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1  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Dead Sea scroll prophecy of Messiah on: September 01, 2014, 06:37:56 PM

I am listening to an audio book, called "The Second Messiah", in which they are talking about the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It reminded me of one little-known writing in the Scrolls which describes Jesus very well, though they didn't even mention it in the book.

Saw a special on Christian tv about the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, emphasizing the "Copper Scroll" which appears to be a "treasure map" to items of great wealth, if the keys to the code can be deciphered.  They didn't mention another remarkable writing among the scrolls which pointed right to the location of the greatest wealth in the universe.  (Previously quoted here in September of last year.)


Dead Sea Scrolls Fragment 4Q521 from Cave 4

The heavens and earth will obey His Messiah, the sea and all that is in them. He will not turn aside from the Commandment of the Holy Ones.  Take strength in His mighty work all ye who seek the Lord.  Will ye not find the Lord in this, all ye who wait for Him with hope in your hearts?  Surely the Lord will seek out the pious, and will call the righteous by name.  His Spirit will hover over the poor; by His might will He restore the faithful. 

He will glorify the pious on the throne of the eternal Kingdom.  He will release the captives, make the blind see, raise up the down-trodden.  Forever I will cleave to Him against the powerful and I will trust in His loving kindness and in His goodness forever. 

His holy Messiah will not be slow in coming.  And as for the wonders that are not the work of the Lord, when He, that is the Messiah, comes then He will heal the sick, resurrect the dead, and to the poor announce glad tidings.  He will lead the holy ones, He will shepherd them.  He will do all of it.
2  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Spurgeon - Around the Wicket Gate on: September 01, 2014, 05:21:01 PM
One of the things that disturbs me the most is a misrepresentation of the gospel. We are saved by giving our lives to Him. Really. Is not that doing something in and of ourselves to appease God? We are saved my making Christ Lord of our lives. Again, a thinly veiled gospel of works.

Empty-handed sinners clinging to Jesus. What a word picture.

In the twelve-step fellowships, one of the first steps, after admitting we are powerless and unmanageable in/of ourselves, and after coming to believe in God, is to make the decision to turn our lives and wills over to His care.

And isn't that what the Believer in Jesus does?  Knowing that we wreck our lives without His assistance, and coming to believe that He can/will (in His time) restore us into His Image, we trust Him to take over the management of our lives, to care for us as only He can.

So that sounds like a "work", doesn't it...  But, if we are truly aware of our own powerlessness apart from Him, and if we are honest about the drawing/inspiring/convicting/encouraging work He has been doing in us, to get us to trust Him, and to become willing to depend on His strength and ability, instead of our own, then our attitude is more one of thanksgiving for His grace, rather than pride about our decision-making ability.

Did we have a part to play in making a decision to trust/depend on Him?  Of course, He designed it that way.  Yet, does He get all the real credit for our willingness to choose Him over our self-will?  Of course, anything else would be self-delusional ego.

And He "knew" us from before the Beginning, if we can come to turn to Him, so once again, predestination and free-will are both true and are both aspects of His mercy and grace.  Hallelu-YAH!!  He's so good (Well, duh)!
3  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Loneliness on: September 01, 2014, 04:51:54 PM
Good question brother.
The answer is yes, it draws me closer, but at the same time, it is not a particularly comforting, or a soothing buddy kind of closeness -  at least thats not the dominant or overarching vibe. It feels exactly like encounters with Jesus in scripture are described. More of a "Mr Miyagi" master/disciple thing, than someone who wipes away my tears and rocks me to sleep. He did that for me on my initial conversion and for a period until I got me legs, to be sure, but not so much since. He calls me on my bs. Tries to get me to understand what He's laying down rather than what I want to hear. Tough love that often feels harsh but never crosses over into rejection or disapproval. During my darkest times, I wasn't able to make much of this out at all. And it wouldn't have been what I wanted anyway.

I understand what you are saying, and often it can seem more like the firm-Master-training-the-disciple, as frequently appears in Scripture.  But also in Scripture, there are the times He wept with friends, had soft compassion for sinners, and had a good time loving on His disciples.

Perhaps when we are temporarily more broken we get to appreciate Him more as the perfect Friend, and when we are a bit (or a lot) prideful we get to see the stricter side of Him as the religious leaders often did in His time.

I like the old saying that, "God comforts the afflicted, and afflicts the comfortable."  So true, in my experience.
4  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Lonely David pleads for God's turning on: September 01, 2014, 04:42:33 PM

In the first post above, these verses were quoted.  Those of us who have come to know Him, can agree with their validity.

Deuteronomy 4:29
"But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Jeremiah 29:13
"And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

And Jesus said, referring to Himself, i believe:

Matthew 7:7-8  Amplified
"Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the Door] will be opened to you.
For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the Door] will be opened."

The key to the beginning of the ending of loneliness is to persist in seeking Him -- He always keeps His Word.
5  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Is this kind of stuff supposed to help? on: September 01, 2014, 04:31:55 PM
Is this kind of stuff supposed to help?

 rolleyes cheesy kiss    (triune humor)
6  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Christ in us Scriptures on: September 01, 2014, 12:28:53 PM

Here i have selected what seem to me to be some of the clearest statements of Christ living in us, being the basis for Salvation, extracted from the first post above.  (We sometimes hear about people "following only the red letters in the Bible", and ignoring the rest.  I maintain that if we really follow the red we will love the black letters, also, as He did.)

There are many Scriptures which establish that it is Christ in us which saves us, for He is unending Life.  No one is saved apart from Him living in them, since He is the only Savior.  And we are not regenerated or "born anew" spiritually until He comes into us by His Spirit.  But with Him in us, we are even now in the Kingdom, within.



John 14:19-20
ďA little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.  At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you."

John 15:3-5
"You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing."
John 17:22-23
"And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are One: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in One, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me."
Romans 8:9
"But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His."

2 Corinthians 13:5
"Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?óunless indeed you are disqualified."


Galatians 2:20
"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the Life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me."


Ephesians 3:14-17
"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from Whom the whole Family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...".

Colossians 1:27
"To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."


Hebrews 3:14
"For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end..."

1 John 3:24
"Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit Whom He has given us."  


1 John 5:11-12
"And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal Life, and this Life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has Life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have Life."


7  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Loneliness on: August 31, 2014, 11:53:43 AM


One thing I do know, is that any platitudes about God and how good of a buddy he is in times like this, or conversely, how poetic and pastoral his non-interaction is that I have encountered from people who may mean well, are just not resonating or hitting the mark. Its just sounds and words.
But make no mistake, just because I find such efforts off-base, does not mean I don't have my own reality and growth/transformation process in relation to God going on.
But alot of the time people are un-curious about that, and would rather play the part of spiritual advisor and theologian. 

Well, i for one, am curious about your growth/transformation process.  What i recall hearing is that you are focusing on the "red letters" in the Bible (Jesus' Words) and that is making a difference.  But doesn't that difference include more closeness to God, like Him becoming a greater "Buddy"/Savior than ever before?  If not, then maybe there is something more He is drawing you toward.

For me some of the explosive growth came from realizing (with His inspiration) that He is the perfect Friend (and Lord), Who is always with us if we truly want Him to be.  And His Word becomes more trustworthy, including some of the more famous quotes, like:

2 Corinthians 1:2-4
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,  Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."

As i see it, He is the Source of all comfort, and if we can't seem to find Him directly, He works quietly through people, literature, art, music, and nature, (etc, possibly through chemicals) to bring us some degree of comfort, even when we don't recognize it is coming from Him.  And He gives us many encouraging opportunities to come to realize this, and then to try to share His comfort with others. 

I may not be very good at that myself, except with those who have had a life generally similar to mine, and have been broken the way i had to be, in order to reach out to the One reaching out to us.  How about you?  Have you been comforted by Him when you needed Him most and He didn't seem to be directly available?  It's a bit of a "joy-shock" when we realize He was there all the time, even when we least knew or appreciated it.
8  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Is this kind of stuff supposed to help? on: August 31, 2014, 11:13:42 AM

Good advice, gouda, in general.  I hope, however, that you BigO, will "stay in touch", and share some of your "journey into grace" as you grow.

By the way, in the article you referenced, there is this quote, which reflects an attitude we could all profit from in the forums here:

"Although it is unlikely that we will all end up agreeing, I believe that it is important to understand and engage with other perspectivesóespecially when articulated by intelligent, experienced, and charitable interlocutorsóand that all of us will find our positions sharpened as we participate in the challenge of discourse. Hopefully, the exact location of our differences will also become clearer, perhaps even being broken down to a much less threatening size. Thank you to everyone who has pursued this discussion in this productive and generous manner."
9  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Eternal torture appears dead at last on: August 30, 2014, 12:33:50 PM

Thanks, bigor, that is a great article for being a short as it is.

For those with little time or inclination to go to other websites, here is a brief summary of it.

The author says more and more Christians, even otherwise "orthodox" ones, are beginning to look closer at Scripture, what it actually says, and seeing that eternal torture just isn't actually there.  As this forum topic has suggested, the Second Death is a final death, a destruction/elimination, not an unending conscious state of torture.

He goes on to list 5 top reasons for this growing rejection of the traditional view of "hell", and gives some explanation of each one.   Here they are to see if you want to pursue that detail.

1. Something in our spirit tells us that torturing people is morally wrong.

2. The concept of eternal, conscious torment runs contrary to the whole testimony in scripture.

3. The final judge of each individual is Jesus, and torturing people seems contradictory to his character.

4. Jesus would become a hypocrite, demanding that we nonviolently love our enemies while he does the complete opposite.

5. We simply canít get past the idea that we are more gracious and merciful than Jesus himself.  (That is, the author is real sure that we sinful people are not more merciful and gracious than Jesus, yet we couldn't torture anyone for a long time, let alone forever...)

See prior post for web address.  If you still maintain some level of belief in eternal torture, you might want to read the complete article and pray about it.  And if you want a very good explanation of the outline in the first post above, the following is still one of the best (developed completely independently of the outline):
10  Forums / Key Life Forum / Re: So what about pot? on: August 29, 2014, 05:58:56 PM

One of the things that was not great about pot was the phony feelings of "spirituality" it often gave me.  In fact, that was an aspect that had me "hooked" a long time.  I was kind of confused about the Holy Spirit, and thought that i was more "filled with the Spirit" when i was high on weed.  Duh? ? ? ?

Yes, God can use various means to reach out to us, no matter what our chemical state of mind may be.  But i had to come to see that it was Him that i needed, directly, not through a haze of smoke, and a "rush" of blood sugar.   Which was tough to see, as long as i was a dedicated pot-head.  "Mary-wanna" was more my god(dess) than the only real One -- until i wanted Him more than the grass He grows....

Peace and love, bro'!  (Oh, where's that smiley with the pipe in it's mouth?) Shocked Afro Wink
11  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Free sins vs our part. on: August 29, 2014, 05:50:48 PM
K.K., Jesus also said something like "straight is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to everlasting life and few there are that find it".  In this case he doesn't seem to be referring to himself.

If you are seeking God you have to go to Him in humility because God resists the proud.  So there is one rule you have to obey when looking for God.  If you are seeking God's face you have to stop doing evil because the face of the Lord is turned away from those that do evil.  So there is another rule you have to obey when looking for God.

If you are trying to understand God's word, I am not the person to explain it to you, but I do have some discernment.

We can't get a more "straight Gate" or a more "narrow Way" than the One Who is both the Door/Gate and the Way to God.  And no one can come to the Father apart from Him, as He said.  Perfect narrowness -- Jesus and no other Way, no other Door/Gate.

The only way to go to God humbly is through His Son.  The Cross is the biggest pride-buster of all. 

If God completely turned His face away from sinners then no one could be saved.  But because Jesus gave His perfect Life for us, He, as God in human form, can not only look upon us, but enter us at our sincere invitation, as our request for His salvation.
12  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Loneliness on: August 29, 2014, 05:40:01 PM
This of course is something I might say to someone else if they were suffering (and I liked the bit about knocking the props out of over-dependance on sensory experience). What else can you really say? Life is hellish then you die? When your life is a non-stop sh!t-storm for a decade or more, and crying out for relief or comfort on the very precipice of suicide brings deafening silence, it is more poetic than anything else unfortunately. The OT guys weren't afraid to admit this. Neither was Jesus. It's part of the territory it seems. Dishonesty about ones experience is generally not though so people shouldn't fear talking about it.  

On another note, you should perhaps be more reluctant to throw around words like "maturity" when comparing your faith and experience to other peoples. Just saying.

When Jesus is living in us, there will be times, even if rarely, when He makes His Presence known.  If not, then we might well question whether we have given ourselves to Him completely.  

previous statement:  "And then, when the faith matures a bit more, the feelings of closeness come at just the right timing, for the right length of time. Then we appreciate so much more, Him being with/in us, than if He had always been there constantly (in our feelings), and we had begun to take it for granted to the point of dullness."

The maturing of faith isn't so much our "effort", as His developing us.  So it's not something we get to brag about, just another thing to be grateful to Him for.  Remember what Peter and Paul said?

1 Peter 2:1-3
"Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious."

Hebrews 5:12-14
"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the Word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

Part of my experience, and i know i am not unique (having been in AA about 40 years), is that what blocked my feeling any closeness with Christ was my long-held bitterness and resentments over incidents in my past.  And i had to be given lots of info and training in the value of letting resentments go, and forgiving others, as i have been forgiven by God (which is completely).  Interestingly, what Jesus said, right after giving us the Lord's/apostle's Prayer, seems to apply very well:

Matthew 6:14-15
ďFor if you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

So what i, and many others i have known, have seen, is that when we finally got willing to forgive everyone in our past, no matter how serious the offenses, then the feeling of being forgiven and a closeness with Jesus was surprising and real.  Since He died to pay the penalty for our sins, in advance, i think the subjective "distance from God" wasn't put there by Him, but by me/us, so when we let got of the bitterness/hostility over what had been done to me/us, then His love began to flow more freely.

Instead of this being an "i'm so superior" thing, it is more an invitation to experience more forgiveness by giving more to others.  If you have any bitterness/resentment at all to let go of, that will have more effect on beginning to feel God's Presence than about anything else i know.  And that also applies to me -- just because i once felt the joy of release, when i let go, doesn't mean that little resentments can't still build up today -- and closeness to Him begins to fade, until i get reminded that complete forgiveness is the goal (which only He can help us attain).

Make any sense, or am i just rambling?
13  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Free Gift on: August 27, 2014, 12:25:57 PM

Yes, it is only those "who receive Him" that are given the right to be the children of God.

Which is everyone He died for, and only them !

His death is fully, perfectly, sufficient to pay the penalty for our sins -- all the sins of all mankind, for all time. Unlimited forgiveness and complete restoration are available to all.  But if we knowingly, or unknowingly, suppress and reject His love for us, then we are in actuality refusing the Gift of His unending Life.

Remember He said He stands at the door and knocks -- and if any person opens up to Him (any person), He will come into them -- and He never leaves nor forsakes those He enters as their Lord and Savior.  (See Revelation 3:20, Hebrews 13:5 for confirmation.)

If we are offered a free gift and we don't want it, and refuse to receive it, then we do not possess it, no matter how graciously/freely it is offered.  And if we reject the free Gift of unending Life in Christ then we do not have a life that lasts forever, though we were capable, with God's help, of having it if we only decided to trust the Giver more than ourselves.

Thus, we are instructed to plead with all people (not just those we think are the "to-be-saved") to be reconciled to our Heavenly Dad.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20
"Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the Word of reconciliation.

"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christís behalf, be reconciled to God."

Consider how much more clearly the Source of grace and freedom is revealed, if He doesn't force some folks to be saved, and force some to be lost for eternity, but rather moves to inspire all people to receive Him into themselves, yet allows/empowers them to reject Him as long as they deeply desire to do so.  And many people, persistently, would rather die the Second Death than live intimately with Christ forever, no matter how much they are pleaded with to accept His very Best.
14  Forums / Main Forum / Re: Loneliness on: August 27, 2014, 10:41:59 AM


There are, it seems, different seasons in a person's life. While today I thank God for his many blessings and a sense of relative peace and tranquility, it has not always been so. I also know that temporal happiness and peace is so fleeting. None of us can tell what tomorrow will hold. Those things and people that we hold so dear can be gone in the blink of an eye. And yet He is there, always, the one in whom is no variableness or shadow of turning. Drawing us, encouraging us, just to come apart and fellowship with Him.

Love in Christ,


Yes, and if we belong to Him, we will find (sooner, or later, or now), that the times we have felt He was most distant were just preparation for a deeper sense of His Presense with/in us.  Of course, we don't have a clear guarantee that we won't die still feeling "lonely", on this earth, but just imagine the intense, overwhelming joy of having died feeling so lonely for Him, only to be raised up by Him in an eternal embrace with our eternal bodies.

Believing (trusting/depending) in His present union with us, despite our feelings to the contrary at times, kind of "knocks the props" from under the dependency we often have on physical-sensation feelings.  And then, when the faith matures a bit more, the feelings of closeness come at just the right timing, for the right length of time. Then we appreciate so much more, Him being with/in us, than if He had always been there constantly (in our feelings), and we had begun to take it for granted to the point of dullness.

In that sense, our periods of feeling aloneness, our lone-feeling-ness, become a drawing-deeper into the communing unity we will experience without end, one fine (/Find) Day -- which we can get glimpses of in this phase of our lives, to prepare us for the next.
15  Forums / Theology Forum / Re: Free Gift on: August 25, 2014, 06:45:57 PM
God would have to do for the human race, what the human race was totally incapable of doing for themselves. Jesus Christ paid the price necessary to satisfy Godís justice. The world was given a Redeemer and the price the Redeemer paid through the shedding of his blood to ransom the human race was a satisfactory payment to take the sins off the table of Godís justice. The fact that Christ became a redeemer of the world, does not mean that the world will accept the gift the Redeemer purchased on their behalf. 

Christís faithfulness was the only faithfulness sufficient to merit Godís favor. God used our faith in Christís faithfulness as the means whereby he would credit Christís righteousness to our account. To be justified does not mean to be perfectly righteous in performance. It also does not mean to become perfectly righteous or even more righteous in performance through time. It means having Christís perfect righteousness freely credited to the account of the ungodly who believe. Our justification was something accomplished for us by Godís grace. 

This gift decree of righteousness comes totally apart from any and all human promise, any or all human performance,  or any or all human production. God will never consider our works as a payment for Godís justifying declaration. Justification is Godís gift! To say your works have anything at all to do with Godís gift declaration of righteousness is to slap the giver in the face. Remember, we were given our righteous standing as a free gift.

Yes, it is only those "who receive Him" that are given the right to be the children of God.  Of course, He knew/knows all decisions we will make in advance, since as the Creator He is outside (and within) time - so though He created us with a will that can (and does, regularly) rebel against Him, He also knows exactly which of us will respond to His loving attractions (without coercion) eventually, before our last breath.  So we can't blame Him if we never are "saved", yet everyone who can become willing, with God's full assistance, to turn to Christ, will be given His unending Life.

Such a marvelous Plan!  He gets to demonstrate His perfect love, and the transforming power of His righteousness, which glorifies His character and nature, and we get to experience eternal gratitude for all He is and does, or else we can persist in rejecting His love and experience the "final separation" from Him.  The fairness/justice of His Plan is flawless -- but then, what else could we expect from the Infinite One?

I like the saying "Christ Jesus gave His Life for us, so He could give His Life to us, so He could live His Life through us".  And the ultimate Judgment is whether we truly want to spend eternity in intimate union with Him, or if we would rather die without Him than live with Him forever, even though He died for us to buy our freedom to make that choice.
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