20190514

Be pure-hearted!


God said to Avram: When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in my presence and be pure-hearted. (Genesis 17:1)

Jesus said to His Disciples: "How blessed are the pure in heart! for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8).

We need to work the purity of our heart if we want to walk in His presence and see (understand) what God is doing. 

With an impure heart you will stay blind, clueless, lost, hesitant and you will walk in circles on a desert, your life will be empty.

Say NO to eroticism, pornography, dirty thoughts and lust. Satan sends his impurity through the TV set, smartphone, computer, Internet, outdoors...never was so easy to get exposed to impurity. 

Do not be mistaken, the devil does not want to give you pleasure, he wants to blind you and derail you from your high destiny. Please God, keep yourself pure.

(The Scriptures on this post are from the Complete Jewish Bible).

20190511

Genesis 1:3-5 - When The Brightest Light was created


Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.  God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.   God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day. Genesis 1:3-5

Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light.

The Hebrew word for light is אוֹר , it is pronounced "orr" and  it means illumination in a spiritual sense, happiness, brightness, clarity. It is not referring to an object that reflects light as the Sun or a lamp do. The light created at this moment is an essential element with a strong spiritual meaning.

“The first thing created by the divine Word was light, the elementary light, or light-material, in distinction from the lights, or light-bearers, bodies of light, as the sun, moon, and stars, created on the fourth day, are called. It is now a generally accepted truth of natural science, that the light does not spring from the sun and stars, but that the sun itself is a dark body, and the light proceeds from an atmosphere which surrounds it. Light was the first thing called forth, and separated from the dark chaos by the creative mandate, -Let there be- the first radiation of the life breathed into it by the Spirit of God, inasmuch as it is the fundamental condition of all organic life in the world, and without light and the warmth which flows from it no plant or animal could thrive.” (a)

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  

The Hebrew word for separated is בָדַל , it is pronounced "bah-dahl" and means to be split, segregated, separated, isolated, detached, differentiated, to be set apart. 

Here we can learn a constant action made by God that repeats all along the Bible. God splits off, separates, isolates, detaches, differentiates light from darkness. He puts apart what is dedicated to Him. This is the definition of holiness: to be set apart for God, who is the only one holy as we read in Leviticus 19:2  "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, 'You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. 

God reveals in our hearts our spiritual darkness, bringing illumination to our understanding. He causes a reaction of separation, detaching us from the darkness of sin. He brings us under the beneficial influence of His light. When we are in sin, we live in spiritual darkness and we ignore our real situation. We know that something isn’t right inside us, some already know what kind of sin is dominating the soul, some are so deep wrapped in a selfish attitude looking only for pleasure to relief the inner pain, that live clueless about the darkness that are involved.

When someone has a real experience with the only God (the God of the Bible), and decides to believe and obey Him, the consequence is to get separated from the ones who do not believe God. It happened with Abraham, with the Hebrews and with the followers of Jesus Christ, or Yeshua Hamashiah. This separation is what God calls to be holy, to be set apart, to be dedicated exclusively to God.

My personal experience with the light of God:

As we read in Genesis 1:3, suddenly in an act of love and mercy, God calls the light over our life and we find a path to turn to God. In my personal case, I was a young man living under the pain of deception and poor choices. I was hurt by the divorce of my parents and bad sentimental experiences. Under a heavy stress and without helpful direction, I decided to take out my life.

On a sad sunset I went back to my home, came into my bedroom, close the door and turned off the light of the room. I walked to the window, opened it and knelt on the edge of the window. I began to move my body forward to jump from the fifth floor. In that moment the light of my bedroom turned on. I thought that my mother or my sister came in and when I turned my head to watch behind me, nobody was there. The light turned on by itself. I left the window weeping, thinking of the madness I had almost done and thinking of God. 

It was the first time in my life that on my knees I prayed to God. After that incident, I gave my life to Jesus Christ, who changed myself in a new person. Jesus healed my sadness, depression and deception. My life took a completely new path as a follower of Christ. 

Till today, more than forty years later, I see my lovely wife, my dear daughters and sons in law, the man that I became, married for 32 years to the same woman, a beloved father, a successful professional, pastor and I am thankful for that light that miraculously turned on interrupting my suicide, and specially for the spiritual light that illuminated my heart and guided me to repent and turn to God by Jesus Christ, my savior. Then I dedicated my life to Him, and I learned to live consecrated, separated for God.

God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.

God made a clear distinction between light and darkness. We do not have power neither rights to redefine this spiritual truth.

As the Rabbi Rashi said “But according to the plain sense explain it thus: He saw that it was good, and that it was not seemly that light and darkness should function together in a confused manner.” (b).

Currently we see people in darkness trying to modify God’s principles, but even that they are shouting loud, even they are creating sinful laws defying God's word, at the end God will show that nobody may defeat Him. Christ is coming back, first to rapture His church and finally to stablish the Kingdom of God on the Earth.

Some may think that God created the darkness, lets read this explanation from Augustine of Hippo: “And God divided the light and the darkness, and God called the light day and he called the darkness night.” It did not say here “God made the darkness,” because darkness is merely the absence of light. Yet God made a division between light and darkness. So too we make a sound by crying out, and we make a silence by not making a sound, because silence is the cessation of sound. (c)

And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

When you read in the Bible, Old and New Testament, about the period of one day keep in mind that a new day starts with the first three stars shine in the evening.
The Jewish people in biblical times and today, do not consider that a day ends at midnight as the other nations do.

Know your Bible!


References:

(a) Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament.
(b) Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, known as Rashi (1040-1105 C.E), Commentary on Genesis.
(c) 13 November 354 – 28 August 430 AD)[1] was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Period. 

20190502

Genesis 1:1-2. And this is just the beginning!


These series of posts are about the book of Genesis with references to selected studies from Jewish sages, Church’s Founding Fathers, serious theologians and personal findings.

(Genesis 1:1) In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

This is all that God considers necessary for us to know: He created all.

As the Bible teacher Tom Bradford* explained, God works by patterns. One of the divine patterns that we need to understand is that God divides, elects and separates individually and collectively.
In this case, the verse 1 of Genesis divides the readers in two main groups: the ones who believe and accept from the ones that distrust and reject the divine truth. This blog is for the first group, who desire to grow in knowledge and union with God, therefore it is not intended to raise discussions and arguments with the second group because I do not dare to challenge God neither His word. I decided to believe God many decades ago and I found that was the best decision of my life.
So, those who trust in God accept Genesis 1:1 and those who argue and reject it are putting themselves in a place of unbelief toward God, who according His Word will take the pertinent actions with them.

Serious scientists today do not believe anymore in random events that by chance ended into organized systems of life. The modern scientists accept that there are patterns in the microcosmos, in living beings, in the universe out of this planet and in every place that they can do scientific observations. The patterns show clearly an intelligent order presuming some sort of higher intelligence behind all. We know by Genesis that the higher intelligence behind the creation is God.
Many still live under the influence of philosophies inspired in outdated science of decades ago.
Modern science does not take seriously Darwinism. Groups who follow atheistic agendas believe in evolution without God. It’s remarkable to verify that is necessary faith to believe Darwin’s theories because Darwinism is not scientifically proven. Being clear that is a matter of faith, I prefer to put my faith in God’s word rather than in unstable human theories.
Many things that science considered true one century ago are not any longer valid, science premises change all the time, but God’s word is eternal.

(Genesis 1:2) And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Darkness, from the Hebrew חֹ֖שֶׁךְ  is pronounced hoh-shek: this term refers to an spiritual darkness and not to the darknes as the absence of physical light coming from a light bulb or the sun. The darkness referred in Genesis 1:2 is associated to lacking of goodness, lacking of understanding. The definition of this darkness is  figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness.

God intervened to cast out this kind of darkness because is inappropriate for the form of life that we know.

The enemies of God try to lure humans to inquire and get close to this darkness. You may see in pagan religions and in atheism the shadow of this darkness bringing misery, destruction, sorrow and wickedness. Observe the unhappiness of the individuals and nations that welcome witchcraft and or atheism in their lifestyle. And I say shadow because even being destructive to the human being, is weaker than the original darkness that God modified in the moment of the creation. You may think that God created something destructive, but the raw material of the creation described here is inappropriate for the human life existence.. 

The raw material of God’s creation was formless and empty for our human understanding but was rich and full of potential for God point of view. After God’s intervention it became a unique piece of creation. Only God can deal with darkness, formless and emptiness in such way that turns into illuminated, beauty and full purposed life.  

Those raw materials weren’t appropriate for the existence of human life before God’s intervention and our minds are not powerful enough to understand that state of things. We couldn’t live there, and we can’t grasp what really was in there, only the Creator was able to deal with that former state of things. God telling us how the universe was before His intervention is a huge act of kindness and mercy, because we are incapable by ourselves to figure it out that reality.

Spiritually speaking, our life is formless and empty before we accept God’s will by believing in the salvation provided through Jesus Christ. Away from God, human life lacks purpose and often is in a path of self-destruction. After the person accepts humbly God’s call and conditions, a miracle happens in this person rerouting his life to a new way of life, that the apostle Paul calls new creation.

John 1:1-5 reveals to us that Jesus Christ was in the very beginning of the Creation:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

And Jesus said about himself: “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” (John 12:46).

Know your Bible!

*Tom Bradford - Genesis:the Book of Foundations (at Amazon.com - Kindle book at location 2262)