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Date Posted:29/11/2008 10:08 PMCopy HTML

The love of God

There is an irony in this subject, which breeds much discontent amongst Spirit-filled Christians, who proclaim to study the word of God with a humble heart and an open mind; And being led by the Holy Spirit, yet the subject of love generates ill-feeling and much discontent amongst those who are brothers and sisters in Christ.

There are certain prominent teachers at the helm of the European division of the Revival Fellowship ‘decision making team’ who have deliberately altered the scripture’s teachings due to an unhealthy and irrational view of what love is in their own dogmatic opinion, rather than what the scriptures teach us.

The reason for this perverse way of interpreting God’s love is due to its unhealthy fascination with ‘Pentecostal churches’ through which most talks (especially) in Holland and Northern England are directed against.

God’s Word is eternal and we cannot change his Word, otherwise there are grave consequences for those who lead believers astray.

Before I disclose the love that is written in the Scriptures, it is of importance to note the following:

Joh 10:35 ….Scripture cannot be broken--

The above is saying that the Word cannot be loosed, contradicted or destroyed and the Greek word used and its meaning is listed below. I have copied and pasted this from the e-sword software detailing the Strong’s Concordance meaning of the Greek.

G3089

λύω

luō

loo'-o

A primary verb; to loosen (literally or figuratively): - break (up), destroy, dissolve, (un-) loose, melt, put off. Compare G4486.

It goes without saying that if God says something once, we take great diligence in applying his Word into our life and ask for Wisdom, that we might display the qualities and fruits to which we are called. Altering God’s word does not only include adding narrative to the scriptures, but it also includes omitting words and phrases. Altering God’s Word includes misrepresenting the scriptures and teaching a different doctrine to that which is written in the Holy Word.

We see this happen often. The Catholics teach doctrines which are not in the Bible, such as abstaining from marriage, the worshipping of Mary, praying for the dead and so forth. These are obvious things contrary to what the scriptures teach us. There are other groups out there who dilute the Gospel, therefore rendering their faith ineffective when the final judgement comes. There are other groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who deny the deity of Jesus Christ and blaspheme the Word. Other groups proclaim they are destined to become gods, like the hardcore Mormon doctrines. There are other traditions and doctrines, which are more subtle in their craftiness and a common one is the understanding of ‘emotions’ and ‘love’.

What is love?

The Greek Words for love, which appear in the New testament and their full meanings are as follows:

G25

ἀγαπάω

agapaō

ag-ap-ah'-o

Perhaps from ἄγαν agan (much; or compare [H5689]); to love (in a social or moral sense): - (be-) love (-ed). Compare G5368.

 

G26

ἀγάπη

agapē

ag-ah'-pay

From G25; love, that is, affection or benevolence; specifically (plural) a love feast: - (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

 

G5368

φιλέω

phileō

fil-eh'-o

From G5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), that is, have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while G25 is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much as G2309 and G1014, or as G2372 and G3563 respectively; the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specifically to kiss (as a mark of tenderness): - kiss, love.

 

G5384

φίλος

philos

fee'-los

Properly dear, that is, a friend; actively fond, that is, friendly (still as a noun, an associate, neighbor, etc.): - friend.

 

It is gravely important to understand the above and know that these words are used in different places in the scriptures and all form part of the love of God. I.e., the full package of charity (G26) and love (G5368) as we commonly know it, and also an obedience (G25) that only comes through the power of God in us after we are filled with the Holy Spirit. You cannot omit any one part otherwise the love is incomplete and our growing in the LORD will falter disastrously because we are not ready to accept the fullness of God’s renewing power in each of us.

I have heard many talks which simply do not understand what love is due to the speaker’s unhealthy fascination with the Pentecostal churches and condemnation thereto. I have heard Pr P and others mention that God does not want our ‘kiss kiss’ love (G5368) and that it is all ‘emotional’ and Pentecostal. He has declared that God wants our obedience (G25), but the truth of the matter is, Pr P is incorrect because God wants EVERYTHING from us.

It is interesting that whenever Pr P (amongst others) wishes to make a point with the scriptures (on this topic especially), that he only includes for passages where it suits him, yet wilfully ignores the other scriptures, which contradict in essence, the point he is trying to make. I.e. the direction he is leading the European division of the Revival Fellowship.

It is interesting that Pr P said the kiss kiss type of love and personal sentimental love is not what God is after and that it’s all ‘emotional’ and Pentecostal.

Jas 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

If pastor P and others wanted the honest answer from the scriptures, rather than a desire to find what they wished to believe, then the ridiculous things which have been said would never have left the lips of the speaker. I admit that I was very uncomfortable with Pr P’s talk and his eager doctrine of only (G25), yet his keen ignorance and ridicule of the (G5368) type of love as being ‘emotional’ and ‘Pentecostal’.

It is clear that ‘love’ as we know it is missing from The Revival Fellowship (TRF) and I experienced this lack of (G5368) for much of the time I was a member of the organisation. There were some very welcoming and humble individuals who were full of joy and phileo, but it was not the norm, due to the doctrine of the leaders, who promoted (G25), but repressed all of the (G5368) through many man made legalities, formalities and traditions, which I will comment on later.

Going back to Pastor P’s talk, I was very keen to know if he was telling the truth. I knew that if he was truthfully speaking from the scriptures, then I was living a lie and needed to be a lot more humble and realise that phileō was all in my mind and ’Pentecostal’ just like Pr P had stressed in his talk. Actually, to confirm or contradict his claim was quite easy. There is a free software online called ‘e-sword’, which had the Strong’s concordance therein. This software will give you the original Greek words used by which our English KJV translation is rendered and also the meaning of these words. Actually, this is the same software that the pastors have on their own computers and can verify before they give their own talks from the scriptures.

I simply opened this software and typed the word ‘love’ into the Bible search and found the word phileō which Pr P and others blatantly muted . I clicked on the word phileō and philos to see where else it occurred and I found the following and by no means is it exhaustive in content, but incredibly insightful when placed alongside the doctrine of TRF.

1Co 16:22 If anyone has no phileō for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

 

Joh 16:27 for the Father himself phileō you, because you (have) phileō me and have believed that I came from God.

Rev 3:19 Those whom I philos , I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

 

Tit 3:15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who phileō us in the faith. Grace be with you all.

A common saying I heard while in TRF was ‘we are accused of having no love by people who leave and it’s not true’, however, I am also one of those persons decreeing this charge against TRF oversight who wilfully ignore the above scriptures and deem the above as ‘emotional’ and ‘Pentecostal’.

If pastor P and others were sincere in their longing for the truth, then they could have easily ascertained and ‘discovered’ these scriptures and realise that their extreme teaching was considerably unscriptural and clearly a man-made doctrine. The most annoying thing about it all is that TRF proclaim to believe the Bible 100% and many times they will say all doctrines are backed by scriptures, but this is clearly a mistruth, or lie.

So Who is the Faithful Servant?

TRF is constantly asserting the claim that they are the ‘only church’ that is faithful to Christ, although in strange double speak, which is drastically monotonous, one hears the common saying:

‘We do not claim to be the only one who is faithful to Christ, there must be others out there, but we do not need them’, the LORD will have no need for us to cross paths with them’ (Pr BH & Pr SM both declared the above!)

I would like to know why they believe the above to be true and why it sounds reminiscent of a cult-controlled type of mentality? After all, a simple reading through the New Testament clearly shows we are to care for our brothers and support each other. The body of Christ is the collection of believers now called the children of God. It beggars belief that the arrogance of the short-lived TRF, which came out of a century-old ‘break-off after break-off ’ organisation being only young in birth, has the arrogance to infer they are the only ‘true and faithful servant’ .

Our foremost obedience and love is for Christ Jesus and not a man-made organisation. It is of no use having a zeal for God, yet being far from His grace.

Rom 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Rom 10:3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.

Rom 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

also

Mat 15:8 "'This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;

The Bible clearly teaches us to respect our leaders and there is no mistaking this. It is a command, not a polite request.

Heb 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

But the above scripture is not an excuse for ignorance because we are also instructed in other ways.

1Th 5:21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

Php 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

Clearly, there will be no excuse in claiming ‘I was part of TRF’ or any other organisation and just following ‘what my leaders taught me’.

1Jn 2:27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie--just as it has taught you, abide in him.

Again, if you are honest and humble with regards to the above, it is clear that once you have the Holy Spirit, you are empowered with everything you need to decipher the truth and please the One that we all claim to serve, love and obey. In other words, you have absolutely no excuse for ‘toeing the line’ in a man-made organisation, since God is much higher than our ways.

Col 2:16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.

Col 2:17
These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Col 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

Col 2:19
and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

Col 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--

Col 2:21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"

Col 2:22
(referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings?

Col 2:23
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


The above is no excuse to do evil as the scriptures clearly say:


Gal 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Gal 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Gal 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.


It does not matter who instructs you from the front or attempts to repress the joy of the Spirit. There is no excuse for ignorance because...


1 Thessalonians 5:21 (Amplified Bible)

21 But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.


Don't be in denial and follow what is incorrect or self-made religion due to being comfortable through routine.


Joh 8:31
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
Joh 8:32
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

TRF ironically seems to forget the name of Jesus in its preaching and focuses on its ‘evidence of speaking in tongues message’ and very little more. In fact, the core of TRF teaching is to assert the following:

1) They are the only faithful servant, preaching the Gospel

2) If you leave TRF for another, then you are a ‘back-slider’ and have ‘itching ears’

3) Men must wear a shirt and tie on Sunday and dress like a Jehovah’s Witness (I never did)

4) If you miss a Sunday meeting and the LORD returns on that day you will not be saved. (Dutch Teaching)

5) If you watch, hear or listen to any other music, teaching from other groups/brothers in Christ, then you it is equated with watching pornography

6) Lifting your hands to the LORD is unscriptural and Pentecostal (OK!)

Psa 63:4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psa 119:48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Psa 134:2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!

Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:

Psa 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

TRF is more concerned with its own ‘pious ‘ legalities , traditions and formalities than the love it professes to behold. A strong delusion is circling that group and until the members ; learn to repent and seek JESUS CHRIST. Yes!, to whom is seldom referred, then darkness will continue to abound therein.

To sum up TRF with a scripture which is experienced by the majority of those who do not stick around , I finish with the following: (NB A common charge against TRF and by no means a coincidence! )

Rev 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent.

NB The above is by no means an exhaustive analysis of ‘Love’ and I have not listed out the many references where we are called to obey (love) the LORD. The reason for this is because TRF speak on this constantly , so all of you will be aware of the G25 scriptures! The above narrative clearly shows what is missing from TRF!

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:29/11/2008 10:09 PMCopy HTML

Col 2:18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

Col 2:19
and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

Col 2:20 If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations--

Col 2:21 "Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch"

Col 2:22
(referring to things that all perish as they are used)--according to human precepts and teachings?

Col 2:23
These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.


The above is no excuse to do evil as the scriptures clearly say:


Gal 5:12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!

Gal 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Gal 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

Gal 5:15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

Gal 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Gal 5:17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.


It does not matter who instructs you from the front or attempts to repress the joy of the Spirit. There is no excuse for ignorance because...


1 Thessalonians 5:21 (Amplified Bible)

21 But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.


Don't be in denial and follow what is incorrect or self-made religion due to being comfortable through routine.


Joh 8:31
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples,
Joh 8:32
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

TRF ironically seems to forget the name of Jesus in its preaching and focuses on its ‘evidence of speaking in tongues message’ and very little more. In fact, the core of TRF teaching is to assert the following:

1) They are the only faithful servant, preaching the Gospel

2) If you leave TRF for another, then you are a ‘back-slider’ and have ‘itching ears’

3) Men must wear a shirt and tie on Sunday and dress like a Jehovah’s Witness (I never did)

4) If you miss a Sunday meeting and the LORD returns on that day you will not be saved. (Dutch Teaching)

5) If you watch, hear or listen to any other music, teaching from other groups/brothers in Christ, then you it is equated with watching pornography

6) Lifting your hands to the LORD is unscriptural and Pentecostal (OK!)

Psa 63:4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

Psa 119:48 I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Psa 134:2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!

Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our hearts and hands to God in heaven:

Psa 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!

TRF is more concerned with its own ‘pious ‘ legalities , traditions and formalities than the love it professes to behold. A strong delusion is circling that group and until the members ; learn to repent and seek JESUS CHRIST. Yes!, to whom is seldom referred, then darkness will continue to abound therein.

To sum up TRF with a scripture which is experienced by the majority of those who do not stick around , I finish with the following: (NB A common charge against TRF and by no means a coincidence! )

Rev 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you repent.

NB The above is by no means an exhaustive analysis of ‘Love’ and I have not listed out the many references where we are called to obey (love) the LORD. The reason for this is because TRF speak on this constantly , so all of you will be aware of the G25 scriptures! The above narrative clearly shows what is missing from TRF!

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 5:07 AMCopy HTML

Hello, Jez.

Given that you very clearly can't read Greek, and that this places you in precisely the same situation as the RF pastors that you criticize, how is it that you believe your interpretations of the machinations of the various Greek words for "love" are correct? I'm sorry, but 'e-sword' does not a Greek scholar make.

In closing, I would extend to you a piece of well-intended advice: dump Strong's Corncordance. It's scholarship is woefully out-of-date, and it's definitions often grossly misleading.

God bless,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 7:57 AMCopy HTML

Is that all you have to say about this? It is interesting that you tell me to dump Strong's, yet offer no alternative. If I were so far from correctly interpreting 'love' then please enlighten me?

I studied German at university, so while my Technical German is nothing like what a native can speak, does this render me insufficient in being able to understand it? I never professed to being a 'Greek Scholar', but clearly looked into due to the very strange teachings of TRF.

From what you are saying, it does seem like you infer that unless we are all 'Greek Scholars' to your level, then none of us can be saved and our faith is in vain.

Also, what makes you so confident about your own interpretations of what the Greek words meant back then? It might be of interest to you that many people who stand opposite each other in conversation will mis-interpret each other and a common phrase is, 'No, sorry I did not mean that, you have misunderstood'. They are standing opposite each other and can read the emotions and facial expressions. Therefore, using your extremely strict stance, what hope is there?

I have not come here for an argument, I was actually looking at the history of TRF and found this site. The scriptures do say that the Holy Spirit teaches us all things and we have no need for a teacher, ie no excuse!. I am interested also in your stance on that.

Give all glory to Jesus in everything we do.



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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 3:52 PMCopy HTML

Neither of you answered the questions; and the comments are about as uplifting as a broken record.

I am interested to know if you are both Christians and if so, then why you are not more helpful and humble, yet full of argumentative resentment.

If you understood 'ego' then you would realise it didn't fit the context in any way. If you cannot use modern English terms correctly, then what hope do you have of understanding another language placed in a period circa 2000 years ago?

After having a scan through this forum it does seem quite a 'misery loves co' habitation. Some of you need to lighten up. Why leave one controlling group just to be a slave to arrogance?

Rejoice in the LORD always, no? and love oneanother? Well you could have fooled me!

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 6:34 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Jez.

Is that all you have to say about this? It is interesting that you tell me to dump Strong's, yet offer no alternative. If I were so far from correctly interpreting 'love' then please enlighten me? First, 'no', I've plenty more to say on the subject, but all in due time. Second, and with respect to the readily available alternatives to Strong's Concordance, there are several. But the issue, I think, is of a different sort to that which you apparently think it to be. To begin with, concordances don't function primarily as dictionaries, they're designed and intended to be used as Bible verse lists. The lexical dictionaries that are appended in the rear of most 'exhaustive' concordances are secondary, and they provide rather truncated glosses, many of them barely three lines long. The standard Greek lexica (e.g. Liddel, Scott and Jones; and Bauer, Danker, Arndt and Gingritch) by contrast, provide extended discussions of the semantic range and meanings of words that often fills several columns of several pages. There are also the supplemental works to consider, including the 10 volume Theological Dictionary of New Testament (TDNT), and the 4 volume New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (NIDNTT). These resources provide near exhaustive treatments of key biblical words. I've just checked our targeted word, and volume 9 of TDNT allocated 58 pages, while volume 2 of NIDNTT gave 14 pages to the 14 Greek cognates that deal in one way or another with 'love'. Even the popular-level, Mounce's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words devoted almost 5 columns to discussing the four Greek verbs and single Greek noun for 'love' that we find in the NT. Strong's Concordance is clearly weak by comparison.

Next, to be even marginally effective at undertaking a responsible word study you would need to consult each and every Scripture reference relating to a particular Greek word in your concordance, in an attempt to properly grasp the word's range of contexts (it's context that determines a word's meaning, every time). Even then you'd still come up short. Most of the 'key' Greek words derived their meanings from the way they were used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Bible of the first church (the Septuagint, shortened to 'LXX'). I'm betting you don't have a copy of the almost 2,000 pages long Hatch and Redpath Concordance to the Septuagint sitting on your bookshelf, nevermind a copy of Ralf's edition of the LXX.

Finally, there is a simple fact that I don't believe you yet understand: meaning properly resides at the syntactical, rather than at the lexical, level. It's for this reason that the LXX can say of Amnon's raping of his sister Tamar, that he 'loved' her, using the verbal form of the noun 'agape' that we find consistently used of God's 'love' towards us! This is one example of your much vaunted 'G25' word.

I studied German at university, so while my Technical German is nothing like what a native can speak, does this render me insufficient in being able to understand it? I never professed to being a 'Greek Scholar', but clearly looked into due to the very strange teachings of TRF. Sure, but you've attempted to pass judgment on others over a matter about which you have no first-hand understanding or ability. And as I pointed out to you earlier, your opinions are therefore no more authoritative than are those of the European RF pastors that you seek to castigate. Are you trying to 'out-arrogant' them as well?

From what you are saying, it does seem like you infer that unless we are all 'Greek Scholars' to your level, then none of us can be saved and our faith is in vain. How odd. To reach such a completely left-field conclusion you'd have to suppose something other than what I've actually written. Revivalists do this quite a lot, a fact that we've been addressing in some detail with others recently. Thank you for reinforcing the very fact of my point.

Also, what makes you so confident about your own interpretations of what the Greek words meant back then? I'm quite confident that my response to your post, thus far, adequately answers your question. But to summarise: (1) I'm a fluent reader of the language; I can read my Greek New Testament better than you do the English Bible. (2) I possess and regularly consult a broad range of lexical works, each of which are recognised as academic standards for biblical Greek. (3) I properly understand the range of associated contextual factors that provides colour and flavour to the the way the language is used in the Greek New Testament. (4) I'm also reasonably familiar with the history and the development of the language over time. 

It might be of interest to you that many people who stand opposite each other in conversation will mis-interpret each other and a common phrase is, 'No, sorry I did not mean that, you have misunderstood'. They are standing opposite each other and can read the emotions and facial expressions. Therefore, using your extremely strict stance, what hope is there? First, my 'stance' is anything but 'strict'. In fact, it's far more 'relaxed' than is yours. But to respond to your point, the very nature of Greek itself facilitates its proper understanding. Unlike English for example, Greek is a thoroughly inflected language, like German. Consequently, its morphology and syntax promotes a degree of clarity and precision that is often very difficult to achieve in English. It's for this reason that Greek was so well suited to philosophical and theological discourse, far better than, for example, was Latin. Next, the various New Testament authors were very intentional writers. Paul, for example, wrote in such a way as to avoid ambiguity given the many doctrinal and ethical disputations he found himself engaged in. Finally, it also helps to be very well acquainted with the modes of thought and theological principles of the respective writers. Properly understanding Luke, for example, is crucial to properly understanding his Acts of the Apostles.

I have not come here for an argument, I was actually looking at the history of TRF and found this site. Sure. It also presents as if you came here intending to lambaste others who are no more knowledgeable of the subject than are you.

The scriptures do say that the Holy Spirit teaches us all things and we have no need for a teacher, ie no excuse!. I am interested also in your stance on that. Actually, 'no', they don't. But I will begin by suggesting to you that given that Scripture clearly presents that Jesus gave some to be teachers in the Church (see Ephesians 4:9-11) it seems quite unlikely that the church can function without them. I'd also point you towards passages such as Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 4:16 and 17; Colossians 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:6-16; Titus 2:1; Hebrews 5:11-14; James 3:1, and others of a similar ilk. Finally I'd ask you to reflect on the fact that there are literally hundreds of disagreements over matters both minor and major with respect to doctrine, between supposedly equally 'Spirit-Filled' people (whatever that term is supposed to suggest). Clearly either the Holy Spirit is a woeful guide/teacher, or Scripture doesn't present what you've inferred.

God bless,

Ian

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 9:13 PMCopy HTML


Thank you for that response. It was a lot more encouraging than the first and I do have a few books/references, but I will look at the ones you have commented on for personal study.

Yes, I do 'know of' the terms you have mentioned, but you were right that I did not know, nor would be able at this stage, truly (If ever) to understand/implement the syntactical. Again, I re-iterate what you called a 'left-field' conclusion: Due to the extremely extensive study/time/finances required for such a diligent search for accuracy, you are inferring that anyone not able to be so well-versed in the Greek is in a hopeless position to be certain of what they profess to believe. Indeed, this is clearly not a 'left-field' conclusion from what you have written.

I think the two scriptures below are quite powerful and put the above in perspective? By mentioning the scriptures below I am in no means saying that studying the Greek was/is of no use, otherwise an English translation (any many others) would not have occured and people would not have come out of the 'catholic age' whereby the Gospel was seldom proclaimed.

If you have done a full study on the NT 'love', then, please let us all read it to see how much more different it is in principle to the 'simple' one I did using the Strong's.

1Co 13:2 And if I have prophecies, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

1Jn 2:27 And the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you. But as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and as He taught you, abide in Him.

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 9:25 PMCopy HTML

Jez, once more.

Thank you for that response. It was a lot more encouraging than the first and I do have a few books/references, but I will look at the ones you have commented on for personal study. Encouragement is what I aim to do. Next, and with respect to you seeking out some of the better references, such would be a very wise move.

Yes, I do 'know of' the terms you have mentioned, but you were right that I did not know, nor would be able at this stage, truly (If ever) to understand/implement the syntactical. Again, I re-iterate what you called a 'left-field' conclusion: Due to the extremely extensive study/time/finances required for such a diligent search for accuracy, you are inferring that anyone not able to be so well-versed in the Greek is in a hopeless position to be certain of what they profess to believe. Indeed, this is clearly not a 'left-field' conclusion from what you have written. Nonsense, I inferred nothing of the sort. Not every Christian needs to be a scholar in the purist sense of the word, but clearly some do: those who presume to be teachers in the Church, for example. But those whose knowledge is, at best, fleeting, should perhaps bridle their tongues more and presume to teach others less. What do you think?

I think the two scriptures below are quite powerful and put the above in perspective? By mentioning the scriptures below I am in no means saying that studying the Greek was/is of no use, otherwise an English translation (any many others) would not have occured and people would not have come out of the 'catholic age' whereby the Gospel was seldom proclaimed. Sorry, but I'm not into Revivalist proof-texting. And it also seems you're anti-Catholic as well.

If you have done a full study on the NT 'love', then, please let us all read it to see how much more different it is in principle to the 'simple' one I did using the Strong's. Unfortunately I rarely keep such things to hand. I study a matter then I move on. Suffice it to say, your own word-study was markedly deficient.

God bless,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 11:14 PMCopy HTML

Nonsense, I inferred nothing of the sort. Not every Christian needs to be a scholar in the purist sense of the word, but clearly some do: those who presume to be teachers in the Church, for example. But those whose knowledge is, at best, fleeting, should perhaps bridle their tongues more and presume to teach others less. What do you think?

That is blatant double-speak from you and also a clear avoidance of the question.

Sorry, but I'm not into Revivalist "proof-texting". And it seems that you're anti-Catholic as well. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.

Once again you avoid the question and also confirm my charge against what you infered previously. As for being 'Anti-Catholic' I would like to know how you define 'anti' in modern English before I agree or dis-agree.

Unfortunately I rarely keep such things to hand. I study a matter then I move on. Suffice it to say, your own "word study" was deficient.

Well, you need to need to eat a little more Chinese Chlorella if your memory is so deficient that you are unable to show how 'incorrect' I was in the matter of love in a short narrative.


God bless,

Indeed.

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:30/11/2008 11:41 PMCopy HTML

Jez,

You're certainly an amusing sort, I'll say that much!

God bless,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:01/12/2008 2:05 PMCopy HTML

Hey No-Jez --- Is Pastor P still the head honcho in Europe?  Do the various Assemblies throughout Europe still vary greatly in terms of their levels of strictness etc.?
And here I sit so patiently waiting to find out what price / I have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice
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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:01/12/2008 8:34 PMCopy HTML

Thank you Brolga for that breakdown and analysis of love. How does phileo apply then according to your understanding of the Greek in that age? Can you clarify the 'affection, personal sentiment' where it appears in the NT and when we are told to phileo the LORD. Also where it says the LORD has phileo for us.



Jojo, the assemblies do vary in strictness. PP is still the man who people love to fear. There are some very miserable assemblies and also some which still have the joy. The Czech assembly is full of joy and also the Hugarian one (from what I could see). The Irish are quite a cool gang, but then I would say that being from Yorkshire ;) I am told that the east coast of Australia is quite 'penetcostal' with the introduction of new songs (crikey!) PP has a lot of control and they continually 'skype' and every meeting is ultra rigid.

I never knew of any problems with PW, I always found him to be very approachable and he also discussed things with me which weren't part of TRF, but out of respect to him, I'll not say what topics they were. PM was always friendly.

In each assembly, you would have a good number of robots and cardboard suits who were part of the furniture. Plenty who you could see did not read their Bible, but accepted the interpretation of PP who disgracefully accepted the 'Big Bang with God, is fine' stance just to compromise with secular religion.

I don't think it will be long before the euro division cuts off from Australia. PP is too caught up in his own legalism. They dangerously teach 'God gave the pastors their office and in the council of many, there is Wisdom'.

DW when I met him was much different to the audio recording i heard on the net. maybe he simmered down? don't know, but it's difficult to judge people 'at camp'. I went to a meeting in holland after the German camp *eeek* Some individuals did seem to have a double personality. One in front of the other europeans, and then one ultra-repressive 'home' one.

'Shine Jesus Shine' is now an outlawed song along with quite a few others. Many strange formalities and laws occured. AT camp, if you didnt wear a tie when giving out the communion, then 'you weren't showing respect to God' INCREDIBLE!
 
I had to leave after particular interpretations and doctrines were promoted.

I must say prior to looking at this site, I never knew of the controversy surrounding the Godhead and Jesus. When I first went there I spoke about it often due to my 'run-ins' with JWs and no-one stood up and commented on what I said. (ie standard Christian belief in the Godhead.)

I was brought up as a JW, so the cult's control methods stood out quite easily since 'I had been there before'.

Now in God's grace and mercy, I continue on as a Christian and will rejoice in the LORD.

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:02/12/2008 7:03 PMCopy HTML


Thanks for that. Actually, I always questioned the interpretation of John and the 3x love and I must say that what you quoted from Mounce’s Expository Dictionary does seem very logical.

It is still interesting that he used two different words. Would the hearer would signify a different word being used? To put it into a modern conversation, would you equate this to somebody asking another, 'Do you trust me?' and then saying 'Do you believe me' afterwards?

In other words, the agapaō was not being avoided in its more 'substantial' meaning for this period and being replaced with phileō as being a significant shun to the previous word.

I hope you can follow what I am saying. In other words, If I asked someone 'Do you trust me?' and then they responded 'Yes, you know I believe you!' then to an English ear this would not sound like a contradiction, nor a change in substance, but merely a different word amounting to the same thing.

I agree also that the scriptures are clear in the love expected due to the many examples listed and recorded throughout the Bible. The giving, the charity and the affection for each other and the obedience to do well and be Holy as we are called to be is the fullness of love.

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Re:One of the reasons I left TRF - Joy? Love? A common charge!

Date Posted:02/12/2008 9:50 PMCopy HTML

Jez,

Well there you have it, some brief but effectual (and readily available) 'pre-digested' scholarship offered here for your benefit.

Ralph's quoting of Mounce's Expository Dictionary should settle the issue of the various supposed meanings of 'love' for you, once and for all. As I pointed out to you in a previous post, (1) meaning doesn't reside at simply the lexical level but at the syntactical level; and (2) one needs to understand the vagaries of the particular Bible authors to properly understand just what it was they were trying to get across. In other words, "a text without its context is a pretext for a prooftext".

However, there is a relatively significant point about which Mounce was silent, one that should assist in  enlightening all a little further with respect to the current issue. The principle reason that ἀγαπάω
(agapao) was used so frequently by the respective NT authors had to do with the semantic domain for φιλέω (phileo) constricting to the point where it's primary meaning had become, "to kiss" in the first century. Unfortunately the standard Greek word for "to kiss" had also changed its primary meaning to, "to engage in coitus" at around the same time, hence the shift in meaning for φιλέω. Consequently, and to avoid the potential for detractors scorning them through lexical puns based on innuendo, Christian writers chose ἀγαπάω as a substitute for φιλέω. The situation faced by the early Christians is quite similar to, for example, the situation that we would encounter today in the English statement: "Christians are a gay lot". The inference of the statement is considerably different when made in the 1930s, to that when made in the 1990s. In conclusion, what is the lesson to be learned in all this? Quite simply it is this, people who are incapable of reading the biblical languages for themselves shouldn't presume to invest individual words with theologically-loaded, or theologically-suggestive meanings. It's far better for such to accept the findings of the acknowledged experts in this respect, and be content reading their English Bibles, as-is.

God bless,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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