What is the importance of Marginalia, as a Bible Study guide?

Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible establishes inerrancy of the Scripture. Without getting the aspect of time correct any interpretation should fail.

Before I go into it let me briefly give how the Holy Spirit has dealt with the element of time in terms of the Lord Almighty JHWH.

The Lord God is eternal while man is not. Hence the Spirit in the role of paraclete gives us two aspects by which we may benefit. We have to know the will of God and equally important is that we do them. The validity of the Trinity is in terms of man whose blessedness can only come from fulfilling these two conditions. A Jew who is circumcised bears  it in his body as a seal. Notwithstanding his pride in monotheism is null without fulfilling the Will. For he does not understand in any meaningful way what it is. Similarly when a Moslem speaks his religion is peace he cannot show any worthwhile evidence to support his claim. One need only look what goes on in Yemen to prove my point. When Jesus came to the world in due time it was according to the will of his Father (Jn.3:16) He fulfilled the Will which was perfect. “For by one sacrifice he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (He.10:14

Coming back to the trinity what does the Spirit tells us? God as the divine Will expressed and God as its fulfilment are two offices of the self same substance. God the Father and God the Son are like two sides of the same coin. Jesus Christ as Word made flesh came to the world to fulfil the Will of the Father. Having done he has set himself as the way and life. Jesus Christ could therefore say, “I and my Father are one (Jn.10:30)

The scripture is for man and it is God document. The Spirit never draws attention to himself instead recasts two narratives from the office of the Father-Son relationship to a single narrative, which is the Bible in a nutshell.

 

The Spirit sets timeframes for the Triune God

In transposing divine Will the office of the Holy Spirit has to look to the finite time as well as Time according to God’s calendar. One may well ask what is the purpose?

It is the task of the Spirit as the helper, parakletos to convict the world of sin ‘because they believe not in me (Jn.16:9)’ and to provide demonstrable proof of the divinity and nature of the Son of man. Thus we, while interpreting any scriptural passage need stick to one simple rule: Jesus Christ is the centre of gravity to which the time element of the Scripture must agree. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (He.13:8).” Whether we consider Core Will or a specific time element in divine Will this rule shall not change. He is our helper in correctly dividing the word. (While our Lord Savior assured of his role as Paraclete we need remember we have in heaven him as a ‘helper (Jn.14:16)’ fulfilling the same role as the Holy Spirit.

In setting the sun to create day and night it is plain that it follows earth time frame.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night…(Ge.1:14). It speaks for earth time.

Now the rest of the same verse, “…And let them be for signs… and let them be for lights (vs.15)” The Spirit is not merely recording natural phenomena of sun and the moon. It speaks for God’s Time. As signs and symbols it must serve Core Will that is divine Will covering heaven and the earth. In which brief earthly ministry of the Son and our blessedness after our death must figure. Consequently the greater light and the lesser light are symbols. Glory of the Father, which is in the Son, is associated with every believer.

Holy Spirit also uses typology in order to reconcile different timescales. Adam is one Joseph is another. The Holy Spirit uses Patriarch Joseph as a lynchpin for saving the nation of Israel at the time of a great famine. It is part of the narrative where God’s covenant with Abraham runs on finite time. Alongside the Holy Spirit also has another purpose: Joseph has to be set as a forerunner of Jesus in Core Will.

It is thus we need understand the time element in the Bible. In short the Spirit reconciles two timeframes so narrative is nothing but truth from whichever standpoint it is seen.

 

Two-in-One Problem

This problem involves our physical being following a certain period of time on the earth and having to account for it in terms of our actions before the throne of God. When we accept Lord Jesus as our Lord Saviour we do so in obedience to the divine Will. We avoided being lumped together with children of wrath and we escaped judgment. We are thus straddling heaven and earth at the same time.

Element of time prior to the time of Patriarchs and eschatological time is not historical time but Time, which the Holy Spirit reconstructs into a narrative where Melchisedec, the king of Salem is a prime example. ‘Without father, without mother, without descent having neither beginning of days, nor end of life (He.7: 1-3)’ he is a symbol of God’s Will, like the sweep of a swell merging into the turgid waters of history of nations. What is the Spirit telling us? He is pointing to the coming of the Messiah. Jesus in his priestly office offers peace, quality of which is not as the world gives (Jn.14: 27, Is.57: 20-21). King of Salem and Messiah-here we see two different conditions coincident in historical time (Ro.5: 21). One signifies the all-inclusive peace from God and the other the blessings under the Millennial reign. Both are in agreement as to Jesus Christ.

What are our dreams? They illustrate the same two-in-one problem. Dreams are a visual scrapbook, which defies time frame. One sees people dead and gone as though they were not, and they serve at times to warn us. We read that the Spirit in a vision forbade St Paul and Timothy from proceeding to Asia (Ac.16:6). Similarly dreams are the medium by which God forewarns us to reconsider certain course of action that we intend to take.

Dreams also hold a definite message from God as in the case King Nebuchadnezzar. In second year of his reign he had an unusual dream which having seen, on waking next morning, completely forgot it. “…Spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him…(Dan.2: 1).” No seer or         magician in all his realm could tell him what he had seen but Daniel could (Dan. 2:19). The Holy Spirit revealed it to him. Dreams in the Book of Daniel have specific time frame but also belong to Time. Does it not?

By the same token shall we reconstruct our position using the above? Our salvation in time and place finds its way in the backwash into Alpha and Omega, the first and the last of the divine Will. While we were under condemnation according to the earthly time, because of faith we are deemed the blessed in Core Will. We were under condemnation at one end and also we are justified as blessed at the other. Time and now are reconciled by God the Son. ‘Now is the day of salvation’. In Jesus Christ the problem has been solved.

For those who care to know of the word of God and benefit from it I suggest Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible through Amazon.com. Both paperback and epub (Kindle, Nook etc.,)

benny

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How should we approach the Bible?

The Bible is written by inspiration of God. It is true since the Spirit of truth has had a hand in making the God document available.for man. There is no coincidence or chance but God chose the subject matter, format and the hand to set them down.

The books are written by various authors but the self-same Spirit setting down the narrative from God.

God is One: One substance of the Lord Almighty has two personalities while the narratives are set in human speech.

Thus the triune God exists in terms of the monotheistic God where Trinity is in a mode.

When we consider a term ‘mode‘ it is in the sense of transposing the Invisible God whom no one has seen and who lives in unapproachable light(1 Ti.6:16). Jesus Christ is the image of the Invisible God. So whatever we may know of God we understand through the prism of Son. Significance of the prism is given at the end separately.

God is qualified as the Will and Jesus Christ as its fulfilment. These are tagged by the Holy Spirit as God the Father and God the Son respectively. The Spirit in setting these into two narrative lines has created a mode so the truth is established from whichever standpoint is seen. Deu.19:15; Mt.18:16; 2 Cor.13:1

Mode is necessary considering we are the end user and in setting in human speech and literary devices we are familiar with, the Spirit has transposed the heavenly matters for our benefit.

Premise of the Scripture

From whichever narrrative the reader approaches the Bible there is only one centre of gravity.

Jesus Christ the Son.

In this post I shall only give some examples to show wherever the Spirit describes the nature of the Father the same is attributed to the Son. God as the Healer is how Jesus Christ healed the sick and demon possessed.

YAHWEH-JIREH [yah-way-ji-reh]: “The Lord Will Provide” (Genesis 22:14) – the name memorialized by Abraham when God provided the ram to be sacrificed in place of Isaac.

YAHWEH-RAPHA [yah-way-raw-faw]: “The Lord Who Heals” (Exodus 15:26) – “I am Jehovah who heals you” both in body and soul. In body, by preserving from and curing diseases, and in soul, by pardoning iniquities.

YAHWEH-NISSI [yah-way-nee-see]: “The Lord Our Banner” (Exodus 17:15), where banner is understood to be a rallying place. This name commemorates the desert victory over the Amalekites in Exodus 17.

YAHWEH-M’KADDESH [yah-way-meh-kad-esh]: “The Lord Who Sanctifies, Makes Holy” (Leviticus 20:8Ezekiel 37:28) – God makes it clear that He alone, not the law, can cleanse His people and make them holy.

YAHWEH-SHALOM [yah-way-shah-lohm]: “The Lord Our Peace” (Judges 6:24) – the name given by Gideon to the altar he built after the Angel of the Lord assured him he would not die as he thought he would after seeing Him. (ack:got questions.org/names of God)

Each of these could be well applied to the Son during his earthly ministry.

The Spirit also has left clear indication the validity of the Scripture as two narratives. However blessedness of the Scripture is only by accepting the Lordship of the Son

Here are some of the parallel passages:

Psalms 18:2-30,Ps.31 Repeated in 2 Sa.22:2-51

Mt12:31-32

Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

In the above quote from the gospel of St Matthew it is evident that the Son of man giving his own: Wherefore I say unto you. The same verse is repeated which is obviously attributed to his Father.

Again we see parallelism in the verses quoted below:

Jn.6:38-40

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

 Jn.6: 51

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

In order to keep clear of wrong interpretation it is necessary to determine the drift of any passage in terms of the core value of the narrative body. Jesus Christ in whom all fulness dwells and for anyone to come to the measure God has willed this approach is what the Spirit has laid out for a believer..(Col.2:8;eph.3:19)

benny

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Mode of Inversion in the Bible

How shall we make sense of a spiritual body?
The story of Gideon gives us a clear idea as to the the role of spiritual bodies. We have physical bodies to which soul signifies the individual or essence of each. Body spirit and soul. Each has a function.
Body is natural and earthy. Spirit is the abstract aspect of every individual with which he takes a reading of the spirit of the times. Without spirit of man interacting no one shall know how to get the best out of life. For a Christian born again it is indwelling Spirit that serves as his in-house tutor. So for a man whose body craves are appetites, like everybody else, worldly and carnal. Whereas a man when he accepts Jesus as the savior shall hold priorities differently. He is led by the Spirit. In order to make a distinction we have the inner man who grows in his spiritual life and is led by Spirit of truth.
Now we shall consider the story of Gideon.

Gideon was diffident and he did not consider himself of heroic mould to deliver Israel from their oppressors (Jud.6:15). Even after the angel of the Lord showed indeed he had found favour with the Lord he pressed for a sign. “…If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand…Behold I will put a fleece of wool in the floor.” On the first night the test was to leave the dew only on a fleece of wool he spread on the floor. Next morning he found God had done exactly as he had said. He was the chosen one. But Gideon persists in testing God second night also. This time it was to keep the fleece dry while the dew was everywhere around it. ‘And God did so that night (Jud.6:40)

This inversion explains what happens to our inner man. A physical being holds indwelling experience of the Spirit like the dew on the fleece. Upon dissolution of our bodies it is our inner man that becomes our spiritual body with soul as its personality.

St Paul inverts the standard practice of grafting while he is comparing Israel with the Gentiles; he has a purpose and the Spirit in accepting it as appropriate allows us to see inversion as a mode of exegesis. Firstly let us consider the passage. “…And, thou being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakes of the root…(Ro.11:17)” to extract the significance of the will of God. Grafting is associated with joining a branch from a cultivated tree to another. By grafting wild olive branch (Gentiles) to the good stock of the olive tree (Israel) St Paul’ s argument is that the alien stock can be just as easily broken off if they proved to be faithless.

Be that as it may the spiritual body is the physical body of a believer turned inside out.

At death the soul that invisible aspect, quintessence of a physical being changes place with the inner man emblem of his spiritual aspects of his former self. The sign, which the Lord gave Gideon with fleece of wool illustrates inversion.

(This is selected from The Immanuel Factor available through Amazon.com)

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Head vs Heart conundrum

No Christian shall dispute the simple statement God is Love. He may  not fully understand His ways but he shall have no difficulty in accepting it. He does so with his head.

When we read a simple statement that ‘God is love’ our understanding can only work from two positions. We know the timeless quality of God and accept the statement as such. We do so with our head. Another manner we connect with the statement is in real time. It is from our heart. From this position we shall ask, ‘What does love of God means to me?’ In whichever case how we respond to it is crucial.

According to Pew Research Centre’s findings “Indeed, while about eight-in-ten American congregants still attend services at a place where a single racial or ethnic group comprises at least 80% of the congregation, one-in-five now worship in congregations where no single racial or ethnic group predominates in such a way. This figure has risen in recent years, from 15% in the 1998 NCS and 17% in the 2006-07 NCS…Michael Lipkis article of Dec.8,2014) Considering the deep divisions in the American politics under the Trump Presidency what are we to assume? Evangelicals who jumped in the bandwagon of Trump  and took no pains to promote him as a good Christian model must be seen for what they are. Prosperity theology seeks natural soil for growth and TV preachers and theologians who thrive from their sale of books, shows and sermons are all propagating love of God. But is it from the heart or from their head?

When a certain lawyer wanted to question Jesus who his neighbour was, elicited from him a parable and he said at the end ‘Go and do thou likewise.’ Mercy as Jesus delineated was not same as ‘an eye for eye and a tooth for tooth’. His mind could transcend the narrow legality that made the Pharisees pass over judgment and love of God. In short they laid waste the exceeding richness of God’s promises for dry as dust articles of law.

Jesus at another place said, ‘I came not to call the righteous but sinners to righteousness (Lk.5: 32).’ He had rightly guessed that minutiae of observance gave the Jews certain selfish pride of fulfilling ordinances before eyes of men. They were however deceived. They had in the process let their minds become closed in and arid. In the episode of the woman taken in adultery her accusers, the scribes and Pharisees were all clear as to what punishment she deserved. But they were shocked at the answer of Jesus. Without falling into the trap they had set to catch him at his words, Jesus made them look instead into their own hearts. We read that ‘being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one…(Jn.8: 9) In his view mercy loomed larger and he demonstrated love of his Father by dismissing her, ‘Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more.’

His ministry was to make all see love of God and his mercy rather than maintain any self-righteousness that was inimical to their finding righteousness of God. God is love and it is beyond any narrow interpretation of law. This was the reason why he rebuked any suggestion from his disciples to command fire to come down from heaven and punish the Samaritans (LK.9: 54). He did not manifest himself in the world to be just another prophet, however revered as Elijah was. Love of God he represented in his person. He was his witness.

“You can have theology in head without it being in heart, but it can’t be in heart unless it’s first in head” said RC Sproul. But does it hold any practical value without translating it in personal actions? It is like Calvin preaching love of God. His head all for God would not give full marks for Atonement of his Son., His heart and head were not in step to be precise. God loved so did his Son: the sinless One dying for the sinful (no matter what his colour or creed is) is love from the heart. Teachers of law in the time of Jesus missed the point. So shall in this age whose lives in the ivory tower give them undivided attention from people who need not go into the midst of suffering and injustice. In the age of Affluenza we have lapdog variety of Christians never having to get down from their comfort and those who serve in all manner of negative workplace situations.

For a Christian growing in Christian experience is to grow from ‘glory to glory’. What would that entail in real sense? Any image of the invisible God must be translated so when one reflects it in any interaction with his world, what others see is self-same nature in some measure, as was in Jesus. For example ability to forgive one’s enemies unequivocally must connect with the manner he forgave his enemies at the cross. In a spirit of forgiveness we make peace with one another where grace of God is real. It is proved in the manner ill will can be conquered with patent good will. Love of God is present. Figuratively we may say that as a result we see Jesus, as in a glass darkly. Growing in maturity would be to make that clarify in real time and in real life situations. (2 Co.3: 18).

Great progressive societies without God often create areas of conflict where love of Christ would be necessary to remedy the situation. We are placed in midst of suffering and neglect so ministering to the needs of have-nots is one way of witnessing Jesus. Love of God we put to practice in our brotherly love. As long as inequality is perpetuated and prisons are marked for the weak and vulnerable we may be sure we have a ministry. “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 Jo.4: 20)”

benny

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The Immanuel Factor: sustained symbolism-body

The Holy Spirit in setting the two narratives into one primarily aims for unity. Time as intended in the divine Will must agree with the timeframe of those who are chosen in the Son. It runs on the earth time till He appears again for His saints. Of this we have this verse from the first epistle of St Peter “He(Jesus Christ) was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake (1:20)”. The ministry of the Son of man and the subsequent Church Age belongs to the ‘last times.’ Symbol of the slain lamb before the foundation of the world refers to a body which is how the Spirit refers to the Will concerning his Son. The symbol never changes and when we speak of our newness of life while we are in the corruptible body it refers to our bodies which are dead to the world. Dead in the sense the corruptible things of the world, greed, lust of the flesh etc., shall have no hold over us, Our lives instead are hid in Christ.

Symbolism in the narrative serves a purpose. It is eternal as it refers to the Will and to the manner the Son fulfilled it. Thus the body as a symbol in spiritual parlance covers earth time of every believer. The spirit reconciles both narratives as one in which symbols, signs, allegories, parables figure in a consistent manner. In short the Bible is the word of God set in a mode. Let us go back to the same epistle of St.Peter. We were foreordained in the divine Will and ‘have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (vs.23).”

At the mount Jesus transfigured before the three apostles indicating what was in store for him as well as for all his saints. In this sustained symbolism Jesus is drawing our attention beyond our earthly realities.

“For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life (2 Co.5:4-NIV) Newness of Life is symbolised by our spiritual bodies. Of this we shall discuss in another post.

benny

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The Immanuel Factor :Symbols

 

When we speak of Heavenly realities we are speaking of the manner Jesus Christ revealed His Father. As Son of man he taught us the perfection. “Be ye therefore perfect as your Father which is in heaven is perfect(Mt.5:48). With one sacrifice he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified (He.10:14). Our earthly realities therefore are as those who relied on his grace and faith ,-both gifts from above, and become sanctified. These were not gained by our works but purely Mercy of the Father which our Savior Lord poured on us. Grace is what made us henceforth sit in heavenly places The immanuel Factor is the single standard by which we are adopted in him by the Lord God.

Let us consider our own body with that of the Son of man. It is the image of the earthy. In the Common Prayer when we recite ‘ashes to ashes and dust to dust’ during the funeral service we are recalling the natural end of our body. Before Jesus Christ would taste death for everyone in his body God had prepared one for him. It existed in the Will before the foundations of the world began. It was but a symbol, indicating the eternal aspect of his Will. The Lamb slain was the emblem as the brazen serpent in the wilderness foreshadowing the vicarious death of God the Son. The body with which the Son of man came to the world was natural that we read that he experienced hunger and thirst as every other. God had willed God the Son would perfect his Will in his body but the symbol would never alter. It is a symbol applying to us and for eternity. Therein we trace what God had determined concerning us through the Son (Ro.8:29)”.

When John pointed to him and cried “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (Jn.1:29)” we recall God had revealed to him. As he is so are we in this world. We have a natural body and we bear certain relation to the symbol indicating our true reality has its heavenly antecedents. Therewith we have the boldness to say, “We shall also bear the heavenly (1 Co.15:49).”

There are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit and the water and the blood: and these three agree in one (1 Jn.5:8).” God has sealed us and the Spirit is our surety that on the day of resurrection we shall be received by him. 2 Co.1:22; Ep. 1:14.

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour we witnessed it by three things. Baptism by water signified that we are dead to the world. It also indicates that the price was the blood of Jesus shed for every believer, which by faith made it personal. Indwelling Spirit is also part of the personal equation we created in the process.

For ye are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col.3:3). This is how we consider our body as having died to the world and its corruption. The body shall die once but on a symbolic plane it shall continue as ever because it is hid with Christ in God. In order to make a distinction between the two we shall consider the body of our spiritual life that oversees our newness of life is our inner man.

The companion volume to Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible

benny

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Notice: The Immanuel Factor

A companion volume to Marginalia, a concise guide to the Bible is available.  For details follow the link  https://www.createspace.com/7618327

benny

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