QUESTIONS/ANSWERS FROM THE QUESTION FORUM

Group Number 10

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PLEASE ACCESS THIS QUESTION BY AN ACCESS BUTTON

  "Jesus died as a martyr and God reversed the actions of wicked people by raising His Son."

  How does one "present" themself to someone they cannot see or touch?

  In one of the "Thought for the Day" e-mails I received, you stated that a Christian should not believe he/she is "Once saved, always saved". Please show me the scripture that establishes this fact.

  How do you feel about Christians drinking, listening to secular music, and watching certain movies (not pornographic films)

  If you are baptized as a little child in the Catholic Church, do you have to be baptized again in any of the other Christian Churches? I thought baptism was needed only once? Please answer. .... Do you have to be completely submerged? Where in the bible does it say so?

  Is there any territorial spirit?

See Questions Page #11


"Jesus died as a martyr and God reversed the actions of wicked people by raising His Son."

This statement, of course, is in no way related to the representation of the Holy Spirit in Scripture. It presents God as reacting to men, and men as overpowering the Son of God. It disassociates Christ's death from Divine purpose, and removes the factor of Christ's obedience. It is a philosophical view of Christ's death, not a revealed one.

First, Jesus declared "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father" (John 10:18). Christ's words clash with yours. He states His life was NOT taken from Him but that is the case with a martyr. He relates His death to the commandment of God. The Spirit also attests to this in Philippians, affirming He "became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross" (2:8).

In delineating the death of our Lord, Peter affirms He was " delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God." That is why the people were able to put Him to death through the hands of lawless men (Acts 2:23). In fact, it was God Himself Who "delivered Him up" (Rom 8:32). We are categorically told that the death of Christ, prophesied by the prophets, was "fulfilled" by God Himself (Acts 3:18). It is He that "put him to grief" (Isa 53:10). David once said, "the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me" (Psa 69:9). Confirming this to be a most precise prophecy, the Spirit later witnessed, "For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me" (Rom 15:3). And how were those reproaches put upon Him. There is no need for conjecture here: "the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isa 53:6).

Calling this "child abuse," or even allowing for such an ungodly conclusion, reveals several things. First, the nature of God Himself is reproached. Second, the magnitude of sin is minimized. Third, the power of men is accentuated. Fourth, our salvation is associated with Divine reaction rather than "eternal purpose." Fifth, there is a failure to recognize that Christ was GOD's sacrifice, not the victim of wicked men. He is "The Lamb of God," not the victim of men!

Christ's death fulfilled a Divinely revealed objective. The fact that there are aspects of that death that are offensive to you have no bearing whatsoever upon the truth of God. That condition does, however, have an effect upon you personally. At the point Christ's death, as it is affirmed in Scripture, becomes foolishness to you, you fall into the category of those who "are perishing" (1 Cor 1:18). For that reason alone, you should recoil from a philosophical analysis of the only vicarious death that has ever occurred the only death through which the world could be "reconciled" (Rom 5:10). The only way for our reconciliation to occur "through the death of His Son," is for the death itself to be objective.

The heinousness of sin, and its offensiveness to a holy God, demanded Christ's vicarious death. For 1,500 years, God readied people for this sacrifice through a sacrificial system. The Law taught people the sacrifice had to be deliberate, as well as spotless. The value of blood was emphasized with such remarkable consistency, it is difficult for me to believe anyone embracing the Son could be repelled by an emphasis on that blood, or entertain any form of revulsion at the sacrifice of Christ Jesus.

In the world to come we will see the Lamb "as it had been slain" (Rev 5:6) as a newly slain sacrifice. If your position were true, this would be an impossible situation, for we would be forced to recognize what humanity did to Jesus, making Him a martyr. Instead, praise the Lord, we will view Him as One Who was "made sin for us," and "became a curse for us," that we might be brought to God (2 Cor 5:21; Gal 3:13; 1 Pet 3:18).







How does one "present" themself to someone they cannot see or touch?

Here is where faith comes into the picture. God is a real Person, and so are you. However, while you are in this world, you do not have the capacity to see the Lord with your physical senses as He is. That is why he has told us of Himself in Scripture. Presenting yourself to God is making yourself available to Him--believing that He is (exists), and that He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). This means you will not allow anyone or anything to become more important to you than the Lord.

You cannot see God or touch Him with your physical senszes, but you can see Him with faith. It is said of Moses, "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27). Paul also said, "I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day" (2 Timothy 2:12). Both Moses and Paul saw the Lord by faith. They were convinced of His reality, and lived their lives with Him in mind.

There is more than one way of seeing. Faith is like the eye and hand of the soul. It enables the individual to be convinced of the truth of God's Word, then reshape his entire life to please the Lord. God can give you that kind of faith. Faith is, after all, something we "obtain" (2 Peter 1:1). Ask the Lord to increase your faith (that is what the disciples asked Jesus to do--Luke 17:5). He will answer your request. Believe that!







In one of the "Thought for the Day" e-mails I received, you stated that a Christian should not believe he/she is "Once saved, always saved". Please show me the scripture that establishes this fact.

First, the phrase is not in the Word of God, so no one is under any obligation to receive it. Again, the matter of salvation is taught and explained in Scripture. It is entirely out of order to bind upon any soul language originated by men. Second, salvation is unequivocally promised to those who are "in Christ" and are believing and there are no exceptions. Nothing can separate such people from the love of God, or pull them out of the hands of the Father and the Son. But that is not the end of the matter. Jesus specifically said those "IN" Him that did not bear fruit would be removed by the Father (John 15:2). That does not mean we are to live in fear of being removed. It DOES mean we are to concentrate on abiding in the Son which is precisely what Jesus said (John 15:4). That DOES mean that abiding in Christ is not automatic. It requires effort on our part because we are not in glory yet. We are in the war zone. Our efforts to remain in Christ will be undergirded by God, and are not in vain never (1 Corn 15:58). The Word of God, however does not take for granted this will happen. Jesus spoke of those who believed only "for a while" (Luke 8;13). He was precise in His language. The Spirit also admonishes us, "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it" (Heb 4:1-2). This was spoken to people who had already believed. Our theology must allow the same words to be said to us. The Spirit did not say "Once saved always saved," and neither should we. We must say it the way He did.

In another Thought for the Day" , the e-mail I received stated that Christians are wrong in believing that the church will be taken before the terrible days of the tribulation period. Please show me the scripture that establishes this fact.

Here again, we are dealing with interpretations of Scripture, and not Scripture itself. Jesus told the church at Philadelphia He would spare them from "the hour of temptation that was coming upon all the earth" (Rev 3:10). He did not say this to any of the other seven churches to whom Revelation was written. He also told the church at Philadelphia WHY He would spare them: "Because you have kept My command to persevere" (Rev 3:10). I know a number of people who would object to saying it that way but that is the way Jesus said it. After telling His disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem, and key events that would precede His coming, Jesus told them, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). That would have been an ideal time to tell them they could not possibly go through such a time were that a true doctrine.

How then do we explain what Jesus said in John 10:27-29 and Romans 8:35-39. If these scriptures do not secure the saving of the believer, it can only be because they, in some way, never were actually saved in this first place. Only God truly knows the heart!

These are very wonderful promises to those who are believing and cleaving to the Lord with purpose of heart (Acts 11:23). Such are to know that nothing in heaven, earth, or hell can pluck them out of the protective hand of Jesus or God the Father. Jesus defines His sheep as those who "hear His voice and follow Him." Nowhere does Jesus or His Apostles assume that those who hear will ALWAYS hear, and those who follow will ALWAYS follow. The Word speaks of those who have become "dull of hearing" (Heb 5:11), and of those who "draw back to perdition" (Heb 10:38-39). It speaks of those who have left their "first love" (Rev 2:4), "depart from the faith" (1 Tim 4:1), "deny the faith" (1 Tim 5:8), and "erred from the faith" (1 Tim 6:10). Nowhere are such individuals promised good things and nowhere are they told they never had faith in the first place. Men make such comments, b ut God does not. All of the promises are to believers all of them. Believers are not people who HAVE believed, but people who ARE believing and the Word of God does not take for granted they will just keep believing.

The Spirit admonishes one of the most stable of all believers,Timothy: "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses" (1 Tim 6:12). Does that suggest that Timothy did not have eternal life already? Not at all. Like every one in Christ Jesus, he HAD eternal life (John 5:24; 6:54; 1 John 5:11,13,20). But we do not have it all! The bulk of our inheritance is yet ahead of us. What we have is the "firstfruits of the Spirit," and not the full harvest (Rom 8:23). That is why Scripture says we are "waiting for the adoption," even though we are already adopted (Rom 8:23). It is why salvation is not only experienced now, it is also yet to come (1 Pet 1:5). As the Word says, "Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off" (1 Kgs 20;11).

Jude challenges us to remember what has happened before us. After God has "saved the people out of the land of Egypt, [He] afterward destroyed those who did not believe" (Jude 5). Do not suppose for one moment that has no relevance to us. That was written to believers, to assist them in not taking their faith for granted. As if that were not enough, he rises even higher. "And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day" (Jude 6). Our theology must make provision for us to speak in this manner. I see no harmony of "Once saved always saved" with this language. My objection is to the phraseology, NOT to the belief that those relying in Jesus are absolutely safe. Is there anyone in all the world that would say the Israelites that fell in the wilderness never really came out of Egypt? Or that the angels that fell were never really in heaven? Or that Adam and Eve were never really in the Garden? Or that Judas was never really an Apostle? How we say things is importanyt, unless it makes no difference to God if we add to or take from His Word.

and as for the blessed hope of the church, (when it is to be taken out of the way before the great and terrible days of God's wrath); Why would Jesus tell us to look for his coming if we first were to go through seven years, the last 3 years of which are to be so terrible that they can be compared to no other time in the world's history? Wouldn't we rather hope to die before this time?>> Would the Hebrew children rather die than go into the fiery furnace (Dan 3). Are you suggesting that God cannot give us strength to go through anything? Scripture speaks of people of faith who "were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb 11:35-38). What would they say of this doctrine? Of course, the doctrine is not in the Scripture. It represents what men THINK the Scripture means.

You have asked me if I am convinced of what I teach, and I have told you I am. It would be wrong for me to teach under any other circumstances. I do not take these things lightly. They are me life. Men live by "every word of God" (Luke 4:4). They do not, and cannot, live by every word or doctrine of men.

Now I must ask you a question, and I do so with all integrity, concern, and without doubting your faith or commitment. Have you read everything God has said about the tribulation, the seven years, and the 3-1/2 years? It will not take long for you to read every syllable the Holy Spirit has inspired on this. The term "great tribulation" is mentioned three times in the Bible (Matt 24:21; Rev 2:22; Rev 7:14). The latter reference (Rev 7:14), speaks of saints that came "out of great tribulation,' which means they were in it. The NIV version mentions the term only one time and it is Revelation 7:14). The term "seven years" is not even in the New Testament. The theory is based upon Daniel 9:27, which certainly does not clearly speak of a seven year tribulation. The 3-1/2 years, as taught by some, are based upon the phrase "time, times, and half a time," found in Revelation 12:14. There, the church is depicted as a "woman" who is "nourished from the face of the serpent," sustained during an assault Satan makes upon the people of God. That length of time is also related to "forty-two months," mentioned in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5. This is described as a time when the "holy city" is trodden down by the Gentiles and a period when great blasphemies are spoken by a foe of Christ and His people. This same period is also related to 1,260 days, which is 3-1/2 years. This is mentioned two times in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6). You can read them for yourself. They speak of two witnesses prophesying with sackcloth, and the "woman" being fed in a place prepared for her by God.

In my judgment, it takes a prodigious imagination to take those texts and weave the tapestry of doctrine that is often declared and it is declared as though it were plainly taught in Scripture. In my judgment, those texts are to be viewed through the more clear teaching of Jesus and the Apostles on His coming. We should not take these texts, wrap a human interpretation around them, and impose them upon the people of God. That is what I object to.







How do you feel about Christians drinking, listening to secular music, and watching certain movies (not pornographic films)

I feel all three are open doors for Satan. The acid test is not whether or not these things are wrong, but whether or not they are right. The Scripgtures admonish us, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). it also says, "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved" (1 Corinthians 10:31-33). it also says, "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality" (Colossians 3:23).

If a person can "drink, listen to secular music, and watch certain movies," and fulfill those things, it is all right. I seriously question, however, that this is possible.







If you are baptized as a little child in the Catholic Church, do you have to be baptized again in any of the other Christian Churches? I thought baptism was needed only once? Please answer. .... Do you have to be completely submerged? Where in the bible does it say so?

No matter what denomination is involved, the baptizing of children is not taught in Scripture. It is even against what is taught in Scripture. Jesus said, "He that believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). On the day of Pentecost, when the door of salvation was opened to the world, inquirers were told, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you..." (Acts 2:38). It is said of those being baptized, "those who gladly received his word were baptized" (Acts 2:41). It should be obvious that believing, repenting, and gladly receiving the Word are not the responses of little children. At the age individuals become capable of those responses, and if they have believed and repented, they are candidates for baptism.

If you were not baptized AFTER you believed, AFTER you repented, and AFTER you gladly received the Word, then you should be baptized now. Whatever was done formerly was really not baptism.

Baptism is called a burial in Scripture. It provides a picture of Christ's burial and resurrection. We are "buried with Christ BY baptism into death" (Romans 6:4 and Colossians 2:12). Because of this, baptism is called "the form of the doctrine" of Christ's death, burial. and resurrection (Romans 6:17). When Jesus was baptized, He went down into the water, and came up out of the water (Matthew 3:16). When a political official from Ethiopia was baptized, he also went down into the water, and came up out of it (Acts 8:38). The language can only be fulfilled by being placed into the water--not by water being placed on us (as it is in sprinkling and pouring).

YES, baptism is being submerged in the water. That is why it is a vivid picture of being buried with Christ Jesus.







There are principalities and powers that rule certain areas of darkness. An angel visited Daniel after he has fought for 21 days with such a principality, called "the prince of Persia" (Dan 10:18-20). After the overthrow of this power, the nation of Persia fell from world dominance, and Greece arose under "the prince of Grecia.

I do not know how far a person can carry these matters. There are "rulers of the darkness of this world" (Eph 6:12) against which we wrestle. These spirits promote spiritual darkness in the world. I have no doubt about them having unusual influence in certain areas. Jesus told the church at Pergamum they were located "where Satan's seat is" (Rev 2:12-13).

All of these powers are subject to Christ, of course. Also, to the degree that we are in fellowship with Christ, and in accordance with our faith, they are also subject to us. this is an area, however, in which we had better not presume.

 

See Questions Page #11


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