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Is It Wrong To Want God To Be Here Physically?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2020 1:00 am

Is It Wrong To Want God To Be Here Physically?

Core Christianity / Michael Horton & Adriel Sanchez

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July 1, 2020 1:00 am

Episode 478 | Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier answer caller questions.

Show Notes

CoreChristianity.com

Key questions answered in today's show:

1. Should people or pastors call themselves prophets or “man of God” today? If so, what does it mean to not touch the anointed ones and do prophets no harm?

2. In Genesis, in the Hebrew language, the creator of the universe is referred to in the plural form of Elohim. If God is triune, and one within the Trinity, why does the Hebrew word, Elohim, refer to the plural gods?

3. Is it okay to wish God was here physically with us even though I know it won’t happen? I was told this is idolatry, which makes me so sad because often I am pushed away, judged, or ignored because I’m autistic. None of the promises God made about church come true for me. Sometimes I wish I could touch, hug, hold, or smell God as my loving, affectionate Father. I especially long for this now that people are difficult to see with the Coronavirus restrictions. I wonder how orphans long for these basic needs but can’t get them. Do they think about God in the same way?

4. When will churches across the United States of America open to full capacity? So that way we can go back to what we used to do: shaking hands, hugging one another, that would be great. That way, all of us believers could attend that very first church service since March.

Resources

A Better Way: Rediscovering the Drama of God-Centered Worship by Michael Horton

Request our latest special offers here or call 1-833-THE-CORE (833-843-2673) to request them by phone.

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I wish God didn't feel so distant is it wrong to desire God's physical presence.

That's just one of the questions will be answering on today's edition of core Christianity hi this is Bill Meyer along with Pastor Israel Sanchez and this is the radio program where we answer your questions about the Bible and the Christian life every day. You can call us anytime with your question. At 833 the core that's 1-833-843-2673 if you want to email Esther's email address its questions at core, Christianity.com first up today.

A teenager has made the most of the fact that her prom and graduation were canceled due to the coronavirus and she's had some fun at the same time, she made a coronavirus themed prom dress out of duct tape. Yes, Peyton Manker is a high school senior and she decided to enter duct brands stuck at the prom scholarship contest participants in the contest were asked to make their own prom outfits out of duct brand duct tape and wear them for their chance to win a $10,000 scholarship Payton used 41 rolls of duct tape to make the off the shoulder down the mostly blue dress features coronavirus related scenes including get this a virtual graduation frontline workers wearing masks people around the world trying to run away from the virus and she made a toilet paper bouquet and a purse shaped like the Corona patent says it took her more than 394 hours to make this thing.

The winner of the contest will be announced on July 21 and will link the story on our show notes. If you go to court, Christianity.com/radio I'm a drill is not an amazing photograph of her yeah I got to check out the dress. It's pretty awesome Bill did you put a problem growing up. No, I didn't actually go to my prom about you why I did actually go to the prom with my high school. It's funny, my wife was just showing some friends of ours. My prom pictures which she found at my mom's house when they will be revisiting.

She made sure to take a picture of the picture so that she would always have them on her phone. So now she shows them to people when she wants to embarrass me because they're asked to bring about. Those are big men were knocking to put on our show notes so people will run away very quickly. Let's get to our first question of the day and this one comes from a listener name Lou entity who posted this on our Instagram account.

Should people or pastors call themselves prophets or a man of God today. If so, what does the Bible mean when it says not to touch the anointed ones, and do prophets no harm you.

Thank you for that for that question what question I think is really really important when you think about church leadership.

First, I would say we have to understand who the prophets were memory.

Obviously you read about them in the Old Testament you have prophets who wrote and who prophesied and who spoke on behalf of the Lord and that's really what prophets were called to do the work.

There were these mouthpieces of the Lord who would speak God's word to the people and in particular in the Old Testament, the prophets were raised up by God to speak to Israel in in those moments of her history when she was disobedient when she was breaking God's covenant. I've heard it put this way before prophets in the Old Testament were sort of like covenant lawyers they would prosecute the terms of God's covenant against the people of God when they would break the covenant that was they look God is gonna bring these curses upon you if you don't turn back to him. You think about Isaiah and Jeremiah and Ezekiel in these continual calls to repentance for the nation of Israel. That's really one of the primary functions of the prophet in the Old Testament is they work. Speaking to the kings of Israel and calling them to obey God's covenant. Covenant lawyers now when you get to the New Testament right you don't really have Isaiah's and in Jeremiah's wife, Karen, you do have some people in the church were described as prophets.

You see this in the book of acts with with individuals like agribusiness and Paul in first Corinthians chapter 14 he talks in particular about the gift of prophecy and he talks about how was associated with revelation. This supernatural experience with my conviction that these kinds of profits really existed during that first season in the life of the church as the gospel was going out as God was confirming the truth of his word so that the message could spread in a powerful way.

I think Paul even suggests this in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 20 he talks about how the church was built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets overseas apostles and and prophets were foundational for the life of the church, but you don't really have prophets being set up as an office in the life of the church for the rest of time until the Lord Jesus comes back you think about Paul's words in first Timothy three and Titus chapter 1, for example, where Paul gives the qualifications for elders and deacons in the church.

These are what we might call perpetual offices, pastors and teachers, elders and deacons but you don't have prophets that are being set up in each local church. I think part of that is because that the disciples the apostles knew this is to be a part of the ordinary life of the church throughout her history until the coming of the Lord Jesus, let me just say one thing that really concerns me.

Lou entity about people who do refer to themselves as prophets, and some of that language right to use the instructor don't touch the Lord's anointed one.

This really the proper way to refer torsos even as teachers you have a pastor but I would never call myself a prophet because I don't think it that would be an accurate way of using that term.

There's this huge danger and it's when so-called Bible teachers put their authority on par with God's and say you cannot question me. Don't touch the Lord's anointed. Don't contradict or go against me and I think sometimes people can call themselves prophets and say I am the authority I speak on behalf of God.

Therefore, you can't challenge me and I've seen this happen in churches where in an ungodly way teachers quote unquote pastors are cortical prophets will be controlling and coercive and do things that they really should do and claim to be speaking on behalf of God when in reality there just speaking from their own imagination and you know what one of the things we see repeated in the Old Testament and the New Testament is this warning against false prophets and false teachers is when somebody comes along and they say I'm I'm a prophet and you can't question me. I think that that should raise red flags. Thanks for your question. Big concern because there are some churches some denominations that use that terminology and I think it can trip up a lot of believers yeah that's right I mean you just think, and in the Old Testament, the prophets spoke on behalf of God and they spoke the word of God by divine inspiration, and so you could go against their word.

Now there were false prophets with the true prophets were speaking on behalf of Yahweh. And so when people today say I'm a true prophet. I mean, you think about everything that's entailed in that claim. It's a real dangerous thing to say in a really presumptuous thing to say really who would say my word is God's word so you gotta watch out for that we have God's word in the 66 books of the Bible. Let's go there and let's let that be our authority and let's let that also guide us as we think about some of these other people out there who were making these claims, you know that there the authority to counsel. This is core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez would love to hear from you if you gotta question the numbers 833 the horror. That's 1-833-843-2673 we heard from Matthew in St. Louis, Missouri.

My question is in in the Hebrew language. Create a tour of the universe is deferred to the plural form of evil. He if God is a triune and one within the Trinity. Why does the Hebrew word for you. Low heme refer to the plural God, thank you for your time.

You are picking up on something there I like and in the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 11 in the beginning God created the heavens and the article that were God is the word Elohim is the plural, and so there been different ways that people have parsed this you know some will signal to plural of Majesty, it's emphasizing the majestic nature of God. It's not it's not saying that there are multiple gods per se like try theism or polytheism you have religions out there that teach that there are many different kinds of God's well that's not what the Hebrew faith of the Christian faith is ever taught, and that's really really clear. So whatever you know Elohim is referring to the plural. There, it can't be referring to more than one God in the sense of that there is a polytheistic religion and actually that this was the heartbeat of the Hebrew religion. This this monotheism in Deuteronomy chapter 6 verse four of you have came to be referred to as the Shema hero, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one surmises that the Hebrew word here and actually Jews would recite this morning in and evening. It was this continual confession on their lips here oh Israel, the Lord Yahweh is God's covenant name Ada and I the Lord our God Elohim, there is the word that's used. The Lord is one such really interesting if you think about how the Scripture speaks to have this sort of diverse city or plurality and unity and so what I think. I think this does that actually testifies to the doctrine of the holy Trinity that we believe in a plurality of persons, father, son and Holy Spirit. Three persons, but one God, one in essence substance glory. I actually think that this language. Hence, to us, gives us this glimpses picture of the fact that God is a Trinity, the holy Trinity, one God three persons and that's not a contradiction without saying that God is one person in three persons, or that he's one essence in three essences were saying that God, the Lord is one. In essence, and three undivided persons, father, son and Holy Spirit in each of those persons in Scripture is referred to as God as deserving of worship as equal in power and glory the same in substance that's the doctrine of the Trinity that Christians have embraced for 2000 years. It's a great mystery of the faith, but it's what the Bible teaches.

And that's why we embrace it and at the end of the day look if the Bible teaches something that's hard for us to grasp. That doesn't mean we should reject it know we want to. As I said earlier, the Bible, God's Word is our authority. So if the Scripture says that the father is God, that Jesus is God that the Holy Spirit is God, which it does all over the place will then we embrace that, while also embracing the theology that says that God is one and the church for 2000 years. This has recognized this and they've they've understood this to mean that God is one in essence and substance with three distinct persons yet, so thanks for that question. I love getting into the topic of the holy Trinity, let me just say one more thing. It's one thing to speculate about the Trinity, we can have all these different illustrations or analogies that people will use, which often times are not very helpful. You know I've heard it in the Trinity is like ice mist and water need of the three different forms, but it's all the same substance well yeah that's not entirely help women at the end of the day if it's a mystery.

We confess with the Bible teaches. Really what we should do is worship and praise the holy Trinity as Scripture has revealed it to us him to us is one thing to speculate about these things.

It's another thing to receive God's word and say wow God we are in awe of the way that you've revealed yourself to us. We embrace your word and we worship you, father, son and Holy Spirit, one God three persons in a literal speaking of the Trinity. We actually have a great resource here at core Christianity one letter listeners know about and it deals with the Trinity.

You have built. Today's resource is about a subject is and we just talking about this. A lot of Christians know they should say is important, but they're really not sure how it affects their faith in concrete ways. You know what the practical implications of the fact that we believe in the Trinity. What is the Trinity's role in it in our salvation and redemption that we worship the Trinity to our four-week study called, what is the Trinity will take you through the biblical foundations for believing and worshiping the Trinity. You can find in our website core, Christianity.com it's free when you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Take advantage of that and it's a free resource on this great mystery of the faith. Just sign up for our newsletter and download what is the Trinity can also call us for that resource.

Here is the number 833-843-2670 3833 the core you're listening to core Christianity with pastor Israel Sanchez April here's a question that was posted on her Facebook page from must sully us all he says is it okay to wish God was here physically with us. Even though I know it won't happen. I was told this is idolatry, which makes me so sad because often I'm pushed away judged or ignored because I'm autistic. None of the promises God made about church come true for me. Sometimes I wish I could touch, hug, hold, or smell God is my loving affectionate father.

I especially long for this. Now that people are difficult to see with the coronavirus restrictions.

I wonder how orphans long for these basic needs but can't get them to they think about God in the same way.

Hey Sally, I want to pray for you father thank you for this question and for sully and I pray for the longing they desire that he has no you better to experience your presence to experience your love. Thank you Lord for the gift of the Holy Spirit that you give to us. Jesus, that even though were separated from you physically, or you've ascended into heaven, that you sent your spirit into our hearts that we can experience your presence by the power of the Holy Spirit. And I pray for sully right now that he would experience your presence you love your goodness by the Holy Spirit that you would encourage him Lord, especially with everything that's been going on with coronavirus and the challenge that it is that they have that physical contact with others that we so often long for and in need. As human beings rated especially in this time that you would comfort him and comfort the many others. Lord, who long for that fellowship and community but have not had it like we normally do because of the stay-at-home orders and in any number of other things and so be with sully and would you be with all those Lord who feel alone right now. Comforting them by the grace of the Holy Spirit and in Jesus name, amen. So I think it is okay to wish that God was here physically and once as a mean right. So many people have been struggling with the lack of a physical presence in contact as I've been saying to the coronavirus.

We realize that our bodies are important. That being together as people having fellowship with each other handshake, a hug, and that kind of encouragement right God has created us to have these things and and I don't think there's anything wrong with longing to be in the presence of Jesus. Whether we realize that Jesus has a body that God the son assumed humanity took human flesh to himself so that he couldn't bare our sins so that in his flesh could suffer and die to forgive us of all our sins so that we might have communion with him and so that our bodies broken by sin might be restored. It's very clear in Scripture that Jesus was physically present over and over again. This is something that's that's emphasized in fact early on in the church.

The false teachers.

One of the things that they claimed was that Jesus was not physically bodily present they downplayed the significance. The reality, the importance of Jesus's body and ex-wife, John, for example, in his first letter first. John begins by saying that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and have touched with our hands concerning the word of life. The life was made manifest, and we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the father and was made manifest to us. John says we saw the word of life. We handled a week we work together with him. We experienced his presence. And you know we do we proclaim him to you see right now we don't have Jesus's physical bodily presence when he comes back at the second coming.

Well then, you know, we will in in in a sense, but the reality is right now we don't have that there's this real distance that's been created by the ascension of Jesus Christ and yet Peter can say in first Peter chapter 1 verse eight. Though you have not seen him, you love him, though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible filled with glory. So solely Jesus is physical presence is distant from us because he ascended into heaven, but you know what you can still love him and know him, though you do not see him you believe in him and you can still rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory. And here's the other.

The beautiful thing is when Jesus was leaving prior to his death on the cross, his resurrection from the dead, his ascension into heaven, he had this long discussion with his disciples called the upper room discourse. It's in John 13 through 17 own encourage you solely to read that section of Scripture.

John 13 through 17 because Jesus talked to his disciples about how even though he was leaving he wasn't to be bodily present with them anymore. They were going to have the comforter, the Holy Spirit comes sent from Jesus to be with them and to dwell in them.

So Jesus might be physically absent, but he hasn't left us as he said in John 14 S orphans were not abandoned. He sent his spirit into our hearts so that we might experience the presence of power and of Jesus in our lives right now and you can have that silly right now by the grace of the Holy Spirit.

In fact, I think this is one of the reasons why the sacrament of both communion the mystery discordance that Jesus gave to us is so important it's it's there in the upper room that Jesus instituted the Lord's supper is he talking to his disciples about his departure and how you can still be present with them. One sensed by the power of the Holy Spirit is there.

He gives them this meal communion.

He takes the bread and the wine and he says this is my body given for you. This is my blood shed for you and as often as we come together as a church solely and we take the Lord's supper.

It's a sign of Jesus's body, his presence with us, and in one sensed by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have pulses in first grade instructor 10 communion with the body and blood of Jesus Christ through the Lord's supper by faith, and so Jesus is giving you his Holy Spirit solely to comfort you when you feel alone and he's giving you these signs these ordinances to remind you of the fact that he's with you that he hasn't abandoned you and that you can have fellowship with Jesus with his body and blood. Even by the power of the Holy Spirit help that encourages you brother sully. Thank you so much for your question. This is core Christianity Israel. We have time for one last call that came in at 1833. The core my name is Angel help in the Bronx, New York. I need to know when will charges across United States of America open to full capacity so that way that we can go back to what we used to do shaking hands holding one another one will charges will going to full capacity. A thanks for that question.

I I wish I knew the answer to that question, not something that we've been thinking a lot about is the church to I remember when when you know we first had the stay-at-home orders imagining coming back to worship and we were done, the online thing for a while as the church and I would just picture you know, gathering together with the people of God in in the building where we were and and you know that the church being full and singing together. Hearing everyone's voices that that was what I was picturing you know what I was thinking about going back to worship and at least here were at in California and we been allowed to or encouraged to hold in-person services by the governor at 25% capacity. So we came back together that first Sunday, you know, it just was not what I was picturing it was you still had these these restrictions up in and it was in some ways discouraging to me, although I was really encouraged by the fact we could come together wasn't the room full with with voices being raised in ad data just the loud sounds and I think a lot of us are looking forward to that day. Now what we've done as as a church to try to accommodate everyone. As we set up seating in our sanctuary with social distancing in the back of the sanctuary. We have a fellowship hall. Also, where we set up a projector so that we can set up the feeding there. We even have an out side area for Syncsort were trying to spread things out a little bit or a lot in order to abide by assist with the state has asked for, and then to make people feel safe when they come to church so that they are comfortable they're not distracted by fear but they're able to worship the Lord and that's the goal that we gather together for church want to try to remove as many distractions as we can and set people's eyes on Jesus, I don't know when each state is going to say they now go ahead and and resume your inverse worship services just like you did prior to coronavirus Lord let me that something we need to pray for us that coronavirus dissipates that God in his mercy would bring healing and that we as a church would turn to him and help others to turn to him by faith. Thanks for listening to core Christianity to request your copy of today's special offer. Visit us@corechristianity.com and click on offers in the menu bar or call us at 1-833-843-2673 that's a 33 core when you contact us. Please let us know how you been encouraged by this podcast and be sure to join us next time.

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