Tag: Messiah

Believing vs Following

Ruth D – My husband believes in Jesus, and he believes God raised Jesus from the dead, so it seems like Romans 10: 6-10 is saying he is saved, but he’s not in love with Jesus. So is he saved?

Dave – We can’t take one passage build an entire doctrine upon it. We need to take all verses in the Bible into consideration before drawing conclusions on questions and issues. Regarding this one, Jesus told people to not only believe in Him but to also follow Him. Many Americans will tell us that they believe in Jesus, meaning that He is the Messiah and died for our sins and rose from the dead. But many of these are not following Him. Jesus said we are to take up our cross, deny ourselves, and follow Him. This means our “self” no longer rules and we live for Him (not that saved people do this perfectly all the time, but they DO do it). If a person shows no signs of repentance or salvation, then I would say they are not saved (but I am never with anyone 24-7 to know this for sure). James speaks about faith without works is dead and that a person would show their faith by their works. This means that if a person has real faith that saves, then there will be evidence flowing through their behavior that a change has taken place. In addition, Jesus told of a man who was “dressed in the wrong clothes” at “God’s Big Banquet in the sky.” Apparently he thought he was saved, but wasn’t.

Having said all that, I hasten to say that I cannot judge your husband by pronouncing him unsaved. It is just too deep for my spirit to do correctly. I would certainly encourage him to read the Word, attend church, and plug into other believers. If he refuses all of these options until his death, I doubt his salvation but I do not sit on God’s Throne. A good question to ask folks is not if they are a Christian, but rather are they following Jesus?


Pat T – I agree with everything Dave says and want to add something I recently read by Os Guinness who pointed out that some people have many obstacles in their life to overcome before becoming true believers, but as long as they are heading in the right direction we should never judge them but encourage them in their journey toward the faith. One’s mate can be such an encourager. Guinness also points out that some may never arrive to the faith but we can’t make that judgment, only God has the privilege to know another’s future.

Alona R – I think you answered Ruth well and your answer should be taken to heart by her husband and many others that we know. Thank you for that explanation – I think I’ll save this for future use!

Gary R – I think its a very slippery slope when people start questioning people’s salvation possibly because someone’s ideas about salvation do not conform to their beliefs or behaviors. Be careful.

Water Baptism

Sarah R – I was wondering if water baptisms started with John the Baptist’s ministry. Were there baptisms in the Old Testament?

Dave – Thanks for your question. Beyond preparing peoples’ hearts for true repentance (a desire to stop sinful behaviors, not just feel sorry about them), John the Baptist was also proclaiming a prerequisite to receiving the Messiah for salvation. He was also fulfilling OT prophecy concerning the coming of the Savior in the “spirit of Elijah” as Malachi 3:1 and 4:5 reveals. Jesus later confirmed that those Scriptures referred to the Baptist (Matt.11:14).

In the Old Testament period, baptism was a ritual of conversion to Judaism. Pagans would become proselytes through this ritual by self-baptizing to become part of the Jewish people. So it was an identification with the people of God.

Water is the element naturally used for cleansing the body and its symbolical use entered into almost every cult, and into none more completely than the Jewish faith, whose ceremonial washings were proverbial.

The Dead Sea Scrolls also depict the baptism ritual as something practiced by much of Jewry at that time. To this day Jews practice baptism for both male and female converts who immerse themselves in a ritual bath.

Long before the Jews practiced baptism, the concept or spirit behind Christian baptism is found in the Old Testament. For instance, the passing of Israel through the Red Sea on the final Day of Unleavened Bread, was likened to a baptism by Paul (1 Cor 10:1-2). And further baptismal and resurrection typology may be found in the crossing of the Jordan River which was a type of entering the Kingdom of God followed by pulling down the strongholds of the enemy (Joshua 3:15-17; 2 Cor 10:4). At the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Levites were cleansed via sprinkling of water – a type of baptism to purify them in preparation in service to God and man (Num 8:6-7,11,21). Further, the Levites had to be bathed or washed clean in water in Ex 29:4 which is one of the ceremonial washings referred to in Heb. 6:2.

Were sins forgiven before Jesus and The Baptist? I think so. If people (Jews or Gentiles) believed in Yahweh (the God of the Jews), believed that the shedding of innocent blood was necessary for forgiveness, and believed in the coming of a Messiah, people could have eternal life. If they trusted in their own goodness or ignored those things listed, then they would not have life on Judgment Day. Habakkuk, an Old Testament prophet, proclaimed that a righteous person shall live by their faith (Hab.2:4). Bear in mind, however, that animal sacrifices were a mere, temporary cover for sins, whereas Jesus’ Blood did away with them forever.


Jenn K – There is also the analogy of Noah used by Apostle Peter in I Peter 3:20-21.

Alona R – I never thought of the passing through the Red Sea on the final Day of Unleavened Bread being likened to a baptism by Paul. Certainly there were ceremonial washings for various reasons, i.e. the lepers who were healed and had to go through washings and going to the temple to be inspected before being declared clean again. As you mentioned too the Levites seemed to be cleaner than most because of their ceremonial washings. In the day most people used oils and perfumes to cover their bodily odors rather than bathe as we do now, but there are still Asians and Europeans who do not use water as much as we do. I guess we all relate to water as a cleaning agent for exterior soil, but fail to connect to water as a daily cleansing agent for our sin.

The “Missing Weekers” May Have Missed the Week: A Closer Look at Daniel Chapter 9 by Dave Scheer 11/25/17, Updated 1/3/19

For many years dispensationalists (futurists) have asserted that the final week of Daniel’s 70 weeks has not yet occurred but will come in the future. However, if we read Daniel 9:24-27 carefully, we discover that the last week has already taken place in the most significant way. There is no room for a gap of a couple thousand years from week 69 to 70.

Christian theologians agree that those 70 weeks are “70 weeks of years,” not weeks of days. It means that each “week” contains 7 years for a grand total of 490 years. These verses amazingly and accurately predict the time of the arrival of the Messiah. The beginning of the 490 year countdown began in 457 BC, some think it was 445 BC as dictated by verse 25, but that is another discussion. In any case, this 490 year span marked the remaining time for the Old Covenant and the pinpointing of the Messiah’s arrival and His work to be accomplished. Gabriel’s words to Daniel were concerning the Jews only, not future Gentile believers (v24).

Verse 24 reveals six things that must be accomplished during this “70 week” (490 year) period:

1) “Finishing of the transgression” – Done. John 19:30

2) “Make an end to sin” – Done. Matthew 1:21Hebrews 9:25-26

3) “Make atonement for iniquity” – Done. 1 John 1:7,9Romans 6:14-15

4) “Bring everlasting righteousness” – Done. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 8:3-4

5) “To seal up [fulfill, end] the vision and prophecy” – Done. Jesus fulfilled the Old Covenant and ushered in the New Covenant (insight from Luke 5:36-39 & wine miracle at Cana in John 2).

6) “To anoint the most holy” (the word “place” as been added in some versions but should not be there) – Done. Hebrews 1:9. Jesus is now the Holy Temple and He is not a physical building (John 2:19-21).

Since Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies by way of His first coming (as cited above), there is no need for a future “week” (7-year period). Dispensationalists error regarding verse 27. They misinterpret the word “he” as referring to the Anti-Christ rather than to Jesus Christ! They assert that the Anti-Christ will make a firm covenant with the Jewish nation. Since when does Satan have the ability to make a firm promise? He is the “father of all lies” according to John 8:44. If he lied about a covenant then it is NOT FIRM! The “Firm Covenant” made is the New Covenant that was “firmly established” during Jesus’ earthly work which was totally fulfilled and described in this section of Chapter 9. But in the middle of that final week (3 ½ years) He was crucified (“cut off”) which, in God’s eyes, ended animal sacrifices. All rituals in the Temple became obsolete in God’s eyes when Jesus died, rose, and ascended. This practice by the Jews was forcefully ended in 70 A.D. when Rome destroyed everything (and this ritual has not been re-instituted for good reason). God’s message to the world is “It is finished” as Jesus stated on the cross. The stoning of Stephen was the end of the second 3 1/2 year part and the end of the 70th week of the Daniel prophecy. Now I understand why God made sure that all the “low-lights” of Jewish history were recounted in verse by Stephen just before he was murdered by Jewish leaders. Again, God was making a firm statement to the world. God’s Old Covenant with the Jewish nation was always contingent on whether or not they followed Him (Deut.28:1-2). In other words it was always conditional, never unconditional. Soon after Jesus rose from the dead, a converted Paul turned to the Gentiles. This all pointed to a major change from Old Covenant to New Covenant, and Daniel’s prophecy described it hundreds of years before it happened. The context of these four verses in Daniel Chapter 9 is describing the end of the Old Covenant which first had to be made obsolete in order to enact the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:13).

So what effect on futuristic interpretation does this have? They assert that the missing week of Daniel will feature Anti-Christ making a deal with the Jews. Things will be nice for the first half (3 ½ years). Then the evil one will turn on the Jews leading to “the Great Tribulation.” Upon careful reading of Scripture, I discovered that the word “the” is not used before “great tribulation.” It does in a Scofield Bible because he was a dispensationalist and added the word to fit his theology. Mr. Scofield added the word “the” to Revelation 7:14. The King James Version does not. Jesus did speak of great tribulation when referring to the horrors of 70 AD. Revelation DOES speak of believers coming out of great tribulation which could refer to any time period in the church age. A special reward awaits these people. According to dispensationalists, however, only one group living in the future would get this honor. In my view, this disses all believers who have gone through very tough times throughout the Church Age, even being tortured and murdered for their faith. I believe they will all be given this special reward.

So, the historical approach to end-time prophecy wipes out “the great tribulation” and some alleged  Anti-Christ activity. But we all still believe in the rapture which occurs upon Christ’s return. At that time, according to 2 Peter 3:10-12, all earth and heavens are destroyed. So how can Jesus rule on earth for 1,000 years if it is gone? Maybe it’s just possible that many Christians do not understand what the millennium is all about, but that’s another story. All the fuss over pre, mid, or post-tribulation rapture is not worth arguing about. There is no 7-year great tribulation. That 70th week is not in the future because it had to have already happened.

All this will be a paradigm shift to many believers because the dispensational method of eschatology has dominated western Christianity with few believers realizing it. Hence few have been exposed to the historical approach which takes a hard look at what has already occurred and how it lines up with Bible prophecy.

For a more detailed work on this topic, including info about a Jewish curse on anyone calculating Daniel’s 70 Weeks leading to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah, go to my website called  scripturethoughts.com and click on “Bible Commentary,” scroll down, then click on “Daniel” and read commentary on chapter 9. If anyone is interested in learning more about Anti-Christ from the historicist viewpoint, read my commentaries on Daniel, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation.

My desire is to have both points of view taught in churches and to allow individuals to decide what they want to embrace. But we often find only one view taught. This happened to me for over 30 years and I did not realize it until I read about church history. No one has all the answers about end-time prophecy, but there are some fascinating parallels when we look at history and see its symbolic representation in Daniel and Revelation.

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