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“…But made himself of no reputation, and took upon the form of …in the likeness of men…wherefore God also hath highly exalted him….(Phil.2:7-11)”

In Christian theology ‘kenosis’ describes the role Jesus took on in order to do the complete will of God. He took the form of Servant and not as God. He laid aside that aspect in order to do the Will of the Father completely. Thus it is his human side we need focus on in order to appreciate this emptying process. We might say ‘Less is More if I have God in heaven’ is the motto what every Christian ought to aspire for. For those who preach prosperity theology and live as a celeb it is certain they have reaped their reward already. We are Christians because we trusted he lived as Son of man that is a good example to live by. If Jesus chose to give shape the Will of his Father (Phili.2:7) and not his own  we can also make a go of it here on earth. We have the model in him and faith that we have him in heaven.

In making himself no reputation he had the Father witnessing him to the world that he was his beloved Son.He was from above that made angels also interested party to watch the outcome. We read of angels ministering unto Jesus after temptation(Mt.4: 11), and it rings true. In growing to maturity in Christian life we need remember that when we are unappreciated by the world we are growing closer to our Saviour who went through this experience himself. Our trials of faith here and now are to show whether our faith be fine gold or fool’s gold.

Christ who once suffered for sins had a purpose: to bring us to God. Jesus says ‘Blessed are ye’, when your reward is denied to you. Mt.5:11.  If we are for a kingdom above and glory of commendation from the Father,  is it not useless to ask the keeper of worldly fame why no handclap from his claque?  The world receives its own. If we cannot be put to any inconvenience on account of being Christians we need check carefully if our faith be really set on the rails of salvation or not. The Bible is a route map that took our Lord to heaven.  We cannot reach there by half half from map that leads elsewhere. He was reviled in life and and also on the cross. He suffered it meekly. For he had made himself as nothing in order to retain God’s good testimony. We are on the earth and yet we have been translated for the heavens as he did. So we are biding our time here as pilgrims. Our conduct therefore calls for a life of separation, at least in mind. We are liberty to handle all things but all are neither convenient nor worth bothering about. Only make sure that we are clear in our conscience. In the epistle of St Peter we see how the world treats us has its corresponding response in heaven(1Pe.3:16)

Know what Jesus said to the Pharisees who wanted him to restrain his disciples? He said, “If these(multitude) should hold peace, the stones would immediately cry out (Lk.19:40).

Jesus set aside his own will. We read instances where God the Father sending help wherever was needed to help him keep his resolve (“The Father hath not left me alone (Jn.8:29) )”, Thus wherever we read of voice from heaven testifying ‘This is is my beloved son’ we can understand why. In the gravest crisis Jesus informs what he held at his disposal (Mt.26:53;Jn.19:11) God the Son but he stuck to his human aspect than escape the ignominious death of the cross. In him was fulfillment of the Will of the Father. He humbled himself or emptied himself thereby assuring salvation to whosoever believed in him….

(Reprinted from Guide to His Word)

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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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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Marginalia in in two volumes is available as e book/kindle version.

First volume has 112 pages and priced at $3.99

Second volume has 200 pages and priced at $5.99

For those who love the word of God the author has set down a key to the mystery of the divine Will. If these revelations  are indeed from the Holy Spirit or of man is for the reader to determine. In whatever case the author has merely served as the human agency to bear testimony of the Word forever settled in heaven.

96fa4c76-9520-4cbb-83a9-c21ca9246039-200xcover e book II

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(This is an excerpt from my book Marginalia, a Concise Guide to the Bible- amended)

Numbers:

In Bible numbers have many uses. We see it used for rhetorical purposes. ’For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof…(Am.1: 4).This is not what we shall discuss here. Nor are we seeking any mystical system that owes to the School of Pythagoras.

Then what are numbers for? The Holy Spirit communicating with man uses mathematical concept that he can well understand. These in the Spiritual parlance are often used as symbols. We shall see the Spirit tagging ministry and fulfillment of deeds wrought through human agencies  with corresponding numbers.

Miracle of multiplying loaves:

When we examine the miracle of Jesus feeding the multitude we find that the fragments that remained were twelve baskets full (Mt.14:20).This seemingly minor detail is repeated in all the four gospels.(Jn.6:13;Lk.9:17). In the gospel of St. Mark we read the fragments of the fishes were also part of these 12 baskets (Mk.6:43). One may wonder if frugality of saving food items that are noted for their perishability is so significant to find mention in synoptic gospels? This has however a deep spiritual significance. Our free will offerings are precious in the Lord’s sight. Testimony of the Son of man in feeding the multitude was a testimony noted in heaven as well!

In the twelve stones that Joshua placed in the River Jordan where the feet of the priests bearing the ark stood, also the Holy Spirit places similar emphasis. It is an everlasting memorial. Our service to the Lord nothing of it shall be lost and death cannot dispel its sweet savour (Ro.12:1).

The numbers are used to represent specific groups. These groups also carry theological significance.

Jesus chose twelve disciples who were to spread the gospel about the kingdom of heaven among the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Later we read that he went to preach in their cities as well(Mt.11:1). Even after Judas betrayed him and forfeited his place among them we read that a substitute was found by so the number twelve remained intact. The number 12 designates the Son. ( In brackets I shall give what is to be taken with caution:  One is  God 1+2: 3 trinity and 12 the Son as reconciliation principle.)

It is the designated number for God the Son on the earth. The number is as significant as the Almighty God is symbolized by One. (Ac.1:29). Also interesting to note is the fact all the disciples gathered in the upper room on that occasion were twelve tens,-one hundred and twenty. Ministry of Jesus as the Son of man represented kingdom of heaven. He was sent by his Father for a specific purpose (Jn.3:16). His father represented the Kingdom of God into which his own kingdom must be subsumed at a later date.

Multiples of twelve bear a theological tag on the earth as well as in the City of God. Such groups of 12 in multiples of ten designate the City of God. It is not difficult to understand the significance of an hundred forty and four thousand that stood with the Lamb on the mount of Sion (Re.14:1). They were redeemed from the earth for the Kingdom of God. The symbolism of the mount, lamb and number adds to our understanding. In the new earth and the new heaven we have the city of God and the scale is given as “according to the measure of a man, that is of the angel Re.21:17” Needless to say the man is like angels in resurrection Mt.22:30)

The number 4 is the tag that connects divine intervention over the history of nations. In the Book of Zechariah we have a sign of 4 carpenters who were sent ‘to fray them (the horns)…to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it(Zech.1:21).’ In another place an angel from the Lord reveals four chariots to the prophet, who asks him what do they represent. They are four spirits of the heavens that stand before the Lord of hosts. “Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts… he(the Branch) shall build the temple of the Lord(Zech.6:12-13). We get a telescoping view of the nations of the world being pressed into the temple-building to which Jesus Christ is the head(Zech.6:15). The number signifies cardinal directions which are echoed in the heavenly host that serve the Lord God(Re.4:2-3). Also noteworthy are the four beasts that are placed there to praise the Lord God Almighty without ceasing.

Thus we may conclude the number 4 speak of heavenly agencies who either stand as a memorial before the Lord or as enforcers of the God of hosts.

This number also refers to the manner the tribes camped during their wanderings in the wilderness. In the book of Numbers thy were to pitch their tents in their designated places about the tribe of Levi (Nu.2:17). Again we see the number 4 applied to angels who stood on the corners of the earth.(Re.7:1) The beasts and the elders are tagged by the number to indicate sovereignty of God over the earth and the fullness thereof. They are memorial unto God representing man and the creatures of the earth.

In the Book of Apocalypse we read of the 24 elders which are 6 groups of 4 each and their roles are different from the twelve apostles or the tribes of Israel.

Let us turn our attention from apostles to another group of seventy. The same number we first read as the elders upon whom God distributed some of the spirit resting on Moses (Nu.11:24)

In the gospel of St. Luke we read that Jesus appointed as a second wave seventy other disciples whom he sent two by two and their message was specific: the Kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.(Lu.10:1,9).

Perfect Atonement

On one occasion Jesus fed a crowd of four thousand. We read of that what was remaining filled seven baskets( Mt.15:32-38; Mk.8:1-9).An interesting point to note is that the number of baskets same as the number of loaves offered to Jesus. In his rebuke of his disciples for their lack of understanding (Mk.8:16-21) we may infer that there is more to it than simple telling of a miracle. Seven is perfection associated with God. And he (God) rested on the seventh day from all his work… (Ge.2: 2). The seven in this case symbolizes his broken body on the cross, the perfect atonement he could offer us. (This is reprinted from my blog Guide to His Word-selected)

benny

 

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Re.12:1-3 watercolor 24×32 cm 300 gm art paper ‘Fabriano’ 19 Jan.2016

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If we were to take our lives in a linear fashion, last week of 2014 and first two weeks of this year would represent for me a life-changing experience. During Christmas holidays it struck me to set to write songs using Psalms of David as the text. I set myself the task: the first fifty psalms.

I never had to look back and it came flowing as though it all had been arranging itself in the back of my mind all these years since I began reading the Bible myself. I began on 26th Dec. and completed Psalm #50 on 10 January. Average about 4 psalms could not have been as a result of my own conscious effort. God anointed me with a fresh creative spirit, which is the office of Holy Spirit.

Soon after putting Omar Khayyam into print I had planned to shift gears from my regular blogging on account of my failing eyesight and age. I wanted to go back to my love of study of the Scriptures which with the Psalms of David has come back in full flow. I had in the 80s written hymns for a Pentecostal group in my mother tongue and this time I wanted it as an aid for personal worship.

In a nutshell I have paid my dues to the world in going through some 70 years the accumulated wisdom of its wisemen, sceptics, ungodly and godly and I could loosen myself without being overawed. I tested as a rationalist and in many modes and I am still spiritually intact to worship my Lord.

Every day is a slice of life lived and whichever choices you make life experience peculiar to your decision shall be on hand. This is the lesson I found true in my case.

benny

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