215 – FABLES 2
Everything that is not in the real world can be a fable. We will tell you a real story. There was a little town where rich Romans used to go to in recreation, by the name of Pompeii. It was at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. In the year 79, the volcano completely buried the city under thick layers of ash and burning lava, during a catastrophic eruption, and everyone perished. This is a real story and can naturally happen again. If this eruption were provoked by a supernatural power, it would not be a reality, but it would be a fabulous thing, that is, a fable, an artificial thing. We want to make it very clear that a supernatural thing can be a reality, for example, the incarnation of the Word (John 1:14). Every man comes to existence solely from the moment of fertilization in the womb of a woman. It was different with Jesus. He had an eternal existence before he was fecundated in the womb of Mary. This is why John says: “THE WORD BECAME FLESH” (John 1:14). As Word, he was God, and as flesh, he was man. In the beginning of the Church there was great discussion about this supernatural but real fact. We will mention a few people, whose doctrines shook the churches of the time, which were opposed in unceasing wars until they succumbed. Arius (280 through 336 AC) founded a sect of the Arians. It asserted that Jesus Christ was a mere creation of God, of a lower nature, subject to the same appetites and weaknesses of men. They did not accept the divinity of Christ, neither the unity of the Trinity, that is, the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This doctrine sustained by some emperors of Constantinople and by various barbarous kings, at the time shook the power of Catholicism. Arius was a priest in the Church of Constantinople, therefore a dissident of the existing doctrine.
Nestorius (428 DC), founder of Nestorianism, taught that the Son of God morally united himself to the human person of Jesus. And in this case, Mary was not the mother of God, but of the human Jesus. To him, there were two natures in Christ. Nestorius was Patriarch of the Church of Alexandria. The Council of Ephesus overthrew him in the year of 431 AC.
Sabellius, disciple of Noethus, member of the church at Smyrna, around the 3rd Century, founded Sabellianism. To them, the Holy Trinity was not made of three distinct Persons, but there really was one only God who presented himself in three different ways.
The great truth, though, accepted by all the Christian churches today, is that the Word, in the beginning, was God and was with God; he made all things, and nothing was made apart from him (John 1:1-3).He came down from heaven and became flesh, taking the form of men to save them from condemnation(John 1:14). Jesus, when he was speaking about the bread from heaven to the disciples, seeing that they were frightened, said to them: “What then if you should behold the Son of Men ascending where He was before?” (John 6:62). When he spoke of the mystery of the new birth to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, a Pharisee, and saw that he was confused, he told him, “If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things? And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven, even the Son of Man” (John 3:12-13). Saying this, Jesus denies that, before his incarnation, any celestial being has descended or ascended to heaven. What we want to stress is that the incarnation of the Word is not a fable, but an important reality, even if it is a supernatural thing, for Jesus revealed in his ministry the supernatural power of God the Father by expelling demons, healing all kinds of malignant infirmities, causing the lame to walk, raising the dead, multiplying bread and fish, transfiguring at the top of Mount Hermon before the boggled eyes of Peter, James, and John. Everything was supernatural, but real. No fables.
The apostle Paul, writing to Titus, says, “Not paying attention to Jewish myths and commandments of men who turn away from the truth” (Titus 1:14). The fables that Paul referred to are in the context of the Epistle. In verse 10, he says, “For there are many rebellions men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision” (Titus 1:10). Those of the circumcision were the ones who taught those fables. Paul goes on to say, “But shun foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law; for they are unprofitable and worthless” (Titus 3:9). We can infer that the fables were connected to the Law of Jehovah, and to the genealogies. Peter declares,“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Pet. 1:16).
We will tell you a Jewish story that resembles a fable. Joseph dreamt that the Sun and the Moon were his father and mother, and his eleven brothers would be the eleven stars (Gen. 37:9). His brothers, envious, sold him to some Ishmaelites in the desert (Gen. 37:9). The Ishmaelites sold him to Potiphar, Pharaoh’s eunuch in Egypt (Gen. 37:36). The wife of Potiphar, offended that she could not seduce Joseph, accused him to her husband, who sent Joseph to prison (Gen. 39:13-20). The cupbearer and the baker of Pharaoh were also sent to prison. Joseph interpreted their dreams in which the cupbearer would be restored to his post, and the baker would be killed (Gen. 40:5-20). These things happened, exactly as Joseph had said in the interpretation of their dreams.
After that Pharaoh dreamt two dreams. In the first one, seven fat cows grazed, and seven thin cows came and devoured the fat cows. Pharaoh dreamt another dream in which a wheat stalk yielded seven ears full and good. Then seven ears thin and withered sprouted and swallowed the seven fat ears. No magician in Egypt could interpret this dream. The cupbearer remembered Joseph, who was called to the presence of Pharaoh and interpreted both dreams. They meant seven years of abundance followed by seven years famine. Pharaoh, astonished, set Joseph as governor over all Egypt. Guided by Joseph, Pharaoh cultivated and harvested wheat for seven years. There came seven years of famine, and Pharaoh made billions by selling the wheat to the hungry (Gen. 41:25-30). During this time, Joseph sent for his family and brought them to live in Egypt, in the land of Goshen. After the death of Joseph, the people of Israel multiplied very much, and were enslaved by the following Pharaoh. Analyzing this story we notice that everything was provoked. Nothing that happened was real. The hatred of Pharaoh for the Israelites was not natural, but artificial (Ps. 105:23-25). This fabulous story did not bring any spiritual profit to the Church. First of all, because Joseph sat on the chair of Pharaoh, and made him prosper; and Pharaoh is the picture of the devil (Gen. 41:38-44; Ezek. 29:3; Rev. 12:9). This story, in which a servant of God sits on the throne of Satan to make him rich, is an artificially made up fable. Besides, the story of Joseph is not found in the story of the ancient Egypt, and this fabulous story does not profit to anyone but to Jehovah alone. It did not profit to Israel because Egypt was perverted for 400 years (Lev. 18:2-3). It does not profit to the Father because in it Jehovah revealed only hatred, vengeance, plagues, pestilences, and the death of children. It does not profit to Christ because the saved ones of Jehovah died in the desert, under the wrath, exposing to suspicion the grace of God that Paul revealed in the New Testament. It does not profit to the Church because in it Jehovah gave the bread of death (Ex. 16:4; John 6:49, 58). Jehovah also tempted the people and destroyed it afterwards, when they failed (Deut. 8:2-3; Heb. 3:17-18). In it evil reigned, and Jehovah was promoted through this evil. Nevertheless, Jesus, through love, promoted the Father (John 7:18).
by PASTOR OLAVO SILVEIRA PEREIRA