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i have been all over this site and i have really paid attention, to the posts, replies, and you know i did have a falling away and started looking at the bible differently and had started calling the bible The Light in christain circles that I was a part of, and you guys are right there is no christain god, ( for one group of people to claim him, puts him in a box) but to me there is GOD.

I was reading this last week and this light jumped out at me

Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Act 17:24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

Act 17:25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

Act 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Act 17:29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

Act 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Act 17:32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

 

Thats my God, he is UNKNOWN.

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Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world

 

I wouldn't let this threat determine anything for me. Why believe the words of others who can't prove what they say is true?

 

The god described is unknown and more importantly, unknowable. How could such a concept be useful? By definition it is something you must believe without reason.

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Thats my God, he is UNKNOWN.

I'm a devoted follower. Where and how and when I worship, and the results are unknown.

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You do realize that the bible is saying that it's the Christian god that's the unknown god, not that the unknown god is a different god, right? Hence you're saying if you believe in this UNKNOWN god you're basically believing in the Christian god yet not? I still fail to see how you're somehow different than Christians. Besides, what evidence do you have for this god? Why should we believe in it?

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Today I sometimes sense that there is great mystery in the world and in us. And I think there are even times when I feel that this mystery may be somehow sacred. But I don’t feel it’s necessary to personify it or put a face on it and call it God.

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Today, do you only read the Bible to make your mind up about God? I ask because that is like reading only a McDonald's menu to decide what you are going to cook for a meal.....there are so many other choices and ways of looking at things, and limiting your main focus to the Bible IS putting your concept of God into a very restrictive box.

 

When I bother to have an opinion about whether there is a god, I am at heart an Apatheist (apathy + theist), I prefer to think of God as the Taoist and other eastern religions have describe such a being, as something above good and evil, love and hate, and any other duality that is found in the physical universe. One of the first things the Taoists say in the Tao Teh Ching is that god is unknowable, and once you name it, you have not found its real name. But, no matter if there is a god or not, and what type of god it may be, none of that makes a real difference in how I live my life, because in the end, it is me who is the final, and harshest judge as to whether I lived a good life or not.

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Unless I'm mistaken, this part of acts specifically refers to Paul trying to get the gentiles to worship the YHWH. The tactic was that since they were already worshiping this "unknown god" (which they were using as a way to "hedge our bets"), he equated it with YHWH.

 

An "Unknown god" by definition wouldn't have any tenents nor would he have a judgement day.

 

Don't get me wrong, you can certainly be a deist. Go for it. A lot of people are, but when you try to use the Christian Bible, don't be surprised if all you end up with is... the Christian God.

 

IMOHO,

:thanks:

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i have been all over this site and i have really paid attention, to the posts, replies, and you know i did have a falling away and started looking at the bible differently and had started calling the bible The Light in christain circles that I was a part of, and you guys are right there is no christain god, ( for one group of people to claim him, puts him in a box) but to me there is GOD.

I was reading this last week and this light jumped out at me

Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Just wanted to be sure you actually saw what you read. According to Paul this God is not unknowable like you want to see. Paul disagrees with you. He is telling you who this God is, effectively putting "him" into that box.

 

Tell me you can see that?

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As others have stated the Greeks certainly did have an "unknown god" (agnostos theos if I'm not mistaken). They didn't have just one alter to the "unknown god" but numerous alters to an "unknown god." These alters appeared to refer to different god(s) but all equally unknown (the alters were built as needed).

 

The story in Acts has Paul coming to Athens and speaking on "jesus and the resurrection" (17:18). He then proceeds, at the prodding of the locals, gives the little talk you posted. So who is he talking about? YHWH? Jesus? It's unclear. What is clear is that he's trying to connect his god(s) to only one of the many unknown gods.

 

The idea that the Athenians would fall for this is not entirely plausible to my mind. They would understand that each alter belonged to a unique entity even though it was labeled in the same fashion. Image if there were no single symbolic "Tomb of the Unknown Soldier." Instead of one large tomb for the unknown dead they had one tomb for each unknown soldier and just marked them "Unknown Soldier." We'd understand this wasn't the same soldier thousands of times (at least I hope so) but instead we'd see this as "Unknown Soldier 1, Unknown Soldier 2, etc., etc.". They didn't have the alter for the Unknown GodS (plural) but "Unknown God" (singular) and simply built as many as needed for each unknown god (Unknown God 1, Unknown God 2, etc., etc.).

 

So could Paul pull off this trick? Could he have convinced them that the alter to the unknown god was really his god(s)? Acts says he gets some converts and some "maybes." He may have been able to convince someone that one (or two) of these unknown gods were his god(s). But I'm not sure that's a big accomplishment.

 

I'm also not sure claiming one of the unknown gods for yourself is all that big of a deal either. You're just latching onto the words without truly knowing what the alter was built to. They were build TO a god. For a reason. Not out of the blue. Not before the fact. Not "Maybe there's a god of giant angry bees? We'd better get ready by building an alter to this unknown god." If giant angry bees invaded they'd build an alter to appease this unknown god (okay, it didn't work exactly like this but I needed to show an example...one method was based on sheep or something but I'm not going to look it up). Big difference. So claiming the unknown god of Acts could be like claiming the unknown god whose alter was built because of some menstrual cycle issue or something. Seriously. We don't know the who, what or why surrounding that particular alter. Oh well, have fun with your "grab bag" god.

 

mwc

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i have been all over this site and i have really paid attention, to the posts, replies, and you know i did have a falling away and started looking at the bible differently and had started calling the bible The Light in christain circles that I was a part of, and you guys are right there is no christain god, ( for one group of people to claim him, puts him in a box) but to me there is GOD.

I was reading this last week and this light jumped out at me

Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Just wanted to be sure you actually saw what you read. According to Paul this God is not unknowable like you want to see. Paul disagrees with you. He is telling you who this God is, effectively putting "him" into that box.

 

Tell me you can see that?

yes i do see that, i never said he was unknowable! yes i believe Paul knows who God is, he would certantly disagree with what christains, religion and building churches have done to the God he spoke of.

He made us in his Image, he gave his sprirt, To us Humans, It ties us (humans) together, all of us, not one group or people.

Several of the reply's mention judgement

Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

this scripture is not a threat, or a future judgement, he has already sent his son, and his rightrousness was enough, we will all be raised up.

I know this will not be well recieved, i know christains didn't recieve it, but the spirit is alive in all humans.

just think about, it all christains say that just to be good will not get you into heaven, Jesus was good, well if a human is good he was like Christ.

No i do not just read the bible of today they are all translated from latin (by man) and the latin translation from greek/hebrew (again man),

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Today, do you only read the Bible to make your mind up about God? I ask because that is like reading only a McDonald's menu to decide what you are going to cook for a meal.....there are so many other choices and ways of looking at things, and limiting your main focus to the Bible IS putting your concept of God into a very restrictive box.

 

When I bother to have an opinion about whether there is a god, I am at heart an Apatheist (apathy + theist), I prefer to think of God as the Taoist and other eastern religions have describe such a being, as something above good and evil, love and hate, and any other duality that is found in the physical universe. One of the first things the Taoists say in the Tao Teh Ching is that god is unknowable, and once you name it, you have not found its real name. But, no matter if there is a god or not, and what type of god it may be, none of that makes a real difference in how I live my life, because in the end, it is me who is the final, and harshest judge as to whether I lived a good life or not.

i hear you, it really doesnt matter what other people think, does it? good or bad it is still life.

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Here's the problem, Today: You make these emphatic statements as if you KNOW for a fact that they are true. For example:

 

He made us in his Image, he gave his sprirt, To us Humans, It ties us (humans) together, all of us, not one group or people.

 

How do you know that god made us in his image? How do you know that he gave us his spirit? How do you know he even has a spirit? How do you know that this spirit is what ties us all together as humans?

 

Frankly, you don't know any of this for a fact. You may believe it, but you cannot know it. It is OK for you to state that you believe this to be true, but it is NOT OK to state it as a fact when you have no proof.

 

Now, I suspect you get your ideas about this from what you have read in the Bible. I may be wrong, but this is my suspicion. If you get your ideas (what you believe to be true) from the Bible, then how do you know that the Bible is actually a book of truth? Have you tested it to see if its veracity is sound? Have you examined what can be tested to see if it holds up to what is actually known to be true? Or are you simply assuming that the Bible is true and hold this mindset no matter what someone says to you or shows you?

 

From what little I have read, it seems like you believe the Bible to be a true book ... the word of god ... but that just about everyone has interpreted its message wrong. Or perhaps you think that the contains truth (that portions are true and perhaps others are not). If the first is true, then what led you to believe that Bible is indeed the word of god? If the latter is true, then how do you select which parts are true and which are false? And of the ones you have selected as truth, how do you know that they are indeed true?

 

this scripture is not a threat, or a future judgement, he has already sent his son, and his rightrousness was enough, we will all be raised up.

 

The verse you quoted is indeed about a future judgment. It was not about sending his son. The writer was stating that a future day was coming in which the world would be judged and that the one that would carry out this judgment was the one appointed to the task. The "assurance" given is this: men can rest assured that the world will be judged by this one because it is this one (the one that Paul was proclaiming) that god had raised from the dead. In other words, this was the writer's way of saying, the future judgment is certain!

 

No i do not just read the bible of today they are all translated from latin (by man) and the latin translation from greek/hebrew (again man)

 

This is not correct. None of the modern Bibles (other than possibly some Catholic versions?) are translated from Latin at all. Even the King James Version (first printed in 1611) used Hebrew and Greek, though it did rely on some Latin to help it out from time to time. If you read about the various translations they will tell you which Hebrew and Greek texts they relied upon in order to bring the texts into English. So, no, they are not translated from Latin.

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Act 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

this scripture is not a threat, or a future judgement, he has already sent his son, and his rightrousness was enough, we will all be raised up.

[...]

No i do not just read the bible of today they are all translated from latin (by man) and the latin translation from greek/hebrew (again man),

Then why does verse 30 say "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent?"

 

No need to "repent" if things are cool. But he says that "god" is done ignoring things and it's time to repent because...next verse...there's a day coming that he's going to take on the role of judge. So people had better get with the resurrection program.

 

Next verse. "32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, 'We shall hear you again concerning this.'" The resurrection sounds stupid to the Greeks but some say they'll listen to his pitch later. So Paul hits the road.

 

You're not really reading the story as it's written (in any language...I've looked at the Greek and this is a fair translation from what I can tell). I'm not sure why you want to do this but it seems to make you happy.

 

mwc

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Today, do you only read the Bible to make your mind up about God? I ask because that is like reading only a McDonald's menu to decide what you are going to cook for a meal.....there are so many other choices and ways of looking at things, and limiting your main focus to the Bible IS putting your concept of God into a very restrictive box.

 

 

Robbobrob,

 

I particularly like your McDonald's analogy.

 

I don't know how to encourage Christians to be open to reading other faiths' writings and other philosophical points of view. But it is clear, when looking in from the outside, that people use the Bible to restrict their viewpoint. They may get "deeper into the word," so to speak, but that's like going deeper into a box canyon. You may know more about the canyon, but you are still restricting yourself. Once you get out of the canyon, there is a beautiful landscape to explore.

 

I prefer to think of God as the Taoist and other eastern religions have describe such a being, as something above good and evil, love and hate, and any other duality that is found in the physical universe. One of the first things the Taoists say in the Tao Teh Ching is that god is unknowable, and once you name it, you have not found its real name.

 

I look at this "True god, False God/s" issue from the point of view of the old cartoon where the coyote and the sheep dog clock into work, greeting one another in a cordial and professional matter. Once they clock in they engage in a fierce struggle over possession of the sheep. When the day is done, they go to the time clock and clock out, bidding one another a good evening. Once again their tone is ironically cordial and professional.

 

I have "clocked out" of the "True god, False God/s" struggle. I say that in the sense of the Taoists or Zen Buddhists in how I situate myself in that struggle. If someone were to ask me "Do you believe in God?" I think at this point I would say, "G'Night Bob." or something. To the question, "Do you have Jesus as your personal Savior?" I would reply, "Have a good weekend!"

 

I think now I could actually go to church again and not get angry or offended. I think I could recast the entire "show" as a reminder that their is a greater, unspeakable, unnameable reality behind the struggle of opposites. Were I to attend church, I would know I was seeing one head of a two-headed snake. In response to the insanity of a particular religious denomination, I would be open to the people there to be a loving, compassionate neighbor to them. But I can be open and loving to atheists, Muslims, Hindus . . . as well.

 

The landscape is beautiful once you crawl out of the canyon of theism. Once you say "G'Night Bob!" to the tension of opposites.

 

IMHO.

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Thats my God, he is UNKNOWN.

 

I know you are trying really hard to be holier than them, but FYI this god has been identified since Paul's time. This god of course is the King of Rock and Roll who died on a toilet to save you from really bad music. He was known in life as Elvis Presley, but now is known by his true name Elvis the Divine. Find out more at The First Presleyterian Church.

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I know this will not be well recieved, i know christains didn't recieve it, but the spirit is alive in all humans.

just think about, it all christains say that just to be good will not get you into heaven, Jesus was good, well if a human is good he was like Christ.

 

Who are you going to believe? Jesus or Paul?

 

Mt25: 31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

 

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

 

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

 

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

 

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

 

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

 

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

 

Why do you think that you have grokked the true meaning and others haven't? Was it the drugs that gave you the insight? Seriously, you spent a good bit of your life getting stoned, yet many of these Christians that will not receive your knowledge instead spent a good bit of their lives studying the bible, church history and theology. Why should they drop what they have learned and believe for your point of view?

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I was reading this last week and this light jumped out at me

 

Jim Jones saw a light too, as well as Joseph Smith, Mohammad. Hitler saw a light of Christ in studying Christianity, which was his fervent persecutions of the Jewish people. A Light is great until it has to much wattage, then it blows out or burns up.

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yes i do see that, i never said he was unknowable! yes i believe Paul knows who God is, he would certantly disagree with what christains, religion and building churches have done to the God he spoke of.
What makes you think Paul would agree with you but not other Christians?

 

He made us in his Image, he gave his sprirt, To us Humans, It ties us (humans) together, all of us, not one group or people.
If he gave us his spirit, why can't Christians ever agree with each other? Why should we listen to you and not them? Are you saying the spirit is faulty?

 

this scripture is not a threat, or a future judgement, he has already sent his son, and his rightrousness was enough, we will all be raised up.
What evidence do you have of this?

 

No i do not just read the bible of today they are all translated from latin (by man) and the latin translation from greek/hebrew (again man),
So you claim to believe in the bible yet you're not getting your material from the bible? Where are you getting it from then? God himself? Do you think you're some sort of prophet send to us by God? If we shouldn't trust the bible because it's been translated by humans, why should we trust you then? You're a human yourself or do you think you're God yourself?
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Most have at least heard of this judgment even if they have no solid understanding of what it is all about or its primary purpose. We will have a great deal to say about this judgment later. But first we will take a look at another judgment almost universally unknown in the world of Christendom. It is a judgment that involves believers, NOW!

 

Peter, who was given many keys to the kingdom, introduces this judgment to us:

 

"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For [here’s the reason] the TIME IS COME that JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD ..." (I Pet. 4:16-17).

 

What do you know about this judgment on the house of God. Do you know anything specific? Well, don’t feel too badly, most people don’t. Apparently theologians and clergymen don’t know too much either, seeing that it is not a popular subject to teach. If they had even a superficial understanding of God’s judgments on the house of God, they wouldn’t interpret the great white throne and the lake of fire as some hideous act of divine eternal terrorism. These two judgments have much in common.

 

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Just what is this human life on earth for, anyway? -- Why are we here? -- What is our purpose? -- What is God’s purpose for the Christian?

 

As children we are taught that Christian people live; they die; their souls go to heaven. Bad people live; they die; their souls go to hell. Live, die, go to heaven or live, die, go to hell.

 

So I guess this earth is a giant "soul factory." But the truth is that Christian souls do not go to heaven at death, neither do wicked souls go to hell at death. Contrary to all Christian belief, the Bible reveals (as does elementary science), that dead people are DEAD. What a revelation! That’s right, boys and girls, living people are "ALIVE" and dead people are "DEAD." This is not rocket science!

 

If ALL the dead are either alive in hell or alive in heaven, who, pray tell, is God going to resurrect back to life from the dead when He returns to judge the world in righteousness? How can the dead be living in heaven or hell when they haven’t as yet been judged as to where they should be living in the first place?

 

THE BELIEVER’S JUDGMENT BY FIRE

 

Well, yes, it does appear that there is a judgment on the house of God, but certainly not a judgment by FIRE, is there? Doesn’t God judge non-believers with fire, but not believers? This only sounds strange to you if you have never been taught the Scriptures.

 

"Beloved, think it NOT STRANGE concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some STRANGE thing happened unto you" (I Pet. 4:12).

 

Peter makes it sound as though going through fiery trails is the norm rather than the exception. The New Testament is filled with the fiery trials of the Saints.

 

Now I hope that none will be offended at my next few statements, but if so, so be it. Unless God Almighty through the purging power of His FIERY SPIRIT, is BURNING OUT the lusts and passions and vanity and haughtiness and greed and self-righteousness and laziness and weakness and hypocrisy and wickedness and pride and materialism and cynicism and depravity and carnality in your life, then Jesus Christ is not choosing you to reign with Him as the Sons of God in the Kingdom of God to bring all Heaven and Earth to repentance and salvation!

 

And I will tell you on the authority of Jesus Christ and all the Holy Scriptures, that anyone who teaches and takes delight in thinking that God would ever torture anyone for all eternity, will NEVER BE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD WITH SUCH AN ATTITUDE!

 

Such damnable character flaws of the mind and spirit are going to be burned out of us all! God will either BURN OUT these filthy impurities from our hearts and minds NOW, or He will BURN THEM OUT IN THE LAKE OF FIRE, but either way, make no mistake about it, THESE THINGS ARE COMING OUT!!!

 

JOHN THE BAPTIST: John the Baptist said that Jesus would be baptizing repentant believers with fire.

 

"I indeed baptize you with water unto REPENTANCE: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, AND WITH FIRE" (Matt. 3:11).

 

JESUS CHRIST:

 

"For EVERY ONE [sinner and saint] shall be salted with FIRE" (Mark 9:49).

 

APOSTLE PETER:

 

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it [your faith] be TRIED IN THE FIRE, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ" (I Pet. 1:7).

 

APOSTLE PAUL:

 

"Every man’s work [including believers] shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed BY FIRE, and the FIRE shall try every man’s work of what sort it is" (I Cor. 3:13).

 

With such noble and august witnesses, does anyone deny that the repentant, converted, dedicated, believing Christian will escape being "revealed," tried," "salted," and "baptized" by FIRE? These Scriptures are undeniable! Whatever this "fire" is, it is going to be used ON EVERYONE. These four Scriptures have the believer specifically in view, but it says and includes "EVERYONE shall be salted with FIRE," and "EVERY MAN’S WORK ... shall be revealed by FIRE."

 

And there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE when it comes to the non-believers:

 

"And I saw a great white throne ... And I saw the dead...and the dead were JUDGED ... according to their WORKS ... and they were judged EVERY MAN according to their WORKS" (Rev. 20:11-13).

 

And are these non-believers judged differently from believers who are "revealed, tried, salted and baptized IN FIRE?" Just HOW are these non-believers judged in the book of Revelation? How are the "...fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars..." JUDGED? Answer: "... In the lake WHICH BURNS WITH FIRE ..." (Rev. 21:!

 

Is this "fire" in the book of Revelation DIFFERENT from the fire that tries the works of believers in the book of I Corinthians? NO. The word "fire" used in the four examples above concerning believers, is the SAME word "fire" used in the book of Revelation concerning non-believers:

 

STRONG’s Greek Dictionary of the New Testament, page 219, #4442, pur; a primary word; "fire" (literally OR FIGURATIVELY. Pur is used (besides its ordinary natural significance):

 

(1) of the holiness of God, which consumes all that is inconsistent therewith, Heb. 10:27; 12:29; cf. Rev. 1:14; 2:18; 10:1; 15:2; 19:12;

 

(1a) similarly of the holy angels as His ministers, Heb. 1:7;

 

(1b) in Rev. 3:18 it is SYMBOLIC of that which tries the faith of saints, PRODUCING WHAT WILL GLORIFY THE LORD;

 

(2) of the divine judgment, testing the deeds of believers, at the judgment seat of Christ I Cor. 3:13 and 15;

 

(3) of the fire of DIVINE JUDGMENT upon the REJECTERS of Christ, Matt. 3:11 (where a distinction is to be made between the baptism of the holy Spirit at Pentecost and the "fire" of divine retribution; Acts 2:3 could not refer to baptism); Lk. 3:16."

 

End of quotation, (All CAPS emphasis are mine).

 

I was quite amazed to see this broadened definition in Strong’s Concordance. In my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance that I purchased over forty years ago, it has but one line after the Greek word pur. It states that pur is "fire" either (literal or figurative), fiery, lightning. That’s it. So when I purchased the NEW Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible last week, I was pleasantly surprised to see the expanded definitions, especially with reference to this word "pur" -- FIRE. I learned the use of the word "fire" in Scripture the hard way -- I had to research.

 

We could easily spend twenty pages just commenting on the examples used in this expanded version of Strong’s. I won’t do that, but let’s take a brief look at a few enlightening items: First, we learn that this word can be, and is, used "figuratively." And in fact, the first five examples given in Strong’s ARE examples of figurative usage of the word fire. And of the 500+ times the word 'fire' is used in the Bible, hundreds of times the word 'fire' is used in a figurative or symbolic sense.

 

I call your attention to the statement in Strong’s (1b) "In Rev. 3:18 it [fire] is SYMBOLIC, of that which tries the faith of saints, PRODUCING WHAT WILL GLORIFY THE LORD"! (CAPS emphasis mine).

 

I just love it when Christian Scholars will occasionally just absolutely "nail" a Scriptural Truth. Notice this beautiful and profound Scriptural Truth: The symbolic fire of Rev. 3:18 tries the faith of the saints, and PRODUCES what will GLORIFY THE LORD! ASTOUNDING!

 

Carefully note that it is not the "believer" who "produces" these glorious things, but it is the "SYMBOLIC FIRE" that produces them. And just Who is this "symbolic fire?" It is, of course, GOD -- "For OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE." (Heb. 12:29)!

 

Therefore it is GOD who "PRODUCES" qualities in the saints that will GLORIFY HIMSELF! God’s consuming SPIRITUAL fire (remember that "GOD IS SPIRIT" Jn. 4:24) does the "producing," not the saint,

 

"For HIS ACHIEVEMENT are we, being created in Christ Jesus ..." (Eph. 2:10).

 

"Now what have you which you did not OBTAIN? Now if you OBTAINED it also [from GOD] why are you boasting as though [you are] not obtaining [it from God]?" (I Cor. 4:7 Concordant Literal New Testament).

 

"All is of God" (II Cor. 5:18).

 

"The One Who is operating ALL in accord with the counsel of HIS will" (Eph. 1:11).

 

Etc.

 

In statement (1) the editor of Strong’s cites seven more Scriptures that are used symbolically and figuratively to demonstrate "the holiness of God, which CONSUMES ALL that is inconsistent therewith." It doesn’t consume their physical bodies, nor does it burn their physical bodies to produce pain, but it "CONSUMES" all that is not consistent with God’s holiness. And these are the things of the heart, mind and spirit! It is not the "body" that needs chastisement and purification, it is the MIND, HEART, AND SPIRIT that needs purification from unholiness. You cannot burn pride and vanity out of one’s heart with REAL FIRE (besides the advocates of torturing with real fire for all eternity admit that it accomplishes NOTHING). It takes the fire of God’s spirit to burn away evils that have their origin in the realm of spirit.

 

This teaching is so absolutely elementary that it seems strange to even have to explain it. And yet, many of the greatest minds in theology today have not a clue as to these simple spiritual truths. All over the world Christian leaders continue to teach that the way God will deal with people who have wicked and carnal hearts, minds, and spirits, is to BURN THEIR FLESH IN REAL FIRE FOR ALL ETERNITY! And what, pray tell, does this infinite mountain of eternal pain accomplish? Why it is "justice" cry the high priests of Christendom!

 

Webster’s Concise Dictionary p. 392, justice n. 1. The quality of being just, fair, or impartial; evenhandedness.

 

So first and foremost we are told that burning billions and billions of men and women, and boy and girls, in fire for all eternity is "QUALITY!" - QUALITY? HELL IS A PLACE OF "QUALITY?" Just how sick can the human mind get, and just how low can the human heart sink? And this not from infidels, but from the leading advocates of the Christian Faith!

 

BACK TO SPIRITUAL BASICS

 

God gives us perfectly simple and understandable examples of HOW He deals with our sins and faults. In Hebrews 12:6 we read:

 

"For whom the LORD loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?"

 

Of course when we ask this question today, the answer is not so obvious as back when the writer of Hebrews asked it. Less and less children are chastened by their fathers today, and look at the disastrous results. But ideally a son should be chastened -- chastened, not BEATEN! Maybe I need to investigate this matter one day. Just maybe those who teach the hardest for an eternal hell of pain are those who were physically molested and beaten as children, rather than lovingly chastised. Continuing:

 

"Furthermore we have had fathers of our FLESH which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of SPIRITS, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but He for our profit, that we might be partakers of His HOLINESS.

 

Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby" (Heb. 12:9-11).

 

This is not difficult to understand. Our fathers in the FLESH have corrected us with rods, straps, belts, sticks, paddles, and the back of their hand. This was done for our teaching and correcting. And it worked, "... we gave them reverence ..." Now then, "... shall we not MUCH RATHER be in subjection unto the Father of SPIRITS ..."?

 

Our Heavenly Father is NOT FLESH, but is the Father of SPIRITS! God is SPIRIT. God is working with our SPIRITUAL life. God does not chasten and correct us believers in Christ Jesus with physical rods, straps, belts, sticks, paddles, and the back of His hand! So how is it that God our Father of spirits accomplishes on a spiritual level what our physical fathers tried to accomplish on a physical level? Verse 29 gives us the answer: "For our God is a CONSUMING FIRE !"

 

As trash is burned and precious metals are purified by the use of LITERAL and PHYSICAL fire, so God burns our spiritual trash and purifies those qualities of character worth saving by His SYMBOLIC and SPIRITUAL fire. Physical fire is inanimate and uncaring. God’s spiritual fire is caring and loving.

 

There it is. There’s the gospel; there’s the purpose for human existence; there’s the plan of God. God is forming man into the very image of Himself. This requires not only a knowledge of good and evil, but an experience of good and evil. God provides both. He is calling just a few select ones out of this world now, and He will call the remainder of the human race later.

 

Some sinners are called, given faith, brought to Christ, repent, receive God’s spirit and are being saved NOW. All the rest of the world’s sinners will also be called, given faith, brought to Christ, repent, receive God’s spirit and will be saved LATER. And God uses the same method to convert and save both groups of sinners. That’s because God CHANGES NOT and God is NO RESPECTER of persons, and God WILLS to save all mankind, and God will perform ALL HIS WILL, PURPOSE, AND PLEASURE!!

 

All of the above verses regarding fire are used in a figurative and symbolic manner. Christ does not literally "baptize" (IMMERSE) His saints in REAL PHYSICAL FIRE. It would burn them all up, and there wouldn’t be any saints or believers! Likewise we saw in Part I that the "lake of fire" is also symbolic and used in a metaphor to describe a SPIRITUAL TRUTH. More on this later.

 

And so we are assured that EVERYONE will be "revealed," "tried," "salted," and "baptized" "in FIRE." And these fiery trials as Peter calls them go on for a lifetime. If it were real, physical fire, all believers’ lives would be short indeed. God is SPIRIT, and God is a CONSUMING FIRE. It is God’s SPIRIT that is likened to fire. The spiritual teaching in this symbol is to recognize what real fire accomplishes and to then use that as an analogy as to what God DOES TO US (or more properly FOR US).

 

Fire does a number of things:

 

Fire CHANGES things. Fire brings about molecular changes in the materials that are burned. God’s spiritual fire will make changes in our mind, heart, and spirit.

 

Fire PURGES. In times past if a building were diseased and rat-infested, they would purge away the filth by burning it down. We are to be purged from all our diseases of sin and carnality. Jesus Christ paid the penalty of sin for us, but now God wants to get at the root and core of what caused us to sin in the first place. We all need desperately to be CHANGED and PURGED.

 

Fire BURNS UP combustible materials that have no value in saving. God will burn out of all of us the straw, grass, and stubble, which represent evil and wrong doctrines, idols of the heart, and philosophies that exalt themselves against God.

 

Fire PURIFIES things of value which we do want to retain. The analogy is used in the Scriptures of purifying gold by fire to make it more beautiful and more valuable. Gold represents the highest doctrines of spiritual understanding such as the Love of God and the Sovereignty of God, and salvation of all.

 

No one teaches us more regarding the fiery trials of life than the apostle to the nations, Paul. Paul was "revealed, tried, salted, and baptized" in God’s "CONSUMING FIRE," and yet never a single hair on his head was ever singed.

 

Got this from a friend

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So God isn't going to torture us forever, he's going to murder us instead? WOW, I love Jesus so much now, praise him for his murderous ways! Not. I fail to see how this makes Today somehow magically different than Christians who are annihilationists that he thinks he's created some new wondrous religion. I also still don't get why I'm supposed to be afraid of a spiritual hell. What's so scary about a hell that's not even literally real if it's all just symbolic? And when is Today going to realize that arguments from authority don't work here?

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Most have at least heard of this judgment even if they have no solid understanding of what it is all about or its primary purpose. We will have a great deal to say about this judgment later. But first we will take a look at another judgment almost universally unknown in the world of Christendom. It is a judgment that involves believers, NOW!

 

Peter, who was given many keys to the kingdom, introduces this judgment to us:

 

"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For [here’s the reason] the TIME IS COME that JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD ..." (I Pet. 4:16-17).

 

What do you know about this judgment on the house of God. Do you know anything specific? Well, don’t feel too badly, most people don’t. Apparently theologians and clergymen don’t know too much either, seeing that it is not a popular subject to teach. If they had even a superficial understanding of God’s judgments on the house of God, they wouldn’t interpret the great white throne and the lake of fire as some hideous act of divine eternal terrorism. These two judgments have much in common.

I keep talking about these "judgments" and yet you simply go on with what you think the words mean...or what they should mean.

 

So let us talk about this particular judgment then. This judgment is different than the one you posted before. This one would actually be the end result of the one you posted previously. So in the other verses (from Acts) that would be the start of a trial (or judgment) and this one (from 1 Peter) would be the aftermath. The people will now essentially be sentenced or "damned" (and the word may be used that way...it is generally not good while the one we looked at in Acts could go either way).

 

Now let's look at the WHOLE verse:

17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

 

Seems this "judgment" simply starts with the "house" of "god." The author then wonders about those who aren't in the house? But more importantly the author states the judgment was taking place at his time in history and it seems, though he doesn't state it, it wasn't going to be an ongoing process. He was simply racing the clock to convert as many as possible before "god" got around to judging them.

 

Next verse (all caps in the NASB for some reason): "18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER?"

 

Guess I was right. The "righteous" barely make it the cut ("scarcely" or "with great difficulty" here). Since they're believers and "jesus" covers the sin thing that's supposed to cover them completely so that can't be what he's talking about. What then? Time. They narrowly made it time wise. The judgment is in progress after all and it's taking place on believers first.

 

Only one thing do to: "19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right."

 

Trust that what "god" is do is the right thing. We don't understand it, or maybe even agree with it, but that's what's happening and we'll have to deal with it. So try your best to get on his right side and make the cut but accept that if you don't then he did what he had do to.

 

What an uplifting message. It's amazing what is REALLY there when you don't snip away the bad shit. Also strange how time wasn't so much of the essence and that all covering sacrifice really wasn't so much either. Makes more sense when you shorten the time spans to a few years as opposed to a few throusand though (ie. "We're saved and now we'll pass the judgment that is currently taking place on the world and inherit the kingdom in a couple of years unlike these other people").

 

mwc

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Is it just me, or did Today increase his/her writing skills?? We go from horrible grammar (this coming from a person with bad grammar anyway), to half way readable, detailed discussion :grin:

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OOOHHH!!! Nevermind, it was copied and pasted from bible-truths.com

 

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=...aYONooEnRmMn0IA

 

Most have at least heard of this judgment even if they have no solid understanding of what it is all about or its primary purpose. We will have a great deal to say about this judgment later. But first we will take a look at another judgment almost universally unknown in the world of Christendom. It is a judgment that involves believers, NOW!

 

Peter, who was given many keys to the kingdom, introduces this judgment to us:

 

"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the TIME IS COME that JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF GOD..." (I Pet. 4:16-17).

 

What do you know about this judgment on the house of God. Do you know anything specific? Well, don’t feel too badly, most people don’t. Apparently theologians and clergymen don’t know too much either, seeing that it is not a popular subject to teach. If they had even a superficial understanding of God’s judgments on the house of God, they wouldn’t interpret the great white throne and the lake of fire as some hideous act of divine eternal terrorism. These two judgments have much in common.

 

Just what is this human life on earth for, anyway? -- Why are we here? -- What is our purpose? -- What is God’s purpose for the Christian?

 

As children we are taught that Christian people live; they die; their souls go to heaven. Bad people live; they die; their souls go to hell. Live, die, go to heaven or live, die, go to hell.

 

So I guess this earth is a giant "soul factory." But the truth is that Christian souls do not go to heaven at death, neither do wicked souls go to hell at death. Contrary to all Christian belief, the Bible reveals (as does elementary science), that dead people are DEAD. What a revelation! That’s right, boys and girls, living people are "ALIVE" and dead people are "DEAD." This is not rocket science!

 

If ALL the dead are either alive in hell or alive in heaven, who, pray tell, is God going to resurrect back to life from the dead when He returns to judge the world in righteousness? How can the dead be living in heaven or hell when they haven’t as yet been judged as to where they should be living in the first place?

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Is it just me, or did Today increase his/her writing skills?? We go from horrible grammar (this coming from a person with bad grammar anyway), to half way readable, detailed discussion :grin:

 

It's a miracle!!!!!

 

The Holy Spirit has told Today what to cut and paste.

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said at the bottom of that post, that I got this from a friend, there are many places that i am going to and looking and the bible is one source, not my only source. the net is full of imformation, and yes my grammer is bad, i cant spell, and yes i can copy and past and i have seen copy and past in every forum on the net and this one is no differant.

 

Every forum is no better than the people that are on it and they say christain are narrow minded, dogmatic, evil, brain washed, mindless puppets.

 

 

Bible Truths has more Truth to offer than any other forum on the net.

 

I am not here to stand up to, or preach to or even convert anyone to christ, if i could do that, some one could come along and undo what i did.

 

I simply came here and made the statment that because i follow Christ does not make me a christain, even though many tried to show me i was wrong.

 

It is very, very simple,"we live, we die" in between we believe. I Believe So Therefore We Live.

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