Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Here is a statement from his blog. "A literal reading of the New Testament points to God and Jesus Christ , His Son , being separate , divine beings , united in purpose." Now in and of it self this statement may be true, however, it fails in it's concept of hermeneutics. We can not say that the New Testament is the only authority on God. So What does the Old Testament say? Well lets look at What God said through the Prophet Isaiah.
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.
Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen. Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any."
I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.
For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): "I am the LORD, and there is no other.
Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
"Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,'
So how many times did you count God saying He is the Only God?? ( the answer is 11) So as a Mormon, how do you address this in light of your Polytheistic ( Well, truly Henotheistic) beliefs? The Bible is Monotheistic, but Mormonism Believes in many God's. The only answer is that you don't believe the Bible.
hmmm.... Do Christian's Reject the bible as truth? I think not.
As you will become aware, I love football. My favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. That will become more clear as time goes on as well. To the point, Monday nights game was awesome! It was in Denver. In the Packer's second possession Brett Farve throws a beautiful 80+ year touchdown on the first play. I felt like a little kid again! It was so amazing. I literally could not believe what it was that I was seeing. There is nothing quite like watching a long touchdown. The energy and emotion, a feeling of WOW! So the game progressed, and like all good games it was full of tension, 13-10, in the fourth quarter with less then a minute left, Denver is driving down the field, and with five seconds left kicks the tying field goal, 13-13 there would be a sudden death overtime on Monday night. The coin toss, again full of tension, who would get the ball. Packers win the toss! Yes, I screamed, quickly hushed by my wife. Brett Frave receives the snap. He rears back and throws a bomb to #85, Greg Jennings catches the ball in stride and out runs Dre Bly into the end zone. I jumped up and threw my hands into the air in the touchdown sign and yelled touchdown. Courtney was confused, then she saw the instant replay and she too yelled that was amazing. ( The only other time I have seen her excited about a football game was last years Boise State Bowl Game where they won in overtime). Packer's Win! It was so awesome. One has to enjoy Monday night football.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Same deal as the essay on Salvation.
The Trinity and The Hypostatic Union (Brief intro on heresy)
The doctrine of the trinity is perhaps one of the most basic and misunderstood doctrines in the Christian church today. I believe it to be this way, because it is so complex. One reason for this is that the word trinity never appears in scripture. However, despite the lack of the term being used I am confident that after seeing what scripture says about God Almighty that no other view can be taken. The second topic that we will be covering today is the Hypostatic Union. This is a critical doctrine of Christ Jesus our Lord that we must understand, not for salvation, but to understand Christ’s roll right now. We will begin with the Trinity; can anyone define what it is? Can you show any Scripture that shows this?
The Trinity is best defined as the doctrine of God that states that He is one, yet has three distinct members, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father is neither the Son nor the Spirit, and the Son is not the Father or the Spirit, and the Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son. They are not three Gods as that would be polytheism (meaning many Gods) and they are not three beings.
Let’s briefly examine how many Gods exist in the bible. The verses we will examine are Isaiah 43:10, 44:6.8, 45:5,14,18,21-22, 46:9, 47:8. John 17:3, 1 Corinthians 8:6-8 Deuteronomy 32:9. There is clearly one God. We must accept this, scripture is clear. However scripture discusses three persons as God. John 1:1-2,14 (Jesus); Philippians 1:2 (Father) Acts 5:3-4 (Holy Spirit). There are examples like this where God is shown to be more than one person, and we cannot forget that He is one God.
From Rev. Matt Slick, Brief intro to heresy. - The word "heresy" comes from the Greek hairesis which means "choosing," or "faction." At first, the term heresy did not carry the negative meaning it does now. But, as the early church grew in its scope and influence throughout the Mediterranean area, various teachers proposed controversial ideas about Christ, God, salvation, and other biblical themes. It became necessary for the church to determine what was and was not true according to the Bible. For example, Arius of Alexandar (320 AD) taught that Jesus was a creation. Was this true? Was this important? Other errors arose. […] Out of necessity, the church was forced to deal with these heresies by proclaiming orthodoxy. And in so doing, condemnation upon these heresies and the heretics became a reality.
There are several heresies related to the trinity. We well briefly look over a couple of them. The first and most common heresy that exists in the church today is called Modalism. A modalist would state that God is one person, who has displayed himself in three ways in different times throughout history. When discussing God with a modalist I have used one passage over and over again. I will read the section to you and ask that you pick out why you think this shows Modalism as a heresy. (Matthew 3:13 ff and Acts 7:55.) - Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Mat 3:13-17) Today the main groups of people who subscribe to this view point are the United Pentecostal and United Apostolic Churches. The foremost preacher who holds to this view is T.D. Jakes, who is Oneness Pentecostal.
The next major heresy I want to address briefly is Tritheism. According to this heresy that was started in the 11th century by Roscelin (a Catholic Monk), there are three beings in the Godhead which comprise three Gods. The logic behind Roscelin’s thinking was that if there was only one God, both the Father and the Holy Spirit would have become incarnate with Christ. What verses would you quote to someone who held this belief? (see above proof for the Trinity). The modern group that holds to a heresy like this one is Mormonism. A Mormon would state that there are many Gods in the universe, but that they only worship one (the Father), but that Christ and the Holy Spirit are also God’s. We will be spending a fair amount of time on Mormonism as it is the most wide spread of all the Christian Cults.
One major question that exists is why is Jesus, so often, called the ‘son’ of God. There are several possible answers but I believe the best one lies in the concepts of incarnation and authority, as best understood by our next topic the hypostatic union.
I would like to start off by saying that this is perhaps one of my favorite doctrines of Christianity. It is wonderful and confusing all at the same time. If you ask perhaps ten people if they could tell you what the hypostatic union was, I am confident that only one if any could. However, this is a doctrine that helps us understand the nature of the incarnation, Christ becoming human, and how, by extension, He is seated on his throne right now. The doctrine of the hypostatic union states that Christ Jesus was born to Mary fully man and fully God; He as two natures, human and divine. It is not that he is half man and half God but that He is fully both. The how is a divine mystery, but the proof that it is true is in the text. So let’s dive into the Word of God.
Is Jesus Christ God? What are some things that we only do for God? (Worship, Pray) God is all-knowing, and gives us eternal life. We see that these are the characteristics of Christ. In Matthew 2:2-11 and 14:33, that Christ is worshiped. In the book of Acts 7:59 we see Steven praying to Christ. According to John 21:17, Christ knows all things; and in John 10:28 we see that he gives eternal life. If that is not enough we can see in Colossians 2:9, that in Him all deity dwells and John 1:1-2,14 says that He is God. I believe that we can say with absolute confidence that Jesus Christ is God. The question then remains was he human? Paul said he was, Romans 5:6-17, we see he Died, which God cannot, and he is repeatedly called a man. He had a physical body both before and after the resurrection, Luke 24:39. Now for the real puzzler, he grew in wisdom according to Luke 2:52.
Adults: Where is Jesus Christ right now? Is he alive physically? There is one main reason the Jesus Christ must be a man right now, in Heaven. And that reason is to hold the Priesthood. Right now Christ is still incarnate in the hypostatic union (1 Tim. 2:5; Col. 2:9). Also it is imperative that we hold that Christ is the High Priest right now, as if He did not, we would have no one to intercede for us. Hebrews 6:19-7:28.
Like the Trinity, there are heresies about the nature of Christ. Briefly I would like to look over them. First I would like to look at Apollinarianism. This heresy basically taught that the Logos (Greek for Word) of God came down and after birth replaced the soul of the Man Jesus. So it was deity indwelling a man. The major issue with this heresy is that it puts the nature of the atonement in peril. This is a common theme in all heresies involving the humanity or divinity of Christ. If Christ was not fully God then he was not pure and holy and therefore could not have be a suitable sacrifice. However, if Christ was not a man, he could not have died for men. We see the absolute need for both forms.
The second heresy which is perhaps more common today is that of Arianism. Arius taught that Jesus was the first created being and that it was by him that the world was created. He held that because of the glory of being the first creation of God and the authority given to him by God, Christ deserved to be worshipped, and treated as God. For Arius, at the incarnation, Christ took both the physical and spiritual aspects of Jesus. This heresy is again often refuted the same way that Apollinarianism was, but with the added kick of recognizing that worshipping anything created is idolatry. This heresy denies the full nature of the incarnation, and the eternal coequality of the Father, Son and Spirit, and thus attacks both the Trinity and the Hypostatic Union. Today two major groups that hold to forms of this heresy are Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In the fifth century AD there was a church counsel held to discuss the trinity, and to combat the errors that had crept into the body of believers. This creed was written by Athanasius, the fourth century bishop of Alexandria. (Catholic in this context simply means universal or believer, and does not refer to the Roman Catholic Church)
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the catholic faith is this: 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, and another of the Holy Spirit. But the godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
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 incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one Eternal.
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one Uncreated, and one Incomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord. And yet not three lords, but one Lord.
For as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge each Person by Himself to be both God and Lord, so we are also forbidden by the catholic religion to say that there are 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, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits.
And in the Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another, but all three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
He therefore that will be saved is must think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man; God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of the substance of his mother, born in the world; perfect God and perfect man, of a rational soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching His manhood; who, although He is God and man, yet he is not two, but one Christ; one, not by conversion of the godhead into flesh but by taking of the manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person. For as the rational soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ; who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven, He sits at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead. At His coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Here is a bible study that I have written on the topic of salvation. It was written as a study for Parents and Children. The Italics are meant for the adults only. The goal of this is family discipleship. The Parents get more information, so that throughout the week they can teach there children the missing information.
Old Testament vs. New Testament Salvation: Is it the same?
This is critical topic for us to understand not only the method God has used to save men, but also to understand how we are saved. When studying this topic I found that the Christian Church as divided, on one point, mainly the Old Testament. The debate is whether or not works of the law saved a person in the pre-Christ era. There are some clear points to be understood, and that is where we will begin, where we all agree, salvation in modern times.
For the past two thousand years people have been attacking the simplest way for man to be saved, by God. We are saved by God’s grace through faith in the Lord Christ Jesus; we are covered by his blood and are then given His righteousness, because we are wholly unrighteous in the sight of God. That is a strong statement that needs to be proved biblically, like everything that will be done in this class, we will use the bible for what it is, the Word of God meant for teaching, rebuking, and instruction in righteousness.
What does the Word of God say about salvation? Paul has a lot to say on the topic, let’s begin in the book of Ephesians. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph 2:8-9). This is as clear of a statement as you can get. We are indeed saved by grace by faith. This however raises some questions, who do we have to have faith in? What kind of faith must we have? The first question is answered by the Apostle Paul in the letter to the church in Rome. (Rom 10:10-17) For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. We can clearly see who the object of our faith is, the Lord Christ Jesus, but what kind of faith do must we have? Jesus says in Luke 14:26-33 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. This is a faith that is willing to totally abandon everything else, for Christ. Do you have a faith like that? Are you modeling this kind of faith to your children, that even when the cost is high you choose Christ.
We can see faith clearly, what it requires of us, that is, our everything. But what does that faith do? I think by the grace of God that our faith has results. God acts based on the faith we have to save us. Acts 10:43 says - To Him (Christ) all the prophets testify that everyone who believes in him receives the forgiveness of sins through his name. It is by the name of Christ that our sins are forgiven, but how? Hebrews 9:22 says that […] without the shedding of the blood there is no forgiveness. But who’s blood? In the Old Testament it was the blood of animals, however Hebrews 10:4 states, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. This is why Christ Had to come to pay for sin, only a man can atone for mankind’s sins. We see that Christ came to pay for sin all over both the Old and New Testaments. Indeed, just as people are appointed to die once and after that to be judged, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people. And he will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly wait for him, Hebrews 9:27-28. For you know that it was not with perishable things like silver or gold that you have been ransomed from the worthless way of life handed down to you by your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or defect, 1Peter 1:18-19. It was the blood of God that was shed for you, for your retched sins and for mine. His blood was shed on the hill, for the forgiveness of our sins. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6.
So then what is the debate about the Old Testament? Some say that it was a works based salvation, and some say it was by faith. What do you think? When originally writing this, I had planned on presenting both sides; however one side has such overwhelming support in scripture that I cannot in good conscience even mention the other view, other than to point out its flaws. I will start with the greatest patriarch in the Old Testament, Abraham. In this passage, God is giving Abram the promise to make him a great nation. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the LORD, and he counted it to him as righteousness. Genesis 15:4-6. Now we see that there are two types of righteousness spoken about in the Bible, God’s and mans. We see that our righteousness is worthless before God (Isaiah 64:6), and that Heavenly righteousness is equated with being pure before God. Paul says this to the church at Philippi; Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:8-11. What righteousness are you relying on for your salvation? What righteousness are you teaching your children to rely on? God credited Abraham’s belief as righteousness. For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, Romans 4:2-5. We can clearly see the teaching in scripture that it is by faith in God we are saved.
Can anyone think of any other example of someone who did a lot of good works, yet was condemned? There are two in the gospels that make it clear that works are not the way to get saved. Look at what Christ spoke to the religious leaders of the day. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, saying, 'If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? Matthew 23:25-33. They followed the law and then some. But in their hearts was wickedness. They made themselves righteous before men, but the wickedness was still alive in their hearts. They kept the law to the very letter, but Christ the Lord condemned them to Hell? How could this be if we are saved by our works of the Law of Moses? For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20. But how can this be, they worked far more than we ever have or can. Their life, job, was being the legal dealings of the Law. They had the entire Old Testament memorized. They led many followers? How can your righteous works exceed this?
Let’s quickly look at one more example of a person who kept the law, yet was unsaved. Listen to the story of the rich young ruler. Just then a man came up to Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good deed should I do to have eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "Why ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to get into that life, you must keep the commandments." The young man said to him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, "'You must not murder, you must not commit adultery, you must not steal, you must not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'you must love your neighbor as yourself.'" The young man said to him, "I have kept all of these. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you own and give the money to the destitute, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come back and follow me." But when the young man heard this statement he went away sad, because he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God." (Mat 19:16-24) This man kept all the commands, but was unsaved. Why is that, if righteousness come through the Law? The simple answer is that it doesn’t. The man asked the wrong question, he believed he was good enough to earn salvation. What does the Prophet Isaiah say about our righteousness? But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6). Let me make it completely clear to you that if you are trying to come to God with anything except for the shed blood of Christ Jesus you will parish and be in hell for all time.
The issue still remains that there was a major difference between how people were saved in the Old Testament compared to the New Testament. This is that one could not be born again in the Old Testament, like we can be in the New Testament era. What does this mean for those who died under the old covenant? Christ tells us what happened to them and Peter tells us how they got to heaven. I will be open and say that there are some good theologians who reject what I am about to teach, so please examine it for yourself.
When we look at Luke 16:19ff, we see that there were two places that someone who died under the old covenant could go, Hell and Abraham’s bosom. Often times people mistake this passage as a parable, however, the use of a name disqualifies It from being such. Why were these people here? I think the answer lies in the book of Hebrews, it says in chapter 10 verse 4 that it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. They had no atonement for their sin. They had to wait for the Messiah, in which their faith was in, to come and pay for their transgressions. Peter then tells us what happened, For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him. 1 Peter 3:18-22. Paul expounds on the goings on of this time, Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men." In saying, "He ascended," what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things. Ephesians 4:8-10. To make this a little more clear, I will briefly explain the Jewish idea of the afterlife. They believed that there were three places one could go after you died , Hell, Sheol, Heaven. Sheol and Hell were under the earth, heaven was above the sky and stars. They believed that most people went to Sheol, a holding place where they could pay for their sins before they entered heaven. So Paul is equating this false belief to the proper belief of Abraham’s bosom.
We can now clearly see that God’s method for saving people has been the same, yesterday, today and forever, it is by the blood of Christ. There are honestly only two religions in the world, do you have any idea what they are? Cain and Able (Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, "I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD." And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. (Gen 4:1-5)). Cain was a farmer who brought his best to God, it was the best he had, and God rejected it. Able was a shepherd, who brought a pure lamb, and slit it’s throat, and came to God by blood. We today have the same choices. We can come to God by doing our best, or we can come by the blood. Only one will be accepted, but the choice is yours.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Have you heard of this Movie? Do you care about the ID v. Evolution debate? Well listen to this!
In a Major Motion Picture Release Ben Stein exposes the frightening agenda of the "Darwinian Machine" in "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed"
It's a movie that Ferris Bueller would take the day off to go see. What freedom-loving student wouldn't be outraged to discover that his high school science teacher is teaching a theory as indisputable fact, and that university professors unmercifully crush any fellow scientists who dare question the prevailing system of belief? This isn't the latest Hollywood comedy; it's a disturbing new documentary that will shock anyone who thinks all scientists are free to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.
Produced by Premise Media, "Expelled" will be marketed by Motive Entertainment, the company that has spearheaded significant Hollywood blockbusters, including "The Passion of the Christ," "Polar Express" and "The Chronicles of Narnia." Rocky Mountain Pictures, an established distribution company, which has enjoyed numerous box-office successes, will distribute the film.
Here is a theological writing of mine, it is on the topic of drinking. I am not supporting underage drinking (it would be sin according to Romans 13). I am stating simply that I do not believe that in and of itself, it is not a sin.
I had never really considered that drinking was a sin, until one day a person challenged me, saying that she could prove with scripture that drinking alcohol was a sin. Here is her challenge and then my response.
This is a challenge from a person who believes that drinking is a sin.
“These verse state if you are deceived by wine or Strong drinks, you are not wise/smart. And what is amazing regarding the deception of wine/strong drinks are there are millions of statistics proving its use is not wise.
Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. Hosea 4:11
Again, medical, statistics and much more shows this is true.
You can argue with me and maybe even prove me wrong. But no one can argue with God's word.
Wine is a mocker and strong drink is ragging. Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1
Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart. Hosea 4:11”
And here is my response:
You see there is major problem with your view mainly that it does not take into account: all of the scriptures and reality.
1 Tim5:23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.
How does one justify Paul in an inspired writing telling another man to drink, if it is sin? Make no mistake this is the Holy Spirit telling a man to drink, as it is good for him. However, we can clearly see that there is a limit put in place because Paul says a little wine, speaking not only to amount but also self-control.
Next do you realize that if it is Sin to drink, that we are all going to hell?
Mark 14:25 [Jesus is talking] Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the
Luke 22:18 [Jesus again is talking] For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."
This means that Christ has drunk wine, if that were a sin, then he could not have been our atonement. Thus we have no payment for sin, and we are all damned to hell, Christianity is false.
This is Jesus' First Miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding feast:
John 2:2-10 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast." So they took it.
When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now."
Would it be logical to say that Jesus is knowingly by the power of God helping people to sin? We must say by the council of scripture that it is not drinking that is the sin, but being drunk. Here are two more examples of God approving drinking.
Proverbs 31:6-7 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
Isaiah 25:6 On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
The question that one must address is what we are not to do? The following two verses clearly state that we should not be drunkards or prone to getting drunk.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
1 Peter 4:3-5 For you spent enough time in the past doing what the gentiles like to do, living in sensuality, sinful desires, drunkenness, wild celebrations, drinking parties, and detestable idolatry. They insult you now because they are surprised that you are no longer joining them in the same excesses of wild living. They will give an account to the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
Notice that we are commanded to not get drunk; we are not told that we should not drink because we it is sinful.
A common objection to allowing a person to drink at all is that one drink is followed by another and another, and before one thinks about their actions, they are sloshed. I would respond by saying that it is wholly illogical to assume that one drink will always be followed by another. The biblical ideal is that you can have one or two and be fine. I am 6'5" 350 and I'll have two or three beers with a buddy or my father, and will definitely say that I was not drunk. How can one say that is sin? Let's get real here for a second, If someone is an alcoholic, I would never say give them a drink, but I see no bases for the claim that one always leads to two, and in fact we have clear biblical teachings that say we are not sinning by having alcohol.
Now I realize that one objection that people may bring up is that in the New Testament, fruit of the vine, could have been juice, with no alcohol. For this I think it is best to look at two scholarly sources.
“All the wine [of Bible times] was light wine, i.e., not fortified with extra alcohol. Concentrated alcohol was only known in the Middle Ages when the Arabs invented distillation (‘alcohol’ is an Arabic word) so what is now called liquor or strong drink (i.e., whiskey, gin, etc.) and the twenty per cent fortified wines were unknown in Bible times. Beer was brewed by various methods, but its alcoholic content was light. The strength of natural wines is limited by two factors. The percentage of alcohol will be half of the percentage of the sugar in the juice. And if the alcoholic content is much above 10 or 11 percent, the yeast cells are killed and fermentation ceases. Probably ancient wines were 7-10 per cent . . .To avoid the sin of drunkenness, mingling of wine with water was practiced. This dilution was specified by the Rabbis in NT times for the wine customary at Passover” (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, Chicago: Moody, 1980, Vol. I, p. 376).
Dr. Jack Lewis states that: “Wine was ordinarily used at the Passover and is called ‘fruit of the vine’ in Berakoth 6:1” (Commentary on Matthew, Austin, TX: Sweet, 1976, Vol. II, p. 147).
I think that this shows that it is very possible, though not definite that the fruit of the vine did contain alcohol.
Also, I think it is necessary to look at the scriptures that were raised by this woman, so that we can show that scripture does not contradict itself. I will start by giving the verse from Hosea in the larger context.
Hosea 4:7-12 [ESV] The more they increased, the more they sinned against me; I will change their glory into shame. They feed on the sin of my people; they are greedy for their iniquity. And it shall be like people, like priest; I will punish them for their ways and repay them for their deeds. They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the LORD to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding. My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.
I would say that this passage is not speaking about wine at all, but rather it is talking about breaking the law, which includes being drunk, as something that pulls
Proverbs 20:1 [YLT] Wine is a scorner--strong drink is noisy, And any going astray in it is not wise.
Again this is taken from Adam Clarke:
Wine is a mocker - It deceives by its fragrance, intoxicates by its strength, and renders the intoxicated ridiculous.
We need to understand that the Proverbs is not literally talking about wine; it is a metaphor, for a person who drinks wine. Now do you mock people when you have had a glass of wine? No, How about 4 or 5? Yes. The same is with strong drink. Look how young renders the end of the verse... Going astray in it, meaning being led by drinking, a drunk is not wise. These verses are not saying you are a fool to have a glass, like Christ Did, but that to be a drunk is to be a fool, and a sinner we see in the rest of the Word.
I am confidant that drinking alcohol is not a sin. I believe that I have shown that not only does scripture teach that the sin in regard to alcohol is drunkenness, but that if having a drop of alcohol is indeed sinful, we have no sacrifice to atone for our sins.
Friday, October 26, 2007
How do you feel when this happens? Let me tell you, I love it! I love meeting with Mormons. There is no cult on the face of the earth that it is easier to refute. Now, please don't get me wrong I like Mormons, they are great people, at least in human terms I would love to have one as a next door neighbor, as I know they would feed the cats, without fail. However, when looking at empirical evidence, ie doctrine, Mormonism falls far short of truth. For the heck of it I will offer a quick proof.
As Bishop Lewis said to me today, Mormonism stands or falls on the vision of Joseph Smith seeing Jesus and the Father in the woods. Well, lets look at it briefly shall we? Can anyone see God? 1 Timothy 6 say this speaking of the Father - (v.15-16)Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
Well It looks like it falls. God the Father Can't be seen. Well that was easy.
Now then, let me say something so that I am not misunderstood. We need to love our Mormon neighbor's. We need to give them the gospel, we need to use the law to bring them into repentance. They need to be converted so that they can pass from death into life. Because do not be mistaken, If someone dies believing Mormon doctrine, they will be in Hell for Eternity. So lets be evangelistic.
My tips for dealing with Mormons are as follows: 1. Be kind, terms like Cult, Anti-Christ, Hell bound, and the like, might be accurate they won't get you very far. 2. Never Go Alone, Never. I don't care how smart you are, how faithful you are, you are playing with fire, this is Spiritual warfare and it isn't a game. 3. Like all people, don't expect quick results. Be systematic in how you attempt to cause doubt in the Mormon Church. That should be the end goal, as those who are caught up in it, look to the Church for Salvation. 4. Learn Mormonism from Mormons. Have your local missionaries over for dinner ( and keep them coming back with food, as they don't often eat well, they are young guys that rarely know how to cook). 5. Don't tell them what they believe, every Mormon is slightly different, simply state what previous Mormon writers have said and move on from there, based on them. 6. Finally, take a person centered approach, and do so in love.
There are a lot of good sources for information out there, and a lot of bad ones. Utah Lighthouse Ministries (Ultm.org) is very good, as is Mormonism Research Ministries (Mrm.org), and of Course Christian Apologetics and Research Ministries (Carm.org). Go and talk to a Mormon today.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By that Standard I don't and can't think i am a good person. I am a liar. I am a thief. I am an adulterer. I am a Blasphemer. And according to 1 John 3:4, I am therefore a sinner. And as such I have earned Hell. That is Who I am.
I am 22. And I have tried to gain the knowledge that I might gain some respect and a hearing, but it seems that respect only comes once you either have a masters or are 30. I have knowledge to spread around and it seems that most people are happy where there are. Now this is not a complaint, per se, but it is puzzling. I want to help the body of Christ grow, in knowledge and understand of God, not that I have all the answers but i do have what i have learned and believe is correct. This Blog will contain many of my writings and thoughts, however, please check out what I say, and if it is incorrect, I will change my stance, we must remember that teachers will get a double judgment, based on what they teach. My goal is to become a pastor, and my goal in ministry is to teach absolute truth. I don't want to get wacked by God. God Scares me, honestly, He does, at this moment he could take my very life, in His righteousness. That being said, I don't want to teaching anything false even here on this Blog, that no one but me will most likely ever see. I mean, "hey, i'm some guy, do you want to read what I Have to say?"
I am married. As we speak my wife is making a caramelized apple.... Yum. She is a great cook. ( laugh for those who get the joke). We have been married for over two years now. Marriage is a lot harder then i thought it would be, it isn't all just hanging out, Go figure. But i don't really have a ton to say on the topic, as i am a theologian and not a marriaglogian.
I like Hymns a lot. Modern hymns are my favorite way to worship as far as music is concerned, generally, as i know the theology is sound and thus not distracting. It is a real problem, my mind is working and I think about what I sing, and if it is bad theologically I won't sing it. As that would be blasphemy.
I also enjoy teaching, but you probably already got that from some of the above paragraphs. Currently I am teaching a Sunday morning High School bible study, on the topic of Doctrine and Apologetics. I would love to see it expand into a family bible study, where adults and kids do it separate, then talk about it through out the week. Family discipleship is a pretty cool concept that I been learning more about. The goal is to have parents disciple their children, as they can do it more effectively then anyone else.
My favorite band is the now defunct Five Iron Frenzy, although I have heard that Brave Saint Saturn ( their off-shoot band) is putting out a CD. I enjoy something a little on the softer side of things, but i think lyrics that make me think.
So i guess that those are the basics. Over and Out!