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Archive for the ‘the Bible’ Category

What came first: chicken or egg? It is a conundrum that has cracked many a head and the egg is still there for any smart Alec to test his wit. Tell a child one way or the other and he (not in an exclusive sense) shall believe you. The child’s faith comes from who is telling and not from the problem it poses. He shall come to it when his intellect is sharp enough. Are we not similarly placed?
The expression, ‘Out of the mouth of the babes’ indicates all the potential a babe holds, where his perception,-consequently point of view, latches on and how it shall undergo shifts every step of the way whether it has an end or not, no other can plumb. Considering no two person can ever match thoroughly can either lead to Us and Them or be grateful for the difference. It is how we express our middle state. Only God is eternal whose Power and Wisdom are altogether of a different quality. This brings to the topic: Is not faith the natural response in homo sapiens? But from experience we see how man is a commodity to be taken advantage whether it be Facebook or in politics. This explains the fallen state of man and not God.

One safe guide for any student of the Bible is to hold its inerrancy as self-evident. Consider the word as the constitution not written with hands but as testimony of God. This being the case I shall confine myself to the Scripture.
it is validated from three positions of God: He is a Spirit, He is the Word made flesh, and He is a Helper (1 John.5:7). It is what Trinity means.

The familiar quote in the epistle of St Paul to Timothy is clear. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,/ so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim.3:16-17)”. If one scriptural passage is viewed from the outset as correct but possible to be in error in some other parts what do we end up with? Will it not be giving ground to doubt undue advantage before the student has had chance to prove its soundness? What God breathed cannot be built up on doubt, or be considered as manual of instruction when we consider righteousness as an attribute applied to God only. It is not without reason St Paul states, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom.10:17)”. Between God and man righteousness can be passed from greater to the lesser whose want cannot be based from any position than of total surrender. The medium of instruction is faith. God first exercised it (Heb.11:3) and man’s response to know his Will therefore must necessarily begin on faith.

The Bible is God-document the testimony of God that can stand on its own. How in the past many teachers all with good intentions have approached doctrinal questions, and ended up in creating controversies one must ask, ‘why?’ Why so many sects, if the Body of Christ be one? At the time of the author growing up was a God-is-dead movement that shall serve just as well as a case in point. Was this radical theology any different from prosperity theology? No, it was cut from the same cloth of man’s understanding where his necessity was to explain his worldview rationally. (Such controversies have bedevilled Christianity from the Apostolic Age to this day. The Jewish question is not what we face now. World ecumenism of our times would Photoshop Jesus rather.) Problem lay with man’s rational approach than with the testimony of God. ‘Instruction in righteousness’ is the aim of Scripture so whatever approach man adopts towards it has to stay along the path cleared by the Spirit for him. Man is the subject and ‘righteousness’ his purpose so his instruction therefore can profit from.

Benny

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Testimony of God is eternal. When the Spirit reorganizes narrative account from the view of God, the Father and the Son he is setting into Time, which for clarity sake must be understood is not time counted as we do. For example when the Spirit writes, ‘Now is the day of your salvation’. Salvation of man is brought into it. Saul or Paul’s conversion as he journeyed towards Damascus is covered by ‘Now’ as the time you and I accepted the call and became His children. What does that mean? Time is reset so salvation is part of the Core Will without any unseemly joint of being an afterthought or correction.

At the mouth of two or three every matter is settled. Witness of God the Father and the Son make time established and it is how we ought to approach the Bible.

Topolgy is a term belonging to the field of mathematics also in computing.  It has two meanings. One is the study of geometrical properties and spatial relations unaffected by the continuous change of shape or size of figures. 2nd meaning is the way in which constituent parts are interrelated or arranged. Topology of the Spirit refers to the manner the Spirit has rearranged two narrative bodies from God the Father and God the Son respectively into one. Time also is set by the Spirit to hold the Scripture as one single narrative. Think of the Bible as obeying the topology where we hold to the second meaning.

The Book of Zechariah mentions of the vision of a flying roll (Zech.5:1) ( Zech.5:1). Suppose we take a similar roll and were to set down the narrative from the Son and the Father along the length and breadth respectively truth of the roll is not lost. The roll can serve as ice cream cone for waffle or as dunce cap is still true since integrity of the roll is intact. The Spirit similarly fits the scriptural passages according to the purpose. Topology of the Spirit assigns God’s Time to the Father-Son relationship,- entire Will and Fulfillment, in order to fit. It is the Testimony of God set in verbal mode.

Core Will is the Testimony of God applied to the earth and mankind. Time operating here is God’s Time. In order to hold the inerrancy of the Word we are to read as the Spirit has applied it to the Scripture.

Core Will when applied to heaven and mankind ask ourselves what must take precedence God or man. Blessings always conferred from the greater to the lesser. Thus God the Son is about whom CoreWill of the Father revolves.

The Spirit while reorganizing the narrative bodies from the Father and the Son uses symbols. The Greater Light and the Lesser Light for example are symbols to indicate the Father-Son Relationship. Light radiating from heaven is for man. Light reaching other worlds besides the earth is not for man’s benefit so we may concentrate our attention on our kind.

All Scripture is intended as set forth in 2 Ti.3:16  for our correction, consolation; it is most conducive for man to be built up from examples for instruction in righteousness. For this reason the Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ above everything else. He is the key figure. (Jn.16:14) This we shall see from the first book to the last His shadow looms over everything else so we may be consoled, enthused and be instilled in virtues. To all intent and purpose God the Son who became a man makes heaven and the earth as one. His quintessence Love is the mortar that holds Core Will together.

From many examples we shall see the Spirit keeps time. Conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch owes to his direct intervention (Ac.8:29). Holy Spirit pouring over the Gentiles also owe to him (Ac.10:19).When the Spirit writes about the Lamb slain before the worlds began it is set in Time. When God warns of the death of firstborn in all Egypt we have punishment for disobedience in balance. The Son had already paid the price and it makes Punishment and Atonement in balance. So who shall accuse God of injustice?

Benny

 

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“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not (Ch.28:16). ”

This well known story throws up some important theological concepts.

Firstly sleep is a symbol for death.

What is sleep? God caused Adam a deep sleep and he slept (Ge.2:21) The Spirit used it in the sense mentioned above.

We shall consider sleep now in normal sense. The idea here is that sleep is from God. It is a blessing. It is a rest that is a shadow of God’s Rest from his labours. He sanctified end of His Creative Day as a Holy Day. The Preacher has this verse to observe what man may rightfully claim as his due at the end of each working day. “The sleep of a labourer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep (Eccl5:12-NIV)”. In contrast to what God has provided for man, what is wealth but what he generates by his own efforts. This boils over even after the day is done so much so it is insomnia that he has to cope with.

Secondly it gives us an insight into God’s Time, which is how the Spirit correlates God’s Will with life of man. Time and space do not make sense for eternal God. When God visited King Abimelech in a vision and warned him on account of Sarah it was for the present. When He gave Daniel a series of visions (Dan.10-12:9) it was for ‘the time of the end.” The vision of the ladder with each rung going up to the Lord must be several events hinged on one another. Angels going up and down signifies a door has been opened for the sleeper. It is reminiscent of St John’s vision (Re.4:1-2). The Spirit gave him a foretaste of the Salvation Plan of God as it were, which in narrating is for our benefit. As soon as he woke up he realized where he was. He exclaimed, “Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.” This indicates our foreknowledge comes from God who equips each man for His service. Gift of prophecy is a gift. Gift of interpreting is yet another. Such are gifts the Spirit distributes to each accordingly so glory of God must be set as paramount.

Thirdly we need address an often-overlooked piece, namely the stones that served Jacob as pillows.

“…He (Jacob) took stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep (28:11).”

These stones serve as a memorial. This act is to be seen as a symbolic act very similar to Joshua at the crossing of Jordan (Jos.4:23). Jacob was a man fleeing for safety and was in a strange place settling down for a night’s rest. God’s vision was a private and it was to assure His protection.

Like the Shekinah glory of God separated the mercy seat and the Ark of the Testimony from surrounding areas the vision was a memorial to him. From what Jacob did following day we get the idea as to what it meant to him. Each of us is Bethel meaning the house of God. This idea is transferred to stones that served for pillows in the night. He set the stone up and poured oil upon the top of it. ‘He called the name of that place Beth-el; but the name of that city was called Luz at the first (vs.19).’This holds spiritual significance for us. Born again experience in a child of God marks a change over from serving the world. Pouring oil over the stone naturally indicates the infilling Spirit. The following verses are of help to us.

“Know you not you are the temple of God?

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;(1 Co.6:19;3:16-NIV)”

We can well appreciate the seven churches in Asia minor were such stones as Jacob found; these local churches were not the Church of Christ but indicative of God’s Will concerning the Body of Christ.

Benny

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Predestination is conditional. If God’s promise to Abraham was foreordained, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed God ‘ would not have necessitated God to renew the same blessing to the son. He commanded Isaac ‘Go not down into Egypt..(Ge.26:2).’Interestingly enough God had let Abraham move to Egypt earlier in a similar circumstance ‘when there was a famine in the land’ (Ge.12:10). Consequently Isaac dwelt in Gerar in obedience to His commandment.  After Abraham was buried by his sons, God appeared unto Isaac and renewed his promise to his father. It was conditional where faith of Isaac like his father had to match with His faith. It is personal . Misconception of predestination as taught by some sects makes Atonement a feeble copy of God’s glory. SFor the same reason denying free will would be heresy. We have its perfect example in Jesus. He was God the Son and yet he obeyed God. Free will was not his personal glory but laying it for the greater glory of his Father. He did so he fitted the expression, ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re.13:8)’. So predestination of God is Obedience on the part of the Son for the glory of the father. It must be thus with every one who would be called child of God. Hunting with the dogs may be activism of the evangelicals and on Sundays running with the hares cannot be called as the hallmark of Christians.

In the parable of the Two Sons (Mt.21:28-31) the elder refused to go to the vineyard. His free will allowed him to say no to his father. But he regretted of letting down his father so he went to the vineyard after all. In his obedience he glorified his Father. His younger brother paid lip service to his father but exercised his free will. From this we have the significance of predestination and free will.

For those who are interested may I suggest a few books: Marginalia in 2 volumes The Immanuel Factor.Under Bible Study Helps I recommend my readers.

Benny

 

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Individual and nation

These two entities  carry different weights before God. God as the Sovereign Lord God wills fellowship with man. It is what such terms as Mercy and grace would signify. It rests on conditions all of which are laid down by God.

We shall consider what these are from the life of Abraham. The Spirit informs us that he was the friend of God (Jas.2:23; 2 Chr.20:7; Is.41:8)

Friendship is cultivated between individuals and it entails shared experience, which in case of God and man can never be of equal weight. Righteousness of God and of man are irreconcilable. Only faith or trust can make these hold in balance. This is what Apostle James declares: “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.” Righteousness was imputed to Abraham. Glory of his grace in this case made Abraham as his friend on account of faith.

“Walk before me and be thou perfect (Ge.17:1).”

He was called out by God and he obeyed. “…And he went out not knowing whither he went (He.11:8) “Can two walk together except they be agreed (Am.3:3)?” Faith is the shared experience of God and man.

Secondly he was the father of many nations.

Quality of faith is consistent. Faith is one (Ep.4:5). Faith of God is such he does not have to judge any one on account of superficial considerations of race, colour, creed. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son (Jn.5:23)”.

When God first appeared to him Abraham was seventy-five years old and accordingly departed out of Haran. In order to make him the Father of many nations God found it necessary that he made himself above such considerations that man finds as essential. National identity, familial bonds were of little worth as much as trust to be called a friend of God.

The Spirit in recounting the manner Abraham resorted to ruse on account of his wife Sarah (Ge.12:10-20) in the land of Egypt reveals the cultural context in which children of God have to conduct their lives. A similar incident is mentioned in the life of his son Isaac while he sojourned in the land of Gerar (Ge.26:6-11). How do we handle our cultural baggage? A parable of Jesus throws useful commentary for our spiritual growth. The kingdom of heaven is like a net cast into the sea. It brings to surface both good and bad. (Mt.13: 47-50). We have to get rid of whatever is bad and hindrance to our growth.

As customary with the Spirit supplying marginal notes to Abraham as an instrument or rather as Friend of God his relation is established. The order of Melchizedek connects divine seal stamping him as the father of many nations. St Paul and the writer to the Hebrews supply additional information for helping us see his position in the divine Plan. Melchizedek was the “King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent…abideth a priest continually (He.7:1-4)”. He brought Abraham bread and wine when he came after the slaughter of the kings at the valley of Shaveh (Ge.14:17). Bread and wine are additional clues as to the identity of the Priest-King.

“Unto him that loved us …and made us kings and priests unto God and his Father;(Re.1:6-7)”

Evidently it is a different order than the Law of Moses enjoined. “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3).” The nation of Israel was recipient of blessings of God and it tells only part of the story.

Benny

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In order to understand the Book of Genesis for spiritual edification a child of God has to keep the rule of three mentioned here below..

Before coming to them  by way of preface allow me to point out one difference that reading the God’s word literally and with the help of the Spirit shall make. The Bible is the revealed word the divine Will concerning man and nations. It chronicles their destinies with and without God. Literal reading makes the nation of Israel, their Law and temple practices loom larger than what is real. Such a distortion makes a reader easily fall for many wrong interpretations touted by teachers some false and some ignorant. For example some sects teach reinstitution of temple worship, animal sacrifices as God ordained that shall be continued in eternity.. Israel has no more preferred status than a gentile who has accepted Jesus as his sovereign redeemer. Israel as nation was rejected as the gentiles were adopted over their attitude to God, the Son. Israel rejected the son of Man because they failed to see him as the end of Law. The gentiles were chosen according to the promise of God to Abraham. “In thee shall all families be blessed.”

Three points emerge from the Book of Genesis.

Firstly the time element: the Throne and the footstool (Is.66:1) is symbol for God’s sovereignty. As God document the Spirit treats the heaven and the earth as one entity. The creative calendar of God runs on God’s Time and it explains the expression ‘in the beginning.’ It is of a different quality than what the Prophet Ezekiel provided. “In the thirtieth year, in the fourth month and so on…(Ez.1:1) or with regards to the birth of Jesus we have this verse, “But when the fullness of the time was come God sent forth his Son…(Ga.4:4)” God’s Time can only be what value God gives it. Without firmly fixing this any interpretation is bound to err. (Mt.13:32).

Secondly the role of the Logos Aspect.

In order to explain the many separations set forth in the Book of Genesis, some background explanation will be helpful. It is in terms of man as the end user. The very eternal nature of the Word makes it the arbiter of human interactions on the earth. The Word is useful as a tool to separate his motives and action. Power and Wisdom that we associate with Godhead must work for him for which the Scripture serves as Manual of Instruction. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (He. 4:12)”.

Thirdly element of  there is nothing of chance in the Core Will of God. chance is a fallacy of human understanding owing to his inability to see time as God views it. . Since there is only single element of time, which is God’s Time all other time earth time or any other are local time zones however linked to Time. Analogy of currency tied to the Gold standard may help us here. This incontrovertible proof dismisses all human events as God ordained every event each taking place in his Time frame. What is suffering but a human condition? Sufferings of Joseph owed to his brethren whose jealousy eventually prompted them to get rid of him. They saw in him nothing more than a slave but God had foreseen Joseph as the deliverer of Israel in the time of a famine. His brethren had no inkling of a famine in the offing but God had. So where hidden actions of man are brought to light in God’s Time and suffering is God’s way of equipping His chosen instruments perfect through suffering. Besides when the Spirit sets God’s Time in terms of earth times, treats Joseph as a forerunner of Jesus thereby reconciling two time frames into a single narrative.

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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