PDA

View Full Version : Can we know and understand God?



RoadWarrior
Dec 12th 2007, 10:30 PM
What do you think? Can we know and understand God? If you say yes, what is the way that we do that?

Jer 23 Thus says the LORD:
ď Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,Ē says the LORD.

RoadWarrior
Dec 12th 2007, 11:21 PM
What is the first thing you learned about God? Did you hear that He is omniscient? Did you hear that He loves you? Did you hear that in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth?

What is the first thing you learned about His character? Is it that He loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins?

Brother Mark
Dec 12th 2007, 11:23 PM
Great thread.

First thing I learned about God.... He is a judge and he hates sin. He was going to send me to hell because of it. I learned this before I got saved.

The next thing I learned about God... he is very, very merciful and forgave me of all my sin.

DanDMan64
Dec 13th 2007, 12:31 AM
Boy RW, that's a tuffy, I hate giving simplistic answers to tough questions, but my understanding is that if we allow Him to, we can know Him in an instant, but we'll probably have to spend the rest of our lives both here and in eternity trying to "understand" Him. I bet that's something that fascinates Angels and Saints alike in Heaven more than anything. :hmm:

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 01:51 AM
Great thread.

First thing I learned about God.... He is a judge and he hates sin. He was going to send me to hell because of it. I learned this before I got saved.

The next thing I learned about God... he is very, very merciful and forgave me of all my sin.

Mark, that was a great beginning, thank you. I think most of us who are Christians have become aware of those two great truths. Yet, how many of us are "stillborn" at that point, and fail to press on that we might truly know God, and actually understand Him?

Yet as I read the Jeremiah passage, I am quickened to want to do exactly that. I want to know God. I want to understand Him. I believe that by this quote, we are being told that it is possible to do both.

I'll go a step further. There are many who will think that they are Christians, but according to this next passage, they are mistaken, because they are not known by Him:

Mt 7:23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' NKJV

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 01:58 AM
Boy RW, that's a tuffy, I hate giving simplistic answers to tough questions, but my understanding is that if we allow Him to, we can know Him in an instant, but we'll probably have to spend the rest of our lives both here and in eternity trying to "understand" Him. I bet that's something that fascinates Angels and Saints alike in Heaven more than anything. :hmm:

Dan, I'm really glad that you don't want to give a simplistic answer! And I think you are exactly right, we do need to spend the rest of our lives working out our salvation which was given to us freely.

And here is another clue to understanding God:

Php 2:12-13
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. NKJV

God is working in us, that we would be willing, and also obedient, to Him. Our part in this may seem obscure to some, but it is clear from this passage that there are two parts to this relationship. There is God's part, and there is my part. Being willing and obedient is not new to the Christian, but it was spoken clearly in the OT as well.

Isa 1:19-20
19 If you are willing and obedient,
You shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel,
You shall be devoured by the sword";
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
NKJV

Brother Mark
Dec 13th 2007, 01:59 AM
But my brother, do you know what we are asking? To know him, and the fellowship of his sufferings? To drink his cup?

I believe you do. But to know him, is to know what it means to die to self. For no one can see him and live.

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 02:14 AM
But my brother, do you know what we are asking? To know him, and the fellowship of his sufferings? To drink his cup?

I believe you do. But to know him, is to know what it means to die to self. For no one can see him and live.

I know in part, Brother Mark. I don't think I know what it means to die to self, I've searched the scriptures and have not found that expression in them. I have found that it says this:

Ro 6:1-4
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. NKJV

Is that what you mean? What I see there, is that I died to my old life, and I walk in a new life. (I think learning to walk is a process, by the way.)

Your quote, no one can see Him and live, comes from here, an exchange between God and Moses:

Ex 33:20-23
20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." 21 And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." NKJV

Yet in another place we are told this:
Ex 33:11
11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
NKJV

Some would say this is a contradiction. However, I believe that there is no contradiction, there is simply a misunderstanding. How would you resolve those two? What differences in meaning can we find? Perhaps by exploring this we can find out something more about the One we seek to understand.

Brother Mark
Dec 13th 2007, 02:40 AM
It is interesting that Moses learned of atonement while on the mountain. He then went down and saw Israel sinning in the sin of idolatry. But when he went back up the mountain, he told the Lord God "Forgive Israel and blot me out of the your book". He was willing to be the atonement for Israel. He offered himself lock, stock and barrel to God. This is what I mean when I say "dying to self". It is to let go of our desires and to live only for Him.

Is it not interesting that after this event, God said he began to meet with Moses face to face?

But that is but a type.

The pure in heart will see God. But love, does not seeks it's own. Love is not selfish. Another way of saying that self is dead. If you love me, you will keep my commandments, says the Lord.

As we begin to know the fellowship of his sufferings, how he gave himself constantly to the Father, then we begin to know the power of his resurrection. Then we begin to not only know his character, but we experience his character to the fullest in our hearts. For we become like Him. So not only do I refer to the idea of moving past my old way of life, but I refer to the crossing of the Jordan. Not just exiting Egypt, but also exiting the wilderness. Elisha received the second mantle only after crossing the Jordan. Let us leave not only our old way of life. But let us leave our life so that like Paul we can say "nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ who lives in me".

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 03:02 AM
It is interesting that Moses learned of atonement while on the mountain. He then went down and saw Israel sinning in the sin of idolatry. But when he went back up the mountain, he told the Lord God "Forgive Israel and blot me out of the your book". He was willing to be the atonement for Israel. He offered himself lock, stock and barrel to God. This is what I mean when I say "dying to self". It is to let go of our desires and to live only for Him.

Is it not interesting that after this event, God said he began to meet with Moses face to face?

....

So not only do I refer to the idea of moving past my old way of life, but I refer to the crossing of the Jordan. Not just exiting Egypt, but also exiting the wilderness. Elisha received the second mantle only after crossing the Jordan. Let us leave not only our old way of life. But let us leave our life so that like Paul we can say "nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ who lives in me".

Very interesting Mark. Paul also was willing to suffer instead of his fellow Jews, if that were possible. But neither Moses nor Paul would do, as the sacrifice for sins. Does that reveal something about the character of God, that you can put into plain words?

I don't think I get the meaning of "crossing the Jordan". What does that mean to you?

Brother Mark
Dec 13th 2007, 03:10 AM
Very interesting Mark. Paul also was willing to suffer instead of his fellow Jews, if that were possible. But neither Moses nor Paul would do, as the sacrifice for sins. Does that reveal something about the character of God, that you can put into plain words?

I don't think I get the meaning of "crossing the Jordan". What does that mean to you?

I am sorry RW. I should have spoken more plainly. Neither Paul nor Moses would be adequate. But both were shown great revelation. Paul, after putting aside his own desires and taking up the desire of the King, was show things he could not write about.

Crossing the Jordan is often referred to as a baptism of the Holy Spirit or an act of dying to our wishes. The old timers use to say it takes 2 crossings to get into the promised land (i.e. the red sea being water baptism and the jordan being baptized in the Spirit). But the Jordan is a place where we walk away from not just our sin, but of things important to us. It was at the Jordan where Jesus began his ministry after the Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove.

Elisha followed Elijah around until he crossed the Jordan. It was there that he received the mantel a second time. (The first was at his initial calling.)

I am speaking of being filled with the Holy Spirit while being emptied of our own desires. This is the suffering of Christ. Who thought it not robbery to be equal to God but made himself of no reputation. John the Baptist said it this way "he must increase but I must decrease". Paul said it this way "that I may know him, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and the power of his resurrection".

Jesus went into the desert filled with the Spirit. But upon resisting the enemy and saying no to the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life, he came out in the power of the Spirit.

For this reason, Paul often spoke of how he would glory in the cross, and in the gospel for it is the power of salvation.

So as we walk with the Lord, we begin by turning our back on sin. But as we walk further, we begin to become swallowed up with his kingdom. He was consumed with his kingdom and preached of it often. We too become consumed with his Kingdom and the things of this world become strangely dim. We take up our cross and die daily. But, in that cross, is the power of resurrection.

I am liking this thread my brother!

What does all this say about the character of God? That he is the most selfless being I have ever encountered. And he is determined to make us into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus. Who just so happens to be in the very image of God. We are all being conformed to this image of selfless love for God and man. Paul and Moses are just two examples of the work God intends to do in us.

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 03:43 AM
Very interesting discourse Mark. Thanks for sharing about the meaning of the two rivers. If I had heard it before, I had not remembered it. But I think we digress. All of this is good stuff, but it's still about man, don't you think? Even though you are talking of the work God is doing in man or through man, it doesn't tell us what God is like, apart from man.

How can we discover the character of God? How can we KNOW Him? How can we UNDERSTAND Him?

Or do you think we can only know Him in relationship to ourselves? If so, then what does He look like in this relationship?

I'm glad you like the thread.

Edit to add: What is the image of God? There may be a clue in this!

sunney4
Dec 13th 2007, 05:04 PM
Do we have another way to know God except in relation to man? I mean, we can look at the character of God in creation, which also affects man. I dont think we can know God apart from man. How are we to do that?

We can discover the character of God through revelation....

The image of God is Christ....

oooh i get it. a lightbulb....:idea::idea:

ok so, we can know God through CHrist and learn of his attributes, but isn't that still in relation to man?


If so, then what does He look like in this relationship?
Well there is a difference in what he looks like in relationship with us and what He is...There is who He says He is in Scripture, and then there is the way that we make Him what we want to...which isn't Biblical, but true that it happens....

DPMartin
Dec 13th 2007, 06:02 PM
Roadwarror
in reference to your original posting

In Truth you must learn to trust that you hear His Word, scripture and events confirm this. If your hearing the Voice of the Lord which man is made to do, then He will affirm that He speaks to you, but if your doing all the talking you will not hear anything.

The fallowing is not a copy/past of scripture but it may help you understand.

The Lord says where are you, and the man says I am here. The Lord says where is that, the man says here within the sound of your voice, my Lord.

The Lord says what shall you do, the man says in donít know, the Lord says that is correct, I am the One who knows.
******************

As far as suffering for.....
It is the Faith of Jesus that God will have Mercy on His People. Thatís the whole point of Jesus given on the cross. If there were to be no mercy the Lord would have just taken over as King. It is what Moses served, and it is what Paul served, the Mercy of God for His people. It is the power of the Kingdom of God. And why the Glory of the Cross.

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 11:55 PM
Do we have another way to know God except in relation to man? I mean, we can look at the character of God in creation, which also affects man. I dont think we can know God apart from man. How are we to do that?

We can discover the character of God through revelation....

The image of God is Christ....

oooh i get it. a lightbulb....:idea::idea:

ok so, we can know God through CHrist and learn of his attributes, but isn't that still in relation to man?

Well there is a difference in what he looks like in relationship with us and what He is...There is who He says He is in Scripture, and then there is the way that we make Him what we want to...which isn't Biblical, but true that it happens....

Hi Sunney,

I love lightbulbs! What I hope to explore with this thread is what God says about Himself in Scripture. I believe that too much of what we think we know about God is not about God, but about us. You know, "He saved me" "He helps me with my problems" etc. So when we think of God in relationship to us, we are still thinking about ourselves. This will take some effort, but I'd really like us to look into the Bible and see if we can learn something about God Himself, about His character.

If you were to describe the character of your best friend, how would you do that? She makes me feel good, she makes me laugh, etc. ? Or would you say, she is kind, she is funny, she has a great sense of humor.

So, for example, if we say God saved us, what characteristic of Himself was beneath His doing that? Why did He save us? And how has He revealed Himself to us in His word?

I'm certainly willing to start the exploration by looking at God in relationship to ourselves. And I love your thought process as it flowed in your message above.

I especially like your last line -
There is who He says He is in Scripture, and then there is the way that we make Him what we want to

That's exactly why I think this type of study is important. If God is real (and we do believe Him to be) then His character is real, and personal to Himself. What we make up about Him is just a figment of our own imaginings.

Thanks for participating!

RoadWarrior
Dec 13th 2007, 11:59 PM
Roadwarror
in reference to your original posting

In Truth you must learn to trust that you hear His Word, scripture and events confirm this. If your hearing the Voice of the Lord which man is made to do, then He will affirm that He speaks to you, but if your doing all the talking you will not hear anything.

The fallowing is not a copy/past of scripture but it may help you understand.

The Lord says where are you, and the man says I am here. The Lord says where is that, the man says here within the sound of your voice, my Lord.

The Lord says what shall you do, the man says in donít know, the Lord says that is correct, I am the One who knows.
******************

As far as suffering for.....
It is the Faith of Jesus that God will have Mercy on His People. Thatís the whole point of Jesus given on the cross. If there were to be no mercy the Lord would have just taken over as King. It is what Moses served, and it is what Paul served, the Mercy of God for His people. It is the power of the Kingdom of God. And why the Glory of the Cross.

Hi DPM, and thanks for participating.

Here's what I hear about God's character in your post:

God speaks to us, in His Word, and in events.
God has mercy on His people.
God has knowledge.

Do I also hear that He has faith?

Thanks, DPM!

Brother Mark
Dec 14th 2007, 12:00 AM
Very interesting discourse Mark. Thanks for sharing about the meaning of the two rivers. If I had heard it before, I had not remembered it. But I think we digress. All of this is good stuff, but it's still about man, don't you think? Even though you are talking of the work God is doing in man or through man, it doesn't tell us what God is like, apart from man.

How can we discover the character of God? How can we KNOW Him? How can we UNDERSTAND Him?

Or do you think we can only know Him in relationship to ourselves? If so, then what does He look like in this relationship?

I'm glad you like the thread.

Edit to add: What is the image of God? There may be a clue in this!

Well RW, what I am getting at is that without suffering, without the desert experiences, we will never know Him. How do we know Him? By experiencing him while in the desert.

Deut 8:2-4
2 " You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.
NASU

In other words, we pray "Father make me like Jesus" or "God, I want to be like Jesus in my heart" and other such things. These are great prayers! But how will God make us like Jesus so that we KNOW God? By leading us into the desert where we will be hungry, so he can humble us, that we might learn that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

If we want to know Him, then that can only happen in the desert and if we respond correctly while in the desert of trials and testings.

Said another way, to know God, we must be placed in a situation where God must act or we will not survive emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Who knows how he will do it for each. But the process involves coming to the end of ourselves and then we begin to know not only God's works, but his ways.

Israel did not respond correctly in the desert. And the word says of them that they knew his acts. But Moses, he responded correctly because he knew God's ways.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 12:08 AM
....

If we want to know Him, then that can only happen in the desert and if we respond correctly while in the desert of trials and testings.

Said another way, to know God, we must be placed in a situation where God must act or we will not survive emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Who knows how he will do it for each. But the process involves coming to the end of ourselves and then we begin to know not only God's works, but his ways.

Israel did not respond correctly in the desert. And the word says of them that they knew his acts. But Moses, he responded correctly because he knew God's ways.

Excellent post, Mark. I love how you stepped through this. Only in suffering (the desert) can we come to know God - and then only if we respond correctly. I was all set to ask you, how do we know to respond correctly? and you answered tht as well. Moses responded correctly because he knew God's ways.

So. What I hear in this message is, we need to get to know God's ways. How did Moses do it? Is that same method available to us? Or is there a different way that God reveals Himself to me in post-modern America?

Brother Mark
Dec 14th 2007, 12:15 AM
Excellent post, Mark. I love how you stepped through this. Only in suffering (the desert) can we come to know God - and then only if we respond correctly. I was all set to ask you, how do we know to respond correctly? and you answered tht as well. Moses responded correctly because he knew God's ways.

So. What I hear in this message is, we need to get to know God's ways. How did Moses do it? Is that same method available to us? Or is there a different way that God reveals Himself to me in post-modern America?

Oh, all one needs to do is ask God to help change our heart to be like Jesus. He will do that! Moses was 40 years in the desert before God reaffirmed his calling. He had been there done that when he lead Israel through the desert.

The purpose of the desert is to do something you alluded to earlier. When I was posting before you said "but isn't that still about the man" and the answer is YES it is. That is the purpose of desert. It is only there that we begin to realize what the meaning of Christ was when he said "is not life more than these". Oh the joy of gathering manna from the hand of the Lord. When all alone in the world and no one understands, can any greater joy be found than to have God speak a word of life to a hurting soul? To know, that God is killing you, but giving life is to understand his ways. To murmur against him and to complain about the process is to resist God and what he is making us to be.

In my own life, God told me years ago that it was his will for me to be married. Yet, that has not occurred. Many of my friends have had the joyous occasion. I still vividly remember taking God to task on the issue and asking him "Why am I still single" to which the Lord replied "You are single". LOL! How's that for an answer. It is only now that I understand... it is what it is. Life is... We respond. We listen and hear God and learn to live off of his word. Life is hard. We get manna from on high and learn to Live in eternity instead of living in the now. Life is hard. God speaks and gives us life. Life is hard. But God, is the God of all joy! He knows how I am made down to the minutest molecule. With one little word, he can give me life! With one word, my dark soul is enlightened like the newly created earth. One word, and everything changes.

Why does this teach me how to know God and his ways? Because from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And when God speaks, he is sharing his heart with me.

We then know that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the heart and character of God through his mouth.

Grace,

Mark

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 12:38 AM
....
We then know that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the heart and character of God through his mouth.

Grace,

Mark

Thanks Mark. And you are confirming as DPMartin said, that God speaks. So now we have firmly established in the mouths of two witnesses, that God has a voice, He communicates, He speaks to us.

And I hope I am not misinterpreting your message if I say that He speaks to our Spirit. Few people hear God in an audible voice with their natural ears.

A really important book/Bible study in my own life was the workbook "Experiencing God" by Blackaby. In that study it is emphasized that God speaks through the Bible, through prayer, through circumstances and through the Church. These are all important and will confirm one another. I tend to depend most on the Bible because that is one place that I can be certain it is God's voice speaking and not my own.

Brother Mark
Dec 14th 2007, 12:42 AM
Thanks Mark. And you are confirming as DPMartin said, that God speaks. So now we have firmly established in the mouths of two witnesses, that God has a voice, He communicates, He speaks to us.

And I hope I am not misinterpreting your message if I say that He speaks to our Spirit. Few people hear God in an audible voice with their natural ears.

A really important book/Bible study in my own life was the workbook "Experiencing God" by Blackaby. In that study it is emphasized that God speaks through the Bible, through prayer, through circumstances and through the Church. These are all important and will confirm one another. I tend to depend most on the Bible because that is one place that I can be certain it is God's voice speaking and not my own.

I enjoyed that course! Ever read the book "Surprised by the Voice of God", he lays it out in tremendous detail how scriptural hearing God really is.

Yes, I believe God speaks to our spirits. Though some occasionally hear God with an audible voice. I heard someone answer one time the question "Did you hear God with an audible voice?" and they answered "No, it was louder than that". :lol:

God speaks to me through my spiritual authority and the word. I trust those two the most. Next, I trust God's desire to speak and my heart to hear. I look to circumstances last. Sometimes the Lord speaks and I don't trust my heart to hear correctly. So I ask him to speak again.

But to know God... we must hear him and experience him and respond correctly to him.

Is this not a great thread? Thank you my dear sister for such an encouraging thread. I have been blessed by it.

DanDMan64
Dec 14th 2007, 01:23 AM
...The purpose of the desert is to do something you alluded to earlier. When I was posting before you said "but isn't that still about the man" and the answer is YES it is. That is the purpose of desert. It is only there that we begin to realize what the meaning of Christ was when he said "is not life more than these". Oh the joy of gathering manna from the hand of the Lord. When all alone in the world and no one understands, can any greater joy be found than to have God speak a word of life to a hurting soul? To know, that God is killing you, but giving life is to understand his ways. To murmur against him and to complain about the process is to resist God and what he is making us to be...

...Why does this teach me how to know God and his ways? Because from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And when God speaks, he is sharing his heart with me.

We then know that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the heart and character of God through his mouth...Hello RW, as I mentioned on my thread I want to share with you a bit about how God is helping me to "understand" Him better.

I like to call this, "The still small voice principle", and it goes right along with what Brother mark was saying above.

1st Kings 19:11. "And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
12. And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
13. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"

As I was searching for a scripture to back-up what I've learned, I remembered the above passage and also Psalm 4:4 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=19&CHAP=4&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=4) "Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah."

"Psalm 46:10 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=19&CHAP=46&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=10) "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

"Psalm 84:4 (http://bibledatabase.org/cgi-bin/bib_search/bible.cgi?BIBLE=48&BOOK=19&CHAP=84&SEARCH=jesus king lord&Read=Read&FIRST=OK&HV=4) Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah."

I think you can pretty much tell where I'm going with this. As I mentioned on the other thread, I think it's important to get back to basics, which is that you have to take time every day, preferably first thing in the morning, to do as Jesus did, find a quiet place, shut the door and, and close your eyes and just take a deep breath and start acknowledging God's presence, praise Him, say the Lord's prayer if you like, then as you feel the anointing of the Spirit come upon you, Be still, be quiet, let Him speak, and as He reveals Himself to you acknowledge what He's telling you by repeating it to yourself and thus confirming that you get it, if it's about sin, confess it, if its about a promise, accept it and claim it, if its about a word to someone, tell Him you'll make it a point to tell them about it, if it's about praying for someone's need, do it right then and there.:pray:

I don't know how else to explain it, it's that simple, and it works, and it builds you-up spiritually like hardly anything else I can think of, other than fasting 40 days in the dessert, but you know it only takes about 40 minutes each day. It's really exciting, believe me, and of course if you're already doing this you know what I'm talking about. ;)

And also start reading The Word, that goes along with the prayer, and it makes sense that since at that moment you're still in that mode, "Being still and hearing His voice mode" what ever Scripture you read makes more sense to you than ever before, I tell you you could read the "begets and begats" and the lists of this and that, and even in those you find revelations. Its really amazing. :o:pp.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 01:28 AM
Ever read the book "Surprised by the Voice of God", he lays it out in tremendous detail how scriptural hearing God really is.
....

Haven't read that one ... must put it on my list!

Long before I had ears to hear and eyes to see, God spoke and spoke and spoke, and that speaking is still echoing and echoing around the world over and over and over ... it is written down in books, translated into many languages, read in churches, heard in dreams and visions, and it never changes. It is deeper than the deepest waters, and yet safe enough for a child to wade in.

A dear friend of mine recently had a NDE. While she was "dead" she was in the presence of God and He spoke to her, with a "voice like a multitude" is how she describes it. Oh! How that thrills my soul! Now I read His word and think of that, a voice like a multitude!

In the beginning, God created ...

There is a marvelous aspect of His character - He is creative! He is more creative than we can begin to imagine. I love scientists, always probing to learn more of God's secrets, and graciously He reveals bits to them. How amazing to look into astronomy, to see the great expanse of the heavens and the universe, and to know He created it all! Earth is smaller than a pinprick in that scenario.

I love this in Romans 1:20 - since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made ...

He is creative.
He loves beauty.
He loves diversity.
He loves things truly big, and things truly small.

Bandit
Dec 14th 2007, 01:39 AM
What do you think? Can we know and understand God? If you say yes, what is the way that we do that?


He who knows Jesus knows God. (In as much as He can be known.)

Brother Mark
Dec 14th 2007, 01:40 AM
Ah yes. God is very creative. An older pastor that I have had the pleasure of hearing speak a few times has often spoken of this. He is a big believer in blessing people with our words while they are still alive. He mentions to husbands often how creative God can be. He tells us men that if we don't think we are creative, then to ask the Creator to tell us what would bless the women in our lives and He will inspire us with wonderfully creative ideas.

Partaker of Christ
Dec 14th 2007, 07:29 PM
Well RW, what I am getting at is that without suffering, without the desert experiences, we will never know Him. How do we know Him? By experiencing him while in the desert.

Deut 8:2-4
2 " You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3 "He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

The Lord knows what is in our hearts, and He knows whether we would keep His commandmants or not. But do we know?



In other words, we pray "Father make me like Jesus" or "God, I want to be like Jesus in my heart" and other such things. These are great prayers! But how will God make us like Jesus so that we KNOW God? By leading us into the desert where we will be hungry, so he can humble us, that we might learn that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

If we want to know Him, then that can only happen in the desert and if we respond correctly while in the desert of trials and testings.

Said another way, to know God, we must be placed in a situation where God must act or we will not survive emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Who knows how he will do it for each. But the process involves coming to the end of ourselves and then we begin to know not only God's works, but his ways.

Israel did not respond correctly in the desert. And the word says of them that they knew his acts. But Moses, he responded correctly because he knew God's ways.

Great Post Mark!

Apart from knowing God, and knowing His ways, I also believe that there is another very important reason, why the Spirit leads us into the desert (wilderness).
That we come to know ourselves. Who we really are and what we are really like.

"if we respond correctly while in the desert of trials and testings."
Can we respond correctly, if we hold this false image of ourselves?

Friend of I AM
Dec 14th 2007, 07:44 PM
The Lord knows what is in our hearts, and He knows whether we would keep His commandmants or not. But do we know?



Great Post Mark!

Apart from knowing God, and knowing His ways, I also believe that there is another very important reason, why the Spirit leads us into the desert (wilderness).
That we come to know ourselves. Who we really are and what we are really like.

"if we respond correctly while in the desert of trials and testings."
Can we respond correctly, if we hold this false image of ourselves?

I've always thought of it as us praying to God to lead us to the right response. I think it's put best within the proverbs.

Proverbs 20:24
Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?

The thing I like about David's Psalms and Solomon's Proverbs is both seemed to place all the emphasis on God leading man, as opposed to the other way around. Although Solomon possessed great worldly wisdom, greater than even his father or his sons to follow him - I still think that David truly exemplifies what true fear of the Lord and spiritual wisdom really is.

David realized his complete dependancy upon God and was not afraid to admit it. He came to God for everything. Perhaps that's the model we all should follow when seeking to go about doing the right thing in the eyes of our creator. Perhaps the reason as to why David was a "man after God's own heart" - is because he always sought the heart and wisdom of the Lord when trying to discern what to do in various matters.

Duane Morse
Dec 14th 2007, 07:57 PM
I think we can know and understand God only to the extent that He gives us knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

Here is an interesting little passage:

Ex 31:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Ex 31:2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah:
Ex 31:3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
Ex 31:4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
Ex 31:5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
Ex 31:6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;

Bezaleel and Aholiab did not 'learn' or 'figure out' these things in any conventional sense. Their knowledge and understanding and wisdom were bestowed directly upon them (and in them) by the Lord.

The Lord can do the same when it comes to understanding His divine nature, as well.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 07:58 PM
The Lord knows what is in our hearts, and He knows whether we would keep His commandmants or not. But do we know?
....
"if we respond correctly while in the desert of trials and testings."
Can we respond correctly, if we hold this false image of ourselves?

Thanks for posting, Partaker. My question comes from the opposite view. Can we respond correctly, if we hold a false image of God?

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 08:01 PM
I've always thought of it as us praying to God to lead us to the right response. I think it's put best within the proverbs.

Proverbs 20:24
Man's steps are ordained by the LORD, How then can man understand his way?

The thing I like about David's Psalms and Solomon's Proverbs is both seemed to place all the emphasis on God leading man, ....
David realized his complete dependancy upon God ...

Thanks, Friend.

And you give us another piece of the picture we seek to paint. God wants to be the leader! He wants us to follow Him, and depend on Him.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 08:03 PM
I think we can know and understand God only to the extent that He gives us knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

...

The Lord can do the same when it comes to understanding His divine nature, as well.

Good point, Duane. But does this mean we don't benefit from reading and studying His word, in order to know more about Him and to know Him better?

Duane Morse
Dec 14th 2007, 08:21 PM
Good point, Duane. But does this mean we don't benefit from reading and studying His word, in order to know more about Him and to know Him better?
I don't think we should stop reading and studying. But I do think that our ultimate understanding of what we read will depend on our relationship to Him.

Friend of I AM
Dec 14th 2007, 08:35 PM
Thanks for posting, Partaker. My question comes from the opposite view. Can we respond correctly, if we hold a false image of God?

Good question. How can we respond either way though..without God giving us direction to respond correctly? I guess the hardest part with questions like these is where to define man's part in the understanding process. Is it limited to just his book smarts and studying or is it completely dependant upon God's choice and sovereign will? Is it rooted mostly in faith in God's Love etc, etc? These are kind of deep philosophical questions that I'm not sure if anyone here can really give a definite yes or no answer on.

I guess there are a lot of other factors to consider when one thinks about it. Personally, I think that it's probably a combination of all of these things and then some - as to what degree each of these aspects plays a role in our understanding and/or salvation - I really can't say. You should read another thread in here that was done a couple weeks ago which kind of touches on this subject, it's regarding salvation being an emotional or intellectual experience. It's good stuff.

Stephen

Brother Mark
Dec 14th 2007, 09:02 PM
Thanks for posting, Partaker. My question comes from the opposite view. Can we respond correctly, if we hold a false image of God?

I like this question. Often I like to view the process instead of the moment in time. When the trial comes, the dross, or incorrect response rises to the surface! When we see the imperfection, we are convicted by it. The dross is there on the top. But the pure gold is still in there. So while the dross is evidence of a momentary incorrect response in our faith, indicating an incorrect view of God, the pure gold of our faith and the image of God gets better. So our incorrect response was a result of a bad view of the Lord. But when he reveals our heart and his heart, we learn, and our view of God improves.

RW, thanks for a thought provoking and edifying thread.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 09:24 PM
I don't think we should stop reading and studying. But I do think that our ultimate understanding of what we read will depend on our relationship to Him.

I think this is very true. An unbeliever, or one who approaches the Bible with a negative attitude, will always find things to pick apart. But a sincere seeker, who is willing to hear the voice of God in the Scripture, will be able to do so. Of course, it takes perseverance, as well.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 09:37 PM
Good question. How can we respond either way though..without God giving us direction to respond correctly? I guess the hardest part with questions like these is where to define man's part in the understanding process. Is it limited to just his book smarts and studying or is it completely dependant upon God's choice and sovereign will? Is it rooted mostly in faith in God's Love etc, etc? These are kind of deep philosophical questions that I'm not sure if anyone here can really give a definite yes or no answer on.

I guess there are a lot of other factors to consider when one thinks about it. Personally, I think that it's probably a combination of all of these things and then some - as to what degree each of these aspects plays a role in our understanding and/or salvation - I really can't say. You should read another thread in here that was done a couple weeks ago which kind of touches on this subject, it's regarding salvation being an emotional or intellectual experience. It's good stuff.

Stephen

Hi Stephen,

Yes I read that thread and particpated in it. That's the main reason why I started this one. Because if you start with the wrong question, you are right, you will never find the answer. So I tried this, to see what will happen if we ask the right question.

I believe that God DOES give us direction to respond correctly. But we have to read the directions.

This is why, in this thread, I want us to examine WHO God is. What does He tell us, in His love letters to us, about Himself. This is not about something that popped into our own head, or we heard from some preacher, but what is it that God wants us to know. He wants us to know it, because He wrote it down for us to read. We should be able to understand it, because He wants us to understand it. But it has to be done His way, not my way.

This is not a thread about salvation. That is why it is in the Maturing in Christ forum. This is a thread for people who are saved, and want to become more mature in our relationship with Him.

Thanks for bringing your perspectives. It is in thinking through the hard things that we will find the true things.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 09:41 PM
I like this question. Often I like to view the process instead of the moment in time. When the trial comes, the dross, or incorrect response rises to the surface! When we see the imperfection, we are convicted by it. The dross is there on the top. But the pure gold is still in there. So while the dross is evidence of a momentary incorrect response in our faith, indicating an incorrect view of God, the pure gold of our faith and the image of God gets better. So our incorrect response was a result of a bad view of the Lord. But when he reveals our heart and his heart, we learn, and our view of God improves.

RW, thanks for a thought provoking and edifying thread.

You are welcome, Mark! And that is a good observation. Our first responses to this question might be all over the place. But as we share, and look at what we are learning about God, we will start to be hungry to know more. It gets really exciting!

Kingsdaughter
Dec 14th 2007, 09:56 PM
What is the first thing you learned about God? Did you hear that He is omniscient? Did you hear that He loves you? Did you hear that in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth?

What is the first thing you learned about His character? Is it that He loved the world so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for our sins?

The first thing I learned about Him was that He loved me...me personally:D I heard from many people growing up that He loved me from church, but it went in one ear and out the other, the night I got saved the Lord used a pastor to tell me that He loved me and this time I could hear Him telling me Himself and I believed Him. It was awesome.

The first thing I learned about His character? That He is both a friend and a loving Father. Of coarse there are many other wonderful things about who He is but these were the first.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 10:08 PM
... I think it's important to get back to basics, which is that you have to take time every day, preferably first thing in the morning, to do as Jesus did, find a quiet place, shut the door and, and close your eyes and just take a deep breath and start acknowledging God's presence, praise Him, say the Lord's prayer if you like, then as you feel the anointing of the Spirit come upon you, Be still, be quiet, let Him speak, and as He reveals Himself to you acknowledge what He's telling you by repeating it to yourself and thus confirming that you get it, if it's about sin, confess it, if its about a promise, accept it and claim it, if its about a word to someone, tell Him you'll make it a point to tell them about it, if it's about praying for someone's need, do it right then and there.:pray:

I don't know how else to explain it, it's that simple, and it works, and it builds you-up spiritually like hardly anything else I can think of, other than fasting 40 days in the dessert, but you know it only takes about 40 minutes each day. It's really exciting, believe me, and of course if you're already doing this you know what I'm talking about. ;)

And also start reading The Word, that goes along with the prayer, and it makes sense that since at that moment you're still in that mode, "Being still and hearing His voice mode" what ever Scripture you read makes more sense to you than ever before, I tell you you could read the "begets and begats" and the lists of this and that, and even in those you find revelations. Its really amazing. :o:pp.

Hi Dan,

Thank you so much for sharing this. One thing I have observed about God is that He is very personal and individual with each of us. I agree with you that we benefit enormously from regular private surrendered prayer time with God. We may experience it differently, but with consistent application, we grow deeper in our walk with Him. And I'm so glad you mentioned getting into the Word. I have found that when He speaks to me, it has almost always been a scripture quote. Sometimes it was new to me, and I had to get out my concordance and look it up!

God is amazing! :pp

Partaker of Christ
Dec 14th 2007, 10:12 PM
Thanks for posting, Partaker. My question comes from the opposite view. Can we respond correctly, if we hold a false image of God?

Hi again RW!

I believe the two go hand in hand (so to speak)
We have to have the renewing of our minds, in order to excersise the mind of Christ. We have to stop leaning on our own understanding, before we lean on Him. We have to take off our yoke, before we can take His yoke upon us.

Jer 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

There has to be a 'root out' a 'pull down' a 'destroy' a 'throw down', before there is a 'build' and a 'plant'
God does not renovate and old building, nor does He build on old foundations.

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 10:18 PM
Hi again RW!

I believe the two go hand in hand (so to speak)
We have to have the renewing of our minds, in order to excersise the mind of Christ. We have to stop leaning on our own understanding, before we lean on Him. We have to take off our yoke, before we can take His yoke upon us.

Jer 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

There has to be a 'root out' a 'pull down' a 'destroy' a 'throw down', before there is a 'build' and a 'plant'
God does not renovate and old building, nor does He build on old foundations.

You have just made the perfect pitch for why we must be born again! I love the parable Jesus told about how you don't put new wine in old wineskins, or a new patch on old cloth.

Friend of I AM
Dec 14th 2007, 10:44 PM
Hi Stephen,

Yes I read that thread and particpated in it. That's the main reason why I started this one. Because if you start with the wrong question, you are right, you will never find the answer. So I tried this, to see what will happen if we ask the right question.

I believe that God DOES give us direction to respond correctly. But we have to read the directions.

This is why, in this thread, I want us to examine WHO God is. What does He tell us, in His love letters to us, about Himself. This is not about something that popped into our own head, or we heard from some preacher, but what is it that God wants us to know. He wants us to know it, because He wrote it down for us to read. We should be able to understand it, because He wants us to understand it. But it has to be done His way, not my way.

This is not a thread about salvation. That is why it is in the Maturing in Christ forum. This is a thread for people who are saved, and want to become more mature in our relationship with Him.

Thanks for bringing your perspectives. It is in thinking through the hard things that we will find the true things.

Okay. Understand what you're getting at. I guess the questions now to ask would be, what does our reading these directions entail? I mean, does God really just lay out a book to us - and say "go read it" and then that's it, we understand him and know him?

Is our knowing God based on the understanding he imparts upon us regarding scriptures and parables? Or is it something else? All of these questions do indeed relate to salvation - seeing as how those who God states he doesn't know - will not be saved. That's where I'm getting at.

Let me answer these questions from my own personal perspective again. I fully acknowledge that I don't understand everything about God, but the defining thing that has brought me to having faith in Him despite my understanding is the message of Love that I can clearly see demonstrated from the gospels and from Christ himself.

This message is what keeps me motivated to follow him - despite not always having a clear understanding of what's been said in the scriptures or a complete understanding of God himself. Remember the disciples who left Christ? Many of them, left him - because they did not understand what he was saying. They heard him say things like "you must drink my blood" in order to be saved - and were immediately repulsed by what he said and thus turned away from salvation.

How many of us today, would follow a man and believe he was God who said such things - just by hearing what such a man was saying and believing that we had the ability to fully understand God? By today's standards it's easy for us to understand(or perhaps easier) the gospels - because we have had the fullness of them written down and interpreted by scholars for us over the years. But what if a man were to come today, and say such things? Would you believe him? Would you still follow him based on your knowledge of who you thought God was?

So perhaps in understanding God, we first need to cast aside the thought that we have any ability to understand and respond to him outside what he has revealed to us, or what he has allowed us to understand.

Many blessings to you. This has been a very interesting discussion.

Stephen

DanDMan64
Dec 14th 2007, 10:51 PM
Hi Dan,

Thank you so much for sharing this. One thing I have observed about God is that He is very personal and individual with each of us. I agree with you that we benefit enormously from regular private surrendered prayer time with God. We may experience it differently, but with consistent application, we grow deeper in our walk with Him. And I'm so glad you mentioned getting into the Word. I have found that when He speaks to me, it has almost always been a scripture quote. Sometimes it was new to me, and I had to get out my concordance and look it up!

God is amazing! :ppYes I agree that He is indeed a very personal God, and yet as we begin to share what He's telling us individually we often find that what He's telling me is only relevant to me in some ways because I am an individual and His calling for me may be different than yours, but as it pertains to "The Body of Christ" we often discover that we're being taught exactly the same thing, and thus it is that we can know what we learned is the truth.

If you notice on our threads here in the forums, in a lot of discussions we often are "edified" when we find a lot of our brethren agree with us on one point or another because "The Lord showed me" this or that, and so we rejoice.

But in the same way you often find a few that disagree or flat-out reject some spiritual truth we hold dear because we learned it from The Lord, and we know is true because others had confirmed it before and even The Spirit did at some point bear witness to our spirit that it was so, but upon further discussion you find that the only reason they disagree is because they red it in some book, or they heard that some old church father said it, or they heard their pastor preach a sermon about it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, even in our own devotions we could be misled by our own reasoning and thoughts, so one way we can know it was "from The Lord" is when we share it, or we ask God to give us a way to find-out if it was Him telling us. In other words we have to be careful to not trust anyone's word for some spiritual truth or "new Interpretation" of doctrine, including our own selves, and when it's important God will make sure we understand it. This is the principle of "by two or three witnesses shall all things be established."

2 Corinthians 13:1 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=54&chapter=13&verse=1&version=31&context=verse)
[ Final Warnings ] This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."

Matthew 18:16 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=18&verse=16&version=31&context=verse)
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.'

God bless! :hug:

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 11:13 PM
...I guess the questions now to ask would be, what does our reading these directions entail? I mean, does God really just lay out a book to us - and say "go read it" and then that's it, we understand him and know him?
...


Thank you for sharing your testimony, Stephen. We all come stumbling and astonished, don't we? In the New in Christ forum, a few of us have been working through an inductive study in Mark, and it has been very enlightening to me. You might want to read through some of that, if you get a chance. One thing that has stood out to me as we've gone through so far, is how slow the disciples were to "get it" and they were seeing Jesus do miracles every day. Even when they had seen not one, but two, feedings of the multitude, they still thought Jesus was rebuking them for not bringing bread on the boat, when He spoke of the leaven of the Pharisees. So if it took them a while to get it, why should I expect to read the Bible once and then think "I've got it!"

When I first started walking with the Lord, and reading the Bible with understanding, I marked up the passages that spoke to me in a meaningful way. Every page had something marked on it. I was so excited, and could not wait to have the whole Bible marked up. I thought when I did that, I would know what was in it. But there were yet more surprises for me, and still are. I now understand people who say that you can read the Bible many times, and still it can speak to you something new and fresh. It is truly an amazing book.

I have been walking with the Lord seriously since 1991. Before that I was very sporadic in my Christianity, even though I was baptized in 1954. I did not learn in my childhood church, how to read and study the Bible for myself, although people there told me to read it. It just didn't happen for me at that time. But from 1991 until now, I have been reading it, studying it, and growing in my relationship with God.

Think of it this way: If you were a single man, and met a woman that was very attractive to you, would you take her out for one date, and then say "I know her and understand her!" ? I don't think so. In fact, I hope not! It takes time and effort to get to know another human being. Why would we not invest at least that much time and effort to get to know God, since we are planning to be with Him through eternity?

And by the way, you have given us another aspect of His character, in the sharing of how you came to give yourself over to Him. Love. There is actually a verse that says this. In fact, 2.

1 Jn 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. NKJV

1 Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
NKJV

RoadWarrior
Dec 14th 2007, 11:32 PM
...

I guess what I'm trying to say is, even in our own devotions we could be misled by our own reasoning and thoughts, so one way we can know it was "from The Lord" is when we share it, or we ask God to give us a way to find-out if it was Him telling us. In other words we have to be careful to not trust anyone's word for some spiritual truth or "new Interpretation" of doctrine, including our own selves, and when it's important God will make sure we understand it. This is the principle of "by two or three witnesses shall all things be established."
...


You make some good points Dan. Yes. We are not little islands, separate from one another, even though we need that alone time with Him. Afterwards, we need "together" time with other Christians. We do indeed share the same gospel, the same Jesus, the same Father, the same Holy Spirit. And as we are each walking in truth, we will find that we are in agreement.

The two or three witnesses is a very interesting thing. As I study the Bible, I have learned that the teachings there are repeated at least that many times. In fact, if someone takes a scripture out of context and says it means such and such when it does not, it will seem to be in conflict with other scriptures. But put it into context, understand it correctly, and suddenly you will see it reflected in other places in the Bible.

So I think you are giving us two more aspects of God's character - He is a personal God, and He is a corporate God. He is in relationship with each of us individually, and with all of us as a body.

Thanks, Dan.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 12:33 AM
Think of it this way: If you were a single man, and met a woman that was very attractive to you, would you take her out for one date, and then say "I know her and understand her!" ?


:lol:

You know it's funny that you mention this. In my earlier life - I probably would have said that as I applied that rationale to just about everyone I met. It's been many years, and many relationships that I've finally realized that I have to use more discernment and discretion in regards to character of those I chose to have relationships with.

But still, I do think that I am a bit simple in my thoughts and pursuits of the Lord. When asked the question by people - why is God loving, my answer is usually -- "He created the earth and stuff" or something along those lines or "He sacraficed his life for us on the Cross"

I think there is nothing in my heart or mind that could ever be done or told to me that would make me think of God as not loving, perhaps that's why I've never really had an issue with desiring to follow and getting to know the Lord despite adversity. Consequently though, this naivety at times can cause me to be a bit oversensitive to things that might not be from the Lord - which again, is why I've had to pray to God that I would become more discerning over the years as to who/what I follow and whether or not what's being said is coming from God or not.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 12:58 AM
:lol:

I think there is nothing in my heart or mind that could ever be done or told to me that would make me think of God as not loving, perhaps that's why I've never really had an issue with desiring to follow and getting to know the Lord despite adversity. Consequently though, this naivety at times can cause me to be a bit oversensitive to things that might not be from the Lord - which again, is why I've had to pray to God that I would become more discerning over the years as to who/what I follow and whether or not what's being said is coming from God or not.

Exactly right, FIA. We desire to follow Him. Thus we have this thread. From my early days in this Christian walk I read this scripture ...

Jn 10:27-29
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. NKJV

So I've always prayed for this, and longed for this, that I hear His voice and KNOW that it is His voice.

Jn 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." NKJV

Before I belonged to the Lord I was not discerning of the voices of strangers, and even now I sometimes have to be careful, because that which I think is the voice of the Lord has at times turned out to be my own voice! LOL!

Also, there are all those false prophets out there who pretend to be speaking for Him. So like you, I long to be ever more discerning as I grow in my relationship with Him. And I am convinced that the more I KNOW Him, the more secure I am in recognizing His voice.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 01:22 AM
Exactly right, FIA. We desire to follow Him. Thus we have this thread. From my early days in this Christian walk I read this scripture ...

Jn 10:27-29
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. NKJV

So I've always prayed for this, and longed for this, that I hear His voice and KNOW that it is His voice.

Jn 10:2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." NKJV

Before I belonged to the Lord I was not discerning of the voices of strangers, and even now I sometimes have to be careful, because that which I think is the voice of the Lord has at times turned out to be my own voice! LOL!

Also, there are all those false prophets out there who pretend to be speaking for Him. So like you, I long to be ever more discerning as I grow in my relationship with Him. And I am convinced that the more I KNOW Him, the more secure I am in recognizing His voice.

Good points. We all have issues with discernment at times. We are not perfect nor omniscient, but as we grow in grace we hope that God will allow himself to become more known to us and help us to hear his voice better. Perhaps the first step in hearing him as you mentioned before, is making sure that we Love him and others - before we even start studying and trying to understand his word. It's a difficult walk, and he never stated it would be easy - but I sincerely believe that God's discernment, mercy, and grace are the primary things needed for us to make it to the end -- despite even having and understanding of God - or even being able to hear his voice.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 01:47 AM
Good points. We all have issues with discernment at times. We are not perfect nor omniscient, but as we grow in grace we hope that God will allow himself to become more known to us and help us to hear his voice better. Perhaps the first step in hearing him as you mentioned before, is making sure that we Love him and others - before we even start studying and trying to understand his word. It's a difficult walk, and he never stated it would be easy - but I sincerely believe that God's discernment, mercy, and grace are the primary things needed for us to make it to the end -- despite even having and understanding of God - or even being able to hear his voice.

FIA, look at this scripture:



1 Co 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. NKJV

This is why I say, and I quote Jesus, we must be born again. Here is what He said:


Jn 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
NKJV


So it is important for a person to know that they have been born again, then they are able to understand spiritual things.

For anyone reading this, and finding these passages to be new and unfamiliar, I strongly recommend that you go the Bible and read them in context, get the whole picture.

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 01:49 AM
I think the Lord puts it best to the prophet Isaiah in these verses:

Isaiah 6:9-10

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

Ever hearing and perceiving - growing in knowledge, but not in Love for God or their fellow man. If we hear God's voice, what do we then do? Do we continue to tell others that if they don't hear it that they or not of him? Or do we try to assist others in getting to know him? Those are the questions one needs to ask themselves as the go down the walk with the Lord. Despite what we know, despite prophecy, despite gifts of tongues - the only thing that will remain in the end - is Love.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 01:55 AM
I think the Lord puts it best to the prophet Isaiah in these verses:

Isaiah 6:9-10

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.

It's an amazing quote, FIA. We have been studying that in the Mark study, because Jesus quoted it to His disciples. This, He said, was the reason why He spoke to the multitudes in parables. If a person is unwilling to believe in Him, then they remain dull of ears and heart, and blind of eye. But the person who wants to know Him, who believes in Him, must persist in following Him until the understanding is achieved. As I said before, this will take time. The disciples were slow to understand, and they had the living Jesus right there with them!

Now here is another characteristic of God: He is patient!

Friend of I AM
Dec 15th 2007, 02:07 AM
It's an amazing quote, FIA. We have been studying that in the Mark study, because Jesus quoted it to His disciples. This, He said, was the reason why He spoke to the multitudes in parables. If a person is unwilling to believe in Him, then they remain dull of ears and heart, and blind of eye. But the person who wants to know Him, who believes in Him, must persist in following Him until the understanding is achieved. As I said before, this will take time. The disciples were slow to understand, and they had the living Jesus right there with them!

Now here is another characteristic of God: He is patient!

Thanks. But I think it's important to note that the disciples who continued to follow Christ, were the one's who did not understand him - and who just had faith in him and what he promised. Remember these verses -

John Chapter 6:54-69Whoever eats 19 (http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/bible/john/john6.htm#foot19) my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.
For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. Then many of his disciples who were listening said, "This saying is hard; who can accept it?" Since Jesus knew that his disciples were murmuring about this, he said to them, "Does this shock you? What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, while the flesh is of no avail. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning the ones who would not believe and the one who would betray him. And he said, "For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father." As a result of this, many (of) his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him. Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?" Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God."


Simon Peter's faith in Jesus, as well as the faith of the other disciples - is what kept them following the Lord. It was not a walk based on understanding, or simply the hearing of his voice. It was God's will, his mercy, and the faith he had imparted them with that enabled them to keep following the Lord.

Blessings,

Stephen

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 02:40 AM
I've been taking note of the characteristics of God that have been mentioned as we have communicated in this thread. I may have missed some, and some overlap, so please feel free to add to this list, or to elaborate on what I have listed.

God exercises, and delights in, lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth.

He is not only a judge, He is merciful.

Christ is the image of God.

God speaks, has mercy, and has knowledge.

God uses desert experiences to teach His people.

God has a voice; He speaks, and He communicates.

God expects responses in a certain way. There is a correct way to respond to Him.

God likes to be alone with us individually. He also likes to be with us in a group.

God is love.

God is patient.

DPMartin
Dec 15th 2007, 08:52 PM
Roadwarror
sorry I did not get back to you sooner, if some one has mentioned this already I apologize. This thread has gone from 1 page to 5 seems over night. I haven't had the chance to read it all before posting, good stuff guys good stuff.
Praise the Lord

God has and gives His by His Will.
Love, Faith and Hope
Truth, Life, and Way
Wisdom, Understanding, and Knowledge
Mercy, Righteousness, and Judgement

not our’s His. And all of this is through and in Jesus.

The Lord has brought something else to my attention through experience no less. There are five pillars or posts at the Door of the tabernacle of the congregation and the Lord made me think about what truly is Grace.
Ex 26
36: And thou shalt make an hanging for the door of the tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, wrought with needlework.
37: And thou shalt make for the hanging five pillars of ****tim wood, and overlay them with gold, and their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them.


Note the five Mercy which is greater then Righteousness, and Judgement for the mercy seat sets on top of the ark that contains the law (Righteousness, and Judgement ).

Wisdom greater than Understanding, and Knowledge, and confirmed when David advised his son Solomon on what to seek from God.

Truth no doubt greater for it is in Spirit and Truth that the Father is worshiped and only in Truth may we enter. It sets us free and God’s Word is nothing but Truth and gives Life.

Love, no question here for the beloved witness St. John has verified that God is Love. And does give Hope and Faith.

And all are under His Will, from the Father.

You can call me on it, I am sure that these five are the Grace of our God given continuously until the day. it's like five steps of Grace starting with Mercy. for all flesh can recognize Mercy.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 09:17 PM
...You can call me on it, I am sure that these five are the Grace of our God given continuously until the day. it's like five steps of Grace starting with Mercy. for all flesh can recognize Mercy.

Thanks DPM.

I think you have added a characteristic of God which has not been clearly stated before now.

He is gracious.

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 15th 2007, 10:13 PM
Your quote, no one can see Him and live, comes from here, an exchange between God and Moses:

Ex 33:20-23
20 But He said, "You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live." 21 And the Lord said, "Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen." NKJV

Yet in another place we are told this:
Ex 33:11
11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
NKJV

Some would say this is a contradiction. However, I believe that there is no contradiction, there is simply a misunderstanding. How would you resolve those two? What differences in meaning can we find? Perhaps by exploring this we can find out something more about the One we seek to understand.

I don't see any contradiction at all. Notice the difference between the 2 verses....in the first passage, it tells of Moses SEEING the Lord face-to-face, while in the second passage, it tells of the Lord SPEAKING to Moses face-to-face. The Lord tells Moses that no one can SEE His face and live...it does not say that no one can SPEAK to the Lord face-to-face, and live.

I really think that the phrase face-to-face here refers to a personal interaction, rather than a physical one.

Exodus 33:11 is not the only place where the phrase "face to face" occurs. It also occurs in Numbers 12:6, where the Lord says, regarding Moses:

I speak with Him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings

As in Exodus 33:11, this passage says nothing about Moses SEEING the Lord face-to-face, but that he experienced a personal encounter with the Lord.


Another passage of interest is Deut. 34:10,11
But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharoah, before all his servants, and in all his land

Notice here that it states that the Lord knew Moses face-to-face in all the signs and wonders. This is the method by which the Lord revealed Himself to Moses....through His supernatural work through Moses in delivering His nation Israel. While Moses DID have a relationship with God, it was not a deeply personal one wherein Moses understood God's heart. Note that the passage does not state that Moses SAW the Lord face-to-face...just that He knew Him. I really think that this is an important passage, because it really marks a distinction between how people knew God back then, and how they know Him now.

Back in the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to His people through signs and wonders, and this is how they knew Him, and related to Him. They did not know the deeply personal relationship with Him that we know today.

They were commanded to obey the Lord, but they were not empowered to, like we are today:

1 John 2:3,4 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Simply stated, we are inclined to keep His commandments through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit....and it is through this indwelling that we know Him.

RoadWarrior
Dec 15th 2007, 10:33 PM
...the passage does not state that Moses SAW the Lord face-to-face...just that He knew Him. I really think that this is an important passage, because it really marks a distinction between how people knew God back then, and how they know Him now.

Back in the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to His people through signs and wonders, and this is how they knew Him, and related to Him. They did not know the deeply personal relationship with Him that we know today.

They were commanded to obey the Lord, but they were not empowered to, like we are today:

1 John 2:3,4 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

Simply stated, we are inclined to keep His commandments through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit....and it is through this indwelling that we know Him.

Hi Cloudburst,

Thank you for your thoughtful post. That is a great observation about the difference between seeing face-to-face vs. speaking face-to-face.

I'm a little bit inclined toward another view on the NT vs OT thought. There are outstanding examples in the OT of people who had deeply personal relationships with God, Moses included. A few others pop to mind: Adam. Enoch. David. Jeremiah. Elijah. Jacob.

The purpose of the thread is to look at Biblical examples and try to find the characteristics of God. I believe that He is the same God in the OT that He is in the NT. I think if we look for it, we will find that to be true.

In the quote above, John says that we can be sure we know Him when we are keeping His commandments. What does this mean to you?

To me, it means that knowing Him includes knowing those things that are pleasing to Him. I believe He has given us lots of information about Himself both in the OT and in the NT.

If I love my husband and I want to please him, then I need to know what kind of things are important to him. When I want to make his favorite meal, I start by thinking what he especially has enjoyed in the past, that I have prepared for him. Since he loves chocolate, I won't make a strawberry cake for him, but a chocolate one, even though my favorite is strawberry.

So, if through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we know Him, what is it that we know about Him?

Thank you for participating!

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 15th 2007, 10:38 PM
I think we can know and understand God only to the extent that He gives us knowledge, understanding and wisdom.

The Lord can do the same when it comes to understanding His divine nature, as well.


ABSOLUTELY, Duane.
Divine wisdom and understanding comes from God, and the level to which we attain is is dependent upon His grace:

Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. Great men are not always wise, nor do the aged always understand justice.

As God gives man wisdom, He also has the power to take it away:

Job 39:16,17 She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; Her labor is in vain without concern, because God deprived her of wisdom, and did not endow her with understanding

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 15th 2007, 11:50 PM
Hi Cloudburst,

Thank you for your thoughtful post. That is a great observation about the difference between seeing face-to-face vs. speaking face-to-face.

I'm a little bit inclined toward another view on the NT vs OT thought. There are outstanding examples in the OT of people who had deeply personal relationships with God, Moses included. A few others pop to mind: Adam. Enoch. David. Jeremiah. Elijah. Jacob.

Hi, RW;

I definitely agree with you here. There were many Old Testament figures who enjoyed deeply personal relationships with the Lord, but I think the main distinction between then and now is the activity of the Holy Spirit....the person of the Trinity through Whom we are able to KNOW God. It is the Holy Spirit who brings us into an intimate relationship with God, so it is by His method of activity that we must examine this interpersonal relationship.

In the Old Testament, when God annointed a person, the Holy Spirit was said to "come upon him"....in this age of grace, the Holy Spirit relates to people by "dwelling within them". There is a huge difference.

In Psalm 51:10, David pleads with the Lord:
Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me

Even though the Holy Spirit could be UPON a person, He could not dwell INSIDE that person, no matter how righteous the person. Not only that, but it appears that the Holy Spirit could be taken away at any time of God's choosing. Furthermore, in some instances, as in the case of King Saul, and Samson, it would be possible for that person to be completely unaware that the Spirit had left...because that person lacked the intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit was not an intimate part of that person's spirit...It was merely an act of God's annointing.

I think that King David is a perfect example of an Old Testament figure who actually KNEW God. He is known as a "man after God's own heart," and it is apparent in reading the Psalms just why. He was a man who basically shared God's heart.....hated what God hates, and loved what He loves. His nature and character much reflected that of God; likewise, God gave Him incredible understanding.
Even so, David did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, so even with his rich understanding and deeply personal relationship with God, he lacked something.

When Jesus Christ came to this earth, He came as a man. Likewise, even though He was God, He was the first man who was indwelt with the Holy Spirit; likewise, His wisdom and understanding far surpassed any man who had previously lived before Him. This understanding was a result of the Holy Spirit, and He had full understanding, because He was God in the flesh. He knew the Father more deeply than any man who had lived before Him, even King David...and that is because of the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit by which Jesus communicated with the Father, and through whom He knew the Father....not only KNEW Him, but knew OF Him. He had absolute and complete understanding....the Father empowered Him with complete understanding. We have a deeper understanding, as well, through the Holy Spirit, but this understanding is based upon how much the Father decides to give to us.


The purpose of the thread is to look at Biblical examples and try to find the characteristics of God. I believe that He is the same God in the OT that He is in the NT. I think if we look for it, we will find that to be true.

Absolutely agree


In the quote above, John says that we can be sure we know Him when we are keeping His commandments. What does this mean to you?

To me, it means that knowing Him includes knowing those things that are pleasing to Him. I believe He has given us lots of information about Himself both in the OT and in the NT.

I completely agree, but I also think that is just part of the picture. We know of Him what He has revealed through the OT and NT, but also what is revealed to us through the Spirit:

John 16:13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come

There is another verse that talks about the Spirit revealing to us all truth, although I can't remember exactly where it's found. What this indicates to me is that the way a person really knows God is through a combination of the written Word, and revelation of the Holy Spirit.
A person can read the Bible without truly understanding it...but if the Holy Spirit guides a person in Scripture, that person has true knowledge and understanding...and the level of that person's understanding is completely dependent upon how much the Father desires to reveal, as the Spirit will not speak on His own authority.




If I love my husband and I want to please him, then I need to know what kind of things are important to him. When I want to make his favorite meal, I start by thinking what he especially has enjoyed in the past, that I have prepared for him. Since he loves chocolate, I won't make a strawberry cake for him, but a chocolate one, even though my favorite is strawberry.

So, if through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we know Him, what is it that we know about Him?

Thank you for participating!

HMMM....I guess I would say His character and His attributes.

While we come to know about Him through the Word, we come to know Him on a personal level through the Holy Spirit.
For instance, suppose a person who is unsaved reads the Bible, and comes to an awareness that God loves him.
That person is intrigued, and accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, at which point the Holy Spirit is called into action, who begins to personally reveal the Father's love.
Whereas through the Bible, that person was made aware, through the Holy Spirit, God is made manifest.

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 12:11 AM
...

HMMM....I guess I would say His character and His attributes.

While we come to know about Him through the Word, we come to know Him on a personal level through the Holy Spirit.
For instance, suppose a person who is unsaved reads the Bible, and comes to an awareness that God loves him.
That person is intrigued, and accepts Christ as his personal Saviour, at which point the Holy Spirit is called into action, who begins to personally reveal the Father's love.
Whereas through the Bible, that person was made aware, through the Holy Spirit, God is made manifest.

Thanks, Cloudburst, for an extremely well written post. We are in agreement.

Now, as you have well said that the Holy Spirit teaches us about God's character and His attributes, that is what I am seeking to elicit from participants on this thread.

We love to say that we know God! But what is it that we know? Is He near and dear to us, or are we near and dear to ourselves? Do we love God for Who He is, or do we love Him for what He does for us?

I hear many things about God that do no line up with scripture. For example, people love to say that God loves everyone. Is this true? Can that be backed up by scripture? Or do we read in the Bible that God loved Jacob and hated Esau?

This is a hard saying, who can hear it? What does it tell us about God and about His character?

I'll take this to the next level. By exploring this, we may come to realize that we are near and dear to ourselves, and that is what we love about God. He loves us, and does good things for us, so we are responding to that.

What if! What if we want to move past that place and come to love God for Himself? Can we love Him for Himself? Does He exist apart from me, and have a character and attributes of His own that have nothing really to do with me?

Thanks Cloudburst. I look foward to further dialogue with you!

BTW, Happy Birthday!

ImmenseDisciple
Dec 16th 2007, 01:09 AM
If God could be understood in His wholeness by a mortal mind, he could not be God. We can have an understanding of Him, but the nature of our minds will always make this intrinsically flawed and massively, massively limited. Even in knowing Him in terms of our own experiences of Him, we have only known what He needed to show us specifically. Someone else could have personally experienced Him in ways which are absolutely as valid and genuine and from them form a completely different 'knowledge' of Him.

We can undeniably know things about Him and facets of His character (I feel that should probably be Character...).
We can know He's great :D

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 01:12 AM
If God could be understood in His wholeness by a mortal mind, he could not be God. We can have an understanding of Him, but the nature of our minds will always make this intrinsically flawed and massively, massively limited. Even in knowing Him in terms of our own experiences of Him, we have only known what He needed to show us specifically. Someone else could have personally experienced Him in ways which are absolutely as valid and genuine and from them form a completely different 'knowledge' of Him.

We can undeniably know things about Him and facets of His character (I feel that should probably be Character...).
We can know He's great :D

Thanks, Immense, for adding that - He is great!

Did you get that from the mealtime prayer, or from a scripture?

God is great,
God is good,
and we thank Him
for our food.

By His hands
we all are fed
Give us Lord
our daily bread.

Amen.

ImmenseDisciple
Dec 16th 2007, 01:15 AM
In my household the mealtime prayer was always;
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the world so sweet,
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything,
Amen.
:)

Friend of I AM
Dec 16th 2007, 01:28 AM
Thanks, Cloudburst, for an extremely well written post. We are in agreement.

Now, as you have well said that the Holy Spirit teaches us about God's character and His attributes, that is what I am seeking to elicit from participants on this thread.

We love to say that we know God! But what is it that we know? Is He near and dear to us, or are we near and dear to ourselves? Do we love God for Who He is, or do we love Him for what He does for us?

I hear many things about God that do no line up with scripture. For example, people love to say that God loves everyone. Is this true? Can that be backed up by scripture? Or do we read in the Bible that God loved Jacob and hated Esau?

This is a hard saying, who can hear it? What does it tell us about God and about His character?

I'll take this to the next level. By exploring this, we may come to realize that we are near and dear to ourselves, and that is what we love about God. He loves us, and does good things for us, so we are responding to that.

What if! What if we want to move past that place and come to love God for Himself? Can we love Him for Himself? Does He exist apart from me, and have a character and attributes of His own that have nothing really to do with me?

Thanks Cloudburst. I look foward to further dialogue with you!

BTW, Happy Birthday!


Perhaps it was Esau's response to God which made it so God hated him. Or perhaps God's version of hate, moreso has to do with those things which go against his character and position, not the actual thing in which he created. If you take what Paul said in Corinthians - we are all known to God as being his enemies - so being that we were indeed his enemies before Christ and dead to him, one could say that he hated us all because of the inherent nature that opposed him that we now possessed.

In Christ's sacrafice - one can clearly see the character of God and the true Love which he represents. Even though everyone in the world opposed him, he still thought enough about those who opposed him to humble himself before them, to show them more so than anything - that he was willing to give up everything for Love. Remember this verse,

John 12:47
If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

So perhaps all in all -- it's not what God does for us, even though we do appreciate the good things that he does(and they're all done for good) but perhaps, its moreso the realization or some understanding of his loving character. Or specifically we Love him, because he first Loved us -- and showed us what true love was all about.

Blessings,

Stephen

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 16th 2007, 01:45 AM
Perhaps it was Esau's response to God which made it so God hated him. Or perhaps God's version of hate, moreso has to do with those things which go against his character and position, not the actual thing in which he created. If you take what Paul said in Corinthians - we are all known to God as being his enemies - so being that we were indeed his enemies before Christ and dead to him, one could say that he hated us all because of the inherent nature that opposed him that we now possessed.

What you say makes sense, but the only thing that I'm having trouble with is the fact that Christ told us to "love our enemies," which indicates to me that God does the same, as He would not have commanded us to do something that He Himself would not do.


In Christ's sacrafice - one can clearly see the character of God and the true Love which he represents. Even though everyone in the world opposed him, he still thought enough about those who opposed him to humble himself before them, to show them more so than anything - that he was willing to give up everything for Love. Remember this verse,

John 12:47
If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

So perhaps all in all -- it's not what God does for us, even though we do appreciate the good things that he does(and they're all done for good) but perhaps, its moreso the realization or some understanding of his loving character. Or specifically we Love him, because he first Loved us -- and showed us what true love was all about.

Blessings,

Stephen

I know that was what drew ME to Him....His unfailing, gentle love. His love drew me in, and His wisdom kept me fascinated.

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 16th 2007, 01:48 AM
Thanks Cloudburst. I look foward to further dialogue with you!

BTW, Happy Birthday!

LOL...Thanks so much!!!!

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 16th 2007, 02:20 AM
I'll take this to the next level. By exploring this, we may come to realize that we are near and dear to ourselves, and that is what we love about God. He loves us, and does good things for us, so we are responding to that.

What if! What if we want to move past that place and come to love God for Himself? Can we love Him for Himself? Does He exist apart from me, and have a character and attributes of His own that have nothing really to do with me?

Thanks Cloudburst. I look foward to further dialogue with you!

BTW, Happy Birthday!

I do believe that it's possible to love God for Himself, and I think this truth is demonstrated very aptly in the heart of King David. Many of his Psalms reflect the fact that he loved God for His attributes, and the nature of His being....not merely for what He did for David.

Unfortunately, I think you're probably correct in your assumption that many people love God conditionally, and that is unfortunate. I think the main problem is that most people judge God's love for them according to His blessings upon them...they feel that if God does not bless them, or if some tragedy happens in their lives, that God's favor is not with them. They use God's blessings as a measure of His love and approval....and human nature sees love as reciprocal. We will love someone if they will love us back; if they don't love us, we won't love them.

Like I said, I think it IS possible to love the Lord simply for Who He is, but I really think that in order to do this, we must first be willing to let go of our pride. What you are referring to is a very egocentric form of love, and it is this pride that keeps us egocentrically motivated. Once we can see beyond ourselves, that when we can appreciate God for Who He really is, and I really think that this is where a true fear of God begins, and thus wisdom:

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding

I really think that when we let go of our pride, which of course involves crucifying the flesh, that's when we really begin to know God, because He begins to impart us with wisdom and knowledge that we never would have gained of and in ourselves.

True, it is impossible to know EVERY attribute of God fully, as He is infinite, but I do think that the wisdom that He does impart to us will be more than enough to satisfy our longings.

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 02:47 AM
...

Like I said, I think it IS possible to love the Lord simply for Who He is, but I really think that in order to do this, we must first be willing to let go of our pride. What you are referring to is a very egocentric form of love, and it is this pride that keeps us egocentrically motivated. Once we can see beyond ourselves, that when we can appreciate God for Who He really is, and I really think that this is where a true fear of God begins, and thus wisdom:

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding

I really think that when we let go of our pride, which of course involves crucifying the flesh, that's when we really begin to know God, because He begins to impart us with wisdom and knowledge that we never would have gained of and in ourselves.

True, it is impossible to know EVERY attribute of God fully, as He is infinite, but I do think that the wisdom that He does impart to us will be more than enough to satisfy our longings.

Good job, Cloudburst! I love the verse you included here, which includes both concepts in the OP. Knowing God, and understanding Him.

I agree that it is impossible to know every attribute of God fully. That is not my aim. My aim is to know Him more, and understand Him better, than I do today. And if I can continue in that quest for the remainder of my life, and find nuggets of gold along my pathway, it will be sufficient for the current time. But I have a strong feeling that without that continued quest and growth in Him, I will die a little bit every day.

Duane Morse
Dec 16th 2007, 09:41 AM
I really think that when we let go of our pride, which of course involves crucifying the flesh, that's when we really begin to know God, because He begins to impart us with wisdom and knowledge that we never would have gained of and in ourselves.

True, it is impossible to know EVERY attribute of God fully, as He is infinite, but I do think that the wisdom that He does impart to us will be more than enough to satisfy our longings.
More than enough to satisfy our longings may also be -
- enough to drive us into a state of insanity.
(and perhaps I speak from a position of experience on this point)

And it may not be simply letting go of pride that leads to Him imparting His wisdom, knowledge and understanding - it may be more of, what are His plans - and how do you fit in with them (for in either the good, or evil part).

Because, I feel that I have received all that I have asked for.
And yet, it has made me rather insane and lost in the process.


The old adage - be careful what you wish for - comes to mind.
Because -- you may get it (to your glory - or chagrin).


Can we know and understand God?
To some greater extent - yes, if the Lord imparts it to us.
(my avatar is a part - and a great deal - of what the Lord imparted to me concerning Him, and us, and how we relate to one another, and to the universe at large)

Is it wise to seek such knowledge and understanding?
Sometimes, I wonder.


It will, without a doubt, separate you from the rest of the flock.

Why?

Because the rest of the flock can not 'handle the Truth'!
John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

I wonder when others will be able to bear them.

Friend of I AM
Dec 16th 2007, 01:03 PM
What you say makes sense, but the only thing that I'm having trouble with is the fact that Christ told us to "love our enemies," which indicates to me that God does the same, as He would not have commanded us to do something that He Himself would not do.


Hey April,

I think the type of Love the lord is speaking of when he says "love your enemies" is more of being kind and compassionate to them, as oppossed to actually embracing them, their doctrinal beliefs, and calling them friends.

James 4:4
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

David gives a similar example as to what James states above in his Psalms, and as to how we are to go about seeking a heart similar to that of the Lord's.

Psalm 139:21-24
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

Despite our understanding, knowledge of scriptures, or ability to hear or perceive the word of God - The character of Christ is evident with us I believe, when we demonstrate that we are kind and compassionate to those who persecute us or to those whom do not mean us well.

John 13:34-35
I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
1 John 4:12-13
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.



I know that was what drew ME to Him....His unfailing, gentle love. His love drew me in, and His wisdom kept me fascinated.

Yep - and it's that wisdom and discernment that he gives us, which enables us to go about loving others in the same ways that he did.

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 02:15 PM
More than enough to satisfy our longings may also be -
- enough to drive us into a state of insanity.
(and perhaps I speak from a position of experience on this point)

And it may not be simply letting go of pride that leads to Him imparting His wisdom, knowledge and understanding - it may be more of, what are His plans - and how do you fit in with them (for in either the good, or evil part).

Because, I feel that I have received all that I have asked for.
And yet, it has made me rather insane and lost in the process.


The old adage - be careful what you wish for - comes to mind.
Because -- you may get it (to your glory - or chagrin).


Can we know and understand God?
To some greater extent - yes, if the Lord imparts it to us.
(my avatar is a part - and a great deal - of what the Lord imparted to me concerning Him, and us, and how we relate to one another, and to the universe at large)

Is it wise to seek such knowledge and understanding?
Sometimes, I wonder.


It will, without a doubt, separate you from the rest of the flock.

Why?

Because the rest of the flock can not 'handle the Truth'!
John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

I wonder when others will be able to bear them.

Duane, I'd just love to hear more about this! How can knowing God make you insane and lost?

Some of us are ready to bear knowing the truth. Let us share it, here, with one another.

There are so many scriptures that call us to seek Him! And I do not mind being separated from "the rest of the flock" if they do not want more of Him. Because He, IMO, is worth any price. After all, look at the price He paid for me.

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 02:19 PM
...

John 13:34-35
I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
1 John 4:12-13
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

Yep - and it's that wisdom and discernment that he gives us, which enables us to go about loving others in the same ways that he did.

Wonderful post! I wish I could respond in a way to do it justice, but I must get ready for church. I just want to single out these two scriptures because they are part of my testimony. And what a picture it gives us of Jesus! Not only does He want us to love Him and follow Him - He wants us to love each other. What does that say about His character? Unselfish?

DPMartin
Dec 16th 2007, 09:39 PM
Roadwarror


"I'll take this to the next level. By exploring this, we may come to realize that we are near and dear to ourselves, and that is what we love about God. He loves us, and does good things for us, so we are responding to that.
What if! What if we want to move past that place and come to love God for Himself? Can we love Him for Himself? Does He exist apart from me, and have a character and attributes of His own that have nothing really to do with me?"

You can not Love God without Him giving you His Love. You can not know the Truth unless the Truth is revealed to you. (side note here: God withholds from, therefore, that which He withholds from is not in His favor.) You can not be in His Mercy unless He gives you mercy. All in all it is His doing. Bottom line, you can not prove that you know God, He proves that you know Him. Example: a profit did not prove that he knew or heard God’s Word. He repeated what God told him to whom God told him, and God proved it.

The created creature is not empowered by God to be God, the created creature is empowered to know God, and all that God is willing give to, and reveal to the creature. As Jesus has taught:
Mt:10:24: The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25: It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.

Tho this is out of context I do believe the Truth of it stands.

Also as Paul has said: Rom 9
17: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18: Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19: Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20: Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21: Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

RoadWarrior
Dec 16th 2007, 10:12 PM
Roadwarror


"I'll take this to the next level. By exploring this, we may come to realize that we are near and dear to ourselves, and that is what we love about God. He loves us, and does good things for us, so we are responding to that.
What if! What if we want to move past that place and come to love God for Himself? Can we love Him for Himself? Does He exist apart from me, and have a character and attributes of His own that have nothing really to do with me?"

You can not Love God without Him giving you His Love. You can not know the Truth unless the Truth is revealed to you. (side note here: God withholds from, therefore, that which He withholds from is not in His favor.) You can not be in His Mercy unless He gives you mercy. All in all it is His doing. Bottom line, you can not prove that you know God, He proves that you know Him. Example: a profit did not prove that he knew or heard Godís Word. He repeated what God told him to whom God told him, and God proved it.

The created creature is not empowered by God to be God, the created creature is empowered to know God, and all that God is willing give to, and reveal to the creature. As Jesus has taught:
Mt:10:24: The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
25: It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord.

Tho this is out of context I do believe the Truth of it stands.

Also as Paul has said: Rom 9
17: For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18: Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19: Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20: Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21: Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

DPM, I'm a little bit confused by this. What characteristics of God are you bringing out with this post? That He is capricious? Selfish? Mean? Arbitrary? How would you characterize God, based on what you have posted?

Thanks.

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 16th 2007, 10:18 PM
More than enough to satisfy our longings may also be -
- enough to drive us into a state of insanity.
(and perhaps I speak from a position of experience on this point)

Oh, ya...I can totally see that.
That's why it's a wise thing, when asking the Lord for understanding, to ask the Lord to impart to us just WHAT, and how much, HE desires to impart to us....not how much WE desire to receive.
When a person comes to the realization that the understanding that He gives us is to be used for HIS glory, and not our own, then I think it's easier for a person to pray in this manner.

Not only does this demonstrate humility on our part, but the realization that HE knows just WHAT KIND of wisdom, and HOW MUCH of it, will benefit not only us, but those around us. He knows what's best for us.


And it may not be simply letting go of pride that leads to Him imparting His wisdom, knowledge and understanding - it may be more of, what are His plans - and how do you fit in with them (for in either the good, or evil part).

Oh, ya, I agree.....but wouldn't you also agree that, when a person is focusing more on God's plans then their own desires, then they are, in essence, letting go of pride?
It's not just about self anymore...it's about God, and what fits into HIS plans, and not our own.


Because, I feel that I have received all that I have asked for.
And yet, it has made me rather insane and lost in the process.


The old adage - be careful what you wish for - comes to mind.
Because -- you may get it (to your glory - or chagrin).

TOUCHE!!! So true, BUT, I think that when we pray for God's will to be done, and not our own, then it's a sure bet we won't have to worry about such things.
After all, this is how Christ instructed us to pray:

"THY Kingdom come, THY will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven."



Can we know and understand God?
To some greater extent - yes, if the Lord imparts it to us.
(my avatar is a part - and a great deal - of what the Lord imparted to me concerning Him, and us, and how we relate to one another, and to the universe at large)

Is it wise to seek such knowledge and understanding?
Sometimes, I wonder.

It will, without a doubt, separate you from the rest of the flock.

Why?

Because the rest of the flock can not 'handle the Truth'!
John 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

I wonder when others will be able to bear them.

Duane;
You make an interesting point here, because both Peter and Paul warned us about causing divisions within the body....so, then, if you seek so much understanding that it separates you from the rest of the Body, to desire such understanding would be unwise.

Again, I think it's wise to only seek as much understanding as God desires you to have.....and as we have finite minds, I don't see the logic in desiring complete knowledge and understanding, at least not now.

You're absolutely right about it making us crazy. I am reminded of the scenario of the mathemetician who drives himself crazy trying to figure out an incomprehensible theorem. Some things are just beyond our comprehension, and I do think that a person who realizes, and accepts, this, has REAL wisdom and understanding.

Friend of I AM
Dec 16th 2007, 10:43 PM
Interesting points so far. If I might add. Fear and Love of the Lord brings about wisdom, and wisdom brings about understanding. I don't think that when God imparts upon us any of these things, that he is attempting to cause division amongst brothers and sisters in Christ, however, lack of understanding and wisdom does indeed cause division.

Take Stephen the Martyr for example. It is said in the scriptures that he was a man full of "God's grace and power" and that the Sahendrin could not stand up to the wisdom and spirit by which he spoke.

When Stephen brought his testimony before them, and made them knowledgeable of the sin they had commited in the murder of their savior, this was not done for the purpose of division, but to bring them to repentance, and eventually if repentance wasn't reached - to judgement. Stephen acted as a witness and prosecutor before God, presenting testimony to the Sahendrin about the sin's Israel committed in killing all of the prophets before them and finally killing his son. Did the people Stephen testified to repent of their sins? Well, we know the answer to that one. However, we do know that Stephen himself was not one who was trying to cause division, but rather - he was given a specific role by God to enact to bring others to repentance and knowledge of the Truth.

Blessings,

Stephen

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 16th 2007, 11:01 PM
Hey April,

I think the type of Love the lord is speaking of when he says "love your enemies" is more of being kind and compassionate to them, as oppossed to actually embracing them, their doctrinal beliefs, and calling them friends.

Ya...I can't say I disagree with this. I think the point is to make an active decision to "do good to those who revile and persecute us," aside from any feelings we may have of the person....BUT, I think it's also wise to pray for genuine, heartfelt love of the person.

When Jesus Christ was suffering on the cross, and He said "Father, forgive them," this was a display of genuine heartfelt love...His acted ACCORDING to His emotions, not in spite OF them.

I definitely don't think we should be led by emotion, but I can tell you right now from experience...when you actually LOVE those who hate you, and want what's best for them...It is SUCH a feeling of freedom, as you are no longer bound by those feelings. Having to grit your teeth and be loving, in spite of your emotions, is VERY hard.


James 4:4

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

David gives a similar example as to what James states above in his Psalms, and as to how we are to go about seeking a heart similar to that of the Lord's.

Psalm 139:21-24
Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.


Despite our understanding, knowledge of scriptures, or ability to hear or perceive the word of God - The character of Christ is evident with us I believe, when we demonstrate that we are kind and compassionate to those who persecute us or to those whom do not mean us well.

AMEN to that!!! I think this is the greatest evidence of Christ in our lives.


John 13:34-35

I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.
This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
1 John 4:12-13
No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.



Yep - and it's that wisdom and discernment that he gives us, which enables us to go about loving others in the same ways that he did.

Absolutely!!! I like the last passage you quoted, because it states that no man hath seen God at any time, then goes on to describe the character of God displayed in us. I think this really clarifies the fact that the only way that a person will see God is through His character reflected in us.

Important to know....and why it's so important to show love and compassion towards others--even our enemies.

Partaker of Christ
Dec 17th 2007, 12:03 AM
Hi Cloudburst,

Thank you for your thoughtful post. That is a great observation about the difference between seeing face-to-face vs. speaking face-to-face.


In the quote above, John says that we can be sure we know Him when we are keeping His commandments. What does this mean to you?

To me, it means that knowing Him includes knowing those things that are pleasing to Him. I believe He has given us lots of information about Himself both in the OT and in the NT.

If I love my husband and I want to please him, then I need to know what kind of things are important to him. When I want to make his favorite meal, I start by thinking what he especially has enjoyed in the past, that I have prepared for him. Since he loves chocolate, I won't make a strawberry cake for him, but a chocolate one, even though my favorite is strawberry.

So, if through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we know Him, what is it that we know about Him?

Thank you for participating!

Hi RoadWarrior!



1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:
1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
1Jn 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

I agree that we shoud be "knowing those things that are pleasing to Him", and in the way that you describe!

But, these verses may mean something slightly different, then what we first thought.
Perhaps yourself and others may be able to help me with this. It is something I am only recently possibly seeing in these verses.

I think it is important to try and understand these verses better, because "if we keep his commandments" is often used as some sort yoke of bondage to adding works to faith

The other thing is I don't want to derail this thread, so I will need to be told if I am. If I should start another thread with this, then please say.

My thoughts are that this is meaning 'If the word that we heard from the beginning remains in with us, then we know that we know Him' 'If not and we say that we know Him, then we are liars'
If after the some testing of our faith, we still believe in our hearts [have kept], that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He died for our sins, that He lives in us, and we are hid in Him. The we can know for sure that we know Him. (We are truly born again)

1Jn 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

'These things' write I unto you.
Could 'these things' be Chapter 1?

1Jn 1:1a That which was from the beginning,

1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

"that ye sin [hamartanō] not" ...[hamartanō]..is to err, or miss the mark

"we have an advocate" [paraklētos] .. An intercessor, consoler: - advocate, comforter.

"Jesus Christ the righteous"



1Jn 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

This 'keep' cannot mean until we pass away, or we would not know that we know Him until we die.

1Jn 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked

How did Jesus walk? In the Light. In total dependence on the Father by the Holy Spirit. 'I am in the Father, and the Father in Me'
We are not the light, but He is the True Light.
So, all that we are and do is 'Christ in me' and I in Christ.

1Jn 2:7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

This is the old commandment that we heard from the beginning

John goes on into verse 8 with a new commandment.
Verse 8; 'Again', [Furthermore] [On the other hand] "a new commandment I write unto you.

1Jn 2:8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth

Partaker of Christ
Dec 17th 2007, 12:18 AM
Thanks, Cloudburst, for an extremely well written post. We are in agreement.

Now, as you have well said that the Holy Spirit teaches us about God's character and His attributes, that is what I am seeking to elicit from participants on this thread.

We love to say that we know God! But what is it that we know? Is He near and dear to us, or are we near and dear to ourselves? Do we love God for Who He is, or do we love Him for what He does for us?

I hear many things about God that do no line up with scripture. For example, people love to say that God loves everyone. Is this true? Can that be backed up by scripture? Or do we read in the Bible that God loved Jacob and hated Esau?

God IS love, and He cannot deny Himself, just as God IS Holy and cannot deny His Holiness.
To say God hated Esau, is something temporary, for God is not hate, nor is He anger or wrath.



This is a hard saying, who can hear it? What does it tell us about God and about His character?

I'll take this to the next level. By exploring this, we may come to realize that we are near and dear to ourselves, and that is what we love about God. He loves us, and does good things for us, so we are responding to that.

What if! What if we want to move past that place and come to love God for Himself? Can we love Him for Himself? Does He exist apart from me, and have a character and attributes of His own that have nothing really to do with me?

Thanks Cloudburst. I look foward to further dialogue with you!

BTW, Happy Birthday!

Friend of I AM
Dec 17th 2007, 12:21 AM
Hey Partaker,

I think these verses will answer your questions.

Romans 3:4-28
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.


But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Destruction and misery are in their ways:
And the way of peace have they not known:
There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

God bless,

Stephen

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 12:22 AM
...But, these verses may mean something slightly different, then what we first thought.....

I think it is important to try and understand these verses better, because "if we keep his commandments" is often used as some sort yoke...

...1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.

..

Hi Partaker,

I am not completely sure that I understand your question, but let me give it a try. Here is what I believe. If we know a person, we know somethiing about what they like and do not like. If we love that person, we will seek to please them by doing the things that they like.

God's commandments are a way of His telling us what is important to Him. It is about what He likes and doesn't like. So if we claim to know God, which includes loving Him, then we should be paying attention to what pleases Him.

"Keeping" His commandments, is a way of saying, we do what he says we should do. Or we stay away from what He says not to do. It is about obedience. It is like a little child doing what the parent says, with the confidence that the parent loves us and wants what is best for us.

Am I on the right track in answering your question? If not, please re-phrase it and I will try again.

Thanks for asking!

Partaker of Christ
Dec 17th 2007, 12:34 AM
I do believe that it's possible to love God for Himself, and I think this truth is demonstrated very aptly in the heart of King David. Many of his Psalms reflect the fact that he loved God for His attributes, and the nature of His being....not merely for what He did for David.

Unfortunately, I think you're probably correct in your assumption that many people love God conditionally, and that is unfortunate. I think the main problem is that most people judge God's love for them according to His blessings upon them...they feel that if God does not bless them, or if some tragedy happens in their lives, that God's favor is not with them. They use God's blessings as a measure of His love and approval....and human nature sees love as reciprocal. We will love someone if they will love us back; if they don't love us, we won't love them.

Like I said, I think it IS possible to love the Lord simply for Who He is, but I really think that in order to do this, we must first be willing to let go of our pride. What you are referring to is a very egocentric form of love, and it is this pride that keeps us egocentrically motivated. Once we can see beyond ourselves, that when we can appreciate God for Who He really is, and I really think that this is where a true fear of God begins, and thus wisdom:

Prov. 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding

I really think that when we let go of our pride, which of course involves crucifying the flesh, that's when we really begin to know God, because He begins to impart us with wisdom and knowledge that we never would have gained of and in ourselves.

True, it is impossible to know EVERY attribute of God fully, as He is infinite, but I do think that the wisdom that He does impart to us will be more than enough to satisfy our longings.

Hi Cloudburst!
"I do believe that it's possible to love God for Himself,"

I believe that when we want all that the Lord would give us 'love', 'wisdom' 'knowledge' etc, not for ourselves, but for the building up Body of Christ, then we being to love God for Himself

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 01:05 AM
Hi Cloudburst!
"I do believe that it's possible to love God for Himself,"

I believe that when we want all that the Lord would give us 'love', 'wisdom' 'knowledge' etc, not for ourselves, but for the building up Body of Christ, then we being to love God for Himself

Hey, that's not a bad concept, Partaker! Thanks!

Not for ourselves, but for the builiding up of the Body of Christ ...


Hmmm.

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 17th 2007, 01:31 AM
Hi Cloudburst!
"I do believe that it's possible to love God for Himself,"

I believe that when we want all that the Lord would give us 'love', 'wisdom' 'knowledge' etc, not for ourselves, but for the building up Body of Christ, then we being to love God for Himself

1 Cor 12:7-11 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit......but one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills

Eph 1:22,23 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all

So, then, as the church is the body of Christ, and the fullness of Him, it would make sense that when we love God for Himself, then we will naturally love His body as well, and WANT to build up His people

James 4:6 But He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up

Our humility is a HUGE part of God's grace to us....We are to seek these gifts for the good of the body...NOT for our own benefit.

Partaker of Christ
Dec 17th 2007, 01:39 AM
Hi Partaker,

I am not completely sure that I understand your question, but let me give it a try. Here is what I believe. If we know a person, we know somethiing about what they like and do not like. If we love that person, we will seek to please them by doing the things that they like.

God's commandments are a way of His telling us what is important to Him. It is about what He likes and doesn't like. So if we claim to know God, which includes loving Him, then we should be paying attention to what pleases Him.

"Keeping" His commandments, is a way of saying, we do what he says we should do. Or we stay away from what He says not to do. It is about obedience. It is like a little child doing what the parent says, with the confidence that the parent loves us and wants what is best for us.

Am I on the right track in answering your question? If not, please re-phrase it and I will try again.

Thanks for asking!

Hi again RoadWarrior!

Yes I do often have difficulty putting down clearly what I want to say.

Again I don't disagree with all you say above, but I don't think that those verses in 1John 2:1-7, are necessarily used (in context) for supporting that understanding.

In this passage, John refers 'keeping His commandments' to an old commandment that you heard from the beginning ie: chapter 1 (the Gospel)
I don't think this 'keeping' is refering to some effort or works of our own, for that would mean, that we would not know that we 'know Him' until we have finnished the race.

When Paul preached the Gospel, he went from place to place, sowing the seed, and left. He would later come back to see if any seed had remained and taken root. There would have been some trial and tribulation when he first left, but if any had still truly believed when he returned, then they had 'kept the old commandment'

This passage may help us:

2Co 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
2Co 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2Co 13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

These Corinthians, did not necessarily keep all the commandments of Christ, and they even sort proof of Pauls ministry, but Paul told them to examin themselves, as to whether they 'know that they know Him'

Did the Gospel [the old commandments of Christ] remain [keep] in them. If so that was evidence that Christ was speaking in Paul.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 02:35 AM
Hi again RoadWarrior!

Yes I do often have difficulty putting down clearly what I want to say.

Again I don't disagree with all you say above, but I don't think that those verses in 1John 2:1-7, are necessarily used (in context) for supporting that understanding.

In this passage, John refers 'keeping His commandments' to an old commandment that you heard from the beginning ie: chapter 1 (the Gospel)
I don't think this 'keeping' is refering to some effort or works of our own, for that would mean, that we would not know that we 'know Him' until we have finnished the race.

When Paul preached the Gospel, he went from place to place, sowing the seed, and left. He would later come back to see if any seed had remained and taken root. There would have been some trial and tribulation when he first left, but if any had still truly believed when he returned, then they had 'kept the old commandment'

This passage may help us:

2Co 13:3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you.
2Co 13:4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.
2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
2Co 13:6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.

These Corinthians, did not necessarily keep all the commandments of Christ, and they even sort proof of Pauls ministry, but Paul told them to examin themselves, as to whether they 'know that they know Him'

Did the Gospel [the old commandments of Christ] remain [keep] in them. If so that was evidence that Christ was speaking in Paul.


I'm afraid you are way over my head with this, Partaker. I understand Jesus gave one commandment, that we should love one another.

Also, we may not be on the same page here. I am seeking in what way we can get to know more about God, about His character and attributes. Can you re-word your statements in a way to honors the thread's intent, by showing clearly and plainly what you are saying about the character and attributes of God.

Thanks.

Partaker of Christ
Dec 17th 2007, 03:28 PM
I'm afraid you are way over my head with this, Partaker. I understand Jesus gave one commandment, that we should love one another.

Also, we may not be on the same page here. I am seeking in what way we can get to know more about God, about His character and attributes. Can you re-word your statements in a way to honors the thread's intent, by showing clearly and plainly what you are saying about the character and attributes of God.

Thanks.

OK Sorry RW! :hug:

Perhaps I will start a new thread with this, as it may be derailing this one.



In the quote above, John says that we can be sure we know Him when we are keeping His commandments. What does this mean to you?

To me, it means that knowing Him includes knowing those things that are pleasing to Him. I believe He has given us lots of information about Himself both in the OT and in the NT.

If I love my husband and I want to please him, then I need to know what kind of things are important to him. When I want to make his favorite meal, I start by thinking what he especially has enjoyed in the past, that I have prepared for him. Since he loves chocolate, I won't make a strawberry cake for him, but a chocolate one, even though my favorite is strawberry.

I was trying to respond to this question you asked, and although I agree with you about our getting to know what pleases Him, I was trying to point out that the passage of scripture you quoted from 1John 2:1-7, (in context) just might not be the evidence of scripture required to support our understanding.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 04:10 PM
OK Sorry RW! :hug:

Perhaps I will start a new thread with this, as it may be derailing this one.


Thanks Partaker. We'll watch for your new thread, and be able to follow along.

DPMartin
Dec 17th 2007, 05:44 PM
Roadwarror

"DPM, I'm a little bit confused by this. What characteristics of God are you bringing out with this post? That He is capricious? Selfish? Mean? Arbitrary? How would you characterize God, based on what you have posted?"

One of the "characteristics" of The Father that might be missed here is He is the Most High , possessor of Heaven and earth. Giver of Life, Life eternal, if it so please Him.

When the Father speaks, He expects a response, Who is to tell Him what response it should be, that would please Him.

If the Lord was to come to your house should not the proper response be. Step back and bow, God coming through. Is this not the response of the virgin Mary?
37: For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38: And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39: And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40: And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41: And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43: And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44: For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45: And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48: For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49: For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50: And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Shall the created tell the Creator what Life ought to be? Shall the created say, I should feel this or that, or does He who gives Life tell the created what to, or how to feel? Does the created tell the giver of Life what to think, or does the Almighty who gave the creature the power to think what to think?

If we are the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, what should be the response? But this that, and the other? I have the right to? This is mine? God forbid.

Bless the Holy Jesus for His Freedoms and Grace.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 05:57 PM
...

One of the "characteristics" of The Father that might be missed here is He is the Most High , possessor of Heaven and earth. Giver of Life, Life eternal, if it so please Him.

When the Father speaks, He expects a response, Who is to tell Him what response it should be, that would please Him.

If the Lord was to come to your house should not the proper response be. Step back and bow, God coming through....

Shall the created tell the Creator what Life ought to be? Shall the created say, I should feel this or that, or does He who gives Life tell the created what to, or how to feel? Does the created tell the giver of Life what to think, or does the Almighty who gave the creature the power to think what to think?

If we are the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, what should be the response? But this that, and the other? I have the right to? This is mine? God forbid.

Bless the Holy Jesus for His Freedoms and Grace.

Good points DPM. Thanks for adding these characteristics to our list:
Most High , possessor of Heaven and earth. Giver of Life, Life eternal.

And I like how you bring out what is the appropriate response to God! So very true.

When we spoke earlier of appropriate responses, I think we were speaking of how we respond to situations in life - e.g., times of suffering. We can be angry and bitter about it, or we can surrender to God and cry out for His mercy and kindness. This is not different from what you are saying, it is just looking from a different perspective. As humans, we experience things from an earthly viewpoint, and we need guidance as to how to get past our hurt place to see what God is doing, or can do if we allow Him to do so.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 06:03 PM
Throughout this thread, I've encouraged us to think about the characteristics of God. This morning in my hour of prayer, I realized a deeper motive in myself for wanting to do this. I feel very inadequate to praise Him in a meaningful way. It seems wimpy to just say, "Lord, I praise you."

So (feeling a little vulnerable here) I want to say things like this: "Lord, you are awesome as the Creator of Heaven and earth. It is marvelous to observe how loving and kind you are to your creatures! How precious it is to know that you are the judge of the whole earth, and that you want to bring righteousness into our lives! How comforting it is to know that you are the avenger of wrongs, and yet that you are forgiving of sins when we repent."

Anyone have any suggestions for me? Should I perhaps begin a new thread for this?

Thanks.

Friend of I AM
Dec 17th 2007, 06:13 PM
Roadwarror

"DPM, I'm a little bit confused by this. What characteristics of God are you bringing out with this post? That He is capricious? Selfish? Mean? Arbitrary? How would you characterize God, based on what you have posted?"

One of the "characteristics" of The Father that might be missed here is He is the Most High , possessor of Heaven and earth. Giver of Life, Life eternal, if it so please Him.

When the Father speaks, He expects a response, Who is to tell Him what response it should be, that would please Him.

If the Lord was to come to your house should not the proper response be. Step back and bow, God coming through. Is this not the response of the virgin Mary?
37: For with God nothing shall be impossible.
38: And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
39: And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;
40: And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
41: And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
43: And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
44: For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
45: And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
46: And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47: And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48: For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49: For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50: And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

Shall the created tell the Creator what Life ought to be? Shall the created say, I should feel this or that, or does He who gives Life tell the created what to, or how to feel? Does the created tell the giver of Life what to think, or does the Almighty who gave the creature the power to think what to think?

If we are the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, what should be the response? But this that, and the other? I have the right to? This is mine? God forbid.

Bless the Holy Jesus for His Freedoms and Grace.

God is higher than us, no doubt about that DP. No plan against him can ever come into fruition, nor can any man entirely comprehend his thoughts. His very presence is so Holy that men and even Angels tremble before him, but remember my friend in Christ - we see something else about the nature of God when he allows us to become aquainted with him - that very thing being humility. Remember when Christ sat down before his disciples and washed their feet? Remember when Christ sat down with prostitutes and beggars and laughed with them? God is not just a God of awespiring presence, he's also a God of joy, patience, humility, and as you've so adequately stated in other threads - mercy.

Perhaps more so then respecting his power and ability to control the thoughts and hearts of man, I think moreso than anything for myself - is the respectable and awespiring way in which he righteously, humbly, and honorably wields his power and authority. The cross demonstrated this worthiness and humility to us - as did Christ himself.

When we see him,(or if he so chooses us to be with him) hopefully moreso than anything - he will fill our hearts with this heir of humility and kindness that he possesses. Perhaps the hope of all of us should not inasmuch be to aquire knowledge, wisdom, power, etc, etc when pursuing God - but perhaps moreso than anything - we should hope to partake in the peace, tranquility, humility and kindness of his presence.


Blessings,

Stephen

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 06:18 PM
...we see something else about the nature of God when he allows us to become aquainted with him - that very thing being humility. Remember when Christ sat down before his disciples and washed their feet? Remember when Christ sat down with prostitutes and beggars and laughed with them? God is not just a God of awespiring presence, he's also a God of joy, patience, humility, and as you've so adequately stated in other threads - mercy.

Wow FIA, this is good.
Adding to the list .. joyful, patient, humble ..


..Perhaps more so then respecting his power and ability to control the thoughts and hearts of man, I think moreso ...the hope of all of us should not inasmuch be to aquire knowledge, wisdom, power, etc, etc when pursuing God - but perhaps moreso than anything - we should hope to partake in the peace, tranquility, humility and kindness of his presence.
Stephen

adding to the list ... peaceful, tranquil, kind ...

Thanks FIA.

ImmenseDisciple
Dec 17th 2007, 06:49 PM
What's the full list? Don't want to repeat anything! :D

An important one for me- logical. Important because it goes against my opinion of Him when I was an atheist- I thought he was completely illogical.

As a matter of course, there's logic in just about every teaching, but as I'm currently in Matthew;


24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
25 And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:
26 And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

And of course, being that he is perfect (got that one yet? :D) He exemplifies all his attributes absolutely.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 07:17 PM
What's the full list? Don't want to repeat anything! :D

An important one for me- logical. Important because it goes against my opinion of Him when I was an atheist- I thought he was completely illogical.

As a matter of course, there's logic in just about every teaching, but as I'm currently in Matthew;

And of course, being that he is perfect (got that one yet? :D) He exemplifies all his attributes absolutely.

Good, ID!

Logical, and perfect. Perfectly logical. ;) :lol:

I don't mind if we have repeats. I'd have to go back now to reconstruct the list. But I may do that soon.

I really like it when we can see the characteristic in a scripture verse.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 07:19 PM
I've been taking note of the characteristics of God that have been mentioned as we have communicated in this thread. I may have missed some, and some overlap, so please feel free to add to this list, or to elaborate on what I have listed.

God exercises, and delights in, lovingkindness, judgment and righteousness in the earth.

He is not only a judge, He is merciful.

Christ is the image of God.

God speaks, has mercy, and has knowledge.

God uses desert experiences to teach His people.

God has a voice; He speaks, and He communicates.

God expects responses in a certain way. There is a correct way to respond to Him.

God likes to be alone with us individually. He also likes to be with us in a group.

God is love.

God is patient.

This was from post #53.

RoadWarrior
Dec 17th 2007, 07:35 PM
Adding to the list that was in Post #53, gleaned from posts since then:

God is

Gracious
wise, understanding
great
love, loving
unselfish
fearsome
powerful
Most High
possessor of heaven and earth
giver of life and of life eternal
joyful
patient
humble
peaceful
tranquil
kind

ImmenseDisciple
Dec 17th 2007, 08:54 PM
Actually, I think this may call for a new thread, that's gonna be one long list :D

Hah, I just thought of the "Love is..." cartoons, how appropriate :)

DPMartin
Dec 18th 2007, 01:08 AM
Freind of I am
how have you been

"God is higher than us, no doubt about that DP. No plan against him can ever come into fruition, nor can any man entirely comprehend his thoughts. His very presence is so Holy that men and even Angels tremble before him, but remember my friend in Christ - we see something else about the nature of God when he allows us to become aquainted with him - that very thing being humility. Remember when Christ sat down before his disciples and washed their feet? Remember when Christ sat down with prostitutes and beggars and laughed with them? God is not just a God of awespiring presence, he's also a God of joy, patience, humility, and as you've so adequately stated in other threads - mercy.
Perhaps more so then respecting his power and ability to control the thoughts and hearts of man, I think moreso than anything for myself - is the respectable and awespiring way in which he righteously, humbly, and honorably wields his power and authority. The cross demonstrated this worthiness and humility to us - as did Christ himself.
When we see him,(or if he so chooses us to be with him) hopefully moreso than anything - he will fill our hearts with this heir of humility and kindness that he possesses. Perhaps the hope of all of us should not inasmuch be to aquire knowledge, wisdom, power, etc, etc when pursuing God - but perhaps moreso than anything - we should hope to partake in the peace, tranquility, humility and kindness of his presence. "

No disagreement there

I wanted to add before the discontinuing of this thread
As I understand and as it dawned on me after posting the previous posting; God knows who He is, that is not to say that we should not fervently study His virtues, we should. It is that we are made in God’s image as He has said, therefore I believe from His point of view, He expects to see Himself in us. In other words it is very possible that we should be more concerned about what He sees in us of Him, and how much, rather than what we see as Him.

God Bless you all.

brandonspopo
Dec 18th 2007, 01:31 AM
Sorry folks. What I said didn't make sense. D'OH!

RoadWarrior
Dec 18th 2007, 04:33 AM
Hi Folks,

I think I'll start a new thread, being more specific to God's character. Look for God in Genesis, if you are interested.

Friend of I AM
Dec 18th 2007, 06:57 AM
No disagreement there

I wanted to add before the discontinuing of this thread
As I understand and as it dawned on me after posting the previous posting; God knows who He is, that is not to say that we should not fervently study His virtues, we should. It is that we are made in Godís image as He has said, therefore I believe from His point of view, He expects to see Himself in us. In other words it is very possible that we should be more concerned about what He sees in us of Him, and how much, rather than what we see as Him.

God Bless you all.

Well, I'm going to have to disagree with you slightly DP. Certainly God knows who he is and has created in his image, however, after the fall -we no longer possess God's goodness within us. Sure - we may have a semblance of knowing what good is, but we ourselves are no longer good and only become so through our faith in him. So perhaps - it's easier and more correct for one to look to the good in God - as oppossed to looking for the good within ourselves, which is why some look towards him and follow him, in hopes that this goodness that he has will rub off on us. It's kind of like a little boy who follows their big brother around, trying to do exactly what he does, wanting to be exactly like him....:D After awhile I'm sure - God hopes that in fellowship with him as you've said - some of this goodness will have rubbed off on us, enough so to conform us to the image of his son.

The goodness of God also gives us hope. Particularly for those who see no real inherent goodness within this world. We know in our hearts God is good, and we know in our hearts we aren't good - so we continue to seek and chase after that goodness because we feel something is incomplete within our own lives, and we know that only the goodness of God can fill this void within our lives that we have.

Blessings to you all,

Stephen

RoadWarrior
Dec 18th 2007, 02:55 PM
Well, I'm going to have to disagree with you slightly DP. Certainly God knows who he is and has created in his image, however, after the fall -we no longer possess God's goodness within us. Sure - we may have a semblance of knowing what good is, but we ourselves are no longer good and only become so through our faith in him. So perhaps - it's easier and more correct for one to look to the good in God - as oppossed to looking for the good within ourselves, which is why some look towards him and follow him, in hopes that this goodness that he has will rub off on us. It's kind of like a little boy who follows their big brother around, trying to do exactly what he does, wanting to be exactly like him....:D After awhile I'm sure - God hopes that in fellowship with him as you've said - some of this goodness will have rubbed off on us, enough so to conform us to the image of his son.

The goodness of God also gives us hope. Particularly for those who see no real inherent goodness within this world. We know in our hearts God is good, and we know in our hearts we aren't good - so we continue to seek and chase after that goodness because we feel something is incomplete within our own lives, and we know that only the goodness of God can fill this void within our lives that we have.

Blessings to you all,

Stephen

Stephen, thank you for this post. You show great insight with your words.

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 19th 2007, 07:08 AM
What's the full list? Don't want to repeat anything! :D

An important one for me- logical. Important because it goes against my opinion of Him when I was an atheist- I thought he was completely illogical.




Hey, there, ID;

I'm a little confused....You state that when you were an atheist, that you thought that God was illogical.
Did you mean the CONCEPT of God, or the PERSON of God? If you thought God was illogical, wouldn't that be admitting His existence....unless, of course, you were referring to the concept of God as illogical.

Thanks for clarifying.

Equipped_4_Love
Dec 19th 2007, 07:43 AM
I wanted to add before the discontinuing of this thread
As I understand and as it dawned on me after posting the previous posting; God knows who He is, that is not to say that we should not fervently study His virtues, we should. It is that we are made in God’s image as He has said, therefore I believe from His point of view, He expects to see Himself in us. In other words it is very possible that we should be more concerned about what He sees in us of Him, and how much, rather than what we see as Him.

God Bless you all.

These are all really great comments, you guys, but I think that there is one thing that we are neglecting to realize in our assessment of the characteristics of God...one which complicates the subject, but I believe is important for us to explore.

In discussing the characteristics of God, we must also remember His nature...He is one God existing in 3 Persons. As a triune Godhead, each Person exhibits, not only many of the same characteristics, but also characteristics of His own.
For example, we all know that God is omnipresent, but I'm not sure if we really examine just what this means. God is omnipresent through the person of the Holy Spirit.
Let me expound on this. The Father and the Son work in our lives through the person of the Holy Spirit, who is omnipresent. The Father cannot be everywhere in physical form, because the Bible says that no man shall see Him, and live. The Bible also says that He sits in His heavenly, throne, which sort of discounts the idea that He is physically everywhere at once. He is everywhere, through the Holy Spirit. Likewise, the Bible also says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father....the Holy Spirit is the one who is actually omnipresent.
Also, God is omniscient, yes....BUT, seeing as how the Bible says that only the Father knows the time and day of Jesus' coming, then technically, He is the only one who is COMPLETELY omniscient.
One characteristic of God is that He is the judge of all...Yet, it is actually the Father who judges. Jesus Christ is our advocate, who intercedes on our behalf.
So, then, when we're talking about the characteristics of God, I think it's important to know that not all characeristics refer to every person of the Godhead....BUT, if you look at the life of Jesus Christ, I think that you can
define those characertistics which are common to each person of the Godhead...infinite love, kindness, forgiveness, patience, gentleness, meekness, wisdom, humility, temperateness, loyalty, self-discipline, etc.
This was God in human flesh, and although He was not omnipresent, omniscient, etc. while He was on Earth, I really think that if we examine the person of Christ, we will get a good idea of the characteristics of God.

I also think that we can see many characteristics of God in the way in which the 3 Persons of the Godhead relate to one another. That mutual love between the Father and Son, the loyalty, the self-sacrifice (as Christ sacrificed His life, not only for us, but because it was the Father's will), the reverance, the humility.....these are all characteristics, not just of God as a whole, but of God as He relates to Himself in 3 persons.

Anyhow, I think this is an important point to remember, and really keeps us reminded of the absolute complexity of God's nature.

DPMartin
Dec 19th 2007, 03:09 PM
Friend of I am

"after the fall -we no longer possess God's goodness within us."

Exactly, we speak differently, but agree. Therefore all Good is of God by His Mercy unto us through Jesus. If the Lord is with you He will reveal Him self in you. Not of ourselves but of God.

***********
Cloudburst
no real disagreement, what help me understand is Paul’s statement:
Rom:11:36: For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Of Him the Father Through Him the Lord Jesus the Christ, His Word, and To Him The Holy Spirit which we are born of.

This is the first revelation of God to creation in the second verse............
1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Note the Spirit (presents of God moved) then God said, the revelation of His Word, of His presents, to creation. And all things are from the Will or, of the Father including the first verse.

Friend of I AM
Dec 19th 2007, 08:47 PM
Friend of I am

"after the fall -we no longer possess God's goodness within us."

Exactly, we speak differently, but agree. Therefore all Good is of God by His Mercy unto us through Jesus. If the Lord is with you He will reveal Him self in you. Not of ourselves but of God.

***********
Cloudburst
no real disagreement, what help me understand is Paul’s statement:
Rom:11:36: For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Of Him the Father Through Him the Lord Jesus the Christ, His Word, and To Him The Holy Spirit which we are born of.

This is the first revelation of God to creation in the second verse............
1: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3: And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4: And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

Note the Spirit (presents of God moved) then God said, the revelation of His Word, of His presents, to creation. And all things are from the Will or, of the Father including the first verse.

Thanks for the insight DP, there's another verse I think we all need to meditate on - particularly during this day and age...can't remember which one it is..it says something like "let no man be your guide" or something along those lines...perhaps someone can look it up...Anyway, I think this verse is basically insinuating don't rely on others to teach you the Word - study it for yourself. I'm finding that nowadays, I'm having to read the scripture for myself and study on it more and more - as oppossed to just accepting what someone else has said about it. Perhaps some of the reason why I used to do this was lethargy, perhaps some of the reason was naivety..whatever the case, I have to say over the past year or two I've definitely been studying a lot more...

RoadWarrior
Dec 19th 2007, 09:18 PM
Thanks for the insight DP, there's another verse I think we all need to meditate on - particularly during this day and age...can't remember which one it is..it says something like "let no man be your guide" or something along those lines...perhaps someone can look it up...Anyway, I think this verse is basically insinuating don't rely on others to teach you the Word - study it for yourself. I'm finding that nowadays, I'm having to read the scripture for myself and study on it more and more - as oppossed to just accepting what someone else has said about it. Perhaps some of the reason why I used to do this was lethargy, perhaps some of the reason was naivety..whatever the case, I have to say over the past year or two I've definitely been studying a lot more...

I think you are looking for this:

1 Jn 2:24-27
24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us ó eternal life.
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. NKJV

John wrote this to the church in the context of warning them against false doctrines that were being taught.

But I think the way you are applying it to your life is very much the way I also applied it to my life some years ago when I was new in the faith. And it has proven to be true. Most of what I know and understand about the Bible and what it says about God, came directly from studying, studying and praying and studying!

John was right then, and what he wrote is still correct today. There are all kinds of false teachings abounding in the world and our churches, even here on this board.

You are on the right track. Keep on studying.

Friend of I AM
Dec 19th 2007, 09:34 PM
I think you are looking for this:

1 Jn 2:24-27
24 Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us ó eternal life.
26 These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. 27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. NKJV

John wrote this to the church in the context of warning them against false doctrines that were being taught.

But I think the way you are applying it to your life is very much the way I also applied it to my life some years ago when I was new in the faith. And it has proven to be true. Most of what I know and understand about the Bible and what it says about God, came directly from studying, studying and praying and studying!

John was right then, and what he wrote is still correct today. There are all kinds of false teachings abounding in the world and our churches, even here on this board.

You are on the right track. Keep on studying.


Thanks for that information RW. I think this one may be it..

Micah 7:4-7
The best of them is as a brier: the most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge: the day of thy watchmen and thy visitation cometh; now shall be their perplexity. Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. For the son dishonoureth the father, the daughter riseth up against her mother, the daughter in law against her mother in law; a man's enemies are the men of his own house. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.

DPMartin
Dec 19th 2007, 09:39 PM
Freind of I am and Roadwarror

Yes, yes yes.
Not standing outside of God quoting what He says He is, standing in God knowing who He is. Hearing the Word of God from the Will of God in the Spirit of God, thus becoming sons of God with the Peace of God at your feet. Praise the Lord Amen.