Sunday, 18 September 2011

Bible Timeline

In taking my ancient history class, I wanted to be able to put the civilizations I was reading and learning about into the perspective of what was happening as recorded in the Bible during the times we were studying about, and found this timeline:

Page one of timeline:

Here's a little background to how the creator of this timeline got started, and his statement of faith:

Obedience and Submission

(..and then there is also groveling)

The two words seem to be the same, and often get confused for each other. Our human bosses and husbands want obedience and submission, mixing the two to mean the same thing.

Who gets that "top dog" position? and Is it really deserved?

Submission may seem to ourselves like groveling, true? Especially if we do it with a spirit of "I hate all that you stand for, but if I don't lick your boots I know I might lose my":

1. "job"
2. "standing in the community"
3. "life"

etc, etc, etc.....

If we submit to authority does that mean we have to obey in every way? I look to Daniel's three friends for the answer to try to gain a bit of clarity in that area. They were to obey the edict that was put into place and used by their enemies to trap them.(Daniel 3:12). Did they submit to the edict? Did they obey the order to pray to Nebuchadnezzar's image? No. They did not curse the king, nor did they obey him by bowing down to him in this unlawful law, and counted on God to see them through whether they lived or died as a result.

When I look for relevance in contemporary terms in my own work situation, I see that I can submit to authority by acknowledging the fact that a person has been placed in a position that is superior to my own and behave accordingly. If he or she abuses the authority in order to try to get me to grovel, I must submit it to God who will intervene in the way He sees fit. It may mean that I may lose my job and go through fiery trials as a result of that, and those trials may last several months or even years. It may be  like it was for Daniel's three friends "out of the frying pan and into the fire", and like them I may have to endure intense heat or perhaps even death and the end of my mortal existence. They were ready to die, if necessary, knowing God was with them. There is a difference between not bowing down (groveling) and actively railing against (cursing or demonstrating and openly protesting against) authority. That is the area that I sometimes (often?) cross the line, and there is a huge difference between these two, although sometimes it does seem like a fine line, really there is a big difference. Not bowing takes an inner strength and self control and a meekness that is conformed to the way Jesus stood before His accusers. He did not rail against them or curse them. He stood His ground with the truth being His only defense, the truth did not need to be screamed out in self justification. It (truth) just is. He did not grovel, He did not bow, but He did not demand, and He did not run from conflict, He faced it head on as they led Him to His death. Here was the God of the universe made flesh, and He let Himself be led to His execution.....He, the Creator of all, was led....He was led....He should have been leading, but He was led....and He followed, not grovelling, but He did follow their leading, knowing it would lead to His demise, knowing God's purpose was in it. (I had to keep repeating that because it completely defies all logic, and my brain continues to struggle with that one)

Dying to self has been something that I have been praying to understand better over the last several months, and as things have been heating up in certain areas of my life, I know it is in answer to my prayer to understand the phenomenon of the worm that dieth not (Mark chapter 9).

And by the way, I don't believe God wants us to grovel before Him either, but we are to submit AND obey Him, because what He desires from us is His perfect will for us. And if we can submit to human authority (without groveling) whom we do not necessarily hold to high regard, we can get a glimpse of true submission to God and that it likewise is done without groveling.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Antigone by Sophocles

Not really out of the Bible, this ancient Greek play re-enacted for us in this 1984 television program has alot of wisdom in it. I wish they wore togas, though lol:

Well, it seems that the video has been removed :( I did find it again in 11 parts, but parts 1, 2 and 11 are missing....I do recommend this play (as well as Oedipus the King) It is wonderful even with parts missing and poor costume designing. See them here:

or just read the full text here:

Saul and David

A situation at work has been giving me grief. It has been going on for a long time between a certain coworker and I. Recent events put her into a position of authority over me. I cannot even begin to tell you, there are so many things that are so wrong about this situation that I don't even know where to begin, except to say that I have been in misery. I've been in constant prayer about this and some other things, this being THE THING that most confronts me directly so it being uppermost in my thought and prayer life. Then, a couple of weeks ago the thought "which would you choose?" came to me. If there were two seats open and available, and God offered me a choice between:

A. The highest and most important position
                                 IN HELL

B. The lowest and most humbling position
                                 IN HEAVEN

which would I choose?
Well, that made me feel a bit better. :) Of course I would choose B, but it still seemed like my attitude and actions were still saying I wanted A.....sigh.

Yesterday morning, before work, the relationship between King Saul and the future King David came to mind. What was that relationship like? Was Saul a good king? Did Saul have alot of issues? Sure he did. What did David do? How did David handle the Saul situation? I saw alot of parallels to my own situation. I know Jesus brought that relationship to my mind to mull over. David knew that Saul had problems and was trying his best to discredit and kill David (might have even been worse for David than my situation because I don't believe the girl is trying to have me killed.....but then again...??? I may have been watching too many 48 Hours shows, lol)

One day Jesus will return, and all of this nonsense will indeed cease to be. BUT, what did we as His stewards do with the time? Were we ourselves wise or wicked stewards? I'm so grateful that I have a gentle Savior who keeps reminding me of what is truly important and what is truly "Dust in the Wind".

Seeking a photo to add to these thoughts, the Lord shared this (which dovetails with this situation perfectly! imagine that!)

Love that blog entry!...I'm going to have to look around that blog site some more! 

Friday, 9 September 2011


Water is essential to our existence. When I lived in California we were constantly made aware of the crucial and dire problems they continually encounter because of their lack of sufficient amounts of water.We need it to drink, bathe, wash our clothes, clean our homes, water our gardens...and we need moisture (water) in the air to breathe. Often the topic of how necessary water (immersion) baptism is to being saved comes up. I found this on Dr. Robert Luginbill's website....excerpt (find the entire discussion at link):

Question #1: 

Hello Robert,
I'm not sure if you have answered this somewhere, but if you could give your interpretation. This deals with baptism, i am a firm believer that salvation is a gift given by GOD and that a baptism does not save. I find most people dis-agree with that view and it's easy to see why with many references if scripture that make it appear so. One such reference below makes it seem like a water baptism is required. I've heard some say that their tears shed in their acceptance of Jesus as savior is what they feel is sufficient to satisfy that verse. Can you elaborate. Thanks for your time in advance.
"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:5)
In Christ,

Response #1: 
Good to make your acquaintance. This is a very involved question and a topic which is somewhat "hot" at present. While there are some materials for this on the site (see the links below), not I everything I have written about the topic of water-baptism is yet posted. For example, it is only recently that it has come to my attention that there are some people out there who actually see water-baptism in Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus in John chapter three (your citation – I assume you are getting this from someone else). I don't believe any of the materials yet posted at Ichthys at present deal with this particular verse and chapter, though I have written some about it in the recent past. Simply put, neither the word, nor the action, nor the concept of water-baptism occurs anywhere in this conversation or context, and indeed the word "water" is to be found only in verse 5. It never occurred to me before (that is, before being confronted by some misguided water-baptism-necessary-for-salvation folks) that anyone would find water-baptism in this conversation. After all, Jesus never water-baptized to anyone (as John himself makes clear in the next chapter: Jn.4:2), never mentioned water-baptism elsewhere (including in Matthew 28:16-20 where He is referring to Spirit baptism), and never suggested anywhere that any such ritual was necessary to be saved. Indeed, this context, John chapter three, is one of the strongest expressions of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone to found anywhere in the entire Bible. Therefore to assume that the mention of the word "water" reverses all that is to put on a very heavy set of blinders purely for the purpose of advancing one's own (in this case false) doctrinal agenda.
Naturally, the word "water" in John 3:5 has to be explained, and that is very easy to do. Throughout scripture, "water" is an extremely common symbol for the Word of God (Is.55:1; Jn.3:5; 3:8 [Greek]; 4:10; 4:13-14; 7:37-39; 1Cor.10:4; Eph.5:26; Heb.10:22; 1Jn.5:8 [Trinity]; Rev.7:17; 21:6; 22:1; 22:17; cf. Ex 17:5-6; Num. 20:8; Ps.42:1-2; 63:1; 84:5-7; Is.41:17; 44:3).
And the Spirit and the bride say "Come!" And let the one who hears say, "Come!" And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.
Revelation 22:17
And this is precisely what we have here in John 3:5, with this use of the word "water" meaning the life-giving truth used by the Spirit to quicken those who believe (and often also for the Spirit who ministers the Word, making it understandable; cf. 1Cor.2:4-16). Moreover, this usage is certainly not unprecedented elsewhere in John's gospel:
(13) Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, (14) but whoever drinks the water I give him (i.e., who believes in the gospel of eternal life through faith in Me) will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 4:13-14 NIV
He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water (i.e., the truth will live in him, as a believer). But this spake he of the Spirit, [who ministers the Word received] which they that believe on him should receive.
John 7:38-39a KJV
Just as literal water is essential for life, so the Word of God is essential for spiritual life (with an initial "drink" necessary for initial regeneration). Thus, in John 3:5 our Lord's use of the word "water" represents the truth of the gospel to which the person in question responds in faith; the Spirit is then the Agent of regeneration for all who drink this water of truth (i.e., for all who believe the gospel message about Him). That interpretation is certainly affirmed everywhere else in this chapter where faith (i.e., in Jesus) is later very clearly expressed as the one single thing needful for salvation (and "water" is not repeated: i.e., Jn.3:10-12; 3:15-16; 3:18; 3:36).
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water (i.e., the gospel which he believes) and the Spirit (i.e., the Agent of regeneration for all who believe and drink the "water of truth").
John 3:5 NIV
Just as in the communion ritual (the only authorized ritual for the Church Age) we drink the cup as a symbol of our faith in the work of Christ, so water in all these contexts represents our faith in what we drink, the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
It is true that there are instances of water-baptism in the gospels and in the book of Acts, but in my opinion the idea of any necessity to be baptized with water comes exclusively from tradition and not directly from any Bible verse – and how much more is that not the case for any false notion of water-baptism-necessary-for-salvation!?
It is well to start such considerations with three pertinent facts: 1) John said emphatically that while he himself was baptizing with water, that ministry was preparatory to the coming of the Messiah who would baptize with the Spirit (and fire) – as opposed to water (e.g., Mk.1:8); 2) Jesus never baptized anyone (Jn.4:2) and never even mentioned the ritual; 3) there is no water-baptism whatsoever in any of the New Testament epistles (including 1st Peter chapter three where the "baptism which saves" is Spirit baptism), only Spirit baptism – except in 1st Corinthians chapter one where Paul repents of ever having water-baptized anyone at all. From these critical points of emphasis throughout the New Testament, we can easily conclude that it is the baptism of the Spirit experienced by all true Christians at the point of salvation which is important, not the water ritual which looked forward to the coming of Christ.