Author Topic: FAQ  (Read 3769 times)

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Offline OutWest

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« Reply #56 on: July 31, 2023, 03:36:11 PM »
Savior Defined

Luke 2:8-11 . . And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the
fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of The Lord suddenly
stood before them, and the glory of The Lord shone around them; and they were terribly

. . . And the angel said to them: Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a
great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been
born for you a savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Greek word translated "savior" is basically a rescuer.

Rescuers typically help people who are in grave distress and/or imminent danger of
death and/or serious injury, and helpless to do anything about it; e.g. Red Cross,
Firemen, Emergency Medical teams, snow patrols, mountain units, and the Coast
Guard and National Guard.

Wouldn't it be awful if those agencies refused to assist desperate folk until they first
proved themselves deserving? Well lucky for everyone that those agencies work on the
basis of need rather than merit or many of us would end up thrown back to the wolves.

I think quite a few people are under the impression that Christ is some sort of probation
officer; viz: if people "endure to the end" as they say; then he grants them a clearance
for Heaven. But God forbid they should fail to satisfy the conditions of their probation,
because then they're placed back in jeopardy.

Probation can be likened to a sword of Damocles hanging over people's heads by a
slender thread easily broken by conduct unbecoming. How dare the angel of Luke 2:8
11 describe his announcement as "good news of great joy" if probation were actually
what's meant by sozo instead of rescue.

On the other hand; if Christ is in the business of rescuing people from the wrath of God
in accord with the humane principles underlying normal emergency services; then yes, I
fully agree with the angel that the birth of Christ is something to get excited about.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #57 on: August 01, 2023, 02:45:59 PM »
The Good Shepherd's Rights vs His Flocks's Rights

God's free will trumps everybody else's free will, including Christ's. For example:

"This is the will of the one who sent me; that I should not lose anything of what He
gave me." (John 6:39)

One of the many things that God gives His son is sheep. (John 10:27-30)

Now, whether the sheep like it or not, they're struck with the good shepherd
because Jesus always satisfies his Father's wants.

"My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." (John 4:34)

"I always do what is pleasing to Him." (John 8:29)

Were Christ to fail-- in any way at all --accomplishing the will of the one who sent
him; then it would be dishonest of Christ to claim to "always" please God. Christ
might be able to claim pleasing the one who sent him a high percentage of the
time, but certainly not always.

Bottom line: The good shepherd's will trumps the sheep's will. (It would be a pretty
dim-witted wrangler that lets the wants of a herd overrule him; as if animal
husbandry were somehow democratic.)

FAQ: What if a sheep decides to leave Jesus' flock and follow somebody else

REPLY: Assuming the sheep is one of the sheep that God gave His son to keep,
then no soap. Regardless of what the sheep think, feel, say, or do; once they're
brought into the sheepfold, they're stuck.

"You are not your own; you were bought at a price." (1Cor 6:19-20)

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me shall be saved." (John 10:9)

Were Christ a so-so shepherd; then he wouldn't dare say "shall be" saved; no, he'd
have to tone it down a bit and say "can be" saved. That would leave him some
room for error. But when Christ says "shall be" he's claiming a 0.0% failure rate.
That's how confident Christ is that he will lose nothing of what his Father has given

Cattle ranchers whose livestock roam on BLM lands, typically brand their stock for
easy identification later on at round-up. Well; God doesn't brand the good
shepherd's sheep but He does mark them.

"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,
and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit. (Eph 1:13)

The Greek word translated "seal" basically refers to the impression that a signet
ring leaves in wax and/or soft clay.

Well; the good shepherd's sheep might wander far and wide and even attempt to
blend in with another flock, but any and all attempts to escape and/or repudiate
their rightful owner are futile. That seal will always give them away as belonging to
the good shepherd and it's only a matter of time before he comes looking for his

It's important to know that the sheep's safety isn't based upon their willingness to
comply with the shepherd's wants; no, their safety is based upon the good
shepherd's determination to comply with his Father's wants; a determination
proven by blood.

"I lay down my life for the sheep." (John 10:15)

Were the good shepherd only human, then I would be inclined to agree with
skeptics that Jesus might fail to keep his sheep safe. But the Bible teaches that
Christ is not only human, but also the divine architect of the entire cosmos with all
of its forms of life, matter, and energy (John 1:1-3, Col 1:16-17). So then, the
good shepherd has at his disposal all the powers and abilities of the supreme being
to utilize in order to succeed at keeping his sheep on the books.

"No one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is
greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand." (John 10:27 29)

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2023, 02:34:22 PM »
Hope Defined

1Pet 3:15b . . Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you
reason of the hope that is in you.

The Greek word for "hope" in that passage, and in others (e.g. Rom 8:23-25)
pertains to expectations; viz: it isn't wishful thinking, nor crossing your fingers; no,
it's a confident kind of hope that looks forward to something, and fully expects to
obtain it; i.e. it's an anticipating hope; viz: it doesn't pray for the best, while in the
back of its mind dreading the worst.

When people aren't 110% sure what the afterlife has in store for them-- if there is
even the slightest concern, anxiety, or unease --they can't possibly comply with
Peter's instructions for the simple reason that the hope that is in them, if any, is the
wrong kind of hope.

Rom 12:12 . . Rejoice in hope.

When people are praying for the best, while in the back of their mind dreading the
worst, they have absolutely no cause for rejoicing; no; but they do have plenty of
cause to fear the unknown.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #59 on: August 03, 2023, 01:56:24 PM »
John The Baptist A Christian?

John missed the cut. Jesus didn't begin assembling the "my church" predicted at
Matt 16:18 till after John was executed.

In point of fact, Christianity didn't exist prior to Jesus' resurrection-- specifically
before the day of Pentecost following that event.

The day of Pentecost kicked of an era characterized by the baptism of the Holy
Spirit (Acts 1:5 and 1Cor 12:12-13).

John was filled with the Spirit all his life, even prior to his birth (Luke 1:15). But he
wasn't baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ. This is a very, very important

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #60 on: August 04, 2023, 03:06:28 PM »
How John The Baptist's Mom And Jesus' Mom Were Related

The question is relative to Luke 1:36 which says:

"And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age:
and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren."

John's mom was of the tribe of Levi. (Luke 1:5)

Jesus' mom was of the tribe of Judah. (Luke 1:32, Rom 1:3, and Heb 7:14)

The heads of both both those two tribes were Leah's offspring. (Gen 35:23)

Ergo: The women were cousins via a grandmother in common.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #61 on: August 05, 2023, 03:49:39 PM »
Prophet Defined

The Hebrew word for prophet in the Old Testament isn't limited to big-gun
prognosticators like Isaiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel, rather, it mostly just refers to
inspired people-- of either gender --influenced, moved, and/or guided by a divine
connection; e.g. Abel (Luke 11:50-51) Abraham (Gen 20:7) Moses (Deut 18:18)
Miriam (Ex 15:20) Deborah (Judg 4:4) and Huldah (2Kgs 22:14).

Rom 12:6 . . If God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you
have faith that God is speaking through you.

The Greek word for prophesy in that verse encompasses predictions, which were
common in the early church; for example Agabus at Acts 11:27-28 and Acts 21:10-11.

Hunches don't count as prophecy because it's required that prophets sincerely
believe themselves infallible and speaking for God ex cathedra, i.e. by means of
inspiration. (2Pet 1:20-21) in other words; real prophets don't assume they speak
for God; they know they do, i.e. they're not presumptuous. (cf. 2Cor 11:14-15)

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #62 on: August 06, 2023, 02:56:42 PM »
The Superiority of Eternal life vs. Immortality

Immortality has to do with a body impervious to death by natural causes. 

The negative side of immortality is it's fragility. In other words: immortality isn't
indelible, i.e. it can be washed out; so to speak. For example: Adam's body was
created with immortality, but lost it as a result of him eating a certain fruit known
to be off limits for human consumption.

Whereas immortality has to do with the constitution of a being's body, eternal life
has to do with the constitution of one's being, i.e. the very core of their existence.

I am a man, ergo: the core of my being is human nature; whereas God is a deity,
so the core of His being is divine nature. The advantages of divine nature become
very apparent when it's juxtaposed with human nature.

When I was a youngster; it occurred to me that if my propensities and proclivities
were like God's, then it would be very easy to get into Heaven, and very easy to
stay in Heaven without ever getting evicted because doing what's right would come
just as natural to me as it does for God, i.e. God has no difficulty getting along with
God; so if I had divine nature instead of human nature, then I too would have no
difficulty getting along with God.

So it's readily seen that whereas immortality is beneficial; eternal life is far more
desirable because of its potential for making ordinary people super pious. In other
words: if only Adam had eternal life to start with, he wouldn't have tasted the fruit
like he did.

Offline OutWest

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« Reply #63 on: August 07, 2023, 02:57:50 PM »
Special Sabbaths

First and final day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:16, Lev 23:5-8)

Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25)

Yom Kippur (Lev 16:30-31)

First and final day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 16:34-36, Lev 16:39)

* Whereas normal civil days in Israel began at sunrise (Gen 1:5, Gen 1:14-18, and
John 11:9-10) all liturgical days began at sundown the previous day. For example: Yom
Kippur 2023 begins at sundown on Sept 24 and ends at sundown the 25th.


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