My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one. - John 10:27-30 KJV
The doctrine of the Trinity sets the limits of human speculation about the nature of God. As we established in discussing mystery, no borders are visible for what we do not fully know, because if there were a border then we would know something about what is beyond, namely that it is beyond. If something exists unknown in any way, it would be the same to us as if it did not exist, so it cannot be conceived or described. Man is free to speculate endlessly, and there's always temptation to nihilism even if it contains nothing but punishment to the speculator. Yet, some speculation is false, and borders are discernible between true and false speculation.
The basic truths of the triunity or three-in-oneness of God are the Scriptures that teach: God is one; the Father is God; the Son is God; the Spirit is God; and the name is of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit. Jesus does not teach that Father and Son have a relationship of identity of nature (and Paul to the Philippians rejects equality of nature), but their relationship is that of begetting within unity. Father and Spirit have a relationship of proceeding. Son and Spirit have a relationship of otherness. These limits are set by Scripture, not in a single authoritative dissertation that might make us lazy, but in various revelations that it is the honor and duty of all to compile and understand for themselves.
All the same, most antitrinity heretics go wrong because they stray beyond one limit or another and then discount the Scripture that limits them; all they needed was to search the Scriptures, but they took no warning when their novel doctrine abandoned what had gone before, nor when the broken guardrail pointed out to them was treated as a profane thing. Homoousias, sameness of essence, was a recognized limit (and can be inferred from how the parabolic father shared his ousia, living or substance, with his "prodigal sons"), but Paul of Samosata added to the doctrine and transgressed the limits, by teaching that this requires some tertium quid of will or energy antecedent to and more basic than Father and Son (Paulianism, a form of monarchianism); he was condemned by the first Synod of Antioch in 264. Sergius and Honorius later built on the idea that Father and Son had one will (monothelitism), going beyond "Not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Matt. 26:39); they were condemned by Sophronius for the inconsistency of their doctrine with God revealing himself in plurality of testimonies and wills in perfect harmony. In the same way the argument that Father and Son had one nature or energy (monophysitism and monoenergism) was condemned in the same era. The safe course is to constantly test new conceptions by the existing Word, such as by the creedal interpretations we have received, and by comprehensive study of applicable Scriptures. If Scripture and tradition are both rejected, and a broken cistern that holds no water replaces them, it will be obvious to our spirits as testified by his Spirit; but if a new conception can build on these harmoniously it can be tested and offered to the church.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. - John 1:1-9 KJV
The doctrine ... is difficult and perplexing to us .... Though the formula is mysterious and even paradoxical, it is in no way contradictory. John 1 is confusing on first reading because it defies Greek syllogistic thinking. "The Word was with God, and the Word was God" fights the common concept that "being" and "being with" are always contradictory. Yet the problem is not with our common conception but with our refusal to transcend it and recognize that God is capable of reconciling both relations in himself: the Word is God with God, as the Nicene creed rightly derives. Thus John is vindicated when we take him as a wise summarizing teacher who explains the details later: he understands the initial confusion we face, but begins this way because these perplexing truths are more essential than our minor premises that have neglected exceptions. We are better initiated by paradox than by pedagogy alone, even though there is a time for pedagogy! Children learn better through story that contains mystery than by hyper-analytic presentation of fact that is presumed to be complete in itself.
In math, it's said that "If A is C, and B is C, then A is B"; but this involves a two-way "is", where all attributes of A are attributes of B and vice versa. Logic also recognizes a one-way "is", where "A is B" means all attributes of B are attributes of A but not vice versa. With this meaning of "is", no conclusion follows from the premises given. Just because A is a thing and B is a thing doesn't make A into B! Thus the Father is not the Son just because they share all attributes of deity: some attributes of deity are shared in contrast rather than in identity, such as one being father and the other being son!
As we noted, we may distinguish the Spirit with one definition of "proceeding" (John 15:26, Rev. 1:16?, 4:5, 22:1), but the Word also "proceeds" (Matt. 4:4). In another Greek word, the Spirit "proceeds forth" like lightning (Matt. 24:27, Mark 5:30?, Rom. 10:18, Rev. 16:17, 19:5), and the Son also "proceeds forth" (Mark 1:38, John 8:42, 13:3, 16:27-30, 17:8). The Spirit "regenerates" (Titus 3:5, Matt. 19:28), and the Father also "newly generates" us (same root, 1 Pet. 1:3). The Spirit "renews" us (Titus 3:5, Rom. 12:2, 2 Cor. 4:16, Col. 3:10), and the Father also "makes new" (same root, Rev. 21:5). And yet these are also "in Christ". The Spirit sanctifies (Rom. 15:16, 1 Cor. 6:11), and the Father sanctifies (John 10:36, 17:17, 1 Thess. 5:23, Jude 1:1), and the Son sanctifies (Eph. 5:26, 1 Tim. 4:15, Heb. 2:11, 10:10, 14, 13:12). These observations are not to confuse us with choplogic, but to show with deeper logic that God always participates in all of his activity fully, that every difference in the scope of being and work of doing is resolved and harmonized in every revelation of him, that all of him is in all of him.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. - Heb 1:1-9 KJV
The doctrine ... does not fully explain the mysterious character of God. It may be simplest to illustrate this by ending here abruptly and leaving the rest to commentary.
Once again, I'd like to thank everyone for having me and my family in your prayers. I've dealt with a lot of death, but nothing could have ever prepared me for this. Before this tragedy turned my entire life upside down, I was working on this. I was reading over Old Testament Messianic prophecy, looking forward to Christmas, and something struck me. Isaiah 11: 10 says,
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
Paul quotes this very verse in Romans 15:12, but my mind drifted to Romans 11. I can't help but wonder if Paul's mind was on the subject when he penned verses 16-21,
For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
This is something I knew about only dimly, grafting fruit trees. I knew that it was possible to essentially transplant a branch from one tree to another, but I never fully grasped what the benefits were, so I started doing some research. For starters, we need to understand that despite making their own food from sunlight, plants do not have an infinite supply of energy. There are limited daylight hours in the day, and even the biggest tree has a finite number of leaves to conduct photosynthesis. Every plant has to strike a balance in where to send that energy. It can go to making roots, stems, leaves, or fruit. When we cultivate plants for food, we're usually interested in the fruit, but that often comes at the expense of other things. Trees that produce exceptional fruit sometimes have weak trunks or shallow roots. Conversely, wild trees often have substandard fruit because the entire tree needs to be robust. There are quite a few wild cherry trees on my parents' property. They've stood for untold decades, but the fruit is horrible. It's all pit with hardly any fruit, and SOUR!
By grafting, you can marry weak branches to strong roots. Many commercial apple orchards will use Russian root stock, because those trees are highly resistant to cold and disease. They're virtually impossible to kill. In fact, you can have every branch on the tree die, cut it down to a stump, then graft green twigs onto the stump, and it will come back to life. Those twigs will grow out into new branches and eventually bear fruit. That is exactly what Isaiah is decribing. The tree is cut down, but the root remains strong. Israel was overthrown and subjugated, but the God of Israel cannot be so easily removed. We, the pathetic, spindly twigs that we are, draw strength from that root. We are nourished by it. We grow, blossom, and bear fruit because we are upheld by good roots.
That brings up another interesting thing about grafted trees. They can't truly reproduce. This comes down to DNA. The grafted branch doesn't share DNA with the root. The whole point of the graft is to remove the good fruiting branch from it's weak base. If you plant the seeds from that fruit, it will grow into a tree like the branch, not like the root. In fact, it could even be worse than the branch, because there's no telling where the pollen came from. Even when a good branch is grafted to good roots, the flowers of that branch will accept pollen from anywhere. The branch will produce good fruit, because that is it's nature, but the seed inside can be anything. Just like a child, it will bear traits of both parents. Maybe it will be good fruiting, like the branch, but it could just as easily have shallow roots.
A branch cannot be established outside of the root. I don't want to turn this into a denominational war, but we can all agree that some of the "churches" out there today are not well rooted. They bend on issues where they should stand firm. They have no backbone, no trunk. They don't dig into the Word and study it. They prefer shallow platitudes about love and forgiveness over the deeper mysteries of God. Good roots spread wide and deep, drawing strength from all levels of the soil.
It's also important to realize that the branches are temporal, while the root is eternal. Paul mentions that the native branches, that is, the chosen people of Israel, have been broken off, making room for the wild, Gentile branches to be grafted in. He speaks of this as a punitive measure, being cast off because they don't bear good fruit. There is truth to this. Consider the seven churches of Revelation. There are some pretty harsh chastisements there, but I don't want to take this analogy too far. If we do that, it starts to sound like a works based salvation; that we can only partake in the Lord's goodness if we are producing fruit for Him. I think it's more important to realize that this whole concept of producing fruit applies to our life here on earth. In time, the branch will succumb to disease, or drought, or frost, and it will die. When it's days of producing fruit are over, it will be cut off, just as we will be called home when our work here is done.
Also, consider the maintenance that has to be done to the branches in order for them to bear fruit. It starts from the moment of the graft. The branch has to be trimmed to slot into the cleft made in the tree. There is a space for each of us to be joined to that root, but we don't inherently fit there. Things have to be cut away. It must then be tightly bound for the pieces to heal together. You don't ever "sorta" get saved. You cling to the Savior for dear life, knowing that He is your only hope. It isn't a thing that just happens with a little half hearted effort. You either believe it in the deepest recesses of your soul, or you don't. Then throughout the life of that branch, it must be examined constantly. You check it for pests and fungus that could injure it. You have to evalute the growth to optimize output. If it gets too many forks, it can snap under it's own weight. If it's growing too many new buds, it won't have the energy to sustain all of them. That's why you have to prune it regularly. All of this is required for the branch to thrive and produce good fruit, but it is still only temporary. The root will outlive every branch.
Finally, I want to look at the grandest mystery of the entire metaphor. By grafting branches, it's possible to have a singular tree that produces many different fruits throughout many seasons. Now, you can't graft an apple limb onto an orange tree, but you can graft multiple varieties of apples, like Braeburn, Fuji, and Honeycrisp. Allegedly, there's an ancient apple tree in England that's been grafted so many times that it produces over 200 different types of apples, and some stone fruits are so closely related that you can put peaches, plums, nectarines, and apricots on the same root stock. Don't take my word for it; check out this link.
I'm reminded of Revelation 22:1-2,
And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
This image of the New Kingdom is what God intends for His people: many branches bringing forth diverse fruit and healing the nations, grafted into a singular, eternal root and nourished by the Living Water. We may not ever achieve it in this life, but if it is God's will, then we ought to give it our all.
Gracious and most eternal Father in Heaven, we cast our eyes up to Your glory, You are the first, the last, You shall ever be. Father, we give thanks for the blessings that you have bestowed upon us and the grace You have given us through Your Son and our King, Jesus Christ. We are redeemed, restored, made new only by His Blood and only by His Most Holy Name. Give us His Spirit so that we may learn His wisdom and be guided unto the path of righteousness, through the door that He has opened unto us. Use us as You will to share this wisdom with others, so that they may believe and join the Body of Christ, our shelter and bulwark in this fallen world. We pray these things with all of our love for You and in the Name of Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
Many stories about him can be found here
Let’s explore a Biblical coherent source for Hanukkah. Most popular accounts suggest that the origins of this holiday derive from the Maccabees. However, it is more likely that the Maccabees seized upon extant Biblical (and extrabiblical) understandings of this holiday to legitimize their messianic pretension. Thus, we should be able to tease from their story true elements of meaning that they wished to confer upon themselves.
First, by linking themselves to this holiday and by being messianic pretenders they show that they believed fulfillment of the existing Hanukkah ceremonies would be a function of the promised Messiah. Further, this fulfillment was important enough to Jews of the day that the record they provide of their “fulfillment” of these ceremonies was central to their story and argument that they were indeed the awaited Messiah. In other words, they wrote it down as a central part of their story (I.e. messianic claim) because they believed it would resonate with their fellow Jews who also knew about these messianic overtones of these Hanukkah ceremonies and thus bolster their messianic claim.
This widespread understanding of the Messianic meaning within Hanukkah (I.e. the Feast of Dedication) was still strong amongst the Jews in the time of Jesus as reflected in the New Testament where they ask Jesus on Hanukkah if He is the Messiah (John 10:22).
Hanukkah is Messianic similar to how Passover is Messianic. The ceremonies of each detail elements of His work to restore and save.
Second, the Maccabees tie these ceremonies to the restoration and rededication of the Temple. Indeed, we get the current name of the festival from Chanuk which means to dedicate. They list two known linkages to Temple dedication: The Festival of Fire and the 8 day dedication of Solomon’s Temple (1 Maccabees). From this we see that they believed that the “fire” was to be a miraculous sign in that they created a miraculous story of 8 days of fire from a single day source of oil. This story tied into their second source of inspiration (I.e. the dedication of Solomon’s temple) by referencing the 8 days. In summary, they believed that the Messiah would dedicate the temple, there would be a miracle of fire, and that oil was tied to the messiah and/or these events. Again, these ideas must have been widespread among the Jews for them to place them at the center of their messianic claims.
I would argue that what they missed is that each of these elements would be fulfilled in the Messiah….not by the Messiah. In other words, the Messiah would be the Oil and would be the miracle of fire rather than performing a miraculous sign of fire with miraculous oil. Similarly, the Messiah was destined to be the Passover lamb rather than being an earthy high priest sacrificing an earthly lamb on an earthly alter. However, I would argue that we can take their flawed understandings as strong indication that these were widely understood tropes of the coming Messiah.
So we can tie prophecies of the Temple restoration to this Festival. For example, Daniel 8 is a prophecy of Hanukkah stating that after 2300 days the sanctuary would be tsaddiq (righteous). Indeed, the Maccabees appeal to this very prophecy in their claim as Messianic pretenders in the books of Maccabees. Again, they fail to realize that the Messiah would be the Temple rather than miraculously restore it. Daniel 8 actually directly says this stating (in Hebrew) that after 2300 days the sanctuary will be (a/the) tsaddiq (I.e. righteous person). Revelation also states that in the New Jerusalem there will be no Temple but that Jesus will be the temple.
From this we see that the ultimate and final fulfillment of Hanukkah will be the at the end of the millennial reign at the beginning of eternity when the earth is made new and new Jerusalem comes down from Heaven. That is probably not to say that there will be preliminary fulfillments prior to this…perhaps a “fulfillment at the second coming…just that the final and ultimate fulfillment is at the new earth.
This brings us back to the dedication of Solomn’s temple with a clear reference to the number 8 with its 8 day dedication. This, it seems to me, is a reference to time with the 8 being a reference to the beginning of the 8th thousand year. With God, a day is a thousand years and we have 7 days corresponding to 7 thousand years and the 8 day being the beginning of the 8th thousand years. There is also a linkage here to the Bar Mitzvah, which is 8 days, but that will be in a separate post.
Also in a separate post will be the predicted date of Hanakkah from the Old Testament prophets. It is specified. Will get to the connection with the gate as well.
More to come.
Here's my attempt to summarize his beliefs (please correct it if it's wrong):
It is a sin for people to lend at interest - things like interest on credit card purchases, car loans, student loan, and mortgages, are considered to be sinful for the lender who lends and expects interest back on the loan, because they are not producing anything and so to take such interest is a kind of theft.
The thief who takes such gains at interest is bound to pay back what was stolen (but is in justice entitled to the principal or the thing or amount loaned if they lawfully possessed it).
The borrower does not sin if they take a loan at interest of necessity: a poor student who must take a student loan to get an education may do so without sin (although it might be worth asking the question if it is possible to fund education without having to take on such loans at interest).
It is lawful to be a landlord and make money from renting things since one owns those things and provides a tangible good or benefit.
It is lawful to make money from investments, since one is a part owner of such a company and such companies produce value.
Not covered in the text: it may be a sin to invest in companies who openly promote sin like "woke" companies, because of one's cooperation with the sin as a part owner of the company (saw another article mention "material" versus "proximate" cooperation in others' sins, does anyone have any input on this?)
Covered but mentioning it for emphasis: The Christian ideal seems to be the opposite of usury, which is to lend without expecting interest nor the principal (what was loaned) to be paid back: "But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest; for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil." (Luke 6:35) It would be lawful however to ask for what was loaned back though - one is not bound to lend without expecting anything back, but this is an ideal to strive towards beyond what is required in strict justice - this is "going the extra mile" morally.
I personally don’t believe in them because people are in either heaven or hell but the only ghost I believe in is the Holy Ghost
A rainbow around the throne of our present heavens. The rainbow has seven primary colors, each color has a spiritual meaning. This is a good study and meditation, the colors of the rainbow in regard to the rulership in our present heavens.
What is it?
“God is Love” and “God is Almighty” and God conquers all through Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
Jesus is that idea. Because we have read the Bible in doubtful fear, sought to control others with threats and listened to the “principalities and powers of this present darkness” we have often lacked the courage to believe the victory of God in Christ Jesus. We seek to believe the voice which cries from to throne in Revelation 21:5, “Behold I make all things new.
That belief does not mean that there is no second death in the Lake that burns with “fire and divinity” (Rev. 21:8) or no “outer darkness where sons of the kingdom weep and gnash their teeth” (Rev. 22:15, Matt. 8:12).
It does not mean that there is no “hades,” “gehenna” or “Lake of Fire” (words that all get translated as “Hell”).
It does not mean that there is no Judgment. It means that Jesus is the Judgment. (He said it in John 12:31, “Now is the Judgment of this world.”)
It means that death is not the end; Jesus is “the end.” It means that the Word of the Creator is stronger than the lies of the desecrator. It means that Love does win. And it means that most of us probably need a new “theological” paradigm.
Heavenly Father, We thank you for giving us brothers and sisters to share our joys and burdens with. We seek to treat them with grace and kindness, just as you treat us. Cause us to be patient with each other and be quick to listen, slow to speak, and quick to forgive. We thank you for the encouragement they provide, and sometimes the exhortation as well. Thank you for Jesus, who loved to the limits of this earthy life and beyond -to infinity.
Has anyone here had any supernatural encounters with the enemy? I’ve had a few, but one particularly intense experience happened to me before I was fully walking with Christ (I was involved in some new age stuff which I now believe to be 100% demonic, I fell into it out of ignorance, but praise God he showed me the truth.)
I’m asking because I’ve found that only a handful of Christians that I know in my real life actually believe in the supernatural in any form, including the belief in miracles from the Lord. The Bible is a supernatural book, no? How can one be a professing Christian and deny the reality of the spiritual world that is all around us?
One major reason I was an atheist for so long was because I thought the supernatural was just fantasy. The Christians I knew didn’t believe in it even though the book they claimed to believe is FILLED with it.
Before I completely surrendered my life to Christ, I was ripped out of my atheism by countless supernatural experiences. Praise the lord, I ultimately I ended up knowing the actual creator of the universe, but not before going down several deceptive rabbit holes. Had the Christians that I know not been in denial of supernatural phenomena, I might’ve been spared of the lies of the enemy. I hope this makes sense.
I have always felt that the talents and skills I have been given would eventually lead me to my occupational vocation - something I can be happy and satisfied in, to serve God in someway... but I find that in my coursework and job that I become fairly agitated/frustrated or disheartened... I don't see the value in most of what I do or even what the work/job itself entails.
These frustrations compound on themselves to the point of hating waking up in the morning, hating the drive, hating campus, at most tolerating the people I work with, hating myself, etc...
Most I have spoken with appear to dislike their professions too for various reasons... its so sad to me that none of us can really find satisfaction in what we do for a living.
I suppose the question is, how do I discern what my vocation is... what is truly my calling? Have you discovered your calling? Is it possible to feel a divine calling for secular work?
The throne is rulership. There is an omnipresent throne in our heavens and we bring that throne to our earth by realizing it.
What is damnation?
Damnation = krima = Judgment / condemnation of wrong.
Decision (severe or mild).
Sentence of judge.
Greater = perissos
Matt. 23:14...Mark 12:40....Luke 20:47
RSV = greater condemnation
Holman = harsher punishment
Douay–Rheims = greater judgment
ISV =greater condemnation
Literal standard = more abundant judgment
YLT = abundant judgment
Worsley = heavier judgment
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for this wonderful past week. Thank you for allowing us to share thanksgiving with friends and family, even those we only know online. Thank you for giving us joy and a reason to be thankful. Thank you for sending your Son to die on the cross for our sins. I pray you will be with us today as we work, play, and learn. I pray you will give us the opportunity to witness to someone today and tell them all about you. I pray for peace all over the world, and that all the problems that currently beset us would be peacefully resolved. I know that all things are in your hand, and I pray that you will bring an end to this crisis quickly. I pray that everything we say and do would be an honor and a glory for you, AMEN.
Aren't they the American spin off of the Anglican church?
I understand the Lutherans (I was one for 12 years.) Luther was fighting corruption in the Church. A lot of people were upset over this so he gained support.
The Anglican church was formed because Henry wanted a divorce. He didn't like God's law so he sought to overthrow it.....
Sadly there are many episcopal churches out there that are more Catholic than the local Catholic churches.
Why be Episcopal?
Do not fall into the trap of believing God forgives us only because He love us. He can forgive us because Jesus paid the price for our sin but He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to pay that price.
His nature demands that He enact justice upon us. His mercy provides a path whereby, when Satan accuses us before God of our past and our sins and demands justice, that we can then plead the cause of Christ's shed blood, His death, burial, and resurrection as settlement of our debt.
For those who would argue that I'm quibbling over semantics or splitting hairs, I would say "No!" This is I believe the single most important and fundamental problem in much of the Church today. We have forgotten, minimized, and made of no effect the shed blood of Christ and His work on the cross. There was a reason Paul said, "I resolve to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." Without that central facet underpinning and upholding our faith, we have no other foundation upon which to stand and plead for God's forgiveness of our sins.