In praise of incredibly intuitive mystical Pastor Robert Gomes, and in praise of Christian missioner Kolina Ana, and in praise of her predecessor Jean-Frédéric Oberlin

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In praise of incredibly intuitive mystical pastor Robert Gomes    –

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Immense Christian mystic  Pastor Robert Gomes look-alike    –

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Pastor Robert Gomes’ wife of unparalleled equanimity/balance/composure/compassion — Pastor Donna Mae Respicio Gomes look-alike   –

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Christian mystic Pastor Robert George Gomes and his dearest wife Donna Mae Respicio Gomes serve us through Jesus at their beautiful quaint worship chapel and grounds at their gathering place, The Lord is My Shepherd Ministries  at Hilo’s 507 East Lanikaula St. near the junction of where East Lanikaula St. meets Kanoelehua Ave.

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They are behind the Embroid Me shop at the same address.   You cannot see their church grounds from Lanikaula St.    You drive on the right hand lane side of the Embroid Me shop to get to Pastors Robert and Donna Mae Gomes’ pristine rustic ranch style country church.

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They have their Lord’s Day gathering and services every Saturday at 10:00 a.m. that usually complete at 12 noon.  Their phone number is (808) 961-3737.    Enjoy our Lord’s Day every day via shepherds Pastors Robert and Donna Mae Gomes.

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To me, Pastor Robert Gomes connects mystically with Christ, the Son of God,

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which is why Pastor Robert Gomes sees both atomic (smallest particles) and cosmic (largest impact) patterns in the Word  (Logos – pronounced like “low-dose”) and via the Spirit  (Rhema — pronounced as “ray-ma”) (sword and obedience are Torah couplets on the atomic scale) (Christian mystic Pastor Robert Gomes is like John the Revelator who processes that we are spared from cosmic eternal torment of being born lost  —  by way of the revelation of the ascension of Christ  — John the Revelator also is well the willing martyr — martyr means to “witness to”  —  the most authentic  way to witness to Truth is to die for it when necessary  — John 18:37   obey God http://www.bibleversestudy.com/johngospel/john18.htm   ).

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Like Apostle Paul (completing –the Word of God — ministry), Pastor Robert Gomes does not play church, so to speak  — but instead avoids “natural thinking” presumptions (fleshly overpride/vanity/envy/jealousy) by stepping out (as Jesus did) in the world and taking risks of harm (by saving lost souls and those possessed of the spirit of unbelief) as the tests which need to be met in our authentic walk in Christ.

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Pastor Robert Gomes knows the truth about men and flesh  — born lost — and thus Pastor Robert is deemed alarming and dangerous to religious Christians (milk of the Word as opposed to righteousness of the Word) who cherry pick verses even to longtime “walking/waking dead” disciples  —  to sugar coat sin (forgiveness means that I can sin and sin again and again) and repentance (just say I’m sorry  — no need to extinguish our old self/natural ways) and Satan himself (die and go to heaven   — death, physical/spiritual —  itself is not the eternal fate for lost souls).

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The point is we are to move beyond feeding the lambs milk to feeding the sheep solid food.

Heb. 5:12-14 & 6:1-3  In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity,  …  the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

What then is solid food?  It is training in righteousness so that the sheep can be fully equipped, able to stand in the day of testing.

2 Tim. 3:16-17  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Stories, pop psychology and worldly methodology do not feed sheep.  They must be fed on the written Word of God as it is exegeted properly and applied by the Holy Spirit.

http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/agoodshepherd.html

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I thank Pastor Robert Gomes for Robert’s insight here:   The catcher is the one who’ll say that the tree of knowledge of good and evil is (not are)

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 the tree of humanity’s thirst for lust (of sex/fame/fortune),

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ergo that good and evil are inherent in us all like a cup of broth where you can’t separate the good portion from the bad portion of this one cup of broth.

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Likewise, Jesus’ blood (for our redemption via Grace) covers our single tree (of knowledge of good and evil)

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– Jesus does not separate the good part of the broth from the bad part of the broth, but instead comes with a new creation, 

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just as Jesus’ blood (that extinguishes our old laws-legalism/pretensions) can’t be separated from Jesus’ water (God’s holy spirit)  —

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so that the spearer at the Cross was drenched in both Jesus’ blood (which covers our flesh–good & evil)

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 and water  — in one accord — as in from one body — that of Christ.

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Catch/grab us all,

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including those of us who possess the spirit of

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unbelief,

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by appealing to our DNA/innate senses of

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devolution  — pain and despair  —

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we who suffer interminably 

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amid our contemporary crises of meaning —

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breakdown of values  —

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and excessive self-absorption.  

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Me/me/me translate

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to hopeless

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contemptuous self-pity.

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Pathetic needless suffering.

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The Fall of Man by Lucas Cranach, a 16th-century German depiction of Eden, with the tree of life (left) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(biblical)

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The   Ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament tree of life  literally means “wood of  life.”   The Grecian option overlooked by historians is that the tree of life is the prefiguration (foretell — relationship of Old Testament to New Testament) of Jesus  — the tree of life is Jesus  — wood simply is carved — as in the Cross — as the way to Jesus (crucified in Christ).   I thank seminarian scholar Daniel Tavares for this exemplification.

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Just the same, as erudite pastor Robert Gomes intones,  man,

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as often as he eats the fruit,

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does well to remember the source of his life,

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and acknowledge that he lives not by his own power,

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but by God’s kindness and forgiveness.

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The tree of life as the wood of life is the Cross in which we are crucified in Jesus as a new creation (the Atonement).

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The old dies (the flesh), as the new begins (the spirit).

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tree_of_life_(biblical)#Western_Christianity
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Leading theologian Augustine 400 AD of the early period (prior to Aquinas — Augustine was an ardent understudy of Grecian Plato) said that spiritual interpretation of Genesis does not rob Biblical narrative of its reality (City of God). 

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Aquinas 1200 AD of the scholastic period (Aquinas an understudy of Grecian Aristotle, Aristotle a Plato prodigy, Plato in turn a Grecian Socrates prodigy) took a pragmatic approach like Aquinas alter ego Aristotle (Aquinas’ Summa Theologica).   

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John Calvin 1500 AD (pre-Enlightenment period),  like Augustine and Pastor Robert Gomes above, took a sacramental approach — 

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 man, as often as he eats the fruit, should remember the source of his life,

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and acknowledge that he lives not by his own power,

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but by God’s kindness and love. 

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This is the standing interpretation in modern Reformed theology as well    (Calvin’s Commentary on Genesis 2:8).  

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Thence, The tree of life is the wood of life as the Cross in which we are crucified in Jesus as a new creation.   

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The old dies (the flesh), as the new begins (the spirit).

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For a person cursed with the spirit of unbelief, there is only one conclusion  — 

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ultimately, you shall not come to terms with your own death.

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Even for doubters (agnostics) and especially for nonbelievers (atheists)  —

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it simply is astonishing and mind-blowing that hypothetically  —

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we can devise an ethic —

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a super conscience —

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to keep us in check —

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and balance  —

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to ensure our survival as a species among nature’s creations

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(ecosystem equilibrium akin to hydrostatic equilibrium  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrostatic_equilibrium#Fluids  ).

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Profound and inexplicable that we “first mold” (archetype typology) instinctively (internal drive)

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for some paradigm (pattern/creation)

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greater than the self

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as the only real (sane — fulfilling) path

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for finding a whole complete self.

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Jungian scholars posit that inside every human heart is a personal picture of the divine, be it a personal God or an uninvolved pantheistic entity.

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Agnostics/atheists posit that Jews have imago dei (image of God), whereas Christians have imago Christo (image of Christ).

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Symbols are the language of dreams. A symbol can invoke a feeling or an idea and often has a much more profound and deeper meaning than any one word can convey.

 

http://www.dreammoods.com/dreamdictionary/

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Symbols (other persons/things)  often “mask” the actual person/thing  (of one’s deepest secrets and hidden feelings — 

unresolved conflicts discoverable via transference, as an example

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychoanalytic_dream_interpretation#Contemporary_psychoanalytic_approach

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(psychology)    )

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inasmuch the real person/thing emblematic of  immense suffering stretches oneself (e.g. the dreamer) into the vortex of vulnerability —

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a psychic well so deep that is not without grave cost    –

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perhaps in the extreme instance  —   to die as one lived —  as a person of self-determination and self-worth.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/02/brittany-maynard-death_n_6077482.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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Yet, in the depths of despair, absurdity, and indifference of life,

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one finds the deepest connectedness, the deepest continuity,

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with the primary humanity which defines you  —

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 the piety of being who you are because someone loved you.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathleen-anderson/why-cornel-west-loves-jan_b_6140744.html?utm_hp_ref=books

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Similarly   —

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_in_Christianity#Parables

the parables of Jesus represent a major component of his teachings in the gospels, the approximately thirty parables forming about one third of his recorded teachings.   The parables may appear within longer sermons, as well as other places within the narrative.

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Jesus’ parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and each conveys a teaching which usually

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relates the physical world to the spiritual world.

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In the 19th century, Lisco and Fairbairn stated that in the parables of Jesus, “the image borrowed from the visible world is accompanied by a truth from the invisible

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(spiritual)  world,”

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and that the parables of Jesus are not “mere similitudes which serve the purpose of illustration, but are internal analogies where nature becomes a witness for the spiritual world.”   Similarly, in the 20th century, calling a parable “an earthly story with a heavenly meaning,”  William Barclay states that the parables of Jesus use familiar examples to lead others’ minds towards heavenly concepts. He suggests that Jesus did not form his parables merely as analogies but based on an “inward affinity between the natural and the spiritual order.”

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My life has been a Griffin Dunne character in After Hours    

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Paul Hackett (Dunne) experiences a series of misadventures as he tries to make his way home  (mishaps produce laughter via cynicism & skepticism).

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This film is on the list of “Great Movies,” and it combines comedy and satire with unrelenting pressure and a sense of all-pervading paranoia.

Hopscotch to oblivion’, Barcelona, Spain

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtPI9jIx1kU

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/After_Hours_(film)

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For Apostle Paul, the “Power of the Cross” is not separable from the Resurrection of Jesus,

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though in Christian theology, the resurrection of Jesus is a foundation of the Christian faith.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_Jesus#Christology_of_the_crucifixion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resurrection_of_Jesus#Theological_significance

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For Apostle Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus was not an isolated event

in history, but a cosmic

event with significant Eschatological (Endtimes) consequences, as in

  1 Corinthians 2:8

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In the Pauline view, Jesus, obedient to the point of death,  died “at the right time” (Romans 4:25) based on the plan of God.

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Paul’s Christology (Jesus and Salvation) has the

specific

focus 

on the death and resurrection of Jesus.

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For Paul, the crucifixion of Jesus is

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inseparable from Jesus’ resurrection,

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and the term “the Cross of Christ”     

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in Galatians 6:12

Galatians 6:12 

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is Paul’s summary of the

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message of the Gospels.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Schwarz_(theologian)#Bibliography

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To posit that the resurrection far outweighs the crucifixion is reminiscent of Simon Peter denying 3 times knowing who is Jesus at the Cross, and yet ‘pal’-ing up with Jesus via the resurrection.

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Off the mark — so-called resurrectionists chafe that crucifixionists “kill Jesus” on the Cross every week  — like Catholics.

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“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” -Isaiah 42:8

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Sadly, resurrectionists ignore that extinguishing the self at the Cross is the portal to Salvation.    Salvation does not start with Resurrection.

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“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” -1st Timothy 2:4

 

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In line with brilliant, intuitive,  mystical Pastor Robert Gomes (revelation of the ascension of Christ)     –

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountain#Themes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountain#Plot_summary

 

The Fountain‘s theme of fear of death is “a movement from darkness into light,  from black to white”  that traces the journey of a man scared of death and moving toward it. The film begins with a paraphrase of Genesis 3:24, the Biblical passage that reflects the The Fall of Man. Hugh Jackman emphasized the importance of the Fall in the film: “The moment Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, humans started to experience life as we all experience it now, which is life and death, poor and wealthy, pain and pleasure, good and evil. We live in a world of duality. Husband, wife, we relate everything. And much of our lives are spent not wanting to die, be poor, experience pain. It’s what the movie’s about.”   Director Aronofsky also interpreted the story of Genesis as the definition of mortality for humanity. He inquired of the Fall, “If they had drank from the Tree of Life [instead of the Tree of Knowledge] what would have separated them from their maker? So what makes us human is actually death.  It’s what makes us special.”

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Aronofsky said of The Fountain‘s intricacy and underlying message, “[The film is] very much like a Rubik’s Cube, where you can solve it in several different ways, but ultimately there’s only one solution at the end”   — “ultimately the film is about coming to terms with your own death.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tree_of_Life_(film)#Plot

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The film begins with a quotation from the Book of Job: “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?… When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

A mysterious, wavering light, resembling a flame, flickers in the darkness. Mrs. O’Brien recalls a lesson taught to her that people must choose to follow either the path of grace or the path of nature. In the 1960s, she receives a telegram informing her of the death of her son, R.L., aged nineteen. Mr. O’Brien is notified by telephone while at an airport. The family is thrown into turmoil.

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In the present day, the O’Briens’ eldest son, Jack, is adrift in his modern life as an architect. One day he apologizes to his father on the phone for an argument about R.L.’s death. In his office, Jack begins reflecting and we see shots of tall buildings under the sky, Jack wandering in the desert, trees that stretch from the ground up to the sun high in their leaves and scenes from his childhood in the 1950s that all link together and lead back to the flame.

From the darkness the universe is born, the Milky Way and then the solar system form while voice-overs ask existential questions. On the newly formed Earth, volcanoes erupt and microbes begin to form and replicate. Sea life is born, then plants on land, then dinosaurs.  In a symbolic first act of compassion, a dinosaur chooses not to eat a weakened creature that is lying on the side of a river bed. An asteroid tumbles through space and strikes the Earth.

In a sprawling neighborhood in Waco, Texas live the O’Briens. The young couple is enthralled by their new baby Jack and, later, his two brothers. When Jack reaches adolescence, he is faced with the conflict of accepting the way of grace or nature, as embodied by each of his parents. Mrs. O’Brien (grace) is gentle, nurturing, and authoritative, presenting the world to her children as a place of wonder. Mr. O’Brien (nature) is strict and authoritarian, and easily loses his temper as he struggles to reconcile his love for his sons with wanting to prepare them for a world he sees as corrupt and exploitative. He laments his decision to become an engineer instead of pursuing his passion for music. He tries to get ahead by filing patents for various inventions.

Jack’s perceptions of the world begin to change after one of his friends drowns at the pool and another of his friends is burned in a house fire. He becomes angry at his father for his bullying behavior and begins to keep a running tally of Mr. O’Brien’s various hypocrisies and misdeeds, lashing out at his mother for tolerating such abusive behavior.

One summer, Mr. O’Brien takes a long business trip. While he is away, the boys enjoy unfettered access to their mother, and Jack experiences the first twinges of rebelliousness. Goaded by other boys his age, Jack commits acts of vandalism and animal abuse. He later trespasses into a neighbor’s house and steals her sheer nightgown. Jack is confused and angered by his feelings of sexuality and guilty trespass. He throws the stolen lingerie into a river to rid himself of it. Mr. O’Brien returns home from his unsuccessful business trip. Shortly thereafter, the plant that he works at closes and he is given the option of relocating to work in a thankless position within the firm or losing his job. He and his family pack up to move to the new job location. He laments the course his life has taken, questioning whether he has been a good enough person. He asks Jack for forgiveness for his harsh treatment of him.

In the present, adult Jack leaves work. Riding the elevator up, he experiences a vision of following a young girl across rocky terrain. Jack tentatively walks through a wooden door frame erected on the rocks and sees a view of the far distant future in which the sun expands into a red giant, engulfing the earth and then shrinking into a feeble white dwarf. Someone says “follow me” in the darkness, which is ended by the lighting of two candles. After emerging from rustic doors, Jack follows the girl and then a young version of himself across surreal landscapes. On a sandbar, Jack sees images of death and the dead returning to life. He is reunited with his family and all the people who populate his memory. His father is happy to see him. He encounters his dead brother, whom he brings to his parents. Accompanied by a woman in white and her younger self, Mrs. O’Brien looks to the sky and whispers, “I give him to you. I give you my son.”

Jack’s vision ends and he leaves the building smiling.

The mysterious wavering light continues to flicker in the darkness.

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The matter is about trust    –

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God and the devil will often tell us the exact same truth.

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And it is true.

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But their respective motives for telling you this truth will be radically different.

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You can trust God (redemption via Grace)

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or you can trust Satan (you are the Parasite’s host).

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from me in response to an author, Pali’s copy reader’s  questions below  (not connected in any way to Pastors Robert and Donna Gomes)

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A person of unbelief latches on to the word Fail   –

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A person of unbelief does not believe in redemption.

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Thus, “failure is not an option.”  There is no safety net

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to rescue a person of unbelief if the person fails.

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The problem is not just that we all fail sometime or

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another.   The problem mainly is that we don’t know who

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to trust when this (failure) happens.

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In this sense, we choose to be failures, because with no

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safety net in place, we have nowhere to go — except to

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annihilation (of the soul and the deeper spirit) ergo

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death/extinction.

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Which make us no different than an

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ordinary demon, since failure is not an option there either

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 —   because the demon has nowhere to escape but to

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stay welded in hell.

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And when we fail, there is no safety net

to rescue us.

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Here, Jesus catches a repugnant ignoble Cliff

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Livermore in Jesus’ hands  –

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and behold   — here Jesus then cups us in Jesus’ hands

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as we all fall into the abyss, so to speak.   No science

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can explain this.    No logic can extinguish this.

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 Hell

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(legalism) rules by fear.

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Heaven

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(Grace) rules by love.

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                       —  –

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Hi Curtis, so what is the upshot of all these passages? Do you mean that non-believers will immediately relate to Pali’s humanity?

Best regards,      (Pali’s copy reader)

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There are to be found two classes of Christians. Some are content with the mingled life, half flesh and half spirit, half self-effort and half grace.

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Others are not content with this, but are seeking with their whole heart to know to the full what the deliverance from sin and what the abiding full power for a walk in God’s presence is, which the New Covenant has brought and can give. God help us all to be satisfied with nothing less.

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Chapter II, The Two Covenants, and the Second Blessing, …

Read Chapter II of The Two Covenants, and the Second Blessing from author Andrew Murray. Find more Christian classics for theology and Bible study at Bible Study…
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Intuitive pastor (revelation on the mystery of God)  & Christian mystic Robert Gomes is of the New 2nd  Covenant.

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Remember when Pali’s great editor chortled lovingly that Simon Peter likeness Pali  (I substitute Cliff here for Pali)

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Cliff Livermore belongs to Jesus in spite of Cliff, not because of Cliff (all noise, no signal)?

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 And Cliff reacted with a climactic beet-red face band-aided by the widest grin this side of the Pacific Ocean?!

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Well, Christian mystic Pastor Robert Gomes belongs to Jesus because of Robert

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a la Biblical Joseph (humility/patience)

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(all signal, no noise — on earth as are in Heaven, in praise of Jesus).

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As cogent Pastor Robert Gomes chastens,

religious Christians do not discuss

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1) Satan

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2) repentance

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 3) sin           —

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as does Pastor Robert Gomes in his

narrative on our incredible Christian

odyssey.

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The narrative is really about us.

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As Pastor Robert Gomes evokes  —

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the tree of life

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as the wood of life

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is the Cross

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in which we are crucified

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in Jesus

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as a new creation.

 

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The   Ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament tree of life  literally means “wood of  life.”

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The old dies (the flesh), as the new begins (the spirit).

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For a person cursed with the spirit of unbelief, there is only one conclusion  —  ultimately, you shall not come to terms with your own death.

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I never forget the Book of Esther (4:14).     Mordecai reminds Esther:   If you’re not willing or able to be used for good by God, God will pick someone else who shall do God’s work.   I thank nurturant Lester Chun for summoning Esther.

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Cliff Livermore asks Jesus to heal people.  Cliff does not have any power to heal.    Still,  I’m not going to ease into a chair & be useless to all around me.   I try to make a difference for the better, instead of my not lifting a finger to comfort another.   I’m available  —

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even when Cliff  Livermore turns into a pillar of salt a la Lot’s wife (as she looked back at Sodom) — as Cliff froze at Anuhea’s healing

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(Calisto & Violet Mateo, led by Elizabeth Bishaw, supported by Cathy Simmons, saved the day & came to our rescue when Cliff Livermore turned into the pillar of salt  — pillar of shame).

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lot%27s_wife

https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/in-praise-of-pastors-calisto-violet-mateo-of-our-god-reigns-ministry-at-1289-kilauea-ave-hilo-suite-h-phone-808-961-6540/

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Help includes standing in the gap (Ezekiel 22:30), so to speak, however absurd & tragic it appears (risk of false hope/expectation).

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But there’s a big difference between carrying a cross (Luke 9:23) and being crucified on one  — namely,  nails.

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Being crucified with Christ means to nail thru one’s soul to the point of death (of sinful self).

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Thank you, Christian mystic and pastor Robert Gomes.  

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 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-c-crosby-dmin/the-three-nails-in-christs-cross_b_2980159.html

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Incredibly comforting nurturant Pastor Robert Gomes knows the “nothingness” in us all in our aversion to the “mercy seat.”   (propitiation & grace  Hebrews 9:5

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propitiation#Christian_theology )   (in relation to God’s throne of grace    https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-14-throne-grace-hebrews-414-16   Jesus sits at the right hand of God   https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+4%3A14-16&version=NIV   )

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Hebrews

Epistle to the Hebrews is a masterpiece and an intricate New Testament book.  Scholars believe Hebrews was written for Jewish Christians who lived in Jerusalem.   Its purpose was to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. The central theme of the epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his role as mediator between God and humanity.

The epistle opens with an exaltation of Jesus as “the radiance of God’s glory, the express image of his being, and upholding all things by his powerful word.”   The epistle presents Jesus with the titles “pioneer” or “forerunner,” “Son” and “Son of God,” “priest” and “high priest.”

The epistle casts Jesus as both exalted Son and high priest, a unique dual Christology.

Although traditionally called the “Letter to the Hebrews,”  its author refers to it as a “word of exhortation,”  using the same term used in Acts 13:15 to describe a sermon.)

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I know deep inside lies my fear of insignificance. My fear of having no worth or consequence. My fear of being zero.

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My fear of not being.   As in dying, so to speak.    Thank you, Pastor Robert Gomes, for clarifying and crucifying with Christ  the significance of the mercy seat.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_to_come#Christian_eschatology

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Spirituality is meant to explore all the un-attractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals.

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 Spirituality is not meant to provide uplift or confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions.

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Spirituality says “Think!   Feel!”   —   not   “You’re right.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-lady-psychopaths-welcome.html
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Thank you, Pastor Robert Gomes, for exposing our unlovely reality — and offering a right option  — lest we disregard the foretell of the Inferno (end days).

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Social conflicts.   Rooted in being ‘lovers of self’

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As erudite Pastor Robert Gomes intones,  the enthronement of self brings conflict.   The works of the flesh find fulfilment in hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, and murders. Heresies gratify the desire to hold personal opinions in the place of truth.      Opposite sex marriage vs. same sex marriage  — still all strife rooted in the flesh.     Everyone should come to the mercy seat described above.  Hebrews 9:5

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http://bibleteachingprogram.com/btp/life/fruit/fruitweb/f1a.htm

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Initial conflict

  • hatred,       (Greek echthrai) means personal animosities. This stands in contrast to love ‘agape’. It means enmity from echthros enemy.
  • variance, (Greek eris) means rivalry, discord.       Strife is the expression of enmity.       Strife, contentions.
  • emulations,       (Greek zeloi) means jealousies – zealously desiring what another has got. Jealousy seeks to have what another possesses, envy (phthonos) wants to take away from someone what he or she possesses.
  • wrath, (Greek thumoi) means stirring emotions followed by explosions. This stands in contrast to longsuffering ‘makrothumia‘.   Wrath – Hot anger, passion. An agitated condition of the feelings, an outburst of wrath from inward indignation.

 

Followers and Divisions

  • strife, (Greek eritheiai) means party spirit, rivalry. Faction – is the fruit of jealousy. Derived from erithos ‘a hireling’ it is not strife but seeking to win followers.
  • seditions,       (Greek dichostasiai) means standing apart – dicha ‘asunder’ and stasis ‘a standing’ – di indicates division. Cf. Romans 16:17 ‘mark those who cause divisions and turn away’.
  • heresies, (Greek aireseis) means choosing opinions. A choosing – A self willed opinion, which is substituted for submission to the power of truth, and leads to division and the formation of sects.       A division and the formation of a party or sect in contrast to the uniting power of ‘the truth’.

 

Violent conflict

  • envyings, (Greek phthonoi) (feelings of ill-will). Envy – the feeling of displeasure produced by witnessing or hearing of the advantage or prosperity of others.
  • murders,       (Greek phonoi) Murder

It was envy that caused the chief priests to crucify Jesus (Mark 15:10). It was envy that caused the brothers of Joseph to sell him into slavery (Acts 7:9).

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http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/flesh/

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The Pauline Writings. The uniqueness of these in this regard is sufficiently indicated in that approximately two-thirds of the New Testament occurrences of flesh are found in them, almost half of these in Romans and Galatians. They may be considered in two broad categories.

Uses Akin to the Old Testament. Most of the uses found in the Old Testament are also present in the Pauline literature. There flesh can denote the physical flesh ( 1 Cor 15:39 ; 2 Cor 12:7 ) and, by extension, the human body ( Gal 4:13-14 ), humanity as a whole ( Rom 3:20 ; Gal 2:16 ), human descent ( Rom 1:3 ; 9:3 ), and human relationships ( Rom 4:1 ; 9:3-5 ). By this point the term acquires the transferred sense of that which is frail and provisional ( 1 Cor 1:26 ; Gal 1:16 ; Php 3:3 ). As transient, it is not the sphere of salvation, which is rather the sphere of the Spirit. This does not imply that flesh is evil per se: life “in the flesh” is normal human existence ( Gal 2:20 ), but it is still merely human. This picture accords generally with that of the Old Testament.

Distinctive Pauline Uses. The uniquely Pauline understanding begins from the idea that flesh, as weak, becomes the gateway to sin ( Rom 8:3 ; 2 Cor 12:7 ; Gal 4:14 ). Still more, as the arena in which sin entrenches itself it becomes the instrument of sin ( Rom 6:12-14 ) to the extent that it becomes sinful itself ( Rom 8:3 ), and so an occupying alien power ( Rom 7:17-20 ). The accompanying war Paul describes as a struggle between flesh and Spirit ( Rom 8:5-17 ; Gal 5:16-24 ). The seriousness of the struggle is indicated by the fact that the mind-set of the flesh leads to death ( Rom 8:6 ), and that those living in the flesh cannot please God ( Rom 8:8 ). Accounts of this conflict are most vivid in contexts where Paul is describing the demands of the law on the one hand ( Romans 7:4 Romans 7:7-11 ; Gal 5:2-5 ), and its impotence to enable the believer to meet them on the other ( Rom 8:3 ; Gal 3:10-12 ). Flesh, however, is not intrinsically sinful, and may therefore be the scene of sin’s defeat. This it became through Christ’s coming and crucifixion in the flesh ( Rom 8:3 ). Those who identify themselves with him by faith likewise crucify the flesh ( Gal 2:20 ; 5:24 ) so being emancipated from the power of sin in the flesh ( Rom 6:14 ; 8:9 ). This reading appears to be confirmed by the Pauline use of the largely parallel term “body.” The “body of sin” was done away with at the cross ( Rom 6:6 ). The “body of our humiliation” ( Php 3:21 ), which is weak and still subject to the attack of sin, is the body of the interim. The “body of glory” ( Php 3:21 ), transformed and imperishable ( 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 1 Corinthians 15:50-53 ), is the body of the age to come.

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“My body,” which is soma in the Greek. It means: “the entire person.”

http://www.bereanbiblechurch.org/transcripts/romans_new/8_5-11.htm

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All of our body comes to the mercy seat.   Not part of our body.

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“We love because we are first loved,” says the Christian Epistle of 1 John.

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Thank you, Pastor Robert Gomes, for this missive.

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Here a religious “truth” is identical to a psychological observation:

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Self-worth does not first belong to self.

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Worth is bestowed upon us by love.

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Our worth is conveyed.

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All the worth we could ever need

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is found

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as we love and are loved.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/the-young-man-with-terminal-cancer-was-going-to-die-quicker-than-he-thought-and-he-was-very-depressed-about-this-and-of-course-he-hadnt-gotten-to-make-his-mark-and-he-had-this-conversation-with-t/

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/self-worth-comes-loving-being-loved

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The great adventure is finding the gumption to allow your life partner to become so special, unique and important to you that you want to bake one cake. Together! A cake called  We, not me.

Although it is literally true that only I am responsible for my own happiness, it’s erroneous to think my happiness will ultimately be located anywhere other than in the joy of interdependent intimacy — finding the one person upon whom I can absolutely rely.

And considering it an honor that she thus relies on me.

I am not responsible for my mate’s happiness.

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But I’m damn well responsible to her happiness.

Our current culture is replete with conversation about how we cannot love anyone until we love ourselves. We keep talking as if “I” and “We” can be reduced to dichotomy.

It can’t. The only way to be happy in life partnership is to cultivate a solid selfhood (differentiation). But the only way to have real progress in the journey of differentiation is to throw yourself headlong into the mystery of intimacy. Relationship!

I want to be in a life partnership where I bring my cake, such as it is. She brings hers. But, at the center of the table, you will see the cake we bake together.

And every day,

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the best “I” that I have will be found in service to “We.”

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http://www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas/sharing-life-s-kitchen-baking-cake-called-we

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Dream imagery and the spiritual realm are of a different order than our flesh comprehends.    Thence, the points of analogy/symbol to elucidate the reality of our existence    —

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What we see as ordinance/judgment/punishment, God sees as option/direction, just as Jesus’ ascension is about first,  mercy (to remove sin inasmuch God turns away from the sin itself) and then grace (to forgive sin).    I thank Biblical scholar Daniel Tavares and visioner Pastor Robert Gomes for these insights.

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https://bible.org/seriespage/daniel%E2%80%99s-disturbing-dream-daniel-71-28

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A number of lessons from our text have broad application to our thinking and conduct as Christians. Consider these lessons as we conclude.

(1) Prophecy is necessary because God has chosen to settle His accounts with men slowly. God is eternal, and so is His plan for all creation. God is in no hurry to fulfill His promises, whether His promise of the eternal kingdom for all the saints or the promise of eternal destruction and judgment for sinners. Prophecy is necessary then so that men are reassured of divine deliverance and blessing, as well as divine judgment (see 2 Peter 2:4-9). Through the ages, the saints have learned that they must wait for the promises of God to be fulfilled and that this may not happen in their lifetime (see Hebrews 11:13-16, 39-40). God may choose to delay judgment on the wicked until their sin reaches full bloom; the possession of the land of Canaan would not happen in Abraham’s lifetime, but more than 400 years later after the suffering of the people of God (see Genesis 15:12-17). God also allows the wicked to persist and even to prosper, so that those whom He has chosen might be saved (Romans 9:22-24). God’s plan and program are carried out on His schedule, not ours (see 2 Peter 2:8-10). Prophecy becomes necessary from time to time to remind men of those things God has planned for the future which He will surely fulfill.

(2) While the timing of the fulfillment of divine prophecy may seem remote to the recipient, it still has relevance for him. According to our text, the prophecies of Daniel 7 will not be fulfilled for a considerable period of time. Four kings will establish four kingdoms, and some of these kingdoms have a number of kings. The last kingdom has at least eleven kings. Centuries must therefore pass before the prophecies of Daniel are fulfilled.

The distance in time of the fulfillment of Daniel 7 said something very important to the captive Jews of Daniel’s day. It would be but a very few years until Cyrus would come to power and assist the Jews to return to Jerusalem and the land of Israel. In the euphoria of this grand event, someone might well conclude the kingdom of God was to be established within the lifetime of those returning to Israel. Our text challenges such a conclusion, and later prophecies in Daniel further document that the coming of the King and of the kingdom will be some time further in the future. In those days, as in our own, there are always those are too quick to conclude that the kingdom of God has come (see Matthew 24:4, 6, 8, 24-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:1ff.).

The kingdom of God would not be established in Daniel’s lifetime, nor in the life of those who returned to the land of Israel from their captivity. The prophecy of Daniel 7 nevertheless had great relevance and application to those in Daniel’s day. Nebuchadnezzar may have started badly, but by the time we read of him in Daniel 4 he seems to be a true believer in God, urging the citizens of his kingdom to worship and serve Him. For the remainder of Nebuchadnezzar’s life, it seems that religion in the kingdom of Babylon was at least favorable to the worship of the God of the Jews. While most of those in this kingdom may not have had a true conversion, at least they tolerated the Jewish faith as the religion of the state.

With the death of Nebuchadnezzar comes a change in the people’s attitudes, especially their leaders toward Judaism. Belshazzar came to power several years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar and seems to have turned completely away from the God of Israel. Consequently, it is little wonder that in the events recorded in Daniel 5, Belshazzar was ignorant of Daniel and the abilities God had given him. He only called on him in a moment of sheer panic when no one else could help, and only then because of the recommendation of the queen mother.

The reign of Belshazzar was, in some measure, a foretaste of what was yet to come in full measure during the reign of the fourth beast, especially of the eleventh horn. Would this horn Daniel’s vision revealed oppose the people of God and even blaspheme God Himself? God would strike him down in the moment of His choosing to silence him once and for all and put an end to his kingdom. Would Belshazzar toast the gods of gold, silver, wood and stone with the sacred temple vessels? God would strike him down suddenly too and bring his kingdom to a swift end. The prophecies of Daniel 7 speak of a future day of reckoning, foreshadowed by the actions of Belshazzar and the judgment of God on him and his kingdom.

Through the statements men have made about the God of Israel in the first six chapters of Daniel, what men came to know and to acknowledge through history, God declares through prophecy.   Compare the statements of Daniel 2:21-22, 44, 47; 4:3, 34-35, 37; 6:26 with the content and declarations of Daniel 7. What God declares in prophecy, He reveals as well in history. We are in harmony with God when our declarations conform to His. Those of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and Darius all agree with the prophecy of Daniel 7. God is able to raise up kings and put down them. God will establish His kingdom, and that kingdom, unlike the kingdoms of men, is eternal.

(3) The finest commentary on the prophecy of Daniel 7 comes from our Lord Himself. In the Old Testament, the expression “son of man” was used most frequently in reference to men, who were merely (as opposed to God) human. In the Psalms and also in Daniel 7, the expression “Son of Man” begins to take on a more technical meaning, referring to the Messiah, who will sit on the throne of His father, David, to rule over men forever.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, having added perfect humanity to His undiminished deity, He spoke of Himself very often as “the Son of Man.” In the Gospels, Jesus began not only to identify Himself as the Messiah, the promised “Son of Man,” but also to explain all that this involved. The Son of Man had the power to forgive sins, as well as to heal a paralytic (Matthew 9:6). The Son of Man was also “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8). He would rise from the dead (12:40). He will also send forth His angels to gather those who do not belong in His kingdom (12:41). He questioned His disciples so that they could confess that He, the Son of Man, was the Messiah (16:13f.). He would, after His death, burial, and resurrection come in His glory, rewarding men according to their deeds (16:27). His disciples were promised that they would share in His reign as King (19:20). The transfiguration of our Lord was but a foretaste of His coming glorious kingdom (16:28). When He came with His kingdom, they would be sure to recognize Him (24:27). However, the Son of Man must first suffer at the hands of men (17:22; 20:18).

Those who rejected the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of Man, would mourn when they saw Him returning in the clouds:

And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).

As the destruction of the last beast and the blaspheming horn came as a complete shock to them, so the Lord’s coming will catch unbelievers unprepared as well (24:27-39). His followers too must be alert and ready for His return (24:44).

The most dramatic reference of our Lord to His identity as the Son of Man comes as the Lord Jesus stands on trial before the Sanhedrin and the high priest:

59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; 60 and they did not find it, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, AND COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN” (Matthew 26:59-64).

In His response to the demand of the high priest, Jesus directly claimed to be the promised Messiah. That was bad enough, from the religious leaders’ perspective, but the way in which He answered them was the last straw. Jesus quoted the words of Daniel 7:13. They surely knew this text to be messianic, but they had always applied it to the Gentiles. They believed that the Messiah would come to establish the kingdom, to bless the Jews and to condemn the Gentiles. Jesus applied this text to them, not as those who would enter into His kingdom, but as those who would be judged at His return. No wonder His words stung and prompted them to act as they did. For the time, it was these Jewish leaders who were beastly, arrogant, and blasphemous, and because of this they would suffer divine judgment. The words of Daniel which applied to the beasts now found application to them.

(4) Suffering is to be expected by the saints, before they enter into the glorious kingdom of God. Daniel 7 indicates in the clearest way that prior to the coming of the kingdom of God the saints will suffer at the hand of the final “horn” and even be overpowered by him. Wherever I see the Scriptures speak of the coming kingdom of God, I find suffering closely associated with it. Before the Israelites were delivered out of Egypt and brought into the land of Canaan, they suffered at the hands of the Egyptians. Our deliverance from the power of sin and the penalty of death has been accomplished by our Lord, who suffered in our place. Those who will reign with Christ are those who have suffered (see Romans 8:17; Philippians 3:10-11; 2 Timothy 2:12). Suffering is an inseparable part of the process which leads to glory. So it was for our Lord (1 Peter 1:10-12), and so it will be for us.

(5) Prophecy is not written as hype but revealed to produce the hope of glory and endurance in present tribulation. Prophecy is not a pep rally, which generates a great burst of short-term enthusiasm but does little to inspire faith and endurance in the midst of suffering. Neither is prophecy written to make us happy or to feel good. Daniel’s response is testimony to this reality.

(6) Prophecy is written to sober the saints. Prophecy speaks not only of the joys and glories of God’s kingdom to come but of the suffering and tribulation preceding the eternal blessings of the kingdom of God. In the context of the coming of His kingdom and the suffering and trials which precede it, soberness is a vitally important quality which prophecy promotes:

1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor o darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:1-8).

Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13).

The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer (1 Peter 4:7).

(7) Prophecy is revealed, not to give us the particulars of things to come, but to change our perspective. Prophecy is necessary because God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. We could never predict the goals God has determined, nor the means He has ordained for history to reach them. Prophecy reveals that which we would not and could not expect apart from divine revelation.

In God’s economy, things are not what they appear to be. We do not walk by sight, but by faith. We do not act on what we see so much as on what God has said. Abraham and Sarah were elderly and childless. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for them to have a child. And yet God said they would. And they did! Abraham had to believe and behave on the basis of God’s promises, rather than on the basis of his perception.

As the boasting horn of Daniel 7 seems to be getting away with his blasphemies and his oppression of the saints, it seems to him he can do whatever he wishes, including the changing of times and law. As the wicked prosper in their sin, it seems as though they can continue in sin without any fear of divine judgment (see Psalm 73:1-11; 2 Peter 2:3-4). Their perception is wrong, for suddenly and without warning their day of destruction will come upon them. When that day comes for them, it is too late to repent.

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As the saints suffer at the hands of the wicked, it may appear all hope is lost. It may seem to them that their defeat is certain and that their hopes of entering into the eternal kingdom are lost.

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Things are not as they appear to be!

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When we expect it least, the Lord will return, the wicked will be punished, and the kingdom of God established forevermore.

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A number of attempts explained the “gaps” in Old Testament prophecy. One of those gaps is found in Daniel 7. The coming of the Son of Man is represented as one coming, and not two. We know that Jesus came the first time to die and that He will come again to subdue His enemies and establish His kingdom. We are told the Old Testament prophet could not see the distance between the first and the second coming of our Lord, just as one cannot see the distance between two mountains, when viewed from afar.

The “gap” in the prophecies of the Old Testament  —  the gap is not the prophet’s problem; it is ours. The Old Testament prophet did not see the gap because he viewed the coming of Christ as God does. From an eternal perspective, the coming of Christ and His kingdom is but one coming. Our Lord’s first coming happened over a period of more than 30 years, and yet we view this as one coming. If, in God’s eyes, a day is as 1,000 years and 1,000 years as a day (2 Peter 3:8), then the coming of our Lord has only been a few days from beginning to end.

We see a gap—an almost insurmountable gap—between suffering and glory; God does not. Suffering and glory are a part of one work. Just so, Christ’s suffering and glory is but a part of one coming. Prophecy greatly benefits the Christian because it enables him to see things from the bigger and broader perspective—from God’s perspective—so that when he suffers, he knows it is but a part of the process of getting to glory.

Consider the birth of a child, remembering that God’s deliverance and salvation is likened to birth. The process of having a baby involves the pains of childbirth. They are far from pleasant but an unavoidable part of the process. The woman endures in the view of the final outcome of the process. When the child is born, the pains of suffering are quickly lost in the joys of seeing a new life. Child-bearing is a process which involves suffering and glory. Salvation is likewise a process involving suffering—and then glory.

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Prophecy is revealed to men to change their perspective, to urge them to see things as God sees them rather than as they appear to the human eye.     Prophecy does not convict/punish.

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We are not to base our thinking and actions on circumstances, but upon the Scriptures. What God says, He will do. History has shown this to be true in the past, and prophecy assures us that it will be true in the future. Let us listen then, and be sober, enduring the sufferings and trials sent our way, looking expectantly and certainly for His kingdom to come.

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How important is it for us to identity the kings and the kingdoms mentioned in our text? Are we supposed to discover their identity?

Daniel was told that the beasts are kings, but he was not told the identity of any of the kings. There is fairly strong inferential evidence that Nebuchadnezzar was represented by the first beast, the winged lion.

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The point of this prophecy is not to tell us who future kings will be, but rather what they will be like.

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Until God’s eternal kingdom is established, kingdoms will progress from bad to worse. These kings will rise to power and dominate the earth. In the latter days, an unusually powerful and evil king will arise, who will blaspheme God and oppress the people of God. When his appointed time is over, God will destroy this king and his kingdom and establish His eternal kingdom on the earth.

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This is what we need to know from Daniel’s vision, rather than the identity of the beasts.

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What effect did the vision have on Daniel, and why?

Daniel is greatly distressed by the vision which he sees in chapter 7. We are not told precisely what it is that troubles Daniel. From the context, it would seem that Daniel’s distress is the result of the wickedness and oppression of the world kingdoms which are represented by the beasts, and by the knowledge that the saints will be oppressed and even overcome for a period of time. The fact that wicked men will prosper and prevail and that the righteous will suffer is hardly pleasant news.

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What is the point of the vision? What is its message to Daniel, to the Jews, and to us?

In the latter days, before the kingdom of God is established on the earth, kings and kingdoms will become worse and worse. The wicked will prosper and appear to get away with their opposition toward God and His saints. The righteous will suffer. But in the end, God will judge the wicked and establish His kingdom for His saints.

The saints should expect to suffer because of their faith, especially as the last days for the kingdoms of men draw near. The saints should also expect the wicked to prosper, for a season. The saints should neither believe nor behave on the basis of how things appear to be (the wicked prospering and prevailing over the righteous). The saints must believe and behave according to what God has promised about the future —the righteous will possess the kingdom of God forever.

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New Testament mercy & grace are about love — one can disagree with a trespass/sin, yet still love the perpetrator, so to speak, via Christ’s crucifixion   — possibility of redemption for the perpetrator   —   hate the sin, love the sinner)

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(opt for spiritual truth and reality over fleshly egotism   –

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Fleshly love of self:  Nebuchadnezzar dreams of an enormous statue with a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of copper, legs of iron, and feet of mixed iron and clay.     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Nebuchadnezzar.27s_dream_of_four_kingdoms_.28chapter_2.29

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Spiritual Truth and Reality:   Daniel’s 4 beasts emblematic of Nebuchadnezzar’s depravity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Daniel#Vision_of_the_beasts_from_the_sea_and_the_Son_of_Man_.28chapter_7.29

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Respect and inclusion are the constants.

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There is a place for everyone.

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Essentially,  Nebuchadnezzar  exemplifies the prodigal son (and Jesus is the prodigal son’s father)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Prodigal_Son

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albeit 700 yrs. before Luke’s parable.

 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2015:11-32;&version=NIV

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Prefiguration (predictive relationship of Old Testament to New Testament)

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typology_(theology)

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and Daniel’s prophecy (in relation to Luke’s parable 700 yrs. later)

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intone Jesus’ throne of grace ergo that

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Jesus yokes equally 

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the trip trigger being exhortation to Jesus’ disciples to use their God-given gifts in the service of God, and to take risks for the sake of the Kingdom of God.

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The landowner’s parable of talents (minas) enunciates the same principles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_talents_or_minas#As_a_teaching_for_Christians

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The landowner (like the prodigal son’s father) becomes an allegory of Christ, so that “his journey has become the ascension, his subsequent return … has become the Parousia, which ushers his own into the Messianic banquet.”

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_talents_or_minas#As_a_critique_of_religious_leaders

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Just the same, Nebuchadnezzar,  defiled as he was, still had God’s mercy and a chance to redeem himself with our Heavenly Father, though Nebuchadnezzar,  like Red Badge of Courage soldier Henry Fleming,  ends as he began:  In self deception.

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Although Henry Fleming “progresses upwards toward manhood and moral triumph,”  as he begins to mature by taking leave of his previous “romantic notions,”  the education of the hero ends as it began: in self deception.”   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Badge_of_Courage#Themes

      

 

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The Bible is all about love in endless abundance,

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coupled however,

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with innate principles of responsibility and faith.

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Wow, the Jews had 700 yrs. head start to figure out God’s mercy and grace before the advent of Luke, and we Gentiles had 2000 yrs. to figure out Jesus’ throne of grace and our ubiquitous mercy seat (extinguish flesh, distinguish spirit)   — and yet none of us “gets it,” so to speak.

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Similarly, with love as the constant,   if such and such works out that we prayed for, it’s a God thing; if it doesn’t work out, it’s still a God thing, just a different kind of God thing.

We read about this in biblical times, too. If the king and his army suffer defeat, it means the deity is angry for some reason. If victorious, the nation is clearly favored in God’s eyes. How you explain divine action depends on the circumstances.

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The Mesha Inscription commemorates the defeat of Israel by the Moabite king Mesha in the 9th century BCE.   We get a different angle on this in 2 Kings 3:4-27, interpreting the religio-politics from an Israelite point of view. And the similarities between the Mesha Inscription and the fall of Jericho and eventually Ai in Joshua 6-8 are well known.    The account of Mesha’s campaigns reflects a royal ideology which wishes to present the king as the obedient servant of the god.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesha_Stele#Analysis

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/10/does-experience-affect-our-theology/#ixzz3HTyU2K4Q

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Also similarly,

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/carlgregg/2014/10/jewish-readings-of-christian-scripture-parables-as-deeds-not-creeds/

One traditional interpretation of “The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard” is that God is the landowner, the vineyard is our work in this world, and the payment at the end of the day — metaphorically, at the end of our lives — is whom the landowner God will reward with heaven. And read through an “otherworldly” lens, this parable can be seen as not about us humans, but instead about God. In that view, the parable’s “lesson” is that God is more generous than we expect or deserve, and chooses to let people into heaven both those who have done only a tiny bit of good at the end of their lives as well as those who have done good their whole lives. In the words of the parable, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.”

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It is likely that Jesus’ familiarity with a passage from 1 Samuel inspired this parable (Davies and Allison, 330). A thousand years before Jesus, King David ruled a United Kingdom of Israel. And 1 Samuel 30:10 tells story — “The Parable of Equal Compensation for Soldiers,” if you will — in which, “David went on with the pursuit [of the Amalekite army], he and four hundred men; two hundred stayed behind, too exhausted to cross the [valley].” Ten verses later, when they returned victorious, we read in verse 21 that, “When David drew near to the people he saluted them.” But, in contrast to David’s generous greeting, the foot soldiers who had been in battle declared, ‘Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered….’” 

But David rebukes them in a way that presages Jesus’ parable saying, “For the share of the one who goes down into the battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” Verse 25 goes on to say, “From that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel; it continues to the present day.”

And a millennia later, when Jesus is one among quite a few people who are declared to be a potential a “messiah.” Part of what being declared a messiah meant is that Jesus is hoped to turn out to be a king like David, who will restore the so-called “Golden Age” of Israel as it was under the United Monarchy. Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that with both David and Jesus — not for the least of which reasons that David attempted to cover up his affair with Bathsheba by having her husband killed. (Rarely were so-called Golden Ages as glorious as they are sometimes nostalgically remembered to be.)

Returning focus to our parable, when those day labors hired at 5:00 p.m. received a full day’s wage for only working one hour, those who were hired at dawn (and had worked a hard, 12-hour day) leapt to the conclusion that they must be in for an equivalent surprise of much more than “the usual daily wage.” Shouldn’t they receive four times more those hired last since they had worked four times as many hours?

But hearing their grumbling, you may recall that the landowner contends, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong…. I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’” And when you read this parable from the perspective of a call to “love the hell out of this world,” it is important to consider that — both then and now — the day laborers picked first at dawn are the youngest, strongest, healthiest workers. For these workers in their prime, the landowner paid “the usual daily wage.” It’s basic economics: supply and demand. To enlist those workers in greatest demand, you have to pay the standard rate. Those left behind were the older, weaker workers.

But, “When the landowner went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing wanting work, but not able to find it in the marketplace.” The landowner had hired all the workers he needed for the day three hours earlier at dawn. And perhaps he assumed other landowners would hire the remaining workers. But upon seeing workers still standing around three hours later hoping to be hired, he said, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” Notice that he doesn’t agree with these less desirable laborers for the usual daily wage as he had with his first round draft picks. Nor do the laborers haggle with him over a rate. They are eager to be paid “whatever the landowner deems right” when the alternative is returning home to their families with no pay at all.

When the landowner “went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.” Most shockingly, one hour before the end of the 12-hour workday, “he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here wanting work, but not able to find it all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’” So perhaps an even more controversial title for this story might be “The Parable that All People Who Want to Work Should Be Given a Job and Paid a Generous Wage.” After all, contrary what sometimes seems to be popular opinion, the Christian Scriptures are about “What Jesus DID!” not “What Would Ayn Rand Do?”

From a perspective of “full employment,” Jesus’ parable invites us not only to praise the “Generous Landowner,” but also to reflect on the plight of the day laborers. Yes, the landowner could be called, in our political-speak, a “Job Creator.” He did generously create jobs that would not otherwise have existed that day for a host of workers. But it is important to point out that “the usual daily wage” for manual labor would have been “The denarius, a Roman silver coin, that had approximately the same value as the Greek drachma….” Rabbinical sources tell us that rate was actually “neither generous nor miserly” (Davies and Allison, 309, 330). That point undercuts the usual interpretation of this story as primarily a vehicle to praise generous landowners. Scholars tell us that the usual daily wage paid “perhaps enough for a subsistence existence” (Carter, 296). That’s a low minimum wage, not a sustainable “Living Wage.”

Turning the tables, perhaps what those full-day, hard workers were excited about — upon seeing the latecomers get the usual subsistence wage — was that maybe for once they were going to get a “Living Wage” that could give them a little breathing room financially. That insight gives us ears to hear the landowner’s words not only as well-intentioned and lined with some generosity, but also as unintentionally paternalistic, condescending, and oblivious to the serious day-to-day struggles of all his day laborers. So, on one hand, yes, he is generous for paying so many extra people a minimum wage. On the other hand, he has paid none of them a Living Wage. And by hiring day laborers, he is still keeping all the power to himself. He is not giving any of the workers the security of a long-term contract or benefits.

Remember as well that Jesus himself was an itinerant Jewish peasant, and it is quite possible that the original audience for this parable would have been precisely those less-desirable day laborers who were standing around at 9:00, Noon, 3:00, or 5:00 hoping to be hired; they are the ones out of work with the time to listen to an itinerant rabbi storyteller. Perhaps in the audience as well were landowners who after hiring the needed day laborers at dawn had leisure time for the rest of the day to listen to itinerant rabbis. 

Jesus’ parables, when stripped of later “other-worldly” interpretations that were laid onto them, reveal the original radical stories of a traveling Jewish rabbi reinterpreting the Hebrew prophetic tradition to condemn inequality and call for justice in his own day. In the words of Amy-Jill Levine:

the parable does not promote egalitarianism; instead, it encourages householders to support laborers, all of them. More than just aiding those at the doorstep, those who have should seek out those who need. If the householder can afford it, he [or she] should continue to put others on the payroll, pay them a living wage (even if they cannot put in a full day’s work), and so allow them to feed their families while keeping their dignity intact. The point is practical, it is edgy…. Jesus is neither a Marxist not a capitalist. Rather, he is both an idealist and a pragmatist. His focus is…[the] “responsibility of the rich.” (218-219)

May we work for a world, not in which everyone is equal — whatever that would even mean given how different we all are—

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but for a world in which everyone who wants to work is paid at least a living wage and in which everyone has a simple, decent place to live. 

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But in addition to such large goals, for now, in the coming days and weeks, I invite you to consider

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what do you have in abundance?

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Out of that abundance, to whom might you be called to seek out and practice abundant generosity?

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http://onetheology.com/2014/10/28/how-we-lose-the-faith/

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What happens when sermons have no basis in Scripture?

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What happens when Scripture is not read in large sections to provide context?

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What happens when the Church fails to teach the creeds?

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What happens when pastors can’t explain the Trinity?

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I think we are seeing what happens when these shortcomings occur within this body of statistics.

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How long will denominations, churches, pastors, and individual Christians ignore the ignorance of the American church?

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from Cliff Livermore’s great editor   —

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“Respect and inclusion” without Christ are not  constants.

The only constant is Jesus Christ and what He has accomplished. Otherwise He is not God. No one can waltz into the Holy of Holies and demand “respect and inclusion” on their own merits. Otherwise, what good is the blood of Jesus? He might as well not have bothered going to the Cross.

One of the favorite proof-texts for this new doctrine is the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.  They skulked away because He exposed their own sins, which they wanted to cover up by focusing on the woman. And, having refused to let hypocrites judge her,  Jesus then recognized the woman’s own sin apart from human judgment when he told her, “Go and sin no more.” It was an act of compassion on His part and also a non-varnished truth that she needed to deal with.

Like both the accusers and the woman caught in adultery, none of us has righteousness apart from Christ based on our own terms.  We are dealing with a holy God and must be dressed in HIS holiness to enter into the Holy of Holies.

We are all sinners, but we get to choose whether we fall upon the Rock or whether the Rock falls upon us. Either way, we get a Rock.

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The earthly tabernacle was patterned after the one in heaven (Exodus 25:9, 40; 26:30; 27:8; Numbers 8:4; Acts 7:44; Hebrews 8:1-5; 9:11-12)

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Spiritual gifts, including the miraculous, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 12:27-31, Romans 12:3-8, Ephesians 4:7-16 — impress (via the holy spirit) today, such as one sees with Cliff Livermore when Cliff is not in self (like repugnant former Simon Peter) but in Jesus.   Pastor Cathy Poai Simmons’ fruit of the Spirit (transformation & sanctification) manifests her spiritual character of love, not of her nor Cliff as a gifted (purified/holy) disciple, but of the glorious building up of the collective body of Christ. 
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God interfaces sinful man with Jesus at the Tabernacle’s Mercy Seat.    The Shekinah glory shows God’s presence between the cherubim over the Mercy Seat.    Sin separates man from God. A holy God shuts out sinful man from the Tabernacle by walls and the veils. Our sins shut out us from the presence of a thrice holy God.   When the sinner could not go to heaven because of his coming short of the glory of God, God in the person of His Son came from heaven to earth “that He might bring us to God.” (1 Peter 3:18) God issues an invitation for each of us eventually to “draw near with confidence to the Throne of Grace,” so that we may complete via mercy from Jesus and grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) Let’s “keep on drawing near(er)” with confidence to the places where God meets us in Christ.    We come now to the Mercy Seat (for eventual salvation), to draw nearer to Jesus’ Throne of Grace.   
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Essentially, Jesus’ Mercy Seat for us and Jesus’ Throne of Grace contrast God’s relationship with man in the Old and New Covenants. When God set up residence on earth, He called His throne the Mercy Seat (for us all).   After Calvary Jesus prompted man via the Holy Spirit to Jesus’ Throne of Grace.  
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God has revealed His heart to us by the name of His throne.  Man comes frighteningly to the Judgment Seat, and finds the Mercy Seat, though Judgment eventually awaits us all.
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Jesus’ Mercy Seat is a place we go and not be condemned. And this is wonderful. Yet God has so much more for us. By way of Jesus, God’s throne is now called the Throne of Grace!  Not only will He forgive (Mercy), or not give you what you deserve (destruction)  —  His intent is to bless, or give you what you do not deserve (Grace)!

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Prophecy (Coming) of Jesus by way of Old Testament  –

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Joshua’s trek toward the land of milk and honey (no shortage of faith), unlike Moses’ early failed quest (shortage of faith)   — is a representation of Jesus cometh.    In this sense Joshua’s parable gave ample opportunities for the “chosen ones” to indwell with Christ, and to pour out beyond in the spirit of the Holy.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typology_(theology)#Development_of_typology

Origin of the theory

Christian typology begins in the New Testament itself, with Paul in Romans 5.14 calling Adam “a type [τύπος] of the one who was to come”, i.e. a type of Christ. He contrasts Adam and Christ both in Romans 5 and in 1 Corinthians 15.

The early Christians, in considering the Old Testament, needed to decide what its role and purpose was for them, given that Christian revelation and the New Covenant might be considered to have superseded it, and many specific Old Testament rules and requirements in books such as Leviticus dealing with Expounding of the Law were no longer being followed.  One purpose of the Old Testament for Christians was to demonstrate that the Ministry of Jesus and Christ’s first coming had been prophesied and foreseen, and the Gospels indeed were seen to contain many quotations from the Old Testament which explicitly and implicitly link Jesus to Old Testament prophecies. Typology greatly extended the number of these links by adding to Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Christ others based on the mere similarity of Old Testament actions or situations to an aspect of Christ.

Typology is also a theory of history, seeing the whole story of the Jewish and Christian peoples as shaped by God, with events within the story acting as symbols for later events – in this role God is often compared to a writer, using actual events instead of fiction to shape his narrative.[

Development of typology

The system of Medieval allegory began in the Early Church as a method for synthesizing the seeming discontinuities between the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and the New Testament. While the Church studied both testaments and saw each as equally inspired by God, the Old Testament contained discontinuities for Christians, for example, the Jewish kosher laws and the requirement for male circumcision. This therefore encouraged seeing at least parts of the Old Testament not as a literal account, but as an allegory, or foreshadowing, of the events of the New Testament, and in particular examining how the events of the Old Testament related to the events of Christ’s life. Most theorists believed in the literal truth of the Old Testament accounts, but regarded the events described as shaped by God to provide types foreshadowing Christ. Others regarded some parts of the Bible as essentially allegorical; however the typological relationships remain the same whichever view is taken. Paul states the doctrine in Colossians 2:16-17 – “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” The idea also finds expression in the Letter to the Hebrews.

The development of this systematic view of the Hebrew Bible was influenced by the thought of the Hellenistic Jewish world centered in Alexandria, where the Jewish philosopher Philo (c. 20 BCE – c. 50 CE) and others viewed Scripture in philosophical terms (contemporary Greek literary theory highlighted foreshadowing as a literary device), as essentially an allegory – using Hellenistic Platonic concepts. Origen (184/185 – 253/254) Christianised the system, and figures including Hilary of Poitiers (c. 300 – c. 368) and Ambrose (c. 340 – 397) spread it. Saint Augustine (345-530) recalled often hearing Ambrose say that “the letter kills but the spirit gives life”, and Augustine in turn became a hugely influential proponent of the system, though also insisting on the literal historical truth of the Bible. Isidore of Seville (ca. 560-636) and Rabanus Maurus (ca. 780-856) became influential as summarizers and compilers of works setting out standardized interpretations of correspondences and their meanings.

Jewish typological thought continued to develop in Rabbinic literature, including the Kabbalah, with concepts like the Pardes – the four approaches to a Biblical text.

Jacob’s Ladder from a Speculum Humanae Salvationis ca. 1430, pre-figuring the Ascension above

Typology frequently emerged in art; many typological pairings appear in sculpture on cathedrals and churches, and in other media. Popular illustrated works expounding typological couplings were among the commonest books of the late Middle Ages, as illuminated manuscripts, blockbooks, and incunabula (early printed books). The Speculum Humanae Salvationis and the Biblia pauperum became the two most successful compilations.

Example of Jonah

The story of Jonah and the fish in the Old Testament offers an example of typology. In the Old Testament Book of Jonah, Jonah told his shipmates to sacrifice him by throwing him overboard. Jonah explained that due to his own death, God’s wrath would pass and that the sea would become calm. Subsequently Jonah then spent three days and three nights in the belly of a great fish before it spat him up onto dry land.

Typological interpretation of this story holds that it prefigures Christ’s burial, the stomach of the fish representing Christ’s tomb: as Jonah exited from the fish after three days and three nights, so did Christ rise from His tomb on the third day. In the New Testament, Jesus invokes Jonah in the manner of a type: “As the crowds increased, Jesus said, ‘This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.'” Luke 11:29–32 (see also Matthew 12:38–42, 16:1–4). Jonah called the belly of the fish “She’ol“, the land of the dead (translated as “the grave” in the NIV Bible).

Thus whenever one finds an allusion to Jonah in Medieval art or in Medieval literature, it usually represents an allegory for the burial and resurrection of Christ. Other common typological allegories entail the four major Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel prefiguring the four Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; or the twelve tribes of Israel foreshadowing the twelve apostles. Commentators could find countless numbers of analogies between stories of the Old Testament and the New; modern typologists prefer to limit themselves to considering typological relationships that they find sanctioned in the New Testament itself, as in the example of Jonah above.

Other Old Testament examples

Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant.  In the Sermon on the Mount he commented on the Law. Some scholars consider this to be an antitype of the proclamation of the Ten Commandments or Mosaic Covenant by Moses from mount Sinai.

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Sacrifice of Isaac

Genesis Chapter 22 brings us the story of the preempted sacrifice of Isaac. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac to Him, cited as foreshadowing the crucifixion of Jesus. When a suspicious Isaac asks his father “where is the lamb for the burnt offering” Abraham prophesied “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And indeed a ram caught by its horns awaited them, which is also seen as a type for Christ, the lamb that God provides for sacrifice crowned by thorns.

Joseph

Genesis Chapters 37-50 has the story of Joseph in Egypt. Joseph is commonly cited as a Christ type in the story.  Joseph is a very special son to his father. From his father’s perspective Joseph dies and then comes back to life as the ruler of Egypt. Actually Joseph’s brothers deceive their father by dipping his coat in the blood of a sacrificed animal. Later Joseph’s father finds that not only is Joseph alive but he also is the ruler of Egypt that saves the world of his day from a great famine. Other parallels between Joseph and Jesus include, both are rejected by their own people, both became servants, both are betrayed for silver, both are falsely accused and face false witnesses. Additionally, both attain stations at the “right hand” of the respective thrones (Joseph at Pharaoh’s throne and Christ at the throne of God), and both provided for the salvation of gentiles (Joseph a physical salvation in preparing for the famine, while Christ provided the deeper spiritual salvation). Finally, Joseph married an Egyptian wife, bringing her into the Abrahamic lineage, whereas Christ’s relationship with the church is also described in marriage terms in the New Testament.

Moses

Moses, like Joseph and Jonah, undergoes a symbolic death and resurrection. Moses is placed in a basket and floated down the Nile river, and then is drawn out of the Nile to be adopted as a prince (floating the body down the Nile river was also part of an Egyptian funerary ritual for royalty).

While in the wilderness, Moses put a brazen serpent on a pole which would heal anyone bitten by a snake who looked at it (Numbers 21:8). Jesus proclaimed that the serpent was a type of Himself, since “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14) and “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2Co 5:21)

In a battle with the Amalekites, Exodus 17:11 states that “as long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.” Commentators interpret Moses’ raised hands as a type of Jesus’ raised hands upon the Cross, for when Jesus’ hands were raised as He died, a figurative battle with sin was waged, the end result being victory – that “all will be made alive.” (1 Cor. 15:22)

Inanimate types

Other types were found in aspects of the Old Testament less tied to specific events. The Jewish holidays also have typological fulfillment in the life of Christ. The Last Supper was a Passover meal. Furthermore, many people see the Spring Feasts as types of what Christ will accomplish in his first advent and the Fall Feasts as types of what Christ will accomplish in his second advent.

The Jewish Tabernacle is commonly seen as a series of complex types of Jesus Christ: for example, Jesus describes himself as “the door”,[ and the only “way” to God,[13] represented in the single, wide gate to the tabernacle court; the various layers of coverings over the tabernacle represent Christ’s godliness (in the intricately woven inner covering) and his humanity (in the dull colouring of the outside covering) The Showbread prepared in the Temple of Jerusalem is also seen as a type for Christ.

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In praise of intuitive revelator Robert Gomes   —

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laodicean_Church#.22I_wish_that_you_were_cold_or_hot.22_.28Revelation_3:15.E2.80.9316.29

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Thence, lukewarm (Laodicea) is self-deception (one foot in the world, one foot in the spirit)    — worse than cold, so to speak    –

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“I wish that you were cold or hot” (Revelation 3:15–16)

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“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.”

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The Laodiceans were criticized for their neutrality or lack of zeal (hence “lukewarm”).  Based on this understanding, the pejorative term Laodicean is used in the English language to refer to those neutral or indifferent in matters of faith.

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The Laodicean Church in the Revelation of John (Revelation 3:14–22)

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In John’s vision, recorded in the book of Book of Revelation, Christ instructs John to write a message to the seven churches of Asia Minor. The message to Laodicea is one of judgment with a call to repentance. The oracle contains a number of metaphors.

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Several Christian Hawaiian Pastors’ cutting  (breaking) one’s genealogy (generational curses) are not Biblical    —

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“What does the Bible say about breaking generational curses?”Answer: The Bible mentions “generational curses” in several places (Exodus 20:5; 34:7; Numbers 14:18; Deuteronomy 5:9). God warns that He is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.”It sounds unfair for God to punish children for the sins of their fathers. However, there is more to it than that. The effects of sin are naturally passed down from one generation to the next. When a father has a sinful lifestyle, his children are likely to practice the same sinful lifestyle. Implied in the warning ofExodus 20:5 is the fact that the children will choose to repeat the sins of their fathers. A Jewish Targum specifies that this passage refers to “ungodly fathers” and “rebellious children.” So, it is not unjust for God to punish sin to the third or fourth generation – those generations are committing the same sins their ancestors did.There is a trend in the church today to try to blame every sin and problem on some sort of generational curse.
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This is not Biblical.
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God’s warning to visit iniquity on future generations is part of the Old Testament Law  (Old Covenant).   A generational curse was (not is) a consequence for a specific nation (Israel) for a specific sin (idolatry). The history books of the Old Testament (especially Judges) contain the record of this divine punishment meted out.
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The cure for a generational curse has always been repentance.
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When Israel turned from idols to serve the living God, the “curse” was broken and God saved them (Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:10-11). Yes, God promised to visit Israel’s sin upon the third and fourth generations, but in the very next verse He promised that He would show “love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6). In other words, God’s grace lasts a thousand times longer than His wrath.For the Christian who is worried needlessly  about a “generational curse,” the answer is salvation through Jesus Christ.
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A Christian is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
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How can a child of God still be under God’s curse (Romans 8:1)?       No way.
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The cure for a “generational curse” is repentance of the sin in question, faith in Christ, and a life consecrated to the Lord  (Romans 12:1-2).*

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Kolina’s look-alike   —

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+olivia+hussey&qpvt=images+olivia+hussey&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=61C9C59E20AB651C7C92E05300DAC6F194D31C76&selectedIndex=104
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from Kolina Ana    —

JUSTICE and INTEGRITY!
[Personalize scriptures with your name in
[ ] brackets]
Isaiah 30:18 NIV
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to [ ] you; HE rises to show [ ]
you compassion.
For the LORD is a GOD of justice. Blessed are [ ] all who wait for HIM!

Morning Abba, (Father/Papa=source)
There are times while I’m facing adversity and afflictions, yes regardless
of me being your child; that you may allow my way. As for me, I may
question the justice (fairness/validity) and integrity (truth/honesty) of
the circumstances that surround it. However I choose to look to you and
your word of TRUTH…

The LORD (owner) is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in
love. Psalm 145:8 NIV

As a SPECIES called MAN (1 species man; 2 kinds/type male & female) we,
can’t make a distinction of the motives and intent of anyone as to why they
may unjustly do what they do; which could have an effect on others. Rather
it is done intentionally or unintentionally Almighty GOD, is able to judge
justly and honestly in every circumstance.

Psalm 33:13-15 NIV
[13] From heaven the LORD looks down and sees [ ] all mankind;
[14] from HIS dwelling place he watches [ ] all who live on earth~
[15] HE who forms the hearts of [ ] ALL, who considers everything they
do.

Heavenly Father, knowing that you are aware of EVERY circumstance, allows
an inner PEACE that surpasses my own human understanding, even in the midst
of injustice. You are able to impartially use any circumstance as tools in
your hands to bring about the completion of the good work you began in each
of our lives. For it is written you have chosen us.
Isaiah 44:1-2 NASB
“But now listen, O [ ] Jacob, My servant; and [ ] Israel, whom I
have chosen” [2] Thus says the
LORD who made [ ] you and formed [ ] you from the womb, who will
help you, [ ]
“Do not fear, O [ ] Jacob, My servant; and [ ] you Jeshurun whom I
have chosen.

We can rest in your unfailing LOVE that you are causing all things to work
together for your good purpose in our life. NOT because we are good in and
of ourselves, but YOU amazingly LOVE us, and took us out of the kingdom of
darkness (unawareness, ignorance) and brought us into your Kingdom of LIGHT
(awareness). Continue to show me your ways; which is higher than my ways.
I am that vessel of light I am, that chooses to treat others with justice
(fairness) and integrity (honor/truth). Let my lips speak plainly and
honestly in LOVE to those you permit my way.

Much Love,
Your child Kolina Ana

Psalm 25:21 KJV
Let integrity and uprightness preserve [ ] me; for I wait on thee.

It is written: Proverbs 3:5-6
TRUST in the LORD, with ALL thy heart and lean not unto your own
understanding. [6] In ALL your ways acknowledge HIM and HE WILL direct
your path.

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A PRAYER to encourage and empower you in your journey no matter where it leads TRUST that greatness and goodness CAN come forth from it when you submit it
to .ALMIGHTY GOD to work ALL things together for HIS divine purpose in your lives.

Abba,
I lift up each of these family/friend/future friend/co-labors/Kingdom citizens (redeemed being) that I sent this e-mail to
and ALL of the many other Kingdom minded people GLOBALLY who are seeking divine remedy
to do what appears to be impossible with man but never impossible with GOD.
We can come in agreement with your word and declare and decree that  ‘NO weapon form against this  Kingdom shall prosper
for it will be a nation set aside for your Kingdom’s glory.

We can come together in agreement to bind up the lies, tactics and schemes of the enemy whose goal is to steal, kill and destroy.
We can come in agreement with a heart of unity in LOVE to loose forth divine solutions from the Heavenly realm to invade this physical realm,
In your UNFAILING LOVE, MERCY and GRACE allow your people which are called by your name
to commit their ways unto you so in your TIME you can bring restoration to your Kingdom here on earth and it’s people,
Let us be according to your word a NATION that is blessed for acknowledge you in ALL our ways that you WILL direct our path.
and lead us into TRUTH that will set your PEOPLE FREE

Loose forth mighty men and women of valor, brave, courageous full of the MIND of CHRIST to lead and direct your people
from strength to strength and to a place of  victorious conquering prevailing
victory. 
Rise up leaders full of your WISDOM to guide your people with INTEGRITY, COMPASSION, and GRACE

Abba, we can come in agreement with your word that you would loose forth your heavenly host to take charge of the things we can not see for your Kingdom’s glory.
Bring restoration to the people of the  Kingdom of GOD; the years that the locusts and canker worm has eaten that our later years shall be greater for us and
for our children, our children’s children and their seeds
May the Hawaiian Kingdom be a NATION that honors and respects the one TRUE GOD the maker of heaven and earth
Let this Kingdom be a kingdom humbly united in LOVE, HONOR and who choose freely to LOVE you with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  
We decree and declare the silver and the gold belongs to you, you own the cattle on a thousand of hills the earth is the LORD’S and EVERYTHING in it.
It is you who have made us fearfully and wonderfully made in your IMAGE and not we ourselves.  You are Jehovah-Jirah the LORD our PROVIDER. 
We can come in agreement with Colossians  2:14 ALL debt, statues, ordinance, regulations written against us, canceled, erased, delete, PAID in full and NAILED to the cross according to your word.            For in the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD and the WORD was GOD…JESUS is the WORD in him we LIVE, we move and have our being.
In the authority name of JESUS CHRIST we can make our request known to you who KNOWS all things even before we speak… amen.

Even  if I don’t get to see you all due to our schedules, different agendas, life’s journey leads our paths in different direction for NEW seasons etc.
I WILL still PRAY for you and those you co-labor alongside with.

Shalom
Kolina

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Jean-Frédéric Oberlin 1740-1826 Vosges France

JohannFriedrichOberlin.jpg

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Jean-Frédéric Oberlin was an amazing servant of God.   Oberlin College (esp. its Conservatory of Music) is named after him.   Genesis Hawai’i Japanese Congregational pastor Kwan Higuchi facilitated the schooling of the eventual elite Japanese of Hilo (incl. his pianist daughter & the Mukai kazoku-family, that married into our auspicious Hisakichi Hisanaga kazoku) at Oberlin, which has a sister university in Tokyo Japan.   Kolina Ana is a beautiful soprano songstress who typifies the calibre of Oberlin’s talent.   Coincidentally, our famed WWII all-Japanese American 442nd Infantry Regiment made a famous stand in Jean-Frederic Oberlin’s neck of the woods in France’s Vosges Mountains.   Harvard’s East Asian Dept. is steeped in Asian history, e.g. Oberlin alumnus Edwin Reischauer, despite incorrect naysayers like revisionist chronicler Takashi Fujitani.  American missionaries to China, primarily Congregationalist (Harvard)(today’s UCC), along w/WWII interpreters, infused knowledge of East Asia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_O._Reischauer#Post-World_War_II

http://ealc.fas.harvard.edu/

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._F._Oberlin

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Jean-Frédéric Oberlin 1740 – 1826 was a French pastor from Alsace and a philanthropist.

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Oberlin College, an American liberal arts college in Ohio, was named for him upon its founding in 1833.   Obirin University in Tokyo, Japan, which was named for Oberlin College, also bears a variant form of his name.

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Born the son of a teacher at Strasbourg, he earned a doctorate in theology at the university in his hometown. In 1767 he became pastor of a remote and barren region in the Steintal (Ban-de-la-Roche), a valley in the Vosges on the borders of Alsace and Lorraine.

He set himself to better the material, and spiritual, condition of the inhabitants. Directing himself to their spiritual condition, each month he preached three sermons in French and one in German.

He began his work for their material improvement by constructing roads through the valley and erecting bridges, inciting the peasantry to the enterprise by his personal example. He practised medicine among them, and founded a loan and savings bank. He introduced an improved system of agriculture. Substantial cottages were erected, and various industrial arts were introduced.

He founded an itinerant library, originated infant schools, and established an ordinary school at each of the five villages in the parish. In the work of education, he received great assistance from his housekeeper, Louisa Scheppler (1763–1837). His orphan asylums were the beginning of the many “Oberlinvereine” for the protection of children.

He died in 1826 in Waldersbach, where he had lived for 40 years. He was interred with great manifestations of honor and affection at the nearby village of Urbach (now Fouday, Bas Rhin).

His brother Jérémie Jacques Oberlin was a noted archaeologist and philologist.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberlin_College

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Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college in Oberlin, Ohio, noteworthy for having been the first American institution of higher learning to regularly admit female and black students in addition to white males.

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The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, part of the college, is the oldest continuously operating conservatory in the country.” 

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  Oberlin is noted for its political and social significance, often serving as “the prototype for progress even in the face of strong resistance.”

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Oberlin attained prominence because of the influence of its second president, the evangelist Charles Finney, after whom one of the College’s chapels and performance spaces is named.

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In 1844, Oberlin College graduated its first black student, George B. Vashon, who became one of the founding professors at Howard University in Wash. D.C. and the first black lawyer admitted to the Bar in New York State. The African Americans of Oberlin and those attending Oberlin College “have experienced intense challenges and immense accomplishments since their joint founding in 1833. Its African American and other students of color have used education and activism to influence the college, the town, and beyond. Their efforts have helped Oberlin remain committed to its values of freedom, social justice, and service.”

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Coincidentally, the greatest Japanese in the U.S., Okinawan immigrant Shokan “Jesse” Shima(bukuro) of Hilo (Lyman Congregational Boarding School product), had his greatest mentors and friends in George B. Vashon’s Howard U. progeny (incl. Mordecai Johnson).

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It is also the oldest continuously operating coeducational institution, since having admitted four women in 1837. These four women, who were the first to enter as full students, were Mary Kellogg (Fairchild), Mary Caroline Rudd, Mary Hosford, and Elizabeth Prall. All but Kellogg graduated. Mary Jane Patterson graduated in 1862 as the first black woman to earn a B.A. degree. The college was listed as a National Historic Landmark on December 21, 1965, for its significance in admitting African Americans and women. The college had some difficult beginnings, and Keep and William Dawes were sent to England to raise funds for the college in 1839–40.

One historian called Oberlin “the town that started the Civil War” due to its reputation as a hotbed of abolitionism.   Oberlin was a key stop along the Underground Railroad. In 1858, both students and faculty were involved in the controversial Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of a fugitive slave, which received national press coverage. Two participants in this raid, Lewis Sheridan Leary and John Anthony Copeland, along with another Oberlin resident, Shields Green, also participated in John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry. This heritage was commemorated on campus by the 1977 installation of sculptor Cameron Armstrong’s “Underground Railroad Monument” (a railroad track rising from the ground toward the sky)and monuments to the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue and the Harper’s Ferry Raid.

Oberlin College was also prominent in sending Christian missionaries abroad. In 1881, students at Oberlin formed the Oberlin Band to journey as a group to remote Shanxi province in China. A total of 30 members of the Oberlin Band worked in Shanxi as missionaries over the next two decades. Ten died of disease and in 1900, fifteen of the Oberlin missionaries, including wives and children, were killed by Boxers or Chinese government soldiers during the Boxer Rebellion.

The Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association, an independent foundation, was formed in their memory. The Association, with offices on campus, sponsors Oberlin graduates to teach in China, India, and Japan. It also hosts scholars and artists from Asia to spend time on the Oberlin campus.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obirin_University

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Like Rev. Kwan Higuchi’s implementation of the Oberlin connection for Hawai’i residents, the late Pastor James Sanbei most recently seems to have facilitated by way of Pastor Sanbei’s example — Ft. Worth Texas’ Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary connection for Hawai’i residents.   Notable local alumni include Pastors Alan Tamashiro, the late renowned Christian mystic Walter Kai, Ian Sakai, Daniel Tomita, Gail Inamine, etc.    Notable global personalities include Mike Huckabee,  Rick Warren, Bill Moyers,  & pugnacious Robert Jeffress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwestern_Baptist_Theological_Seminary#Notable_people

http://www.swbts.edu/academics/faculty/college/matt-sanders/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Baptist_Convention

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Utterly loving and patient Pastor Alan Tamashiro look-alike

http://www.punabaptist.org/

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainline_Protestant

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Mainline Protestantism as the Episcopalians and Presbyterian have the highest number of graduate and post-graduate degrees per capita of any other Christian denomination in the United States,  as well as the most high-income earners.

Episcopalians and Presbyterian tend to be considerably wealthier and better educated than most other religious groups in Americans,  and are disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business,  law and politics, especially the Republican Party. Numbers of the most wealthy and affluent American families as the Vanderbilts and Astors, Rockefeller, Du Pont, Roosevelt, Forbes, Whitneys, Morgans and Harrimans are Mainline Protestant families.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mick-mooney/jesus-didnt-teach-with-an_b_5957772.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

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Why Jesus Taught With Questions Instead of Answers

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Jesus talked a lot in parables, in little short stories. He also seemed to be more interested in questions then answers. When people asked Jesus a question, often he gave them a question back. In fact, he hardly ever gave a direct answer to anything.

Jesus liked to share his thoughts through parables that required his audience to go away and figure out the answer for themselves. I think that is a really significant thing to understand regarding how we learn from God. It’s not about waiting for answers, but, rather, we learn by daring to follow the questions God stirs in our hearts.

From the earliest times of the human experience, religion was steadfast in presenting God to mankind in the form of as an exclamation point; when Christ entered the world, he bent the presentation of God into a question mark. Jesus loved questions. We should, too.

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Jesus didn’t try to enforce upon us a doctrinal statement. He didn’t come to indoctrinate us. He came to liberate us. He came to encourage us to ask what we think about God. He presented parables to get us to stop and think, to question our own perception of God, to draw us into questioning what our own beliefs about God’s nature and plans are.

Jesus showed us that not only is it okay to question who God is — what his nature is, how he operates, and how he thinks of us — it is actually the only way to truly step out of the prison of belief-by-indoctrination that religion binds us to.

The further away you travel from religion and the know-it-all mindset you inherit with it, the more freedom you find in asking questions about your faith. You no longer feel obligated to pledge undivided allegiance to your doctrines. You become pleased to put them on trial, to examine then, and to discard them if they are found to be without substance.

You begin to enjoy the engagement of such questions with others; whether they agree or disagree is no longer the point. The point is to have an honest, respectful and open conversation. You get used to being uncomfortable with new questions. More than that, you begin to expect them to arise and for your next rabbit-hole experience to begin where you follow questions wherever they take you, and discover truth in strange and wonderful ways.

The starting point of organized religion is answers. When you enter into it you are stuffed full, and over time you get into the habit of stuffing newcomers with the same answers. But walking away from religion, while maintaining your faith, sends you on a very different path. You step into a wildly different pattern. It is no longer a starting point of answers, but continual journey of questions. Each question draws you into a greater understanding of God. Also, at the same time, each questions leads you into a deeper acceptance of the mystery of God, and a greater peace within all that you don’t know.

Questions and faith are not opposed to one another, but rather can be thought of as a perfect pair. We could even say that faith is more accurately measured by the courage within our questions, than the certainty of our answers.

You see, answers fit snugly within its given group, any group. Groups love definitive answers, for it reinforces the certainty that their group is right, and the rest are wrong. Questions, on the other hand, cause instability in all groups. Questions stimulate thought, and honest thought leads not into more certainty, but rather to more acceptance regarding how uncertain everything really is.

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Some people are afraid of uncertainty, as if it is opposed to faith, when actually it is the very picture of faith.

While answers desperately want to be considered a fact, questions are more than happy to walk by faith. Questions are not looking for a pat on the back from the group. Questions are looking for the truth. Perhaps that is why whenever someone came to Jesus demanding an answer, he gave them a question back instead.

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http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2014/04/the-apostle-pauls-clear-inerrant-teaching-on-government-and-why-we-dont-need-to-follow-it/

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Is the Bible without error in all that it affirms or teaches?

Many of us are no doubt familiar with this way of articulating inerrancy. Its advantage is that those things that are not affirmed or taught can be in “error,” at least error-like in that they don’t need to be obeyed–like the pessimistic theology of Qohelet, or Ps 137, where the psalmist is giddy with the thought of Babylonian babies’ heads smashed against rocks.

Portions of Scripture that do affirm/teach include the 10 Commandments, Jesus’s teachings on forgiveness, the Beatitudes, and many other things.

Of course, Christians don’t often agree on what exactly “affirm” or “teach” mean and which passages fit that description. That in a nutshell is the evangelical hermeneutical adventure, and let the games begin.

For example, does Genesis 1 not affirm/teach that the cosmos was formed in 6 days? Many will say yes, of course, while others will say no, since the author’s intention is not to affirm/teach something about the formation of the cosmos.

Personally, even though I don’t agree with them, I do think the former group is more consistent with the “affirm/teach” standard of inerrancy, and the latter are clearly influenced by extra-biblical factors such as science and the historical study of Scripture. And how do they know what the author’s intention is, anyway?

Further, even when people agree that the Bible is indeed affirming/teaching, there is no guarantee that behavior will match the creed (as in the case of Jesus’ teachings).

What’s got me thinking about this is Romans 13:1-7. There Paul famously wrote what can be nothing other than a number of quite clear and striking affirmations and teachings about God, the government, and what that means for the rest of us plebes.

If I may summarize Paul: The governing authorities have been instituted by God and to resist these authorities is to resist God. If you conduct yourself well, you have nothing to fear. If you do what is wrong, you will feel the brunt of their authority, since they do not bear the sword in vain, do they?  Of course not. The authorities are God’s servants.

It sounds to me like Paul is affirming and teaching something.

I also think there are major problems with taking Paul’s words as a binding affirmation/teaching.

I don’t need to draw you all a map. No one who is an American citizen thinks Paul’s words are binding, given how our country was founded in rebellion to the governing authorities.

“But some powers are corrupt,” some might say. Well, I don’t see Paul giving us that option in his affirmation/teaching. Governing authorities simply are instituted by God. Period. What he says is “clear,” and if we can’t trust what God is saying here so clearly, then we can’t trust him anywhere. Paul gives no expiration date or escape clause.

I know many Christians who are more than willing to take these words of Paul as a clear and binding “teaching”–that is, as long as their guy is in the White House.

Anyway, you get my point. Paul in Romans 13:1-7 certainly has his affirming and teaching hat one.

The truth is, I don’t know many Christians who take Paul at his word here. They may try to deftly extract themselves by saying that Paul is merely giving an ideal principle, or that only legitimate authorities are instituted by God.

But again, that’s just “adding” something to God’s word, which clearly makes a pretty cut and dried case for human governmental authorities as instituted by God.

But a proper understanding of these words of Paul’s, as with most other things in Scripture, requires some sensitivity to their historical/cultural or literary context (or both).

In his commentary Reading Romans, Luke Timothy Johnson lays out very clearly and quickly why Paul would make a claim like this. (See pages 197-203).

First, in the Greco-Roman world, the basic social order was a household, with the father as head. This social order was then applied to the empire, where the emperor was “head of the family” (paterfamilias).

That “order” was not remotely thought of as changeable as in the post-Enlightenment world, where governments rule by the consent of the people.

Paul’s claim about God and government, therefore, was completely unexceptional for his day–part of his cultural environment and utterly natural to him and his readers. To think of Paul’s words as a timeless blueprint, therefore, despite how clearly he is affirming/teaching, is a mistake.

Also remember that in Paul’s day, neither Judaism nor this new Jewish subgroup of Jesus followers were considered an immediate threat to Rome, and so they all more or less got along. At another time we should not presume Paul’s thinking would have remained the same–such as later in Paul’s life when Christian persecutions were underway, or perhaps when Romans were killing Jews and razing their temple in AD 70.

As Johnson concludes,

Paul cannot be held responsible for his practical advice later taken as divine revelation and as the basis for a Christian theology of state. That is too much weight for a few words of contingent remarks to bear…. Simply “reading it off the page” as a directive for life is to misread it and to distort it, for the world in which it made self-evident sense no longer exists and never can. (p. 201; my emphasis).

Translation: There’s more to reading the Bible faithfully than just doing what it says, no matter of clearly it seems to be telling us what to do.

Which leads me to my point: Clear affirmations/teachings, just like everything else in the Bible, need to be seen in context. And in doing so we may come to see that when the Bible is affirming/teaching something, that does not mean it is binding. It may mean that is not longer is.

And if anyone wishes, they can still call that “inerrant.”

What I am saying here about Romans 13:1-7 is not radical. I suspect many evangelicals would play the context card as Johnson does. And that is precisely part of the biblical literalist complaint: “You weak-in-the-knees quasi-evangelicals are always taking a clear affirmation/teaching of the Bible and relativizing it with your fancy-pants talk of context and the ancient world and what not.”

They have a point, actually. I can see tons of wiggle room in Genesis 1, Ecclesiastes, etc. in the affirm/teach definition of inerrancy. But not when a biblical author is using words that in any other place would be described as a list of imperatives–clear affirmations/teachings. I mean, if not in Romans 13:1-7, then where?

Anyway, that was just on my mind at the moment. And this is why I think inerrancy–however intended or defined–isn’t a very good descriptor of what the Bible does.

At the end of the day, you simply can’t avoid genre and context when talking about how the Bible works. And when you do, definitions of inerrancy seem less and less convincing.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Badge_of_Courage#Themes

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7 Responses to In praise of incredibly intuitive mystical Pastor Robert Gomes, and in praise of Christian missioner Kolina Ana, and in praise of her predecessor Jean-Frédéric Oberlin

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