David, what would motivate a GC president to fire “personally” the church’s preeminent ethicist other than having exposed his vulnerabilities? This is reminiscent of story of the prophet Nathan and King David.
Like I say…
Earthlings = wicked, deceived, law trashing, God hating, truth trampling, criminally, insane, perverted, depraved, rebels…Jer 17:9, Rom 8:7, 2 Thess 2
I’m lost Gideon.
Would you be kind to place the appropriate commas and periods so I can make sense of the sentence? Please don’t make me guess. Thank you.
Don’t ask me for help! I have no clue what happened to the “central command”…
Hi Steve! Perhaps you misunderstood my point, so I will rephrase. The Genesis’ author is indeed engaging in a polemic with surrounding people’s concepts about God and origins, but in order to do that effectively he is using a similar language. Also, he is using known concepts, but (I said) he turns them on their head, gives them a different meaning.
What you said about the 4th is true, but here also we notice new meanings on older concepts. Babylonians, absorbing the Sumerian culture, upheld as “doomed” or “unlucky” days such as New Moon, the 7th, 14th, Full Moon, 19th, 21st and 28th days of the month (the inclusion of the 19th is something interesting but I will leave it for now). On these days, they believed, the gods were resting. The 4th commandment is part of a broader reform and has to do with a new pattern of time reckoning AND the work and rest pattern. The Babylonians rested (not all of them) on these “unlucky” days to not disturb the gods, but the Genesis author describes the creation in seven days exactly for the purpose to argue that they, the Hebrews, rest every seventh day because their God rested on the seventh day.
I came across an idea a few months ago and thought you might be interested, especially since, in comment #82, you mentioned Christ ministering ‘outside the camp’ or away from the accepted religious institutions of the day, indeed that the sanctuary moved from the temple to the foot of the cross.
There are some who believe that Zechariah, John’s father, was actually the legitimate high priest when Jesus was born. The Bible tells us that both he and his wife Elizabeth were descendants of Aaron (Luke 1:5), so he qualified genealogically.
In the days of Christ, the office of high priest was no longer passed down from father to son but was appointed by the Roman authorities. It was very financially lucrative what with temple taxes, converting coin of the realm to temple money and the resulting exorbitant fees charged for the purchase of sacrificial animals, especially to out-of-towners visiting during the three main festivals. (Hence Christ’s anger at the money changers who turned God’s house into a den of thieves.)
So, if you subscribe to this interpretation, after the death of his father John the Baptist was really the high priest in God’s eyes, and his baptism of Christ was a washing preparing Jesus (his closest male relative) for assuming the role as High Priest upon John’s own death (Ex 40:12).
It was also initiating the new order of priesthood, the order of Melchizedec and of course foreshadowing Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to new life. (All valid reasons for Christ to say it was ‘to fulfill all righteousness.’)
Thus, God’s presence at the Jordan River and approval of the ceremony there may also have signified His abandonment of the temple (Ichabod redux so to speak).
The point I’m trying to get to is that your exit from Adventism and being ‘outside the camp’ or outside a denomination is not the worst thing. It may prove to be a fruitful time of growth and blessing.
(I suggest, if you are interested, you research this idea yourself but as one commentator said, we need not be dogmatic about this, but it is one of those ideas that make us marvel at the endless intricacies of God’s word.)
Hey, that’s cool-and-a-half ! Of course it makes sense !
Herod wasn’t really from ‘Judah’, so why would Caiaphas necessarily be from ‘Levi’.
As for leaving the SDA church, this is the second time for me. The first time I learned a lot, simply because no one was there to spoon feed me sermons and Sabbath School lessons, etc. One of the coolest things I stumbled across, I don’t even know what to call, except ‘fractal stacking’. The early SDAs learned to compare Bible text with Bible text, and ‘fractal stacking’ is roughly the same idea, except more visual, and includes God’s first ‘Word’, of Creation.
Check this out:
When Jesus became human, too, who was his Father ? God the ‘Father’.
So how did the ‘law’ of 10 commandments look, written in Christ’s heart ?
4 regarding His relationship with God and 6 regarding His relationship with human peers ?
No, because #5 deals with ‘father’, and Christ’s Father was ‘God’.
Also, Jesus began teaching humans to regard God as ‘Our Father’, especially in the 'new birth, ‘in Christ’, etc. So, 5-and-5 is not only far more symmetrical, but far more reasonable, this way. Because, ‘fractal-stacking’ the ‘senses’ from the longest range sense to the closest range (ignoring the ‘traditional’ ‘5 senses’ descriptions) with the 5-and-5 sets:
Binocular focused vision:
10) If we don’t covet our peers’ stuff
1) We won’t make ‘other gods’ of that stuff
9) If we don’t engrave gossipy falsehoods about our peers in the ears of others
(hammers, anvils, stirrups . . . cochlear membrane, etc. little needles actually scratch a membrane in our ears to enable us to hear)
2) We won’t engrave false imaginations of God
8) If we don’t disregard the ‘equity’ of ownership among our peers by robbing what is in their name
3) We won’t rob God of His good name by considering it to be useless
Chemical senses, Smell-Taste:
7) If we don’t disrespect marriages by adulterously ‘mixing’ up their fidelity
4) We won’t adulterate our Sabbath-fidelity with God
(If something is adulterated, like milk, it stinks and/or tastes sour, etc.)
6) If we don’t dishonor life by hating it enough to touch, grasp and murder our peers
5) Then we will honor the source of our lives – parents, both Earthly and Heavenly
. . . and what is even more interesting is that as Lucifer in Heaven
( 10&1 ) coveted Christ’s high position desiring to be worshiped as ‘God’.
( 9&2 ) began to gossip lies and false imaginations about God, thereby
( 8&3 ) robbing the angels of their God, and the God-Family of Their good name .
Then he led other angels into
( 7&4 ) adulterously breaking faith with each other and with the God-Family.
And, finally, he
( 6&5 ) hated and tried to murder Christ, thus dishonoring his own life-giving Creators.
So, it turns out that the ‘10 commandments’ symmetrically-arranged and paired as they were in the Christ’s ‘heart’ (‘Thy law is within my heart.’ Psalm 40:8) describe a step-by-step 2-way path into and out of ‘sin’ – into and out of ‘errors’ – in our relationships with God and with our peers.
What is also interesting is that when they are written in ‘old covenant’ stone (not new covenant ‘fleshy tables of the heart’) they are arranged unsymmetrically as 4&6. Deacon Stephen explained this in his death sermon.
Quoting God from Amos, he pointed out to his murderers that their ancestors had not worshipped the true God for 40 years in the wilderness, but Moloch (or Saturn, or Kronos . . . . ) who ate his children. And what Israelite who thought of their God as a child-eater would want that God as their father ?
So for those who are afraid of, and therefore hate, God, like those who stoned Stephen, #5 remains on the side with peers – such as are Earthly parents, alone – for those not ‘born of the Spirit’ ‘in Christ’ as ‘children of God’ and ‘joint-heirs with Christ’, etc.
. . . so, no, I’m not as afraid outside of Adventism as I am inside of it, and I know from experience that it is much easier, and far more fun, to learn outside.
Thanks for another cool idea to contemplate !
Thanks, Dennis, for the insights on the 10 Commandments.
If I am not mistaken, you are in a way describing an important element of ancient literature (and especially Hebrew thought) called the chiasm or chiasmus.
In our modern western way of thinking a story builds from the beginning and reaches a climax near the end. Not so in the chiasm. The crucial point is in the middle and the steps to it/from it are outlined and reflected before and after it, hence the linking of commandments 1&10, 2&9, etc. So, commandments 5&6 are of special importance. I think you could argue that the two great commandments of Jesus are found in them. (God is our Father and we can’t love Him without loving, and therefore not harming others (1John 4:20)). As you say, it’s about honouring life and the sources of it.
If you’re interested, this pattern is explained using the example of Noah’s flood in this Wikipedia article:
You can find chiasms all over the Bible (many in Psalms and Proverbs). Some say the books of Daniel and Revelation are each one huge chiasm.
It can get tricky because the numbering of chapters and verses came much later than the original writings but it would be hard to dispute that the point of Daniel is chapter seven in which the vision of the four beast kingdoms is related, the Ancient of Days sits in judgment, and the Son of Man is given dominion over the earth.
If you want to study this more thoroughly I suggest you obtain a copy of ‘The Companion Bible’ by E. W. Bullinger. He saw many chiasms throughout the Bible.
11/01/18 - 1/1
That is pure gold, Elmer!
Klaus Hempfling is my favorite Horse Prophet:
Beautiful—makes me cry.
If you want to run with me, now,
First you must be where I am.
We can find what you’ve forgotten,
Open, let the magic in.
Set me free and you can’t lose me,
I am always here with you,
Singing songs of ancient beauty;
Remember what you always knew…
There are many profound spiritual lessons in the human-horse relationship.
Apparently this was not written by a Horse Whisperer:
Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
- Prophet versus King with
- Gardener versus Carpenter
Still mulling over the meaning of Present Truth.
Just popping in…back to vacay…
LOL, when I saw your name, I thought, “that’s a short vacation!”
That is what I fear My snarky interface is having a hard time being suppressed. When my chin feathers become sufficiently ruffled, I will fly the Spectrum coop for a wee holiday. (yes, with visions of unshaved elephants)
Keep popping in. We miss you when you vacay.
Thanks again for the references and shared interest ! (Sabbaths away from home are long.)
But, just to back up what you are saying regarding ‘chiasms’:
They have symmetry.
And the symmetrical center of Biblical history just before (‘just’ ? = about 500 years !) the Christ was in Malachi and Zechariah’s time. Both of these prophets joined commandments # 3 and # 8. Malachi in chapter 3 regarding tithe and Zechariah’s chapter 5 ‘flying scroll’. (I believe I’ve also seen #4 and #7 linked in either Jeremiah or Ezekiel, besides Ellen describing the Sabbath and Marriage as the 2 ‘institutions’ to pass out of the gates of Eden. It takes her a while in the first pages of P&P, but she gets there.)
But, Malachi, especially has that symmetrical chiasm structure in describing the failures of both Judah’s Kings and Levi’s Priests to separately accomplish the privilege of honoring God as not having a reputation (‘Name’) of being ‘vain’ a.k.a. helpless, maimed and useless in the face of wickedness. Of course the ‘Melchi-Zadok’ to come after those prophets took up that privilege as Judah and Levi fell into vain uselessness and lost their own ‘good’ reputations even among the ‘heathen’.
And, as for not honoring the Source of Life resulting in ‘murder’ . . . that began in Eden, when God simply asked Adam what he had done. Adam not merely blamed his peer --‘Eve’ – essentially hating her whom he had loved so much just moments before, but he also blamed God for creating her as a gift to Adam.
The quieter one of the Wieland and Short team – Donald Karr Short – wrote a manuscript shortly after ‘QOD’ happened in the SDA religion. He waited 3 decades to publish it as ‘Then Shall the Sanctuary Be Cleansed’. His belief was that the last ‘unknown’ or unrecognized sin to be confessed and washed away from the SDA church is the will to kill God.
Some may think this unthinkable and impossible, but it has been demonstrated 2,000 years ago, and remember, Adam’s condemnation of God in order to justify himself, was expressed in conjunction with his condemnation of the woman, ‘Eve’ (Who blamed God and the ‘Serpent’ God made, not Adam.), at the very beginnings of sin infecting humanity.
And of course this condemnation of ‘the opposite sex’ still exists even in the SDA church as recent events have proven. When this anti-W.O. mindset is finally confessed as the sin that it is, then we will see that it is the same mindset that wanted to not only murder, but humiliate, God, Himself, in Christ, 2,000 years ago. And the same mindset that infected the Levite described in Judges, who was so willing to sacrifice his ‘valuable’ Bethlehemite concubine to the raping mob, before chopping her into ‘post-its’ and mailing them around as
"A Declaration of War" . . . .
That seems pretty harsh. I would quote Paul, ‘I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, there was no need for Christ to die.’ (Gal 2:21). It appears to me that Christ’s birth, life, and especially His death and resurrection don’t seem to be as meaningful in Adventism as they are in other Christian groups.
I think that many in Adventism believe that obedience to the law, not the recognition that God has given us new life in Christ, is the essential element in the salvation equation. One Adventist put it like this - we are to do our best and Christ will then make up the difference. Another wrote that even one unconfessed and unforsaken sin when we die will ‘keep us from Eden’. I’m convinced neither view reflects the gospel.
I think Adam’s response, blaming God, was far more serious than Eve’s excuse. To me that, not male headship, is why Paul compares the awful mess the first Adam got us into to the solution the second Adam has brought about for us. To have two Adams (the first who started with both perfect physical and spiritual life but corrupted both and the second who stooped into this corruption and brought us out) makes a wonderful, contrasting comparison. (See Rom 5:12-20)
Thanks for the reminder about the symmetry of the chiastic structure. That is essential to its beauty.
Your interpretation of the chiastic nature of the Biblical times got me thinking; what if all history is a chiasm?
I have recently pictured history as a huge circle, a giant arc starting in Eden before sin and finally bending back to close itself ending in a world in which sin is a thing of the past. But, perhaps it is a chiasm and more like the letter V and we are near the bottom, and the turning point is the judgment of all of us by God at the end of this age.
We started out perfect and sinless in the first Adam and have been going downhill since. I won’t go into detail but in our world today there are many problems that we cannot seem to solve, and some of them, like climate change and unaccounted for nuclear material, one can argue are existential. Sometimes I think we are being backed into a corner and we will eventually realize that God is the only one who can help us. That seemed to be the pattern of OT Israel.
I believe we are approaching a judgment of God. Afterward, we will enter the next age, the sabbath millennium or thousand year period soon coming in which the kingdom will grow on the earth. Much as the weekly sabbath is a time to reflect, and learn of God, so will be the seventh millennium, the sabbath age.
‘Now it will come about in the last days, the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains [kingdoms], and will be raised above the hills [nations]; And all the nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob; that He may teach us concerning His ways and that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion and the word of the Lord from [new] Jerusalem. And He will judge between the nations, and will render decisions for many peoples; and they will hammer their swords into plow shares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and never again will they learn war.’ (Is 2:1-4).
Perhaps the mileposts on mankind’s return leg to God will somehow be symmetrical with those we passed as we progressively abandoned the ways He set out for us.
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