Two, Not One

31 08 2015

The covenant God ‘cut’ with Abram (later Abraham) was a curious affair. We find the event in Genesis 15.

To the question, “How am I to know that I shall possess it (the land)?” Abram was instructed to lay out a 3-year-old heifer, female goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon. All but the birds were cut in half, then laid out in such a way that they could be passed between by the parties involved in the covenant.

But then God did something strange. Abram was put into a deep sleep and a great darkness fell upon him.

How could he possibly participate in the agreement while in this state?

At this point, we are told, God alone passed through the carcasses. Yet, verse 18 states, “On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram…”

Oops! I missed a verse:

“When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between the pieces.”

If this was God alone, then why were two representations of Him present?

Unless…

God is never alone. He is a triune Being. The Trinity does not act independent of One Another.

Is it possible that in the ‘smoking fire pot and a flaming torch’ we have Father and Son making this covenant? Could the Son have been present that day to represent man?

Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it…to live it out perfectly, as no other man had ever been able to do!

That three entities did not cut this covenant is not out of keeping with the rest of Scripture. The Holy Spirit draws attention to God and Jesus, never to Himself.

We see this same symbolism in Exodus 14:19: “And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them.”

Get this:

“So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.” (v. 20)

I always thought it was God alone who led the Israelites. In this I see that I was mistaken!

Further, when the tabernacle was erected, the cloud (by which they were led through the wilderness) covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.

On Sinai, the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud…” (Exodus 19)

And in Revelation 1, we have John’s record of Jesus: The hairs of His head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire…and His face was like the sun shining in full strength.”

Ooh, and don’t forget the entrance to Eden! “ He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”

Note that this isn’t cherubim with swords in their hands.

Ephesians 6 tells us that we have the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. What is the sword doing at the entrance? Guarding the way to the tree of life; ensuring that there will always be a way to enter in.

Jesus is the door, the Way, the Truth, the Life!

He is the Word.

“Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

All this to say that it would seem that God and (Christ as pre-incarnate) ‘man’ cut covenant in the presence of Abram – on behalf of all mankind. God, it would seem, was the smoking fire pot; and Jesus was the flaming torch!

Jesus, the second Adam, and God present at this most important event…the Abrahamic covenant. Very cool.

Why do we care? One reason is this: Galatians 3:7 states, “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” Galatians 3:29 reads, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” In Romans 11 we’re told that we’ve been grafted into the olive tree (a symbol for Israel).

For those in Christ, this covenant concerns us, for we are also considered sons of Abraham.

Israel’s modern-day fight to keep the land God gave them is ours as well!

*****

Thanks for listening to my ramble. I’m mostly thinking out loud. I find the rich symbolism used in Scripture fascinating.

What does it all mean? Not sure; I just found this intriguing…God doing for man what man could not do for himself.

One thing I know for sure, we should care about Israel. Not only is it ‘their’ land…but, as sons of Abraham, it is ours as well. What concerns them also concerns us.





Did God kill Jesus? Part four

29 08 2015

lessonsbyheart:

” Yes, it feels good to come out the Matrix.

Morpheus: What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with what you were told. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Neo: PSA

Morpheus: Yes! PSA is everywhere. It’s all around us…it’s the atonement that’s been pulled over our eyes to blind us from the truth…

Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you don’t have an angry deity that wants to dangle you like a spider over a flame, a Father who hates you but tolerates you because He killed His Son in your place. No, you have a loving Father who came to rescue you because of His great love! You’re not a slave, Neo. You’re His beloved son…. :)”

Feeling ‘born again’ – again! Whooee, we are loved by a Father who is pleased with us…right here, right now!

Enjoy Mel’s final post in this series…

Originally posted on In My Father's House:

Father_forgive_themIf God didn’t kill Jesus to placate His wrath, who did kill Him?

This is the final installment of my series that asks the faithful question, “Did God kill Jesus?” Last time we jettisoned the wooden literal take on Isaiah 53:10 for the following three reasons: it’s hermeneutically unsound; it ignores that a biblical literary

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Did God kill Jesus? Part three

28 08 2015

lessonsbyheart:

The Trinity looks kind of like a family to neighbors – they all live in the same ‘house.’ Lift the lid off the house, though, and what do we find?

An angry father (God), a silent, subservient mother (Spirit), and our big brother (Jesus) who throws himself under the bus to protect us from the father’s wrath. Dad doesn’t care whom he hits; he just wants to vent on someone. His rules were broken, and *someone* is going to pay for that.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Trinity is in perfect harmony at all times. They’ve never had an argument – ever! God doesn’t need anger management classes or a chill pill.

Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”

Could it be that our minds need to be renewed concerning our great God?
\o/

Originally posted on In My Father's House:

Father_forgive_themWas God actually pleased to crush Jesus(crush, meaning kill)? We’re now ready to turn our attention to Isaiah 53:10.

This is part three in my short series that looks at the question, “Did God kill Jesus?” The reason for this faithful question is because the popular view of atonement (Penal Substitutionary Atonement, or

View original 829 more words





Did God kill Jesus? Part two

27 08 2015

lessonsbyheart:

“Yet WE esteemed Him (Jesus) striken, smitten by God, and afflicted.”

When we stop to see through whose ‘eyes’ we are viewing a scene, we may be surprised that what we thought we knew…well…read for yourself.

This topic is of great importance, for the wrong understanding of God’s character made a mess of my life. You can read my post, Raw and Real, to see what I mean.

\o/

Originally posted on In My Father's House:

Father_forgive_themWe’ve been asking some faithful questions about the popular view of atonement (Penal Substitutionary Atonement, or PSA) that postulates that God killed Jesus in order to forgive us. The main verse advocates use for this view is Isaiah 53:10.

We will get to PSA’s proof-text in due course, but we’re still covering some vital background to understanding this prophecy.

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Did God kill Jesus? Part one

26 08 2015

lessonsbyheart:

God radically changed what I believe about Him this last year. Mel explains it well. As with the noble Bereans, let us receive the word with all readiness, and search the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things are so. (Acts 17:11) \o/

By the way, this does not change the fact that there is ONE way to the Father – through faith in Christ. We must still: “… confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

 

Originally posted on In My Father's House:

Father_forgive_themThis is the first of my “red pill” posts, looking at the question, “Did God kill Jesus?” The reason for my provocative question is because this is a central tenet of the popular atonement theory called Penal Substitutionary Atonement (PSA).

If you’re like almost all Christians in the Western world who’ve studied why Jesus

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Did God kill Jesus? Introduction

25 08 2015

lessonsbyheart:

Mel is good at faithful questioning. His short series, “Did God Kill Jesus?” is the result of his search for truth. This topic is of vital importance to me, for it greatly affected my life (Read my last post, Raw and Real). Please take time to read this series and allow it to stir you to ask some questions of your own. God bless you! \o/

Originally posted on In My Father's House:

morpheus-red-pill-vs-blue-pillDid God the Father have to kill His beloved Son, Jesus, in order to forgive us?

Before I can talk about this subject, I’m going to have to play the part of Morpheus. You’re going to need to make a decision.

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Raw and Real

24 08 2015

To know that we’re loved by God with the same love as His love for Jesus is amazing; heartwarming; unless…

…you’ve been abused most of your life…

…and you believe that God punished Jesus in your place;

that all Christ endured was God’s ‘heart’ for you.

He hated you that much.

Aren’t you so thankful that Jesus took the hit for you?

Don’t you want to become one of God’s children too?

Strong words?

Yes. I cringe as I type, for this is completely untrue.

Yet, I see that this is the ‘gospel’ most of us believe; is the reason why some Christians protest abortion clinics and homosexuality and other behaviors to which God is opposed by screaming curses and spewing hateful labels at those who participate.

‘Without Jesus’, they deserve wrath…ours, apparently.

In the loving name of Jesus, amen, of course.

(This is NOT my approval of their ungodly acts – just a comment about our ungodly treatment of them.)

I had many questions for God last year. Ones to which I needed answers if I was to continue in the faith. It was really messy, so I ‘unplugged’ from WordPress to spare you.

Utterly fed up with abuse of any sort, I was ready to ‘dump God’ as the worst abuser of them all.

Hell sounded pretty good: sure, it’s hot, dark, worms never die…but you are alone. At least I wouldn’t be mistreated by others anymore.

Jeremiah 29:13 reads, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

It was the ‘all my heart’ bit that got me into trouble.

Yes, His Spirit was dwelling in me, but it was ‘Standing Room Only.’ There was a crowd of ‘witnesses’ hanging out in there as well. People from my past whose words ‘dwelt richly in me’ – words I believed with all my heart:

Stupid, worthless, fat, ugly, lazy, ridiculous, good-for-nothing, inadequate, unwanted, unlovable, and many that I won’t type so as to not offend you. Their voices were so loud that I could barely hear the Spirit speak.

(Through the process of forgiving, most of them have been evicted this year. I’m doing much better. Hearing the Lord much better, too. ;-) )

If you tell a person who’s been abused that the cross was God taking out His wrath for us – on His beloved Son – they’re not going to want to ‘join your club.’

Just sayin’.

After all, children, believe that parents love. Everyone knows that.

The abused child assumes that this is what love does: Dad’s angry about an infraction of his laws. Mom interferes, deflecting Dad’s anger and receives what was about to be unleashed on him or her.

Which sounds a lot like what God’s love ‘did’ to Jesus…

…the innocent suffering wrath that was meant for us.

(Yes, this is what the mind of an abused person does with the ‘Good News.’)

Is this what we really believe about God?

More importantly, is it even true?

Have I rattled your cage? If this is the god you believe in, I sincerely hope so.

We will seek Him – and find Him – when we search for Him with all our heart.

*****

My next post will be a re-blog by Mel Wilde. It turns out, I’m not the only one on this quest. Being further along on the journey, he is better able to articulate what God has also been revealing to him. It was exciting to discover that what God was showing me, He is also revealing to others, and independent of others. Mel is one of many, I’ve learned!

For a more thorough, scholarly treatment of this subject, I highly recommend Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood.








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