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Author Topic: A question of NT emphasis  (Read 14044 times)

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skydreamers

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2007, 11:04:44 PM »

Hi Tom,



Firstly I want to say





It's always a joy to see more people seeking for the truth!

I sympathize with your struggles.  I personally think that a lot of words used in scripture have both negative and positive sides to them.  And one or the other is emphasized more depending on where we are at.  Right now, you are struggling to see the positive but likely from years of these words being used for the purpose of fear on you, it has left a dark "veil" over your eyes.  Your heart clearly shows you desire to know the truth, and as God is faithful, and as He is the one who has set you on this path and put these questions inside you, He will give you the answers in due time.

I also have come to think that God has purposely made the scriptures a mystery to understand, because if it were simple and physically logical, than we would give our carnal minds credit for understanding.  When we see the truths so clearly and simply, it is because supernaturally God has given us sight (and understanding).  Then we truly exclaim...."How did I not see this before?"  And we know it is because God's holy spirit has led us to the truth, and not because we somehow figured it out with our own power.  But at the same time, God bids us to reason with Him, and to dig for his treasures as if they were silver or God.  If they were easily accessible on a surface reading.....than why would we even have to dig??

You have done much digging already...and I sense God is preparing to give you the answers you are seeking.

Also, there is the danger of some Universalists thinking that God is going to deal lightly with sin....I've heard of people who think Universalism is just an excuse for "greasy grace" allowing them to live perverted lives.  God must make it extremely apparent to our carnal minds that we "reap what we sow" and that He certainly is a God of justice. 

It is the nature of the beast to take advantage on a  parent that treads too lightly and softly when it comes to discipline. 

And God is a passionate God, who is jealous for us.  He will go to extremes that our minds can't even comprehend to gather the one sheep that has gone astray.  99 is just not enough for Him, who needs ALL of His children reconciled to Him, else He simply would not be complete. 

But there is much evidence that after all this passionate "wrath" at the unrighteousness and sin of the world, the Lord will gather us and speak tenderly.  The pursuing of our hearts by God, the Husband that never gives up going after His whoring wife, is a kind of Love that NO ONE will ultimately be able to resist.  Which of us is not sincerely, in our deepest depths, desiring for such a Love?  When God reveals the truth of this kind of Love for us, then truly every knee will bow in awe.

Hosea 2:5-13
5  For their mother has played the whore; she who conceived them has acted shamefully. For she said, 'I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.'

6  Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns, and I will build a wall against her, so that she cannot find her paths.

7  She shall pursue her lovers but not overtake them, and she shall seek them but shall not find them. Then she shall say, 'I will go and return to my first husband, for it was better for me then than now.'
8  And she did not know that it was I who gave her the grain, the wine, and the oil, and who lavished on her silver and gold, which they used for Baal.

So then we have God's anger as He by necessity must  punish....


9  Therefore I will take back my grain in its time, and my wine in its season, and I will take away my wool and my flax, which were to cover her nakedness.

10  Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.

11  And I will put an end to all her mirth, her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her appointed feasts.

12  And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees, of which she said, 'These are my wages, which my lovers have given me.' I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the field shall devour them.

13  And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD.


But is this where it ends?  Is this the only way God deals with his creatures, and that's it?  Should the emphasis remain here?  I don't believe so, because here is what follows immediately after...

Hosea 2:14-23
14  "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.

15  And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16  "And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.'

17  For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.

18  And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety.

19  And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy.

20  I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

21  "And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD, I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth,

22  and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel,

23  and I will sow her for myself in the land. And I will have mercy on No Mercy, and I will say to Not My People, 'You are my people'; and he shall say, 'You are my God.'"


A child who receives senseless beatings from a father, will recoil in fear at words of anger.  But a child who knows and trusts that all discipline and punishment is coming from the heart of LOVE itself, will know that these things are for good, and though they hear the words of anger, they will in their hearts hear also the words of Love that "speaks tenderly" in the aftermath of punishment. 

For those of us, who God has given these precious truths to, though we acknowledge the justice judgments of God, our emphasis lies in the redeeming Love of not only a Father, but a Husband who is not fashioning for himself a maidservant, but a BRIDE.  A bride, nonetheless, who spent an age of time pursuing other lovers.  Yet our Husband does not give up but endlessly seduces and courts His love.  Our God does not divorce His bride!

Matthew 19:7-8
7  They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?"

8  He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.


Tom, if I may kindly say, I believe the "emphasis" you speak of is filtered yet through the carnal mind that yet cannot embrace the unfailing Love of our Father.  And if so, that's okay...it is where God has you right now, but clearly He is bringing you through a process to show you greater things, and speak to you with spiritual words of comfort.

All the theological exegesis in the world will not reveal to you the simple and profound Love of a Father, Husband, Brother, Mother, Lover and Friend who does not have a fickle love as we do. 

The seeking of God's true heart of Love is your answer to all things.

May God grant you wisdom in your studies, and I pray you find safety in His Love, sooner than later :) ;)

All peace and love to you, in Christ,
Diana


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Tom

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2007, 11:33:27 PM »

Hi Diana,

Comforting words indeed!

Perhaps you are right.  At the end of the day all my questions may yet be resolved in a deeper revelation of the Father's love.  If this be so then I'm confident that will come.

I acknowledge that I'm passing through a season of the inward workings of His love, and it is evident to me that due to a variety of early and not so early life experiences, entirely resting in and trusting His love has always been a struggle for me.

I have a son who took his life at age 30, after spending several years in drugs and crime, yet having been raised in Church.  I now recognize the Babylonian institutions of man were an unhealthy place to raise my family and conduct my ministry, but thanks to His grace and revelation we have all come out.  Perhaps coming out and having the vestiges of it completely removed from us are still two different things.  I know I long to have an absolute certainty that my son is where I believe he will be...safe in the arms of Christ, free from all bondage, argument, and rebellion.

To be very honest with you, while the apparent emphases of the NT writers, when addressing the issue of final judgments, seems entirely lacking in hope, when I look up into the face of Christ all I can see is mercy these days.  While I am not ready to say that I completely embrace the UR position, I can say that I simply cannot imagine the visions of Mary K Baxter to be of God.  I have long felt that if God anticipated that even one soul would love and serve Him while believing He was going to place the majority of humanity in an endless torment of Hell, that such anticipation would be in complete failure of recognition that man makes choices based on the perceived worthiness of the object believed in. 

While I know that many appear to have come to faith as a result of a fear of Hell, in the end, and when interogated in more depth, I believe those who maintain a valid walk with Him do so far more out of a belief that He is good and loving, than because they are afraid of going to Hell.  It has troubled me to hear the theological pontifications of those who maintain the endless Hell doctrine, when asked how they relate that to what they understand of the love of God, that their answer is that what they cannot conceive or imagine here will be resolved when they have the full mind of Christ in eternity.  In other words, they anticipate being able to comprehend the magnitude of His endless judgments on mankind as being a good thing, and in no way a violation of His goodness and love, once their carnal mind has been given full light and seen the fullness of justice.  Somehow that has never set well with me.  They would say the same thing to me that you have...I.e. when I have more revelation I will see how His justice is not in violation of His love, and an endless Hell will be appropriate in light of His rejected provision.

I guess we'll see how God works, in terms of resolving these matters in my mind, but while I am inclined towards the UR position I am still not settled there.

One friend of mine envisions the conclusion of these matters in the annihilationist position.  I agree it has some merit, but is much more difficult to see in scripture.

Thanks again for your explanation.


Seeking His light...
Tom
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Tom

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2007, 11:41:51 PM »

Diana,

In my previous reply I didn't want to detract from my appreciation for your comments, but I realized I would like to return to my original question of the forum, and ask you once again - "As you look over the NT writers, as they directly address the issue of future judgments, do you see them approaching this theme with optimism about the outcomes of those who leave this life unsettled with Christ, and if so where, if not, why do you think they don't?"

Thank you again!

Tom
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Kat

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2007, 11:49:40 PM »

Hi Tom,

I think it is this age that we are in, that is a time of darkness, when the knowledge of the truth is a mystery to most.

Mar 4:11  And He said to them, To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God. But to those outside, all these things are given in parables
v. 12  so that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand;

I believe this age is for the purpose for mankind to have an experience of learning good and evil.  All are given this experience to learn from it, so all will have a knowledge of evil.  
God has not given this comprehension to most, I think this is one of the mysteries that only a very few come the realize.  

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens:it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

So it is God's plan and purpose for mankind to have a wicked heart, too weak to resist tempation.

Jer 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

Mar 14:38  Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

And after this age, is the age when Christ will rule with righteousness.  And all will be raised to judgment.  This judgment from which so many have wrongly determined to be eternal, will be to purge and cleanse the wickedness out of mankind.

Rom 14:12  So then each one of us will give account concerning himself to God.

Isa 47:14  Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame; there shall not be a coal to warm them; nor fire, to sit before it.

Heb 12:29  for our God is a consuming fire.

Jer 23:29  Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?

So the way I see it, you have God/His word as a fire that burns the evil out of mankind, in judgment.  I can understand that the heat of the correction will be tormenting to many, if not most.  
But the outcome will produce righteouness.  All will then learn the truth.  All will have this life experience of this age of darkness, to compare and appreciate the knowledge of the truth.

Isa 11:9  They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Hab 2:14  For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

Isa 26:9  My soul yearns for you in the night; my spirit within me earnestly seeks you. For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
I hope this is helpful  :)

mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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pylady

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2007, 12:30:47 AM »

Hi Tom,

Welcome to the forum! 

If I understand your question correctly you wonder why the Scriptures don't make it clearer to mankind that God's plan is to bring salvation to all.  You feel that the Scriptures emphasize the negative side of judgment rather than the positive outcome.

Perhaps part of the answer is that the majority of mankind was not meant to understand God's plan in this age.  When the disciples questioned Jesus as to why He spoke in parables Jesus told them in Matt 13:11   "Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom but to them it is not given."

This age is for the gathering of the elect who receive God's spirit to understand these mysteries.  Eph 1:9  "He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him."  The "us" are the elect, who receive God's spirit to open their eyes to the truth written in His word.  To those whose eyes have been open the words of Scripture are not negative, but full of mercy and love for a glorious future for all mankind - being made into His image!

In Ray's LOF series, Part 4, I believe, Ray brings out that Jesus spoke to the masses in parables that they couldn't understand because He did not want them to understand, repent, be converted, healed and saved AT THAT TIME!

Most of humanity will be kept in the dark, and will literally see God's judgments as darkness untill God reveals His will to them after they die and are resurrected to judgment.

Anyway, I don't know if I added anything here, but just what came to my mind reading your questions.

Keep reading and keep questioning.  Questions make us all think.  Thanks for the questions.

With Christian love,

        Cindy
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Joey Porter

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2007, 12:35:42 AM »

I have been carefully studying the theme of Universal Reconciliation, both in L. Ray Smith's writings, and Gary Amirault's writings, as well as many others, and I have a few questions for those who write here.  I'll preface my comments with saying this, while I have some reservations on this theme, my questions are not borne of some desire to argue, debate, or wrangle with anyone.  They are serious and genuine questions.  I hope they will be received as such.  I'm new here...

I've carefully considered all the word studies surrounding Olam, Aionios, judgment, the lake of fire, and Gehenna, and I'm concerned with a few conclusions, but my mind is not set in stone.  Having studied and taught the original languages has given me a unique opportunity to research these words, and in many cases I'm very supportive of the insights I see in the UR writings, but in some cases I wrestle with whether word meanings have been a bit stretched to support emphases I don't see clearly referenced in the scriptures.

While I too question the "endless" nature of future judgments, based on these words and themes, where I'm unsettled is the "apparent emphasis" of both OT and NT scriptures as relates to these themes.

I understand that fire is often symbolic of purification, and judgment often leads to growth and maturity, but it seems that saying these two themes "always" lead in these directions seems to miss the emphasis in scripture.

When both OT and NT writers write of these themes, if they clearly had a positive and hope filled view of the ages to come, why do they, when discussing judgment, not express their optimism towards positive and redemptive outcomes?  In other words, it seems they consistently miss their logical opportunities to present a salvational view of the coming ages, in the sense of describing "how" the judgments and fires will bring forth a saved company of redeemed ones.  Why do you think they fail to "clearly" discuss such an optimistic viewpoint?

If the writers of scripture truly believed that souls would be redeemed through the judgment process, why don't we see them coming right out and saying this?  Why don't we see them emphasizing or describing anyone having come through the fires of judgment and out the other side saved and praising God?

Why does it appear that their emphasis is on the fearfulness of judgments, the awesomeness of His holiness confronting the sinful rejection of man, rather than emphasizing the hope of those who leave this life unsaved being saved through the process of judgment?  Why do they seem to leave an impression of the finality of man's decisions towards rejection of Christ in this life?  If they didn't think of these decisions as indeed "final" why do you think they left the impression that they did?

I'd love to get this resolved in my mind, but I'm genuinely stuck at this point.

I'd appreciate knowing how some of you have worked through this issue of "emphasis."

Thanks!
Tom

Hi Tom.

You are asking for examples of NT writings that can show further hope for the salvation of all men.  But there is something important to remember.  We can also use types and shadows in the OT to reveal to us the truths of God's plan for mankind.  I firmly believe that everything, every minute detail in the OT (and NT for that matter), has a spiritual meaning that can give us deeper understanding of God's Kingdom.

The best OT type I have seen for the salvation of all men is the story of Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37-50).  I'm sure you are probably familiar with the story, but pay particular attention to the way in which Joseph treated his brothers, who had wronged him, toward the end of Genesis.  

In Joseph, there are many types and shadows of Christ.  And in the story of the enmity between him and his brothers, there are many types and shadows of how God will deal with those who persecute Him and those who hold to His words.

Did Joseph's brothers go through torment?  You bet they did.  But when they found themselves in a position to rely on Joseph for food, and for mercy, how did he treat them?

Remember Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not seeing and understanding that the scriptures (which at that time would have been our current Old Testament) testified of Him. (John 5:39)  

Even Jesus' disciples were completely blind and ignorant of what the scriptures meant, even while they went about with Him preaching the gospel of the kingdom!  (Luke 24:25-27)

You ask, ''If the writers of scripture truly believed that souls would be redeemed through the judgment process, why don't we see them coming right out and saying this?''

The answer to that is because God does not want to make that obvious.  Think about it - why didn't the OT prophecies simply state "There will be a man who will be crucified on a cross and raised on the third day for the sins of the world?"  

Because that is not the way God has chosen to reveal His Truths to mankind.  He keeps His Truths hidden.  Jesus spoke in parables to hide the truth from people - not for any other reason.  

That is why we have supposedly over 20,000 denominations of Christianity.  Because the Truth is hidden from the masses, and carnal man, reading the scriptures with his carnal mind, can see just about anything he wants to see in the bible.  But this is the way in which God has chosen to work.  (Luke 12:51)

So, if you're looking for a passage or a grouping of passages that make the truth of the salvation of all men obvioius, you will not find any.  But that's where faith comes into play.

The sole fact alone that such faulty translations for words such as "sheol," "hades," and "gehenna" are casually accepted and believed by so many millions, including theologians and pastors, should be a clear sign that there is something wrong with the "eternal hell" doctrine.

I am more than certain that if you keep seeking and searching this out, there will come a time when you have no doubts about Christ's validity as the Savior of all mankind.   :)

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skydreamers

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2007, 01:02:12 AM »

Hi Tom,

Quote
I have a son who took his life at age 30, after spending several years in drugs and crime, yet having been raised in Church

My deepest sympathies go out to you.  I see where your concerns are rooted, and my prayers will be with you that you will find the peace you need concerning this.

I do know this:

Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I apologize for seemingly sideskirting your original question about NT writers.  I do believe there was optimism among the NT writers regarding future judgments, but perhaps it is not as straightforward as we would expect.

I consider these things:

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13  But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.
14  For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
15  For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
16  For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17  Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.
18  Therefore encourage one another with these words.


There is a conitinual expresssion that our HOPE is the resurrection:

1 Peter 1:3-5
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4  to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
5  who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Paul exclaims:

Acts 23:6
6   I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!

And Peter says:

1 Peter 1:3
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

Here are some scriptures that show the importance of our hope in the fact that we will all be resurrected:

1 Corinthians 15:16-23
16  For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17  And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18  Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20  But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21  For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23  But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24  Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.


So each man in his order.  There is yet an end coming.  What is this end?  I refer you to Ray's article:  http://bible-truths.com/lake4.html

(Scroll about a third of the way down and start reading from the heading:

THE THREE FESTIVALS AND THE SALVATION OF ALL)


Now some may say, this is hope of the resurrection belongs to only those "in Christ".  Yet the focus of Paul's hope is in "the resurrection", and we know that there is a resurrection of the just and unjust.

Acts 24:15
15  And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

What are the unjust resurrected to?

Daniel 12:2
2  From those sleeping in the soil of the ground many shall awake, these to eonian life and these to reproach for eonian repulsion"(aversion, abhorrence)

Certainly there will be a time of abhorring the sins committed once we realize the full truth.

John 5:28-29
28  "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,
29  and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.


Since you have already studied out what "judgment" is then surely you believe the scripture when it says:

Isaiah 26:9
For when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

Do you agree then that your son surely will be resurrected?  And if so, then the only question that remains is in which resurrection will he find himself.  From what you say, it may seem that he will be in that resurrection to judgment.  But from the scripture in Isaiah we see that this will lead to him LEARNING RIGHTEOUSNESS!

Matthew 12:18-21
18  "Behold My Child whom I have chosen; My Beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased. I will put My Spirit on Him, and He shall declare judgment to the nations.
19  He shall not strive, nor cry, nor shall any one hear His voice in the streets.
20  He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not quench a smoking wick, until He sends out judgment TO VICTORY.
21  And in His name the nations shall trust."


And what about this?

Matthew 12:41-42
41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
42  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.


The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment yet they repented?  Why is that?

Because:

Hebrews 11:13
13  These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

Hebrews 11:39-40
39  And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,
40  because God had provided something better for us, so that APART FROM US they should not be made perfect.


Your son shall be made perfect, but not apart from the Elect, whoever they may be.  The Elect will have a hand in teaching the inhabitants of the earth righteousness.  You and I may become the teachers, or we may be the ones yet who have to learn in the resurrection to judgment.  You may be teaching your son, or you may come up with him and learn along side him. 

This is what I believe the NT teaches, and what greater hope and optimism is there, than that all the earth will learn righteousness and therefore be with God in His intimate family.

Revelation 15:4
4  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for ALL NATIONS shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

Revelation 22:1-3
1  Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2  through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3  No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.



Revelation 22:17
17  The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

All our hope lies in the resurrection.  If not for that, than all will perish, good and bad alike.

I hope you will find some comfort in these scriptures.

May God grant you peace,

Diana 











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jER

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2007, 01:25:00 AM »

First comes the Physical (knowledge), than the Spiritual (understanding)...

"Faith is not merely believing God can, it's knowing that He Will"

All Will come to the knowledge of the truth in (His) time.
And, Welcome Tom - In His Love and ours!

- jER

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Tom

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2007, 01:59:03 AM »

To each of you,

Outstanding replies!  The replies of true love and compassion.  All are received as such!!

I know that Jesus veiled His truths to those who were not yet ready to receive them.  Perhaps this is so for me as well.  I am one who has been being trained to move from a cerebral approach to things to a spirit approach, and as such I believe His process in this direction is at work within me.

As I mentioned...I do not consider myself to "know" but to be one "seeking to know." 

Many of the scriptures quoted, especially by Diana, have a powerful impact, when seen together.  I want to see beyond that which the natural mind can see, and in some areas of my walk I know I do.  I admit that there are some aspects of the things Ray and each of you speak that seem a bit beyond my reach to apprehend and accept, but, as I said before, when my spirit looks into His face I believe I see what my mind is still trying to catch up with...I.e. an amazing love and grace, able to overcome all obstacles.  Perhaps with more time, prayer, study, and light, I will settle that what I think my spirit sees is indeed the truth. 

Thanks to each of you for your caring words and patience with my struggles.

Tom
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Deborah-Leigh

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #29 on: June 25, 2007, 03:58:14 PM »

Tom

Please accept my deep condolances for the wound you carry for the loss of your son. Non can know or comprehend what such pain this means unless you have endured and suffered the same. Ray lost his son. My husband lost his son. I was widowed in my twenties. I know of one other member here in the Forum who also lost a son in parallel circumstances that you briefly describe. Tom...you are not alone!

I want to say to you than non can do the work for you that the Lord has delegated you to do. Non can do the walk we have to walk. Of course you know this. I do not mean to trivialise your maturity or place where you are right now in your search.

Paul would have gladly traded places for his flock for them to know Christ. He could not do that but he suffered for his yearning that they come to comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God.

You are looking at emphasis. There is a section in Rays teachings that touch on Absolute v/s Relative in Rays paper on this link : http://bible-truths.com/kennedy2.htm It has some bearing on your "emphasis" that we are all pointing you towards cracking! ;D

Did you read the links I suggested already? You speak of understanding the concept of eternal with reservation? Why? Perhaps you have to read each line again and discern where and when you spirit rebels or recoils or simply refuses to accept and then....nail it! Free will is a myth. Have you grasped that concept fully. Hell is pagan. You seem okay with that.

Also the bible does not go beyond what will happen when God is all in all!....Why should it? We have still much to learn to just get comfortable with the basics! :D

We have to get firmly in the saddle of Gods Sovereignty, Myth of mans Free will, we have to disengage from laws and get comfortable with Divine influences on our hearts and THEN....MAYBE...we can expect to see and know more and be ready! You say you have read Ray's materials....yet you freely acknowledge you are not in complete affirmation of what you have read. Now that is a good place to start by getting the bigger picture first and then return to nettles that may brush out within the scope of wider vision and deeper understanding. ALL THIS is from GOD! He knows exactly where you are and why and when it will change!

John 16 : 12 I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.

The above words apply to all of us. We first have to come to be able to "bear" the truth the Christ can show us, and then we have to take that truth upon ourselves and to grasp it! For me that is a life time process! :) :D and before any of that can happen we have to repent. That too is a gift from God.

Ray talks about this in his audios with the clarity and message of wisdom that only God can inspire.

Peace be to you

Arcturus :)

 
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Tom

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #30 on: June 25, 2007, 06:58:40 PM »

Arcturus,

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.  Received!

Quote
You are looking at emphasis. There is a section in Rays teachings that touch on Absolute v/s Relative in Rays paper on this link : http://bible-truths.com/kennedy2.htm It has some bearing on your "emphasis" that we are all pointing you towards cracking!

In reading over Ray's approach to Calvinism, plus the UR position, I did indeed find it a fascinating approach.  It has the feeling of rounding out Calvin's teaching.  Of course Calvin was not UR, so his approach was to see God sovereignly choosing some, and passing over the rest (off to Hell with them...ouch!).  His approach, especially as articulated by RC Sproul, has always made a "measure" of sense to me, and made it difficult for me to be dogmatic about the "Armenian" approach.  I have tended to land on it with my own mixture of both these brothers.  The way I taught my bible college students, was to say that neither Calvin or Armenius had it right.  Calvin was too deterministic in his approach to God's sovereignty, and Armenius was too man's will oriented, in his approach.  I taught my students that while man does not have "free will," he does have "genuine will."  Meaning, that while scripture implies that man's will does become involved with God's choices, his will is not sufficiently free, apart from God's divine enablings through grace, to respond to His call, so with the aid of His Spirit man's will is given that which it needs to finally respond and receive the faith and exercise it towards salvation.

I was aware that Ray opposed even this approach that I took, and his approach makes complete sense, since he sees UR, whereas Calvin didn't.  If Christ does all the choosing as to the "when" of a person's salvation (I.e. prior to the 1st resurrection, or prior to the 2nd resurrection) then of course we can take Calvin's perspective to the hilt.  But, if Ray is incorrect in UR perspective, then, from my point of view, Calvin's approach is beyond hideous and therefore unacceptable.

Of course, I hope Ray has it right, and I guess, in recent months, I have tended to land in the place of "not knowing."  I haven't landed in a place of rejection for UR, but trying to rearrange all the puzzle pieces I have been taught and taught, over the years, and settle in a UR place has not been easy for me.  I think my spirit takes to it, but my mind is weary from all the analysis and re-analysis.  Little by little I am returning to these matters, but somewhat reluctantly.

Quote
Did you read the links I suggested already? You speak of understanding the concept of eternal with reservation?

Yes, I did read them, and I do think I comprehend word studies done around the words "eternal, forever, etc."  Fortunately I have taught both Greek and Hebrew for many years, and so have had that as a tool to evaluate Ray, and others', perspectives, surrounding those word meanings.  I suppose, because I know word studies alone are not absolutely conclusive, I have remained unsettled as to whether the approach Ray is taking to them is in fact correct.  I see the logic, and the words are clearly capable of the meanings his study has surfaced, but...because word studies are rarely conclusive, in and of themselves, I've retained some reserve about them.

When it comes to linguistic analysis in the realm of etymological meanings, I've found that while words are capable of a range of meanings, coming up with a dogmatic "This word always means this..." is often very difficult.  This is why some exegetes take these words and assign word meanings that oppose Ray's conclusions, and other exegetes take those same words and come up with the UR perspective.  If the field of linguistic analysis was simple we'd have far fewer commentaries, and word studies, floating around out there.  Then, when you add in the difficulty that ancient idioms pose for the honest exegete, you have an element that should cause any honest student pause.  Idioms are the hardest things in scripture to interpret correctly.  I've not been absolutely convinced that either side of this issue has sorted out the idiomatic meanings attached to these words and word phrases.  Year after year I would warn my students, "Listen you guys, if you think you can take your Strong's concordance, and your Dana and Mantey grammatical principles books, and arrive at pure interpretations, you can forget it.  You'll still find those who will see it differently from you, and they won't all be cracked pots."  It would frustrate them, because they all wanted to believe that once I got done teaching them Greek and Hebrew, they'd become perfect exegetes and arrive at flawless interpretations of scripture.  It was a jolt back to reality for them, for me to have to tell them it would not be that easy.  It isn't that easy.  It truly isn't.  The languages are far too malleable in the hands of the person who comes to the scriptures with preconceived conclusions.  This is the unfortunate history of biblical analysis, and theological tradition.

If Greek and Hebrew alone would resolve all interpretational issues, where would be the need for the Holy Spirit?  So, at the end of the day, and at the end of all studies, it still comes down to, "Lord Jesus, You, by Your Spirit, must be the One to speak to my spirit as to that which is right doctrine.  You alone are All Truth, and I rely more on you than my best intellect."

I would have hoped this would have resolved all these issues by now, but alas...not yet.  I continue to study, pray, and try to remain humble before others who believe "they have seen it..."  Thus, I come to this forum listening, not arguing...

I agree, that much of the historical etymology of "Hell" is pagan in its history, and has very little to do with the bible.  I've appreciated much of the UR teaching in this area.  All in all, as I've already said in previous entries here, I'm very predisposed towards believing the UR approach, because of sooo many clarified elements, but I'm not yet 100% there.

As I've said, it troubles me, that if the NT writers had such an optimistic view of the 1st and 2nd resurrections, why they then seemed to speak so negatively regarding God's judgments.  They do use plenty of fear to challenge the carnality of their readers.  They don't "appear" to have an optimistic view of 2nd resurrection potentials.  They seem to breath in finality, and despair, and dire conclusions to leaving this life unsaved.  If, when they discuss the judgments, just one of them would have said, "Listen brethren, while it is unwise to leave this life unsaved, there will be severe judgments in the next life that will cleanse your souls and bring you through to salvation, but far better that you settle matters here and now," I would not have the struggles with trusting the UR approach to things, but they don't.  They don't even hint of a second opportunity hope when discussing judgments.  One person commented here, that I was asking Jesus to spell things out, like His disciples often did when He walked the earth, and He rarely complied with those wishes, but instead, spoke to them in inigmatic parables.  I know this is His way, and it may be right at this point that I, like them, am still struggling.  If so, then only God can resolve this in me, as He later on did in them.

I've done the words studies on judgment, fire, etc., and I see how it is possible that these words do imply a possibility of process towards purification, but I suppose I continue to think they could just as easily refer to finality, and a very negative finality at that.

Arcturus, it is very obvious that your encouragements to me are genuine, and I receive them as such.  My journey is far from over, and I have learned to not accept quick answers to deep questions.  Over the years (I'm now 55) I've had many doctrinal perspectives brought across my path, and each of them came with such surety of their correctness.  I have been tossed about by every wind of doctrine, for various seasons of my life, but each time, as I return to that quiet inner place, where Christ resides, a sorting out has taken place, and truth has emerged.  I'm confident this will happen again, as relates to the UR doctrine.

I'm in great agreement with you, Ray, and others here, that our God is gracious beyond imagination, and His love is of unfathomable depth.  It would not surprise me at all to find that He will in fact save even the devil himself one day.  No greater love exists than His.

I do not see the emphasis that you and Ray and others here present, in the writings of the NT.  I just don't.  If they believed what is presented here, then they are strangely silent or hidden about it.  Yet, in many areas they are loud and clear.  I believe if you or Ray were to have writtent the NT books you would have written them with an unmistakeable UR bent, which I believe is strangely lacking in the writings of the NT.  There is sooo much more they could have said, that you all have said, that I'm drawn to one of two conclusions:

1.  Either they were told not to, by the Spirit, though they saw everything you see, or

2.  They didn't see what you see, and as a result they of course wouldn't have written as though they did.

Which of these two are the correct understanding I'm uncertain.  I know they could have been much clearer on the UR position, if they had wanted to, or been allowed to, so I'm mystified as to why they didn't, if they see it as you do.  Such truths are by no means hidden in Ray's teachings.  He couldn't be clearer, more direct, or more dogmatic, in his writings.  No one wonders where bro Ray stands on these matters.  Such is not the case with Paul's, Peter's, Jude's, and the other writers of the NT.  Even Jesus is waaaay less clear on these things than Ray is. 

Jesus' whole use of the Gehenna metaphor is so amazing, that I'm still not certain what to do with it.  Surely He knew that the whole Gehenna teaching of the Jewish Rabbi's, that came out of Babylon, and not from any OT prophets, would puzzle us one day.  Why does He align Himself with such Jewish mysticism?  I really don't know.  But, I know He knew what they believed about Gehenna, that it was an earthly location that represented a subterranean world of darkness and suffering, yet He references it over and over again.  I admit, this bothers me.  I'm well aware Gehenna is a physical location outside Jerusalem, and is used symbolically to describe the nature of earthly and temporal judgments for sin, BUT, the Jews also believed it was a metaphorical concept of the next life, and that of punishment.  I would never have thought Jesus would have used this terminology if He completely opposed the concepts the Jews had aligned with this place, but He does.  Very strange indeed.  It makes me somewhat uncomfortable with quickly dismissing the misery attached with this theme, even though I can't image my God doing such things to His creation.  It is an unclosed chapter at this point in my thinking...

If the NT writers saw more on UR than they let on, is it possible they were forbidden to say more?  If so, do we learn from their hiddenness, anything that might apply to how we are to address this issue?  Could it be that, while the themes of God's love are trumpted through UR teaching, there is just too great a danger than men and women will trifle with their salvation response in this life, figuring they will get another chance on the other side?  I know this concern is denied by many here, but I'm not as certain that this just might be a greater danger than some think.  I would not want to arrive, face to face with Jesus, only to find that He had hidden much of what is trumpeted here, because He didn't want this side of doctrine as manifested to the lost, given their inclination to independance and rebellion.  I know you, and others disagree with this concern vehemently, and I'm not saying I'm right here.  It is just a wondering...

Well Arcturus, we journey on.  I embrace what Paul said to the Ephesians:

Eph 1:15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,
Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
Eph 1:19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.

I live in these verses.  They are my life theme.  Nothing exceeds the value of deeper revelations of Jesus Christ...nothing, at least to my best understanding.

Thank for the time you've taken to address my concerns.

Jesus bless you!
Tom




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hillsbororiver

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #31 on: June 25, 2007, 07:52:35 PM »

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

This has been an outstanding thread, one I can see proves that questions, comments and even opinions shared here can and will be received and discussed with patience and brotherly love when we stay focused on His Word, seeking a deeper knowledge of Him and His purpose for creating all mankind.

Beautiful testimony from all!

I will close with these verses, some of which have already been quoted;


Isa 46:10  Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand and I will do all my pleasure:

Isa 55:11  So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

1Ti 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
 
1Ti 2:5  For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
 
1Ti 2:6  Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

His Peace and Wisdom to you,

Joe
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skydreamers

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #32 on: June 25, 2007, 08:53:55 PM »

Wow Tom, that is quite the background you are coming from!  You know, sometimes I wonder if too much knowledge is actually a deterrent from the truth, or at least can be for a time.  I often feel weighed down by the burden of thinking I have to know everything right down to its minutest detail, in order to understand.  I have often wished that I had the opportunity to learn Greek and Hebrew, but you know, I would have been one of those students of yours that was frustrated at hearing your words:

Quote
"Listen you guys, if you think you can take your Strong's concordance, and your Dana and Mantey grammatical principles books, and arrive at pure interpretations, you can forget it.  You'll still find those who will see it differently from you, and they won't all be cracked pots."  It would frustrate them, because they all wanted to believe that once I got done teaching them Greek and Hebrew, they'd become perfect exegetes and arrive at flawless interpretations of scripture.  It was a jolt back to reality for them, for me to have to tell them it would not be that easy.  It isn't that easy.  It truly isn't.

My carnal mind still gets deceived at times that there is some formula that can be used to arrive at the truth.  Thankfully, God is faithfully bringing me out of that.

God has continually been humbling me, in showing me AFTER I see the truth, how simple it really is.  Though it may be mysterious, it isn't as complicated as my brain tries to make it! ;) 

For me, God did use a simple concordance and the bible to start me on the path of questioning what I had previously believed.  I was no longer attending church, and had no Christian fellowship.  It was just me, God and the bible.  In time I learned to find people on the internet that saw some of the things I did.  But when I came across Ray's site it was an entirely new level of "wow".  At first I was a little resistant because of all I had been taught, but soon my spirit felt convinced and there has been no looking back since.

I believe God can and does use countless methods to spark the quest for truth in people. I have heard such a variety of testimonies from people of all walks of life.  Some are shown through scripture, some through people, some through visons and some others through studying nature.  I have come to believe, when God reveals something hidden, it is surely done supernaturally.  Everyone is unique and so I think God deals with them in unique ways.

Perhaps for you Tom, it is that you know too much, technically speaking, and so God is getting ready to show you in a most unexpected way what is His truth, so that you too may know that it was surely God who showed it to you, and that you didn't figure it out for yourself, based on all your learning.  I think you already sense this from what you have said.

I had the privilege recently of attending a small UR conference here in my city.  I don't know what other "doctrinal" things this small group of people believe (about 15 of us), but what was fascinating is to hear the testimonies of how God started to show them the message of UR.  Each story was wildly different.  In fact, the only common thread there was, was that as each person started to embrace this teaching, they were persecuted and hated by others who believed in hell, to the point of extreme stress in some cases. 

There were three Pastors there and only one managed to keep a small congregation.  The other two were put through such "hell" that they either quit or were fired.  The one Pastor who kept his church did so only after much hate directed towards him and most of his congregation leaving the church.  Very few tolerated his simple message of God's enduring unfailing Love.  To me, this says something supernatural is at hand, and how much the Enemy HATES this message.  Satan will stir up the masses to crucify afresh the Savior that we here at bibletruths believe in.  They want to kill our Jesus.

This Pastor who managed to keep a small portion of his congregation, was before a full-out hell and brimstone preacher for like 15 years.  One day, about 13 years ago, his daughter who at the time was 17 has a vision of Jesus, and in this vision she is relentlessly stabbing Jesus.  When she is done, Jesus hugs her.  The Pastor was horrified that his good Christian bible studying daughter had such a frightening vision.  He was scared for her, and so he sought desperately the Lords clarification on the matter.  The Lord showed him that He was the Jesus that hugged her, and the one she stabbed was "another Jesus".  The Pastor then committed himself to learn everything He could about this "hugging" Jesus, and eventually through time and study and prayer he saw the message of UR.

This may sound like a cheesy testimony (he told it much better than I).  But my point is, it is one of many examples of testimonies I've heard or read, where people weren't even looking for this message, and God stopped them dead in their tracks, like Saul, and set them on a different path.  One day they are unknowingly persecuting their Lord and the next they are shown the errors of their way....if that's not supernatural, then I don't know what is!

This answers none of your questions of course, but I share this with you just to encourage you, and to say that I think surely your time is coming soon when God will give you the clarity you need.  There is a reason why he has put this in your path, and you have already expressed your deep desire to know what is the truth. 

Quote
If Greek and Hebrew alone would resolve all interpretational issues, where would be the need for the Holy Spirit?  So, at the end of the day, and at the end of all studies, it still comes down to, "Lord Jesus, You, by Your Spirit, must be the One to speak to my spirit as to that which is right doctrine.  You alone are All Truth, and I rely more on you than my best intellect."

I would have hoped this would have resolved all these issues by now, but alas...not yet.  I continue to study, pray, and try to remain humble before others who believe "they have seen it..."  Thus, I come to this forum listening, not arguing...

Thank you for sharing more about yourself with us, and for sharing your thoughts and insights.

You are more like-minded with us than you may expect.  With everything the Lord has graciously clarified for me, another question pops up and the search continues.  God's word has seemingly endless treasures, and we know that in this age, none of us will be given complete truth....not until the age to come.

So welcome to the journey, with fellow brothers and sisters who desire more than anything to encourage you in your seeking.  We're all in the same storm and looking to Jesus to calm the raging waves.

Prayers of peace and blessing for you,
Diana




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Chris R

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Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #33 on: June 25, 2007, 09:25:41 PM »

Hi Tom,

Very interesting post, I believe you to be very sincere, and enjoyed reading your responce, If indeed "it is given unto you"the apostles" to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them "the great multitudes" it is not" [Matt 13:11] We must interpit this to mean the obvious.

The few can never mean the many, If indeed "all these things happened unto them "all our fathers" for ensamples: and they are written for our "those chosen" admonition, [1Cor 10:11] Then few indeed will be given this understanding.

Whats the secret? Why so many left deceived? Why not just spell it out in plain language, so that ALL could understand?..Why indeed!

These and other questions could take hundreds and hundreds of pages to fully explain from scripture, why so many are called, yet so few chosen. You must agree God cannot create Sons, without the knowledge that God alone possessed, "the knowledge of Good AND Evil".[Gen 3:22]

The Salvation of ALL is not that hard to decipher from the New Testament, To me it is written in bold type in nearly every page, And to others, it cannot be reconciled one bit.  I cannot give a explanation as to why some see it so clearly, yet so many cannot see it at all.

"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"[Mar 1:14] BUT... Unto you " the apostles" it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them "the multitude" that are without, all [these] things are done in parables: [Mar4:11] ..Even the parables about "Gehenna".


Peace

Chris R


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Tom

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2007, 09:46:02 PM »

Once again Diana & Chris,

Many thanks for your responses.

I know what you say is correct.  The methodology by which God reaches any of our hearts seems to be to penetrate beyond our mental and conditioned barriers, and reach us with pure revelation in a place within us that loses all will to resist.  That deep "amen" in the spirit is what I am seeking.

I'm so thankful to know Him to the degree I do, and I live with a continual Christmas morning anticipation of yet deeper truths/gifts from Father God.  It will come.  Finding the proper balance between anxious waiting and patient waiting is what diligent seeking Him is all about.  I resist the anxiety of having not solved all the doctrinal issues I've not yet solved, yet I resist passivity.  As much as possible I desire to live in a place of eager yet patient anticipation.

The work of the cross, in each of our lives, bringing to closure the will and mind of man, is an ongoing process.  I'm sure there are still many areas in my heart that are blocking the revelation I seek.  I know Him well enough to know He is right now working on a plan to reveal the truth, expose the error, and bring forth new life. 

Thanks again!

Tom

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DuluthGA

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #35 on: June 25, 2007, 11:07:03 PM »

Hi Tom, I'm a newbie also.  And my deep sympathies for your loss.

Regarding why there may be such a 'dirth' of acknowledgments and descriptions of universal reconciliation in the NT.

Parenthetically, I believe you to exaggerate in that (paraphrasing you) 'God offers a bleak or dire picture in the NT' regarding this, or that NT writers 'are entirely lacking in hope... and they seem to breathe in finality and despair and don't appear to have an optimist view.'

I will try to liken your finding of a "shortage of written material" to me also finding a certain "shortage of written material" on a certain topic, e.g., why didn't God write more about His/Her feminine aspect?  Why is there no imagery of God the Mother or our Heavenly Mother that nurishes and nurtures us, when clearly God made male and female in "His" image, and this necessitates God would also have to be female.  [I hope you follow me on this.]  The idea just ain't in there!

Anyway my point to you is:  GOD SIMPLY DIDN'T "WRITE" IT THAT WAY, AND THEY'RE HIS BOOKS!  You know, "My Ways are not your ways, etc."

Further, the OT is filled with hopeful sayings in the psalms, proverbs and book of Ecclesiastes.  They are great to read in times of tragedy.

The NT has many encouraging phrases [I will not site all the verses] about God's love, our glory, the manifest sons of God, we shall be like Him, etc.  They excite the heck out of me.

So to answer your initial question of 'why do I think NT Scriptures fail to clearly discuss such an optimistic viewpoint?'  I too wish there was another whole book or two written on such.  But God didn't write it that way.  And I have come to share with you my belief that our God does ABSOLUTELY EVERY LITTLE THING for His and our own (eventual and ultimate) glory.

I am also here to testify that Jesus gave me water when there was none in the well.

With peace, Caregiver





« Last Edit: June 25, 2007, 11:16:42 PM by DuluthGA »
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Tom

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #36 on: June 26, 2007, 01:02:44 AM »

Hi Caregiver,

Your point is well taken.  In the end, emphasis is up to God.  If He didn't want to provide the kind of emphasis I would find helpful, then of course it is His Book, and He has the right to put it together whichever way He desires.  I fully support His emphasis, and His reasons for His emphasis.  I don't think I have any direct conflict with Him, nor the writers of the NT.  I am simply observing the obvious, that when the writers of the NT address the subject of final judgments and outcomes, they seem more to emphasize the tragic outcomes, rather than optimistic outcomes.  I just find myself wondering why?  If they held to a positive view of these judgments, in terms of the positive outcomes for those judged, as well as the positive outcomes of the Lake of Fire, why don't they address those positive outcomes?  I realize they don't "have to" to satisfy me, but I'm simply struck by the absence of what I would have expected them to say, had they had such an optimistic view.

I guess what I'm saying, is that after all the word studies, the parables, the analogies, and the various theological discussions, I'm reticent to accept a positive outcome that I don't see reflected in them. 

Let me give you another example.  One that you will more easily relate to.  To listen to the preachers in the Babylonian systems churches, you'd swear that absolutely every NT writer must have taught volumes on NT tithing.  It's as though they believe it is nearly the premiere doctrine of the NT.  But you and I know this isn't so.  In fact, we challenge them vociferously about their obvious "reading into" the NT a doctrine that just doesn't exist there.  They've got it all wrong, as near as I can tell.  They think the temple is still a building, they think Church is a place you go to.  They think leadership is hierarchical in nature.  They think a passive form of congregational attendance at meetings is the way it should be.  They think one person standing behind a pulpit is the only way to communicate.  They think Church is about meetings.  I could go on and on.  They have so many things wrong, and they say all their beliefs are built off of the NT, but you and I now know they fabricated those doctrines and beliefs, based on their personal desires/needs for security and significance.  And, in the end, Jesus gets the raw end of the deal, because His Church has been stolen from Him.  His headship has been denied.  His leadership has been usurped, and He's had to watch all this go on for 2000+ years.  Seriously wrong...all of it, but strongly believed by those in Babylon's churches.  They emphasize something the NT writers didn't emphasize.  They see something that just isn't there.  Their reasons are multitudinous, but they are wrong, at least in light of the light I have on these things.

So, am I saying that I think those who accept the teachings of UR have done the same thing?  I would say, "Not near so much."  But, I am concerned that it appears some are more comfortable with speaking where God is silent, and I find myself wondering if His seeming silence is with a purpose.  Where I would have anticipated Him being far more vocal, as regards positive outcomes of judgment and the lake of fire, He is virtually silent.  At least as far as I can see at this point He is.  So, from that silence I have asked Him a very pointed question, that I'm awaiting a clear answer from Him on.  It could go like this, "Lord, I'm well aware that many wonderful brethren believe there will be a good outcome for those judged in the next age.  Why didn't you say more about these positive outcomes?  Certainly you are greatest and clearest communicator of all.  Why have you left me with so many unanswered questions on this matter?"  At this point in my journey, while I cannot say "God has answered this question for me."  My spiritual hunch, or as you might define it as "my unbelief," I think the reason He didn't, even it is going to be a positive outcome, is because some things are best left unsaid lest it leave a wrong impression on those pondering a life of sin in this life, and then still obtain heaven's benefits in the next.  I suspect He thinks it is better to leave an impression that the outcomes will be very unpleasant, so as to encourage serious reflection on the consequences of sin.  I don't believe it is His highest motivation towards salvation.  I believe His love is clearly that, but I do believe I see Him using the theme of dire outcomes as a measure of the motivation to get things right with God in this life.

If I tell my child that if they run out into the street, as cars are quickly driving by, that they could get run over, and then one of my children watches my other child dart in and out of traffic, playing as if there were no danger, will it not likely embolden my other child, to try the same thing?  And, when one of them is run over, and the other one looks on, and reflects on consequences of disobedience, will they not learn a very sad and painful lesson, which I would far rather have had them learn without the consequences?  Now, I'm aware of how this would play out from a UR perspective.  Some would say to me, "But Tom, is it not bad enough that your child was run over and killed?  Do you also want to believe they will spend eternity in torments of fire, because they hadn't had time to settle their relationship with Jesus yet?"  To that I would, from my purely human perspective, reply "Of course not!"  I would hope their death would be resolved at the 2nd resurrection and the process of divine judgments with them being saved, BUT, do I see enough evidence that the outcomes of judgment will be positive for that child?  I wish I could say I did.  I know it sounds like I have a low view of God's goodness, and perhaps I do, but certainly not consciously.  I can't image God killing 185,000 Assyrians, or giving King Uzziah leprosy, or causing some in the NT Church, who defiled the Lord's supper, to be judged by physical death, or Ananias and Sapphira being killed for lying to the Holy Spirit.  I don't like any of those.  I have no idea, from my present frame of reference, how to comprehend how God can be good and still did those things to those people, but I know He did.  Scripture clearly says He did.  It makes me very uncomfortable.  I honestly don't know how to reconcile that with His love, but I do reconcile it.  Why?  Because I know He is loving.  I've experienced His love.  I know for certain He is loving.  I clearly see His love in the work of Christ at the cross.  So, if I know He is loving, and I know He did such dire things to the disobedient, then can I say I won't be able to accept even more serious outcomes of judgment when I'm there with Him, having become like Him because I see Him as He is?  I can't say I won't.  I'm inclined to believe that at that point I will be able to accept everything He does, even if my current mind and emotions can't grasp accepting it.

Listen friends.  I know I'm treading on hallowed ground in this forum, expressing things you have all come to believe is a detestable viewpoint, and I don't write these things to anger or upset anyone.  I haven't come here to preach, adjust, or fix anyone.  I truly haven't.  In the spirit of honest transparency, that we have all been experiencing on this theme, I've shared my present "sight."  I know some are concerned with my lack of spiritual light, in an area you have greater light than me in.  I'm concerned about this discrepancy too.  I would love to see what you all see.  I really would.  Perhaps I one day will. But for now, I've just candidly shared what I do see.  If and when the moderators would prefer I say no more I assure you I will cease.  I'm just exposing the wrestlings I have with these matters.

May God lead us all.

I remain your brother...
Tom
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GODSown1

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #37 on: June 26, 2007, 02:10:10 AM »

Hey TOM,
      I know GOD is doin work in u brother, bcoz u sound like me wen I first entered dis Forum, BUT!! U hav much more knowledge, Wisdom, Talent etc etc way! more den  I eva had & probably eva WilL. I jus couldnt understan dis & d@, & um! d@ & dis but I jus kept focussed! on who?? GOD of coz, so Y em I hea? Y em I on dis earth? Y? Y? Y?, brother believe me wen it Hits! U, hav a bucket near lol! :) tears of Joy! brother believe it :D. bO I jus Pray GOD brings all ur answers 2 all ur questions 2 U soona den later, 2 all ur concerns d@ r screaming around in ur head lol! not 4gettn tho in sayn d@, ALL in HIS Time, all will b revealled. Bo take a gud look @ most of da pple in dis Forum (I did say most) lol! WoW!! m8 I jus feel so Blessed 2 even b amongst such knowledgable, talented, Blessed pple az urself bein 1, DudE all Glory goes 2 GOD! n I jus giv Thanks alwayZ! 2 our Great! Creator, its HIS way & no other way & howeva & woteva way da Plan HE has 4 me & may I say 4 U its AlL HIS. "Thank YOU FATHER 4 bringn us all here 4 Your Purpose! Your Way Only, may You giv us understandn 2 all our concerns, naggn thorts az I/we know You r in Control,You Alwayz hav been & You Alwayz will b in JESUS CHRIST our LORD & our SAVIORs Mighty!, Amazing!, Preccious!, Glorious!, Fabulous!, Formmidable!, Fantastic! name I Pray! Amen!!!".
         muchLOVE!! Pera

ps. LOVE, PEACE & MERCY 2 u brother TOM
« Last Edit: June 26, 2007, 02:13:20 AM by GODSown1 »
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Kat

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2007, 02:58:22 AM »

Hi Tom,

Quote
some things are best left unsaid lest it leave a wrong impression on those pondering a life of sin in this life, and then still obtain heaven's benefits in the next.  I suspect He thinks it is better to leave an impression that the outcomes will be very unpleasant, so as to encourage serious reflection on the consequences of sin.

It seems you think that if God revealed, that there will be salvation for all in the second resurrection, that people would sin more in this life?  
God has given all mankind a heart that is wicked.
Jer 17:9  "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?"
And has given us a carnal mind that is enmity against God which is hatred or hostile.
Rom 8:7  because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can it be.
So we are in a pretty ratched state and that is God's intention.  We live in an age of darkness, this life is for the purpose of learning good and evil.
If God was trying to 'encourage serious reflection on the consequences of sin' I don't think it's working.  I don't think most people think of the consequences at all, not only is God aware of that, He causes them not to be.  

Quote
I am simply observing the obvious, that when the writers of the NT address the subject of final judgments and outcomes, they seem more to emphasize the tragic outcomes, rather than optimistic outcomes.

As for the NT writers having a emphasizing the dire consequences of the judgment, I believe is because it is going to be seriously dire.
So people have been warned, those that know what the NT says shouldn't be so surpised.  In the parable of Lazarus and Rich Man, he wanted his brothers warned.

Luke 16:27  "Then he said, "I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house,
v. 28  for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.'
v. 29  Abraham said to him, "They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.'

So when people stand at the great white throne judgment and are cast into the Lake of fire, it is going to be a horrifying experience, but they have been warned.  When they go through the purging of there wicked ways, it will be tormenting for many as it was for the rich man, but they have been warned.

Rev 19:15  Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

mercy, peace, and love
Kat

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Tom

  • Guest
Re: A question of NT emphasis
« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2007, 04:16:52 AM »

Dear Pera,

You are a one of a kind blessing in the Kingdom!  Your words are always so tender and full of great love.  I wouldn't even begin to know how to express my gratitude for the way you express the Father's love.

I've received great grace here, considering that I'm stuck, somewhere between those who resist the greatness of the grace you all seem to have found, and those of you who have entered beyond that which I can fully see in Christ. I appreciate your patience!

I do not seek to uphold the doctrines and traditions of men, but I confess to have been trained in their schools, and conditioned by their understandings.  Little by little the Lord has extricated me from the rubble of man's foolish ideas of things, and if entering into the full understanding of UR is where He is leading me, then I know I will see that too.

Just before my son found out he was going to be held accountable to the law for something he had done 2 years previous, we had many conversations on this subject.  He was sickened by the traditional Church we had brought him up in, and was sooo glad we were done eating at that table.  He loved this subject, probably more than any we had ever talked about.  He was glad I was giving it serious consideration, and felt it was a healthy departure from the old ideas.  He asked my wife to read to him the entire book of Revelation, so in two settings he lay on the couch and she read the entire thing to him.  He had walked away from drugs, crime, and wasteful ways, and while he hadn't yet fully found his way back to the Lord, he was slowly moving in that direction.  When I expressed indecision on this subject, after appearing as though I would fully embrace UR, it saddened him, and confused him.  He couldn't understand why I would want to embrace thoughts of God that painted Him as horrible and rejecting as that which the traditional Church had trained him to believe, regarding Hell and its torments.  I told him I was not closed to UR, but I was concerned lest he ever leave this life unsettled with Christ, supposing that UR was valid, when I wasn't sure it was, and I didn't want to spend eternity without him near me.  He didn't say much.  He just listened, and kept his thoughts to himself.  About a month later, after landing an excellent job, he was coming home after his second sales presentation with his training manager, excited that they had closed a big contract, when out of nowhere, a policeman pulled him over, said there had been a warrant for his arrest for nearly two years, but they didn't know where he was living.  He called from jail to say how sorry he was, and that he'd find out more the next day.  We discovered the full nature of his former crime, and were hopeful that it might go well for him, given how well he had done the last two years.  We bailed him out of jail.  He came home, very sad and dejected, and unable to talk about it all.  It had crushed his dreams of finally escaping the consequences of past sins.  He apparently wrestled with it through the night, and in the morning, when my wife I had to go out for a couple of hours, he waited until we left, and then went outside, to our back yard, and took his life.  He did it in a place that would not hurt the home, and leave a mess.  Even in his death he was thinking about us.  When I came home I found him.  The horrors of that moment should never be given pen and paper to describe.  I see it in my mind's eye like it was yesterday, and it was a little over a year ago.  I share this to say that the things we pondered together on the theme of UR was the first time I saw him warm to the things of God in the two years he had lived and detoxed with us.

The next day, after he died, both my wife and I felt very strongly, that while she and I were apart for a portion of the day, processing our sorrow with the Lord, that our son came to each of us, and assured us he was ok, and we didn't need to worry.  I know well the teachings of Ray, on the subject of soul sleep.  I have no intention to argue against that position or for it.  I only know what we experienced.  We both remember it as strongly today as when it happened.  He was happy, free, and at peace.  His presence seemed to linger around our country property for a few days, and then as if the Lord decided we were ready, he was gone.  We looked at each one day and realized he was gone for good.  Whether is was only a vision, or it was his real presence, only the Lord knows.  It could have been just a vision I suppose, but it left me with such a sense of God's goodness, the magnitude of His love for our son, even though he took his own life.  It changed my heart towards God in a strange and enlarging way.  I had always trusted in His love, but suddenly it became far larger, far more real, nearly touchably tangible.  It still is...

Soooo, I can not ever see myself teaching the horrors of an everlasting Hell again.  It is just gone from within me to believe such a thing.  But, to fully embrace the message of UR...well, as I've said...I'm closer, but not there yet.

Thanks again for your kind words Pera.  Deep things you've shared!

Tom
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