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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

Here we are concerned about two aspects of the fall of man.

Glory of God gave, as we have already discussed in the study of Genesis, a shape. The earth was without form but in the creation account of God, this glory gave the earth its form. Consider the  creatures which God brought to Adam and he gave them names. Does it not indicate God considered him as the Alpha male and it was not merely a coincidence. God considered Adam as his steward to minister to the well being of creatures of the air, beasts of burden etc., Here we see him as a forerunner of Jesus who in the fulness of time came as Servant-King. Here we have two aspects of man one as a carnal being and the other as a spiritual emblem of heavenly realities. In order to distinguish between the two we have ‘inner man’ as a distinct reality which no man can escape from. Death similarly is what no man can escape unless one is born again.

Secondly we see  the heavenly realities belong to an overcomer. For this reason Adam was cast out from the Garden so he might not reach out and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. He was ‘dead’ in his inner man.

Now on to our key verse:

“And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil….So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken (Ge.3:22-23-NIV).”

God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and made him a living soul. When Adam disobeyed God death occurred which God had warned him about (Ge. 3:3). So death must have occurred and the Spirit hints about the kind of death that took place. The cherubim with flaming swords forbade Adam (vs.24)., which is an emblem of his inability. He could no longer enjoy his former state of being within the divine Will. He had forfeited his gift and it was his own doing. ‘For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance( Ro.11:29). In the NIV they are irrevocable.

Adam because of the gift from God is deemed the son of God (Lk.3:38). It is on this basis the Holy Spirit builds him as an antitype whereas Jesus Christ is the Type. He is the son over his own house (He.3:6). Having said we can understand why the Lord God says, “Behold the man is become as one of us.”

Inner man

Jesus said, ‘It is the spirit that gives life and flesh profits nothing…(Jn.6:63),’When we consider the born again experience we owe to the Word made flesh so in accepting Jesus by faith we find way back to God. Where Adam lost our new birth allows us to know good and evil according to the Core Will. As an earnest of our inheritance the indwelling Spirit works with our inner man. “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;…Ep.3:16-20; (2 Co.4:16) Earlier we were led by the spirit of man whereby we served our appetites in our flesh and allowed ourselves to be carried about by custom and traditions of the world. White evangelicalism for this reason is carnal and contrary to the divine Will. Our inner man does not depend on sensory inputs but is guided by spirit of truth. To distinguish the spirit of the world and our spiritual experience within, we may characterize our inner man being driven by a dominant force.

Alpha force is the dominant force, ‘the power that worketh in us’ whereby the indwelling Spirit can build us to the fulness of God. Alpha force is not a scriptural term but we use it with caution. Eye of the inner man is single and the light with which it is led by light of the knowledge of the word creates love of Christ as honey in a hive. So much so the born again experience produces fruits of the Spirit.

How does the inner man differs from carnal man?

The Spirit has given us a clear indication from the story of Hannah in the first book of Samuel. “Now Hannah, she spake in her heart: only her lips moved..(1 S.1:13-16).”

Firstly let us recalls the words of Jesus with regards to prayer. The prayer of a heathen has its characteristic. ‘Use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do.’ “For your Father knoweth what things you have need of, before you ask him (Mt.6:7-8).  Inner man makes a case for a child of God and the world shall never fully fathom its outcome until God brings to light. Hannah was thrown in deepest pit of anguish. Her adversary still tormented since she had no insight what her taunts were creating in her rival. But God heard her since the groaning and supplications of her inner man was neither within the control of her adversary or in her direct control. We do not know how we should pray at times since we are very much drawn into agony of the spirit to pray with wisdom. “I am a woman of sorrowful spirit”.  Peace of God, as we read ‘passeth all understanding,’ This is what God has assured his children and it is not what anyone who grandstand before the world can command at will. So those who misuse the word of God for their own glory whether it be prosperity theology or of Belial have got their reward and for us it shall be the peace not as the world gives but what we can appreciate in eternity..

Benny

 

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Wherever we read of God judging whether it be of the old world or the cities of the plains his judgments are partial. Noah and his family, altogether 8 souls were spared from the flood.

“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved to fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men (2Pe.3:7-American KJV)”.What we often miss is that the heavens also are reserved for judgment. Satan is prince of the power of the air among other things. Judgment of heavens shall occur only when Satan is finally consigned to the lake of fire and brimstone (Re.20:10). Prior to this Satan shall be bound for a thousand years. It signals the Millennial Reign where Jesus Christ shall set up his kingdom on the earth. The Spirit while setting down the story of Noah in his ark serves us a foretaste of earthly bliss that no worldly governments could provide. Immediate purpose of the Spirit in setting the narrative account of the Son is to make Noah as a forerunner of Jesus Christ the Messiah-King. Noah is an antitype of the Messiah.

Judgment as we discussed here is only partial. What we may conclude from this is sovereignty of God makes heaven and the earth as one. Similar to the realities of the earth there exists reality of the heaven. Thus whenever God makes a covenant with man we shall see a testimony similarly set up in heaven. Why this must be so? The Word settled in heaven is eternal. It is the constitution of the sovereign God. So much so not a jot or tittle shall pass from it though heaven and the earth pass away (Mt.5:18). Millennial Reign is an event that must occur on the earth in God’s Time. We also see the testimony in heavens in the shape of the four living creatures. They were shown in the vision of John being present in the midst of the throne. “And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (Re.4: 7)”. When God made a covenant with Noah the Spirit would instruct us that it had become a memorial before God. Whether it was Adam or Noah, man’s association with other creations of God are recorded in heaven.

We see before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah he tells thus: “I will go down now, and see whether they (people of S&G) have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me…(Ge.18:21)” Omnipresent God has no need to go on any fact finding mission. The Spirit is, however, referring to this ‘cry’ as a testimony on which his judgment shall be passed. The parable of the Persistent widow (Lk.18:1-8) teaches us the same. God shall execute his judgment certainly in his Time, so no one shall accuse him of neglecting his sovereign Authority.

(text reprinted from Guide to His Word of 27 Jan,18)

Benny

 

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And the Lord Garden planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed (vs.5).

How the Spirit sets down the divine Will and how it is said to be a reality has its own colour. The Adam story as part of the narrative of the Lord God, serves as a symbol. It represents as such for the world.  This presupposes that something else is there what we need look for. The garden in which God put the man is a symbol. Adam is a symbol while garden is a transitional symbol for the holy city. The garden is shadow and the city,  however, is the substance. It is from the standpoint of the Son. This symbolic narrative where the significance of the symbol emerges accordingly from the point of view is inverted symbolism. We saw another example of inverted symbolism in the new heaven and new earth. What the Holy Spirit introduced with the verse one of Genesis ends up as coming from that of the Son.

Thus the Garden is a forerunner for the Church, the city of God New Jerusalem. Adam at the other end is qualified as the last Adam. Both names represent the Son of man. The garden is shadow of the fellowship where the glory of God covered Adam as gold sheathed shittim wood of the ark. Details that flesh out a symbol are not merely intended like window dressing but to convey much more. Thus a believer is not merely a number but light even as God is the Father of lights.

The river that fed the garden reminds us of the world that surrounds it. For this reason the Spirit mentions actual names of the regions it watered. “(Hiddekel)….goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth is Euphrates.”

From the above the aim of inverted symbolism refers to any symbol connecting the Father and the Son to establish their nature through the various events where they are not the principal players. Spiritual Rock refers to Christ and Moses in each case is the principal doer. He either smites as was told or disobeys (1 Co.10:4). Symbolism is sustained in other context as well. He is the cornerstone and rock of stumbling and so on.

The inverted symbolism brings to our mind how churches in the age of Grace ought to conduct themselves. How do we witness our Saviour Lord? Isn’t our activism as though we have listened to the serpent and what truck do we hold with crooked perverse nation?

“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world (Phili.2:15);”

Benny

 

 

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Sabbath

“And the evening and the morning were…” thus ran the formula in the first chapter with each creation day. Evening for creatures is set apart for rest. Adam was put in the garden to tend it and keep it. He also required rest as with beasts of burden and birds of the air. Rest is therefore a necessary aspect of the day that is collectively named as evening. It bears in turn relationship to the seventh day. Thus six days of creation has spiritual significance and connects man to the God’s rest. But does God being omnipotent require rest?For that matter how long did it take for God to complete creation is of a different time frame than with us.

It is the office of the Holy Spirit to set the timescale of man in direct context of God’s Time. When the Spirit through a vision convinced St Peter at Joppa that it was God’s Time to bring the gentiles also into the fold of God’s people and thus fulfill the prophecy found in the book of Joel.

“One day with the Lord as a thousand years…” This is what St Peter in his epistle refers to Time. It is similar to the scale with which the city of God was measured (Re.21:17). “It is according to the measure of a man that is of the angel.” Similarly we shall treat the duration in general terms. We are on surer grounds to treat each evening holding a certain relation with the day. Each evening in turn corresponds to the seventh day. The number seven is perfection. This holy day is sanctified because it directly refers to the period of time that God took to fill in His creation calendar. This is how we need to look at the new heaven and new earth not as separate but as seen from the standpoint of the Son.

“For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day (Mt.12:8; Mk.2:27) This rest or Sabbath is nothing but the Lord God’s absolute certainty, this is what Power and Wisdom would mean, and He rested in the outcome of His Will as accomplished by the Son. So we shall leave all speculations aside with regards to the time taken for God to complete the creation calendar. Considering man’s frame being formed of the earth Sabbath was made for him and not other way round.

Benny

 

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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)

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Predestination is a theological term. For a Christian it is made real by faith. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior Lord we became what was foreordained: it means that we believed the Will of God as concerning him included us as well. By faith we inherit eternal life instead of condemnation. From that time on life for a Christian is life hid in Christ. His reality takes in realities of heaven as well. Ep.2: 4-7 It is the Will of God which St Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians writes as “ordained that we should walk.. (vs.10, 8-9)”

When John pointed to him and cried “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn.1:29).” we recall what occurred before his birth was announced to the ageing Elizabeth. In the appointed time he was filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his Mother’s womb as was foreordained (Lk.1:15). In short foreknowledge of John the Baptist owed to God. The Bible tells us in so many manner our place in the Mind of God as determined before. The many symbols the Holy Spirit use in the Scripture signifies their role.

Let us consider our own body with that of the Son of man. Before the worlds began God the Father willed a body for his Son. The Spirit refers to it as a symbol. Body as a symbol. He is the Lamb slain (Re.8:13). As he is so are we in this world. We have a natural body and we bear certain relation to the symbol indicating our earthly reality has its heavenly antecedents. Therewith we have the boldness to say, “We shall also bear the heavenly (1 Co.15:49).”

For a child of God the body has two functions: one is at a physical plane and the other as a type: It is God’s will and pleasure to give all living things a body which we may, for the purpose on hand call it as natural body. It has its counter part in a spiritual body. When St Paul writes juxtaposing earthy realities with heavenly glory in his epistle to Corinth (1 Co.15:38-50) he is setting down earthly realities vis-à-vis heavenly realities. Also significant is the manner the Spirit brings unity to the scriptural narrative by sustained symbolism. The Lamb slain was the emblem in the eternal Mind. Redemption of man depends on his vicarious death. The brazen serpent in the wilderness in turn foreshadows the manner of death which is on the cross. The Lord taking up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind (2 Ki.2:9-11) is a forerunner of the resurrection of Jesus and his Ascension(Ac.1:11) Such sustained symbolism serves same service as rhyme pattern of songs in the ancient world as aid to memory. In spiritual terms it applies to every believer where he stands because of his belief in the vicarious death and resurrection 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)”.

“There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit and the water and the blood: and these three agree in one (1 Jn.5:8).” God has sealed us and the Spirit is our surety that on the day of resurrection we shall be received by him. 2 Co.1:22; Ep. 1:14.

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour we witnessed it by three things. Baptism by water signified that we are dead to the world. It also indicates that the price was the blood of Jesus shed for every believer, which by faith made it personal. Indwelling Spirit is also part of the personal equation we created in the process.

“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.

In Peter’s epistle we are told that the hidden man is incorruptible (1 Pe.3:4; Ep.3: 16)

Cain murdered Abel for he was angry that God had no respect for his offering. When God says, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me,” indicates God hears the dead just as well the living. For God is ‘not of the dead but of the living; for all live unto him.’ (Lk.20:38,32)

Analogy of Inner man to natural man is similar to Seth filling in place of his dead brother Abel. His descendants were considered as righteous line-, and not Cain or his progeny, into which Jesus shall be included. The Spirit witnesses to us our part in the genealogy of the family of Special Relationship. God adopted us in Jesus and symbol of it is in the indwelling Spirit. Being led by it we grow in knowledge of Jesus who speaks ‘better things than that of Abel (He.12:24).’

This leads to the reality of Christians in terms of body: They have a natural body that shall be dissolved. They also have a spiritual body that is incorruptible.

When we accept Jesus as our savior we have abundant life or life plus. Since our spiritual body is hid in Christ, meaning we are in heavenly places. That is our hope. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtainHe.6:19-NIV).”

benny

(reprinted from Guide to His Word / post of Nov.2, 2017)

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