The Septuagint

The Septuagint

Change up your Bible Study, not by modernization this time, but from a historical perspective!

This is a link to the Septuagint, a historical, pre-Christian translation of the Hebrew Bible for Jews who spoke Koine Greek. Sometimes referred to as the “Greek Old Testament” or “LXX” it comprises of only the Old Testament and some related works. The translation occurred between 300-200 BC. The authors of the New Testament referenced to the Septuagint (it’s non-apocryphal parts.)

Aside from the regular 39 books in the Old Testament there are apocryphal books (ancient Jewish writing). The apocryphal books include: Judith, Tobit, Baruch, Sirach (or Ecclesiasticus), the Wisdom of Solomon, First and Second Maccabees, the two Books of Esther, additions to the Book of Daniel, and the Prayer of Manasseh. Please note: These apocryphal books are not canonical, or inspired by Go.

For early Christians who seek understanding of the Bible, I recommend the New Living Translation. However, as for the rest, use the Septuagint alongside the King James Version. For everyone, I recommend doing an in-depth Bible study occasionally. Take your Bible Study from a historical point-of-view and also study evangelical/difficult questions. You will notice a difference on your Walk!

This link includes the PDF file as well as audio, both can be accessed from the internet or saved to your computer.

Sharing is caring! God Bless you in your studies!

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Your Perspective Changes Everything!

Have you ever flipped a horrible situation and turned it around, or a great situation and made it seem bleak? We’ve all heard of the “glass is half full not empty” view on life. What about your view on God? Who (or what) is God to you? How do you view Our Creator? Believe it or not but your perspective on God will affect your Walk with Him; and for nonbelievers, it may be the prime reason why you don’t believe. Sometimes, we view God incorrectly.

The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

– Proverbs 19:23

Okay, okay! I’ll admit I once had the wrong view on God, my specs were dirty and scriptures like these made me both uncomfortable and confused. That word: FEAR is a different meaning to us. Am I supposed to quake and hide whenever I feel God’s Presence? NO. Definitely not. In fact, the word we used to translate the Bible into English holds different meaning – a different kind of “fear.” We are told to “fear God” at least 100 times in the Bible, yet when He has appeared in some shape or form to people what would He say – yes, “fear not.”

Here are four different CORRECT PERSPECTIVES of what it means to “fear” the Lord:

1. Have you ever been to Niagara Falls or climbed a mountain and when you reached to the top you are amazed by it’s beauty. You hear the roar of the water, or see how small everything else got when you looked down over the cliff of that mountain. You are in awe, but you’re also not going to hang over the safety rails or step too over the cliff out of fear. In this perspective, we are “fearing” God by being in AWE of His Magnificence, His Power, and all that He is!

2. If you’re familiar with the Book of Proverbs you can recall that the fear of God is connected to wisdom. (Proverbs 1:7) Some translations have “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” while some substitute “beginning” for “foundation.” The “knowledge” the Bible speaks of is not textbook knowledge, nor street know-how but rather wisdom. The foundation of a house determines its longevity; a house with a strong foundation can weather a storm. If wisdom is our foundation then our perspective on everything is changed, including God and the world.

3. Fear can also mean our ability to trust in and respect God. For some of us God is simply our Consultant, He “advises” us to do certain things and His Word is simply a Book of “advice” not commands, not instructions. In this case we’d only follow parts that we agree with, commands that personally doesn’t require us to give up much. God is NOT a Consultant, He IS Our God. Consequently, we must fear Him in His instructions and follow them, all of them. 

Continue to remind yourself who God is and what He has done for us. The future He holds for us is always bright, no matter what adversities may arise!

Sinclair Ferguson defines the fear of the Lord as,

“That indefinable mixture of reverence, fear, pleasure, joy, and awe which fills our hearts when we realize who God is and what He has done for us.”

Daily Devotion: Blessed are the MEEK

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. – Matthew 5:5

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This week seems to dive into an introspection of our speech and personality and how it pertains to our Christianity. You should not aim to change yourself for the sake of “appearing righteous” because this will only lead to disappointment, discouragement, and possibly feeling like you are a “Failed Christian.” Such a deep change will occur overtime and purely on it’s own; in the meantime, it’s important to aim to show certain qualities to the world. We are Christ’s ambassadors and our lives show if living for God and not this world is actually worth it. Make a change…

Starting with being meek. 

It is one of the Beatitudes, it’s a prime quality of Our Savior and it is easier said than done. Meekness. What is being meek? When I hear the word ‘meek’ I immediately envision a prophet or Christ Himself; a soft voice, a still tongue, and a modest attire. Those are prime qualities linked with being meek. According to Wikipedia, words/phrases like “God-fearing, righteous, humble, teachable, patient under suffering, willing to follow Gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple” better describes the attributes of a meek person. This surpasses my personal definition by a long shot.

Look back at those attributes and ask yourself if you think you’re up to par yet.

God-fearing: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. (Psalm 110:10) A complete understanding of who God is and what He can do will put things into perspective, thus roots wisdom.

Righteous: there are no righteous, sinless people on Earth. We must aim for righteousness by aiming to be sinless. By relying more on God and not on our own understanding we will yield less and less on our sinful desires.

Humble: Have you ever been boastful, prideful or show-offy? It happens to us all at times but we must aim for humility. Be modest in speech and dress, if you do then chances are you won’t have to apologize or swallow your words in the future.

Teachable: This means you must be able to take advice and criticism: a hard pill to swallow. Learn to simply nod and smile when someone advises you before speaking. If you continue to do this you’ll form a habit of accepting criticism without throwing over a table or arguing.

Patience under suffering: Patience is a virtue. I’ve had a lot of practice becoming more patient while waiting for government offices to handle any important documents I may need. Sure, you can take patience into your own hands by acknowledging that God is always in control… and you can always visit a government office as a cherry on top.

Willing to follow the Gospel teachings: Being willing and simply doing are completely different. If I am willing then I will not feel hampered by following God’s Word, I won’t feel self-deprived because I don’t mind being abstemious. Maybe this comes from growth in your Walk with God or simply your love for Him.

Remember that being meek does not mean you must be dull, lack-luster in personality, and lose all your characteristics. It is an addition and modification to your personality and is a blatant illustration that God is working within you by humbling you! In becoming meek, remember: to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:2)

Prayer: Father, I thank You for all that You continuously do for me. I want to be more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Please, help me and guide me to become more meek in a world that is boastful, prideful, and boisterous. May Your Holy Spirit fill me and humble my heart to Your likeness so that I may inherit the earth. This I ask in Your Holy Name. Amen.

Speak Like A Christian – Part ONE (with Tips!)

Lately, I’ve been thinking about doing this specific blog because this is a specific problem I have – my mouth. Our mouths are the most dangerous, lethal weapons in the world. We have the power to uplift, encourage, strengthen, enlighten but we also have the power to sadden, discourage, and evoke fear, hate and other negative emotions in others.

Usually, it’s responding to comments, criticism and concerns that tests our tongues. We are told such negative things at times and don’t know how to respond, even with constructive criticism. The Bible says “death and life are in the power of the tongue,” (Prov. 18:21) both physical and spiritual death and life.

What does the Bible say about speech?

 

1. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. – Psalm 19:14

 

 Our words should be acceptable to God; He should not be saddened or grieved by the words we speak. TIP: It helps many to count to 10 before speaking, and imagining how the other person would feel before responding. Remember to imagine the outcome and do this especially when altercations arise.

How do we know our words are acceptable to God?

  1. Bible-speech. As you grow try learning certain scriptures each day, and use them in your daily speech, adding them to your tongue as your life progresses. This is something I just started doing and it’s actually pretty fun! Using cue cards or a small notebook to hold these scriptures will be helpful throughout the day.
  2. Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

Paul tells us we must think about things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report (admirable), and praise-worthy. I’m telling you to say such things.

  1. Complimentary. Giving someone a compliment makes quite a huge difference in the way they see you. Get into the habit of complimenting people, aim for giving out free compliments at least 5 times a day. Be careful not to appear as fawning, they’ll think you want something from them and possibly run away with their wallets tucked underneath their armpits. No, I’m not speaking from experience…

 

2. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29

 

Do you just have those days when you’re in such a bad mood that even if a kitten crossed your path you’d feel the need to turn away and grunt? We all have bad mood days it’s when it affects others where these days become infectious.

Sometimes, I may be in a bad mood and one of my friends are walking around extra-jolly and peppy. It makes me want to strangle myself because I’m an envious Mr. Grinch. Because Mr. Grinch was so grumpy he tried to make others grumpy and he focused more on the negative than on the positive. We can all get like Mr. Grinch from time to time, we’re HUMAN but we can’t stay in that negative attitude, we’ll only bring others down with us.

TIP: Start thinking about all the things that make you happy. Reminisce on the good ‘ole days, you know, before you turned into a green frowny face. Lastly, learn to react based on facts instead of emotions. (This one is especially for me!)

 

3. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. – Colossians 3:8

 

There are four things to focus on here – anger, hatred, gossip, and cursing. Of course, even if you’re a Christian you will still have remnants of these. It’s important not to materialize and vocalize these. You’re expected to be angry at people, but hatred should be highly avoided. Remember that God rules over everything and everyone; if someone has done you wrong, leave it to God.

Gossiping is addictive. Women and men are guilty of this (yes, men are great gossipers). Remember to build up your brothers and sisters, speak to them directly instead of speaking about them to other people.

I was never too big on cursing, although at some point I had started to adopt some curse words. Fortunately, I don’t curse anymore. It’s a habit that may be hard to break, but it is breakable. TIP: use substitutions for curse words, it helps a lot to break the habit.

 

Try following these tips this week. Next week I will post Part Two which focuses on specific responses to questions/insults common these days.

What I’ve been up to lately

I feel the need to give you all an update on what’s been occurring in my life, hence why I haven’t been blogging much. 

For the past two weeks I’ve had so many strange feelings enter and exit my body along with the addition of a distant feeling from Our Creator. I had to focus more on Him and ask Him what was possibly going wrong with my life. Trust me, this was done more dramatically then it sounds. I had relationships to figure out, doubts that needed to be smashed to smithereens, people I needed to let go and habits that needed demolishing. Father, can you hear me?

Of course He can and has been intercepting when things seemed as if they would go wrong. It all started clearing up when I relied more on God and spoke to Him as if He’s my Creator AND Father instead of thinking I should try to fix everything myself. I was doing more bible studies, watching sermons, random internal prayers, social media fasts, and sometimes just aiming to enjoy the things I used to enjoy more as a kid (for e.g. Anime).

One evening as the sun was setting, I turned all the lamps off in my bedroom and let the orange-pink aura highlight my room. I sat on my bed and let everything out to God. From the smallest shred of doubt to the biggest, the littlest worry and fear to the most colossal. 

Not only did it feel great to let everything seep out of my system but I’m sure God was pleased in the growth of our relationship. The very next day I saw big changes. My mother got a job offer and it filled her with so much hope she sprung tears of thankfulness. I had (and still have) this new-found happiness, bubbliness, and joy that only could mean I am filled with the Holy Spirit. My mindset has changed drastically, discernment is now a quality I possess. God’s voice is much clearer and audible to me. I can differentiate from who speaks to me the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit. It may sound crazy to many but this is very true: God speaks to us all the time. He told me what to do when I had no clue and no comprehension; I followed His voice and found happiness from being a servant and daughter of the Most High. This is freedom. This is a relationship with God, the Almighty. 

🙂

L.I.L.I.C. – Extraordrinary Acts from the Holy Spirit

LILIC (Lessons I Learned In Church – The “c” is silent, so it sounds like the lily flower.) are recaps of what I learned from church the prior Sunday.

Last Sunday’s sermon was conducted by Pastor Ricky Sarthou in CCF church extending what was said on the prior sermon (Read about Purposeful Acts of Power here). He presents the question: are you making disciples as Christ ordered?

Usually, we look at our abilities and inabilities to determine whether we can and should do something or not. If we want to participate in a Broadway musical, for example, we introspect that we may have singing talents but not dancing and conclude that it’s better to simply participate in an opera or our role must not have any dancing involved. Here we looked at our abilities from our own perception. However, the Christian mentality is much different. Instead, we must look at our God’s abilities, and we must view everything from a Godly perception.

With help from the Holy Spirit, ordinary people are turned into extraordinary people who do extraordinary things. Pastor Ricky spoke of a few stories in which ordinary people completed extraordinary tasks:

3 year-old Alexandra:

Alexandra’s parents would drive around and point out fire stations, police stations, and hospitals – places to go to for help. They had made a game out of it to ensure that their daughter knew these places and understood their importance. One day Alexandra and her father were the only people home. He had accidentally consumed the incorrect mixture of prescription pills and soon passed out. So, what could Alexandra do? She’s just a three-year-old, she knows no medical training and simply shaking her father hadn’t worked. Alexandra walked all the way from her house to the nearest fire station, about three blocks away, all by herself and told them, “Help! My father is frozen!” The firemen were amazed at her bravery and thanks to her, her father did not die.

Poor man makes disciples

Another interesting story, more closely related to the topic at hand, is the story of a poor man who made disciples. This man had nothing; he was living in a small efficiency and had no money. He lived far from his church and could no longer afford to catch a taxi to and fro so he would walk to church everyday. Other men would notice this but as they began talking to him he would share the Gospel. Later, he would have made 11 disciples for Christ and soon after this grew to 56 men he had discipled to.

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Am I more like Jesus today than yesterday?
  2. Am I making disciples for Him?
  3. Am I glorifying God through my life?

Do not limit God because of your inconveniences or inadequacies; do not disobey Christ’s order to make disciples just because you may feel ordinary or even afraid.  “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but of POWER” (2 Timothy 1:7). A Godly woman, Rebecca Pippert said that, “Being an extrovert isn’t essential to evangelism; obedience and love are.” In our Christian society there are no benchwarmers and on-lookers, every follower of Jesus should be a discipler for Jesus.

Who must we disciple too?

In short, everyone. This includes nonbelievers, Christians whose actions do not show Jesus is worth living for and even our other brothers and sisters. However, we must not only disciple to people we know we can win over (as discussed in the last LILIC) for fear of rejection, differences, and personal inadequacies. Make Jesus known to everyone you come in contact with; He’s worth it. 

So, whatever is holding you back is never something that should stop you from following out Jesus’ command. To ignore it is blatant and overt disobedience; as followers of Jesus we should want the whole world to know what it’s like to believe in Jesus Christ and serve the magnificent God we serve.

A Dream worth Realizing.

When I was newly Saved and delving into the Word of God I had a dream that transcended into reality. It was absolutely wonderful! It was solely about God.

I urge you to read Psalm 91 before I retell my dream. Pay close attention to the imagery and metaphorical meanings in both my dream and Psalm 91.

It was June 27, 2012. I had devoted most of my summer to developing skills and interests, getting to know myself better, and most importantly, seeking God. I would be home most of the day, just me and my dog. I enjoyed my youth, played video games, watched anime, and had quality lazy time since school was closed. However, most of my days were spent with The Almighty. I had recently received a “New Believer’s Bible” from my (now, but not then) spiritual mentor (the date I received that Bible was June 2, 2012). The Bible has many Bible Study tools so I had spent a lot of time reading, praying and digesting on it. It was really just me and God. I’d see other life forms from time to time; but my summer was mostly spent looking at God’s Face.

On June 27, 2012 God delighted me with a dream. I can’t remember the exact time, but it was around 11 AM when I had started Bible Study on the ‘Cornerstone’ topic “What are angels?” in my new Bible. I was just finished reading another topic before that but I had only read the first sub-topic “Why Did God Create Angels?” before I got tired and took a nap. I don’t usually dream; most of the time when I do it’s very confusing and doesn’t make any sense. My dreams tend to shift venues, characters, worlds… it never was solid or remarkably profound. Until this dream.

First, I was a man. I was a man, in a creepy house walking up the stairs with my two friends on either side of me. We were all about to get something that seemed important, but from what I can sense was not praiseworthy. As we walked up the steps a glob of blackness appeared; it consumed everything. It had an eerie aura and my friends and I were very afraid. We ran as the thick black ink swallowed everything behind us. My two friends grew tired and the blackness gobbled them. I was alone.

But I remembered something. As I ran down the stairs and saw the blackness creep unto the railing, I suddenly was no longer a man. I became a visual representation of myself. I remembered that God is always with me. Suddenly I was in an empty room. I had praying hands. I can’t remember the exact words I had said in my dream (my lips were not moving though) it was something like “I am not alone, God is with me and He will protect me. Whom shall I fear?” I had also called on the Lord by name. Between my praying hands a Cross and blinding light appeared. I felt the blackness become shaken with fear. The blinding light (which I can still see clearly in my head) grew and grew until it filled the whole room. Then I awoke to a sunset, orange and pink streaked my room. There was no ounce of fear in me.

Surely, that was from God, I had thought. At the time I didn’t pay too much attention to it; though I was in awe, I had continued my Bible Studies from where I left off. I had finished Hebrews 1:4-14 my Bible read, “For the next note on “What Are Angels?” turn to p. 512.” This lead me to Psalm 91, a scripture that was new to me at the time. How would I had possibly known what it was about to dream about it? The scripture in Hebrews is not similar to Psalm 91, as well. This was an act of God.

The scripture mirrored my dream so closely, I was absolutely astonished. This was physical evidence that God is real, is working in my life, and wants me to know He will be my tower of refuge, protector, and Father. Nearly every verse was a close correlation to my dream. Here are a few:

**The scripture speaks about God being your place of refuge, that He will thwart the darkness and protect you from all evil. In my dream, I am in a house where God saves me from evil blackness.**

Verses 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 illustrate the above.

Verse 8. ~> My friends beside me are captured by the darkness. Note: we were about to do something unjust.

Verse 14. ~> I called upon and trusted in God’s Name for His help.

Verse 15. ~> After the “call” God rescued me.

Verse 16. ~> The “reward” was “salvation” and “life,” my friends in the dream died, but I did not.

This dream was a Welcome from God. I could not have fabricated such a dream on my own, even so the mere fact that Psalm 91, out of all the other scriptures expressing different topics, was next for me to read is all from God. I hope this touched your heart greatly! God bless! 🙂