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|Results from: Answers
On or After: Thu 12/31/70
Author: userdoe214 Ordered by Date
|1||Why did God harden Pharaoh's heart?||Ex 7:3||userdoe214||8947|
|Dear Hiram, Scripture has many references to times when God sets aside man's freewill for His greater purpose in human history. You are correct that God does not cause a behavior and then punish (for what is caused is not blame worthy), but God had plans of bringing judgment on all the gods of Egypt so that Israel would see that He is God of all that is, not just a god. The reason this was necessary was Israel was living under Pagan domination for so long, they would have likely believed in the gods of Egypt.
On the subject of hardening of the heart, it is safe to think of that term as strengthening--artificial courage to withstand the natural fear which would cause Pharaoh to waver; for we know when the influence was lifted Pharaoh really did waver.
A very good book on this topic is "God's Strategy in Human History" by Roger T. Forster. I checked to see if it is still in print on Amazon.com and they gave a place in London England where you can buy it directly from Ichthus Christian Fellowship.
I read the book when I was in Bible school (nearly a lifetime ago) and it led to wonderful and civil discussions among those of us inclined to the study of systematic theology. I've never read a better book for a general introduction of classical controversies of European Christianity, and it treats the subject of Pharaoh in some detail.
|2||Mark, Couldn't of been God....||Gen 18:2||userdoe214||8940|
|Maybe you misunderstand the meaning of Jn1:18, for Ex. 24:9-11 says it in no uncertain terms. mrk|
|3||Did Shakespeare help write the KJV?||1 Cor 2:1||userdoe214||8901|
|Nolan, I've been reading Shakespeare for quite some time (still no expert) and around his life too. Never have I seen mentioned his connection to the KJV. If you read in that time period, you will notice English was being written and spoken possibly better than ever before or since. It had to show up in the KJV. But I might add that a surprising amount of the wording of the English Bible goes all the way back to Tyndale. The man had a remarkable grasp of beautiful, clear and direct English. He also appreciated the need for exact translation--t'was a matter of life or death in those days.
Thus I would say a stylist would have been totally unnecessary in the days of KJV.
NASB might be improved by a stylist (I was troubled by a misplaced comma last night), but the translation is so plain and honest, I'd hate to see any more attempts to gussy it up.
|4||Did Abraham see God?||Gen 18:2||userdoe214||8889|
|No doubt in my mind. Take a look at Exodus 24:9-11 for something even more interesting.
|5||Should a Christian be a Mason?||Bible general Archive 1||userdoe214||8878|
I have many family members who are very committed Freemasons, and I'm convinced it is a religion which stands as a separate entity from Christianity. Many of the attacks on Freemasonry are wild misguided witch hunts, which have tended to be self-discrediting, and made Masons feel they are persecuted for righteousness sake; but every time I go to a Masonic funeral I come away weired out enough to believe the enemies of Freemasonry couldn't be all wrong.
Charles Finney was a Mason before his salvation, and wrote an interesting book giving his reasons why a Christian should not be a Mason. It's a sane argument, which might still be in print.
|6||Mark, more info please!||Mark 9:23||userdoe214||8868|
|Well Chris, this is might be a hostile environment to discuss this, so I'll be brief. The tongues of men and angels, moving mountains, all knowledge and knowledge of mysteries are like givens in this text. But the point is: So what if you have them, if you don't have love. What your question made me think about is; what's the use of saying those things if they are not really possible. The statement has no force at all if they are impossible. It seems Paul is writing to people who were trying to achieve these things, and instead of discouraging them, he only says; fine, but don't take one step farther than you can love.
Probably any commentary would say the same, but say it better. Yet the thing that stood out to me, is the understanding of mysteries. This seems to indicate a kind of knowledge that cannot be explained. Something you know, because you know. Most knowledge (like the "all knowledge" type) might be explained step by step how you came to that knowledge, but maybe not the knowledge of mysteries.
You may be scratching your head why I find that important. Let's just say I find questions of epistemology frequently very important, especially when I discover people respond in unbelief that someone could interpret a dream without the use of investigative methods.
Hope I didn't disappoint you too much.
|7||Mat 17:20 vs I Cor 13:2?||Mark 9:23||userdoe214||8770|
|Chris, Thanks for clarifying your question. I can't answer it, but it starts me thinking about something undeniably important. This may keep me busy for quite some time.
|8||Was Eli lax in discipline?||1 Sam 2:22||userdoe214||8698|
|Yes he was. But what an understatement! He should have done a Deut. 21:18-21 on them. As it was he lost them all, and totally discredited his ministry.
It's interesting to note that Samuel (my favorite person of the OT), who was raised by Eli had the same problem--that is not making sure his boys did right: see I Samuel 8th chapter.
A warning to all fathers. Being a son of a PK, I gave it much thought even before becoming a father.
|9||Implications of Mat 17:20 vs I Cor 13:2?||Mark 9:23||userdoe214||8681|
|Chris, Is this a trick question? The hyperbole is to drive home, all things are possible to him who believes. But I suspect you are not looking for a high school level lesson in literary interpretation.
So what's on U mind?
|10||Why did the NASB change JEHOVAH to Lord?||Deut 5:11||userdoe214||8673|
|Read the introduction to your NASB. It explains that we really don't know how to pronounce that name for God, because the Hebrews quit pronouncing it themselves. So many people write the NAME as LORD (all caps.)
The complication comes due (what seems to me) to be an oddity of the Hebrew language. Strictly speaking most speakers of Hebrew (past and present) do not write their language with the vowels. So when it comes to pronouncing you have to "know" were they belong. In the Hebrew text preserved by the Jews, they wrote the vowel markings in (the jots and tiddles), but with the NAME, they left them off, so no one would accidentally prounounce the holy name of God.
It was a strange tradition, with no biblical foundation, but that's the way it is.
So the JW's don't know any more than you on this subject. And most modern language scholars long ago forsook the Jehovah way of writing the NAME.
|11||Please explain to me?||Titus||userdoe214||8662|
|Sorry about that EdB,
And I really am sorry about that harsh post. I quit answering all other postings than donnag's because I was only concerned about her. I hope that they keep this little branch of the forum off the main board so we can talk in as much detail as you please.
When I read that dream I realized she was holding a poison snake and needed to be warned in no uncertain terms--but without coming right out and saying it in a panicked tone. I've recently moved to the DC area, but for years I lived in a place which has much occult attack on the churches. Many of the believers of that town have a strange closeness even though we attended many different congregations. As a result of our community wide camaraderie and constant encounters with the world of darkness we developed many conflict skills which I am discovering are not common in other communities.
There is a reason why I did not want donnag to go into more details, for it seemed pretty obvious that the personal problems were stemming from the spiritual (demonic) problems. So I wanted to stick with the solution to the problem, rather than dealing with extraneous problems, and I assumed (wisely or no, I cannot judge) that the solution to her problem was to follow the Lord out of a dark situation.
By the way I was not countering everything you said, for I quit reading what anyone else said but donnag. So if you reread all that I wrote after my last letter to you I had only one thought in my mind; to answer donnag as best as I could. Later I did read through them all, and was most amazed by JVH's letter. After that I thought it best to drop the subject all together.
|12||Mark, Are you saying you interpet dreams||Titus||userdoe214||8654|
|I cannot interpret dreams and cannot answer all you're questions. So I'll answer your question with a question:
Do not interpretations belong to God? (Gen. 40:8)
|13||I need to know if this is a cult?||Titus||userdoe214||8368|
Your letter struck me much like if it had been a girl writing a question like this:
I'm having problems with my boy friend, she wants to have sex before marriage.
Quite naturally I would want to deal with the gender issue before premarital sex. I've been in a few 6 membered churches and it was very good, because it was so much like a family. Now if your church is not close and people cannot get along with the pastor, that is not normal. Possibly there is more than a small problem with the very nature of your congregation's authority structure. I don't want to say a woman cannot be a pastor, for I have read some convencing arguments for the possibility of women in governing authority, but you must admit it's not an easy argument to support with Scripture.
So if it's not working, just move on. You don't have to call it a cult, or even say they are wrong; just find that place where your heart says family.
|14||Why didn't God prevail?||Gen 32:25||userdoe214||8287|
I think I'm getting addicted to your questions, for I really have something else to do.
Why didn't God prevail? Hopefully you are not as Jacob like as I, but it is possible to wrestle with God and prevail, but after it's all over the stubbornness of heart may still be there, but the energy to keep butting against God's commands is all gone. Remember what Jesus said to Paul?
"Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads." Paul had the good sense (what Jacob seldom demonstrated) to give up the fight.
It is interesting (don't you think) that from that time on Jacob was called Israel, and that he could add to his boast that he strove with God and prevailed, but at the same time couldn't hide the limp.
|15||Why the angels?||John 1:51||userdoe214||8280|
I'm hoping you get a lot of responses to this one. Mine must be brief.
I've always felt like Jacob got it wrong about this vision, when he said "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it." His life might have turned out differently if he had realized, "The Lord is every place, and I didn't know it." But there is a message he could have gotten out of that, for to my knowledge he never sought help from an idol. The message was, even though God is in all places, there is only one way to Him, and that way is an active connection between Heaven and Earth. Jesus says, I am that connection.
I'd give anything if someone out there can tell me if the Talmuds comment on what the BC teachers were saying about that ladder, for to put Himself in the place of that ladder must have had great significance to Phillip.
Oops! I didn't answer your question: why were the angels ascending and descending?
Angels brought answer to prayer, prophetic words, correction and direction in times past. I think it's safe to say those are when angels are descending. And I guess they would go back (ascending) after their job was done.
What's most interesting is, what ever we ask in Jesus Name, the Father will do. It seems that says the request and the answer comes through (or in ladder language, up and down) Him.
|16||Why did Rachel want the mandrakes?||Gen 30:14||userdoe214||8274|
You sure ask a lot of interesting questions.
It is very possible that the plant spoken of produces hormones similar to those used today to boost a woman's fertility. The context doesn't seem to make that interpretation impossible.
But as an aphrodisiac it's a different issue. My dictionary refers to a mandrake as follows:
A short-stemmed Old World plant of the nightshade family with narcotic properties.
I've been suspicious that Jacob might have begun to loose interest in sex due to the family strife of 4 wives and being passed back and forth like some prize bull. Maybe the drug in the mandrake so cloud his mind from his present unhappiness so as to regain what we might call his amorous feelings.
But if you just read the text, and leave out the psychobable I just conjured up, I have the feeling it was something closer to a drug deal on one of our big city street corners, but instead of money being the medium of exchange, it's sex (with a chance at another heir).
|17||Eternity; Heaven or Earth?||Acts 3:21||userdoe214||8221|
|The work of Christ will finally be the restoration of Earth the way it was suppose to be before our parents fell (or maybe it's better said, before they jumped).
I've been putting off really studying this out, but this question (the long and the short) started working on me years ago when I was taking a class in Ancient Philosophy. The topic was Plato and his teaching on the triune nature of man. The prof stopped midstream and made it clear that Plato's body-soul-spirit view of man should not be confused with the Christian view, because the Greeks held that the body is the prison house of the soul, and death was an happy escape, where as Christians believe death is an enemy (ICor 15:26).
What he, my prof, seem to be telling us was that the resurrection of the dead is fundamental to the Christian faith and foreign to the Greeks. Remember how unthinkable the resurrection was when Paul was explaining the Faith in Athens(Acts 17:32)? To my knowledge the resurrection of the dead, rather than a population of after life phantoms, is unique to the Bible.
If I understand right that the resurrection is fundamental to Bible faith, it makes me think that after we're raised from the dead we will take up our residence on Earth (New Earth).
This probably sounds like pointless speculation.
If someone (there must be many) has worked on this, please speak up.
|18||Mark please more info and no puss :-)||John 10:27||userdoe214||8012|
|Don't worry about picking my scabs, it was only a warning of what might follow (I never know what I'm going to write when I get started).
I did not mention CRI in that last letter on purpose. Mine is not a complaint about CRI, but the whole world of opinion for popular consumption. The real issues of life are very close at hand. The real news of the day is happening in your sphere of influence, and I don't feel unsafe to conjecture that God is mostly talking to you about the people and events which touch you and you touch. The works of God you do benefit your neighbor, and when you lie down at night the voice you hear saying "Well done good and faithful one," is not coming from a radio.
It's all so very simple, but I find it easier to convince children than adults. This has lead me to long wondered why, and suspected that we adults, and long time believers rely on way too many sources for help and information. I like the low tech walk with Jesus more than the gigabyte information sources--(I'm scratching my head right now, trying to square what I just wrote, with the fact that I'm communicating by way of the Internet.)
I'm starting to feel a bit embarrassed, like I've talked way too much, or way out of line.
|19||Mark why do you say that?||John 10:27||userdoe214||8005|
You pick a sore with me on this. If you look at my bio you will notice that I've walked with many fringe groups (more than listed). I've never felt like a part of such groups, but my attraction is their many outlandish yet totally committed members. I like people who sweat and bleed what they believe. My only complaint has been; I wish they would think as hard as they believe. But so often I saw people who acted on slightly wrong belief being cared for by God. It's long been a warning to me not to think that God's loving care is based on my sound intellectual knowledge of the Bible, theology, history, or the power of careful thought (all things which lead to boasting).
I must clarify that all of these groups were believers in the infallible Scriptures, the Lordship and divinity of Christ, the Lordship of the Holy Spirit and prayed to the Father God. They all believed that it was their mission in life to make the Gospel known to all men. I add this to make it clear that these are in my opinion necessary for a genuine faith--the kind God acknowledges with His presence. So I am not talking about J.W., Mormons or the various expression unitarians....
Now imagine me when I know these people personally and hear a trusted defender of the faith vilify them without mercy. Imagine my feelings when I find out a personality widely trusted/widely published contacts us and says if we don't change our teaching, he'll tell everyone we're a cult. Imagine again that we know that his personal life is in a mess: making a living as a fruit inspector all the while his orchard is worm infested. Should we fire back? In this case we did not, for the supposed evil teaching was not that big a deal to us. Anyway, where could we find a platform big as his?
I've often taken the same criteria of judgment the defenders of orthodoxy use and applied them to historic denominations and seen that it's possible to make them look like cults.
This gets to a more basic problem. Throughout the history of our faith, there have been defenders of orthodoxy who whipped up powers that be to punish those whom they judged enemies of the faith. Not infrequently we call such a person Saint, Reformer... or some title of dignity, but history has proven that the ones persecuted were holding opinions we consider acceptable today. Now if it just stayed in the boundaries of words, maybe I wouldn't care, but many cases ended up killing people (even their children) for what we today relegate to a difference of biblical interpretation.
When I hear attacks on groups (even Mormons, J.W.,...) by these on the radio, I wonder why we continue to defend the faith in this way.
My objection is simple: We do not need such men to protect us, for The Holy Spirit and The Holy Bible together are our guide. Any person who caught up in a deception is there because they've 1st silenced the Voice of God, thus 2nd blinded themselves to the Word of God. The maintenance of orthodoxy is between the believer and God: that's why the Scriptures say, you need that no man teach you (and don't take that as a denial of the role of teachers in the church).
Now should we talk about right doctrine? Yes, but in the free market place of ideas. We must attempt to extract personalities from discussions and center on the core issues. Admittedly, we often can't tell the difference between core and fringe, but fair/courteous discussion can't hurt. And most of all, never draw the sword over differences of practice--tongues, raising hands in church, infant baptism, church government, laughing, dancing, litergy, KJV-vs-NASB-vs-NIV...get the idea.
And just incase you think I go along with some bizarre interpretation of scripture which the faith teachers teach; I do not. There is one in particular who came to my Bible School in the 70's which a voice inside said "be very careful." Now you can read that man's extremely weird beliefs when reading about the errors of the faith leaders. But I always have to say, be sure you really understand what a man means before you judge his words. Many fringe leaders do not have knowledg of the history of doctrine, and don't realize what their words mean to those how have the benefits (and weaknesses) of such study. Think and ask before judging. Give time a chance to expose hearts, and remember ours is a vital faith, not a stone monument.
Finally: I ask people to turn off their TVs and radios, reducing their diet of opinion, which passes for learning. If you want to know more of God, seek Him in a quiet place, in unaided Scripture study and with your dear friends. After all, the world you effect is where you live, not hundreds of miles away were TV/radio originate. If you're like me, I can't tell if I listen or watch because I want to know more, or want to take in opinions to strenghen my own to fuel self-complacency and arrogance
There you see the puss under this scab
|20||Is Wisdom personified?||Prov 8:22||userdoe214||7851|
|Me thinks so
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