Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Comments on Romans 8 and other texts

I had some objections brought to my attention in a discussion I briefly had with a Calvinist fellow and Sam Shamoun had also chimed in and asked me about Romans 8 and I hope to answer it here.
(Let me preface despite the fact I hold to Arminianism, I believe Calvinists are brothers in the faith.)

"please read Romans 8:26-39 and show me where the person's free will whom God has foreknown, predestined, called, justified and glorified is exempted from all the list of things which cannot separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I had stated that free will wasn't mentioned and said it was an argument from silence regarding this point. 

The response:"Actually it is included if you read carefully. Here goes: "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: 'For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.' No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, NOR ANY OTHER CREATED THING, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35-39). Since both the person being saved and his will are all a part of the category of "any other created thing," how can you say the text doesn't mention it? Are you saying that the believer and his will are not part of the order of created things, but are exempted?"

Here is Romans 8:26-39:
"Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

My point on this text as well as John 10:27-30, was that no one and nothing could separate us from the Father or snatch us from the Son's hand. The point was in the context, there is an exception.

I can't be snatched from the Son's hand, not by any individual, Sam Shamoun cannot be snatched from the Son's hand, HOWEVER, I can walk out of the Father's hand and Sam Shamoun can walk out of the Father's hand. Paul is talking about an external thing or person removing the believer, NOT the believer themselves walking out on the Father.

I am not talking about an individual who is a nominal Christian or a heretic, I am talking about an individual who himself was in Christ, but now has apostatized away from the faith. I am also not saying believers and their will are not part of the created order, I am only saying that a believer can fall away if he doesn't repent and return to the cross.

Why in the world are there warnings not to turn away in the first place if we couldn't fall away. The warnings are directed to us, not to the unbeliever.

Furthermore, you are secure in Christ if you remain in him. If one doesn't abide, they are cut off. Let me stress that there is a difference, between someone who is secure in Christ and they trust in him for salvation, enabling them to live a holy life, and someone who tries to rely on their works for their salvation. There is also a difference between falling into sin and practicing it. Someone who falls into sin in a moment of weakness and repents isn't lost but someone who carries on in their sin will have no assurance of salvation.

John 6
"make sure to read John 6:66-71 and 17:12, along with 6:35-40, since Jesus makes it plain that Judas was never one of those whom the Father gave to the Son. If he were then Jesus would have guaranteed that he would never perish but would be restored after falling away, just like he made sure for the others who also betrayed and abandoned him."

The subject of Judas may need another paper. I would need to think on this topic. But I'll gladly comment on the verses below regarding him.

"John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”"

Firstly, Christ himself will not drive away those whom the Father has quickened and brought into the family, referring to their conversion. Jesus is not going to say to those who come to him "Get Lost, I don't want you", he'll happily welcome you into the Father's arms and it is the will of the Father that those he gives to Christ will not be lost.

But to say the danger of apostasy is absent from the text is nothing more than an argument from silence. What about Jesus warning to abide in the true vine or else you will be cut off? Again, Remaining and trusting in Christ, not trusting in works, since trusting in works damns you. A piece of fruit cannot grow on it's own or have nutritional value apart from the vine itself. If you cut the fruit from the vine, it will die. There is a risk of being lost and John 6:35-40 doesn't suggest that isn't the case, since later in the context the other disciples abandoned him.

The Father doesn't remove the choice of a person when they come to him, It is his will that none who come to him will perish, but he allows the Christian to either continue to walk in the spirit and remain in him, or he will allow them to renounce him. Again, the choice of the believer is NOT taken away by the Father.

"66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)"

The apostles themselves didn't know who was the traitor was until it was revealed by Jesus. John writing to his readers is writing after the events and Jesus himself knew the hearts of the apostles. Only Jesus himself knew who the the false apostle among them was at that time. But again, the subject of Judas needs a separate paper.

Yes you can technically argue that those who left never believed to begin with but how do you deal with someone who has been in Christ for years, regenerated and born again and falls away? To say there is no possibility of falling away renders the warnings vacuous and pointless.

John Wesley in his explanatory notes had the following to say:
"Verse 35

[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

I am the bread of life — Having and giving life: he that cometh - he that believeth - Equivalent expressions: shall never hunger, thirst - Shall be satisfied, happy, for ever.

Verse 36

[36] But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

I have told you — Namely, John 6:26.

Verse 37

[37] All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

All that the Father giveth me — All that feel themselves lost, and follow the drawings of the Father, he in a peculiar manner giveth to the Son: will come to me - By faith. And him that thus cometh to me, I will in nowise cast out - I will give him pardon, holiness, and heaven, if he endure to the end-to rejoice in his light.

Verse 39

[39] And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

Of all which he hath already given me - See John 17:6,12. If they endure to the end. But Judas did not.

Verse 40

[40] And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Here is the sum of the three foregoing verses.

This is the will of him that sent me — This is the whole of what I have said: this is the eternal, unchangeable will of God. Every one who truly believeth, shall have everlasting life.

Every one that seeth and believeth — The Jews saw, and yet believed not.

And I will raise him up — As this is the will of him that sent me, I will perform it effectually."
John Wesley's Explanatory Notes: http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=43&c=6

There really isn't much else I can say on this topic at this particular time.

Answering Judaism.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Response to Shadid Lewis and Gomerozdubar (briefly) on the Sign of Jonah

I had previously done a video responding to Shadid Lewis on the subject of the Sign of Jonah.

I want to start afresh and anew and I hope to provide a much better response than last time.

Shadid's Arguments

He first goes into the issue of what the sign of Jonah was, namely was it the time or the condition and quotes various references from the Gospels to show that the time itself was not important. In other words, if the three days and three nights was important, then he should of sure to stress it, as would the rest of the Gospels themselves.

The time factor is relevant, just because the Gospels omit certain details, that doesn't mean that the detail isn't important. Does the fact the I AM sayings appearing in the Gospel of John only negate that being important? No, Same applies to the Virgin Birth in the Gospel of Matthew. Omission in a particular Gospel doesn't mean the detail isn't important overall, it just means it wasn't relevant to the point that a particular writer was making to his audience. The time factor is still important regardless of how many times it is raised in the gospels and regardless of how many times Lewis wants appeal to the Gospels to back up, it shows that Jesus died and how the time factor relates to his death.

The supposed miracle that Shadid suggests is that Jonah survives his ordeal and that was the miracle. Now it is disputed among many as to whether or not Jonah was dead, or alive inside the whale. Regardless, this doesn't have an impact on Jesus' own death in the Gospels themselves, That never changes. A strong case be made from Jonah 2:1-7 that he died:
"Jonah 2:1 [a]From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said:

“In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help,
    and you listened to my cry.
3 You hurled me into the depths,
    into the very heart of the seas,
    and the currents swirled about me;
all your waves and breakers
    swept over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished
    from your sight;
yet I will look again
    toward your holy temple.’
5 The engulfing waters threatened me,[b]
    the deep surrounded me;
    seaweed was wrapped around my head.
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down;
    the earth beneath barred me in forever.
But you, Lord my God,
    brought my life up from the pit.
7 “When my life was ebbing away,
    I remembered you, Lord,
and my prayer rose to you,
    to your holy temple."

However again, it's the time factor, how long Jesus was in Sheol that is the factor.

Shadid then brings up the point of Jesus being buried in the tomb and that he wasn't buried for three days and nights in the tomb. However, when Jesus is referring is his time in the underworld, or Sheol or the grave, not to how long he was buried in the tomb. Please also note that he didn't go to hell at all, which is another point that needs to be abundantly clear. He went to the underworld, but not to hell. Feel free to check out Keith Thompson's response to Steven Anderson on Jesus being a burnt offering and where Jesus went: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzjapPSj8mQ.

Shadid then lays out what day Jesus was taken down and put in the tomb and tries to assert his point that Jesus wasn't buried for three days and three nights, denying to bappi that there was a special Sabbath.

However Shadid is incorrect, there are different kinds of Sabbath, not just the Sabbath that most are commonly familiar with. In John 19:31, we read the following:
"Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down."

He is incorrect to say that the Gospels do NOT speak of a special or high sabbath. John clearly mentions one and Shadid's accusation that bappi was lying is unfounded: Feel free to take a look at the following regarding the special sabbath: http://biblehub.com/john/19-31.htm

No Christian disputes that the Sabbath is the 7th day, but as said before, There are more than one Sabbath, Such as in Exodus 23:10-12:
"10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed."

Not only is the regular sabbath in place, there is also a sabbath year for the field, namely allowing it to lie unused and unplowed once every 7 years. Even the 70 year exile itself allowed the land have it's sabbaths that it was deprived of.

You also have the following regarding the Sabbath year in Leviticus 25:
"25:1 The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest. 6 Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you, 7 as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land. Whatever the land produces may be eaten."

Though it is merely listed as a sabbath in Mark's gospel, John elaborates on what Sabbath it is.

Shadid goes on to ask what other day was the Sabbath, then bappi provided a link to which Shadid chastised him and said "That website is not talking about your bible"

Here is the website I think he used: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/specialshabbat.html

It goes into a list showing what the varying sabbaths are. While the link doesn't refer to the New Testament itself, it is nevertheless a viable link to use when studying the New Testament, because the New Testament itself was written by Jews, With the exception of Luke and Acts.

While Shadid is correct that the website doesn't talk about the New Testament and he demands to know when Jesus died and what the particular Sabbath he died on was, Does this refute bappi? No.

The site itself mentions the Shabbat Parah:
"Shabbat Parah (Red Heifer) - Precedes the Shabbat ha-Hodesh leading up to Passover. The Torah reading, Num. 19:1-22, mentions the purification of the Red Heifer in the Temple, thus establishing the Shabbat of purification. It is the first indication of the preparation Jews make for the arrival of Passover. During the times of the Temple, Shabbat Parah was an indication for those Jews preparing to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to ritually cleanse their bodies. Today, this Shabbat is the time to clean one’s house and remove all hametz before Passover. This purification of oneself and belongings is a suggestion of Passover’s premise of liberation." http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/specialshabbat.html

It is possible that this is the particular Sabbath that was mentioned in the New Testament.

Shadid claims that Jesus' death didn't happen and even brings up the words of Pontius Pilate, trying to demonstrate that Jesus' death was uncertain. However Shadid fails to mention to his audience that JESUS WAS FLOGGED! Jesus would of lost a lot of blood and Mark 15 records how long Jesus was on the cross for. 6 hours and the very context of the NT says Jesus BREATHED HIS LAST. The Greek exepneusen used means such and indicates that Jesus died.

"Mark 15:25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.

27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. [28] [a] 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).[b]

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last."

The death of Jesus on the cross is NOT called into question, Even the centurion stabbed him to check that he was dead.

When you take into consideration Jesus' wounds when he was alive and the spear thrust into his side and the fact that his body had to be taken of the cross, there is no way you can be open to the idea Jesus survived or his death was doubtful.

Regarding the Three Days and Three Nights issue, Shadid tries to show that Jesus himself was not buried for three days and three nights, regardless of the time.

As demonstrated before, the time factor refers to Jesus' ordeal in Sheol, not how long he was buried for. For that matter, Jews do not count 24 hour periods when it comes to the subject of days, they count a day as sundown to sundown.

John Gilchrist has said the following in his paper on this subject the following:
"Unfortunately Deedat here overlooks the fact that there was a big difference between Hebrew speech in the first century and English speech in the twentieth century. We have found him inclined to this error again and again when he sets out to analyse Biblical subjects. He fails to make allowance for the fact that in those times, nearly two thousand years ago, the Jews counted any part of a day as a whole day when computing any consecutive periods of time. As Jesus was laid in the tomb on the Friday afternoon, was there throughout the Saturday, and only rose sometime before dawn on the Sunday (the Sunday having officially started at sunset on the Saturday according to the Jewish calendar), there can be no doubt that he was in the tomb for a period of three days.

Deedat's ignorance of the Jewish method of computing periods of days and nights and their contemporary colloquialisms leads him to make a serious mistake about Jesus' statement and he proceeds to make much the same mistake about his prophecy that he would be three nights in the tomb as well. The expression three days and three nights is the sort of expression that we never, speaking English in the twentieth century, use today. We must obviously therefore seek its meaning according to its use as a Hebrew colloquialism in the first century and are very likely to err if we judge or interpret it according to the language structure or figures of speech in a very different language in a much later age." John Gilchrist: What Indeed Was the Sign of Jonah? http://www.answering-islam.org/Gilchrist/jonah.html

To back up my point further, go to this link by Jacob Prasch where he talks about three days and three nights https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPJDqBNzvOI. Prasch also dicusses the point of "Oh it had to be a Wednesday, It had to be a Thursday point".

It's strange Shadid Lewis tells us not to go the Jewish website but tells us to go by the Jewish Calendar, this is inconsistent.

The three days and three nights issue I have covered now, so I don't need to repeat this point over and over.

chris_438 makes a similar point that I am making here in the discussion with Shadid, to which Shadid Lewis pretty much dismisses with the same points that he made earlier.

I have pretty much addressed Shadid's arguments here. No matter how he wants to cut it, Jesus was in Sheol for Three Days AND Three Nights.

Gomer's point on the sign of Jonah
This conversation actually occurred recently on the 24th of January 2015 on Paltalk.

Gomerozdubar claimed that the sign of Jonah was not the three days and three nights, but was actually a reference to the Queen of the south, basing it on the fact that this comes up more than in the other gospels.

However, the Queen of the South is NOT the sign of Jonah, she was dead before the time of Jonah.

Let's read the contexts:
"Matthew 12:38 Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.”

39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here."

"Matthew 16: The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

Matthew 16:2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.[a] 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus then left them and went away."

"Luke 11:29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom; and now something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and now something greater than Jonah is here."

As stated before with Shadid, just because the Gospels omit certain details, that doesn't mean that the detail isn't important. The only reason Jesus mentions the Queen of the South is that she was in a more noble position than those who rejected the preaching of Jonah, not that she is the sign of Jonah.

Matthew 12 tells us what the sign of Jonah is and the other gospels themselves, while they don't say what the sign is, you still know that the sign he is referring to is the one found in Matthew 12. What the sign is in Matthew 12 is obviously found also in Matthew 16, even if the details are skipped. The audience should know what the sign is since Matthew told them and also the enemies of Jesus should know what the sign of Jonah was, hence why Jesus doesn't repeat what it is in Matthew 16, that would of been redundant if he did.

The conversation on this matter between Gomerozdubar was cut short however due to the fact that the voice server for the room had been knocked down but this was as far as well got before the room started going on the fritz.

I hope I have responded adequately to the objections raised and I thank you for taking the time to read.

Answering Judaism.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

John 6: Does it teach transubstantiation?

I have spoken about John 6 in the past, but I want to dedicate another article on the matter. Repetition will present but new information will be added.

John 6 is often abused to promote transubstansiation, Let's read what it actually says:
"25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit[e] and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray 
him.)"

When Jesus speaks of eating and and drinking in this context, he is referring to believing in his Gospel, his teaching and that those teachings are the key to eternal life. Jesus is not referring to his own body being devoured every time a Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated.

Examples of "eating is believing" can be found in the following passages:
"Jeremiah 15:15 Lord, you understand;
    remember me and care for me.
    Avenge me on my persecutors.
You are long-suffering—do not take me away;
    think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
16 When your words came, I ate them;
    they were my joy and my heart’s delight,
for I bear your name,
    Lord God Almighty.
17 I never sat in the company of revelers,
    never made merry with them;
I sat alone because your hand was on me
    and you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unending
    and my wound grievous and incurable?
You are to me like a deceptive brook,
    like a spring that fails."

"Ezekiel 2:8-3:9. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”

9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.

3 And he said to me, “Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the people of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.

3 Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

4 He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and strange language, but to the people of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and strange language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the people of Israel are not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for all the Israelites are hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people.”"

We also find an example of this in the book of Revelation in chapter 10:
"8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me once more: “Go, take the scroll that lies open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”

9 So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but ‘in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.’[a]” 10 I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour. 11 Then I was told, “You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings.”"

Eating in these contexts refer to believing what has been told to you, digesting the word and then passing it on to others for them to take in. It is not referring to paganistic transubstansiation.

The Romanist will say "Well Jesus didn't say come back I meant it symbolically". However, Jesus didn't have to clarify to his audience that, he already made it clear it was symbolic and his audience MISUNDERSTOOD his words.

Keith Thompson in his article on the mass says the following of this claim:
"It is argued by Catholics such as Tim Staples that if Jesus were speaking metaphorically about flesh and blood being bread and wine in vv. 54-55, then he would have corrected the Jews who grumbled and did not understand him in vv. 52, 60, such as he did when correcting the Jews’ misunderstanding of his saying that he has “meat to eat that you know not of” (John 4:32) which he went on to explain actually referred to his work in doing the will of the Father (Matthew 4:34) (Tim Staples, Nuts and Bolts, [Basilica Press, 2007], p. 33). However, although Jesus sometimes would correct misunderstandings of his metaphorical teachings (see also Matthew 16:5-12), there are various instances where Jesus is misunderstood about his metaphorical language but does not clarify His message. For example, after driving people out of the temple with a whip of cords for turning the temple into a house of trade in John 2:14-16, Jesus says “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” in v. 19. The Jews misunderstood this metaphorical teaching in v. 20 and yet Jesus does not there clarify for them he was referring to his crucifixion and resurrection. We see a similar case in Matthew 26:60-63 where at the trial the Jews misunderstand Jesus’ same teaching, and yet he “remained silent” (v. 63) and did not explain the true meaning. In John 9:7-20 Jesus explains that he is the shepherd who protects the flock and fights the wolves. However, in v. 20 certain Jews respond in confusion thinking Jesus was insane or demon possessed for saying such things. However, Jesus does not clarify to them what he really meant. Hence, it is deceptive for Staples to claim that in regards to the other instances where Jews misunderstood Jesus’ metaphors “In each case, he cleared up the misunderstanding” (Tim Staples, Nuts and Bolts, [Basilica Press, 2007], p. 33). He clearly did not. Therefore, just because Jesus did not correct the Jews about his language in John 6 concerning His body and blood being bread and wine after they took it literally, that does not mean we was not nevertheless speaking metaphorically. " Keith Thompson, Proof the Roman Catholic Mass is unbiblical and anti-Christian: http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2014/03/proof-roman-catholic-mass-is-unbiblical.html

He addresses 5 other arguments which are also worth checking out.

If transubstantiation is true, the Romanist, whether or not he wants to admit it, is engaging in cannibalism, which is a demonic practice. The Acts 15 council even condemns the ritual consumption of blood and the consumption of blood being prohibited goes back to Genesis 9 and IS carried over into the New Covenant.

Anytime where cannibalism occurred, it was condemned and also was the result of handing over unrepentant depraved men over to their sin because they would not heed God's warning:

"Leviticus 26:25-29 25 And I will bring the sword on you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands. 26 When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.

27 “‘If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me, 28 then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over. 29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters."

"Jeremiah 19:7 “‘In this place I will ruin[a] the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals. 8 I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. 9 I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’"

Deuteronomy 28 also speaks on the curses that will come on the people as a result of their disobedience should they go astray:
"Deuteronomy 28:53-57 53 Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities."

Cannabalism is NOT looked upon with any favour in the inspired text of Scripture and No the Melchizedek priesthood does NOT annul the prohibition against cannablism either.

Sam Shamoun also makes the following observation in his article "Questions Regarding the Mass":
"Why does the Roman Church insist on taking Jesus’ words “This is my body” and “This is my blood” literally? Didn’t the Lord Jesus employ figures of speech on the very night of the Last Supper when addressing his disciples? Several examples include:

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:1-8

Should we assume that Jesus is a literal vine, his Father is a literal gardener, and that his disciples are literal branches that bear literal fruit? " Sam Shamoun, Questions regarding the Mass: http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2013/01/questions-regarding-mass.html

Another example I can provide is found in the Sermon on the Mount, Let's observe Matthew 5:
"27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’[e] 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

Was Jesus saying to literally take your eye out? Or is he making the point of taking measures necessary to prevent you from sinning again?

What Rome is essentially wanting their congregation to endorse and I am going to be blunt and honest here, They are telling their congregations to engage in vampire religion.

We briefly turn our attention to the Lord's Supper:
"Luke 22:7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.”

9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked.

10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.”

13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.

14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.

17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you. 18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”

19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.[a] 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.

24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

The Lord's supper itself is a memorial, it is again NOT referring to literally drinking his body and blood as already demonstrated above. Some have claimed that the Lord's Supper is a Passover Seder, but I shall not be mulling this particular point over at this time. Also, we read in the first letter to the Corinthians:
"1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world"

Paul in the context lays down in the chapter how to approach the Lord's Supper, what the conduct should be etc. He also makes it clear that coming to the Lord's Supper with unconfessed sin, will bring judgement to a person, either by illness or dying prematurely.

Some have claimed that Paul is referring to those who deny transubstantiation, However that misses the entire premise Paul is laying out in his letter.

Some reading this may mock the idea of eating is believing and possibly dismiss the interpretation as merely and esoteric reading (which is no rebuttal BTW), but there is validity to the interpretation.

Others such as Jacob Prasch of Moriel Ministries and Jon Bloom of Desiring God have made the point of eating is believing and that it is a valid point. The point is eating and drinking in John 6 is referring to believing in his Gospel, his teaching and that those teachings are the key to eternal life.

Even the great theologian John Wesley makes this comment in his commentary on John 6:
"Verse 34

[34] Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

Give us this bread — Meaning it still, in a literal sense: yet they seem now to be not far from believing.

Verse 35

[35] And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

I am the bread of life — Having and giving life: he that cometh - he that believeth - Equivalent expressions: shall never hunger, thirst - Shall be satisfied, happy, for ever."

and

"Verse 50

[50] This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

Not die — Not spiritually; not eternally.

Verse 51

[51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

If any eat of this bread — That is, believe in me: he shall live for ever - In other words, he that believeth to the end shall be saved.

My flesh which I will give you — This whole discourse concerning his flesh and blood refers directly to his passion, and but remotely, if at all, to the Lord's Supper.

Verse 52

[52] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

Observe the degrees: the Jews are tried here; the disciples, John 6:60-66, the apostles, John 6:67.

Verse 53

[53] Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of man — Spiritually: unless ye draw continual virtue from him by faith. Eating his flesh is only another expression for believing.

Verse 55

[55] For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

Meat — drink indeed - With which the soul of a believer is as truly fed, as his body with meat and drink." John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes, http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=43&c=6

We can see that I am not alone when it comes to this "esoteric" reading.

Furthermore, Keith Thompson points out the following about trogo:
"Catholic argument #3: Catholics such as Robert Sungenis argue that because Jesus switches from using the Greek word phagō in vv. 50, 51, 53, which can mean to eat literally or metaphorically, to using the Greek word trōgō in vv. 54, 56, 57, 58 which, according to Sungenis, only means to literally eat or chew, that therefore Jesus must have switched to teaching people are not only eat his body symbolically, but literally as well, that is, in the Catholic Mass (Robert Sungenis, Not by Bread Alone, [Queenship Publishing, 2000], pp. 183-185). Yet, although this type of argument convinces certain people, it is inaccurate. The word trōgō can have a non-literal meaning just as phagō can. Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words notes that in regards to John 6’s usage, “The use in Matt. 24:38 and John 13:18 is a witness against pressing into the meaning of the word the sense of munching or gnawing; it had largely lost this sense in its common usage” (W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, William White, Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words , [Thomas Nelson Inc., 1996], p. 193). This work is arguing Matthew 24:38 and John 13:18 show the word could be employed symbolically and that at this time this was common. Sungenis’s attempted response of Vine’s citations is unconvincing since for example in the case of Matthew 24:38, contra Sungenis, “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” are all clearly used symbolically of people just living life without care for what Noah was saying before the flood. Hence, this eating can be used symbolically for other things. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament also notes trōgō can be used “figuratively” (Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, [Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 2009], p. 632). Sungenis also refutes his own argument since he cites Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich’s 1979 tome A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature as providing two examples of trōgō in classical Greek taking on a symbolic meaning. Sungenis fails to refute that work to show contextually the two instances it cites do not prove the point. This widely embraced lexicon is the scholarly standard and so if Sungenis wishes to refute what it is saying here then he has to do more than merely claim, as he simply does, the two examples cited by it do not prove the point. The two examples are Aristophenes in the fifth century B. C. using the word to say “the one eating my bread” figuratively and Polybius in the second century B. C. using it to say “two brothers eat” which are examples of comradeship and not literal eating according to that source. Moreover, in explaining why there is a change from phagō to trōgō in Jesus’ sermon, D. A. Carson notes, “It is far more likely that John injects no new meaning by selecting this verb, but prefers this verb when he opts for the Greek present tense (similarly in 13:18)” (D. A. Carson, John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary, [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1991], p. 296)."

and

"Robert Sungenis argues,

“. . . no passage of the Old and New Testament commands anyone to drink blood, not even as a metaphor. Yet the Bible uses the drinking of both water literally (John 4:13; Romans 12:20) and figuratively (John 4:10-15; 7:38). Hence, since the rest of the New Testament never uses drinking blood as a metaphor for believing in Jesus, it certainly begs the question for opponents to claim it is metaphor in John 6. Similarly, nowhere other than in John 6 does either the Old or New Testament ever command anyone to eat the flesh of either God or Christ, even as a metaphor” (Robert Sungenis,Not by Bread Alone, [Queenship Publishing, 2000], p. 178).

The obvious error in Sungenis’s reasoning is that just because the Bible does not employ a metaphor except for in one story or episode, does not mean it is not a metaphor. For, Jesus is only called “the door” metaphorically in one episode (John 10:7-9). Sungenis even admits this when he says “John 10 is the only time that Jesus says, ‘I am the door,’ or even referred to as a door in all of Scripture” (Robert Sungenis, Not by Bread Alone, [Queenship Publishing, 2000], p. 183). God is never referred to metaphorically as a door in the Old Testament either. Just because God or Christ as a metaphorical door is not found in Scripture does not mean John 10:7-9 is not teaching Jesus is a metaphorical and non-literal door. Similarly, just because drinking blood and eating flesh as a metaphor for believing Jesus is not used widely in the Bible, that does not mean in John 6 it is not uniquely metaphorical."

(Keith Thompson, Proof the Roman Catholic Mass is unbiblical and anti-Christian: http://www.reformedapologeticsministries.com/2014/03/proof-roman-catholic-mass-is-unbiblical.html)

There is no way in good conscience, unless your conscience is seared, can you ever believe transubstantiation as biblically viable. I contend that it cannot be done.

I would exhort you to study this issue carefully, Be they Catholic or non Catholic.

Answering Judaism.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Quick Response to Jesse Morrell: A correction on Justification by Faith Alone

"There is virtually no doctrine that I abhor, detest and reject more strongly than the reformed doctrine of "Justification In Sin." To teach that God "legally declares you righteous" while you actually remain unrighteous is nothing more than a denial of the power of the gospel itself. It is "another gospel" and nothing less. And the sister doctrine, the denial of the attainability of entire sanctification or holiness in this life, is equally abhorrent and false. Nothing is further from gospel truth than the lie of perpetual sinfulness or the unavoidability of sinning." Jesse Morrell.

This is the claim of Pelagian heretic Jesse Morrell and a very serious misrepresentation of Justification by Faith Alone.

Both Calvinists and Arminians despite their differences hold to original sin and justification by faith alone and equally hold Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian beliefs to be outside of orthodoxy.

I myself hold to the Arminian perspective as my readers and viewers on YouTube should already know, but this is for those who have started reading for the first time.

Let's correct the strawman that has been erected here.

First, Justification by Faith alone is a legal declaration before God that you have been cleansed and made right with him. When a person accepts Christ after being quickened, he is acquitted and he is cleansed from sin. Works do not contribute to your salvation. Salvation is by grace, and we are secure in Christ IF we remain in him. There is a difference between trusting in Christ for salvation and doing works as GRATITUDE to him and using your works as a means to get to heaven and be right with God.

No one who holds to justification by faith alone should or will ever say that you can remain unrighteous deliberately. To quote the words of Keith Thompson: "Justification is by Faith Alone, but that faith is never alone, we are not anti-nomian". I would also recommend people to check out Thompson's response to another pelagian heretic known as Kerrigan Skelly on certain points that were made by him called "Kerrigan Skelly's Invalid Denial of my Pharisee Charge": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya8a12doebQ

While Morrell is rightly concerned about moral decay and laxity, his misrepresentation of justification by faith alone, as well as his belief that you can be perfect in this life now, is not excusable.

Second, Those who teach Justification by Faith alone, be they Calvinist or Arminian, both acknowledge that those who are justified before God, do not seek to live in sin.

You must also take into consideration that there is a difference between FALLING INTO sin and PRACTICING sin. Those who have been justified and seek to follow Jesus no matter the cost, while they stumble, they seek to correct their wrong doing, not brush it to one side like it was nothing and not care.

Holiness is an ONGOING process. A believer who has been in Christ for decades can look back on his life and see day by day that he is conformed more and more to Christ's image. His sanctification is not instant, it's a process. The righteous believer seeks to follow Christ and emulate him, though the task isn't easy and the person must submit to the demands given to him by the Holy Spirit.

Anti-nomianism and those who adhere to that teaching are false brethren who PERVERT justification by faith alone, not confess it. To say that justification by faith alone when it's PROPERLY understood leads to moral laxity and "perpetual sinfulness" or even to lead many to "teach that God "legally declares you righteous" while you actually remain unrighteous", is a distortion on the part of Morrell.

Paul himself admitted his faults and shortcomings but BY NO means did he excuse them. No one who teaches justification by faith alone advocates that one can live in sin and still be justified, since one who is justified seeks after God in repentance and faith.

"2 Corinthians 12:6 Even if I should choose to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain, so no one will think more of me than is warranted by what I do or say, 7 or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

"Romans 6:6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

Teachers of justification by faith alone will shout Amen and agree with this text. Why assume that those who believe in the biblical doctrine of justification means that they endorse sin? They do not endorse sin. Morrell should know better than to misrepresent the position of his opponents.

Furthermore note the following statement in 1st John:
"1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[b] sin.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."

We can see here that those profess belief in Jesus and yet continue in their sin, namely practicing it, remain in darkness and will not be saved and the exhortation to Christians not to return to the sinful ways of this world.

We also notice that Christians have a struggle with sin, not embracing it, but striving against it. However, due to being imperfect, we fail and need to recognize our errors and return to Jesus. Hence, Pelagians cannot claim a sinless perfection now, since all individuals (with the exception of Jesus) make mistakes and slip up sometimes and that by confessing our sins and repenting we can carry on by the power of the Holy Spirit.

As said before, there is a difference between falling into sin and practicing it.
1. Verses 5-7 make it clear that Christians are not to profess faith in Christ AND live in sin
2. Verses 8-10 make it clear that Christians make mistakes and STUMBLE into sin, not practice it and need to get up again.

Even the book of Proverbs hint at this.

"Proverbs 24:15 Do not lurk like a thief near the house of the righteous,
    do not plunder their dwelling place;
16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again,
    but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes."

While a proverb is generally true, putting that issue aside, what is the point that is being made? Righteous men make mistakes, they seek to correct those mistakes and carry on the straight path.

Morrell and Skelly are in serious trouble if they don't recognize that they themselves stumble and make mistakes. Very...serious...trouble.

May God grant the pelagians and semi-pelagians repentance.

Answering Judaism.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The pillar and foundation of the truth

Rome often asserts that it is the one and only true church, that only it is infallible and all the truth stems from it. You can find this in 1 Timothy 3:15.

"15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

But what is a pillar or foundation? It is something that holds something else up. The church as a pillar or foundation holds the truth up high, but the church itself isn't the truth.

If a church carries false teaching, the truth would weaken the church itself and the pillar collapses.

Pillars that are not properly made will nor be able support the weight it is having to lift, how can a false church lift up the truth if it is devoid of it or only contains elements of truth to begin with?

I am not talking about disputable matters, but I am talking about the essentials.

As pointed out by me in previous papers as well as in works by James White, Keith Thompson, William Webster, Robert Zins etc, The Roman Catholic church has added numerous and countless contrived, unnecessary teachings no Christian is required to observe, let alone should observe.

No church is infallible, but it should have a strong foundation for it to be biblically viable.

Rome with all its teachings on transubstantiation, prayers for the dead, mariolatry, idolatry, purgatory, salvation by works, denial of justification by faith alone, barely qualifies as the pillar that holds the truth up.

If the right materials are absent, the pillar will not last.

If you want to be a pillar and foundation of the truth, ditch lies and pray for the Catholic people to repent.

Answering Judaism.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Quick Response to Craig D on homosexuality 2

"Again you fall short. Homosexuality is no more or less moral or immoral then is heterosexuality. Prove other wise you cannot; Biblically or otherwise.

Sorry everything does not fit into your neat little box of belief. But your opinion is just that an opinion - not facts."

I have demonstrated from biblical passages such as Genesis 2 and Matthew 19 that homosexuality is out of the question, I refer you to the previous article: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/quick-response-to-craig-d-on.html.

Craig D, Since Jesus is YHWH, you have no reason to dismiss his words and the passages he appealed to for biblical marriage, you haven't said anything. Dismissal is not a rebuttal. Does Jesus endorse a homosexual marriage, yes or no. If yes, show me from the Biblical text where he endorsed it, it's not there. If no, you are being disingenuous and not a Christian who believes in the Biblical
witness.

"Why do you try to change or sway the subject with pedophiles, or stealing - the discussion is Homosexuality which is gender, and you have no answer for AIS and the BIble is why. You loose and you can't accept it. You have your bias, and fear (and maybe hate) of homosexuals. None of that changes fact - homosexuality is not a sin."

"If you want I can post DRs / PHDs who would say something different than Dr Batton. Like I did with the 3 Biblical scholars from Iowa that with Biblical facts shows marriage is not just 1 man and 1 women. One needs to research from several sources, not just the ones that are biased like you bobo577."

I don't hate homosexuals, I hate what they are doing and endorsing. Because I love them, I want them to know the truth. I could easily dismiss your sources as biased, but that is NOT an argument. Every person has bias in some way, I could say you have your bias, but that doesn't answer the question of whether or not whether the Bible condemns homosexuality. Nothing has been offered from scripture to demonstrate that it is anything but a grievous sin against God.

Also, the reason I brought up the quote by Batton is, if you are going to suggest that homosexuality is pleasing to God, why isn't pedophilia, stealing, bestiality, murder or other sins acceptable. Let me quote him again (bold and underlined emphasis mine):
"When I tell people that homosexuality is wrong they will bring up hermaphrodites as proof that sometimes females are born with male genitalia and vice versa … . He then went on to tell me that this blew my beliefs regarding homosexuality right out of the water.”
This has nothing to do with the morality of homosexual promiscuity. Morality is not determined by biological abnormalities. You could use the reductio ad absurdum approach:
Say a person was born with a gene that made them a kleptomaniac. Would that mean that we should legalize / legitimize stealing? Hardly. Say it is found that there is a genetic predisposition to pedophilia in some people; would that mean that pedophilia should be accepted? There are people who have such a serious personality disorder (sociopath) that they will abuse and even kill other people without remorse. Does that mean that their behaviour should be accepted by society because they naturally want to behave like that? Of course not; the prisons are replete with such individuals to protect society at large from their behaviour. Just because someone has a natural bent to do something does not mean that society should accept their behaviour. This is a ridiculous argument. You could probably think of even better examples to prove the point." Dr Don Batton: http://creation.com/hermaphrodites-and-homosexuality"

The argument presented by you Craig is absurd, If homosexuality is a natural behavior, why aren't the behaviors Dr Batton mentioned are to be celebrated and endorsed? Care to offer a biblical answer?

"I am not looking at any of your internet posts / links, as there are similar on the other side of the argument, which I can post as well.

Sorry, you are wrong on this argument - homosexuality is not a sin. It is not up to us to show that God specifically condones something, but it is up to you to show evidence that he condemns something and God clearly never condemns 2 members of the same sex in a loving and committed relationship. If you only consider things NOT to be sinful that God specifically condones, where does He condone typing on a computer? Furthermore, Paul made it clear that if you are a New Testament believer, Galatians 5:14 says, "For the entire law is fulfilled with this one; love your neighbor as yourself." So unless you can provide evidence that 2 members of the same sex in a loving and committed relationship are somehow violating that verse, your ideology is clearly in error"

I covered the texts of Genesis 2 and Matthew 19 already, YOU ARE WRONG. Your assertions that homosexuality is a good thing are unfounded. It robs people of actually having a family and while adoption is noble, it is in a context where the parents are engaged in wrongful sexual conduct.

A computer is a neutral thing, as are technology or tools generally. Even the Bible records the usage of tools. It is not the tool that is sinful, it's how the tool is used. How a computer is utilized can be evil or good depending on the context. Technology is neither condemned or condoned, it's just there and it's how it's used matters. What it is also counts too, because there is technology that is perverse, such as a vibrator sex toy. There is a difference between technology that is used for both good and bad and technology that was delibrately created for bad. A computer in and of itself is not good or evil.

Loving my neighbour entails giving the Gospel to them and giving the truth and loving your neighbour as yourself in that context doesn't mean two men are to engage in homosexual activity or two women are to engage in homosexual activity. It is YOU Craig that have failed to demonstrate how I am wrong biblically speaking.

You also have no excuse to say that "God clearly never condemns 2 members of the same sex in a loving and committed relationship." because God himself refutes you in the passages I have brought up, BOTH OLD AND NEW Testaments and from JESUS' own lips and of course the citation I gave from Dr Safarti: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/does-bible-condemn-homosexuality-2.html

Stop with the excuses and repent.

Answering Judaism.

Quick Response to Craig D on homosexuality

"I read what you wrote / posted. The word arsenokoitēs it not understood by Biblical, or Ancient Greek scholars as it did not exist until Paul spoke it (if he did). So it's very interesting that the one man  Dr. Safarti is the go to guy in the know. Seems he is the only one that really knows the true meaning of that word as it remains in conflict by scholars. Go fact check this as either the person writing this or Dr. Safarti are mistaken or lying. 

I'll stop there as without that word being correctly translated - the whole argument falls apart."

Let me quote him again:
"In 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, Paul actually used a most unusual word, ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoitēs, meaning ‘male who has coitus with a male’ (Greekἄρσην arsēn = male). This was not the normal term from the Greek culture. But the Levitical law explains where Paul obtained his binding New Testament prohibition. In English, Leviticus 18:22 reads:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
In the Greek Septuagint from which Paul often quoted, it reads:
καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν (kai meta arsenos ou koimēthēsē koitēn gunaikos bdelugma gar estin)" Dr Johnathan Safarti: http://creation.com/response-to-gay-marriage-article-objections-cmi-shows-questioner-that-christian-faith-is-logical

The word used is a combination of the terms found in Leviticus 18:22 if you actually paid attention to what Safarti is saying. He highlights the two words from the Septuagint readings.

Conflict with scholars or not, you are stuck with the fact the NT itself condemns homosexual marriage. The point stands.

"You go on the say - >If you want to say no one knows what it means, fine, that still doesn't refute the fact that Jesus himself made it clear marriage is between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is out of the question.<
How about three scholars from Iowa?
A trio of Iowa-based religious scholars penned an op-ed, reminding readers that despite popular opinion, the Bible does not simply define marriage as between one man and one woman.

The argument against same-sex marriage is wholly unsustainable debate about marriage equality often centers, however discretely, on an appeal to the Bible. Unfortunately, such appeals often reflect a lack of biblical literacy on the part of those who use that complex collection of texts as an authority to enact modern social policy.

The Bible's definition of marriage can be confusing and contradictory. A primary example of this is the religious book's stance on polygamy, a practice that was embraced by prominent biblical figures Abraham and David. Various Bible passages mention not only traditional monogamy, but also self-induced castration and celibacy, as well as the practice of wedding rape victims to their rapists.


There are some people he may never be able to convince."

The scholars cited doesn't demonstrate the point made by Craig. Genesis 2 talks about the standard of what marriage was supposed to be. Let's read again:
"Genesis 2:21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”
24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

Biblical marriage is defined as in the context above. This was the original intention of marriage which Jesus shows in Matthew 19. Divorce was only allowed due to the hardness of human hearts:

"Matthew 19:4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. 7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”"

Polygamy I am convinced was only allowed for the same reason, hardness of human hearts. Jesus is bringing people back to the Biblical standard of what marriage was supposed to be at the beginning of the earth. Craig D, Stop contriving excuses and trying to get around what Jesus said.

As for supposed "wedding rape victims to their rapists", Keith Thompson has recently addressed this in response to atheist apologist Amon Ra. Watch from 17:35-23:16, Keith Thompson, :The Absurdities of Youtube Atheist "AronRa": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flrncNZlOOw

"Many politicians have made a career out of using the Bible to justify opposition to hot-button topics like same sex marriage.

Those that use the Bible aren't necessarily interested in the truth or the complexity of the Bible. They are looking for one ancient sound bite to convince people what they already believe. Anyone who argues that "the Bible speaks plainly on one issue, especially something as complicated as marriage ... haven't take the time to read all of it.

Sorry you did all this, but your research seems to be lacking."

What a contrived excuse here made that I have seen, if you read the whole Bible, you will never conclude that homosexual behaviour or other sexual sins I listed in a previous paper is endorsed by the Bible itself: http://answering-judaism.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/does-bible-condemn-homosexuality-2.html

Politicians do not use the Bible accurately, they proof text, they take a verse of context and contrive a meaning that is not even there explicitly or implicitly.

 "Oh wait here you say at the very end >justify homosexuality< No one has to justify homosexuality - homosexuals exist on God's earth as part of God's plan or homosexuals would not be on God's earth. Just because you think its a sin, does not mean anyone has to 'justify' their existence or God's creations."

My argument was not justifying the existence of an individual, my argument was about justifying THE BEHAVIOUR of an individual. I said "bringing up what arsenokoites does and does not mean to try and justify homosexual behaviour, is moot.". If you are trying to defend sexual sin as the norm, that is justifying it.

Marriage is NOT complicated. Man and Woman, Not man and man or woman and woman, no sexual sin that has been listed are biblically acceptable. It couldn't be more simple and to over complicate it creates more contrivances than the ones that exist in bad video games like Sonic 06.

Case and point, homosexuality as a biblical behaviour, cannot be justified.

Answering Judaism,

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Does the Bible condemn homosexuality 2

I had recently go engaged in a comments discussion of John MacArthur with two people trying to defend homosexuality and I hope to respond to some of their objections here for them.

"You are flat out wrong. Which Bible is the 'ture' word of God? I just need one, name and year of printing or hand writing so I'm clear. That true Bible that says homosexual orientation is a sin as they do not all say that - I think you know that, but will not accept that fact homosexual orientation is not in the Bible. (yes homosexual acts, again prison sex acts, like the pagan sex acts Paul talked about in Rom, or pederasty, prostitution; none of that is homosexuality or homosexual orientation - try as you want it to be)"

I look forward to your response to Jason M and AIS, and how you will dance with the Bible for an answer.

I don't want to say young prostitute or pederasty - it is what Paul said, he also said he did not speak for God in Rom - Im sure you know that.

Open your eyes to the truth of Jesus, not man made crap, you have a log.

The Bible in Gen, also talks about incest, polygamy so again which is the 'true' BIble the one with the actual word of god; that you use that is so clear to you?

Jesus who talked of mercy, love, forgiveness and community. Something I try to do without judging - its hard, I'm human. Talking fear which leads to hate that is not Christ like. When you, nor I know what the translation of arsenokoites its just easy to read a mis and re translated Bible and say homos are going to hell. Only God can judge. We know God does not make mistakes, and God made me a homosexual male, I am not a mistake nor did I choose my sexual orientation.

ACTS tells us - In him we live move and have our being, all things are held together by him.  Thats all no matter, not just some."

It's really amazing because I had already given 3 translations before the 1900s which demonstrate the point that DESPITE the word homosexual not being there, it is still what the context of the passages I brought up speaking about.

Saying "Oh what is the true bible" is nothing but a trump card excuse and cop out to get away from addressing the real issue.

Saying also that the Bible doesn't speak on homosexual orientation is nothing more than an argument from silence, the context of the Bible does not leave open the possibility of a homosexual marriage to begin with and to bring up the issue of incest and polygamy is a red herring, because incest wasn't issue UNTIL the Mosaic Law came. Incest was allowed FOR A TIME, not forever, but for a time so that the human race could spread, then outlawed once the Torah was given on Mt Sinai. The condemnation of incest is carried over into the NT itself in 1 Corinthians 5.

"1 Corinthians 5:1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord."

If one has a homosexual orientation, Christ can deal with that just as he can deal with those caught in the occult, adultery, murder etc. He can cleanse ANY who come to repentance and even help the person to repent. The person may struggle but they will have the Holy Spirit to convict them and help to follow Jesus.

Jesus understands the struggles of man and what they go through and can help clean them up not just physically but spiritually too. Christians are to have compassion on individuals who are in sin, homosexuals included and we are to teach them and show them why the sinner's actions are reprehensible in the sight of God and give the Gospel to them.

Only God can judge yes, but what does that mean, It simply means only he can judge someone as a person. Human Beings CAN judge A PERSON'S ACTIONS AND DOCTRINE, but not judge them, big difference.

Taking the log out of one's eye refers to HYPOCRITICAL judgement.

If I am not in the same position that someone else is, I can biblically judge them but if I am doing the thing that they are doing and condemning them, then that is wrong and Jesus expects me to rectify this. Taking the log out of someone's eye is not a pretext to never judge someone.

Paul himself could safely speak on behalf of God when he wrote Romans, as the disciples themselves extended the right hand of fellowship, as well as Jesus using Paul as his instrument to bring the Gospel to all nations. Note what I have underlined:
"Acts 9:10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”

“Yes, Lord,” he answered.

11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”

13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength."

For that matter, Acts is not in anyway suggesting that homosexuality is something created and endorsed, as God established at the beginning MALE AND FEMALE, not male and male or female and female. Let's read:
"Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b] As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]".

The context refers to God as sustainer and creator, Paul is essentially explaining to the pagans who is the unknown God they are trying to reach and uses their curiosity as an opportunity to give the message of the Gospel to them. There is nothing about the creation of the homosexual orientation mentioned here, because it is NOT there.

Lastly, Dr Johnathan Safarti addresses the point about the Greek word arsenokoites, which was an argument used earlier in my altercation by one of the objectors. In fact on of the individuals said:

Here's the response from Dr Safarti:
"In 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, Paul actually used a most unusual word, ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoitēs, meaning ‘male who has coitus with a male’ (Greekἄρσην arsēn = male). This was not the normal term from the Greek culture. But the Levitical law explains where Paul obtained his binding New Testament prohibition. In English, Leviticus 18:22 reads:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.
In the Greek Septuagint from which Paul often quoted, it reads:
καὶ μετὰ ἄρσενος οὐ κοιμηθήσῃ κοίτην γυναικός βδέλυγμα γάρ ἐστιν (kai meta arsenos ou koimēthēsē koitēn gunaikos bdelugma gar estin)" Dr Johnathan Safarti: http://creation.com/response-to-gay-marriage-article-objections-cmi-shows-questioner-that-christian-faith-is-logical

To say no one knows what arsenokoites means as a means to get around the Bible's plain teaching against homosexuality is nothing more than smokescreen and as we can see, we have a plain condemnation of homosexuality itself.

If you want to say no one knows what it means, fine, that still doesn't refute the fact that Jesus himself made it clear marriage is between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is out of the question. Fornication, bestiality, prostituion, pedarasty, pedophilia and other sexual sins are out of the question as well, since Matthew 19 and Genesis 2 give us a biblical definition of marriage and bringing up what arsenokoites does and does not mean to try and justify homosexual behaviour, is moot.

More objections will come in another paper, namely using hermaphroditism as a crutch to try to justify homosexuality.

Answering Judaism.