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  1. #21
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    In the Battle of Midway....the only thing the Japanese AIR force were able to accomplish (because their code had been broken) was to SINK (as in the 8 ball) the USS HAMAN (Hammann). Haman, in the story of Esther...was hung. (as is the donkey or Saul church. The donkey had to be redeemed by a Lamb, in Levitical Law...or have its NECK broken.) Saul the donkey is replaced by David ministry (lamb).
    Again...it is the "lifting up" of the TWO HEADS...one is taken, one remains. (which many have mistaken for removal of the saints in the rapture)
    Last edited by kathryn; 12-05-2011 at 11:00 AM.

  2. #22
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    When the Triumphal Entry of the 3rd day occurs...(into the NJ Bride)....Christ comes this time, "riding" (or mounted)on a WHITE HORSE...not the donkey. It is a picture of the Transfiguration (filling of Light) of Hippocampus gland of the brain. (shaped like a white SEA horse) .
    Satan can't mount us...he can only act as a horse..er...donkey "whisperer". If you will note in the Triumphal Entry...it is Jesus who is riding BOTH mother(carnal mind) and colt (manchild).

  3. #23
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    Kathryn,

    Some very good points on what's going on behind the curtain. Many Christians want to keep that dividing veil firmly in place.

    One of the points you made about Joseph's encounter with the butler and baker reminded me of a brief interchange I had with Stephen Jones on the subject:


    Stephen,


    In Genesis 40, there appear to be two types of the church represented by the butler and baker. The butler seems to represent the Tabernacles-church as, in his dream, he presses ripe grapes into Pharaoh's cup and lives to serve in his lord's house. The baker seems to represent the Pentecostal church as he is identified with baked goods (most certainly leavened wheat), as well as the crucifixion in that he is hung on a tree.


    Len

    The butler seems to represent the first harvest of believers assigned to help "press/stamp out the vintage" of those that have not believed. As they have not partaken in the blood of their intercessor, the kingdom church will help deliver them to God anyway, albeit pulped, but likewise sweet and a part of God's table.

    The baker seems to represent the wheat church, those believers whose place has been assigned with the unbelievers. Their leaven relegates them to the second harvest and prevents them from inheriting the kingdom. Nevertheless, they are justified. They have partaken in Christ's flesh, as the birds partake of the baker's. However, as Jones would say, the anointing of Pentecost is inferior to that of Tabernacles. Believers can only expect to get so much mileage out of justification and the process of sanctification.

    Len

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    Quote Originally Posted by lenvande View Post
    Kathryn,

    Some very good points on what's going on behind the curtain. Many Christians want to keep that dividing veil firmly in place.

    One of the points you made about Joseph's encounter with the butler and baker reminded me of a brief interchange I had with Stephen Jones on the subject:


    Stephen,


    In Genesis 40, there appear to be two types of the church represented by the butler and baker. The butler seems to represent the Tabernacles-church as, in his dream, he presses ripe grapes into Pharaoh's cup and lives to serve in his lord's house. The baker seems to represent the Pentecostal church as he is identified with baked goods (most certainly leavened wheat), as well as the crucifixion in that he is hung on a tree.


    Len

    The butler seems to represent the first harvest of believers assigned to help "press/stamp out the vintage" of those that have not believed. As they have not partaken in the blood of their intercessor, the kingdom church will help deliver them to God anyway, albeit pulped, but likewise sweet and a part of God's table.

    The baker seems to represent the wheat church, those believers whose place has been assigned with the unbelievers. Their leaven relegates them to the second harvest and prevents them from inheriting the kingdom. Nevertheless, they are justified. They have partaken in Christ's flesh, as the birds partake of the baker's. However, as Jones would say, the anointing of Pentecost is inferior to that of Tabernacles. Believers can only expect to get so much mileage out of justification and the process of sanctification.

    Len
    ABSOLUTELY!!! Another person who "gets it"!!! YAY!!!!


    "I pray that the eyes of all our hearts would be enlightened so we can know the hope to which He has called us--this glorious inheritance in the saints" (Eph 1:18) (Remember, Paul prayed this for fairly "mature" or "solid" Christians--the Ephesians -- and he was praying for something MORE for them....they needed their eyes opened to MORE ....that MORE is "behind the veil" ...

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    A lie or a deception of some kind. "The apple is good for you, it looks good, tastes good and will make you like God".
    What lie? What deception? God himself made the tree to look desirable to Eve!
    Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
    That is exactly what Eve saw:
    Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
    And God Himself declared that Adam had "become like one of Us" after eating the fruit:
    Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
    And of course we know that they did not actually "die" by eating the fruit. They died much later apparently because God kicked them out of the Garden and denied them access to the Tree of Life.

    So again I ask. What lie did the Serpent tell? How did he deceive them?

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    You duality is too stark fro me. If the battle is between God and Satan, what hope is there? How could I, a mere mortal, discern between the two supernatural beings?
    Because we are supernatural beings, too. That is what this Dumbo thread is about. We are capable of receiving wisdom from this world or wisdom from above and acting upon it. Remember the faith chapter of Hebrews 11. Ephesians 6, the armor of God? What is it for if not to do battle against the powers of darkness. How can we do battle if we are not given wisdom from above to discern?
    OK - that's great. So I don't need to worry about being "deceived by Satan" in things like the Dumbo Dream. I can use my supernatural powers to discern between true and false, good and evil, just like you do. The "ability to discern" does not come from reading the Bible. On the contrary, we must use our ability to discern to discern the proper interpretation of the Bible. So it's a loop that begins with our own innate ability to discern.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    We have a choice who "mounts us" (to use your words).
    Those weren't my words. They were the words of Martin Luther, the great Reformer who helped found the modern Protestant (Evangelic) church.

    And it seems odd that you think people have a choice, since the Bible says that anyone who sins is a slave of sin and all have sinned. It's not for no reason that Luther and Calvin and most mainline protestant denominations held to the doctrine Luther taught in his book The Bondage of the Will, alternately titled "On the Enslaved Will." Here is the precise quote from that book:
    Thus the human will is, as it were, a beast between the two. If God sit thereon, it wills and goes where God will: as the Psalm saith, "I am become as it were a beast before thee, and I am continually with thee." (Ps. lxxiii. 22-23.) If Satan sit thereon, it wills and goes as Satan will. Nor is it in the power of its own will to choose, to which rider it will run, nor which it will seek; but the riders themselves contend, which shall have and hold it.
    It don't get no plainer than that. This has been the dominant doctrine of Protestant Christianity. The Arminian alternative, though popular amongst the hoi palloi, seems to have much less support from Scripture.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    And that's the rub. How does a person acquire such discernment, given that there is no objectively verifiable way to confirm anything?

    The idea that there are "evil spirits masquerading as angels of light" plays directly into the ancient human fears and superstitions based on ignorance. Every culture and religion has means of "appeasing" the "evil spirits." Why would or should I think that they are real?
    There are three ways you can know of Satan and his work. You can read about him in the Bible. The Bible reveals much about him. You can know about him through personal experience while following the Lord or not following the Lord. If you are following the Lord you don't seek him out and I don't know of many people not following the Lord that do seek him out (or realize they are). There are people (Satan worshippers) that do directly seek him out. And thirdly, by reading about personal experiences of other believers.

    When I was 3 months old in the Lord, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. That night in Yokohama, Japan I went to bed with great peace and calm and a very happy heart. I felt like I had been drenched in a pool of love as the Spirit of God ministered to me. I knew even more that I wanted to tell my fellow sailors and marines about Jesus. That night, I was laying in bed, meditating on the things that took place that day and talking to the Lord. I was laying on top of my blanket not yet having gotten under the covers.

    At the bottom of my feet, I felt something but could not see it. It was hovering over my feet and moving slowly upwards towards the rest of my body. I had known the Lord's presence and this was not a holy presence. It was bringing fear with it. It moved up my body and I could not move and I could not talk. Once it got to my head, my head starting shaking violently. Inside, I was running to Jesus. The more I spoke His name internally, the more it seemed I was able to speak His name more loudly (still internally). All I did was speak the name of Jesus over and over and at a certain point, I sat up with force and yelled his name and I literally felt this presence flee with through the window. I actually could feel in the spirit which direction it took. Out the window! That was my first experience as a Believer with the supernatural. I praised and worshipped the Lord and marvelled the rest of the night at the power in His name.

    I believe I experienced the powers of darkness many times when I was into drugs before I became a Christian. I did not know what I was doing putting myself into a passive state. I was inviting the powers of darkness into my life and did not know it.

    So, there are 3 ways that I know of. There may be more and I would love to hear other people's experiences. I have had other experiences, since then however I don't go looking for them. It just comes with the territory and the battle.
    I really appreciate your story. It reminds me of a dream I had way back in 1992 after the events unfolding from the Dumbo Dream led to my conversion to Christ. I was being chased by all sorts of malevolent beings - very dark and threatening. I stopped and planted my feet firmly on the ground and raised both my arms and open my mouth with a voice of absolute authority and declared "LORD JESUS CHRIST" and they fled and all was peace and light. I awoke from that dream feeling something "real" had happened in the spiritual plane I had visited in my sleep.

    I've had many experiences that support the idea of a spiritual realm with good and bad beings. I intend to write up everything that convinced me of Christianity so I can look at it anew. Please remember that I am in a transitional stage. I am not claiming "certainty" about anything that I don't really know. But neither am I denying the reasons I came to faith in Christ in the first place. Indeed, it may be that my crisis of faith is caused by my drifting from my own intuitive understanding of reality in an effort to "fit in" with institutional Christianity. This is why conversations with folks like you on this forum are so valuable to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Don't worry my friend, I undersand your words and heart on this matter. From your point of view, there are real threats by real spiritual beings out there.
    Yes, there are Richard. Many deny it and many just don't understand. Probably the biggest question that most people have on earth can be put into one word. Why?

    Why does man suffer. He is born to trouble... Job 5:7. Job thought his suffering was senseless yet understood it later, very well.

    We all know evil is an objectively verifiable phenomenon in this world except to the totally deluded and blinded person. But I believe this evil has a source.

    There is a ruling purpose that lies behind the evil in this world. Evil is not random as many might think. I believe it is part of a much larger scheme though it may seem unorchestrated. The Bible does not hide at all the evidence of evil or the fierce force that lies behind it. The Bible declares that God has an enemy, an adversary: Satan. He is a supernatural being of great power and intelligence, though he is no equal for God Almighty or those who run into their God as their strong TOWER. Yes, little puny human beings who have made the Lord their trust and shield, can withstand the powers of darkness in the mighty name of Jesus. Meaning that no matter what happens to them in this life, their mind and will cannot be bent to turn their worship or allegiance from God to Satan who is behind all idols in this world.
    I don't think it is correct to say that evil is an "objectively verifiable phenomenon" any more than to say that about "love" or "beauty" or "ugliness." I believe evil and love are real, but they are not "objectively verifiable." And it may be that God and Christianity are true, but that does not mean they can be confirmed by measurement or some other test.

    As for the idea of a "ruling purpose" - that touches the heart of my whole problem with the idea of a "God" who goes about doing things. Now you have him in battle with another invisible and unverifiable agent - Satan. I just don't think that explains reality well at all. I wouldn't run the universe that way. And any being that would is so inscrutable in purpose and personality as to defy any description like "good" or "loving." The God you describe is playing a game with people's lives! He makes a bet with the author of all evil that one of his toy souls would "keep the faith" no matter how much the devil tormented him, killing his family, taking all that he owned, and reducing his life to ashes? That's fine if it's just a "morality play" but you are presenting it as an accurate portrayal of the literal way that God is running the universe! So all the evil in the world, the holocaust, the rapes and murders, the babies born deformed, all of the seemingly senseless random pain in the universe is now attributed to a game being played between God and Satan? I don't find that compelling in the least. It is so foreign to my view of reality. It seems upside down. If I'm driving down the road and a rock is in the road and I crash and become paralyzed, I'd much rather understand that this was a random event than to think that the Almighty designed it to prove to Satan that I'd "keep the faith" despite what He'd done to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    But how would we discern them in something like the Dumbo Dream? It led directly to a strong faith in Christ. And it, along with its consequent discovery of the Bible Wheel, is the strongest evidence that keeps me engaged with Christianity as a possibility. I can't just toss it all out because I have too much evidence that "something supernatural" is going on with it.
    Of course, I would not toss it out. You don't have any reason that has been revealed to you to toss it out. And it did lead you to a strong faith in Christ.
    Yep - and it continues to bear witness to the Blood of Christ as the Key to the Bible and the full title of the Lord Jesus Christ = 6 x 528 (Key). Just like the Bible Wheel, it makes it impossible for me to simply dismiss it all as nothing but human invention. But I still don't know what it really means since neither can I understand the concept of God as proposed by traditional Christian theism. So I'm just mystified for now ... and frankly, it's a rather pleasant state of mind that leads to a lot of fruitful insights because it is so open to new ideas.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    I would like to read that one. I did not know about it. I read your entire debate that you saved from the Catholic forum. That was something else!!! You did a great job.
    Great! As soon as I get my hands on a few hours in excess of the standard issue of 24 per day, I'll get it posted!

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Yes, of course, but that has nothing to do with you, me, or the topic at hand, right? I mean, we're both sufficiently mature now, I would think, to know the foolishness of exchaning a birthright for a pot of stew!
    Sure I agree with you, but you would be surprised. If you read my story about Prem Pradhan in the "Demon" thread, he had a brother "in the Lord" that was his "right hand man" and worked with him in the ministry for 20 years. One particular day, he mentioned to Prem that maybe he should put all the financial records in his name (not Prem's but his) since Prem is currently being hunted down. Prem was on the run at this time. Well, Prem had been sent about 120,000.00 dollars by many Christians from around the world that heard about him. He was going to build a school and orphanage with it. Prem told me that it seemed like a good idea and did it. Later, that "brother" took off with all the money and was never seen again. Prem confided in me that he always prayed about everything and asked the Lord for advice but on this one occasion, he did not pray.
    That is a fascinating story. But obviously, the brother was no real Christian. And that's the problem - no one can discern between the "true" and "false" Christians. At best, I suppose, you can determine who is NOT a Christian when they do something really nasty, but there's no way to know who really is a Christian since anyone can put on the act.

    And besides, anecdotes don't convinced anyone. For example, I have a friend who prayed all the time and she felt that God told her to put all her money in the stock market. She obeyed. Too bad it was June 2008, just before the biggest crash of the last decade. That's not gonna make you stop believing in prayer any more than a story like Prem's would make me believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Well, I never could listen to him to tell you the truth. But, I want to assure you that you can have knowledge about demons and their workings and not be a ding-bat. Gee, at least I hope so.
    I certainly did not mean to suggest that you were a dingbat!

    I would agree that you can have beliefs about demons without being a dingbat, but I can't say you could have knowledge since I don't know if such knowledge exists.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Actually, I doubt we will ever "see" in this life if demons are real or not (in any verifiable fashion).
    Well, they are working hard to make your wish come true.
    It's not a "wish" - it's just the probably truth. If demons were real and a threat, I'd certainly want to know about them.

    Quote Originally Posted by heb13-13 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    think giving Satan the ability to create synchronicies is investing him with too much godliness.

    If Satan can fool us humans into thinking he is god by performing great miracles and synchronicities and sucb, then what hope is there? The Bible can't help because it is subject to interpretation. And it sounds lke you are saying we can't really trust our own judgment or experiences so I don't understand how there could be any hope in the worldview that you are sharing. How do you know that you are not one of the deceived? Think of all the followers of Harold Camping. I bet if you sat down with any one of them and talked about anything but Harold Camping, you would have concluded you were with a genuine, saved Christian.
    I will have to continue this later, Richard. I will tell you a story about a young man where the powers of darkness were skilled at arranging "events" and "coincidences". It's way past my bedtime and I will probably be jello tomorrow.

    It's been good talking with you and thank you for allowing me to continue with you,
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow,
    Rick
    I look forward to that discussion.

    But if we are gong to continue this discussion about Satan and Demons, I would like to move it to its own thread since it's way off topic.

    Great chatting!

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    So again I ask. What lie did the Serpent tell? How did he deceive them?
    He said, "did God really say?"


    Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.

    First off, do you have to be really crafty to deceive someone who is 'easily deceived' (this is what some people teach--that women are "more easily deceived" than men...and that's why he came to Eve...)

    (cont’d) '…He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
    2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" [NOTE: God never said "you must not touch it"]

    OK, let's look at what God originally did say… Gen 2:15-18:

    15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

    [OK, first we see the command didn't say anything about not touching the tree]

    …and next we see in vs 18 that Eve hadn't even been formed from out of Adam yet:

    18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

    Which means she wasn't even THERE to hear this command--so who had to tell her? Adam. So what often happens when you get your information from third-party sources? Sometimes something gets added to, or taken from, what was originally said.

    Eve did this herself, when she added the words "and we must not touch it" to the command…because God never said that!

    So WHY did the serpent come to Eve? Was it because women are more easily deceived than men, as is so often taught? There is no other scriptural support for that whatsoever. Many believe the serpent came to Eve because she didn't hear the original command--she got the info second-hand, and Satan always has an advantage over those who get the Word of God second hand! That's WHY he started out with, "Did God really say…?" and then twisted the original Word of God: "Did God really say you couldn't eat from any tree?" Now THAT'S being crafty!

    Eve's response started out right--no, we can eat from all the trees, just not the one in the middle….but then she adds to what God said… "and you must not touch it…" So, that one little suggestion got her thinking maybe she didn't get the actual story right from Adam--she could then turn it around in her head, "DID God really say??....Gee, now I wonder if I got that right or not…." That’s Satan’s oldest trick in the book, and one he still uses regularly today—coming as an ‘angel of light,’ by quoting scripture, but twisting it just enough so that it causes us to doubt 'if God really said' something. And through the years there have been many men and women deceived by his cunning; in fact, throughout history more men have been deceived to the point of heresy than women, and they have led many others astray because of it.



    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I've had many experiences that support the idea of a spiritual realm with good and bad beings. I intend to write up everything that convinced me of Christianity so I can look at it anew. Please remember that I am in a transitional stage. I am not claiming "certainty" about anything that I don't really know. But neither am I denying the reasons I came to faith in Christ in the first place. Indeed, it may be that my crisis of faith is caused by my drifting from my own intuitive understanding of reality in an effort to "fit in" with institutional Christianity. This is why conversations with folks like you on this forum are so valuable to me.
    I think it's a good thing to abandon "institutional Christianity." Like I've said before, Jesus didn't come to start the religion of Christianity...

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    He said, "did God really say?"


    Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.

    First off, do you have to be really crafty to deceive someone who is 'easily deceived' (this is what some people teach--that women are "more easily deceived" than men...and that's why he came to Eve...)

    (cont’d) '…He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
    2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" [NOTE: God never said "you must not touch it"]

    OK, let's look at what God originally did say… Gen 2:15-18:

    15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

    [OK, first we see the command didn't say anything about not touching the tree]

    …and next we see in vs 18 that Eve hadn't even been formed from out of Adam yet:

    18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

    Which means she wasn't even THERE to hear this command--so who had to tell her? Adam. So what often happens when you get your information from third-party sources? Sometimes something gets added to, or taken from, what was originally said.

    Eve did this herself, when she added the words "and we must not touch it" to the command…because God never said that!

    So WHY did the serpent come to Eve? Was it because women are more easily deceived than men, as is so often taught? There is no other scriptural support for that whatsoever. Many believe the serpent came to Eve because she didn't hear the original command--she got the info second-hand, and Satan always has an advantage over those who get the Word of God second hand! That's WHY he started out with, "Did God really say…?" and then twisted the original Word of God: "Did God really say you couldn't eat from any tree?" Now THAT'S being crafty!

    Eve's response started out right--no, we can eat from all the trees, just not the one in the middle….but then she adds to what God said… "and you must not touch it…" So, that one little suggestion got her thinking maybe she didn't get the actual story right from Adam--she could then turn it around in her head, "DID God really say??....Gee, now I wonder if I got that right or not…." That’s Satan’s oldest trick in the book, and one he still uses regularly today—coming as an ‘angel of light,’ by quoting scripture, but twisting it just enough so that it causes us to doubt 'if God really said' something. And through the years there have been many men and women deceived by his cunning; in fact, throughout history more men have been deceived to the point of heresy than women, and they have led many others astray because of it.





    I think it's a good thing to abandon "institutional Christianity." Like I've said before, Jesus didn't come to start the religion of Christianity...
    DEB! I have NEVER seen that about Eve not being there! Now...that blows me away! I have to go back to the beginning now...and REread the whole account!!! It just amazes me, how the Lord has hidden some of this stuff until the "appointed time" to find it! It's like the account of Jesus riding the TWO donkeys
    ....which was an impossibility....but it's worded that way!

    There's a great book...I think it's called The Holy Wild...where the author speaks of the Father hiding revelation like the Easter Bunny hides eggs. He seems to take an almost (almost) perverse pleasure in hiding some of them in the most obscure places....and then gets just as excited as we do, when we finally find them

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    So again I ask. What lie did the Serpent tell? How did he deceive them?
    He said, "did God really say?"

    Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made.

    First off, do you have to be really crafty to deceive someone who is 'easily deceived' (this is what some people teach--that women are "more easily deceived" than men...and that's why he came to Eve...)

    (cont’d) '…He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
    2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'" [NOTE: God never said "you must not touch it"]

    OK, let's look at what God originally did say… Gen 2:15-18:

    15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

    [OK, first we see the command didn't say anything about not touching the tree]

    …and next we see in vs 18 that Eve hadn't even been formed from out of Adam yet:

    18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

    Which means she wasn't even THERE to hear this command--so who had to tell her? Adam. So what often happens when you get your information from third-party sources? Sometimes something gets added to, or taken from, what was originally said.

    Eve did this herself, when she added the words "and we must not touch it" to the command…because God never said that!

    So WHY did the serpent come to Eve? Was it because women are more easily deceived than men, as is so often taught? There is no other scriptural support for that whatsoever. Many believe the serpent came to Eve because she didn't hear the original command--she got the info second-hand, and Satan always has an advantage over those who get the Word of God second hand! That's WHY he started out with, "Did God really say…?" and then twisted the original Word of God: "Did God really say you couldn't eat from any tree?" Now THAT'S being crafty!

    Eve's response started out right--no, we can eat from all the trees, just not the one in the middle….but then she adds to what God said… "and you must not touch it…" So, that one little suggestion got her thinking maybe she didn't get the actual story right from Adam--she could then turn it around in her head, "DID God really say??....Gee, now I wonder if I got that right or not…." That’s Satan’s oldest trick in the book, and one he still uses regularly today—coming as an ‘angel of light,’ by quoting scripture, but twisting it just enough so that it causes us to doubt 'if God really said' something. And through the years there have been many men and women deceived by his cunning; in fact, throughout history more men have been deceived to the point of heresy than women, and they have led many others astray because of it.
    Hey there Deb!

    That is an interesting approach, but I still don't see any actual deception on the part of the serpent. And what's wrong with asking a question? The act of questioning was appropriate for Eve, since she wasn't there when God gave the command so she was just going on second hand knowledge. And that is the source of much deception in the world - going with what we've been told rather than what we see and understand for ourselves.

    Your comments brought up a lot of questions. Where was God during the temptation? Why did he choose to leave Adam and Eve alone with a deceptive supernatural being? It looks like he set up the whole situation with the intent for Adam and Eve to eat the fruit. What other conclusion could there be, if we assume that God is of average intelligence, let alone omniscient?!

    Also, the thing about men teaching that women are "more easily deceived." The source of that idea is not only the Garden story, but Paul's commentary on it:
    1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    Paul explained that women should not teach because Eve was deceived. It seems that the obvious implication is that women are more prone to deception and so should not be allowed to teach. How do you understand this passage?
    Quote Originally Posted by debz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    I've had many experiences that support the idea of a spiritual realm with good and bad beings. I intend to write up everything that convinced me of Christianity so I can look at it anew. Please remember that I am in a transitional stage. I am not claiming "certainty" about anything that I don't really know. But neither am I denying the reasons I came to faith in Christ in the first place. Indeed, it may be that my crisis of faith is caused by my drifting from my own intuitive understanding of reality in an effort to "fit in" with institutional Christianity. This is why conversations with folks like you on this forum are so valuable to me.
    I think it's a good thing to abandon "institutional Christianity." Like I've said before, Jesus didn't come to start the religion of Christianity...
    I'm glad we agree on that! But then, how did get the Bible if not through the institutional religion of Christianity? If there were no Christian religion, there would be no Bible ...
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kathryn View Post
    DEB! I have NEVER seen that about Eve not being there! Now...that blows me away! I have to go back to the beginning now...and REread the whole account!!! It just amazes me, how the Lord has hidden some of this stuff until the "appointed time" to find it! It's like the account of Jesus riding the TWO donkeys
    ....which was an impossibility....but it's worded that way!

    There's a great book...I think it's called The Holy Wild...where the author speaks of the Father hiding revelation like the Easter Bunny hides eggs. He seems to take an almost (almost) perverse pleasure in hiding some of them in the most obscure places....and then gets just as excited as we do, when we finally find them
    Hi Kathryn,

    The other day my wife was telling me about how we as adults will barely hide the eggs for the little children. We want them to find the eggs because we as parents receive joy in watching the little ones find them. If you have ever watched the parents, I think they get more joy in watching the little ones find the eggs.

    For the older ones we make it more of a challenge. The joy there, is for them to find the eggs.

    The Lord makes some things easy for us so that we will be encouraged to keep searching and seeking and finding.

    All the best,
    Rick

    There is no other book like the Bible in the world where you have to know the Author to understand the book. If Christianity were the religion of the Book then it would be no different than any other religion in the world. But, Christianity is Christ! It is the dynamic, personal Spirit of God functioning in man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    That is an interesting approach, but I still don't see any actual deception on the part of the serpent. And what's wrong with asking a question? The act of questioning was appropriate for Eve, since she wasn't there when God gave the command so she was just going on second hand knowledge. And that is the source of much deception in the world - going with what we've been told rather than what we see and understand for ourselves.
    Well, Eve didn't ask the question, the serpent did. He said, "did God REALLY say?" He deceived her by getting her to think God said something different than what He actually said....that was point of my whole post.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM View Post
    Also, the thing about men teaching that women are "more easily deceived." The source of that idea is not only the Garden story, but Paul's commentary on it:
    1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
    Paul explained that women should not teach because Eve was deceived. It seems that the obvious implication is that women are more prone to deception and so should not be allowed to teach. How do you understand this passage?
    Yes, this is the way that passage has been traditionally taught...which is why it so hard to see it any other way... But Paul allowed women to teach and prohpesy in other places, so something has to be off here. I will address this one further on the "Male Bias of Scripture" thread, where my other comments on other passages are also located. I don't want this thread to get off track... But in a nutshell, Paul wasn't telling all women for all time (it is not in imperative...) that they couldn't teach or "have authority over" men...for one, the word for authority there is a completely different one that normally used. There was a specific reason he was saying this, applying specifically to the situation he was addressing. I know, I know, some will think I am "twisting scripture" to make it read the way I want... Like I said, I will address on the Male Bias thread....

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