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Old 03-03-2002, 06:48 AM   #16
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melon you mentioned apparitions once before and I was going to ask you, do you believe in them? And not just that they 'are', but that they send messages as well? Anyone else too, fors and z edge.
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Old 03-03-2002, 07:28 AM   #17
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Well, this is my understanding of an apparition. We call them apparitions because we don't know exactly what they are. 'Apparition' itself is a vague term meaning something like a vision but doesn't convey whether it is something real or not.

Anyway, I tend to the belief that there are devils/spirits who assume the form of people (among other things) in order to deceive or frighten us. This is why I don't believe in ghosts (the popular definition of a ghost) anymore.

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Old 03-03-2002, 08:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
I'm curious why you believe the words of an apparition instead of Jesus (who said, 'No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father' - Matthew 24:36). Do you believe that Jesus did not in fact speak those words? That he changed his mind?
This is not contradicted. Mary states that anyone who claims to know the exact date/time, God will purposely change the date if He has to to prove them wrong, and even she does not know the exact day/hour. The only exceptions are that such knowledge has been given only to a couple people, one of whom is never allowed to tell and one who is allowed to tell only eight days beforehand, as to allow us a brief time for quick repentance.

Once again, you risk having the faith of a Pharisee, whose narrow interpretation of the Bible blinded them of the Messiah directly in front of them. Either way, the "end" does not concern me. If it happens in my lifetime, I'm ready. If it doesn't happen for another millennium, I'm certainly unphased by it.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray:
Well, this is my understanding of an apparition. We call them apparitions because we don't know exactly what they are. 'Apparition' itself is a vague term meaning something like a vision but doesn't convey whether it is something real or not.
Semantics...

Does it not say that, before the end, that people will see visions? I think this was in Revelation, but I cannot seem to find the appropriate passages.

Quote:
Anyway, I tend to the belief that there are devils/spirits who assume the form of people (among other things) in order to deceive or frighten us. This is why I don't believe in ghosts (the popular definition of a ghost) anymore.
In that case, I think Pat Robertson is a "ghost." Anyway, these apparitions are reassuring, not scary.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:43 AM   #20
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I don't believe in apparitions, and I don't see why a One World government is something to be feared about.

Apparitions have always been ubiquitous, and more often than not, modern science and logic can explain the invisible strings behind the puppetry, and when the apparitions have been too fantastical for explanation, it is almost too easy to simply say that the one who had the apparition is a liar, or self-deluded.

Notice how most Christian apparitions take place in either extremely Catholic places or relatively poor countries; in Mexico where I visit my Mexican branch of the family the cities are littered with apparitions from people; who is one to believe, and why should one believe it?

If there is anything to believe in, one may as well inspect the literature echoing the sentiments of the Bible, whether pyschological or poetical, such as W.B. YEats, whose poetry you can NOT escape from without having to read pages-full about the Second Coming, and the apocalypse. Yeats also explored this idea of the 'spinning gyres', that we are constantly in a complex cycle reaching troughs and peaks, and according to his calculations, we are about to reach the all time low, or trough, as it were, before climbing up to the highest peak.

However, it is not something novel. So many versions and so many predictions have made me indifferent to the 'End Times', there is simply too many people to believe in, and so many people say so many different things. The one common factor is that something bad will happen, and you don't need a prophet to tell you that; bad things happen all the time, and some even go on to change the world. Put your trust in sound logic echoed by reason, and not some publicized prediction that the Media circus has had a recent lech on.

As for the question of faith, I find the coming of the Anti-Christ both an occasion worthy of anticipation and keen interest. And why not? It proposes so many different factors one almost is lost in a flurrish of intellectual activity. It also proposes change and progress. Advancement in the long term, is always a good thing.

It is hard for me, I must confess, to believe in the Anti-Christ in the conventional way, for I don't believe in the devil. I don't believe in Satan as I don't believe in Angels and what have you - I believe in God and all that God encompasses, the good and the bad. I believe that there is such a thing as a right and a wrong, that there is Evil to be challenged, for the survival of Mankind, but this Evil is not as clear-cut and defined as 'The One sent By Satan', I think that 'Evil' is never as simple as that; for us to stare at Evil in the face, we need nothing further to do than to look at the mirror and have one long dark tea-time with the soul, as Douglas Adams would say. Vice and virtue go hand in hand like darkness and light, as well as Good and Evil, and God is ultimately the unifying factor of such contradictions. I belive that God's proof of power and existence is the ability to overcome such contradictions.

One could consider Hitler to be the anti-christ, withi his awesome oratory abilities, his magnetic charisma, his fierce passion and his greatness. Oh, he comitted great evil, there's no doubt about that, but he was also great. I believe, however, that in this age of technology and terrorism, behind the scenes warfare and conspiracy theories, the next 'anti-christ' will be much more covert, much more secretive, so much so we may never know he (or she) was here.

Ultimately, I believe that some nasty stuff is ahead of us, and we should be prepared for it. However, don't put your faith too blindly into superstitions, apparitions and religion even, not because they are fundamentally wrong, but because the picture they paint may not be the truthful one. Believing too much in what has yet to happen may prevent you from realising that the 'end times' is indeed occuring. One thing most prophecies leave out is that the Apocalypse may be a subtle thing.

Ant.

[This message has been edited by Anthony (edited 03-03-2002).]
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem:
melon you mentioned apparitions once before and I was going to ask you, do you believe in them? And not just that they 'are', but that they send messages as well? Anyone else too, fors and z edge.
I do not know exactly. Mary does only appear to Catholics; however, she also stated that she will only appear to those who believe. Since Protestants generally refuse to believe, she doesn't appear to them.

Anyway, it is too late to book an appearance. She states that Medjugorje, the most common place for activity, is her last place. Once she disappears for good from here, she states that the end is only a very very short time afterwards. Currently, she still appears monthly.

To set the record, Catholicism has only approved two apparition sites as "authentic" and worthy of total belief, and that is Fatima (1917) and Guadalupe (back in the 1500s). The rest are still under investigation, including Medjugorje.

Regardless, authentic or not, the knowledge I have learned from them I find comforting. The idea of prayer, repentance, and love are ideas that I don't think Christians would dispute.

And I have not put so much faith into them that my faith in God would be shattered if all were proven to be wrong. We have to be mindful that people have been predicting "the end" repeatedly since the Crusades. With holy wars (1100-1300) and corrupt popes (Middle Ages) and a wholly worldly hierachy (Middle Ages), along with the Bubonic Plague (1300s) and almost incessant wars until the end of World War II, you can easily see why the world was far worse for them than it is for us.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 03-03-2002).]
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Old 03-03-2002, 05:15 PM   #22
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Anthony,
I respect your right to opinion and you choice of religion. I am curious to what religion you believe, I'm not sure if I caught that or if you even stated it. I know christianity dosen't encourage/allow people to pick and choose the parts that are convienent to them and discard the rest.

I'm not saying that you are doing that, I commented because I am not sure what religion you are mentioning or from what basis.

[This message has been edited by z edge (edited 03-03-2002).]
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Old 03-03-2002, 06:57 PM   #23
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z edge;

I don't have a religion, to be perfectly frank. When I am asked what religion I follow, I say that I'm not religious, but spiritual - to use the cliche.

I was educated and raised (for a large part of my life) in an all Boys Catholic Boarding School and a Roman Catholic Convent, hence I was raised a Catholic.

However, I also lived in various parts of the world and spent a good portion of my life in the Middle East, and was subjected to some other religions, one day it just came to me that they all said the same thing; they were and are all the same.

That's not to say that I lost faith in them, I didn't - I respect and love Jesus Christ as much as I respect and love the Prophet Mohammed, however I could not commit to one religion at all, none of them answered my own questions, none of them fulfilled me.

Now, I dedicate a lot of my time with Stoic philosophy and certain Yoga practices, with particular meditation; what I am essentially trying to do is combine all the religions and unify them in what they say, instead of distinguishing between them.

Anyway, my spirituality is far more complicated than my religion (which is non-existant); I have no religion except the religion of loving God through loving Humanity. I believe that to find God we need to love and be loved, unconditionally.

Anyway, thats a rap.

Ant.
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:48 PM   #24
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I believe that to find God we need to love and be loved, unconditionally.

Anyway, thats a rap.

Ant. [/B][/QUOTE]

Hi Anthony,
The good news is that God does love us unconditionally. And if we just accept his free gift of salvation, we become his children. It's free for teh taking. All you have to do is ask.

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Old 03-03-2002, 08:57 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest:
Hi Anthony,
The good news is that God does love us unconditionally. And if we just accept his free gift of salvation, we become his children. It's free for teh taking. All you have to do is ask.
Thank you 80s. I do know that God loves us unconditionally, I do know that that is Its free gift of salvation, and I do know that we are Its children.

Yes, all we have to do is but to ask, however, where we differ is that in order to not only become Its children, to live in grace, we need to do more than just 'ask' and seek salvation in a confession box. It is all very well to confess your sins and repent truly and then commit it all over again, however, what about you as a human being? What about perfection? Jesus once asked us to be perfect, and I believe that the whole point of Life is to become perfect, to find union with God.

I am sorry, but confessing to a stranger and then being absolved of all sin is not only too convenient and easy, but it lacks the discipline human beings deserve in order to achieve perfection.

Having said that, God DOES love us unconditionally. However, God and Love were never the problem, Humans were. Life doesn't change God, it changes Humanity.

Ant.
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Old 03-03-2002, 10:21 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Anthony:
Thank you 80s. I do know that God loves us unconditionally, I do know that that is Its free gift of salvation, and I do know that we are Its children.

we need to do more than just 'ask' and seek salvation in a confession box. It is all very well to confess your sins and repent truly and then commit it all over again, however, what about you as a human being? What about perfection? Jesus once asked us to be perfect, and I believe that the whole point of Life is to become perfect, to find union with God.

I am sorry, but confessing to a stranger and then being absolved of all sin is not only too convenient and easy, but it lacks the discipline human beings deserve in order to achieve perfection.

Having said that, God DOES love us unconditionally. However, God and Love were never the problem, Humans were. Life doesn't change God, it changes Humanity.
Ant.
I understand what you're saying, but I don't confess my sins to man. I confess them straight to God's ear.

Salvation is a perfectly free gift. It has to be free, because I could never be "good enough" to earn it. That's teh entire point of the cross. The cost of sin is death. The only way for man to be free of this debt is for a perfect man to die for the rest. That's what Christ did. his perfect blood paid the price for my sin. And once I accepted that gift, I was forgiven. Not just for my sins before that point, but the Bible makes it clear that teh forgiveness is for sins past, present, and future. Now that I have Jesus in my heart, my sins are forgiven even before I ask.
So does that mean that I am free to do whatever I want, simply because I am forgiven? God forbid! Rather, because I am forgiven, because I am "born again" (Jesus'
words, not just mine), the Holy Spirit has entered into me and I now have his power to resist temptation, and the responsibility to rely on his power, rather than relying on my own strength. My power is useless. It is only His power that saves. it is only His power that is victorious.
You wite about the "discipline" humans need to achieve perfection. But the Bible makes it clear that humans don't have any discipline to achieve perfection. It's just not there. Rather, God wants us to rely completely on Himself and His righteousness. For, as the Bible says, our righteousness "is as dirty rags", but the righteousness he gives to us when we give him control is perfect.
The perfection Jesus speaks of is the exacty opposite of "human discipline". It is the fact that through God's grace, He gives us His spirit. The Bible says that when you become a Christian, you are a "new creation". It tells us that the "sin nature" is "crucified with Christ". Does that mean that we no longer sin? No, because we indulge in the desires of the flesh (which is tempted by the Devil). But our spirit, which is who we really are, is made new when we become Christians. That's where the struggle comes in - where the spirit (that desires only the good and perfect will of God) is in conflict with the desires of the imperfect flesh (which is being lied to by Satan, being told that we want to disobey God).
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Old 03-03-2002, 10:41 PM   #27
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80s...
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Old 03-03-2002, 11:26 PM   #28
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Once again, you risk having the faith of a Pharisee, whose narrow interpretation of the Bible blinded them of the Messiah directly in front of them. Either way, the "end" does not concern me. If it happens in my lifetime, I'm ready. If it doesn't happen for another millennium, I'm certainly unphased by it.

Fair enough; I was a little offended you said that but it is true what you say (that it's easy to be like a Pharisee). However, I don't think that asking you to elaborate on your opinion shows that I plan to keep my 'narrow interpretation' of Scripture. Gimme some credit eh, melon? <g>

I myself don't put much thought into the endtimes any more; if it happens it happens. I was only concerned because your post about the end time prophecies by those people you mentioned seemed to invoke more fear/alarm than anything else. I didn't want z edge or anyone to get freaked because of it, because the fact remains that we do not know when the endtimes will happen.

I dunno who Pat Robertson is.

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Old 03-04-2002, 12:02 AM   #29
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And Jesus is a Republican.

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Old 03-04-2002, 12:32 AM   #30
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Thanks, Melon for identifying where the information comes from that I published. It just goes to show Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their study of the Holy Scriptures.

It seems to me that you've managed to lead the conversation into an entirely NEW thread AGAIN.

I thought z edge was looking for some evidence that this was the END TIMES as recorded in the Bible. Matthew chapter 24 has a really clear outline of what he's talking about.

I'm personally amazed at the fact there is STILL a group left on earth that does carry out Matthew 24:14 and therefore fulfills prophecy. Considering all the atrocities done to Christians throughout the ages who simply wanted to just read the bible and do what it says.

Z-Edge...the point you made about the Chaplain telling you about the Antichrist being alive today is absolutely true. He of all people should know because the Pope is an antichrist..and that's why he was hesitant in telling you WHO it was...if he really wanted to know WHO it was ;o). The definition of antichrist is this:

Antichrist means against or instead of Christ. The term applies to all who deny what the Bible says about Jesus Christ, all who oppose his Kingdom, and all who mistreat his followers. It also includes individuals, organizations, and nations that falsely claim to represent Christ or that improperly ascribe to themselves the role of Messiah.

Think about this the next time your Chaplain blesses your efforts for war. Think about this the next time the Pope apologizes for all the detestable things the members of his church and those in alliance with it have done to people...little boys too.

1 John 2:18: "Young children, it is the last hour, and, just as you have heard that antichrist is coming, even now there have come to be many antichrists; from which fact we gain the knowledge that it is the last hour."



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