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  • Bible promises...?

    I was channel surfing today and caught a sermon on the radio by James McDonald. He tends to have some pretty good things to say usually, so I listened to his whole message.

    Anyway, he mentioned something off the top of his head that I had never considered. I could tell by the way he addressed the topic that it's something he had spoken about in more detail to his congregation before. But it was something I had never considered. I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree, so I thought I'd run it by you guys.

    In his sermon, he was teaching a biblical principle, and used several scriptures to support his teaching. When he got to a scripture verse from Proverbs, he made a statement that caught my ear. Here's what he said (about the Book of Proverbs), in a nutshell.

    Although the scripture from Proverbs supported the biblical principle he was teaching, he gave a disclaimer. Basically he said that Proverbs were not promises from God. Rather they're words of wisdom that portray how things will typically work out if you do thus and so. (paraphrase).

    What are your thoughts?

    Blane

  • #2
    Originally posted by Blane View Post
    I was channel surfing today and caught a sermon on the radio by James McDonald. He tends to have some pretty good things to say usually, so I listened to his whole message.

    Anyway, he mentioned something off the top of his head that I had never considered. I could tell by the way he addressed the topic that it's something he had spoken about in more detail to his congregation before. But it was something I had never considered. I'm not sure whether I agree or disagree, so I thought I'd run it by you guys.

    In his sermon, he was teaching a biblical principle, and used several scriptures to support his teaching. When he got to a scripture verse from Proverbs, he made a statement that caught my ear. Here's what he said (about the Book of Proverbs), in a nutshell.

    Although the scripture from Proverbs supported the biblical principle he was teaching, he gave a disclaimer. Basically he said that Proverbs were not promises from God. Rather they're words of wisdom that portray how things will typically work out if you do thus and so. (paraphrase).

    What are your thoughts?

    Blane
    Hi Blane,

    good question.

    Maybe we should read the book again and ask The Lord to reveal the truth about this to us.

    Lou

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
      Hi Blane,

      good question.

      Maybe we should read the book again and ask The Lord to reveal the truth about this to us.

      Lou
      Good idea, Lou. I should probably add that James McDonald was in no way discounting the book, or suggesting that it was any less valid than any of the other 65 books in the Bible. Rather he was stating that a proverb was not necessarily an iron clad promise from God. Instead each proverb is an observation about how things generally work out when various actions or principles are followed, whether good or bad.

      Blane

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi, Blane. What a thought provoking post. Thank you.

        Right away it strikes me that if Proverbs is truth, breathed by the Holy Spirit, then it is of heaven. I believe it is all that. Heavenly truths have their shadow here on earth. While Proverbs may not be a collection of natural promises--do this for profit--they will have dependable spiritual patterns: which are of heaven: which is of God: which is eternal and full of life. Some blessings are natural, of course. We can easily know the natural with our senses, and this provides a gateway of revelation from God--natural truth reflects spiritual truth. More importantly, whenever we dig for the higher truth, there can be promise and/or fulfillment in finding those heavenly treasures.

        The Holy Ghost speaks to us through Scripture on many levels. Scripture reveals who God is, who the Father and Son are, the perfect relationship between the Father and the Son is, and these are shadowed in Proverbs. When we read about proper and improper relationships, obedience vs. disobedience, etc. in Proverbs and elsewhere (e.g. the curses and blessing in Deuteronomy), not only do we find images of our God in heaven, but promises both express and implied as well.

        One recurring commandment in the Proverbs is described by Eph 6:2-3 as, "Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise; ) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." Which commandment of course came much earlier than the Proverbs era.

        That sounds like a promise of God to me. My question for Mr. McDonald might be, Which parts of Proverbs are not promises and why?

        Ultimately, relationships in the Bible are a model for what our perfect relationship with the Father and Son in heaven should be. This is an immensely promising realization.

        I need to read that book more. I have been sipping from it lately. I plan to keep your topic in thought and prayer.

        Blessings.

        P.S. - "Proverbs" are parables. That should tell us to dig, dig, dig for the promise of treasure.
        Last edited by Baruch; April 15, 2015, 06:43 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Baruch View Post
          Hi, Blane. What a thought provoking post. Thank you.

          Right away it strikes me that if Proverbs is truth, breathed by the Holy Spirit, then it is of heaven. I believe it is all that. Heavenly truths have their shadow here on earth. While Proverbs may not be a collection of natural promises--do this for profit--they will have dependable spiritual patterns: which are of heaven: which is of God: which is eternal and full of life. Some blessings are natural, of course. We can easily know the natural with our senses, and this provides a gateway of revelation from God--natural truth reflects spiritual truth. More importantly, whenever we dig for the higher truth, there can be promise and/or fulfillment in finding those heavenly treasures.

          The Holy Ghost speaks to us through Scripture on many levels. Scripture reveals who God is, who the Father and Son are, the perfect relationship between the Father and the Son is, and these are shadowed in Proverbs. When we read about proper and improper relationships, obedience vs. disobedience, etc. in Proverbs and elsewhere (e.g. the curses and blessing in Deuteronomy), not only do we find images of our God in heaven, but promises both express and implied as well.

          One recurring commandment in the Proverbs is described by Eph 6:2-3 as, "Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise; ) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth." Which commandment of course came much earlier than the Proverbs era.

          That sounds like a promise of God to me. My question for Mr. McDonald might be, Which parts of Proverbs are not promises and why?

          Ultimately, relationships in the Bible are a model for what our perfect relationship with the Father and Son in heaven should be. This is an immensely promising realization.

          I need to read that book more. I have been sipping from it lately. I plan to keep your topic in thought and prayer.

          Blessings.

          P.S. - "Proverbs" are parables. That should tell us to dig, dig, dig for the promise of treasure.
          Amen Barry,

          Mere men want to hold God to their standard instead of trusting Him to His Standard.

          If we believe what McDonald says about proverbs, why would we not believe it for the whole book.

          1 - Men want to see with the eyes and hear with their ears. But that is NOT how truth is revealed. It is revealed in the Spirit.

          2 - If you seek to understand the Wisdom of God, you must take the whole of His words and actions into account.

          3 - To understand the wisdom of God, you must first come to know Him and then seek to know Him better.

          If we take any promise or command of God, we tend to misunderstand it in the flesh:

          Genesis 17 New International Version (NIV)

          The Covenant of Circumcision
          17 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”
          3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”
          9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised,including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
          15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
          17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?”18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
          19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac.[d] I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.
          23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. 24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.



          Men see this part:

          10 This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

          So most Jews insisted that every Jew must be circumcised in the flesh of be lost forever.

          But they miss this part:

          11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

          This circumcision was but a SIGN of the covenant with God.

          Now those that walked in the flesh, certainly must be circumcised in the flesh or be cut off in the flesh from the Jews.

          But those that walked in the Spirit had to be circumcised in the spirit to be one of God's children forever, not just in this life.

          So many Jews have become atheists because they claim that God has not kept His covenant with them.

          When really it is them that has not kept their covenant with God.

          Foolish men continue to claim that the words that God spoke are not completely true.

          These same men then will not let anyone speak in their group who disagrees with their interpretation of the Bible. But we need to be aware of two things here:

          1- They themselves call God a liar and makes excuses of one kind or another about the promises of God instead of admitting their doctrine could be wrong. They chose their doctrine over the words spoken by God.

          2 - God Himself not only allows Satan to speak in His Book, BUT INVITES HIM TO SPEAK, and then records every one of his words for all to read.

          So if God does not hide what Satan says ( and we all know that he can not even ever tell the truth) why are mere men so concerned about someone may speak something that is not entirely right.

          Now I do not propose that everyone should be able to cause disruption and confusion, but everyone should be able to speak their point of view as long as it is in a respectful manner.

          Lou Newton




          Comment


          • #6
            23 On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him.24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, 25 and his son Ishmael was thirteen; 26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. 27 And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him.
            Now above is proof that the Jews were wrong about circumcision being necessary to be in the true people of Israel.

            For if circumcision was the deciding factor of who was part of Israel and who was not; then Ishmael would be in Israel.

            But obviously he is not if one reads the Book.

            Lou Newton


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Baruch
              My question for Mr. McDonald might be, Which parts of Proverbs are not promises and why?
              Right. That's a fair and worthy question.

              It only took me about sixty seconds of skimming through Proverbs to find a proverb that might fall into the "not an iron clad Bible promise category."

              Prov 16:7
              When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

              If I'm understanding James McDonald correctly, he would probably say something like this about Prov 16:7...

              "Live your life in a way that pleases God and he will give you favor among your enemies, as a rule of thumb. But God never promises that you won't still have some enemies that hate you and want to do you harm."

              Blane

              Comment


              • #8
                The Bible is a testimony of these different persons:

                1 - The Testimony of God Almighty - which is always true.

                2 - The testimony of Satan - which we know is not true

                3 - the testimony of men - which is sometime true and sometimes not true

                We have to take care in determining just who is speaking.

                Even if someone claims that it is from God in the scriptures, that is NOT always true. False prophets make claims that what they spoke is from God, but it was NOT. Also even men who were called to be true prophets are recorded sometimes as saying something that was NOT from God.

                Also lost men sometimes speak words from God. Like when the High priest spoke from the Holy Spirit that it was better that one man die than a whole nation. Even donkeys are recorded as speaking words from God.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Blane View Post
                  Right. That's a fair and worthy question.

                  It only took me about sixty seconds of skimming through Proverbs to find a proverb that might fall into the "not an iron clad Bible promise category."

                  Prov 16:7
                  When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.

                  If I'm understanding James McDonald correctly, he would probably say something like this about Prov 16:7...

                  "Live your life in a way that pleases God and he will give you favor among your enemies, as a rule of thumb. But God never promises that you won't still have some enemies that hate you and want to do you harm."

                  Blane
                  I think if we take this promise from God in the spirit, it is totally true.

                  Let us take the man Jesus as an example, for no other man really pleased God entirely.

                  Some would say that God did not give Jesus favor among His enemies.

                  But time is not up yet. This day will certainly come:

                  9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
                  and gave him the name that is above every name,
                  10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
                  in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
                  11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
                  to the glory of God the Father.
                  What are your thoughts about this ?

                  Hopefully more like this will be posted ?
                  Last edited by Lou Newton; April 15, 2015, 10:45 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lou Newton View Post
                    The Bible is a testimony of these different persons:

                    1 - The Testimony of God Almighty - which is always true.

                    2 - The testimony of Satan - which we know is not true

                    3 - the testimony of men - which is sometime true and sometimes not true

                    We have to take care in determining just who is speaking.

                    Even if someone claims that it is from God in the scriptures, that is NOT always true. False prophets make claims that what they spoke is from God, but it was NOT. Also even men who were called to be true prophets are recorded sometimes as saying something that was NOT from God.

                    Also lost men sometimes speak words from God. Like when the High priest spoke from the Holy Spirit that it was better that one man die than a whole nation. Even donkeys are recorded as speaking words from God.
                    Excellent point, Lou.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here's the 27 min sermon that triggered this thread...

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufDkAUAgSrw



                      James McDonald makes his comment about Proverbs at the 5:40 mark.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blane View Post
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufDkAUAgSrw



                        James McDonald makes his comment about Proverbs at the 5:40 mark.
                        A sermon on tithing. In that part he mentions the prosperity movement, and it seemed to me he made that comment about not-a-promise because he was wisely compelled to draw a solid line between the false doctrine of men and Biblical doctrine. He calls Proverbs 11:24-15 an observation, not a promise. But then he proceeds to say those verses defy logic, but they're true (aka truth). I found the explanation as a package a bit fuzzy.

                        I'd rather take the Proverbs as parables, a simplistic and naturally apparent way of conveying deep truths that are not simplistic or naturally apparent. Certainly the natural form is going to look statistically probable but imperfect: the natural is a mere shadow of the heavenly, and men are flawed. The heavenly is characterized as perfect and crystal clear, as is depicted in the book of Revelation.

                        Proverbs 16:7 can be understood in this way, too. How do we please God? Some might say: You know, obedience, going to church, tithing. Who are our enemies? Some might say: the raging heathen. There may be a semblance of truth in those replies, but the pure truth is much higher.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Baruch View Post
                          A sermon on tithing. In that part he mentions the prosperity movement, and it seemed to me he made that comment about not-a-promise because he was wisely compelled to draw a solid line between the false doctrine of men and Biblical doctrine. He calls Proverbs 11:24-15 an observation, not a promise. But then he proceeds to say those verses defy logic, but they're true (aka truth). I found the explanation as a package a bit fuzzy.

                          I'd rather take the Proverbs as parables, a simplistic and naturally apparent way of conveying deep truths that are not simplistic or naturally apparent. Certainly the natural form is going to look statistically probable but imperfect: the natural is a mere shadow of the heavenly, and men are flawed. The heavenly is characterized as perfect and crystal clear, as is depicted in the book of Revelation.

                          Proverbs 16:7 can be understood in this way, too. How do we please God? Some might say: You know, obedience, going to church, tithing. Who are our enemies? Some might say: the raging heathen. There may be a semblance of truth in those replies, but the pure truth is much higher.
                          Amen. The book of The Revelation is totally true. But it is spiritual not natural. I do not think that Jesus really has four legs and white wool or is a natural Lamb.

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