Like apples of gold in settings of silver Is a word spoken in right circumstances. Proverbs 25:11





























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Faith. The quality of trusting in God and what He has said. Faith is the currency of heaven, without which it is impossible to please God. If man wishes to do business with God, he must believe that God exists, and, as well, that God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6). Faith operates in the realm of the unseen, the unfelt, the unexperienced (Heb. 11:1). Though Abram was old and his wife was both barren and old, it was through his faith in God's promise of innumerable descendants that he was declared righteous (Gen. 15:1-6; Rom. 4:3, 20-22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23). Indeed, the righteous shall live by faith (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Hebrews 11 is the Faith Hall of Fame. It is by the grace of God, accessed by faith, that we are saved apart from any meritorious works (Eph. 2:8-9). Yet faith is validated by works (Eph. 2:10; James 2:14-26). In the New Testament, we are required to place our faith in Jesus, the Messiah. In so doing, we  are granted eternal life (John 3:16, 36; 6:40; 11:25). Faith, along with hope and love, is one of the three abiding virtues. Yet the greatest of these is love (1 Cor. 13:13).

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Feast of Booths. The Annual Feast at which Israelis were commanded to live in makeshift booths constructed of palm branches, willow branches, and the boughs of other leafy trees (Lev. 23:33-44). One purpose of the feast was to commemorate the sons of Israel being required to live in booths when Yahweh brought them up out of Egypt (Lev. 23:42-43). The feast was to be celebrated for seven days, beginning on the fifteenth day of the seventh month (Tishri). Because of the cyclical lunar calendar, the feast could be celebrated anywhere from late September to mid October. There was to be a sabbath rest on the first day and on the eighth day (Lev. 23:39). The feast was designed to be celebrated to the LORD after the harvest. Burnt offerings were to be presented to the LORD every day (Lev. 23:36). On the first day and on the eighth day, no work was to be performed (Lev. 23:35-36). The Feast of Booths will be celebrated during the Millennium (Zech. 14:16). Gentile nations who do not join in with the sons of Israel by celebrating the Feast year by year will be penalized by means of drought (Zech. 14:17-19).

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Feminine Gender. In the Greek language, the grammatical gender of a noun or pronoun or participle that gives it a "female" or "feminine" flavor. In Greek grammar, as in English, grammatical gender is only loosely associated with distinctions of sex. Understandably, the word "woman," gunê (1135) in Matt. 9:20, 22 is feminine, as is the word "daughter," thugátêr (2364) in Matt. 9:22. But there are other words, such as the more abstract noun "grace," cháris (5485) in Eph. 2:8, and the equally abstract noun "administration," oikonomía (3622) in Eph. 3:9 that are also feminine in gender. Of particular interest in Greek is the fact that, since both nouns and relative pronouns possess gender, we are able correctly to identify the particular noun to which a relative pronoun refers. For example, in Eph. 6:16, the reader is instructed, "in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." Since the relative pronoun "which" appears in the masculine gender, while the two immediately preceding nouns, "shield" and "faith" are, respectively, masculine and feminine in gender, we can correctly identify the antecedent of "which" as being "shield," not "faith." See also Masculine Gender and Neuter Gender.

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Feminism. The political / ecclesiastical dogma that women are, in every respect equal to or even superior to men and are entitled to fulfill the same roles that men do. This sinister temptation first reared its ugly head in the Garden of Eden when the Serpent successfully tempted Eve to act independently of her husband. Feminism is a denial of the order of creation and the purpose of creation. God created Adam first. He created Eve for Adam's benefit – for companionship and assistance for him – not vice versa (Gen. 2:4-9, 18-25). This fact has profound implications in the arena of worship (1 Cor. 11:1-16) and in the arena of Biblical instruction (1 Tim. 2:9-15). In the latter passage Paul noted that men and women were not created equal. In the unfallen state Adam had the ability to see through the temptation of Satan. Eve did not. Of course God held Adam responsible for human sin. He did so because Adam was the federal and biological head of the entire human race (Rom. 5:12). Of course, in Christ,  men and women have equal standing before God (Gal. 3:28). But they do not, and never have had, equal roles and giftings. Marriage still exists, Israel and the Gentiles still exist, and slaves and free still exist. Feminists lobby for female preachers, but God's Word does not permit them. Overseers / elders are to be the husband of but one wife (1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:5-6), a qualification impossible for a woman to fulfill. While feminism may have some well-meaning advocates, overall it has yielded dysfunctional marriages, dysfunctional families, dysfunctional churches, politically correct Bible translations, and, at least in America, an increasingly dysfunctional nation. In the secular arena, feminism has devolved into an ugly, hateful, strident, narcissistic, anti-male cult whose sacrament is the blood of unborn children, both male and female, none of whom are given a choice.

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First Covenant. A term used only by the writer of Hebrews to describe the covenant that God made with Israel, mediated by Moses, at Mount Sinai. It is elsewhere called "the Law" (Hebrew torah), "the Law of Moses," the "Mosaic Covenant," or the "Old Covenant." The writer of Hebrews terms it "the First" (Heb. 8:7; 9:1, 18), with the word "Covenant" properly supplied by the English translators, or "the First Covenant" (Heb. 9:15) in order to distinguish it from what he terms as a"second" (supply "covenant") (Heb. 8:7), which he also terms a " New Covenant" (Heb. 8:8; 9:15; 12:24), or simply, "a new" (with the word "covenant" properly supplied by the translators -- Heb. 8:13). This "Second" or "New" "Covenant" the writer of Hebrews designates as being a superior covenant enacted on better promises (Heb. 8:6).

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Flood, Noah's. The global deluge described in Genesis 6:1 - 8:22. It is also sometimes called the "Great Flood", or "the Deluge", or simply, "The Flood." Without a doubt, the Biblical Flood was global. It laid down the layers of sediment all over the world that evolutionists mistakenly claim are the results of local floods over the so-called "evolutionary history of the earth." Noah's Flood is also responsible for virtually all of the fossils that have been deposited in the earth. Evolutionary devotees again mistakenly attribute the billions of fossils to local floods over the "evolutionary history of the earth." Tragically, many Bible scholars have been cowed by the deluded conclusions of evolutionists and have adjusted their exegesis and interpretation of both the days of Creation in Genesis 1:1 -  2:4 and of Noah's Flood in Genesis 6:1 - 8:22 to conform to evolutionary theory and chronology.

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Foreknowledge. According to Pauline usage, God's prior knowledge of His own from eternity past. Strictly speaking, the verb proginosko means "to know ahead of time." Paul used the verb twice - in Romans 8:29 and 11:2. In both instances he used it in reference to the fact that God knew from eternity past in an intimate way certain people. He foreknew them and predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). The same group of people God foreknew, He predestined, He called, He justified, and He glorified (Rom. 8:29-30).

    Many try to dilute the word proginosko by saying it means only that God knew in advance which would respond to Him, and thus He chose them. This makes God's choices subject to man's actions, and it is not what the text ( Rom. 8:29) is saying. The text does not say that God foreknew facts about people – who would and who would not accept Him; it declares that He knew certain people as His own from eternity past without any merit on their part. This Scripture teaches that God foreknows people, not facts about people. Now it is true that God knows ahead of time which individuals will accept His Son and which will not, but that is not what this text is saying. The only reason we respond to God in faith is precisely because He foreknew us and "predestined us to become conformed to the image of His Son," and "called" us. It is then that we responded in faith, and He justified us. Because the future is so certain because of God's predestination, Paul could write confidently that God also "glorified" us, even though for us humans that event is yet future. In God's world it is certain and done. In the vernacular, we would say that from God's viewpoint, our glorification is "a done deal."

    If it be argued that this concept of foreknowlege violates man's free will, I will argue that man's free will is a myth in certain respects. Romans 3:10-18 proclaims from the Old Testament man's universal depravity. Because he is depraved, and, in the words of Ephesians 2:1, dead in his trespasses and sins, man is unable to choose God. It is only because of God's election (Rom. 8:33) of us in Christ "before the foundation of the world" (Eph. 1:4) that any of us would ever choose God.

    If it be argued that God is unfair in choosing certain ones (but not others) as His own. I would agree. It is not fair – it is more than fair! It is utter grace and mercy that God chooses any of us at all! If it is mere fairness you want, then all of us will be consigned to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:11-15). If it is mercy you want, then humble yourself and accept God's grace (not His justice) and trust in Jesus – we beg you to be reconciled to God (2 Cor. 5:20)! God's just wrath was poured out on His sinless Son on the cross, who willingly absorbed God's intense antipathy toward sin in our place.

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Forgiveness.  That act whereby an offended party absorbs the cost of a wrong suffered.  In any transaction of wrong perpetrated and offense received, one party or the other must bear the cost of the restoration if amity is to be restored.  In the case of man versus God, if man pays the cost of his transgressions it is literally a pyrrhic victory – he will spend the rest of eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:11-15).  God in Jesus has taken the initiative to pay the entire cost of mankind’s transgression (1 Pet. 3:18).  That is a tribute to God’s infinite love (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10).  Tragically, man in his pride and arrogance refuses to concede his own inability to pay his debt of sin.  Most will end up attempting to pay their own debt, but it will take them an eternity, and they will never pay it. For the Christian today, I like to distinguish between two types of forgiveness -- Legal Forgiveness and Family Forgiveness.

Legal Forgiveness. Legal Forgiveness is that of which we have just been speaking. If I place my trust or confidence in Jesus, who died to pay for all my sins and rose again to secure my resurrection, I stand legally forgiven in the sight of God the Father. This is because, though the death penalty is required for all sin (Rom. 6:23), Jesus has paid my death penalty for all my sin on my behalf (Rom. 5:8-10), and I have received His payment. God looks at my debt as having been paid in full because I have trusted in His Son's payment for my sin (Rom. 8:1). A number of things happen to me the moment I trust in Jesus. Among them, I receive legal forgiveness (Acts 13:38-39; 1 John 2:1-2) and eternal life (John 3:16; 11:25-27). Moreover, I am born into God's family (John 1:11-13). In other words, I am "born again" (John 3:1-8). I pass from death to life (John 5:24), and the wrath of God no longer remains on me (John 3:36).

Family Forgiveness. Since I have trusted in Jesus and have been born into God's family, God is my Father (John 1:11-13). Consequently I have a family relationship with Him and with all my "brothers" and "sisters" in Christ, who have also trusted in Jesus. God never disowns any of His children, for we have His life coursing through our "spiritual" being. His life is eternal, and thus we have "eternal life" (John 3:16, 36). Eternal life, by definition, cannot be terminated. But Family Fellowship is another matter altogether. Fellowship within the family can be deeply disrupted. When I have disobeyed God, my Heavenly Father, I feel guilty. I do not wish to spend time with Him or read the Bible, His Word to me. At issue is not my Legal Forgiveness. That has been assured. At issue is my Family Forgiveness, and that must be restored. The only way I as a Christian can be restored to Family Forgiveness with my Father is for me to admit I have sinned against Him. When I confess my sins to Him (1 John 1:9), He is faithful to forgive me and to cleanse me from all my unrighteousness. I am restored to fellowship with Him. I resume obeying Him and living for Him and walking with Him. As I obey Him, I have fellowship with Him and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses me from the sin nature I continue to possess (1 John 1:7-8). The same principle holds true within the body of believers. If I have wronged someone, the only way fellowship can be restored between us is if I confess that sin to my brother or sister in Christ (James 5:16) and he or she grants forgiveness. Once again, this is Family Forgiveness, not Legal Forgiveness. 

By way of illustration, when my children were younger and disobeyed me, I did not kick them out of my family. Their relationship to me as son or daughter was never in doubt. But our fellowship was damaged. Fellowship could be restored when they admitted they had done the wrong thing. I extended forgiveness, and fellowship was restored.

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Framework Hypothesis. A non-literal hermeneutical stratagem to avoid the clear meaning of "day" (yom) in Genesis 1:1-2:3 in a failed attempt to harmonize the Biblical teaching of Creation with the Old-Earth implications of the theory of Evolution, which is based entirely upon an unprovable presumption of uniformitarian geology and astrophysics. In the Framework Hypothesis, God was not meaning to convey literal or scientific truth. Rather He sought to convey a theology of creation through a literary or symbolic framework of six days. Framework Hypothesists see two sets of three in the six days of creation. In the first triad, first day, there is light; in the second triad, fourth day, there are lights. In the first triad, second day, an expanse separates water from water. In the second triad, 5th day, the waters are filled with fish, the air with birds. In the first triad, third day, dry land and vegetation appears; in the second triad, sixth day, land creatures and man are created, and plants providing food for man and beast are created. The two triads are further distinguished as follows: The first triad exhibits "Creation Kingdoms" and the second triad exhibits "Creature Kings over the Creation Kingdoms, namely luminaries (4th day), birds and fish (5th day), land animals and man (6th day)." The seventh day speaks of the Creator King, God Himself. As can be readiliy seen this whole arrangement is highly artificial. It does not arrive out of an exegesis of the text,  but simply reveals a grasping at straws - any way, however unfeasible, to avoid a literal meaning and establish a figurative, symbolic meaning? Why? To provide enough time to accommodate the apparently unquestionable, uniformitarian interpretations of the data by Bible-ignoring scientists. The motive for the Framework Hypothesis is self-indicting. It amounts to poor science and poorer exegesis. There follows a graphic illustration of the Framework Hypothesis, adapted from Todd S. Beall, "Contemporary Hermeneutical Approaches to Genesis 1-11", p. 156, Coming to Grips with Genesis: Biblical Authority and the Age of the Earth and Wikipedia's "Framework interpretation (Genesis)".


Creation Kingdoms Creature Kings
Day 1: light; day and night Day 4: light-bearers: sun, moon, stars
Day 2: sea and sky Day 5: sea creatures; birds
Day 3: land and vegetation Day 6: land creatures; man
The Creator King
Day 7: Sabbath

Todd Beall, op. cit., points out the following:

First, the light of day 1 is not dependent on the sun, so the sun is hardly the "ruler" of it. Second, the waters existed on day 1, not just day 2. Third, in verse 14 the "lights" of day 4 are set in the "expanse" created on day 2 (not day 1). Fourth, the sea creatures of day 5 were to fill the "water in the seas" which were created on day 3, not day 2, contrary to the chart above (see Gen. 1:10); and none of the sea creatures or birds or land creatures other than man were to "rule" anything anyway. Finally, man was created on day 6 not to rule over the land and vegetation (created on day 3), but over the land animals created on day 6 and the sea creatures and birds created on day 5. In other words, despite the nice chart, the patterns simply do not hold up.

Furthermore, even if the pattern held true completely (which it assuredly does not), it would hardly be an argument for a non-literal approach to the chapter, especially since the chapter has so many sequential markers.

Proponents of the Framework Hypothesis include Arie Noordtzij, Meredith Kline, Mark D. Futato, Lee Irons, Henri Blocher, Bruce Waltke, Gordon Wenham, Mark Throntveit, Ronald F. Youngblood, and W. Robert Godfrey (all referenced with their publications by Beall, op. cit., footnote 11, pp. 151-152).

Free WillMan’s perceived freedom to choose or act as he wishes.  As far as his perception is concerned, man is free to do as he wishes.  The reality, however, is something else again.  The freest man’s will has ever been was in the Garden of Eden before his transgression of God’s command.  Even there, however, man’s free will was limited by, if nothing else, the laws of physics.  Man even then could not walk through a brick wall or teleport himself to a distant planet or go backwards in time.  Even before he sinned, man’s free will was the freedom to act within a limited range of options.  But the advent of sin diminished even that limited freedom.  In Ephesians 2, Paul described fallen man in devastating terms.  1) Man is dead in his trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1); 2) He is influenced by the world (Eph. 2:2); 3) He is energized by Satan (Eph. 2:2); 4) He is corrupted by the lusts of his flesh and mind (Eph. 2:3);  5) He is a child of wrath, meaning he is the target of God’s wrath (Eph. 2:3).  In that condition, man is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:16), hardly capable of choosing to do any good whatever in God’s sight.  Fallen man is free to sin, but not free to serve God.  In his spiritually dead condition, man is not capable of making a move toward God.  Unless God moves on his behalf, man will never make a move toward God.  The Bible speaks little about the free will of man, but God does hold man responsible for his decisions and actions (Gen. 3:9-13; Gen. 3:16-19; Ezek. 18:4; Ezek. 18:20; John 8:24).  Man is repeatedly offered invitations to choose God and choose God’s gracious forgiveness, right up to the last chapter of the Bible (Josh. 24:15; John 1:11-13; John 3:15-16; John 4:10; John 4:14; John 6:35; John 7:37-38; Rom. 10:11; Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17).

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Friberg. Friberg Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Written by Timothy Friberg, Barbara Friberg, and Neva F. Miller, and edited by Timothy Friberg and Barbara Friberg, "The lexicon is aimed at users who want at their fingertips a complete lexicon with meanings and definitions, yet who do not require the more technical discussions found, for example, in Bauer, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Furthermore, ANLEX is provided for users who want an analysis of the reflex forms of Greek words found in the text." (This quotation is from the Introduction of the 2005 paperback edition of the book as it appears on Amazon.) See this 2008 review by Gary F. Zeolla. I personally use the version of Friberg found in the relatively inexpensive Bibloi 8.0 produced by Silver Mountain Software (JTB).

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Future Tense. That tense in Greek which speaks about action that is anticipated to happen in the future or is certain to happen in the future. The kind of action is "simple" or "summary." The future tense does not speak to the duration or ongoing nature of the future action, just that it will happen or is anticipated to occur. The duration of the action must be supplied by the context. For example, in Rev. 22:5, John informs the reader that, in the New Jerusalem, "the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever" (emphases mine). Both italicized verbs (phōtísei, 5461; and basileúsousin, 936) appear in the Future Tense. The eternal, durative nature of the reigning is suppled by the words "forever and ever" (literally, "into the ages of the ages"). Information for this entry is adapted from Cory Keating's Greek Verbs (Shorter Definitions).




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Updated April 22, 2017

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