Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 272

The scriptures read are Ezekiel 9-10, Psalm 74 and 1 John 4.

Ezekiel 9. 6 Executioners are called in. Those horrified by the state of the city are marked by a 7th man. The executioners are dispatched. Ezekiel is upset. God says the land is overflowing with murder and injustice. Time for payback.

Ezekiel 10. The mobile throne of God with the cherubim and wheels within wheels enters the temple. One of the executioner is given hot coals from under the throne.

Psalm 74. There is a paucity of musical versions of this psalm. Luckily, this guy seems to have done tuneful versions of each psalm. His singing ends at 5:10 and then he follows it with a message.

1 John 4. Here the spirit of the antichrist is found in those who deny Christ's incarnation. It sounds like Docetism, the heresy that Christ only appeared to become human. The false prophets could be early Gnostics who thought everything material was evil. Thus Christ could not have had a real body. Nor could he have really died for us. That guts the heart of Christianity: that God so loved the world that he sent his son, who did not cling to his divinity but became a man, lived as one of us, fulfilled the law, died for us and rose bodily. Otherwise, it's shadowplay, illusion. The gulf between God and humanity is absolute, unbridged.

John understands the heart of reality: that God is love. Not that God is loving, but is love itself, is the eternal ongoing act of the Father loving the Son loving the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit. People who truly love are born of God and know him intimately. God shows us his love in sending his son that through him we might participate in that living love. Thus we should love each other.      

If we love God, we need not fear judgment or death. Real love expels fear.

And you can't love God and hate people. The two are so inseparable that a denial of one is a denial of the other. True love of God leads to love of people.

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