Friday, 12 August 2016

Doctrine - Spiritual vs Natural



Spiritual versus “natural”

An OAC member wrote: “...John 4v24…God is SPIRIT and does who serve Him must serve Him in Spirit and in Truth.What do I want to tell you through this vers? I want to make know unto you that you interpret the Scriptures NATURALLY and exactly as it is written in the Bible.When God speaks to His people…he speaks in a language that only they will understand-SPIRITUAL.Seeing that they have His Spirit ,they are able to understand Him...” Sic

Now let us read John 4:24 in context with the other verses before it:
John 4:20-24 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

From the context it is clear that because God is a Spirit, He is not limited geographically, He can be worshipped wherever the true worshippers may find themselves geographically. It has absolutely nothing to do with literal interpretation of the Scriptures. Jesus was speaking to a Samaritan woman (John 4:9). The major issue between Jews and Samaritans has always been the location of the Chosen Place to worship God; Mount Zion in Jerusalem according to the Jewish faith or Mount Gerizim according to the Samaritan faith (Ezra and the Law in History and Tradition).

It’s all about perspective, in Hebrew the words for “matter” (chômer - חֹמֶר) and “spirit” (rûach - רוּחַ) are interchangeable. The letters that spell chômer also spell rûach, all you have to do is drop the letter mem (מֶ). The difference between the spiritual and material world is a matter of perspective.

If you look at the world in one way, you see a material world.

“We are the product of primordial quantum fluctuations” – Excerpt from ‘The Origin of (almost) Everything’ by Prof. Stephen Hawking

If you change the quality of your perception and look at things in a new and fresh way, then the very same world becomes spiritual. It’s the same world but it’s the quality of your relationship with the material world which makes it spiritual.

“A point worth noting is that the universe, nature, is itself a communication to us from G-d. The vastness, the boundless variety, the sense of structure and the sense of a constant interplay of dynamic forces express something about G-d, who causes every detail in the universe to exist. A painting in an art gallery tells us something about the painter; existence tells us something about G-d.” – Excerpt from ‘Nature as Divine Communication’ by Dr. Tali Loewenthal

As a child we sang the following hymn at primary school:

Refrain:
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flow’r that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

The tall trees in the greenwood,
The meadows where we play,
The rushes by the water,
To gather every day.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.

As a child this hymn didn’t make me more “carnally minded”. Since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (Romans 1:20).

There is a common view in the OAC that the opposite of “spiritual” is “natural”. We are sown as “natural” bodies and after we die, our bodies will literally return to dust (1 Corinthians 15:44-49). This is literally true.

An OAC member wrote: “...I'am sorry it's either natural or spiritual! I am reading fruit salad! Mengelmoes sou jy natuur en gees mix!
Lol it's either naturally or spiritually! You cannot mix the two then you have fruidsalad!
God demands that we choose one way or the other—but not straddle the fence. We cannot have it both ways. Unless in the battle between the spirit and the flesh we throw down the gauntlet in favor of our spiritual selves, we run the risk of being torn to pieces psychologically and emotionally.
Recall Psalm 119:113: "I hate the double-minded, but I love Your law." Notice that the antidote to double-mindedness is yielding to God's law. Wholeness and singleness of purpose are the result of keeping God's law through the power of Christ working in us. As our Lord reminds us in His Sermon on the Mount, "The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good [single, KJV; focused, directed], your whole body will be full of light" (Matthew 6:22)...”

Another OAC member responded: “...Indeed, beloved [name deleted] we cannot be lukewarm in the mouth of God it's either we are cold or hot. But when we are lukewarm he'll spew us out of his mouth.
None can serve two masters at once : flesh and Spirit
We should lay upon our treasures in heaven/spiritual realm not upon earth/natural things where moth and thieves can break in and steal our treasure.
Jesus is you and Christ is the born again soul that gives life to the world through the testimony...”

Unless you know your Bible, such utter rubbish as the OAC member comments above may confuse you. Go and read those verses being quoted in your Bible and you’ll see how single verses are being misquoted and twisted out of context.

According to the Bible it is the flesh (carnal) which is the opposite of the Spirit.

Romans 8:5-7 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

Literal interpretation of the Bible is not walking in the flesh or being carnally minded by any stretch of the imagination (Matthew 22:29, Mark 12:24, Acts 17:10-12, Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:15-17).

Walking in the flesh refers to adultery, fornication, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, greediness, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like (Matthew 15:18-20, Mark 7:20-23, Romans 1:25-32, 1 Corinthians 5:9-11, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, Galatians 5:19-21, Ephesians 4:17-31, Ephesians 5:3-7, Colossians 3:5-9, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, Hebrews 13:4-5, 2 Peter 2:4-10, Revelation 21:8, Revelation 22:15). It is the fleshly lusts (carnal mindedness) which war against the soul (1 Peter 2:11), not literal interpretations of the Bible.

A true and practical example: My “priest” did not interpret the Bible “naturally”, but he made an unmarried young-member sister pregnant. Understanding the whole Bible as an allegory did not make him spiritual; he still followed his fleshly lusts to commit adultery. According to the Bible we can safely say my “priest” was carnally minded.

The fruit of the Spirit is not a parable. It is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Galatians 5:22-25, Ephesians 5:8-11, 2 Peter 1:4-8). Trying to understand “mysteries” to become “spiritually minded” is highly exaggerated (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Understanding this literally will not harm your soul
An OAC member berated another OAC member’s literal interpretation of the Bible as follows: “...To interpret and to believe the bible is spiritually is one of the main things that seperates Old Apostolics from the rest of the world and other churches.. So now we can sommer join the NG kerk because you believe everything in the bible is natural happenings that happened 2000+ years ago.. My brother, you must go to you’re underdeacon so that he can explain all these things to you so that God can take out your heart of stone, and give you a fleshy heart so that He can write His word on your heart...”

Another OAC member wrote: “...what today makes the Old Apostolic Church Gnostic? To answer that we have to look at what they belief in...”

Gnosticism believes matter is the opposite of spirit; therefore matter is evil because spirit is good. As a result, Gnostics believe that anything you do in your body irrespective of any sin you commit has no meaning because real life exists only in spirit. This belief reflects the behaviour of the “priest” I mentioned earlier. Compare this view with what’s written in your Bible (Romans 6:12, Romans 13:13-14, 2 Corinthians 4:11, Galatians 5:16-24, Ephesians 2:1-3, James 1:12-16, 1 Peter 2:11-12, 1 Peter 4:1-6).

Gnostics claim to possess “elevated” knowledge (gnosis) known only to their inner circle. This knowledge is not from the Bible but acquired from some or other mystical higher plane of existence. Gnostics believe this makes them privileged and elevated above everyone else because they claim to have a deeper knowledge of God. Gnostics believe salvation is gained by acquiring some kind of divine knowledge. This is not what the Bible teaches. The salvation that Christ offers is a free gift from God and available to everyone who believes in Jesus (John 3:16, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is not only available to a select few with some secret knowledge.

Gnostics don’t believe Jesus physically existed, but only seemed to be physical and that His spirit descended at baptism and left Him before He was crucified. The Bible however affirms His complete humanity and His full deity (Luke 24:39-40, John 20:24-29, Acts 1:2-3, Romans 5:15, 1 Corinthians 15:12-19, 1 Timothy 2:5, Hebrews 2:9).

Gnostics twist verses out of context to harmonize with their philosophy; the Bible is superseded by their thoughts, ideas, writings and visions. The Bible has clear warnings against this (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, Matthew 5:17-20, Revelation 22:18-19). All scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17).

Gnosticism questions God and the words He spoke. Gnosticism calls God and the Bible into question and those who are naïve or scripturally uninformed are easily caught in its web. Gnosticism also appeals to those who are seeking some kind of personal revelation to make them feel unique, special or superior to others.

Gnosticism is clearly unbiblical. Is the OAC Gnostic? Examine your beliefs and compare them to what’s written in the Bible. If the shoe fits, wear it.

17 comments:

  1. Again, you are using terms you clearly do not understand.
    First, the example of the Priest making someone (not his wife) pregnant will lead to immediate dismissal as Officer in accordance with the Constitution of the OAC as well as the Household Rules.
    Second, reading the Bible in a natural way will lead to confusion as the Bible contradicts itself and do not correspond with historical or scientific facts. For instance, the Bible claim the earth is about 6000 years old. Science has shown that the earth is 4.5 billion years old. There was no worldwide flood. There was no mass exodus out of Egypt.
    If you at any time was as you claim a member of the OAC, you would also have known that the Biblical rules against adultery and other sins was not discarded by the OAC but observed.
    The opposite of the flesh is spirit. Spirit refers to the Holy Spirit. A spirit filled person (filled with the Holy Spirit) will not give himself over to the flesh. He will be able to refrain from worldy of fleshly passions.

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    1. Again, I think you are being hypocritical, as usual.

      First, the priest who made someone (not his wife) pregnant did NOT get dismissed as an officer irrespective of what was written on any piece of paper. That priest continued as an officer and the facts were swept under the carpet. Would you like me to share some more real life experiences and newspaper reports?

      Second, reading the Bible in a “natural way” only causes confusion when you read single verses out of context. You clearly don’t care much for the Bible’s authority and I’m not surprised. I believe what’s written in the Bible and that’s good enough for me because my faith is not built on the hypothesis of a mere mortal. Blessed are they which have not seen, yet have believed (John 20:24-29). I walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:6-8). I don’t believe the hypothesis of a mere mortal can save souls.

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    2. Maybe the above will not be good enough for you. I’m not a scientist, neither will I pretend to be but I think the following will give you some food for thought:

      The earth is ESTIMATED to be 4.5 billion years old based on the RADIOMETRIC dating of fragments from the Canyon Diablo iron METEORITE. RADIOMETRIC ‘ages’ depend on the ASSUMPTIONS that are made and the results are only accepted if they agree with what is already BELIEVED. Scientists have NOT found a way to determine the exact age of the Earth because there is NO instrument available that directly measures age. Trees on the other hand have rings in their trunks, determining their age is as simple as counting the number of rings in their trunks. How long can a tree live before it dies of old age?

      Sedimentary rocks are formed under water by deposition after transportation by water. Sedimentary rock formations, minerals and metals found in faults and folds were deformed while still soft. There is a global continuity of sedimentary formations in the geologic column with no worldwide time gap between successive “ages”. Fossils require very rapid burial and compacting in order to be preserved. Sedimentary rocks and marine fossils have been found on all the mountains of the world. Hundreds of tribes found in all parts of the world speak of a great flood in their oral traditions even before Christianity reached them.

      You bluntly state that the exodus from Egypt never happened without furnishing any reasons for your statement. The most obvious reason is that you don’t believe any of the events recorded in the Bible ever literally happened. The other reason could simply be lack of archaeological evidence or faith? For the record, many major events described in various other ancient writings also have no archaeological evidence. There is no archaeological evidence of the Celt migrations in Asia Minor, Slavs into Greece or the Arameans across the Levant. There is little to no archaeological evidence of the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain, Arab conquest of Palestine or the Norman invasion of England. Archaeology focuses on buildings or structures and therefore if I go camping, my archaeological footprint will more than likely be invisible. Moses and his people were migrants and by definition nomadic, they were on the move. I went onto Google maps the other day to show my children two of the mining settlements I lived in as a child. To my surprise there isn’t a trace left that there ever were settlements there, all the houses, streets and roads have all been replaced by desert. And this is scarcely forty years ago! Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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    3. The OAC do not “observe” the Biblical rules in a “natural way” as you’ve just re-affirmed in your comment. You don’t believe there was an exodus out of Egypt and therefore there’s no reason why you would literally believe that Moses received the law from God either. Your Sinai is the OAC and the spoken word of your apostle is law.

      The last part of your comment I totally agree with, but let’s face it, what you wrote and what you actually believe is based on your OAC interpretation. In reality, your interpretation of being “spirit filled” is based on a two step process. Your “angel” wings are the “word” and the “deed”, i.e. you receive the “word” from your “owergestelde” and then you go do the “deed” as told. Once you’ve earned your wings you can wear your “halo”, the “Holy Spirit” which is that comforting feeling of a clear conscience for being obedient to your “owergestelde”. You attend an OAC activity and that is deemed as not following the flesh. As long as you’re on your place and you give your “tenth” of one hour per day and interpret the Bible as an allegory you believe you are “spirit filled”. Sins of the flesh don’t matter as long as your soul is on its place because your body is “worm food” anyway. That’s the “spirit filled” experience you’re actually talking about. There are many newspaper reports about so-called “spirit filled” persons. Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire (or an OAC member puffing away on a cigarette)…

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    4. “…the Bible contradicts itself and do not correspond with historical or scientific facts…” – Sane Serenity

      Then there is no reason for you to believe in spirits or souls either because there is no scientific evidence for their existence. According to science we’re just an activity of carbon and some proteins, we live and then we die. The soul is dismissed as an object of human belief or a psychological concept. We are deemed to be mere stardust ruled by the laws of chemistry and physics.

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    5. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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    6. Jude 10New King James Version (NKJV)

      10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

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    7. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

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    8. For Anonymous, This earth could be billions of years old. The bible's history can be traced back from the time Adam and Eve was outside of Paridise But they could have been in paradise for billions of years. Before they committed sin. The Bible don't says how long they were in Paradise . What we know of Paradise is in the sanctuary (paradise)where GOD placed them was no Carnivorous.

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    9. Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

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    10. Adam was not placed as a baby in Paradise. He must have been fully-grown. Be able to talk to name the animals look and dress the garden.We know that Cain, Abel and Seth were born after they left the garden. Genesis 5:3 says "Adam was 130 years old when he fathered a son in his likeness, according to his image, and named him Seth." So maybe his years start from outside the garden.They were supposed to be forever in Paradised. Sin bring along death. aging to die. Can we say before sin there was no aging/die-ing I am just asking.

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    11. On the sixth day man was created (Genesis 1:26-27) and more detail is given later in Genesis 2:7 on how man was formed of the dust of the ground after which the LORD God shared His breath with the man he had formed. He was formed directly from dust into a physical man and only afterwards did the LORD God breathe life into him so that he became a living soul. Only after the man had been formed and placed in the garden eastward of Eden do we see his name is Adam. That the first man was Adam is confirmed again in 1 Corinthians 15:45 and 1 Timothy 2:13-14. Adam and Jesus are the only two in the Bible who didn’t have biological fathers; Adam is called the son of God in Luke 3:38 and Jesus is called the Son of God throughout the New Testament. The serpent beguiled Eve (2 Corinthians 11:3), thus by man (Adam and Eve) came death (sin = death) into the world and by man (Jesus Christ) came the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).

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  2. To Anonymous

    This is why you people don't understand the Bible. You take 1 vers and try to explain it. And because you people don't understands it you say it mean spiritual.

    Please read Jude again, or from vers 8-10

    Jude (NIV)
    8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”[d] 10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

    Did you see? People that use dreams and reject authority "JESUS authority" Try to read it again til you understand it. What did you try to show?

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    1. Hi,
      Anonymous I just want to help if you people belief that the bible is only spiritual then you belief that moses or Abraham or any body in the ould testament whas not natural poeple also in the new testament that Jesus was not in flesh or the Apostels why do you have then Apostels in flesh

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  3. Heeeeeeeeeeeee @ex unambithile wasuphinda ukukhipha ngomlomo ayke......

    Nkulunkuku abadukile ubapha mandla baduke kakhulu

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    1. @ indodana, umphimbo wabo uyiliba elivulekileyo, ngezilimi zabo bayakhohlisa, isihlungu sezinyoka siphansi kwezindebe zabo. Ngokuba amandla amahashi asemilonyeni yawo nasemisileni yawo; ngokuba imisila yawo ifana nezinyoka, inamakhanda ona ngawo.

      Ngokuba anginamahloni ngevangeli, ngokuba lingamandla kaNkulunkulu, kube-yinsindiso kulowo nalowo okholwayo. Ngokuba izwi lesiphambano kwababhubhayo lingubuwula, kepha kithina esisindiswayo lingamandla kaNkulunkulu. Nokukhuluma kwami nokushumayela kwami akubanga-ngamazwi okuhlakanipha ahungayo, kepha kwaba-ngesibonakaliso sikaMoya nesamandla, ukuze ukukholwa kwenu kungemi ngokuhlakanipha kwabantu, kume ngamandla kaNkulunkulu. Akube-yilowo nalowo azithobe phansi kwamandla ombuso, ngokuba akukho-mandla ombuso angaveli kuNkulunkulu, lawa akhona amiswé nguNkulunkulu. Ngakho-ke omelana namandla ombuso umelana nesimiso sikaNkulunkulu, kepha abamelana nacho bayakwamukeliswa ukulahlwa. Kuye uNkulunkulu oyedwa, uMsindisi wethu ngaye uJesu Kristu iNkosi yethu, makhube-ngukukhazimula, nobukhosi, namandla, negunya, kungakabikho izikhathi, namanje nakuze kube-phakade. Amen.

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