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Total Messages Loaded: 201


John P. -:- Jerrold Lewis Continued -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 19:56:55 (PDT)
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monitor -:- Re: Jerrold Lewis Continued -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 06:46:19 (PDT)
__ John P. -:- For the Monitor -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 10:57:40 (PDT)
___ monitor -:- Re: For the Monitor -:- Thurs, Aug 31, 2000 at 11:05:05 (PDT)
__ John P. -:- Re: Jerrold Lewis Continued -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 10:31:18 (PDT)

Anne -:- What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 11:39:49 (PDT)
_
cousin Earl -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Tues, Aug 29, 2000 at 19:24:49 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Wed, Aug 30, 2000 at 07:10:37 (PDT)
___ Anne -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Thurs, Aug 31, 2000 at 06:25:40 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 16:18:38 (PDT)
_ Rod -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 16:04:44 (PDT)
__ Anne -:- As to 'Christian celebrities' . . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:54:05 (PDT)
___ DWC -:- Hey there Anne! -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 12:58:21 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: As to 'Christian celebrities' . . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 18:58:33 (PDT)
__ stan -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:08:18 (PDT)
___ Sleepy, Sneezy, and Dopey -:- Hey, Grumpi! :> -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:24:14 (PDT)
____ stan -:-
Re: :-) NT -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:38:27 (PDT)
_ Brother Bret -:- Re: What do y'all think about this. . . -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 13:11:59 (PDT)

saved -:- Faith -:- Sat, Aug 26, 2000 at 05:34:08 (PDT)

Dish -:- Marriage Annulment -:- Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 17:51:30 (PDT)
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john hampshire -:- Re: Marriage Annulment -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 16:17:19 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:- Yeh, yeh, yeh! :-) -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 21:29:12 (PDT)
___ john hampshire -:- Re: Yeh, yeh, yeh! :-) -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 01:35:42 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- john, just so you'll know... -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 09:22:30 (PDT)
_____ john hampshire -:- Re: john, just so you'll know... -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 16:48:23 (PDT)
______ keyboardQB -:- Re: john, just so you'll know... -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 23:13:28 (PDT)
_______ keyboardQB -:- Re: john, just so you'll know... -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 23:28:22 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: A Biblical rebuttal of John Hampshire's view! -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 07:49:58 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:- Re: A Biblical rebuttal of john's view! -:- Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 10:19:59 (PDT)
_ Rod -:- Re: Marriage Annulment -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 15:39:07 (PDT)
_ Brother Bret -:- Re: Marriage Annulment -:- Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 13:05:49 (PDT)
_ Five Sola -:- Re: Marriage Annulment -:- Sat, Aug 26, 2000 at 20:24:02 (PDT)
_ laz -:- Re: Marriage Annulment -:- Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 18:38:23 (PDT)

Gabriel -:- Parables = riddles a 'HOWTO' -:- Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 14:19:45 (PDT)

laz -:- Wood, Hay and Stubble -:- Thurs, Aug 24, 2000 at 17:53:16 (PDT)
_
David Teh -:- Just a perspective... -:- Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 09:02:42 (PDT)
_ john hampshire -:- Re: Wood, Hay and Stubble -:- Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 04:35:07 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Wood, Hay and Stubble -:- Thurs, Aug 24, 2000 at 20:34:34 (PDT)

Joe -:- Pilgrim, Are you against Christ? -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:49:03 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Preaching -:- Sun, Aug 20, 2000 at 04:25:42 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:- Re: Preaching -:- Sun, Aug 20, 2000 at 09:53:04 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: Preaching -:- Sun, Aug 20, 2000 at 18:14:17 (PDT)
_ g -:- Re: Pilgrim, Are you against Christ? -:- Sat, Aug 19, 2000 at 17:34:31 (PDT)
_ george -:- Process -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 17:40:34 (PDT)

laz -:- Joe and Eternal Justification -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:36:30 (PDT)

Rod -:- 'Preaching to the Choir' -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:39:57 (PDT)
_
Joe -:- Born Again, Yet Unsaved? -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 17:59:54 (PDT)
__ Rod -:- Precisely -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 18:06:56 (PDT)
___ Joe -:- Is there a Time Limit? -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 21:37:09 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- Reading without discernment -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 23:00:07 (PDT)
_____ Joe -:- What Verse? -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:01:46 (PDT)
___ Prestor John -:- Re: Precisely -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 19:24:45 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- I have never indicated otherwise! -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 20:03:13 (PDT)
_____ Prestor John -:- Re: I have never indicated otherwise! -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 23:07:29 (PDT)
______ Rod -:- Re: I have never indicated otherwise! -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 05:42:26 (PDT)
_____ Joe -:- Sounds like Decisional Salvation -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 22:23:34 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Sounds like Decisional Salvation -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 08:38:23 (PDT)
_______ Joe -:- Re: Sounds like Decisional Salvation -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:29:20 (PDT)
________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Sounds like Decisional Salvation -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 10:12:28 (PDT)
_________ Joe -:- Rom 8:7,8 -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 13:11:37 (PDT)
__________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Rom 8:7,8 -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 17:21:18 (PDT)
___________ Joe -:- Re: Rom 8:7,8 -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 18:14:15 (PDT)
____________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Verification of Quotes -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 21:21:22 (PDT)
_____________ Joe -:- Pilgrim, Are you Against Christ? -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 08:57:59 (PDT)
______________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Pilgrim, Are you Against Christ? -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 18:06:20 (PDT)
______________ Eric -:- C'mon now Joe--against Christ? -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 10:46:31 (PDT)
_______________ Joe -:- Re: C'mon now Joe--against Christ? -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:55:22 (PDT)
________________ Rod -:- Whatever credibility -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 12:29:52 (PDT)
_____________ Rod -:- Clearing up the matter -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 22:03:34 (PDT)
______________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Clearing up the matter -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 08:16:17 (PDT)
_______________ Rod -:- I understood that, and thanks, -:- Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:11:00 (PDT)
_________ Joe -:- 1Cor 2:14 -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 12:41:35 (PDT)
______ Rod -:- Joe, I encourage you -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 22:29:13 (PDT)
_______ Joe -:- Any Arminians out there? -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 08:58:31 (PDT)
________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Any Arminians out there? -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:34:15 (PDT)

george -:- Did Jesus Laugh? -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 10:31:37 (PDT)
_
SatireLIVES! -:- God's Joke -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 05:55:53 (PDT)
__ Rod -:- Re: God's Joke -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 12:06:47 (PDT)
___ SatireLIVES! -:- Re: God's Joke -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 08:53:28 (PDT)
_ Rod -:- Re: Did Jesus Laugh? -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 11:48:21 (PDT)
__ george -:- Re: Did Jesus Laugh? -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 21:26:24 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: Did Jesus Laugh? -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 22:15:13 (PDT)
__ stan -:- Re: Did Jesus Laugh? -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 16:25:53 (PDT)
___ Prestor John -:- Re: Did Jesus Laugh?? -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 16:40:54 (PDT)
____ stan -:- Re: Correction. -:- Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 16:59:39 (PDT)

Joe -:- The Gospel -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 15:39:00 (PDT)
_
Eric -:- Don't forget... -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 05:49:57 (PDT)
_ Rod -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 22:18:14 (PDT)
__ Joe -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 12:29:39 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 16:51:32 (PDT)
_ Brother Bret -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 21:57:31 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 16:46:27 (PDT)
__ Joe -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 12:52:49 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 15:17:00 (PDT)
____ Joe -:- Re: The Gospel -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 16:26:31 (PDT)
_____ Joe -:- The Law - oops -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 16:38:33 (PDT)
______ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Law - oops -:- Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 07:48:18 (PDT)
_______ Joe -:- Re: The Law - oops -:- Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 13:24:00 (PDT)
________ john hampshire -:- Re: The Law - oops -:- Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 19:02:02 (PDT)
_________ Joe -:- No gospel needed? -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 08:57:12 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:- Re: No gospel needed???? -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 12:32:07 (PDT)
___________ Joe -:- Re: No gospel needed? -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 13:26:44 (PDT)
____________ Rod -:- This is a totally false statement, Joe -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 13:45:03 (PDT)
_____________ Joe -:- Acts 2:14-40 is the GOSPEL -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:46:43 (PDT)
_____________ Joe -:- If my statement is false, then you... -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:30:46 (PDT)
______________ Rod -:- That is precisely what I and... -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:55:46 (PDT)
_______________ Joe -:- If the Gospel is not needed... -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 21:48:11 (PDT)
_______________ Joe -:- Titus 3:5 -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 17:39:37 (PDT)
________________ Rod -:- Yes, Joe, That is the first thing -:- Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 19:08:04 (PDT)
_________________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Yes, Joe, That is the first thing -:- Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:27:31 (PDT)
_________ laz -:- Re: The Law - oops -:- Sun, Aug 13, 2000 at 19:21:39 (PDT)

Belle -:- Paedocommunion -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 11:08:37 (PDT)
_
Rod -:- Re: Paedocommunion -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 12:12:41 (PDT)
__ Pilgrim -:- Re: Paedocommunion -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 16:38:30 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: Your revelation -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 21:32:14 (PDT)

Donna -:- Canons of Dort -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 08:10:15 (PDT)
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Pilgrim -:- Re: Canons of Dort -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 12:18:22 (PDT)

kevin -:- computer software? -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 19:26:56 (PDT)
_
Prestor John -:- Re: computer software? -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 21:28:28 (PDT)
__ kevin -:- thanks and a note -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 20:21:18 (PDT)
___ Prestor John -:- Re: thanks and a note -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 20:02:29 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: thanks and a note -:- Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 06:45:41 (PDT)
_ Theo -:- Re: computer software? -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 21:19:55 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: computer software? -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 20:23:20 (PDT)

Donna -:- Maybe I should start over -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 10:00:43 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: Maybe I should start over -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 03:46:14 (PDT)
_ Pilgrim -:- Re: Assurance of Faith -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 13:23:36 (PDT)
__ Brother Bret -:- Re: Assurance of Faith -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 08:14:19 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Falling into sin -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 11:47:16 (PDT)
____ Pilgrim -:- Re: Falling into sin -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 17:04:38 (PDT)
___ laz -:- Re: Assurance of Faith -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 08:37:16 (PDT)
_ laz -:- Re: Maybe I should start over -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 10:14:36 (PDT)
__ Rod -:- Donna, laz has given good advice... -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 11:59:26 (PDT)

Eddie33 -:- Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5 -:- Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 09:26:11 (PDT)
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Pilgrim -:- Re: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5 -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 07:50:55 (PDT)
_ John P. -:- Re: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5 -:- Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 23:00:23 (PDT)
__ John P. -:- slight correction -:- Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 23:07:14 (PDT)
_ Rod -:- Re: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5 -:- Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 17:29:07 (PDT)

kenric -:- apology -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 09:39:47 (PDT)
_
john hampshire -:- Re: apology -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 19:07:35 (PDT)
_ Rod -:- Hello, Kenric -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 10:35:55 (PDT)

Donna -:- savior -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 12:37:57 (PDT)
_
Rod -:- Re: Savior -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 16:55:43 (PDT)
__ Donna -:- Re: Savior -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 19:09:57 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: Savior -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 20:10:47 (PDT)
____ Donna -:- Re: Savior -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 05:40:00 (PDT)
_____ Rod -:- Re: Savior -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 10:00:46 (PDT)
______ Donna -:- Re: Savior -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 11:37:32 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: Savior -:- Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 17:42:06 (PDT)
________ Donna -:- Re: Savior -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 07:49:31 (PDT)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Re: Savior -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 13:03:04 (PDT)
_______ highway monitor -:- Re: Savior -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 16:29:28 (PDT)
_______ Rod -:- Please let us know what transpires -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 11:48:59 (PDT)

Gregg Gunderson -:- Christ's Resurrection -:- Wed, Aug 02, 2000 at 23:25:18 (PDT)
_
Barry -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 03:27:15 (PDT)
_ john hampshire -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 03:42:08 (PDT)
__ Gregg Gunderson -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 00:22:19 (PDT)
___ john hampshire -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 00:49:10 (PDT)
____ Rod -:- Amen, john! nt -:- Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 10:38:20 (PDT)
__ Rod -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 07:34:03 (PDT)
_ keyboardQB -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 00:14:17 (PDT)
__ Gregg Gunderson -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 00:19:19 (PDT)
___ Rod -:- Re: Christ's Resurrection -:- Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 05:33:26 (PDT)

Belle -:- theonomy -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 20:05:41 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: theonomy -:- Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 07:50:31 (PDT)
__ Belle -:- Re: theonomy -:- Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 11:07:35 (PDT)

cousin earl -:- a good explanation about Theony -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 08:55:31 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 09:58:19 (PDT)
__ cousin earl -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 19:57:06 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:03:02 (PDT)
____ cousin earl -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:15:21 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 07:45:42 (PDT)
______ cousin earl -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 11:11:35 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: a good explanation about Theonomy -:- Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 17:15:59 (PDT)
_____ Theo -:- A link on theonomy -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:19:04 (PDT)

Tom -:- The Trinity -:- Tues, Jul 25, 2000 at 18:39:17 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 07:04:38 (PDT)
__ Tom -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 17:30:26 (PDT)
___ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:00:47 (PDT)
____ Tom -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 18:01:51 (PDT)
_____ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 18:31:56 (PDT)
______ Tom -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Fri, Jul 28, 2000 at 18:20:41 (PDT)
_______ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Fri, Jul 28, 2000 at 20:44:24 (PDT)
________ Tom -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Sat, Jul 29, 2000 at 12:01:55 (PDT)
_________ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 11:45:00 (PDT)
__________ john hampshire -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Mon, Jul 31, 2000 at 00:58:24 (PDT)
___________ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Mon, Jul 31, 2000 at 06:51:11 (PDT)
____________ john hampshire -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 01:05:22 (PDT)
_____________ Rod -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 13:51:26 (PDT)
_____________ Pilgrim -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 07:37:12 (PDT)
______________ keyboardQB -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 00:09:50 (PDT)
______________ john hampshire -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 18:26:49 (PDT)
_______________ one of the monitors -:- Re: The Trinity--a link -:- Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 21:43:41 (PDT)
__________ Tom -:- Re: The Trinity -:- Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 14:25:19 (PDT)
__________ Rod -:- Well, you guys have smoked me out! :> -:- Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 13:31:05 (PDT)

kevin -:- covenant theology -:- Sat, Jul 22, 2000 at 06:38:55 (PDT)
_
Pilgrim -:- Re: covenant theology -:- Sun, Jul 23, 2000 at 20:44:40 (PDT)
_ John P. -:- Re: covenant theology -:- Sun, Jul 23, 2000 at 20:02:04 (PDT)


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Subject: Jerrold Lewis Continued
From: John P.
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 19:56:55 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings All Interested: I'm sorry this has taken me so long, but - to be honest with you - I have been exceptionally busy. I just finished my summer education, got married, went on my honeymoon, and now am back in school again. So, if you can imagine, I've been busy. Nevertheless, I do have part of my response finished: I thought that I would take the time to respond to Mr. Lewis’s post first, since he wrote first. Time has not allowed me to get to Pilgrim’s post completely, yet (it also will need some clarifications when I do get time, anyway). Also, by way of introduction, I think it is important to encourage those of you reading along to not simply agree with Mr. Lewis (or myself) simply because he is (or I am) arguing for a position to which you already hold. For instance, I was rather baffled by how poorly Mr. Lewis responded, and yet Pilgrim was quick to say that his response was “erudite” (learned) - which baffled me even more than the wandering response of Mr. Lewis. We ought to have the courage to even think critically about doctrines to which we already hold; for, it is important that - when defending what we believe - we do it without debauching our consciences, and with the integrity that glorifies our Maker. If we are unable to defend our positions in this manner, it is time to suspend our defending them and question whether or not we have been led astray either by love of ease, a desire to be in the majoriy, by the deception of others who - with smooth speech - lead away the multitudes, or other means. So, please be careful, and keep in mind that it is not a fault to even critique the arguments of those with whom you agree. Indeed, keep in mind that critiquing their arguments doesn’t even necessarily mean that you disagree with their conclusions. Without integrity, sound argumentation counts very little, and facility of language counts for a lot. Having thus introduced my response to Mr. Lewis, I will now go through what he has written in the order of his doing so. I think anyone following along, who isn’t already biased against what I have to say, will find that his arguments are extremely weak, and - in fact (with respect to method) - almost exactly what one would have expected from someone who is not defending their position adequately. He began by answering the questions I put to him when asking him to Scripturally demonstrate why we may separate from Reformed Baptists if the only grounds of separation is if a church has “touch[ed] the heart of the gospel message,” or laid a blow to, “the very foundation of Christ’s work, his person or his office,” &c., and when I asked him to show which nonessentials warrant separation and which do not warrant separation (again, from Scripture). His answers were sadly wanting if we consider what he actually proved (or even tried to prove) from Scripture. First: In his answer to my question about how one can separate from Reformed Baptist community while remaining consistent with his belief that one ought not separate from churches which haven’t struck the foundation of the office of Christ or the Gospel, he simply said that the Reformed Baptists in his area are essentially Antinomians (Gr. equivalent to “against the Law”) who hold to the London Baptist Confession of 1644. Now, to be honest with you, I don’t see how his answer proved anything except that these Baptists possibly weren’t reformed at all (in the sense that was intimated by Mr. Lewis in his ‘treatise’) in the first place. I suppose my question is this: how did Mr. Lewis determine that this group, which claims to be reformed, isn’t reformed? Well, interestingly, he tells us: “The Law of God,” says he, “is so tampered with that it warrants a separation from such churches.” Wonderful! And who is going to tell us how, “tampered with,” the Law must be for it to be, “so tampered with that it warrants a separation from such churches”? I suspect this requires argumentation from Scripture, does it not? And where is that to be found? Certainly not here, for he has begged the question; in order to answer a question which ultimately required him to tell me (and those of you reading along) what warrants separation, he essentially said that those things which warrant separation, are those which warrant separation. Terrific! No doubt, he may say to me, “Yes, but, you see, being an Antinomian strikes at the very heart of what is essential to salvation; for, if one doesn’t believe that saving faith causes them to love and obey (as far as infirmity allows) the law, then the heart of the Gospel has been stuck!” Indeed, I agree that Antinomianism can strike at the very heart of the Gospel in extreme cases; however, I suspect that you would believe that there is a certain degree of Antinomianism (albeit it ought to be avoided by all who bear Christ’s name, and trembled at by all who love Him) which does not hinder the salvation of those who hold to it. Not that there are venial sins (for all are mortal without Christ our Savior); however, for one to persist in driving over the speed limit in a lawful nation, I am less apt to think damning (although I don’t speed in our nation, which I believe is covenant-breaking) than, say, unrepentant gross adultery. Or, for Martin Luther to have persisted in a belief in consubstantian (which certainly is sinful), or even his habitual Sabbath-breaking, doesn’t require us to think that he has damned himself (for God is merciful to those with sincere faith, although He sometimes doesn’t reveal to all believers what we sometimes may presumptuously feel like He ought). Now, I suspect this leads me to this question, again: where in Scripture do you determine what degree of “so”-ness (with respect to Antinomianism) warrants separation? As for me, and my covenantal family (Mr. Lewis’s former church), we won’t tolerate (by God’s grace) any obstinate, persistent, unrepentant, known, wilfull Antinomianism in our church insofar as infirmity can help (God help us). And, yes, we know that we are separating from many brethren who are sincere Christians in the Lord, who (for some reason known to God alone) have not been given as much light as others who were no more deserving. However, we also know that we are commanded by God to separate from erring brethren, when Paul writes, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6) For, if they walk disorderly who may be called “brothers,” from such the believer is commanded to, “withdraw thyself.” (1 Timothy 6:3) Note: If someone is a “brother” then they obviously believe that which is necessary to salvation and have not struck the “heart of the Gospel”; and if they havn’t done that, and we are commanded to separate from them, does it not follow that Goodwin’s claim about not separating from those who haven’t struck the heart of the Gospel is contrary to the plain words of Scirpture? This conclusion is undeniable, and, were it not for the natural (and sinful) tendency of man to hate a call to go against the stream, and, man’s natural desire to, “follow a multitude to do evil” (Ex. 23:2), I suspect any unbiased reader would come to the same conclusion. Second: After having demonstrated that Mr. Lewis hasn’t sufficiently answered my first question, I think his response to the second question still warrants a response. I asked him, “I would ask you to please prove to me exactly where in Scripture you can determine what doctrines merit separation, and which don’t. What I mean is this: If we are bound to separate over some Biblically defensible nonessentials to salvation, and are not bound to separate over others, please show me from Scripture which are which. To this, Mr. Lewis responded by first admitting that this question was, “a bit harder to answer,” than the first one (which he didn’t legitimately answer, but begged the question). Then he continued to affirm that he essentially agreed with Thomas Goodwin’s thoughts that, “If the doctrine does not touch the heart of the gospel message, if it does not strike at the very foundation of Christ’s work, his person or his office, we must regard the general end of glorifying God in this man, and bear his burden with him.” Now, before I continue, I would just quickly like to mention that this quotation may appear to many reading along to intimate that we don’t believe in bearing the burdens of young, weak, relatively ignorant, Christians and only accept as members “theological giants” (if I may use such an expression). I would just mention that by my disagreeing with Goodwin here, I am not saying that young Christians who don’t know much more than the most fundamental articles of the faith (the Trinity, faith alone, grace alone, Scripture alone, &c.) can’t be members of our Church until they know theology well enough to refute the gain-sayers; rather, young Christians are more than welcome to join with us, and can be assured that (excepting infirmity) we will endeavor with all our sincerety and hearts to love and bear with them as they learn and ask questions. However, we do not believe in bearing with a person who obstinately opposes (or willfully countenances) any practice or doctrine expressly contrary to what our Church Confessionally understands to be Scriptural. Rather, we prefer that one who disagrees with us would either repent and remain, or peacefully depart as a brother; for, we will “count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” (2 Thessalonians 3:15) Notwithstanding that parenthetical remark, I think it is also worth noting that Mr. Goodwin typically does not intend this, because he believes in tolerating people within the church who err willfully and obstinately in areas that are other than the “heart of the gospel message,” &c. For, if they are reformed brethren, why separate? (As Goodwin might well say - or at least Mr. Lewis implies) Now, having said that, I will return to Mr. Lewis’s argument in favor of a type of reformed toleration. He argued from Scripture in the following manner:
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Quote Begun
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(Says Mr. Lewis) To prove this by scripture I would point you in the direction of 1 Corinthians 11:28,29. “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” In this text we see two qualifications for communion. 1. Self-examination. 2. Discerning the Lord’s body. By Self-examination it appears that one would need to be equipped with the tools of examination. These in my estimation are the 10 rules, or the law of God-- the Ten Commandments. Discerning the Lord’s body likewise would warrant knowledge of the doctrine of Christ’s person and his work, in other words, a correct Soteriology. This is both the start and foundation of church communion in my mind. While there are secondary doctrines that are very important none straddle alongside these two vital heads. The Law. Christ’s Person and work.”
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-End Quote
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- Now, first, I would call to Mr. Lewis’s attention the fact that this passage has nothing to do with church membership and of which church we are to be members - Paul was writing about the Lord’s Supper, and at best, it can only be used for discerning communicant membership within a church. Next, I would call into question Mr. Lewis’s interpretation of this passage concerning what he believes the discerning of the Lord’s Body to be. For, his interpretation of the “Lord’s body” means that many people who disagree theologically may come to the table of the Lord, as though this is not a social supper (but meant merely for the individuals of the congregation as individuals). However, this passage must be interpretted within the context of this letter of Paul’s. And what is the main point of this epistle? Not having divisions among the brethren. Indeed, that is why at the beginning he rebukes them for claiming to follow different men (some Apollos, Cephas, Paul, and others Christ), commanded them to, “all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10), spoke about the body of Christ being made many members of “one body” (1 Cor. 12:12), &c. In fact, even the immediate context in 1 Corinthians 11 is speaking of divisions within the Lord’s body - first, with respect to head coverings (v. 1-16), then with respect to their coming to the Lord’s table (v. 17ff; “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.” v. 18). Now, with this in mind, and with a right understanding of what is meant by the word “body,” when we are to discern the “Lord’s body,” (in order to not die for participating while having divisions in the church as Corinth did) it only seems appropriate to recognize that we are to be primarily discerning the unity of the “body” (the Lord’s body) of believers, lest God’s terrible chastisement fall upon us. Therefore, one ought not come to the Lord’s table until they are capable of discerning the confessionally oneness of the participants, unity of Spirit, bond of peace among their brethren, &c. under the Lord Jesus Christ. This is important when considering the Lord’s Supper, since it argues less for Mr. Lewis’s position of allowing theological differences than he would allow (indeed, it contradicts him concerning the Lord’s Supper, and has little to nothing to do with discerning who may be a member of a certain church; Moreover, it says nothing at all to favor nor has anything to do with that for which Mr. Lewis is arguing). Furthermore, when considering what is necessary in order to, “examine yourself,” Mr. Lewis says that, “in [his] estimation,” all that is needed is to know the ten commandments. Now, this shouldn’t suprise Mr. Lewis, but God’s “commandment is exceeding broad.” (Psalm 119:96), and the ten commandments deal even with what we believe with respect to nonessentials. For instance, consider the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Now, this commandment forbids, as the Westminster divines rightly concluded agreeably to the word of God in the Larger Catechism, “atheism, in denying or not having a God; idolatry, in having or worshiping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God; the not having and avouching him for God, and our God; the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this commandment; ignorance, forgetfulness, misapprehensions, false opinions, unworthy and wicked thoughts of him; bold and curious searching into his secrets; all profaneness, hatred of God; self-love, self-seeking, and all other inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections upon other things, and taking them off from him in whole or in part; vain credulity, unbelief, heresy, misbelief, distrust, despair, incorrigibleness, and insensibleness under judgments, hardness of heart, pride, presumption, carnal security, tempting of God; using unlawful means, and trusting in lawful means; carnal delights and joys; corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal; lukewarmness, and deadness in the things of God; estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God; praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures; all compacts and consulting with the devil, and hearkening to his suggestions; making men the lords of our faith and conscience; slighting and despising God and his commands; resisting and grieving of his Spirit, discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us; and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have, or can do, to fortune, idols, ourselves, or any other creature.” (emphasis added) Now, if it weren’t for Mr. Lewis’s misapplication of this passage in 1 Cor. 11 as speaking about church membership rather than who may approach the Lord’s Supper (for these are two different things), then all I would have to say is that, if a keeping of the commandments must be seen before one is to be granted membership (of which this passage isn’t speaking) by the elders of the church, and the first commandment (which forbids misbelief, heresy, &c.) is to be considered by the session before granting someone membership, then, as far as the candidates for membership know, and the session can discern from interviewing them, they must not be people holding to any heresies nor obstinately holding any erronious beliefs (misbelieving) concerning any doctrines of which the session knows if they are to be granted membership. And, therefore, even according to Mr. Lewis’s distorted interpretation of this text, church membership ought to be those who are like-minded theologically. Continuing. At this time, I am going to respond to Mr. Lewis by responding to his objections to the interpretations I gave for the various texts of Scripture in the first of our posts. Concerning the first text(s): Matthew 13:54 “When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue.” In interpretting this passage, I essentially argued that it implies (by calling the synagogue “their synagogue”) that Christ was not a regular attendant; that Christ was teaching, not hearing in their synagogue; that using this passage (and those like it) in favor of attending the worship led by people who err from the truth confessionally, leads us to the absurd conclusion that we may worship under those who deny the divinity of Christ; &c. For a lengthly look at what I argued and its defense, see my first post. In opposition to the interpretation that I presented, Mr. Lewis said little to nothing that refuted what I wrote. In fact, all that he gave was the bald and defenseless claim that, “Christ was a member of the local synagogue for 30 years before he spoke out against that fraudulent system. That means that for 30 years Christ was under the teaching of ‘covenant-breaking’ elders. Elders who were in substantial, if not complete agreement with the apostate teachings of the National Church in Israel.” We have all of two times in Christ’s life wherein it speaks of what Christ did before He was engaged in public ministry, and Mr. Lewis wants to base his refutation of what I have drawn immediately from Scripture by a claim about what Christ did during that time? That seems to me to be presumptuous. Nevertheless, I do desire to make one more comment about Mr. Lewis’s mentioning that Christ spent 30 years in a Synagogue under an covenant-breaking teacher. Because of how little is said concerning where Christ worshipped in His youth, we must assume that He worshipped in a place which would be agreeable to the rest of Scripture. Therefore, we need to search out - from Scripture - whether or not it is lawful to participate in corrupted ordinances of worship; upon which investigation, we will be able to conclude that Christ did that which wasright. Now, seeing as though this is the very thing in question in this debate (viz., whether or not it is lawful to worship under an obstinately covenant-breaking minister), it is fundamentally begging the question to simply assume that Christ did worship under false teachers. Unless it is explicitly stated that He did so, then where He worshipped is subject to various different conjectures until the rest of Scripture is consulted. For instance, one can argue that Christ was circumcised either by a covenant-keeping, or a covenant-breaking, minister; likewise, if it can even be proved that there was a synagogue at which Christ attended - sitting under a teacher - it still could be argued that He sat under one of the few covenant-keeping ministers as well as Mr. Lewis could say that He sat under a covenant-breaking one. The rest of Scripture must be consulted -- simple claims don’t make arguments. Now, this leads us to this question: Is it a sin to participate in, or to give approbation to by not separating from, corrupted ordinances in the worship of God (whether by corrupted doctrines preached, or elements of worship practiced)? One ought not to even hesitate to answer in the affirmative - Of course it is sin for one to participate in, or give their approbation to by sitting under, corrupted ordinances in the worship of God. Is it not a sin to countenance that for which Nadab and Abihu were destroyed? They worshipped the true God wrongly (Lev. 10:1,2)? If it isn’t sin, then what are we to make of the following rhetorical question which expects the answer no: “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) For, this passage teaches that you can’t walk with someone at peace unless you are in agreement; meaning that, if you worship with (or “walk with”) a person participating in false worship, you are at heart in agreement with them at least in principle. Or, what are we to make of God’s commandment concerning Ephraim: “Ephraim is joined to idols; let him alone.” (Hosea 4:17) And again, what are we to think when we read that Jeremiah he, “sat not in the assembly of mockers, nor rejoiced;” but rather, “sat alone,” because God had, “filled [him] with indignation.”? Indeed, and what are we to think of it when God commands Jeremiah not to return?!? --“Let them return unto thee; but return not thou unto them.” (Jeremiah 15:17-19)?? I pray, what are we to make of all these passages? Ephraim let alone, a Jeremiah indignant at the ridiculous worship of his time, Nadab and Abihu burned with the fire from heaven, Amos acknowledging that two can’t walk together (in sincerety) except they be agreed,
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indeeed, what are we to make of Jesus our Lord Himself commanding His disciples, concerning the Pharisees, to, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matthew 15:14) I couldn’t - with all my asking - ask for a text more clear! If we sit under the blind rather than “letting them alone,” we will fall into their ditch. It is no wonder Solomon warned us so solemnly: “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 19:27). For, we are commanded to be, “perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment,” (1 Cor. 1:10) and to, “withdraw [our]selves from every brother that walketh disorderly,” (2 Thessalonians 3:6), and to, “mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.” (Rom 16:17) Now, I scarcely could dare bring myself to think that Christ didn’t avoid a teacher who “caused divisions and offences contrary to the doctrines” which Christ had learned and taught; nor that He didn’t withdraw Himself from the assembly of mockers, as Jeremiah did; nor that He could walk with another with whom He was not agreed (when they were obstinate); nor that He sat under the blind! Now, Mr. Lewis can argue all he wants in his claims that Christ violated all of these examples and commands (and even His own words!) based on the silence about where Christ worshipped in His youth - I, for my part, will be more careful, and assess Christ’s practice by studying the more clear passages of Scripture. Continuing (still on the same passage). Then, after making that assertion of his - that Christ sat under a covenant-breaking teacher for decades, he says, “I will defer the other points of extremity that Mr. Putz implies within his original response (such as the divinity of Christ, and acceptance of Arminianism) simply because they are his words, not mine.” That isn’t much of a response to what I have argued, is it? I don’t believe ignoring the argument of the opposition counts for much in argumentation, so I will only point out that He has ignored my argument. I believe what I have said follows if he is to consistently apply this text to proving his own fancies. If Christ sat under a Christ-denying, 2cd-person-of-the-Trinity-denying, covenant-breaking, teacher, then how can it not follow that we may do the same thing? He simply is avoiding a logical inference from that for which he desires to argue. Continuing. Now, concerning his discussion of how I handled Acts 21, where Paul sacrificed. I would first like to point out that I wasn’t the person who changed the subject in the debate. I answered his use of Acts 21 precisely as it appeared to require a response. In his first post several weeks ago, after he mentioned texts which he said were intended to refute occasional hearing, he quoted this passage from Acts 21 and, rather than referring to occasional hearing, he wrote the following, “Acts 21:26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having been purified with them, entered the temple to announce the expiration of the days of purification, at which time an offering should be made for each one of them. (Post cross ceremonial worship-ergo idolatry).” How did I respond? I responded by demonstrating from Hebrews 8:13 that, at the time when Paul participated in “Post cross ceremonial worship,” it was lawful. I didn’t avoid his intent - in spite of the fact that he (in his most recent post) said concerning my response from Hebrews 8:13 (which was perfectly pertinent to his point about worship), “This is a good point. The Old economy was waxing old, and the New covenant was dawning. But let me ask a rhetorical question. Was it any less a sin to enter that system and take part in that system in light of the text just quoted? Mr. Putz has not proven anything by quoting Hebrews 8. All he has done is make an assertion in light of Acts21: 26,” as though I hadn’t answered his original intent. Now, I understand that we often make mistakes like this - so I certainly won’t impute it against Mr. Lewis (this is why I ask for charity when people judge me in argumentation). I simply want to let people know that I am not merely avoiding objections, as Mr. Lewis seems to have (whether wittingly or unwittingly) intimated I had done. Nevertheless, let me answer this as Mr. Lewis now desires me to answer it. Would we have to conclude that Paul was necessarily in sin for violating occasional hearing? I don’t think we have anything in this text which clearly states what Mr. Lewis would have us conclude, viz., that Paul’s example in Acts 21 gives us warrant - over and above the other express texts of Scripture which condemn occasionally hearing teachers erring from the truth - to worship in a church which is teaching false doctrine, worship, church-government, or discipline. The reason I say this, I’m sure, will require a little bit more thorough defense than other passages here shown. And, I’ll make it known up front, that I am uncertain as to which of the two understandings of this passage I am going to present is true - however, I am certain that Mr. Lewis’s is false. My intent is to simply show that there are other ways of understanding this passage and Paul’s example which in no way justify our joining ourselves to a church which errs from the truth. This ought to satisfy the minds of those who are honestly inquiring into what the Scripture teaches in this matter - for, if we find that Paul did attend to the elements of worship adminstered by false teachers, all we have found is that Paul either sinned and / or contradicted his own apostolic commands (Rom. 16:17; 2 Thes. 3:6; 1 Tim. 6:1-5). Which, to all who believe Scripture, is preposterous. Nevertheless, let me show what I believe are two legitimate possibilities in answering this objections while neither abusing Scripture or defiling my conscience: (1) Paul may indeed have been in sin. This may seem to be far-fetched claim, but commentators have (even before the time of Calvin, though not Calvin) made it. For, as all who have spent even a little time reading other historical books of the Bible, we find that men who are otherwise godly men, sinning in various ways which are not expressly condemned by the author. Examples of this would be Noah and Lot’s drunkeness; David and others’ polygamy; &c. These were sins which the author of these histories did not expressly condemn, but merely glossed over and recorded various temporal effects which indicate the negative consequences of such behavior (such as domestical problems, envy, &c.). Likewise, in Acts 21, we may be reading of Paul’s participation in a sinful act of man-pleasing. For, when Paul went to Jerusalem, we read that Paul’s reason for engaging in this worship was in order to silence the believing Jew’s (correct) belief that Paul, “teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.” (v. 21) In other words, Paul was trying to please these believing Jews - who were, “zealous of the law,” (v. 20) - by acting contrary to how he truly had taught other Jews in the Gentile lands (Romans 2:25-29; Galatians 6:13). Indeed, the purpose for which James and the others desired Paul to participate in the Jewish worship seemed almost deceptive. For, they said to him, “Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walketh orderly, and keepest the law.” (v. 24) Which seems to intimate that they wanted these Law-zealous believing Jews to be under the impression that Paul kept the ceremonial law regularly. Furthermore, this would lead us to the conclusion that, just like in the historical examples of the Old Testament (where men sinned, and the sin was not expressly condemned but only the temporal consequences of it shown), in the verse immediately following verse 26 - which speaks of Paul’s participation in the worship - we read that, 'the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him [Paul] in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, crying out, Men of Israel, help:” &c. (v. 27,28a) And this consequence seems as though it could have been avoided had not Paul acquiesced to the advice of James and the others. The other possibility is this: (2) It is also possible that Paul, after having purified himself, had a believing priest offer his offering (Num. 6:10,11). For, in light of the context, if it was proper for Paul to participate in this worship in this instance, his purpose was not to convince the unbelieving Jews that he kept the law, but rather to convince the believing Jews who were, “zealous of the law.” Furthermore, having a believing priest to offer his offering would seem to be the most appropriate and practical step Paul could take in achieving his purpose of getting the believing Jews to accept his claim that he didn’t teach against the law. With such a great number of believing Jews (thousands) in a city as small as that of Jerusalem (well under 100,000 people at this time in history), it would seem doubtful that there was no believing priest for Paul to approach in order to present his offering. Thus, the other option is this: Paul could have been worshipping lawfully under a lawful (temporal) priest (who, by the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, would no longer be capable of being a “lawful” priest because that office was ceremonial; see my explanation of Hebrews 8:13 in my previous post for a further explanation). Either way, it is clear that there are ways of understanding this passage which do not require us to believe Scripture has contradicted itself. One more note about this passage. Mr. Lewis wrote that, “it is not sinful to attend a less reformed service than your own, but sinful to partake in their sinful acts in your heart.” This is a sophistical argument which simply ignores the fact that one isn’t only sinning if they participate in a sin, but they are also sinning if they give their approbation to another who is sinning. “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Romans 1:32)
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This is one of the greatest signs of a depraved person in heart. One may say that they don’t have pleasure in those in their church who are habitually covenant-breaking; preaching up Anabaptism, Arminianism, or Antinomianism; permitting scandalous sinners to remain members of the church without excommunication or suspension from the Lord’s Supper; remaining a part of a denomination which - by their church government - denies the headship of Christ over the Church; &c., while yet remaining at that churc

Subject: Re: Jerrold Lewis Continued
From: monitor
To: John P.
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 06:46:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
JP - I appreciate the care you take in underlining, bolding and italicizing for the sake of clarity. However, you often forget to check your work after you've posted and I've felt compelled to tidy up your posts as I'm sure your intent was not to have italicized the last 40% of your above post. Can you check your loooong posts after you've submitted them to make sure you've properly html coded? I think the system gives you 1 hour to edit your own post. thanks and blessings, monitor

Subject: For the Monitor
From: John P.
To: monitor
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 10:57:40 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Do you have access to the last half of my post, which seems to have disappeared? If at all possible, could you re-post that, so that I don't have to do the work which goes into posting these all over again? Thanks and blessings.

Subject: Re: For the Monitor
From: monitor
To: John P.
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 31, 2000 at 11:05:05 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
No...sorry...not sure what to make of your post...I do recall it being complete at one time and after I merely added a single html code to stop the italic script. The server did go down and perhaps something got truncated and lost? Perhaps another monitor would know more and lend a hand? monitor

Subject: Re: Jerrold Lewis Continued
From: John P.
To: monitor
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 10:31:18 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Monitor, Thanks. I certainly will try to be more clear. I didn't realize that we could edit our posts, otherwise I would have done that. I usually glance over what I write on my posts, but - you're correct - I am less careful with the html codes. Sorry. Godspeed, John P. Just joking with the italics. :) Blessings.

Subject: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: Anne
To: All
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 11:39:49 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Over at the Renewing Your Mind General Forum, someone asked about Beth Moore, one of those I-dunno-what-you'd-call-'em . . . teacher? spiritual mentor? writer? Whatever. She has written books, and has a video series (which my church is going to use as the basis of a women's study group this fall), not to mention holding rallies for thousands of people, most of whom are women. She definitely intends to target women. I'm still not totally comfortable with the whole women-as-Christian-celebrities thing. According to Paul's letter to Titus, someone, presumably the pastors and/or elders, are to teach the older women to then teach the younger women to love and care for their families, to be subject to their husbands, and to increase in self-control, purity, and kindness. There is no mandate for younger women to train older women. There is no mandate for older women to teach doctrine, etc. to those younger women, much less ther contemporaries. (Hardly means they can't sit and discuss it amongst themselves on a casual, personal basis, certainly! Let's not go overboard in the other direction.) The instruction Paul gave struck me as quite specific regarding who is to teach who, what. (There ought probably to be a whom in there, but I can't decide where.) In true, inimitable American style, haven't we left Scriptural direction behind regarding this stuff? Older women (being trained themselves, first) teaching younger women specific subjects, has evolved into any woman teaching any other women anything at all, with men's attendance optional, but permitted. Perhaps I'm being my usual picky, crabby self, though? Anne

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: cousin Earl
To: Anne
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 29, 2000 at 19:24:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I have taken several studies offered at our church by Beth Moore. As with any teacher you must study the scriptures and check out what you are being taught. I think she is pretty solid. You talk about 'celebrities' and place her in that catagoty-I think with out cause. I have no need to defend her. God is her judge. R.C. Sproul is a teacher with many videos, etc. out there for our studies-do you question him too? I think he is pretty solid but still study the scriptures to know if whatI'm am being taught is truth.

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: Pilgrim
To: cousin Earl
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 30, 2000 at 07:10:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I have taken several studies offered at our church by Beth Moore. As with any teacher you must study the scriptures and check out what you are being taught. I think she is pretty solid. You talk about 'celebrities' and place her in that catagoty-I think with out cause. I have no need to defend her. God is her judge. R.C. Sproul is a teacher with many videos, etc. out there for our studies-do you question him too? I think he is pretty solid but still study the scriptures to know if whatI'm am being taught is truth.
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cousin earl,
It may very well be that Beth Moore's theology is 'pretty solid'. When at under graduate school, I had a Bible teacher who was a woman whose biblical knowledge and theology was unquestionably 'solid'. But I don't think Anne's main concern was the reliability and credibility of Beth Moore's teaching, but rather if she, being a woman, should be teaching men. Personally, I have supported Ligonier Ministries since 1972. Dr. R.C. Sproul has a long history of being an able and 'pretty solid' biblical teacher. Yet, as you have also said, one must put their final trust in the Scriptures and not in any man. So just because Ligonier Ministries is a sponsor/supporter of Beth Moore doesn't make her 'pretty solid' nor, does that give her warrant to teach men. Let's let the Scriptures decide on ALL matters of 'faith and practice'! :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: Anne
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 31, 2000 at 06:25:40 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Now, Ligonier is not supporting Beth Moore . . . . . someone had asked about her on the RYM Forum, is all. And hoo, boy! That thread splintered into a gazillion different directions! My question really wasn't about Beth Moore, who must be at least reasonably sound or Christ Chapel wouldn't use her video for a women's study group. Sorry if that's how it came across! My question was intended to be very general. I just used Beth Moore as an example, is all. Elizabeth George would work, too, and I love her books. Here's another thread (they're everywhere! they're everywhere!) . . . . is appears that today, any group of women is automatically taught by a woman. Is this what Paul meant? I must say, it doesn't read like that to me. Today's church (in the larger sense) defaults to the following: Men are taught by men. Women are taught by women. Men and women, combined, are taught by men (well, usually). Do y'all consider this a fair assessment, and if so, is it supported by Scripture? Anne

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: Pilgrim
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 16:18:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Anne,
I don't know if you are 'being my usual picky, crabby self, though?' hehehe. Are you? :-) But I can respond to you query. I do not recall any biblical mandate that would allow a woman to teach dogma, albeit restricted to women regardless of their age. Neither can I recall any examples of women instructing others in dogma by themselves. We do have the example of Priscilla where she took Apollos aside and 'expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.', but this was along side of her husband Aquila (Acts 18:2, 26). What grabbed my attention even more though was this statement, 'I'm still not totally comfortable with the whole women-as-Christian-celebrities thing.' Anytime I see this word celebrities, my 'red flags' go up immediately. Now, I'm not suggesting that NO celebrity can be saved, no no! But in the main, it is a rare occurrence to see any who have attained 'celebrity status' give a credible testimony and/or to show forth a life indicative of one that has been transformed and is living a righteous life. But perhaps I'm being my usual critical, nit picky self? :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 16:04:44 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, Hi, I think you're fundamentally correct. I am going to nit-pick one item, but I think we're already in agreement on this. You wrote: 'I'm still not totally comfortable with the whole women-as-Christian-celebrities thing.' I'm not the least bit comfortable with any Christian as 'celebrity.' Certain people pedestalize preachers and teachers, but there is no warrant for it. Elders are to be 'honored,' but that is in return for their first being true to and honoring the Lord Jesus. 'He must increase; I must decrease'--John the Baptist.

Subject: As to 'Christian celebrities' . . .
From: Anne
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:54:05 (PDT)
Email Address: anneivy@home.com

Message:
Well, really, Rod, I agree with you, I do indeed. Someone had suggested at RYM that Knox and Calvin were 'celebrities' in their day, but I don't know about that. Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon also packed 'em in to hear their preaching, but I don't really call that being a celebrity, as we understand the term. There's just something about book after book being turned out, along with audio tapes, video tapes, workshops, rallies, conferences, who knows what all, that makes me squirm a trifle. Even when I like the author (I could give an example or two but shan't . . . discretion is such a useful, if rather dull, trait!), and find his or her books to be of value. It especially bothers me when it's women doing this, however. If I have understood correctly, there have been at least one or two of these women who have seen their marriage go on the rocks because of her horrendous schedule. Or sometimes her husband quits his career to 'manage' hers. Darn it, Paul and Peter would not approve of this! How can anyone read their epistles and not grasp how deep would be their dismay at Christian women putting themselves forward to such a degree? Oh, well. Why should I be surprised? Oct. 14th will see the start of women's professional full-contact football, after all. Honestly! The Milwaukee Minx? The Atlanta Amazons? I mentioned this to my nearly-20-years-old son and had the pleasure of watching his jaw drop several inches. Then he clamped it shut before declaring, in a voice that brooked no argument, 'That's just wrong.' What a society! The 'silly season' has settled in permanently, t'would appear. Ciao! Anne

Subject: Hey there Anne!
From: DWC
To: Anne
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 12:58:21 (PDT)
Email Address: cybersmirk@hotmail.com

Message:
Look! I finally posted on the Offramp (or whatever this is called)! I went to a Protestant parochial HS in the 80's and I recall a powderpuff flag football game that I heard actually got pretty rough. Uh, I better go before I get frivolous!! That's an official sin here, right? ;~) - DWC P.S. - Buffalo Banshees? OOPS! ''Anne started it!!!''

Subject: Re: As to 'Christian celebrities' . . .
From: Rod
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 18:58:33 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Anne, 'preciate your thoughts. I didn't know about the professional footballers. Somehow, though I wasn't surprised. There are so many things wrong with our society, I just can't get started on it--it would solidify my rep as a grumpy old man. :>)

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: stan
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:08:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Number of years ago a little Bible college in the midwest had big names in for Bible conference once a year. They decided for some reason to try local pastors for a year or two and found that the conferences were just as good as with the big namers ;-) Not that I was surprised! Then again there is the celebratiiiii that was advertized as making the Word of God live! AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Grumpi

Subject: Hey, Grumpi! :>)
From: Sleepy, Sneezy, and Dopey
To: stan
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:24:14 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Stan, I wonder if that could give us a clue wherein the power lies?

Subject: Re: :-) NT
From: stan
To: Sleepy, Sneezy, and Dopey
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 17:38:27 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Subject: Re: What do y'all think about this. . .
From: Brother Bret
To: Anne
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 13:11:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Seems to my feeble mind that you are on the right biblical track, sis :-) Brother Bret P.S. What about women teaching children??? Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

Subject: Faith
From: saved
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 26, 2000 at 05:34:08 (PDT)
Email Address: saved4service@yahoo.com

Message:
Faith is the spiritual spy of the soul. It travels far into the promised land, gathers the ripe clusters—the evidences and earnests of its reality and richness—and, returning, bears with it these, the 'first-fruits' of the coming vintage. 'My soul hath desired the first ripe fruits:' and he who has in his soul the 'first-fruits of the Spirit, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body,' knows something in his experience of heaven upon earth. Ah! many a glimpse and gleam of the heavenly land dawns upon the Christian in the darkness of his dungeon, in the loneliness of his exile, in the cloistered stillness of his suffering chamber. Such was the rapture of a departing saint: 'The celestial city is full in my view. Its glories beam upon me, its breezes fan me, its odours are wafted to me, its sounds strike upon my ear, and its spirit is breathed into my heart. Nothing separates me from it but the river of death, which now appears but as an insignificant rill, that may be crossed at a single step, whenever God shall give permission. The Sun of Righteousness has been gradually drawing nearer and nearer, appearing larger and brighter as He approached, and now He fills the whole hemisphere, pouring forth a flood of glory, in which I seem to float like an insect in the beams of the sun; exulting, yet almost trembling, while I gaze at the excessive brightness, and wondering with unutterable wonder why God should deign thus to shine upon a sinful worm'—Payson. Thus, long ere the believer reaches the celestial city, the evidences of its existence and fertility float past his barque, as manifestly as did the tokens of a new world the vessel which bore Columbus to its shores. The relation of present grace to future glory is close and indissoluble. It is that of the seed to the flower—of the morning twilight to meridian day. Grace is the germ of glory; glory is the highest perfection of grace. Grace is glory militant; glory is grace triumphant. Thus the believer has two heavens to enjoy—a present heaven experienced in the love of God in his heart, and a future heaven in the fulness of joy that is at Christ’s right hand, and the pleasures that are for evermore... Octavius Winslow

Subject: Marriage Annulment
From: Dish
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 17:51:30 (PDT)
Email Address: gfibach@carroll.com

Message:
What is the reformed view of marriage annulment?

Subject: Re: Marriage Annulment
From: john hampshire
To: Dish
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 16:17:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Annulment? You mean Divorce! While it is not universally recognized due to certain verses that SEEM to imply divorce for adultery. I have found absolutely there is NO DIVORCE for any cause since the cross. Divorce was permitted by God (introduced by God) to permit the divorce of Israel from God. Jesus very carefully removes this temporary economy returning the matter back to the original intent-- no divorce for any cause. john

Subject: Yeh, yeh, yeh! :-)
From: Pilgrim
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 21:29:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, We've been exposed to your 'view' on no divorce and your attempts to support it, which have been found wanting at best. But it is noted once again here what you hold to on this issue. Hyper-Spiritualization of the Scriptures will get you in trouble more often than not.... :-)! However, you are certainly 'right on' concerning annulment for it is nothing less than divorce! Peace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Yeh, yeh, yeh! :-)
From: john hampshire
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 01:35:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Most views which other people do not hold, nor care to hold, somehow as if by majic are 'found wanting'! I don't find my view wanting, nor do I find anyone refuting it. I do find most everyone simply ignoring it, which is perhaps more noble than trying to argue FOR divorce. My viewpoint doesn't even require spiritualizing on this matter, but if you do there is even more support (aaaaah). My viewpoint remains: NO DIVORCE FOR ANY REASON!!! The Bible is clear on this, even if the churches and history are not. john

Subject: john, just so you'll know...
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 09:22:30 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I chose not to rebut your position about no divorce at all because it was from the 'Hampshire Reversed Version' :>) (sorry, but it isn't Biblical) and because you've not been receptive to other views in the past, not because I was 'scared,' or, as you always resorting to, 'partial to the sinful position' on whatever the particular issue is. (That's a reprehensible misrepresentation, BTW.) I just figured most folks who had read much of your stuff and had discernment would realize that this is one of those places where you err seriously. You seem to pride yourself on being 'frank,' so I've been frank in return. When one takes bold stands, whether he is right or wrong, he is to expect that it will provoke people to take equally strong stances.

Subject: Re: john, just so you'll know...
From: john hampshire
To: Rod
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 16:48:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Regarding your statement: I chose not to rebut your position about no divorce at all because it was from the 'Hampshire Reversed Version' :>) (sorry, but it isn't Biblical) and because you've not been receptive to other views in the past, not because I was 'scared,' or, as you always resorting to, 'partial to the sinful position' on whatever the particular issue is. Don't know what the Hampshire Revised Version is supposed to imply. Apparently you mean the syntax question which underlies the understanding of 'the cause of fornication'. While you may not agree with the conclusion, there is no twisting of scripture as you infer. As to 'it isn't Biblical, we'll my friend, if arguments were won by such simple pleas—they are not; and what have we proved by such statements? As to the charge of my not being receptive of other views, that is because, as you know, I do not find any Biblical merit for the 'divorce' position. As I am upfront concerning this, I can see no reason to pretend that I'm stubbornly refusing to understand. I understand full well the attempt to make divorce continue for fornication, it is nothing new, all the arguments are old. I have examined the position and don't agree, which you have labeled as not being receptive. By the way, I'm 'not receptive' to a whole lot of other bad doctrine--so be forewarned. I don't recall saying anyone was scared(?), nor do I know what the fragment 'partial to the sinful position' refers to. I do know YOU Rod (from your writing), and so I understand your method of attack, which I am not interested in playing. Stick to Scriptures, inflammatory innuendo, though your specialty, is truly wasted effort. Again, 'reprehensible misrepresentation' means nothing to me, can you explain? Do you mean that people who understand there to be no Biblical grounds for divorce today to be misrepresenting the Bible, and that then is reprehensible? Truly I have no idea where you are coming from, nor do I know why every disagreement is life or death to you. You said I 'err seriously', do you believe I am a heretic? Apparently so, as that is the common appeal to frighten away the uninitiated and win arguments without a shot being fired. Every person who rightly disagrees with you Rod is not a heretic or involved in 'serious' error or 'reprehensible misrepresentation'. I will not be silent while you insinuate my unfaithfulness to Scripture, God, or truth. You should know (since no one has informed you yet) that this bile you spew to try and defame your opponent is unChristlike and does not escape notice (at least not mine). Sir, you demonstrate an impatient and judgmental disposition--rather unbecoming. No one has 'provoked' you to take a strong stance, which I take to mean you are showing a righteous indignation in defending truth. If you are more honest you will find less indignation and something more approaching judgmental arrogance. Sir, do not think you shall attack me with your typical vitriol, I will not stand for it! By the way, I have no problem with 'frankness', (which I don't pride myself with). Don't confuse frankness with a mocking rudeness and contempt for people. john

Subject: Re: john, just so you'll know...
From: keyboardQB
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 23:13:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
jh writes: 'You should know...that this bile you spew to try and defame your opponent is unChristlike' jh then writes: 'Sir, do not think you shall attack me with your typical vitriol, I will not stand for it!' The keyboard QB could possibly believe that Rod's posts might be full of vitriol and/or bile (nothing personal Rod, just following jhampshire's reasoning here), but doesn't see how jh's posts could, in contrast, be considered unvitriolical or nonbileful (making up words here, placing prefixes and suffixes where I will, this is the internet, you know) and, therefore, Christlike. keyboardQB notes Christ standing for plenty of vitriol and bile... keyboardQB further wonders whether or not, based on second quoted statement, whether or not jh plans to challenge Rod to a duel...

Subject: Re: john, just so you'll know...
From: keyboardQB
To: keyboardQB
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 23:28:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
'And, when he was unable to peacefully impose an end to the contentious quarrel, he determined that a judicial battle [duellum] ought to be fought concerning this matter between Engelardus and the monks at the villa which is called Vi, doing so under his [the bishop's] judgment.' Let us hope that an end to this quarrel is peacefully imposed. Charters relating to Judicial Duels www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/12Cduels.html

Subject: Re: A Biblical rebuttal of John Hampshire's view!
From: Pilgrim
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 07:49:58 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Matthew 19:9
As respecting divorce and its implications this is on all accounts the most pivotal passage in the New Testament. It occupies this crucial position particularly for the reason that it is the only passage in the New Testament in which we have the combination of two clauses, namely, the exceptive clause (ma epi porneia) and the remarriage clause (kai gamasa allan). Both of these clauses occur elsewhere, the former in Matthew 5:32, in the (parektos longou porneia) and the latter in Mark 10:11, as also in the form (kai gamon eteran) in Luke 16:18. But only in Matthew 19:9 are they coordinated. It might not be proper to maintain that the question of the legitimacy of remarriage on the part of the innocent spouse after divorce for adultery would not arise if we did not have Matthew 19:9. The question might well emerge in connection with Matthew 5:32. For if a man may rightly divorce his unfaithful wife and if such divorce dissolves the marriage bond the question of remarriage is inevitably posed. And, again, though there is no allusion to adultery as an exception in Mark 10:11 and Luke 16:18, yet the Old Testament law respecting adultery and the peculiar character of the sin of adultery might well compel us to inquire whether or not, after all, adultery might not have been assumed as a notable exception to the principle affirmed in these two passages. Furthermore, I Corinthians 7:15 would certainly face us with the question of the effect that desertion by an unbelieving partner would have upon the marital status of the deserted believer. Nevertheless, Matthew 19:9 is distinctive in that here the question of the legitimacy or illegitimacy of remarriage after divorce for adultery is thrust upon us directly and inescapably. At the present stage of the discussion we shall assume that the correct text of Matthew 19:9 reads as follows: lego de umin hoti hos an apolusa tan gunaika autou ma epi porneia kai gamasa allan, moichatai. The matter of textual variation will be discussed later. On the above reading of the text it may be well in passing to note some of its distinctive characteristics.
(a) This text does not reflect upon the character of the man's sin if he puts away his wife (for any other cause than that of adultery) but does not himself remarry. As found already, Matthew 5:32 deals very directly and decisively with that question and views the sin of the man from the standpoint of his responsibility in the entail of consequence involved for the divorced woman. In Matthew 19:9, however, it is the sin of the man who contracts another marriage after illicit divorce which is the express subject of our Lord's judgment. (b) The man who puts away his wife (except for fornication) and marries another is expressly condemned as an adulterer. This is an inference properly drawn from Matthew 5:32 but here it is directly stated. (c) The rights of a woman in divorcing her husband for adultery and the sin of the woman who remarries after divorce for any other reason are not reflected on in this passage. Only in Mark 10:12 is there any express allusion to divorce action on the part of the woman and there, as we shall see later, no reference is made to the intrinsic right of divorce but only to the adulterous character of remarriage.
The real crux of the question in Matthew 19:9 is, however, the force of the exceptive clause, 'except for fornication' (ma epi porneia). In the actual terms of the text the question is: does this exceptive clause apply to the words (gamava allan) and therefore to (moichatai) as well as to the verb (apolusa)? There can be no question but the exceptive clause provides an exception to the wrong of putting away. The kind of wrong from which it relieves the husband is not intimated as in Matthew 5:32 but, like the latter passage, it does enunciate a liberty granted to the innocent husband. It does not intimate, any more than Matthew 5:32, that the man is obligated to divorce his wife in the event of adultery on her part. It simply accords the right or liberty. The question then is: does this exception, by way of right or liberty, extend to the remarriage of the divorcing husband as well as to the putting away? Obviously, if the right extends to the remarriage the husband in such a case is not implicated in the sin of adultery in the event of his remarriage. On this question the professing church is sharply divided. On the one hand, there are those who claim that while Matthew 19:9 (as also Matthew 5:32) gives to the innocent husband the right to put away the wife who has committed adultery, yet this does not give any warrant for the dissolution of the marriage bond and for the remarriage of the guiltless spouse. In other words, adultery gives the right of separation from bed and board (a thoro et mensa) but does not sever the bond of marriage nor does it give the right to dissolve that bond. Perhaps most notable in maintaining this position is the Roman Catholic Church. The position should not, however, be regarded as distinctively Romish. The distinguished Latin father, Augustine, can be enlisted in support of this interpretation. Canon law of the Church of England, while allowing separation for adultery, does not permit of remarriage for the parties so separated as long as they both live. If the text of Matthew 19:9, quoted above, is adopted as the genuine and authentic text, then there is considerable difficulty in holding to this position. The reason is apparent. It is the difficulty of restricting the exceptive clause to the putting away (apolusa) and not extending it also to the remarriage (gamasa allan). This is, however, the construction that must be maintained if Matthew 19:9 is not interpreted as legitimating remarriage after divorce for adultery. The Romish Church is insistent that the exceptive clause modifies the first verb in the statement concerned but does not apply to the second. This exegesis is stated quite clearly by Aug. Lehmkuhl as follows:
The complete exclusion of absolute divorce (divortium perfectum) in Christian marriage is expressed in the words quoted above Mark x; Luke xvi; I Cor. vii). The words in St. Matthews Gospel (xix, 9), 'except it be for fornication', have, however, given rise to the question whether the putting away of the wife and the dissolution of the marriage bond were not allowed on account of adultery. The Catholic Church and Catholic theology have always maintained that by such an explanation St. Matthew would be made to contradict St. Mark, Luke, and Paul, and the converts instructed by these latter would have been brought into error in regard to the real doctrine of Christ. As this is inconsistent both with the infallibility of the Apostolic teaching and the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture, the clause in Matthew must be explained as the mere dismissal of the unfaithful wife without the dissolution of the marriage bond. Such a dismissal is not excluded by the parallel texts in Mark and Luke, while Paul (I Cor., vii, 11) clearly indicates the possibility of such a dismissal: 'And if she depart, that she remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband'. Grammatically, the clause in St. Matthew may modify one member of the sentence (that which refers to the putting away of the wife) without applying to the following member (the remarriage of the other), though we must admit that the construction is a little harsh. If it means, 'whoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery', then, in case of marital infidelity, the wife may be put away; but that, in this case, adultery is not committed by a new marriage cannot be concluded from these words. The following words, 'And he that shall marry her that is put away' - therefore also the woman who is dismissed for adultery - 'committeth adultery', say the contrary, since they suppose the permanence of the first marriage.
This construction of Matthew 19:9 is admitted to be 'a little harsh' even by the foregoing apologist for the Romish interpretation. We shall see that this is very much of an understatement. It must indeed be allowed that an exceptive clause is sometimes used in the Greek to intimate 'an exception to something that is more general than that which has actually been mentioned'. We have examples of this use of ei ma [but/except] in Matthew 12:4; Romans 14:14 and probably in Galatians 1:19. In such a case the exception stated here (ma epi porneia) would not be an exception to the principle that whosoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery but simply an exception to the principle that a man may not put away his wife. Consequently the real intent of the whole sentence would be, 'But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery - only, a man may put away his wife for the cause of fornication'. Such a rendering does in itself make good sense and would solve a good many difficulties in harmonising the accounts given in the three synoptic Gospels. The question remains, however: is this construction defensible? There are preponderant reasons for rejecting it. (1) If the exceptive clause is of the sort indicated above, namely, not an exception to that which is expressly stated but an exception to another closely related and more general consideration, then this is a most unusual, if not unparalleled, way of expressing it. In other instances where we have this kind of exception the construction is quite different from that in our text. In these other instances the statement of that to which a more general exception is appended is given first in its completeness and then the exception in its completeness follows. But this is not the case here - the exception is inserted before the statement is completed. Analogy does not, therefore, favour this rendering. (2) While it is true grammatically that an exceptive clause may modify one member of a sentence without modifying another, yet it must be noted that, in this particular case, the one member which the exceptive clause, on the Romish construction, is supposed to modify does not and cannot stand alone in the syntax of the sentence concerned. Even if we eliminate the clause (kai gamasa) from any modification by the exceptive clause we have not reached any solution as far as the grammatical structure is concerned. In order to complete the sense of what is introduced by the clause (hos an apolusa tan gunaika autou) we must move on to the principal verb, namely, (moichatai). But if we do this without reference to the remarriage clause (kai gamasa allan) we get nonsense and untruth, namely, 'whoever puts away his wife except for fornication commits adultery'. In other words, it must be observed that in this sentence as it stands no thought is complete without the principal verb, (moichatai). It is this thought of committing adultery by remarriage that is the ruling thought in this passage, and it is quite indefensible to suppress it. The very exceptive clause, therefore, must have direct bearing upon the action denoted by the verb that governs. But in order to have direct bearing upon the governing verb (moichatai) it must also have direct bearing upon that which must occur before the action denoted by the principal verb can take effect, namely, the marrying of another. This direct bearing which the exceptive clause must have on the remarriage and on the committing of adultery is simply another way of saying that, as far as the syntax of the sentence is concerned, the exceptive clause must apply to the committing of adultery in the event of remarriage as well as to the wrong of putting away. A comparison with Matthew 5:32 will help to clarify this point. There it is said, 'Everyone who puts away his wife except for the cause of fornication makes her to commit adultery'. In this case the exceptive clause has full meaning and relevance apart altogether from remarriage on the part of the divorcing husband. This is so because the sin contemplated on the part of the divorcing husband is not the committing of adultery on his part but the making of his wife to be an adulteress. But in Matthew 19:9 the case is entirely different. The burden thought here in 19:9 is the committing of adultery on the part of the divorcing husband himself. But this sin on his part presupposes his remarriage. Consequently, in the syntax of the sentence as it actually is, the meaning and relevance of the exceptive clause cannot be maintained apart from its application to the remarriage as well as to the putting away. (3) What is contemplated in this sentence is not merely putting away, as in Matthew 5:31, 32, but putting away and remarriage on the part of the husband. In this respect it is to be carefully distinguished from the logion of Matt. 5 :32 and must be placed in the same category as Mark 10:11 and Luke 16:18. The subject dealt with, therefore, is putting away and remarriage in coordination, and this coordination must not be disturbed in any way. It is this coordination that leads up to and prepares the ground for the principal verb, namely, the committing of adultery on the part of the divorcing husband. It would be unwarranted, therefore, to relate the exceptive clause to anything else than the coordination. Furthermore, the exceptive clause is in the natural position with reference to the coordination and with reference to the resulting sin to which it provides an exception. Where else could the exceptive clause be placed if it applies to all three elements of the situation expressed? And if it is in the natural position as applying to the coordination the natural construction is that it contemplates an exception to the statement of the sentence in its entirety. (4) The divorce permitted or tolerated under the Mosaic economy had the effect of dissolving the marriage bond. This Mosaic permission regarding divorce is referred to in the context of this passage as well as in Matthew 5:31 and in the parallel passage in Mark 10:2-12. In each of these cases the same verb (apoluo) is used with reference to this Mosaic provisions. Now since this was the effect of the divorce alluded to in this passage and since there is not the slightest indication that the actual putting away for adultery, legitimated in Matthew 19:9; 5:32, was to have an entirely different effect, we are surely justified in concluding that the putting away sanctioned by our Lord was intended to have the same effect in the matter of dissolving the marriage tie. It should be appreciated that the law as enunciated here by Jesus does not in any way suggest any alteration in the nature and effect of divorce. The change intimated by Jesus was rather the abolition of every other reason permitted in the Mosaic provisions and the distinct specification that adultery was now the only ground upon which a man could legitimately put away his wife. What is abrogated then is not divorce with its attendant dissolution of the marriage bond but rather all ground for divorce except adultery. If divorce involves dissolution of the marriage bond, then we should not expect that remarriage would be regarded as adultery. (5) It is surely reasonable to assume that if the man may legitimately put away his wife for adultery the marriage bond is judged to be dissolved. On any other supposition the woman who has committed adultery and who has been put away is still in reality the man's wife and is one flesh with him. If so it would appear very anomalous that the man should have the right to put away one who is permanently, while life lasts, his wife and is one flesh with him. To take action that relieves of the obligations of matrimony while the marital tie is inviolate hardly seems compatible with marital ethics as taught in the Scripture itself. It is true that Paul distinctly contemplates the possibility of separation without dissolution and propounds what the law is in such a contingency (I Cor. 7:10, 11). But to provide for and sanction permanent separation while the marriage tie remains inviolate is something that is alien to the whole tenor of Scripture teaching in regard to the obligations that inhere in and are inseparable from the marital bond. (6) The position that adultery warrants putting away but not dissolution of the marriage bond would appear to conflict with another principle of Scripture that applies to the aggravated case of harlotry or prostitution. If adultery does not give ground for dissolution of the marriage bond, then a man may not secure dissolution even when his wife has abandoned herself to prostitution. This seems quite contrary to the principle of purity expressed by the apostle (I Cor. 6:15-17). It would appear, therefore, that dissolution of the marriage bond must be the proper means and, in some cases, the mandatory means of securing release from a bond that binds so uniquely to one who is thus defiled. On these various grounds we may conclude that it is not feasible to construe the exceptive clause of Matthew 19:9 as applying merely to the putting away and not to the remarriage on the part of the divorcing husband. The considerations preponderate rather in favour of the conclusion that when a man puts away his wife for the cause of fornication this putting away has the effect of dissolving the bond of marriage with the result that he is free to remarry without thereby incurring the guilt of adultery. In simple terms it means that divorce in such a case dissolves the marriage and that the parties are no longer man and wife.

Subject: Re: A Biblical rebuttal of john's view!
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 28, 2000 at 10:19:59 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, Very well done. Thank you, brother, for your time and effort. john's thesis seems to revolve around the fact that this was pronounced under the Mosaic System and was a reiteration of the Law, and, therefore, not applicable 'after the cross,' to use his phrase. I'd like to address that. The basic fault with that view is that it ignores a fundamental principle. The context of Matt. 19 is that the Pharisees came as asked him, 'testing him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?' (verse 3). But the Lord Jesus' reply utilizes the Law while also delving into the eternal principles of God. In verse 4, He points them to the clear indications of the whole of Scripture, not just the law: one man and one woman for one another under God. In verse 6, 'man' is not to 'put [God's way] asunder.' But then they utilize 'Moses,' or the Law: 'Why did Moses then command...' (verse 7). (Later, we can see that they were twisting the Scripture to use it conveniently.) The Divine answer of the Lord Jesus was that it was an accomodation because of their internal weaknesses, the 'hardness of [their] hearts' (verse 8). Then He restates the one and only reason which has ever been legitimate for divorce, 'except it be for fornication' (verse 9), referring them back to the principles of God established in verses 5-6, that man is not to sin and do anything which would dissolve the marriage. With the sexual union of an adulterer(ess), the 'one flesh' principle is violated and that person is united in a way not altogether understood with another person. The union is damaged and the person is 'joined' with another. Note carefully in this connection the words Paul uses in 1 Cor. 6:15-16: 'Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I, then, take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he who is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh.' In that brief passage we get an insight into the fact that adultery breaks the 'one flesh' union and we can see how it is the unfailing principle of Scripture that such an action joins the sinning one to another, breaking the special spiritual union between a husband and a wife. It's no wonder the OT speaks of it this way: 'When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favor in his eyes, becasue he hath found some uncleaness in her; then let him write her a bill of divorcement...and send her out of his house' (Deut. 24:1). Carefully comparing that word 'uncleanness' we find some interesting things. It's used in the previous chapter, but rarely or never in other connections: 'For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy, that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee' (23:14). To say that he may divorce her "for every cause," as the Pharisees did, is a real perversion of the Word of God. Unholiness in God's people breaks their union with Him. Unholiness in upholding the laws of God in marriage destroys that union. Once a man divorces his wife because of it, he may not rejoin with her, according to verses 2-4 of chapter 24 (cp. again 1 Cor 6). But she is free to marry again, the marriage being dissolved. A little research on the use of the special and unusual word translated 'uncleanness' in this instance is revealing. Thus we see that God's principle has never varied. There is one cause for divorce, and that for a very particular reason. There is nothing in the books of the NT 'after the cross' to alter that fact and there is actually support for it in various places in Paul's doctrine and elaborations.

Subject: Re: Marriage Annulment
From: Rod
To: Dish
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 15:39:07 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Dish, Not being 'Reformed,' I've kept quiet about this to let those who are of that persuasion have their say--that's what you asked for, after all. I think it's important to keep in mind that though Joseph and Mary were what we would call 'engaged' today and hadn't consumated their marriage with physical union, Joseph was obligated to divorce her under the OT law. That's what is referred to when Matthew writes, 'Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away [meaning divorce] privately' (1:19). 'For better, or for worse, for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health, till death do you part,' is God's ideal, though divorce is permitted under stringent circumstances in the NT. It is, however, not demanded, so far as I can tell. The principle has never varied: 'For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away...' (Mal. 2:16). The previous verse makes emphatic that this is divorcing for frivilous reasons. Cp.Matt. 19:1-12 for the Lord Jesus' pronouncement on the subject and 1 Cor. 7:10-16 for Paul's elaboration.

Subject: Re: Marriage Annulment
From: Brother Bret
To: Dish
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 27, 2000 at 13:05:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Lovitz5@juno.com

Message:
Whether Reformed, Arminian, or Semi-pelagian, annulment is 'man-made.' Just like incompatibility and irreconcilible differences are not biblical :-). Like the word of God, and the brethren said...till death do you part. God seemingly only makes allowance for unreprented adultery and an unbeliever insisting in leaving the marriage. BB

Subject: Re: Marriage Annulment
From: Five Sola
To: Dish
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 26, 2000 at 20:24:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Dish, I would have to agree with Laz, the Reformed view would the biblical view. :-) I am no expert but if we only look at the Scriptural view of marriage then we have our answer. In Scripture marriage is not a temporary thing, nor a 'try it to see if you like it', but rather an eternal covenant made with God to stay with that spouse until death (thus an act of God) divides you. Annulment, in my understanding is just a nicer way to say divorce, and thus acceptable in the eyes of the Roman state 'church' and the general populace. Five Sola

Subject: Re: Marriage Annulment
From: laz
To: Dish
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 18:38:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
What is the reformed view of marriage annulment?
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hmmm, it would be the 'biblical' position. ;-) good question.... I bet it's another one of them made up doctrines from Rome. blessings, laz

Subject: Parables = riddles a 'HOWTO'
From: Gabriel
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 14:19:45 (PDT)
Email Address: ileftit@your-house.com

Message:
The Lord used parables to teach, but what exactly is a parable? I looked up the definition for a 'parable' and this is what I found: A Parable is defined as: 'A brief story used to teach some truth or moral lesson.' Well that 'definition' didn't help me at all, then I came upon a 'bomb' in The Book of Proverbs. Did you know that this book actually tells you its use? (what its used for). Take a look, here is what I found: --> The simple will be endowed with shrewdness and the young with knowledge and discretion. --> By listening to them the wise will increase their learning, and those with understanding will acquire skill to understand proverbs and PARABLES, the sayings and RIDDLES of the wise. - Proverbs 1:4-6 I was very excited to learn this! A Proverb is 'the saying of the wise.'and A Parable is 'a riddle of the wise.' At first, The Book of Proverbs may seem like some guy talking about life, morals and other things that pertain to life, but as you read it through, then bend down and study this book, your mind will start to get 'structured'. When you speak with people, you can actually see, in advance, where their argument is heading. It is like you are actually seeing and understanding whole conversations at once, but nothing I say to you can substitute you actually experiencing it. If you are reading the parables in the New Testament, and and enjoying the stories it tells, all well and good, but if you are thirsting for MORE - Study The Book of Proverbs.

Subject: Wood, Hay and Stubble
From: laz
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 24, 2000 at 17:53:16 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
All - pls read: 1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. In a recent sermon, I was told that the context of this passage is directed at pastors...those whom help build on the 'foundation' already laid - and NOT to the general Christian populace. The Corinthian problem of men pitting Paul, Apollos and Peter against one another proving this point. I think if you read that entire chapter...this becomes obvious. Paul is telling them to follow Christ and that men in leadership in the Church will someday have their works tested/judged....by fire...and as such, we ought not judge these men by appearances, style, minor points of doctrine, etc. If we can agree on this point...then can it also be said that the hundreds of arminians that have come and gone thru the Highway Forums....have been taught by godly pastors who are saved men but who have unfortunately been adding to the 'foundation' inferior building materials such as wood, hay and stubble? In otherwords, these men are saved but will have less 'works' to show forth on judgement day than those who have labored faithfully and aright sharing a more complete Gospel...the one about free grace where God reigns...and not men. In otherwords, we ought not judge Billy Graham too harshly or worse, condemn him? laz

Subject: Just a perspective...
From: David Teh
To: laz
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 09:02:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Laz!!! Last year when I was reading through the passage of 1 Cor 3, certain questions surfaced which I directed at someone whose identity I am not at liberty to disclose. Here were the questions: (1) I noticed the context which the popular portion vv 10-15 resides. Seems to suggest that it has more to do with the work of church leaders rather than individuals? (2) v.12 What's the gold, silver etc...? (3) v.13 What's the 'work' referred here? Comparing v. 15, it can't be referring to other men's souls since souls can't be destroyed by fire... (4) In connection, someone warned me about the Chafer-Ryrie-Hodges-Stanley type of reward theology. Comments on this? Here's the reply: Certainly by the immediately preceding context, 1 Cor 3 is related to leadership (or, more generally, to Christian workers; but if the more general scope can be included here, this is anticipatory of ch. 11, in which ALL believers are considered Christian workers). V. 10--'let each man be careful how he builds upon [the foundation],' etc., picks up on the Paul-Apollos referent, rather than those who are themselves the building. The work being done (v 14) would then relate to the work of leaders, especially evangelists. But the following context immediately shifts to the responsibility of the flock (v. 16); even though the shift is asyndetic, the connection with the previous material is clear, for v. 17 speaks of those who would destroy the temple of God--thus, keying in on leaders once again. All in all, Paul seems to weave his argument this way: both those who lead and those who follow have a responsibility before the Lord to 'get it right'--in terms of truth and holy relationships. Thus, in v. 15, 'he shall be saved by fire' now focuses on the individual's relation to the Lord rather than on his leadership. v. 12--the gold and silver, etc. are simply the quality of the building materials--in this context, Paul contrasts what is of eternal value and what is temporary. The wood, hay, and stubble are temporary building materials, whose net worth is nil, as will be evident on the great eschatological day. The building materials I would link both the builder's character and to the truth. Truth is more easily detectable than character; hence, the eschatological day is not as necessary to reveal its nature. But one's character--his motives and godliness, etc., are not seen apart from the Spirit of God. Thus, character is related to the point Paul makes in the preceding chapter. Paul makes a similar point in Phil 1. v. 13--the work is the work of aiding others in the process of sanctification and salvation. No, it is not directly salvation (as you correctly discerned)--that is a work of God alone. But in the proclamation of the gospel, some have wrong motives (cf. Phil 1)--their efforts will count for naught as far as their own rewards are concerned, but not as far as the message of life is concerned (otherwise, Paul would not express gratitude over the salvation of any who got the message from these wrong-motived evangelists!). But I wouldn't press the imagery too far: true, souls can't be destroyed by fire; but then again, neither can a person's efforts. The fire is surely not literal. Regarding the Chafer-Ryrie-Hodges-Stanley view of rewards: This would be one of the texts that would help to support their views, though certainly it is taken too far by some (esp. Hodges) in those circles. The view of rewards that he puts forth is essentially that a hard-line distinction needs to be made between salvation as a gift of God and the rewards related to sanctification as going beyond that. He makes a distinction between a believer and a disciple, for example. Part of his system is to see 'inherit eternal life/the kingdom' and 'see eternal life/the kingdom' as different things. Hodges argues, for example, that Rom 8:17 divides two kinds of inheritances: all believers are heirs of God (that is, saved), but not all believers are fellow-heirs with Christ. The Greek is unyielding in that direction; the two cannot be separated. He also distinguishes the kingdom of God from the kingdom of Christ (a la Eph 5:5), another text that cannot be used in the manner he suggests. At bottom, this approach makes perseverance of the saints an optional part of the salvation package--a view that is against the Reformed doctrine of salvation and against scripture at many points. You should read, for example, Hampton Keathley IV's essay on outer darkness for a nice discussion on the exegetical gymnastics that this group of scholars has had to go through to get to their understanding of such texts. I'm sure this is not making much sense, David. There's a lot more to it than this. But, as much as I would disagree with these gentlemen about the dichotomy between the grace that saves and the grace that sanctifies, they are genuine believers who have touched on a key issue as related to salvation--it is faith alone in Christ alone that saves. A follow-up query from me: Some follow-up questions on your comments on v. 12, 13. Am I right in saying that the popular interpretation of 'work' as the finished product (e.g ANOTHER man's soul, character) is wrong? This is because you have effectively restricted 'work' to mean the truth and character of the BUILDER himself/herself. This seem to have some profound effect on the kind of motives (and methodologies) with which we serve God - whether to aim to be approved by Him, or to have our 'product' approved by Him.... And the reply: I guess I had not realized that the popular view was someone else's soul. I find that to be significantly other than Paul's meaning here. www.geocities.com/davidteh.geo/

Subject: Re: Wood, Hay and Stubble
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 25, 2000 at 04:35:07 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
If I may, Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. The City of God is composed of all God's elect, the builder is God , who uses not only pastors but all the saints. 1Co 3:5 'Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? (Note: Gave to every man). Re 21:19 'And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald ...' God's temple is composed of the elect, pictured as precious stones, or as 1 Cor 3:11 has it 'gold, silver, precious stones'. There is no room for 'wood, hay, or stubble' in God's City. As Eph 2:20 has it, 'In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.' The holy temple is fitted together, each piece Chosen precisely, no inferior materials can be used! Ro 15:20 'Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation: ' While pastors are a subset of believers who are given special responsibilities, all believers are proclaimers of the gospel. All go forth preaching the good news, and all lay a foundation--good or bad. Of those who lay a foundation other than the gospel of Christ, they are described in Luke 6:49 “But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great”. The great ruin of those who hear the gospel but do not preach it (or live it) is great. The elect's house built upon Christ (the Rock) will withstand the tempest (of Judgment Day). For the wood, hay, and stubble -- they will see their work burned, revealing its worthlessness, their house will be ruined
---
all their efforts were so much vanity. If a man's work in preaching the gospel abides the trial of Judgment Day--that is, he has been a good and faithful servant, the reward is given. The reward is found in 2Ti 4:8 'Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall reward me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.' This crown represents the promise of kingship with Christ, eternal life; eternal glory in God's presence which is given to all God's elect. If a man's work is burned, he shall suffer loss. As Lu 9:25 has it, 'For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away (damaged or suffering loss)?'. The loss suffered is in the damage or casting away of his work (wood, stubble, straw) which were found unworthy materials for God's Temple. The Judgment of God will declare a man's work, but the elect have a sure foundation. Though some of their work may be lost, they can withstand their failures, but only because they have the Rock, Jesus Christ who has withstood the fire of damnation on their behalf. So, though there will be loss for the elect in that their brethren may be revealed as stubble, they survive God's wrath unscathed, but only 'yet so as by fire'-- on Christ's account they can remain, as is true of all the elect. Bottom line: The elect do not stand for Judgment, for they have already been judged, found guilty, and punished through the substitutionary atonement of Christ. On earth’s last Day, all our preaching will be like a double-edged sword, some will perish due to unbelief; others live, because they found a place for truth within themselves (by God's grace). Our loss is in the destruction of those who repented not, but anyone whose foundation is Christ will have the storm pass them unmolested, though the damage is very real (the Lake of Fire) for the unrepentant. Billy Graham's gospel is one of poisoned water. Apart from God's grace he will be counted amongst the wood, straw, hay, and stubble. Mt 13:40 'As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.' John 15:6 'If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.' Heb 6:8 “But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.” >>>In other words, we ought not judge Billy Graham too harshly or worse, condemn him? Answer: Mt 3:10 'And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.' Mt 7:16 'Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Mt 7:17 'Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.' I find Arminian/Semi-Pelagian/Easy Believism false gospels to be evil fruit and their preachers to be preachers spoken of in 2Co 11:15 'Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.' Eph 5:11 'And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.' (Note: reprove the ministers of darkness, including Billy Graham, that is the true believers duty,). john

Subject: Re: Wood, Hay and Stubble
From: Pilgrim
To: laz
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 24, 2000 at 20:34:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
laz,
Your premise/question of course MUST assume that all these men referred to ARE in fact saved. But this, at least in my own mind, begs the question itself, 'Are all Arminians saved?' Of course we could also ask, 'Are all Calvinists, or Methodists, Baptists, Congregationalists, ad infinitum saved?' Although it is my particular belief that Arminianism/Semi-Pelagianism presents a far more dubious situation wherein a person can be saved, albeit God's sovereign election will infallibly be fulfilled. The emphasis here falls more upon the responsibility of men to preach the 'pure gospel of Christ', which being the primary means of grace, the Spirit working in conjunction with it, sinners are brought to Christ. With the current practice of 'Madison Avenue' techniques in evangelism and preaching as a whole, and the assent to Easy Believism [Sandamanianism] and the methodology foisted mainly by Charles Finney, who denied the necessity of the initial regenerating work of the Spirit before a sinner can believe on Christ unto justification, humanly speaking, the fruit reaped by those who have sold themselves out to all these things is a mass gathering of deceived sinners, who while professing to have 'asked Jesus into their hearts' and the like, are yet dead in their sins and under the just judgment and condemnation of God. While no man is given to know infallibly the state of any man's heart nor the eternal destiny of any particular individual, we are given to judge the doctrine and fruit of one's profession. This being a truism, I must lament over what I see today among the hordes of 'born again' converts. For me the question is far more fundamental! Will these men's works be 'tried by fire' or will they be cast into the 'Lake of fire', at the mournful declaration, 'I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.' (Matt 7:23). The myriad warnings throughout the Scriptures concerning false prophets, false teachers, wolves, etc., are too numerous to mention, but also too sobering to ignore and thus cast a 'pleasing blanket of acceptance' upon anyone who names the name of Jesus.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Pilgrim, Are you against Christ?
From: Joe
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:49:03 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Let me quote you here: 'PS: I still strongly disagree with your views concerning what preaching should be.' If you 'strongly disagree' that Christ should be preached, then you must be strongly against Christ. How can I reach any other conclusion with a statement like that? All I have shown with the scriptures I quoted is that Christ should be the Primary focus in gospel preaching. The follwoing is from my first post: Joe The Gospel Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 15:39:00 (PDT) The Gospel is a Declaration of Christ: 1. As a Person Acts 9:20 2. In His Death 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 3. In His Resurrection 2 Timothy 2:8 4. In His Victory 2 Timothy 1:10 5. In His Grace Galatians 1:6 6. In His Peace Romans 10:15 7. In His coming Judgment Romans 2:16 8. In His Salvation Accomplished Romans 1:16 9. In His Imputed Righteousness Romans 1:17 Acts 9:20 And straightway he PREACHED CHRIST in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the GOSPEL: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the CROSS is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was RAISED from the dead according to my GOSPEL: 2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the GOSPEL: Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the GOSPEL of the GRACE of God. Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the GOSPEL of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my GOSPEL. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. The Gospel is about a Person 1 Corinthians But we PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we PREACH not ourselves, but CHRISTt Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and PREACH JESUS CHRIST Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and PREACHED CHRISTt unto them. Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and PREACHED unto him JESUS. Acts 9:20 And straightway he PREACHED CHRIST in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might PREACH HIM among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! THESE VERSES CLEARLY DEFINE WHAT THE GOSPEL IS AND WHO IS TO BE PREACHED! Did you guys even read my list? This is what the bible says. If you strongly disagree with me, then you strongly disagree with God's own word. Joe

Subject: Preaching
From: john hampshire
To: Joe
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 20, 2000 at 04:25:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hey Joe, The word for 'preach', 'proclaim' in the Greek New Testament is kerysso [khruvssw]. The proclamation deals primarily with the salvation of the Lord and the Kingdom of God. In the OT the 'preaching' is Basar meaning to bear news, bear tidings, publish, preach, show forth; or Qara meaning to call unto, cry (for help), call (with name of God), to proclaim. So the OT saints preached Christ's salvation just as the NT saints did. In the Old Testament we find good news is proclaimed widely (1 Sam 31:9; Psalm 96:2-3; Isa 40:9; 52:7), spread rapidly (2 Sam 18:19-31; 2 Kings 7:9; Psalm 68:11), and declared and received joyfully (2 Sam 1:20; Psalm 96:11-12; Isa 52:7-9; Jer 20:15). So while the NT focus is on the revealed Messiah and the preaching is to the point as truth is revealed, the OT also is preaching but with more hidden, as the time for its revealing was not at hand yet. Preaching is not limited to certain ideas or verses, the entire Bible is God's proclamation of His salvation. We can preach to a modern congregation anywhere in the Bible and be assured we are preaching (proclaiming) God's salvation message if we find the spiritual message. While Christ is ultimately the fulfillment of the Father's salvation program, and He will be featured predominately, however, we can yet proclaim the good news in differing aspects without having to preach 'how' to get saved (to borrow a phrase). Preaching is not just repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it is all that the Bible has to say, the whole Book is God's Book of Salvation. If God felt it important enough to record for our spiritual benefit, we can be confident that all Scripture is worthwhile for proclaiming His salvation plan. Salvation if found from Genesis to Revelation, it is all the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ. No one is against preaching Christ, but proclaiming the good news is not limited to certain verses. Christ is not found directly in each verse, but the good news, in some aspect, is hidden or boldly stated if we look carefully. Thus, open your Bible and proclaim all truths found there. john

Subject: Re: Preaching
From: Pilgrim
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 20, 2000 at 09:53:04 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, Thanks for reiterating what I wrote Joe below! :-)
2Tim 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. 2Tim 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Preaching
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 20, 2000 at 18:14:17 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
brother, It is particularly fitting in this topic to mention these two passages. They emphasize 'preaching the word,' which is consistent with the Apostle's practice of teaching all of God's revealed Word: 'Wherefore, I testify unto you this day that I am pure from the blood of all men; for I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God' (Acts 20:26-27). This was what Paul the Apostle did to the church, he preached all the precepts and principles of God's revelation. Moreover, he did it because of the necessity to declare unto the believers sound doctrine, instructing them in the falsehoods which can deceive and divide. He said it this way in the Timothy passage you quoted, 'For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables' (2 Tim. 4:3-4). Paul is perfectly consistent with himself throughout his epistles and ministry, preaching the message of salvation and urging his follower to, 'speak thou the things which become sound doctrine' (Titus 2:1). That phrase, 'which become sound doctrine,' is significant. In it, the word 'become' has lost the meaning it had when so translated. It means 'complement,' 'are proper to,' or 'sets off to show in a flattering and revealing way' sound doctrine. That is what he instructed Titus and Timothy to do in their ministries as Apostolic legates. When a gifted preacher and teacher is led of God's Spirit, that is what he will do, preach the entire counsel of God. He will 'do the work of an evangelist' (2 Tim. 4:5) while not neglecting to teach the sound doctrine which Paul had just exhorted his deputy to continue in so strongly. Only in that way will he 'make full proof of thy ministry.' Balance in the ministered word, that is the goal. Balance in preaching as the servant of God is led by the Spirit of God to feed the sheep, the Lord Jesus' last instructions to the Apostle Peter, recorded in John 21, an admonition repeated in various forms three times. Without that feed, that nurturing, that sound doctrine, the sheep will not be fed and people won't see the witness of the Church and won't be drawn to the Lord Jesus Christ, for it is God's plan that the Church witness to its Savior and Lord in the face of a lost world.

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Are you against Christ?
From: g
To: Joe
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 19, 2000 at 17:34:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
?

Subject: Process
From: george
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 17:40:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe, I believe that Rod and Pilgrim are correct in stating that salvation is a process, though salvation may seem to be a instantaneous event. The process of salvation, is somewhat indicated in Acts 9:10-20, with the conversion of Paul. Yet, I would also claim, that though we are saved the moment we believe and are positionally right with God, salvation is none the less, on going. That is, justification and sanctification are 'dove tailed' together. In Christ alone, george

Subject: Joe and Eternal Justification
From: laz
To: All
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:36:30 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Dear Joe...you the same Joe who taught 'eternal justification' on this site last year? laz

Subject: 'Preaching to the Choir'
From: Rod
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:39:57 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I often read this expression from those who show no real evidence of being saved. It is an indication that the choir somehow doesn't need 'preaching to.' However, it's been my observation from the pew that choir members are often restless and inattentive during sermons, proving that they are not receptive to the preaching. (BTW, if you are a member of a choir who is 'on display' by being seated in front of the congregation while the service is being conducted, please be aware that your movements and attitudes can be very distracting. Now it may be that the members of the choir don't need salvation, but they can certainly use doctrine. And just being in the choir doesn't assure one of salvation either. Consequently, I never use that expression, as it gives a false impression. Likewise, those who are saved, or are possibly unsaved, but 'churched' (have attended church and know something about its workings), often feel that they know all there is about salvation and how preaching should be done. None of us knows all about it! The majority of this board is probably an exception, but probably a small minority of professing Christians truly understand that salvation is a process. That is, it happens by steps. These occur in such a way that they seem simultaneous to us humans, but they are separate actions and events. Thus, salvation isn't one single event, but is composed of several actions and events. The first is predestination by God in the beginning. This occurs in eternity, before time and, obviously, before the person is born. Such a person is marked out for God's love and mercy. He is predestined to be saved by grace. But how can this person be saved? The Biblical teaching is that he is dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1), unable because of his spiritual death in Adam to respond to God Who is a Spirit and to Whom the dead sinner is a total enemy (Rom. 8:7). This person has a serious need. That need is new life, spiritual rebirth, which enables him to turn to the Lord Jesus in faith. But he can't feel that need; all he feels is enmity against God and separation. He wants to continue in his sin, being alienated from God and His enemy--that is his consuming will and desire: 'Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ [already], he is none of his' (Rom. 8:9). He is not a part of God, wants no part of God, and receives no part in God, if he is not reborn or given new spiritual life first. The first requirement is that he must have spiritual life, the Holy Spirit's gift, or he can have no part in God. In Rom. 8:28 we read that those who love God are [already] 'the called according to his purpose.' Many people receive what is referenced as the 'general call,' but this is describing the 'effectual call.' It is the irresistible call which goes out to the elect in God's perfect timing, the time for that person to be saved. Is it necessary to point out that this is not a matter of the 'right words,' but an inner working of the Holy Spirit Who has given new life. Isn't it obvious that the Lord Jesus was 'the Word become flesh' (John 1:14). If anyone ever had 'the right words' it had to be the Word made flesh, but not everyone to whom He preached was saved because God didn't choose to regenerate them first. The section in John 6, from verse 60 through verse 68 illustrate this point with emphasis: 'It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words THAT I SPEAK UNTO YOU, they are spirit, and they are life' (verse 63). And Peter, speaking for the group, indicated that he/they got the message: 'From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou has the words of eternal life' (verses 66-68). He had the right words, but only to those possessing spiritual life was the ability to hear given. Did the ability to hear cause the life? Absolutely not! The first thing a person needs is the 'new birth,' or regeneration, new, spiritual life: 'Except a man be born again [is made spiritually alive to the things of God], he cannot see the kingdom of God;' 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God' (John 3:3,5). Without that new birth, there can be no hearing of the Word of God with faith; there will be no realization of the truth of the message, even from the Lord Jesus, to result in justification from God as Paul outlines in Rom. 3-5. All the truth of God remains 'foolishness' to that person: 'For the preaching of the cross is to them that are perishing foolishness, but unto us who are saved it is the power of God' (1 Cor. 1:18). The saved of God recognize from where the power comes to justify: from God, from His working. That is the effectual call which enables the regenerated person to really hear the promises of God with the ears of faith. It gives all new meaning to, 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God' (Rom. 10:17). Without that power of the new spiritual life given by the Holy Spirit, there is not even the ability to hear. 'Salvation is 'by grace,' not faith. It is 'through faith' (Eph. 2:8), but not 'by faith.' Faith is a step following the gracious regeneration of the individual so that he may receive faith, resulting in his justification in God's sight. Such a person is placed by God 'in Christ.' And that person, having received the gift of the whole process of God, is saved. I have heard that some have identified over 30 steps in the salvation process. I don't know how many steps there are, but it is incumbent on all Christians to know that salvation is a process of steps. It's necessary that we understand that process and where the power in salvation rests, why it occurs when it does. To do that we must be solidly grounded in basic doctrine. Only then may we rest secure in the knowledge that God will save whom He will when He will.

Subject: Born Again, Yet Unsaved?
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 17:59:54 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, In your post you equate regeneration with being born again: 'The first thing a person needs is the 'new birth,' or regeneration, new, spiritual life: 'Except a man be born again [is made spiritually alive to the things of God], he cannot see the kingdom of God;' 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God' (John 3:3,5).' But in another post to me you say that regeneration is not the same thing as salvation. You are saying that you can be born again and still be unsaved at the same time? Joe

Subject: Precisely
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 18:06:56 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
The new spiritual life leads inevitably to salvation because the person is effectually called by God, but it is not the same thing. I've given evidence of this in most of my posts to you. If you've never understood it before, it is a novel concept. But it is Biblical truth. As I've said, the steps may appear to be simultaneous, but are separate things, one leading to the other.

Subject: Is there a Time Limit?
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 21:37:09 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, By the way, is there a time limit to how long you can be born again and remain unsaved? Can you be born again for a year and remain unsaved? What about 5 years? Or what about 50 years? What if you were born again for 50 years and then died before actual salvation occured? Sorry, but I haven't seen any scripture that supports your idea. Joe

Subject: Reading without discernment
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 23:00:07 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Preconceived notions and mindset have caused you to seriously err. You 'read' the link Pilgrim gave, but didn't grasp the meaning. You've 'read' my posts, yet failed to see the points I've stated repeatedly, which are consistent with orthodox and reformed Christianity. You can't see john hampshire's point. Do you see a pattern here? I leave you to your error, sincerely praying that God will open your mind and heart to His truth.

Subject: What Verse?
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:01:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Excuse me but your point is not so hard to grasp. You think you can be born again and unsaved at the same time. WHAT VERSE in the bible says that? Thanks, Joe

Subject: Re: Precisely
From: Prestor John
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 19:24:45 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
However, I think you'll agree with me Rod when I say that a man can not become born again without the entire process of salvation taking place. Prestor John

Subject: I have never indicated otherwise!
From: Rod
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 20:03:13 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I don't think anyone could say that if they have read all my posts on the subject here and below in the two related threads. Salvation, as I've stated numerous times, is, as you correctly indicate, a process. No process is complete without all the steps. Also I have previously posted, regeneration leads 'inevitably' to salvation. In fact, that is God's purpose in regenerating: to make it possible for a person to be alive to spiritual things in order that he can turn to the Lord Jesus in faith for justification in God's sight, and to give him a new will which fervently desires to make that choice.

Subject: Re: I have never indicated otherwise!
From: Prestor John
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 23:07:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
At ease Rod just saying an Amen to your statement and reiterating what you had previously said, not saying you said anything else. (easy big guy I am on your side ) Prestor John

Subject: Re: I have never indicated otherwise!
From: Rod
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 05:42:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Prestor John, I didn't mean to come on too strong, but in view of Joe's distortions of my postion, I wanted to make it ultra-clear what my position was. You will note that he did come on board later and distort this.

Subject: Sounds like Decisional Salvation
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 22:23:34 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, When you say: 'to give him a new will which fervently desires to make that choice.' It sounds like decisional salvation. If regeneration only enables your will to make a decision to choose Christ, then it's finally because of your choice that makes you saved. If that's what you're saying, then I'd have to say it sounds exactly like Arminianism. In contrast, my view is that God does everything for my salvation. Passing from death to life IS Salvation. (i.e. the difference from dead in sins to alive in Christ). I cannot get myself saved by making a decision to choose Christ by my enabled will. No! God simply saves according to His own good pleasure and His own sovereign will through the preaching of the gospel. Joe

Subject: Re: Sounds like Decisional Salvation
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 08:38:23 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe,
If I may enter into this discussion on a tardy note? hehe First of all, Rod has been right on target in his replies to you. I am in full agreement with what he has written to you as I believe it is biblically sound and in accord with all the teachings of the Reformed confessions. Now, let me give you a summary of the biblical 'time line' of salvation as it specifically regards the temporal. First, a sinner is regenerated by the Holy Spirit; usually in conjunction with the preaching and/or reading of the Word. This is a sovereign and secret work of the Holy Spirit, which the sinner is unconscious of and of which he/she has absolutely no part in. AFTER this 'quickening' of the soul, wherein a new disposition/nature is created, a person is 'awakened' to his/her need of Christ. This is where man is CONVERTED and experiences the conviction of sin, the recognition of his/her own depravity, the hopeless condition they are in, the sense and acknowledgment of the guilt that they own and God's wrath and judgment upon them. This leads to REPENTANCE, which is one of the two PREREQUISITES necessary to apprehend the saving benefits of Christ's atonement and His imputed righteousness. On the other side of the coin, as it were is the sinner's recognition of the Lord Jesus Christ as the only way to God; that His sacrificial substitutionary work is the only way to be reconciled to God. And in addition to the sinner's recognition of Christ as the 'only Saviour for sinners', there is also a natural love and attraction to Him of which the sinner finds IRRESISTIBLE. This all ends in the sinner's JUSTIFICATION. From that point on, the REPENTANCE begins to express itself in a transformed life. Now, when does CONVERSION take place in relation to REGENERATION? It is my understanding and firm belief that it is IMMEDIATELY!! There is no delay in time between the two. The 'new birth' is performed by the Spirit for the expressed purpose of bringing an elect sinner to Christ AT THE VERY MOMENT it is done. If a child is regenerated in the womb, then this child's 'heart' immediately reaches out in faith to the Lord Christ and is Justified. The outward expression may not be seen until the child is mentally capable of doing so, but nonetheless, although this is surely the exception and not the rule, it is true. With adults, we may see the results of true conversion immediately if done publicly. Or, if the person is converted in a more private setting, we will only know when this person speaks of what has happened to them. But this is not 'salvation'! The public profession of faith does NOT bring about salvation in the narrow sense, i.e., CONVERSION. Remember, as Rod rightly told you, salvation is a PROCESS... and we may not, as spectators be privy to some or all of its parts nor are we as recipients privy to all of its parts either. But one this is sure, the elect will be regenerated in God's good time and immediately be brought to the Lord Christ by faith. From that time forward, the person will invariably lead a life of godliness; having its 'ups and downs' until the day the Lord calls that person home. 'Salvation is of the Lord. . .' (Jonah 2:9) to be sure. But this truth must not be pushed to an extreme whereby the prerequisites of repentance and faith are excluded on the one hand by confessing that they are unnecessary, or on the other hand, diminishing or even denying God's sovereignty in salvation by accrediting man with having any part in that salvation. Classically these two extremes have come under the rubrics of either Arminianism/Semi-Pelagianism or Hyper-Calvinism. I would be interested in how you respond to what I have written above. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Sounds like Decisional Salvation
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:29:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Sorry but I think it's biblically sound at all. Just because you agree with Rod doesn't make it true. What scripture can you give to support this idea? Rod says the gospel is not needed for regeneration, but you say: ' a sinner is regenerated by the Holy Spirit; usually in conjunction with the preaching and/or reading of the Word.' So which is it? And just because a lost soul is awakened to his/her need of Christ doesn't mean that person is regenerated. This is where your error is in my opinion. And what verse in the bible says that repentence is a 'PREREQUISITE'? By the way, that is a works gospel. If you tell someone that God won't save them unless they first repent, then they are saved because God looked at their repentence and was moved to save them. That's a works salvation. I agree that repentence will absolutely be manifested in the life of a saved person, but it is not a prerequisite. And if you say conversion is IMMEDITE in relation to regeneration, then how can repentence be a prerequisite? Unless you are now saying that conversion is not the same thing as salvation either. Joe

Subject: Re: Sounds like Decisional Salvation
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 10:12:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe,
Excuse me Joe, but where have I ever indicated that just BECAUSE I agree with Rod on this point that what I believe is true? hahaha. I believe what I believe because first of all it is what I have come to embrace from the study of Scripture and secondly, because it is that which has been affirmed by the majority of Christians throughout the centuries, especially since the Protestant Reformation. A 'lost soul that is awakened' is one that has been regenerated Joe. Otherwise, the natural man is not able to discern spiritual things (1Cor 2:14; Rom 8:7,8; Eph 4:18,19, etc.). An unregenerate person is certainly capable of comprehending the truth of the gospel in an outward way and thus they hate it. But to be 'awakened' is to be spiritually conscious of that truth whereby the soul is MOVED by it and the mind embraces it as its own. (Rom 1:10ff). As to this matter of repentance as a prerequisite, it is ever where taught by the Lord Christ and the Apostles, e.g., (Matt 3:2; 4:17; Mark 1:15; 6:12; Luk 13:3,5; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; 26:20). Repentance and Faith are two sides of the same coin, as it were. There is no true repentance with faith in Christ and there is no true faith in Christ without repentance. Neither 'merits' salvation, but both are the fruit of regeneration and necessary to apprehend justification. Perhaps you would be further helped in this understanding by reading a marvelous and very informative article by Dr. Joel Beeke here: Justification by Faith Alone Finally you wrote: 'And if you say conversion is IMMEDITE in relation to regeneration, then how can repentence be a prerequisite?' ANSWER: Repentance and Faith are BOTH prerequisites necessary to apprehend JUSTIFICATION, which are expressed in conversion. Regeneration is a radical transformation of a person's nature/disposition, where by nature a person is at enmity with God and all good and hates holiness and denies any need of Christ and the soul is renewed unto God in that the person is then spiritually cognizant of his/her true sinful condition and guilt before God and desires to be washed clean in the blood of Christ and to live unto God in all righteousness. This entails the turning FROM sin and TO Christ. It is in this 'act' that the sinner repents and believes. Here's what the Westminster Confession of Faith says about repentance:
The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XV Of Repentance unto Life
I. Repentance unto life is an evangelical grace,[1] the doctrine whereof is to be preached by every minister of the gospel, as well as that of faith in Christ.[2] 1. Acts 11:18; II Cor. 7:10; Zech. 12:10 2. Luke 24:47; Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21 II. By it, a sinner, out of the sight and sense not only of the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, as contrary to the holy nature, and righteous law of God; and upon the apprehension of his mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, so grieves for, and hates his sins, as to turn from them all unto God,[3] purposing and endeavoring to walk with him in all the ways of his commandments.[4] 3. Ezek. 18:30-31; 36:31; Isa. 30:22; Psa. 51:4; Jer. 31:18-19; Joel 2:12-13; Amos 5:15; Psa. 119:128; II Cor. 7:11; I Thess. 1:9 4. Psa. 119:6, 59, 106; II Kings 23:25; see Luke 1:6 III. Although repentance be not to be rested in, as any satisfaction for sin, or any cause of the pardon thereof,[5] which is the act of God's free grace in Christ;[6] yet it is of such necessity to all sinners, that none may expect pardon without it.[7] 5. Ezek. 16:61-63; 36:31-32; Isa. 43:25 6. Hosea 14:2, 4; Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7 7. Luke 13:3, 5; Mark 1:4; Acts 17:30-31 IV. As there is no sin so small, but it deserves damnation;[8] so there is no sin so great, that it can bring damnation upon those who truly repent.[9] 8. Rom. 6:23; Gal. 3:10; Matt. 12:36 9. Isa. 1:16-18; 55:7; Rom. 8:1 V. Men ought not to content themselves with a general repentance, but it is every man's duty to endeavor to repent of his particular sins, particularly.[10] 10. Psa. 19:13; Matt. 26:75; Luke 19:8; I Tim. 1:13, 15 VI. As every man is bound to make private confession of his sins to God, praying for the pardon thereof;[11] upon which, and the forsaking of them, he shall find mercy;[12] so, he that scandalizeth his brother, or the church of Christ, ought to be willing, by a private or public confession, and sorrow for his sin, to declare his repentance to those that are offended,[13] who are thereupon to be reconciled to him, and in love to receive him.[14] 11. Psa. 32:5-6; Psa. 51:1-14 12. Prov. 28:13; Isa. 55:7; I John 1:9 13. James 5:16; Luke 17:3-4; Josh. 7:19; see Matt. 18:15-18 14. II Cor. 2:7-8; see Gal. 6:1-2
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Rom 8:7,8
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 13:11:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, You also gave the following reference: Rom 8:7,8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. This is the condition of the unsaved, but this verse does not teach that regeneration and salvation are two different things, and it certainly doesn't teach that a person can be regenerated and unsaved at the same time. AGAIN the context is a comparison of one who is SAVED to one who is unsaved. Look at verse 9 for instance: But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Only SAVED people walk in the Spirit. And the Spirit of God only dwells within saved people.. I understand what's happening: Your definition of an awakened sinner is one who is regenerated but still unsaved. My definition of an awakened sinner is one who can understand much spiritual truth but is not regenerated. (Like an Arminian Theologian with a doctorates degree for example). There is no such thing as a regenerated unsaved person. Show me the verse and explain your point. Quote the verse, don't just give me a bible reference and tell me the bible says so. It doesn't say so! Thanks, Joe

Subject: Re: Rom 8:7,8
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 17:21:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe,
I am afraid you are confused here. I DO NOT believe that a person can be regenerate and yet unsaved. As soon as an adult is regenerated by the Spirit of God, that person will most immediately repent and believe upon Christ unto Justification. I DO NOT hold that there can be a period of time that transpires between regeneration and justification where a sinner is in a state of 'spiritual limbo'. The Spirit may indeed work in many ways prior to regeneration, e.g., attending a biblical church, read the Bible, making friends with a true Christian, etc., without actually working regeneration. However, this individual is no less 'dead in trespasses and sins' than any other sinner. One is either under the wrath of God or 'in Christ'. There is no middle ground. :-)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Rom 8:7,8
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 18:14:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I like what you said here: ' I DO NOT believe that a person can be regenerate and yet unsaved.' Now we're on the same page! But when you said you agreed with Rod: 'Rod has been right on target in his replies to you. I am in full agreement with what he has written to you as I believe it is biblically sound and in accord with all the teachings of the Reformed confessions.' I thought you were in agreement that you can be regenerate and unsaved at the same time (according to Rod.) And that the gospel is not needed for regeneration (according to Rod). Please be more careful not to simply support someone else's representation of biblical theories without knowing what they said. Thanks. Anyway, I didn't even want to discuss this. Somehow I got sidetracked into this discussion. And I like what you said here: 'One is either under the wrath of God or 'in Christ'. There is no middle ground.' Amen! I agree. One is either dead in sins or alive in Christ. Dead is unsaved and alive (i.e. regenerate) is saved. Joe

Subject: Re: Verification of Quotes
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 21:21:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe,
Can you please paste quotes from Rod's messages that would support your contention that he believes that one can be 'regenerate and unsaved at the same time' and 'that the gospel is not needed for regeneration'? I would certainly agree with the second statement however, most assuredly. It is true that God typically uses the Gospel message as a 'means of grace', but it is also true that there have been those who have been regenerated having never heard the gospel. The Westminster Confession of Faith clearly teaches this same truth in regards to infants who die in infancy and those who are mentally dysfunction. It has also been true that the Reformed churches have held that infants and little children can and have been regenerated, who later on in life when they are physically capable of doing so, profess their faith in the Lord Christ. Without question, I would reject the first statement that a person can be regenerated and unsaved at the same time, although if the word 'unsaved' is used to mean justified it technically be true, for there is always a very short time between when the 'fruit/affect' of regeneration, e.g., conviction of sin, etc. is being experienced which inevitably and infallibly drives a person to the cross to believe upon Christ. But first, I want to see Rod's EXACT words before I will say I disagree with him, assuming that he even said what you are contending about him. Even if you can give me the specific post where I can read that statement, this would suffice. Thanks.
In His Grace, Pilgrim PS: I still strongly disagree with your views concerning what preaching should be. :-)

Subject: Pilgrim, Are you Against Christ?
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 08:57:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Let me quote you here: 'PS: I still strongly disagree with your views concerning what preaching should be.' If you 'strongly disagree' that Christ should be preached, then you must be strongly against Christ. How can I reach any other conclusion with a statement like that? All I said was that Christ should be the Primary focus in gospel preaching. The follwoing is from my first post: The Gospel is a Declaration of Christ: 1. As a Person Acts 9:20 2. In His Death 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 3. In His Resurrection 2 Timothy 2:8 4. In His Victory 2 Timothy 1:10 5. In His Grace Galatians 1:6 6. In His Peace Romans 10:15 7. In His coming Judgment Romans 2:16 8. In His Salvation Accomplished Romans 1:16 9. In His Imputed Righteousness Romans 1:17 Joe

Subject: Re: Pilgrim, Are you Against Christ?
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 18:06:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe,
Are you currently on any medication? Are you over medicating? Falling into Sophistry and poor Sophistry at that certainly isn't going to make your contentions any more credible. And then asking me if I 'am against Christ' is credulous on your part. As with other messages on this forum, you have somehow missed the point in my disagreement with your definition of 'preaching' as a whole. I never even hinted that there shouldn't be a straight-forward 'evangelistic' type message preached from time to time from the pulpit. What I disagree with is that you have alleged that ALL preaching should be of this type. One of the problems, and a big one indeed, with this type of view is that it totally ignores the inspiration of the Scriptures and its own hermeneutic. Any preacher worth his salt will preach EXPOSITORILY; i.e., he will take note of the historical and grammatical structure of the text, its immediate and far context and EXPOUND that passage with the appropriate application. This 'thing' you are advocating, which became popular especially with and after the advent of Charles Finney and his 'revivalism methodology', has done terrible harm to Christendom. The 'whole counsel of God' has been either distorted or ignored for an alleged 'superior preaching of Christ'! Preaching 'Christocentrically' is a far different thing than what you are prating about as 'preaching Christ!' Let's be clear about this shall we? The Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 is GOSPEL. But even the Lord Christ Himself didn't practice Eisogesis whereby He twisted every single text in the Old Testament so that His name was included in it. Luke 24:27 'And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.' From your perspective, you would probably say that Luke meant that the Lord Christ illustrated to these two men that He was mentioned in each and every single verse in the entire Old Testament. But even from a practical stand point, this would have been a sheer impossibility given the time frame that Jesus spent with them. Yes, all the Scriptures 'point' to Christ, but not every single verse 'speaks' of Christ. The bottom line here is one needs to 'rightly divide the word of truth' and thus honor God and His Word as a divinely inspired revelation. This is one of the main reasons many of the churches in the early days of the Reformation required their ministers to preach through their respective Catechisms, so that no man would 'ride a hobby horse' and thereby starve his congregation to death. Rest assured Joe, I have been privy to the type of preaching you are espousing; for 6 months even. And without doubt, I left that church 'famished' and disillusioned. There was no 'food' offered to the sheep. The 'preacher' would have fared much better preaching in a Gospel Mission to a different crowd each week than twisting the Scriptures as he did and starving his flock.
Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. 32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: C'mon now Joe--against Christ?
From: Eric
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 10:46:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Is this line of questioning suitable for one Christian to ask another? You might want to examine your motivation for posting a question like that. It can do nothing more than provoke wrath. God bless, Eric

Subject: Re: C'mon now Joe--against Christ?
From: Joe
To: Eric
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:55:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eric, Doesn't my scripture list clearly define what the gospel is? Do you think it's suitable for a Christian to be strongly against what I outlined in scripture? How can any Christian be against what I posted? That is the real question. Joe

Subject: Whatever credibility
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 12:29:52 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
you might have had (practically none) you've lost by this display of ignorance and affront. Pilgrim is a fine Christian, seeking to serve and honor his Lord in all his endeavors. In every post he seeks to honor the Lord Jesus and the Triune God and by this fine website he has amply done so. This slander on him just points out how undeserving you are of being taken seriously. I call upon you to recant these statements and to get on your face before the Lord to ask His forgiveness for these insults to Pilgrim.

Subject: Clearing up the matter
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 22:03:34 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Here is what I wrote in 'Preaching to the choir' above. It should have been enough for Joe initially, but.... 'The majority of this board is probably an exception, but probably a small minority of professing Christians truly understand that salvation is a process. That is, it happens by steps. These occur in such a way that they seem simultaneous to us humans, but they are separate actions and events. Thus, salvation isn't one single event, but is composed of several actions and events.' In discussing this before on this board some weeks or months ago, I mentioned this perception of the things being simultaneous. For all practical purposes they are, as we perceive them and as they happen. The steps follow one another progressively and immediately--I think in that past discussion, I used the expression, 'in the twinkling of an eye.' However, for doctrinal purposes, to understand the whole of the process, the theologians separate out the actions and events, identifying each in turn. Pilgrim, you have pinpointed the thing exactly with this statement: ''...although if the word 'unsaved' is used to mean justified it technically be true, for there is always a very short time between when the 'fruit/affect' of regeneration, e.g., conviction of sin, etc. is being experienced which inevitably and infallibly drives a person to the cross to believe upon Christ.'' The person is set aside, or 'sanctified,' unto God in regneration; he is justified, made righteous positionally (sanctified), when he receives the gift of faith throught the Spirit's enabling him to turn to the Lord Jesus by faith. But that fact is dependent on the prior reception of the new birth, the regeneration by the Spirit of our holy God, for only a spiritually alive person can be saved--'Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (Rom. 8:9). Earlier that same verse make it plain that the 'Spirit of Christ' and the Spirit of God' are One and the same. We are saved in these 'simultaneous' steps. And we are now saved, are always being saved, and shall be saved, the whole of the process not being complete until glorification with the Lord Jesus takes place (Rom. 8:30). This is far longer than I meant it to be and I actually meant to stay out of this from now on, as it seems to be fruitless as far as Joe's attitude is concerned, based on the evidence of his posts thus far. I came back on the subject so that there won't be any doubts where I stand and have stood all along.

Subject: Re: Clearing up the matter
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 08:16:17 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
Thanks for taking the time to respond to this. There was never any doubt in my mind about your position in regards to one being regenerate and yet 'unsaved'! But I thought if I could get Joe to find and read what you actually wrote on this, he would see that he had misunderstood you and that my 'full agreement' with what you wrote on this was not premature, hehehe.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: I understood that, and thanks,
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 17, 2000 at 11:11:00 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
but I just didn't want there to be any misconceptions by anyone on this. :>) When one is clouded by a misconception and refuses to see the truth, he continually does himself and those with whom he comes into contact a great disservice. Witness the question to you about being "against Christ!" I don't know the kind of church (not the denomination, but whether it is God-honoring or not) Joe has been attending, but one should be very careful about criticizing and having 'roast preacher' for dinner unless he is absolutely certain that God is not being served in the messages. That is very possible, as there are lots of churches where 'fluff' is spoken and not real preaching, but, in order to make those determinations, ONE MUST BE THOROUGHLY GROUNDED IN BIBLE DOCTRINE. There are so many good resources available today in the form of books, tapes, and websites, such as the Highway where there are creeds, confessions, essays, and articles to illuminate the situation, that there is no excuse for not getting proper doctrine, even if it isn't being taught in a local assembly. A heart wide open to the leadership of God's Spirit and the study of godly material can make one doctrinally sound so that he may be a productive member of the local church and the Church, the body of all true believers. 'That we be henceforth no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about be every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive; but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, who is the head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.' Eph. 4:14-16 'How is it, then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.' 1 Cor. 14:26

Subject: 1Cor 2:14
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 12:41:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, The verses you quoted do not teach what you want them to teach. 1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. This verse does not teach that regeneration and salvation are two different things, and it certainly doesn't teach that a person can be regenerated and unsaved at the same time. In fact, the context is a comparison of one who is SAVED to one who is unsaved. Look at verse 12 for instance: Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. The context is that SAVED people know what God has given them. And the Spirit of God only dwells within saved people. Joe

Subject: Joe, I encourage you
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 22:29:13 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
to do some reading and deep praying about this. You are seriously confused on the issues of what Arminianism and sovereign grace are. No 'reformed' person thinks as you do. Do you claim to be reformed?

Subject: Any Arminians out there?
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 08:58:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Sorry, but you're the one who is confused. Just because a person is able to understand spiritual truths doesn't mean he's been regenerated. I think this is where your error is. Seems like you're using regeneration to explain how someone who is spiritually dead can understand spiritual truths. But in the end you make it an Arminian doctrine because salvation finally occurs when your make your 'enabled' decision to choose Christ. That's what Arminians say. They say that it's only by the power of God working in them and drawing them to the altar that they were able to make their decision for Christ. They say that it's only because of an effectual call to the altar by God the Holy Spirit that they were 'enabled' to come forward and 'choose' Christ and thereby obtain salvation. Your 'enabling' theory is called Arminianism. If there are any Arminians out there I'm sure they'd agree. By the way, no one has shown any scripture to support the idea that you can be regenerated and still be unsaved. Joe

Subject: Re: Any Arminians out there?
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:34:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Sorry Joe, this is not correct. Arminians teach a 'prevenient grace' whereby all men are given the 'ability' to believe on Christ which they are not compelled to do and the RESULT of their 'free-will'decision is that they are 'born again/regenerated' and thus 'saved'. For the Arminian/Semi-Pelagian, 'salvation' is securing the 'new birth'. That is their by-word.... 'You must be born again', which is surely a biblical phrase, but they have distorted it's true meaning as taught by the Lord Jesus Christ in John 3. They teach it to mean the END of one's believing but the Lord Christ taught it as the BEGINNING and POWER TO believe. These two views are diametrically opposed obviously.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Did Jesus Laugh?
From: george
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 10:31:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
To All, I had a discussion with a man, who said, since Scripture doesn't tell us that Jesus laughed, He probably didn't. I told him since we humans have the ability to laugh, and Jesus was also human, so He must of laughed also. His reply, was man laughs at others to their detriment. What do you think? In Christ, george

Subject: God's Joke
From: SatireLIVES!
To: george
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 05:55:53 (PDT)
Email Address: satirelives@yahoo.com

Message:
Did Jesus laugh? I think the entire trinity laughs. One word of Scripture seems to prove it: Isaac. Not only is it natural for Jesus to laugh in His humainty, but it also seems to be so with His divinity. Thoughts? SatireLIVES!

Subject: Re: God's Joke
From: Rod
To: SatireLIVES!
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 12:06:47 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
God throughout Scripture uses irony, ridicule, and derision. But the intent of the question seems to me to be focused on one person's (the questioner mentioned by George) conception of Scripture and a too strict interpretation/inference. It seems to me that God gets genuine pleasure and satisfaction out of His work. It also seems that the Lord Jesus, though He was necessarily stern and was unyielding in the face of evil, reflects that deep joy in His Person. When the little children were brought to Him, it's hard for me to imagine He didn't look upon them kindly and with friendliness as He blessed them. As He knew that He was doing God's work and providing satisfaction to the Father Who was 'well-pleased' with Him, He would have inner peace and bask in the Father's approval, deriving pleasure from that: 'My food is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work' (John 4:34). Yes, I believe He expeirenced the emotions and displayed the emotions of men. I also believe that He experienced the pleasure and satisfaction of the Lord God. When The Lord God made the creation, he pronounced at each step that it was 'good,' and when it was complete, 'behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day' (Gen. 1:31). That, to me, is the equivalent of the Creator giving smiling approval at His work. It wasn't a 'perfect work,' but it lacked only in the sense that He designed it in such a way that sin could enter in and that men, consequently by redemption, could inherit and be glorified, 'perfected,' in the Lord Jesus. It was a perfect, unfathomable plan, seamless in its design and execution. It is marvelous that God could use Issac, the son of promise, from whose seed the Son of Promise (wholly undeserved) could come. It's amazing that He could make Jacob into Israel from whose son the Redeemer would issue. It's ironic that Israel's first son was set aside and that the descendant of another sinner, Judah, could be the One God caused to come sinlessly into the world from outside the priestly tribe to provide the sin-remedy for His people. When we view the whole of the plan and execution of of that plan, we experience amazement, wonder, satisfaction, and pleasure in the fact that we benefit from God's mercy, love, grace, and provision. I smile at that; I experience joy at it. I think the Lord Jesus did and does too.

Subject: Re: God's Joke
From: SatireLIVES!
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 08:53:28 (PDT)
Email Address: satirelives@yahoo.com

Message:
Rod, Good post. Something you said made me wonder this. I wonder if Jesus in His day did get remarks made to Him that He did come off cold and stuffy (at times)? I think it is human nature to desire people to be spontaneous, flighty, and emotionally unbalanced. However, Scripture seems to present that a true joy often shows itself with a quality of peacefulness and quietness. I think the real challenge for us in Christ as we are being sanctified is to allow the fulness of God's work to overcome us, which includes both us being able to be peaceful as Christ was, and to weep to the point of sweating as if it were drops of blood, as well as all the other emotions being displayed properly in their contexts. SatireLIVES!

Subject: Re: Did Jesus Laugh?
From: Rod
To: george
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 11:48:21 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, George, Has it been awhile or is this your first time here? In any case, welcome. As far as I recall, the Lord Jesus isn't recorded as laughing in Scripture. Once He is shown weeping. Yet I think it's clear that you gave the right answer. He was a Man; He had human emotions and abilities. The old time comedian, Buster Keaton, made it a point never to laugh or smile, considering it a trademark. (I always thought he was pitiful, not winsome!). But the Lord Jesus attended weddings, feasts, and other social events with apparent enjoyment. It seems impossible that He didn't enjoy Himself and give smiling approval as at the wedding where He performed His first miracle, changing the water into wine. Furthermore, the Person Who said, 'These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full' (John 15:11), is hard to feature not rejoicing and relishing the things of God and His own people. Granted, the 'joy' He is describing here is more than hollow laughter, but it is a deep and abiding sense of salvation and unity with God, associated with a profound inner peace, but it can and should lead to enjoyment of life as it has been given by God, secure in the knowledge of future glorification with His Son. A person so filled with that joy can enjoy God's provision and beauty, delighting in the presence and innocent love and actions of a small child, for example. That person is liberated so that he can truly enjoy and appreciate the human life in praise and devotion to God. It seems to me that after some of those long prayer sessions in communion with the Father as no man has even been before or since, He must have come away with a radiance and joy unknown to the rest of humanity. Stick to your guns, George, I think you're on the right track.

Subject: Re: Did Jesus Laugh?
From: george
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 21:26:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Rod, It's been awhile since I posted anything, but I never really left. I have been sitting back enjoying other peoples comments, even yours. I am planning on giving my friend your comment and any others who may submit. In Christ love, george

Subject: Re: Did Jesus Laugh?
From: Rod
To: george
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 22:15:13 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, George, I thought I remembered a 'George' from some months ago, but wasn't sure it was the same person. Glad you're here. :>)

Subject: Re: Did Jesus Laugh?
From: stan
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 16:25:53 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Ps 37.13 Ps 58.8

Subject: Re: Did Jesus Laugh?
From: Prestor John
To: stan
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 16:40:54 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Ps 37.13 Ps 58.8
---
And your comment is what Stan? Lets take it one at a time:
The LORD laughs at him; for He sees that his day is coming. Ps. 37:13
All right, we have God laughing here in derision of the machinations of the wicked. Are you saying that the Lord only laughs in derision? Are you agreeing with the man George talked to? Laughter is only at the detriment of the person? Or are you pointing out that God laughs?
Let them be as a snail goes into melting; as a miscarriage of a woman, they do not see the sun. Ps. 58:8
You've got me here Stan I can't seem to see how this refers to laughter. Do you want to add a little explanation here? Prestor John Servabo Fidem Pewsitters

Subject: Re: Correction.
From: stan
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 12, 2000 at 16:59:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
59.8 no comment given, no comment intended, no comment forthcoming.

Subject: The Gospel
From: Joe
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 15:39:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi, I've been noticing at some local Reformed Churches that the gospel is not really preached. Mostly what I've been hearing is sermons on how to live - but that is not the gospel. I put together some scripture to help make my point clear. What do you think? Do you guys mostly hear messages about how to live, or do you mostly hear messsages about Christ? The Gospel is a Declaration of Christ: 1. As a Person Acts 9:20 2. In His Death 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 3. In His Resurrection 2 Timothy 2:8 4. In His Victory 2 Timothy 1:10 5. In His Grace Galatians 1:6 6. In His Peace Romans 10:15 7. In His coming Judgment Romans 2:16 8. In His Salvation Accomplished Romans 1:16 9. In His Imputed Righteousness Romans 1:17 Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 2 Timothy 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: 2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. Romans 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 2:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. The Gospel is about a Person 1 Corinthians But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. Acts 9:20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: Acts 17:3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Galatians 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

Subject: Don't forget...
From: Eric
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 05:49:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
that Paul states his whole purpose as calling the Gentiles to the obedience of faith. Paul was very concerned in how we live our lives. Your pastor should be as well. Romans 1:5 Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. God bless, Eric

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 22:18:14 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, yourself, Joe. :>) When I was a small boy into my teens, I attended a Methodist church. I was unsaved, though I know now, by hindsight, that God was working on me. In those days, Sunday after Sunday, I heard nothing except what I would now call 'evangelistic' messages. Is that the kind of message you are advocating? If so, those can be 'too much of a good thing' when they are done frequently. We have to assume that usually the bulk of the people who attend a Bible believing local assembly are already saved. They need the basics and to be reminded of them, but they don't need a strictly 'evangelistic message' where the thrust is to win souls week after week. Such a focus is not a service to Christians. Granted, there will be people come into the assembly who need the message of salvation, but a good and skillful preacher can work that into most messages. He also can and should intersperse some the occasional basic evangelistic appeal type of message in with the mix. If one preaches 'topically,' this can obviously be done easily. If he preaches through a book of Scripture, as I prefer, it comes ready-made with some passages. Paul refers in several places to 'my gospel' (Rom. 2:16; 16:25; 2 Thes. 2:14, for examples). By this he obviously means the message of salvation, but he seems to encompass also growth in grace, or personal sanctification. For that growth and edification, one needs doctrine, and plenty of it. In fact, when Paul lists the offices the Holy Spirit has given to the Chruch, which are naturally dependent on spiritual gifts, he lists apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers. The pastors and teachers, which some feel may be hyphenated as the two functions are so closely related, are noted separately from evangelists, or people who have a particular gift and desire from God to show others the way of salvation. But in that passage (Eph. 4:11-16), the Apostle emphasizes and repeats that the single over-riding purpose of the functions of the church is the 'edification of the body of Christ.' In order to do that, one must preach the 'whole counsel of God.' We need the message of salvation preached; we need doctrine; we need the principles of God's will and law. We need every aspect of the revealed Word taught and emphasized. In the first verse of Romans, Paul stresses the 'gospel.' He mentions it again in verses such as 1:16 and 2:16. Yet the major thrust of the bulk of the book is doctrinal. Paul skillfully weaves in the need and method of salvation with the teaching about salvation and its effect on man, along with God's role of mercy, love, and wrath. He patiently teaches what happens in salvation and how God saves us who are being saved and destined to share in the glory of the Lord Jesus. Then, in the last several chapters, he speaks plentifully of the Christian life, describing proper conduct in view of this great salvation. It is possible for a preacher to harp on a particular theme or topic to the neglect and detriment of other facets of God's Word and plan. I have heard them do it. I may have done it myself, though I always tried to prepare messages with much prayer and with my mind and heart open to God. Sometimes being accepting of God's leadership is hard to do. I remember one instance in particular when I had spent many hard hours over several days preparing a certain message only to be convinced the day before I was to give it to change the topic entirely. That didn't happen too often, but I always tried to be willing to preach what God wanted and to be ready scrap my efforts if He so willed. May God grant us all the careful and prayerful handling of His truth.

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 12:29:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, When you say: 'We have to assume that usually the bulk of the people who attend a Bible believing local assembly are already saved.' I'm afraid a lot of pastors fall into that way of thinking. I think that the church should be a place where the gospel is consistantly preached. It should be a place where you can bring some unsaved friends Sunday morning and expect to hear a message that can actually save their souls from hell. A bible study would be a better place to assume most are saved, but not necessarily. And a bible study would be a more suitable arena to emphasize what the evidences of regeneration are in the life of a believer. Last Sunday I heard a message all about the 'attitude' a believer should have. Well, that kind of messsage cannot save a single soul. If I were the pastor I would always assume there is at least one person who is not saved and preach the gospel to that person. My heart would pour out more to the one who is lost than to the many who are saved. My conscience would not allow me to neglect the unsaved who are sitting in the pews week after week. I think the message of salvation, that is Christ, should not just be squeezed into a message of how to live but the other way around. Christ should be preached foremost and how to live can easily be squeezed in. Spending an hour telling how not to steal will never save anyone. But if you preach Christ to them, and if God saves them, then the fruits of the spirit will work in the life of the regenerate. It's easy to understand not to steal, that only takes a minute to say. My point is that the gospel is about a person. And people can only be saved through the preaching of Christ. Joe

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 16:51:32 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Joe, There is no way for me to truly know the kind of message you have been hearing. There is an awful lot which passes for preaching which isn't. All real preaching and Bible teaching centers on the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, but not all of it is evangelistic in nature. You wrote: 'I'm afraid a lot of pastors fall into that way of thinking. I think that the church should be a place where the gospel is consistantly preached. [Did you carefully read and study the link Pilgrim provided earlier?] It should be a place where you can bring some unsaved friends Sunday morning and expect to hear a message that can actually save their souls from hell.' No message will ever save a soul from hell, no matter how well prepared, powerfully delivered, or how much the person delivering it wants it to do so. A lost person is saved from hell and damnation by the grace of the Triune God, Who first regenerates His sheep and then gives them the ability to hear the truth of the Bible with faith unto justification. That isn't to say that one who preaches shouldn't try his best to deliver the most compelling and powerful message based on the Word of God which he can. There is, IMO, no excuse for a preacher/teacher failing in seeking the will of God in both what he should speak about and how he should handle it, seeking in fervent prayer the power of God's Spirit for the making of the truth real to the hearers, believers or not. But as one off whom the 'gospel' bounced for nearly 18 years when I was unsaved and attending church meetings, I can assure you that the most fervent and sincere message doesn't save anyone. I was saved when I was nearly 30, while not attending any assembly for over a decade. You also said, 'If I were the pastor I would always assume there is at least one person who is not saved and preach the gospel to that person.' That sounds, noble, Joe, but it assumes that the salvation of a person is dependent on a man or men. It isn't. It is dependent on the Person you want preached about, the Lord Who predestinates and elects in mercy and love. It is to those that He extends His grace, in His perfect timing! Frankly, a preacher should always seek the leading of the Lord God on what to preach about and deliver that exact message to the whole of the audience in the spirit of 1 Peter 4:10-11, as the Lord God prescribes--to His own glory. The preacher's 'conscience' should not allow him to do otherwise than to serve the Lord as He leads. Finally, you make this statement: 'I think the message of salvation, that is Christ, should not just be squeezed into a message of how to live but the other way around. Christ should be preached foremost and how to live can easily be squeezed in.' Again, we have absolutely no way to judge the type or quality of preaching you've been hearing, aside from your word. That is not an indictment of you, but we need more unbiased information to judge whether it's good or not. As you present it, it doesn't sound very good, but your own testimony is that nothing but evangelism should be done. All the Bible is about the Lord Jesus. He is the Word Who is God. The Bible reveals Him and exalts Him. All Biblically based preaching, serving the Lord God, therefore, exalts Him. If your local church and your preacher is exalting God and serving Him, be very careful about criticizing and hindering that. If the Lord Jesus isn't being portrayed and exalted, approach the leadership and consult with them about your concerns. Do it in a constructive manner. If they don't agree and if by concerted prayer you determine that the will of God isn't being done, then you have no choice, but to seek another place of worship. And remember, that is our purpose for being there: to worship our Lord and our God. A then well-known Bible teacher once said, 'Every church should be a theological school.' That is very true. Theology is the study of God. That should be for the purpose of knowing Him in order to worship and praise and serve Him. If He is being honored, not only by the person preaching, but also by the believers attending, nonbelievers will be witnessed to and the sheep of God will be saved as a result. A person knowing the Bible and believing it with all his heart cannot keep quiet about it and can't keep from witnessing to the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ. All believers, not just pastors or preachers, should be able to present the truth of saving grace to friends and others alike as God opens the way and leads them in preparing their hearts. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food." Heb.5:12 "Let your speech be always seasoned with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Col. 4:6 The officers of the Church are given by God "for the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ." Eph. 4:12

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Brother Bret
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 21:57:31 (PDT)
Email Address: BroBret@worldshare.net

Message:
I guess some of it could also have to do with whether some of these churches are preaching expositorily, textually or topically. If expositorily, it would depend on what chapter of what book the preacher is in at that time :-) Bro. Bret

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 16:46:27 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Click on this Link
What is it to Preach the Gospel?
By the way, there is nothing wrong with preaching on what God requires in the Law to the saints! Paul did, surely we should also. But always, the Lord Christ must be exalted in our preaching and in our hearing. :-) In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 12:52:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks for quoting Henry Mahan, Pilgrim, Henry Mahan: 'Even those who are supposed to know something about salvation by grace have to remind themselves again and again that salvation is not by the works of the flesh, not at all, in any way! Salvation is not by reformation; salvation does not come by decision; salvation does not come through church ordinances; salvation is not ours by church membership; salvation is in Christ the Lord. That's where salvation is — not in man's purpose, not in man's plan, it's in a person. It's not in a proposition, it's not in walking an aisle, it's not in a church ordinance, it's in Christ! It's not in a law; it's not in the deeds of the flesh; salvation is in Christ.' Salvation is not in a law, it's in a person. Joe

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 15:17:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe,
Indeed, salvation is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ and not in a law. But let's not make the mistake (not that you are) as the vast majority of churches and professing Christians today concerning the gospel of the Lord Christ. The gospel is not simply, 'Believe in Jesus', or 'Just ask Jesus into your heart!'. This is the error of Easy Believism. There is no magical formula to the name Jesus Christ. One to believe is to put one's explicit and unreserved trust and dependency upon Him. And one cannot do this without basic and foundational information (doctrine). Further, the Law has a necessary place in the preaching of the gospel, for it is used of the Spirit to bring conviction to the sinner's heart, thus showing him/her the necessity of Christ, they being under the wrath and just condemnation of God. Jesus Christ Himself said, Mark 2:17 'When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.' The amount of information (doctrinal truths) needed will of course vary according to the knowledge that each individual has. Today, with the plethora of different religions and various Christian groups, so-called, preaching totally antithetical things, when compared to the truth of the Scriptures, I find that most people have little or know knowledge of the Truth about God, Christ, salvation, etc. So in most cases it is expedient to start at the beginning. Lastly, there is no Jesus Christ to believe in without the biblical record that bears witness to Him, and to which He instructs us all to adhere to and to obey. No doctrine, No living Christ, no salvation.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Gospel
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 16:26:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Yes, I agree. The problem is that most times the gospel is not preached. Even with the correct understanding of Calvinism, often times Christ is not preached. Like if the only thing preached in a single message is about the total depravity of man, then no one can be saved from such a message because they were not told about the Savior. There needs to be a balance. Henry Mahan is a good example of someone who preaches Christ. Joe Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother

Subject: The Law - oops
From: Joe
To: Joe
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 16:38:33 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I accidently left this verse at the end of my last message: Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother I was going to say something about the law and then I changed my mind and then saw the verse was left on the page. Well, I was going to say that I recently heard a sermon at church about how to honour your parents'. That is the law. But simply preaching the law cannot save anyone. That's my point. Many times the gospel is not preached. Most times the fruits of regeneration is preached instead of Christ. The unsaved walk away from a message like that thinking (yep, I do a pretty good job at honouring my parents, I must be alright with God) and they leave church as unsaved as when they entered. Christ must be preached. Joe

Subject: Re: The Law - oops
From: Pilgrim
To: Joe
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 07:48:18 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe, Just out of curiosity, was this church a 'Dutch' Reformed Church, eg., CRC, PRC, NRC, etc.? Admittedly, entire denominations shouldn't be scrutinized and/or judged by one church, as there are exceptions most always. In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Law - oops
From: Joe
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 13:24:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, Yes the 'attitude' sermon was at CRC. The 'honour your parents' sermon was at OPC but I don't know if they are Dutch. Both believe the 5 points of Calvinism though. I was sort of looking for honest answers from what some people have experienced in their own churches. I wonder if people take time to notice whether the gospel is really preached or not. Joe

Subject: Re: The Law - oops
From: john hampshire
To: Joe
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 11, 2000 at 19:02:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Joe, It seems the 'gospel' preached entails only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is that the gospel you want preached? You see IMO, the good news begins in Genesis and continues through Revelation. The entire Bible speaks of, or alludes to, the Lord Jesus Christ but in differing ways. I would not want to constrain any pastor/teacher to speaking only on the synoptic gospels, or the events surrounding the cross, or giving a 'get saved now' speech. My point is, the entire Bible is fair game! The area of concern I have for Reformed churches (or any church) is how the message delivered often lacks spiritual qualities. I mean by this, the Bible is a spiritual Book with a focus on salvation. While there is historical truth, it is not the highest level; while there is moral truth, it is not the highest level. The spiritual truth IS the highest level and it always points to Christ and His salvation. No matter where we preach from in Scripture, the spiritual message will always be there, and it will always point toward Christ. This is where I fault the churches, they have focused on a moral message, 'how can I apply the overthrow of Israel by Assyria in my life today' kind of message. But the real message is in the types and figures, (God's message is hidden, especially in the OT), a preacher needs to find that message. This is how the Bible 'comes alive', which is more likely to impress/amaze/thrill a church-goer who thought the Bible is rather boring and cold. It has been my experience in Bible studies, that when the spiritual meaning is explained (of types) and understood, everyone pays attention and wants to know more. In my mind, it is the spiritual message given by God that people are panting (and dying) for. That is the message that thrills the soul, lifts the spirit, and glorifies God in the presence of all!! What do you suppose the reaction of the unregenerate church-goer is when the hidden mysteries of God's Book are expounded? Isn't that better than some supposed message on 'how to be saved'? To reiterate: no one is 'saved' by the gospel (unless you hold to gospel regeneration). Especially for the regenerate church-goer, the Bible becomes a means of spiritual growth, if and when the message is spiritual. The foundational problem with church messages is that they are not brought by spiritually-minded people (i.e., the pastors are spiritually dead!). The other problem IMO, the pastors who are able, choose to stick with the 'formula' sermons which focus on history or moral lessons. These messages seem to come from a 'pastors playbook of popular sermons'. The focus of the message is how so-and-so learned some valuable lesson about life. I would rather the pastors focused on 'proving' doctrines, such as the five-points, for these doctrines are the foundations upon which the gospel can be understood. I know why God will spew-out the lukewarm church with the lukewarm pastor (I become nauseated myself) -- those pastors who give wishy-washy, non-committal surveys of all possible beliefs leaving the congregation scratching their wooden heads. Just some thoughts, you can take or leave. john

Subject: No gospel needed?
From: Joe
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 08:57:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John, What do you mean by this: 'To reiterate: no one is 'saved' by the gospel (unless you hold to gospel regeneration).' Are you saying that people can be saved without the gospel? What about: Rom. 10:14 and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And: Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Joe

Subject: Re: No gospel needed?
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 12:32:07 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Joe, I don't mean to be unkind, okay, but it seems to me that you're so fixated on this one thing that you don't see the point. (I also don't mean to answer for John--I can't and won't) I wrote essentially what I think john is saying here to you in reply to you several days ago. Here it is: ''You wrote: 'I'm afraid a lot of pastors fall into that way of thinking. I think that the church should be a place where the gospel is consistantly preached. [Did you carefully read and study the link Pilgrim provided earlier?] It should be a place where you can bring some unsaved friends Sunday morning and expect to hear a message that can actually save their souls from hell.' No message will ever save a soul from hell, no matter how well prepared, powerfully delivered, or how much the person delivering it wants it to do so. A lost person is saved from hell and damnation by the grace of the Triune God, Who first regenerates His sheep and then gives them the ability to hear the truth of the Bible with faith unto justification.'' Frankly, it does seem that you believe in regeneration by decision based on man's inner desire to come to God from outside motivation, not by the action of the Holy Spirit working by God's sovereign choice on a dead sinner to give him a new life and a new will to turn to Christ. It is the faith which justifies and, therefore, we call it 'saving faith,' but the regeneration is different from justification. Regeneration is that prior action of God the Spirit which gives the new life and will to the elect and predestinated person which enables him, not of the power of the message of a preacher or of his own previous desire, to now turn to the Lord Jesus in faith at the hearing of the truth of God. This is explained by Paul in Romans, specifically and particularly in chapters 3-5, where it is first grace which saves (3:24) because that grace makes faith possible (verse 26-28). Faith is the necessary by-product of the gracious action of God in the salvation of people. 'For by grace are ye saved through faith,' declares Paul in Eph. 2:8 (cp. verse 5), explaining the whole process in capsule form. He follow it up by saying, 'it is the gift of God, not of works [of the preacher or the individual being saved], lest any man should boast' (verse 9). To be honest, it is because so few professing Christians truly grasp this that doctrine should be heavily preached and taught to them. By understanding the process of salvation--it's not one single act or facet--they are better prepared to lead God's sheep to saving knowledge of Him by grace. Obviously the gospel is necessary in salvation, but its power to save is dependent on the will of the Lord God in preparing the heart of the person (His elect only) to receive it . Not until then will a person respond and then he will respond because the grace of God has regenerated him and given him the ability and desire to do so. That's why preaching works, not the power of the preacher or his desire, but the action of God the Spirit to regenerate so that the person can be saved. It's why the Lord Jesus said, "Ye must be born again [regenerated]" in the third chapter of John to Nicodemus. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved, it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18).

Subject: Re: No gospel needed?
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 13:26:44 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, Yes I did check out the link. Did you? It was an article written by Henry Mahan. Did you read the thread where I quoted Mahan? No I do not believe that salvation comes by making a decision. Never have never will. My point is that the message must be the right messsage or else salvation is not possible. And regeneration can only happen through the preaching of the gospel. The gospel is in the whole bible, but the whole bible is not the gospel. Like you read a list of geneology from the bible, it couldn't save anyone. Do you see what I mean? Joe

Subject: This is a totally false statement, Joe
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 13:45:03 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
'And regeneration can only happen through the preaching of the gospel.' This runs counter to all reformed and Biblical teaching. May God open your eyes to His truth. Your disdain for my teaching is obvious, but I will make one last attempt. You seem to think that a 30 minute or 45 minute or one hour message, properly prepared and delivered can save people. I repeat the Biblical truth: Only the grace of the gracious God can save people. Read the Second chapter of Acts, verses 14-40. Time yourself, reading it at "pulpit speed." Peter wasn't through--he'd hardly begun, but because God had regenerated these men and given them a desire in their hearts to be saved, they interupted him, demanding to know what to do. In just a short time, because of the inner working of the Holy Spirit, they were regenerated and, THEREFORE, ready to be saved through the justification of faith by God's grace. If they had not been previously regenerated by God, they would have remained in their dead state, feeling the preaching of the cross was "foolishness," as I just pointed out from the truth of the Apostle Paul.

Subject: Acts 2:14-40 is the GOSPEL
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:46:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, The gospel is given before any interruption. Trusting in God is the way to salvation. Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. The name of Jesus, His death and resurrection declared: Acts 2:22-24 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: 23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: 24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. Christ's Resurrection: Acts 2:30-33 God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; 31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. Christ Declared as God crucified. Acts 2:36 God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. This passage is FULL of the GOSPEL. Your comments don't make any sense to me. Joe

Subject: If my statement is false, then you...
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:30:46 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, 'Regeneration can only happen through the preaching of the gospel.' If this statemtent is false, then you must think that regeneration is possible without the preaching of the gospel. Is that what you're saying? Joe

Subject: That is precisely what I and...
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 15:55:46 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
...my teachers, godly theologians, and preachers have always taught, according to the Bible. I have to be blunt, Joe. You came here with an agenda to get people to support your contentions about how preaching should be done. The problem is, you have confused 'regeneration' and 'salvation,' proving instead the need for preaching and teaching of sound doctrine from the pulpits of our churches.

Subject: If the Gospel is not needed...
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 21:48:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, If the gospel is not needed for regeneration, then why preach the gospel? Joe

Subject: Titus 3:5
From: Joe
To: Rod
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 17:39:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod, What do you think is the difference between regeneration and salvation? Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Joe

Subject: Yes, Joe, That is the first thing
From: Rod
To: Joe
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 15, 2000 at 19:08:04 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
which God does for us in salvation. He gives new life. How can a stinking dead man ever please God or turn to Him? He is 'dead in trespasses and sins (Eph. 2:1). What dead man ever did anything to make himself alive? What person ever caused himself to be 'born?' The word 'born' in John 3 is the same word used for physical birth, but there it describes the spiritual birth. Here is an exceprt from James Adams' 'Decisional Regeneration' found by searching 'regeneration' on the Highway: 'The Bible is clear in its declaration that only by the Spirit of God can men be born again. True repentance and saving faith come as the result of the new birth and are never the cause of the great change. Repentance and faith are the acts of regenerated men, not of men dead in sins (Eph. 2:1, 5). However, God does not act for us; He does not believe for us; and He surely cannot repent for us. He has no sin for which to repent. We must personally, knowingly and willingly trust in Christ for salvation. Nor are we saying that preachers should not urge, yea, plead with men to repent and believe. Any preaching which merely rehearses the facts of the gospel without calling men to repentance and faith in Christ as a merciful and mighty Saviour of sinners is not biblical preaching.' That is a very good statement of Biblical fact. It points out that no dead man could do such a thing as believe because he wants to or because the 'right things' were spoken to him. It points out that the appeal to come to Christ by faith is sincere and real, not phony. It points out that those who believe in sovereign grace can and do have a real feeling for lost souls and how God brings men to His Son in the process of salvation. Then the same article quotes the 'Reformed' theologian Charles Hodge: '''No more soul-destroying doctrine could well be devised than the doctrine that sinners can regenerate themselves, and repent and believe just when they please. . . As it is a truth both of Scripture and of experience that the unrenewed man can do nothing of himself to secure his salvation, it is essential that he should be brought to a practical conviction of that truth. When thus convicted, and not before, he seeks help from the only source whence it can be obtained.'' In both the above statements stress is put upon man's helplessness to be born anew, and the necessity for God to create life. It is especially in these two areas that the doctrine of ''Decisional Regeneration'' deviates from the biblical doctrine of regeneration.'

Subject: Re: Yes, Joe, That is the first thing
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 16, 2000 at 09:27:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
Amen! brother! REGENERATION is not salvation, but only one of the temporal 'steps' in that process of God's salvation. A person is not 'saved' at the moment of regneration. We can speak of 'salvation' as being the totality of God's immutable decree to save a sinner in eternity to the end result of that decree where God finally glorifies him/her. We can also speak of 'salvation' in a narrow way, which may refer to simply 'conversion/justification'. But NEVER is salvation ever equated with REGENERATION. For when a person is 'born again/quickened/made alive/spiritually resurrected' they immediately respond by expressing their conviction and hatred of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ unto JUSTIFICATION. But no one is ever JUSTIFIED before they believe on the Lord Christ. It may be the case that Joe is confusing the 'spiritual/eternal' aspects of salvation with the 'temporal/human responses' that apprehend justification? Indeed, the Arminians/Semi-Pelagians have consistently taught that a sinner's 'free-will' exercise of faith secures the 'new birth' and thus they are saved at that moment. But we 'Reformers', hahaha, have always taught the Biblical truth that regeneration is the sovereign and secret work of God which enables INFALLIBLY and IRRESISTIBLY the sinner to repent and believe on Christ. Again, regeneration is NOT salvation. Providentially, yesterday (Tuesday August 15th) I uploaded a new article to The Highway in the Calvinism and the Reformed Faith section that is apropos to this current discussion. Anyone can click here to read it: Irresistible Grace by John Murray.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Law - oops
From: laz
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sun, Aug 13, 2000 at 19:21:39 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I attend an OPC and my pastor preaches the gospel every sunday currently from the OT (with often a direct tie to a NT narrative) in the 'historical redemptive' form....i.e., whereby we find the entire biblical narrative speaking of redemption as is found in Christ...yeah, even in stories about them nasty Assyrians. ;-) It's a wonderful form of preaching. laz Biblical Theology www.kerux.com/kerux/default.asp

Subject: Paedocommunion
From: Belle
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 11:08:37 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
We have been told that there is an exact equivalency between the passover meal and the Lord's supper. That all the little children and babies who were able ate the passover, and that we are sinning against our children in not giving them the blessing of Communion, saying there is no union without communion. We are also told that the I Cor. 11 passage is solely dealing with unity, and when it speaks of a man examining himself, this has to do with his unity with his brethren, and that this is no barrier to ignorant children from getting the blessing of the Supper. The passage on 'not discerning the Lord's body' was interpreted as referring to the unity of the body of believers. Please comment.

Subject: Re: Paedocommunion
From: Rod
To: Belle
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 12:12:41 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Belle, You don't say who is telling you these things. That's okay, but we presume it's someone in authority or a 'wannabe.' You are, as I see the Scriptures, correct in being cautious and suspicious. 'We have been told that there is an exact equivalency between the passover meal and the Lord's supper.' If it were exactly the same, it would have been done exactly the same! But the Apostle quotes the Lord as saying, to His followers, to eat the bread and drink the wine 'in remembrance of me' (1 Cor. 11:24-25). This indicates, especially in the context of the abuses of the Corinthians of the Lord's Supper in the preceding verses, a special awareness of His accomplishment for His own and fellowship with Him, coupled with reverent thanksgiving. I don't think I need to comment on the rest, except to say that your suspicions and reservations are well founded. Stay the course. [Incidentally, I don't wear the 'reformed' label, so my views may not be in harmony with that of the board. I specifically and honestly don't know the reformed position on these things.]

Subject: Re: Paedocommunion
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 16:38:30 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Rod,
Whether you are 'Reformed' or not, hehehe, doesn't diminish the truth!! There is nothing in Scripture that would warrant an interpretation that would make a one-to-one equivalency between the O.T. passover and the N.T. Lord's Supper. True, they are related as 'type' and 'anti-type', but as in every other similar relationship, the anti-type has a fullness of revelation to it that the type only foreshadowed. The N.T. makes it clear that the Lord's Table is to be administered to BELIEVERS who are able to 'discern the Lord's body'. Belle's post related how someone interpreted Paul's admonition in 1Cor 11:29 as meaning the discerning of 'unity' is far off base. The text reads:
1Cor 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
The qualification given is to be apprehended by one 'examining himself', not the condition or state of the entire Church; 'the Lord's Body', for the one who partakes of the Lord's Table in an 'unworthy' manner does so to his/her own DAMNATION. Surely, disunity does not earn damnation. For one thing, if this were so, then the doctrine of Eternal Security would be foolishness (albeit many of our Arminian friends would give a hearty 'Amen!' to that, hehe). Secondly, to hold to Paedocommunion, one must also hold to 'Presumptive Regeneration', whereby ALL covenant children are presumed and believed to be regenerate. This odious heresy by necessity, denies Unconditional Election, Particular Redemption, Irresistible Grace and the Perseverance of the Saints in one fell swoop. If it were true, then NO 'covenant child' could ever fall away and his/her salvation would depend NOT upon God's sovereign free grace, but upon 'blood relation', which John 1:13 categorically denies among other texts which do the same. As to the 'Reformed Position' on this, there is only a very small minority among those who have made claim to being Reformed throughout history who have promoted this view. And BTW, I AM 'Reformed'
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Your revelation
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 21:32:14 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Pilgrim, friend and brother, Thank you for informing me that you are 'Reformed!' How would I ever have known?? :>) Glad you're back.

Subject: Canons of Dort
From: Donna
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 08:10:15 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim I find your website to be of great help. Canons of Dort SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ and the Redemption of Men Thereby Rejection 7 That Christ neither could die, needed to die, nor did die for those whom God loved in the highest degree and elected to eternal life, and did not die for these, since these do not need the death of Christ. For they contradict the apostle, who declares: 'the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me' (Gal. 2:20). Likewise: 'Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died' (Rom. 8:33-34), namely, for them; and the Savior who says: 'I lay down My life for the sheep' (John 10:15). And: 'This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends' (John 15:12-13). This answers my first post about why we need a savior. [I lay down My life for the sheep] FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints Article 4 Although the weakness of the flesh cannot prevail against the power of God, who confirms and preserves true believers in a state of grace, yet converts are not always so influenced and actuated by the Spirit of God, as not in some particular instances sinfully to deviate from the guidance of divine grace, so as to be seduced by, and comply with the lusts of the flesh; they must, therefore, be constant in watching and prayer that they be not led into temptation. When these are neglected, they are not only liable to be drawn into great and heinous sins by Satan, the world and the flesh, but sometimes by the righteous permission of God actually fall into these evils. This the lamentable fall of David, Peter, and other saints described in Holy Scripture demonstrates. (heinous sins by Satan,) Does Satan know who belongs to God? If so does he work over time to deceive? Now I am begining to see that people will oppose these truths without knowledge of the Word. one more thing here. I have never heard anyone say that it wasn’t fair when God hardened Pharaoh’s heart not to let Israel go. So why is it unfair to harden other heats? I bet they do not have an answer, or if they say it is to the glory of God, then it is to the Glory of God in all he does. “Right”? He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth' (Rom. 9:18 God Bless Donna

Subject: Re: Canons of Dort
From: Pilgrim
To: Donna
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 12:18:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Donna,
I thank God and you that you are finding The Highway a 'great help'. May it continue to be a source of edification and spiritual nourishment to your soul. As to Satan knowing who the Elect are: I am sure he is cognizant of true believers. However, Satan, being but a creature himself and thus does not possess Omniscience, it doesn't seem likely or even possible that he knows all the Elect whom God has predestinated to life from eternity. This belongs to the 'secret council' of God alone. Does Satan work 'overtime to deceive'? To answer this I think borders on speculation since I am not aware of anything specific written in the Scriptures that address this question directly. One thing we do know is that none for whom Christ died (those whom the Father gave Him) will be lost (Joh 6:39; 10:27-29; Rom 8:31-39; Col 3:3,4; 1Pet 1:3-9). In regards to your other point about God being 'unfair' and the illustration of He hardening Pharaoh's heart, it is also wrong to assume that God took a 'soft/good heart' in Pharaoh and 'made it hard'. It must always be remembered that all men are born with corrupt natures; that their true love and desire is to do that which is sinful. For God to make a 'good man' bad would be immoral, of which God cannot be culpable. Thus, when it says that 'God hardened Pharaoh's heart' it is simply saying that God determined to NOT turn Pharaoh's evil disposition but to 'fix' it in the way it was already predisposed. The LORD God 'allowed' Pharaoh to do the wickedness he was wanting to do. Of course, that was predetermined from eternity and without any violation of Pharaoh's will, which many are want to accuse us biblical Christians (Calvinists) of when we stand firm on the absolute sovereignty of God. However, we also affirm no less strongly the full free agency and responsibility of all men. [This is a 'toughy' to be sure, but no less difficult than the doctrine of the Trinity is to comprehend with a finite mind] :-). You can see a parallel passage in the N.T. that is even more difficult to 'swallow' in Mark 4:10-12 and another in Matthew 11:25-27. As another has pointed out to you in another reply was that all men by birth are under the wrath of God and deserving of nothing except eternal damnation. But God, who is rich in mercy has determined to have a people for Himself; to be chosen out of the Adam's fallen race and redeemed by the precious blood of His only begotten Son vicariously as their Substitute.
1John 3:1 'Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God:'.
Lastly, you might want to download the Reformed Confessions program offered for free on The Highway's homepage. It contains many of the ancient Evangelical Creeds, e.g., Nicene, Athanasian, Chalcedon and historic Reformed Confessions of the various denominations, e.g., Westminster (Presbyterian), London (Baptist), Savoy (Congregational), including the Canons of Dordt, etc. and several catechisms including one for children. You can download it by clicking here: Refcon3
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: computer software?
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 19:26:56 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
I use a MacIntosh. No jokes please. I am in search of a quality bible study program for the MacIntosh. I am running system 8 at the moment but that is not very relevant. If anyone has any ideas as to a good software program please reply or email me. I have used the PC Study Bible (I have Softwindows) but it is slow on my computer because it is running in a virtual IBM program. Thank you for your help. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss amoshart@earthlink.net

Subject: Re: computer software?
From: Prestor John
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 21:28:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I can recomend to you this particular program called the Online Bible. They have a Mac version and its free. Go to the url listed and download it. Online Bible for Mac www.onlinebible.simplenet.com/downlmac.htm

Subject: thanks and a note
From: kevin
To: Prestor John
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 20:21:18 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
Thanks for the link. That was what I was looking for. All I am searching for now is a program that will simplify creating my own bible reading plan. I also have a link you may be interested in as well. You may already be familiar with it. It is for the OnLine Bible and it is out of UK. I found it from a link someone sent me to search Mac websites only. It has much for the IBM. More than for the Mac. It has the Geneva Bible study notes (the original not the recent ones) and many other free downloads. The Geneva notes are free. Here is the link. http://www.onlinebible.org/html/uk/uk-index.tpl In Him, kevin sdg sf ss www.onlinebible.org/html/uk/uk-index.tpl

Subject: Re: thanks and a note
From: Prestor John
To: kevin
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 20:02:29 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thanks Kevin, I use the Online Bible as well as some of the other freeware Bible programs. I don't think I had the UK link before so that will be a welcom addition.

Subject: Re: thanks and a note
From: Pilgrim
To: kevin
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 10, 2000 at 06:45:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
kevin, If all you are looking for is 'a program that will simplify creating my own bible reading plan', then click here: M'Cheyne's Daily Reading Plan In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: computer software?
From: Theo
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 21:19:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Kevin, I know little about the Mac, but you might try a search at CBD for Mac software. The attached link (if it works) is a search I did for this. Perhaps it will help you find what you seek. Theo CBD Mac software search www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/specialty_sub/12701650?theme=1021&category=Mac+Bible+Reference&event=SP

Subject: Re: computer software?
From: Pilgrim
To: kevin
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 20:23:20 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
kevin, Have you checked out the Logos Bible Software people? They have a large amount of software available. However, I don't know if it is Mac compatible. I would assume it is, seeing that they are such a huge supplier. In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Maybe I should start over
From: Donna
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 10:00:43 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Maybe I should start over. Some times I may seem a little off the wall. And I even mix up the subjects I post. One day I wanted to know God, I don’t even know why. And that was many years ago. I have been to many Churches, and spoke with many people. I have been called many names, both good and bad. I have been told how to dress, how to speak (Tongues). I was told unless I spoke in tongues I was not saved, so needless to say I prayed until my soul was tired. I cried many tears seeking salvation, only to be told God didn’t want me because I was not good enough in his eyes. (I still do not speak in tongues.) I have even been told I am possessed by demons. I gave up on people, but I continued my search for God. I have read the Bible and other works, I hold the Bible to be the word of God. Why I have such bad luck or what ever you want to call it; I don’t know. I have heard many bad things about predestination: How people who believed they belonged to God therefore they could live the way they wanted. But the Bible says you should walk in the light, because if you stayed in the dark then God is not with you. I have been told many things. I still put my trust in God to lead me no matter how long it takes. I will not trust in man, they seem to lead you astray. I may have many off the wall questions, but I have reasons, I am still mixed up. Some things are hard to believe, why God would destin some to die and some to live. ButI am now beginning to learn God is not just words in the Bible He is a living God and everything He does is for his glory. The only people I know who believe in God go to church, but they seem to hang on every word the preacher tells them, without question. Even if the Bible says different. I also have reasons to not want to believe God chooses some and not others. I guess when it comes to my family; I view it like others, it’s not fair. See I am confused. God has given me hope, and has answered my prayers, but He also rains on the unjust, and just alike. One more question do you know if you are saved?

Subject: Re: Maybe I should start over
From: john hampshire
To: Donna
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 03:46:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hey Donna, I won't reiterate what has already been said, except: isn't it interesting, as you seem to be discovering in your dealings with many people, that people hold so many firm resolute beliefs but lack Biblical support to coherently explain them, let alone defend them. Perhaps it is they that are confused and perhaps YOU are the one seeing clearly! It can be unnerving to learn just how far the modern church has fallen from the truth. It is also unsettling to know that the 'leaders' in the church are often unqualified to bring God's word, both spiritually and mentally, though it hinders them not. Despite the pressures in a sick Christian world to conform to the sickness, you must, as you know, keep your eyes fixed upon God's word, testing every doctrine. This website can be an important step out of that confusion you feel, there are not many places left where you can argue Scripture and hope to attain truth without being sold down the river in the process. I hope you stick around, continuing to ask questions and formulating answers. Here's my definition of how knowledge of salvation manifests itself: You know you are saved because you have a continuous, on-going desire to do the will of God; to study and learn more about God, and be obedient more and more to what you learn. It boils down to desire (motivation) and obedience. Fortunately, we are quite able to judge our level of motivation and obedience by observing our words and deeds. Our words and deeds reflect our spiritual state. A dead spirit (unregenerate man) lacks the motivation and obedience, instead they act out of personal gain and are obedient to receive the praise of men. No matter how seemingly righteous the talk or walk, if they are unregenerate they are acting from self (ego); it is all sin. One might ask where the difference in motivation and obedience originates in men, why do some seek God and other's play-god? The answer is found in the heart (spiritual center of a person). Dissect an unbeliever with a spiritual knife and you'll find the inner spirit bound in darkness to Satan. The spirit of the proud seeks pleasure for the flesh, yet harbors fear and resentment for the Light-giver (God) and all truth that exposes its corruption. So, you'd think a happy-smiling Christian who attends church regularly would not fall into the category of worshipping Satan--right? As you have sensed, all things are not as they appear on the outside. It is when you confront the spiritually dead church-goer with Biblical truths that the facade fades, their true allegiance raises its ugly head. The wicked are in violent (yet for the Law) opposition to God's truth. Biblical truth always gives glory and power to God (where it resides) and takes man's aspirations of goodness and worth away. What is an unregenerate man to himself without his supposed goodness, what can man be without glorying falsely in himself? God's truth is feared like death itself. What if the spirit of a man were resurrected from its death, born from above into life, then what? First, only God gives life. Only God can and does regenerate the death-bound, Satan obedient, God-hating, spiritually dead (toward good works) person. God does not act to give spiritual life because we desire it, for truly our desires are in the flesh. God gives life because God does His will, as He desires, and He desired from before the beginning of creation to save a people for Himself. Since this is God's desire, what can we say. God will do it. Is it fair that God gives life to some and not others? Surprisingly it is fair, for God owes mankind nothing. God is not required to do anything for sinful man but punish sin. That He shows mercy to those who deserve punishment openly reveals God's character and brings glory to Him (not us). But, in showing mercy is God unfair to simply forgiving sins without any recompense to the one sinned against (God)? You see, God does not forgive sins willy-nilly, it is based rather on Christ's sacrifice in the stead of those forgiven. Which means, Christ took our sins (every sin of every one God desires to be part of His Kingdom) and Christ was punished instead of us. This is the substitutionary atonement which occurred in 33 AD, it wasn't the nails or the ‘ol rugged cross which atoned sin, it was the Father casting His Son away into outer darkness. Something we find God will also do to the wicked on Judgment Day. When Christ cried that He was forsaken of God, He was suffering that Lake of Fire (second death) which is separation from God. Think for a moment at the cost God willingly paid to redeem each of His chosen ones. Can you image?, Sinless God taking on our sins and humbling Himself to the point of the second death on our behalf!! Even more astounding, none of the wicked want that atonement, they each live for themselves and despise God. Yet God punished God (Christ) on the account of a worthless beast like us. Pretty amazing! Knowing this then, we understand that regeneration of the spirit is a gift bestowed by God upon those who have received redemption in Christ and are chosen from eternity past by the Father. We also know that a living spirit will bring a new dimension to a persons life, a spiritual desire that never existed before. Just as a baby seeks out its life-giver (Mom), the living spirit seeks out its Life-giver (God) to whom it has a kindred relationship. The new Christian desire to know all, but lacks the framework to fit the pieces together. Over time, through a process of tests and failures, God shapes the Christian to be more and more obedient and brings our desire back into focus as we fail each test (due to our focus on the world). At some point the new life and new desire within us becomes an apparent contradiction to the former life of sin and hiding in darkness. We become aware of our converted nature: we become aware we that may indeed be saved. At no point did we ask Jesus into our hearts. We have no part in our salvation, no part in our redemption, no part in our being chosen by God. So logically the question arises, 'What must I do to be saved?'. The answer: Believe!, which carries also the need to seek God, obey God, love God; all the exercising of our faith. When do we first believe (have faith)? Belief is a manifestation of a living spirit (when did we first have a living spirit?). A now functioning spirit has spiritual eyes to see spiritual truth, spiritual ears that can understand and believe (listen if you have ears to hear!). Our belief does not cause our salvation, God’s act of regeneration enables us to believe as God gives illumination of truth. So believe and be saved (which you can do if you possess the good soil given by God that is able to grow that spiritual fruit), for you WILL believe if God has prepared your heart (in regeneration) first. john

Subject: Re: Assurance of Faith
From: Pilgrim
To: Donna
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 13:23:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Donna,
There is no need to expand on what my two faithful and competent brothers have written to you above. But in regards to the matter of 'Assurance of Faith' here are a few selections from some godly men of old:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
Q80: Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation? A80: Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good conscience before him,[1] may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God's promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made,[2] and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God,[3] be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation.[4] 1. John 2:3 2. I Cor. 2:12; I John 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 4:13, 16; Heb. 6:11-12 3. Rom. 8:16 4. I John 5:13 Q81: Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved? A81: Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith,[1] true believers may wait long before they obtain it;[2] and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions;[3] yet are they never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.[4] 1. Eph. 1:13 2. Isa. 1:10; Psa. ch. 88 3. Psa. 22:1; 31:22; 51:8, 12; 87:1-12; Song of Sol. 5:2-3, 6 4. I John 3:9; Job 13:15; Psa. 73:15, 23; Isa. 54:7-10
The London Confession of Baptist Faith, Chapter VIII
I. Although temporary believers, and other unregenerate men, may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God and state of salvation, which hope of theirs shall perish;[1] yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may in this life be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace, and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God,[2] which hope shall never make them ashamed.[3] 1. Job 8:13-14; Matt. 7:22-23 2. I John 2:3; 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 5:13 3. Rom. 5:2, 5 II. This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion grounded upon a fallible hope, but an infallible assurance of faith[4] founded on the blood and righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel;[5] and also upon the inward evidence of those graces of the Spirit unto which promises are made,[6] and on the testimony of the Spirit of adoption, witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God;[7] and, as a fruit thereof, keeping the heart both humble and holy.[8] 4. Heb. 6:11, 19 5. Heb. 6:17-18 6. II Peter 1:4-5, 10-11 7. Rom. 8:15-16 8. I John 3:1-3 III. This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties before he be a partaker of it;[9] yet being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of means, attain thereunto:[10]and therefore it is the duty of every one to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure, that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience, the proper fruits of this assurance;[11]- so far is it from inclining men to looseness.[12] 9. Isa. 50:10; Psa. 88:1-18; Psa. 77:1-12 10. I John 4:13; Heb. 6:11-12 11. Rom. 5:1-2, 5; 14:17; Psa. 119:32 12. Rom. 6:1-2; Titus 2:11-12, 14 IV. True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as by negligence in preserving of it,[13] by falling into some special sin which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit;[14] by some sudden or vehement temptation,[15] by God's withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear him to walk in darkness and to have no light,[16] yet are they never destitute of the seed of God[17] and life of faith,[18] that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may in due time be revived,[19] and by the which, in the meantime, they are preserved from utter despair.[20] 13. Song of Sol. 5:2-3, 6 14. Psa. 51:8, 12, 14 15. Psa. 116:11; 77:7-8; 31:22 16. Psa. 30:7 17. I John 3:9 18. Luke 22:32 19. Psa. 42:5, 11 20. Lam. 3:26-31
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Assurance of Faith
From: Brother Bret
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 08:14:19 (PDT)
Email Address: BroBret@worldshare.net

Message:
Pilgrim: Thank you for sharing those 'confessions' with us. It reminds me of a question that I have brought up before but no one has seemed to want to engage in much discussion about. It involves the resisting of the Spirit! During regeneration, and during sanctification. What the confessions seem to be saying (to me anyway)as well as by others in this forum is that we cannot, will not resist the Spirit for long once we have been regenerated/quickened/etc thereby believing on the Lord Christ and His finished work on the cross. But that once we have been justified and received Christ's righteousness, it is possible to resist the Spirit to an extent and for a time, due to manifold temptations. Yet these same temptations can and do exist when God irresistibly draws us to His precious Son. For me, at this time in my studies and walk with Him, I agree with the former (cannot resist Him long at all during regeneration) but disagree with the latter (that we can resist Him and live in sin for an undetermined season, just not unto utter ruin). Yes we are faced with manifold temptations, and we do sin. But His grace is equally irresistible both during regeneration and our progressive sanctification. I realize that this will probably be another thread, but would be interested in your's, Rod's, Laz's, John H's and other's comments. Thanks...Brother Bret Cornerstone Community Baptist Church www.ccbcfl.org

Subject: Falling into sin
From: Rod
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 11:47:16 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Hi, BB, good to see you again! In reply to your question, please let me quote your words: 'I agree with the former (cannot resist Him long at all during regeneration) but disagree with the latter (that we can resist Him and live in sin for an undetermined season, just not unto utter ruin).' I always think of the 'man after God's own heart,' King David, in relation to this issue. I don't know how 'long' the time period was, but he was allowed to fall deeply and appallingly into sin over a period of time, committing both murder and adultery, both sins punishable by death under the Law of Israel. God allowed this man to fall into this gross state of sin resulting from pride and covetousness, but humbled him in the confrontation with Nathan and gave him forgiveness in repentance (Psalm 51), though imposing consequences of punishment on him (2 Sam. 11:1-12:25). Conversely, 'By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season...' (Heb. 11:24-25). According to His Providence, God, for His own reasons, preserves His people from sins at times and in certain circumstances, while allowing them to sin and suffer the consequences at other times. There seems to be no set rule, the whole thing being dependent on God's design. 'NOW ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENED TO THEM FOR EXAMPLES, AND THEY ARE WRITTEN FOR OUR ADMONITION, UPON WHOM THE ENDS OF THE AGES ARE COME' (1 Cor.10:11).

Subject: Re: Falling into sin
From: Pilgrim
To: Rod
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 17:04:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Amen! Rod,
Truly we are unable to 'resist the Holy Spirit' in regeneration, for we are completely passive in this quickening to life. It is solely the sovereign work of God in those who He has predestined to be found in Christ Jesus. However, in Sanctification, for God's own glory and our being conformed to the image of Christ, He does allow even the most committed believer to fall into sin, through his/her own corruption of nature; the 'old man' not being totally eradicated until death claim him/her. We have many injunctions directed at the saints to 'repent', 'forsake sin', not to 'grieve the Spirit', etc., etc., which emphasizes the responsibility of the believer to persevere in the faith. Whenever the Lord allows one of His beloved children to 'have it their way', it inevitably leads to spiritual maturity, for the one who is brought back into the fold realizes most of all two important truths, which were initially taught him/her at their conversion, which the Heidelberg Catechism states as such:
1. Question 1: What is your only comfort in life and in death? Answer 1: That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death,[1] am not my own,[2] but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ,[3] who with His precious blood [4] has fully satisfied for all my sins,[5] and redeemed me from all the power of the devil;[6] and so preserves me [7] that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head;[8] indeed, that all things must work together for my salvation.[9] Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life,[10] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live unto Him.[11] 1. Rom. 14:7-8 2. I Cor. 6:19 3. I Cor. 3:23 4. I Peter 1:18-19 5. I John 1:7; 2:2 6. I John 3:8 7. John 6:39 8. Matt. 10:29-30; Luke 21:18 9. Rom. 8:28 10. II Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13-14; Rom. 8:16 11. Rom. 8:1 2. Q2: How many things are necessary for you to know, that in this comfort you may live and die happily? A2: Three things:[1] First, the greatness of my sin and misery.[2] Second, how I am redeemed from all my sins and misery.[3] Third, how I am to be thankful to God for such redemption.[4] 1. Luke 24:46-47; I Cor. 6:11; Titus 3:3-7 2. John 9:41; 15:22 3. John 17:3 4. Eph. 5:8-11; I Peter 2:9-12; Rom. 6:11-14; 7:24-25; Gal. 3:13; Col. 3:17
What is seared upon one's heart who has fallen into sin and been brought out of the miry pit is that one is totally dependent upon God and His grace as it is only found in the Lord Christ who has redeemed them by His precious blood.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Assurance of Faith
From: laz
To: Brother Bret
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 08:37:16 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
BroBret - I agee with you! We all still sin....it's a matter of degrees. But in the end....the Shepherd will not lose ANY purposed for salvation! ;-) blessings, laz

Subject: Re: Maybe I should start over
From: laz
To: Donna
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 10:14:36 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Donna - at least you are asking questions...honest questions about important issues that are key to having a full orbed understanding of the person and redemptive work of Christ. You are 'going' where many fear to tread and seem to be receptive to whatever the Bible and the historic churches have taught. Hang in there....even predestination has no offensive sting whatsoever once you see matters from God's perspective, and not man's. Also keep in mind that it all starts with the radical depravity of mankind wrought by Adam's all-condemning sin. God owes mankind NOTHING! And man can do NOTHING to save himself. blessings, laz

Subject: Donna, laz has given good advice...
From: Rod
To: laz
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 11:59:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
...as usual. I think I can safely say that we're all universally glad you opened your heart this way. :>) I'd like to respond to a couple of things. First, your wrote, 'I have heard many bad things about predestination: How people who believed they belonged to God therefore they could live the way they wanted. But the Bible says you should walk in the light, because if you stayed in the dark then God is not with you.' This is very true. A child of God will have a deep desire to live as his Lord would have him to, according to the revelation of the inspired Word, the Bible. That desire is an evidence and witness of the fact that a person is saved. That's why we're so careful in dealing with the expression, 'believing in Jesus.' There is saving faith, but saving faith gives evidence of its being alive and a gift from God by working itself out in glory to the Lord God in the saved person's life. Those who truly understand predestination and election don't want to dishonor God by disobedience, they fervently want to honor their Lord with their lives! You also said, 'I have been to many Churches, and spoke with many people. I have been called many names, both good and bad. I have been told how to dress, how to speak (Tongues). I was told unless I spoke in tongues I was not saved, so needless to say I prayed until my soul was tired. I cried many tears seeking salvation, only to be told God didn’t want me because I was not good enough in his eyes. (I still do not speak in tongues.) I have even been told I am possessed by demons. I gave up on people, but I continued my search for God. I have read the Bible and other works, I hold the Bible to be the word of God.' There's a lot in that to be addressed. Please allow me to say, gently, kindly, that your original posts indicated that you had received some seriously erroneous teaching. To your credit and to God's praise, you have seen through it and done the right thing, continuing to seek God. Let me emphasize something you may already know or be beginning to realize: You can never be good enough for God! That is the basis for all false religions--that you can somehow earn or merit God's favor. But, Donna, that's the essence of 'grace,' that God saves those who are sinners and who can never be worthy of His love and mercy. It's a gift. Let this assurance from the Apostle Paul take hold of you in its beautiful truth: 'But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ (by grace are ye saved)' (Eph. 2:4-5). That is His grace described in a nutshell. When we were dead to God in sins, He by His sovereign choice of love and mercy graciously gave us life in and with His Son by the Holy Spirit. I would rather have that grace than all the merit I could ever earn, because, as a dead man, I could never merit salvation by the holy Lord God! 'But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags' in God's sight (see Is. 64:6). Yet, in grace, by faith, He justifies those who believe in His Son (as has been described in the earlier thread), giving them the righteousness of His Son because He gave our unrighteousness to the Son as the sacrifice for us on the cross. No animal could ever bear that sin burden away from us, but the Son of God Who became flesh could and did for those of His own, His sheep. Finally, you indicate an honest resentment toward God for not choosing to save all men. Here's your concluding statement: 'I also have reasons to not want to believe God chooses some and not others. I guess when it comes to my family; I view it like others, it’s not fair.' No, Donna, it really isn't 'fair,' as humans judge fairness. Actually, though, 'fairness' would be that all of us go to hell and that none of us experience mercy. You see, that's what salvation is, the display of God's mercy just as Paul outlined it in Eph. 2 which I quoted. There is nothing at all fair about the holy Son of God coming to earth in the flesh and dying a substitutionary death for His people. 'For he hath made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him' (2 Cor. 5:21). If we truly demand that God be 'fair,' the Lord Jesus remains in Heaven and all humanity is lost as we deserve. In all honesty, I don't think you truly want God to be fair. Of course, the issue you're raising is, Why does God choose as He does among His creatures? We simply don't know. But we do know that it is the right and just choice. You indicate that you know it by these words, 'But I am now beginning to learn God is not just words in the Bible. He is a living God and everything He does is for his glory...God has given me hope, and has answered my prayers, but He also rains on the unjust, and just alike.' The 'rain' you mention is a blessing from God so that the earth may be refreshed and produce food for its population. It means that He gives blessings to the good and bad people. But to His own, chosen out of mercy in grace, He gives salvation. _____________________________________________________ 'One more question do you know if you are saved?' Donna, I know most assuredly that I am saved! How? It's really not too difficult. God has enabled me by His grace to believe and accept the promises of salvation and eternal life in His revealed Word, the Bible: 'But these [things] are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name' (John 20:31). That belief is as Pilgrim and I have tried to explain it previously in your first thread. 'We love him because he first loved us' (1 John 4:19). May God enable you to believe and to have that assurance. I believe He is dealing with you and leading you to it. :>)

Subject: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5
From: Eddie33
To: All
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 09:26:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Need a liitle help clearing this up. As I understand it, God sends the Holy Spirit to the elect, who are at the time dead in sin, to open their eyes and reveal himself so they will believe in him. Galatians 3:2-5 confuses me on this 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4 Have you suffered so much for nothing-- if it really was for nothing? 5 Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? (NIV) The way I understand this verse is that we don't receive the spirit until we believe. If so, what causes us to beleive?

Subject: Re: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5
From: Pilgrim
To: Eddie33
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 07:50:55 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Eddie,
As you rightly said in your prefacing remarks, regeneration is an initial, sovereign and secret work of God. In regeneration, however, He indeed 'opens ones eyes' and as Rod indicated, 'changes the will', but let me just remind you something which so many either forget or ignore. These two things are among many other changes which take place in regeneration because what essentially happens is that a man's soul is 'resurrected' and a new 'disposition/nature' is created thus producing these other things. What man needs most is not simply a 'change of mind', but a 'new heart'; that which is the center of his being and from which all things originate. But as to this passage where if taken in isolation from all the other passages in Scripture, which Rod rightly again pointed out to you should never be done (the analogy of faith is the Scriptures own hermeneutic [method of interpretation]), could be wrested to mean that by faith one who is dead in sin receives the Spirit, which is then equated to mean regeneration. There is simply too many other passages which clearly show that regeneration precedes faith (cf. Joh 3:3-8; Eph 2:1-10; Col 2:13; Acts 13:48; 16:14; 2Cor 7:10; 2Tim 2:25; et al). What then is Paul saying here? CONTEXT, CONTEXT, CONTEXT :-). The emphasis that Paul is driving home in this passage is NOT COMING TO salvation but the CONTINUING IN salvation. Thus verse two does not intend to teach the ordo solutis but rather to remind the Galatian believers, and all who have faith in the Lord Christ, that salvation is apprehended by FAITH from beginning to end, and not a combination of faith and works; having begun by faith and trusting in Christ alone for salvation, one does not then turn to the keeping of the 'law works' to maintain one's salvation before God. We can therefore paraphrase Paul's words here as saying,
'My dear Galatians, does the course which you are now following make you more happy and contented than that which you previously selected? By what avenue were you first made conscious of having the holy Spirit in your hearts? Was it by the means of rigorous bondage to ceremonial ordinances or was it by the exercise of faith in Christ, so that you listened and listened and eagerly took to heart the marvelous message of the gospel?'
As you can see, I believe that Paul is emphasizing the 'experimental' aspect of salvation and not a strict 'theology' of salvation. Again, one must consider the PURPOSE of the text as well as the words themselves (Grammatico-Historico). And it just isn't Paul's intent to present a theology of salvation in this passage as he does elsewhere, eg., Eph 2:1-10; Rom 8:29, 30, etc.)
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5
From: John P.
To: Eddie33
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 23:00:23 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
Greetings: The proper understanding of Galatians 3, wherein it seems as though the Holy Spirit only first begins His workings in the lives of the believer after they first excercise faith in Christ is found primarily in verses 2,3, and 5. The whole passage reads as follows: 1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Notice that in verse two, it seems as though the Holy Spirit is given to people after believing in Christ; but, notice that in verse five, what is being spoken of as 'receiving the Holy Spirit,' where the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit which were happening amidst the believers in the Galatian church. That verse reads, 'He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?' Notice that in this text, the contrast is between whether or not God works miracles by ministering the Spirit to the believers by giving them faith or by their works. This internal guide ought to aid us in reconciling what at first may seem like a contradiction between a passage like John 3:1-8 and Galatians 3:1-5. For, according to verse five, we may (and ought) to read verse two as teaching that the Galatian Christians received spiritual gifts which come subsequent to our salvation from God by faith, not by works. Furthermore, to assure that this interpretation is correct, notice that Paul also aknowledges that a believer has, 'begun in the Spirit.' This intimates that the beginning of one's faith is already 'in' (or, Gr: 'with' or 'by' [it is an instrumental dative]) the Spirit. In other words, the passage itself does two things for us: (1) It confesses that the beginning of our faith is 'in, with, or by, the Spirit,' (i.e., we exercise faith in Christ only after we have the Holy Spirit and only by the power of the Holy Spirit) and, (2) It also speaks of the Spirit working miracles in the lives of the Galatian believers 'by faith.' With these two points being considered, we may be assured that we are still regenerated by the Holy Spirit prior to our willingness to receive Christ, while at the same time, we, by faith, receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thus, this passage rather confirms the reformed understanding of beginning our faith 'with' the Spirit, while at the same time teaching us that we must continually - by faith in the promises of God through Jesus Christ alone - increase in our spiritual gifts (seeking primarily faith, hope, and love). I hope this helps, John P. PS - for confirmation that the word, 'in,' can be translated 'with,' or, 'by,' the Revised Standard Version, the New Revised Standard Version, and the NAS all do so (with one of the two words). Also, the Geneva Notes, Matthew Henry, and 'Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown,' all agree that the this passage has the Spiritual Gifts of the early church in mind. I thought I would mention this so you would know that my interpretation isn't novel. If you have any other questions, just ask. PSS - I am still working on the Jerrold Lewis response. I have 16 pages, and may have to write more (or delete some). So, please be patient with me. I am getting married in 41 hours and some minutes - so I've been quite busy. Why no instruments in worship? www.swrb.com/newslett/actualnls/InstrLB.htm

Subject: slight correction
From: John P.
To: John P.
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 23:07:14 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I wrote, '...God works miracles by ministering the Spirit to the believers by giving them faith or by their works.' I should have said it this way, '...God works miracles amongst His people (when He chooses to work them) by ministering the Spirit to the believers by giving them faith or by their works.' I realize that is a sentence fragment, but if you read the context is should make sense - I must be going it is late. Godspeed. Love, John P.

Subject: Re: Holy Spirit - Galatians 3:2-5
From: Rod
To: Eddie33
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 17:29:07 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Eddie, Don't give up on what you've learned yet! :>) When we compare Scripture to Scripture, we find the answer. From the Lord Jesus' pronouncements in John 3: 3-13, we find that the new birth is from God by God the Spirit: 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of heaven' (verse 3). That birth, as I'm certain you know, is outside the individual so being acted upon, just as it was at his physical birth. That birth is 'of water and the Spirit' in verse 5, not of believing. And the next verse tells us, 'That which is born of flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit' and verse 8 specifically says the person is born 'of the Spirit' of God. You wrote, 'As I understand it, God sends the Holy Spirit to the elect, who are at the time dead in sin, to open their eyes and reveal himself so they will believe in him.' You are correct. The only change I would make to your statement is to amend it to indicate that He grants a new will with the new life. Not only are the person's eyes opened to see his lost estate and absolute need of a Savior, but that person is also given the desire to turn to God in Christ Jesus by gifted faith when the truth of the revealed Word is presented to him. The Spirit indwelling and granting new life is sent by the Father and the Son: 'But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his' (Rom. 8:9, cp.5-13). I think this also makes it clear that the new life from God's Spirit is a gift. Then compare Acts 2:38, which has received various interpretations. 'Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.' I won't go into all the interpretations and ins and outs of this, but simply state what I think it means, based on the whole of Scripture. The 'gift of the Holy Spirit' isn't tongues or some other manifestation, IMO, but it is the permanent presence and sealing of the believer guaranteeing that the new life he has received will be eternal with the Lord Jesus Christ in glorification with Him. The subject is salvation here. Being made spiritually alive, the person now turns in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ and he is saved, being forever assured of the continuation of the life in the Lord Jesus according to the promise of God: 'And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure' (1 John 3:3). Now we know that no man really 'purifies himself,' but that the purification comes from God. The 'hope' is the assurance and certainty of the promise of the revealed Word of God which the Christian believes: 'Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God, our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope' (1 Tim. 1:1; cp. Col. 1:27; 1 Thes. 4:13; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7; Heb. 6:11, etc.). The new life is the gift of God; faith is the gift of God (Rom. 10:17; Eph. 2:8-10). The assurance of the promise of eternal life and the leadership of the Spirit for the believer is based on his response to that offer of salvation, made possible by the gift of the new life and will from the Spirit, and based on the will of the Father and the Son, with Whom the Spirit is in agreement. I hope this sheds some light on the passage troubling you.

Subject: apology
From: kenric
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 09:39:47 (PDT)
Email Address: tamerlain@hotmail.com

Message:
here in the United Kingdom, (England), the major Christian Churches have apologised for 'atrocities' carried out against Islam in the crusades, led by the Papacy of rome CIR A.D 1350 (Richard The Lionheart) i would like some input on this as i find it deeply disturbing that this is happening. especially with the islamic doctrine of 'JIHAD' or holy war which has been systematically carried out against christianity for hundreds of generations, for which there has never been any apology for bombing or maiming innocent peolpe..i.e Lockerbie (God rest their souls)

Subject: Re: apology
From: john hampshire
To: kenric
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 19:07:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Occasionally it happens that an awareness of wrongs done are conceded and an apology issued to those harmed. The next step is in righting the wrongs done, which can lead to all kinds of havoc. In America it became apparent to a national conscience that wrongs were done to many minorities in the form of racial prejudice. With the awareness comes guilt, and guilt leads to an attempt to remove the guilt by paying off those offended. What began as a perhaps noble awareness becomes easily corrupted into a money grab, much like a guilty working-Mom letting the children run wild and spoiling them with candy. Errors made in the distant past cannot be remedied with money today. Each nationality, race, creed, religion is the result of diverse past traumas to which no certain blame can be assessed, no regress made; just live with it and walk on. In America the attempt to assuage guilt led to the systemic impoverishment and entrapment of minorities by an expanding bog of government sponsored guilt reduction programs. Like a pusher, the government enslaves the now dependent addict hooked on societies 'love', and became stronger and more arrogant in the process—the last state is worse than the first. Bottom line: Apologies are only meaningful when made by a guilty party to those offended, not by organizations attempting to improve their status (ego). I am very sorry and apologize to all peoples everywhere, living and dead, if this offended anyone, or anything I or any of my forefathers may have done throughout history harmed anyone, anywhere. (hehe) john

Subject: Hello, Kenric
From: Rod
To: kenric
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 10:35:55 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
This was discussed briefly by me and one other person on June 30th this year--click on the 'Highway' logo above, go down to 'Theology Discussion Forum' and you can access the archives. It is the first topic listed in the June series, 'Can someone explain this reference.' There is no responsibility by one person for the action of others; each of us is responsible for ourselves and we will answer for our own actions and motivations. We certainly can't control what someone has done, right or wrong, in the past! It seems to be all a part of the 'politically correct' movement we are undergoing and has to stem from a severe misunderstanding of ourselves and God's assessment of mankind, as well as His plan for us.

Subject: savior
From: Donna
To: All
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 12:37:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
If we are already saved by the Grace of God why did we need a savior? who so ever believes?

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Rod
To: Donna
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 16:55:43 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Donna, (I'm not sure what the second part of your question is asking.) As far as the need for a Savior is concerned, it is a most definte and basic need of man under sin. God demands payment for sin against Himself. And we have to remember that it (sin) is against God. Man is totally at 'enmity against God' by sin and as a result of Adam's sin and our being of his offspring (Rom. 8:7) That enmity results in this fact: the only way to propitiate God, satisfying that just anger against the sin and tresspass, is the shedding of lifeblood. The lifeblood of the sinner is demanded, or God will graciously (by His decision of grace) accept a penal Substitute, One Who takes the place of the sinner in death. That is the only method in which God's righteous demand can be met: the penalty must be and will be paid. Without the provision of the Savior, there is no grace. Grace, in this most telling instance, consists of God stepping in, in the form of His Son, the Word become flesh, to provide payment of the whole penalty of sin for the predestinated and elect. It is totally without a reason, so far as we can tell (Why should God love any of us so much?!) and it is totally and completely undeserved. In fact, we deserve hell; every one of us deserves it. But we who are so saved get instead the abundance of the life of Jesus Christ, the Savior--'For whom he did foreknow, them he did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren' (Rom. 8:29). The grace is in the provision of the Savior and the payment of the sin. Moreover, this method is the only one by which the salvation of sinners could have been achieved. Are you certain you'd want God to withdraw the provision of the blessed Savior? :>) "BLESSED BE THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO HATH BLESSED US WITH ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS IN HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST, ACCORDING AS HE HATH CHOSEN US IN HIM BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, THAT WE SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME BEFORE HIM, IN LOVE HAVING PREDESTINATED US UNTO THE ADOPTION OF SONS BY JESUS CHRIST TO HIMSELF, ACCORDING TO THE GOOD PLEASURE OF HIS WILL" (Eph. 1:3-5).

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Donna
To: Rod
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 19:09:57 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
The life blood before Christ is the animal sacrifice? Why did't God just keep the animal sacrifice? If blood is what was needed. Did the Jews have salvation with animal sacrifice? If so what changed? Please bear with me, I am trying to understand. I am here to learn, Sometimes I have a hard time understanding religion. There are so many, but I am not sure which way to go or what to believe. What I mean by Who so ever, does not the Bible say that; who so ever believes is saved? Donna

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Rod
To: Donna
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 20:10:47 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Okay, Donna, here goes. First of all, God has all along demanded human blood, not animal blood. People are saved by the substitutionary shed blood of Jesus Christ, as the passage I quoted to end the last post and numerous others indicate. The OT sacrificial system was to teach the necessity of shed blood and to point the way to the Savior, but it was never sufficient. Speaking of the OT system, the writer of Hebrews said, 'But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year [repeated, continual offering for sin that is never really taken away by animal blood]. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins...Sacrifice and offering, and burnt offerings, and offerings for sin thou [speaking of God] wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure in them, which are offered by the law' (Heb.10:3-4,8). 'But this man [Jesus Christ], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever sat down on the right hand of God' (verse 12). He 'sat down at the right hand of God,' signifying that the work was finished, and accepted by God, and that salvation was accomplished for His own, 'For such an high priest [the Lord Jesus] was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself' (Heb. 8:27). 'Whosoever believes' certainly will be saved, for that is God's plan and provision for that individual. What must that person believe? He must believe in the 'penal, substutionary sacrifice' of the Lord Jesus Christ and that His blood is applied by God's saving grace to himself. I must believe it; you must believe it in order to be saved. That's God's chosen method, the Holy Spirit of God granting the awakening of the person given the spiritual life and ability to believe these facts of the gospel as a gift from God. The Old Testament sacrificial system was to point the way to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to demonstrate the inadequacy of of any other method of redemption. The people of the OT times believed God's provision in the blood of atonement, 'But,' as Paul said, 'when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons' (Gal. 4:3-4). 'The adoption of sons' is a reference to the Romans 8:29 verse quoted in the previous post. It's a necessary thing because adult sons inherit. And believers, those so adopted, inherit along with the Lord Jesus Christ in God's grace. That fact motivated Paul to explain, 'Wherefore, the law was our schoolmaster to bring us TO CHRIST, that we might be justified (given, as a gift, His righteous standing before God) by faith' (Gal. 3:24). The Lord Jesus spoke about this need for His sacrifice and about for whom He did it, explaining what it is that we must believe and have faith in: 'As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep...Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself [the priestly sacrifice]. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received from my Father' (John 10:15-18). Do you believe this, Donna? It is imperative for salvation, for He declares Himself to be, 'the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me' (John 14:6). Such people as believe these things are the 'whosoever believes.'

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Donna
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 05:40:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Yes, I believe in Jesus, I know he died on the cross for the sin of the world. I thought animal blood was acceptable, that is why God demanded the purest of your herd. And certian animals for certian sins, before Christ came into the world. I heard a preacher on TV (no name needed I'm not here to condemn anyone), but he said he could die for us, because we take on the nature of Christ, and are equal to Christ. He said he could sheed his blood to save us. So do we take on the nature of Christ? I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I have a friend who really beleives this. Today there is so much out there, it can be confusing at times. I have talked to people, and gone to church, but none of what they say or believe makes sense to me. Some things even make me feel uneasy. You know. Like something is not right. So usually I am told I just have a rebellious spirit. It is just sometimes I get feelings about God I can not explain. One day I had a desire to know God. My life style was not religious at all, what would God want with me? Sorry to take up so much of your time, any help you can give is truly appreciated. Donna

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Rod
To: Donna
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 10:00:46 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
Donna, I'm glad you're asking these questions and hope and believe that God has directed you, and is leading you to an exposure of the truth. Have you read the Bible deeply? If not, I suggest you start with the Gospel of John, then Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Then read the Epistles. As I say, read deeply, asking the Lord God to prove to you whether what He says is true or not. Saturate your mind and heart with God's Word--He will open it up and make it real to you, if you are His child. Respectfully, anyone can 'believe in Jesus.' Actually that wasn't my question, Donna. The question is and was, Do you believe the things outlined which describe the nature and purpose of the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ? That is, do you know personally that He was God come in the flesh; that He came to save an express group of people ('the sheep,' 'my sheep,' as He declares specifically in the John 10 passage); that He justifies each person who has faith that God will 'impute,' or apply, the righteous standing of Jesus Christ, the Lord, to him? That He does this through His blood, which wasn't shed wastefully or indiscriminately or easily 'for everyone,' but for 'sheep,' chosen people out of all the whole world for whom the Lord Jesus gave Himself in unfathomable love and mercy? It was a 'sacrifice.' One which cost God and His Son dearly, but which was done willingly and lovingly for 'my sheep.' The question is, Are you under that applied, saving blood, believing by the faith of God the truth of the Bible about Him? There are many out of the whole world who are lost every day--they are freely offered salvation, but can't receive it because they aren't sheep. The Lord Jesus says, describing Himself and His office and authority, 'he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice' (John 10:4). The sheep know Him so intimately and are known so intimately by Him that they willingly and obediently follow Him because they are His, belonging to Him in a special relationship. ___________________________________________________________________________ You wrote these things: 'I heard a preacher on TV (no name needed I'm not here to condemn anyone), but he said he could die for us, because we take on the nature of Christ, and are equal to Christ. He said he could sheed his blood to save us. So do we take on the nature of Christ? I know that sounds kind of crazy, but I have a friend who really beleives this.' This is not an easy question, but it is a crucial one. Remember I quoted Romans 8:29 and referred to it again later? Please read it carefully, letting God's message sink in: 'For whom he [God] did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son that He might be the firstborn [pre-eminent] among many brethren.' Also consider carefully this statement: 'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye [believers in the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible] have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear [of death and spiritual death]; but ye [true believers] have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father' (Rom. 8: 14-15). No human will ever be 'equal' to the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is God. Such a thing is blasphemy. But God, in His gracious mercy and love, has stooped to become flesh (human) in the Son and to make it possible for His followers, by the faith of God, to have His rightesouness imputed to them. God, for no reason at all which we can see, has chosen to 'adopt' His sheep, making them to inherit with the Lord Jesus! It is not equality with God, but it is an exalted and amazing and wondrous reward. Imagine that, a 'reward' for people who deserve of themselves to be sent to hell! The OT sacrifices you mention as pure and unblemished, are intended to convey the portrayal of the coming of the Lord Jesus as pure and undefiled, the choice innocent sacrifice acceptable to God as a human substitute. They are to teach and demonsjtrate the necessity of sacrificing pure and innocent blood as the only payment for sin. That sacrifice makes the imputation of His righteousness to us possible in God's plan, for without it, all mankind is under His wrath. Those sacrifices were never meant to be permanent or actually effective for salvation, but illustrated the Lord Jesus Christ and His coming work, the true means of salvation for all God's people of all ages. You asked, 'what would God want with me?' My reply is, what is there in any of us who deserve hell that He would want us? Yet He wants the sheep. He loves the sheep, giving His Son, His Son in whom He was 'well-pleased,' for them so that they might have life. When He has the Apostlle Paul write, 'For whom he did foreknow,' you can substitute 'fore-loved.' He knew the sheep in the closest intimacy of love and desired to save them from the beginning of eternity, before they were even born. You also wrote, 'One day I had a desire to know God.' Well, Donna, if that desire is the Lord Jesus calling you as a sheep, the call is irresistible and wonderful. Sheep respond to the truth of the Bible: 'Faith cometh by hearing and hearing [the gift of the ability to hear with faith] by the Word of God' (Romans 10:17). The Lord Jesus says, 'he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out' into salvation and God's grace (John 10:3). If He is calling you irresistibly, here is what you have in store for you: 'Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified' (Rom. 8:30). Those who are His sheep and are being called by God in the Lord Jesus by the Spirit of God, have this future, to be glorified with Jesus Christ as the gift of salvation. May God enable you to answer that call. If God has placed the true desire in you to believe these things in faith and love and appreciation for His marvelous gift, you are a sheep and He will save you from your sins. 'We [sheep] love him because he first loved us' (1 John 4:19).

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Donna
To: Rod
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 11:37:32 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I have read the Bible, I also have a lot of reference books to help. I have read alot about Clavin but not his works. I have read a little about Luther, and some of his work I really like Luther. When I think about the prophets in the Bible they were all called according to Gods purpose, and that still holds true today. I know you are right, I need to read Gods word with more of a search of God, then what other people say about God. It seems there is always someone or something that hinders my thinking. I thank you for your kind words and your help.You did not treat me like I have a rebellious spirt. In fact you have encouraged me to Seek the deeper truth about the Lord. I will keep in touch, and let you know how I am doing. Donna p.s. I would like to print some of the articles from this wedsite, for my own use, Who do I ask for permission.

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Pilgrim
To: Donna
Date Posted: Mon, Aug 07, 2000 at 17:42:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Donna,
Greetings in the name of our Great God and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. You have many interesting and important questions you have asked here. I pray that God will give all of us the wisdom to answer them in such a way that first honors His holy name and also edifies your mind but most importantly that they touch your soul. Rod has given you excellent advice, in that you should focus your main attention upon the reading of the Scriptures; the Bible, God's inerrant and infallible Word, praying always beforehand that God would open your mind and heart to the truth and afterward, thanking Him for His grace in providing that truth, which is found in Christ Jesus. Let me also add something here as well. It is most necessary that for anyone to be reconciled to God (for indeed we are all born enemies of God, having hearts that are full of sin and hatred for Him), two things are necessary:
1. Repentance of sin: this is actually a fruit or result of the work of God the Holy Spirit when He brings conviction of sin to one's soul. Put simply, this is when a person is given to know the truth about themselves as they are seen by God. It isn't a pretty sight and it can bring much pain and sorrow as well. This spiritual 'sight' of one's own SINFULNESS and GUILT, when worked by the Holy Spirit results in one 'Turning FROM sin' and 'Turning TO Christ'. 2. Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ: This normally happens during the same time as the conviction of sin. To believe on the Lord Christ is first to know something OF Him. One cannot truly TRUST another, especially concerning one's eternal destiny. But to 'believe on Christ' in the Biblical use of the term means far more than knowing facts about Him. To 'believe on Christ' means to trust Him exclusively and without reservation. It also means to depend upon Him for everything; temporal and eternal, for He is the Living God.
Now, for one to repent of their sins and turn to the Lord Christ in true saving faith, there must be a genuine NEED. These things are never done truly out of simple curiosity, or fear, or by human persuasion, nor anything like this. No, one genuinely comes to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ out of a heartfelt NEED; a compulsion consisting of the need to be washed from one's filthiness and to be reconciled to God. The Lord Jesus becomes therefore the One and ONLY way to have one's guilt of sin removed and to be accepted by God. Doubtless much more could be said, but perhaps the two following links to articles on The Highway will bring you further along the way. The Bible's Answer to the Question: 'What is a Christian?' What is a Biblical Christian? Lastly, I would sincerely recommend a wonderful book to you that hundreds of thousands of people just like yourself, as I too once was, have profited from. The book is Knowing God written by Dr. J.I. Packer. This is one book that is usually found in just about any so-called Christian bookstore, so that it should be very easy to obtain. It's not a large book and it's also paperback, so the cost is more than reasonable. May the Lord God guide you in your search for the Truth and give you a heart with an unquenchable yearning and love for God and the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of sinners.
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Donna
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 07:49:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I know there is more to Christ then just believing. James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. Here it says God has chosen some and promised them the kingdom. James 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? And I have heard it said that if you believe in predestination, then it does not matter how you live. The people who believe once saved always saved, and believe they can live a ungodly life, because they are going to heaven anyway; I don’t believe they have found God in the manner the Bible speaks. If you are chosen, I think God will guide you, and in your heart he will be first, you will want to live for Him. Pr 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps. I think we will have our own thoughts, but it is God who will guide our steps, to live for him. In response to the artical what would Jesus do, I never liked that. We do not know what Jesus would do because His ways are higher than our ways. May God Bless Donna

Subject: Re: Savior
From: Pilgrim
To: Donna
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 13:03:04 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Donna,
What you said in regards to a truly redeemed person living in sin is absolutely correct. Yes, a true Christian may backslide into sin, even heinous sin, but eventually the Lord will 'revive' that individual and bring him/her to true repentance. As I said in my response to you, in regeneration there is a radical transformation of the soul whereby one for the first time apprehends one's own sinfulness and God's inexorable holiness. There is a new 'disposition' created in the heart that hates sin and loves righteousness, thus it is but a 'natural', i.e., irresistible thing for a true child of God to pursue holiness (cf. Psa 1:1, 2; Eph 1:4; 2:10; 4:24f; Col 3:10-14; Rom 6ff; 1Cor 1:30; 2Thess 2:13; 1Pet 1:2; Jam 2:26). And lastly, to your remarks about the WWJD article and the movement itself. Doubtless you have been given a true and deeper knowledge, one that is of the Spirit Himself that sees the Lord Christ as God Almighty, whose ways are 'past finding out' (cf. Rom 11:33, 36). How can one assume to know what the Lord of Glory would do apart from what He has ordained to be revealed in His Word? Is this not what God's primary purpose was in giving us the Scriptures; that we might know Him and enjoy Him forever? (2Tim 3:16; Psa 25:8-10; 119:11, 105; 37:31; Prov 2:1-5, 10f; Jer 15:16, 17; 1Pet 2:2).
In His Marvelous Grace, Pilgrim 'The law by which God rules us is as dear to Him as the gospel by which He saves us.' -William Secker

Subject: Re: Savior
From: highway monitor
To: Donna
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 16:29:28 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Hi Donna, Welcome the The Highway!.... :-) We have many fine articles and sermons for your edification. We encourage you to freely print ALL that is of interest. If you go to The Highway homepage you can access the different sections from there. Also available for download; Creeds and Confessions, and a Font Package. If you are searching for a topic, author, etc. you will find a Search engine for this site. I would encourage you also to register for automatic Updates of new additions to The Highway. You can go to the Update Page by clicking this link.
May the Lord bless all of this material to your edification and transformation.
ENJOY!
In His Grace, -highway monitor

Subject: Please let us know what transpires
From: Rod
To: Donna
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 11:48:59 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
You can click on the Highway logo above and e-mail the site owner (Pilgrim), his address is posted near the bottom of the page. It will probably be a few days before you hear back, be patient. One of the monitors may be able to tell you about copying immediately.

Subject: Christ's Resurrection
From: Gregg Gunderson
To: All
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 02, 2000 at 23:25:18 (PDT)
Email Address: greggg@ns.net

Message:
A critic of Josh McDowell posed the following question to degrade his new book; could someone here please answer the critic's question: What happened to the Centurion on duty when Jesus's tomb was found empty? Was there a guy on duty who saw Jesus get up out of the tomb? Did Jesus somehow 'dematerialize' and reappear elsewhere, thereby bypassing the Centurion? If so, then what happened to the poor guy on duty guarding the tomb? You would think he would have been in a lot of trouble, if not in fact executed. Did the resurrection of Jesus cost another man his life?

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: Barry
To: Gregg Gunderson
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 03:27:15 (PDT)
Email Address: btayl@paradise.net.nz

Message:
Christ's resurrection eventually cost many people their lives, including most of the Disciples.

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: john hampshire
To: Gregg Gunderson
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 03:42:08 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Gregg, 'And His appearance was like lightning, and His garmet as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men'. '...behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And...they gave a large sum of monmey to the soldiers, and said, 'You are to say: His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep'. So, the guards on duty were overcome by fear and probably ran away or passed out. No one saw Jesus walk out of the tomb. john

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: Gregg Gunderson
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 00:22:19 (PDT)
Email Address: greggg@ns.net

Message:
Gregg, 'And His appearance was like lightning, and His garmet as white as snow; and the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men'. '...behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all that had happened. And...they gave a large sum of monmey to the soldiers, and said, 'You are to say: His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep'. So, the guards on duty were overcome by fear and probably ran away or passed out. No one saw Jesus walk out of the tomb. john
---
Thank you for the reply John. I will search the gospels for the passage. Could you recommend the best books for evidence for Christ; i.e, 'Evidence the Demands a Verdict' by Josh McDowell. or 'Case for Christ' by Loeb, or another? Thank you!

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: john hampshire
To: Gregg Gunderson
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 00:49:10 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
>>Could you recommend the best books for evidence for Christ? Gregg, apparently you are looking for proofs of Jesus' existence. The books you listed do a good job of that, but may I recommend another Book? This Book was written by men who knew Jesus, walked and talked with Him in the very days He was on earth. Even more amazing, this Book is completely trustworthy! In reality, as you may know, people do not ultimately 'believe' because of proofs. Proofs are nothing if you lack spiritual life. It is through discovering the marvelous manner in which all Scripture hangs together as a harmonious whole that we gain confidence in its trustworthiness; until we can discover these truths for ourselves through personal study and 'see' God's handiwork, we cannot gain a meaningful faith. john

Subject: Amen, john! nt
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 10:38:20 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 07:34:03 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
As john correctly points out, the answer is pretty simple when one reads the Scriptures. :>) The "critic" exposes himself by asking this question.

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: keyboardQB
To: Gregg Gunderson
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 00:14:17 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Maybe the ressurection of Jesus gave another man (OK, lots of men. Women, too) his life? After all, why did one thief end up in paradise and the other, well, didn't? What is the price of tea in China? Don't mean to be disrespectful, but some people seem to ask strange questions...

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: Gregg Gunderson
To: keyboardQB
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 00:19:19 (PDT)
Email Address: greggg@ns.net

Message:
Maybe the ressurection of Jesus gave another man (OK, lots of men. Women, too) his life? After all, why did one thief end up in paradise and the other, well, didn't? What is the price of tea in China? Don't mean to be disrespectful, but some people seem to ask strange questions...
---
Sorry, I don't understand this reply.

Subject: Re: Christ's Resurrection
From: Rod
To: Gregg Gunderson
Date Posted: Fri, Aug 04, 2000 at 05:33:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
'The thief cometh not but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.' John 10:10

Subject: theonomy
From: Belle
To: pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 20:05:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I too am interested in theonomy, but I need it in simple concepts. We are made to think if we don't accept these teachings, we are rejecting the Bible as a whole...that the O.T. is as authoritative for our practice today as the N.T.

Subject: Re: theonomy
From: Pilgrim
To: Belle
Date Posted: Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 07:50:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Belle, You might start by reading the article referred to by Theo in his reply to 'cousin earl'. You can view that article by Clicking Here. In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: theonomy
From: Belle
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 11:07:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Thank you, Pilgrim. I printed it out to study

Subject: a good explanation about Theony
From: cousin earl
To: pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 08:55:31 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim-I have been a frequent reader of the highway and enjoy it very much. I seek to know God better and enjoy Him. Recently our family has left a PCA church because of the harshness of Theonomy being preached there. I am grieved in my heart because of this . I have sought to learn about all the things like paedocommunion. I have read so many of your post and respect your opinion. Could you please direct me to books or articles concerning this problem. It has done so much damage to our family. I know it is hard to discuss these things but know that I am sincere in asking for help

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: Pilgrim
To: cousin earl
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 09:58:19 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim-I have been a frequent reader of the highway and enjoy it very much. I seek to know God better and enjoy Him. Recently our family has left a PCA church because of the harshness of Theonomy being preached there. I am grieved in my heart because of this . I have sought to learn about all the things like paedocommunion. I have read so many of your post and respect your opinion. Could you please direct me to books or articles concerning this problem. It has done so much damage to our family. I know it is hard to discuss these things but know that I am sincere in asking for help
---
cousin earl,
Probably one of the more recent and better critiques of Theonomy is Theonomy: A Reformed Critique ed. William s. barker and W. Robert Godfrey. This book is a compilation of articles written by some of the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary. I admit, I haven't done much reading on this subject in years as I rejected the 'Theonomy' position while still at WTS. VanTil was partly influential in guiding me in my studies of the subject and I am deeply indebted to his wisdom. It's a very complex subject and therefore not one easily grasped. And to me, this is part of the problem; that the Theonomists have woven a very precise and complex web which is meant to trap the unwary and those who are not given to much study. The average Christian is probably most susceptible to its influence, but to be honest, Theonomy isn't 'guilty' solely of negatively influencing 'nominal Christians' for the entire world and 'every wind of doctrine' also has succeeded in moving professing Christians off the 'narrow path'.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: cousin earl
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 19:57:06 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: Pilgrim
To: cousin earl
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:03:02 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:

---
cousin earl,
You are indeed a man of few words! :-)

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: cousin earl
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:15:21 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
That was great! I did write a post but something must have happened. What a good laugh-I needed that. I ask, if while studying the book you would answer questions? I have the book and tried to read it but it is hard for me to understand. I know there are many teachings out there to keep us off the straight path.

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: Pilgrim
To: cousin earl
Date Posted: Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 07:45:42 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
That was great! I did write a post but something must have happened. What a good laugh-I needed that. I ask, if while studying the book you would answer questions? I have the book and tried to read it but it is hard for me to understand. I know there are many teachings out there to keep us off the straight path.
---
cousin earl,
I am glad you got a chuckle, :-). Laughter is a good medicine for the soul. Now as to answering questions you might have while reading that book, not only I, but I am sure others would be glad to help you out as we are able, D.v. May the LORD God guide you in your study and grant you wisdom and knowledge.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: cousin earl
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 08, 2000 at 11:11:35 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Here is a question about scriptures that are being preached. Mark 10:13-16. Does that imply that 'we' the church are keeping little children from the communion table and are being rebuked by Jesus for this in particular. I have always thougth He was telling us to come as children to him-trusting and believing. Are these valid to promote paedocommunion? cousin Earl

Subject: Re: a good explanation about Theonomy
From: Pilgrim
To: cousin earl
Date Posted: Wed, Aug 09, 2000 at 17:15:59 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Here is a question about scriptures that are being preached. Mark 10:13-16. Does that imply that 'we' the church are keeping little children from the communion table and are being rebuked by Jesus for this in particular. I have always thougth He was telling us to come as children to him-trusting and believing. Are these valid to promote paedocommunion?
---
cousin earl,
There is NOTHING in that passage to warrant anyone from deducing that little children are not to be prohibited from the Lord's Table. It is exegetical nonsense to even imply such. The text can be used in part to teach that adults are to come to Christ as 'little children' but this too is not the intent of the text, IMHO. It seems to me that the Lord Jesus is teaching that even 'little children' are to be a part of the Kingdom of God here on earth, and that we are not to forbid them from entering into communion with the Church. In other words, faith isn't given exclusively to adults, but that even children are capable of seeing their need of the Lord Christ and thereby run to Him and embrace Him by faith.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: A link on theonomy
From: Theo
To: cousin earl
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:19:04 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Cousin Earl, You might find the attached link to be of help. Lee Irons has a good mind, I think--and this is a good article. In Christ the King, Theo Lee Irons on theonomy members.aol.com/ironslee/private/Commonargs.htm

Subject: The Trinity
From: Tom
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Jul 25, 2000 at 18:39:17 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
I am hoping you can help me. Recently I was listening to an excellent series of messages called The Holy Spirit and Ourselves by JI Packer. I have learned a great deal from Dr.Packer over the years, and this series is no exception. However something he said, contradicts (I think) with what I have been taught about the Trinity, that I am hoping for some more light on. In the series, when he was talking about proof of the Trinity. He said when we baptize , we say in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. He said it is significant that we don't say 'in the names of...' for it proves that each member of the Trinity have a name. While I like this line of reasoning, from my studies (if they are correct), I have learned that when we say 'in the name of...', what the statement means is 'by the authority of'. Similar to a police officer saying 'stop in the name of the law!' In other words, it is not that the Trinity are named Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, when scripture tells us to be baptized in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit. What the passage is saying is we should be baptized 'by the authority of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit'. I have a document in front of me that says the following: The church has always believed that one must be baptized in the name of (or in the authority of) Jesus. However, the actual formula used when a person was being baptized was to recite the Trinitarian 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit.' This is confirmed in the ancient catechism of the early church called the Didache which was written between 90-120 A.D. For documentation, see The Apostolic Father by J.B. Lightfoot, edited by Michael W. Holmes (Baker Book). Does what Professor Packer say contradict with what I have learned about the subject of the Trinity? Why or why not? In His grace Tom Hardy

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 07:04:38 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
I see no contradiction is what Dr. Packer has written. All that he is emphasizing, I believe, is that the Trinity is just that: TRIUNE. Within the economic Trinity there are 3 distinct persons, each identified as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is consistent with the teaching of the early Christian creeds, eg., the Nicene and Athanasian Creed. So, what he wrote is simply dealing with another aspect/perspective on the Trinity and not a replacement and/or contradiction of the fact that when one is baptized the tri-fold name of the Trinity it indeed expresses the truth that the church is administering the baptismal formula by and under the authority of the triune God.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 17:30:26 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim Thanks for that information. Do you understand why it seemed to me to be a contradiction, to what I had previously learned about the Trinity? What Dr.Packer seemed to be saying(at least to me), is that the Trinity(God's) name was the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In other words, each person of the Trinity has a name, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My understanding is that these are titles, not names. This kind of reminds me with what my brother's pastor wrote in his book 'The Lord's Last call'. I suppose if Dr.Packer had antisipated a question such as mine. He would have clarified what he meant. Tom

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Wed, Jul 26, 2000 at 21:00:47 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
But each person of the divine Trinity does in fact 'have a name' for each is a distinct person, yet inseparable from the other two. (cf. Athanasian Creed). The Father is not the Son nor the Holy Spirit, and the Son is not the Father nor the Holy Spirit, etc. Remember the biblical formula?: 3 PERSONS yet 1 GOD.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 18:01:51 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim Yes I know each member of the Trinity has a name, however what Dr. Packer seemed to be saying (at least to me) is that the titles Father, Son and Holy Spirit are their names. However as I said before, I believe that if Dr. Packer had anticipated my question, he would have alaborated on what he meant. Tom

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Thurs, Jul 27, 2000 at 18:31:56 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim Yes I know each member of the Trinity has a name, however what Dr. Packer seemed to be saying (at least to me) is that the titles Father, Son and Holy Spirit are their names. However as I said before, I believe that if Dr. Packer had anticipated my question, he would have alaborated on what he meant. Tom
---
Tom,
Now you have me confused by referring to the words, 'Father, Son and Holy Spirit' as 'titles'. Most often in my readings the use of the word 'title' is used by Monotheists and Modalists. They confess that God is one, and that references to the 'Son' or the 'Holy Spirit' are just 'titles' used to designate a different manifestation of the 'one God'. Whereas, orthodox theologians most always use the word 'names' because it refers to the identity of an actual 'person' within the Godhead. So please expand a bit if you would on where and why you are wanting to refer to what historically are known as the 'names' of the 3 persons of the Godhead as 'titles. :-) Thanks.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Fri, Jul 28, 2000 at 18:20:41 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgim Perhaps it is me that is confused? I have always understood the terms Father, Son and Holy Spirit as titles of the Trinity. For example my title is 'father', because I am the father of my children. But my name isn't father, it is Thomas. One of the debates I had with my brother about the Trinity, is that he believed that the Trinity's name was Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I told him that when scripture said 'in the name of the Father Son, and Holy Ghost, it wasn't saying that the Trinity's name was Father, Son and Holy Ghost. It was saying 'by the authority of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost'. Similar to a police officer saying 'stop in the name of the law'! Am I to conclude that my brother was right all along? I am not using the word 'titles' in the way a modelist would use it. I am using 'titles' to refer to the identity of an actual 'person' within the Godhead. Not just a mode of the one God. Maybe 'titles' does not convey that in the same way that 'name' does. However, when I see the word 'name' or 'names'. I think of a name like 'Jesus', not the 'Son'. I hope I have made you understand what is on my mind? Can you explain to me, how I am wrong in using the word 'titles' and how 'name' is a better word to convey this truth? Tom

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Fri, Jul 28, 2000 at 20:44:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
Your brother is totally wrong in saying 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost' is the name of the Trinity, for they are names of the three persons within the Trinity. Each name belongs respectively to the individual person Himself! You, on the other hand are 1/2 right, in that with the baptismal formula there is that aspect that the ordained man is indeed baptizing the individual 'under and with the authority of the Triune God'; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, the names are far more than just 'titles' for the names are inseparably descriptive of the personalities of the three persons and their economic functions within the Trinity, especially in relation to our redemption. Here's what the Athanasian Creed says (I am posting it here in the event there are some who have never read it before.)
Athanasian Creed
Whoever wills to be in a state of salvation, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [1] faith, which except everyone shall have kept whole and undefiled without doubt he will perish eternally. Now the catholic faith is that we worship One God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is One, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit; the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated; the father infinite, the Son infinite, and the Holy Spirit infinite; the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet not three eternals but one eternal, as also not three infinites, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one infinite. So, likewise, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty; and yet not three almighties but one almighty. So the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Spirit God; and yet not three Gods but one God. So the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord; and yet not three Lords but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be both God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there be three Gods or three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and the Son, not made nor created nor begotten but proceeding. So there is one Father not three Fathers, one Son not three Sons, and one Holy Spirit not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less, but the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped. He therefore who wills to be in a state of salvation, let him think thus of the Trinity. But it is necessary to eternal salvation that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The right faith therefore is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. He is God of the substance of the Father begotten before the worlds, and He is man of the substance of His mother born in the world; perfect God, perfect man subsisting of a reasoning soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who although He be God and Man yet He is not two but one Christ; one however not by conversion of the Godhead in the flesh, but by taking of the Manhood in God; one altogether not by confusion of substance but by unity of Person. For as the reasoning soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life eternal, and they who indeed have done evil into eternal fire. This is the catholic faith, which except a man shall have believed faithfully and firmly he cannot be in a state of salvation.
As you can see, the Creed makes clear that there is but one and only one GOD. But it equally affirms that the ONE GOD is three persons co=equal in all aspects, yet distinctively three, not only in number but in personality and function. Thus each of the three Persons has His own name and are never to be referred to as 'it', or in the case here, they actually have personal names and not simply 'titles'. If you are still confused, let me know and perhaps I can post one or two good articles on the Trinity for your edification. Again, it is not 'either/or' (Dr. Packer vs. Tom), but 'both/and'! :-)
In His Precious Blood, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sat, Jul 29, 2000 at 12:01:55 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim You wrote: Your brother is totally wrong in saying 'Father, Son and Holy Ghost' is the name of the Trinity, for they are names of the three persons within the Trinity. Each name belongs respectively to the individual person Himself! I believe my what my brother meant, was that the 'Father' was the name of the first person of the Trinity, the 'Son' the name of the second person of the Trinity and the 'Holy Ghost', the name of the third person of the Trinity. Just to clarify, are you saying that 'the Father' is the name of the first person in the Trinity, 'the Son' is the name of the second person in the Trinity, and 'the Holy Spirit', is the name of the third person in the Trinity? Is not the name of 'the Son' Jesus? etc... I must be daft, for I don't see a contradiction between what I wrote(at least my understanding) and what the Athanasian Creed says. Though I take it that my understanding of the word 'title' is flawed. Tom

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: Tom
Date Posted: Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 11:45:00 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Tom,
You asked,
Just to clarify, are you saying that 'the Father' is the name of the first person in the Trinity, 'the Son' is the name of the second person in the Trinity, and 'the Holy Spirit', is the name of the third person in the Trinity? Is not the name of 'the Son' Jesus? etc...
The 'name' of GOD is I AM (Jehovah/Yahweh); actually in Hebrew it is the verb 'to be' consisting of 4 consonants and no vowels. The vowels were added later making it either 'Jehovah or Yahweh'. It is known as the Tetragrammaton; and to the Jews unpronounceable due not only to its spelling, but also because they deemed the name of GOD to be too holy to pronounce. Within the Godhead, exist the three persons, each having their own distinctive name; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As to 'Titles', take for example the title 'The Almighty' which is descriptive on one particular attribute/aspect of GOD. The three persons share in that title, as they do all the titles given to GOD. However, the NAME 'Father' is NOT shared among the three persons, but is owned by but one of the three persons. (Isaiah 9:6 does say that the prophetic 'child/son' would be called 'Almighty God, Everlasting Father, etc., but this is not to mean that there is but one PERSON who has different names, as your brother's pastor, Ross Norris, would suggest (Modalism). But rather this text is emphasizing that the 'child/son' to come is true Deity!) As to the second part of your question, 'Is not the name of 'the Son' Jesus?' The answer is yes and no, hehe. This is what the statement of Chalcedon deals with. The incarnate SON, had two natures; human and divine, distinct yet inseparable. The SON was always the SON, from eternity existing as one of the three persons of the Trinity. It wasn't until the incarnation that the two natures were joined and that union was the person The Lord Jesus Christ. So we can affirm without contradiction that the name 'Son' is the name of the second person of the Trinity. And. . . the name 'Jesus' is NOW ALSO the name of the second person of the Trinity for He forever remains the resurrected and glorified incarnate Son of God. Many fail to take into account the reality of the historical incarnation and attribute to the 'God-man' what solely belongs to the Son; the second person of the Trinity. For example, in John 1:1 we read,
John 1:1 'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'
If you were to ask, Who is the 'Word' spoken of in this text, the majority of people would say that it is 'Jesus'. However, this is a gross error! The God-man Christ Jesus did not exist in eternity, but came to being historically at the incarnation. This is what the apostle John labors to show in this first chapter; that GOD BECAME man. He makes this point in verse 14, where we read,
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.'
It is here, that the eternal SON 'was made/became' human flesh, and His name was 'Jesus'
Matt 1:21 'And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.'
Notice the future tense of the verb 'to be' indicating that what was to take place had not been previously, but was to happen in the future. Without doubt, when we try and comprehend all the facets of the Trinity, we as finite creatures can and do often become confused, as our minds are sorely limited in their ability to understand the Infinite One. However, we are greatly blessed in that GOD has provided us with enough information/revelation concerning Himself that we can sufficiently comprehend something of the magnitude and infinite splendor or our Creator.
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: john hampshire
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Mon, Jul 31, 2000 at 00:58:24 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, The first mention of 'Son of God' that I find is in Daniel 3:24-26 '...and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God'. In Luke 3:38 we have '...the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God'. So here's the question: If Adam was truly the 'Son of God' in that, I suppose, he was His creation... in what manner is Jesus Christ the Son of God? While we know Jesus, in His humanity was the second Adam and thus also the 'Son of God', how did He hold that name prior to His incarnation? It is indeed seems odd on the face of it for the Trinity to be designated with one co-equal member as the 'Son of God' from eternity past. How is it that Jesus was the Son of God from eternity past (prior to His incarnation). Yes, I see the name looks forward to the time when Jesus would be brought forth from Mariam, just as Adam was brought forth from the dust (both Sons of God), but Adam was created and the 'Son of God' is eternal and not created. john

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Mon, Jul 31, 2000 at 06:51:11 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
John,
The simple answer is that the phrase/name 'Son of God' has different meanings, which personally I find more than obvious. :-) Luke's genealogy which ends with '. . . the son of God.' certainly cannot be construed as being synonymous with the passage in Daniel! Luke's point is to point out that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was truly God who was also REALLY MAN; one who had a real identity and connection with the human race. God had truly 'become one of us'! But since you asked this question the way you did, I must ask a question in reply: Are you saying that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the historical Jesus was eternal; i.e., part of the Trinity? Also as a corollary, Are you saying that Theophonies but specifically Christophonies, e.g., the third person/angel/visitor who appeared before Abraham and to whom Abraham addressed as LORD was non other than Jesus of Nazareth but in another 'form' rather than the second person of the Trinity, the Son, who was the PRE-INCARNATE Christ and Who would later on in history take upon Himself human flesh to be His own and whose name was Jesus?
In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: john hampshire
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 01:05:22 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Pilgrim, I don't find the meaning of 'Son of God' to be as obvious as 'Son of Man', and it is not clear to me exactly how 'Son of God' relates or carries over from OT to NT (or vice versa). It isn't difficult to equate the Son of God to 'The Most High' who is equated easily to 'Yahweh' and to 'Elohiym'. 1. Ps 83:18 'That they may know that You alone, whose name is the Yahweh, Are the Most High over all the earth. 2. Ps 57:2 'I will cry to Elohiym Most High , To El who accomplishes for me.' 3. Mr 5:7 'And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High Theos?' It isn't difficult to equate Jesus, the Son of God with Yahweh the One who saves. We then find, Ge 3:8 'And they heard the voice of the Yahweh Elohim walking in the garden in the cool of the day:' And who was walking in the garden but the pre-incarnate Yahweh, which for a better word is the Messiah (to be). Obviously Jesus of Nazareth was not born of women as the Son of Man until 7BC. Therefore whatever form Yahweh took to relate to Adam one-to-one, or Abraham, etc., was a body not born of Mariam's genetics and not rightly part of the lineage of Adam (not a suitable sacrifice). Jesus IS Yahweh the Most High in bodily human form. Whereas I would assume God the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mariam to meld Yahweh Himself rather than a created spirit (breath). I take it, Jesus did not possess a spirit as we do (created), but rather His Spirit is God's Spirit. The body I would not contend to be God, but just a body given to Him as my spirit possesses my body. The body of Jesus in the tomb was not a dead God. When a s(S)pirit inhabits its body, we then have a single being. So, when Jesus' body contained the Holy Spirit, He was both body/Spirit together the Deity Jesus (we cannot pull his humanity apart and dissect it). So I would say in the garden, Adam walked with God wrapped in flesh, but flesh not born of women, yet very real. If I were to construct a Triune God I might name the Godhead as Father, Spirit, Messenger/Obedient One. Since Yahweh is not created, He cannot be rightly the 'son of' God, except in some particular sense. In this regard it may be that 'Son of God' carries a meaning of 'obedient One sent by God' or 'speaking for God'. In this way the Son acts as the Father's reflection in all things. I have not ready anyone who tries to understand the meaning of Christ calling Himself the 'Son of God', it seems to be taken at face value without much analysis. If I am off target, perhaps someday I'll get a better handle on it. As I said, the idea of Jesus being the son of man and the first born of creation, the begotten of God, must all play into the idea of Christ as Son. Heb 1:5 'For to which of the messengers said He ever, `My Son Thou art -- I to-day have begotten Thee?' and again, `I will be to Him for a Father, and he shall be to Me for a Son?' Jesus being the first born from the dead, raised to life, He is begotten of God-- God's Son. Hence, in this sense Jesus is the fulfillment of the name 'Son of God', the 'sent one' who fulfills the 'word of God'--the Logos, all meanings wrapped up in 'Son of God'. To answer your questions: Jesus of Nazareth is not part of the Trinity, except in part, as Jesus' Spirit and the Holy Spirit are the same. As stated, the body of Jesus was not created until 7BC and was not the body used by the Son of God as He appeared to various people. As for calling the persons of the Trinity 'persons', I don't know. Is God a 'person'?, He is a Spirit which dwells in Light. Perhaps 'the three Spirits of the Trinity' is more fitting. But then how is the 'Holy' (Set apart) Spirit to be differentiated from the Father who is Spirit? Are they both not 'Holy Spirits'? If you think I'm in error, how? john

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Rod
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 13:51:26 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
john, I'm fully aware that you addressed Pilgrim and no one else, but I have to jump in on this one. I would have posted about 7:00 this morning, but I had an appointment to keep. First, as Pilgrim says, these are manifestly your own ideas, not the teaching of the Scriptures, nor of orthodox (small 'o') Christianity from its inception. Though you are obviously very intelligent and have put thought and effort into this, you are, nonetheless, in great and gross, deeply regretable, error. While I am not nearly as capable as others to delve into this, I would emphasize a couple of things. First, the creed quoted underscores one of the foundational truths, the faith of the historic Church: that the Lord Jesus Christ, as that title in its completeness indicates, was and is fully God and man at once, lacking none of the essence or attributes of either entity in His being. The Lord Jesus was wholly God and, simultaneously, wholly man. Your post denies that by stating that He got His Spirit from God, but Pilgrim's post demonstrates the necessity of the falsehood of that position. If He had been merely God 'in a man suit' as some crudely put it, He would have been utterly lacking as a Savior, a total impossibility. For example, 'For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily' (Col. 2:9); He was fully God. But the Bible also declares that '...he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them; but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man' (Luke 2:51-52). Likewise, He is portrayed as being as we are, 'For we have not an high priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin' (Heb. 4:15). Now, God can surely know His creatures and know our infirmities. But God doesn't 'grow,' and God isn't affected by infirmities in such a way that He can share a commonality with man's regard of them apart from the Person, the totality, of the Lord Jesus Christ. Similarly, when the Lord Jesus sweated 'great drops of blood' in the Garden, it was not only that the divine Being recoiled from becoming sin, but as it was revealed to Him what He would undergo, the humanity of Jesus, the Christ, was so stressed that He was exercised in His emotions beyond our comprehension. Finally, it is said in Lev. 17:11, 'For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.' In that statement, the Lord God instructs His people that He demands innocent life, lifeblood, a complete and full payment for sin. It cannot be a psuedo-payment, but it was a real demand that an innocent, complete, and fully human life be given in payment for the sin penalty. If the Lord Jesus had been less than truly and wholly human, the Sacrifice would have been hollow. God's anger would not have been satisfied; there would have been no propitiation. God, in His instruction in His revealed Word, demands that we recognize the dual nature of the Lord Jesus Christ, and all that entails: 'Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ' (Acts 2:36, cp. 1 Cor. 12:3; 1 John 4:2). The denial of His diety and the denial of His humanity, each is an error of the highest magnitude. "KISS THE SON, LEST HE BE ANGRY, AND YE PERISH FROM THE WAY, WHEN HIS WRATH IS KINDLED A LITTLE. BLESSED ARE THEY WHO PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM." Psalm 2:12

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Pilgrim
To: john hampshire
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 07:37:12 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Whew. . . you do have your OWN ideas about things, that's for sure John. I think I'll just stick with what the Scriptures say and give my subscription secondly to the Athanasian, Nicene, and Chalcedon Creeds as they faithfully teach the infallible Word of God concerning God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Chalcedonian Creed
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.
The Lord Jesus Christ was both FULLY God and FULLY man having both a body and SOUL in His manhood and the Holy Spirit in His Godhood. In this you err. God being Spirit (John 4:24) is no contradiction to God also being a person; having a distinct and real 'personality'. I don't really have the time nor interest at this point go through a Theology 101 course to explain/teach the Scriptures concerning the existence and nature/attributes of God. Perhaps you might consider reading Stephen Charnock's book of that same title The Existence and Attributes of God which I believe, along with countless thousands of other Christians, scholars and lay persons alike, to be one of, if not the finest work on this topic to date. It is full of Scripture, just in case you don't think any work of man is worthy of your time compared to just reading the Scriptures. :-)
Pilgrim

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: keyboardQB
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Thurs, Aug 03, 2000 at 00:09:50 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Maybe a silly question, but I would like to know if, in your mind, there is any difference between 'fully' and 'truly.' Given the concern over words and their implications, what do you think? Do you use the words differently? Mountain? Molehill?

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: john hampshire
To: all
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 18:26:49 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
All, The Chalcedonian creed is perfectly fine, have no problem with it (hehe). I suppose I am in need of Theology 101, or perhaps 'reprogramming' by those who have not erred as I have. : ) I do have Charnock's book(s) and have discussed it for some three months in the forum of a church (Reformed) Bible study group some years ago. And yes, as you might suppose, some in that group found my opinions incompatible with historical Christianity, BUT, they did not find it incompatible with Biblical Christianity (well some did, but they were clearly in error, (hehe)). Rod inferred that I am denying the deity of Christ or His humanity, or both, which I'm not. I am not playing a game here, and quite honestly I have read a great deal; nearly everything I have read in the last 22 years has been (by God's grace) Puritan/Reformed/Calvinist works, and that comprises nearly my entire library. As I stated, unlike most other Protestant religious systems, Calvinists find sanctuary in the creeds and confessions, not to be denigrated as this is commendable, but if serious inquiries into truth are stifled or rebuked because somehow it has become arrogant to seek answers beyond the careful wording of ancient documents (which themselves were the work of those willing to seek answers), we may find safety, but at what cost? When the creed says concerning Jesus 'begotten of the Father before the ages' or 'only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion', we can applaud the careful wording. But let someone say, 'what exactly does it mean that the Son is begotten of the Father', then the finger pointing begins and the heads wag in derision (not here, of course). Invariably there is the concern, by some, that you have breached protocol; you are entering uncharted waters and should return post-haste to the fold unless you should become a heretic by your undue inquisitiveness (ohhhhnoooo). In opposition to simply searching for meaning in phrases like 'Son of God' or the deity of Jesus, I encounter many who say adamantly and sincerely, 'we cannot and should not try to understand it'. For them such things are not knowable or proper areas for discussion. There are many who when confronted with a paradox presented in Scripture concede defeat. To this I reply-- intellectual laziness. Many a paradox has fallen or vanished (for me) simply by pressing on and pursuing the goal (nay sayers to the contrary). Now, lastly, there is just plain bad theology, error, and incorrect hypotheses made in attempting to understand diverse teachings, which are condemned properly because they are understood to be in opposition to Scripture. I have no fear of man (or beast), I say let us reason a thing out, and perhaps steel shall sharpen steel. It is sometimes unfortunately a ruse, I present my steel to their rubber knife and the true objections emerge as any of those listed above (fear). In all honesty, I read a recent post where the writer lamented that his love and excitement of finding truth was not shared by anyone else. I sympathize entirely. I know of no one in my travels whom I could share my small triumphs in discovery. Either they lacked the background to make use of it, not understanding the foundation that led to the discovery, or they understood but it held no particular interest for they swam in a sea of 'truths' and like Pilate they are overwhelmed by so much divergent 'truth'. Not to say that there aren't those small number I've talked with who brighten excitedly when some spiritual truth becomes their own truth; the light goes on for them--delightful. Sadly, most often the response to some beautiful spiritual truth woven together is: , or in the Christian vernacular: 'yeah....whatever'. OK, I'm finished. But just so any of you 'red flaggers' should conclude I believe the bodily person, Jesus Christ of Nazareth to not be God Himself--umm, wrong! Nor do I believe that Jesus was God inserted into a body (a.k.a., invasion of the body snatchers). I do theorize that Jesus was born without a 'human spirit' (for lack of a better description), but possessed the Spirit of God instead. To this I have been told I am wrong. I theorize that Jesus possessed a unique human body born of Mariam, just as you and I do (but not from Mariam, of course). Should my body lay dead in a tomb, it is a human body; Christ's body laying dead in a tomb is a human body. To this I am told also is error. I theorize that the Word became flesh, meaning Yahweh dwelt amongst us as a man, but sadly, I do not see the need for the flesh to be divine (ohhhhh). Now, before the tar and feathers are applied I also think (am I allowed?) that we cannot divide Jesus into divine and non-divine. As I stated before Jesus when alive is a single person, not two persons, anymore than you or I are two persons (spirit and flesh), we are simply one. Equally Jesus is One, thus His body and soul/Spirit are indivisible in respect to Jesus the person. I do not say His body is God, but as the Son of God indwelling the son of man He is singularly God. When Jesus' Spirit left Him on the cross, the body left behind was the genetic material of Mariam's cells -- it was not God Himself. When I die I should hope Christians do not look upon my flesh and say 'here lies John', for the personality/person is not contained in the flesh. I am not in the casket (or what meaning would Paul convey in being 'absent from the body', whom is the absent one?). I think this a small matter. In regards to the Trinity I still find it interesting that God should manifest Himself as three, and that the designation should be 'Son of God' and 'Father' for two, but the third Godhead is 'Holy Spirit'. Perhaps if it were Father, Son, and Grandfather the correlation would be more tidy :) It was God who created pro-creation and the father-son relationship in men, yet it lacks a tidy parallelism with a divine Father-Son relation (the Son was not born of the Father). It is just intriguing usage of terms, the Father begat the Son in His death and resurrection, this is not our usage of the father-son relationship or the use of 'beget'. Interesting indeed! The created order should model the divine Father-Son order as a reflection (similar to marriage, death, and birth), and the lack of symmetry requiring a special use of 'son' and 'beget' strikes me as odd. Oh well. john

Subject: Re: The Trinity--a link
From: one of the monitors
To: All
Date Posted: Tues, Aug 01, 2000 at 21:43:41 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
I know you guys have probably all read this, but if anyone is interested, this is a link to Louis Berkhof's Summary of Christian Doctrine on the Person and Natures of Christ. It is short and to the point, and about as orthodox as they get. In Christ the King, one of those monitors! Berkhof on Christ's Person and Natures members.tripod.com/~Michael_Bremmer/berk14.htm

Subject: Re: The Trinity
From: Tom
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 14:25:19 (PDT)
Email Address: thardy@sd52.bc.ca

Message:
Pilgrim Thanks for your patience with me:-). I think I now have a grasp of what you are saying. Though the Trinity will always remain a mystery to a certain extent. I now understand why you say that 'Father','Son' and 'Holy Spirit' are more than 'titles'. As to your saying: If you were to ask, Who is the 'Word' spoken of in this text, the majority of people would say that it is 'Jesus'. However, this is a gross error! The God-man Christ Jesus did not exist in eternity, but came to being historically at the incarnation. This is what the apostle John labors to show in this first chapter; that GOD BECAME man. He makes this point in verse 14, where we read,... I agree with you on this point, though I think that mistake is easily made. Personally speaking I wouldn't make a big deal about it, unless of course someone was falling into a trap some cults find themselves in. I have found that when I try to correct some on points such as this, the original topic at hand is lost. Or I turn them off entirely. Take for instance the movement of WWJD. When I hear someone say WWJD, I simply ask them, what they mean by it? If they say, 'what does the Bible say about the topic?' or something to that effect. I usually don't say too much more, unless they ask me why I asked the question. But if they say 'we should try to do what Jesus would do in a given situation'. I would ask them can they calm a storm, simply by saying ' be still' like the time Jesus and the disciples were in the boat? Then I would say something to the effect of, shouldn't the real question be, 'what do the scripture's say'? I am slowly learning that (sometimes through the grape vine) I need to use wisdom in how I say things. I have a tendancy to over power some people that I know. Yes, I know that may surprise you, concidering I feel like I know very little, when I compare myself to people such as yourself. But never the less it is true. When I learn a scripture truth, that has helped me, I think everyone should want to know this truth, but only a handful of my friends seem to want to hear it. Unfortunately my wife and children, rarely are one of them. I don't think it is because these people don't want to know truth, I think it is because I haven't learned how to put these truths in words that they aren't overwelmed by. In the words of my daughter after I wrote her a letter recently. 'You are boring, to read'. Tom

Subject: Well, you guys have smoked me out! :>)
From: Rod
To: Pilgrim
Date Posted: Sun, Jul 30, 2000 at 13:31:05 (PDT)
Email Address: na

Message:
I was going to stay out of this and haven't been posting lately to give others a whack, but I guess I have to jump in. Before that, I apologize for not being educated in the fine points of theology and will probably show my ignorance, but the text Tom originally brought up is important, I think. 'GO YE, THEREFORE, AND TEACH ALL NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.' Matt. 28:19 I take that text as emphasizing the unity within the Trinity. I have taken it to indicate that there is one Name (I suppose it could be rendered 'authority' or 'power') under Whose direction the baptism is performed, that of God, the Living God, supreme in all the Cosmos. As each of these Persons is God, or Lord, they are in agreement that the saved person who is undergoing water bapitsm should receive the outward administration, by man, under the imperative of God as one of the ordinances of the Church. (I know that the board as a whole regards this as a 'sacrament'; it is not my place or purpose to argue that here.) The Three in One are so unified (though each is a distinct personality) in purpose, and design, and attributes, that the foregone conclusion is that each of the three Persons concurs wholeheartedly with the other two Persons. God, the Lord, wants His followers to undergo baptrism by water as a part of being 'in Christ' and a member of His body, the Church. There is a big 'hullaballoo' over being baptized 'in the name of Jesus' by some (particularly charismatics) today, many insisting on being re-baptized with that specific pronouncement. Some of these I have corresponded with on the various boards have used the expression that they were previously baptized ''only in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not in the 'name of Jesus''' the first time. What ignorance! (Notice, I did NOT call these folks 'stupid!') As Pilgrim pointed out above, the name 'Jesus' is the human name of the Lord Jesus. As He is inseparably linked in His divine and human natures now, it does indicate the Son of God, but not ideally in my estimation. And there are several Scriptural passages in the NT where the being baptized 'in the name of Jesus' is specifically mentioned. That is truth, but it is not truth that the Lord Jesus or His Apostles ever meant that the fullness of the Godhead was to go unrecognized or undeclared in baptism, the reason, I think, that the Lord Jesus emphasized the three Personages in the Matthew verse. It is God, in each of His three Persons and offices and manifestations, Who ordains that His spiritually 'born again' child be baptized in identification with the saving work of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus was emphasizing that salvation was the work of God, not just One Person within the Godhead. The Father sent the Son; the Son accomplished the work the Father ordained; and God's Spirit, sent by both the Father and the Son, creates a spiritually alive child of God and indwells that new person, giving faith and illumination through God's revealed truth in His Word. Each agrees with and approves the actions of the other Two and the Three as a unified Godhead; the plan and actions are not in a vacuum, nor are they undertaken alone. It's important to note that, while men today go about teaching falsely concerning being baptized 'in the name of Jesus,' the Lord Jesus, in this one particular verse, capsulizes the essence of the work of God in the salvation of His people.

Subject: covenant theology
From: kevin
To: All
Date Posted: Sat, Jul 22, 2000 at 06:38:55 (PDT)
Email Address: amoshart@earthlink.net

Message:
I am looking for some good works on covenant theology. Preferably by Puritans because it has been my experience that they had a good grasp on God and His covenant with His children. Any suggestions? I am going to search this web page for articles but I was also looking for some outside sources in book form as well. I read The Light and the Glory and Peter Marshall's explanation of the covenant in the lives of the Puritans and Pilgrims was very insightful. Thanks. In Him, kevin sdg sf ss

Subject: Re: covenant theology
From: Pilgrim
To: kevin
Date Posted: Sun, Jul 23, 2000 at 20:44:40 (PDT)
Email Address: Not Provided

Message:
Kevin, The classic Reformed work which is a MUST read is J. Vos' Biblical Theology. It can be found and/or ordered from any local bookstore I am sure. In His Grace, Pilgrim

Subject: Re: covenant theology
From: John P.
To: kevin
Date Posted: Sun, Jul 23, 2000 at 20:02:04 (PDT)
Email Address: putz7@msn.com

Message:
It could be a difficult book to read because it is a facsimile; however, it was written by Patrick Gillespie (the brother of George, the Westminster Divine), and is excellent (I haven't read every page, but that is only because I am short on time to do anything). It's title is, The Ark of the Testament Opened, or, The Secret of the Lords Covenant unsealed in A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace. Then it has for a subtitle, 'Wherein an Essay is made for the promoving and increase of Knowledge, in the mysterie of the Gospel-covenant, which hath been hid from Ages and Generations, but now is made manifest to the saints.' (1661) If you are not used to reading 17th century works prior to their being being updated to modern spellings, &c., then you may find the first few pages difficult to read. However, usually they become much easier as you get involved in reading your first book of this sort. Besides, the good books weren't reprinted all the time, so it is certainly worth learning how to read these if you haven't already. Nevertheless, I think this book would certainly be a blessing to you. His other book on the Covenant of Redemption would also be a good read. In Christ, John P. PS - The book is some 566 pages long, but the pages are relatively small. It can be purchased from Still Water Revival Books. Click at the top of the page, and you will be able to find the book if you scroll to Patrick Gillespie's name. His other book on the Covenant of Redemption is on sale - so you may desire to look into it, as well. Order Book Here www.swrb.com/catalog/g.htm


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