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    Quote Originally Posted by SELFofGOD View Post
    Allright DR.D

    imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A PERFECTLY COMPASSIONATE being who creates beings which he knows are doomed to suffer is impossible...

    something you forget my friend, a compassionate and JUST God cannot control the lives and mistakes we as men make. We each have our agency to do with our lives what we will.
    As for your quote above, what makes a true MAN is his ability to overcome the suffering in this life and for us to become what God intended for us to become. Where would we be without trial, how could we grow and become better??? Whenever I am going through something extremely difficult in my own life I take a minute and reflect... what does God want me to learn from this? It is usually when I find the answer to that question that the issue is nearly resolved.
    Working on living

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    I will let another freethinker jump in and play. For now its gym time

    take care guys
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    We were created perfect and God walked with us in the garden. We received the sentence of death when we chose disobedience in the garden. Man has disobeyed yet wants to blame God for the consequences that come with our decision to disobey. My disobedience is just as worthy of death as it has ever been.
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    Well said my friend. It is time for us all to stop blaming God for the actions of men...
    Working on living
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    Quote Originally Posted by SELFofGOD View Post
    ... First, if God is omnipotent, then the assumption that freewill is necessary for happiness is false. ...
    Well I never made that argument, that freewill was necessary for "happiness". I think freewill is necessary for a spectrum to exist, and love is the high point of human experience. I know lots of people have concluded that happiness is the prime goal of life, but I have decided that love and truth are greater aspirations. Those goals generally correspond with happiness, but not always.

    It's just like your DI. Did he want soldiers that followed him reluctantly, or was he looking for a few good men who actually wanted to learn and follow? Those are the guys he wanted to train, the guys who wanted to serve with their best, from their heart.

    That's how God operates too. He's not some cosmic rapist who forces you to love Him. Like you said, He could make robots for that. He's looking to love those who willingly seek Him and want to love Him back.

    Have a good w/o, ttyl.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    Well I never made that argument, that freewill was necessary for "happiness". I think freewill is necessary for a spectrum to exist, and love is the high point of human experience. I know lots of people have concluded that happiness is the prime goal of life, but I have decided that love and truth are greater aspirations. Those goals generally correspond with happiness, but not always.

    It's just like your DI. Did he want soldiers that followed him reluctantly, or was he looking for a few good men who actually wanted to learn and follow? Those are the guys he wanted to train, the guys who wanted to serve with their best, from their heart.

    That's how God operates too. He's not some cosmic rapist who forces you to love Him. Like you said, He could make robots for that. He's looking to love those who willingly seek Him and want to love Him back.

    Have a good w/o, ttyl.
    Well since you put it that way...I Luv ya man lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    We were created perfect and God walked with us in the garden. We received the sentence of death when we chose disobedience in the garden. Man has disobeyed yet wants to blame God for the consequences that come with our decision to disobey. My disobedience is just as worthy of death as it has ever been.
    so in essence, god does not forgive? that seems to be the moral. 2 "perfect" people sinned (therefore not perfect in gods image) and god could not forgive, but instead decided to damn all others? That does not seem like a good and loving god to me

    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    I certainly do not ignore them. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
    for my own clarification, why is that? how is fear wisdom?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    so in essence, god does not forgive? that seems to be the moral. 2 "perfect" people sinned (therefore not perfect in gods image) and god could not forgive, but instead decided to damn all others? That does not seem like a good and loving god to me



    for my own clarification, why is that? how is fear wisdom?

    God does forgive those that humbly and sincerely ask for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by youngandfree View Post
    God does forgive those that humbly and sincerely ask for it.
    So Adam and Eve didnt ask for it I am to assume?

    I guess what I am confused about is, it seems based on this, that god automatically assumes the negative about its creations, until they ask his forgiveness. Why should they ask his forgiveness when he created them this way in the first place? It seems silly and soley a way to continually increase the ego of this god
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    So Adam and Eve didnt ask for it I am to assume?

    I guess what I am confused about is, it seems based on this, that god automatically assumes the negative about its creations, until they ask his forgiveness. Why should they ask his forgiveness when he created them this way in the first place? It seems silly and soley a way to continually increase the ego of this god
    It does seem like God knew they might fall. Why else would He put that "tree" in the middle of the garden in the first place? Apparently it needed to be there for some essential purpose, just like our freedom to choose.

    I think it's all about character development. No kids are born knowing what to do. They have to be trained. I know I've made far more improvements through my mistakes, so maybe it's just a necessary evil?

    Like I've said before, all's well that ends well. It's not how you start the race, it's how you finish that defines your success! My kids have made lots of mistakes, but if those mistakes provide a framework for future success, I guess it was a good thing in the grand perspective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    so in essence, god does not forgive? that seems to be the moral. 2 "perfect" people sinned (therefore not perfect in gods image) and god could not forgive, but instead decided to damn all others? That does not seem like a good and loving god to me
    We are still perfect in his eyes, but disobedient all the same.

    What many are missing is that "the people" failed to "repent". Pride, arrogance, blameshifting and excusing disobedience away has plaqued mankind since the beginning of time.

    What was Adams reply to God when He asked him if he had eaten the fruit of the tree? "It was that woman you gave me - she made me do it"

    Repent = obedience
    Obedience = repent
    Repent = forgiveness



    for my own clarification, why is that? how is fear wisdom?
    "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". It is wise to obey the Lord out of love and respect but if you can only do so out of fear - the ends, obedience, justifies the means.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    So Adam and Eve didnt ask for it I am to assume?
    Interesting question. I don't recall the Bible mentioning whether or not they asked for it. I believe it does not account for that.

    Forgiveness does not in any way negate consequences. You're a parent. You forgive all the time. You also impose consequences otherwise you are an impotent father and authority.

    I guess what I am confused about is, it seems based on this, that god automatically assumes the negative about its creations, until they ask his forgiveness. Why should they ask his forgiveness when he created them this way in the first place? It seems silly and soley a way to continually increase the ego of this god
    Its a congenital condition. Mankind is heir to Adam and Eve's legacy of disobedience. I am forgiven when I ask for it but the consequence of mortality is not removed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    You seem to be hung up on the Old Testament Covenant between God and man that man continued to disobey and break time and time, again angering God, bringing just and righteous judgment upon man, enemies of Him and His will.
    I'm not hung up on it. That was the topic of discussion at that moment. If you are ready to advance to the NT let's move on shall we...

    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    If you read further in that same book, in the New Testament, you will find a New Covenant, the Covenant of Christ.

    Christ is asking you to follow Him and He is not wrong it what He did or does. Get to know Him and you may find you have a different understanding of God, His ways and His will all together.
    Christ is not wrong in what he does? I say the Buddha has more reverence for life than Christ does. Let's see why:

    Christ was hungry. He walks up to the fig tree (it was not even the season for figs) and seeing it did not bear any fruit he says "No man [will] eat fruit from you from now on — for ever" and at once the fig tree withered and died from it's roots.

    A great characteristic of Christ that matches up with the OT God--anger.

    He displays it again in the temple. We all know this case.

    And here is the best part... Jesus went to cure a possessed person. Upon kicking the demons out of the person, Jesus sends them into the pigs. The pigs run off a cliff and kill themselves right after.

    Jesus has reverence for life? Was the tree not a living being? Was it not growing? Was it not sucking up water from it's roots and absorbing sunlight into it's leaves to grow? Were the pigs not living breathing animals? Was there no blood circulating through their bodies? Were their hearts not pumping to be classified as living beings--to be deemed sacred from the very fact that they are living breathing entity's of life?

    When people bring out Jesus in an attempt to erase the past history of God and his creations... we see that Jesus is the same. He brings the same things. I can go in depth further on this but will stop here.

    And when it comes to reverence for life, the Buddha had way more reverence than Christ. When it comes to protecting living things, the Buddha wins out. Don't put Jesus on such a big pedestal. He definitely doesn't belong there when it comes to reverence for life.

    Quote Originally Posted by youngandfree View Post
    You never really stated why you felt this way. Wanting war and destruction so the savior will come seems a bit twisted. There are very specific things listed in the Bible that will happen before Jesus will return. Just creating war and famine isn't going to make it happen. One thing that must happen is the Temple must be rebuilt. Last I checked it hasn't yet. Israel has to be attacked and their attackers Will be destroyed in such a way that only God could do to protect his chosen people. All nations will turn against Israel, which is slowly happening. So if you followed Christ and know what will happen before his return, you would have known it is still a ways off.
    First off youngandfree you completely missed my point. My point was not about how, when, or why the second coming is going to happen.

    My point was I followed a book (the Bible) that said devastating things must happen before the Saviour comes again. And then I welcomed these devastating things with open arms. I welcomed death and war so that my Saviour would come again. I would of been happy and smiling from ear to ear had I heard Israel was under attack. Any book that does this to a man, is a book tainted and not worthy to follow by compassionate human beings.

    Here is an example. If you heard tomorrow that Israel was under attack... you as a Christian would get excited. Deep down inside you, you would be jumping for joy. Don't lie now and say you wouldn't.

    Me on the other hand, I would feel compassion towards Israel and her people and not be excited one bit because of the prospect of war and the bloody death it entails.

    Who then is in the clear? Me or You?

    My point was, following this book turned me into something I knew was wrong. A person in happy anticipation for war.

    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    I'm not sure you know the God of the Bible. Did you grow up in a Christian home? Perhaps you know a game called "church". And your preconceptions of the Bible are how they trained you to understand it? That's not a good substitute for a real relationship with God. Once you develop that personal relationship, the Spirit guides your understanding.
    I knew this was bound to happen. Someone would start insulting me and questioning my character and understanding of the Bible instead of arguing with my points. I didn't think it was gonna be you who did it D.

    Yes I grew up in a Christian home.

    Yes I played a game called "church" every Sunday.

    I went to a catholic elementary school and a catholic high school where the Bible was studied everyday.

    I went to Sunday school.

    At times I went to church on my own. Walking as a young child with no supervision because I loved the house of God with all my heart.

    You know what happened tho? I grew up. D, when you were a child, did you not look at your parents as all knowing? All right? You saw them in a special light as a child. However, when you grow up, you realize they are just adults. Imperfect. Making mistakes. This is what happened with me and the Bible God.

    Please understand I have developed a relationship with God before saying I haven't. Just because my relationship with my God is not your "Bible God" does not disqualify it. For the second time, I live a spiritual life, intimate with a God I have come to know through the God given aspects of logic, reason, and compassion that he has installed in me.

    Don't insult me please. I think I have shown through my posts that I have a solid grasp of the Bible. I have a solid grasp on life and the compassion needed in it to develop great human beings.

    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    This is a solid question, and it's important to grasp. God has the capacity to perfect everything right now. In fact that was the plan from the start, a perfect species living an amazing existence! So why doesn't He fix it? Because free will is an imperative. The potential for evil is necessary. Bad is needed in order to define good. So why is free will so essential, especially if it allows for the possibility of sin? Because it also allows for the possibility of love, and without love, nothing else would matter. We can make bad choices if we choose. We can abuse our free will to do evil things. But freedom is nonetheless necessary, even though some choose bad. If we didn't have the freedom to choose, we couldn't choose love either, and we'd have no personal involvement or potential to evolve into anything more.
    Listen D, I live in the same world as you do. I see the violent nature of the animal kingdom. Have you ever watched hyenas feed on a live animal? Or lions? Kill or be killed. I see the violent nature of human society. I understand that this world is not perfect.

    I understand there is a deep reason for it not being perfect. I know that God "could" have designed a perfect world.... but clearly he hasn't. I also know YOU don't know WHY. But I do like your explanation... however... we are not given free will.

    Free will: the power of making free choices unconstrained by external agencies.

    Free: unconstrained.

    Sure, we have free will, for now. But what about when we die. What about when we are put in either heaven or hell. Do we get to choose between where we want to go? No. God chooses. At that very moment, our free will is stripped from us. We are sent this way or that way. We do not have a choice unconstrained by an external agencies, but a command to follow. We become constrained. We are stripped of freedom, and free will.

    And don't tell me WE choose where we want to go by OUR actions. Because that's not true. GOD chooses where we go from OUR actions. Our actions are not free. They have consequences. By that very fact, we don't have a "free choice" for anything.

    When I think of free will, I think of an eternal free will granted by God. The Christian free will is a temporary free will in our lifetime. I'm sorry but for me, that just doesn't cut it as a true "Free Will" bestowed by our God as a special freedom. Temporary freedom is not freedom!

    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    God gives you a whole lifetime of second chances and do-overs. Choose you this day while you still can, because you've had plenty of second chances and extensions bro. There will be no excuses when you turn your test in.
    Why are you calling me a person in need of a second chance? Why are you telling me I need second chances? Why are you judging in me in such a fashion that does not coincide with my writing? Why are you making me out to be in the wrong and need saving? Typical Bible follower IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    I think guys like CM that abandoned their Christianity were like the seeds that fell on rocky ground. Their faith never took root, so of course they fell away in time. Prophecy is just stating the future before it happens, so that it's accuracy can be validated 1000's of years later. Watch though, even as it unfolds, I bet many of these same guys will be in total denial and making every excuse possible to ignore it away! That's the only reason I still waste my breath on this, so that maybe a few of my friends here might come to their senses when they finally realize it's true.
    Again with the insults. Don't you call me the seed that fell on the rocky path. I am a good person with a deep understanding of a "Higher form of Intelligence" or "God." I have strong morals, ethics, and standards. Stop insulting my character and my faith in a "God."

    You will be waiting a long time for these prophecies D. Some may happen by mere chance... others never. Every generation has believed they were in the "end times." Every generation that was under persecution (for example Nero) had believed they were in the end times. How sorry I feel for them that they did not wake up and understand that there was no reason for their persecution. That their Saviour was not coming. That it really was not "meant to be."

    IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO QUOTE PROPERLY DON'T QUOTE MY ENTIRE POST... FEEL FREE TO QUOTE PIECES. I'm sorry I didn't realize it was going to come out this long.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    We are still perfect in his eyes, but disobedient all the same.

    What many are missing is that "the people" failed to "repent". Pride, arrogance, blameshifting and excusing disobedience away has plaqued mankind since the beginning of time.

    What was Adams reply to God when He asked him if he had eaten the fruit of the tree? "It was that woman you gave me - she made me do it"

    Repent = obedience
    Obedience = repent
    Repent = forgiveness



    "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom". It is wise to obey the Lord out of love and respect but if you can only do so out of fear - the ends, obedience, justifies the means.
    kind of like Machiavellis the prince...better to be feared or loved? Eviently god is similar to Lorenzo Di Medici. However, why be obedient when the god sets you up to fail in the first place. Creates you with the temptation and the gross ability to choose imnproperly

    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    Interesting question. I don't recall the Bible mentioning whether or not they asked for it. I believe it does not account for that.

    Forgiveness does not in any way negate consequences. You're a parent. You forgive all the time. You also impose consequences otherwise you are an impotent father and authority.

    Its a congenital condition. Mankind is heir to Adam and Eve's legacy of disobedience. I am forgiven when I ask for it but the consequence of mortality is not removed.
    you are correct, there is consequence. However there is a difference imo between a timeout (or other menial punishment) and the possibility of eternal damnation.

    By the logic of thelast paragraph, if I commit a crime my daughter is heir to it. That seems a bit silly
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatemilk View Post
    I'm not hung up on it. That was the topic of discussion at that moment. If you are ready to advance to the NT let's move on shall we...



    Christ is not wrong in what he does? I say the Buddha has more reverence for life than Christ does. Let's see why:

    Christ was hungry. He walks up to the fig tree (it was not even the season for figs) and seeing it did not bear any fruit he says "No man [will] eat fruit from you from now on — for ever" and at once the fig tree withered and died from it's roots.

    A great characteristic of Christ that matches up with the OT God--anger.

    He displays it again in the temple. We all know this case.
    There is way more to what meets the eye and you seem to consistantly draw your own conclusion on things without TRUELY STUDYING the matter. You have missed it with the swine as well, but here is where you are completly mistaken about the fig tree.

    The conclusion that “some people” draw regarding this incident is quite misdirected and is the result of a lack of understanding of what was involved in this episode near the end of Christ’s ministry.

    The situation involving the “cursed” fig tree is recorded in two places in the Gospel records — Matthew 21:18-19; 20-22 and Mark 11:12-14; 20-25. We will introduce Mark’s version for the purpose of this discussion.

    “And on the morrow, when they had come out of Bethany, he [Jesus] hungered. And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if perhaps he might find anything thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for it was not the season of figs. And he answered and said unto it, ‘No man [will] eat fruit from you from now on — for ever.’ And his disciples heard it . . .And as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. And Peter calling to remembrance said unto him, ‘Rabbi, behold, the fig tree that you cursed is withered away’” (Mk. 11:12-14; 20-21).

    For brevity’s sake, we have taken the two references that refer directly to this event in Mark’s Gospel, and combined them. We are omitting verses 15-19, which provide some transitional information that occurred between the two successive days that are related to this scene. Likewise, we are stopping short of the Savior’s subsequent discussion of this matter, as recorded in verses 22-25. We will analyze this controversial text in the following segments.

    (1) The term “cursed” is used only once in the two New Testament records of this incident. On the second day, as Christ and his disciples passed by the tree, en route to Jerusalem, it was noticed that the fig tree was completely dead. This compelled Peter, who was speaking on behalf of the others as well (cf. Mt. 21:20), to comment: “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered.” (v. 21).

    It should be noted first that the term “curse” is not used in biblical parlance in the modern sense of profanity. Rather, a “curse” was a pronouncement of judgment upon a person or object (cf. Mt. 25:41). In this case, there was a command miracle by which Christ spoke words that would cause this tree to die. It was not a purposeless act of intemperance. It represented a strong object-lesson that the disciples needed to learn (and numerous others since that time as well).

    (1) As to the charge that Jesus destroyed that which was not his, several things must be noted.

    First, it cannot be established that the tree had an owner. Matthew observes that it was growing “by the wayside” (Mt. 21:19). It therefore may have been a “volunteer” tree, as such are known in any land. It is worthy of notation that Peter did not rebuke the Lord for destroying another’s property, even though the impetuous apostle was not reticent to admonish his Master when he felt the circumstance warranted such (cf. Mt. 16:22).

    Second, W.M. Thompson, a scholar eminently familiar with Palestinean customs, pointed out that it was common for travelers to pick fruit from road-side trees, or from any tree that was not enclosed; there was no censure associated with such (The Land and the Book, London: Thomas Nelson, 1863, p. 350).

    Third, it must be emphasized that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He himself possesses the nature of deity (Jn. 1:1; 10:30; 20:28). As deity, therefore, the earth and its fullness are his (Psa. 24:1). He has the sovereign right to use the elements of creation to accomplish those higher goals which man, limited in his knowledge, may not perceive at a given moment in time. And that includes the destruction of a tree, or even a herd of swine (cf. Mk. 5:13). No man has the right to say of him, “What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:35; cf. Rom. 11:33-36).

    (2) In order to put this situation into sharper focus, the student needs to examine the meaning behind this action by Christ. When the Lord first saw the tree, he was yet “afar off.” He could only discern that it had leaves (v. 13).

    One must conclude that this circumstance reveals that though he was deity, Jesus did not exercise the full range of his divine powers constantly; he did not know the details regarding this tree until he was in close proximity (v. 13b).

    When the Savior arrived at the tree, he observed a curious thing — the fig tree was fruitless. Of what significance is this?

    Alfred Edersheim has called attention to the fact that “in Palestine the fruit appears before the leaves . . .” (The Life & Times of Jesus the Messiah, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1947, Vol. II, p. 374; emp. WJ). Thus, to see a leafed fig tree (even at an unseasonable time — v. 13b), warranted the assumption that there would be fruit on the tree. But this tree was an oddity; the leaves were there, but it was fruitless. This phenomenon, therefore, served as a perfect “visual aid” for an important lesson that the Savior wished to teach.

    Centuries earlier, the Hebrew nation had been separated from the pagan peoples of antiquity to serve in a special role in the divine economy. In the days of Moses, the people of “Israel” were designated as Jehovah’s “firstborn” (Ex. 4:22), i.e., they were granted a priority status. God thus said to Pharoah, who held Israel captive, “let my people go” (Ex. 5:1).

    Across the centuries, however, the Israelite people frequently rebelled against their Creator. Isaiah once characterized the situation in the following fashion. “The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand” (Isa. 1:3). Read the prophet’s stirring rebuke of a wicked nation that refused to be governed by the Sovereign of the Universe (Isa. 5:1ff).

    While there were occasional periods of spiritual revival among the Hebrews (as in the days of Josiah, a good king – see 2 Kgs. 22-23), the tragic fact is, the nation was on a gradual, degenerative slide — a path of apostasy that would culminate with the blood-thirsty cry, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (Lk. 23:21). The Jewish people, through the influence they exerted upon the Roman authorities (see Mt. 20:19; Acts 2:23), had Jesus killed. They murdered the very Messiah for whom they had waited across the centuries (see Mt. 21:33ff). Though they had enjoyed every conceivable spiritual advantage, they had become, for the most part, an utterly renegade nation.

    In the symbolism of the Scriptures, a fruitless, withered tree was worthy of nothing more than being cut down (cf. Psa. 90:6; Hos. 9:16). “Withering” was a symbol of imminent death (Joel 1:12). In the blasting of this fruitless fig tree, the Son of God was suggesting this:

    (1) The nation, as a political entity, had become a worthless mechanism in the sacred scheme of things. It thus was worthy of nothing but destruction.

    (2) That destruction would shortly come (within forty years — A.D. 66-70) with the invasion of the land by the Roman armies (cf. Mt. 22:7ff; 24:15ff).

    (3) The punishment would be complete and final; the “tree” would be dead from the very “roots” (Mk. 11:20).

    Conclusion
    There was a very good reason why Jesus Christ acted as he did on this occasion. It was not an impulsive act, it was not a misguided, irresponsible gesture. It was a deliberate, highly instructive warning. Unfortunately, the lesson conveyed has been lost upon the minds of many.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatemilk View Post
    ... Why are you calling me a person in need of a second chance? ...
    I'm sorry CM. It makes me sad to see you hurting and insulted. I swear I didn't mean anything I said to degrade you or your beliefs. I am wrong to assume you need any second chances, perhaps you are perfectly self-reliant. Please forgive me and know that I do love and respect you my friend.

    I have experienced certain things though, and I just can't figure a good way to convey those insights. I wish I could, but it's not my strength apparently.
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    Dunn.... I read the entire thing you posted and will comment on it later but for now this is what I have to say...

    Any teaching that requires the death of plants, and the death of animals, is a teaching not worthy of being taught. It is counterintuitive to kill, and teach not to kill.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR.D View Post
    I'm sorry CM. It makes me sad to see you hurting and insulted. I swear I didn't mean anything I said to degrade you or your beliefs. I am wrong to assume you need any second chances, perhaps you are perfectly self-reliant. Please forgive me and know that I do love and respect you my friend.

    I have experienced certain things though, and I just can't figure a good way to convey those insights. I wish I could, but it's not my strength apparently.
    I'm sorry too D. It's hard to ever discuss what we are discussing without throwing our emotions into play. We're human.

    I must say, I am enjoying our discussion very much. I find your insights and your analogies amazing. I love how you take what I say and relay it to a real life situation that embodies what I'm saying. With the teacher, and the parent, you always find some great analogy that I find tough as heck to debate against. You would make a great lawyer lol.

    I'm sorry for over reacting too bro. I have love and respect for you as well D. Like I said before... you are one smart dude
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    hey CM interested on your take with the Book of Revelation and the impending doom to come there. I must say that I agree with one thing you said when you spoke against those looking forward to the doom of Israel, but I think there are those of us who ARE Christians who "Fear the dreadful day of the Lord" as well as "Look forward to His coming" I have studied the Book of Rev in the Greek and love the poetic way John lays out his apocryphal writing. But let's ensure that we understand one another. John wrote what he saw, not what he wished would come to pass. He is merely a spectator to the horrible events foretold to come. Now whether one believes that these events will in fact come to pass, which I do, should not change the sense of humanity that we should have for others. I for one cringe at the thought of war. I have fought in wars, I know what it feels like to have others hunt you, I know what it means to be afraid. I also know what it means to have courage and stand up for the truth and belief that one has. I abhor war, as all should, but I DO look forward to seeing the Christ when he comes to rule again.
    Of note also, it is men that will cause those horrible things to take place as mentioned in the book, not God. God simply comes down to put a final stop to it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    hey CM interested on your take with the Book of Revelation and the impending doom to come there. I must say that I agree with one thing you said when you spoke against those looking forward to the doom of Israel, but I think there are those of us who ARE Christians who "Fear the dreadful day of the Lord" as well as "Look forward to His coming" I have studied the Book of Rev in the Greek and love the poetic way John lays out his apocryphal writing. But let's ensure that we understand one another. John wrote what he saw, not what he wished would come to pass. He is merely a spectator to the horrible events foretold to come. Now whether one believes that these events will in fact come to pass, which I do, should not change the sense of humanity that we should have for others. I for one cringe at the thought of war. I have fought in wars, I know what it feels like to have others hunt you, I know what it means to be afraid. I also know what it means to have courage and stand up for the truth and belief that one has. I abhor war, as all should, but I DO look forward to seeing the Christ when he comes to rule again.
    Of note also, it is men that will cause those horrible things to take place as mentioned in the book, not God. God simply comes down to put a final stop to it.
    Revelations is a very interesting subject and one that I have studied out of sheer cause of quandry. Was John writing what he saw? If so, then Revelations is the undoing of Christian thought in essence. If this was what John was told by god, then free will is a null and void commentary. If god showed this event(s) to John as the future, then free will either does not exist, or is meaningless as these events are bound to happen regardless.

    On the flip side, was what John wrote a commentary upon the times that he was living in? Lets look at the history and the horrible conditions that the Pauline Christians (thats who truly was affected here) were living under. Nero was the Emperor who used the Christians and Jews of the time as scapegoats countless times. Hell, he made Christian human torches to light the path to his home. He was so bad that the senate voted to kill him. Not just execute him, but beat him to death. Was John writing about the eventual coming up as it were against the empire that was persecuting them.

    I do not believe that anyone can fortell events that have yet to transpire and have so many variables that will lead to them. I side with a commentary of contemporary events for John. However, it is an interesting topic none the less.
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    completely agree with you on the interest of the Book of Rev. I agree that living during the time of Nero must have been hell on earth for the Christians of that day and age. In fact most believe that is where the number 666 came from is that is the numeric value of Nero written out in the Greek form. Coincidence??? I think not. I do respect your way of looking at it though. It would be hard to reconcile having a God who already knows the future. Never the less, I believe it gets much deeper than this. Not to make the discussion too deep, I will just use one short example. If you hold your pen in your hand, which I am sure is red , what do you think will happen when you release the pen above your desk? It will, in fact, fall and hit your desk correct? You can predict that outcome, not because you can alter the laws of physics and change the path that the pen will travel, but because you understood the laws that were at work, and based upon those laws you were able to draw your conclusion of the future.
    That being said I believe that the same goes with God. He does not simply dictate the course of the future and thus agency for man is taken away. Rather he understands the laws set in motion, and knows the human condition better than any of us could. Thus, he makes that same prediction to how (for lack of a better term) the "end" will come...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    completely agree with you on the interest of the Book of Rev. I agree that living during the time of Nero must have been hell on earth for the Christians of that day and age. In fact most believe that is where the number 666 came from is that is the numeric value of Nero written out in the Greek form. Coincidence??? I think not. I do respect your way of looking at it though. It would be hard to reconcile having a God who already knows the future. Never the less, I believe it gets much deeper than this. Not to make the discussion too deep, I will just use one short example. If you hold your pen in your hand, which I am sure is red , what do you think will happen when you release the pen above your desk? It will, in fact, fall and hit your desk correct? You can predict that outcome, not because you can alter the laws of physics and change the path that the pen will travel, but because you understood the laws that were at work, and based upon those laws you were able to draw your conclusion of the future.
    That being said I believe that the same goes with God. He does not simply dictate the course of the future and thus agency for man is taken away. Rather he understands the laws set in motion, and knows the human condition better than any of us could. Thus, he makes that same prediction to how (for lack of a better term) the "end" will come...

    I like the red reference

    That is an interesting way to look at it. However the law of gravity seems a bit more simplistic imo that several thousands of years of events that must transpire in a particular fashion to lead to a particular end. Maybe to a supreme being it is that simple, however, imo to the minds of us silly little humans, that is a lot to comprehend. To me, it nullifies free will entirely, however, I do love to study revelations. Such an artistic picture painted about horrific events that I hope are no where near our lifetime or that of our children.

    With regards to Nero, the more I study him, the more I wish that the senate had gotten their wish and been able to beat him to death. What a horrible human being. Killing your own mother, who had killed to put you in power in the first place. Its funny how he even has a lasting impact on the Rome and its ruins to this day. Hell the Colesseum is named for him.

    I had seen the 666 reference and I agree with you 100%, he is the reference, not some "beast". It would most certainly be a reference to a contemporary event/person
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    I like the red reference

    That is an interesting way to look at it. However the law of gravity seems a bit more simplistic imo that several thousands of years of events that must transpire in a particular fashion to lead to a particular end. Maybe to a supreme being it is that simple, however, imo to the minds of us silly little humans, that is a lot to comprehend. To me, it nullifies free will entirely, however, I do love to study revelations. Such an artistic picture painted about horrific events that I hope are no where near our lifetime or that of our children.

    With regards to Nero, the more I study him, the more I wish that the senate had gotten their wish and been able to beat him to death. What a horrible human being. Killing your own mother, who had killed to put you in power in the first place. Its funny how he even has a lasting impact on the Rome and its ruins to this day. Hell the Colesseum is named for him.

    I had seen the 666 reference and I agree with you 100%, he is the reference, not some "beast". It would most certainly be a reference to a contemporary event/person
    agree he was a beast! Oh and for those scholars that think the translation is not 666 but in fact 696... the numerical Hebrew of Nero is 696... I agree with you that I hope my children never have to face the future of anyone like a Nero taking charge...
    Again this is what makes Rev so interesting... did he mean his day, ours, both???? I tend to lean towards the later... both
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    agree he was a beast! Oh and for those scholars that think the translation is not 666 but in fact 696... the numerical Hebrew of Nero is 696... I agree with you that I hope my children never have to face the future of anyone like a Nero taking charge...
    Again this is what makes Rev so interesting... did he mean his day, ours, both???? I tend to lean towards the later... both
    both would be interesting. As that would bring about another leader the likes of Nero. We have seen many, but I am curious to see if another could rise and gain the prominence as the world is very different from the time of John. It is going to be quite interesting to say the least
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    AG.. great points made. In an earlier post to DR. D, I said the final war was necessary for God's will. You make a great point that it is us humans that bring on that final war and God is a participant, not the orchestrator.

    This is what I find weird tho AG... How does the book of Revelations end? The devil is locked into the abyss for a thousand years...... What happened to hell being eternal? Why did heaven come down to Earth? Heaven was supposed to be a place different then Earth. I thought the Bible mentioned the Earth will waste away, not be made anew....

    Revelations doesn't match up with the rest of the Bible. It is unique in it's own work and like you said, maybe written for it's time... which I agree with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatemilk View Post
    AG.. great points made. In an earlier post to DR. D, I said the final war was necessary for God's will. You make a great point that it is us humans that bring on that final war and God is a participant, not the orchestrator.

    This is what I find weird tho AG... How does the book of Revelations end? The devil is locked into the abyss for a thousand years...... What happened to hell being eternal? Why did heaven come down to Earth? Heaven was supposed to be a place different then Earth. I thought the Bible mentioned the Earth will waste away, not be made anew....

    Revelations doesn't match up with the rest of the Bible. It is unique in it's own work and like you said, maybe written for it's time... which I agree with.
    fantastic point my friend! the problem understanding the Rev is that it is not written in order. Once I had this explained to me, and more importantly SHOWN to me, the whole thing came together much nicer. very simplistic timeline here but this is how I now understand it to be
    He comes after the Wooo's are finished and save the Children of Israel (also stated in Ezekiel) this is also where the mountain parts
    Devil banished for 1000 years (how come only 1000 years) I love a few of the words in the Greek here, which is the language it was in originally. That the Devil will be infact banished in the hearts of men, not literally. They have their Savior ruling over them, and thus Satan has no hold and is thus "bound" for 1000 years.
    How does he come back??? again it is men. They let him back into their hearts and thus give him the power he needs to bring the "Great" destruction John saw.
    Battle of Gog and Magog
    Savior saves his people one last time and thus Satan is this time "figuratively AND literally speaking" banned forever
    Paradise on earth...

    did this off memory with no references, so please forgive that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatemilk View Post
    You would make a great lawyer lol. ...
    That's what my mom always said, that I should have been a lawyer! haha

    Thank you for being so gracious with me. It's a good man who is quick to forgive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatemilk View Post
    Dunn.... I read the entire thing you posted and will comment on it later but for now this is what I have to say...

    Any teaching that requires the death of plants, and the death of animals, is a teaching not worthy of being taught. It is counterintuitive to kill, and teach not to kill.
    Animals and plants? You are serious?

    I respectfully withdraw myself from this discussion. Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Dunn View Post
    Animals and plants? You are serious?

    I respectfully withdraw myself from this discussion. Thank you.
    I don't take back any of my words or beliefs...

    But if they are enough to make a respectable person here on AM withdraw from discussion I probably should have just stayed out of all of this.

    Thank you guys for the daily discussion especially DR. D. I really did enjoy it. I withdraw myself also.
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    chocolatemilk,

    It's me, not you. You're fine.
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    Dunn, thank you. I'm sorry if I upset you in any way, it was not my intention.

    I grew up immersed in the Bible every single day as a child. It matures your heart, mind, and soul do dive deeper into the mystery. It has captivated human beings for 2000 years. Those words, the word of God, are truly magical if not for those reasons and they hold a special place within us all. I don't want to come off as anti-bible, for if you want to truly grow as a person, and set on a true, personal, and intimate quest for God... the Bible is the stepping stone for the journey, and might just be the final destination also. Everyone finds solace in those words. They are alluring and always bring you back.

    "By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made of things which are visible" Hebrews

    I think there is more Science in the bible than we think^

    So about 2012... LOL
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatemilk View Post
    I think there is more Science in the bible than we think^

    So about 2012... LOL
    I think that this line is the best one thus far my friend! I think there is science in all of God's miracles, but at least for me that is what makes God who he is. He understands science better than all, and can thus use the natural laws of nature to affect an outcome he is seeking... thoughts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    I think that this line is the best one thus far my friend! I think there is science in all of God's miracles, but at least for me that is what makes God who he is. He understands science better than all, and can thus use the natural laws of nature to affect an outcome he is seeking... thoughts?
    Deep^^, This is why I invited the lord into my life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    I think that this line is the best one thus far my friend! I think there is science in all of God's miracles, but at least for me that is what makes God who he is. He understands science better than all, and can thus use the natural laws of nature to affect an outcome he is seeking... thoughts?
    Just curious what you mean by: outcome he is seeking?
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    Good question... examples would be...
    Water to wine
    Healing of the blind
    Tree being cut down to heal the water...
    IMHO I believe that there is science involved in all of it. If thus doesn't make sense I can explain further
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    Good question... examples would be...
    Water to wine
    Healing of the blind
    Tree being cut down to heal the water...
    IMHO I believe that there is science involved in all of it. If thus doesn't make sense I can explain further
    nope....now I got you.

    Its funny you bring those up, as there is a lot of science to support the 10 plagues (although the Exodus is utter nonsense IMO). All of the plagues (minus #10) were historical events in Egypt that transpired regularly. Number 10 has an explanation, with specific reference to a mold that grew and the eldest son being fed the most. All quite interesting.

    I was just reading something about Ancient Egypt and specifically their god Horus as well as Greece and Dionysus. Did you know that Horus healed the blind and Dionysus turned water to wine? This is of course according to Egyptian and Greek legends.
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    Yes I have studied the plagues ideas and find them extremely interesting and fun to go through.
    There are many traditions out there for various individuals doing numerous different things. There are probably grains of truth to many of them. I wish I could type more of a reply to this my friend, but alas I am on my Droid with fat army thumbs in a boring please kill me meeting. Great stuff to intrigue the mind though...
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    Quote Originally Posted by AE14 View Post
    nope....now I got you.

    Its funny you bring those up, as there is a lot of science to support the 10 plagues ...
    Haha, ok, well what about walking on water? In the middle of the sea during a storm no less!

    I have a degree in physics AE, and I still can't find an equation to explain that one away.
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    That or raising the dead...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army Guy View Post
    That or raising the dead...
    Of course! An even better example AG.

    I'm not aware of any other religious leader that even claimed he could do this, much less say that he would resurrect himself in a specific time-frame and then actually do it. People say that all religions are the same, and Christ seems no greater than any other religious icon, but to me this is what really separates Christ from the rest. I mean, who else has stated that they hold the keys of life and death?! Jesus Christ.
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