Malachi 2:9--The Priests Were Partial in the Law

In Malachi 2:9 specific mention is made concerning the priest being ‘partial in the law’ or ‘partiality in your instruction’ (ESV, NET). In what way this partiality was being manifested is not divulged. Obviously, there were multiple ways from priest to priest. The partiality could have been in the instruction of the law. Thus they were teaching some parts of the Mosaic Law while ignoring other parts or it could have been in the application of the law. In the application of the law, one can imagine a scenario in which the ‘junk’ sacrifice of the rich is acceptable while a poor person brings the same kind of sacrifice to the altar and he is instructed in the law. What is relevant for us today is the way the same thing can occur in a church today. Here are a few possible example for the 21st century:

Faith in Christ is taught, but repentance toward God is never mentioned
Grace is emphasized, but any form of church discipline is completely absent
Smoking is sin, but the preacher’s overeating can be ignored
Homosexuality is the deadly sin, but references to heterosexual adultery are avoided
Jesus is presented as Savior on a regular basis, but his LORDSHIP is missing
Salvation in Christ is preached, but denying oneself and taking up a cross to follow Jesus might offend someone
The LGBT movement is nailed, but heterosexual cohabitation is swept under the pulpit rug
God is fine, but the Creator God who made all things in six days is never mentioned
Being generous to the Salvation Army’s red bucket is encouraged, but instruction in tithing to the local church might turn someone off
God’s love is the constant message, but His abiding wrath against sin simply isn't politically correct anymore
Church attendance is fine, but a formal commitment to a single body of believers led by shepherds who care for your soul seems a bit too much
Adultery is sin, but window shopping is what everyone does…right?
Man’s freewill is emphasized, but God’s Sovereignty is gone
The sin of the rich is ignored, while the sin of the poor is hammered
The existence of Jesus is good, but his exclusivity cannot be tolerated
The Bible contains truth, but it can’t be the single source of revelation from God

Dung in Your Face is an Apologetic for Inspiration of the Bible

The nasty or grotesque picture found in Malachi 2:3 serves as an apologetic, a defense, that the Bible must be the Word of God.  No human author intending upon manufacturing a narrative about a god and his people would include such an abhorrent description of the action of the god against his people as rubbing animal waste, literally ‘crap’, in their faces for their failure to do what was instructed. Malachi writes as a man inspired by God—he is a messenger on a mission from the One True God of the Universe—the LORD of the Hosts. He must say what the LORD tells him to say without regard to the potential fallout of his message. Having dung rubbed in your face is nasty. What were the priests doing that was ‘that bad?’ Read Malachi 2 to discover the issue.

The Immigrant Problem and Debate in America--What side should I choose?

As I was reading the Word of God this morning from Deuteronomy I was once again confronted (yesterday, I was confronted from Malachi—see my podcast below) from the Bible concerning the immigration debate we are having in America.  What side would the Bible have me to choose? Laying aside political parties and pragmatic issues for a moment, I want to ask—what does the Bible say to Christians today concerning the 11 million immigrants in America today?

In Deuteronomy 10 Moses is preaching to Israel. In his sermon text Moses reminds Israel that the LORD God of Israel executes justice for the orphan, widow and loves the resident foreigner, giving him food and clothing (v. 18). Then Moses commands every Israelite to love the resident foreigner because there was a day, in the not so distant past, when the Jew he was speaking to or his parents were resident foreigners in Egypt. A resident foreigner is an immigrant. The Jews migrated to Egypt because of a famine.

Now we can have the conversation concerning the reality that Israel did not enter Egypt illegally but instead received Pharaoh’s blessing to enter the land. However, the point of the text is not legal or illegal immigrant. The point of the text (Deut. 10:18) is God loves and cares for immigrants like he loves and cares for widows and orphans and so should I!

Consider the "One Another's" in the New Testament

There are over 50 specific references to doing something with 'one another' in the New Testament and nearly all of them relate to the church. (1 Corinthians 7:5 instructs husbands and wives not deprive one another of marital intimacy.) As you look at each one of these imperatives consider how obvious it is that Christ and His Apostles intended for Christians to be in a church, an assembly of believers, where each of these "one another's" can be lived out.

• Love one another (John 13:34, 15:12, 17, Rom. 12:10; 1 Thess. 4:9)
• Outdo one another in showing honor (Romans 12:16)
• Do not pass judgment on one another (Rom. 14:13)
• Live in harmony with one another (Rom. 15:5)
• Welcome one another (Rom. 15:7)
• Instruct one another (Rom. 15:14)
• Greet one another (Rom. 16:6, 1 Cor. 16:20, 2 Cor. 13:12, 1 Pet. 5:14)
• Wait for one another (1 Corinthians 11:33)
• Care for one another (1 Cor. 12:25)
• Comfort one another (2 Corinthians 13:11)
• Agree with one another (2 Cor. 13:11)
• Serve one another (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10)
• Bear with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2)
• Be kind one to another (Eph. 4:32)
• Forgive one another (Eph. 4:32)
• Sing to one another (Eph. 5:19)
• Submit to one another (Eph. 5:21)
• Be honest with one another (Colossians 3:9)
• Admonish one another (Col. 3:16)
• Abound in love for one another (1 Thessalonians 3:12)
• Encourage one another (1 Thess. 5:11, Heb. 10:25)
• Build one another up (1 Thess. 5:11)
• Do good to one another (1 Thess. 5:15)
• Increase in love one for another (2 Thessalonians 1:13)
• Exhort one another (Hebrews 3:13)
• Provoke one another to good works (Heb. 10:24)
• Do not speak evil against one another (James 4:11)
• Do not grumble against one another (Jam. 5:9)
• Confess sins one to another (Jam. 5:16)
• Pray for one another (Jam. 5:16)
• Love one another earnestly (1 Peter 1:22)
• Keep loving one another (1 Pet. 4:8)
• Show hospitality one to another (1 Pet. 4:9)
• Be humble one to another (1 Pet. 5:5)
• Love one another (1 John 3:11, 23, 4:7, 11; 2 John 5)

Christ Our Passover

1 Corinthians 5:7
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

The Passover is a Jewish holiday beginning on the 14th of Nisan [March/April], commemorating the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, and memorializing the day the death Angel passed over (Exodus 12:23) every house that had blood from the paschal lamb applied to the doorposts and lintels [above the doorway] of the home (see Exodus 12).

How is Christ our Passover? How is the Jewish Passover a foreshadowing of Christ and the Lord’s Supper? The chart below seeks to compare and contrast the Passover (or paschal lamb) and the Lamb of God (Christ, our Passover) and the Passover (the meal established by Moses) and the Lord’s Supper (ordained by Christ).

To see the chart click the link below.

http://media.sermonaudio.com/articles/be-1181411244-1.PDF

2014 Nov Election List

US Senate
Thom Tillis

US Congress        2nd District             4th District             7th District*
                    Renee Ellmers         Paul Wright       David Rouzer

State Senate – 19th District (21st Dist, unopposed)
Wesley Meredith

(State House – 42nd & 43rd unopposed)

State House – 44th District
Richard Button

State House – 45th District
John Szoka (unopposed)

Cumberland County Sheriff
Charlie Baxley

County Commissioner At-Large
Michael Boose
Juanita Gonzalez

Cumberland County School Board At-Large
David Booth Greg West
Donna Vaughn

North Carolina Supreme Court (4 seats) 
Chief Justice --  Mark Martin
Robert “Bob” Hunter
Eric Levinson
Mike Robinson

North Carolina Court of Appeals (4 separate seats)
Paul Holcombe
Bill Southern
Donna Stroud (unopposed)
John Tyson (third on the list of 19 names)

District Court Judge 
Clark Reaves

Other District Court Judges 
Rita Cox    David Hasty
Duane Gilliam    Robert Stiehl

Lucifer or Day Star: Which is the right translation in Isaiah 14:12?

Understanding how the AV1611 was translated is incredibly important when determining whether modern versions are perversions of the Word of God or noble attempts to translate the Greek and Hebrew into modern English. Translating from one language to another is very difficult and at times nearly impossible. Perhaps you have seen what I am talking about. Have you ever heard someone speaking in Spanish and then interject in the middle of a sentence an English word? In these cases, the person speaking Spanish has run into a word that doesn’t have a Spanish equivalent, or at a minimum, they don’t know what the Spanish equivalent should be. Such a case occurs in Isaiah 14:12 in the KJV. In this verse, we find the word Lucifer. Did you know that the English word Lucifer is found only one time in the entire Bible? This is a bit odd because the Bible is full of references to the devil and Satan, so why isn’t Lucifer found more often? Were it not for our extra-biblical understanding of Lucifer being another name for Satan, we wouldn’t have any clue what this noun means from the word Lucifer alone.  The English transliteration of the Hebrew word translated Lucifer in this verse is heylel (Strong’s # H1966), and it is used only one time in the entire Hebrew Bible.

Modern translations like the ESV and NASB translate heylel as ‘Day Star’ and ‘O star of the morning.’ This obviously begs the question: which is right? Should we understand verse 12 to contain a direct reference to Satan or was the Hebrew writer referring to the ‘Day Star’ to which we may infer an indirect reference to Satan?

Since the Hebrew text provides little help in the absence of multiple uses of the word, our next place to look is the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT), followed by the Vulgate (Jerome’s translation of the Bible into Latin).  In the Septuagint, the Greek word for heylel in Isaiah 14:12 (translated eosphorus, ‘dawn (light)-bearer’) is not used anywhere in the NT, thus providing us no help in determining the meaning of the word within the text. Next, we look to the Latin Vulgate in our search for where the word Lucifer originated from in Isaiah 14:12, and here is where we find the answer to the question. The text below is the Jerome’s Latin translation of the Isaiah 14:12.

quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes

Do you see it? The English word Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 is simply a transliteration of the Latin word lucifer. Evidently the translators did not know what to do with this unique Hebrew word found only one time in the Bible, so they took the expedient path and followed the Latin.  The KJV translators were not the first to do this, as the Geneva Bible also reads the same way. Evidently they too struggled with how to translate heylel.  So what does lucifer mean in the Latin? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary lucifer is a reference the morning star, ‘from lucifer light-bearing, from luc-, lux light + -fer –ferous.’  With this new information, we need to ask the question: was Jerome using the word lucifer as a direct reference to Satan or a ‘day or morning star’? The answer to this question is found by searching for any other uses of the word lucifer in the Vulgate.

Jerome used the word lucifer three times--in Job 11:17, Isaiah 14:12, and 2 Peter 1:19.  Job 11:17 reads ‘And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning [lucifer].’  Obviously, there isn’t a reference to Satan in this verse. Now, let’s look at 2 Peter 1:19. Peter writes: “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star [lucifer in the Latin] arise in your hearts.”  Obviously, when Jerome selected the Latin word lucifer, he had no idea it would later (around the 12th century) become an English name for the devil. For Jerome, the Latin word lucifer connoted a particular reference to a morning or day star and nothing more. Therefore, it could be used to describe a day star falling from heaven in Isaiah 14:12 or the day star arising in hearts in 2 Peter 1:19. At the time, lucifer was a fine translation—since his reader didn’t come to the Latin text with the presupposition that lucifer is another name for Satan.  Today, modern translations are accused of linking Christ to Satan in Isaiah 14:12 by translating heylel as ‘Day Star’ instead of ‘Lucifer.’  So, before we throw all modern translators under the bus, let’s compare the two verses in the ESV to see if we think the reader would get confused and establish a connection between the two verses that should not be made. First Isaiah 14:12 followed by 2 Peter 1:19.

How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!

And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 

I think we can objectively say that it is very doubtful that a reader would make any connection between the ‘Day Star, son of Dawn!’ to the ‘morning star’ who rises in the hearts of a believer. What do you think?

Moreover, what is even more interesting is to examine an actual 1611 Authorized Version and discover that the KJV translators were well aware that the ESV rendering ‘O Day Star’ was another viable option in translating heylel.  The marginal note found for Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12 looks like this: ‘O day-starre.’

Imagine what would have happened if the KJV translators went with ‘O day-starre’ in the text and put ‘Lucifer’ in the marginal note.  Would the KJV translators have been accused of perverting the deity of Christ and creating confusion in the word of God? Why is it when the ESV chooses ‘O Day Star’ it isn’t acceptable, but when the KJV translators put ‘O Day starre’ in the marginal notes it is acceptable? That my friend, seems like a double standard to me.  Perhaps the ESV isn’t a perversion of the Word of God after all.