1. Welcome to Baptist Board, a friendly forum to discuss the Baptist Faith in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to all the features that our community has to offer.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

How were they saved?

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

  1. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    I know this is going to be repetitive, but I just wrote out this for someone else and I think I put it together in a way that might make sense here:

    About Psalm 19:

    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."


    Now let's take a look at something Paul states in Romans 10:17-18

    "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.'"


    Paul is referring to Psalm 19 as having to do with the word of, or about, Christ. There is no getting around that point. This is a rather direct reference to the fact that the Gospel message was written in the signs of the zodiac.

    There is another reference to that, and one which is often mistaken.

    In Genesis 13:15-16, God is promising Abraham an incredible number of descendants:

    "All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted."

    No doubt about the meaning of that one. For the record, the word for 'count' here is 'manah', meaning to count, as in taking a census.

    Now look at Genesis 17:15-16:

    "God also said to Abraham, 'As for Sarai, your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.'"

    No question about the meaning of that one, either.

    But now look at another moment Abraham had with God. Go to Genesis 15:4-6:

    "Then the word of the Lord came to him: 'This man [his servant] will not be your heir, but 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 it to him as righteousness."


    Two words there -- offspring is 'zera', which is more correctly translated in the King James (I have been quoting from the NIV) as 'seed'. And it is in the singular. The other word to mention here is, again, 'count' -- but this time it is a different word that is used and one that does NOT mean to number something. The word is 'sapar' which means to 'tell', as in a story or a narrative.

    Paul refers to this incident in Galatians 3:16:

    "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Sripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed', meaning one person, who is Christ."

    In other words, in Genesis 15, God was not promising Abraham many descendents, which He had promised before and would promise again. Rather He was telling Abraham to look at the story in the stars and was telling him that his descendant would be the Messiah. This is the reason, when Abraham believed him, that God credited to him as righteousness, for all righteousness is in Christ, and only in Christ.

    A further evidence that this is what Abraham believed comes from the time he was ready to sacrifice Isaac. Evidently he thought Isaac was the Messiah, and, knowing the Messiah must be killed, or sacrificed, was ready to do it himself. But he also knew the Messiah would be resurrected. Look at what he tells his servants when he asks them to wait for him:

    "On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, 'Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then WE will come back to you.'"

    He knew he would sacrifice Isaac. He also was quite sure that Isaac would be restored to him.

    In Revelation 13:8, we read that Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Abraham knew something about the Lamb of God, for he tells his son, who is inquiring about the sacrifice, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." (Gen. 22:8)

    Abraham had been told by God to look at the story in the stars and he was so sure of it that when God told him to sacrifice Isaac, he was sure that this was the promised Seed. He was wrong, but we still use that picture today of the sacrifice of the first-born (even though Isaac was not sacrificed).

    This is just material from the Bible. The evidence extra-biblically that the Gospel has been written in the heavens is rather massive. Some of it has been discussed in the article I co-wrote some years ago here:
    http://www.ldolphin.org/zodiac/index.html -- skip down to the last part of the main article -- the part authored by Malcolm Bowden -- and you will see some startling evidence in the names of the stars themselves. Remember, although man named the animals, it was God who named the stars, and that had a purpose.
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is not what the text says. Abraham was told to look at the stars because of the great number -- and was told so his descendants would be (many). He was also told his descendants would be as many the dust or sand.

    There's nothing there about being told to look at the "story" in the stars.
     
  3. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Sorry, Marcia, but Paul disagrees with you on that one. He states specifically that the mention was not only of 'seed' in the singular, but that it referred to Christ. This is quite different from the other times when God spoke to Abraham about his descendents. In addition, the word 'count' in Genesis 15 does not mean to number something, but rather to tell something.

    I know you don't like this, but that is what the Bible says.
     
  4. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sorry, Helen, but the text does not say that God told Abraham to "look at the story in the stars." It just is not there.

    What Paul says does not conflict with Genesis, but is about the seed being the promised Messiah. This does not negate what God told Abraham in Gen., that his descendants would be as many as the stars.

    God tells Abraham both that his descendants will be many and this his "seed" would "possess the gate of their enemies." So even though there is a singular seed, it does not negate the stars representing the descendants of Abraham.

    The word translated as "count," saphar also means to relate, declare, measure, recount, and number, but it is translated as "count" in this passage for a reason. God says "if you are able to count them," obviously referring to their number, not to a story, especially when he says right after this, "so shall your descendants be." This is supported by the other passages as well.
     
  5. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Which is, of course, why Paul explained it the way he did....

    Marcia, you don't like it, but it's there. Sorry...

    All righteousness is in Christ. Noah was a preacher of righteousness. That means he taught about the coming Messiah. When Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness, it clearly had something to do with Christ. Paul explains that in the passage I quoted.

    It's there, like it or not.
     
  6. Marcia

    Marcia Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Messages:
    11,139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Helen, the text does not say that God told Abraham to look at the story in the sky. It's not there. Abraham believed in the God of the Bible, as did David, Jonah, Samuel, etc. There is no biblical evidence for the story in the stars and certainly not in this passage.
     
  7. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Again, Paul disagrees with you.
     
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I have tried to keep most of my references to the gospel in the stars to the minimum of how it relates to the question of the original post. I have further tried to show that, even if we allow that the gospel in the stars is true, it doesn’t address the original question. But much of the discussion has centered on that, and since several posts by others have dealt with that only, I’m going to discuss it a little more.

    After reading the Dolphin link given on the first page, I feel even stronger that this position is based on finding something outside the Bible and then looking for proof-texts in the Bible to prop it up. Surely we must know that since God named the stars and gave them for signs, since the constellations and Zodiac are mentioned in the Bible, and the wise men followed a star, etc., etc., then it follows that God has written the story of Jesus Christ in the Zodiac!? However you approach it, there is a long road of "ifs" to tread to reach the destination.

    After looking over the totality of the references given, it is my understanding that the weight of this argument rests on Genesis 15 coupled with Galatians 3, and Psalm 19 coupled with Romans 10.

    According to this theory, since Abram was told to count the stars, and Paul said the seed was Christ, then it must follow that God wrote the gospel in the stars.!?

    There are several incorrect assumptions and some left out information. It is noted in the section "God’s Promise to Abraham" on the linked page that we must be very careful to separate two incidents where God speaks of the stars to Abraham (Gen. Chapters 15 & 22). Nevertheless, the author was not careful to address some other things (or was careful not to). It is mentioned that God preached the gospel to Abraham (Gal. 3:8), and then Gal. 3:6 is given to build the context for the star discussion being Genesis 15 only. Yet the reference of Galatians 3:8 to Genesis 12:3 (which stands between in the discussion) is skipped over: "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." [cf. Gen. 12:3 - "...in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."] So God preaching the gospel to Abraham is not associated chronologically by Paul with Gen. 15, but with Gen. 12. Also, Paul does not bring up the fact that the seed is singular to address some imagined gospel in the stars, but to explain God’s covenant with Abraham and to explain how the promise is by faith and not law. The inheritance was by confirmed in Christ, some 400 years before the law was given, and the law cannot cancel it. The point of the promise to the seed (singular) Christ does not contradict the fact that Abraham would have an innumerable seed, but in fact shows how it is fulfilled spiritually. In the seed Christ there is a great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, tongues and people.
    When one plugs the gospel in the stars idea back in to Genesis 15:5, it comes out something like this: "And God brought Abram outside and said, Look up in the sky and tell the story of the zodiac, if you’re able to tell it: and God said to him, So shall Christ be. And Abram believed what God told him about Christ in the stars; and God counted it to him for righteousness."

    There are a number of problems with this. It is interesting that the "gospel in the stars" theorists point out that words for constellations and the zodiac are mentioned in the Bible, but fail to point out they are not used here. Here God told Abram to look at the stars (kokab). Constellations are stars, but stars are not necessarily constellations. There is a difference in the Hebrews words translated "count" (or "number" in the KJV). But any assumption that "caphar" cannot mean to number or count as in making a census is incorrect. And "manah" (used in Genesis 13) can mean "tell".
     
  9. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    rl, you don't have to go along with it. That does not bother me. I have presented the evidence and you have rejected it. I do believe that, along with Psalm 19 and the extra-biblical evidence historically that there is not even a question anymore about the Gospel in the Stars. But it is not necessary now. We know who the Christ is and was. And that knowledge has been disseminated throughout the world, as He commanded.

    Is it possible that others were saved who did not know the identity of the Promised One? Absolutely. Believing on the Promise and trusting the Creator God with one's life -- following the truth that one is shown -- that leads you to Christ. The evidence exists all over the world historically and from the stories of missionaries that people everywhere have had something of the Promise left within their cultures -- enough to grab onto if one so chose. Christ fulfilled all that. Grabbing onto the Promise (metaphorically, please) is the same as grabbing onto Christ if one does not know who He is historically.

    However, by rejecting the Gospel in the Stars, you are rejecting the meaning of Psalm 19 and Paul's reference to it as telling the story of Christ in the stars in Romans 10.
     
  10. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Faith:
    Baptist
    While some may think the Psalm/Romans reference is so explicit that there is no getting around that this is a rather direct reference to the Gospel being written in the signs of the zodiac, that interpretation actually contradicts some obvious things about the passage.

    The "gospel in the stars" is told or taught and passed down from generation to generation, therefore only available to those who have been taught it. But whatever the Psalmist and Paul speak of is universal.

    It is universal geographically (through all the earth), but it is my understanding that all the constellations are not visible from all places in the world. Whether they are or not, the "gospel in the stars" has not been passed down to every single individual through all the earth who has ever lived.

    It is universal chronologically (Day unto day...and night unto night), but the "gospel in the stars" is limited by time. The time it takes to tell it and pass it on chronologically from generation to generation (or fail to pass it on).

    World Book @ Nasa states, "Some constellations can be seen only during certain seasons due to the earth's annual revolution around the sun. The part of the sky visible at night at a particular place gradually changes as the earth moves around the sun. Also, observers at different latitudes see different parts of the sky. An observer at the equator can view all the constellations during the course of a year, but an observer at the North or the South Pole can see only a single hemisphere of constellations."

    It is universal, according to context, to all people of all times, while the "gospel in the stars" is limited to those who have been told it.
     
  11. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I think this testimony from John of Japan (who is a missionary in Japan) from the new "Is there Salvation outside of Christ?" is appropriate to add to the record of this thread.
     
  12. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    And I responded to him there. Maybe you should link all of it, eh?
     
  13. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I'll be glad to. Click below to go directly to Helen's response, and then one can commute around the thread from there. Helen's first post is on page 1; John's response to Helen's response is on page 2.

    Is there Salvation outside of Christ?, post 13
     
  14. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,568
    Likes Received:
    751
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I sure am glad that God didn't leave me with only the stars in the sky to know of His great Salvation.

    He send me a preacher that I might hear the Word of God, receive faith to believe in Him (faith cometh by hearing), and be saved. And when I read the Scriptures, I see that this is the hallowed and chosen method of evangelism.

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

    No, wait! Helen says there are many ways to know Christ and believe on Him! Ah, the succulent fruit of Arminianism—Paganism.
     
  15. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Aaron, if you are quite finished with your personal slams against me -- I am not Arminian and most certainly not pagan -- you will note that Hebrews 1 says that in the past God spoke in many ways but now through His Son. That is all I was saying, too. I'm sure you do not consider the writer of Hebrews a pagan.
     
  16. Aaron

    Aaron Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    17,568
    Likes Received:
    751
    Faith:
    Baptist
    The Apostle stated, "In many ways TO the fathers THROUGH the prophets." Kind of undoes your whole premise, doesn't it?
     
  17. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
    Been going through some news stuff and ran across this:
    http://www.world-science.net/othernews/051213_mayamuralfrm.htm

    The indication of a birth, sacrifice and resurrection of a god is in the material even as interpreted by secular folk. Interesting, eh? Granted it is mixed up with some other things, but I am wondering that if we actually understood all of it, how much of the actual Promise of God remained unadulterated in this early civilization.
     
  18. Helen

    Helen <img src =/Helen2.gif>

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2001
    Messages:
    11,703
    Likes Received:
    1
  19. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Messages:
    8,940
    Likes Received:
    1,054
    Faith:
    Baptist
    I took a look at both of your links and found them an interesting read. Probably anyone who believes the Genesis creation account will not be surprised that some forms of the truth have survived in different cultures, since we all descended from Adam (and Noah). Nevertheless, I did not find them speaking too well to the questions you raised - How were people in the time before Christ saved? How are people who have never heard of Christ saved? The last link appears to be about people who heard of Christ in the centuries soon after His death and resurrection.

    And it seemed to me that the testimony of John of Japan is one experiential witness against the utility of long lost and perverted truth in leading one to an understanding of salvation in Jesus Christ.
     
  20. Paul of Eugene

    Paul of Eugene New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,782
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gosh, this GIS thing has really developed into a complicated thread!

    I'll just mention my own opinion on this subject.

    I certainly accept the Psalmist as saying the heavens declare the glory of God

    And I certainly accept the reference Paul of Tarsus made in Romans to the affect that the "preaching" of the stars reaches everybody.

    But saying that the actual names of the constellations told a story . . . ! That, to me, is adding to what the Bible is trying to say to us here.

    Rather, what happens is this.

    Individual looks up at the stars and begins to contemplate his place in the Universe and is awe struck at the beauty of creation and, by implication, the greatness of the Creator, whoever it was.

    God's spirit takes the opportunity to reach out to the individual's spirit and take him down the road of repentance and faith.

    Faith in what? In Whom? That is something I am commanded to assist with by the great commission. But we all know we don't get to every soul on earth.

    No salvation can ever be achieved except by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.

    But Christ has many names. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He is Creator. He is All that is Good. I am content that there will be many in heaven who found Christ through His spirit tho unable to do so by His earthly name. And all who face the judgment seat will be forced to admit they had their chance one way or the other, every one of us.
     
Loading...