Light of the World

mithras-solinvictussol-invictusThe pagan solar deities of the ancient world were all called the light of he world. The Solis Invicti “Unconquered Sun” was a universal concept. So what is the difference between a Biblical faith and paganism?

Well, it depends on the church one attends.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

. . . that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, Phil. 2:15 

In some Christian teaching there is very little difference between the pagan and the sacred. All of ancient paganism was whitewashed by changing the names and places of the ancient deities to that of Christian ones. This was a problem from the very beginning of the Congregation of the Lord. But it became far worse in the 4th century when Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire. This made being a Christian the only way to obtain power in the new government. So pagans flooded the churches and found their old “Unconquered Sun” by a new name. Don’t be to hard on Constantine, he was more politician than theologian. Anything that stopped the war that brought him to power was welcome. He even paid people to convert.

coin-of-emperor-constantine-i-depicting-sol-invictus-with-the-legend-soli-invicto-comiti-c-315from Classical Numismatic Group, Inc.

So what had been a slow process of paganization suddenly became and overwhelming flood.

From then on we see Christ represented in full pagan regalia of the halo of sunlight siting in a circle of the Zodiac. The pagan pantheons were replaced with Mary and the saints. As the Reformers put it, “The church was full of foul idolatries and flatterers, who cleaved to a faith which their hearts never welcomed.”

zodiac_mtskhetaA 17th-century fresco from the Cathedral of Living Pillar in Georgia depicting Jesus within a circle of angels and an outer circle with the Zodiac and a thirteenth sign.

It must  be remembered that the Jews who made up the early church where also fully paganised.

beit_alfa01Mosaic in the Beth Alpha synagogue, with the sun in the centre, surrounded by the twelve zodiac constellations and with the four seasons associated inaccurately with the constellations

Truth

The light in the Bible is a metaphorical light not a physical light. We don’t worship the creation but the Creator.

The light that the Bible is about is spiritual light. This needs to be read in Greek.

And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. Rev. 22:5

photos is the noun for light

luchnos is the noun for lamp

helios is the noun for sun

photizo is the verb for give light

The way this is translated “the Lord God will be their light” isn’t quite what the verb means. It makes it sound as if he is a solar deity. Photizo is a verb. It would have been better as “the Lord God will enlighten them.”

The Mystery

These corruptions came from the Mystery Religions. Which is a corruption of the promise of God to provide the Redeemer.

. . . and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; Eph. 3:9

These Mystery Religions all had a communion, a baptism, singing and chanting to achieve an alter state, and many other things we are taught are Christian. Christian they may be, but they are not Biblical.

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 1Cor. 10:23 

We must constantly ask, why are we doing this or that? Where is this tradition from? Does it support truth or is it full of error? Elijah’s question is just as good today as it was 2500 years ago.

And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. 1Kings 18:21 

The only difference is the inherited churches have over the centuries changed Baal’s name to Jesus. They way they can have their Christmas cake and eat it to.

Advertisements

Messiah is Sinless

second-coming2For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, Rom. 8:3

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor. 5:21

FYI: When the first English translators came to the word sarkos they were not sure how to translate it, as there was no equivalent word in the English. They decided to follow the Greek example of taking the root of the word sarx with mean living body both animal and human. So they choose the second word for meat or flesh as the translation. Before it was used in the Bible in this way the English word flesh was just another word for meat. Stew pots at the time were called flesh pots. But because of it use in the Bible in this way the Bible forever changed the English language. In modern English we occasionally use flesh to mean meat, but more often than not we only use flesh when referring to an injury,  as in flesh wound, and we certainly don’t cook in flesh pots any more. Flesh means to us exactly what sarkos means in Greek, our fallen human nature.

Because of our weak flesh we cannot stand before a holy just God. There is no amount of effort on our part that can overcome this fault. We need a mediator who’s flesh is not weak. He looked like us in our sinful flesh bodies, but His nature was sinless.

Messiah is the Firstborn of the Dead

Our culture has little left of the honor and respect that used to be bestowed on the first-born. In past generations they were highly respected in the family. They were often given a double portion or the lions share of the inheritance. They were given the responsibility for aging parents and indigent siblings. All this began to change with the discovery of the New World, as non-first-borns could easily move farther west and make their own way in life. Wealth and position could be earned rather than granted. However in the ancient world everything was under the first-borns control. And so our Savior is the First-born.

Firstborn from the Dead

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. Col. 1:18

In the congregation we get used to hearing these terms and sometime we don’t give them a second thought. But the dead do not give birth. The dead do not bring life. Our Messiah came out of the tomb as if it were a womb, the first to be born in this manner. From time to time the prophets and Messiah Himself raised the dead, however this was the first time ever that a dead person walked out of the tomb by He own power.

Firstborn of all Creation

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; Col. 1:15  

This is not that He is a creation, but rather it is by His authority as the first born that all things were created.

The Destroyer of the First-born

We tend to get our understanding of the Exodus from movies and children story versions, However The Angle of Death or The Destroyer of the first-born of Egypt was the Lord Himself. As the first-borns of Egypt were an honored class, and the son of Pharaoh destined to be a god, they were wiped out to make the point that the god’s of Egypt were impotent in the face of the God of the Hebrews.

By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the first-born might not touch them. Heb. 11:28

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. Ex. 12:12

Messiah our Mediator

There is a fundamental instinct in all human souls to find atonement for our moral failures. However we are keenly aware that we are unworthy to approach a just and wrathful God. We all seek to win our freedom from the condemnation that we intrinsically know we are under.

The non-spiritual man invents all kinds of ways that he hopes will bring feelings of cleanness and wellbeing. A large donation to some church or other charity, a fuel efficient car to appease the earth, or a meatless meal, but all is futile. The filth that is our souls cannot be hid from ourselves. We know that there is somewhere a demand for purity. All is an endless misery.

The spiritual man wants instructions and rules. That is why there are so many religions. We feel inadequate and inferior at being able to take care of our own soul. And there are always those who will reassure us that they know best how to approach God, usually for a fee, but sometimes just for the power this gives them over others lives. There is persistent belief that the pastor, priest, reverend, or other spiritual leader’s prayers and practices are somehow more effective than our own.

This is not the teachings of the Bible.

Our Mediator

We no longer have need of a religion of form and function. The ceremonial law is gone. Our personal priesthood stands because our Mediator stands always before the Throne. His single sacrifice frees us from our self condemnation.

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, Heb 9:12

Ours is a religion of faith not form. We no longer look to physical manifestations. We have what all those fathers [Heb. 11] of the Bible looked forward to, Final Atonement.

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 1Tim. 2:5

Messiah’s/Christ’s Genealogy

Matt 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38  family-tree-hi

One of the confusing things for the first time Bible reader is that the genealogies in Matthew and Luke are completely different. Some people’s faith can be shaken by this realization. Others use it as a way of attacking the veracity of the Bible. However there is a simple enough answer for this. Matthew presents the genealogy of Joseph while Luke provides the genealogy of Mary.

Joseph’s lineage was from David, through his son Solomon, and included all the kings of Judah. Mary’s lineage descended from David by his son Nathan. Mary and Joseph were both descendant from Judah and David, and therefore very distant cousins.

The reason that we know that Luke’s genealogy of Mary’s, is because the Talmud tells us that Mary was the daughter of Heli (in a very unflattering curse). The confusing part is that this genealogy lists Joseph as the son of Heli, instead of Mary. We alway list both sons and daughters in a genealogy. However only sons are listed in ancient genealogies. So Joseph is listed as Hali’s son because Mary had to have been an only child or the oldest of all daughters. Mary’s husband Joseph therefore, was considered her father’s heir.

Melchizedek

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek by Peter Paul Rubens

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek by Peter Paul Rubens

What does after the order of Melchizedek mean?

Melchizedek is one of the most enigmatic persons in the Bible. His kingdom was called Salem i.e. peace, his name is a title i.e. King of Righteousness, and he has no genealogy or tribal distinction. He comes from nowhere and disappears just as quickly.

FYI: Tradition holds that he was Shem, Noah’s son.

His first mention is in Gen 14, where he met up with Abraham after Abram’s victory over the four kings from Mesopotamia.

And Mel-chizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth;  20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Gen. 14:18-20

1   For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him;  2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.  3 He is without father or mother or genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever.  Heb. 7:1 -3

Bread and wine is usually indicative of a blessing, but none is mentioned. Whoever he was Abram felt he was worthy of a tenth of the plunder. Continue reading

Messiah/Christ is the Creator

1The eternal pre-existence of Christ/Messiah as it is called by the theologians causes many to see a paradox. Although Messiah was born at a very specific point in time and space, He is also eternal. He pre-existed everything in creation. This can only be because God is not limited by time and space.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; Col. 1:15  

. . . all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. John 1:3

In order to have created all things He must have pre-existed all things, and that by definition is something eternal.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

The Greek word here is Logos which means word, speech, message, book. Its meaning contains all that is communication. What He communicated was all of creation, all that makes up the atoms, particles, and the genetic code of the universe. He wrote it all in six days. Continue reading