Tag Archives: study

Opposites?

I stumbled on to something today, while studying something else.

It is always like that with me, I will be researching some theme, word, or story in the scriptures and I ‘see’ something else that relates to some other story or theme. All tho it gets me sidetrack from my original studies, I welcome an ‘AHA’ moment anytime!

Everyone knows what it means by using ‘opposites’ in a conversation, right? When you tell some one directions to a restaurant either to turn right or left at the corner of 2nd street, or you tell them that the earth is round, and they say it is flat, or that things are either black or white. It is an ‘either or’ kind of thing.

Now, sometimes we might go just by our ‘assuming’ of what is read by the first condition of a supposedly either or statement, because we are used to it.

I think we may have done this with actually a statement in the bible, and used it throughout the bible as a definite presupposition. It comes in Genesis 2: 9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let’s look at this, starting with the second part of the verse, The tree of Life is in the midst of the garden and the tree of knowledge of good and evil is too. Did you see any opposite statements in that narrative? Neither did I.

In fact, there wasn’t anything that looked close to it. It was like it said “life and Knowledge” as the basic message of it. We have to start with the first statement of that there was “a Tree of Life, for this to be an “opposite’ scenario the last condition of the statement had to say “a Tree of Death”. But it doesn’t.

This is actually an avenue of ‘self acknowledgment ‘or ‘self identity’. This avenue, which if we break it down is one of the precursors of what we of society have called the period of time as “The Enlightenment” period where we have gone outside the realm of God and chose a realm of our own. This could be first ‘sign’ of the ‘individualistic narrative that was introduced into the gospel, altho it has always pointed to the ‘NT’ period for that. We can use this ‘use of knowledge of good and evil’ as a spiraling to the opposite of good, especially with a dose of ‘evil’. Nothing good usually comes with playing with evil, pun intended.

Let’s start with the obvious, (This here is exactly what I talk about is the issue of ‘the lack of biblical knowledge’ of the christians) I have used in my studies the ‘opposite’ method of some of my thinking. If we have been ‘offered’ a ‘Tree of good and evil’ for your use, then that would mean you didn’t have it to begin with, right. So God is giving you the ability to have it to use. I don’t know if we would understand the ‘concept of good and evil’ but for the sake of the argument let’s say we do. Satan says later, “that we are the same as God if have this knowledge of good and evil.” Digging deep into God’s world can and should lead us to the inner Spirit of His intentions. But in basic language, we have chosen to go on our own.

Now I know what you are going to say. That by knowing the things that have been said in the scriptures that ‘Our not choosing the Tree of Life’, automatically means “Death”. We have to take this argument just one more step deeper to find the ‘Truth’. Sometimes we can find the ‘Truth’ by what it doesn’t say. Yup.

Wouldn’t God if He was to give an ‘ultimatum'(this is what it is), He would of just said, “Do you want to pick an ‘apple from the tree of Life or the apple from the Tree of Death? If you want to go deeper still, if this would of been the question, I am thinking two things, one if I had chosen ‘Tree of Death’, wouldn’t I have been stricken dead instantly! Two, Who in their right mind would of not chose ‘Life’. (assuming we knew what life and death actually meant, yes this comes into play).

The Narrative of the story continues, which just all by itself, should tell us something. Did you ‘hear’ it? Did you ‘see’ it?

This scenario of the second tree, the ‘Tree of good and evil’ is an open ended scenario. There is that road that will get us back to the “Tree of Life”. Road back. Now, if you realize that it wasn’t you or me that built that road, It was already there. Then we must realize that the God of Creation built it.

Now, I don’t know if that road was yellow(OZ) or not, but I somehow think it might be stained with the color of ‘Red’.

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How does one discern God?

For me it is a couple of things, Studying the word, and Studying other people or groups that are discerning God.

Now, when I am studying for myself I am eclectic in my ways, I do not have(yet) a proven methodology of just doing one thing at a time. I am doing probably 10 things at a time, which I seem to like, because I haven’t changed much over the years. I have curiosities of different subjects on my mind at all times it seems so I am trying to tackle all of them at the same time. I am curious. This should be every christian in their walk with God. Never going without that everlasting water to feed us God.

Those that do not feel that they only need to spoon fed a drop of water on a certain day, seems to be just asking for it. How can one be ‘satisfied’ all week long, with just a spoonful? As was Paul when He was a pharisee was a zealous pharisee. He was a 100% pharisee. It was also the case when He became a disciple of Christ, He was fully enveloped into being one with Christ. Paul says so in multiple verses in his letters to this fact. He knew the scrolls, but he more importantly knew what they meant when God and Jesus were orchestrating things on earth and his people to know.

As in the beginning of the 1st century, there was multiple understandings of what God or Jesus was all about. The first issue that had to be worked out was, who Jesus was. Was he a man, was he a prophet, was he imposter,was he devil, was he a god, or was he all of the above? There is time where there is indecision for man to work out the paradigm that was just starting with Jesus on the scene. What did it mean. For the gentiles it was plethora of answers, for their world was wide open to anything. It is for the Jews that it was in their back of their heads, “Was this the ‘Messiah’ that we had been promised?”, How can we tell? People were giving all kinds of answers to these questions. It wasn’t until Jesus started to ask his own disciples(seems weird asking these men that had been following you around for months,who do you think I am?) who do you think I am? It was Peter that said “You are the Messiah”.

Some people believe that it is detrimental to get your hands dirty in ‘knowing’ other peoples mindset to a question or a belief, or a religion, but the significance of this is very important in my mind is that how does one minister to someone without ‘knowing’ them and their viewpoints. I am a believer in knowledge of the other christian beliefs to be able to ‘know’ what is out there to see what you are contending with.

I read. I don’t read just the things that I like. I have multiple books on things I need clarification on,new things, subject matters, people of the bible, history, prophecy,spiritual realm, authors,reference material, outside materials such as apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha , and some other inter-testimonial books. I watch sermons,talks,lectures, debates, and bible studies. It is cool just to listen to things outside the box of my beliefs that it strengthens my standing in my faith, but it also challenges it too. I have to ask myself, why do I believe this or that.

One thing that I have been coming across with people that I talk to in various discussions is the ‘concreteness’ of their stand that it is solidified in stone that this stand is and was the final statement that mankind was to believe in. My question to them is ‘if this was so, then it would of been seen as the ‘way’ for “everyone” in a instance. I believe that ‘we’ are getting close to that point but not yet.

I challenge people to do not sit on your tufit, waiting for you to be spoon fed that teaspoon of water, but to dig into it with a fork and a knife, to not only get the juice but the thick meat and vegetables of that hearty stew of God.

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Standing Up, or not.

I believe in conversation, or maybe even a stronger word, discussion or even debate on christianity and all that it details it in our current moment. I love the descriptive words, the references, the interpretations of the said discussion. It widens the mind of anything that anyone talks about a particular subject. It challenges us to think outside ‘our’ box. I love reading comments on discussion blogs about something that I am interested in, the 60 degrees of answers that I read that tell me alot of things. One thing, that is obviously we are not yet in the state of ‘one mind’ as God wants us to be such as in Phil. 1.27Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one [fn]mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.

With this being said, I find things perplexing when I present things in blogs or discussions on topics of various things that I write or bring up in discussion, and I find no rebuttal of background of their beliefs or of their ‘proof’ of their belief. Now, I am not sure on how to take this ‘blankness’ of rebuttal’ on their face’s, but I have a few ideas as why.

There is one idea is that it is a heritage of belief that has dragged on for generation after generation of the same thoughts and understanding of God,faith, and the bible. It is one that is taking for granted that is one that is discerning because of our lack of knowing for ourselves as truth of God ,faith,and the bible is mute for us, we believe what our previous generation does. But it is also because our ‘beliefs’ are set that we are not being tested by ‘fact checked’ beliefs by not having a need to check the scriptures for ourselves.

Continuing on the last reason of the lack of bible scriptures being attested to the same beliefs, it is in the ‘church’ paradigm that it is prevalent in the structure of embodiment of the body of Christ. There seems to be a very low in our comprehension of the bible. Although there is a few standouts of theology minded people who are earnest in the bible studies and research and loving the word. There seems to be not all of the ‘body’ that is fitting into this ‘knowledge’ of the scriptures.

I am one of those very studious people that love to dig into various questions that have been presented to me and I will search and dig until I find the answer. My joy is staying in the realm of God and his ways to be in the mind of God, and Spirit of understanding. This should be the attitude of every christian who is follow God and his eternal purpose for his ‘image’.

We must push ourselves to be loved by God, and for us to Love Him even more to do everything that is ‘of’ Him. Including the reading and understanding the ultimate goal of God to have a ‘people,a world, and be their God’ for eternal eons.

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Filed under New Perspective, Organic Church, the Way

Let’s get past ‘face value’

Studying any book or subject takes more than just reading the item. It is opening our eyes and looking at the similar or contrasting word pictures that are being shown throughout the book or the bible. We have to look diligently and keenly into everything that is being presented to us.

God is mysterious in all his ways. He is spiritual in all His directions. The scriptures are a narrative storyline of God, His Kingdom and His people. If only it could be so simple. But it wasn’t, or isn’t. This is why our interest should guide us to want to dig deep into God’s word. This journey is not just a quick remedy of doing one thing to say that you have accomplished it. It is a long and tedious journey to get even close to say your even started on the journey.

I believe that in my journey, that I can say that I have learned alot in my own personal study and research,reading books, listening to authors,speakers,new information, old information,things I agree on and things I disagree with, but I have always ‘looked’ outside the box of my usual understanding or what you could say was my traditional belief. My view is now wide and open to all of God’s influence with people and things.

*I was going to expand on this subject in another blog, but I have decided to add it here*

I believe that we have a christian problem of staying in a box, once we say we are a believer. We are caught up in ‘denominational’ thinking or at least a ‘concrete’ and can’t be influenced by anything I hear or see that we hurt ourselves by not being open to anything, and I mean anything that we deem out of another box. It is this kind of constitutionalism that can kill christianity in a heartbeat. I can see that this is what did happen in the time of Luther and his revolt from Catholicism. It started with a thing that was different from another and just expanded from there.

What we need to know and understand that ‘Christianity’ has not yet been perfected in it’s perfect state, no matter what we ‘americans’ think! It has been a work in motion! It will not be in the Holy and Perfect state until God says His bride is ready. I have come to realize these last few months that this constitutionalism of any particular religion has created alot of damage to christianity. We have been put ourselves in this little box of an ‘identity’ and refuse to been seen as anything else.

One aspect that I have noticed that we have done is to do the ‘church hopping game’ where we go and just hop to another ‘building’ to see if it satisfies our ‘needs’,for now. But it is much worse than this, we are set in our ways of ‘believing’ in ‘something’, whether it be the stance of believing in God’s plan for salvation, His way of doing worship, or something that is an immovable concept in your mind and you will not move on it.

I do believe that some where down the road we will be all in agreement on What God’s eternal purpose is for all of us will be. But it will take some groundbreaking moves on our part to change, our understanding, our ‘seeing’ God on who He really is.

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Trying to get past the fluff

I want to start the John series in the next few days. I was sidetracked saturday with an long and intense chat on facebook with a few friends. It was a topic of one’s friends theology and the opposing view, mine. There were four guys discussing the subject thru out the day, 12 hours later we wrapped it up! We all brought up our thoughts and beliefs on the subject to sway our justification for our beliefs. It is this that I seek to gain the influence of other people to bring out people and their foundation of faith in God.

It was in this discussion that it came to me, that christianity has looked for salvation in the scriptures, mainly in the new testament and cherry picked verses to create a scenario for saving. It has been a concern for christians on the ‘How’ we may be reinstated to our original status. It is when we justify the varying verses to connect each other to make a plan of salvation. What we must realize that God has had the plan of working with his creation from the time of denial of God’s authority. The lack of starting with the whole storyline of this saving journey from the starting with an example of people such as the Jewish people of Canna. There is a lack of knowledge of the deeper themes, types, foreshadow, allegory, and most of all the eternal purpose of God.

There is not a ‘knowing’ of the whole storyline of God and His Eternal Purpose throughout the scriptures.

It is the fact that christianity has separated the story of Israel from itself, that has started the confusion of the storyline that God created. Another problem with this storyline is that Christianity has changed the story to be an individual story of salvation, rather than the ‘whole of Creation’ which God is telling us from day one from Genesis.

When we set ourselves ‘straight’, in our theology of God, we will not only be amazed but excited for the whole world. Let me just say this straight up and get it over with, Denominations have killed the Christian experience. Let me explain why.

Denominations were created by men who stood for a structure of beliefs in the aspects of an institution. It was designed for the foundation and the walls not to be penetrated by other beliefs or exploring of others. For whatever reason this is also a trap to keep people ‘in’ a vacuum of belief and not ‘let’ or trap the group into ‘not’ looking outside this realm.

This is the ‘issue’ that I was coming across with my discussions with some of the participants on the subject. There seems to be a lack of understanding of the bible and its meaning. Christians need to first ‘read’ the Bible, from front to back! Then next study the bible from front to back! Someone once asked me “How long should one read the bible and know it” my answer was the program preached on sunday to read it in a year, or two years. I told them the “I thought it should be around 50 yrs or so, if that.” Which took them back at my answer. I personally have been engaged in the study of the bible for around 20 years.

This is one of the reasons that I have pushed in the last 10 years to living and saying this that we need to separate ourselves from the model of institutions, to escape the confinement of said rules of salvation. Being a christian(believing in God) should drive us to search the word and to eat it’s words to actually ‘know’ God. This is our desire to be in him and Him in us.

Let us be able to take it upon ourselves that God wants us His People to ‘be’ with Him, eternally forever.

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Filed under Deeper Understanding, Kingdom of God

An Epistle of Christ

I am always reading books. I have alot of books. I don’t read them to just say that I’ve read them but I read them so that I understand what the author is trying to tell me. After all, this is what every author is trying to do, no matter what the genre you read.

My current book is the “Israel’s law and the Church’s faith” Paul and his recent interpreters. Like most books that I read they are not your average read a book in a day thing. No, they are ones that you have to read, then think and ponder, then reread it again, and to check the notes on the said paragraph and check the references in the bible for clarity. This is a very painstaking way to just read a book but it is the way one should make sure you understand what you are reading. What is really funny to think about is this is the way that Christians should read the bible, in a very systematic way with using the references and notes as guides to ‘see’ what the ‘author’ is really saying.

I say this by the fact that in this latest book I’m reading it mentions 2 Corinthians 3. 4-18 as a verse which backs up the author’s point. It is in this scripture that I see that it includes verses 2-3 which I will write.

2 Corinthians 3.2 Ye are our epistle, written in our hearts know and read of all men: 3. being made manifest that ye are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written no with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God’ not in tables of stone, but in tables that hearts of flesh.

verse v also And such confidence have we through Christ to God-war: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves: but our sufficiency is from God.

Now this is a very important ideal that we must ‘see’ in today’s paradigm of the christianity that we live in. For it is a very subtle but important thing to know it the setting of God. You see, Paul was talking to the corinthians thru letters, when in his building them up in to continuing what they were doing in their community, He tells them that they have been an a ‘epistle’ to him as a influence of their love of God.

It was because Paul seen and felt the Love of God in them as He himself had that the Spirit of God was with them in the same way. He tells them they are of the same mold because their are both filled with the Spirit of God, making them equal in God.

This insight that I had to stop and look it to it as I was reading, is the reason it takes me awhile to go thru my theology books. I am always stopping to ‘see’ something that is a ‘aha’ moment in my studying. But with no regrets I am always chalking it up to increasing my knowledge of Christ in my life.

To take this a even further in the scheme of things, knowing that we are one in the spirit of God with our spirit of Christ in us, we must ‘see’ that it is and should be Christ leading us,all of us into Christ’s presence of His Kingdom(Heaven). If you didn’t understand the former sentence(I am always hoping that people understand what I am trying to say, in a indirect way,sometimes this is futile, but I try anyway) This should tell us that ALL OF US(no titles included) are the community of God, we will someday be joined with other communities of God to be considered the BODY OF CHRIST!

It is mission to understand this and then to act upon it by being an ‘epistle’ of all of man!

P.S. Still not finished with the book!

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Knowing Scripture

2 Timothy 3. 16 Every Writing is God-breathed, and profitable for teaching, for conviction, for setting aright, for instruction that is in righteousness,(YLT)

Romans 4.3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

Act 1:16Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture would be fulfilled, *said, “I am thirsty.”

Scripture is important. In the course of history of man and of christianity, oral speech was king, it wasn’t until their was a need for man and christianity to have it written down for reference for personal or for a group. They was the norm for all to agree to for posterity’s sake. This did not take away the importance of the speech or the actual words of the one who was being quoted.

These scriptures along with multiple others are the assurance of God’s plan for mankind to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the “Word’ of God. God’s desire is for us. It is thru the communication of himself and his selected representation of the first ‘Godly’ people the Israelites that we ‘hear’ the word given to us to live by and to know.

Gal 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! This is to my point that it is our failure to ‘know’ the storyline of all the scriptures as an assembly of people that can walk and talk our way thru these scriptures to know Him, our creator,Lord and Savior.

I want to press upon you the need to get together with some of your friends in fellowship and read slowly and earnestly the WORD of God and ‘SEE’ what is written down from the oral tradition of God, His People and His Kingdom. This has to be High Priority for christians to come together as one in God, and walk and talk with him.

Start a small bible study this week with no more than 5 people to keep it simple with plenty of opportunity for everyone to talk,listen, ask questions about the scripture. Most importantly is to not have anyone in charge! This is to be a uninhibited bible study with no ‘leader’ in charge. This is for complete understanding of the scriptures with alot of questions and alot of different answers with the Spirit of the Lord, giving the ultimate answer to all.

Good Bible study to all, and Let me know how it goes!

In Christ’s name, Doug

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Let’s get deeper!

I have blogged on this subject a few times in the past with great intentions of making a stir of things.

With the new environment that we live in these days, I believe it is more relevant to do so, studying the word in small groups, either with family members or a few friends. I would say no more than 10 people to keep it personal and not as a meeting with a leader. I have been in a few of these groups a couple of times, and the atmosphere was very good in conducive to speaking up in the group to chime in with your speaking.

These types of get together is key to broadening your mindset of things of the scriptures, but to also become a consensus of one mind after awhile of the main message of the bible. One thing that has helped me understanding the ‘of one mind’ mentality is not just writing blogs, but to read blogs of other people and then to watch the comments come in to the blog of various opinions and statements. For one, it was very entertaining but more importantly showed me on how far apart everyone is on the meaning of the scriptures, most of reply’s are in a more legalistic way. Which bothers me even more. But you understand where I am coming from, it was informational to read this various opinions of things, but it also told me that we are all are not of one mind.

The journey that I have been on for the last say twelve years has been an interesting one. I have studied alot of different things from history to spiritual realms of God’s world, from author’s beliefs, to study of men of the bible, to commentaries on just about everything. But it is that one thing that seems to be missing from this equation, God. What does God say.

We seem to actually dismiss God in the storyline of things that are being ‘preached’,studied, or wrote about. God’s plan is nowhere being discussed or even know where to look for it. But it is there!

It is actually on the first page. and the last page.

I have discussed this paradigm with a few people and they are thoroughly confused in what I am talking about. The first page? Genesis? What does that have to do with anything? But it does!

Just as with God we make our plans for things, when we want to make something, when we plan a vacation, when we have a project, we have a plan. The first thing out of our mouths is ‘I am going to make ________. This is your mission statement. Plain and simple. So this is exactly what God did. God said “I am going to make my people”, and He did.

Now, obviously there was a few bumps along the way, but God’s plan has not stopped in becoming what He set out to do. His plan is still active. But most importantly, it is HIS plan. This will come to fruition in Revelation 21,22.

It is when God’s people get bogged down in the small details, or the which is right details that we make God’s people continuing to walk in the wilderness instead of coming to Him!

It is this kind of discussion with people around God’s storyline of the scriptures, not man’s. God is in His World to make it his, and we are showing him how to make it? God’s plan or Eternal Purpose(as I say, or my blog site name says) is what we should be trying to ‘SEE’ in God’s Word!

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Backstory!

Do you ever come across something in your bible study that goes against your belief that you have now?

This is happening to me in a lot of studying that I have been doing in the last seven years. I am not on purpose looking for things that are obviously different, but I am looking at the foundation of the christian faith and how it started. It is different from what we see now in our ‘christian’  life.

I know that statement comes out of left field, for some, but you must stop and think and relook at the scriptures, and also the back story of christianity, to get the actual meaning of the scriptures. Back story is very,very important, do not take it lightly, no matter what somebody tells you. You see, only now when someone tells you a story today, and they tell you about something happened to them and what it made them do,say, or react can you totally understand how they would tell the story, you know the background of it all.

But if I was to tell you, a story, from the early 1800’s, you would need to know some background of the story to fully understand on why,where,how, when,and what was going on in my story, or else you would come to some different perspective of the story than I  wanted you to get.  So it is with the same argument that we must use to understand the story of the scriptures. I believe this with all of my heart that this is why we have come with some different messages throughout our reading of the word.

Reading of a back story in a time period and of a society, does not infringe on anything of the bible’s authoritative premise, but it enhances the story to let us be fully aware of what was going on and why. “……and you were there!” is an appropriate phrase to use if we were to put ourselves in the ‘biblical narrative’  in real-time. It would just blow our socks off, if we were to be tele-ported into the scenes of biblical times. I am also convinced that we would come away from the biblical story with a lot of different belief’s and understandings.

It is sometimes frowned upon in some christian circles to not look at or use any ‘outside material’ to further ourselves in biblical knowledge. But what is not understood with biblical studies is that we have taken everything for face value, or the black and white of it. This will just not do!! We need to just go back 200 yrs to see that things changed on the way we perceived things and the reformation parted ways with Catholicism. It is with Martin Luther and John Calvin, that led the way with a different belief system in the scriptures.

This is even more reason to  further ‘your’ study, not anyone’s, or anyone’s group but your’s to make it concrete in your belief. This method of searching the scriptures about the people,land,leaders,societies,gods,kingdoms,kings,rulers, and beliefs will ultimately make God’s story come alive!!

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A Foundation

Do most christians have a foundation of knowledge or insight to the scriptures?

Is it necessary?

Do we have others do it for us?

Do we actually study not read the bible, we have been accustomed to just read the bible, which is almost a sin all by itself. We have been told to read the bible in one year, or two year plan’s like it is a race?

We have been taught to read the stories of the bible as children, to learn the lesson of the time. It is like a manual of life that can be used when we come across the same storyline for us to  use in our time of need.

This is what we have been taught, this is what we have done thru tradition or ritual, but is it the purpose of the scriptures?

I believe that it is so much more and so much more relevant to us if we see the bible as a story, a story of God and his kingdom.

For this to happen tho, we have to change the way we look at the bible, it is a story of God,his kingdom, and where they live.

It starts in Genesis 1. Enjoy the story!

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