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Offline OutWest

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« Reply #48 on: July 23, 2023, 03:04:39 PM »
Jephthah's Daughter

Judg 11:30-32 . . Jephthah made a vow to The Lord and said: If you will indeed
give the sons of Ammon into my hand, then it shall be that whatever comes out of
the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the sons of Ammon,
it shall be the Lord's, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.

Some of the "houses" back in that day were constructed as an enclosed compound;
which included a courtyard. Around the periphery of the courtyard were the family's
living quarters and sometimes accommodations for certain of the family's animals.
The "door" of the house served not as an entry to the family's living quarters,
rather, as a gate to the courtyard.

Something very similar to that description is depicted in Charlton Heston's movie
"Ben Hur". I rather suspect that at least a few of the animals were allowed to freely
roam the courtyard and were Jephthah's intended sacrifice rather than his kin. That
would help explain the bitter disappointment he expressed when his daughter met
him first.

As for giving his daughter to the priests for a burnt offering; that just wasn't done
because human sacrifice-- especially one's own children --was an abomination. (Lev
18:21, Lev 20:2-5, Deut 12:31, Deut 18:10, cf. 2Kgs 16:3, 2Kgs 17:31, 2Kgs
23:10, 2Kgs 21:6, Ps 106:34, Ezk 20:31, Ezk 23:37, Jer 7:31, Jer 19:4, and Jer

However, seeing as how Jephthah's daughter was a devoted item; then according
to Lev 27:28 any personal ambitions she may have thought for herself were over
and she took up the life of a nun.

In the end, Jephthah's daughter didn't bewail the loss of her life; rather, the loss of
any hope of having a family of her own. I've a feeling she joined other women of
Israel dedicated to assisting with things in and around the Temple vicinity (cf.
1Sam 2:22). According to 1Cor 7:34, that vocation is better suited to single women
than married.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2023, 01:38:49 PM »
Of Babes And Bears

2Kgs 2:23-24 . . And [Elisha] went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was
going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked
him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he
turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of The Lord. And
there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tore forty and two children of

It would appear from the 1611 KJV that Elisha was guilty of criminal child abuse.
But to begin with, there's two different Hebrew words translated "children" in that

In verse 23, the word is na`ar (nah'-ar) which has a pretty wide application; and
more than one meaning: 1) a boy from the age of infancy to adolescence 2) a
servant (of either gender) 3) a girl (of similar latitude in age as a boy)

The word in verse 24 is yeled (yeh'-led) which has even more latitude than na`ar;
and just simply means offspring, viz: the young of either man or beast, e.g. Gen
30:26 where yeled indicates not only Jacob's sons, but also his daughter Dinah. At
2Chron 10:8-10 yeled is the word for the young men from whom Rehoboam sought

A far more rational scenario is that Elisha was accosted by a youth gang rather than
a posse of unsupervised little toddlers as some have supposed. Youth gangs can
be dangerous at times; and Elisha was very lucky to get away before they attacked
him. The curse of the bears was obviously an act of self defense. They ran
interference for Elisha-- distracting the youths --thus creating an opportunity for
Elisha to get away before the gang did more to him than just taunting; and forty
two plus youths all at one time of any age are too many for one man alone to stand

Here's a paraphrased way to look at it.

"From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some
youths came out of the town and jeered at him. Go on up, baldy; they said. Let's
see you go on up too, chrome dome. He turned around, glared at them and called
down a curse on them in the name of The Lord. Then two bears came out of the
woods and mauled forty-two of the youths."

NOTE: The incident took place in the vicinity of Bethel; which, at the time, hosted a
school for prophets (2Kgs 2:3). I've heard it proposed that the young men who
accosted Elisha were disciples of false prophets hanging around that area.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2023, 02:20:03 PM »
Spiritual Body vs Spirit Body

The verse below is deliberately misquoted in order to emphasize a point. Watch for the

"It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spirit body. If there is a natural body, there is
also a spirit body." (1 Cor 15:44)

There are of course spirit bodies, e.g. angels and demons. However, the actual word in
the verse above is supposed to be spiritual rather than spirit, and in some places
describes spiritual things that bear absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to the bodily
chemistry of an angel or a demon. For example:

Spiritual gifts (Rom 1:11)
Spiritual law (Rom 7:14)
Spiritual things (Rom 15:27)
Spiritual people (1Cor 2:15)
Spiritual nourishment (1Cor 10:3)
Spiritual water (1Cor 10:4)
Spiritual rock (1Cor 10:4)
Spiritual counselors (Gal 6:1)
Spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3)
Spiritual music (Eph 5:19)
Spiritual understanding (Col 1:9)3
Spiritual housing (1Pet 2:5)
Spiritual sacrifices (1Pet 2:5)

"The words that I have spoken to you are spirit" (John 6:63)

In that instance, the Greek word for spirit relates to that which is intangible; whereas the
word translated spiritual in 1Cor 15:44 is a broad category consisting of both tangible
and intangible. So then the properties of a spiritual body aren't necessarily those of a
ghostly being, rather; quite possibly those of a superhuman being.

1Cor 15:53 . . For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must
put on immortality.

NOTE: Superhuman people are able to dine upon ordinary foods and beverages.

Matthew 26:29 . . I tell you: I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that
day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.

Luke 22:15-16 . . I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
For I tell you: I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.

Luke 22:28-30 . .You are the ones that have stuck with me in my trials; and I make a
covenant with you, just as my Father has made a covenant with me, for a kingdom, that
you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #51 on: July 26, 2023, 04:45:05 PM »
God's Good Faith

Eph 1:13-14 . . Having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased

Eph 4:30 . . Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for
the day of redemption.

The Holy Spirit of God is the seal; which is from the Greek word sphragizo (sfrag
id'-zo). The word has no reference whatsoever to a zip lock bag, or a strip of tape,
or a gasket, or that little widget that the power company clips onto electric meters,
or a cork, or a bar code, or a bottle cap, or a label, or a tag, or the lid on a jar, or
glue, or the bee's wax that goes in between the base of a toilet and the flange of
the soil pipe it drains into.

Sphragizo refers to the impression that's made upon wax with a signet ring. In
other words: the Holy Spirit is God's own personal signature on the dotted line; and
it serves a very important purpose.

The Holy Spirit is also the "guarantee" of a believer's inheritance. Let me explain.

The Greek word is arrhabon (ar-hrab-ohn') which refers to a pledge; viz: part of the
purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest.

When we bought our home, I had to submit, along with the escrow papers, an
amount of money called a "good-faith" deposit. In the event that my wife and I
backed out of the deal, for any reason at all; we would've forfeited the deposit.
That's no doubt an incentive to make sure people mean business about buying a

Eph 1:13-14 explains a difficult spiritual truth by putting it into a context easy to
understand by anyone familiar with the process of buying a home. Another context,
also easy to understand, is located in the 38th chapter of Genesis.

Long story short, Judah left his staff and signet with Tamar as a pledge that he
would pay her with a young goat as compensation for sleeping with him (Gen
38:18). The Hebrew word for Judah's pledge is 'arabown (ar-aw-bone') which is
equivalent to the Greek word for guarantee.

Well; Judah was unable to make good on his promise because Tamar took a
powder. So his response was:

"Let her keep what she has or we will become a disgrace." (Gen 38:23)

You bet your bippy they would have been a disgrace because until such a time as
Judah paid Tamar what he promised; she had a legitimate right to keep his staff
and his signet because that's the way an 'arabown works.

Bottom line is: at this point in the plan of salvation, should God not spare a
believer's soul from the sum of all fears; then He has to forfeit the Holy Spirit. In
other words: should a believer end up in hell, they get to keep the Holy Spirit and
take Him down there with them because that's the way the arrhabon and the
'arabown work; and believers have God's signature holding Him to it.

Heb 10:23 . . Let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, without wavering.
For God can be trusted to keep His promise.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2023, 01:51:57 PM »
Surviving In Heaven

I should think that producing enough piety during one's lifetime in order to get to
Heaven would be difficult enough. But people who make it there don't face a
lifetime; no, they're facing eternity. Conducting one's self piously for that long has
to be even harder.

According to Rom 2:6-11, people's piety has to be consistent. In other words:
there's no reward for complying with some of God's instructions some of the time,
nor even most of His instructions most of the time. No, people have to comply with
all of His instructions all the time in order to stay in heaven; no slacking off--
people are expected to give it everything they've got.

Mark 12:30 . . You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all
your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Christ is the lucky one. Piety is second nature to him. Christ doesn't even have to
work at it because he was born that way. That's quite an advantage over the rest of

1John 3:8 . .Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in
him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

According to Rom 6:23, the wages of sin is death. Well; if the wages of sin is death
down here, wouldn't the wages of sin be death up there too? I can't imagine why
not. So then, it seems to me that people in heaven are living under a sword of
Damocles, hanging by a slender thread easily broken by the slightest impiety; and
thus finding themselves booted out of heaven right quick.

Human nature being what it is, the obvious solution to this dilemma is renovation:
a complete and thorough make-over, viz: instead of born the normal way; they'd
be born by the hand of God in such a way that piety would be second nature to
them just like it is for Christ; because unless God can say about ordinary people
"this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased" like He says about Christ; they
are not going to survive in heaven for very long.

Is what I'm talking about a possibility? Yes; it certainly is.

2Pet 1:3-5 . . His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and
godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and
excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent
promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature.

The divine nature is hugely superior to human nature because with it, folks can fit
into God's world as if they were born for it instead of struggling to adjust to His
world as foreigners and  immigrants.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #53 on: July 28, 2023, 03:26:15 PM »
Women Leading Men

NOTE: The comments below pertain specifically to Christians within a Christian
congregation, rather than to people in general throughout the world community.

Christ's apostles speak for Christ; and obeying them is a walk pleasing to God.

1Cor 14:37 . . If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him
acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of The

1Ths 4:1-2 . .We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that
as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would
abound more and more. For ye know what commandments we gave you by the
Lord Jesus.

Seeing as how the apostles' commandments are Christ's commandments, then
refusal to obey an apostle is all the same as refusal to obey Christ. It's a domino
effect all the way to the top.

Luke 10:16 . .Whoever listens to you; listens to me. Whoever rejects you; rejects
me. And whoever rejects me; rejects the one who sent me.

Therefore, these next commandments are not just one man's opinion; but are
Christ's instructions, and being so, are God's too.

1Cor 14:34-35 . . Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not
permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as
also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at
home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

NOTE: Paul's appeal to "the law" usually refers to the covenant that Moses' people
agreed upon with God per Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Exactly
where in the covenant women are explicitly forbidden to preach, or teach, or usurp
authority over men in matters of religion, I don't know. However, it's quite obvious
that the covenant is very sexist, i.e. women are not permitted in either the
priesthood or the Sanhedrin.

1Tim 2:11-12 . . Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer3
not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

People who refuse to comply with those instructions are no better than pagans
practicing dark arts and/or worshipping Shiva and Vishnu.

1Sam 15:23 . . Rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as
iniquity and idolatry.

They're Christ's enemies.

John 15:14 . .You are my friends if you do as I say.

And they're disloyal too.

John 14:15 . . If you love me, you will comply with what I command.

John 14:21 . .Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who
loves me.

John 14:23-24 . . If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does
not love me will not obey my teaching.

Their insubordination insinuates that God's wisdom is absurd.

2Pet 3:15-16 . . Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

FAQ: What about Deborah? God appointed her to lead men. (Jdgs 4:4-5:31)

REPLY: Things are quite a bit different now with Christ at the helm, i.e. Christ's
association with his church trumps Deborah's rather unusual association with the
Jews. I do not recommend using her, or any other woman in the Bible, as an
excuse to defy Christ's instructions in matters pertaining to the governance of
Christian congregations.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #54 on: July 29, 2023, 02:37:56 PM »
Pedophiles & LGBTQ, et al.

Everybody has problems with proclivities; which Webster's defines as inclinations or
predispositions toward something; especially strong inherent inclinations toward
something objectionable.

Everybody also has problems with predilections too; which Webster's defines as a
natural liking for something; viz: a natural tendency to do or to be attracted to

Those definitions are keyed to the words "natural" and "inherent". So then we
aren't talking about acquired tastes here, rather; folks born that way; for example
people for whom dishonesty is a normal way of life.

Ps 58:3 . .The wicked are estranged from the womb; these who speak lies go
astray from birth.

In the passage below; Paul's pronoun "we" included himself as someone with
natural-born longings and desires for bad things.

Eph 2:2-4 . .We too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the
desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as
the rest.

In other words: the so-called universal depravity of Man applies to Christians too.

The point is: unless something were done to remedy human nature's sinful
proclivities and predilections, nobody would qualify for citizenship in either the new
cosmos or the holy city depicted in the 21st chapter of Revelation. Everybody, no
exceptions, even Christ's apostles, would be barred entry even though Christ gave
his life as a ransom to rescue their souls from the wrath of God. They would be
spared the sum of all fears yet have to be quarantined in leper colonies, so to

The problem is: forgiveness isn't a cure; viz: forgiven pedophiles and LGBTQ go
right on as pedophiles and LGBTQ the same as always; and were they to attempt to
suppress their desires throughout eternity, I think they would eventually go mad
with a nervous breakdown because they would be fighting against nature; which
everybody instinctively knows is a fight that can't be won without suffering serious
psychological consequences.

So then, it's futile to tell pedophiles and LGBTQ to stop giving in to their longings in
order to be accepted into heaven and stay in heaven because that's not a viable,
long-range solution to their problem. The problem is not their conduct; no, their
conduct is merely a symptom; and as every informed person knows: you don't
treat an illness by treating its symptoms-- that method has been proven ineffective.

God's remedy for pedophiles and LGBTQ is radical, to say the least; but it's the only
way He can get them into Heaven so they can stay in Heaven.

First off: He doesn't remove their longings and desires; instead God regards their
natural-born conditions as end-stage, i.e. fatal; they're inoperable, so to speak. So in
effect God throws the baby out with the bath water, and starts from scratch with
a new baby.

John 3:3 . . I tell you the truth: no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is
born again.

The birth about which Christ spoke isn't an option; no, it's a mandatory
requirement; no exceptions.

John 3:7 . .You must be born again.

That goes for everybody, not just pedophiles and LGBTQ, because Christ said "no
one" can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again; which of course has to
include all the holy people in the Old Testament too or otherwise the words "no
one" are meaningless and serve no useful purpose.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #55 on: July 30, 2023, 02:51:38 PM »
Christian Defined

Acts 11:26 . . in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.

Webster's defines a Christian as somebody who professes belief in the teachings of
Jesus Christ.

According to that definition; it isn't necessary to actually believe in Christ's
teachings in order to qualify as a Christian; it's only necessary to say you do.

People don't even have to know what Christ's teachings are; they only have to say
they believe in them.

Nor is it necessary to put Christ's teachings into practice in order to qualify as a
Christian; it's only necessary to say you believe in them.

Webster's is a very broad definition, but if all denominations complied with it, I
think they'd all be a whole lots more tolerant; and get along a whole lots better too.


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