The Ministry of Reconciliation. Part 1.

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The first two studies that I have done have been a bit heavy as far as the subject matter is concerned. I thought it was time for something a bit lighter. Whether it turns out that way we will have to see. I have had this study on my mind since I did the hell study. I thought it was time to have a look at what God’s plan was and what Jesus did on the cross.

As always I would recommend you look into these things yourselves. As I do these studies it has really been building in me a foundation for my faith. It is well worth all the time and prayer because I am finding my knowledge of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit is growing and I am understanding them more and more. I would suggest you pray before you study. Holy Spirit is always willing to help.

God always had a plan. 

I always thought that God just made do with what He had. That He never saw Adam and Eve’s mistake coming and that every thing from Adam to Jesus was a fumbled mess that only just came together in the end. I don’t know why I thought that but how wrong was I. In my studies I have come across a lot of scriptures, which point to God knowing from the very beginning, what was going to happen. Even before the world was created. Which is a bit of a game changer. I know that a lot of people will have questions like, If God knew about Adam and Eve’s choice then why did He let it happen and if God knows everything then why did so many people have to die? These are all valid questions and I think they are worth a look. But this is not why I am doing this study. I want to look at what God’s plan was and what it means for us today.

What was Gods plan?

From the foundation of the earth God had always planned to send Jesus to save us from satan, sin and death. Well why did He allow satan to fall then? I hear you cry. Maybe because He wanted us to be able to have a choice. If evil wasn’t around then what kind of a people would we be today. I think that when we choose to love God that means so much more to Him than if we had been made that way like robots.

What does the bible say?

I had a look to see what the bible says about Jesus death on the cross and if God had always designed it that way. This is what I found.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as all of you know that all of you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 1:20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (UKJV)

Here it says that Jesus was foreordained to die but was manifest in the due time. I wondered what the translation for foreordained was and this is what I found.

Blue letter Bible website.

Proginosko, G4267, foreknow, foreordain, know before, to have knowledge before hand, to predestine, to foreknow of those whom God elected to salvation.

To know before. I think it speaks for its self. God knew before the time that Jesus would die on the cross. Which also means Jesus knew as well. Jesus does say that He lays down His life and God loves Him for that. God asked Him to do it and Jesus said yes. John 10:17,18.

The scripture also says that we where redeemed with Jesus’ blood before the world was created. It was Gods plan for Jesus to die for us to cleanse us of our sins before any of us was even born.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will: (UKJV)

Here again there is the foundation of the world phrase. Also the word predestinated. God wanted us to be His children before the world was created. We where chosen in Christ. WE WHERE CHOSEN? God chose us before the world was made. It’s not that we made the choice. What about free will then. I think that God saved everyone and chose us. When we come into that choice is when we choose to want to know Him. That is the free will part. God is waiting for us to turn to Him and want to know Him. We also had an inheritance being adopted as children by Jesus. Other translations say that we have sonship through Jesus. Jesus said we are all brethren Matthew 23:8. We are all Gods children from before the world was made.

There are other scriptures, which talk about Jesus dieing for us before the world was made or time began. Titus 1:2, 2 timothy 1:9, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Romans 8:29.

The bottom line is God decided to send Jesus to the cross for us before He made Adam. He also chose us to be part of His family. It was always Gods plan to do this. He did it for everyone. God wanted to put His spirit in all flesh. WHAT? I here you cry. Its true. Lets have a look.

We read it first in Joel 2:28, 29.

Joel 2:28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 2:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. (UKJV)

It is also mentioned in Acts by Peter.

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 2:18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; (UKJV)

On all flesh. Lets have a look at these two words. Flesh and All.

Joel 2:28. Basar, H1320. Flesh.

Flesh, body, kin, mankind, of the body of humans and animals, all living things.

Acts 2:17. sarx, G4561. Flesh.

Flesh, carnal, of the living body both of man and beast, a living creature whether man or beast.

Joel 2:28, Kal, H3605, All.

All, any, whole, everything, altogether, whatever, whoever.

Acts 2:17, pas, G3956, All.

All, every, all men, everyone, all manner of, any thing, all things, whosoever, whatsoever.

What does this tell us? God wants to pour out His spirit on all flesh. That’s everything that has breath. Every human, every animal. But what about animals that attack people. If the demons can give us ideas and even take us over. Luke 22:3, John 13:2, Mark 5:5. Why can’t they do it to animals? Mark 5:13, Matthew 8:32, Luke 8:33. Jesus did tell us to cast out demons. Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17.

If you want to see the spirit of God at work in animals then type into you tube animals caring for other animals. If you do this you will see. God has put His spirit in all flesh. When He did it, must have been when Jesus died on the cross. There is no scripture that gives us a time when this happened but I would say you only have to look for the fruit of love. This is where you will find Gods love.

We see that God decided to save mankind before He made the earth and even before time began. Jesus knew from the foundation of the earth that He would give His life for us. God chose us we did not choose Him first. He has also put His spirit in all things. God has done it all. All we have to do is rest in Him. Through love we will spread this truth and we will only do things because we love Him not because we feel He demands it.

Next I will look at what Jesus did on the cross.

 

Is the world ready?

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After finishing my series on wrath i found myself reading a comment on facebook about God taking away and God giving. I set to putting my point of view only to be met by alot of hostility. Its then that i realized that may be the world isnt ready for it yet.

When i was praying about the wrath subject i found it hard to cope with the idea that the God of the old testament was not who i thought He was. The bible had been my foundation for all my life. Having been to bible school and being part of my church worship group i always went to the bible for help. Now you tell me its not the right picture. I thought. It was a huge blow. But Holy Spirit showed me that He, Jesus and God needed to be my foundation. After all, the disciples didnt have a bible to use at first. They completely relied on Holy Spirit like they had with Jesus.

What i am trying to do now is not get angry with anyone who doesnt believe what i believe but try and treat them like Jesus would. That is with love. I could have got it completely wrong. If i have then i am sorry for that. But i find it hard to believe in a God who would give cancer to teach a lesson Or kill a loved one to teach humility.

At the end of the day we are all on our own journeys and we will all meet Jesus to talk about what we did on this earth. When i see him i want to be able to say that i told them about you.

Be blessed.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Conclusion.

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This has been the hardest study that I have done so far. I have been a Christian all my life and it went against everything that I had been taught. The one thing that surprises me when I think back to what I believed is that I was more comfortable believing in a God of wrath than a God of love. This has really opened my eyes. I have also begun to notice in the New Testament parts that don’t show a God of love. But I see Jesus in it all. The book of John has really helped my understanding about Jesus and what He taught about His Father.

I chose what I believed to be seven of the more known stories from the Old Testament which, on the surface, shows a God of wrath. I hope that I have given you a different look at these stories to try and find a God of love. I would recommend that you go over these studies again and just let Holy Spirit reveal the truth to you.

One thing I have realised is that I have been studying these things for over three years but you might be reading this for the first time. This is why I say take your time. Chew it over. When I first learnt these things it took me a while to understand and accept. But with Holy Spirit’s help I now am at peace with it.

What we have seen is God always warned about sin and its consequences. He doesn’t curse. He doesn’t punish. He is always there with open arms waiting for us to come. It would seem that God can be restricted in what He can do by free will. He saves, protects and makes a way for us to escape. We have also seen that satan is real and is out to destroy us in any way he can. But God is always there to rescue us. It would seem that satan in many of these stories was waiting around to pretend to be God so these men would go and destroy in Gods name. This would explain why people were scared of Israel and their prophets.

In the Cain and Abel story there was no blood sacrifice. He didn’t banish Cain. It was Cain who said about the separation. Fear of being without God is a huge tool that the enemy uses against us. For many reasons we believe that God doesn’t care or has abandoned us. But this is not true. God is always with us whether we believe or not. Ps 139:7-11, Jerm 23:23, Jn 12:47

I said in the flood story that it seemed that God repented. He didn’t say the word but in His actions toward the flood it would be classed as repentance. I have since found this scripture, which is interesting.

Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it? or has he spoken, and shall he not make it good? (UKJV)

God doesn’t repent. It’s clear. Which means He can’t have made the flood happen. It must have been satan. Satan wants us dead. All of us. God doesn’t.

We have seen that God doesn’t like burnt offerings or sacrifices. He doesn’t like killing or murder. One thing about the Moses story. Which I didn’t cover. When the 10 commandments are given it says thou shalt not murder etc. One of the first things that Moses does when he comes down from the mountain is get the Levites to kill 3,000 people. How is that keeping Gods commandments? Did God wipe Moses out because of this breaking of the Law? Fear, destruction, intimidation and murder seems to be a running theme through most of the bible. We need to read it through Jesus’ eyes. With love.

As we have seen from what Jesus teaches, Love is His only commandment. Jn 15:12,17. Love Him, His Father and each other.

I believe that Jesus came to undo all of what had been learnt about God. I think that Jesus showing us His love was Him showing us His Father’s true nature. After all, He is the truth. Jn 14:6.

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.(UKJV)

Jesus brought us grace and truth. Not fear and lies. If we look at the scriptures they tell us this.

God is Good: Ps 119:68, Ps 107:1, Mark 10:18

God is Love:   1 Jn 4:8,16

God is Truth:  Jn 14:6, Titus 1:2, Numbers 23:19 (He can not lie)

God is Light:  James 1:17, 1 Jn1:5, Jn 8:12, 1:9, 3:19

God is good to all:

Ps 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.(UKJV)

If God is all these things and Jesus is God, which means they are one and the same, God cannot be evil, hate, tell a lie and have darkness in Him. Jesus told us many times that as you have seen Him you have seen the Father. Jn14:9. Jesus came to undo all the lies that satan had told about God.

God is Love not wrath. He wants to love you and doesn’t require any payment for it. Jesus didn’t take a God bullet for us. He took away all the obstacles so that we could know the Father and His love.

I hope that this series of studies will help you to see that God loves and there is no wrath or evil in Him. Jesus came to show us that. I believe there is no wrath in God and all the evil and wrath in the bible is only from satan. Man does play his part in some of that evil but only by the influence of the enemy.

Know this. No matter what you do God loves you. No matter where you go God loves you. No matter who you are there is a place for you with Him for all time.

God is waiting for us to accept His love and realise that He has always loved us and will never leave us.

What do you believe? Is God wrathful? Or is He Love?

I know which one I believe.

My prayer for you, whether you believe or not, is that God will show His love to you in a way which you have never known before. I am not asking you to become a Christian nor am I trying to ram it down your throat. God loves you, Jesus loves you and Holy Spirit loves you, they are waiting for you to come into their arms so they can reveal themselves to you. Holy Spirit will help you. All you need to do is ask Him.

Like I always say. Test these things and don’t just take my word for it. I am sharing these things because of the freedom they have brought me.

May God bless you and keep you.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Seven.

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The Ten Plagues of Egypt.

This is my final story that I will be looking at. This was another hard one to do because of how iconic it is and how much it says that God instructed Moses to do what he did. From the very start at the burning bush, I have questions about this whole story.

I am going to be looking at the story from the burning bush to the last plague. I am not going over all of the text, as there is quite a lot to cover. Just the parts for this study. Lets have a look at the story from the old testaments point of view.

Exodus 3 is where we begin.

Moses is looking after his father-in-laws sheep when he comes to a mountain called “the mountain of God”. Unlike the cartoon version, Moses is not in a cave. The angel of the lord shows up in a bush on fire and tells Moses that he is standing on holy ground. They then have a conversation about the cry of Israel and how God wants Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go. Moses finds out Gods name. Even after seeing a stick turn into a snake and his hand withered Moses still isn’t keen, because he stutters. God says Moses can take Aaron along but Moses has to get Israel free from pharaoh.

Moses goes off and tells the elders with Aaron. They then go to pharaoh and the battle for Israel’s freedom begins. Ten plagues later and pharaoh kicks Moses and his people out. They then go off and the story continues.

This is the quick version. You can read the whole story from Exodus 3.

A few things that got my interest before we carry on.

The snake, the plunder and the Withered hand.

First I noticed the withered hand. Why would God wither Moses hand? He already showed Moses the snake stick. Surely the people would believe with out having to have Moses hand withered. Surely that would be enough for any man to convince them it was God that Moses had talked to. Exodus 4:1-9.

Straight after the snake, Moses hand is withered. God then says if that doesn’t convince the people then throw water on the ground and it will become blood.

Why would God turn a rod into a snake (the form that satan used in the garden) Gen 3:1. wither Moses hand and then say to turn water into blood. It doesn’t seem right to me. The snake clearly scared Moses.

EX 4:3 And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it.(UKJV)

Then his hand is withered. This doesn’t seem like a God of love to me. Surely God would have changed the rod into an eagle. Something less threatening. It could have something to do with the Egyptian gods but why would God scare Moses. Another thing of interest is the plunder. God strikes Egypt with ten plagues then robs them. It doesn’t add up to me. Here is something else which is strange.

EX 4:24 And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him. 4:25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband are you to me. 4:26 So he let him go: then she said, A bloody husband you are, because of the circumcision.(UKJV)

This has always confused me. I have had a look to see what it says on the Internet and I think I know why. Moses son had not been circumcised. Because of this sin and because of the new leadership role, being the new spiritual father of Israel, could this be why God wanted Moses dead? Even though God had just given him the instruction to set Israel free? Does that make sense?

The plagues.

Ten in total. Not very nice. Moses goes to pharaoh, asks for his people to be let go. Pharaoh says no. Each time until the last, a new plague comes as a punishment to pharaoh and his people for defying Gods wishes. The interesting thing about the plagues is that Israel suffered some of them as well. If you look, there are only a few that say that Israel was separated from the plague. Another interesting thing is on the second plague pharaoh tells Moses to go and take the Israelites with him.

EX 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Implore the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.(UKJV)

He implores Moses. The frogs go then God hardens his heart. From the start of this God says to Moses that He will harden pharaoh’s heart. Doesn’t quite seem fair to me. EX4:21. Also God said early on about the tenth plague.

EX 4:22 And you shall say unto Pharaoh, Thus says the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 4:23 And I say unto you, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.(UKJV)

That makes Israel Gods firstborn. But what about Adam? Wasn’t he Gods first born?

What did Jesus teach or say about Moses?

Jesus references Moses to the leper. Matt 8:4, there is the transfiguration story. Moses comes to visit Jesus. Matt 17:3 there is the reference to what Moses says about divorce and death, Mark 10:3, 12:19. Matthew, Mark and Luke talk about the same references.

There are many references to Moses in the gospels but Jesus doesn’t mention the ten plagues. He does mention the burning bush passage but only in Mark 12:26 and Luke 20:37. The Matthew account does hint to it but doesn’t say it the same as the other two. Moses law is mentioned also. Luke 2:22, 24:44, John 1:17, 1:45.

How would Jesus have dealt with this?

Jesus would have warned the Israelites to flee Egypt. He wouldn’t want anyone to suffer or die. Even His enemies. Jesus tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. He wouldn’t want them to suffer. Matt 5:43. He would have told Moses not to send the plagues, like He did with the sons of thunder, when they wanted to call down the fire from heaven. He wouldn’t have been waiting to kill Moses after asking him to go to pharaoh. He also wouldn’t have withered Moses hand to convince people who He was. He would have healed not hurt.

What do I Believe? 

I believe it wasn’t God in the bush. WHAT? I hear you cry. Why would God use a snake and wither Moses hand. It scared Moses. I don’t think God is into scaring people. Also you have the plunder and the blood. Doesn’t sound like God to me.

Update: 24.08.2016

It was brought to my attention that Jesus calls himself I AM. Jn 8:58 which I believe is in reference to Exodus 3:14. This caused me a lot of problems because Jesus acknowledges that He was there and that I AM is Gods name. That means that it must have been God talking in the burning bush. After much prayer I think I have come up with a possible solution. In chapter 3 God tells Moses that He has heard the cry of His people and He wants to do something about it. He says He will deliver them in verse 8. The sign that God says first is that the people will serve God on this mountain.

Ex 3:12 And he said, Truly I will be with you; and this will be the sign to you that I have sent you: when you have taken the children of Israel out of Egypt, you will give worship to God on this mountain.(BBE)

So far there is no God of wrath. It’s only towards the end of this chapter that God says He will smite Egypt with His wonders. That shows that its God that sends the Plagues. But why would He say that the sign to Moses would be the people serving Him on the mountain after they are free. Could it be that God stopped talking and satan took over. We are told by Jesus that false Christ’s will deceive the elect. Matt 24:24, Mk13:22. Paul tells us that satan goes around like an angel of light. 2 Corth 11:14. Could it be that it was satan that continued where God left off. satan could have been waiting in the wings for God to finish so he could have his way. Like I have said before satan gave David instruction as if from God. From the smiting onwards I believe that it was satan talking to Moses. That would explain the fear of the snake, the withered hand and the plagues.

He has been trying to wipe out mankind since Adam. Why would he not try and do it now. Why else would the rod turn into a snake and the withered hand? God does not inflict sickness on people. Especially not to convince them to do His will. What about Job I here you cry. That is a study for another time. But I will say that I don’t think it was God then either. I don’t think it was God who wanted to kill Moses before he even started. Why the circumcised flesh stopped the angel I don’t know. May be it was all to reinforce the law.

I believe that satan influenced Moses to inflict the plagues so that he could destroy the Egyptians and the Israelites at the same time. It might have been satan who caused the plagues but it also could have been Moses. There are other accounts of people commanding the elements. Joshua stopping the sun. Joshua 10:12. Joshua told the sun to stop, God didn’t tell him to do it. Elijah and the rain. 1 kings 17:1. Elijah told the rain to stop not God. God didn’t command Elijah to do it. In the New Testament Paul makes a man blind. Acts 13:11. The sons of thunder wanted to call down fire from heaven but Jesus stopped them. Luke 9:54. Could it be that Moses had the power to command these things? God did say in Genesis that we where to subdue the earth and have dominion over the animals. Could it be that Moses used that power to do these plagues? The only exception would be the tenth plague.

I believe that the tenth plague was satan trying to kill all the first born. May be to in-rage pharaoh to kill the Israelites. It did make him go after the Israelites and chase them to the sea. As far as the blood on the posts. I don’t believe that God wanted that. God could have stopped the angel with out the need for sacrifice. As we know in my other blog’s I have said that God doesn’t like sacrifice and offerings.

I believe that God was trying to warn Moses about the plagues and the destruction of Egypt. May be satan spared the Hebrews from some of the plagues to in-rage pharaoh even more. I think that it was all a plan from satan to try and kill the Israelites because they were Gods chosen people at the time. God got the Hebrews out in the end but I don’t think He wanted it to go the way it did. God had blessed Egypt when Joseph was there, why would he want to send the plagues? Some might say as revenge for the Hebrew children that where killed by the other pharaoh. But God isn’t like that. We see that in Jesus on the cross.

There is so much more that we could look at in this story but I would like to bring it to a close here. God would not have sent the plagues or withered Moses hand. I don’t think He would have used a snake to show His power. God is love. Perfect love. Perfect love casts out all fear. 1 Jn 4:18 any thing that is evil in action or destroys and lies is from satan not from God. James tells us an interesting thing:

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tested, I am tested by God; for it is not possible for God to be tested by evil, and he himself puts no man to such a test:14 But every man is tested when he is turned out of the right way by the attraction of his desire. 15 Then when its time comes, desire gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is of full growth, gives birth to death.16 Do not be turned from the right way, dear brothers.(BBE)

God does not test. He doesn’t use evil to test. God didn’t send the plagues nor did He harden Pharaohs heart. God is love. He doesn’t send suffering to train us in His ways.

The running theme of this story is fear, intimidation, suffering and violence. All caused by God? Is that the God you worship?

In my next blog I will give my concluding thoughts.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Six.

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David and Goliath.

This is like the last story. There is no out right sin or need for rescue. I thought it would be an easy one to do but I was wrong. I only put it with the others because it’s a well-known story. I have found out some interesting things. Lets have a look.

The story.

We start in 1 Sam 16.   Samuel, who everyone is scared of, has anointed David king secretly.  1 Sam 16:4. God didn’t like Saul so has given the kingdom over to David. A spirit from God is tormenting Saul. David plays for Saul to ease the suffering. The Philistines have set up camp and are getting ready for battle with Saul and his armies. Goliath who is very tall and a mighty warrior comes and says if any one can defeat him then the battle is theirs. But he mocks them and isn’t very nice about it. Along comes David and says how dare he mock the armies of God. He also asks what rewards the man who slays Goliath will get. 1 Sam 17:12-31. One of David’s brothers who David was bringing supplies to, tells David off and says he has pride and a naughty heart. David continues anyway. Saul hears and tries to put David in his armour as David convinces Saul to send him out against Goliath. David goes with his stones and sling. Goliath mocks him and his God, at which point David replies and knocks Goliath out and then chops his head off. The Philistine’s freak and David and Israel win.

That is the only part of this story I want to look at. There is a lot more but I am only interested in this part.

A few things caught my attention. First everyone is scared of Samuel. Isn’t he meant to be a prophet of God? Why would they be scared of Samuel? It might have something to do with Samuel slaying kings in the name of the Lord. Just for one example:-

1 Sam 15:32   Then said Samuel, Bring all of you here to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past. 15:33 And Samuel said, As the sword has made women childless, so shall your mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.(UKJV)

This is another study all by itself, but I don’t want to get into this now. Another thing is that God didn’t like Saul as king anymore so He chooses David instead and inflicts Saul with a troubling spirit. 1 Sam 16:14.Was David asking about the reward? Also his brother’s response to what David was saying. We all know that God loved David because of his heart but in verse 28 his brother isn’t very complementary to David.

1 Sam 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why came you down here? and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you are come down that you might see the battle.(UKJV)

I decided to look into this more because it doesn’t show David in a very good light. I had a look in the Septuagint. To my surprise this verse wasn’t in it. In fact there were a few verses missing from this story in the Septuagint. These are the missing scriptures:1 Sam 17: 12-31,41,51,55-58, 18:1-5,9-11, 17-19,30

I am not going to look at all of them, just the one that I think is relevant to this study.

1 Sam 17: 12-31. This tells us of why David comes to the camp. David is asking about the reward and his brother’s remarks are included. Take this away and David’s heart is not put into question. Which I think is important. It doesn’t show David to be reward driven or full of pride.

This to me was the only one, which I thought interesting in light of this study. Why the Septuagint doesn’t have it I don’t know. I find it interesting that the modern day translations include it when the Septuagint is said to be older than the others and is quoted a lot by Jesus and His disciples. But that is a study for another time.

Did Jesus teach or speak about David and Goliath?

David is mentioned in the genealogies. Jesus is called “the son of David” a few times. Jesus talks about when David was hungry. Jesus also says in a way that He is not David’s son. Because David calls Jesus lord. Maybe Jesus was trying to set them straight about calling Him David’s son. It might also be that they where expecting a conquering king to come and save them like David was. May be Jesus was trying to separate Him self from that image. Mark 12:35,Luke 6:3, Luke 18:38.

Jesus didn’t say anything about Goliath. But He did teach about loving your enemy and turning the other cheek. Matt 5:39,43,44. Jesus would not have gone to war or sent David out against Goliath. Jesus would have loved them. How He would have shown that I am not sure. But He wouldn’t have told David to cut off Goliath’s Head.

I believe that Samuel did things, which God didn’t ask him to. Like slaying the king. Even when it looks like the king was pleading for his life. It was the people that demanded a king not that God wanted them to have one. 1 Sam 8. It was God they rejected. The people where scared of Samuel because of the way he brought wrath against them. I don’t think that was from God. I don’t think the spirit that tormented Saul was from God.

I believe that David saw how Goliath was talking about his God and felt offended by it. Like we would be if we heard someone say bad things about our loved ones. Because David had had success defeating lions and bears he probably thought that Goliath would be no different. God didn’t tell David to slay Goliath. Was God with David when he did? Well it does say that the Spirit of the Lord was with David. 1 Sam 16:13. If he had died then Jesus would have no line to be born from. May be God was with David to protect him from death. Did satan organise the fight thinking that Goliath would win? After all satan is trying to kill off Jesus’ line. satan would have known which of David’s buttons to push. In sending Goliath satan would have known how David would respond. I believe that God wouldn’t have wanted David to be in that fight. May be there is a choice and consequence here. David should have been looking after the sheep not fighting. He hears the rants of Goliath and instead of leaving it to Saul’s men David seeks to sort it out himself. Saul did try to put him off. But David wasn’t having it. Could it be that God used Saul to try and stop David from fighting? God would have known the outcome. Would it have stopped David becoming a man of war instead of a man of worship and peace?

With all these stories I am trying to look at them from Jesus’ point of view and God’s point of view with love. Would a God of love have a prophet that scares people? Would He command young lads to go up against mighty warriors to chop off their heads and kill lots of people. These are the questions we need to ask when we read the old and new testaments. As I have said before the bible is the inspired word of God not the literal word of God. I have had to re-think my idea of the bible to be able to look at the bible through Gods eyes. Holy Spirit needs to come first. He will help you to understand and see the truth. It isn’t easy but with Holy Spirit’s help you will see God in a new way, which will blow your mind and heal your heart.

In my next blog I will look at my last story about the 10 plagues of Egypt.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Five.

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Abraham sacrificing Isaac.

 

This is an interesting story, which I have been looking forward to doing since I started. The reason is, the scriptures I found from Jesus’ teaching. We will start with the story.

Genesis 22 is where we begin. God visits Abraham when Isaac is a young lad. He is old enough to carry his own wood but there is no record of how old he is. God tells Abraham to go to the mountains and offer his only son as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham packs his stuff and they all go off to do this. Keeping his intent to himself Abraham commands the two young men that went with them to stay, while him and his son go up the mountain. Once there, Isaac says “where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” Gen 22:7. Abraham replies that God will provide. Isaac is bound to the altar. Abraham takes his knife and just before he is about to kill his son God shouts at him to stop and provides him with a lamb to sacrifice. God then sees Abraham’s willingness to give up his son and blesses him. Abraham calls the place God will provide.

I want to look at a few scriptures before I look at what Jesus says about Abraham.

First: Jeremiah 32:35 “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.”(UKJV)

It never came into Gods mind to sacrifice children or burn them. God calls this a sin! Interesting.

Next:Hosea 6:6” For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings”(UKJV)

Psalms 40:6” Sacrifice and offering you did not desire; mine ears have you opened: burnt offering and sin offering have you not required.”(UKJV)

Psalms 51:16” For you desire not sacrifice; else would I give it: you delight not in burnt offering.” 51:17” The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”(UKJV)

These are but a few of what I found. I get the impression that God doesn’t like sacrifices or burnt offerings. If we think about Cain and Abel, their offerings were the first fruits. Nothing with blood in it had to die.

In Psalms 40:6 it says that sin offerings are not required. WHAT. Why did Jesus die then if no offering was needed for sin? Jesus died so that satan, death and sin could have no more hold over us. It was for us that Jesus died. To meet our requirements not Gods. God, Jesus and Holy Spirit covered all the bases so that there could be nothing in the way for us to be with them.

In Psalms 51 all God requires is a broken spirit and a contrite heart. Not burnt flesh or child sacrifice. Lets have a look at what Jesus taught or said about Abraham and His response to sacrifices and burnt offerings.

There are a few references to Abraham in the genealogies. John the Baptist mentions Abraham. Plus a few more. The one I am interested in is in John 8.

John 8:19 “Then said they unto him, ‘Where is your Father?’ Jesus answered, all of you neither know me, nor my Father: if all of you had known me, all of you should have known my Father also.”(UKJV)

8:37” I know that all of you are Abraham’s seed; but all of you seek to kill me, because my word has no place in you. 8:38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and all of you do that which all of you have seen with your father. 8:39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus says unto them, If all of you were Abraham’s children, all of you would do the works of Abraham. 8:40 But now all of you seek to kill me, a man that has told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.”(UKJV)

This could be a study by its self and there is more but I wanted to concentrate on this bit. First Jesus says that they don’t know Him or His father. He then goes on to talk about Abraham. Jesus says that satan is their father. It’s the last bit that interests me.

v40 ‘Abraham did not do this.’ (NKJV) Abraham was not like them. He didn’t want to kill. Jesus is saying they don’t know God and they don’t know Abraham, for if they did they would love Jesus. Another scripture before I tell you what I believe.

Mark 12:32 “And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, you have said the truth: for there is one God; and there is no other but he: 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 12:34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, You are not far from the kingdom of God”(UKJV)

The scribe is agreeing with Jesus and sees that love is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Jesus replies by saying the scribe is not far from the kingdom. Does Jesus agree that love is more important than sacrifices?

Jesus knew God and He knew that the burnt offerings and sacrifices were not required. I believe Jesus wouldn’t have asked Abraham to sacrifice his only son just to prove to Jesus that Abraham loved Him. Jesus wants us to love Him but I don’t believe that we have to go to such drastic measures to prove it to Him. For God so loved the world. It doesn’t say God wants us to prove to Him that we love Him and then He will send His Son. God loved us first. We don’t have to prove it to Him.

I believe that satan told Abraham to kill his son. I believe that satan wanted Abraham’s line to be stopped so Jesus would not be born. He convinced Abraham to do this. Then God stepped in and stopped Abraham. In the story God then says He will bless Abraham for being willing to kill his son. I don’t believe that God would bless Abraham for nearly killing his only son. God had already said He would bless Abraham. Gen 17:4. Was this satan? I don’t know?

The more I do this study the more I see that all the law and offerings and sacrifices were not Gods idea. He never was angry with us or wrathful. He has never needed us to satisfy His need for offering etc, because He doesn’t like them. I believe its us that puts all these things in His way. He is just waiting for us to let go and come back to Him. He is waiting with open arms.

In my next blog I will look at David and Goliath.

A wrathful God or A God of Love? Part Four.

Image8Sodom and Gomorrah. 

Before I start I would recommend you look over the last three posts and ask Holy Spirit to speak to you and help you to understand. I do recognize that this is a hard thing to understand. I am not saying that the bible should never be read again. What I am trying to show you is what a God of love would do. Jesus tells us that as we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Jn 14:9. With every story or account in the bible, what I would suggest is you ask, what would Jesus do? Lets begin.

God has visited Abraham and told him and Sarah that they will have a son. They have all eaten together and two angels that came with the Lord are heading to Sodom. The Lord then tells Abraham what He is going to do. Gen 18:20. Abraham then begins to plead for the city beginning with 50 righteous men. He continues pleading with the Lord until he stops at 10. Why he stopped at 10 I don’t know. As Lot was classed as righteous. 2 peter 2:7. The two angels go to get Lot. They meet and Lot hides them in his house so they don’t get attacked. The angels protect them and they all flee. Lot’s wife looks back and turns to salt. Lot’s rescued and the city is destroyed.

With the other stories so far there has been a point where God has warned them. A chance to be saved from satan and his mischief. With this story I couldn’t think where that was until now. When the angels go to Lots house they ask him if he has any other family members who needed to be rescued. Lot then goes to find them and tells them to flee with him. They do not. They think he is joking. Gen 19:14. There is the chance to be rescued.

Before I continue with what I believe I thought we could look at another time when fire came down from heaven. Job 1:16. Satan goes to God and they begin to talk about Job. God gives satan permission to destroy all Job has and make him sick. I don’t have time to go into what I believe about this story here but I want to concentrate on the fire from heaven bit. That’s in Job 1:16.

Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and has burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell you.(UKJV)

Clearly it says Gods fire. But if we look in the Septuagint God is removed. It just says fire from heaven.

Job 1:16 While he was yet speaking, there came another messenger, and said to Job, Fire has fallen from heaven, and burnt up the sheep, and devoured the shepherds like wise; and I having escaped alone am come to tell thee (SEPT)

I looked at the translation of heaven and it could mean sky. In this scripture we have satan bringing down fire onto Job’s sheep and servants. I know it doesn’t out rightly say that it’s satan doing it, but it does say that God gave all that Job had into satan’s power. Job 1:12, which would suggest that satan can bring down fire from the sky.

I had a look to see if Jesus spoke or taught about Sodom. Jesus does mention Sodom in Matthew, Luke and Mark. But not in John. The references in the first three gospels are to do with judgement and repentance. That still shows God as a wrathful judge. Jesus also mentions Sodom when He talks about His return. Interestingly there is no mention of Sodom in John. Fire and Heaven are not mentioned either. One scripture that does give us an insight to how Jesus feels about fire from heaven is Luke 9:52-56

Luke 9:52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 9:53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, will you that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, All of you know not what manner of spirit all of you are of. 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village(UKJV)

You do not know what spirit you are of. He has not come to destroy but to save. As we know Jesus has said, “As you have seen Me you have seen the Father”. If Jesus would not call down fire from heaven, why do we then think that God would.

In Matt 26:52-54 we see how Jesus could have acted if He wanted.

Matt 26:52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 26:53 Think you that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 26:54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?(UKJV)

Jesus knew He had to die for the world, but He also knew the power of His Father. He chooses not to wipe out the whole area with all those angels. He chooses love over violence.

I don’t believe Jesus would have left those people to die. I think He would have found a way to save them and ultimately He did. He stopped the sons of thunder bringing down fire and He didn’t get the angels to wipe out the garden or the city. Because of Love.

I believe that God went to Abraham to warn him of what was coming. Abraham then interceded for Sodom. I believe that satan wanted to kill Abraham and might have tried to get him to go and rescue Lot. satan knew that Abraham had done this before. Gen 14:12. If He could kill Lot and Abraham then Jesus’ line would be cut and there would be no chance of satan’s head being bruised. Also satan wants to kill everyone. The angels are sent to get Lot. Lot then tells his family what is coming. They don’t believe Him and they die. Lot escapes, loses his wife and survives. But Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed. God gave them a way out. May be the angels wanting to be in the square, was that they where going to tell the people what was going to happen.

This is another example of trying to see the story through the eyes of love. I believe that if God is love then He cannot be violent or make anyone do violence on His behalf. There is no room for compromise.

In my next blog I will look at Abraham sacrificing Isaac.