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Meriam's Guy

a liscense to sin.............
Posted:Dec 21, 2011 2:18 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2023 4:35 am
3442 Views

by Steve McVey



If you are just beginning to seriously contemplate the difference between walking in legalism and under grace, you probably are asking the question, "Is he saying that since grace covers all sins, I can go out and sin if that's what I want to do?" Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. However, before you throw the book down, finish this paragraph. You see, the question about being able to go right on in sin since grace covers it all is not new. When Paul preached grace, people asked the same question. The whole fifth chapter of Romans is about how we are dead to laws regulating right and wrong. Then Paul begins Romans 6 asking the question he knew would be on everybody's mind.



"What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" He knew that they would be asking that question, just like people do today whenever pure grace is taught. He answers the question by reminding them that they died to sin. Chapters three and four dealt with how we are now a new person whose nature is to live righteously and how that our old nature is dead. Yes, you can sin. However when you understand your identity in Christ, you don't want to sin like before.



Understanding your identity produces a desire for intimate fellowship with your heavenly Father. If you don't know who you are, you will see yourself as a servant who must make restitution for your sins. Servants find it difficult to enjoy an intimate love relationship with their masters. However, sons and fathers are able to enjoy each other. Do you see yourself primarily as God's or as His servant?



When a Christian refuses to believe that he is totally accepted by God or when he doesn't understand his identity, it's hard to be intimate with Him. Intimacy develops between two people as they feel an increasing willingness to share themselves with each other. This can only happen between the Christian and God as the believer comes to a biblical understanding of his relationship to his Heavenly Father.



Love And New Testament Commandments



The only genuine motivation in the Christian life that will consistently sustain a godly lifestyle is love. Any other source of motivation will eventually fail. If contemporary Christians spent as much time developing loving intimacy with Christ as spent in defining proper Christian behavior, the world would be a different place. It isn't without basis that the unsaved world mistakenly believes that Christianity is primarily a religion which outlines a particular behavioral system. Many Christians make that their focus too. They want to know His commandments in every area of life so they can keep them.



What place do the commandments of the New Testament have in the life of a believer? Does being free from the law mean that we don't need to obey the biblical commands? There are two ways to view the commands of the New Testament. One position is law oriented and the other is from a love perspective which stems from understanding grace.



A Christian who views the commandments of the New Testament from the standpoint of law sees them in a negative way. To him, the commands are something that he ought to do. They hang heavy over him, constantly reminding him of the all the things he must do to be fully obedient to God. They invoke a compelling sense of need in the life of a legalist. He feels that he should try to obey them, because that is what God expects.



Mark came to me one day with his spiritual journal in hand. "I want to show you something," he said. He opened his journal to a particular entry with five specific goals that he had decided were necessary to cause him to experience spiritual victory. The list included spending thirty minutes in prayer each day, reading five chapters of the Bible, leading a daily devotional time for his family, giving materially to someone every week, and witnessing to someone each day. "I consider these things to be basic to the Christian life," he explained, "but I can't even do this consistently.



"What can I do to motivate myself to be faithful in these areas?" Mark had his neatly packaged list of commandments that he believed he must obey to be victorious. Yet he viewed the commandments from a perspective of law, not grace. Do you remember what law does to a person? It arouses sinful passions, consequently he couldn't even obey these basic commands. As a result he was experiencing major anxiety. This is how it always is with a legalist. He views the commands of the New Testament with a sense of guilt and self condemnation. He can never do enough to feel that God is pleased. Even if Mark had been able to successfully obey the commands he thought most important, he would have still have been frustrated. The one word that Law will never say is "enough." That's why legalists can never be satisfied. They grasp for more and more rules, trying in vain to find fulfillment through behavior. However, no matter how much they do, it's never enough.



There is better way to view the New Testament commands. As you move forward into the grace walk, a mental shift takes place which causes you to begin to see the commandments in a positive way. You begin to understand them from a basis of love.



For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. — 1 John 5:3



A grace perspective causes us to see the commands not as an obligation, but as an opportunity for the life of Christ to be revealed through one's lifestyle. We want to respond in obedience to them because the commandments are a beautiful picture of the many ways that Christ's life can be seen through our lifestyle. Those set free by grace don't face the commandments with self condemnation, but with spiritual anticipation that Jesus Christ will reveal Himself through them as He lives His life in them. Jesus didn't break the Law two thousand years ago, but fulfilled it. The Christian abides in Christ, chooses to obey His commandments, and then acts in faith. Every commandment is another way that Christ can be seen in him!



Are you struggling for victory in your Christian life? Don't focus on the commandments as a doorway to victory. Christ is your victory! As you learn to abide in Him and He expresses His life through you, the commandments will become a blessing, not a burden. You will experience the joy of walking in grace, not guilt.



Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15 NAS).



When I was a legalist, I read this verse to say, "Keep my commandments if you love me." That understanding left me trying to do what He says in order to prove that I loved Him. However, that is not what the verse says. Jesus said that if you love Him, you will keep his commandments. Do you see the difference? One approach translates into a burden, while the other is a release from struggling. Failure to keep the commandments is a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself. The real issue in disobedience is a love problem. If you wrestle with being consistently obedient, the remedy for the problem is to love Him more! However, that answer raises another question — How do we grow in our love for our heavenly Father?



Imagine Jesus physically coming into the room where you are now reading this book. He walks over to where you sit and the two of you begin to talk. As he is turning to leave the room, you say, "Jesus, before you leave, please allow me to ask one question. I've spent a great deal of time and energy on different things in this world. Now I want the rest of my time on this earth to really count. What one commandment is more important to you than anything else?" Now, think about it. What do you suppose He would answer? It isn't necessary to guess the answer because someone did ask Him that question during His earthly ministry. A religious leader asked:



"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment."— Matthew 22:36-38"



When asked which is the greatest commandment God has given, Jesus said that it is to love Him. A person's love for God is directly proportionate to their knowledge of Him. This is why knowing Him intimately is of supreme importance. A main concern of Jesus immediately before he was arrested and separated from his disciples was that they should have a deep love for the Father. Consider the final words of his prayer in the upper room at the last supper.



O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. — John 17:24-26



Jesus said that he had declared the name of the Father to the disciples so that they might share in the love that exists between the Father and the . To declare the Father's name literally means to reveal His character. It was the goal of Jesus to reveal the Father so that the love of the Father and would be in the disciples too.



The ministry of the Holy Spirit today is to reveal God's nature in order that we might enter into a Divine love relationship. If you feel weak in your love for your heavenly Father, ask the Holy Spirit to more fully reveal Him to you each day through every circumstance that comes into your life. If you are hungry to know God, He will make himself known to you! As you come to know Him more, you will love Him more. My concept of God has changed since I have come to better understand His grace. Whereas I did see Him as a God who demanded our love, I now see Him as Someone you can't help but love as you come to know Him better. He really is lovable!



It has been a great joy to discover that God's interest in me is for a love relationship! Appropriating grace in my Christian life has given new meaning to some areas of life that I once considered Christian disciplines. A few specific things that were duty under law have now become a delight in the grace walk.
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Law and Grace: Mortal Enemies
Posted:Dec 13, 2011 5:07 am
Last Updated:Dec 21, 2011 3:08 am
3908 Views

Law and Grace: Mortal Enemies
By: Dan Stone

Law and grace are mortal enemies. Religion asserts, "No, they aren't mortal enemies. They can flow together, like the Missouri and Ohio rivers flow into the Mississippi, and they become the Mississippi." Every place I've ever been in organized religion, I've found that belief. But Paul was saying, "NO? They never flow together. They've always been mortal enemies. They will always be mortal enemies. You can never marry the two. And you have to make a choice, Galatians. Are you going to live under 1aw, or under grace?"

Paul wasn't saying that if they stepped back into the law, they wouldn't be saved anymore. But he was telling them, "If you go back to the law, you're giving up the way of grace. Now, let me tell you something about the way of the law, Galatians: you have to keep it all."

They couldn't just pick out the law they wanted to keep. That's what I used to do. I'd pick out those parts of Mosaic Law, Sermon on the Mount law, Baptist law, my personal law, and whatever other law I thought I could keep at least some of the time. I didn't see that law and grace are mortal enemies. I didn't see that you can't live under both.

It made sense to me to be religious. It made sense to be an external Christian, trying to keep an external set of rules. I couldn't do anything else, because I had always been an external person. So were you. We all grew up as external people, defining ourselves in relation to other persons, things, and events that told us who we were. That's why as new Christians we were so prone to asking external questions: "What should I do?"

There's no life in the law. The only thing the law tells you is what you ought to do, but can't do. It will never relinquish its demand that you ought to do it, because it's a divine ought-to; God gave it to Moses. We'll keep ourselves under that divine ought-to, and the condemnation and death ministers (2 Corinthians 3), until we learn to live from the Person who dwells within us. Because there's nothing in our flesh that wants to say, "I can't do it. I can't keep the law through my own effort." Everything in our flesh says, "I want to try to do it, and with God's help maybe I can do it."

Like my friend Burt Rosenburg says, everything in that program is designed for futility, frustration, and failure. But they don't tell you that up front, do they? When you sign up, no one makes this announcement:

WE'VE GOT A WONDERFUL PROGRAM HERE, THE END RESULT OF WHICH WILL BE FUTILITY, FRUSTRATION, AND FAILURE! WHEN YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE COURSE, WE WILL GIVE YOU A DIPLOMA, SAYING:

"CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE FAILED!"

I remember talking to a group and proclaiming, "We have succeeded! In what? In failing!" And everyone smiled. For we finally recognized that we had succeeded in what we were supposed to do, which was to fail. "Everyone is telling us that we failed in what we were supposed to succeed in. But the truth is we have succeeded in what we were supposed to fail in. Now, we can get on with it. We can get on with what is true life."

We usually quote Galatians 2:20 apart from its context. It immediately follows Paul's admonition to Peter concerning the law. When Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ," he was referring to his death to the law. Paul was saying, "The old me died on the cross with Christ, and when I died, I died to trying to keep the law. Trying to keep the law is living according to the flesh, with me and my efforts as my point of reference. I died to myself as my point of reference. Now, Christ in me is my point of reference. He is living His life through me."

As believers, we no longer live under the law, looking to it to tell us what to do and not do, then trying our best to do it. Instead, we live on the faith principle, the inner life principle, of who really is our life-Christ. We trust that He directs us, opens or closes doors for us, and speaks directly to us, giving us a message or whatever is needed for the occasion. We trust that He is living through us. We may not feel it at any given moment, but we live by faith that He is our life.

From: Stone, Dan, The Rest of the Gospel: When the partial Gospel has worn you out. Dallas: One Press. 2000. pgs 143-145.

Gal 3: 10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM." 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, "THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us
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Dual Covenant Theology
Posted:Dec 13, 2011 5:02 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2023 4:35 am
3234 Views

Criticism of Dual-Covenant Theology

A major theme of Paul's Epistle to the Romans is that, so far as salvation is concerned, Jews and Gentiles are equal before God (2-12; 3:9-31; 4:9-12; 5:12,17-19; 9:24; 10:12-13; 11:30-32). Romans 1:16, by stating that the Gospel is the same for Jew and Gentile, presents a serious problem for Dual-covenant theology.[9] However, the relationship of Paul of Tarsus and Judaism is still a subject of scholarly debate.

Galatians 5:3 is sometimes cited as a verse supporting Dual-covenant theology. A problem with this argument, however, is the context of Galatians 5[10]. Galatians 5:4[11]in particular, says, "You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace." Line this up with Galatians 2[12], Galatians 2:21[13]in particular, which says “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”

A similar challenge is presented by Galatians 2:15[14]and 16[15], in which Paul says (speaking to Peter, a fellow Jew), “We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles; nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified."

The same exclusive claims for the Christian message are also made by other writers. John 14:6[16]states, "Jesus said to him, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.'" Peter, speaking to fellow Jews about Jesus in Acts 4:12[17], says: "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."

The First Epistle of John states, "Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the . No one who denies the has the Father; whoever acknowledges the has the Father also."[18] This does not differentiate between Jews or Gentiles.
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the reason for the season...could it be us?
Posted:Dec 11, 2011 2:43 am
Last Updated:Dec 12, 2011 3:39 pm
4075 Views

Ever stop and realize that "we" are the reason for the "season", and that he came to this earth to live and die in order that we could be saved and have a personal relationship with God forever? Yes some people may be upset when I say it was about us, this Christmas season. But the truth of the matter is it is.



When you ponder this and realize that he would have done this for even the redemption of one person, that is very humbling. So to say we are the reason for the season at hand, is not far fetched. It is a truth that we should be thankful for each day and aware of the commitment God has put forth each day to all of the aspects of our lives. It is something to think about. The Love God has for us.
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A GNOSTIC OR SECRET CODE?
Posted:Dec 10, 2011 11:17 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2023 4:35 am
3245 Views

by Mike Blume

A GNOSTIC OR SECRET CODE?

The key to interpreting the Revelation is, for the most part, the Old Testament. Period.

And you apply these symbols used in Revelation that were taken from the Old Testament to the life of Jesus and the early church. You find the stories of the Old Testament, from which Revelation takes references, actually PARALLEL Jesus and the early church!

I guarantee, that if you were to start recognizing this, you would wonder in absolute glory at the wisdom of God in ending the Bible with this book! (And I might add you would chuckle at the literal interpretation). You would!

First of all, Revelation begins using TEMPLE SYMBOLS. Candlesticks mentioned as being BEHIND JOHN, who has to TURN and see where the voice comes. When he TURNS, he sees the seven candlesticks (the seven-branched menorah). If he had to TURN, then where in the tabernacle would he have faced if the candlesticks were directly BEHIND HIM? They were SOUTH in the holy place. That means, John faced NORTH.

And what was NORTH? THE TABLE OF SHEWBREAD!

John was truly FEASTING in the Spirit on the bread and wine!

Revelation tells us that the spirit of prophecy is the TESTIMONY OF JESUS. What is the testimony of Jesus? Why, none other than the DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION, and His ascendant glory!

Revelation is speaking about THAT. Its NOT the end of the world that is in mind. Its a REVELATION of Jesus, and HIS COVENANT!

Now, how is a two hundred million membered army from China, according to futurist Hal Lindsay, going to glorify Christ and His covenant?

What about a computer chip?

THE FATE OF ISRAEL is throughout Revelation. If we can see this covenantal aspect in the book, showing how the cross ended Law in a spiritual and internal manner, and how God THEN dealt with externally removing every OLD COVENANT ASPECTS, which we rendered empty and futile at the cross, we would bound forth a million mile in progress in studying this book.

No greater change took place on earth since Adam was cast out of Eden and God gave law to Moses, than the cross that ended law and the immediate generation years that followed which removed all traces of law's ritual, and ONLY CONFIRMED, not actualized, the New Testament precedence!

One more VERY important note we must see. REVELATION PARALLELS EZEKIEL PERFECTLY!

Ezekiel is the Old Testament version of Revelation. You start in Ezekiel with the chariot of Cherubims, and Christ seated atop on a sapphire throne. Christ is seen as golden or amber from his loins upward, and fire from his loins downward (see last few verses of Ezek. 1). And this is Christ all over again in Rev 1, where he is girt about the paps with gold and his legs like brass burning in a furnace!

And the throne of Rev 4 is identical to the throne He sits upon in Ezekiel. A rainbow is around it.

And even the sealed book is noted in EZEKIEL 3! Written within and on the backside. And Ezekiel is told to eat the ROLL, while John eats the unsealed book in Revelation 10!

The book of Ezekiel follows Revelation all the way through... AND DEALS WITH JERUSALEM!! Ezekiel 16 calls Jerusalem the , just Like Revelation does in chapter 17 and 18. And Rev 18:24 matches Jesus words about Jerusalem in Matthew 23:35.

I do not have time to note every single parallel. The two books identify with each other all the way through! Even to Ezekiel 5 where the city is divided three ways by representation of Ezekiel's HAIR that is 1/3 burnt, 1/3 cast to the wind and 1/3 part smitten with a knife. Ever read of a CITY divided into THREE PARTS during an earthquake in Revelation? HINT HINT.

Ezekiel ends with a HUGE TEMPLE with a river coming out of it, with trees on either side whose leaves are medicine for the nations and the fruit comes forth in her months. (Read Ezekiel 47). Revelation has ONE TREE, with leaves and fruit in the precise same manner.

And the City in Revelation is ONE HUGE MOST HOLY PLACE. It is a cube, just as the ORACLE, or most holy place was in 1 Kings 6:20. And the river is there with the tree of life and the fruit.

Why many trees in Ezekiel 47, and only one tree in Rev 22:1? Because it is Christ. The tree has many branches. ,Psalm 1:3 speaks about saints as trees planted BY THE WATER (the river of life in Rev 22), whose leaf does not whither, and fruit is always there. Note that leaves and fruit were distinctly noted in Rev 22:1 and Ezek 47:12?

Its Christ and the church. Isaiah calls us trees of righteousness. This is analogous to John 15's Vine and branches.
Someone pointed this out to me.
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12 POINTS THAT REFUTE FUTURISM (when looking at the book of Revelations)
Posted:Dec 10, 2011 4:23 am
Last Updated:Dec 24, 2011 2:31 am
3737 Views

The following points seal the issue, in my opinion.

by Mike Blume

(1) The disciples equate the SIGN OF HIS COMING in Matthew 24 with the SIGN WHEN THESE THINGS (temple destruction) come to pass in Mark and Luke.

(2) Jesus speaks to "this generation", meaning the period of time in which the people of His day would live, in both Matthew 23:36, and Matthew 24:33-34.

(3) Jesus said Jerusalem was guilty of all blood shed on earth in Mat 23:35, and the had all the blood shed on earth in her in Rev 18:24. more than one party cannot be guilty of all blood.

(4) Jesus said Jerusalem's women and their would cry for the rocks and mountains to cover them in Luke 23:28-30, and that is the sixth seal in Rev. 6:16.

(4) The same generation that would see the temple destroyed, which occurred in 70 AD, would see all the other signs listed in Matthew 24. (Matt 24:33-34). You cannot split up the chapter into 70 AD fulfillment, plus our future fulfillment. Jesus said ALL the events would occur in one generation.

(5) Rev 11:2 says Jerusalem would be trodden by the gentiles (ROMANS - 4th GENTILE KINGDOM IN NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S VISION) for 3.5 years - which is exactly how long it took Rome to smash the city. Jesus spoke of the same events in Luke 21:24.

(6) Jesus said the events of tribulation and wrath against Jerusalem, in Luke 21, were the days of vengeance. Revelation's fifth seal shows the souls of those slain demanding vengeance for their blood. And Jesus said Jerusalem would come good for all blood shed on earth since Abel. Those souls are pre-cross souls, because they did not get their white robes until after their deaths. We already have white robes of righteousness as soon as we are saved.

(7) Jesus said people standing before Him would NOT TASTE OF DEATH before they see Him coming in Matthew 16:28. This cannot refer to the next chapter and the transfiguration, because that was only a week later! The only way that would make sense for Him to speak about the following week, is if the people were so old it would be some who would barely survive the week, or so sick they would barely make the week. The stress was upon some still being alive when that occurred - shall not taste death. This cannot refer to saints being dead and yet in a state of life thousands of years later, as if the coming was thousands of years later, because Jesus said the High Priest would also see that coming - Mat 26:63-64. He would not be in a state of spiritual life thousands of years later!

( Jesus said the very followers He spoke to would not be able to cover Israel before the of man be come in Mat 10:23. This is not referring to the church in general, but to the very men He spoke to, because verse 5 distinguishes the words to the 12 He sent forth. Jesus said, "YOU." (The same "YOU" as is throughout Matthew 24:6-2.

(9) Since Matthew 24:2's sign of His coming is the sign when the temple would be destroyed in Mark and Luke, the context restricts the sun and moon changing appearance to that time period. And research into Old Testament references of the same picture show this to have been fulfilled many times, showing us it is figurative of a kingdom collapsing. It was said to have happened when Babylon, Edom and Egypt were destroyed.

(10) The Greek term translated as WORLD in "end of the world" of Matthew 24:3, is AION, from whence we derive the term EON, meaning an AGE -- not the planet.

(11) The greek term for WORLD in Matthew 24:14, "this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come," is oikoumene, meaning LAND, or the Roman Empire. We know that it is restricted ot the then-known world, because Paul said this was fulfilled in his day.

quote: Col 1:5-6 For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; (6) Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:

(12) Some say Luke 21 speaks of both 70 AD and our future. Luke's own words deny that.

quote: Luk 21:31-32 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

You have to go clear back to Luke 21:6 to know what "THESE THINGS" involves. And they would all occur in one generation. It is not a spiritual generation, as though the entire church age is one generation. Jesus distinguished the generation of Jerusalem in His day from the people's past generations who slew the prophets, by saying THIS generation would be guilty of ALL BLOOD SHED, unlike the past peoples.

Matthew rendered the same words as, "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Same conversation -- same intention -- same references.

Just my opinion. Can people who disagree at least see WHY I interpret the scriptures in this fashion?

This manner interprets Revelation BY JESUS' OWN WORDS.

What could be worse than Jesus' own Bride, Jerusalem (Ezekiel 16), crucifying Him and calling for Caesar to be her King? In order for the greatest tribulation of all earth's experience to occur in our future, there is going to have to be a worse crime than the cross to yet occur. That is IMPOSSIBLE. Even if an antichrist sits on the throne in a temple in our future, and calls himself GOD, that still would not be worse than what the Jews did in rejecting and crucifying my Lord. The greatest blessing came from the worst crime and sin imaginable. Is God going to judge such an antichrist WORSE than His judgment upon Jerusalem for what THEY did? The punishment of the worst tribulation must fit the crime.

The work of the cross is the CENTRAL POINT of it all! Even all prophecy!
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IS REVELATION TOTALLY SPIRITUAL WITH NOTHING TO DO WITH NATURAL ISSUES?
Posted:Dec 10, 2011 4:14 am
Last Updated:Dec 12, 2011 3:42 pm
3697 Views

IS REVELATION TOTALLY SPIRITUAL WITH NOTHING TO DO WITH NATURAL ISSUES?





I do not at all look at Revelation as simply natural consequences that result from spiritual violations. I think that is PART of it, though. But its more a mopping up and removal of leftover insistence's on sticking to the ritual from the old covenant after Christ finished it on the cross. But it is also a picture of how Satan, in futility, had attempted to beat down and out the church using God's former bride turned with the devil. And the Revelation shows such irony as Jerusalem being tagged with epithets that were originally given to ancient Babylon, Jerusalem's greatest foe and captor in centuries gone by, as Jerusalem, herself, became a Babylon.



The Pharisees and religious leaders became the worst enemies of the New spiritual Generation of the church. And it is the church's conquest and successful overcoming to haul down every opponent, using the faith that overcomes the world that is centered upon the blood of the lamb and their union testimony derived from that lamb's death. And that will ever be the church's manner to overcome anything in our day and the days to come. Since the church's first greatest battle was with Jerusalem turned into Babylon, that battle is dealt with in Revelation, since that was the battle of the day in which the book was first given to the church. And it forms a spiritual pattern by which the church will always overcome its enemies. Its the establishment of the spiritual temple and Jerusalem. And it ends by showing the church going forth and conquering with the Gospel.



It is a HUGE issue to see changeover from Law to Grace. It occurred on the cross, (BILL!), but confirmed in Jerusalem's destruction and removal. The issue of that change and that difference is just as much stressed in the entire book of Hebrews, and Romans, and Galatians. So it is in Revelation. Change from Law to Grace is a MAJOR issue in the entire New testament teaching. Jerusalem's demise may not figure as a great issue in our minds, but it certainly did in God's mind. Jerusalem was His bride! It was no little thing for her to turn as she did against Him, and to persecute His new Bride, the church. Her destruction was long-awaited, even as Christ said she was found guilty of all righteous blood shed on earth! NEVER WAS ANYBODY accused of such guilt!




Some more Old Testament references of Revelation: (garnered from research).


John was in the spirit on the Lord's Day.


THe original Hebrew language for "cool of the day," in Genesis 3, when God's voice was heard, actually is "spirit of the day". And this was a day of judgment for Adam!


The reason Adam HID in the Garden when he heard that VOICE, is because it was not just a sound of talking. It was THUNDEROUS! The Hebrew is rendered NOISE.


Ezekiel 1 tells us what the noise of the Lord sounded like. Rushing waters, thunder, an host. No wonder Adam hid! And the picture we see that the Garden entrance of cherubims and a flaming sword is again what Ezekiel saw -- God's glory cloud with cheurbims and his throne above. Fire enfolded in the midst.


Anyway, Adam was judged on this day of the Lord -- that spirit of the day.


And John hears His voice like a trumpet blasting, just as Adam would have heard it that day. There are scores of references in Revelation from Genesis first three chapters.


The sword from Jesus mouth is a common reference from Isaiah. Isa 11:4; 2:16.


Christ appears with white hair, gold chest wrapping, brazen legs burning in a furnace, eyes of fire. Its like Christ is a flaming glorious presence. The high priest wore reds, and blues and whites and golds, which would be the very appearance of fiery flames.


John falls down as if he is dead. And the Lord touches him with his right hand, telling him not to fear. Daniel experienced the same thing in 10:9-11.


When God appeared in a glory cloud in the Exodus, the Egyptians were getting the brunt of judgment, while Israel was safe. Jesus tells John, in effect, that He is come in judgment, but John ought not fear. He is on John's side.


John is resurrected, as it were, when the Lord touches Him, because John fell like a dead man!


And Jesus holds seven stars in his right hand -- the same hand that touched John and "resurrected" him, although John did not actually die. The idea of resurrection life is there.


The stars always symbolized governing powers. That is why flags, to this day, use stars and suns and moons on them. Genesis' 4th day had the sun and moon called RULERS. The stars are the angels of the churches because they RULE and GOVERN the churches.


These stars are responsible for the church's actions.


It is interesting that John writes to seven churches.


Paul wrote to exactly seven churches in the New Testament, named after regions.



ROMANS, CORINTHIANS, GALATIANS, EPHESIANS, PHILIPPIANS, COLOSSIANS, THESSALONIANS.





By Mike Blume



I enjoyed this part of an article by Mike Blume (Dennis)
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Don't I need healthy self-esteem to be able to serve the Lord? Don't I need to love myself properly
Posted:Dec 7, 2011 2:07 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2023 4:35 am
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from Psychoheresy

Again, we must go to Scripture, not to psychology, to find the answer. Can you find a single verse that says that you need to build your self-esteem? Many distort the command, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matt. 22:39), to fit the current psychological "wisdom." They say, "The Bible commands us to love ourselves." Some even go so far as to say that we cannot love God and others until we first learn to love ourselves. Thus they turn people toward a futile search for self-love.

If you study the verse in its context, it is clear that Jesus says there are two commands, not three: Love God and love your neighbor. The standard for loving your neighbor is how you do in fact already love yourself! Jesus assumes that we each love ourselves so much that if we just love our neighbor that much, we have obeyed the command. Paul also assumes that each person loves himself (Eph. 5:28-29) and uses this as the standard by which men must love their wives. Even those with poor "self-esteem" love themselves too much, because they are consumed with self. They aren't sacrificing themselves for God and others. The mark of biblical love is self-sacrifice, not self-esteem (Eph. 5:25; John 13:34; 15:13; 1 John 3:16).

Not only does the Bible not encourage self-love; it strongly warns against it! Self-love heads the list of terrible sins that marks the end times (2 Tim. 3:2-4). The first requirement if we want to be followers of Jesus is to deny ourselves, not affirm ourselves (Mark 8:34). In fact, this is to be the daily experience of all disciples (Luke 9:23, "daily"). Many verses in the Bible tell us to humble ourselves and not to think too highly of ourselves (see James 4:6-10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6; Rom. 12:3); but none tell us to focus on how wonderful or worthy we are (because we're not worthy - grace is for the unworthy). We are commanded to esteem others more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3).

The problem with building your self-esteem is that the focus is wrong. Jesus said that if you seek to save your life, you'll lose it, but if you lose your life for His sake and the gospel's, you will save it (Mark 8:35). If you say no to your own self-focus and live for Jesus and others (the two great commandments), God graciously gives you the fulfillment you need. But if you seek fulfillment or self-esteem, you will come up empty in the end.
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Won't I be a better Christian if I resolve some of my inner conflicts through the insights of psycho
Posted:Dec 7, 2011 2:05 am
Last Updated:Feb 9, 2023 4:35 am
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from psychoheresy:

n His inscrutable sovereignty, God allows trials, some mild, some severe, into every life. Some people have horrible childhoods - physical, sexual, and verbal abuse - that cause deep emotional problems. The question is where does a person turn for healing? God's Word repeatedly claims that God Himself is our healer, sufficient to bind up our wounds and make us whole through trusting in Him (see Psalm 147:1-11 for one example of many). God's perfect and complete provision for our needs is the death and resurrection of His , Jesus Christ. We are warned not to be taken captive by the world's philosophies and principles, but to walk in the fullness of Christ, our all in all (Col. 2:6-15; 3:1-4, 11).

When we learn to rely fully on Jesus Christ as our source of strength and healing, He gets the glory due to Him as the only True God. When we rely on worldly psychology for part or all of our healing (if it can, indeed, provide such), psychology gets the glory. This is not to say that walking with the Lord provides miraculous, easy, instant emotional healing. Many passages show the struggles and difficulty of the Christian walk (2 Cor. 1:9; 4-11; 11:23-28; 12-10). The Christian life is pictured as warfare, and war is never easy! But God wants each of us to learn that He is the all-sufficient One who knows us and can meet our deepest needs. We don't need the insights of worldly men to grow up in Christ.
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Why can't we use the best insights of psychology along with the Bible? Isn't all truth God's truth?
Posted:Dec 7, 2011 2:03 am
Last Updated:Dec 9, 2011 2:53 am
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taken from the Questions posed at Psychoheresy and is their answer:

This goes right to the heart of the matter which is: "Is the Bible sufficient for dealing with our deepest psychological and emotional needs or not?"

We need to look at the Bible's claims. Second Peter 1:3 states that through His power, God "has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge" of Christ. He goes on to specify that this gift consists of God's "precious and magnificent promises," which, of course, are contained in His Word. Furthermore, 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

These claims are comprehensive - that God's Word is sufficient for life and godliness, for equipping us for every good work. Surely, "everything pertaining to life and godliness" includes our emotional or psychological well-being. Since people with severe psychological problems are not "equipped for every good work," we must conclude that Scripture claims to be sufficient for bringing healing to the whole person.

The list of the fruit of the Spirit ("love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control," Gal. 5:22-23) describes an emotionally balanced, psychologically stable person. If God's Word and Spirit can produce this, why do we need to turn to worldly psychology?

"But," some counter, "the Bible isn't comprehensive. It doesn't tell us in detail how to deal with many of the complex problems people struggle with. As long as psychology is in line with Scripture, why not use it?" Perhaps this can be answered by answering another question:

2. We use modern medicine; why not use modern psychology?

The answer is that the Bible doesn't claim to be sufficient for dealing with medical problems; it does claim to be sufficient for dealing with problems of the soul (psyche, in Greek). How can we determine which psychological "truths" are true? If we answer, "Whatever works," we're on thin ice, since many false religious and spiritual techniques produce results. Scripture is the only basis for determining absolute truth (John 17:17).

There are currently over 500 brand-name psychotherapies on the market, with the number expanding yearly. They come at problems from many varied angles, but one thing is common to them all: They start with a biblically defective view of the nature of man, namely, that man is basically good and able to solve his problems apart from God. If you start from the wrong base, you can't build a system that complements Scripture. If you mix dirt and water, you get mud.

The Bible warns us against turning to the world's "wisdom," since it is opposed to God's wisdom (see Psalm 1:1-2; Isa. 55:8-11; Jer. 2:13; 1 Cor. 1:18-2:16). As Christians, we are to depend solely on God and His Word as our support and wisdom in the trials of life (see Psalms 19-11; 32:6-11; 33:6-22; 119) so that He alone gets the glory (Ps. 115; Isa. 42:.

Serious problems have plagued the human race since we fell into sin. If a relationship with the living God and His Word was not adequate for coping with these problems, but we needed the insights of modern psychology to resolve them, then God has left people without sufficient answers for the past 2,000 years, until Freud and company came along to save the day. This is preposterous! The God who went to such expense to save us from sin would not abandon us to the world's ways to find answers to our deepest problems (Rom. 8:32). While some problems may be new to our times (anorexia, mid-life crisis, etc.), and thus are not specifically addressed in Scripture, the principles in God's Word are sufficient to deal with the underlying causes of these problems. There is no "new" problem for which Christ is not sufficient (Col. 2:10; 3:1-4).

The danger for modern Christians is that "Christian" psychologists read their psychological biases into Scripture and then cite Scripture as supporting and teaching these "truths." One flagrant example: In Worry-Free Living, [Thomas Nelson, 1989] Frank Minirth, Paul Meier, and Don Hawkins operate on the psychological premise that a lack of self-worth is the basis of most psychological problems (p. 140). This is not biblically sound. The Bible clearly and repeatedly states that sin is the basis of most problems.

But, the authors seek to illustrate this false psychological premise by claiming that the ten spies who brought back a negative report to Moses suffered from a negative self-concept, whereas the two spies who brought back the good report had proper self-esteem (p. 136)! They tell us that the reason that David could defeat Goliath, but Saul was a coward, was that David had good self-esteem, whereas Saul did not (p. 139)! This psychologizing of the Bible perverts its intended meaning (the Bible clearly attributes these varying responses due to the faith, or lack thereof, of the men) and leads the unsuspecting astray.
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