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The Book of Genesis is literally a book of beginnings. The intent of the author is to explain the narrative mode of the Holy Spirit so stories like the parables of Jesus work at many levels. Think of the Book of Genesis as a snapshot of the whole: we see Adam, Noah and the Patriarchs seated in the front row representing God’s promise to Abraham: “In thee shall at the families of the earth be blessed (Ge.12:3). In the back row what we see are multitudes, as fulfilled. Jesus, who as the light of the world gives it clarity. Consequently when the Spirit discusses the patriarchs, focus is on the nation of Israel but other nations serve as a foil to it. For instance God places Joseph in Egypt so the nation of Israel could be helped in time of a great famine. Similarly at the birth of Jesus God secures a safe hiding place there for the Holy Family. God’s Will sees all as part of his promise and in Time: time in which Joseph and Jesus were placed varies by more than a millennia. Yet these are all set in one timescale that is God’s Time. It has a bearing on us. In accepting Jesus Christ as the Saviour we have been inducted into the picture. Adoption (Ep.1:5) means transcending time and place that limit our earthly lives for heavenly places. From the same author: Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible in 2 volumes The Immanuel Factor Available as paperback/kindle

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1986929094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522343446&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Annotated+Book+of+Genesis

Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (February 28, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1986929094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1986929097
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Price: $8.00
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If Adam in the Garden explained the ground zero of history of nations we have in Abraham the history of nations set at human terms. Faith is what separates the history of God’s people and those of nations that try to write history as series of events where man is the doer.

Abraham on the other hand let God write it for him.

God called Abraham out of his father’s house ‘to a land that I will give thee (Ge.12:1)’. When God would allow him take possession of it was not specified. The time was determined by God and not by his ‘here and now’ basis. If it were conditional it would not have been faith but merely a transaction.  By shared experience of faith God enlightens him as to the future of his family. Naturally the question arises: why He did not let him possess the Promised Land?

God said “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee (12:17).” In chapter 23 we read of Abraham buying before witnesses a burial place and it marked the burial place for himself and his wife. Having informed of his ‘seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs’ He makes a covenant saying, ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land…(Ge.15:18). Here we get a clue why God did not allow him to possess in his life time. “For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full (15:16).” Abraham accordingly lived as a stranger in the land God had promised to his seed. Through Abraham we have been blessed. Naturally children of God through their faith in the power of resurrection have to wait for God’s Time in order to inherit the kingdom. Jesus Christ promised us, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.(Lk.12:32-NIV).” How is our faith? Is it the kind of activism the Pharisees and teachers of law employed? When the Christians jump the bandwagons of political parties that is not faith but something else.

Coming back to Abraham who are these Amorities? The gentiles are descendants of Noah through Ham.(Ge.10:6-16)

Core Will of God carried divine blessings that were to come upon all families of the earth through Abraham. These Amorites among other gentile nations, the Girgashites, the Jebusites to name a few, are also included but God’s Time drew distinction between the seed of Abraham through Sarah from all others and it had specific reference to the covenant that God made with Abraham (Ge.15:18-20).

History of man as we see it written down is set according to earth time. Thus we have had description of England before the beginning of 20th century as the island nation on which the sun never set. Compare her history now. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream indicated qualities of nations where gold silver brass and iron refer to world-kingdoms according to their pomp and circumstance. Despotism of the ruler, as in the example of Nebuchadnezzer has steadily degrade to a state of affairs as we see in our times. Clay and iron of governance is very much in evidence. The very lack of solutions is only matched by a nature freaked out. Drought, flash floods snow storms and tornadoes are facets of our times. The king’s vision in the book of Daniel only need the stone cut without hands to make it a reality.

Predestination is God’s Wisdom and Power overriding the free will of man. God’s Time determines the rise and fall of nations and history is simply a catalogue of blessings that would culminate when Jesus Christ as the stone cut without hands sets up ‘a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed…(Dan.2:44)’ When the holy city of God is revealed we find there shall be nations which are saved and they shall walk by the light of it (Re.21:22-24).

Benny

 

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“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.

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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The Bible is a God document. When we speak of it as inspiration of God it is understood that the Holy Spirit has had a role in making the Book for our instruction. Instruction in righteousness to be precise.

My thesis for both Marginalia and the Immanuel Factor are consistent. Jesus Christ is the centre of gravity in the narrative account no matter whether the narrative is approached from that of God the Father or of the Son.

The task of the Spirit is however to create a mode, on the same rationale as the parables of Jesus. Parable can be taken for a narrative. Literal interpretation of the Scripture similarly serves a purpose but in order to be instructed in righteousness one has to be inspired, meaning one discern it spiritually.

Having explained the purpose of a mode let me say such a mode shall have different layers in its significance. Symbols for example invest in natural objects the power to double for heavenly realities: not the objects themselves but the spiritual aura it casts about is what the Spirit aims at. These are spiritually discerned. Then there are also substitutionary symbols of which we shall discuss here.

The Holy Spirit works as a Herald, Paraclete, Counsellor and one who leads a believer since he is the Spirit of truth. In whichever capacity his narrative account is true and validated by the Power and Wisdom of God.

What is a sign?

For anyone who reads through the Scripture it shall become apparent that a sign is quiet something else than in its normal usage. A rainbow is a natural phenomenon and it can be explained as such. But when God sets a bow in the cloud its significance changes altogether. After he judged the earth he makes a covenant with Noah and ‘as a token between me and the earth (Ge.9:13)’ he sets the rainbow for all to see. Here was a sign, a token. What does it signify?

A sign stands for the sovereignty of God and as such it reveals certain aspects of his godhead. By bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly he made an example of his wrath. St Peter while touching upon it tells that he made an example of the consequences of living ungodly as they did. Only eight persons including Noah were delivered from the deluge (2 Pe.2; 5-6). A sign therefore brings to our remembrance of his judgment. He assured Noah that the covenant was with him ‘and with your seed after you (Ge.9:9).’ Having made the covenant he said, “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember…(9:16).” God is omnipotent and his Wisdom and Power are far beyond our comprehension. When he remembers it is understood it is not in the usual sense of the word. There is no absent-mindedness or forgetting. The sign is lifted out of its natural context to indicate his mercy. Proof of it was the eight delivered out of the flood.

Whenever signs are employed it indicates God’s mercy as well as judgment. Take the case of Prophet Ezekiel. When God gives him charge as witness to the people he has to lay on the left side according to the number of days it is significant for the iniquity of Israel shall be substituted in that symbol. (Ez.4:4-6). His action is emblematic. An emblem is willed by God to indicate events willed by Him to prick the national consciousness of Israel. Substitutionary symbol of Ezekiel to lie in so many days as to represent a period is an exception from his ministry as a minister of God. This is made more clear from the example of the Prophet Hosea. The book attributed to the prophet covers the events from 753-715 B.C.

At a period when their wickedness was peaking God commanded Prophet Hosea to speak to the people. This was an era of dramatic change for the twin kingdoms of Israel and Judah as well as for the surrounding nations of the ancient Near East. In the case of Prophet Hosea we read that Lord commanded the prophet thus: “Go take unto thee a wife of whoredoms…for the land hath committed great whoredom (Hos.1:2-3).” As a sign the prophet’s choice has to be completely in obedience to God’s command. Who shall determine the choice of the sign but God? What man does as a sign is according to will of God. He or she is accountable only to God. What it boils down to is this: God shall judge according to His measure. Any human yardstick is imperfect. God struck Miriam with leprosy over her controversy with Moses. She judged Moses for taking the Kush woman to wife. One may ask: why did not God punish Aaron? He was in his priestly office a sign, a symbol for God. (Ex.4:15).

 

Now we shall examine two apostles who doubled as substitutionary symbols: Simon Peter and Judas Iscariot .Jesus Christ knew that Simon Peter was vulnerable and he reveals to him during the Last Supper. “Simon, Simon! Behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you…(Lk. 22:31-32). It is clear that he is referring to his role after he is resurrected.

Let us see Peter as a substitutionary symbol: he had to fulfil what Jesus had predicted of the one who would deny him thrice that night. Also significant is his succeeding verse: “When thou art converted strengthen thy brother (vs.31).” He had to fulfil the traditional role as an apostle. Where Apostle Peter overcame the temptation Judas Iscariot fell. Did not Jesus foresee the role of Judas Iscariot as on of the twelve and the one who would betray him? Foreknowledge of God comes into his selection of instruments to reveal his sovereignty.

Jesus was aware of his role as substitutionary symbol. “…The Son of man indeed goeth as it is written of him; but woe to that the man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born (Mk.14:21).” A clue to this we have in the Gospel of John and during the Last Supper we read that Jesus turned to Judas and said, “What thou doest, do quickly (Jn.13:17). He was referring to the symbolic role whereby the Word was to be fulfilled. Against this his (Judas’) fall owed to his covetousness that led him step by step to distance from the Master and lack of sympathy for his kingdom of Heaven. In his service he discovered he was more realist than believe in an idea that his master stood for. Having betrayed his master he realized to his abject dismay his conscience was all too real. His suicide rounded off the Word concerning his substitutionary symbolism.

The Immanuel Factor is available through Amazon.com.

Benny

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The Burning Bush-collage  from the cover.

The book is available through Amazon

As Epub/kindle available from Nov.7

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A companion volume to Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible is available.  For details follow the link  https://www.createspace.com/7618327

benny

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