REFUTING ISLAMIC TEACHING ABOUT REBEKAH

One of the most bizarre teachings among some Islamic apologists comes as a result of their attempt to justify Mohammad’s pedophilia. They make the unholy claim that Isaac married Rebekah when she was only three years old.

However, according to the Bible, Rebekah was a woman when she met and became Isaac’s wife. Rebekah is referred to as a woman four times in Genesis 24 before she ever met Isaac.

According to the scriptural account, Abraham (Isaac’s father) sent one of his elder servants to his kinsmen to search out a wife for Isaac. He went on this journey to find a woman to be Isaac’s wife, not a toddler. 

In his exchange with Abraham before leaving for his journey, Abraham said the following to his servant.

The Lord God of heaven, which took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take A WIFE unto my son from thence. And if THE WOMAN will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. (Genesis 24:7-8)

Notice that Abraham sent his servant to find a woman to be Isaac’s wife.

Rebekah was a woman (Genesis 24:5,8,39,44) and she was also very beautiful (Genesis 24:16). When she met Abraham’s servant, she came carrying a pitcher on her shoulder to draw water from a well for her family. She also drew water for Abraham’s servant and for his 10 camels. This was not the task of a toddler.

Also Genesis 24:16 tells us, the damsel was very fair to look upon, a virgin, neither had any man known her: and she went down to the well, and filled her pitcher, and came up.

Rebekah was a young woman, a virgin, and of the age to be married. She was not a toddler. 

Furthermore, anyone reading the narrative in Genesis 24 can easily see that the encounter between Abraham’s servant and Rebekah is not that of an older gentleman conversing with a toddler. In the biblical narrative, Abraham’s servant and Rebekah dialogue as adults would.

Abraham’s servant also came prepared with jewelry and clothing as a gift for the woman who would become Isaac’s wife (Genesis 24:53). Abraham’s servant did not come with clothing for a three year old.

As the narrative unfolds, we see that it was Rebekah’s decision to go with Abraham’s servant to become Isaac’s wife, and she went with her family’s blessing. When she and Abraham’s servant arrived at the place where Isaac was, her reaction to seeing Isaac for the first time was not that of a three year old, but that of a mature young woman. 

You cannot fit a three year old into the narrative and have it make any sense at all.

APOSTLES, PROPHETS, AND THE BODY OF CHRIST

I wonder if those who are constantly prophesying about the body of Christ have ever considered that the body of Christ, biblically speaking, refers to all of God’s family in Heaven and earth (Ephesians 3:15) and is constantly changing on earth because there are saints who die every day and there are new members being added throughout the world daily.

Unlike some who call themselves apostles and/or prophets, the new testament apostles never once attempted to guide the whole body of Christ through prophetic words. Such prophesying is man made.

In the new testament, addresses were made to different churches within the body of Christ. We can see that the words of Jesus to the seven churches was different from church to church.

Also, when Paul addressed the church at Corinth, he addressed them as the body of Christ. Yet, his appeal to other churches (as the body of Christ) was different because of other concerns.

The Corinthians were carnal believers and not spiritual (1 Corinthians 3:1-3) and so Paul addressed them as carnal men. Yet Paul’s letter to the Philippians is completely different, and his exhortations to Timothy and Titus was different as well, because unlike the Corinthians, Timothy and Titus were spiritual men with oversight among local believers.

A trend within American church culture is the ideology of many so-called apostles and prophets who think they receive words from the Lord to direct a large potion of the body of Christ.

Such thinking is a fallacy.

The church is led by the Holy Spirit of God, and the gifting of an apostle or a prophet serves only on a limited scale (1 Corinthians 12:28). God did not set apostles and prophets in the church to guide and direct the church.

The church is under the leadership of the Lord Jesus Christ and is guided by his Holy Spirit. Apostles and prophets serve within a limited capacity as they are to work in harmony with all the other gifts God’s bestows on believers.

PAUL’S DOCTRINE FOR CHRISTIAN GIVING

But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work… (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)

In 2 Corinthians (chapters 8 and 9) Paul was collecting donations for Christians who were in need. Paul was not raising personal financial support for his own ministry. Paul was very careful to use the utmost integrity when receiving any donations.  In fact Paul was being extremely careful in how this donation was being handled so that no accusation could be levied (see 2 Corinthians 8:16-21).

Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians regarding this gift had to do with their unfulfilled enthusiasm. Now a year later, the Corinthians had not yet fulfilled what they were so eager to support a year earlier.

To motivate the Corinthians to stop dragging their feet, Paul tells them how the Christians in Macedonia, who themselves were having difficultly, stepped up and gave generously anyway. The Corinthians were more prosperous and in better position to help than were the Macedonians, yet the Macedonians were the ones who came through and did what the Corinthians had committed to do, but failed to finish.

Paul exhorts the Corinthians to follow the Macedonians example of generosity by actually doing what they were previously eager to do, which was to help their brethren in need. Paul does not tell the Corinthians to give what they do not have, but only from what they do have. Notice Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 8:10 -15.

Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you haveWhatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.  As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.” (TNLT)

It is to be regretted that giving has been so abused within modern Western Christianity, where God’s people are sometimes taught to give until it hurts by giving what they can’t afford to give.

This is often taught under the guise sowing seed, or seed faith giving, which is a man made ideology and not a Biblical doctrine.

This ideology teaches people that they can activate spiritual laws of prosperity to obtain material blessings if they will sow and keep on sowing, or to put it another way – “keep giving your money (your financial seed) to the minister (sowing into the good ground) and God will prosper you.” 

Paul never taught such a concept.

When Paul says what he says in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (mentioned at the beginning of this teaching) it is within the context of giving out of Christian love to help others.

Paul did not teach giving as a way to activate a spiritual law of prosperity. Instead, Paul tells the Corinthians that God will provide for them like he provides seed for the farmer so that their generosity would bring forth a harvest of thanksgivings to God from the hearts of those who benefited from their generosity.

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.  Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9: 8-15)

The context of Paul’s word in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 have nothing to do with activating spiritual laws for personal wealth and prosperity. It has everything to do with Christian love expressed through generosity which in turn brings glory to God.

_______________________________________

TRUE CHRISTIAN GIVING

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/true-christian-giving/

WAS PAUL A RICH PREACHER?

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/was-paul-a-rich-preacher/

 

TRUE CHRISTIAN GIVING

It is to be regretted that “giving” has been so abused within Christianity. Biblical giving is not some spiritual law that you “activate” to get the things you want.

Biblical giving is generosity out of love. The beauty of true Christian giving is that it shares the love of Christ with others and God always makes up the difference. While some teach you to give to get, the Bible teaches you to simply trust God and have a readiness to show generosity to those in need.

So stop working some system that doesn’t actually exist (except in the vanity of the mind) and be free to allow generosity to be an expression of the real and living relationship you have with God.

God is not bound to any “laws.” God can bless you whether you give anything or not. However, he wants you to give freely as co-labors with him and when you do give he will bless your giving in so many wonderful ways.

Be free to walk with God and love him freely and let his life flow through you to others. You are not bound by “spiritual laws” that have been invented by men.

The only law the Christian is under is the law of love. Let love drive you in your giving and trust God with your life and you will be abundantly blessed!

THE ART OF HEARING GOD

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:7-13)

How does one truly hear the voice of God?

In Hebrews 3:7-13 (above) the appeal is made by the Holy Spirit, that if we hear his voice, we should not harden our hearts. Of course there is an immediate context which has to do with not drawing back into to sin, as the Israelites did in the wilderness because of their unbelief.

Yet we can see from the text that God speaks to our hearts, and the struggle is not necessarily (as we often think) with hearing God’s voice. The real struggle is our response to his voice.

The temptation is always present to harden our hearts through unbelief because it takes faith to obey God, even in the small matters.

The problem we often face is not hearing God’s voice, but the response of our own hearts to obey his speaking within. Do we have a readiness to obey God in all things?

A readiness for obedience is the fertile ground in which God’s voice recognized. God is speaking. Are you listening with a heart positioned to obey him ?

DEAR SALARIED PREACHER – YOU’RE NOT A TENT MAKER

Dear Salaried Preacher,

Please stop using the motto “tent making” for when you have to go outside of your ministry to make money. You are not tent making, unless of course, you are actually making tents.

Yes, I understand exactly why you say such things, but the difference between you and the apostle Paul is that Paul was a tent maker by trade and he supported his ministry by working at his craft.

You one the other hand are a salaried minister and when your job isn’t meeting your needs, you sometimes have to get another gig somewhere to pay your bills, and that’s OK, but don’t call it  “tent making.”

I have no problem with any Pastor or minister being supported by their church. That is between them and the congregation. It is a good thing for Pastors and ministers to be monetarily supported, and when a Pastor or minister is willing to take an outside job to support his family because church support isn’t sufficient, he should be commended.

However, referring to Paul’s tent making in a symbolic manner for salaried ministers is an improper use of scripture.

If you are going to use Paul’s tent making symbolically, apply it to those who aren’t salaried, but who work for a living at their craft and still minister the gospel – that’s who it would rightfully apply to.

After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them, and wrought: FOR BY THEIR OCCUPATION they were tent makers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. (Acts 18:1-4).

In case you aren’t aware, the apostle Paul wasn’t a salaried minister who occasionally made tents when the offerings were down. Paul was a tent maker by trade as were Aquila and Priscilla. Paul worked at his craft to support himself and others in the ministry.

I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that THESE HANDS have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so LABORING ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:33-35).

For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; Neither did we eat any man’s bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you: Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (2 Thessalonians 3:7-10)