Monday, 28 December 2009

Is it well with your soul

Here's a simple but effective sermon from my Senior Pastor for the end of the year..

http://zionbpc.org.sg/resources/audio/2009/271209%20Ps%20David%20Wong.wma

Especially if you want to find out how a mango, a tic tac and your soul are related =)
(it was an all age service)

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Church Dynamics

After reading Glen's post here:
http://christthetruth.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/dont-trust-the-supralapsarian-youth-leader/
(of which I've had a similar experience)

and listening to his sermon here:
http://go2.wordpress.com/?id=725X1342&site=christthetruth.wordpress.com&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.christthetruth.org.uk%2FJohn%25201.mp3

Thinking again on how the church should be in the world...

I've come to the current conclusion of the dynamic relationship:

That is... the church or Christian home needs to be a place of pure godliness, without compromise - i.e. full of love, and no selfishness
i.e. a place of Sabbath rest

The world will always be the world - and we are not asked to change the world, but instead, bring people into the church

Thus the dynamics of the people is a constant back and forth from the "Sabbath-rest of the church" i.e. sinless Christian fellowship - to the "toilsome work of the world"
- constant progression back and forth between these 2 - especially on daily basis
is the best way of witness
- it is the dynamics of the Father and the Son
- it is also our own dynamics of our relationship with Him

Therefore - do not compromise the church, and do not make it a place of 'toilsome work'
Therefore also do not try to change the world - but go there as someone part of the church to bring people back with you

we are to 'Catch up' people into the fellowship of the church, which itself is 'caught up' into the fellowship of the Living God

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

So then what about Romans 7

Romans 7 has always been a problem...
each time i read it i have to rethink the whole thing again

on one hand there is the so-called 'Christian cop-out'
in the sense that chapter 7 describes the 'normal christian life'
i really want to live a great life for God - but I can't - oh well...

then there are the others who say this is Paul recounting his preconversion experience
that's all well and good up till verse 13
but then everything switches to present tense
and if that were the case
Romans 7:25 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
the bold part of the last verse would not be included

Now if I look through this again I think maybe it begins to make a bit of sense

So in Chapter 6 - Paul has said you must no longer serve sin, and if you do, you are a slave to sin - bringing about death

Similarly in Chapter 8 - if you walk according to the flesh = death

So then the Christian life cannot be a constant failing - and this would be inconsistent with anything Jesus has to say - i.e. 'you must be perfect' etc..

Chapter 6 shows us how the gospel deals with the flesh
Chapter 7 into 8 shows us how the gospel deals with the law

The Law can only convict of sin
So Paul once acknowledging the law - died
but then he had a connundrum - inside he was sorrowful and agreed with God, but in the flesh he could not do what God wanted
- this does not necessarily imply him being a Christian
- for example Judas would agree that what he did was wrong, and thus would agree with God of his sin - and even agree what a wretched man he is
- but conviction of sin is not = repentance - but merely worldy sorrow

then comes the goal of the law - it points to Christ
it then says - thanks be to God for Jesus, and Jesus fulfilled what the law demanded of me - but my flesh could not do

so what Chapter 7 is saying is - if i walk according to the flesh, the law will condemn me and show me that it is impossible - present tense
so what is the solution? I need to turn to Christ (present continuous) and walk according to the Spirit - the flesh needs to be constantly not trusted in and handed over to death
So then if I walk according to grace, or the Spirit, He working in and through me will overcome the flesh and allow my dead-flesh to accomplish great things for God - similarly to what Christ did on the cross

So the present life of a Christian is to never trust in the flesh and do things according to the flesh - otherwise the law will point out that I am failing God, and not pleasing Him

So what do I do? I walk according to the Spirit - which then will allow God to use my weak flesh for great purposes - in its weakness

Thus the most important thing is 'setting my mind' on the Spirit - and 'consider' my flesh dead and gone - not merely on despairing about sin - and then I will be born again - Rom 8 - the testimony of the Spirit - not merely sorrowful

The Message

I'm really starting to enjoy Eugene Peterson's Message translation these days

check out his understanding of Romans 7-8
Romans 7
Torn Between One Way and Another
1-3 You shouldn't have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she's free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she's obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one's disapproval.

4-6So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to "marry" a resurrection life and bear "offspring" of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we're no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we're free to live a new life in the freedom of God.

7But I can hear you say, "If the law code was as bad as all that, it's no better than sin itself." That's certainly not true. The law code had a perfectly legitimate function. Without its clear guidelines for right and wrong, moral behavior would be mostly guesswork. Apart from the succinct, surgical command, "You shall not covet," I could have dressed covetousness up to look like a virtue and ruined my life with it.

8-12Don't you remember how it was? I do, perfectly well. The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself out in all that finery, I was fooled, and fell for it. The very command that was supposed to guide me into life was cleverly used to trip me up, throwing me headlong. So sin was plenty alive, and I was stone dead. But the law code itself is God's good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel.

13I can already hear your next question: "Does that mean I can't even trust what is good [that is, the law]? Is good just as dangerous as evil?" No again! Sin simply did what sin is so famous for doing: using the good as a cover to tempt me to do what would finally destroy me. By hiding within God's good commandment, sin did far more mischief than it could ever have accomplished on its own.

14-16I can anticipate the response that is coming: "I know that all God's commands are spiritual, but I'm not. Isn't this also your experience?" Yes. I'm full of myself—after all, I've spent a long time in sin's prison. What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary.

17-20But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

21-23It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

24I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question?

25The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.
Romans 8
The Solution Is Life on God's Terms
1-2With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ's being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

3-4God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that.

The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.

5-8Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn't pleased at being ignored.

9-11But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won't know what we're talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God's terms. It stands to reason, doesn't it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he'll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ's!

12-14So don't you see that we don't owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There's nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God's Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

15-17This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Biblical Work

Prof Paul Stevens - Dean of Regents College Vancouver

defines 'kingdom work' as something like this:

Activity that creates new wealth, alleviates poverty, embellishes and improves human life, creates well being in nature, seek's to bring in God's shalom, welcomes Go's life-giving rule in the world and in people


what is wrong with this ?

and how would you define it?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A Global View of the Earth is Karma-tic?

According to karma, what goes round comes round and you can never escape from what you have done. Isn't that awful? Because it means that we can never escape from our sin nor the consequences of our sins. It comes back to bite us! But thanks be to God for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It good news that in Christ, our sin and the consequences of our sin is taken away - never again shall the two (the Christian and sin) meet. Especially as we celebrate the incarnation (strictly speaking, the birth rather than the incarnation which happened 40 weeks earlier) with Christmas approaching it is a reminder of how Jesus takes on flesh to destroy it completely, to leave the deathclothes of humanity behind forever, before rebuilding a new humanity in His resurrection. Yes, the glorious and comforting gospel of Jesus declares that "as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Ps. 103:12).
Yet, as glorious as this is, perhaps our view of the world is not conducive to such assurance of sin removed forever. A global view of the earth is one where east meets west, where what goes round comes around. It's a view of creation in which sin can never ever be gotten rid off. It's a view in which what goes round comes round - sin that is removed faraway to the east finally arrives back at where it came from. In such a global earth, can sin actually be removed from us? Perhaps we need to think and picture a creation where east and west cannot ever meet, and when we do then we can rejoice not just metaphorically but really in how the Lord has created a place where what goes east can never ever appear in the west so that he can really remove our sins infinitely away from us; indeed, so that we will trust in and depend on Jesus alone to bring us West.

The Strength of Sin

My wife pointed this out to me recently:

James 4:4-5 4 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us"?

James is pretty strong when he calls some of his church members - enemies of God - i.e. those who wish to murder God

it is no wonder that some of the church fathers called sin - Deicidium - or God-murder
sin seeks to ungod-God

yet - the sin is not defined so much by our rebellion/transgression or disobedience - but much more - "by His jealous Spirit"

It is the strength of the love of God that makes sin so serious
if you had a lousy relationship with your wife, then she couldn't care less if you flirted around with another
but if your wife loved you with a jealous and passionate love, then every little tiny glance of another is tantamount to the adultery - every thought (as Jesus says) - is equivalent to sleeping with another

therefore He yearns jealously over us, and yet is constantly able to wipe the slate clean, time after time though we constantly stab Him in His heart..

It is no wonder then the Spirit so constantly grieves ..
and when we flee the youthful passions (think Ruth & Boaz) - He is prepared to use us so mightily

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Passing through the fire (2)

In relation to the previous post

why is it that after passing through the fires of judgment,
there needs to be a time of rest - before the new life

Note Jesus' body after the cross, resting in the grave

Note the 70 years after the burning of Israel - till the return

Note the subsiding of flood waters in Noah's time

Note the lag time between a 'seed dying' and the germination of a new plant

The next age is said to be the Age of Rest - the Sabbath age(s)
where there is no 'ordinary work'

or perhaps the theology is not quite right
as in the Sabbath is the time of restoration - a time of comfort
proceeded then by the time of New Life, New Age, New Activity
so Sabbath then becomes the underlying value of the New Creation?

We died with Him, so we also will rest with Him, then raised with Him, ascended with Him, seated with Him, judging with Him, and then - life eternal with Him, ruling with Him

More takers?

Monday, 23 November 2009

Church Membership

An extra from catechism class

what does church membership involve?
http://www.mediafire.com/?zznmltwxzwm

Friday, 20 November 2009

Trinitarian Church Dynamics

From "The Other Six Days - Paul Stevens"

A fully trinitarian approach is needed, since the identity and ministry of the laos are shaped by the God whose people we are. God has called out “a laos for himself” (Acts 15:14) or as the King James Version puts it, “a people for his name.” If the identity of the laos comes from the Trinity, the vocation of the laos also comes from the triune God. In this way both the being and the doing, both the identity and the vocation, of the laos will be considered.

Trinitarian Ministry

The ministry of the laos is not generated exclusively by the people, whether from duty or gratitude. All ministry is God’s ministry. God’s ministry continues through his people. This ministry begins not when we join the church to help do God’s work but when we join God (John 1:12) and have “fellowship . . . with the Father and with his Son” (1 John 1:3). Laos ministry is participation in the ingoing ministry of God (Father, Son and Spirit) and simultaneously participation in the outgoing (sending) ministry of God. “As you sent me into the world,” said Jesus, “I have sent them into the world” (John 17:18). On the first (the ingoing), God is “lover, the beloved and the love itself,” as J├╝rgen Moltmann puts it (p. 32). On the second, God is sender, sent and the sending.

_____________________

To this rich understanding of peoplehood and ministry each of the three persons of the Godhead contributes. The Father creates, providentially sustains and forms a covenantal framework for all existence. The Son incarnates, transfigures and redeems. The Spirit empowers and fills with God’s own presence. But each shares-coinheres interpenetrates, cooperates-in the others so that it is theologically inappropriate to stereotype the ministry of any one. But that is exactly what happens.

Christians tend to “play favorites” when it comes to describing peoplehood and ministry. For order, providence and sustaining the structures of society we appeal to the Father. The Son is associated with redemption and winning the lost. The Holy Spirit is the focus of those seeking renewal, empowering charisms and direct religious experience. Churches and denominations tend to form around one of the three: Father denominations emphasize reverent worship and stewardship. Son denominations stress discipleship and evangelism, thus furthering the work of the kingdom of God. Spirit denominations promote spiritual gifts and graces.

A rich and full doctrine of the Trinity avoids such stereotyping. God is more than the sum of the Three. God is not God apart from the way the Father, Son and Holy Spirit give and receive from each other what they essentially are. “One God”-the primary confession of Islam-is ironically the Christian’s deepest praise. We affirm that God is more One because God is Three. The laos too does not have a “mashed potato” unity, as is sometimes alleged, but a rich social unity in which each member becomes more himself or herself through experiencing an out-of-oneself (ek-static) community life. Unity is not the means to the end-a practical necessity to get the church’s work done. Unity is the end, the goal, the ministry itself (John 17:22; Ephes. 1:10; Ephes. 4:13). To be laos then is not merely to be a bouquet of Christians or a cluster of saints. To be laos means to be simultaneously communal and personal. In the long history of trinitarian reflection, this supreme idea of the personal and interpersonal within God forms the true basis for the identity and vocation of the God-imaging people.

Implications for Laypeople

The implications of this for peoplehood are substantial. Being laos means that members of Christ coinhere, interanimate and pour life into one another without coalescence or merger. The Greek church fathers spoke of this as pericho4re4sis, mutual indwelling within God as a model for mutuality in the people of God. It means belonging communally without being communistic or being a collective. Moreover, and pertinent to the clergy-lay dilemma, being a perichoretic people means being a community without hierarchy. The community of Father, Son and Spirit finds its earthly reflection “not in the autocracy of a single ruler but in the democratic community of free people, not in the lordship of man over the woman but in their equal mutuality, not in an ecclesiastical hierarchy but in a fellowship church” (Moltmann, p. viii). Such a community can have leadership and diversity without hierarchy; it can be a community without superiors and subordinates; it can be a church without laity or clergy-in the usual sense of these terms. Three conclusions may be drawn from this.

First, there is no such thing as an individual layperson. If, as I have proposed above, we live out the Christian life interdependently, the individual Christian is an oxymoron. Consistent with the Old Testament, the saints in Paul’s letters are really a unit. The saints are the church, which is the body of Christ. Believers are held together in what can be conceived as a corporate, inclusive personality. It is biblically inconceivable for a person to be a believer in Christ and not be a member of this community. John Wesley once observed that the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion. The believer’s identity is corporate as well as individual. In Christ we can say, “I am us!” Whereas the basic unit of the church is the individual member, for Paul the basic uniqueness of the individual arises from his or her membership in the church.

Second, there is no hierarchy of ministries. In his seminal work on the theology of the laity Hendrik Kraemer says, “All members of the ecclesia have in principle the same calling, responsibility and dignity, have their part in the apostolic and ministerial nature and calling of the church” (p. 160). Incarnating our loving submission to Christ’s lordship in every arena of life precludes saying that certain tasks are in themselves holy and others are sacred. Laos theology is concerned not only about the work of the ministry but also about the ministry of work. William Tyndale, the English Reformer, was considered heretical and executed for teaching, among other things, that “there is no work better than another to please God; to pour water, to wash dishes, to be a souter [cobbler], or an apostle, all are one, as touching the deed, to please God” (p. 98).

Third, supported Christian ministry is not the vocation of vocations but merely one way of responding to the single call that comes to all (Ephes. 4:1). Most expositions about ministry are magnetically attracted to the supreme place of the ordained professional as the minister-par-excellence. It is small wonder that laypersons aspiring to ministry attempt to become amateur clergypersons or paraclergy. There is some reason for this. Work in the church is strategic because the church is the prototype community and the outcropping of the kingdom of God, but work in the church is important only in view of what its members will be and do in society. Church leadership must be evaluated not in terms of its priestly character but by whether the saints are equipped for the work of the ministry seven days a week (Ephes. 4:11-12).

Passing through the fire

It was just pointed out to me that:

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 2 Peter 3:10

Does not give the image of total destruction
but rather of the entire universe passing through a refinery furnace

i.e. some things will be destroyed (the dross) - others will be refined

so assuming this will all happen like Christ on the cross,

His body, now riddled with sin
is passed through the fires of His Father's judgment
what is left however is a spiritual body - fully seen in Rev 1
the difference is that every part of Him is a life-giving Spirit (1 Cor 15)
as opposed to an animated piece of meat

So then... here's a question

Is it that something that was created in the first run - remains after passing through the fire?

Or is it that it is really something brand new?

Or is it something totally different all together
I have a feeling the phrase 'swallowed up' has something to do with it

(this topic is now brought up a lot by current theologians in a big way because of all this 'creation preservation' stuff)

Any takers?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Cat Class - the Church

Last session I did for the membership class
this one is on the Church

http://www.mediafire.com/?hly5zjcod5m

next week we get to talk about Bible-Presbyterian distinctives
lol... the joy...

Monday, 9 November 2009

How to build an ideal family for eternity

Strange question?

Think about it..

One of the Father's goals
to build a family with many children

problem - if I have more children... they will fight amongst each other
they will prove which one is better
they will try to earn my love by works
(or rather - try to 'buy my love')

solution..
do something that will nullify their works
then they will see that they are all equal
no son better than another

It is by grace you have been saved and this through faith, and this not of your own doing - it is the gift of God. Not through works IN CASE any man should boast
Eph 2:8-9

Method:
Ask Firstborn Son to do all the work

Condition:
Firstborn Son must not be proud either - otherwise He too will exalt Himself
then all will have inferiority complex

Solution:
Make Test for firstborn son - to prove to others He is not proud
In fact - show that He is the most humble of all men
That He will go 'lower' than anyone

Result:
One big happy family - for all eternity
Everyone the Same...

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Grace first, Grace Last

The gospel timeline is like this in Scripture
(especially reading Romans & Galatians)


-----Gospel-----|--Gospel+Law--|----Gospel------
------------------|-------------------|-------------------

So in the church it should be this:

-----Grace------|---Grace+Law---|-----Grace-------
------------------|-------------------|-------------------

Why then is law added?
"Because of sins"

When then is the law used?
1 Timothy 1:8-11 8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.


Thus it is NOT - preach the law to convict of sin, then preach Grace
NO - PREACH GRACE, then preach the law to the disobedient if they are still unrepentant, then preach grace again!

The Glory of The Cross

A Line from the hymn "Alas! Did my Saviour Bleed"

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his (the sun) glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Cheap Grace

Talk about a powerful opener to a sermon...

go Rico!

http://www.allsouls.org/ascm/allsouls/static/sermons/showsermon.flow?id=12621

Here's a one-liner:

"Do you see yourself as a laid back person.... it's unbiblical"

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Learning the languages

The joys of Hebrew:

note the same meanings of the words

the word for servant also means worship

the word for uncover(i.e. to shame) means to exile

the noun for tribe comes from the word to extend

the word for 'to trespass' means to cross over

the word for 'to hear' also means 'to obey'

interestingly the word for wilderness posibly comes from the word 'Word/thing/matter'

Sunday, 18 October 2009

God Vs the World

A talk on James 4
with a few book by book audio clips included =)

http://www.mediafire.com/?yy1mewzkzyj

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Humility

Here's a question:

Usually we talk about humility that comes from brokenness - i.e. from sinfulness

Yet it is Jesus who is most humble - is that because of sin?

I'm sure humility is an 'eternal attribute' of the Living God
how then should we become humble - that is not because of sin, but because of Who our Father is?

Any takers?

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Amazing Grace

Here is my lame attempt at a talk on this topic..

it's a raw recording
i have no idea how to edit it

or any desire to do so =)

http://www.mediafire.com/file/mydtzz5ho5g/45min - Amazing Grace.WMA


me ripping off Venning, Edwards, Scrivener, Reeves, Virgo, Newton, etc...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Falling Short

2nd catechism class on Man

http://www.mediafire.com/?uzkz1zjnvti

no points for original material here! =)

might do one more in a month or so... we'll see

Monday, 5 October 2009

Jesus as saviour first, judge later

Do not judge others, lest you be judged..

Christ proclaims to us that we are not to come as the judges of the world
for Christ Himself did not come into the world to judge, but to save

Therefore when we cast judgement as the judge, we proclaim ourselves greater than Christ

So we are prevented from making any judgement
Jesus (Matt 7, 18), James (james 3-4) & Paul (1 cor 5) tell us that if we judge as judges
the reason is because we 'want to be the greatest'
we put others down

therefore we are 'blind guides'
we presume we can see what is wrong with that person
even though the fact that we are judges means there's a huge lot wrong with us!
we are of no help to anyone else
and we will only cause others to fall into the same pit of destruction
the minute we try to get close to help
we stab them with the huge spear that we are carrying out of our eye

however, when Christ pulls the log out of our eye and nails Himself to it for us
then we can see clearly..
we now have correct vision - the log where it should be - cross-vision
we can now pull that log out of the eye of others
by sacrificing ourselves for their sake

i.e. we come as discerning judges - saviors
we 'judge' who is lost and how we can bring them to the cross
we are useful and we confront others, even discipline them
only to build them up and not to put them down

we do that by giving up our lives for them
facing rebuke by them
facing abuse by them
being rejected by them
cursed by them
time and time again...
finally..
being put to death by them
this is the only way to show love - Jesus style

so that they may be saved...

and this.. stunningly enough
within the church alone (we never judge the world!)
that others outside may see
and enter.. because they see our love one for another
that is the insanity of biblical evangelism.... (john 13)

in this we see the mystery:
Christ died 'for the church' - indeed by this - Christ died 'for the whole world'


in the end.. if they still refuse
we will be their Judges
we will deliver the sentence of condemnation
together with Christ

Glen going visual

Here's a fantastic Youtube video made by Glen!

Monday, 28 September 2009

Getting into the right mindset...

I've been helping to teach the new catechism class in my church

trying to make it more trinitarian and christ crucified centered
so have been changing the notes a bit
taking it slow.. =)

see what you think

this one is on God:
http://www.mediafire.com/?dzhqxqcg3bg

see if you recognize some of the points and where they are from =)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Insane Grace of God

Read this:

Romans 2:3-5 3 Do you suppose, O man - you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself - that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

The logic of God defies all human understanding...
yet it is something very clearly revealed to us in creation...

I was thinking about prayer
what happens when we don't pray according to His will?
i.e. people pray for selfish riches etc
you'd think the answer would be no...

but according to this verse, the answer is yes!
take the errant child in the parable of the wayward son
he is granted all the riches of his father's wealth
eventhough his father knows he will squander it

yet why does he give it?
in the hope that he will see the father's great love
and come to repentance!
how insane is that

and yet any 'good father' does that with his own errant children
he continues to shower grace and to try every form of blessing on his child
so that he/she turns and rejoins the family!!

what an insane love this is..
Our Father pouring out grace for us

and yet.. how terrifying
on judgement day when they see the tremendous blessings our God has given to them
how many times he has said yes
and yet how we abuse it again, and again, and again
what a 'store of wrath' that will be!!

the sign of sonship is discipline
Hebrews 12:6-8 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

to those the Father wants to 'groom' to be disciples
He is strict - the more that person wants to be a disciple,
the stricter and the more difficult the circumstances the Father throws him into
just like a coach training a champion athlete
only the strictest regimes are allowed
- the goal is perfection

Jesus had the most vicious of training circuits
indeed He was perfected in suffering - unto death on a cross

Look at the good gifts your Father in heaven has given you
is not it time to give all to Him?!

Friday, 18 September 2009

The Revelation of God

Mike Reeve's stuff on Trinitarian Revelation

Good stuff

a favourite verse from old:
Psalm 36:9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

get it? no? listen to talks...

- although I'd add one more point
- I don't think that preaching is the end point per se
- but rather the Word must always become Flesh...
- it's never meant to 'hang out there' or 'to remain unaccomplished'

Thursday, 17 September 2009

An early version of "That's my King!"

The law and the prophets and evangelists have declared that Christ was born of a virgin, and suffered on the cross; was raised also from the dead, and taken up to heaven; that He was glorified, and reigns for ever. He is Himself termed the Perfect Intellect, the Word of God. He is the First-begotten, after a transcendent manner, the Creator of man; All in all; Patriarch among the patriarchs; Law in the law; the Priest among priests; among kings Prime Leader; the Prophet among the prophets; the Angel among angels; the Man among men; Son in the Father; God in God; King to all eternity. He was sold with Joseph, and He guided Abraham; was bound along with Isaac, and wandered with Jacob; with Moses He was Leader, and, respecting the people, Legislator. He preached in the prophets; was incarnate of a virgin; born in Bethlehem; received by John, and baptized in Jordan; was tempted in the desert, and proved to be the Lord. He gathered the apostles together, and preached the kingdom of heaven; gave light to the blind, and raised the dead; was seen in the temple, but was not held by the people as worthy of credit; was arrested by the priests, conducted before Herod, and condemned in the presence of Pilate; He manifested Himself in the body, was suspended upon a beam of wood, and raised from the dead; shown to the apostles, and, having been carried up to heaven, sitteth on the right hand of the Father, and has been glorified by Him as the Resurrection of the dead. Moreover, He is the Salvation of the lost, the Light to those dwelling in darkness, and Redemption to those who have been born; the Shepherd of the saved, and the Bridegroom of the Church; the Charioteer of the cherubim, the Leader of the angelic host; God of God; Jesus Christ our Saviour. (Irenaeus, Fragments 54)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Sacraments: Infant Communion and Baptism

Been thinking recently...

What if 'communion' and 'baptism' were not the only 'officiated' sacraments?

This is of course related to the definition of sacraments... which I think should mean "God's revelation to us". Actually, that would make everything God's sacrament.

This takes me to the bow in the heavens as one of many sacraments, and the feast of meat after the global flood. What are both but pictures of baptism, the Christ-ark through the waters of renewal; and communion, where we must feast on the meat of Christ?

But then this made me think more about what then of the contemporary debates on baptism and communion (i.e. believers' baptism/communion and infant baptism/communion? My guess is this...
  • Though the picture of baptism and communion, as continuations of circumcision and passover, are clear in its portrayal of the circumcision by the Spirit and the feast on Christ's flesh and covering of his blood...
  • The true baptism happened long before we were even infants. In fact, true baptism was occurring when we were in the watery sack of the mother's womb!
  • So when the goes from darkness to light, from the womb to the new world, he/she is covered in both blood and water. There, the baby has already been baptised - the sacrament of child-birth has already portrayed the true meaning of infant baptism; or should I say pre-natal baptism?
  • And communion is immediately enjoyed upon feeding on the milk of the mother, a taste of new creation, though one day he must feed on the meat of Christ; just as the Israelites have been drinking milk but after Christ incarnate the entire world is feeding on His flesh. The object of faith has always been the same, though progressively revealed from Israel to the World.
Now if that is roughly an accurate thinking of sacramental theology, then long before we even knew Christ, we were already receiving the first communion and first baptism. Then, the human instituted baptism and communion are but testimonies of other sacraments which say the same thing - that, essentially, God loved us in Christ Jesus long before we even knew the Name of God. To illustrate - that crying, smelly, dirty, blood/water-covered, hungry baby is the object of God's love. If that is true sacrament, then for crying out loud, take your communion and get baptised right away: not to show how faithful you are, but how faithful He is as you stand before Him as that very infant.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Give us our daily bread...

2 Corinthians 8:13-15 13 I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, "Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack."

This passage is actually dealing with how the churches at Corinth, Macedonia and Achaia were supplying monetary provision for the needs of the others

But look at the quoted passage from the OT:
Exodus 16:15-18 15 When the people of Israel saw it, they said to one another, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "It is the bread that the LORD has given you to eat. 16 This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Gather of it, each one of you, as much as he can eat. You shall each take an omer, according to the number of the persons that each of you has in his tent.'" 17 And the people of Israel did so. They gathered, some more, some less. 18 But when they measured it with an omer, whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack. Each of them gathered as much as he could eat.

It implies that the Lord has given His church their daily bread as a whole
everyone has been given sufficient for what the day needs and not for the next
yet some gathered more, and others less - but no one had more than one omer per person
implying that the global church has been granted sufficient resources for all it needs, yet the distribution of resources has been different - such that some may learn to be humbled and ask, others may learn to be generous and give
if then there is lack - it is the fault of the church, not the Lord

so then James says:
James 5:1-6 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you.

his accusation is against the rich of the visible church that store up the manna - indeed it has rotted in their bank accounts! and the rest of the church is now crying out..

Lord forgive us for holidng back and show us how to give in love, generosity and abundance that all may have need - and trust the provision of the Lord

no wonder it the prayer is "our Father" "give us our daily bread"

Friday, 4 September 2009

To the third and fourth generation...

Someone asked a question last night - why in Neh 9 do they pray for the sins of their fathers?

here's a suggestion - referencing the third and fourth generation passing of sin in the 10 commandments:

Deuteronomy 23:7-8 7 "You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were a sojourner in his land. 8 Children born to them in the third generation may enter the assembly of the LORD.

things up to the 3rd and 4th generation symbolise the inherentness of something
so an Edomite or Egyptian 3-4 generations later becomes an Israelite - proving that this is his true nature

similarly for sin:
Exodus 20:5 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,

for example.. Cain is a murderer - now Lamech is the 4th from Cain - is also a murderer
implying the inherent violence in the human race- that will cover the whole earth (cf. Gen 6:11)

also in the book of Amos, the accusations against the nations are like this:
Amos 1:3 For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
Amos 1:6 "For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment,
etc

So as you were saying last night..
the sins of our fathers admission is a demonstration that we know the inherentness of sin and the proneness of the flesh

now it is not that this causes us to 'blame them'
therefore in Ezekiel 18 - this is the case:
Ezekiel 18:2-3 2 "What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, 'The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? 3 As I live, declares the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.
and the rest of the chapter

in this case - we are using the 'it's not our fault' argument - it's their fault

but the humble sinner recognises the inherentness of sin within himself, knowing that he will do the same sins of the fathers left unchecked - and so in Neh 9-10, enters into the covenant promise of the Lord - with a true repentance (cf. 2 Cor 7)

In fact those that understand this pray for the sins of others - e.g. Nehemiah, Moses, Jesus, Job, etc...

there is one other time this 3/4 thing is used - Prov 30
blackham has a post on that
not sure if it ties up with this!

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Dos and Donts for Christian Discipleship

I use Google Analytics for this blog..
and I've noticed a very interesting thing

several hits everyday are for Google searches for 'Dos and Don'ts for Christians'

I find that very revealing and worrying

Google Search Christian folk - The "Do" of Christianity is Christ, the "Don't is to not be like Christ"

You cannot follow Christ by a a list of rules - this is what the Pharisees did...
you must love Him, trust Him and imitate Him

All your thinking must turn (repent) and be about Him
All your actions must come out of knowing Him
all your being must resonate with His Word abiding in You

Stop searching for rules... go and read Jesus in all Scripture and all creation (via Scripture), and Godly Christ-imitating men and women everywhere and everyage

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Reap a Harvest of Righteousness

Often we have heard sermons and conventions based on Matt 9:38

Matthew 9:36-38 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."

Some saying go... (and preach the gospel)
some saying pray.. then go...

Until recently this use to confuse me..
how do we go and 'reap a harvest' ?
Jesus has not asked His disciples to go and 'sow the seed'

how about this one:
Luke 9:1-5 nd he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, 2 and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. 3 And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. 4 And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. 5 And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them."

same passage.. same idea
but later in Luke 22 - He tells them quite the opposite:
Luke 22:35-36 35 And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." 36 He said to them, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.

We all know that 'sowing the seed' - like Jesus the true sower - is preaching the gospel
watering is teaching (cf. 1 Cor 3)
but what about harvesting?
harvesting is associated with the day of judgement - when the angels come and reap the harvest that has been sown
so what about in the present time?

NT passages:
Romans 1:13 13 I want you to know, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for all your generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

James 3:18 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

and that's pretty much it.. excluding the gospels and Revelation

now is the time of wilderness - it is the time of growth - the time of the visible church - the seeds that have been planted are growing
some will be genuine and 'give birth' - Christ formed in us - being born again
some will die and fall in the desert - hardness of heart has stopped the new life

the harvest of righteousness is the formation of Christ in individuals (when they are ripe for the reaping) - it is these that Paul wants to take with him on the way to Spain - it is these that are full of fruit and good works, it is these that will cause new seed to be sown again elsewhere

the Matt 9:38 passage is a passage for the church
when the 'collectors' are sent out - take no possessions, expect the previous Seed that is sown to have already been bearding fruit - if anyone receives you stay with them, yet if anyone rejects you shake the dust of your feet

the Luke 22 is a passage for witnessing to the nations
- prepare for the long haul, and indeed a battle... be patient, take time, labour and sow... water and reap - later there too will be a harvest

how is it the way we do 'Gentile mission'? is there a place for 'church mission' too? the reaping of the harvest of righteousness - to take along those that have been fruitful to go and 'sow seed' somewhere else...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Big Rock

This is quite funny:

Can God Make a Rock So Heavy Even He Can't Lift It?
I remember when I first heard this bit of immature atheistic reductio ad absurdum. I was in high school, and I didn't respond to it because the Nirvana-shirted, long-banged drama stud who said it didn't say it to me. He was laying it on his friend like it was theist's kryptonite.

My answer then, steeped in C.S. Lewis as I was, would have been along the lines of the nonsense of the question as framed. It is a rhetorical and hypothetical "gotcha" with no sincerity behind it, and in any event, it is sort of like asking, "Does the number nine smell red or yellow?"

My answer today is different. My answer today would not be to skewer the nature of the question but to inject its insincerity with the sincerity of God and all the weight of the gospel.

The truth is that God did make a weight so heavy he couldn't lift it. He did so not by building an immovable force -- we did that with our sin -- but by incarnating the frailty of humanity and willingly subjecting himself to the force. As one of us, yet still himself, he created the conundrum of the incarnate God, bearing a cross he both ordained yet could not carry by himself, becoming condemned in death and also victorious. And God was crushed according to the plan he himself projected from the foundation of the world.

So, can God make a rock so heavy even he can't lift it?

Yes. And he did. For three days only. And then he drop kicked it out of the mouth of the tomb.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Putting it all together

Right...

so as far as i've got with all these rather curious thoughts

I figure..
the old covenant, the first Adam, this creation, John the baptist, the earthly church, the baptism of repentance (the washing), the outer signs, the law, the clay-jar bodies, the provision in creation, the 'famine' (unsatisfying-ness) of creation, etc...

all of these mean the same thing
they are:
1. to convict the world of sin & judgement
2. to point the world to Christ

They are designed to be the womb, the dust in which the Seed is planted
The Seed then grows, and takes over - swallowing up what is outside
the pre-figuring is in the incarnation, the actual event is in the Cross, the culmination at His 2nd coming

the purpose of all these things is to host the Seed, then pass away - totally - nothing will remain
the formation of Christ's new body is underway - birth pains are happening
even in the individuals - Christ is being formed - 'passing the 12-week marker' so to speak

the most curiousness of the New Creation in Him..
think about how normal birth works:
there is a womb, there is the egg from the maternal side
yet the egg is merely the host, it is the Seed (the Word/DNA) that takes over and re-designs all that is there
the 'external' factors of the egg merely provide assistance - this is the Church and the angels
finally, there is no longer any left of the egg, only the Seed remains - the new life

Think now of discipleship, evangelism,etc
you need to point to Jesus, and then die...
learn from John the baptist..
if you don't point to Jesus - you are useless
if you don't die - then Jesus can never be 'born'

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Work of the Church

The work of the church is synonymous to the work of the Spirit
we prepare the way for Christ
ours is the baptism of repentance - not the baptism of the Spirit
(which makes sense why you can baptise people immediately and infants too)
cf. John 4:2
- we break up the ground (convict of sin)
- we wash away the dirt (baptism of repentance/John)
- we plant the seed (preach the Word - i.e. Christ crucified)
- we water the seed (teach the Word)
- we reap the harvest (the fruit of righteousness - cf. Jam 3:18, 2 Cor 9:10)

yet it is the Seed that grows by itself - we know not how (1 Cor 3:6-7)
people must be pointed to Christ by the church
the church must assist Christ to grow, to be formed in people in every way

interestingly - we are not told to get rid of the weeds...

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Abraham's 2 'sins'

Abraham is often thought of as sinning with Pharaoh and Abimelech

I wonder if it's more of Abraham getting his bride that he sent to Egypt to be under slavery from Pharaoh - as Jesus did before coming back to Canaan

and then the triumphant bride causing the closing of the 'wombs of the world' - in Abimelech who is the Leader of the Philistines - i.e. a type of Goliath/Satan
so the church is separate from the enemies of God - yet living amongst them and they are not allowed to reap any of their benefits - the 'well incident' with Phicol
that's why sandwhiched in between the Abimelech incidents is the seperation of Isaac and Ishmael - cf. Gal 4

haven't quite thought about Isaac though...

Friday, 24 July 2009

Off with his head

continuing on my new weird notion that John the Baptist is a type of 'church'

He convicts the world of sin
He points them to the coming Seed
He preaches the same message as the seed
His is the baptism of repentance (cf. Acts 19)

He must decrease while Jesus must increase
He is the forerunner.. Christ is the destination

Isn't it then fitting that he ends his life with his head being cut off
the New Head of this body - is Christ!

Friday, 17 July 2009

One Flesh

In order for us to be united with Christ, in Christ

Christ must die, so that we can become bone of His bone, flesh of His flesh

Christ is the fruit of His Father
as long as He is in the Tree,
He cannot die, He cannot be tempted

Thus Christ must be cut off from His Father
So that the fruit may not so much wither - but the flesh may be stripped - and die
so that the Seed may be planted into the dust He has made for Himself
i.e. the dark watery womb of the earth that He must enter
in that death, He then can take into Himself all of creation
germinating something new

How does it grow? He knows not
His Father makes it grow
it is a new thing

So then all creation now becomes part of the destroyed temple
into the new temple
at least in the flesh

Yet to be ready
the dustly creation first had to be prepared
it had to be made
then it had to be broken
i.e. sent into exile
then it had to be watered, and ploughed
(breaking up the fallow ground)
thus is the initiation of the law, the old covenant
the showing of exile, sin and repentance
the baptism of John
preparing the way for the Seed to be planted

those of stubborn hearts will only continue to reject the Word
unless they are broken and truly broken (not just the topsoil)
therefore the field (i.e. the world) is continually washed
the reminder of Noah's flood in every raindrop (that's why there was no rain before)
yet the promise of deliverance in the hung up war bow of God that circles His Sun throne
continually reminded of judgement - i.e. the prophets - Elijah
the first Adam/old covenant/Law rained blow after blow of hammers and swords upon it that it may receive what they pointed to
in that the church still works - convicting with the Spirit of sin and judgement and righteousness - breaking up the fallow ground
(no wonder the Puritans always preached first law then gospel)
indeed we are told - man works the ground, and God sends the rain - all in preparation for the Seed - so that there may be a harvest
instead of warring with swords - the church will beat them into plowshares - and join in the prepatory work for the Messiah
only in the judgement will these same plowshares be beaten again into swords - to destroy the wicked

the true partnership of Spirit and Church in both ploughing, preparing, watering, planting, nurturing and even harvesting - also with the angels

then the Seed, which are His bones laid in the dust
may enter
the 'piece of the bone of Christ (remember Joseph)' now becomes your bone
and that bone then grows new flesh (as opposed to the sinful flesh)
entering this new and growing flesh comes the Spirit of life
working also from within to give life

The new creation will no longer need an outer washing
it is clean from within
all it needs is a purging of what remains from the old
the 'washing of fire'
or rather - the salting of fire - which is a washing from within rather than without
a consummation of inner realities rather than a total replacement

Those that do not receive the Seed that is cast all over the earth
or the Light that has shone in the darkness (for they hide in the shadows)
will also be part of that new creation - for all flesh is taken up by the seed
yet because they do not bear fruit, i.e. they have not received the Spirit, but rejected the Sap of the Vine
they are broken off and cast into the everlasting fire - they will not be burned up because they are part of the body of the immortal God who is everything in everyway

Thursday, 16 July 2009

The outer washing first... then the inner fire

The world was created out of water,
and had to be washed by water first
yet the outer washing does not cleanse anything permanently
just as in the days of Noah, after the flood
the hearts of men were still evil

yet the outer washing prepares the way for the inner fire
John the baptist, prefiguring the old man, the old covenant
he convicts of sin, he breaks the hard soil
prepares the way for the Seed to die in ones hearts
the Holy Spirit now germinating it from within

the inner fire starts from within,
the salty seed planted that bursts into flame as it dies
the mustard seed if you will, incendiary in nature
sparking a new creation

yes the outer washing continues
but as the Word/Seed grows and abides
the inner flame takes over
the old man is not merely denied
but is mortified and crucified
the new man within becomes the reality

and on the last day, all will be tested in the fire
that comes from the growing tree coming into full blossom
the mortal swallowed up by the immortal
the permanent change of all things old into the new creation

Monday, 13 July 2009

The 2 families

Abel trusted in the atoning sacrifice of the firstborn of the flock that would shed His blood for him and was saved - indeed counted righteous

Cain hating his brother's righteousness, attempted the hypocrisy of religion to the Lord God and was condemned for his useless fig-leaf-like seduction
Hating his brother, who was now separate from him, he became a murderer - killing the righteous - guilty of all the blood of the saints

Cain then proceeded east to become a wanderer forever, the lost stars in gloomy darkness - the fortelling of the eternal casting out into the outer darkness, not annihilation but eternal wandering

Cain and family then continue their 'outcast' ways - they build cities, delight in worldly things, make a life for themselves, entertain themselves with music, and tools, establish a community of the world - that festers more of the murderers way of seventy x seven vengeance

Abel's family on the other hand hates this world - their names are sorrow, and preach about judgement, and long for the restoration to their Father - they call upon His name - this world is not their home they cry - they wait for the Rest of the Father to come - the Noah who will deliver them into the creation washed new

Again after Noah - the Way of Cain is not finished
Canaan's line continues this path - city building and continuing their rebellious creation as gods of this world - Nimrod leading the way

Perhaps then this is why the Lord picks Abram - the nomad who left both Hittite and Amorite - the tent dweller - and shows him the land that is to come

This world is not our home - do not dwell in it - be careful of being like the family of Cain - all these things seem harmless and people want to 'redeem' them for God's purposes

Yet the Way of Jesus is so utterly different... remember John the Baptist's words... if you have 2.. give away 1...
we are desert dwellers - nomads - tent makers

Help us Lord not to deceive ourselves!

The Word of God

Christ is the Word of God

the reason Scripture is also called the Word of God is because it is about Christ
more than that - Christ is this same Word (breathed out in the Spirit from the mouth of the Father, through the flesh of man) made into Flesh

He is the Living Word of God

therefore to say that anything is not about Christ- His Person and His Works
is like saying there are pieces of the Bible that Christ does not fulfill, or pages that do not make up part of His body

He consumes the entire Word and He is it fulfilled - Scripture in living colour
- the Scripture is contained within Him - thus it is referred to as a Living, Talking Entity - cf. Gal 3:8, 3:22, Rom 9:17, etc

thus then we too as we consume the Word - become more and more like Christ - the Word once again doing what it was meant to do .. the DNA of the universe coming into fleshly being
- Christ formed in us

now we are indeed His Body, the church - the very Word of God Himself
and every action and word that comes from us speaks to others
so much so that when we are spent - the Word that was within us still speaks, as that life-blood-Word is poured out on the earth - speaking a lasting testimony to all - remembered forever by our Father in heaven

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Noah's Ark, Hong Kong and The Lord who Saves.

So I've never blogged before.. but I saw and experienced some stuff today that hopefully will be an encouragement to you! It's less of a theological post, and more of a collection of thoughts I noted down during a day trip in Hong Kong. So sorry, it'll be a bit long.. And Dev I hope you don't mind me just suddenly posting out of nowhere! I gather you wanted people to post here when you started up the blog, thus why we have access.. Hope it's alright!

In Hong Kong/Asia there's this massive property development company called Sun Hung Kai, and apparently the owners/founders are Christians. Recently they developed and opened a park called "Noah's Ark". The main attraction of this new development is a full size replica of Noah's Ark, as described in Genesis. Sounds pretty sweet huh? Christian property developers.. the involvement of various Christian organisations.. a great salvation story with which to point people to the cross of Christ.. I was looking forward to an opportunity to check it out.

I managed to get a ticket to go along with my dad and some of his friends and so off we went early this morning to get there for the 10am opening. It was a pretty cool sight when we got off the ferry at Ma Wan where Noah's Ark is located. This thing was huge. Bigger than I imagined the Ark to be and if you're a friend of mine on facebook, I'll have pictures uploaded soon.
So we got there and our first point of interest was to get alongside the Ark and then into it.

The first area was an introduction into the Ark and why the Lord commanded Noah to make an Ark. They were quite good at describing the lifestyle that was being condemned by the Father.. Overall, it was pretty good biblical stuff with various Bible quotes, videos giving different types of info on the Ark and how experts think the actual design worked out, and other general facts on the time period, how long it took to build etc.
It was fairly encouraging although there was no specific link to Christ or that real problem of mankind was a rejection of the Father. Gotta give them a chance i figured. Maybe the next section will have some more solid gospel presentation.

Long story short, as the day wore on, my heart sunk as the message turned into some semblance of: 'The Ark saved Noah, his family and many animals. In our calamities, struggles and issues in the world, we must find our own Ark. We must work hard to love one another. We must work hard to love the world more. We must work hard to love ourselves more. If we strive enough, we can save ourselves and this world from falling apart. Global warming, wars, famine, etc are going to destroy our world. The timebomb of the end of the world is coming.. let's work to stop it'

It's quite well summed up in the "Vision and Mission" where they state their purpose is 'intended to promote family values and teach love, social harmony and care for the environment.'
Wow great. That's totally the story of Noah. /sarcasm I don't know why the message became what it did. Maybe they didn't want to offend.. maybe they wanted to stay politically correct.. either way, it seems to be fairly common nowadays :(

It was just so sad. Most sad were the interactive sections of the Ark.
They had a series of games/activities, to teach...good morals i guess?
One was called "A date with yourself" You walked along a 'rainbow bridge' and at 10 various points there was a mirror. By each mirror there was a question/task on a piece of paper. When you flipped the paper, it gave a moral teaching. ie. "Put your left hand on your right shoulder, right hand on left shoulder and snuggle your head in. Flip paper. You're giving yourself a hug. Learn to love yourself more!" What? We need to learn to love ourselves more? .....
Another was a game in a dark room (i forget the name) where you are blindfolded and you are given a piece of string (acting as a banister) thats leads you while you walk over various different materials/textures. Then suddenly the string is gone. And you're standing alone in darkness trying to find out what to do. Then one of the game attendants links you back with your friends as a human train and you're led out the room. They ask you questions afterwards.
Q: When did you feel safe, with or without the string?
A: Obviously with!
Q: How did you stay strong when the string was gone?
A: Our friends led us and guided us.
So the lesson is that when things go wrong in our life, there are people, friends, family who you can find strength from. And I'm sure there are others who find strength from you. So we must learn to stick together and guide each other.
I had to contain my laughter. We were all blindfolded! Our security wasn't from each other. That would be to have the blind leading the blind! It's destined for failure. There is absolutely no way I'd feel safe if we were only able to rely on our fellow blind friends. They failed to see that our security was from the game attendents who were able to see. Only one who can see the light, or rather is The Light, can guide the lost and blind. Surely that is the only real teaching from such a game.
I was so sad. And not only sad but filled with a despair and helplessness.

And so the day went on. There's a bunch of other stuff there to do, alot of educational things and whatnot but this'll do. I feel like i've dragged on already and hope you aren't bored with reading this. Like I said, it's my first post and I probably neeed to learn to condense my thoughts!

It was around 4pm already and we were starting to think about leaving. There were only a couple of small places to glance in on before heading to the exit. One of them was this little sports ground, the size of 2 basketball courts with some tiered seating on the side. The peculiar thing was that there were about a dozen or so white people on various instruments looking like they were getting ready for a performance. (excuse the term 'white people' i'm not trying to be racist at all, but it was definitely a sight that drew attention given the location etc.) So we decided to sit for a quick break and check out what it was about.
Lo and behold, as they got up, they were introduced as members of a mission team from the states to spend time here in Hong Kong and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. The next 30 minutes or so, these americans put on a gospel concert with drama, singing and a short testimony in the middle. (They even sang 3-4 songs in cantonese, which was VERY impressive!) I managed to chat with them briefly afterwards, which was nice. Was really encouraging to meet them and find out how best to pray for them :)
In the midst of my frustration at the lack of gospel proclamation in this place, particularly since my unbelieving dad was there too... the Lord used the most unlikely of ways to bring His good news. I was totally hoping for and praying for God to speak through the actual Ark and the stuff inside to the people of Hong Kong.. and when I felt that the place was useless for proclaiming the gospel, the Lord showed me how wrong I was.

And this is really what I want to share and encourage you with. So often, I find myself thinking that what someone, or even myself, has done is just too rubbish to be of use to the Lord. I find myself thinking that there is no hope and that no one will be able to hear of Jesus, and come to know Him. But I was reminded today, that the Lord loves to lift high the name of His Son, and to expand His kingdom. He LOVES to save. I too often fall into the trap of thinking that I want people to hear of Christ and be saved, but alas, it just ain't happening today. I forget that no matter how much I think I want people to be saved, the Lord wants it infinitely more. And also has immeasureably more power to do so!

I still feel that the Noah's Ark attraction could be so much more faithful in proclaiming boldly the gospel of Jesus. However, my sadness cannot be intertwined with a sense of hopelessness and despair that the good news is not going out effectively. If man were acting alone then sure, the gospel would have no hope. But the Lord's strength is such that it can be displayed despite human weakness. It is a gospel given to us from above, and so will succeed. If the Lord were able to be stopped by merely the falleness of created beings then my view of God is obviously not in line with the bible!
I think in such situations of flawed/failed witness, it is right to be sad. However our sadness should be focused on our failure to faithfully reflect the glory of Christ in all it's fullness. But with the knowledge that our God, known only through Jesus, is and always has been a God who saves, there is no room for despair. There is only room for hope. Hope that somehow, someway the Lord in His sovereignty, despite the failures of our flesh, will bring many into His loving grace. Hope that the Lord will use things such as the Noah's Ark attraction, such as our flawed attempts to reflect His glory, to tell the world of all that has been achieved on the cross of the Son despite the failures and shortcomings of our witness. I don't know how He'll achieve it. Today and recently He's been using this group of young americans (amongst others I'm sure!). Tomorrow? Next week, month, year? I don't know. But what I do know is that the Lord will save. Why wouldn't He? Afterall, we do believe in Jesus, The Lord who Saves.



edit: if you want to check out the Noahs Ark website, here it the link.
http://www.noahsark.com.hk/eng/

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Redemption Through Exile

When reading Jeremiah you come across a very odd thing
the good thing for the Israelites to do was to go into exile
if you didn't you would be destroyed

the old Israel had to be destroyed
it is the first Adam
it is the old covenant
it has all the imagery and facade to point to the 2nd, but it itself must go for the 2nd to come in

In Eden - we find redemption only comes when Adam is in exile
the Seed must be planted into the dust of the world which is cut out of God
so that the world can be incorporated into the new life
the life that is outside of God, and outside of Adam
this new way is the way of Christ, who incorporates both God and man and leads them both into the new creation
Christ is the end of the exile (Matt 1)

similarly, when you are born again, a new creation starts in you
your old body testifies to this new birth
but it must be destroyed - crucify it
it must be disassembled - break it
it must be poured out - spill your blood
it must die - die every day

the new life is the hidden treasure of the fiery torch that will merely be consummated on the day of judgement
it is real and present
otherwise it does not exist
the outside is merely a cracked jar - which will reveal its uselessness or will be shown to contain the power of God, that is, His Spirit

the non-Christian has no substance, he is but chaff that the wind (Spirit) will blow away

trust nothing of the flesh
do not regard your old man/life as anything but utter loss
there is nothing that will be carried over into the new
the old must be burned - even the skies and the heavens must also be burned
we do not return to our Father
Our Father whom we've never met meets us in the new place - Rev 21
Eden was merely a staging ground for the real Eden to come

the scale of the God-Man Christ Incarnation miracle is truly beyond human imagination!!

The Final Act of Christ - is to hand the keys of this new home, family included to His Father in heaven - that God may be all in all! (1 Cor 15:28)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Provision & Famine

Greetings from Singapore

always wondered why there are 7 years of prosperity followed by 7 years of famine in the story of Joseph

I kind of have a theory like this now:
God gives good gifts to all men in His provision
then He places a famine on these things so that they don't satisfy (cf. Hag 1)

Then a Ruler is raised up that stores good things in Himself
So that at the time of uttermost famine - all good things are found only in One Person
the true Joseph - Christ

So even in creation itself (of course after the church reveals it), we can say:

Acts 14:17
Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.


Look around you and see the abundant provision of the Lord showing He is good - yet these things are going to be and have now been stored up in Christ and will be completely removed on the day of Judgement

Saturday, 6 June 2009

The Spirit in Adam, the Covenant of Grace

Hey people.. I never really had a chance to vocalise my thoughts on the nature of Adam's faith, so here are some (non-detailed) bullet-points..

  • When Adam was made of dust, he was 'good' but just like the rest of creation, is still awaiting the type of New Creation perfection.. total unity of heaven and earth, rather than just the garden of Eden
  • What this means is that redemption and new creation is not a return to Eden, but is better than Eden
  • So Adam, pre-fall, is less than what we inherit post-new creation
  • Despite Adam pre-fall inheriting no sin, he was our head in whom we committed the same things (Hebrews 7 - the point on us tithing through Abraham to Melchizedek)
  • He had the covenant of grace mediated to him via Christ the Redeemer PRIOR to his fall, not after... so Christ had already been his Mediator whether or not he sinned
  • And so it was necessary that all of mankind be banished to death to gain this new life, just as the natural plantation and etc had continual 'reincarnation' of seeds new life death seeds new life death... a prophecy of our death long before Adam had even sinned
  • Every good thing in Adam's faith prior to the fall was invoked by the Spirit Who was not only indwelling, but was possibly MORE than that... it was a natural and organic type of relation to Adam (re: Abraham Kuyper on the Spirit), he was more intimate with God then than he was after the fall when he still had the Spirit, but merely as a deposit... and the Spirit thereafter finds it hard to strive long in men
  • Thus the mediation between Adam and the Father through Christ shifts from that represented by the covenant of grace in the tree of life to the covenant of works in the tree of good and evil... from Christ's mediation of the Trinitarian communion to Adam usurping the role of Christ and becoming part of the covenant of works which only Christ could have performed as part of the working Trinity
  • We were never meant to be part of the covenant of works... Adam had enjoyed Sabbath immediately after he was created; but only Jesus Christ, the Father and the Spirit could live lives of purity and holiness within this covenant of works... something which a man from earth/dust could never accomplish and never partake... but he took part in it anyway
  • Hence the necessary fall... for our greater redemption! death is a blessing in disguise, but indeed a curse of the greatest heresy if we live daily as if we were partaking in an enduring covenant of works..

Inilah Kebenaran

A new blog started by a good friend:

http://inilahkebenaran.wordpress.com/

It's in Malay and he's using it to help Malaysians get to know the One who is the Truth

Please help him boost his internet profile by clicking on it every so often or even linking it!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Reading the Bible (2)

Previous post here: http://youarethechrist.blogspot.com/2009/05/reading-bible.html

There is one more really good reason why we don't read out Bibles:

Very often we see the Bible as a gravestone
much like the way we visualize the 10 commandments - 2 stones of death
and indeed they are - for if that is the way we relate to the law, then it only brings death - since it is not of our hearts

So we also see the Bible as a negative set of instructions for our lives
things that spoil our fun, and get in the way of 'life'

Yet lets go back to the 10 commandments and see how they were given

Exodus 20:2 2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

The Lord has given His law, His instruction, commands, precepts to a redeemed people, a people that have inherited His salvation

Exodus 19:4-6 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel."

More than that...
He has brought us out of slavery to Himself
to become His people - His treasure
The most precious and most beautiful thing to Himself

Now I only recently understand this...
You see I too have possessions
I have electronics, a place to stay, clothes etc - they're all mine
yet now I have 1 treasure
a most beautiful possession
It is my son - Josiah
He is the one I love more than anything I own
I would gladly sell - if not destroy everything I have for his sake
In fact - I would die for him

And so it is with our heavenly Father
He will indeed sell, destroy everything else for the sake of His sons and daughters
and indeed we have witnessed the Death of God
This then is how much He loves us

You see for my son
there is only 1 real thing I need to make sure he knows in his heart
that I love him, and how much I love him
Then no matter what I 'instruct' him,
will he not gladly listen to whatever I say and obey it?
Since he knows all things are for his good

Then if we have faith - if we trust that God loves us
then how much will we pour over His commands
His word will be a delight, indeed they will be life itself
they will guard us, guide us, keep us, save us
feed us, water us, lead us, correct us, afflict us to prevent us going astray
and all the things that Psalm 119 tells us (or Christ in Psalm 119 tells us)

Thus then, do we know the love of God?
No wonder it is Paul's prayer - oh that you may know the height, depth and breadth of His love... then would you not cling so closely to Him
and read and re-read and pour over His love letters
and His greatest Love Letter - the Word of God - His Son

He longs for us to grow up to be beautiful trees bearing fruit,
grafted into the olive tree of the Spirit

No wonder the first commands are these:

Exodus 20:3-8 3 "You shall have no other gods before me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

Since the first thing I'd tell my son:
'Hey - don't go off with strangers - they'll bring harm to you!'
'Trust me, spend time with me, listen to me, honour me - I love you!!'

Glory be to God
May we know His love!

Friday, 29 May 2009

The cup of staggering

I know I have a bit of a weird end of the world theology

that it is when 'the sin of the nations' is complete
when the whole world is merry in sin and the church is ineffective because no one is listening - as in the days of Lot or Noah

this is more of my reasoning:

Jeremiah 51
38 Her people all roar like young lions,
they growl like lion cubs.

39 But while they are aroused,
I will set out a feast for them
and make them drunk,
so that they shout with laughter—
then sleep forever and not awake,"
declares the LORD.

40 "I will bring them down
like lambs to the slaughter,
like rams and goats.


The Lord has given the world a cup to drink - they think it is sweet wine, but it is a cup of staggering, until the world is fat, drunk, merry, marrying and being given in marriage - then will come the time of slaughter

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Incarnational Ministry

There is a lot about how we need to be culturally relevant or acceptable to get the gospel across today

The main passage used for this is 1 Cor 9 - be all things to all men

To me though, the context for that passage hardly seems to be about worldly culture - rather I think Paul is talking about within the church
so there is the weak/strong faith, under and not under the law, Jew or Gentile
very much like Rom 14 - I do all things to all men so that I may not destroy the faith of anyone
- and Paul personifies this - he performs sacrifices for the Jews, he circumcises one guy for the Jews and not one guy for the Gentiles, he doesn't eat meat when they think it's wrong, etc

A term that I have read of recently is called 'incarnational ministry'
i.e. to come into a community and live amongst the people as one of the people
that's all well and good
until we actually look at the incarnation
Jesus did not come into our culture - He created His own culture, His own people, and the irony is that this 'God-culture' of people did not recognise Him
the most basic call to the people of God is to be holy - and the easiest definition of holy is 'different', i.e. not like the nations around you

The incarnation of Christ is the Word becoming flesh
Incarnational Ministry by all means - let the Word become your flesh
you too must become incarnate
'till Christ is formed in you' or the 'Day star rises in your heart'

Then will the world know Jesus - when you are like Jesus, holy like Jesus, wholly like Jesus

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Happy Ascension Day!

Glory to the risen King who is coming again bringing the fullness of the kingdom of heaven!

here's a link to last year's ascension sermon:
http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dfbc4d6b_25hbndv94r&hl=en

and the crazy-fast audio:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/guzcj45z2xh/Ascension Day.mp3

Christ is the Seed from the Tree of all Life that was cast out, buried (planted) so that it may grow amongst the death-dust of the nations. Ascending those from the earth into the highest heights above the clouds.

He is the Rock that was cut off from the Stone - that it may become an entire mountain - and return to the Stone

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Uber Christ in the OT sermon?

Stephen - one of the holiest men that ever lives seems to give a very strange 'history lesson' to the Jews that accuse him falsely...

Actually he is giving them an incredible view of Jesus throughout the OT..
I can't quite see all of it since I'm not particularly full of the Holy Spirit,
but here's a go:

Acts 7:2-53 2 And Stephen said: "Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and said to him, 'Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.' 4 Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran.
- Christ being sent from glory into the world

And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. 5 Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot's length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child.
- The Father’s promise to Christ that He would receive His inheritance

6 And God spoke to this effect- that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years.
- The promise of the people of God after a time of trial in the world under the oppression of cruel slave-drivers

7 'But I will judge the nation that they serve,' said God, 'and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.' 8 And he gave him the covenant of circumcision.
- This promise comes from the cutting off of the Seed
And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs.
- It is the day of new creation – the new Sabbath
- The establishment of the church

9 "And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt;
- The incarnation of Christ
- Already the rejection of the Seed being plotted

but God was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household.
- Jesus grew in favour with God & with men – who established Him as the Messiah – “This is my Son, with whom I am well pleased – listen to Him”

11 Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food.
- The famine instituted in the world such that all men will come to Christ – the incarnate bread of life from heaven

12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit.
- The famine causes the church to come to Christ

13 And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family became known to Pharaoh.
- The revealing of the Messiah only at His 2nd coming – he will be unknown at His first

14 And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all.
- The goal of His ministry is to bring the entire people of God to be with their Father

15 And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, 16 and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.
- The purchase the promised land where the Father will dwell with people – bought by the ransom price of His Son

17 "But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph.
- The time of this age is when the devil rules, and owns this creation

19 He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive.
- The attempted destruction of the incarnate Seed by the ruler of this age

20 At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God's sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father's house, 21 and when he was exposed, Pharaoh's daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son.
- The raising of the Messiah in the world in Satan’s territory

22 And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was mighty in his words and deeds.
- Well established in understanding the world – Jesus in the temple at 12, and knowing the hearts of men

23 "When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.
- After the time of testing He comes to redeem His people

24 And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, 'Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?' 27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
- His people do not recognise Him at all, instead they reject Him – accused as a criminal rather than a Saviour

29 At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. 30 "Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.' And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. 33 Then the Lord said to him, 'Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.' 35 "This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?'- this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
- His sending is by His Father – He is given the authority because He is willing to lay down His life (seen in the story of Joseph)

36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, 'God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.'
- The real Ruler of Egypt now made Redeemer - the miracles and finally the cross

38 This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. 39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, 'Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' 41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: "' Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 43 You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.'
- The Rejection of the Messiah to worship the created angels

44 "Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers.
- The establishment of the church, from Presence in the wilderness – to entering Canaan (Christ conquering all power and authorities in the cross)

So it was until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob.
- The time of rest – after king David defeats all His enemies

47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him.
- The ascension – permanent dwelling place of the church – the culmination of the promises from the beginning

48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, 49 "'Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? 50 Did not my hand make all these things?'
- The filling of all things
- Hardness of heart of the Jews!

51 "You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did not your fathers persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it."
- No kidding!