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Thread: what really is so different now?

  1. #1

    what really is so different now?

    Relationship with God was always by compliance with His word. When Man departed from God's word his relationship with God changed, and Man began to strike out in his own direction. And he lost the virtue that was exhibited in his relationship with God through obedience.


    Even after the Fall of Man obedience was integral in Man's ability to show virtue and relationship with God. Man's relationship with God after the Fall still existed, but the character of man had changed, reflecting the change in virtue he once had with God.


    Instead of showing love and faithfulness, now Man showed envy, hate, and covetousness. He wanted things by his own way--things that was only God's to give. And so he became envious and fierce in his wish to steal away what rightly was due to God only by compliance with His word.


    After the Fall man showed his loss of virtue, which we call the "sin nature." Acting apart from a perfect relationship with God Man showed both good and evil--both the ability to comply with God and the ability to strike out on his own. In fact, having broken perfect relationship with God's word Man now was captive to the things that had caused him to fall--the flesh, the world, and the Devil.


    After his partial captivity to a "sin nature" Man could still obey God and show virtue. But his captivity to sin marked him always as partly obedient and partly not. And so, God condemned Man with his sin nature to death to show that breaking from His word would result in a break in his eternal relationship with God. It could never be eternal blessings and eternal fellowship with God. Rather, there was the possibility of either an eternal break with God or a fully restored relationship with God through forgiveness.


    God's plan began with Israel and with the Law, which bundled all Israel together under a single covenant, which would show in Israel both obedience and disobedience. The obedient showed divine virtue, whereas the disobedient continued to show the vices of the flesh.


    But the plan was to separate these groups into the obedient and the disobedient so that only the obedient would be steered to a complete restoration with God. Those who chose to disobey would be separated from God's blessings forever. The restoration of the obedient began to take place at the 1st coming of Christ, who presented a new covenant only with the obedient. And by partaking of his virtue Man was allowed to partake of his forgiveness, as well.


    What difference do we see between the obedient and the disobedient in the OT and in the NT?
    In the OT era the obedient in Israel were given not just divine virtue, but also spiritual gifts. Many were given the opportunity to prophesy. And obedient priests showed particular knowledge and wisdom. Those serving the Lord were given special capacities to build, design, and implement God's will in a practical way. Certain leaders could use such "spiritual gifts" to bring changes in a nation.


    The Church, similarly, consists of the obedient. As such they have access to "spiritual gifts," such as prophecy, spiritual knowledge and wisdom, and miracles, as well as administrative gifts. This is really not that much different from the OT era. The only difference is that in the NT era the form of obedience reflects conformity to Christ, and not to the Law.

    Conformity to Christ alone, as opposed to the Law, acquires lasting forgiveness. And as such obedience to Christ obtains a different kind of blessing for obedience than was available under the Law. Under the Law the blessings for obedience involved temporal blessings.

    But conformity to Christ brings about not just temporal blessings, but more, eternal blessings. As such, obedience under the Law was always meant to lead to obedience to Christ, who was the end purpose of the Law. The purpose of the Law was always meant to lead not just to the separation out of the obedient from the disobedient, but also the restoration of life on a continuous and eternal basis, without any more breaks in that relationship.


    So there is a definite difference in NT blessings, as opposed to OT blessings. They were both similarly a matter of virtue and spiritual gifts. But the NT blessings display as well the eternal nature of the works these gifts hoped to achieve.

    Obedient believers in both the Old and New Testaments had intimacy with God and the fruits of righteousness. The NT power given to obedient Christians showed that they had authority to offer the eternal gospel, which was different from the temporal covenant of the Law.


    The Law had only temporary blessings, whereas the NT gift of Christ's spirit is eternal. Both were conditioned on obedience. But one followed the work of Christ, and acquired an eternal nature.


    The difference in the OT had to do with the legal relationship of an entire nation to God, without respect for who obeyed or who did not obey. They were all in legal covenant with God.


    However, in the NT there is a division between those who obey and those who do not obey. Christianity is to represent those who obey God, even if some do not. Just as it was with Israel, some Christians obey and some do not. But true Christianity is measured by those who obey. And true Israel was also measured by those who obeyed, even though all Israel, obedient and disobedient, were under one legal umbrella--the Law.


    So Israel under the Law could experience the power and relationship of the Spirit, just as the Church can today. The only difference was that under the Law Israel did not acquire eternal benefit, but was only steered towards an eternal benefit in Christ.

    The Law, being applied to all Israel, obedient and disobedient, was destined to fail. The disobedient would corrupt the obedient. But those who obeyed God under the Law looked forward to Christianity, where their blessings would become eternal under an entirely new covenant.

    If you see the differences in the OT and NT eras some other way, chime in.

  2. #2
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    Re: what really is so different now?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Relationship with God was always by compliance with His word. When Man departed from God's word his relationship with God changed, and Man began to strike out in his own direction. And he lost the virtue that was exhibited in his relationship with God through obedience.


    Even after the Fall of Man obedience was integral in Man's ability to show virtue and relationship with God. Man's relationship with God after the Fall still existed, but the character of man had changed, reflecting the change in virtue he once had with God.


    Instead of showing love and faithfulness, now Man showed envy, hate, and covetousness. He wanted things by his own way--things that was only God's to give. And so he became envious and fierce in his wish to steal away what rightly was due to God only by compliance with His word.


    After the Fall man showed his loss of virtue, which we call the "sin nature." Acting apart from a perfect relationship with God Man showed both good and evil--both the ability to comply with God and the ability to strike out on his own. In fact, having broken perfect relationship with God's word Man now was captive to the things that had caused him to fall--the flesh, the world, and the Devil.


    After his partial captivity to a "sin nature" man could still obey God and show virtue. But his captivity to sin marked him always as partly obedient and partly not. And so, God condemned Man with his sin nature to death to show that breaking from His word would result in a break in his eternal relationship with God. It could never be eternal blessings and eternal fellowship with God. Rather, there was the possibility of either an eternal break with God or a fully restored relationship with God through forgiveness.


    God's plan began with Israel and with the Law, which bundled all Israel together under a single covenant, which would show in Israel both obedience and disobedience. The obedient showed divine virtue, whereas the disobedient continued to show the vices of the flesh.


    But the plan was to separate these groups into the obedient and the disobedient so that only the obedient would be steered to a complete restoration with God. Those who chose to disobey would be separated from God's blessings forever. The restoration of the obedient began to take place at the 1st coming of Christ, who presented a new covenant only with the obedient. And by partaking of his virtue Man was allowed to partake of his forgiveness, as well.


    What difference do we see between the obedient and the disobedient in the OT and in the NT?
    In the OT era the obedient in Israel were given not just divine virtue, but also spiritual gifts. Many were given the opportunity to prophesy. And obedient priests showed particular knowledge and wisdom. Those serving the Lord were given special capacities to build, design, and implement God's will in a practical way. Certain leaders could use such "spiritual gifts" to bring changes in a nation.


    The Church, similarly, consists of the obedient. As such they have access to "spiritual gifts," such as prophecy, spiritual knowledge and wisdom, and miracles, as well as administrative gifts. This is really not that much different from the OT era. The only difference is that in the NT era the form of obedience reflects conformity to Christ, and not to the Law.

    Conformity to Christ alone, as opposed to the Law, acquires lasting forgiveness. And as such obedience to Christ obtains a different kind of blessing for obedience than was available under the Law. Under the Law the blessings for obedience involved temporal blessings.

    But conformity to Christ brings about not just temporal blessings, but more, eternal blessings. As such, obedience under the Law was always meant to lead to obedience to Christ, who was the end purpose of the Law. The purpose of the Law was always meant to lead not just to the separation out of the obedient from the disobedient, but also the restoration of life on a continuous and eternal basis, without any more breaks in that relationship.


    So there is a definite difference in NT blessings, as opposed to OT blessings. They were both similarly a matter of virtue and spiritual gifts. But the NT blessings display as well the eternal nature of the works these gifts hoped to achieve.

    Obedient believers in both the Old and New Testaments had intimacy with God and the fruits of righteousness. The NT power given to obedient Christians showed that they had authority to offer the eternal gospel, which was different from the temporal covenant of the Law.


    The Law had only temporary blessings, whereas the NT gift of Christ's spirit is eternal. Both were conditioned on obedience. But one followed the work of Christ, and acquired an eternal nature.


    The difference in the OT had to do with the legal relationship of an entire nation to God, without respect for who obeyed or who did not obey. They were all in legal covenant with God.


    However, in the NT there is a division between those who obey and those who do not obey. Christianity is to represent those who obey God, even if some do not. Just as it was with Israel, some Christians obey and some do not. But true Christianity is measured by those who obey. And true Israel was also measured by those who obeyed, even though all Israel, obedient and disobedient, were under one legal umbrella--the Law.


    So Israel under the Law could experience the power and relationship of the Spirit, just as the Church can today. The only difference was, they got this through obedience, and was not made eternal through the covenant of Law. The Law, being applied to all Isrel, obedient and disobedient, was destined to fail. But those who obeyed God under the Law looked forward to Christianity, where their blessings would become eternal under an entirely new covenant.


    The power granted to Christians in the NT era is similar to the power the Prophets had under the Law. The difference is that the Apostles had authority under the administration of eternal life to grant things that relate to eternal life.

    If you see the differences in the OT and NT eras some other way, chime in.
    In another posting I complimented you that you seemed educated, eloquent and articulate. But have you noticed that in nearly all of your postings, you never discuss scripture. No scriptures are given to support your position, and this posting is another such example. I will comment on but one of your statements, BUT, in the light of scripture.

    Your first three paragraphs seem perfectly reasonable, and in your fourth you come to your conclusion. It reads ....

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    After the Fall man showed his loss of virtue, which we call the "sin nature." Acting apart from a perfect relationship with God Man showed both good and evil--both the ability to comply with God and the ability to strike out on his own. In fact, having broken perfect relationship with God's word Man now was captive to the things that had caused him to fall--the flesh, the world, and the Devil.
    But let us compare this, especially the bold and underlined, with scripture. In Genesis 6:5 we read; "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." And, as to Israel's BEST works, Isaiah 64:6 says; "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; ... ." May the reader judge if you represented man's condition correctly.

    Your postings seem philosophical, which is no doubt allowed. But man's thoughts divorced from God's actual Words are dangerous. Two proverbs come to mind:
    Proverbs 14:12; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
    Proverbs 16:25; "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

    If you backed your statements with scriptures we would be on safe ground and we could discuss them.

  3. #3

    Re: what really is so different now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    In another posting I complimented you that you seemed educated, eloquent and articulate. But have you noticed that in nearly all of your postings, you never discuss scripture. No scriptures are given to support your position, and this posting is another such example. I will comment on but one of your statements, BUT, in the light of scripture.

    Your first three paragraphs seem perfectly reasonable, and in your fourth you come to your conclusion. It reads ....



    But let us compare this, especially the bold and underlined, with scripture. In Genesis 6:5 we read; "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." And, as to Israel's BEST works, Isaiah 64:6 says; "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; ... ." May the reader judge if you represented man's condition correctly.

    Your postings seem philosophical, which is no doubt allowed. But man's thoughts divorced from God's actual Words are dangerous. Two proverbs come to mind:
    Proverbs 14:12; "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."
    Proverbs 16:25; "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."

    If you backed your statements with scriptures we would be on safe ground and we could discuss them.
    Well, I thank you for at least reading my post. It is a summary of how I view the two testaments after years of studying and reading the Bible. I don't always want to assume readers know what Scriptures I am basing my thoughts on. But I assure you, I try to not make a single declaration of fact without consulting Scriptural truth.

    The passage you quoted is an example of hyperbole, showing the endgame of disobeying God. When men continue to feed their sin nature they end up violent beasts, with the poison of asps under their tongues. Obviously, not all men act this way regularly. Obviously, obedient Christians display, in their places, the virtues of Christ, the fruits of the Spirit--love, joy, kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness, etc.

    In the time of the Flood mankind had come to a climax in the development of sin in that particular era. The world population was much smaller, and probably local. The Flood itself was probably local, but killed the entire civilization in that region.

    But as you know, Jesus described this as a unique time on earth--one that would be repeated at the time of Israel's judgment, and one that will also be repeated at the end of the age. Israel's sin came to fruition in the time of Christ, and they were destroyed in 70 AD. And at the time of Antichrist mankind will once again come to fruition in sin, and will be destroyed by fire.

    So the particular state of affairs you describe in the time of the Flood was unique, and is certainly not always the case. Nations rise and fall. Nations corrupt and reform. You have to know your times. But the point is, all do sin. And this is made obvious when sin comes to fruition among those yielding to their sin natures and not responsive to repentance.

    Some people want to believe that men, not in regular union with Christ, cannot do good. I think that's false, because I see good men doing good works all the time in the nonChristian world. It's just that they fail to attain a spiritual benefit that allows them to be marked as *regularly obedient* and thus *saved* unto eternal life. I would want to do more than just good deeds on occasion. I would much rather be filled with God's Spirit as a measure of His good pleasure with my regular obedience so that I can rest assured I am indeed saved unto eternal life.

    Rather than criticize me for not using Scriptures, why don't you just ask for my Scriptural basis? Criticism of this nature is not conducive to good relations.

  4. #4
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    Re: what really is so different now?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Well, I thank you for at least reading my post. It is a summary of how I view the two testaments after years of studying and reading the Bible. I don't always want to assume readers know what Scriptures I am basing my thoughts on. But I assure you, I try to not make a single declaration of fact without consulting Scriptural truth.

    The passage you quoted is an example of hyperbole, showing the endgame of disobeying God. When men continue to feed their sin nature they end up violent beasts, with the poison of asps under their tongues. Obviously, not all men act this way regularly. Obviously, obedient Christians display, in their places, the virtues of Christ, the fruits of the Spirit--love, joy, kindness, patience, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness, etc.

    In the time of the Flood mankind had come to a climax in the development of sin in that particular era. The world population was much smaller, and probably local. The Flood itself was probably local, but killed the entire civilization in that region.

    But as you know, Jesus described this as a unique time on earth--one that would be repeated at the time of Israel's judgment, and one that will also be repeated at the end of the age. Israel's sin came to fruition in the time of Christ, and they were destroyed in 70 AD. And at the time of Antichrist mankind will once again come to fruition in sin, and will be destroyed by fire.

    So the particular state of affairs you describe in the time of the Flood was unique, and is certainly not always the case. Nations rise and fall. Nations corrupt and reform. You have to know your times. But the point is, all do sin. And this is made obvious when sin comes to fruition among those yielding to their sin natures and not responsive to repentance.

    Some people want to believe that men, not in regular union with Christ, cannot do good. I think that's false, because I see good men doing good works all the time in the nonChristian world. It's just that they fail to attain a spiritual benefit that allows them to be marked as *regularly obedient* and thus *saved* unto eternal life. I would want to do more than just good deeds on occasion. I would much rather be filled with God's Spirit as a measure of His good pleasure with my regular obedience so that I can rest assured I am indeed saved unto eternal life.

    Rather than criticize me for not using Scriptures, why don't you just ask for my Scriptural basis? Criticism of this nature is not conducive to good relations.
    Thanks for your reply and your view. The greatest stumbling block for men to receive and obey God is that it is abhorrent to men to acceot that they are TOTALLY depraved and fallen. I know this as well as any man because I don't even like my wife to criticize me, and my natural tendency, even when I don't follow it, is to rise up and justify myself with vehemence. Your posting #1 presents man as having some good and some evil. But the verse I presented showed man fom God's point of view - totally depraved in all areas. This same thing happened in the Garden of Eden. After sinning, Adam and Eve, now aware of their "nakedness", clothed themselves in fig leaves. The leaves of a Tree are its garment, and a "garment" in parable is one's works. Thus, Jesus curses the Fig Tree for it had the works of Law but no fruit. The garment of leaves satisfied Adam and Eve AS THEY STOOD BEFORE EACH OTHER, but when God appeared on the scene, Adam at once admits that despite his "garment" of good works, he was still naked.

    Man must be obedient to God. On that we agree. But what needs to be sorted out is ...
    1. is it a case of the discipline needed to obey?
    2. is it a case that needs a FULL INTRINSIC CHANGE OF NATURE?

    That is why I produced Isaiah 64. Man at his BEST is but an evil Tree and cannot but produce evil ONLY and CONTINUALLY.

    By the way, I view the earth's population before the deluge as massive. If God "greatly" multiplied conception (Gen.3:16), and men and women lived upward of 900 years, there is only one result - massive population explosion. "... when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, ... ." (Gen.6:1). The multiplication was on the whole "face" of the earth, and so was the Flood. Genesis 8:9; "... for the waters were on the face of the whole earth:... ."

  5. #5

    Re: what really is so different now?

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Relationship with God was always by compliance with His word. When Man departed from God's word his relationship with God changed, and Man began to strike out in his own direction. And he lost the virtue that was exhibited in his relationship with God through obedience.

    Even after the Fall of Man obedience was integral in Manα's ability to show virtue and relationship with God. Man's relationship with God after the Fall still existed, but the character of man had changed, reflecting the change in virtue he once had with God.
    I see too many assumptions in the OP, such as the author may find very difficult to support with scriptures.

    Other than by His word, God establishes relationships with mankind by:
    1. faith, honor and strength
    2. glory and grace
    3. kingdom, majesty and mercy
    4. covenant and other excellent things.

    In flesh and blood, soul, spirit and life, we can enter into as many kinds of relationship with God. indeed, the mystery of godliness, when revealed in us, establishes our relationships with God in the flesh and blood, soul, spirit and life.

    Beyond establishing a relationship by His word, there are other weightier relationships that God eventually establishes with us . For example, a kingdom or a covenant relationship is greater or higher than a relationship by His word.

    Every kind of relationship that God establishes with us has its unique rule or principle that must be obeyed. Philippians 3:16 tells us to walk by (obey) the rule corresponding to where we have attained.

    God does not establish a relationship with us because of our obedience. His relationship with us is established when we receive and retain at least one of all things of God. We stay in the relationship to either obey or disobey.

    Adam stayed within existing relationships (friendship and fellowship with God) to disobey. It is neither written nor implied in scriptures that Adam lost any relationship with God.

    Virtue (truth, anointing) is a gift from God. Adam did not lose God's gift of virtue because he disobeyed. Rather, and as clearly stated in the Scripture, he bore specific consequences of his disobedience. Losing either virtue or relationship with God is not listed as one of the consequences.
    Grace and peace unto you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ!

  6. #6

    Re: what really is so different now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Thanks for your reply and your view. The greatest stumbling block for men to receive and obey God is that it is abhorrent to men to acceot that they are TOTALLY depraved and fallen. I know this as well as any man because I don't even like my wife to criticize me, and my natural tendency, even when I don't follow it, is to rise up and justify myself with vehemence. Your posting #1 presents man as having some good and some evil. But the verse I presented showed man fom God's point of view - totally depraved in all areas. This same thing happened in the Garden of Eden. After sinning, Adam and Eve, now aware of their "nakedness", clothed themselves in fig leaves. The leaves of a Tree are its garment, and a "garment" in parable is one's works. Thus, Jesus curses the Fig Tree for it had the works of Law but no fruit. The garment of leaves satisfied Adam and Eve AS THEY STOOD BEFORE EACH OTHER, but when God appeared on the scene, Adam at once admits that despite his "garment" of good works, he was still naked.

    Man must be obedient to God. On that we agree. But what needs to be sorted out is ...
    1. is it a case of the discipline needed to obey?
    2. is it a case that needs a FULL INTRINSIC CHANGE OF NATURE?

    That is why I produced Isaiah 64. Man at his BEST is but an evil Tree and cannot but produce evil ONLY and CONTINUALLY.

    By the way, I view the earth's population before the deluge as massive. If God "greatly" multiplied conception (Gen.3:16), and men and women lived upward of 900 years, there is only one result - massive population explosion. "... when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, ... ." (Gen.6:1). The multiplication was on the whole "face" of the earth, and so was the Flood. Genesis 8:9; "... for the waters were on the face of the whole earth:... ."
    Yes, we can deal with the Flood elsewhere. The point I wish to make is that I believe the Bible when it said that "mankind was judged, or killed." The Flood didn't have to cover Mt. Everest for that to be true!

    Regardless, I do see your concern about "total depravity." I've long been a believer in that too. However, in light of recent conversations I wanted to enter in my belief that Man can do good and be good without being a believer. Men in the Scriptures sometimes were described as "good men" even though they were not Christians.

    Acts 10.1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

    I think it goes without saying that men, whether under the Law or under some other nation's moral law, can be good. This is the implication when God said He created Man "in His own image, after His likeness." If God created Man this way, Man could certainly obey God. And even after the Fall Man continued to obey God, whether implicitly or explicitly. The notion of free will and a human conscience demands we acknowledge that.

    2 Kings 5.Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram.

    But there is no question that God did not reward mixed men, who did sometimes good and sometimes evil, with the blessing of His good pleasure. God wanted only obedience, and not disobedience. And that was my point. The obedient were steered in the direction of God's good pleasure, and in the end, eternal life. Their complete obedience would be acknowledged with a full restoration and with an eventual promise of unbroken and eternal fellowship with God.

    I think we have to acknowledge a free will and limited good in the world, or we will never get an ear. Men will always consider us irrelevant, since the world is run by men who can indeed do some good. However, the point is that God does not want men to sometimes live good and sometimes live evil. He wants a continuous stream of good, of obedience, in order to grant forgiveness for the times we have broken connection with God's word.

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