Crystal Writes A Blog

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To Tell the Truth


I remember a college class where the main book focused on the thought that “truth is subjective.” They used examples like two different people looking at something from different angles and therefore seeing different truths. In some ways, yes, truth can be subjective. The argument between my grandparents as to whether my uncle’s front door was brown or white was recorded for posterity. We still laugh as we watch Grandpa sitting on one side of the open door and Grandma sitting on the other; both insisting on the color from their perspectives. One side was white, and one side was brown, so both descriptions were the truth.

Real truth, however, is the whole picture. In the case of my grandparents, neither were actually telling the truth because neither saw both sides of the door. To tell the whole truth, you must know the whole truth. Grandma could tell Grandpa it was brown all day long, but he would never believe her as long as his view was only of the white side of the door.

Today’s Infinite Supply talks about “The Truth,” meaning Jesus Christ who is The Way, The Truth, and The Life

Infinite Supply Image for November Sixth by The School of Christ

Infinite Supply Image for November Sixth by The School of Christ
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the article and other resources at The School of Christ website.

November 6

Seeing As God Sees

“He, the Spirit of truth… will guide you into all truth.”
JOHN 16:13

To choose the Truth is to want the Truth at all costs, even if it means sacrificing everything I have believed up until now, challenging all my paradigms, questioning all my teachers, examining everything I have ever experienced.

Of course our first decision about Truth is based upon Who Jesus is. With that question settled many Christians are content, but Truth is living. Truth will continue to reveal Himself to us and around us for as long as we will allow it. What, after all, is Wisdom? Wisdom is the ability to see things from heaven’s, and thus God’s, perspective. Daily we must choose between ignorant bliss or seeing things as God sees them. It is a daily choice. You cannot be told, you have to see it for yourself.

Source: Lord of All by Chip Brogden

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I think what Chip says about truth having to come by revelation; that it’s something we cannot be told, is important. Yeshua speaks to Peter (Hebrew Kefa) in Matthew 16:13-20 and asks him who people say He (Yeshua) is. Peter confesses that Yeshua is the Anointed Messiah, and Yeshua blesses him for it. He tells him that it’s not something he could have figured out on his own, but that only God could have revealed such truth to him. That’s where Yeshua follows up with the prophecy that on that rock (the foundation of revelation or revealed truth), He would build His church.

Truth must be revealed. It’s like the truth of realizing you are in love. No one else can tell you. I think that’s why people compare it to falling. It comes on quick like you tripped and fell into it, and then you just know, and you know better than if someone had tried to tell you.

Christian Country singer Ann Hartmann has a song called God’s Got the Box on her “Look Up” album. In the lyrics, she talks about how hard it can be to put together a jigsaw puzzle without the box. Then, she talks about life being like a jigsaw where we struggle until we realize that God sees the whole picture because He’s got the box. It’s an analogy that has stayed with me since I first heard her sing the song.

To tell the truth, I guess “truth” really is subjective since the only One who really knows and sees it all is the One who is Truth Himself. Knowing that, however, we can walk in truth simply by walking as we are led by His Holy Spirit.

November 7, 2014 Posted by | Bible, Bible Study, Nonfiction, School of Christ, Slice of Life | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Talk and Whine


No Whining by Flickr User Rachael Voorhees, CC License = Attribution, No Derivative Works

No Whining by Flickr User Rachael Voorhees, CC License = Attribution, No Derivative Works
Click image to open a new tab/window to view the original image and to access the user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

When I read in the Scriptures of people whose whining upset Yahveh, my first reaction is to look at myself and check to see if I have been hanging out at the complaint department window too much myself. It’s easy to do, especially in our current culture of constant comfort seeking and bad attitudes caused by lack of rest and improper diets. Add to those things the media blitz of commercials advertising the stuff we can’t possibly live without any longer, and whining becomes almost second nature.

In today’s reading from Numbers 10:29 through Numbers 11:29, we see a few different personalities from the people of Israel, and some of them are not pretty. The reading begins with Moses trying to convince Hobab, the son of Moses’ father-in-law, to travel to the promised land with Israel. He wants to go home to his own people, but Moses convinces him that he’ll be blessed because of the promises God gives to Israel. In the next verse, the people are heading in that direction, so I guess he convinced him. I don’t think the Midianites served the God of Israel, so this may have been the first recorded act of proselytizing.

As the journey begins, the Scripture talks about Moses reaction to the movements of The Ark of the Covenant. When it was lifted to move forward, Moses would shout a praise to The Lord and a blessing that His enemies would be scattered. When it was set down again to rest. Moses said, “Return, Adonai of the many, many thousands of Israel!” But while Moses was shouting praises, the same could not be said of the others on the journey with him. Instead, the people complained so much that they stirred up God’s anger until He broke out against them with fire and consumed the edges of the camp. Oh, if only they had taken Moses’ example and spent their time praising their deliverer.

Some of the complaining from the people came from the mixed crowd with whom they were traveling. The strangers became greedy for comfort and got the people complaining about the provision of mannah. The people started crying and whining about the lack of meat and spices until God finally told them they would have a full month of meat, and they would eat so much that it would be coming out of their noses–and they would hate it. When they should have be content with God’s provision for them, they were ungrateful and wishing they were back in their bondage.

By now, Moses was beginning his own whining, but it did not appear to be the type that made Adonai angry. Moses asks God why He is allowing the burden of all the people to rest solely on him, especially if He is pleased with all that Moses is doing. God understands and tells Moses to choose seventy leaders of Israel with whom he can share his burden. God takes some of the burden off of Moses and places it on the seventy elders who begin to prophesy whenever God’s Spirit rested on them.

As we get to the end of today’s reading, we find two men in the camp named Eldad and Medad, and the Spirit of God comes to rest on them, so they begin to prophesy in the camp. A young man runs to tell Moses about it, and when Joshua hears about it, he tells Moses that he should make them stop. But Moses tells Joshua that he wished all of God’s people were prophets and that God would put His Spirit on all of them.

I can understand Moses sentiments in the last paragraph. After hearing the people whine and complain and seeing what that brought upon the people, Moses would want them all to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit for their own protection as much as to relieve him of some of his burden. When I see people follow after the things of the soul (the mind, will, and emotions) instead of after the things of the spirit, I get frustrated and wish more people would seek God from the depths of their hearts. The things of the soul can imitate the spirit (which is how we get false prophets), but we’re told that the “soulish” man won’t receive things from God. It is far better to let God’s Spirit take over our spirit-man and be led by God’s truth, and then we will be sensitive to the moving of God, so we can lift up genuine shouts of praise to Him instead of spending our prayer times caught up in the “why me” syndrome or in depressing cheap talk and whining.

May 29, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

God’s Way IS the High-Way


Highway 1 at Sunset by Flickr User namealus, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works

Highway 1 at Sunset by Flickr User namealus, CC License = Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works
Click image to open new tab/window to view original image and to access user’s full photo stream at Flickr.

Proverbs 16:17 in the Amplified Bible (AMP) says, “The highway of the upright turns aside from evil; he who guards his way preserves his life.” With all we are seeing as consequences for the use of drugs, and all I have been learning from the doctors, the idea of doing things God’s way to preserve our lives is making more and more literal sense. We have a relative that completely looks past what our nephew did to bring on the consequences, and she refuses to acknowledge her own part in it or to repent of her continuing sins. Yet, she continues to claim that there will be a miraculous healing just because she is claiming it in Jesus’ name. But is there communion between holy and unholy just because the unholy uses a holy name?

Today’s reading from Leviticus 9:24 through Leviticus 10:11 shows that God is picky about the purity of what is offered to Him and whether or not our offerings are given with a spirit of obedience. After the offerings and blessings that brought forth the presence of Yahveh, we see His Spirit consume the offerings with fire. The people shout and fall on their faces in His holy presence.

But the next thing you know, two of Aaron’s sons (apparently he had four sons who were becoming priests based on this reading), march up all big in their britches and try to put on a show. They take unauthorized incense in their censers and try to light it from the holy altar of God. Not smart! As the fire of God’s presence comes down upon the altar, it consumes these boys who gave an offering other than what God had commanded to give. (Some versions use the term strange fire.)

Oh, but shouldn’t God be merciful just because they were offering something to Him? After all, they were called by God to be priests, right? In today’s theology, it would seem that anything done in Jesus’ name (or by a person who calls himself or herself a pastor or a prophet) is supposed to win God’s favor. Yes, we are made holy by the blood of Christ, but we still have to be led by the Spirit if we want to be free from the curse of the law. It’s all about our hearts, and if our lips are simply declaring the word of God while our hearts are far from Him, then we are an evil tree that cannot bring forth truly good fruit. But if we are sincerely following God, we will walk on His “high above sin” way, and we will bear good fruit.

As the reading continues, God declares that He will be glorified before all the people, and Aaron keeps silent, Then Moses calls Aaron’s other two sons and tells them not to perform any of the rituals of mourning, so that God will not be angry. He tells them to let the community of Israel mourn for them instead. And then he tells them to stay by the entrance to the Tent of Meeting because if they go out while God’s anointing oil is on them, they will die. They are also given a warning to never enter God’s presence having consumed wine or other intoxicating liquor because they must be able to know the difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy.

The last statement makes me wonder if the first two of Aaron’s sons were intoxicated, and that’s why they couldn’t tell the difference in which incense to offer. If not, I’m guessing they just had disobedient spirits. We don’t get to see a lot of information about them, but we know they had been anointed and consecrated as priests for God, we know they were dressed in holy garments, and we know they had been in the presence of Yahveh. But none of those things compared to the moment they decided to follow after their own ideas instead of being led by God’s Holy Spirit. Living God’s way is about abandoning our own thoughts and ways because we love and trust God, and because we know that His thoughts are above our thoughts, and His ways are above our ways. His way really is the high way.

March 17, 2014 Posted by | Bible Study, Nonfiction, Torah Commentary | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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