Having recently been interrupted by several opinions over origins of life, and similarly with precautions directed at scriptural authenticity and origins, it remains a rather childish question over whether there is a divinity in origin, embodying intelligence, purpose and timeless values. Or complex mathematical equations having no purpose or ultimate meaning, rendering life and experience, irrelevant.
Given, the limitations of human (creature) mental capacity, to comprehend a beginning (creator), or that which is without beginning, simply remains beyond the mortal grasp.
However, once origin is recognized, the given experience from a beginning of days can be projected to comprehend a never-ending/eternal/without end of days.
We, being only the characters, are given an unknowable beginning, which at best can be abstracted as in John 1:1.
Or, to continue in trying to solve the questions of what came before (or made possible) the physical plane of the dimension of time and space; and where space might come from, regardless of matter?
A Divine origin, is the recognition of an Author, from which we, as characters, are so written. The Author is given as the Word in the beginning, and we, the characters in and of his writing.
THERE MUST BE A STORY HERE ...
Certainly, if there are characters and an author.
Those that might take issue with the choice of resolve of thus far, would also have to acknowledge that their opinion is ultimately irrelevant, in any (event) equation.
Exodus 3:14-15 I AM THAT I AM
The perfect present tense of I AM, enlightens the mystery.
Without "beginning of days, nor end of life" (eternity) is not a linear /time, cubic/space dimension. It is simply the omnipotent/omnipresent that is Perfect Present, from which "presence", creates a trail of Was and makes possible a Shall be.
The mystery of origin, even in the acknowledgement of a Divine authority, remains elusive to the estate in the digression of man from his Eden nativity (based upon the fragments of a written testament that describe a transgression that separated the Divine "presence" from mankind). And, instead of an inherent communication with God, there was an expulsion that left the Adam and Eve both carnal and mortal as a result of a deception that led to a physical transgression. And, as later found in the collected volumes of inspired, Divine communications, The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God and neither in deed can be. Romans 8:7. The Word no longer dwelt in flesh, because of transgression, (Genesis 3:16-19). In thy conception, travail, and sorrows multiplied ... children begotten through a now carnal nature and, as their parents, subject to error and death. (Psalm 51:5; 1-12) As the Mosaic law provides, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and hath set the children's teeth on edge. Jeremiah 31:29-34
The life of Adam's subsequent generations are become history books filled with sorrows, sin and death.
Over generations, a meaning to life became a mystery, as to understanding of an origin ...
There remained one problem throughout the generations begotten of transgression: the inherent deviation from God through ignorance and the predominance in the "fallen nature" of selfish greed.
The fragments and shards of a Divine record (Old Testament) were a guide to establish an understanding of a Divine origin, and the subsequent departure from that providence within Eden, all of which was a basis for a prophetic record clearly calling for a reconciliation again with the Divine. This prophetic record forecast a living ministry, springing from the house of David. A Divinely begotten son (Messiah) tracing back in a recorded Eden lineage to the origin and root of a Divine Presence (incarnation) in flesh.
The very thing that Adam hid from (Genesis 3:8) has subsequently become hidden from, and lost to, his degenerations of carnal and mortal children:
I AM THAT I AM , the omnipotent and omnipresent life that was with man and the life of man.
Needing both a salvation through reconciliation and an unadulterated knowledge of truth (origins), a messiah was given to fulfill the promise to his family (Israel) and, also importantly, for the healing of the nations.
It is recognized that the Word (in the beginning) took upon itself flesh and dwelt among us. It was, as in Eden, an incarnation that was the temple/habitation of the Divine. A Word in flesh and later (because of transgression) written upon paper.
Jesus did not write a message ...
But he did tell his immediate following that he would return and bring all things to their remembrance (John 14:26 and 16:25).
The Jewish sect of Jesus followers did not begin to write until 30 years after Jesus' ascension. The initial family of faith came down from the Galilee (predominantly of the tribe of Benjamin), for they were recognized as Galileans, and assembled at Jerusalem, as instructed. For though they were first told to go unto Galilee to see him (as most of his ministry was in the Galilee), they also returned to witness his ascension, east of Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives. They taught the words that they received by the Spirit that had returned unto them at Pentecost.
A written testament much later came as a result of false teachings and by the end of the 1st Century, to establish the words of this memory from those that were first witnesses and recipients of these verbal testimonies.
Denominations, interpretations and schisms would quickly develop because of a written word.
With the death of the original witnesses by the end of the 1st Century, the "Visitation" to them, giving the Spirit of Truth, of the Way, the Truth and the Life was no longer "Present" to discern and direct the intended understandings in their recorded testaments.
Thus , in the following 3 centuries, a great debate and predictable power struggle ensued over the actual authentic texts and their proper interpretation as to faith and practice.
By the end of the 4th Century, a predominant organization (church) had survived the heated and bitterly contested canon and practice and established itself as the dominant authority of Christianity.
The "New Testament", as we have it today, has no actual physical record that dates before the 4th Century and is quite evidently a collection of fragments copied and recopied over numerous generations back to the original writing or dictations of the several Apostles and their respective followings.
Without new discovery of these, or some of the original copies from the 1st Century (like the findings of the Dead Sea Scrolls or Nag Hamaddi library ), we will not know to what extent the new scriptures from the first century have been eroded and how much was lost.
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo., I AM with you ALWAY, even unto the end of the world. Matthew 28:20.
This final verse in Matthew says two things of paramount importance:
To observe all things so commanded of Jesus to his disciples,
And , that He would be Alway (Present) with them, even unto the end of the world.
The importance of the texts of the New Testament are established in that they are the only record of what Jesus' sayings/commandments were to his disciples.
But even more importantly, because of the erosion factor of time, the standard (Spirit of Truth) would still remain unto the end with his disciples, because He would be (visitation) there with them.
Factional denominations that taught a particular understanding of the oral accounts that were circulated in the early Jesus following created the initial disagreements which eventually split the gatherings into followers of Peter and James at Jerusalem and Paul and Barnabas among the Jewish Diaspora. It was the reason behind the earliest letters and testaments (Gospels). Thus an unintended record was provided for succeeding generations.
All of the initial following/witnesses looked for Jesus' imminent return and the establishing of God's kingdom upon earth coinciding with the fall of Roman pagan, tyranny. The oral testament was thought sufficient, time was too short for publication and little thought given to issues of doctrinal debate, which in fact, gave us, and was the reason for, a written record.
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Isaiah 46:10
It is a primary understanding that a Promise, and prophecies are because of a predetermined counsel of the Divine. Thus a Promise and prophetic texts of a previous ( Old ) Testament found to be fulfilled and carried into a New Testament, portraying the life and teaching of Jesus, is the very reason the previous Testament is a preamble to the New. Preserving and using a Jewish literature to support prophetic fulfillment for the edification of a gentile world in following was fundamental in recognizing a Divine predetermination: a Spiritual blue-print.
PREDETERMINATION is a fact if one is to accept the text in Matthew 25: 34: Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come , ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Or in Romans 8:28-29: And we know that all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Or, Hebrews 4:3: For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. Both catalogs of Testaments are based upon a promised kingdom and salvation that was foreordained and predestined.
A Promised kingdom and a salvation provided because there cannot be a reconciliation without there is first a transgression. The same is with the gift of faith. Faith is only possible in the apparent absence of God: Roman 8:24; Jeremiah 31:34.
The fervency of the early church was based upon their understanding that they had witnessed the very Messiah of whom all their forefathers had anticipated. They were in the moments of this great expectation from all their own prophetic lineage. They had eaten and drank with one that had both raised the dead and also himself, risen from the dead. Their mission was simply to gather into the ark (church bodies of believers) those that were appointed for this great salvation. Time was short for the day was at hand.
The importance of understanding a predetermined counsel of God is fundamental to understanding the written record: what Jesus commanded his disciples to observe and do, and the reason and purpose for its fragmented and apparently edited format, as it has come down to us today.
It is all part of the predetermined counsel, as were the debates and the numerous denominations that existed by the end of the first century and continue to this present day. There was a reason for the transgression in Eden, the sin that led to a mortal life and death. Likewise a reason for a collection of texts that apparently are full of contradictions that serve as foundations unto their respective denominations.
An integral part of all scriptural promise is the substance found in John 14:15-20 and, Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come. In John 16:13. And further in the revelation to John, But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared unto his servants the prophets. (10:7). And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (11:15). Exactly what the disciples were preaching / warning / admonishing and fully expecting.
"The Spirit that leadeth, goeth far beyond the written word." Benjamin Purnell
Understanding that God provided a salvation through his Son and that he wrote not a testament, but returned in Spirit to his disciples to renew their memory of his words and deeds, that they may be observed. Without the written record there could be no knowledge of these and without the return at Pentecost and thereafter, there could not be an oral witnessing and later a written record.
"Now, if scripture was destroyed and we had that spirit of truth, wouldn't that be sufficient?" 9-25-1908, Benjamin Purnell.
"They that have the visitation in spirit and truth, the Word becomes a dead letter---nevertheless, we use it, because we are just growing; and for the sake of beginners." 11-15-1908, Benjamin Purnell
"Not only the written scripture on record, but the unwritten scripture, by the holy spirit that will reveal it to you." 12-6-1908, Benjamin Purnell.
The immediate foregoing quotations are cited not to discredit or diminish the fundamental importance of the scriptures. To the contrary, these are given to illustrate the fact that the scriptures originally were given to the disciples through a spiritual visitation of Christ. The Word that was again embodied (as in the Eden creation) in Jesus, was the medium by which the New Testament was given.
And, it must be recognized that in the predetermined wisdom of God, no power upon earth among men can overthrow, distort or alter His initial intentions from the Beginning unto the very end. Therefore, by the same understanding and authority, the scriptures (of the New Testament) that have survived and the means by which they were selected and originally established as authentic , can be entrusted as just that: authentic. It would not be in the divine nature of Truth for there to be given a testament from the presence of God and then an erosion of the same, through a manipulation of man, to a degree that it was false. Where then would the final words of Jesus, in Matthew, have a place for observance and accountability.
The surviving written record of copies, recopies and translations from the original oral accounts, in the manner it has come down to us today, does correspond with the Spirit of Truth of the Biblical map.
Factions, denominations and false teachings are the result of interpretations based upon scriptural texts without the Spirit of Truth to "rightly divide the word of truth". 2 Timothy 2:15.
In the latter-day such great controversy and the most subtle of spirits embodied that even the elect would be deceived ... IF it were possible.
As Lucifer is anointed with brightness to deceive the nations, an appointment he can no more avoid than could Judas Iscariot from being called into the twelve or the serpent-man being placed in the garden. There had to be a tree of the knowledge of good and evil placed to which Adam must partake. Wisdom and accountability are not possible unless there is first a knowledge through experience. So it is, Jesus, as the lamb of God, given to "take away the sins of the World" ( John 1:29 and 1 John 2:2) having been slain from the foundation of the world; Revelation 13:8. The omnipotent power of God gave the power to deceive the world, then also to forbid the same (Revelation 20:3) and to redeem all in their order of purpose. 1 Corinthians 15:22,23; 1Timothy 2:4-6 and 4: 9 and 10.
In Luke 4:5-7, it is shown clearly that what Satan offered Jesus, was also delivered (appointed)unto Satan to dispense. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:7. The magnificence of heaven, the wisdom and righteousness of God and the understanding of our origin and being is because of Him. This could never have been known or appreciated without the partaking of the tree of knowledge and its resulting dispensations of sorrows and travail in the fall. Forgiveness and resurrection is only possible in the event of sin and death. They, whom he forgave the most ... loved him most.
The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Revelation 19:10
Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. Revelation 22:10
As shown before in this writing, there cannot be prophecy without there being a predetermined counsel of God. Prophecy is because of foreordained Promise ... "according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledgement of the truth which is after godliness; in hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began. Titus 1:1.
Prophecy, therefore, is after the fact ...
Jesus' testimony, the Spirit of Prophecy, is the spiritual blue-print ... the map of the Biblical Promise.
At the latter-day it is given to be made clear, but not without great controversy, objection, rejection, hatreds and great envy over the substance of Truth and the election.
Daniel 12, Habakkuk 2:3, Matthew 24 and 25, along with numerous books and texts that prophecy and give details from the blue-print, " for the works were finished from the foundation of the world."
The unsealing of "the sayings of the prophecy of this book" is the return of the Spirit of Truth, being the very testimony of Jesus Christ at the latter-day, when the full time is at hand. The Apostles worked fervently because they were in the Spirit of that day. As John says, I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day ... Rev. 1:10.
Like Peter, James and John, that were taken to see the transfiguration ahead of the time; they were taken ahead in the Spirit to witness the day yet to come. The vision was because of the fact. And while the Spirit rested upon them and ministered to them, they were in the Sabbath, the Lord's Day. Like the prophets that saw the latter days of the Divine consummation, so the apostles also were taken up into the Spirit of the Lord's Day. For the prophets "searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow." 1 Peter 1:11.
In both instances, as with Abraham, who, "rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad" (John 8:56), those that were taken of the Spirit were not shown when, because it was now ... they were in it. Thus their experience shown them the reality of the prophetic utterances that they had read in the previous (old) testaments and what they had heard from the mouth of the New Testament, Jesus. Prophecy was simply after the fact. Although, coming down from out of the vision, they still being carnal and mortal, were in earnest to know how soon. Book of Acts 1:6 and 7.
He that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself.
The Spirit of Truth, that visits and prepares the heart and mind to receive the weighty treasures of the kingdom ...comes without observation. Luke 17:20-21. It is the other Comforter, as the mother spirit that gently leads and is full of tender mercies; the Spirit of Truth, which the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not. It is a great and weighty treasure that gives a peace and joy to which nothing in this world can extend. And when this treasure is found, it is hidden deep within the heart and all of your substance is given to its stewardship to retain such blessing. Matthew 13:44.
And, because of a garden of Eden transgression that resulted in (not a God forsaken world) a world of subsequent generations that forsook God and became strangers to origins and Truth. Thus, faith was then necessary in the apparent absence of God. Faith, because of the degenerations of flesh from Adam that further removed the knowledge of God from man. Faith became primarily the means of reconnecting with the Divine origin and Truth. A premise being understood that, without faith it is impossible to please God. Faith is a healing strength unto edification, yielding substance: he that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself. And through daily practice ( works of faith, James 2: 20-26), the preparation that goes before the Sabbath, there is a maturing into a living witness. Shown unto you, being revealed within the heart, understood with the mind and taken into that day, the substance of all prophecy.
Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
For ... I AM with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
By the Spirit of Truth, the substance and author of scriptures, there remains no more question concerning origins, authenticity or interpretation. For the Spirit that gave the scriptures from the beginning returns to unseal by leading into all truth and showing things to come. He that gave the scriptures to the disciples that they may observe to do them, the same is alway present, I AM; even unto the end of the world. Observers of his words of so great and precious a Promise, also are given strength to partake of the Divine nature, 2 Peter 1:1-11. We, like the Biblical witnesses on record, are also drawn by the earnest of the Spirit, for that day, within you, is at hand.
R. James Taylor
Mary's City of David