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  #1  
Old 28-02-2011, 06:09 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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Thoughts by Theophilus

"To give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth; let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance." Proverbs 1:4,5 ESV.

Schools use different textbooks for students who are at different levels in their education. First graders who are just beginning to learn arithmetic don't use the same texts that college students studying higher forms of mathematics would use. A college math textbook would be completely incomprehensible to a first grader and a college math student wouldn't find any useful information in a text written for first graders.

But because the Bible is inspired by God it isn't subject to the limitations of books written by human educators. It can be read profitably both by the simple and the wise. No matter how little a person knows he can still understand enough of the Bible to read it profitably. And no one can ever become so well educated that he can't learn something new from reading the Bible. I have been a Christian for over 50 years. When I was first saved I began reading the Bible regularly and was able to understand it and use is as a guide for how to live. I know a lot more about the Bible now than I did then but I find that as I study it I still learn things that I didn't know before. No matter how long I live I will never reach a point where I can't find something new in the Bible.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:05 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.
(Job 5:7 ESV)

It is obvious that this statement is true, but why is it so? One explanation for our troubles is that we are reaping the results of our actions in a former life. What does the Bible say about this explanation?
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. (John 9:1-3 ESV)


The disciples of Jesus apparently considered it possible that the man was being punished for his sins in a previous life but Jesus said that this idea was wrong. He healed the man's blindness and as a result the man came to believe in him.
Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. (John 9:35-38 ESV)

This post begins with a quotation from the book of Job. If you read the entire book you will find an account of a man who suffered terrible afflictions that weren't the result of sins he had committed. The final result of his suffering was to bring him closer to God and he was better off in the end that he was at the beginning.




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  #3  
Old 06-04-2011, 04:56 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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Chris and Lucy entered a building looking for Manuel. In a room they
found a note and a lighted candle. Chris looked at the note and read it aloud:
"Hi! It's 2:30, and I'm leaving to run some errands. I'll be back in a couple
of hours. BTW, the electricity is out, so I lit a candle for you. -Manuel".

Then Lucy said, "I know how we can find out how long it's been since he
left! Look, the candle has been burning since he lit it and has a significant
amount of wax that's melted and dripped down. If we figure out what the rate
is which the wax is melting and measure the amount of wax that has thus far
dripped, we can work backwards to find out how long it has been since he left."

Chris said, "Why waste your time? The note says he left at 2:30." Lucy
said, "Don't believe everything you read." Chris replied, "Look, I've known
Manuel for a long time, and this is his handwriting. Don't be ridiculous."
Lucy replied, "Ah yes, but what does he *mean* by '2:30'? A note like that
is subject to interpretation. Suppose he was talking about another time zone
or something." And so a short philosophical argument ensued about the note.
However, Lucy prevailed and insisted on performing the measurement and
calculations.

A few minutes later, Lucy announced: "Well, I've got bad news for us.
Based on the amount of wax that has melted and the rate at which the wax is
melting, I can confidently tell you that it has been at least one whole day
since this guy left. He was probably talking about 2:30 yesterday. And since
he said that he'd be back 'in a couple of hours', we can assume that something
happened to him and he's not coming back at all. So much for your 'note'.

Just then, Manuel walked in. Lucy said, "Are you this guy 'Manuel'? What
took you so long?" Manuel replied, "What are you talking about? I left you
guys a note saying I'd be back in a couple of hours. It hasn't even been that
long." Lucy said, "Never mind the note. I measured the amount of wax that has
dripped off your candle, and the rate which the wax was melting. I know you've
been gone since yesterday."

Manuel replied, "First of all, that candle isn't burning anywhere near
as brightly as when I first lit it. Second of all, I didn't light a new
candle, but a used one. And thirdly, I used another candle to light this
candle and in the process the wax from that candle spilled all over this one."

Lucy said, "So you set up that candle to deceive us, to make it look
like you left the room over a day ago, when in fact it's been less than a
couple of hours." Manuel replied, "Look, I left you a note telling you
when I left. I never intended for you to conduct some silly experiment
measuring wax dripping off of a candle to figure out when I left. I put
the candle there so you guys would have some light."

http://www.wiebefamily.org/candle.txt
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2011, 05:20 PM
Silver Silver is offline
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Enjoyed your space writings thus far, theo, if I may.

I wonder if Jesus was born/created to provide a long line for us so that we could be 'led' to begin to believe in ourselves with the same eyes of wonder and heart of gratitude as we do in someone who can seemingly create loving miracles. Just wondering out loud, hope you don't mind...
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2011, 05:08 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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One time Jesus asked his disciples who men said he was told that some thought he was John the Baptist and others thought he was Elijah or one of the other prophets. If he asked that question today there would be even more answers.

He was a fictional character invented by the gospel writers and he never really existed.

He was an ordinary human who was a very persuasive speaker and was able to convince others to believe the claims he made for himself.

He was a man who was in touch with God and received power from God to perform miracles.

He was the reincarnation of a great spiritual teacher who have lived many lives before.

All our knowledge of him comes from the Bible so that is where we must look if we want to find out who he really was.




John 1:1,2 says,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.



Verse 14 says,

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.



Those who believe he is the reincarnation of a great teacher are partly right because he did exist before his appearance here on earth. But they are wrong in referring to his coming as reincarnation. He has always existed because he is God but he only took on human form one time.




A more detailed explanation of his identity is found in Colossians 1:15-20,
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.



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  #6  
Old 12-04-2011, 10:41 PM
agiosotheos
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Nice thread!
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  #7  
Old 22-04-2011, 02:24 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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The Bible reveals that God is a trinity consisting of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. There are three stages in his interaction with humans and one member of the trinity is predominant in each stage. One is past, one is taking place today, and one is still in the future.

In the past the Father created the universe and chose Israel to be the vehicle thru whom he would reveal himself to the world. This lasted until after Jesus Christ had completed his work of redemption for our sins and returned to heaven.

The present stage began when the Holy Spirit came on the disciples at Pentecost. Now all believers are baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ and have him living in us. He is the one who guides us and reveals God's will to us.

A time will come when Jesus will return to earth and rule us directly. That will be the final stage before the end of this present world.

When the Father was ruling he gave us the part of the Bible known as the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit gave us the New Testament. Is it possible that when Jesus is ruling he will add a third part to the Bible? The book of Revelation contains a warning against any man adding to the Bible, but that doesn't mean that God can't add more to it.

The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in Greek. If there is a third testament what language will it be in? Zephaniah 3:9 says "At that time I will change the speech of all the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord." Perhaps God will use the language that humans spoke before the construction of the tower of Babel.

The doctrine of the Trinity is taught in the New Testament but it was implied in the Old. When God created man he said "Let us make man in our image, showing that there was more that one personality. Isaiah 9:6 foretells the birth of a child who will be called the Mighty God and the Everlasting Father. Isaiah 48:16 says, "The Lord God has sent me and his spirit", showing the existence of the Holy Spirit as a separate being. When God instituted marriage he said that the two people would be one flesh. Perhaps this shows how it is possible for three persons to be one God.

Revelation 1:4 and 4:5 mention the seven spirits of God. The Old Testament contains hints of the Trinity which would be fully explained after Christ came to earth. Perhaps these references to seven spirits are hints of a further revelation of God's nature which will be completely explained when he returns.
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  #8  
Old 23-04-2011, 08:12 PM
agiosotheos
Posts: n/a
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theophilus
There are three stages in his interaction with humans and one member of the trinity is predominant in each stage. One is past, one is taking place today, and one is still in the future.

In the past the Father created the universe

The Universe was created by all three persons of the Trinity...
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  #9  
Old 25-04-2011, 05:18 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agiosotheos
The Universe was created by all three persons of the Trinity...
In the description of creation the role of the Father in emphasized. All three members are involved in everything God does but each has a different role.
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  #10  
Old 22-11-2011, 05:39 PM
theophilus theophilus is offline
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The Bible says that God's power is revealed through what he has made. This means that the more we study his creation the more we know of his power. Psalm 95:4 says,
Quote:
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
If the author of this psalm had possessed all our current scientific knowledge perhaps he would have writtern,
Quote:
In his hand are the smallest subatomic particles; the most distant galaxies of the universe are his also.
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