Thursday, 30 June 2016

Michael Lambing Posted This in a Facebook Group

“Law of the Christ.”

Paul wrote:

“Go on carrying the burdens of one another, and thus fulfill the law of the Christ.” (Ga 6:2) 


While the Law covenant was terminated at Pentecost, 33 C.E. (“since the priesthood is being changed, there comes to be of necessity a change also of the law”; Heb 7:12), Christians come “under law toward Christ.” (1Co 9:21) This law is called “the perfect law that belongs to freedom,” “the law of a free people,” “the law of faith.” (Jas 1:25; 2:12; Ro 3:27) Such a new law had been foretold by God through the prophet Jeremiah when he spoke of a new covenant and the writing of his law on the hearts of his people.—Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:6-13.

Like Moses, the mediator of the Law covenant, Jesus Christ is Mediator of the new covenant. Moses wrote the Law in code form, but Jesus did not personally put a law down in writing. He talked and put his law into the minds and hearts of his disciples. Neither did his disciples set down laws in the form of a code for Christians, classifying the laws into categories and subheadings. Nonetheless, the Christian Greek Scriptures are full of laws, commands, and decrees that the Christian is bound to observe.—Re 14:12; 1Jo 5:2, 3; 4:21; 3:22-24; 2Jo 4-6; Joh 13:34, 35; 14:15; 15:14.

Jesus gave instruction to his disciples to preach the ‘good news of the kingdom.’ His command is found at Matthew 10:1-42; Luke 9:1-6; 10:1-12. At Matthew 28:18-20 a new command was given to Jesus’ disciples to go, not to the Jews only, but to all nations, to make disciples and baptize them with a new baptism, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” Thus, with divine authorization Jesus taught and issued commands while on earth (Ac 1:1, 2) as well as after his ascension. (Ac 9:5, 6; Re 1:1-3) The entire book of Revelation consists of prophecies, commands, admonition, and instruction to the Christian congregation.


The “law of the Christ” covers the whole course and scope of the Christian’s life and work. By the help of God’s spirit the Christian can follow the commands in order to be judged favorably by that law, for it is “the law of that spirit which gives life in union with Christ Jesus.”—Ro 8:2, 4.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Divine Law Wasn't Always Literally Moses' Law

Did people such as:

Adam
Seth
Enosh
Kenan
Mahalalel
Jared
Enoch
Methuselah
Jared
Enoch
Lamech
Noah
Shem
Arphaxad
Cainaan
Shelah
Eber
Peleg
Reu
Serug
Nahor
Terah
Abraham
Isaac
Jacob
Levi
Kohath
and Amram

observe:

Pesach
Chag Hamotzi
Yom Habikkurim
Shavu'ot
Yom Teru'ah
Yom Kippur
and Sukkot?

Prior to Abraham, were they even circumcised?

No.

Divine law didn't always mean literally Moses' Law-system.

The new covenant writes Divine law on our hearts - but not literally Moses' Law-system.

Ours is not a lawless lifestyle - yet it's not a lifestyle of observing Moses' Law-system.

In Christ we fulfil Divine law even more effectively than Moses' Law-system had been able to make men do. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Law and law

As a result of Christ's finished work on the cross, and as a result of the fact that we have been raised with him spiritually and are joined to Him and made one with Him in spirit, we experience and live a lifestyle which carries-out ALL of the morals, ethics, principles and spiritual realities which the Law had taught, modelled or predicted - far more effectively than the Law had ever been able to make men do. WITHOUT actually becoming literally Observant of the old Law-system as the religious unit that it once was.

Paul on Law

Paul, I think said in essence:

...I insisted that Gentiles should not be obligated to become Observant.

...I also made sure my critics understood that while I opposed those who wanted to make the Gentiles Observant, being non-Observant wasn't a licence to sin...

...and in order to counter the wrong assumption that I despised the Jews' Law completely, I myself became as under the Law, to those who were under the Law

...while I became as without the Law to those who were without the Law and who should not be obligated to become under it

...I became all things to all men - although I'm actually free - so I could win some

...I'm free from the Law - yet not altogether without Divine morals and ethics - but I fulfil Divine principles, through my relationship with Christ.

...and this doesn't mean we make the Old Testament void of any usefulness - rather, it shows that the predictions contained in the Old Testament have now been established.

...our lifestyle fulfils the very intent of the Law - even better than being Observant was ever able to.

A Dialogue About the Law

John:

Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They tripped over the tripping stone.

Responder:


John:


...and I also insisted that Gentiles should not be obligated to become Observant.

...I also made sure my critics understood that while I opposed those who wanted to make the Gentiles Observant, being non-Observant wasn't a licence to sin...

...and in order to counter the wrong assumption that I despised the Jews' Law completely, I myself became as under the Law, to those who were under the Law

...while I became as without the Law to those who were without the Law and who should not be obligated to become under it

...I became all things to all men - although I'm actually free - so I could win some

...I'm free from the Law - yet not altogether without Divine morals and ethics - but I fulfil Divine principles, through my relationship with Christ

...said Paul.

Anti-Type Greater than Type

The Son of God was not said to be made like unto Melchizedek - Melchizedek was said to be made like unto the Son of God.

Christ wasn't merely trying to look like the Law - the Law was designed to look somewhat like Christ.

The object doesn't try to look like the shadow - the shadow looks somewhat like the object.

We're not trying to literally look like the Law - the Law was designed to look like Christ and like who we are and what we have in Him.

The object is greater than its shadow.

Signs Follow Believers

Someone said seeing visions was only for the Jews.

But Joel foresaw that God would pour out His Spirit "upon ALL flesh". 


That didn't meant just all Jewish flesh - but all flesh, including the Gentiles.

The Holy Spirit fell upon Gentiles also, just like He fell upon Jews in Acts 2.

Peter said the promise was not only for you, but for your children; not only for those who were near, but for all who are afar of, even as many as the Lord our God shall choose.

That includes you and me!

Signs follow the word. Signs confirm the word. Signs follow those who believe.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Not the Letter of the Law but the Intent of the Law

fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a good mnid too.

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mind!

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm.

Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh, and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!

In the smae way, ni teh new cvonenant, you dno't flolow the letter of the law - yet you flulfil the intnent of the law!

You are not udner the law - yet you etsbailsh the law.

You dno't osbreve shaodws - bceuase Crhsit is the rael tihng.

Yuor eye is not seenig the letetr but is seenig the ovreall inetnt.

God's ovreall inetnt was nveer the letetr of the law - but Crhsit.

Not the shaodw - but the rael tihng!

Same inetnt - dfifrent letetr.

The law was olny tmeoparry.

The new cvonenant is all aobut Crhsit!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Reflection

This Post is a solution to the problem posed in the previous Post.

The shadow isn't going in two directions.

As you look at the photo, the sun is behind you, casting a shadow (of that part of the house) forward over the pavers, and over the lower half of the glass fence; and casting shadows of the fence-posts forward over the pool.



But the top half of the glass fence is not in shadow, but is still receiving direct sunlight - and being glass, it reflects sunlight back towards you onto the pavers in front of you again, partially lighting-up some of the pavers which are in shadow, but not lighting them up quite as brilliantly as the pavers in the photo which are still receiving direct sunlight.

The fence posts however cannot reflect sunlight back towards you, like the glass can - so that part of the pavers remains darker, in full shadow, in the shape of the fence posts.

The shadows are only going one way - forward; but a reflection is coming back the other way, towards you - but only off the glass, not the posts.



The shadows aren't going in two directions - there's a relflection!

:)

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Shadow

"Hey John, there's an interesting phenomenon going on with the shadow out here..." Dad called out to me yesterday, sitting in his chair watching TV looking out to the front-yard.

When I got up and had a look, I started laughing:


It looked like shadows of the posts were going in two directions!

Here's a panoramic photo.


And yet there was only a single source of light: the sun.

We both laughed with amusement!

Can you think of a solution?

I can tell you my solution.

:)

Favourite-Looking Flags

What are your favourite-looking flags?

I quite like this one: Canada


Canada is one of God's favourite countries, in one way at least.

And of course, this one - Australia.

 

Only the Flag of Queensland represents the cross of Christ more times, as far as I know:


(Three crosses in the Union Jack; one large cross behind the crown; one on top of the crown; three visible on the crown; and more crosses implied around the back of the crown, not visible.)

I've always liked this one - Papua New Guinea:


In my young teens, I liked to think of the five stars as the fivefold ministry gifts (Eph.4:11). Papua New Guinea was to me a ministry-gift nation!

And of course:


:)

Unions of States



Unions of States can increase the power of the whole.

If the power is predominantly evil, then a union can strengthen evil across the whole.

If the power is predominantly righteous, then a union can strengthen righteousness across the whole.

A union of States can strengthen the purposes of the whole - whether the purposes be evil or righteous.

When purposes are evil, God has been known to intervene to break-up a union. The Babel dispersion is an example.

When purposes are righteous, God has been know to put it into the hearts of the public to rally together as one. An example would be when all Israel approached David, desiring to join his kingdom.

So whether or not it's a good idea to form, join or remain in a union of States, can depend on whether the power and purposes are righteous and of God, or evil.

It could be argued that the union of the American colonies creating the United States of America, strengthened the collective power and purpose of the colonies, in a number of righteous and good ways, not that there mightn't also have been some disadvantages.

It could also be argued that the fact the southern States ended-up remaining in the Union, probably had some mutual advantages in later history, even if not in every way initially.

Had Scotland recently seceded from the United Kingdom however, it probably wouldn't have procured many advantages in terms of righteousness, power and purpose; and therefore it could be argued that the decision not to secede preserved more mutual benefits.

But it could be argued that under present circumstances, the United Kingdom's decision to withdraw from the European Union could safeguard the UK from certain evil elements within the EU region, and even help prevent the proliferation of evil across the EU region itself; while remaining in the EU might have threatened the righteous and good element within the UK, rather than strengthen it - and not only in the UK, but across the EU as well. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

Great and Mighty Things

JEREMIAH 33:3
33 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

I've asked the Lord what His favourite nation is, in terms of the different ways different national cultures tend to allow ministries to be set-up.

I've asked Him for His point of view on Australia's colonial history.

I've talked to Him about letting some preventions
 for common cancers be known.

I've asked for understanding. For visions. For revelation. 


About all sorts of situations: national, personal, physical, spiritual, historical, scientific, theological.

He likes to answer! 


Just Ask

Most of the time, whenever I've had a query in my mind about something in the Bible, an answer came to me within seconds of asking the Lord about it.

JEREMIAH 33:3
33 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Keeping the Law in Exile?

Deuteronomy 30:1-3 doesn't set a precedent for the modern, adjusted ways of 'keeping the Law' - ways which look very little like what Moses commanded in the Law. 

It promised the Jews speedy restoration to their land, if they got the ball rolling through initial repentance. Then once back in their land, Levitical worship would resume. And that's precisely what happened, after captivity! 

The captivity had been a function of the Law itself. It's like they were estranged from their covenant, yet the Law itself warned of captivity; and the Prophets predicted it.

Through the Prophets God even gave them special instructions about how to behave while in captivity. They were also promised restoration to their land and to Levitical worship. They were even given a timeframe.

All of that was stated in the Law and Prophets beforehand. It was all provisions of the Law. They resumed Levitical worship after captivity, because the Law still stood at that time. Their estrangement from the Law, and their restoration to it, were all provisions of the Law.

But since then, God has made a NEW covenant with Israel. So repentance towards God nowadays doesn't bring a person speedily back into a position where they can once again resume carrying out Levitical worship as Moses commanded - rather, repentance nowadays brings a person into participation in the new covenant, not the old one.

It is God's own actions in Christ on the cross which made it unnecessary to continue carrying-out the observances of the Law, which things were the shadow, but the object is Christ.

To attempt to carry-on observing the shadows today, in necessarily adjusted ways (since so much of the required infrastructure doesn't exist for a literal carrying-out of the Law) doesn't compare with the captivity.

It doesn't take into full consideration that a new covenant has been made. And the new covenant was also predicted in the Old Covenant Scriptures. To not embrace it fully, is therefore to not comply with the expectation written in the Old Testament for our time.

Unlike during captivity, when the Jews' relationship to the Law was precisely what the Law and Prophets had predicted for that time and circumstance.

But for our time and circumstance, the Law and Prophets stated a very different expectation. I am not in exile, estranged from covenant. Their expectation was that we would embrace the New covenant instead - which is all about Christ, not the shadow.

Christ Our Passover

In Old Covenant times, Jews had to kill a lamb every year, sprinkle the blood on the door posts, and remember the time the angel of death passed over their ancestors' houses in Egypt sparing the life of their firstborn when the angel saw the blood.

It had to be observed annually, at the start of their agricultural year, in the set month, and they had to bring of the seasonal harvest.

And they had to make pilgrimage to the altar at Jerusalem, where a Levite priest would receive their offering - an animal, and the grain of the harvest, etc.

Following that they had to eat unleavened bread, and remember their ancestors eating unleavened bread when they fled Egypt. I could go on with more details.

Firstly, notice how much of that cannot be carried out today.

In the Southern Hemisphere, it isn't Spring in Nisan, it's Autumn! We can't offer the grain - we're still sowing our seed at that time of year!

My ancestors were never in Egypt. So I can't 'remember' when my ancestors experienced the original Passover, nor remember when they fled eating unleavened bread. They never did!

Not to mention the non-existence of the altar today.

And the non-existence of Levitical genealogies required to authenticate the priests.

And the fact God, in Christ, on the cross, eliminated the need for blood sacrifices.

Christ became the true Passover, sacrificed for us.

The wages of sin is death, but the blood of His Son who was sacrificed for us, covered our sin, so death could pass over all who believe and not touch us.

His blood is represented in heaven, like a true altar, in the heavenly Jerusalem, mount Sion, after being physically spilt for us in Jerusalem on the cross.

Thus He is our Saviour!

Instead of eating unleavened bread, we purge out old fleshly behaviours from our life, and live sincerely and honestly.

We experience the new life daily, permanently, not only annually on set days. Christ made one new man in Christ once-for-all, to last forever.

The harvest represented the resurrection - first of Christ, then of us at His coming. We are raised with Him already spiritually even now.

It's a once-for-all reality, and we can also remember Him as often as we gather, not just yearly or seasonally.

The Prophets already told Israel that remembering the Exodus from Egypt would no longer be the thing!

See there are so many ethics embodied in Christ, and in us in Him, in a real way - ethics which existed in the ancient Feast only in an illustrative way.

So we don't have to keep the ancient Feast - because we experience the reality which it modelled. We live-out all of its ethics in a new and living way.

We're not under the Law - yet we fulfil the Law!

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Quote from Jill

"You know, I want to be this soft, gentle person - but people don't allow me to be that person" - Jill.

Lol!

Remember v Fulfilled

A requirement in the Feast of Passover was the obligation to REMEMBER their ancestors' first passover-incident back in Egypt.
That wasn't an optional part of that Feast. If a person couldn't do that requirement, the Feast wasn't designed directly for that person.
My ancestors were never in Egypt, as far as I know - so I can't fulfil the obligation to 'remember' my ancestors' flight from Egypt, and therefore the Passover wasn't designed for me.
Obviously the Patriarchs before the Exodus never kept the Passover either - because they couldn't have 'remembered' an incident which hadn't happened yet!
The Passover was for Jews - not for me - and not before the Exodus.
Therefore although the Passover foreshadowed enduring ethics and spiritual realities, observing the Feast itself wasn't a timeless ethic.
The observation of it illustrated morals - but observing it isn't an enduring, universal moral in itself.
So in Christ we experience the spiritual realities which the Law modelled, without carrying-out the Law-system itself.
That's what the Apostles meant when they said both that there'd been a disannulling of the Commandment and that we establish the Law.

Shadow and Substance

Physical Jerusalem and Mount Zion were only the shadow of the true, heavenly Jerusalem and Mount Zion which we are part of - but the true, spiritual, heavenly things were opened to all nations through objective historical events which occurred on the ground in physical Jerusalem, among physical Zion, first.

The spiritual, heavenly substance came after the physical, earthly shadow seamlessly - not disconnectedly. 

Fulfilled on the Ground

Prophecies about Israel, Jerusalem and Mount Zion were fulfilled on the ground in Israel, Jerusalem, Mount Zion. 

It's just that only believing-Jews experienced it. 

Beginning at that physical location, the blessing was then received around the world, as prophesied. 

We still await the consummation of the reign which Christ inaugurated - but only the born-again shall see it.

Zion in Bible-Prophecy

Messiah already came to physical Zion, and fulfilled Prophecy there.

Now He is reigning in heaven, until He comes the second time and consummates the Kingdom which He already inaugurated - but only the born-again shall enter it.

Meanwhile, the Word of the Lord - Christ's Law - the good news of this Kingdom-scheme - is being announced all around the world, beginning at physical Jerusalem.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Old Testament Prophecies and Judaism

I don't think there will be curses coming on nations for not making annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Tanbernacles, in the new heavens and new earth. Peter said only righteousness dwells in the new heavens and earth.

Isaiah didn't predict that the sabbath will be observed in the new earth. He predicted that just as the new earth and heavens will be eternal, so the nation of Israel would not meet their demise as a nation while in captivity. And God kept that promise.

Rather than meeting their demise, their ethnicity was preserved, they were restored to their land, the temple was rebuilt, and Levitical worship and sabbath-keeping resumed - even proselytes from many nations became God-fearing and began making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to keep the Feast. All in fulfilment of Prophecy. Acts 2 shows an example of that happening.

I know some of the language of Old Testament Prophecy is very dramatic. It could be that they were foreseeing the ultimate still-future coming of the Lord. Or it could be that they were just using imagery - symbolism, if you like - describing vision, rather than speaking in straight prose - in order to foretell dramatic events which were to take place soon afterwards in Old Covenant times.

But either way, three things are certain:

One, 
there indeed was a return to the land and to Levitical worship, soon afterwards, at the return from Babylon;
Two, Messiah, who was to come in that context, has already come. Jesus of Nazareth;


Three, the Apostles taught that there is to be no return to Judaism - the shadow - in future. Jesus is the real thing.

So if any part of those prophecies is still future, it's only the final coming of the Lord.

But as I said, I'm not sure the Prophets really had the ultimate coming of the Lord in view in all of those prophecies. As I said, they might have just been employing imagery to describe dramatic events which occurred before Christ. Other Old Testament prophecies clearly employed that method.


Malachi 1:11 Fulfilled

MALACHI 1:11
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my nameshall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.

This was likely fulfilled while the Old Covenant still stood - not in future.
The Bible provides the history.

Remember the King of Babylon made a decree that every people, 
nation and language were forbidden to speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Remember that the king had fallen on his face and worshipped Daniel and commanded that they should offer an oblation and sweet odours to him. The king made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief of the governors over all the wise men.

The king conceded that Daniel's God is a God of gods, a Lord of kings.

Nebuchadnezzar wrote to all people, nations and languages that dwell upon the whole earth, telling them about the greatness of God and the things he'd seen Him do.

He praised and extolled the King of heaven.

King Belshazzar similarly learned to honour the true God.

He even went further than the previous king. He wrote to all people, nations, languages that dwell in all the earth, enforcing a decree that in every part of his kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel.

Then in Esther it describes how far-reaching the kingdoms were. It extended from Ethiopia to India. 127 provinces! In every place the Jews were allowed to slay their enemies on a certain day. And it says many of the people of the lands became Jews, in the days of king Ahasueres.

Then in Acts 2, it says many non-Jewish proselytes from many nations and languages had gathered in Jerusalem for the feast of tabernacles. The prophets had already foreseen that peoples of many nations would observe the Feast. It happened. This was prophecy-fulfilled.

But in the New Covenant, observing Feasts and offering sacrifices, animals, grain and incense is no longer the required expression of worship. The true worshipers now worship in spirit and in truth.

What happened under the Old Covenant was just a shadow of the true, spiritual form of worship with which we now worship God in all nations, and rejoice in Christ Jesus. 

Diane David Fine Art

Prestige - Oil on Canvas-Board, 10x10cm
Finished - Oil on Canvas-Board, 10x10cm (Diane's first ever oil painting!)

Painted at Noosa, Qld May 2016

And given as a birthday present

Sunday, 19 June 2016

When to Keep the Feast?

When to keep the Feast?

In the Southern Hemisphere, should I keep the Feast in the month required by the Law, but not in the season required by the Law?

Or, should I keep it in the season required by the Law, but not in the month required by the Law.

Which of the two requirements is the better one to break.

That question alone ought to tell you the Feasts weren't intended for us.

And since the Feasts weren't, the Law wasn't.

Paul On the Law

A so-called Hebrew-roots believer expressed disdain the a Christian can quote the Law, and yet say we're not under the Law.
Another was horrified when I made statements about the Law which Paul himself had said. Paul made both kinds of statements about the Law. If I mean what Paul meant, I can say what Paul said. I can say both that I'm not under the Law, and that I establish the Law. I can say both that the law was weak and unprofitable, and that the law is good if a person uses it appropriately. I can say both that there's been a disannulling of the commandment, and that we don't make void the law. Paul said both. So can I. As long as I mean what he meant. We ought to face everything Paul said about the Law, not just one type of statement - and we ought to honestly allow each of his statements to qualify what he intended by the other.

The Apostles' Expectations

An atheist was said to have abandoned his Christian profession when he concluded that Jesus and all the New Testament writers were false prophets whose expectations have been shown by history to have been false.

But I think it's not correct to say the New Testament writers insisted that the second coming had to be in their lifetimes.

Paul never said Christ had to return in his own lifetime. He conceded the possibility that he could be martyred beforehand.

Peter wrote that the time had come when he soon had to put off the earthly tabernacle of his body, despite the Lord having not returned yet.

He even wrote a theology about the delay - by saying a thousand years is with the Lord as one day, and saying the Lord was allowing space to repent.

Jesus Himself conceded that no-one knows that day nor hour, not even the Son of Man Himself.

And although He said the sign of His coming would be seen immediately after the tribulation of 'those days', it's possible that not all of those tribulations have concluded yet.

Although Jesus couldn't quantify the timespan from start to finish, He did include descriptions which implied a timespan.

For example:
  • Jews being deported all over the world
  • Jerusalem trodden underfoot by Gentiles
  • The 'times' (years) of the Gentiles
  • The Gospel being preached to all nations 

All of that's got to take some time, right? Not just a day! And it hasn't all exactly finished yet.

There was a fulfilment in the first century AD of many of Jesus' predictions - but as for the consummation, Jesus Himself stated categorically that He could not give a timeframe for that.

After His resurrection, when the disciples asked Him again about timing, Jesus repeated that it was not for them to know the times.

Jesus and the Apostles never asserted a timeframe for the end of the end.

The blessed hope still stands.

Empirical Method

The empirical method owes its popularity in Western civilisation to Christianity. 

Prior to Christianity, historically unsubstantiated claims were widely accepted as fact, in the religions, philosophies, and sciences of the West.

Christianity on the other hand was based on the objective history claimed by eyewitnesses that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead.

As Christ Jesus came to be believed on in society, it entrenched the idea that a hypothesis can be tested, observed, and measured objectively - and then concluded. Truth isn't merely subject to the whims of an individual.

That method then began to be applied not just to religion, but to every aspect of society, such as science.

And later, to politics.

Europe then began to influence the rest of the world.

The empirical method and all the improvements it's brought worldwide - it owes its popularity to Jesus Christ.

Comparative Religion

To me, Christianity is the only religion which has a basis in objective historical events.

Other religions really aren't founded in real events - just in someone's privately claimed view or experience.

Some religions which offer somewhat of a history are even factually wrong in the histories they claim.

Or they leave such big gaps of history unexplained, leaving their followers to just somehow figure out for themselves what to do about that aspect of life.

But Christianity dots all the i's and crosses all the t's - objectively, historically, scientifically, physically, biologically, astronomically, morally, socially, economically, politically, spiritually - and in every other aspect of life.

It's based not only on subjective spiritual experience, but also on objective historical fact.

Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, as prophesied. 

AoG Ministers and Millennial Soteriology

Do all AoG ministers really have a thorough understanding of...

...and agreement with...

...their essential belief that all Israel will be saved during ’The Millennial Reign'...

...as stated in their Fundamental Truths...

...and as required for ordination...

...and that the whole world must revert to Levitical-style worship including animal sacrifices...

...as explained in their notes?

Or not all?

About Old Testament Prophecy

Many Old Testament prophecies popularly assumed to be about the future, included distinctly Old Covenant themes (Levitical themes).

That seems to me to date the fulfilment of the prophecies (or those parts of it, at least) in the past - to a time when the Old Covenant still stood - possibly at the return from Babylonian captivity and soon afterwards - because God isn't into returning to the shadow.

It's important to understand those details as past, not future - because if it's still future, it implies a return to Judaism in future - and that's not Gospel!


Some of the same prophecies also included predictions about Messiah's first coming, according to the New Testament.

That's another reason why the fulfilment of the prophecies can't be entirely relegated to the future - because the Apostles explained those parts of the prophecies at least as having been already fulfilled.

So if it's instead all still future, then Jesus was too early to be Messiah! and our faith would be in vain.


If however it's correct that the fulfilment is largely now in the past, then some of the dramatic imagery included in the prophecies could be explained as symbolism - 'prophetic licence' - apocalyptic genre - not as straight prose - not as details which are still to literally come to pass in future. Maybe. 


However, the fact that the prophets included details about Messiah's first coming in the same passages with the theme of the return from Babylon, I'm wondering whether the prophets could also have been seeing even further ahead too - to the ultimate coming of the Lord, and the final judgment - and included that theme in the same prophecies too - all the way through to the final consummation? I'm considering that. 


If that's the case, then there might be still to come the fulfilment of some of the dramatic imagery in the prophecies. Maybe. 

But in any case, I'm adamant that any details about Israel carrying-out Levitical Law, must be in the past - because God isn't into returning to the shadow.


I'm adamant that the Apostles were correct in saying there'd already come the fulfilment of Israel's promised salvation and Kingdom; that Jesus is both Lord and Messiah - even though we still await the consummation phase of some of those things.


Whatever future meaning we give to Old Testament Bible-Prophecies, I think it's valid to insist that we treat fulfilled details as fulfilled and not to relegate such details to the future.

Getting the timing right:
  • Gives us an objective historical case for Jesus as Messiah
  • Reassures us that we are not obligated to observe the deeds of the Law in order to be saved

Read the Epistles

The best way to understand OT prophecy, and probably Revelation too, I think - is to read the Epistles. And to read the speeches in the Book of Acts.

Because the Apostles had been with Jesus, and they were chosen by Him to teach us everything He had told them.

So the inspired interpretation of Bible-Prophecy is sourced with them - with the Apostles, in their Epistles.


The Synoptic Gospels mainly simply recorded the history of Jesus, more so than being teaching Epistles with application.

Only the Epistles, and the sermons in Acts, provided the direct Apostolic understanding and application of Jesus and the OT for us.

The Apostles seemed to treat much of Bible-Prophecy as fulfilled - fulfilled in inauguration, and with the consummation yet to come. 

The promised salvation, Kingdom, end, resurrection, judgement, and renewal of all things - the Apostles asserted that it had all been fulfilled in history already - on the ground in Israel, and in the person of Jesus the Messiah - in inauguration, spiritually - with the visible consummation still to come. 

Friday, 17 June 2016

Israel's Tribes

Deuteronomy indeed warned of deportation among the nations - but it didn't rule-out the possibility of restoration to their land. The Prophets prophesied both - and both came to pass. The NT lists more tribes as being present back in the land than just Judah, Benjamin and Levi. Paul mentioned all twelve tribes serving God, in his day. 

It was in that setting of fulfilled-prophecy that Messiah was to come. He did come - Jesus. But if the fulfilment of Israel's promised salvation and restoration to Levitical worship is still future, then Jesus was too early in history to be Messiah. That's the issue!

The other issue, if it's future, is it implies a return to Judaism in future. But that contradicts New Testament teaching.

Conclusions: prophecy was fulfilled, Messiah came, we won't be returning to Judaism.

Predestination in Romans

Paul hadn't yet been to Rome. The church at Rome had a mixed Jewish/Gentile congregation. Paul was passionate about seeing the correct Gospel-message established at Rome. So he wrote to them.

His theme was the Gospel: he proved his premise that salvation is by grace through faith regardless of ethnicity and without the works of the Law. Early chapters of Romans.

Then he anticipates certain questions, misconceptions and objections, and begins to deal with them one by one: e.g.,

Does the Old Testament, and Abraham support all this? Chapter 4,5

Doesn't it imply we can continue in sin? Chapter 6-8

Doesn't it imply God's promises to national Israel failed?

Doesn't it imply God had used national Israel unfairly? Chapter 9,10

Does it mean God has shut the door for Jews to be saved?

Was this really the scenario the Prophets had foreseen? Chapter 11.

Etc, etc.

If we don't identify the question Paul was answering, we could make his statements mean something he never said.

How I Got a Job

When I was a teenager, our family often drove people to the international airport for missions-trips.

I often dreamed about the day when it would be me going on a mission!

But I knew I'd have to work a job for some time in future first, until the right time came.

One of those times at the airport I saw someone open an official-looking door and go inside.

I said to the Lord, "I don't know what goes on behind that door, but whatever it is, when I get a job, I want a job where I get to go through that door".

I'd come to really like airports.

Still I had quite some time to go before finishing school.

During my last year at school I worked a casual job; and when I graduated, my hours increased - but I didn't have anything permanent or full-time yet.

So I decided to fast for two days. The phone rang: someone offered a day's work. Then someone else rang offering a job, but still nothing full-time.

Then my pastor told me he'd received a call from a pastor in our sister-church in the city. A church-member there wished to employ a young person, and he wondered whether anyone in our church would be interested.

So I went for an interview, and the boss said, "You've got the job".

At that stage I really didn't have much idea what the job would entail. And I hadn't been thinking at all about the desire I'd uttered to the Lord that time at the airport back when I was still a student.

But as it turned out, from the first day, my job involved going to the airport and going through that very door twice every day!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Paul on Predestination

What if Paul's mentioning predestination was mainly just to stress the point that his readers' salvation by grace through faith regardless of ethnicity and without the works of the Law had been God's planned scope and means of salvation since forever - since before the Law was given; since before Israel was born even.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

How Not to Do Shavuot

A certain Jew wrote an article about "the surprising way I'm doing Shavuot this year".

Um...according to Moses' Law, there were to be no surprises in how a person kept Shavuot. It was Moses' way - or the highway!

"There are so many ways to be connected to Judaism," she said.

That might be true of modern Judaism - but it wasn't true of Moses' Law. There was only one way to connect with it, and that was to do it - exactly how it said to do it, not in your own surprising way.

And as we all know, that just isn't possible any more. It isn't possible to keep Shavuot - or the Law itself, as the complete social/ceremonial unit that it was - in the manner required by the Law.

The Law itself foresaw its own replacement with a New Covenant, made by Messiah, which is Jesus. The only thing to do therefore is to embrace Him. There's nothing else we can do, seeing the possibility of obeying the Law doesn't exist and can't exist again in future.

With Messiah you have everything - without Him you have nothing.

He is everything the Law and the Prophets foreshadowed and predicted.