God and His Christ

Deep Thought
(and Randomness)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Stubbornness (Unbelief)

"The Father is loving the Son and has given all into His hand. He who is believing in the Son has life eonian, yet he who is stubborn as to the Son shall not be seeing life, but the indignation of God is remaining on him." (Jh 3:35,36) 
God locks up all together in stubbornness, that He should be merciful to all. (Ro 11:36) 

Stubbornness. How often do we encounter people who are stubborn as to the truth (Ro 2:8)? Or stubborn towards the faith in Christ Jesus, the faith that saves? It is a simple fact that not for all is the faith (2Th 3:2, CV), which we painfully experience everyday. The gift of faith (cp. e.g. Ro 12:3; Phil 1:29) will not come into the possession of all during their lifetime, but only those who were chosen beforehand will receive it and walk in it (cp. Ro 8:28-30*; Eph 1:4,5; 1Th 2:13; etc.). Fact is that at the unveiling of the Lord Jesus from heaven with His powerful messengers, in flaming fire, He will be dealing out vengeance to those who are not acquainted with God and those who are not obeying the evangel of our Lord Jesus Christ (cp. 2Th 1:7,8). This declaration will come true just as any other divine prediction of events in the future. 

Why, then, do some receive faith or are graciously granted to believe in Christ (Phil 1:29)? 

God's goal with His creation is reconciliation (cp. Col 1:16-20). This reconciliation includes those on the earth and those in the heavens (v.20). At that point in time when God will reconcile all to himself, all of mankind will be constituted just (Ro 5:18,19), and will be vivified (1Cor 15:21,22). This all happens at the consummation (1Cor 15:23c, CV), at the conclusion of the eons (cp. 1Cor 10:11; Eph 1:10; Heb 9:26, all in CV). 

In the plan of God, Israel will be the light on and the salt of this earth (Mt 5:13-16), during the two impending eons, the millennial kingdom and the new creation eon=. They are the nation through which humanity will learn who God is (e.g. Ezekiel 36:23,36; Isa 26:9). God will display His might and power on this earth by means of them for all of mankind to see and admire. Nations will flock to the land of Israel after its Rescuer has arrived, gathered His chosen nation, and restored the kingdom to it (cp. Ac 1:6, 3:17-21)--they will come to worship and pay tribute to the God of that one nation (Ps 66:3-4, 67:1-7, 72:11; Isa 2:1-5, 25:6-8; etc.). 

What about the heavens, though? We know from Col 1:20 that there are also beings that are at enmity with God, because they will be reconciled. God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning (Gen 1:1), which are populated by invisible as well as visible beings (read for example Eph 1:2, 2:6, 3:10, 6:12; Col 1:16-17). God, just as he deals with His visible creation on the earth through Israel, deals with the invisible creation through the body of Christ, who are the believers today+ (Eph 1:1, 2:11-22). Through this body of believers, the new creation, God displays His transcendent riches of His grace and His multifarious wisdom among the celestial beings (Eph 2:6,7, 3:10), that way bringing all knees to bow, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean, and every tongue to acclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the Father (Ph 2:9-11; also Eph 1:10 and Col 1:18-20). 

Placing these things in front of our mind's eye, we can easily see why there is stubbornness. Without it, God would not be able to display anything, not His power or strength, nor His love. There cannot be light without darkness. 

Next time we encounter stubbornness or unbelief as to the truth, we can prayerfully bow our heads and say, Amen, God, thus You have decreed! I will not despair, but rest in peace in Your will, expecting fully Your wisdom, for You lock up all in stubbornness, that You should be merciful to all. 


* Ro 8:28-30: Now we are aware that God is working all together for the good of those who are loving God, who are called according to the purpose that, whom He foreknew, He designates beforehand, also, to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be Firstborn among many brethren. Now whom He designates beforehand, these He calls also, and whom He calls, these He justifies also; now whom He justifies, these He glorifies also. 

For a scripturally founded explanation of what the eons are, please visit http://www.concordant.org/expohtml/TheEons/TheDivineCalendar.html

+ This, of course, requires further exposition. Briefly put, the letter commonly called 'Ephesians' was in reality a circular, that is, a letter addressed to all believers in Christ Jesus at that time (Eph 1:1). In it, Paul explains, that those out of the nations were, in that era, apart from Christ [...] and without God in the world. Yet now, in Christ Jesus, you, who once are far off, are become near by the blood of Christ. [...] And Christ creates the two (Jews and gentiles) into one new humanity. Consequently, then, no longer are the nations guests and sojourners, but are fellow-citizens of the saints and belong to God's family (cp. Eph 2:11-22). This describes a major shift in relations between Jews and nations. Where there was enmity between the two, there now is peace. Both are unified into one new group of saints in Christ, which is the body of Christ, the Church (cp. Eph 1:22). 

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The "Ten Commandments"

Doesn't it seem sometimes that the ten commandments form the bedrock of Christianity? The first thing some people come up with when they hear about the bible or Christianity is exactly that portion of scripture in Ex 20:1-17, or at least some bits of it. 

But what if these words are not part of today's dealings of God with humanity. What if the ten commandments are not for the believers today, but for a completely different body of faithful ones? 

The context of the section in the 20th chapter of the so-called book of exodus is that of a people (sing.) and the God of this universe, who rescued this people out of bondage, and then led them to the mount to enter into a covenant with them. This is even the introduction of the chapter in question: 

Elohim spoke all these words, saying: I am Yahweh (will be - being - was) your Elohim Who brought you forth from the land of Egypt, from the house of servants. (20:1,2) 

The whole context of this passage demands us to say that the words that follow are spoken to Israel and no other nation or even individual. And, if we remember that the statutes, and the judgements, and the laws of the mosaic law as a whole were put between Yahweh and the sons of Israel on Mount Sinai by means of Moses (Lev 26:46), we cannot but see the things written in the law (the pentateuch, the five books of Moses) written for a specific people. Almost all in the five books is connected with Israel (except for some of Genesis); it all relates to the one people, their God, and the words of the covenant from Mount Sinai. 

Bearing this in mind, we can now focus in on the "Ten Commandments" and consider one aspect of them that is more than excitingly enlightening. 

Usually, the ten words in Exodus 20 are thought to be commandments, rules or regulations that need to be heeded and done. This is true, but there is much more about them that is usually unheard of. 

If we look into Wigram's Hebrew Concordance, we will soon find out that the tense of the ten words is the future. This is confirmed by Mk 12:30, where it says, You [Israel] shall be loving the Lord your God out of your whole heart, and out of your whole soul, and out of your whole comprehension, and out of your whole strength. Just like in the Hebrew, this verse is in the future tense. 

Obviously, finding out this fact enlightens us as to what the so called ten commandments signify. They predict much more what Israel will be doing for their God, rather then give them instructions what to do. Of course, they are precepts, laws that God wants His people to adhere to, but they are rather laws in the sense that they are uttered by God, who, in His omnipotence, brings about what He predicts, which is like a law of nature. 

Additionally, not only are the ten words of Exodus twenty really predictions, but we should also be mindful of the fact that law came in by the way, that the offense should be increasing (Ro 5:20), and that through law is the recognition of sin (Ro 3:20). 

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Trinity Refuted

By quoting just a few scriptures, the teaching of the trinity can easily be disproved. I will quote five passages, and, if at all necessary, write a short comment to each. We should accept the simple words of scripture, instead of philosophizing around them. I am quoting from the Concordant Literal New Testament. 

John 5:36-38 
Jesus speaks out: "Now I have a testimony greater than John's. For the works which the Father has given Me that I should be perfecting them, the works themselves which I am doing are testifying concerning Me that the Father has commissioned Me. And the Father Who sends Me, He has testified concerning Me. Neither have you ever heard His voice nor a perception of Him have you seen. And His word you do not have remaining in you, for that One Whom He commissions, this One you are not believing." 

God, the Father, commissioned the Son. God the commissioner, Christ the one commissioned. 

1Corinthians 8:4-6
Then, concerning the feeding on the idol sacrifices: We are aware that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other God except One. For even if so be that there are those being termed gods, whether in heaven or on earth, even as there are many gods and many lords, nevertheless for us there is one God, the Father, out of Whom all is, and we for (lit. into) Him, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through Whom all is, and we through Him. But not in all is there this knowledge. 

God the source, Christ the means. 

Philipians 2:5-11
For let this disposition be in you, which is in Christ Jesus also, Who, being inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with Godnevertheless empties Himself, taking the form of a slave, coming to be in the likeness of humanity, and, being found in fashion as a human, He humbles Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 
Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him, and graces Him with the name that is above every namethat in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean, and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God, the Father.

Supposing the trinity was true, how could Christ be inherently in the form of Himself, or equal with Himself, or how could He exalt Himself, or grace Himself with the name above all names? 

Colossians 1:15 
(Christ), Who is the Image of the invisible God, 

How in the world can we read this to mean that Jesus Christ, the Lord, and God, the Father, are the same "person"? Tell me! Anyone? God, the divinity, is invisible, and Jesus Christ is the perfect image or display of that being, out of Whom all is. 

1Timothy 2:5-7
... there is one God, and one Mediator of God and mankind, a Man (lit. human), Christ Jesus, Who is giving Himself a correspondent Ransom for all (mankind, cp. 2:4) (the testimony in its own eras), for which I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying, a teacher of the nations in knowledge and truth. 

One God and one Mediator of God and mankind. Two, not one. Jesus Christ is the mediator of mankind. He is a species by himself. Not mankind, nor God, the Father, but right in between the two. He is the perfect, flawless mediator, in Whom we can see the Father in a form that we can understand and perceive. 

Now, we may wonder, what about the holy spirit? The Trinity says it is a separate "person" in the Godhead. These are unscriptural terms, first of all, and should be discarded immediately, for they don't help to come closer to God, but rather distract us from Him. Second of all, we need to face the fact that God is spirit (John 4:24). If we are aware of this and then read Luke 1:35 we see that holy spirit and God is the same. 

And answering, the messenger said to her, "Holy spirit shall be coming on you, and the power of the Most High shall be overshadowing you: wherefore also the holy One Who is being generated shall be called the Son of God." 

The messenger that speaks to Miriam, the mother of Christ, doesn't say that the holy spirit comes on her, but holy spirit, without the article. Note the parallelism of Holy spirit and power of the Most High. This verse proves that spirit is the means by which God generates, how He effects things in this world. Spirit is an element, a force or power, not a "person". Also, if God and holy spirit were not the same, how could Jesus Christ be called the Son of God? Is Jesus Christ called the Son of the Holy Spirit anywhere in the scriptures? 

Friday, September 01, 2006

Job's Faithful Words (No.2)

And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath. 
(Job 42:7, KJV) 

The book of Job is one of those literary works that deserves close attention. Reading it and believing the parts that pleased God is very deserving and instructive. The quote above is from the end of the book and marks Job's own words as pleasing to God. This is why we can read his words without having to be on the lookout for blasphemous or wrong teachings. Therefore, here is another beautiful bit out of the mouth of our beloved Job: 

A human, born of a woman,
Is short of days and surfeited with disturbance. 
He comes forth like a blossom and is snipped off;
He races away like a shadow and does not stand. 
Indeed, it is on one like this that You focus Your eyes, 
And You bring me into judgment before You. 
Who can make what is clean from the unclean? 
No one. 
Since his days are decided, 
The number of his months are set by You, 
And You have made his statutory time, 
Which he cannot surpass. 
Be heedless of him, and forbear, 
Until like a hireling, he may fill in his days. (Job 14:1-6, CV)

These words should humble us. God is the one in charge, and we are like hirelings fulfilling our duty set by Him on this planet earth. This is truth and a lesson not learned by most people. The days of each individual are already decided, the number of their months are set by God, and He has made the required times for each and everyone. Dear reader, Do you believe all this? You better read and heed if you don't!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Eph 5:22-33--The Bride vs. The Body

A brother in the faith claimed that Paul calls us believers His bride or wife. This, he said, was in addition to the ecclesia (church--the out called lot of believers today) being called the body of Christ. He founded his argument on Eph 5:22-33, and especially on verse 32. 

But if we look at the passage closely, at best accurately translated, we will soon find out that Paul does not use the figure of the bride for the body of Christ. 

The graphic I inserted here shows the text of Eph 5 and is formated in such a way as to show the corresponding parts of the text. The indented and unindented bits correspond topic-wise respectively. The unindented ones give us the relationship between man and wife (human perspective), whereas the indented lines describe the relationship between Christ and his out-called people ('the church') (divine perspective). 

Throughout the text we learn through the little Greek words for 'as' and 'according as' how the relationship of man and wife relates to the relationship between Christ and His church: 

This is how the two relationships relate, clearly stated in vv. 23, 28, and 30. Please note the fact that the ecclesia is not denoted as the wife of the Christ anywhere here in this passage. Rather, Christ, the head, and the husband correspond, and the ecclesia, the body of Christ, and the wife correspond. 

Now, my friend in the faith claimed that the quote from Gen 2:24 proves that the imagery of the bride/wife is used of the body of Christ as well. But this is not in the text. The whole scope of the passage disproves it. 

If we take even just a brief look at the context of the Genesis text, we will notice that the man leaves his parents because the woman was part of his body once and he wants to be rejoined to her. The body or the flesh is in view, not the fact that the person for whom the man is leaving his parents is a woman or his wife. 

Again, verse 31 corresponds with the other verses that give us the human perspective or relationship. In this sphere, and according to the context of the quoted Genesis verse, the man loves his wife because she was part of his body, and, initially, the man leaves his parents to love and be joined to her for the same reason. In other words, the love, or the desire to become one flesh with the woman, which is an expression of love, of the husband is in view in verse 31, just as it is in verses 25a, 28, 29a, and 33. 

What about verse verse 32 then? 'This secret' seems to refer to the expression of the love of the man towards  the woman. The being one flesh of the man and the woman apparently foreshadows the being one flesh of the Christ and His ecclesia. And exactly here is the point where the relation stops: Only the "one-fleshness" of man and woman corresponds with Christ and His ecclesia. Just as the man is head of the woman, and the woman part of the body of the man, thus also is Christ Head of the ecclesia, and the ecclesia is part of the body of Christ. 

The body (of Christ) is not denoted as bride or wife of Christ in this and no other passage of the bible. The body of Christ is a distinct group of believers; it does not belong to the bride, which is saved and protected Israel in the time of restoration of the Kingdom to Israel on this earth (cp. Isa 49(:18), 61(:10), 62(:5), best read in context! Also Jn 3:29, Rev 19:7, 21:2,9). 

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Rotherham vs. The Concordant Version

Check out this link. It is 'Rotherham's Emphasized Bible' on Amazon.com. Scroll down to the 9th review of Nathaniel Merritt and read it! He's got it right on the spot. 

Rotherham's is already an accurate translation, as it appears, I have never put my hands on it, but the CV goes way above it, just as Nathaniel states in his review, and with which I agree. You who are reading this, if you are revering God, the creator of this universe, and want to know about all His thoughts for all of his creatures, get a copy of the Concordant Version at www.concordant.org, if you haven't already! Do it now! You will not regret it! 

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Beauty of God's Will

Jesus declares: 
"All was given up to Me by My Father. 
And no one is recognizing the Son except the Father; 
neither is anyone recognizing the Father except the Son 
and he to whom the Son should be intending to unveil Him." 
(Mt 11:27, CV) 

Have we done anything for our knowledge of the Father? None at all. It was Jesus Himself who unveiled the Father to us, He intended it in the first place, we didn't seek God, the Father (Ro 3:11). Let us always remember that our salvation from death does not spring from our own deserts, our own initial decision, or our own morally good constitution. God alone! All that we are in Christ was the work of God alone (cp. Eph 2:8-10, CV)!