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Posts Tagged ‘The Bible’

When Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he added a central joke which has become more famous over the years than the novel itself: “The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42.”

The Holy Spirit while organizing the narrative of the Word made flesh, tagged the earthly ministry of Jesus by three and a half years, that is 42 months while writing about earth events. Number 7 for instance refers to events associated with heaven.

When St Matthew compiled the Gospel according to him three sets of generations from Abraham to him are given in multiples of 14:  “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations Matt.1:17)”.

It cannot be coincidence that the same number one way or other is employed, examples of which are given below.

Two witnesses sent to prophesy shall be killed.”…And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth(Re.11:3)”. This is three and a half years in days.

In the vision of the woman clothed with the sun she brought forth a man child. She escapes to the wilderness where “she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent (Re.12:14)”.

From such evidences was late Adams being facetious or the number had found its spokesman? In whichever case the significance of the number would not simply go away. I shall cite some instances which in themselves do not mean a thing.

Here is a list I quote directly from the Independent, UK  Sunday edition dated Fe.6,2011/Paul Bignell

1. Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert died aged 42; they had 42 grandchildren and their great-grandson, Edward VIII, abdicated at the age of 42.

2. The world’s first book printed with movable type is the Gutenberg Bible which has 42 lines per page.

3. On page 42 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry discovers he’s a wizard.

4. The first time Douglas Adams essayed the number 42 was in a sketch called “The Hole in the Wall Club”. In it, comedian Griff Rhys Jones mentions the 42nd meeting of the Crawley and District Paranoid Society.

5. Lord Lucan’s last known location was outside 42 Norman Road, Newhaven, East Sussex.

6. The Doctor Who episode entitled “42” lasts for 42 minutes.

7. Titanic was travelling at a speed equivalent to 42km/hour when it collided with an iceberg.

8. The marine battalion 42 Commando insists that it be known as “Four two, Sir!”

9. In east Asia, including parts of China, tall buildings often avoid having a 42nd floor because of tetraphobia – fear of the number four because the words “four” and “death” sound the same (si or sei). Likewise, four 14, 24, etc.

10. Elvis Presley died at the age of 42.

11. BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs was created in 1942. There are 42 guests per year.

12. Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear’s spaceship is named 42.

13. Fox Mulder’s apartment in the US TV series The X Files was number 42.

14. The youngest president of the United States,Theodore Roosevelt, was 42 when he was elected.

15. The office of Google’s chief executive Eric Schmidt is called Building 42 of the firm’s San Francisco complex.

16. The Bell-X1 rocket plane Glamorous Glennis piloted by Chuck Yeager, first broke the sound barrier at 42,000 feet.

17. The atomic bomb that devastated Nagasaki, Japan, contained the destructive power of 42 million sticks of dynamite.

18. A single Big Mac contains 42 per cent of the recommended daily intake of salt.

19. Cricket has 42 laws.

20. On page 42 of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Jonathan Harker discovers he is a prisoner of the vampire. And on the same page of Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein reveals he is able to create life.

21. In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Friar Laurence gives Juliet a potion that allows for her to be in a death-like coma for “two and forty hours”.

22. The three best-selling music albums – Michael Jackson’s Thriller, AC/DC’s Back in Black and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon – last 42 minutes.

23. The result of the most famous game in English football – the world cup final of 1966 – was 4-2.

24. The type 42 vacuum tube was one of the most popular audio output amplifiers of the 1930s.

25. A marathon course is 42km and 195m.

26. Samuel Johnson compiled the Dictionary of the English Language, regarded as one of the greatest works of scholarship. In a nine-year period he defined a total of 42,777 words.

27. 42,000 balls were used at Wimbledon last year.

28. The wonder horse Nijinsky was 42 months old in 1970 when he became the last horse to win the English Triple Crown: the Derby; the 2000 Guineas and the St Leger.

29. The element molybdenum has the atomic number 42 and is also the 42nd most common element in the universe.

30. Dodi Fayed was 42 when he was killed alongside Princess Diana.

31. Cell 42 on Alcatraz Island was once home to Robert Stroud who was transferred to The Rock in 1942. After murdering a guard he spent 42 years in solitary confinement in different prisons.

32. In the Book of Revelation, it is prophesised that the beast will hold dominion over the earth for 42 months.

33. The Moorgate Tube disaster of 1975 killed 42 passengers.

34. When the growing numbers of Large Hadron Collider scientists acquired more office space recently, they named their new complex Building 42.

35. Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has 42 illustrations.

36. 42 is the favourite number of Dr House, the American television doctor played by Hugh Laurie.

37. There are 42 US gallons in a barrel of oil.

38. In an episode of The Simpsons, police chief Wiggum wakes up to a question aimed at him and replies “42”.

39. Best Western is the world’s largest hotel chain with more than 4,200 hotels in 80 countries.

40. There are 42 principles of Ma’at, the ancient Egyptian goddess – and concept – of physical and moral law, order and truth.

41. Mungo Jerry’s 1970 hit “In the Summertime”, written by Ray Dorset, has a tempo of 42 beats per minute.

42. The band Level 42 chose their name in recognition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and not – as is often repeated – after the world’s tallest car park.

 

 

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The Bible as God document has primary purpose to reveal the Name of God and his holiness. In practical terms a term as ‘God-breathed’ when applied to Scripture places the eternal word as the revealed word. So the narration includes the angels announcing events for example the angel who appeared to Mary; persons Melchizedek, Moses and Jesus for instance embody the weight of the word by appropriate actions while Adam, King Saul delineate consequences disobeying the word are for the benefit of any one who approaches the Bible for their lesson; significance of the word covers the entire spectrum of human experience and beyond so perfection that God desires has a range more than physical world demands from man. The word being forever settled in heaven(Ps.119:89),  fellowship of God with man is with view to equip him for eternity. So whatever man may know of God can only known on the revealed word. It is what the Holy Spirit has set down in human speech in the Bible. Hebrew, Greek or Malayalam are all alike and Holiness of the Holy Bible is inviolable for the simple reason that it is God document. The Spirit states God is Holy.

Secondary purpose the Spirit has set before us is to treat the revealed Word as inerrant and for our instruction in righteousness.  St Peter inspired by God tells us, “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy./17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:(1 Pe.1:15-17)”. It is God who has called us out. One may receive it in literal sense as we take words of advise from our contemporaries. Since it is Holy God who has called us it is rather a commentary on our level of understanding if we respond to it with reverence. God is a Spirit so by going behind the literal sense  and find its spiritual significance shows a spiritual person. The Jewish nation observed the laws without being enlightened about the Holiness of God. ”Be ye holy in all manner of conversation’  is not simply words of advise but it is imperative to grow in maturity by living therein. Therefore the Psalmist says, “Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them(v.129)”.

130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Benny

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Continuing from the previous post the Bible as God document gives us a clear idea of our standing with the creator God. It is not in manner anyone may say as distinct as a physical reality. God is a Spirit and we are flesh and blood having a form each different from another. So what is the connection?

What is the reality of a cup but its hollow? The form is only a means but its essence is in its confines. Similarly each of us carries an unseen world, reality of which is infinite Our thoughts and dreams do tell something more than physical reality that envelops us. The Bible being God breathed the words written by holy men of old, is God’s will and his ways set in human speech. It leaves however a certain hint of the Being which as the Creator of the heaven and earth yields to our power of abstract thinking. God is Love and he is Righteous  are many such aspects that we can relate to.

Darwin did not arrive at the theory of evolution singly. Simultaneously Arthur Wallace Russel also was busy formulating a theory very similar in another part of the world. They observed and arrived at their conclusions on the shoulders of wise men and their own conclusions. Apart from intellectually plausible, nevertheless ideas they had proof supporting their suppositions. So hard evidence also make their ideas hold up. By the same token God also has revealed himself as ideas and from hard evidence. Whatever one may know of God has to have a sound basis and it must be truth. Faith is one such area that man can accept it as the truth. Thus love of God the Father we speak having understood the nature of love from our human parent. Love of God we relate from our own earthly measure but we lifted ourselves beyond our comfort zone in order to please God is living an idea and believe in it. Turning the other cheek is not normal human response but when take an example from the manner Jesus Christ we put faith in our working clothes. By the same token when we have injured others by our words and actions we respond in a manner we have not thought before. We relate to God on the basis  of his Son. Jesus Christ coming to the world as Son of man is a benchmark to live up to. So faith is the lingua franca between realities of heaven and the earth. Faith without works cannot please God.

The book of life for the above reason explains the nature of God from the life of Jesus Christ who in fulfillment of many prophecies came to live among men. From many witnesses we may be sure it was indeed so. From the beginning till the last book what we find in the Bible is about him as the Prince of life. Science allows man from careful study of evidence of fossils, climate conditions through passage of time, to present a sound case for evolutionary theory. Whereas the Bible being God document is not about ethnography or sciences that man can satisfy his rational inquiry into his origin. The Spirit on the other hand presents a  case for reconciling heaven and the earth from God’s standpoint for his instruction. So Adam and Eve are to be understood in terms of making God’s Will and considering the nature of flesh has provided whatever necessary remedies that shall establish a single standard man can meet the righteousness of God.

The Spirit in organizing the will of the Invisible God and Jesus Christ as only begotten Son’ sent to the world and he has fulfilled them takes much of the Book. Thus when the Spirit states God created the earth and the heaven, it refers to the mind of  God. The Spirit refers to the time ‘In the beginning’ marking Time according to God’s calendar.  Parallel to it is how God the Son set out to fulfill it. According to the promise of God who shall receive all those who lived and kept their faith shall be part of the earth and heaven thereby ushering the Salvation  Plan of God has been fulfilled. The Spirit marks it as ‘the end times.’ In the beginning and end times are tags used by the Spirit and it is a clue for the reader not to approach it from earth time. For example here is a verse, “ But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law(Gal.4:4).” This fulness of time was determined by God and we can say that it was at the time to which the Gospels refer.

The Spirit creates parallelism from actions of God. God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and it made him a living soul. We see Jesus before his ascension breathed on the disciples. “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:(John 20:22)

(To be continued)

Benny

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Let us examine how the Spirit arranges the predictive part of the narrative from the point of view of the Son.

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations (Joel 3:1) Here we have a prophecy about the nation of Israel which is as good a place to understand how the Spirit deals with prophecies. The Spirit the third office in the Trinity is particular about time on which God and man can have a meaningful context. Time is God’s Time to which the Son of man is the emblem. So so many symbols, bread from heaven, the vine, the Good Shepherd  are all indicative time quality of which is not limited to man’s life span. mankind of all ages and clime regardless of race or clans draw on its divine quality. Similarly the fellowship of which the Father-Son relationship built up, is also an emblem. So when the Spirit uses phrases like ‘In the beginning’ and ‘in the end times’ or fullness of times we are left with no doubt as to the quality of Core Will. Man is inducted into it through the Son of man.

In the Time reset by the Spirit the Lamb slain before the worlds began’ is a kangaroo word. Into which many events must flow in. God who commanded ‘Let there be light’, reveals the divine Will. By the same token the Word was God (Jn.1:1). By restructuring time scales for God and man what the Spirit has achieved is underpinning, a scaffolding for the whole Scripture. Thus the Image of the invisible God is perceptible as spoken word of the Father and also a symbol. Father of lights is of the same quality and weight as the Son who “…was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world Jn.1:9”.

God the Son was present at the Creation Day and when the Spirit qualifies him as the Firstborn of all creation it is true. “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation (Col.1:15-NIV)  This has a direct bearing on the following verse: “Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son. Ex.4:22-NIV).” The Lamb slain before the worlds began as an emblem relates to the nation of Israel through God’s promise to Abraham. So must all families and nations  from the same promise. It is valid for God’s Time so nation of Israel is only one part. Remember the ladder of Jacob where so many steps laid one after another reaching to heaven? Each nation marks a time frame. God deals with nation of Israel as with others which is consistent with the prophecies, which are articulate. Articulated prophecies are like many pleats in a concertina working in unison in Time. We see it in Daniel’s vision of 70 weeks Dan.9:24 Daniel is informed of only one part and the other is separated as the river as the angels of God who stood on either side of it. This shall throw light on a few other passages.

Coming back to the prophecy of Joel what do we see in the manner the Holy Spirit places several gatherings of the nation of Israel as one? Beginning with Moses to coming of the Messiah the persons are what value the Spirit tags each. Moses as servant of God and Messiah as anointed Christos are predicted. So is Immanuel. “For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations (Joel 3:1). In those days and in that time are in God’s Time. 70 year of Israel as a state must expect captivity and gathering that must only happen in God’s Time. What we need remember is that God the Son stands as a symbol stumbling stone, corner stone as well as the rock cut without hands. As many strings strung on a single thread of God’s Will. Remnant of nations is as true as the total number of the children of Israel are all in context of the Son who serves as the fulfillment.

Benny

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The key to unlock the significance of Genesis is on a few premises:

“I and my Father are one (Jn.10:30).”

“(Spirit of truth) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you (Jn.16:14)” Thus the reader has to understand both God, the Father and God the Son has had equal part. Their relation is as the Core Will of the Father being fulfilled by the Son. The first verse of the Bible is the Core Will as perfect as not wanting an afterthought. In the Book of Revelation (21:1) * we have it as accomplished. Divine Power and Wisdom applies to both. Both books serve as bookends, and events sandwiched in between chronicle man’s destiny.

Lastly heaven and the earth are as one, under the sovereign Will of the Father. What does that signify? Man’s salvation wherever occurs in time and place on the earth has to be validated in God’s Time. It is the Spirit’s office and he achieves it in a manner that gives the Bible its peculiar character: types, symbols, signs, visions, parables and such like are therefore the means employed to establish Truth.

Note: *

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.’

The first verse in the Book of Genesis is from the standpoint of God the Father, His Core Will. Compare this with the new earth and the new heaven mentioned in the last book. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the earth were passed away;…(Re.21:1).” This new earth is not added from outside but signalling God, the Son has accomplished the will of his Father. “Behold I make all things new.” This is the testimony of the Son.

We also see the narrative mode of the Spirit. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last (Mt.20:16-NIV)”. In fullness of time God sent his Son and he accomplished his atoning work. So every believer according time and place on the earth by faith are set in heavenly places (Ep.1:3-14). This mode further underscores the testimony of Jesus Christ: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending…(Re.1:8) .

Ge.1:1 Heaven and earth do not mention any people. On the other end what do we read? In the Book of Revelation where the new earth and the new heaven are mentioned we read of ‘the holy city coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride…(Re.21:1-3) The risen Christ in his glory is present there.

The seas the sun and all physical features described in the first chapter of Book Genesis hold no significance since the Glory of God and the Lamb is the light of it (21:23). In the light we are told ‘the nations of them which are saved shall walk.

In this context let us consider the verse from Isaiah “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders …(8:18).” The same verse is repeated in the New Testament (He.2:13-15) It was necessary for the Holy Spirit to reorganize the creation account of God with appropriate signs and symbols; and this narrative mode is validated when we see it from the vantage of God the Son who ‘took not the on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham (vs.16)”.

Benny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This sketch is among three which I did today. Here is Virgin Mary in the house of Elizabeth who having received her cousin is back to her chores. Here she is watching while her help does the washing. You can see the courtyard and service yard.

Mary cries “Holy is his Name”  It is part of Bible Truths in pictures

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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 a 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 Savior 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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