The Word

“Yet not withstanding this, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth of scripture and its divine authority is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the word in our hearts.” ( The Baptist Confession Of Faith)

The word is alive, The word is real, The word is Spirit, The word is power.

“ So is my word, that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty but will accomplish that what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” Isaiah 55:11

God’s word came from God’s mouth , The words that came from God’s mouth came from God’s heart, In the heart of God is the spirit of God therefore logically speaking the word of God is the spirit of God in writing.

Now how does the Spirit of God bear witness with the human spirit?

When a person accepts Jesus in his heart the spirit of God comes to indwell his heart and as a born again individual reads the scripture the spirit of word in written form begins to bear witness to the Holy Spirit indwelling the person and reveals the truth of the scripture to him. This enables the individual to grow to a higher level of glory illuminated by the Spirit of God. The spirit of God that is the Holy Spirit is our mentor, our teacher, our guide and also our conscience.

A born again Christian is able to distinguish right from wrong through that inward witness in his spirit. Therefore the individual must store up in his heart and in his mind the scriptures. So if the sub conscious mind is full of the word the individual is able to move to a higher degree of illumination and intimate level of communication with the creator. The word that stood through time, space and history because the word was above the human degree of authorship as it emerged from divine inspiration on earthly vessels as they try to grasp the comprehension of the divine authoritative word. This comprehension is not to be sought by human reason but by divine intervention of Holy Spirit revelation.

The word that came forth from the triune God of Divinity that spoke forth His word in creativity that it brought forth life and still brings forth life spiritually when the word is read objectively with sincerity.

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A poem dedicated to my grand mother the mother of my mother Mrs Ranjitham Jeyaraj

She was warm, loving and caring

Her love and sweetness with others sharing

Her simplicity and gentleness endearing

She never asked always gave

Gave of herself to her husband and children

Raising up her children, grand children and great grand children to be strong, intelligent, capable women and men,

Love was her first name,

Humility her second

One day the God Almighty decided to come down and pick a diamond of a man or a woman to place in His splendorous palace,

He picked my grand mother a woman of love, charm and grace

JOB

JOB

Job 1:21  “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised”.

This one verse tells us about the most blameless upright man that ever lived.  A man who lost all, yet gained all, because he won the favour of God.  This man lost all yet he did not blaspheme God in self righteousness;  he praised God.  In other words, he was victorious though he lost his worldly possessions.  He was victorious spiritually.  For me, 1:21 is the key verse because he first of all realized all that he had belonged, not to him, but to God.  Secondly, when he lost all his materialistic and worldly possessions, Job praised God.  It must have been extremely difficult to say and do;  yet Job placed God on a much higher pedestal than his materialism and family.  This key verse gives us insight as modern day believers on how we, as Christians, should react in difficult circumstances.  I recently read the book by Terry Law in which he related the death of his first wife, Jan.  The most painful, yet the most illuminating process, was getting up early and praising God shortly after the death of his wife when he was left with three children.  But Terry Low tapped into the reservoir of God’s love, healing, comfort and deliverance.  The simple key was praise and worship.  Praise God, through thick and thin;  praise God, through wind or storm.  Learn to praise and watch Him lead you through the difficult situation or process in your life.

Authorship: The authorship of Job is uncertain and under an immense amount of speculation.  According to Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, p. 171 “the contents of the book indicate that its author was a profound thinker who treats some of the most crucial and difficult problems of human existence from a mature spiritual perspective.  According to Jack W. Hayford, p. 130, “perhaps even Solomon himself”.  According to the book, Old Testament Survey, p. 562, “the author of Job hides nameless in the background of his work while demonstrating overwhelming sensitivity to the human plight, capacity for massive theological understanding, group of vast areas of culture and learning, insight into deep struggles among opiniated persons and skill in literary craftsmanship”.

Date: According to Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, p. 171, “suggestions for the date of the book’s composition range from the patriarchal era to the post exilic period.  Most scholars today date the book between the Solomonic and exilic eras.  According to Hayford’s Bible Handbook, “the manners, customs and general lifestyle of Job are from the patriarchal period (about 2000-1800 BC).

Structure: According to the Old Testament Survey by William Sanford, David Allen and Frederic William, p. 564, the structure can be divided into;

“Prologue (prose), Chs 1-2

Job’s lament (poetry) 3

Dialogue between Job 4-27

.. and friends (poetry) in three cycles

.. Eliphaz (Job replies to each)

.. Bildad

.. Zophar

Poem on Wisdom (poetry) 28

Job’s complaint (poetry) 29-31

Elihu’s speeches (poetry) 32-37

Yahweh’s speeches 9poetry) 38-42:6

Epilogue (prose) 42:7-17

Comparison between Job and Jesus: Was Job a shadow of what was to come?  Was Job a type of Christ?  W. F. Albright has interpreted the name Job as “where is (my) father?”  (taken from Old Testament Survey, p. 560)

Job: Job was a blameless and upright man.  He feared God and shunned evil (Job 1:1, Job 1:8).  There is noone on earth like him.  Job 1:21 “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, may the name of the Lord be praised”.  Job 1:12 “Very well then everything he has is in your hands but on the man himself do not lay a finger”.  Job was the most blameless and upright man on earth.  Job 1:12 tells us that God allowed the devil to bring trials and tests into his life.  Job did not deserve it;  yet he went through physical pain (2:7), emotional pain (1:200 and psychological pain (3:1).  Job, through no fault of his own, was allowed by God to be severely tested by Satan, yet Job did not retaliate;  he did not curse God (2:9,10).  He went through his pain;  he went through his suffering.  Job didn’t deserve it, yet it came upon him.  Why?  Because I believe there is a reason behind it.  Nothing that is in the Bible has happened by chance.  The story of Job for me has a deep prophetic connotation.  Job 42:10-16, 42:12  The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.  At least it has a happy ending!!

Jesus Christ: Matthew 27:23  What crime has he committed, asked Pilate, but they shouted all the louder, crucify Him.  Matt. 27:30  They spit on him and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again.  Key verse:  Matt. 27:46  Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, which means My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.

Jesus was innocent, yet God allowed Jesus to endure immense pain, pressure of our sins, physical and psychological anguish for no fault of his own.  Just because of his love for us.  When Job, the most blameless, upright man that lived in his time, went through that suffering, did God just see Job .. or did God see Jesus in Job, knowing that one day his only son would go through suffering far worse, through no fault of his own.

Job, the meaning of his name is where is (my) father.  Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.  I would like to conclude this comparison with a rhetorical question – Was the suffering and name of Job symbolic to what took place on Calvary?  But what took place on Calvary carried immense magnitude – the enormity of the deity dying for us on Calvary.

Application: This book tells us that God allows tests and trials in a person’s life.  This transaction stage or process stage, as I heard in a seminar, is called “liminality”.  Job went through a liminality stage in his life in which he endured excruciating pain.  But in the end, he came out victorious and the latter part of Job’s life was blessed even more than the former.  I believe Job is an example of a victorious liminality survivor.

We, as Christians, are in the liminality process, just as Job was in the process.  We are waiting for the second coming of Christ.  We are in the sanctification process awaiting the time we will be fully glorified in Christ.

Main themes: According to the Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, “the basic question of the book is ‘why do the righteous suffer if God is loving and all powerful?’’  The second theme for me is God’s hand on Job’s life during his suffering and God blessing Job because Job stood strong in his faith in God.

Theological Truths: God is in control.  God who is omniscient or all knowing knows about everything, whether it is good or evil, and He is in control.  God has a higher plan, a higher purpose in mind.  The devil needed God’s permission to attack Job, yet God preserved his life and blessed him more as he came out of his suffering, completely victorious.  Isa 48:10 “see I have refined you, though not as silver, I have tested you in the furnace of affliction”.  God refines and tests us.  We, as His children, go through difficult situations in our life many times, but God never leaves us nor forsakes us.  God never tempts us but I believe God allows us to go through hard times in our life so that we come out stronger, ready for His divine call.

Distinctive Pentecostal Beliefs: A distinctive Pentecostal belief here is spiritual warfare.  Satan brought about oppression in Job’s life yet Job stood firm.  In Job 1:10, it tells us that God put a hedge of protection around Job.  In Eph. 6:10-20, the armour of God is our protection.  When we, as children of the most high, live to please God, the devil brings about opposition.  The devil brings about all kinds of oppression.  The devil can attack our mind, our emotions, our finances, our family;  but, what I learnt from Job is that the devil cannot take the life of a child of God unless God allows it to happen.  The devil has come to steal, to kill and to destroy, but God has come to give us life and give it in abundance.  Spiritual warfare is real.  I have experienced it in my life but our God is far greater, far mightier.  Jesus is our deliverer and redeemer.

Another distinctive Pentecostal belief is the prosperity of Job and the latter part of Job’s prosperity was greater than the former (Job 42:42).  Contrary to a pentecostal belief that I have read here in Job is suffering.  Many of our charismatic and Pentecostal churches are so caught up in the prosperity and spiritual warfare teaching that they fail to train and help people going through suffering.  Many charismatic churches talk about the bed or roses, but those roses have thorns.  So I would urge the Pentecostal churches to talk about trials and tribulations or the so called “laminality” process that every person endures during some time of their life.

Application: This book of Job has immensely helped me in my life.  I went through a difficult time in my life.  In fact, I suffered from depression but this book has given me a hope for the future.  I would like to close with a poem I wrote:

Who am I?

That thought in my heart I ponder

What am I meant to be

Oh God, the future I just can’t foresee

Yet you care for me.

You didn’t just let me be,

You have a place and purpose

Thy Word is the key.

I came into the world a little seed,

Curious about the world so mysterious,

Bombarded with emotions hilarious,

At times delirious, at other times, furious

As I started to grow and mature to the tree I was meant to be,

I faced the storms of life

Into temptations I was tossed,

Yet through thy divine grace at Calvary

To temptation I was no longer held in slavery,

You set me free, enabling me to grow in sanctity,

Your word says, You shall bear fruit in season,

Seasons have come, seasons are gone,

Oh God, I feel so alone, why was I ever born,

Yet you on me never did frown,

The veil to enter the holy of holies was torn

By thy divine blood on the cross which was no loss,

At thy feet I place my supplication,

Oh Christ, on me make a divine transformation,

This season, let me see my life has a reason

Let me bear fruit at a dozen

Change my heart, my attitude

As I grow and mature in thy attitude,

As I pray I feel thy presence come as a ray

I feel the power of thy awesome presence like rain on me does spray

Father, when will you use me

Is it today?

I feel the rain come on me washing all my doubts and fears without a trace

Speaking to me through a gentle breeze

Thy love for me will never cease

I hear they voice saying my plans for you will be fulfilled come what may

All your have to do, daughter, is to pray.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Hayford, Jack W., Hayford’s Bible Handbook, Nashville, 1995.

Nelson, Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, Nashville, 1996.

Sanford, William, Allen, David, William Frederic, Old Testament Survey, Michigan, Zondervan, 1982.

Tenney, Merril C., Pictorial Bible Dictionary, Michigan, Zondervan, 1963.

A Poem About “Us”

Our Wedding Day

He came into my life one beautiful October,
We dated all through November,
We were a couple, who people would remember,
He was tall and Caucasian and I was short and Indian,
It was love at first sight and he asked me to marry him within a month in December,
Much to my delight and that kiss after he put that ring that to my finger did cling was an evening to remember.
It was now or never,
When we spoke our vows it was forever,
He turned out to be a caring husband and lover,
I turned out to be great cook and soon to be  mother,
We are both different yet similar,
Love crosses boundaries, races, discrimination and racism erases,
I love his spiky dark brown hair.
He has a flair in combing my long black tresses.
Our customs,  habits, and dresses different
Yet our difference the other pleases,
Integration into society of another culture is a process that needs a Moses.
With each one taking the hand of the other as we travel over land and water.
We have been and lived in each others lands as compatible as holding hands.
We may be complexion shades apart, but our love for the other will never depart.
As we made a covenant between each other in front of man and God,
We are a union and till our life ebbs away we will share sweet communion,
With God and man as husband and wife, till everlasting life.
Keeping away from all anger and strife
And darling thank you for making me your wife.

Unity In The Body Of Christ

As I watched the sunrise the other day and waved good bye to my husband at the door as he left for work. I was holding my coffee in my hands just amazed at the magnitude of the splendour and majesty of God. I just could not help praising God and wanting to remember this special scene I took a picture on my mobile phone.

This awesome awe inspiring God, creator of the universe, the world, peoples and nations. So vast is his creation yet He cares for a speck of sand like me if a satellite photo was taken of the earth I would be even smaller.

He cares about my dreams, ambitions, failures and successes, He has been with me through them all and has helped me come out the other side stronger as an individual and stronger in Him.

This world is going through birth pangs and so am I soon. As the world is waiting for the Son of God to be revealed, I am waiting for my baby to be born. Similar to the travail of a woman is this world pregnant with expectation for some explosive revival.

We have seen the revival days of Amy McPherson, Kathryn Khulman ,Oral Roberts and many more. There is a struggle between good and evil but I know and believe that good will prevail.

God’s word is light, this metamorphosis or pregnant period of the world is going to either make or break the Christian community. I pray it makes the Christian community stronger, firmer and more on fire for the Lord.

We know too much from the dark side and some like me have even participated in it but thank the Almighty God who forgives our sins if we confess and forsake them for good.

So instead of bickering about religious doctrine, Christian brother rising up against Christian brother on religious gossip and whose got the bigger house? Let us come together as one body in Christ crying out to Him for revival and a new oneness and unity in the body of Christ.

God says in His word those who are not against me and my teaching are for me. Let us come together as one not to save the environment  which the world is already doing but to save the world from darkness, filth and disunity in the body of Christ.

Let us be as innocent as doves to filth that pervades our televisions and movie houses but let us come closer to God and to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Instead of telling the government to check God’s people’s bank accounts, check your own life are you perfect as Jesus? Even Jesus in all his humility said no one is good except God.

So let us stop fighting and let us stand as one body, one bride in unity for her Heavenly  Bridegroom. The Spirit and the bride say come.

A hypothetical discussion between a Messianic Jew and a Pentecostal Irish Belfast Bible College graduate regarding their views on the Old and New testaments of the Bible

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning” John 1:1,2

Before time ever existed one thing existed and that was the Word. Jesus was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us. Before time existed Jesus existed therefore logically speaking the Word made flesh which is Jesus existed before time existed.

The play unfolds:-

There are two very important people I would like to introduce to you. One is Methuselah middle aged with salt and pepper hair, a big moustache and a bigger tummy with five children four girls and one boy and a wife named Hannah. Names of children are Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Abigail and a son named Isaac. Methuselah has recently come to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour and so has his family they are Messianic Jews who have come to Northern Ireland on holiday.

My next friend is Paul, who likes to think of himself as apostle Paul because of the prophesies he has received from his Pentecostal brothers and sisters from the Elim Pentecostal Church. He is six feet tall, blue/grey eyes with glasses, very thin and scanty blond hair. He is in his late thirty’s. Paul is single and has a Bachelor’s degree in theology from Belfast Bible College. He is hoping to go to Israel as a missionary. Paul met Methuselah in Jerusalem when he went there on holiday and is hoping to get to know Sarah as a prospective bride. Paul and Methuselah have arranged to meet for coffee at Star bucks.

Their conversation begins :-

Meths:- Shalom Paul ( gives Paul a warm hug)

Paul:- Praise the Lord brother and stretches out his hand to shake hands but is overwhelmed by Methuselah’s big hug.

Meths:- How are you Paul? When are you planning on coming to Israel, the land flowing with milk and honey as Psalms 48:1,2 says “ Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised. In the city of our God. In His holy mountain beautiful elevation.  The joy of the whole earth is mount Zion on the sides of the North. The city of the great King.”

Paul:- Can’t imagine why God would send Jesus to that wee little land to fulfil his purpose in all the earth. He could have come to Northern Ireland ya know it is so green and welcoming, ya know man I am not patriotic but why the Middle East?

Meths:- Laughs out loud Oye ,Oye ,Oye, now you want to turn Jesus Irish. Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem in that wee little land of Israel, through Him all the nations of the earth will be blessed as it says in Luke 2:30-32 “ For mine eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before all the peoples. A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles and the glory to your people Israel.”

Paul:-Jesus is all that matters, once we have Jesus who came to save the world from sin and sickness and we thankfully, glory to God, do not need the law. As Martin Luther says (Ahem clears his throat and puts on his most important look) We are saved by grace and  not by the law.

(Just then a beautiful blond waitress comes up to take their order, Paul adjusts his glasses and stares at the waitress unable to speak.) So Methuselah gives the orders of two cappuccinos. Paul keeps staring at the waitress till she goes back.

Meths:-Paul you might as well hang a sign around your neck that says ’single and looking intently’. Now coming back to what you said about the law, A.G. Herbert in his book ‘The Authority of the Old Testament says “ it is never said that the Mosaic law is now seen not to have been the law of God at all, on the contrary it is God’s law and it is holy and righteous and good. It is never said that the prophets are right and the law wrong, nor is the moral law endorsed and the ceremonial law repudiated, on the contrary Jesus has come not to destroy but to fulfil both the law and the prophets.”

Paul:- That’s good, Aha, Jesus never came to die for our sins in  the Old Testament. In the Old Testament they had sacrifices ,the Mosaic law and of course the prophets. But I says I like the apostles filled with the Holy Spirit doing signs and wonders in Jesus’ name.

Meths:- ( shakes his head) My dear boy let me take you through a journey back to the time of prophets and prophesies and how the Holy Spirit worked in the Old Testament. The prophets filled with the Holy Spirit played a very significant role in the life of the Jewish people and therefore in our lives as well. As I said earlier Jesus is the fulfilment of the Law that was prophetic. Now let me take you to I Samuel 16:13 ( Methuselah takes out his Bible from his brown brief case) ‘Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.’ How did David kill the Lion and the bear 1 Samuel 17:49 ? The answer is simple dear boy because the Holy Spirit was on David. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was not a free gift to all people only a chosen few were filled with the Holy Spirit and they were the Prophets, Priests, and Kings. The moment Samuel anointed David with oil, David had a change in perspective from David the Shepherd boy to David the King. Now lets go to your favourite part of scripture Luke 3:22 ” And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon him and a voice from Heaven which said “ You are my beloved Son; in you I am well pleased”.  From that significant moment in Jesus’ life, Jesus had the ability to work miracles and now this is my point dear boy, which portion of scripture did Jesus read at the synagogue in Nazareth after being endowed with power from on high?  He read Isaiah 61:1,2 and if the Old Testament was just the Law and Jesus just came to give us amazing grace why would He read Isaiah 61:1,2 ? A prophecy concerning Himself. Now lets go to Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, Shout daughter of Jerusalem, See your King comes to you righteous and having salvation gentle and riding on a donkey on a colt, The foal of a donkey.” This prophecy was fulfilled in Matthew 21:7,8 where Jesus sat on the donkey as He approached Jerusalem and the crowds lay their cloaks before Him on the road and Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the donkey just as the law had foretold. Jesus fulfilled the law and the law was prophetic. Therefore dear son you cannot have the new without the old. Like two sides of a coin ( as Methuselah flicks a coin in the air and catches it)

Paul:- Sips his cappuccino, looks at the young couple who have just entered Star bucks and gives a gives a big sigh. He pauses for a moment, takes a big gulp of cappuccino and chokes as it is really hot, he gulps a mouthful of cold water wipes his eyes, puts his glasses back on and continues. According to J P Fokkelman in his book Reading Biblical Narrative

“ The narrative art of the New Testament can be found in the four gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. These books have been written in the Greek of the Hellenistic world of the first century. All of them move around two land marks, Firstly the person of Jesus Christ and secondly the group of texts that for Jesus, His disciples and the writers of the gospels and the letters constitute the Holy scriptures, The Hebrew Bible. Paradoxically, we can  only speak of the Old Testament after a New Testament has been written and recognised as a canon.

Meths:- Dear boy, what are you trying to prove? We had the law first Exodus 20 :1-17, the prophesies, example Isaiah 61:1-3 and Isaiah 53. The Old Testament foreshadowed the New. The Old Testament was the foundation on which the New Testament was built. The New Testament is a prophetic fulfilment of the Old Testament. Jesus is the Word made flesh who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins to fulfil the law and the prophets. Now coming back to a more personal level, You remember the time Rebecca was sick with typhoid I just prayed the Psalms with tears especially Psalm 42. ‘Tears have been my food’ when we did not have enough food in the house for our children to eat but by praying and fasting ( not optionally) God took us through that time when we were in Russia and brought us to the promised land of Jerusalem. Those prayers from the Old Testament worked and now we are here in Northern Ireland on holiday drinking Cappuccino.

Paul:- Takes of his glasses and wipes the tears from his eyes and blows his nose loudly on the Star Bucks serviette. Well Methuselah, it is great having you in Noren Ireian…. I agree with you dear  brother that we need the Old Testament to have the New Testament,

Let us pray, Paul clears his throat and prays with the loud voice that people turn around and stare “ Dear God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Thank you for the privilege of knowing Yahweh, Emmanuel God with us and at the same time have the sweet communion with the Holy Spirit. He then pauses and says God give me a wife soon, with a hint to Methuselah, adds someone from the Holy land he again pauses and says in the words of the song  by Keith Christianson  “ We believe in the Father, who created all that is and we believe the universe and all there is is His. As a loving heavenly Father, He yearned to save us all to lift us from the fall we believe. We believe in Jesus the Father’s only son existing  before time had begun a sacrifice for sin, He died and rose again to ransom sinful men we believe. We believe in the Spirit who makes believers one, our hearts are filled with His presence the Comforter has come. The kingdom unfolds in His plan, unhindered by quarrels of man His church upheld by his hand we believe. Though the earth be removed and time be no more these truths are secure, God’s word shall endure whatever may change these things are sure we believe. So if the mountains are cast  down into the plains when Kingdoms all crumble this one remains, Our faith is not subject to seasons of man with our fathers we proclaim. We believe our Lord will come as He said, The land and the sea will give up their dead His children will reign with Him as their head, we believe, we believe.

Amen

Bibliography

1.Herbert A. G. The Authority of the Old Testament, Faber and Faber Ltd

2.Fokkelman J.P Reading Biblical Narrative, An Introductory Guide, John Knox Press 1995

3.Walter C Kaiser Jr. The Old Testament Documents, Inter varsity press 2001

4. Harrison RK Introduction to the Old Testament , The Tyndale Press 1969