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(For long traditional Bible teachers have, while interpreting the Bible taken a lopsided view either for Israel or for a church in the mold of modern evangelicalism. It is not Jerusalem but New Jerusalem where there is no Jew or Gentile, bond or free. It is the throne of God and of the Lamb . The holy City of God in eternity is what we have as our Promised Land. Moses leading Israel to the land of Canaan was merely stand-in for Jesus Christ the king of kings and the Lord of Lords leading his Church in which a remnant of Israel as well as the Gentiles shall be included. The Covenant is eternal and it is what we discuss now-b)

“…I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;(v.8)”

In a theological context a covenant is dictated by the intention and observance of what has been stipulated. In the Bible we shall see three entities are called upon in the process.  The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties as stated before; in this case man and God,-they agree on the Word which is the eternal word of God (Ps.119:89) and is understood as the constitution. So the covenant is very legal.  Here we consider third entity Word as the testimony of God who expressed his Will. ‘That I may dwell among them (man).” So it is a bilateral arrangement into which God is a party. How can any covenant work by its merits where God and man are unequal unless there is a common basis? On what basis a covenant could be said to be workable considering it confers alike on both parties same privileges, and responsibilities? Between men in olden times an oath was sufficient. Between Abimelech, the King of Gerar and Isaac a covenant was established by an oath binding both parties to peace (Ge.26:26-31)

Having introduced the significance of covenant,- it is a covenant by blood which is the basis and gives a logical explanation of the Logos concept. The Word was made flesh (John1:1) and “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission (He.9:22)” present before us two ideas which are conflated. Efficacy of the Word and blood satisfy the basic provision of covenant being between bilateral parties. The law and atonement by the Son of man on the cross agree in the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. So there is nothing new but in the manner the will of the Father and the Son fulfilling the provisions thereof. The slain lamb before the worlds began (Re.13:8) is therefore God’s testimony. The lapse in time between intention and fulfillment is on account of human limitations with regards to time- because the Holy Spirit is presenting the Scripture in God’s Time.

In the rest of this chapter what the Prophet offers is the Suffering Servant and as Mediator and as the ensign unto his people. In the v.5 the clause ‘Though Israel be not gathered’ predicts the New Jerusalem in which only a remnant of the House of Israel shall have part. “Behold I and the children which God hath given me(He.2:13) and as sign and wonders (Is.8:17). This agrees with Isaiah and his two sons who were set apart as signs  and it also serves as a kangaroo word for Jesus Christ and the Church. This throws light on the v.6,”….and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth” God did not create the earth in vain but it is to inhabited, desolate places ravage by problem of sin shall still flourish when the glory of the Throne of the Lamb and of God manifest in eternity. The same covenant shall hold true. .

And now, saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the Lord, and my God shall be my strength (v.5).

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.

Thus saith the Lord, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.

10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.

11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.

13 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.

14 But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.

15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

17 Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.

18 Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth.

19 For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away.

20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell.

21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?

22 Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.

23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.

24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered?

25 But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.

26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

(Reprinted from Guide To His Word posted on May 2,2019)

Benny

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An electron is a small ball of negative charge that is smaller than an atom. Does it have a shape?
Conjure electrons as charges and it surrounds the nucleus of every atom that determine how chemical reactions proceed. Their uses in industry are abundant: from electronics and welding to imaging and advanced particle accelerators they are the main components of atoms making up the world around us.
As far as physicists currently know, electrons have no internal structure — and thus no shape in the classical meaning of this word. In the modern language of particle physics, which tackles the behavior of objects smaller than an atomic nucleus, the fundamental blocks of matter are continuous fluid-like substances known as “quantum fields” that permeate the whole space around us. In this language, an electron is perceived as a quantum, or a particle, of the “electron field.”
Suppose we treat fields as ‘entities’ in terms of space. Firstly we must adapt our definition of shape so it can be used at incredibly small distances, or in other words, in the realm of quantum physics. It gives us a way to define an electron’s properties such that they mimic how we describe shapes in the classical world. For example a photon striking a needle and deflecting it is a new indication of shape. Its shape is comparable to how we perceive in our macroscopic world the rays of light bouncing off different objects around us. It is a sensation of a fleeting flash but as tangible as inspiration when it can fire up another Hafiz or Keats who composed Ode to a Nightingale after hearing the bird. Yes one can dash out a couplet of exquisite beaut or see visions. When it happens it is not merely quantum field but the whole being has had a transcendental experience, which is other worldly to put it baldly. Simply put, we define shapes by seeing how objects react when we shine light onto them and when we are moved with its sensation to find meanings that were never thought up before it is truth. The Ode to the Nightingale has its own truth to which only the poet is the sole arbiter. Its enduring quality derives from it

What replaces the concept of shape in the micro world? Since light is nothing but a combination of oscillating electric and magnetic fields, it would be useful to define quantum properties of an electron that carry information about how it responds to applied electric and magnetic fields. Having said this when we walk on cloud number nine or shuffle our feet as though dragged down by some oppressive mood is how we we respond to space about us.
When I say I can feel presence of God who shall define my space, or its extent or what I can subjectively vouch as true?
Benny

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There are many ways to turn one hour
In millions of vexations,
Paring nano-seconds in their nexus
And never knowing the loss:
My oneness is all set and complete
Past telling points of man-made laws:
Go west, for what I ask myself
And it avails neither
With east, south or north.
There are many ways to turn one life
In millions of pretenses,
Each one more bizarre to fit the hour
And never knowing the loss:
My oneness is all set and complete
And sound hollow to fit customs of men:
Go west, for what I ask myself
And it avails neither
With east, south or north:
My soul is drawn from One True Silence
And everything else is jingle
The motley crew of fools may worship
As many gods, but I remain aloof.
Benny

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Human cells make up only 43% of the body’s total cell count. The rest are microscopic colonists. It is a micro-biome that includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and single-celled archaea. The human genome – the full set of genetic instructions for a human being – is made up of 20,000 instructions called genes. But add all the genes in our micro-biome together and the figure comes out at between two million and 20 million microbial genes. It’s known as the second genome and is linked to diseases including allergy, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s, whether cancer drugs work and even depression and autism. I included this piece of news from the field of Science to show what we call human where boundaries are fluidal; and our rational thinking is neither open and shut nor complete as we would like to believe. We rationalize at one on impulses that no one can tell where it has begun or it will end. As evidence of it we have conscious and unconscious halves that our brain represents. It is in our inability the matter of faith for a Christian draws certainty. We are not making assertion on blind trust of our abstract thinking or in what we observe as a world outside. We are neither in control of one nor other to be correct.

When the Bible asserts, ’God created the heaven and the earth’ we believe it as true. Considering man in terms of biology is composite we can infer from the statement ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of his life…(Ge.2:7)’. His living soul is bequeathed by courtesy of God and material body in the light of earlier statement of the earth. Consider dust as a catch-all for micro-biome. In the light of the facts supplied by the Scripture and Science do we see heaven and earth as separate or as one? Our faculties operate for which what instructions are set in us owe to God as well as to our forefathers. Thus faith is not what we employ by our reason but sound reasoning when it has a transcendental quality of a high authority, as it were. It always shall transcend merely what our human side informs. Patriarch Abraham would not have left Haran merely because there were series of migration at that time to the land of Canaan. He believed when God prompted him to leave his kith and kin. “ …Also He hath set the world in their hearts so that no man can find out the work that maketh from the beginning to the end.(Eccl.3:11)”The opening verse of the Book of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” means exactly what it says.
Benny

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“For he(Abraham) looked for a city…whose builder and maker is God (He.11:10).”

Man makes his city of habitation. In the verse quoted here above, we find a city made by God is mentioned. Throughout the Scripture we shall note a parallelism existing between heaven and the earth. Man builds a city one of the earliest mentioned is the one founded by Cain whose credentials ought to give us the quality of it. Cain settled in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden (Ge.4:16) and built a city and called it after the name of his son. It is no different from Alexandria or Constantinople to commemorate famous people. Leaving the presence of God one can imagine the city founded by him and the kind of people who would have settled there. The cities of habitation are all alike. Man creates cities and brings many to dwell in company; slowly number of people swells necessitating city limits to extend further. If the created in turn drive the creator to fall in a pattern, that is what urban dwelling would mean, are they not slaves to custom or habit brought upon themselves? Look at any city and the frenetic pace of their daily routine to understand this truism. Their urbanity and way of life go against the nature of things. Longer hours and living on caffeine or strong spirits, commuting to and from, all the while racing against time and missed deadlines it is what means to be upward mobile city dweller. Haran in the time of Patriarch was indeed a commercially thriving city as New York today. Situated on the high road, which ran from Nineveh to Carchemish its importance increased by proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. When God called out Abraham he was leaving his comfort zone, he ‘went out not knowing whither he went.’ The city of Haran is a shadow of city, which exists in heaven and we read that in eternity shall be called holy. In a vision Apostle John saw the holy city coming down from heaven. This parallelism existing between heaven and the earth can only be bridged by the article of faith. It is how we need take the whole narrative and several of symbols provided therein.

Law of Moses provided for cities of refuge in which God set apart six such cities, three of which were on the west and the other on the east of Jordan (Josh.20:7). Spiritual significance of crossing the river of Jordan is well known. For our present intent and purpose we may see such parallelism is not any coincidence but for our spiritual understanding. Under the old covenant these were for set apart for those who had shed blood unintentionally and as a place for refuge. Christ is our refuge to which the writer to the Hebrews alludes thus: “Let us go therefore unto him, without the camp bearing his reproach (He.13:12).” Jesus took away our reproach being made a curse for us and he hung on a cross was predicted by the brazen serpent on a pole. (Gal.3:13). The city is Jesus Christ and when we speak of being hid in Christ and abiding in him its spiritual significance is obvious. Like Abraham it is the ‘place where we should after receive for an inheritance’. This life in a limbo is life of faith. If we live in the most wonderful city the dictum by which we live shall be to place ourselves above. “…All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not (1 Co.10:23).”
Coming back to the Promised Land God commanded Moses to set apart three cities of refuge (Deut.4:41-43) and Joshua set apart three cities on the other side of the River Jordan. Having discussed the role of Jesus Christ as our refuge we may consider the probable significance of the words, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so I would have told you (Jn.14:2).” Also significance is the context in which he conveyed this piece of news to his disciples. His time on earth was drawing near. He had already promised them a kingdom (Lk.12:32) so his mentioning of many mansions is a mystery only known to the Father. So we shall leave all conjectures over them as a sealed book to us. Joshua meaning Jehovah is salvation is same as the Hellenized form of the name Jesus.

(Reprinted from Guide To His Word of July17,2018)
Benny

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Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky… (He.11:12)”

Here we see Abraham and Sara counted among the heroes of faith. A man of faith by accepting God is adopted in his Son so he is counted as though he were predestined for His blessings. Things that are seen are temporal while things not seen are identified as belonging to eternal attribute of God. Faith is one such. In order to show this we have stars of the sky and sand by the seashore as symbols. One indicates the innumerable and nameless host of believers (whose faith is counted) still living or dead. Whether dead or alive they are witnesses: they are preserved as a memorial in heaven. It is similar to the seven golden lamp-stands in the first vision of John in the Book of Revelation. No churches on the earth are perfect but these are indicated in heaven. Wherever these churches are fallen off it shall correspondingly show. In whichever case the seven golden lamp-stands remain as a memorial. This is Parallelism of faith. Faith of man becomes testimony of God, to be precise.
God having promised to bless Abraham brings him outside in the open and said, “Look now toward heaven and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him (Abraham), so shall thy seed be.” Abraham believed him and it was counted to him for righteousness (Ge.15:5-6). In the Book of Job we read that his Spirit garnished the heaven with stars. No man can fathom the Spirit, which like the wind is not seen but we see its effect in the night sky. Faith as evidence of things seen is held as a memorial in heaven. This is also mentioned in the creation act of God. “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven…and let them be for signs (Ge.1:14).” The point we need to understand is the stars may run out of fuel and other stars shall make appearance. Amidst such changes the sign shall never change since it a memorial of faith. It is forever settled like the word in heaven (Ps.119:89). ‘By his spirit he (God) hath garnished the heavens (Jb. 26:13)’
In the key verse we are given the seed of Abraham compared to sand, which by the seashore innumerable. God’s promise to the patriarch ‘In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3) has a parallel in heaven. In this connection the writer to the Hebrews in the following chapter refers to ‘ a cloud of witnesses (He.12:1)’ and from the context we can understand that it is of all those martyrs who have suffered affliction ‘not accepting deliverance.’ They all ‘…having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided …that they without us should not be perfect (He.11:39-40).’

“The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground…(Ge.4:10)” The Spirit in setting down Abel as a martyr uses his blood (‘bloods’ in Hebrew in plural form)in the verse, indicating how before God every creation stands. From Abel to the end of time each shall be counted in the cloud of witnesses in heaven as a memorial. Not even the fall of a sparrow shall escape His notice. No less is the death of a saint whose death before time is an affront to his majesty and honor. Those nine African American churchgoers who were killed in Charleston because of their color are martyrs and included in the cloud of witnesses. So are those killed in diverse places from Egypt to Indonesia because of belief. What we need to infer from the above is the timelessness of saints since faith is of such quality and their faith and their works are secure from hatred and calumny of the world. We have the testimony of God, “Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth…(Re.14:13)” Significant is the context in which this verse is marked in the apocalyptic vision of John. Just before the beast is judged the angel urges patience of those living. Those hundred and forty and four thousand souls shown standing with the Lamb on the mount Sion bear the Father’s name on their foreheads (Re.14:1). Urgency of the voice from heaven is to stiffen the faith of those caught in the Great Tribulation and they have a choice of martyrdom or bear the mark of the beast on their foreheads or on hand. Those who died for their faith shall be counted as blessed and their works validated. Thus the Spirit in setting Core Will of God uses parallelism of memorial in heaven for events occurring on the earth.

Benny

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Past Imperfect-2

Considering our middle state we do not begin our lives on a clean slate; instead we are carrying a world of genetic information along. Where it began or where it shall all end we cannot say. Human condition sets limits to our knowledge. For a Christian only God is endowed with Power and Wisdom in absolute sense.
With cosmic impacts shaping events on the earth we might say man is caught in the middle not realizing some parts of our globe are helped while some are destroyed. Atlantis is a case in point. So how do we settle on to anything? In our solar system we have planets orbiting around the sun. Meanwhile the sun the Milky Way has its own orbit. With so many objects moving about we require a rest frame to study motion of celestial objects relative to us. This is a frame of reference. It is thus we affix God as Absolute, ‘I changeth not.’ Our moral values and history keeps shifting so what we see now is a new normal and truth is transactional. We may say a lie is permissible but it is set in context of God. Thus we have God and his Word as the frame of reference.
From many passages in the Bible we are shown how God shall set up his kingdom. It signifies the end times.
The Book of Daniel narrates that King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream saw an image of world kingdoms. Head of the image was of fine gold, the breast and arms were of silver and so on. The quality of these governments progressively is shown inferior. The feet made up of iron and clay. Naturally the world powers are, by very design set up on a weak foundation. A stone is dropped out of nowhere smashing the image and nothing of it was to be seen. Instead the stone became a mountain filling the earth. Of this let us only take up the stone, which is dropped out of nowhere. A meteor striking like any cosmic impact is otherworldly, is it not? This dream interpreted by Daniel is a clue to the manner God shall set up his kingdom.
In the Bible we have several references of such impacts directly affecting historical events. In the Book of the Judges we have almost an identical event. On the eve of a war with the Midianites one soldier is narrating his dream to another and Gideon is overhearing as arranged by God. One barley cake comes out of nowhere and tumbles into the enemy camp smashing them. As intended Gideon is ready to fight. Gideon became a hero as a result. This leads us to what happened to one of his sons Abimelech, the son from a maid. He had to kill his brethren, 70 of them before he could reach this position. Because of his treachery and wickedness his end came in a most dramatic manner. He came before a tower and he was there to punish those who held out. One woman dropped a millstone on him. He died. (Jud.9)
This event is identical with the millstone thrown by an angel to punish Babylon, which is a label for any great harbour city. It could be New York, Shanghai, Singapore or Dubai. The point is the manner it is done. “And a mighty angel took up a great millstone and cast it into the sea..(Rev.18:21)” triggering the end of the city. This is how we make sense of the word of God. Narrative passages from beginning to the end are consistent in spirit. Man without God is heading for disaster while man who follows peace shall be secure in the kingdom of God as and when set up.
It is news while some would say it is fake news. Man is at liberty to choose what he will but one day all the lies shall be called out.
Benny

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