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Re St Patrick's Breastplate:

There is a version of it in the form of a hymn, still sung in some churches today. See http://www.cyberhymnal.org/htm/s/t/stpatric.htm

Numbers 26:52-28:15

Thoughts from Today’s Old Testament Readings:

Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18 AMP)

So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. (Luke 11:9 AMP)

You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3 NET.)

The above three verses show me that I can do what the daughters of Zelophehad--Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah did (27:1-11), I can ask God directly for understanding and guidance and expect an answer. They were not angry with God because their father died in the wilderness, they unlike so many others who blamed God for their hardships and wondering in the desert, knew that it was the sin of the people that kept them out of the Promise Land and said so. Since they saw nothing in the Word and commandments that God had given to Moses, and thus passed on to them, they were afraid that their father’s name and inheritance would be wiped out.

Yet they were bold and gathered up their strength to ask and asking is the basis for receiving. Unlike the murmurs and complainers in the desert these five women went to God.

May we learn a valuable lesson from these women. When we don’t understand God’s Laws and commands and even when what God has stated doesn’t appear to cover our needs, don’t just sit back and grumble and accept the status quo, ask God: ask, seek and knock. God wants to dialogue with you and me.

Grace and peace,

Luke (1 of 3)

This ended up being a bit long (OK a lot long:), so I broke it up. I KNOW not everyone will agree with these postings. I have been thinking about this, since last night and have reflected on Luke's passages, reviewed the Scripture references, what Jesus said, and the six parts of repentence as it applies to John the Baptist's preaching in Luke.

I am comfortable with the sermon's application to the Scripture. Perhaps, that is because I have a pre-disposed bias to the interpretation. Nevertheless, I stand behind the postings. If there is disagreement, then please post alternate interpretations or ask discussion questions.

Again with 2,400+ people signed up, and some portion reading these comments - my purpose is not to force ideas on anyone, but to get readers to ask questions and study for themselves - whether it is to verify what I write or trying to refute the ideas presented in these posts. [Or to be just ignored.]

The link to the four sermons is below. They are listed under Luke 3:7-17. Remember they are transcribed sermons from four different Sundays, so they will not read like a book, and their will be repetition :)


I am in agreement with these sermons - I attempted to write a summary of John MacArthur's sermons in my own words. Quotes are used when I specifically lift from Scripture or John's sermons.


Well we are in our third Gospel in a row, and I thought - 'not much new to learn here'. Then I saw a quote from John MacArthur on Luke 3:4-17

"So, repentance means you come to an honest understanding of your own personal sin. You recognize divine wrath. You reject ritual and ancestry. You demonstrate transformation in the fruit of true repentance. And you receive the true Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ." - Excerpt from John MacArthur sermon

John says all these points are in Luke's passage. I was taken aback. I knew John preached a "baptism of repentence for the foregiveness of sins". Paul says much the same thing.

Acts 19:4
"Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.""

I guess I glossed over the rest of it? So, I decided to check it out.

John preached repentance. Everyone acknowledges that point. Turn away from the "world", and turn your heart back to God. Search your heart and acknowledge your sin. From Isaiah's allusion: examine the low base places of your heart, the high prideful things, the crooked devious things, smooth out the rough spots - "obstacles that prevent the King from coming into your heart."

John preached divine wrath. What wrath? The Jews would know from Mal 4:1

"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."" NAS

John seems to preach from the symbols in this passage. The old testament prophets were full of wrath references (Is 2:2,12,19,21,30:27,Zeph 1:14,18,etc.) The Jews would understand the wrath - their ancestors had experianced it firsthand. The Jews knew the Messiah would bring blessings and also wrath. They flocked out to John to make sure they received the blessings.

Brood of Vipers? Seems harsh. In Matthew 3:7 John is directing it at the Pharisees and Saducees. Jesus also calls them "brood of vipers" in Matt 12:34,23:33. Here it seems in general, but the allsuion seems to be like snakes coming out from under rocks to escape the coming brush fire. John seems to be warning them, you are trying to escape the fires by rushing to the water (baptism), but you are still snakes. However there is more to it than that, you must change your nature (heart) - (back to) Repent!

Luke (2 of 3)

Reject ritual. Huh? The Jewish nation was all about ritual. God had commanded it back in the "Wanderings". I do not believe it was ritual for rituals sake, but rituals to be done with the "right heart".

John was saying, 'You snakes, don't come slithering down here to the water and dive in - expecting to escape the wrath. Don't expect this ritual of immersion in water (baptism) to save you. Repent - have a change of heart.

Jesus attacked rituals in Matt 5 - 7, Paul said rituals were as "dung" when compared to repentence in Christ (Phil 3:8).

The proof of your change of heart? Produce fruit in keeping with your repentence. Baptism is an outward sign of the change of the heart, but without the changed heart - it is meaningless. The outward symbol of that change is bearing fruit.

[NOTE: This is harsh message. Heretofore, baptism is what a Gentile did to convert to Judaism. For a Jew to even admit he needed Baptism is a Big step. But John says - not enough, you must repent.]

Hey, John says, 'the ax is there - Judgment is coming. If you are not producing good fruit, because of your change of heart - then the tree is coming down and going into the fire. I don't care how many times you dunk yourself.'

Reject ancestry. John says,"And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'" Don't expect salvation to come through genetics. Jesus said to the Jews in Luke 13:28

"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out."NIV

Nationality is nothing of and by itself. If God wanted to , He could create children of Abraham from the rocks. (Is. 51:1-2) "Your Abraham's child if you follow the faith of Abraham."

Romans 2:29
No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.NIV

How do you get that "circumcision of the heart"? Ez. 18:30

"Therefore, O house of Israel, I will judge you, each one according to his ways, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit."NIV

Just as John has been preaching: Repent and turn back to the Lord.

[NOTE: I would surmise that a Christian is not a Christian because they are born of Christian parents and/or are raised a Christian.]

Luke (3 of 3)

Demonstrate transformation. Already talked about with fruits discussion.

Paul said to King Agrippa:
Acts 26:20
"First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds."NIV

The Jews were familiar with this concept from Old Testament:

"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."NIV

Ez. 33:19
And if a wicked man turns away from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he will live by doing so.NIV

All of these speak to turning back to God (repenting).

You receive the True Messiah. John never proclaimed to be the Messiah. He could call for repentence and immerse people in water - prepare the "way", but only Christ can immerse people in the Holy Spirit and fire.

[Not recorded anywhere that Jesus baptized anybody. The disciples did baptize people as an outward sign of repentence and faith.]

The Jews understood the Holy Spirit.
"And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws."

Psalm 51:11
"Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me."

They also understood "fire". "...that's Isaiah 29:6. You can see it in Isaiah 31:9, Ezekiel 38:22, Amos 7:4, Zephaniah 1:18, Zephaniah 3:8, Daniel 7:10, God's final judgment is associated with fire." - John MacArthur

So, Messiah will come and immerse people in the Holy Spirit for those who repented, and turned back to the Lord. If they do not repent, they will be immersed in fire. Of course you will have to accept Jesus to get the former, and reject Him to get the latter.

John gives an agrarian example of this process. A separation process. The wheat is brought into the threshing floor. By using the winnowing fork, the grain is seperated from the chaff. Grain piled in middle and taken to barn. The chaff is then burned. The fire goes out when chaff is burned up, but John says chaff will burn with an "unquenchable fire" - a judgment fire that will never go out.

Talking of the harsh stuff. Here is what caught my attention. And I wondered aloud if in those times there was no freedom of religion or thought... No Free Will...? Are these concepts modern inventions? (Free Will is mentioned no where in Bible... only in the book of Joshua there is an allusion, when Joshua asks his people if they want to worship God or other gods)
So, here is that harsh sounding command from Deutronomy 13:6-10:

''If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, "Let us go and worship other gods" (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God...''

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