Announcement

Collapse

Theology 201 Guidelines

This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Can We Only Speak of God by Analogy, Metaphor and Parable?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Can We Only Speak of God by Analogy, Metaphor and Parable?

    This thread was sort of created as a spinoff from another one that I didn't want to take off topic.

    I'm interested in other people's thoughts here about apophatic (negative) theology.

    The idea behind apophatic theology is that we ought to describe God by what he is not, rather than what he is. For instance, instead of saying "God is love", one would say "God is not hate", or instead of saying "God is eternal" one would say "God is not bound by limitation".

    The idea is that because God is transcendent, and ineffable, we can never fully understand him or accurately describe him in our present condition.

    Now, scripturally, there are some passages that seem to suggest that an apophatic approach to God is warranted. So for instance,

    John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
    1 Timothy 6:15b-16 God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.
    Job 11:7-9 Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. His ways are unsearchable and unfathomable.
    Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
    On the other hand there are verses that go the other way, for instance, just about the entire chapter of John 14 quote below in part:

    7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

    8 Philip *said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus *said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves.

    ...

    16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

    18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

    25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.
    And Paul writes,

    2 Corinthians 4:13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak
    So what are some of your thoughts?
    Last edited by Adrift; 11-14-2014, 06:38 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    The idea behind apophatic theology is that we ought to describe God by what he is not, rather than what he is. For instance, instead of saying "God is love", one would say "God is not hate", or instead of saying "God is eternal" one would say "God is not bound by limitation".
    I think this is too simple of a characterization of apophatic theology. Instead of saying God is nothing more than what I understand by the term 'love', I affirm that God is Love in a mysterious and transcendent way that I will never fully comprehend in this lifetime. We only see now as through a glass darkly, now we know in part, but then we shall know as we ourselves are known and loved by God.

    Although probably not based on an a-privativum, isn't 'eternal' already an apophatic term, ie, existing without or outside of time? Or do you think that God being eternal only means that he is very old?

    Perhaps a bigger weakness of the way you have posed this question, in my humble opinion, is that you do not seem to be allowing for any theological methodology that purposefully combines both positive and apophatic theology, which is the whole point of the analogical method of Thomas Aquinas. For me, God's immanence is a much bigger mystery than his transcendence.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

    Comment


    • #3
      If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God... Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

      So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
      Last edited by Paprika; 11-14-2014, 11:52 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by robrecht View Post
        I think this is too simple of a characterization of apophatic theology. Instead of saying God is nothing more than what I understand by the term 'love', I affirm that God is Love in a mysterious and transcendent way that I will never fully comprehend in this lifetime. We only see now as through a glass darkly, now we know in part, but then we shall know as we ourselves are known and loved by God.
        But as mysterious and transcendent as he may be, you do agree that he is love. It isn't always necessary to wash down our words just because they may be precisely inexact. I'd find having to evangelize to someone an incredible chore if I had to negate, or add modifiers to everything I wanted to express about the God that I love and worship.

        Although probably not based on an a-privativum, isn't 'eternal' already an apophatic term, ie, existing without or outside of time? Or do you think that God being eternal only means that he is very old?
        I consider God's relationship to time in that He is timeless without creation and temporal subsequent to creation.

        Perhaps a bigger weakness of the way you have posed this question, in my humble opinion, is that you do not seem to be allowing for any theological methodology that purposefully combines both positive and apophatic theology, which is the whole point of the analogical method of Thomas Aquinas. For me, God's immanence is a much bigger mystery than his transcendence.
        Do you personally strive for both in equal measure?

        Where do you apologetics fit in with all of this? And how would you go about witnessing to someone in a purposeful combination of both positive and apophatic theology?
        Last edited by Adrift; 11-15-2014, 03:13 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
          But as mysterious and transcendent as he may be, you do agree that he is love. It isn't always necessary to wash down our words just because they may be precisely inexact. I'd find having to evangelize to someone an incredible chore if I had to negate, or add modifiers to everything I wanted to express about the God that I love and worship.

          I consider God's relationship to time in that He is timeless without creation and temporal subsequent to creation.

          Do you personally strive for both in equal measure?

          Where do you apologetics fit in with all of this? And how would you go about witnessing to someone in a purposeful combination of both positive and apophatic theology?
          Equal measures? I have never tried to measure that kind of thing. Evangelization and apologetics should be supported by good theology, but evangelization is not the same as doing theology. Preaching the gospel is about bringing people to and into the Body of Christ, which is a communal witness to God's love among us. Witnessing to the love of God is not hindered by an awareness of the infinite breadth and depths of his love, quite the contrary. Why should apologetics be hindered by this?
          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by robrecht View Post
            Equal measures? I have never tried to measure that kind of thing. Evangelization and apologetics should be supported by good theology, but evangelization is not the same as doing theology. Preaching the gospel is about bringing people to and into the Body of Christ, which is a communal witness to God's love among us. Witnessing to the love of God is not hindered by an awareness of the infinite breadth and depths of his love, quite the contrary. Why should apologetics be hindered by this?
            Yeah, I sort of worded that oddly. I suppose what I meant by "equal measure" is that, do you find that you have to mentally check yourself when describing God to people so that you don't go too far apophatic or too far cataphatic, or that you have the right combination of the two? Is that even necessary? I know that sounds like a silly question, but the reason I ask is because it seems so much more natural to me to describe God's traits in a positive way. I imagine using negating language in day to day conversation would probably make me sound like Yoda.

            A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be founded on certain fundamental precepts about God. The God is all knowing, that he is all powerful, that he is everywhere present, that he is perfectly morally good, that he is all loving, that he is timeless and eternal. What sort of apologetic arguments can Christians offer using apophatic theology as a foundation?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Adrift View Post
              Yeah, I sort of worded that oddly. I suppose what I meant by "equal measure" is that, do you find that you have to mentally check yourself when describing God to people so that you don't go too far apophatic or too far cataphatic, or that you have the right combination of the two? Is that even necessary? I know that sounds like a silly question, but the reason I ask is because it seems so much more natural to me to describe God's traits in a positive way. I imagine using negating language in day to day conversation would probably make me sound like Yoda.

              A lot of Christian apologetics seem to be founded on certain fundamental precepts about God. The God is all knowing, that he is all powerful, that he is everywhere present, that he is perfectly morally good, that he is all loving, that he is timeless and eternal. What sort of apologetic arguments can Christians offer using apophatic theology as a foundation?
              I don't think we should water down the mystery of God for the sake of we might think is a more tightly argued aplogetic proof or position. When I think of good apologists, I think of people like CS Lewis, who had no difficulty admitting that we cannot really explain some things, eg, the atonement. I think it is very natural to acknowledge the larger mystery of God and see this as a very positive thing. Jesus gives thanks to God the Father, who has hidden things from the wise and intelligent apologists and theologians and revealed them to mere babes. The most important things of God do not seem to require much intelligence to grasp and put into practice so, no, I don't find any need to mentally check myself when speaking of God. Again, apophatic theology does not mean only speaking in a negative way, but rather aknowledging how much greater God is than we could ever hope to describe. That's a good thing, a positive thing. I would not want to believe in a God whom I could perfectly explain. Would that really be God? God himself does not want to be named. In Eastern orthodoxy it is apparently more common to speak of apophatic theology as superior to kataphatic theology, while in the Catholic West, ie, Thomas Aquinas, the analogical dialectic functions as a fundamental part of all theological language so it is practically assumed and seldom addressed, especially in simpler matters of apologetics. I see some value in both approaches and find that this frees our minds to better plumb God's mysteries rather than causing mental difficulties. I was exposed to various classical approaches to apophatic theology in the very first theology course I ever took several decades ago so perhaps that is why it has always seemed very natural to me and not at all problematic.
              βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
              ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

              אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                This thread was sort of created as a spinoff from another one that I didn't want to take off topic.

                I'm interested in other people's thoughts here about apophatic (negative) theology.

                The idea behind apophatic theology is that we ought to describe God by what he is not, rather than what he is. For instance, instead of saying "God is love", one would say "God is not hate", or instead of saying "God is eternal" one would say "God is not bound by limitation".

                The idea is that because God is transcendent, and ineffable, we can never fully understand him or accurately describe him in our present condition.
                A most reasonable sight above. Trying to horse corral Gods Word by our limited engagements is quite a fruitless undertaking.

                It is impossible to pin down matters of The Eternal Nature to matters of any limited 'thing.' The better theologians come to grips with the terms and conditions of the arena. Eternal matters are not matters constrained by our temporal circumstances or observations.

                Understanding scripture demands understanding the deployment of allegory, parable/parabolic language and similitude's.

                For example, no decent theology student will be able to credibly get through the O.T. prophets without understanding the basis of the speakings:

                Hosea 12:10
                I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

                Jesus also based His Words on same:

                Luke 8:11
                Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

                Spiritual understanding demands spiritual dissections. It also makes the Word of God Universal in applications i.e. not limited for example to only those to whom it was given or spoken to.

                Psalm 78:
                1 Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
                2 I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:

                We also know from N.T. examples that the law contains shadows and types. The actual physical meanings of the law are in many cases quite pointless to view from the literal only perspective when it is in fact types and shadows.

                The eternal gems of Gods Word are to be had in the allegorical direction and with deep respect to the Divine Eternal Nature of Him who delivered same.

                REGARDING the negative aspects of Gods Word, every Word of God is fully applicable to every person inclusive of every negative Word, Per Jesus:

                Luke 4:4
                And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

                It's problematic to get to Jesus' Statement in the above, that man/all of us, are meant to live by every Word. It remains a fact nevertheless. A very difficult fact to contend with.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I agree whole-heartedly. You're giving the basis of spiritual interpretation as practiced by the church fathers.

                  Pro 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

                  Luk 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
                  666 And The Name

                  http://https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D1M48M4/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&qid=1594855398&refinements=p_2 7%3AAlan+Fuller&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Alan+Fuller

                  https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypticwisdom/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by eschaton View Post
                    I agree whole-heartedly. You're giving the basis of spiritual interpretation as practiced by the church fathers.

                    Pro 1:6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

                    Luk 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
                    To understand the 'negative' aspects of Gods Words, it is imperative to understand unto 'whom' such Words are directed to.

                    For Examples:

                    Mark 4:15
                    And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

                    The 'real life' application of the above was deployed with Peter when Jesus looked at Peter and addressed whom? Uh, yeah, Satan. Jesus was showing a real life application of Mark 4:15.

                    Using this simple analysis every bad, negative curse is directed to entities that are not man, but that man has been made subject to by entry. Though the principle itself is rather simple to see and understand, there is by the reality of this matter an automatic form of 'natural resistance' that is caused by the 'other party' to lay the application upon ones sweet old 'self.' And we are then again naturally led to defend or excuse our 'internal' lawlessness because of the affront to SATAN and the PRIDE that character brings into us.

                    It makes the entire arena much more interesting to get all the parties on the table of facts for viewing.

                    Using Paul's example here which Paul used upon himself:

                    2 Corinthians 12:7
                    And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

                    Paul also defined in Romans 7 that evil was present with him. It is quite easy to see the above example to understand that the messenger of Satan put upon Paul was entirely evil and present with Paul in the flesh. It is also more than likely the cause for Paul to term himself as 'the chief of sinners' in 1 Tim. 1:15. Again when we see the messenger of Satan with Paul we can easily see how Paul, exposed to the Word ala Mark 4:15 would make Paul chief on the hit list for the workings of evil spiritual resistance. Demons knew Paul. (Acts19/7 sons of Sceva/demon episode.)

                    When any believer understands this principle they also become known by those entities are are 'singled out' to receive greater resistance via various temptations. Anyone who is honest with their own thoughts will know the presence of evil with them that is NOT them as believers.

                    It's a very real principle that we are engaged with, but it is seldom admitted to in the general arena for many reasons. We are always led to excuse, defend or deny the principle by the bad actors within.

                    This is what turns believers into lying hypocrites. Excusing their sins while condemning other people for their sins.

                    The man who humbles himself as a sinner, which sin is in fact 'of the devil' will be honored by God with...drumroll, more resistance to verify the fact of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by squint View Post
                      To understand the 'negative' aspects of Gods Words, it is imperative to understand unto 'whom' such Words are directed to.

                      For Examples:

                      Mark 4:15
                      And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.

                      The 'real life' application of the above was deployed with Peter when Jesus looked at Peter and addressed whom? Uh, yeah, Satan. Jesus was showing a real life application of Mark 4:15.

                      Using this simple analysis every bad, negative curse is directed to entities that are not man, but that man has been made subject to by entry. Though the principle itself is rather simple to see and understand, there is by the reality of this matter an automatic form of 'natural resistance' that is caused by the 'other party' to lay the application upon ones sweet old 'self.' And we are then again naturally led to defend or excuse our 'internal' lawlessness because of the affront to SATAN and the PRIDE that character brings into us.

                      It makes the entire arena much more interesting to get all the parties on the table of facts for viewing.
                      Are you saying Mark 4:15 and Matthew 16:23 are linked because they both mention Satan? I guess I can kinda see it... I guess in the rebuke of Peter you're saying that Jesus is sowing the word into him, and then Satan, in a way, came to snatch it up. Its an interesting parallel, but I'm wondering if that's something you kind of have to read into the text.

                      Using Paul's example here which Paul used upon himself:

                      2 Corinthians 12:7
                      And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

                      Paul also defined in Romans 7 that evil was present with him. It is quite easy to see the above example to understand that the messenger of Satan put upon Paul was entirely evil and present with Paul in the flesh. It is also more than likely the cause for Paul to term himself as 'the chief of sinners' in 1 Tim. 1:15. Again when we see the messenger of Satan with Paul we can easily see how Paul, exposed to the Word ala Mark 4:15 would make Paul chief on the hit list for the workings of evil spiritual resistance. Demons knew Paul. (Acts19/7 sons of Sceva/demon episode.)

                      When any believer understands this principle they also become known by those entities are are 'singled out' to receive greater resistance via various temptations. Anyone who is honest with their own thoughts will know the presence of evil with them that is NOT them as believers.

                      It's a very real principle that we are engaged with, but it is seldom admitted to in the general arena for many reasons. We are always led to excuse, defend or deny the principle by the bad actors within.

                      This is what turns believers into lying hypocrites. Excusing their sins while condemning other people for their sins.

                      The man who humbles himself as a sinner, which sin is in fact 'of the devil' will be honored by God with...drumroll, more resistance to verify the fact of it.
                      I never understood why there was so much debate about Paul's thorn in the flesh. It seems to me that he tells us exactly what that thorn is in the preceding chapter.

                      Source: 2 Corinthians 11:21

                      But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. 24 Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; 26 on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; 27 in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

                      30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, 33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands.

                      © Copyright Original Source

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                        Are you saying Mark 4:15 and Matthew 16:23 are linked because they both mention Satan? I guess I can kinda see it... I guess in the rebuke of Peter you're saying that Jesus is sowing the word into him, and then Satan, in a way, came to snatch it up. Its an interesting parallel, but I'm wondering if that's something you kind of have to read into the text.
                        The presence of demons with mankind is one of the most pronounced facts available in the N.T. Gospels. We are provided huge numbers of specific examples.

                        The same fact was the basis of Paul's ministry, to turn people from the power of Satan. That 'power' is internal within people.

                        Acts 26:18
                        To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

                        Mark 4:15 and other 'seed' scriptures in the N.T. Gospels speak to the principle involved.

                        The 'eyes' being opened referred to in Acts 26:18 are not physical eyes, but spiritual.

                        I do not speak of these matters as head twisting vomit spewing possession by Satan, but as the intrusion of evil thoughts, which same are evil and defiling:

                        Matthew 15:
                        18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
                        19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
                        20 These are the things which defile a man:


                        I never understood why there was so much debate about Paul's thorn in the flesh. It seems to me that he tells us exactly what that thorn is in the preceding chapter.
                        There is little use in trying to change the messenger of Satan into anything but a messenger of Satan exactly as stated. A messenger of Satan is a demon. Paul also had evil present with him. A demon or messenger of Satan IS undoubted evil.

                        John intimately links sin to the devil in 1 John 3:8 and we all sin. The math is clear enough.

                        Mark 4:15 tells us 'how' that operates.

                        A beneficial footnote to understanding is gained in understanding the LAW as well, knowing that where Law/Word is sown, Satan enters. Yes, Satan is moved by WORD/LAW to lawlessness within people starting with THEFT of Word as the reality of his internal working.

                        The unbeliever does not believe because Satan does for a fact blind their minds, again showing the working to be internal.

                        2 Corinthians 4:
                        4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

                        It is not the unbeliever that we are engaged with in any ministry of the Gospel, but we engage our opposer who STOPS people from believing. It is God who honors a truthful message OR not and pulls back the internal opposer solely as He desires OR the opposite may occur, to JUDGE that wickedness of the wicked one as transpired with Pharaoh or Esau for example in Romans 9.

                        God solely elects to either uplift or allow the hearers to remain deaf, just as with happened with unbelieving Israel. Some believed. Most were blinded by Gods placement of the spirit of slumber put upon them (Romans 11:8) EXACTLY as described in Mark 4:15.


                        The fact also explains Gods harsh judgment of the people of Israel because they were for the most part internal CAPTIVES of Satan.

                        It was that worker, Satan and his minions within them, that were in fact judged harshly and this will continue to be the case to this day in all matters of judgment.

                        Not seeing or hearing is only the first measure of Gods DIRE judgments.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by squint View Post
                          The presence of demons with mankind is one of the most pronounced facts available in the N.T. Gospels. We are provided huge numbers of specific examples.
                          Oh, its not that I doubt the presence of demons or the power of Satan (I recently created a thread on just this topic). What I question is any direct correlation between Mark 4:15 and Matthew 16:23. The subject of Mark 4:15 seems to be evangelism in general (the sowing of seed), and instead of allowing the word of God to take up root in the heart, Satan comes and steals it away. The subject of Matthew 16:23 (or Mark 8:33) isn't so much about Jesus evangelizing to Peter (Peter is already a follower of Christ), but possibly of Satan's attempt to tempt Jesus through Peter's ignorance. Peter is still thinking of Christ's sacrifice via the flesh, rather than the spirit.

                          The same fact was the basis of Paul's ministry, to turn people from the power of Satan. That 'power' is internal within people.

                          Acts 26:18
                          To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

                          Mark 4:15 and other 'seed' scriptures in the N.T. Gospels speak to the principle involved.

                          The 'eyes' being opened referred to in Acts 26:18 are not physical eyes, but spiritual.

                          I do not speak of these matters as head twisting vomit spewing possession by Satan, but as the intrusion of evil thoughts, which same are evil and defiling:

                          Matthew 15:
                          18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
                          19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
                          20 These are the things which defile a man:




                          There is little use in trying to change the messenger of Satan into anything but a messenger of Satan exactly as stated. A messenger of Satan is a demon. Paul also had evil present with him. A demon or messenger of Satan IS undoubted evil.

                          John intimately links sin to the devil in 1 John 3:8 and we all sin. The math is clear enough.

                          Mark 4:15 tells us 'how' that operates.

                          A beneficial footnote to understanding is gained in understanding the LAW as well, knowing that where Law/Word is sown, Satan enters. Yes, Satan is moved by WORD/LAW to lawlessness within people starting with THEFT of Word as the reality of his internal working.

                          The unbeliever does not believe because Satan does for a fact blind their minds, again showing the working to be internal.

                          2 Corinthians 4:
                          4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

                          It is not the unbeliever that we are engaged with in any ministry of the Gospel, but we engage our opposer who STOPS people from believing. It is God who honors a truthful message OR not and pulls back the internal opposer solely as He desires OR the opposite may occur, to JUDGE that wickedness of the wicked one as transpired with Pharaoh or Esau for example in Romans 9.

                          God solely elects to either uplift or allow the hearers to remain deaf, just as with happened with unbelieving Israel. Some believed. Most were blinded by Gods placement of the spirit of slumber put upon them (Romans 11:8) EXACTLY as described in Mark 4:15.


                          The fact also explains Gods harsh judgment of the people of Israel because they were for the most part internal CAPTIVES of Satan.

                          It was that worker, Satan and his minions within them, that were in fact judged harshly and this will continue to be the case to this day in all matters of judgment.

                          Not seeing or hearing is only the first measure of Gods DIRE judgments.
                          Why can't it be both. Why can't it be Satan who caused the things that happened to Peter in the previous chapter that became his thorn in the flesh?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                            Oh, its not that I doubt the presence of demons or the power of Satan (I recently created a thread on just this topic). What I question is any direct correlation between Mark 4:15 and Matthew 16:23. The subject of Mark 4:15 seems to be evangelism in general (the sowing of seed), and instead of allowing the word of God to take up root in the heart, Satan comes and steals it away.
                            The general point of the observation is that none of us are alone between our own two ears. We are wise to understand that God's Word is against that working that is within us, of Satan/temptations of Satan. That places 2 entities in one person/lump. God is for one and against the other. We also LIVE by the condemnation of God toward that other worker, Satan.

                            People can evangelize all the day long, but they are not evangelizing the entirety of any person. They are addressing Gods children and actively resist the other party, in themselves and in others. It's not all just rosies. Satan could care less about converting or turning away from himself.

                            Why can't it be both. Why can't it be Satan who caused the things that happened to Peter in the previous chapter that became his thorn in the flesh?
                            Satan and/or his messengers ARE the thorn in the flesh. What they 'cause' is a result of them. Sun creates heat. It is pointless to observe the heat as cause when it's the sun as cause. That is the general point.

                            If anyone reads Gods Word with the fact of Mark 4:15 applied personally, God will open up the ENTIRE text to them, personally applied.

                            The curse/damnation scriptures apply to what we carry in our own flesh, between our own two ears, in the form of the tempter.

                            It's also the basis of parable/allegory because that is a real working, yet can not be seen. The information is therefore delivered allegorically/parabolically because it is not a physically quantifiable entity class.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by squint View Post
                              If anyone reads Gods Word with the fact of Mark 4:15 applied personally, God will open up the ENTIRE text to them, personally applied.
                              I have doubts about this, because of the number of denomination splits that persist to this day (yet with genuine Christians in many of them).
                              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                              Comment

                              Related Threads

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by FarEastBird, 09-02-2020, 11:39 AM
                              83 responses
                              568 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post footwasher  
                              Started by lee_merrill, 06-29-2020, 06:29 PM
                              219 responses
                              2,338 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post footwasher  
                              Started by Esther, 08-30-2019, 12:42 PM
                              72 responses
                              11,033 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post footwasher  
                              Working...
                              X