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Proverbs 9:1-2 & 5 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. This is a symbolically laced setting of scripture. ‘Wisdom’ hath mingled her ‘wine’. Wine and bread in this setting is symbolic for doctrine. Doctrine is defined as ‘something taught, especially the principles of religion.’ Listening to the opinions of other teachers within the Judaic/Christian tradition is requisite to partake of this mingled wine. Biblical study mixed within multitude of counselors or teachers is the perfect recipe. Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. I as a Christian study Rabbinic literature, there are many good books for the general reader. Jewish biblical scholarship is of course superb. This being ‘in the multitude of ‘counselors’, is a safety net from falling into the ‘make no sense rules’ that is typical of fundamentalism. One of fundamentalism’s traits is they make things that are trivial to the average person, such as dress standards, observance of certain days or rituals to be a matter of morals or ethics. Thus these things become their own private interpretation. It tends to isolate them from normal society. They become overtly judgmental of others, this can breed intolerance and lack of compassion. Private interpretation is undesirable, we must listen to the opinions and interpretations of others then form our own opinions according to knowledge.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Judaism considers studying the scriptures as one of the highest forms of worship. To rightly dividing the word of truth, is to search the bible by subject, word comparison, passages that are similar, interpretation of parables, proverbs and similitudes. To compare strands of scripture that are similar to one another. This type of bible study is puzzle like; this style of study takes a lot of seeking, comparing and contemplating. Good bible software makes this easy and most enjoyable. 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine & for instruction in righteousness: 2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. Private interpretation limits our understanding, it is important to listen and consider other peoples ideas of what scripture means. It is also important to know the scriptures well. If we adhere to only one person’s interpretation we will have a narrow vision and could be wrong about what we believe. No one man will have it all. Amazing how much that can be learned from considering the opinions of others. The synagogue at Berea is a good example of people ‘mingling their wine’.
Acts 17:10-11 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Interestingly ‘receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so’ is defined as noble. Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the wit of his friend. As iron ‘sharpens’ iron, listening to others opinions about what the scriptures mean, ‘sharpens’ our understanding of GOD. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Importance Of The WORD Romans 10: 8 &17 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. To have a desire to know what the scriptures mean will lead us to consider the interpretations of others, this is mingled wine.
We should all hunger for wisdom and truth and spiritual peace they are found only in the word of God. Consider what Solomon wrote. Ecclesiastes 12:10 The preacher (Solomon) sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth. Proverbs 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. THE ALMIGHTY delights in us when we get a genuine interest in His word. Delight - being the common word in our next set of scriptures. Jeremiah 9:24 But let him (anyone) that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. Job 22:26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. David wrote about delighting himself in the things of THE LORD. Psalms 119:16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. Romans 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: Our inner man desires the things of THE LORD.
Psalms 119:24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors. The testimonies of the scriptures are also found in the stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, Jesus, Paul. The descriptions of these people’s lives are given for instruction in righteousness. These ‘testimonies’ are in a sense, counsellors. Proverbs 1:5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: Psalms 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. Psalms 119:70 Their heart is as fat as grease; but I delight in thy law. Law and the WORD of GOD are synonymous (having the same or nearly the same meaning as another word). So, to delight one’s self in the law is the same as delighting ones self in the scriptures – the WORD of GOD. Psalms 119:174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight. Psalms 119:77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Psalms 40:8 I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. To have the law or word in our hearts is goal to achieve, there is a theme in the bible about the WORD being in our heart and mouth.
Romans 10:8 & 10 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Jeremiah 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Deuteronomy 30:14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. Proverbs 15:14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: Proverbs 15:28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: Proverbs 16:23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips. Mingled Wine On The Threshing Floor! The Threshing Floor: I want to introduce you to the idea of the ‘Threshing Floor’. At the development of a bible school called ‘The School of the Prophets’ that began in 1901 in Topeka, Kansas, the idea of the ‘Threshing Floor’ began. The school’s premise was that you could only use the Bible to interpret the bible, that the bible is its own dictionary. They began ‘comparing scripture to scripture.’ To find as many scriptures pertaining to one subject and then come to some conclusions.
The ‘Threshing Floor’ is a debate forum, where anyone could bring a doctrine or biblical belief but had to have scriptures to defend their position. If someone could disprove the theory it was rejected. Everyone had to speak ‘subject to question’. They debated the WORD of GOD with the desire of achieving a deeper understanding of what difficult text meant. Many teachers/preachers from many different facets of the Christian community attended these debates. In a natural context a threshing floor is a place where wheat is threshed, separating the wheat grain from the stock, usually by walking on it. The workers would then put crushed wheat in a sheet and throw it up in the air and allow the wind to blow away the lighter chaff away allowing the heavier wheat to fall back into a sheet. A threshing floor is usually in a ‘windy’ place. This is ‘a type’ or a similitude of what the teachers and students where trying to accomplish at the School of the Prophets. Discussing and debating the things in the WORD of GOD, throwing ideas and revelations ‘into the wind’ and seeing what had enough substance to fall back into the sheet. The ‘style’ of study I have learned is ‘to rightly divide the word of truth’. This style of study, rightly dividing the word of truth is to search the bible by subject, word comparison, passages that are similar, interpretation of parables, proverbs and similitude. To compare strands of scripture that are similar to one another. This type of bible study is puzzle like; this style of study takes a lot of seeking, comparing and contemplating. Good bible software makes this easy and fun. This process of scriptural ‘threshing’ in the style of the School of the Prophets has been practiced in many different independent churches for over one hundred years and it has produced some impressive biblical understandings.
Those, whose doctrine has been on the ‘threshing floor’ in a sense, have mingled their wine. Wine, meaning doctrine. I’ve had the privilege of studying under two independent teachers that had been influenced by this ‘School of the Prophets’. In the book 'The small sects of America' by Elmer T. Clark, he writes about the School of the Prophets " with it's headquarters at Louisville, Kentucky, claims as many as five hundred churches. These feature somewhat unique services. A member propounds a doctrine and challenging any members to 'cross' him, thus opening a free-for-all discussion which may continue for hours." In a way the School of the Prophets were doing what the Rabbis in the Jewish Talmud did. Abraham Cohen writes in his book 'Everyman's Talmud' "The Talmud is open-ended and invites you in for discussion. The main trait of the Talmud is its argumentative character, its argument, back and forth’. Hopefully this study gives a better sense of what mingled wine means. Proverbs 9:1-2 & 5 Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.
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