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The_Life_of_Aesop_Cover_for_KindleCreatespace ID: 7805832

The life of Aesop is available through Amazon.com

paperback and for kindle. cover design ‘Iris’.

Benny

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Two Kinds of Spirit

In the gospel of Luke we read of the genealogy of  Jesus. Adam was the son of God. (Lk.3:38). God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and he became a living soul. God is a Spirit. (Jn4:23). The significance of God in endowing man with his breath is a kind of regeneration. Man’s innate ability to access the spirit within is a faculty whereby he can take measure of the times as well as his kind. “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God (1 Co.2:11-NIV)”. We are to honor him in spirit as well as in truth. Fall of Adam lay in that he let neither his faculty to know spirit of God or truth of God override his own will. In one sense he was of God but by his action ie disobedience he let the spirit of Satan beguile him.. In one passage we read how Peter offended his master and he rebuked  by calling him Satan. What is he but a liar and false accuser. In not acknowledging truth that Jesus represented and by obstructing his mission with misplaced sympathy he was letting Satan get the better of him. Anyone who refuses truth and truth from being made manifest is of Satan   ‘..For thou savourest not the things that be of God but those that be of men (Mt.16:23). When Calvin say salvation is not for everyone to hope for but for some, is it from reading of the Word with the spirit of man or with the spirit of God?

We need to remember that the selfsame apostle of Jesus astonished him by correctly referencing him from where he came. What did Jesus say then?Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven (Mt.16-17-NIV). Peter’s confession affixed his faith when he uttered it. Tongue is a small member but what you say and how you say it brings your whole being, -body, soul and spirit is put on the line. Tongue is a symbol serving as a sign for believer. With this we confess unto salvation. By same token unto damnation. Why Satan is a great deceiver or a Liar? It is by mouth he gives a false slant to holy things. Remember how concerned he was for Jesus after he fasted 40 days? He quoted from the Psalms and he wanted to make Jesus fall. But no, Jesus would have none of it. It was the same false solicitude that prompted Peter to tell Jesus “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!(Mt.16-22-NIV)”

God is a Spirit and when God sent his Son the spirit that worked in him was the spirit of Christ (that of the overcomer). It is with such spirit he could remain his beloved Son, true to  the voice from heaven that testified it. He was indeed the beloved one. Spirit provides for every child of God the selfsame spirit with which to overcome the world. If Peter could confess the truth he also stands in danger of being beguiled by Satan. Indwelling spirit is our guarantee that we shall draw strength from study of the Word. It is part of the armory of God our Redeemer Lord has put at our disposal. It is with which we overcome the world. Instead what do we see in a phenomenon of modern times? Prosperity theology is a sign of it. This feel-good Christianity in which having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof reveals what spirit is working in them. Gift of God is indeed provided for the whole world (whosoever believes in him Jn.3:16) but we are to make sure we are indeed the elect. The over-comers are the saints foreordained for glory and it is what St Paul qualifies as ‘mystery of his will’. This is the efficacy of the atoning work of Jesus Christ whose fulness stamps us as such. We are through him part of Alpha and Omega.

Benny

(text a reprint from Guide to His Word)

Calvinism in America

“For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship–and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. (Ac.17:23-NIV)”

Luther’s protest movement in Germany only recently marked 500th anniversary. Equally important was the emergence of another sect which can well be a Christian equivalent to the pagans St Paul addressed in the verse quote here above; and it created a troublesome facet to the body of Christian thought. After all Calvin was an accidental theologian and reformer who had a troublesome relationship with his father. He originally chose a career in law but had a prick of conscience after the death of his sire.

‘While Lutheranism was largely confined to parts of Germany and to Scandinavia, Calvinism spread into England,  Scotland, France, the Netherlands, the English-speaking colonies of North America, and parts of Germany and central Europe. This expansion began during Calvin’s lifetime’. (www.britannica.com)

  • A merciful God, however, took pity on man and sent his Son to redeem some of the damned. No man was deserving of such grace, but God freely offered salvation to an unspecified number (thought to be very small) of sinners. These fortunate individuals were known as the Elect; their fate was determined by God before their births (predestination) and was irreversible.

Calvin’s appalling ignorance of the nature of God as revealed by the Spirit and of the role of the Son would sow great mischief. It went against sense and truth of God’s Will. By his lack of spiritual discernment he made Jesus Christ a lie. “All things were created by him…for him /And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.(Col.1:16-17)”. In the next verse we read that “For it pleased the Father that in him  should all fulness dwell. Against this categorical statement what does limited Atonement signify? His confusion to determine where his will got in and where God’s Will glossed over since then would haunt his followers. Naturally Calvinism cast fogginess of his own mind and obscured God’s eternal word and fed a witches brew sort of, on their followers in America and elsewhere.  Sternness of expression and severity in judgment does not make a Christian who trusts in a merciful God. ‘Make your calling and election sure’ we are taught. But our peace of mind comes from the assurance that Jesus Christ came and died for you and me. Learn to live as taught of our Savior Lord and no more such a question of election would come to trouble us. This is how I look at it.

Whereas what does Calvinism do? “No one knew who was among the saved. It was commonly accepted by many Calvinists that saintly behavior was a sign that a person was a member of the elect, but doctrine taught that good conduct could not “win” salvation for anyone. God had decided that matter long ago. On the other side of the coin, it was almost universally believed among Calvinists that a life of dissipation was a sure sign of damnation.

Such a system of beliefs exerted a mixed impact on society. Good conduct was encouraged because many people, perhaps unconsciously, wanted to convince themselves that they were among the elect. However, there were negative influences from Calvinism as well. Anxiety was high in these communities as anguished believers contemplated their fates. There also was a rather constant and unpleasant interest in one’s neighbors’ activities. Comfort was found by observing the moral failures of others and concluding that they were no doubt among the damned. Do we not see activism of the Evangelicals in the US drew muscle historically as well as primed by a feel good conviction of being the elect?

The Calvinists shared with the Lutherans a dependency on Scripture to discern God’s word, but the nature of that word was the subject of great dispute. Luther had taught that salvation was based on faith and rejected the Calvinistic conception of predestination. The Calvinists insisted on an austere society governed by theocrats (as Calvin helped to establish in Geneva); Lutheran communities were more accepting and forgiving. Both the Calvinists and Lutherans would be at odds with later, more emotionally charged Christian sects, in which each group (and sometimes each individual) would interpret Scripture.

Calvinism would have a great impact on the development of colonial America, especially in the New England region, where the so-called Reformed churches(puritan and Huguenot elements were already dominant before the new nation came to birth.(Ack:http://www.u-s-history.com/)

Benny

Caribou- watercolor

This is a poem written by my grand daughter

“You are a force of nature,
a child of the universe”
But so are natural disasters
and I can safely say
that I am more of an earthquake
than a light summer rain.

Emma-Lidwij

You can follow her poems on Instagram.
under her name: emmalidewij.

The Bible is a God document. When we speak of it as inspiration of God it is understood that the Holy Spirit has had a role in making the Book for our instruction. Instruction in righteousness to be precise.

My thesis for both Marginalia and the Immanuel Factor are consistent. Jesus Christ is the centre of gravity in the narrative account no matter whether the narrative is approached from that of God the Father or of the Son.

The task of the Spirit is however to create a mode, on the same rationale as the parables of Jesus. Parable can be taken for a narrative. Literal interpretation of the Scripture similarly serves a purpose but in order to be instructed in righteousness one has to be inspired, meaning one discern it spiritually.

Having explained the purpose of a mode let me say such a mode shall have different layers in its significance. Symbols for example invest in natural objects the power to double for heavenly realities: not the objects themselves but the spiritual aura it casts about is what the Spirit aims at. These are spiritually discerned. Then there are also substitutionary symbols of which we shall discuss here.

The Holy Spirit works as a Herald, Paraclete, Counsellor and one who leads a believer since he is the Spirit of truth. In whichever capacity his narrative account is true and validated by the Power and Wisdom of God.

What is a sign?

For anyone who reads through the Scripture it shall become apparent that a sign is quiet something else than in its normal usage. A rainbow is a natural phenomenon and it can be explained as such. But when God sets a bow in the cloud its significance changes altogether. After he judged the earth he makes a covenant with Noah and ‘as a token between me and the earth (Ge.9:13)’ he sets the rainbow for all to see. Here was a sign, a token. What does it signify?

A sign stands for the sovereignty of God and as such it reveals certain aspects of his godhead. By bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly he made an example of his wrath. St Peter while touching upon it tells that he made an example of the consequences of living ungodly as they did. Only eight persons including Noah were delivered from the deluge (2 Pe.2; 5-6). A sign therefore brings to our remembrance of his judgment. He assured Noah that the covenant was with him ‘and with your seed after you (Ge.9:9).’ Having made the covenant he said, “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember…(9:16).” God is omnipotent and his Wisdom and Power are far beyond our comprehension. When he remembers it is understood it is not in the usual sense of the word. There is no absent-mindedness or forgetting. The sign is lifted out of its natural context to indicate his mercy. Proof of it was the eight delivered out of the flood.

Whenever signs are employed it indicates God’s mercy as well as judgment. Take the case of Prophet Ezekiel. When God gives him charge as witness to the people he has to lay on the left side according to the number of days it is significant for the iniquity of Israel shall be substituted in that symbol. (Ez.4:4-6). His action is emblematic. An emblem is willed by God to indicate events willed by Him to prick the national consciousness of Israel. Substitutionary symbol of Ezekiel to lie in so many days as to represent a period is an exception from his ministry as a minister of God. This is made more clear from the example of the Prophet Hosea. The book attributed to the prophet covers the events from 753-715 B.C.

At a period when their wickedness was peaking God commanded Prophet Hosea to speak to the people. This was an era of dramatic change for the twin kingdoms of Israel and Judah as well as for the surrounding nations of the ancient Near East. In the case of Prophet Hosea we read that Lord commanded the prophet thus: “Go take unto thee a wife of whoredoms…for the land hath committed great whoredom (Hos.1:2-3).” As a sign the prophet’s choice has to be completely in obedience to God’s command. Who shall determine the choice of the sign but God? What man does as a sign is according to will of God. He or she is accountable only to God. What it boils down to is this: God shall judge according to His measure. Any human yardstick is imperfect. God struck Miriam with leprosy over her controversy with Moses. She judged Moses for taking the Kush woman to wife. One may ask: why did not God punish Aaron? He was in his priestly office a sign, a symbol for God. (Ex.4:15).

 

Now we shall examine two apostles who doubled as substitutionary symbols: Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot .Jesus Christ knew that Simon Peter was vulnerable and he reveals to him during the Last Supper. “Simon, Simon! Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you…(Lk. 22:31-32). It is clear that he is referring to his role after he is resurrected.

Let us see Peter as a substitutionary symbol: he had to fulfil what Jesus had predicted of the one who would deny him thrice that night. Also significant is his succeeding verse: “When thou art converted strengthen thy brother (vs.31).” He had to fulfil the traditional role as an apostle. Where Apostle Peter overcame the temptation Judas Iscariot fell. Did not Jesus foresee the role of Judas Iscariot as on of the twelve and the one who would betray him? Foreknowledge of God comes into his selection of instruments to reveal his sovereignty.

Jesus was aware of his role as substitutionary symbol. “…The Son of man indeed goeth as it is written of him; but woe to that the man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born (Mk.14:21).” A clue to this we have in the Gospel of John and during the Last Supper we read that Jesus turned to Judas and said, “What thou doest, do quickly (Jn.13:17). He was referring to the symbolic role whereby the Word was to be fulfilled. Against this his (Judas’) fall owed to his covetousness that led him step by step to distance from the Master and lack of sympathy for his kingdom of Heaven. In his service he discovered he was more realist than believe in an idea that his master stood for. Having betrayed his master he realized to his abject dismay his conscience was all too real. His suicide rounded off the Word concerning his substitutionary symbolism.

The Immanuel Factor is available through Amazon.com.

Benny

Pact to the Devil- Church mayhem

When a mass shooting happens in a small town like Sutherland Springs, Texas, everyone knows a victim. “Time for worship turns to horror,” says the headline in the San Antonio Express-News. One of the locals thinks the town will heal, but it will take time. He said, “For this to happen in a little country town with 300 people, it’s inconceivable,” he says. “You kind of expect it in big cities. Not here.” When trouble erupts it can be anywhere but the tragedy is that no one sees beyond its effect. Why?

Unfortunately Christians in the US have been since late 70s very much riding the tailwind of political parties of which Pat Robertson is pre-eminent.

CNN has this interesting story about Pat Robertson in their international edition of Jan.13,2010 “Pat Robertson, the evangelical Christian who once suggested God was punishing Americans with Hurricane Katrina, says a “pact to the devil” brought on the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

Officials fear more than 100,000 people have died as a result of Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti.

Robertson, the host of the “700 Club,” blamed the tragedy on something that “happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it.”

The Haitians “were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever,” Robertson said on his broadcast Wednesday. “And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.’ True story. And so, the devil said, ‘OK, it’s a deal.'”

Pat Robertson once seriously wanted to run for President. His political aspirations are not to be curbed. In Jn.6:15 we read thus: “When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king, He departed again onto a mountain alone-KJ21″. He never wanted to do anything outside the will of his Father. He knew from where he had come and where he was going. Unlike the ChristianityUSA he did not want honor from man.

After all the prophecies concerning Messiah were all too real for the orthodox Jews. They were like the Evangelical right or Moral Majority of today. They were too sure of their learning and place as pillars of the community. But they were looking for Messiah to come in glory and lead them free from the yoke of the gentile Rome. Are the ilk of Jerry Falwell, Joel Osteen or Pat Robertson any different than they? When they preach prosperity theology they are more like the Pharisees of the time of Jesus. So the Jewish nation got it all horribly wrong. How wrong was it? In AD70 blood would run through the streets of Jerusalem and their pride of Temple worship will be trampled on as some filthy rags. All because they did not know the Anointed One when he came as servant-King. This is exactly happening right before our eyes.

” After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Pat Robertson suggested that God was angry over abortion. “I was reading… a book that was very interesting about what God has to say in the Old Testament about those who shed innocent blood… Have we found we are unable somehow to defend ourselves against some of the attacks that are coming against us, either by terrorists or now by natural disaster? Could they be connected?”(CBS News)

Foolish Pat. The evangelicals in the USA have been aborting godly seed with their pernicious but so seductive theology, still a travesty of the teachings of Jesus. They have a beam in their eye yet they are castigating less fortunate in circumstances than they for the mote in their eyes. Are they to sit judge over LGBT issues or abortion? God alone is the judge. By usurping the office of God what is their goal?

benny