Sunday, June 24, 2018

Born-Again and the Old Testament

     I cannot keep pounding away at one notion: Jesus was the Way from the beginning! From Adam to you and me, Jesus was the Way. The only way to be saved is through and always was the Name of God - Him who was called Jesus:
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
     "No man" includes Adam, Noah, Moses, and even Isaiah and the other prophets. Indeed they are the foundation of the Church along with the apostles, and Christ!
Ephes 2:20 (The household of God) And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone...
     In context, "the household of God" is obviously the Church of which Jesus is the Cornerstone (the Way). The cornerstone of any building is the datum from which all other stones are lain in all directions; hence is the Way the Church is built.
     Isaiah was a Christian as were all the other prophets! He saw and had Jesus speak with him as assuredly as the apostle Paul, another on which the Church was built. Isaiah even explained what one "must be" - which is "born again" (John 3:7). "Must be" includes everyone because that is how one is saved! Moses knew that the rebirth is total reliance on God because Jesus used the example of Moses raising "Jesus", represented by a brass serpent,  up on a pole. In like manner, it is obvious that to know what born again means, Isaiah must have been!
Isa 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined... 8 The Lord sent a word into Jacob, and it hath lighted upon Israel... 15 The ancient and honourable, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail.
     Those passages are prophecy. Isaiah 9:2  describes what born again means: As Jesus explains the second birth he says "he that doeth truth cometh to the light" (John 3:21). Isaiah knew what born again meant. He understood what Moses lifting up the pole in the wilderness meant - that brass serpent on top of the pole, lifted up for the faithful to see, was the Way those in the darkness were saved! Those who failed to raise their eyes to "Jesus" died by the poisonous vipers because they had not seen the light shining on the brass serpent, which represented the blood of Jesus.
     Isaiah went on to say in verse 8: "The Lord sent a word to Jacob, and it hath lighted up Israel." Jacob is Israel. After Jacob wrestled with God, and saw the light (that the Word Is God) he was renamed Israel (meaning "he wrestled with an angel"). Jacob identified the "angel" as God Himself (Gen 32).  The Abrahamic Covenant promised a blessing through Abraham's seed. The "blessing" is Jesus Christ the Messiah. Jesus was the Word made flesh who dwelt among mankind but was there in the beginning (John 1:1-2, 14). Christ was with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Israel! The Messiah - Jesus - as John 14:6 says, is Jesus who indeed did "light up Israel" (verse 8 in the passage above).
     Salvation, or rebirth, was promised to Adam and Eve:
Gen 3:16 ...I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
     Look at Isaiah 9:15 above and compare with Genesis  3:16. The enmity between the woman and the serpent which was bruising the serpents head with the woman's heel, is prophetic that Jesus, in the line of Eve, the mother of all, would step on the serpent's head. He did that at Calvary!
     In my book, The Skull of Adam, that is the entire theme! Isaiah knew that Jesus would die on a pole to save mankind. The brass serpent was Jesus belittling Satan whose head was stepped on at Calvary. When anyone puts his eyes on Jesus lifted up on that pole (acknowledging his efficacious sacrfice), those believers are born again.
     The purpose of this commentary, as well as The Skull of Adam, is that the prophets conversed with Jesus, believed in Him, and lifted their eyes to God Himself on the Cross. When Isaiah saw Jesus as the Light, he too was born again just as the apostles were and we are! The Old Testament is all about Jesus dying for mankind which is by grace and for all! That is the "mystery of God" (Ephes 3:9) which Paul revealed!

Friday, June 22, 2018

I Can Sense It Dying

     I just finished writing the book "Killing God", and posted it in rough form with many mistakes but I felt it important not to wait. My fear is that few will read it but my solace is that some might. It may change how they take the Church for granted and God because He is the Head of the Church! (Church is capitalized when it is about the invisible universal group of believers without regard to denomination.)
     Of course, God cannot and will not be killed! Thus, the only way to "kill God" off is to make Him insignificant. God IS Glorious! The rhetorical question asked of Moses follows:
Exod 15:11 (ESV) “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?
     In scripture, then, "glory" is always in the presence of God. Thus, when Christians die, they must be perfect for God is perfect.
Deut 32:4 (ESV) “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he. 
    "Perfection" is without flaw or in the divine scheme of things, "truthful". God Is Truth! (John 14:1). To kill God, He must be made out to be a liar! The first lie is that God did not create the heaven and the earth. God claimed otherwise in Genesis 1:1. If He did not, He would be a liar, and perhaps He would not have the power to save anyone!
     What makes a God? Omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence. What does it take to create? Infinite knowledge, existence, and power; those three attribute respectively. Thus to be "God" is to be all-knowing, everywhere present, and with supreme power. What is the surest way to make God insignificant? To deny Him as Creator! That denial, even within Christian circles, has diminished God. He is not dead of course but mankind is!
     When God is reduced to insignificance, as He was when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, then who dies? God said that mankind would surely die! (Gen 2:17). Get this straight: God won't die but you can! Essentially, mankind's feeble attempt to make God less significant, kills himself. Of course we are as gods (Gen 3:5), not God, and we can die; He can't. Rebellion then against the Creator kills ourselves.
     Adam and Eve, after rebellion, remained very much "alive" after they trivialized God's will. That's why Adam ate: he saw that Eave didn't die! Then, just as today, people fail to understand the concept of death. It is not when the flesh dies but the soul. Contrary to the opinion of other writers, I don't believe the soul and the spirit are the same. It seems to me that the soul is the "cup" which contains the "living water" - God's Holy Spirit. Thus death, is not having God inside. As such, non-Christians are the walking dead until iniquity is removed from within and the soul and filled with "goodness".
    Without repentance, Adam and Eve were as good as dead but immediately those two felt guilt, demonstrated by endeavoring to cover their own sin. However, by grace God covered their sin by killing an innocent animal. They died but an all-powerful God recreated them just as he had recently created them. The old creation began anew!
    God removed the iniquity from contrite hearts, allowing Adam and Eve to live again! They are still alive in Paradise, merely waiting on glorious bodies at the General Resurrection. On the other hand, Cain is still dying and always will be! Just as life never ends, neither does death. If you dread the sting of death, without God it will be forever stinging! It's imperative to realize that it's not God that you are killing but you!
    The "Church" is made up of all the corporate souls which are all imbued with God's Holy Spirit. The Spirit is what makes the stones "lively" (1 Pet 2:5). The Church needs "you"! I can sense the Church dying even though God cannot die. It is dying slowly but surely, and the symptoms are obvious:
  • God denied as Creator.
  • Jesus denied as God.
  • Heaven and Hell denied.
  • Satan claimed to be a myth.
  • Church more about the congregation..
  • Doctrine more about the preacher or denomination.
  • God's will secondary to society's dictates.
  • The singing more important than the message.
  • The ritual more important than emotion.
  • Dress overly important for the occasion.
  • Accord mostly cliques or family groups.
  • Lack of inclusion.
  • Church a respecter of persons.
  • Church neglect of persons.
  • In pretense of praising God, people praised.
  • Haters within the Church.
  • Gossipers within the Church.
  • Self-esteem rather than Christ-esteem.
  • Jealousy - who will be first in "heaven" (or the Church).
  • Prayer more on the physical than the spiritual.
  • Narcissism
  • Nepotism.
  • Poor selection of deacons or bishops.
  • And even sins of Nicolaitanes.
     I can sense it dying. I'm not specifically speaking of my own church but God's Church. It is dying everywhere as the Church walks slowly but surely toward the world. God won't die but we will!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

For the Children!

     A "ruse" is a cunning strategy of getting what is wanted. In this age, presenting causes as for the children is an easy way to pass an effective ruse. Bill Clinton as president used that stratagem often. It was extremely effective!  Who can argue about doing things for the good of the children? It's a win/win situation for the wily politicians in that they obtain their objective.
     For instance, the objective of abortion is presented so that the children actually born have more opportunity when in actuality it is for the convenience of the woman! The abortion argument is against the children but cunning politicians twist it for the children! I can't get over how effective the abortion ruse is: against the children but somehow for their own benefit!
     The same politicians who have no problem discarding unborn or partially born children to the garbage can, all of a sudden care about the children of illegal immigrants! If they really cared about the children what would they do? Remove the children from danger. The danger is gambling with their lives to get them to chaos. If policy was for the good of the children it would be keeping them safe at home, or if immigrate they must, doing so legally! Laws are made for the protection of American citizens. Immigration laws are to keep order in a chaotic world. Children who are used as tools to gain asylum in our country are abused by their parents for their interests. Who wants child abusers in our country? It appears that those who want their vote! For the good of the children is a ruse to gain votes and power!
     If Cubans, who traditionally vote Republican, wanted entry and their children used as pawns, would Democrats really care about their children? Let me be clear: Democrats are socialists and socialists use children as pawns to obtain Marxist objectives. If you don't believe that, you need to read the Communist Manifesto. Socialists want your children as early as possible to indoctrinate them to be good socialists! Their objective always is power. The "concern" for children is to obtain power. Rahm Emmanuel said, "Never let a good crises go to waste."  If this ploy had been used while Obama was president it would have been to no avail. Now, since Trump is president, progressives revived  this "crisis" and are certainly not going to let 0it be wasted!
     Look at the picture the media and they paint: Trump is heartless! What is Trump doing which is so "heartless"? He merely wants his predecessor's laws enforced.
     I present this political message, not really for the sake of politics, but to demonstrate how Satan deceives so as to conquer. Each time Satan uses a crisis, people are divided. Class warfare is socialism's strategy for gaining power. Have you seen the nation so divided? When did it accelerate? With political correctness! That very technique is the cunning of Satan who use the mouthpiece of the serpent to get his will.
     Satan, in the case of the children, tugs at the heartstrings of even Christians who like Eve are deceived into doing his will. Of course, it's not God's will that children suffer, but neither is it for children to be used for nefarious purposes. Discerning minds would know when they are being manipulated, and there is a spiritual war in progress.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A Child is Born

     Life is precious! It is a gift from God and as such must be used for God's purposes. Isaiah's purposes were twofold: (1) to warn the Hebrews that God expects their love, and if it is not forthcoming, they will be destroyed, and (2) in spite of their rebellion, a child will be born who can save them. Isaiah looked to the future, and thus, was a prophet.
    Prophets are those who speak divine revelations usually about the meaning of scripture or future events. All prophecy has been fulfilled as far as future events, so modern-day prophecy is all about understanding what has already been written. Christians oftentimes are given the gift of prophecy (Rom 12:6) which is in proportion to faith and is a spiritual gift (1 Cor 14:1).  Not to be proud, but it seems that I have that gift which I prefer to call discernment. When I write, I consider God's Word and reveal what it means. That's what commentary is! If what  write does not reveal scriptural truth, my words are not from the Holy Spirit. Of course, maturity comes with study, and sometimes God corrects my youthful error. He is patient with me.
     On the other hand, God's purpose for Isaiah was prophesy of coming events. What Isaiah relates is the inspired Word of God, or God speaking through him. What I write is understanding what God spoke. There is a big difference, so obviously unlike Isaiah, commentators today are not prophets of the same vein. We all make mistakes but God corrects us if we are discerning, and seek God's will rather than our own agenda.
     Isaiah's agenda was God's Agenda. He rebuked and admonished the Hebrews. Another "agenda" was to purvey the advent of Immanuel such that the Hebrew people would change. Do not misunderstand, it was not obedience God demanded but reverence. The difference is that obedience is coerced but reverence is an attitude of willingness which results from love. Why should they love the Lord? Because the Lord was with them, and they were His favored people!
     Up to this time, it does seem that the Lord would come for the Jews. As Immanuel, God was with them on a daily basis, guiding and protecting the Hebrews from themselves and subterfuge by Satan. Time and time again, Satan would deceive them: If you enjoy this pleasure, you will not die! They enjoyed yet still did not die! Isaiah, as a spokesman for God continually warned the Jews that indeed they would die! Isaiah chapter nine is a warning how they would die, and die they did! The Babyloniana killed or scattered (the diaspora) ten tribes of the Hebrew nation, but by grace God allowed two tribes to be saved to fulfill his promise of a coming Savior. Assyria was about to destroy them and the temple. Chapter nine is revelation of the Savior and who he was for:
Isa 9:1 (ESV) ...there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
    "No gloom" is what God was talking about to Abraham. In the past, there was little hope. Someday "Hope" would be born!  Before, this land was held in contempt by God; in time this land would be made glorious. It is to be in Galilee - and the Word (Jesus's ministry) was primarily in Galilee to the Galileans. Ironically, in Isaiah's time, Galilee was mostly Jews. However, in apostolic times the majority were Gentile. The root word for Galilee is transliterated "Gentile". Jesus of Galilee was a Jew, as were the apostles, but they were from a Gentile nation. Jesus of Galilee may just as well be Jesus of the Gentiles, as it turned out from the time of Paul. In other words, Isaiah was privy to God's Plan all along, God, with His foreknowledge, knew that He would be rejected by His people (Psalm 116:22; Acts 4:11) but lifted up by the Gentiles (Gal 1:16). Christians are more Mosaic than even the Jews! "To us a child is born!" Who is "us"? They are everyone because God wants that "none should perish" (John 3:16). Isaiah knew that well in advance (Isa 9:6-7).

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon[d] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[e]
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
     Why do I believe in Jesus Christ? Because Isaiah knew him personally long before he was ever born! Within that prophesy, Isaiah not only foretold of Jesus's coming but how he was to come! By  "the zeal of the Lord of hosts". God's eagerness to bring peace to mankind begot this Child! His zeal was God's Holy Spirit who conceived this Special Child - called Jesus and God With Us!