My perspective is that Father was demonstrating an incredible level of trust and confidence in Adam and Eve by allowing them to roam freely in the presence of something that could and did mess everything up.
Had he wanted a perfect environment and perfect people, he would have created passion-free automatons.
But he didn’t.
He wanted, yearned for, yea, desired us.
In light of the stupidity of our sin.
He wanted to show the principalities and powers a picture of redemption, showing he could and would still use a messed-up people to check, checkmate, and destroy his ancient enemy.
Therefore, the Lamb was slain, from the foundation of the world.
Before Adam and Eve ever heard the words, “do not eat”, the mystery of the ages, “it is finished”, was uttered.
And you, oh follower of Christ, are no longer a sinner.
Your identity and nature, therefore, has nothing to do with an inescapable blemish of sin.
And therefore, saying we are amazed that “God loves us anyway”…
Well that word “anyway” implies we are still sinful, unworthy, partially untransformed, or in posession of the capacity to be something other than loved.
Yet, Father does not see, even those of us who have parts that are still angry with Him, as worth destruction.
You are His. Not anyway. Not in spite of some flaw you cannot get over (see Sea of Forgottenness).
Death; its shadow; its sting
; and that tenuous argument that either you are a miserable, illegitimate failure or that you retain an ontological or metaphysical, spirit-and-soul-defining flaw or nature that fatalistically will be able to, after following Christ, ultimately destroy you are, in the I-Am-present-moment-of-the-Ancient-of-Days-Lord-of-Hosts, swallowed up in unuttetable, brilliant flawless victory.
Your flaws are simply not that powerful.
Not so powerful as to overturn His rescuing and furious affection.
He is not nearly as impressed with your view of yourself as a sinner as you are.
As a Jew and a Gadite, I have the following thing to say to my friends who have become obsessed with what is commonly considered the Hebrew Roots of the faith in Jesus Christ.
Stop throwing away or dissing the Greek portion of your roots.
You were designed to flow from both.
I saw two swords in the belts of my fellow believers. One of those swords had Hebrew writing all over it, and it was forged for the desert and for meditation and for things that are more in alignment with a Jewish and Israelite way of thinking.
The other, however, was a curious narrower, straighter, double-edged blade with the writing of Koine Greek etched into it, and it, too, served a majestic purpose.
But those Greek swords in some of my compatriots’ belts were risking to fall prey to dust and rust from disuse.
And living weapons sharpen with use, rather than dull out.
And it got me to thinking.
In the acquisition of the weapons that the Hebrew and Aramiac swords of the Tanakh were written in, given “the pen is mightier than the sword”, and these words in the canon are some of the weapons of our warfare, have we laid down and abandoned the weapon that is Greek in nature?
I will never yield the Greek weapons with which I have learned to fight, the Prophet philosophical weapon of spiritual reasoning pertaining to the mind of God.
I will not lay down one sword for another.
I choose Option C.
I am not a New Testament Believer.
I am not an Old Testament Believer.
I am a Whole and Single Testament Follower of The Way.
There is a cohort of people who think the New Testament was originally written in Aramiac. Good for them.
They have never met Craig Keener.
They do not understand the value of the Greek, which for 300+ years, including the earthly life of Christ, which was the language of the people, the language of commerce, the language of business, and whose concepts are no less spiritual than Hebrew and Aramiac, and whose principles and idiom and expression gave them another third of the armory that we call the written word of God.
In our rush to acquire more Hebrew Weapons have we forgotten, denigrated, laid down, abandoned, or talked down to or about, the Greek weapons our Father gave us.
There are aresnals in both.
And Brian Simmons is not on the level with Craig Keener. Yes, I did go there.
Note, I did not call Simmons a false teacher and further note, I did not say he was not capable in his own right and arena.
However, the process of vetting his work is vastly different from that of every other major group of scholars that were involved with every other actual translation and paraphrase, the Message included.
Yes, we are all going to find something we do not like about this or that translation.
But, gang, my challenge to you is to recognize and be reminded that:
Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too,
There is truth of a different nature in the Greek of the NT. There is truth and wind and pure fire in that. And the Hebrew and Aramaic have access to the mind, and the Greek likewise has access to the heart.
Do not lay down your weapons, gang.
And quit, in your Hebrew roots arrogance, talking down to the Koine originals and the Koine weapons of your warfare.
If you need a Holy Spirit-filled fighter who executes using the treasures found in the Greek world of the NT, then for God’s sake, Reach out to me, reach out to Gordon Fee, Reach out to Craig Keener, Reach out to someone.
Those weapons should not be shied away from, but they should be embraced.
We need to walk in fulness, including the nimbleness to execute with the weapons that flowed from the Greek heart, and the Greek mind.
The Redemptive Gift of the Greeks is Prophet.
And the Prophet has zeal, heart, compassion, a builder’s tendency, and a mind for strategy and justice and right/wrong.
This is not a battle for the priority of the heart or the mind.
Rather, our job is to marry the two and see Heart and Brain as trench/foxhole buddies. To think and Feel.
Left Brain Right Brain.
Brain and Heart.
Not spiritual Aspergers or “do we function out of our heart more or our brains.”
As a Mercy who functions more from my heart, and I always have, why does it take a Mercy to exhort others to incorporate their mind into the equation?
I do not know or understand.
But, gang, we are hunting for a fulness that we cannot have if we abandon fulness because we think we have found a more ancient way that comes by embracing Hebrew and Aramaic ways at the expense of Greek ways.
The Seven Spirits of God and the Ten Compound Names of God
If you are reading this, I am assuming you have come from my post on the Giver. And if not, and this is your first post on the Redemptive Gifts of Romans 12:6-8, may I suggest you go back to the beginning and read them in sequence. For those who are newbies, start here.
The Fractals in Scripture, as previously stated and for our purposes, are patterns that self-repeat and self-reinforce in some way. We previously looked at the fractal, or pattern, of Seven in Scripture, such as the Seven Days of Creation, the Seven Trees of Isaiah 41:19, the Seven Letters to the Seven Churches of Revelation, the Seven Questions of Moses to the Burning Bush, The Seven Names of G-d in the Book of Revelation, The Seven Trumpets, The Seven Seals, the Seven Gifts of Jacob to Joseph, the Seven Curses of the Book of Judges, the Seven Redemptive Gifts, and so forth.
These patterns parallel one another, and can be superimposed on one another.
Another of the seven fractal are the Seven Spirits of G-d in the Book of Isaiah, and further in certain of these patterns, there is one of the seven that is the complete expression of the other six. The Spirit of the L-rd is constituted of the Spirits of Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Might, Knowledge, and Fear of the L-rd. This ties in with the Colors of the Rainbow, where White is the totality of Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple (Indigo is just a shade of Blue), and the Seven Principles that undergird all of Scripture (Proverbs 9:1), where the Principle of Design is broken apart into Authority, Responsibility, Pain-Suffering/Sowing-Reaping/Reality, Freedom, and Fulfillment. The White and the Six Colors. And there are those areas in Scripture where you have the one and the six.
There is another pattern in Scripture, namely the Fractal of Ten. The Ten Tribes of the Northern Kingdom, The Ten Commandments, et al.
But those are not the only major compound names of Adonai.
There are actually 10. So, many of y’all have heard of Adonai Tsevaot, the God of Armies; and Adonai Makkadesh, the Lord Who Makes You Holy. Those are an additional two.
And those names parallel God the Son (God of Armies) and God the Holy Spirit (God Who Makes You Holy). But where is that tenth name?
Answer: in the same place as the most important passage in all of Scripture. Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Props to Maria Lillirose for pointing this one out.
Shma, oh Israel, the Lord our God. The Lord Who Is One. And you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and all of your soul/being and all of your very/everything else.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5: partial translation mine
The Lord Who is One. Adonai Echad.
That is the tenth name.
Taken together with the other nine names, we arrive at the grouping, or fractal of ten.
And that fractal is a combination of the 3 and then the 7. The Trinity and the Redemptive Gifts.
And paralleling those in order we have the following parallels.
Adonai Echad = God the Father Adonai Tsevaot = God the Son Adonai Makkadesh = God the Holy Spirit Adonai Yireh = Prophet Adonai Rapha = Servant Adonai Nissi = Teacher Adonai Shalom = Exhorter Adonai Rohi = Giver Adonai Tsidkenu = Ruler/Judge/Deliverer Adonai Shammah = Mercy
So, those are some thoughts here, to open up this post on the RJD.
Why Adonai Tsidkenu For The Ruler
The Ninth of those names parallels the Ruler (called alternatively the Judge or the Deliverer) specifically because the Ruler of all the gifts, when he or she is walking in intentional righteousness, has three types of authority that flow toward them and passes those outward to his or her circle of influence.
These three types of authority parallel the three treasures in the Ark of the Covenant (Pot of Manna, Aaron’s Budded Staff, and The Tablets with the Law of Moses). The Pot of Manna represents the Judge’s authority to provide. The Staff that Budded represents God’s sovereign choice of the Ruler to solve the problem of bringing together a complex of principles into a place of syncronization between the internal and the external worlds that results in freedom. It is the staff budding that God used when he said “Aaron is my choice for priest”. And in the life of the Deliverer, the Lord will specifically have a time where He says, this is my man or woman for this job, end of discussion.
The synching of these three things brings an aspect of fullness to the Righteousness that is supposed to indwell and sanctify us, but especially the Ruler. The Judge, that is, derives a disproportionate ROI from these three principles being present in their life.
So, with that, let’s jump into the Ruler
The man pictured above with his ever-loyal dog, Gibson, is my pastor, John Chase, from Massachusetts. His dog was named after the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Kirk Gibson, most well-known for catalyzing the Dodgers’ Game 1 upset of, and eventual triumph against, the Oakland Athletics the in the 1988 World Series.
Pastor John’s forté is taking imperfect people and building teams with these people in order to accomplish a desired end. This is vintage Ruler.
Further, he does so as one who knows the appointment of the King, the provision of the king, and the moral authority of the King. He is one of the most easy-to-point-to examples of a RJD that has an excellent grasp of the three treasures of the Deliverer.
And for those who wonder why I keep moving between the terms “Ruler”, “Judge”, and “Deliverer“, see my explanation further below.
On the Sixth Day God Said…
“Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
From Genesis 1:24-25 (ESV)
The earth brought forth the land animals here, and those animals are variously used in ways that create a bevy of life-giving systems. This is part of the Ruler’s DNA. Cows pull the plows, chickens make a disproportionate amount of eggs. Beef. Milk. Bacon (for those who like it). Horses that do all sorts of things. Dogs that serve a bunch of functions such as badger flushing, sheep herding, protecting family, policing airports, company for humans, emotional support, visual support. Cats that condescend to their human staff and hiss when we screw it up. You get the idea.
The Ruler is notorious for their interaction with systems, and many of those are not always so life-giving. But around a Deliverer, usually develops some sort of empire or massive system.
Now, the relative life-giving of those systems will be specifically determined by the relative health of those individuals.
And the Ruler, if not healthy, can destroy his or her employees….
However, the Judge who is healthy, provides a rhythm that is unparalleled in the level of synchronization, and can find themselves in possession of a team that is loyal to the core.
And the purpose of the Sixth Day was in the creation of life-giving and sustainable systems.
One good example of this the bodies of the Animal Kingdom. There is a great deal in the animal kingdom, and among each of the individual groupings that show this principle of Systems that are both life-giving and sustainable, where disproportionate energy is produced from the resources that are put in.
Animal Cellular Respiration, which creates adenosine triphosphate, which, in turn, provides the energy needed to drive many processes in animal bodies, is a really good example of a sustainable system.
Who In the Bible Can Be Considered To Have the Gift of RJD?
The preeminent example of a Ruler in Scripture, for better or worse, is Nehemiah. 52 days to build a wall. Withstanding all sorts of opposition. Driving his workforce to build and to fight, which is a key twofold component of the Ruler. Constructing systems to get the job done, with little regard as to the ethics of the situation. In task mode as a machine. Building, fighting, leading, putting together, making dozens of decisions at once. These are all aspects of this gift at work.
Why the Name Mix for the Ruler
I will tell you why.
The Term “Ruler” does not embody the full bent, way, and direction of the gift’s expression whatsoever.Mny times, when I hear “Ruler”, or “Leader”, or “Administrator”, as man Evangelicals term the gifts following the bent of the New International Version, I think “king with a crown on his head leading his kingdom and telling people what to do without getting his hands dirty”. I think “desk jockey pushing paper”. I think “CEO”. I think “useless suit with MBA”.
i think “despot”.
I think white collar Ken Lay Enron corruption. And scandal.
It is because when I near these terms, I immediately think of a host of disparaging terms that do not involve rescue, deliverance, liberty, freedom, and growth in a loving manner of sonship.
Such terms as those found in the first grouping are not the heart of someone like John Chase…
Or Seneca Schurbon…
The Judges in the book of Judges have a similar problem. That term “Judge” is not “man in black robes issuing verdicts and sentences”.
It is more akin to “Deliverer”. It is someone who is inherently concerned with the liberation of people that are in his sphere of influence and authority. Someome who willingly fights to bring liberation to a people for the simple fact that he or she has a bleedingly affectionate fathering heart for them, and hunts obssessively for their deliverance, and will fight overwhelming odds to give a place of familial affection for those who are being harassed. This is the Ruler at some of their finest expression.
The idea of weaving together those three items (resources, principles, and blessings) leads to people who can more effectively acquire the tools, strategies, and skills to effectively build and fight. However, they must be willing to fight the right enemy and build the right edifices and structures. It is not merely satiating a bloodlust, nor is it building whatever empire suits the vision of the moment. Rather, it serves to build toward the vision that Father gives.
The people that we describe as operating in a high degree of Freedom are what we call “sons”. And relax, ladies. If men can be the Bride of Christ, y’all can grow comfortable with the idea of being sons of G-d. Congratulations, life is uncomfortable for all of us. These terms describe function rather than form.
Knowing How to Build and Knowing How To Fight
In learning how to fight, the high-functioning Ruler/Judge/Deliverer teaches you who the real enemy is. They help you keep focused not of every distraction around you that is ancillary and secondary, but rather the primary and main goal, and therefore the main opposition that is blocking the vision of Father from going forth.
In learning how to build, the Ruler, with help from the team in the surround, shows you how to implement the plan and vision that G-d has given. They are the ultimate how-to manual for implementation of solutions that work. They are not so much as concerned with the rightness or morality of a solution. Rather they understand and find an or any solutions that work. They are the ones designed to surmount obstacles to achieve objective. If you release a RJD to build, they will get the job done and won’t need a whole lot of cheerleading. They will drive toward an objective with fierce intensity and blast any obstacles out of the way. They won’t necessarily do it with a light touch either.
However, in order to build and bight effectively, we need to confront how we define, view, and recognize resources. I hope you will indulge me while I step on my soapbox from mothering and start fathering.
We have built into our church movement as charismatics who obsess and fawn over every anointed leader in the fivefold ministry, an annoying habit of welfare Christianity.
We are so blasted used to being taught to beg the L-rd or lick the boot of the anointed apostle, prophet, or other grand poobah in order to get the finished products without any transformation or machining or cutting or molding or processing on our part.
We have failed relentlessly when we are presented with raw materials. Our major requirement as sons, the one where we know we have begun to mature, is that when the L-rd graduates us from being immature to mature, and instead of handing the finished product to our spoiled butts, Father hands us raw materials.
Our responsibility is, when He hands us finished products, instead of griping about why He did not give us the finished product, we learn the skills necessary to machine the materials into finished products and use those products we create to build with.
The Judge’s job is to grow us from begging for finished products into warriors who can “adapt and overcome” like the Marines do.
The Ruler Number Line and the Fact That Obedience Is Not That Important
Some of y’all needed to be shocked and jolted by the blaring statement I just made in the heading.
Obedience is not that important.
Let me say it again with a little more nuance, because I am pretty good at nuancing statments.
Obedience is not as important as some of y’all make it out to be.
Now, let me fly by it one more time with more nuance.
Your definition of obedience is not as important as you make it out to be.
Frequently, we have a really 1-dimensional view of obedience (check the box once you have done the task), and we want to apply our anemic religious frame for obedience on others around us.
We don’t drink, smoke, dance, or chew, or run with the girls that do.
Submit to your apostolic covering.
Everyone needs a covering, because without a covering, you are exposed.
But obedience is not just about a checkbox. It is about building a kingdom, so there are always a few more dimensions that go into each process in which we are obeying. There is a motive for obeying and a real effect of obeying.
In short, the RJD functions as the ultimate fathering influence of the Redemptive Gifts, more than even the Servant and the Prophet. When paired with the Servant and the Prophet, something wonderful happensl however. The below will show you one example of how the Redemptive Gifts are amazing when the function in tandem.
The Prophet sees, points out, and celebrates the design of the son by infusing them with dignity.
The Servant builds platform underneath the son and shows them the revelation that they are a son, and will tenaciously hunt for the good in anyone, no matter how trashed and wounded they are. They also create the environment where the Father Himself feels welcome to come and invade the son’s life with the revelation of sonship, if the son is willing.
The Ruler’s Principle On a Numberline
I want to show you the Ruler’s Numberline two different ways.
Degrees of Bondage are from -100 to -1. Obedience, where you are free but not really making an impact in the lives of others, is 0. And Freedom ranges by degrees from +1 to +100.
This is the numberline that Arthur Burk discusses when he talks about Temptation, for example, and I agree with him.
Freedom is not just being able to walk in obedience. Freedom is what happens when the temptation needle does not even flicker.
We in the church in many places are used to seeing, hearing, preaching, and treating obedience as the endgame.
Obedience is not the endgame.
Obedience is where you hear Father tell you to do something and you get your will into line with His.
Obedience is merely a transition point from bondage on the way to Freedom.
And you were not merely designed for obedience.
And no, sons do not merely obey.
That is the job of servants.
And Jesus told us, “no longer do I call you servants”.
What does he call us, gang?
This walk with Jesus is not just about serving, nor is it simply about obeying.
And those of you that are focusing on the passages about serving have missed the ultimate goal of walking with Christ and being in Christ.
Behavioral Characteristics of the Ruler/Judge/Deliverer
The RJD is inherently concerned with the creation of sons.
Because of point 8 in the previous list under “Knowing How To Build and Knowing How to Fight, the Deliverer does not spend a lot of time assigning blame which would create exasperated sons, but rather teaches them how to build, how to fight, and how to fix the problem. A Ruler is often very easy to spot based on whether or not she has a tendency to single out the person who is at fault.
In the creation of sons, the RJD is designed to be linked with the Sixth Principle, the Principle of Freedom.
Those principles I keep mentioning, though they originally find their expression in Bill Gothard and the Institute of Basic Life Principles, and they became popularlized in the Charismatic Movement through the work of Arthur Burk, have a bevy of biblical meat behind them.
So, what is Freedom? How does it look on Monday Morning and how does it create sons. I will give Arthur the floor on this topic twice. First, he mentioned that he defined, “Freedom [as] the fruit of effectively weaving together resources, principles, and blessings to move toward your birthright.” (The Seven Principles, Disc 8, Cut 2, Timestamp 0:00-0:08). Secondly, if I recall correctly, from his teaching on the 6th Head of Leviathan, Arthur defined Freedom as when your internal world and your external world fit together in a match or a meshing together. The meshing of what is inside and what is outside, means there is a flow that happens and manifests regularly. When we handle the principle of Freedom well, and by handling it well, I mean we look to create win/win situations regularly in our dealings with others, an access to a certain divine cadence manifests. God shows up and systems and processes where we once ground out solutions now glide. Where we once grinded, we now glide with more liberty and free flow. Creating the win/win puts spiritual grease in our formerly squeaky and rusty gears.
Any gift that finds its sweet spot and works at that sweet spot will get an effortless and disproprotionate return on investment in that area. When the Ruler hunts for the win/win, the flow that happens in the systems they worked at creating is crazy, and the empires put themselves together more easily. And the end result is that these systems become way lifegiving.
So, imagine the British Empire.
And how imagine the British Emprie without the brutal and ugly underbelly, and imagine it fully lifegiving and fathering to all under its influence. Imagine them equipping and releasing the American Colonies rather than controlling and exploiting the Colonies’ and forcing the colonists’ hands. Imagine, no Teay Party, no violence, no Camden, no Cornwallis destruction of South Carolina, no King George III calling for their heads on a silver platter. Just equipping and releasing. And with the full might of British wind in the American sails.
Gang, this is the picture I seek to put into your minds as you yearn for a fully-grown Judge.
Deliverers are among some of the busiest members of the community and the church. Along with the Servants, they usually have the most packed schedules of all RG’s. The only difference between a Deliverer and a Servant is the Deliverer is only as busy as they want to be, which is usually pretty busy, given their schedule. Servants, because they can have a difficult time saying “no”, can fill up their schedules to the point where the schedule runs them instead of them running their schedule.
Deliverers are the skeletal system of the body in large part. Consider the similarities. The Skeletal System is the sort of system that provides more than just a scaffolding for the rest of the body to be grouped around. It provides mineral storehouses for the Cardiovascular System. The femurs are where one aspect of the life of the body, the red blood cells, are produced. The bones occupy a large segment of teaching in Scripture. They also provide materials necessary to synch the rest of the body.
Likewise, the RJD provides an organizational life-giving hub for the rest of the body, and the other gifts. Other gifts may rely on relational or ideological connections for their strength, whereas the RJD has the capacity for tapping into an internal strength that is their own.
Because of this, the Ruler’s self-reliance and independence can land them in hot water.
Judges need a trustworthy friend in whom they can confide deeply and with whom they can go the distance. It probably needs to be someone as strong-willed and bullheaded as they are.
When a Ruler finds this friend or herecouple of friends, provided strong betrayal does not enter the picture, this sort of friendship can benefit both the Deliverer and the non-Deliverer.
Deliverers, when healthy, can make the ultimate fathers if they can tap into their capacity for relational skill.
Left-brained Judges are built to be machines of efficiency.
Right-brained Rulers definitely skew the model, because their creative flair seeps into their team-building, gathering, organizing, and fathering activities.
The best I can say about the Right-brained Ruler is that they are designed with a creative flair in mind. That empire-building germ combines with a creative…quality…about the Ruler.
Deliverers are known for effectively building with minimal resources and for pushing the resources the have into places of maximum output. If not healthy in their expression, then you end up with things like Jack Welch’s odiously satanic Stretch Goals; Tom Watson, Sr.’s domination of IBM; or Jeff Bezos’ nutters where he explodes as his employees in Amazon.
In the case of Jack Welch, “stretch goals” were about how we could get the employees to do more work for the same amount of pay. Not just no, but hell no.
When this happens, it is an indicator that the Ruler lacks a conscience.
And when a Ruler lacks a conscience, they really get…ahem…unwise and mean-spirited. They make some of the finest and most efficient predators.
The Deliverer has to be crucified and sanctified in their temperament in order to judge wisely. Their responsibility to is anchor themselves in an understanding of the qualities embodied in the three treasures in the Ark of the Covenant.
The Ruler must learn how to measure themselves against, and be in possession of, the principles embodied by threee treasures found in the Ark.
The stone tablets of the Ark represent the Judge’s moral authority.
The omer of manna speaks of the Ruler’s capacity to feed on the divine provision and to dole that supernatural provision out.
The budded staff speaks of two things. First, the Deliverer is selected and appointed by G-d. Secondly, the nature of the fruit that came forth from the buds, almonds, speaks of the fact that G-d remembers the Ruler’s appointment to a task big enough for the Ruler to do. Almonds symbolize memory and a refusal to forget. The Amygdala in the brain, two almond-shaped organs, determine what emotional value to assign to given memories.
G-d does not forget the day, season, the history, or the circumstance of his appointment of the Ruler. His appointment of the Ruler to the gift of RJD is permanent, hardwired, good, without repentance, irrevocable, and a glorious expression of His busy nature.
As the Deliverer leans into his Principle, s/he grows in Freedom and is enabled to help others grow into freedom and sonship. The key, however is he or she must be submitted to hunting for that principle.
The Deliverer does not trust others easily outside of the expressed interference of G-d. However, if the Ruler hears G-d speak, he or she will work at extending trust.
One key to working with a Ruler is that you must be willing to work at being willing to value protecting their heart.
The one thing that will destroy a friendship with a Deliverer faster than anything is betrayal.
So, questions? Comments? Thoughts? What is missing?
And before we proceed to the gift of Mercy, this post provides some missing material.
Trigger warning: discussion of Assyriana torture methods.
And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.
First and LESS importantly, is this G-d’s response to free will, or G-d’s sovereignty, or some mixture of the two?
You should be able tell how much overall value I place on overworn debates regarding Calvinism VS. Arminianism based on that question alone.
Secondly, and MUCH more importantly,
What does this say about how he deals with nations?
Read this and consider it also in light of Jonah’s prophecy of destruction of Nineveh, which included no message of “if you repent, he will spare you”. It was just straight wrath and destruction “yet 40 days and Nineveh will be overturned”.
In response to Jonah’s merciless message, the Ninevites repented and, to Jonah, God did something unexpected.
Gang, let’s cultivate a fascination for construction and weaving together a plethora of principles and use a set of tools that is ever-expanding.
Father, Son, And Holy Spirit use trade schools to bring us into a world that is desperately in need of fathers.
Let’s use everything we have, and be sure we have mastery of the right tool, and everything that tool can be used for in a pinch.
Deliverance is not a single tool. Rather, it is a developing, ever-expanding tool shed where we need to come to each situation with a general understanding of our tools, and a readiness to pick up and use what is unfamiliar.
For example, we sparkies (trade parlance for “electrician”) often don’t have access to hammers.
In which case, in a pinch, we need to realize the hammers to which we already have access.
Sometimes, the only tool you currently have is a wood sword, or a pair of side cutters.
So, be ready to accept that you might need a different tool, but also do jot be afraid to think about all the different tasks the tool in your hand can do, even if it means thinking outside of the box.
This is some of the most solid work on the topic of angels. Dr. Heiser’s book on angels adds a welcome weight of obsession with the canon of biblical text that counterpoints our touchy-feels, charismatic foolishness.
Indeed, what is needed is more of an understanding of the fullness of what Scripture is saying, not less, and not necessarily more merely of what the traditions of Christianity and Judaism are saying apart from the informing plumb line of the canon.
Mike Heiser is precisely the exegetical breath of fresh air on a number of topics that we need.