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jbouder
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125 posted 06-02-2005 04:49 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

UR as it is used in this thread.

The problem with the Arminians is that they essentially argue that our good works compel God to save us.  God is then bound by our law rather than our conscience being bound to God's.

Do we have free will?  To some degree, we do in some matters.  Is our will free in terms of our relationship with God?  Absolutely not.  Our ability to "choose" God is wholely dependent on God making the first move.  Our "choice" is actually a response to God's offer.  We may insist on calling it a "choice" but the key issue is who can and must offer us some alternative to our separation from God.  And that "who" is God.

Jim
Stephanos
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126 posted 06-02-2005 06:51 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

JIm,

I know well the arguments of both sides.  And in a sense, I am always accused of being Arminian by Calvinists, and a Calvinist by Arminians.  

But if you're going to be a staunch Calvinist, I would prefer only to set the scriptures before you that would tend to challenge such a position.  "Limited atonement" can indeed be defended to some degree philosophically and logically.  But what about 1 Timothy 2:4 which states that "God desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth".  And 1 John 2:2, "And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world".


I've also heard the explanations which force those verses (kicking and screaming), in procrustean fashion, to lie down on the bed of Calvinism.  But at least for me they've never rested well there.  Such explanations / interpretations seem contrived.  


And I know now that you're probably thoroughly convinced that I'm Arminian to the bone, but I'm not.  I can give them an equally hard time.  Because I don't think either side is the whole.  I can learn from them both, and see where they each go to far in their respective insights.


But if you're only saying that God had to make the first move (which he did), and that we were totally helpless apart from Calvary ... I totally and unreservedly agree.  Quibbling over whether our involvement is a "response" or a "choice" seems like just a matter of semantics to me.  Because I would argue that even a response implies a degree of "respons-ibility".

Stephen.  
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127 posted 06-02-2005 07:07 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

I misunderstood what you were saying about UR ... sorry.


On that ...


Your view is that UR is at worst an arrogance against the will of God, perhaps forcing him into our idea of justice.


But I would say that UR is at best, wishful thinking and dishonest with the data that we have in scripture.  Of course, like Barclay, I believe we are permitted to hope beyond hope.  So, a bit more charitibly perhaps (as I feel that Arnold and Denise fit this description), I would say that the mistake of believing in UR, can sometimes flow out of a holy desire to see all saved, rather than out of a base desire to justify sin and evil in oneself and others.  

Even when Nathanael asked "Can anything good come out of Nazareth"?  Jesus referred to him as "an Israelite indeed in whom there is no guile".  So I too prefer to think the best of you, Jim, when you disagree with me doctrinally, as well as Denise and Arnold.  That doesn't mean I won't say anyone is wrong.


Stephen.  

  
jbouder
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128 posted 06-02-2005 10:10 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

There are more views than Calvinism and Arminianism, you know.  I am neither.  The Augustian tradition is more Lutheran in its outlook on salvation that either Calvin's or Arminius'.  Some forget that the Calvinistic TULIP was a reaction against Arminianism, and few realize that Calvin was not as staunch a Calvinist as many today who position themselves as "Calvinists."  Tragically, the focus became "eternal security" and the Law and Gospel distinctions lost their rightful place in the limelight.

I don't think your Arminian.  I just think you're moving in the direction of a Lutheran tradition.  Read "Bondage of the Will" by Martin Luther.  I believe you'll find much in common with his conclusions (he's also rather entertaining to read).

Jim
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129 posted 06-04-2005 07:50 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

JIm,

I do have that work on my shelf, along with some others by Luther.  I've read excerpts.  I plan to read it in it's entirety some day ... There are books in line ahead of it.  Unfortunately, as much as I enjoy reading, I am a slow reader, and often miss the forest for the trees.  My wife however has the ability to devour books.


Thanks for the recommendation.  I'm actually more likely to read something that I own, than something else.  


Stephen.
Arnold M
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130 posted 06-06-2005 09:12 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Hi Guys.  Stephen you said that "UR is at best, wishful thinking and dishonest with the data that we have in scripture."

I am a seeker of the truth regarding the evangel and the whole of Scripture.  I know the TRUTH is not automatic, and scripture must be compared with scripture, but I resent the statement that I (and I am sure Denise) am "dishonest" with the data of the written word.

Regardless of how many posts, or how long, will you not be willing to lay out the verses that you say we "manipulate" or
"twist" the scriptures.  Please start soon.

God bless you,  Arnold
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131 posted 06-06-2005 09:17 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Stephen,

With your interpretation there is still contradiction between the two portions of scripture. Here is the second from my King James:

Then cometh the end, when he (Jesus) shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he (the Father) shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he (Jesus) must reign, till he (the Father) hath put all enemies under his (Jesus) feet.
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
For he (the Father) hath put all things under his (Jesus) feet. But when he saith all things are put under him (Jesus), it is manifest that he (the Father) is excepted, which did put all things under him (Jesus).
And when all things shall be subdued unto him (Jesus), then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (the Father) that put all things under him (Jesus), that God may be all in all. (I hope I properly designated all the he's and him's! Whew, that was a tough one to get through, even harder than reading a literal rendition! )

So one portion of Scripture seems to say that His rule will never end and one portion seems to say it will conclude when He subjects His kingdom, and Himself, unto the Father.

As fallible human beings with finite abilities, I'm sure we will all find out that we have been mistaken in one aspect or another in our various interpretations and understandings when we meet the Lord and all becomes clear. And I'm sure He even has a reason for all the differing understandings that we all have, that they too serve His ultimate design in some way.

And I'm sure that your charity will be richly rewarded!
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132 posted 06-06-2005 11:48 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Arnold,

You are right, applying dishonesty to all is not appropriate.  And I didn't mean to do that.  I believe you are an honest seeker of truth.  If you will go back and read what I wrote immediately after the part that offended you (where you probably stopped reading?), you'll find a direct reference to you and Denise.  I wrote that I felt your position to be a mistake, which flows "out of a holy desire to see all saved, rather than out of a base desire to justify sin and evil in oneself and others".  And that is my exact quote.     You may feel that was patronizing, or that it extended charity in a way that mocks you.  But it was the best way that I could say, I believe you have a good heart in this.  


And like Denise, I believe variances in such doctrines (in those with good and pure motives) will not be a problem for our Father in the end.  He will work out such differences.  Though I would add, that that doesn't mean such doctrines don't really matter.    


As to giving a full scriptural refutation of Universalism .... sigh.  Maybe one day.  That would require a lot of time and energy.  I have some other projects going right now, that won't allow me to approach this subject with the thoroughness it deserves.  I couldn't do it justice.  So I'll wait ... and hope Jim does it first.   (laugh).


Peace,

Stephen.  
Arnold M
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133 posted 06-07-2005 07:04 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Stephen, I read all you said, but "dishonest"
hit me the wrong way.

My journey to "the salvation of all" came through a study of the scriptures, led by a teacher/minister some years ago. Not by
"wishful thinking" or seeking scriptures to justify a preconceived position.

I've posted this before, but it is so fundamental to the nature of man, to salvation, to God's purpose for humanity:

At death, does man live on in some other form, or is he dead (non-existant) until he is resurrected?

I can show overwhelmingly from the scriptures
that man is dead until resurrected.  And therefore if cast into geenna or the lake of fire, will die, only after being judged and deemed unworthy of life for the given period.
This is not "spiritual" death, but literal death.  Therefore, the traditional teaching of "conscious eternal torment" of the unsaved
cannot be true.

Well, this one subject should open up some discussion.

God bless you,  Arnold

Stephanos
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134 posted 06-07-2005 11:59 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Arnold,

If you want to show that there is no "soulish" existence of man beyond death until the ressurrection, you should consider that there are at least a few prominent scriptures that might give you pause.  I'll start out with just a couple of them.


1) What about Saul summoning, through the arts of the witch of Endor, Samuel from Sheol (or the world of the dead)?  Was Samuel literally ressurrected by the witch? ... by God?  If not, this is nothing more or less than a post-mortem existence without a bodily resurrection.    


2) In the New Testament, what about Moses and Elijah appearing at the Mount of Transfiguration?  If what you are saying is true, you would have to say that they were resurrected.  But scripture elsewhere refers to Christ as "the firstborn from among the dead" in speaking about the ressurrection.


Stephen.    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (06-08-2005 12:06 AM).]

Arnold M
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135 posted 06-08-2005 12:06 AM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Stephen, lets look at your quote in more of the context. In Luke 1:30-33, we read that it is the Lord God who gives the kingdom to Jesus, as the son of David.  And if, as we read in 1 Cor.15:22-28, Jesus as the Christ reigns until all enemies have been put under his feet, and there is no need for his rule,
for all have been made subject to him,   except, of course, God his Father, and the kingdom will have no consumation.  Then
God's great goal will be realized, that He may be All in all.

God bless you,  Arnold
Arnold M
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136 posted 06-09-2005 05:15 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Stephen, let us look at more details in the witch of Endor account.  First: she had a familiar spirit, as Saul was told.  Familiar spirits, then as now, were possibly demons, who pretended to be a person brought up from the dead.  Second: only she could see the spirit, who supposedly was Samuel. If this was a temporary raising of Samuel, why couldn't Saul see him?  Third: If this was Samuel come from the grave, he would have had grave clothes on rather than  being covered with a mantle.   Fourth: Saul could only communicate with words, and the truth of the Philistine victory and his own death was told him.  So, the spirit didn't lie, because, as I believe, God controlled it.

In conclusion, Saul went to her because she had a familiar spirit which could "bring up" Samuel, through which Saul hoped to hear, no doubt, that Israel would defeat the Philistines.

Another thought: it couldn't have been the spirit of Samuel, for, we are told in Eccl. 12:7 speaking of death, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
Arnold M
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137 posted 06-09-2005 05:44 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Hi again, Stephen. Concerning point 2):

Matt.17:1-9: We read that The Lord was transfigured before Peter, James and John, and appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Jesus.  Obviously, the three of them knew who the two figures were because Jesus must have addressed them by name.

I believe the key to understanding this is verse 9, "Tell the VISION to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead."
Capitals, mine for emphasis.

Many times in scripture man is called a soul, and we use the term today.  In Gen. we read that "man became a living soul".  No where that I know of in the Bible is there a reference that "a soul" entered or was infused into a prepared body upon life, but I'm willing to know where, and considerate it.

Arnold
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138 posted 06-10-2005 12:06 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
First: she had a familiar spirit, as Saul was told.  Familiar spirits, then as now, were possibly demons, who pretended to be a person brought up from the dead.


Possibilities surely may be considered in biblical interpretation, but only after certainties have been established.  To posit possibilities above what is more concrete and obvious, leads to interpretive error.  


Here are the certainties about this passage that I see:


1) The author of 1 Samuel writes as if Samuel were really himself.  So not only do the characters of the story seem convinced that Samuel is really himself ... the very author does to!  There is no textual evidence that he (the writer) doubts the reality of who Samuel is.  Consider the following verses, which never state things like "the spirit who pretended to be Saul said" ... or "that which was percieved as Saul".  Not only do these verses not say such things, they don't even hint at a ventriloquist act:


"When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul 'Why have you decieved me?  You are Saul!"  (1 Samuel 28:12)


"... Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated his face to the ground." (28:14)


"Samuel said to Saul, 'Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?' (28:15)


"Samuel said, 'Why do you consult me now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy?" (28:16)


"Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel's words" (28:20)



2) Samuel is true to his manner of dress, his character, and his vocation.


- Samuel's dress /garb:  "'What does he look like?' he asked.  'An old man wearing a robe is coming up' she said (1 Samuel 28:14)


- Samuel's knowledge of Saul's history:  "Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy?"  (28:16)


- Samuel's speech on behalf of the LORD, as a prophet:  "The LORD has done what he pridicted through me.  The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors- to David.  Becuase you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today.  The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tommorow you and your sons will be with me.  The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines."  (28:17-19)

  
3)  Everything Samuel said came true:  

"When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard of what the Philistines had done to Saul, all their valiant men journeyed through the night to Beth Shan.  They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them ..."(1 Samuel 31:12-13)


----------

So to summarize, despite the difficulties that Samuel actually being summoned from dead would cause, this is the most natural rendering of the text.  And it seems to me that you run into far more difficulties interpreting the spirit of Samuel as an imposter or a vision.


Those difficulties would be:

1)  The biblical author of 1 Samuel would have to be either deceived by this spirit himself, or a deceiver of those he wrote to.  Either of which throws enormous problems up against the doctrine of divinely inspired scripture.  Would God allow such a misguided deception exist in the author?!  Or, worse, would he allow such a deception to exist in his written word, to whoever may read?  Because the text clearly reads (with not even a hint otherwise) as if the spirit spoken of were actually Samuel himself, both with the Characters and narrator himself.  


2)  A demon, or imposter spirit, would be giving the utterance the LORD's word, and direct accurate prophecy, rebuking unrighteousness, and even exalting David (a type of Christ) in his speech to Saul.


3)  The most obvious reading/ understanding would have to be rejected, for a much more elaborate, contrived, interpretation ... the kinds of interpretation that come often from a strong desire to salvage some other point of belief.  I'm not saying this is done with bad motives, or even consciously.  (I'm sure I've done it too).  But the principle of Occam's razor, actually applies to scriptural interpretation too.  


I don't have time to get into the other passage about the mount of transfiguration yet ... but soon maybe.


Thanks,

Stephen.

Stephanos
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139 posted 06-10-2005 12:45 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Arnold, I forgot to answer a couple of your other points...

quote:
Second: only she could see the spirit, who supposedly was Samuel. If this was a temporary raising of Samuel, why couldn't Saul see him?


I don't think this was a resuscitation / resurrection account.  If Samuel was a spirit, the best I can answer is that the laws of nature are not the same for post-mortem spirits, as for embodied spirits.  Saul, not being a spiritually sensitive man, but a carnal one, perhaps wasn't able to see Samuel, for the same reasons he wasn't able to "see" things his way while he lived.  Perhaps God didn't want him to see him.  But he did hear him.  Notice that the witch did not tell Saul what Samuel said ... "Samuel said to Saul, 'Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?'"  Samuel spoke himself.  

So your question, though interesting, doesn't raise any objection to Samuel being the real spirit of Samuel, any more than it would raise an objection to a demon masquerading as the spirit of Samuel.  Because, I could just as easily ask, "If a demon appeared, why couldn't Saul see him"?  That is irrelevant to the question at hand.


quote:
Third: If this was Samuel come from the grave, he would have had grave clothes on rather than  being covered with a mantle.


As I said before, I don't think this was the bodily return of Samuel from the grave.  I think it was the spiritual / soulish appearance of Samuel from Sheol.  That makes the clothing question irrelevant, other than the fact that the clothes were true to Samuel's usual manner of dress, identifying him to the land of the living.


quote:
Another thought: it couldn't have been the spirit of Samuel, for, we are told in Eccl. 12:7 speaking of death, "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."


That's like saying "What goes up must come down", has to mean that a 747 can't fly to the north pole.     

In studying Ecclesiastes you should know that Solomon's writings are anything but detailed dogma.  They are musings of man pondering the the nature of human life, the universe, and the God who made them.  Ultimately the spirit does return to God.  But that doesn't change the fact that the Jews had the doctrine of Sheol ... a place for the dead, prior to the revelation of "Heaven" as we know it in the New Testament.  


Stephen.
  
Arnold M
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140 posted 06-14-2005 12:37 AM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Stephen, certainly Solomon wrote concerning his observances of many things, and I believe his writings are inspired, not that the events were necessarily true and right. We know wisdom was given to Solomon from God, and "it remained with him" as we read in Eccl. 2:9.  

At least two other accounts verify that the spirit returns to God: Luke 23:46 "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."  And
Acts 7:59 "While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." AV

And I am convinced that the truth about the soul of man is to be learned from the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the Greek.  A study of all the occurences of "soul" using a concordance in their contexts is long and tedious, but worth it.  A good definition, to me, is from Death, Resurrection,  Immortality, by Joseph E. Kirk, p.79, "Soul is the consciousness, the feelings, the desires, produced by the breath of life vitalizing the body.  It will be seen that the Scriptures relate knowledge, memory, thought, love, joy, delight, bitterness, dis-tress, impatience, mourning, sorrow, grief,. abhorrence and hatred to the soul."

Many times the soul is said to die or be dead.  See: Lev. 21:1; Num.23:10; Judges 16:30; Psa. 22:30, 116:8, etc.  This means the person dies because man is a living soul.

Well, enough for now.  Arnold
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141 posted 06-14-2005 10:45 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Arnold:
quote:
Stephen, certainly Solomon wrote concerning his observances of many things, and I believe his writings are inspired



By what I said, I certainly didn't mean to suggest to you that I consider Ecclesiastes uninspired.  But I think different parts of scripture have different purposes altogether.  Some as historical narrative, some as doctrinal treatise, some as personal expression.  Ecclesiastes (along with Job) seems to be the Philsopher's text of the Old Testament, concerned with the observations of the natural man (albeit a pious man) concering the many issues of human life and God.  It is poetic rather than prosaic, artistic rather than strictly informational, and streams along like the flow of a man's mind who is in deep thought.  It just doesn't abound with dogma, as much as with observation and generalizations.  That doesn't make it's contributions less, just different.


quote:
At least two other accounts verify that the spirit returns to God: Luke 23:46 "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."  And Acts 7:59 "While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."



Again, in context, Jesus uttered that statement as an expression of personal faith and commitment.  The infant Moses was surely "committed" to God by being put in a basket, to be put in the Nile river by Jochebed (his mother).  But my saying so, speaks nothing of the chronology of the journey of Moses.  


There is also a scripture (2 Peter 3:18-20) which says that, through the Spirit, Christ "went and preached to the spirits in prison, who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah ..."  Now, I don't pretend to understand that scripture completely.  Nor do I pretend that it is not without problems no matter which interpretive stance one takes.  But it nonetheless seems to suggest a spiritual visitation by Christ after his death, to the spirit-world of men.  And if that is the case, then Jesus' committing of his spirit to God, would be only a statement of personal devotion and trust, rather than a mere description of his next location or destination.  (like the next town on a map)  But there is also the idea that Christ, by his death and ressurrection "led captivity captive", and literally changed things, making Sheol obsolete.  Thus Paul considers being away from the body, "at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).


But if you're going to argue for our immediate presence with God after death, you are still confirming what I'm trying to show.  Because wouldn't that also require a spiritual existence of man, apart from the body?  Whether or not one's spirit goes to Sheol (a waiting place of sorts) or directly into the presence of God, is irrelevant to our question.  Either way, a man's spirit apart from his body, must exist.  So I'm really not here to argue whether Sheol or Heaven is the next stop on the tour.  But I am here to suggest that annihilation upon death makes either of these views nonsensical.  


If you believe that we cease to exist upon physical death, then what do you mean when you say "the spirit returns to God"?


Also, I'd really like to hear your response to what I said about the post-mortem Samuel, conjured by the witch of Endor.  Do you find what I said compelling, or do you really believe that it wasn't Samuel?


Enjoying the discussion.


Stephen.  
Arnold M
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142 posted 06-17-2005 02:29 AM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Stephen:

Discussing each point one at a time:

What you said about the poetic books is well expressed.  Yet, it is my observation that what is said about the constitution of man, anywhere in the bible, say, in Deuteronomy, will not conflict with what is written in the N.T.  It may flow from Solomon's mind as he is cogjutating about his observations of life, but I believe the Spirit of God moves him to write what is correct.

My study of "spirit" has led me to see that our spirit is the living force in us, and is being formed with every breath we take.

For instance:  Gen7:22, "All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life...."  And others.

Zech.12:1, "Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the human spirit within.."

I do not believe that the spirit of man is a separate entity that can "go to God in heaven", but as his life force, which is a gift of God through the very air we breathe,
it returns to God who gave it.

A literal translation of 1 Pet.3:18-20 must be used to clarify this misunderstood passage.  Using the CLNT, "..Seeing that Christ also, for our sakes, once died concerning sins, the just for the sake of the unjust, that He may be leading us to God; being put to death, indeed, in flesh, yet vivified in spirit, in which, being gone to the spirits in jail also, He heralds to those once stubborn, when the patience of God awaited in the days of Noah.."

Notice, Christ was put to death in flesh, then He was vivified, made alive to never die again, in spirit, because He was resurrected by God's spirit.  Then in spirit He hearalded, in His resurrected body, to the spirits in prison.  Man is never called a spirit.  These were the fallen angels who left their proper dwelling, spoken of in Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4, and were, I believe, the "sons of God" who married the daughters of the Adam during the days of Noah.

Must go now.  Arnold

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143 posted 06-18-2005 05:40 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Hi, I failed to look up the proper spelling, at first.  It is "cogitate" not "cogjutate".
Stephen:
Again, concerning the account of Saul talking to Samuel, many times in scripture, the key to the subject of the context is in the opening verses.  In this case it is clear, the witch has a familiar spirit who she can bring up.  When the spirit came up she screamed in fear, not, because she thought it was the true Samuel, but because the spirit must have told her, the disguised person was King Saul, who had condemned all witches.

It is true, the spirit was called "Samuel" by the writer, because, it seems to me, that's who Saul thought it was.

Let's look at it as if it was Samuel, resurrected, temporarily?  He would have to have a body that could be seen (by the witch), and heard by both the witch and Saul.
But, if he was resurrected, did he die again?
If not, where is he?

He can't be in heaven.  John 3:13 says, "And no one has ascended into heaven except He who descends out of heaven, the Son of Mankind who is in heaven." CLNT. This was written by John after Christ's ascension.
And in Acts 2:34, Peter declares that "David did not ascend into the heavens..", pointing out David's tomb was among them. So, did Samuel die again and go back to the grave?

I'll pick up this interesting discussion later.  Arnold
Mike Kolb
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since 07-11-2005
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144 posted 07-11-2005 03:43 PM       View Profile for Mike Kolb   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for Mike Kolb

Denise,
Your original question was about universalism.  I am a Christian Universalist and have a few web sites for you to check out if interested.
There you can see many of the debates about Scripture, how it is interpreted in a universalist light etc.
The first one has a pretty good forum.
Thanks,
M
www.gospelfortoday.org www.tentmaker.org www.gospelogic.com
Denise
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145 posted 07-11-2005 10:28 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Thank you, Mike. I'm aware of the first two, which I have always found to be a great blessing, and the third seems that it will be as well!
Stephanos
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146 posted 07-12-2005 11:46 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Arnold:
quote:
In this case it is clear, the witch has a familiar spirit who she can bring up.



Arnold if you study out the history surrounding the term "familiar spirit", you will understand that such an "oracle" was a spirit by which one could contact other spirits, or obtain occult information.  It doesn't necessarily mean that the familar spirit is what is conjured.  In the context of this passage in 1 Samuel, it should be obvious that the person referred to as "Samuel" by both writer and characters, is not the familar spirit.  You can only come to such a conclusion by changing the context, and running yourself into a myriad of greater interpretive difficulties.


quote:
t is true, the spirit was called "Samuel" by the writer, because, it seems to me, that's who Saul thought it was.



Why would a divinely inspired writer call him "Samuel" just because Saul thought it was Samuel?  If you are going to believe this, then you must be prepared to believe that the writer was also deceived like Saul ... and (here's what should really give you pause) that YOU a 21st century reader have more insight into the situation than the Biblical  writer himself.  Or you could believe (but this one is even worse) that the Biblical writer knew it wasn't Samuel, but wrote as if he were, with intent to deceive his readers.


Then what about the perfectly dressed "Familiar Spirit" giving a prophecy from God that came true, along with a Messianic prophecy?  Doesn't that give you pause?


If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck... it's probably a duck.        
  

quote:
Let's look at it as if it was Samuel, resurrected, temporarily?



Why should we look at it that way?  I never suggested that it was a ressurrection (the text doesn't support that) ... but a supernatural appearance of Samuel's spirit.


quote:
He would have to have a body that could be seen (by the witch), and heard by both the witch and Saul.



Did God have to have a body in order for Moses to hear him from a burning bush?   It is your assumption that spirits can never appear apart from their bodies ... but that assertion is what you are trying to prove, not the proof itself.


quote:
He can't be in heaven.  John 3:13 says, "And no one has ascended into heaven except He who descends out of heaven, the Son of Mankind who is in heaven." CLNT. This was written by John after Christ's ascension.



Do you know about the Jewish belief in Sheol, both for the righteous and wicked?  Remember Jesus' parable about Lazarus and the rich man?  Yes, of course it was a parable, but one which pointed to reality, and one which the Jews could understand as confirming their developing belief in a post-mortem existence.   No, Sheol is not Heaven, remember the text says that Samuel came "up".


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (07-14-2005 01:38 AM).]

Arnold M
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147 posted 07-15-2005 03:10 AM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Hi Stephen.  It is true that Saul called the "spirit" Samuel, without seeing him.  Samuel talked direct to Saul and knew his past and that the Lord had forsaken him.  He also predicted that Israel and Saul would be taken by the Philistines.  And that Saul and his sons would join him (Samuel).  He must be speaking of the grave (sheol), for as we read further, Saul and his sons were killed.

I have never studied extensively about mediums, spiritists, those with familiar spirits, etc, and I have always thought they could only bring up a familiar spirit, though calling it the spirit of a dead person.

In this account, I now am of the opinion that God was behind it all. It was a special
appearance of a spirit like unto Samuel, who could know Saul and predict his and Israels downfall.

I know that spirit beings don't necessarily have bodies that we can see.  As for the burning bush, of course Moses heard God from within the bush, and didn't see a body.

Sheol, is, of course, the grave, the abode of the dead, righteous or unrighteousness.


Getting late.  More tomorrow.  Arnold
Arnold M
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since 09-05-2004
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148 posted 07-15-2005 07:34 PM       View Profile for Arnold M   Email Arnold M   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Arnold M

Hi Stephen: To continue:

I have heard that the Jewish leaders had developed a view that sheol was a divided compartment where both the righteous and unrighteous went upon death, but still had bodies that could see, feel, hear, etc, and that there even was water there, according to the rich man who was in torment (Luke 16).
Based upon certain commentaries, particularly the Companion Bible by Bullinger, It is my belief that these were false teachings brought over from the seventy years in Babylon.
The Pharisees, to whom Jesus addressed this account, by their tradition had made void the law as to divorce (verse 18) and second,
made void the prophets and the rest of the Scriptures, as to the dead (19-30).
  Verse 19 "commences the second part of the Lord's address to the Pharisees, against their tradition making void God's word as to the dead, which may be seen in Psa. 6:5; 30:9
31:17; 88:11; 115:17; 146:4;...Isa.38:17-19, etc.  It is not a "parable", because it cites a notable example of the Pharisees' tradition, which had been brought from Babylon.  See many other examples in Lightfoot, vol.12, pp.159-68." Comp.Bible, pp.1483.
To me, the account is figurative,not literal, the main point being verse 31, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." AV.
  Certainly, sheol is the grave, or the unseen.  Nothing to do with heaven.
  I'll post this and get back later.  Arnold
JesusChristPose
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since 06-21-2005
Posts 679
Pittsburgh, Pa


149 posted 07-17-2005 02:57 PM       View Profile for JesusChristPose   Email JesusChristPose   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for JesusChristPose

~ It is without a doubt, ArnoldM has a command of biblical matters. His viewpoints and interpretations of the Bible are far and away more logical and much easier to understand than the interpretations provided by others participating in this discussion.

~ Many of his questions went unanswered or when answered, were answered with opinion without biblical support to back those opinions up.

~ If indeed the Christian God is "the" God... There is no doubt in my mind, God is not trying to save the world now... and that the overwhelming majority of the human race will be saved, while the minority incorrigibly wicked will burn up in the lake of fire, forever dead = the 2nd death = Everlasting and eternal punishment not punishING.

Well done, Arnold.

"I have gone away. The bed is cold and empty. Trees bend their boughs toward the earth. And nighttime birds float as black faces."

 
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