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The time has come to cease bashing one another over the heads with books. Nothing productive is coming of this discussion. It can always begin as a meaningful exercise, learning, practicing how to promote the teachings of Jesus when confronted with arguments from religionists of tradition who condemn the religion of the spirit, but before long these too often becomes childish squabbles of "did not," "did too," "did not,""did too," "did not,""did too," "did not,""did too," "did not,"...

If one finds they're unable to remove personal confrontation whenever posting here they should recognize that they have more work to do on themselves. Jesus is our model; Jesus didn't argue.

Larry


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Hello Diego, I have some more questions for you to understand Christianity better.

Diego wrote:
This one is easy. We all know that the New Law triumphs over the Old Law. The New Israel of God is the Church. Christians are subject to the Laws Moral, and not the Laws Ceremonial, or the Laws Judicial. Its really pretty basic.


I am a basic thinker and you may have to spell it out a bit better for me if you don't mind. From what you say above it seems to me that Christians are subject to relative truth and not absolute truth. Either the laws of God are absolute or they are relative and evolving. Is there an evolving and relative authority or is there an evolving and relative truth?

If the New Law triumphs over the Old Law, does the New Law destroy the Old Law? Does the New supplant the Old? Are Christians subject to a changing God? Or are Christians subject to changing morals?

You say that this is an easy one but I must admit that I am dense minded. I have a dear friend in my business partner and he shares your views. I am desperate to understand him better. I appreciate your help in this.


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Diego, this is what TUB says about Old and New.

147:7.2 On Tuesday evening Jesus was conducting one of his customary classes of questions and answers when the leader of the six spies said to him: “I was today talking with one of John's disciples who is here attending upon your teaching, and we were at a loss to understand why you never command your disciples to fast and pray as we Pharisees fast and as John bade his followers.” And Jesus, referring to a statement by John, answered this questioner: “Do the sons of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as the bridegroom remains with them, they can hardly fast. But the time is coming when the bridegroom shall be taken away, and during those times the children of the bridechamber undoubtedly will fast and pray. To pray is natural for the children of light, but fasting is not a part of the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. Be reminded that a wise tailor does not sew a piece of new and unshrunk cloth upon an old garment, lest, when it is wet, it shrink and produce a worse rent. Neither do men put new wine into old wine skins, lest the new wine burst the skins so that both the wine and the skins perish. The wise man puts the new wine into fresh wine skins. Therefore do my disciples show wisdom in that they do not bring too much of the old order over into the new teaching of the gospel of the kingdom. You who have lost your teacher may be justified in fasting for a time. Fasting may be an appropriate part of the law of Moses, but in the coming kingdom the sons of God shall experience freedom from fear and joy in the divine spirit.” And when they heard these words, the disciples of John were comforted while the Pharisees themselves were the more confounded.

147:7.3 Then the Master proceeded to warn his hearers against entertaining the notion that all olden teaching should be replaced entirely by new doctrines. Said Jesus: “That which is old and also true must abide. Likewise, that which is new but false must be rejected. But that which is new and also true, have the faith and courage to accept. Remember it is written: `Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him. As new wine, so is a new friend; if it becomes old, you shall drink it with gladness.'”

Are these truth relative or absolute?


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toto wrote:
Hello Diego, I have some more questions for you to understand Christianity better. I am a basic thinker and you may have to spell it out a bit better for me if you don't mind. You say that this is an easy one but I must admit that I am dense minded. I have a dear friend in my business partner and he shares your views. I am desperate to understand him better. I appreciate your help in this.


I shall endeavour to assist you in this matter, but please know that in fact, it is not as easy as it may see at first. Perhaps I was wrong to call it "pretty basic", although it may seem to be such from jump.

Now allow me to step back and take your points one by one. Your first question was as follows:

Quote:
It seems to me that Christians are subject to relative truth and not absolute truth.


No. there is indeed absolute truth.

Quote:
Either the laws of God are absolute or they are relative and evolving. Is there an evolving and relative authority or is there an evolving and relative truth?


Although you may find this awkward to accept, in fact, the laws of God are absolute, and the truth of God is absolute. HOWEVER, and this is key, God knew, from jump, that we could never fulfill the 613 Commandments of the Law to the perfection that would be necessary to please Him. And this brings us to your next question.

Quote:
If the New Law triumphs over the Old Law, does the New Law destroy the Old Law? Does the New supplant the Old? Are Christians subject to a changing God? Or are Christians subject to changing morals?


Again, the answer is, neither, per se. The New Law does not DESTROY the Old. The Old Law was put in place to serve as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. God gave us the Old Law, but he KNEW that we could never fulfill its many regulations. It is thus that he came to earth to die for us, born as one of us, to free us from the Law. It is not that the Law ceases to be important. In fact, it retains its importance by showing us how vital it was that Christ come and serve in the capacity that he did.

Now, as regards morals, no, there was no change in morals. They remain the same that they ever were. We are no longer subject to the Laws Ceremonial or Judicial of the Jewish Commonwealth, but the Laws Moral remain intact, of course.

Your final post is very much a paraphrase of what is in the Bible. I find nothing in it with which to disagree. Again, truths are absolute. However, the basic observation is that Christ came UNDER the Law to free us FROM the Law.


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lwatkins wrote:
The time has come to cease bashing one another over the heads with books. Nothing productive is coming of this discussion. It can always begin as a meaningful exercise, learning, practicing how to promote the teachings of Jesus when confronted with arguments from religionists of tradition who condemn the religion of the spirit, but before long these too often becomes childish squabbles of "did not," "did too," "did not,""did too," "did not,""did too," "did not,""did too," "did not,"...

If one finds they're unable to remove personal confrontation whenever posting here they should recognize that they have more work to do on themselves. Jesus is our model; Jesus didn't argue.

Larry


Thank you, Larry, for reminding us of the need to behave properly.


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Diego wrote:
Again, truths are absolute. However, the basic observation is that Christ came UNDER the Law to free us FROM the Law.

Diego,

Laws are meant to be followed, not broken. Please explain further how Jesus' comimg frees us from the law, and which law(s) he frees us from.


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nodAmanaV wrote:
Diego wrote:
Again, truths are absolute. However, the basic observation is that Christ came UNDER the Law to free us FROM the Law.

Diego,

Laws are meant to be followed, not broken. Please explain further.how Jesus' comimg frees us from the law, and which law(s).


OK. It looks like I am going to have to use VERY simple language here, rather than the more sermon like terminology I have been attempting.

So: Let me break it down for you as best I may.

The Law that we are talking about isn't just any law, with a lower-case "l" letter. We are talking the Law, as in the Jewish Law. Now, I don't know how much you know about the Jewish Law. I happen to know a great deal about it, for uniquely personal reasons. We would be here all week, and much, much longer if I were to try to lay out each and every Commandment (Mitzvah) of the Law, of which there are 613. The Ten that we talk about are only the most basic of those 613.

But the Jew is required to live, to the best of his ability, and follow those 613 Commandments of the Law. Now, obviously he can't do it perfectly. AND THEREIN LIES THE PROBLEM.

God is both a God of Justice and a God of Mercy. He cannot be otherwise. To be so would be completely invalidate His claim to be God. By His Mercy, we all should go to Heaven. By His Justice, however, we all deserve Eternal Damnation and Everlasting Punishment. And this is NOT by any action of His, but rather, by our own actions that separate us from an all good, all pure, all powerful God.

NOTHING, NOTHING impure can be in the Presence of a pure and perfect God. And humans are, by their very nature, impure. And so God gave His Chosen People a Law, a Law by which they could become pure enough to be with him. But it was a Law they could not possibly obey in its totality.

God of course knew this. It was part of his Divine Plan. And so in the fullness of time He Himself came down to Earth as a Man, and thought it not blasphemy to take our form, to be as one of us, to live and die as one of us, to redeem us.

As in Adam all died, so in Christ have all been made alive. Through Christ has the Law been fulfilled. It was given as a Schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. It has served that function.

Forgive me, something, has just come up. I shall have to continue later. If you still have ore questions, do post them, and I shall get back to you on them later. Peace.


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Thanks Diego.

So God changes. What he was at one time, he revised later. First he had 613 commandments, now there's only one. To love one another like Jesus loves us.

Do I have it right?


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I am more confused now Diego.

So truth is absolute and God is absolute, is that right?

Diego wrote:
Although you may find this awkward to accept, in fact, the laws of God are absolute, and the truth of God is absolute. HOWEVER, and this is key, God knew, from jump, that we could never fulfill the 613 Commandments of the Law to the perfection that would be necessary to please Him. And this brings us to your next question.


And you say that God gave us an impossible task. Therefore, God can never be pleased. A Catch-22 perhaps? Are we not damned either way?

You say that Christ came to relieve us of this Catch-22 that God placed upon us. Is that correct? Did God feel guilty at having placed His creation in such a predicament that He came to die for us? I do not see the logic. But I do see cruelty in this. This is a God that I can fear.

Are you saying that God repents of His cruelty and sends His only begotten Son to pay the price of our damnation, of which He made certain?

And you saying that Christ frees us from God's Law, but he does it lawfully, under that same Law? I do not follow this logic, I am sorry. Or am I to abandon all logic and take all of this you are saying on faith? Is fatih logical?

Diego wrote:
God of course knew this. It was part of his Divine Plan. And so in the fullness of time He Himself came down to Earth as a Man, and thought it not blasphemy to take our form, to be as one of us, to live and die as one of us, to redeem us.


As I understand you, God created man in imperfection, gave us Laws that He knew we could not follow because of our imperfection, put man in a position of never being able to please The Creator, and damned us all to suffer His justice because of it. Does mercy trump justice is this God you are portraying? And where does creature free will fit into this portrait of God?

Diego wrote:
God of course knew this. It was part of his Divine Plan. And so in the fullness of time He Himself came down to Earth as a Man, and thought it not blasphemy to take our form, to be as one of us, to live and die as one of us, to redeem us.


It seems to me that this God you describe is the one who is in need of redemption. This is a wrathful God and we are the children of wrath.

If God needs redemption, what hope is there for man? God must then free us from Himself. This is the Divine Plan you are describing? Can God cast out God?


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Also Diego, you did not have a disagreement with this quote from TUB.

toto wrote:
147:7.3 Then the Master proceeded to warn his hearers against entertaining the notion that all olden teaching should be replaced entirely by new doctrines. Said Jesus: “That which is old and also true must abide. Likewise, that which is new but false must be rejected. But that which is new and also true, have the faith and courage to accept. Remember it is written: `Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him. As new wine, so is a new friend; if it becomes old, you shall drink it with gladness.'”


The truths of this saying of Jesus are related by time, old and new. So is not truth relative to time? If new wine becomes old, shall you not drink it with gladness?

And also...

toto wrote:
Fasting may be an appropriate part of the law of Moses, but in the coming kingdom the sons of God shall experience freedom from fear and joy in the divine spirit.”


Here Jesus tells us that the law of Moses is of Moses and not of God. The coming kingdom is the Kingdom of God.

You earlier had no disagreement with these quotes, but you surely must interpret them differently. How is your interpretation different from mine?


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Another question to add. As you've described Diego, the reason God sent Jesus into the world was to be an atonement for humanity's sins.

Quote:
Ergo, God sent himself as a Man, the only possibly perfect being that could exist to give himself for us.

But after Jesus' death and resurrection he appeared and told his followers:

Quote:
"The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." (John 20:20-21)

If the Father sent Jesus into the world in order to atone for the sins of humanity, how and why in what sense of logic did Jesus send the apostles to do the same?


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The difference between the 4 Gospels and Paul's letters is that the Gospels are at least claiming to quote Jesus, whereas Paul was just saying "Here's what I think Jesus meant"

I do like the ("gnostic") Gospel Of Thomas, which is considered a "sayings" Gospel.

but ultimately I would choose The Urantia Book for clarity, as it has increased my understanding of The Bible (though both books are imperfect having been compiled by fallible humans)

I would love it if folks who are 'into' The Bible would read and consider The Urantia Book
(sadly, most won't and will reject it just the same as they would 'channeling' and Ouija and Seances)

-paul

Diego wrote:

To argue that Paul is any less Scripture than Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John is tomfoolery. None of those four were Jesus either. If we accept that they were inspired by God, we are accepting the decision of the Church.


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I would suggest that the UB leads us to be at least tolerant of other religionists and God believers and to be glad for all faith expressions from our fellows. We need not convert any others into any beliefs nor to convince them of any perceived errors of fact in their faith. I am puzzled by Diego's posted topic at this study group and hope he got the answer(s) he requested in the responses posted. It is obvious to me that he is determined in his beliefs and in the authoritative source of those beliefs and is not undecided or torn or even confused in his beliefs. So be it. So let it be.

Let us carry on with our own studies of the Revelation and sharing our religious life with one another to encourage one another to seek the will of God in our own lives and without need to convince any others of anything.....at all. Read or don't. Believe what's written and read or don't. For one, I will keep reading and being and doing and growing and welcome any and all who sincerely seek knowledge, wisdom, and truth from the truthbook we share together here.

99:5.11 (1091.10) What a mistake for Christians to make when, in presenting Christ as the supreme ideal of spiritual leadership, they dare to require God-conscious men and women to reject the historic leadership of the God-knowing men who have contributed to their particular national or racial illumination during past ages.

Me here: What's good for the goose of Christianity is also good for the gander of UB students and enlightening religionists...... It is my hope that all believers find that sublime peace of mind derived by faith in a loving and paternal God and our friendly universe filled with wonder, delight, and the family of creation.

100:6.3 (1100.5) The marks of human response to the religious impulse embrace the qualities of nobility and grandeur. The sincere religionist is conscious of universe citizenship and is aware of making contact with sources of superhuman power. He is thrilled and energized with the assurance of belonging to a superior and ennobled fellowship of the sons of God. The consciousness of self-worth has become augmented by the stimulus of the quest for the highest universe objectives — supreme goals.

100:6.4 (1100.6) The self has surrendered to the intriguing drive of an all-encompassing motivation which imposes heightened self-discipline, lessens emotional conflict, and makes mortal life truly worth living. The morbid recognition of human limitations is changed to the natural consciousness of mortal shortcomings, associated with moral determination and spiritual aspiration to attain the highest universe and superuniverse goals. And this intense striving for the attainment of supermortal ideals is always characterized by increasing patience, forbearance, fortitude, and tolerance.

:wink: 8)


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fanofVan wrote:
Riktare - I'd appreciate some sourcing for your post above or some further illumination on its meaning. For example, what does "The master's attonement was the jettisoning of all of the imperfect, rebellious, non-heavenly ways of humans then and now." mean? Did the human condition change by the death of Jesus? What was "jettisoned"? Do you mean, perhaps, the end of the rebellion and the gift of his Spirit?


Hi fanofVan,

I was attempting to show that the New Testament itself does not claim or support the "blood atonement doctrine". Nor does "the church at large". Neither did the Apostles nor those who had the privilege to be in the presence of The Master when he lived on Earth in the body of a human.

As you know, misunderstanding, misinterpretation and misapplication is how such a doctrine got to be prevalent in certain churches or amongst certain preachers. The concept is not even really noted in the Orthodox and Swedish Churches, for example. I suspect the Norwegian and Danish Churches are similar but have no experience there.

Just how blood sacrifice concepts evolved historically in association with various religious developments would be an interesting study. I think it's fair to say that the "Christian religion" in all of its forms that exist today is many things to many different people.

Diego makes an excellent and worthy point in noting that the heavenly "Jesus" was begotten, not created. Of course begotten is an archaic word which may in many people's minds have a mystical quality about it. The word is ill defined as it is used in the New Testament, but I think we can assume it means "not created" or procreated as a creature is. That harmonizes perfectly with the UB presentation. It is an error, of course, to liken the Jehovah's Witnesses description of arch angel Michael to the Creator Son Michael who is directly a representation of God The Father.

Yes, we are told the human condition did change by the death of the Master. More properly it is the manner of his death, and life, that was meaningful. He put the entire power of his will into living the complete life of a human as a human, just as God The Father directed him to do. And enormous personal sacrifice occurred with regard to physical and emotional well being. His death was significant in being the culmination of that resolution.

We know that both Enoch and Elijah lived so perfect a human life that they were translated in the flesh to heaven directly. They overcame their imperfect, rebellious, non-heavenly inclinations. But they did so in a personal way. It was their very own, personal imperfections they rose above.

However, we know the Master overcame all imperfect, rebellious, non-heavenly inclinations of humans everywhere. That is his unique contribution as a human being. That is the function of a Creator Son acting in the capacity of the actualization of The Supreme Being. I think there is an "integrating function" involved there that is a kind of stepping stone between finite capabilities and experience heading towards infinite and transcendent capabilities and destinys. In doing so he became "the light and the way" for all humans to ascend heavenward.


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Riktare wrote:
We know that both Enoch and Elijah lived so perfect a human life that they were translated in the flesh to heaven directly. They overcame their imperfect, rebellious, non-heavenly inclinations. But they did so in a personal way. It was their very own, personal imperfections they rose above.

However, we know the Master overcame all imperfect, rebellious, non-heavenly inclinations of humans everywhere. That is his unique contribution as a human being. That is the function of a Creator Son acting in the capacity of the actualization of The Supreme Being. I think there is an "integrating function" involved there that is a kind of stepping stone between finite capabilities and experience heading towards infinite and transcendent capabilities and destinys. In doing so he became "the light and the way" for all humans to ascend heavenward.

That’s a truly profound observation Riktare. You've clearly highlighted the great distinction between Enoch and Elijah, and the Master.

(76:2.9) And so Cain departed for the land of Nod, east of the second Eden. He became a great leader among one group of his father's people and did, to a certain degree, fulfill the predictions of Serapatatia, for he did promote peace between this division of the Nodites and the Adamites throughout his lifetime. Cain married Remona, his distant cousin, and their first son, Enoch, became the head of the Elamite Nodites. And for hundreds of years the Elamites and the Adamites continued to be at peace.

It's interesting that Enoch, being the first son of Cain, was able to achieve what he did. He exemplifies how one can turn evil into good. It also says something about his parents, Cain and Remona.

Elijah on the other hand, was obviously a true warrior of the spirit, who was unafraid to assail the establishment of his day, and thereby initiate monotheism from the ashes of polytheism among his people.

That kind of dedication to personal perfection is now made much easier. Unlike Enoch, Elijah and Jesus, we have the benefit of a great revelation provided in writing, here at our disposal for study and reference. I submit to you that there are more than a few who are thoroughly engaged in this endeavor to attain personal perfection in this lifetime. And when this goal is first reached by some one in this era, I'm certain we'll all be astonished at how much this will affect all of us.


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