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Author Topic: Christ's Ways  (Read 6657 times)

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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #403 on: February 22, 2020, 07:31:06 am »
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Heb 12:15b . . that no root of a bitter plant, sprouting up, causes trouble, and by it many be defiled;

The Greek word for "defiled" means to taint, sully, and/or contaminate.

Seeing as how this epistle is addressed to Hebrews, then I think we're pretty safe to assume that the "root of a bitter plant" likely refers to Deut 29:18-19 which reads thus:

"Make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. When such a person hears the words of this oath, he invokes a blessing on himself and therefore thinks: I will be safe, even though I persist in going my own way."

Why those kinds of people even bother coming to church is a bit of a mystery seeing as how they have no intention whatsoever to either exemplify and/or implement Christ's teachings. As far as they're concerned, Jesus should mind his own business and stop trying to meddle in their affairs. Such folk aren't harmless, no, they are quite pernicious.

Moses warned in the 29th chapter that toxic people can lead a country to ruin. Well, the lesson here is obvious: bitter plants can lead a church to ruin; and if allowed to become pervasive, will be difficult to eradicate.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #404 on: February 23, 2020, 07:03:38 am »
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Heb 12:16-17 . . that there be no immoral or secular person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Webster's defines "secular" as not overtly or specifically religious, viz: irreverent, which can be roughly defined as having little or no respect for sacred things.

Esau is a good example of the limits of God's patience. Another example is located at 1Cor 11:27-30

I think it's nigh unto impossible to fix all the secular people attending churches, but at least they can be warned of the consequences so they don't go around with the false assumption that God is flexible with their behavior. Same goes for the immoral people.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong;
Gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
(Thomas Paine)
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Bladerunner

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #405 on: February 23, 2020, 06:34:59 pm »
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Heb 12:16-17 . . that there be no immoral or secular person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.

Webster's defines "secular" as not overtly or specifically religious, viz: irreverent, which can be roughly defined as having little or no respect for sacred things.

Esau is a good example of the limits of God's patience. Another example is located at 1Cor 11:27-30

I think it's nigh unto impossible to fix all the secular people attending churches, but at least they can be warned of the consequences so they don't go around with the false assumption that God is flexible with their behavior. Same goes for the immoral people.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong;
Gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
(Thomas Paine)
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I see your still trying to sell your wares
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #406 on: February 24, 2020, 06:54:40 am »
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Heb 12:25-26 . . See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on Mt. Sinai, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying: Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.

Jehovah is sometimes called the god of the second chance. Well; this epistle is basically an open letter to the Jews so it's appropriate to remind them that their ancestors, as a corporate body, failed to take advantage of their privileges and ended staring down the wrong end of a rifle barrel, so to speak. The Jews of today are in the very same danger.

"Yet once more" indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire." (Heb 12:27-29)

The "kingdom that cannot be shaken" is very likely a reference to Dan 7:9-22.

It's not uncommon for people to ask: What is grace? Well; you're likely to hear any number of definitions; but quite few of grace's aspects are touched upon in the letter to Hebrews, e.g. concern for the welfare of others, generosity, morals, marital fidelity, clean speech, maturity, gratitude, and a sensible attitude towards wealth. Those aspects easily qualify as serving God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

What is reverence and godly fear? Well, a rough-hewn definition is: having a high enough opinion of God's core values to adopt them for your own and put them into practice.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #407 on: February 25, 2020, 07:49:04 am »
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Heb 13:1 . . Let brotherly love continue.

The Greek word for "brotherly love" in that passage is philadelphia (fil-ad-el fee'-ah) which refers to fraternal affection. Philadelphia is different than the neighborly love required by Matt 19:19 and Matt 22:37-40.

The Greek word for "love" in those passages is agapao (ag-ap-ah'-o) which doesn't necessarily contain the element of affection; rather, it's an impersonal kind of love exemplified in behaviors like courtesy, kindness, sympathy, civility, good will, deference, and consideration. In other words, you don't have to be especially fond of your neighbor in order to comply with Matt 19:19 and Matt 22:37-40. (cf. Matt 5:43-48)

Philadelphia love is difficult because it requires the involvement of one's affections, viz: one's feelings rather than only their manners. A really good example is located at John 16:27 where Jesus stated:

"Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God."

For those of us who grew up deprived of love; that passage is nigh unto impossible to believe that God is actually, and truly, fond of us in any way at all.

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1John 3:1)

The manner of love that a normal father feels for his own children is far more sensitive, than the love he might feel for his neighbor's children. A normal father's love for his own children is down in his gut, viz: in his affections.

There's no fondness expressed in passages like John 3:16; which speaks of benevolence but not necessarily fondness and affection. God cares for the world, yes, but that doesn't mean that He likes the world. In point of fact, God quite despises the world; it disgusts Him and He'd really like for the world to give Him reason to improve His opinion.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #408 on: February 26, 2020, 08:30:38 am »
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Heb 13:2 . . Do not neglect to be hospitable with strangers; for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.

Artists generally depict angels as heavenly creatures with wings and/or aglow with some sort of ethereal light. But the Greek word doesn't always indicate celestial beings, rather, it refers to all manner of messengers, e.g. prophets (Matt 11:10), delegates (Luke 7:24), fire (Heb 1:7), ecclesiastic authorities (Rev 1:20-3:14), visions (Rev 22:16), and even acts of God like fire, wind, smoke, voices, and earthquakes. (Acts 7:53)

Webster's defines "hospitable" as: given to generous and cordial reception of guests, promising or suggesting generous and friendly welcome, offering a pleasant or sustaining environment.

Inviting strangers into one's own home could easily result in the murder of your entire family, along with the theft of your belongings. So, I'm thinking Heb 13:2 is not saying that; rather, it's talking about congregational homes; viz: churches.

I think it's very important to make non members-- visitors --feel at home in your church: make them feel welcome to return. Not only is that the neighborly thing to do, but you just never know if that next stranger through the door was guided there by providence and has been selected by God for a special purpose.
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« Last Edit: February 26, 2020, 08:38:57 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #409 on: February 27, 2020, 08:04:56 am »
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Heb 13:3 . . Remember prisoners, as though in prison with them; and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves also are in the body.

The prisoners mentioned are not just any jailbird in lock-up; but rather, it's limited to those who are "in the body" viz: in Christ.

"We are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery-- but I am talking about Christ and the church." (Eph 5:30-32)

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body" (1Cor 12:12-13)

The tenor of the command is, I think, restricted to Christians mistreated and/or confined for their religious beliefs and practices rather than actual crimes. There's a lot of that sort of thing going on today in Muslim countries. America is well-known for its religious tolerance; other countries, not so much.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #410 on: February 28, 2020, 07:34:47 am »
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Heb 13:4 . . Let marriages be respected: and the bed kept unsoiled; for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

A number of despicable behaviors are listed in the 18th chapter of Leviticus; and one of them-- listed right along with incest and LGBT --is adultery.

Rom 1:18 says that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, and goes on to list not only LGBT as one of those ungodly, unrighteous behaviors worthy of the wrath of God, but also sexual impurity and the degrading of people's bodies with one another. Sexual impurity and degradation includes not only sleeping around and/or cohabitating, but also adultery.

Some Christians don't know the meaning of "respect" when it comes to marriage. It means to treat someone else's spouse as a sacred object. I've seen for myself how some Christians think it's terrible to trespass on private property and/or steal the silverware when they're invited over for dinner; but at the same time get just a bit too chummy with their host's spouse.

There's a popular song going around with these words:

You don't own me,
I'm not just one of your many toys.
You don't own me,
Don't say I can't go with other boys.

The lyrics of that song-- originally recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963 --depict a defiant girl standing up to a possessive boyfriend. Well; those lyrics may be true for temporary lovers; but are very contrary to God's thinking when it comes to marriage.

There is no Hebrew word for either husband or wife in the Old Testament. No, the English words for husband and wife are derived from the presence of gender-sensitive possessive pronouns; viz: her and his.

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Gen 2:24)

The Hebrew word for "wife" in that passage is 'ishshah (ish-shaw') which just simply indicates a female; regardless of age. The possessive pronoun "his" makes the 'ishshah somebody's wife. i.e. his woman.

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat." (Gen 3:6)

The Hebrew word for "husband" in that verse is 'enowsh (en-oshe') which just simply indicates a mortal; viz: a guy, a male; regardless of age. The possessive pronoun "her" makes the 'enowsh somebody's husband, i.e. her man.

So the principle of possession is a key element in marriage; and adulterers are nothing in the world but thieves. In point of fact, in 2007, when a suburban Chicago man, Arthur Friedman, found out his wife was cheating on him with another man named German Blinov, he was heartbroken. But unlike many other people, Friedman didn't "get over" it. Instead, he filed a lawsuit against Mr. Blinov for stealing the love and affections of his wife. A Cook County jury ordered Blinov to pay a total $4,802 to Mr. Friedman for stealing his wife.

While the idea of suing your wife's or husband's lover for stealing their affections might sound ridiculous, it is indeed quite legal to do so. Mr. Friedman used a lesser-known state law to attack and sue his wife's lover. The law is called the "alienation of affection" law. In fact, there are eight of these types of laws across the United States. It allows violated spouses to seek damages for the loss of love to a wife or husband's lover.

"The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife." (1Cor 7:4)

A wedding vow then, could be said to be a transfer of ownership just like signing over the pink slip to a car or the deed to real estate. So then, always keep those possessive pronouns in mind when associating with somebody else's spouse; and keep your pea-pickin' paws off the merchandise!
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #411 on: February 29, 2020, 07:49:20 am »
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Heb 13:5a . . Let your conduct be without covetousness;

Not all covetousness is prohibited; for example 1Cor 12:31 where Christians are exhorted to eagerly desire certain spiritual gifts.

The Greek word in this instance refers to avarice; defined by Webster's as excessive, or insatiable, desire for wealth or gain; viz: greediness and cupidity.

Were an avaricious person asked how much and/or how many it would take to satisfy them; their answer would no doubt be "more" because it's in their nature to grasp.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #412 on: March 01, 2020, 08:17:50 am »
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Heb 13:5b . . and be content with such things as ye have.

Since the writer connected this directive with avarice, I would have to say his focus in this verse is on moderation; defined by Webster's as reasonable limits and/or average; viz: avoiding extremes.

"He himself has said: I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can Man do to me?" (Heb 13:5-6)

Well, I think the mortgage crisis in 2008, the stock market crash, the 401K meltdowns, the ENRON collapse, the decline in oil production, the GM financial mess, the national debt, massive nationwide lay-offs, the proliferation of Islamic terrorism, and Mr. Bernard Lawrence Madoff easily demonstrate that Man can hurt me quite a bit.

I lost an appreciable amount from my retirement account when the housing bubble burst, and the market crashed due to the bankruptcy of Bear Sterns, Lehman Brothers, and AIG; thus proving The Lord's words that thieves break in and steal (Matt 6:49-21) and some of those thieves are managing banks and innocent people's investments!

However, in spite of all those threats to my peace of mind, I still believe in providence; i.e. The Lord will get me through it all somehow. Well; so far so good.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #413 on: March 02, 2020, 07:41:22 am »
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Heb 13:7 . . Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.

The "leaders" of that particular verse refer to the ones who captained Moses' people over the centuries; e.g. Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samuel, David. Elijah, Ezra, and Nehemiah; and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Micah; et al. about whom the Bible says:

"Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies." (Heb 11:33-34)

"Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them." (Heb 11:35-38)

"They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. (Heb 11:39-40)

There was once an advertisement for a beer on television that said, in so many words: "You only go around once in life. So grab all the gusto you can get." Well; Christ's believing followers should not be thinking like that. They don't go around once; the real gusto is yet to come.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #414 on: March 03, 2020, 08:21:13 am »
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Heb 13:9 . . Do not be carried away by strange and varied teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace rather than foods, through which those who were thus occupied were not benefited.

The words "carried away" weren't translated from Greek words. They're arbitrary insertions; viz: they're words that a translating committee penciled into the English text so as to make the passage say what they guessed it's supposed to be saying. Arbitrary insertions are pretty common and nobody seems to fear they might be adulterating the Bible; though they can be misleading at times so caveat lector.

The word "strange" is translated from the Greek word xenos (xen'-os) which essentially refers to someone or something with which Christians are unfamiliar, i.e. not cozy.

For example; though most Christians are familiar with the dietary laws contained in the covenant that Moses' people agreed upon with God, Christ's followers are under no obligation to comply with them for the simple reason that those laws are contractual. Well; Christians per se, are not contracted with God to comply with those laws. Hence those dietary laws amount to "strange" teachings; viz: they're unchristian.

Now, what I find curious about Heb 13:9 is the fact that the anointing spoken of in 1John 2:26-27 is supposed to steer those who have it away from deception while at the same time aligning them with the truth. So then, that being the case, then it's clearly possible for those with the anointing to ignore its guidance and buy into strange and varied teachings.

Another thing I should point out is that according to 1Thess 5:19, it's possible to quench the anointing's guidance; viz: snuff it out like one would snuff a candle so that it no longer produces light to illuminate one's path: and that's not a good thing.

"This is the message we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1John 1:5-6)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: Christ's Ways
« Reply #415 on: March 04, 2020, 07:41:03 am »
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Heb 13:16 . . And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Doing good and sharing are bloodless sacrifices; and in point of fact are far more likely to be accepted by God than the death of birds and beasts.

In the first chapter of the book of Isaiah, God lambasted Moses' people for bringing all the correct, God-mandated sacrifices to the Temple. Why? Because those sacrifices were insulting while His people were not only crooks; but also lacking the milk of human kindness. The sacrifices that God preferred over and above the Temple offerings were the below:

"Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." (Isa 1:17)

"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." (Hos 6:6)

So "doing good" consists of doing what's right, and seeking kindness and fairness across the board for everyone; including the disadvantaged and the disenfranchised.

The US Government has been notoriously negligent in doing good by its chronic failure to honor its treaties with Native Americans. Not long ago I read in my local paper about 50 years of Federal foot-dragging in respect to honoring its commitment to provide tribes situated along the Columbia River with fishing villages to replace the ones that were obliterated due to construction of The Dalles dam. Well; God takes note of that sort of thing; nobody is getting by with anything.
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