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Queen Esther    5,585

In  some  things  I  agree  with  you,   @Micah Ong ...  so,  I  wanted  give  you  a  like ! :)  We  all  made  &  maybe  still  make  mistakes  about  the  Bible....   The  JW  and  also  our  WT  Org. JW  -    bec.  we  are  ALL   imperfect  here  on  Earth :(   ONLY  our  Creator  Jehovah  as  Almighty  GOD  &  HIS   Son  Jesus,  as  perfect  human,  NEVER  made  mistakes !   I  not  want  to  get  involved  by  so  many  Bible - discussions  here,  bec. first  my  German  language,  my  time - difference  and  bec. not  a  perfect  human...  Greetings  from  Germany  ;-)

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Micah Ong    28
54 minutes ago, Bible Speaks said:

    Hello guest!

Yes all in the Hebrew Scriptures with the nation of Israel - they used that name.  The New Testament is the final revelation by God in the Bible and YHWH is not in the New Testament.  You're going against Philippians 2:9 "God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name."

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Eoin Joyce    597
8 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

There are plenty of well off JW's who have high qualifications like doctors and laywers

True. And many of those have grown up in JW families. Or have brought their wealth, education and position with them. This puts the lie to the claim that JW's experience "total control" or are in some way deprived of education and opportunity etc. But...Did you miss the point of Paul's counsel?

8 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

laughing at people that did suffer then because of date speculation?

Well I thought you would know better than that too. Why should other's suffering be a source of amusement?

8 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

The majority of people living today will probably be alive when Armageddon breaks out,

And the majority (alive in 1968) were likely alive when Armageddon DID NOT break out as some expected....many probably still alive today.

The important thing is to be alive AFTER Armageddon has been accomplished is it not? And as no man knows the day and hour of that event..then it is no crime to strive to be ready for it surely? Peter advised us to "look forward to the day of God and speed (hasten) its coming." (2Pet.3:12) And therefore to "make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."(2Pet.3:14). NIV quotes.

Now certainly, and in harmony with the original post, our correct estimation of and appreciation of the role Jesus Christ plays in our salvation is of paramount importance here. So, in answer to the question raised "Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe in Jesus?"  A resounding "Yes!"

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b4ucuhear    49
On 5/16/2017 at 10:36 PM, Micah Ong said:

The fact that Foxes book of martyrs mentions hundreds of thousands of martyrs in the first few centuries does not intrude on the Watchtower way of counting.

I just did a little fact checking on the "facts" you use to support your contention. 

Foxe as a historian

The author's credibility was challenged as soon as the book first appeared. Detractors accused Foxe of dealing falsely with the evidence, of misusing documents, and of telling partial truths. In every case that he could clarify, Foxe corrected errors in the second edition and third and fourth, final version (for him). In the early nineteenth century the charges were taken up again by a number of authors, most importantly Samuel Roffey Maitland.

    Hello guest!
Subsequently Foxe was considered a poor historian, in mainstream reference works. The 
    Hello guest!
 accused Foxe of "wilful falsification of evidence"; two years later in the 
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    Hello guest!
 wrote of the value of the documentary content and eyewitness reports, but claimed that Foxe "sometimes dishonestly mutilates his documents and is quite untrustworthy in his treatment of evidence"...

Objectivity and advocacy

Foxe's book is in no sense an impartial account of the period. He did not hold to later centuries' notions of neutrality or objectivity, but made unambiguous side glosses on his text,

So, not all are convinced with the sources or even "facts" you put forward. In fact, I was surprised when looking to find how little I knew myself and how little agreement there is on the matter. The estimates range from zero deaths (suggesting it was all a hoax) to 500 million deaths. Of course I don't subscribe to either of these extremes, but one thing is for certain, there is no overall agreement as to the actual number, which varies from none to many. Naturally, I see, you selected ("cherry picked?") the one that supports your contention. Foxes' "Acts and Monuments" was written in the mid 15th century and was framed primarily as polemic against the Catholic church much later than the time we were discussing. Foxe in no way was "close to the action" so to speak and as a Protestant put it together because he had an "axe to grind" with the Catholic church at the time, well over a thousand years after the "fact."

13 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

I do not ascribe to any religion and agree with the early statements of the Watchtower that "Religion is a Snare and a Racket!" 

I respect that, and while I disagree with much (most actually) of what you are saying it seems to me you are sincere and have put much effort into being a student of God's Word. We should all be doing that. As a side note and not to get too much off topic, (since I don't plan to sit in front of my computer with Micah Ong for the rest of my life - although I may still challenge you on some of the stuff you have written - if I have time), I have a question:

Matthew Chapter 24, describes events that would indicate a period of time indicating Christ's return and the end of the conclusion of system of things/final time/end of the world...) That period of time, as you are well aware, would be indicated/accompanied by obvious world events, (false Christians - no cheap shot here please; wars and reports of wars; food shortages; earthquakes in one place after another...true Christians being objects of hatred by all the nations. So my question to you is: Do you think that is happening now? Do you believe we are living in the last days according to the sign Jesus gave his disciples? (Let's keep 1914 out of it to keep things simple please and thank-you).

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Micah Ong    28
16 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

Foxe as a historian

Good research I didn't know that!

16 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

since I don't plan to sit in front of my computer with Micah Ong for the rest of my life - although I may still challenge you on some of the stuff you have written - if I have time

Likewise bro. but I have learned a few things in the meantime.

16 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

Do you believe we are living in the last days according to the sign Jesus gave his disciples? (Let's keep 1914 out of it to keep things simple please and thank-you).

Yes I do the signs as you point out harmonize with Matt 24.  No time in history has the earth been so populated and in a globalized stated because of technology.

It seems to line up with Daniel 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."

There are many events happening each day showing that we are we are reaching a climax. 

There are Christians being killed for there faith in the middle-east and other places.  Even if you don't agree that they are true Christians they are in effect being killed because of Jesus name Matthew 24:9.   Certainly they would have to have love for Jesus and God.

Now I know this is a touchy subject involving Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia but I merely want to present this as a fact.  Jehovah's Witnesses weren't banned for being Christian's.  Christianity and the Bible aren't banned but it seems preaching is banned not just for Jehovah's Witnesses but Baptist Missionaries

    Hello guest!

and others are as well.

I don't think true Christians are limited to a group of people or an organization. 

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me,

As I said before no one on earth has the absolute truth and Jesus only asked that we try to follow him to the best of our ability.  He wants mercy not a sacrifice ect

Jesus sums in it up in Matthew 22:37-40 He said to him: “‘You must love Jehovah* your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul* and with your whole mind.’ 38  This is the greatest and first commandment. 39  The second, like it, is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40  On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.”

When you love others and yourself you are in effect loving Jesus and God as well - Matt 25:40.  You pray to him, you draw close to him and lean on him, and you read his inspired writings, then you have that relationship that is not limited to one group but a relationship that he as opened to all mankind.

If God is love to the fullest sense then any sincere person who practices love in it's truest form is closer to God.

James 4:8

Amazing things (blessings) happen when you are in that space, whether you are a Jehovah's Witness or not.

 

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b4ucuhear    49
18 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

There are Christians being killed for there faith in the middle-east and other places.  Even if you don't agree that they are true Christians they are in effect being killed because of Jesus name Matthew 24:9.   Certainly they would have to have love for Jesus and God.

Point taken and as I had mentioned before, we have neither a miraculous ability to read hearts (or predict the future) nor the authority to judge who is or is not a good hearted person (or even the potential to be so.) This is what we feel is part of our ministry: to be "God's fellow workers" in reaching as many good hearted people as God draws to him with the good news of God's kingdom as well as providing a warning of God's impending judgment. Of course, a mere profession/appearance of love of God is not always a true indication of the heart. "If anyone says 'I love God and yet is hating his bother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom her has not seen. And we have this commandment from him, that whoever loves God must also love his brother." (1 Jon 4:20-21.) As you had astutely stated: "When you love others as yourself, you are in effect loving Jesus and God as well."  We might add: "By this all will know that your are my disciples - if you have love among yourselves." (John 13:35) You notice this new commandment to love one another  (that would identify Christ's true followers), isn't full of man-made creeds and formulas. It is a simple observable truth that would be evident to any who love the truth. No need to compare hundreds/thousands of differing/contradictory teachings. There are many religions/religious people that claim to worship God but would you have a scriptural basis for saying that people who pray to the same God to help kill their brothers - (even of the same religion) - on the other side of a political fence in warfare are demonstrating that identifying characteristic? Aren't we commanded to love even our enemies? As you correctly quoted "You must love your neighbour as yourself."  Romans 10:2,3 says: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to accurate knowledge. For because of not knowing the righteousness of God but seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."    

 

19 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

I don't think true Christians are limited to a group of people or an organization.

I would both agree and disagree. I would agree there are good people in many if not all religions - those are the ones we look for. But looking at the Bible record, how would you answer: Is it a matter of how we want to worship God? Or is it a matter of how God wants/demands to be worshipped? Is it up to us to decide what God will accept as true worship? Or is it up to him to decide what is acceptable to him? Ironically, many of those you suspect of being true Christians would likely not agree with you that it's not important what organization you are with - (forgive me if I misunderstand you on this point). The fact that there are so many different organizations, all claiming to be the true one testifies to that. Again, looking at the Bible record, did it matter what organization/religion you belonged to? The Israelites were given the law that kept the contaminating influence of other religious ideas and forms of worship at bay/separate. In fact, those other forms of worship (including child sacrifice, temple prostitution, worship of false Gods...) was something "detestable" to God and it was a capital offence to participate in it. Later when the early Christian congregation was formed, was it acceptable to remain under law and not accept Christ? No. What about today then? Revelation describes false religion as a harlot for the immoral relationship she has with the kings of the earth. (Rev. 17).  Rev. 18:4 says: "Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. for her sins have massed together clear up to have, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind..."  See also 2 Cor. 16:17; Isa. 52:11; 2 Tim. 3:5.  Matthew 7:13,14 "Go in through the narrow gate, because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it: whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.""

So while I tacitly agree with you that true Christians aren't limited to a group of people or organization (for now), there will come a time when decisions will have to be made, based not on how WE want to worship God, but rather how HE wants to be worshipped. 

 

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b4ucuhear    49
21 hours ago, Micah Ong said:

Yes I do the signs as you point out harmonize with Matt 24.  No time in history has the earth been so populated and in a globalized stated because of technology.

It seems to line up with Daniel 12:4 "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase."

There are many events happening each day showing that we are we are reaching a climax. 

We agree on that point (others too I see). Everything we see now in fulfilment in Bible prophecy shows we are reaching a climax. It is in relation to this I have a practical question I think is relevant here. At Ephesians 4:5 we are told that there is "one Lord, one faith, one baptism;" - as opposed to thousands of conflicting beliefs all claiming to be the true religion (I know, we are in that group too). I also notice (I think) in the course of our discussions and your posts, that while you seem to have views in common with other religions, since you don't subscribe to any one religion, you are kind of doing your own thing. (I'm not being sarcastic here and I apologize if it sounds that way). But let's say, you have a "unique" perspective - you are basically one guy in your views - although you share a commonality with others on certain points. So my question is: since we both agree world events (as described in Matthew 24 for instance), show we are reaching a climax, what about the most important part of Matthew 24? Sure it talks about earthquakes, food shortages. wars...before the end comes, but the most important part of that prophecy is in verse 14, the positive one: "And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come." How do you expect to manage that obligation on your own at this admittedly late stage in the game? Or do you feel you are throwing your lot in with every other Christian organization that claims to be preaching the Good News of God's Kingdom even though they may radically differ in what they feel God's kingdom is?  Personally, I feel the ones that are really doing that on a global scale are JWs. That is why we exist primarily as an organization. It's not for tea parties, bingo, garage sales or chicken dinners. We are organized to continue (what we believe) is the commission for all true Christians. I know others SAY they do that (to an extent). But the ONLY people who have EVER come to me to preach the the good news of God's Kingdom are JWs and I've been around for quite and have been all over the world. Mormons are the only other people who have called on me and out of respect for their taking the time to do that I have always have invited them in for a respectful discussion. But one thing is for sure. They aren't preaching the gospel. That's not to say, other religions don't have their missionaries and have success doing that though - credit where credit is due. But to do that work is a huge task involving billions of people and billions of hours preaching to them in hundreds of lands and hundreds of languages. 

Now to be fair, you may have your own perspective on this, but it is something I always consider when we have for instance, apostates from within our organization who try to draw disciples after themselves. I always wonder: If someone followed them, then what? That preaching work still has to be done - at least to the extend God determines, and it won't get done sitting in someone's living room listening to some solo act nit-pick on some detail he disagrees with us on. (Not referring to you here even though I know you disagree on certain points). The fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 is a tall order and not one someone could attempt on their own at this late stage of the game. 

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Micah Ong    28
6 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

I'm not being sarcastic here and I apologize if it sounds that way

I know that's cool and I appreciate that we can have discussions like this as it helps having differing point of view.

6 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

"And this good news of the Kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come."

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he asked, 'What must I do to inherit eternal life?'

"'What is written in the law?' he replied. 'How do you read it?'

"He answered: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, love your neighbor as yourself.'

"'You have answered correctly,' Jesus replied, 'Do this and you will live.'" (Luke 10:25-28)

In terms of logic, the verse above states: Loving others and God  IS THE WAY TO  eternal life.

When Jesus was on earth he stated that the kingdom was among them as he was demonstrating the way.

BIBLE: "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (

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)
LOGIC:  Loving others IS EQUAL TO being born of God AND knowing God.

BIBLE:  "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (

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)

LOGIC:  Love forgives many sins AND God IS EQUAL TO love, THEREFORE God forgives many sins.

It is clear from the gospel accounts alone that Jesus is not concerned about a person's religious status. Jesus told the religious leaders who killed him that the prostitutes were going to enter heaven before they did (

    Hello guest!
).

Religion is a cultural institution. On the other hand, love is universal and not limited to a particular culture. According to the Sermon on the Mount, love is the greatest religion there is. Love is also what many of the great world religions is all about. However not everyone practices this religion of love.

I try not to impose my Christianity on other people. If people have God-like characteristics, a feeling of compassion and living that out, then its ok. I respond more to behavior than philosophy. God really doesn't care about theology.  Theologians killed Jesus!

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, 'Of all the commandments, which is the most important?' 'The most important one,' answered Jesus, 'is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these.' 'Well said, teacher,' the man replied. 'You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.' When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, 'You are not far from the kingdom of God.'" (

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)

This is sharing the kingdom of God not factual knowledge.

The teachings of Christ is not theology.  Jesus taught unconditional love - not theology. It was theologians who had Jesus crucified.  Jesus taught that love is the sign of a true disciple of Christ:

"All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another." (

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)

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b4ucuhear    49
33 minutes ago, Micah Ong said:

In terms of logic, the verse above states: Loving others and God  IS THE WAY TO  eternal life.

 

35 minutes ago, Micah Ong said:

Love is also what many of the great world religions is all about.

We both agree that love of God and neighbour is critical in not only fairly representing the God of love in true faith, but also in forgiveness.  Question: How then, would that love be manifest in true faith? I would rephrase your statement above to read: "Love is also what many of the great religions 'talk about,'  but could you say their fruits confirm that? Getting back to a previous illustration, could you really have any scriptural basis for saying religions that slaughter each other - innocent men women and children - are manifesting God-like love? Because that is the historical reality we are faced with. Many millions of lives have been and continue to be brutally shed in God's name - Catholics, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims...ALL of the world's "great religions" have misrepresented the God of love in order to kill even their fellow worshippers in other countries. Crusades, inquisitions, local wars, regional conflicts, two world wars - mostly fought in Christians countries; not to mention the bloody terrorist activity of other groups. In what stretch of logic could that be considered showing love? That is characteristic of Satan's work - "the god of this system of things." 

57 minutes ago, Micah Ong said:

I try not to impose my Christianity on other people.

But "the great religions of the world" have tried to "impose" their religion on others by the edge of the sword. Often, people either converted or were killed. But that was not what Jesus did was it? What was it that motivated Jesus to preach the gospel with every fibre of his being? What motivated him to direct his apostles and disciples to carry on that same preaching work "to the most distant parts of the earth," and later preaching the good news of God's kingdom in all the inhabited earth as a witness to all the nations before the end comes? Was it not love? Love for his Father and human beings? He was known as "teacher" because the people were in ignorance and those who loved what he taught recognized that he had sayings of everlasting life. It mattered what they believed. It mattered a lot. He taught love by his example, but he did more than that. Out of love, he showed people what was necessary to please God and gain everlasting life. Yes, although he performed many loving miracles that brought practical and immediate benefits - curing, raising the dead, feeding the hungry...- he was not primarily known as "miracle worker" but "teacher" - both in word and in deed. And what was his message? God's kingdom! Over and over again he taught and spoke about it, even making it a central part of the "Lord's Prayer." Why? Because God's kingdom and the benefits it would bring as the only hope for mankind, brought refreshment, hope and an appreciation for God in not only sending his son to die for us, but an appreciation for what that sacrifice would make possible for mankind, including forgiveness of sins. People were in darkness, "alienated from God," like "sheep without a shepherd." It was not acceptable for them to remain in ignorance.

1 hour ago, Micah Ong said:

It is clear from the gospel accounts alone that Jesus is not concerned about a person's religious status. Jesus told the religious leaders who killed him that the prostitutes were going to enter heaven before they did (

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).

Not to be technical, but you are misquoting the scripture in a way that reflects your bias. The scripture actually says: "...the harlots go into 'the kingdom' of God before you" KJ version (not 'heaven') and is similarly rendered in all other translations. That is an important distinction but would take too much time to consider in detail at this point. Anyway...you actually seem to be making the point that Jesus WAS concerned about a person's religious status and the their religious status mattered. Logic: The fact that prostitutes were going before hypocritical religious leaders suggests that one form of worship was acceptable and one was not (or at least more acceptable/better.) 

1 hour ago, Micah Ong said:

This is sharing the kingdom of God not factual knowledge.

John 17:3 - "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you (taking in knowledge of you), the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Tim. 2:4 - "whose will it is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth."                                             Colossians 3:10 - "and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the one who created it."                                                                                                                                                                                  Ephesians 4:13 - "until we all attain to the oneness of the faith and of the accurate knowledge of the Son of God..."                                         Colossians 1:9,10 - "...we have never stopped praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual comprehension, so as to walk worthily of Jehovah in order to please him fully as you go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God"                                                                                                                                                                                          Philippians 1:9 - "And this is what I continue praying, that our love may abound still more and more with accurate knowledge and full discernment, that you may make sure of the more important things..."                                                                                                                                        Hebrews 10:26 - "For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left..."                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not to beleaguer the point since there are far too many other similar scriptures, but having "factual" or "accurate" knowledge does seem to be important. Why? Because although one may feel they are worshipping God, they may actually be or contaminating their worship with what God condemns.  Baal worshippers and apostate Israelites worshipping phallic symbols or golden calves may have thought they were worshipping God, but was it according to "factual knowledge" of God? An accurate knowledge of God?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

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Micah Ong    28

Yes but we don't want to detract from the qualities of the heart and be too factual.  The scribes and the pharisees had very good knowledge but they didn't have the qualities of the heart. 

2 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

John 17:3 - "This means everlasting life, their coming to know you (taking in knowledge of you), the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ."    

The interlinear says that "they should know you..."

We sometimes like to make scriptures fit our ideals....I know I do it too. 

You are correct with the accurate knowledge that the apostle Paul was speaking but remember too that the apostle Paul had arguments with the other Apostles whom he met some 14 years after his encounter with Jesus.  They had differing views.

The Bible as it exists today was put together by the Pope and a handful of bishops. The Pope had many writings cut out which were considered scripture in Jesus' day. For example,

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- who was the brother of Jesus - quotes in the
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from a book that was part of Hebrew canon at the time of Jesus' ministry on Earth and for many years after by early Christians. I am referring to the
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. Here is the quote in
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of
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.

"In the seventh [generation] from Adam Enoch also prophesied these things, saying: 'Behold, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment on all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners spoke against him'." (

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)

Peter also references the Book of Enoch in

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and
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. Now if the Bible quotes from the Book of Enoch then this means the Book of Enoch is divinely inspired and should be included in the Bible. The Book of Enoch existed centuries before the birth of Christ and is considered by many to be more Christian in its theology than Jewish. It is very likely  that Jesus read the Book of Enoch and believed it to be scripture. It was considered scripture by many early Christians as well.

If you want to have accurate knowledge well then you would have to include the book of Enoch as well.

The Word is not a book! If you think otherwise you are worshipping a book and not Jesus. Jesus himself is the Word - and the Word is God - and God is love. According to the Bible, the Word of God is the Logos, the Spirit of Jesus, the only one original Word of God (see

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).

Jesus taught a gospel that is love - a love that loves everyone, wills to save everyone and actually saves everyone.

No religion is the way to eternal life including Buddhism - Christianity - Hinduism etc., because the way to heaven is love [God]. Love is universal. It is not limited to only Christians. God does not love only Christians. God loves the whole world and it is dishonoring to God to think that God loves everyone but throws the vast majority of humanity into destruction for not believing or hearing about the name of Jesus.

 

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Eoin Joyce    597
1 minute ago, Micah Ong said:

Now if the Bible quotes from the Book of Enoch then this means the Book of Enoch is divinely inspired and should be included in the Bible.

Not logical. The choice of quote may be inspired and the point made, but inclusion of a quotation does not make the work quoted from inspired. Acts 17:28 is a case in point.

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Micah Ong    28
1.

The Bible is a book that is true and worthy of belief. This is not to say that a literal interpretation makes it infallible.

2.

The apparent contradictions found in the Bible arise from not interpreting the Bible in a spiritual manner. This implies that a literal interpretation can lead to problems.

3.

By reading the Bible spiritually and prayerfully, the Holy Spirit can guide the reader into spiritual truth.

From these facts, another conclusion may be drawn. While there exists severe problems with a literal interpretation (as you will discover below), this does not mean the Bible is not worth studying. We mustn't throw out the "baby" with the "bath water." These problems of giving the Bible a literal interpretation only show that it is the men who wrote the Bible who are fallible, not the Spirit of God. It can then be assumed that having these severe problems of literal interpretation were meant to exist in the Bible - perhaps because there exists a spiritual and/or symbolic meaning behind the literal problems.

For example, the

    Hello guest!
has severe and catastrophic errors when interpreting it literally. However, when interpreted spiritually, this account may be spiritually true and not literally true. In fact, the same symbols in Revelation can be found in the dream symbolism of the Book of Daniel. This suggests the Book of Revelation is actually a dream or series of dreams which must be interpreted symbolically.

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day for taking a strictly literal, conservative view of the Hebrew Bible. They created an entire system of man-made rules and regulations around their literal interpretation of scriptures. Because they rejected Jesus' liberal interpretation of scripture, their theology was in question, so they had Jesus killed. Today, there are a large number of religious leaders and followers who are making the same mistake. For the last two thousand years of church history, literalism help fan the flames of Inquisitions, crusades, and all kinds of disputes over man-made dogma, such as: works versus faith, trinity versus oneness, eternal security versus no security, baptism versus tongues, and predestination versus free will, just to name a few.

My purpose in pointing out the serious flaws of Bible literalism is to show that the gospel of Christ is much simpler than many Christians believe. The simple message of Jesus doesn't involve any interpretation nor all the rules and traditions that go along with it. The message of Jesus is love - unconditional love (

    Hello guest!
). The teachings of Jesus is not about religious dogma. A close examination of the Sermon on the Mount shows that the centerpiece of Jesus' teachings was love for your neighbor and your enemy. His gospel message is as simple and as profound as love.

 

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b4ucuhear    49
On 5/20/2017 at 2:31 AM, Micah Ong said:

Peter also references the Book of Enoch in

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and
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. Now if the Bible quotes from the Book of Enoch then this means the Book of Enoch is divinely inspired and should be included in the Bible. The Book of Enoch existed centuries before the birth of Christ and is considered by many to be more Christian in its theology than Jewish. It is very likely  that Jesus read the Book of Enoch and believed it to be scripture. It was considered scripture by many early Christians as well.

Hey bro, you aren't making sense here. "non-sequitr" - it does not follow. Jude’s quote is not the only quote in the Bible from a non-biblical source. The Apostle Paul quotes Epimenides in 

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 but that does not mean we should give any additional authority to Epimenides’ writings. The same is true with Jude, verses 14-15. Jude quoting from the book of Enoch does not indicate the entire Book of Enoch is inspired, or even true. All it means is that particular verse is true. It is interesting to note that no (or at least very few) scholars believe the Book of Enoch to have truly been written by the Enoch in the Bible contrary to your assertion here. Once again, it's time to check your "facts" - however well-intentioned they may be. There is no indication whatsoever that "It is very likely that Jesus read the Book of Enoch and believed it to be scripture. It was considered scripture by many early Christians as well." (?)  To quote Wikipedia:  "It is regarded as 
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 by the 
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 and 
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, but not by any other 
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 groups."

On 5/20/2017 at 5:30 AM, Micah Ong said:

For example, the

    Hello guest!
has severe and catastrophic errors when interpreting it literally. However, when interpreted spiritually, this account may be spiritually true and not literally true.

Nobody is suggesting any of what you are writing about in this last post. Of course, giving a literal interpretation of everything in the Bible doesn't make sense. Is there anyone who actually believes literal monsters are going to crawl out of the see with a giant harlot drinking wine riding them? 

On 5/20/2017 at 5:30 AM, Micah Ong said:

The simple message of Jesus doesn't involve any interpretation nor all the rules and traditions that go along with it. The message of Jesus is love - unconditional love

Maybe the simple message of love Jesus taught doesn't need much to interpret it, even though many still seem to misunderstand it, and it is also fair to say that human "rules and traditions" shouldn't be come into play here, but that doesn't mean no interpretation of things pertaining to God's will and purposes hasn't played an important role in God's inspired word. The Bible is full of interpretations, many in the very book you often quote - the book of Daniel. Some interpretations were for immediate benefit, others for later. Now as for "unconditional love," it seems you have a romanticized ideal of what that should involve which has no basis in support either from the Bible or any other Holy Book. So you are on your own again on that one - a force of one. It is true, that Jehovah showed extraordinary love in offering the life of his son in behalf of mankind who were in effect enemies. But that didn't mean that "anything goes," or it didn't matter whether people accepted or rejected his son. It doesn't mean that God's love is so expansive that it doesn't matter how we use our freedom of choice as to good or bad, righteous or evil. With that freedom comes accountability, and even though God may show principled love to individuals even when they are imperfect, like every loving parent, there are boundaries that are for the benefit of all and are intrinsic to his standards and the outworking of his purposes. For, if, in extending "unconditional love," he tolerated wickedness without accountability, it wouldn't really be love - especially for those who may suffer because of the wickedness that this "unconditional love" might allow. "Unconditional love" is a myth that has no scriptural basis. It's not what real love is or should be. And the romantic notion that it doesn't matter what you believe or do is just that. A "pie-in-the sky" that has no solid support anywhere.

Matthew 12:31-33 "...but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven...it will not be forgiven him , no, not in this system of things nor in that to come."  1 John 5 "For this is what the love of God means, that we observe his commandments..." Deut. 30:19 "I take the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you today that I have put life and death before you, the blessing and the curse; and you must choose life so that you may live..." Genesis 2:17 "But as for the tree of the knowledge of god and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die." (If God's love was "unconditional," Adam would not have been sentenced to death and in the process, it would have made God appear to be a liar for not holding Adam accountable for his actions as he said he would. Who could ever really trust Him after something like that? Who could ever put faith in what he says?) Similarly, are we to believe without any scriptural basis whatsoever that God's "unconditional love" absolves Satan of any accountability for all the pain and suffering he has caused and would continue to cause if he were not held accountable? Even in the so-called Book of Enoch, God pronounces doom and judgments against fallen angels and the coming judgment of the wicked.(The Book of Parables). Don't fool yourself. Unconditional love is not really love at all. It is the toleration of wickedness with a nice sounding label.

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Micah Ong    28

Our need to be right can overtake Jesus message of imitating his unconditional love and cause us to be self-righteous.  None of us are the Judges. 

The Word of God is bigger and more widespread than what is written down in the Bible. What we get in the New Testament is merely snapshots of Jesus.  Likewise what we get in the Old Testament is only a snapshot of the YHWH.  Likewise what is written in Genesis is only a snapshot of creation.

"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." - John 21:25

If you feel the need to be right and Judge people using the Bible that is your prerogative.   Only the Father and Jesus Judge.

Jesus said, "The pure in heart shall see God."

The Pharisee's were Judges of the people using scriptures but did they see God?

4 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

It is the toleration of wickedness with a nice sounding label.

You don't have to agree with wickedness to have unconditional love.  What is intolerance going to achieve.  Didn't God say he would fix it all.  Isn't it God that decides what he is going to do.  Case in point of how unhealthy it is to become the Judge or Spokesperson for God using scriptures is the West Borough Church.  I'm not saying you are a Judge but when using these scriptures you can in effect cast judgements to other people playing the Judge.

Just keep it simple brother.  What did the Pharisee receive as an answer from Jesus when he asked what the greatest commandment is?

“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[

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] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[
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]
40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

I don't care if I'm wrong in other details as long as I'm am trying to do what Jesus said was the most important thing to do.  If you get to caught up in the mind you can become disconnect to the heart.  There is a balance as Jesus says in verse 37.

Jesus says to love your enemies and pray for them.  Would you feel the need to correct your enemies after Jesus lovingly spoke to you personally with that message?  Love has a greater positive influence than blunt correction.  Jesus was and still is the epitome of this.  All though we are all sinners he came to die for all of us.

 

 

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Micah Ong    28
4 hours ago, b4ucuhear said:

like every loving parent, there are boundaries that are for the benefit of all and are intrinsic to his standards and the outworking of his purposes

Even though one is disciplined it doesn't mean they aren't loved unconditionally, it is the discipline that is an act of love after all. 

We are all facing the death because of sin, does that mean we aren't loved unconditionally.  We haven't earned salvation but it is a gift because of unconditional love (undeserved kindness).  Yes of course there a boundaries and people suffer the consequence of overstepping the boundaries but it doesn't mean we don't continue to grow in love and learn from our mistakes.  It is unfortunate for people who continue on a wrong path but that doesn't mean God doesn't continue to extend his unconditional love towards them hoping they learn and grow in love towards him. 

God's will is perfect and our knowledge of things is so limited.  Please do not play the judge.

Matthew 7:1,2 “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others.[

    Hello guest!
] The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

This is why I am no longer going to be critical of Jehovah's Witnesses or any other religion.  Well try not too anyway lol :) I'm not saying I'm not judgmental because we can all be, and I started the thread lol :)

If you are going to counter-argument, I am not going to respond because this is wearisome.  You might count time for your witnessing but I feel like I am wasting my energies on this rather than engaging in helpful things that up-build.  This is not an attack on your character because I see you are sincere.  This is just my final resolve.

Kind regards

Micah

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b4ucuhear    49

With respect and hoping the best for you I likewise will post no counter argument. At this point it is clear we can respectfully agree to disagree. We also both recognize that having the last word doesn't make someone right anyway, so I won't include any parting disagreements (even though we both know I have them ;) Just hope the best for both of us and that we will see a bright and happy future for each other as Gods promises are realized. 

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