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November 6, 2020 7:00 am
We do know these are the two elements that symbolize the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
I will tell you that I'm really glad that the church I went to in a grown-up use Welches grape juice because my buddy and I will we were about seven years old, went backstage after community. One Sunday we finished all the saucier back there behind the curtain and I'm glad it was fresh.
I'm glad I was not introduced to something that could have really taken a hold of me, even as a young child Friday addition of wisdom for the heart a few years ago we started doing a question-and-answer day and it's really become one of the more popular days that we have here in the ministry is an opportunity for you as our listening audience to ask Stephen any question you have about the Bible or the Christian faith for him to answer on the air. Well today is the day that were doing that and so we have several questions for you. Stephen, our first question for you today comes from a listener named Connie hi my name is Connie I would like to communion. You have communion with wine grape juice thank you so much for calling Connie, Stephen, how can we help today with you go back in history. You'll find that even the Jewish people debated question whether or not to use fermented or unfermented juice for their Passover celebration. That question would come into the church as of the communion ordinance developed among even evangelicals even in recent days going back to the 1800s there was one individual.
A physician and a dentist. Thomas struggled with the fact that that his Methodist Church was using fermented wine and communion and so he actually developed the method of pasteurized and grape juice to halt the fermentation and we know him as Thomas Welch and I think got most of us have had Welch grape juice. That's what we use at my church for communion and we use it because we have the choice back in the Bible days there wasn't any such thing as refrigeration, grape juice, naturally fermented it was the cleansing of that water, and so the choices that we had and by the way, let me adhere that people who believe that using fermented wine for communion is somehow more holy or more meaningful or more spiritual or missing the point.
And they've made an artificial standard that doesn't come from Scripture. Here's what we do know what we do know is that communion that cup was the fruit of the vine. That's what we know it doesn't tell us how fermented it was RR how fresh it was it simply the fruit of my why because that's the metaphor, the crushing of that great the bleeding of that grape as it were was the symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ, which is why we are going to drink the fruit of the vine that the Lord Jesus said in Luke chapter 22. He told his disciples there in the upper room on that going to drink of this fruit of the vine until I drink it new with you in the kingdom. Okay, so we know it's going to be for the but just as we know that bread were gonna partake up it's going to be that wheat seed being planted, it dies, as it were in obscurity and then it comes to life and bears fruit.
That's a picture of the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. So we do not have communion with Coca-Cola and Oreo cookies okay we will do the fruit of the vine and we will partake of something related to wheat, you can debate whether it's gotta be leavened or unleavened you can debate whether to go to be fermented or unfermented. We do know that these are the two elements that symbolize the life, death, barrel, resurrection of Jesus. I will tell you that I'm really glad that the church I went to in a grown-up use Welches grape juice because my buddy and I when we were about seven years old when backstage after community. One Sunday we finished all the nobody saucier back there behind the curtain and we know we we knocked it all out and I'm glad it was fresh. I'm glad I was not introduced to do something that could have thought really taken a hold of me, even as a young child that they just did not agree Mike my sons this isn't related to the wind of the grape juice part of my voice once wondered why we didn't have doughnuts because it's made with it's made with wheat okay but there you go. We could argue that. But yeah, I think the point is into our dear friend who called in if anybody saying it's gotta be wine as opposed to grape juice that they're making that they are creating an artificial standard that were not given in Scripture were just simply not told what we are told is this is the fruit of the vine and that's why we will drink bridges.
Thanks Stephen and thank you Connie for calling in with your questions that the number that Connie used to call us was 910-808-9384 here at wisdom for the heart. We've set up that Bible question line that you can call anytime to leave your question for Stephen to answer on a future broadcast. We don't answer that number that's simply an opportunity for you to record your question so that we can play it later and give Stephen the time to answer. So if you ever have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith. You can call us at 910-808-9384. Write that down. Keep it handy and call at any time.
Stephen, here's your next question for today will he want to call on the spirit will further, the word calling on your validate that he actually became 1320 words were about Elisha made me throw out the grain of the life and bone that they call my day pastor. Become alive in looking and I like that. Right now I pertain when the life with my body Bible will Stephen tell me just tell you lace up your boots and run don't darken the door that place again.
That man is involved in dangerous mysticism, spiritism effect these actually doing some things that opened the door to what the Bible actually condemns the Bible tells us not to pursue those who die we will pray to them. We don't want their power. He's completely missing the context of what's happening here in second Kings chapter 13 God through his prophets.
Elijah and Elisha remember now the context here work were male. Worship is been overthrown.
You have the death of Jezebel's daughter Athol Wiley of the restoration of God's temple under Joash, you got it.
An important moment in the history of Israel where they need to be reminded of the authenticity of the true prophet of God, but that was never intended to mean that power resided in Elijah or Elisha. The sources of power.
God is what that means is if you are not the next day. If somebody didn't dug up his bones, their neck, you know their neck and to be able to take those bones from among the dead body and have them come back to life. If I encountered the bones of all I should nothing happen to me and I can feel better and I can get younger in the coming year grown here back that would be nice if that work but that isn't gonna work. Here's what God does do. He tells us this prophet Isaiah when they say to you, inquire of the mediums in the necromancers by the leaders of the people in contact with the dead who chirp and mutter should not a people inquire of their God, should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living.
In other words, you never call upon the power of Ovid, dead person St. or or whomever you don't call on them for aid does matter how godly they were in life see this man is opening the door for you to pray to the saints are you to go after people who died somehow mystically gain their power that why call upon the human in the first place. You can approach God the father directly by the intercession of God the son through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit. They empower you they equip you they enable you to accomplish what they're calling you to do so here's here's the apostle Paul must say this in the book with this question. But here's the apostle Paul, praying is what he's praying for. Ephesians chapter 3. For this reason I bow my knees before the father from whom every family in heaven on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory. He may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of Elisha known and it is not what he says, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God that you pursue you.
As for the power of the spirit of God, you expect the work of God to be manifest in your life as you preach and as you teach you evangelize your not depending on anyone but him.
Thank you Steven and thank you so much Calvin for calling in today. I hope that hearing that answer helped you make a decision regarding what you need to do the number that Calvin used to call us was 910-808-9384 and I encourage you to write that down because as you are studying the Bible as you are listening to teaching as your meditating on Scripture yourself from time to time. You're going to have questions just like we all do and we want to help you if you have a question about the Bible or the Christian faith that Stephen can answer for you on a future broadcast.
You can call 910-808-9384 leave that question for us and will play it later for Stephen to answer now if you need to speak with us.
We have a different number. The office number here in our carry North Carolina offices is 86 648 Bible if there is anything we can do to serve you today. That's the number in the office and that's the phone that we actually answer. That's 86 648 Bible and I hope we hear from you all. Years member for the 4040 guys, 40 firm meaning number. Any really enjoy your prior claim zero. Thank you so much for calling and with that question Stephen Ferris question about the number 40 really raises questions about more questions. I think about codes in the Bible in numerology and the significance of numbers that you and this goes really back centuries aware that even rabbis were finding secret messages by laying out, of course, the Old Testament texts and skipping every third or fourth consonant and in need of the creation of words because of that, I think it's very important to understand that when you read a number in the Bible. Your you're reading a number that should be taken at face value. You know the reason that we believe in a literal six day creation is because God very clearly gives us a associated with the word day and so we can take that at face value. There is no secret hidden code that somehow if we turn it upside down and inside out. We can figure out what really really happen. There may be some significance to numbers. For instance, the number seven is used often in, and more than likely simply a reflection of completion. This is the completion of unit that creation week, but we have to be careful of is moving beyond perhaps a symbolic meaning of a number into some sort of mystical meaning some sort of secret message.
This is Gnosticism.
This is the belief going back to the apostles that there secret knowledge that if you're bright enough you can come up with it and and so you look at everything. Not literally. Historically, grammatically, you have to find some allegorical meaning some secret deeper meaning like the guy heard about recently who found the secret musical scale that's gonna bring you spiritual soothing because he turned to a certain page in his Bible and that the bottom of that page.
It referenced David and so he uses the number of the page to create the scale of music that now can give you the spiritual experience of soothing unit. There is a Hebrew word that explains that in his pronounced ball loan the okay from his really clear it's it's made up nonsense and what it does. Scott is it takes people into this never-ending abyss of trying to find the real meaning of Scripture outside the meaning of the words of Scripture it if it if a number is given significance you take that at face value, but more than likely it's the period of time. That's the significant issue, so are our call, or you might refer to.
It rained on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. Genesis 712 Israel wandered for 40 years numbers 14 Jesus fasted 40 days Matthew for version anything of the Bible tells us that there's something significant or some deeper meaning behind 40 Stephen let me interrupt you as you were talking reminded me that people today take numbers like this and and bring them forward into our context. For example, count back 40 days from Easter and enter into a 40 day period of depriving themselves looking for some sort of significance and then number yeah and there's a danger in that it's tradition it's it's religion it's attaching to some number some mystical experience and III think it should be avoided. Personally I don't think it helps us it takes us away from the meaning of the text of Scripture.
What is the enemy want to do. He wants us to become confused about what God has said that was the very first temptation has God really said that Eve is that what he really meant and I think we have to go back to this inspired tax list not be distracted.
That keeps us from being deceived. Let's take the words of Scripture study them, interpret them, take them at face value. Understand the context what it meant to them and therefore what it might mean to me there isn't anything about Jesus fasting for 40 days.
That is now going to impact. Perhaps my diet there is anything in the Old Testament tar on that that you know gives the diet or the kind of bread that I'm supposed to eat if that's taking this mystical record in finding deeper meaning, and then applying it to us, which gets us distracted and it ultimately takes us away from the word of God so had Jesus fasted for 35 days.
It would be just as significant. That's right, or if it rained for 39 days instead of 40. That's right, all the Bible does is simply record this is how long it took. It's not giving us a mystical meaning behind the number 40 so there I think what you want to do is take numbers and Stephen is said take numbers at face value unless there's a biblical reason not to. I hope that was helpful to you were so glad that you called. Let me give you that number one more time in case you have a Bible question you'd like to ask 910-808-9384 jot that down on a piece of paper or maybe stick it in your Bible, or wherever it is that you read and study and if you ever have a question give us a call at that number and you can record your question for Stephen 910-808-9384 groups: pastors series in relation in chapter 4 God is described as strong and as much as a goddess. This fact is confusing has taken on bodily form. Just as Jesus did. Thank you. Will Bruce thank you for calling in with such a fantastic question just to give you a little bit of behind the scenes here at Western for the heart. We actually hit the pause button is that we had to talk and think about this for for for just a little bit. It's a great question statement. It really is.
We we know the Scriptures tell us that God is Spirit referring to God the father, and a part of the problem is that we then deemphasize or perhaps even eliminate the idea that God the father can take on physical form in which he certainly does in in Scripture often think of that challenging time. If you remember in second Kings chapter 6 where Elisha is surrounded by the enemy army and his servant is in a shaking his boot sin and God just allows the servant's eyes to be opened and what happens immediately.
He sees they are surrounded by literal chariots, literal angelic beings literal horses there. There is a there is a spirit world, which, if were able to enter it will find it just as physically tangible as the world were now which means there is a literal throne. There is a literal God the father that one day we will be able to see as by the way, God the Spirit were not told how were just simply told that we will we take revelation at face value.
There's no reason to doubt that this is indeed a literal throne and the one sitting on it is God the father that there is a literal rainbow around the throne that it really does look like an emerald and that around that throne are the believers the elders representing the church. It might be helpful Bruce to go to Daniel chapter 7, where Daniel is given a vision of God the father. Verse nine says as I looked throne's were placed in the ancient of days took his seat. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool is throne was fiery flame wheels were turning fire. By the way, this is God the father sitting on this throne because God the son. A few verses later comes to him by the way, what is God the son look like in that eternal state. Well if you go back a page or two in Revelation. It's interesting in chapter 1 that Jesus is described looking much like his father, the Son of Man, John sees as a robe reaching to his feet is girded across his chest with a golden sash.
His head and his hair were white like white wool, like snow in his eyes like flames of fire just just fascinating to consider that the forms they're taking and by the way, I think those forms can change.
I think God the father took a formally walked with Adam in the garden there was a literal trail. There were literal walks together in fellowship. Where were not sure all of what's going to happen of what were going to see Jesus is glorified body could both go through a closed door and yet be touched and embraced and eat a piece of fish without you watching that fish go all the way down into his stomach, or are these the literal throne's one day absolutely absolutely were not given a lot of description were given enough to believe that it's real God the father seated on a literal throne, God the son seated at the right hand of the father could be a separate throne could be the center throne as a reference to the authority of the triune God were not were not told what form the spirit of God will take will have communion with him like we can't imagine one day as we fellowship and worship them forever.
It's gonna be a glorious day we see God. So I here's what will say we don't have all the answers, but we have no reason to doubt the literal interpretation of the book of revelations vision of a literal throne, and God the father seated upon it, Stephen.
When we talk about the fact that God is a spirit I think it's easy to think of some sort of a wispy vapor type thing without substance. Yeah what invisible be a good synonym for spirit, God exists literally just in a way that we can't see. I think we can't see that now but he is in Casper the friendly ghost.
I think we think of the Holy Ghost.
That way we talk about the spirit world in a way were referring to a world we can't see. It's a spiritual existence. However, I think we've deemphasize the physical nature of the spirit world and I know that may sound confusing, but we we sort of deemphasize that we can have a Lord and Savior.
We shall hug and embrace and fall at his feet. His body has wounds a God the father, who is Daniel Salm has hair like pure wool throne on fire by just amazing, that's real. The trip so let's make sure we say it's a spirit or a spirit world that were not removing the idea that one day when were there were going to see it is real and physically tangible as you and I are looking at each other today. So Stephen, this is really important that because it protects us from the false idea that God is some sort of just like a force or energy right that you sort of Buddhism's view of the supernatural that it's just energy that we get cosmic energy like Star Wars religion there you go absolutely. When we say God is spirit were were also saying that he is unlike anything else in creation is superior to our material existence. You might say is one theologian did that God is pure being, for the fullness of being, but we are saying he is a being he is in force or energy cosmic consciousness we want to stay away from that he is a person, a person we shall one day see and will be uninhibited by the way, like Moses, who could only see the hind are part of his glory, and even that caused his face to below. Imagine one day will see him in all his glory. Thank you Steven and Bruce were really glad that you called in with that fantastic question today. We were glad to hear from you. So glad that you joined us today here on wisdom for the heart. If you joined us late. You are listening to our Bible teacher Stephen Devi answer some questions that have come in from our listening audience would like to hear from you if there's any way that we can serve you today our number here in the office is 86 648 Bible. That's 866-482-4253 were in the office each weekday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and we'd love to hear from you. We have several listeners who enjoy writing to us and if you'd like to send us a card or letter we be grateful to receive that love to hear how God is using this ministry to bless and encourage you. Our address is wisdom for the heart PO Box 37297 Raleigh, NC 27627. Thanks for joining us please be with us Monday for more wisdom for the heart