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1  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 28, 2015, 11:20:33 PM
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Drawing again from Bullinger's book, "Number in Scripture", for our next example, we see the consistency of:

12 is the product of 3 (the perfectly Divine and heavenly number) and 4 (the earthly, the number of what is material and organic). It signifies perfection of government and organization.

There were 12 patriarchs, from Seth to Noah and his family, and twelve from Shem to Jacob.

The 12 sons of Israel: though actually thirteen in number, there are never more than 12 names in any one list.

There were 12 Judges (or "saviours") during the period of the judges.

The number 12 is the predominating factor in the construction of the Temple of Solomon, as the number 5 predominated in the Tabernacle.

In the NT, there are:
  The 12 Apostles.
  The 12 foundations in the heavenly Jerusalem.
  The 12 gates.
  The 12 pearls.
  The 12 angels.

The New Jerusalem will be 12,000 furlongs square, while the wall will be 144 (12 x 12) cubits, Revelation 21:16,17.  The number of the sealed in Revelation 7:4 will be 144,000, (12 x 12 x 1,000) and all that has to do with the 12 Tribes is necessarily pervaded by this number, such as the stones in the High Priest's breastplate, the stones taken out of the Jordan, the number of the spies, etc. etc.)

12 persons were anointed for government of various kinds. Of course, all kings, priests, prophets, and healed lepers were anointed; but the circumstances of the anointing of 12 individuals is specially recorded. Of these, five were priests (Aaron and his four sons, Exodus 6:23) and seven were kings:

  Aaron, Exodus 29:7,9, etc.
  Nadab, Exodus 29:7,9, etc.
  Abihu, Exodus 29:7,9, etc.
  Eleazar, Exodus 29:7,9, etc.
  Ithamar, Exodus 29:7,9, etc.
  Saul, 1 Samuel 10:1.
  David, 1 Samuel 16:13.
  Absalom, 2 Samuel 19:10.
  Solomon, 1 Kings 1:39.
  Jehu, 2 Kings 9:6.
  Joash, 2 Kings 11:12.
  Jehoahaz, 2 Kings 23:30.

12 years of age was Jesus when He first appeared in public (Luke 2:42) and uttered His first-recorded words.

12 legions of angels mark the perfection of angelic powers (Matt 26:53).

"Shepherd" is used of God or Christ 12 times in the OT:
Gen 49:24; Psa 23:1, 80:1; Isa 40:11; Jer 31:10; Eze 34:12,23 (twice), 37:24; Zech 11:16, 13:7 (twice).
2  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 27, 2015, 01:18:30 PM
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A potentially interesting "hobby" for Christians is transforming popular "love songs" into songs about, or to, Jesus Christ.  Sometimes just a word substitution, or change of a few words converts the secular into the sacred.  Here's an example, which comes to mind, since i heard it recently,  (the song "People" by Barbara Streisand) -- the transformed version of it:

+++++++

People,
People who love Jesus,
Are the blessedest people in the world,
We're children, needing a true Savior,
And yet letting our grown-up pride
Hide all the need inside,
Acting more like children
Than children.

Believers are very special people,
They're the blessedest people in the world.
With one Person, one very special Person,
A feeling deep in your soul
Says you were half, now you're whole.
No more hunger and thirst,
But first be a person
Who loves Jesus.

People who love Jesus
Are the blessedest people
In the world!

+++++++

How about your favorite pop-love song?  Can you transform it for Christ?


I'll give another example of my own, when i am next inspired to do "lyrics-conversion"....
3  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Christ in us Scriptures on: March 26, 2015, 12:30:48 PM
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Ever think about what this concept means, in depth?

Romans 8:16-18
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.  For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."

Galatians 3:29, 4:7
"And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the Promise."

"...Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

Titus 3:7
"...that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal Life."

James 2:5
"Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?


But consider that Jesus Christ is the heir of all things, and we are God's heirs with, and through, Him.


Hebrews 1:1-3
"God, Who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,  has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, Whom He has appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He made the worlds; Who being the brightness of His glory and the express Image of His person, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..."


Can i hear a HALLELU-YAH?
4  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 26, 2015, 11:51:31 AM
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Believing the Bible, and getting to know the Author of the Book, gives a person a thrill of "spiritual patriotism" to hear and to sing songs which emphasize the basic doctrines of the faith.  Here's one that inspires all Christians -- it has so much of the central beliefs, about the Central Figure.

+++++++

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless Babe
This Gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

'Til on that Cross, as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His Body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious Blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

+++++++

But sometimes a song can be so common (and sometimes so misused) that the meaning dulls a little.  Here's some rearrangement of lyrics of one of the most common Christian pieces of music. Perhaps the different arrangement may arouse new appreciation from out of that dullness.

+++++++

I was blind once, but now i can see
I was lost once, but now i am found
Grace that amazes, how sweet the sound,
Has saved such a sinner like me

How precious did that Grace appear
The very moment i first believed
For Grace taught my heart to fear,
And Grace all my fears relieved

Grace has brought me safe so far
And Grace will ever lead me Home
Through life's many dangers, toils, snares
We have come, and will yet have come

The Lord is a shield and supply to me
For as long as i will may endure
He promised my great Good He'll be
And in His Word my hope is secure

In 10,000 years we will have no less days
To sing the praises, that He alone deserves
Then, still shining bright like the sun,
Our Life with Him has only begun

I was blind once, but now i can see
I was lost once, but now i am found
Grace that amazes, how sweet the sound,
Has saved such a sinner like me
5  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 25, 2015, 12:53:03 PM
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Ancient Israel was originally a much larger area than it is today.  Here is the first "land grant", by God, to the children of Israel - from the Nile river to the Euphrates river:


Genesis 15:18-21
"On the same day the Lord made a Covenant with Abram (later called Abraham), saying:

“To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates— (the land of) the Kenites, the Kenezzites, the Kadmonites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim,  the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashiites, and the Jebusites.”


Today Israel is about the size of the state of New Jersey, and has about 9 million people.  Yet they are surrounded by larger countries, with many more people, that are quite often hostile to it and have tried at various times to "wipe Israel off the map".  Even so, today it is one of the technology and military leaders of the world, and has the truest form of democracy, in a region of heavily autocratic governments.

This continued existence of a people, the Jews,  though for periods of time largely in exile from the land, (and despite multiple attempts to exterminate them completely), since about the 17th century BC (or BCE as scholars have renamed it), is a direct supporting evidence of the Bible as being from the Hand of God.

Their massive return to the land was clearly prophesied --

=======

Hosea 3:4-5
"For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or idol. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the LORD (YHWH) their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the LORD (YHWH) and to His blessings in the last days."

Ezekiel 20:34
"I will bring you from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered -- with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath."

Isaiah 11:11-12
"In that day the LORD (YHWH) will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands of the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth."

Jeremiah 32:44
"Fields will be bought for silver, and deeds will be signed, sealed and witnessed in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the towns of the hill country, of the western foothills and of the Negev, because I will restore their fortunes, declares the LORD (YHWH)."

=======

Here is a history of Israel adapted from their government website:

17th-6th C. BC(E)

c.17th century  Abraham, Isaac, Jacob - patriarchs of the Jewish people and bearers of a belief in one God - settle in the Land of Israel.  Famine forces Israelites to migrate to Egypt.

c.13th century  Exodus from Egypt: Moses leads Israelites from Egypt, followed by 40 years of wandering in the desert.  Torah, including the Ten Commandments, received at Mount Sinai.

13th-12th centuries Israelites settle in the Land of Israel.

c.1020  Jewish monarchy established; Saul, first king.
c.1000  Jerusalem made capital of David's kingdom.
c.960    First Temple, the national and spiritual center of the Jewish people, built in Jerusalem by King Solomon.

c. 930  Divided kingdom: Judah and Israel
722-720 Israel crushed by Assyrians; 10 tribes exiled (Ten Lost Tribes).
586     Judah conquered by Babylonia; Jerusalem and First Temple destroyed; most Jews exiled.

538-142  Persian and Hellenistic periods
538-515  Many Jews return from Babylonia; Temple rebuilt.

332         Land conquered by Alexander the Great; Hellenistic rule.
166-160  Maccabean (Hasmonean) revolt against restrictions on practice of Judaism and desecration of the Temple
142-129  Jewish autonomy under Hasmoneans.
129-63    Jewish independence under Hasmonean monarchy.

63 BC(E)-313 AD(CE)  Roman rule
63 BC(E) Jerusalem captured by Roman general, Pompey.
63-4       Herod, Roman vassal king, rules the Land of Israel; Temple in Jerusalem refurbished

c. 20-33 AD(CE)  Ministry of Jesus of Nazareth

66 AD(CE) Jewish revolt against the Romans
70          Destruction of Jerusalem and Second Temple.
73          Last stand of Jews at Masada.
132-135 Bar Kokhba uprising against Rome.
c. 210    Codification of Jewish oral law (Mishna) completed.
 
313-636 Byzantine rule

c. 390    Commentary on the Mishna (Jerusalem Talmud) completed.

614        Persian invasion
 
636-1099  Arab rule
691        On site of First and Second Temples in Jerusalem, Dome of the Rock built by Caliph Abd el-Malik.

1099-1291 Crusader domination

1291-1516 Mamluk rule

1517-1917 Ottoman rule

1564          Code of Jewish law (Shulhan Arukh) published.
1860          First neighborhood built outside walls of Jerusalem's Old City.
1882-1903 First Aliya (large-scale immigration), mainly from Russia.
1897          First Zionist Congress convened by Theodor Herzl in Basel, Switzerland; Zionist Organization founded.
1904-14   Second Aliya, mainly from Russia and Poland.
1909        First kibbutz, Degania, and first modern all-Jewish city, Tel Aviv, founded.
1917       400 years of Ottoman rule ended by British conquest; British Foreign Minister Balfour pledges support for establishment of a "Jewish national home in Palestine"

1918-48   British rule
1919-23   Third Aliya, mainly from Russia
1920        Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) and Haganah (Jewish defense organization) founded.  Vaad Leumi (National Council) set up by Jewish community (Yishuv) to conduct its affairs.
1921        First moshav (cooperative village), Nahalal, founded.
1922        Britain granted Mandate for Palestine (Land of Israel) by League of Nations; Transjordan set up on three-fourths of the area, leaving one fourth for the Jewish national home.
Jewish Agency representing Jewish community vis-a-vis Mandate authorities set up.
1924       Technion, first institute of technology, founded in Haifa.
1924-32  Fourth Aliya, mainly from Poland.
1925       Hebrew University of Jerusalem opened on Mount Scopus.
1929       Hebron Jews massacred by Arab terrorists.
1931       Etzel, Jewish underground organization, founded.
1933-39  Fifth Aliya, mainly from Germany.
1936-39  Anti-Jewish riots instigated by Arab terrorists.
1939       Jewish immigration severely limited by British White Paper.
1939-45  World War II; Holocaust in Europe.
1941       Lehi underground movement formed; Palmach, strike force of Haganah, set up.
1944       Jewish Brigade formed as part of British forces.
1947      UN proposes the establishment of Arab and Jewish states in the Land.

STATE OF ISRAEL

1948       End of British Mandate (14 May)  State of Israel proclaimed (14 May).
Israel invaded by five Arab states (15 May). Israel Defense Forces (IDF) established.
War of Independence (May 1948-July 1949).
1949       Armistice agreements signed with Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon. Jerusalem divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule. First Knesset (parliament) elected. Israel admitted to United Nations as 59th member.
1948-52  Mass immigration from Europe and Arab countries.
1956       Sinai Campaign
1962       Adolf Eichmann tried and executed in Israel for his part in the Holocaust.
1964       National Water Carrier completed, bringing water from Lake Kinneret in the north to the semi-arid south.
1967       Six-Day War; Jerusalem reunited.
1968-70  Egypt's War of Attrition against Israel
1973       Yom Kippur War
1975       Israel becomes an associate member of the European Common Market.
1977       Likud forms government after Knesset elections, end of 30 years of Labor rule.  Visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Jerusalem.
1978      Camp David Accords include framework for  comprehensive peace in the Middle East and proposal for Palestinian self-government.
1979      Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty signed.
Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Anwar Sadat awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
1981     Israel Air Force destroys Iraqi nuclear reactor just before it is to become operative.
1982     Israel's three-stage withdrawal from Sinai Peninsula completed.  Operation Peace for Galilee removes  Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) terrorists from Lebanon.
1984    National unity government (Likud and Labor) formed after elections.
Operation Moses, immigration of Jews from Ethiopia.
1985    Free Trade Agreement signed with United States.
1987    Widespread violence (Intifada) starts in Israeli-administered areas.
1988    Likud government wins elections.
1989    Four-point peace initiative proposed by Israel. Start of mass immigration of Jews from former Soviet Union.
1991    Israel attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles during Gulf war.
Middle East peace conference convened in Madrid; Operation Solomon, airlift of Jews from Ethiopia.
1992   Diplomatic relations established with China and India. New government headed by Yitzhak Rabin of Labor Party.
1993   Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements for the Palestinians signed by Israel and PLO, as representative of the Palestinian people (Oslo Accords).
1994   Implementation of Palestinian self-government in Gaza Strip and Jericho area.  Full diplomatic relations with the Holy See.  Morocco and Tunisia interest offices set up.  Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty signed.  Rabin, Peres, Arafat awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
1995  Broadened Palestinian self-government implemented in West Bank and Gaza Strip; Palestinian Council elected.  Prime Minister Rabin assassinated at peace rally.  Shimon Peres becomes prime minister.
1996  Fundamentalist Arab terrorism against Israel escalates.  Operation Grapes of Wrath, retaliation for Hizbullah terrorists' attacks on northern Israel.  Trade representation offices set up in Oman and Qatar.  Likud forms government after Knesset elections.  Binyamin Netanyahu elected prime minister.  Omani trade representation office opened in Tel Aviv.
1997   Hebron Protocol signed by Israel and the PA.
1998   Israel celebrates its 50th anniversary.  Israel and the PLO sign the Wye River Memorandum to facilitate implementation of the Interim Agreement.
1999   Ehud Barak (left-wing One Israel party) elected prime minister; forms coalition government.  Israel and the PLO sign the Sharm-el-Sheikh Memorandum.
2000   Visit of Pope Paul II.  Israel withdraws from the Security Zone in southern Lebanon.  Israel admitted to UN Western European and Others Group.  Renewed violence (Second Intifada). Prime Minister Barak resigns.
2001   Ariel Sharon (Likud) elected Prime Minister; forms broad-based unity government.  The Sharm-el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee report (Mitchell Report) issued. Palestinian-Israeli Security Implementation Work Plan (Tenet ceasefire plan) proposed.  Rechavam Ze'evy, Minister of Tourism, assassinated by Palestinian terrorists.
2002   Israel launches Operation Defensive Shield in response to massive Palestinian terrorist attacks.  Israel begins building the anti-terrorist fence to stop West Bank terrorists from killing Israeli citizens.  Prime Minister Sharon disperses the Knesset, calling for new elections to be held on 28 January 2003.
2003   Right-of-center coalition government formed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.  Israel accepts the Roadmap.
2005   Israel carries out the Disengagement Plan, ending Israel's presence in the Gaza Strip.
2006   After Prime Minister Sharon suffers a stroke, Ehud Olmert becomes acting prime minister.  Following elections on 28 March, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert forms new government led by the Kadima Party.  Israel carried out military operations against Palestinian terrorists in Gaza after kidnapping of Israeli soldier.  The Second War in Lebanon, during which Israel carried out military operations against Hizbullah terrorism from southern Lebanon, following missile attacks and kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers.
2007   Shimon Peres elected President by the Knesset.  Israel declares Gaza "hostile territory" following Hamas violent takeover of Gaza Strip.
2008   Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary.  Israel launches its Gaza Operation (Operation Cast Lead) in response to the barrage of over 10,000 rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip.
2009   Benjamin Netanyahu is elected Prime Minister in national elections held in February 2009, and forms a broad-based coalition government.  The city of Tel Aviv celebrates its 100th anniversary.
2010   Israel joins the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
6  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 24, 2015, 02:19:12 PM
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There has been a lot of controversy over the "Bible codes", especially the ones which point to Jesus, and considerable misuse of them.  I agree with the usual warning regarding them, that they are not to be used to predict the future.  And i am aware that equi-distant letter sequences (ELS's) can be found which make derogatory statements about various Biblical figures.

Still, it seems very "coincidental" that a clearly Messianic passage such as Isaiah 53 has something about Jesus "coded" in it.  Recall that Bible codes are usually researched using the Hebrew Scriptures (the Masoretic text), and that "Yeshua" (/Yahshua/Y'shua) means "Jesus" in English.

Here's some info from the late Grant Jeffries:
( http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/article6.htm )

+++++++

"One of the most astonishing features (regarding ELS's) is that virtually every one of the clearly Messianic passages of the Old Testament contains the name Yeshua - Jesus - encoded within the text at intervals, such as every 2nd letter or every 20th letter, etc.

As an example, Yacov (Rambsel, a Messianic Jewish pastor) found the name Yeshua embedded in the text of Isaiah 53:10 that prophesied about the atoning sacrifice that Christ made for our sins on the cross two thousand years ago.

"Yet it pleased the LORD (YHWH) to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His Soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD (YHWH) shall prosper in His hand" (Isaiah 53:10).

Beginning with the second Hebrew letter yod in the Hebrew phrase "He shall prolong," "ya'arik Kyray," Yacov counted forward every 20th letter and discovered the phrase "Yeshua Shmi" which means "Yeshua [Jesus] is My Name" encoded in this verse about the suffering Messiah Who died to atone for our sins. Mathematicians calculated the probability that this astonishing combination of letters spelling "Yeshua [Jesus] is My Name" would occur by random chance in Isaiah is only one chance in 50 quadrillion, an inconceivable number!"

+++++++

Another interesting ELS is described in the same article:

+++++++

"Incredibly, Yacov found the original Hebrew name of Jesus, Yeshua - encoded (starting) in the very first verse Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

Starting with the fifth letter, Yod - , in the first word in the Bible, B'raisheet - "In the beginning", the name of Jesus - Yeshua - is spelled out by counting forward every 521st letter. The letters spell out the words "Yeshua Yakhol" which translates as "Jesus is able.""

+++++++

There are other equi-distant letter sequences specified in the same article from Messianic passages in Leviticus, Zechariah, Psalms, Ruth, and Daniel.  And there are many more besides those in this article, of course.  Yacov Rambsel also has a book out: "Yeshua - The Name of Jesus Hidden in the Old Testament".
7  Forums / Key Life Forum / Re: So what about pot? on: March 24, 2015, 01:46:03 PM

One quote from that article really stood out to me:

"Marijuana often elicits a sensation of oneness with the universe or God consistent with Eastern religious thought but antithetical to the message of Jesus Christ."

It took years after being set free from pot addiction to let go of the confusion in feelings between "the flesh" and "the Spirit".  That sensation of "oneness" is similar to the real oneness with God, and pot-heads have to learn to discern the differences.  Can i get a "witness"??   rolleyes
8  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: March 23, 2015, 12:28:18 PM
Hey Kk,
How do you interpret the following two scriptures:
Quote
2 Peter 2:17
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

Quote
Jude 1:13
They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

Personally,  I hope nonbelievers will not suffer eternally for their rejection of Christ,  but the scriptures do say otherwise IMO.


As far as "blackest darkness" goes, God/Christ is Light and being totally apart from Him is darker than the darkest darkness.  Being totally apart from the One Who is Life is to have no life at all.  And in the final Kingdom, there will be no darkness and no evil people kept alive.

Let's take a look at what the Word says:


1 John 1:5
"This is the Message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all."

Revelation 21:
"1 Now I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband."
.....
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these Words are true and faithful.””
.....
7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the Lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the Second Death.”
.....
22 But I saw no temple in it (the New Jerusalem), for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple.  23 The City had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its Light."

Revelation 22:25
"There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them Light. And they shall reign forever and ever."


So there will be no darkness in the New Jerusalem, the final Kingdom, and yet according to Isaiah 66:24 we will be able to go out and see the dead bodies of the lost in the Lake of Fire which never goes out.  So "blackest darkness" is a picture of complete death, a rendering into non-existence away from the Light, with only ashes remaining, as Malachi says.

It is similar to saying the lost will be cast out into "outer darkness", in total separation from God, after the Judgment, even though God is everywhere present, and He is perfect Light with no darkness in Him at all.  When He is fully present, in the new Kingdom, there will be no more evil, no more darkness, no more death, no more rebellion -- only the all-pervading Rule of His brilliant Love.  The former things, and the former people in rebellion will be no more...


Psalm 37:10
"For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more."

Psalm 104:35
"May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!"

Malachi 4:3
"You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the Day that I do this,” says the LORD (YHWH) of Hosts.'


I forgot to mention another writing i was referred to which does a good job of analyzing the Hebrew/Greek words which are often translated, or rather mistranslated, as "hell" (Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, Gehenna):

http://tentmaker.org/articles/jesusteachingonhell.html

9  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: March 23, 2015, 12:03:27 PM
Man, he still at this?!  Shocked

As long as people teach the unScriptural concept of the unending, unmerciful, torture of the majority of mankind, there will be a need for showing what the Word of God actually says.  See the outline in the first post above for Biblical references.   kiss
10  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: March 23, 2015, 11:43:50 AM
Hey Kk,
How do you interpret the following two scriptures:
Quote
2 Peter 2:17
These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

Quote
Jude 1:13
They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

Personally,  I hope nonbelievers will not suffer eternally for their rejection of Christ,  but the scriptures do say otherwise IMO.


As far as "blackest darkness" goes, God/Christ is Light and being totally apart from Him is darker than the darkest darkness.  Being totally apart from the One Who is Life is to have no life at all.  And in the final Kingdom, there will be no darkness and no evil people kept alive.

Let's take a look at what the Word says:


1 John 1:5
"This is the Message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all."

Revelation 21:
"1 Now I saw a new Heaven and a new Earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.  2 Then I, John, saw the holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a Bride adorned for her Husband."
.....
4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.  5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these Words are true and faithful.””
.....
7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the Lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the Second Death.”
.....
22 But I saw no temple in it (the New Jerusalem), for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its Temple.  23 The City had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its Light."

Revelation 22:25
"There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them Light. And they shall reign forever and ever."


So there will be no darkness in the New Jerusalem, the final Kingdom, and yet according to Isaiah 66:24 we will be able to go out and see the dead bodies of the lost in the Lake of Fire which never goes out.  So "blackest darkness" is a picture of complete death, a rendering into non-existence away from the Light, with only ashes remaining, as Malachi says.

It is similar to saying the lost will be cast out into "outer darkness", in total separation from God, after the Judgment, even though God is everywhere present, and He is perfect Light with no darkness in Him at all.  When He is fully present, in the new Kingdom, there will be no more evil, no more darkness, no more death, no more rebellion -- only the all-pervading Rule of His brilliant Love.  The former things, and the former people in rebellion will be no more...


Psalm 37:10
"For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; indeed, you will look carefully for his place, but it shall be no more."

Psalm 104:35
"May sinners be consumed from the earth, and the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!"

Malachi 4:3
"You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the Day that I do this,” Says the LORD (YHWH) of Hosts.'
11  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 21, 2015, 12:11:09 PM
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It should come as no surprise that Israel is a country that was originally founded on Biblical principles.  The Laws of God, including the 10 Commandments written directly by Him, in stone, and the Mosaic laws given through Moses, determined the national creation of their identity as a country.  See especially the Book of Exodus, which describes the "contract" in detail.

What may be less well known, especially in our modern secular culture, is that the United States of America was also founded on many of the same principles, and is the only other nation other than Israel to do so.  Liberal educators have tried to eliminate God from the classrooms, and liberal politicians/activists have helped remove mention of Him from the public arena -- but the record of our history is still available to us (though being "revised" relatively rapidly).

=======

John Adams

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; DIPLOMAT; ONE OF TWO SIGNERS OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECOND PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

"The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God."

"The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity."

"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. . . . What a utopia – what a Paradise would this region be!

"I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world."

======

Samuel Adams

SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; “FATHER OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION”; RATIFIER OF THE U. S. CONSTITUTION; GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS

"I . . . [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins."

"The name of the Lord (says the Scripture) is a strong tower; thither the righteous flee and are safe [Proverbs 18:10]. Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better."

"I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace."

He also called on the State of Massachusetts to pray that . . .

    "the peaceful and glorious reign of our Divine Redeemer may be known and enjoyed throughout the whole family of mankind.
    we may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid . . . [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.
    with true contrition of heart to confess their sins to God and implore forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior."

=======

Josiah Bartlett

MILITARY OFFICER; SIGNER OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; JUDGE; GOVERNOR OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

Called on the people of New Hampshire . . . "to confess before God their aggravated transgressions and to implore His pardon and forgiveness through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ . . . that the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ may be made known to all nations, pure and undefiled religion universally prevail, and the earth be fill with the glory of the Lord."

=======

Gunning Bedford

MILITARY OFFICER; MEMBER OF THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS; SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; FEDERAL JUDGE

"To the triune God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost – be ascribed all honor and dominion, forevermore – Amen."

=======

Elias Boudinot

PRESIDENT OF CONGRESS; SIGNED THE PEACE TREATY TO END THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION; FIRST ATTORNEY ADMITTED TO THE U. S. SUPREME COURT BAR; FRAMER OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; DIRECTOR OF THE U. S. MINT

"Let us enter on this important business under the idea that we are Christians on whom the eyes of the world are now turned… Let us earnestly call and beseech Him, for Christ’s sake, to preside in our councils. . . . We can only depend on the all powerful influence of the Spirit of God, Whose Divine aid and assistance it becomes us as a Christian people most devoutly to implore. Therefore I move that some minister of the Gospel be requested to attend this Congress every morning . . . in order to open the meeting with prayer."

A letter to his daughter:

    "You have been instructed from your childhood in the knowledge of your lost state by nature – the absolute necessity of a change of heart and an entire renovation of soul to the image of Jesus Christ – of salvation through His meritorious righteousness only – and the indispensable necessity of personal holiness without which no man shall see the Lord [Hebrews 12:14]. You are well acquainted that the most perfect and consummate doctrinal knowledge is of no avail without it operates on and sincerely affects the heart, changes the practice, and totally influences the will – and that without the almighty power of the Spirit of God enlightening your mind, subduing your will, and continually drawing you to Himself, you can do nothing. . . . And may the God of your parents (for many generations past) seal instruction to your soul and lead you to Himself through the blood of His too greatly despised Son, Who notwithstanding, is still reclaiming the world to God through that blood, not imputing to them their sins. To Him be glory forever!

"For nearly half a century have I anxiously and critically studied that invaluable treasure [the Bible]; and I still scarcely ever take it up that I do not find something new – that I do not receive some valuable addition to my stock of knowledge or perceive some instructive fact never observed before. In short, were you to ask me to recommend the most valuable book in the world, I should fix on the Bible as the most instructive both to the wise and ignorant. Were you to ask me for one affording the most rational and pleasing entertainment to the inquiring mind, I should repeat, it is the Bible; and should you renew the inquiry for the best philosophy or the most interesting history, I should still urge you to look into your Bible. I would make it, in short, the Alpha and Omega of knowledge."

=======

There are many other quotes available from wallbuilders.com, these are only a sampling.  Together, they show conclusively, i believe, that the USA was built on Biblical/Christian understanding and guidance.  But let's hear it from a famous foreigner (a French politician and historian of the mid-1800's) who visited the U.S. to see what the secret of our strength was.

Alexis de Tocqueville:

=======

“I sought for the greatness of the United States in her commodious harbors, her ample rivers, her fertile fields, and boundless forests—and it was not there. I sought for it in her rich mines, her vast world commerce, her public school system, and in her institutions of higher learning—and it was not there. I looked for it in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great!”

.......

"Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live."

[Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (New York: A. S. Barnes & Co., 1851, pp. 331, 332, 335, 336-7, 337).]
12  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Does your pastor give his church a public opportunity to bring things up? on: March 20, 2015, 12:16:18 PM
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Reminds me, vaguely, of a passage we seldom take to heart, maybe because it is so difficult to do with the right heart:

Matthew 18:15-17  

(Dealing with a sinning brother, Jesus speaking)

“Moreover if your brother (or pastor) sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother (or your pastor).  But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’  And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector."


Takes a lot of love to confront like that, while being always ready to forgive and reconcile whenever possible -- in His name.


[Afterthought -- this should be done with extra (supernatural) humility recognizing that if the Great Shepherd has assigned this pastor to us, then we need to represent Him to the pastor/brother, not ourselves -- as best we can do that.]
13  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 20, 2015, 11:33:31 AM
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From an earlier topic on Jewish holidays/holy days:

.......

Ah yes, Chanukah (or Hannukah, right?).  Did you ever verify if it is true that at the time of Christ there was a 75 foot tall menorah by the Temple in Jerusalem, with big bowls of oil and huge "wicks", which was lit for the "Festival of Light"?

I still find it fascinating that Jesus could have gone to celebrate the feast, and just when the huge menorah lit up the whole city, He could have called out "I am the Light of the world".  But, even as i was typing this i checked the 'net and found an interesting quote that says there were 4 such menorahs ( http://www.shema.com/commentaries/John/John_8.php ), but they relate it to Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) instead of Chanukah.  Probably they were used for both occasions, and maybe more.

+++++++

"At Sukkot, while the Second Temple existed, Jerusalem was lit with four huge menorahs, that were 75 feet high. The wicks were made from the old priestly garments that burned huge amounts of oil, and lit up all of Jerusalem. The men of Israel danced with torches all night, singing songs of praise to God. The Levitical musicians played spirited music with harps, lyres, cymbals and trumpets with other instruments without number. I believe that the Talmud records that one has not seen joy unless he has experienced the Torch dance of Sukkot at Jerusalem.

After dancing all night, at dawn, two priests blowing shofars would go to the Yaffa gate on the eastern side of the Temple. Once through the gate with a multitude of worshipers, they turned their faces towards the west, facing the sanctuary. With the sun rising and the light of the menorahs paling they chanted: “Our ancestors, when they were in this place, turned with their backs unto the Temple and their faces towards the east and they prostrated themselves eastward towards the sun, but as for us, our eyes are turned toward the Eternal” (The Fall Feasts Of Israel, page 183).

That makes Yeshua's (Jesus') next statement even more startling. Then Yeshua again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”

Light stands for God's Presence, and truth, wisdom, revelation, understanding, knowledge, victory, salvation. Just as the huge 75 foot menorahs that lit up Jerusalem and made it possible to rejoice and dance at night during the holiday, He is saying that I, Jesus, bring God's Presence, and wisdom, revelation, understanding, knowledge, victory, salvation.

And, I, Jesus, am not only the Light of Jerusalem, but I will bring truth and the knowledge of God and His salvation to the entire world.  If you follow Me, you will have that spiritual Light, and you will live forever.  If you don’t follow Me, you remain in the deepest spiritual darkness and are headed to eternal death."
14  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Does your pastor give his church a public opportunity to bring things up? on: March 19, 2015, 08:36:52 PM

I go to a variety of churches, so they vary in approach.  But in general, a person can talk to the pastor privately or get together with a group of "elders" to discuss concerns.

In the 12 step Christian fellowships i go to there is the regular monthly/weekly "business meeting" in which to bring up complaints or suggestions for improvements.

Doesn't your church have a provision for voicing problems or complaints at all?  Surely you can go to the leaders individually and, if still needed, ask for a broader meeting?  If not, why not?

Also, it bothers me that your "worship team" worships God for you.  That doesn't sound like the right heart to me.  The team should inspire the congregation to participate, not just spectate.  Do you have no alternate churches to attend while still staying in your "denominational preference"?
15  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Index: Scripture-supporting evidences on: March 19, 2015, 02:23:37 PM
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As we begin to really believe the Bible, and accept the only Savior, He puts a "new song" in our hearts and on our lips.  Many/most of the Psalms reflect this desire to sing praise to Him.  For example,

Psalm 40:3
"He has put a new song in my mouth— praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD (YHWH)."
Psalm 98:1
"Oh, sing to the LORD (YHWH) a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory."
Psalm 140:1
"Praise the Lord! Sing to the LORD (YHWH) a new song, and His praise in the assembly of saints."

And in the last Book of the Bible we find these:

Revelation 8:5-10
"Now when He (Jesus) had taken the Scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.  And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your Blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”


And of course, there is the famous "song of Moses" [see Exodus 15, 31, 32 and Revelation 15:3].


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE, as the advertisers like to say....


Have you heard yet of the "Odes of Solomon"?  (Not that Solomon wrote them, but that they are like his wisdom.)  These are some songs which were sung by the earliest Church, and are now being put to music to let us sing across the centuries what they sang within a lifetime of Christ's Resurrection.

More info can be found at:

http://www.haventoday.org/origins-odes-gd-546.html   and

http://www.haventoday.org/odes.pdf

http://www.theodesproject.com/


As an example, here is (most of) Ode 3:

I am putting on the love of the Lord.
And His members are with Him, and I am dependent on them; and He loves me.
For I should not have known how to love the Lord, if He had not continuously loved me.
Who is able to distinguish love, except him who is loved?
I love the Beloved and I myself love Him, and where His rest is, there also am I.
And I shall be no stranger, because there is no jealousy with the Lord Most High and Merciful.
I have been united to Him, because the lover has found the Beloved, because I love Him that is the Son, I shall become a son.
Indeed he who is joined to Him who is immortal, truly shall be immortal.
And he who delights in the Life will become living.
This is the Spirit of the Lord, which is not false, which teaches the sons of men to know His ways.
Be wise and understanding and awakened.
          HalleluYah!

 
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