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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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God as Omnipresent and Omnipotent. His sovereignty over the earth is evident in his creation.

The river from Eden branching into four heads (Ge.2:10) is an illustration. The creation account clearly states that God had not caused it to rain upon the earth (vs.5). The Spirit clues us that not natural causes but God is the Prime Mover. We read in the last book of the Bible :there was ‘a pure river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb(Re.22:1)’ and it goes like straight as an arrow. The river from Eden forms four heads compassing different lands.

The number four has significance to which I shall come by and by.

God sets his Will in a series chains of events where man and his actions do count. Adam’s disobedience in eating of the fruit informs us nature is also a component or divine instrument. ‘Cursed is the ground for thy sake.’ Weirder climate and one-percenters of today did not spring out of nothing but are the result of accumulated effect of chains of cause and effect.

In fulfilling divine Will nations of the world are the living canvass wherein man is placed and chains of events are the means to build up his faith or correct him. His individual life shall bear the lights and shadows cast by the immediate context in which he is placed. The example of Ruth amply bears out this truism. During the time the Judges ruled Israel there was a famine. Although Ruth being a Moabite and outside the promise of God made to the House of Israel, she was predestined to glory. She is the matriarch from whose womb the Messianic Promise would stream forth.

The eternal verity of Mercy is unchangeable but His authority is affixed in the many chains of events, too complex for any man to control. In its working we only need compare the role of volcanoes. These are upheavals of the earth causing many hiccups but renewing the face of the earth. God’s sovereignty assures His children the greatest good not according to any time frame of man but in his Time. Sorrows are like the birth pangs a woman undergoes before the birth never thought of once she holds the baby to her bosom. A child of God bonded with God through the redemptive work of the Son never need concern of whatever happens. Ruth suffered her share of misfortunes but when God had put these under the heading of Mercy her case was unlike anything that she had imagined. What does Isaiah say? “Sing, O barren that thou didst not bear;… (Is.54:1)

In the Will of God nothing is created for itself. The earth is not singly created but in context of the heaven. If we examine the earth in detail we shall see the Lord God first set up whatever appurtenances needful for the wellbeing of Adam.

Mathematics and counting of numbers hold relevance only for man. The Alien shall have his own system of counting. When the Spirit uses numbers it with the intent of sharing the divine Will in a manner man can find use for. So what is the significance of the number 4? In the Book of Zechariah we read of four chariots (Zec.6:1) four artisans, four horns(1:18,21) These are instruments appointed by God. It is clear from so many clues how God establishes his sovereignty of history of nations.

This is adapted and modified for this blog.

Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible is available in print and as e-book/Kindle from Amazon.com

Benny

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