…and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory

Expositions and meditations through the Word of God

The Peaceful Muslim and the Sword of Islam

What about Muslims who are truly peaceful? This seems to be the question the whole world is asking these days, and it comes up daily, here where I work, at The Hatune Foundation. I bring to my mind my own American Muslim friends as I ask this. Many Muslims I know, who have been born into western cultures, love peace, tolerance, freedom, and equality, but they didn’t get these democratic values and laws from the Qur’an or Islam, and much less from Islamic history. On the other hand, they received these peaceful values from western culture and democracy, from their own upbringing, or from their own conscience which bears witness to these values. Many Muslims, who are truly peaceful and want to remain in Islam, are interpreting into Islam the good values they’ve learned.

The Qur’an and Islam, however, are impossible to reform while maintaining the foundations of the faith. Islam is bound by the doctrine of tanzīl, meaning “to send down”, which is the paramount belief in Islam, which states that the Qur’anic revelation descended, verbatim, from Allah (God) to Muhammad. The first step in becoming a Muslim is professing the Islamic creed, the Shahada, which is, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”. Not only does Islam profess and believe that Muhammad is the final prophet (statement) from God, but it also claims that the writing of the Qur’an is divinely inspired. It is, according to Islam, the only miracle Muhammad performed in his lifetime, being illiterate when he wrote it.

If some were to reform Islam, they would have to deny, twist, or make into symbols, every facet of the faith, reducing it to some kind of vague, or completely new, identity, which is far from traditional Islam. In other words, in order to be a truly peaceful Muslim, one must deny any literal authority of Muhammad and the Qur’an.

For Muslims who truly take the Qur’an as God’s word, however, there are only two possible ways for them to follow: fighting unbelievers, or putting on a peaceful appearance until they are prepared to fight. At the end of the day, the goal of Islam is to achieve world peace by conquering the world through war, in the name of Allah. Their Shariah (Islamic) Laws are incompatible with democracy, and traditional Islamic culture is impossible to integrate with western culture. Even allowing Muslims to practice Shariah Law, amongst themselves in Europe, through what has been called the Welfare Party (Refah Prtisi, RP), has been ruled against by the European Court of Human Rights, because it would deny democracy to those who would be subjected to it. This understanding, of the incompatibility between Islam and democracy, must be further explored in the West today, in light of the current struggles with Islam, which are worsening.

Can Islam be fully reformed? There is no doubt, in light of Islamic history, that the sentiments and devotion to traditional Islam and the paramount respect of the Qur’an and its commandments will prevail among those who read the Qur’an and have faith in it. “Radical Islam” is an unhelpful term that causes the unlearned and inexperienced to think that the Muslims who follow in such a way are projecting onto the Qur’an their own extreme interpretation, instead of seeing the truth that these “radicals” are only victims to the already radical Qur’an. The Qur’an and Islamic history inspire Muslims who practice “radical Islam”; these are simply taking the Qur’an at its word, in its most simple interpretation. In order to be politically correct towards modernized and westernized Muslims, though, this term “radical Islam” has been coined. Perhaps it really is a helpful term, on the other hand, though it is inaccurate, because it may push these to reform.

   Nonetheless, even if some some think to reform Islam, which would be great for the sake of the persecuted, the passionate spirit of Jihad and the retribution of an angry Allah, demanding to be expressed through his people in war, and establish world peace through this “holy war”, as a sort of theocracy, would prevail in those who have faith in the divine inspiration of the Qur’an, and in Muhammad as Allah’s last and final prophet (word) to mankind.

Commonly linked to these questions about Islam is the comparison of the Qur’an and Islamic history to the Bible and Church history, mostly in light of the crusades and passages in the Old Testament. In the Biblical narrative, the nation of Israel was in a theocracy,  initiated by God in Moses, which continued until the rise of kings. The wars that took place are clearly indicated in the text to be sovereign commands of God to a specific group at a specific time and place with a limited function in relation to the possession of the Promised Land and foundation of God’s redemptive acts through Israel and the Messiah. The wars were very specific as well, and Israel was never given, in the narrative, freedom to fight in general. In other words, the acts cannot be repeated or continued. The commands came also with directions of who not to war with. For more information on that, here’s a great blog on  Old Testament Theology of War <

When the Jewish people demanded a king, they chose Saul. In response, God chose David, a representation of the Messiah. Nowhere, after this, does the Bible go back into a theocracy. In the fourteen generations before Christ, Israel was a theocracy, then a monarchy, and then a hierarchy. Jesus, in the New Testament, begins a new era and established the Church. Until the Second Coming of Christ, which is a God initiated event, the Bible commands Christians to respect the authorities in government (Romans 15), govern their own churches, spread the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, endure persecution and hardship, and live as foreigners and ambassadors, representing the Kingdom of God in the earth, waiting for the Second Coming of Christ. Never does the Bible command believers to kill others, or to establish religion through killing. It teaches against the killing of others.

The violence of the Qur’an, on the other hand, is incomparable to the Bible and Christianity. It commands all Muslim’s to go fight all non-Muslims and continue the “holy war” Muhammad began. It is not directed at only a specific group at a specific time and place. It is most obviously interpreted as commands to all Muslims. After three years of research and textual criticism of ten religions, Tina Magaard, who has a PhD in Textual Analysis and Intercultural Communication, said, “The texts in Islam are clearly distinct from the other religious texts, as they to a much higher degree call for violence and aggression against followers of other faiths. There are also direct incitements to terror. This has long been a taboo in Islam research, but it is a fact we have to acknowledge.” The violence of the Qur’an is outright. In fact, there is no assurance of salvation from Allah to his followers, except for the case of dying while fighting the “infidels”, which has led to so many suicide bombing attacks (Surah 61:10-12). What is considered suicide bombing, as it truly is, is actually “martyrdom” in Islam. The concept of persecution in Islam is that anyone who resists conversion to Islam is persecuting the Muslims. The concept of persecution in the Bible is that of a Christian who suffers persecution for their faith in Jesus, yet continues to follow him. Likewise, a martyr in Islam is what the West have called (usually) a “suicide bomber”, whereas a martyr in Christianity is someone who is killed for their faith.

Where the crusades lasted for 196 years, due to a type of heretical Dominion Theology that denied the ways of Christ and went back into a theocracy, from 1095 to 1291 (196 years), the “holy war” in Islam has continued in all of Islam’s existence from 610 AD to today (1406 years).

There is, however, a heresy happening in a small branch of Christianity called “Dominion Theology”, which seeks to bring Christians into places of governmental power and re-establish a theocracy and stone the sinners. It goes against the Biblical narrative, which commands the believers to wait on the government of the Messiah (Jesus) to be established, stating that Christians are strangers in the world, that Jesus’ “kingdom is not of this world, or else his servants would fight”, and that, after the Second Coming of Christ, the law and justice of God would go forth to all nations from Zion, where Christ rules after his Second Coming. Dominion Theology is dangerous and heretical. If it were to happen, it would be like the crusades all over again, or even like Constantinople, whom the desert fathers and mothers had to flee to the deserts from, in order to be truly Christian and not Christian because of nationality. Christianity is not meant to be a nationality or something one is born into. It is a religion of faith, respect of free will, and spreading the Gospel of Jesus. Islam, like Dominion Theology, is not so much a religious, as it is a political, movement that strives against democracy. The political movement of Dominion Theology, which has occurred in history, is neither part of traditional Christianity, nor a Biblical command, whereas, traditional Islam is true to the text of the Qur’an, and will always, unavoidably, be a political movement. Theocracy is inevitably the result of the lack of separation of church and state.

Freedom Of Speech: Our Vitality

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 On November 25, 2016, I travelled with Sister Hatune to hear her speak at Eberbach High School, four hours away by train. Her audience was a group of about 100 eighth and ninth graders. Sister Hatune values informing the younger generations on the current events in the Middle East and preparing them for the future. One teacher from the school, never having met Sister Hatune, tried to stop the meeting from happening because she had Muslim family members. Nonetheless, the majority of the teachers agreed, along with the students, to hear Sister Hatune and the information about the persecution in the Middle East. She also spoke about Islam, the poor, her life, and the work of the foundation. The students listened attentively and were very interested and even shocked, although she kept from them her worst images and stories. Days afterwards, she received a letter from the students. They want to hold a Christmas sale and have the funds they raise go to the foundation. All of the foundations donations go directly to the persecuted.

For the past month, the foundation has been housing a few homeless beggars from Romania. Sister Hatune keeps her doors open to all who are in need; she took these in and is providing them with food and accommodation. With the help of a translator, she told them that the foundation would help them find work and that they don’t have to go out to beg. She assured them, “You don’t have to be beggars all of your life. There are real solutions for you here.”

On November 27, Sister Hatune spoke to an audience of about 70 at a Catholic Church in Bad Driburg. One Catholic religious teacher found the information hard to hear because she didn’t understand the religion of Islam. She remarked, before the group, that Islam meant peace, although it really means “submission”. Her opinion was that Christians should open their doors to anyone, no matter what their life principles are, and no matter if they seek to kill or attack others. The audience made it obvious that they were not in favor of her stance. Sister Hatune, in response, answered with only the facts from her own copy of the Qur’an and the Muslim code of ethics.

She explained how Islam is in a self-declared “holy war” against all non-Muslims (Surah 47:4) and how they do not have true friendships with “non-believers” (Surah 5:51). It is not possible to integrate western culture with Islam because of the beliefs and practices they follow. In the Qur’an, 52.7% of it’s content is directly against non-Muslims. This includes threats, degrading remarks, calls to fight against them, and wishes of death on them. There are 206 verses, which are against anyone who is not Suni Muslim. Europe allowing into their countries so many Suni (radical) Muslims, who are “fleeing ISIS”, or simply immigrating in (for lack of border protection) is ridiculous. For news on Islamic terror in Europe since 2001, visit this site: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks/europe-attacks.aspx

It is difficult to differentiate between a Muslim who is peaceful because they have democratic or western values, and a Muslim who is peaceful because of “Taqiyya”. Surah 3:28 speaks of “Taqiyya”, meaning “concealment”. It reads, “Let not the believers take disbelievers for their friends in preference to believers. Whoso doeth that hath no connection with Allah unless (it be) that ye but guard yourselves against them, taking (as it were) security.” Here, Muslims are commanded not to be friends with non-Muslims. Nonetheless, if the Muslim is under dominion of a stronger adversary they are allowed to pretend to be friendly. Muslims, when they are not in dominion, are allowed to show friendship outwardly, but not from their heart. Abu Darda, one of Muhammad’s companions said, “We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.” True, “Suni” or “radical” Muslims may remain under a cloak of peace until they are strong enough to win their wars without too much loss. Islam in not a religion of peace and is incompatible with democracy. Furthermore, if we believe that murder has no religion, then we also understand that Islam is not a religion at all, but an ideology.

One police in the audience, in civilian clothes, spoke to Sister Hatune after the speech about how many crimes are being committed and going unpunished because of religious tolerance and confusion towards the issues Islam brings. Sister Hatune said, “I’m sad and angry about the behavior of the politicians in Germany. Already now, the elderly people, mostly women, are afraid to go outside after 6 pm in big cities because of the amount of crime that has flooded in from Muslims. What is going on here? In our own country, we are afraid to go outside. In our own country, it is not allowed to speak the truth or even an opinion. Where is our democracy? Where is our freedom? Where are our human rights? Where is our equality?”

On the 28th, Sister Hatune travelled to Versmold Gütersloh, to speak to an evangelical church, completely packed with an audience of around 300 people. Her speech was similar to the day prior at the Catholic Church, and one politically correct evangelical priest in the audience tried to tell Sister Hatune that what she was saying was too harsh against Islam. He said that Islam is a part of Germany, and, as Christians, we must see Muslims who practice Islam as equals, and not as a threat. Sister Hatune always begins her speeches by making her audience aware that she is not politically correct, because she is not afraid to speak the facts in an unfiltered way. She is not afraid to offend anyone, because she understands that when she speaks against Islam’s ideologies, she does not demonize the individual. She defends democracy in her nation, and believes that others, who fight against democracy, should go elsewhere, where they can practice their own ideologies. She explained to the man the incompatibility of Islam and democracy.

In reflection to the past week, Sister Hatune remarked, “I am afraid that people are now already afraid to speak the truth. It is how it was during the rise of Hitler. The mouths of the people were closed, and then before they could open them again, it was too late. This same disaster is happening again. The people are unable to speak. They are silent and afraid to speak the truth. This will not end well in our future. We try, in our foundation, to be honest, to show the facts, and to say the truth, no matter what it costs. God is truth. Whoever is not in truth is the friend of the devil. Only the truth can win in a positive way. I wish that the European people and the western people of America, and all democracies, would be honest in democracy and defend human rights, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and equality, and to save theses godly rules. I wish that they would not give any space for the rules that come against human rights, like Shariah Law, dictatorship, and communism, where the humans are not equal and the classes are elevated. My thoughts especially go out to the women and children who are oppressed, or made to be servants of the men according to the Shariah Law . . . where the witness of two women is equal to one man. Where the women are like filth to the men who can use them as they like and beat them. She is not worthy and has to cover her face. Muhammad said that women are born for hell. These rules and ideologies, we do not need. We have to save our own rules and know our own faith. If we know, as Christians, and as democracies, our faith, and live according to that, standing together, no one can stand against us. We, the Christians, have lost our faith, though. We must speak. Jesus told us that that after him would come many false prophets. We must be honest to the words of Jesus and not accept the false prophets. It is clear that Muhammad is a false prophet. In his time, he slaughtered the Jewish people and all non-Muslims; for the past 1,400 years they have been cutting the throats of the human beings, like they are animals, in accordance with the Qur’an.

If we read the Bible and are honest with ourselves, we can see what 1 John 2:22 really looks like. Everyone can read what is says there.

My mission is for everyone to be honest with himself, with the world, with his faith, and to speak the truth. Instead of allowing religious tolerance and political correctness to keep the mouths of people shut, let us learn how to speak, how to argue, and how to value freedom of speech. This generation, though, has mostly lost its ability to argue, especially with the subjects of religion and ideologies. Some states don’t even have any classes on religion, and so, most people are ignorant to Islam.”

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Esther, My Hero: A New Beginning, After 10 Years of Opposition

“…and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”  (Philippians 3:15 NKJV)

Debunking the “Left Behind” Theory

Many of us have heard a message that describes the second coming of Jesus to happen willy-nilly, at any given moment, and with no warning. This pre-tribulation rapture theory is interpreted from a few passages in the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 23:37-25:46) that I hope to get into briefly. As there are over 150 end-time chapters in the Bible, it is a deep topic. The Olivet Discourse must be read and outlined carefully along with (at least) Daniel (70 weeks vision), and Revelation for a fuller understanding.

  1. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36)

This is correct, no one in the world, not even Jesus himself knows the day or hour of his second coming and the end of the age. However, as seen in the verses leading up to Matthew 24:36, in the parable of the fig tree, we are commanded to know the generation of the Lord’s return. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” “All these things” referring to his warning sings of the end of the age in the beginning of chapter 24.

  1. “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:37)

The descriptions of the days of Noah make the coming of the Son of man predictable. In the days of Noah, wickedness reigned on the earth; there were only a very few people, 8 persons, living righteously. God’s description of humanity’s lowest state “in the days of Noah” was that, every imagination of the thoughts of his [humanity] heart was only evil continually. (Genesis 6:5) That’s pretty intense, taking into consideration that God doesn’t exaggerate. We do not know how many people were living on the earth in the days of Noah, but we have a world now filled with about 7 billion people. The coming of the son of man is contingent on the world regressing to as it was “in the days of Noah” (and therefore identifiable). I would say that we are not, really, altogether in the days of Noah, but the events leading up to the end of the age could turn that into our reality rather quickly, as the world has become ripe to regress into such behavior.

  1. “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

This is another passage some use to support pre-tribulation rapture. Some interpret the people who are being “taken” away, as the righteous. However, this passage is paralleling the days of Noah, when there was a great flood taking away the wicked. This is further clarified in context to Matthew 24:27-28 along with Revelation 19:17-21, “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together”. The outright wicked (who join or submit to the antichrist as seen in Revelation 13:16) are taken away. The righteous who survived the persecution and tribulation will be gathered together at the sound of the last trumpet. “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15:52)

We see this pattern again in the parable of the wheat and the tares. Matthew 13:24-30 is explained in Matthew 13:37-43, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.” The taking away is of the wicked from God’s kingdom, and of the righteous who are cleaned by the blood of Christ to glory.

God is a righteous Judge of all. By the time Christ returns, atheism doesn’t even exist. There is only an open cursing/rejection of God (Revelation 6:15-17). The “signs of the times” (Matthew 24:3-31) occur in three stages described in the same chapter as “the beginning of sorrows”(Matthew 24:8), “the tribulation” (Matthew 24:9a), and “the great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21). The second coming of Christ comes after these signs of the times in Matthew 24: 3-28 and the 21 judgments of Revelation. Approaching, and throughout the 7 year period of Daniel 9:27 (which involves 3 ½ years of “peace” and 3 ½ years of the great tribulation) there are clear, laid out signs of the end of the age and the second coming of Christ.

Think of the nature of a sign, it is a message that is as clear and bright as possible for everyone to see. Like a stop sign, for example. The tribulation, great tribulation, and 21 judgments are like 21 huge speed bumps before the final judgment, end of the age, and second coming of Christ (Revelation 16:9).

Finally, is the coming of Christ (Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19:11-21). These passage clearly mark out how there will be signs and wonders in the heavens and sky, the sign of the Son of man appears in the heavens, the earth mourns, the Son of man comes, and finally, the angels gather together his elect as wickedness is taken from the earth. Matthew 24 makes it clear that believers are resurrected at the very end of the age (after the great tribulation).

Many justify a pre-tribulation rapture out of fear of the end of the age, and the inability to imagine suffering with the rest of the world, let alone persecution. The judgments in Revelation parallel the judgments in Egypt, where God’s people are protected from the plagues, but are not spared from living as a sign and a witness to God’s forgiveness and protection.

The Theophanies of Christ through the Old Testament: Introduction

There was a point in time and history where Jesus took on flesh and became a man. He lived among us as “Immanuel”, “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14, and Matthew 1:23). But his life did not start in the New Testament. He forever was and forever will be (Revelation 1:8).

But who was Jesus before he became a man? Throughout the Old Testament there are stunning passages that bring to light the person of Jesus – before his incarnation took place around 4 BC. He is vividly and accurately revealed, witnessed, and manifested. These instances, called “theophanies”, are not just a foreshadowing and prophecy of his first coming; they teach us who Jesus is. By them we can know Jesus rightly and in context. In this series, “The Theophanies of Christ in the Old Testament”, I aim to point out the main theophanies in Scripture and bring out the meanings of these encounters with God. In the meditations to follow we will see more and more clearly how Jesus was ever with the Father from before the foundations of the earth, his person, and Godhead.

“…Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (1 Peter 1:20)

Genesis 1: What creation tells us

See Pentateuch: Introduction

“Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

The genius of the creation account God gave us, is that it establishes the heart posture that is required to approach God, as is reestablished throughout Scripture: faith and belief toward God. Take some time meditating on the following Scriptures:

“And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.“ (Ephesians 3:9-12)

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:2)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:1-3)

By and through faith in Jesus we may approach God with boldness, access, and confidence. Faith is the only door into understanding the creation account, and approaching God. Faith in Jesus is not blind, but steps of faith are. Having faith in an idol or god, that doesn’t actually save us (from the fall), nor reunite us with God so that we may know him and be known by him (such as it was in the Garden of Eden), is an unrealistic waste of time. If Jesus wouldn’t provide any experience of our faith in him, we would find him to be a liar who pours out promises but doesn’t meet us at all. But thanks be to God! When we approach Jesus in faith, he responds and speaks to us very clearly according to the Scriptures. As it is written: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” (James 4:8). Off of the top of my head, I would say that unbelief is the heart posture Jesus rebukes the most throughout the Gospels.

[See a few ways in which Jesus responded to faith in the Gospels: (Matthew 14:23-36; 17:14-20, Mark 2:3-5; 5:23-43; 10:46-52, Luke 7:47-50)].

We know that God is and that he is eternally powerful

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:17-20)

Romans 1:17-20 is yet another New Testament commentary on creation, that also reveals this required heart posture of faith, and so much more.

We clearly understand and see two invisible things about God, since (and by) the creation of the world: his Godhead (Divinity) and eternal power. These two truths are “held” by every human, manifesting “in them” “that which may be known of God”. God has shown himself to us by creation.

Creation bares the mark of being made, it is not eternal; it carries the fingerprint of God Himself. To not have faith in God, that he is, that he is eternally powerful, and the creator of all things, is unrighteousness. Unbelief is holding the truth in unrighteousness, or in other words, knowing the truth and repressing it with rebellion. The book of Romans goes on to reveal the consequences of unbelief:

“…So that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Romans 1:20c-25)

People are without excuse before God because this knowledge of him was revealed to them, and their response was not to thank him, or to glorify him as God. They “changed the truth of God into a lie”. In so doing, they chose to be an existentialist, so to speak, or whatnot, where they “became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools”, and traded the “glory of the uncorruptible God” for an idol or god that is like the things they can see around them: humans, animals, and creation.

The knowledge of God precedes the rejection of the knowledge of God. Throughout the earth and human history the knowledge of God is a common knowledge that manifests itself in many different religions. In light of human history, we can then conclude unbelief as being a sort of religion in and of itself; a highly spiritual (although it may at times seem to be highly “educational” or “reasonable”) reaction to the knowledge of God. Unbelief in all of its forms, is a spiritual reaction against knowing God and giving him glory.

Again, all systems of unbelief are a response to the revelation of the knowledge of God, which came first, and they are a fulfillment of Romans 1-2. I believe there is a relationship between a corporate/national and individual fulfillment of this passage. If Romans 1-2 (the rejection of the knowledge of God) is a national fulfillment, as it now is in Western culture, then the potential of the individual fulfillment (of that nation) is heightened greatly. For instance, when a nation rejects the knowledge of God’s existence and majesty, the children born in that nation are a victim to corporate deception and would be more susceptible to individually rejecting the knowledge of God through various systems of unbelief. Unbelief towards God is the major way Western culture is dealing with the problem of God; it is not the same way as many other nations are reacting to the knowledge of God.

Every religion reacts to the knowledge of God, and we immediately have questions and confusions: How do we know God rightly? Has God made himself known by the prophets? What does nature, science, and geology tell us about God? What makes one religion false and another true? How do we know if the Bible is true, inerrant, inspired, and infallible? These are questions I plan on getting into later. But first it is important to establish that we all know that there is a God who created Heaven and Earth, and that he is eternally powerful… and holy.

How has God judged these religions that have formed out of reacting to the knowledge of God, that have not heard of his redemptive acts in the world?

“Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. So Paul departed from among them. Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.” (Acts 17:22-34)

God has “winked” at the times of ignorance. But now, since Jesus Christ and his resurrection he commands all people, every where to repent and believe in the resurrected Lord. Just as Paul in this passage, God has made his people ambassadors of his Kingdom to continue to preach this message.

From the light of the knowledge of God, we see that many different religions have formed to grope for him through the darkness. Different religions define God differently, and their belief in God is from what they know about him according to truth, deception, or ignorance. But the testimony of creation tells us that God is divine, holy, and eternally powerful; He is not lawless, and he is not an idol made by human hands or minds. As we journey through the Pentateuch, we will continue to look at the revelation of the knowledge of God to Israel and ask ourselves if it equates and was completely fulfilled in Jesus Christ and his resurrection.

The testimony of Jesus has turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). It is a noble thing to search the Scriptures and see if Jesus’ claims and prophetic fulfillments are indeed true. “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

“Ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18)

Romans 1 tells us two truths that all people know, but of course, we could see in this passage a third truth: We know that God is holy, as his wrath is revealed against all wickedness. “Unrighteousness of ungodliness”, could be another way to quote this verse because the first comes from the second, and both are one and the same. Here unrighteousness is defined as that which is not like God, whose testimony is spoken by creation. The wrath of God is revealed against all such unrighteousness of ungodliness. People have no excuse before God to live in sin… simply through the testimony of creation.

At the end of the day… unbelief, in all of its forms, is a spiritual reality comparable to the religious spirit the Jews had who rejected their Messiah. Unbelief is truly an argument against God himself. At the end of the age, this truth will be manifest (Revelation 6:16), in as much as the mystery of iniquity (2 Thessalonians 2:7) is allowed to be fully manifest and exposed for what it truly is before God himself: hatred of God, and the rejection of the knowledge of God. The (self-) revelation of God does not refute unbelief, as seen throughout the Scriptures (Psalm 78). Likewise, the light of the glory of God as seen in creation cannot chase out a spirit of unbelief. Unbelief can only go away by the Spirit of God through humbling oneself with repentance of the spirit of unbelief, choosing to believe in God, prayer, and the Word.

The highest thought a person could meditate on is God, and what a person thinks about God is the most important thing about them, defining their entire life, how they live, and where they will end up (Knowledge of the Holy, page 5). (See Jeremiah 2:26-29, 1 Samuel 2:2, and Revelation 22:11-21)

Simply ask Jesus for wisdom and understanding and search the Scriptures with this prayer:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” (Epheisans 1:17-23)

Father of all of us, we ask that you would give us ears to hear and eyes to see. Shake off our blindness and unbelieving hearts. Save us from the spirit of this age, and the deception of our forefathers. Give to us the knowledge of God, the knowledge of the Holy. Let us see you in your creation. Enlighten our minds as we break our agreement with the spirit of unbelief in Jesus name, Amen.

“For all the gods of the nations are idols:

but the Lord made the heavens.” (Psalm 96:5)

Old Testament Judaism identified God as the one who created Heaven and Earth, and is everlasting. God’s main identity is as our Creator. The Scriptures open up with the astounding creation account. We are taught that we have a beginning – and so drops a stark contrast between us and our Creator, who has no beginning. We look through the pages of history, and know that we have a beginning. In this first line of Scripture we get our first glimpse at what it means for God to be Creator: he is holy, totally set apart, the only One of his “kind” (Mark 12:29).  God made Heaven and Earth; all other gods and beliefs are idols. We define God as the One who created and it was.

God speaks through Creation

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19)

Nature speaks to us of the glory and of the knowledge of God. Nature is a library full of the knowledge of God. It bares the mark of being made, and we see the fingerprint of our Creator. It is not eternal, but has a beginning. The peace, beauty, and order of Creation astounds us and causes our hearts to yearn for God. The whole of creation is beaming with life and wonder that we have yet to fully discover. And in this vast world of such endless variety, we see unison and simplicity. The wonders of creation take our breath away not only because it provides for us to live a good, healthy, and fun life, but its beauty and wonder is over the top. Life is a miracle of God that he has given us dominion over (Psalm 8). From the heights of the heavens, down to the air we breathe now, we live in a miracle. The laws of the universe perfectly allow us to live human life, and they are consistent throughout the earth. God created the earth so beautifully so that we would know him, who is full of beauty and truth.

God is great in knowledge. He crowns humankind with brilliance and intelligence, education and the vastness of their fields; our lives and studies revolve around his creation and laws. The glory and knowledge of God as we see him in creation push us into a devotion to his Word (Laws, testimonies, statutes, commandments) that are also testified to by his creation.

Genesis 1: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Creation

See Pentateuch: Introduction

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Creation

 

Genesis 1:1-5

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

     John 1:1-5

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

John 1 parallels and gives a New Testament exposition on Genesis 1. This small passage shines a vast light onto the Creation account, as well as the persons of the Trinity. Jesus is here defined as the Word of God, who in the beginning was with the Father and created Heaven and Earth. He is the second Person of the Trinity, and throughout Scripture is one with the Father and the Spirit. His role as Creator is specific. The Father creates through the Son, by the Holy Spirit. This three in one movement of actions could be followed throughout the Creation account, Scriptures, and in our own lives.

The Father initiates and has all authority, releasing himself, which is his Word. This Word, Jesus releases the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God always points to Jesus to make Jesus known. Jesus points us to the Father and makes the Father known. The Father again points to Jesus and puts all authority under his feet, he thunders three times during Jesus’ ministry on earth, “This is my Son, hear him”. We have been created by the trinity, and destined to be brought into this fellowship they share. It is out of the overflow of love for each other that we have been created. The Father creates us through his son and destines us to be the inheritance of Jesus. Jesus gave us his Holy Spirit to keep forever, making us “a temple of God” (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Holy Spirit fills us with the love he himself has for Jesus and empowers us to be his Bride. Jesus saves us and presents us to the Father as blameless children. This is the Trinitarian love epic that we have been invited into. This is a glimpse of what eternity is.

This first chapter of John goes on to say, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18) It’s as if for eternity past the fellowship shared among the Father, Son, and Spirit was not yet expressed in terms of creation. The Son was “in the bosom of the Father”, never created, but not yet begotten. The creation account is the speaking of the Father’s Word. And so, the Word of the Father having been released, declares who the Father is. Similarly, we have authority over what we speak, yet it is our words which declare who we are, what we believe, and our person. Finally, the Holy Spirit of God manifests the life of God at the command of the Word. I attribute the life and light of the Word referred to in the above scripture to be the Holy Spirit. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” also “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth…” If in this verse Jesus is the spoken Word God, then the action of those words coming to pass may be attributed to the Spirit of God; the Spirit of God is the “life” in Jesus.

We see this same attribute of the Holy Spirit in the resurrection of Jesus. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” The Spirit of God is the power of God that raises the dead. He creates something out of nothing, both spiritually and physically.

Therefore, when we read, ”And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” We see God as three in one.

Jesus, the Master Craftsman

Jesus was from everlasting with the Father. We see what intimacy and participation Jesus had in creating us in Proverbs 8:22-31 (the “voice of wisdom” here is commonly understood as being a theophany of Jesus) saying, “The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth. When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him as one brought up with him [“Then I was with him, his master craftsman…”]: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.” Jesus was the Word, possessed by the Father in creating. Jesus was daily the delight of the Father, “rejoicing always before him”, and the cause of his rejoicing and delight was humanity, His inheritance.

We see Jesus the Creator, again in Job 38 where God demands Job to answer his questions, and thereby shows the shortcoming of all humanity’s intellect, and their inability in unlocking the mystery of the creation account: “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundation thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?…” (Verses 4-7)  Gods act of creating by Jesus was full of fear, joy, and wonder. To be sure, we will for millions of years look into, wonder at, and grow in the knowledge of Jesus in the Creation account, and it should at no time become a solved equation in our minds. Although lightning may be scientifically broken down and studied, if one loses the wonder and awe of it’s miracle of being, they have gained nothing in their studies.

Psalm 139 is one of the most beautiful Psalms, revealing how intimate the Trinity is in creating and sustaining every single human life. God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit knits us in our mother’s womb and accounts our eternal existence before our body is even formed. This passage is important in understanding the value and purpose of human life. “Fearfully and wonderfully made”, full of intention, and individually, God truly creates each one of us for himself. “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” (Psalm 139:13-18) Jesus is the Master Craftsman of all time, and of our lives; from the creation of the world down to the most intricate detail of each individual. Hebrews 1:1-3 tells us once again of the creating hand of Jesus, and the word of his power that upholds all things even now: “God, … hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…” Jesus is the heir of all things, or the possessor. Thus, in the beginning, and in our own creation, all things were made through Jesus and for Jesus. We are each, with the rest of the world, called to be Jesus’ inheritance. Jesus is the purpose of Creation: “For of him [Jesus], and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

Pentateuch: Introduction

I am blogging a commentary on the Pentateuch. My aim is to expound the Scriptures in a broad way in order to simplify the whole Bible narrative. My strongest intention is to reveal the person of Jesus Christ throughout the Scriptures, as well as the Trinity. I will be approaching the Old Testament in reference to the whole of Scripture, and especially in light of the New Testament.

The most beautiful times I have ever had in my life were when I encountered Jesus in the Word. My hope is to bring the reader to that simplicity of Christ in the Scriptures. I will merely point at the patterns I have found with my favorite texts and won’t be exhaustive (if there ever were such a thing!), because I know that once the reader catches these glimpses of Jesus throughout the Word of God, and patterns of the story of salvation, it is but a door that has been opened. It is an invitation to seek and find, all the while being sought and found by God.

The Scriptures I present are not arguments to make a point. Rather, I am inviting you to a simple meditation on them. The point is to spend time with God in the Word and hear him. This is the way I meditate on Scripture: I read the verses, write them, and spend some time thinking deeply and focusing in on it, in silence. I then may respond to God with listening to hear his voice, thanking him, committing to obey him, telling him my thoughts, and asking him my questions, according to the passage.

What is the reason behind a Christ Centered approach?: See my post: “Jesus is the full revelation of the Father

Jesus is the full revelation of the Father

We look at Jesus Christ because he is the fulfillment of all the Scriptures, and is the greatest revelation of God.  In the past God spoke through the prophets, but now He has spoken by His Divine Son. Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory, and “the express image of his person”:

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:” (Hebrews 1:1-3)

Jesus is the fulfillment of the law and the prophets:

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17-18)

Jesus only does what he sees the Father doing. We look to Jesus to see the Father:

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19)

When the resurrected Lord came to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, he opened up the Scriptures and expounded to them “in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself”. Every book of the Bible points us to Jesus Christ.

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

We search the scriptures to find Jesus Christ, who is life eternal. The Scriptures testify of Jesus.

“And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5: 37-47)

And it so it follows that “…you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:3). When we find Jesus we find the Father and we find ourselves. Therefore, our heart posture towards the Scriptures is to see Jesus, find Him, and be found in Him.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.” (Philippians 3:7-15)

Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is among my favorite psalms, (or prayers). Line upon line, it brings blessing upon blessing to the soul by pulling it into a hunger for God’s Word and ways . For there is a promise (Hebrews 11:6): “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” -Sermon on the Mount 

Hebrews 11:6: “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

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“Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.” (Psalm 119:18-19)

“Open thou mine eyes…” we pray, for that supernatural help of the Holy Spirit, who is so needed to enlighten our minds to truly understand and see the wonders of the Scriptures.

Psalm 16

“O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:3)

Some admire and extend towards the excellency found in those the world deems honorable, famous, and rewarded for outstanding achievements. But we are taught by David that the excellent of the earth are the holy ones of the Lord. “In whom is all my delight”, in whom “my goodness extendeth” to reach and surpass: the saints, the excellent.

All gain of skill, wealth, and honor may only find its fulfillment in the offering of it up to Jesus and unto the glory of God. Unto whom all such things were created: “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36). As it is written, “praise him according to his excellent greatness.” (Psalm 150)

“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psalm 16:9-10)

All of our hope is in Jesus’ resurrection. As He has died, we die unto ourselves, and as He was raised, we raise in our new life. The anchor of our soul is not in the deepest sea, but in the heights of heaven (Hebrews 6:13-20). We go from glory to glory.

Romans 6:5-9:
“For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”

“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:10-11)

In this verse David poetically predicts the resurrection of Jesus. To the right hand of the Father, the resurrected Lord has ascended (Acts 2:33). Jesus is fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore. All holy desire and pleasure is found in Him, and all unholy is a false manifestation of Him and his good gifts. Sin mocks his freedom, love, unity, power, and glory that he so desires to give us. Therefore, most “pleasurable” sin is a misdirected desire for the Garden of Eden. But we were made for true glory. We were made for true beauty.