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About Paradigm

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  1. Yes, it can be tough with all of the inherited ideas regarding these kinds of subjects. Lots of afterlife theology as well as eschatology often comes from literature such as Dante's Inferno, Paradise Lost or more recent books, movies, songs, etc. Typically the main Biblical proof text that is used regarding "hell" is a parable. We have to understand for one thing that the Bible wasn't originally written in English. In the OT (Tanakh) when you see the English work "hell" it is normally the Hebrew word sheol. That word corresponds to the Greek word hades that is also translated as "hell" in the NT. However, there are two other Greek words translated as "hell" in the NT. Those are gehenna and tartoros from what I remember. Therefore there are three different Greek words that are all translated into the English word "hell" in the NT. Not only do we have to be specific about exactly which "hell" we are discussing, we have to look at specific contexts and see who or what goes there. Revelation 20:14 And death and hell (hades) were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. We see from this verse that even "hell" itself is cast into the lake of fire. We also have to consider words and concepts such as forever, everlasting, eternal, etc. The Hebrew and Greek words clearly do not always mean forever and there are many times when it does not make any sense if we consistently translate those words as such. Here is an example in the KJV that shows the problem with translating the Hebrew word olam as forever here: Deuteronomy 23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the Lord for ever: The above verse from Deuteronomy says that an Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the congregation forever and also tells us the tenth generation. This verse in isolation would tell us that forever is ten generations. Nehemiah leaves out the ten generations part and just tells us in English that these two groups are forbidden from being part of the congregation for ever. Nehemiah 13:1 On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever; One only has to read the book of Ruth and study the genealogy of King David to see that Moabites were allowed into the congregation of the LORD after ten generations. Quick everyone, how long was Jonah in the belly of the fish? And where was he? Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah 2:1-6 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly,2 And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.4 Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple.5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head.6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. Thus far we have seen that "for ever" is ten generations and now we also see that it is three days and three nights. Clearly we cannot just rely upon the English translations in all cases to define concepts such as "hell" or "forever" accurately. There are also a number of examples in which a form of the word aion is used twice in one verse such as this. Revelation 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever (aionus) and ever, (aioonoon) and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Two forevers? Once we investigate the words relating to time frames and try to be consistent in the way we interpret them, we still would need to look at the relativity of time both in the scripture as well as what can be demonstrated scientifically. The subject also requires a study on the parts of man. Do people really go straight to "hell" or heaven soon as they die ? How many compartments or levels of the dead exist? How many parts of man are there? Where do all of those parts go and when? It might be good to have a number of these related topics in their own separate threads. I do not want to cause any confusion for anyone at all. I just want to throw out some information and questions so folks might be motivated to examine their own paradigms and consider some other possibilities that they may not have thought about. I'm glad to see that there are some folks who are willing to examine topics that most people have not really investigated thoroughly.
  2. Hi Everyone, Here is one that I did a while back called Vanitas. It is an oil painting based in part upon verses in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Vanitas: 34x16, Oil on Linen
  3. Hi Kenny, Very good and valid questions. Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. Just because something has been acquired through legality or even force does not necessarily mean that there is full possession in that moment. The verse may indicate a legal proclamation rather than a material actuality in the earth realm. I think we also have to consider who's perspective and clock that we are seeing in various passages. For example we could ask this question, "What time zone is the Kingdom of Heaven on?" I live in the CST zone in the US, but not everyone else does. Currently it is 4:14 in my time, but in some zones 4:14 has not happened yet. It appears to me that it would be a mistake to assume that the heavenly clock is synchronized with the earth clock. I am reminded of Daniel and Gabriel's interaction. I think in addition to the subject of legality vs possession and time we also should bring another subject into the discussion. Although in this realm, the natural or material appears before the spiritual, that is from an earth perspective. 1 Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. However from a spiritual perspective spirit proceeds the natural or material things. For we see the Spirit of God in Gen 1:2 bringing things into form and know that the Word of God (A spiritual force) proceeds and creates the material. Stated another way form proceeds from and after essence. Here are a few verses that I thought about regarding the kingdom of God. I thought these might add some additional dimension and texture to the discussion. Thank you for bringing up this topic and your well thought out questions and comments. Matthew 12:28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Mark 9:1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. Luke 10:9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you Luke 10:11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Luke 17:21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 1 Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
  4. Paradigm, I enjoyed the reality of what you were looking to convey, and feel you did a great job in the execution of what you were looking to achieve. Appreciated the thoughts behind your inspiration for the painting too. Thanks for sharing! Thank you very much B3L13v3R. I am very glad that you liked the painting. I appreciate your kind and encouraging comments.
  5. This is a 12 x 16 oil called "Hear O Israel" which is the beginning line of Deuteronomy 6:4 and begins the well known prayer known as the "Shema." The painting was inspired by my trip to Israel several years back. The location of the scene is the infamous Masada in the Dead Sea area.
  6. Here is one that I did a while back. This one is oil on linen and is it seems like the size is 32x16, but can't remember for sure at this moment. This photo of the painting is not the greatest. I'll try to show a better one in the future. I think that I went back in and worked on the painting after I took this one.
  7. Hi Joline, Sorry you lost the post. That is a real drag. It's happened to me before too. I don't think the Ephesians passage is really dealing with just a lack of a proper priest although Gentiles would have been lacking that too. In part, by not all it relates to Gentiles being excluded by Jews for later in the passage it discussed the middle wall of partition being brought down. This wall of partition was actually a real wall that was erected. Josephus speaks about it. No where in scripture is there a commandment to build such a wall, but they did. In Messiah (Anointed One) that separate is eliminated. However, we should also realize that each side has its pros and cons. To the Sumaritan woman, Y'shua answers her question by stating: What you worship, you know not what. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. Again, Paul asked the question what profit does the Jew have. He answers by saying, much in every way for unto them were given the oracles of God. So the Gentiles were at a disadvantage in many ways, but through Messiah have the opportunity to be no longer aliens to the Commonwealth of Israel or the covenants of promise. There is one faith and that one faith establishes the Torah. Part of the purpose of the Messiah's death was to make the two ONE. Sorry this is so short, but my time has been pretty limited. Thanks again for your thoughtful posts and blessings to you as well. Keith
  8. Hi Joline, Much of what you have stated I agree with. Keep in mind though passages such as Ephesians 2 that I quoted states that those who in times past were Gentiles were previously cut off and without hope. They were separated from the Commonwealth of Israel including the covenants of promise. In Messiah, the Gentile is no longer separated from the Commonwealth of Israel or the covenants for they have been grafted in. Romans 11 talks extensively about that topic. Yes, each covenant can be viewed distinctly and uniquely just as each color of the spectrum can. However, each of the colors together create an unified rainbow. The destination was never meant to be Sinai as important as it is. The destination was Zion. Yet the Torah shall go forth from Zion and the Word of YHVH from Jerusalem. The new/renewed covenant did not replace any covenant. One of the major distinctions is its form. For example, we can have H2O in several forms. The element is essentially the same, but it can be manifested in different forms. The new/renewed covenant was made with the House of Israel & Judah. Gentiles can become part of the covenants of promise by being grafted in. The new/renewed covenant puts God's laws inside being written upon hearts rather than stones or parchment. Ezekiel 16:24-29 24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, (chukim) and ye shall keep my judgments, (mishpatim) and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will also save you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. Jeremiah 31:31-34 31 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. So we see that the new/renewed covenant is made with Judah and Israel. They are given a new heart and new spirit which will cause them to walk in God's statues and judgments and do them. They will desire to do them and be able to do them because they will be written upon hearts and minds on the inside. When this is fully accomplished there will be no need to teach others, for all will know YHVH. This covenant also reinforces inheriting the land.
  9. No problem Joline and thanks to you as well. It is nice to actually work through some of these differences in a polite and civil way. It seems to be a rare occurrence these days. I appreciate your patience in trying to lay out your points clearly. Yes, it is probably fair to say that none of us have a complete understanding of much. We may understand aspects and not fully comprehend other important ones. I also appreciate your humility and honesty. Most people cannot seem to refrain from mischaracterizing a position that is different from the one they hold. I apologize if I have assumed anything incorrectly or misunderstood any of your points. I will try to explain more of where I am coming from. Although I recolonize that details and specifics are very important, it is my desire to see the full picture as accurately as I can. I do think that getting the full picture in proper proportion is more important normally than the tiny details. I try to see the scriptures as a unity. I believe that they are a beautiful, unified tapestry. I do not want to throw out or change any puzzle pieces to make them fit a predetermined picture that I may have. Therefore in my thinking, there cannot be contradictions. One verse cannot annul another verse. If I pluck out a verse or verses and use them to shoot down other verses, there is something lacking in my understanding and I am still seeing the scripture as a fragmentation of contradictory pieces. Psalms 105:6-11 6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. 7 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth. 8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. 9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; 10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: 11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: Yes, we can see Passover even in Genesis 18-19. It is believed that Abraham's visitors appeared on Passover and Isaac was born the next Passover. It is a remembrance of God redeeming His people out of bondage through the hyssop (faith) in applying the blood of the lamb in accordance with his promise to Abraham. Ephesians 2:11-13 11 Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; 12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. It is not just one covenant of promise that Gentiles were strangers to, but covenants. Of course Gentiles were grafted in from ancient times. We see a mixed multitude that came out of Egypt with Israel and became grafted into the tribes. The "new" covenant or brit chadesha is really the renewed covenant. Just as we do not have a brand new moon in the sky every month, but the same moon that has been renewed in its phases. The "renewed" covenant takes things to a deeper level. Rather than the Torah, commandments, judgements and ordinances being merely an objective reality on the outside, a new heart is given in which these things can be internalized enabling us to carry these things out as was intended in the first place. The new covenant is still not complete even yet in its totality. There has always been grace since the beginning, but there is no need for grace is there is no law. Again, sin is the transgression of the Torah/law and where there is no law sin is not imputed to man. We need grace because there is a standard. So, are we "under the law?" Not if we are "in Messiah" and "walk not according to the flesh, but the Spirit." If we abide in Messiah, we are not "under the law" for the torah/law is within us. Just as with Ezekiel and John, we have to take the objective truth of the scroll and eat it. The objective truth is to be worked out subjectively within us. Therefore it becomes written in the inward parts. If we abide in Messiah, we are no longer "under a school master." When we graduated from school, we were at that point no longer under our teachers. However, if we learned our lessons well, the information was internalized. We didn't suddenly throw out mathematics, reading and writing, those things became second nature for us. All of the information transmitted by the school master was internalized. Therefore we are no longer "under" them, but carry the truth of what was taught inside now. We can look at both the scriptures and history and see what the early believers practiced. We can also see when and how that changed and by who. We can either follow in the living examples of Y'shua and his followers and do what they did and avoid what they did not do or follow the precedents that were set later by Roman authorities. Currently Christianity as a whole follows the customs and practices of the latter and do not live as the Apostles did. It is my aim both see and live as the Apostles did. The Apostles did not participate in pagan practices and holidays. They kept the Biblical feasts and Sabbaths. Paul even told us a number of times to be followers of him even as he followed the Messiah. Therefore, I think it wise to do what they did rather than those who came later and established many of the doctrines and practices that have been inherited by most today. I hope that I have explained myself clear enough. Thanks again joline for your willingness to discuss these subjects in a calm and reasonable way. Shalom, Keith
  10. Hi Joline, Yes, feel free to call me Keith. I understand about getting old too. It has become more difficult to read the small writing on ingredients and directions. If you want to just quote a sentence or paragraph, you can just click on the left side of your mouse and highlight whatever you want to quote. Then there should appear a small window that says "quote this." Just click on that menu. Took me a while to figure that out. Thanks for explaining more in your last post. I found it much more clear and understood better the points that you were trying to make. Regarding the 2 Peter passage, while I agree with some of what you stated there, when we look at that whole section it is not just talking about prophecy. The passage explains that a misunderstanding of the difficult things in Paul's epistles can lead to wickedness/lawlessness. That is not merely a lack of understanding regarding prophecy, but living life in a way that is in error based upon a misunderstanding of the difficult things in Paul's epistles. 2 Peter 3:15-17 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. Yes, there have been covenants and expansion of them from the beginning. The points that I made still stand. Not one jot or tittle shall pass away from the Torah until heaven and earth pass. Who ever breaks one of the least commandments and teaches others will be least in the kingdom, but whosoever keeps and teaches them shall be great in the kingdom. We cannot interpret Paul in a way that contradicts many of his pro-law statements and his own personal actions. Neither can we interpret him in a way that contradicts Y'shua, the other writers of the NT or the Tanakh. YHVH changes not. His Word endures forever and the Torah is part of His Word. In fact, the Torah is connected directly to the Messiah. Romans 10:5-8 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) 7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; Paul, the Pharisee of Pharisees that studied at the feet of Gamaliel and stated that he was blameless concerning the Torah and lived in a good conscience toward God quoted from Deut 30 in Romans 10. That passsage in Deut is speaking of the Torah and Paul connects it directly to the Messiah. He then quotes again the passage and says that it is the word of faith that we preach. Deuteronomy 30:10-14 10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. 11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. 15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; That is how the Messiah and the Apostles proved what they were saying. They used the Tanakh. For as Y'shua said, if you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. If you don't believe Moses (Torah), how will you believe my words? In Luke 16, the rich man wanted someone sent back from the dead to warn his five brothers. Abraham told him no. He said let them hear Moses and the prophets. Abraham further said that if they will not hear Moses (Torah) and the prophets, neither will they believe though one be raised from the dead. The message of the parable is clear. You cannot truly believe upon the one who rose after three days and three nights if you reject the testimony of Moses and the prophets. For Moses and the prophets spoke of the suffering of Messiah and his glory. But even if one believes that Paul taught against the Torah, should his words be given more weight that the words of Y'shua, the other Apostles, the Torah, the prophets and the writings? If we put the verses by Paul that sounds as if he is teaching against the Torah on one side of the scales and all of the verses from the rest of the Bible saying something different on the other side, how would they be tilted? If God said that something was to be done forever and Paul theoretically said something contradictory to that, who should we follow? The early followers of Y'shua, including Paul went to synagogue and the temple, they kept the festivals, kept Sabbath, etc. All of the early Bishops were Jewish until Hadrian the Roman Emperor put an end to it. After that the base was moved from Jerusalem to Rome and everything changed. Later Constantine solidified this new blend of paganism with their understandings of Paul and the rest is history. When we look at how the Apostles lived their lives and what they practiced and did not practice, it is at great odds with what we see today. Again, even if we look only at the NT, the way that things are defined there differs greatly from the typical understanding and practices today. Not one jot or tittle will pass from the Torah until heaven and earth pass away There is one faith. We do not make the Torah void through faith: God forbid, we establish the Torah. The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. This is the love of God that we keep his commandments and His commandments are not grevious. Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep His commandments. He that saith he knows Him and keeps not His commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him truly is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we are in him. Whosoever sins transgresses also the Torah, for sin is the transgression of the Torah. Many will come to Y'shua on that day claiming various things, yet to many he will say depart from me you who work anomia torahlessness. Even when we look to the future, we see the Torah being the standard. For the Torah shall go out of Zion and the Word of YHVH from Jerusualem. The gospel is the everlasting gospel. It was preached to Abraham and the children of Israel. The Messiah was with the children of Israel in the wilderness. Yet some of them tempted the Messiah and were destroyed by serpents. Moses esteemed the suffering of Messiah greater than what Egypt had to offer. The church/ecclesia/kahal was in the wilderness. The prophets spoke by the spirit of Messiah which was in them. Paul did a Nazarite vow including offerings to prove that he kept the Torah and walked orderly and that all of the charges against him were false. He said to follow him as he follows the Messiah. Paul kept Sabbath, feasts, etc.
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