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Nihil Obstat
Aug 15th 2008, 08:16 AM
Too often when I study and teach on the order of events in Revelation - the "what" - I neglect the "why". Simply knowing where we are in the judgment plan of God and what's coming next won't save anyone unless it's founded on the revelation of God's true heart for humans; for the oppressed and for the oppressors. I'd like to see more questions and dialogue regarding the "why" than the "what", as the "why" is much more important. This book's title is more than just "Revelation"; it's "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", and it reveals His heart for the poor, the prisoners, the widows and orphans, the defenseless, and for those who are idolaters, murders, liars, and sorcerers. Much of John's prophecy references or quotes OT prophets, but we too often are blind to the fact that the OT prophets were prophesying judgment because of the people's wickedness.

And too often it's those of us who give ourselves to end-times (me too) who are the least worshipful or thankful, when Revelation is full of beautiful heavenly hymns! Knowledge truly puffs up; only agape love edifies. Why is this forum lacking in poetic songs of God's glory, when there is no lack of students of eschatology? This seems to be one of the higher-traffic forums on this website, yet if all we ever gain here is order of events or another theory on the mark of the beast, then when the day does come, we will not be prepared for the offense that will inevitably arise in our hearts! Do we tremble before God when meditating on His judgments? Do we cry tears for the lost? Do we travail with the Spirit for the Lamb to return and make things right?

I've just been struck lately with the reality that though I may "know all the answers" when it comes to tough end-times questions, but don't know God's heart experientially, then I'm already deceived! To know facts about His plan and about future events is not even close to being the same thing as knowing the one Truth intimately; crying with Him, laboring with Him, and being with Him where He is. My heart is progressively breaking for us who frequent ETC - myself included. We need to put aside all the debate, all the staple remarks, and forget what we think we know. Subject your mind to your spirit, and your spirit to the Holy Spirit. He will help you to groan for justice and for true wisdom; He will enable you to cry out for mercy; He will empower you to birth the kingdom here on earth, and to save souls. Because true wisdom is not head knowledge, it's holy character (see the book of Proverbs). True doctrine naturally overflows into true love for others, because it is that living water, the Spirit, pouring forth from your inner parts, loving others through you.

I want to challenge you who read and write here in ETC to begin to focus on what justice is, and how God releases His justice (start in Luke 18) - but don't stop there, actually walk it out faithfully for the rest of your lives. This is true power; this is true knowledge; this is true treasure; this alone can satisfy. Because let's get real with ourselves; open your heart and judge yourself: what is the fruit of all the knowledge we're heaping up? Why are we so quick to anger, when God is slow to anger? Why are we impatient, when the Lord is long-suffering? It's because the tree of knowledge produces bad fruit that when eaten takes us further from God and from our brethren! But "wisdom is a tree of life" (Prov. 3:18), and wisdom is to fear God with reverent awe, obeying His command to love unto death, knowing you are not your own, but have been bought with Regal Blood. Continue in your studies and don't stop asking questions, but above all your desires to be rich in facts and in mind, become rich in Truth and in Spirit.

Much love. - astro

dunsapy
Aug 15th 2008, 06:31 PM
Hi astro


I've just been struck lately with the reality that though I may "know all the answers" when it comes to tough end-times questions, but don't know God's heart experientially, then I'm already deceived! To know facts about His plan and about future events is not even close to being the same thing as knowing the one Truth intimately; crying with Him, laboring with Him, and being with Him where He is. My heart is progressively breaking for us who frequent ETC - myself included. We need to put aside all the debate, all the staple remarks, and forget what we think we know. Subject your mind to your spirit, and your spirit to the Holy Spirit. He will help you to groan for justice and for true wisdom; He will enable you to cry out for mercy; He will empower you to birth the kingdom here on earth, and to save souls. Because true wisdom is not head knowledge, it's holy character (see the book of Proverbs). True doctrine naturally overflows into true love for others, because it is that living water, the Spirit, pouring forth from your inner parts, loving others through you.

This paragraph tells me that you are interested and want to help people to be at peace with God and display the Christ like spirit. One of the signs of Gods true organization is that it would be in unity, with it's self. Not just as a congregation but as a world wide group.( as much as imperfect people can be)
So if you don't mind, I have a couple questions I would like to ask.
1: Do you think you are in the only religion that is acceptable by God, or are all Christian religions OK?
2: Should people follow what their church, says, or should they think and do their own thing?
3: Do followers have to have a high level of spiritual maturity, to be acceptable,to Christ, or are all saved?
I was just wondering what you thought of questions like these?

Nihil Obstat
Aug 15th 2008, 07:57 PM
Hi astro

This paragraph tells me that you are interested and want to help people to be at peace with God and display the Christ like spirit. One of the signs of Gods true organization is that it would be in unity, with it's self. Not just as a congregation but as a world wide group.( as much as imperfect people can be)
So if you don't mind, I have a couple questions I would like to ask.
1: Do you think you are in the only religion that is acceptable by God, or are all Christian religions OK?
2: Should people follow what their church, says, or should they think and do their own thing?
3: Do followers have to have a high level of spiritual maturity, to be acceptable,to Christ, or are all saved?
I was just wondering what you thought of questions like these?

No, I don't mind at all, and welcome to the boards!

Concerning unity, I'm not sure that experientially knowing God's heart is a denomination thing. The many Christian churches in the world have differing doctrines, this is true, but true biblical doctrine is belief that has action, working in such a way that the word of God would not be blasphemed (Tts. 2). It is this type of unity that we are to set our sights on and all run towards together.

As a post-trib, I can have an edifying discussion with a pre-trib, though we disagree with when the rapture will occur. As a pre-mil, I often have love-filled discussions with amils, though we disagree about Rev. 20's meaning. We can pursue the knowledge of the depths of the love of Jesus together, even with these seemingly giant disagreements.

But we often have these disagreements because we often disagree with who God is and what He is like. For example, I disagree with pre-trib because the Bible simply denies the possibility of this (see link (http://bibleforums.org/showpost.php?p=1505973&postcount=1)), but mostly because I believe it contradicts God's character as seen throughout redemptive history, and misunderstands the Father-heart of God for His children, and the Husband-heart of God for the natural descendants of Abraham (Hos. 1-3). This is why getting experiential understanding of God is paramount (and this is eternal life as defined by Jesus; John 17:3).

So if your church professes Christ both in word and deed, and the leadership is sincere in their faith, hope, and love, then though they may be immature or though you may disagree with some "major" beliefs ("major" as in pre vs. post trib, or pre vs. amil; things like that), then subject yourself to your pastor. The Lord entrusts authority to those who are themselves under authority (again, not so much by title, but in spirit and truth).

And salvation is not by when one thinks the millennium is, or when the rapture will take place, or even y what one thinks the mark of the beast will be. Salvation is by grace through faith; faith that works. First John states over and again plainly and lovingly that to love Jesus is more than just saying the prayer for salvation; it's a continual lifestyle of obedience to the command to love the brethren, something he professes to not be burdensome. This means that to be acceptable to Christ, one does not have to be mature, but sincere in their desire to be made mature.

What our entire being is crying out for is wisdom, but we are unsatisfied with all we know because we wrongly understand biblical wisdom. Wisdom is godly character and Spirit led (not mind led) knowledge. John proclaimed not what he mentally ascended to, but what he saw, heard, and touched when he ascended into heaven (Rev. 4:1). This is why we are restless and impatient; we are unfamiliar with our true home. This is why we debate and bicker amongst ourselves; we are unfamiliar with our Bridegroom, the Lamb, who gave Himself up for us. This is why we are largely unmoved by injustices on the earth; because we ourselves commit them, and are not heard when we cry out for true Justice to return - if He did hear us, we too would be destroyed for our compromise!

This is not to say that wrestling through theological questions is intrinsically bad. What I am burdened with is that we would first and foremost wrestle for our body, soul, and spirit to become godly; to become all around theologically sound. It does us no good to study The Revelation of Jesus Christ but to come out unlike Him. We are deceived if we think that because we can argue a point and win a debate that we have a right standing before God; He will question and judge us, and what will we say on that day if we do not love our brothers and sisters?! John wrote that if we do not love our brethren who we can see, then we cannot love God who we cannot see, and he wrote First John that we may know if we are saved or not (1 John 5:13).

And I am also not saying here that our minds are intrinsically bad. We are to love God with all our minds. I myself am an extreme "thinking" person. However, our minds need to take a back seat to our spirit, and our spirit will only lead us to religion if it is not itself subjected to the Holy Spirit, who alone can lead us into all truth. Our minds, if leading, will deceive us and cause us to fall. We must stopping thinking that what is important to us is necessarily important to God. What I mean by that is, God is not overly concerned about what is the vast majority of our conversations here on this board; He is interceding that we would subject ourselves to Him fully, that we would become approved to steward His mysteries; to be burning and shining lamps that all through us might be saved.

I myself am in training. Much love. - Lk.11

cdo
Aug 15th 2008, 08:10 PM
Too often when I study and teach on the order of events in Revelation - the "what" - I neglect the "why". Simply knowing where we are in the judgment plan of God and what's coming next won't save anyone unless it's founded on the revelation of God's true heart for humans; for the oppressed and for the oppressors. I'd like to see more questions and dialogue regarding the "why" than the "what", as the "why" is much more important. This book's title is more than just "Revelation"; it's "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", and it reveals His heart for the poor, the prisoners, the widows and orphans, the defenseless, and for those who are idolaters, murders, liars, and sorcerers. Much of John's prophecy references or quotes OT prophets, but we too often are blind to the fact that the OT prophets were prophesying judgment because of the people's wickedness.
I'm not quite sure if I understand all that you have posted.But here goes.You sound like your concerned about the people of God but,yet you say
I neglect the 'why',simply knowing where we are in the judgement plan of God and what's coming next wont save anyone unless it's founded on the Revelation of God's true heart for humans Isn't that who God is ....A Loving and Merciful God Who loves even the wicked ?The complete Bible is The Revelation of Jesus Christ.


And too often it's those of us who give ourselves to end-times (me too) who are the least worshipful or thankful, when Revelation is full of beautiful heavenly hymns! Knowledge truly puffs up; only agape love edifies. Why is this forum lacking in poetic songs of God's glory, when there is no lack of students of eschatology? This seems to be one of the higher-traffic forums on this website, yet if all we ever gain here is order of events or another theory on the mark of the beast, then when the day does come, we will not be prepared for the offense that will inevitably arise in our hearts! Do we tremble before God when meditating on His judgments? Do we cry tears for the lost? Do we travail with the Spirit for the Lamb to return and make things right?
I believe this is one thing that you should consider on you own unless you take a poll maybe.


I've just been struck lately with the reality that though I may "know all the answers" when it comes to tough end-times questions, but don't know God's heart experientially, then I'm already deceived! To know facts about His plan and about future events is not even close to being the same thing as knowing the one Truth intimately; crying with Him, laboring with Him, and being with Him where He is. My heart is progressively breaking for us who frequent ETC - myself included. We need to put aside all the debate, all the staple remarks, and forget what we think we know. Subject your mind to your spirit, and your spirit to the Holy Spirit. He will help you to groan for justice and for true wisdom; He will enable you to cry out for mercy; He will empower you to birth the kingdom here on earth, and to save souls. Because true wisdom is not head knowledge, it's holy character (see the book of Proverbs). True doctrine naturally overflows into true love for others, because it is that living water, the Spirit, pouring forth from your inner parts, loving others through you.
I quote "That though I may know all the answers when it comes to tough end-time questions"How can you have all the understanding of God's word and not have an intimate relationship with our Lord ?
I would loving ask that you talk with God about these things that are bothering you.


I want to challenge you who read and write here in ETC to begin to focus on what justice is, and how God releases His justice (start in Luke 18) - but don't stop there, actually walk it out faithfully for the rest of your lives. This is true power; this is true knowledge; this is true treasure; this alone can satisfy. Because let's get real with ourselves; open your heart and judge yourself: what is the fruit of all the knowledge we're heaping up? Why are we so quick to anger, when God is slow to anger? Why are we impatient, when the Lord is long-suffering? It's because the tree of knowledge produces bad fruit that when eaten takes us further from God and from our brethren! But "wisdom is a tree of life" (Prov. 3:18), and wisdom is to fear God with reverent awe, obeying His command to love unto death, knowing you are not your own, but have been bought with Regal Blood. Continue in your studies and don't stop asking questions, but above all your desires to be rich in facts and in mind, become rich in Truth and in Spirit.

Much love. - astro
With all due respect to you,my prayers are with you.
And I would suggest that maybe you should begin in Luke 18 and renew you mind in Christ.Blessings

dunsapy
Aug 15th 2008, 08:49 PM
Hi astro
Yes astro we are all in training. Not just because we are imperfect, or just because of a lack of understanding. Satan was a perfect creation, with full understanding, of who God is. ( much more than us) Yet because of his own will, he developed a desire that was not his to have. We see the result today, of this. So you are right that knowledge is not everything, but our attitude, and humility, with the accurate knowledge is.
I like to use this scripture, because it is God's thought's on our having knowledge.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)


I myself am an extreme "thinking" person.
I was wondering what you meant by this?

Nihil Obstat
Aug 15th 2008, 09:00 PM
Hi astro
Yes astro we are all in training. Not just because we are imperfect, or just because of a lack of understanding. Satan was a perfect creation, with full understanding, of who God is. ( much more than us) Yet because of his own will, he developed a desire that was not his to have. We see the result today, of this. So you are right that knowledge is not everything, but our attitude, and humility, with the accurate knowledge is.
I like to use this scripture, because it is God's thought's on our having knowledge.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV)

I love 2 Tim. 3:16-17, and what most don't realize is that it is specifically in context to end-time revelation in Scripture (see vv. 1, 13; 4:3, 8)!


I was wondering what you meant by this?

If you're familiar with personality tests (http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp), I'm an INTJ (http://typelogic.com/intj.html). The "T" stands for thinking, as opposed to feeling, though it is my inheritance to be feel-y, and so I've been pressing into the emotions of God (hence, this thread).

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Aug 15th 2008, 10:25 PM
With all due respect to you,my prayers are with you.

I think I'm unsure of what you mean as well; please do not compel me to "become a fool in boasting" as Paul was, if you understand the reason he said that. ;) The purpose of my starting this thread was to bring us all back to the introduction of Revelation: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants..." (Rev. 1:1). This book is where we get most all of our Christology, but are we becoming Christ-like? Or are we deceiving ourselves? Saul, before Jesus blinded him, probably had much or all of what is now called the Old Testament memorized, but it wasn't until Ananias was sent to him to heal his sight that Saul (who later was called Paul) was made useful to God. The difference was not his mind, but the Spirit (Acts 9:17, 20). Often we're all too happy to be like Saul, when we ought to strive to be like Paul; this is because Paul imitated Jesus, and Saul did not. As one of my teachers says, it's not about how many Bible verses we know; it's about how many Bible verses know us. Please do not hinder me from calling us here at ETC into the deeper things of God. If you were sincere when you said it, thank you for your prayers. The closer we get to the cross, the closer we get to our sin, and true becomes the faithful saying, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Tim. 1:15). As I progress toward Calvary, I am made more aware of what the target is and how far from it I hit. The mark we are to aim for is the cross; to miss the mark is called sin. John wrote that the Spirit and the Bride cry "Come" to Jesus; we are the Bride of the Lamb that was slain, therefore we ought to become like Him in His death, that we might be made like Him in His resurrection. It's because of these things - anger and filthy language, for example - that "the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience" (see Col. 3:6-8); why are these things being mentioned among us? This is the purpose of this thread. Amen? Amen.

dunsapy
Aug 15th 2008, 10:40 PM
hi astro
I took that test I am INTJ also.:) Though I didn't really know how to answer some of those questions.
Emotions are a dangerous way to look at the bible. Everyones emotions are different, and at different times. Use your head. Prove things out, test them out. You have to train your heart, that comes through accurate knowledge.
The heart is associated with our disposition, our attitude, whether lofty, proud, or lowly, humble and our emotions.
Proverbs 16:5 (New International Version) 5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. the other hand, at Matthew 11:29, Jesus said: “I am mild-tempered and lowly [humble] in heart.”

Moral qualities—goodness, virtue, badness and wickedness—are said to reside in the heart,
Matthew 15:7,*8: “You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you, when he said, ‘This people honors me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me.’ NIV He was talking about the Hebrews ( his chosen people ) They knew the law ( they had knowledge ) but their heart and emotions were not with God.
A little example I have; Your 19 and you see a beautiful girl across the room, and she smiles at you. With no spiritual training you go right over. But even with spiritual training your emotions want to go, but your trained mind tell you, that you shouldn't . So what about your heart, it has to make a decision, is your love for God stronger than, that emotion? It's always a fight. If you practice the wrong chose you greave the holy spirit, and then you will not be forgiven anymore. You lose favor with God. You lose out.
It can be the same thing with religion, do you go to church because, they have a good speaker, or the music is good, or you can do live any life style you want the rest of the week, or your family goes there. Jesus started a whole new way of life ( religion) , he didn't draw them because of the music, it was because of his teachings, not based on emotions but sound reasonings .
I hope this makes sense!!

Nihil Obstat
Aug 15th 2008, 11:22 PM
Emotions are a dangerous way to look at the bible. Everyones emotions are different, and at different times. Use your head. Prove things out, test them out. You have to train your heart, that comes through accurate knowledge.

Emotions, like our mind, are only dangerous if they take the driver's seat. Our soul (commonly described as the mind, will, and emotions) should never direct our spirit. We must declare order within our being. When our spirit is not ruled properly, we become "like a city broken down, without walls" (Prov. 25:28). If our spirit is ruled by our emotions and mind, then we will be without defense from the ongoing attacks of the enemy. This is why we must subject our body to our soul, our soul to our spirit, and our spirit to the Holy Spirit. In this way we can receive the emotions of God and the mind of God, which is not dangerous but is to be sought after more than all the riches of the earth, for this is true wisdom. I believe that I was created by God to be an INTJ, as I took this test both before I was saved and after, both times being the same - however, many of these attributes still must be redeemed and sanctified. God bless! - Lk.11

dunsapy
Aug 16th 2008, 03:56 AM
Hi astro
I guess i was thinking of this scriptures, when I said emotions or the heart can be dangerous.

NIV
Jer. 17: 9 The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
10 "I the LORD search the heart
and examine the mind,
to reward a man according to his conduct,
according to what his deeds deserve."

verse 9 tells us how dangerous the heart can be, who can know it! This means we can easily fooled by it. We could be going to church and looking good on the outside to men, and we may think we are doing OK, but God is the one that really knows us. I think it is very dangerous for us to trust our own emotions or heart. it's something you never can take for granted.
If you are a pastor, or something like that, how do you know you are not doing it for some other motive. For instance do you like to be seen as doing good. Do you like the leadership role, do you like to know everybody's business, etc. etc.

. and verse 10 says that we will be judged by the things we do.

Matthew 7:21
21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

This what I meant when I said emotions with the heart can be dangerous to us.


He is talking about Christians here. This shows that we can fool ourselves.

cdo
Aug 17th 2008, 05:02 PM
I think I'm unsure of what you mean as well; please do not compel me to "become a fool in boasting" as Paul was, if you understand the reason he said that. ;) The purpose of my starting this thread was to bring us all back to the introduction of Revelation: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants..." (Rev. 1:1). This book is where we get most all of our Christology, but are we becoming Christ-like? Or are we deceiving ourselves? Saul, before Jesus blinded him, probably had much or all of what is now called the Old Testament memorized, but it wasn't until Ananias was sent to him to heal his sight that Saul (who later was called Paul) was made useful to God. The difference was not his mind, but the Spirit (Acts 9:17, 20). Often we're all too happy to be like Saul, when we ought to strive to be like Paul; this is because Paul imitated Jesus, and Saul did not. As one of my teachers says, it's not about how many Bible verses we know; it's about how many Bible verses know us. Please do not hinder me from calling us here at ETC into the deeper things of God. If you were sincere when you said it, thank you for your prayers. The closer we get to the cross, the closer we get to our sin, and true becomes the faithful saying, "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Tim. 1:15). As I progress toward Calvary, I am made more aware of what the target is and how far from it I hit. The mark we are to aim for is the cross; to miss the mark is called sin. John wrote that the Spirit and the Bride cry "Come" to Jesus; we are the Bride of the Lamb that was slain, therefore we ought to become like Him in His death, that we might be made like Him in His resurrection. It's because of these things - anger and filthy language, for example - that "the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience" (see Col. 3:6-8); why are these things being mentioned among us? This is the purpose of this thread. Amen? Amen.
If I have offended you in any way, I deeply apologize.And, yes I did mean what I said about"your in my Prayers" The reason for it was because I felt like you were deeply burdened for which "this thread" is about. By what you posted......I take it as your concerned about how Christians seem to you as if their heart is not where it should be with our Lord. I can only speak for myself as to my relationship with God, which grows closer everyday. I would assume each child of God knows in their heart where their at. I don't have any control over anyone and I try never to judge.
I pray that you get the answers you need in your heart and May The Peace Of God Be With You.............:hug:,Darlene

Nihil Obstat
Aug 24th 2008, 02:39 PM
No, you didn't offend, and yes, I am concerned for Christians. There are those called to be evangelists who are likened to fishermen; I am one called to clean the fish. I am not satisfied with a person being "saved", because salvation is a daily process, and because we are not "once saved always saved" anymore than it could be said "once lovingly married always lovingly married"; a covenant takes two faithful, free will parties, voluntarily loving the other through all the various seasons of life. Who would argue that God is the one faithful and not man (2 Tim. 2:11-13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%202:11-13;&version=50;))?

If God were so overwhelmingly sovereign as to make void our choices, then why did He send His Son to die for us? How can anyone believe that the most important decision we will ever make, our decision to love Jesus, which is made moment by moment, is not ours to make? But the Spirit expressly says (or, definitely; explicitly) that in the latter days many will depart from their faith in Christ (1 Tim. 4:1). The Greek word there for "shall depart" is in the middle deponent voice and the indicative mood, meaning these who depart do so actively by their own choice (and is not passively done unto them), and that this will happen in the future is a statement of fact.

If we deny Him by own choices, surely we accept Him just as freely? But this is the nature of love! Who then wouldn't be concerned for professing Christians? Who then wouldn't do all they could to work in their brothers and sisters a perfect love, that Christ would be formed in them, that on that day they would stand complete, "blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 3:13)?

Something hindering this perfect love is our misunderstanding of the purpose of the book of Revelation and how to handle it. Too often we make it overly difficult for others to grasp, when the very name itself, apokalupsis, means "unveiling; revealing". And we focus on the secondary purpose of this book, completely missing the primary thing given that we would rightly handle the secondary. It's "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (1:1), not "The Revelation of things to come". Yes, John is shown things to come (4:1), but not before Rev. 1-5, where Jesus Christ is revealed, or unveiled, that when we read the judgments to follow they would be sour in our stomachs and not sweet like honey in our mouth (cp. 10:10).

- Lk.11

Mograce2U
Aug 24th 2008, 03:53 PM
Hi Astrongerthanhe,
I share many of your thoughts about the purpose of the Revelation is to reveal Christ to us. We do tend to focus on the unfolding of the events rather than what is being shown us at the spiritual level. And it seems to me that if we are to know Jesus as Savior, we also need to understand Him as our Judge.

(Acts 17:31 KJV) Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

The fact that this is a letter to be sent to the churches whereby a warning and a promise is given to each - according to something previously said about the nature of Jesus, gives us an insight into these various roles He holds. We should come away from this book with a clearer picture of what it means to pray "in His Name".

All those OT references also point us back to the examples of how and why God brought judgment in the past. The revelation John was given of Jesus is a far more sobering perspective than the "Jesus loves you" model we promote today.

So I have a question for you since we have differing perspectives concerning the events themselves. What, if any, differing views of our hope in Christ do you see that the various eschatological views have/promote? A high Christology ought to reveal a high hope, do you think? It seems to me you were making a point about how we understand the justice of God, which also seems to be the basis upon which each view has been formulated, rather than on what the OT examples have revealed already. Yet Revelation is definitely tying the two together to show that God has not changed.

(Heb 13:8 KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Joe King
Aug 24th 2008, 05:40 PM
Revelation reveals the how and why Christ is returning, but not the when. I can deal with that.

Saved7
Aug 24th 2008, 06:57 PM
Too often when I study and teach on the order of events in Revelation - the "what" - I neglect the "why". Simply knowing where we are in the judgment plan of God and what's coming next won't save anyone unless it's founded on the revelation of God's true heart for humans; for the oppressed and for the oppressors. I'd like to see more questions and dialogue regarding the "why" than the "what", as the "why" is much more important. This book's title is more than just "Revelation"; it's "The Revelation of Jesus Christ", and it reveals His heart for the poor, the prisoners, the widows and orphans, the defenseless, and for those who are idolaters, murders, liars, and sorcerers. Much of John's prophecy references or quotes OT prophets, but we too often are blind to the fact that the OT prophets were prophesying judgment because of the people's wickedness.

And too often it's those of us who give ourselves to end-times (me too) who are the least worshipful or thankful, when Revelation is full of beautiful heavenly hymns! Knowledge truly puffs up; only agape love edifies. Why is this forum lacking in poetic songs of God's glory, when there is no lack of students of eschatology? This seems to be one of the higher-traffic forums on this website, yet if all we ever gain here is order of events or another theory on the mark of the beast, then when the day does come, we will not be prepared for the offense that will inevitably arise in our hearts! Do we tremble before God when meditating on His judgments? Do we cry tears for the lost? Do we travail with the Spirit for the Lamb to return and make things right?

I've just been struck lately with the reality that though I may "know all the answers" when it comes to tough end-times questions, but don't know God's heart experientially, then I'm already deceived! To know facts about His plan and about future events is not even close to being the same thing as knowing the one Truth intimately; crying with Him, laboring with Him, and being with Him where He is. My heart is progressively breaking for us who frequent ETC - myself included. We need to put aside all the debate, all the staple remarks, and forget what we think we know. Subject your mind to your spirit, and your spirit to the Holy Spirit. He will help you to groan for justice and for true wisdom; He will enable you to cry out for mercy; He will empower you to birth the kingdom here on earth, and to save souls. Because true wisdom is not head knowledge, it's holy character (see the book of Proverbs). True doctrine naturally overflows into true love for others, because it is that living water, the Spirit, pouring forth from your inner parts, loving others through you.

I want to challenge you who read and write here in ETC to begin to focus on what justice is, and how God releases His justice (start in Luke 18) - but don't stop there, actually walk it out faithfully for the rest of your lives. This is true power; this is true knowledge; this is true treasure; this alone can satisfy. Because let's get real with ourselves; open your heart and judge yourself: what is the fruit of all the knowledge we're heaping up? Why are we so quick to anger, when God is slow to anger? Why are we impatient, when the Lord is long-suffering? It's because the tree of knowledge produces bad fruit that when eaten takes us further from God and from our brethren! But "wisdom is a tree of life" (Prov. 3:18), and wisdom is to fear God with reverent awe, obeying His command to love unto death, knowing you are not your own, but have been bought with Regal Blood. Continue in your studies and don't stop asking questions, but above all your desires to be rich in facts and in mind, become rich in Truth and in Spirit.

Much love. - astro


Amen, this is something that has been on my heart for the last week or so as well. I keep thinking I will come in here and find some useful information about what's going on and all I see is a bunch of people with a bunch of knowledge...and I can't even bring myself to respond more than occassionally. All this knowledge does nothing without love (1 Cor 13) and we (meself included) seem to get so caught up in learning, but we forget what is important,
1Cr 2:2 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=1Cr&chapter=2&verse=2&version=kjv#2)For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

When we know Jesus more, we are conformed more and more into His image and filled with the love of God, it is this that we need to be seeking most of all. These other things are important to know for our own warning, but we know enough for our protection.

Nihil Obstat
Aug 25th 2008, 06:32 AM
Amen, this is something that has been on my heart for the last week or so as well. I keep thinking I will come in here and find some useful information about what's going on and all I see is a bunch of people with a bunch of knowledge...and I can't even bring myself to respond more than occassionally. All this knowledge does nothing without love (1 Cor 13) and we (meself included) seem to get so caught up in learning, but we forget what is important,
1Cr 2:2 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=1Cr&chapter=2&verse=2&version=kjv#2)For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

When we know Jesus more, we are conformed more and more into His image and filled with the love of God, it is this that we need to be seeking most of all. These other things are important to know for our own warning, but we know enough for our protection.

The Holy Spirit has been speaking to me of this for a few months now as well, provoking me to study 1 Cor. 2 just as you quoted. He's calling us all back to the cross. True wisdom is the experiential knowledge of God and a reverent fear of the Lord (Prov. 2:1-5). What better place is there to experience the love of God than at the very place He showed His love for me most extravagantly? It is the Lamb who is returning, and we who cry to Him "Come" are the Lamb's wife.

A question has been nagging at my mind for the past few weeks: What is the testimony of Jesus? The testimony of Jesus is the wisdom of the crucified life. Therefore, the spirit behind prophecy (19:10) - and prophecy is for edification, exhortation, and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3) - is the experiential knowledge of the crucified life. A life devoid of the cross cannot truly edify or exhort or comfort the members of the church. If we do not daily carry our cross, do not be deceived into thinking that when powerful lying signs and wonders are released and a man claims he is God, demanding to be worshiped under penalty of death - do not be deceived that you will in that day stand against him if you do not today stand against the world's ways.

And so John, having seen of the things to come and that in the right spirit, he desires that his children be prepared to stand should that day come in their lifetime. Regardless of when you date the writing of Revelation, the Gospel according to John and his three letters were all written afterward. Do you see the wisdom in this?

John, having seen ahead the bitter end of all who oppose the love of Jesus, writes the most heart-rending love letters of all time, knowing that only those who faithfully love Jesus and walk as He walked will stand the test of the last days' deception. The Man Christ Jesus, not order of future events, is what John longed to see formed in the church. He could have expounded further on the heavenly vision of Rev. 6-19, but instead gave commentary on Jesus' life and on brotherly love. Truly astounding and noteworthy for all students of Revelation!

But we are so far from seeking true wisdom, the wisdom of the cross, that we are largely without power and mostly win shallow converts; shallow because our message apart from the crucified life is a shallow and powerless one. Our idea of what greatness and mystery is, those things which consume our thoughts, is revealed by how we interpret 1 Cor. 2:9, which reads: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him"...

Every single time without exception I have heard it taught or preached that this verse is speaking about future things; heaven on earth, eternity with Jesus, resurrected bodies. But in all our farsightedness, we have overlooked the foresight necessary to obtain those glorious promises: the foresight of dying to self daily. Let me be the first to tell you if you've never heard it spoken of correctly. That verse (1 Cor. 2:9) is speaking about the crucifixion of Jesus.

This is why I say that we who study this NT book need to thrust ourselves (and those we talk to about this book) into the heart of Jesus that we would be made like Him in His death now, that we might one day attain to the resurrection of the dead. If you feel disconnected from the judgments laid out in this book, give yourself to studying the first five chapters along with the Gospel of John and First John. We were created to experience God's heart; contend for your calling!

- Lk.11

Nihil Obstat
Aug 25th 2008, 06:56 AM
So I have a question for you since we have differing perspectives concerning the events themselves. What, if any, differing views of our hope in Christ do you see that the various eschatological views have/promote? A high Christology ought to reveal a high hope, do you think? It seems to me you were making a point about how we understand the justice of God, which also seems to be the basis upon which each view has been formulated, rather than on what the OT examples have revealed already. Yet Revelation is definitely tying the two together to show that God has not changed.

This is a great question! Let's open the way for discussion on this... Thoughts anyone?

cdo
Aug 26th 2008, 05:03 AM
No, you didn't offend, and yes, I am concerned for Christians. There are those called to be evangelists who are likened to fishermen; I am one called to clean the fish. I am not satisfied with a person being "saved", because salvation is a daily process,
I'm glad we got that out of the way.I do understand where your coming from. It also concerns me probably more after their salvation. Especially a babe in Christ and growing in our Lord daily.Being in that situation for a while.
and because we are not "once saved always saved" anymore than it could be said "once lovingly married always lovingly married"; a covenant takes two faithful, free will parties, voluntarily loving the other through all the various seasons of life. Who would argue that God is the one faithful and not man (2 Tim. 2:11-13 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%202:11-13;&version=50;))?I agree OSAS is not correct but, it's my understanding in God's word.


If God were so overwhelmingly sovereign as to make void our choices, then why did He send His Son to die for us? How can anyone believe that the most important decision we will ever make, our decision to love Jesus, which is made moment by moment, is not ours to make? But the Spirit expressly says (or, definitely; explicitly) that in the latter days many will depart from their faith in Christ (1 Tim. 4:1). The Greek word there for "shall depart" is in the middle deponent voice and the indicative mood, meaning these who depart do so actively by their own choice (and is not passively done unto them), and that this will happen in the future is a statement of fact.

Yes, I've never had it put exactly that way but, it's the truth.Your explanation. The Bible, yes.

If we deny Him by own choices, surely we accept Him just as freely? But this is the nature of love! Who then wouldn't be concerned for professing Christians? Who then wouldn't do all they could to work in their brothers and sisters a perfect love, that Christ would be formed in them, that on that day they would stand complete, "blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thess. 3:13)?
Yes, Amen


Something hindering this perfect love is our misunderstanding of the purpose of the book of Revelation and how to handle it. Too often we make it overly difficult for others to grasp, when the very name itself, apokalupsis, means "unveiling; revealing".
It is the unveiling....Revelation of Jesus.....to reveal was is to be known in the last days. Which, I've been studying quite a few years and still learning.
And we focus on the secondary purpose of this book, completely missing the primary thing given that we would rightly handle the secondary. It's "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" (1:1), not "The Revelation of things to come". Yes, John is shown things to come (4:1), but not before Rev. 1-5, where Jesus Christ is revealed, or unveiled, that when we read the judgments to follow they would be sour in our stomachs and not sweet like honey in our mouth (cp. 10:10).

- Lk.11
Ok, I get it..not on things to come....but, of "The Revelation of Jesus Christ".That why I've had trouble getting it all down. It's real hard for me to explain it to others without confusion. Now surely not. Thank you so much for clearing this up for me.:):)