Who are the "Lost Sheep?"
Your Fireman Analogy
One Man's Testimony
Why Prophecies Come to Pass
Knowledge of Good and Calamity?
Context, Context, Context!
We Don't Comprehend the Trinity
If Jesus was commissioned to the lost house of Israel what does that really mean?
Just to address your fireman analogy. My point was that your universal salvation message makes NO FIREMEN necessary. If the fireman knew that GOD was saving everyone anyway, why would they risk everything to do what God had already taken care of? YOU are saying that everyone will be saved, so why send any firemen? In other words, why did the apostles (firemen) risk their very lives to spread a gospel when God had already paid for everyone's salvation and they would be saved regardless of whether they were preached to or not (effectively saving everyone in the building anyway)?
I agree that Christ died for all, and I understand that his death was NECESSARY PAYMENT for sin - I never said otherwise. Salvation through Christ is AVAILABLE to all and it is God's desire that all will be saved, but a distinction has to be made between God's permissive and absolute wills. God allows certain things to happen (permissive will), such as starvation, murder, etc. even though it is his desire that these things not happen.
This is an essential doctrine if you believe that we have free will.
I could go on, but I wanted to primarily address the fireman analogy- it is YOUR doctrine that makes the fireman (apostles, preachers) unnecessary because those in danger will ALL be saved regardless of the efforts of the firemen.
God does NOT operate by two sets of "will" -- one a strong
will and the other a weak wish! That is utter nonsense and foolishness.
When God SPEAKS, OR SAYS, OR DECLARES, OR WILLS, OR WISHES, OR DESIRES a future goal, IT WILL COME TO PASS. Who are you to deny God's declarations?
Layne! You need a real change of heart regarding you Creator
and His Word! You are parroting Mystery Babylon the Great. Show me a "weak
wish" in those Scriptures I presented you with in Isaiah 45, 46, and 49! God
Almighty has declared that He will SAVE THE WORLD -- ALL MANKIND, and you declare
"Sorry Lord, but it will NEVER HAPPEN -- just WISHFUL THINKING ON YOUR PART,
GOD"! Don't you tremble just a little when you teach such shameful things
regarding your God and Saviour? I want to shame you, I am trying my best to shame
you. I am trying to pull you of the excessive trials of fire that you will go through if
you don't repent of this slander of God's character!
So much for you "free will."
Where's your free will in that Scripture. It isn't that the
Scriptures don't teach the absolute Sovereignty of God, it's just that people do NOT
APPROVE!! People do not approve of the Word of God and people certainly don't approve the
operations of God, and so they invent more and more unscriptural doctrines that exalt the
carnal mind and flesh of man!
I earlier sent my apology for my previous verbose email. I truly appreciated your taking the time to read it and respond. I'm sure I cannot even imagine the number of emails you receive. Do not feel compelled to respond to this email but I needed to share this. I promise I'll never do it again! I will continue to check out you web site.
Research in its simplest form is asking questions of those persons you feel may have knowledge or understanding that you don't. Ray, you are fortunate to have found answers that give you comfort and peace but there are many of us that continue to search.
1- In your response to my email you said (subject: Re: Christianity response 10/07/02) that eternity has NOTHING to do with time. How so? Funk and Wagnall's define eternity as a noun signifying an extremely long or immeasurable extent of time or duration. You seem entangled in the snare you berate others for. That trap you call Christendom. Those folks have their own vocabulary and spin definitions at will. You are too enlightened for that. Let's face it. Eternity is time and space without boundaries or limits and having no beginning or end and we all (not just God) forever, in one form or another, inhabit a certain period and position within it. As long as there is space there can be no absence of time!
2- As to matter there is no secret and hasn't been for many years. Matter IS made up of invisible energy. It becomes a vicious cycle when you consider that the invisible energy itself is matter. (Not that I agree but I suppose that is why Christian Science calls matter the opposite of God; illusion.) The presence of this invisible energy has been known, arguably, for centuries. So what does that prove other than invisible energy controls both the macrocosm and the microcosm?
3-My attempts at translating the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts convince me that > they ARE contradictory and they are just as vulgar, irrational, and merciless as the KJV.
4- "God says this and God says that," yet you've never spoken to God. You merely have faith that your interpretation of Scripture is accurate. I must say also, that it seems awfully arrogance to think that God chooses "some" (I'm assuming you include yourself) to share His spirit with, for the purpose of deciphering His "will" for those that He chooses to not share His spirit with. Is that choice arbitrary or is there some rational to it?
5- I admit to being a work in progress. Regardless to what God supposedly "said" and again based on Funk and Wagnall, I am agnostic, not foolish. I certainly do not look at anything of the natural world as foolish works. I at it as miraculous. And lastly, of course wisdom of man would be stupidity to God because any knowledge or wisdom of mere mortals would fall far short of omniscience.
I Sincerely thank you for listening to a contrary view. I hope I don't sound cantankerous! My wish for you is peace and happiness.
As the Scriptures do not contain the word "eternal" or its
equivalent, I can't give you Scriptural definition of eternity. There are, however,
explanations of such a phenomenon. God's abode is in Heaven -- which is decidedly NOT a
geographical location on a large rock in stellar space. God is CHANGELESS. God did not
exist from earliest TIME; God CREATED TIME. God made the eons or ages of time (Heb. 1:2).
God existed BEFORE TIME [ages] (I Cor. 2:7). All ages of TIME will come to and end (Eph.
2:7). But God and we will continue to exist outside of time ('athanasa' -- Immortality =
DEATH-LESS-NESS, I Cor. 15:53-54). And so eternity is NOT "time and space without
boundaries or limits and having NO BEGINNING (that eliminates 'time') and NO END (that
eliminates 'time'). And who says that there will always be 'space'?
And many more such Scriptures.
And yes, God decides who and when someone is given spiritual
This is quite long but I hope you can find time to read it and see how your web site has changed my life.
My name is Simon and I have been a Christian for many years. My walk as a Christian has been terrible and I have done many shameful things that I would take back if I could. Nevertheless, even during my worst years being backslidden, I could never deny my belief in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I was drawn to Christ as a teenager and accepted him at about 17 years of age. I backslid and fell away from the church almost immediately and became involved in many shameful activities before making many attempts to return at different periods of my life. I will soon be 51 years old. I am a recovered alcoholic and am a divorced father to two boys to whom I was a very poor father.
In a large part, this condition of my faith was caused by my own carnality and rebellion. I had a mind that could not stop focusing on things of this world and for that I have paid a dear price. I do regret the peace I could have had had it not been so.
However, I must add further that my carnality was not the only cause of my condition in faith. I was first saved in a Baptist church and then attended several other denominations over the years as I attempted to return at various times to fellowship with other Christians. I always chose evangelical, basically fundamentalist churches to attend, as that was the nature of my introduction to the faith.
In time I became aware of the widely varying beliefs of the different churches that I had attended and the impact that each set of beliefs had on how you would interpret scripture as you studied it. It was not long before I became very confused as to what I believed.
Had I simply attended one church, life would have been much simpler for me. I could have (like so many modern Christians do) just attended the one church and taken on their beliefs without question. However, my awareness of so many different doctrines was to become my downfall. Great questions arose that made me doubt my salvation. Of course when you lived the way I did, your salvation is always in doubt because there is no peace.
I began to honestly and seriously seek answers from the pastors of the churches I attended. I became shocked to find out that not one of them could answer me. For some reason I had always taken for granted that these men would help me settle these issues at the right time for once and for all.
I began an intensive study of the Bible, both on my own and with the help of some individuals and study groups. The more I studied, the more confused I became. I memorized scripture according to topic and studied the various parables and symbology in various parts of the Bible. Each group I studied with had a view that differed with the other groups' view in subtle ways. However those subtle differences in teachings had huge effects on how one would interpret large amounts of scripture. I was astounded.
I soon came to despair for lack of understanding due to conflicts and contradictions. I wished I had never began to study. It seemed as if every body was reading a different Bible.
I fell away again and did not return for many years. It is only recently that I resumed these studies because an acquaintance of mine had suddenly taken an interest in church, got "saved" and seemed to be very happy. I was jealous and wanted that very thing that she seemed able to find that always seemed out of my grasp.
She had no idea how much I envied her ignorance. The type of church she aspired to was of a type that many of the churches I had previously attended had warned me against. As a matter of fact, I had attended a somewhat similar one in Calgary for a while about 20 years earlier and had become very disappointed with the experience.
As has been said, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. If I had not studied and known as much as I did, I too could have attended that church and been quite happy there in my ignorance. I was careful though to keep my mouth shut and not offend her as to her choice of churches. I still do so as much as possible. I was no longer interested in being right; all I now wanted was a peace that seemed to be beyond my reach. I was envious of anyone who could find it, even if I thought their choice was wrong. As you read this you needn't worry that I am not aware that I was a pretty confused person. I agree with you, I was.
I offered to attend her church with her in a short while but in the meantime I resumed my studies again. It soon became apparent that I could not attend her church as the nature of my faith was in deep conflict with what existed there. They were a word-faith church that taught a prosperity gospel and I had been through that experience before and had also learned much of them.
I continued my studies including all of the denominations including the so-called cults and the history of the visible church of Christ, all of the major Christian theologians and the various existing doctrines.
All I wanted was to find a fellowship that could teach me a doctrine that was completely in agreement with itself from one end of the Bible to the other and did not contradict. My hopes were not high as I had been down this path before. I was a Christian without a testimony. I knew what many others believed, yet was unsure of what I believed. I knew too much and everything contradicted itself.
Then I came upon the web site by L. Ray Smith entitled "Exposing Those Who Contradict". I did not expect much when I began reading but I was soon captivated and enthralled. This writing jumped out at me like neon. Almost every question I ever had was answered and all of my conflicts and contradictions disappeared. I praised God and wept like a baby. -I could not stop. I now know who I am and where I belong in the body of Christ. I can stand tall and be counted. I have a testimony. I have never believed in something this firmly. All of the years of study were not for nothing. I realized that God did have a plan for my life and I was involved in it whether I wanted it or not. -I want it.
I am now led to believe that the gospel taught by modern Christendom (almost all denominations), is actually malspel and is false. It is bad news. It comes up short and is only a half-truth. I am in agreement with the interpretations and teachings of L. Ray Smith. Jesus Christ, when he was raised from the dead saved "the world". God be praised. He is indeed a God of love, mercy and compassion whose ways cannot be fathomed by men.
The arguments that I read from apologists who subscribe to theories such as eternal punishment, man's free will, the incomplete sovereignty of God, partial predestination and the trinity now only show me why I became so confused as a young man attempting to belong to "the church". They stretch the scriptures to distortion and add to them in order to accommodate the traditions of men rather than the truths of God. The harder they argue, the more I disbelieve them.
I praise God that in his way he made me to go to many churches and learn their doctrines and become confused as to their contradictions. I was forced to search the Word of God as a child who is not afraid to ask the unaskable questions for fear of being accused of heresy. I searched as a child, not fearing to ask, "What is the truth?"
Even then, my answers when they did come, finally came from outside the church. How many Christians who are now inside the church have as many questions that are unspeakable, so they dare not ask?
Political correctness in the visible church of God confounds the truth there as much as it does in the governments of man. Conditions in the church of today are almost exactly the same as they were in the days of the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes and the Sanhedrin.
Thanks, praise and glory be to God and to his son Jesus Christ that he has been showing, is showing and will continue to show us the truth. - And the truth shall set us free.
I suppose that I can now call myself a full-fledged Universalist (pertaining only to the doctrine of salvation for all).
I speak only for myself (but I am sure many other Universalists agree), when I say that I have no resentment towards the other brother's in Christ who partook in my confusion that led me to this position. Even though they err, they are still Christians. Of course as a Universalist, I believe "all" to be brothers at any rate. It really seems so much easier to love my enemies as well as my neighbors, and to "turn the other cheek", from this new perspective. If God will forgive us all, who am I to not forgive any-body. This is true freedom indeed.
I have emotionally suffered much in this life to date (though not as much as some others), and much of it was caused by my own doing. However, like Paul, I now consider the suffering of this life to be nothing. People who believe in the concepts of annihilation or eternal torment seem to believe that such doctrines are necessary to compel men to follow God in righteousness.
To quote Will Rogers; "Well folks, I'm here to tell ya, It ain't necessarily so." I was so traumatized by my confusion with the contradictions that I was taught that I believed that I just couldn't get it. How could I possibly be saved if although I believed in saving grace through faith in Jesus Christ, yet could not understand, much less follow all of these confusing doctrines that came along with it. They seemed to come as a package deal. In the end, the other church members ended up always looking at each other and doubting each other's salvation based upon their ability to follow one teaching or another.
I searched and searched the scriptures (on my own as well as with others), for answers. I did not become a scholar (not by any means), but I did learn the principles of going back to the Greek and Hebrew texts when confused by English translations that I did not understand. Thank God that I did. This is what prepared my heart to receive and discern the writings of L. Ray Smith when I finally came to his web site.
The scriptures are difficult to discern if you are reading them with preconceived notions based on the traditions of men. I had to be humbled and brought to the belief that I actually knew nothing except a bunch of words. However besides this, I had also come to the belief that many (by that I mean almost all), supposed theologians were missing the mark also. Ever since around 400-500 AD most of these men had only been expanding upon doctrines that had already strayed from the mark many years ago. They had no child-like hunger for the Word of God, but rather sought only to confirm things that they had already been taught. They often sought only to settle vain arguments over inconsequential contentions. I too was confused by these same teachings that were in my mind and they covered my eyes like a veil. However, I did seek doctrines that would fit with the whole scriptures from front to back, Old Testament to New Testament and not contradict themselves in different parts of the Word.
I now forget which word I had put into my search engine when I finally came upon the web site "Exposing Those Who Contradict". However, I can tell you that when I began to read L. Ray Smith's letter to Dr. Kennedy, I was completely blown away.
Never, and I mean never, ever had I read or heard someone who could write or speak with such authority on the scriptures and make so much sense to me so quickly. He addressed Dr. Kennedy's vain and stretched (not to mention unscriptural), sermon on hell and the disposition of the unproselytized in a way that made scriptures that I had long ago forgotten come flying back into my mind as if they were on fire.
It was wonderful, yet I was fearful. Such teachings were sure heresy in any church that I had ever attended. How could so many pastors, denominations and centuries of theologians be wrong in what they taught and this roofer from Florida be correct.
It just so happened that I was in the middle of restudying the history of Christendom, denominations, cults, theology, doctrines etc. as I had done so many years before. I had abandoned this study previously out of despair, but had been recently been moved anew to study again. I really did not have much hope for satisfactory answers to my questions, as I had been disappointed badly in the past.
Suddenly everything fit. Parables that seemed lost to me (as well as to pastors who taught them to me), suddenly made sense. Scripture verses that seemed to contradict each other were covered very well by the writings of Ray, and he did it for me without coming up with strained explanations that I had to make huge leaps of faith to come to understand. These scriptures now spoke for themselves. The Bible opened itself to me like a can of fruit, and I was hungry.
My studies in scripture and church history in no way made me an expert on the subject but they certainly allowed me to instantly recognize the truth when I saw it. Further study to confirm the validity of his teachings confirmed for me the truth in what he said.
Amazingly, I sought out the writings of educated men who condemned the teachings of Universalism and other doctrines taught by Ray, and these writings only confirmed these truths even more. These men were obviously apologists who were defending the faith of their fathers, their denominations and the traditions of men. Their vain contortions of scripture and ignorance of the obvious amazed me.
Memories of me asking certain pastors the eternal child-like questions of "Why?" or "How come?" until I was told that the Bible said I was to heed the teachings of my pastor without question, came flooding back to me. As much as I forgive them, I cannot forget the emotional pain and feelings of rejection that came with basically being asked to shut-up.
They made it seem that to question them was the same as questioning God himself. I do know that most of them were men of good character (certainly better than mine), and it was never their intention to make me feel that way. The fact is that they just did not have the answers. I also am very aware that virtually every single one of them would now reject the answers that I have now, finally found.
May God bless them all. I would definitely be the first witness to state that most (not all), of them were men of deep faith and conviction regarding what they believed. Unfortunately, what they believed was what they had been taught by other men about scripture and not what they had sought out themselves. I now know this to be an error, even if what you learn is from the world's finest theological seminaries. (Or cemeteries as Ray calls them).
This error should be avoided by all of us. I did not accept completely anything that Ray said until I looked into all of his scriptural and concordat references and examined them for myself. Further, nobody should accept what I write or anyone else for that matter based simply on what we state. You cannot come to God as a child if you are seeking all of his answers from a stranger. Ask your Father first. Check all things with the scriptures. If you claim Christianity then you must know that it is your duty, privilege and source of peace and joy to do so.
We are so blessed in this age to have so many Bibles in their various languages and translations and concordances and lexicons available to us. Now we even have computers and many web sites with much research data to use for our studies. Nevertheless, it is the original scriptures to which we must go for verification of answers in all things of the spirit.
Many centuries went by since the first coming of our Lord in which there was not even a printing press. The word of God was spread by mouth (much like a rumor). And just like a rumor, the gospel got distorted as it spread from mouth to mouth. This distortion began even in the first generation after our Lord left us. There are very few of us who now comprehend the full and true gospel.
The irony is that it is obvious and plain as day when one reads the scriptures without bias. All that is required is to first believe (and sometimes not even that as the word can make us believe), and then the Holy Spirit of God will lead us into all truths as we study. If, however, our hearts and minds have become veiled by the traditions and teachings of men before we even begin to study; the truths of the plainly obvious can hide from our sight.
I thank and praise God that I am now one of those "Universalists" who believe in the salvation of all through faith in Jesus Christ. This faith is not of our own but comes from God according to his plan. Jesus saved us all. Further, not one of us came to believe of our own will. We came to believe because God drew us to him. Our concept of free will is but a vain delusion. Those who do not believe now, will come to believe at the time of their resurrection and every knee shall bow and every mouth shall confess Jesus as Lord and Savior.
I am also a believer in the total sovereignty of God and his plan for us all. He knew of these distortions before time began. He did not fail us by incorrectly making us, he is not failing us now, and he will not fail us in the next ages or in eternity. God does not make mistakes and Jesus sacrifice was not a method of damage control to cover an error. He is preparing us for our role with him in eternity.
If I were not to believe such things, I would have to believe that God is playing dice with the universe. Further, most churches in Christendom today teach that he is gambling with us. They will not admit it, but this is a doctrine that naturally goes along with everything else that they teach.
Otherwise, our salvation counts on being born in the right place at the right time so that we are in a position to be one of the very few members of humanity that will ever have the privilege of having the gospel preached to them in their lifetime. This by itself would be somewhat akin to winning the lottery.
Over the course of human history it has been suggested that not more than 5-10% of us were ever preached to. (If that). Then, besides that, we will have to be fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to be recruited and saved by whichever particular denominations or groups just happen to be teaching the correct doctrines. It's kind of like winning Lotto 6/49, Super 7 and the Encore all in one week.
Of course we may have to overcome the fact that if we are abandoning another faith to convert to this particular brand of Christianity, we may have to profess that all of our immediate family and all of our ancestors who were of that other faith are condemned to an eternity either of total non-existence (annihilation), or eternal torture for endless millenniums in a never ending hell. All this to make up for 3 score years and 10 of life on this planet. Attempting to deal with this concept of a loving god has created many an atheist. This has been the effect of the gospel as it is now preached. Overcoming this would qualify for winning the Irish Sweepstakes as well as the aforementioned lotteries.
This whole concept of God gambling with our lives and condemning so much of humanity to eternal torture was always one of the major questions that I had always had. That these doctrines could be taught in the same breath by the same people who quoted John 3:16 "For God so loved the world." seemed absolutely absurd to me.
I now thank God, with my voice in prayer and praise, and with the invisible excitement of my soul, that I now realize that the concept is absurd to God also.
All of my other questions were of a technical (legal), nature and pertained to salvation and the ability to lose it once obtained in this lifetime. This involved the theology of men and concerned such things a Calvinism versus Armenianism and other such nonsensical doctrines. I think Paul may have included such things in what he called vain genealogies. I was as truly blinded by the traditions of men as every body else.
I now realize that God's plan includes gathering all those who will saved in this age (his elect), according to his will, and then harvesting the rest of us later. His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. The scriptures say this as plain as day.
What I find so ironic is; As plainly as the written scriptures show this, by the time they became published in a way that was available to common men, the Word of God had been so verbally corrupted by men that this corruption hid the truth from them when they could finally read it. They read the word already blinded by their own traditions.
As hard as men try to master and understand the subtleties and mysteries of the scriptures concerning prophecy and the coming end of this age, they keep missing the mark. Why? Because in order to understand the subtle, you must first master the obvious. The subtle then comes with only a little work.
How much faith will Jesus find when he returns? That depends on what you call faith. If faith means you believe that God made a colossal mistake when he created Adam, Eve, Satan and all the rest of creation and had to send Jesus as damage control to save some (a few) of us; he will find much faith.
Thanks to modern telecommunications, computers, satellites, and television etcetera this gospel is spreading across the planet like wildfire. As a matter of fact televangelism is one of the largest industries on the planet.
The word of God is for sale on audio tape, video tape, CD, DVD and in printed tracts along with prayer trinkets, commemorative coins and pamphlets and full courses on how to prosper financially and materially using the hidden secrets of God's word. This is much like the market stalls that the carpenter cleared out of the temples 2,000 years ago.
However this gospel that is selling so well teaches that God is a failure. Kenneth Copeland said so via satellite on international TV and he was supported by many of his associates on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
The same question again; How much faith will Jesus find when he returns? If faith means; You believe that God is totally sovereign and in control of his universe, that he is perfect, that he has not made, is not making, and will not make any errors that he needs mankind to help correct and that he has a perfect plan which he is conforming to his will both on this earth and in the heavens,
Jesus is no failure either and he saves completely (not just a possible 5-10% of mankind).
Well..some faith, (very little actually).
The leaders of Christendom today are no different than the Pharisees and leaders of the synagogues at the time of Jesus first coming. Things have not changed that much. As much as the Catholic church and the Protestant churches point fingers at each other, they are both basically the same. They follow the traditions of men and not the gospel (exceedingly good news), of our Lord.
There will be many surprises but it is all OK. It is all part of God's plan for us all. He knew of these things, (he planned them). In the Lord's Prayer; "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" is an acknowledgement. It is not us giving him our permission. It is all according to his will.
So, now I finally have this wonderful testimony and peace that I never dreamed possible, but I'm still never going to fit in to any of these churches that I had been trying to attend. At times I do believe that our God has a tremendous sense of irony.
Ray, please forgive me if I sound like I am parroting you, but so much of what you state is what I had already come to believe anyways.
Thank you so much Ray and Maranatha,
Would it be factual to state that most Universalists have been "called out" of the church and were not indoctrinated in that teaching when they first met Christianity?
Why is it that you believe that just because God knows what we are going to do before we do it our will is not free? You say use your mind a little but as I am reading what you typed I am thinking the same about you.
I'm not a pagan, I believe in the one true God who knows all things. Even my friend T.R who is a preacher and does believe what the King James version bible teaches says that this is absurd. READ VATICAN 1 NOT 2 BUT 1 AS IN THE #1. HINT) LOOK IN THE BACK OF YOUR BIBLE UNDER REFERENCES IT WILL SAY VATICAN LIBRARY (this is a hint that your bible has in fact changed over 2000 of Christ's words and meanings and have left out whole books. I CAN PROVE IT, ALL I NEED IS TIME , WHICH I WILL SEND YOU THE PROOF ONCE I GET IT TOGETHER AND IN CORRECT ORDER.
I do NOT think you are a bad person by any means. What I have said to you should not insist that. I think you are a good person who believes in God and is only wanting to do good and is not trying to hurt anyone. So whatever your beliefs you're good in my book.
By the way my name is Billy and I am 17 years old and a traditional roman catholic.
Now then, Billy, you have a giant choice staring you in the face: You can either cling to you unscriptural 'free-will' or you can BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURE THAT I JUST PRESENTED TO YOU!?! "I WILL DO..." is God's answer. How does God declare the end from the beginning? "I WILL DO..." How is God sure that what He has prophesied will happen? "I WILL DO..." Would you like more proof? There is more:
We have just read that God causes EVERYTHING to happen as He has counsel, pleased, spoken, and purposed. EVERYTHING!!! Everything from the beginning to everything at the end. Everything from ancient times to everything YET TO HAPPEN. Let me reiterate, Billy. Everything that happens, happens NOT by the 'free will' choices of men, but BY GOD.
And many more such Scriptures, Billy--SCRIPTURES, not the stupid
wisdom of mankind. It is blasphemy to read all of these Scriptures and then teach
that things happen or don't happen through man's 'free will.' That is not only nonsense,
foolishness, and Unscriptural, it is evil.
God may not cause all men to eat grass as an ox before acknowledging that it is GOD that causes all to come about and not man's fabled free will:
Human 'free will' is the epitome, the apex, the zenith of SECULAR HUMANISM! Man attributed to HIMSELF a power (free will) that is GREATER than the very WILL OF GOD, inasmuch has man supposedly can THWART the very will of God through his fabled 'free will."
Free will is the VERY GOD of secular humanism AND Christian
humanism! This my friend, is both idolatry and blasphemy! Maybe more will need to be
turned into animals before they acknowledge Who it is that rules in the heavens and all
the inhabitants of the earth.
This is exactly the question and answer:
Q. Isiah record God as saying "I make peace and create evil." Does this mean that God created sin?
A. No, it does not. The word rendered evil in the KJV is better translated calamity. In context, God is telling Israel that He determined that actions would have consequences. He determines the outcome of obedience on one hand and rebellion on the other hand. The consequences of disobedience may be calamitous, as God intended.
I read where you say God created evil. Would it be better to say that God created consequence of sin which scripture portrays as "missing the mark" (Romans 3:23), "living in lawlessness" (1 John 3:4), and "straying from the right path"(Isa. 53:6)? These verbal images reveal the human inclination to live independently from God's standards, righteousness, and revealed will. Sin is seeking to live independently than.
May God continue to bless your work,
Look up EVERY one of the 442 verses where "ra" is
translated evil, and you will easily see the truth of this word. "Ra" never,
EVER, means "calamity." So don't let these lying weasels deceive you into
believing their deceitful and unscriptural heresy.
It is YOU, Brian, who have taken these verses "out of
context." You take them out of the context of the immediate verses surrounding
them and out of the context of the ENTIRE BIBLE, and put them in the "context"
of the foreign "traditions of men" and teaching of "paganism!"
The Jews should have been FIRST, but the Patriarchs and the Gentiles will enter before them. The Jews will NOT ENTER FIRST!
But will they EVER enter? Do the Scriptures state that
"they will NEVER, EVER, enter?" Is there such a Scripture in all the
Bible, Brian? NO, there is not. There are hundreds and hundreds of Scriptures [you
gave me but two] that state that the evil, wicked, sinner, unregenerate, unrepentant,
etc., etc., etc., WILL NOT be saved in this lifetime. But is there ONE verse of
Scripture that states they will "never EVER be saved?" No, Brian there is
not. There is a plan of God, a schedule, a time table, and "order" to who God
saves and when.
Paul explains this perfectly and simply: In Romans 11 Paul tells us that the natural branches [the JEWS] have been broken off and the wild branches of the Gentiles grafted in. But is this FOREVER? NO. The natural branches can also be grafted back into the tree once again, and Paul says that they WILL BE (Rom. 11:24). Now what is the "context" of all this Jew/Gentile business?
Blindness to Israel was only to be UNTIL, UNTIL the fullness of the
Gentiles be come in. Has the "fullness of the Gentiles" as yet come in?
No. Well what about all of these millions and millions of "Jesus"
rejecting Jews down through the centuries. Can they "reject" Jesus as virtually
all of Judaism has done and still be saved IN THIS LIFE TIME? NO. Well then,
just when WILL they be grafted "back into the vine" if not in THIS life time?
Why in the next, of course. All of these DEAD Jews will be resurrected back to life
in order to BE grafted back in, but they will have some mighty DEEP REPENTING TO DO FIRST!
(See Phil. 2:9-11 Vs. I Cor. 12:3).
But you see, they are NOT SAVED FIRST, are they? No,
they are saved LAST!
And finally, back to your "context, context, context" verses. Clearly we have seen that there are MANY who will not be saved in this life. In fact, MOST OF THE JEWS will now be saved in they life. They will not enter through the strait gate and they will not enter the kingdom. They will NOT be the first to be saved, but will they be saved at ALL? Yes, of course they will, we just read it -- ALL ISRAEL SHALL BE SAVED!
When? Why AFTER the Gentiles come in -- those who come from the east and west and north and south (Luke 13:28). These Gentiles will all come in FIRST, that's what Paul taught us if we are not "ignorant" of God's "mystery." So if the the Jews are NOT FIRST, what are they according to the "context, context, context" of YOUR PROOF Sciprtures to me? Let's read it, it's the NEXT VERSE IN CONTEXT -- Luke 13:30:
Oh, yes, they "SHALL BE" in God's family. They "SHALL BE" saved, but they will be saved, LAST!
One final thought just to expand you thinking out of the theological
hole of "context," let me show you where God likens His chosen people Israel to
the God-jeweled city of Jerusalem, and where He likens the world of the Gentiles to the
most wretched city of the Gentiles, SODOM. What is the fate of the evil city state of
Sodom and the evil city state of Jerusalem? Right now, God is calling a people from among
the Gentiles, but in the resurrection we saw that Israel will be brought back to life and
grafted back into the Vine of Life once more. But what of the rest of the Gentiles that
are not chosen now and the rest of Israel who was not chosen for the Kingdom?
In regard to the Trinity:
1. You say "Is Christ God? YES HE IS!" and at the same time, just a few lines earlier, you use John 17:3 to support that the Father is the only true God. Your explanation refers to Psalm 82:6, which referred to the Judges & Kings divinely appointed to carry out God's will. Surely Christ is not on their level. So if the Father is the only true God, how can you say Christ is God? There is only one true God (John 17:3) so Christ must be a false god. See 2 Sam 7:22.
2. You say Christ is worthy of worship and show verses where he was worshipped, but WHY should he be worshipped? You never explain this. God the Father clearly states repeatedly in the Old Testament that NO OTHER GODS were to be worshipped, that God was a jealous God. Why did Christ not rebuke those who worshipped him > and direct them to the Father, who had given him this authority? (see Ex. 20:4&5, 23:13, 34:14, 2Sam 7:22, 2Kings 17:35, to name a few)
You state that Christ is God and correctly use Hebrews 1:8 as support. But there is only ONE TRUE GOD (John 17:3). Sounds like you just made an argument for the Trinity (well, maybe just two out of three) See also Isaiah 9:6 where the son (savior) is called "Everlasting FATHER"
We "Trinitarians" don't pretend to comprehend the Trinity. Indeed, scripture reads as if Christ and the Father are separate, but then how does one reconcile that there is only one true God and both the Father and Christ are God! (as you yourself state). The answer for us, Ray, is that both are true. We don't understand it, but then a God who can be fully understood by my human brain is a very small god.
Most importantly, your doctrine of no hell and ultimate salvation for all is an insult to the apostles and early Christian martyrs. Why in the world would these men sacrifice their lifestyles, careers, and their very lives to spread a gospel message that wasn't necessary? Yet Christ gave them this mission before ascending into heaven, to preach his gospel. why? If I knew that everyone would be ultimately saved, why would I risk everything to deliver an unnecessary message?
I have little interest in the trinity theory. I merely wrote a paper
on it because people often ask. The one negative I do see in the theory, however, is that
a trinity is in effect a "closed Godhead." Yet, the Scriptures plainly
tell us that WE TOO CAN BECOME MEMBERS OF THE VERY FAMILY (not trinity) OF GOD. If we
could become members of the 'trinity' then by the very nature of words and their meanings,
the trinity WOULD CEASE TO EXIST! Think about it.
Now notice this:
Why? If the Holy Spirit as a third person of a triune trinity is
what God's spirit really is, then WHY would Jesus have to depart before IT could come if
IT is a separate individual FORM Jesus?
Whatever is coming to comfort His Apostles after He is gone is
something that is OF CHRIST that the Father GAVE TO HIM. Did the Father give to Christ the
third person of the trinity???
After Pentecost the apostles never saw Jesus again the THE FLESH. And therefore Paul plainly informs us that:
Back to John:
We are IN Christ and Christ is IN us. Next:
And the Father ALSO will make His abode WITH US. How is this done?
By the third person of the trinity? No. Christ said HE would be in us. And Christ said the
Father would be also. But specifically HOW? And why must Jesus go away first?
Then who or what is this comforter, this 'parakletos'? God's Word tells us. John is the only writer who uses this word 'parakletos.' So where else does he use it? I John 2:1:
There it is! Jesus Christ IS THE COMFORTER. Jesus Christ IS THE PARAKLETOS!
When we receive the Comforter it is CHRIST, IN SPIRIT [no longer according to the flesh]! IT IS CHRIST THAT COMFORTERS US THROUGH HIS SPIRIT WHICH JOHN PLAINLY TELLS US HE RECEIVED FROM HIS GOD AND FATHER! It is THEIR [the Son's and the Father's] SPIRIT that comes in us! No trinity here! No trinity anywhere!
It is JESUS CHRIST Who comes IN OUR FLESH. To deny that that
it is JESUS CHRIST Who comes in our flesh is the spirit of ANTICHRIST.
OF COURSE Jesus Christ is God. He is the VERY IMAGE, THE EXPRESS
IMAGE, OF THE INVISIBLE GOD HIMSELF--and that makes Christ GOD. And Jesus and His Father
ARE ONE and they operate through ONE SPIRIT--THEIR spirit, not some OTHER person of
People are so blinded that they are unaware that it is THROUGH the
"foolishness of preaching" that men are saved! Many carnal-minded
Christians ask me nearly daily: "If God is going to save everyone, why did Christ
even have to die for us?" They say that there is no such thing as a stupid
question, but this one comes pretty close!
I don't mean to be demeaning, Layne, but it never ceases to amaze me how people can throw all logic to the wind when it comes to their own personal religious bias.
If there are one hundred people trapped in a burning building and
ten firemen can possibly save ten of them, does that mean then that TO SAVE THEM ALL IT
WOULD NOT TAKE ANY FIREMEN. Why bring ANY fireman to the fire if our
intention is to SAVE THEM ALL? So if only a few are to be saved from the fire it
WILL require firemen. But if ALL are to be save from the fire it will require NO fireman.
So some firemen would be willing to "risk everything" (to use your very
own words) to same a FEW, but that it "wasn't necessary" for them to "risk
everything" to launch an "unnecessary" rescue if they were to save
EVERYONE? Maybe you have a better argument than you have presented here? Trust me, I
HAVE HEARD THEM ALL!