"You must do nothing to come to Jesus" vs "This is what you must do now"


#263

You are right, in that you are right…I guess my question is do you want to be right? Or do you want to find the truth in how all of us who have different ideas try to figure this crap out?:roll_eyes:


#264

Now I’m getting confused… if you agree that I’m correct on that matter it’s not a case of “wanting” but a case of just is, i.e., it is what it is.

Of course we all have varying ideas on many things… that’s why we thrash some of that out here.


#265

HF, Read the Documentary Hypothesis.

How do you know what stories are true and what stories are not true in any book you read or in anything anyone says?

MM, I agree.

Davo, I have.
From what I understand, ANYONE(Deut.29:10) who obeys the God of Israel receives the following blessings:
You are a part of the kingdom
He is your God and you are His people
You inherit the land and have dominion over it
You will be blessed in all that you set your hand to.
An increase in the produce of the ground
An increase in the livestock
Blessings in the fruit of your body
etc.etc.

If the Levites were the holy people of God they would have been a part of the kingdom, receiving an inheritance in the land along with all the other blessings. However, they did not. They were scattered among the cities of refuge which is one of the curses of disobedience.

Ezek. 20:23 “I swore to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the lands.”
Jer.16:13 “I will cast you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known. There you will serve other gods.”
Neh. 1:8 “Remember I pray, the word that you commanded to your servant Moses when you said, ’ If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the nations”


#266

LLC… I would have thought in the context of the discussion you would have understood my… no one else OBVIOUSLY precluded YOU!!? but alas… :tired_face:


#267

image

You’re not answering my question. You’re answering a question, with a question. If you answer my question first, then I will answer your question.

But as a sign of good faith, I offer this regarding the Bible:

As far as “miraculous” stories go:

  • I hung around with REAL saints, from the East. Like I hung around MadhusudanDas - an Eastern saint. Who is the subject of the book, This House Is On Fire: The Life of Shri Dhyanyogi by Shri Anandi Ma - available on Amazon. Or folks like Dadaji.or Shiva Bala Yogi, covered in Divine Play: The Silent Teaching of Shiva Bala Yogi by Thomas Palotas. And the author of The Incredible Life of a Himalayan Yogi: The Times, Teachings and Life of Living Shiva: Baba Lokenath Brahmachari.

  • I hung around for years, with the Two Feathers Medicine Clan. Which were a group of Native American Medicine People.

  • I hung around the healing masses, of a Roman Catholic Priest. Who is said to have, the gift of healing and hearing the voice of God

  • My mom - now deceased - was born with the gift of prophecy.

image

So probably the ONLY thing I haven’t witnessed, seen or experienced - is the resurrection. But one can see similar things, in the Tibetan Rainbow Light practices.

Will this link do? And I assume, you agree with them? Right?

Notice the word “hypothesis”

Which is defined as

a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

image

So, anyway…let’s get back to me witnessing the “miraculous”. Suppose that some of the folks here, on the forum - knew me in person - decades ago. And they accompanied me, on my “spiritual adventures”. So they:

  • Saw the priest and attended his healing services.

  • They hung around with the REAL Eastern saints I did and witnessed the “unexplained” stuff.

  • They attended the same Native American ceremonies I did and spent time, with the same medicine people.

  • They met my mom and listened to some of her prophesies.

Now none of these “sold tickets”, “advertised” or “charged money”. So folks might write about these things…it would be similar to folks, who wrote the gospels - with all the miraculous happenings.

Now imagine a group of us, went to a tribe - that never experienced the outside world. And science perfected the universal translator, like we see in Star Trek episodes. And the natives lived, in a tropical environment. And we were trying to describe snow to them. Well, some may believe us…and some may not…because they never witnessed, nor experienced it - for themselves.

But the tribal science council - probably headed by LLC - decides to meet.


#268

David, first of all, no offence but not many here understand or maybe even ‘care’ about your position. In your own way you do contradict a lot of what is said here on this site… Having said that, I appreciate your view and was merely stating that LLC’s position about the levites was and is in my interpretation somewhat akin of your foundational position as to the 70AD event as the second coming, (which is by the way is where you lose most other people) .:wink:

You have stated your disagreement, and I appreciate that, but there is verbiage in the OT where the prophets did warn Israel of their idolatry, and I admit I have not kept up with all of your responses, but it is plain that idolatry is what God through the prophets was talking about.

Well, I do not think anyone is swallowing anything. It is merely dialog on a forum.


#269

I couldn’t agree more and absolutely agree 100%. That reality however was not germane to the formation of the Levites at God’s command under Moses… something LLC maintains was their cursed dispersal BUT of which I maintain was in fact the exact opposite… and thus the ensuing dialogue; that’s all.

Given that not too many others have bothered to join the fray may reflect that they consider what I’ve been pointing out has been the (scripturally) stated obvious… or not?


#270

You could be right.


#271

A possible alternative is some middle ground, such as perceiving that Davo is correct that many OT texts about the Levites do not reflect the kind of subtle repudiation of them that LLC may perceive in disputed texts, but appear to reflect an embrace of the Levites.

Yet one may sympathize with LLC’s impulse based on a broader reading of both testaments that emphasizes a strong critique of the OT approach including its’ reliance on sacrifice and external ordinances and priesthoods, and thus appreciate her effort to discern possible clues in the narrative that display an early recognition that much of the OT system and law was not a very effective approach at creating the life in the Spirit that may be more clearly revealed and embraced post Jesus.

As MM implies, such a controversial rereading of traditional proof texts is hardly foreign to we who are universalists or pantelists. And thus, while I respect many of Davo’s exegetical points here, I am reluctant to just scorn LLC’s fresh reading here, especially when she acknowledges that some texts may conflict with her overriding thesis of Biblical continuity.

But then, not having an inerrantist view of Scripture myself, I may be more open to those who look for a harmony in the Biblical outlook, even if they question the validity of particular problematic texts for such a thesis.

(In a similar way, just as Davo rejects LLC’s Levite thesis, I rejected any contention that the apostles do not present Jesus as bringing something new and decisive. For I think good exegesis (which I am committed to) supports that perception.

On the other hand, when LLC emphasizes that much of what Jesus presents is evident in OT texts and experience, and implies that the claims for superiority of righteous lives in Christ appears to claim too much, my experience leads me to sympathize with her view that the spiritual dynamics at work in all people is more universal than the apostles sometimes appear to affirm.

But I can hold the two observations in tension, because I feel free to question and interact with Scripture in a non-fundamentalist way, which does not require forcing that it’s never at variance with itself.)


#272

That is ;precisely the reason that I have not “joined the fray.” —scripturally obvious.

Under the legalism of the Old Covenant, the Levites were the priestly class. That’s why they were set apart from the other tribes, and not because God had rejected them.


#273

Indeed. My focus was simply that of stipulating the roots of the Levitical framework in light of what had been claimed to the contrary.

Yep… but that was Israel’s error, i.e., making the law an end in itself (idolatry) and not the means to the end it actually was, as… Gal 3:12a, 23-25.

I too can certainly go with that.


#274

Davo, I agree with you that there are positive texts on the Levitical framework, and that Israel too much saw the law as “an end in itself.” But in faulting them for error, you cite Paul’s view that “the law was not based on faith” (12a), but was temporary (23-25).

Do you see the O.T. people as possessing good reason to recognize that the law was not based on faith, or was only ‘locking them up’ until the Messiah came?

I sense many of their texts seem to emphasize the law as a beautiful eternal portrait of God’s ultimate will, and thus followed in faithful trust toward the One who had delivered them and chosen them for a covenant relationship. Thus I tend to sympathize with their ‘error,’ and with LLC’s inclination to see some elements in their tradition’s writings that would throw them a ‘curve’ about the NT approach.


#275

God did not reject them. They rejected God and so they were separated from Israel. However, the children of Israel did not forsake them. They were given common lands in the cities of refuge and provisions from the abundance of produce.
" Deut. 26:12-13 " When you have finished laying aside all he tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, and have given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat within your gates and be filled, then you shall say before the Lord your God: “I have removed the holy tithe from my house, and also given it to the Levite, the stranger, the fatherless , and the widow according to all your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten them.”

MM, Yes, they were warned many times through the prophets, and a lot of them suffered the same fate as Jesus.


#276

Bob, their error seems to be more than just a lack of knowledge. As Paul says, “because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

Moses was teaching the words of Christ. 1 Cor.10:3-4 “All drank the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink . For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them and that Rock was Christ.”

I believe often times, when we refuse to listen, God allows us to continue in our foolish ways because it is only when things fall down around our ears that our eyes and ears are open.


#277

Dialogue is good, Chad. I like to understand, what I call “non-traditional, minority viewpoints”. And dialogue is a term, that the Roman Catholic Church always uses.

And I have had dialogues, with “strange” groups - like:

  • Christian Scientists, with their everything is mind and ideas.

  • Liberal Catholic Church clergy, with their Esoteric Christianity.

  • And Mormons, with their eternal progression. Where we become gods in the making and rule planets, solar systems, etc.,

And what could be worse than Calvinism? Well, perhaps the Jehovah Witnesses - where ONLY 144,000 are saved. This was pointed out - by an EO priest - during one of the Bible studies.

So the article says:

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that only 144,000 people will go to heaven and that other people who obey God will live forever on a paradise Earth.

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only their religion really obeys God’s instructions and that God does not approve of any other religions (including Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists and Muslims) because they do not follow the Bible the right way. They believe that Satan the Devil is the real leader of all other religions and makes them think they worship God the right way. (AKA: Satan the Devil is the ruler of this wicked world, but only for a short time).[17][ better source needed ] So they believe that only Jehovah’s Witnesses will be saved at Armageddon, but they say God will make the final choice

But then, some here might think my theory…about Z-Hell ( 1, 2, 3) being the most probable, end-times tribulation scenario - is a bit strange! But for me, it’s following some - with the gift of prophecy - to its ultimate conclusion!


#278

[quote=“LLC, post:276, topic:13931, full:true”]

Bob, their error seems to be more than just a lack of knowledge. As Paul says, “because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were they thankful but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

I believe often times, when we refuse to listen, God allows us to continue in our foolish ways…[/quote]

LLC, Yes, I realize that the NT sees all people as perversely falling short in their response to universal revelation in creation. But amid a debate about OT texts, my whole point is that first-century Jews felt that they were listening to many texts about the nature of the law and about faith. So while Davo points out that they didn’t interpret such issues in the way that Paul did, I sympathize from a fundamentalist perspective with why they found it difficult to read the text that way.


#279

Well, in my very short understanding as to you all, we need to understand that God does have a universal message, and that message is that all HAVE been reconciled to Christ.

:slightly_smiling_face:


#280

Based on” (NIV) maybe saying more than it says… the law was not of faith in that Israel was trusting more in law observance as the touchstone of covenant identity instead of faithfulness to God’s covenant commands… ultimately found and demonstrated in love for God and neighbour.

I’m inclined to think Israel got it wrong real early with regards to law observance… what was originally given as a means of guiding Israel’s life became for them the source of life itself, as opposed to God himself. And so their understanding of keeping Torah became their own self-righteousness — not what the law was meant to do, and in fact couldn’t do (Gal 3:11). I think Israel’s slide into this self-righteousness may have started here…

Deut 6:24-25 And the Lord commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as it is this day. Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.’*

They understood the law was given for their guiding good, always… BUT then took it a step too far in claiming such then would equate to their righteousness IF they did thus and so; as it turned out, big mistake.

On the surface, yeah… but with an underlying motif of self-righteousness the abuse of their system ran rife with corruption whereby the powerbrokers trampled the will and words of God by their own traditions, e.g.,…

Mt 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Lk 11:42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.


#281

I agree that the NT sees Israel as wrongly thinking they are righteous, and certainly that Jesus and Paul see a misconstrual of the Law’s central goal (the command to love) and thus a failure here of Israel to recognize their own shortcomings.

But I’m not sure most Jews would see observing God’s laws as contrary to seeing God as the source of their life. Their Scripture held that it was a proper response to God’s election and saving them out of bondage. So wouldn’t they believe that “law observance” WAS precisely an expression of “faithfulness to God’s covenant” as a “touchstone of covenant identify,” rather than something contrary to that?

I hear you to say that Jews wrongly saw “keeping Torah” as an expression of their righteousness. But even your citation of Deut 6:24f doesn’t appear to exclude such a conclusion. It sounds like, if we carefully keep these laws, that “will be righteousness for us,” and then God will “preserve us alive.” So why wouldn’t a first century Jew reading such texts assume that such a response to God’s gracious choice and hesed toward them would reflect “their righteousness IF they did thus”?

I hope that I accurately indicated your outlook, and am sincerely interested in whether we perceive differently what some OT texts on the law could seem to encourage.


#282

Bob, I agree we are to keep the Laws of God which is what Moses was teaching. He was establishing a nation of people that operated by these Laws. As it says, the Rock that He followed was Christ ( The words of God). However, the Lev. law was a mixture of God’s Laws and man’s laws some of which were contrary to God and so it was of no effect. This is a mixing of “seeds”. For example: the ritual of childbirth. It’s not a sin to have a baby, and there is no need to atone for it. This is ridiculous.

Man did not make the Divine Law. It was already established by God from the foundation of the world.