December 30, 2020
Part 1 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
The Old Testament is actually a library of 39 books written over a period of 1000 years with most of it covering 2000 years of history before Christ. David Pawson shows how they fit together. With teaching on any one topic scattered all over the Bible, every text is in the context of the book, and every book is in the context of history. God speaks into particular situations, so the time and place give the text its meaning. It features the struggle between the two world powers in the ancient Middle East. The first 5 books are on God’s law and are the most important books in the Old Testament as they are the foundation of the Bible and help us to understand the rest of it.
December 30, 2020
Part 2 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson says, the first book in the bible, Genesis, is the foundational book for the whole Bible - the key that unlocks the rest of the Bible. Jesus was constantly endorsing it. Genesis tells us exactly what has gone wrong with our world and the rest of the Bible tells us how God is going to put it right. Only God could solve a problem the size of our world. Genesis is about the Creator, not creation. It shows us that God is personal, powerful, uncreated, creative, 3-in-1, good, loving, living, speaking, like us - but unlike us. Most of Genesis is made up of hero stories and family trees so it is obviously a compilation of memories that Moses picked up from the slaves in Egypt that had been passed down through the generations in spoken form. Genesis 1v1 - 2v3 must have been dictated to Moses by God. The style is very different and has all the hallmarks of having come directly from God. The word Genesis means origin and the book contains the origin of the universe and everything in it. It also deals with many ultimate questions that can’t be answered by any human being as no one was there to either observe or record how it happened. Is Genesis the result of human imagination or divine inspiration? A series of guesses from human speculation - or the answer from the Person who was there and indeed was responsible for it?
January 3, 2021
Part 3 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson says God wanted the story of creation to reach everybody in every time and in every place, so he made it utterly simple. So Genesis 1 was not written in scientific language but in simplistic language. It takes a genius to be that simple. The structure is beautifully put together, so orderly and mathematical. There are 3 ways of handling the problem of science vs scripture - repudiate, segregate or integrate. God is Creator and Redeemer. Physical and spiritual belong together. Scripture and science are overlapping circles - they are dealing with some things that are the same and therefore there are apparent contradictions between them. We need to remember 2 important things, science changes its views. What was once thought of as scientific fact, is no longer. And traditional interpretations of scripture change. Each of the 7 days in which God created everything, can be looked at in different ways: 24 hours, an era, a myth, a day on which Moses was taught by God part of what he created, or a God day (i.e. time is relative).
January 3, 2021
Part 4 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson notes a radical shift in style, content and viewpoint from Genesis chapter 1 to chapter 2. In chapter 1, God was the centre and everything was from His perspective. Chapter 2, man is the centre. There are 3 dimensions to our relationships which every human needs – with God above, with creatures below and with other people. When sin comes in, all these relationships are spoiled. There is an affinity with God that humans have and animals don’t, because we were made in his image. We are like God and yet not like God. We need to keep that balance to have a good relationship with Him. God retains moral authority over us. He has the right to tell us what is good for us. Science poses two questions in relation to creation. Where does prehistoric man fit in? and Is man directly and physically related to the animal world? David gives answers. Nothing has yet been found that is half ape, half man. Mutations deform and cause species to die out. Inter-breeding usually causes sterility. The effect of the evolution theory on humans is devastating suffering. Fascism, capitalism, communism and early colonialism all wiped people out in the name of progress and “survival of the fittest”. This idea when applied to human beings, has caused more suffering than any other idea. It has also faced us with two huge choices, a mental choice as to what we believe and a moral choice, what we do.
January 3, 2021
Part 5 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson says, when God finished creating our world, He said that’s very good. Genesis 3 tells us what went wrong and when. Satan went for Eve as women are generally more trusting. There are 3 ways in which people misquote the word of God - by addition, by subtraction, and by alteration. Satan knows his Bible very well and did all 3 to God’s command. Satan’s strategy always uses 3 devices, to get us to doubt with our mind, desire with our heart and disobey with our will. We should have learned from Eve’s situation. In chapter 3 God’s holiness comes out clearly. He hates sin and must deal with it. If He’s really a good God, then He can’t let people get away with badness. God gets angry with Adam and Eve because of their disobedience and punishes Adam in relation to work and Eve in relation to family. There was a ripple effect caused by their sin that went down through the generations and out through the nations. Chapters 4-11 cover many centuries, but God picks out the events that most affected Him and His purpose. Three events that mattered most to Him for the next many centuries were Cain and the weapons of mass destruction that came from Cain’s line; Noah and his ark; Nimrod and his tower. God shows His justice and His mercy in these events.
January 3, 2021
Part 6 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
Looking at Genesis, David Pawson says, the God of the Jews is the God of the Universe - The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Bible is not God’s answer to our problems, but God’s answer to His problem – what to do with a race that doesn’t want to know you, love you or obey you? God created humans because He wanted a bigger family. The God of the entire universe makes a friend called Abraham. God freely initiated the relationship. God would rather have a believing man than a good man. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had faith. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations today. Sarah, Rebecca and Rachel were all very beautiful and had the lasting beauty of inner character. God began creation with one man and began redemption with one man. A covenant is made by one party to bless the other. God makes covenants and He keeps them. He promised Abraham a place to live, descendants, and that He would use them to bless or curse every nation. The calling of the Jews is to share God with everybody. In return, God expected that every male Jew would be circumcised, as a sign that they were born into that covenant, and that Abraham would obey God. They were all commended for their faith yet none of them received what was promised to them.
January 3, 2021
Part 7 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson, looking into Genesis, notes that Joseph is the 4th generation - great-grandson of Abraham. There is a clear pattern. The natural heir does not get the blessing. God never calls himself the God of Joseph; angels never appeared to Joseph; his brothers are not rejected. God reveals things in dreams to Joseph and gives him their interpretation. There are 4 levels to Joseph’s story - the human level, God’s angle, as a study of Joseph’s character, and Joseph as a picture of Jesus. Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are models of our faith in God; Joseph is a model of God’s response to that faith. The genealogies of Genesis are the genealogies of Jesus. You see Jesus not only in Joseph but in Isaac. He submitted to being put on the altar, but an alternative sacrifice was provided, a ram with its head caught in thorns. King and priest, Melchizedek, brought out bread and wine to refresh Abraham and his troops and Abraham gave him a tenth of the spoils. Jesus implies He is Jacob’s ladder, i.e. the link between Heaven and Earth. God says to the serpent in Eden, the seed of the woman will bruise your head, even while you bruise his heel, implying Jesus would deal Satan a fatal blow someday. In Romans 5, Paul says, “as one man’s disobedience brought death, so one man’s obedience brought life.” Jesus was involved in the creation of and is the reason why for the whole universe. It was made for Him, through Him and by Him.
January 11, 2021
Part 8 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson finds Exodus is the story of the biggest escape in history. Over 2 million Hebrew slaves escape from one of the most highly fortified nations in the world. It was a series of miracles. Moses saw more miracles than Abraham, Isaac and Jacob put together. Exodus has national and spiritual significance. In Exodus the people are told God’s name and when we know someone’s name, the relationship becomes more intimate and personal. In Exodus, the Creator of everything becomes the redeemer of a few people. Exodus begins Moses’ lifetime. The first half of Exodus is about what God did on their behalf. The second half is about what God said, and how they were to live now that they were free. The first half demonstrates God’s grace towards them in getting them out of their problems, so the second half expects them to show their gratitude by living His way. We are redeemed first and then taught to live right. The people of Israel are set free to serve God. We are also set free to serve God, not to do our own thing. The plagues showed that the God of the Hebrew slaves was much more powerful than the Egyptian gods. God only hardened Pharaoh’s heart after Pharaoh had repeatedly hardened his own heart. If we persistently choose the wrong way, God will help us along that route to demonstrate His judgement - if we refuse to be a demonstration of His mercy.
January 11, 2021
Part 9 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson says that the book of Exodus is central to the old testament. All the books after Exodus look back to Exodus as the redemption on which everything else is based. The cross is central to the New Testament. All the Ten Commandments are based on three principles. The first is the principle of respect - respect for God and respect for people. A healthy, holy society is built on respect. We can see in our society what happens when respect disappears. Loss of respect for God leads to idolatry and loss of respect for people leads to immorality and injustice. Most of the Ten Commandments are about words and deeds but the last is about feelings – don’t be greedy, don’t want what you haven’t got. The second principle is that of responsibility. The law of God says you are accountable for your actions and it holds us responsible to live right before God. The third principle is retribution. There are sanctions in this law, one of them is capital punishment. The death penalty is applied to 18 different sins towards God in the law of Moses.
January 11, 2021
Part 10 of the David Pawson 'Unlocking the Bible' Podcast series
David Pawson concedes that Leviticus is difficult to read as it lacks narrative and features a different and unfamiliar culture; but there is more of the word of God than in any other book. The first half of the book is about the way to God and the second half about the walk with God. Leviticus focusses in on the most important month in the most important place and the most important tribe. The whole of the law of Moses hangs on this. The book of Leviticus is about everything that goes on in God’s tent and everything that should go on in the people’s tents. It is the rules and regulations for both. God expects something in return for what He has done for us. Exodus talks about how God saved His people. Leviticus talks about how they are to serve Him. There is only one God and the Israelites were His only people on Earth and therefore there was a special relationship between them. God was going to be everything they needed and in return, He expected them to live right. He said, “Be holy for I am holy” - You are to reflect my character and let people see what I am like by what you are like. If God saves you, He expects you to be like Him. There are two types of offering, one to show gratitude to God, and the other to make atonement for sin. The Jews had a calendar of feasts to remind them of things they would forget.