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Friday: Further Thought ~ Why Is Interpretation Needed? — 22 Comments

  1. Interpretation does not mean that we understand everything. It is part of the journey. Even though I am now a retiree, I have not stopped learning, and I still have unanswered questions. Today's lesson discussed doubts - much of it to do with overcoming doubts. But we need to understand that it is ok to live with unanswered questions and doubts, providing you remember the bits that you are certain about.

    I have never had the inclination to do rock-climbing but I have seen rock-climbers in action on El Captian at Yosemite. They were so far up the rock face that I could only see them with the aid of my telephoto lens. It was enough to scare me spitless - especially when I was standing right underneath them. One thing I have learned about rock climbing though, is that you hold fast too you anchor points while exploring for a new one. And you test that new anchor point out throughly before you trust it. I wonder how many times a rock climber entertains doubts about an anchor point and never knows whether it would hold their weight or not, simply because they were unable to test it fully.

    The lesson for us is that it is ok to have doubts and questions that never get answered if your spiritual anchor points are safe and secure. You do not let your doubts rule your spiritual experience. It becomes a serious issue when you let your doubts colour the rest of your experience.

    Paul understood this:

    Rejoice evermore.
    Pray without ceasing.
    In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
    Quench not the Spirit.
    Despise not prophesyings.
    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
    Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1 Thes 5:14-22 KJV

  2. I have had a lot to say this week about the topic of Bible interpretation.

    The bottom line is that there are essentially two views of God that are claimed to be supported by scripture.

    On the one hand we have a view of God as giving us freedom of choice, but if we choose against Him/His way, He will then have to destroy us in the name of 'justice'.

    On the other hand we have a view of God as giving us freedom of choice, but if we choose against the only way of life (that He embodies and is therefore 'His way'), we will relinquish life and pass on into oblivion. Although this is not God's desire for any of us, God will - with heart-breaking sadness - free/release us to such a choice and its inherent outcome.

    Some people may see little or no difference in these two views. Others see a positively life-changing difference...
    (This is not a judgmental opinion - just an observation.)

    • Hi Phil. Which of the "essentially two" views of God is consistent with raising the wicked at the second resurrection only to have them perish afterwards?

      What would be the purpose of the second resurrection if the lost will only "relinquish life and pass on into oblivion"? Why even wake them up if they are already "passed"?

      What purpose does the public nature of the second resurrection and its conclusion have if not to fully display God's love AND justice?

      • Hi Sieg.

        Valid questions.

        Both views are consistent. The public nature of the second resurrection and its conclusion is indeed to fully and transparently display absolutely every facet God’s loving justice - but not the punitive form of ‘justice’ that is most typically portrayed. God’s higher form of justice is based on - and therefore manifests expression of - inherent outcomes/consequences, not imposed ones.

        Sin is an inherently terminal condition/state - just as God described at the outset (Genesis 2:17).

  3. I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord who made heaven and earth.
    Ps 121:1

    How many are blinded to the fact that our help cometh from the Lord. Many look to the government for help, to science/ist, friends and family. God is not retained in their thoughts. It is God who giveth all good things. 1 Tim 6:17. While people would/may help us, all they have comes from God.

    Good reading for today, how to study the bible.
    Qu #1.
    How do our worldview, our education, and our culture influence our interpretation of Scripture?
    Many times if we are unsure of our christian stand with Christ, those views will confuse us and we will find ourselves soon without a mediator.
    Many who held slavery in place who were Christians will use the bible to prove they were doing right because slavery are shown in the bible. Some cultures still believe in slavery. The bible says there is a time for everything.
    Some people who are SDA go to church on Sabbath while their workers are employed in active work for them on Sabbath.

    Education- growing up I saw the office of a Pastor to be a glorified office. Many used the text Deuter 28:13 to show that the "man of God" should be the head and not the tail so he can have all the most expensive things for self and family, he went to and sent his children to the most expensive schools, live in the affluent neighborhood, drive a nice vehicle. Many christians still holds this text but did not read the reason for that text and what is expected of us as christian by the Lord before that text can be realized. I am using the text to the saying of many. But there is nothing wrong with having those things above as long as we correctly understood the text.

  4. Interpretation – Helps us to understand the bible more in depth.

    Presupposition – Truth is often bent based on presupposition. Coming from a strong Hindu culture when the going gets tough I fall back to the trap of thinking everything is based on Karma.

    Translation – Bible is the most translated book in the world. This allows natives to read and comprehend the scriptures in their own language this enriches the experience of understanding God’s love for humanity.

    Culture – “The official crime statistics for 2016 (India) shows a woman was raped every 13 minutes; six women were gang-raped every day; a bride was murdered for dowry every 69 minutes; and 19 women were attacked with acid every month.” https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-42436817

    How can we expect a culture mistreating woman so bad to recover and accept them as equal to men? We see the effect of the culture in our GC sessions standing against women's ordination. It is only when the cultural norm is broken, we can expect a change in the behavior of the people. That change can only come when God’s unconditional love for men and women are embraced in its fullness.

    Doubt – A seed for deception. It initiated the fall of humanity even now it is not the big events that trips us. It is the subtle, mundane not worthy of our consideration is how the destruction of our relationship begins to breakdown.

    Distortion – Before we know it our theological foundation is shattered because the distortion of interpretation had led us to deviate from the Word of God. We can no longerdefend our faith saying, “It is written”.

    Trinity – A subject trips most people because we are always processing based on our limited knowledge. We try to box God into thinking Son must be inferior to the Father. We must leave all our thoughts at the foot of the cross. That which seems foolish unto us will bring glory to our Lord.

    I don’t understand many things in the bible. I have confidence in one thing this one thing permeates above all things God is Love.

  5. The Bible must interpret itself, thus we have to be free from our own! The important thing is how much we allow these interpretations to impact our lives, given our reasoning!

    If sin separate us from God, and if our nature is sinful, it is not natural to get close to something that is against our own nature. Thus, we need to cultivate goodness, by putting some effort into it.

    The lost coin parable is something easier to be aquainted at Jesus time. Perhaps today we could think for example as the coin being our cell phone... rsrs

  6. Mankind loves words! Especially its own. Libraries all over the world are full of 'words'. We love to think them, write them and use them in all types of settings, especially when debating controversial issues. As a byproduct, they often also cause a loss of time otherwise employed for good.

    The following thought has crossed my mind and, I admit, is a bit facetious. What if the reason that we love to use words so much is 'because we have invested our own 'brain power' to come up with them'? They are primarily used to make a statement about 'self' - OUR opinion.

    Just take a moment and consider the following:

    'Interpretation' -
    judgement, meaning, perception, analyses, clarification, explanation, reading translation.

    Synonyms for the word 'Interpretation' -
    explanation - elucidation - expounding - exposition - explication - exegeses - clarification - definition - simplification - analysis - reading - evaluation.

    Is there another word which can be expressed in as many ways - all meaning the same thing - 'Interpretation'?
    This should put up the warning flag when using 'words'.

    It also indicates to me that they are a trap which the eager user of words can fall into:
    'The more words he/she uses, the more convoluted the message could become.' Maybe it's because we just love to hear 'our mind speak' that we use so many words.

    To ponder the Word of God takes time to bring results, which we will have plenty off if we stop using words to express our 'self'.

    Yes, God uses words to express Himself, though, preferably as few as possible. The real work of 'bringing home'/interpreting' the meaning of His words is done by His Holy Spirit.

    HE really means what He says but uses only a few words to do so! Like: 'God's Spirit is the Light to this world', or: 'we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth'; the emphasis is on the word WORSHIP - meaning, we engage in worship when we use/apply God's Truth. I know, I just 'explained' the word of God. 🙂

    John 1:1-9 -
    Reading this passage very carefully, we can 'see' that the Word was God and was also WITH God. The Word being the power of the Light of God's Holy Spirit.
    v.4: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
    v.5: And the Light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
    v.7: John came to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might BELIEVE.
    v.9: Jesus is the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

    John 16:13-15 -
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself; but WHATSOEVER HE SHALL HEAR,that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.
    He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you.
    All things that the Father hath are mine; therefore said I, that HE SHALL TAKE OF MINE, and shall shew it unto you.

    What 'things' does the Father have that are also Jesus'? What did Jesus say with 'therefor said I, that 'he shall take of mine'?
    As I understand it, it means that Jesus in the Father has the power that leads us into all Truth, and that this power is God's Holy Spirit which reveals the Creator's Will to us.

    Instead of chasing after factoids in the Scriptures and using our own words to explain them, we would do well to focus our attention on understand the work of God's Holy Spirit in our lives.
    God's Holy Spirit's impact is indispensable/vital to our new nature's thinking and living - we can not live without it.

  7. How do I interpret John 10:10?
    If I consider it in the context of the whole passage John 10:1-18 I understand Jesus is saying follow me because I care about you more than anyone else even more than my life, I want a good life for you now and eternal life in the new world. Anyone else might promise a good life now but he is selfish and cannot give you eternal life only destruction.

    Some other people separate the text from its context and state that Jesus is saying he will never destroy anyone and in fact it is impossible for him to destroy anyone. But that cannot be true because it contradicts what Jesus says in other passages like the two below:

    Destroyed them all
    Luke 17:26-30 KJV And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (27) They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (28) Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; (29) But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (30) Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

    Son of Man sent his angels to destroy them in fire
    Mat 13:36-43 KJV Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. (37) He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (38) The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; (39) The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (40) As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. (41) 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; (42) And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (43) Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

  8. When interpreting the Bible it is good to remember it talks about life on this earth and eternal life on the earth made new, when sharing our understanding we need to be clear which we are discussing.

    The LORD grants probationary life to all good or bad Matt 5:45 until His Second Coming, then the final decision will be made to whom He will give eternal life Rev 22:11-15.
    During this probationary time the LORD does not immediately withdraw His gift of life from all of those who reject His Principles of Life. However because He is Sovereign He reserves the right to withdraw His gift of probationary life from some if He believes it is appropriate and it serves to further His Plan of Salvation, like the Flood and the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah.
    Those who reject the LORD's Princples of life do not relinquish the gift of probationary life, they hang onto it with all their might, they also believe the serpent that they will receive eternal life as well. They do not quietly slip into oblivion, they are fighting against their fate until the last moment Rev 29:8,9.

    • Shirley - I can see that you still wrestle with understanding who and what is doing the destructive act.

      It is clear to me who does the destruction and how and why, but being able to explain it by using words is very difficult.
      Phil has this topic so close to his heart that, it not being clearly understood by the fellowship of believers, causes him great agony.
      I believe, that you will come to a better understanding with time.

      I wish that our SSnet forum could offer a feature set up for retrieving all contributions bible students over time submitted. This would greatly help to point to previously used references and explanations.

      I attempt to start my explanation with: always 'consider the source'!
      God the Father, God's Holy Spirit and Jesus are one, and the source of their 'creative and sustaining' power is perfect - perfect Light. We understand that there was and is no malice or evil intend in the source.
      Therefore, the source and executor of malice as expressed through destruction can not be the Trinity.

      Only God's Holy Spirit power of Creation, declared to be perfect, resides in the Trinity.
      The 'spirit of destruction' is not found there. This destructive spirit is evidenced and manifested in the effects of its destructive 'spiritual power', its fall-out effecting the whole created universe. Its source is: Lucifer -

      Lucifer's original assigned task was to maintain God's creation in the same Spirit it was commissioned to him - God's Spirit. Lucifer's rebellion, the attempt to take unto himself powers and authority not assigned to him, caused the rift/war in heaven. He became 'Satan', embodying all the characteristics associated with and attributed to evil.

      Due to his position in Heaven, this spirit of rebellion became an influence upon the created order. Through Lucifer's 'disobedience/self-elevation/'power-grab- attempt, though ultimately to be proven unsuccessful, his now deformed/changed, though still operating spiritually fallen forces became the agents spreading malignant influences and destruction.

      This spiritually manifested force arose/came into play with only one purpose:
      To usurp/change the power governing the established spiritual and structural integrity of the heavens and earth and, if accomplished, establish a new law.

      This malignant force destroyed a third of the angels and has the power to destroy everyone not 'taking up the whole armor of God to be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.'

      Through this force, God's good Name/Identity is also greatly being maligned and distorted. God through the Faith of Jesus has established who who will hold the authoritative power and we know who won the battle.

      Another effect is that Christians include and attribute 'destructive intent' to God's Spirit. Mankind is enticed by Satan to question the perfect Agape/Love of the Creator.

      Where Scripture speaks regarding destruction, God uses man's words to describe the reason and acts of destruction. But it is a spiritual battle and fought between spiritual powers.
      Please, consider that the war over who will hold the SUPREME, authoritative power has started in heaven. Lucifer was cast out of Heaven onto earth and, in his evil spiritual power, 'seeks whom he may devour'. This includes efforts to distort the image of God and His Truth.

      Just as Daniel could not fully comprehend the matters regarding the time of the end as explained by the Archangel, we can accept that we also struggle when sorting the matters related to dominions and the heavenly powers associated with them.

      Eph.6:10-18 - v.12 - warns us about the principalities, powers, rulers of darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high place. This should open our eyes and cause our minds to comprehend and accept that it is these spiritual powers and principalities, unseen by man, that wield powers to destroy or protect.

      As our old mind is undergoing its rebirth, spiritual matters become clearer, though the process takes time. My understanding of spiritual matters was helped when I realized that we are living in different dimensions - heaven is in a different dimension than earth, but God has decided to bring both together!

      For now, God is in Heaven - we on Earth. Both communicate, trying to find the 'vehicle' that can best describe the issues at hand - we use prayer, He uses prophecy and His Holy Spirit.

      Heaven's order is of a different sort than the on on Earth, but their authority governs the affairs of man. God's ways are higher than the ways of man.
      War in Heaven was fought differently than war on Earth. God's Spirit will be the victor on earth as He was in Heaven.
      Heavenly and earthly winners and losers are differently defined - the eternal life for the overcomer, eternal, non-existence for the one who declines the offer.

      What makes understanding this struggle so extremely important to us is, that we know that our Salvation is at the heart of the powers of God's Good vs. Satan's evil.
      The books of Daniel and the Revelations are full of metaphors, which can only be revealed/interpreted and understood through insight given by God's Holy Spirit.
      Throughout the Scriptures, our understanding of God's revelations to mankind is being obscured by our limited understanding and interpretation of His Word because they are
      expressed using our 'words'.
      But with the aid of God's Holy Spirit, understanding increases.

      At the end, because of sin's manifold effects on the fabric of the original creation, God's creative, spiritual power as expressed through His Agape Love will need to create all things new.

      We will receive new heavens and a new earth, all governed and administered by and through the undivided, unchallenged authority of God, still the same source of all that was declared 'good' in the original heavens and earth.

      Rev.21:1-5; Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13 - Satan with his spirit of destruction can not and is not part of this new creation.

      In conclusion -
      Please, be open to understand and accept that God's all inclusive, creative power and authority which gave us our Savior Jesus is not the same power that destroys His Creation.

      The destructive power came about through the war which cause the rift in the universe, which is expressed through Satan's spirit of destruction.

      God overcame evil with His Agape Love. To God be the Honor and Praise!

  9. Bridgette, I see you are struggling to understand that the LORD does destroy as His Word clearly states, no matter how anyone tries to explain it away. Yes, the LORD doesn't do it out of malice or evil intent, He does it out of a loving heart, which is broken, when He, for the good of all, decides to withdraw His probationary gift of life from some.
    I agree with your description of Satan's character, he is malignant and evil, he would like to lead us astray like did one third of the angels (he didn't destroy them), like he did with Eve telling her God would not take away her life (destroy her), he said you will not die. Do you believe the serpent? Was God lying?
    I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your mind to understand that destruction is not in and of its self evil it is the intention behind that is either evil (satan) or is for the furtherance of the LORD's plan during this probationary time and His ultimate plan to completely eradicate evil for eternity.

    • Good morning, Shirley -
      There are two powers at work here - one for good and one for evil. They are both engaged in the affairs of men, but have a source totally separate from each other.

      You seem to look at God as you would at a person. Possibly, this is what causes the problem in the spiritual understanding of God as the Creator and maintainer of His Creation. Though He allows evil to manifest itself in His Creation, this evil is not part of HIS essence.

      Yes, He appears as a men in the form of Jesus with all the characteristics of men, but His essence/core being, is still 'Spirit' manifested in the perfect expression of 'good'.
      He manifests, He regulates and judges everything based on this established law.

      Yes, mountains come down, waters rise and the earth opens up to swallow up, but these are the EFFECTS not His actions, when God's established law has been violated. God's withholding of His mercy and Grace is HIS only act and part in the process of destruction.

      Man violates God's law with his actions by deed and mind/intend - God's response is either Mercy and Grace, or by withholding them, allowing the destructive forces designed to respond to violations of His 'living', established law to respond.

      The identity of the power at work at creation and the maintenance of it, and the identity of the power that destroys due to a violation of God's law rest in two different sources.

      God's attributes cannot be compared to the ones of men, even though they were given the same words/names to describe them.
      God is in the burning bush - but He is not the bush or the fire. The fire, water and the earthquake destroy, but His eternal law remains focused and centered on creating and maintaining.

      God is more than anything that is created - He is also the origin/source of all that is good, having a moral essence. Good is established and known by the disposition and expression of His essence - GOODNESS and LIFE - in Him is no fault. Metaphysically speaking - God is the I AM.

      When God reacts, it is because He build into the law itself the ability to 'judge' and to 'correct' and He is not the executor of His law.
      He has the power to override the powers of His own law. But, if Mercy and Grace are not employed, the response comes through forces and powers established for the purpose of maintaining His law and order.

      Satan has circumvented/gone outside of God's law, trying to establish his own and to cause the universe to be ruled by this law. This law causes destruction because it is in conflict with God's established, unmovable law. The evidence of this ongoing conflict is manifested in the form of 'destruction'. He is also wanting to give God a bad reputation by attributing his own acts to God.

      God has placed His creation under HIS law and authority which is governed His essence - Love and righteousness. Everything outside of this is not of Him or by Him. It's source is the usurper, satan and in him and through him has come the destruction visible in this world.

      God has decided to make a new earth where 'sin/conflict with His law' and its effects can not be part of. This requires an entirely new Creation and is done by the same God of the first Creation.

      If God had anything in Himself that is of a destructive/lawless essence, He would not be able to live in His own Kingdom.

      I am sorry that words are so inadequate to describe who God is and what He does. To give us hope, He gave us Jesus - His Gift to mankind to give evidence that His is law based on unmerited love. Nothing can be added or taken away from this law.

      Whiles we were yet sinners, He loved us!

      • Brigette, It appears that you hold to a different doctrine than I do – it is especially clear when you wrote "God is not the executor of His law"

        I believe that the LORD definitely is the executor of His Law as He clearly states repeatedly in His Word. One example is Rev 12:7-9 when Michael (Son of God) went to war with Satan and cast him out of heaven.
        Another is when Jesus cast the people out of the temple who were profaning it. Matt 21:12-13

        This was your full comment
        "When God reacts, it is because He build (sp) into the law itself the ability to 'judge' and to 'correct' and He is not the executor of His law.
        He has the power to override the powers of His own law. But, if Mercy and Grace are not employed, the response comes through forces and powers established for the purpose of maintaining His law and order."
        To what forces and powers are you referring? Who maintains God’s law?

        I am reminded of Paul's instruction to Timothy:
        2Ti 4:1-4 KJV I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; (2) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own desires shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; (4) And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

        • Brigitte, I want to focus on just part of your sentence, where you wrote:

          He has the power to override the powers of His own law.

          If you see God's Law similar to arbitrary human law, I can see how you could make such a statement.

          However, I believe God's Law is different from human law in that it is not arbitrary. It is an expression of His character, which is self-renouncing love. Thus, the Ten Commandments, for instance, are simply expressions of what it means to live in love to God and one's fellow beings. They can be stated in positive terms like this (my own approximate summary):

          If you accept me as Lord,
          1. You will have no other gods before me.
          2. You will not make images of anything and worship them.
          3. You will not misuse my Name.
          4. You will keep the Sabbath day holy.
          5. You will honor your parents.
          6. You will not murder
          7. You will be faithful to your covenants.
          8. You will respect the ownership rights of others.
          9. You will be transparently honest with your words.
          10. You will be satisfied with whatever you possess.

          Thus, I believe that God cannot violate His own Law (character) and still be the same loving Creator God the Bible portrays.

          How do you explain your statement?

          • Hi Inge -
            I am speaking of the Law as established for the purpose of maintaining the perfect workings of the Universe.
            Yes, the 10 Commandments as given to mankind do never change!

            God executes His Law through/by His established sovereignty - it is He that put it in place, and only He has the authority to change/augment it.
            He will use Mercy and Grace should He find motivation through repentance or other reasons, even though His law as established requires a different response.(the soul that sins will surely die).

            You can find many references in the Scriptures to God having changed his mind. Amos 3:10; Jeremiah 26:13.

            Actually, the Scriptures are a testimony to God's 'change of heart'. Though we should have died because we violated His law in the Garden of Eden, yet did He make for us a way to regain access to everlasting life.

            The most significant change or 'improvement' to His law came, when He chose/decided to do everything in His power to demonstrate that His compassion overrode the effects of His Law.

            He establish that the Power of Forgiveness through repentance should be the new governing power! This power is now stronger than the power of the Law He had originally set in place.
            This new power gains victory over death! (the old Law's effect when responding to transgressions of the Law.)

            He chose to give mankind Jesus, His Son, to mitigate the severity of His Law. Because of Jesus' sinlessness, yet willingness to submit to God's Law which calls for death, God was able to re-calibrate His own Law.
            The sinner did not have to die anymore!!

            As you can see, mankind now can come from death to life because of the profound change God has made to His own Law. It is not any longer life to death !

          • I see God's Law as an expression of His character, which does not change. I see His "Law" as equivalent to His character and His will - the way God functions. His Law is not just the Ten Commandments, but all expressions of His will.

            From the beginning, His character was one of self-renouncing love, as later revealed by Christ on this earth. Remember that Christ said that he who has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:29, John 15:24)

            Thus God's Law cannot be amended or "improved." If God could make "a profound change in His Law," one might argue that God could have changed His Law to save sinners. But it is precisely because His Law (expression of His will) could not/cannot be changed that Christ came to live on this earth to demonstrate the nature and character of God and His Law *and* to bear the penalty of mankind's sin. We are saved by being brought into harmony with God's Law - not just by His death *for* us, but also by His life *in* us.

            Of course, there are also "laws" in connection with the sanctuary services, which are often seen as part of the "law," and these laws were, indeed, changed, because they were part of the system that pre-figured the incarnation and death of Christ. It is notable that these laws were not kept inside the ark that represented the foundation of God's government with the Shekinah (God's presence) manifest above it. They were kept in the *side* of the ark to symbolize their different nature. (Deut 31:26)

        • Hi Shirley -
          Executor: A person who produces or puts something into effect. I see that He delegates to His helpers the powers to execute the law.
          I thought of the executors of the Law of God to be the entities residing in the heavenly kingdom - Eph.6:12. I can see that it is also the 'person', in this case God, which puts something into effect - gives the directive that can be called 'executor'.
          So, God give His Angels/entities the directives and they act upon His directives.

          These principalities, powers and rulers of darkness are the active agents employed in the process of responding to infractions to the law of God. Some are employed for giving blessings - 1 Kings 17:2-6; some are used for destruction - Rev. 7:1.

          Whenever God is 'active' in blessings or curses, it is through His agents. The bolt that opened the ground to swallow the disobedient and rebellious in the wilderness was a demonstration of their powers. Holding back the winds of strife is another demonstration of their powers.
          The 'I AM' hid in a cloud - Moses was not able to stand in His presence - no one can.

          God's law was designed to maintain itself, it was created to do this - self-sustaining, self-healing. When the rift occurred that introduced evil (forces other than obedient to God's established Law), Grace and Mercy and the all overarching Love of God for His creation established a temporary truce.

          God has demonstrated through all times that He is the Creator, Maintainer and the ultimate Healer of His Creation using a multitude of powers to do so.
          Though, He will need to go all the way by making everything new.

          • Brigitte, I confess I'm a little confused by your reply to Shirley here.
            On the one hand, you wrote earlier that "He [God] is not the executor of His lawHe [God] is not the executor of His law," and in this comment you define "Executor: A person who produces or puts something into effect. I see that He delegates to His helpers the powers to execute the law."
            If God delegates "to His helpers the powers to execute the law," is He not then "the executor"? That's the way it normally works on this planet, at least. I think you acknowledge this when you write, "Executor: A person who produces or puts something into effect. I see that He delegates to His helpers the powers to execute the law." But I can't be sure I understand you correctly. So please confirm/deny.

            I recognize that God sometimes uses earthly powers to discipline His children, as is made clear in the prophetic books. In these instances, God takes responsibility for the results.

            Is that what you are confirming when you write,

            These principalities, powers and rulers of darkness are the active agents employed in the process of responding to infractions to the law of God. Some are employed for giving blessings - 1 Kings 17:2-6; some are used for destruction - Rev. 7:1.

            Whenever God is 'active' in blessings or curses, it is through His agents. The bolt that opened the ground to swallow the disobedient and rebellious in the wilderness was a demonstration of their powers.

            ?? If so, we are in agreement.

            It seems to me that in previous comments you have been saying that the bad things that happen to violators of God's Law are always "natural consequences." However, the opening of the earth to swallow up the families of Korah, Dathan and Abiram can hardly be called "natural consequences" without God's direct intervention. In this instance, among others, He tood direct responsibility.

            Surely you are not saying that "These principalities, powers and rulers of darkness" are always "the active agents employed in the process of responding to infractions to the law of God," are you? (That would make the evil powers servants of God - which is the reasoning a certain denomination used to confer sainthood on Judas.)

            I would appreciate your clarifying further so we can understand each other. 🙂

      • Brigitte, you make a rather interesting statement when you write,

        [God] is not the executor of His law. He is not the executor of His law. He has the power to override the powers of His own law. But, if Mercy and Grace are not employed, the response comes through forces and powers established for the purpose of maintaining His law and order.

        Would you mind sharing the biblical basis of this statement?

        I'd also like to know what you see as the difference between God "executing" His law and His establishing "forces and powers" to maintain His law and order. If He uses "forces and powers" to maintain His law and order, is that not exactly the same as His maintaining His law and order?

        • Hi Inge -
          God holds the ultimate responsibility for the proper/perfect execution of His will/law, delegating the execution of His Will/law to heavenly 'hosts' and prophets and whoever is close to His heart.

          Yes, when we look at God's Creation, we can still recognize some of the perfect manifestation of His creative Spirit. The self-sustaining, self-healing capacity of the law of God is still working in His Creation, now augmented by God's Mercy and Grace.

          His Creation was perfect, no Mercy or Grace needed, until the Usurper challenged God for His THRONE - His established, all encompassing Authority.

          I can not fully understand what took place in heaven to enabled the powers of disobedience to manifest as 'evil' - establishing another 'reality' - that is wholly contrary to the established Law of God the Creator. In His law there is no darkness.

          I know, though, that God was ready to respond with employing Mercy and Grace to mitigate the effects of this evil power.
          His all-encompassing Love for His Creation moved Him with compassion to give mankind a way to escape certain destruction. He gave us a new Adam - Jesus and tells us how to find our way back to Him.

          Adam and Eve became a tool for Lucifer use in his effort to wrestle power over Creation away from God. He purposed in his heart to use all powers given to him to establish his own throne of power, his own authority over God's creation - by any means necessary!
          We know what the effects of his disloyalty look like - endless destruction and ultimately death.
          God stands firm, He is not to be moved away from His established Law which is anchored to His Love.

          Our God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, highest Executor of His Own Will as established by His law, tempered with Mercy and Grace uses all obedient powers residing in Heaven and Earth to execute His Plan of Salvation of mankind.
          Eph.6:10-18 gives a glimpse of these powers being employed by God for good, by Satan for destruction.

          We praise God for His desire to use His unfathomable Power of Mercy and Grace on behalf of His fallen creature - men.

  10. Hello again, Inge -
    To give answers to your questions asked in your last post from May 13th is not possible, so I will use your post from May 12 to answer your May 13th questions.

    In my response to Shirley, I corrected the application of the word 'executor'. God as the highest authority/executor and His agents as delegated executors of His Law.
    So, I confirm your understanding!

    I do not think there are 'earthly 'powers'' as you called them. The earth has its own dynamic/laws as established by God, but does not have its own 'Power'. It is made, like anything else that exists.

    The 'powers' I refer to are employed by God. They are agents of all types, including angels. They are called upon to effect the earth, should God so declare, and in their obedience cause the effects observable by man.

    God's Power, being the established, governing Law of Heaven and earth, is best evidenced, made manifest to man, when we can observe God's declared will through an immediate and focused effect. Flood, earth changes, Egyptian plaques etc. are all observable, focused effects and evidence of the employment of 'agents' in the execution of His will. The Scriptures are full of this type of evidence.

    Eph.6:12 speaks to the existence of entities in various forms. No, I do not believe that the forces referred to here are employed by God. They belong to 'rulers of darkness of this world' and 'spiritual wickedness in high places'.
    These entities are agents employed by the 'devil' against the believer and mankind in general. One example: the persecution and slaughter during the Middle ages, but there are many more.

    The Book of Revelation is showing their effects on mankind - for good and for destruction. Beasts with endowed powers are part of these forces operating in Heaven and on earth.
    Fallen agents, former angels/entities in Heaven, are using now corrupted 'powers'. These powers are being employed against mankind by 'wicked' spirits for the only purpose to destroy mankind.

    Eph.1:3 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. We are God's children now and receive these blessings observed and unobserved by us.

    The agents employed by the Creator and sent to protect and benefit mankind are everywhere. They reside in Heaven, but are send to earth to manifest the benefits of Heaven.
    One example: the visitation by angels to warn and save before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
    I hope that this helps clarify my position on the 'Power' and powers.


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