Begin an authentic relationship with the Lord

Harem Dancers by Fabio Fabbi

This is not a normal teaching from your normal church.  Some experiences cannot be shared by the congregation.

This blog is not for the immature or new believer. It is for the believer who sits up one days and says “I want more, in my relationship with God. I want to be closer to my God, my King, my Redeemer, and my Beloved.”

The Song of Songs teaches that we are all in God’s harem.  We are all brides of Messiah, individually. For purposes of the blog I have substituted Harem where one would normally write congregation, church, or believers. The great love poem was left for us to understand that the  relationship with out Lord is to be as intimate as any passionate encounter.

Why does God ask question?

man_leaning_on_big_red_question_markI was recently asked this question by a young person. I remember being very disturbed about this same thing when I was about the same age. How can a God who is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient, not know something?

However when one looks at all the passages where God asks a question, it is not because God doesn’t know the answer, it is because the person or persons being addressed by God don’t know the answer. Take the very first question God asks. It is the saddest verse in the Bible.

But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Gen. 3:9 

Before this Adam and Eve met and walked with God every evening. God is not asking because He doesn’t know exactly which bush they are hiding behind. It is because they have not considered why they are hiding. It is only just dawning on them that the relationship was forever marred. Until this point man was an eternal being. Now they are mortal and God’s presents is painful. His holiness alone would have been unbearable. Where they had been perfectly made and unashamed of their bodies walking about nude, now their own bodies where shameful, they felt a need to cover themselves. The image of God had been blemished. The entire universe changed that day. Death was now everywhere.

FYI: Pagan mythologies remembers this even quite differently. The serpent is celebrated as the Great Enlightener. There is a stingy selfish god who will not let mankind have light or fire, so the serpent gives them the magic fruit or fire that enlightens them.

Cain

6 The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is couching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Gen. 4:6

When Cain’s sacrifice was rejected he was angry. It is not that God is unaware of why Cain is angry it is that He wants Cain to consider his own actions. However Cain is not an introspective man. Rather than take responsibilities for his own short comings he blamed Able and then kills his own brother for being better than him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Gen. 4:9

We know God knew what has happened to Able for He says so in the next verse.

And the LORD said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. Gen. 4:10

“crying out” to the Lord aways bring judgement to those who are being cried against.

Then the LORD said, “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, Ex. 3:7 

. . . and when we cried to the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel and brought us forth out of Egypt; and here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. Num. 20:16

The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, oppressed you; and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. Judg. 10:12

. . . they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?” Rev. 6:10

Each and everyone of these have faced God’s judgment. Pharaoh and the Egyptians lost their first born. Ever met a Sidonian, Amalekite, or a Maonite? They are all gone. All that is left is Babylon i.e. Rome and finally the Roman Catholic Church. God has not forgotten one tear. These souls (from the Great Roman Persecution from 303-313AD) are safe under His throne, they are always in his hearing, He remembers.

The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon, to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. Rev. 16:19 

Hagar

And he said, “Hagar, maid of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” Gen. 16:8

Like most of us Hagar didn’t know where she had come from or where she was going. All she knew was that she was running away. She had come from Egypt a land of paganism, and now she was fleeing from the people who knew the One True God. God informs Hagar that He will take care of her, buy sending her back to her tormenter. God’s ways are not our ways.

The Lord Himself

Thus says the LORD: “Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool; what is the house which you would build for me, and what is the place of my rest? Is. 66:1 

That omnipresent thing is really hard for us humans to get a handle on. We imagine that God is in need of a house, a chair, or a footstool. His question is really telling us is that He is so far and beyond and He needs none of this, we do. However It is the only way we can begin to understand Him. We need to put God in a place we can comprehend. And He allowed us to bring Himself down to what we can comprehend.

“How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me, and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of harlots. Jer. 5:7 

Here the question shows that although God’s justice is slow, it is sure. His people cannot flaunt His laws forever. Jeremiah over and over warns them that Babylon is coming and that will only be the beginning of their troubles.

The Son of Man

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” Matt. 16:13 

Messiah new exactly what the people were tinkling about Him. He wants His disciples to consider what the questions are leading to. He calls Himself the “son of Man”. He does not call Himself the son of Joseph or Mary or sen David, but rather the son given to all mankind, the son of the vatar promise in Gen 15.

And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, “This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir.” Gen. 15:4 

After a discussion of everyone else’s opinions, it is Peter who voices the right answer.

Simon Peter replied, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Matt. 16:16

He does not call Him by the humble term “son of man” but calls Him the “Son of God” and the “Anointed One”.

All God’s questions are to make men consider their relationship with Him. Is He your friend, your father, your judge,  and/or your executioner?

He questions to all of us; Son of Adam, Daughter of Eve, “Where are you?”

The Lord of the Harem is Holy

trinity knotTo be Holy is to be set apart, that is literal what the Hebrew kadosh means. Of all of God’s attributes this one is more incomprehensible than all the others.

Many things are kadosh in the Bible; the priests, the temple, the stuff in the temple,  they have all been set apart for God. However God’s set apartness is beyond all these as He is the Creator of all. This make Him above and beyond all others. Nothing outside of Him is holy. Only that which is to be used in His service is holy, all other things or people are common or unclean. Because of this the theologians call this His “fundamental attribute,” for His justice is not like any others in all creation, it is a holy justice, His righteousness is a holy righteousness and on and on through all His attributes, His holiness is so apart that we cannot truly comprehend. We may have certain attributes ourselves but only in His use, is anything or anyone said to be holy.

The Harem is Holy

Those who belong to God’s Harem are holy. Not by some pronouncement of a Church Council or edict from the Pope, but rather because God says so. Our holiness is not because of some great feat that we have preformed, although many believers have done many great and spectacular things, our holiness is imparted to us from Messiah’s work on the cross. He choose us we did not chose Him.

. . . even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world Eph. 1:4

1   And the LORD said to Moses,  2 “Say to all the congregation of the people of Israel, You shall be holy; for I the LORD your God am holy. Lev. 19:1-2

15 but as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct;  16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Pet. 1:15-16

Holiness isn’t earned it is a gift. It is part of our salvation. We are holy because He is holy. This means that we are set apart for a purpose. Our job is to find what that purpose is and do it.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17

There are a few things that a holy being does or does not do. We owe our entire devotion to Him, because we are holy as He is holy.

44 For I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. You shall not defile yourselves with any swarming thing that crawls upon the earth.  45 For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God; you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” Lev. 11:44-45

19 But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the LORD; for he is a holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “Nay; but we will serve the LORD.” Josh 24:19-21

As we serve a holy God and should be wholly committed to that relationship.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. John 14:15 

His Holiness 

He is above and beyond all that we can know

 2 Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.  3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Is. 6:2-3

When Isaiah was confronted with God’s Holiness he cried out “Woe is me! For I am lost.” [Is 6:3-5] The moral shock of being confronted by his own depravity, was more than he could bear. Like standing in sunlight too bright to look up, we are blinded spiritually by such purity. It is only at this moment when we find ourselves in the full light of holiness do we see ourselves the way God see us, when our own filth is fully apparent, that we begin to understand our need to humbly change our natures.

15 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite. Is. 57:15

 11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.  John 17:11

We are holy, because He has imparted it to us. However walking in that holiness is the goal of a lifetime.

But as for you, man of God, shun all this; aim at righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 1Tim. 6:11 

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5

Hosea 10

There is a new post in the “pages” (that pull down  menu on the top of the blog.) For some reason when I put a new page up, wordpress doesn’t send this out to all followers. They only send out the “posts” that are in the side menu, so here’s a link.

Hosea 10

Garments of Salvation

Jewish Bride 1881 by Carbonero

Jewish Bride 1881
by Carbonero

The King of the Universe declares his love for His people in terms of a wedding.

Is. 61:10   I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.  Is. 61:10 

 

5 For as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. Is. 2:5

 

Our sinful natures have been replace with garments of salvation. In this passage there are all the signs of a festival with garland and jewels. However the Hebrew word translated here as “garland” is kohen or priest in verb form, meaning to act like a priest, or minister as a priest.

. . . and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” Ex. 19:6

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Pet. 2:9 

To often the postmodern church allows the preachers to put these kind of verses off to some perfect future. However every day is the day of salvation. Everyday we are already the bride of Messiah. Everyday our righteousness and praise is to spring forth before the nations. We must stop putting off our joy and rejoicing. For God is rejoicing over us, in the here and now.

The Lord of the Harem is Love (part 2)

omnipotenceGod’s Love is Directional

By its very nature love must be directed toward someone or something. God’s love is not for everything or everyone. At creation He pronounced things “good” He did not day He loved them. His love is directed to His Son, The Believers, and The Sinners.

His Son

Because God is infinite His love for His Son is all transcending and passes all the love of any father for an earthly child.

. . . and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17 

He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matt. 17:5

Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in thy love for me before the foundation of the world. John 17:24 

The Believers

The love God’s has for believers is everlasting, and is for the believer who believes that Messiah came from the Father. It is familial, for we are family.

. . . the LORD appeared to him from afar. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jer. 31:3

. . . for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from the Father. John 16:27 

I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. John 17:23 

The Sinners

Even though God hates sin He loves sinners, and wants to have a relationship with them, other than their final judge.

While we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man — though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die. 8 But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Rom. 5:6-8

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Eph. 2:4 -5

The Lord of the Harem is Love (part 1)

omnipotenceThis is all most pagans know about the God of the Bible, and it is all they want to know. They take great solace in what they think it means. They believe that with this great a love “God won’t condemn anyone”.  However that is not exactly what His love is like. He is a jealous God, and will not tolerate unfaithfulness.

His love comes with a price. A price so high none of us could pay it. So He paid it Himself. We are bought brides. We come with no dowry, no wealth, and no nobility. He laid down His life so we could be free to love Him back.

7   Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God.  8 He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.  9 In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.  11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. 

13   By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.  14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.  15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.  16 So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  17 In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world.  18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.  19 We love, because he first loved us.  20 If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  21 And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. 1 John 4:7-21

There is no other faith on earth that has a loving God. The Greek word here is agape, and is the love for someone or something based on sincere appreciation or high regard, loving affection, and loving concern. Even though we are the dust of the earth God has this agape love for us. The pagans may have a god or idol of lovers, or fertility, but they are not that all forgiving love of the creator God.  There is nothing in nature or ones own knowledge that tells us that God is love. This information only comes from the revelation of the Scriptures, written by those who came before us, those who had direct access to God. They have left us this great legacy of information.

It is the Bible and the Bible only where we are told that God is love.

 

See Also: Three Kinds of Wives

How Commander Spock changed My Faith

star-trek-spock1First of all, as a youth I was a great fan of Start Trek. I watched those shows over and over. Down deep in my psyche is Spock’s trademark statement, “But that’s not logical Captain.”

I grew up in your standard Baptist Church, however at around 15 years of age I started reading through the Bible Chronologically at the prodding of our pastor. Well, the more I read the more I became confused at the differences between what was being taught and what the Text said. So I asked many many questions of the leadership. Most of the time they just shrugged their shoulders and said, “I don’t know.” Which is an answer, it’s better than making something up I supposed, but the apathy that followed was unacceptable to me?

I figured the pastor and other leaders were just lazy or stupid, so I decided to go to Bible College. There I was sure I would find people who could answer my questions. However as they droned on and on their answers made no sense. All I could hear in the back of my head, “That is illogical Captain.” I have never been a very tactful person, so I pressed them about their logic and for explanations that would make sense. Well, to make a long story short, their reactions bordered on hostility, after all, “Who was I to question their authority?” I was shocked, I wasn’t questioning their authority, I was questioning their logic. So now I was labeled rebellious, when all I wanted was to understand the Bible.

Later I took Hermeneutics from another school and discovered the problem. They were mixing two conflicting schools of hermeneutic without realizing it. (So was the new school.) Most of them had a bases of what is called Tradition Protestant Interpretation, a.k.a. Progressive Revelationism, but they had mixed it with some of the teaching from, the Dispensational school of hermeneutics. These two schools are diametrically opposed to each other. Their preconceive notions cannot be reconciled. One must choose one or the other to be logical in ones approach to the Scriptures.

This problem continues to plague most Evangelical, Fundamentalist, congregations. Most people don’t have Spock living in their Brains. So most don’t know that they are doing it.

So what is your school of hermeneutic? Are you staying true to the one you believe has the best preconceived notions. Or have you never considered why you believe what you believe.

11 And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;  14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the cunning of men, by their craftiness in deceitful wiles.  15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.  Eph. 4:11-16

Hermeneutics is all about the logical rules one uses to determine the meaning of a Text.

Parables are treated differently than historical passages. Poetry is often full of hyperbole and not as literal as one might think. Metaphors and similes do not make for good literal descriptions.

Everyone has preconceived notions, there is no way not to. They come from what we were taught as children, our emotions, our culture, and unfortunately sometimes our lack of knowledge. The trick is to be honest with ourselves about what all of them are.

If a preconceived notion is that the simplified version told to us as children was the whole truth, we may never actually see that it never says we go to heaven when we die.

If a preconceived notion is that our tribe, people, or nation, is so important that a prophecy must be about us, we may miss that it was addressed to others.

If a preconceived notion is that a prophecy is unfulfilled, then reading the history books to see how it was fulfilled will not happen.

 

Our preconceived notions can obviously destroy what the Text was meant to say. However the right rules can also keep one from making such a grave mistake.

 

 

See Also: General Hermeneutic

See Also: Prophetic Hermeneutic