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Where, how and why
issues in the Christian Faith
World Wide Web Witness Inc.
© August-November 1997
Rev. Dr. Robert Donaldson
Author of The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, That Magnificent Rock, A Question of Gifts, The Other News, Predestination and Freewill and the work:
The Kingdom of Heaven, The Love of God and the Spirit of Envy
This little work presents answers to questions about the heart of things, which brings us to the heart of the Lord, which in turn draws us to the word of God, where God shows us what lies at the heart of our questions, and questions our hearts that the answers might appear in our practice as in His presence.
There is no author like this One; no heart like His, but those whom He adorns with His presence, whose hearts He moves and transforms continually... Have you ever noticed how our household animals can show signs of some of our own qualities, dogs in particular being able at times to respond with a loyalty, faithfulness and endearing degree of understanding and almost of empathy, which can be quite astonishing. While the analogy is very limited, since we are in God's image, yet it has point, since our understanding is far below His own, who made understanding as one of His creations! To be with Him is to grow like Him.
As we move through the world, it is quite apparent to the Christian eye that what Abraham did has enormous wisdom:
HE LOOKED FOR A CITY WHICH HAS FOUNDATIONS, WHOSE BUILDER AND MAKER IS GOD (11:8).
Again, the Christian heart grows accustomed to the voice of the Almighty, which is like the sound of many waters - flowing waters, the quiet waters, exuberant waters, like the rolling waves in their ordered wonder, waters flowing up and out as from the great deep, waters of rest by which He leads us, waters that are clean, for the righteous Lord loves righteousness and it is joy to the just to do justice; waters that wash, for no housekeeper ever loved purity and cleanliness as He does in our hearts, His house in which He dwells when we are His (Colossians 1:27)...
MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE AND THEY FOLLOW ME AND I GIVE TO THEM ETERNAL LIFE (from John 10:27-28).
His voice is forever clear in His word: IF YOU CONTINUE IN MY WORD THEN YOU ARE TRULY MY DISCIPLES (John 8:31). If you are His, you will (I John 3:9, John 5:24, 10:9)..
The sheer beauty of His presence is that of the Creator of Light, and all of its effects, who dwells in unapproachable light (I Timothy 6:16); and yet has sent out His Son, to arise upon us, and lead us in the form of a man, yet informed as the Lord who chose this format that we might be conformed to Him. In Him, we live - our sins cancelled which light flings far, and truth cannot countenance; but in His people, His face is countenanced, for His is the countenance of Truth (John 14:6, II Corinthians 3:18): that we might be reconciled through Him to His Father who sent Him (Colossians 1:19-23). For though in appearance He was marred more than any (Isaiah 52:14), yet the masterpiece is this - that He broke what mars, even death could not hold Him whose body rose triumphant (Acts 2:24, I Corinthians 15:1-8,22-23,47-54), that the marvels of His mercy might make us whole.
Those who are His, HE sends. Works of righteousness, virtue, in the power of His Spirit, of testimony, of truth, of mercy are like Him, and to such His people are drawn, while He, approving, loves and blesses. Consider these from Isaiah 33:
THE LORD IS EXALTED, FOR HE DWELLS ON HIGH.
HE HAS FILLED ZION WITH JUSTICE, AND RIGHTEOUSNESS,
WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE WILL BE THE STABILITY OF YOUR TIMES,
AND STRENGTH OF SALVATION;
THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS HIS TREASURE.
Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
he who despises the gain of oppression,
who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
who stops his ear from hearing of bloodshed,
and shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
HE WILL DWELL ON HIGH,
HIS PLACE OF DEFENCE WILL BE THE FORTRESS OF ROCKS;
BREAD WILL BE GIVEN HIM,
HIS WATER WILL BE SURE
YOUR EYES WILL SEE THE KING IN HIS BEAUTY;
THEY WILL SEE
THE LAND THAT IS VERY FAR OFF...
LOOK UPON ZION,
THE CITY OF OUR APPOINTED FEASTS;
YOUR EYES WILL SEE JERUSALEM A QUIET HOME.
A TABERNACLE THAT WILL NOT BE TAKEN DOWN;
NOT ONE OF ITS SAKES WILL EVERY BE REMOVED,
NOR WILL ANY OF ITS CORDS BE BROKEN.
BUT THERE THE MAJESTIC LORD WILL BE FOR US
A PLACE OF BROAD RIVERS AND STREAMS...
Christ was forcibly evacuated from Jerusalem when He came, but there is with this, which in its time will be restored, a greater Jerusalem, a city which has foundations, the mother of us all who believe. In the heart with life from Him by His redemption, is the power of the Lord, of Him whose kingdom is already in its nascent but real form in our midst (Luke 17:20); and whose wonder will answer all questions with the reality to which they relate, when the glory of His returning presence will enthral the children of God with the work of God made manifest.
THERE will be the time when: NOW WE KNOW IN PART becomes, THEN WE SHALL KNOWN AS WE ARE KNOWN (I Corinthians 13:11-12).
Never however let us underestimate what we are already given. In the word of God are promises, precepts, principles and pronouncements, prophecies and drawings which give adequate knowledge, allowing the answering of questions in a way which is to His eternal glory who gave His only begotten Son that we might live, and to those who have the Son, He also freely gives all things which pertain to godliness (II Peter 1:4, Romans 8;32)...
We now proceed
to questions and significances, answers from His word, moving on to some aspects
of confusion which need strengthening. The heart of things is our focus,
but sometimes the breadth of things expresses the heart also!
QUESTION AND ANSWER INDEX
Questions answered in Biblical perspective, and with rational enquiry
For Grounds for the Bible, see The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, Ch.1, 3, 8-10 and That Magnificent Rock
I WANT ETERNAL LIFE ?
A What in the world is the use of Christians if
I ) they are so spiritually minded that they are not really with it in this world? or
II ) so worldly-minded that they are no heavenly use for this world?
B What is the essence of Christian
conduct and conviction in life, so that it might be seen?
What is 'an original' - not the document, but the person?
for originality, creativity? Where is its consummation, and where is its doom?
Q.WHAT IS THE POSITION REGARDING THE WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES ?
Is this an
A reliable body? an optional body for the Christian ?
What IS Ecumenical
Q. WHAT IS BEAUTY ?
What is the difference between
THE BLIND DREAM AND THE VISIONARY REALITY ?
Is this choice
a viable, a vital or a vitiated option for mankind ?
Q. WHAT DOES IT MEAN -
TO ABIDE IN JESUS CHRIST
"ABIDE IN ME" ?
Is this choice a viable, a vital AND PRACTICAL REALITY?
IF SO, HOW
DO YOU DO IT?
Q. WHAT IS GOOD GOVERNMENT?
PRACTICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING
What does it
amount to in industry, schools, universities and politics generally?
Q. WHAT IS THE BIBLICAL FACT IN THE AFFAIR OF PENTECOSTALISM?
What does it
amount to in terms of the Christian Church ?
Q. WHAT IS ALL THIS ABOUT BAPTISM?
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH DISAGREEMENT, AND WHAT DOES THE BIBLE IN FACT TEACH?
WILL YOU TEACH ME FIRST ABOUT BEING POOR IN SPIRIT, and WHAT A COVENANT IS IN THE BIBLE?
A: There are three areas here. To introduce it, let us take the last first, together with a word of orientation. On the next two days, we may take the rest. For today, we'll call this -
- COVENANT, SACRAMENT AND THE POOR IN SPIRIT.
Last time, we pursued the first of three areas evoked by BAPTISM. We touched covenant, sacrament and the poor in spirit.
Today, we take the second:
WHAT IS THE BAPTISM OF FIRE?
Far from much
ado about nothing, it has nevertheless little to do with the MUCH ADO we often
We have now pursued two of the three areas evoked by BAPTISM. We touched covenant, sacrament and the poor in spirit; and on baptism by fire.
Today, we take the third:
Q. WHAT IS Biblical BAPTISM BY WATER?
What does it
teach, whom does it reach ? What is its point ? What should you do about it
Q. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE
POOR IN SPIRIT ?
Is this a kind of weakness, or of strength; and if strength, how does it perform richly, when poor ?
Q. WHAT PRICE MUSICAL
FREEDOM IN WORSHIP ?
LIBERTY WITH THE LYRE
A Little Look at Liberty with the Language of Music in The Worship of the Lord
Why sing only Psalms ? and why not ? why sing at all ?
For the original
Questions numbers 14, 15, 16
follow these links to
Biblical Blessings Chs. 4, 5 and 6.