Thursday 27 February 2020

What is Heaven?

What is Heaven? 

Literal meaning 

The usual Hebrew word for "heavens" is _shamayim_, a plural form meaning "heights," "elevations" #Ge 1:1 2:1

The heavens can be considered "a natural phenomena and not [always] as the dwelling of the deity." (131) (See Mat 10:29)

The heaven(s)” may apply to the full range of earth’s atmosphere in which dew and frost form (Ge 27:28; Job 38:29), the birds fly (De 4:17; Pr 30:19; Mt 6:26), the winds blow (Ps 78:26), lightning flashes (Lu 17:24), and the clouds float and drop their rain, snow, or hailstones (Jos 10:11; 1Ki 18:45; Isa 55:10; Ac 14:17).

 “The sky” is sometimes meant, that is, the apparent or visual dome or vault arching over the earth.—Mt 16:1-3; Ac 1:10, 11.

The physical “heavens” extend through earth’s atmosphere and beyond to the regions of outer space with their stellar bodies, “all the army of the heavens”—sun, moon, stars, and constellations. (De 4:19; Isa 13:10; 1Co 15:40, 41; Heb 11:12) The first verse of the Bible describes the creation of such starry heavens prior to the development of earth for human habitation. (Ge 1:1)

And these have a firmament corresponding to each aeon-heaven. They were given names according to the glory which belongs to heaven for the destruction of the powers. (apocryphon of John)

And a voice came forth from the exalted aeon-heaven: '

This is the hebdomad

 For these are those who have a firmament corresponding to each aeon.

These are the ones who have a firmament corresponding to each heaven and aeon according to the likeness of the Aeon which exists from the beginning, in the model of the indestructible ones.

Symbolic meaning

In the Old and New Testament, "the phrase 'heavens and earth' signifies, in analogy the whole political world. The aspects of the political world, the focus of the bible prophecy, are related to aspects we understand of the natural world. In the political world some are elevated above others into ruling positions. Those great ones that rule are 'high' above the ordinary person and are said to be in 'the heavens'. The Hebrew for 'heaven'(shâmayim) is from a word for 'lofty', or 'high'. One can rise in power into the political heavens, and likewise descend. The ordinary person is said to be of the earth. In Hebrew a word for 'earth' (ădâmâh) is related to the name Adam.

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice. (Psalm 96:11) 

Hear, heavens, and listen, earth; for Yahweh has spoken: (Isaiah 1:2) 
Sing, you heavens, for Yahweh has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth! (Isaiah 44:23)

In all of these instances the heavens and earth have human emotions, and skills, which inanimate nature cannot have. They are poetry and prophecy are analogy. Isaiah particularly uses this analogy

Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; 

for Yahweh has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted. (Isaiah 49:13)

Isaiah is both poetry and prophecy. Note the poetic pairs: heavens - people, earth - afflicted.

In any instance when you read 'heavens' in a prophetic book, or a prophetic song, where it is speaking of the fate of nations, think first it means political heavens. There may be some instances where prophets speak of the natural world, but they will be rarer.

Daniel 8:9-12, where what has previously been shown to represent a political power is spoken of as “getting greater all the way to the army of the heavens,” and even causing some of that army and of the stars to fall to the earth

3772 ouranos οὐρανόςοὐρανοῦ (from a root meaning 'to cover,' 'encompass'; cf. Vanicek, p. 895; Curtius, § 509),

Perhaps from the same as oros (through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension, heaven (as the abode of God); by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel (Christianity) -- air, heaven(-ly), sky.

3772 ouranós – heaven (singular), and nearly as often used in the plural ("heavens"). "The singular and plural have distinct overtones and therefore should be distinguished in translation (though unfortunately they rarely are)" (G. Archer).

The incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Reason; and the world, perceptible by the external senses, was made on the model of it; and the first portion of it, being also the most excellent of all made by the Creator, was the heaven, which he truly called the firmament, as being corporeal; for the body is by nature firm, inasmuch as it is divisible into three parts; and what other idea of solidity and of body can there be, except that it is something which may be measured in every direction? therefore he, very naturally contrasting that which was perceptible to the external senses, and corporeal with that which was perceptible only by the intellect and incorporeal, called this the firmament. (37) Immediately afterwards he, with great propriety and entire correctness, called it the heaven, either because it was already the Boundary{2} of everything, or because it was the first of all visible things which was created; and after its second rising he called the time day, referring the entire space and measure of a day to the heaven, on account of its dignity and honour among the things perceptible to the external senses.

{2} {philo means that ouranos was derived either from horos, a boundary, or from horaoµ, to see, horatos, visible.}

Gen 1:6 ¶  And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. [{firmament: Heb. expansion }

Gen 1:8  And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

In the King James marginal reading gives the alternate reading “expansion,” and the American Standard Version gives “expanse” in its footnote. Other translations support such rendering—“expanse” (Ro; Fn; Yg; An; NW); “expansión” (VM [Spanish]); “étendue [extent or expanse]”

Heaven in the Greek is ouranos, which can mean expansion. Therefore, that is a way of understanding what heaven is being a beyond somewhere up there in a cloud with some angels and some harps. Which I personally do not think that is what is happening anyway. However, heaven really is about the expansion of consciousness. 

God visioned two planes of consciousness, the heaven and the earth, or more properly, "the heavens and the earth." One is the realm of pure ideas; the other, of thought forms. Heaven is the orderly realization of divine ideas. Earth is the manifestation of these ideas.

heaven and earth--Two states of mind, the ideal and the manifestation. According to Revelation 21:1 we are to have new ideals with manifestations in the earth to correspond.

The kingdom of heaven is an expanding consciousness of truth or, we might say, an expanding awareness. To be consistent in our interpretation we should keep in mind that heaven always relates to consciousness and consciousness is relative. Not everyone is at the same point of development in consciousness. Jesus represents the highest development of spiritual consciousness.

heaven--The Christ consciousness; the realm of Divine Mind; a state of consciousness in harmony with the thoughts of God. Heaven is everywhere present. It is the orderly, lawful adjustment of God's kingdom in man's mind, body, and affairs.

heaven, firmament of--The consciousness of Truth that has been formulated and established.

heaven, restoration to--Faith in Spirit and the ultimate dominance of the good in all men will finally restore man to the heavenly consciousness from which he descended.

Sunday 9 February 2020

What is the Sabbath

What is the Sabbath

Luke Chapter 6:5 And he said to them, "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath." The same day, observing someone working on the Sabbath, he told him, "My good man, if you know what you are doing you are blessed, but if you do not know you are accursed and a violator of the Law.

Gospel of Thomas Saying 27. "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father's) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."

The Gospel of Truth
He (Jesus) labored even on the Sabbath for the sheep which he found fallen into the pit. He saved the life of that sheep, bringing it up from the pit in order that you may understand fully what that Sabbath is, you who possess full understanding. It is a day in which it is not fitting that salvation be idle, so that you may speak of that heavenly day which has no night and of the sun which does not set because it is perfect. Say then in your heart that you are this perfect day and that in you the light which does not fail dwells.

The Interpretation of Knowledge
From being counted with the female, sleep brought labor and the sabbath, which is the world. For from being counted with the Father, sleep brought the sabbath and the exodus from the world of the beasts. For the world is from beasts and it is a beast. Therefore he that is lost has been reckoned to the crafty one, and that one is from the beasts that came forth. They put upon him a garment of condemnation, for the female had no other garment for clothing her seed except the one she brought on the sabbath. For no beast exists in the Aeon. For the Father does not keep the sabbath, but (rather) actuates the Son, and through the Son he continued to provide himself with the Aeons. The Father has living rational elements from which he puts on my members as garments. The man ... (11 lines missing)... this is the name. The [...] he emitted himself and he emitted the reproached one. The one who was reproached changed (his) name and, along with that which would be like the reproach, he appeared as flesh. And the humiliated one has no equipment. He has no need of the glory that is not his; he has his own glory with the name, which is the Son. Now he came that we might become glorious through the humiliated one that dwells in the places of humiliation. And through him who was reproached we receive the forgiveness of sins. And through the one who was reproached and the one who was redeemed we receive grace.

Sabbath observance required only of ancient Israel. The Sabbath first observed after Exodus. Ex 16:26, 27, 29, 30 Unique to natural Israel as sign. Ex 31:16, 17; Ps 147:19, 20
Sabbath years also required under Law. Ex 23:10, 11; Le 25:3, 4 Sabbath not necessary thing for Christians. Ro 14:5, 10; Ga 4:9-11

The Law abolished on basis of Jesus’ death. Eph 2:15 Therefore the Sabbath is not binding on Christians. Col 2:16, 17; Ro 14:5, 10 Some Christians were Reproved for observing Sabbath, etc. Ga 4:9-11; Ro 10:2-4 Believers Enter God’s rest by faith and obedience. Heb 4:9-11

God’s Sabbath rest (7th day of creative “week”) Began at close of earthly creation. Ge 2:2, 3; Heb 4:3-5 Continued past Jesus’ day on earth. Heb 4:6-8; Ps 95:7-9, 11 Christians rest from works of self-interest. Heb 4:9, 10 Ends when Kingdom completes work toward earth. 1Co 15:24, 28

The Sabbath of the Lord has nothing to do with any day of the week. God does not rest from His works every seventh day, and there is no evidence that there ever has been a moment's cessation in the activity of the universe.Those who stickle most for Sabbath day observance are met on every hand by the evidence of perpetual activity on the part of Him whom they claim to champion.

philo of alexandria 

And on this account too Moses calls the sabbath, which name being interpreted means "rest," "the sabbath of God."{25}{#le 23:2.} Touching upon the necessary principles of natural philosophy, not of the philosophy of men, in many parts of his law, for that among existing things which rests, if one must tell the truth, is one thing only, God. And by "rest" I do not mean "inaction" (since that which is by its nature energetic, that which is the cause of all things, can never desist from doing what is most excellent), but I mean an energy completely free from labour, without any feeling of suffering, and with the most perfect ease; (88) for one may say, without impropriety, that the sun and the moon, and the entire heaven, and the whole world labour, inasmuch as they are not endowed with independent power, and are continually in a state of motion and agitation, and the most undeniable proofs of their labour are the yearly seasons; for these things, which have the greatest tendency in the whole heaven to keep things together, vary their motions, making their revolutions at one time northern, at another time southern, and at other times different from both. (89) The air, again, being sometimes warmed and sometimes cooled, and being capable of every sort of change, is easily proved to labour by the variations to which we feel that it is subject, since the most general cause of change is fatigue, and it would be folly to enter into any long detail about terrestrial or aquatic animals, dwelling at any length upon their general or particular changes; for these animals very naturally are liable to weakness in a much greater degree than those sublime objects, inasmuch as they partake to the greatest extent of the lowest, that is of earthly essence. (90) Since therefore it is naturally the case that things, which are changed, are changed in consequence of fatigue, and since God is subject to no variation and to no change, he must also by nature be free from fatigue, and that, which has no participation in weakness, even though it moves everything, cannot possibly cease to enjoy rest for ever. So that rest is the appropriate attribute of God alone. 

The fact is that Divine Mind rests in a perpetual Sabbath and that which seems work is not work at all. When man becomes so at one with the Father-Mind as to feel it consciously he also recognizes this eternal peace in which all things are accomplished. He then knows that he is not subject to any condition whatsoever, but is "lord of the sabbath."

The Sabbath is the consciousness that we have fulfilled the divine law in both thought and act.

The Sabbath is a very certain, definite thing. It is a state of mind that man enters or acquires when he goes into the silence of his own soul, into the realm of Spirit. There he finds true rest and peace. The seventh day means the seventh or perfect stage of one's spiritual unfoldment. Man had become so lost in the darkness of sense consciousness that he could not save himself, so a Savior came. When man lays hold of the indwelling Christ, the Savior, he is raised out of the Adam consciousness into the Christ consciousness. He then enters the seventh stage of his unfoldment, where he finds rest and peace. The Sabbath can be enjoyed at any hour. Man shows his ignoranceand limits his happiness by confining the Sabbath to any one of the days of the week. He should learn to read theBible in the spirit, and pay less attention to the letter of it.

We are not to quarrel with our brother over observance of the Sabbath. If he insists that the Lord should be worshiped on the seventh day, let us joyfully join him on that day; and if he holds that the first day is the holy day, let us again acquiesce. Not only do we do God's service in praise, song, and thanksgiving on the seventh day and the first day, but every day. In the true Sabbath our souls are turned upward to God every moment, and we are ever ready to acknowledge His holy presence in our heart and life; we are ever praising the holy Omnipresence that burns its lamp of love perpetually in our heart and keeps the light of life before us on our way. This is the observance of God's holyday that the divinely wise soul a}ways recognizes. The true church is the heaven within one, where one meets theFather face to face, where one goes to Him at will, in closest fellowship.

On the other hand, the observance of every seventh day as a day of rest, or Sabbath, has its source deep in the constitution of things. Among nearly all peoples similar rest days have been instituted, and history proves that Moses was not the originator of the system. The observance of a weekly rest day is now very widely held to prove a natural basis in the needs of man. The consistency with which such an institution has been maintained for many centuries among Jews, Christians, Mohammedans, and some of the so-called pagan nations amply supports this view. It bast been found by experience that one day of rest in seven is the right proportion. During the French Revolution, when a ten-day period was substituted for the week, one day's rest in ten was found insufficient.

"And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it." This quotation from Genesis presentsin concise words a law that pervades the universe. According to some geologists the rock-ribbed earth beneath ourfeet bears record of six great creative periods, with a seventh in process of completion. Seven movements of thecreative law are found at the foundation of the world about us. The seven colors of the spectrum, the seven principal tones of music, the seven senses of man (two not yet universally used)--all point to these degrees or days of action and rest.

When man in his wisdom unites his thought with Divine Mind, as did Jesus, he has power to use the same creativelaw that God uses in bringing forth the universe. The seven elements of the body are found everywhere, and throughunderstanding that they are not fixed, material things, but forms of thought, man gains entrance to a realm where he can speak words that will give him the obedience of those elements, according to his power.

When you have gained power to still the stormy, undisciplined thoughts in your own mind you can speak to the winds and they will obey you. When you have arrested the scorching currents of anger that burn up your body cells you can quench the fire in a burning building. When you have ceased to drop into the weak, watery mental states called discouragement, despondency, and fear, you can command the waves and walk upon the waters, as did Jesus.

Before man can rise into his natural dominion, however, he must understand and realize that God's whole plan ofcreation is to bring forth the perfect man. This means that man is the supreme thing in creation and that all laws are for his convenience. The universal tendency of great men to manifest this inherent excellency proves that it is natural. Most of them miss the mark by seeking to dominate other men and nations before they have mastered themselves.

When men set up a law and make its observance burdensome they are slaves of their own creation. The Jews had become burdened with the observance of the letter of the Sabbath commandment, and had a multitude of ridiculous prohibitions and formalities, from which Jesus sought to rescue them by His example of bold freedom and disregard of certain man-made laws.

The Sabbath was instituted for man, not man for the Sabbath. It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath, whether it be preaching in a pulpit, healing the sick, or in any other way saving men from ignorance and its results. Luther said of the Sabbath: "Keep it holy for its use's sake both to body and soul. But if anywhere the day is made holy for the mere day's sake, if anywhere any one sets up its observance upon a Jewish foundation, then I order you to work on it, to ride on it, to dance on it, to feast on it, to do anything that shall reprove this encroachment on the Christian spirit and liberty."

To repeat, the true Sabbath is not the observance of an outer day; the outer is but the symbol. The true Sabbath is that state of mind in which we rest from outer thought and doings, and give ourselves up to meditation or to the study of things spiritual; it is when we enter into the stillness of our inner consciousness, think about God and His law, and commune with Him.

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Moses and Jesus John 1:17,18

Moses and Jesus John 1:17,18

John 1:17   Because, the law, through Moses, was given, favour and truth, through Jesus Christ, came into existence.

18  No one, hath seen, God, at any time: An Only Begotten God, The One existing within the bosom of the Father, He, hath interpreted him. (Rotherham's Emphasized Bible)

Some say (Jews,Ebionite and Christians) that it is legislation given by God the Father; others (Marcion Christians), taking the contrary course, maintain stubbornly that it was ordained by the opposite, the Devil who causes destruction, just as they attribute the fashioning of the world to him, saying that he is the Father and maker of this universe. Both are completely in error; they refute each other and neither has reached the truth of the matter.

Ptolemy begins by showing these two views are utterly in error

For it is evident that the Law was not ordained by the perfect God the Father, for it is secondary, being imperfect and in need of completion by another, containing commandments alien to the nature and thought of such a God. (Ptolemy's Letter to Flora)

First, you must learn that the entire Law contained in the Pentateuch of Moses was not ordained by one legislator - I mean, not by God alone, some commandments are Moses', and some were given by other men. The words of the Savior teach us this triple division. The first part must be attributed to God alone, and his legislation; the second to Moses - not in the sense that God legislates through him, but in the sense that Moses gave some legislation under the influence of his own ideas; and the third to the elders of the people, who seem to have ordained some commandments of their own at the beginning. You will now learn how the truth of this theory is proved by the words of the Savior.

In some discussion with those who dispute with the Savior about divorce, which was permitted in the Law, he said Because of your hard-heartedness Moses permitted a man to divorce his wife; from the beginning it was not so; for God made this marriage, and what the Lord joined together, man must not seperate. [Matt 19:8] In this way he shows there is a Law of God, which prohibits the divorce of a wife from a husband, and another law, that of Moses, which permits the breaking of this yoke because of hard-heartedness. In fact, Moses lays down legislation contrary to that of God; for joining is contrary to not joining.

The Savior also makes plain the fact that there are some traditions of the elders interwoven in the Law. For God,he says, Said, Honour your father and your mother, that it may be well with you, But you , he says addressing the elders, ...have declared as a gift to God, that by which you have nullified the Law of God through the tradition of your elders. Isaiah also proclaimed this, saying, This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, teaching precepts which are the commandments of men. [Matt 15:4-9].

Therefore it is obvious that the whole Law is divided into three parts; we find in it the legislation of Moses, of the elders, and of God himself. This division of the entire Law, as made by us, has brought to light what is true in it.

For if the Law was not ordained by the perfect God himself, as we have already thaught you, nor by the devil, a statement one cannot possibly make, the legislator must be some one other than these two. In fact, he is the demiurge and maker of this universe and everything in it; and because he is essentially different from these two and is between them, he is rightly given the name, intermediate. (Ptolemy's Letter to Flora)

 the demiurge is the intermediate just like the angels been the intermediary Galatians 3:19 

Moses and Angels
The Law was given through Moses by angles or the Elohim this can be seen from Stephen's speech in acts 7 and Moses’ testimony to his encounter with the Angel of Yahweh (Ex 3:16 Ex 14:19,20).    

Acts 7:53  Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it

The word "disposition" is the Gr. diatagas and signifies "ordinance." It has the idea of constitution or arranging. The NIV has "the law that was put into effect by angels," whereas the NEB has "the law as God's angels gave it to you." In receiving the Law, Moses did not see the great Uncreated and Eternal Spirit personally, but an angelic representative (Num. 12:8; Exo. 20:1; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:2; Acts 7:38). 

In the case of God's own Son, the circumstances were entirely different (Heb. 1:1 -2); he was elevated to become the medium of the divine will, described as the "Word made flesh" (Jn. 1:14).

Galatians 3:19 Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. (English Standard Version)

By Angles: See Exo 3:2; 23:20; Isa 63:9; cp Heb 2:2-4.

Exodus 3:2  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.

"And the angel of Yahweh appeared unto him" — The angel spoke in the name of Deity, and therefore can be identified with the angel referred to in ch. 23:20-23.

Examples of angels speaking in the name of God are found throughout the Word. A typical example is given in Judges 2:1. The angel of Yahweh visited Israel with the message: "I made you to go up out of Egypt." The work is there attributed to the angel, whilst elsewhere it is declared as being of Yahweh. In fact, the work of deliverance was effected by Yahweh through "His ministers," the angels as the Elohim (cp. Psa. 103:20-21; Heb. 1:14).

The Law is given by the angels it is called the word spoken by angels in hebrews 2:2 that is, by the ministration of angels.. the

5 ¶  For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, 

This age or world is subjected  meaning  controlled by the angels 

 Because Angels control world rulers, "principalities and powers" can refer both to them and the Angels behind them. 

The words, “No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.” (John 1:18), were spoken, not by the Baptist, but by the disciple. 

No one, hath seen, God, at any time Not even Moses (Exo 33:18,20).

Moses’ experience of seeing a veiled manifestation of the Glory of God whilst he was hidden in a cleft of the rock (Ex. 33:22). “No man hath seen (and goes on seeing) God at any time”, not even Moses/ for the theophany he beheld was specifically limited (v.22, 23). When the covenant was made at Sinai a theophany was not only heard but also seen (Ex. 24:10,11);

 An Only Begotten God, The One existing within the bosom of the Father, He, hath interpreted him

 led him forth, i.e. into full revelation.

(Matthew 11:27) All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one fully knows the Son but the Father, neither does anyone fully know the Father but the Son and anyone to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.

"Exegeomai": to declare, interpret (cp English "exegesis"). In this final verse of the prologue is the climactic and ultimate statement of the career of the Logos, "the Word of God made flesh", Jesus of Nazareth. His whole life, all his teachings, and at last and especially his death and resurrection and ascension to heaven, all "expound" or "interpret" his heavenly Father.

This verse proves that, Jesus had a knowledge of God above that which any of the ancient prophets had, and that the fullest revelations of his character are to be expected in the gospel. By his Word and Spirit he can enlighten and guide us, and lead us to the true knowledge of God; and there is no true and full knowledge of God which is not obtained through his Son. Comp. #Joh 14:6 1Jo 2:22,23. 

God cannot be understood in his completeness by outer consciousness. The indwelling Word, the Christ, God's spiritual idea, declares God and makes him manifest to outer consciousness by redeeming the life and substance of the body and raising it to spiritual glory.

John 1:18 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him

Verse 18: No man hath seen the Creator at any time. "God" meaning "elohim" refers to angels. See Exod# 33. 11, 20. The showing of YHWH to Moses was the showing of a highly placed angel, typifying that the people would see the manifestation of God in Jesus.