Cycles Within Cycles: Part Three

[Note:  For those interested in what I have already said on this thread please check out part one and part two.]

Today I would like to address the second question I asked at the end of part one of this essay series:  “How are we to know about how God wants us to divide the time that we live in?”  My proposal for how to answer this question is straightforward, and I hope that it is not too simplistic for the readers here.  My proposal is that we take God at His word, and that we look at what scripture says about how we should deal with the times in which we live and take that as our model.  To be sure, we will not do it perfectly, but if we are to live with any model better than our own imperfection, let us at least aim at a good one.  If we are looking at what the Bible has to say about time, we ought to take what it says seriously, rather than simply view the Bible as an abandoned set of castle ruins only good for quarrying proof texts for our own pet ideas.

Ephesians 5:15-21 gives one of the classic discussions from the Apostle Paul on how we are to spend the time that we have:  “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God”  This advice is not particularly complicated–we must redeem the time we have because we live in dark days, and we have the responsibility to live wisely in the knowledge that we will be held accountable for how we have lived.  This is a straightforward set of instructions for how we should live.

Likewise, in Hebrews 10:19-25, we get straightforward instruction on how our closeness with God should lead us to assemble with our brethren as well:  “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Again, if we are truly close to God, we will be close with fellow children of God, and to the extent that we find encouragement in God’s ways, so too we should encourage others and assemble together with them at those times when God commands us, and at whatever other times we wish to spend time with other brethren in addition to this.

In several passages of the Bible, God has told us what times He views as necessary for us to remember and observe, and these times have been pointed out as having future relevance and not only past relevance, as it is written in Isaiah 66:20-23:  “Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,” says the Lord, “as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.  And I will also take some of them for priests and Levites,” says the Lord.  “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord,“So shall your descendants and your name remain.  And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord.”  This passage makes it clear that God expects to be worshiped on those times that He has set apart for that purpose, and that this has not changed over the course of biblical history.

The question, as always, is whether we will take God at His word.  It is a straightforward task, if somewhat time consuming, to go to passage after passage and to see what God has to say about a given subject [1].  It is not a particular difficult matter in this day of abundant Bible helps to have a good idea of what God commands and what God forbids.  Is is an entirely different matter, and a more difficult one, to set our will to love what God loves and to hate what God hates, to do what God commands and to avoid what God prohibits.  To be sure, we will do this imperfectly, but to set our will in allegiance to God’s ways and to seek His help and assistance if we feel the stirrings of His calling is something that is up to us.  Many people want to be thought of as God’s people, and want to think of themselves as good.  How many of us are committed to doing what the Bible says, to setting its standards as our own, and striving to live according to the laws and precepts of God as they may be read and understood, and not merely ignored.

[1] See, for example, these references to the Sabbaths and Holy Days:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/10/14/a-compendium-of-passages-regarding-the-high-holy-days-in-the-new-testament/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/11/19/the-day-of-the-lord-or-the-lords-day-second-thoughts-on-revelation-110/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/11/18/the-pattern-of-sabbath-observance-in-the-journeys-of-paul/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/11/15/a-compendium-of-sabbath-observance-in-the-book-of-acts/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/11/23/hebrews-41-11-there-remains-therefore-a-sabbath-rest-for-the-people-of-god/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2013/09/01/exodus-231-19-the-relationship-between-the-sabbath-and-justice/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/07/10/have-you-not-read-in-the-law-that-on-the-sabbath-the-priests-profane-the-sabbath-and-are-blameless/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/06/16/exodus-31-12-18-the-sabbath-covenant/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/06/09/matthew-12-1-8-mark-2-23-28-luke-6-1-5-the-lord-of-the-sabbath-and-the-lord-of-sabaoth/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2012/02/16/a-broader-understanding-of-the-sabbath-day/

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Biblical History, Church of God, History, Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cycles Within Cycles: Part Three

  1. Pingback: Cycles Within Cycles: Part Four | Edge Induced Cohesion

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