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Archive for the ‘Bible study’ Category

The Bible does not merely record history of Israel, of the Gentiles or form any treatise that smacks of human philosophy following of which man may be led to higher mode or sphere of action. Everything needful for life and godliness is there. My intent in writing Marginalia was to prove that there is much more to it. Firstly the Bible is the book of life or life+ and abundant life to be precise. It is not for me to tell what is wrong with any other man’s Bible Study helps. I can authoritatively say that it was written under inspiration of God from beginning to the end.  I can also vouch for this: Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible establishes inerrancy of the Scripture. Without getting the aspect of time any interpretation should fail.

Time is an important aspect and it brings the office of the Holy Spirit into the trinity. Before I go into it let me briefly give how the Holy Spirit has dealt with the element of time in terms of the Lord Almighty JHWH.

The Lord God is eternal while man is not. Hence the Spirit in the role of paraclete gives us two aspects by which we may benefit. We have to know the will of God and equally important is that we do them. The validity of the Trinity is in terms of man whose blessedness can only come from fulfilling the two conditions. A Jew who is circumcised bears it in his body as a seal. Notwithstanding his pride in monotheism is null without fulfilling the Will. For he does not understand in any meaningful way what it is. Similarly when a Moslem speaks his religion is peace he cannot show any worthwhile evidences to support his claim. One need only look what goes on in Yemen to prove my point. When Jesus came to the world in due time it was according to the will of his Father (Jn.3:16) He fulfilled the Will which was perfect. “For by one sacrifice he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (He.10:14

Coming back to the trinity what does the Spirit tells us? God as the divine Will expressed and God as its fulfillment are two offices of the self same substance. God the Father and God the Son are like two sides of the same coin. Jesus Christ as Word made flesh came to the world to fulfill the Will of the Father. Having done he has set himself as the way and life. Jesus Christ could therefore say, “I and my Father are one (Jn.10:30)

The Spirit in setting down the Will and Fulfillment of the Father and the Son makes the Scripture user-friendly as it were. Man shall benefit from example since God the Son took upon the form of man and showed the quality and nature of divine Intent and how it can be put in practice. Grace of God is the royal highway connecting man with the Lord almighty. Where it begins as Thought it was fulfilled as Son of man or the word of God. It is this fulness of God we have and its practical application makes our weak frame and action meet the divine Intent.  It makes the works of man to none effect. Reciting a litany of do’s and don’ts is as misplaced as fasting and a regimen of dietary laws. These are man’s best and meaningless before God who remains in unapproachable light. Instead grace and faith freely flows towards us so we shall have abundant life .

The scripture is for man and it is God document. The Spirit never draws attention to himself instead recasts two narratives from the office of the Father-Son relationship to a single narrative, which is the Bible in a nutshell.

 The Spirit sets timeframes for the Triune God

In transposing divine Will the office of the Holy Spirit has to look to the finite time as well as Time according to God’s calendar. One may well ask what is the purpose?

It is the task of the Spirit as the helper, parakletos to convict the world of sin ‘because they believe not in me (Jn.16:9)’ and to provide demonstrable proof of the divinity and nature of the Son of man. Thus we, while interpreting any scriptural passage need stick to one simple rule: Jesus Christ is the centre of gravity to which the time element of the Scripture must agree. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (He.13:8).” Whether we consider Core Will or a specific time element in divine Will this rule shall not change. He is our helper in correctly dividing the word. (While our Lord Savior assured of his role as Paraclete we need remember we have in heaven him as a ‘helper (Jn.14:16)’ fulfilling the same role as the Holy Spirit.

In setting the sun to create day and night it is plain that it follows earth time frame.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night…(Ge.1:14). It speaks for earth time.

Now the rest of the same verse, “…And let them be for signs… and let them be for lights (vs.15)” The Spirit is not merely recording natural phenomena of sun and the moon. It speaks for God’s Time. As signs and symbols it must serve Core Will that is divine Will covering heaven and the earth. In which brief earthly ministry of the Son and our blessedness after our death must figure. Consequently the greater light and the lesser light are symbols. Glory of the Father, which is in the Son, is associated with every believer.

Holy Spirit also uses typology in order to reconcile different timescales. Adam is one Joseph is another. The Holy Spirit uses Patriarch Joseph as a lynchpin for saving the nation of Israel at the time of a great famine. It is part of the narrative where God’s covenant with Abraham runs on finite time. Alongside the Holy Spirit also has another purpose: Joseph has to be set as a forerunner of Jesus in Core Will.

It is thus we need understand the time element in the Bible. In short the Spirit reconciles two timeframes so narrative is nothing but truth from whichever standpoint it is seen.

 Two-in-One Problem

This problem involves our physical being following a certain period of time on the earth and having to account for it in terms of our actions before the throne of God. When we accept Lord Jesus as our Lord Saviour we do so in obedience to the divine Will. We avoided being lumped together with children of wrath and we escaped judgment. We are thus straddling heaven and earth at the same time.

Element of time prior to the time of Patriarchs and eschatological time is not historical time but Time, which the Holy Spirit reconstructs into a narrative where Melchisedec, the king of Salem is a prime example. ‘Without father, without mother, without descent having neither beginning of days, nor end of life (He.7: 1-3)’ he is a symbol of God’s Will, like the sweep of a swell merging into the turgid waters of history of nations. What is the Spirit telling us? He is pointing to the coming of the Messiah. Jesus in his priestly office offers peace, quality of which is not as the world gives (Jn.14: 27, Is.57: 20-21). King of Salem and Messiah-here we see two different conditions coincident in historical time (Ro.5: 21). One signifies the all-inclusive peace from God and the other the blessings under the Millennial reign. Both are in agreement as to Jesus Christ.

What are our dreams? They illustrate the same two-in-one problem. Dreams are a visual scrapbook, which defies time frame. One sees people dead and gone as though they were not, and they serve at times to warn us. We read that the Spirit in a vision forbade St Paul and Timothy from proceeding to Asia (Ac.16:6). Similarly dreams are the medium by which God forewarns us to reconsider certain course of action that we intend to take.

Dreams also hold a definite message from God as in the case King Nebuchadnezzar. In second year of his reign he had an unusual dream which having seen, on waking next morning, completely forgot it. “…Spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him…(Dan.2: 1).” No seer or         magician in all his realm could tell him what he had seen but Daniel could (Dan. 2:19). The Holy Spirit revealed it to him. Dreams in the Book of Daniel have specific time frame but also belong to Time. Does it not?

By the same token shall we reconstruct our position using the above? Our salvation in time and place finds its way in the backwash into Alpha and Omega, the first and the last of the divine Will. While we were under condemnation according to the earthly time, because of faith we are deemed the blessed in Core Will. We were under condemnation at one end and also we are justified as blessed at the other. Time and now are reconciled by God the Son. ‘Now is the day of salvation’. In Jesus Christ the problem has been solved.

For those who care to know of the word of God and benefit from it I suggest Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible through Amazon.com. Both paperback and epub (Kindle, Nook etc.,)

benny

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The Bible is written by inspiration of God. Holy Spirit as the facilitator. Spirit of truth who shall succeed in glorifying God.

The books are written by various authors but the self-same Spirit setting down the narrative from God.

God is One: One substance of the Lord Almighty has two personalities while the narratives are set in human speech. The Spirit shall never speak for himself.

Thus the triune God exists in terms of the monotheistic God where Trinity is in a mode.

When we consider a term ‘mode‘ it is in the sense of transposing the Invisible God whom no one has seen and who lives in unapproachable light(1 Ti.6:16). Jesus Christ is the image of the Invisible God. So whatever we may know of God we understand through the prism of Son. Significance of the prism is given at the end separately.

God is qualified as the Will and Jesus Christ as its fulfilment. These are tagged by the Holy Spirit as God the Father and God the Son respectively. The Spirit in setting these into two narrative lines has created a mode so the truth is established from whichever standpoint is seen. Deu.19:15; Mt.18:16; 2 Cor.13:1

Mode is necessary considering we are the end user and in setting in human speech and literary devices we are familiar with, the Spirit has transposed the heavenly matters for our benefit.

Premise of the Scripture

From whichever narrrative the reader approaches the Bible there is only one centre of gravity.

Jesus Christ the Son.

In this post I shall only give some examples to show wherever the Spirit describes the nature of the Father the same is attributed to the Son. God as the Healer is how Jesus Christ healed the sick and demon possessed.

YAHWEH-JIREH [yah-way-ji-reh]: “The Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14) – the name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

YAHWEH-RAPHA [yah-way-raw-faw]: “The Lord Who Heals” (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning iniquities.

YAHWEH-NISSI [yah-way-nee-see]: “The Lord Our Banner” (Exodus 17:15), where banner is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

YAHWEH-M’KADDESH [yah-way-meh-kad-esh]: “The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy” (Leviticus 20:8Ezekiel 37:28) – God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, can cleanse His people and make them holy.

YAHWEH-SHALOM [yah-way-shah-lohm]: “The Lord Our Peace” (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him. (ack:got questions.org/names of God)

Each of these could be well applied to the Son during his earthly ministry.

The Spirit also has left clear indication the validity of the Scripture as two narratives. However blessedness of the Scripture is only by accepting the Lordship of the Son

Here are some of the parallel passages:

Psalms 18:2-30,Ps.31 Repeated in 2 Sa.22:2-51

Mt12:31-32

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

In the above quote from the gospel of St Matthew it is evident that the Son of man giving his own: Wherefore I say unto you. The same verse is repeated which is obviously attributed to his Father.

Again we see parallelism in the verses quoted below:

Jn.6:38-40

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jn.6: 51

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

In order to keep clear of wrong interpretation it is necessary to determine the drift of any passage in terms of the core value of the narrative body. Jesus Christ in whom all fulness dwells and for anyone to come to the measure God has willed this approach is what the Spirit has laid out for a believer..(Col.2:8; eph.3:19)

Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible and The Immanuel Factor are available through Amazon.com

benny

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Symbols

Symbols are the means adopted by the Spirit to reconcile variable time scales in the Bible. Both Time and earth time of man must reconcile. Whosoever believes in the death and resurrection of the Son is of an altogether different time scale. So the Spirit has taken both narratives from the Father-Son relationship and held as one by means of symbols.

So what do we mean by a symbol? An easily recognizable object or thing is lifted from its natural context to underpin nature of God or man. Thus to indicate long suffering nature and goodness of God the Spirit uses rain as a symbol. By same token when God withholds rain it manifests divine disfavor. Lamb is another. When Jesus exhorts his followers to be perfect he speaks how He makes the sun rise on the good and evil alike. Grass and lilies of the field are also examples. In short each material object holds an ancillary spiritual significance. Manna is a symbol for bread from heaven and also specifically refers to the body of Christ Jesus broken for our salvation.

Let us consider our own body with that of the Son of man. It is the image of the earthy. In the Common Prayer when we recite ‘ashes to ashes and dust to dust’ during the funeral service we are recalling the natural end of our body. Before Jesus Christ would taste death for everyone in his body God had prepared one for him. It existed in the Will before the foundations of the world began. It was but a symbol, indicating the eternal aspect of his Will. The Lamb slain was the emblem as the brazen serpent in the wilderness foreshadowing the vicarious death of God the Son. The body with which the Son of man came to the world was natural that we read that he experienced hunger and thirst as every other. God had willed God the Son would perfect his Will in his body but the symbol would never alter. It is a symbol applying to us and for eternity. Therein we trace what God had determined concerning us through the Son (Ro.8:29)”.

 

For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col.3:3). This is how we consider our body as having died to the world and its corruption. The body shall die once but on a symbolic plane it shall continue as ever because it is hid with Christ in God. In order to make a distinction between the two we shall consider the body of our spiritual life that oversees our newness of life is our inner man.

The companion volume to Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible

benny

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A companion volume to Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible is available.  For details follow the link  https://www.createspace.com/7618327

benny

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Time and space makes no sense to God: his omnipresence and eternal power make time as would have conceived in his mind. Thus the will or intent of God represents the Lord Almighty. “Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God is one (De.6:4)” Creative account of God for example is outward manifestation of the Will in a series of events. Jesus Christ was with God from the beginning (Jn1:3).” He represents fulfilment.Jesus said, “I and my Father are one (Jn.10:30).” Rightly so. God is one but in the narrative the Spirit keeps two narrative accounts of the Will as conceived and as fulfilled by the Father-Son concept.

The Spirit found it necessary to make these two strands as one in which signs, symbols, typology, allegory parables all have their place. One may ask why a veil over the body of narrative: spiritual mysteries are to be understood spiritually. In short the role of the Spirit is that of laser light. By literal interpretation like the scattered light leads a casual reader into many loose ends. This has caused great many controversies.

 

Before the foundation of the world Jesus was designated as a lamb slain (Re.13:6;1 Pe.1:20) So Jesus has a role outside the earth time. How does the Holy Spirit reconcile these two time scales? One speaks of Jesus as messenger of God using the earth time and the second time scale uses Time where he serves as fulfilment of the Will of God. When we read of so many days required for completing Creation Account think of it as Day encrypted as in computer jargon. Day of the Lord for example. It is a kangaroo word carrying sequence of events.

In Luke 3:38 Adam is son of God. Adam was created a living soul by the breath of God. Besides the Spirit makes him an antitype of Jesus Christ. There is a time element which runs on earth time. Thus God’s blessings to Abraham runs on earth time. Jesus was with God and nothing God did without him (Jn.1:3) Jesus as the Son of God runs on Time, God’s calendar. In order to make the position of God (the Father-Son concept) Holy Spirit makes it distinct from Jesus (coming to the earth in due time as Son of man). Towards this purpose  typology is used. Thus Adam, Joseph etc;, are antitypes of Jesus. Ro.5:19 makes this clear. Compare this with Jesus who also is qualified as second Adam. First Adam represents children of disobedience and Jesus as the second Adam represent blessedness of children of God in eternity. This is precisely the reason why cherubim with flaming swords turned away Adam and Eve. The tree of life is only for one the Son and whom he shall set up in eternity as signs and wonders.(is.8:18;He.2:13-15).”Behold the man is become one of us(Ge.3:22)” makes sense. Both sons cannot have access to it. In the city of God the same tree of life bearing 12 manner of fruits are for healing of nations. There is no more curse and in that case what healing are we discussing about? Remember the stone cut without hands in the vision of Daniel? It filled the entire earth. In eternity the blessed saints are kings and priests: their ministry is for healing of nations of the earth; they also minister to their sickness by the Word. These are the children of light since no sun is found there, These testify the glory of God.(Rev.22:1-3)

Jesus Christ is the centre of gravity to which all scriptural passages must fall in as many sheaves in the field bowed down to Joseph’s sheaves. Moses thus is second to Jesus. Moses disobeyed God by smiting the rock in the second instance. Jesus died but once. By his disobedience he could not enter the Promised Land He thus is a sign for the nation of Israel whose falling off made the promise to Abraham fulfil. ‘In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed(Ge.12:3).

Finally when the Spirit uses terms as in the beginning or in the end time we need to understand these run of Time and not earth time. Melchizedek is Prince of peace and forerunner of Jesus and his priestly office. As Messiah Jesus draws the believer to the blessedness of eternity. Without getting the time right we cannot fully understand the uniqueness of God document. The Bible unlike any other. Marginalia a concise guide to the Bible covers all these. It is just the primer for any student of the Bible. For those who wish to  know God more the Bible is essential. It is written by inspiration of God. Without inspiration one reads. In order to benefit grace and faith must come into play. Both are free gifts.  Whosoever shall be blessed must accept the Bible as God document. It is the bottom line.

Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible available:

Paperback:

Vol.1 148 pages  priced $7.00

Vol-2  265 pages   $14.25

e-books/kindle available

Vol. 1 120 pages $3.85

Vol-2 200 pages $5.06  Amazon/Kobo/Barnes&Noble/google play, Apple i-book etc.,

 

benny

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The Bible is written by inspiration of God. Inspiration of God is not lost but words in the Scripture in transmission can be misunderstood or make weak impression. The reader of the Bible requires the self-same inspiration in order to change his scepticism. His mind-set is often shaped by his cultural background and unbelieving society. No church is the Church founded on the risen Christ. Each church is like a workshop engaged in spiritual transformation of souls who have accepted Jesus Christ as the saviour.  When some sects do not accept atonement paid by Jesus Christ as full and covers all what shall we make of it?

If Calvinism has underpinned the capitalist society of the USA, fine. Virtue of a dollar gives rise to industry and wealth. When it has given rise to 1% of the nation cornering national wealth (and consequently leaving great many to institutionalized indigence) we ned wonder how far the wrong interpretation of the Word has played a role. Without giving Jesus Christ as focus to which all scriptural passages must fall to we are building false values. Industry of wealth where the word of God does not fully reflects is as good as coming from mammon. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Those who preach prosperity theology and made themselves prominent are heard. Their reward is only for now and this world. When these TV preachers and false preachers promote values of Trump and narrow ideology of the right we may be sure how the word has been falsified. Such is devil’s trick when Christians have been fed with interpretation of the Bible where Christ is no longer the core value.

One shall never know when Jesus Christ shall come but the signs are becoming clearer and peace is eluding the nations around the world. It is time to know the truth.

Marginalia in 2 vol. A concise guide to the Bible

Author: Benny Thomas, the Netherlands

Tags: inerrancy, sound doctrines, Faith,

 

Paperback:

Vol.1 148 pages  priced $7.00

Vol-2  265 pages   $14.25

e-books/kindle available

Vol. 1 120 pages $3.85

Vol-2 200 pages $5.06  Amazon/Kobo/Barnes&Noble/google play, Apple i-book etc.,

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“…But made himself of no reputation, and took upon the form of …in the likeness of men…wherefore God also hath highly exalted him….(Phil.2:7-11)”

In Christian theology ‘kenosis’ describes the role Jesus took on in order to do the complete will of God. He took the form of Servant and not as God. He laid aside that aspect in order to do the Will of the Father completely. Thus it is his human side we need focus on in order to appreciate this emptying process. We might say ‘Less is More if I have God in heaven’ is the motto what every Christian ought to aspire for. For those who preach prosperity theology and live as a celeb it is certain they have reaped their reward already. We are Christians because we trusted he lived as Son of man that is a good example to live by. If Jesus chose to give shape the Will of his Father (Phili.2:7) and not his own  we can also make a go of it here on earth. We have the model in him and faith that we have him in heaven.

In making himself no reputation he had the Father witnessing him to the world that he was his beloved Son.He was from above that made angels also interested party to watch the outcome. We read of angels ministering unto Jesus after temptation(Mt.4: 11), and it rings true. In growing to maturity in Christian life we need remember that when we are unappreciated by the world we are growing closer to our Saviour who went through this experience himself. Our trials of faith here and now are to show whether our faith be fine gold or fool’s gold.

Christ who once suffered for sins had a purpose: to bring us to God. Jesus says ‘Blessed are ye’, when your reward is denied to you. Mt.5:11.  If we are for a kingdom above and glory of commendation from the Father,  is it not useless to ask the keeper of worldly fame why no handclap from his claque?  The world receives its own. If we cannot be put to any inconvenience on account of being Christians we need check carefully if our faith be really set on the rails of salvation or not. The Bible is a route map that took our Lord to heaven.  We cannot reach there by half half from map that leads elsewhere. He was reviled in life and and also on the cross. He suffered it meekly. For he had made himself as nothing in order to retain God’s good testimony. We are on the earth and yet we have been translated for the heavens as he did. So we are biding our time here as pilgrims. Our conduct therefore calls for a life of separation, at least in mind. We are liberty to handle all things but all are neither convenient nor worth bothering about. Only make sure that we are clear in our conscience. In the epistle of St Peter we see how the world treats us has its corresponding response in heaven(1Pe.3:16)

Know what Jesus said to the Pharisees who wanted him to restrain his disciples? He said, “If these(multitude) should hold peace, the stones would immediately cry out (Lk.19:40).

Jesus set aside his own will. We read instances where God the Father sending help wherever was needed to help him keep his resolve (“The Father hath not left me alone (Jn.8:29) )”, Thus wherever we read of voice from heaven testifying ‘This is is my beloved son’ we can understand why. In the gravest crisis Jesus informs what he held at his disposal (Mt.26:53;Jn.19:11) God the Son but he stuck to his human aspect than escape the ignominious death of the cross. In him was fulfillment of the Will of the Father. He humbled himself or emptied himself thereby assuring salvation to whosoever believed in him….

(Reprinted from Guide to His Word)

Marginalia in 2 vol. A concise guide to the Bible

Author: Benny Thomas, the Netherlands

Tags: inerrancy, sound doctrines, Faith,

 

Paperback:

Vol.1 148 pages  priced $7.00

Vol-2  265 pages   $14.25

e-books/kindle available

Vol. 1 120 pages $3.85

Vol-2 200 pages $5.06  Amazon/Kobo/Barnes&Noble/google play, Apple i-book etc.,

benny

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