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Posts Tagged ‘The Bible’

Baruch

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( This post is reprinted from my post http://obi4b.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/free-from-above/ The blog is titled Guide to his Word where I post commentaries on the word of God. You may want to check it out. My approach to the Bible is from a non-sectarian standpoint. b)
Gen1:16′God made two great lights-…and also stars.’

Here we see the mention of lights but with special reference to the sun, moon and stars. We also have a clue supplied by God the Spirit: these are set in the expanse of the sky as signs. Purpose of such signs is two-fold. This serves as a marker for seasons, days and years. Secondly such signs explain the divine Will where it concerns us. For a skeptic the origin of the heavenly bodies must explain in such manner his rational mind can accept as correct. For a child of God reason must address his body and spirit as well. Hence emphasis shall vary than for a skeptic. For the former righteousness means being obedient to his Will the emphases of the sun, moon and stars as signs must add to his knowledge in the spirit or in his inner man, to use a scriptural expression. Holy Spirit has recorded the creation account so that such signs can serve as tool to unlock the mysteries of God. One fifth of the Scriptures concern with prophesies of some sort. Hence the heavenly bodies as signs hold weight and relevance to a Christian regardless of whatever persuasion.

In the Book of Revelation we read of a woman clothed with the sun Rev.12. The sun serves as a clue, a sign. As with celestial bodies numbers also hold significance. Holy Spirit must hold special significance as we saw with names, in giving a number of 1260 days (Rev12:6) as distinct from a statement in in Genesis’-And there was evening, and there was morning -the fourth day(1:19).’ Holy Spirit in putting the record straight or setting God’s Will in signs or symbols is striking a warning. Literal interpretation may not be what Holy Spirit has in mind, It is to be revealed in God’s time. 1260 would be roughly three and a half years. Would it therefore hint the earthly ministry of Jesus or something else? Science can only be appreciated with strict application of reason; no less is expected of a child of God. His spirit or inner man shall not be sustained or edified by errors. This note of caution must be sounded whenever we handle the Word. For example note what Spirit says:’Let him that hath understanding count..for it is the number of a man, and his number is six hundred three score and six (Rev13:18).’ Even here instances are not wanting in the way Bible teachers have in the past cited the names of Nero, Napoleon, Saddam Hussein et al to denigrate them. God the Spirit does not want man to cast all restraints in interpreting the Word of God with a spirit of pride. In studying the word of God, we require wisdom and it is not earthly kind.( Jas3:14-18,13) We have the assurance of God that wisdom to understand his Word is from God (Jas.1:5).

benny

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In the book of Genesis a river flows from Eden;in the book of Revelation(22:3) we read the river flowing from the midst of the thrones of God and the Son. In the first book the river branches into four streams while in the last book the river once again is one.
First of all how did the river originate when God did not cause rains to fall? The mists or moisture percolating from the ground must have welled up to make this river begin its course, watering the Garden on the east. The Will of God controls the events as making of a river is the result of many chains of events. These four streams must be seen as chains of events caused by the divine Will. At the end of the same Will having accomplished his purpose, shall be as one. The Alpha and Omega of his Will, the Beginning and the Last of our cosmos carry within the single, manifold events that we are confronted with. We may rightly speak of various theories as there are four streams drawn from divine Purpose, to explain our experience.
So to deny Science explain these from what is best capable of is a waste of time. Art, Science etc., man’s highest attempts to justify his reason is right in its own way. Our reasoning power and creative power is finite and is right up to a point,according to time and place but divine Will must bear all these. Every division, variation that we have incorporated in our existence must be part and parcel of his Will.
benny

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I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”(Luke 24:49)

4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues[a] as the Spirit enabled them.(Acts2:4,17) Fulfilment of  Joel’s prophesy occurred on the day of Pentecost.  Resurrected Christ commanded the apostles to remain in Jerusalem till the Holy Spirit was poured out on all peoples. This was a visible and aural testimony of Church on the make.  It was an historical event in the calender of Church. This Church is made up of all who are purchased by the blood of Christ.(Ref:Parable of the wedding guest who was refused)

The Church is one and it is what becomes the dwelling place of God. In the Gospel of John we have the prayer of Jesus to his Father. Oneness where triune God is united with the Church will be revealed only where ”  The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.(Rev 11:15)

There are certain Pentecostals who teach the believers to replay the Day of Pentecost and it is contrary to God’s Will. It the work of man and Pharisees of latter day than the work of Grace. These cults disguise their control over the mind of believers by saying their church is fundamental in that it is going back to the first century church in practice and worship. They may call themselves New Testament Church!

In our time we saw how such replays end up.  Woodstock  festival thirty years later was repeated.  There was nothing of the spontaneity and reality of the first. In recent months we heard about tea party in the USA. This was spearheaded by the Republican Party. Wasn’t it a tame  affair?

The unfolding of Church is according to Divine Will and Spirit is also at  work. Cold Replay of man to imitate the Real shall only end in disaster.

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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Grace describes man’s response to the world without and to God.

What we owe God?  In Christ we have become new creation. We have put on Christ. Grace must show something new that is a life on a higher plane. This aspect is between us and God who has chosen to be partakers of His glory. Grace gives us a new awareness.

Grace also gives new responsibility towards our family and community.

When we consciously cultivate the Christian virtues we are making  grace given to us to abound.2 Pe 1 :5-8(NIV)

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the world of theatre actors playing a role try to get into the skin of the character they play. It is necessary to understand the character so they will sound convincing. The  audience as a  result is helped. This analogy  is of course awkward since it only explains a make believe world. For a Christian putting on the nature of Christ is in ernest and is his entire life. Therefore a Christian who has put on Christ must get to know what Christ typifies: love, brotherly kindness etc.

The i in CHRiST must be where it is placed and not try to make look like this: i CHRST

The qualities that St. Peter writes about are not works but fruits of grace. In the gospel of John we read that grace came with Jesus while the law is associated with Moses.

Regarding works any Christian who thinks like the Pharisee in the parable of Pharisee and the Publican would be distracting others from Christ. If salt has lost its savor what good is it? If others do not see Christ but you,  it belongs to works.

Finally a question arises: in a world Jesus Christ is just a name and not worshiped or revered as in the century when the Church was valid (and the works of the apostles were very much seen as manifestation of God) how do we reveal Christ? If one asks now how Christ looks like probably the answer would be ‘Mel Gibson.’

You see how perceptions, taste, emphasis and worship change with time. I do not think putting on Christ should be held in a literal sense.

Historical Jesus and the prince of Peace are sure to mean different for all believers. But the Son of Man who is our Savior cannot two persons; neither can the man of Sorrows who sits on the right hand of God can be two different persons.  Jesus who is the life and resurrection is only one, coequal with God in the trinity. The Word bears witness to us and it is what is our template. Our ministry as Christians are  to fill within these. Works may help you to fill out some but it will never fit. Like the leaven of the old woman it should fill the whole lump. only grace can do that work.

benny

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