Hi, it’s me again, the Angel Court Recorder. Honestly, I think this next chapter was a test, and came early on, at that. I sat on the ledge here in the Angel Court and typed…
Experience and observation have taught me that a faith rooted inside ourselves will surely fail. “Seizing the day” approximates trying to seize the Empire State Building, unless, through some strange quirk of luck, everything just goes your way. This will definitely not last. People can believe whatever they want. They will find out. Inside ourselves, we seldom (almost never) have the resources we need, especially if we are trying to do the right thing. The discussion that follows assumes you have already arrived at this conclusion.
For any philosophy or belief system, faith finds it’s root, or lack there-of, in whatever the ‘source material’ is for that belief system. This aspect is the absolutely crucial starting point. Starry-eyed intentions and home-grown theories aside, a faith that is rooted outside ourselves, is only as good as the documents that describe it’s basis. Faith is like a loop in the end of a rope. It is only as secure as the other end of that same rope.
I will unfailingly hold to the ‘Christian Bible’, in Old and New Testaments, as historically collected, as the solely authoritative, and wholly definitive basis for the only truly viable belief system. The main reason I say this is that this belief system alone corresponds to reality closely enough, that it explains how and why the true God is what He is, and more importantly, does what He does. In other words, God Himself has chosen to work through, to blaze brightly through this source material, and none other, and He continues to do so! I have lived long, enough to be sure that this is a valid observation.
Yes, I believe in miracles, those miracles that come from the power of God Himself. This power alone is what sets Old Testament Judiasm, and the New Testament Christianity God nurtured through it, as a religion unto itself. It is a religion, a philosophy that not only allows for God to do amazing things, but God Himself choses to do amazing things within this context, and this context alone.
The adversary satan (discussed later) can do things that seem miraculous, but he must first get God’s permission in order to do so. And such permission is seldom given, for now anyway. In a time yet future, this adversary will be allowed to mislead our entire planet; this false god will pretend he is a god. Fortunately, this time, his time will be short! For now though, satan’s destructive agenda is mostly ‘restrained’ and blocked.
By comparison, the birth of Israel as a nation, and the birth of the New Testament Church; both amazing ‘unfoldings’ were accompanied by so many ‘signs’ — miraculous phenomenon! As one of the writers of the Bible indicates, so many amazing things simply went un-recorded. But this is the point. The God of the Bible does things. He alone does things. I will believe that until I die, because the historical documents (the Bible) so clearly spell this out.
The main subject here are these historical documents, that source material alone which is worthy of the closest scrutiny. From Moses to the Apostle John, the Bible portrays such a unity of thought, a unity of world-view, and so clearly reveals a God who never changes, even while humanity puts His Son on the cross! Some have tried to break this record down into epochs using all sorts of artificial criterion, usually because they had some theological axe to grind. I guess it seems others proved all to eager to jump on their band-wagon. The King of the ages can only smile at such meagre attempts at seeking to prove He is not who, what He really is. What He has so clearly and irrefutably DONE IN HISTORY and continues to do, disproves even the most intricate of designs to the contrary.
The case is often made, even by those who should know better, that as Moses wrote the first five books, he used oral tradition as his guide, especially as he wrote of events prior to his own life. Seriously? From the book of Exodus on, God spoke, God directed, God sought to communicate… Thus says the Lord… And the Lord spoke to me… And the Lord said this sacrifice should be done exactly like this… Go, tell my people… And then, for Genesis, events prior to Moses’ lifetime… Oh, well, Moses just collected ancient narratives, and merged them all together… That is… rediculous…
God Himself told Moses EXACTLY how he wanted Israel’s ‘worship center’, the Tabernacle to be built, even down to specific construction techniques and materials. Since God did that, of course He would fill Moses in on the events from the creation of the Earth and Universe on; God knew. He was there. He did it! Moses wrote what he was told. At one point Moses even wrote “the man Moses was meek above all men of the earth.” Moses knew this was true, but that verse is probably in there because God told Moses to include it. Moses never boasted. But God insisted Moses insert this truth. And if God took interest in details like that…
Moses’ use of Covenant terminology is also pointed to, presumably to show that Moses simply borrowed from surrounding cultures. Wait — God is telling Moses what, how, and when! What difference does it even make that the Canaanites and others had some primative form of covenant use? The Canaanites had worship centers too (sort of), but their ‘worship’ was hidiously… nevermind. But the one that God directed Moses to build… ASIDE from the fact that Israel’s worship center was so beautiful, and so clearly both functional and didactic (lessons in every piece), the amazing thing was that God Himself inhabited the mercy seat in the center, and supported a pillar of blazing light during the night, and white clouds during the day; a pillar rising miles into the sky… God was THERE! Did the Canaanites have worship centers? Of course, but God Himself lived in the one Israel built. And God told Moses exactly what to do, and how to do it. Then God came and ‘settled’ there.
As a unified document spanning millennia, the Bible stands alone, not only because of the history that it so painfully records (failures as well as triumphs), but more importantly, as a document that God Himself has caused to be written. “Men spoke from God, being carried by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). From Moses through the New Testament, this has been God’s way. Nurtured down through history, we have in the Old and New Testaments exactly what God wants us to have, what He wants us to know — the God who alone does things! And what God has caused to be written about the future, our future, well we had better take notes!
Please don’t write the Bible off because of Christians you have known or seen. In many ways, we are our own worst enemy! And I think we all know Christians who say they believe one thing, but their lives… But the God of the Bible, HE is worth a lifetime of careful study, and the Bible is where you will find Him. Well, and we will all stand before Him after we die. That is a good reason in itself, but maybe a little too late to be helpful.
My Father actually does stuff. God STILL intervenes in human history, in people’s lives, and performs an amazing array of miracles as He does. And it is the Christian Bible that tells me how and why… Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. I just can’t ignore that.
— ACR, (c)2017