Jake asked Question: How did those inspired by God to record the Bible know that the Words were truly from God and not of themselves?
Jake, I think the answer is that sometimes they didn't and often when they did they didn't understand the full significance of what they said and wrote. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
It was the common witness of the saints, not that of individuals, which was the guarantee. You may have noticed statements such as 'we have the mind of Christ'. This is we, not I; the mind of Christ is revealed in the saints not in a saint. Similarly 'the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you' is a reference to the community rather than an individual; this is 'ye' plural, have received 'an anointing' singular. This is one anointing shared by the saints, not an anointing enjoyed by an individual saint.
These are important distinctions, and I have looked for them in Barclay, but not found that he specifically recognises of this feature.
We should also note that John's comment above from 1 John is referring not to mankind in general but to those who have been born of God.
| 2004/2/17 9:19||Profile|
| Re: peaceful kingdom or sword|
Every time I finally think I've tidied an issue up into a nice, neat resolution, it unravels. God is so cool.
Ok, I've ruminated on this and found two possible solutions, and no opinion in myself as to the truth or falsehood of either.
1. Jesus' teaching brought peace to many, and inflamed many others. Pharisees thought they finally had figured out how to earn salvation, and were very depressed and angered, when after going to all the trouble to tithe even to a tenth of their kitchen seasonings, some guy came and told them that, not only were their donations completely worthless, but also that it was impossible to earn salvation. Tax collectors, which are analogous to today's mafia, felt that their deeds of extortion and larceny rendered their salvation impossible, that they had done too many bad deeds to ever see Paradise. Jesus came and told them that anyone could have eternal life [i]for free[/i], and that it didn't matter how bad you had been, it only mattered if you wanted to be good, and wanted it enough to work towards it.*
So we could say that this is one of those paradoxes meant to throw off those who studied the prophecies from the correct interpretation before the proper time to make it known. Jesus came to bring both peace and war-- certainly we still have both peace and war in different parts of the world today. Australia is peaceful, and Africa is warring, just as an example.
2. Just because Jesus ascended to heaven, doesn't mean that He isn't still descended from Jesse. First, my first explanation will need revision: particularly, reversing when war will come and when peace will come, for we still see war today, and we will see no more war during the Millenial Reign of Christ or indeed anytime after that. The first verse refers to the Second Advent, the second verse refers to the First.
I am not guaranteeing that these conclusions are error-free, and I probably should have stated the same in my last posting. I also hope I have explained my ideas clearly enough for everyone else to understand them, I have a bad habit of being unconsciously ambiguous at times.
*here I am trying to present the most neutral stance of Faith v. Works, as that is not the issue here.
| 2004/2/17 16:09||Profile|
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORDS house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
God teaches, we learn war no more.
I find this passage very interesting because it doesn't include eternal damnation. People give up their idols and evil ways because God teaches them His ways. They are "rebuked" but not condemned.
But it also says Many people, not all, go up on the mountain, indicating that sinners need to seek God.
Lastly, the passage offers hope that humankind can follow God into a peaceful future.
| 2004/2/18 10:37|
you write I find this passage very interesting because it doesn't include eternal damnation. People give up their idols and evil ways because God teaches them His ways. They are "rebuked" but not condemned.
still on the pick and mix counter I see.
| 2004/2/18 12:09||Profile|
Peaceful future.....I don't think so!
21"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you."
30Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.""'
41The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
45 "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. 48But if that evil servant says in his heart, "My master is delaying his coming,'  49and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, 50the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, 51and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
That's just a quick perusing of a few chapters of Matthew. I'm really starting to wonder about your claim to having read the Bible, Jake. Maybe you read it in the same way I read Hamlet in high school? Passing my eyes over the words didn't lead to much comprehension.
| 2004/2/18 12:51||Profile|
Hey, I didn't say this was a definative passage, just an interesting one. But it does present an scriptural alternative to the hell and damnation point that fundamentalists keep bashing over the heads of others. (By the way, scaring people with threats, otherwise known as coersion, doesn't work.)
How do you reconcile this passage with the rest of the Bible, particularly the passages Nobody presents? Or is it your point that the Bible is inconsistent?!
| 2004/2/18 13:03|
Your way of interpreting is very shaky in places.
What does any of that last bit have to do with the supposed contradiction that is central to this discussion? I'm missing the connection here, and I'm a little confused.
| 2004/2/18 17:08||Profile|
Last night I put my homework down and started in Isaiah 1 and read through 2. It took all of 15 minutes to put the passage you're disputing over into some context. All through Isaiah 1 God talks about how disgusting and worthless Judah has become. He offers them hope that after the wicked are purged from among them that there can be restoration.
24Therefore the Lord says,
The LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel,
"Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries,
And take vengeance on My enemies.
25I will turn My hand against you,
And thoroughly purge away your dross,
And take away all your alloy.
26I will restore your judges as at the first,
And your counselors as at the beginning.
Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city."
It seems obvious to a premillenial classic dispensationalist that what is being said is the following in these two chapters. Much of Israel has resisted God. This continued through the NT time and up to the present. There will come a time when God will purge the wicked from among them and restore Jerusalem as the capital in the millenial reign. The Jews will be given a second chance at the end in the tribulation and many will be saved (thus all the talk of 12,000 from each tribe being sealed, etc).
So to take a prophecy that seems to be about Jerusalem in the millenium and say that it contradicts other passages where Jesus comes to cause division or judge is ridiculous. There is a time for everything. One cannot look at Jesus with the little children and think Him a feminine weakling who could never judge or rule. Nor can one read His words to the Pharisees and think that He was constantly full of anger and judgement. He is a King and therefore He has times of tenderness and times of wrath just like any other king. His enemies will not go unpunished nor will his faithful servants be neglected. He is the perfect King. His justice will blow our minds. We will praise Him as our loved ones are cast into hell because we will see Him in His true holiness and righteousness.
Perspective is another thing to consider. If he came back right now to seperate the sheep from the goats the sheep would see it as a glorious return of their loving saviour while the goats would see it as a sudden act of violence- though they will come to see that it is a just damnation and that they deserve it. Notice that the rich man didn't even try to argue his case from hell to Abraham. He had accepted his judgement and simply tried to save his loved ones who still had a chance. That's an interesting turn for a proud rich man who was constantly concerned about his own success and appearance.
Funny how you missed the part in the first chapter where the enemies were removed (dross implies heat and burning, right?) and then the section in chapter two goes from there. So there is hope for a peaceful future for the faithful after the goats are removed by God.
| 2004/2/19 5:21||Profile|