Perfection

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by Darrell C, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Hello to all,

    I wanted to ask this question in the fundamental arena first. I count myself as a fundamental, and am looking forward to fellowship with others of like mind.

    I am sure there will be differences in generalities, but am sure also that we build from the same foundation (Jesus).

    The question I pose concerns the book of Hebrews, and the theme of perfection found therein: concerning Christ, His sacrifice, salvation, and that of those born-again.

    I am assuming a fundamental doctrine of our faith is that salvation is eternal, that is an event in the life of an unbeliever at a specific point in time, where he/she is born-again and receives the new nature.

    And that this salvation, because it is wholly the work of God, from our hearing the Word, to the belief in that Word, to the convicting of the Holy Spirit, and the resulting new nature, whereby we are indwelt by the Spirit of God, cannot be lost, walked away from, or any other descriptive term used to promote one losing savation. (whew, sorry for the long sentence)

    If these are not a fundamental belief, please let me know.

    One thing I have tried to debate with those who promote loss of salvation is this: lets look at the verses you use to teach this.

    Ultimately Hebrews 6:1-6 and 10:26 are thrown in.

    While I can defend assurance of salvation easily enough, because these verse are pulled out of context, they are unwilling to let go of their position (doctrine) because it flies in the face of their faith...which is easily identified as a works-based faith, in which they are counting on their own good works to retain their salvation.

    Rather than Christ's death in their place for the forgiveness of their sin.

    I was surprised, however, to learn of one brother who, though affirming salvation could not be lost, saw the hearers of 6:1-6 and 10:26 as true believers. This was surprising to me.

    So, one of my questions to you, fundamental brethren, is this: do you agree with this?

    I will say this, I firmly deny that these warnings, or rather, the chacteristics and consequenses of who the warnings are directed at are not born-again believers.

    This thread itself is more concerned with the use of the words perfect, perfection, full age, and consecrated, all variants of what in the greek simply means complete.

    No great theological discovery, but never taught, as far as I have seen. The discussion will both center around this theme which threads its way through Hebrews, and deal directly with salvation.

    I hope for a good discussion, tempered with a little more grace than would be found by those who purposely teach a salvation in which the believer must still work his way to heaven.

    Rather than entering God's rest, relying solely on the blood of Christ (His death in my place), His finishing the work He has begun in me, and conforming me to the image of His Son in the process.

    God bless.
     
  2. jonathan.borland

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    At least I hope no one, whatever his or her view, thinks that apostates go to heaven! So the crux seems to be the nature of these people who were "enlightened," "tasted the heavenly gift," "partook of the Holy Spirit," "tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age," "fell away" (or "committed apostasy"), who "crucify" Jesus all over again, who "sin deliberately," etc., well, these descriptions sound more like that impostor at the wedding feast who was cast out into darkness (Matt 22:11-13), not like true believers! John says they committed apostasy because they "were not of us" to begin with (1 John 2:19). I generally stick with John's interpretation over those of the "Free-Will" persuasion, though I'm not a Calvinist either. Shhh, we don't want them creeping in here from the theology debate forum!
     
    #2 jonathan.borland, Feb 6, 2010
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  3. Darrell C

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    Hi Jonathan Borland.

    I don't think its a matter that they think apostates go to heaven, its more like works-based doctrine.

    Ironic how these people never consider themselves to be candidates... they just want to make sure everyone is as good as they are.

    Don't have a great deal of time tonight, but here is a quick thought on 10:26.

    The preceding verse says, (25)-Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is...

    Does it take a great deal of thought to tie this to v.26 and its warning?

    Or, if one has forsaken "the assembling of ourselves together"...that just maybe they were not saved. The implication is forsaking Christ's sacrifice for the sacrifice of the Levitical System.

    This is why "there remaineth no more sacrifice".

    His is the only one accepted by God.

    God bless.
     
  4. jonathan.borland

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    Hey Darrell,

    Are you from Lynchburg? I had a lot of friends who went to Heritage. I was a Jerry's kid myself.
     
  5. Jon-Marc

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    My second wife rejected me when she realized that I wasn't perfect like she was. :laugh: Surprisingly, there are actually people in this world who do think they are without any faults.
     
  6. jonathan.borland

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    The passage in Hebrew 10 on perseverance really is excellent. According to Hebrews 10:22-25 the following are normative for all Christians:
    1. True faith
    2. Regenerated hearts
    3. Baptism (this is also symbolic of all those ritual washings in the OT before presenting oneself before God)
    4. Perseverance
    5. Love and good deeds
    6. Communion with other believers

    If anyone says he's a Christian and lacks any of these, he's got big problems. Some people like to argue about whether or not baptism or good deeds are necessary for salvation. Let's just do it instead of arguing about it. We are, after all, Baptists!
     
    #6 jonathan.borland, Feb 8, 2010
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  7. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Hi Jonathan,

    No, I'm in the Richmond area (surrounding area).

    Heritage is a popular name.
     
  8. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    Amen to that!

    Hi Jon-marc,

    This is where I see Hebrews as important to clarifying the positional righteousness and justification of the believer.

    It is sad that there are those who honestly believe they are fulfilling the Law. Paul said he was blameless concerning the law, but I don't believe for a second that he thought he fulfilled the law so as to be righteous in the sight of God (as he makes clear elsewhere).

    But the believers' perfection (completion in Christ) does not refer to personal holiness, but to our standing before God. Just as our justification.

    But, this is what I wanted to discuss with those whose beliefs in doctrine run in a similiar direction.

    Look forward to it, Jon-Marc,

    God bless.
     
  9. Darrell C

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    Hello again Jonathan,

    Indeed these things are characteristic of true believers. You have hit on the one thing that some fail to recognize...perseverance.

    If one forsakes the assembling of the brethren, what does that mean? It would seem that they were not truly saved: they did not believe to the saving of the soul.

    I should probably say, that I view the "washing of our bodies" to refer more to the washing of the water of the word, rather than Christian baptism (only because this list refers to inward workings rather than outward...which lead to outward: but, I could be wrong).

    The "washings" of 6:2 I would dogmatically apply to ritual of Judaism.

    I guess a question I would ask, is this:

    Is it as obvious to you (all)(not a redneck, just posing the question to all) that the consequences to this warning is for those who do not persevere, and are not truly born-again?

    God bless.
     
  10. jonathan.borland

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    Yes, I think so. The stubborn people of the OT referred to many times in Hebrews are like those who received dire consequences for their refusal to celebrate the Passover (Num 9:13) or sinned deliberately (Num 15:30-31), among other things. Of course open rebellion, like Korah, Dathan, and Abiram (Num 16) are examples, too. They were among God's holy people, but were not really of his holy people. God's holy ones are those who so believe God's word that they position their lives to align with that reality. Those who do not do so are not really believers, but functional atheists, self-deceived, and condemned by their unbelief.
     
  11. Darrell C

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    Hi Jonathan,

    It is true.

    It is sad as well. As Christians, we are led by the Spirit in seeking after holiness. But you have to question those who are relying on a "sacrifice" other than Christ's.

    Okay, I have a little time this evening, and I would like to post the reason for the name of this thread: Perfection.

    Just so no-one gets the wrong idea, perfection as found in Hebrews is not speaking about a person living perfectly.

    The term means completion, and you will see it applied to Christ and those who are His, including the saints before Pentecost.

    I propose that it speaks of our standing in Christ, as justification speaks of our standing before God concerning righteousness.

    Be back in a bit.

    God bless.
     
  12. Darrell C

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    Well, after an hour of typing verses, I received a "fatal error" message.

    What is that?
     
  13. Darrell C

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    Here are a few of the verses. I will post these and then add to them later..

    Hebrews

    2:10-For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect (5048) through sufferings.

    5048-teleioo: from 5046; to complete, i.e. (lit.) accomplish, or (fig.) consumate (in character). Translated: consecrate, finish, fulfill, (make)perfect.

    5:9-And being made perfect (5048), he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

    5:14-But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age (5046), who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

    5046-teleios:complete (in various applications of labor, growth, mental and moral character, etc.); completeness. Translated: (of) full age, man, and perfect.

    6:1-Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection (5047), not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

    5047-teleiotes-(the state of) completeness (ment. or mor.). Translated perfection (ness).
     
  14. olegig

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    Hello Darrell, I too came here seeking some r&r from the other board, I saw your name and the interesting topic, so here we go......

    First let me say I firmly believe in the free gift of salvation to the believer in this the Church Age.
    I believe we (members of the Body) are saved by Grace through faith which is the gift of God.
    And this gifted, saving faith is the Faith of Christ, not my own meager, sometimes wavering faith.

    I am a Baptist, but first and foremost I am a Bible Believing Christian.
    Now sometimes this presents a problem because I do see some things in scripture differently than the common position held by the Baptist organization.
    I must always be lead by a literal reading of scripture.
    One of these differences does concern what I would call the "method of salvation".

    When one boils it all down, IMO each man of the Bible is saved by doing exactly what he is told to do by God.
    God will not, and does not punish a man for not doing what that man knows nothing about.
    Therefore in each dispensation the "method of salvation" is following the instructions of God given at the time.

    So, with that said, let me ask this.........

    Let us suppose the 13 books written by Paul, with all the revealed mysteries dealing with the Church, are not in the Bible.
    Now, (just for consideration) let us take all mention of Paul out of the scriptures. please humor me a bit......ok?

    If we did the above, we would find the book of Acts ending with chapter 8 and the book to the Hebrews then beginning.

    Now I ask, with the above in mind, would one's view of the doctrinal meaning of those passages from the book to the Hebrews change?

    All we would know of the instruction from God would be that we were to keep the law and now Christ has fulfilled that for us.
    (an aside: keeping the law does not mean not sinning, it means doing the things instructed by God to cover the sins we did commit, and they did keep the law)

    Now we have heard the message of Peter in Acts 2:38 and learn that we are to repent (change from not believing that Jesus is the promised Messiah to believing that He is) and be baptised in water to show the world we truly believe Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Son of the Living God as Peter confessed.

    Now Darrell, I ask, would we not associate some form of works with salvation for its been that way up until now.
    We had to do the temple sacrifices to show our faith, we had to repent and be baptized to show our belief in the Messiah.

    I ask, could it be that the book of Hebrews and those following are doctrinal messages to the Jews who find themselves still on earth after the Body is caught up and taken off the earth?

    Remember earlier I said sometimes I had disagreement with Baptist doctrine?
    I cannot take the instructions from God to one group of folks and then freely apply them to another group. I just cannot find the scriptural support to do it.

    I will leave this one last thought........
    In The Revelation do we find God's instruction to those on earth to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection,,,,or do we find them told to not take the mark, and to keep the commandments?
     
  15. Darrell C

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    Outstanding!

    Hi Olegig,

    Let just say how refreshing it is to see a reply that is not steeped in doctrine that is clearly questionable.

    I think it possible to have a different view in certain areas that will not change the nature of major doctrine (i.e. rapture, man:two parts/three parts, etc.).

    When it comes to the nature of salvation, this I see as extremely important, but, I also believe there are true believers that see it both ways.

    The important thing is this, that they believe on the name of Jesus.

    Having said that, I still think that concerning salvation, one or the other is right...so who is it?

    I have debated this topic with the result of not-so-nice reactions. It is assumed that those secure in their salvation all believe in license to sin. This is not the case. I believe that my salvation is settled in heaven, that through Christ I have been forgiven.

    I also believe that I am being conformed to the image of the Son. That God means for me to live as He lived...Holy.

    Do I achieve this? Not perfectly, no. Am I closer to the image of His Son than I was when I was saved? Absolutely.

    So, this is the reason for this thread. To discuss this doctrine and to actually look at the scripture. I have presented my position on texts that most use to promote loss of salvation, rather than passages that are widely used to promote eternal salvation.

    I have as yet to find someone who is willing to look at these passages and discuss them.

    I am in hope that you may be. You have alluded that you believe that one can, after being born again, indwelt with the Holy Spirit, end up separated from God for eternity.

    If I have misread you, forgive me. If not, no problem, lets discuss why we believe what we believe.

    The verses posted so far are just a few (I will get the rest on in a little) concerning "perfection" as found in Hebrews.

    Take a look at them, and, I would suggest, try to keep in mind the recipients, and what this epistle would have meant to them. Rather than what they mean to 21st century believers (and I am not suggesting this book has no present day application).

    Concerning Paul's writing and if they were not there...I rather think it would simplify things.

    The thrust of Hebrews is this: the law (Levitical economy) is no longer and never was a means of salvation.

    It was a shadow of good things to come, and Hebrews makes it clear that it has come.

    Hebrews 10:26 and 6:1-6 are used to promote loss of salvation, and I would suggest to you that not only is this not the case, but, Hebrews makes it clearer than most books that salvation is permanent, and therefore cannot be lost.

    Gotta go for now, Olegig, but will be back in the morning to get more verses posted for examination, and start looking at the "questionable verses".

    There are some things I am not in full agreement on with baptist doctrine, but concerning major doctrine, I don't think you can find a faith that is more sound.

    Keep in mind, doctrinal position among "Baptists" is as varied as it is within each fellowship.

    But true Baptist doctrine stands alone for soundness among the major denominations.

    God bless.
     
  16. olegig

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    Darrell C.

    I am pressed for time this morning, so let me just touch on some of the things you mentioned and perhaps that will aid in formation of your reply.

    When it comes to the nature of salvation, this I see as extremely important, but, I also believe there are true believers that see it both ways.

    The important thing is this, that they believe on the name of Jesus.

    I agree, I feel there will be some saved that others have judged unsaved, and I also believe there will be some unsaved that have been judged saved by others and themselves. Salvation does not follow denomination or theological lines.
    However, I am a bit of a stickler for the belief in the resurrection, but that's another discussion.

    Having said that, I still think that concerning salvation, one or the other is right...so who is it?
    Agreed, in each dispensation there is one and only one way by which man can be saved.

    I have debated this topic with the result of not-so-nice reactions.
    In these debates I always attempt to remain corrigible, calm, and understanding; however I do have the ability to answer in the same vain as directed toward me, and must admit I succumb to that ability way to often.

    It is assumed that those secure in their salvation all believe in license to sin.
    To this my reaction is the same as Paul's...God forbid!

    This is not the case. I believe that my salvation is settled in heaven, that through Christ I have been forgiven.
    I totally agree.

    I also believe that I am being conformed to the image of the Son. That God means for me to live as He lived...Holy.
    Again, I agree.

    Do I achieve this? Not perfectly, no. Am I closer to the image of His Son than I was when I was saved? Absolutely.
    I like the old saying: I am not what I am going to be, but I am much more than I used to be.

    I am in hope that you may be.
    If it's from the Bible, I alway figure I can either help learn, or be taught; therefore I have an interest in exploring all scripture.

    You have alluded that you believe that one can, after being born again, indwelt with the Holy Spirit, end up separated from God for eternity.
    Here, I must have done a poor job of expressing myself.

    I will strongly say I do not believe a member of the Body of Christ, saved in this Church age can, for any reason, end up separated from God for eternity or for any time between conversion and the fulfillment of the eternal home.

    However, I cannot apply the security of salvation to everyone in the Bible who is not member of the Body, in Christ.
    This is one area of which I mentioned I disagree with Baptist doctrine.

    I feel the "questionable" passages of Hebrews are not speaking to the Church on a doctrinal basis.
    Sure we can glean much from Hebrews just as we can from the whole body of scripture; but if a passage seems to conflict with the doctrines revealed through Paul, then I start looking to whom they apply, not looking for a different mean than that gleaned from a literal reading of said "questionable" passages.

    I feel the doctrinal teachings of the book of Hebrews is directed at those who find themselves still on earth after the Church is raptured.
    I know God still would wish them saved, and I have no doubt God left a message for them.

    It was a shadow of good things to come, and Hebrews makes it clear that it has come.
    Agreed.

    Hebrews 10:26 and 6:1-6 are used to promote loss of salvation, and I would suggest to you that not only is this not the case, but, Hebrews makes it clearer than most books that salvation is permanent, and therefore cannot be lost.
    I only ask that you might consider that those passages do teach the loss of salvation; but are NOT doctrinally directed to those in Christ.
    Again I call attention to Revelation.
    Where is any instruction to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection?
    I can find none, only instruction to not take the mark, keep the commandments, etc.

    There are some things I am not in full agreement on with baptist doctrine, but concerning major doctrine, I don't think you can find a faith that is more sound.
    I totally agree, but please understand, my disagreements are not in the application of the doctrines of salvation:but to whom those doctrines apply.

    Keep in mind, doctrinal position among "Baptists" is as varied as it is within each fellowship.
    I think it maybe because of that "priesthood of the believer" thing......:smilewinkgrin:

    God bless.

    thanks and God bless you my friend.
     
  17. olegig

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    Darrell C.

    Let me say we have just been informed of the failing health of my dear mother-in-law. She is a great Christian woman of 97 yrs.

    I don't know the outcome of this, nor the duration; but at some point I will get back.

    Thanks for you consideration.

    olegig
     
  18. Darrell C

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    We will pray for her and your family.

    God bless.
     
  19. Darrell C

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    Again, God bless.

    We will be in prayer for your family.
     
  20. olegig

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    Darrell C.

    We will be in prayer for your family.
    Thank you for this, one always needs the prayers of others whether in sickness or health,,,and I know that in these times the comfort one feels from the Lord is magnified by the prayers from others.

    My wife's and my dear mother went to be with the Lord in perfect peace. My wife was able to get there and be with her for a while, along with her other sisters.
    My wife said while they were setting with her, one of the sisters said (sweetly jokingly) the delay was probably a result of them having to get so many rooms cleaned in mother's mansion.
    (When those 5 sisters get together, they will say almost anything.) :1_grouphug:

    Let me take the time to address a few things from your reply.
    I think we have pretty well laid ground for our agreements and I have no doubt we do agree on the "essential" elements of salvation and even the daily walk of a believer today who is member of the Body, in Christ, so I will not cover the points of agreement again.
    (Your words in blue, mine from previous post in red)

    However, I am a bit of a stickler for the belief in the resurrection, but that's another discussion.

    You are right. This doctrine is made clear in Hebrews: Jesus is "the new and living way" concerning sacrifice and entrance into the presence of God. The contrast is clear...the old (priest and sacrifice) died; the new, Christ the Great High Priest, died, and was resurrected.

    I agree this doctrine (birth, death, resurrection) is made clear in Hebrews; but I feel the writer of Hebrews is now trying to "drive home" that message to the "Hebrews".

    Paul had a great love for the people of his heritage and certainly would wish them all brought into the Body; however he knew this was not to be.
    IMO Paul wrote Hebrews, but the Holy Spirit had the wisdom to keep that a mystery so the specific doctrines of the book would not be confounded with the doctrines to the Church found in the 13 books which do set Paul as author.

    I have to ask myself: "Who else but Paul could have written Hebrews?"...Paul was the only one who had a complete understanding of all the Jewish customs and rituals along with a full understanding of the total and complete effect of the shed blood and resurrection. (2Pet 3:15,16)
    Paul was the perfect man for the Holy Spirit to use in the combination of the Old with the New.

    Now please recall what I said in previous post about taking the 13 books of Paul out for a different "snap-shot" of scripture.
    IMO the book of Hebrews is the perfect transition of the OT Jewish rituals into the New through the addition of the perfect sacrifice (blood of Christ), thus removing the further need for any more blood sacrifice while retaining all the other things of worship.
    I say "retaining other things of worship" because even though we refer to those things as "Jewish" they are of God.
    The Jewish did not invent them, they came from God. They are God's form of worship, they are only a picture or example of the things of Heaven. (Heb 9:23ff)
    Granted, the Jews had added a lot of extra baggage that one must separate as "of man".

    However, I cannot apply the security of salvation to everyone in the Bible who is not member of the Body, in Christ.
    This is one area of which I mentioned I disagree with Baptist doctrine.

    And this is one reason for examining Hebrews...it makes the same point. This is the reason for the numerous warnings not to depart, but to draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.

    Here let me be brief and we can certainly explore this in more detail later.
    I believe the security of salvation for the Body is grounded in two things.
    1. Being "in Christ" makes us all in the linage of David and thus under the protection of the Davidic Covenant.
    2. Being "in Christ" means that we are indwelt permanently by the Holy Spirit who is the earnest of our future complete salvation (a glorified body).

    The Holy Spirit comes into us with the circumcision made without hands, separating our soul from our body so the actions of the body can no longer stain our soul as was true of the OT saint.
    Here I must ask: "Can the Holy Spirit re-attach the body and soul of a person if that person suddenly becomes an unbeliever?????" nonsense!

    But again, did the Holy Spirit indwell the OT saint? Will the Holy Spirit indwell believers still on earth after the rapture of the Church?
    I see no scriptural evidence of either of the above.

    But I have never attended a baptist fellowship that believed in universal salvation...but I know there are some who claim to be baptist but are far removed from baptist doctrine.

    I am not talking about "universal salvation" in the sense that all men will be saved.
    I am talking about taking the doctrines of eternal security for the Body and applying them to the Saints of scripture who are before the Body or after the Body is caught up.

    Baptist seem to have a propensity for taking the doctrines of Paul and then doctrinally applying them to everyone in the Bible.
    IMHO this closes off the literal interpretation of certain passages.

    And this is the key to understanding those passages: who they are meant for.
    Some would discount the historical and cultural aspect in iterpreting this book, which I view as a mistake.
    And I will give you an example of the danger of putting modern meaning into scripture:


    I chuckled at your example.
    Have you ever noticed the Catholics and others (trying to support their theology) will quickly run to the 4 gospels or Acts, then to Hebrews and the books following Hebrews for "proof texts"?
    While all the time discounting or ignoring the plain doctrinal truths to us today from the Lord Jesus Christ through Paul.

    I only ask that you might consider that those passages do teach the loss of salvation; but are NOT doctrinally directed to those in Christ.
    Loss of salvation in the sense of one dying in their sin and being eternally separated. This I would affirm. But some would apply this to those born-again; this I deny.

    Here, for the sake of argument (just a figure of speech :thumbs:) please humor me a bit.
    Please consider the salvation of the OT saint.
    Were they washed by the blood? No, for as yet it had not been shed.
    Were they indwelt by the Holy Spirit? No scriptural mention of it.
    What does one suppose would have happened to them had they all of a sudden decided to not follow the instruction of God and discontinued the Temple sacrifices which covered their sins?

    I see OT salvation in this light:
    They were saved by Grace, through faith and kept by works.
    Since it was their own personal faith, not the gift of the Faith of Christ; they had to continually do the Levitical works to show their personal faith.
    They were "saved" from hell; but not as yet "saved" to heaven for only the spreading of the blood can one be present at the throne of God.
    Please remember that even father Abraham was not in heaven before the cross (Luke 16) but in paradise.

    Again I call attention to Revelation.
    Where is any instruction to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection?
    I can find none, only instruction to not take the mark, keep the commandments, etc.

    Its in there, brother:
    Rev. 14:6-And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

    The gospel message is the same from Adam to eternity: God is saviour (c.f. Hebrews 3-4:2), and He justifies those whose faith is in Him. The message will be the same in the tribulation as well as the millennial kingdom.


    I agree the good news message for man is that God is saviour and has provided a means by which all men might be saved.
    However I am a bit more specific of the message of salvation God gave to each group of men.

    Again, I would refer to Rev 14:6 noted previously. I also call attention to the context and the follow verse 7 which tells us exactly what the angel said:

    Revelation 14:6-7 (King James Version)
    6And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

    7Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him (and believe in the death, burial, and resurrection); for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.


    Please note in the above the part in bold which I added.
    I added it to emphasis the fact that it is not in there.

    If it is not there by the hand of the Holy script, then I must feel compelled to not add it myself.

    ----
    again, thank you for your prayers and look forward to speaking to you later

    God bless
     

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