willieH: Hi Brian...
Don't know what you mean to gain from this topic, but I do think it deserves answers...
Don't know WHAT your age or experience IS... nor WHAT you have been or are going thru at present, ...but...
Here are some answers from a 63 year old man, presently battling cancer (had CANCER surgery 3 months ago, and gotta go thru radiation therapy next month), ...and I have been a Christian for 33 years (20 w/Salvation Army [hell believers] and 5 w/SDA - 7 Day Adventists [annhilation believers]), ...8 as an advocate and believer in UR...
I have stated these things, just a preface note to you, to let you know WHO
is answering you, ...and WHAT
I am presently going thru! On with it!
Do you spend more time with UR than you do in prayer?
... the GOSPEL
... which is my mission, and encompasses much of my Prayer life which is engaged 24/7... not just 5 minutes before bed or 60 seconds before eating...
I think it is important to define PRAYER... As I see it, ...it is communication (IN RELATIONSHIP) both to and FROM God...
PRAYER does not require: EYES CLOSED, ON bended KNEE, IN CHURCH, or with "AMEN" at the end... It is the ON-GOING relationship communication one has in the HEART with ones Maker... GOD is present with ALL, at ALL TIMES...
When one comes to conscious acknowledgement and involvement in that presence, one is IN PRAYER. Which is why Paul recommended we PRAY ...WITHOUT CEASING... (1 Thess 5:17)
Do you spend more time with UR than you do reading your Bible?
I spend most of my DAY in the Bible, which is PERMEATED
with UR... so I don't see how the TWO can be separated by a question of being involved with one, more than the "other"?
If the message of the WORD
is UR and it is to be brought to the World... then how may one separate this knowledge from the WORD
"Reading" the WORD
is a good thing... but absorbing the "reading" is the more important facet, IMHO
Do you spend anytime fellowshipping with your brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ in real life, even if they don't believe in UR?
In REAL LIFE? My communication with YOU is in REAL LIFE Brian... If I am present in the flesh as that communication is made, I might better (or worse) communicate with you... Just being present IN FLESH, does not mean that the fellowship is on a higher plane, nor that it is destined to be better...
I have many friends with which I communicate with, that I have NEVER met in the FLESH... YET... I can truly say, that my relationship with them, is BETTER than many (certainly not all), which I am in communication with, face to face.
People are people bro... they can either get along or not... just because we meet "in person", does not gurantee the fellowship as golden... Don't get me wrong... I love face to face fellowship... but do not wish my ears to hear, what my Father has revealed to me as LIES... You are and will be INFLUENCED by that which you avail yourself...
As I see it, ...Brothers and sisters IN CHRIST
are ALL MEN
... for CHRIST
died for and to redeem, ALL MEN
, and they are therefore IN CHRIST
in the ETERNAL
I do NOT live SPIRITUALLY, any longer in TIME perspective
I do not expect anything from anyone, for concerning the pathway position in TIME each person finds himself... each is on his own journey of revelation...
I spend my days and nights with the ETERNAL ONE... which directs my steps ...and accordingly, I minister to those which HE sends my way...
If you wish an answer about those who "believe" JESUS
is Lord, and DONT believe in UR... most ALL the people I am in contact with in my life are in this mindset...
It is my observation, that believing in UR does not set one apart from another... it brings men together when it is revealed by GOD...
The only separation that is caused is when UR, like any other observation of the WORD
, is FORCE-FED to another in an individual attempt to change that one... instead of laying it before, and then leave it up to GOD, as to whether or not it is time for UR's revelation in their life...
CHANGE of a HEART is GOD's Work, not mine... at best, I am in hopes to be a tool in His hand, nothing more...
I NEVER preach UR to folks... I offer to them this TRUTH (or any other TRUTH which GOD has revealed to me) ...to consider, ...and then leave it in GOD's capable hands to use or NOT USE that information as HE see fit!
Do you feel that UR is the paramount aspect of your faith?
NO... I believe the COMPLETE "SOVEREIGNTY and ALMIGHTINESS" of GOD is the paramount "aspect" of my FAITH, ...for my FAITH
is NOT my own... it is that which I recieve FROM HIM (Heb 12:2 / Rom 12:3)
My LIFE is NOT my own (1 Cor 7:23)
for I am bought with a PRICE... And the WILL exercised in me [IN CHRIST]
is not my own, for the HEAD (1 Cor 11:3 / 12:6-27)
of the Body in which I (SPIRITUALLY) reside makes ALL
CALLS as to the life, its chronology and destiny
of HIS BODY...
Is Christ and obedience to His commands and staying in His Word (for He is the Word - John 1:1) the main focus of your life, or is UR?
As I said before Brian... How can you separate the two? UR ...IS...
...of CHRIST (Gal 1:7 / 2 Cor 10:14)
of PEACE (Eph 6:15 / Rom 10:15)
of RECONCILIATION (2 Cor 5:18-19)
of DELIVERANCE for ALL (1 Tim 4:9-11)
This IS the WORD
bro! In its presentation I am IN
If one is IN
unselfishly, without motive or seeking to gain religious validation... Rather is SEEKING with ALL the HEART to KNOW the TRUTH, ...this shall be the MESSAGE which comes forth from that SEEKING and study... And IN that process is IN the WORD
To "read" 5 or 10 chapters a day, and not absorb any portion of the WORK of God in that reading, to me, is time spent without reward... To study with the specific PURPOSE of gaining TRUTHFUL INSIGHT (revelation) which DWELLS in the WORD
, is the REWARD we are to seek...
Are you fed/taught by a qualified Bible teacher who doesn't just focus on UR?
What makes a "TEACHER, ..."QUALIFIED" according to your thinking, Brian?
I was (in my 33 years of believing) taught by several Men and Women... not just one... And in retrospect... NONE of them, as I see it, were "QUALIFIED"...
Any GAIN which was realized by me, was GOD using them to ENLIGHTEN me, not THEM and any supposed "QUALIFICATIONS"
men think they have...
I questioned some of them... and they did NOT answer me...
They had "this credential"
-- seminary / Bible college or "that credential"
minister of MANY years (20, 30, 40... whatever)
But would NOT believe what the Bible SAYS... only what their "church" said it SAYS, or their "seminary" said it SAYS... but when DIRECTLY questioned... they needed to ADD
WORDS to the WORD
...in order to establish their view and thereby, their "credentials"...
Are you fed/taught by a teacher who doesn't just eliminate ET, but also condemns or twists sound orthodox theology while he/she is at it?
Might I pause here for a moment, and note that my "teacher" is GOD...
Men place things before me... but GOD teaches as to whether these offerings are valid or no... by HIS LEADINGS in my pursuit of Him...
Might I also say that I learn things DAILY.... and DO NOT "know it all"... however... I can discuss with anyone, because they are discussing with what GOD has given me, not ME...
Concerning "sound orthodox theology"... what theology? And what do you note as the DETERMINING factor that ESTABLISHES it is, ..."SOUND"?
What, if anything in particular have you determined as, TWISTED? And by WHOM?
..."TWISTED" in what way?
Do you spend enough time in the Word of God to know what it has to say regarding ALL things to be equipped to recognize solid Biblical teaching from manmade inventions of a kook?
Name something bro, and then let's discuss, ...and then let the discussion reveal WHO is the "kook"!
How do you spot kooks?
Please! Are you the "kook police"?
A muslim shall believe YOU or I (as believers in CHRIST
) are the "kooks" Brian
Or a Hindu, or a Buddahist, or a Shintoist, or an Athiest... Who
is the "kook" in the final analysis, ...is a matter of individual perspective brother...
You'll recognize them by their fruit. You'll be able to recognize them by their fruit by way of thorough daily Bible studying (not just the UR parts, but the Biblical message in its entirety). We need to be qualified fruit inspectors, lest we be tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine - Ephesians 4:14
This is all well & good Brian... but those who are solidly founded in their beliefs will not easily be "blown about"
What "belief" do you wish to discuss? Let's see where the "fruit" lies...
Just out of curiousity, are you an ET believer?
...and if so... get to the point!
So far you seem to be infatuated with the idea that those who believe UR, do not have other beliefs in their lives which are working within them...
Is the God you are believing in the God of the Bible, or one of your or someone else's invention?
The very same question could be asked of you Brian...
Whom do you suggest can determine this brother? Your pastor?
I think the GOD
which ONE believes in, is the God which ONE
He said to the individual HEART: Jer 29:13 ...and ye shall seek Me, and FIND, when ye shall SEARCH with ALL your HEART...
This verse is noting men [YE
] as INDIVIDUALS, not as "congregations or denominations, or religions"...
How many are THAT dedicated Brian? Are you?
(I don't doubt you are, just asking!)... If you ARE... then YOU shall find the GOD of the BIBLE... YHVH!
Our God is a God of love. But He Himself tells us He's also a God of wrath. (And yes, I know there are those out there who write out lengthy convoluted brain bending dissertations explaining how wrath isn't really wrath, and so forth and so on).
Here's the deal from my perspective... AIDS, CANCER, HEART DISEASE, MURDER, RAPE, WAR, HURRICANES, FAMINE, TORNADOES, NUCLEAR WEAPONS, FLOODS, ADULTERY, CHILD ABUSE, EMBEZZLING, etc... etc... are but a FEW of the things which EVIL presents to us in this life... which RESULTS have been wrought by SINFUL behavior of our own, and of our ancestors...
It IS the WRATH of GOD... and it IS
revealed NOW (Rom 2:18)
(you reap what you sew)...
WRATH and SUFFERING are part of being molded in the IMAGE of CHRIST
, Brian, ...get used to it! As I said from the top of this answer... I am battling CANCER at 63! Until you should join me in such a life threatening position, you have little to say to me...
GOD's WRATH, and the SUFFERING endured from it, is part of the WORKINGS of JOY which shall be revealed at its conclusion... The suffering we endure in this life is nothing by comparison to the JOY to come... as Paul rightly noted under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: (Rom 8:18)
We follow our SAVIOR who was MADE PERFECT [complete] through SUFFERING: (Heb 2:9)
...in other words, without SUFFERING we cannot be COMPLETE... nor can we be PERFECT!
PART of the IMAGE of CHRIST
is SUFFERING bro...
The golden rule of good Biblical interpretation is to keep it as simple and literal as possible.
I agree... but sometimes DETAILED answers are necessary for DETAILED questions!
There is no such "golden rule of Good Biblical interpretation"... that is your personal observation... however... all questions cannot be answered by "yes or no" which is an example of your "golden rule"
Jesus didn't spend so much time warning us about the dire consequences of sin and disobedience, if there wasn't anything to be afraid of. Or tell us He was the ONLY way to the Father, if there were some other way. Jesus is not Mr. Rogers or Barney the dinosaur.
Stay in prayer. Stay in the Bible. Stay in good Bible teaching Christ centered church.
And what "church do you suggest Brian? I have tried many... and ALL
of them claim to be "CHRIST
I would rather remain in the fellowship of GOD, isolated from RELIGION which claims to be "CHRIST
centered", but CONDEMNS the majority of MANKIND to NEVER ENDING FIRE...
Publishing to the World that GOD is a GOD of PUNISHMENTS which do NOT match the crimea... and Unending TORMENTS emerging from the hand of "LOVE" (for GOD claims that distinction as defining Himself)...
Which "CHRIST centered" doctrine...
...BREAKS the SCRIPTURE and its message in so many places it is pathetic...
So enlighten me brother Brian... what "church" should I go to where not only LOVE is present but TRUTH as well...
The more you do so, the closer you'll get to God. The closer you get to God the less you'll focus on UR exclusively, and learn to trust Him enough to leave all the consequences up to Him.
Boy, my friend... your message is about CONSEQUENCES eh? I don't agree with that at ALL! THIS LIFE is ALREADY, full of CONSEQUENCES... which ALL suffer and WILL suffer in various degrees...
Now you give us a vision, ...of MORE of the SAME to look forward to? GOD with His WRATH at the end of this LIVING ride? Please!
There is NO LOVE nor POSITIVENESS in this brand of message!
GOD demands we FORGIVE our ENEMIES, BLESS them, etc... and then HE does the OPPOSITE? This is the astray message of Orthodoxy, bro... Swallow it if you must, as for me, ...it makes me GAG!
Sorry bro.. thanks, ...but NO THANKS!
this advice of yours, is DEFINITELY not for me... others who read it, can do with it what they will with it...
Let me ask you:
Why should I NOT focus upon THE ONLY MESSAGE that proposes that
(1) GOD ...IS... forgiving
(2) GOD ...IS... victorious
(3) GOD ...IS... impartial
to men, ...that
(4) GOD ...IS... love
and is NOT 2 faced! (He loves you but if you dont LISTEN, He'll BURN you FOREVER!)
Nah... you can have it Brian... I been there, done that...
I'll comment on GREGORY MacDONALD in the next post... (it will be shorter!)