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



























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Hades.  The temporary abode of the dead, known in the Old Testament as Sheol.  Luke 16:19-31 provides a fascinating insight into Hades.  There was a rich man and a poor man, the latter named Lazarus.  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to “the bosom of Abraham,” a place of comfort.  When the rich man died, he found himself tormented in the flames.  There was a gulf fixed between the two of them so that Lazarus could not come over to comfort the rich man.  A case can be made that when Jesus ascended to the Father, He took captives with Him.  So that now, for believers, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”  When believers die, they go to heaven to be with Jesus.  At the end, Hades will be cast into the Lake of Fire and Brimstone, which is the Second Death.

    Does Hades still exist today? I believe that it does. When the risen Christ revealed Himself to the Apostle John on the island of Patmos (Rev. 1:18), Hades still existed. In a figurative, yet terribly literal manner, during the yet future Tribulation and the breaking of the Fourth Seal, Death and Hades will roam the earth, putting to death a staggering fourth of the earth's population (Rev. 6:7-8)! At the Great White Throne Judgment, Death and Hades will finally give up their contents so that the wicked dead of all ages stand before Christ as part of the terrible, implied Second Resurrection (Rev. 20:6, 13). Since they were not part of the First Resurrection, they will, it appears, inevitably cast into the Lake of Fire, also known as the Second Death (Rev. 20:15). At that time both Death and Hades will also be thrown forever into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14). My conclusion, then, is this. People who die today who are not believers in Christ or sent to Hades. At the end of time they will be resurrected to stand before Christ at the Great White Throne Judgment, where they will be evaluated as to the severity of their judgment. Tragically, they will all be cast into the Lake of Fire. 

    If you are presently not a believer in Jesus Christ, I urge you to repent of that great evil. Place your trust in Him, who died to take your Death Penalty for you (John 3:15-18). You will be granted eternal life (John 3:36), and will pass from the realm of Death to the realm of Life (John 5:24)!

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Hamartiology. The Biblical study of sin.  The Greek word for sin is hamartia.  Hamartiology focuses on the origin of sin in Genesis 3:1-24, the effect of sin upon the image of God in which man was created, the types of sin of which man is guilty, including imputed sin, inherited sin, and personal sin; and the results of sin, including physical death, spiritual death, and second death.

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Hapax Legomenon. (pl. Hapax Legomena). A word that occurs only once in the Greek New Testament or in the Hebrew Bible. Occasionally, writers will restrict the scope of a hapax legomenon to one book, say Matthew or Ephesians. Sometimes called, for short, a hapax (pl. hapaxes), a word that occurs only once is difficult to define because words are defined by other uses of the same word in various contexts. When only one noun occurs, a working definition can frequently be built by multiple occurrences of the corresponding verb (or vice versa). Sometimes the etymology of a word can be used to arrive at a definition. In other cases, definitions can only be built by consulting usages in extra-biblical literature. Sometimes a definition can be approximated by consulting Bible translations in other languages. For example, a hapax in the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible can often be aided by consulting the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament (LXX).  Here are two examples of hapax legomena in the Greek New Testament with appropriate resolutions. 

The Greek word theopneustos, an adjective, occurs only once in the New Testament in 2 Timothy 3:16. We can use etymology to determine its meaning. Theos is a noun which means God, and pneustos is an adjectival form from the root of the noun pneuma, which means wind or breath on the one hand, or spirit on the other. Putting the two concepts together, the word means "God-breathed," or "that which God has breathed out." It is impossible to eliminate the overtone of spirit from the word. A fuller translation of theopneustos might be, "God-breathed (by means of His Spirit)."

In the same context (2 Tim. 3:16) the noun elegmos appears as a hapax. Its corresponding verb, elegxw, appears seventeen times. The verb is variously translated (in NASB) as "to convict" (5X), "to reprove" (5X), "to expose" (3X), and once each "to show (someone) his fault," to reprimand," "to rebuke," and "to refute." So we can see that "reproof," as translated by the NASB, is an accurate rendering of the word elegmos in 2 Timothy 3:16.

Health and Wealth Gospel. The belief that God's plan for all Christians is always to be healthy and wealthy. There is a belief prevailing among certain elements of Christianity that it is God’s will for Christians to enjoy good health and substantial wealth. It is sometimes called "Prosperity Theology." This happy state can only be achieved through faith and obedience. And, sadly, that obedience is often tied to cooperating with the financial appeals of a particular preacher or televangelist. That theology, I believe, represents a failure to interpret Scriptures in light of the recipients to whom they were originally given. Said another way, the “gospel of health and wealth” fails to interpret Scripture dispensationally

    While it is true that Israelis were promised blessings of health and wealth if they obeyed God (Deut. 28:1-14); and while it is true that Israelis were promised cursings of deprivation and illness if they disobeyed (Deut. 28:15-68); the same types of promises are not repeated for the New Testament Christian. On the one hand, New Testament Christians are promised spiritual blessings because of their chosen position in the Messiah (Eph. 1:3-4). On the other hand, however, Jesus, in fact, told his followers that in the world, they would experience tribulation (John 16:33). They were to take courage, however, for Jesus has conquered the world. The history of the Jesus himself and that of the Apostle Paul is ample disproof of the credo of "health and wealth." Jesus was so poor He had no place He could even call home (Matt. 8:20; Luke 9:58). The Apostle Paul was beset by imprisonment, beatings, stoning, shipwreck, near drowning, sleeplessness, hunger and thirst, and exposure to cold (2 Cor. 11:23-27).

    The financial prosperity aspect of this teaching is often related to God's exhortation to Israel to "bring the whole tithe into the storehouse." If they do so, God will "open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows" (Mal. 3:8-12). What purveyors of this false teaching fail to observe is that this is a promise God made to Israel, not to the Church. The Bible student will look in vain anywhere in the NT epistles for the existence of a Christian "tithe." Rather, principles are given, particularly in 2 Cor. 8:1-9:15. These principles include, among others, (1) following the example of Christ (2 Cor. 8:9); (2) giving in accordance with what one has, not what he does not have (2 Cor. 8:12); (3) administering the collection and distribution of funds with integrity and accountability (2 Cor. 8:18-23); (4) giving bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6); (5) giving purposefully, not grudgingly or under pressure from others (2 Cor. 9:7); and (6) giving cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7). 

    The reference to "storehouse" (Mal. 3:10) has in mind the storehouses of the Jewish Temple, not the offerings of the New Testament Church, and especially not the coffers of a Television Evangelist! Sadly, televangelists trumpet to gullible viewers that, "If you give to this ministry, God will bless you financially!" While God knows the heart of each individual giver, God does not bless either greed or gullibility.

    The belief that it is God's will that all Christians be healthy is based on a false appeal to Isaiah 53:5, which states (NKJV), "and by His stripes we are healed" (or "with His stripes we are healed" - KJV). It is a fundamental rule of interpreting Hebrew poetry that the genre rhymes ideas, not sounds. The first part of Isa. 53:5 states, "But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities" (emphases mine). Clearly this predicts that the Messiah would suffer physically for our sins, not primarily for our physical health. Therefore the last part of the same verse -- "the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed" must refer to peace with God and spiritual healing, not primarily physical healing (1 Pet. 2:24-25). The mantra, "There is healing in the atonement" is true in one sense (Matt. 8:14-17; cf. Isa. 53:4). Ultimately, our future physical health and freedom from death through bodily resurrection throughout eternity as believers (Rev. 21:4) is dependent upon our acceptance of Jesus and His salvation through His atoning sacrifice, accessed through faith in Him. But to insist that God's plan for every believer is to be devoid of sickness and pain in this present life provided he believes enough and obeys enough simply has no basis in Scriptural fact nor in practice. If it did have a basis in reality, surely some deserving soul somewhere would never get sick, never age, and never die! We know that is preposterous, and so is the gospel of health and wealth.

    Some of the better known proponents of the health and wealth pseudo gospel are Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, Robert Tilton, Joel OsteenKenneth Hagin, and Creflo Dollar. The "Word of Faith" movement shares many of the same views of the "Health and Wealth" Gospel, but should probably be distinguished from it. There are those who have been associated with Oral Roberts University, for example, who are critics of the "Word of Faith" movement.

    Word of Faith proponents such as Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland believe that since God spoke the world into existence, Christians have the same power and, through faith, should speak into existence the things they desire. Hagin has taught that, since we humans were created in the image and likeness of God, we are "little gods."

    To me, the absurdity of the "Health and Wealth" Gospel is best illustrated by Oral Roberts. Roberts claimed to have the gift of healing, yet he prevailed upon his audiences to donate millions of dollars so he could build Oral Roberts University's City of Faith Medical and Research Center. If you have the gift of healing, why on earth would you build a hospital? You ought to be emptying hospitals, not filling them!

    For an off-site discussion of Prosperity Theology from a historical standpoint, see Wikipedia's article. For a critique of prosperity theology from a more Biblical standpoint, see "Got Questions" article on televangelist scandals. For a discussion of "Word of Faith" from a primarily historical viewpoint, see Wikipedia's article. For a further discussion of the "Word of Faith" movement from a Biblical and theological viewpoint, see "GotQuestions?" article "Word of Faith." See also "GotQuestions?" article on "Name it Claim it."

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Heaven.  The present abode of God and the redeemed of all ages.  Here are some things we can deduce about heaven:  There is a holy mountain of God in heaven (Ezek. 28: 14, 16).  Evidently this holy mountain is the heavenly Mount Zion that exists within heaven (Heb. 12:22; Rev. 14:1).  God rules from His throne, evidently located in the temple situated on the heavenly Mount Zion  (Psalm 11:4; Isa. 6:1; Rev. 7:15; 16:17).  But heaven is not the eternal home either of God or Jesus or of the redeemed.  New Jerusalem presently exists within heaven.  But it will eventually come down out of heaven to be associated forever with New Earth (Rev. 21:1-4, 10).  New Jerusalem will be the eternal abode of Christ and God, the capital of New Earth, which will be redeemed man’s eternal home (Rev. 22:3-5).

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Hermeneutics. A study of the appropriate methods to interpret Scripture. Hebrew poetry, for example, includes synonymous parallelism and antithetical parallelism. Hebrew narrative is typically repetitive. In the letters Paul has written in the New Testament, each prepositional phrase carries significant import.  Prophetic literature oftentimes incorporates different symbols. But the symbols represent something literal. One has to distinguish between what is symbolic and what is literal. Dispensationalists use a literal, historical, grammatical, contextual method of interpretation. What the author intended for his original audience is of great import. A given statement cannot be divorced from its surrounding context. Dispensationalists also interpret from a stance of Testamental parity. In other words, promises made by God in the Old Testament to the forefathers of Israel cannot be abrogated by promises made to the Church in the New Testament. Paul urged Timothy, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15, emphasis mine). Every interpreter of the Bible must make it his goal to interpret the Bible correctly. If he misinterprets Scripture, inserting his own ideas or the ideas of some philosophy he espouses, he runs the risk of being disapproved and ashamed when he stands before God.

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Hifil. The stem of the Hebrew verb that usually indicates a causative meaning for a Qal verb. An example is with the verb bo (935), "go, come." For example, in Zeph. 2:2,  the Qal stem of bo appears twice in the Imperfect tense, "Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you." The same verb, bo, appears once in the Hifil stem with the Imperfect tense in Zeph. 3:20, "At that time I will bring you in ...." One can sense the causative meaning. In a woodenly literal sense, it could be translated, "At that time I will cause you to come in."  The Qal stem in the same verse would be translated, "I will come in." Sometimes Hifil is spelled Hiphil in English. See the following site for a basic introduction to Hebrew verbs.

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Holy Spirit. The third Person of the Triune God. There are three persons in Scripture acknowledged to be God. The Father is God; Jesus Christ is God; the Holy Spirit is God. Each of these three is a person, yet they each partake of the same essence - God. There are not three Gods, but one. Here is a brief list of the works of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit 

(1) was active in creation (Gen. 1:2);
(2) was the Divine agent of the inspiration of Scripture (2 Sam. 23:2; John 14:26; Acts 1:16; 2 Pet. 1:21);
(3) was and is active in restraining sin in the world (Gen. 6:3; 2 Thess. 2:7-8);
(4) is active in regeneration (Ezek. 36:25-27; John 3:5-8);
(5) serves as One who, in the NT, and in the physical absence of Jesus Christ, calls out alongside a believer to warn, motivate, and comfort (John 14:16-17);
(6) dwells within every believer (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 6:19; 12:13);
(7) permanently seals each believer (2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14);
(8) baptizes each believer into the Body of Christ (Acts 1:5; 1 Cor. 12:13);
(9) gives each believer in Christ a spiritual gift or gifts (1 Cor. 12:7-11);
(10) each believer is commanded to be filled with, and thus controlled by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

(This information adapted from Paul P. Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology, Chapter 21, Pneumatology: Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.)

Holy Spirit, Baptism of. The Bible teaches that those who believe in Jesus are united with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:12-13; 3:1-4). The mechanism by which this happens is the baptism by means of the Spirit (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; 1 Corinthians 12:13), in which Jesus uses the Holy Spirit to place believers into the Body of Christ. The immersion process in water baptism pictures the uniting of the believer with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection. But it is only Spirit baptism that has sufficient power to unite believers with Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). Water baptism can never do that. Similarly, in John’s baptism, water had no power to make the adherents repentant. Those who repented came to be baptized (Matt. 3:1-6), but some who came to be baptized were NOT repentant (Matt. 3:7-10). John the Baptist freely acknowledged that Jesus’ baptism by means of the Spirit was far superior to his own water baptism signifying repentance (Matt. 3:11-12). See also Baptism, Spirit. See also "Is speaking in tongues a necessary sign of the Baptism of the Spirit?" See also "Four Different Types of Baptism." See also "Which Christians are Baptized with the Holy  Spirit?"

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