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Author Topic: God's Way  (Read 1943 times)

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Jeff

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God's Way
« on: November 12, 2015, 09:58:18 PM »

With respect to Ray's LOF series this occurred to me.

Having a choice - the ability to make decisions and choose a path, and not knowing where it will lead - seems like an integral part of God's plan for mankind.  We're all well-versed in the truth about free will and with regard to that, having a choice has to be essential.  It has purpose.

From Ray's LOF 15 paper: Well, actually FROM the Scriptures! But repeated in Ray's paper:

"Where is the wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the disputer [debater] of this world? Has not God made foolish [Gk: ‘stupid’] the wisdom of this world?" (I Cor. 1:20).

Imagine if God had given us no will at all, or even the ability to make choices - how unfulfilling and boring would that be?  He gave Adam the grand task of naming His creatures.  That must have been difficult, and taken a long, long time.

God seems to have created a universe in which we can explore, and discover. Name the elements, design skyscrapers, and soar across the ocean.  He took great care in providing us with the brain we have, and provides us with countless opportunities to use it.  He made us creative beings, as is His own nature.  He tests us daily and amazing things are accomplished as evidence of His desire to challenge us to learn and grow.

Romans 16:25 (KJV) "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,"

Psalm 104:24 "Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures."

Choices, I think, are very, very, very important.  If there were no consequences as a result of having no will at all, it would be a seriously, pathetic existence.

I think it's obvious that God wants us to stretch our minds, and experience His creation fully.  I've always thought that the universe is comically large.  What I mean by that is that it extends beyond our ability to fully define and even comprehend it. We can get "just so close" to understanding, and when we have a break through, it seems to always lead us to another question, that must then be answered, in order for us to move forward.

God challenges us every day in this mortal experience, through choices, and we need that.

Not having choices would be like being micromanaged at work. I've experienced this and it's simply torture. You want to break free, and soar, and show your abilities the way they're meant to be used, and someone tells you "No. You do it THIS way". It's truly awful and unfulfilling.

God wants us to be fulfilled and choices are a large part of making that happen - but in His way.

Ecclesiastes 5:12 - "The sleep of a labouring man [is] sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep."

It pleases God that we do honest work.

Choices give us purpose, they in part, integrate us with our God, and connect us - with Him who is leading us to salvation.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."

That Scripture is perfection (as all is).

Choices - as Ray has told us, so many times.

Ray spent so much time teaching us about free will, choices and causality, that I have to believe that this is something that is utterly essential.

Frankly, I'm so very grateful to God, that I do not have free will, and I thank Him with a full heart that He gives me choices.

"In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who works ALL THINGS after the counsel of His Own will" (Eph. 1:11).

"For OF HIM, and THROUGH HIM, and TO HIM, are ALL THINGS..." (Rom. 11:36).

And that includes the choices He gives us.

Not only does it seem that not having free will is actually a blessing, but also, having choices are an important aspect of our lives. We need choices in order to be fulfilled.

Psalm 107:9 "For he satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness."

Praise our good and great God.

Jeff :)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 12:02:19 AM by Jeff »
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Kat

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2015, 02:47:18 PM »


Hi Jeff, I think you are absolutely right. God made us as inquisitive, reasoning, decision making beings, He wants us to be this way... no 'free' will necessary, we have a will and make choices and learn constantly because of that. It is said that if little children are given a enriched and appropriately stimulating learning environment it helps their brains develop... it seems to be the case for people of all ages as well.

And what an incredible creation our God has given us to learn in, as you were saying Jeff, it is so expansive that we do not know it's end point (if there is one). When you begin to explore, the more you look and investigate the more you find. It is quite mind boggling how huge some of the planets out there are, with new discoveries all the time. Yet in the opposite direction how infinitesimally tiny the microscopic world is and there seems to be constant new discoveries there as well.

I think our marvelous God has shown us a bit of Himself in this creation, the heavens are His artistic pallet that He paints glorious vistas on. And this earth, so very different from all the other planets that we have peeked at... we have the majesty of towering mountain ranges and the delicate beauty of thousands of varieties of flowers. Watching a bird in flight, a cheetah sprite after it's prey, a huge whale breach, etc... all these things are for our delight and to give us that enriched environment to experience this life in.

Then there is the relationships we develop... love is an intense thing, God has given in the hearts of parents an incredible love for their child, that they are willing to go without sleep for several months in order to care for them through the night  ;)

But I can not find enough ways to express how incomprehensibly wonderful our great God is to us, so here is Psalms 8 where David gives his view.

Psa 8:1-9  To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (ESV)
« Last Edit: November 13, 2015, 04:16:13 PM by Kat »
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lilitalienboi16

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2015, 04:15:18 PM »

What's even more mind boggling is that it doesn't stop at the macroscopic, that is, what your eyes can see. There is a whole microscopic world inside and around us. From our individual organelle bound cells to the unicelleular prokaryotic lifeforms that permeate our insides and the world around us, to the unicellular and multicellular fungal life forms, and archea, and... etc... and then beneath it all the intricate workings of molecular substances like proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleaic acids, the likes of which without no singal celled organism, let alone multicellular ones, could exist. And yet even beneath that exist the fundamental units of matter by which the singular addition of a proton completelt alters its behavior to give us the vast array of periodic elements which make up those life giving molecular substances, even air and water. And beneath that... well who knows how small things get but I am in absolute awe of this creation. We look up and outward and things appear infinitly large and yet we look down and inwardly and things appear to get infinitely small. How can this be?

Like you said Kat, it speaks to us about God's own nature, that He is so large and far off so that not even the heavens of the heavens can contain him and then he is so near, The Son of mankind, who knows the very number of hairs on our head! Wow. Its as if He is both Father and Son, both near and far, both containable and incontainable.

He is certainly worthy of our admiration and praise but even moreso of our love in that He loved us first for as david said, who is man that you are mindful of him?

God bless,
Alex
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1 Cor 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Arion

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 09:46:35 AM »

Knowing all these things it's amazing to me that so many doctors and scientists are atheist's or agnostic.  People of science seeing the intricacies should know and perceive that there is an intelligent design to the creation.  Their outlook of evolution is like taking a box of watch parts and throwing them up into the air and what lands on the ground is a fully assembled and functioning wind up pocket watch.  Truly the fool has said in his heart 'there is no God'.   
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2015, 02:53:34 PM »

To be fair, their outlook on evolution is not at all like you've described. 

There may be a lot of reasons why so many scientists are atheists.  To me, it boils down to one:  they know of no God which hasn't been presented to them by priests, theologians, Sunday School teachers, and traditions.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 03:02:21 PM by Dave in Tenn »
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

Jeff

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 01:15:27 AM »

I haven't researched this at all so it's really just an opinion based on personal experience.

Before bible-truths.com my experience with God was very tied to my emotions.  My supposed connection with Him was similar to what Charismatic churches express.

Since bible-truths.com I've found that I've needed less faith.  The Truth has to some extent replaced it.

I suspect that having a great deal of insight and knowledge creates a more intellectual experience and reduces the emotional connection.  I don't mean to say that this is predominant or universally true, it just makes sense to me.

But I think it might explain the logic of science.  We certainly know so little, but we also know a great deal about our mortal existence and the universe in which we live, and I think that provides a measure of confidence which reduces the need for faith. I think this applies to our relationship with God as well.  It's difficult for me to imagine myself as a doubting Thomas, but in my church days I was certainly insecure, and inappropriately fearful of my God who burned His children in hell.  Knowing - knowledge - truth - removes that fear.  FDR said "The only thing to fear is fear itself."  I have a much different fear of God now than the fear I had when I was in the church.  In the church it was actual fear, but now it's awe, respect, reverence, and obedience.

Anyway, the point to this is that science is very secure in its understanding of the universe, medicine, psychology, but since they don't know everything, new discoveries are exciting and emotional, as its added to existing knowledge.

Our connection to God is similar, in that we have this understanding that is likely uncommon, and it provides us with security, and yet we don't know everything, so every new understanding is going to be exciting and emotional as we add it to our existing understanding.

Science believes in science, and the typical difference between our beliefs is that in knowing our Creator, we also understand that science is something He's given us - it's part of His creation.

There are notable scientists who believed in God, Pascal, Galileo, Mendel, but it's more common that science is going to be drawn to what makes the most sense, as are we, and knowledge reduces the need for faith.  So their need for God is diminished, simply because God hasn't given them a different faith.

We're so blessed to have been given a knowledge of God, through His His leading us to the work that Ray has done, and we have the added understanding of science from a completely different perspective.  Scientists have science, but we have God and science.  I think that's significant because it seems as though the belief in God is always pitted against science, which with our understanding, doesn't make sense anymore.

Any scientist who believes in God only does so by God's will, and those who don't, also do not by God's will.

Sometimes I picture in my mind, scientists coming before God after the ages, and the awe that they'll feel, and (eventually) the smile they'll have on their face, as it all comes together for them. :)
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Dave in Tenn

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2015, 04:46:22 AM »

...the smile they'll have on their face, as it all comes together for them. :)

And for us as well, Jeff.  None of us knows as we ought.  We'll get there, though.  Even me. 
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Heb 10:32  But you must continue to remember those earlier days, how after you were enlightened you endured a hard and painful struggle.

lilitalienboi16

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 12:56:59 PM »

Pretty good post Jeff. I'd only add that if the ressurected God stood before me, I too would fall to my knees and say, "My Lord and My God." It would be pretty emotional most likely :D, and while truth is a big reassurance to those of us whose eyes have not yet seen (but believe), faith is a huge part the winning of our souls in moments where every natural (scientific) reasoning would declare all hope is lost. Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God. With eyes to see and ears to hear though, it can be interesting to follow as we watch time and time again God's Word vindicated (though He certainly needs no vindication).

Dave, true enough, we see dimly through a murky glass now but then face to face.

His return can't come soon enough!

« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 01:04:23 PM by lilitalienboi16 »
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1 Cor 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."

Kat

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 02:06:41 PM »

I haven't researched this at all so it's really just an opinion based on personal experience.

Before bible-truths.com my experience with God was very tied to my emotions.  My supposed connection with Him was similar to what Charismatic churches express.

Since bible-truths.com I've found that I've needed less faith.  The Truth has to some extent replaced it.

I suspect that having a great deal of insight and knowledge creates a more intellectual experience and reduces the emotional connection.  I don't mean to say that this is predominant or universally true, it just makes sense to me.

But I think it might explain the logic of science.  We certainly know so little, but we also know a great deal about our mortal existence and the universe in which we live, and I think that provides a measure of confidence which reduces the need for faith. I think this applies to our relationship with God as well.  It's difficult for me to imagine myself as a doubting Thomas, but in my church days I was certainly insecure, and inappropriately fearful of my God who burned His children in hell.  Knowing - knowledge - truth - removes that fear.  FDR said "The only thing to fear is fear itself."  I have a much different fear of God now than the fear I had when I was in the church.  In the church it was actual fear, but now it's awe, respect, reverence, and obedience.

Anyway, the point to this is that science is very secure in its understanding of the universe, medicine, psychology, but since they don't know everything, new discoveries are exciting and emotional, as its added to existing knowledge.

Our connection to God is similar, in that we have this understanding that is likely uncommon, and it provides us with security, and yet we don't know everything, so every new understanding is going to be exciting and emotional as we add it to our existing understanding.

Science believes in science, and the typical difference between our beliefs is that in knowing our Creator, we also understand that science is something He's given us - it's part of His creation.

There are notable scientists who believed in God, Pascal, Galileo, Mendel, but it's more common that science is going to be drawn to what makes the most sense, as are we, and knowledge reduces the need for faith.  So their need for God is diminished, simply because God hasn't given them a different faith.

We're so blessed to have been given a knowledge of God, through His His leading us to the work that Ray has done, and we have the added understanding of science from a completely different perspective.  Scientists have science, but we have God and science.  I think that's significant because it seems as though the belief in God is always pitted against science, which with our understanding, doesn't make sense anymore.

Any scientist who believes in God only does so by God's will, and those who don't, also do not by God's will.

Sometimes I picture in my mind, scientists coming before God after the ages, and the awe that they'll feel, and (eventually) the smile they'll have on their face, as it all comes together for them. :)

Hi Jeff, I think to scientists their faith (which is belief in something) comes through what they can prove from the physical world, anything beyond the physical/literal is just not acceptable as real knowledge to them. Now it is just obvious that they are actually proving what the Bible already says many times, but they don't see it that way.

The faith that we - believers have, is not what is found in Christendom... they believe you have to gain your faith in God by determination of your free will and their proof of this is when they have good works, which is not even a spiritual thing, but it's THEIR good works that others can see. But real faith is a very important aspect of our walk with God.

1John 5:4  For whatever is born (begotten CLV, YLT) of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

And where does this "faith" come from? It's certainly not 'our' faith by which we overcome the lusts of the flesh, certainly not, it is given to us when and by Christ being within.

Eph 2:8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
v. 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Rev 14:12  Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.

God gives us faith and it's the faith OF Jesus, not our own faith, so we can overcome. It's all Jesus Christ - the Comforter - Holy Spirit doing it in us, that's what makes the difference for those going through the narrow gate now.

1Cor 1:30  But God has brought you into union with Christ Jesus, and God has made Christ to be our wisdom. By Him we are put right with God; we become God's holy people and are set free.
v. 31  So then, as the scripture says, "Whoever wants to boast must boast of what the Lord has done."

Here are a couple places where Ray spoke on this in an email and a Bible study, just because it's always good to review these things.

http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php?topic=2910.0 -------------------------------

"Faith" is not a "Bible" word, or a "religious" word: it is a WORD, and it has a meaning.  Here is a definition of faith from my American Heritge College Dictionary:  "faith--1 CONFIDENT BELIEF in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.  2. BELIEF that does not REST ON LOGICAL PROOF OR MATERIAL EVIDENCE....." etc.

Those are very good definitions of faith, but as one can clearly and instantly see these definitions go totally contrary to the way that the King James defines faith in Heb. 11:2, "Now faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen." Hogwash. Faith is the diametric opposite of "evidence and substance."  When one possesses absolute "substance and evidence" regarding any matter, the last thing on earth such a person needs is "faith!"
 
Just days ago I heard Rod Parsley quote that definition of faith from the King James Bible. No wonder they have not a clue as to anything SPIRITUAL.


http://forums.bible-truths.com/index.php/topic,9742.msg82512.html#msg82512 ---

               “BY GRACE ARE YE SAVED THROUGH FAITH”

In Ephesians 2, here Paul puts it all together for us.
v
Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that (‘this’ would be a better word)... 

Now I‘ve always said ‘that,’ that being the faith. That that faith is not your own it’s the gift of God. But I think it is talking about ‘this’ or ‘these.’

v. 8  For by grace are ye saved through faith…

‘This’ grace and ‘this’ faith, both of them, not just the one, but both of them.     

v. 8 … not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
v. 9  Not of works…

Here it is, here we get to bring it on down. It’s “not of works,” it’s of FAITH. But it’s not your own faith, it’s this gift of God faith and this gift of God grace. That’s how you're saved, not by your works. Not by works, because that is something you do. This faith and this grace, it’s not yours, it comes from God. It a gift, that’s not yours, it’s God’s, but He gives it to you. That’s what is going to save you, not your own works. Your own works will not save you, it takes this gift of grace, gratuitous, free, favor, love from God and the faith of God as a gift to you. That’s going to save you, not your good works, lest you boast. 

v. 9  …lest any man should boast.

Then you would say, ‘well I earned it, I did it, I deserve it, I did it and I earned it.’ It’s not of works. Now get the context here. Sometimes we read these verses and we don’t put them all together in one thought, in one sentence. This grace and this faith of God is given to you as a gift and that is what is going to save you, not your own works.

v. 10  For we are HIS workmanship…

Now if you read that, for WE are His workmanship, well then you lost it. No no no, you’ve got to know how to put the emphasis on the right words. 

From Eph. 2:8-10, it’s grace and faith from GOD, a gift from GOD, not of yourself, from GOD, that saves you. Not your works, this gift is from GOD, for we are HIS workmanship… 

What kind of workmanship?

v. 10  …created in Christ Jesus unto good works…

Now are good works absolutely essential to this thing called salvation? Absolutely, you just have to get it straight in your mind. It’s not your faith, it’s Christ’s faith, it’s God’s faith. It’s not your grace, it’s God’s grace. It’s not your works, it’s GOD’S works in you. Do you see it? It’s God’s works in you.

v. 10  …which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

This is ordained, it’s got to be. This is not like, ‘well it’s nice if you have some, but it’s okay if you don’t, because you’re saved by faith alone.’ No, this is essential. Do you see how he brings faith and works together? They are both essential, they just come from God.
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mercy, peace and love
Kat
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 02:08:52 PM by Kat »
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Jeff

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 03:45:49 PM »

And for us as well, Jeff.  None of us knows as we ought.  We'll get there, though.  Even me.

Yes. It goes without saying. ;)
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Jeff

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 03:50:50 PM »

Kat,

You said everything that I neglected to.

Maybe what I wrote sounded like bragging, but it wasn't that. It had more to do with awe than anything else.

It also just occurred to me that maybe the lack of emotion correlates with being on megadoses of antidepressants and antianxiety medication....I'm sure that being in the presence of God that won't be the case.

:)

« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 03:57:01 PM by Jeff »
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Kat

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 06:33:57 PM »


Hi Jeff, that's what it's all about here, we give our different perspectives to come to a better understanding on something. We just can't get everything about a subject down in just one post, that's how these threads are so helpful, we have all these minds coming together to discuss these things. I don't think it's bragging to give your personal experience about something, it can help us see where you're coming from.

mercy, peace and love
Kat
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Jeff

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Re: God's Way
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2015, 12:06:47 AM »


Hi Jeff, that's what it's all about here, we give our different perspectives to come to a better understanding on something. We just can't get everything about a subject down in just one post, that's how these threads are so helpful, we have all these minds coming together to discuss these things. I don't think it's bragging to give your personal experience about something, it can help us see where you're coming from.

mercy, peace and love
Kat


 :) :) :) :) :) :) :)
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