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Posts Tagged ‘The Immanuel Factor’

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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Predestination is a theological term. For a Christian it is made real by faith. When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior Lord we became what was foreordained: it means that we believed the Will of God as concerning him included us as well. By faith we inherit eternal life instead of condemnation. From that time on life for a Christian is life hid in Christ. His reality takes in realities of heaven as well. Ep.2: 4-7 It is the Will of God which St Paul in his epistle to the Ephesians writes as “ordained that we should walk.. (vs.10, 8-9)”

When John pointed to him and cried “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn.1:29).” we recall what occurred before his birth was announced to the ageing Elizabeth. In the appointed time he was filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his Mother’s womb as was foreordained (Lk.1:15). In short foreknowledge of John the Baptist owed to God. The Bible tells us in so many manner our place in the Mind of God as determined before. The many symbols the Holy Spirit use in the Scripture signifies their role.

Let us consider our own body with that of the Son of man. Before the worlds began God the Father willed a body for his Son. The Spirit refers to it as a symbol. Body as a symbol. He is the Lamb slain (Re.8:13). As he is so are we in this world. We have a natural body and we bear certain relation to the symbol indicating our earthly reality has its heavenly antecedents. Therewith we have the boldness to say, “We shall also bear the heavenly (1 Co.15:49).”

For a child of God the body has two functions: one is at a physical plane and the other as a type: It is God’s will and pleasure to give all living things a body which we may, for the purpose on hand call it as natural body. It has its counter part in a spiritual body. When St Paul writes juxtaposing earthy realities with heavenly glory in his epistle to Corinth (1 Co.15:38-50) he is setting down earthly realities vis-à-vis heavenly realities. Also significant is the manner the Spirit brings unity to the scriptural narrative by sustained symbolism. The Lamb slain was the emblem in the eternal Mind. Redemption of man depends on his vicarious death. The brazen serpent in the wilderness in turn foreshadows the manner of death which is on the cross. The Lord taking up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind (2 Ki.2:9-11) is a forerunner of the resurrection of Jesus and his Ascension(Ac.1:11) Such sustained symbolism serves same service as rhyme pattern of songs in the ancient world as aid to memory. In spiritual terms it applies to every believer where he stands because of his belief in the vicarious death and resurrection 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)”.

“There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit and the water and the blood: and these three agree in one (1 Jn.5:8).” God has sealed us and the Spirit is our surety that on the day of resurrection we shall be received by him. 2 Co.1:22; Ep. 1:14.

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour we witnessed it by three things. Baptism by water signified that we are dead to the world. It also indicates that the price was the blood of Jesus shed for every believer, which by faith made it personal. Indwelling Spirit is also part of the personal equation we created in the process.

“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.

In Peter’s epistle we are told that the hidden man is incorruptible (1 Pe.3:4; Ep.3: 16)

Cain murdered Abel for he was angry that God had no respect for his offering. When God says, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me,” indicates God hears the dead just as well the living. For God is ‘not of the dead but of the living; for all live unto him.’ (Lk.20:38,32)

Analogy of Inner man to natural man is similar to Seth filling in place of his dead brother Abel. His descendants were considered as righteous line-, and not Cain or his progeny, into which Jesus shall be included. The Spirit witnesses to us our part in the genealogy of the family of Special Relationship. God adopted us in Jesus and symbol of it is in the indwelling Spirit. Being led by it we grow in knowledge of Jesus who speaks ‘better things than that of Abel (He.12:24).’

This leads to the reality of Christians in terms of body: They have a natural body that shall be dissolved. They also have a spiritual body that is incorruptible.

When we accept Jesus as our savior we have abundant life or life plus. Since our spiritual body is hid in Christ, meaning we are in heavenly places. That is our hope. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtainHe.6:19-NIV).”

benny

(reprinted from Guide to His Word / post of Nov.2, 2017)

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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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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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