How were they saved?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Helen, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    Hardsheller asked a good and real question and the response is not one I want to bury on page seven or whatever of another thread. He asked a non-Calvinist to explain how we thought anyone could be saved apart from predestination, with particular reference to those who have never heard of Christ. Here is something I sat down this afternoon and wrote for you, Hardsheller. It is not Calvinist. It is not non-Calvinist. It is biblical and it is history. I hope it helps.

    In Christ,
    Helen Setterfield

    ********

    If one is saved only through Christ, there is a legitimate question that arises: How were people in the time before Christ saved? How are people who have never heard of Christ saved? Or all they all doomed to hell?

    In Revelation 13:8 we read that Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation (or creation, depending on which translation you are using) of the world. Thus, the price for sin was paid from before creation in fact, although it was worked out in time in earth’s history. At the very least this indicates a potential for salvation from the beginning of creation.

    In Genesis 3, when God is pronouncing the consequences of disobedience to Adam and Eve, He tells Satan that there will be a Savior from the ‘seed’ of the woman (indicating a virgin birth). When Eve gave birth to Cain, her firstborn, what she said is NOT what is recorded in modern translations. In the Hebrew the actual words are “I have been given a man-child, YHWH.” In other words, she seemed to have thought that this was the promised seed which would crush the head of the serpent. We know she was wrong, and I can only imagine her horror when this child turned out to be the world’s first murderer.

    But the Promise was there, and known. We can only guess that when the Promised One did not appear (or was imitated by someone evil), that people gradually started to disbelieve the promise. Adam and Eve were, perhaps, thought by some of their descendents to be just crazy old people who didn’t know what life was really like (sound familiar?). At any rate, by the time of Noah, he was the only preacher of righteousness left on earth. All righteousness is in Christ, and so we know that Noah knew of the Promise and believed in it. He was saved both physically through the Flood and spiritually through his faith. His faith was in the Promise, which is how Christ would have been understood before the Cross.

    That this Promise was known by Noah and immediately after the Flood is clear. For Job, who was probably Peleg’s nephew – Joktan’s son Jobab (Gen. 10:29), declares “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).

    Skip to Abraham. He knew the Promise, and was reminded of it by God in a way that shows us that the Promise was available to ALL men alive on earth before Christ. In Genesis 15, Abraham asks God about an heir and “Then the word of the Lord came to him: “…a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’ He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’
    Abram believed the Lord and he credited to him as righteousness.”

    It might seem that this is the second of three possible times God promised Abraham that many people would come from him. But although that promise is clear in Gen. 13:16 and then again later in Gen. 17:16, Paul himself writes what the meaning of the exchange in Genesis 15 was:

    “The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ.” (Gal. 3:16)

    There is a clue as to what went on with Abram and God in Genesis 15 in the word translated ‘count.’ It can also mean ‘recount’ as in ‘tell’. What was it Abram was to recount, or tell, in the stars? Although this is often argued, there is good evidence that the Gospel story itself was written in the zodiac – something which has been grossly perverted since then. But a strange piece of evidence regarding the peoples’ knowledge of the meaning is even today in Egypt. It is the sphinx. With the head of a woman and the body of a lion, she points to the first and last signs of the zodiac. The story started with the virgin and ended with the Lion of Judah. A further bit of evidence is in the fact that the meaning of the star names is the same in every ancient language. This is partially detailed in this article: http://www.ldolphin.org/zodiac/index.html

    (The fact that Abraham believed this to be reference to Christ coming from his body can be found when he took Isaac up on the mountain to sacrifice him. In Genesis 22:5, Abraham instructs his servants to wait "while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then WE will come back to you." He expected them both to come back, even though he knew he was going to slay his son. Nevertheless, possibly believing his son to be the Promised One, he also knew, then, that the boy would be resurrected and that death could not hold him.)

    A further bit of evidence regarding this being in the stars is found in the Bible.

    “The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
    Day after day they pour forth speech;
    Night after night they display knowledge.
    There is no speech or language
    Where their voice is not heard.
    Their voice goes out into all the earth,
    Their words to the ends of the world”
    Psalm 19

    Paul makes reference to this in Romans 17-18:

    “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:
    ‘Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.’”

    And, in Isaiah, we read that although man named the animals, God named the stars (40:26).

    So when Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God, and their night after night they display KNOWLEDGE, and when Paul refers to this as people hearing the word of Christ, then we can presume that the ‘glory of God’ Psalm 19 refers to is not the pretty twinkling of the stars, but rather Christ, Himself, who, as the writer to the Hebrews tells us “is the radiance of God’s glory ad the exact representation of his being.” (1:3)

    We may add to all this evidence of people always knowing enough to believe the testimony of so many missionaries who have come back stunned to report that the people already knew something of what they were there to tell them. Whether it is Bruce Olsen with the Motilone Indians in Colombia, or Don Richardson with people in the South Pacific and Asia, or Gladys Alward with the Chinese, the story remains the same – God has left something – He has made sure something remained. Enough to believe in the Promise of God and that God Himself would rescue men from their condition. It’s in the ancient writings of other religions as well, such as Hinduism. Long since buried and ignored, the writings still exist in the oldest texts.

    And this should not surprise us. After all, the story of creation itself as well as the Flood can be found in legend after legend of the ancients. The message, the story, had been passed down. How much more so the very Promise of God, especially if God Himself had written it in the heavens?

    And Christ is that Promise. We have the name – Jesus, or Y’shua – to attach to it, and the history of the Incarnation. But the reality was there all along, just as Job declared. “I know my Redeemer lives.” And if a person believed in that Promise – that God Himself would rescue men, then that was faith in Christ. As Paul said, yes, they knew. They all have always known, at least in part. At least enough for salvation. For Peter was correct to write that God is not willing that one should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God has left no one out. All are invited. Provision was made for all. The invitation and message have been available to all.
     
  2. whatever

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    Helen,

    You did everything right up to the point of answering the question, but then you stopped short of answering. Of course provision has been made for all. Of course the message and invitation are for all. What's next?

    Would you say that actually obtaining this potential salvation is up to each of us? If not us, then who? Unless you go all the way to actual obtaining of salvation you haven't answered the question.
     
  3. Me4Him

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    1Pe 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; (Prisoners of sin)

    1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick (alive) and the dead.

    6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

    Jesus, in the tomb, (earth) went and preached to the "Spirits" of those "ALREADY" dead, that they might be judged according to the "living".

    Jesus's death cover "ALL SINS" of the "WHOLE WORLD", from Adam/Eve to the last person saved.

    1Jo 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

    This is why Jesus said:

    Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:

    no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    And "NO MAN" means "NO MAN". OT or NT.

    The "wages of sin" must be "PAID" or "NO SALVATION".
     
  4. Helen

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    whatever, "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness."

    Abraham believed about the Christ. All righteousness is in Christ.

    Remember the question: "What must I do to be saved?"

    And remember the answer? "Believe."

    Those who believed on the Promise, whether or not they knew the name Jesus, were saved.

    Me4Him,

    Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. That means that, in God's terms, sins were paid for from the beginning. And if Eve thought she had given birth to the Savior, and if Job knew his Redeemer lived, and if Noah was a preacher of righteousness, and if Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness, then we have some pretty good evidence that people before the cross knew well the Promise of God, faith in which was salvation. After the cross we have the name and history, but that does not change the character or work of Christ, which was established from the foundation of the world.
     
  5. Gina B

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    That was very interesting. However, it did leave me with a few questions.
    Why were the saved unable to enter heaven until Christ was crucified?
    I'm looking forward to your answer under the assumption that you believe faith brings forgiveness. You believe that a person is not forgiven for his/her sins until they have faith in Christ, correct?

    How does the witness of the heavens interfere with the idea of predestination? Does God not have a specific name for each of his own, one that only they will respond to? If one's calling to Christ is uttered by the stars, or nature, or a dream, or in the middle of a Sunday School class, or by a paragraph read in a book, what difference does it make? I'm not understanding how you are relating unconventional (for many readers here) ways of coming to Christ with proof that salvation isn't predestinated. What is the link?
     
  6. Helen

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    1. Christ was the first to rise from the dead and, as the firstfruit, first to enter heaven. (Acts 26:23, Rev. 1:5, etc.) Those who died in a state of grace, if you will, as those who were saved were in Paradise, or "Abraham's Bosom" until Christ led them 'a train of captives' to follow Him to heaven, after which Paradise existed no longer. We see in Jesus story of the rich man and the beggar, Lazarus, that Lazarus was with Abraham and they were not yet in heaven.

    2. God is ready with forgiveness for all, but forgiveness must be accepted (which requires repentance) in order for it to be effective. Believing on the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting forgiveness from God are all one package deal. This is different from atonement, which is the debt of death for sin, which Jesus paid for all men, whether they are aware of it or not, or whether they are believers or not.

    3. The witness of heaven is the story of the Gospel written in the heavens themselves. Thus all men could know of the Promise, even to the death and resurrection of the Savior. It is not that one's calling was uttered by stars -- that would rank with the occult astology today. It is that the Promise of a Savior was there in the story of the Zodiac. This was the story that Abraham was to recount. This is the glory of God in the heavens which transcends all languages on earth.

    It is large part because of this that Paul could write "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20)

    It is not an unconventional way of coming to Christ. Those of us who come are those of us who responded to what truth we did see before we were born again and wanted more truth. Then we were led by the Father to the Son, who accepted all of us. It is this way and has always been this way.

    Believers are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ, to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ, and the way this was predestined to happen (in other words, the WAY was chosen ahead of time and there is no other way), was through the work of Christ. No one can come to life but through Christ and no one can come to Christ except he or she respond to whatever truth they have been presented with in their lives by wanting more, so that the Father will lead them to Christ. This is why Christ said "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE."

    It is perhaps important to mention here that the first sentences of Hebrews are extremely important to remember when discussing how God spoke to people in the past:

    "In the past God spoke to our forefathers thorugh the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe."

    Before Christ, the zodiac was known to all as the story of a Promise of a Savior. In the heavens He is born of a virgin, is rejected, tramples the serpent (the largest constellation, which winds through the heaven), is sacrificed and rises again as the triumphant lion.

    Satan has perverted these things to signs like 'virgo,' 'leo', etc. But we don't need them now. Now we know who Christ was. We know the story in history and we don't need it in the heavens. But the story is still there, locked away in the mists of the past, but still available for study for those who are interested.

    But nothing, NOTHING, trumps the person of Jesus Christ and now we know who He was and is. And that is the main thing.

    And people are allowed to respond as they wish to Him. People are allowed to respond as they wish to the truth. Consequences, as warnings, start almost immediately for those who prefer the lie, but they are still free to choose, and then to repent if they are humble enough.
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    Your post has left me with a few questions also. Like Gina, I don't see that anything you've presented necessarily contradicts predestination. Also, in light of the fact that you believe that God has made sure enough of something remained (Creation testimony, religious writings, etc.) for everyone to believe in the Promise of God, why is it necessary to send missionaries to them?
     
  8. Helen

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    We send missionaries to say "Look He DID it! We have Good News for you!"

    Every tribe and culture has a hook left on which to hang the Gospel. But they have gotten so mucked up with demonism and mythologies and sorcery that getting the reality of God untangled from all that can be a real challenge. As far as I am personally concerned, I feel the same way about untangling people from the New Age garbage! The plain and simple Gospel will always need missionaries, probably to every nation, until Christ comes.

    The real Gospel is heart-lightening, freeing, joyful. His burden truly is light and people need to know they are not responsible for trying to save themselves, which is how all perversions end up presenting it.
     
  9. DeafPosttrib

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    Helen,

    Amen. Preach it! I know you are not a Calvinist. You shows us the truth form the Bible.

    God is already to ready to forgive our sins, but, our responsible to make decision, to believe or reject Christ.

    God shew Christ to the whole world, not just for "elects" only, also to all sinners-obivously in 1 John 2:2.

    Yes, you are right, when Paul and Silas were in the jail, there was an earthquake caused all doors of jail opened, all prisoners were fled away. Soldier have no choice, but have to commit suicide, because of Romans' law if a soldier fails to stop prisoner from being flee, will put to death. That why, he was about to commit suicide. But, They stopped him from doing commit suicide. Then he asked them, "What shall I do to be saved?" They told them, "BELIEVE...." . Believe simple means to reply on, trust on, have faith on. We have to have trust and believe what God did to His Son, that He sent His Son to earth to died on the cross for our sins, and believe that God hath raised Christ from the death, SO, we are responsible to call upon the Lord with our mouth(also hands of sign-deaf) ask Christ for forgive our sins, and repent of our sins, and ask Christ to saved. Our responsible of salvation is TO BELIEVE, REPENT, TO CALL. We are not robot. God gave us our brain that we have decisions.

    We know that we are already doomed on the way to hell, because of already have sin, come from Adam. No way that we can go to heaven with sin. So, that why God sent His Son to earth to died on the cross for our sins, and paid all our sins through His blood. We cannot be saved our ourselves, because we are already sinners. The only way that we can go to heaven is to depend on Christ's work. Also, we must ask Christ to save us through confess of our sins.

    I do not agree with Calvinism, that they saying, God already chosen people BEFORE the world foundation, that they are already are 'elect'. That teaching sounds to me like we are God's robot.

    I believe we all have freewill to make decision, because God gave us our brain that we have decision to make.

    Many people wish want go to heaven. But most people are being end up in hell. Why? Cannot blame God for send them to hell. Because people already received sin come from Adam(Romans 5:12); and doing wicked life. Many refuse to believe on Christ, want to stay sin. That why they are on the way to hell, because of their freewill decision.

    I hope that you shall understand clear what I and many other non-calvinists believe according to the Bible, what it actual saying.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  10. Me4Him

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    I agree with all you've said, "HOWEVER" unless the "NAME" of Jesus is "INVOKE", there is no salvation.

    "JESUS" is a "NAME" that must be "ACKNOWLEDGED" before Salvation will be granted.

    Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Ac 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

    Jesus's "NAME" in the OT was a "Secret", it wasn't revealed until the angel revealed it to Mary.

    Jg 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?
     
  11. Marcia

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    I'm sorry, but as a former profesional astrologer and astrology teacher, I cannot sit by while a post endorses the gospel in the stars without responding. I do not want to debate it and don't have time to do so, but I've studied this topic because I am asked about it all the time. I will just say a few things about some statements from the link posted by Helen that are patently false.

    This is illogical reasoning. Does palm reading mean that the lines in our hand really mean something? Does seeing images in crystal balls or having an image evoked in our mind by staring at a crystal ball mean that there is some truth to seeing things in crystal balls? Does reading omens mean that there really is truth in seeing patterns in the flight of birds, shape of clouds, etc.? Of course not. You don't find truth from the counterfeit. That is backwards.

    There is no valid biblical basis for the gospel in the zodiac, which started with the theory that God gave Adam (or in some legends, Seth) the meaning of the zodiac and it was lost. Amazing how God left this piece of vital information out of his word. This turns the whole gospel in the stars/zodiac business into a Christian esoteric teaching. Christian esotericism is an oxymoron.

    This statement shows an ignorance of the meaning of the Hebrew word translated as "signs." It has nothing to do with zodiac signs. All indications are that the lights were established for light and to mark time and seasons. The Bible says that the heavens declare the glory of God --- there is a Creator. It does not say the heavens declare the gospel. Furthermore, the gospel comes by special revelation, not general revelation.

    It is also untrue that the names for the star systems were universal among all ancient civilizations.

    The arguments for the gospel in the stars are so full of holes as to resemble Swiss cheese. I have yet to see any that make sense. Not only that, this theory got started based on lot of inaccurate information.

    Here are some articles refuting this theory:

    http://watch.pair.com/leo.html

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stone-catend/gpinstar.htm

    http://www.rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Psychology/astrol.htm

    http://cana.userworld.com/cana_faqs.html

    Some interesting info on Lambert Dolphin, who endorses the GIS:
    http://www.seekgod.ca/myths.htm
     
  12. Gina B

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    Acts 26:23 23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

    1:5And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

    I take it your answer is that they weren't in heaven because Christ was supposed to be the first to enter heaven.
    I understand these verses to mean that Christ was the first who was bodily resurrected. I see nothing in there about being the first to enter heaven. Even if so, he had been there spiritually already. Those in heaven now are without resurrected bodies, so it doesn't make sense to interpret those verses as saying that Christ was meant to be the first body in heaven. In fact, I don't even see anything in there or in the surrounding verses to suggest it at all.
    I do agree with the concept of Paradise and that it has not been in existance since the resurrection.


    That's an interesting way of looking at things. I'm not sure what to make of it. Let me explain why.
    It is possible to feel deep remorse and repentance for sin and still have VERY serious doubts about who Christ is. Many people repent of their sins in tears and with deep sorrow, but then do not know where to turn next. Some pray for faith in Christ. Some don't receive it. Some then go on to seek truth and enlightenment in other forms.
    I am led to the conclusion that repentance doesn't lead to forgiveness. It seems that effective forgiveness happens when one is saved, by grace, through faith. Alone. With faith being a gift from God.
    I agree with that completely. What I meant by the term "calling" was not some type of physical vocation, but the call to Christ.

    Perhaps there was a bit of a misunderstanding here. I think that most in the church in the United States would call coming to faith through the story told in sky to be unconventional...something totally different from hearing a sermon or reading the Bible on paper. Which is why missionaries get suprised, right? It ain't what we're used to. :eek: Perhaps I used the wrong word? Whatever the case...the point in that was this: it seems to me that God has willed different ways for people to come to faith. We as humans can refuse to carry the gospel message as we have been commanded, but the predestined will hear it regardless. (checking the locks on the doors about now.. ;) ) That seems an understated yet forceful commentary on the sovreignty of God.

    Doesn't it take faith to do that? I'm not convinced that faith is anything but a gift from God.
    That is pretty much the heart of why I believe differently than you on this issue. Show me, convincingly, that faith is not a gift from God, that it is something we can have apart from God granting it to us, and I'll be much more likely to rethink that maybe he doesn't choose whom he will save, since I'm convinced that the Bible teaches that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ.

    I noticed that the verse "choose this day whom ye will serve" was used previously as backup for this, but the verse does not say choose God or man. The verse says choose this god or that god, both of them being false, then states "but I will serve God". The choice between sin and sin doesn't fit a choice between God and sin. I simply don't see a lot of choice in the Bible. When God speaks, his people hear, those that don't hear aren't his people. It doesn't say they become his sheep, it simply says they ARE, state of being, not state of trying to become.

    Now I'm going way off, but anyhow I'm serious about the faith thing. (not that I'm joking about the rest, but you know what I mean)
     
  13. Gina B

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    Marcia, keep digging on him (LD) and you'll find even worse gossip and twisted reasoning, I promise.

    Just remember that it IS gossip and twisted reasoning before you comment. Conspiracy ideas on sites set up by over-zealous persons who see the occult in any appreciation for anything God-made aren't exactly places to learn your theology at. I know you are a very sincere person and do not mean to cause harm, but good people ARE harmed when you use these types of sites and promote their lies without researching the full truth.
     
  14. rlvaughn

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    Helen, I think I mistook your first post. When you said - "God has left something – He has made sure something remained. Enough to believe in the Promise of God and that God Himself would rescue men from their condition." - I thought you meant people could be saved with understanding the promise. But when you wrote later "The plain and simple Gospel will always need missionaries, probably to every nation, until Christ comes" I decided that I misunderstood and that you believe it is necessary for them to hear the gospel preached to be saved. Please clarify; thanks.

    As far as the gospel in the stars, I agree with Marcia; I don't see it in the Bible. But even if it were true, fact is, it would be necessary that someone be TOLD what the zodiac means in order for them to know what it means. So that leaves the untold (concerning the stars) in the same shape as those who have not been told of the gospel. Just doesn't make sense to me.
     
  15. Helen

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    A few points here.

    1. Lambert Dolphin is a close personal friend and one of the finest Christian men I know. His webpage bothers some because it is a resource file and not limited to Christian apologetics. As such, they accuse him of believing everything that he has filed there. That would make him a multiple schizophrenic, which he most certainly is not! He was mentored by Ray Stedman and Lambert remains someone I trust absolutely as a brother in Christ. He is a frequent houseguest here and we exchange emails daily. I don't think many people know him as well as my husband and I do. I was, by the way, one of the co-authors of Gospel in the Stars. Before I married Barry Setterfield, another co-author, I was Helen Fryman.

    2. Anyone who has been in the occult and astrology in our time is well aware of the demonism and perversions that exist there and I agree with that. However that has nothing to do with God's original purpose for the zodiac. It is referred to in the Bible but not explicitly stated, and that is a good thing. Can you imagine what people would do with it today? However the fact is that the Magoi from Persia were watching the stars for the expected sign of the birth of the King of the Jews, as Daniel has taught Zoroaster so many years before. In Genesis 1:14, God states the stars are for signs as well as times and seasons. It's not at all necessary now, because we know who Christ is, but it was a gift from God before to the whole world.

    People knew the stars. They didn't have television! The star names were as familiar to them as television star names are to us. The night sky was the parade of seasons and times. The early migrations from Babel were full of people who looked at the sky for direction. They KNEW the stars! They knew the names and the stories. That is why the names meant the same in every ancient language.

    rlvaughn, it is not a matter of how much one knows which is the telling point in salvation, but of one's faith in the little one might know. None of us knows the whole truth. But we know Christ. We know God. It is because of Him we are saved, regardless of the extent of our knowledge. People then were the same. They were closer to the original promise, certainly, but, like Job, they did not need to do more than believe that Promise.

    But just like people today, the truth can get messed up with a lot of garbage and even though people believe, they get saddled with a lot of extra that is not needed. I'm sure there are Roman Catholics who are our siblings in Christ, but that is because they believe and depend on Jesus, despite all the extra trappings and works the RC church tries to hang on them. God knows the heart. Someone in the far reaches of some jungle tribe may know simply that there is a story that the God above all gods will someday come and rescue men. So he believes that; counts on it; lives by that. He is a believer of the truth that has been given him and God will lead him to Christ, one way or another. Then there is the other end of the scale -- the theologian who knows the Bible backwards and forwards and maybe in several languages but cannot find it in himself to put his trust in the God of that Bible. He is in much worse condition than our tribal brother.

    But for the tribal brother, the news of the Gospel helps him shed all the extra nonsense that is part of his culture and religion and zero in on Christ. That is a wonderful thing for him! Then he can run the race and not simply hope and trust in what he does not know.

    Me4Him, you have made a common mistake about the idea of 'name'. First of all, when Moses asked who he should tell the Israelites he had talked to, God responded "I AM the I AM" Jesus used the same pronouncement in Greek four times ("Ego eimi") in the Gospel of John.

    But the main point is not that. The main point is that the reference to name is a reference to character. If you 'have a good name' it means you have a good reputation -- your character is known and is respected. We don't use that meaning so much any more, but that is what is being referred to by the 'name' of Jesus. It is His character that we must claim and call on. His 'name' is different in different languages. His character remains the same. And since He is God, that is the character we are depending on.

    I know a number of Mexicans name Jesus. It is a popular name there. Y'shua was a popular name 2000 + years ago, too. It is not on the spelled letters I put my faith, but on the character of God Himself, who was not called "Jesus", but, rather 'Y'shua' or 'Joshua' while here on earth. When we pray 'in the name of Jesus' we are not reciting some magic spell! We are praying in His character, and that HIS will be done. That's just a whole lot more than five letters.

    And the folk who lived four thousand or more years ago were just as capable of depending on the character of the living God as you and I are. We have more knowledge due to the Incarnation, but who is to say that we have more faith?

    Gina, I'll have to get back to you. This is already long and my son is here from California and Chris needs to go to bed and...dishes...and....

    But I shall return!
     
  16. Marcia

    Marcia
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    Helen, there is no credible evidence for the GIS at all. The zodiac it not referred to the in the Bible. The term "mazzaroth" is unknown and there is only speculation on what it means. It certainly does not indicate there is a gospel in the zodiac no matter what it means.

    There is no evidence the Magi used astrology and a star leading people to a specific location is not astrology anyway -- it is more like astronomy. This was a supernatural star which I believe was the glory of God. Just as the pillar of fire led the Israelites in the wilderness, so the star led the Magi to Christ. Whatever the Magi saw, we do not know, but apparently no one else seems to have seen it or known what it was. The Daniel passage does not even indicate an astronomical event and it certainly does not indicate an astrological one.

    The word "signs" in Gen. 1.14, as I stated and as explained on my site, has nothing to do with the zodiac or the term "sign" as associated with "zodiac signs." To try to link this word with the zodiac is terrible hermeneutics. You have to do eisigesis to do that.

    In fact, you need eisigesis to get anything for GIS from the Bible, becasuse it is simply not there. The links I posted clearly refute GIS.

    Since God warned over and over not to worship what was in the heavens, it seems odd he would have the gospel there and then say that. The OT people were to look to revelation from God from his prophets -- God's word at the time -- and the NT to Christ and God's word.
     
  17. Marcia

    Marcia
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    When I said the Daniel passage, I meant the Numbers 24 passage.
     
  18. DeafPosttrib

    DeafPosttrib
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    Excuse me, it is little bit off the track. I ask anyone of you of a question. What about the wise men? They studied stars, and they followed a bright star led them to the location, where the King of the Jews is born. They found Jesus Christ in Bethelhem.

    I do not think 'sign' is part of occult or astrology either. God uses signs for Jews only. Paul tells us, sign is for Jews, Gentiles after their wisdom.

    Jews have lack of their faith, they required sign to prove then will believe. Gentiles have more wisdom than Jews.

    But, Bible telling us, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, both are same and sinners in the eye of the Lord.

    Abraham has his faith as He obeyed God for commanded him to get out of his hometown, and to follow God, not know where go. That was his faith. Same as we have faith in Christ, we not yet see Jesus of His face. But we have faith WHAT the Bible saying so. Bible tells us, that Christ died and rise for us 2,000 years ago. We have to believe what the Bible saith. We have faith in Christ without see. Same with Abraham, he was saved by HIS FAITH according Galatians chapter 2 and Hebrews chapter 11. Same as we are saved by the faith only - Eph. 2:8-9.

    Abraham and O.T. saints have no idea what the name of the person who shall be their Saviour - "Jesus". But, they had their faith in their Savoir who would came to save their sins in the future, as it is finally fulfilled. Same as we have faith in Jesus who died and rise for us, as it fulfilled 2,000 years ago. We have faith of the past, what God has done for us. Same with O.T. saints have their faith of the future what God shall done for them.

    Throughout in the Bible, the word, 'faith' is the mostly important key for salvation. God only have ONE plan of salvation for all ages base upon the FAITH only, no other else.

    In Christ
    Rev. 22:20 -Amen!
     
  19. Helen

    Helen
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    Marcia, my husband lectured in astronomy to astronomers for years in South Australia. He is the one the Astronomical Society and the Dodwell family trusted with the Dodwell papers after George Dodwell, government astronomer for South Australia and respected world-wide, died. I say this simply to indicate that he knows what he is talking about where astronomy is concerned. Please read his research on what the star of Bethlehem was:
    http://www.setterfield.org/star.htm

    I can appreciate, given your past, that you are entirely wary of anything to do with signs and stars, but what you were involved with is a satanic perversion of the real thing. However just believing this or that about, for instance, the star of Bethlehem without any research to substantiate your faith is blind faith. The Bible is not about blind faith. Research is not a bad thing.

    The pillar of cloud by day/fire by night was the Shekinah glory of God. This was probably what showed the Magoi the exact place in Bethlehem, but it was not what led them to Bethlehem, your paranoia notwithstanding.

    Mazzaroth IS used in the Bible, and you will find the word in Job 38:32. The Mazzaroth ARE the 12 signs of the zodiac. That is the definition of the word.

    Nevertheless, this thread is NOT about a defense of the Gospel in the Stars. It is about the fact that God has not left any man on earth without enough truth about the Promise of a Savior to trust upon. If you do not like the idea of the Gospel in the Stars, that is fine. You will still find a record of the ancient promises in ancient Chinese characters, in the Motilone legends, in Peace Child, in "Eternity in their Hearts", and in the reports of hundreds of other missionaries, all of whom wondered who on earth got to the people before they did that the people had some knowledge of the Gospel!
     
  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    Helen, you say this thread is not about a defense of the gospel in the stars. But to some extent it should be, because you introduced that in your original post, which purported to explain how those who have never heard of Christ could be saved apart from predestination.

    Do you believe that a person can be saved through the "gospel in the stars", or by reading a record of the ancient promises in ancient Chinese characters, or through the Motilone legends, Peace Child, & "Eternity in their Hearts"? Or do they still need to also hear the Gospel?
     

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