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1  Theology / Debate / Re: One Or Two Gospels In The New Testament? on: February 05, 2006, 05:08:45 PM
We should also be aware that there is a false teaching known as Ultra- or Hyper-Dispensationalism which goes far beyond the legitimate bounds of the various dispensations, and seeks to dispense with water baptism for believers.

Most damagingly, it seeks to put a wedge between "Paul's Gospel" and the Gospel preached by the other apostles (even though Scripture teaches that they were all in full agreement and total fellowship regarding Gospel truths).

Perhaps you are trying to introduce Ultra-Dispensationalism, Terral, but it is opposed to NT Bible truth. It is indeed "another gospel".
2  Theology / Debate / Re: One Or Two Gospels In The New Testament? on: February 05, 2006, 04:53:59 PM
7. Justified by ‘works and NOT by faith alone.’ James 2:20-24.


Your inclusion of the above in order to put forward a theory of "two Gospels" shows that you have a fundamental misunderstanding about the Word of God, i.e. that it is meant to confuse instead of clarify and confirm the truth. What you are suggesting is that there was one Gospel for the Jews, and another for the Gentlies, which is totally false.

What does James really teach in James 2? James is asking every believer to examine his faith and to determine whether it is genuine, by the good works it produces. The key to understanding what James is teaching is not that salvation is based upon works but that "faith without works is dead".

There can be only one Gospel, just as there can only be one Savior.  This is not a matter for debate, but for belief. Therefore Paul lays it all out very plainly (Eph.4:4-6):

There is

ONE Body, and

ONE Spirit, even as ye are called in

ONE Hope of your calling:

ONE Lord,

ONE Faith,

ONE Baptism,

ONE God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

3  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / Re: Depression on: February 02, 2006, 12:30:00 AM
The Antidote for Depression -- God Himself

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble; therefore will not we fear..." (Ps. 46:1).

Christians need to remind themselves daily that God -- the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of the ends of the earth -- is their refuge and their strength. Therfore they have nothing to fear.

Depression is essentially Fear. Fear paralyzes many Christians. The fear of man paralyzes many of us. The fear of circumstances paralyzes many of us. The fear of failure paralyzes many of us. The fear of sickness, disease, and death paralyzes many of us.

Yet the antidote is within us -- God within us, Christ within us, the Holy Spirit within us. So why do we fear? Because of unbelief. We would sooner believe the lies of the enemy than the truth of God's Word.

If we are to truly trust God, we must take Him at His Word. He says He is our Refuge, our Fortress, our Strength, our Deliverer, our Rock, our Hiding Place, our Shepherd, our Redeemer. How should we respond? By simply believing that this is so, and simply trusting Him to deliver us.

Is it really that simple? Yes it is. The moment we try to complicate it, we begin to doubt and to fear, and Satan begins to control our minds and our lives. So trust God, trust His Word, and ignore the Devil. God is indeed our Refuge and our Strength. A very present Help in trouble.
4  Theology / General Theology / Re: The Apostles Creed on: February 02, 2006, 12:10:07 AM
May I ask, how many here reject the 10 Commandments?
Or the Lords Prayer?


The 10 Commandments and the Lord's Prayer (or more precisely the Disciples' Prayer) are Scripture -- the Word of God and the words of God. No one can reject them without rejecting Scripture.

The Apostle's Creed -- for all it's merits -- is an interpretation of the Word of God, and subject to further intepretation based upon the church tradition to which one might belong.  For example "the communion of saints" and "the holy catholic church" will not be interpreted by Roman Catholics as they will be by evangelicals.

So the Apsotle's Creed must be kept in perspective. A Creed or A Statement of Faith is not Scripture, although it may be based on Scripture. Sometimes, there may be errrors in Creeds, Catechisms, and Statements of Faith. A careful study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) will prove this.

Let's take one example from the Apostle's Creed (which was not formulated by the apostles of Christ). We read "I believe in God the Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth". While this is true in itself, Scripture teaches that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were all equally involved in creation. Gen. 1:2 speaks of the Holy Spirit and Jn. 1:1-3 speaks of the Son.

So it would be more accurate to say "I believe in the triune Godhead -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- Maker of Heaven and earth".

5  Theology / General Theology / Re: What does it mean to be born again? on: January 30, 2006, 09:32:49 PM
Pilgrim is correct. Throughout the NT, the New Birth (being born again) is accompanied by gift of the Holy Spirit, and indeed is due to the "washing of regeneration (new birth) and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5). Water baptism follows the New Birth, but is not responsbile for it.

Many have misunderstood the teaching of Christ which says "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:5). As we study the NT Scriptures, we discover that "water" and "seed" are just two metaphors for the Gospel or the Word of God (Eph. 5:26; Jas. 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23). So what Christ said in reality that "Except a man be born of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God".

How does the Gospel become the seed of salvation? "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17).

Thus in order to have saving faith one must hear or read the Gospel, and as the Gospel penetrates into our innermost being --  "to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit" (Heb. 4:12,13) -- the Holy Spirit convicts us and convinces us. That is the only way that a sinner can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved, for "The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [Gentile]" (Rom. 1:16).

Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ leads to being regenerated while receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, since "as many as received Him, to them gave He the power [authority] to become sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn.1:12,13).

As to what it "means" to be born-again, the best description in the Bible is that of becoming "a new creature" or "a new creation in Christ", where old things have passed away, and all things have become new (2 Cor. 5:17).
6  Theology / Debate / Re: A few questions on Heaven and Hell, and God's mercy on: January 29, 2006, 08:07:51 PM
In particular - do you believe that when you go to hell, you are eternally condemned - and if so, why?

While Christians are saved from Hell, those who go there are indeed eternally condemned. Hell was created for the Devil and his angels, and is now also for those who do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Or do you believe that being sent to hell is God's way of giving you another chance to repent? And if so, why?

There is no second chance after Hell. That is why Scripture repeats again and again "Today , if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts".

Also - what do you think about the idea of purgatory?

There is no such place. There is Hades, where unredeemed souls go after death, and there is Hell -- the Lake of Fire, which is only after the Great White Throne Judgment of all those found in Hades.

Also - do you believe that God is infinitely merciful? Or is He only merciful some of the time?

God is infinitely merciful. But those who deliberately reject His mercy and His salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ remove themselves from His mercy, and place themselves under His wrath (Jn.3:36).

Is God's mercy restricted somehow, and if so - under what conditions is mercy not available? And why do you believe these things?

While God's mercy is never restricted, it can only be effective for those who repent and receive Christ as Lord and Savior. The reason we belive these things is because Scripture teaches them. Unless the blood of Christ has been applied to a sinner's soul, he will be subject to God's judgment.

This is pictured for us in the Passover when Israel was in Egypt. The blood of a lamb had to be applied to the doorposts and lintel of every home which would be spared from God's judgment.

A careful study of the New Testament will resolve all your questions. God's grace is unlimited, but men who mock, reject, ignore or despise God's salvation automatically remove themselves from God's grace. Even so, God's grace is such that He gives mockers many opportunities to repent, instead of only one.

7  Theology / General Theology / Re: I want to know about christianity on: January 29, 2006, 05:14:47 PM

Christianity is Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is both fully God and fully Man. He died for your sins and He rose again to give you the gift of eternal life. To receive this gift, you must agree with God that you are a sinner, turn away from all your sins and idols (as well as other religions) and turn with all your heart and soul to Christ. This is the Gospel, the Glad Tidings, the Good News.

You must receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, and when you do you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the gift of eternal life. If you have not read the Gospel of John in the New Testament, please do so. That is a good starting point.

It is in that Gospel that God reveals to all who want the truth, that Jesus Christ alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no man can come to God outside of Christ. The reason being that Christ shed His own blood for our redemption, and God gives the believer the gift of Christ's righteousness in order to enter Heaven.

There is much more to Christian theology, but only those who are born-again by God's grace and have the Holy Spirit within are able to understand everything else.
8  Theology / Debate / Re: a question about free will on: January 29, 2006, 04:49:26 PM
Hello brothers Tom, 2ndTimothy and all who remember me:

It's good to be back. Just a word of encouragement for those who are Christians. The Lord has taken us through many trials and tribulations, but He has never forsaken us, and He will never forsake His children: "Blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen" (Ps.72:19).
9  Theology / Apologetics / Re: Is Jesus God? - Part Two on: January 28, 2006, 01:10:13 AM
Jury, there's no debating the truth. Jesus is God, and the Holy Spirit.

Hi DreamWeaver:

I trust you mean by the above statement that Jesus is God and the Holy Spirit is also God. That would correspond to the fact that there are three distinct Persons in the Godhead -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God. Three Persons.

Many stumble at this profound truth, but it is inescapable to those who approach the Holy Bible to be taught of God, not to sit in judgment over matters which are really beyond human comprehension.

To those who question the Deity of Christ, let me remind them that the apostle who doubted Christ's resurrection -- "Doubting" Thomas -- is the one who fell down and worshipped Jesus by declaring with his mouth "My Lord, and my God!".
10  Theology / Debate / Re: a question about free will on: January 28, 2006, 12:41:26 AM
I'm not sure if I'm a Christian or not for a few reason, one is my lack of understanding on HOW free will can exist.

Hello to everyone on this forum:

Before I say anything to This_Guy, I'm not "new" here but I have been unable to access this site over the last little while (probably for some technical glitch), and I also have not had a lot of time. I do post on Crosswalk under a different handle. Anyhow, I 'd like to thank Bro. Tom for his pm, and I recently got a note from ChristianUnite informing me about the upgrades and changes, so I thought I'd take another look. Well here I am and I do recognize some of the regulars.

Back to your concerns, This_Guy. You've already been given many Scriptures and much good advice. I would just like to add that "free will" is made out to be a much bigger issue than it is, because human beings are unable to grasp the greatness of our God. Therefore let me just make a few brief points to clarify your thinking:

1. God is absolutely sovereign in this universe, yet He created men and angels with the ability to make moral and spiritual choices. Some call this as being "free moral agents".  Proof?

If men and angels had not been free to choose between loving God and loving themselves or some other "idol", then neither Lucifer nor Adam could have sinned, and this world would have been sinless from the very beginning. Therefore "free will" is built into this world without in any way restricting or undermining God's absolute sovereignty.

2. Knowing that you are a Christian -- a child of God -- is not a matter of feeling, nor is it a matter of maintaining sinless perfection. It is a matter of believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and on His finished work of redemption (on the Cross and through His resurrection). 

So the questions that you must ask yourself (regardless of how you "feel" or whether or not you might have sinned after you were saved) are these:

a. Do I believe without the shadow of a doubt that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God and that today He is both Lord and Savior of all men, and especially of those that believe on Him (keeping in mind that Son of God = God)?

b. Do I believe without the shadow of a doubt that Christ died for all my personal sins, and rose again for my justification (to give me the gift of eternal life)?

c. Was there a moment in my life when I saw myself as a sinner, lost and on my way to Hell, and turned with all my heart to Christ, and away from all my sins and idols?  In other words, did I genuinely repent and receive Christ as my Lord and Savior?

If you have been born again as a result of this, you can know without the shadow of a doubt that you are saved. And God wants you to know this (1 Jn. 5:13,20).
11  Theology / Bible Study / Re:I, II, III John on: August 11, 2004, 08:38:41 PM
The books of I, II, III John are books that are not written to the Body of Christ.

12  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: August 10, 2004, 08:37:14 AM
Brother, please give me your opinion of The Amplified Bible and Young's Literal Translation. I don't use them very often, but I would appreciate you sharing with me.

Brother Tom:

The Amplified New Testament, by it's own admission is at odds with the KJV: "The Greek Text of Westcott and Hort was pursued with meticulous care", and unfortunately, that text was based on the corrupt manuscripts.

Young's Literal Translation parallels the KJV, but, by it's own admission, is not to be regarded as a substitute but a study help:

"...The following translation need not, and ought not, to be considered, in any sense, as coming into competition with the Common Version, but as one to be used in connection with it, and as auxiliary to it; and not a few assurances have been received from clergymen and others that they thus use it, and find it at once interesting and profitable. The change of a single word, or collocation of words, is often found to throw an entirely new shade of meaning over the Scripture. This advantage is well known to all who have compared the various ancient versions, or even the English versions that successively formed what was popularly called "the authorized version," i.e., Tyndale, Coverdale, Geneva, Bishops, &c.

The Greek Text followed is that generally recognized as the "Received Text," not because it is thought perfect, but because the department of Translation is quite distinct from that of Textual Criticism, and few are qualified for both. If the original text be altered by a translator, (except he give his reasons for and against each emendation,) the reader is left in uncertainty whether the translation given is to be considered as that of the old or of the new reading. And, after all, the differences in sense to be found in the 100,000 various Greek readings are so trifling compared with those to be derived from an exact translation of the Received Text, that the writer willingly leaves them to other hands; at the same time, it is contemplated, in a future edition, to give, in an Appendix, all the various readings of the Greek MSS. that are capable of being expressed in English...."

13  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: August 10, 2004, 12:53:00 AM
have nothing against the KJV but someone has pointed out that there have been older manuscripts then the ones used to make the kjv that have been discovered such as in the DSS.  To overlook this i think is just well one sided.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have not been overlooked in establishing the value of the KJV and it's underlying texts -- in particular the Hebrew Masoretic Text.


Before the DSS were discovered, the oldest Hebrew manuscripts dated from about 900 A.D. Then they discovered a scroll of Isaiah among the DSS which dated from about 100 B.C. So a difference of 1,000 years separated these two texts. Did that make a difference?  Absolutely not. Isaiah in the Masoretic Text matched Isaiah from the DSS, except for some very minor and minute variances.

This is a testimony to the overshadowing hand of God over His Word. The Hebrew scribes were so utterly meticulous and careful about transcribing, that what Moses wrote is literally what Christ read in the synagogue at Nazareth 1500 years later. And what we read today is also what Moses wrote, because the KJV translators were scrupulous to a fault. They did their utmost to preserve the words and the spirit of the original, since they were guided by the Holy Spirit.

It would be erroneous to call the KJV "inspired", since only the original autographs were inspired. But if we want to be certain and confident that we are reading the uncorrupted Word of God, then we cannot fail with the KJV [or it's equivalent in other languages]. The same can only be said for the Reformation Bibles, not modern versions after 1881.
14  Theology / Apologetics / Re:IS YOUR BIBLE THE RIGHT ONE? on: August 10, 2004, 12:29:47 AM
These three passages are irrefutable, objective evidence that modern versions are unsafe.

No they are not.

You have to prove that the AV is perfect (something its translators did not claim) before you have demonstrated that a differing translation is corrupt. Until you have done that, quoting differences only proves they are different, not which (if either) is correct.

One does not have to prove that the AV is "perfect" before we can assert with confidence that a differing translation is corrupt, because it's underlying text is corrupt.  

All we have to prove is that the overwhelming mass of manuscript evidence, which includes manuscripts of the Scriptures, early translations, lectionaries of the Greek Orthodox Church [which have prevailed since very early times], and Patristic quotations [quotations of the Scriptures in the writings of the Early Church Fathers] support the readings found in the Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus [which differs little from the Majority Text].
This has been thoroughly proven by many scholars such as Burgon, Scrivener, Miller, Hoskier, etc. who have done extensive and intensive research into this matter.

If there are 1000 witnesses in a court of law and five or six are false witnesses, we would accept the testimony of the overwhelming mass of true witnesses and ignore the false. The same should apply to the text of Scripture, but a fabricated theory about the value of two old manuscripts has overturned common sense. This is the Westcott-Hort Theory, which is like the theory of evolution -- a pure fabrication.

The truth is that the testimony of ONLY TWO FALSE WITNESSES -- Aleph [Codex Sinaiticus] and B [Codex Vaticanus] has established the "critical text' of the scholars, which is the foundation of all modern bible versions. The first false witness was found in a waste basket, the other false witness lay almost dead in the pope's library for over 1600 years.  These two manuscripts are claimed to be "the oldest", but they are nowehere even close to the age of the original autographs of the New  Testament -- they are about 350-400 years older, and a lot of Bible corruption occurred during that time.
15  Theology / Debate / Re:IS WATER BAPTISM A TESTIMONY? on: August 06, 2004, 10:56:28 PM
I wondered who it was a testimony for? Kind of like preaching to the choir??  Huh

Had you taken the time to investigate, you would have found that water baptism is first and foremost a testimony or witness before God of what He has done by His grace for the sinner -- given him or her the gift of the Holy Spirit: "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, WHICH HAVE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST AS WELL AS WE? AND HE COMMANDED [note this word] THEM TO BE BAPTIZED in the name of the Lord..." (Acts 10:47,48).

Peter explained later that since it was God who had given the Gentiles the gift of eternal life, it behoved him to have them baptized, thus testifying to the grace of God towards Gentiles (acts 11:15-18).

When Jesus of Nazareth was baptized, it was God the Father, and God the Holy Spirit who testified to His being the "Anointed One" -- the Messiah (Matt. 3:13-17), and the Lord said to John the Baptizer "FOR THUS IT BECOMETH US TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS".

Paul himself was baptized immediately after receiving back his sight, and because he had "fulfilled all righteouness" , he was "filled with the Holy Spirit" and immediately empowered to preach the Gospel (Acts 9:8-21).

When a sinner receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, he receives the internal "washing of regeneration, and renewal of the Holy Ghost" (Tit. 3:3-7). Believer's baptism is a testimony before God and man that a sinner has been saved by grace, because there is rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents. That is why Paul took the trouble to baptize the Philippian jailor and his household at midnight (Acts 16:25-34) in obedience to Christ -- "to fulfill all righteousness".

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