Dancing with the Word

Good afternoon all,

I was going to write about the concept of vengeance in the bible, OT & NT, but got distracted by a blog from Heather “Move from this Mountain” and then dropped in on Stephen’s Space where he has taken all my questions in my second post in September 2011 and answered them for me. That’s lovely. 🙂 Thank you. Given the busy-ness of the beginning of January, when he did that, if he told me .. I have forgotten, sorry .. so it was lovely finding it today. I tried to comment on his site, about one or more things he had written, but the comment box won’t work for me .. nor is the link at the bottom of his message active .. it goes to a blank page .. so Stephen, I am hoping you see this .. I wonder what happened, and if you can fix it?

So .. let me answer here:

Question #1: What are God’s books?

Stephen said: Note/Fact: Then God’s books would be God’s word or what God said, when God said it, where God said it, who God said it to, and how God said the word. I am going to show two places in the bible one from the (OT) Old Testament and one from the (NT) New Testament where the bible states that it is ”the word of God“

1 Samuel 9:26-27 (OT) (AKJV)
26And they arose early: and it came to pass about the spring of the day, that Samuel called Saul to the top of the house, saying, Up, that I may send thee away. And Saul arose, and they went out both of them, he and Samuel, abroad.
27And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

Me: I go to my NOAB and look up the translations. This is what I have for 1 Samuel 9:27 “As they were going down to the outskirts of the town, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the boy to go on before us, and when he has passed on, stop here yourself for a while, that I may make known to you the word of God.

Make known .. he didn’t pull out his copy of the book. In the next verse (10:1) Samuel took a vial of oil and poured it on Saul’s head, and kissed him and said “The Lord has anointed you ruler over his people, Israel” and Samuel told Saul of various signs that would prove this to be true. There is no comment about writing it down, and given the time period, it was probably unlikely to have been written down, but joined the oral tradition.

Well, in my opinion, Samuel definitely showed Saul God’s word, or said them anyway .. but this is not the ‘bible’ stating itself to be the Word of God.

***

1 Thessalonians 2:12-14 (actually 2:12-13)

Stephen’s translation: (NT) (AKJV)

12That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. 13For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Note/Fact: There were forty-five exact matches to the phrase ”the word of God” and as stated above it is the word of truth.

Me: NOAB 12 ” .. urging and encouraging you and pleading that you lead a life worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory. 13 We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.”

I am not doubting there are 45 matches to the phrase “the word of God” but which one of them actually mentions a book – or the bible in its entirety, given that the Thessalonians were written a Letter by Paul hundreds of years before the Bible was put together. Add in, as Stephen says, that we now have the Dead Sea Scrolls to ‘add’ to what we know of as the books of God.

Question #2: What about the Torah, or the Quran?

Stephen: If they are the truth then “YES” they are the word of God, but if they are only part truth then “NO”.

Me: Fair enough, I agree. Only .. the Torah is the original five books of the Christian Bible .. I must admit I haven’t done a comparison of the modern Torah with our modern ‘first five books’ of the Bible, but Theologians acknowledge Christianity’s reliance on them for our foundations.

If they are only part true .. and what happens each time we find some mistake in our bible .. and it becomes ‘only part true’ .. do we turn a blind eye and pretend we didn’t find it .. which leads to ‘contradictions in the bible’ but we’ll get back to that later.

Question #3: But why, if their foundations remain the same?

Stephen quoted: Zechariah 12 (OT) (AKJV) Hebrews 1:9-11 (NT) (AKJV)
NOTE/FACT: The Lord laid the foundation of the earth, so I know who laid the foundation of the earth. That is who I believe. The same Lord that laid the foundations of the earth also spoke to Israel ( God’s people.) Their foundations can be considered the same if they are the truth and if they are the word of the Lord God.

Again I agree, but why do you doubt they are? “If” .. see my answer to question 2.

Question #4: Stephen has written a very good answer – which shows we all interpret words differently. The Mystery of God’s books, for me, is why there are so many things that contradict themselves within it, and yet people still consider it the ultimate and only ‘Word of God’.

Stephen said: The exact phrase or question (the mysteries of God) is found only one time in the (AKJV) of the bible, as stated above. The word mysteries was found five times. Based on I Corinthians 4:5 The Lord (God) when he comes will bring to light (make known) the hidden things of darkness, (the mysteries) then we will have praise of God. And according to Matthew 13:11 the answer to the disciples was that it was given to them to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, (God’s Kingdom).

Note/Fact: Then the answer is that God will reveal the mysteries to those who do not know, or to those to whom the mysteries have not been revealed when the Lord comes. The hidden things of darkness and the counsels of the hearts will also be made manifest (known),and then every man will have praise of God.

Lovely! Thank you Stephen.

Question #5: Who actually wrote them? Why people continue to think God wrote them when we have proof that people did?

Stephen said:
Genesis 1:3 God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

Me: It’s a great pity he didn’t invent pen and ink, or carving in stone, at that time. Given He is God, we could have had computers. 🙂

Stephen: The author (Moses) that wrote Genesis is the person that wrote this down, and I can not find any place where God wrote this book or any book in the bible. This does not change the truth that the words recorded here were spoken by God. Men chosen by God were the means by which we receive the word from God.

Me: This is one of the reasons why I like you. 🙂 You can admit there’s a problem. I’ll add to it. We don’t know that Moses existed, because there are no records of him at all, while we have other records of the time period he lived in. If he did exist, and led the Israelites out of Egypt, and Pharaoh, who chased them, died in the sea .. why do we have his mummy in the British(??) museum? He should have been washed far away by the return of the sea. Perhaps the sea gave him back?

Stephen: Note/Fact: The exact quote = ”Let there be light” God said this and it is the part considered the Word of God. God did not write this down, but the fact that the light that still exists today is evidence that there is light. This action is proof that a miracle took place, or an action that no man can duplicate.

Can man duplicate making Light? The first spark .. I agree, I also believe that only God did that. Now we have electricity and splitting the atom.

Question #6: What are the contradictions within them?

Stephen: This is very controversial, so you can say that it has contradictions and therefore you can’t believe that it is the word of God or you can declare that it is the word of truth from God and believe all that it contains about God and what God said. ( AKJV ) The other versions and other religions contradict or omits parts of this version of the bible. I find this version the most accurate translation available.

Me: Start with this – http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/contra/by_book.html I know its a site by skeptics but its not the only one, and they don’t just have a go at Christianity.

To me, because God is perfect, if this book was written by God, without the interference of humanity, it would have no contradictions. There would be no confusion. We would not need to edit, nor re-translate (just look at the difference between the various bibles available today, and your belief in your bible as the best translation, and mine being so different .. bought by me at Theology College as the best translation available to date), nor argue over bits and pieces of it, and have people invent things and adapt it .. which has been proved over the centuries. It seems to me that a person who declares their particular version of the bible as perfect, which I am sure mine isn’t, is covering their eyes with their hands and refusing to accept what has been proved to be fact. A book that contradicts your bible, or omits parts, might be because what was translated in yours was wrong to start with.

Question #7: What are the messages?

Stephen: The bible is a spiritual message to God’s people, a message from God, and the message is a message of Salvation, Comfort, Spiritual Guidance, Protection, Courage, Peace, Spiritual Strength, Warning, and Forgiveness.
Psalms 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Me: You list all the uplifting parts of the bible. How about people going to hell for one transgression, whether they try to be good Christians or not; Saul being tormented by an angel sent by ‘God’; Moses being banned from the promise land because he didn’t do exactly what he was told .. I can list much more. God help all of us – how many of us do exactly what the bible tells us to do .. have you taken your son up a mountain to sacrifice him to Jehovah yet? What would you do if God demanded it of you today? What would your son do? And what about the treatment God allowed of Job and his family? There’s one that’s hard to explain. But I’ve written about that just recently on my blog.

Question #8: Is Revelation a reality, or a well constructed slap at Nero for his treatment of the Christians during the persecutions?

Stephen: Note/Fact: Revelation is without a doubt a reality: Chapter #1 verse #1 God gave the Revelation of Jesus Christ to show his servants the things that must come to pass, and he also sent the Revelation by his angel to his servant John.

Me: I guess we’ll find out at end times, in the meantime .. 666 is the Gematric number (the sum total of the numbers of the letters of its name) for Nero, not the devil. The devil’s number is 616. Since the bible lists the devil as 666 .. there’s been a error somewhere.

Question #9: When did Christianity step outside the Jewish Laws, including diet and the Ten Commandments?

Stephen quoted from Romans, 1 Corinthians, and Galatians .. but left it to question 10 before partly quoting the words I would use to answer this question. He was quoting Paul, not Jesus. Given a choice of whose words to follow, which person will ‘save’ us?

Stephen said: Note/Fact: The Christian is not under the law, but under grace. The Christian should not sin, because they are not under the law. The Jewish law was to make a sacrifice for sin, but the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for all sin has been made. The Christian should keep the commandments of God.

I agree about most of the commandments … I’ve also blogged about that. Paul made it easy for the Christians, slipping them out of the laws, by only keeping the bits that suited him. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:17-19 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great int he kingdom of heaven”.

In question 10 even you agree that heaven and earth have not passed away yet. Was Jesus lying, or did Paul simply change the rules for himself?

Question #10: Has heaven and earth passed away, and what does it mean for Revelation?

Stephen: The answer to question ten is NO and there is no effect on Revelation.
Note/Fact: Only God (he that sat upon the throne) can make all things new. Heaven and earth shall pass away, and Satan is cast into the lake of fire, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth, but God’s word shall not pass away.

I agree the old will be replaced by the new, sometime in the future. I have research this question again because I have forgotten what it is about?

Question # 11 What is the war in heaven, and is it real?

After quoting various bits of Revelation Stephen said:

Note/Fact: The war in heaven was to cast Satan and his angels out, and the events are as real as the word of God. As above the word is true and faithful.

Me: .. so below “.. we wish it was”. Blind faith will not help us at the ‘accounting’. “I did what you said” will not save us when what we did turns out to be another man’s reinterpretation of the “Word”. Just look at situations like Waco.

The war in heaven is continuous, and manifests among the people (as above, so below), through real wars and personal battles within ourselves, with our families and friends, with entities we cannot see or touch, but they can touch us, and those who are criminally insane. We should stand steadfast within the faith of God, but not with blinkers on. If following the bible to the letter is the only way into heaven, we are all damned.

More questions? Oh yes .. I have questions. I have lots of questions. LOL

Thank you Stephen. I am sorry if I have not seemed kind, but I do appreciate very much that you took the time to answer my questions.

Love & Peace
Ama

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2 thoughts on “Dancing with the Word

  1. Hello: Ama

    I do not remember if I mentioned about the questions, but I did enjoy your response to the same questions, and that we agree on some important parts. I have been occupied with a challange form an atheist, agnostic,about “Does God Exist ” or a challange to prove that God does exist, with some provisions. My first response to the challenge was by my (Faith, and Hope) I am conveinced that there is a God posted on Stephen’s Space. I have a time frame of March 12th, and just finished with my final response to that subject, and thought you might like to read and see some questions and answers that I included in that response (God is), also posted today on Stephen’s Space. My challenger also writes on WordPress, plus other sites under the name (I over E). Below is a copy of the final response.

    Thanks for the questions and God bless you: Stephen

    Hello: I over E
    This article is not entirely an answer to your challenge, but is something that I have been working on for a long time. I just thought that it seemed to fit the purpose and time. You did inspire me to finish this and post it on my WordPress blog. The original title was “God and Me ” and at first was a hand written piece of about twenty pages. I have condensed it some and today I finished and published and sent you a copy. I know that it will not meet all the provisions that you have requested, but for me it answers some important questions. I do have some reservations about your provisions, and decided just to continue writing what I believe to be the truth for me. I have not and will never try to tell or convience someone that they are wrong, because I believe that is a personal decision that everyone must make to the best of their ablilty. No one presuaded me to make my decision, and if I am wrong it will not make one ounce of diffenence to me or anyone else, but if I am right it will make all the diffenence not only in this world, but in the world to come.

    GOD IS

    The first and most important truth of the universe, also the last word of truth in judgement for everyone, young, old, rich, poor, good, and bad of every kindred, and tongue. No one can escape the truth, even the life we live will reveal all of our characteristics. In the final day, the day of judgement, all of our deeds, and works, good and bad will be revealed, and we will be judged accordingly. Here in this present world in this system when mistakes are make, those mistakes are judged one time for all the mistakes or just for the most severe one, and with some leniency. In the last day the day of judgement we will be judged by God the righteous judge for all of our deeds. The fact that some people do not believe or do not agree does not change the truth that God exist and will be the final judge of the world. Judgement in this world by this worlds system is not final, and will not send anyone to hell. This is the best news anyone could expect from the creator to have the last word in the judgement of his creation.

    “God knows,” may not be the most famous quote, but it is true, and one that is worth mentioning, and remembering, and it could very well be of great help. When life is most difficult, and when problems arise that seem almost impossible to deal with, and we need help, remember “God knows” the answers. Know this God is a Spirit, not spirit with a little letter, but spirit with a capital letter “S”. Big difference between what man knows and what “God knows,” because God is a Spirit, the “Spirit,” and God is the spirit of all flesh. The spirit of everything that lives, breathes, and moves, and also the Spirit giveth life. When life is difficult and hard to understand, know this God is greater than man and rightly so and to the contrary man thinks that he is superior unto his own failure. Another true statement that can be discovered by reading and studying God’s Holy Word is that “Without God there is nothing.” My prayer will be for you that God by the Holy Ghost will continue to reach people around the world and also to teach and comfort us together until we meet in heaven.

    God has a name, and is known by his actions and characteristics, all of which can be discovered by reading and studying the bible (AKJV) . Many questions can be asked about God and his existence, and here are some that I consider most important, ( who, what, when, where, and how.) Let me deal with these questions and then with the name of God. The first important decision, discovery, and observation, of this life would be ( who God is.) This decision should not be made with only one fact or one statement by any one person or group, but by all the evidence which exist. To narrow that enormous field down just a little consider this, nothing but the truth can be used as evidence, so any possibility and or theory does not disprove the existence, presence, or reality of God. Then I can say that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is the evidence necessary to explain who God is. Provided I know the actions, and the characteristics of God will this reveal to me who God is, or do I have to see to believe. I can see all the actions that have taken place here on earth and in the heaven above that no man ever preformed or ever can accomplish. These actions that can be seen are part of the evidence, and because I see this evidence I know based on the fact that I am a witness to this action and the truth that no man can accomplish these same spectacular events, then I can make my decision by this truth. Here I want to use one of those spectacular event of the many that no man can perform or that man did not start, can not stop, or control as proof. The Action = The earth is turning one rotation per day, and at the same time makes one orbit around the sun in one year. This is something that I can see and believe so I know that it is true, and this is the evidence that an amazing and spectacular event took place at some point so that one day it would be possible for me to be here on earth and to be a witness of the mighty actions of God. The entire creation is the mighty, amazing, and spectacular, action of God, that can not be changed, stopped, or duplicated. There is or seems to be a perfect balance, alignment, or exactness especially the planet and to the universe. Give God the credit not a name for this action by which everything exist, from the smallest microscopic, almost invisible particle to the greatest, and to the greatness, and magnitude of the entire universe. The action of God set everything in motion, for me to see, and live, and breathe, move.

    Characteristics are recognized by the actions, and by personal experience, and they can also account for some of the names used in reference to God. Look for the actions which are not caused or changed by man and with the wisdom and knowledge to see the truth and it is possible to agree the most powerful and intelligent force that exist was responsible for what I see, feel, smell, taste, and hear.

    Now take a look at some characteristics of God, POWERFUL, TRUTHFUL, MERCIFUL, FAITHFUL, JUST, AND RELIABLE, just to name a few. These actions and characteristics along with some bible study tell me that God’s name should reflect and emphasize all of these. The name used in the bible that I like best and shows me the name of God can be found five times in Revelation (only) 4:8; 11:17; 15:3; 16:7; & 21:22. God’s full name: Lord God Almighty/ Lord out of respect, God the Deity he is, and Almighty for the supreme, self-existent, eternal Spirit that he is.

    The answer to what God is can be understood by one verse from the bible: This exact quote “God is a Spirit” is found only one time in the bible (AKJV). John 4:24 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    All the knowledge and wisdom obtained and recorded reveals that man cannot duplicate any of these actions, so man does not have the same characteristics as God the creator. No name by any reference, derived from any action or characteristic, having these qualities as deity, supreme God, and self-existent can be compared to man. The actions of God are those that are unmistakably the proven ability that God is superior to man. The characteristics show me the true nature of God, and reveal the importance and necessity of God in my life. God is that certain quality that makes me complete. I am an example and a witness to this very unique transformation. I discovered that it is not just knowing about God , but to really know God personally and that God exist, and God is real, and God improves and completes the person that I should be. That is what God is to me.

    The next question is when was God? God is now! For me God is now, so the answer to when is now. People of our earliest civilization began to keep records, and later our laws contain biblical parallels. As knowledge and civilization spread so did religious beliefs, some for good and some not so good, so it is true to say that the desire for God is as real to me as it was many years ago. The knowledge of God is recorded and passed from generation to generation, but the desire to know God and worship God comes from within a person. That certain desire and connection to God that has remained consistent over the years.

    Where is God? God by his Spirit that dwells within me is my assurance that is where God is. My decision to accept that God exist and that his Spirit is a part of me just like those other characteristics that I accept is the truth, and evidence of the change and desire that is within me. I could reject this truth, but that does not change the truth about the existence of God. Every individual confronted with this knowledge has to decide on and deal with the facts and make a personal decision of where God is, or does God exist. God is my Lord, and God is the best part of me.

    The next and final part is how, and this question comes to me, How did all the things which I am a witness to or that I can see take place. I must believe, and have faith that the evidence all around me, and the truth this far, and without seeing God that all things not man-made come from God, and the material for the man-made things come from God. The ingredients for how this all took place or was created is, motion, light, life, and all the necessary elements for that life to exist. Man in all his wisdom and knowledge is just a man and does not compare to the wisdom and knowledge of God. Man does not create, man can only invent or duplicate things. Without God there is no me, and what else would exist, no time, no action, no movement, no life, no heaven, no earth, no man, no God, nothing. Lord God Almighty or just some super natural being by any name that could be imagined, much greater and wiser than man was responsible for how.

    God is / For me I will continue to pray God bless you: Stephen

    • Hello Stephen .. once again I have questions, not so much about God, but about what you wrote about it. I tried to write my reply on your website, but, as usual, the system will not allow me to? I have no idea why that happens.

      To start with, this a really great answer. It really shows where are coming from. I love the Light side of God too. I believe he loves us unconditionally. All question arise from that. I enjoy the way you write, the intensity and surety of it, given that I do the same. I think God is big enough to emcompass both our belief systems! Most particularly I love what you wrote: “God is that certain quality that makes me complete.” I absolutely agree, its the same with me, and has been my whole life.

      To the questions –

      Judgement .. how does judgment work in with loving us all truly, deeply and wholeheartedly. In the OT God’s love is conditional on people behaving the way he wants them to, including murder in his name. That makes it ok? Then why do we have ‘thou shall not commit murder’ as a commandment. I wonder if Moses left off the ‘except if I say so’ part?

      If God is ‘a’ spirit and not the only Spirit .. who are the rest of them, not including us, of course .. because, as you said, we are all one Spirit ‘with’ God, or ‘of’ God? My NOAB lists John 4:24 as “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth”. God is written with a capital but spirit isn’t, and it doesn’t say ‘a’ spirit. The same as it leaves out the ‘the’ in ‘Lord God the Almighty’ in Revelation 11:17which agrees with my Interlinear Bible, but perhaps not with what you have written in your bible?

      I agree that the whole of truth is necessary to explain God, but what happens when your truth and my truth don’t agree? Look at the sky. On your side of the world the sky is blue, on mine it’s black – are you imagining things, or am I? I’m assuming you will read this in your daytime, when I am sleeping. In my truth God loves unconditionally and we should learn to love each other the same, in yours we all struggle to obey commandments we can’t always get right, fearing God’s judgment upon us, knowing we will go to hell for even the smallest transgression. It’s written in the bible. And it is fear people live in, until they turn away from God. I was taught to fear God as a child, but I never could. I don’t remember a God to be feared, unless there’s two of them? I have visions. Mine have always been of a God, or JC, who loves us profoundly.

      The characteristics of God: you named powerful, truthful, merciful, faithful, just, reliable .. I have two questions, or more .. explain Job, what happened to him and why? Don’t quote me how the book tells us great things about God, and the other answer minister’s usually give me “The Lord works in mysterious ways, my dear” .. there’s nothing mysterious about what God did .. but I’ve blogged about that before. Job shows us a God who is a monster who will harm others regardless of how faithful, or faith-filled they are. It turns people away from God. I know that for a fact, because people tell me.

      Explain why God didn’t stay the hand of Jephthah before he murdered his daugther, because of a promise made to God? Wasn’t she good enough to be saved as Issac had been? Where is the justice in that – the two month holiday she had to regret her virginity, and the rest of her life that was stripped away from her? If we must list God’s virtues let’s also list his vices. He does not appear to value human life.

      I also believe that God resides within us, and leads us, whether we believe in him or not. I have annoyed people with this belief .. its not something I can prove, so its not a ‘fact’ .. it is just what it IS to me.

      Then you got onto the puzzle of Man not being able to create, only to invent and duplicate. Well, I agree that God created the molecules we turn into everything, but unless God is standing in front of us guiding our hands, twenty four hours a day, many man and women invent many great .. and awful .. things. God gave us minds with which to create things, to know them and to understand them, and to question everything .. its part of our capacity to learn.

      You and I look around us with eyes filled with faith, and we see the world differently from those who do not believe, but we also see the world differently from each other, although we have faith in the same God. Could it be that he gave us these minds to be able to question, rather than just accept blindly? If we do nothing but accept blindly, everything that is written .. then the book that Man created, because God didn’t blink it into ‘being’, we know it was gathered, sorted, some selected, some abandoned as not suitable .. and we know it has been changed over time .. we have proof of that .. this book .. is an empty vessel, a book of mythology and legend, just waiting to be proved. We can prove now that Jesus existed, but we cannot prove that he was who the bible says he was .. for that we need faith.

      I love your questions ‘who, what, when, where, how’. God is ‘who’ we believe s/he is, all the different beliefs, because it IS everything, and is IN everything. S/he is ‘all things’ (that’s the what). When .. is infinite, in the beginning, before the beginning, and will still be here when we are all gone, returned to our creator. Where .. inside me, inside you, inside the muslims and the hindus and the animists and the athiests. 🙂 And so many other people, places, and beings. How .. because s/he chose to be? And gave us that choice too. Thank you God!

      Love & Peace
      Ama

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