only as a tool to benefit the state.

       These two concepts have warred against each other down through the ages since Christ ascended back into heaven.  These two concepts are always present among people everywhere.  There will always be those who hold that religion ought to be supreme and those who hold that the state ought to be supreme.  We need to see that Christ cut through all of their deception and flattery.  He knew every self-seeking ambition, every deception and flattering word, every pretension to honor Him, every person who ignored and denied Him, and every secular and humanistic claim.

       As Jesus pointed to the image on the coin it couldn't be denied that it was the image of the government.  It had minted the coin and stamped its inscription upon it.  God did not make the xoin; therefore the government owned the coin and could demand the coin.  Christ Jesus made His point very clear.  The coin and some other things produced by the state belonged to the stae, things such as roads, buildings, sewage, and public transportation.  The government was due some things.  It was particularly due a man's allegiance and support.  A man was a citizen of this world as long as he was in the world.  The world provided him with everything necessary to sustain physical life; and the goernment  under which he lived provided protection, roads, water, and laws.  Man owed his due share to that state.  The image stamped upon man is God's image.  The Jews frantically held that God created mankind and that He stamped His very image upon mankind.  Thus, mankind owed its total dedication to God and to no one other than God.  What they did fail to grasp was what Jesus was pointing out.  Man is presently a citizen of two worlds:  this physical world and the Spiritual world of God.  The stamp of God is upon man's life; therefore man owes God his life, life that was meant to exist with Gof forever.  The stamp of God is upon man's life; therefore man owes God his world, a world that is ever so beautiful and needs to be looked after and caref for by man.  The stamp of God is upon man's life; therefore man owes God his spirit, a spirit that can be born again and live a self-denying life of love and peace for the sake of all men everywhere.  The stamp of God is upon man's mind and body; therefore man owes God his mind and body, a mind and body that have the power to produce for the betterment of all mankind.  

       The conclusion of this entire matter?  The religionists were silenced.  They were unable to discredit Jesus' words; and they were struck with amazement.  People are forced tostand in amazement at the concepts of God when they are accurately spoken with the power of the Holy Spirit filling them.  Each person is to be a citizen of this physical world, rendering to it what it is due.  Each person is also expected to become a citizen of God's supernatural world and render to Him that which is His.  This where many people stumble and fall by the wayside.  They simply do not understand what the difference can be.  Or, they are unwilling to separate the two.  I can be a citizen of America, rendering what is due it, and I can also be a citizen of God's kingdom and render to God what is due to Him.  Christ did not tell them that they did not have to pay their taxes, did he?  No, He did not.  Give to the state what is owed to the state.  Just remember that you must also give to God what is owed Him as well.  I simply choose to give to God what is His first and foremost.  

    Next time I will be covering the trickery of the Sadducees, the liberal faction of the religionist group.  We will see the error is their assumptions.  Grace and peace be yours this day that the Lord has made for us.

    ~Eric


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    Sun, Oct 19th - 8:22PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to arrest Jesus; and they feared the people: for they perceived that He had spoken this parable against them(20:19).

       At least we can understand why these religionists were getting really, really, angry with Jesus.  They understood that Christ was telling everyone within earshot that the religious leaders of the people had been inappropriately managing what God had given them responsibility to oversee.  But we must understand how institutionalized and political the Levitical priesthood had become over the centuries since it began with Aaron right after Moses led the Israelites out of their Egyptian slavery.  The priests were seen manuevering to discredit and destroy jesus just like secular rulers do today with their political opponents.  It happens right in American politics during election years, like this year.  There was no testimony of godliness in their lives.  The very persons who were supposed to be God's testimony in righteousness had become engrossed in selfish ambition and political intrigue.  How many of our churches today fail this test?  Are we God's testimony in righteousness to the rest of the world?  Or are we too involved in selfish ambition and carving out our niche within the kingdom?  Have we completely lost sight of doing God's work among those whom He has sent us to speak His Good News?  

       These religionists feared they were losing their control over the people.  Why, the people were flocking to Jesus by the thousands, and Jesus had proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah (Luke 19:30, 37, 46; 20:2-6, 13, 17-18).  He had cleansed the Temple, accusing them of misusing it (luke 19:25).  He had totally screwed up their attempt to discredit Him (Luke 20:7-8).  He had accused them of being wicked husbandmen who had failed to care for God's vineyard (Luke 20:9-18).  As they saw it, if the people rose up against the leaders and proclaimed jesus to be the Messiah, the Romans would have to step in to put down the revolt.  The Jewish leaders would lose their position, authority, livelihood; they would lose everything.  They felt their backs to the wall and must do whatever was necessary in order to stop Jesus.  They had become scared and desperate men, the most dangerous kind there is.  Their initial methodology they chose to stop Jesus was to pose trick questions.  If they could get Him to take some position against the people, the people would not follow Him.  Then He could be arrested and destroyed without ramifications.  On the other hand, if they could get Him to take some position against Rome, He would be arrested for preaching treason/insurrection.  These religionists did not care how it came about, they simply wanted Jesus taken from out of the public limelight and silenced for good.  

    Well, that is all for today, beloved!  My apologies for such a lengthy absence.  Last week our ten year old boy caught a bacterial sinus infection that spread into his eyes as conjunctivitis, then spread to his mom (his primary care-giver) and finally to me this past week.  I have been unable to read print below a certain font size this week, until today.  I hope to post some more tomorrow.  May the grace and peace of Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior, be yours!  Through each of us may God keep extending His hand out to a hungry world.  Let each of us therefore wak with our God in such a living way that when we share our faith in Christ we can honestly say that we have seen God's Glory:  Jesus Christ!  Amen?

    ~Eric


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    Wed, Oct 8th - 10:12PM

    STUDY IN LUKE



    "Then He began to speak to the people this parable; "A certain man planted a vineyard, and leased it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.  At the right time He sent a servant to the husbandmen in order to get His share of the produce of the vineyard.  But the husbandmen beat the servant and sent him back empty-handed.  He sent another servant, and they beat him, too, treated him shamefully, and sent him back empty-handed.  Then He sent a third, and they wounded him and threw him out too.  Then the Owner of the vineyard said, "what should i do?  I'll send My son whom I love.  It may be that they will reverence Him when they see Him."  But when the husbandmen saw Him, they talked it over among themselves and said, "This is the Heir.  Let's kill Him so that the inheritance will be ours!"  So they threw Him out of the vineyard and killed Him.  Now what will the Owner of the vineyard do to them?  He will come and destroy those husbandmen and give the vineyard to others."  Those people who heard Him said, "God forbid!"  But Jesus looked at them and asked, "What does this text mean: 'The stone that the builders rejected has become the head of the corner'?  Whoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomever it shall fall, it will grind them into powder(20:9-18)."

       Jesus used this parable to teach the people that God created the world and leased it out to Israel and the Jewish people.  He planted Israel within the vineyard and expected them to produce fruit upon His behalf.  They were not the owners of the vineyard, simply had agreed to work it and take care of it for the owner.  God also gave mankind the highest privilege:  the privilege of life and of caring for His created world.  God has placed the world into our hands and we are responsible for it, to manage it for God and to give God the first fruits of our labor.

       This parable teaches us that a day of reckoning will come upon us all.  The day of payment will arrive without warning.  In the past God had sent His servants to Israel to collect "fruit" from the Chosen People of God.  Fruit was expected, and it was time for payment.  Every person was expected to pay their dues, to contribute for the privilege of living in the beautiful "vineyard" of the world.  God's servants were repeatedly mistreated and were refused payment.  As it was then, so it remains to this day: People deliberately rebel against God.   People want to rule the vineyard themselves.  They want to be the king of the Kingdom, the ruler of the earth, and even the head of the Church.  They want things to go their way, to rule and reign as they desire and will.  They do not want any authority above them.  People want their own way so much that they criticize, ridicule, slander, persecute and even murder the true servants of God.  Thus, the servants of God must understand that they are called to suffer.  We also are taught that God shows patience.  God did not strike out in anger at the very first sign of rebellion.  God chose to give people every opportunity to respond appropriately.  

       Finally, God chose to make a special appeal to the "husbandmen" of the vineyard.  He sent His only begotten Son to collect the fruit.  Jesus claimed to be God's Son.  He was different from all previous servants sent to Israel.  He was more than just another man-servant.  He was God's Son.  Jesus clearly made this unique claim for Himself on purpose.  The Israelites saw God's Son.  There multiple pieces of evidence:  Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled, the testimony of John the Baptist, the claims of Jesus Himself, and all of the miracles taking place in front of many people.  The feeling across Jewish society was that Jesus was the Messiah, even among those who now opposed Him.  Was it sin, greed, lust for position, esteem, power, and security that kept them from acknowledging Him?  Their unbelief apparently was deliberate and obstinate.

       We then see that the husbandmen plotted the death of the Son.  They desired to seize His inheritance and make it their own.  They desired to possess the kingdom, the nation, the property, the power, the rule, the reign, the fame, the recognition, and the wealth.  Whatever the possession may be, people end up wanting it for themselves.  They will lie, deny, deceive, cheat, steal, and even kill in order to obtain it for themselves.  In the parable the husbandmen murdered the son.  In Israel the leaders killed the Son of God who was sent to save them.  However, we must not overlook the fact that Jesus was predicting His own death by their hands, and that His death was to be a voluntary act on His part.  He knew death lay directly ahead of Him within Jerusalem, could have easily avoided it, but He chose to be obedient to His Father and die for mankind.  

       A just judgment therefore was pronounced against those who had been given the responsibility to oversee the vineyard, the world.  Just as the crime was the most terrible and tragic crime in all of history so the judgment was to be the most tragic and extreme in all of history.  The rebellious husbandmen will be destroyed.  The vineyard (world) will be given to others to oversee.  The vineyard will not be left untended; it will not be allowed to not bear fruit.  God has raised up a new people to care for the world: the Church, the new creation of God.  Now, when the religious leaders of Israel heard this statement, they knew exactly what Jesus meant.  There was no doubt in their minds at all.  They simply could not believe their ears.   They felt in their minds that they could not be rejected by God.  And so they burst out in outrage, interrupting Jesus:  "God forbid!"  

       The coming judgment came from out of existing Scripture.  In verses 17-20 we discover Jesus identifying Himself with the Stone rejected by the builders.  The stone is a symbol of Christ.  Please note the rejected Stone's exaltation.  Christ is the Head or Chief Cornerstone, the Foundation Stone upon which all else must be built.  This is true for individual lives as well as the Church of all believers in Christ Jesus.  Matthew 21:42 teaches us that He is the Cornerstone of the Church.  Ephesians 2:20-22 teaches this concept as well.    It is vitally important to remember the rejected Stone's destructive power.  The power of stone against flesh and blood is rather well-known.  Anyone who stumbles upon or over the Stone, Jesus Christ, is broken, hurt.  Any person upon whom the Stone falls is ground into dusty powder, utterly destroyed, permanently.  "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?  no, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, says the LORD (Jeremiah 6:15)."

    The Church of Jesus Christ is built upon Him, and only Him.  There is no other name in all creation by which we are called to be saved or could be saved by.  Peter is one of many Apostles, and all of them are part of the foundation built upon the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ.  No other name is worthy to open the Book.  No other name can call people back to life after death.  No other name can bring peace, contentment, and unspeakable joy to your heart and life.  No other name has the authority or ability to offer mercy to another person for their sins.  It is Jesus and only Jesus who saves.  

    That is all for today beloved!  Next time I will post about the question of government and religion/church.  Which one is supreme?  Grace and peace be yours, in the name of our most precious Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ!

    ~Eric


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    About Me

    Name: Eric Rajaniemi
    ChristiansUnite ID: ejroyal
    Member Since: 2007-09-08
    Location: Bedford, Virginia, United States
    Denomination: Born-again, Church of the Brethren
    About Me: I refrain from any denomination as much as possible since my faith has to do with Jesus Christ and not denominations. My wife and I are charter members of Lake Side Church of the Brethren for they desire to follow the New Testament precepts. We hav... more

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