The Bible also talks about lengthy periods when God was not speaking to Israel. This occurred during the time of the Judges and in the run-up to Samuel, for one, but there are numerous further examples.
In fact the Bible talks about a series of interventions whereby at critical times God showed Himself, but even when you talk about burning bushes and visiting angels, very often these were to very limited numbers of people who believed already, so they were not to make unbelievers believe.
The accounts of them are what are supposed to make unbelievers believe. If you perform a miracle in front of someone, in lab conditions so to speak, then their acceptance of it has nothing to do with belief, it is a proven fact. It is knowledge.
We’re not saved by knowledge, we’re saved by belief. This is intrinsic to the Christian message. If it were not so, then either we would be showing you God or we ourselves would have to abandon Him. But the point is that salvation is through faith and you can only actually have faith through “hearing” (which includes reading, but at any rate a second-hand account).
Those who believe already may receive or may not receive first-hand knowledge of God. They may receive healings and see things which are unlikely to pass as mere coincidences. Their accounts in turn may be believed or not by other people.
Just as faith has significance in the life of a human where there is room for doubt, so what we would refer to as doing the will of God, or good works, has meaning only when there is a meaningful temptation to do the opposite.
These two things, faith and works, are placed on apposition if not outright opposition to each other in various passages of the New Tesstament, whether we are talking about Paul, James or the Lord Himself. Moreover much discussion of the faith Vs works dichotomy informs writing and philosophy throughout Church history, but I would invite you to consider that faith and works is all there is to behaviour in terms of seeking to please God, and then you can make a matrix of four windows with faith and works along the horizontal and doing God’s will Vs the credible or meaningful alternative to doing God’s will along the vertical, so that you get four panels, like the square window in CBeebies, with such labels as “doubt” “belief” “temptation” and “obedience”. Of course there is another set of windows you could add in showing what happens if you succumb, namely “unbelief” and “disobedience”.
Having set up this image, I would like to suggest that before we are in Heaven we are afflicted by these alternatives and can therefore fall into the lower categories of unbelief and disobedience despite having chosen not to do so. It is the result of what theologists have described as the three-fold problem of the World, the Flesh and the Devil. I could enlarge on that if need be, but for economy I will not do so now. I will also skip over the issues of the New Heart, the Church and the Holy Spirit, which are the opposite three-fold chord. This we can discuss separately.
Once we have attained the end of the age, whether by our death and entering the next life, or because we are alive at His coming, we will be resurrected in a perfect and uncorrupted form so the flesh has not its old power over us. The world is passed away for us, we are entirely beyond the reach of societal pressure, and the Devil is entirely bound from us.
Faith is no longer actually a criterion for us, once we reach that point, as we know at that point. “We shall know as we are known”. Faith as it is described by Jesus and also by the writer of Hebrews 11 is only possible to have while you don’t actually know, although some are confused on this point, and will state that they know when in fact they do still only believe, however there are some who have experienced enough to be able to know for sure that God exists and loves them, but this is not always as good as having faith in the face of doubt, as the risen Lord explained to Thomas. This is why God severely limits His direct manifestations to people unless they are in fact already believers, and even for believers very sparingly, as He loves to see our faith. Moses saw God face to face but in the end never saw the promised land, while those who believed his reports without seeing did see the promised land.
Thomas was still saved because he was able to say “My Lord and my God”, whereas the Resurrection in itself was not empirical proof of the Deity of Christ in as much as there are those who assent to the Resurrection but do not know Jesus as their Lord and God. Had Thomas had no more confession than what he had seen empirically, I am persuaded that this would not have constituted saving faith and therefore the detail of his confession of our Lord’s deity is a vital inclusion in the holy text.
We therefore at that point of entering that next world which we call heaven, know God, we have a perfect physical reset and no reason nor pressure whatsoever to be distracted from doing the will of God and worshipping Him purely. But this is what we have chosen now, in this life, what we have asked Him for and what we now thirst for every day of our lives, whilst being too weak in the flesh to bring about what our Spirit is certainly willing.
For those of you interested in the Agritourism ranch we have taken over and are now running near Zielona Góra, the new website for it is here.
We invite you to have a look, and also make a booking. The place offers you excellent value for money even without a discount, but for regular visitors to this website we can offer you 20% off the published prices, mainly because I would like to meet with many of you and interact in real life.
For polyglots or language students this would also be a great place to run immersion courses for three or four days.
For visitors from America, Japan, etc, who would like to see some major world cities in Europe, thos would be an ideal base from which to day-trip out to four major cities: Poznań, Berlin, Wroclaw and Dresden. Zielona Góra is a pleasant and historic city in its own right, and the countryside around Letnica is often viewed as the nicest in the country, with its rolling hills, clean rivers and lakes and seemingly interminable forest.
Just thought I had better drop a note to let my faithful subscribers know that there is no cause for alarm that I have fallen off the wagon for regular posting.
In fact it is all down to a major sea change in how my family and I are going to be be living, and where, from now on.
After many many years being based in Warsaw, 18 of which in our current home, we decided to go for a new phase of life further west in Poland, in fact almost as far west as it is possible to get without needing special permits for buying property as a foreigner in the zone near the German border, which is half and hour by car from where we are going.
More will be revealed as it happens, and regular updates about that project will be interspersed with the other streams of material, namely the categorisation of my YT channel and the re-purposing of my Quora stuff which they’ve been threatening me to remove. Certainly the most interesting of the content will be the new project.
I will not promise to do much on here before the 1st of July, as the move and also the year end at work is really a case of everything happning at once, but I do plan to get back to regular posting in the second half year with this new mix of content including regular updates on this new project and place that we will live.
Suffice it to say that the main part of this project for now is actually a hotel, so regular readers of this blog could, if they so wished, come and stay at our hotel near Zielona Gora and have discussions in person about any of the things on here that may have entertained you over the years. Anyone who is a follower of this blog will get a special deal.
So if anyone was thinking that my silence was all down to increased goldlisting, I am sorry to say that this is not the case, my average lines per week has also fallen right down to about 40% of usual, and will need to be resumed with renewed vigour later in the year.
If this functionality works, this email should become a post to huliganov.tv!
I can now edit in here and say it certainly has. You see my email and skype and Threema details below, should they be needed.
I expected some of my more regular readers will have noticed a series of changes in the layout and a few other aspects. These changes are still being made but I was getting a bit fed up of the previous template which I had used for many years and which is a bit old fashioned. What I like about this one is the three columns. I have used the extra space to make a couple of new widgets placing Bible verses for each day. At the top you can read the day’s verse in English and below you also have three other world languages.
Please let me have your comments on the new layout.
David J. James M.A. (Cantab) FCA PIBR 大卫·詹姆斯 Principal
Quoracy Consulting and Publishing
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