Humanity is helpless as a baby and in need of her Father's love
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Socratic Method is one of the oldest and most respected forms of productive debate. There are many unproductive methods. All of which should be avoided. Socratic method is a very old and respected means to quickly and definitively resolve difficult issues by adhering to rules of conversation which are carefully designed to keep the discussion on track and drive it toward rapid and unreserved conclusion. Conclusion is reached when after carefully selecting questions designed to spotlight an affirmation's error, no one involved in the conversation is any longer willing to dispute the rationality of the affirmation.
Wikipedia on Socratic Method
In this way, conclusion is forced upon those who remain in disagreement, but have no rational reason for their disagreement. One remaining in disagreement is forced to admit "I still disagree, but fail to provide a reason for my disagreement which others perceive as rational." The irrationality of his or her position becomes obvious to those involved in the conversation.
For this reason Socratic Method is very unpopular with politicians who often desire to remain uncommitted on some issues.
How do I comment in Socratic Method if I disagree?
Do not pose an alternate position or attempt to show that there is a better way to handle the issue. This is the error most make in debate. Nothing ever ends up resolved because both sides continue supporting their respective and opposing views and neither view is refuted. Neither party has any reason to concede. Neither party finds it intellectually embarrassing to continue supporting their original position.
First, make sure you disagree. An argument is not won with fancy words, but by discovering the winning side before choosing your position. Is your position winnable? If not, accept it and change your mind, otherwise Socratic Method will reveal your irrationality to others. Once you've answered that, list the assumptions upon which the affirmed statement rests, and which if shown to be false, make the affirmed statement's error obvious to others.
Restate that assumption in language and terminology which make the affirmation's reliance upon the assumption obvious and ask those affirming if they agree with the assumption.
If the assumption is specious, wait to point out the assumption's flaw in your second question after those affirming answer their agreement with the assumption. Post "Considering that you agree with that particular assumption, do you also agree with its obviously erroneous implication, thus.....?
If you have difficulty finding an erroneous assumption or an error of conclusion implied by assumptions made in the affirmation, double check that you still disagree. You may find, to your surprise that you agreed with the statement all along. You just didn't think about it carefully enough at first.
920 Different words
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If you believe that man is the author of her own destiny, tell that to space rocks that may be headed our way and to climate changing tectonic plate movements. We are instead, children in need of our Father's protected. We know so little of the dangers of civilization, or of the natural forces around us. We are merely helpless observers of our final destiny.
John, an apostle of Jesus of Nazareth, wrote the last book of the bible, Revleation, which accounts the time of the end of man. John wrote this book while exiled from Rome on the Greek island of Patmos two thousand years ago, the legal system of Rome being more lenient than our own. The events described in his revelation letter are written in both figurative and literal language and in medias res. The narrative of an event is not necessarily in the order in which the events transpire. Applying Isaac Newton's exposition of biblical use of figurative language, here I have sorted the figurative events from the literal and ordered them sequentially, leaving only what John claims to be those occurrences which one standing on earth might actually witness. I address the figurative language and the reasons for their discrimination in other documents which you can find here.
"Of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only... when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors... For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows... affliction, such as was not from the beginning of creation [and] which,.. neither shall be [again.] "
The events concurrent with the end of man
according to John of Patmos
God consults with the angels to determine when the harvest of the elect of the earth is ripe. When this is determined to have occurred two men arise in the mid eastern city of Jerusalem and give the earth her last chance to conform to an acceptable system of government.
They are scoffed and treated as any other carrying a doom's day sign on the street. But these are different. They do not do as the local authorities instruct. It is probably the first attempt to arrest them when the shit hits the fan.
They defend themselves miraculously. These two also have the power to cause drought and famine and to make water undrinkable, and to bring epidemics of disease, as often as they will. These are portends of the similar things to come shortly if the world does not confess our frailty and inadequacy and accept the loving protection of God.
Then others like them arise. Some of similar strength, some not. Yet only these two are the true witnesses of the true God. The others are false, but are capable of similar miracles. The genuine miracles attract the attention of the world.
The world hates all of them for the changes they demand and fears them for their power. Speculation and incredulity abound. Authorities continue their efforts to apprehend and on the 1,260th day, their efforts are succesful. The two are killed and lay in the street while everyone is afraid to touch them. The whole world celebrates their death.
On the third day after their death, they stir and rise to their feet as a very loud and clearly audible voice bids them "Come home!" and the two are lifted up into the sky. The people who saw become hysterically frightened, but the news of this does not go further, because immediately thereafter a very large earthquake shakes the city, killing 7,000.
(chapter 6 8 9 16)
A massive asteroid impacts the earth. The Jerusalem earthquake may have been a result of that same impact. The time frame is not clear, but the immediate after effects of the impact play out over five months.
From four specific references regarding the impactor's effect, we can infer it hits the Pacific ocean and is just slightly larger and more powerful than the Chicxulub impact 65 million years ago, a vast region of the earth near the impact is scorched, burned and a billion people die. Over the next few days, dust and debris blot out the sun. Plants die, rivers are choked with ash and even the sea is not safe. Famine and plague begins to set in, but the worst is not over.
While the world's calamity is most probably attributed to the impactor, but the miraculous deeds of the two witnesses surely spawn terror. The whole world blames the God for whom the two men witnessed for the asteroid impact.
I suggest; Though the asteroid was hurtiling toward earth for billions of years, and God could have and would have saved us, instead, mankind rejects God and God's help, trusting in our own ability instead. We are like defiant children, unaware of the many dangers, physical and emotional which surround us all the time. Children believe their parents silly and themselves impervious to danger. Instead of trusting God, we trusted in our own devises because we naïvely imagined that a creator could not exist and that our fate depends upon us alone.
(chater 9 16)
As another billion people die from the ensuing starvation and disease, totaling a third of the world's population, the world's governments fall apart. It is then that the river Euphrates dries up. While it is probably a consequence of the geologic instability caused by the impactor, the world's government's are probably fearful of the supernatural implications and allow themselves to be led astray by a deceiver, the nature of whom, the revelation letter does not reveal. This deceiver may lead them to believe he is an alien of natural biological origin as our selves or a supernatural angel. Either way he offers protection from the wrath of the terribly powerful natural alien or supernatural being who resurrected the two witnesses and also surely instigated or failed to prevent the apocalypse upon us.
The world's governments all ally themselves with this deceiver. It is unclear whether it is one man, an antichrist or a number of men or creatures who have similar power as the two witnesses. The consensus of the leaders of the decimated nations of the world is to raise an army and deploy it to the hill of Migeddo. This is the place called Armageddon. The reason this place becomes important to them is a complete mystery. Probably at the suggestion of the deceiver.
Migeddo is mentioned many times in the old testament and is 250 miles from the dried up Euphrates. The revelation letter mentions only that "the Euphrates was dried up, [so] that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared." What is not a mystery is their intent. They intend to make war with the God of the two witnesses.
God surprises them and wipes them out with the greatest earthquake the world has ever felt. This is the contents of the seventh vial. The battle ends before it can begin. The valley is drenched in their bloody bodies. Whole mountain ranges are gone. Cities are destroyed the world over and a hail of stones fall. Men continue to blame this on the same God.
Things are about to turn around.
The population is frightened and become despondent for the desolation and world wide destruction. No industry, no manufacturing, no farming, nothing for sale, nothing to buy, no ships carrying goods, no docks to pull into. Not even artificial light at night. Civilization ends in a combination of a failed attempt to make war on God and natural disaster.
But the earth abides and a thousand years of peace begins with miracles. I suggest; This is the mercy of a loving Father, who seeing His capable children succumb to pride and disrespect of their Father, allows them to fall on their face and bloody their nose, only to help them up, now wiser for their injuries. The revelation letter does not suggest that God obviously announce His glory. The dominion of this conquering warrior is undeniably evident, however. This is, after all, the second coming. And as in Christ's first coming, He walked the earth not in His glory. Some believed on Him and others did not.
Not many, but some people who have been long dead are miraculously resurrected. Most people probably do not believe it. Those who are resurrected are the faithful and join those faithful which are still living. Together these come to be "priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. " Evidently, to rule the world under Christ the conquering warrior who walks the earth seeking those who believe Him. The revelation letter does not explain how it is that they come to rule, only that they rule under Christ and that they live immortal lives while other still die. The revelation letter calls this the first resurrection.
During this thousand years, the nations "will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks... Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, nor shall they learn war any more."
Satan is imprisoned for this thousand years. Though the revelation letter does not say that this is done publicly or is common knowledge. If this thousand years is the seventh millennia of the civilization of man, then this is a thousand year Sabbath. Of course, Satan, the trouble maker would be prevented from causing trouble on the Sabbath.
(chapter 19 20)
After the thousand years, Satan is released, immediately setting out again to build an army, probably exploiting the people's resentment and distrust of the leadership that brought them a thousand years of peace, but which also enjoys immortality. Most agree that the powers that be and their miracles need to be stopped. In any case, they trust this morning star, this angel of light, this anointed covering cherub, leviathan, prince of the power of the air, lucifer to lead the way.
I suggest; Satan knows that he can't win, though he lies to his followers about that fact. He feels compelled to prove to God, his children's innate rashness and unfitness to rule. After all, they are His children and He is rash: God repented of His intent to destroy Israel in the desert; God changed his mind about destroying Nineveh; God reconsidered his original plan for Sodom.
Satan probably feels cheated out of the first battle, where God didn't actually allow his children to fight. He intervened and cleaned up the mess for them. Satan is giving God one last chance to be honest about his children. (how considerate of him!?!!?) He hopes God will see how faithful or faithless His children really are. A third of the angels think Satan is right.
God's response is simply. "You're just gonna' hafta' trust me on this one, Beelzebub." It is Satan, not God's children, who is without faith in God.
God steps in again to take matters into His own hands. In God's first undeniable appearance before men, He sweeps away the army which Satan organizes "and fire came down from God out of heaven... And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." (science fiction movie "Fifth Element" imagery; fire from the mouth of the divine being type of thing.)
(chapter 21 22)
The earth continues after this for a very long time in preparation for a wedding supper which will be God's first stay on earth in His glory since His walks in the garden "in the cool of the day" many thousands of years ago. Perhaps a billion years pass. During this time, I can only imagine that mankind proceeds to the stars under the leadership of the first resurrection which exhibit miraculous resurrection. It seems that death by natural causes is over, but murder and fatal accident are still possible. The curse of death is not yet lifted, though, given the state of biological research today, it would seem that it could be. Do the immortal leadership forbid it?
This time is so long a time that the sky and the earth with which we are familiar begin to change. A new heaven and a new earth emerges. The earth loses its sea and the sun is no longer friendly to life. God protects the people and all peoples and gives them the light of life. There is no more night time and day time. It is always daytime because the light comes from God.
The sun exhausted most of its hydrogen fuel and begins to burn helium making the solar wind so strong that the earth's atmosphere and water are stripped from it. The earth would be uninhabitable if it were not God's pleasure to keep it as it was His children's nursery.
It is only after all of this time that all sorrows come to an end for before this sorrow still existed. This is the wedding for which the preparations were begun after the thousand years.
All dead and living are called from all time to stand before the Great Judge, excluding only those of the first resurrection over whom the second death has no power. The loving Father shows that hardships and death are merely inconsequential bruises which are easily remedied. Like a child heart broken for a lost toy which is easily replaced by a loving parent. Yet the lesson learned stays with the child a lifetime.
Three books are opened. A book of the deeds of men and the book of life. The other book is not named. All receive commensurate recompense for their deeds. Good for good and evil for evil. Though the manner in which the deeds are judged good and evil is not explained. This is judged from the book of deeds, but it is those whose names are not found in the book of life who are cast into a consuming fire, discarded along with death and hell itself without further attention or concern for them whatsoever. All these are discarded and forever gone. Death is no longer; and hell is no longer; and those who have not their names written in the book of life are no longer. This is the second death unto which even death and hell themselves are subject.
The wedding celebration can now begin. The same seven angles that ended the world show John the wedding. A great city glimmering with lights comes down out of the sky to rest on the earth.
The city is so large it is impossible to believe and so John is told to measure it to confirm the substance of it. It is a cube 2.4 kilometers on each side. and the walls 64 meters thick made of gold, polished to the smoothness of glass.
There is no temple to God in the city for God himself is in it. And the city never closes the gates or stops because there is no night.
A river runs within the city proceeding out from God's throne within the city. In the water is life everlasting. This river is that which repeals the curse which god had pronounced on the earth so long time ago. It supernaturally sustains the earth by the glory of God when the earth is past its time. The earth is special of all the planets in the universe because it bore the children of God and becomes the capital of the peoples of the universe to which God's children spent the greater portion of the preceding billion years exploring.
The actual wedding is not depicted. It would appear that which lies beyond is as far beyond our comprehension as the responsibilities of taking care of a household are to a child. A child as young as we yearns for teen age but can not yet fathom adulthood. When we enter the billion year time of preparation for our Father's wedding, I imagine then we will begin to understand the wedding and that which follows.
These are Jerry Wickey's interpretations of the words of John, based upon each of his passages as indicated.
John writes that Jesus said "I have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.
"Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
"Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
John finally warns: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
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