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100% Scripture, no supplements #36064
Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:57 AM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:57 AM
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Belvidere, IL, USA
Dave U. Offline OP
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[Note: although this post is inspired by what I've been seeing here these last few days, it's not intended to characterize the precise teachings of anyone in particular. Frankly, I'm having too difficult a time following exactly what some folks are saying to get any kind of exact handle on them, and I lack the time and inclination to do the extra-curricular reading that some claim is necessary in order to catch their meaning. Instead, I'm just using the overall tone and lingo of parts of the discussion as a springboard for a topic that's of vital importance in today's doctrinally weak but mystically bent evangelical world: is God still speaking today?]

In my charismatic days, I think I rather pitied my non-Spirit-filled friends. Sure, they were Christians, but compared to me they had so little light. I had the power of the Spirit, but they were just born again. Yes, they knew Jesus, but I also had the Holy Spirit. God spoke to me through prophecies, dreams, and visions, but my friends had only the Bible. How dead their faith seemed to me. After all, God often gave me vivid personal revelation, but they only had a two thousand year old book. They had only the Word, but I had the Spirit, too. How sorry I felt for them unless I was able to somehow help encourage them to receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit as I had. Sure I was glad when an unbeliever accepted Christ, but what really excited me was when a "mere" believer received the Holy Ghost and spoke in tongues!

A few years later, the song I sang went to a rather different tune. As it began to dawn on me that not all of my revelations had come from God, I started to get a bit more discerning. I began to do something I'd never done before: test the spirits to see whether they were of God. Sometimes this was pretty easy: if someone rose up in church and prophesied that we ought to pay greater homage to Mary, I knew that the Holy Spirit couldn't possibly have been the inspiration, so I threw it out as being either fleshly or demonic in origin. Other times, though, the prophecy, dream, or vision wasn't blatantly unbiblical. Sometimes it seemed to bear a resemblance to something in the Bible. Although I couldn't be 100% certain that this type of revelation was from God, I couldn't be 100% certain it wasn't, so in such cases I gave the prophecy/whatever the benefit of the doubt: don't get my hopes too high in case it's not from God, but don't throw it out lest I miss out on something that's truly from God.

A few more years passed. Of the revelations to which I'd given the benefit of the doubt, not a single one had come to pass. In fact, far from being an encouragement to my faith, they became a constant source of spiritual turmoil. "What if it isn't from God? Then my waiting has been in vain, but I dare not give up hope because it might be from God." My faith, such as it was, had come to be founded upon mights and maybes. Compared to the faith of Scripture--based upon the Yeas and Amens of God's inspired Word--my faith was a pitiful, doubt-ridden mess. It took ten years for me to see it, but the truth was that my oh-so-vital faith in Word and Spirit had nearly led me to spiritual shipwreck. You see, I learned my lesson too well: if I can't be sure about God's present-day Word, how I can I be sure of His written Word?

Therefore, I've learned to be rather cautious when I am counseled that I ought to strike a balance between the Word and the Spirit. Granted, there is a sense in which I _must_ have both Scripture and the Holy Spirit. Given the depravity of my sinful heart, I will not--cannot--hear what the Scriptures say unless the Spirit grants me understanding as well as a willing heart to receive what God has said. What has been called the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.

However, this is all too often _not_ all that is meant when folks say that we need both Word and Spirit. In some cases, they mean that the Word doesn't contain everything that God intends to say: that He is in fact still imparting new revelation in our day. Obviously, if God was speaking through the kind of Apostles and Prophets He used in biblical times--speaking with absolute inerrant authority--we had better listen to what He is saying through them. ABSOLUTELY!!! If there is a man who speaks and writes with the authority and inspiration of a Paul, you and I had better listen up. The Word of God, whether in written form or as spoken from an anointed apostle or prophet, ought to be heeded and obeyed.

So, if I need both the Word and the Spirit, what am I to do? Listen to what God is saying today? OK, fine. Whom is He speaking through? Is there a true Bible-type apostle or prophet living today? If so, where is he? Who is he? At this point, some will say, "Well, uh, that's not exactly what I mean. I'm not saying that there are guys like Paul or Peter around today. Yeah, there are prophets today, but they're not quite as inspired as the apostles. Even the best of them get it wrong from time to time, but some of them have a pretty good track record. That's the kind of guy God is speaking through today. Sure there's some error mixed in with the truth, but you better not throw out the baby with the bathwater in case you miss what God is doing."

Well, sir/madam, if that's what you're selling, I'm not buying it. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Say all you want that God is speaking today in a watered-down, semi-inspired way. All I'll say in reply is, "Who needs second-rate revelation like that when I've got 100% Grade A Truth in the Bible I'm holding in my hand? Although I need the Spirit who helps me to understand and trust my Bible, I don't need any 'Spirit' who's giving me 'words' that I can't take to the bank!" Whether you're a full-blown professing charismatic or a "moderate" something-or-other, as soon as you tell me that I've got to mix half-flesh-half-spirit "revelation" with the pure milk of the Scriptures if I'm going to have the whole package, all I can say is "Forget about it! Up through the end of Scripture, God always spoke with the utmost clarity and authority, and He never said that He was going to start speaking in a fallible, half-fleshly manner. Unless you can point me to a full-blown apostle or prophet who speaks with the authority of a Paul, Isaiah, or Moses--which you most certainly CAN'T--I'm going to stick with the Scriptures alone, thank you."

OK, that's my US$0.02. Please don't take this screed as a 100% airtight defense of the sufficiency of Scripture and the cessation of the spiritual gifts. Instead, take it as a rant from someone who's heard over and over again "we need the Word and the Spirit" or "don't throw out the baby with the bathwater" who's frankly sick of hearing that same old tired song. You see, we ex-Charismatics already have all of the Spirit we need, 'cause without Him we never would have come to Christ, and without Him we'd never understand or receive the Word. As Scripture plainly reveals, we have all we need in Christ. No extra ingredients are required.

Dave

Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Dave U.] #36065
Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:41 AM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:41 AM
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straw Offline
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You say:
So, if I need both the Word and the Spirit, what am I to do? Listen to what God is saying today? OK, fine. Whom is He speaking through? Is there a true Bible-type apostle or prophet living today? If so, where is he?

I say:
Why do you need a prophet or an apostle, God speaks directly to you by His Spirit ? The OT is full to the brim with examples of God speaking.

I recall when my youngest actually was present when our Pastor was giving instruction regarding water baptism, and at some point the Pastor turned to my youngest and asked him, 'Have you heard the Lord?' He answered truthfully, 'Yes' and that if one really listens one should be able to hear Him. The Pastor was rather perplexed and said, 'You can only hear God through the Bible'. My son merely repeated that He could also hear God.

After all God is hardly silent, is He ?

We speak to God in prayer, and by gum --- God is able to speak to us directly. (unless God is dumb?) After all most of us were saved as a result of someone preaching, 'faith cometh by hearing' but one needed to have a preacher, preaching. Now if we were saved and one had no Bible (you know someone living in the Amazon, or on a remote Island etcetera.), or preacher, then I suppose one might conclude that someone spoke to us, but who would this be ? Obviously God. In today's world there is much deafness to the voice of GOD, but there is not doubt God's voice BOOMS...louder enough to have Israel begging Moses to tell God to stop; enough so that even when He spoke to Saul of Tarsus, they were effected even though they could not see or hear. God's voice not only BOOMS but Elijah called the voice, 'the still small voice' and certainly I understand the voice of our Shepherd to be both gentle and severe, depending on what He is speaking to us about. If we are covering our sin, He might need to really speak very directly to us. Normally when we are sinning we don't really want to read the Word and well, He will have to speak directly, or through a brother or sister, be imaginative here. God has been known to use creatures that don't have the right sort of vocal chords to get his message through. Especially to mad prophets who are sinning, and when His children are in error. Sometimes it could get quite noisy indeed.

"This is my Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him"
"In these last days God has spoken to us by His Son"

What was your reference to Mary all about. Are you ex-Catholic Charismatic ?

There is so much that God longs to talk intimately to you about that is not contained in the Bible, for example in 1 John 1:1-3 (It is clear there if fellowship with God.) - This love he has for His beloved is not always as you put it contained in the 100%...sometimes He might say something as direct as 'I love you' or who knows, be imaginative there. (Remember young Samuel ?) You are crossing the street and do not see and oncoming vehicle and suddenly in your spirit you hear, "Watch out!"

What that might be for you now is just to read His Word and that is good, this way when He speaks to you, you will know your Shepherd voice, "My sheep hear my voice."

Enjoying God,

Last edited by straw; Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:44 AM.

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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36066
Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:45 AM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:45 AM
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straw said:
The Pastor was rather perplexed and said, 'You can only hear God through the Bible'. My son merely repeated that He could also hear God.

After all God is hardly silent, is He ?


Of course your son said, "I can hear God" because that's what you have taught him, and he is not going to disappoint you, is he?

Maybe you haven't heard that our thrice holy and sovereign God does not touch the unclean, let alone speak to sinners such as you and I? That is EXCEPT by grace alone (Sola Gratia)through the active and passive obedience of His Son alone (Solas Christus) and the mediation of His words ALONE (Sola Scriptura). This, by the gift of faith in all of the above (Sola Fide)

In a post in another forum you I could hardly believe that you quoted Torrey who mentioned the names "Edwards" and "Finney" in the same sentence! as being in union with one another. Doing that (my friend) is a class AAA oxymoron.

Quote

And hence it comes to pass, that in their rejoicings and elevations, hypocrites are wont to keep their eye upon themselves; having received what they call spiritual discoveries, their minds are taken up about their own experiences; and not the glory of God, or the beauty of Christ. They keep thinking with themselves, what a good experience is this! what a great discovery is this! what wonderful things have I met with! and so they put their experiences in the place of Christ, his beauty and fullness. Instead of rejoicing in Christ Jesus, they rejoice in their admirable experiences. Jonathan Edwards from Religious Affections


Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Adopted] #36067
Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:09 AM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:09 AM
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straw Offline
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You said:
Of course your son said, "I can hear God" because that's what you have taught him, and he is not going to disappoint you, is he?

I say:
Certainly, we have discussed the importance of listening in general, a good practice indeed. It seems that God has enabled him to hear, as he does to ALL his sheep. Are you listening ?

You say:
In a post in another forum you I could hardly believe that you quoted Torrey who mentioned the names "Edwards" and "Finney" in the same sentence! as being in union with one another.

I say:
Perhaps you should read the context, your quote is rather punchy and extremely useful to that context. Thanks.

If you would prefer to actually reply to the full thrust of my comment, then we might be able to hold a conversation, it seems you only glean parts to assist your campaign.

Please try to stay on topic this time.


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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Adopted] #36068
Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:34 AM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 7:34 AM
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Great rant, Dave! I too am sick to death of the "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" line.

Every choice is an acceptance of one thing to the exclusion of another. Trying to walk between Yes and No is not only impossible but can drive a person insane.

Of course God speaks today! That is the only reason there are believers. God speaks through the Scriptures (the Holy Spirit applying the word of God to our hearts as only He can), and we can rely fully on the truth of the word.

"Impressions" felt in our hearts and "words from God" delivered by some supposed prophet are never reliable. How many silly and unBiblical rabit trails I was led down because my pastor had a "leading of the Spirit" to go this way or that; or because he was following some "prophetic" or "apostolic leading." The Bible became little more than a tool to illustrate and "prove" whatever "impressions" the leaders felt.

Yet some felt "led" to follow legalistic perfectionists like Torrey, while other leaders felt "led" to the opposite extreme of "easy believism." Trying to figure out which ones were right was impossible for sheep who had never been taught how to study the Scriptures. Both sides skillfully defended their "impressions" with Bible verses that supposedly "proved" their arguments, yet everyone knows they can't both be right. So what did we do? We sought our own personal "impression" or "word from God." Not knowing how to use the Bible, we would pray and agonize and gibber away in tongues waiting for God to speak to us.

And more often than not, we would interpret our lack of "getting a clear word" as evidence that we didn't have what it takes to hear from God. Right back to perfectionism again, in order to achieve whatever we lacked that kept us from "getting a word" for ourselves.

We're seeing that perfectionism rear it's ugly head again right here on the Highway, in thread after thread from new arrivals here that have not come to listen and learn anything, but who have an agenda of their own to straighten out us narrow, doctrinaire, lawless "low wattage" Christians. Of course the first step in doing that is to try to get us to deny Sola Scriptura, because as long as we insist on sticking to the Bible and only the Bible, they cannot persuade us to embrace their agenda.

Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36069
Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:10 AM
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straw said:
Please try to stay on topic this time.


I am getting very tired of hearing this. Please tell me how a presentation of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura is not in line with the topic "100% Scripture"?

Never mind, as I am finding it impossible to "gently and respectfully" communicate with someone that God talks to personally.

-------------------------------

god Speaks To Me

god tells me this
god told me that
god told me to buy
A cat in the hat

Truth is a waste
Of time and good money
When god bows to me
And calls me “honey”

The new age insists
The old pagan deal
And faith has become
My touch and my feel

----------------------------


Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Adopted] #36070
Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:08 AM
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I have always thought the idea of using Sola Scriptura to reject a present tense God speaking to your hearts and minds a bit strange on a forum where I have received in excess of 15 references to read works other than the Bible.

If one is a purist Sola Scriptura then one aught not to post poetry or prose, or articles but just post Scripture. Right?

I notice that none of the points I raised were replied to. This could only mean that this forum is not about thinking, but just mindlessly accepting things as they have been commanded by the old sages, whose writings though not the Bible are as infallible as the Pope when he sits 'en cathedra' a bit of a double standard here.

If God only speaks out of the Bible, then perhaps it is time to start burning all the works of Calvin, Luther, Spurgeon and Torrey. Let's just burn the lot. Why ? Because the Bible is the truth and it cannot be found in any other writing. Right ?

I think not. God has and will always speak to us, and I mean seriously when you are about to make a snap decision at work regarding when you should do this or that, do you honestly say, "Hold on a minute, I am going to spend a day or two praying and reading God's Word and then I will let you know." I doubt it, you do what we all do and that is we listen for the voice of our Shepherd and an inner conviction of the Holy Spirit about what to do, or else we phone our wives, girlfriends, or closest confidant. I don't suppose we keep a copy of the Institutes close at hand.

No, nuddah, not a chance. God is real, and He speaks, and if we have not repented of our sins, it is a pretty good reason why we are not hearing Him. I vote for listening to God and hearing him in a child's laughter as well as in the GOOD BOOK.

Quote

Robin:
'We're seeing that perfectionism rear it's ugly head again right here on the Highway, in thread after thread from new arrivals here that have not come to listen and learn anything, but who have an agenda of their own to straighten out us narrow, doctrinaire, lawless "low wattage" Christians. Of course the first step in doing that is to try to get us to deny Sola Scriptura, because as long as we insist on sticking to the Bible and only the Bible, they cannot persuade us to embrace their agenda.'


Robin,
This comment really has me concerned. I have been pumped with doctrine and high wattage since I arrived and appreciate it VERY much. However, to avoid discussing issues by announcing we are 'Sola Scriptura' after doing that really is a little frustrating. Sort of like saying here is my hand and then withdrawing it the minute that someone asks you questions about a God that really is there, and is hardly silent.

You have nothing to fear, I am a firm believer in Sola Scriptura but I am also a firm believer in the God who said, "Let there be light" and clearly did and said a lot more than it written in John's Gospel, of which the libraries of the world would not contain it...why? Because Jesus is alive, that is what we are celebrating right ? If he is alive that means He is able to speak, did he not speak to the woman at the tomb on Easter Sunday, does He not continue to speak to us throughout our lives, is this not only when we are reading our bibles, but when we take a walk alongside the mountain as Jesus did to spend time alone with His Father, do you think He took the Torah with Him, well maybe, but don't you think he wanted us to talk imaginatively when He said pray after this manner, "Our Father..." ? Ofcourse He did and ofcourse He replies, that is what this whole story about God is about, God speaks, if not then He must be dumb. I don't think so. It is us that are not listening to the Shepherd who said, "My sheep hear my voice and follow me."

I am going to walk away from this forum now, as I can tell that as a Moderator this is where you guys are headed. Let God shatter the darkness, and let Him speak.

Sincerely in Christ,
Straw.

Last edited by straw; Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:26 AM.

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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Robin] #36071
Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:17 AM
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Robin said:
Great rant, Dave! I too am sick to death of the "don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" line.


I agree. That is one of the most overused lines in this sort of debate. What bothers me most about it, is that it demands acceptance that their is actually a baby in the dirty bathwater.

Straw, when God says "here ye Him" concerning Christ, what is it that we need to hear from Christ beyond what has been recorded in His word? If I want to know what God thinks about something I have a "more sure word of prophecy" (2 Peter 1:19) and the truth "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). When we "hear" God, it is the Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that the WORD is true (Rom 8:16, Heb 10:15), not some private personal revelation that goes beyond what is written.

Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36072
Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:27 AM
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No, nuddah, not a chance. God is real, and He speaks, and if we have not repented of our sins, it is a pretty good reason why we are not hearing Him. I vote for listening to God and hearing him in a child's laughter as well as in the GOOD BOOK.


The question is, however: How does God speak to us in an intelligent, propositional manner? The following is from your own biography from your own website that is frequented by many who idolize you and your music:

Quote

While sitting quietly under a tree waiting in silence, He came to me and spoke clearly and with a faithfulness in the sound of His voice that I have not heard any human being utter, and said, “I love you”


Please tell us again what the word "repent" means.

Straw, as a fellow sinner and with all of the love, gentleness and respect that I can muster; Let go of it and come out of her.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/broke.gif" alt="" />

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Jeff D] #36073
Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:47 AM
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'Straw, when God says "here ye Him" concerning Christ, what is it that we need to hear from Christ beyond what has been recorded in His word?


As I have already explained I am speaking about the mundane things of life, like deciding about whether or not you are going to have the cat put to sleep, or if you are going to resign from you new job, or if you should have an operation on that cancerous growth or go for prayer. Now sure you could read your Bible and get an answer to all three of those, or you could hear and answer in your spirit, and His Spirit speaks to you. Also the small matter of the intimate moments when He speaks a few words to you during your time of devotion. One does not make a Bible out of this, but they are real events where God is speaking directly to our hearts and minds. Right? I am also not one who believes in having ANOTHER bible, but we have to realize that God speaks both Generally and Specially, that is the truth of Theology, otherwise how on earth would God speak to an unbeliever who would not touch a Bible with a barge pole. Or someone who lives in a remote place where there is not preaching, preacher, or Bible. God speaks don't fear that and hide behind Sola Scriptura, that is just plain silly.

Quote

If I want to know what God thinks about something I have a "more sure word of prophecy" (2 Peter 1:19) and the truth "once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).


You are making a case for absolute truth, I have absolutely no problem with the Bible being not just the sourse of all truth, but instead the Truth period. Okay ?

Quote

When we "hear" God, it is the Spirit bearing witness with our spirits that the WORD is true (Rom 8:16, Heb 10:15), not some private personal revelation that goes beyond what is written.'


Going beyond is not what I am writing about, that is something that is never intended. How on earth would that be possible. What is written, the verbal plenary Word of the Living God is the standard by which we measure all the words and thoughts of men. It is the Truth. Period. What I am saying is that not only is there the Word of God, but there is a living, loving Creator, our Maker that clearly has spoken long before He made the earth, and that he continues to do so, and that we have been called into fellowship with the Father and the Son. Read 1 John 1 : 1-3

God sent His Son into this world, to speak, and He did and He spoke and continues to speak and will do so for eternity. To those who listen His voice is precious and tender and faithful. A wise friend from California said to me once, "I spent most of my life prior to Christ listening to Satan, I was involved that way. Now it is not to hard for me to know the voice of my Saviour."

It is not the case of being second rate or any other nonesense, it is that God is able both to speak to us through His Spirit and His Word. We need both. There are times when we can't get to the house phone, and we need that cell phone, do you undestand what I mean ? Emergency calls to our heavenly Father.

As I said, so many are nervous of this because of the connotations of Charismania, but be very careful that you do not .... yes exactly. Can't get away from that silly phrase.

The one that I read in the beginning of this forum is 'out of the frying pan and into the fire' ... I think we need to come up with a new one that explains what it means to take a dry pathway out of fear, instead of going for the real thing, and that is a real God who talks to a real people, His beloved, both in person and through the Scriptures.

Well that about does it for me. I am not running, I just think I am beginning to feel a little like Jonah, and that see it beginning to look really rough, but I think it's time to jump.

Sela Vie.

Write to me if anyone agrees and decides that I can stay:
aeryck@telkomsa.net


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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Adopted] #36074
Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:50 AM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:50 AM
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Adopted said:
Quote

No, nuddah, not a chance. God is real, and He speaks, and if we have not repented of our sins, it is a pretty good reason why we are not hearing Him. I vote for listening to God and hearing him in a child's laughter as well as in the GOOD BOOK.


The question is, however: How does God speak to us in an intelligent, propositional manner? The following is from your own biography from your own website that is frequented by many who idolize you and your music:

Quote

While sitting quietly under a tree waiting in silence, He came to me and spoke clearly and with a faithfulness in the sound of His voice that I have not heard any human being utter, and said, “I love you”


Please tell us again what the word "repent" means.

Straw, as a fellow sinner and with all of the love, gentleness and respect that I can muster; Let go of it and come out of her.
<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/broke.gif" alt="" />

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny,

You are going to have to make yourself a lot clearer than this. If you want me to explain why I believe that God speaks to us personally as well as through the Scriptures, then that is what you need to ask. Try the comment above for the answer, I think I have made myself quite clear.

He loves you. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

nb. In prayer times I generally pray that the Lord would reveal to me anything that is not right. Just like King David prayed, 'Lord search me and know me, see if there be any wicked way in me.' Then I will remember stuff and I just confess it and so on. This is a real relationship with a Risen real Jesus.

Last edited by straw; Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:08 AM.

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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36075
Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:34 AM
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So what do we do when we find ourselves confronted with the need to make a decision but find no explicit Scripture to tell us what to do? Which job to take? Whom to marry? Where to go on vacation? Some will argue (as you seem to) that such situations necessitate listening for God's "still small voice." Since God hasn't spoken explicitly in Scripture, therefore He'll speak directly to us: "Yes, I want you to marry Sally Smith."

In fact, though, there's absolutely no need for any such kind of direct personal revelation (for that's what the "still small voice" really is). In a nutshell, here's how to go about making a decision when explicit Scripture is lacking or when confronted with multiple lawful (aka Scriptural) options:

1. Pray that God would grant you wisdom. The Holy Spirit may well see fit to remind you of Scripture that you'd henceforth overlooked.

2. Consider Scriptural principles that may help to advise which course of action is best or wisest. For example, Scripture doesn't explicitly say, "Take the lower-paying job offer because it's closer to a good church," but yet Scripture is clear that spiritual gain is far more important than material gain.

3. If left with multiple options that are both lawful and wise, you're free to choose based upon practical considerations, personal preferences, etc..

That's pretty much all there is to it.

To this you may say, "But that's too simple. It sounds like God leaves decisions up to _me_ so long as I obey Scripture."

Bingo! Yes, the Christian is left free by God to do as he sees fit so long as he obeys the letter and spirit of Scripture.

"But what if I make the wrong choice? What if I miss God's best for me?"

Although there's no guarantee that I'll be spared negative fallout from the choices I freely make--the house I buy might turn out to be infested with termites, or the woman I marry might turn out to be more contentious than she'd seemed during our courtship--the fact is that God doesn't expect us to see into the future. _All he expects is that we obey His Word._ In His Providence, He often allows us to make decisions that don't seem to turn out well at all. This doesn't mean that we "missed God." Instead, it may well be that God is pleased to grant us occasion for sanctification through temporal suffering.

So, there is absolutely no need for any kind of extra-biblical revelation. God has indeed said everything that He needs to say in the Bible, which the Holy Spirit then illuminates and applies to our hearts.

To illustrate, take the story of how I happened to buy my house. I followed the above approach--doing whatever seemed best to me within Scriptural bounds--and ended up with a dwelling that's ideally situated for my present needs. At no point did God impart any kind of direct "word" to me: "Buy this house." Instead, I applied Scriptural principles to make the choice that seemed wisest at the time. My house is a half-hour drive from my office. After moving here, I went ahead and found an excellent church that's just under half an hour away from my house in the opposite direction. Although God never "told" me to move here, it seems evident now that He nonetheless ordered my steps to select the house that would put me just where He wanted me. You see, Almighty God is quite able to accomplish His will even without directly speaking to His sheep.

Although there was occasionally a need for extraordinary revelation in the days prior to the completion of the Bible, with Scripture complete, the Christian has all he needs pertaining to life and godliness. He need not worry about "missing God" unless he disobeys the plain teaching of Scripture. Where Scripture is silent, the believer is free to do as he chooses.

Dave

Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Dave U.] #36076
Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:43 AM
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Dear Friends,

Has anyone here read BOOK I of John Calvin's Institutes. This is Chapter 5. What do you think ?

Quote

3. Man as the loftiest proof of divine wisdom

Hence certain of the philosophers have not improperly called man a microcosm, (miniature world,) as being a rare specimen of divine power, wisdom, and goodness, and containing within himself wonders sufficient to occupy our minds, if we are willing so to employ them. Paul, accordingly, after reminding the Athenians that they "might feel after God and find him," immediately adds, that "he is not far from every one of us," (Acts 17: 27;) every man having within himself undoubted evidence of the heavenly grace by which he lives, and moves, and has his being. But if, in order to apprehend God, it is unnecessary to go farther than ourselves, what excuse can there be for the sloth of any man who will not take the trouble of descending into himself that he may find Him? For the same reason, too, David, after briefly celebrating the wonderful name and glory of God, as everywhere displayed, immediately exclaims, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him?" and again, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength," (Psalm 8: 2, 4.) Thus he declares not only that the human race are a bright mirror of the Creator's works, but that infants hanging on their mothers' breasts have tongues eloquent enough to proclaim his glory without the aid of other orators. Accordingly, he hesitates not to bring them forward as fully instructed to refute the madness of those who, from devilish pride, would fain extinguish the name of God. Hence, too, the passage which Paul quotes from Aratus, "We are his offspring," (Acts 17: 28,) the excellent gifts with which he has endued us attesting that he is our Father. In the same way also, from natural instinct, and, as it were, at the dictation of experience, heathen poets called him the father of men. No one, indeed, will voluntarily and willingly devote himself to the service of God unless he has previously tasted his paternal love, and been thereby allured to love and reverence Him.


I have always wondered why Calvin started with 'THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE CREATOR" - whereas the Westminster Confession begins with 'Of Scripture'. My personal thought is that often so many Christians develop a genuine block to the idea that God is able to speak through His creation, and quite literally, or else we would have to burn all literature. Sure Scripture can never be contradicted, but prose, poetry, include Shakespeare, and Milton, and okay I might not include others, but so much speaks, and clearly teaches us that God speaks, and that He created us with beaks that need to speak, to be happy, and pens and quills that we have to communicate ideas. How often have we been perplexed and spoken to a friend and they have shared from their hearts and we have just sat there soothed and amazed and just thinking, 'Man you really spoke to me through this person Lord.' Did He not say He would be with us always, even unto the end of the world ? (Matthew 28) If our Bibles were taken away we would still have the presense of our living Lord and God with us. Right?

I often wondered why it is that if 'Christ is in us, the hope of glory' why so many object to the idea of actually hearing and even seeing Him ? Perhaps it is with new ears and new eyes and for some who reject the idea they will certainly both hear and see the Lord in the Kingdom to come.

Last edited by straw; Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:55 AM.

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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36077
Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:36 PM
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straw said:
Has anyone here read BOOK I of John Calvin's Institutes. This is Chapter 5. What do you think ?


This is a Reformed website and what you just said is so laughable I will not even comment except to say that Book 1 of the Institutes very nearly totally concerns the Authority of Scripture!

Why don't you read Book 1, Chapter 9 titled:

Fanatics, Abandoning Scripture and Flying over to Revelation, Cast Down all the Principles of Godliness

Who do you suppose Calvin is talking to here? Try your "still small voice" and see if you can get an answer. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" />

Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36078
Sat Apr 07, 2007 1:55 PM
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Jeff D Offline
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Quote
straw said:

I have always wondered why Calvin started with 'THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE CREATOR" - whereas the Westminster Confession begins with 'Of Scripture'.


That is easy. Calvin was bascially writing a systematic theology (though not in the developed form later ones would take I think). In systematic theology, each doctrine is built upon the last (and pardon me if I am telling you something you already know) in order to complete a logical and coherent system. Thus, the building of a clear set of doctrines and principles must begin with God. Before we can understand anything else, we must have an idea of who and what God is. The WCF is simply a creedal statement, not an in-depth theological treatise. It was created to clarify and express a set of commonly held beliefs, as well as provide a reference point for matters of dispute and debate. They are completely different documents with completely different purposes. Hence, there is no great surprise to see that they differ in topical order. I wouldn;t read too much into that comparison were I you.

Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36079
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:28 PM
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Quote
After all God is hardly silent, is He ?


Indeed, He speaks in Scripture.

Quote
After all most of us were saved as a result of someone preaching, 'faith cometh by hearing' but one needed to have a preacher, preaching.


Not only preaching, but preaching THE WORD OF GOD, which is contained in SCRIPTURE.

Quote
Now if we were saved and one had no Bible (you know someone living in the Amazon, or on a remote Island etcetera.), or preacher, then I suppose one might conclude that someone spoke to us, but who would this be ? Obviously God.


So are you saying that God is directly preaching the Gospel to people in remote corners of the earth? The apostle writes, "How will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:14).

Quote
There is so much that God longs to talk intimately to you about that is not contained in the Bible, for example in 1 John 1:1-3 (It is clear there if fellowship with God.)


Have you touched the body of Christ with your hands, straw? (1 Jh. 1:1!)


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36080
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:45 PM
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Quote
straw said:

As I have already explained I am speaking about the mundane things of life, like deciding about whether or not you are going to have the cat put to sleep, or if you are going to resign from you new job, or if you should have an operation on that cancerous growth or go for prayer.


Or whether to wear boxers or briefs, or whether to eat the cheeseburger or the chicken sandwich, or whether to answer the telephone with the greeting "Hello, you've reached the Smith residence" or "Hello, Smith speaking," or if you should write in block letters or in handwriting, or whether you should fill the gas tank at Chevron or at Shell, etc., etc. ad nauseam. Right? And if not these things, then you are simply determining what is important to the Spirit by your own fleshly ideas, and nothing more; otherwise you should wait on the Lord for an answer to whether you should keep the covers on top of you in the morning and stay in bed or throw them off and prepare for the day!

Quote
One does not make a Bible out of this, but they are real events where God is speaking directly to our hearts and minds. Right?


Wrong.

Quote
I am also not one who believes in having ANOTHER bible, but we have to realize that God speaks both Generally and Specially, that is the truth of Theology, otherwise how on earth would God speak to an unbeliever who would not touch a Bible with a barge pole.


"For since in the wisdom of God the world through its widom did not know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe" (I Cor. 1:21).

Quote
Or someone who lives in a remote place where there is not preaching, preacher, or Bible.


If God has chosen not to grant such persons the merciful benefit of hearing the Gospel, then it is His judgement.

Quote
Going beyond is not what I am writing about, that is something that is never intended. How on earth would that be possible.


Where is it written in Scripture about whether or not to put down your pet? To say that God has directly revealed to you what to do in such a situation is by definition to go beyond what is written, because the Scripture does not address the matter!

Quote
God sent His Son into this world, to speak, and He did and He spoke and continues to speak and will do so for eternity. To those who listen His voice is precious and tender and faithful.


And it is in His Scripure.

Quote
It is not the case of being second rate or any other nonesense, it is that God is able both to speak to us through His Spirit and His Word. We need both. There are times when we can't get to the house phone, and we need that cell phone, do you undestand what I mean ? Emergency calls to our heavenly Father.


If we walk in the Spirit, the Spirit will apply the wisdom of His Scripture which we read to our hearts. We do not need to have special and immediate revelation from Him.

For more on this subject, you can read this: "Discovering God's Will," by Sinclair Ferguson. Now I must admit I don't actually expect you to read this, since you seem quite busy enough with reading, but perhaps at least some others will benefit from it.

Last edited by CovenantInBlood; Sat Apr 07, 2007 3:15 PM.

Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36081
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:52 PM
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Quote
I have always wondered why Calvin started with 'THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD THE CREATOR" - whereas the Westminster Confession begins with 'Of Scripture'.


You could read what the Confession says as to why it begins with Scripture:

Quote
Although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men unexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God, and of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord, at sundry times, and in divers manners, to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterwards, for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing: which maketh the Holy Scripture to be most necessary; those former ways of God's revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.


Not surprisingly, Calvin says much the same in Book I, ch. 6:

Quote
Therefore, though the effulgence which is presented to every eye, both in the heavens and on the earth, leaves the ingratitude of man without excuse, since God, in order to bring the whole human race under the same condemnation, holds forth to all, without exception, a mirror of his Deity in his works, another and better help must be given to guide us properly to God as a Creator. Not in vain, therefore, has he added the light of his Word in order that he might make himself known unto salvation, and bestowed the privilege on those whom he was pleased to bring into nearer and more familiar relation to himself.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36082
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:54 PM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:54 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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Quote
straw said:
I have always thought the idea of using Sola Scriptura to reject a present tense God speaking to your hearts and minds a bit strange on a forum where I have received in excess of 15 references to read works other than the Bible.

Straw,

Obviously, you have either no understanding or a misunderstanding concerning the doctrine of "Sola Scriptura". The doctrine re-established by the Reformers and that which has been held by all consistent Calvinists since their day has been that Sola Scriptura is the "sole and final authority in all matters of faith and practice". However, Sola Scriptura does not preclude the insightful teaching of that written Word of God nor such documents as the Ecumenical Creeds nor the great Confessions and Catechisms which flowed out of the Protestant Reformation. In fact, Sola Scriptura establishes secondary authorities, not prohibits them.

For more on the historic Church's position on Scriptura, specifically "Sola Scriptura" see here:

What Do We Mean By Sola Scriptura?, by Dr. W. Robert Godfrey

Sola Scriptura and the Church, by William Webster

It is Written: Sola Scriptura, by Richard Bennett

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36083
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:57 PM
Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:57 PM
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Quote
If one is a purist Sola Scriptura then one aught not to post poetry or prose, or articles but just post Scripture. Right?


Evidently you don't understand the doctrine of sola Scriptura, which means, not that there is nothing of truth anywhere else, but that God speaks today only through what He has said in Scripture, and, therefore, Scripture is the final authority and judge. Sometimes we even need men who have the gift of teaching to better explain to us what God has said.

Last edited by CovenantInBlood; Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:59 PM.

Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: CovenantInBlood] #36084
Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:20 AM
Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:20 AM
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I have read the various posts on this with great interest. I too was in a Charismatic church for 20 years and came to the Reformed Confession about 5 years ago and left my AOG church a little over a year ago. My wife is still there. The whole time I was in the AOG church I never once heard the direct voice of God even though at times I sought it being prodded by the others who had.
With all of the exchanges going back and forth and the Scriptures flying hot and heavy, I want to add a practical side where hearing from God apart from Scripture ultimately ends up. What you are about to read is a true story. I have changed the actual names. I relate this story not for entertainment or even to prove a theological point. I write this because I believe that seeking to hear the voice of God leads us into the wilderness. That wilderness is full of doubt, confusion, lack of true biblical faith, and the Word of God as being secondary.
About 2 Years ago at my old AOG church, the only son of a couple who where one of the pillars of the church, was diagnosed with Leukemia. His Dad was a deacon and his mother was head of the Intercessors. A year ago with much prayer and words from God confirming that he would be healed, his Leukemia went into remission. We all rejoiced and those that heard from God were now confident that they heard a true Word. A few months back, the cancer returned. There was much prayer going up and many of the Intercessors assured his Mom that God had directly spoke to them that her son would be healed. Even as his condition worsened, because of these words from God, they all never doubted that he would be healed.

Today I attended this young (31) man's funeral.

As tragic as this story is, not any less tragic is the doubts and confusion of the Intercessors. I include an e-mail from one of them:

"This is very sad and confusing. Josh had an incredible Army fighting for him. Can't find a better bunch of prayer warriors anywhere. What happened? Why didn't God heal him? Why didn't God answer prayers? Sue(the mom) is such a wonderful person, God fearing, God loving, everything that God could ask for in a woman. Why didn't God answer her prayers? Why didn't God honor her belief that he would be healed? Why?"

Sad, isn't it. Even though the words from God didn't come true they will still look to new revelation to get answers.
You will see that in this next e-mail

"You are asking the same questions we are all asking……I am looking forward to asking pastor those same questions tonight when I go to church….we are still meeting at the prayer gate tonight and MAYBE someone will give some revelation on this whole situation…..We don’t get it either……..
BUT that probably is the plan of the enemy to bring us to a place of confusion…so that our faith wavers and gives him a way TRY to infiltrate the camp…..I have no answers …. Other than GOD is still on the thrown and what the enemy planed for bad the LORD will turn it for HIS good…..that’s all I know…"

The really sad part is that I know all of these women and they will admit that they know very little about the Bible. Why should they take the hard work to study God's word? They get "a fresh word" from God all the time. One of them told me that God told her what color He wanted her living room painted. I have dubbed this Caroline Kennedy theology. When JFK became President his daughter, Caroline, was very young. Many things where written about her now famous dad. Why should she read any of it? She talked to him directly while sitting on his knee.
With all of these visions and words from God that didn't come true and all the doubts and confusion, they still hold on to error. I will leave you with this last e-mail that was sent a day or so after Josh died. This will show you how far down the slippery slope of current day revelation people can go. So convinced that they heard from God about his healing, they where not about to give up.

Dear Ellen,
I feel like I can ask you this question. I thought about it all day, Mary was over this evening with the Same question, and before she left her house Joan asked the same question....why are we not praying over Josh for God to raise him up from the dead? We took that course at the healing room where we heard about it on more than one occasion, as you know. What's your thoughts on it?
Love,
Debbie

As I have seen with my own eyes, the road of personal revelation from God is littered with the wreckage of biblical illiteracy, lack of true faith, and in severe cases, jettisoning their faith altogether.

Last edited by bassbum; Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:21 AM.
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36085
Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:20 AM
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straw said:
He loves you.


I know you are trying to be "nice" but how do you know if this is true or not? Do you say this to everyone as most Arminians do? If so, what about this:

Quote

He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. [John 3:36 ASV]


Denny

Romans 3:22-24


Denny

Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." [John 6:68]
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: Adopted] #36086
Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:32 AM
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Denny,

The pervasive error that "God loves you [everyone without discrimination]" is in total opposition to biblical truth. The late Dr. John Gerstner addresses this error most effectively here: Does God Love the Sinner and Hate Only His Sin?.

Quote
Psalms 5:5 (ASV) "The arrogant shall not stand in thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity."

Psalms 7:11 (KJV) "God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry [with the wicked] every day."

Proverbs 6:16-19 (ASV) "There are six things which Jehovah hateth; Yea, seven which are an abomination unto him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood; A heart that deviseth wicked purposes, Feet that are swift in running to mischief, A false witness that uttereth lies, And he that soweth discord among brethren."

Malachi 1:2-3 (ASV) "I have loved you, saith Jehovah. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother, saith Jehovah: yet I loved Jacob; but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and [gave] his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness."

Matthew 7:21-23 (ASV) "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew [loved] you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Romans 9:10-13 (ASV) "And not only so; but Rebecca also having conceived by one, [even] by our father Isaac-- for [the children] being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, it was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written, Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

In His grace,


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Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: bassbum] #36087
Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:03 PM
Sun Apr 08, 2007 12:03 PM
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Quote
bassbum said:

As I have seen with my own eyes, the road of personal revelation from God is littered with the wreckage of biblical illiteracy, lack of true faith, and in severe cases, jettisoning their faith altogether.


Bassbum,

Thank you for sharing those excellent examples. However, very sad. It goes to show you what happens when people trust in their experiences instead of sound doctrine.

"It is only through Scripture that we receive any knowledge of the direct revelations of God in the past. We know absolutely nothing about God's revelations among Israel through the prophets and finally in Christ, except from the Bible. If this is set aside, we abandon the whole of God’s special revelation, including that in Christ. It is only through the word of the apostles that we can have communion with Christ. Consequently, it is unthinkable that God gave a special revelation and then took no measures to preserve it inviolate for coming generations. Scripture derives its significance exactly from the fact that it is the book of revelation. By means of Scripture God constantly carries His revelation into the world and makes its content effective in the thought and life of man. It is not merely a narrative of what happened years ago, but the perennial speech of God to man. Revelation lives on in Scripture and brings even now, just as it did when it was given, light, life, and holiness. By means of that revelation God continues to renew sinners in their being and consciousness. Scripture is the Holy Spirit's chief instrument for the extension and guidance of the Church, for the perfecting of the saints, and for the building up of the body of Jesus Christ." (Taken from Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology, pp. 142-143)


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Re: 100% Scripture, no supplements [Re: straw] #36088
Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:37 AM
Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:37 AM
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Like Dave, I too have been there, and done that,
and now view following "voices in my head" as foolish
and dangerous.

I find no scriptural justification for fallible
inspiration whatsoever.

I never did, even when I was a Charismatic. When my
prophecies began to fail, that was one of the things
God used to lead me out of the whole mess.

Once I left, this is the thought I was left with:

Daring to put words into God's mouth, I was guilty
of the sin of false prophecy, it was enough to bring tears
to my eyes that I was sinfully discrediting Him, and doing
the Devil's work instead.

I am now keenly aware of all those scriptures about
how God hates false prophecy, and wince now when I hear
others do it, even though I know they do it in ignorance.

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