Monday, November 26, 2012

Replacement Theology and Galatians - Part 2

In the previous article, I presented the introductory remarks concerning what replacement theology is and introduced Galatians 3:7 as a verse used to support replacement theology’s basic tenet – that the Church replaces Israel in the Abrahamic covenant due to Israel’s rejection of Jesus. I then showed that the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen. 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:1-3; 22:15-18) was given specifically to Abraham and his seed after him, specifically, to the ethnic line of Abraham, Isaac (Gen. 26:24), and Jacob (Gen. 28:13-17).

Replacement theology is not only destructive with respect to hermeneutics and the basic rules of reading, but is also destructive to several fundamental characteristics and attributes of God. If God can make a promise to Israel and then not fulfill that promise, then God is not immutable. Immutability of God means that God is unchangeable.

For example, James says,
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

Can God change His covenant with Abraham? If God protects His holiness, and He does, then how can He then establish a people set apart for service to Him, then not live up to the legal demands that He defines in the first place? God has and will continue to protect His remnant of Israel. Notice what the Lord says in Malachi 3:6:
For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
So, when the replacement theologian says something like the following, it is truly mystifying:
“The covenant made with Abraham was primarily a spiritual covenant … This covenant is still in force and is essentially identical with the ‘new covenant’ of the present dispensation.” (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, pp. 632-633).    
Dr. Berkhof in relating the Abrahamic Covenant to the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33; Ezek. 36:22-32) bypasses the Land Covenant (Palestinian Covenant, Deut. 28-30), and the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:4-16; 1 Chron. 17:3-15). This is typical of replacement theology as there can be no promises for Israel outside of the Church in their system, since the Church is not promised land.

The Abrahamic covenant has three aspects: (1) the promise of seed or physical offspring; (2) the promise of a physical land; and (3) a promised ruler over that land. From the basic covenant made to Abraham in Genesis 17:1-3, comes the three outworking with the seed in the New Covenant, the promise of the land in the Land Covenant, and the promise of the king in the Davidic Covenant.     

In Galatians 3:16, the replacement theologian sees only a spiritual blessing in both the original Abrahamic and the “new covenant.” Again, notice what Dr. Berkhof says:

“The unity and continuity of the covenant in both dispensations follows from the fact that the Mediator is the same…, the condition is the same, namely, faith, Gen. 15:6 … ; and the blessings are the same, namely justification, … regeneration, … spiritual gifts, …, and eternal life, …” Peter gave those who were under conviction on the day of Pentecost the assurance that the promise was unto them and to their children, Acts 2:39. Paul argues in Rom. 4:13-18; Gal. 3:13-18 that the giving of the law did not make the promise of none effect, so that it still holds in the new dispensation. And the writer of Hebrews points out that the promise to Abraham was confirmed with an oath, so that New Testament believers may derive comfort from its immutability, Heb. 6:13-18.” (Berkhof, p. 633)
As can be seen from this quotation, Dr. Berkhof understands the theological importance of God’s Word being immutable. What he has left out, however, are the promises of a physical seed, a physical land, and a physical king in the land – the only thing that remains within replacement theology is the transformed heart that comes from the New Covenant.

Galatians 3:16-17

Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. (Gal. 3:16-17)
What should be noted at this point is that there is a great amount of agreement with expositors here. The common agreement is as follows: (1) Paul is speaking about promises that cannot be broken and the law did not break the Abrahamic covenant (hard core replacement theologians see the Abrahamic covenant replaced by the Mosaic Covenant which in turn was replaced by the New); (2) Paul uses both senses of “seed” (cf., Gal. 3:16) and “seeds” (in Rom. 4:18 Abraham’s offspring of Gen. 15:5 is identified with the many nations of Gen. 17:5) in Scripture. However, it should also be noted that the plural usage is naturally interpreted as physical seed (sperma) as physical descendants, then secondly as metaphorical. With respect to the metaphorical usage, it is used of the righteous remnant of Israel (Isa. 41:8; Rom. 9:6), and anyone in general, Jew or gentile that possess the faith of Abraham (Gal.3:29).    

Dr. Couch summarizes the following observation concerning the verses leading up to 3:1-14:

“In the covenant made with Abraham (the Abrahamic Covenant), God prophesied that through Abraham ‘all the families of the earth will be blessed’ (Genesis 12:3). This prophecy was in seed form in Genesis 12, but the full implication would unfold with the passage of time as God revealed more and more of His plan for humanity. Paul quotes Genesis 12:3 and offers an explanation in Galatians 3: ‘The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham saying, ‘All the nations will be blessed in you’ (verse 8). To everyone who trusts Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, ‘it was reckoned to him as righteousness’ (verse 6), by which believers become ‘sons of Abraham’ (verse 7) and are ‘blessed with Abraham, the believer’ (verse 9). Within the New Covenant is a promise in which God told the Jewish people, ‘I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes’ (Ezekiel 36:27). The Church is not the beneficiary of this promise, but it does benefit from the New Covenant. Christ reminded the disciples just before His ascension that ‘you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’ (Acts 1:5). These verses are not c0-mingling Israel and the Church, as taught by amillennialists. God was simply prophesying, through Abraham, the master plan of how the world would be blessed by Abraham and his descendants, the Jewish people.” (Mal Couch, in Tim LaHaye & Ed Hindson gen.ed., The Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary, p. 420)  

Seeds verses Seed

The key verse is 3:16 “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Most replacement theologians will at this point ignore Paul’s recognitions of the plural use of “seeds” in Romans 4:18, describing Abraham’s offspring of Gen. 15:5 as identified with the many nations of Gen. 17:5. It is not that they deny the dual meaning in Scripture, it is just that they choose to ignore the dual use here in order to talk around the meaning of this section and justify their replacement doctrine.

It is clear that the Lord in the Abrahamic covenant intends to give Abraham a physical offspring of which there will be a chosen ethnic line through Isaac, Jacob and etc. And that the promise includes Jesus, the Savior of the World coming through the ethnic Jewish line. It is also clear that through the Abrahamic covenant all the nations of the world will be blessed as Jesus died as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), and He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world ( John 2:2).     

The Church is the Old Testament

The primary presupposition that the church is found in the Old Testament is simply bad theology. The Church is only found in the New Testament because it is unique to the dispensation of the Church.

The Church started at Pentecost in Acts chapter 2 and is tightly linked with a new work of the Holy Spirit. The Church is identified as believers who believe in the gospel of Christ and have to be baptized, indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit. It is the uniqueness of the baptizing of the Holy Spirit that starts with and identifies the Church. The baptizing work of the Holy Spirit is not found in the Old Testament.

Notice what John the Baptist says concerning the baptizing of the Spirit. “I [John the Baptist] did not know Him [Jesus], but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit” (John 1:33).

The giving of the Spirit was prophesized to come after Jesus was raised from the dead, therefore, the Church could not exist until the resurrection of Christ. Notice John 7:39, “But this He [Jesus] spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

The Church cannot be found in the Old Testament since it was not known there (Eph. 3:9; Rom. 16:25). It is described as a mystery (something not revealed previously, but is now revealed) (cf. Eph. 5:32) and described as a new thing (Eph. 2:14-18; 3:1-7). The Church is made up of both Jews and Gentiles placed into one body (Eph. 2:14-18).

All Israel Will Be Saved

What does it mean then, that all Israel will be saved? Romans 11:26 states very clearly:

For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (Rom 11:25-29 NKJ)
Israel is ethnic Israel in Romans 11 as 11:1-2a brings the national Israel in context:

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.

How can God save all of national Israel? By His sovereign work as He brings judgment upon the nation and upon the nations during the Great Tribulation that was known in the Old Testament as the Day of the Lord and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jer. 30:7). As the story is told, when the Lord returns again all those representing the nation Israel will call upon the name of the Lord (Isa. 62: Zeph. 3:8-13). In the millennial kingdom Israel will be exalted above the other nations (Isa. 14:1-2; 49:22-23; 60:14-17; 61:6-7)., and the nation will become God’s witness (Isa. 44:8, 21; 61:6; 66:21).

In the next article I will examine one of Replacement Theology’s most quoted verses: Galatians 3:27-29.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Answers to Your Question

Below is something I ran across while preparing my lesson on "The Inspiration of the Scriptures" for Sunday morning.  I've always known that the writer of the book of Hebrews is debatedI was taught in my Sabbath keeping church growing up that it was Paul.  Then my studies as an adult proved it couldn't be Paul.  Look at what he wrote in Galatians and then what the writer of Hebrews wrote:
Paul wrote:  Gal 1: 11: But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  12: For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The book of Hebrews author wrote:  Heb:4:2: For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.

So, the Hebrews author couldn't be Paul, right?  No one preached the gospel to him.

Answer: I do not know who wrote the letter to the Hebrews. Your point is a good one. But here is what I do know. The Greek of the letter to the Hebrews is closer to the Greek school of Alexandra and is definitely not Paul. Paul’s works are clearly written in a consistent Greek. The character of the Greek in Hebrews is more closely aligned with the type of Greek of the LXX. The LXX is the Hebrew Old Testament translated into Greek by the “group of 70” in Alexandria Egypt around 300 BC. The Greek is called Koine Greek because it was the common Greek language of the day after Alexander the Great conquered the area.

With 300 years of time between the Greek of the LXX and the New Testament, the language changed. Like the English of the Pilgrims verses modern American English. Some words become obsolete and the language in general becomes simpler. If you look at the text, its structure, the words used, etc., it is obvious that the signature of the text is fundamentally different from that of Paul. 
Also, some authors are more classically trained (e.g. Luke the doctor), while others are trained in a localized school that is notable enough to be recognized. The Greek of Hebrew’s is clearly from someone that is classically trained and from a city of classic Greek heritage (e.g. Alexandria Egypt). The letter to the Hebrews has too many unique features that differentiate it from any other work of the NT. The author is clearly a one of a kind. 
Thank you for your question.  
Dr. John Pappas

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Replacement Theology and Galatians


One of the most troubling doctrines taught today is replacement theology. Replacement theology says that the Church has replaced Israel as far as the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 12:1-3) are concerned.  Is it not interesting that those in the replacement camp not only find the Church in the Old Testament, but also will say the Church is in reference everywhere “Israel” is used in a good connotation, but wherever the context is negative - it is national Israel! There is no consistency; the Church receives all the blessing but none of the curses.

A good example of a leading replacement theologian is Louis Berkhof. Listen to what he says: “Both the Old and the New Testament speak of a future conversion of Israel, Zech. 12:10; 13:1; II Cor. 3:15,16, and Rom. 11:25-29 seems to connect this with the end of time. Premillennialists have exploited this Scriptural teaching for their particular purpose. They maintain that there will be a national restoration and conversion of Israel, that the Jewish nation will be re-established in the Holy Land, and that this will take place immediately preceding or during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. It is very doubtful, however, whether Scripture warrants the expectation that Israel will finally be re-established as a nation, and will as a nation turn to the Lord. Some Old Testament prophecies seem to predict this, but these should be read in the light of the New Testament.”  (Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, pp. 698-699)  

At least Dr. Berkhof admits that the text seems to say that national Israel will be saved at the last day. Most replacement theologians do not!

The Loci Cummunes (chief location) in support their position is found in Romans 9:6; 11:26 and Galatians 6:16. The book of Galatians, in particular, contains many verses that serve more evidence for their position than any other book of the Bible. The verses cited include Galatians 3:7; 3:16; 3:27-29, 4:25-26, 5:6, and 6:16.  This series of articles examines these verses and exposes some of the problems with this view from the text. 

The text of Galatians 3: The first text is Galatians 3:5-9.

Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? - just as Abraham "believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness."  Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed."  So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. (Gal. 3:5-9)
Does Galatians 3:5-9 teach that ethnic Israel was never the recipient of the covenant made with Abraham? Does it say that God gave it to ethnic Israel, but replaced Israel with anyone else after the fact? It does not! The Abrahamic covenant clearly was legally “cut” with Abraham and his physical seed after him. Listen to the conversation Abram has with the Lord:
But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" Then Abram said, "Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!" And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, "This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir." Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be."  And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. (Gen 15:2-6)
It is clear that Abraham took things into his own hands by making his servant Eliezer of Damascus the legal heir. In that culture, a childless couple could adopt an adult outside the family in order to have a legal heir in case of their death. It appears Abram cut a legal contract making Eliezer their legal heir. He would be their legal heir until the couple produced a real physical heir. However, the Lord rejected that heir, restating the initial promise that God Himself would give him an heir and descendants (Hebrew  “zera” - “seed,” used collectively, thus the translation offspring, descendants, etc.) (cf. Gen. 12:1-3).

Listen to the contract language in Genesis:

On the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates…” (Gen. 15:18)
The covenant is a one way covenant – God will perform all the activities defined therein. The specific activities are twofold: A. Abraham will possess a physical seed; and, B. Abraham’s descendants will receive the land that is defined by the boundaries specified.

What then is Paul talking about in Galatians 3:5-9?  There really is little disagreement between evangelicals, whether dispensational or amillennial, concerning the meaning of this text. The statement:

Therefore know that those who are of faith are sons of Abraham (Gal. 3:7).
Everyone applies the meaning of children to its metaphorical usage. The word children (Greek “huios” - a son) can mean a physical child born to real parents, or in the metaphorical usage, it means one with the characteristic of the person or thing it originates from. For example, “sons of God,” or “sons of light,” are those that are possessed by God and reflect some characteristic of God (i.e., represents and acts in a certain way as God does). In contrast, a “son of perdition” means one that acts the way the “man of sin” acts – as a person going down the road to destruction (2 Thes. 2:3), or “sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:3) is a Hebrew expression indicating that their chief characteristic is one of “disobedience.” 

What is understood by the text of Galatians 3:5-9 is that anyone can be called a son of Abraham who possess the same faith that he possessed when he believed God and that faith was accredited to him as righteousness. This person is not a physical son, but a metaphorical son, who possess the same faith as Abraham. There is no disagreement among expositors concerning this section of Scripture. The reason I have listed it in this discussion is because it is used as backup material to justify a perverted doctrine of the “true Israel” which they teach as replacement theology.

The error lies with the basic usage of a metaphor. A metaphor does not replace the original, it just serves as a literary device to use the literal original as a means to characterize the thing described as having the same characteristic as the original. A metaphor is never meant to redefined or replace the original literal thing. Understanding the basic rules of a metaphor is important and must not be abused. In the next article, I will look at Galatians 3:16.   

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

Is Baptism in the Holy Spirit an experience distinct from regeneration?  Or is it the same thing?

ANSWER:   At the moment of conversion, the individual is born again (regenerated) by the work of the Holy Spirit giving us new life.  We are indwelt, sealed, filled, and baptized by the Holy Spirit. These events all occur simultaneously.

Indwelling speaks of our salvation and union with Christ. Sealing speaks of our security and earnest of our inheritance until the day of full redemption. Filling speaks of our being controlled by the Spirit for service, thus we produce fruit because we are filled with the Spirit. Baptism speaks of our being placed into the body of Christ and thus separate from the world. Baptism speaks of our association with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

There is great confusion concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some say that because the Spirit had not yet been given until the day of Pentecost, they teach a delayed baptism, thus justifying their false view of a second blessing – there is no such thing as a second blessing! The Gospels and Acts are transitional books and as such great care must be taken deriving theology from them. It is not that no theology can be brought out from these books, but one must be careful.  The church had not yet come to reality.  Until they did, the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) were considered Old Testament books.  Acts is a transitional book where the Church was finally brought to existence at Pentecost.  

The promise of the Spirit is part of the Old Testament prophecy given through Ezekiel that “I will put My Spirit within you” (Ezek. 36:25-27). The promise of the Spirit continues in the New Covenant work of God for the Church, promised by Jesus to come to all believers (John 3:5; 7:37-39). Notice what Jesus says to the crowd:

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.   He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.   (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39)    

It is understood that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is performed by the Holy Spirit unto the believer and as such is not experiential, but occurs simultaneously with salvation. There are not two baptisms by the Spirit, one placing us into the body (1 Cor. 12:13) and another for service (Acts 1:5), there is only one (singular) “giving” of the Spirit not plural “givings.” There is only one baptism of the Spirit which occurs at the moment of salvation.

Re-generational Baptism should not be confused with water baptism. When Peter is speaking in Acts 11:16 he says, “Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.“ Baptism (washing) of the Holy Spirit is the symbol derived from the Old Testament of ritual washing which was an outward sign of an inner cleansing. Water baptism is an outward sign, but Spirit baptism is a true cleansing - not because we are clean, but because He is clean. Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit brings us into union with God and brings us into the Church. Spirit baptism is unique to the Church and did not occur in the Old Testament:

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:13)  

Thanks for asking.  
Dr. John Pappas

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Answers to Your Questions

Is there a reference to Christian adoption in the Old Testament?

ANSWER: The ancient civilizations of Egypt and Summer both had adoption as part of their law codes. Adoption meant that someone from outside a family could be legally brought into the family with all the benefits and responsibilities thereof. The Nuzu law tablets of Mesopotamia defined that a childless couple could adopt an adult son who would serve them in life and bury them at death. In return, this adopted son would receive the inheritance, unless a natural born son was later born to the couple.

There are examples of adoptions in the Old Testament. It seems Eliezer of Damascus was adopted by Abram because the Lord had not given them any offspring so Abram had taken it upon himself to set an heir (Gen. 15:2-4). The expression “let my name be named on them” is an example of the adoption formula (Wycliffe Bible Dictionary). Jacob adopts his two grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh into his family as sons, not grandsons (Gen. 48:5). But the account found in Exodus 2 that Moses was adopted by Pharaoh is the closest to the ancient practice in the Bible (Ex. 2:10).

But what about the adoption found in Paul’s writing in the New Testament? Can we find in the Abrahamic covenant, for example, the concept of adoption? I do not think so. The Abrahamic covenant simply declares a blessing and a real offspring (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 17:1-7). The concept of a covenantal relationship is certainly found in the Old Testament, but the concept is a promise that “I will be your God and you will be my people” (Gen. 17:7; Jer. 7:23; 11:4; 30:22; Ezek. 36:28).

One finds in Exodus 4:22 that Israel is called a son, My firstborn. Israel was not the firstborn son, but this declaration sees Israel (Jacob) as the real heir through the legal act of adoption wherein the real firstborn son, Esau is removed from that position and Jacob is placed as the firstborn son (Rom. 9:4).   

The New Testament concept of adoption is related to “sonship” and being born again. However, adoption is different from being born again. Being born again means we are placed in the family of God as a babe in Christ in need of spiritual growth and development (John 1:12; 3:3). Adoption means God places us into the family of God as an adult with all the rights and privileges thereof. In fact, the Greek word for adoption is the compound of “huios” son, and “tithemi” to set or place, literally, “to place as son.” Both adoption and being born again occur at the same time - at the moment of saving faith.

The metaphoric usage of adoption found in the New Testament means we are placed into the family of God to which we were not naturally born – we were children of the flesh (Rom. 9:8), children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The result of this adoption means we have freedom from the former relationship of the former family. Adoption and our being chosen by God are related in that adoption is possible only because of a voluntary act of God who performs the adoption.

According the Ephesians chapter 1, our adoption was planned before the foundation of the world (1:4), the agent of our adoption is “by or through Jesus Christ” specifically, through His blood (1:7), and our adoption as sons is “to Him,” meaning we belong to Him, we are placed “in Christ” - we are set apart for service to Him.             

Thanks for asking.
John Pappas, ThD

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Answers to your Questions

Some pastors teach that the church building is to be treated as a "temple." They then say that this "temple" should not be defiled. Therefore, you must dress appropriately and certain activities must be banned. They base this thought solely  on Matthew 21:12-17. Is this a good application; making a church building the temple of God?

Answer: Some people will say anything to justify their idea of how Church is done. The text of Matthew 21:12-17 involves Jesus clearing the Temple outer court where peddlers set up shop to sell the required offering items for Temple service. The peddlers were selling lambs, doves, and exchanging foreign money at premium prices. The Jews who were spread out throughout all the lands came together on the required observance day and included both rich and poor. The poor would only be able to afford a dove, in fact, Jesus’ parents were only able to bring a dove at His dedication.

The Tabernacle and later the Temple was said to be the dwelling place of God, where man met with God (Ex. 25:8; 29:43; 40:34-35; Ps. 18:6). The symbolism of the Temple was rich in the person of Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus is said to be the Temple of God (John 2:20-21); the Word became flesh and tabernacled (dwelt) among us (John 1:14); His body described as both the sacred bread (John 6:27-59), and the curtain (Heb. 10:20); and finally, His blood washes and cleanses us (1 John 1:7). For He was the Lamb of God who take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  The Temple in Jerusalem was the focal point of national restoration and blessing, but that focal point has now moved to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.   

But it is also true that both the Church is called the temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 3:16-17; Eph. 2:21-22; Heb. 3:6), and the Christian body, indwelt with the Holy Spirit is called a temple (1 Cor. 6:19). The basic idea is that both the Church and the Christian has met God. The Lord Jesus Christ is functioning today as the great High Priest interceding for us.

The Church is the group of all Christians and has nothing to do with a building. That is the big point of John 2:19 – that Jesus, the dwelling place of God, will be raised in three days. The object to come to is the person Jesus Christ, not a building made of hands.  The Church meets in a building, or a house, or it may even be an outside court, and is just a place that is used by man to gather together to worship, listen to, and fellowship with God. The word Church in the Greek is called ekklesia a compound from the preposition “from” or “out of,” and “to call,” so it is that we are collectively called the “called out ones.” Notice the word refers to a group of individuals not to a building, further, the word is used of a local group, or universally for all believers, everywhere.      

While it is true that certain activities must not take place in a modern Church building, it is also true that these activities should not take place in a Christian home either. The central question for any activity is: Does that activity glorify God?

I gather by your question that the leadership in your Church is moving beyond what is an acceptable activity and has moved to legalism. If a person comes to your Church and is not dressed according to some unwritten standard, does he or she get looked down upon? James writes about this in chapter two:

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? (James 2:1-5)

Matthew 21 has no direct application to the Church today, but one could make a secondary application. Your Church sounds like many others who have built a building (not an insignificant thing to do, by the way) and brought together a body of believers there and leadership wants to run the Church in an orderly way with good intentions, but using Matthew 21 to base their idea of how Church should be done is the wrong way to use the Word of God. Go to the Church letters to find out how the local Church should be run.   

Thanks for asking.
John Pappas, ThD

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

Some say we are already in the Kingdom, according to Colossians 1:13. How is this verse handled properly, especially since Christ is not yet reigning from a literal throne over a literal kingdom on earth?

Answer: The kingdom in Colossians 1:13 is not speaking of the literal millennial kingdom of Christ on earth, but rather a kingdom of light (verse 12) verses a kingdom of darkness (verse 13). Dr. Gromacki writes “This expression points to the kingdom of Satan that is marked by sin and moral darkness (Eph. 6:12). The concept of darkness includes an opposition to the light as well as an absence of it. This is a realm of moral rebellion, insubordination, and creaturely independence (John 3:19-20).” (Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series: Philippians & Colossians).

Scripturally speaking, there is a kingdom of darkness and a kingdom of light. Those who are saved, have an inheritance (kingdom treasures) that belong to believers (verse 12). These are spiritual blessings that we possess today as we stand right now “in Christ.”  Notice the verbs used: Who (God) delivered (past tense – to rescue) us from the power (liberty of doing a thing) of darkness (metaphoric usage meaning world or kingdom of darkness), and transferred (past tense - moved from one place to another) into the kingdom of the Son of His love.          

Even the great Greek scholar Dr. Robertson (who is not a premillennialist) identifies this as: “Changed us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.”

Remember a word is limited in scope by its context. In this context, “the kingdom of the Son of His love” speaks of His first coming and salvation – removing us from the realm of darkness, the world system whose leader is the devil to a new life “in Christ.”

Thanks for asking,
Dr. John Pappas 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

I enjoy and follow your ministry closely. My question is this: Do we identify Christians living today as Saints? Are we today living as “saints” in the “kingdom,” serving God “in the Kingdom?” I hear this preached over and over and dispensationally, it doesn’t fit.

ANSWER: The word “saints” is a good word and we can call each other saints today. The word is the Greek hagios meaning “holy” and has its highest application in the person of God Himself, but when used of others means, “saints” set apart for service to God. The Greeks used to word for one dedicated to the gods, so it moves to the Christian vocabulary to mean “separated from sin" and therefore consecrated to God, or devoted to God. For example, Paul says,

 “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.” (1Co 1:2)  

Dr. Vine helps when he says, “Sainthood is not an attainment, it is a state into which God in grace calls men; yet believers are called to sanctify themselves (consistently with their calling, 2 Tim 1:9), cleansing themselves from all defilement, forsaking sin, living a holy manner of life, 1 Pet. 1:15; 2 Pet. 3:11, and experiencing fellowship with God in His holiness. The saints are thus figuratively spoken of as ‘a holy temple,’ 1 Cor. 3:17 (a local church); Eph. 2:21 (the whole Church), cf. 5:27; ‘a holy priesthood,’ 1 Pet. 2:5; ‘a holy nation,’ 2:9.“ (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

To clarify what Dr Vine’s is speaking of, let me explain the Jewish terms he uses. By saying the saint is spoken of figuratively as “a holy temple” is meant that we are indwelt with the Holy Spirit so that our bodies are the vessels of a truly Holy thing and it is His who is holy not us. We can sin, do sin and as such often grieve the Holy Spirit with our sin, but we are commanded to be holy (set apart) for He is holy.

To answer your question about saints living in the kingdom today, the answer depends upon their context. There are many dispensational teachers who teach we are living today in the universal kingdom of God. The universal kingdom is seen as God’s sovereign control over all things, as Creator, Sustainer, and Director of all history. His universal rule extends through all ages, encompasses every aspect of creation, and is administered by God directly.

So, even though it is true that this “universal kingdom” exists, the Bible speaks of the Kingdom of God as a future kingdom and in reference to Christ’s reign on earth. Almost everywhere you find the word kingdom, it is in reference to Christ’s millennial reign on earth. When dispensational teachers say words like you have said most likely they are moving towards spiritualizing the kingdom – they are moving away from the plain sense of Scripture in order to sound spiritual and exhort people to holy living.

We should live a holy life and look forward to the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for we will be with Him in the millennial kingdom.

Thanks for your question,
John Pappas, ThD

Monday, August 13, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

I heard  you say a saved person is declared righteous. How can a person be righteous?

ANSWER:  To be declared righteous is a forensic pronouncement. The word forensic is from the Latin meaning, “relating to the business of the Roman forum.” The Roman forum is where the legal dealings were pronounced. A criminal charge was presented to the public in the forum, the case and the arguments were presented, and the outcome was pronounced. When a person is saved he or she is declared righteous based not on what they have done, but rather, on the work of Christ on the cross and His righteousness is reckoned to us. This reckoning is called imputation. Imputation comes from the Greek ellogeo meaning “to reckon over to one’s account” (eg. Rom. 5:13).  

There are three great imputations in Scripture:

1. The imputation of Adam’s sin to the human race (Rom. 5:12-21). Here, death has been declared as the penalty upon all men in that all have sinned, meaning all men sinned when Adam sinned, and thus, the penalty of death is upon all mankind because of one sin of Adam (Rom. 5:18). Romans 5:12 says that all humanity was a participant in Adam’s sin. How is it that you and I participated in Adam’s sin when we were not there?  We participated in Adam’s sin because we were “seminally present.” “Just like Levi (although not yet born) paid tithes to Melchizedek through Abraham in that Levi was ‘seminally present’ in Abraham (Heb. 7:9-10)” (Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology, p. 312). Seminally present means present by means of the seeds or offspring.      

2. The imputation of the sin of the race to Christ. Though the word “imputation” is not found here, it is no less understood by words such as “made him to be sin,” “laid on him,” bare our sins” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. 7, p. 192; Isa. 53:5-6, 11; 2 Chr. 5:21; 1 Pet. 2:24). The imputation of the sin of the race upon Jesus Christ occurred at the cross.

3. The imputation of the righteousness of Christ to believers. The imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers constitutes our legal standing before God. “It is the only righteousness that God ever accepts for salvation and by it alone may one enter heaven” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology). Righteousness is the Greek word dikaioo meaning “justify, be righteous, be freed, to declare or pronounce one to be just to righteous.” Both the Old and New Testament use the word in a legal sense.

The concept of justification or righteousness as a legal term goes back to the Old Testament as the Greek LXX uses the word for the court and the decisions of the judges in Deut. 25:1, “If there is a dispute between men, and they come to court, that [the judges] may judge them, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,”  (cf., 1 Kings 8:32; Prov. 17:15; Isa. 5:23)

Justification is what God brings to mankind in both the Old and New Testaments. Notice what Isaiah says, “I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off;  My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, for Israel My glory” (Isa. 46:13). However, the basis of our justification is Jesus Christ as Isaiah declares, “He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities” (Isa. 53:11), and “…their righteousness [is] from Me, says the Lord” (Isa. 54:17). One of the most popular verses used to described this concept comes from Isaiah 61:10, “ I will greatly  rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with the robe of righteousness”.

In order to see the New Testament declaration, one need only turn to Paul in Romans 8:33-34, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” 

Justification or being declared righteous is not a process but an act of God when a person places his or her faith in Jesus Christ as their Savior. The act of being declared righteous is clearly described in the past tense as Paul writes in Titus 3:7, “that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Again, in Romans 5:1, “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (cf. Rom. 5:9; Gal. 3:8-9)

What about the present tense usage of the word “to justify?”  One verse that Catholics use to justify their doctrine of man achieving “progressive righteousness” is Romans 3:28, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law,” which means, not “becomes more righteous,” but “a man with faith is in the present declared righteous.” (Steven Waterhouse, Not By Bread Alone: An Outlined Guide To Bible Doctrine, p. 177)    

This doctrine is of most importance since it affects the person of Christ – If a man can achieve righteousness, even if it is said that a man can simply contribute, or add to his or her rightness, then Christ is not wholly man and wholly God. There is only one who could pay the price for mankind and that one is Jesus Christ the perfect Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  Justification means, “being declared righteous” and any other definition is not only inconsistent with the historical usage of the word, but ultimately means man is capable of self-righteousness, and who wants to claim that?  

Thanks for asking.
Dr. John Pappas (8/12)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

What is the Bible speaking of when it talks about the world? Sometimes it seems to mean the whole earth and others it seems to mean just humans, what is going on?   

ANSWER:  When Scripture speaks about the world context must be taken into account. The world means the following in Scripture:

The world can simply mean the earth, the round sphere of the earth and all its makeup (eg. Matt. 13:35; John 21:25). The Greek speaking world uses the word kosmos as the whole of the earth as its primary meaning. The Hebrew Old Testament also uses the word ‘erets to describe the round sphere of the earth in its entirety (eg. Jer. 10:12). From a Biblical perspective, this usage might be defined as, “the entire created world.”

Sometimes when the author wants to be specific about all the people or all the land only – the inhabited earth, the Greek word oikoumeneis used, but the translators translate it as “world.” But, the word kosmos can also mean all the men and women of the earth as Jesus came to save the world (John 3:16).

At times, the word “world” can be used to describe a grouping or class of people or things; the earth as opposed to heaven (1 John 3:17), the human race in general (Matt. 5:14), gentiles as a group distinguished from Jews (Rom. 11:12, 15).

Sometimes, the word “world” is used metaphorically to mean the natural life as opposed to the spiritual life. Paul uses the illustration of the married man who seeks to please his wife in the material things now as opposed to the woman who desires spiritual things – the things of the Lord (1 Col. 7:32-35). 

At other times, the word “world” can mean “the present condition of human affairs, in alienation from and opposition to God” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words) (eg. John 7:7). Scripture says this world has Satan as it ruler (John 13:30), and as such, the world that he rules opposes God and the things of God. The world, as used here, is not a geographical location, but a state or a condition of existence that is opposed to God. With this is mind, the Bible describes the Christian as being saved from it (John 3:15-17), and his relation to the world as: we are to be separated from it (1 Pet. 2:11) as Paul was crucified from it (Gal. 6:4). Believers are not to adopt the standards of the world (Rom. 12:2; Tit. 2:12; James 1:27), nor love it (2 Tim. 4:10; 1 John 2:15-16). Instead, we must proclaim the gospel of Christ to the world that is dying (Matt. 24:14; 28:19) and be crucified to it (Rom. 6:6; Gal. 6:14). As children of God, we must overcome the desires of the world (John 16:33; 1 John 5:4-5), and not be conformed to it (Rom. 12:2).  

As you can see, the word “world” must be understood in its context in order to understand exactly what is meant.

Thanks for the question,
John Pappas, ThD 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

What is Jesus talking about when He says “Is it not written in your law, I said, you are gods?” 

 Jesus is quoting in John 10:34 from Psalm 84:6 where the psalmist is speaking about judges who are called “gods.” In Israel, judges were appointed to make life changing decisions concerning life in all matters of government including life and death. Listen to the first part of the psalm: “God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods (Hebrew ‘elohiym). How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psa. 82:1-3). Just like the judges of old who favored the wicked, showing them favor while the poor got a bad deal, so was the Jewish leadership that faced Jesus. They did not care about the truth that faced them, nor the healing of the weak, they only cared about themselves and holding on to their power and position. They were unjust judges also. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, and because “You, being a Man, make Yourself God” (John 10:33b).

Back in Psalm 82, the psalmist writes, “I said you [are] gods, and all of you [are] children of the Most High. But you will die like men, and fall like one of the princes” (Psa. 82:6-7). Psalm 82 and Jesus in John 10:34 are both dealing with those appointed as judges over Israel and have the power over life and death. In Jesus’ case they took up stones to kill Him (John 10:31) primarily for using the term “Father” to describe His relationship as the Son of God, a unique name for the Christ (10:24, 36), and even going so far as to say “I and My Father are one” (10:30). The Greek means, “one in essence, or nature,” you might say one and the same, or equal.

So it is, that just like the “gods” of Psalm 82 who will die and fall, so too, are the judges of Jesus’ day. They, too, will die in their sin because they are not Jesus’ sheep (10:26) and will not believe Him or His works.

As for the subject of “gods,” the word is used of the God of gods, rulers, judges, divinities, and objects of worship (idols). Context must be used to determine what is being spoken of, and “gods” in the sense of heathen deities are not good, not to be worshiped, and in fact are real only in the mind of their worshiper (1 Cor. 8:4). They are dumb and mute, incapable of anything (1 Kgs. 18:27; Isa. 44:9-20; Jer. 10:3-5). In this context, “gods” is used to describe judges of Israel who, just like God, have cases brought before them for the purpose of righteous judgment, but there is only one God who is righteous and just, who does not take brides and is impartial. You may notice from Scripture that followers of the true God are not called “gods,” and in fact, it is only the cults that use the term.

The Mormons, for example, believe they will be gods of their own planet. The Mormon doctrine of eternal progression goes like this: as man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become. This is the same heresy that Satan used when he fell. The first sin is the sin of pride, of self-exaltation, as Satan sought to exalt himself above God. Ezekiel 28:17 says, “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” Isaiah 14:12-17 lists five “I will” statements that speak of Satan’s sin: (1) I will ascend into heaven; (2) I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; (3) I will sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; (4) I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; (5) I will be like the Most High.

This self-exaltation is described by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:6 as the sin of pride (Greek tuphoo “to rise up smoke, to blind with pride or conceit”). Dr. Chafer summarizes his sin as “seeking to rise above the sphere in which he was created, and above the purpose and service assigned to him. This, it will be observed, is the essential character of human sin, as it is of the angels.” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systemic Theology, vol. 2, p.47)

Thanks for asking.
Dr. John Pappas (7/12)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Programs

This is the start of the summer Sunday school season and many Churches are transitioning to a different organization and schedule. And as usual this summer I am hearing about the nightmares at some Churches concerning their summer children’s programs. For various reasons, many Churches seek to reduce the burden of staff, resources, and etc. As a result, children, leaders, and parents all get short changed. It is almost inevitable that those Churches that reduce staff in the summer end up combining classes of vastly different age needs, producing oversized classes, stressed out leaders and the dread of summer - upset people who pick up and leave for another Church. 

Traditionally, the summer is the time when people move and/or visit other Churches seeking to find something better. If these migrants come to visit your Church, will they find unbalanced children’s classes and overcrowded classrooms with stressed out leaders? Does this sound familiar? 

I just heard of a case where the 2-3 year old class was combined with the 4-5 year old class, the result was that two leaders were teaching 20+ children aged 2-5 years old with only one helper.  What never ceases to amaze me is the lack of knowledge of the age difference problem. 

Children who are 2 years old do not interact the same as a 3 three year old. A 2 year old is learning to interact with other children and usually require a short one-on-one teaching session. Sometime between 2 and 3 years old they progress enough to interact in the class with each other. 

There is a huge maturity progresses as the 2 year old matures during the year. He or she moves from the nursery to a classroom environment, from being held and playing in the nursery to individual play and instruction to group play and instruction.  

            If you are in the position to make these kinds of decisions, I encourage you not to make this common mistake.

            If you are in this situation in your Church, it is not too late to change the organization. Make sure your classrooms are sized correctly, leaders are trained, and the littlest in your Church are taken care of. If the smallest are taken care of then people will notice and God will be glorified.     

-- Dr. John Pappas

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Answers to Your Questions

I was looking up the word “saved” in a concordance and I find the word is confusing. Can you explain how they can translate the word so differently?  

I gather from your question you are not asking how one is saved or what one is saved from, but your question seems more to do with linguistics and hermeneutics. That is to say, how can they translate the common word for save or salvation to mean all those other words like deliverance, preserve, heal, & etc? We often come to the word “save” or “salvation” and immediately jump to the theological definition of the word as it applies to eternal life, but the word does have a root meaning and an extra-biblical root. The word in the Hebrew is yashameaning to save, deliver, help, victory & etc. Sometimes the word for “life” hayah is translated saved. How do translators determine what to translate the word as? Words have a basic meaning, but it is context that determines exactly what it applies to and hence the meaning. For example, the word for salvation is the Greek soteria and can mean preservation from danger, disease, or death. Hence it is sometime used to mean physical salvation or deliverance.

Within the realm of the Bible, words are analyzed in their context to build what is known as a Biblical Theology or a Systematic Theology. Biblical Theology is restricted to what specifically comes from the Bible, while Systematic Theology is built by both the Bible and external sources and disciplines. The word for saved in the Greek New Testament is the verb sozo and can mean preserve or rescue from natural dangers and afflictions. Context determines how to translate the word and what it means in detail. There are some who say words don’t mean anything except in context, but that is not correct. The basic word is still restricted to a certain range of meanings, and it is made precise when placed in context.

Understanding this is important and in some Churches a lack of understanding has led to great error. For example, in some Churches, one cannot be saved unless they confess in front of the whole congregation, or unless one is publically baptized in water, or speak in tongues. This kind of error comes from a lack of basic hermeneutical principles, chief of which is context. It is just like your grade school teacher taught you, when reading ask the five “W’s:” who, which, what, why, and when. Answering these questions will make the writing clear and clear up some of these errors. One big mistake when reading the Bible is the called Cross-reference interpretation, where the reader searches for uses of the same word or similar passages, words, or phrases anywhere in Scripture assuming the word means the same thing everywhere without regard for the immediate context. So, for example, even though the Bible clearly states many times (over 100 times) salvation is received by belief alone, at times there are passages where salvation is used in the same sentence with baptism, but context gives us clues as to why. The historical, cultural setting cannot be thrown out when reading the Bible, and when the word saved is used throughout the Scriptures, some 1500 years of history and various cultures and authors have to be brought into consideration.     

From the basic Greek word sozo and a concordance one finds the word means to save from death (Matt. 14:30), bring out safely (John 12:27), to free from disease or demonic possession (Matt. 9:22), but the word has a special spiritual significance as it relates to rescue or preserve from eternal death, from judgment, sin, to bring salvation, or bring to salvation. Categorizing the word theologically, that is to say, organizing the teachings of the word as it specifically relates to eternal life for mankind, one finds that salvation is something that God does. Salvation is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9; Ps. 3:8), it means being saved from the guilt and penalty of sin (Rom. 6:23), and occurs when one believes the gospel of Christ (Acts 16:31). The gospel being the message that Jesus (Jesus is the Hebrew word for savor) Christ, God came in the flesh, died on the cross, was buried and resurrected (1 Cor. 15:1-5). 

Salvation has three tenses: the past – we have been saved (Eph 2:5,8), relates to the release from guilt and penalty of sin and is accomplished the moment one believes the gospel. The present – we are being saved (Phil. 1:19; 2:12-13) relates to the release from the power of sin (John 17:17; Rom. 6:14; 8:2; Gal. 5:16). The future – we will be saved (Rom. 13:11) is the completion of release from the presence of sin.

This part of the theology not only includes context, but grammar. The verb tenses speak volumes – “we have been saved” is a Greek perfect passive, meaning the action was performed by an external agent and it occurred in the past and is complete. This of course speaks of the character of our God. Our God is in active control, bringing eternal life to all who believe, and He will keep them safe, preserved forever (Rom. 8:28-29) – for they possess eternal life. May God bless you in your studies.          

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Answers To Your Questions

Dr. Pappas I read on Facebook that Satan can read minds. I do not think so. Can you explain? Can  Satan read minds?  

Thank you for your question. Satan cannot read your mind. Though it is true that he was created sometime in the early creation of the world and has had all this time to observe mankind, all that means is that he and all the angels, for that matter, can learn. It does not take a long time to understand fallen mankind, what drives us, the various weaknesses, and how to get us worked up over certain subjects. 

Satan is known by several names, The word Satan is used some fifty-two times in the Bible and means in the Hebrew “adversary or oppose.” Satan is a person and called the devil which means “slanderer.”  His activities include blinding the minds of unbelievers so that they will not accept the Gospel (2 Cor. 4:4) and taking away the Word so as to prevent them from believing (Luke 8:12). 

Satan is known as the tempter, after all he has had a long time to figure us out. Dr. Ryrie in his “Basic Theology” lists three areas where Satan tempts believers: (1) conforming to the pressures and structures of society (1 Thes. 3:5); (2) moves in believers to cover up selfishness (Acts 5:1-11); and (3) immorality (1 Cor. 7:5). 

There is no doubt that Satan is both God’s and our adversary, opposing the work of God and bringing destruction to our testimony. His host of demons is effective in their work, but they are limited in what that can do, for they are, after all, just angels. 

Angels are spirit beings and of a higher order than mankind, have a greater wisdom than man (2 Sam. 14:20), but nevertheless are limited in knowledge (Matt. 24:36) and power (Dan. 10:13) and power. 

Thanks for asking.  
Dr. John Pappas   
John Pappas, ThD, is the author of Bible Greek Vpod, a website dedicated to the teaching of the original Bible languages for those who want to learn them.  He received his doctorate from Scofield Seminary.