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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
I agree and that is how I have used this passage. It seems to belong to those who have truly renounced Christ. So it seems that modern application would be in terms of such as have turned to other gods? Would you concur?


Yes, turned away from the true God who they had truly known and away to 'other gods'. I think this is 'unforegiveable sin' territory again. With men refusing to acknowledge what they know to be true and actively fighting against God's revelation to them.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/3 15:37Profile
KeithLaMothe
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Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


 Re:

Bro. Ron, thanks for the insight. Questions:

I gather you don't think Paul wrote Hebrews, and I agree that there are good reasons for that (though I think there is a possibility that it was Paul, and that the Apostle delivered the message orally in a converted synagogue); are you with Origen in simply not being certain who wrote it?

You mention that Hebrews is almost certainly pre-70 because the temple fell then. What do you think of the proposition that the entire N.T. was written pre-70, based on the argument that the fall of the Temple was important enough among Jesus' prophecies that the N.T. writers would most assuredly have mentioned its fulfillment had it occured?

I'm inclined to agree with your and Bro. Robert's general view of the Hebrews passages as referring to rather rare cases of deliberate apostasy (probably on a group level); do you think the situation in Ephesus referred to in Revelation is along these lines? Are there any post-Apostolic situations that you think are appropriate examples? Specifically, any modern ones?

 2005/1/3 16:54Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Keith
I am genuinely enjoying exploring these things with you brothers. Sometimes I don't know what I think until someone asks a question and then various insights rearrange themselves and it sounds, hopefully, very ordered. But in fact I really am exploring here.

Yes, I think it unlikely that Paul wrote Hebrews, simply on the basis of style and a couple of key verses that I can't imagine him writing. I don't know who wrote it. I can see why people might think Apollos, but I think that is a process of elimination. It is one of my favourite passages of scripture.

I think it very likely that all, except John's writings, were pre-AD 70. The Revelation reference to Ephesus puts that church at the height of God's goodness... Apollos, Paul, Timothy, almost certainly John. There can have been few places so wonderfully provided for. But that threat to remove the lampstand is chilling. As regards post-apostolic. The whole of the areas of the gospel's greatest triumphs... Turkey, Palestine, Egypy, North Africa, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Crete... the lamps were removed in all these places and yet the light still shines.

The lamps burn dim now in places where they once blazed, Germany, UK, USA, but are finding fresh oil and are burning brightly in Africa, Asia, China.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/3 18:25Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Bro Ron, Keith,

As it pertains to who wrote Hebrews I have always thought that the flow of the words feel like Luke:

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us... (Luke 1:1)

The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,... (Acts 1:1)

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,... (Hebrews 1:1)


The eloquence seems like Luke's writings to me. But, I can only read English so the translators may have had something to do with that. If there are any Messianic Jews listening, I'm in deep trouble now. ;-)

Quote:
It is one of my favourite passages of scripture.



Mine to!

Quote:
I think it very likely that all, except John's writings, were pre-AD 70. The Revelation reference to Ephesus puts that church at the height of God's goodness... Apollos, Paul, Timothy, almost certainly John. There can have been few places so wonderfully provided for. But that threat to remove the lampstand is chilling. As regards post-apostolic.



I did a study once that really changed my life. I shared the lesson with a class I taught and titled it [url=http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=2977]The Love We Had At First[/url]. It deals with how Ephesus was so blessed on with teaching and influence that would have made them a very loving church. What happened to them?

Quote:
But that threat to remove the lampstand is chilling.



I have always thought this to mean that God would remove that church from it's place in ministry. He would withdraw His anointing. I always felt that without love they were not qualified to minister. But as Bro. Ron puts it, it makes me wonder if they were not qualified to be Christian's either. It is chilling and sobering indeed.


Quote:
I am genuinely enjoying exploring these things with you brothers.



I am enjoying and learning with you all as well. God is good!

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/3 20:48Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Quote:
I have always thought this to mean that God would remove that church from it's place in ministry. He would withdraw His anointing. I always felt that without love they were not qualified to minister. But as Bro. Ron puts it, it makes me wonder if they were not qualified to be Christian's either. It is chilling and sobering indeed.



I wasn't intending to suggest that they were not Christians. But I do think they were being warned that their purpose, light-bearing, was about to be taken from them. I think this is very relevant to this discussion on 'adokimos'. I think the main focus of 'adokimos' is 'failed to do/be what it was intended to be' and hence 'rejected'. The church at Ephesus was about to lose its 'role' or 'ministry'. I think that idea is uppermost in 'adokimos'. ie not primarily 'loss of salvation' but 'loss of function'.

As with the Hebrews posts their functional destiny is on the line.


Quote:
The eloquence seems like Luke's writings to me. But, I can only read English so the translators may have had something to do with that. If there are any Messianic Jews listening, I'm in deep trouble now.

Does this mean that they would be offended at the thought that a 'Gentile' had written this?
Picking up the style of the Greek is a level beyond me in my Greek studies, but Luke's Greek is said to be the most beautiful in the New Testament, and I haven't heard that said about Hebrews. My guess is that it was someone like Apollos, whose Greek name shows his background, but who was thoroughly 'Jewish' too. The style of Hebrews has similarities to stuff that comes from Alexandria which would be another link with Apollos. He is familiar with Timothy's whereabouts which might indicate an Ephesus link which would also fit Apollos.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/4 3:06Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
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Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Bro. Ron,

Thanks for clearing that up on Ephesus.

Quote:
Does this mean that they would be offended at the thought that a 'Gentile' had written this?



Not really. I would often hear that all the books of the New Testament were written by Jews- so what I was saying would fly in the face of that position.

Whoever it was that wrote Hebrews it is an awesome piece of work. Maybe that's why we don't know- perhaps God wanted to leave it a mystery so that only he would gain the glory.

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/4 8:50Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Robert
Just a bit of Christian 'trivial pursuits' but page for page the largest contributor to the New Testament is a Gentile. If you count the pages you will find that Luke/Acts is the largest section. 8-) as they say... not a lot of people know that!


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/4 17:05Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Bro. Ron,

I was thinking these last few days about apostasy (full blown revolt against God). It seems that we would agree that turning to false gods constitutes apostasy, but what about a person who simply leaves the Father's house headed for the pig pen?

I have a theory on this that I have come up with, but it does not answer the 'when' of whan a person becomes and apostate- but traces the regression. See what you think:

Sin is such that partaking of it for pleasures sake is progressive. soon the sin that used to 'do the trick' no longer has the punch that it once had. The effect of the sin is marginalized and the need for a greater sin is realized. This is not always true in the terms of the potency of the sin, but it seems to hold true in either potency or quantity. The craving for sin is not static, one either desires more of the same sin or a more potent form of the sin. In other words a person may not go from beer to mixed drinks to whisky to strait grain alcohol in terms of potency; but may go from 2 to 6 to 12 to 24 beers a night over time. In this way, sin is always progressive.


There seems to be a point at which the sin no longer does the trick in terms of giving that certain 'fix' that the sinner enjoys and a new level of sin must be accomplished. At some point, there is no where left to go but into the realm of real idolatry. No sin has the 'kick' of idolatry. I think this is what happened to Solomon. He was with all sorts of women in type and quantity and then he 'jumped the fence' and went after strange women that turned his heart towards their false god's. I see sin as ultimately the enjoyment :-? of rebelling against God.

I'm thinking of a new word counterfeit rebellion . Sort of like 'diet revolt' or 'low calorie sin.' That being the desire to feel like you're sinning without actually sinning (which is impossible). Create a scenerio where you feel like you are rebelling, but your not. In the states I have seen something called 0% beer. Could it be anything other than counterfeit rebellion?

As the process of rebellion unfolds it may begin with counterfeit rebellion just pretending to sin and getting a sort of rush off that; but the lie will ultimately come home to roost. Soon the counterfeit is replaced with the real and the path to perdition has taken place of the strait and narrow.

People seem to progress down that road until they end up in idolatry.

Any thoughts? Or anyone else have any thoughts?

God Bless,

-Robert


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/5 15:18Profile
philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Hi Robert

Quote:
People seem to progress down that road until they end up in idolatry.

I think we have a fairly clear progress chart to idolatry in Romans 1.


a specific revelation of God rejected. Rom 1:20
a personal knowledge of God rejected. Rom 1:21
the refusal to give God His rightful honour. Rom 1:21
ingratitude Rom 1:21
leading to irrational reasonings Rom 1:21
and a darkening of the heart Rom 1:21
Arrogant independence Rom 1:22
…ultimately leading to idolatry. Rom 1:23

I think this route is the history of mankind, hence the word heart in the singular and the constant use of the Aorist, but I suspect that an apostate’s route to idolatry would be a similar path.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/1/6 5:25Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

Hi Bro. Ron,

So it is as I feared. Men don't so much as love sin as that they simply dont want God. They have the option of tasting of the heavenly gift and the powers of the world to come. They can be made partakers of the Holy Ghost. This life, as it seems to me, is either a foretaste of heaven or hell. Can a person have an appetite for sin and end up in heaven? Some have 'tasted' and seen that the Lord is gracious. Yet, how have they reacted to that? As Paul who says, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings... or they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.... Is this really the bottom line? Is it like the demoniac who was set free from a devil and found his house swept and garnished- yet never invited Christ to inhabit? Did he simply not want God and not want the Devil- not realizing it must be either or?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2005/1/6 9:48Profile





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