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“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
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Jesus compares one  who hears him but does not do accordingly to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.  Such are the churches where believers come to worship. It is a house but not the church Jesus had in mind. (Mt.16:18) And the rains descended so did the floods but what chance has a house built upon the sand? Visitations of disasters sometimes are reminders of man’s foolishness. No church shall survive but the church built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ. There is only one Church and whatever we are building are not for ourselves but to be found when He reveals it according to the will of God. Jesus as the Word made flesh has given us the indwelling Spirit with which to build according to exact fit. Thus we build up our lives. He who searches our hearts shall know who we are. Where we fit in is for the Lord to determine but our blessedness is that we are connected to the Body and the Head is our Christ Jesus.  They boy whose five loaves and two fishes fed so many in  the eyes of Jesus Christ is as vital as the work of St Paul. Small or little,- the fall of sparrow is before God who created it.  Two mites of the widows are of far greater value than megachurches with out love of Christ. Why? She gave all she had to live upon. Hypocrisy Ananias an Sapphira lives still.

In Christ Jesus we are all His workmanship so are we reflecting the love of Christ in our service as well in our being?  When we see the mega churches and TV preachers all vying to be seen and wondered at on the earth we need to keep our wits about. They have their places as we have our place. The Bible is very clear. God is not mocked.

2.

The Scripture is a God document. As such it is ‘from God to man’. The Holy Spirit set the divine Will and its Fulfillment in human speech not for God but for man. If there be Aliens the Scripture would be transposed to a medium that they can profit from it. “And there are also many things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written everyone…even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written (Jn.21:25)  ” John’s testimony is true. The Spirit’s preface in the vs.24 ought to make us aware who is behind the gospels.

The Spirit is the Prime Mover and he is the Spirit of truth. I need not seek Calvin or Luther to tell me what Love of God should mean. Luther sided with the Establishment in 1526, It merely gave the Nazi moment a handle to make the German Protestant churches give Mein Kampf  same honor as the Bible. When I see the manner false teachers now tout Prosperity theology I see the rack and ruin left by Calvin.  Do they sound like having the mind of Christ? Do they practice what Jesus taught, enjoining us to do?  The church is the body of Jesus Christ. Do we see it in the US or in Europe? When the one percent of the nation has got the wealth in America and the prosperity theology drives the believers it is a sign. To compound the evil they have even taken the place of God! They judge the lifestyles of others less fortunate than they in circumstances. They remind me of the rich dives in the parables. Never mind the sores licked by dogs. (Has not your wealth blinded you? Within are many sins because love of God has gone cold. You may dine with your fellow travelers, brethren of selfsame strip. You may be far right or of Moral majority. When you damn abortion and LGBT it is all covered in the media. But do you think you will escape judgment of God?) The first epistle of Peter speaks about judgment of God and it must begin with the his House (1Pe.1). When I read Hurricanes Harvey,  Irma making their landfall I fear that the worse is yet to come.

My, my,- the churches are now political! People like Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell endorse their candidate but is it for the glory of God or for Mammon? . Their circumstances are flashy and their prosperity is as unchecked as the growth of cancerous cells in the body, Their public image is persuasive and their wealth beguiling, swallowing up unsuspecting believers **Are they different from the church at Thyatira? Doctrine of Jezebel was authorized by King Ahab (or the President in keeping with the present times) and it achieved results. Political clout of these false teachers similarly shapes the trends so churches are in a manner of speaking hand in glove with political parties of the land.

What doctrines you follow make who you are. Calvin’s wrong understanding was  behind Limited Atonement a cardinal virtue of Calvinism. Think of such heresies of Calvin any other morphing across the centuries into what we get now. Europe at the time of Calvin was changing.  A new class,- the mercantile class had became a force to reckon with following the Age of Exploration. Calvin was aware of the role money played in shaping the ethics of Christianity and it has been so. You shall see how a slight disconnect with the Savior Lord can become a travesty of Core values of Jesus? Like the weak copy in DNA owing to some mutation his TULIP was flawed. It hurts.

3.

The Bible is inerrant. Naturally the narrative carries symbols, signs, allegories and other literary devices that are solely for our benefit. Purpose of the Bible is clear: any one who reads and believes in the scriptures may be made perfect, being thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti.3: 16-17).

Benny

Note:

**How Christianity in the US has become political since the late 1970s is a clear demonstration of the above. The many labels of the Right wing evangelical movement found their party to keep their Protestant identity. Into the 1960 election, Catholics and evangelicals worked against each other, as evangelicals mobilized their forces to defeat Catholics Al Smith in 1928 and they tried again without success  against John F Kennedy in 1960. Secularization came to be seen by Protestants as the biggest threat to Christian values, however, and by the 1980s Catholic bishops and evangelicals had begun to work together on issues such as abortion. Here we see churches once set themselves on foundations other than Christ the Head can multiply by momentum that works by the Prince of the power of the air. These children of Balaam readily speak of Christian values. They have a form of godliness but denying the power of God. It is not mere coincidence that they backed Donald Trump in 2016. According to a an article ‘Trump—a thrice-married, biblically illiterate sexual predator(The New Republic-March 20, 2017) and is it because Trump will make America to their liking or because His example shall fill churches in the land with all the believers ? (ack: wikipedia)

There is only one faith; there is only one body.One God and Father of all (Ep.4:1-6)

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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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Trinity is beyond human comprehension. Three personalities but one substance like fire: God is described as the Father of lights, Spirit symbolised by tongues of fire in the day of Pentecost and Jesus Christ the Son as light of the world. What is significance of atoning work of Jesus? He reconciled the world unto God. This man can understand. This is only way we can make sense of the concept of Trinity. Those who deny triune God and insist on a monotheistic God are like the five blind men of Varanasi. They have their Word which does not add up for want of vision.

benny

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I have been busy with a book which I am glad to say is finished. I do not intend to publish it my self but with a publisher. I cannot say any more than the book is a concise guide to the scriptures and squarely built up on the Word. I am happy with  three months  of concentrated effort. I shall be more happy if I can polish it further. After a week I hope to take up that part.

The book has 49500 words and for any one who wants to study the Bible on sound doctrinal principles it ought to serve the purpose.

benny

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Outside perception which is natural and cast in the human image is an all inclusive world that I as a Christian would call as kingdom of heaven. Different sets of rules work in each world that is permitted but not accepted for ever. In the age of grace we need to realize serving God is the door to Kingdom of God and serving Mammon is a trip along the broadway to destruction.

iii

Miracles must be explained as blessings flowing from the greater to the lesser.

In the midst of winter my wife and I packed peanuts along the branches in our front garden for birds to peck at. (It is like food reserves stashed in the Arctic regions for Arctic explorers to help themselves in need.) I wanted to observe myself how many kinds of birds would pass their way through. Sure enough the birds came down flapping their wings to gorge on the precious food. It struck me that they must be thinking it a miracle to find peanuts spouting from birch saplings! I know where these peanuts come from and how much the local garden center charges for each. For the birds not having this knowledge the sight must seem incredible.

In the gospel of St. Matthew we read of a miracle of Jesus. In his earthly ministry he found himself in a desert place. It was late for the crowd who had come to hear Jesus speak find a place to find food. The disciples found the crowd was great that they had no means to provide food for all. Unconcerned their fumbling Jesus said, ’Give ye them food to eat.’ They exercised their reason, ’Shall we go and buy two hundred penny worth of bread?‘ They knew the cost of food but not what Jesus could do. It was for Jesus nothing extraordinary. Five loaves and two fishes he multiplied so each could be fed and there was still left over. Jesus had the means to feed them and also knew when. A miracle was possible because the kingdom of heaven and kingdom of men overlapped when Jesus walked the earth.

Before the Passion Jesus told Peter:’ whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound…’(Mt.16:19) Since Jesus has opened up a way miracles do occur where a need exists and one takes responsible as a servant of the kingdom of heaven. In the Old Testament miracles that Elisha and Elijah performed were as prophets from the Kingdom of God.

To sum: miracles as we perceive them on earth is but a trifle for those who inhabit the kingdom above. Raising Lazarus from death was a miracle but I do not assume that did give him immortality. Lazarus of Bethany would have died like every other. It was an exercise in faith and Jesus worked a miracle for the benefit of others demonstrating his own approaching death and the resurrective power that would lift him to his Father. Jesus truly loved the dead man and it connected his own death and the life after death through Lazarus  for all mankind. A miracle that increases the faith of a believer is a means to turn him towards the world beyond. When Jesus was accused of working miracles by the power of Beelzebub he said,”If I cast out.. by the spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.” (Mt. 12:28) Any other way or for any other purpose if a miracle is performed I would consider it as suspect.

benny

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