Author Topic: Difficult Biblical Questions  (Read 21217 times)

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JimB

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #120 on: October 19, 2016, 05:03:10 PM »
I don't mean to belabor this point but ever since this topic came up I've been trying to re-find this reference that I knew I had read a couple of years back and just tonight I've finally found it. This just shows me that this is trap that satan uses depending on the person.

A soul whom God had forsaken would never feel as you [FROM A LETTER OF COMFORT TO A TROUBLED HEART] have felt and would never love the truth and salvation as you have loved it. Oh, if God's Spirit ceases to strive with a soul it is left in an indifferent state, and all the time thinks that it is well enough off. . . . You must not gratify the enemy in the least by doubting and casting away your confidence. Said the angel, "God leaves not His people, even if they err. He turns not from them in wrath for any light thing. If they sin they have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous."  {HP 119.2}
     This Advocate pleads for sinners and the Father accepts His prayer. He turns not away the request of His beloved Son. He who so loved you as to give His own life for you will not turn you off and forsake you unless you willfully, determinedly forsake Him to serve the world and Satan. Jesus loves to have you come to Him just as you are, hopeless and helpless, and cast yourself upon His all- abundant mercy and believe that He will receive you just as you are.  {HP 119.3} 
     You dwell upon the dark side. You must turn your mind away, and instead of thinking all the time upon the wrath of God, think of His abundant mercy, His willingness to save poor sinners, and then believe He saves you. You must in the name of God break this spell that is upon you. You must cry out, "I will, I do believe!" Jesus retains your name upon His breastplate and pleads for you before His Father, and if your eyes could be opened you would see heavenly angels ministering unto you, hovering about and driving back the evil angels that they should not utterly destroy. . . .  {HP 119.4} 
     God calls upon you to believe. Heed His voice. Cease talking of the wrath of God and talk of His compassion and His abundant mercy. Jesus sits as a refiner and purifier of silver. The furnace in which you may be placed may be very hot, yet you will come forth as gold seven times purified, reflecting the image of Jesus. Have courage. Look up, believe, and you shall see of the salvation of God.  {HP 119.5}
 
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #121 on: November 14, 2016, 08:34:41 AM »
Amen, Jim!  This message reminds me of the church in 1888, and the message God brought in order to bring about a reformation.  We, as Seventh-day Adventists understand the law has not been done away with, and it is still binding. But, the church had been preaching the law, the law, the law until it was as dry as the hills of Gilboa. The law does not save anyone, it condemns. Jesus saves! We need to behold the loveliness of Jesus in order to be changed (converted).

It is grace that transforms the character. And grace is around us as thick as the air we breathe. We must drink it in if we are to receive a benefit. We need to behold Jesus, and in so doing we shall want to give the whole heart to Him. If we lack faith, we need to learn of Him who gave all for us. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us that we might know Him. It would be well for us to spend some time each day contemplating His character!  Then we shall not lament our trials, but glory in them.

Thanks for sharing these encouraging statements, Jim.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dorine

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #122 on: November 14, 2016, 12:27:58 PM »
What sweet assurance. Thank you Jim.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14

JimB

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #123 on: November 15, 2017, 05:41:00 AM »
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Sometimes when following the counsel to take the Bible just as it reads, for me anyway, presents little difficulties here and there and this is one of them. Did the Lord purposely give diseases to the Egyptians? Or is this an example of phrase where the Bible says that God hardened pharaoh's heart?
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

colporteur

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #124 on: November 15, 2017, 06:22:32 AM »
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

Sometimes when following the counsel to take the Bible just as it reads, for me anyway, presents little difficulties here and there and this is one of them. Did the Lord purposely give diseases to the Egyptians? Or is this an example of phrase where the Bible says that God hardened pharaoh's heart?

Yes, the same. It is helpful to know the Jewish mindset. They considered that to not stop something is to do it. In other words, if you are able but unwilling to pull another's ass out of the pit it is the same as if you put him there. To not protect the Egyptians from them bringing disease upon themselves may have been viewed as causing the diseases. After a fashion this still holds true today and is not necessarily incorrect. When a person of position ( especially) refuses to warn another of his sin he is held accountable as though he himself committed the sin. I'm sure that is not true in every case or else we would have to 24/7 run up and down the streets yelling "repent." But for instance if the pastor or elders know another elder is living in adultery and they sweep it under the rug they will be held accountable as though they too were living in adultery. The parallel may not be identical but somewhat the same in principle.
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #125 on: November 15, 2017, 05:48:03 PM »
Great question Jim. Let's take this opportunity to do a little Bible study. Where shall we begin? I believe if we begin where we ought to begin, we will find the answer very quickly.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #126 on: November 16, 2017, 07:03:01 AM »
Great question Jim. Let's take this opportunity to do a little Bible study. Where shall we begin? I believe if we begin where we ought to begin, we will find the answer very quickly.
A riddle? :)  That's ok, I'll think about it for a bit.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #127 on: November 16, 2017, 07:58:17 AM »
Here's a clue. False teachers will twist Scripture to deceive. How do they most often get away with this?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Lewis

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #128 on: November 18, 2017, 04:33:25 PM »
Here's a clue. False teachers will twist Scripture to deceive. How do they most often get away with this?

One reason why they get away with this is because many do not have a love for the truth and the daily and minute by minute connection with God is missing in their life.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
Acts 17:11

colporteur

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #129 on: November 18, 2017, 06:02:44 PM »
I think Jim already gave the answer when comparing this to Pharoah. Like with Pharoah's heart God simply allowed nature to take its course without interrupting it.
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Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #130 on: November 19, 2017, 06:16:30 PM »
Lewis, good to see your post!  I think you present a truth. If more were truly converted, there would not be silence regarding the false teachings.

When Jim asked the question, the Holy Spirit touched my mind with an answer. It was different from that which I had always understood the verse to mean. It is a blessing to know that when we love God with the whole heart, and obey His teachings, we will see great light in the area of health reform. Thus, many of the diseases which the Egyptians suffered will not afflict us. But, when the Spirit touched my mind, it was not with this truth.

So, if we are good Bible students, where do we start in our study?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #131 on: November 21, 2017, 08:16:47 PM »
I was just listening to a sermon by Elder Jay Gallimore. He began by sharing  "context is just about everything......You can make something say about anything when you take it out of context."  And, this is where we must begin when we want to better understand a verse in Scripture.

So, we must read the verse in its context if we want to understand what is being said. What the Holy Spirit impressed me with when Jim asked the question, was what is the context of the verse?  I had never really went to the context to see what was being said. If I were to take the verse just as it reads, then it appears to say that God brought the diseases upon the Egyptians. Let's read in context and see if this is what was meant.

When you read in context, what do you find? How much do you have to read in order to under the context in this particular situation?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #132 on: November 24, 2017, 06:45:47 PM »
When you read in context, what do you find? How much do you have to read in order to under the context in this particular situation?

How much do you have to read? Sometimes I've seen the need to read a whole chapter or maybe 2. Other times just a verse or two before or after helps. Here is the context here...

Exo 15:22-27  So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water.  (23)  And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.  (24)  And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?  (25)  And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,  (26)  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.  (27)  And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters.

Just before this is the song of Moses.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #133 on: November 25, 2017, 05:20:15 AM »
Let's look at what is being said. What is the lesson we are to learn from this chapter?

15:3   The LORD [is] a man of war: the LORD [is] his name. 
 15:4   Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. 
 15:5   The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone. 
 15:6   Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. 
 15:7   And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, [which] consumed them as stubble. 
 15:8   And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, [and] the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. 
 15:9   The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 
 15:10   Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. 
 15:11   Who [is] like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who [is] like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful [in] praises, doing wonders? 


God is omnipotent.  He will literally destroy the enemy. What does that have to do with the verse we are seeking light on?

Maybe we need to look a little further back, to see if God in fact ever used disease as punishment to the Egyptians? Would God do that? Most don't think so. God is too loving, even if He did drown the Egyptians.......and every living person on the Earth except for those in the ark.

So, in context, if we go back a little further to see if God would bring any disease upon Israel, did He?

There is a lesson in the verse. "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians." Many don't want to hear the lesson. Why not?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #134 on: December 09, 2017, 07:08:06 PM »
Has anyone came across those who are preaching that those who are raised in the special resurrection make up part of the 144,000 ? That makes for a very strange scenario as it is being taught they that have been resurrected ( with new bodies not subject to death)  and will face the final death decree together. How could those with immortal bodies have much concern over mortal man taking their lives ? How would that be a test of faith and character ?
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Richard Myers

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #135 on: December 09, 2017, 08:31:13 PM »
As I understand, cp, I dont't think they face anything as do the living saints. They come up just to see the coming of Christ.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Glen McCluskey

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #136 on: December 10, 2017, 04:34:43 AM »
Has anyone came across those who are preaching that those who are raised in the special resurrection make up part of the 144,000 ? That makes for a very strange scenario as it is being taught they that have been resurrected ( with new bodies not subject to death)  and will face the final death decree together. How could those with immortal bodies have much concern over mortal man taking their lives ? How would that be a test of faith and character ?

The SOP says repeatedly that the 144,000 are taken from the living.  Here are a couple of examples.

Quote
Upon the crystal sea before the throne, that sea of glass as it were mingled with fire,--so resplendent is it with the glory of God,--are gathered the company that have "gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." With the Lamb upon Mount Zion, "having the harps of God," they stand, the hundred and forty and four thousand that were redeemed from among men; and there is heard, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of a great thunder, "the voice of harpers harping with their harps." And they sing "a new song" before the throne, a song which no man can learn save the hundred and forty and four thousand. It is the song of Moses and the Lamb--a song of deliverance. None but the hundred and forty-four thousand can learn that song; for it is the song of their experience--an experience such as no other company have ever had. "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth." These, having been translated from the earth, from among the living, are counted as "the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb." Revelation 15:2, 3; 14:1-5. "These are they which came out of great tribulation;" they have passed through the time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation; they have endured the anguish of the time of Jacob's trouble; they have stood without an intercessor through the final outpouring of God's judgments. But they have been delivered, for they have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." "In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault" before God. "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple: and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." They have seen the earth wasted with famine and pestilence, the sun having power to scorch men with great heat, and they themselves have endured suffering, hunger, and thirst. But "they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." Revelation 7:14-17.  {GC 648.3}

Quote
Elijah was a type of the saints who will be living on the earth at the time of the second advent of Christ and who will be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump," without tasting of death. 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52. It was as a representative of those who shall be thus translated that Elijah, near the close of Christ's earthly ministry, was permitted to stand with Moses by the side of the Saviour on the mount of transfiguration. In these glorified ones, the disciples saw in miniature a representation of the kingdom of the redeemed. They beheld Jesus clothed with the light of heaven; they heard the "voice out of the cloud" (Luke 9:35), acknowledging Him as the Son of God; they saw Moses, representing those who will be raised from the dead at the time of the second advent; and there also stood Elijah, representing those who at the close of earth's history will be changed from mortal to immortal and be translated to heaven without seeing death.  {PK 227.2}

JimB

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #137 on: December 10, 2017, 09:04:20 AM »
So, in context, if we go back a little further to see if God would bring any disease upon Israel, did He?

There is a lesson in the verse. "If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians." Many don't want to hear the lesson. Why not?

Richard, it may be that others saw your point but I'm still left thinking about it. When you asked if would bring disease upon Israel I was left thinking for examples. Immediately my mind went to Miriam but that doesn't happen until Numbers which is long after verse we are talking about. More closely at hand was the plague of boils but I can't remember off the top of my head if that was one that Hebrews were protected from.

When we are done dealing with this verse I have another one of similar nature.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

colporteur

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #138 on: December 10, 2017, 04:44:58 PM »
As I understand, cp, I dont't think they face anything as do the living saints. They come up just to see the coming of Christ.

That's my understanding as well, Richard and Glen. Andrew Henrique's  belief is that those who are raised ARE living during the time between being raised and the second coming of Christ. He is right in the sense that there is a time frame there of which we know not how long that will be. However, SOP is clear at the mount of transfiguration that Moses was resurrected and Elijah was translated. I think he is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by claiming that those resurrected are translated. Mrs. White never refers to Moses as having been translated, neither does she say that those who are raised are translated.
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Glen McCluskey

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Re: Difficult Biblical Questions
« Reply #139 on: December 11, 2017, 09:25:33 AM »
As I understand, cp, I dont't think they face anything as do the living saints. They come up just to see the coming of Christ.

That's my understanding as well, Richard and Glen. Andrew Henrique's  belief is that those who are raised ARE living during the time between being raised and the second coming of Christ. He is right in the sense that there is a time frame there of which we know not how long that will be. However, SOP is clear at the mount of transfiguration that Moses was resurrected and Elijah was translated. I think he is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole by claiming that those resurrected are translated. Mrs. White never refers to Moses as having been translated, neither does she say that those who are raised are translated.

The 144,000 are taken from among the living, but only from the living who have never tasted death.  This rules out the righteous raised as part of the special resurrection.

The PK 227 quote listed above talks about this in the first sentence.