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#1 Candice

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 10:47 AM

Pig is Pig and Flesh is Flesh! from 'If I Perish, I Perish' by Major Ian Thomas:

 

"It is absolutely imperative for your own spiritual well- being that you recognize the fact that this old nature will never change its character. All the wickedness of which it is capable today, it will be capable of tomorrow - or for that matter fifty years from now. The flesh within you then will be as wicked as the flesh within you today, and there is absolutely no salvageable content within it. What a relief it must be for you to discover that in all your attempts to harness the flesh in the service of Jesus Christ, and in all your painful endeavors to introduce it to godly principles of life and conduct, God has never expected anything of you but the hopeless failure you have been! You have been trying to do the impossible!

 

Imagine, if you will, that I have come to the conclusion that the pig as a species has been grossly misjudged; that the idea that a pig wallows in the muck by choice, and that by nature it loves the dirt, is wholly unfounded.

 

I have become fully persuaded that it is a question purely of environment, education and upbringing! I decide, therefore, to adopt a little baby pig into the family, and in this way prove my point by offering to it those amenities of life which will enable the best side of its character to be developed... We give the little pig a pink satin shirt and some little blue velvet pants, with ivory buttons down the sides. We teach it to wipe its feet when it comes into the house, to sit up at the table, to bow its head when we say grace, and to sleep at night between the sheets and the blankets with which we provide it, in its own little bed... It becomes quite obvious to us that it is only a matter of time before our endeavors are crowned with success. Unfortunately, it is just at this juncture, when our hopes are running high, that we make one fatal blunder. Somebody leaves the door open that leads into the grounds! Fresh breezes blow into the room where the little pig is playing. Sensing the fragrance of new-mown hay; the little pig's nose begins to twitch. Stopping halfway across the room it gazes out in the park - its curly tail unwinds and shoots straight up, stiff as a rod - like an aerial! There is a moment of hesitation, and then suddenly - like a bullet from a gun - the little pig races out through the open door and across the park, moving at incredible speed! Reaching the muddiest bog it can find, the little pig plunges in, and after rolling over and over, it lies on its back in the mud, little blue pants and all. With a delightful grin on its face, and with its feet sticking up in the air, it cries at the top of its voice - "Home, sweet home!"

 

You see, change its environment as you will, and train it as you may - little pink pants or blue, satin shirt or clean straw - Pig Is Pig! Given half a chance, the nature of the beast is to get back to where it belongs, and this you have found to be true in your own experience. The flesh within you has never ceased to love sin, and never will. Given half a chance it, too, will want to get back to where it belongs and wallow in the muck! This is why the godliest of men still have latent within them the most terrible potential for evil. It is the godliest of men who know it best, for it is the acknowledgment of this very fact which is the secret of their godliness. They have learned long since, and often by bitter experience, that character does not change for the better by improving the flesh, but by allowing it to be replaced by the Holy Spirit - for pig is pig! Only the Holy Spirit can render its pernicious appetites inoperative."

 

I tried so hard to "improve" my flesh.  That's really what I had been doing all along; for years.  Christ's ways are not a "self-improvement plan".  Now, I acknowledge my sin, confess and repent on that and ask the Lord to forgive that.  Move on.

 

Yet, we still sin, but as Paul says; "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."  and  "As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me."

 

 


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#2 Meema

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 01:03 PM

Love it! I've often referred to human nature as never able to grow up - stays like a three year old. Only maturing in the spirit by accepting Christ within us, by truly surrendering, are we able to overcome our base human nature. And, of course, it isn't us, it's Christ. That's why the humanist religions that appeal to the self improvement crowd just don't get it. Our best self is not about us at all.


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#3 Candice

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 03:14 PM

. "And, of course, it isn't us, it's Christ. That's why the humanist religions that appeal to the self improvement crowd just don't get it".   I NEVER THOUGHT OF THIS MEEMA....HUMANISM....GREAT POINT!

 


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#4 Charles Miles

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 06:18 PM

The pig analogy is great and I am reminded that a pig just loves mud! Not just any mud, but the most foul smelling stuff he can find. There just seems to be a magnetic attraction, and that is what we expect from a pig. Not that a pig is bad, corrupt, or even evil....that`s just what(who) he is. 

 Years ago, I wandered away from my Lord and did some things that were not something I would want to see on the front page of the local newspaper. As I look back I can see that those things were wrong, they were sinful. I am ashamed that I was even associated with them. At the time, I had not even a clue that these things were wrong, well maybe there was a clue, but things just didn`t worry me. I proceeded without a second thought. My problem....the tongue!

 I have been forgiven of those things and they are gone! Here we go....every once and a while I find myself starting to look toward those things again, but now things have changed. If I start to give a sharp, snap, sarcastic word(and once in a while something slips out), I know it in my heart before the words clear my mouth. Sin, Wrong, No, ask forgiveness from the person to whom I spoke, and ask forgiveness from the Lord.  What changed? Why do I know it is wrong and why do I try to improve in that area? Just like that pig....it is man`s thing to snap, but it is not the Holy Spirit`s thing to do so. I now have a teacher, helper, counselor who lives with me(in me) and reminds me of Christ who offers ceaseless prayers for me. OK, I sinned. Is it over for me? Thanks to God`s grace, no.

 I praise God that even though I am a sinner, He makes me justified by giving me His own righteousness! Even as I write these words, I am again stunned by what God has done for me! He loves me. He knows my name. He tells me I can use the name of JESUS when we talk. Just how good is that?

 

A child of God who used to have a pig`s nature, but no more,

 

Charlie


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#5 Candice

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Posted 27 September 2017 - 07:45 PM

Charlie,

I know what you mean by the tongue.  "But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison."  James 3:8.  Yet James says sweet and bitter can't come out of the same fountain.   BUT, he's speaking to believers.  He did not say, you're unsaved if you speak like that.  But, Holy Spirit prompts us to watch and listen huh??

 

Just last night my husband took our Labrador, Happy, out for a walk.  It was dark and happy is black and only with us a few months, so not quite yet reliable to stay by your side without a leash.  Our neighbor has a half wolf/half dog who came up and ran off.  Happy chased after her in the dark.  We live on a mountain with no street lights.  It's pitch black!  I've told my husband before that a leash is best.  He didn't use it.

 

He came back home without Happy.  He lost him somewhere in a meadow next to 5 million acres of BIg Horn National Forest!  I would have said," I told you not to walk him without a leash", somewhere back when my mouth had no leash!!!  Sometimes, I still blast off.  But, the Spirit of God in me immediately gives me an impression to not do it, or if I do to stop and apologize or whatever I need to do.  I obeyed the Lord as He was clear in prompting me to have grace and I kept quiet (this time) and went out with flashlights to find Happy running home with a leg of a recent deer kill.  EEEEK.  But, he's home and we're hoping he doesn't get sick from that.

 

If I had a dime for every word I said that was not right, hurtful, sarcastic, swearing, or whatever, I'd be rich. 

I used to swear terribly before I received Christ.  It took a long time to stop as it's a bad habit.  I went a long time with little swearing, then fairly recently started swearing a bit again. I think its a lack of fellowship with others, and I get crazy without other believers--lack of accountability.  I have only one friend to pray with on the phone regularly. I'm grateful for her. So very grateful to God's grace.

 

I hope you have a blessed rest of your week Charlie.  Know you're not alone, and the Lord especially loves a humble man.  He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  You can look that up.  You're humble.


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#6 reader

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 06:30 AM

Psalms 51

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him,

after he had gone in to Bathsheba.”

1 ¶ Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

7 ¶ Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

14 ¶ Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.

15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.

16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.

17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.


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#7 ADVRider

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 03:24 PM

I was trying to remember a saying I've heard, so I asked a friend who I was pretty sure would remember.

 

Sometimes, "We try to cast-out the flesh... and crucify demons"....  

 

That's obviously backwards, but that is how we often have dealt with the flesh. Or as you said Candice, we try to sanctify it. 


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#8 Candice

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 07:32 PM

Reader,  I have many times recited this in my heart and it's really a great way to go through and confess.  What better than God's own words written for us.  Thank you for this reminder.

1 ¶ Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

 

ADV Rider, I like that -- very nice word from you.  Thanks.



#9 BlindSeeker

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 09:01 AM

And dead pig is dead pig... and that why we crucify the flesh with its lust and affections thereof, and put on Christ Jesus.

Is the exceedingly great and precious promise to be partakers of the divine nature untrue? Am I not a "new creature" having now been quickened by His Holy Spirit? Is this true, I am a pig and will always be a pig? No, only if I refuse to walk in the light with He who is the Author thereof.


No, that is not the gospel I believe, else I would have no hope. For my Savior is a Refiner, purging out the dross of my old sin nature and sanctifying me by His Spirit, enabling me to obediently perfect holiness in a godly fear.

For the Apostle Peter was clear when he said, "Seeing therefore you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth, through the [enablement] of the Spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren..."

Can a sinner obey the truth? No, he is a pig. But he can obey the gospel and confess his sins and the Lord will grant those with a true godly sorrow a repentance that needs no repenting of, and enable them to receive a love [commitment] for the truth so as to be saved and set free from sin.

If Jesus Christ sets me free, am I to believe then that I am forgiven only go wallowing in the mud of iniquity? Or am I truly free, made new, quickened, and now able to work out my salvation, and to put on Christ and partake of His very nature?

My God makes saints out of sinners, men in His own image out of mere mud, and that by breathing His Spirit into them.
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That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


#10 Candice

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 06:59 AM

Blindseeker, I agree! I’m just laying out one aspect of life here.

I want fellowship. I want to know I’m not alone. Here’s where I’m looking for that right now.

I guess I’ve discovered surprise when I sin and get down on myself. I ask forgiveness after seeing it. But why so shocked? So, I’ve discovered: don’t be shocked if you sin and watch other believers sin. Don’t be disappointed in them. That nature can come up occasionally. Is that why Jesus wants us to just keep forgiving our brother over and over again? I get offended kind of easily but I need to not be shocked when offenses come.

As Paul even said “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” Yet, we don’t just dive into sin.....”Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

Sometimes we walk next to the pool (of sin) and fall in while some get on the diving board, plan and execute the dive into the pool (of sin). Big difference. I fail to see that the falling in the pool never happens as we are told we will: “ little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.

Our walk with Christ isn’t a self-improvement plan or, at least, I don’t believe it is. Is it improving the flesh?

As you state, it is putting on Christ and He replaces the nature.

When I catch myself, it’s terrible to see my sin. I have to admit I sin. I dont believe it’s planned outright sin. It’s the slip of the PIG. Back to the mud. Or, maybe I need to not put myself in any place of temptation. Deliver me from sin. Deliver me from evil. Forgive us our trespasses - guess I still trespass and may be off in my ways.

I know I’m a new creation in Christ. My deeper life takes me back to this lesson. Watching the world implode and trying to have an answer to that. Being a human being is hard.

ABIDE! I believe this is it. The answer. Rest in Christ Jesus’s work. His Father has the power given to us in Spirit. Slip and that branch is trimmed.

Thanks for your input ! I guess what I dig for in the deeper life is not what is always reality for others in their walk.
In my posts, I don’t want to cause anyone to stumble onto another Gospel. That’s not my intent.
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#11 BlindSeeker

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Posted 13 October 2017 - 11:36 PM

Sister Candice,

 

As to not be guilty of an unreasonable long response here, I pray you would accept a link to an old post on my blog I reposted again tonight where I had already in depth addressed this matter.

 

PS. I too long for fellowship and pray for the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer that we all might be one, even as He and the Father are one.

 

Stay blessable, on fire, and unburnable.
 


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That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


#12 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 05:44 AM

I think the attempt to tame the sinful nature is akin to perfuming a dead body. It will always

stink, so let it die! Let it die!

 

Paul wrote of the "sin living in him" and of Christ our great deliverer (Romans 7:17, 18, 25).

It is our yielding to the Spirit that kills that old nature and brings the fruit of life and goodness (Romans 8:2; Gal. 5:22, 23).


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#13 BlindSeeker

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 06:50 AM

I think the attempt to tame the sinful nature is akin to perfuming a dead body. It will always
stink, so let it die! Let it die!

Paul wrote of the "sin living in him" and of Christ our great deliverer (Romans 7:17, 18, 25).
It is our yielding to the Spirit that kills that old nature and brings the fruit of life and goodness (Romans 8:2; Gal. 5:22, 23).


Paul was not referring to his pressent life as a Christian, rather to his life as Saul the Pharisee, when he was as it were married to the law and living under the weakness thereof. This is made evident in the first few verses of chapter 7, and further affirmed in the first part of chapter 8.

For more clarification of this as true, please see link in my last post to Candice.

Peace.

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


#14 Meema

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:19 AM

As someone who writes, edits and formats words I have a working perspective about semantics that explains for me why and how people tend to be at odds with each other most of the time. On a broader spectrum it also explains why there are so many variations on the theme of Christianity. So many doctrines, so many denominations and even separate branches of each order. It explains the root of every conflict of opinion that humans engage in, including politics and personal relationships.

 

Simply put it comes down to interpretations and definitions of abstract nouns and adjectives. I could point out that this is not new. Even the first century followers of The Way debated about how to live the Gospel as handed down to the Apostles from Christ. Even as the Judaizers were busy trying to bring back parts of The Law, the Saved by Grace bunch were doing as they pleased assured that nothing they did was wrong because Christ was their scape goat.

 

It really comes down to personality types and how a word creates a mental reaction. Is this the true battleground then, for disagreeable human interaction? Is this the huge vulnerability in us that allows satan to do his worst at dividing and rendering us useless?

 

So what is hate? What is love? What is sin? Perhaps the only viable answer is that, like art, it is what you think it is. Every single  definition, even the ones that are polar opposite from each other are founded in nothing more than individual subjective human understanding.

 

My singular walk with Christ rebels against all of this and every rationale between the extremes. I reject religiosity, and churchianity and manmade doctrine that seeks to bind us to an exegesis that can usually be tracked back to a single strong-minded person determined to prove and establish his/her interpretation as the only correct one. 

 

I choose to accept that my surrender to Christ means that my human (pig) conscience is no longer in place. I gave the reigns to Christ so I know instantly when I have taken the reigns back and I am off track on a rabbit trail because  regardless of what my human subconscious is doing, I am consciously aware of what my boundaries are. I am tuned in to when I am being rebellious or defiant. I know when to say, I’m sorry, Lord. I am fully cognizant of what is expected of me and when what I do or say is right or wrong. 

 

Conversely I never assume that everything I do or say is from God. I know so well how to recognize that even when I am unsure of what to do or not do, as long as I am willing to abide by what I know He expects from me, I may stumble but He is there to pick me up. I am also keenly aware that satan works the hardest on those he can’t have hoping to change that.

 

Am I sinning then, when I stumble? Am I less than perfect? Am I less than holy? God knows His definitions and He is the only One who counts, after all. While I am allowed to discern who is good for me and who isn’t, I don’t have to judge and I don’t have to be impacted by anyone else’s judgement on me. 

 

I am a child of Christ who wants to please her father but still messes up now and again. And, like the best father who loves his child, even when the child is disobedient Christ knows I belong to Him. 


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#15 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:55 AM

Peace to you too BlindSeeker.

 

I suppose we will have to agree to disagree. 

 

Perhaps, you wish to consider the words of F.F. Bruce in his commentary, "Romans" ?

 

He writes of "the conflict within;" whereby, Paul describes how "the age to come has

already arrived, although the old age has not yet passed away, and he is caught up

in the tension between the two" (Bruce 2008, 153-154). Bruce is referring to a present

conflict within the believer.

 

Certainly, you can agree that there is more than one opinion--including those of accepted

scholars, such as Bruce?

 

Shalom



#16 BlindSeeker

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 10:19 AM

Peace to you too BlindSeeker.

I suppose we will have to agree to disagree.

Not wishing to appear contentious, I must be honest that as a Christian I personally find it contrary to the Gospel to "agree to disagree" with another believer. I can how ever openly acknowledge a disagreement exists when it does without ill sentiments or condemnation.

But if we are truly hungering and thirsting for righteousness, we will be filled; for it is a promise of our Savior. Just as was His statement the when the Spirit of Truth has come, He will lead us into all truth.

Thus, when I find myself in a disagreement with another believer, my logic says one of only two possibilities exist; one of us is wrong, or we're both wrong. Neither of those conditions I believe are agreeable with the Spirit of Truth, so how could they be agreeable to my spirit? Nevertheless, He is able to lead all who follow to the truth, that is part of His functionality and not mine unless He is using me so.

That said, I will humbly acknowledge a disagreement exist on this passage. But I will also state that to me, one side seems weak in faith and the otherside strong, one believing not all things are possible, the otherside in faith laying hold of god-likeness, giving all diligence to add to their faith, virtue, temperance, knowledge, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity; being fruitful in their knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

Certainly, you can agree that there is more than one opinion--including those of accepted
scholars, such as Bruce?

Shalom

Yes, I agree there exists more than one opinion. Can you agree that the only one that matters is the right one, and that the rest are but wood, hay, and stubble?

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.


#17 Jesus_Lolly

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 11:06 AM

BlindSeeker,

 

Do I believe that one truth exists? Of course! However, since I am not one who favors debating, I will end our discussion here.  It appears that we are at an impasse. The Lord will judge us, will He not?

 

Thank you for your willingness to speak your mind without rancor.

 

Shalom and blessings



#18 BlindSeeker

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 03:33 PM

Peace


That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.