It was an honest answer, sorry if it was not clear. I want my mind to be open to the truth that is from the Father and the Son. So if there are thoughts that are expressed that are contrary to mine but in line with God’s, I want to change.
Phil 3:10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
The Sabbath is the seventh day of the week and it is a day of rest. Jesus did not address the say of the Sabbath. If God set aside the seventh day as the say of rest, than how can this be changed? Isn’t this the logical conclusion of your position, that the Sabbath is God’s eternal day of rest?
The first day of the week became the Christian day of worship because it was the Day of Resurrection and the Day of Pentecost. God gave to the Jews the Old Covenant. God gave to the whole world the New Covenant of Jesus Christ. God spoke the the Hebrews in Genesis 1 about the Beginning. God spoke to us Christians in John 1 about how the Creation took place through Jesus the Logos/Word.
I do not undwerstand how some people can insist that the 4th commandment proves that God created the universe in six 24 hour days, which is not the subject of the commandment when they do not honor the Sabbath which is the subject of the commandment.
It’s not quite clear to me what point you are trying to make so I am not sure how to respond. Are you trying to say that Saturday is the Sabbath and therefore there is a certain way one must treat it?
Let me try and make it clear on the Sabbath. We are not under the Law’s commandment of the 7th day Sabbath. As God ceased from His works of creation and rested on the 7th day, in Christ we have entered into God’s Sabbath rest. We have ceased doing our own works (works of the flesh) on the 7th day and every other day. So, yes we keep the 7th day holy just as we should every other day. As Jesus said, John 5:17"My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." So we must do the works of God every day and abstain from the works of the flesh.
Paul also covers this very thoroughly.
I hope that helps you understand where I am coming from.
Thanks for the question.
Indeed it is not! Just because the word for spirit in Hebrew “ruach” is derived from breath or wind doesn’t make “spiritual” means no more than hot air. There are numerous examples in science where we take a word from some language and give it new meaning – often a mathematical definition – and thus to say that word in science still means no more than the origin of the word in that language is completely wrong. Nor is inspiration about God altering human neural activity as if He were a possessing demon. Inspiration simply acknowledges the fact that God is involved in the cause of human events and thus in everything we experience from which our thinking is largely derived.
When God is the author of something, this is nothing like a human author. His writing instruments are not pens and typewriters but human beings, events, and the whole world around us. This is not to say the comparison cannot be instructive. The independence of what the author writes from the instruments he uses is limited. To be sure both are likely to discard one instrument for another that works better, but clearly the instruments of God are considerably more willful and flawed. In either case, it doesn’t pay to look at the writing with a microscope, for the authors direction and use of his instruments has more to do with the bigger picture in what is intended to be communicated. God in particular is very much about the big picture.
So when it comes to the law in the Bible, this is from both God and man. To be sure God’s hand is there, but the context of human social realities cannot be ignored.
The point that I am presenting is contained in the following scriptures. The point is God spoke audibly to the people. He also spoke audibly to Moses and then commanded Moses to speak the words to the people. The reason this is important is because it appears to me that some people on this forum act as if the Law was a formulation of rules and practices that they gleaned from the surrounding heathen nations, (ANE mindset). It’s as if Israel formulated the Law because of the customs of that time period. That way of thinking is absolutely opposite of what it was, it was the commands of the Living God that He gave to them. Also it sounds as if some think that scripture is just the ideas of man, what they think God is like, ideas that were formulated and evolved over a period of time; rather than what it actually is, God revealing Himself to mankind. If the Israelites did have an ANE mindset, (whatever that involves) God wanted to wash them clean from that with His very Word.
When I said, “The Law was “God Breathed”, it was expelled out of His own mouth” it was kind of a tongue in cheek way of saying, that God himself actually spoke the words; it was not His Spirit moving within someone to write them. His audible voice was heard by the people or by Moses. God spoke to Moses face to face.
Num 12:6 "When a prophet of the Lord is among you,
I reveal myself to him in visions,
I speak to him in dreams.
7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house.
8 With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?"
The following scriptures show that God spoke audibly to Moses and the people and there are plenty more.
Ex 19:9 The Lord said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you. " 16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, 19 and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.
Ex 20:1 And God spoke all these words: 2 "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 "You shall have no other gods before me.” ( then God audible spoke the rest of the Ten Commandments). 18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was. 22 Then the Lord said to Moses, " Tell the Israelites this: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: 23 Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.”
God also wrote the commands Himself on the stone tablets.
Ex 24:9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank. 12 The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction."
Ex 31:18 When the Lord finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Ex 32:15 Moses turned and went down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands. They were inscribed on both sides, front and back. 16 The tablets were the work of God; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets.
When people degrade God’s revelation to His people Israel, I have seen that lead to degrading Jesus and His words. Some have even said since He was human He could have had wrong concepts of the scripture and what it actually meant and other such blasphemes statements
If we hear the words of Jesus but reject them, He says it will be those very words that will condemn us.
Are you willing to concede that God may have modelled his covenant and law on the covenant and laws on the surrounding nations (albeit it with notable modifications) so that the Israelites could better understand what God was trying to do and what they were getting themselves in for (my position, though not original to me).
The reality is, Exodus and Deuteronomy (especially) bare undeniable resemblances to Suzerain-Vassel treaties of the ANE. Say what you like about where he got the cake and how he cut it, but, in my opinion, there is no denying the flavour.
If you read my response to a question that gregoreite asked me on May 29th you may get a better understanding why. Below is one quote of that post.
The Law was a dim image of Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven. It was directly opposed to all other ANE thoughts. It’s greatest commandment was, “You shall not have any other gods before Me.” The instruction on how to build the tabernacle was detailed because it was a representation of the one in Heaven. The sacrifices were pointing to Christ. The dos and don’ts in reference to how to treat your neighbor were instructions on how to love your neighbor. The just punishments were given to show God’s justice and wrath against sin which Jesus will execute on Judgement Day.
All the Law is summed up in, Matt 22:37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
If any nations had laws that told people how to treat their neighbor kindly, it’s because of what Paul said in Romans, the Law is written on men’s conscience. Also, just as Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of good and evil by participating in them, mankind has that same knowledge. That is why unbelievers can feel good about themselves because their conscience tells them, I’m not a bad person, I pay my taxes, I don’t lie, cheat, steal or commit murder; or so they suppose but they choose not to really dwell on the wicked things they have thought, said and done. They feel happy and justified with themselves because they are not like other men.
The Law is diametrically opposed to the natural man because it starts out with, “You shall have no other gods before me.” It is only faith in the true God that is of any value. All the works of the unbeliever is sin, for anything not done in faith in God is sin. When a person has been born of the Spriit than he does his daily work as unto the Lord. He loves his wife as the Lord loves the church. What he looks at, thinks, does ect. is done in faith and obedience to the Lord. But the breath of the wicked is even against the Lord for he does not breath (live) for the Lord.
So, NO, there is no unity, likeness or comparison between God’s Law (will) and the unbelievers.
2 Cor 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
17 "Therefore come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you."
18 “I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
I’m not talking about content of the covenant’s laws specifically but style of the covenant generally (sorry should have been more specific). Tabernacles, arks, historic prologues outlining the relationship of the Suzerain to liberated vassel, a group of laws which summarise the main body of the covenant, blessings for a obedience and curses for disobedience, calling heaven and earth to witness the covenant obligations, etc, etc. These and many more are features of suzerain-vassel treaties throughout the ANE which we also see in Exodus and most of all, in Deuteronomy.
None of that precludes these books being filled with unique divinely inspired content, nor the tabernacle being a pattern of what is in heaven, or the law being a pencil-sketch of what would later come through Christ in 4K resolution (all of which I also believe).
Neither is this man trying to undermine God’s word, it is simplY a fact about the historical culture context of Exodus and Deuteronomy. In the same way that it is a simple fact to say that the style of the epistles are modelled on the Greek and Roman letter writing style.
As I see it either the Israelites made up the law and basing it on the nations around them (I don’t buy that) or the Lord took a politico-religious model that they were familiar with and repurposed it for his dealings with Israel (my position). I appreciate that correlation does not always equal causation, but I just don’t see how there can be a third option that says all of these similarities either don’t exist or are coincidences of no consequence.
How do you make sense of the striking similarities between say Deuteronomy and the ANE covenants? Even if you believe there might be no similarity in content, are you willing to concede that there might be similarities between God and the unbeliever in terms of style and genre?
I can understand why you think such a suggestion (of ANE influence on the Israelites) was repulsive to God … and indeed there are plentiful passages where God calls the Israelites to be set apart from all the surrounding cultures … to not be influenced by them or take up worship of their gods, etc.
At the same time, I think you underestimate God’s activity in the world by focusing in such a tunnel-visioned and parochial way on God’s work on and through a specific people: the Hebrews. There no-doubt were many good reasons why God would go to special lengths to set that people apart - but it was not (as we are now privileged to see) to create an isolated little Kingdom of God amidst an otherwise God-abandoned world. It was so that the world could be blessed through Abraham and his Seed.
While that is made abundantly clear in our new testament, it even shows up far before then in various passages of the law and prophets.
All this is to say, that I think your approach is quite a bit more dichotomous (exclusionary) between “God said it” and “ANE cultural practices of the day” than what scriptures themselves (read holistically) can justify. God doesn’t just plop down an alien set of commands into an unsuspecting world. God intimately knows that world and all its shortcomings and what sort of laws it needs to move it towards God’s purpose. So yes, ANE cultural questions (the whole context for God’s incarnational presence) is very important to help us understand what scriptures (and more importantly, the Spirit of Christ) have to teach us. It isn’t an ‘either/or’. The whole of creation is God’s and any opportunity to study any part of it can help us grow in knowledge - of both God’s works and word.
God and His kingdom (ruler ship) were, are and always will be. Before there was an earth and mankind there was God and His kingdom. Since God is the “I AM that I AM” “The Lord God Almighty” anything that is not of Him is inferior to Him. The New Contract in Christ’s blood was established before mankind had developed covenants, sacrifices, ect. The coming of Jesus was foretold when God told the serpent, “Gen 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Promises, covenants (contracts) punishment ect were all from the beginning. Man’s knowledge of God and His Kingdom has not increased naturally over the years on its own; any increased knowing of Him and His ways is because He has revealed more of Himself to mankind by His deeds, Spirit and Word. The natural (carnal) man does not know God or the things of God.
Since mankind has proceeded from Adam and our history extending out from that starting point of creation, mankind would have an historical knowledge of many of the events that have happened. Though wicked humanity may pervert knowingly or unknowingly the record of those events, in each generation mankind’s stories (tales of creation, flood ect), customs, laws, worship of gods would proceed from that historical basis as well as being influenced by the carnal mind which is an enemy of God and is not subject to God and can’t be, as well as the influence of Satan, the god of this world. Take the example of how quickly Israel perverted what god it was that delivered them from Egypt. God delivered them with many signs and wonders and yet while they had hardly gotten out of Egypt they make a golden calf and said” Ex 32:4"These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." Mankind perverts the ways of God.
Blessing and cursing, reward and punishment, started in the garden of Eden when God told Adam he could eat of any tree but the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So anything thing that the carnal man comes up with that appears to look like this, is a perversion or adaptation of this. Again, the Kingdom of God is first, carnal man perverts it. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil are not magical trees as some people here mockingly insinuate. For Adam to eat from The Tree of Life which God approved of, would show faith, love and obedience which leads to life, but eating from the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil shows rebellion, which leads to death. Eve followed the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life when she ate it. Gen 3:16 “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food (lust of the flesh) and pleasing to the eye,(lust of the eyes) and also desirable for gaining wisdom,(pride of life) she took some and ate it .” So before ANE, American, African, Chinese ect ideas and customs every existed, the ways of the Kingdom of God where already established and presented to the very first MAN so that he could know God. (This would be my answer to your last post Mervin.)
So, no I don’t think that God was using ANE concepts to reveal Himself to them. ANE concepts as well as our American, Japanese ect concepts that are not prompted by faith and love towards God are a perversion and become idols to use. People think they can be saved or gain power by them.
Let’s take a present day humanitarian organization that helps the poor. It started with some people that had sympathy for the poor people in their area. So they start giving them food and clothing and helping them with money. The organization grows to where it becomes worldwide. Now, nowhere in their hearts, goals or actions do they give glory to the Father or the Son. I’ll just designate it as an atheist based humanitarian organization. Now God sends a preacher to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven. In his proclamation he tells people that Jesus said to Love God with all your heart, mind and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. So a group of people hear the message and are convicted that they have not loved God above everything else, so the repent, (change their mind and actions). From that love for God and obedience to His command to love their neighbor they start helping the poor in their area. Others with the same motivation join in and from that an organization is created which helps the poor. The first organization is based on so called American ideals, human morality, socially acceptable ideals and customs, not based on faith and love for God. God does not come and set up His organization in a similar manner to the first to help His children understand Him better. The Kingdom of Heaven which was from the beginning entered their spirits and produced fruits of righteousness; they will receive their reward. The first group of people will stand condemned because they did nothing in faith or love for God. It is the proclaiming or revealing the Kingdom of Heaven that reveals God to man and from this comes righteousness and this began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve.
I’m not putting ANE forward as itself being God’s Judeo-Christian revelation. What I’m claiming is that the Judaic revelation was sent to the ANE (specifically to the Hebrews within that set of cultures). God is not a blind or detached God that the law and the prophets sent would not be very aware of the whole context for their message and what the people need to hear. God responds to the culture of the day (even if it is to condemn some or much of the practices). If you try to view “God’s word” as a monologue in which God has no conversation partner worth paying any attention to, then I suggest you will probably not correctly understand God’s word, just as you are more likely to misunderstand a phone conversation if you only hear one party. To understand more of the ANE is to understand more of the Hebrews (who were part of it). And to understand the Hebrews helps us to rightly understand God’s interactions with them. The very ‘founder’, Israel himself, is known as the one who wrestles with God (and prevails for the moment!) even as he limps away from the encounter.
I am not saying that God’s People must rest on the Sabbath/Saturday. The Bible says Gad rested on the seventh day/Sabbath/Saturday and hallowed it. Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV2011)
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."
If you are going to support God’s Law, the Torah, as the basis of your belief in the 6 day creation, then you affirm that God’s law is valid, but Christians so not believe that the Torah, that Jewish OT law is valid for us. You really cannot have it both ways.
To answer your question, God inspired Genesis a a story of the Beginning, but it was addressed to people very different from ourselves. We must not assume that the Bible is all about us.
I may be slow to understand what your trying to get across to me but I don’t think so. Yes, God spoke to the people of that time according to their practices and beliefs. When He spoke of false gods it’s because they had them. When He revealed His system of law and sacrifice they already had ideas and practices in place. So yes God spoke to them accordingly. Just as when a person controlled by the His Spirit now does when communicating with people. The particulars may change as far as the actual words used but it would still be according to His character. If I went to India where they have multiple gods as the Romans did, then it would be in step with the Spirit to bring those up and point to the One True God, as Paul did to those scholars who liked nothing better than to spend all day discussing new ideas. I would point to God is the creator of all things, turning from sin and Jesus resurrection from the dead, ect. Here in the US I would point to the Creator of all things, turning from sin, I would condemn the false gods of money, power, position, self love, idolizing people, the depravity of human entertainment and declare that Jesus raised from the dead to deliver us from sin, ect. So the character of the Kingdom of Heaven stays the same but what part of it is expressed at any moment may vary. When Jesus preached He did not cover every aspect of The Kingdom of Heaven or God’s character each time. Take the woman caught in adultery, what He said and how He said it confronted the Pharisees hypocrisy, God’s mercy that is available and the woman’s sin when He told her, “go and sin no more”.
The point I want to make (and I believe you already understand it) is that before there were many concepts about God or gods, customs or laws, God revealed Himself to Adam. The concepts of faith and obedience brings life, a sacrifice to cover our nakedness (sinfulness), rewards and punishment, ect. was instituted by God. This was not done to a society or culture, it was done to a man and from there it extended out to all his offspring. Abel understood what sacrifice was acceptable to God and offered it, he understood it because it began in the Kingdom of Heaven and God demonstrated it to Abel’s parents. Cain would have known what happened with his parents and should have understood what God required but he chose not to believe and obey God. Even after God was kind enough to correct him and warn him that sin was knocking at his door, he still disobeyed; he went and killed his brother instead.
So the important point is that the Kingdom of Heaven is first and out of what God had already established before creation, He reveals that to mankind. We can see it took little time after the creation of mankind, for us to go after love of self (a false god) and loving the creation more than the Creator.
So I do believe that God speaks to each man, generation, society, city, nation according to their particular ways of sinning against Him? Yes. Though you can sort of boil everything down to, the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.
Am I getting closer to understanding you and answering according to your expectations?
You need not worry about my expectations! But yes - I think we essentially agree on a lot of things. Sorry if my argumentative self surfaces a bit often. That can be a bit of a sport around here sometimes. Proverbs 10:19 carries a bit of a bite for me.