Saturday, February 26, 2005


The First Gospel

Why is Genesis 3:15 so important? It is known as the Protevangelium, “The First Gospel”. It reveals so much about God…not just what we read at face value but God’s sovereignty, God’s love for us all along, God’s ability to pull things together into a beautiful weaving when all appears random and chaotic. These are things we were meant to dwell on. Many of us have been taught, “God loves you” and “Jesus loves you” but haven’t been shown the masses of evidence for that love. “God is big.” “God is powerful.” But the story of humanity, enclosed in leather bound bibles, collecting dust on so many shelves, reveals God’s plan and His mightiness in carrying it out. God is able. God established covenant with His creation. God revealed His sovereignty in His name Elohim (el-lo-heem’). God is one who can make a covenant (promise something) with absolute authority. Genesis 6:18, God promised, “but with thee will I establish My covenant.” Who of you has noticed or been taught the inkling of God’s covenant with man in Genesis 3:15, the prophecy of Jesus? “And I will put enmity between you (God is speaking to Satan, the serpent) and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.” He (who?) will crush your head (that’s the snake’s head), and you will strike His heel.” What do you see in this passage? The accepted relativistic answer would be, “Whatever you see is right for you.” I would not go there. There is one interpretation that is right. Theologically, God could only mean one thing, not according to me…but in prayer, reading commentary and the rest of the Bible, there are logical explanations.
Logical from the root, logos or word…so relying heavily on God’s Word, the woman is the faithful, or my commentary says “mankind”. At this early age in history, there is no distinction. Her offspring and Satan’s offspring will be enemies. This sentence alone would appear to be about the long history of torment Satan’s agents have inflicted upon humanity. If we consider the woman’s “seed” to be from God’s chosen people, the prophecy remains accurate. Jesus was born a Jew, from the tribe of Judah. The enmity exists. Clearly, God’s people have increased awareness of this battle. Thanks to Paul and his warning of the spiritual warfare (Ephesians 5:10-12). The evidence is a constant hatred toward Christians/Jews somewhere in the world throughout history. True Christians and Jews know there is only one God and absolutely no other. The church of Christ believes Jesus is the one way to God. Non-believers certainly disagree in some fashion at best, or see Christians as self-righteous snobs and worse. Right? This isn’t to say we must be enemies but to point out the huge crevasse to be bridged! While Christians are to love their neighbor and simply be witnesses for Christ (no suicide bombers to fear), the neighbor just might hate us! Enmity. Jesus put it simply, “He who is not with Me is against Me.” Luke 11:23
Genesis 3:15 continues. He, Satan’s enemy, is going to crush Satan’s head! So this offspring from the woman is a He! There is One alone who has crushed, past tense, Satan and He is Jesus Christ, Son of Man (the woman’s offspring). The victory was on the cross. Satan’s authority was taken from him, a fatal blow to the head. Christ became Head of the church because of His choosing to die on the cross. “…and you,[Satan], will strike His heel.” Satan’s strike was a feeble attempt to take down the Messiah…Jesus was killed at the dirty hand of Evil Incarnate…but it was merely a hit to His heel! Jesus lives! God is Almighty! El-Shaddai. And we’re only in the third chapter! Moses wrote this when? Some time between 1450 and 1410 BC! And what if another hypothesis were proven and the date was 850-500 BC? It doesn’t matter! Whoever and whenever, the author certainly had no idea of the meaning of these words. For all he knew, he was speaking of women and snakes! Enemies indeed! To jump into “He” pronouns and crushing the serpent’s head, (???) mysterious for sure. But because we have the awesome insight of hindsight, we can see. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who don’t see and yet believe” to Thomas. But just look what we can see. Did Thomas understand Genesis 3:15? Possibly. Not likely.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Am Yisrael Chai

Am Yisrael Chai, “Israel lives” is a God fact, revealing God’s power in history. Israel not only had to survive through turmoil of the Old Testament to the first Christmas when the Seed of the woman (Genesis 3:15) was born to the line of David (promise fulfilled), Israel has had to survive through all kinds of occupations from the Gentile world to this day, today! Changes may be in the making but one thing is for sure, Jesus is still promised to Israel. The nation has survived, no small miracle when you read her history…Messiah will come to Israel again.
God has not forgotten the children who not so long ago betrayed Jesus to the Cross. They were forgiven on the cross, the same as all sinful humanity. Isaiah wrote, “But now saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by name; thou art mine.’” Why would God forsake His chosen? When the Jews return to God and His revelation in His inspired Word, they will be illumined, as many already are, to the reality of Jesus Christ, their Savior . . . yours and mine.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


How's the View?

Not to get too confusing, Francis and Edith Schaeffer writings teach a lot about what people call the Christian worldview. There are basic beliefs that influence how we think about all of life, even if one isn’t a thinker. Attitudes creep in as a result of questions on the source of life, how we know anything, life’s meaning in history, why man stands out above the animal world. Answers to these and other questions will tell everything about why a person acts the way they do. When human life is valued above all else and history (what we see and what goes on in the spiritual realm) has divine direction, then meaning enters our motivations. When the Source is removed so that random bangs and evolutionary tweaks and twinges turn us into automatic pilot machines, the thoughts in our heads could randomly drive us insane as they push us recklessly into meaninglessness.
Obviously, the Source of life and knowledge for the Christian is the Triune God and the God-breathed Word, the Holy Bible. Well, when you put it that way, how could we possibly not read it? Probably because most of us don’t really believe it. But here is how the Christian worldview goes:
1) Jehovah God is Creator and sustainer of all life and light. He is Holy and worthy of praise.
2) Sin entered the world because man chose to doubt God’s Word. The power of sin is death and darkness because it separates us from the source of life, God.
3) Sin and evil cannot exist in the presence of God because He is perfectly holy. A sinful person, that’s all of us, can’t get near Him.
4) Christianity, born from Jesus Christ, is completely supernatural so naturalists need not apply. This isn’t to say it cannot be reasoned but human, scientific, natural terms fall short.
5) Jesus Christ, God incarnate (in the flesh) came to demonstrate the power of sin (dying) and hate, and His own power of forgiveness and love (life).
Death Life
Separation from a Holy God Reconciliation with our Holy Father
God’s wrath (sheer anger) God’s love; Gift of God
Torturous death of Christ Resurrection
Pouring, loss of blood Life giving blood

God hates sin God loves everything good:
Satan is the father of sin and Truth, His own creation, man in lies. His own image

“[Jesus] is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by [Him].” ~John 14:6

When we doubt God’s Own-breathed Word, we doubt Him, as in the first sin. There is no gray area. We either believe the Father or the serpent, the father of lies. That’s why Jesus proclaimed John 14:6. He is Truth, and there’s no getting to God any other way.
The Word became flesh---Jesus is the Word. (John 1:1) Truth is either 100% God’s domain or we try to create our own truth (relativism). To create our own truth by adding or taking away from the Word of God is arrogant, Satan-like deception and denies God’s sovereignty. It is sin.
God’s Word draws us near to Him. Denying the Source of the Bible blinds us and destroys the personal relationship God meant for us to have with Him. The last prophecy is the dwelling of God with us (tabernacle). For all of history, the radical final goal is to get us back where we started, Eden. The New Age, the New Earth is where God will tabernacle with us in perfect relationship…the kind we all yearn for.

Sunday, February 13, 2005


Meaning in History

This idea probably came from Edith Schaeffer and L'Abri? By the way, there is a Jubilee celebration coming up in March for the L'Abri founding. Check out It's been so long since I read her writing, I can't say for sure. I wrote this awhile ago. Prophecy from God, telling the future, messages from the past. There is a thread throughout the Bible, like a strand of gold, making the tapestry unified and refined. In the center is the Lamb, Jesus. All the golden thread leads to the Savior. Often it is said, “What about now, God in the present?” If I were an unbeliever, I would listen to what God did for you. I would politely say, “That’s nice.” I could tell you about God working little and big miracles in my life. But really, for most of us, our lives are small and can even seem insignificant. We can turn to famous missionaries, church fathers and reformers from the past. We even have current miracle stories: Cassie Bernall (Columbine) was a bold witness under threat of death, and the two women trapped in Afghanistan who were released from Taliban captors, like Daniel, unscathed. There are “clouds of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) to the reality of God’s sovereignty and I’m not saying they’re irrelevant. But someone who knows nothing of God personally will often brush it off with, “That was then. This is now” or “That’s them but God isn’t real to me; I don’t think He notices me.”
God is revealed in nature and His personality can be detected in His people, but there is so much more to be seen. Biblical prophecy encompasses all of history and all of mankind. God reveals Himself to any who will hear through His Word…the revelation of His Plan…His Promises. Sometimes the story is vaguely, symbolically, or indirectly related to Messiah. The golden thread goes behind the picture for a time, only visible from the back, but no less connected. Those are the ones we simply pass over and assume to be less significant. But as you reread the Bible or look into it more deeply with a good commentary, the tapestry can be seen in all its golden glory. I’ll never forget having Genesis 3:15 pointed out to me. It’s a Messianic prophecy?! I remember thinking, “How could something this important never be made available in all those years of church and Sunday school (and I even had a perfect attendance pin!)?”
God comes alive in much bigger ways when we understand the whole story. Jehovah is Huge…go to Yosemite or the Grand Canyon and there is an inkling of our awesome God. They are gifted to us so we might catch a glimpse of Him. Yes, He is in a fall colored leaf and a butterfly too; the everyday miracles are His gifts to us. But God means for us to grasp His Almighty, so-big-it’s-hard-to-fathom Bigness in All of History.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


The Gospel According to You

In It's All About Truth, (January 05), the allegory of the shredded Bible was used to portray how we can slip into autonomy from God, creating the Gospel according to You. It is easy to choose what we will believe. I have done it. But maybe “easy” isn’t what God has in mind for you and me.
Jesus said of the devil, “He was a murderer from the beginning and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. For he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.” John 8:44
Another direction for us from Jesus, “If you continue in my Word, then are you my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31
As Edith Schaeffer proposes in Christianity Is Jewish, “The issue is clear: either this is truth, or not. A line is drawn which cannot be straddled. In our postmodern world, the philosophy of relativism is deleting the word “truth” from men’s understanding.” But supposing truth does exist…what, asks Schaeffer, does the word truth mean? She portends, “It means there is something opposite that is not true, and that there can be no clarity of understanding if there is a muddy mixture.” Conflict or inconsistency in what we regard as true creates a distorted and confusing worldview. Even though the person in the conflict may not recognize it, the reality of the “muddy mixture” remains. The glory of Christ is that His light can and does expose the murky waters of relativism and will clarify them to their original state through the word and deed of His foot soldiers, as long as we remain true to His Word.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Standing on the Promises

“But if we live in the light, as God is in the light, we can share fellowship with each other. Then the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from every sin.” (1 John 1:7)
The promise hinges on “if we live in the light”! What’s the light? Here, God is not the light…He’s in the light. First verse to come to mind is “Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, a Light unto my path.” So now the promise goes, “If we live in the [Word], as God is in the [Word], we can share fellowship with each other.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” But God is not just in the book of John! The Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are in Genesis, and Ephesians and 1Timothy. What the heck! I’ll go out on a limb…God is in Titus.
The key word in 1John 1:7 is we. We, all parties, would conditionally need to be in the Word so that we…everyone can share fellowship with each other. This isn’t spaghetti dinner. It’s the fellowship of Christ! It’s the family we’re all told about when we join the church, but few, if any, experience. Sure we have friendships and close encounters but the family of believers should in no way be dysfunctional…it has potential, if we take this promise, to tear down all walls…break down communication barriers…so that when human failings intrude, the deeper fellowship of faith will keep the lines open and we would be drawn closer.
What do we, the members of Christ’s church, hold in common? And what does that faith stand on? Faith does not stand on fellowship. It’s the opposite. Although my immediate family has been away from Christian fellowship…God plugged us into His Church with good books, Christian music and radio, magazines, and a heart for Him. The Christian faith stands on Truth. You might say, “Yes, that’s Jesus.” And Jesus is the Word. Edith Schaeffer approaches the subject from Temptation’s point of view or Satan. “Every human being who has ever heard or read the words in the Bible hears [the question] at one time or another: ‘Hath God said this? Is this really the Word of God? Can you trust this as being truth? Or___?’” Just as Adam and Eve were tempted to doubt God’s words, the same Satan plants the original doubt in our ears.

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