Archives For Discipleship

Revelation 19 provides for us a striking record of a future time when there will be repeated heavenly exclamations of joyful praise to God:

Revelation 19:1 And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: 2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia. 5 And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Suppose that various groups of people on the earth would hear these composite sounds (produced by these heavenly beings) successively emanating from heaven but would not be able to hear distinctly the words being spoken. Suppose further that among these groups of people, some groups in certain cultures would regard the composite sounds as joyful, but other groups in other cultures would not regard them as being joyful sounds.

Would the differing characterizations of these sounds by differing groups in differing cultures show that what joyful praises sound like is culturally determined and does not have any objective, fixed character to it?

Because these sounds will be the composite sounds of righteous heavenly beings and because the Spirit has revealed them to us objectively to be the sounds of joyful praise to God, those cultures on earth that would regard these composite sounds not to be joyful sounds would be wrong in their assessments. It is not true, therefore, that what the sounds of joyful exclamations of praise sound like is culturally determined.

Rather, Revelation 19:1-6 establishes that the composite sounds of such joyful praise and therefore the composite sounds of such joyful music do have an objectively joyful character to them that is not culturally determined.

Furthermore, because all these exclamations of praise will be produced by godly heavenly beings, we know that all these composite sounds will be the sounds of godly praise. These facts, therefore, establish for us that the composite sounds of godly joyful music have an objectively joyful character to them that is not culturally determined.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

How pleasing it would be to God if there were more Christians who approached worshiping Him with the mindset that meeting multiple times a week gives us more opportunity to give God glory through corporate worship in such a manner that no other activities can give Him and that no other people than His people can give Him.

What a difference it would make in our world if more Christians on their own accord valued assembling themselves together so much that they would consider it a matchless privilege to meet with His people and hear from Him and be ministered to by His gifted servants multiple times a week instead of the bare minimum of once a week.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

For a few weeks now, I have been intensely examining occurrences in the Hebrew OT of elohim with plural verbs. In the process, I have learned a lot about how to use the GSE in BibleWorks 10 to do Hebrew searches.

The following PDF shows what the search query is that finds all occurrences of elohim preceded by a plural verb form with exactly 3 words between:

GSE Elohim Plural Verb Preceding Exactly 3.

This query finds occurrences that occur after a 3rd person plural perfect, imperfect, waw-consecutive perfect, or waw-consecutive imperfect verb. It also finds occurrences after an active participle or a passive participle.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

On August 26, I finished reading through the Bible for this year! I praise God for His goodness in allowing me to have the freedom and opportunity for doing so for one more year!

Deut. 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:

19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

20 That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalm 1: 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Through information from some language references and my ongoing research in the Hebrew OT, I have learned that there are at least 3 clear instances where elohim is the subject of a plural verb form and signifies the true God:

Gen. 20:13  And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt shew unto me; at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.

Gen. 20:13  ἐγένετο δὲ ἡνίκα ἐξήγαγέν με ὁ θεὸς ἐκ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ πατρός μου καὶ εἶπα αὐτῇ ταύτην τὴν δικαιοσύνην ποιήσεις ἐπ᾽ ἐμέ εἰς πάντα τόπον οὗ ἐὰν εἰσέλθωμεν ἐκεῖ εἰπὸν ἐμὲ ὅτι ἀδελφός μού ἐστιν

Gen. 20:13 וַיְהִ֞י כַּאֲשֶׁ֧ר הִתְע֣וּ אֹתִ֗י אֱלֹהִים֘ מִבֵּ֣ית אָבִי֒ וָאֹמַ֣ר לָ֔הּ זֶ֣ה חַסְדֵּ֔ךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּעֲשִׂ֖י עִמָּדִ֑י אֶ֤ל כָּל־הַמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נָב֣וֹא שָׁ֔מָּה אִמְרִי־לִ֖י אָחִ֥י הֽוּא׃

 

Gen. 35:7  And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother.

Gen. 35:7  καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν ἐκεῖ θυσιαστήριον καὶ ἐκάλεσεν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ τόπου Βαιθηλ ἐκεῖ γὰρ ἐπεφάνη αὐτῷ ὁ θεὸς ἐν τῷ ἀποδιδράσκειν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ προσώπου Ησαυ τοῦ ἀδελφοῦ αὐτοῦ

Gen. 35:7 וַיִּ֤בֶן שָׁם֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ וַיִּקְרָא֙ לַמָּק֔וֹם אֵ֖ל בֵּֽית־אֵ֑ל כִּ֣י שָׁ֗ם נִגְל֤וּ אֵלָיו֙ הָֽאֱלֹהִ֔ים בְּבָרְח֖וֹ מִפְּנֵ֥י אָחִֽיו׃

 

2 Sam. 7:23  And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name, and to do for you great things and terrible, for thy land, before thy people, which thou redeemedst to thee from Egypt, from the nations and their gods?

2 Sam. 7:23  καὶ τίς ὡς ὁ λαός σου Ισραηλ ἔθνος ἄλλο ἐν τῇ γῇ ὡς ὡδήγησεν αὐτὸν ὁ θεὸς τοῦ λυτρώσασθαι αὐτῷ λαὸν τοῦ θέσθαι σε ὄνομα τοῦ ποιῆσαι μεγαλωσύνην καὶ ἐπιφάνειαν τοῦ ἐκβαλεῖν σε ἐκ προσώπου τοῦ λαοῦ σου οὗ ἐλυτρώσω σεαυτῷ ἐξ Αἰγύπτου ἔθνη καὶ σκηνώματα

2 Sam. 7:23 וּמִ֤י כְעַמְּךָ֙ כְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל גּ֥וֹי אֶחָ֖ד בָּאָ֑רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָלְכֽוּ־אֱ֠לֹהִים לִפְדּֽוֹת־ל֙וֹ לְעָ֜ם וְלָשׂ֧וּם ל֣וֹ שֵׁ֗ם וְלַעֲשׂ֙וֹת לָכֶ֜ם הַגְּדוּלָּ֤ה וְנֹֽרָאוֹת֙ לְאַרְצֶ֔ךָ מִפְּנֵ֣י עַמְּךָ֗ אֲשֶׁ֙ר פָּדִ֤יתָ לְּךָ֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם גּוֹיִ֖ם וֵאלֹהָֽיו׃

Observations about these verses

1. The plural Hebrew verb of which elohim functions as the subject in each verse precedes it in all three verses.

2. The KJV correctly renders elohim as God in all three verses even though it is the subject of a plural verb in the Hebrew text.

3. The Septuagint correctly renders elohim as the singular theos and renders the plural Hebrew verb of which it is the subject as a singular verb in all three verses. The translators thereby reflect correctly that the plural noun and verb in the Hebrew text signify actions by the true God.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Using the search capabilities of the GSE tool in BibleWorks 10, I am currently in the process of examining intensively the occurrences of elohim in the Hebrew OT. So far, I have not found a single occurrence of elohim functioning as the subject of a plural verb form where elohim refers to the true God.

Each of the following 18 verses has elohim with a plural verb. In every verse, it refers to false gods and not to Yahweh.

Exod. 32:1  And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

Exod. 32:4  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Exod. 32:8  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Exod. 32:23  For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

Deut. 32:17  They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.

Jdg. 2:3  Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

Jdg. 10:14  Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.

1 Ki. 12:28  Whereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

1 Ki. 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

2 Ki. 18:33 Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

2 Ki. 18:35  Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?

2 Ki. 19:12  Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar?

2 Chr. 28:23  For he sacrificed unto the gods of Damascus, which smote him: and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.

2 Chr. 32:13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand?

Isa. 36:18 Beware lest Hezekiah persuade you, saying, The LORD will deliver us. Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?

Isa. 37:12  Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed, as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Telassar?

Isa. 41:23  Shew the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods: yea, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and behold it together.

Jer. 2:28 But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

More Than 10,000 Hours!

June 25, 2022

After God saved me in 1990, I immediately had an immense hunger for reading and studying the Bible. I read the Bible through three times that first year.

Recently, the thought occurred to me that I have probably spent thousands of hours reading and studying the Bible.

Very conservatively doing the math, this is what I came up with for how much time I have spent:

8 years X at least 30 minutes a day x 365 days/year = 1460 hours

23.5 years X at least 1 hour a day X 365 days/year  = 8577.5 hours

Total time: 10,037.5 hours

In my 31 1/2 years as a believer, I have spent more than 10,000 hours reading and studying just the Bible itself.

I fully realize that many, many other people have done far more than I have, but I still praise God for the freedom and ability that He has given me to spend this much time reading and studying His Word!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Amos 2:1-3 is direct divine speech that reveals fierce divine punishment on a pagan nation for burning the bones of a pagan king into lime:

Amos 2:1Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime: 2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet: 3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord.

God provided this revelation on purpose because He wanted to communicate truth not just about the sinful people involved–most importantly, He wanted to communicate truth about Himself and His mind.

To understand and profit fully from this revelation, we need to ponder the answers to two key questions:

What does this passage teach us about God?

Why does God want us to know this information?

If God judged the pagan Moabites for burning to powder a pagan king, what do the following verses imply about His mindset about those who burn the bodies of believers to powder?

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

We are a royal priesthood! We are kings unto our God and Father! We will reign on the earth!

Because God was intensely displeased when pagans burned the bones of a pagan king to powder, how much more intensely displeased is He when anyone burns the body of one of His royal saints to powder!

Our bodies belong to Him. We are not free to do whatever we want to them.

Through this revelation, He has made known that He does not want human bodies burned, etc. to powder (except when He may have specifically authorized it as a form of judgment). Burial—not cremation—is the mind of God for His own!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

God promised Abram that he would be buried at the end of his life:

Genesis 15:15 And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.

When God made this promise, He was not following some OT Hebrew preference because Abraham was the first Hebrew so there was no long-standing or well-established Hebrew preference that had already been in place that could be or needed to be followed by God.

Because this verse is the first mention of burial in Scripture, we learn that within the limits of what is revealed in Scripture, we are to hold that God is the One who communicated to the Hebrews the importance of burying their own. He, therefore, was not following some OT Hebrew preference when He did so–He was making a divine promise that communicated the vital importance that He placed on burial!

Moreover, based on this understanding of this key promise, we learn that the numerous repeated mentions of the burials of God’s people in the OT are not instances of OT Hebrew preference of burial. Rather, they show the vital importance that God placed on burial when He promised Abram that he would be buried in a good old age.

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.

Before the risen Jesus ascended to heaven, He commanded His disciples to preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). The apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians that the gospel message that He received directly from the glorified Christ specifically states that Christ was buried:

1 Cor. 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

God, therefore, has ordained that we are to tell every human being that Christ was buried.

Regardless of what practices for handling dead bodies may be prevalent anywhere in the world, the Christian must convey to every person everywhere that Christ was buried. In order to do so knowledgeably, we must understand biblically why Christ was and had to be buried. To that end, this article treats three reasons that Christ was and had to be buried.

God’s Command to Bury Had to Be Obeyed

First, more than at least 1300 years before the Passion of Christ, God had commanded His people that those that they had hanged on a tree had to be buried:

Deut. 21:22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

Peter and the apostles declared to the Jewish council and high priest that they had slain and hanged Jesus on a tree:

Acts 5:30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.

Later in a premier evangelistic message to Gentiles, Peter preached again that the Jews had slain the anointed Jesus of Nazareth and hanged Him on a tree:

Acts 10:39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:

Because the Jews slew and hanged Jesus on a tree, they had to bury His body in obedience to God’s command. As righteous Jews, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus obeyed God’s command and buried His body (John 19:38-42).

Christ was and had to be buried because God’s command to bury had to be obeyed. As seen through the gospel ministry of Peter, the truth that Jesus was buried is to be proclaimed to both Jews and Gentiles—it is of worldwide importance!

Christ’s Burial Was Prophesied

Second, Christ was and had to be buried because God had prophesied that the Messiah would be buried:

Isa. 53:9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

Had Jesus of Nazareth not been buried in fulfillment of what God had prophesied, He would not and could not have been the Messiah. There would then not be any gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim to the world.

Christ Spoke of His Body’s Being Buried

Third, before His crucifixion, Jesus of Nazareth revealed that Mary (John 11:2; 12:3) had anointed His body for His burial:

Matthew 26:12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.

Mark 14:8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.

John 12:7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

He added that what she had done to anoint His body for His burial would be spoken of all over the world wherever the gospel would be preached:

Matthew 26:13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.

Mark 14:9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Christ was and had to be buried in order to fulfill what He said about Mary’s having anointed Him for His burial.

Had His body not been buried after His crucifixion, He would have been shown to have been wrong in what He said. Had He erred in the truthfulness of what He said concerning what Mary had done, He would not and could not have been the Messiah. There would then not be any gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim to the world.

Conclusion

As the Christ, Jesus of Nazareth was and had to be buried after He had been crucified. As believers, we all must understand biblically why this is true.

We all must also proclaim to all men everywhere the gospel truth that Christ was buried. The burial of Christ is of worldwide importance!

Copyright © 2011-2022 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.