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Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Spread of Christianity
outline: waves of diaspora create hubs to facilitate spread of new religion, merchants and missionaries, St. Paul-religion mixed with gentile ideas and worship

Christianity spread through the Roman empire. Via Appia made it easier. St. Paul as a Roman citizen( he was from Tarsus in South- Central Anatolia) was free to move freely through the extent of the Empire. The Roman Empire was then comparatively at peace, The wide sovereignty of Rome gave the apostles of Christ access to different nations, many of whom had become civilized under Roman influence.
Since emperor Theodosius I (379-395 AD) the official state religion of the Roman Empire was Christianity. Subsequently, former Roman territories became Christian states which exported their religion to other parts of the world, through colonization and missionaries.
We may need to look back even before the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem in 70 AD. Under the Assyrian and Babylonian empires saw diaspora of Jews and were many hubs of Hebrew faith with local synagogues. Each group carried traditions of their fathers. Early Jewish Christians carried the new religion to these congregation of Jews. These early Christians were merchants and others who had practical reasons for traveling to northern Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia, Greece, and other places. But in the missionary zeal and sustained effort to spread the gospel of good news none would match Paul. St. Paul was converted from his Hebrew belief and had set himself to be an Apostle for Christ. His success partly owed to the groundwork laid by others before him.

Antioch was a major centre of Hellenistic Greece then part of Syria province. It was here the sect were called Christians for the first time. Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons in the second century believed that Paul and Peter had been the founders the Church of Rome. Despite of persecutions under many Caesars the Christians thrived and during the reign of Constantine the Great Christianity became the state religion. Influence of Greece was already in the cities such as Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, Caesarea, Paphos and Anatolia. These in turn would serve as hubs of proselytism and pagan ideas in course of time will mingle with the new religion*. The earliest bishops of Rome were all Greek-speaking, the most notable of them being Pope Clement I. (* sun worship: prayers are offered while looking toward sunrise in the East” because the Orient represents the birth of light that “dispels the darkness of the night” and because of the orientation of “the ancient temples. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7, 7, 43, GCS 3, 32. or Origen (c. AD 185-254) whose view was that the East symbolizes the soul looking to the source of light. Origen,67 De oratione 32, GCS 2, 400, 23.)
One of the Church fathers of Catholicism Augustine of Hyppo ( 354-430AD) was converted from Manichaeism that had its origins in the heavily Gnostic area of the Persian Empire.
Manichaean ways of thinking had an influence on the development of some of Augustine’s Christian ideas, such as the nature of good and evil, the idea of Hell, the separation of groups into Elect, Hearers, and Sinners, the hostility to the flesh and sexual activity, and so on. Spread of religion whether along the Silk Road or via Appia followed more or less a similar pattern. Unconsciously the venerable Church father while systemizing Christian philosophy would add his own intellectual coloring to Christian belief-system.
While Church of Rome was established in the West of the empire the converts from the pagan world would bring their own practices and add to the many rites and symbols of the pagan world. This we see even in our times. In Mexico or in India Christianity would be colored by the beliefs of people. These would be a point of controversy during the Reformation period.
benny

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Roman road system

Via Appia is the crowning achievement among transportation network of the ancient Mediterranean world, extending from Britain to the Tigris-Euphrates river system and from the Danube River to Spain and northern Africa. In all, the Romans built 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of hard-surfaced highway, primarily for military reasons.
The first of the great Roman roads, the Via Appia (Appian Way), begun in 312 bce, originally ran southeast from Rome 162 miles (261 km) to Tarentum (now Taranto) and was later extended to the Adriatic coast at Brundisium (now Brindisi).
Their numerous feeder roads extending far into the Roman provinces led to the proverb “All roads lead to Rome.”

Via Appia today
The Roman roads were notable for their straightness, solid foundations, cambered surfaces facilitating drainage, and use of concrete made from pozzolana (volcanic ash) and lime. Though adapting their technique to materials locally available, the Roman engineers followed basically the same principles in building abroad as they had in Italy..
The Roman road system made possible Roman conquest and administration and later provided highways for the great migrations into the empire and a means for the diffusion of Christianity. (Of this I shall come to by and by.)
In 73 BC, a slave revolt (known as the Third Servile War) under the ex-gladiator of Capua, Spartacus, began against the Romans. Slavery accounted for roughly every third person in Italy.
Spartacus defeated many Roman armies in a conflict that lasted for over two years. While trying to escape from Italy at Brundisium he unwittingly moved his forces into the historic trap in Apulia/Calabria. The Romans were well acquainted with the region. Legions were brought home from abroad and Spartacus was pinned between armies. Many men escaped into the mountains. Only a thousand Romans died. Six thousand of the fleeing slaves were captured by Pompey’s troops and crucified along the Appian Way, from Capua to Rome. Spartacus’ body was not found.
It was Rome’s brutal message to any one who thought of overstepping the limit.
The road that the Romans built like the Silk Road will lose its importance in time. But what it carried across endures long after these physical,geographical realities.
Note:
In 1919 the Spartacists took their inspiration from Spartacus. Spartacus was an idea.
The Spartacist’s had extreme left wing political views. This group split from the SPD (Independent Socialists) in frustration at the SPD’s role within Government. The leaders of the Communist party were Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht. The aims of the Spartacist’s were outlined in their Manifesto:
The Spartacist Manifesto 1918
The question today is not democracy or dictatorship… Rather, it means using all instruments of political power to achieve socialism, to expropriate the capitalist class, through and in accordance with the will of the revolutionary majority of the proletariat.
On January 1st, 1919, members of the Spartacist movement rose in an attempted revolution. Initially this move was opposed by both Liebnecht and Luxemburg, the leaders of the movement. The newly formed Weimar Government reacted promptly, and brutally. The army was deployed to bring the revolution to an end, and these were aided by the Frei Corps, a paramilitary group consisting of former servicemen. Order had been restored to the streets of Berlin by the 13th of January. Both Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht were killed whilst in police custody.( http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk-spartacistuprising)
To recap:
Like real people roads also carry their significance. The Silk Road was a highway for exchange of ideas, transfusion of cultures between east and the west. In the concluding post I shall write about via Appia as a facilitator of European history.
(To be concluded)

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There is yet another scandal brewing concerning the Catholic Church in the Netherlands following allegations, which were published last weekend in the NRC Handelsblad newspaper.
It not only sounds ludicrous as a medical procedure, but in moral terms it’s downright barbarous: castrating young men to “cure” them of their homosexuality. Yet this was how the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands treated gays in the 1950s, according to the Dutch newspaper, which claims at least 10 men were forced to go under the knife at the church’s behest. The Dutch parliamentarians are now called to demand an inquiry into the issue, raising questions about whether the church received political cover to take such extreme measures.
The newspaper said the castrations were regarded both as a treatment for homosexuality as well as a punishment for those who accused clergy of sexual abuse. The newspaper said 20-year-old Henk Heithuis had been surgically castrated on the instructions of Catholic priests in 1956 after he told police he was being abused at the Harreveld boarding school in Gelderland. Although the monks were convicted of the abuse, Heithuis was nonetheless sent to a Catholic psychiatric hospital and then castrated. He died two years later in a car crash. How did that conveniently occur? The more we know of the Church the more unsavory and murkier it gets. The Dan Brown’s book pales into insignificance as we get to read of the thugs who are dressed in purple and given a tiara impose their own free will on others. These unctuous fools mouth moral primers for the followers while they practice altogether different.
I can see the opulence of the Cathedrals where monkeys in their cloth rising to give homilies to a congregation of dead. The skeletons receive sacraments by habit and go to their own ways no better than how they went in. This circus shall go on unless the State take concerted steps to treat it as a criminal organization breeding teachings detrimental to good sense and public decency. It is as virulent in their extreme view of treating human lives as trifle as much as Jihadists who coerce children to be suicide bombers are. The West for all its liberal traditions allow these elements to go with impunity taking terrible toll in perverting natural good sense and causing incalculable damage.

tailspin: The newspaper also adds there are strong indications that at least nine other young men were castrated around the same time, either for whistle-blowing or for supposed homosexuality.( Time.com – Mar 23, 2012)

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The Aztecs believed in after life. They sacrificed the first born to the Sun in a belief that souls of the dead occupied the starry heavens. These souls according to them kept the best place for their fathers and for the siblings. Thus each Aztec warrior took pride that the perfect fruit of his loins had found his perfect bliss.Of course they had also reserved their place in heaven. On the All Soul’s Day the believers climbed to the top of a volcano in order to have a foretaste of it. They stood hand in hand around the crater to celebrate life. It was a mystery which admitted only the Aztecs.
On the twelth year after this rite was made an important event in their calendar, they climbed to their sacred spot.
On top of the mount they ate and drank according to the custom and at the wave of the High Priest’s staff they began their sacred rite.
But they were not alone.
There was a tribe of pygmies who lived nearby and whose custom was so different from theirs. Hearing some strange rumors they slipped unnoticed to enjoy the spectacle.
As the Aztec warriors danced in frenzy flames of fire seemed to descend and each warrior was transported in spirit to commune with his soul above. The pygmies missed what happened before their eyes. All they saw were their straw sandals and their belts of hemp. Pointing to their own shoes of finest vicuna hides and plumes of exotic birds they sniggered. ‘Such beggarly material!’one exclaimed and another said they were dirt farmers from the plains.
They did not see the Aztecs! They wondered where they could have run to.
One controlling his laugh said, ‘If all I had for my shoes such sorry sandals I would also jump into the deepest hole.’
The pygmies were disappointed. After returning to their own camp they narrated how the Aztecs had commited mass suicide for shame of their unfortunate circumstances.
Is it not how we speak of things we do not understand? As humans how we can measure God except in human terms?
We are least equipped to know God in his divine form. Even so we draw ridiculous assumptions according to human wisdom. It is not the Writ but what our reason can digest we pontificate. Instead of taking the simple meaning to words we weave clever philosophy. ‘The earth he has given to the children of men(Ps.115:16) is a verse that pleases some TV pastors. It is a license to add to their wardrobe the most expensive and abuse the poor circumstances of their flock so blatantly.
Before the cameras and under lights they behave like prima donnas and speak words calculated to bedazzle the congregation. All these for what? For some gold and silver! We lay so much importance to our body and its appetites. What we dismiss is the best part of our being. Our soul must speak for us here and now. God is love. Can we also love others? Can we also forgive as He has?
Our souls must also speak for hereafter.
In the Fable ‘What Price Grace’God forgave the foolishness of the pastor for his human failing. Grace covered his soul from being lost. The flesh profits nothing and what is for the earth to the earth shall go. My belief is that the Lord God shall purify my soul till is fully resored after my term on earth is ended.
But one world at a time. If I cannot prove my credentials in this world who shall entrust me with a world to come?
benny

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A Fable :What Price Grace? ©
One pastor having misled his flock by heretical teaching wanted to put a stop to it. Not from any sense of guilt but he had made millions and besides was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He had made people believe white was black,- that in his case was making God pass for the Angel of Disobedience. Now in his battle with cancer all his illgotten gains went into his physician’s fees and the undertaker’s bill.
Before he died he had utmost satisfaction that he made peace with God. Only that he didn’t specify exactly who heard his confesson or pardoned his wicked life. God or Devil?
When angels came to the throne of God the Ancient of the Days said, ‘He made peace with me or I forgave his foolishness from the day he climbed the pulpit.’
Angels read out his life and his work and said the dead man’s flock was still going strong and was perverting his Word. Angel Gabriel was certain that the megachurch of the late pastor was still a Coven of Wickedness. ‘O Lord God you only have the dead carcass. The soul of the dead is still waxing eloquent.’
God called Satan and said, ‘You have your man. Do what you will.’
God who had forgiven was the god of the living so He set things in motion to clean up the Church.
benny

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Agnes Dei

When God breathed into the nostrils of man something happened to him. He became a living soul. His will came into an active mode. Thoughts, action and emotions that engaged him was not something that was mechanical; but instead it could take flights of fancy. Love for instance. Looking at other creatures (that came into being as a result of an expression of divine Will) man saw they were fine in their own right but nothing was a substitute for woman. Being a living soul his love had to be narrowed down to something that spoke to his soul. It was man’s exercise of his will.
Whereas the Will of God was of another kind. His love made every creature submit to his Will, man and beasts of the field alike. Lamb of God is an imagery that God the Son has used to instruct the man. Holy Spirit in making the lamb a symbol teaches universality of divine love and a particular characteristic man associated with lamb: innocence.
Will of man has his limits but that of God all encompassing.
benny

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The New Jerusalem

Rev 21:10-14 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. 11It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. vs.14The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

In previous posts regarding the Church,whose builder is Jesus Christ, I had stated the churches of the world were built on Peter the Man. These carried the inherent flaws of man,-his pride, ambition, superficiality and guile. The story of Adam clearly shows how he was beguiled by Satan. He could not walk with God since he was afraid. Satan had deflected his mind first and thereafter his body also followed. It is the case with his churches. Adamic nature of man produced only divisions. His church and his city are not man made or on a rock that was half and half. Jesus expressed his will. (St.Matt 16:18-19,23)

Only that the Rock he had in mind had to be transformed as clear as crystal.

The vision of John the divine is after the similitude of man. So we need to see it as a narrative from the standpoint of Man.

The rock is like jaspar and as clear as crystal. Peter the man who minded the things of man has become jewel and do mind the things of God.

The Scriptures is like a play where God Holy Spirit and Man hold the stage of eternity at any time or age. There are exits and entrances for angels prophets, kings of the world. Parts are written for women,wicked and good alike. Notwithstanding such a cast plays subordinate role to the Triune God.

Good theater is when the personages that make up the cast carry the story forward. This way each of us is part and parcel of it.

We see God in the Old Testament as the Judge beginning with the calling of Abraham out of Canaan:Jerusalem was the visible center of His people where law and its obedience instilled in people to make a distinction of godly and gentile peoples. Law in itself didn’t make any one perfect but gave the people of God a context and a standing in reference to Him.

Second Act begins with the Advent of Christ. In sending the Son God made man to live and walk under grace. There was a kind of freedom that made people fall on Him than on dead works of Law. Both are for Adamic man and the only difference implied is in the way he viewed Law: law written on stone tablets were inward and on his will to fulfill the requirements of Law. On the other hand man under grace relied on His mercy and His Will. With the outpouring of Holy Spirit (revelation) focus on Man becomes clearer. He is of the House of God and the people would see God among them.

Raison d’etre of churches of the world holds such a fellowship as the bedrock but in practice churches have proved to be the biggest recruiting centers for Satan. A simple example of Catholic Church would suffice. With such rampant child abuse does Vatican do the one thing that is needed? Disband all her hierarchical pomp and circumstance to make bishops truly shepherds of the flock and oversee their parishes accountable to their wards? Vatican is an amalgam of State and Church that has got her arithmetic wrong. In matters of Church they have applied cold logic of a state protecting its instruments of power. In matters of State they acquiesced and diluted or misplaced the very principles of Christ, in securing advantage for her See. Thus the Church survived in the Nazi Germany and during the time of Franco.

Can State and Church co-exist? The New Jerusalem shall be a proof that nothing is impossible for God. The New Jerusalem will have Children of Israel, nations and those who are washed by His blood.God and Church of Christ make State and Church as one. The Millennium vision of the Prophet (Isa.11:6-9) speak of Lamb and the wolf coexisting. God the Judge and the Church of Christ shall be one House.

The New Jerusalem is unlike the old where so much blood has been shed. In 70AD the Imperial Rome defiled the city of Peace. Many wars fought there since that time make it unfit for the work of Christ who is also called the Prince of Peace. I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Here we have revelation and work where the Church minds the things of God.

benny

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St.Matt 16:18-19,23

And I tell you that you are Peter,[and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

23Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

Let me fix a few points first before I try to make my meaning clear.

I will build my church..’ Who makes this statement? Jesus is the Builder. There is no difficulty here. There are so many churches that cater to all sorts of believers. Those who build it may profess certain creed but they are kept by those who subscribe to their teachings. Some may profess their faith keeps the church which is a blatant lie. They rely on men to pack their halls and hear their slant to the Word of God. Even so they depend on man. It is obviously not what Jesus is telling. He is not telling of a church built on Peter since he rebukes him a little later in no uncertain terms that he is Satan!

Kingdom of Heaven :The church that Jesus is hinting at is not an ordinary one. It has a divine seal: it is impervious to the attacks of Satan. Either it must occur when Satan is finally bound and cast into bottomless pit or death is no more an event. (Jude. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.) It is not for us to seek things that God has chosen to hide from us. For example the time frame in which this is to be visible is by God’s calender. How will you predict it since St. Peter speaks of thousand years in human terms is like a flash? So it is waste of time to prove we are wiser than God.  More than that it would be blasphemy! By many parables Jesus has warned us to watch and be ready. Any man who is intelligent and good sense will be circumspect and conscious of his time and place. Similarly Christians are instructed to be prepared. Those who have known the will of God and also are found doing them will be part of the kingdom of heaven.

Members chosen from all over the world,- and not of any particular church, make up the new heaven. As we are told in the Book of Revelations old will pass away. A new Jerusalem is not by any account a geographical reality but a figure of speech as it were.

Therefore we need to look at our public worship as pointing to a reality that would happen in future. For Christians a place of worship in which brotherly love guides each is a prepratory school. It is essential to encourage one another as well uphold our brothers in prayer and in good will. Hearing the word and not doing them as Apostle James points out is pointless. We measure ourselves as in glass and forget straightaway what we need to do. The word is meant to correct where we have come short. In the Church built by Jesus we are the Word in its effect. Jesus was the Word made flesh but  we all will be the proof of it. The churches on the earth are and imperfect. It is rife with heresy, abuse and wickedness that must naturally come with serving two masters. State and Church has never made a perfect union. Nor it will on the earth. Kingdom of God or heaven is where God as Judge and as Love make State and religion as one..

Church of Christ, so we may conclude is not a historical church. The Church that we read in the Acts of Apostles, was already bedeviled by Satan and Jesus had correctly warned him during his earthly ministry. Simon Peter transcribed his masters teachings and gave a Hebraic form to it. He did not want to exclude those who were Jews. So he let them feel comfortable with certain elements of Jewish worship under his stewardship. Paul was in his own admission all things to all men. He made himself an Apostle and he wanted to accommodate gentiles. His goal was to spread of Jesus’ teachings as interpreted by him throughout the Roman Empire.. These churches are not built by Jesus. In such a case can anyone say he is surprised at the evil rampant in the Church of Rome or any other? These churches are tainted by earthly ambition or custom of men. I cannot say any of the church is Satan- proof.

The Church of Christ built by Jesus and will be called Kingdom of heaven.

Dan2:44“In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. Prophet Daniel is speaking about future. Who all shall belong to it? No one knows the Father but the Son; similarly it is God’s office to reveal the Son. Peter had knowledge by what He revealed to him. Did he have in his mind the things of God? No he had not. Hence the rebuke from Jesus.

He is the one who chooses. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matt 7:21) There will be a new earth and new heaven. The Church is made secure and eternal. Death is a past event. Being with God a new reality

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

This is the Church of Christ Jesus meant and it will be built by Jesus.The work is in progress. ‘I go to prepare a place for you’, Jeus said. When he ascended to the skies the work of New Jerusalem began in earnest, Not the city of David but of His Father.

(To be continued)

benny

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I do not think I ever suffered from it. On the other hand I had to fight all my life to keep a reasonable hold on to my abilities and failings. To think more than what is real is as bad as to miss what is genuine and apparent.  As a Christian I believe I have been called to walk with God and He that is within me is greater than the spirit that moves the world. So I can say Amen to the verse ‘If God be for us who can be against us?’

Now if God is with me how can I suffer from an inferiority complex?

benny

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Gen 4:3-6 2 Ti 3:16-17

In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. 4 But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

How should one read the Scriptures?

With our rational mind of course. We are humans and as such if my understanding can not follow it rationally I am likely to go wrong. is it not? Rasputin the mad monk of Tsarist Russia belonged to a sect that held on literally to the Romans vs.1 Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? He committed sin on the basis of the Pauline verse. He indulged in orgy so God’s grace may abound. He sinned so he may find grace! He made Grace as a medium for cleaning up his lust for flesh. Did it cure him? No he died of it.

Take this verse:

And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell (Matt 18:9)Even though blind cannot one sin?

I cited these extreme examples to show there are areas where literal interpretation or common sense cannot do work properly. In interpreting Bible especially.

As a Christian I believe the Scriptures is God breathed. If I accept the account of Genesis where God breathed into man what am to infer? I have that spirit, is it not? Spirit of man can be understood by man and things of God are better understood and followed through by His spirit. If I try to understand by the spirit of man I do not think the Bible would have held much interest to me. Instead the Book has been a source of great delight to me and many passages have on several occasions served me in the manner these were meant to do: teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness(2Ti 3:17). It has taught me in the past when I was more likely to go wrong and also prevented me at times from following certain course of action. The third aspect of training is what I expect- and it is for my lifetime, so my life may not be drawn off the rails when I least expect it. Samson was confident of his strength but he found he had become like any other when the Philistines came upon him. There are such instances I could learn from. Even so there are great areas I cannot make sense literally or spiritually. I leave these aside since there are enough lessons my life in flesh can learn. So I do not dismiss the book as of no meaning.

The story of Cain and Abel is a story and it can be understood at different levels. The moral of the story is plain as day and it is provided in the vs 7. Considering that Jesus refers to it Mt.23:35 it must have held certain significance to him. Abel is qualified as righteous because he pleased God with his sacrifice. God found favor with his offering while He did not favor that of Cain.Cannot God exercise free will that we often appropriate for ourselves to justify our actions? The consequence of God’s preference outs Cain’s nature. He murdered Abel stealthily.

God is Spirit.It is spirit of foreknowledge that Simon Peter could use when he identified correctly who Jesus was.

16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.(Matt 16:17)

We have that spirit of God and it is what keeps us falling into the hands of the Evil One. The Scriptures being God inspired we grow in His knowledge by correctly handling the Word.

Since the Scriptures is to be understood spiritually let me see what the story of Cain and Abel teaches us. God clothed man with skins since he felt shame in his nakedness. I think this act prefigures the atoning work of Jesus. Abel must have spiritually discerned how to find favor with God.

In trying to understand the Bible I find certain helpful tips. I find St. Paul’s instruction to Timothy very useful. Of this I shall come back by and by.

While studying a text ask yourself:

Does this passage belong in spirit with rest of the Bible? From the selected text of Cain and Abel let me point out the following;

Abel’s offer of fat portions from his flock echoes in the sacrifice of OT priests. God clothing Adam and Eve with skins also bear the truth in the Pauline epistle: without shedding of blood there is no remission or redemption.

Does the passage teach some needful or useful lesson?

Does it rebuke some trait that you have carelessly allowed to remain? Such a trait could be standing in your relationship with God and man.

This means you need to read the Bible in the right spirit and meditate over the passage. After all the main thing is how you may get the best out of your reading. If you handle the word of God correctly, as Paul writes to Timothy you are being trained in righteousness.

Benny

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