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  • J. Randal Matheny 8:00 am on 2016-10-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , presence of God,   

    The why of creation 

    This is part of a chapter out of a book I’m writing, entitled (for now) “Total Transformation.” You might find it to be of use.

    Man was created in God’s image, in order to know his person and blessing, Gen 1.26-28. As the only creature to bear the divine stamp, man is able to relate to God. “Man meets and talks with God in the Garden of Eden” Gen 2.15-17 (NIBD). Adam and Even walked with God, Gen 3.8.

    Because of their sin, they were expelled from the Garden, but the original intent was for them to choose God’s love, not to spurn it. Scripture mentions that God came to walk with them after they lost that privilege, highlighting even more the preciousness of this gift. (More …)

    • Eugene Adkins 7:20 am on 2016-10-03 Permalink | Reply

      Check this out: http://fellowshiproom.com/out-of-the-mouth-of-babes-4/
      It happened before you did your post, but not too long before. After I read your post I thought it might add a little bit more food for the thought.

      • J. Randal Matheny 7:30 am on 2016-10-03 Permalink | Reply

        I started my lesson last night talking about the “Why?” phase that children go through.

        I just sent the link to your daughter’s question to a group of Brazilians who speak English.

  • J. Randal Matheny 4:41 pm on 2016-06-05 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , presence of God   

    Two times only, in two different senses 

    You may see this elsewhere, but here’s something cool—and of vital importance. The Greek word monē (abode, dwelling place) is used only twice in all the NT: John 14.2 and John 14.23. In the first, Christ prepares for us heavenly dwelling places. So we ought to prepare ourselves so we can be received into them. In the second, God is seeking, today, dwelling places on earth—in the hearts of men. So we ought to prepare ourselves to receive him, and the Lord Jesus, by loving obedience. Only when he takes up his residence in us on earth, will we be able to reside with him in eternity.

    #obedience #heaven #presence-of-god

  • Joshua Gulley 11:10 am on 2014-01-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , book of Exodus, , , , , , presence of God, ,   

    in the presence of God 

    Exodus 32 chronicles the building of the golden calf made by Aaron when the Israelites began to miss Moses. Their leader seemed to have disappeared, and his second-in-command either did not know the law or did not have the spine to stand up to the people in their error. He made the idol, and according to verse 6, the people “sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”

    Fast forward to chapter 33. The people have been rebuked for their sin, and many were executed. God has withdrawn His presence from the people because He does not want to destroy them. A tradition begins of Moses meeting with God in his tent outside the camp.

    And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the Lord would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent. (verses 8-10)

    Here is an interesting contrast: in the presence of the idol, the people ate, drank, and rose to play. In the presence of Jehovah, the people rose to worship. The point? What is our demeanor when we assemble for worship, and what does that say about our understanding of what is taking place? If we feel no sense of awe at the presence of God, and therefore demonstrate a lack of reverence in the assembly, then perhaps there is some kind of idol inhibiting our communion with the Creator.

    Lord, open our eyes in the assembly; remind us that You are in our midst during worship, for only then can we begin to show the reverence You demand.

    • Gede Prama 3:19 am on 2014-01-20 Permalink | Reply

      thank you, the article and the true happiness rays began to warm hearts, when we share it with sincerity. Greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

  • Stephen R. Bradd 3:11 pm on 2012-03-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , presence of God   

    “In the Presence” OR “From the Presence”? 

    I’ve been chewing on this a while now and can’t figure it out. I’ve got something mixed-up somewhere. Perhaps one of you can enlighten me.

    I’ve suggested before (per my understanding of 2 Thess 1:9) that perhaps the worst aspect of hell could be that the lost will be separated eternally FROM (i.e., away from) the presence of the Lord. I don’t believe we can fully fathom the notion of being separated from God’s goodness in an absolute sense as long as we are here on Earth where all humans (believers or not) continually reap God’s blessings in the material world (sunlight, rain, oxygen, food, etc.).

    And then I come to Rev. 14:10 and am having difficulty reconciling the two verses. Both seem to be speaking about hell for the wicked. But, one teaches that it will be “IN the presence” of the Lord and the other seems to teach the opposite (“FROM the presence”).

    This thought has occurred to me before when thinking about God’s omnipresence and my view on 2 Thess. 1:9. After Judgment Day, God will not be in “hell” in any sense, will He? Thus, those who reside there will be tormented “from” (away from) His presence (not “in” His presence), right?

    Please help me with this if you can.

    • Eugene Adkins 3:23 pm on 2012-03-04 Permalink | Reply

      What about Psalm 139:7-12? Have you thought of this?

      • Stephen R. Bradd 8:44 pm on 2012-03-04 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, I’ve considered it but am not convinced it’s applicable since Sheol would be equivalent to Hades (as I understand), and not Gehenna (hell). I’ll surely listen if you have an alternative view to offer on it.

        • Eugene Adkins 7:00 am on 2012-03-05 Permalink | Reply

          Let me think on it for a little while.

        • Eugene Adkins 8:00 pm on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

          Hey Stephen,

          I’ve thought about it for a little while and I would like to give a suggestion in as short amount of words that I think is possible for me. 🙂

          As far as the “from” sentence mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 1:9 goes, could it not be correct to say that the “from” punishment mentioned would refer to the lack of ability of those being punished to enjoy/admire the Lord’s presence and glory when verse 10 is taken together with verse 9?

          In other words, when this is taken into account and compared to Revelation 14:10 it would be as though that the Lord sees them, but they do not see the Lord.

          For the Lord to see one, would that necessitate the ability of one to see the Lord?

          Also, do you think that 2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Revelation 14:10 has to be talking about the same punishment? What I mean is, is it possible that when verse 10 of 2 Thessalonians mentions “that day” (to which I take to mean THE day of final judgment) that this is something different than the judgment taking place in Revelation 14:10?

          What do you think?

    • Mike Riley 3:26 pm on 2012-03-04 Permalink | Reply

      Stephen, regarding Revelation 14:10, Burton Coffman comments: “What seems to be indicated is the divine approval and concurrence in their doom. It is not theologically possible to envision the Lamb, in any sense, perpetually beholding the torment of the wicked.”

      • Stephen R. Bradd 8:48 pm on 2012-03-04 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for sharing this Mike. I’m not the biggest Coffman fan, though he has written some good things, for sure. I just wish he would enlighten us as to WHY it is not “theologically possible” for the Lamb to envision the perpetual tormenting of the wicked. Fudge would say it is not “theologically possible” for God to perpetual torment anyone, period. (one man’s theological impossibility is another man’s theological reality!) Perhaps Coffman is right, but without some sort of rationale, it’s just an opinion to me.

        • Mike Riley 1:43 pm on 2012-03-05 Permalink | Reply

          Yes, it is mere speculation on our part. However, I’m wondering if Habakkuk 1:13 would come into play here.

    • Stephen R. Bradd 8:42 pm on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

      HI Eugene. Ultimately, I just don’t know. I know there must be some reasonable explanation; I’m just not sure what it is. Perhaps Rev 14:10 isn’t talking about eternal punishment–that would be a good solution to the difficulty (though 14:11 seems to suggest otherwise).

      • Eugene Adkins 9:35 pm on 2012-03-08 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah, I understand what you mean about 14:11.

        One of the things that I kept in mind when I taught through Revelation about a year ago is that all through out the book it seems as if there’s a starting place and ending place, and then it starts all over again from a different perspective. Kinda like an onion that’s getting peeled back. Underneath is the same thing, only we get a different look at it. At least that’s the illustration that I used.

        Revelation chapter 14 does seem like a different look/perspective of what may be seen a little more clearly in chapter 20. It may be possible that 14:9-11 is sort of a small glimpse into what is happening during the time that is mentioned in 20:4-6. Verse 11 of chapter 20 seems to introduce the final judgment which seems different when it’s apposed with the “hour of God’s judgment” mentioned in 14:7.

        Either way, I was just mentioning this since I said I would think about and get back to you. BTW, the lesson from Audio Evangelism today (God’s Promises to Abraham as They Relate to the Church) was very good. I know much of what you mentioned is prevelant where I live, but once I started my blog on wordpress it really made me realize just how important the things you discussed are. Have a great night!

    • J. Randal Matheny 5:30 am on 2012-03-09 Permalink | Reply

      Since we are dealing with figurative language in Revelation at least and perhaps in both passages, we shouldn’t exercise ourselves overly much on it. In Thessalonians, presence would seem to indicate the fellowship with God that brings his every blessing. In Revelation, the point seems to be that their suffering will be evident to all. Just because they are punished “in front of” the angels and the Lamb (NET), doesn’t mean they share in the blessed presence of God.

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