Significance of Revelation’s Blessings

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Protestant, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. Protestant

    Protestant
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    “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein….”

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a revealing…..a revealing of the then current state of affairs in the professing Christian Church as well as a revealing of the future state of the professing Christian Church.

    In fact, the prophecy takes us to the Second Coming of Christ in judgment and even on into eternity.

    To be sure, we are not to understand this prophetic book as one which the Lord has determined to keep hidden from the understanding of His people.

    To ‘reveal’ is to “make known; disclose; divulge; to lay open to view; display; exhibit.”

    On the other hand, to ‘hide’ is to “put or keep out of sight; conceal from the view or notice of others.”

    It is true the Gospel is hidden to the lost.

    But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
    4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
    5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
    6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


    Only those elected in Christ before the foundation of the world will God sovereignly command the regenerating light of life to shine in their once darkened hearts and minds to the eternal saving of their souls.

    Those whom God has graciously enlightened are blessed.

    But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
    …………………….

    And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    In like manner, those who teach and preach the truths of the Revelation are blessed…..as are those believing who hear with understanding.

    To believe the Gospel is to have been blessed by God.

    To believe the Revelation is to have been blessed by God.

    Though the Revelation is prophecy which the Lord wills to make known to His people, there are three vastly different views as to its meaning.

    Now we have a problem.

    Since all views are contradictory, they cannot all be correct.

    Truth does not contradict itself.

    If the three views are all wrong then the Lord has failed to make the prophecy known to His people, an improssible scenario.

    If, however, one view is correct – which it must be -- then the other two are incorrect.

    Those who hold to the correct view are those who are blessed by God, according to his infallible Word.

    Let us now review the three major interpretations of the Revelation.

    The Preterist view holds to a past Antichrist, The Roman Emperor Nero, who troubled Christians of that era. Israel of old is Mystery Babylon.

    In holding that view, Preterists understand the Christian’s troubles have long been over. In their minds they are now living in a Heaven-like blissful state here on Earth. To quote the prophets Lennon and McCartney, the Preterist world ‘is getting better all the time.’

    Futurists look to an unknown Antichrist who will, at any moment, rise to rule the world, establishing a New World Order. He will enter an alleged rebuilt Jewish Temple demanding, upon threat of death, all mankind’s worship.

    Fortunately, for true believers, they teach Antichrist will not pose a problem since they will, at any moment, be taken to Heaven out of harm’s way.

    Thus, in reality, Futurists, like the Preterists, have nothing much to worry about.

    Only those ‘left behind’ will find their lives a living hell.

    (It should be mentioned there is a small remnant of Futurists who believe they will go through the ‘Great Tribulation.’ This mindset is also evidenced in the secular world of ‘Doomsday Preppers.’)

    And finally, there are the Historicists who believe the Revelation is the history of the Lord’s Church foretold from the days of John until the Second One-Time Visible Coming of Christ in judgment. (Eternity is then also described).

    Incorporated into this lengthy prophetic narrative is the rise, reign and ruin of the dynasty of Papal Antichrists who rule the great harlot Church in the name of Christ, preaching a false Gospel while persecuting and murdering the saints of God for centuries.

    The ecumenical times in which we live is depicted in the Revelation by the kings of the earth (secular and religious) willingly drinking from the whore’s bloody cup of friendship and fellowship….a very significant sign of the times.

    So who is telling the truth?

    As Christians we should be interested only in truth, yet someone is lying.

    Two of the three are false prophets.

    (I purposely omitted the Idealist view of Revelation as I do not consider it nearly as prevalent an interpretation as the previous three mentioned.)

    The question arises: What persons or person in the Revelation does the Lord call ‘blessed’?

    If we correlate those who are called blessed in the Revelation with those who, in the introduction, are called blessed for understanding the prophecy then we should be able to determine which interpretation of the Revelation is of God and which are not.

    And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

    The dead are the martyrs – true Christians -- who rejected the Beast and his idols. They refused to take the spiritual mark of damnation.

    They were killed because of their unswerving protestation and disobedience to Antichrist’s demands.

    The next question arises: Who among the three views of the Revelation died as martyrs?

    I find no Preterist martyrs in the pages of past and present Church history.

    I find no Futurist martyrs in the pages of past and present Church history.

    I do, however, find numerous, incredibly detailed accounts of martyrs throughout past centuries of Church history who held to the Historicist view: The reigning Pope is the Antichrist, His Roman Church Mystery Babylon.

    They looked for no other. The prophecy of the Antichrist Beast and his whore had been fulfilled in their lifetime.

    I also find centuries of great men of God who, while in recognized positions of leadership in the Christian Church, discerned the truth of the testimony of the martyred saints of God.

    They, too, believed the prophecy of the Antichrist Beast and his whore had been fulfilled.

    They all understood that until the Day of Christ Jesus the Papal Antichrist will continue in office where he will persist in sending innumerable souls to Hell while exhibiting feigned piety, ever engaging in influence peddling which, if possible, would deceive the very Elect.

    The Revelation reveals the mystery of Satan’s greatest deception: a false Christian Church whose headquarters are in Rome; who was responsible for the persecutions and murders of innumerable Christians; whose followers are so plentiful they are like vast oceans in size ; whose influence is worldwide; whose Antichrist dictator calls himself ‘Holy Father’ and ‘The Vicar of Christ’; and who are regarded by both professing believers and unbelievers to be a true Christian Church, their dictator a holy, humble, heroic Christian man of God.

    Unbelievers falling for Satan’s deception are one thing.

    But professing Christian believers?

    We now have a bigger problem.

    Matt. 24:24 declares it impossible for the Elect to be deceived.
     
  2. TrevorL

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    Greetings Protestant,

    I was interested in reading your post on the Significance of Revelation’s Blessings.
    I agree with your conclusion that a correct understanding of this book is found not in a Preterist or Futurist view, but in the Historicist view. Even though you claim that the elect will have a correct understanding of the Book of Revelation, I believe that many who hold and teach the Historicist view have only a partial and sometimes incorrect understanding of all the detail of this difficult book. I have a general knowledge of some aspects, a detailed knowledge of some portions and other portions that I consider difficult. I am sure if you wrote out all that you presently accept on this subject that others, including myself, would most probably partially agree, partially disagree and some items placed in the too difficult to comment category. To claim that the elect will be guided to a correct understanding of all aspects of this book is questionable.
    Although I personally could agree that this is one aspect of the Book of Revelation, have you actually come to an understanding of all aspects of this difficult book? Have you fully understand the vision of Revelation 1 and the message to the Churches in Revelation 2-3. If Historicist, what are the Seals, Trumpets and Vials – when did they occur or will they occur? These are a few areas where those who hold the Historicist view have some differing understanding, not only today, but down through the centuries.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  3. Protestant

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    G’day Mate!

    Thanks so much for your comments, Trevor.

    I couldn’t agree more.

    However, in my view, the most important aspect of the Historicist interpretation is the fact that all Historicist interpreters of the Revelation agree as to who are the murderers (false Christians who obey the Pope) and who are the innocent victims (true Christians who would not obey the Pope).

    Thus, all agree on the main focus and theme of the book.

    They also agree on the outcome…..ultimate victory against the papal Beast and his whore church.

    I don’t claim to have infallible understanding of all Scripture in the 66 books of the Bible, yet I have enough understanding as to its main doctrinal points, as well as the teachings of Jesus so that I feel confident Jesus is the Christ and my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

    The Revelation is a murder mystery.

    In many ways it parallels the mystery of our Lord’s crucifixion.

    It was the religious leadership of Israel --- men who claimed to be true worshippers of Jehovah God --- who plotted the death of Jesus, a dissenter who claimed to be the Son of God.

    In like manner, it was the Roman Catholic Popes and hierarchy --- men who claimed to be true worshippers of Jesus Christ --- who plotted the death of the dissenting Christians who claimed to be sons of God.

    The Jewish leaders had Jesus arrested and put Him through an interrogation process, after which He was falsely accused of blasphemy, found guilty and then handed over to the secular Roman authorities for torture and public execution.

    In like manner, the true followers of Christ went through an interrogation process by the Roman Catholic leadership whereby their alleged blasphemous heresies were to be discovered.

    Torture was used to insure they ‘tell the truth.’

    Once found guilty, the Christians were handed over to the secular authorities for public execution.

    The Revelation predicted an ominous future for Christians……one which John could not have imagined….which is why he needed an angel to explain the visions.

    A false Roman Christian Church which would carry out persecutions and executions as did Israel and pagan Rome?

    Who could have imagined?

    Compared to the world in which Christians lived in previous centuries we Christians live a relatively trouble-free, luxurious lifestyle, protected by laws guaranteeing our right to free speech and freedom from religion, if we so wish.

    However, should you stand outside a Roman Catholic church here in America warning the people of God’s coming judgment upon their anti-Christian Pope and religion, you will surely find yourself escorted away by the authorities.

    Should you preach in your local church that Billy Graham, the most revered and beloved evangelist of our generation, is devoid of the Holy Spirit, calling the Antichrist the most moral man of the 20th century, and therefore doomed to damnation, you will be swiftly excommunicated and shunned.

    Today the Papacy, Vatican and Roman Catholic Church are viewed with more than just a tolerant attitude.

    They are viewed by the religious and secular world as holy, righteous and Christian, despite its bloody history and current habit of sexually torturing children.

    All this despite the infallible Word of God, the united testimony of the Christian martyrs as well as the corroborating testimony of history which declare the very opposite.

    Until next time,
    Blessings in Christ Jesus to you, my friend!
     
  4. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Protestant,

    I appreciate your latest response. It appears to me that you have chosen the forum name “Protestant” as you see the need to protest like the protestors of the Reformation who identified the Catholic Church as apostate and many of these protestors suffered martyrdom. Perhaps a summary could be the following:
    Although you have answered in general my quest for detail and lack of uniformity in understanding this detail, to illustrate some of the difficulties and to possibly highlight the differences of opinion the following is one of the many that could be quoted from the various seals, trumpets and vials. This particular one is the sixth vial.
    Revelation 16:12-16 (KJV): 12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

    I have underlined some significant features of this vial, and I could be mistaken, but this seems to indicate that it relates to the time of Christ’s return and the Battle of Armageddon. To me this could be very relevant to our present times. Also there are many details associated with this vision, the great river Euphrates, the kings of the east, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. Over the years I have formed some opinion of some of the details, partly my own reading and partly as taught in my environment by various writers and expositors, but I would be interested if anyone could give a brief explanation of the significance of these details and of the overall understanding of this sixth vial.

    There is one feature of your OP that I would like to make a brief comment upon and I will quote two portions to illustrate.
    I disagree with the first part “only those elected in Christ”, as it seems to subscribe to a particular doctrine of predestination. I could be mistaken, and possibly it is too large a subject to discuss here. I believe that this falls into the area of God’s foreknowledge. God is not a respecter of persons, but has opened the way of salvation to all who will believe and respond. The gospel is open to all and the Book of Revelation is what it says, it is a revealing, not a book that is sealed. Jesus has opened the book or scrolls for all to read and understand. Yes it is true that it is specifically designed for His servants to understand.

    You quote for example Matthew 13:16 (KJV): But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. but this is spoken after the Parable of the Sower and the citation by Jesus of Isaiah 6:9-10. I consider this a most remarkable paradox, because the very action of the sower is the opposite to the concept of the word coming only to a select few. Rather it is available to all, but not all respond acceptably as depicted by the good ground in the parable. Another part of this remarkable paradox is could anyone claim that the Parable of the Sower is sealed, after we have a record of the explanation that Jesus gave the Apostles?

    Similarly the theme “he that hath an ear” is a feature of the Book of Revelation. It is calling upon all to respond. The greatest area of this call to believe and thus respond by hearing is in the crucifixion of Christ where he is exhibited by God for all to believe.
    John 3:16-17 (KJV): 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    Just as the Parable of the Sower is open to all to hear and understand, so is the gospel and the Book of Revelation.


    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  5. Protestant

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    Yes, Trevor. I am a Protestant who protests the abominable Pope, the false harlot Church of Rome, and all her filthy doctrines and practices.

    I understand their prophetic fulfillment as the arch-enemy of Christ and His Bride, the Virgin Church.

    Not only does the Revelation spell out this great truth, but so do numerous other prophetic Scriptures.

    When one examines the etymology of the noun ‘Protestant’ one cannot but see the parallel with that of the ‘two witnesses’ of Rev. 11.

    Protestant: one who protests.

    Protest: from the Latin, protestari, "declare publicly, testify, protest," from pro- "forth, before" (see pro-) + testari "testify," from testis "witness" (see testament).

    A Protestant is a public, protesting witness against Rome's abominations….. and for Jesus Christ and His truth.

    The two witnesses of Rev. 11 were/are also public protesters against Rome's abominations and for Christ and His truth.

    And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

    The power compelling them to preach was given by God.

    Sackcloth symbolizes the unhappiness of the preachers protesting the appalling spiritual condition of professing Christianity which dominated the world….i.e., the Roman Catholic Church.

    The Greek noun for ‘witness’ is the English equivalent of ‘martyr.’

    Thus, the two witnesses represent the unbroken chain of witnesses -- dead or alive -- against the Church of Rome from pre-Reformation ages through post-Reformation ages.

    Their voice cannot be silenced, even through death.

    Their testimonies remain.

    The Lord will always raise up new witnesses to replace those who die, whether by natural or unnatural causes.

    That consistent witness has not ceased, although in this age of growing apostasy and ecumenism the number of those witnessing against Rome has diminished considerably.

    Trevor, are you a Jesus-honoring protesting witness against the Papal Antichrist and His false harlot Church?
     
  6. Protestant

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    Yes, Trevor. The subject of Predestination is not appropriate for this particular forum.

    There is much useful information found in previous months' debates in the Calvinism/Arminianism forum.

    I will say that one of the preeminent sources of contention between the Protestant Reformers and the Church of Rome was regarding the subject of Predestination.

    I may be mistaken, but you apparently hold to the Roman Catholic view.

    The Reformation view was condemned by the anti-Reformation Council of Trent.
     
  7. Protestant

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    I agree. It does appear that there is one final conflagration prophesied which ushers in the coming of Christ when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Satan is a liar, as is his Antichrist Beast, as well as his innumerable false prophets (here signified by one representing many).

    Re: false miracles......no other religion claims as many absurd and ludicrous miracles as the RCC. (e.g., the flying house of Loreto; the flying friar of Cupertino; Eucharists and idols which bleed; apparitions of Mary, transubstantiation, etc., etc.)

    Christ's coming as a thief has a number of applications.

    Certainly we cannot ignore the unexpected nature of His return by many unhappy false Christians whose unrighteousness will be exposed to all.

    Full Preterists would seem to fall in that category.

    As would the false miracle-working televangelists who dominate religious TV.
     
  8. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Protestant,

    I appreciate your three responses. I was interested in your explanation of why you strongly protest against the Papacy and your mention of the two witnesses of Revelation.
    We mainly witness in a local newspaper advertised public address or seminar each Sunday evening or afternoon. Our main aim is to set forth the gospel in a positive fashion. Another feature is that about once a month the speaker gives an introduction and overview of one of the Books of the Bible. Beginning at Genesis we are now up to Obadiah. Some lectures are on prophecy especially relating to the coming Kingdom of God upon the earth with Christ ruling from literal Jerusalem and the conversion of the nation of Israel as the first dominion. On some occasions we also point out many of the wrong teachings of the churches, both Protestant and Catholic. These wrong teachings include immortal souls, heaven or hell at death, the Trinity and wrong views on the atonement, for example substitution. All of these are contrasted with the true Bible teaching man is mortal, he returns to the dust at death and then awaits the resurrection at Christ’s return, One God the Father and Jesus is the Son of God, and a representative view of the Atonement.

    We identify the little horn of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 as the Papacy and this is further detailed in Revelation 13 and 17. The ministry of Christ was relatively quiet and the first of the Servant Songs Isaiah 42:1-7 also quoted in the NT indicates this. Many of our members used to be Catholic, possibly more were previously Protestant (we are not Protestant as we also witness against the Protestants) and some were not committed to any religion or sect.

    I reject nearly every aspect of the Roman Catholic religion. To be quite honest I have never examined the difference between Calvinism and Arminianism. At this stage I would prefer to say I couldn’t agree with either of these two. I cannot accept what I have assessed of Calvinism and predestination as previously mentioned in this thread.

    A simple explanation of my view is contained in the Parable of the Sower and the following and many similar passages:
    Romans 10:17 (KJV): So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Romans 1:16 (KJV): For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
    Acts 3:19-21 (KJV): 19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.
    Acts 8:5,12 (KJV): 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.


    There are many Scriptures that teach that salvation is available to all. The following is a good example:
    Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV): 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

    Both of us may be in need to further allow the word of God to mould our characters and also to gain a better understanding of the prophetic word so that we will be properly prepared and correctly looking for the coming of the Lord.
    Luke 12:35-36 (KJV): 35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
    Revelation 16:15 (KJV): Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.


    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  9. Protestant

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    Hello Trevor:

    Thanks for your replies...very informative!

    In reading your doctrinal points above I see you are Jehovah's Witness?

    If not, what name do you give to your congregation?

    Thanks so much for your response.
     
  10. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Protestant,

    I appreciate your response.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in the restoration and conversion of the nation of Israel and they do not believe that Christ will reign from literal Jerusalem.

    Yes our fellowship has adopted a name but I prefer to call attention to the only name of salvation:
    Acts 4:10-13 (KJV): 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.

    I decided not to respond to your other thread, but I believe that the Apostle John saw the beginnings of the Apostasy, the antichrist system, in his own day. They preached that Jesus did not come in the flesh. I believe that this was the beginning of the false teaching concerning Jesus, that he was not really a man of the same nature as the descendants of Adam. They claimed he was not really the son of man and the Son of God, but God, or God the Son, and this developed eventually into the wrong doctrine of the Trinity.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
    #10 TrevorL, Mar 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2014
  11. TrevorL

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    Double post
     
    #11 TrevorL, Mar 21, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2014
  12. Protestant

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    Thank you again, Trevor, for your thoughtful replies.

    I can assure you I am no 'Inquisitor' demanding you reveal the names of your fellow believers upon pain of torture or death. <grin>

    Although you do hold to many essential doctrines of the Witnesses, you apparently wish to distance yourself from them.

    So be it.

    Re: the person of Jesus Christ......JWs have found a way to circumvent the clear and profound teaching of John 1:

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    2 The same was in the beginning with God.

    3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
    (KJV)

    The New World Translation reads:

    In the beginning was the Word,+ and the Word was with God,+ and the Word was a god.*+ 2 This one was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into existence through him,+ and apart from him not even one thing came into existence https://www.jw.org/en/publications/bible/nwt/books/john/1/

    May I ask which version of John 1 does your congregation use?

    If you do use a version other than the NWT how do you explain John's teaching that the Word who was made flesh was always with God, and was, in fact, God?

    Indeed:

    Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

    The beginnings of the false Church and her Antichrist were stirring, even then.

    He was indeed the Son of man. However, He was born sinless by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was not born with the sin nature of fallen Adam imputed to all generations of men.

    Moreover, unlike Adam, He was both fully God and fully man (without sin or a sin nature, of course).

    Would you kindly explain your teaching on the Godhead?

    Thank you so much, Trevor, for the opportunity to dialogue respectfully with you.
     
  13. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Protestant,

    I also appreciate your thoughtful response.
    Although I may not fully represent my fellowship, and the fellowship represent me, I am very happy with my present circumstances. We had most of the active members gathered around the table of the Lord this Sunday Morning to fellowship with Christ in partaking of the bread and wine. We had ten visitors from local and distant meetings, and the majority of the visitors and members were going to share lunch by the lake after the meeting, while I went home and prepared and had lunch with my sick wife.

    Our speaker from Sydney coincidentally considered Isaiah 42 concerning “Behold, My Servant” and remarked that the Servant would bring judgement or justice to the Gentiles. It appeared he would not be successful as he did not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street, but ministered to the weak and failing. He considered the quotation in Matthew but also showed that Paul in 2 Timothy 2 bases his comments on the responsibility of servants on Isaiah 42.

    We use the KJV and accept this at it reads and it is clear. I understand the “Word” in John 1:1 as a personification of the wisdom, reason, plan, thoughts of God the Father. Proverbs 8 personifies “Wisdom” as a Woman who was with God in creation. It is not until we reach John 1:14 that the continuity of this “Word” is revealed in the new creation of the Son of God, begotten of the Father in this process of birth. That the emphasis is upon the “Word”, the mind and character of God the Father and not a being called “The Word” is evident from the highlighted phrases, “we beheld his glory” and that he was “full of grace and truth”. At the age of 30 Jesus revealed the fullness of the moral character and glory of God His Father. Jesus was a man, not God.

    I agree, but most Protestants hold many of the teachings of this system.

    In my estimation this is one of the doctrines that you have adopted from the antichrist system. My understanding is that Adam sinned, he was sentenced to return to the dust, and on the basis of like produce like, he fathered the human race with children who likewise were related to death. Inevitably as each child grew and developed they too sinned because of the lust of the eyes, flesh and pride which had become part of their hereditary makeup. No child is born a sinner, and to say that Jesus was “born sinless” is a wrong concept. “Sin” is “sin”, and the Bible uses “sin” by metonymy or similar figures of speech. He was born by the power of the Holy Spirit and because God was His Father in this birth process and by His day by care and instruction of His Son, and Jesus’ voluntary responsiveness to this, then Jesus never sinned. Because he had not sinned, and the loving fellowship between the Father and His Son, the grave could not hold Jesus, and God raised him from the dead.

    There is One God, the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ is The Son of God, by birth through Mary, by his moral character and by his resurrection to immortality and is now seated at the right hand of God.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
    #13 TrevorL, Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 23, 2014
  14. Protestant

    Protestant
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    I am truly sorry to hear of her illness. I do hope her recovery is imminent and total.

    Indeed. We are told to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth…..And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

    In the context of the above citations Paul is admonishing Christians to depart from unscriptural teaching. He uses Hymenaeus and Philetus as examples of those not approved…..i.e., false teachers who repented not and thus proved they were not true Christians. (Curiously, the same heresy is believed and preached by ‘Full Preterists’.)

    I would like to respectfully explore with you the question of the Deity of Christ.

    If it is true, as you say, that Christ was man only, then mainstream evangelical Christianity is in grave error worshipping a mere man as God, which is Idolatry. We should then repent, asking forgiveness for giving a mere man the glory which is due God alone.

    On the other hand, if your belief, as sincere as I am sure it is, is in opposition to the clear teaching of Scripture, then it is the duty of both you and your congregation to depart from such evil teaching, slandering the person of Christ by denying His Deity.

    How do you explain wisdom personified as a woman and not a man, since you admit wisdom and the Word (who became flesh: the man Jesus) are one and the same?

    As I understand your reasoning, allow me to restate John 1 using your definition of ‘the Word.’

    1. In the beginning was the personification of the wisdom, reason, plan, thoughts of God the Father.

    2. And the personification of the wisdom, reason, plan, thoughts of God the Father was with God the Father.

    3. And the personification of the wisdom, reason, plan, thoughts of God the Father was God the Father.


    Please know I am not trying to be ‘coy’ by plugging in your definition.

    I am merely attempting to follow your reasoning.

    I hope you can see the dilemma.

    Verse 1 makes sense.

    Verse 2 makes no sense. How could it be otherwise but that the wisdom, reason, plan, thoughts of God the Father are with God the Father? Who else would they be with?

    Verse 3 also makes no sense. If the personification of the wisdom, reason, plan, thoughts of God the Father is God the Father, then that personification is not just a personification but a real divine eternal Being since God the Father is a real divine eternal Being.

    Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other.

    Thus, by using your definition verse 3 teaches God the Father is God the Father.

    I would respectfully ask you show me where I err in my reasoning using your definition of ‘the Word.’

    Further contradictions arise in the fact that you rightfully acknowledge the paternal title of ‘Father’ God in eternity before Jesus Christ was born in time.

    Such right thinking helps confirm the scriptural truth that the Word was the divine Son of the Father from eternity.

    If I may respectfully ask: Since you do not believe in ‘original sin’ and its imputation to the entire human race, including infants, how then do you explain the death of infants, since the Word clearly states, the wages of sin is death……all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

    I can find no Scripture which exempts infants.

    Question: Since you believe God the Son did not exist until his birth through Mary, would you then concede Mary to be the Mother of God?

    Again, Trevor, I must say it is a pleasure to correspond with you in such a gentlemanly and respectful fashion!
     
  15. TrevorL

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    Greetings again Protestant,
    I appreciate your thoughts. My wife’s sickness is more like long-term weakness, but she was very low about two months ago and has steadily gained strength since and is reasonably active now.

    I agree in general, but I do not believe that Jesus is a mere man, he is a unique man, specially prepared by God in his birth, education, circumstances and the work that God appointed him to fulfil.

    I would suggest that this is really your problem not mine. How would you explain wisdom as depicted as a woman in Proverbs 8 if this was God the Son or the pre-existent Jesus? God’s wisdom is his wisdom and God’s Logos is his word or the thought, plan, purpose, wisdom behind the spoken word and these are neither male nor female. They are qualities of God the Father. John 1:3-4 could equally be translated “it” for “The Word” and not “him” as per the KJV, and this would at least question the Trinitarian bias that has been attached to John 1:1-2.

    God can select any number of personifications and (perhaps not the correct expressions) parables or descriptive narratives to attempt to explain to us his various qualities and other aspects of His Divine character. The following serves two purposes. It likens the sending forth of the word of God to the sending forth of rain and snow. But it also shows that the word of God comes forth from the mouth of God the Father, and even in this passage the word is given a quasi-personification. How can a spoken word return unto God? The spoken word, or plan and purpose of God not only achieved its purpose but also returned unto God the Father in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Isaiah 55:9-11 (KJV): 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

    I have not answered each part of your expansion of John 1:1-3 using my definition. I hope my explanation above helps, but you may feel I have avoided your logic. The One God has been pleased to be revealed as “The Father” especially in the NT, and partly in the OT. He was principally revealed as Yahweh in the OT. He is revealed as “The Father” because of the revelation of his character in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and also because by this means God is to gather all the faithful into His Family. Jesus calls upon us to address God as “Our Father”.

    When God sentenced Adam to return to the dust, all his descendants inherited this. This is the sequence in the following:
    Romans 5:12 (KJV): Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

    I do not believe that Jesus is God the Son. God is the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and Mary is his mother. Jesus therefore is the son of Mary and the Son of God. Mary is the mother of the Son of God.
    Luke 1:35 (KJV): And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     
  16. Bro. James

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    I Am that I AM

    A short kibbitz on who Jesus is: in John 8:58 Jesus says He is I Am that I AM. The Jewish leaders charged Him with blasphemy. Jesus was crucified for blasphemy. Was He guilty as charged?

    Jesus is exactly who He says He is or the greatest imposter ever.

    What have we done with Jesus?

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James
     
  17. DHK

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    It is a metaphor. In other languages nouns have gender but not necessarily in English. In Greek for example every noun is either masculine, feminine or neuter, and the adjectives, of course, must be in agreement.

    Jesus used many metaphors. There is a good one in John 10:9
    Joh 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
    --He doesn't look like a door to me, and yet says he is. It is a metaphor.
    However, the Greek word for door, "thura" is a feminine noun.
    Does that make Christ a woman? I hope not! But this is what you are suggesting.
    Just because wisdom is used in the feminine gender does not mean Christ is feminine. It is allegory, a metaphor.

    In no way does the gender in Proverbs 8 affect the meaning of the passage that it is a personification of the person of Christ.
     
  18. Protestant

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    Excellent answer. Thank you, DHK!
     
  19. Protestant

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    That is good news, indeed. May her strength continue its increase back to full health!

    Trevor, the other day it suddenly occurred to me that you were a Christadelphian.

    It has been decades since I had contact with some of their literature which is why I neglected to identify your congregation immediately.

    I was born in Philadelphia, so I am a Philadelphian. <grin>

    In reviewing the history of your fellowship I was reminded that 19th century Englishman, Dr. John Thomas, founded the Christadelphians, having come to the conclusion that the Disciples of Christ (and the whole of mainstream Christianity) did not have a right understanding of the nature of Christ (among other doctrines).

    Joseph Smith also had the same view --- all so-called ‘Christian’ denominations were wrong. Joseph Smith was no dummy. Rather than attempt to make his disciples believe he was the genius to discover all denominations wrong, he spun a miraculous tale that told of the appearance of God the Father, (and possibly Jesus, depending on which account he remembered to tell his audience), in the woods when he was but a lad. It was God Almighty who gave Joseph that revelation. Now his story had credence! It also helped that he found those golden plates. <grin>

    I read the arguments put forth by Christadelphian apologists re: John 1:1, as well as several other key Scriptures.

    Here is the argument against our understanding of John 1:1: “Would John introduce here an idea wholly new to the Bible, diametrically opposed to the account of the previous gospel writers?”

    Actually the Holy Spirit in John was not introducing anything new. He was simply revealing a mystery of the Godhead (not the complete mystery, mind you). In particular, he was revealing the relation between God and the Word who was to become a man of flesh.

    John purposefully used Genesis 1:1 as the OT model to prove his point.

    Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God……(Elohim)

    Interestingly, Elohim, is a plural noun, not singular as Christadelphians would have preferred.

    John 1: 1. In the beginning was the Word.

    By combining these two verses we are to understand John was teaching:

    “In the beginning was God (Elohim) the Word.”

    John 1:2 introduces the Godhead.

    And the Word was with God. (Theos)

    Verse 3 reconfirms the Deity of the Word.

    And the Word was God. (Theos)

    By using simple logic we can draw the following conclusions:

    1. It was no accident that John was using the same language of Genesis 1:1.

    2. He had to be showing us the direct relationship between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1, otherwise he had no good reason to style John 1:1 after Genesis 1:1.

    3. The Word is not just a personification of the attributes of God, the Word is, was, and always will be true God….true Theos…..a divine, eternal Being.

    4. And yet the Word (true Theos) was not alone. The Word (true Theos) was with God (true Theos)…..a divine, eternal Being.

    5. John is not teaching that the Word was with Himself.

    6. John was teaching two divine, eternal Beings were/are and always will be true God (true Theos).

    Here’s something fun to do when interpreting Scripture: Look up the Septuagint Greek Old Testament word usage to see if it correlates with the New Testament Greek usage.

    The Septuagint reads Genesis 1:1 as follows:

    “In the beginning ‘Theos’…….”

    There is a perfect correlation between Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1 & 3:

    “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was Theos.”

    John 1:2…Theos the Word was with Theos (the Father).

    Trevor, I do understand that this teaching differs considerably from yours.

    But please consider this: The Jews also refused to believe the Deity of Christ. But they differed from Christadelphians in that they fully understood that He claimed Deity and made no apology for doing so.

    But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
    Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God (Theos) was his Father, making himself equal with God. (Theos)


    Let's use some more of that wonderful thing called 'logic'.

    Jesus = the Word + flesh (man)…. [The Word was made flesh]

    The Word = Theos [Proven above]

    Therefore: Jesus = Theos + man

    Jesus, a man, claimed equality with Theos, again proving:

    Jesus = Theos + man

    Jesus is fully Theos, a divine, eternal Being and fully man born of a woman, born of flesh and blood.

    I will continue this exciting dialogue tomorrow.
    In the meantime, Trevor, may the Lord bless you and your family.
     
  20. TrevorL

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    Greetings “Bro. James” and DHK, and Greetings again Protestant,

    I appreciate your comments. Perhaps this is the wrong thread to get too deep in a discussion on the Trinity. I had a fairly thorough discussion on this subject in a thread on this forum about a year ago. I need to digest your latest Post, Protestant, but in a brief read I cannot agree with your conclusions concerning John 1:1. I agree that John 1:1 and Genesis 1 are after a similar pattern, the one speaking of the natural creation, the other the spiritual creation. I will read your next installment before any additional comment.
    Jesus did not say in John 8:58 “I Am that I AM”. Please note that the expression “I am” occurs throughout John’s Gospel and it is usually translated as “I am he”, refer for example this translation and usage in the immediate context:
    John 8:28 (KJV): Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
    I accept the RV mg rendition of Exodus 3:14 “I will be that I will be” as the correct translation.

    At his trial he was charged with blasphemy because he claimed to be the Christ, the Son of God. I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
    Matthew 26:63-65 (KJV): 63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

    I agree that Proverbs 8 is allegory, a metaphor or a personification. I do not believe that the Woman of Proverbs 8 is Christ, and I am not suggesting that Christ is a woman. I believe that the woman of Proverbs 8 is a personification of God the Father’s wisdom. If God wanted to reveal another person with Him in the beginning I still find it strange that He would use a woman as allegory, a metaphor or personification to teach this.

    Seeing you have good language skills, could you confirm if the “him” of John 1:3-4 could equally be translated as “it”? This would possibly point to the meaning of the word “Word”, and thus a personification, rather than of necessity considering the idea that “The Word” here is a literal person.

    Kind regards
    Trevor
     

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