The Church Before the Bible

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Jul 5, 2020.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I think that this is the flawed premise in your basic framework of this. It isn’t as if there was a core group of people, or some privileged collective, who carried the correct canon across the centuries, until the later Church ratified that canon based on nothing except their passed-on secret knowledge.

    That’s the Roman narrative of how the canon was assembled, and it’s mistaken at its root: there was no secret pristine knowledge, and there was no special group of people.

    Put it simply, when time came for the Church to openly say that this was the canon and no other, they used records and scholarship of the texts, much like what we’d do today, to determine which works were of an apostolic lineage and which weren’t. Some works, such as the Gospel of Thomas, they excluded not because it was “outside the tradition”; in fact some Church Fathers quotes it as Scripture, and never viewed it as “outside the tradition”. It was rejected simply because scholarship revealed that it was written in the 2nd century, and thus a forgery. And those Fathers, and their “traditions” were simply wrong.

    Other works, such as the Book of Enoch, they excluded not because it was “outside the tradition” but simply by the study of the OT and NT manuscripts. And yet the Ethiopian Church DOES include the book of Enoch in their bibles, and they believe it IS within the tradition. (And as we know it is even quoted in the New Testament!)

    And so on. The Third Epistle of Peter. The Gospel of Mary. The churchmen went through each work which claimed to be of inspired authorship, and consulted NOT their traditions, for traditions were disparate and irreconcilable; but rather they consulted scholarship and evidence.

    The role of the Holy Ghost is evident not in the final assemblage, which can be done by pure scholarship; but rather by the fact that the various lists of the canon in prior centuries, are so similar to it. Even prior to a scientific gathering of the canon, there were people in the prior 2st, 3rd, 4th centuries who had pretty much the final product already in their hand. They couldn’t prove that theirs was the “real” canon, and they certainly never cited some secret Tradition that told them these were the books and no others. They just happened to have these books; others had other books. And in the end it was scientifically determined that theirs was the right canon all along.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The Church asked Constantine to bring peace to the Church.

    A Synod convened and led by Hosius of Córdoba (Spain) in Eastertide of 325 asked Constantine to resolve the Arian problem. This synod investigated the Arian controversy in the east. The bishops found the teachings of Arius heretical and dangerous to the salvation of souls. In the summer of 325, the bishops of all provinces were summoned to Nicaea, a place reasonably accessible to many delegates, particularly those of Asia Minor, Georgia, Armenia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Greece, and Thrace.​

    I think it is untidy, and perhaps a little judgmental to describe Constantine as becoming a nominal believer. His mother was Christian. Whilst much of what he did might offend the tender sensitivities of our generation, I think it is unfair to declare him a nominal Christian. He certainly saw benefit in a Church which could express some homogeneity throughout the republic.

    Constantine was complex, the Edict of Milan was an amazing moment for the Church. Constantine adopted a Chi Rho as his monogram, attributed the victory at Milvian Bridge to the Chi Rho he had seen in the sky, and to the God of the Christians. He was also Pontifex Maximus - a cultic leader in the Roman Cultic Religion. He was a politician, he was hard on inlaws, and his wife Fausta found herself in hot water.

    Nova Romanum was dedicated the the Virgin Mother of God. The worship centre attached to the Palace in the New Capital was Hagia Irene - a Christian Church. I don't think complex is anything like nominal.
     
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  3. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I agree, of course with what you say here, and would also want to make clear that when I said the church was 'pressured' I didn't mean the church was frogmarched by Constantine into doing something it didn't want to do or that it saw as undesirable. Quite the contrary in fact, though I'm not quite so confident that he ever really became a fully fledged follower of Christ, that will be a matter between him and Jesus, none of my business.

    Constantine helped the church get its house in order. Similarly Henry the VIII did not really found the Anglican Church. The church in England was already contemplating reform and separation from Rome on intractable doctrinal issues long before Henry wanted another divorce and wasn't allowed one. Since Wycliffe it was recognised that Rome was far from right on many theological issues which the church in England found repugnant to the true faith as delivered to the saints. Henry took advantage of that for his own political reasons, (in fact he rather liked the RC church and would have been quite content to remain in it had he managed to get a male heir earlier on in his tryranical reign). It just suited Henry to start his own branch church and put himself in the second to top job with only Jesus as his boss without the Pope as Jesus's next in chain of command.

    An adage worth repeating here though is: "the church wrote everything that went into the bible, the bible did not therefore make the church". The church is made by Christ. Matt.16:18.

    The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The Christian Church is not a new Church, but identical with that of Israel. There is but one olive-tree and it lives on (Rom.11:6-36). The Christian Church is founded on the same covenant and on the same Gospel: the promise of redemption by Christ. Because of the continuity of the covenant the new Israel is grafted into the old, and there is now but a single people.

    This doctrine, according to which the Church is today founded on the Abrahamic covenant-in other words, that the plan of salvation revealed in the Gospel was revealed to Abraham (Gal.3:8), and to the saints of the Old Testament, and that they were saved in exactly the same manner as has been the case with men since the coming of Christ, namely, by faith in Christ - this doctrine is not revealed to us in Scripture in an incidental manner. It forms an integral part of the very substance of the Gospel. It is present in the teaching of our Lord, who came to fulfil and not to abolish the promise (Lk. 24. 27), and who bade those who interrogated Him to search the Scriptures of the Old Testament if they wished to understand what He, the Christ, was teaching.

    The Apostles did just the same. The Christians at Berea were praised because they examined the Scriptures every day in order to verify whether the doctrines taught by the Apostles accorded with this infallible norm (Acts 17:11). These messengers of Christ made constant reference to the Old Testament in support of their teaching. Paul said that the Gospel which he preached had already been taught in the law and the prophets (Rom. 3:21-31). He declared to the Gentiles that they were grafted into the old olive-tree so that they might partake of its root and sap (Rom. 11:17).

    It is thus entirely illegitimate to maintain that there is an essential contrast between the New Testament covenant of grace and that same covenant in the Old Testament. The Gospel covenant of grace is the prolongation of the Abrahamic covenant. The Christian Church is the continuation of the Church of Israel.

    There are some who will not subscribe to these conclusions in view of principles which they esteem as superior. I would just suggest that they do not appear to regard themselves to be bound by the exegesis of the Apostles. That then calls into question whether their exegisis in the matter is at all Apostolic.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2020
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  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The article makes a very interesting read and gels well with what I had already discovered of church history and Constantines part in it.

    The Chi Rho still figures prominently in Christian symbolism even today. Constantine single handedly seems to have 'restored ?' to Christianity the Jewish concept of God taking sides and winning battles for those whom God favours.

    "In Hoc Signo Vinces" did quite a lot of damage to the church's understanding of the teaching of Christ, which previously had been adamantly pacifist under the persecuted church period for the first 300 years of its existence. Constantine changed all that and in a very short time it then became the rioting pagan persecuting church, (citations available if required), and it is a matter of conjecture whether that has been beneficial or not to the effectiveness of The Gospel. Certainly this 'alignment' with Old Testament concepts of a vengeful warlike God who takes sides and wins battles on behalf of his favoured, most righteous warriors has reversed the teaching of Jesus of Nazareth to a considerable degree that has never been fully recovered in the visible church on earth, to this very day.

    Perhaps a thread asking the question "Was God actually involved in the Battle of Milvan Bridge" might be in order, to see the degree to which the 'God of Battles and Lord of Hosts' concept, has now infiltrated the ranks of the just.
    .
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'm not entirely convinced that this is the case. Please consider this explanation from https://www.gotquestions.org/dispensationalism.html
    A dispensation is a way of ordering things—an administration, a system, or a management. In theology, a dispensation is the divine administration of a period of time; each dispensation is a divinely appointed age. Dispensationalism is a theological system that recognizes these ages ordained by God to order the affairs of the world. Dispensationalism has two primary distinctives: 1) a consistently literal interpretation of Scripture, especially Bible prophecy, and 2) a view of the uniqueness of Israel as separate from the Church in God’s program. Classical dispensationalism identifies seven dispensations in God’s plan for humanity.

    Dispensationalists hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible as the best hermeneutic. The literal interpretation gives each word the meaning it would commonly have in everyday usage. Allowances are made for symbols, figures of speech, and types, of course. It is understood that even symbols and figurative sayings have literal meanings behind them. So, for example, when the Bible speaks of “a thousand years” in Revelation 20, dispensationalists interpret it as a literal period of 1,000 years (the dispensation of the Kingdom), since there is no compelling reason to interpret it otherwise.

    There are at least two reasons why literalism is the best way to view Scripture. First, philosophically, the purpose of language itself requires that we interpret words literally. Language was given by God for the purpose of being able to communicate. Words are vessels of meaning. The second reason is biblical. Every prophecy about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament was fulfilled literally. Jesus’ birth, ministry, death, and resurrection all occurred exactly as the Old Testament predicted. The prophecies were literal. There is no non-literal fulfillment of messianic prophecies in the New Testament. This argues strongly for the literal method. If a literal interpretation is not used in studying the Scriptures, there is no objective standard by which to understand the Bible. Each person would be able to interpret the Bible as he saw fit. Biblical interpretation would devolve into “what this passage says to me” instead of “the Bible says.” Sadly, this is already the case in much of what is called Bible study today.

    Dispensational theology teaches that there are two distinct peoples of God: Israel and the Church. Dispensationalists believe that salvation has always been by grace through faith alone—in God in the Old Testament and specifically in God the Son in the New Testament. Dispensationalists hold that the Church has not replaced Israel in God’s program and that the Old Testament promises to Israel have not been transferred to the Church. Dispensationalism teaches that the promises God made to Israel in the Old Testament (for land, many descendants, and blessings) will be ultimately fulfilled in the 1000-year period spoken of in Revelation 20. Dispensationalists believe that, just as God is in this age focusing His attention on the Church, He will again in the future focus His attention on Israel (see Romans 9–11 and Daniel 9:24).

    Dispensationalists understand the Bible to be organized into seven dispensations: Innocence (Genesis 1:1—3:7), Conscience (Genesis 3:8—8:22), Human Government (Genesis 9:1—11:32), Promise (Genesis 12:1Exodus 19:25), Law (Exodus 20:1Acts 2:4), Grace (Acts 2:4Revelation 20:3), and the Millennial Kingdom (Revelation 20:4–6). Again, these dispensations are not paths to salvation, but manners in which God relates to man. Each dispensation includes a recognizable pattern of how God worked with people living in the dispensation. That pattern is 1) a responsibility, 2) a failure, 3) a judgment, and 4) grace to move on.

    Dispensationalism, as a system, results in a premillennial interpretation of Christ’s second coming and usually a pretribulational interpretation of the rapture. To summarize, dispensationalism is a theological system that emphasizes the literal interpretation of Bible prophecy, recognizes a distinction between Israel and the Church, and organizes the Bible into different dispensations or administrations.​

    Do you see anything in this explanation that suggests that "God changes His mind" or that "God changes"? If we look at dispensations as different ways God used at different times to order the way in which people could relate to Him, in the course of progressively revealing more about Himself to mankind, I think there's no implication of God changing (or changing His mind), but an implication that God mapped out an intricate, stepped plan in advance that He's been following all along.
     
  8. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You saying that God relates to men "differently" is the same thing as me saying that God "changes his mind". In other words, he chooses a way to relate to mankind, but then at another time he decides to relate differently. But even that's not really adequate, and he later decides to relate to mankind in yet another way. Eventually even that stops becoming adequate, and keeps changing and changing.

    There are a few problems with that view:
    -it indicates that God's design for any particular dispensation is "imperfect" or "incomplete". It is time-relative, and with enough time will become obsolete or irrelevant.
    -it strips away human confidence in reference to the things of God. We cannot have confidence that our understanding of God at this present time is in any way constant, or complete.

    In the Anglican understanding there is only one way that God has ever related to mankind. In fact they are so radical in this view, that they will even deny that the Church began in the New Testament, instead positing that the Old Testament was the church also, and indeed there was always ever only one church, from the beginning of God's interaction with man in history, after Noah. Of course this change suffered a radical re-organization by the arrival of the Messiah, but in terms of salvation history, there was only one Church; in Anglican writings you will find expressions like the "five-thousand years of the Christian church", etc. That's the radicalism with which we would assert the one single unchanging design of God, across all of history.
     
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  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Actually I'm saying "God relates to men differently at different times" is not the same thing as "God changes His mind." Entirely different.

    Did God treat and relate to Adam & Eve the same way as He related to Abraham? No. Could He relate to the Israelites in the wilderness the same way as He relates to us now? No, that would not have made sense, because Jesus had not yet incarnated, died, and risen from the dead. See, different dispensations!

    None of this 'strips away' our confidence in God, nor should it. And when it comes to "our understanding of God at this present time" being incomplete, you bet it is! (!!) Our understanding of God is better than that of the patriarchs, though, because God has revealed so much more about Himself through time; for us the Father has revealed Himself through the incarnated Son. And still our understanding is far from complete, for His ways and thoughts are so much higher than our ways and thoughts. I don't see how God's progressive revelation of Himself can be disputed, as it's seen all through the Bible.

    If one is to say that God must be constant in showing the same revelation of Himself to all people, one is placing a humanistic, rationalized limitation upon the infinite Creator. He does things His way, so what was stopping Him from taking things one step at a time with the human beings He gave life to?

    I would ask what your real objection to dispensationalism is. Because in your post which I quoted, your objections were quite narrow and specific. Now you have raised new ones. But I have a feeling there's some larger reason lurking under the surface. Is it, perhaps, because dispensationalism is widely accepted among those ((gasp!)) fundamentalist Protestants? Wondering if anything they think :placeholder8 must automatically be discarded :thumbsdown: on the basis of 'guilt by association'?
     
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  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Actually, St. Paul teaches that Abraham was justified by faith. Right? Failing to understand this is just one of the blindspots that comes from a rejection of radical uniformity between the New and the Old Testaments. The classical traditional view of God's mind as unchanging, gives us the insight that the New Testament was not a new dispensation, at all. All of the teachings of the gospel were already present in the Old Testament:
    -substitutionary atonement (obviously)
    -the Messiah (obviously)
    -the Trinity (first line of Genesis, hello)
    -God as Love (huge in the book of Deuteronomy)
    -circumcision of the heart > circumcision of the flesh (huge in Ezekiel, Isaiah, the prophets)
    -the sacraments of Regeneration and of the Heavenly Food
    -justification by faith, in Abraham, many of the Psalms, Jeremiah ("the Lord our righteousness")
    -the moral law

    You almost didn't need the New Testament. The Messiah merely came with greater clarity and greater force to show and teach these things.

    And that's why I would reject the whole dispensational way of thinking.

    In short, It corrupts our understanding of the gospel, it drives division between the books of the holy scriptures.

    It fails to see this radical unity and uniformity of the sacred revelation of God. It fails to understand why Jesus held the Jews to account, why he blamed them for failing to keep the gospel (if he was the first originator of it!). It fails to understand how St. Paul could draw such radical continuities between the Old and New Testaments. It commits the heresy of Marcionism, namely that the Old and the New Testaments are to a large degree different books, containing different messages, and teaching different things about the nature of the Sacred.

    This is why the classical traditional view posits God's will as unchanging and uniform, with an awesome overwhelming intent, which is true for all times and places.

    Also, dispensationalism first came into the church in the 1700-1800s, which ipso facto, automatically, means that it is wrong from that fact alone, even if I said nothing else.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You get a like for this from me Stalwart but that is not to say there is no merit whatever in a convenient scheme naming different periods in church history, just that what has become known as Dispensationalism is a whole man made 'ism' which comes with some erronious theological assumptions and I am habitually suspicious of 'isms'.

    The pre and post Pentecost church certainly has the same Lord, the same Holy Spirit and the same requirement of Faith but the covenant under which the church now resides is a 'Better' covenant than the previous one, so there must have been a change in something, and that something probably includes the extent of the church itself, (which is far more inclusive than it previously was), otherwise its covenant could hardly be said to be 'better' by such an authority as scripture itself. Nevertheless the church exists as a continuity of God's purpose thoughout history, rather than a new fangled innovation started by Jesus of Nazareth in 32AD.
    .
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2021
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  12. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    That’s a really good point. When the Creed says “according to the scriptures” (secundum scripturas), it is quoting 1 Cor. 15. That passage is referring specifically to the Old Testament. Reading it in light of Christ’s resurrection, they found all that we would call Christian doctrine right there in its very pages.
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that is a much more cogent explanation. I can chew on that! :)

    I will raise one more issue, though. The Holy Spirit was not sent to live in the hearts of believers until Pentecost, after Jesus ascended.
    Joh_16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
    Joh_16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth...

    In light of this, how do we say that this is not a different dispensation? Prior to Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon certain people to anoint them for offices or tasks (King David is an example), but He did not live within those people; their bodies were not temples of the Holy Spirit as ours are. How do you answer this?
     
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  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There is little doubt that the promise of the gift of The Holy Spirit's residence and consequent guidance within each servant of Christ on earth became freely available to any who ask on the Day of Pentecost. Scripture certainly leads us to accept that fact. However it would be an oversimplification of scriptural understanding to go from there and assume that the Holy Spirit did not have an active role in the church nor guide and direct it until the dawn of The Day of Pentecost 32AD. 2 Sam.23:2, Zch.4:1-14, Gen.1:2, Gen.6:3. Ex.31:3, Num.11:25, Ps.51:11, and many many more right up to Luke 1:13-16, until John 3:5.

    "Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    Jesus can't be speaking about an experience which has never yet happened to anyone on earth and yet be 'surprised' that a leader in Israel such as Nicodemus has not yet experienced it. If no one could yet experience what Jesus here describes until the day of Pentecost, how could Jesus possibly be surprised that Nicodemus has never experienced it or suggest that he should have?

    It seems not to have occurred to most believers who have been brought up to believe the Day of Pentecost was the beginning of the church, that this statement of Jesus would be utterly pointless and irrelevant to Nicodemus if it were not possible for him, (along with the rest of the Old Testament church), to potentially at least, already have received the Holy Spirit. In fact being "born of the Spirit" has always been possible for every descendent of Adam. Jesus seems surprised that anyone on earth does not know that.

    "“Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?
    “Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?"


    Jesus was "born of The Spirit", which was how he could do, think and say the things that he did. He was a descendant of Adam just like everyone else but without the handicap of 'original stupidity' like the rest of us. :laugh:

    If it were impossible for Nicodemus or anyone else on earth to receive the Holy Spirit, then Jesus' suggestion that his not receiving the Holy Spirit is merely a matter of lack of understanding, lack of faith or wrong belief would be an invalid conclusion, and I don't believe anything that Jesus concluded was ever invalid.

    This is not difficult to explain if we understand that God is ONE. The Holy spirit is GOD, but so is Jesus and so is The Father. You can't have two or more modes of The Trinity present at the same time. Jesus had to GO before he could return as The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is an even closer and more intimate form of Jesus than was his mortal, physical, human form, to those who met him and heard him and touched him. 1 Jn.1:1-3, Rev.3:20. John 14:17-20. Jesus may not just be referring to his post resurrection physical apearances, but also to the outpouring of His Spirit upon His Church.

    This is what is different after Pentecost. A separation has taken place between the way the world experiences the Holy Spirit, [it cannot see him and cannot know him - (Jesus Christ), and the way Christ's church experiences him, [he is with it and in it - (The Holy Spirit). The crowd of "Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs", who heard Peter and the other Apostles speaking about God’s deeds of power were already "The Church" of Jesus Christ, which is exactly why they cried out, “Brothers, what should we do?” Acts 2:37-39. They were, just like Nicodemus, ignorant of how to be delivered into the life of The Holy Spirit. Peter acted as midwife to the church and told them what to do. 5000 got successfully "born of The Spirit", not a forceps or induced delivery in sight, but the promise was already to them and their children after them.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I don't see how one can read that passage and conclude that Jesus was surprised. The 'surprised' person, plainly, was Nicodemus! He was puzzled and clueless about what Jesus had just said about the need to be born again. This goes to show that the people back then, outside of the Son of God, had no exposure to the very thing you're trying to say was well known to them. What Jesus was explaining in the quoted verse was something totally new to to the people. They'd never heard such teaching from their leaders nor read such things in their scriptures. Nicodemus was well versed in the scriptures, yet he was astonished!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I think you are confusing mode with mission. More fundamentally, there was more than one mode present at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration. In the Christian understanding of some OT theophanies/visions there was more than one mode present, e.g., Daniel 7 (the "Ancient of Days" and the "son of man"). There was more than one mode present in the vision at the end of the Book of Revelation ("the throne of God, and of the Lamb, and the river of the water of life proceeding from both"). I want to charitably interpret what you have written, but am concerned that your apparent identification of Jesus with the Spirit may run afoul of the Athanasian Creed:

    "And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
    neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
    For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost."
     
  17. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Jesus was surprised that Nicodemus was astonished. He said "don't be astonished" as if what Jesus was telling Nicodemus should be utterly self evident to anyone who had experienced life in the Spirit. It is almost as if Jesus is expecting Nicodemus, a leader of the people, to be conversant with what Jesus is suggesting should be common knowledge to him.

    What I am suggesting is that the ages leading up to the Day of Pentecost were not God witholding the Holy Spirit from the human race. It was the human race being unreceptive of God's Holy Spirit, therefore unable to receive. Until we are enabled to receive the Holy Spirit, we can't. John 14:17.

    It has been Jesus' return to the position of 2nd person of the Trinity that has enabled us. If he had not returned, we would not be enabled.

    "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." There are so many spiritual circular reasons and causes here it is impossible to tell chickens from eggs. Rom.8:16.

    I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

    "
    I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." It is HE, Jesus that is in us, in the Person of The Holy Spirit. And this works both forward and backwards in time. Ps.119:50.

    אֶמְרָה
    STRONG’S NUMBER:h0565 (Word) John 1:1.
    Dictionary Definitionh0565. אִמְרָה ’imrâ; or אֶמְרָה ’emrah; feminine of 561, and meaning the same: — commandment, speech, word.
    AV (37) - word 29, speech 7, commandment 1;
    utterance, speech, word, word of God, the Torah
    SEARCH FORh0565אֶמְרָה
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    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  18. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There’s not a lot to say here, because even the incarnation of the Messiah (arguably a greater event) didn’t usher in a new dispensation.

    The constancy and uniformity of God’s will does not erase the fact that history happens. The Ten Commandments also happened at a particular time, and before them the world was a different place. Similarly the Logos became incarnate at some particular time, and not before that. God’s unchanging will maybe didn’t alter after these events, but obviously history was inarguably affected by them.

    If we subtract all of the history of the New Testament, and then keep going further back to unwind the history of the Old Testament, then we’d encounter a time before the Prophets when circumcision of the heart was less obvious. We would roll back further and undo the Psalms, Proverbs, David and Solomon. How much would God’s will become less clear then? We could further and undo all the way back to Abraham, to where the nature of justification itself wasn’t clear; no substitutionary atonements ever (yet) had taken place. God’s will maybe was unchanging, but how hard to grasp would it have been to us at that time?

    Sacred history, then, is a history of ever greater clarifications of God’s will.

    And I would argue that his great clarifications did not end at Pentecost, either. The Church continues to (fallibly) live out and show his great design. The modern transgender world has shown us awkwardly clearly, and awkwardly close (our own children, even the roots of our own hearts), what a world absent of God actually and truly looks like. That’s a clarification right? Not even the Fathers could have grasped so empirically, what the rule of Baphomet would look like, as we can now.

    So many people are converting to God right now, once it’s been seen what a subtraction of him looks like. It’s no longer an abstract theology; this stuff is real, visible, practical now, like never before.

    So my reply would be that God continues to act to manifest his will, across history.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2021
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    The persons of the Trinity are inseperable. They can't be treated as 'individuals', even though we refer to them as 'Persons' they are the ONE God, not three individuals. The Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one. In all things the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

    Maybe in visions it is possible for the human mind to visualise two or more persons of the Trinity but that comes very close to 'seeing' more than one eternal or more than one incomprehensible or more than one uncreate at any one time. That defies logic and would possibly 'divide the substance' of The Trinity, (theoretically treating them as three individuals), which they are not, because there is only One God, not three Gods.

    I still think this is why Jesus had to go, before the Holy Spirit would come. Basically because they are all ONE.
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  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Yes but he shouldn't have been astonished, and Jesus said that he shouldn't be astonished, he should already have known, being a leader of the people. If it were actually impossible, (at the time Jesus said this to him), for Nicodemus to have reveived the Holy Spirit and been 'born again' then how is it that Jesus is telling him that he shouldn't be surprised at Jesus telling him he could be, just like anyone else that is "born of The Spirit".

    Surely being born of the spirit is the same as being "Circumcised of Heart". Deut.10:16, Deut.30:1-20, Ezek.11:19, Ezek.36:26, Rom.2:29,
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