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The Wonder of it All

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This conversation about being indebted....especially to God....reminded me of a teaching I heard once by John Piper....I found an excerpt on his site Desiring God.


"It can be a bad thing if we conceive of acting out of gratitude as returning favors, like when somebody invites you over for dinner and out of gratitude you feel the need to invite them over to dinner. If that's the way we're thinking about our relationship and obedience to God, it's bad.

It's going to be legalistic and devastating. And it's going to dishonor God, because it says, "OK, God made a deposit in my life of some good and some kindness. Now, as I face the future and ponder what my motivation is for pleasing God or for doing good things that he commands, I must now do something good for him because of what he has done for me in the past."

It's that structure of thought that I think is so dishonoring to God, because when I turn to do something good for God, when I turn to take another step in the path of obedience, I need to not say, "God helped me in the past; now I must do something for him in the future." Rather, I need to say, "God helped me in the past, and now I need his help for the very next moment of my life."

We don't give God anything, according to Acts 17:25, nor is he served by human hands, uas though he needed anything, since he himself vgives to all mankind wlife and breath and everything. ........ but God gives us life and breath and everything.

So when a person takes a step of obedience and thinks, "I am paying back to God what he has given to me," they're making a profound mistake. They're not paying anything back if they're living the way they should. They are depending on new grace to take that step, and therefore they go deeper in debt.

That is why I sometimes call gratitude-based obedience "the debtor's ethic." You shouldn't think of obedience as a mortgage payment, trying to pay God back month by month until you get the debt paid off. Rather, we should think that obedience is going deeper in debt to God every moment, because it takes more grace to be obedient this afternoon than I had yesterday.

So I get more and more from God. I go deeper and deeper into debt, and that's the best and happiest way to live.

We will never get out of debt to grace. And so the thought of gratitude ethic as a kind of payback ethic is devastating to increasing the glory of God's grace in our lives. We go deeper into debt in grace, not pay it off.

So the greatest Christian is the one who reaches the finish line with the most debt to God?

Exactly, the most conscious debt to God. I want to say "conscious" to emphasize that it is right to be dependent on God moment by moment. And if we're dependent on God moment by moment to supply grace and ability and everything we need spiritually, emotionally, and materially, then we'll get out of our head once and for all the notion that we will ever get beyond radical total dependence on him so as to assume a position of payback."

Love that. And true, we can't "Repay God". It's more a response. We love God because He first loved us. We simply responded to the beautiful Love of God. The Love which He initiated.

It's to each other that we owe love to one another. God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves. It's not a balancing act of debt and repayment, and the emphasis is on our giving that love. But it all started with God, who gave His only-begotten son. All of our actions are never any more than how we respond to what God started, really.

It's very cool that we matter to Him!

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Yes it is, and one of the things I've wondered about lately is the story told in the Book of Genesis.

The thing is, I can't accept Genesis as a literal story -- my understanding of the physical laws of the universe doesn't allow for it.

I'm kind of a noob when it come to the bible so let me begin with two (simple?) questions:

1. Why isn't there any mention of dinosaurs or an ice age in Genesis?

2. How did the Nephilim (or the "sons of God" that fathered them) get on earth? And how did they get back on earth after the flood?

I have another set of questions about the flood, but let's start here.

1. Because they were never in the Garden, nor outside of it after Adam was forced to leave.

2. They were Born here.

As to #2 an Irishman, and Former Way Believer has made a lot of money selling a book on the subject. He used to go to twig in Dublin.

(Trust me, the book was written for the money, not for accuracy.)

The Non-Biblical "Book of Enoch" says:

Chapter 6, VI

1. And it came to pass when the children of men had multiplied that in those days were born unto them beautiful and comely daughters. 2. And the angels, the children of the heaven, saw and lusted after them, and said to one another: 'Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men and beget us children.' 3. And Semjaza, who was their leader, said unto them: 'I fear ye will not indeed agree to do this deed, and I alone shall have to pay the penalty of a great sin.' 4. And they all answered him and said: 'Let us all swear an oath, and all bind ourselves by mutual imprecations not to abandon this plan but to do this thing.' 5. Then sware they all together and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 6. And they were in all two hundred; who descended in the days of Jared on the summit of Mount Hermon, and they called it Mount Hermon, because they had sworn and bound themselves by mutual imprecations upon it. 7. And these are the names of their leaders: Samlazaz, their leader, Araklba, Rameel, Kokablel, Tamlel, Ramlel, Danel, Ezeqeel, Baraqijal, Asael, Armaros, Batarel, Ananel, Zaq1el, Samsapeel, Satarel, Turel, Jomjael, Sariel. 8. These are their chiefs of tens.

Although the Bible does mention a Book of Enoch. There is no certainty that the above has anything to do with it.

Books like "Chariots of the Gods" brought the Alien idea toit the fore and in past days religious leaders went for the "Angel" bit, yanno? the Bad angels and then you get into religious traditions and translations of dubious degrees Nephal (Hebrew) means to fall, hence Angels fallen, or Fallen from favor, have been surmised, and the phrase Sons of God is sometimes said to be angels (not fallen)

Nephalim is translated Giants because older scribes of the torah note them as Fallen from heaven, A rather Kabalistic thing ensued and has been with us over the years. So how are "Giants" - "Fallen Ones". What did they fall from? Heaven itself? ...which would support the angels or aliens.

Or is this a lot simpler? And realted to the context it's written in?

Chapter four relates Cain's line (unbelievers, fallen from the graces of god)

Chapter five relates Seth's line (believers)

Chapter six relates that wickedness increased when two groups intermarried (gee, this is NOT where my brain thinks SPACESHIP!) producing Fallen ones to the point where everyone was corrupted except Noah.

This is all about people...

After the flood We start right out,... again Ham and Caanan, and on to Nimrod. People and their decisions to do wickedly. Sounds so un-PC,... so harsh. I know....

It boils slowly till God divides the earth in Peleg's day and Babel's Tower.

more later...

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That, my friend, is where the whole concept of "figures of speech" enters the arena.

F.O.S. is one of the critical issues that was tackled in the early sessions. Wierwille, of course, did not originate this concept, though he allowed the class to believe God had shown this idea to him. Actually, he borrowed the whole thing from E. W. Bullinger's works.


So are yo saying there is figurative language in the creation story that makes it plausible?

Was ther something in the links you provided that sheds some light on the subject?

I've read a lot of Bullinger but, honestly, I didn't have the patience to slog through all that gobbledy-gook.

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God first

thanks Steve or Steve Lortz

I hope you understood what I wrote

because it was mean to not harm you but to make you wiser than you already are my friend

with love and a holy kiss Roy

Edited by year2027
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Was there something in the links you provided that sheds some light on the subject?


"Figures of speech" is one of the major building blocks of PFAL.

To shed some light on the importance that this subject holds in the general scheme of Way theology, I'll break the explanation into two different posts as I have more time. The first will demonstrate Bullinger's take on the matter and the second will demonstrate Wierwille's take on it.

edit: I'll start another thread so as not to derail this one.

Figures of Speech

Edited by waysider
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Gen,

Just got back on GSC after a prolonged absence, and found this thread. As an amateur astronomer, and all-around science buff in general, the Universe itself is so amazingly and mind-bogglingly full of wonder that (to me, anyway) anyone who thinks that it all just somehow randomly happened hasn't fully grasped the complexities of what's going on.

I was watching a BBC program on Invisible Worlds tonight, and the presenter was showing all the marvelous things we'd see if we could see into other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, like x-rays, ultraviolet, and so on. All sorts of fascinating things were shown, like, with a high-speed hi-definition x-ray camera, we can actually see how a cat can easily withstand a fall from ten times its own height without any injury at all, while a human being is lucky if it can withstand a fall from twice its own height. (Has to do with the shock-absorbing qualities of cat shoulders and feet versus the relative inflexibility of human knee joints, but I digress...)

The most mind-boggling bit they showed was an infrared picture of the inner workings of a beehive. On the face of it, you'd think there isn't a ton of difference between any two bugs. Horseflies and honeybees are about the same size, yet ten thousand flies can't do a fraction of the amazing things ten thousand honeybees can do, all with a speck of a brain the size of a pinhead. That certain bees keep their wings going to circulate and cool the air in the hive has been known for a while now, but the IR camera shows something startling--there are actually "heater" bees that shiver their flight muscles constantly to precise temperatures in order to incubate bee larvae in the wax cells of the nursery. Heater bees of a certain temperature incubate in-hive workers, while heater bees who generate higher temperatures incubate the flying workers--and it's solely the temperature of incubation that determines the larval bees' final development. So these bees shiver constantly--and other bees go bring them honey to "refuel" them. Thousands of times over, in millions of beehives around the world, and all from bugs with barely enough brain to keep their skulls full. That there are so many ridiculously-specific tasks these little blighters all perform to perfection is just wondrous beyond belief.

At least it is to me, anyway...

God bless!


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Great thread!!! Not a lot to contribute, I suppose. I'm still filled with wonder.

Geisha, I thought your contribution profound. I've thought as much about many of your contributions here & there lately. I've never said so, but I thought I should. You're part of the wonder for me. God lives in your heart.

Gen, I've been crazy about you, since I first saw you post. I'm amazed at your life. It contradicts everything I've been taught - as an education student - that you first spoke at 7, yet show such a fine sense of verbal acuity - surface evidence of an even greater sense of internal grammar, mature intellectual inquisitiveness, and personal sensitivity.

Just been inspired lately to say more of what I really feel out of love.

If we give out of a sense of obligation, our giving carries that sense of reciprocal obligation to those we give to, even if it is subconscious. Those we "give" to feel like they can't respond without going into debt to us. They run away. But if we give just from what overflows from within, others are attracted like a moth to light.

Enjoy that which is good.

Zix, so good to see you again.


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Gen, I think your dad would be so proud of you! Of course, in that day, you will see just how proud he is of you, & just how much of you is fruit of his life. Everything born of love lasts forever - compounded.

It is a wonder.

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I wrote someone a PM and then went out to look at the stars. Scorpio Is Boss in the southern sky tonight, a real easy constellation to pick out because it actually looks like a scorpion. The stars are cool and the majesty of the night sky is awesome!

Geisha wrote:

" They're not paying anything back if they're living the way they should. They are depending on new grace to take that step, and therefore they go deeper in debt." ~ Very cool

Hi Zixar! here's a present for you (sorry I haven't figured out how to properly imbed a YouTube vid, just never bothered to look into it much)

@ Tom,... I came a long way, Tried to join the Marines when I turned 18 but I didn't pass their Physical >snicker< ended up joining when I was 20 instead. My education was "compressed" But I am still learning. Yesterday night I learned how to make plastic,... Hahahahaha! it's fun and gooey!

"mature intellectual inquisitiveness" --- well thanks for the "mature' part, I usually hear the opposite! <grin>

Soul Searcher probably thinks I'm a nut at this point,.... lol

Waysider,... you had me with that first cup of coffee,... Mwah!

Roy, you may be the most and least like me in GSC,.... "with Love and a Holy Kiss"

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Thanks, Gen! Love that song! (Been a Python fan for way too many years...)

Yes, Scorpius is one of those cool constellations that actually look like what they're supposed to be. It's even cooler when Mars passes through and battles it out with Antares for the "who's redder" contest. With binoculars, you can see the clusters M6 and M7 down near the "cat's eyes" in the tail.

Florida, eh? Well, I'm in middle Georgia now. Let me know if you ever want to take a good look at Scorpius, and I'll set up the telescopes!

God bless!


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Well it's 5:15 AM here in Adare Ireland, which is five hours off of what I'm used to back in Florida. I slept through the flight for the most part. It'll take one good day of being fatigued to make up the Jet-Lag. I've got Wi-Fi set up to route everything back through my server in Florida. Sun comes up in an hour,.... yuck.....! Now I have to go and set out the garbage. After that I'll have some Whiskey and slleep till noon - what a plan... !

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