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Thursday, September 26, 2019



Draft commentary for upcoming Commonwealth of Israel Study Bible - by C.W. Steinle for the Commonwealth of Israel Foundation

Hosea 6:1-2

1 Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
    but he will heal us;
He has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.
2 After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will restore us,
    that we may live in his presence. - NIV

Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Perhaps quoting from an early creed, the apostle Paul reiterated in 1st Corinthians 15:4: "That He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures." Hosea 6:2 is sufficient in itself to stand as that scriptural reference. Hos 6:2 speaks, in context, of the revival and restoration of both houses of Israel. The iniquity and judgment of Ephraim and Judah constitutes the focus of Chapter Five, culminating with an analogy that flows through the first verse of the sixth chapter: "For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, and like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear them and go away..." (Hos 5:14) "He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds" (Hos 6:1). "Us," who sinned, who were injured, and who are to be restored are none other than the house of Israel and the House of Judah.

The promise of the restoration is to "live in His presence" (Hos 6:2). The obstacle to abiding before the face of God is sin: "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you..." (Isa 59:2). Such atonement for sin is only afforded by the New Covenant, which was made specifically to resolve the sins of the two houses of Israel: “'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,' says the Lord: 'I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,' then He adds, 'Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more'” (Heb 10:16-17).

The forgiveness of sins is often attributed solely to Christ's sacrificial death. However, later in Paul's discourse on resurrection he asserts: "If Christ is not risen... you are still in your sins" (1 Cor 15:17). This requirement, not only for Christ's death but also for His resurrection, comes from the same source which implies an obvious third-day scriptural reference; obvious at least to both houses of Israel during the 1st century. Just as the House of Israel and the House of Judah could not live in God's presence without the forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace accomplished by Jesus, the Scripture of Hosea 6:2 would have been broken by a restoring resurrection on any other than the third day.

"That we may live..." (Hos 6:2) “Because I live, you will live also" (John 14:19) "If then you were raised with Christ" (Col 3:1). Life in God's presence, freed from the stigma of iniquity, relationship restored - all through faith that "Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Cor 15:3-4).

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

This is my Father's World


Draft commentary on 1 John 2:15 from the upcoming Commonwealth of Israel Study Bible.

Verse 15 is paralleled in James 4:4 "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God." Because Gnostic and dualistic philosophies have influenced religious thought from the time of the Classical Academy we must distinguish between a sinful, inordinate attraction to the glamours of the fallen world and a functional appreciation of the world of God's creation. "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen 1:31a). We have been taught to think of the world, the flesh, and the devil as the enemies of our soul. They are indeed three sources of temptation: "There are three things which tempt us, the flesh, the world, and the devil." - Peter Abelard, Epositiones. But just as "no one ever hated his own flesh," (Eph 5:29) the body and the world are not our enemies per se. A godly appreciation for the glories of nature is expressed throughout the Psalms. Eventually the world in its present form, as well as our natural bodies, will pass away (1Cor 7:31). In the meantime we are intended to "bloom where we are planted." "Then God blessed them, and God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it...'" (Gen 1:28). "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it" (Gen 2:15). Through sin, man has forfeited his authority to subdue the earth; and, until now, the Devil is "the ruler of world" (John 14:30). But God is not finished with this world nor with man's place in this world. “What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet'... But now we do not yet see all things put under him" (Heb 2:6-8). "Not yet" demands a future fulfillment of man's proper authority over the earth and its creatures. Thus, all creation awaits the "restoration of all things" (Acts 3:21; Rom 8: 20-23). The world that "God so loved" and will restore is not our enemy. Such a Gnostic notion must be recognized for its element of eastern dualism that would pit man against God's own creation.

"This is my Father's World" - by Glad

See also: The Rise of Western Lawlessness