An excerpt from a blogpost I shared two years ago today…
The dominionist witness degenerates the historical narrative into types and prefigurations of manifest sovereignty, unto the gratification of a temporal inheritance… Instead, the Biblical witness shows us how we come to know God— not by the gnostic revelation of an esoteric circle (whether cultic or academic), nor by the arm of the flesh in amassing power and wealth in the name of God. We come to know God, rather, simply by hearing and believing in his historical acts which culminate on his day.
Paul demonstrates this most clearly when preaching to the pagans in Athens who worshiped an “unknown god” (Acts 17: 23). That which is unknown Paul makes known by proclaiming creation (v. 24), Gentile history (vv. 25– 28), Gentile depravity (v. 29), divine mercy (v. 30), and eschatological judgment (v. 31). Every recorded apostolic proclamation assumes such a timeline (cf. Acts 2: 17– 36; 3: 17– 26; 4: 24– 30; 5: 30– 32; 7: 2– 53; 10: 34– 43; 13: 16– 41,46– 48; 14: 15– 17; 15: 7– 11; 16: 31; 17: 3; 20: 25– 35; 24: 14– 15,25; 26: 19– 23). In regard to this timeline, with its beginning, middle, and end points (creation, covenants, cross, and consummation), the apostles repeatedly declared, “We are witnesses” (Acts 2: 32; 3: 15; 5: 32; 10: 39). – John P. Harrigan, The Gospel of Christ Crucified: A Theology of Suffering before Glory
via Joseph– The Firstborn
5 I am the Lord;
there is no other God.
I have equipped you for battle,
though you don’t even know me,
6 so all the world from east to west
will know there is no other God.
I am the Lord, and there is no other .
7 I create the light and make the darkness.
I send good times and bad times.
I, the Lord, am the one who does these things(Isaiah 45:5-7 NLT).
Richard Watson commentary: “These words occur in the remarkable prophecy of the capture of Babylon by Cyrus; a prophecy fulfilled to the letter. What was the end proposed in bringing Cyrus to Babylon, and in giving him that empire? The usual answer is, that he might deliver the Jews out of captivity. This is true. But if we rest here, we shall she only a small part of the design of God in this providence. There was a greater end to be answered than even the deliverance of the Jews. The great end of this particular dispensation was to deliver Cyrus and his people from the delusion that there are two eternal and independent Principles, symbolized by Light and Darkness; the one good, and the source of all good; the other evil, and the source of all evil; the one giving blessings to mankind, the other inflicting on them punishments and miseries. Its chief purpose was to bring the inhabitants of all the providences of the vast Persian empire to know that Jehovah was the LORD, and that beside Him there was no other God… You recollect the story of the young Hebrews who refused to worship the idol set up there, and were cast into a furnace of fire, from which they were delivered unhurt… The Babylonian idol was put to shame in the presence of its assembled worshippers; and the monarch was led to declare publicly, by a decree, that there was no God like the God of Israel, that could deliver after that sort… Then there was the capture of Babylon, in exact accordance with Isaiah’s prophecy. With all these things Cyrus and his Persians would be acquainted; and thus they would be taught the great truth, that there is but one God, far above every power, subjecting all things to His control, and who alone ought to be worshipped.”
via Isaiah 45- Every Knee and Every Tongue
From a two-and-a-half-year-old blogpost…
Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? 15 Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” (Daniel 3:14-15 NASB).
The king demands a “yes” or “no” answer from the three Hebrews. And he wants to know what “god” could deliver them out of the hands of he and his gods.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. 18 But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up” (Daniel 3:16-18 NASB).
The three Hebrew men tell the king of Babylon that they do not need time for deliberation as to how to answer him. The matter is not open to discussion as it is a decision they made a long time ago. They have no assurance that they will be delivered from death in the fiery furnace, only that the LORD is able to deliver. Their decision to not bow down and worship false gods was not based on whether or not they would lose their life but, instead, faithfulness to God. Though the outcome was unsure to them, they would stand firm and not bow.
via Look! I See Four Men Loosed and Walking!
Excerpt from a blogpost I shared fifteen months ago…
For You have broken the yoke of his burden and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5 For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle, and garments rolled in blood, will be used for burning and fuel of fire (Isaiah 9:4-5 NKJV).
Judah is told to take her eyes off of military power and look to the LORD. He Alone holds the answer.
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this (Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV).
via The Prophet Proclaims “The Child born to us”
From a blogpost I shared at the beginning of last year…
In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after the city was struck down, on that very day, the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me to the city. 2 In visions of God he brought me to the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, on which was a structure like a city to the south. 3 When he brought me there, behold, there was a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring reed in his hand. And he was standing in the gateway. 4 And the man said to me, “Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel” (Ezekiel 40:1-4 ESV).
via The Hand of the LORD on Ezekiel (Part 7)
A short excerpt from a two-and-a-half year old blogpost…
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32 NKJV).
Jesus tells the Jews who believed He was the Messiah that to be His Disciples they must abide in His Word. He was the Truth, and only the Truth could make them free.
They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?” (John 8:33 NKJV).
This was a crazy statement on many levels. The descendants of Abraham had been in physical bondage to the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and were at the moment in bondage to the Romans! And spiritually, they believed in a nationalistic Salvation that came from being born a Jew.
via The Father Has Not Left Me Alone