Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Faithful 'Bride'

Numbers 5 starts out with a summary of uncleanness - and its consequence being a casting of those individuals outside the camp

then follows on to the sacrifice of atonement by the ram for confession of sins and a restitution of the sins

then comes to this very weird bit on the unfaithful wife:
- if she hides her adultery, she is judged, and cursed

Numbers 5:12-14 12 "Speak to the people of Israel, If any man's wife goes astray and breaks faith with him, 13 if a man lies with her sexually, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she is undetected though she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her, since she was not taken in the act, 14 and if the spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife who has defiled herself, or if the spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife, though she has not defiled herself,

This is possibly the reference that James is taking here:
James 4:4-6 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"? 6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

The Spirit of God yearns jealously over His Bride
the adultery of the bride angers the groom fiercely
If she does not admit to the groom and come back to him, but holds on to her iniquity
her thigh (indication of faithfulness) will waste away - and she will bear no children

so then with the children of God that our Groom years jealously over

but then in Numbers 6 - comes the 'true Bride'
the one with long hair
who will not drink of another spirit (also cf. 1 Tim 3:8)
- the one utterly dedicated/consecrated to the one He follows and submits to

He then will cause this:
Numbers 6:23-27 23 "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, 24 The LORD bless you and keep you; 25 the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 27 "So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them."

His name will be put upon the unfaithful bride of Israel, and they will be blessed in Him, the Lord will shine the in the face of Jesus, His marvelous grace

So then knowing this salvation, let us no longer grieve the Spirit of jealousy who dwells within us, since the atoning sacrifice has been made, restitution has been given 120% - and we are all pronounced 'clean' and invited into the camp

Thursday, 28 January 2010

The Scaffolding of The City Of God

Eden was never God's plan...

It was a taster for us..

God is a city-builder - His goal is the heavenly Jerusalem on Mount Zion

In preparation for His City
He builds the scaffolding (the tent) of the current creation

The scaffolding is necessary - it shadows the design, it gives some semblance of the product
Yet the scaffolding is like a mere seed compared with an oak tree - it pales in comparison

The scaffolding is flimsy and temporary
(much like the OT law & covenant)
The finished city is eternal and powerful
(think CS Lewis on the strength of the blade of grass in the new creation that can pierce through the old body's feet)

This creation is the scaffolding for the new creation
The flesh is built to be the vessel for the Spirit

However in having efficient construction - the scaffolding is consumed in the creation
The Flesh is infused with the Spirit (cf Irenaeus)

Jesus came and was built in the scaffolding of the flesh
then filled the flesh with the substance of the Spirit
(man shall not live by bread alone...)

The Spirit then infuses the flesh
and now needs the final process - the kiln/furnace - the fires of judgement

the testing that completely fuses flesh with Spirit - to create a spiritual body
the dross or the remnant of the scaffolding is then burned away

leaving the new creation
Here then in Christ in His eternal resurrection form
Here is our destiny - now we are still being infused, some are waiting for the permanent fusing
All creation will follow suit

Then is Zion built in glory, and the Father joins in His Creative work finished

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Contact Point

The whole issue of general revelation and natural theology concluded it's application in the manner of evangelism...


In fact most major outreaches are based on this form of theology

the basis is I start with a common ground of understanding about God or the Divine with non-Christians and from there I sort of guide it to the 'full revelation' of the Living God

Whether or not certain evangelicals believe in natural theology, their evangelism based on general revelation is exactly the same in methodology - just perhaps less obvious

So then, if there is no such thing as 'idolatrous revelation' - which I shall rename it such - and all revelation is Christological (there is the corrupted reception of that revelation in man), is there a contact point?

Well I think there is:

In all Biblical evangelism - the contact point is the pointing out of the absence of the knowledge of the True & Living God:

Acts 14/17 - that Paul points out you don't know Who He is, you can't see Him in His creation

Even if we do some tracing throughout the Bible i think this is also true
people's words and actions reveal that they know something that pagans do not know

From Daniel & Joseph interpreting dreams,
Jeremiah buying a piece of 'useless' land,
The prophets saying 'thus says the Lord'

This may initially look like some form of 'gnosticism' (i.e. the secret knowledge)
So what is the difference?
The difference is the gnostics used knowledge to raise themselves above others - which basically is the same as any form of intellectualism today (and most other types of self-exaltation)

The knowledge of Christ on the other hand - translates into service, into an entering or incarnating into the World, to shine this Gnosis, this Logos for all things into the World - showing the world that they live in darkness - they are unknown by the Living God neither do they know Him

Thus the labour of Christians is not in evangelistic method,
but in the knowledge of Christ (Eph 1:17), in becoming more of His likeness (holiness), etc

this then will cause us to live in a manner that declares our Gnosis to the world, and that they do not know Him at all - this is the manner of letting our light shine before men and not hiding it under a bushel

Then the Light will illuminate the darkness, and it shall not comprehend - then the choice will be clear, run away and hate the light, or remain in the Light to have fellowship with the Light, that the darkness may be overcome by the Light

So then, what is our evangelism strategy? Labour in the knowledge of Christ, Labour in holiness, Let your light shine before men - that they may realise they are in darkness, and come into the Light to glorify the unknown True and Living God

The contact point is Light Shining in the Darkness

Monday, 25 January 2010

The Idolatrous Creation?

Been hearing lectures on General Revelation and irked by them

if general revelation (the supposed generic and universal revelation of God in creation, providence and conscience), is supposed to give a non-salvific view of God - then surely creation is idolatrous!

creation proclaims Christ.

Acts 14:15-17 15 "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 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."

What does this mean? that men understood this?
No it implies you've been looking at the Word of God in the rain and the Bread of Heaven being witnessed to in creation and you haven't seen anything!
Those Zeus guys and Hermes - they're vain things - there is a Creator God you don't know!

Acts 17:23-24 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, 'To the unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,

Again, what about this... ?
It implies that YOU DON'T KNOW this God - HE is UNKNOWN to you. Thus I, Paul, am explaining and REVEALING Him to you....
you are without excuse.... look at that statue...

Creation proclaims Christ.

We cannot see Christ because we are sinful.
The fact that we cannot understand God by looking at creation reveals that we do not know God... it works the same way as how people don't understand Jesus' parables

because the Word of God is the same everywhere..
the Scriptures, Creation, Providence, etc... all point to Christ
and all work in the same way

in Christ, you understand
outside of Christ, you realise you are condemned and you don't know Him.

Surely you cannot know half of God!
the God of Creation is the God of redemption - all solely revealed in Christ
it is very weird if creation and providence reveal only the toenails of Christ... which is basically what this theology is saying

i'm not even going to get into human conscience... surely if anything this one creates the MOST idols!

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Haiti Disaster

Glen posts an explanation for the disasters like Haiti:

The non-Christian can hope for nothing greater than ’safer’ buildings on the same old fault line. And as they labour admirably for this, many will ask why God does not seem to be cooperating with their desire to pretty up the demolition site. They plan to build some lovely houses on this sand and they imagine God to be standing in the way of their saving purposes. Of course it’s the other way around...

The Lord has a salvation so audacious He can call earthquakes ‘birth-pains’. (As can Paul – Rom 8:22).

Thursday, 21 January 2010

I believe in God

"If we believe in God, we musts expect that our old ways of thinking and living will be continually shaken to the foundations. If we believe in God, we will have to become seekers, pilgrims, pioneers with no permanent residence. We will no longer be satisfied with the unexamined beliefs and practices of our everyday personal and social world. If we believe in God we will necessarily question the gods of power, wealth, nationality, and race that clamor for our allegiance. Christian faith is thinking faith.


Theology is a strenuous inquiry, a process of seeking, contending, wrestling, like Jacob with the angel until dawn, wanting to be blessed and limping away from the struggle."

- Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What is Truth?

John 18:37-38 Then Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world- to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice." Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, "I find no guilt in him.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Truth is often seen as something philosophical
but yet even in our society - we have felt the effects of truth and lies
it is indeed something very tangible

Truth is something reliable, it is rock-solid, it is there when everything else fails you - it is something to hold on to

A lie is something that is changing, it is a nothing, it does not exist, and it brings only doubt and fear and depression

Our society has come to a point that there is no truth (not that we have just come to it - as it seems Pontius Pilate was already postmodern!!) - therefore it means that there is nothing that we can rely on... the only truth is that life has no truth
- perhaps the only truth that we can hold on to - is death - therefore it is not truth - since we cannot grasp death

So when Jesus comes to show us that He is the Truth - He points us that there is only one Faithful One, One Rock, One Steadfast Being - the Truth is Christ, the Truth is the unchanging nature of God - that He is love

That Truth will indeed set people free

As we stand on the Rock of this Truth, we are then grounded
we are no longer on sinking or shaky ground

we are then built up to be free to love, to serve, to give

no one standing on shaky ground can give of himself, they must take, they must grasp, they must hold onto every strand of 'reality' that comes along

The one on the Rock is free... to pour himself out - even till death - because the Truth continues even after death is long gone

Come to Christ you who are shaky and weary of stepping on loose foundations - He will set your feet on solid ground - your foot will not slip

Monday, 18 January 2010

Which is easier?

Mark 2:9 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your bed and walk'?

Been having a few of these discussions with people

most people seem to think these 2 things are equally difficult, or maybe the sin-forgiving thing is just a bit harder...

Let me ask it in another way:

If I was a carpenter.... and I decided to build my house, I'd do 2 things:

first, I'd build a house (i.e. a building) with my own hands
then, I'd build a household (i.e. a family), with my own being

If then a storm arose within both house and household,
the house building would be in pieces and the wood and brick scattered all round
and the household would be in pieces from the mistrust, dissension, anger, envy, etc...

If then I were to fix both,
for the house, I'd simply get more material, or use what is existing and rebuild,
it would take some time and have some cost

For the household.... a lifetime, my entire bank account, all my faculties, my blood sweat and tears may not be enough

The price of reconciliation is my entire being..
the cost is infinite

Which then is harder?

One comes with a snap of the Finger of God
The other, with the Blood of God

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Eternal Word

In some versions of the Nicene Creed
"only-begotten" is translated "eternally begotten"

I think this is right - as in Christ is the Eternal Son of God

Meaning He is the Eternal Word of God
always coming out from from the Father

In this sense - He is always being begotten
or rather, every day He is born

for this to happen, it also means - He is always born-again
He is ever new, ever out of the Father, coming back 'into' the Father

"Out of the heart, the mouth speaks"

Jesus comes out of the Father, being the Father's heart
He then returns into the Father to the Father's heart
to be refreshed in and by the Father, always coming forth

so also we too as Christians learn this intimacy
and come into the heart of the Father by being in Christ

The Son was cut-off from the Father so that He can be reformed with us included
bringing us into this cycle of always being born-again

There is no pain in this eternal child-birth
since pain and not childbirth is the consequence of sin
and the true childbirth (as we know from having spiritual children)
is always one of great joy

Thus Christ is always re-created by the Father
He is always His ever-new-ever-fresh Word from His heart

so then the distinction between us and God is not begotten vs created
(i know I'm going pretty heretical here)
but - Luke 3 - Adam begotten of God

The distinction is the presence of the Spirit of God
which we reject and therefore are dead and separate

once we are filled and indwelt by the Spirit of God
we are sent straight into the Father's heart in Christ
equipped, empowered, and sent back out
and so we enter the eternal begottenness cycle...
for countless ages it can only get more glorious =)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

The Other Woman

Luke 16:18 18 "Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.

Notice that this verse seems to be in the middle of nowhere...
all the whole passage is talking about money .. or rather Mammon (what I possess)

Spiritual adultery therefore is being united to the other woman... her name is Mammon, she is Babylon, Folly, Wickedness - the scarlet woman

The only reason anyone serves other gods is for Mammon's sake
Even the gods and Satan serve her...

Therefore the choice in this age is very simple... God or Mammon, Wisdom or Folly
there is no other woman

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Complete Vindication of Jesus

Why is there the complete destruction of the wicked?
is it because of sins...

yes - but in the sense that it is because of the sins against Christ on the cross

Jesus was vindicated in His resurrection...
but His total vindication is the destruction of His accusers

and so the church shares in His vindication - since we are His body

Daniel 6:6-9 6 Then these presidents and satraps came by agreement to the king and said to him, "O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked." 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

Daniel 6:23-24 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions- they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

thus the complete (or eternal) destruction of the wicked - is based on the Cross of Christ... it is and must be for all eternity - so that He is completely proved righteous

check out this amazing sermon from farm fellowship - by Ian Foulds:

The Two Non-Sons

In the parable of the prodigal Son..

it is a most curious thing... since the 2 preceeding parables are about a lost coin and sheep... but then those remaining with the 'owner' are those 'who have no need of repentance'

I suggest that in the prodigal son - neither son is a son
the prodigal refuses his sonship, rejects his inheritance and goes to become an orphan
the remaining son, denies his sonship, and insists on being treated like a servant - "where are my wages, boss"

Thus in the parallel - the tax collectors and prostitutes are the lost son, and the pharisees and scribes the son-servant

in another parallel - the Gentiles are those pigs lost to their own pleasures, and the Jews the servants (Gal 4) who refuse the adoption as sons

Therefore to be a true son, born by natural birth, but born by adoption - spiritual birth, but must be received into sonship - in either way - one must come into the loving arms of the Father that dearly cares for both...

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New Creation Ex Nihilo

Referring to several previous posts...

I am still in the dilemma what it means to be a new creation
both in the individual and in the cosmic sense

i have learned a few things:
1. New - means renewed and constantly so (like eternally begotten)
2. The fires of judgment are like those of a refinery - burning the dross and refining the gold and silver
3. The tree is burned - but the stump remains (see 2 posts down)

So then what was my original idea?
a new creation must be something completely new from nothing
but then I have realised that is as bad as the idea that the first creation came from nothing - ex nihilo

but this is not true - since the first creation came from the cutting off of Christ - the chopping down of the True Tree

So then the new creation must also be the same
it is not ex nihilo - but similarly out of the death of the incarnate body of Christ
- this is bad latin: ex Sacralogos nex

a most peculiar thing that a realm of darkness must be created before a Seed can be planted into it...

we see it everyday in birth - that a dark, watery, womb is nececssary for a baby
and a broken earth - dark, yet with plenty of moisture - for a seed

thus the Cut-Off Christ becomes the very soil/womb for the Renewed Christ - utterly united God-Man

this is a most strange thing - which i do not know how to describe

so then within our decaying bodies, a New Seed is planted (from the Death of the First Seed) - that will swallow up our old selves - to make a new self
death is swallowed up in victory
mortal is swallowed up by immortality

does any of the old remain? no - not one speck of dust
the Spirit grows within the flesh, then swallows up the flesh

I still can't quite get a handle on this....

The non-gospel Christian

The Galatian non-gospel Christian:

Monday, 4 January 2010

The Changing of The Tree

Daniel 4:11-16 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth. 12 Its leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in it was food for all. The beasts of the field found shade under it, and the birds of the heavens lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. 13 "I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. 14 He proclaimed aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. 16 Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him.

Isaiah 6:9-13 9 And he said, "Go, and say to this people: "' Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.' 10 Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed." 11 Then I said, "How long, O Lord?" And he said: "Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste, 12 and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. 13 And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled." The holy seed is its stump.

So.. is the first tree the first humanity based on Christ, who then from the burned humanity grows a new tree?

the analogies seem to be about the sprig in Ezekiel 17