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BIBLE: BILIB.webs.com
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:15:41 pm »
The Bible Is Liberating

Welcome to The Liberating Bible!

Join our Prosperity team: https://forms.gle/N5gqEiEsZDRZQ3sU7
(No creeds or beliefs are necessary.)

© 2012 Lela Kelly
CONTENTS: THE BIBLE IS LIBERATING
1. Jesus' Example
2. All Will Be Saved http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=98
3. Righteous Government - Win-Win Politics http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=99
4. Answering Objections http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=100
5. Faithful http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=101
6. Who Is the Beast? http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=102
7. End Times for the Beast http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=103
8. Shroud of Turin (Jesus' Burial Cloth) http://funday.createaforum.com/improve/x/?message=349


1. JESUS' EXAMPLE

CHRISTIAN UNITY CAN SOLVE WORLD CRISES

PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY
James called the Bible the Perfect Law of Liberty. If we obey this Law, we receive Liberty and Peace. A major theme of the Bible is non-dominion, which is non-violence and the route to Peace.

COUNSEL
Prov 11:14; 24:6 In a multitude of counselors there is safety

GREATER THINGS YOU WILL DO
_John 14:12 ... He that believes on me [i.e. Jesus' example], the works that I do shall he do also; and greater (works) than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Jesus Is Our Example: Savior Means Example or Role Model

JESUS' EXAMPLE
_John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
_John 13:12-15 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know you what I have done to you? (13) You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. (14) If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. (15) For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
_1Pet 2:21 For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps:

BIBLICAL EXAMPLE
_1Cor 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
_1Tim 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be you an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
_Heb 4:11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
_Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that you make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
_Jam 5:10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
_Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

HOLY DAYS AS EXAMPLES
"Daniel Rendelman" - www.findemet.com
The seven Biblical Holy Days can be found in Leviticus 23 and the rest of the Scriptures.... The Gospels record the Savior celebrating these days. And we, as his disciples, should follow his example. These festivals have literal, spiritual, messianic, and prophetic applications that can enhance a person’s spiritual walk with YHWH.

The Festival of Sukkot or Tabernacles usually occurs in the month of September or October. This seven-day celebration commemorates the exodus from Egypt, (so we are) to build a sukkah (booth or tent) and dwell in it for seven days. This camping out is done to help us remember the wilderness journey of the Israelites.

“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall celebrate...." Lev 23:39,42,43 ... to remember the tests and trials of the nation of Israel.... When we keep Sukkot by dwelling in the sukkah we step into the shoes of (the) nation of Israel. This role-playing is a powerful tool for teaching. For, what happened to them happened for us.

“You should not be ignorant of how your fathers (during the Exodus) were under the cloud and all passed through the sea; ... and all did eat the same spiritual food. Now all these things happened to them for EXAMPLES: and they are written for our warning, upon whom the ends of the (era) have come,” 1Cor 10:1-3,11.

... Everything that happened to Israel, from the brazen serpent to the water from a rock, is a type and pattern for future generations. ... (Because of their sins, the Israelites) found themselves in a place unfamiliar and undesired. The nation was destined to wander the wilderness for forty years.

Do you see yourself in a similar situation? Is your life different than you had once desired? Do you find yourself in an unfamiliar place with problems galore? What happened to Israel happened for you. Learn from their example this powerful point – the wilderness was not their destination, it was only part of the journey ... to the Promised Land!

~~~~

SACRIFICE
Jesus' sacrifice of himself is another example that we are to follow.
_Mat 6:46 "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say?
_Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice [in service to others], holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
_1Cor 5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened [unbound by tradition]. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
_1Cor 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils [idols], and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with devils.
_Eph 5:2 And walk in [Jesus' example of] love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour [a benefit to society].
_Php 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of [bolstering] your faith [faithfulness], I joy, and rejoice with you all.
_Php 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things [gifts of love] which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.
_Heb 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for [overcoming] sins:
_Heb 7:21-22 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord swore and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) (22) By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
_Heb 7:27 Who needs not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
_Heb 8:3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
_Heb 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
_Heb 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these [sacrifices of sinful men].
_Heb 9:26 For then must he [Jesus] often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world [era] has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
_Heb 10:12 But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
_Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it [God's witness] he [Abel] being dead yet speaks.
_Heb 13:15-16 By him [Jesus' example] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name [authority or example]. (16) But to do good and to communicate [on goodness] forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
_1Pet 2:5 You also, as lively stones [of the living temple of Godly community], are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices [ministering to others], acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

~~~~

LOVE IS SELF-SACRIFICE & GOD'S EXAMPLE TO US
_Mat 5:43-6-4 Love your neighbor & your enemy
_Mat 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, (45) that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he [as your example] makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. (46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? (47) If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? (48) Therefore you shall be perfect [having perfect ideals], just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
_Mat 6:24 "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon [greed or self-interest].
_Mat 6:27 "But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, (28) bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. (29) To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your coat also. (30) Give to everyone who asks you, and don't ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again. (31) "As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. (32) If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. (33) If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. (34) If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. (35) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he [as your example] is kind toward the unthankful and evil.
_Mat 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross [of self-sacrifice for others]." (22) But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. (23) Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"
_Mat 11:42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice (to your fellow man) and the love of God.
_Mat 22:37 Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) A second likewise is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (40) The whole law and the prophets are-based on these two commandments."
_John 14:27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be FEARful. (28) You heard how I told you, 'I go away, and I come to you (again).' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I said 'I am going to my Father;' for the Father is greater than I. (29) Now I have told you before it happens so that, when it happens, you may believe.

~~~~

FIVE DEATHS OF MOSES (as Examples of Self-Sacrifice)
Messianic Yisreal: yourarmstoisrael.org http://yourarmstoisrael.org/Articles_new/restoration/?page=home
These deaths symbolize his self-sacrifices.
_Josh 1:2
_Deu 34:4-5
THE DEATH OF MOSES TO EGYPT
_Heb 11: 24-27
_Luk 13:3,5
THE DEATH OF MOSES TO HIS OWN ASPIRATIONS
_Exo 2:11-15
_Acts 7:22,25
THE DEATH OF MOSES TO PASSIVITY
_Acts 7:25
THE DEATH OF MOSES CELEBRATED
when Moshe kept the Passover by faith
_Heb 11:28
_1Cor 5:7
_Gal 6:14
THE DEATH OF MOSES TO CANAAN
_Deu 34:4,7
_Mat 17:1-3
Yahshua brought Moshe out of death in the wilderness into His resurrection life in Canaan.

~~~~

CROSS = SELF-SACRIFICE
_Mat 10:38 And which(ever-person) (gets)-not (his)-cross, and follows after my(self), is not worthy-of my(self).
_Luk 14:27 And which(ever-person) bears not bears (his)-cross, and comes after my(self), can not be my disciple.
_Mat 16:24, Mar 8:34, _Luk 9:23 (Whoever) would come after my(self), denies himself and takes-up his cross and follows my(self).
_Mark 10:21 ... come, take-up the-cross, follow me.
_1Cor 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross [or example] of Christ should be made of none effect.
_1Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross [self-sacrifice] is to them that perish [live in sin] foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
_Gal 5:11 And I, brethren, if I yet preach circumcision [self-sacrifice], why do I yet suffer persecution? then is the offense [fear] of the cross ceased.
_Gal 6:12 As many as desire to make a fair show in the flesh [evil tradition], they constrain you to be circumcised [wrongly]; only lest they should suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
_Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified [given] unto me, and I unto the world.
_Eph 2:16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity [disharmony] thereby:
_Php 2:8 And being found in fashion [substance] as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
_Php 3:18 For many walk [on the wrong path], of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, (that-they-are)-the enemies of the cross of Christ:
_Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile [save] all things [and people] unto himself;
_Col 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [spiritual debts] that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
_Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author [pattern or example] and finisher of (our) faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising  [overcoming] the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

~~~~

©2006

« Last Edit: May 30, 2022, 05:36:35 pm by Admin »

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BILIB.webs.com All Will Be Saved
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 12:18:37 pm »
The Bible Is Liberating

2. ALL WILL BE SAVED

The Bible Says All Will Be Saved
https://tentmaker.org/

The following are excerpts from http://www.mercifultruth.com.

God Loves His Enemies

* Isaiah 55:8-9 - For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

* Have you paused to consider that when you read about God's "hatred" of sinners, and you attribute your personal, human emotional psychology to God's words, you are lowering God to your level? You are making your thoughts God's thoughts, and your ways, His ways. You are attributing your feelings, which proceed from your human heart - which the Bible says is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jer 17:9) - to a God who is not flesh, but Spirit.
* God is nothing like you and me. His ways are not your ways, but are higher than your ways. His thoughts are not like your thoughts, but are higher. Even his so-called "hate" is "love" compared to your weak human emotional hatred you show your enemies. Do you see how easy it is for God to melt the human heart with His "hatred?"

Hyperbolic Biblical Language

James Patrick Holding of the orthodox Christian website Tektonics.org writes in his essay: Exclusive and Hyperbolic Language in the Bible ...:
* "As a further demonstration, let us now consider an ancient example from outside the Bible. First, here is a cite from the Scriptures that is sometimes regarded by critics as problematic:
* 1 Samuel 15:8 - And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
* Critics find it odd that a people here recorded as being "utterly destroyed" come back making trouble just a few chapters later in 1 Samuel. But compare this to an inscription offered by the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III [taken from Moshe and Trude Dothan, Peoples of the Sea, 27]:
* I slew the Denyon in their islands, while the Tjekker and Philistines were made ashes. The Sherden and the Washesh of the sea were made non-existent, captured all together and brought on captivity to Egypt like the sands of the shore.
* Clearly when Ramsses tells us his enemies were "made non-existent," he was not meaning this literally, since he goes on to indicate that they were captured. In ancient context, then, such claims as 1 Samuel 15:8 makes are not to be taken literally either. They are no more absolute statements than those of football fans who celebrate a team's win by shouting, "We're #1!" -- even if the team has lost more games than it has won!
* And in fact, such rhetorical emphasis typifies ancient and even modern Semitic cultures. G. B. Caird, in The Language and Imagery of the Bible, notes the frequent use of hyperbole among Semitic peoples, and notes that "its frequent use arises out of a habitual cast of mind" which tends to view matters in extremes, or as we would say, "black and white." The Semitic mindset is dogmatic, and despises doubt; things are either one way or another, and there is no room for introspection.

God’s Favoritism

* Genesis 29:30-1 - And he went in also unto Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years. And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.
* Here, "hated" is clearly used synonymously with one who is loved less. Let it be added that if Jacob hated Leah in a literal way, it is hardly believable that he would consent to take her as his wife at all! (See also Judges 14:16 and Deut. 21:15-17.)

* Another example cited by critics is Luke 14:26, in which Jesus says we must "hate" others for the sake of the Gospel. Critics want to read this as literal hate; we reply by identifying such sayings as containing a rhetorical emphasis, not referring to literal hate.
* Bottom line -- skeptics who think that Jesus is preaching literal and misogynist hate in this verse are doing no more than the usual -- thinking out of time, out of mind with the text, and in some cases ... letting their own "hate" get in the way of reading the text any way other than with wooden literalism.
* These words are written by a theologian who believes God will eventually send all non-Christians to infinite torment, that Jesus will stand by while his creation endures unrelenting suffering "forever." But, he refers to an insistence of interpreting "hate" literally in the Bible to being "wooden literalism." Nevertheless, he makes a good point about the use of hyperbole in ancient cultures.

* Rom 9:13 - As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
* This is not even a scripture about God hating a sinner. According to the Bible, God had made a decision about Esau, and Jacob without them "having done any good or evil."
* Jacob stole Esau's rights and blessing. Then he ran far away, because Esau, in his human way, was angry with Jacob and swore to kill him. Time passed. One day though, the Lord said to Jacob: "Jacob, go back to your relatives in the land of your ancestors, and I will bless you." (Gen 31:3)
* Esau, having been tipped off, amassed troops and waited to strike and kill Jacob
* Gen 33:1-12 - Later that day Jacob met Esau coming with his four hundred men. So Jacob had his children walk with their mothers. The two servant women, Zilpah and Bilhah, together with their children went first, followed by Leah and her children, then by Rachel and Joseph. Jacob himself walked in front of them all, bowing to the ground seven times as he came near his brother. But Esau ran toward Jacob and hugged and kissed him. Then the two brothers started crying. When Esau noticed the women and children he asked, "Whose children are these?" Jacob answered, "These are the ones the LORD has been kind enough to give to me, your servant."
* Remember friends. God hated Esau. God HATED him. God had a passionate gut wrenching emotional revulsion for Esau. Right? In fact, God hated Esau so much, He sent Jacob back to him, promising Jacob a blessing. And what a blessing Jacob received: HE BOWED TO ESAU SEVEN TIMES AND WAS REUNITED WITH HIM. That's quite an interesting hatred God has.

God’s “Hate” Is Correctional

* Rom 3:23 - ALL HAVE SINNED, and come short of the glory of God; Isa 53:6 - All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned EVERY ONE to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
* That means you. That means me. That means "every one." That means, according to the Bible, God hates ALL, because ALL have been "workers of iniquity." Are you with me so far?
* 2 Corinthians 5:14 - For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.
* Would God send his Son to die for people he hates, or people he loves?

* Regarding God's hate to Esau, Vincent's Word Studies has this to say:
* The expression (hatred) is intentionally strong as an expression of moral antipathy. Compare Mat 6:24; Luk 14:26. No idea of malice is implied of course.
* The Barnes Commentary on the Bible has this to say:
* "Have I hated" - This does not mean any positive hatred; but that he had preferred Jacob, and had withheld from Esau those privileges and blessings which he had conferred on the posterity of Jacob.
* So "love" and "hate" are not only linguistic exagerrations, common for Hebrews of the time, but are an expression of preference which do not necessarily imply a visceral emotional reaction. So God chose/loved Jacob, and God hated/did-not-choose Esau.

* Jesus says: "Unless you hate your mother and father, you cannot be my disciple."
* He means: "Unless you place me first above all others, you cannot be my disciple"

* Do you ever wonder why God changes people's names? The apostle Paul was first a Pharisee, known as Saul of Tarsus. In his writings, Paul claimed that he was a murderer, a "chief sinner" and lest you forget, God hates ALL who work iniquity, right?
* God's expression of hate for the sinner is that he does not favor the sinner to REMAIN in sin, and thereby destroys the sinner by creating a new person through the Spirit. The old man being freed from iniquity, removes the wall of partition between man and God, leaving a new man. In other words, God hated the "chief sinner" Saul so much that he put his Holy Spirit into Saul and named him Paul. God utterly consumed and destroyed Saul. He ground Saul into powder. The Lion of Judah crushed Saul under his claw. Then, Paul emerged and was born. God loved Paul.

* God sending his Son to redeem us and save us from sin is the ultimate act of hatred against sinners. It is the ultimate rejection of sinners. God hated Saul. God loved Paul. God rejects sinners by healing them of sin. God's hate is so much higher than whatever evil proceeds from the heart of mankind.
* 1 Co 1:25 - The foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
* I'll leave you with the perceptive words of Abraham Lincoln: "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make friends of them?"

©2006
« Last Edit: May 30, 2022, 04:31:19 pm by Admin »

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BILIB.webs.com Righteous Government
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 12:21:11 pm »
3. RIGHTEOUS GOVERNMENT - WIN-WIN POLITICS

Rev. 11:15 Man's governments will become Godly governments

UNANIMITY © 2012 Lela Kelly
GOD'S METHOD OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT [short version]
by G. H. Lang, Unity Chapel, Bristol 1900 AD - Paraphrased by LK
www.neve-family.com/books/lang/Unanimity.html
 
MAJORITY OR UNANIMITY?
__Experience has abundantly shown that the minority is frequently in the right and the majority in the wrong. Rather than making known to the Church His wishes by this majority rule plan of voting, the Lord has rather promised to reveal His will by and through the bringing of His people to unanimous judgment.
__It seems clear that a method which is as likely to lead to a wrong decision as to a right one cannot be a divine method, and ought not to be followed by those possessing the divine nature, and capable of having the mind of Christ (2Pet 1:4, 1Cor 2:16), in whose workings mistakes are unknown. A method at all likely to cause disagreement and possibly open division cannot be of God, who is "not a God of confusion, but of peace," (1Cor 14:33).
__Majority rule is eminently likely to lead to dissension, both secret and public, a truth with which any who have had much experience on the subject must be sadly familiar. Can anything be more likely to stir up contention and cause disaffection than that a section of the church should have their wishes and, possibly their sincere convictions, rejected, simply because a larger section of the church, with no other advantage, has different opinions?

BIBLICAL TESTIMONY
__It is to be noted that the whole burden of Scripture testimony is on the side of unanimity. This is more clearly seen by observing two very remarkable lines of thought: first, that unanimity is in the Word of God associated with spiritual prosperity; and, on the other hand, division with spiritual regression. See 1Chr 12:38,40; 1Chr 13:1-4; 1Ki 19:20; 2Chr 30:4; 1Ki 16:21.
__The New Testament speaks even more clearly in favor of unanimity. Take, for example, such exhortations as the following.
__John 17:20-21 Jesus said, "... And the glory which You have given Me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that You did send Me, and loved them, even as You loved Me."
__Rom 15:5,6 "Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus: that with one accord you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
__1Cor 1:10 "Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfected together in the same mind, and in the same judgment."
__2Cor 13:11 "Be perfected, be comforted, be of the same mind; live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
__Galatians: The direct object of this epistle was to bring the assembly to oneness of mind upon the question discussed; to exhort them to all walk by the Spirit, and thus to avoid the "strife, factions and divisions," spoken of as being of the flesh, (Gal 5:20).
__Eph 4:3-16 "Giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." The "unity of the Spirit" is that unity which is manifested by the Spirit through united action on the part of the body; and therefore in this passage the apostle at once proceeds to a revelation of the inter-working of the whole body in perfect harmony.
__Php 1:27 "... stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel."
__Php 2:2 "Fulfill my joy, that you be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through faction or through vainglory."
__Php 4:2 "I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the same mind in the Lord."
__1Thes 5:13 "Be at peace among yourselves." Earlier I sought to show that dissension, not peace, is one of the probable and, indeed, frequent results of majority rule.
__2Thes 3:16 "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in all ways," which must include business meetings.
__1Tim 6:3,4; 2Tim 2:23; Tts 3:9 In these passages certain people and actions are condemned, and the avoidance thereof exhorted, because they engender strifes; that is, not that every time a foolish question is discussed it leads to strife, but that there is a general tendency in such discussion to provoke dissension. So it does not require that every time a matter is decided by a majority vote it should provoke strife; it is sufficient if it has a tendency that way.
__Jam 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him." When an assembly meets together and some think one course the best, and some another, it is evident one, or both, of the parties has not the wisdom of God in the matter. This Scripture indicates what should then be done. Not the opinion of the majority is to be acted upon, for they may be wrong in their judgment and, for the same reason, not that of the minority: but let all wait on God for wisdom, and it shall be given, in God's time, to those who ask in faith.
__In addition to these passages, exhorting to "peace," to "oneness of mind," to "all speaking the same thing," to being "perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment," we have the already commented upon words of the Lord Jesus, from John 17, and the Scriptural analogy of the body; and also the example of an assembly transacting affairs in its corporate capacity recorded in Acts 15, which we shall now consider.
__As if the Lord foresaw that the precepts and whole tenor of His Word would not be sufficient to preserve His people from adopting almost universally the practice of the world in the matter of making group decisions, He caused to be given a very full narration of the discussion of an important and intricate question by the assembly at Jerusalem, including the apostles, to whom was specially committed the knowledge of His will, and who were undoubtedly those most likely to know what method was most accordant with the mind of the Spirit.

THE APOSTLES' EXAMPLE
__This record is found in Acts 15. When closely studied the story gives not only the decision upon the question actually discussed, but also the principles by which the judgments of believers were influenced, and, further, that which directly bears on our subject, the order of discussion.
__Before the reader goes further I would earnestly ask that the chapter be carefully read, and then the following remarks may be better considered.
__To the Gentile assembly at Antioch there had come from Judea certain men who taught the brethren that, as circumcision had from the time of Abraham been the sign of a person belonging to the visible company of the people of God, they could not be saved unless they were circumcised.
__Paul and Barnabas dissented from this teaching, and in order to obtain the opinion of the apostles and the mother assembly, the brethren at Antioch deputed Paul and others to proceed to Jerusalem and there discuss the question; and we read, "when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the assembly and the apostles and the elders."
__The order in which the matter proceeded is then shown as follows. "They rehearsed all that God had done with them," evidently including in their remarks a statement of their having refrained from teaching Gentile believers that they must be circumcised, and also laying before the assembly the facts concerning the discussion that had gone on at Antioch.
__That they did this is clear from verse 24, where the apostles display a knowledge of what had transpired at Antioch, which things they evidently learned in the information of Paul and Barnabas.
__Thus the matter was laid before the assembly, and the proposal to enforce circumcision thrown open for discussion.
__Certain of the Pharisees, not having been yet divested of their sectarian spirit, rose and urged that it was needful that Gentile Christians should be circumcised and enjoined to keep the law of Moses. This imposing of the ceremonial Judaic law upon Gentiles had not been the practice of the early assembly, as may be seen by the recorded teaching of the apostles and their speeches on this occasion; but the addresses of these Pharisees made it clear that there was a division of judgment upon the question.
__Now, had their method been the more modern plan that we are discussing, it would have been recorded that they ascertained on which side of the question there was a majority of members, and so settled the matter. But, as opposed to this, we learn that when this divergence of view is manifested, the meeting is adjourned, and a fresh gathering of apostles, elders (v. 6), and the whole multitude of the disciples (v. 12), constituting the "whole assembly," (v. 22), is called together to consider the matter.
__Then we learn that upon the subject being again brought forward, there was "much disputing" (v. 7), showing that those wide and opposed differences of opinion which now manifest themselves were seen then also. Here again I remark that had the apostolic method of reaching a decision been the present one, we should expect to find a record to that effect; but, on the contrary, the disputing and speech-making uninterruptedly continued.
__Peter, Barnabas, Paul and James all freely expressed their thoughts, until we find the significant record (v. 22). "Then it seemed good to the apostles and elders with the whole assembly," to do certain things.
__This is the essence of the whole question -- nothing was done until all differences have disappeared in unanimity; then action taken. So that, with the approval of the whole assembly, it could be written to the brethren at Antioch, "it seemed good to us, having come to one accord," (v. 25).

UNANIMITY AS AUTHORITY OF GOD
__And it is of the most momentous importance that we should notice that the assembly thus "being of one accord," (Php 2:2), and having learned to "all speak the same thing," so that there were "no divisions among them" but that they were "perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment," (1Cor 1:10), they are then able to calmly and confidently claim the authority of the Lord Himself for their decision, and say, (v. 28), "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."
__Thus would our divine Lord impressively set before His people the method to be followed by the assembly when considering matters in a corporate capacity, and teach us that when, by patiently waiting before Him and focusing upon the particular subject in hand the light He has given, the assembly comes to oneness of mind in their decision, we can then claim His approval of and authority for that which we do.
__This teaching is the underlying basis of the seemingly difficult passage of Mat 18:15-18. There the Lord says that if my brother sin against me, and I cannot by personal influence lead him to repentance, and thus bury the matter, I am then to take one or two more brethren and see him with them. It is evident that these brethren would not agree to help me unless they are convinced that I am in the right and my brother is the offender; so that there is thus found a consensus of opinion on the subject.
__But if the sinning brother will not listen to these further remonstrances, I am then to narrate the circumstances to the assembly. Once more, it is evident that the assembly will not side with me unless I am in the right; but if they -- the assembly, not a section thereof, but "the assembly," implying the whole assembly, just as when we speak of "a city," we mean the whole city -- agree with my view of the case, we have the fact that a body of those indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and so having the mind of Christ, are of one judgment in the matter; and that if the offending brother will not hear and submit to the assembly, he must be dealt with and treated as a Gentile and a publican, that is, he must be put out of assembly fellowship.

BINDING AND LOOSING
__When the assembly thus unanimously deals with a case, the Lord assures us that we may be certain of doing the right thing, and that "what things soever we shall so bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," for the simple reason that it is the will of our Lord in heaven, that, through the Spirit, we have done on earth.
__So again, Paul, having instructed the Corinthian assembly to thus deal with a wicked person (1Cor 5), upon learning that the discipline had produced in him the desired repentance, instructs them (2Cor 2) to now forgive and receive back the offender and restore him to the joy of the fellowship of saints; and having invoked the name of the Lord Jesus for the former measure, he now claims the authority of the Lord for the latter course; and thus the one who had been "bound" over to Satan as an evil-doer for the destruction of the flesh, is now, upon repentance, "loosed" by the assembly from the sentence, that no advantage may be gained by Satan.
__Thus, in this practical matter also the Lord indicates His willingness to recognize the decision of an assembly, if that decision be unanimous; nor is there one single precept or example in His Word to indicate that He allows the authority of His name to be attached to the decision of only a portion of His people.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 12:23:23 pm »
4. ANSWERING OBJECTIONS

Answering Objections to Christian Universalism by Lela Kelly

Answering Objections from Islamists, Conventional Christians, and Eastern Religions

1. Islamists' main objections to Christianity
- The original Bible is lost and present Bibles are misinterpreted
- Only the Quran is proven true and infallible
- Only the Creator is God
- Jesus was not God and was not born of a virgin
- Mohammed was the greatest prophet
- Only Islam is the true religion

2. Conventional Christians' Main Objections to Christian Universalist claims
- Jesus is God
- The Bible is infallible
- The Catholic Church is the proper successor to Jesus
- The Pope is infallible
- Only believers in Jesus are saved; whoever does not believe will suffer in Hell forever
- Whoever dies without confessing mortal sins to a priest will suffer in Hell forever
- The end of the world is near

3. Eastern Religions' main objections to Bible claims
- There is no God; Jesus was not God and was not born of a virgin
- Heaven is attained only after many lifetimes of spiritual development

Answers to Objections

1. Islamists' main objections to Christianity
- The original Bible is lost and present Bibles are misinterpreted
The original Bible was lost, but much of it has been found and pieced together and interpreted much better since the Quran was written. Since the Quran says the Bible was the word of God, followers of the Quran should also heed the Bible, when it is properly interpreted.

- Only the Quran is proven true and infallible
If the Bible was the word of God, but later misinterpreted, it's possible that errant humans have misinterpreted the Quran as well. The Bible refers to governments that act beastly, by killing or harming the common people, as the Beast. Most, if not all, governments still act beastly, but the Bible says man's governments will become Godly governments. Many governments have tried to be Godly governments in the past 500 years, but have been largely overcome by Satan. However, the Bible predicted that Satan and the Beast would ultimately be destroyed or purged.

- Only the Creator is God
Yes, but Christians and the Bible have several meanings for "God".

- Jesus was not God and was not born of a virgin
 It's true that Jesus was not God the Father and Islamists have correctly pointed out that the Bible does not clearly say that Jesus is or was God the Father. If he were, then there would not be a trinity, although the Bible also does not clearly say there is a trinity either. The idea of a trinity, if it is not stated in the Bible, may have come from an earlier pagan tradition and Jesus did warn people to follow God's word and not the traditions of men. The Catholic Church, founded 300 years after the time of Jesus, found it convenient to use ideas that pagans were familiar with to explain Christian doctrine to them.
 The Bible does speak of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What this seems to have meant is that the Son is in the image of the Father, because he obeyed the Father's commandments to love God and our fellow human beings. So Jesus was considered to be a reflection or example of the Father and all should or will follow that example. The Holy Spirit is the spirit, memory, or inspiration of Jesus' example. The Quran does say that Jesus was the savior, as prophesied in the Bible, so it seems to agree that he was an example of God's love for all to follow.
 The Bible predicted that the savior would be born of a virgin. The Quran seems to say that Jesus' mother was not a virgin. We should admit that it's possible for God to do anything, so God could have created Jesus from a virgin and the Quran may be fallible, if the Bible was fallible. However, there is evidence in the Bible that Jesus was born on or about September 11, so the prophets may have meant that he would be born in the sign of the virgin, which is Virgo.

- Mohammed was the greatest prophet
 If it's true, there should be a list of accurate and inaccurate prophecies that he made that are known to have come true and it should be a longer list than that of any other prophet. Or, it may be that the meaning of "prophet" was different from what is now meant. Is it possible that the Quran meant he was the greatest prophet among the descendants of Ishmael or of Arabia etc? Or is it possible that prophet originally meant something like redactor? Or does "greatest prophet" mean that he will have the largest following?

- Only Islam is the true religion
 If belief in the Quran were infallible, that could be true. But the Quran says the Bible was God's word too, so Islamists should follow the Bible as well. The Bible wasn't translated properly at the time of Muhammed, but it seems to have more reliable translations now.

2. Christians' main objections to Universalist claims
- Jesus is God
 It seems Jesus never said he was God the Father. Jesus is the perfect Son of God, our example to follow. Son of God, means in the image of the Father. Since no one has seen the Father, because He is Love, the image and likeness of God must mean Jesus' character was all-loving, like that of the Father. That is the example we are to follow.

- The Bible is infallible
 God's word of love for God and for fellow human beings is infallible and God seeks to write His Bible, or word, in our hearts and minds. The story of Jesus is His example to guide us or for us to follow. The physical Bible can be and has been misinterpreted or written somewhat inaccurately, which is why there are some versions that disagree with other versions, but the spirit of the Bible, or God's original meaning for the Bible, should be infallible.

- The Catholic Church is the proper successor to Jesus; the Pope is infallible on religion
 If the Pope were infallible and can change the law however he sees fit, he must not love everyone; otherwise, it seems that the Pope would change the law so that no one can go to Hell forever, but only go to Hell long enough to be cleansed of sin. There was no one who was called Pope until several centuries after Jesus. Before the first Pope, all of the bishops were of equal rank. It's unlikely that Jesus referred to Peter as the rock upon which to build his Church, because it was Jesus himself who was otherwise called the Rock. Jesus did not teach the apostles to make decisions by majority rule, but by unanimity, as demonstrated in Acts 15. He also told them at Matthew 20: 25-28 not to use beastly methods of the world's princes, but majority rule is a beastly method, called "Might makes right". God does not use His Might to rule us, but gives us free will and teaches us to use Love and Unity, not Might in our relationships. The Jesuits know about this.

- Only believers in Jesus are saved; whoever does not believe will suffer in Hell forever
 Jesus said calling on his name, or saying Lord, Lord, does not save anyone, but doing his commandments of loving everyone is what saves us. No one will suffer in Hell forever, because Hell, sin, death etc will be destroyed or purged in the Lake of Fire. The word "forever" referring to Hell was added to the Bible in the 600s by order of emperor Julian. Forever refers only to God. Jesus went to Hell to save all who were then in Hell. Hell meant death.

- Whoever dies without confessing mortal sins to a priest will suffer in Hell forever
 The Bible doesn't say anything about mortal and venial sins. If the Pope could define which sins were mortal, then he could have said that there are no mortal sins. Then no one would need to fear going to Hell forever. But religious leaders, like emperor Constantine, who founded the Catholic Church, or especially emperor Julian 300 years later, obviously wanted to put the fear of God, instead of the Love of God, into their followers, so the latter would obey them. God does not want to rule us by Fear, but by Love. Man, i.e. beastly man, wants to rule by Fear. Beastly man wants to get revenge on those who do not accept their domination, which is why he wants to believe in eternal hell. God uses pain not for revenge, but for helping show the way to Love for all.

- The end of the world is near
 The Bible actually said the end of the Age was near, not the end of the World. It said it would be the end of the Age of Israel and the beginning of the Age of the Gentiles. The end of the Age of the Gentiles may be near now, but the end of the Age of Israel, which Jesus said would come within one generation, occurred in 70 AD, when Rome destroyed Jerusalem and killed many of its people, as described by Josephus.

3. Eastern Religions' main objections to Bible claims
- There is no God; Jesus was not God and was not born of a virgin
 It's true that the Creator is not a human being and does not have a human shape or any other shape. The Bible says no one has seen God. God is Love, the source of all caring, consciousness and power. Jesus is the "Son" of God, which means the person who best displayed God's Love for all. Probably all sacred books use symbolism to explain their ideals. That is the case with much of the Bible.
 It cannot be said that a virgin cannot bear a child, because virgins can be implanted with a fertilized human ovum and bear a child, without sexual intercourse etc. It's also possible, however, that the Bible was referring to the birth of the savior during the sign of the Virgin, since there's evidence that Jesus was born on or near September 11, the sign of Virgo, which means Virgin.

- Heaven is attained only after many lifetimes of spiritual development
 The Bible seems to deny that humans can reincarnate, once they die. Whether the Bible is wrong about that, or whether it's been misinterpreted, may be hard to determine. However, there's good evidence that spirits are capable of possessing or obsessing mortals. So, when a mortal seems to remember a past life, it may be that the memories of a spirit who lived that former life are what are perceived or conceived by the mortal. Since mortals are capable of paranormal perception of spirits, perception of their memories is also possible. The belief in reincarnation seems to have produced the caste system in India, which has given great advantages to the high castes and disadvantages to low castes. Naturally, those who have such advantages want everyone to believe they deserve them. Reincarnation seems to give people little incentive to improve their societies.
 There is good evidence that the belief in reincarnation comes from early human history, when the sky was much more electrically active, which caused human- and animal-shaped apparitions to appear in the sky in the direction of the north star. The first apparition lasted for centuries, but then faded away, later to be replaced by another somewhat different looking apparition. This seems to have happened several times over the course of over a thousand years. The later apparitions were thought to be reincarnations of the first one. These apparitions were associated with many ancient myths, including a great flood, which was a belief of ancient people all around the world.
 All major religions have similar beliefs in the law of Love for all. One early Christian writer said that the Buddhists had prepared the people of Europe and Asia minor for Jesus' teachings, which were similar to the Buddhists' teachings. The story of Abraham seems to be related to the story of Brahma. Both have similar names and had wives with similar names, Sarah and Sarai. Both were spiritual teachers. So Abraham may have come originally from India, or eastern Asia.
 Belief in reincarnation does not prevent Christians from cooperating with Eastern religions and others to promote peace, love, freedom and prosperity for all people. Therefore, let us cooperate to warn the people who support beastly governments that they must withdraw their support in order to be saved from self-destruction, which is otherwise the fate of all beastly governments.

©2006
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 12:26:29 pm »
The Bible Is Liberating

5. FAITHFUL

"Aionios", Not Eternal by Lela Kelly

Here are more excerpts from http://www.mercifultruth.com.

God: The Rock Of Ages
* 2 Timothy 1:13 - Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
* 2 Timothy 2:15 - Study to (show) thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
* 2 Peter 3:8 - Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
* 1 Titus 1:17 - Now unto the King [of ages] (aion), immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory aion eis aion. Amen.
* Aion means age or ages - and aion eis aion means age unto age.... [God] is God of the aion/[ages].... AND, unto Him be honor and glory from "age unto age." Amen.

Aionios Means Godly; Aionios Life Is Godly Life

* Titus. 1:2 - In hope of aionios life (life of the ages), which God, that cannot lie, promised before the time of the ages (pro chronos aionios).
* [T]his verse means that God made a promise regarding aionios-life (the [Godly] life 'of the ages' [or “eternal” life]), before he created those aions/ages. This will make perfect sense when we discuss what aionios-life really is. Just as Jesus Christ was slain from the foundation of the world and his death was purposed by God before it happened (Acts 4:27-28), even so, aionios-life was [purposed] before the time of the ages (pro chronos aionios).
* 2 Timothy 1:11 - our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought LIFE and IMMORTALITY to light through the gospel.
* John 17:3 - And this is life aionios [Godly life 'of the ages']: that they might know you, the one true God, and Him whom You did send, Jesus Christ.
* This is exactly why Apostle John said, "anyone who hates his brother has not yet passed from death to life," though he lives and breathes right now. Remember, John says that no murderer has "aionios-life within him." In contrast, anyone who loves his brother has indeed "passed from death into life," because the love of God is within him.

Godly Life Starts Now

* Didn't Jesus Christ call himself "the way, the truth, and the life?" (John 14:6)
* Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is aionios-life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
* Aionios-life is freedom from subjection to sin today, not [just] after death.
* Mark 10:29-30 - And Jesus answered and said, "Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions, and, in the [age] (aion) to come, aionios-life."
* Jesus Christ sits on the throne of His temple, which is within his followers. Paul said "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (1 Cor 3:16) According to the Bible, that's life.
* It is astounding that when some people hear that God, through Jesus, will bring the world into repentance and salvation, they say "why bother preaching the Gospel if everyone will be saved?" Do they have something against spreading good news? [And, more important, spreading the good news is part of the means to bring salvation.]

God Is Not Bound to Punish by Eternal Torture

* We see in John 8, that the Pharisees brought an adulteress before Jesus. They appealed to Deuteronomy 22:22, where it says adulteresses are to be killed. They demanded justice. In fact, Jesus was making company very often with people who deserved the death sentence according to the Law of Moses. You can see the trap the Pharisees were laying can't you: Why wasn't Jesus seeking "justice" with these people according to the Law of Moses? Wasn't Jesus bound to obey the Law? But, they knew if He did stone her, the people would turn against Him.
* Here is the genius of the Lord: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." None could condemn her, and neither did Jesus. He did not put the adulteress to death, even though Moses demanded it.
* John 5:45 - Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
* Christian theologians want us to believe that God is BOUND by his immortal nature to torture people forever. ... Jesus was not controlled, but was in command.... Jesus says, "I AM LORD OF THE LAW." (Mark 2:28).
* Jesus is Lord over justice, and therefore free to determine the duration of punishment as he sees fit. He is not forced to punish people forever just because He is immortal.
* When Christ hung on the cross and cried out to God regarding his murderers: "Father forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34) where was the eternal "justice" that orthodoxy [demands]?

God Rescues Those Who Are “Lost”

* Christians often say: "God must torture people forever, because he is just and holy, and cannot stand in the presence of sin." Does the presence of sin destroy God, or does the presence of God destroy sin?
* Certainly, God has shown his love for the world in such a way that that would be unthinkable to man.
* John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish (apollumi) but have aionios-life.
* Now, this scripture is used the Christian world over to prove [eternal damnation, but] Look closely. The verse does not say that unbelievers will be tortured for [eternity], nor does it say that those who do not now believe never will in the future.
* The word "perish" in this verse comes from the Greek word apollumi, meaning "to [be] destroy[ed]" ... or "to be lost."
* This word apollumi is used in this parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. After that son humbly returns to his father, observe his father's words when speaking to his son's jealous brother.
* Luke 15:6 - And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost (apollumi).
* Luke 15:32 - 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours (the prodigal son) was dead and is alive again; he was lost (apollumi) and is found.'
* Remember how the Prodigal Son was perished (lost) in sin, and what horrible experiences he had? Yet, his experience caused him to remember his Father who waited with loving patience for his son to return to him.

* 2 Thessalonians 1:6 - God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well.
* First, we see a great revelation in this epistle: "God is just." God's justice is perfect balance through perfect wisdom. He judges until the debt is paid. Unlike vengeful human beings, God demands what is owed and not beyond: (Matt 18:21-35), as justice has obviously nothing to do with roasting human beings alive forever. The Biblical principle of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth" should reveal that. The wicked will be shut out from the presence of the Lord because He, in His awesome wisdom, has appointed an aion for aionios judgment.

Rejoice, God’s Judgment Is to Teach Righteousness

* Have you ever heard about the "unforgivable sin?" This is what the orthodox church names it, though the actual term "unforgivable sin" is not scriptural.
* Mark 3:28-29 - Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost has not forgiveness in the age (aion), but is in danger of aionios judgment.
* [Aionios judgment is not eternal punishment.]
* The Scripture informs us: Isaiah 26:9 - When Your judgments come upon the earth, the people of the world will learn righteousness. [If we] Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD.
* [This means that, since favor does not lead the wicked to righteousness, judgment is used to teach them righteousness.]
* Has a Christian ever told you that when God judges the earth, "the people of the world will learn righteousness?" Probably not. You probably heard that when God judges the earth, nobody will learn righteousness, but they will suffer torture forever instead. Liars.

* Psalm 96:11-13 - Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
* Have you ever heard a Christian rejoicing at the prospect of God coming to judge the world with righteousness, and the people with His truth? Of course not. They have no reason to say "let the earth be glad" at such a prospect. Make no mistake, God does NOT show favor to the wicked. HE JUDGES THEM, but not the way the despicable eternal torment doctrine proposes. Through those judgments, the people of the world learn righteousness.
* With their insidious, watered-down doctrines, it is amazing the undue credit that the Christian church has given Satan, insinuating that he wields the power to refute God's plan. God's purpose is good. He is Love, and He does nothing dislocated from love. How can Divine wrath be detached from Divine love? He does nothing outside his nature. He is not fractured and polarized against Himself.

Aion Is Age, Not Eternity

* "The length of the aion [age] depends on the subject to which it is attached. It does not mean a period of a fixed length for all cases. There is one aion of a human life, another of the life of a nation, another of a crow's life, another of an oak's life."
* There is also an aion [age] of judgment. During aionios punishment perfect justice is done by a perfect God who alone determines the time needed to achieve his own purpose - that the ones being judged learn righteousness. His wrath achieves his heart's desire. It has always been so.
* As we rightly perceive according to God, aionios-life is Jesus Christ within us right now, what happens, then, at the end of the aions [ages], when aionios-life and aionios judgment has done a great purpose for God in the ages He created? Does aionios-life end when the aions to come have been consummated? Of course not. It just gets better! Watch what happens next.
* The Bible describes a few things that occur regarding death:
1) The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (1 Cor 15:25-26)
2) Death will be swallowed up to victory (1 Cor 15:54)
3) God made Christ the king of the entire world so that in the "dispensation of the fullness of time" he will "bring everything together in Christ, both in heaven and on the earth". (Eph 1:9-10)

Christians Lack Faith in God’s Promise

* Reading the above article will demonstrate that the aionios covenant of Christ (being life for those who believe) will be completely fulfilled by Christ, resulting in all knees bowing and all tongues confessing that he is Lord, in the dispensation of the fullness of time (Phil 2:10-11).
* Isaiah 45:22-24 - Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. I have sworn by my own name, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to my name.
* God says "let all the world look to me for salvation." Then, to leave no doubt about his ability to achieve what he purposes, to be absolutely clear, he swears by his own name that indeed "every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Christ is Lord." And, he will not go back on his word. (Sorry Satan. You lose.)
* The Christian community needs to start having some faith in God. Even Satan believes Jesus Christ exists. But, do Christians have any faith that God will fulfill his oath to mankind?

©2006
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 12:29:44 pm »
The Bible Is Liberating

6. WHO IS THE BEAST?

Who's the Beast? © 2012 Lela Kelly
1. THE BIBLE OPPOSES DOMINATION & ADVOCATES LIBERTY

"BEAST" MEANS WORLDLY DOMINION

Daniel 12:4 But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
_>> In these times knowledge & understanding of the Bible is certainly increasing.

Despite the claims of conventional authoritarian Church tradition, the Bible on closer inspection proves to be anti-authoritarian, which is liberating. In James 1:25 God's Law, which is the Bible, is called the Perfect Law of Liberty.

The Prime Directive of the Church: No one shall exercise dominion over others [1]

_Matthew 20:25-27 But Jesus called (the apostles) unto him, and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over (their people), and they that are great exercise authority upon them. (26) But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (27) And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
_>> Any organization, government, or trust that violates the prime directive (by exercising dominion as per Matthew 20:25-28) is not the Church, nor is it a part of the Church.

_Mark 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and said unto them, You know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. (43) But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: (44) And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.
_>> Jesus wanted his Church not to exercise authority, or bring people under power, but, like Moses, they were to seek to lead people to freedom under God.

_Luke 22:25-29 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. (26) But you shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that does serve. (27) For whether is greater, he that sits at meat, or he that serves? is not he that sits at meat? but I am among you as he that serves. (28) You are they which have continued with me in my temptations. (29) And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto me;
_>> (Benefactors means rulers, often called fathers in prior times, who give the people benefits in exchange for loyalty and services. Any person) assuming the office of Father stands against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is talking about government, not religion. He is using government terms and telling his people they are not to be like governments that exercise authority or dominion (over the people). He is talking about Rome and governments like Rome.

_Exodus 20:2-5 I am the Lord your God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) You shall have no other gods before me.
_>> (This was God's first commandment to his people, to have no other gods or rulers, but God alone. He called the Gentile system of Egypt a house of bondage, because the rulers exercised dominion over the people, not just over the Israelites. On the other hand, the rule of judges established by Moses did not involve use of force against the people, but the people had self-rule with ministers, who were their servants, acting as advisers.)

_John 13:14-15 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. (15) For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
_>> Serving others makes us clean; dominating others defiles us.

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2. THE BEAST IS ANY GOVERNMENT OR RULER THAT EXERCISES DOMINION

Biblle passages show that those who exercise dominion over others are called The Beast.

_2Kings 14:9 And Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son to wife: and there passed by a wild beast that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
_>> The cedar represents a steadfast, upright nation, the thistle a morally weaker nation and the beast a barbarous, ungodly nation.

_Psalm 73:22 (King Asaph said) So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before you.
_>> Beast here apparently means one who uses brute force in human relations, especially in ruling others, as Asaph was a king.

_Psalm 74:18-21 Remember this, that the enemy has reproached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed your name. (19) O deliver not the soul of your turtledove unto the multitude of the beasts:
_>> The turtledove is Israel, as a nation of peace. The beasts are the ungodly enemy nations or kingdoms ruled by brute force.

_Psalm 80:13-15 The boar out of the wood does waste (the vine), and the wild beast of the field does devour it. (14) Return, we beseech you, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine (Israel) (15) And the vineyard which your right hand has planted, and the branch that you made strong for yourself.
_>> The vine is Israel, or any Godly nation. The boar and other beasts refer again to warring, ungodly nations.

_Isaah 35:8-9 And a highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. (9) No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:
_>> The highway is God's Way of Love, which includes the Commandments, which are commandments for loving God and our neighbors. The lion and ravenous beast are again warring nations who practice brute force, not love.

_Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. (23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
_Daniel 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great:
_Daniel 8:20-21 The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. (21) And the rough goat is the king of Grecia:
_>> Daniel clearly refers to violent, brutal governments as Beasts.

_Titus 1:12-13 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.
_>> This is a New Testament reference to beast and seems to mean what Asaph meant: a person, group, or nation, who uses the threat of violence to dominate others.

_Revelation 11:7-8 And when (God's two witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. (8) And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.
_>> The two witnesses suggest two nations, such as Israel and Judea, since war is not made on individuals. The beast from the pit suggests an ungodly nation. The great city is shown to be synonymous with Sodom & Egypt, which are blamed for Jesus' crucifixion, suggesting idolatrous nations, like Rome. Idolatry would mean having rulers other than God.

_Revelation 12:3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
_>> The dragon is another great beast. It behaves as one exercising dominion and seems genocidal.

_Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
_>> The sea sometimes means a populous area. This beast has the same number of horns and heads as the dragon, but has ten crowns, while the dragon has seven. The beast suggests again a government of dominion. The horns & heads may indicate individual rulers of this government.

_Revelation 13:11-12 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. (12) And he exercises all the power of the first beast before him, and causes the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
_>> This second beast would be another kingdom using dominion, apparently coming after the first beast and allied with it. Coming up out of the earth or wilderness seems to mean from an unpopulated region. Lamb's horns may suggest having minor kings or rulers. Some say the second beast is the United States, because it originated in a wilderness.

The above biblical references to beasts support Gregory's view that exercising dominion, instead of granting liberty, is the main problem with conventional governments.

_Luke 4:5-8 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (6) And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give you, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. (7) If you therefore will worship me, all shall be thine. (8) And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get you behind me, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.

Ned Netterville says "Satan here claims ownership and authority over all of the kingdoms of the world, which Jesus pointedly does not dispute. This undoubtedly derives from all earthly kingdoms' abandonment of God as their lawmaker in favor of human legislators" (2) Jesus on Taxes: www.jesus-on-taxes.com

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3. MISUNDERSTOOD BIBLE PASSAGES ABOUT AUTHORITY, like Romans 13

_Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
_>> Higher powers means God and his ministers and ordinances, not worldly rulers. God does not ordain worldly rulers, but only his ministers who do and teach his Word, which is his Law, the Bible.

(2) Whosoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
_>> Resisting man's ungodly laws does not bring damnation. Only resisting God's Law brings penalties. Many worldly rulers have had laws against God and God's Law, even against being Christian etc, so obviously this is not referring to resisting the power of worldly rulers, but only the power of God and his Law and ministers.

(3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Will you then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and you shall have praise of the same:
_>> Rulers again means Godly rulers, who are ministers ordained by God, not worldly rulers. Likewise, the power again means God and God's Law, not that of any worldly ruler.

(4) For he is the minister of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid; for he bears not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that does evil.
_>> Worldly rulers are not ministers of God. His ministers teach the Word of God, which is God's Law. The Word of God is sometimes called a sword, as in _Ephesians 6:17 and in _Revelation 1:16 & 2:12,16 where someone, probably Jesus, is said to have a sword, meaning God's Word, coming from his mouth, which destroys, i.e. destroys the pride of, the ungodly. Ministers use the same sword, the Word of God, to rebuke evil doers. Rebuking sinners is sometimes called the Wrath of God.

(5) Wherefore you must need to be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
_>> This wrath is uncomfortable and embarrassing and manifests as ill health of body or mind. It tortures and destroys our pride. But we should be concerned not just about the pain of wrath, but also about righteousness via conscience.

(6) For for this cause pay you tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
_>> Tribute here means voluntary tithes to our ministers, who attend to our salvation. Customs may refer to tithes to other ministries, when we travel.

_1Peter 2:11-14 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; (12) Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (13) Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; (14) Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
_>> This passage and the previous one in Romans 13 are often misinterpreted to encourage undue submission to worldly rulers. This passage is talking about how to behave when traveling in other nations. It says to obey the laws there that are for the Lord's sake, those that discourage evil and those that encourage righteousness. It does not say to obey laws that are not for the Lord's sake, that encourage evil or oppose righteousness. And, indeed, the Apostles did not obey such laws, such as those against preaching about Jesus and his salvation, or preaching about serving God rather than worldly rulers.

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4. PRIDE: THE ORIGINAL SIN THAT CREATED THE BEAST

Original sin was not just disobeying God's Commandment about not "eating" of a certain "tree;" the sin was also pride, which made man think he can decide for himself what is right and wrong, and made him think he doesn't need God to tell him that.

_Genesis 2:17 (God said to Adam) But of the tree=false-pride of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat=partake of it: for in the day that you eat=partake thereof you shall surely die=die-spiritually.
_>> God said Adam would die on the day he were to eat of the tree. Since he didn't die physically when he did eat of it, God must have meant he would die spiritually, which would eventually result in physical death as well. Sin causes our deaths and pride is a sin that blinds us to our own sinfulness. Therefore, pride is the most dangerous sin.

_Genesis 3:5 (The serpent said to Eve) For God does know that in the day you eat=partake thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods=magistrates, knowing= deciding-what-is good and evil.
_>> Satan is wrong. Man, with limited knowledge and wisdom, cannot decide what is right and wrong. We need God to tell us this, which is why we have God's Law or Word, found in the Bible and in the minds and hearts of his people. God gives us free will to choose between what he says is right and wrong. But choosing wrong does not make it right. When government Lawmakers say something is okay, which God says is not okay, or when they say something is wrong which God says is right, they are acting as gods and it is idolatry to submit to such gods.

The Bible often uses names of governments, such as Egypt, Sodom, Babylon, Rome, the beast etc to refer to wrongful Lawmaking and dominion. Terms like Fornication, Harlot, and Prostitute in the Bible often refer to people who submit to such ungodly governments. Fornication in such cases means that we submit to and are intimate with Satan, or evil. The term Israel in the Bible is sometimes used symbolically to mean God's Kingdom on Earth. Those who submit to God's rule, instead of man's rule, are called Israel, faithful, the Bride of Christ, or the Bride of God.

_Deuteronomy 4:40 You shall keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days upon the earth, which the Lord your God gives you, for all.
_>> Thus, God's Law, which is called the Commandments etc, is given to us all to help make our lives much happier and healthier. But we must learn the original meaning of the Bible, instead of the errors that have accumulated in it. The Bible says to prove all things, which is the way to correct the errors.

References
1. by Brother Gregory, http://HisHolyChurch.net

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5. CONSPIRACY OF THE RICH

King David warned against rulers conspiring against God.
Psa 2:1-5 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, [saying],
- Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
- He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
- Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

Saint Stephen repeated David's warning, while seeking to do healing.
Act 4:24-30 And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, you [are] God, which have made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:
- Who by the mouth of your servant David has said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things?
- The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ.
- For of a truth against your holy child Jesus, whom you have anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
- For to do whatsoever your hand and your counsel determined before to be done.
- And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto your servants, that with all boldness they may speak your word,
- By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of your holy child Jesus.

The New Testament has many warnings against the worldly rich and praises for the spiritually rich.
Mat 19:23-24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
- And again I say unto you, It is easier for a rope [not camel, a mistranslation] to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Mar 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
Luk 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
Luk 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for you have received your consolation.
Luk 12:21 So [is] he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
Luk 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When you make a dinner or a supper, call not your friends, nor your brethren, neither your kinsmen, nor [your] rich neighbours; lest they also bid you again, and a recompense be made you.
Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
Luk 18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
Luk 18:25 For it is easier for a rope to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Luk 19:2 And, behold, [there was] a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
Luk 21:1 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
2Cr 6:10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and [yet] possessing all things.
2Cr 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might be rich.
1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
1Ti 6:17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Jam 1:10-11 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
- For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
Jam 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jam 2:6 But you have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Jam 5:1 Go to now, [you] rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon [you].
Rev 2:9 I know your works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but you are rich) and [I know] the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but [are] the synagogue of Satan.
Rev 3:17-18 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
- I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and [that] the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 13:16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
Rev 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

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6. BRITISH ISRAELISM - ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY DEGREES APART!!
By Rabbi/Brother Moshe Yoseph Koniuchowsky

PART 7 OF THE SERIES ON THE FULL RESTORATION OF ISRAEL!

. A British man named Richard Brothers on the other hand, started British-Israelism between 1757 and 1824.(2) It later achieved worldwide recognition through the writings and teachings of Herbert W Armstrong. Brothers' key prophecy of the Hebrews regaining control of the Temple Mount in 1798 proved false.
. The historical truth of the compilation of the King James Bible is quite different than British Israelism pretends it to be. It is based on the Greek New Testament published by Roman Catholic Robert Estenne, (also called Stephanus for short), in 1550. Stephanus's manuscript is based on Byzantine fragments pieced together, none of which predated 1200 AD. This manuscript had the Book Of Revelation in Latin, not Greek. Thus the manuscripts used for production of the King James Bible are fragmented, linguistically mixed and includes forged Roman Catholic additions, such as 1 John 5:7, and other questionable verses like Matthew 28:18-20. These and other King James texts are not found anywhere in any of the older manuscripts, dating as far back as the 5th century AD (such as the respected Sinaitic Manuscripts)! ... Little known [are the] well documented homosexual and sex practices of the same King James!
. Who traced the ten tribes to the Isles of Tarshish(28) as Spain and England in Europe? It was well respected scholars such as Abrabanel and Raschi.(29) Thus the identification of the ten tribes being primarily in the west
. Historic British colonialism in the 1900's, with its stifling gag on human freedoms, was also a byproduct of a theology that claimed that since Israel was prophesied to be a possessor of the gates of all her enemies, that therefore world domination was their birthright as Joseph. Thus whenever Great Britain flexed its military might in unwarranted fashion by policing the world through imperialism, they would when called to task, merely recite the biblical doctrines of Israel's biblical promised territorial abundance, as they plowed innocent human beings into slavery and bondage. Many in governmental positions of authority used the tenets of British Israelism to justify unbridled colonialism and imperialism. As one British Israelist put it "We must rule all nations, for He who has so decreed says-'For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve you (Israel-Britain) shall perish, yea those nations shall be utterly wasted'."(22) Thus the natural racist and colonial aggressive outgrowth of British Israelite theology is global militaristic conquest

. References:
22. Professor E Odlum, God's Covenant Man-British Israel p.30 & p.32
27. Hosea 8:8 & 10; 9:17
28,29. Psalm 72:10
30. Edershiem, The Life And Times Of Jesus The Messiah 1973 pp.15-16
 
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 12:31:59 pm »
The Bible Is Liberating

7. END TIMES FOR THE BEAST

End Times for the Beast © 2012 Lela Kelly

ARMAGEDDON IS PAST, SAYS THE BIBLE

Armageddon was only used in the book of Revelation as a symbol of hope to Jesus' followers during their early persecutions, because several important historic events had occurred there. It's where Deborah and Barak had defeated the Canaanites (Jdg. 5:19), where Gideon had defeated the Midianites (Judges 7), and where Ahaziah and Josiah died in battle (2 Kin. 9:27; 23:29; Zec. 12:11). Revelation was not showing Christians things that would occur in the distant future, such as now in the 21st Century, but "things which must shortly come to pass" in their day and "things which must shortly be done" in the First Century (Rev. 1:1 & 22:6). Thanks to an Apologetics Press website article, Will There be an Armageddon?, by Dave Miller, Ph.D., for this observation. And Miller cited Henry Swete's 1911 book, COMMENTARY ON REVELATION, reprinted in 1977.

See also www.bible.ca/pre-false-end-times-charts.htm.

"Remember, the Heaven's Gate Cult had a Rapture Theory!"

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DANIEL'S PROPHECY OF JESUS & END TIMES

In the next five passages from the book of Daniel it is prophesied what Gentile kingdoms would dominate Israel and much of the world until the time of the Messiah.

Dan. 2:39-40 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee , and another third kingdom of brass , which shall bear rule over all the earth. [40] And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Dan. 2:44-45 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom , which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people , but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. [45] Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Dan. 7:13-14 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. [14] And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Dan. 7:17-18 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. [18] But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Dan. 8:20-21 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. [21] And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king .

So these prophecies accurately predicted that after Babylon there would be successive empires centered in Media-Persia, Greece and Rome, followed by Jesus' reign with his followers, called saints. Then Daniel specified how long it would be until Jesus would come and be crucified, or "cut off."

Dan. 9:24-26 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city.... [25] Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven <7> weeks ... and threescore <3 x 20 = 60> and two <+2> weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. [26] And after threescore and two <62> weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

In the article, Why Daniel 9:27 is Essential to Understanding Prophecy, at jesus-is-the-way.com/Endtimes927.html, the author said, "The reason we know that 'week' lasts 7 years is that the 7 'weeks' and 62 'weeks' (a total of 69 'weeks') ... lasted exactly 483 years 69 weeks X 7 years week." The author then dates the beginning of the 483 years from the call of Artaxerxes to rebuild the Temple, but Del Washburn points out in his book, THEOMATICS II, that Daniel says to date it from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, not the Temple. He says the Jewish Encyclopedia says the building of the wall of Jerusalem began in 458 BC.

The Jesus-is-the-way author added, "Here is the ONE 'WEEK' that Remained: Daniel 9:27 'And he shall confirm the covenant with many for ONE WEEK : and in the MIDST of the WEEK he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate." The article says the following passages all refer to half of the final "Week" of Daniel 9:27, as 42 months, 1260 days, or 3.5 years or times: Rev 11:2, 11:3, 12:6, 12:14, & 13:5. "In the MIDST of the WEEK" is when the abomination takes place. That is, it occurs at EXACTLY the MIDDLE of the SEVEN year period. Each Jewish month 30 days, giving a 360-day year. Three and one half years is FORTY and TWO (42) months. Forty two months is 30 x 42 = 1260 (a thousand two hundred and threescore days.) Three and one half years is further represented as times (2), time (1), and half a time. ... Without Daniel 9:27 referring to Daniel's 70th week, we would have NO week and NO Revelation.... There is NO other verse in the Bible showing the FULL 70th week of 84 months. It is also true that NO other verse defines the MIDDLE of the WEEK directly. only USE the information provided by Daniel 9:27 - 'week' and it has a midpoint. ... We have already agreed that Daniel 12 and Daniel 9:27 refer to the same event. Jesus' reference in Mathew 24 is to Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 12."

Dan. 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Dan. 12:7 And I heard the man clothed in linen ... sware ... that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. ... [11] And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. [12] Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

I'll try now to clarify the timeline of this prophecy of Daniel.
1. 538 B.C. When Daniel made the prophecy,
2. 458 B.C. Order to rebuild Jerusalem [80 years after the prophecy],
3. 409 B.C. Finish building Jerusalem after 49 years [7 "weeks"],
4. 25 A.D. Jesus' ministry began after another 434 years [62 "weeks"],
5. 28 A.D. Jesus' crucifixion in the midst of the 70th week, after ... ... 3.5 years of ministry,
6. 32 A.D. Peter went to Cornelius 3.5 years after Jesus' crucifixion.

The 70th week appears to refer both to the 25-32 A.D. period and to the 63-70 A.D. period. In both cases the sacrifice ceased, where in the first case the sacrifice was of Jesus and in the second it was the end of animal sacrifices in the Jewish Temple, which was destroyed in 70 A.D. I believe the author of the book, THE LAST DAYS ACCORDING TO JESUS, said the first century Jewish writer, Josephus, reported that Nero had ordered Roman idols to be placed in all temples, including the Jewish temple. This is what the Jews called an abomination of desolation. That book showed that Nero was possibly the antichrist whose number was 666 and 616, according to the Hebrew spelling of his name and title. Nero's order to desecrate the temple occurred a few years before Titus' destruction of the temple. THE LAST DAYS also mentioned that the book of Revelation was finished in 65 or 66 A.D., before the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D., which it predicted. And furthermore it stated that Josephus had reported that, at the time of the destruction of the temple, most, if not all, of the signs and wonders described in Revelation and elsewhere, such as earthquakes, pestilence, famine, wars and rumors of war, signs in the heavens, false prophets, ungodliness etc, occurred in the final years leading up to the destruction.

Washburn notes in THEOMATICS II that the present state of Israel is not of the literal seed of Abraham, but of the Ashkenazic Khazar Jews who came from the Black Sea region and migrated to Europe in later centuries and then to Palestine after WW2. Ashkenaz was descended from Noah's son, Japheth, whereas Abraham and the Israelites were descended from Noah's son Shem. He says Dispensational beliefs about End Times etc were started by a Jesuit priest in 1812 and popularized by John Darby, Scoffield's bible, Hal Lindsey and now many tv evangelists. But this doctrine teaches that salvation for Gentiles through Christ was an afterthought by God after the Jews rejected Jesus' physical rule in the first century. Jesus warned that false doctrines would fool even the very elect, if they weren't careful.

See also MESSIANIC ESCHATOLOGY, from www.nettally.com/septuagint/messianic.html

~~~~

BETTER NEWS ON END TIMES - JESUS ALREADY REIGNS
www.members.aol.com/vftinc/home/indexheretic.htm, review by L.K.

Luke 19:11-15 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. [12] He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. [13] And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. [14] But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. [15] And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

As with a number of other parables, the one above was about Jesus going to heaven to receive the Kingdom of God and then returning to rule, in spirit.

Micah 4:3-4 ... Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. [4] But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.

VFT says the End Times are long past and Christ has been reigning in an everlasting "millennium" ever since, but not of this world, except spiritually. To prove it they say the Old Testament prophecies foretold three events that would take place to inaugurate Christ's reign.

Three Prerequisites for Beginning Christ's Kingdom:

1. The Crowning of the King (Rev. 12:5);
2. The Binding of Satan (Ps. 2:2-9; 110:1);
3. The Anointing of God's Priests-Ministers (Isa. 61:6; 66:21; Rev. 5:10).

Since all of those prophecies were fulfilled shortly after Jesus' resurrection, Jesus is already reigning, so we need not wait for his second coming. He's returned long ago and is waiting for us to be anointed as his ministers to the world. Following are biblical proofs of the fulfillment of the three prerequisites above.

1. The Enthronement of Christ the King

The New Testament frequently refers to Jesus as King (Mat. 2:2; 21:5; 25:34,40; 26:64; Mark 14:62; Luke 1:32,69; 2:11; 19:38; 22:69; John 1:49; 12:13; 18:37; Mark 11:10; Acts 17:7; 1 Cor. 15:25; 1 Tim. 1:17; 6:15; Heb. 7:2,22; 8:1; Rev. 15:3).

But his Kingdom, a spiritual kingdom, was and is unlike those of the Gentiles (Mat. 20:25-28; John 18:35-36)

People didn't understand the kind of kingdom Jesus had (Mat. 12:23; 15:23; 20:30-31; 21:15-16; 22:45-46; Mark 10:47-48; 11:10; Luke 18:38-39; John 7:41-44; Acts 13:27-28).

After the resurrection, Peter proclaimed that Jesus was the anointed king, which is the meaning of Christ and Messiah.

Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

Church tradition continues to deny that Jesus is King and waits for his second coming for his worldly reign to begin, but his kingdom is not of this world, and his spiritual reign already began at his resurrection (Mat. 26:64; Mark 16:19; Luke 22:69; Acts 7:55-56; Rom. 8:34; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Heb. 1:3-13; 8:1; 10:21; 12:2).

Christ means the "Anointed King" and it was upsetting to the "Loyalist" Jews and authorities to hear his disciples calling him that (Acts 17:7).

2. The Binding of Satan

Ps. 2:6-9 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. [7] I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. [8] Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. [9] Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

Rev. 20:2 And He laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

The term "thousand years" in this case means a very long time, as thousand is often used to mean a great amount (Ps. 84:10; 90:4; 105:8; 1 Corinthians 14:19 Rev. 5:11)

God promised that the Messiah would crush the serpent (Genesis 3:15). During Jesus' physical life Satan tried to persuade him that Jesus wasn't giving Satan enough time to continue his evil designs.

Mat. 8:29 And behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

After Jesus told the Pharisees that their accusations of him casting out demons by demonic power was unreasonable, since Satan would be destroying himself, he plainly implied that his kingdom had already arrived and Satan was being bound.

Mat. 12:28-29 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. [29] Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

While Jesus was still living in the flesh, he said Satan was being cast out.

John 12:31-33 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. [32] And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

By his resurrection Jesus was destroying Satan.

Heb. 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are of flesh and blood, also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

Col. 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them.

3. The Anointing of the Lay Priests-Ministers

Receiving the Holy Spirit, was called receiving the holy waters or rivers of life, and was called anointing for prophets, priests and kings. So anointing symbolized receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38; 1 John 2:20,27).

2 Cor. 1:21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

Rev. 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father,

1 Pet. 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

The anointing of the Holy Spirit enables us to walk in God's path, which means to keep his Law (Micah 4:2; Rom. 8:1-4).

Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:1-21 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit, and they shall prophesy

With the sword, called the Scriptures, (Ephesians 6:17; Heb. 4:12), the faithful reign with Christ to call all people to repentance, making his enemies to become his friends (Ps. 47:3; 118:10; 149:4-9; Isa. 11:1-5; 14:2; 49:2; 61:1-3; Hos. 6:5; Luke 4:18-22; John 15:14; 1 Cor. 15:25; 2 Cor. 5:18-20; 2 The. 2:8; Rev. 19:15). Our weapons are spiritual, not carnal (2 Cor. 10:4). "The battle between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent (Genesis 3:15-16) is more than just a battle between the Person of Christ and the person of Satan." It's also a battle between the heirs of Christ and Satan's heirs.

Gal. 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Rom. 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions , and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

1 John 4:4 ... Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.

Rev. 3:20-21 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. [21] To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Therefore, let us reign with Christ as his ministers.

Rev. 11:15 The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.

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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2021, 03:12:07 pm »
8. EVIDENCE OF "MIRACLES"

I doubt that there are really miracles, but instead there are people or beings with advanced knowledge by which they can do things that the less advanced can't do. Here are two evidences of such miracles.

a. SHROUD OF TURIN (Jesus' Burial Cloth)
and b. NOAH'S ARK (see farther below)

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a. SHROUD OF TURIN (Jesus' Burial Cloth)

See http://youtube.com/watch?v=iX8F6faNXp0

The shroud has an image of Jesus produced apparently from light that came from within his body when he was possibly resurrected. The video explains.
 
Jesus said he had ca. 50,000 angels at his bidding. They were possibly responsible for the miracles that he produced, maybe including the miracle of his resurrection.

Jesus was surely not God the Father. He said he was God the Son, by which he apparently meant that he followed God's example of Love for all. We are all sons and daughters of God. We are saved by following God's example of Love for all. It's a natural part of maturation.

Everything consists of light, also called photons. Good Science indicates this likelihood. See http://milesmathis.com/

The suffering of mortal life is likely virtual reality, also consisting of light/photons. We tend to identify with our bodies, but what this really means is the images of our bodies. I don't identify with my blood, or my lymph, or my bones and internal organs, etc. Do you? Only with the outward appearance and sensations of my body. And we can improve our appearances, especially after death when we become wholly spirits. The purpose of our physical existence is apparently to mature spiritually or morally, so that we learn to follow the example of God's Love for all.

See also:
The Shroud of Turin - Evidence it is authentic
https://www.newgeology.us/presentation24.html

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

b. NOAH'S ARK

The REAL Noah's Ark FOUND by Archaeologist Ron Wyatt
https://youtube.com/watch?v=oQwfU7DvUyE
_This video seemed pretty persuasive that a feature in Turkey was the remains of Noah's Ark, but I've since read elsewhere that the claims were found to be erroneous and fraudulent.
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2022, 01:18:15 pm »

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UNANIMITY - THE DIVINE METHOD OF CHURCH GOVERNMENT [long version]
by G. H. Lang, Unity Chapel, Bristol 1900 AD - Paraphrased by LK
www.neve-family.com/books/lang/Unanimity.html
 
MAJORITY OR UNANIMITY?
- The question is whether the Word of God sanctions the practice of making church decisions by a majority vote of the members present, or whether it teaches and exhorts us to defer each decision until one undivided mind and judgment is arrived at.
- My answer is the latter.
- Considering that the Church represents before the world the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, so that worldly men judge of Him according to that which they see in us, it is manifestly of the utmost importance that, before carrying out any proposed action, we should make as sure as can possibly be that the course proposed is a right and proper one, and well pleasing unto Him whose will we seek to do.

- Experience has abundantly shown that the minority is frequently in the right and the majority in the wrong.
- Rather than making known to the Church His wishes by this majority rule plan of voting, the Lord has rather promised to reveal His will by and through the bringing of His people to unanimous judgment.
- Considering the vast importance of the doings of His people, it would have been very strange had He left no more sure method of learning His will and receiving His directions than this very uncertain plan of acting according to the view of the majority.
- We are often so very carnally - and so little spiritually - minded, that divine things are but slowly apprehended by us.
- This is obviously a good reason for more carefully going over in our minds any matter of group action.
- It is to guard against the mistakes inevitably arising from this too frequent haste that the Lord wishes us, I believe, to defer our decision and continue our conference until unanimity is reached.

LEADING TO DISSENSION
- It seems clear that a method which is as likely to lead to a wrong decision as to a right one cannot be a divine method, and ought not to be followed by those possessing the divine nature, and capable of having the mind of Christ (2 Pet. 1:4, 1 Cor. 2:16), in whose workings mistakes are unknown.
- Majority rule is eminently likely to lead to dissension, both secret and public, a truth with which any who have had much experience on the subject must be sadly familiar.
- Can anything be more likely to stir up contention and cause disaffection than that a section of the church should have their wishes and, possibly their sincere convictions, rejected, simply because a larger section of the church, with no other advantage, has different opinions?
- A method at all likely to cause disagreement and possibly open division cannot be of God, who is "not a God of confusion, but of peace," (1 Cor. 14:33).
- But when nothing is done till one judgment is come to all, everyone is pleased with that which is done and discord and disunion are averted, while concord and union are strengthened, bringing spiritual blessing to the whole community.
- It will doubtless be agreed that, seeing that we pray, "Lead us not into temptation," a method which tends to so lead us cannot be of God, who delivers us from the Evil One.

TEMPTATION TO BAD CONDUCT
- But given a member possessed of an ardent and honest conviction that the plan he or she proposes is right and good, does not majority rule present very obvious and severe temptations to bad conduct?
- One has every inducement to "pack" the meeting, by secretly urging those who think alike to be present in force, rather than leaving it to the Lord to bring together those who it is known to Him are qualified to deal with the particular matter to be discussed.
- One is tempted by vehemence in argument to gain other adherents to one's own view, rather than by patient reflection to submit one's judgment to the Lord.
- In the eagerness to gain a majority of votes one is more likely to be anxious to persuade others, than to be willing to be persuaded by others.
- A method that stirs up such temptations, in order to obtain a majority of members, cannot be of the Lord.
- Such temptation to "pack" a meeting is absolutely banished by the necessity for entire accord, while the desire to give up private views, if needful, to arrive at the mind of the Lord, as the only possible means of reaching unanimous judgment, is very much increased.
- The one method appears likely to lead me to press forward my views, the other to lead me to carefully wait upon the Lord for His views.

BODY OF CHRIST
- In Romans 14:4-5, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Ephesians 4:11-16, and other scriptures, the Church is compared to the human body.
- Of this spiritual body each believer is individually a member, while the Lord Jesus is the head of the whole body.
- The more this analogy is prayerfully studied, the more it will be seen to be the most perfect comparison the divine wisdom of God has presented to us to illustrate the working of the Church.
- Very little thought is required to see two things concerning the human body: (a) it is not the members that plan, will and control the body, whose functions are vested solely in the head, it being the duty and beauty of the members to recognise and respond to the impulses and directions of the head: (b) any lack of harmony in the members in doing the will of the head indicates a measure of disease in those members where the failure is found, as, for instance, if one arm or hand fails to co-operate with the other for completing a desired piece of handiwork, the member has become more or less independent of the head.
- When this condition occurs, the proper course is to try patiently such means as will restore the undisputed control of the head.
- When it is found in the church that there is a divergence of opinion upon a matter connected with the church, the proper plan is to wait prayerfully for the whole body to be again brought under the control of the Lord into united action.
- For a church to depart from unanimity and to act according to the desire of a majority only of the believers in its membership is as if the affairs and actions of a man's body should be decided upon by the impulses of a certain number of the members thereof.

ONENESS AS TESTIMONY
- By the failure to act in complete unity, the church ceases to give one of the most effective forms of testimony to the world that is possible.
- In John 17:20-21, the Lord Jesus, in speaking to the Father, says, "Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also who shall believe on Me through their word; that they may all be one even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that You did send Me. And the glory which You have given Me I have given unto them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that You did send Me, and loved them, even as You loved Me."
- Without attempting an exhaustive exposition of this passage, it is sufficient for us to notice three things:
(a) The Lord's desire for all His people to be perfected into one;
(b) The pattern of that oneness to be the oneness of the Father and the Son;
(c) The object of this oneness to be the testimony thereby given to the world.
- With regard to (a) the prayer of our Lord was in effect that the Holy Spirit might be sent into everyone who should believe on His name, so that by the Spirit of God indwelling, we might all be united into one in God; so that (b), the pattern of our unity should be the oneness of the Father and the Son, who are, not only one in Person, but also in action; in all their doings there is the most perfect harmonious unity: and it would be sheer blasphemy, in fact it would logically involve the most absolute atheism, to suppose the doings of the Godhead to be regulated by the decision of any two of the Persons thereof, the one Person being either opposed to the view of the two, or merely submitting to being outvoted.
- As to our last point (c) it is to be observed that believers are to manifest a corporate union publicly, for the world is to see it. The object the Lord desires to attain is that the world may know and believe that He was sent by the Father, and that the believer is a sharer in the love of the Father to the Son.
- Why He chose this method I shall hope to next show, but for the moment what I strenuously emphasize is that the deliberate departing from oneness of action by adopting the practice of majority voting is undeniably not even attempting to attain such united working as is set forth in these words of the Lord Jesus, and cannot, therefore, result in that testimony which He taught oneness alone could give.
- I submit it as an invariably true principle for the guidance of the children of God, that any course of action which tends to mar, even partially, their testimony before the world, is not a line of conduct which is of the Father, but rather of the world.

HOW IS UNANIMITY POSSIBLE?
- There arises a question; namely, how is it possible for unity of judgment and action to be attained?
- In divine things the question of "How?" is of comparatively small importance.
- It is for us to at least endeavor to obey the revealed will of the Lord, and to seek after unanimity; and we may leave to God the question of how it is possible for Him to bring to one mind many persons of different types of character, of different habits of thought, having varying ways of looking at the same subject and sometimes opposite ways of doing the same thing.
- I freely concede the point that humanly speaking unanimity is not possible.
- To bring together scores, and perhaps hundreds, of mere men and women and expect them to come to one unanimous decision upon questions of perplexing and delicate nature is to look for more than fallen human nature is capable of.
- Because each human spirit is a separate individuality possessed of the power and tendency of acting independently of every other being, therefore it is true, "many men, many minds."
- But, as we have seen, the glorious and all-important fact concerning the children of God is that in place of being any longer entirely dissevered spiritually from every other creature, we are all indwelt by one and the same Spirit, the Spirit of Christ; and when this fact is clearly recognized and acted upon, the humanly impossible is seen to be divinely possible.

INDWELLING SPIRIT
- The human body is composed of many various substances, and the several members--hands, ears, eyes, etc--vary vastly in form and use, and yet these manifest differences do not hinder the whole body working together, because each part is under the personal influence of the one spirit inhabiting the body.
- So it is true the members of the body of Christ differ greatly, but because we are every one indwelt by the one Spirit, the co-operation of all members is possible, and should be sought after.
- It may be that with this, as with other Christlike graces, full and eternal harmony will only be attained when the last trace of the rebellious carnal spirit shall have been removed at the coming of the Lord; but, on the other hand, with this, as with other fruit of the Spirit, we should aim at perfection and "give diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit" (Eph. 4:3) and then a unanimity can be reached which will astonish us, just as time back should have been astonished had we been told that love, joy and peace could be ours to the degree they now are through the Spirit.

- Here I state why I believe the Lord chose this oneness of mind and working as His testimony to the world.
- It was that through the fact of His people acting upon a principle and in a manner that the world has never found continuously possible, it might be made apparent that a divine power was at work among them, that the Spirit of God, not the spirit of the world, controlled them all.
- And, therefore, it is that I say the testimony is utterly ruined by the plan of a majority vote settling matters, for this is the very method which worldly men uniformly adopt as the only practicable plan known to them; and I doubt not it was from them that this, like numerous other evil practices, was borrowed and adopted by the Church, in days when, by the toleration of evil doctrine and doing, she had so grieved the Holy Spirit as to forfeit His unifying and directing help.
- Seeing it is one of the functions and rights of the Spirit to control the whole body, for us as a Church to arbitrarily say He shall express His will through a section only of the members of the body here present is to assume the office of dictating to Him whom it is our duty and wisdom to obey, and to thus prevent Him from fully doing that which He would graciously do for our blessing, namely, lead to unanimity; and also we forfeit that certainty of knowing what is His will which an undivided judgment alone can give; for while it is certain what is the desire of my spirit if my whole body works to one end, it would be by no means so certain were some only of my members to seek that end, and the rest to oppose.

OLD TESTAMENT TESTIMONY
- It is to be noted that the whole burden of Scripture testimony is on the side of unanimity.
- This is more clearly seen by observing two very remarkable lines of thought: first, that unanimity is in the Word of God associated with spiritual prosperity; and, on the other hand, a divided judgment with lack of spirituality.
- For instance, Israel in the wilderness were in a state of unbelief at the time the spies went up to search out the land, and ten of the twelve selected men reflected the condition of the people, dissuading the nation from going forward, and the two only, Joshua and Caleb, persuading them to do so.
- This was a very striking instance of the minority having the mind of the Lord, but of their being hopelessly outvoted; and by acting on the view of the majority the whole people made a fatal error.
- Again, how sad was the state of the kingdom, while some of the people followed Saul, and a smaller company helped David; but how significant the statement, (1 Chr. 12:38,40) that "there was joy in Israel" when "all Israel were of one heart to make David king."
- Once more, what a time of spiritual prosperity was inaugurated when David proposed to once again seek the Lord and worship before the ark of the Lord; "and all the assembly said they would do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people." (1 Chr. 13:1-4)
- On the other hand, how miserable was the condition of affairs when most of the people worshiped Baal, while 7,000 followed Jehovah (1 Kings 19:20); but what a revival of godliness in Judah is indicated by the words, connected with the proposal to return to the keeping of the passover feast, "the thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the congregation," (2 Chr. 30:4).
- Yet again, what a startling contrast is seen between the rapidly increasing prosperity of the people during the undivided allegiance of the twelve tribes to David and Solomon, as compared with the surely downward course after the division under Rehoboam.
- And how terrible was the condition of Israel when it could be written (1 Kings 16:21) "Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts; half of the people followed Tibni, the son of Ginath, to make him king: and half followed Omri. But the people that followed Omri prevailed against the people that followed Tibni": as compared with the comparative prosperity of Judah and Benjamin in their unbroken submission to the rule of the godly Asa.

NEW TESTAMENT TESTIMONY
- I am aware that it may be said that these examples from the Old Testament have no very direct bearing upon the government of a Christian Church; but they were "written for our admonition," and the remarkable frequency with which unanimity and prosperity are connected in these and similar instances, gives an emphatic Scriptural testimony in favor of undivided action by the people of God; and the lesson is yet more impressive when it is seen that the New Testament follows upon the same side, and sets before us under the new covenant, the same precept and example as was set before the earthly people of God.
- Take, for example, such exhortations as the following.
- Rom. 15:5, 6: "Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus: that with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- 1 Cor. 1:10: "Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind, and in the same judgment."
- 2 Cor. 13:11: "Be perfected, be comforted, be of the same mind; live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you."
- Galatians: The direct object of this epistle was to bring the Church to oneness of mind upon the question discussed; to exhort them to all walk by the Spirit, and thus to avoid the "strife, factions and divisions," spoken of as being of the flesh, (Gal. 5:20).
- Ephesians 4:3-16: "Giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
- The "unity of the Spirit," is that unity which is manifested by the Spirit through united action on the part of the body; and therefore in this passage the apostle at once proceeds to a revelation of the inter-working of the whole body in perfect harmony.
- Philippians 1:27: "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ; that, whether I come and see you or be absent, I may hear of your state, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the gospel."
- Philippians 2:2: "Fulfill my joy, that you be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through faction or through vainglory."
- Philippians 4:2: "I exhort Euodia, and I exhort Syntyche, to be of the same mind in the Lord."
- Colossians 3:17: When this Church met together to discuss the work of the Lord they were met with this injunction, "Whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."

- Now, if a matter had been decided by a majority only, the members of the minority could not have given thanks for the doing of that which they had urged should not be done; therefore the plan of so deciding a matter forces some to take part in doing things for which they cannot give thanks, and which they cannot do in the name of the Lord Jesus.
- Can a method which forces unscriptural conduct upon some members be itself Scriptural; for the only alternative is that they continue to show their objections by refraining from the work to which they objected.
- Can this be considered a Scriptural course in the face of the above quoted exhortation in Phil. 1:27, "with one soul striving"?
- Or 1 Thessalonians 5:13: "Be at peace among yourselves."
- Earlier I sought to show that dissension is one of the probable and, indeed, frequent results of majority rule.
- 2 Thessalonians 3:16: "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in all ways," which must include business meetings.
- 1 Timothy 6:3, 4; 2 Timothy 2:23; Titus 3:9: In the first passage certain men, and in the second and third certain questions are condemned, and the avoidance thereof exhorted, because they engender strifes; that is, not that every time a foolish question is discussed it leads to strife, but that there is a general tendency in such discussion to provoke dissension.
- So it does not require that every time a matter is decided by a majority vote it should provoke strife; it is sufficient if it has a tendency that way.

- James 1:5: "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him."
- When a church meets together and some think one course the best, and some another, it is evident one, or both, of the parties has not the wisdom of God in the matter.
- This Scripture indicates what should then be done.
- Not the opinion of the majority is to be acted upon, for they may be wrong in their judgment and, for the same reason, not that of the minority: but let all wait on God for wisdom, and it shall be given, in God's time, to those who ask in faith.
- In addition to these passages, exhorting to "peace," to "oneness of mind," to "all speaking the same thing," to being "perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment," we have the already commented upon words of the Lord Jesus, from John 17, and the Scriptural analogy of the body; and also the example of a church transacting affairs in its corporate capacity recorded in Acts 15, which we shall now consider.
- As if the Lord foresaw that the precepts and whole tenor of His Word would not be sufficient to preserve His people from adopting almost universally the practice of the world in the matter of making group decisions, He caused to be given a very full narration of the discussion of an important and intricate question by the church at Jerusalem, including the apostles, to whom was specially committed the knowledge of His will, and who were undoubtedly those most likely to know what method was most accordant with the mind of the Spirit.

THE APOSTLES' EXAMPLE
- This record is found in Acts 15.
- When closely studied the story gives not only the decision upon the question actually discussed, but also the principles by which the judgments of believers were influenced, and, further, that which directly bears on our subject, the order of discussion.
- Before the reader goes further I would earnestly ask that the chapter be carefully read, and then the following remarks may be better considered.
- To the Gentile church at Antioch there had come from Judea certain men who taught the brethren that, as circumcision had from the time of Abraham been the sign of a person belonging to the visible company of the people of God, they could not be saved unless they were circumcised.
- Paul and Barnabas dissented from this teaching, and in order to the obtaining of the opinion of the apostles and the mother church, the brethren at Antioch deputed Paul and others to proceed to Jerusalem and there discuss the question; and, we read, "when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church and the apostles and the elders."

- The order in which the matter proceeded is then shown as follows.
- "They rehearsed all that God had done with them," evidently including in their remarks a statement of their having refrained from teaching Gentile believers that they must be circumcised, and also laying before the church the facts concerning the discussion that had gone on at Antioch.
- That they did this is clear from verse 24, where the apostles display a knowledge of what had transpired at Antioch, which things they evidently learned in the information of Paul and Barnabas.
- Thus the matter was laid before the church, and the proposal to enforce circumcision thrown open for discussion.
- Certain of the Pharisees, not having been yet divested of their sectarian spirit, rose and urged that it was needful that Gentile Christians should be circumcised and enjoined to keep the law of Moses.
- This imposing of the ceremonial Judaic law upon Gentiles had not been the practice of the early church, as may be seen by the recorded teaching of the apostles and their speeches on this occasion; but the addresses of these Pharisees made it clear that there was a division of judgment upon the question.

- Now, had their method been the more modern plan that we are discussing, it would have been recorded that they ascertained on which side of the question there was a majority of members, and so settled the matter.
- But, as opposed to this, we learn that when this divergence of view is manifested, the meeting is adjourned, and a fresh gathering of apostles, elders (v. 6), and the whole multitude of the disciples (v. 12), constituting the "whole church," (v. 22), is called together to consider the matter.
- Then we learn that upon the subject being again brought forward, there was "much disputing" (v. 7), showing that those wide and opposed differences of opinion which now manifest themselves were seen then also.
- Here again I remark that had the apostolic method of reaching a decision been the present one, we should expect to find a record to that effect; but, on the contrary, the disputing and speech-making uninterruptedly continued.
- Peter, Barnabas, Paul and James all freely expressed their thoughts, until we find the significant record (v. 22).
- "Then it seemed good to the apostles and elders with the whole church," to do certain things.
- This is the essence of the whole question--nothing done until all differences have disappeared in unanimity; then action taken.
- So that, with the approval of the whole church, it could be written to the brethren at Antioch, "it seemed good to us, having come to one accord," (v. 25).

UNANIMITY AS AUTHORITY OF GOD
- And it is of the most momentous importance that we should notice that the church thus "being of one accord," (Phil. 2:2), and having learned to "all speak the same thing," so that there were "no divisions among them" but that they were "perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment," (I Cor. 1:10), they are then able to calmly and confidently claim the authority of the Lord Himself for their decision, and say, (v. 28), "it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us."
- Thus would our divine Lord impressively set before His people the method to be followed by the church when considering matters in a corporate capacity, and teach us that when, by patiently waiting before Him and focusing upon the particular subject in hand the light He has given, the church comes to oneness of mind in their decision, we can then claim His approval of and authority for that which we do.

- This teaching is the underlying basis of the seemingly difficult passage, Mat. 18:15-18.
- There the Lord says that if my brother sin against me, and I cannot by personal influence lead him to repentance, and thus bury the matter, I am then to take one or two more brethren and see him with them. It is evident that these brethren would not agree to help me unless they are convinced that I am in the right and my brother is the offender; so that there is thus found a consensus of opinion on the subject.
- But if the sinning brother will not listen to these further remonstrances, I am then to narrate the circumstances to the church.
- Once more, it is evident that the church will not side with me unless I am in the right; but if they--the church, not a section thereof, but "the church," implying the whole church, just as when we speak of "a city," we mean the whole city--agree with my view of the case, we have the fact that a body of those indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and so having the mind of Christ, are of one judgment in the matter; and that if the offending brother will not hear and submit to the church, he must be dealt with and treated as a Gentile and a publican, that is, he must be put out of church fellowship.

BINDING AND LOOSING
- When the church thus unanimously deals with a case, the Lord assures us that we may be certain of doing the right thing, and that "what things soever we shall so bind on earth shall be bound in heaven," for the simple reason that it is the will of our Lord in heaven, that, through the Spirit, we have done on earth.
- So again, Paul, having instructed the Corinthian church to thus deal with a wicked person (I Cor. 5), upon learning that the discipline had produced in him the desired repentance, instructs them (II Cor. 2) to now forgive and receive back the offender and restore him to the joy of the fellowship of saints; and having invoked the name of the Lord Jesus for the former measure, he now claims the authority of the Lord for the latter course; and thus the one who had been "bound" over to Satan as an evil-doer for the destruction of the flesh, is now, upon repentance, "loosed" by the Church from the sentence, that no advantage may be gained by Satan.
- Thus, in this practical matter also the Lord indicates His willingness to recognize the decision of a church, if that decision be unanimous; nor is there one single precept or example in His Word to indicate or even appear to sanction the thought that He allows the authority of those of His name to be attached to the will of a section only of those of His people who have to decide a question.
- They may, and sometimes do, by that means decide according to His will; but they have no Scriptural right to claim His authority and profess to act in His name; such authority being clearly given to the company of His people, and to them only, who act unanimously.

DEALING WITH MINOR MATTERS
- Against the application of Acts 15 to the matter in question it has been urged that the plan there shown is doubtless advisable and possible in matters of such great importance as the one then discussed, but that it is neither needful nor likely that unanimity should be or can be reached in details say connected with the construction or fitting up of a hall or schoolroom, most of the church being unacquainted with such matters.
- But surely this is a very irrational objection, for if the Lord has undertaken to produce oneness of mind upon important and intricate questions, why should there be any difficulty in His doing so upon questions comparatively simple and unimportant?
- And as to the necessity of these latter things being brought within the rule, I would ask is it not often over absurdly trifling matters that personal differences most frequently arise?
- And ought not these things therefore be dealt with in the way most likely to produce and preserve peace?

DESPITE HUMAN SHORTCOMINGS
- Beloved brethren, these numerous passages are written, and this clear example is given, for our guidance, and it is for us to conform our practice to the Scriptural pattern; nor is there the least suggestion in the Word of God that any other than this procedure was followed, whatever the question to be decided by the church might be.
- It now only remains for me to offer some concluding and confirmatory remarks.
- I am asked -- Do you really believe this plan possible?
- My reply is that in divine things the question is both irrelevant and irreverent.
- For the believer in Almighty God there is but one question -- not, Is it possible? but, Is it Scriptural? not, Can it be done? but, Does God, in His holy Word, bid us do it?
- I have endeavored to show clearly and definitely settle the latter question, and, I say, it is Scriptural!
- Then it is also possible.
- It was impossible humanly for the man with the withered arm to stretch it forth.
- He would have done so long since, had he been able.
- But when the Lord bade him do the impossible, it was at once done; for the question of power rested with Him who gave the command.
- Thus it is with this question, and all other of His commandments.
- Moreover, I would point out that the Apostles uniformly insisted that they were men of like passions with others, (Acts 10:26, 14:15).
- The believers, also, who gathered at that pattern church meeting had very deeply rooted prejudices, very stubborn human wills, yea, all those infirmities of mind and spirit, which some fear must render this plan of church government inoperative in our days.
- But the thing was not impossible and, therefore, is not now impossible.

MODERN EXAMPLE
[This was a modern example in 1900, but there has also been the Quaker example from 1652 to the present time. Quakers began to adopt the practice of reaching unanimity at an early date. Sociocracy seems to be the highest development of the practice to date. - LK]
- Yet, again, as I informed you, there is in this very city of Bristol a church numbering many hundreds of members, the affairs of which, since its founding on August 13th, 1832, by the late George Muller and Henry Craik, have been constantly settled in this way.
- Further there is the China Inland Mission, the Councils of which deal with the evangelizing of the vast country of China, involving the support and control of nearly 750 missionaries and large numbers of native teachers, and the securing and disbursing of many thousands of pounds annually, involving also the solving of problems far more intricate than any that usually come before home churches, involving further the central governing not of one but of scores of scattered churches in that immense empire, and yet the Secretary writes me that since the founding of the Mission in 1865 the affairs of its great work have been conducted on the plan proposed by Scripture.
- Thus, dealing with these two cases only, we have in the aggregate 103 years of modern and satisfactory experience of the method, simply proving, as might be safely expected, that in the "keeping of His commandments there is great reward," (Psalm 119:11).
- What reward, it will perhaps be asked.
- Is there not great risk of matters needful to be decided promptly being delayed, to the injury of the work?
- Let the Secretary of the China Inland Mission answer, and confirm my remarks under section 1, page 5.
- I asked him, Has any matter which it would have been for the good of the Lord's work to have had decided promptly, been delayed to the prejudice of the work by the waiting for unanimity?
- He replied, No, decidedly not.
- Whenever there has been delay, it has always proved to have been a wise step, and the necessary guidance has come later on.
- I asked also, Has the experience of this plan shown any distinct advantages accruing therefrom?
- The reply is, Yes, after-experience has proved that by this method mistakes have been avoided which might otherwise have been made.
- And I am further informed that no inconveniences have been found to arise from the plan.
- Is it not a great gain to avoid mistakes?
- Does not this method wholly cast us upon the Lord, and so, by our dependence, glorify Him?
- Do we not thus corporately "acknowledge Him in all our ways", and should we not so secure the fulfillment of the accompanying promise "He shall direct your paths"? (Prov. 3: 5, 6).

- I am persuaded that by attention to three things all difficulty in this matter may be removed, and unanimity always attained, when the Lord deems it desirable.
- The most diligent and careful inquiry in ascertaining that candidates for church fellowship are (a) scripturally converted to God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, so as to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit, Whose working it is produces unanimity; and (b) that there is every reason to suppose from their past life and present conduct that they are really desirous of knowing and doing the will of God.
- This is by the cultivation of personal communion with God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, by regular meditation upon the Scriptures, so that we may advance in the knowledge of His will, and by habitual prayer, wherein we bring all our doing and thinking beneath His inspection, and have discrepancies and evils shown us, and whereby we receive grace to do those things which are pleasing to Him.
- It also involves the due and loving exercise of discipline against any on whose conduct the Word of God commands discipline.
- So our corporate life would be lived beneath the eye and under the control of God; and the Spirit of the Lord would obtain continually increasing power over us, working in us to will and do of God's good pleasure, so that we should be one in action in and through the Spirit, even as the Father and the Son are One in the communion of the Spirit, and thus would our Lord's desire and prayer be fulfilled more and more perfectly.
- So would the harmony and love of our church life be secured and promoted and so should our joint testimony before the world be unceasing and effective, to the honor and praise of Him to whom belongs the glory forever.

- For reference sake I subjoin the terms of the motion now under our consideration, that the God of all grace may give us grace to do His will for ever is the prayer of Your fellow servant of Jesus Christ, G. H. LANG, Globe House, Old King Street, Bristol, August 1900.
- PROPOSED MOTION: "It is unanimously Resolved that in future no proposal shall be deemed to be carried or be recorded as a resolution, until the church unanimously consents to the same at a duly convened church meeting, it being understood that the absence of any objection to a proposed motion may be taken to signify its acceptance."