Friday, 30 January 2009

Jezreel - the gardened Vine of God

I'm working on this...
shan't explain it now
but if anyone guesses what this is about I could use all the help! =)

Hosea 1:4-5 4 And the LORD said to him, "Call his name Jezreel, for in just a little while I will punish the house of Jehu for the blood of Jezreel, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And on that day I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel."

Hosea 2:21-23 1 "And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth, 22 and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel, 23 and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, 'You are my people'; and he shall say, 'You are my God.'"

Hosea 4:1-3 Hear the word of the LORD, O children of Israel, for the LORD has a controversy with the inhabitants of the land. There is no faithfulness or steadfast love, and no knowledge of God in the land; 2 there is swearing, lying, murder, stealing, and committing adultery; they break all bounds, and bloodshed follows bloodshed. 3 Therefore the land mourns, and all who dwell in it languish, and also the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and even the fish of the sea are taken away.

Hosea 5:10 10 The princes of Judah have become like those who move the landmark; upon them I will pour out my wrath like water.

Hosea 6:3 3 Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."

Hosea 8:8 8 Israel is swallowed up; already they are among the nations as a useless vessel.

Hosea 9:10 10 Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel.

Hosea 10:1 Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built; as his country improved, he improved his pillars.

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Hosea 12:13 By a prophet the LORD brought Israel up from Egypt, and by a prophet he was guarded.

Hosea 13:14 14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.

Hosea 14:5-7 5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon; 6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon. 7 They shall return and dwell beneath my(1 )shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon.

Hosea 14:8 8 O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you.(1 )I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Conclusion to Aristedes Apology

Paul Blackham just posted this on his website

This is how the church needs to live!

The Christians, O King, while they went about and made search, have found the truth; and as we learned from their writings, they have come nearer to truth and genuine knowledge than the rest of the nations. For they know and trust in God, the Creator of heaven and of earth, in whom and from whom are all things, to whom there is no other god as companion, from whom they received commandments which they engraved upon their minds and observe in hope and expectation of the world which is to come. Wherefore they do not commit adultery nor fornication, nor bear false witness, nor embezzle what is held in pledge, nor covet what is not theirs. They honour father and mother, and show kindness to those near to them; and whenever they are judges, they judge uprightly. They do not worship idols (made) in the image of man; and whatsoever they would not that others should do unto them, they do not to others; and of the food which is consecrated to idols they do not eat, for they are pure. And their oppressors they appease (lit: comfort) and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies; and their women, O King, are pure as virgins, and their daughters are modest; and their men keep themselves from every unlawful union and from all uncleanness, in the hope of a recompense to come in the other world. Further, if one or other of them have bondmen and bondwomen or children, through love towards them they persuade them to become Christians, and when they have done so, they call them brethren without distinction. They do not worship strange gods, and they go their way in all modesty and cheerfulness. Falsehood is not found among them; and they love one another, and from widows they do not turn away their esteem; and they deliver the orphan from him who treats him harshly. And he, who has, gives to him who has not, without boasting. And when they see a stranger, they take him in to their homes and rejoice over him as a very brother; for they do not call them brethren after the flesh, but brethren after the spirit and in God. And whenever one of their poor passes from the world, each one of them according to his ability gives heed to him and carefully sees to his burial. And if they hear that one of their number is imprisoned or afflicted on account of the name of their Messiah, all of them anxiously minister to his necessity, and if it is possible to redeem him they set him free. And if there is among them any that is poor and needy, and if they have no spare food, they fast two or three days in order to supply to the needy their lack of food. They observe the precepts of their Messiah with much care, living justly and soberly as the Lord their God commanded them. Every morning and every hour they give thanks and praise to God for His loving-kindnesses toward them; and for their food and their drink they offer thanksgiving to Him. And if any righteous man among them passes from the world, they rejoice and offer thanks to God; and they escort his body as if he were setting out from one place to another near. And when a child has been born to one of them, they give thanks to God; and if moreover it happen to die in childhood, they give thanks to God the more, as for one who has passed through the world without sins. And further if they see that any one of them dies in his ungodliness or in his sins, for him they grieve bitterly, and sorrow as for one who goes to meet his doom.

XVI. Such, O King, is the commandment of the law of the Christians, and such is their manner of life. As men who know God, they ask from Him petitions which are fitting for Him to grant and for them to receive. And thus they employ their whole lifetime... And they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude the kind deeds they do, but are careful that no one should notice them; and they conceal their giving just as he who finds a treasure and conceals it. And they strive to be righteous as those who expect to behold their Messiah, and to receive from Him with great glory the promises made concerning them... It is enough for us to have shortly informed your Majesty concerning the conduct and the truth of the Christians. For great indeed, and wonderful is their doctrine to him who will search into it and reflect upon it.

And verily, this is a new people, and there is something divine in the midst of them.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Day Two - Genesis (2)

More on Day 2:

The 'expanse' made in day two can also be translated canopy (see ESV)
the word gives the feeling of something being stretched out and beaten into place

So this heavens indeed is regarded as a tent, where the Sun dwells - cf. Ps 19

It is the body of Christ, His flesh, stretched out and nailed into place by the iron tentpegs

Hebrews 10:19-20 19 Therefore, brothers,(1 )since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,

His flesh becomes the dwelling place of God and man - and only because of the cross. He is indeed the way

Those iron tentpegs that hold the wings of His garment open beckon us to come in and dwell with Him

Those same tentpegs pierced the temple of Satan, just when he thought all was secure:
Judges 4:16-22 6 And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth-hagoyim, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. 17 But Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 And Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, "Turn aside, my lord; turn aside to me; do not be afraid." So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 And he said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty." So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20 And he said to her, "Stand at the opening of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, 'Is anyone here?' say, 'No.'" 21 But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand. Then she went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple until it went down into the ground while he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. 22 And behold, as Barak was pursuing Sisera, Jael went out to meet him and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." So he went in to her tent, and there lay Sisera dead, with the tent peg in his temple.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Theistic evolution and hermeneutics

Glen here.

Last Saturday I was surrounded by Anglican curates on post-ordination training. We discussed how to read the bible. It was decided by a good majority of them that God did not desire the total destruction of the nations in the land (Deuteronomy 7:1-6). God is not into ethnic cleansing you see. Primitive cultures might be. The Israelites committed the atrocities and wrote about it after the fact (much much later apparently). And they claimed divine justification for it. But God didn't actually tell them to destroy the nations.

Anyway, sounded to me quite similar to how even evangelicals read Genesis 1.

"Yeah, we know what it says. But that's not how it happened. Now we know better, we can read back into it what really happened. It was actually very much like what the wisdom of today would tell us."

Well that was the link I drew.
Maybe you draw a different one...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Faith and Works (2)

Mark 11:13-21 13 And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 And he said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard it. 15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations'? But you have made it a den of robbers." 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they(1 )went out of the city. 20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21 And Peter remembered and said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered."

So last time I was writing how Jesus hates the hypocrites:

This is seen very clearly in the fig tree
Like Adam and Eve who sewed fig-leaves together as loincloths
they were trying to deceive the Lord that they were fruitful together
but once the Lord draws near - He can see all their works are only a sham
Jesus is furious at those who try and deceive Him, and the punishment is quick and intense
Like Adam, we need the blood-soaked skins of the Lamb that was slain to deal with our nakedness, our shame
That blood, as we trust in it, walk in the Spirit, will cleanse and purge us from all our sins - until the last day, when we are truly washed clean - and are given white robes to wear
Mortality is swallowed up in Life

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Obama - Warren

Any one heard Rick Warren's prayer for Obama?
any thoughts?

a transcript can be found here:

Why is it we think we are building an earthly kingdom - rather than an unseen one?

One day every knee shall bow and acknowledge Jesus - King of kings, Lord of lords

Tuesday, 13 January 2009


Colossal discussion on creation and creationists here:

The real question is of course - how do you relate to Scripture?
also... are you actually reading what it says?

Monday, 12 January 2009

Day Two - Genesis

Why was Jesus Christ baptised - and just before He started His ministry in the flesh?

Of course we have the Exodus story - baptised, then into the wilderness, then leading people into the promised land

So now if we take baptism as - my declaration of faith
that would be a bit funny for Jesus wouldn't it? only at 30??

If we take baptism as merely a sign of the gospel - well it would be for us, but I doubt it would be for Him!

So what's left?

The phrase used in baptism is - "baptised into"

So what happens... Jesus is baptised into the church,
for example:

1 Corinthians 10:1-2 I want you to know, brothers,(1 )that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea

So then the Israelites are baptised (i.e. separated into) Moses, and He (also baptised) becomes their representative, or stronger than that - he is their head, they are his body

So in the ordination of the High Priest - they are washed with water from the bronze laver before they put on the breast-piece (the 12 tribes), the kingly crown, the onyx shoulder pieces (sin on His shoulders), etc...

Christ separates into His people - i.e. He leaves His Father and Mother, and now He is part of the church, He is their legitimate Head - He is their High Priest in the order of the Nazerite - a different order to Levi. He now will lead His people through the wilderness successfully and bring them to the promised land

He will do this through the cross

Now backtrack to Day 2 in Genesis 1
the only day that has nothing that 'God saw it was good' in it

So day one - the light shines in the darkness - in the midst of the waters of death and judgement

Day two - the word is stretched out - or rather stretched out and beaten out the expanse - now we have 2 water divisions - one under the THIRD heaven (throne room) and one below

So then Christ will separate out from the waters above and we will separate out from the waters below to create a new life - the THIRD WAY - where God and Man will dwell together - the new life - through the cross, where He is beaten and stretched out - suspended above heaven and earth

So then in the new creation - this time the division is by fire - all will be baptised by fire, first Christ, then His people - and live a new life in the new 'Expanse' - the new way - He will draw in from the heavens His FAther to live this new life, and from the seas of judgement He has called and fished His people out to live with Him

All the rest will remain in the fires of judgement, the outer darkness, cast away both rebellious angels and men alike...

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Prophet, prophesy, prophecy

There has always been great difficulty interpreting the word 'prophet' and derivatives thereof

Usually it is thought of predicting something in the future and this is true in one sense - even in the new testament:

Acts 11:27-28 27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).

But in chapters like 1 Cor 14 - that would be very difficult to make any sense if that were the sole meaning of the Word
also it would be pretty hard to imagine an entire church speaking like Agabus - even the apostles hardly do it on record

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

why would that happen if you were telling the future?

a prophecy then is a revelation
so in the OT:

Amos 3:7 7 "For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

It is a revelation of the 'mysteries' of God made known to His people

So to reveal something about what is going to happen in a particular context is prophecy - like Agabus
to proclaim a Word from the Lord (as the prophets of old) - is also prophecy
and to expound the meaning of the mysteries of the OT Scripture - is also prophecy
to see the secrets of men's hearts - as in 1 cor 14 above - is also prophecy

and indeed it is a gift of edification and worth asking for
and definitely cannot just be taken wholesale - but carefully weighed with all the other 'revelation of God' - which is one and the same

Monday, 5 January 2009


Finally finished a short commentary on Revelation (<30000 words)
missing a few pieces but it's more or less done
borrowed a dozen quotes from Glen's series though!

Available upon request =)

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The Incarnation

Fantastic sermon on basically everything on the incarnation of Christ: