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On or After: Thu 12/31/70
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|1||explain Deut 6:4||John 3:13||Aixen7z4||154236|
|God is three in one. “You believe that there is one God, you do well” (James 2:19). But even as we speak, “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one” (1 John 5:7).
It is true that we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). However, “This only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 7:29). We have invented many schemes, various devices, beaucoup de détours, muchas perversiones. It may be that we are sincere in trying to understand. But I wonder why it is so difficult. The analogies are neither necessary nor appropriate.
The same verse which said we are in God’s image says that we are male and female (Genesis 1:27). And God said a man and his wife shall be one flesh (Genesis 2:24). I wonder if we find that hard to understand or to accept, that two people can be one.
It may be that the concept of oneness is hard to understand or to accept. But the word says, “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit“ (1 Corinthians 6:17). It seems to be the plan of God, then, that not only the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, but we ourselves should be joined into that oneness. It is not that we will be God, but we will be one with God. He has made us one in Jesus (Romans 12). “For as we have many members in one body, … so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another“. And in the end, it will all come together. “When all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28).
A man and a woman are one. The church with all its members is one. The three persons of the Godhead are one. Tow people do not make two families. Many believers do not make many churches. And three people do not imply three Gods. There is one God. They are one.
|2||Jesus is God, can Jesus sit at the right||John 3:13||Aixen7z4||154191|
Jesus is God. His Father is God. The Holy Spirit is God. But they are three separate beings. In nature and in purpose, they are one; they are united. Just as a husband and wife are one, and the members of the church are one, and yet they can sit next to each other, there is no problem with God the Son sitting at the right hand of God the Father.
Jesus is a person, an individual. His Father is a person. You know that they are two different persons because Jesus says that he is not as great as his Father (John 14:28). They speak to each other (John 12:28, etc.). Scripture says he had left the Father, and was going back to the Father (John 13:3). While he was on earth, his father was in heaven.
Jesus has a Father who is also our Father. Jesus is called the Son of God (John 20:31, etc). The two are separate, individual persons. They were together in the beginning (John 17:5). Then Jesus came to earth. Then he went back to be with his Father. Stephen saw him standing at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55) and the writer to the Hebrews says he sat down at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 10:12). There is no problem with the Son sitting next to the Father, any more than a wife can sit next to her husband.
When Jesus says that he and the Father are one, he does not mean that they are the same person. They are two persons united in nature, in mind, in purpose, etc. They are so similar that you can say when you have seen one you have seen the other (John 14:7-11) or that you had seen the entire godhead (Colossians 2:9). In the same way Jesus prayed that we Christians would be one, and the writers of the New Testament say we are one (Ephesians 2). The Bible says that they are one The Bible says that the husband and wife are one (Genesis 2:24; Mathew 19:5; 1 Corinthians 6:16;Ephesians 5:31). “For this cause shall a man leave his Father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh”. Also, with their children, they are one family even though they are separate persons.
It is a little bit confusing because Jesus is called God, and the Son of God. The Father is called God, or God the Father. The Holy Spirit is called God, the Spirit of God, and even the Spirit of Christ. In Revelation 19 Jesus is called the Word of God. In John 1, it says that Jesus was with God and he was God. Most often the term God is used in reference to the Father, and that may give the impression that it is his personal name. But you will see that in Hebrews 1:8, the Father refers to the Son as God. The fact that all three are called God shows that “God” is not a personal name. It is a title. All three of them are known by that title.
Jesus and the Father are one, and likewise, we should be one. Read John 17:21, 23. They stand together and work together, and that is what they want us to do. Indeed, they are an example to us.
|3||any biblical references describing eros?||Bible general Archive 2||Aixen7z4||153918|
The Song of Solomon is about erotic love. As a book in the Bible, it is there to be read by anyone and everyone. But as a Christian, you would not emulate it until after you are married. The actors in that musical were Solomon and his wife.
|4||trouble and problems||Bible general Archive 2||Aixen7z4||153916|
|Problems with your spouse are a hard thing to bear; that‘s what the Bible says. For example, “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house (Proverbs 21:9). Again, “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house (Proverbs 25:24). You wonder why the writer said it twice, and so do I. Twice also one translation renders it: “Better to live alone in a tumbledown shack than share a mansion with a nagging spouse” (MSG). “Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman (Proverbs 21:19). In that situation, a person may find himself saying, as in Psalm 55:7, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest“. But the God who said, “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder” is not suggesting that we dwell elsewhere. He has a better answer.
For one thing, the Scriptures tell us that others have had those problems. We can learn from their stories what the bad and good choices are. Jacob once got frustrated and angry at Rachel; read it in Genesis 30. David had a problem with Michal; read it in 2 Samuel 6. Peter tells us what a wife might do (1 Peter 3:1) and what a husband should do (verse 7). Other passages such as Ephesians 5:28 and Colossians 3:19 tell us that the answer is love and 1 Corinthians 13 tells us what love does. According to that last passage, love never fails, and another passage says that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Let us hope the second question is not directly related.
The Bible says a lot about oppressed people, the sum of it being that their quest for justice will be satisfied. Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). God’s own people had been oppressed as slaves in Egypt. God told them that they should remember that and never oppress anyone (Exodus 22:21, etc.).
Both Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. turned to the Bible for answers. Malcolm X used passages such as Galatians 6:7 to indicate that God would bring vengeance on oppressors. He was not willing to leave vengeance in the hands of God as in Romans 12:19. He used passages in the Koran to bolster the idea that the oppressed people should protect themselves.
Martin Luther King relied on the Bible, and looked to God to right things. He would quote Isaiah: “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” (Isaiah 40:4). He looked for a day when, according to Micah 4:4, “They shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid“. King was a preacher and a scholar and he likely knew that those verses did not refer to Negroes in particular. But he said that justice was indivisible and he felt that the same principles and the same promises applied to all peoples. Applying Romans 12:21 King believed he could use “the weapon of love” to overcome the evil of injustice.
|5||how do we know God is real?||Rom 1:19||Aixen7z4||153883|
|When we wonder if God exists, it shows how far we have strayed away from him. God says even a dog knows he has an owner, but his children do not know that they have a creator (Isaiah 1). It shows how far we as human beings have strayed. But there is good news: God is calling us back (2 Corinthians 5:20).
In the beginning, man was close to God (Genesis 2). When he chose to sin, he was separated from God (Genesis 3). God sent Jesus to take away our sins and to bring us back to himself (Luke 19:10).
Listen, my friend, you know that God is real. That is what he says in Romans 1:19. You know it in your heart. Only a fool says there is no God (Psalm 14) and I do not believe you are a fool. You are smart enough to seek God, and that is why you have come to this place. Your conscience tells you God is real. Creation confirms it. Look at the skies. Look at the earth. Look at yourself. Confess that God made you, and admit what a wonderful job he did. Read Psalm 139. Admit that God loves you. You know that by the things he has given to us, and the laws he has given by which we can share those things. People sin when the break God’s law that says we should love one another. God calls on us to repent and trust him.
You will know that God is real when you come to him. He will welcome you. He will come to live in you, and he will give you the assurance from inside. And now, I think you know enough to do it.
Anyone who wants to come to God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6).
“Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6,7).
“Seek and you shall find” (Matthew 7:7).
“And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart“ (Jeremiah 29:13).
Creation and your heart and the word of God tell you that God is real. Seek him, my friend, and you will find him. He is seeking you.
|6||Sharing my faith||1 John 3:13||Aixen7z4||153857|
|But sanctify the Lord God in your heart: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
Have you tried that?
|In the days when “tongues” was valid, it was a gift from God, and it served a useful purpose. But now, it has positively no meaning, and it serves no useful purpose. That is one way we know it is not from God.
The word “holocalumba” has no meaning. If I understand this conversation so far, the word means nothing to you, the one who spoke it, and nothing to anyone who has heard it, so far. That is probably why it doesn’t “google”; there is nothing close to it in any language.
By the way, was the word “holocalumba” or “holocabola”? Perhaps it makes no difference.
Listen, my friend. Your experience was not of God. The vision that you think you had was not from God, and the presence that you felt was not God. If the Scriptures are a sure guide, and they are, God does not work that way, and that word, whatever it is, was not given to you by God. You should test that spirit, and what I say here, by the word of God (1 John 4)
The gifts that God gives are for the benefit of the church, for the edification of the saints (1 Corinthians 14). Over time, God has spoken to his people in many ways (Hebrews 1). He gave visions, and “Tongues”, in particular, were for a sign. That phenomenon helped the early church to understand and accept that gentiles were being added to the church. Even the one who was speaking the unknown words was edifying himself in that respect. But that is clearly not the case here. The one who spoke the word has received no benefit from it.
By this time, you see, that message to the church has been received, the sign has served its purpose, and the sign is no longer needed. The church is mature enough now, and authentic “tongues” has long since passed away, even as Paul told them it would pass away (1 Corinthians 13).
In the days when “tongues” was valid, there were rules under which that gift could be exercised in public. Those utterances could only be made in the presence of others, when there was someone present to interpret them. In a case like this, where the utterance was made in private, it was to be kept between the person and God, and other people would not even hear of it. Hearing of it now means nothing, except that some other spirit is interacting with our brethren (1 John 4:1). It does not mean that the person having that experience is being especially spiritual. It means only that we are spirit being and subject to interaction with other spirits.
If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that have been written unto us are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
It seems strange, at first blush, that Paul would talk like that. He is the one who was exhorting us to love, and he was likely writing in love. But he had recalled the Lord saying, “I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me“ (1 Corinthians 14:21).
(What is the proper way the question as it was posed here? It seems appropriate that our brother Hank should answer in the way that he has done above. Someone read that post and could hardly stop laughing. Perhaps I should have answered differently myself, as I remember Proverbs 26:4 and 5. Or perhaps “kennyittis” is pulling our collective leg and having his own laugh. But in his short time on this forum, he has asked a good question of two. See #153775.The person who laughed suggested I should act in light of Ephesians 5:11. But I do know Christian people who sincerely struggle with this issue, and I trust that someone will yet benefit from this post).
No doubt this is a controversial issue, and some of our brethren believe that God still speaks to us through “tongues” today. Perhaps it is people like me that God had in mind when he said he would speak to us in other tongues. “With other tongues and other lips will I speak”. Perhaps God is saying, “holocalumba” or “holocabola” to us today, and we are not hearing. If so, may the Lord have mercy on us. We have no interpreter, and we have no idea what he is saying.
But, brothers and sisters, don't think like children. When it comes to evil, be like babies, but in understanding, be mature.
|8||Need an answer please!||Rom 8:29||Aixen7z4||153829|
|“May grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
“His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
“By these you can be partakers of the divine nature!
“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. If these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ“.
And may the Lord give us grace, and patience, and understanding, so we are not confused by these wonderful things.
Peter is writing to believers. They already have faith, and with that, they have salvation, for we are saved by faith (Ephesians 2). But God wants us to have more than faith, more than salvation, more than a place in heaven. He wants us to have virtue and knowledge and patience and kindness and love. He wants us to have a divine nature. He wants us to be like Jesus. We have to concentrate, and work to develop these qualities.
Can someone be barren and unfruitful but be saved? Why not? To be saved means to be born into the kingdom (John 3). But a baby must grow (1 Peter 2:2). It is only after a tree has grown that it can bear fruit. In our case we have to be attached to the vine, which is Christ, and get our ability to bear fruit from him (John 15).
But now I see that there are so many different ways that the Bible pictures salvation and growth and productivity. (A baby, a tree, a vine, and in other places a sheep, a soldier, a farmer, and more). We must take time to understand it all. Though the processes of repentance and faith take place in a moment, those other things, including knowledge, can only come with time. It takes patience, then.
So we should do as Peter says. Take time and effort to develop knowledge. Be patient. One way to show patience is to ask only one question at a time. Rest assured, the Bible has the answers. But we can only absorb so much at one time. Take the question of salvation by faith first. Make sure that you have it. Then work to develop virtue. When you know you have that, than work to develop knowledge. And so on. If you are saved, then all of these things are in you. But they need to be developed. It will take time and work and patience. That is why we need grace.
The goal is to know him more and more, better and better (Philippians 3) and to become more like him (Romans 8:29). It is a continual process, but it takes time. Be patient. Take it slow.
|9||Sins of the Flesh?||Gal 5:19||Aixen7z4||153803|
|The King James Version of the Bible is a good one.
It was written by some forty people, and translated by more than forty. “It is commonly reported that there were 54 translators selected to the translation but only 47 actually participated in the work“.
The person who said that one man wrote it was probably thinking that King James I of England was that man. But although King James wrote many things, and although it was he who had asked that a new translation be made (He commissioned it, and that’s why it bears his name) he did not, of course, write the Bible. The author is really the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16). The Human writers were holy men (2 Peter 1:21), and the translators were reputed to be honorable, scholarly men. We should be grateful for their work. As they themselves admitted, their work was not perfect. The King James Bible has been revised, and other translations have been done. We should use many, if not all of them.
As for the sins of the flesh, the King James Version names them this way:
“The works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like” (Galatians 5:19-21).
Another version (the New Living Translation) puts it this way:
“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin”.
The list is not exhaustive, bou get the idea.
|10||Conformed to scripture or Christ?||Rom 8:29||Aixen7z4||153794|
|This question is similar to one (ID# 153548) that asked whether there is any difference between loving God and loving his word. That thread has been temporarily restricted from appearing on the homepage, and I am not sure why. I trust that the same offense and result are not repeated here, because I think that these topics are very important.
I wonder what causes us to think that relating to God is equivalent to, the same things as, responding to the Bible. Now someone is also thinking that conforming to the image of Christ is the same as conforming to his word.
We should not minimize the importance of the Scriptures. Jesus said, “(You) search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me“ (John 5:39). But we err, I think, in deciding that having the Bible is the same as having God, that loving the Bible is the same as loving God, and now, that conforming to the image of Christ is the same as conforming to his word. Each item is closely related to the other in its pair, but they cannot be the same.
Jesus invited those who were searching the Scriptures to come to him, but he lamented; “Yet you will not come to me, that you may have life“ (John 5:40). They were going to the Scriptures but not to him. How then can those two things be the same? And there are many of us today who love his word and we may even want to conform our lives to it. We should consider that a personal relationship with the Lord, while related to his word, is not identical to it.
The word of God was of extreme and paramount importance to Jesus. “It is written”. “Man shall live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. Jesus would do what he did sometimes, “that the Scripture might be fulfilled” (as in John 13:18). But it would happen without his volition sometimes for the simple reason that the Scriptures are always fulfilled (as in John 19:24). And there were some things that he did that are either unclear to us or found nowhere in Scripture.
I came to the scripture in Romans 8 because of what Paul had said in Philippians 1 and 3: “To me to live is Christ” and “that I may know him”. I find that God wants us to be like Christ. That includes paying to attention to his word, like Christ did, but it must include more than that. For one thing it includes more that the commandments that Christ gave; it includes his example. It involves more than reading about him; it involves fellowship with him. Jesus is not only a historical figure; he is the living Christ. He lives, not only in the Bible, but also in me.
We should treasure the Bible, because it tells us about God. But the Bible is not God. We should not worship the Bible; we should worship God. We do not pray to the Bible; we pray to God. We should seek to be conformed to the image of Christ, and that includes conforming to Scripture, as he did. But it also includes a looking at him, a personal walk with him, a following him, a fellowship with him. That is what the Lord calls us to, not to conform legalistically, impersonally, to the Scriptures.
And now, please do not spend time saying “I did not say that” and “nobody said that”. There are some believers now who look at the Christian life as an intellectual exercise. They take delight in knowing facts. In the best cases, they realize that the Scriptures are all about Jesus, and they seek to learn as much as they can about him. There are other believers who spend little time studying the Scriptures and more time worshipping and fellowshipping with the Lord, and serving him. Each of these groups needs to learn from the other, to love both the Lord and his word, and to conform to the image of Christ as found in Scripture. But those are two things, though intimately related, and they are not the same.
I must hurry away from this post, realizing that I might have not made myself perfectly clear. We need both head knowledge and a personal walk with him. I trust that those who read this will understand and be able to contribute to that thought. Otherwise, just think about it, whether the word is all we have. It would be good to have a discussion of the actual image of Christ, and practical ways in which we can conform to that image. We may find, through personal experience that, that “we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord“.
|11||why is it so hard to obey?||Phil 2:13||Aixen7z4||153777|
|We can say positively that God is at work in us, making us willing to do his what pleases him. That is not the problem. The problem is that there are other forces pulling us in the opposite direction.
As Paul would say: “To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not“ (Romans 7:18).
There is a battle going on in the mind.
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members“.
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Galatians 5:17).
The situation is not hopeless, of course. In fact, Paul had given the solution in the previous verse of Philippians 2 and in the previous chapter of Romans. “Work”. “Yield”. Cooperate with God, may I say. He is doing his part. We must do ours. Can we do it? Yes, thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:25). I can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).
|12||Can one know if their spouse is saved?||1 Cor 7:15||Aixen7z4||153747|
|The topic is salvation, I suppose, and whether or not one can determine if another person is saved. Though it may touch on the issue of divorce and remarriage, and though an understanding of the relevance may be expressed here, it is not this writer's focus or reason for responding.
How can anyone besides the person himsel, and God, know if that person is saved?
A person who is saved knows, with varying levels of assurance, that they are saved (Romans 8:16; 2 Timothy 1:12; Colossians 2; Hebrews 10:22; 1 John 5:13, etc.).
The Lord knows those who trust in Him (Nahum 1).
"The Lord knows those who are his" (2 Timothy 2).
Jesus said, “My sheep …, … I know them … and I give unto them eternal life” (John 10).
It may be said, then, that only God and the person know whether they are saved or not.
There are many situations in which one may want to know if another person is saved. That includes the time when he is deciding whether or not to make the person his spouse. The directive is that we are not to be unequally yoked with a person who us an unbeliever. What fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (2 Corinthians 6).
Another time might be the occasion one has to witness to the person. He would want to know if the person is already saved. In this instance, how can one know? In the case where a person as lived with another, being their spouse, there may be ample reason to believe or not believe the person is saved. The person might have said they were, or accepted the idea of being called by the Lord’s name (as in Jeremiah 15:16). They will have shown some interest, or not, when the topic of salvation had come up. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18). Otherwise, they may have shown it by their lifestyle. There is a difference between light and darkness (John 3:19; Ephesians 4). In any case, one can tell by witnessing to them. They are either saved, and have some measure of assurance, or they will indicate whether they want to be saved or not (as in Acts 19).
There may be other reasons why one may find it necessary to discern dogs and swine from one's own brethren. Perhaps the surest way is to ensure that what you are casting before them are indeed pearls. They you can see their reaction, whether they reject it or turn again and rend you. Then the idea is to not repeat the error.
Some who accept the truth may yet hold the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1). But the word from the Lord is: "Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness” (2 Timothy 2). To the extent that the person shows an inclination or intention to do so, that is an indication (John 10; 1 John 2).
The question is intriguing because, of all the people of interest, it is one’s spouse that is involved, and possible a spouse who has left the home. Why would one be specially interested in knowing if the person is saved after the person has left? Is it because he wants to witness to the person or to pray for their salvation? Is it because the person wants to find another spouse while that one is still alive? In that latter case the person may be even seeking justification for his or her own desire to leave. The word from the 1 Corinthians 7 passage is, if you are married to them, then don’t leave (v. 11). If they leave, don’t replace them with another, not until they die (v.11; Romans 7).
In the end, then, one does not need to know if their spouse is saved in order to 1 Corinthians. 7:15 to their own situation? The passage is not meaningless, but the question of the spouse’s salvation is irrelevant.
Why would the Scripture say, "If the unbelieving one leaves..."? God knows that unbelievers do not trust him, and they may not obey him. He does not want them to leave, but they may leave anyway. Yet, they may be pleased to remain (v. 12). In that case they are sanctified (v. 14) and they may even get saved, living with a believer (v. 16; 1 Peter 3). The question is not whether the unbeliever will obey. They probably won’t. The question is whether the believers will trust him under those circumstances, and whether they will still obey.
|13||man? Woman?||Eccl 7:28||Aixen7z4||153738|
|In context, it makes sense.
The person who divided the book into chapters and verses did a good thing in helping us to locate passages. But we should not be focused on verses as if each one held a separate thought. Read the entire passage to get the context and the meaning. Read the following, for example, in the paragraph arrangement of the New Living Translation. Solomon says:
“I have tried my best to let wisdom guide my thoughts and actions. I said to myself, ‘I am determined to be wise.’ But it didn't really work. Wisdom is always distant and very difficult to find. I searched everywhere, determined to find wisdom and to understand the reason for things. I was determined to prove to myself that wickedness is stupid and that foolishness is madness.
“I discovered that a seductive woman is more bitter than death. Her passion is a trap, and her soft hands will bind you. Those who please God will escape from her, but sinners will be caught in her snare.
"This is my conclusion," says the Teacher. "I came to this result after looking into the matter from every possible angle. Just one out of every thousand men I interviewed can be said to be upright, but not one woman! I discovered that God created people to be upright, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path."
Solomon was a king, a wise king, and had talked to many people. His conclusion was that very few men were honest, and even fewer women. The passage indicates that some women are seductive, and that serves to lessen the incidence of honesty among them. Does that not make it simple? It is profound, perhaps disturbing, but simple.
Why a thousand? And why the reference to his harem? Think about it.
Solomon had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart (1 Kings 11).
|14||Love God, His word, any difference?||Ps 95:10||Aixen7z4||153538|
|I wrote the last response some several days ago, but I did not post it for fear it might discourage someone. I thought about it again today as I met with a couple. These people love the Lord; it was the main topic of their session. The evidence was the fact they were willing to obey the Lord. And yet, one of their major complaints was the fact they do not spend time with their Bibles. In other words, they want to love the word of God, but they don’t.
I hope this does not confuse anyone. Please think about it before responding.
There are some people who love the Lord but belong to a denomination where Bible knowledge is not emphasized. They believe that God speaks to them directly, and they are devoted to following what they believe is the Lord’s leading. They do not see the need to verify everything in the written word. They carry a Bible and read it in a cursory manner. They do not intend to get deeply into anything in it. They do not see the need for it.
On the other hand, there are people who place a high importance on Bible knowledge. However, they leave a question as to their love for the Lord, as they do not place that high a premium on obeying it. They hear from time to time that God is not so much interested in what we know as he is in how well we put into practice what we know (1 Corinthians 8:1). But they cast that aside. They enjoy studying the word of God so much they confuse it with loving God.
Imagine the lady in the story told by ‘meusing’ (above) spending all the time with her husband’s book but very little time with him, and you get the point. If you do not get the point from that, imagine a person spending a lot of time with the Bible but very little time in prayer. It happens. Imagine a person who has deep theoretical knowledge about love, but shows no love. Paul talks about him in 1 Corinthians 13:2.
Both camps will profess a real love for both the Bible and the Lord, but they may love them in very different measures. Some love the Bible in sentimental way. They idolize and almost worship the book, and yet that “love” may lead them to take such good care of it that they make sure it is not marked or worn out or even opened too often. They prefer to talk about “the Bible” rather than about anything it says in particular. Some others know Bible things in minute detail, but cannot relate the facts to the nature of God or what he requires of us. They do not see the purpose of the word of God as expressed in Deuteronomy 29:29 or Jeremiah 9:23,24.
It is one of the great tasks of the church, perhaps, to bring those two camps together. Those who love the word need to relate more closely to the author, and those who love the author need a better appreciation for knowledge of his word. We make a mistake to assume that the both are inseparable, or that one is indispensable to the other. It is not correct to say that everything we can know about God is in the Bible, or that we can know nothing about God except through the Bible. Surely those who know the Bible know that the Bible itself makes no such claim, but that in fact it tells us otherwise (2 Samuel 1:18, Psalm 19, Romans 1, John 20, 2 Corinthians 12, Colossians 4:16).
Those who love the Lord should learn to love his word, whether to read it or to hear it, and we should love each other. Those things go together well, but they are not identical.
|15||Love God, His word, any difference?||Ps 95:10||Aixen7z4||153537|
|O course, there is a difference.
Try to see the difference by adding a third object of love, namely, your brother. You cannot love God without loving your brother (1 John 4:20). If a man says, “I love God”, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? Though we have not seen God, we can love him (1 Peter 1:8).
But a man can love his brother without loving God. One man loves his brother precisely because he believes there is no God. He is a humanist. One man says, “God is love and love is God” and does not even seek to know the supreme being called Jehovah. The fact is, God is love (1 John 4) but love is not God.
John says, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and his love is perfected in us” (1 John 4:12). Does that mean that whenever we see people love each other we can conclude that God dwells in them? No. John is speaking about himself and the other apostles, and differentiating them from false teachers. He is saying the fact they loved one another was one evidence that God dwelt in them. There are other evidences, and the reverse of this one is not necessarily true. Jesus said, “Sinners also love those that love them“ (Luke 6).
A man who loves God should love his brother. It is a commandment that we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also. It is a commandment, not a corollary. It is always possible to disobey a commandment. And it is sad to say that Christians often disobey that commandment. Sad to say that there is often more love among “sinners” than among brethren. But let’s not get into that. Let’s just say that loving your brother is not the same as loving God. The two should go together, but they are not equivalent.
The same may be said for loving the word of God and loving God. The person who loves God wants to please him, wants hear about him, wants to hear from him. Therefore, he should love the word of God. The same psalmist who says, “I love the lord (Psalm 116) also says, “Your law do I love” (Psalm 119). Indeed, blessed is the man who delights in the law of the Lord (Psalm 1).
Yet some people have loved God when they had no Bible. They include Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, and my sister. They include most of the people of faith who lived before the invention of printing. And some people do not love the Bible in spite of the fact they have one, because they are unable to read or otherwise do not find it easy to understand. Some people love the Lord and have not learnt to love the Bible.
|16||Is war biblical?||John 18:36||Aixen7z4||153172|
|I also wonder about war.
It is quite true that God commanded war in the Old Testament, and I have wondered about that. Why did he use that method as punishment, or to resolve a conflict? But, as you have pointed out, he also called for death of individuals, amputation, eye extractions, and so on. It is not death itself that bothers me, (God gave life and he has a right to take it) nor the destruction (They build the things again) but there is this pain and this misery that come with judgment and with war. I cringe as I read, especially, that they were to have no pity on the suffering ones. “Thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Deuteronomy 19:21). “Thou shalt consume all the people which the LORD thy God shall deliver thee; thine eye shall have no pity upon them” (Deuteronomy 7:16).
Still I have wondered about war. Why did God use war at all? War includes pain and suffering even for the winning side. Why could he not destroy his enemies with the breath of his mouth, as in Isaiah 11? But he used war sometimes as a way to punish his own people. “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land … (Habakkuk 1). “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far … a nation of fierce countenance … which also shall not leave thee … until he have destroyed you” (Deuteronomy 28).
It is quite significant, no doubt, that Jesus did not fight. “He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living” (Isaiah 53).
It is true that he had to die for our sins. “For the transgression of my people was he stricken“. In his own defense, he could not fight. He also could not call for angels to fight on his behalf. One might wonder about that as well, why it took his suffering, and even that which some would see as a defeat, to bring about salvation? Why could he not fight against Satan and win, without getting hurt himself, as in Genesis 3:15? But then again, why fight at all?
The answer seems to be that war is God’s way to put away evil. Satan is evil and the author of evil, and evil must be destroyed (Deuteronomy 19:19; 21:21, etc.). Satan must be destroyed (Hebrews 2:14). Thus even the New Testament speaks of Armageddon (Revelation 16). Jesus has fought Satan and delivered us from his power (Romans 6), and he will fight him again and put away evil forever (Revelation 20).
As for war between nations today, it is not at all clear when it is God’s will. There will be wars (Matthew 24:6) but it is evident that these are the result of sin (James 4). God does not want wars among us, his children, but even in the church wars happen, because of sin. Even on your question then, we may fight and disagree, but it does not seem to be God’s will.
Is war Biblical? The Bible does record the facts and figures of war. It does record the fact that God has ordered wars for various reasons. Yet we may say that God does not desire wars, just as he does not want us to sin. But we disobey God, in other words, people sin, and that seems to make war both necessary and inevitable.
Those of us who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are in God’s kingdom, and Jesus says his servants should not fight (John 18:36, Matthew 26:52). The weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10) and the church should not seek to achieve its aims by war (James 4). But Christians are also citizens of countries that sometimes go to war, and they have this decision to make, to what extent they should be involved. Some choose to not be entangled in the affairs of this life at all (2 Timothy 2:4) choosing instead to actively engage in the spiritual conflict (Ephesians 6). But some choose to fight for their countries, and even to be the politicians who make decisions to go to war. And some fight over the idea.
|17||What's the proper response to injustice?||1 Pet 2:19||Aixen7z4||153057|
|Waiting for an answer, as to what can be done about injustice, and waiting for justice, are alike, both painful processes. One is interested in what the brethren think, and what God feels, and thinks, as he looks on.
“Our transgressions are multiplied …, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; …
“Judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
“Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment“ (Isaiah 59).
The sight of injustice may arouse our emotions. It may arouse the most common feeling, fear. It may give rise to anger or, as has been suggested, angst. Or it may leave us apathetic.
As always with God, there are choices, and for our choices there are consequences. When we see injustice, we can ignore it. But the Lord says, “He that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey“. In other words, “Those who turn away from evil make themselves victims”. (GW). We should think about that.
We can condemn it. The Lord says, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression”. But showing God’s people their transgression can but much like placing a picture before a blind man. The psychologists call it denial, but it seems we need a stronger word. A brother protested to me recently that there is no prejudice in the church, in America. One who complained about a young man being denied an opportunity to use his gifts in the church was described as “envious”. One man took another man’s wife, and they both continued in the church. The one who lifted his voice to “cry aloud” was taken aside and counseled to be quiet.
We can work against it. But then the pronoun “we” is hardly apt, for such a person often has to do that work alone. One may feel quite the Lord’s man then, and identify with the Lord himself, for it is he who “saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him“ (Isaiah 59:17).
Of course, we can continue doing as we are doing now. That might include one of the choices mentioned above, but it could be otherwise. I am not sure whether an “intercessor” in this case is one who prays or one who takes some action, intervening. Either way, the Lord looked and wondered, because there was no intercessor. There was no one who prayed, and there was no one who did anything, about injustice. So he took action himself.
It is in that vein that he said:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
“To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified“ (Isaiah 61).
That is what Jesus did when he was here. He did not only speak it; he also did it. He began to say unto them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:21).
What a message! And what a program of liberation! And as he was leaving he said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father“ (John 14:12). We are here now. We are his body. We are to do his work.
And one of his apostles said, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27).
This does not suggest that we attempt to fix things in the world. We preach the Gospel and call people out of the world and into the church. Then we should do what we can to ensure that there is justice, if not in the world, then surely in the church; if not for ourselves, then surely for our brethren, in the church.
|18||What does "appointed" mean?||Acts 13:48||Aixen7z4||152989|
|“How can I possibly say it?” That must be the question that a translator asks as he tries to convey what the Scripture says, to an English audience, or to any audience, for that matter.
I think that is preferable to saying that it is a question God asks. But surely our Lord, who knows everything, does know that it is well nigh impossible to convey his thoughts to us by words alone. And it must be that it is totally impossible to convey a thought unambiguously with a single word.
So what does the word “Appointed” mean?
I would ask the Greek scholars. Is there such a thing as a synonym in that language? Is there only one set of words to convey the same idea? Or can one be saying the same thing even while using different words.
We are not supposed to debate determinism or predestination on this forum. So those who want to establish the idea that God has chosen some people to be saved (while not choosing any to be unsaved, or even neglecting to choose them) can have free rein.
But I wonder how else the Holy Spirit might have expressed this. He has told us everywhere that salvation is by faith. We must believe in order to be saved. We must trust the Lord. And now, if he wants to tells us that only some have this ability, specially given to some, to believe, could he have said here, “as many as had been appointed to believe and receive eternal life did so”? Could he have said, “as many as had been appointed to eternal life succumbed to it”? Could he have said, “as many as had been granted the ability to believe exercised that belief and thereby achieved the eternal life that God had predestined them to have“? Why does he leave the idea that they exercised their free will to believe (while others did not) and thereby sealed their destiny?
By giving us “as many as were destined (appointed and ordained) to eternal life believed” the Amplified Bible is giving us the idea that there are synonyms in the original language. What if the only word was “destined” and there were no synonyms? Then the only idea we would have is that the ones who believe had a destiny, the result of their believing, not that either their believing or their destiny had been predetermined.
This is not to reopen the age-old debate. What good would that do? It is to say that it is usually difficult, and often impossible, to determine a message by focusing on a single word. It is also not good to use this word or this verse to prove a point. We do well to look at the entire passage, and the entire word of God. Do that to determine whether the destiny of those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ is set, or whether both the cause and the effect have been preset.
|19||Personal Integrity||Job 2:3||Aixen7z4||152988|
|And I had thought this was so simple.
If personal integrity is hard, or deep, or difficult to attain, then we are surely in deep trouble.
It seems to me it is the very first rung of the ladder of the Christian life, for if I have no integrity, then how am I a believer at all?
I wondered if I was understanding what the word “Integrity” means. In hopes that we were thinking of the same thing, I looked it up in the dictionary and found: “Integrity: condition of being whole or undivided”. It's like being one person, not two-faced or double-tongued.
In terms of spiritual life, or even for one who is not spiritual, this would mean that a person is for real, not a fake, not a hypocrite, not a pretender, not self-deceived.
Surely, anyone would want to be a person of integrity. Even an unbeliever says with Shakespeare, “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man”. He says with Kipling, “Don't deal in lies” and with Baldwin, “Cheat your trusting neighbors never; Speak the truth, and speak it ever“.
Surely, any true believer in our Lord Jesus Christ would be a person of integrity.
In order to become a Christian, a person must first come to face himself as he really is (Luke 15). He admits that he is a sinner (Luke 18). He does not try to excuse his sin. With eyes opened by the Holy Spirit, he sees himself as God sees him. He sees his peril. He sees his need. He comes to God in that light and accepts God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. Then God pronounces him forgiven, justified, right in the sight of God (Romans 3:24). He accepts that. He understands that he has no strength in himself, that he is dependent on God (1 Peter 1). He understands that God hates sin, the sin that can creep back into his life (Hebrews 12). He understands that he must confess his sin and forsake them, so he can remain clean (Proverbs 28:13). He does not pretend. He depends. On God. To show him the way. To follow it (Psalm 139). And him (Philippians 3).
Why would a true believer not choose a life if integrity? A double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways (James 1). He wobbles and stumbles, tossed about by every wind (Ephesians 4; Hebrews 13). But surely, as Christians, we have been taught to stand (1 Corinthians 15; Hebrews 6). And to walk uprightly (Psalm 1; Psalm 15).
We stand for truth (Ephesians 6). We are sanctified and characterized by truth (John 17:17). And surely we would not want to deceive ourselves (1 John 1). Or others (1 Corinthians 2; Colossians 2).
Perhaps the simplest lesson on integrity was taught by our Lord directly, in Matthew 5. Jesus said, “Let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No.'“ (v. 37). It was repeated by James in other words, “If you mean yes, then say yes. If you mean no, then say no“ (James 5).
But life experience teaches us that professing Christians lie, and cheat, and break their promises. Integrity, being real, may be a simple, lower lever Christian skill. But it must be taught, and modeled still.
|20||Once saved always saved is this true?||Heb 6:4||Aixen7z4||152566|
|It is surprising indeed that one would say, “It is not in Scripture”. Surely everyone is aware that some would boldly affirm that it is in Scripture, giving as examples John 5:24, John 10:28, Hebrews 7:25, etc. Better to acknowledge that there are different views on the topic. Best to try to understand and to harmonize those views. It does not seem useful to assert that “it is not in Scripture”.
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