Thank you for posting my reply, and for even spell checking it! I have some things to say to you italicized below. If you want to change your mind and share with others I give my permission to post this.
Pagan festival are NOT a shadow of things to come
I agree that Paul in this passage is primarily referring to the Jewish festivals. But my point is that this passage, which emphasizes the often unperceived symbolism of religious rites, coupled with Paul’s use of the pagan Altar to the Unknown God, can tell us something about how tiny shards of divine revelation can be extracted from a larger whole to reveal to people the truth about God.
Is it not possible that even pagan religions contain bits and pieces of the divine revelation, captured only in part, misunderstood, and often perverted? Paul presupposes this when he tells his listeners who the "Unknown God" is. He is aware that they have received a hint of the revelation, but that they are unaware of its fullness, so he reveals it to them.
If a Druid has some concept that there is such a thing as a "divine branch," it is more effective for a Christian to tell him who that "divine branch" really is than to simply burn his mistletoe and tell him he is going to hell for being a pagan.
All truth comes from the same source–whatever is true in any philosophy or religion must come from God, as He is the sole source of truth. In reinterpreting pagan symbols, the Christian takes what is true from these symbols and discards what is untrue.
The problem here, Skylar, is that you are not a Druid, or at least you are not claiming to be one. You are claiming to be a Christian, and we speak to you thusly. As a believer in Christ you are to have no association with heathen practices, nor continue in that which is “unknown” to them but declared to us, us being those who are called by His wonderful Name.
God gave clear instruction to Moses on purity of worship; even the high priests, the sons of Aaron were slain when offering strange fire to the Lord.
Yes, God gave clear instructions for worship in the Old Testament. Do you follow them? Do you worship according to the Old Testament law? I do not, because when Christ came and died and rose again, the law was fulfilled. The veil of the temple was rent. The dozens of rules for "pure" worship were replaced with the Gospel. In the New Testament, there is no law detailing precisely how to worship. There is Gospel and there are letters, and neither contains a code with a step by step blueprint for worship the way that Leviticus and Deuteronomy did. The letters contain observations as to how the early church worshipped, telling us some of their practices, but it does not lay out an exhaustive set of laws for worship in the manner of the Pentateuch. People who treat epistles like a law book do not understand basic distinctions between literary genres. This strange fire quotation has always been a favorite of those who wish to insist that all are going to hell who do not worship in precisely the same style as they worship (whether it be on this mountain or on that hill or in Jerusalem).
Again, you are confused. The ways of God have never changed. He is not worshipped in any old way even today. “For I am the Lord, I change not…” And Jesus Himself said He did not come to do away with the Law, of which not one jot or tittle would fall. The Law has not been done away with, any more than God Himself has! He is the embodiment of the Law. But you must know how to use the Law lawfully. This is a subject for another day.
Again, Jesus Christ, Who led the Israelites in the wilderness, is spoken of in this way, “…the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Paul wrote that ALL Scripture was good for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Tim 3:16). While you may say that I do not speak for God, what makes you think you do when you go against His words? He clearly warns not to learn the heathen’s ways. He even had the Israelites destroy those nations. These things were given to us for examples. But you are as the one who takes away from His words, for which you lose your part in the Book of Life. You also add to His words and thereby add plagues to yourself.
And your final deadly error is to say or think that because this is pointed out to you that it is spoken in condemnation. If you believe that then you also accuse our Lord and Saviour of doing the same, because He surely spoke the truth to the religious of His day which they hated to hear, much as you hate to hear what we say to you now.
God has a perfect right to condemn me. He is my Lord and he is my Judge. Before my own Master I will stand or fall. I have been condemned–but not for celebrating Christmas. And I have been redeemed, but not for renouncing Christmas. Were you God, I would not deny your prerogative to condemn me. But you are not God, and I think you speak rather for yourself than for Him.
The point I was making, which I alluded to the Scriptures for, is that God condemns no one. As for judging, yes, we judge you presently as He indeed does come in the flesh with a sword coming out of His mouth. But judgment is to save, not destroy. The Son of man has come to save. Skylar, you practice so much sophistry that sounds impressive but is in fact serving as the gates of hell, with yourself being your greatest victim. Repent.
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I am sorry that you do not desire to pursue the true Bread of Heaven. It is for your sake that we have spoken, not with enmity, nor condemnation, as you and Steve have supposed.
It is easy to write and post to have the honor and praise of men. It is quite another matter to seek the truth, to seek the praise of God Himself, at the cost of the favor of men. You are taking upon yourself His Name in vain, speaking things you are willingly ignorant of. You can’t do that and not pay a price. That commandment alone has the clause added, warning that the Lord will not hold one guiltless for taking upon herself His Name in vain. God has, in times past, winked at these things, but He no longer does so. I tell you this, not as a threat, or out of retaliation, or vindictiveness, but as a true warning, granted you by Him. Please do not take it for granted.
Your church pew you find comfortable, but it is to the cross where you must come. You must die, Skylar, you and your husband, if you are ever going to be a true witness unto Him, rather than honoring false gods and pagan deities, howbeit ignorantly, but most seriously, in His Name (Galatians 2:20; Romans 12: 1,2).
You are not dealing in philosophies, nor in games, nor in myths. These are life and death matters, to be soberly approached, with pious consciousness. Why do you think that the prophets were persecuted, Stephen stoned, John beheaded, 12 apostles martyred, one exiled, so many others throughout all history slain and severely persecuted? It wasn’t for preaching Christmas and hot chocolate, I can assure you (without necessity, I hope).
Jesus Christ didn’t die sipping cocktails on a beach, nor did He call His disciples to "boogie" or to take enjoyable strolls through flower gardens, or more pointedly, to go weekly to fancy buildings that house nothing more than social pleasures dressed in religious garb and language. But He did promise that when we took the narrow path, passing through the strait gate, hated by all men for His Name’s sake, suffering "without the city," "without the camp," that He would honor us with a 100 times what we lost. Matthew 10 (please read, for your sake) is every bit as applicable today as it was when written.
Years later, I have found Him to be faithful and true. There is a joy, a peace, a fulfilment, a victory to be experienced in this world that passes all understanding, and which only those who lay down their lives, for His sake, can have.
You would do well to avail yourself of the website I gave you, but at the same time, I know His words to be true when He said that no man (nor woman) can come unto the Son, unless the Father draws him (or her). I speak to you because it also is written that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. And one cannot hear but by being spoken to. We sow with hope, in obedience, in joy, counting the sufferings as joy, loving not the world, nor the things of this world. John said that those who loved the world did not have the love of God in them:
1John 2:15: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jo 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
Greetings, Skylar and Steve, in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Are you not aware, Skylar, that even as Jesus Christ is the Word of God, so you are what you speak? If I speak accurately, and truly address the real issue, I need to address those who speak and not only what they speak, even as Jesus did in every case. That is what His enemies hated about Him. He spoke to them and not only to what they were saying. To speak to what they were saying would have been pointless. They did not want that. You do not want that; you have said so. Yet, if you will repent, you will acknowledge yourself as falling short of God’s will, and you will begin to learn. Turn from your wicked ways, Skylar…and Steve.
Correspondence with Jason Vetter From Computer Trends On November 20, 2006, Victor sent the following letter to Jason Vetter, general manager of Computer Trends in Lethbridge, Alberta: COMPUTER TRENDS REFUSES TO HONOR EXTENDED WARRANTY FROM THE HOME PAGE OF COMPUTER TRENDS: [Emphases are mine (Victor Hafichuk’s)] “Our Core Values Quality Quality is meeting our customer’s requirements at all times and striving to exceed them whenever possible. There is only one way to have a successful company… have a lot of happy, satisfied customers. Service To give real service, we must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity. A satisfied customer is our best business strategy. Excellence Go far beyond the call of duty, do more than others expect. Strive and maintain the highest standards, look after the smallest detail and go the extra mile. Excellence.” November 20, 2006. Jason, Victor here. I have written the following letter to record the events of our warranty dispute concerning Jonathan’s laptop. I am not aware that you know the details of this situation, though I have no doubt you are aware of the situation itself. I would have preferred to deal with you directly but I was told you were unavailable. I write this letter with obvious dissatisfaction at the way Computer Trends is handling this. We have neither misused nor abused your product as charged, but you, contrary to yo...
Page 7 PART TEN - The Issues Of Life (cont.) Particle - Our First Harvest Haven Herald For years, we talked of a newsletter. In March, 2003, three years after the Lord brought me into His victory, we published our first Harvest Haven Herald. We had much to learn, but it was a beginning. In the Herald, I couldn't help but bring in the spiritual element. After all, God was Creator of all things, not just spiritual, and He gave us all that we had. We aren't here for the things He has given us but for Him. The things He has given us are not to take priority over Him, but to meet our needs as we serve Him, and are also reward for worshipping Him. To overlook that fact is to deny Him. The introduction of the Harvest Haven Herald and publicly including His Mind on matters would lead to much greater things. Particle - A Possible Revelation On the morning of March 22, 2003, I had a thought of the meaning of the clay pots vision Marilyn had in October of 1985. She received the vision at the time Archie and Cathie came. In it she saw eight clay pots on a shelf, one of which was cracked. We assumed that one in Archie's family was represented by the cracked pot, seeing there were eight in the family. But we never saw any fulfillment. This morning, just over 17 years later, it occurred to me that Marilyn was the cracked pot, and that the pots represented others and not Archie's family, notwithstanding the coincidence of Archie's arrival at the time she had it. This would ...
Page 2 PART ELEVEN - The Issues of Life to Troublous Times (cont.) Particle – Dupes Abounding Evelyn Matychuk was one of the people on the list of Aunt Mary’s heirs. Professing faith, Evelyn gladly received our spiritual correspondence, replied, and sent us free passes to a Benny Hinn “crusade” in Calgary. I replied, telling her Hinn was a contemptible fraud. We didn’t hear from her again. I stand amazed at how that money-sucking charlatan has handily deceived so many people. To them, he’s a first-class saint up there with Peter and Paul, while I’m the Devil incarnate for speaking otherwise about him. Everything will be made perfectly clear in due time. Particle – I Get Duped Too This is a silly thing, I know, but I’ll say it anyway. Do you ever get actors confused? I used to confuse Rock Hudson with Cary Grant, James Coburn with Lee Marvin, Jack Nicholson with Michael Ironsides, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon with one another; and Sam Neal with Hugo Weaving. They aren’t the only ones. Particle – The Lord’s Ultimatum to Paul On July 25, 2004, Paul again confessed to flirting with Marcia. Just before he confessed, I had been weeding my lawn and heard the words, “Have nothing to do with a fornicator that is called a brother.” I told Paul those words apply to him, Marcia, and to all. I said, “Quit now and forever or pack, take your name off the website, and we will have no more to do with one another. I will go it alone.” Particle – Pa...