Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Prayer, Meditations




Several years ago[1], I set out on an intense study of the Lord’s Prayer; this proved to be necessary because I had no real understanding of the prayer; all the standard explanations led to impossible contradictions: as a result, I was just mouthing senseless repetitions without any meaning or understanding.  I pondered these mysteries for decades, before beginning research.  However, praying with understanding and meaning is exactly what Jesus commands.


This is not a collection of opinions.  If you doubt what I have written here, go ask your pastor or priest to get out his Greek grammars and lexicons and look it up for you.  All I did was look these things up and report them: you are free to draw your own conclusions.


There is only one present tense verb in the entire prayer, and that is not a request: it is an understood expectation.  All the other verbs in the prayer are in the past tense.  So, Luther is wrong when he analyses the Lord’s Prayer as a set of petitions, things we must ask God to give us.  Rather, the Lord’s Prayer is a set of Declarations, Gratitudes, Praises, Thanksgivings for what God has already done for us.


God does not need a recitation of our want list.  He already knows, far better than we will ever know, what our true needs are.  I need the discipline of the disease and pain that strike at my legs, because it makes me a better man.  If God relieves this disease and pain through the services of doctors, good and well.  If I die as a result of that disease and pain, so much the better.  The possible tragedy would be that I never listened or learned the lessons of my own mortality.


God, knows our every need, and has moved to provide for all of these needs far before we were ever born.  We don’t need to ask; it does no good to ask: we’re not going to change God’s mind.  We’ve already received all of these needs as gifts: so, stop asking for what we cannot possibly understand from a highly defective English translation, and give attention to what the words truly say...  if in doubt, check them out.

The Prayer

The Father’s Name

“Hallowed be Thy Name.”  No, no, no, a thousand times no.  Think about what we are saying.  What could we ever do to add to or subtract from the holiness of God’s Name: our requests for such may be well intended; yet, they are entirely useless; that is not what it says.  What it says is, “Your Name was consecrated, hallowed, or sanctified[2]!”  We are not told who or how God’s name is set apart from the ordinary.  A little thought explains this to us.  We might have suspected that God was not ordinary, when we first discovered that He created us in Genesis 1:1.  If this is not enough, then the conversations of God with various people throughout the rest of Genesis must provide clues.  Then God talks to Moses at the burning bush and tells him about His Name in no uncertain terms (Exodus 3:2-15).  In case we think this is idle talk, God proceeds to demonstrate that He is truly different by destroying all the idols of Egypt.  The Egyptian politicians immediately set out to create a spin cover up of their embarrassment, so that we cannot find much archaeological support for these events; which may be why Egypt remains in poverty today, to remind them of their mortality for once despising the Name of the Living God.  The first pillar of our faith is that God’s name is truly different; He consecrated His own name from creation every onward: that is an establish fact, upon which we may not improve.  Thank You, dear Father for eternally consecrating Your Name for us: we live and die by Your Consecrated Name.

The Father’s Kingdom

“Your kingdom came!”  Not, “your kingdom come.”  God’s kingdom is not a future thing for which we must ask.  God’s kingdom is automatically present wherever God makes His Presence evident: we just weren’t listening.  Ever since God walked with Adam in the cool of the day, the kingdom of God has been among us.  Ever since Jesus was Incarnate… Ever since the Holy Spirit was first given at Pentecost, 33… Ever since we were born… Ever since we were baptized, we were surrounded by the kingdom of God.  This is the second pillar of our faith.  Thank You, dear Father for continuing to allow us to live and die in your heavenly kingdom.  We have not listened.  We do not deserve such a gift.

The Father’s Will

“Your will was born!”  Who or how, the Lord’s Prayer itself does not explain.  Yet, is it not self-evident that the will of God is Jesus Himself.  He alone has come to do the Father’s will (Psalm 40:6-8; John 1:13; 4:34; 5:21, 30; 6:38-39; Hebrews 10:6-7).  Jesus is the will of God.  We enter into the will of God, only through the miracle of being made Christ-like.  This is the third pillar of our faith.  Thank You, dear Father for continuing to allow us to live and die with Your Will planted in our hearts by Christ.

The Father’s Infinity

“As in heaven, also on the earth.”  Everything that we understand about God’s government of the created universe, also governs earth, especially in the affairs of men.  Only the deceit of Satan has made it seem otherwise: but Satan is a false god, exposed for what he is by the same events that exposed the idolatry of Egypt… by God’s Consecrated Name.  The great pillars of faith that rule in heaven, also reign on earth: The Father’s Consecrated Name, The Father’s Kingdom, and The Father’s Will.  These three things remain unchanged, undisturbed, unmoved, and unmovable, undisturbable, unchangeable.  They are invincible!  ΙΣ ΧΣ ΝΙΚΑ!  Jesus Christ Conquers!  Thank You, Father.

The Father’s Bread

“He gave us our bread today, the epiousion.”  It’s already served up on our plates, we don’t need to ask for it.  The only puzzle here, is in the meaning of this epiousion, this special bread, what might that be?  We must think about what this epiousion, this upon-substance could possibly mean.  It most certainly does not mean daily, except as that might be hidden in the Mystery.  Again, and again in the preaching of Jesus, and in the epistles, we hear of the manna[3], that Jesus Himself is the true Manna (Matthew 6:25, 31; 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 9:17; 12:22; 22:19-20; 24:25; John 6:31, 33, 35, 48, 49, 51, 54-56, 58; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:24-26; Revelation 2:17; 10:9).  Exactly, how much evidence did you require?  There is only one thing that this epiousion can possibly be.  The epiousion is the precious broken body and like precious blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, our Savior and Lord.  Every crumb that we eat and every drop that we drink comes as a by-product benefit of the death and resurrection of Christ.  Every tender morsel of steak is at His behest and His provision.  We need not pray for bread.  Our Father knows that we have need of bread, and all other provisions.  We need to give hearty thanks for the gift of Christ, from whom all these physical things are given.  Thank You, Father.

The Father’s Forgiveness

“You forgave us our debts.”  For Christ’s sake in His suffering and death, “[the Father] forgave us our debts.”  These are not trespasses, these are things owed to God, they are obligations.  As Matthew 18:23-35 so abundantly, clearly, and painfully emphasizes: the unforgiving servant might have been forgiven his infinity of debt without even asking.  His forgiveness of his neighbor’s debt is not the condition of his forgiveness; the Father forgives without any qualification, for the sake of the Son: we are expected to live by the laws of this kingdom of God’s forgiveness.  “As we forgive our debtors.”  We are as children, so these are shoes we will have to grow into.  Yet, if we never learn the nature of the Father’s loving forgiveness, and the necessity of reproducing it in our lives: only unspeakable terror awaits us; the tormentors will surely come.  Thank You, Father: for making us a forgiving people.

The Father’s Deliverance

The last phrases indicate a concession on our part.  “Even though You did not lead us into peril or temptation.”  God tempts no one.  We have no one but ourselves to blame for the many perils and temptations into which we have fallen: we are the cause of every one of them.  Even so You delivered us from the evil.”  Deliverance has already taken place.  Learn to say thank You, Lord.  Were these things not at Satan’s instigation?  Yes, of course they were; but, Satan has never had power over our wills: we let ourselves be persuaded.  We do need to exercise our wills against Satan’s wiles: but we don’t especially need to pray about that.  What we do need to pray for is wisdom (James 1:5).  Thank You, Father.

A Liturgical Response

The words, “Because, from You is the kingdom, the power, and the Glory, into the ages.  Amen.”, are not part of the Lord’s Prayer; they are the appropriate liturgical response of the people, whenever the Lord’s Prayer is read in a public worship service.

The Son’s Explication

The words, “For if you forgave men their side-falls, then Your heavenly Father will forgive you.  Yet if you forgave not men their side-falls, neither will your Father forgive your side-falls.”, are not part of the Lord’s Prayer either; they are Jesus’ explication of the true meaning of forgiveness.  If we need additional details we look to Matthew 18, 25, and 28; passages where we learn that God has a world full of forgiveness.  These particular passages (Matthew 18, 25, and 28) each summarize the arguments of the previous materials, all of which build in these passage as the summary and climax of the point: God forgives.

The Popular Talisman

Now we are freed from using the Lord’s Prayer as a heavenly “rabbit’s foot”; which, if only rubbed the right way, forces God to grant us every item on our wish list.  The Father’s plan is perfect from beginning to end.  It cannot be increased or decreased; it cannot be changed.  The purpose of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving is not to change God’s will, which is carved in stone; the purpose of prayer, praise, and thanksgiving is to change us: are we paying attention, are we listening?  It is appropriate to be thankful and to say thank You.  It is appropriate to become more forgiving every day.  It is appropriate to seek wisdom: The Spirit is a patient teacher.


Doubtless, someone will now claim that these verbs are all imperatives, which is the normal form of prayer.  This claim is true; let me explain why it cannot apply.


If this were the normal Hebrew form of prayer, which we might expect; it would include the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word for please: this word is missing.  We do not boss God around.  We do not tell Him what to do.  We cannot come to Him without respect: this much should be obvious.


The normal form of prayer is always cast in the second person, which is the only form of imperative found in the English language.  Yet, the first three of these verbs are in the third person: “Your Name was consecrated by Him; Your kingdom came in Him; Your will was begotten with Him.  The normal form of prayer does not explain any of these uses.  English does not know what to do with a third person imperative: we suggest that an exclamation point be attached to each verb.  The third person cannot be made into a request; but, it can be understood as a Praise!


The normal form of prayer is always cast in the present tense.  Humans are simply incapable of asking in the past or in the future: the only thing that human beings have is now.


If the fourth verb were in the present tense, the second person imperative might be interpreted as a prayer; but, the manna came without the Israelites asking: it was only appropriate that they show their gratitude.  Similarly, when Jesus, the true manna came, they rejected Him, when gratitude is the only appropriate response.  The verb is again cast in the simple past tense: appropriate for Praise; but, not for petitions.


The same thing is true of forgiveness, which is also cast in the second person imperative, simple past tense.  God has already forgiven us, we need to listen, be thankful, and become forgiving.


“We forgive” is the only verb cast in the present tense: it expresses what we must do, what we must become like.


The verb is not imperative, it cannot be a request at all; it is subjunctive: “You [Father] could, should, or would not have led us into peril or temptation.


The last verb returns to the second person imperative, simple past tense.  How are we, who are so insensitive to our own danger supposed to have wisdom to ask for deliverance?  God has already delivered without our asking.  He delivers from dangers that we do not even realize exist.


Nothing about this structure conforms to the standard second person imperative, present tense of prayer, which is always rendered politely with the word please.

[1] It was long before 2010

[2] These words all mean the same thing: to set apart from the ordinary.

[3] A Hebrew exclamation, a declaration of surprise, meaning, “What is it?”

[4] If you have been blessed or helped by any of these meditations, please repost, share, or use any of them as you wish.  No rights are reserved.  They are designed and intended for your free participation.  They were freely received, and are freely given.  No other permission is required for their use.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Church, Introduction


This introduction has already begun with the previous article, “Forgiveness”.  Our goal is to seek forgiveness, not further condemnation.  We must be extremely careful here, not to multiply the damage that has already been done in previous millennia.

Well over a decade ago, I was reciting in unison with the rest of the congregation these well-known words:

“Πιστεύομεν καὶ εἰς μίαν, ἁγίαν, καθολικὴν καὶ ἀποστολικὴν ἐκκλησίαν.”
“We also believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.”[1]

The words stuck in my craw; I had to take action: the obvious obfuscation of the heavenly reality would not let go of me.  I could never look back again.

In time, I had discovered the biblical definition of the Church:

“You have come to mount Sion, to the city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven; and to God the Judge of all; and to the spirits of just men made perfect; and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaks better things than that of Abel.
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks: for if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more we shall not escape, if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet, once more, I shake not only the earth, but also heaven’.
“This word, ‘Yet, once more’, signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Wherefore, [since] we [are] receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God well-pleasingly, with reverence and respect: for, our God is a consuming fire.”[2]

Hebrews 12 has much more to say about the Church.  Verses 1-11, discuss how Christ is head of the Church and what it means to be Son and sons or daughters.[3]  Verses 12-17, deal with the Christian obedience of the Church: especially, concerning bitterness.  Verses 18-21, draw a striking contrast to one of the major failures of the Old Testament Church, and the serious consequences of taking Pentecost, and the gift of the Spirit, lightly.  So, our idea of Church is informed by the obedience of Christ and the disobedience of man.  The danger for us is that we might allow the perverted thinking, that the Via Dolorosa is too difficult for us to walk; we might, perchance, let down our guard; we might cease to “look diligently”.

In any case, we see in verses 18-29 that the Church is one indivisible unity in heaven and earth; it cannot be divided: division of the Church is an absolute impossibility.  This is not some mere abstract, hypothetical possibility or potential.  This is the indicative statement of fact.  The Holy Spirit is the final arbiter of all such matters.  Yet, what God has joined together; it would seem that men have made every attempt to put asunder.

The Church throughout the ages is characterized by discord, disruption, and division.  We will adduce the evidence as we follow the rough outline of historical progression.

From its outset, the Church was persecuted by Judaism, Romanism, Greek philosophies, and others.  It was soon made an illegal religion; then, it was made legal; finally, it became the official religion of the Empire.  In becoming legal, the Church learned how to persecute: soon, there were retaliations against Jews, pagans, and other Christians… then persecution by and of new religions developed: retaliation became popular.  Just war was defined.  Persecution and retaliation escalated into international war.

If the first millennium, which we once dreamed and hoped would be idyllic, turns into massive bloodshed; while, the second millennium proves to be even worse….  How is it that the instrument of humility and peace, happened to be made into an instrument of murder and pride.  Subduing error, came to mean by any means of violence available.  Perhaps this is what John is warning us about with his seven seals, trumpets, and bowls.

The father rushes to intercept his returning prodigal son.  Job received his children alive from the dead, in a type.  Is Adam hoping to receive Able from the dead?  Can Ishmael, Esau, and the children of Keturah ever be gathered again?  Novatianism seems to have originated the idea of creating the perfect Church: have we, as neo-Novatianists driven away our prodigal brothers and sisters from Christ?

How?  Why?  Will we be able to expose the lies, so easily glossed over by the standard milquetoast secular histories?  Or will we just be poking a hornet’s nest, causing even more sorrow and trouble for the wounded body of Christ?  We hope to do no harm.  We sincerely hope that this is a healing process.  That is what these studies are about.

We must approach this subject as chiefs of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15).  Then we will be better enabled to see others as being better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).  From this perspective, we will be able to look up to Novatian, as well as the neo-Novatianists, seeing them all as saints, worthy of Beatification & Canonization.  Then we can see their side-falls as worthy of our forgiveness: since we are so lowly ourselves.  Finally, in the process of forgiving the side-falls of great saints, not expecting them to be perfect, we hope that their being forgiven will help them to see the principle of forgiveness more clearly, and live it.  Thus, the whole Church on earth will become more forgiving as we forgive and love sacrificially.  We must hate the sin, while loving and uplifting the sinner.  We cannot be forgiving and loving, while condemning Novatian, and neo-Novatianists at the same time.

If this involves soldiering, as the following hymn suggests; then it is a battlefield hospital in full operation, serving patients whose aim in life is to destroy us: this, if necessary, we must permit them to do: we must not hold life so dear, we must not resist death, so that we can preach forgiveness for all people (Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60).

[1] Of course, that denomination had altered the word catholic or universal; but, I knew it was there, and I knew very well what Hebrews 12 had to say about the subject: I could not escape.

[2] Hebrews 12:22-29

[3] Whether you believe that this indicates punishment or result makes little difference to me: it says what it says.  No one becomes either son or daughter without chastening.  If walking with Christ has any physical truth to it whatsoever; it means walking in the shadow of His Crucifixion.

[4] If you have been blessed or helped by any of these meditations, please repost, share, or use any of them as you wish.  No rights are reserved.  They are designed and intended for your free participation.  They were freely received, and are freely given.  No other permission is required for their use.

Monday, August 13, 2018



“You forgave us our debts; as we also forgive our debtors.” — Matthew 6:12

“Because of this, the kingdom of heaven was made like a human king, who wanted to audit accounts with his servants; so, when he began the audit, one debtor of ten thousand talents was brought to him; yet, not having his own ability to repay, his lord demanded him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and everything, as much as he had, to be repaid.  Falling thus, the servant prostrates to him, begging, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you everything’; being so moved to pity, the lord of this servant released him, and forgave him the debt.

“Exiting (or escaping) now, the same servant, found (or caught) one of his fellow servants, who was an hundred denarii indebted to him: seizing him, he chokes him, demanding, ‘Repay me whatever you are indebted.’  Falling thus, at his feet, his fellow servant pleads with him, begging, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay everything to you’; yet, he would not, but departing, threw him into prison, until he could repay the debt.

“So, his fellow servants, having seen what was happening, they were vehemently upset, and coming they explained to their lord everything that was happening.

“Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘Servant!  Wicked!  all that debt that I forgave you as soon as you asked me: Was it not also necessary for you to also have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I also had mercy on you?  And his lord being furious, delivered him to the torturers, until he could repay all the debt.

“Thus also, my heavenly Father will do to you, if you would not forgive, each one, his brother from your hearts, their side-falls.” — Matthew 18:23-35

“You forgave us our debts; as we also forgive our debtors.” — Matthew 6:12

“For if you have forgiven men their side-falls, then your heavenly Father will forgive you.  Yet if you have not forgiven men their side-falls, neither will your Father forgive your side-falls.” — Matthew 6:14-15
Two common mistakes are made:

       One, forgiveness is not essential to salvation.  Wrong.  Forgiveness is essential to salvation: for, it is impossible to enter the kingdom of God’s forgiveness as an unforgiving person.

       Two, it has nothing to do with money.  Wrong.  It has everything to do with money: for, money is not only the chief example with good reason: for money is also the chief abuse of forgiveness.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Discord, Old Testament


From Creation

The problem of discord, disruption, and division among people in general and the people who call themselves Christians begins with Adam and Eve.  Satan, termed the serpent in Genesis 3, manages to worm his way between Adam and Eve; had Adam and Eve remained together, as their one-flesh relationship suggests that they must, they might have summoned that confidence and faith in God which should have enabled them to resist Satan’s temptation.[1]  We are not told where Adam was, or what he was doing, that distracted him from watching over his wife, or her from watching over him: nevertheless, he was commanded to cleave unto her.  That oldest of all tactics, divide and conquer, worked: Eve was deceived; Adam, knowingly or unknowingly, wittingly or unwittingly, followed his wife’s lead in embracing the temptation as well; Adam and Eve are expelled from Paradise.  Thus, the whole human race was set at discord, by Satan’s sowing discord, from the very first days.


We blink once, and turn the page to Genesis 4, only to discover that this discord among the earliest people has already progressed to murder: for Cain has slain Abel, and disruption has fallen upon the human race.  Now Cain is exiled from the rest of the small human family.  Strife escalates exponentially, until, in five generations[2] after Cain, Lamech is seen in his defiant saber dance.


Seth is born; yet, the implication is that the human race is now developing into two distinct tribes, following very, ethically and morally different paths, in two groups.  If we suppose that Seth is the first of the good people, it only requires eight generations[3] after Seth to disabuse us of our error: for, by the time of Noah, the human race has fallen into nearly absolute wickedness.[4]  From this tragic report we may glean several things:  One.  The immoral group of Cain is not as wicked as they possibly could be and seem;  Two.  The moral group of Seth is not as innocent as they possibly could, and at first appear to, be; the defilement of discord has infected both groups, all mankind equally: there are only a handful of rare exceptions, holdouts against the general tendency of discord.


We also note that God will destroy the whole human race except for eight people; which some claim is arbitrary and unjust of God.  Elsewhere in Scripture, God promises that He will not permit unbearable temptation to exist.[5]  We believe that this answers the claim that God acts in arbitrary, and unjust ways.  Even though Noah is obviously somewhat less than perfect, he does love God, and is obedient to Him.  The rest of the human race is given one hundred twenty years to repent; yet, no one does….  So, the grace that Noah finds is no way dependent on any righteousness of his own; rather, Noah sought God’s righteousness, and God happily gave it to him.  However, Noah with his family do obey God out of the freedom of their own wills; while the rest of the human race, choose to ignore God, also from their individual free wills.  As the condition deteriorates, had God left the bulk of the human race alive; Noah’s little party of eight would have been confronted with that very irresistible temptation which God cannot allow: for it would mean that the freedom of will would have now been destroyed in Noah’s party as well as among the wicked.  The state of the wicked, having the free will to disobey, removes any claim against God as being arbitrary and unjust; since, the wicked have nobody to blame but themselves for choosing to act in their wicked manner; and God is perfectly justified in maintaining a standard of right and wrong: especially, since He patiently withheld judgment for one hundred twenty years.  The charges against God are completely unfounded.

Fresh Start

Nevertheless, discord, disruption, and division have not been removed from the human race.  Before long, Noah is drunken.[6]  With all due fairness to Noah, he may not have known that fermentation would take place, or how it might affect him; Scripture does not ever condone drunkenness, it does permit drinking; nor does Scripture condemn or even scold Noah for his actions: we simply cannot draw any conclusions about Noah’s guilt or innocence.  That being said, grandson Canaan Ⅱ was somehow involved in an immoral act, which may have also included Ham; as a result, Canaan Ⅱ is cursed: but, Ham is not cursed.[7]  Now there is even more discord in the human race and Canaan Ⅱ[8] appears to be ostracized by being reduced to slavery.
Very possibly the oppression of Nimrod[9], as well as the discord at Babel[10] were coincident with Canaan’s or Ham’s ostracism; all of which were important factors in the mass migrations that would take many of the earth’s people out of Mesopotamia and into other regions of the world.


We need not summarize in detail the rest of Genesis to complete the picture.  The reader may easily complete the study for himself.  The families of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob continue to be plagued with the strife of discord, disruption, and the necessary ensuing division: Lot divides from Abraham with disastrous consequences; Ishmael divides from Isaac with similar results; Esau divides from Jacob.  What startles us is that Jacob’s little family holds together in Egypt under the new name Israel or Israelites.  Thus, when Paul summarizes the Genesis eras, we are compelled to concur.

“Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses [1406-1366 BC], even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him who is to come.”[11]


So, when we flip another page into Exodus we are hoping for a brighter, better future: redemption from slavery in Egypt at Pesach (Passover); a new constitution, law, and nation at Sinai in Shabbat (Pentecost); a new land of peace and rest at Jordan in Sukkot (Tents)[12]… the gasp for fresh air never seems to arrive.  The old generation has perished in the desert; neither Aaron nor Moses will enter the land; the hopeful entrants are immediately met by opposition; they are not principally an attacking force: rather, they are attacked by the Canaanites and compelled to defend themselves in a series of brief skirmishes.  Ironically, they overcome larger, better equipped and trained, well-established, military forces… great coalitions of battle hardened troops.  Still, they remain at Gilgal, for the most part, and do not immediately move to occupy the land.  Instead, the occupation seems to take place in slow, reluctant stages; which, is a far, far better understanding of Judges, than any idea of quick, complete, and thorough occupation.[13]  Joshua and Judges tell a tragic tail of external, as well as internal ongoing discord, disruption, and division.  Joshua (1366-1356 BC) bewails this condition before his death.

“And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”[14]


Subsequently, it takes a full seven years for David (1010-970 BC) to build a national consensus.  Long after David’s death, the boundaries of the kingdom are being expanded by Solomon (970-930 BC).  Then, the wheels come off the wagon.  The kingdom falls to pieces under discord between Jeroboam Ⅰ and Rehoboam; it will never recover from this disruption and division: in the outworking of the political, worship is also wounded critically: Jeroboam creates a new mixed cult with two new idol-worship centers.


By 586 BC, or shortly thereafter, the Israelites and Judeans have, for the most part, lost any interest in God; according to Ezekiel, God has abandoned them.[15]  By 516 BC the Israelite-Judeans have been absorbed into the Babylonian and Assyrian cultures; only to emerge as a new identity, the Jews; with a new language (paleo-Hebrew transitioned into the block Aramaic form, which we now mistakenly call Hebrew); and a new religion, Judaism.  The average Jew can no longer understand the reading of the Bible: it has to be translated and interpreted to him.  Only a tiny band of Jews returns to Jerusalem, where they are immediately met by more discord, disruption, and division.  It takes years to complete the inferior second temple.  Still, God does not return.

[1] We are suggesting here, that 1 Corinthians 10:13 expresses the distinct possibility that being overly tempted is more than a New Testament concept; it could very well be a universal principle which explains Adam and Eve’s behavior, as well as God’s actions at the Flood: it suggests that believing people together may resist temptation; people separated from others are unable to resist temptation; and that God must intervene at some point in the temptation process, lest all of creation be destroyed.
If this is not true, then the freewill nature of people in the image and likeness of God cannot be maintained.  There seems to come a point in the lives of the willfully rebellious, when human wills become so scarred, that they either can no longer operate at all, or else they can no longer operate freely.

We have no other explanation for God’s justification in destroying a massive portion of the human race at the Flood: people brought it on themselves by willfully resisting God’s humility, kindness, love, and patience.  While God’s patience is inexhaustible; human resistance to temptation is not inexhaustible: it constitutes a danger to the whole human race: for God has designed the human race to function around One New Man, Jesus Christ… if the human race is obliterated by temptation, then God’s plan of incarnation, along with everything that follows, is made void.

[2] There may be more than five generations involved: genealogical tables do sometimes seem to omit names.  Nevertheless, the intensity and brevity of the record indicates an alarmingly rapid growth of rebellion.  Cain: 1 – Enoch; 2 – Irad; 3 – Mehujael; 4 – Methusael; 5 – Lamech.

[3] Note the similarity of some of the names; which may indicate that communication between Cain and Seth was not completely severed.  Seth: 1 – Enos; 2 – Cainan; 3 – Mahalaleel; 4 – Jared; 5 – Enoch Ⅱ; 6 – Methuselah; 7 – Lamech Ⅱ; 8 – Noah

[4] Genesis 6:3, 5-8

[5] 1 Corinthians 10:13

[6] Genesis 9:21

[7] Which is why we presume Ham’s innocence and Canaan’s guilt; yet, the details of the account are not perfectly clear.

[8] possibly, the same name as Cainan

[9] Genesis 10:8-9; 1 Chronicles 1:10; Micah 5:6

[10] Genesis 11

[11] Romans 5:14

[12] Tents remind us that “this land is not our own, we’re just passing through” (Jim Reeves song).  We seek a better city and nation that’s “builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

[13] These are Kenneth Kitchen’s observations about Joshua and Judges found in, On the Reliability of the Old Testament; they are not mine.  It just seems to us that Kitchen is obviously right: so, we bow to his wisdom and insight here.

[14] Joshua 24:15

[15] This is the second such abandonment.  We recall that God abandoned Israel during the Days of Sampson, Eli, and Samuel, when the Ark was taken by the Philistines.

[16] If you have been blessed or helped by any of these meditations, please repost, share, or use any of them as you wish.  No rights are reserved.  They are designed and intended for your free participation.  They were freely received, and are freely given.  No other permission is required for their use.