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The Problem of Self-Reference: Universal or Particular?
Part Two
By David A. McElroy

Remember, grammar is man-referencing and not God-referencing! Ludwig Wittgenstein's study of grammar and language demonstrated that such is arbitrary and independent, and not justified by reality, stemming from man's finite perspective of God's infinite domain. (2.)

Axiomatic study transcends the limitations of grammar and works to validate because an axiom is tenseless in the sense that it presents an eternal truth, a whole element of reality. When we are discussing manifold nature, it is advisable to use the tenseless verb so as to circumvent linear traps. (9.)

The loops of holistic axiomatic study define the axis of each real particular element being. Each is one small thread in the eternal golden braid knit by the Universal Being whose person we seek. And as Descartes noted, "I think--- therefore I am," is a priori. Our self-awareness is something we particulars share with God--- the universal "I AM". (10.) It is a matter of the spirit.

All we need to do is follow the "yellow brick road" laid out before us, move in God's direction and avoid the perils of wickedness!

Axioms provide the details for a cosmic picture of the Universal. When we know the whole truth, we will know where our particulars properly fit in the puzzle of life's BIG PICTURE, God's Kingdom. Will your thread in the tapestry of life be eternal, or cut short? Our Lord Jesus declared "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me." John 15:4 We need to focus, or feed, not from the fruit of the vine, but remember the root sustains us in the vine! It is the infinite spool from which the thread of life issues forth! In God's Word, feed from the root, not the fruit! Commentaries can mislead.

God's Word first came through His personal testimony to men seeking His righteousness and blessings, such as Abraham and Moses. The prophets of old often set down in their own language His holy message, and neither they nor the apostles following fully understood, seeing, as it were, through a glass darkly. I Corinthians 13:9-12. But we can learn more!

Some make the mistake of presuming all of Holy Scripture is of one type, when "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake..." Hebrews 1:1 This was done to convey "the manifold wisdom of God." Ephesians 3:10 See His diverse manners of speech and manifold knowledge? Do you want God's Word wholly holy, or just in a partial denomination spoon-fed? "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." II Timothy 2:15

The Holy Bible is a lens into infinity--- if we would but see. The more we try to make it explicitly simple with various "pick and choose" translators, "bibles" and teachers, each tailored to particular behavior theories, the more we lose of its Universal function. We can truly appropriate it in wholeness only, and must learn that to be "rightly dividing the word of truth", we must not divide it at all!

But as Whorf said, "we are parties to an agreement that holds through our speech community and is codified in the patterns of our language," an agreement to reference things to ourselves in particular rather than God Universally.

Pastoral scholars have, of course, rightly noted the value of grammar in helping man to understand his place in the Kingdom of God, but I assert that in efforts to study God Himself, His story of cosmology from Creation through Escatology, we must leave our grammar and semantics behind.

God gave us the BIG PICTURE, but we have schooled ourselves to be blind to it, studying behavior, being focused instead on more immediate and tangible minutia of our lives. Yet it can still be abstracted from the Bible, if we would only open our eyes to its vision.

Science and Religion are like the fabled blind men groping all around the divine elephant, emphatically asserting their findings and feelings about the matter at hand, demanding our allegiance to either one or the other's definitions of their particular perceptions. After all, they are professionals who are credentialed to teach, each from a particular frame of reference with the authority of a recognized channel (institution) of social direction obscuring Universal Truth with behavioral theories given priority for order less than godly. We are taught to be slaves by institutions of men, yet Christ declared " shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:32

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in," Christ said in condemnation recorded in Matthew 23:13. "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esais (Isaiah), which saith, by hearing ye shall hear and not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive..." He said in Matthew 13:14. (Read all of Matthew 13 about this issue!)

"But of the tree (branches) of knowledge of good and evil," God warned in Genesis 2:11, "thou shalt not eat of it: for in that day thou shalt surely die," God warned in Genesis 2:17. Recall that the essence of sin is separation from God, spiritual death. Our rebellious, naturally arrogant way of insisting upon referencing all to ourselves precludes conversations of a higher order, the full communication, or communion, with the One Deity!

We have built a tower of babel with the branches of knowledge, aspiring to reach God with our science and religion, each plying our "do loops" like mice in exercise wheels, getting nowhere at any speed in pursuit of myriad disciplines. Truly natural man is directed to be supernaturally unperceptive. Have you ever felt schooled to be blind, deaf, and really dumb?

Steven J. Gould, a Harvard paleontologist, atheist, and dogged foe of any biblically supportive Creation Science efforts, estimated that as many as 6,000 scientists may have been working in the light of Scripture even as he celebrated the 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling against teaching the Genesis account in public classrooms. (11.)

Yet some brave souls pursuing truth continue to tread the bloody battlefield between Science and Religion, two armies known for grinding their casualties with cruel teeth. Their fighting is largely due to speaking different languages from different perspectives, and both profit in maintaining ambiguity and uncertainty among us.

You must "study to show thyself approved unto God...." Do your own homework as an earnest seeker of Truth.

Marvin Minsky, author of THE SOCIETY OF MIND, asks "how do you know you are conscious? There are a lot of things that you do effortlessly--- like recognize my face--- that you can't even begin to tell me how you do. You don't have a pipeline to what's really going on in your mind. I think consciousness is an illusion." (12.)

"I think--- therefore I am", is a priori. We do have axioms by which we can know our own consciousness is greater than our whole sum of physical parts. Scientists seek all the particular facts to sum up, yet refuse to see the mind of God in the Creation they study.

No wonder Michelangelo represented the human brain as a cloud for a backdrop in the portrait of God conveying the spirit of life to Adam on that famous Sistine Chapel ceiling. Even the empirical Hume posited there must be an analogy between the mind of God and the mind of man made in His image. The Vatican artwork gives testimony of two views, like an Escher artwork. Do we choose to see a dead, dissected, brainy matter, or do we see the living Creator relating with us?

In God's Word we find the offer, the vision, of infinite life wholly holy in the chaos (Greek for hole, chamber or containment) we live in. "Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life," Christ said to help us along in Matthew 7:14. He wants to lift us out of this corrupted world full of deceits, pain, and suffering, but we must come to Jesus trusting Christ wholly as Lord and Savior.

How long before scholars referencing themselves recognize that their species is in a culture experiment in which they have been graciously advised to develop certain traits in order to propagated and enhanced rather than eradicated and discarded? Will man ever learn that he is not master of the cosmic garden? "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman," Christ declared in John 15:1, expositing the standard we should emulate. Christ truly is our measure of a wholly holy holey man, a man for all seasons!

We should feed from the root of God's Word rather than the fruit dangling from the many branches of knowledge arising from it ever farther from the essence of Truth. The fruits can satisfy in particular seasons, but the root is perennial! Get to the root of all things!

Christ and the Antichrist are reciprocals in the spectrum of humanity which extrapolate the tension between God and Satan in our lives. It is the battle between Good and Evil, the forces of Life and Death, Genesis and Entropy. To which polar opposite will you be choosing to go as the bottom line of your life, your self-interest, is summed up?

God's Son promised that "if you will continue in my word... you will know the truth and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32

The Holy Bible is a unique test of our vision. The first instruction is based upon the premise of obedience. We wouldn't play a game without reading the rules, would we? Our blessings are proportionate to our trusting obedience. How much we see in our Bible is a measure of our perception of unpunctuated chaos. "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me..." Christ said in John 10:27. Do you wholly hear and follow the living Word of God?

Is your explicit priority particularly determined to be functional revelation or behavior modification? Is your Bible a mystery or a manifold miracle of revelation? "The light of the body of the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light," Jesus noted in Matthew 6:22. See good and evil. Accept all and practice Truth and Love wholly in surrender to God, and your vision will be extended to levels you never saw before. Though we are asked to approach God in blind faith, "the Lord openeth the eyes of the blind..." the Bible affirms in Psalm 146:8. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all of these things shall be added unto you," Christ promised in Matthew 6:33, concerning all our real needs. But we must trust and obey, for there's no other way!

We perceive many paths, many choices, in the confusion between the reciprocals of Heaven and Hell, and many particular selves referenced poorly in a chaos in which we are instinctively led to punctuate our perceptions in representations that best serve our particular wants and needs in showing us to the gate when we need to exit a busy "do loop" on the primrose path to make intellectual and spiritual progress toward the whole One, the Holy One of the Holy Bible. There is only one way to fully obtain the complete Word of God, and that is by following the instructions it gives from one level to the next, accepting it ALL wholly as intended. Find Holy God in referencing yourself to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as mediated by Jesus Christ. Trust and Obey!

How we punctuate reality determines our directionality as we travel through the looking glass of God's Word, our growing or diminishing in His sight. Which way are you going? Can you even read the map of life to know?

We must not resign ourselves to listing tired old cliches and shop-worn phrases in poor representations concealing the truth in ignorance fostered by partial renderings taught from particular perspectives in a dissected manner in our institutions. These "authorities" have long been teaching more and more about less and less as these "shepherds" attempt to contain us within their particular folds to be sheared. With axiomatic Bible study, we can obtain the scriptures' whole meanings unambiguously!

The Holy Bible, as originally scribed, is wholly holy holey and we should not settle for fractions of it. The Bible was wholly intended to relate man to God as the Almighty gave us His Self-Reference. Your eternal soul's fate rests on how you will answer the question of The Problem of Self-Reference: Universal or Particular? Let's not be referenced by our particulars, but God's Universals!

Reader’s Participation Exercise!

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock," Christ says in Revelation 3:20. Do you hear Him rap? How wide will you open the door of your mind to His knowledge?

Is your soul's intellectually-screened door half-open or half-closed? To test your mental screening, what would you do if confronted with the following message? It is presented without punctuation, as were the original biblical Hebrew scriptures. How would you choose to punctuate it? Go on.... try it! Then we'll look at this from the perspectives of Good and Evil.


he is an old and experienced man in vice and wickedness he is never found opposing the work of iniquity he takes delight in the downfall of his neighbor he never rejoices in the prosperity of any of his fellow creatures he is ready to assist in destroying the peace of society he takes no pleasure in serving the lord he is uncommonly diligent in sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances he takes no pride in laboring to promote the cause of christianity he has not been negligent in endeavoring to stigmatize all public teachers he makes no exertions to subdue his passions he strives hard to build up satans kingdom he lends no aid to support the gospel among the heathen he contributes largely to the evil adversary he pays no attention to good advice he gives great heed to the devil he will never go to heaven he must go where he will receive the just recompense of his reward


Now, let's see the power of little dots steering you toward good or evil. This little exercise in punctuation power arises from an old classic penned by F.W. Emmons in 1873. I gave you the entirely unpunctuated version to test your mental screening of language. But Emmons wrote the two punctuated versions of the same text, THE EVIL MAN, with THE GOOD MAN fast on his heels!


He is an old and experienced man in vice and wickedness. He is never found opposing the work of iniquity. He takes delight in the downfall of his neighbor. He never rejoices in the prosperity of any of his fellow creatures. He is ready to assist in destroying the peace of society. He takes no pleasure in serving the Lord. He is uncommonly diligent in sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances. He takes no pride in laboring to promote the cause of Christianity. He has not been negligent in endeavoring to stigmatize all public teachers. He makes no exertions to subdue his passions. He strives hard to build up Satan's kingdom. He lends no aid to support the gospel among the heathen. He contributes largely to the evil adversary. He will never go to Heaven. He must go where he will receive the just recompense of his reward.


Emmons demonstrates the power of periods bounding explicit statements, or sentences Only powerful periods and formal capitals were needed. (Okay, an apostrophe and those old-fashioned paragraph indentations of mine.)

Consider the function, or definition, of punctuation: 1. to insert punctuation marks in order to clarify (make explicit),
2. to interrupt from time to time (make periodic), and...
3. to emphasize (make priority).

Now, let's look at the other view of THE MAN. Can he be redeemed?


He is an old and experienced man. In vice and wickedness he is never found. Opposing the work of iniquity he takes delight. In the downfall of his neighbor he never rejoices. In the prosperity of any of his fellow creatures he is ready to assist. In destroying the peace of society he takes no pleasure. In serving the Lord he is uncommonly diligent. In sowing discord among his friends and acquaintances he takes no pride. In laboring to promote the cause of Christianity he has not been negligent. In endeavoring to stigmatize all public teachers he makes no exertions. To subdue his passions he strives hard. To build up Satan's kingdom he lends no aid. To support the gospel among the heathen he contributes largely. To the evil adversary he pays no attention. To good advice he gives great heed. To the devil he will never go. To Heaven he must go where he will receive the just recompense of his reward.


Do you now see how different people translating the ancient Hebrew scriptures with a Western mindset can arrive with contradictory translations and teachings? When you punctuate, you interrupt the flow of information to make particular references explicit and to emphasize your priorities. If you were sensing God's holy presence right now, would you want to interrupt Him, reference everything to your particulars, and emphasize your priorities? When you do, you betray your frame of reference. You choose direction.

This exercise shows how even a little grammar can greatly divide meaning in matters where obvious contradictions are not at all mutually exclusive. And we have not even discussed semantics! Emmons shows us how our frame of reference influences means by which we define our perceptions. Is your looking-glass half-full or half-empty?

"It should be axiomatic in critical study that the element of divine action, not only causing the Bible to be written but causing the events to take place which have a saving significance is taken with the utmost seriousness," asserts E.C. Blackman in his well known book, BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION. "The outcome of study is then a quickened awareness of divine initiative all along the line," he says, "which reaches right to the modern reader. At that point spirit as well as mind is engaged, and study passes into adoration." AMEN!



Primary Reference Books:

Holy Bible… Authorized King James Bible of 1611
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance by James Strong
Webster’s Dictionary… New 20th Century Unabridged 2nd Edition

Numbered References:

1. The Mind-Brain Problem by Dennis Feucht… Vol. 38 No. 1 P. 237

2. GRAMMAR by Baker & Hacker… P. 76 1980 Book

3. The Razor’s Edge by Robert Wright… P. 2 THE SCIENCES July 1986

4. Translating the Bible by Barry Hoberman… P. 43

5. How Archaeology Proved The Bible’s Accuracy… By Staff P. 8

6. ONENESS, TWONESS, THREENESS by Denise Schmandt-Besserat P. 44
July 1987 Book

7. THE HOLY BIBLE WHOLLY TRUE by Winkie Pratney 1979 Pamphlet
Publication of Last Days Ministries in Lindale Texas
8. Hidden Messages by Sherry Baker… P. 114 OMNI Apr. 1987

9. Theory Of Time and Manifold Philosophy… Vol. 18 P. 410 & P. 418

By David A. McElroy at Fresno Pacific College 1988 Paper

11. Will Creationists Rise Again? By Sarah Boxer… P. 80 DISCOVER Oct. 1987

12. Your Mindless Brain by Paul Hoffman… P. 84 DISCOVER Sept. 1987

13. A Flaw In The Cosmic Mirror by Robert K. Adair… P. 50

Recommended Helps:

Harper’s Topical Concordance by Charles R. Joy
Hind’s Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard
Geneva Bible 1599 Edition (Excellent Footnotes!)