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  • America

    A background of hope for America:

    Once the society of the Roman Empire into which the Apostle Paul was sent is comprehended, most would say there is not any chance he will be successful in establishing churches. This was not the case apparently in Samaria and east into Asia. Many of the apostles and disciples started their very successful missionary endeavors in this area. It is my suspicion that these areas had been prepared by the magi a generation earlier. These near eastern people were expecting the king of the magi story - possibly attained form the Book of Daniel. The Apostle Paul wished to go to Asia also, but he was prevented by the Holy Ghost (Acts16:6). He was sent into Macedonia (Roman Empire).

    The society of the Roman Empire was as sinful and as entrenched in evil as any the world had ever seen. Sex with everyone was the pastime. The pagan worship was about sex, spells and curse, and even human sacrifices. Unwanted children were fed to wild beasts. There was no honor or trust. Every one was out for themselves. There were more slaves than Roman citizens. Romans lived in constant fear of a slave revolt with good reason. (The three Seville wars of which the famous Spartacus led the last revolt.) Bribery was the means of getting things done. It was murder, brutality, rape, robbery, and mayhem. Power went to the highest bidder. Tax collectors engaged in legalized theft. If you can imagine some kind of debauchery it was happening in the Roman Empire.

    Well, this is the world the Apostle Paul was sent. You know the rest of the story. You and I are part of that story.

    Back to the present.

    How can the sin of the USA be stopped and the people turned back to the LORD? This is a question more important for Americans than it is for other former “Christian” countries that are guiltier of sin than the USA. I think that the people coming to America entered into the purpose of the LORD. Many understood the covenant relationship the LORD made with people. Many came for freedom to practice their Christian faith. America became the major source of mission work throughout the world. America has been blessed above all other nations. “God shed His grace on thee.” In the census of 1800, less than 2% of Americans had church membership. In 1958 about 97% of Americans belonged to churches.

    It appears to me, that the USA became, in principle, part of a divine covenant. In direct contrast to President Obama word, “America is not a Christian nation,” history clearly demonstrates America was a Christian nation. Maybe, without President Obama being aware of it the Holy Ghost prophesied through him this change in America’s status just as the unaware high priest Caiaphas did in planning the death of the Lord Jesus (John 11:49-53). The USA has now broken that covenant and already stored up enough rebellion against the LORD to receive His basins of wrath. Can it be stopped?

    Our opinions do not matter. What is it that the Bible tells us to do in this situation?

  • #2
    Originally posted by glen smith View Post
    A background of hope for America:

    Once the society of the Roman Empire into which the Apostle Paul was sent is comprehended, most would say there is not any chance he will be successful in establishing churches. This was not the case apparently in Samaria and east into Asia. Many of the apostles and disciples started their very successful missionary endeavors in this area. It is my suspicion that these areas had been prepared by the magi a generation earlier. These near eastern people were expecting the king of the magi story - possibly attained form the Book of Daniel. The Apostle Paul wished to go to Asia also, but he was prevented by the Holy Ghost (Acts16:6). He was sent into Macedonia (Roman Empire).

    The society of the Roman Empire was as sinful and as entrenched in evil as any the world had ever seen. Sex with everyone was the pastime. The pagan worship was about sex, spells and curse, and even human sacrifices. Unwanted children were fed to wild beasts. There was no honor or trust. Every one was out for themselves. There were more slaves than Roman citizens. Romans lived in constant fear of a slave revolt with good reason. (The three Seville wars of which the famous Spartacus led the last revolt.) Bribery was the means of getting things done. It was murder, brutality, rape, robbery, and mayhem. Power went to the highest bidder. Tax collectors engaged in legalized theft. If you can imagine some kind of debauchery it was happening in the Roman Empire.

    Well, this is the world the Apostle Paul was sent. You know the rest of the story. You and I are part of that story.

    Back to the present.

    How can the sin of the USA be stopped and the people turned back to the LORD? This is a question more important for Americans than it is for other former “Christian” countries that are guiltier of sin than the USA. I think that the people coming to America entered into the purpose of the LORD. Many understood the covenant relationship the LORD made with people. Many came for freedom to practice their Christian faith. America became the major source of mission work throughout the world. America has been blessed above all other nations. “God shed His grace on thee.” In the census of 1800, less than 2% of Americans had church membership. In 1958 about 97% of Americans belonged to churches.

    It appears to me, that the USA became, in principle, part of a divine covenant. In direct contrast to President Obama word, “America is not a Christian nation,” history clearly demonstrates America was a Christian nation. Maybe, without President Obama being aware of it the Holy Ghost prophesied through him this change in America’s status just as the unaware high priest Caiaphas did in planning the death of the Lord Jesus (John 11:49-53). The USA has now broken that covenant and already stored up enough rebellion against the LORD to receive His basins of wrath. Can it be stopped?

    Our opinions do not matter. What is it that the Bible tells us to do in this situation?
    14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

    We are to do whatever His Holy Spirit leads us to do and do nothing unless His Holy Spirit leads us to do it.

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    • #3
      All I can do is to pray and trust in God for my survival.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yes Steve, pray as the Prophet Daniel prayed in chapter 9. Lou, Holy Ghost permission is necessary, but the guiding principle has been revealed in the Bible. Steve, you already have survived in Christ. In Christ you are raised to new life to sit with Him in glorious worship of the Father and of the Son. The second death has no power over you. Do not fear those who can kill the body, but I guess it is appropriate to fear the pain. Some old codger once said in the last days of his life, and he said this with satisfaction as if being relieved, "Well, death means I no more have the opportunity to sin." We saved sinners long for the complete sanctification - even if it does not come until the first death.
        Last edited by glen smith; April 20, 2017, 01:00 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by glen smith View Post
          Our opinions do not matter. What is it that the Bible tells us to do in this situation?
          2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

          Very good assessment. I think a lot about this topic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by glen smith View Post
            Yes Steve, pray as the Prophet Daniel prayed in chapter 9. Lou, Holy Ghost permission is necessary, but the guiding principle has been revealed in the Bible. Steve, you already have survived in Christ. In Christ you are raised to new life to sit with Him in glorious worship of the Father and of the Son. The first death has no power over you. Do not fear those who can kill the body, but I guess it is appropriate to fear the pain. Some old codger once said in the last days of his life, and he said this with satisfaction as if being relieved, "Well, death means I no more have the opportunity to sin." We saved sinners long for the complete sanctification - even if it does not come until the first death.
            One can not serve two masters, and one can not follow two masters. Either one follows the Book or one follows the Author of The Book.

            If I decide to do as I read in the Book, I am not following His Spirit. There is no place that tells us to follow the Book,( The law) , for it tells us to follow The Author of the book. The Book tells us to make peace sometimes and then sometimes to make war. I would never know what to do when.

            How could Gideon have read The Book and then went to make war on 135,000 with an army of 300. The Lord himself led Gideon and He still leads people today. These stories are in the Book to inspire us, not to be led by them.

            I do as His Holy Spirit leads me. If I decide to do something and then ask permission, then I am leading Him, not Him leading me. His Holy Spirit always refers me to a passage in the Book for me to know that it is Him speaking to me. But The Spirit speaks first, not confirms. The Holy Spirit speaks first and then He uses the Book to confirm.

            As evidence that The Lord is leading me, is the fact that my life has gone far different than I would have ever desired, or imagined.

            Also countless miracles have happened as a result of following His Holy Spirit instead of doing what most others told me The Book said for me to do. But also much criticism came my way for following His Holy Spirit.

            I can say that I would never had the courage to even think of the things that His Holy Spirit have asked me to do. Although I had spent 1500 hours reading the Book of Romans one summer, I never would have spoke the passages in that book to a church when He told me to speak it. After spending all that time on Romans, His Holy Spirit asked me to get up and speak a verse I did not even know was in the book of Romans. He had to tell me Chapter and verse for me to look it up, for me to have the courage to get up and speak out His message. It is far beyond words how uncomfortable and fearful I was. But He gave me the strength to stand and then He spoke, all I did was speak the first verse that He had given me. I never decided on one word after that verse, the words just poured out of my mouth. I do remember they were all out of the Book of Romans.

            I wonder if the Apostles were following The Book when they decided to have others feed the poor while they studied and prayed. But I have confidence that Stephen was following The Holy Spirit when he preached to the pharisees and was stoned for doing so. I feel sure that whole event was not in his plans for his life.

            I have been to so many churches around here and have not heard The Holy Spirit speak through even one preacher. That is why the church is dead around here.

            They are all so careful to not leave His Holy Spirit speak in their churches. They have to approve of every word spoke. But that only means that they run the show instead of His Holy Spirit leading them. They claim to back up their every word and action with the Book. But where are the revivals , healings and miracles.

            Here is the cost of following His Holy Spirit as Paul writes:

            We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ!We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored! 11 To this very hour we go hungry and thirsty, we are in rags, we are brutally treated, we are homeless. 12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we answer kindly. We have become the scum of the earth, the garbage of the world—right up to this moment.

            Those who identify with this passage are probably following His Holy Spirit.

            Everyone has to ask The Lord if they are following His Holy Spirit. I am certainly not anyone's judge. He will answer anyone that asks with an answer that they will know is from Him.

            I am confident that anyone who follows His Holy Spirit will never know what the future holds for them and also that they will see many miracles in their life.

            Someone reading this may ask, how can I follow His Holy Spirit. Just ask Him to lead you and then also cause you to follow Him. He will then do just that.
            Last edited by Lou Newton; March 31, 2017, 01:30 AM.

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            • #7
              This post is a familiar position of yours where the guidance of the Holy Spirit has a priority to the Book (Bible). My confidence in the Holy Ghost guidance does not superseded my subjection to the Bible. However, the Holy Ghost provides all sorts of guidance from understanding the Bible to taking particular actions He desires of me. Relating such examples are not signs of verification or authority. A servant is not the master. My concern with your position is the subjective element and with others who are not as spiritual conscious as you. There is no way of verification. This is what the misguided followers of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Joseph Smith, and Taze Russell were beguiled by - claims of special revelation by their leaders.

              The peculiar work of the Holy Ghost in me provides very little exhortation for others while the explanation of possible ways the Holy Ghost uses believers may aid in their spiritual awareness to hear Him. A forum discussion on this might prove beneficial.

              About the biblical example you use – Of course at the time there were not any New Testament texts. The first written texts were those epistles of the Apostle Paul. The rest were yet to be written. Stephen and the Apostles quoted many texts of the Old Testament. The Old Testament texts did not exist as a codex or even as a complete collection of scrolls. The most readily available Hebrew scriptures were potions, not the entire Old Testament, of the Greek translations referred to today as the Septuagint (LXX). Translation was started c. 250 B.C. The entire Greek Septuagint was available sometime between c.100 B.C. and c. A.D.100. I would need to look it up. However, that did not mean there were complete copies but just the portions translated and in circulation. Apparently, only some portions of the LXX were in circulation. The cost in material and time of producing something like the LXX was prohibitive if it were to be in general circulation.

              I feel confident that the Apostle Matthew carried around a satchel with loose leaves inside wrapped in a burial cloth having the imprint of the face of the Lord Jesus (Papias). This work by Matthew was known as "The Saying of Jesus in Aramaic." It is lost to us but speculation of its text has been made using the Greek synoptic gospels. However, in the 1800's a German liberal Bible scholar proposed a specific text for "The Saying of Jesus in Aramaic" as his dissertation. He called his work "Q" (Source). That is the name by which the speculative composition of the original lost work by Matthew is now called. Seldom will one read of the lost work by Matthew as "The Saying of Jesus in Aramaic" but rather as "Q" as if some brilliant idea of biblical liberalism can show the Greek gospels are mere stories taken from "Q" and written by people living after all the apostles and eye witnesses had died. That way the writters could get by with making up all the supernatural.

              Synagogues had a few scrolls in Hebrew but no where near the entire texts of the present Old Testament. Usually the first five books and some of the prophets and Psalms would be considered a exceptional library. In the A.D. first century the Jews had not determined just what would be included or excluded in their scriptures. Some just wanted the first five books. The Hebrew Masoretic texts of the Old Testament came together slowly between A.D. 500 to 900. The Masoretic texts are what are now used generally by modern English translations. The New Testament canon was completed (A.D. 395), and I think that date is centuries before the Jews completed the Hebrew canon using the Masoretic texts. The scripture available to the very early church in Jerusalem was not a complete Old Testament as we have it today.

              The reason all this is reviewed is to make a point that the Bible did not exist as we have it today as an available reference source for the early church during the time when the writings of the New Testament were being composed (A.D. 40-69). Therefore, using examples which suggest there was a preference of relying on Holy Ghost inspiration over the Bible was not even a possibility.

              The term you use to describe relying on the Bible over the Holy Spirit, "You can not serve two master," is from a different kind of comparison. Do you mean the Holy Spirit is one master and the Bible is a master opposed to the Holy Spirit - as if relying on the Bible is paramount to idol worship? I know you don't mean that, but that seems the implication.
              Last edited by glen smith; April 19, 2017, 12:28 AM.

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              • #8
                To Glen who is dear to me:

                You write :
                My confidence in the Holy Ghost guidance does not superseded my subjection to the Bible.
                It matters not if one puts their confidence in The Holy Spirit or the Bible, it is still their confidence that they are trusting in.

                Yes, we men are blind and deaf, BUT Jesus made the blind to see and the deaf to hear; that is if they confessed that they could not see or could not hear. The Pharisees who confessed that they could see remained blind and deaf.

                BUT it seems you do not believe what The Bible clearly states:

                14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

                Men are given but one, and only one, work to do on this earth. That is to trust God to save them.


                Jesus made this clear when He stated:

                John 6

                28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

                29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

                Now the Devil believes Jesus is real, but is lost forever. So this is not the kind of belief God is speaking of here. If we truly believe Jesus we will trust Him.

                So the only work God has given us to do is to trust in The One He has sent to us.

                Notice that it is NOT written in The Book that we are to trust in The Book. Can you find me on place where this is written ?

                Adam and Eve had no Book. They had God in bodily form walk down from Salem in the cool of the evening and walk and talk with them. What more sure way could one have to follow God, than to walk with God Himself.

                BUT did that keep them from dying ( in their spirit ) . No, Eve, decided to trust in herself, rather than trust Adam who walked and talked with God.

                WHY, because she wanted to eat that beautiful piece of forbidden fruit. It looked so juicy and good, and she was told it would give her the ability to tell right from wrong. Now she claimed that the Serpent deceived her, but the Serpent just told her what she wanted to hear.

                Then what did Adam do ? Did he trust the one who came down to the garden every evening to be with him ? No, instead he trusted in Eve, who had a more pleasing body to look at.

                They did not believe the One that was sent to them. - we do no get to choose how God will appear to us, but we have to trust the One He sends to us. God appeared to Moses as the Angel of the Lord, but Moses had to learn to trust Him.

                The Book was NOT the first revelation given to men. Adam was given God himself to speak to him. But all men were given the creation well before they were given The Book. The Book itself states that:
                Psalm 19

                For the director of music. A psalm of David.

                1The heavens declare the glory of God;
                the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
                2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
                night after night they reveal knowledge.
                3 They have no speech, they use no words;
                no sound is heard from them.
                4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
                their words to the ends of the world.

                God gave all men His creation to reveal His glory which is His Truth.

                But is that a more sure way to follow ? No, while God write messages to men with the stars and planets, men have imagined that those same stars can influence their life and the stars themselves can guide them. They look to the creation ( which God used to speak to them) rather than The Creator who made the stars.

                God had men write The Book for men to read. But how did God cause these men to write it ? He spoke to them with His Holy Spirit ? So it was men being guided by His Holy Spirit that wrote the Book. So if following The Holy Spirit is not a good way, then the Book itself is not good. BUT The Book is good, so following The Holy Spirit is good.

                Before The book was finished, God spoke to men with an Ephod. This would seem like a more sure way to follow God because it did not depend on any interpretation by mere men. But men did the same grievous thing with it. Instead of seeking to have communion with God himself they looked to the Ephod.
                Gideon’s Ephod

                22 The Israelites said to Gideon, “Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us from the hand of Midian.”

                23 But Gideon told them, “I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The Lord will rule over you.” 24 And he said, “I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.” (It was the custom of the Ishmaelites to wear gold earrings.)

                25 They answered, “We’ll be glad to give them.” So they spread out a garment, and each of them threw a ring from his plunder onto it. 26 The weight of the gold rings he asked for came to seventeen hundred shekels,[b] not counting the ornaments, the pendants and the purple garments worn by the kings of Midian or the chains that were on their camels’ necks. 27Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.

                Now I do not think Gideon actually throught the Ephod was God, because he had actually talked with God in person and God proved to Gideon that it was Him that appeared to him. But God wanted Gideon to walk and talk with Him, but instead Gideon took the "easy" way of looking to the Ephod to hear from God. A piece of dead cloth with cold stones on it was poor substitute for the Living God.

                Now the Lord in His mercy had men follow His Holy Spirit and write down the words that His Holy Spirit spoke to them. Is that a more sure way to follow God ?

                What group of men were more evil than the ones who fought to have our dear Lord beaten and then nailed to a wooden cross until His human body was dead.

                They looked to the Book, rather than the Author of that very Book.

                Plus, they had that very Author right before their eyes and watched him raise the dead and make eyeballs out of mud for a man born without eyes. But they simply said He was Satan. WHY, because they did not want to admit they were wrong.

                john 5

                36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me.You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

                Now that Jesus has ascended back to heaven has God sent some One to us to follow ?

                Certainly I do not have to quote the many scriptures telling us that God sent his Holy Spirit to guide us.

                BTW, the disciples walked and talked with God in the flesh ( Jesus ) for three years and were still not even born again by the experience. They still did not believe in the One God had sent. They did not really know who He was until He came back from the dead.

                The first day Jesus came to them, He breathed on them and they received His Holy Spirit. NOTICE that it was Jesus who breathed on them, so it was His Holy Spirit that He gave to them:

                John 20
                Jesus Appears to His Disciples

                19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

                21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

                So God our Father sent Jesus for us to trust and follow, and Jesus sent His Holy Spirit for us to trust and follow.

                So the only work God has given us to do is for us to trust and follow The Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus.

                Now in His great mercy, The Lord has given us a Book to read to help us recognize His Holy Spirit.

                We are NOT to follow The Book like Gideon followed the Ephod or the Pharisees followed that same Book. Yes that is idolatry. We are all guilty of that.

                We are to read the book and ponder on the words He spoke, and the acts He did, so that we will recognize His voice when He speaks to us today.

                Paper and ink can not shed any blood for our sin. Paper and ink can not speak or love us. His Holy Spirit can speak to us and act for us and love us.

                Jesus proved He loved us by shedding His very blood on the cross. Jesus proved He was able to save us by raising Himself from the dead.

                Read His Book, but then follow His Holy Spirit.

                BTW, men like Smith and Russel were not deceived by trying to follow His Holy Spirit. Smith was simply a liar and con man who claimed that an angel brought him gold plates with The book of Mormon on them. There were NO GOLD PLATES. He would not show the claimed gold plates to even one person. WHY, because there were no gold plates. He was a simple liar who fooled simple people.

                Russel was also a liar. He claimed to know Greek and claimed to translate the Greek Holy Scriptures into English for those who were fooled by him. But in a court of law, Russel could not even identify ONE Greek letter of the alphabet, let alone read any of the Holy Scriptures in Greek.

                Both men were simple liars who fooled others to gather men unto themselves. They were not fooled by trying to follow The Holy Spirit.

                What about men today. They deceive themselves just as Eve and Adam did. They find a group that they like and then follow that group and whatever that group believes. WHY, because they want to be part of that group and they have to believe the same as they do to be part of that group. Tell any of these groups that you do not believe one of their main doctrines and see if they still love you.

                No group of men, who are all evil and all lairs, will be a good substitute for The Holy Spirit of the One who shed His blood for you. He is The Way, He is The Life, and He is The Truth. He proved He loves you by dying for you while you were still His enemy.

                Lou Newton

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                • #9
                  Being guided by the divinely inspired Bible is not comparable to being guided by Gideon's man made ephod.
                  For us today the guidance by the Holy Ghost is not the same as writing the record of divine revelation under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.
                  If it were then all that we write would be divine authority.

                  I completely agree with your emphasis on being guided by the Holy Ghost. However, there must be some standard to discern the truth of claims by dishonest men and demon deception even for those who are listening for the Holy Ghost. Discerning the difference between the voice of the Holy Ghost and the urging of demons and false teachings is a forum topic of which I am interested. I will save additional posts for that wished for topic of BEING GUIDED BY THE HOLY GHOST.

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