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Archive for the ‘the Bible’ Category

This is illustration of creation of Holy waters that makes appearance in the last chapter of Revelation. Genesis 1: 7 speaks of firmament separating waters. The waters below the firmament goes on to makes the seas. The firmament is the heaven. The waters below is seen watering the Garden of Eden. It branches into five heads creating civilizations of our ancient world. Whereas waters above  does not split but flows straight as an arrow. This  is  an emblem of Mercies of God.

IMG_4474 benny

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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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Symbols

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

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

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

 

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

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

benny

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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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Chinese scientists say they have “teleported” a photon particle from the ground to a satellite orbiting 1,400km (870 miles) away.

How does it work?

Simply put, teleportation is transmitting the state of a thing rather than sending the thing itself.

Some physicists give the example of a fax machine – it sends information about the marks on a piece of paper rather than the paper itself. The receiving fax machine gets the information and applies it to raw material in the form of paper that is already there.

When we read a novel we are making sense of what words of the author convey than actually see the word transform into the author’s mind. The mind may have chosen certain patterns of words since it adds to the emotional sense he wants to create. Personality of the author has already chosen them for him. The man who reads the novel has his own say in the matter, and accordingly rather than reading words rigorously (with regards to the author’s personal preferences and rationale in shaping the narrative) he makes sense of the literary space he is comfortable with.

Our mind acts somewhat like receiving fax machine makes sense of what we read. While in India my understanding of Bret Harte and Jack London stories held a certain vagueness. For a dude having lived in the kind of milieu and climate how he will make of it naturally would be closer to the real thing.

The Bible is written by inspiration of God. Inspiration of God is not lost but words in the Scripture in transmission can be misunderstood or make weak impression. The reader of the Bible requires the self-same inspiration in order to change his scepticism. His mind-set is often shaped by his cultural background and unbelieving society.

Marginalia in 2 vol. A concise guide to the Bible

Author: Benny Thomas, the Netherlands

Tags: inerrancy, sound doctrines, Faith,

 

Paperback:

Vol.1 148 pages  priced $7.00

Vol-2  265 pages   $14.25

e-books/kindle available

Vol. 1 120 pages $3.85

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

benny

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First some facts as on 2012 : according to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary  there exist roughly 43,000 Christian denominations worldwide in 2012. That is up from 500 in 1800 and 39,000 in 2008 and this number is expected to grow to 55,000 by 2025. It also estimates that a new Christian denomination is formed every 10.5 hours, or 2.3 denominations a day. (Ack: churchrelevance.com).

With such denominations mushrooming we need understand that the Second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is drawing nearer. So at every nook and corner of the globe assemblies of believers are engaged in planting churches and preaching the word of God. So let us take a charitable view of these local assemblies are the work-shops in which ministers of God winning souls for the Redeemer Lord. None of these is the Church or Bride but artisans of God doing their best.  We should not certainly forget they do yeoman service not only engaged in saving souls but also fighting insidious force of heresies. Our Lord Jesus predicted of such false prophets who would come as wolves in sheep’s clothes. Marginalia is a guide for those who who shall know the truth. Truth shall surely make children of God free. Marginalia is my service and I believe God has given a ministry to serve the Word to His glory.

Whatever revelations my book contain as such I claim nothing of my own but how the Holy Spirit revealed on daily basis to buttress the inerrancy of the Word with what grace He has poured into my life. It took three full months to write the initial draft and another one year to make it to the present shape.

I shall post the blurb I have added to the book.

“Christianity has been bedevilled by controversies from the Apostolic Age to the present. Among the early converts those who came from Judaism favoured an interpretation that sat well with their Jewish upbringing.  It was like putting the new religion in old wine skins so to speak. The world ecumenism of our own times would have the person and deity of Jesus pass the test of sceptic and believer alike. Either way it is less than the Word made flesh. One cannot photoshop Jesus Christ to please all. The aim of this book is to present him of whom we read as thus ‘ it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell (Col.1:19)’.

This concise guide to the Bible is presented from two standpoints of God the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit has set these two as single narrative where the Will or Intent of God is shown as coming from the Son since he is the Image of the ‘Invisible God(Col.1:15)’

Coherence in the Scripture is the work of God the Spirit and maintained so the Son of man ‘is before all things and by him all things consist’.  Adam is thus an antitype of Jesus who is qualified as the last Adam. He is the spiritual rock; and bread from heaven. The entire scriptural unity testifies this: the Bible is from God to man.

In short Marginalia: a concise guide to the Bible favours a faith based approach to understand the word of God. Faith as St Paul says comes from ‘hearing by the word of God (Ro.10:17).” ”

benny

 

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A schematic representation to denote the end times

The wheel within a wheel in its working indicates a globe.

The earth has to be redeemed first and this shall be known the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ . His kingdom on the earth merging with that of God is signified by the vision. He shall usher the new earth and the heavens. Nations of them which are saved …bring their glory and honor to it (Re.21:24) .nations of the earth are represented  by the living creatures. The Number 4 always denote God’s agency for example as the 4 carpenters in the book of Zachariah(1:21-22).

Jesus Christ is the last Adam and he is indicated by the Man among the four creatures. ‘When he ascended up on high…and gave gifts unto men( Ep.4:8, Ps.68:18). The first Adam by disobedience brought curse and the last Adam brings a remnant of all nations to glory. (for further reading check out Guide to His Word-Ezekiel: Vision by the River Chebar)

benny

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