19
Mar
14

Redeemer

My latest painting is below. It measures 102cm x 75 cm.

I AM

It started out like this, until I added several layers of diluted, transparent paint (blue-black and cobalt blue). I also painted over the red diagonal stripe, scraping away some of the paint to expose a short section of red in the middle:

redeemer

16
Mar
14

King Hit? Coward Punch? Murder!

I finished reading Numbers a few days ago. One part seemed very topical.

In Australia over the last several months there has been a lot of discussion about deaths caused by single punches, where people have been hit from behind with one punch to the head. At first the media were calling these punches “king hits” but later they changed the terminology to “coward punch”.

Some of the people responsible for punches that led to death were getting quite lenient sentences – and politicians responded to public outrage by trying to change the law to create a mandatory sentence of 8 years.

Now back to Numbers.

If the standard detailed in Numbers was applied to Australian law, every one of those guilty of killing someone with a single punch, regardless of their intent, would be declared a murderer and executed. It wouldn’t matter whether the person intended to kill with that punch, but merely the fact that intentional hostility was involved, that the punch was thrown in anger, was enough to make the resulting death an act of murder.

Now wouldn’t that make people think twice about the effects of their anger and how they act in response to that anger!
Well… probably not.

15
Mar
14

Past Present Future

past present future

In the centre, round the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all round, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

‘“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,”
who was, and is, and is to come.’

Whenever the living creatures give glory, honour and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

‘You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being.’

14
Mar
14

God’s Israel

yeshuaReplacement theology is something that continues to raise its head, but that’s not surprising considering its roots go very deep – right back to the early days of gentile inclusion within the church. As more gentiles were added, and especially after the late first century exile of Israel from the Land, the idea of replacement theology strengthened.

Here are some of the important points related to this issue:

1) God has NOT changed the identity of Israel or shifted that identity from one group of people to another
2) God’s promises and prophecies related to Israel remain and apply to blood descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
3) The gentile church has not become Israel – not a “spiritual Israel” or “the new Israel”
4) We should not confuse today’s political nation of Israel with the Israel of God. God’s Israel also exists beyond the borders of the land He promised to that people, and while many inhabit the promised land, most are still scattered among the nations.
5) One day God will bring ALL of His Israel back to the land He promised to them
6) One day all of Israel will recognise their Messiah and will be ruled by Him (both son of David and Son of God)

Here are links to a few articles dealing with these points that I’ve I posted earlier:

http://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/refined-not-redefined/

http://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/gospel-of-the-kingdom-what-about-israel/
http://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/one-new-man-and-the-gospel-of-a-jewish-messiah/
http://onefiles.blogspot.co.nz/2010/02/gods-future-for-israel.html

11
Mar
14

Phone Scammers Need to Know Jesus Too.

Do you have occasional (or even regular) unsolicited phone calls from people who want to fix your computer problems? My parents get them several times a week and fortunately they don’t have a computer otherwise they might easily fall for the scam being perpetrated.

I’ve only had a few of those calls, and instead of my usual response of hanging up, or telling them that I’m aware of their dishonesty, I’ve realised that these phone calls give a good opportunity to tell these callers about Jesus. Last night I had my first opportunity.

The caller identified herself as being from “Windows Operating Systems”, she was calling about my computer and could she have a word with me?

“Of course “I replied cheerfully, “but could I say something first?”
Maybe my cheerful approach backfired, maybe they are too used to confusion, suspicion or hostility – she hung up before I could say anything else.

07
Mar
14

“I AM”: names of Jesus

Most of the time my initial idea for a painting will turn into something completely different by the time I finish it. Here is a clear example.

This is the first version.

DSCF1016

For the next stage I stencilled various names given to Jesus onto the canvas, making the letters contrast with the background, using black where the background was white and vice versa. I also stencilled the word “Truth” over the red “Jesus”.

While I could imagine the result I wanted, my technique wasn’t up to the challenge. I’m far too messy with paint and a lot of the stencilled lettering smudged, or the paint bled under the stencils and tape.

I could either perservere and try to neaten up the rough edges, or I could try something different. I took the second option and this is the result. I took the photo yesterday evening.

I AM

I covered most of the painting with “blue/black” diluted with acrylic paint medium. The “blue/black” came out more green than blue. Any blue in the painting comes from a weak wash of Cobalt Blue.
I reinstated the large white “I AM” by wiping some of the surface paint away with a damp cloth, then I used touches of Titanium White to give a few desired highlights.

The result has much more subtlety than the stark black and white image I’d originally intended, and I think the final painting is much better. Completing it has been encouraging. There is a local exhibition early in April and I’ve wanted to enter some new paintings. My progress has been very slow in recent weeks and I didn’t think I’d have anything ready in time, but now I’m feeling much more confident.

Here is a second photo of the same painting that I took this morning with a different camera. The only change I made to the painting was a slight adjustment to the bottom of the “I” in “I AM” but the difference in colour makes it seem like a totally different painting; proving the difficulties I have photographing my art. Neither photo captures the painting as seen in person.
SAM_0161

20
Feb
14

Scripture: Teachers, Bereans and the Holy Spirit.

For some time now I’ve regularly written and spoken about the need to trust the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of scripture instead of turning to commentaries, study bibles and similar sources to find out what scripture “really means”.

My suggestion hasn’t often been received willingly, and some people have seen me as being opposed to the idea of teachers within the church – and since scripture clearly legitimizes the ministry of teachers, I’m obviously in the wrong.

But I am not opposed to the role of teachers when they are given their rightful place. There is an important need for genuine teachers of the word, especially to help new believers to mature in their faith, but also to inspire the mature believer to seek more understanding

So what is the problem? How SHOULD we respond to teachers, and how does this compare to the way that we DO respond to teachers?

The Bereans are often held up as the example we should follow, but how close do we follow what they did? And why were they so “noble” or “fair-minded”?

Firstly they listened to what was said, not rejecting it out of hand
Secondly they searched the scriptures daily to test the teaching.
How does this compare to today’s common practice?
What is the usual place currently given to teaching?

I’d suggest there has been a kind of reversal of authority. Where the Bereans heard the teaching and then turned to scripture for clarification and legitimisation of a teaching, it is more common today to turn to teachers to tell us what scripture (really) means – even to the extent of searching the teachers until we find one that gives an answer we want to hear.

1That can take the following forms:
1) People never address scripture themselves, their main contact with scripture is via the teaching. In the past I fit this category. I was quite proficient at quoting texts to “prove” my doctrinal point, however, I later came to realise that I’d learned the texts from sermons from my favoured teachers and not from personal study of scripture. At “best” a hearer will use a bible to read the proof texts a preacher quotes , but will rarely look deeply enough into those texts to consider their biblical context. In my case, my knowledge of scripture came with the context given by the teaching and NOT its legitimate biblical context.

2) People DO address scripture, but have a bible in one hand and a commentary in the other. Or even worse, they read from a “study bible”, paying more attention to the “explanatory” notes than to the actual biblical text. Instead of trusting the Holy Spirit to give understanding, He is ignored and replaced by man’s writings.

Brief summary:
1) The Bereans turned to scripture to test the teaching.

2) Today many turn to teachers to “interpret” scripture.




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