The book of Job discussion

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Matthew 16:24, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    Hello!
    I am reading through Job again and I still can't help but wonder what is the purpose of it?
    Give me your opinions please,
    Thanks
     
  2. greatday

    greatday
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    You ask for it and here it is - And The Lord Restored Job's Losses! The last chapter of the book usually tells us the conclusion of the whole matter and the book of Job is no different?

    And the LORD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.

    Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. Job 42:10-13

    Suffering is something that affects all of mankind in one way or another. Whether a person is rich or poor, old or young, good or bad, all will experience suffering to one degree or another. It may be ill-health, poverty, accident, disability, crime, act of war, famine or one of the many other ills that beset mankind, but all will experience the mental anguish that comes because of real pain and loss. And there are those religious ones who believe suffering is the will of God and use Job as an example. If we look at the suffering that Job experienced we see that he experienced every type of suffering common to humanity: financial/economic suffering (1:14-17), loss of security (1:14-17), loss of long term workers and associates, many of whom would have been trusted and loved (1:14-17), grief/bereavement (1:18,19), physical suffering/pain (2:7), socially ostracized/excluded/cut off (2:8), relationship suffering (2:9-10), disappointment/unfulfilled expectations (2:9-10), misunderstanding/false accusations (2:11-13), both initially and throughout the debates with his friends.

    But the fact is that the foolish ones who believe suffering to be the will of God don’t talk about that deliverance from suffering is also the will of God. They don’t talk about the truth that Job was healed and restored of his sickness and losses and he didn’t suffer any more. As a matter of fact the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So Job died, old and full of days (Job 42:16-17). Yes, scriptures teach us that suffering for God’s children are only for a season. God’s word is unchanging

    Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."

    Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Peter 5:5-10

    Yes, for those who are not arrogant and proud but humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, the God of all grace, who called them to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after they have suffered a while will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle them. God doesn’t afflict His people purposely. Sometimes He does put a torn in the side of his servant just like He did to apostle Paul. But when the lesson is learnt and God’s plans and purposes are achieved He removes the torn and heals him and restores all things just like He did for Joseph and Job. God’s word is unchanging:

    My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord-that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "Yes," be "Yes," and your "No," "No," lest you fall into judgment.
    Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
    Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:10-18

    Victory is given by God to those who believe for it. It is given to those who pray earnestly and effectively like Elisha did. He prayed seven times until his servant saw a cloud as small as a man's hand, rising out of the sea!" So he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you' (1 Kings 18:44). Victory is not given to the cowardly and unbelieving ones. God’s word is unchanging:

    "Then I said to you, 'Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. 'The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 'and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.' "Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God, "who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day. "And the LORD heard the sound of your words, and was angry, and took an oath, saying, 'Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, 'except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the LORD.'

    "The LORD was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, 'Even you shall not go in there; 'Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. 'Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it. Deuteronomy 1:29-39

    Yes, God gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ but not everyone is a participator of it except those who like Joshua and Caleb who wholly followed the Lord. Victory is not an automatic things but something that becomes real through the application of our faith. God’s word is unchanging:

    But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:57

    And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you." And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. Hebrews 6:11-15

    By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace. And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Hebrews 11:30-34

    For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith. 1 John 5:4
     
  3. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    I should have been more specific, I am asking about the first few chapters in Job and not the whole book. Basically, the part about God and Satan's converstaion concerning Job.
    I understand that suffering worketh patience, but what was the purpose of their converstion?
     
  4. greatday

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    JOB 5:7 Yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward.

    I have this approach in life that it doesn't matter how I got into trouble but how I am going to get out of trouble. For God is going to get me out of trouble as He is my shield, exceeding great reward, refuge, rock, high tower, and my all! Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the LORD delivers him out of them all.(Psalm 34:19)

    Now as for God and Satan and poor ole Job who got caught in the middle of a private conversation the bible states:

    PS 18:30 As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

    DAN 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.

    God doesn't have to give an account for any of His actions including the real judgments that he brings upon men. But for those who trust Him we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
     
  5. Matthew 16:24

    Matthew 16:24
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    Not asking for God to give an account for his actions but what is the message? They pretty much had the same conversation more than once so I am wondering what is the PURPOSE of it
     
  6. Helen

    Helen
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    I think it is to show us that Satan does indeed still have access as the accuser of the brethren! (and sistren....). It is also, perhaps, to remind us that we and our lives are on a sort of stage, and that there is definitely an audience!
     
  7. Baptist Believer

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    I think I may understand your question…

    The prologue of Job in chapters 1 and 2 provides the context and the meaning of Job’s ordeal.

    The primary question of the book of Job is in Job 1:8-12:

    8 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil."
    9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing?
    10 "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
    11 "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face."
    12 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.


    The adversary (interpreted as the proper name “Satan” here in the NASB) was questioning whether or not God was worthy enough for Job to worship Him – regardless of Job’s circumstances.

    Job’s faith was put to the test because of his love and honor of God. In fact, the LORD was the one who brought up the name of Job (see verse 8)!

    The book of Job demonstrates once a for all that bad things often happen to good people and that terrible circumstances in your life do not necessarily mean that you are in disobedience to God – in fact, you may be God’s champion in a spiritual struggle of which you know nothing about…

    In a less dramatic way, Joseph (the son of Jacob/Israel) was sold into slavery by his brothers, was a slave in Egypt until he resisted the advances of his master’s wife, and was then accused of attempted rape and thrown in prison. But what others meant for evil, God intended for good. Joseph was God’s man for the circumstances of plenty and famine that were coming, and he was able to save his family (and much of the Mideast) from starvation during the famine. Through that entire circumstance, God was glorified through Joseph’s obedience and faithfulness.

    The reason they had two conversations is that the adversary claimed first that if he destroyed Job's family and possessions, Job would curse God to His face (literally "faces").

    In the second chapter, the adversary comes before God again and presses the challenge since Job has remained faithful to God. The adversary claims that Job has not personally suffered (the idea here is that Job didn't care if others died or if he lost possessions because Job was not physically affected). So the LORD gave the adversary permission to pursue the challenge and see that both Job and the LORD's character were above reproach.

    Does that help?
     
  8. greatday

    greatday
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    ECCL 7:8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

    The end of a conversation is more important than the beginning?

    In the end Job won as he was healed and had greater faith, more riches and longer life! So if God could do it for Job he can and will do it for all those who trust and believe him for total victory!

    2 Corinthians 9
    8And God is able to make all grace (every favor and [1] earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need [2] be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].

    PS 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.

    [ September 19, 2003, 07:31 AM: Message edited by: greatday ]
     
  9. Baptist Believer

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    Nope. You’ve made a false assumption:

    If you had said “if God could do it for Job he can do it for all those who trust and believe him for total victory”, you would be correct.

    But instead you said “if God could do it for Job he can and will do it for those who trust and believe him for total victory”.

    God has made no blanket promises of health and wealth to believers. The Apostle Paul suffered from an affliction throughout his ministry for Christ and most early church leaders faced danger, persecution and death for their faith. As far as wealth goes, Jesus teaches very clearly that we are to focus our attention on the needs of others and lay up treasures in heaven instead of worrying about accumulating them here on earth.

    Some Christians are blessed with wealth, but it is not promised to Christians regardless of their faith or their character.
     
  10. greatday

    greatday
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    But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra-what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:10-17

    Yes, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. And evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But the Lord delivered Paul out of all his persecutions and he never negated any scripture but stated ‘All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness?’

    What do liars and deceivers do? They say things that are contrary to the word of God that God made no blanket promises of health and wealth to believers. But beleivers beleive what God has said about health and wealth and prosperity including:

    "Behold, God is mighty, but despises no one; He is mighty in strength of understanding. He does not preserve the life of the wicked, But gives justice to the oppressed. He does not withdraw His eyes from the righteous; But they are on the throne with kings, For He has seated them forever, And they are exalted. And if they are bound in fetters, Held in the cords of affliction, Then He tells them their work and their transgressions- That they have acted defiantly. He also opens their ear to instruction, And commands that they turn from iniquity. If they obey and serve Him, They shall spend their days in prosperity, And their years in pleasures. But if they do not obey, They shall perish by the sword, And they shall die without knowledge. Job 35:5-12

    Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5

    "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow. "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword"; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken Isaiah 1:16-20

    Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 3 John 1:2-3
     
  11. Baptist Believer

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    You know, you can disagree with me without alleging that I am a liar and deceiver… :rolleyes:

    But beleivers beleive what God has said about health and wealth and prosperity including:

    (You made an error on the scripture reference, it is actually Job 36:5-12)

    The problem with quoting Job’s friends is that God condemned the words of those who found fault with Job (see chapter 42) and alleged that his misfortunate was something he could control. Furthermore, the prevailing idea of the Old Testament was that God physically blessed those who pleased Him and physically cursed those who displeased Him. One of the main points of Job is that this view of God is faulty.

    In Christ we understand that these is something better than merely serving a God who dishes out blessings and curses, but rather that we sharing in the life of God through Jesus Christ. We should expect to live as He lived upon this earth and we will be richly rewarded with a meaningful and purposeful life in harmony with God. When we die or the Lord returns, we will share in the riches of heaven.

    Jesus didn’t have much wealth and Paul didn’t have good health. Are you alleging there is something wrong with their faith?

    This is simply a poetic praise of the goodness of God. God is very gracious to us and gives us many good things (we often don’t notice them because of our self-centeredness) and everything that we need.

    One thing this passage obviously teaches is that God desires to being goodness into our lives. It would be a bad thing for God to give many of us great riches because we wouldn’t know how to handle them properly. (I assume you have heard that statistic that most lottery winners file for bankruptcy after about 3 years – they find that great wealth puts them in a worse financial position.) In the same way, God sometimes uses things like sickness and poverty to create in us a godly character and to teach us to trust Him. But many of us are so immature in our faith that we can’t believe that God might actually have His own ideas about what is good and bad and instead assume that God is obligated to fulfill our selfish and sinful desires. Remember the rich young ruler that Jesus told to sell him possessions and follow Him as a disciple? The man couldn’t/wouldn’t do it because it would mean leaving behind self-sufficiency and a faithless life for a life of faith in the sufficient Christ.

    This passage is related to the covenantal relationship between the nation of Israel and God. Again we see that this is the pre-Christian order of blessings and curses that God was using to create a situation in which to introduce the Messiah to the world.

    Please notice that this is a prayer/blessing from John to the church (we do not know the context or circumstances of this prayer/blessing) and does NOT indicate that the church will necessarily be physically blessed.

    ----

    I went to the Full Gospel Baptist Web site and looked around for a formal statement of doctrine, but I did not find much.

    Does you church believe in the “seed faith” or “Word of faith” theology or is it more along the lines of classic charismaticism?

    NOTE: I have nothing against spiritual gifts, so please don’t get defensive. I’m merely trying to figure out your position.
     
  12. dianetavegia

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    So, Wally, only RICH people are Christians? Only HEALTHY people are saved?

    You said:
    John 9:1-3
    1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.

    How can you answer this scripture?

    [ September 20, 2003, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: dianetavegia ]
     
  13. greatday

    greatday
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    And God is able to make all grace (every favor and [1] earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need [2] be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation]. 2 Corinthians 9:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

    In any discussion it is not politie to put words into another person's mouth or be a scoffer before you debate something!

    If you have a problem with a Christian being rich and healthy that is your problem, not God's who made Abraham and Job very rich!

    The principle of the kingdom of God is you receive according to your faith. You get whatever you believe for be it poverty or prosperity. Jesus clearly taught this:

    MT 8:13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour.

    MT 9:28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" They said to Him, "Yes, Lord." "According to your faith let it be to you."

    MT 19:29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

    If you don't want to receive a hundred fold and inherit eternal life that is your choice! For the record, Apostle Paul never was nor will be my role model. He was a murderer who had a martyr's complexe and wanted to die in Roman because of what he did to Stephen. Whether Paul was rich or poor is no relevant to our lives but rather all of the scriptures in the bible as sons and daughters of God and of the Father of Faith, Abraham. And God's word is His people is unchanging:

    "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, You who seek the LORD:
    Look to the rock from which you were hewn,
    And to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, And to Sarah who bore you; For I called him alone, And blessed him and increased him." For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden,
    And her desert like the garden of the LORD;
    Joy and gladness will be found in it,
    Thanksgiving and the voice of melody. Isaiah 51;1-3

    God gives to His people prosperity and healing and they are free to accept it or reject it but God's word is unchanging:

    But you shall be named the priests of the LORD, They shall call you the servants of our God. You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, And in their glory you shall boast. Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs. Isaiah 61:6-7

    Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; As your days, so shall your strength be. "There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, Who rides the heavens to help you, And in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, 'Destroy!' Then Israel shall dwell in safety, The fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD, The shield of your help And the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, And you shall tread down their high places." Deuteronomy 33:25-29

    Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:35-39

    In order to receive what God has promised us—whether that be healing or any other blessing—we must first know within ourselves what we have been given in Jesus. That means we must know it not just with our head but with our heart. We must have God’s Word rooted so deeply and firmly within us that when we hear lies to the contrary, we don’t buy them. We must be so fully persuaded by the Holy Spirit of what God says that we act as if it’s true even when natural circumstances look like it’s not. We also don’t quit when the going gets tough. If we quit, it’s over. If we lay down our faith and give up, the devil can keep us in permanent defeat. On the other hand, we will win if we don’t quit. It’s absolutely guaranteed!

    Through His blood on Calvary Jesus took a debt He did not owe and paid it for us! While we were still living in sin and rebellion, Jesus paid the price for our forgiveness. With His own blood, He paid the debt we owed to God for every sinful thing we have ever done…or will ever do. He set us free from sin, sickness and pain. He paid the bill so we can be whole—spirit, soul and body. God’s word is unchanging:

    Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God…But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole (The Amplified Bible). Isaiah 53:4-5

    Yes the bible states “we are healed and made whole!” It doesn’t say that one day we will be healed and made whole. It doesn’t say that possibly, if it’s the will of the Lord, we might be healed and made whole. It says we already are!

    Like it or not, the devil is still operating in the earth. He is a thief and a liar who comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). He wants to rob us of the abundant life that Jesus has provided for us and he does it by challenging our faith. So when God’s Word about healing is abundantly stored in our heart, then when symptoms of sickness come, we can begin resisting those symptoms and speaking faith. We can say, “Oh, no you don’t devil. You’re not putting that sickness on me. I’m the healed of the Lord. Jesus paid the price for me to be well and I intend to be well so you just take your symptoms and get out of here!”
     
  14. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    Here's something I wrote earlier on Job :-

    "It is I think fair to comment that the book of Job presents a fundamental problem to those who would seek to espouse the Right-wing view with all its trimmings: here is a man, Job, who is clearly declared to be righteous in God’s sight and yet is allowed to go through the most appalling suffering and disasters in his personal life; not only that, but all of this happens with God’s express permission. I have heard some on the Right attempt to wriggle out of this thorny problem by suggesting that Job had actually sinned, his misdemeanour being his fear of the calamities that eventually overtook him (Job 3:25); by entertaining this fear he sowed a lack of faith, even a curse into his life, and hence he was punished. I find this ‘negative confession’ argument rather spurious; it is to read something into his book that simply is not there: scripture does not say that he suffered because of his fear or sin; indeed (and I reiterate) it makes it quite clear that he was regarded as righteous, free from sin, by God. Whilst it is true that Job does express repentance at the end in Chapter 40, this is for speaking out of turn after his disasters; no mention is made here of any conduct before calamity struck. All that the first few chapters of the book tell us is that his predicament seems to be the result of an arbitrary decision borne out of a perverse and capricious conspiracy between God and Satan (please read on before burning me as a heretic!). Job supplies an apparently sick answer to the question: “What do you give the man who has everything?” Answer: “Disaster, devastation and disease.”

    I therefore believe it is fair to conclude that Job’s experience destroys the “if you’re righteous then you don’t suffer” argument of the Right. Indeed, there is much in what Job’s comforters say to him as to the purported reason for his suffering that resembles reasons put forward by the Right for calamity striking individuals, and Job (eventually) makes it clear that they are in error. Take, for example, Eliphaz’ reasoning beginning in Chapter 4. In many ways, his monologue encapsulates some of the classic aspects of Right-wingers’ thinking; it has to be said also that this was a stream of thinking that ran within Judaism, that the righteous do not suffer and therefore those that do suffer must do so as a result of unrighteousness. As before, it is useful to see what New Testament gloss can be put on Old Testament passages, and I believe that Jesus’ statement in Luke 13:1-5 refutes the ‘Eliphaz argument’. It is also interesting that Eliphaz received his ‘truth’, in part at least, in a dream or vision (cf. Hagin and Yongghi-cho??).

    Having started with this negative comment as far as the Right-wing is concerned, can we learn anything useful from his apparently meaningless suffering? I think that the difficulty in looking for answers in Job is that it is hard to find ‘Truth’ in the account. This is because Job, in common with much of the other Wisdom literature is poetic in style rather than containing absolutised truth and has much in common with the saga or epic – or even the kind of testimonies touched upon in Chapter 3; it is less of a theological treatise and more a story of one man’s experience of bereavement and calamity, and the reactions of him and his friends to this. In that sense, Job is a very human tale, with all the frailties and errors this entails. Both Job and his three comforters have something to say on the subject of Job’s condition; their commentaries are very understandable but this is very far from saying that they are correct theologically. The nearest we get to any kind of theological ‘Truth’ prior to God showing up in Ch 38 is Elihu’s speech. So, although there may be some points to draw out of Job that help us with our search, Job’s primary thrust is as a narrative rather than theological text. That does not mean that it is useless to us; far from it. Narrative can in some respects be more helpful than doctrine; so let’s look at Job as story and poetry and not just as bare theology.


    The Christian philosopher Peter Kreeft sees the book of Job as akin to the sort of fairy-tale with which many of us were brought up: the hero of the tale undergoes many trials and tribulations, frequently involving monsters, extremes of climate, physical injury, imprisonment etc. before he finally gains his prize at the end (usually a beautiful princess, a kingdom, fabulous wealth, or a combination of all three). Kreeft’s contention is that the hero’s ultimate reward cannot be fully appreciated and could be said to be meaningless without the backdrop of hardship and testing that precedes it; in short, the story is not worth telling if there is no suffering. He sees Job’s story as being in the same genre of epic literature with his reward at the end lacking meaning if we know nothing of his previous suffering: “One of the best-known principles of fairy tales is that the two ingredients necessary for a good story are monsters and mystery” ; then, having given an example of one such tale, Kreeft goes on to say, “Silly escapist fantasy, you say? Would you call the book of Job that? No? Well, then, the same clue to the mystery and suffering is there: the reasons for the monsters and the mystery…You’re Job at the end of the story…God finally appears to Job and he is satisfied. He’s happy because he’s got his God back. His life has meaning…Job is glad to have been in his story. He’s the character, not the author. In fact, God’s whole point when he finally shows up is that Job is not the author, only the character. And Job accepts that and accepts his story. He’s glad to have been in the book of Job, the world’s greatest classic of suffering.” He finishes his contention, that happiness and blessing can only be truly appreciated against the backdrop of suffering, thus: “Only now do we get bored and jaded with happiness and need the contrast with suffering…So the happy ending is joyful now only if there’s unhappiness before it…Of course I can’t justify atrocities. Or explain them. Only eternity will totally solve the problem. That’s the solution the Bible offers – that most realistic of books – and the one Aquinas gives in the Summa, quoting Augustine: ‘As Augustine says, “Since God is the highest good, He would not allow any evil to exist in His works unless His omnipotence and goodness were such as to bring good even out of evil.” This is part of the infinite goodness of God, that He should allow evil to exist and out of it produce good.’” In quoting this rather breathtaking statement, I accept that I am jumping ahead to the concluding chapter, but I hope this helps to give some explanation as to why apparently a capricious God conspires with Satan to bring devastating suffering into Job’s life.

    Kreeft can of course be accused of reducing Job’s experience to a kind of simplistic “no pain, no gain” formula. However, I do not believe that that this kind of crude reductionism is his intention; indeed, earlier in his book, Kreeft warns against easy theological answers, particularly I would say those advanced by the Right: “Am I about to prattle on about trusting God, like Job’s three friends? They came to Job on his dung heap with nothing but correct theology. Job could not fault their logic a single time. His only criticism was that their words were empty and dead, ‘words of ashes, maxims of clay’.” That said, another overarching principle that comes to the fore at the end of Job is the utter sovereignty of God, that God can do what he likes because He is God, and He does not have to justify Himself or offer a reason for His actions to us, nor is He obligated, as some on the Right might say, to ‘do right by us of we do right by Him’ (having said that, I do accept that there is a degree of correlation between our actions and those of God: quite clearly, if one is walking in blatant unrepentant disobedience towards God, then that exposes one to God’s wrath and judgment). This brings me back to my speculative ‘capricious God’ referred to and contextualised to a degree above, and to which I would like to make one further comment: I guess that we should be thankful that He is a good God and knows what He is doing and why, because if that was not the case, there would be nothing we could do about it! "

    (In the above piece, I have used the term 'Right-wing' to refer to those who espose Word of Faith teaching - my article was a critique of WoF - which incidentally Great Day's views seem to resemble...)

    Note to mods - apologies for long post. I have quoted from Kreeft and if I have erred
    if I have erred in so doing, I apologise, and please delete the offending sections of my post (it will at least make it shorter!). Thanks

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  15. greatday

    greatday
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    After all your words you cannot deny the fact that God who is the same yesterday, today and foreverD restored Job's losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. The LORD also blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys? And after this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations.
    So Job died, old and full of days.

    Now this is real prosperity and not the hogwash of suffering espoused by carnal ones who have chosen apostle Paul to be their role model in life?
     
  16. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    And what, pray tell, is precisely wrong with the author of a large section of the NT?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  17. greatday

    greatday
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    There are many things wrong with Apostle Paul who judged and criticized and didn't get along with others including apostle Peter and Barnabas:

    Galtians 2:13 And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

    ACTS 15:2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

    Apostle Paul was a also a typical middle eastern male chauvanist who taught that a woman was only saved by child-bearing and could not speak in a church.

    1TM 2:15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.

    1COR 14:34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.14:35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.

    Even though the bible says that PROV 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD, Paul taught that a person should be celibate.

    Paul could not make up his mind whether he was least of the apostles, or the least of all the saints. He had a martyr's complexe that we was not worthy to be called an apostle, because He persecuted the church of God and as a result wanted to die a cruel death!

    He was sucidal - Philippians 1:22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell.
    1:23 For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.
    1:24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.

    Thank God Paul is not my role model but Jesus Christ is:
    Revelation 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
    19:12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
    19:13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
    19:14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.
    19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
    19:16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    [ September 24, 2003, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: greatday ]
     
  18. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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    So, are his letters part of God's word or not?

    Yours in Christ

    Matt
     
  19. Matt Black

    Matt Black
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  20. greatday

    greatday
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    Apostle Paul wrote things as he saw them but even Paul didn't say he was infaliable. There is a difference between I think and I know:
    Do you think that the Holy Ghost inspired the following statement by Paul?

    Hogwash! It's against scriptures it is good for a man not to touch a woman!

    DO WE INTERPRET ALL OF SCRIPTURES THROUGH THEY EYES OF APOSTLE PAUL? Of course not! The Holy Spirit, not Apostle Paul is given to be our leader and guide. Praise the Lord!

    And don't forget the teachings and words of Jesus Christ stand above the words and teachings of Apostle Paul or anyone else!

    [ September 24, 2003, 02:32 PM: Message edited by: greatday ]
     

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