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.
Page 10 PART EIGHT – Day 888 to Victory (cont.) Particle – God's Reminder of His Sovereignty Gene Knorr called weeks before, testing the waters, asking how things were with us and how business was. Because business had increased, I told him so. “Well, that's normal for business to grow the longer it's around,” he replied. I suspected he was hoping we were falling apart for not listening to him. But I thought, “Yes, I guess it's normal for a business to grow as people get to know the business is there.” A few days ago, Marilyn said that she was thankful and that the Lord was bringing business. Repeating Gene's thought, I said, “It's natural – many businesses and other things grow after a time of labor and pain for both believers and unbelievers. We shouldn't assume anything special is happening for us.” The Lord cut off the business abruptly, dramatically. Then last night, when Marilyn reported the sudden and strange drop, I went to bed and in the night the Lord showed me why. I was the offender, unthankful, not giving the Lord the glory, taking things for granted, and repeating the words of the enemy. The Lord went on to show us more. He showed us that He is in everything, present both in time and space, in all things, deliberately, actively upholding all things. Nothing is to be taken for granted - not business growth, not income, health, or so much as a single heartbeat or blink of an eye or flutter of a bee wing. He &ldq...
Page 12 PART TEN - The Issues of Life (cont.) Particle - Vision: House with Windows on Second Floor Our public internet correspondences were kindling indignation and opposition from several people who were accusing us of being hateful and arrogant. They couldn't point to any of our words in particular when we asked them to back up their accusations. Still, I don't take these things lightly and have sought the Lord many times for His judgment. Am I arrogant, as some declare? As I was seeking the Lord about this, on January 5, 2004, I saw a two-story, rectangular house with a 4/12 pitch roof. Suddenly two, two-foot square windows appeared on each side of the second story. Light then entered and the once dark second story was illumined. I could see the floor through the windows on the second story. Then I heard the question: "Is the light arrogant? Is light arrogant when dispelling darkness?" On the first anniversary of this vision, 2004, I was writing to an Al Thomas, self-proclaimed prophet and teacher. He was rejecting our right to offer The Public Forum Correspondence by email without his permission. I knew this vision was meant specifically for him, though it is universal truth. I asked Thomas, "Does God need an invitation from sinners before sending His prophets to speak to them?" Particle - Grinding Teeth In a visit to Dr. Rice, our dentist, I was informed that I was a classic example of one grinding his teeth. I wondered, "Why, Lord?" Yes, it has been ...
Page 17 PART THREE– Israel to Bernalillo (cont.) Particle – Food, a Blessing of God I have always enjoyed food and have indulged in ethnic and cultural dishes wherever we traveled. We wanted Mexican food and found a humble, yet clean, restaurant in Bernalillo, where we went once or twice. We found an enjoyable local treat in New Mexico - pine nuts (piñon) - which we roasted and enjoyed. We shopped for our foods at Keller's, an organic grocery store of mainly meats in Albuquerque. Finally, Linda, a worker at the KOA and lady of Spanish descent, invited us for a farewell supper at her home. She served up a Mexican beef dish we enjoyed. She also gave us a little gift we have to this day, a ceramic musical watering can/flower pot with the tune, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.” I took that as a prophetic promise. We knew we would be in for something special, the dawning of the Day of the Lord, coming soon. (It was to be many years later than expected.) I have loved food and drink all my life. And the Bible is full of references to, as well as admonishments about, these prime necessities of life. Ecclesiastes repeatedly speaks of the God-given blessing of eating and drinking being primary in God's rewards on earth to mankind. Whenever godly celebrations were held, food was always a pleasure. All the solemn feasts were centered around food. Jesus Christ often spoke about eating and drinking. He ate and drank with sinners, He spoke of the Kingdom of God as a great banquet, He ...