Michael Brown Continues to Deny the NAR, Defends Montanism

Jeff Maples challenges noted apologist Dr. Michael Brown to explain why he continues his association with and defends men and women who embrace warmed over Latter Rain theology.  Over the years the Latter Rain cult has gone by many different names such as Kingdom Now, Manifest Sons of God and Joel’s Army.  Most recently it has been dubbed the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).  Those who embrace NAR teaching assert that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance, namely the offices of prophet and apostle. Allegedly modern-day prophets and apostles have been given the authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth.  What these people teach is not in the scriptures, brethren. Thus, it is unbiblical.  So the question is, where do these self-appointed prophets and apostles derive their beliefs from?  You’re about to find out the answer in this hard-hitting piece over at Pulpit & Pen.  Maples writes:

Photo credit: Charisma News

Photo credit: Charisma News

The New Apostolic Reformation is an extraordinary work of the Holy Spirit that is changing the shape of Christianity globally. It is truly a new day! The Church is changing. New names! New methods! New worship expressions! The Lord is establishing the foundations of the Church for the new millennium. This foundation is built upon apostles and prophets. Apostles execute and establish God’s plan on the earth. — C. Peter Wagner,[1]

Dr. Michael Brown is the go-to apologist for modern-day Montanists. Montanism is a heresy that arose early in church history, founded by its leader, Montanus, that believed, much like the charismatics of today, in ongoing prophecy and extra-biblical revelation. The movement was anathematized by the early Church, and it’s followers considered outside of orthodox Christianity. The New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) is a subset of modern-day Montanists that believe that the biblical office of Apostle is still open (or has been re-opened) today. The name, New Apostolic Reformation, was coined by the late C. Peter Wagner and continues to be the term used to describe the movement.

Some of the key tenets of the New Apostolic Reformation are: an ecclesiology that believes in governing Prophets and Apostles, a commission that focuses on harbingers and the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” (more on that later), Kingdom authority, and a faith that focuses less on sound, biblical theology, and more on “experience.” In many ways, the New Apostolic Reformation holds to a false Jesus, one who is centered around Gnostic/Shaman beliefs, and a false Gospel that places the emphasis on the Kingdom and Dominion as opposed to Christ alone.

Michael Brown, a well-known apologist for charismatic and New Apostolic beliefs has continued to deny even the existence of the New Apostolic Reformation, yet he continues to defend the tenets of this dangerous and erroneous theology under the guise of “Pentecostalism,” or “Charismaticism.” Brown has been given a pass for far too long by evangelical theologians and apologists, as his aberrant beliefs cause serious damage to the true Gospel. I want to be clear that I cannot and will not make a judgment on Michael Brown’s salvation, however, his actions and his theology deserve to be scrutinized, and Brown should be considered a danger to the commission of the church until he repents.

Brown has clearly shown himself to be in theological alignment with the New Apostolic Reformation. Recently, he invited one of Today’s most notorious NAR leaders, Bill Johnson, on his program and defended him. After mollycoddling the false teacher during the entire program, he was confronted on Twitter about his failure to ask Johnson any tough questions, and went on the defensive. He then stated that he would be unable to interact on Twitter, and gave an invitation to call into his show for discussion.

brown_spree

He was taken up on his offer and Chris Rosebrough phoned in on the show. Chris asked (rhetorically) if he should submit himself as a pastor, according to the teachings of C. Peter Wagner, to a female Apostle in his area, to which Michael Brown disagreed. However, he went on to defend Wagner’s teaching that there are modern day Apostles who have a “foundation laying ministry” today. You can listen to the clip of the show with Rosebrough and Brown below.    Continue reading — listen to the conversation Michael Brown had with Chris Rosebrough.

See our White Paper on the New Apostolic Reformation

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263 Responses to Michael Brown Continues to Deny the NAR, Defends Montanism

  1. Manny1962 October 29, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    The NAR, like Roman Catholicism also believes it will be the one to usher in God’s kingdom, they will take over man made institutions, “Christianize” them, make Christianity law of the land, capture the culture, then when that’s all done, and only then will Christ return to receive the kingdom form the NAR prophets who in turn will be made overseers. This is why they’re politicized, why they scold their followers if they don’t vote, or vote for their man. This is no different that what the RCC believes. Is it any wonder why the NAR is in bed with the harlot of Rome? Is it any wonder why politicians from around the globe seek advice from unholy Pope of Rome? Is it coincidence the NAR keeps referencing SEVEN MOUNTAINS? While Rome sits on SEVEN HILLS? A Pope will point to the antichrist as the returned messiah.

    • Sola Scriptura October 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

      …And they always seem to forget that Jesus himself said. “My kingdoms not of this world.” If it ain’t his kingdom, then it ain’t mine either. I think I will ditch the temporal, and instead preach the soul-saving gospel, the very thing that carries us from this short life to the next never-ending one.

      • Manny1962 October 30, 2016 at 12:00 am #

        Amen Sola Scriputura, amen. The time is getting very, very close! Maranatha!

    • Stephen James Schneider October 31, 2016 at 5:13 am #

      Reply to Manny1962’s post on October 29, 2016:

      Before I begin, I would like to point out that I have been a Christian (Roman Catholic) since only January 2016 and have (thus far) read approx. 2/3 of the (New American Version) of the Bible. I therefore request that anyone commenting on this post not jump down my throat as I’ve noticed some folks posting on these forums have a tendency to do.

      Instead, please provide me with detailed positive criticism, along with biblical verses that support your feedback, as I believe that this will help me progress in my faith as a Christian.

      Also, when posting, could folks INCLUDE what denomination they are, whether they read the Bible and how often, and whether they are saying what they have read in the Bible WITH THEIR OWN EYES or whether they are saying what they have BEEN TOLD by someone else the Bible says? This is very useful info as it tells others where you are coming from.

      O.K., where to begin?

      Manny1962, I have no idea what you THINK the Roman Catholic Church is or what it teaches or what books etc. you have been reading about we catholics, but (WOW!) are you ever wrong!

      You write:

      “The NAR, like Roman Catholicism also believes it will be the one to usher in God’s kingdom, they will take over man made institutions, “Christianize” them, make Christianity law of the land, capture the culture, then when that’s all done, and only then will Christ return to receive the kingdom . . . ”

      No we don’t! Catholics teach that the Kingdom of God will be ushered in on Earth ONLY through Jesus Christ, and that (for now) the Kingdom of God/Heaven is in Heaven — hence the name. Of course it doesn’t have ANYTHING to do with what the Roman Catholic Church does or doesn’t do. It will happen at the appointed time that our Heavenly Father has set.

      As for taking over man-made institutions, etc., etc., that has NOTHING to do with the modern-day Roman Catholic Church. I’ll be the first to categorically state for the record that the Roman Catholic Church, being made up of imperfect and flawed human beings, went way, way off course for most of the last (nearly) 2000 years, and that atrocities and some very-unchristian behavior did take place, and a whole heck of a lot of them/it!

      However, in recent decades, the Roman Catholic Church has returned to sound Biblical teaching and, in short, has gotten its house in order. What’s in the past is in the past. We can’t change it! All we can do is move forward in accordance with Christ’s teachings.

      You write:

      “This is no different that what the RCC believes. Is it any wonder why the NAR is in bed with the harlot of Rome? Is it any wonder why politicians from around the globe seek advice from unholy Pope of Rome?”

      As I’ve said, we do NOT believe what this NAR teaches! And, seriously, “the harlot of Rome” and “unholy Pope of Rome”?!? The Pope is just a man, not the Anti-Christ, as you seem to think. Just a man.

      For the record, Pope Francis is the most humble Pope we’ve had since Pope John Paul II; perhaps even more so. One of his first acts as Pope was to refuse to move into the papal residence and lives in one of the very basic guest rooms that visiting priests stay in. And that’s just the start.

      As to Rome being situated on seven hills, this has nothing to do with Vatican City, which is an independent city-state and not under the purview of the Italian government or the city of Rome. At most, Vatican City occupies one (maybe two) hills.

      Whatever this “seven hills” business the NAR is talking about is, it definitely has nothing to do with where Vatican City or Rome is situated geographically or spiritually.

      Whether some protestants want to admit it or not, the Roman Catholic Church is the ORIGINAL Christian denomination dating back to 34 C.E. Of course, back then, the words “Catholic” (which is latin for “Universal”), ‘Christian’, and ‘Pope’ had NOT YET been coined, and the early church was headquartered in Jerusalem instead of Rome, but the line of Popes is an unbroken line from the apostle Peter all the way to Pope Francis — 280 popes in all. Check it out for yourself in the New American version of the Bible.

      I hope that you will take the time to do some proper research about the Roman Catholic Church . . . because the fantasies expressed here are exactly that!

      I invite everyone posting here to visit:

      http://www.lighthousecatholicmedia.org

      . . . and see what the Roman Catholic Church is truly about. Don’t believe everything you hear. Check it out for yourself.

      • Mike October 31, 2016 at 6:18 am #

        Stephen James Schneider: what is your stance on the worship of Mary and the RCC’s teaching that she is equal to Triune God, and that Catholics should pray to her and she will tell Jesus to do what you ask in your prayer because Jesus has to listen to His mother. If you adhere to this teaching, please provide the scripture that teaches this (and not John 2, the wedding at Cana, this doesn’t teach that Jesus is subject to Mary, it is a sign that He is the Messiah). If you haven’t got this far in the RCC doctrine then perhaps you should research it.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 7, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

          Very good question, Mike!

          When I became a Christian (Roman Catholic) for the first time again this past January, I made it a point to, within a few weeks, to start attending the Rite of Christian Initiation and Admission (RCIA), which is Catholic-speak for Adult Catechism classes, and I have been learning an enormous amount about what the Roman Catholic Church actually teaches.

          I’m not sure where the idea that the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is in any manner, way, or form EQUAL to the “triune God”, as you put it, originated, but it MOST DEFINITELY HAS NEVER BEEN a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church!

          While I don’t personally see the point in doing so, the use of intermediaries in prayer to God is a curious tradition brought in by new Christian converts as the church expanded outward preaching the Gospel of Christ to all the nations, but one that the ONLY Christian church (at that historical point) realized upon prayer, examination of Scripture, and careful reflection, was neither blasphemous or unacceptable to God, although indeed NOT in the Bible itself.

          I’ve been working on addressing the points raised in Manny1962’s very detailed and very appreciated posts, but (as it involves a huge amount of information) I’ll be posting replies and clarifications on all the teachings that have been listed. However, this is going to take time to complete.

          What I intend to show is that most of these teachings are not ACTUALLY either heretical or displeasing to God as Manny1962 (and I assume others) seem to THINK/BELIEVE they are. I’ll get a more detailed explanation of the use of intermediaries in praying to God (and all those other teachings and traditions) to you (I hope) shortly.

          In the meantime, keep posting folks, and I’ll do my best to explain and clarify any teachings that folks are curious about, or just feel like out and out condemning, as soon as I can

      • Manny1962 October 31, 2016 at 10:56 am #

        Good afternoon Mr. Schneider, there are so many resources on Roman Catholicism, excuse my cut and paste job, but this subject has been covered so many times by so many pastors it’s really hard to know where to start, but I’ll post with brevity:

        https://gotquestions.org/catholicism.html

        Question: “Is Catholicism a false religion? Are Catholics saved?”

        Answer: The most crucial problem with the Roman Catholic Church is its belief that faith alone in Christ is not sufficient for salvation. The Bible clearly and consistently states that receiving Jesus Christ as Savior, by grace through faith, grants salvation (John 1:12; 3:16,18,36; Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10,13; Ephesians 2:8-9). The Roman Catholic Church rejects this. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that a person must believe in Jesus Christ AND be baptized AND receive the Eucharist along with the other sacraments AND obey the decrees of the Roman Catholic Church AND perform meritorious works AND not die with any mortal sins AND etc., etc., etc. Catholic divergence from the Bible on this most crucial of issues, salvation, means that yes, Catholicism is a false religion. If a person believes what the Catholic Church officially teaches, he/she will not be saved. Any claim that works or rituals must be added to faith in order for salvation to be achieved is a claim that Jesus’ death was not sufficient to fully purchase our salvation.

        While salvation by faith is the most crucial issue, in comparing Roman Catholicism with the Word of God, there are many other differences and contradictions as well. The Roman Catholic Church teaches many doctrines that are in disagreement with what the Bible declares. These include apostolic succession, worship of saints or Mary, prayer to saints or Mary, the pope / papacy, infant baptism, transubstantiation, plenary indulgences, the sacramental system, and purgatory. While Catholics claim Scriptural support for these concepts, none of these teachings have any solid foundation in the clear teaching of Scripture. These concepts are based on Catholic tradition, not the Word of God. In fact, they all clearly contradict Biblical principles.

        In regards to the question “Are Catholics saved?”, this is a more difficult question to answer. It is impossible to give a universal statement on the salvation of all members of any denomination of Christianity. Not ALL Baptists are saved. Not ALL Presbyterians are saved. Not ALL Lutherans are saved. Salvation is determined by personal faith in Jesus alone for salvation, not by titles or denominational identification. Despite the unbiblical beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, there are genuine believers who attend Roman Catholic churches. There are many Roman Catholics who have genuinely placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. However, these Catholic Christians are believers despite what the Catholic Church teaches, not because of what it teaches. To varying degrees, the Catholic Church teaches from the Bible and points people to Jesus Christ as the Savior. As a result, people are sometimes saved in Catholic churches. The Bible has an impact whenever it is proclaimed (Isaiah 55:11). Catholic Christians remain in the Catholic Church out of ignorance of what the Catholic Church truly stands for, out of family tradition and peer pressure, or out of a desire to reach other Catholics for Christ.

        At the same time, the Catholic Church also leads many people away from a genuine faith relationship with Christ. The unbiblical beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church have often given the enemies of Christ opportunity to blaspheme. The Roman Catholic Church is not the church that Jesus Christ established. It is not a church that is based on the teachings of the Apostles (as described in the Book of Acts and the New Testament epistles). While Jesus’ words in Mark 7:9 were directed towards the Pharisees, they accurately describe the Roman Catholic Church, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 5:16 am #

          Hi Manny1962:

          I just posted my first two replies to your first post dated October 31, 2016, but they posted at the bottom of the forum as new posts rather than replies. There is a note stating that these comments are awaiting moderation. Maybe once this moderation of them is done, they will post under your post the way I expected them to. We’ll see, but I figured I’d give you a heads up.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 5:21 am #

            As a Christian and Catholic, I acknowledge the church has been wrong historically in several of its doctrines, as have Protestant denominations in turn, but I also stress that the church has returned to sounder Biblical teachings in recent decades.

            Does the church have a long way to go? Absolutely, but (as the saying goes) “Rome was not built in a day”. The point is that it is slowly, painfully so for many Catholics, getting itself back on track. And, let me be clear, the church went way, way off course during much of its (nearly) 2000 year history, but not in regard to denying the “justification by faith alone” doctrine you, and many others posting on the Berean website, appear to believe.

            The modern-day Roman Catholic Church DOES teach that salvation is (in part) granted through accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, and having faith that he died for the forgiveness of all (of humanity’s) sins, save the only one that can NOT be forgiven (by God) through Jesus’ death and ressurection: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit . . . but it entirely rejects the belief that there is NOT MORE THAN THAT REQUIRED to achieve salvation.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 5:23 am #

          As you’ll recall, Jesus warned some individual Pharisees that were claiming that He was casting out demons through the power of Satan that they were perilously close to blaspheming the Holy Spirit, the one sin that God cannot and will not forgive. Of significance about this was that these Pharisees had not actually blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but were dangerously close. This suggests what blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is, and (if I’m right) its something that even demons are not willing to do. It also shows just how astounding, nearly-incomprehensibly merciful God is in providing salvation (as a gift we could never earn (merit) entirely on our own) through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice upon the cross!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 5:55 am #

          Contrary to what many Protestants believe about what the Roman Catholic Church teaches, the modern-day church definitely also denies the validity of the misguided “Once saved, always saved” doctrine.

          Let me give you an example of what I mean:

          O.K., a young man of 24 after talking to a couple evangelical Protestants of one of the denominations that teaches the “Justification by faith alone” doctrine decides that he will accept Jesus as his Lord and Saviour so that he becomes “born again” and he and everyone in the church that he now belongs to are joyful that he and they are saved and will go to Heaven when they die. Hallelujah!

          Fast forward 25 years. The man is now married with three children, and his family attends the same church weekly. The man is also cheating on his wife with his neighbour’s wife, has a mistress on the side, is cheating his business partner out of the business they started together, and commits fraud on his taxes, hiding large amounts of money he doesn’t want to pay tax on.

          He continues with these activities until just shy of his 70th Birthday, he has a massive heart attack and dies. So, there he is standing before Jesus, and he’s a little nervous. But Jesus motions to the “pearly gates” of Heaven and they swing open, and He says to the man, “Come on in, my friend!” Now, the man is relieved that he gets to enter Heaven, but just to make sure he says how happy he is because, with all the things he had done, he was a little nervous that his behaviour might be an issue. Jesus smiles warmly and says, “Not to worry, my son. You accepted me as your Lord and Saviour when you were 24, and salvation is by faith alone. Rejoice, for your works after accepting me as your Saviour do not matter! Once you are saved, you are always saved, because my death and ressurection is more than enough!” And so, with Jesus walking by his side, he walks into Heaven and remains there eternally.

          O.K., can anyone see a problem with this scenario, or does this make obvious sense to you that this is how it works since the “Justification by faith alone” and the “Once saved, always saved” doctrines are correct?

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 6:02 am #

          Living a life pleasing to God includes (for the Catholic) baptism, receiving the Eucharist, being generous (ie. performing good works, giving to charity, showing love to one’s fellow man, etc.), and availing oneself of the various Sacrements. These, however, are NOT mandatory requirements for the (Christian) Catholic as (I assume) they once were, but very STRONGLY recommended as part of a Catholic’s efforts to live one’s life in a way that is pleasing to God (and, thus, Jesus and the Holy Spirit). These are, therefore, conducive to living one’s faith and to achieving salvation (as in being saved, justified, redeemed, ransomed, etc.). As someone who understands the Sacrements and WHY THEY EXIST, I most definitely avail myself of them, as a part of developing my ongoing relationship with God.

          Oh, I almost forgot, baptism is a part of being accepted into the Roman Catholic Church regardless of your age when you enter the church.

          As the teaching that “Salvation is not by faith alone” was your PRIMARY problem or issue with the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, I have posted this separately, and will discuss your list of Catholic teachines (doctrines) in subsequent posts.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 6:32 am #

          With respect to Catholics not dying in a state of mortal sin (of which there are seven, as anyone who ever watched the movie “Seven” can tell you), IF THIS WAS EVER if a teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, it has been abandoned as non-sensensical.

          Of course, it has. With a few exceptions, people have no control over when they die. While it is recommended for any Catholic close to death to make Final confession and accept the Sacrement of Annointing of the Sick and Dying (which can be performed if any family member requests it after a Catholic has died) — the priest comes to the hospital or palliative care facility to perform these, these Sacrements are NOT essential to achieving salvation. They do bring peace of mind for the Catholic as he or she can be die confident that they have done everything they could toward achieving their salvation.

          Since people generally can die at any time, it is recommended that the Catholic avail themselves of the Sacrements throughout their lives, but the seven mortal sins have no hold on a Catholic who has died. Sin results in the death of the mortal soul, but once a soul dies, the sin loses its hold over you. The way I think about it is that sin is a spiritual infection that will kill BOTH your body and soul if one let’s it fester too long.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:01 am #

          In your first post, you stated:

          “While Catholics claim Scriptural support for these concepts, none of these teachings have any solid foundation in the clear teaching of Scripture. These concepts are based on Catholic tradition, not the Word of God. In fact, they all clearly contradict Biblical principles.”

          In upcoming posts, I intend to point out why the above statement is misguided and (concerning some of the doctrines you mentioned) is just plain wrong. Whether you agree or not is not crucially significant. Either you will or you won’t.

          As to who is ACTUALLY RIGHT in their interpretations of what the “clear teaching of ” Scripture is, I simple don’t know. Maybe you are; maybe I am. Being imperfect and fallible, no human can know with certainty. God knows; we do not.

          I should point out that I am talking about human interpretation of Scripture, and not Scripture itself.

          You continued with the following:

          “In regards to the question “Are Catholics saved?”, this is a more difficult question to answer. It is IMPOSSIBLE to give a universal statement on the salvation of all members of ANY DENOMINATION of Christianity. Not ALL Baptists are saved. Not ALL Presbyterians are saved. Not ALL Lutherans are saved. Salvation is determined by personal faith in Jesus alone for salvation, not by titles or denominational identification.” [Amended by Capitalization of some words]

          I agree with almost all of that statement; just not the use of the word “alone”.

          Shortly after the above quote, you continue with:

          “Despite the unbiblical beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church, there are genuine believers who attend Roman Catholic churches. There are many Roman Catholics who have genuinely placed their faith in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. However, these Catholic Christians are believers despite what the Catholic Church teaches, not because of what it teaches.”

          This third sentences in the above comment (as well as (again) the use of the word “alone” in the second sentence) is flat out wrong. The vast majority of Catholics faithfully seeking a relationship with God are sticking with the Roman Catholic Church BECAUSE the church’s modern-day interpretations on Scripture SIMPLY MAKE SENSE.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:11 am #

            Now, something positive about the Roman Catholic Church:

            “To varying degrees, the Catholic Church teaches from the Bible and points people to Jesus Christ as the Savior. As a result, people are sometimes saved in Catholic churches. The Bible has an impact whenever it is proclaimed (Isaiah 55:11).”

            Amen, brother. Right on! Now we’re on the same page.

            But wait! You then say:

            “At the same time, the Catholic Church also leads many people away from a genuine faith relationship with Christ. The unbiblical beliefs . . . ” [Not all of them; far from it!] ” . . . and practices of the Roman Catholic Church have often given the enemies of Christ opportunity to blaspheme.”

            Have the enemies of Christ ever NEEDED a reason to blaspheme? lol. And it’s not as though MANY Protestant denominations haven’t given them plenty of ammunition to use due to some of THEIR unbiblical doctrines.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:05 am #

          Like any other Christian denominations except for the really close-minded “my way or the highway . . . straight to Hell” denominations, the Roman Catholic Church is continuously reviewing the doctrines they teach, and this results in new (more modern) interpretations of doctrines and the biblical verses that confirm their validity, as well as the elimination of doctrines that are found to be biblically unsound. This elimination is (more often than not) accomplished by ceasing to actively teach or encourage the practice of a tradition until successive Catholic generations forget it altogether. As a general rule, people tend to resist or lash out when they are told that something they have believed all their life is not correct, and never was. Doing or eliminating doctrines reassessed as incorrect is accomplished with greater respect for older Catholics. The same process tends to be used by other wiser Christian denominations — which I define as any denomination that can admit that human interpretations of Scripture can be in error, no matter how much its members believe (or are convinced) that they are Scriptural.

          Next you state:

          “Catholic Christians remain in the Catholic Church out of ignorance of what the Catholic Church truly stands for, out of family tradition and peer pressure, or out of a desire to reach other Catholics for Christ.”

          While that may be true of many Catholics, it is not true of the majority. Catholics remain Catholics because they TRULY BELIEVE that the Roman Catholic Church is THE church that is most consistent with what the Bible says . . . which, btw, is why most Protestants remain Protestants in the denomination they have accepted . . . and because Catholics understand that it is, and always will be the original (1st Century) Christian church.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:16 am #

          Last but not least, here’s where we veer completely away from historical reality (or accuracy):

          “The Roman Catholic Church is not the church that Jesus Christ established. It is not a church that is based on the teachings of the Apostles (as described in the Book of Acts and the New Testament epistles).”

          O.K., let’s look at this fallacy that the Roman Catholic Church sprang up out of nowhere in (what?) the 4th Century C.E. a bit closer:

          If this is true, then it follows (when you carry this opinion to its logical conclusion) that the true Christian churches had ceased to exist by the time the Roman Catholic Church was established, and that they only came back into existence when whichever Protestant denomination that is accurately teaching all the right doctrines (from its founding to the present day) chose to split off from the Roman Catholic Church over a millenium later.

          Can you see the problem with the claim quoted above? Do you think that God would have ever allowed the church established by the 12 Apostles, Paul, and so many others serving him faithfully, to go extinct or be snuffed out like a candle?

          Of course not. What happenned was that those original churches slowly evolved into what was subsequently dubbed the Roman Catholic Church, and were already off course before that new name was thought up. This is exactly what always happens with humans. It is a testament to God’s great mercy, patience, wisdom, and love that he allowed His church that Jesus did found to VERY, VERY slowly find its way back to what they had originally taught in the beginning of the church, and that journey back continues to this day.

          The Protestant denominations split off from the Roman Catholic Church out of protest against doctrines they felt were misguided and biblically unsound, and (as I’ve clearly stated) there were some doctrines that were misguided and biblically unsound (and there are some still adhered to at this present), but not all of the doctrines identified by Protestants in general, and by yourself in this first post, AS being not biblical are (IN FACT) not Scriptural.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:22 am #

          Oh, a side note on the following (final) bit of your first post:

          “While Jesus’ words in Mark 7:9 were directed towards the Pharisees, they accurately describe the Roman Catholic Church, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!”

          Most gentile Christians and non-jews are unaware that God’s revelation (or Torah) was given to the Ancient Israelites in three (3) parts. There was the written (or Mosaic) Covenant, which is (in turn) divided into three “volumes”; the Oral Tradition, also known as the Talmud, which was memorized with the utmost of reverence; and there was Moses, later dubbed the first and (of course) greatest Rabbi.

          This should come as no surprise to any Christian who believes the Trinity doctrine. You have the written (eternal) covenant that the Ancient Israelites were commanded NOT to add or subtract from, under penalty of the curses that govern the covenant; you have the Oral Torah (or Talmud) that HAS been added to over the centuries since Moses first passed it on to them and had them begin to memorize it; and you have the Rabbi, considered the part of the Torah incarnated as man.

          What most Christians miss is that Jesus NEVER denounced ALL of the Oral Torah (or tradition), and (as a jew with a part of God Himself dwelling within Him) Jesus would have known it forwards, backwards, and sideways. He denounced ONLY SOME of the teachings within it that He knew were the teachings of men, imperfect and fallible, and not ones inspired from God.

          Summarily DENOUNCING ALL of the Oral Tradition is a misguided and erroneous choice (or interpretation) to make! While this misguided interpretation is accepted amongst most Christians today, that is mostly due to gentile ignorance of the three-fold nature of) the revelations made to the Ancient Israelites in the Old Testament.

          As I said, human INTERPRETATION of Scripture.

          As to the specific doctrines you referred to in your first post, I will address most of them in my reply to your post that begins “Heresy Date”.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

            A good example of this is found in Matthew 15:1-6, which reads:

            “1 Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, 2 “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, “Honor your father and mother,” and, “He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.” 5 But you say, “Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” 6 he is not to honor his father or his mother.” And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.”

            Now, Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees and scribes, (I believe) with the rest of the crowd within earshot (thus teaching the maximum number of people possible) who were (presumably) all Jews.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

            I interpret (or believe that, in respect to Gentiles) that these verses make clear that any interpretation of biblical verses that results in one of Jesus’ teachings, understood in the context that His teachings were addressed to Jews and not Gentiles, CANNOT CONTRADICT any other of His teachings, viewed in the same context.

            God does NOT ever CONTRADICT HIMSELF or CHANGE HIS MIND. Nor is He a God of Confusion.

            He also NEVER does anything that results in any one of His divine characteristics (ie. love, mercy, justice, wisdom, fairness, wrath, etc.) to be NOT APPLIED to a given decision. He ONLY MAKES decisions that ALL OF His divine characteristics apply to.

            In my opinion, any interpretation that says otherwise is definitely an incorrect interpretation of what the Bible teaches.

            Therefore, anyone’s interpretation (and that’s what they almost always are) of a biblical verse or verses that ignores, disregards, overlooks, etc. any other biblical verse(s) in order to defend that interpretation of the first verse(s) can be dismissed as the teachings of man and not God.

            This includes any of my own interpretations of Scripture.

            Of course, if one also has an interpretation of the second verse(s) that supports their interpretation of the first verse(s), then that is an interpretation that COULD be biblically sound.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

            It should also be pointed out that any letters in the New Testament were definitely written to Christians.

            This includes Jewish Christians who had or have (by becoming Christians) been released from the Law (Mosaic Covenant), and can therefore be viewed as believing Gentiles (even though their heritage remains Jewish).

            Mind you, some of these letters were ALSO addressed to unbelieving Jews (ie. Romans, Hebrews, etc.). Once again, it comes down to interpreting these biblical verses in proper context. Without that context, the resulting conclusions and/or interpretations usually are misguided, incorrect, and like something out of a legal contract.

            Concerning Paul’s letters, the instructions within can be seen as teachings straight from Jesus to Gentiles, since Paul received the Gospel directly from Jesus on the way to Damascus, and Jesus told him to preach to all of the Gentiles.

      • Manny1962 October 31, 2016 at 10:59 am #

        Here’s something you might consider:

        https://carm.org/are-roman-catholics-christian

        Are Roman Catholics Christians? They are if they have trusted in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. However, if they believe they are saved by God’s grace and their works, then they are not saved–even if they believe their works are done by God’s grace–since they then deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice.

        Being a Christian does not mean being a member of the Roman Catholic Church. It means being a member of the body of Christ, which is accomplished by faith and trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of your sins. It means you do not add your works to His work. Sincerity doesn’t forgive sins. Membership in a church doesn’t forgive sins. Doing works of penance doesn’t forgive sins. Praying to Mary doesn’t forgive sins. Forgiveness is received in the faithful trust and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. You must trust Jesus, God in flesh, for the forgiveness of sins–not a man-made ritual and certainly not the catholic saints. Even though the Roman Catholic Church affirms the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and His physical resurrection, it greatly errors in its doctrine of salvation by adding works to salvation.

        The official Roman Catholic doctrine of salvation is that the grace of God is infused into a baby at baptism–making him/her justified before God.1 This justification can be lost through sin and must be regained by repeated participation in the many sacraments found in the Roman Catholic Church. These sacraments increase the measure of grace in the person by which he or she is enabled to do good works, which are in turn rewarded with the joy of heaven:

        “We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ,” (CCC, par. 1821).
        “Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification,” (CCC, par. 2010).
        No one can say whether a Roman Catholic is truly a Christian or not since we cannot know people’s hearts. However, if anyone, Catholic included, openly denies essential doctrines2, then he is not saved; and this is the problem. It appears that the Roman Catholic Church is denying the essential doctrine of justification by faith. It says . . .

        “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema,” (Canon 9, Council of Trent).
        “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema,” (Canon 14, Council of Trent).
        For more on this, please see Council of Trent. Canons on Justification.
        Notice that justification by faith alone is denied, and heaven is the reward for doing good works. This is the problem. The RCC does not teach the biblical doctrine of justification by faith. It teaches justification by faith and works. If you want to see more on this, go to The Roman Catholic view on justification.

        What is the CARM position on Roman Catholics?
        CARM’s position is simple. If a Roman Catholic believes in the official Roman Catholic teaching on salvation, then he is not a Christian since the official RCC position is contrary to Scripture. Therefore, as a whole, Roman Catholics need to be evangelized. They need to hear the true Gospel. They need to hear that they are not made right before God by being in a church or by being baptized but by receiving Christ (John 1:12), believing that Jesus has risen from the dead (Rom. 10:9); and that justification is by faith (Rom. 5:1) and not by our deeds (Rom. 4:5). It is only true faith that results in true works (James 2)–not the other way around. Roman Catholics, like anyone else, need to trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins and not the Catholic sacraments, not the words of the priest, not the Pope, not Mary, not the saints, not penance, not indulgences, not the rosary, etc. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

        Finally, I believe there are truly regenerate Christians in the Roman Catholic Church–truly Christians in spite of official RCC theology and in spite of the ritualistic offerings of this ancient church which has had too many hands meddling in it through the centuries–gradually moving it away from orthodoxy and into apostasy. Yes, apostasy. The Roman Catholic Church is no longer representing true Christianity.

        Jesus alone saves. Jesus alone is Lord. Only Jesus’ sacrifice can cleanse us. Only by faith are we made right before God. Justification is by faith–not by anything we do.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:41 am #

          Yes, I will definitely check out:

          https://carm.org/are-roman-catholics-christian

          Thank you for the suggestion.

          You start this second post with the following opinion:

          “Are Roman Catholics Christisns? They are if they have trusted in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins. However, if they believe they are saved by God’s grace and their works, then they are not saved – even if they believe their works are done by God’s grace – since they then deny the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice.”

          This is the heart of why the “justification by faith alone” doctrine isn’t actually biblical at all, despite those who believe it to be biblical do believe it is so with all their hearts, minds, and souls. At its core, the erroneous doctrine boils down to this: the doctrine COMPLETELY IGNORES that salvation (and our relationship with God) is a two-way street (or process), as is every relationship (ie. with family, friends, coworkers, etc.). We all have free will, and WE DECIDE WHETHER OR NOT we are going to do our part in securing our salvation, just as Jesus (and God) has done and continues to do his part by OFFERINGTHE POSSIBILITY of salvation/justification to us.

          Jesus’ death and ressurection MADE POSSIBLE our justification/salvation, but whether we are actually saved (and allowed to enter Heaven) depends on what we do with this astounding OFFER God has made us. Of course, we could NEVER BE SAVED by our own works or on our own merits; it is WHAT WE CHOOSE TO DO with that OFFER OF SALVATION that God (Christ) extended to us through his death and ressurection, as is HOW we go about building our relationship with God, that ultimately results in our salvation or not. This is what is decided when we stand before Jesus and are judged: did we DO OUR PART?

          As James 2:20-24 clearly states:

          “Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offerred up his son Isaac on the alter? You see that faith was active with along with his works, and faith was completed by his works, and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”, and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and NOT BY FAITH ALONE.”

          There it is . . . clear as a bell!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 7:57 am #

          You continue with:

          “Being a Christian does not mean being a member of the Roman Catholic Church. It means being a member of the body of Christ, which is accomplished by faith and trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.”

          I absolutely agree!

          “It means you do not add your works to His work.”

          And right there (above) is where the arguement you are making crashes and burns!

          Next, you state:

          “Sincerity doesn’t forgive sins. Membership in a church doesn’t forgive sins. Doing works of penance doesn’t forgive sins. Praying to Mary doesn’t forgive sins. Forgiveness is received in the faithful trust and acceptance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. You must trust Jesus, God in flesh, for the forgiveness of sins . . . ”

          All correct, except that third sentence. The biblical-consistent line would read, “Doing works of penance alone doesn’t forgive sins.”, or (even better) “Doing works of penance doesn’t forgive sins, but Jesus (as a part of God) forgives sins based on the intentions of the person doing those works of penance, and not only on the basis of His death and ressurection which made it possible for man to seek to achieve salvation, but does not guarantee that he or she will receive salvation.”

          Now, here we get to the misunderstanding of the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching of what Scripture says, which most believers of the “faith alone” doctrine fail to grasp:

          “No one can say whether a Roman Catholic is truly a Christian or not since we cannot know people’s hearts. However, if anyone, Catholic included, openly denies essential doctrines, then he is not saved; and this is the problem. It appears that the Roman Catholic Church is denying the essential doctrine of justification by faith.”

          Hold on! Abrupt stop!! The Roman Catholic Church HAS NEVER NOR WILL IT EVER deny the essential doctrine of justification/salvation through faith! The Roman Catholic Church HAS CONSISTENTLY DENIED AND WILL CONTINUE TO DENY the INCORRECT doctrine of justification/salvation by faith ALONE.

          Oh, and Jesus knows whether Catholics are Christians. It’s the rest of us who cannot say, but are still free to express our opinion, whether it is true or false in God’s eyes.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 8:04 am #

          You continue with:

          “Notice that justification by faith alone is denied, and heaven is the reward for doing good works.”

          The Roman Catholic Church HAS NEVER NOR WILL IT EVER teach that Heaven is the reward for doing good works ALONE. The Roman Catholic Church HAS ALWAYS (CONSISTENTLY) TAUGHT AND WILL CONTINUE TO TEACH that justification/ salvation HAS BEEN OFFERED BY GOD TO MAN through the death and ressurection of Christ, and ONLY ONCE that GIFT of justification/salvation has been accepted by us that the real work begins.

          “Roman Catholics, like anyone else, need to trust in Jesus alone for the forgiveness of their sins and not the Catholic sacraments, not the words of the priest, not the Pope, not Mary, not the saints, not penance, not indulgences, not the rosary, etc. Jesus alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).”

          Absolutely correct! Of course, the forgiveness of sins is by Jesus. Only God can forgive sins through the offer he has extended to mankind.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 12:33 am #

          It occurs to me, after debating the doctrine that we are “justified by faith alone” with others posting in the Berean Research website, that the conflict between Catholic and Protestant teachings on salvation boil down to this:

          Those who believe in the “justification by faith alone” doctrine insist that salvation is BY THE ONE-TIME ACT of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour AND that His death and ressurection GUARANTEES our salvation and entry into Heaven when we die.

          Catholics and Protestant denominations that reject the “justification by faith alone” doctrine insist that salvation is a PROCESS that starts by our accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and that His death and ressurection MAKES POSSIBLE, but does not GUARANTEE, our salvation and entry into Heaven.

          Put simply, we ARE justified by faith, but there is MORE NEEDED than that ONE-TIME ACT to secure (achieve, merit, etc.) our salvation and therefore entry into Heaven.

          This conflict stems entirely from the inclusion of the word “alone” to the ACTUAL teaching of Romans 5:1 — which is what Martin Luthor insisted on adding, prior to his producing a DRAMATICALLY ALTERED Bible.

          Check out the link from one of my earlier posts closer to the bottom of this forum about Martin Luthor, the man and not the legend. I found it to be a real EYE-OPENER!

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 1:40 am #

            Stephen, scripture declares that justification is a punctiliar event not a process.

            Abraham believed God and it WAS credited to him as righteousness. Jesus compared His lifting on the Cross to the serpent Moses lifted in the wilderness; one look healed those who looked just as belief, faith in Jesus’ work on the Cross gives everlasting life. Jesus told the woman at the well that a drink from the water He gives springs up into everlasting life. One drink, no thirst, everlasting life; not a process.

            The process is in living that life in mortal bodies —sanctification not justification.

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 1:49 am #

            The very verses that are used to prove that justification is a process prove otherwise.

            James 2:21-25 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.25 Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

            Both justifications happened in an instant. Abraham believed was justified before God. Abraham offered Isaac he was justified before men. Rahab was justified by works in an instant. No process in those verses.

      • Manny1962 October 31, 2016 at 11:04 am #

        Heresy Date

        OF ALL THE HUMAN TRADITIONS taught and practiced by the Roman Catholic Church, which are contrary to the Bible, the most ancient are the prayers for the dead and the sign of the Cross. Both began 300 years after Christ. 310
        Wax Candles introduced in church 320
        Veneration of angels and dead saints 375
        The Mass, as a daily celebration, adopted 394
        The worship of Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the use of the term, “Mother of God”, as applied to her, originated in the Council of Ephesus 431
        Priests began to dress differently from the laity 500
        Extreme Unction 526
        The doctrine of Purgatory was first established by Gregory the Great 593
        The Latin language, as the language of prayer and worship in churches, was also imposed by Pope Gregory I. 600 years after Christ

        The Word of God forbids praying and teaching in an unknown tongue. (1st Corinthians 14:9). 600
        The Bible teaches that we pray to God alone. In the primitive church never were prayers directed to Mary, or to dead saints. This practice began in the Roman Church.

        (Matthew 11:28; Luke 1:46; Acts 10:25-26; 14:14-18) 600
        The Papacy is of pagan origin. The title of pope or universal bishop, was first given to the bishop of Rome by the wicked emperor Phocas.

        This he did to spite Bishop Ciriacus of Constantinople, who had justly excommunicated him for his having caused the assassination of his predecessor emperor Mauritius. Gregory 1, then bishop of Rome, refused the title, but his successor, Boniface III, first assumed title “pope.”

        Jesus did not appoint Peter to the headship of the apostles and forbade any such notion. (Luke 22:24-26; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; 1st Corinthians 3:11).

        Note: Nor is there any mention in Scripture, nor in history, that Peter ever was in Rome, much less that he was pope there for 25 years; Clement, 3rd bishop of Rome, remarks that “there is no real 1st century evidence that Peter ever was in Rome.” 610
        The kissing of the Pope’s feet

        It had been a pagan custom to kiss the feet of emperors. The Word of God forbids such practices. (Read Acts 10:25-26; Revelation 19:10; 22:9). 709
        The Temporal power of the Popes

        When Pepin, the usurper of the throne of France, descended into Italy, called by Pope Stephen II, to war against the Italian Lombards, he defeated them and gave the city of Rome and surrounding territory to the pope. Jesus expressly forbade such a thing, and He himself refused worldly kingship. (Read Matthew 4:8-9; 20:25-26; John 18:38). 750
        Worship of the cross, images and relics was authorized

        This was by order of Dowager Empress Irene of Constantinople, who first caused to pluck the eyes of her own son, Constantine VI, and then called a church council at the request of Hadrian I, pope of Rome at that time.

        Such practice is called simply IDOLATRY in the Bible, and is severely condemned. (Read Exodus 20:4; 3:17; Deuteronomy 27:15; Psalm 115). 788
        Holy Water, mixed with a pinch of salt and blessed by the priest, was authorized 850
        The veneration of St. Joseph began 890
        The baptism of bells was instituted by Pope John XIV 965
        Canonization of dead saints, first by Pope John XV

        Every believer and follower of Christ is called saint in the Bible. (Read Romans 1:7; 1st Colossians 1:2). 995
        Fasting on Fridays and during Lent were imposed

        Imposed by popes said to be interested in the commerce of fish. (Bull, or permit to eat meat), some authorities say, began in the year 700. This is against the plain teaching of the Bible. (Read Matthew 15:10; 1st Corinthians 10:25; 1st Timothy 4:1-3). 998
        The Mass was developed gradually as a sacrifice; attendance made obligatory in the 11th century.

        The Bible teaches that the sacrifice of Christ was offered once and for all, and is not to be repeated, but only commemorated in the Lord’s Supper. (Read Hebrews 7:27; 9:26-28; 10:10-14).
        The celibacy of the priesthood was decreed by Pope Hildebrand, Boniface VII

        Jesus imposed no such rule, nor did any of the apostles. On the contrary, St. Peter was a married man, and St. Paul says that bishops were to have wife and children. (Read 1st Timothy 3:2,5, and 12; Matthew 8:14-15). 1079
        The Rosary, or prayer beads was introduced by Peter the Hermit, in the year 1090. Copied from Hindus and Mohammedans

        The counting of prayers is a pagan practice and is expressly condemned by Christ. (Matthew 6:5-13). 1090
        The Inquisition of heretics was instituted by the Council of Verona in the year 1184. Jesus never taught the use of force to spread His religion 1184
        The sale of Indulgences, commonly regarded as a purchase of forgiveness and a permit to indulge in sin.

        Christianity, as taught in the Bible, condemns such a traffic and it was the protest against this traffic that brought on the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. 1190
        The dogma of Transubstantiation was decreed by Pope Innocent III, in the year

        By this doctrine the priest pretends to perform a daily miracle by changing a wafer into the body of Christ, and then he pretends to eat Him alive in the presence of his people during Mass. The Bible condemns such absurdities; for the Lord’s Supper is simply a memorial of the sacrifice of Christ. The spiritual presence of Christ is implied in the Lord’s Supper. (Read Luke 22:19-20; John 6:35; 1st Corinthians 11:26). 1215
        Confession of sin to the priest at least once a year was instituted by Pope Innocent III., in the Lateran Council

        The Bible commands us to confess our sins direct to God. (Read Psalm 51:1-10; Luke 7:48; 15:21; 1st John 1:8-9). 1215
        The adoration of the wafer (Host), was decreed by Pope Honorius

        So the Roman Church worships a God made by human hands. This is plain idolatry and absolutely contrary to the spirit of the Gospel. (Read John 4:24). 1220
        The Bible forbidden to laymen and placed in the Index of forbidden books by the Council of Valencia

        Jesus commanded that the Scriptures should be read by all. (John 5:39; 1st Timothy 3:15-17). 1229
        The Scapular was invented by Simon Stock, and English monk

        It is a piece of brown cloth, with the picture of the Virgin and supposed to contain supernatural virtue to protect from all dangers those who wear it on naked skin. This is fetishism. 1287
        The Roman Church forbade the cup to the laity, by instituting the communion of one kind in the Council of Constance

        The Bible commands us to celebrate the Lord’s Supper with unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine. (Read Matthew 26:27; 1st Corinthians 11:26-29). 1414
        The doctrine of Purgatory was proclaimed as a dogma of faith by Council of Florence

        There is not one word in the Bible that would teach the purgatory of priests. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sins. (Read 1st John 1:7-9; 2:1-2; John 5:24; Romans 8:1). 1439
        The doctrine of 7 Sacraments affirmed

        The Bible says that Christ instituted only two ordinances, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (Read Matthew 28:19-20; 26:26-28). 1439
        The Ave Maria, part of the last

        It was completed 50 years afterward and finally approved by Pope Sixtus V, at the end of the 16th century. 1508
        The Council of Trent, held in the year 1545, declared that Tradition is of equal authority with the Bible

        By tradition is meant human teachings. The Pharisees believed the same way, and Jesus bitterly condemned them, for by teaching human tradition, they nullified the commandments of God. (Read Mark 7:7-13; Colossians 2:8; Revelation 22:18). 1545
        The apocryphal books were added to the Bible also by the Council of Trent

        These books were not recognized as canonical by the Jewish Church. (See Revelation 22:8-9). 1546
        The Creed of Pope Pius IV was imposed as the official creed 1560 years after Christ and the apostles

        True Christians retain the Holy Scriptures as their creed. Hence their creed is 1500 years older than the creed of Roman Catholics. (Read Galatians 1:8). 1560
        The Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX

        The Bible states that all men, with the sole exception of Christ, are sinners. Mary herself had need of a Savior. (Read Romans 3:23; 5:12; Psalm 51:5; Luke 1:30,46,47). 1834
        In the year 1870 after Christ, Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of Papal Infallibility

        This is a blasphemy and the sign of the apostasy and of the antichrist predicted by St. Paul. (Read 2nd Thessalonians 2:2-12; Revelation 17:1-9; 13:5-8,18).

        Many Bible students see the number of the beast (Rev. 13:18), 666 in the Roman letters of the Pope’s title: “VICARIVS FILII DEI.” — V-5, I-1; C-100, I-1; V-S, I-1; L-50, I-1; I-1; D-500, I-l — Total, 666. 1870
        Pope Plus X, in the year 1907, condemned together with “Modernism”, all the discoveries of modern science which are not approved by the Church

        Pius IX had done the same thing in the Syllabus of 1864. 1907
        In the year 1930 Pius XI, condemned the Public Schools 1930
        In the year 1931 the same pope Pius XI, reaffirmed the doctrine that Mary is “the Mother of God”

        This doctrine was first invented by the Council of Ephesus in the year 431. This is a heresy contrary by Mary’s own words. (Read Luke 1:46-49; John 2: l-5). 1931
        In the year 1950 the last dogma was proclaimed by Pope Pius XII, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

        • Edwitness October 31, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

          Thanks for that list Manny 1962. I have saved it. Any person who wants to know the truth will certainly have plenty of it from this to reject the RCC. God bless you brother.

          • Manny1962 October 31, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

            All the info is there brother, he who stays in Rome does at their own peril.

            Thomas Merton: SEVEN Storey Mountain…………Catholic mysticism.

            NAR: SEVEN mountains mandate……………. Dominion Theology, demonic.

            A city on SEVEN hills………………….. Rome, The Great Harlot that fornicates
            With the Kings of the world.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 8:32 am #

          Very complete list, Manny1962. Nicely done and very much appreciated.

          Before we get into specifics, let’s lay down some groundwork. We start by turning to Romans 5:13, which reads:

          “. . . for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed WHEN THERE IS NO LAW.”

          Next Romans 2:12, which reads:

          “All who sin APART FROM THE LAW will also perish APART FROM THE LAW, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”

          Next, Romans 4:13-15, which reads:

          “For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; for the Law brings about wrath, but WHERE THERE IS NO LAW, THERE ALSO IS NO VIOLATION.”

          And now Acts 15:23-29, which reads:

          “With them they sent the following letter:

          The apostles and elders, your brothers,

          To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

          Greetings.

          We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul – men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silus to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.

          IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE HOLY SPIRIT and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

          You are to abstain from FOOD SACRIFICED to idols,

          from blood,

          from the meat of STRANGLED animals,

          and from sexual immorality.

          You will do well to avoid these things.”

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 8:35 am #

          Now, take a close look at those four (4) requirements (or commandments) for Gentiles:

          Gentiles are NOT to eat meat that has been SACRIFICED TO an idol. Notice that there is NOTHING mentioned about the USE OF IDOLS!

          Whoa! What? No way! Yup, it’s true, STRAIGHT FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT!

          Obviously, idols of any OTHER GOD [small-case “g”] than God is to be avoided by Christians, as it is for Jews and Muslims, since THAT TYPE OF IDOL is a result of people “though they knew God, they did not honour Him or give thanks . . . ” [Romans 1:21]

          However, WHAT THE SCRIPTURES SAY is that icons and iconography that is (related to) God Himself is ENTIRELY ACCEPTABLE to God. There is no sin being committed. NO LAW, NO SIN!

          MIND-BLOWING, ISN’T IT?

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 8:39 am #

          God’s view on the matter, with regard to Christians, is that an idol or iconography is NOT a bad thing UNLESS people devote more care and attention to the idol than they do to God and their relationship with him. This is why one’s efforts to restore a prized classic car, hanging out with your friends, or even your relationship with your own family CAN BECOME DETRIMENTAL IDOLS (that are DISPLEASING to God). The central point for the Christian is that their relationship with God SHOULD BE MORE IMPORTANT, push come to shove, THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THEIR LIVES, even INCLUDING BEING RIGHT about HOW you serve God, or WHICH DOCTRINES you BELIEVE are correctly interpreted from Scripture!!

          What other people BELIEVE or INTERPRET about HOW someone else serves God and walks in Christ is NOT the issue for God, nor is how you choose to serve God so long as you (they) serve God with all your (their) heart, all your (their) mind, and all your (their) spirit (or soul).

          Indeed, with respect to meat you were FORBIDDEN from eating, Paul later expanded on this by saying you did NOT have to be concerned about what happenned to the animal before (seeing and) buying the meat. He even said that you had done nothing wrong — there was no sin committed — if you ate meat sacrificed to an idol or from a strangled animal without KNOWING that you were doing so. In this case, ignorance is truly bliss!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 8:50 am #

          But, O.K., what about Jesus’ teachings?

          Of course, every Christian SHOULD follow His teachings. I would go so far as to say that anyone who is not following ALL OF Jesus’ teachings should not be calling themselves Christians. However, as I’ve already said in my posts above, only Jesus gets to judge who is a Christian and who is not!

          However, keeping in mind WHAT the Holy Spirit told us in Acts 15:23-29, Jesus’ teachings HAVE TO BE interpreted IN CONTEXT.

          What do I mean by “in context”?

          How are they to be interpreted by Christians who strive to follow the Bible, ALL the Bible, NOT JUST the verses they like?

          By keeping in mind that Jesus primarily taught TO THE JEWS who were UNDER THE MOSAIC COVENANT, and NOT to Gentiles who were NEVER UNDER the Mosaic Covenant or any Jew who chose to embrace Gods offer of salvation MADE POSSIBLE through Jesus’ death and ressurection.

          That last group, of course, didn’t exist until AFTER His death and ressurection and (therefore) most of his teachings, but the interpretation remains the same as it does for Gentiles, since all Jewish Christians are released from the Mosaic Covenant; they are NO LONGER UNDER THE LAW and they are NOT SUBJECT to the curses that govern it, nor are any Jews who remain under the Law EVER PUNISHED because of any Jewish Christian CHOOSING (of their own free will) NOT TO FOLLOW some or all of the rules and traditions that are a part of the Mosaic Covenant. They are likewise free to follow any or all those same rules and traditions, PROVIDED they keep front and center in their hearts, minds, and souls that they DO NOT HAVE TO . . . since they have been released from the Mosaic Covenant through their acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

          Pretty cool, right? Of course, it is — yup, the Davidic (or Fourth) Covenant is awesome, and so is God!

          In other words, Christians, both Gentile and Jewish, have to exercise their own good judgement aided by the Wisdom we can access through prayer and CLOSELY listening to the Holy Spirit (and the Mind of Christ that comes with or in it) dwelling within each of us.

          This IS THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE necessary to determine HOW, and NOT IF, we follow Jesus’ teachings . . . as Jesus WANTS Christians, both Gentile or Jewish, to do.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 9:03 am #

          The inevitable conclusion, in ACCORDANCE WITH Scripture is that something can only be HERETICAL or BLASPHEMOUS if and ONLY IF it can be shown to be FORBIDDEN TO GENTILES by Scripture.

          It is NOT ENOUGH to argue that, because Christians IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND MEDITERRANEAN did things a certain way in the First Century C.E., that THAT WAY (described in the Bible) is the ONLY way that Gentiles and Jewish Christians can serve and worship God so that it is pleasing to Him. In short, whatever way you choose to serve God is fine with God PROVIDED that He and He alone is who you worship. As a result, Scripture STATES that Christians are given EXTRAORDINARY LATITUDE in how to worship God!!

          Subject to the four provisos (or taboos) explained above, ways that other denominations adopt in their worship of God that are DIFFERENT FROM how you (ie. your denomination) choose to worship God CAN NOT BE heretical or (worse) blasphemous according to Scripture.

          The word [small case “w”] of God tells you that is the case!

          Either you believe the Bible or you stubbornly refuse to change your beliefs on what is and is not heretical, appropriate, etc.

          Indeed, to CLAIM that the way that First Century C.E. Christians CHOSE (of their own free will, consistent with the customs of their geographical location and time they lived in) is therefore the ONLY CORRECT way to worship God is NOT biblically sound at all, and is in DEFIANCE of the Holy Spirit (God)‘s command to all Christians.

          One example is the Bible’s instruction to Paul that women were to have their heads covered and were not to speak, letting their husbands do the talking for them, when attending Christian gatherings.

          This was the custom of the First Century C.E. in that part of the world. Do you know of any Protestant denominations that practice that part of the Scriptures?

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 9:24 am #

          So, wait, why would God change the rules for Christians? He didn’t. He simply NEVER made a covenant (for most Christians) with our ancestors until the Davidic Covenant between Himself and King David, and (for most Christians) our ancestors were only made aware that the covenant even existed ONLY AFTER the second part of the covenant was fulfilled through the death and ressurection of Jesus.

          Keep in mind that God is hands down the wisest being in all existence, having billions (if not trillions) of years of practical experience with the myriad of life forms across the universe!

          He fully understood that, as His church expanded out across the planet, that new Christians would want to bring some of their local customs to the church in order to contribute those customs to this church preaching the gospel of (to them) this new God who was far greater than the gods they knew.

          Yes, the church, not yet named the Roman Catholic Church — that name would be coined centuries later, understood that (at least most of) these local customs had been used in Pagan religious ceremonies, but upon prayer to God and careful reflection, it also realized that summarily refusing to allow customs new Christians were offering in an attempt to glorify the Christian God (of gods and men alike) would result in many potential converts rejecting the church and the gospel of Christ, resulting in the damnation of their mortal souls.

          To refuse to be open to these new customs and ideas would result in the church’s mission to save as many souls as possible to NOT be faithfully carried out. It was clear to the church that if the church tried to prevent itself from evolving in new and unexpected ways, it would be delivering the ULTIMATE slap across the face of God, and would certainly bring His terrible wrath down upon them

        • Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 9:59 am #

          O.K, having laid that groundwork (or foundation) as to what is PLEASING TO God, let’s see which points on Manny1962’s list are FORBIDDEN TO GENTILES BY GOD HIMSELF, and which are simply customs that are in NO WAY OFFENSIVE TO GOD, or (to put it another way) let’s see which of the things Manny1962 BELIEVES to be heretical, blasphemous, NOT biblically sound, and displeasing to God ACTUALLY ARE heretical, displeasing to God, blasphemous, and not biblically sound.

          Alright, prayers FOR (not TO) the dead (ie. prayers to God on behalf of the dead). First historically traced to 310 C.E. Nope, as far as I know, this tradition is not forbidden to Gentiles anywhere in the Bible.

          Really, where’s the harm?

          The sign of the cross (in reverence for what Jesus accomplished on the cross, which is the alter upon which the Lamb of God was sacrificed, and by which Jesus went through (and completed) his “baptism of fire”). Also, dates to 310 C.E. Nope, NOT BLASPHEMY for a Gentile in God’s eyes. He (the Holy Spirit) said so . . . in black and white (and sometimes red).

          Wax candles introduced in the church in 320 C.E. — Seriously, dude, you object to wax candles in a church?! In any case, NOT heresy or displeasing in God’s judgement.

          So, that’s the first three points on Manny1962’s list taken care of. I will continue to address the remaining customs, practices, and doctrine’s on this list in the coming days.

      • rascott247 October 31, 2016 at 11:52 am #

        Stephen James Schneider I am curious as to what you mean by “I have been a Christian (Roman Catholic) since only January 2016”. What happened in January that made you a Christian? Was it joining the RCC ? Or was it coming to the knowledge that as a sinner you were separated from God, spiritually dead and without hope except through the gracious of work of Jesus Christ on the Cross in your stead? Do you believe as scripture teaches that we are justified by grace through faith in Christ and not by works of righteousness that we do? Was all your guilt laid upon Christ at the Cross or are you working on it now? Stephen, who knocked down the sin barrier between you and God, the RCC or Jesus Christ? Who do you trust for your salvation, the RCC or Jesus Christ?

        *Sin was the barrier—Isa 59:2; Rom 3:23, 5:12-14; 1Cor 15:21-22; Eph 2:5; Col 1:21
        *Man’s efforts are futile— Haggai 2:12-14; Luke 18:10-14; Rom 3:20; 3:27-38; 4:5; Gal 3:10-11, 21
        *Jesus Christ is the satisfactory substitute once and for all at the Cross—Isa 53:5; John 3:14-18. 5:26; 1 Pet 1:18-19, 2:24, 3:18; Titus 2:14; Heb 9:28
        *Righteousness is imputed (not infused) faith is the channel (not works)—Gen 15:6; Rom 4:1-6. 9:32; 1Cor 1:21; Gal 2:16; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:4-8
        *Believers are gifted life and not under condemnation of the second death —John 4:13-14, 5:24-26; Rev 20:6
        *Unbelievers remain dead and under condemnation of the second death—John 5:28-29; Rev 20:11-15

        The RCC as well as many Protestant denominations conflate the three phases of salvation into one. Justification takes place before God at the moment of faith that Christ has paid the penalty for sin and gives life (this is a free gift). The believer being made alive is to live by faith and bear spiritual fruit (2Cor 5:14-15). This may or may not happen to the degree people expect and the works built on the foundation of Jesus Christ are rewardable (earned1Cor 3:10-15). These works play no part in justification before God but may add witness before men. Jam 2:23:24 speaks of two justifications, one before God (imputed righteousness) and one before men (showing faith through actions). They are two distinct justifications in two distinct courts of opinion. All who are justified before God (made alive) by faith will never come into condemnation of the second death. All who remain dead have never been made alive.

        Your last paragraph appeals to RCC magisterium and not to scripture. You are incorrect, the word Christian does appear in the Greek New Testament— Χριστιανός Christianos. The word Pope does not. In fact the concept of the office of Pope does not appear in scripture but it is a RCC invention to create the magisterium and hierarchy of their church.

        • Manny1962 October 31, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

          Hey RS! Where have you been! We’ve missed you around here!

          • rascott247 October 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

            Hey Manny. I’ve been here and there. The other site (where we used to chat) has made it difficult to converse and has deleted past threads of conversations…oh well. Good to hear from you and good to see that you are still contending for the faith.

          • Amy Spreeman October 31, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

            Let me guess… LOL!

          • Manny1962 October 31, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

            I’m very glad to hear from you! I hope you’re doing well. I don’t post over at the other site, in my opinion, it’s completely compromised. Very politicized with kingdom now overtones. Things are getting crazier around the globe…… As I was telling Ed Kings of the East ar consolidating power, the Philippines after so many decades have gone over to China, now Malaysia! The Russian fleet steamed into Syria…..what can I say! Interesting times we live in! Maranatha brother! God bless you and yours!

          • rascott247 October 31, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

            Amy said —“Let me guess… LOL!”

            She knows better than us what’s happened. God Bless you Amy.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

          Reply to Rascott247’s post dated October 31, 2026:

          Thank you for asking, Rascott247. It was neither of these, but rather the result of a much more complicated journey guided by God that led me to his Son, Jesus Christ, and not reconnecting with the Roman Catholic Church, or coming to accept that as a sinner, I was separated from God because of my own imperfection and sins. I always knew that second point.

          Oh, btw, it’s just Stephen. My user name is my actual name, although I leave my two other middle names out.

          I was raised Roman Catholic from the time I was baptized as a newborn of (I’m not sure, but assume) a couple of weeks old. Until then, I was simply an infant stained by Original Sin and therefore imperfect and flawed, although (as an infant) I had not yet committed any sins myself. The death and ressurection of Jesus breaks the hold (chains) of Original Sin and later sins that imprison us, thus preventing us from having any kind of salvation, and freeing us from its absolute hold over us.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 10:46 pm #

            Coming up with an answer that made logical sense (to me) to the questions led me to the conclusion that Reality SIMPLY CANNOT BE INFINITE, but is SO VAST in dimension that the human mind can NOT COMPREHEND HOW VAST Reality [Capital “R”] actually is. This is also what people generally mean when they say that God is infinite [lower-case “i”]. This answer was met with skepticism by my Mom and my Brother-in-law, but I’ve since realized that I didn’t explain the difference between “Infinity” and “infinity”, and they had failed to grasp that there is a significant (in fact, HUGE) difference between the meanings of the capitalized Infinite and uncapitalized infinite.

            So I explained that the solution (that I have come to realize came from God through His Holy Spirit) was that at some (so far outside our own universe that the human mind is incapable of comprehending it) MUST come to an outer boundary BEYOND WHICH NOTHING AT ALL EXISTS, NOT EVEN an empty void. An empty void is NOT nothing; it’s STILL SOMETHING, because something other than the void (which I have since accepted is God) is resulting in it having size and shape.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

          Original Sin, however, continues to cling to every soul as (to my current understanding) a particularily virulent and deadly spiritual “virus” or “bacterium”, consistently resulting in the temptation for us to sin, and for the unbeliever’s continued imprisonment to the (power over humanity of the) effects of Original Sin permeating our therefore imperfect and flawed mortal souls. The Sacrement of Baptism is a public demonstration of the parents’ faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and what it accomplished, and adults who convert to Catholicism are baptized as adults when they officially become Catholics. This was, of course, inspired by the Bible’s instruction to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, although it is (of course) God that actually forgives the sins.

          This began with the passing of the Ancient Israelites through the Red Sea, continued with baptism by the early Christian church (which could only be by full immersion in water IF THERE WAS a sufficient amount of water available to do so). Baptism of new adult converts was conducted as doon as humanly possible, ideally immediately, after anyone declared the desire to become a Christian. I fully suspect that the apostles [small-case “a”] as well as the Apostles [Capital “A”] made sure to carry water with them for precisely this reason — to baptize by pouring water over the new convert’s head whenever necessary because of there being insufficient water available for a full immersion baptism — in addition, of course, to have water to drink.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

          The Roman Catholic Church teaches that, once baptized, a Roman Catholic never ceases being a Roman Catholic, but rather becomes a lapsed Roman Catholic if they should fall from grace (by not working on their relationship with God), and even if they should become an unbeliever. In other words, the church never gives up on a lost (in confusion and doubt) soul, just as God NEVER gives up on a lost soul. This is true even of a Catholic who has been excommunicated because of the very subtle and very easy-to-miss instructions in Matthew regarding this. This is also always true of any Catholic who chooses to become a Protestant (of whatever denomination), Buddhists, Athiest, etc.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

          When I was growing up, I certainly believed as I had been taught and had no reason to doubt. God was real, Jesus had purchased the offer (or gift) of salvation for all of humanity through His death and ressurection, and I understood that (through the Sacrements) I could build a relationship with God that would eventually earn me a place in Heaven (but only because the death and ressurection of Jesus had made salvation possible, but not guaranteed).

          I attended Sunday Catechism, took the Sacrement of First Confession (of my childish sins) and was absolved by God (Jesus) through the priest ( and not by him), was presented before God with the Sacrement of First Communion (after which I could then partake of the Eucharist), partook of the Eucharist every Sunday and Confession (which is also known as the Rite of Reconciliation (with God)) a few times each year, and (when I was a teen (or young adult) undertook the Sacrement of Confirmation, where (now old enough to decide for myself) I confirmed that I wanted to build a relationship with God, and confirmed some of the church’s most important tenants, including that the death and ressurection of Jesus made possible (or purchased) the salvation for all mankind.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 9:22 pm #

          In my early twenties, I slowly came to the realization that I believed everything I believed for no other reason than that I was taught these things growing up, and this realization resulted in my gradually becoming an Agnostic for nearly 30 years. I could never see the sense or logic of Atheism, and the more I thought about it, the very fact that anything that exists exists at all pretty much convinced me that Atheism, as a faith, had (and continues to have) it completely wrong.

          Still, during this period, I came to conclude that Jesus, although a wise teacher, was probably delusional because he thought he was the Son of God; I had no idea whether the Immaculate Conception or the Ressurection did happen, since I was unable to figure out HOW this could have happened medically/scientifically, but had concluded that it was probably just a story that His disciples made up, ensuring that His teachings would continue to be preached; that Thomas, my favorite of the (at that time) 11 Apostles, was probably threatened to “get with the program” by the other ten in that locked room, under the threat of bodily violence or worst, and that Jesus never appeared to any of his grieving disciples at any time because he was dead and decomposing in some unmarked grave; His body was probably never in THAT tomb; that God probably didn’t pay any attention to humanity considering how insignificant we were in comparison to Him — how often do you give any thought to gnats or bacteria?; and that the Bible, while it contained some useful advice or lessons, was probably NOT divinely inspired and was just some dusty old tome that a lot of people BELIEVED was Scripture, having no relevance to the modern world. I was most certainly a lost soul!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

          Looking back on the last (almost) three decades, I have realized that at no point did God ever give up on me, just as he never gives up on any soul, regardless of their faith or the doctrines they believe. He provided a clue here, a puzzle piece there, a soft nudge as required, always giving me enough time to fully absorb them. Curiously, many of these came from a wide variety of TV shows and movies, lines that just resonated with me, and humourously enough, a sizable number of them came from episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” and the “cards” Chuck Lorre puts at the end of every episode of shows he writes. I say humorously because I believe that he is an Athiest. All the same, God worked through him to bring me back to his Son. What can one say except that God clearly has a perfect sense of humour, which he did, after all, instill into humanity before we fell from grace.

          • rascott247 November 9, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

            So, Stephen, are earning a place in Heaven by building a relationship with God through sacraments instituted by the RCC? Did the Cross and resurrection make earning a place in Heaven possible?

            To earn is not grace (Romans 4:4-24). Christ paid the penalty for all sin, Adam’s sin and ours, on the Cross. This was not so we could earn justification but to justify and give life to those who place faith in Jesus’ finished work. Paying the penalty as satisfaction to a Just God made nobody alive but allowed a Just God to give life to those who come to the Cross for judgment. The judgment is over for believers and they have (present tense) everlasting life (John 5:24). The believer died (was judged) with Christ on the Cross (Gal 6:14; 2 Timothy 2:11) and will be raised to be with Christ forever (2 Cor 4:14; 1 Thess 4:17).

            As I said the RCC as well as many Protestant denominations conflate the three phases of salvation into one. There is salvation from the penalty of sin (justification before God) which comes at the moment of faith in Christ’s finished work (John 5:24). There is salvation from the power of sin to master our lives which comes by walking according to the Spirit (Gal 5:16). And there is salvation from the presence of sin which comes in the resurrection (1 Cor 15:53-58).

            Works will not earn a place in Heaven; the gift is received through faith. Works in faith built on the foundation of Christ earn everlasting rewards (1 Cor 3:12-15).

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 9:35 pm #

          One of the biggest puzzle pieces was my meeting, falling in love, and marrying my wife, who was a lapsed Roman Catholic and generally non-practicing Mennonite, but who did definitely believe that Jesus had died for our sins, that the Bible certainly was divinely-inspired, that God loved us, etc. While I always respected her right to believe what she did, I remained an Agnostic throughout our marriage. I’m sure that she would be very happy that I have become a Christian, and probably less thrilled that I have returned to the Roman Catholic Church, but she is with God and I’m not sure whether she is aware of this. I choose to believe that she is in Heaven.

          It was through my loving my wife whom I loved more than I had ever thought possible that the idea that God could love humanity even more than I could ever love my wife began to grow.

          It was also during my marriage that I began to pray on and off, sometimes months apart, while lying in bed before going to sleep, or during times that our marriage hit a rough patch. It’s amusing to me now how people often only pray to God when the going gets rough. These prayers tended to be (I suspect) pretty comical to God, generally starting, “Hello God, it’s me, Stephen. Good evening. I don’t know whether you are listening or not, so I realize that I may be talking to myself here. Anyway, if you’re real and up there listening, I . . . “

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

          Yet, time and again, I hit the same brick wall preventing my committing my life to God, and maybe Jesus if He REALLY WAS who He CLAIMED He was. How can anything have existed without a beginning or origin?

          Most people with faith just accept this as true without ever really thinking about how this can be possible. I have never been able to be a “Check my brain at the door” person and to this day I remain a “Don’t check one’s brain at the door” Christian. It has long mystified me how most Christians can do so and simply jump to the Bible, ignoring everything that science has discovered in the last few centuries, or REALLY THINK THROUGH what they believe and SIMPLY ACCEPT whatever they have been taught.

          This was the insurmountable barrier for me to ever have real faith. Until God got around to explaining this to me in a way that I could understand it, I would forever be unable to truly accept God into my life.

          So he did. The final piece of the puzzle came in the form of some questions that my brother-in-law asked my Mom and I one weekend: What is outside of the universe? And what was outside of that? And what was outside of that? And what was outside that? Did reality just continue on forever, and was that even possible?

          • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 11:38 am #

            Coming up with an answer that made logical sense (to me) to the questions led me to the conclusion that Reality SIMPLY CANNOT BE INFINITE, but is SO VAST in dimension that the human mind can NOT COMPREHEND HOW VAST Reality [Capital “R”] actually is. This is also what people generally mean when they say that God is infinite [lower-case “i”]. This answer was met with skepticism by my Mom and my Brother-in-law, but I’ve since realized that I didn’t explain the difference between “Infinity” and “infinity”, and they had failed to grasp that there is a significant (in fact, HUGE) difference between the meanings of the capitalized Infinite and uncapitalized infinite.

            So I explained that the solution (that I have come to realize came from God through His Holy Spirit) was that at some (so far outside our own universe that the human mind is incapable of comprehending it) MUST come to an outer boundary BEYOND WHICH NOTHING AT ALL EXISTS, NOT EVEN an empty void. An empty void is NOT nothing; it’s STILL SOMETHING, because something other than the void (which I have since accepted is God) is resulting in it having size and shape.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 10:52 pm #

          I explained that whatever laws or physics applies to whatever exists near the absolute boundaries of Reality HAD TO BE the result of those laws breaking down completely as one approaches those boundaries until you run smack dab into a wall, probably curved, WITH ONLY ONE SIDE.

          As incomprehensible to the human mind as it is that such a boundary or wall could ever exist anywhere, it is also the inevitable conclusion. As these boundaries have only one side, it also they also have ZERO THICK-NESS, not even the thickness of the smallest sub-sub-electron. What this means that one is never able to ACTUALLY TOUCH the wall. As one almost reaches these boundaries, one JUST STOPS, as there is SIMPLY NOWHERE to travel to! No outside! No anything of any sort!

          I don’t know about you, but being shown this just made my brain spin! Yet, as the fictional Sherlock Holmes would say, “When you eliminate the IMPOSSIBLE, whatever remains, NO MATTER HOW UNLIKELY, MUST BE the Truth” — and, yup, Truth with a capital T.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 2:08 am #

            While I was watching “God is Not Dead” for the second time a few days later, the BIG WATERSHED realization hit me. What was true of “Infinity” and “infinity” HAD TO BE also true of the time-equivalent of Infinity, which is “Eternity” and “eternity”. It was at that moment that I understood that it is NOT that God is WITHOUT beginning in the Absolute (Capitalized sense), but that a time comes when even eternity, despite being a stretch of time (ie. past, present, and future) FAR TOO LONG for the human mind to EVER BE CAPABLE OF COMPREHENDING, comes to pastword and futureward points beyond which there simply IS NO BEFORE OR AFTER. This is HOW God can have always existed “forever” from the “Beginningless beginning” to the “Endless end” of Time.

            Put another way, from his Alpha (or first) State, BEFORE He began to create anything and therefore did NOT YET KNOW HOW to create a stable reality, to His Omega State that He developed into (most likely) LONG BEFORE creating Heaven and however many universes exist (at this point in Eternity).

            He did intuitively understand that He Himself was a stable and eternally-enduring Reality — in fact, the ONLY REALITY that THEN EXISTED.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 2:10 am #

            By examing Himself and the quintessence (substance) that He is made up of, He determined the basic building blocks of a stable reality, and was then able to begin creating lasting universes.

            This is, btw, how we can know that God is forever unchanging, since from our perception of time as it exists WITHIN this universe, He already knew all that He knows LONG BEFORE He created our universe starting with the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, continuing with the creation of the Earth approx. 4.5 billion years ago, and leading up to the present day that we live in.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 9, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

          The Bible expresses this very well without going into the concepts involved that people back then simply could not have grasped, when it talks of God being “from everlasting to everlasting”. Check that out! Two “everlastings” and NOT ONE. Here God had already said it in his Holy word, but because I had pretty much dismissed the Bible as probably not Scripture, God had to explain it to me without the Bible.

          • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 11:36 am #

            So then, a rapid series of questions occurred to me like machine-gun fire, as well as similar to Russian Nesting Dolls with the first question being the smallest one and with each subsequent question being next larger doll:

            Which being (God) is more perfect — a God who cares about his creation or one who doesn’t?

            Which is greater — a God who loves all of his creation or one who cares about his creation?

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 2:19 am #

          And so forth until I had logically reasoned out that God was indeed the God of the Bible; that Jesus really was His only begotten Son, just as he had claimed; that Jesus really had died and been ressurected to make it possible for God to offer all humanity the possibility of salvation; that the Bible was Scripture, true and reliable and divinely-inspired (but, as I only later realized NOT inerrant or infallible — but that’s a different forum altogether); and everything else I have learned from that day in early January to the present day.

          So, boom, down on my knees asking Jesus and God in all His majestic and incomprehensible entirety to come into my heart, mind, and soul; shouting out as loud as I could, “Yes, I am a Christian!” and maybe, I can’t remember, but probably not, “God is not dead!” (given that, as a former and long-time Agnostic and not Athiest) I had never believed completely that God did not exist . . . but did sometimes wonder if maybe the Athiests had it right.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 2:42 am #

          The following Saturday evening, I showed up at St. Pat’s, the Roman Catholic Church roughly a block from where I live, to my Mom’s great surprise. When she asked me why I was there, I told her that I was there to attend mass, to her great surprise and even happiness, and I have been attending mass every Saturday evening since. Mom has been praying for nearly 30 years that her children would find their way “home” to the Roman Catholic Church. So far, I am the first of her four children to be brought back to the church by God the Father.

          This is why it took God such a long time and such a complicated route to bring me back to His Son. He had to bring me to Him by the long way around, WITHOUT THE BIBLE, which is how most people that are gathered to Christ by God the Father.

          I ‘ve phrased the last part of that last sentence the way I have because I have realized that people are not brought to Jesus and so potentially to salvation through evangelizing Protestants and Catholics; they are brought to Jesus by God the Father working through us.

          We do not “save lost souls or unbelievers”. God does! It is the same with Christians trying to correct (reprove, rebuke, instruct, etc.) others. It is Jesus working through us that is doing the correcting via the Holy Spirit.

          I’ve found that this is a useful thing to keep in mind when I am talking to people about God and (therefore) Jesus. We Christians should remain humble in regard to this matter, and all things in fact. To God belongs all the glory!

          I know this is a tremendous amount of information, but it has been quite the journey back to God, long and convoluted, but well worth it, since it has given me a faith not rooted in the Bible, although certainly enriched by it!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 3:14 am #

          So, at long, long last, let’s move on to the rest of your post. I’m betting that you thought I was never going to get to it! I actually doubted it myself at times. lol. Anyway, you asked:

          “Do you believe as scripture teaches that we are justified by grace through faith in Christ and not by works of righteousness that we do?”

          I definitely believe that, by the Grace of God and through faith in Christ (and, of course, the rest of God in his consubstantial entirety and glory), we are OFFERED the chance, freely-given as a gift by God, for salvation!

          However, and here’s the catch, because as we all know that there is always a catch, especially if something seems to good to be true — which salvation certainly does at first glance:

          We CANNOT BE justified by faith ALONE, just as we CANNOT BE justified by works ALONE, no matter how righteous. This is BECAUSE God also gifted us FREE WILL.

          Due to our having free will, God’s PERFECT JUSTICE and PERFECT FAIRNESS makes that IMPOSSIBLE for God to do, even if He wanted to, and (trust me) He doesn’t.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 3:35 am #

          One of the biggest arguements against Christianity is that we claim that if a man who has sexually abused scores of children in his life, and then on his deathbed truly repents (and is not faking it) and accepts Jesus as his Lord and Saviour, and truly believes that Jesus died on the Cross and was ressurected so that all of us could have salvation, he automatically goes straight to Heaven and never dies the second and eternal death!

          This is EXACTLY WHAT the doctrine of “justification by faith ALONE” DOES MEAN, although most Christians who have accept the doctrine as gospel never seem to think through the full implications!

          Yes, Jesus Christ was the entirely satisfactory sacrifice at the cross to ALLOW God to MAKE THE OFFER of salvation (which each person is free to accept or reject).

          However, what the “justification by faith ALONE” doctrine completely misses is that Jesus Christ’s entirely satisfactory sacrifice at the Cross COULD NEVER GRANT US salvation without our doing our part, because THAT would REQUIRE (or make it NECESSARY) for God to COMPROMISE His perfect justice and perfect fairness!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 4:36 am #

          “Was all your guilt laid upon Christ at the Cross or are you working on it now?”

          The unbreakable chains (absolute power) of Original Sin was destroyed and I was set free of those chains (or its power), though the temptation to sin has remained with me throughout my entire life, when and through my parents’ faith (when I was baptized) as a baby. It was God who extended me the offer of salvation, factoring in their deep love for their child.

          I was the one who, despite having previously taken the Sacrement of Confirmation — which can be seen as, and I believe God does see it this way, the conclusion of my baptism as a infant — who SPURNED the offer of salvation that God has extended to all of us, and an offer that I had embraced growing up.

          Though I had WALKED AWAY FROM (when I drifted away from faith) God’s offer of salvation (first extended to me as an infant), GOD NEVER DID (NOR EVER WOULD) WITHDRAW HIS OFFER TO ME, just as God NEVER WITHDRAWS His offer of salvation from anyone, believer or not, regardless of the specific faith or doctrines that they believe!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 5:03 am #

          This is what Jesus being the entirely satisfactory sacrifice at the Cross ACTUALLY MEANS!

          As I’ve said before, God NEVER abandons a lost soul . . . NOT EVER.

          There is only the one exception: the unforgivable (by God) sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit.

          What it doesn’t mean, and never did, was that Jesus died on the cross so that people were able to obtain a perpetual hall pass on every sin that they might commit from the moment they accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour until the end of their earthly life, with an ironclad guarantee that would get into Heaven.

          Of course, He didn’t die to establish such a travesty of divine justice!

          As I work at nurturing and improving my relationship with God — as an example, I told God last night that I love him for the first time as an adult — I inevitably commit additional sins, as much as I try not to. As the Holy Spirit reveals them to me — we don’t always realize at the times that we sin that we are sinning — I confess them first to God, and then to the elder of my parish, the priest, who listens (as does God above) in the confessional.

          After I have shared my sins before God with my elder, as I believe the Bible instructs us to do, God working through the priest absolves my sins. The priest is, of course, just a man, who therefore cannot absolve sins. When Jesus gave the 12 Apostles and then 70 (or was it 72?) of His disciples the authority to (I believe) forgive sins, among other things, it was always God that was forgiving the sins; it was never the Apostles and other disciples themselves.

          This then enables me to move forward with building or growing my relationship with God with a clean slate. Of course, as I commit new sins, I then need to seek renewed reconciliation with God to move forward in our relationship. It is building one’s relationship with God that are the works by which we seek to merit or earn our salvation, made possible through Jesus’ death and ressurection.

          So, short answer, both and on a continual, ongoing basis.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 5:52 am #

          “Stephen, who knocked down the sin barrier between you and God, the RCC or Jesus Christ?”

          The sin barrier (by which I assume you mean the unbridgeable separation that had existed since Adam and Eve rebelled against God UNTIL that separation between God and man WAS BRIDGED by Jesus’ death and ressurection) was of course knocked down by Jesus, or God in his capacity and role of our sole Saviour and Redeemer. This is what makes it POSSIBLE for God to offer us the OPPORTUNITY to be saved!

          The Roman Catholic Church is the original Christian denomination that was founded by Jesus and has, over the course of its (nearly) 2000 years of existence, developed and evolved into the modern-day church, with (since the church is made up of imperfect and flawed human beings) many missteps, more than a few atrocities, an incredible amount of very Unchristian behaviour, and many course corrections based on intense and extensive research of the Bible.

          As it is a Christian denomination, it could no more have knocked down the “sin barrier” than any Protestant denomination or any other religion could have.

          That required the Son of God — a perfect human being with a part of God almighty dwelling within him consubstantially with the Holy Spirit, and hypostatically with his own mortal, and all too human, soul.

          The Holy Spirit, of course, entered Jesus when he was baptized by John the Baptist (who had lived before as Elijah) for the forgiveness of his sins, although of course He had committed no sins to be forgiven. His baptism was a public declaration of His committing His life to God the Father.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 7:21 am #

          “Who do you trust for your salvation, the RCC or Jesus Christ?”

          Jesus Christ (as a part of God). However, just as God does his part, so too each and every Christian (including myself) must do our part. Therefore, through Jesus, but also through my continued obediance to God from January throughout my life here on Earth.

          If I choose of my own free wilI to, at the some point, begin to live in disobediance to God, I can scuttle my own salvation. The actual salvation (or justification) is an ongoing process that lasts one’s entire life here on Earth, and is concluded only when we stand before Jesus and are judged by Him, the same Son of God that died and was ressurected to make that salvation possible.

          For the record, I have no intention of living my life in disobediance to God. I did that for nearly 30 years! Unfortunately, I know I will inevitably sin along the way, just as Jesus did teach us that sin is inevitable, no matter how diligently we strive not to. We are all human, and all humans sin, with the sole exception of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 7:35 am #

          Thank you for the biblical verses included after this question, which (I believe) are a confirmation of what I have been trying to explain. However, you then state:

          “James 2:23-24 speaks of two justifications, one before God (imputed righteousness) and one before men (showing faith through actions). They are two distinct justifications in two distinct courts of opinion. All who are justified before God (made alive) by faith will never come into condemnation of the second death. All who remain dead have never been made alive.”

          I can see why someone would want to believe that this verse refers to two separate justifications in two separate courts of opinion. This is the only interpretation that is possible to side-step the contradiction in James 2:24 with the doctrine you have been arguing and instead use the verse to prop up the (I believe, as does the Roman Catholic Church) untenable and non-biblical doctrine that teaches that justification or salvation is by faith ALONE.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 9:50 am #

          However, you (I think) are forgetting that Christians are not supposed to be concerned with what men think, but what God thinks, and God is NEVER concerned about the opinions of men. Why would He be? He’s God. Don’t forget that it was “credited to Abraham as faith” by God, NOT HUMANS.

          This is what it means to be “crucified with Christ” and dead to the world, but alive in God (Christ)! Christians concern ourselves with what God thinks, as it is God (Jesus) who will pass judgement on us

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 10:02 am #

          It is a sobering realization for a Christian to realize that what he thinks, says, and does COULD cost him his salvation. It is SO MUCH EASIER and MORE COMFORTING to insist that those thoughts, words, and deeds CANNOT cost us our salvation.

          It means that Christians do NOT NEED to take RESPONSIBILITY for their behaviour and THAT is one of the most popular trends in the world!

          It was why Martin Luthor promoted the “justification by faith ALONE” doctrine in the first place. Check out my earlier post way below this post (near the bottom of the posts) concerning him. He was, in my opinion, a deeply flawed human being.

          The Devil made me do it! My parents made me do it! The woman two pews in front of me in church made me do it! But, hey, I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. My salvation is GUARANTEED! Yah! Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord for He is merciful!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 10:25 am #

          So, O.K., still need further proof from Scripture?

          “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.” [John 3:36]

          Now, consider this Scriptural verse. It does not say “whomever does not believe in the Son”, it says “whoever DISOBEYS the Son”. It says about whomever does not obey the Son, NOT OBEYED (past tense), but OBEYS (present perfect tense, as in on an ongoing basis) that “the wrath of God REMAINS ON HIM”, and make no mistake, this is even after one accepts Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and has faith in what His death and ressurection accomplished (or BELIEVES accomplished).

          So there you have it:

          Justification (salvation, redemption, saved, etc.) depends on BOTH obedience AND faith, and NOT faith ALONE.

          As you can see, obediance to God is not about justification by men, but by God, since it is HIS WRATH that remains on the Christian who does not CONTINUE to obey Him (the Son) his ENTIRE life here on Earth.

          So, how do you demonstrate obediance before God, by which, together with faith, will enable you to receive salvation?

          I’ll give you a hint: it has five letters and starts with a w.

          • rascott247 November 10, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

            Stephen, your long answers are reminiscent of Humpty Dumpty’s answers in “Through the Looking-Glass”
            — ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’ The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you CAN make words to mean so many different things.’ The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.’

            I have given you the scriptural definitions of “grace”, “faith” and “imputed righteousness” and you have given your own (or the RCC’s). Grace by definition requires that work or earning be completely out of the picture or else it is not grace!

            —Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
            — Romans 4:2-4 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.”

            Faith is counted, credited, reckoned, imputed as righteousness. The Lord Jesus Christ is the center of the grace, He’s the center of the judgment, and He’s the center of the perfect discrimination because the discrimination is based upon whether we receive or reject Jesus Christ; It’s God’s standard and all our efforts fall short (Isa 64:6). He has defined the meeting ground, and He says there’s only one place to be justified and it’s at the cross through the substitutionary blood atonement of Jesus. Somebody took our place.

            Obedience in John 3:36 is not referring to an obedience of self-righteous good works, but rather to an obedience that is faith in the Gospel. The call of the Gospel is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:30-31; 1 John 5:1). When one hears this call and believes, he has obeyed the Gospel. In that sense, then, his faith is an act of obedience. To believe that “the real work begins” after faith is not faith and is in disobedience of the Gospel.

            The “only” in Jam 2:24 modifies justified by, it does not modify faith. It’s: Man is justified by works and man is by faith.. It is not man is justified by faith plus works.Two justifications.

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 12:07 am #

            Rascott247,
            Man dies physically still, right? So Jesus could not have taken our place in physical death. Otherwise man would not still die.
            Man is born separated from God still, right? So Jesus could not have taken our place in spiritual death. Otherwise man would no longer be born separated from God.
            But, if Jesus joined with man in both physical and spiritual death, then as our representative He could break death’s power over Himself and on our behalf (for us) through faith in Him.
            This is why we can now be born again, giving us the spiritual life that His conquering death has made available to us.

            Legalism is your enemy here, not your ally. The fact that you believe that someone must pay a “penalty” for sin makes this confusing. The payment for sin is not because there is a “penalty” required to be payed, but because of the ransom spoken of in Romans8:23. This ransom is not connected to a “penalty” for sin. It relates to the redemption price paid by Jesus’ body on the cross in exchange for the new body. This is why Hebrews10:4-7 says that God gave Him a body. For what? To exchange (pay as a ransom, redemption price) for the new body.
            The word “penalty” is not used in the scripture in connection with sin.

            The rest of what you said I absolutely agree with.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 10, 2016 at 11:17 am #

          Let me conclude by saying that, of course, the title “Pope” does not appear in the Bible, as I believe I have mentioned above and will get into further detail in upcoming posts responding to Manny1962’s post that begins with “Heresy Date”.

          In that you may have had the chance to consider the groundwork that I have already posted in reply to Manny1962’s “heresy list”, this may not be as significant a point for you as it was when you made your original post to me.

          Positively criticizing his “heresy list” will involve a tremendous amount of clarification, but I continue to work on it and I will post it as soon as I can.

          Btw, I’m not sure what you mean by the “RCC Magisterium”. As you did say that the title “Pope” was created to, in turn, create the “Magisterium and hierarchy”, does this mean that this “Magisterium” was created at the same time as the hierarchy of the church? As the hierarchy of the church evolved slowly over the centuries, forming this Magisterium by first creating the title of “Pope” would have had to have occurred after much of the hierarchy of the church had already been formed, would it not? Was this before or after the early Christian church renamed itself (after whomever thought up the name “Roman Catholic Church” had thought it up in whatever year)? Given that Manny1962 has noted that the word “Pope” was coined by the Emperor Phocas, was it also Emperor Phocas that created the Magisterium? If so, how did this Magisterium benefit Phocas?

          Oh, thank you for letting me know that the Greek word “Christianos” does appear in the New Testament. What verses is it used in and in what context? Do you know roughly what year it first appears in the Bible?

  2. Manny1962 October 29, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

    These verses properly describe the NAR/Latter Rain Cult leaders, those that say the speak for God, Also, it applies to the Hybels and Warren’s of the world! Follow these men (and women) at your peril.

    1 John 4:1 – Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

    2 Peter 2:1 – But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

    Matthew 7:15 – Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Matthew 24:24 – For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if [it were] possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

    Revelation 20:10 – And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

    Deuteronomy 18:20 – But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

    1 Corinthians 14:33 – For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    Jeremiah 23:26 – How long shall [this] be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, [they are] prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

    Romans 16:18 – For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

    Matthew 7:21 – Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Revelation 2:2 – I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

    Revelation 19:20 – And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    John 8:44 – Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

    • Stephen James Schneider October 31, 2016 at 5:37 am #

      Hello again:

      Having read this article, Ms. Marsha West has clearly stated that the New Apostolic Reformation is to be avoided, but both I and others would have benefited far more by a much more detailed article explaining what the NAR teaches; WHY they believe what they believe (quoting from the things they have said, including the biblical passages they use to support what they are saying — that part is very important); and then WHY they are incorrect in what they believe, including the biblical passages that show it — which is equally important.

      Hopefully, this will become the standard of future articles.

      Alright, for those who don’t know, such as myself, what are “latter rain cults” and “hybels and warrens”?

      I appreciate the biblical passages, but without knowing HOW they relate (ie. to what teachings), I can only scratch my head at their relevance.

      Hoping you can explain it in detail for folks, such as myself, to help educate us about these movements.

      • Amy Spreeman October 31, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

        Have you read our White Paper on DOminionism/NAR? Look on the right hand side of this site. All your questions will be answered.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 2, 2016 at 3:33 am #

          Thank you, Ms. Spreeman:

          I will do that! Thanks.

    • Manny1962 November 2, 2016 at 6:28 pm #

      Yes! Amy this place is so much more Christ oriented!

  3. Richard October 30, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    I am opposed to the NAR and I often disagree with Dr. Brown yet in defence of Dr. Brown, he opened the lines for direct and difficult questions to Bill Johnson and nobody called in despite the opportunity being advertised on social media.

    Nobody.

    He then opened the lines in a second programme where people could raise concerns about the interview with him. Some did call in and raised very pertinent concerns with the NAR’s strange practices. Did you call in?

    You don’t need to be NAR advocate to be fair and consistent.

    • Sola Scriptura October 30, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

      When is the next show and what’s the number? I would love to call in.

      • Stephen James Schneider November 2, 2016 at 4:10 am #

        Hi Sola Scriptura:

        I was wondering what “Sola Scriptura” means?

        Not that it matters, but just to let you know, I also asked the question to you following one of your comments to Ms. Spreeman’s article about Don and Wendy Francisco publicly stating that they do not accept (believe) that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, which is at:

        http://bereanresearch.org/artist-don-francisco-berates-christians-for-believing-the-bible-is-true/

        Actually, I posted several comments (or replies) on that forum last month. I even left 16 – 20 questions for people to answer, most of which can be answered in one or two words. I didn’t expect many (if any) responses since the article itself was posted on July 6, 2015, but I have gotten two so far, which is very cool.

        Anyway, I’m off on a tangent. I did originally intend to just ask the question.

  4. Edwitness October 31, 2016 at 10:37 am #

    It seems to me that these people who have determined that a further foundation is needed to complete the work of Christ and the apostles and prophets, are really just looking for a way to excercise more authority over people. As pastors they could not get the reverence and power they sought, so they set about creating the circumstances that were given only to the prophets and apostles. And of course, Christ Himself.
    This whole thing is about authority over people. A whole construct has been built around this need for power. Very much like the RCC.
    Steven James S., you would do well to compare what the catechism says with the Bible. It fails repeatedly in keeping with the doctrines of scripture.
    The catechism says that islam is as much children of God as Christians are.
    841 The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, AND TOGETHER WITH US THEY ADORE THE ONE, MERCIFUL GOD, mankind’s judge on the last day.”330
    If you do not see a problem with this statement that disqualifies a person from salvation, then that is why you are RC. If the god of the muslims is the same god as the RC, as the catechism says, then neither have the true God. The god of islam is the moon god. That is why they have the moon over their abominations they call mosques.
    Another false doctrine of the catechism is the fact that it teaches RCs that the reason Jesus came is to make men gods.
    460 The Word became flesh to make us “partakers of the divine nature”:78 “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God.”79 “For the Son of God became man SO THAT WE MIGHT BECOME GOD.”80 “The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, MIGHT MAKE MEN GODS.”
    These are from the doctrines, dogmas of the RCC. There is no glossing over them. To remain a RC knowing these, is to place yourself in danger of hell’s fire.
    I hope you find your way out of the RCC. And into a Bible believing and practicing group of believers.
    Blessings:-}

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 9:53 pm #

      Cool comment! I liked the quotes from the catechism of the Catholic Church, which provide a good starting point; neither of which were teachings I had heard of before. I haven’t had a chance to read the catechism book itself yet, but I hope to read it eventually once I finish the Youcat, which is the catechism “dumbed down” for the average person/Catholic. I also want to continue attending the adult catechism classes I attended earlier this year when they start back up in early 2017, the Good Lord permitting.

      I find these classes present the latest (and sometimes revised) Catholic doctrines in depth. As with anything else, the Roman Catholic Church can be very slow at updating the Catholic Catechism. I suspect that this is because those in charge of doing so have a sense that they are somehow dishonoring the men who first wrote the various paragraphs. If so, I consider this a silly idea and believe any revised Catholic teachings should be updated promptly. Since it is unlikely that prompt updating will occur any time soon, I will continue to go with the modern-day interpretations that are taught in the adult catechism classes over what is in the official Catholic catechism.

      I should also point out that, as a Catholic, agreeing with church doctrines that directly impact my life and building my relationship with God are doctrines that need to make sense to each Catholic, and (so far) they do. However, I also recognize that some church doctrines are holdovers to the way the church taught centuries ago. Such doctrines are not something I feel that I’m under any obligation to adhere to or agree with.

      This tendency to be reluctant to change doctrines is hardly unique to Catholics! Members of many Protestant denominations do the same. And some will go to extraordinary lengths of (basicly) bafflegab to impose their own preconceptions of what the Bible says onto the biblical verses they quote in support of their views.

      For example, I don’t believe Mary and Joseph remained celibate throughout their marriage — that would have been in defiance of the Mosaic Covenant, nor do I see the point of praying to intermediaries, like Mary or the Saints [Capital “S”] or angels, when I can pray directly to our Heavenly Father.

      If you’re curious about my personal stance on specific Catholic teachings or doctrines, just ask. I have no problem saying which I subscribe to and why, and which I don’t and why.

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 2:31 am #

        Stephen J S,
        You will fit in nicely with other RCs. But, not so much with Bible believing Christians. While we may have some differences in our interpretation, we do not pick and choose between scriptures when deciding what to believe. The Bible says it and that settles it.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 6:51 am #

          Hi Edwitness:

          To avoid any confusion, I would like to make it clear that I am working my way down the forum from the first post responding to the original article and have only read down to your response to the FIRST PART of my response to your original question about paragraphs 841 and 460 in the Catholic Catechism. As a result, I have not checked to see if there are any responses to the second and subsequent parts of my response to your original questions.

          So, based on ONLY this very short post dated November 16, 2016 at 2:31 A.M.:

          Uhmm, I don’t know HOW we got from discussing Doctrines 841 and 460 in the Catholic Catechism to the idea that I pick and choose which biblical verses to believe and which to not, which is categorically false and somewhat insulting. As it happens, I have pretty thick skin and I recognize that this is your opinion rather than the truth.

          You asked whether I believed the two paragraphs you pointed out, and I thought I had explained my reasoning to accepting paragraph 841 as legitimate, and considering paragraph 460 to be at least plausible from Scripture — since, as far as I can see, the paragraph can NEITHER BE DEFINITIVELY PROVEN OR DISPROVEN by Scripture.

          It should be obvious that NOT DISBELIEVING paragraph 460 is a simple case of “innocent (of being wrong) until PROVEN guilty” and is NOT THE SAME AS BELIEVING that same paragraph. “Wait and see” means exactly that. Trust in God, and wait to see “what’s what” when (if) we get to Heaven.

          I should note before continuing that the two preceding paragraphs refer to the information given in the second and subsequent parts of my response to your initial questions — the same parts that I have yet to check to see if there are have been any responses to.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 6:59 am #

          Before I directly addressed your questions in the second and subsequent parts of my response to your initial questions, the first part of my response explained that ANY Catholic doctrine that can be DEFINITIVELY shown to be FORBIDDEN BY SCRIPTURE is a Catholic doctrine or teaching that I DON’T ACCEPT or follow. Ditto with any Catholic doctrine that can be DEFINITIVELY shown to CONTRADICT SCRIPTURE.

          When I said that Catholic teachings and doctrines HAVE TO MAKE SENSE TO ME as a Catholic, and stated they had thus far, I was (as pointed out above) referring to teachings and doctrines that ARE CONSISTENT with the Bible as a whole, or that I currently BELIEVE to be consistent with Scripture. Any doctrines or teachings that I had already found to controvene Scripture had been quickly dismissed as incorrect and henceforth to be ignored. That’s Catholic doctrines and teachings being ignored, NOT SCRIPTURE.

          However, if we are talking about a Catholic doctrine that is forbidden or contrary to your or anybody else’s INTERPRETATION of Scripture, then we’re in the arena of opinion rather than biblical fact. In that case, lacking DEFINITIVE evidence from Scripture, it’s again an “innocent until proven guilty” decision until such time as you or whomever can LOGICALLY demonstrate that Scripture PROVES I am wrong.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 7:09 am #

          I’ve certainly gotten the impression that SOME posting on these forums have a real hate-on for the Roman Catholic Church, and are operating on a “guilty until proven innocent, and if innocent, still guilty” system of reasoning. I certainly hope that you are open-minded enough to not have succumbed to such irrational emotionalism.

          I have always extended you, as I do everyone on these forums, the courtesy of considering you to be a TRUE BEREAN like the original Bereans were: open-minded, rational in their reasoning, and willing to change their opinions . . . as I am. I hope you’ll agree with me that they SET AN EXCELLENT STANDARD for all of us to strive for when posting on these forums.

          If my impression of you is wrong, and I stress “if”, and you are actually close-minded, given to irrational thinking, and unwilling to change anything you believe — then that is truly disappointing, not to mention tragic for you.

          As I said, I hope this DOES NOT describe you, but (to be fair) we are still developing an online rapport with each other, and right now my impression of you is optimistic that I am talking with a true Berean, while noting POSSIBLE indications to the contrary.

          Of course, without a lot more information to work with, it’s impossible to come to a reliable assessment of who you are, just as it’s hard to follow your progression of reasoning between your posts before and after this first part of my response to your initial post, which (as I said) was a cool comment.

          Oh, IN THE CASE of your NOT BEING a true Berean, I would be curious to know what EXACTLY IT IS that the Roman Catholic Church ever DID TO YOU PERSONALLY — as in the REAL SOURCE of your animosity with the church I currently belong to.

          Please note that last paragraph is ONLY IN THE CASE that you are NOT a true Berean.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

      I would say that the same is true with any Protestant who discovers that their denomination teaches a doctrine that their own biblical research has shown to be incorrect. They don’t have to leave that denomination that they have been attending ever since they became Christians in order to be saved. As Manny1962 noted in one of his posts (or maybe a website he was quoting), salvation is not contingent on what Christian denomination you belong to.

      God judges us on our hearts and minds once we make that committment to follow Jesus and build a relationship with God, not on the specific doctrines we believe, but rather what we do through faith because of our belief that those doctrines are biblically based [1 Corinthians 3:10-15].

      Here’s a secular (wordly) example of what I mean. I think it is Montana or Wyoming, but not quote me on that, where it is legal to hang horse thieves. Obviously, people in that state don’t still hang horse thieves — they would be charged with murder– nor do they leave the state. They simply ignore that law which is still on the books (and has never been repealed). Attending a specific Christian denomination is the same.

      Sometimes, new doctrines force a Christian’s hand. The Anglican Church recently announced that they will now marry homosexual couples that belong to the church. That quickly caused a schism in the local Anglican Church, resulting in a significant number of those Anglicans leaving and becoming Catholics — principally due to the similarities between the two churches.

      So, roight then, on to the issues raised in your post. You wrote:

      “It seems to me that these people who have determined that a FURTHER FOUNDATION IS NEEDED to complete the work of Christ and the apostles and prophets, are really just looking for a way to excercise more authority over people.”

      As I currently understand it, the Roman Catholic Church has NEVER TAUGHT that a FURTHER foundation is needed. We teach that Jesus completed the work that He HAD BEEN SENT TO COMPLETE, but that this was always to MAKE IT POSSIBLE for people to be saved, and WAS NEVER to offer people the gift of a GUARANTEED salvation.

      We Catholics teach that GUARANTEED salvation WAS NEVER the purpose that God the Father sent His Son to Earth to achieve, and it was NEVER why Jesus willingly died on the cross for us.

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 2:38 am #

        Stephen J S,
        I recently had this sort of talk with a friend of mine. I asked him why he doesn’t attend the mormon church or the JWs. Or even the RCC. He said he attends the church that most closely adheres to the Bible.
        I said that was a good reason not to attend the churches I questioned him about.
        But, if that is why you attend the RCC, it tells me all I need to know about your personal search for truth.

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 10:54 am #

        Stephen J S,
        When you said;
        “As I currently understand it, the Roman Catholic Church has NEVER TAUGHT that a FURTHER foundation is needed. We teach that Jesus completed the work that He HAD BEEN SENT TO COMPLETE, but that this was always to MAKE IT POSSIBLE for people to be saved, and WAS NEVER to offer people the gift of a GUARANTEED salvation.

        We Catholics teach that GUARANTEED salvation WAS NEVER the purpose that God the Father sent His Son to Earth to achieve, and it was NEVER why Jesus willingly died on the cross for us.”

        You understand the rc view correctly. But, this is not the position that scripture establishes.
        1John 5:13- “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; THAT YE MAY KNOW THAT YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

        There is no getting around the fact that John is saying we HAVE eternal life that results from simply believing on Jesus’ name. And not that we are getting there through a process. This fact makes the rc doctrine of purgatory (salvation by works) false.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:08 am #

          Hi Edwitness:

          O.K., I was wrong, and I have adjusted my beliefs accordingly. However, as it turns out, my new understanding is that I was NOT completely wrong. I was MOSTLY WRONG though, and so for this new understanding more consistent with Scripture, I thank God for working through you to instruct me, and I thank you for being the instrument of His choice!

          Yes, salvation is INDEED BY FAITH, and NOT by works. NOT by works that proceed from faith, nor (as I’ve ALWAYS agreed) CERTAINLY NOT by works that DO NOT proceed from faith.

          When rascott247 and I have discussed James 2:21-25, I have been the one misinterpreting those verses. Man is INDEED JUSTIFIED BY FAITH in the sight of God, and ONE’S FAITH IS JUSTIFIED BEFORE MEN by works that proceed from that faith, so that no man can boast of these works . . . for they come through the Holy Spirit and not from ourselves.

          Therefore, NO MERITING salvation. NO ACHIEVING salvation. NO EARNING salvation. Got it!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:13 am #

          When the adult Catholic Catechism classes start up early next year, I will be able to ask specific questions regarding this new understanding on the subject and see what the modern-day Catholic teaching on these points is. As I’ve said elsewhere, the Roman Catholic Church continues to study biblical Scripture on an ongoing basis, resulting in more biblically-consistent teachings — also on an ongoing basis.

          In other words, the modern-day Roman Catholic Church continues to evolve and grow, returning in many ways to its First Century roots, while still honouring the generations of faithful Christians who sought to honour God by dedicating local customs to their worship of Him. As I have repeatedly had to say, the church is not this evil abomination unto the Lord that Manny1962, you, and others have portrayed her as . . . and more so as the description of “Babylon the Great” in the Book of Revelation fits another interpretation more accurately than the church. Actually, two descriptions.

          However, back to the subject at hand:

          The question becomes: Is the CURRENT Catholic interpretation the same as or different from my new understanding of what the Bible teaches about salvation. Well, I won’t know until next year when I can ask my questions.

          So far, without confirmation that there is a problem, there is no reason yet to consider leaving the Roman Catholic Church.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:21 am #

          I appreciate your quoting 1 John 5:13 as it was through researching this verse online that I realized I was mostly wrong about this matter.

          However, where I believe I was NOT WRONG is in saying that salvation is INDEED NOT A ONE-TIME EVENT. Where I WAS WRONG is in therefore concluding that salvation was a PROCESS! IT IS NOT!

          It is instead a STATE OF GRACE that CAN BE LOST AT ANY TIME by the CHOICES that a Christian makes of their OWN FREE WILL. This STATE of GRACE is based ENTIRELY ON FAITH IN JESUS (AND GOD) and is NOT IN ANY WAY CONTINGENT on the works that proceed from faith. Thus, salvation is grace and grace is salvation.

          So, O.K., what am I talking about?

          Researching 1 John which is a book that I had not gotten to yet, I have realized that 1 John 5:13 uses the PRESENT TENSE, NOT the past tense, and NOT the future tense — “ye believe”, NOT “Ye have believed”; “Ye MAY know”, NOT “Ye may always know”; and “Ye have”, NOT “Ye shall always have”.

          Rewording this into the present perfect tense:

          ” . . . so long as you believe in the name of the Son of God, you may know that you have eternal life.”

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:29 am #

          It must be noted that, as I imagine you already know, the word “name” in the Bible means FAR MORE than just a name that one says. It usually refers, in the case of God, to His divine nature and presence, what He has commanded, what He has done, etc.

          As Jesus is (a part of) God, the meaning of “name” in this verse would be the same. To believe in the name of the Son of God is to live His commandments and walk in the Holy Spirit! It does not mean that you ONLY HAVE TO SAY, “I accept you, Jesus, as my Lord and Saviour, and I believe that you died so that my sins could be forgiven.”

          It’s FAR, FAR MORE than BELIEVING ONCE and that’s that — you have GUARANTEED salvation FOREVER.

          You are “saved” and become a Christian INSTANTLY, as I have COME TO AGREE with you, rascott247, and others, but THAT SALVATION DEPENDS (IS CONTINGENT) upon a Christian CONTINUING TO BELIEVE in the name of the Son of God (ie. walking in the Spirit).

          So, yes: justification is by faith and NOT works, but it is BY CONTINUED, ONGOING FAITH! Therefore, salvation is a very REVOKABLE (by God, NOT man) STATE OF GRACE. As such, that grace/salvation is exceedingly precious and MUST NOT BE taken for granted.

          • Edwitness November 19, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            This is the referrence John is making in 1John3:6,8,9 where he says;
            “6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.

            7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. (Jesus is righteous because He placed His faith in the Father. Which is relationship)

            8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
            (the works of the devil are to keep man separated from God)

            9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

            10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.”

            In these verses John is saying that the Christian can not deny Christ. Because as he says “…His seed remains in him…” That is to say that the one who believes on Jesus has been born of God’s seed. The word. 1Peter1:23.

            The one sin a true Christian can never commit is to deny Christ. Once saved they will always trust in Him. They will always know that He is God the savior. Even when they are messing up.

            This makes it impossible for those who have been born again to lose that. Because they are born of God. They are a new creature. 2Cor.5:17- “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

            The statement “once saved, always saved” is absolutely true.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:37 am #

          The very moment that someone accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, and believes that He died for the forgiveness of their “sins” (to make possible a bridge (the narrow path) across the chasm of man’s separation from God), WE ARE SAVED (“BORN AGAIN” OR “BORN ANEW”) and receive the GIFT of eternal life. It is also at that moment that we are INSTANTLY WRITTEN into the Book of Life, as rascott247 has said, and receive the Holy Spirit as a down payment of the glory to come, as Paul wrote.

          As you have been discussing with rascott247, the separation between man and God is caused by our disobediance — since it can’t be sin when we are not under the Law as Christians. That is also why the “Our Father” refers to trespasses and not sins.

          Thus, as I have come to understand, “being saved” is INSTANT — at the foot of the cross, with all the sins we committed PRIOR TO accepting Christ INSTANTLY COVERED by Jesus’ blood and no longer seen in the eyes of God!

          It is AT THAT INSTANT that the new Christian both gains access to AND RECEIVES salvation and are then spiritually at MAN’S SIDE of the narrow path/bridge that is Jesus Christ. Walking forward across that path, sloped upward at a steep incline, happens through maturing faith, but works DO NOT affect your progress forward . . . or backwards . . . or DOWN the sudden fall to that wide and level highway leading to the abyss (if you choose to turn left or right off the path instead of continuing forward).

          We move forward by living our faith — walking the walk, and not simply talking the talk. When we trespass against God, we stop moving forward, and indeed are unable to!

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            You said “It is also at that moment that we are INSTANTLY WRITTEN into the Book of Life…”
            But, the scripture says that our names are there from the beginning. It is only after we have rejected Jesus for the last time that our names are blotted out of the book of life.
            Rev.3:5- “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I WILL NOT BLOT OUT HIS NAME out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

            This agrees axactly with the Father’s will that is revealed in 2Peter3:9- “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

            So our names are in the book until we choose to go with the false god by rejecting Jesus’ gift of eternal life for the last time.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:48 am #

          ALL THE DAMAGE we have inflicted on our souls (by our tresspasses resulting FROM the disease (poison, influence, etc.) of Death worming its way into our souls) WHILE WE WERE UNBELIEVERS — PROPORTIONAL to the DEGREE (seriousness) of our trespasses against God — is GRADUALLY healed by the Holy Spirit (through the power of Jesus’ blood) as He prepares our souls to be “BORN FROM ABOVE”!!

          For example, the damage Death has done to the Deli Lama’s soul would be certainly less than the damage done to, for example, Adolf Hitler’s soul! What is important is that, WHEN we become Christians, our former acts of disobediance (trespasses) are no longer debited against us. We each start over with a clean (blank) slate. Yet, the damage remains. Our souls remain mortal, and they die when our bodies die, when the breath of life leaves us.

          My current understanding is that this damage to our souls is NOT HEALED INSTANTLY by Jesus’ blood, and I base this on the fact that the damage done to Jesus’ human body and soul was NOT HEALED INSTANTLY by the PART OF GOD that dwelt WITHIN Jesus during His life (consubstancial with the Holy Spirit).

          It should also be noted that, during this time, ALMOST ALL OF God the Father existed separately from the part of Him that dwelt within Jesus’ body.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 4:54 am #

          This is why Jesus never referred to Himself as God prior to His death and ressurection. There are many examples, but perhaps the best is when the rich (young?) man asked Jesus what he had to do to be saved, and was devastated when Jesus told him he had to sell all that he had (and follow Him). It is what Jesus replied when this man first greeted Jesus that illustrates what I am saying.

          It does make sense that, since God is a God of the living and not the dead, the part of God the Father and the Holy spirit left Jesus’ dead body and dead human soul temporarily, just as the breath of life did. It was the moment of (brain) death that broke the divine yoke that bound Jesus’ human soul to the part of God the Father dwelling within Jesus. Having said that, I’m not aware of any biblical verse that says whether that part of God and the Holy Spirit left or stayed within Jesus’ corpse until He was ressurected.

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            Of course He referred to Himself as God while He was alive on the earth as a man. When the Pharisees said they had Abraham as their father Jesus told them in John 8:48-59;

            “Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
            Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.
            And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.
            Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
            Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.
            Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?
            Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
            Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.
            Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
            Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
            Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.
            Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

            Why do you think they tried to stone Him? Because they knew what He was saying. They knew He was saying He was equal with God. And death by stoning was what the law required for a blasphemer.

            The name I AM should be familiar to you. It was the same name God gave Moses to tell the Israelites who had sent him to them. Exodus3:13,14;
            “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
            And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”

            Jesus told the Israelites who He was in a way that was absolutely unmistakeable to them.

            As to your other point. The separation from the Father happened while Jesus was still alive on the cross. That is why He said “Why hast thou forsaken me?” His physical death had nothing to do with His spiritual death. But, they were both necassary for our deliverance from death. And Israel’s deliverance from the law.

            Blessings:-}

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 5:29 am #

          Jesus Himself was crucified without having any sin (which is the correct word since He was born a Jew) against God, but I do believe that he DID ACTUALLY SIN.

          It was probably a few minor, childish sins that His adopted father would have diligently disciplined, and Jesus would have quickly asked God (the Father) to forgive Him (which, of course, He did, thereby covering those relatively-innocent sins from His sight) — perhaps up to the age that Jesus turned (say) 7 years old (given the significance of this number to God’s plan for humanity).

          This can be seen to be the same thing that Jesus’ death on the Cross accomplishes for our trespasses, covering them in the sight of God.

          As we are then without trespass, however briefly, so Jesus was without sin (although he HAD sinned and so caused His soul slight damage)!

          There is a passage in Isaiah concerning the Messiah that actually can be interpreted this way, and the simple truth is that IF JESUS DID NOT SIN IN EVEN A FEW SMALL WAYS — if there wasn’t even the SLIGHTEST damage to His soul NO LONGER SEEN in God’s eyes, He was simply NOT HUMAN in any way, shape, or form.

          And if He was NOT HUMAN, how could his death on the Cross and His ressurection provide IMPERFECT humanity with access to salvation? Quite simply, it couldn’t.

          I understand that this is an opinion (belief) that contradicts convential wisdom about Jesus and is NOT taught by any Christian denomination that I am aware of, including the Roman Catholic Church, but I am also unaware of any biblical verses that state that Jesus was perfect!

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            You can believe that Jesus sinned if you want to, but you would be in total disagreement with the scriptures. We are told in them that He never sinned. Heb.4:15- “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN.”

            This means that in every temptation Jesus always trusted the Father. He never once trusted in His own abilities or any false god. This is what Paul refers to as “the faith OF Jesus” that saves us. Gal.2:16.

            Jesus’ separation from the Father is the sin of the world that He became when He was on the cross. He was subjected to death’s power to separate from God just as we are. He was made to be sin for us, or on behalf of us. This means He joined with us in death’s power of separating us and then Him from the Father. This is why He said “Father, Father. Why hast thou forsaken me?”

            At that moment the Son joined with us in being separated from the Father. At that moment He became sin for us. Which means He became separated by death’s power from the Father. Rom.5:12. Which IS the sin of the world. John16:9.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 5:35 am #

          However, the soul damage that would have killed Jesus’ mortal soul was caused because He took ALL OF humanity’s sins INTO Himself. That is a LOT of sins (Jews) and trespasses (Gentiles) and therefore a LOT OF DAMAGE!

          I should also state that, AT NO POINT, did the part of God the Father that dwelt within Jesus commit any sin; that would, of course, been impossible for Him to do.

          That SOUL DAMAGE was HEALED ONLY WHEN Jesus was raised from the dead by God the Father into His new SPIRITUALLY PERFECTED FORM after three days (72 hours)! The sign of Jonah. That is how it works for us as well. Not the 72 hours part, obviously.

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 6:26 am #

          Now we come to the MOST IMPORTANT PART! I now believe and this is CRUCIAL to understand that, IF WE TURN OUR BACK on God and on being obediant to Him, we lose the eternal life WE HAD, the eternal life God gave us as a gift!!

          The moment we REBEL AGAINST God by rejecting Him and how He wants us to live, SALVATION IS LOST. Our names are ERASED FROM the Book of Life. And if receiving eternal life is instant, it stands to reason that losing eternal life is also instant.

          This is MORE THAN trespassing against God. It is RENOUNCING our belief in Jesus THROUGH OUR ACTIONS, EVEN IF we continue to say or EVEN BELIEVE in who Jesus is. It is BEHAVING in a way that backhands Jesus’ amazing sacrifice (and all the suffering that it entailed — crucifixion is a slow, brutal, and agonizing way to die), showing our lack of gratitude that God died for our trespasses (sins), even if we CONTINUE TO BELIEVE that He did die for us and have CONVINCED OURSELVES that we show our gratitude every day!

          It’s about the spiritual truth that our words and actions reveal, regardless of what we say to others or convince ourselves of! ACTIONS DO SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS . . . to people and to God!

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            The reason you can come to this conclusion is that you still somehow believe that it is works that save us. But, John is saying exactly the opposite of what you say you believe in 1John3:6,8,9. The sin John is referring to is the sin of unbelief. The very sin he wrote of in his gospel in 16:9 that the Holy Spirit would reprove the world of.

            This sin is impossible for the Christian to commit. Because His (God’s) seed remains IN us. This means we can not deny Christ once we are truly born again. Because we know Him. We can not ever un know Him once we know Him. It is the same in every relationship. I will never be able, by my own choice, to choose to un know my wife, father, brother,…. Even if one of us were to die we would still always know each other. We are personally related to one another.
            John 17:3- “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

            John also said that “They went out from us, BUT THEY WERE NOT OF US; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” 1John2:19

            A person can only not know Jesus by never having come to Him by faith in the first place.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 6:31 am #

          Someone once said that:

          “Christians are the biggest cause of Atheism. They profess to follow Christ, and then deny Him with their lifestyle! That is what an unbelieving world simply cannot believe.”

          I’ve never forgotten that quote after I heard it on the first CD of the “WOW Gold” 2-disc set. It is staggering how many people (souls) are pushed away from Jesus by Christian hypocrisy!

          I believe that was what John wrote to the Jewish Christians he was writing concerning the “sin that leads to death”, and why he told those Christians who received his letter (and, by extension, future generations) that there was no point in praying for those who had rejected Jesus’s sacrifice after previously converting to Christianity. He was saying that they had made their decision . . . and that their words and actions proved it!

          However, I again stress that this is FAR, FAR MORE than trespasses or acts of inadvertant disobediance that abruptly stops our forward progress in our maturing faith! This is behaviour that involves a lack of ANY OF the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings in a given Christian!

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            When 1John5:16 speaks of a sin unto death it is not referring to salvation. John is referring to physical death. Remember the passage that says we should confess our sins to one another that we might be healed? The sin John is speaking of here in verse 16 is not covered by this evidently.

            But, we can see that John still considers this person a brother because he says “If any man see HIS BROTHER sin a sin…..” This verse does not refer to a Christian losing their salvation.

            And while Christians who act hypocritically sometimes are an offense, they are not the cause of someone rejecting Jesus. This comes from their love for darkness because their deeds are evil. They do not want their deeds to be exposed so they reject the light that is Christ Jesus. John3:19,20

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 6:41 am #

          I should point out that it is unlikely that John considered that he was writing for the benefit of future generations. For him, he was simply writing a letter, NOT SCRIPTURE. For John, Peter, Paul, etc., Scripture meant the HEBREW SCRIPTURES, nearly identical to the Old Testament, and NOT the New Testament. While the Gospels and letters were considered significant, even prized, they WOULD NOT have been considered Scriptural in the first couple centuries C.E.

          It was only centuries later that the Christian Church would canonize the books of the New Testament and declare them to be Scripture. This was LONG BEFORE whoever came up with the new name “Roman Catholic Church” for the Christian Church was ever born, and long, long before the Protestant denominations split off from the (by then renamed) Roman Catholic Church.

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            The apostles knew they were part of the foundation the church would be built upon. Eph.2:20. This belief meant to them that what they taught and wrote carried the same authority as any OT writings. Therefore, it IS more than likely that they considered everything they taught and wrote to be every bit as much ‘scripture’ as any of the OT writings. Their canonization had nothing to do with their authority as ‘scripture’.

            Knowing this makes it absolute that Paul’s statement in 2Tim.3:16,17 includes the apostles teaching and writings as ‘scripture’. And they knew it.
            “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
            That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

            Remember Paul saying that a part of his teaching for the Corinthians was from him and not the Lord? 1Cor.7:12- “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away….”
            This places his teaching on par with that of Jesus’ and he knew it. He recognized that Jesus had given him and the other apostles the authority as apostles to teach what Jesus had taught them. And that it was every bit as much ‘scripture’ as Jesus’ own teaching. Because they spoke by His inspiration.

            This is why we are told that the church is built on the foundation of the prophets and apostles, with Jesus being the chief cornerstone. From us all the way back to the believers alive when the apostles were teaching them, we are to believe all that they taught as if from the very mouth of God. And since the foundation was finished with the apostles there are no more ‘scriptures’ to be added.

            So the catechism and magisterium are a fiction invented by the rcc. There are no more apostles since those who were eyewitnesses of Jesus 2,000 years ago. And therefore, there are no more ‘scriptures’ other than what we have in the Bible we read today.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 6:47 am #

          And it is important to remember that God judges us on what’s truly in our hearts, minds, and souls, and NOT on what we MAY have CONVINCED OURSELVES concerning what kind of Christian we are. Thus, a Christian MAY believe they are living a true and proper Christian life, yet be standing still on the narrow path/bridge, unable to move forward. God knows what is in our hearts, minds, and souls, and He knows the TRUE STATE of any Christian’s faith.

          This is why I believe every Christian, myself included, should be examining their own conduct, beliefs, and how they view the rest of God’s children, lost though they may be, on an ongoing basis. For example, things that are NOT gifts from the Holy Spirit, like hate, anger, prejudice, arrogance, envy, etc. — NO MATTER HOW JUSTIFIED one feels these are — have ZERO PLACE in the hearts, minds, and souls of Christians GENUINELY INTENT on moving forward to God’s side of Jesus (who is, as the sole mediator, is the narrow path/bridge).

          And, yup, that includes hate, anger, prejudice, arrogance, envy, etc. against Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Catholics, Atheists, New Apostolic Reformationists, and any other of God’s children.

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            I am sure you have heard the axiom “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”, right? Well, it is very true. It is the belief system that those who reject Jesus have that we Christians hate. Not the person. Jesus died for them because He loves them. And so should we.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 30, 2016 at 5:09 am #

            Reposted due to chronic lack of “reply buttons”:

            Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            I am sure you have heard the axiom “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”, right? Well, it is very true. It is the belief system that those who reject Jesus have that we Christians hate. Not the person. Jesus died for them because He loves them. And so should we.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 7:02 am #

          When we “sin” (ie. do something that trespasses God’s (and therefore Jesus’) teachings — are disobediant to God), which is inevitable (as Jesus said), we stop moving forward (as stated above). It is ONLY THROUGH sincere repentence and asking God to forgive us that a Christian is able to start moving forward again . . . once more washed clean in the eyes of God, despite whatever amount of additional damage was done to our souls — which will also be healed by the Holy Spirit in time.

          Some feel that confessing your sins secretly to God is sufficient. Others feel that you should ALSO confess your sins to an elder of your church before God . . . and THAT IS ALL that a priest is: an elder of the Roman Catholic Church.

          Which method you go with is (as far as I know) not clearly stated in the Bible, making it a personal matter of preference.

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

            Stephen J S,

            Confession of sin and repentance are not the same thing. Repentance is a change of mind. Confession of sin is for a restoring of fellowship with fellow believers.

            As far as I understand it, the only time confession for the Christian is mentioned in any epistles is in James 5:16- “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Notice there is no mention of an ‘elder’ here.

            This confession is in regard to faults or offenses we have done toward a fellow Christian. Jesus mentions this in the gospels when He said “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;….” Mt.5:23-ff. He even gives a procedure to follow to bring the issue to a final solution in the verses following vs23.

            You may be thinking that 1John1:9 has something to say to the Christian about confessing sin. But, John is not addressing the Christian about confession AFTER salvation in his epistle. He is telling them that when a person comes to Christ for salvation, he must understand he has sinned and confess it so he can be saved. The sin being of course, the sin of no faith in Jesus. John16:9. And if that person says they have no sin, as the Gnostics of John’s day believed, and whose false teaching this letter was warning these Christians about, they were to be known as liars and the truth not in them.

            If John was addressing Christians here, how could they be Christians if they had no truth in them as John said? 1John1:8. That is not possible for the Christian because the Holy Spirit indwells everyone who has ever come to Christ for salvation. And the Holy Spirit not only is the truth because He is God, but He is the one who leads and guides all Christians in the truth.

            Confession of sin is not for the Christian in any sense other than restoring fellowship with their brothers and sisters in Christ. And it is to be made with the one the offense is with. And not some ‘elder’ that is somehow magically qualified to hear them and absolve the confessor of them.

            When we sin against God by believing something that causes us to act in a way that is contrary to His will for us, then we simply turn from it (repent) and believe God. Confession is not applicable in this case. It’s not wrong if you do, but it is not necessary theologically. Because repentance and confession are not the same.

            Ones last verse for confirmation is Rom.10:9,10. “That if thou shalt CONFESS WITH THY MOUTH THE LORD JESUS, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
            For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” See, confession is acknowledging that Jesus is Lord. Believing in Him. Not the admitting to the breaking of a law or command.

            BLESSINGS:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider November 18, 2016 at 7:09 am #

          After we die (both our physical body and our soul — UNLESS our soul is READY to be “born from above”) — we (our souls) are raised from the dead in the First Ressurection — which I currently believe has been ongoing for at least the last 1000 years (and possibly even back to Paul’s lifetime).

          That ressurection brings us INSTANTLY to God’s side of the narrow path, REGARDLESS of how far we had progressed (as we grew in faith) from man’s side (where we began, ALREADY HAVING RECEIVED salvation), where waits the Judgement Seat of Jesus Christ, located just OUTSIDE OF the “gates” (or rather “narrow gate”) of Heaven.

          “Judgement Seat” isn’t the best term, just as the instruction for Christians to judge isn’t the best translation. Comparing the different translations of the Bible will quickly result in any open-minded Christian realizing this.

          A better and more accurate description would be “Performance Review Seat” or “Evaluation Seat”. It’s not about being GRANTED or DENIED ACCESS to Heaven, as I had PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT (before Wednesday night when this post began to be written within my e-mail account), but IS INSTEAD the process described in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 — during which it is decided by Jesus whether a Christian will be rewarded for their faith AFTER they have entered Heaven, BASED ON THE WORKS their maturing faith produced, or whether their “righteousness” does NOT MERIT any such reward.

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 11:05 am #

            Stephen J S,
            I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving.
            In your reply you said;

            “…during which it is decided by Jesus whether a Christian will be rewarded for their faith AFTER they have entered Heaven, BASED ON THE WORKS their maturing faith produced, or whether their “righteousness” does NOT MERIT any such reward.”

            The problem with this is that ‘merit’ and ‘righteousness’ do not go together. Because merit is earned (Rom.4:1-8) and righteousness is the relationship. Gal.3:21. This can be seen in the explanation of Abraham’s belief or trust in God being considered or reckoned (not merited) as righteousness. His trust was his side of the relationship. God loves, and in response to His love, he trusted Him. This is true in every relationship. Love and trust are the ingredients that make it a relationship as opposed to a legal contract.

            So, to add the idea that we merit rewards for behavior in the relationship is like saying that our spouse rewards us because we have earned it by good behavior in obedience to their will. If that is true for you then your relationship is not based on love and trust, but is based on a legally binding contract that breeds a works environment.

            The reason we behave a certain way with our spouse is because we love them. Reward has nothing to do with it. This is why we are told to give without expecting anything in return, right? Luke 6:34,35- “And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
            But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”

            This then is God’s economy. We love because He first loved us. Anything we do that proceeds from our relationship with God is done in love. With absolutely no regard to merit and reward. Any reward will come as a result of this kind of thinking and nothing else.

            Just what is the reward? It is actually more of Him being poured out upon us and in us. James confirms this when he says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
            Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
            Draw nigh to God (humble yourself), AND HE WILL DRAW NEAR TO YOU (give more grace, more of Himself). Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James4:6-8

            The double mindedness James speaks of here is the fact that we think the reward is merit we earned by our works of faith. But, the reward we are given comes as a result of our trust in and love for God. It is more of Him. Just as we grow closer to our spouse because we do for them out of a real love, a sacrificial love, we have for them.

            The reward you seek Stephen, and is proven by your being here and diligently seeking Him, is more of Him through the revealing of Himself to you. God grants this to the humble. The teachable. When we get to heaven this reward will be fully realized. Because then we will know even as we are known. 1Cor.13:12
            No one can merit that because it is not on a merit basis. It’s relationship.

            Blessings:-} brother

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 10:47 pm #

      One point (that seems to contradict your interpretation of who Allah is) is that some muslims do NOT WANT the crescent moon above their mosques, which does not sound like a faith that worships a moon god whose symbol is a crescent moon.

      One of the websites that noted this also pointed out that symbolism is forbidden in Islam, so I figure that it’s a pretty safe bet that, were Mohammed here today, the crescent moon over muslim mosques would be angrily condemned by him!

      Oh, and I searched for “crescent” on http://www.symbols.com, and found out the crescent moon was also an 18th century symbol representing gilded silver, or argentum auratum [that’s what the website said; I’m not trying to show off]; a symbol for sleep; and of course an actual crescent moon. If you add “IEEE 1621” after it, it is a replacement for a stanby symbol [again, what the website said]. Interestingly enough, if you add a cross below a crescent, so that they touch, you get a symbol for something called a “black moon lilith”, which has something to do with (I believe) the Moon’s orbit.

      In other words, the claim that Allah is a moon god is one interpretation (or opinion) on the subject, but (at this VERY EARLY point in my looking into this) one that does not seem very credible. Sorry. I could be wrong though.

      So, for now, until someone can find something or I find something myself that conclusively proves that Allah ACTUALLY IS a pagan moon god, I’m going with the belief that Muslims DO actually WORSHIP THE ONE TRUE GOD that we do, and that would make paragraph 841 of the Catholic Catechism quite reasonable.

      I can certainly accept that Allah is just another name for God, like Yahweh; Jehovah; God; Jesus; theTetragrammaton that God gave the Ancient Israelites back in (I believe) Exodus and the 10 OTHER NAMES that are derived from it; I Am; I Cause To Become; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; etc., etc.

      For now, this Catholic teaching doesn’t seem contrary to my potential salvation.

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 3:04 am #

        Stephen J S,
        Type in
        ALLAH – the Moon God

        The Archaeology of the Middle East

        When you do you will find all the evidence you need to prove that Allah is in fact the moon god. And it does not surprise me that a rc would say he and islam worship the same god. Since both worship a false god.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

      Doctrine 460 is certainly more alarming! I did note that the last line, suffixed with the number 81, used the lower-case “g” in the word “gods”, which was a term in the Old Testament that described lesser gods in God’s divine council in Heaven, judges in Ancient Israel, and anyone that God had given the power over life and death to. Of course this includes Satan, the god of this world, and all the satans [As the Hebrew Scriptures tell us, there are far more than one] and other spiritual beings under his command.

      The Bible tells us, in Matthew 22:30, that those saved will not marry or be given in marriage, and that they (including me, I hope) will be more like angels!

      Given that we will not marry or be given to marriage in Heaven, the Wedding of the Lamb of God to his (the) Bride of Christ (or body of faithful Christians, both Catholic and Protestant) clearly refers to something DIFFERENT than what we ASSOCIATE WITH marriage.

      In 1 Corinthians 6:3, God through Paul writes that we will judge angels, which is something ONLY GOD currently has the authority to do. The seven Archangels have command over the lesser angels (to them), who in turn may have command over even lower angels, etc., but they don’t have the authority to judge angels.

      That would certainly be an apt description of “gods”, but not God, right?

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 3:14 am #

        That is not he way it reads, but if it makes you feel better about your catechism……

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 11:12 pm #

      However, hold on, if this interpretation is correct, does this ACTUALLY MEAN that we will become a part of God, in the divine image of Jesus, who is EVEN NOW a part of God?!?

      That seems TOO INCOMPREHENSIBLE for my human brain to process, and it is clear that the writers of the Catholic Encyclopedia were just as baffled.

      They write:

      “The whole context of this passage and the passages already quoted show that this expression is to be TAKEN AS LITERALLY AS POSSIBLE, not indeed as a GENERATION FROM the SUBSTANCE OF GOD, . . . ”

      [or what God is made up of — I prefer to use a term from Ancient Greek Philosophy, “Quintessence” (also known as the Fifth (or divine) Element, existing separate from the 4 Elements that make up everything in the world)]

      ” . . . but as a COMMUNICATION of DIVINE LIFE by the Power of God, and a MOST INTIMATE indwelling OF HIS SUBSTANCE in the creature”.

      I am assuming that “creature” means those of us who are saved. That we will be changed into having DIVINE LIFE! Not just eternal life, which is still pretty cool, but divine life! Whoa, double Wow!

      Except, ONLY GOD is divine. Every Jew, Christian, and (I assume) Muslim understands that!

      So, as hard to grasp as it seems, God MAY INTEND to make us a part of (or one with) Him. This MAY have been His Plan from the very beginning! I simply do NOT KNOW WHAT TO THINK!!

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 3:20 am #

        Yes, the Greek philosophical view is the one that rc’s have used since Augustine when interpreting scripture. It’s how they understand who their god is and what man is.
        Paul rejected the wisdom of the Greeks , but why should that be a reason to change now, right?

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

      “We are now the sons of God; and it hath NOT YET appeared WHAT WE SHALL BE. We know that, when He shall appear, we SHALL BE LIKE TO HIM because we shall see Him as He is” [1 John 3:2]

      Paul further clarifies that:

      “We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face” [1st Corinthians 13:12]

      This has been called the “beatific vision” by the Roman Catholic Church, and as the Catholic Encyclopedia goes on to say:

      “The Fathers [of the church] have NOT HESITATED TO CALL supernatural [or Heavenly, in this case] union of the creature with God the DEIFICATION OF the creature.”

      Bottom line: I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT God’s ultimate plan for us is!

      Neither do I have any intention of thinking that I can know the mind of God, nor am I confident of my interpretations of what the Bible is actually saying.

      One possible Scriptural confirmation of this is what Jesus (who would have definitely known what God’s plan for those who would be saved (by his death and ressurection AND what is produced because of faith in Him)) did pray in John 17:20-23 as follows:

      20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;21 that they may ALL BE ONE; even as YOU FATHER, ARE IN ME and I IN YOU, . . . ”

      [which IS what the Trinity Doctrine is]

      ” . . . that they also may BE IN US, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

      22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that THEY MAY BE ONE, just as WE ARE ONE; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be PERFECTED IN UNITY, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

      I JUST DON’T KNOW!! I JUST DO NOT KNOW! NOT SURE WHAT TO THINK!

      For now at least, I am going to adopt a “wait and see” attitude for the rest of this earthly life, trust in God, and have faith that everyone who is allowed to enter Heaven will find out WHAT God has planned for us.

      As for the Roman Catholic Church, I can concede this teaching may be not correct, partially correct, or all correct — I just don’t know!

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 3:29 am #

        Stephen J S,
        This line of thinking is exactly where I told rascott247 the Greek philosophical view of the nature of a thing always ends when taken to it’s logical conclusion. Man becomes God because he receives from God His nature to replace the sin nature with.

        You have proven my point to him and summarized very well the flaws in this view of how to interpret scripture. Thank you.

        But, what makes God God is not His nature. It is the fact that He alone is the Creator. And everything and everyone else is creation. This wil never change.

        He will always be God the Creator. And we will always be His creation.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 11:44 pm #

      One thing I am reasonably sure of is that, if a LITERAL consubstantial fusion is what God has planned, and what is therefore going to happen, there will be a hierarchy maintained.

      We MAY become (a part of God), but IF SO, I would think that we will be a subordinate part of God that is NOT EQUAL to Jesus, who in turn is NOT EQUAL TO God the Father, although we would all be made up of the same identical (or equal) substance — quintessence, as the 3 parts of God are made up of right now.

      We would therefore be God in the sense of WHAT WE ARE MADE OF, but we certainly would NOT BE EQUAL IN POWER OR AUTHORITY to Jesus or to God the Father, just as Jesus is NOT EQUAL IN POWER OR AUTHORITY to God the Father. Instead, we would all be in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

      So since I DON’T KNOW if the Roman Catholic Church’s INTERPRETATION of Scripture on this matter is CORRECT OR NOT, I can see no reason to think that this doctrine or staying with the church threatens my salvation. I will keep working on my relationship with God and let him decide whether I am saved after my earthly life has ended.

      And for now, I continue to believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a Bible believing and practicing group of believers. I get that you believe differently, and that’s fine. It’s just with all the misinformation people are saying as though it was established fact makes my head hurt.

      If I can clear up/correct these fantasies people have, at least then people can proceed to believe what they want about the Roman Catholic Church based on the actual facts and NOT THE MYTHS that many Protestants have BELIEVED FOR FAR TOO LONG!

      Thank you again for your comments, positive criticism, and concern. It is much appreciated! God bless you and keep you!

    • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 3:11 am #

      Reply to Edwitness’s post dated November 11, 2016 at 12:07 A.M.:

      Hi Edwitness:

      Absolutely agree!

      It was the power of sin over us (that kept us shackled and doomed to suffer death, both physically and spiritually) that Jesus’ death on the Cross broke for all time. The consequences of sin (for those who are under the Law) and disobediance to God (for we Gentiles and/or Christians), so oppositely polarized to the nature/substance of our souls) results in physical and spiritual death. As you’ve pointed out elsewhere, it is death that sin and disobediance proceed from — and (in turn) it is death that they result in.

      Btw, I think of the death of our souls (at the end of our lives here on Earth) as the soul being like a hard drive when the computer is no longer plugged in. The life energy that God breathed into us as He formed us in the womb, which is not us [that’s the soul], leaves our souls, until it returns when we are ressurected and our souls flare back to life (similar to the metaphorical computer being plugged back in).

      Having died, our soul suffers no further damage from (as applicable) either sin or from disobediance. These result in death and, once the soul is dead, the sin and/or disobediance itself dies like the disease it is, having killed its host. The damage remains however in the case of unbelievers..

      I should say that, for believers, the damage is covered over by Jesus’ death on the cross, like a healing salve applied to all the spiritual wounds, cuts, stabs, etc. that I’ve mentioned elsewhere. Our souls are fully healed (and the damage completely erased) by the time our souls are ready to be ressurected.

      Meanwhile, the Holy Spirit continues to upgrade the hard drive until it is ready to be born from above.

      God bless you and keep you, my friend!

  5. rascott247 October 31, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    Great observation about foundations Ed. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit chose his metaphors carefully. The RCC tries to sell that the foundation is still being built. The NAR tries to sell that a new foundation is needed; they both hope nobody notices how badly they tear up the true foundation laid by Christ and His true apostles. No wonder they have joined together.

    • Edwitness October 31, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

      Thanks rascott,
      Unless we accept what the scriptures clearly teach regarding the complete revelation we have in the Bible, anything could be added and passed off as being from God. The foundation has been finished.
      God bless you brother:-}
      Maranatha!!

      • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 1:25 am #

        Ed I didn’t know where to reply since your last comment had no reply button. I’ll reply to this comment about the other comment instead.

        Ed believe me it’s a rare thing for me to be accused of legalism it is usually just the opposite. I not sure how or if you did reach that conclusion but I agree legalism is not my ally.

        The concept of penalty for sin is throughout scripture just as the concept of the
        Trinity and rapture are even if those words are not translated into our English text. There was a death penalty for sin, Jesus atoned, paid it and rose to assure new life. There was enmity with God, Jesus propitiated and reconciled believers. The creation was subjected to futility, Jesus frees believers from this futility (those who walk according to the Spirit) and He will redeem creation; all taken care of by Jesus God/man. No other man pays the price on earth or in Hell or anywhere.

        Believers were judged at the Cross and are written in the Book of Life. Unbelievers will be judged by their works at the Great White Throne and no works are good enough to give life. Unbelievers are condemned already because they have not believed and have not been made alive. They are dead; the ultimate consequence for sin.

        If you prefer you can think Jesus paid the ultimate consequence for sin rather than penalty; that’s the gist of what I am saying but I care not to wrangle over the word penalty.

        Blessings to you also Ed.

        • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

          Rascott247,

          The fact that you believe it is “implied” in the scripture does not make it so. “Trinity” means 3. So, while the actual word “trinity” is not found in scripture, it’s corresponding word is. God is 3. 1John 5:7- “For there are THREE that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these THREE are one.”
          And because the word harpazo (caught up) is rapturus in the Latin Vulgate, and not transliterated from the Latin to be “rapture” in the KJV, doesn’t mean it is not “in” the Bible. Harpazo (Greek) is rapturous (Latin) is rapture (transliteration) is caught up (translation). 1Thes.4:17

          However the word “penalty” is not “in” the Bible in any of these forms, nor is it implied as it relates to the sin of Adam. God told Adam that when he ate from the fruit he would die. God, neither here nor elsewhere in the scripture ever once refers to it as a penalty.

          What God did when He told Adam not to eat of the fruit is like someone saying if you eat that poison you will die. What they said is not a command. It is instructive. It is useful information that will keep you from dying by way of poisoning. It is the same in what God told Adam about the fruit.

          After he ate the fruit he received the knowledge of good and evil. His thinking changed. Suddenly he saw they were naked and they were afraid of God. Gen.3:7, 10

          But, death could not take his body until he was removed from the garden, where if he would have taken of the tree of life he could have lived forever. Gen.3:22. This would not be possible if sin had immediately killed them. Sin caused God to remove them from access to the tree of life. That removal is what ultimately resulted in their death.

          The need to add the word “penalty” comes from the misunderstanding that death in all men is a penalty for their sin because of a broken law. This is the application of legal terminology because you have made the events in Gen.2,3 a legal contract. Which is a product of the doctrines of “original sin” and the “sin nature”. Not Biblical exegesis. Adam was never under law. Rom.5:13,14.

          Ps.51, Rom.3:23, 6:23, ch.7 etc are as a result of this, misunderstood to mean that man’s sin causes his death and that he was born a sinner. When, as I explained in another comment here, it is exactly the opposite. It is the fact that man is born spiritually dead that causes him to ultimately sin. Rom.5:12

          This misunderstanding comes from the eventual elevating of God’s law to god status. They (Israel) take the law which was meant to come along side them as a guide, a teacher (Gal.3:23-25) and place it above them as a god. Israel made the standard the law required, the means by which they measured their righteousness before God. John 9:28. And because of this it has been further misunderstood that Jesus had to measure up to this perfect standard to be the accepted sacrifice to satisfy God’s wrath. This is legalism. Because when we make the keeping of the law a part of the provision for our salvation, no matter who is doing it, that is by definition legalism.

          Since Adam man is not born a sinner and there is no scripture that supports that view. He is born separated from God, which is spiritual death. This death causes man to sin by the eventual choosing to worship the false god. He chooses something he is equipped to. Man is natural. Therefore he chooses from what is natural and makes it his god. Until and if he ever comes to faith in the true God.

          The death that spread to all men itself separates man from God. Sin happens as a result of this separation. Then when the sin that he does while alive on earth is not dealt with through turning from the false god and placing his faith in Christ before he dies physically (repentance), he will enter into eternity still separated from God by death. Because he will go into eternity with the false god he chose while on earth. Having never come to know the true God. Which is the sin of the world that the Holy Spirit was sent to reprove the world of. John 16:9.

          THIS IS WHY WE ALL NEED JESUS.

          This is also where Steven’s misunderstanding comes from. He believes that becoming a Christian is a process. What he does not know is that the faith that saves us does so for all eternity instantly. The process he speaks of is not salvation. It is the growth that takes place after we are a Christian. And is what is meant by Jesus when He said “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Mt.5:48. The word perfect means mature, not sinless perfection. And is what is meant by Peter when he says “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1Peter2:2,3.

          But, his problems only begin there. He can not even know that he is saved because of this process he conditions salvation upon. That is why they (RCC) believe in the second chance that is purgatory. One false teaching needs another and so on and so on…. Until the whole message is just the skin of the truth stuffed with a great big lie.

          Blessings:-} brother

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

            Agreed that the fact that I think something is implied does not make it so. However the word penalty is in scripture by connotation. The fact that the judgment for Adams sin was death makes the judgment a “death penalty”.

            Romans 5:14-16 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

            The word judgment in that v 16 is krima; meaning; a decision of wrong, the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others in a forensic sense the sentence of a judge the punishment with which one is sentenced condemnatory sentence, PENAL judgment, sentence. The word condemnation in that v16 is katakrima meaning punishment following condemnation, penal servitude, penalty.
            The one who sinned was Adam (who was not under the Law) and the One who offers the gift is Christ. Adam imputes sin, and the sting of sin is death, Christ imputes righteousness. Now if you did not take part in Adam’s sin you have no part with Christ on the Cross.

            There are three areas of sin to take into account. Most people usually think of only one of these. We have PERSONAL sin, Rom 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” So clearly we have personal sin, and most people don’t argue about that. We have IMPUTED sin Rom. 5:12, “ Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—,” notice past tense on the verb sinned, all have “sinned.” If everybody physically dies because they have sinned, then it follows since infants die that infants too have sin. Rom 5:14 “Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

            What Paul is saying is that because of the pervasiveness of death, there has to be a cause behind all death. And the cause behind all death is that we have blame, physical death is a sentence upon all of us because we sinned. Paul argues that we sinned in Adam. Adam is representative head of the human race, and we are all under that imputed sin, i.e. sin that is credited to our account because we are “in Adam,” who is “a figure of Him who was to come.” People look at imputed sin and say it’s unfair but if you notice Adam is a likeness of one who shall come and that “who shall come” is the Lord Jesus Christ. So if the sin is unfair in the case of Adam’s sin being credited to our account, then it’s unfair for Jesus’ righteousness to be credited to our account. Yet both are true. We have INHERANT sin. The Lord Jesus Christ has to deal with all three of these; the salvation package has to cope with all three kinds of sin.

            Rom 7:7-8 “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.”

            That sin there isn’t imputed sin and it isn’t personal sin, it is a sin power that is in us, and that’s inherent sin.Jesus Christ has to be free from all three categories of sin in order to qualify as a perfect sacrifice that’s going to die for us on the cross; it’s got to be “a lamb without spot and without blemish.” The virgin birth is the vehicle through which that miracle takes place. Jesus Christ gave up His life, it wasn’t taken from Him. It was a unique death. The death of Christ on the cross was not the same as we would die on the cross. Christ was not in Adam, He is the last Adam [1Co 15:45].

            Blessings to you also Ed

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 6:15 pm #

            Rascott247,
            Your entire dialogue was betrayed in a single statement you made when you said “the sting of sin is death”.
            This is what I have been saying. You read one thing and interpret it as something else because of the legalism that is the doctrine of “original sin” and the “sin nature” that you apply to all scripture.

            The scripture actually is the exact opposite of what you wrote.

            “THE STING OF DEATH IS SIN. AND THE STRENGTH OF SIN IS THE LAW”. 1Cor.15:56
            This tells us that death uses sin as it’s stinger and not the other way around. Meaning that death causes sin for us. And that without the law sin has no strength. Meaning that apart from the law sin is not counted against us.

            This negates the idea that Adam died from sin. As I said before, Adam died because God blocked his access to the tree of life. You can say that sin had an indirect affect on Adam, but it was not directly the cause of Adam’s death. And it is not directly related to our being born spiritually dead either.

            This info is in my previous comment to you so I will not rewrite it.
            Blessings:-}

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

            Rascott247,
            I had to address this,… again. Because I gave the answer in my previous comment to you and it seems you overlooked it.
            You said “What Paul is saying is that because of the pervasiveness of death, there has to be a cause behind all death. And the cause behind all death is that we have blame, physical death is a sentence upon all of us because we sinned. Paul argues that we sinned in Adam.”
            First there is not one scripture that says that “in Adam all men sinned”. But, you know what? There is a scripture that says that “in Adam all men DIED”. This tells you that death is the cause of sin in us, not sin.
            For Adam it was sin first, then death. But, for us it is death first, then sin.

            Second, The reason Adam died I gave to you in the verse quoted from Gen.3:22,23- “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” This is why Adam died.
            Yes he was removed from the garden because he sinned. But, his death was the direct result of being removed from the garden, and indirectly the result of sin.
            This is the way sin and death affected Adam. It is not the same for us. Since Adam’s removal from the garden noone has had access to the tree of life. Therefore, “in Adam all men die”. And we sin (choose a false god) as a result of being born spiritually dead (separation from God).
            1Cor.15:22

            Blessings:-}

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

            Rascott247,

            Rom.5:12 says “…for that all men sinned”.
            Have you ever asked what “for that” is referring to?
            It is referring to death earlier in the sentence. “For that” is then saying that BECAUSE OF DEATH all have sinned.
            Notice Paul doesn’t just say “for” which means because. He says “for that”. This points to the masculine noun “death” in this verse. Not the feminine noun “sin”. It has to because “for that” is masculine, not feminine. Therefore it can not be a referrence to sin. It can not be saying “because all men sinned” as you have mistakenly interpreted it to be saying.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 6:29 pm #

            Yes I did reverse sin and death. I am fallible. But if you think because I transposed the words it betrays the argument then that’s a choice you make. The sting of death is sin. Adam brought death and with it sin. The two are linked because of Adam. I apologize for erring.

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

            Rascott247,

            The reason you reversed them is because it sounded right to you. This is the affect of the sin nature doctrine and the doctrine of original sin.

            But, to be fair with the rest of your comment there is no question that you may interpret the scripture from a legal standpoint if you choose to. But, the only time God dealt with anyone from that perspective is when He gave the law to Israel. Otherwise all of God’s dealings with man have been on a relationship basis. Not a legal one.

            So the best definition of the word judgment in your comment is to look at what the job of a judge is that God set up over Israel in the Bible. We find this in Judges 2:16- “Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which DELIVERED THEM out of the hand of those that spoiled them.”
            In this we find that the action a judge does when executing judgment is to deliver his people from the hands of their oppressors. A judge is a deliverer. Not a condemner.

            You can go with your dictionary definition. I will stick with the way the bible defines the work of a judge.

            You are correct in saying that “Adam brought death and with it sin”. But, a better way to say it is that Adam brought death and now we sin because of it.

            But, to say we are responsible for the sin of Adam is to say that men are responsible for another man’s sin. And the scripture is contrary to that. It says “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel18:20.

            The importance of understanding this is that when we put sin first in those since Adam, we understand God to be “penalizing” us with death because of our own personal sin. And to do this we must twist the scriptures to say that we received sin from Adam that resulted in death. This is a lie from satan. Not just a misunderstanding.

            When death causes sin we understand that God sent His Son to die so that we could have life. But, if on the other hand we believe that sin is the main problem with man, we believe that god sent Jesus to make us good. There is no life in that, and it will leave you dead. Which is what really passed to us from Adam in the first place. Death.

            We end up in the same condition we have been in since Adam. We are dead spiritually.
            If Jesus’ sacrifice only removed the sin we would still be dead. He had to remove death so we could have life. That is why it is so important that we know that death causes sin. And not the other way around.

            The Pharisees believed that they were saved because they kept the law. But, Jesus said they could not be saved that way.

            Paul said he kept the law blameless as did Zachariah and Elizabeth and Job. But, Paul said that was dung and loss. The keeping of the law blameless does not save us. And if you believe that sin is the reason for our separation from God then you have believed a lie. This only applies under the law. For Israel. As does the passage that says “the soul that sinneth it shall die”.

            The fact that “all have sinned” refers only to death’s power to keep man separated from God. This causes man to choose something that he can relate to naturally for his god. Which is the sin Paul is referring to in Rom.3:23. It is the sin Jesus said He sent the Holy Spirit into the world to reprove it of. John16:9. Which is no faith in Him. Idolatry. Our sin is a choice that happens after we are born. Not before.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

            If the sting of death is sin and all men died in Adam, therefore all men sinned (by imputation) in Adam. You said “penalty” of sin was not implied. I pointed to krima and katakrima two words that have “penalty as part of their definition. Who’s offense brought krima and katakrima ? —one man, Adam, and it spread to all men.

            Ed I think at this point we will continue in circles. Thanks for the dialogue.

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

            Rascott247,
            You forget, “sin is not imputed where there is no law”. Rom 5:13

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

            All men sinned (not sin) because of the death that Adam’s sin brought. Death spread to all men—why? Because all sinned. Not because all men will sin therefore will die. The sin of one brought death and sin to all .

            Sin is separation from God. Sin is disobedience to anything in God’s character the penalty for sin is the judicial penalty of spiritual death, it is separation from God. Other forms of death are the consequence of that. That happened instantly when Adam sinned, and all the other forms of death—physical death: sexual death, positional death, carnal death, temporal death, eternal death; all these other things are the result of that one spiritual death. And it’s passed on genetically through the sin nature, but then that sin nature receives the imputation of Adam’s original sin in terms of the guilt at the instant of birth.

            Thanks again for the dialogue

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 8:17 pm #

            Ed you are completely missing that the word “justification” is a legal term. Are you not legally innocent before God? Are you always forgiven of sin or do you need to confess sin to restore the relastionship? Forgiveness is a relationship word no doubt but justification is legal. You are also failing to grasp the idea of imputation I think.

            There are two categories of imputations: real imputations and judicial imputations. Our sin being to imputed to Christ on the Cross was judicial. He did not then become a sinner but He was judicially assigned our sin so that He was separated from the Father on the cross; he is legally guilty. Then when we are saved Christ’s perfect righteousness is then ascribed or credited to us. We are no more moral than we were before we were saved or better than we were before we were saved. We still have the same qualitatively evil sin nature that we had before we were saved. The sin nature that we have is simply the capacity to evil.

            To impute sin, e.g. Adam’s original sin, means to credit or assign the guilt of sin to all of Adam’s descendants because he is both our federal head as well as the seminal head. Federal headship simply means he is our designated legal representative. Adam’s decision was our decision. Whether we think that we would have made that decision or not is not the point. He is our legally designated representative. Because he sinned that guilt is assigned to all of his descendants. It is not only assigned to all of his descendants legally but the corruption itself is passed on genetically from father to child from generation to generation. Seminal means that there is a physical connection to Adam and a legal connection. So the sin nature is passed on genetically and when we are born God immediately imputes to that sin nature the guilt of Adam’s original sin.

            Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

            What Paul is saying is those people were not being imputed their sins because there was no law. So they are not condemned for their own sin. So who’s sin condemned them? In who’s sin were they dead? Adam’s.

          • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 9:13 pm #

            Rascott247,
            I as a Gentile have never been under the law. Therefore I am not held accountable for any sin I have committed that is a violation of that law. Rom.2:14
            Sin is not imputed where there is no law so Adam’s sin can not be imputed to me. Rom.5:13
            One person’s sin can not be made accountable to someone else. Therefore I can not be held responsible for the sin of Adam. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Ezekiel 18:20

            Death separates man from God, not sin. Death is the ruler that took over the whole world when Adam sinned. Rom.8:19-21

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 11:53 pm #

            Ed even if you were Jewish you would not be under the Law. The Mosaic Law code has been rendered inoperative (Heb 7:11-28) it was nailed to the Cross (Eph 2:14-16, Col 2:13-14). Why confess sins if we are not held accountable for them since we are not under the Law? Judicially we are not held in account. Relationship wise we are.

            I mentioned that there are two kinds of imputation; real and judicial. Rom 5:13 uses the word ellogeō. Also Philemon 18 (only other place the word is found) uses the word ellogeō. There is a debt, and Paul is saying to Philemon the owner, of Onesimus that if he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything charge it, or reckon it to my account. Paul hasn’t done anything against Philemon, so that debt would be assigned to him even though there is nothing on his part that deserves that. That would be an example of a real, as opposed to a judicial, imputation.

            In Romans 4 the word impute is logizomai which is like our sin being to imputed to Christ on the Cross and His righteousness being imputed to believers—not real but judicial.

            Men (unbelievers) are under condemnation—guilty, judicially, guilty before God because of Adam’s sin. Jesus died to take away all sin even Adam’s. Man needs both justification and life. Justification is a declaration by God in heaven concerning a man, that he stands righteous in God’s sight. Regeneration is life. And both come by grace through faith. Unbelievers are condemned, dead. Why, because of their sins? No (2Cor 5:18-19) but because of the judicial imputation (logizomai) —not real imputation (ellogeō).

            Whether you are persuaded that this is the case is up to you. But I think I have exhausted my enthusiasm for this topic at this point.

            Blessings to you Ed

          • Edwitness November 12, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

            Rascott247,
            The problem that we are having here is that we are speaking of two different kinds of sin that two separate people groups are responsible for. I have laid them out for you without success so far. You can only see sin as being the breaking of all or part of a legal contract.

            This fits as far as Israel is concerned. They were under the law, a legal contract with God, until Jesus abolished it. But, this does not apply to the Gentiles. They were never under the law and have never been held accountable for their sin or the sin of Adam that you have said was either inherited or imputed. Because there was no law against it.

            The Gentiles were not given the instruction to not eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. So they could not receive what you describe as a “penalty” for that sin. This is why death spreading to all mankind is not a “penalty” for Adam’s sin. Because it was not the violation of a legal contract. It is the result that came from Adam trusting the false god and eating the fruit. It gave death power over all of creation. And the power to separate Adam and the whole of creation from God by it.

            Does the critter you see dead in the road die because it sinned or had sin imputed to it? Of course not. But, it still dies.
            Does the critter you see dead on the road inherit Adam’s sin? Of course not. It dies for the same reason we die. Because death is king in the earth. The cosmos. Adam’s choice to trust the false god gave death authority over all creation. This is what is meant when Paul says that “in Adam all died”.

            The breaking of a legal contract is sin as it related to Israel. But, there is no such responsibility placed on the Gentiles. Not ever. Their’s is the sin of the world that the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus to reprove the world of. The sin of not knowing Him. No faith in Jesus. John16:9 No faith in the true God.
            This sin can not be committed until we have the ability to make a choice. And that doesn’t happen until long after we are born.

            The teaching that man is held responsible for the sin of Adam is bondage to those who believe it. And the passage in Ezekiel 18:20 I have already cited refutes that thinking. The idea that we are held responsible by God in any way for the sin of Adam gives sin power in your life. This is achieved by placing yourself under the law. Because apart from the law sin has no power.

            And when you place yourself under the law you become the person Paul describes in Rom.7. A legalist. Paul said that the Rom.7 man becomes that way by being married to the law and to Christ at the same time. Vs’s 1-4. This is the starting point for the man described in the rest of the chapter.

            What it is not describing is a battle between the old nature and the new nature. It is taught that way because of the false sin nature doctrine.

            The need for all of the legalistic gymnastics would go away if you could understand righteousness as the relationship, the way Gal.3:21 describes it. Instead of making all of creation responsible for the sin of Adam because of some perceived legal contract. Which is legalism.Then your understanding of justice and judgment would become Biblical as well. Which as I showed you before, is the deliverance God brings to those who call upon His name. Judges2:16

            The keeping of the law can have nothing to do with salvation. No matter who is keeping it. Therefore the breaking of it can have nothing to do with salvation one way or the other either. Mankind has no legal contractual obligations to God. Faith alone saves us from death and sin and wrath.

            Jesus died for the sins under the OT (a legal contract) for Israel alone. Heb.9:15-17. And for idolatry for the rest of mankind. John 16:9.

            Just look back over our conversation at the things you said you believe. And then tell me you are not a legalist. When everything you believe about salvation has to do with being saved from some legal obligation someone broke or kept.

            I love you as a brother rascott, but you are a legalist at this point in your Christian walk.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 12, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

            You want to bifurcate guilt into two branches; transgressions of the Law for Israel and idolatry for gentiles, one legal and one not. God has one standard not two. To fall short of this standard is to be guilty. Israel’s advantage was that they were revealed this standard. Yet gentiles are without excuse for the work of the law is written in their hearts (Rom2:15). The work of the law is to show that fallen humans do not measure up to God’s standard. But the standard is one not two. Is idolatry a sin without the Law? Are murder, stealing, and adultery sin without the Law? Of course they are there is one standard. — Romans 3:19 “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” No bifurcation of guilt; all are guilty.

            Guilt is a legal term. God is Just. Do I as a finite creature fully comprehend His justice? No! But sin brought a legal obligation or we would not need justification. To think fallen creatures earn justification is “legalism. Jesus paid the price in full! He is both Just and the Justifier. Christ’s work on the Cross had economical aspects, relationship aspects and it had legal aspects. Justice and salvation occurred together; you can’t have one without the other. I don’t know how you can deny it. We are all guilty of sinning against God—we need a legal ruling.

            Your example of somebody telling me if I eat poison I will die is a category fallacy (apples/oranges). God did not instructively warn Adam not to eat He commanded him not to eat or he would “surely die” (Gen 2:16-17).

            Again Rom 5:12 “therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned” —why did death spread to all men? Because ALL sinned. When did all sin? Before death spread to all men. Sin and death entered through one man yet all sinned and all die.

          • Edwitness November 12, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

            Rascott247,
            If you want to look at what led to Rom.2:15 you will find that it was by their very NATURE that these Gentiles “do what is contained in the law”. Vs.14.
            Now the question is, How could any man with a “sin nature” do BY that nature, what is contained in the law?

            “therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin…”
            This is what happened TO Adam. Adam sinned. Death came to him.

            “…and so death spread to all men, for that (death) all sinned.”parenthesis mine
            This is what happened TO the rest of mankind as a result. They are separated from God by death reigning.

            “why did death spread to all men? Because ALL sinned.”
            You are misquoting the scripture. It does not say this. Because is not the definition of for that. As I have already explained to you.

            “When did all sin? Before death spread to all men. Sin and death entered through one man yet all sinned and all die.”
            All sin when they make the choice to sin after they CAN make a choice. But, all men are born separated from God by death. Not sin. Death, separation from God first. Then sin when that choice is made.

            Ezekiel 18:20- “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son (all men) shall not bear the iniquity of the father (Adam), neither shall the father (Adam) bear the iniquity of the son (all men): the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” Parenthesis mine, but it definitely applies.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 13, 2016 at 1:49 am #

            So now you have bifurcated separation from God into two branches; death separates then sin when chosen separates. Well that your choice because it isn’t in the text.

            There was law in the garden. Adam was commanded not to eat of the fruit of the tree but chose to do so in disobedience to the command. Neither you nor I, nor any other man was commanded not to eat of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s a sin we could not commit. Eve was deceived but Adam chose to sin knowing the consequence was death. Adam’s sin is reckoned to our account because there was law in the garden. And God reckons that choice as the choice of mankind as if we were there and He imputes this sin because there was law. In the same way God reckons the choice of Christ to go to the Cross as a choice of believers as if they were there and He imputes perfect righteousness to the believer. And by doing so God is Just; not unfair.

            [You are misquoting the scripture. It does not say this. Because is not the definition of for that. As I have already explained to you.] You have explained your opinion about it but that does not settle it. The translation of that phrase has been heavily debated, It can be taken as a relative clause in which the pronoun refers to Adam (in whom all sinned) or with consecutive force (resulted that all sinned) or a casual force (because all sinned). Anyway you take it it reads “sinned” (past tense) not will chose to sin (future tense). The sin happened then death occurred.

            In Ezekiel 18 the Israelites were claiming that a righteous son (themselves) would die for the sins his father’s (their ancestors’ under the Covenant). V 14 he begets a son v15 eaten on the mountains, Nor lifted his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, v17 executed My judgments And walked in My statutes v18 Because he cruelly oppressed, Robbed his brother by violence, And did what is not good among his people v19 kept all My statutes and observed them. It’s not speaking of Adam at all unless you want to claim Adam was under the Covenant had a brother and robbed him.

            Ed you are pretty head strong. But I suppose that’s a choice and not in your nature.

          • Edwitness November 13, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

            Rascott247,
            I was wondering when you would admit that you believed there was indeed law in the garden. The funny thing is, there is no scripture to support that view. It is only found in the false doctrines of original sin and the sin nature.
            BOTH OF WHICH ARE THE CREATION OF THE RCC UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF AUGUSTINE.

            And are every bit as much false teachings as purgatory and the wafer god. The RCCs system of salvation by works is the mother of all of these false doctrines. And when we are fair with what the scriptures actually say we can see this.

            What God told Adam in the garden about the fruit that when eaten would bring him death, was to give Adam a choice. Would he believe God? Or believe someone or something else? This was to bring Adam ultimately to the choice to love God or not through his experience with Him, by his own free will.
            When God gave a command He was not bashful about saying it was a command.

            I’m sorry I wasn’t more clear about what separates man from God. Sin NEVER separates the believer from God who does not first interpret the law as god (legalism). Death does. Since Adam it always has. Sin is committed as a result of death reigning. Sin is used by death to hold the person in bondage to death. That’s how sin is death’s stinger.

            Like a lion tamer who uses a whip to train the lion. The whip is not the lion’s basic problem. The person wielding that whip is. If the lion could free itself of the person, the whip would have no effect on the lion. Even when it is still there. This is a perfect picture of the relationship between death (the lion tamer) and sin (the whip) and their effect on man.

            The rules of grammar are not an opinion. They are the rules of grammar. Efho (for that) can only be understood to refer to Adam if you have an agenda that forces you to. Death is the nearest noun to the phrase for that. This dictates that it refers to death and not Adam. Which is not even in the same sentence. The debate you referenced is based on isogesis not the clear reading of the scripture.

            Every commentary I have read that deals with this issue says that the efho in the last clause of Rom.5:12 “can not refer to death because we already know that sin causes death”. What!? This is how we interpret the scriptures!?

            Isn’t this by definition isogesis? Yes! When we take what we already believe to be true to interpret a passage that actually says the opposite, and turn that passage around to say what we already think is true, even when we know it can not mean what we are forcing upon it, we are telling the scripture what it means. Instead of allowing the scripture to explain itself to us.

            This is how cults like the RCC, JWs, and Mormons are started. Men telling men what it means instead of God telling us through the rightly dividing of His word.

            It only seems to you that I am “head strong” on this because you know what I have said to you here is what the scriptures teach. I do not give my opinion without saying it is my opinion. I only express to you what the scripture actually says.

            One proof for this is that if you are fair with what you say you believe and follow what you say you believe to it’s logical conclusion, you end up believing what the “word of faith” teachers say about salvation. That Jesus came to make us every bit as much God as He is.
            And when you follow out to it’s logical conclusion what I have shared with you, you end up in a relationship with the Creator, Jesus Christ. He remains Creator and you remain creation.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 13, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

            Ed, what proof is there that I am in danger of believing that Jesus came to make us every bit as much God as He is? You read that into my responses through some kind of deductive reasoning of your own (and maybe anger and superiority). It’s a nonsense argument. It doesn’t follow that believing in imputed sin leads to the things you claim. Many great men of the faith have believed and now do believe in imputed sin. There is no correlation.

            The debate I referenced is not insignificant to me. To you the debate is based on eisegesis and not a clear reading of the scripture. That is your opinion! Not scripture. The debate I reference is spelled out in C.E.B Canfield’s “On Some of the Problems in the Interpretation of Romans 5.12,” SJT 22 (1969) and more debate can be found in other publications by language scholars. Also “the phrase” in Rom 5:12 is translated “because all sinned” in the ESV, NKJV, NASB. NET. HCSB, and RSV translation. If you disagree with a translation that’s fine, say so, but don’t accuse me of misquoting scripture.

            For me there is no way around that God commanded Adam not to eat the fruit. (Gen 2:16-17). But you say this is not a command but instructional. For me there is no way around that Adam transgressed (Rom 5:14). The Greek word PARABASIS, means to transgress, to break a specific law. We agree that Adam was not under the “Mosaic Law”. I understand scripture to teach that there are different laws and that the law is always ONE (Heb 7:12) even as God’s standard remains the same. I understand that law does not always mean “Mosaic Law”. I think you see no other law.

            What you and I say about scripture may or may not be “what the scripture actually says”. That’s why we study, we pray and we discuss it. If you believe you are free from any stain of eisegesis and that your exegesis is superior to all those who disagree with you then perhaps it is you that has the cultic tendencies. I know the position you are advancing and I reject it. You could not explain why a dead man needs to be justified to receive life if there is no legal penalty for sin. Or how Christ can impute His righteousness but did not impute Adam’s sin or why in Rom 5:12 the word is “sinned” (past tense). I failed to persuade you failed to persuade me.

            Ed for the most part this conversation was fun and edifying. I could have done without the lecturing and condescending. I know it was done in love but it doesn’t advance your argument. Thanks again Ed.

          • Edwitness November 14, 2016 at 1:02 am #

            Rascott247,
            I do know what I am talking about. But, I do not in any way feel superior to you or anyone else here at Berean Research. Nor have I felt any anger toward anyone here. I just tell what I know.

            The teaching I refer to that brings us to the conclusion that we are gods is the logical conclusion of what you have been taught. You haven’t gotten there yet. And maybe, like most people who believe the sin nature and original sin doctrines, you never will. But, that doesn’t mean that being fair with the doctrines does not lead someone there.
            It goes like this;
            The sin nature doctrine says man is a sinner by his nature he inherited from Adam. This makes man by nature, what he truly is, a sinner. Because of this, the only way to fix this problem is to rid man of this nature.

            So God sends Jesus to pay the penalty for sin which is death. And with this penalty paid man can now be forgiven of his sin. But, this does not fix the problem with what man is. He still is a sinner by nature.

            We are told that when we receive the forgiveness of sin we have been made partakers of the divine nature. This means that we now have the nature of God. The divine nature.
            2Peter 1:3,4- “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
            Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”

            If we have received the divine nature what does that make us? Put another way, if it is the nature of God that tells us what He is, then if we have been given the nature of God, what are we? We are gods.
            ********************************************

            Benny Hinn, Ken Copeland, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Ken Hagin,…… all the word of faith teachers and then some believe and teach this. But, at least they are honest about where the sin nature and original sin doctrines take you.

            This is a summarized version of how starting with the wrong premise that man has a sin nature he inherited from Adam, and is in need of a new one, leads us to this tragic conclusion.

            The idea that we know what a thing is by what it’s nature is is Greek philosophy. Not Biblical theology.

            The Bible says we know who someone is by their fruits. Which is not what they do, but what they really believe and say. Mt.12:33,34. We have God’s word to reveal who He really is. And we have the words from our own mouths that show who we really are.

            This is why Jesus said “by your words you will be justified (delivered) and by your words you are condemned” (we condemn ourselves). We are not sent to heaven, we choose it by choosing God. We are not sent to hell, we choose it by choosing the false god.

            Enough for now. God’s best to you and yours:-)
            Blessings:-}

          • Edwitness November 14, 2016 at 6:30 am #

            Rascott247,

            For this to be true;
            “For me there is no way around that God commanded Adam not to eat the fruit. (Gen 2:16-17). But you say this is not a command but instructional. For me there is no way around that Adam transgressed (Rom 5:14). The Greek word PARABASIS, means to transgress, to break a specific law. We agree that Adam was not under the “Mosaic Law”. I understand scripture to teach that there are different laws and that the law is always ONE (Heb 7:12) even as God’s standard remains the same. I understand that law does not always mean “Mosaic Law”. I think you see no other law.”

            Then this would have to be a lie;
            Rom.5:13,14
            “13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

            14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”

            For Adam to break a law there had to be one. These verses clearly state that there was not until Moses. There is no need to make a law apply where there clearly is not one. Because the question really is, can you transgress without a law? I believe the answer to this question is emphatically yes. Because that is what Paul has said here.

            To choose to ignore the instruction, Do not eat from this tree it will bring death, is not sin or transgression involved here. Because it is not a behavior contrary to a command. Because there was no law until Moses.

            But, what was transgression is that Adam chose to believe the false God. This is idolatry. And while this is sin today, it is not the violation of a law that God had established for Adam.

            Because God did not educate Adam, nor did He make a command against it particularly. Adam’s transgression was not the disobedient act toward God in eating the fruit. It was idolatry that was the transgression. But, there was no law against idolatry for him. This law did not come along until Moses.

            Now, since there was no law against it, the sin (transgression) could not be imputed to the rest of mankind.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 14, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

            Your syllogism is this— Paul says “For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law” therefore the Mosaic Law is the only law Paul is speaking of. If I held to that premise I could see your point. But to do so I would have to ignore the following (A) God commanded Adam (B) Adam transgressed that commandment (C) sin reigned in death (D) all men sinned (past tense) (E) death and guilt comes from one man (F) life and righteousness comes from One Man.

            Suppose I said from FDR to Truman the USA was in the war. Well there was a time that FDR was POTUS that we were not at war and there was a time that Truman was POTUS that we were not at war. And then there was another war with Truman as POTUS.

            “Until the law” means until the Mosaic Law. “But sin is not imputed when there is no law” does not mean that there was no law for Adam because all sinned, all are guilty of the trespass. The whole plan of salvation (justification and life) is by One Man, Christ’s work just as the condemnation (guilt and death) came from the act of one man, Adam. That’s Paul’s argument from Rom 5:12-21.

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 1:05 am #

            Rascott247,
            Your entire thesis rests on your foundation that “(A) God commanded Adam”. If this were not true your entire theological construct collapses. And it is absolutely not true. So……..
            The only law given in the scripture that penalizes those who break it is the law given to Moses. Which is the law of sin and death. Rom.8:2
            You should be able to see the legalism in the fact that you need another law to put Adam under so your belief system can work.

            Sin is missing the mark, right? So what do you think the mark is? The command, or God Himself?
            When the law is the measure someone uses to determine their righteousness before God they understand the mark to be that law. Which is legalism. And the mistake the Pharisees made. John 9:28
            When the relationship to God is the measure a person understands as the mark then they understand the mark to be God. Which is righteousness. Gal.3:21

            Adam’s sin was not eating the fruit. His sin was that he did not believe the true God. This is why he ate the fruit. And not believing the true God happens to be the same sin that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world to convict it of when He gave Him the job of leading the world into all truth. John 16:9

            All are not ‘guilty’ of Adam’s trespass. This is your misunderstanding of Rom. 5:12-21. In fact Paul is saying the exact opposite of that. He says that even though all did not sin with Adam, and therefore are NOT guilty of the trespass, death still reigned from Adam to Moses. So it was not the result of the breaking of a law that caused their death. It was simply because death became the ruler in the earth. “Death reigned”.

            That is why animals and birds and everything else dies too. Rom.8:19-22.
            Unless you think they are “guilty” of Adam’s sin too?
            I didn’t think so:-)

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

            Hi Edwitness:

            A couple of clarifications before we get to Adam and Eve:

            Just as the word “trinity” in not in the Bible but the concept is there, the same is true of “Purgatory”. It’s NOT A FALSE TEACHING, but I imagine that WHAT YOU THINK Purgatory IS and WHY IT EXISTS is almost certainly not biblical. Purgatory is MOST CERTAINLY in the Bible.

            Next, I have NEVER SAID that becoming a Christian is a process. Of course, one becomes a Christian in an instant — the very moment that you accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. I HAVE NEVER DISPUTED THAT! Nor have I ever stated that all of your sins prior to becoming a Christian are not laid at the (foot of the?) Cross, and are removed from God’s sight in an instant.

            Of course, we’re “born again” (or “born anew”) in an instant.

            What I’ve been (I believe) consistently saying is that being “born again” is NOT NOR EVER WAS the same as receiving (achieving, etc.) salvation (through continued obediance to God and performing the sort of works that proceed from faith, but are not faith). And that has ALWAYS BEEN the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and John 3:36 and James 2:25

            It was Martin Luthor who DENIED THAT THERE WAS A DIFFERENCE between being (although I highly doubt he ever used the term) “born again” and having salvation — hence “justification by faith ALONE” without all that pesky “producing works” business — also known as the “Once saved, always saved” doctrine.

            The man did advocate some very good reforms, most (if not all) of which have been implemented in the modern-day Roman Catholic Church. The man was also, in my opinion, a heretic who mangled the Bible –changing or eliminating 18 books of the Bible — and who was excommunicated for a reason!!

            http://www.cogwriter.com/news/church-history/martin-luther-changed-andor-discounted-18-books-of-the-bible/

            We have salvation ONLY WHEN we enter Heaven, our souls changed (transformed) in the blink of an eye! NOT a moment before! Being born again (or anew) — being saved — of course happens at the Cross in an instant!

            Salvation is a process. “Being saved” occurs instantly.

            That has ALWAYS BEEN the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Always. Maybe not in those exact words, but that teaching has never changed.

            I hope I’ve managed to clear up some of the confusion that some posting on this forum seem to have. Also, thank you for the reference to my believing that “becoming a Christian is a process” as it helped me to figure out some new wording to (I hope) better explain what I’ve been trying to explain all along.

            God bless you and keep you safe, Edwitness.

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            Can you give some scriptural evidence for this difference between “receiving salvation” and “being saved”?
            You do know that the word for “saved” and “salvation” are defined the same way, right?
            Saved (sozo)= to save
            Salvation (soteria)= deliver, health, salvation, save, saving

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

            Reply to Edwitness’ post dated November 11, 2016 at 1:15 P.M.:

            Hi Edwitness:

            I agree completely with the “Trinity Doctrine”, no surprise for a Catholic, although it would be more accurate to say that I believe in a very slightly modified version of the “Trinity Doctrine”, at least as it is taught by the Roman Catholic Church.

            One question: What is the most important number to focus on?

            Is it he 3 or the 1? Of course, they’re both important, but if your eternal salvation depended on choosing one, which it doesn’t, which would you choose — the 3 or the 1?

            With respect to Adam and Eve: Very nice explanation, very nice indeed!

            I agree completely with your describing the “fruit” of the “Tree” of the Knowledge of Good and Evil as poison. I would and do take the analogy further by saying that the “fruit” of the “Tree” of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was laced with a spiritual “botulism” . . . it wasn’t just toxic; eating the “fruit” infected Adam and Eve with a fatal spiritual disease that is Death [Capital “D”] that inevitably leads to death, both physical and spiritual.

            I believe that this was a direct consequence of Adam being made in the likeness of God. God is a God of Life, NOT of death, and Adam and Eve were beings of Life and not death in any way. Naturally, the substance they were made up of was both natural to this universe — what I refer to as the “matter and energy, flesh and blood world” — and bonded to a soul not so different from our own. They were, of course, not divine (composed of quintessence), but they were a lifeform far different from us.

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 7:56 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            In Genesis we find where God is creating Adam. God says that He took from the elements, the dust, and formed his body. Then God says He breated into Adam the breath of life.
            This breath is the same breath God breathed into animals and birds. Gen.7:15. It is not spirit as many teach. It is air. Wind.

            The word for breath in Hebrew in Gen.2:7 is not ruach, which means spirit. It is neshawmaw, which means air or wind. So the life that came to Adam was very much a natural life. Not a spiritual one. This conforms with what Paul said in 1Cor.15:46-ff

            The spirit birth was not made available to us until after Jesus raised from the dead. This is why Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again. John3:3-8. And Peter said that we are born again by the word of God. 1Peter1:23.

            The question is, how can you be un born again because it is a birth of something eternal. It is a birth that is just as new as your flesh birth. You did not exist before being conceived in your mother’s womb. Neither did your spirit until being born again.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

            But, you’re right, I believe it was a warning. Adam and Eve were indeed without sin when they were created, nor was there any death of any sort within them. No sinful nature. And, while this is (I believe) contrary to Roman Catholic doctrine, we do NOT have an inherent “sin nature”. We are NOT BORN SINNERS!

            I noticed that you referred to “THE false God”, rather than false gods. Could you clarify this further?

            You also stated that:

            ” Israel made the standard the law required, the means by which they measured their righteousness before God.” John 9:28.

            Well, it was certainly the standard that righteous ancient Israelites throughout history all the way to modern-day Jews strive to keep, but other Israelites and Jews are more like we were before becoming Christians, and MANY Christians remain this way throughout their lives.

            As Carl Sagan said:

            “Humanity is not a rational species. We’re a rationalizing species.”

            It is NOT that they are necessarily bad (or wicked) human beings. Many of them are very good people who try to live a good life. Some are deeply spiritual and can be shining role models for others. Take the Deli Lama, for example.

            Yet, they remain spiritually dead in the biblical sense. Despite that, some of them live a far better life consistent with Jesus’ teachings than even many Christians who ARE WALKING WITH the Holy Spirit do. At least, this is my impression.

            Personally, I do NOT PASS JUDGEMENT on the status of their salvation; that’s NOT MY PLACE as an imperfect, flawed human being.

            I choose to trust Jesus and leave it to Him to decide!

            And we will see what He decides when we get to the end of the “narrow path” that Jesus spoke of, and which Jesus is.

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            When God said “it was good”, He was referring to the creation as He finished making it. This means it was made just the way He wanted it.

            I referred to “the false god” as opposed to “gods” because satan is the leader according to the war that took place in which a third of the angels went with him. I believe that means he is the false god that all the other false gods take orders from.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 10:11 pm #

            Yet, for those UNDER THE LAW, they had made a covenant with God, and Jesus had NOT YET COME. God WARNED THEM what would happen if they (as a collective whole) FAILED to keep to the standard of the Mosaic Covenant and PROMISED TO DELIVER the blessings that govern the Law if they (again, as a collective whole) DID KEEP the Law BOTH to the letter and with the spiritual obediance and perspective that God intended the Law to instill in those under it.

            This is WHY GOD SEEMS (to a human perspective) to be SO WRATHFUL in the Old Testament! When you make a deal with God, you had best keep your end of it, because God always keeps His . . . and He never breaks a Covenant once it has been made! They consistently failed to do so, and God was forced by their disobediance (and, BECAUSE they were under the law, this disobediance is reckoned as sins) to discipline them as a loving Father disciplines their children.

            You noted that:

            “This misunderstanding” [elevating the law] “comes from the eventual elevating of God’s law to god status.”

            I agree. However, are there not Christians who either in a denominational sense or as individuals do the same with the Bible? I believe that this is the doctrine that teaches that Scripture is NOT ONLY reliable, divinely-inspired, and suitable for teaching, correcting, etc., but ALSO inerrant and infallible.

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            You asked “However, are there not Christians who either in a denominational sense or as individuals do the same with the Bible? I believe that this is the doctrine that teaches that Scripture is NOT ONLY reliable, divinely-inspired, and suitable for teaching, correcting, etc., but ALSO inerrant and infallible.”

            You are correct that we born again Christians believe the word of God is infallible and inerrant. This is the word we have in the Bible. The writings we have from the apostles and the prophets have been tested and found to be completely without error.

            Then God allowed us to find the dead sea scrolls to be able to compare the KJV that came from the textus receptus, a much later set of writings, with them.
            The Dead Sea Scrolls are over 1000 years older.

            They found when comparing them to each other that there was not a single substantive error between them. This shows the majesty of God and His protection of His word. Even when men have tried for centuries to corrupt it.

            We can trust every word in the book. God wants us to know Him and He left a record of Himself and His will for us. That along with the Holy Spirit’s leading, and we have all we need for life and godliness. 2Peter1:3.
            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 10:44 pm #

            Of course, as I hope that you agree, the story of Adam and Eve is told in symbol and metaphor, so that the people of Moses’ time (and, I assume, far earlier times) could understand it. For example, whether Temptation/The Devil ever appeared in the form of a serpent is something I simply don’t know, having not been there, but it seems unlikely to me. As with everything I post though, I could have it wrong. Studying the Bible is still relatively new to me.

            My point is that the early chapters of Genesis were never intended to be TAKEN LITERALLY, anymore than the rest of the Bible was intended to be TAKEN TOO LITERALLY, a mistake FAR TOO MANY CHRISTIANS MAKE!

            The Talmud — the second part of the three-part form of the revelation that God gave the ancient Israelites through Moses at Mount Sinai — which I described in a post dated November 8, 2016 at 7:22 A.M. and November 14, 2016 at 8:58 P.M.(posted as a reply to my November 8th post so that the two would appear one under the other) above — provides valuable commentary on the written account in the Book of Genesis.

            Jesus never condemned the Talmud (or Oral Torah, Oral Tradition, etc.) in its entirety.

            As the Talmud explains, Adam was SO GLORIOUS and beautiful that the angels were tempted to worship him! It is important to note that the angels did not succumb to this temptation. They remained true to God, as did Adam.

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 11:45 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            How do you know that Genesis is not supposed to be taken literally? I do not find the premise for this belief anywhere in the scriptures. Or maybe you are finding your justification for this in man’s wisdom. So called science. Huh?

            The book is written in such a way that to not take it literally would make a liar out of Jesus. Didn’t Jesus quote from it? Yes. And what did He say? “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them AT THE BEGGINNING made them male and female? And said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Mt.19:4-6

            If we don’t take this literally we can accept homosexual marriage without any concern that it is not God’s plan from the beginning. But, Jesus made sure that we would understand that Genesis is to be taken literally by quoting it. And since He took it literally then we must also.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 12:17 am #

            However, it was THROUGH the angels being tempted that Temptation (ie. the Devil, but not Satan, which refers to different things vis-a-vis the ancient Hebrew and the ancient Greek — that would come later) came to exist (or entered the world), and (as Jesus said) [the Devil] was a murderer from the start — not a description that would apply to an angel, regardless of when he fell from grace. God doesn’t create murderers. That’s a choice that men and angels make of their own free will.

            I do disagree with you about what killed Adam and Eve. It was not lack of access to the “Tree” of Life, but RATHER THEIR DISOBEDIANCE, resulting in their “eating” of the “fruit” laced with the disease of Death (and the RESULTANT continued disobediance, as you explained to rascott247) that ultimately killed them, NOW PHYSICAL (Homo Sapiens, or perhaps an early variation), BOTH their bodies and their (ALWAYS mortal) souls.

            Out of interest, why do you think that Adam and Eve didn’t simply make a run for the “Tree” of Life, and eat and gain eternal and everlasting life?

          • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 11:56 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            The names used in regard to satan are these. Rev.12:9- “And the great DRAGON was cast out, that old SERPENT, called the DEVIL, and SATAN, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”

            Gen.3:22- “And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”
            This proves that had they been able to remain in the garden and eat from the tree of life they would have lived forever. They died because they could not eat from the tree of life. This was the result of being denied access to the garden. The Bible never says they died from something IN the fruit.

            You asked; “Out of interest, why do you think that Adam and Eve didn’t simply make a run for the “Tree” of Life, and eat and gain eternal and everlasting life?”
            Because they could not outrun God:-) He was fully aware of what they did all along.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 12:43 am #

            While I believe that it was definitely the “fruit” that killed them, I agree with you when you also pointed out to rascott247 that, like many things spiritual, the word “instantly” doesn’t apply — that’s one of those human ideas or interpretations or (worse) additions we impose onto Scripture.

            My take on it is that if a Scriptural verse DOES NOT HAVE THE WORD “INSTANTLY” (OR A WORD TO THAT EFFECT) IN IT, then whatever it describes WAS NOT INSTANT, and to assume that it is implied is just plain wrong. And that is as true for salvation as it is about death. The SAME PRINCIPLE that you made about death [THE PROBLEM GOD NEEDED TO SOLVE] not being instant (for Adam and Eve, as well as all their descendants) EQUALLY APPLIES to God’s SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM.

            It always HAD TO balance out the scales. God is both perfectly fair and equitable in all things. As He stated in the Mosaic Covenant (which both Christians and Gentiles unbelievers were never bound by):

            “False scales are an ABOMINATION to the Lord, but an honest weight, his delight.” [Proverbs 11:1]

            God is an incredibly skilled writer, having billions (if not trillions) of years of experience interacting with His creations. If He meant “instantly”, He would have written it that way in the Bible!

            This is a completely unrelated point but notice that God says deceitful business practices are an abomination — the exact SAME WORD that he uses in reference to homosexual relationships.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 12:13 am #

            Stephen J S,
            You said “It always HAD TO balance out the scales.” What scales?
            “False scales are an ABOMINATION to the Lord, but an honest weight, his delight.” [Proverbs 11:1]” This applies only under the law. I’m not saying God is unfair, but we must understand “fairness” with His interpretation.

            A good example of this would be a parable Jesus told about workers in a vineyard. Some worked all day. Some worked less and some even less. Yet the master of the vineyard paid them all the same. Unjust balances? No.

            Some of those who worked all day complained that he was not being fair. The master said did I not pay you what we agreed that you would work for? What is it to you if I pay these the same? This is what the salvation of God looks like. he gives salvation to those who trust in Him no matter how long they have on earth to serve Him.

            Salvation is a gift that is offered to anyone who trusts in Him. Apart from works of any kind.
            It is gifted as soon as we trust in Him for it. Just like Abraham. Because if it does not come by works then what is there to wait for? We have already trusted in Him.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 12:58 am #

            Getting back to the “Tree” of Life, I believe that God made sure that they couldn’t, whether by posting angels to guard the “Tree” or by some other way, I do not know. The Bible does not say, and I don’t know if the Talmud does.

            Adam was destined by God for the same spiritual salvation that God now offers mankind through Jesus. However, He first needed to know that Adam would willingly follow Him as a faithful son does a Father. Yes, it was a warning, but it was also a test of Adam’s integrity and loyalty.

            I believe that it is incredibly fortunate that Adam and Eve didn’t eat of the “fruit” of the “Tree” of Life. This “Tree” was what WE CATHOLICS call salvation, but Adam and Eve were without any sort of death within them. THAT is why the “Tree” of Life was NOT A “TREE” OF HEALING!

            Again, it WAS NOT a “Tree” of Healing! Adam and Eve would have gained access to this “Tree” IF THEY PASSED the test of being obediant to God. In that event, having no death coursing through them, they would NOT HAVE REQUIRED healing.

            Instead, I believe that the “fruit” of this “Tree” provided eternal life (spiritually, and perhaps natural as well) as opposed to Adam and Eve simply not aging because of WHAT THEY WERE.

            Tragically, all of Adam’s descendants (us) were denied experiencing what it would have been like to be what WE WOULD HAVE BEEN BORN AS if they had passed the test, instead of succumbing to the influence of the “Serpent”.

            Instead, I believe that the effects of this “Tree” or rather its “fruit” were similar to the transmutation of Jesus’ physical and spiritual body into quintessence when He was ressurected. Similar, not necessarily identical. I’m not sure.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 12:26 am #

            Stephen J S,
            What do you mean “the Bible doesn’t say”?
            “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” Gen3:24

            The scripture never says that Adam and Eve never ate from the tree of life sometime before they ate the fruit that brought death. In fact, God told them that they could eat from all the other trees in the garden during this time. Gen.2:16 I would say it was more than likely that they did eat from the tree of life. Probably many times. But, it doesn’t say one way or the other.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 1:14 am #

            Ed you are headstrong

            Can transgression occur without law? Let’s see what Paul says
            Romans 4:15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

            Was Adam’s sin a transgression? Let’s see what Paul say?
            Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

            There was law in the Garden according to Paul. Not the Mosaic Law but the commandment not to eat of the tree.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 12:37 am #

            Rascott247,
            When Paul said “Where there is no law, there is no transgression”, he is speaking of transgression as it relates to law. But, he is not saying this is the only kind of transgression.

            In a relationship when someone hurts the other this can be considered a transgression of the relationship. But, law does not dictate the parameters of a relationship. Love does. This is what you are missing.

            So in the case of Adam the transgression was the kind I described here. One of relationship. Adam broke trust with god. He transgressed the relationship by believing the false god.

            The whole purpose of God in placing Adam in the garden with a tree that could bring death and a serpent that would tempt him to eat it was to give Adam a real choice. Would he love and trust God? Or would he believe a false god? A real choice with real consequences.

            God wanted the man to choose to love Him of his own free will. This required a real choice.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 1:27 am #

            Since I believe the “Tree” of Life was NEVER MEANT to heal them if they failed God’s test (as they indeed did), WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED to Adam and Eve if they had eaten the “fruit” of the “Tree” of Life WOULD HAVE BEEN TRUE HELL — FAR WOSE than even Hell as we now imagine it to be!

            They would have gained eternal and everlasting Life with DEATH COURSING THROUGH THEM, GNAWING AT THEM LIKE CANCER!

            Can you imagine HOW HORRIBLE it would of been for them to be ETERNALLY DYING, WITHOUT even the POSSIBILITY OF DEATH? How horrible it would have been for us?

            It would have been sheer Torment, with a Capital “T”! It was NOT ONLY THEIR DISOBEDIANCE that motivated God to kick them out of the Garden of Eden (thus denying them access to the “Tree” of Life), but ALSO God’s amazing and abiding love and mercy for His newest creations.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 12:41 am #

            Stephen J S,
            All the scripture says is that they would have lived forever after having become like God, knowing good and evil if they could have eaten from the tree of life. It says nothing about death coursing through them after eating from the tree of life.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 1:31 am #

            I don’t think so Ed. When a person understands that they can’t hit the mark and believes that Jesus Christ fulfilled the law and was nailed to the Cross in their place and that His resurrection ensures everlasting life because of His imputed righteousness…then that is an everlasting relationship with God.

            Complete opposite of legalism!

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 1:14 am #

            Rascott247,
            “When a person understands that they can’t hit the mark and believes that Jesus Christ fulfilled the law and was nailed to the Cross in their place and that His resurrection ensures everlasting life because of His imputed righteousness…then that is an everlasting relationship with God. Complete opposite of legalism!”

            Nope. In fact, what you said here is a pretty good representation of legalism.
            You make the mark the law, instead of the relationship we are to have with Jesus that saves us. A legal definition of the mark and salvation.

            You make Jesus’ keeping of the law a requirement for being able to save us. Another legal definition of salvation. Jesus kept the law because He was an Israelite.

            You say Jesus died in the place of someone who is already dead. Mankind. This is not even possible. How can I die in your place if you are already dead? I can’t. And neither did Jesus. He died on our behalf. He joined with us in death (separation from the Father). When He said on the cross “Father why have you forsaken me?” At that moment Jesus joined with us in being separated from the father. Death.

            There is not one single scripture that I know of that says that we have the righteousness of Christ “imputed” to us. We trust Jesus with the same faith that Jesus trusted the Father with when He was on the earth. This is the faith OF Christ. And this is what makes us righteous. Abraham being before Christ’s death and resurrection made it so righteousness was counted (reckoned, imputed) to him.
            Imputation is a legal definition of receiving righteousness. We are MADE righteous.

            Since Jesus’ death and resurrection we can have the spiritual relationship with God that Abraham could not. Because we are born again. We are spiritual. He was natural. This equips us with the same ability to trust God in spirit that Jesus had when He trusted the father while on earth as a man. Which is by definition righteousness. Gal.3:21 This is what is meant when Paul says we are “made the righteousness of God”. Relationship.

            When you use legal terminology to define how we are provided with salvation, that is by definition legalism.

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 1:35 am #

            I should also point out that it wasn’t just Adam and Eve’s THINKING that changed. IT WAS EVERYTHING!! What Adam and Eve were WAS SO FAR BEYOND human that it defies our imaginations! It was ONLY AFTER THEY ATE THE “FRUIT” containing the disease/poison of (I believe BOTH physical AND spiritual) Death, that they gradually were changed (bit by bit) into us, Homo Sapien. When they fell from innocence, they REALLY FELL from innocence! From being intelligent, living light to our limited physical bodies! It is the understatement of the ages that it was one heck of a bad decision that Adam and Eve made.

            We humans MAKE THE MISTAKE of thinking that Adam and Eve were Homo Sapiens for the simplest of reasons — we are Homo Sapiens. The Jews know this was not the case — having studied their Scriptures for thousands of years, and having the advantage of being given the Oral Torah from God through Moses.

            The creation account in Genesis is FAR MORE AMAZING than most Christians imagine, and it GLORIFIES God far, far more than, for example, the very strange notion that the Earth is ONLY 6000 YEARS OLD that some Christian denominations ascribe to! It demonstrates, to be certain, how DEVILISHLY SUBTLE Satan can be!

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 1:30 am #

            Stephen J S,
            Please explain where the scripture teaches that Adam and Eve were “so far beyond human”? When I read what paul says about them in 1Cor.15:46-ff I can only see that they were natural and not spiritual. That is from the day he was created.
            We are spiritual if we have trusted in Jesus.
            Then in Gen. we see they receive the knowledge of good and evil. Nothing more.

            1Cor,15:46-49- “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural (Adam); and afterward that which is spiritual (Jesus).
            The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven (Jesus).
            As is the earthy (Adam), such are they also that are earthy (man before believing): and as is the heavenly (Jesus), such are they also that are heavenly (man after believing).
            And as we have borne the image of the earthy (Adam), we shall also bear the image of the heavenly (Jesus).

            Where is this “beyond human” you speak of? This says man is the image of Adam (natural) until he believes and then he is in Jesus’ image. (Spiritual)

            Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 1:58 am #

            Not being there in the Garden of Eden, I honestly don’t know whether God was warning Adam, establishing a Covenant, or both. As I said near the beginning of these posts, I believe that it was a warning and NOT a covenant. Still, the bottom line is that, regardless of what God’s instruction was, it is the poison — the disease of Death — that passes (mostly) spiritually now from one generation to another, and ultimately kills BOTH our physical bodies and our mortal souls — KILLS THEM BOTH! Adam and Eve’s deaths were similar to our own, because (as their lives ended) they were like us.

            If the poison/disease of Death didn’t result in the DEATH OF BOTH THE BODY AND THE SOUL, there would be NO NEED for a first or second ressurection!

            This is what Biologists who are unbelievers refuse to acknowledge — the spiritual component of actual “death substance” choking the life out of us — preferring to focus ONLY ON the biology of why our physical bodies die.

            Btw, this IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT what the Roman Catholic Church teaches about the soul and death!!

            On this particular matter, they have fallen for the First Lie ever told by the Devil [Temptation; NOT YET Satan] — the SAME LIE that has over the ages become almost universally accepted. Accepted NOT only by Catholics, but MOST Protestant denominations, and every other religion save Atheism:

            “You will surely NOT DIE.”

            Reworded, “The soul is immortal, eternal, and indestructible. Your physical body dies and decomposes, but you have simply “moved on” to a different state of existence. You have NOT DIED.”

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 1:58 am #

            The mark is not God ! To miss that mark is not to fail to be God (something you warned me I was heading for). The mark is God’s standard for His image bearing creature. Adam is the representative, he transgressed the law, he brought death and sin to all from him. Jesus is God/man. And as man He was obedient did not miss the mark, fulfilled the righteous requirement and His sacrifice satisfied the Father’s Just requirements to redeem man and give life by paying the penalty for Adam’s transgression which the whole human race is held responsible for. A person is either in Adam, dead and guilty or in Christ alive and justified.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 1:55 am #

            Rascott247,
            I think something got mixed up in your understanding of the comment I wrote. I did not say that the mark being God makes us God. I don’t know how you got that.
            What I was saying is that missing the mark Is not trusting in God. Because the mark is God and our faith toward God is how we do not miss that mark.
            Missing the mark is not missing the law. It is missing God by not placing our faith in Him.

            The law has nothing to do with relationship to God.

            The way Jesus kept from missing the mark was in always trusting in the Father. Not the keeping of the law.
            Your definition is legal. Legalism.
            The correct definition is relational. Faith.

            The only just requirement to be satisfied was faith in the Father. Trusting Him alone always. Jesus did this. And now when we follow Jesus in this we have eternal life.

            There is no “penalty” to be paid for salvation. This is exemplified in the parable Jesus told of how the king would take account of his servants. The man could not pay what was owed and the king simply forgave him the entire debt. There was no one who stepped in and said I will pay his penalty for him like you say Jesus had to. Forgiveness is free. There is no “penalty” for sin except for those who are under the law. This is why your legal view of salvation is legalism.

            Guilt relates to law and Paul said there was no law from Adam to Moses. So from all of Adam’s life to the time God gave the law to moses there was no law.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 2:09 am #

            *Typo

            —The mark is not God ! To miss that mark is to fail to be God

          • Stephen James Schneider November 16, 2016 at 2:35 am #

            However, many believers make other mistakes in regard to this as well. One common mistake is that they confuse being “spiritually dead” with our souls BEING DEAD when we are born. If course they’re NOT DEAD! Of course they ARE ALIVE!

            God who creates souls in the first place is a God of the living, NOT the dead. He doesn’t create dead things!

            We are NOT BORN SEPARATED from God, as you explained to rascott247.

            It is ONLY WHEN WE START DISOBEYING GOD that we BECOME separated.

            I personally believe that the separation grows while we are still children — after all, Jesus DID SAY that we must be like the little children to enter Heaven — but is already far too vast for us to ever bridge on our own (ie. without Jesus) probably well before we reach our teens. It is at that point that we are old enough (but rarely mature enough) to make decisions not completely reliant on our parents or other adult guardians.

            Maybe it’s gradual. Death is. Salvation is.

            Maybe it’s instant. “Being saved” is instant. Becoming a Christian is instant.

            God knows. I don’t.

            Even once someone becomes spiritually dead, our souls REMAIN ALIVE. Spiritual Death, in the biblical sense, simple means being doomed to perish both physically and spiritually WHEN this earthly life ends.

            Until then, our souls are damaged by Death and the disobediance to God that results from it.

            Put another way, although unbelievers are spiritually dead, their souls remain VERY MUCH ALIVE until they ACTUALLY DIE . . . which is when the breath of life given to us by God in the womb leaves us.

            There is a DISTICT DIFFERENCE between the two that I feel is important to distinguish between, and not to get confused.

            God bless you and keep you, Edwitness, my friend!

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 2:09 am #

            Stephen J S,
            I’m sorry for the confusion. The Biblical position is that we are born separated from God. But, not by sin. We are separated from god by the death that passed to all men that resulted in man sinning sometime after that.

            What Paul said in Rom.5:12-ff is that we are separated from God by death because of Adam’s transgression that caused death to pass to all mankind. This death is like a wall that comes between man and God. Actually between the whole world and God. This is why the rest of the creation dies along with man. They do not sin. But, they still die.

            Death has spread to all creation because of Adam’s transgression. He was given dominion and when he trusted the serpent he gave it to him. This is why he is called the god of this world (cosmos).
            2Cor.4:4- “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.”

            Blessings:-}

    • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 8:24 am #

      Reply to rascott247’s post dated November 9, 2016 at 10:35 P.M.:

      I couldn’t post this as a reply to your message itself because there was no “reply” button available. Does anyone know why this happens? I hope it’s not decided by whomever makes the post. What is the point of making a post and not let others reply to your post?!? It’s downright unfriendly.

      Anyway, here we go:

      Hi rascott247:

      When you asked:

      “So, Stephen, are earning a place in Heaven by building a relationship with God through sacraments instituted by the RCC? Did the Cross and resurrection make earning a place in Heaven possible?”

      “Earning a place in Heaven” isn’t the right phrase, because (as I believe we agree) no amount of works APART FROM FAITH, no matter how righteous, COULD EVER “earn” a place in Heaven (ie. on our own merits).

      However, works (proceeding from faith) that God credits us as righteousness DO MATTER, and Jesus’ entirely satisfactory sacrifice at the Cross was to bridge the previously (by man) unbridgeable chasm that sin creates between God and man! What’s more, the bridge is narrow and slopes upward at a steep angle. Jesus described it as a narrow path.

      Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and believe (have faith) that Jesus’ death on the Cross was the entirely satisfactory sacrifice to create the bridge (spanning the chasm created by sin), we are then (spiritually) at man’s side of the bridge. In order to move forward across the bridge to God’s side, we still have to choose to walk with the Spirit (be obediant [John 3:36]) to God, and produce good fruit [James 2:25]).

      • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 8:34 am #

        Once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, and believe (have faith) that Jesus’ death on the Cross was the entirely satisfactory sacrifice to create the bridge (spanning the chasm created by sin), we are then (spiritually) at man’s side of the bridge. In order to move forward across the bridge to God’s side, we still have to choose to walk with the Spirit (be obediant [John 3:36]) to God, and produce good fruit [James 2:25]).

        It is how God set it up to ensure that not only His perfect mercy, but ALSO His perfect justice and perfect fairness could not be disputed, whether by Satan, the angels, wicked men, etc.

        In other words, this way, nobody can ever accuse God of PLAYING FAVORITES, and NOT treating everyone the same — fairly!

        Why the Roman Catholic Church, some of the Protestant denominations, and I all DISAGREE with the “justification by faith alone” believers is that we DO NOT believe that the bridge (that Jesus made possible by dying and being ressurected) IS AN ESCALATOR!

        • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 8:38 am #

          The Sacrements, as I have said in other posts, are NOT MANDATORY for someone to merit their salvation. They are instead conducive to building a relationship with God, which is the same as walking in the Spirit — the building of the relationship with God — NOT the Sacrements themselves. The sacrements are simply spiritual tools to help us on our journey.

          Indeed, the Cross and Jesus’ death on it COVERS our sins in God’s sight, making it possible for Him to OFFER US AN OPPORTUNITY to achieve salvation through the WORKS that PROCEED FROM FAITH.

          Instead of works that INDEPENDENT FROM faith which could never help us, works that PROCEED FROM FAITH are definitely a part of our salvation, which (as I’ve been trying to explain) is a process.

          Take another look at John 5:24 and then consider this:

          Jesus said this BEFORE His death and ressurection, and (more importantly) NEVER SAID that it was instant or that there would not be more involved!

          Paul spoke of salvation as running a race. “running”, not “standing at the start line and declaring the race finished and the victory (salvation) won”.

          Philippians 1:6 states:

          For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

          “Began a good work” indicates a process, and NOT a singular event.

          • Edwitness November 15, 2016 at 9:15 am #

            Stephen J S,
            You said;
            “Indeed, the Cross and Jesus’ death on it COVERS our sins in God’s sight, making it possible for Him to OFFER US AN OPPORTUNITY to achieve salvation through the WORKS that PROCEED FROM FAITH.”

            Is this your definition of “fruit”?

        • Edwitness November 15, 2016 at 9:12 am #

          Stephen J S,
          This prompts me to ask another question. How would you define “fruit”?

      • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 8:45 am #

        In Philippians 3:12, Paul states:

        “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”

        Paul doesn’t say that he had “already obtained it” in a singular, one-time event, he said that he must “press on” (ie. do his part, by crossing the bridge Jesus’ sacrifice created).

        And he said “so that I may lay hold”. That “may”, in my mind, clearly implies that he “may not” suceed in his salvation. I’m confident that he DID ACHIEVE salvation, but (at this point in his life, LONG AFTER he had become a Christian) he wasn’t sure that his salvation was a done deal.

        Even Galations 3:3 implies the same:

        “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

        Notice that it says, “Having begun by the Spirit . . . ” (and therefore Jesus). Again, this STRONGLY implies a process, and NOT a singular act of salvation. While “perfection by the flesh” is impossible, it also implies “perfection by the Spirit” is, but it never says we don’t have our part to play. I believe that, to claim otherwise, is to be adding things to Scripture that God never wrote (ie. intended to say). However, I could be wrong.

        • Edwitness November 15, 2016 at 9:36 am #

          Stephen J S,
          When you said:
          ““Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”
          Paul doesn’t say that he had “already obtained it” in a singular, one-time event, he said that he must “press on” (ie. do his part, by crossing the bridge Jesus’ sacrifice created).”

          You misunderstand the passage. Paul is not referencing salvation here. To the contrary, he is talking about his ministry and the prize that awaits him for his fulfilling of it. That is why he said “prize of the high CALLING of God in Christ Jesus”. Here is the passage;

          Phil.3:12-14
          “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, press toward the mark for the prize of the high CALLING of God in Christ Jesus.”

      • Stephen James Schneider November 14, 2016 at 8:57 am #

        You have stated on a couple of posts that Christian denominations that reject the “justification is by faith alone” doctrine “conflate the three phases of salvation into one.”

        I would argue that the opposite is true. It is the Christian denominations that insist the “justification by faith alone” doctrine is correct that are splitting hairs!

        It’s the Trinity doctrine applied to justification. It’s not God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, separate from one another. All three are the one true God!

        It’s the same thing with justification (salvation). The “three phases of salvation” that you yourself wrote of ARE ALL SALVATION, making salvation the PROCESS by which we reach (acheive, merit, even “earn” WHEN USED IN THE CORRECT SENSE OF THE WORD) God’s decision to let us enter Heaven.

        If it helps, think of salvation like climbing a mountain.

        Finally, we have been discussing James 2:21-25 in posts further below on this forum, since both of us have offered these verses to each other, claiming that it supports our respective views.

        It can’t do both. One of us is right. One of us is wrong. That’s why I’d like to continue to discuss these verses, through replies to those posts.

      • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 2:46 am #

        Reply to rascott247’s post dated November 10, 2016 at 4:05 P.M.

        Hi rascott247:

        First off, I love the “Humpty Dumpty – Through the Looking Glass” reference!

        Actually though, I’d say both of us are twins of Humpty Dumpty sitting on that wall!

        I’ve been reading the very interesting conversation on the nature of death, sin, why Adam and Eve died, and so forth that you and Edwitness have been having — shame about the lack of “reply” buttons, though. I’ve got to say that Edwitness has it nailed: you have a genuine gift for legalistic reasoning, as expressed in your posts, that is simply stunning in its convoluted, intricately-masterful wording!

        I don’t doubt that this was NOT YOUR INTENT, but all the references to “imputed”, “inherent”, “personal”, etc. does make you sound like a lawyer, with a very trial oriented mindset. btw, are you a lawyer or paralegal, or related to one? None of my business, of course; I’m just curious.

        I completely agree that my answers can be (and usually are) incredibly long, but I think that those who study (as opposed to quickly read) them will agree that I do my best to make what I’m saying clear to understand (ie. not convoluted). Folks don’t need to agree with me — I find that is often the case in these forums — but they are able to clearly tell me why they disagree. If I’m wrong and people feel that the way I express myself in my admittingly-wordy answers is too obscure, cryptic or unclear, let me know and I will do my best to explain my opinions , beliefs, interpretations, etc. with greater clarity.

        I imagine that the posts covering the 30 years it took for God the Father to bring me to His Son, Christianity, and faith are (at times) hard to follow, but it WAS a very unusual journey to Christianity without the use of a single biblical verse . . . not to mention that your initial two questions did cover 30 years of my personal history to answer.

        I should note that I enjoy your posts, so please don’t take what I am saying as a negative. It’s simply how you express yourself. Nothing wrong about that at all!

        As to the rest of your post, you keep missing the fact that I am referring to the works that proceed from faith. Not works independent of faith! Those are useless and cannot lead to salvation.

        THOSE are the works, the ones that proceed from faith, that James 2:25 refers to, and those works are NOT FAITH, nor are the other kind that neither the Roman Catholic Church or I have EVER BEEN REFERRING TO when either of us talk about the Catholic understanding of salvation. The works we have ALWAYS BEEN REFERRING TO proceed from faith, but they ARE NOT faith! Works and faith are two separate things, and both are a part of the process of salvation.

        Why a process? Simply because works take time . . . just as it takes time for the Holy Spirit to prepare your soul to be ready to be ressurected. It is only after you are ressurected that you can say that your salvation has been achieved (and therefore received). Being saved is NOT THE SAME as achieving salvation, anymore than being born again (or anew) is the SAME AS being born from above!

        Hopefully, that cleared up the confusion, but we’ll see . . .

        God bless you and keep you, my friend!

        • rascott247 November 15, 2016 at 4:19 am #

          Stephen, I take no offense at your comment. I am not sure where the notion that I an “legalistic” is coming from when it is I who is saying justification is by faith alone in Christ alone. If what is meant is that I examine scripture inductively as a lawyer of detective then I am flattered by the term but in the theological realm “legalistic” means trying to find favor with God by excessive adherence to the law usually referring the Mosaic Covenant. To say that sinners need to be justified and that there was a penalty for sin is not being legalistic. It is being true to the text.

          My reference to Humpty Dumpty pertained to your redefinition of grace as “earning a place in heaven” (grace means unmerited) and “the Bible was Scripture, true and reliable and divinely-inspired (but, as I only later realized NOT inerrant or infallible”. Now how can scripture be divinely inspired by an infallible God and not be inerrant or infallible? You have made yourself master of those words by changing what they mean.

          My responses to you had scripture citations but I can’t make you accept what the text says. You have to do that yourself.

          Thanks for the rely Stephen.

        • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

          Stephen J S,
          While I appreciate the fact that you see the legalism in what rascott247 has been saying, you have not extrapolated that out to the salvation by works you have accepted in the doctrines of the rcc.

          This is seen in your understanding that having eternal life is a “process”. When we believe this it must first be believed that there are works that we can do that affect our having eternal life, one way or the other. This is plainly false and is confirmed as such when Paul says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” Eph.2:8,9

          For vs.10 to mean that we are to do good works to stay saved would contradict vs.s 8,9.
          The works spoken of here in vs.10 are those Jesus referred to when He answered the Jews that asked Him “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?”
          Jesus’ answer reveals to us the works that a Christian is expected to do. He said “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John6:28,29.

          Believing, trusting in God, is the work of the Christian. Any activity that we do while in this relationship is a byproduct of this singular work we are to do as Christians. This is why the activity, the works you speak of as the work that comes out of faith, have nothing at all to do with whether we are indeed saved or not.

          If the Christian never does a single activity that comes from the work that is faith in Him, he is saved nonetheless. This is what Paul is saying here. And James does not contradict what Paul teaches.

          James says Abraham is righteous because of faith. The faith that he already had many years prior to the events involving Isaac. James’ statement that Abraham was justified when he obeyed God is a confirmation of what was already secure. That is, his righteousness that resulted from believing God many years prior to Isaac’s even being born.

          Therefore, what James teaches about Abraham is a confirmation of what Paul taught about the receiving of salvation having absolutely nothing to do with works. Not a contradiction. As it would be if James meant what you have said he did.

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

            Ed
            Let me clear up why my position is not legalism. The penalty for violating the law is not that you then have to follow the law to be found just. In a court of law a judge does not sentence the accused to follow the law. The judge either pronounces guilt or innocence. If found guilty there is a penalty (a sentence): If found innocent the judge declares the accused just. The law is a standard not a sentence.

            Legalists try to keep the law (standard) either to be found blameless or to right a wrong. Legalism is an effort to earn merit in God’s (the Judge) sight. Jesus did not pay the penalty by being blameless. He was able to pay the penalty because He is blameless, free from any form of transgression or sin. In His obedience He hit the mark! Because of Adam’s transgression the entire human race is guilty, misses the mark, and is unable to pay the penalty. And because Jesus paid the penalty on the Cross He is able to impute righteousness (to those who believe in Him) which we cannot earn. And because He rose from the grave He is able to give everlasting life.

            We did not sin by breaking the law; Adam did that for us. We did not pay the penalty for breaking the law; Jesus did that for us.

            Now that is my position because it is what I see taught in the biblical text. If you are not persuaded that this is the case there is really not much more I can do at this point. Thanks again for the conversation. Iron sharpens iron.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 2:44 am #

            Rascott247,
            You have to be kidding, right? You explain how it is not legalism that you believe by saying “In a court of law…..” Every time you try to explain your beliefs in this way you dig a deeper hole into the legalist interpretation of salvation.

            Then you said that “He was able to pay the penalty because He is blameless, free from any form of transgression or sin.” This explains Jesus’ qualifications for the sacrificial offering in legal terms. That is why it is legalism. Jesus’ being the sacrifice has nothing to do with blamelessness where sinning according to law is concerned. Paul referred to this as loss and dung. And that is exactly what it is.

            Your entire line of reasoning rests on the fact that someone (in this case Jesus) measured up to God’s righteous standard that is set forth in the law. And this is why He could be our satisfactory sacrifice because as you said He is “Free from any transgression or sin.” Which means He never broke God’s law and that is why He is acceptable. This is legalism.

            Israel got in trouble because they measured righteousness by how well they kept the law. When they should have measured righteousness (justification) by their relationship with God apart from any law. “The law is not made for a righteous man.” 1Tim.1:9. It is made for the wicked.

            Legalism is that which defines the relationship by the measuring up to the law by one who is designated to be the mediator or the one who needs the mediation. Law has no part in salvation by grace through faith. So the legal terminology is not appropriate when describing what Jesus accomplished by the cross.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

            Ed you also asked about animal death and were they guilty of Adam’s sin. The answer is no they are not imputed Adam’s sin. Adam is the representative head of the human race not the animal kingdom but he was given stewardship of the birds of the air and beasts of the field. Adam’s sin brought spiritual death to humans (separation from God) and spiritual death brought all forms death and suffering. The whole of creation groans and labors. God subjected all creation to futility in hope of the Savior Who will deliver the whole of creation (Rom 8:18-22). The animal that God sacrificed to take the skin to clothe Adam and Eve was blameless. God knew it, Adam and Eve knew it. The sacrifice was an object lesson—God would provide covering through blameless blood and only through blameless blood.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 2:54 am #

            Rascott247,
            The creatures, plants, everything dies for the exact same reason man dies. Because death reigns in the earth. Death is king.
            Sin does not bring physical death to mankind. It only brought the conditions for death to Adam. Then that death was passed to all men. And because of that death men sin. This is what Rom.5:12 says.
            And it is proven out in the fact that creatures and plants and everything else that does not sin and has no sin imputed to it dies right along with man. No sin but they still die. This is proof that death reigns. And as a result of death men sin.

            Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 17, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

            Ed
            My doctrine of justification most definitely includes a legal relationship with God. If that is what you are calling “legalist” then I plead guilty. Justice and God are inseparable. Justice and salvation are inseparable. There is a judicial concept in the Bible from beginning to end. One of the first acts in the Bible is judicial; God condemns man. One of the very last acts in the Bible is a judgment by the court of heaven: And everything in between fits this model. Justification is a legal term so is condemnation, testify, covenant, witness, debt, restitution and impute. Satan means accuser. Jesus is called our advocate. Sin is lawlessness. These are legal terms. Are you not in a covenant relationship with God?

            God doesn’t have fellowship with the unjust. He calls men out from the world system men have got to be legally cleared (justified). Paul (Rom 4) is saying that Abraham, before the covenant had a verdict. The verdict was that Abraham was righteous. He started with minus righteousness and he went to plus righteousness not to zero righteousness. And that through a legal pronouncement by grace through faith and no effort on his part to keep any law or be obedient. That legal pronouncement of positive righteousness is possible because of the perfect obedience to the cross of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born under the Law. If Jesus had transgressed the Law He would not have been blameless. How you got that I was saying that we need to live up to the Law is beyond me.

            You say “Israel got in trouble because they measured righteousness by how well they kept the law”. I agree. And this is what Paul referred to as loss and dungs i.e. our effort to measure our righteousness by how we live up to the standard of the Law. Paul was not speaking not of Christ’s obedience to the Law as loss and dung.

            I do not define my relationship to God by measuring up to the law. I define my relationship with God on the legal verdict that I have already been judged to have obeyed because Christ did.

            PS Paul says where there is no law there is no transgression and that Adam transgressed, You tell me Paul is speaking of law in Rom 4 and relationship in Rom 5. That fits your paradigm but it doesn’t fit the text

            Ed I am through on this thread for now. Hope to do it again sometime.

          • Edwitness November 17, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

            Rascott247,
            What you said here is only true to someone who perceives it to be. “There is a judicial concept in the Bible from beginning to end.”
            Where you see a “judicial concept from beginning to end”. I see a God who loves His creation and wants a personal relationship with them. And to make this possible He became a man just like them and joined with them in death (separation from the Father) so that He could give them life.
            Not by fulfilling a “judicial concept”. But, by conquering death by the resurrection. And thereby becoming the “way” into life with Him.
            There is no “judicial concept” in the means that Jesus used to bring us eternal life.

            Blessings:-}

            PS When you say “I do not define my relationship to God by measuring up to the law. I define my relationship with God on the legal verdict that I have already been judged to have obeyed because Christ did.”
            You have said that it was not you who measured up to the law, it was Jesus. But, that still means that you are saved by the works of the law.
            Which is the legalism of the Pharisees.

            PPS You wrote “PS Paul says where there is no law there is no transgression and that Adam transgressed, You tell me Paul is speaking of law in Rom 4 and relationship in Rom 5. That fits your paradigm but it doesn’t fit the text.”
            You have misunderstood what I said. Your misunderstanding is consistent with how you perceive the scriptures.
            I explained my position about transgression. If you reread it you might see it does fit the text.

          • Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

            Rascott247,

            You said “There is a judicial concept in the Bible from beginning to end.” While this is partly true for Israel because they were under the law, only partly because they did not exist as a people from the beginning, it is not true for even one instant for the Gentile.

            Biblical justice is deliverance. Judges 2:16. Not a legal finding.

            Blessings:-}

      • Edwitness November 15, 2016 at 9:10 am #

        Stephen J S,
        So, if I am understanding you correctly. What would happen if someone was born again, but never did any good works afterward?

    • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 3:43 am #

      Reply to rascott247’s post dated October 31, 2016 at 11:11 P.M.:

      Hi rascott247:

      When you stated:

      “The RCC tries to sell that the foundation is still being built. The NAR tries to sell that a new foundation is needed”

      Uhmm, nope, the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t teach that the foundation is still being built. The foundation has long been completed.

      However, the debate over the “justification by faith” vs. “justification by faith alone” doctrines is something that is being built by both sides on the true foundation of “Christ, and Him crucified” laid by Christ and His true Apostles, by which I assume you’re speaking of the 13 Apostles. Neither doctrine is specifically a part of the actual foundation. They are human interpretations of what the Bible says about the reason Jesus died and was ressurected, for WITHOUT THAT, salvation WOULD BE impossible.

      And, again, as I seem to keep having to say, the Roman Catholic Church and the New Apostolic Reformation have not joined together. The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t even teach the doctrine of “Apostolic Succession”. Where did this erroneous rumour that it does come from?

      • rascott247 November 15, 2016 at 4:29 am #

        I’ve heard Mitch Pacwa defend Apostolic Succession in debates. He is an esteem Jesuit priest.

        • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

          Rascott247 and Stephen J S,
          Isn’t apostolic succession the belief in the rcc that Peter’s successor continues to lead the church? As far as I understand it, apostolic succession is what gives the pope his authority, right?

          Blessings:-}

          • rascott247 November 16, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

            That is how I understand it. This allows the Pope to speak ex cathedra

    • Stephen James Schneider November 15, 2016 at 3:53 am #

      Reply to Edwitness’ post dated October 31,2016 at 11:45 P.M.:

      Hi Edwitness:

      Amen, brother!

      For example, the Roman Catholic perspective that the word “alone” has been added to and not separated from the “justification by faith” doctrine, but that’s a different subject that rascott247 and I are discussing in other posts closer to the bottom of this forum, so I’ll move on.

      Btw, since you’re more familiar with the Catholic Catechism than I am, what are the official Catechism teachings about Apostolic Succession [nope, as far as I’m aware] and the New Apostolic Reformation within the Catholic Catechism?

      Am I wrong about what I said to rascott247 in my post above?

      • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 6:38 pm #

        Stephen J S,
        As I said in my reply to both you and rascott247, the catechism makes it clear that the pope succeeds apostolically from the so-called first pope, the apostle Peter.

        77 “In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority.”35 Indeed, “the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time.”36

        85 “The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.”47 This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.”

        “100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.”

        For the lay catholic there is no unction from God to interpret scripture. They must gain their understanding from this group of men.
        The notion of apostolic succession has it’s origins with the rcc. And it is not Biblical in the least. It is only the tradition of the rcc.

        Blessings:-}

  6. Stephen James Schneider November 8, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    Hi again:

    I thought folks would find this interesting:

    http://www.cogwriter.com/news/church-history/martin-luther-changed-andor-discounted-18-books-of-the-bible/

    I certainly learned some things about Martin Luthor that I didn’t know!

    • Edwitness November 16, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

      Stephen J S,
      It is true that Martin Luther had his share of problems as a man. He was also very anti Semitic. But, his belief in a relationship with God that is “by faith alone” is not one of them.

      When the scripture says in Rom.3:28 and again in Eph.2:8,9 that we are saved apart from works, this is why it is understood to be by faith alone. Meaning faith, without works of any kind, is what saves us.
      Blessings:-}

  7. Manny1962 November 8, 2016 at 5:50 pm #

    Dear Mr. Schneider,

    Your arguments are not with me but with the sites I quoted from and links posted. I sense you’re a Roman Catholic apologist or want to be one. If you read my original post, I wrote there’s just too much information available to refute Roman Catholicism from many, many well known apologists, I’m sorry my friend I just don’t have the energy to get into a long drawn out debate, I just don’t have that sort of energy anymore. I will pray The Lord opens your eyes to the truth, as Paul said, we must test ourselves to make sure we are in the faith! Perhaps this is the beginning of your journey, I wish you well Mr. Schneider, remember sometimes what we think is right, is not! I would ask you to pray and ask our Lord for guidance and to open your heart to the truth. The hour is very late! Don’t wait too long! Maranatha my friend and may our Heavenly Father bless you and guide you!

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 7:09 am #

      Hi Manny1962:

      Actually, I hadn’t thought of it as the two of us arguing or debating. I just thought of it as the two of us discussing our respective views of the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic doctrines, for and against. I only referred to “you stating”, “you said”, etc. because I wasn’t sure if you were quoting the information the websites (of the links provided) presented, or whether you were stating your opinion of the information that those websites presented.

      I actually do not have any aspiration to be an apologist or even a theologian, just a new Christian desiring to test myself, just as Paul told us to do. I leave the apologetics to people much smarter than I am, like Matthew Henry, Scott Hahn, Stephen Ray, and others.

      I always wondered why it was called Apologetics. Calling it that makes it sound like we Christians have something to apologize for, which I certainly believe is not the case, but I disgress.

      • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 7:44 am #

        I agree that there is an enormous amount of information, interpretations, opinions, etc. offered by apologists both pro and con on every religion out there, including Atheism, and regarding every Christian denomination out there, but I don’t believe that any of them have been able to establish anything definitive as far as PROVING any of the Christian denominations is TRULY a false religion.

        Ultimately, people choose what they want to believe, and once they have chosen a belief, they are reluctant (resistant) to changing their opinion. The same is true of the biblical doctrines people believe.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 7:51 am #

      I don’t tend to worry too much about which Christian denominations are teaching the correct doctrines. Every denomination BELIEVES that they are teaching the Truth the Bible tells us.

      I believe that, when we each stand before Jesus (God) to be judged, He won’t be judging us by whether the doctrines we believed when we were alive were actually correct, but rather ON THE LIFE OF FAITH THAT WE LIVED as a result of our belief that the doctrines we believed were correctly interpreted from Scripture.

      Rascott247 has commented in a post below that he interprets the Bible as saying that faithful Christians are never actually judged by Jesus (God), and I have to think on this overnight (which I define as whenever the heck I go to bed to approx. 9 hours later).

      The Bible is divinely inspired, true, and reliable, no question. Human interpretations of Scripture are entirely another matter.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 7:54 am #

      I definitely pray with an open heart and mind for God to give me guidance and show me the Truth, and my opinions (and that’s all they are) is what I believe He has shown me through His Holy Spirit and Scripture thus far.

      This is most definitely the beginning of my journey in faith, having been a Christian for only (just over) 11 months, and I certainly understand that I have a lot to learn!

      I strive to always diligently keep in mind that everything that I have come to believe COULD BE wrong, and I am more than willing to CHANGE my opinion if someone else can show me that THEIR INTERPRETATION of Scripture is correct and that it (their interpretation) shows that the Bible does contradict something I believe . . . just like the original Bereans whom I consider to have set an excellent example to follow.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 7:58 am #

      I did have a few questions:

      At this point in your own journey in faith, CAN YOU ADMIT that the doctrines you believe COULD BE wrong, no matter HOW DEVOUTLY you may believe that they are TRULY WHAT the Bible teaches?

      CAN YOU ADMIT that YOUR INTERPRETATION of Scripture COULD BE wrong, given that we all, as human beings, are imperfect, flawed, and very capable of making mistakes or coming to believe something that is incorrect?

      Are you willing to CHANGE your opinion if someone else can show you that THEIR INTERPRETATION of Scripture is correct and that it (their interpretation) shows that the Bible does contradict something you believe?

      What does C.A.R.M. stand for?

      What does maranantha mean?

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 8:02 am #

      I wish you all the best as well, and also encourage you to pray with an open heart and mind for guidance and to the Truth of the Bible.

      I’ve always found that it is good for a person to do the same thing they advise others.

      Christians should always be striving to learn new things from Scripture by studying the Bible with our own two eyes, as I trust you do, instead of accepting what others tell us that the Bible says.

      I was raised to believe that we should never stop learning new things . . . NOT EVER.

      The moment one stops learning new things and stops considering ideas that are different from their own is the moment one stops living.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 8:15 am #

      Should you at some future point recoup your energy, whether that be weeks, months, or years from now, I hope that you will be able and willing to provide additional feedback and positive criticism . . . as I have really appreciated what you have provided thus far.

      I have been trying, often unsuccessfully, to break my posts into smaller bite-sized chunks to make it easier for others to critique or provide feedback on each chunk, instead of being faced with an information overload.

      I bookmark all the articles I read on the Berean Research website and do check back (on any forum in which I have posted) to see if any new posts have been made, and will continue to do so for the next few years. You never know when someone new may stumble across this website and these forums as I did a few months back and want to post something, just as someone who has already posted comments in any given forum might decide to post something new.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 8:24 am #

      My posts recounting the unusual way that God the Father brought me to His Son are the exception as they are simply my testimony to HOW I became a Christian.

      I’m always fascinated in reading the testimonies of others as to HOW they became Christians, Buddhists, Shintoists, Atheists, etc., and would love to hear your life story (if you care to share it) or anyone else’s.

      I also believe that anyone who is able to wade through everything that has happened over the last nearly 30 years in my journey into faith can benefit by reading how someone can be gathered to Christ WITHOUT the use of a Bible.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 8:32 am #

      One of the biggest mistakes evangelizing Christians, both Catholic and Protestant, make is quoting biblical verses WHEN the person they seek to convert to Christianity DOES NOT BELIEVE that the Bible is anything OTHER THAN a book, nothing special, no more valid than the “holy books” of other religions, as I did for the past nearly 30 years.

      All that results is the equivalent of building a house of cards, and the person whom you were trying to convert (once you have walked away) shrugs their shoulders and thinks to themselves that famous line, “Well, that’s HIS truth, and he’s welcome to it. It’s not MY truth, and I doubt it ever will be.”

      Relativism in all its ugly glory, as benefits quite possibly the most insidious human philosophy to ever infect modern society!

      As though anything is true except for THE TRUTH, which we humans simply cannot know with definitive certainty. God can. We can’t. We certainly have our interpretations and opinions though, don’t we? lol.

    • Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 8:57 am #

      Do I assume correctly that, until such time as you recoup your strength, whether it takes weeks, months, or years, or simply never happens, you would prefer that I not post any of the responses to items on your “Heresy List” that I have been working on?

      Do I assume correctly that you would also prefer me not to post some interpretations about what “Babylon the Great” or “the Great Harlot” spoken of in Revelation could mean instead of the Roman Catholic Church?

      Ditto with what, rather than who, the “Anti-Christ”, the “False Prophet”, and the “Beast” MAY refer to?

      Anyway, it’s gotten really late (for me) here in Maple Ridge, BC Canada. Time to crash and make snoring noises for awhile!

      May our Heavenly Father bless and guide you as well, my friend! Ciao!

      • Manny1962 November 11, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

        Good afternoon Stephen,

        I hope today finds you well, no I don’t mind you posting anything at all, as for the word “arguement’, I was not implying there was animosity, so please forgive me it that was taken as intent, and arguement can be friendly or acrimonious, I for one don’t want anything to do with Rome, it’s hierarchy, it’s works oriented system, it’s worship of Mary, the mass and what it implies, ecumenism or any an idea that comes from the Vatican, I have read enough throughout the years that an honest assessment has led me to believe Roman Catholicism is a false religion. A lot of my family is Roman Catholic, I treat them as I would treat any other person, courteous and kind, showing the love of Christ, but we don’t have anything to do with each other when it comes to religion, they know where I stand.

        As for the book of Revelation, any honest person with eyes to see and ears to hear will tell you is unfolding before our eyes. Proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that was foretold shed begun.

        Israel in her place, sorrounded by her enemies wanting to destroy her, after a hiatus of a couple thousand years, no other country in history has ever done that, truly unique to the people of God.

        Soviet Russia faded into the dustbin of history, a new emerged Russia is worldly, slick, p.r. driven, world market savvy, using Syria as an excuse, Russia or the King Of The North has put a footstep in the Middle East, along with Turkey who has pivoted away from NATO/US influence.

        Kings of the East, China, Koreas, Japan, Phillipines all the eastern tigers (ASEAN) if you will…… Pivoted away from US hegemony turning to China, China has built the new Silk Road, one interesting artifact is a massive railroad from Southern China accross Iran to Tehran, best way to move heavy logistics and war materiel is rail not aircraft, already set in place.

        Kings of the south: most of Northern Africa is radicalized and hates Israel.

        My point with these eschatological developments is to reinforce the book of Revelation as a book for today, this did not occur when Rome invaded Israel, this is happening now. Roman Catholic doctrine supports an allegorical view of Revelation, it denies a literal kingdom of one thousand years, as it denies that faith alone by grace alone, according to them you must add works………Stephen, our salvation is unmerited, we cannot earn it, we cannot buy it, we have nothing to be commended for, it’s Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura. Stephen, God bless you, but remember what Paul said, we must test all things. God bless you.

        There’s only one religious institution that has a written history of colluding with Kings of the world, The Vatican, no other religious entity has its own intelligence network, sovereign bank, standing guard, its own country, gets visited by the leaders of the world for “advise” and has the largest gold hoard outside of Russia or China.

        As for mystery Babylon being interpreted as something else, of course I believe many have construed it as much, many believe that mystery Babylon resides in NY city because of the UN, something I strongly disagree with because the UN does not have a “Christian” religious element to it. The straight reading of the city on seven hills that colludes with the Kings of the world is Vatican City, home temple of Romanism.

        This is just but a tiny fraction. As I’ve said above there are just too many instances of events that are clearly happening, were foretold thousands of years ago and Rome rejects them.

        • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

          Well said my brother Manny1962. Amen and amen!!
          Maranatha!!
          Blessings:-}

      • Edwitness November 11, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

        Stephen J S,

        You are correct that when witnessing to those who do not believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God it is generally not productive to quote the scriptures. At least those that require faith in them being inspired by God are concerned.

        However, there are many that would be very appropriate to quote in dealing with these people. One I especially like is found in Rev.13:16,17 -“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

        When I tell or show them this I follow it with showing them the bar code on a product. All the sales bar codes have in their structure the 666 of this verse. And it is used for buying and selling exclusively. In fact, most stores will not allow a product to be sold in their stores without first having this mark established for it.

        In other words, prophecy is proof for who wrote the Bible. That it must have been God. Because only He would know thousands of years in advance what would happen with such exactness. And the scripture instructs us that it was given for this very purpose. “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14:29.

        This verse expresses the fact that Jesus is saying He is God when He says “I have told you”. Because God alone knows the end from the beginning. He is also saying that because He told you before it happened, and then it came to pass, you can believe Him in all things.

        And as Israel is God’s timepiece, the prophecy’s concerning her rebirth are definitely ones I would use for showing the verasity of the Bible being the word of God. After all, Israel became a nation on the very day it was prophesied to millennia ago.

        As for whether the RCC is the whore of babylon the scripture clearly states this in Rev.17.
        “3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

        4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

        5 And upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon The Great, The Mother Of Harlots And Abominations Of The Earth.

        6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

        7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.”

        There is nor has ever been a religion that more closely matches these descriptions. But, this next one is the clincher.

        In the 18th verse John gives her identity. “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”

        What great city was reigning over the kings of the earth at the time of John’s writing? Rome. Therefore Rome is the woman that rides the beast. The whore of Babylon. What religion is identified with Rome? The ROMAN Catholic religion.

        See, it’s not that hard. And it happens to be what was taught for hundreds of years since the time of Christ. That is until the RCC began putting people to death for it. And rewriting history.

        Blessings:-}

  8. Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 3:12 am #

    I’m posting this as a new post because Rascott247’s most recent post did not have a “reply button” to submit a reply instead of a new post.

    Response to Rascott247’s post dated November 11, 2016, at 1:49 A.M.:

    O.K., I’m completely lost here, rather than just being only too willing to admit that what I have been explaining COULD be wrong — which I always have been willing to do if someone shows me biblical verses that PROVE that I am wrong.

    “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” [James 2:21-25]

    Alright, I believe that we can agree that, despite Abraham’s works being accounted to him for righteousness, he experienced the first (spiritual) death when he died, since Jesus had not yet died and been ressurrected. As Jesus said to Nicodemus, “no one has ascended to heaven who has not descended from heaven.” [John 3:13]

    The Old Testament referred to this (mostly in some of the Psalms) as Sheol, a place where mortal souls had no thought and noone praised God. This was clearly not Hell, and was also why the dead were referred to as “sleeping” or “had fallen asleep”.

    This is why the Roman Catholic Church teaches that all of the saints of the Old Testament were judged by Jesus AFTER His ascension to Heaven. For these saints, it seemed like a blink of an eye from the moment of their death to their standing before Jesus to be judged.

    It seems obvious to me that, when these saints were judged by Jesus, they were given the after-death opportunity to accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, before they were allowed to enter Heaven. They didn’t know Jesus or anything about Him when they were alive.

    This would also mean that human souls do not lose God’s gift of free will when they die (ie. after their earthly life ends).

    Do you agree with what I have just said?

    • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 4:19 am #

      Stephen you have asked great questions and you have been nothing but polite and humble in your responses. Are disagreements are not personal but concern the truths revealed in scripture.

      I disagree that Abraham experienced spiritual death when he died physically. He was born spiritually dead as all from Adam. He was gifted eternal life when he believed God’s promises and he was justified (judged at the Cross though it had not happened yet). When Abraham died he did not ascend to Heaven, nobody had until Jesus did (Eph 4:8). Abraham was in his bosom not Heaven (Luke 16:19-31). They were not judged in Heaven standing before Jesus. They are not judged at all Jesus was judged for them. Jesus righteousness was credited to their account.

      Look at John 5:24-30. In v 24 Jesus says that those who believe in Him who sent Him have everlasting life and SHALL NOT come into judgment. In v 28&29 Jesus says that an hour is coming when those in their graves (the spiritually and physically dead) will come into judgment. This is the Great White Throne where the dead great and small are judged according to their works (Rev 20:11-15). But they are dead and works will not justify and give life. One is written into the Book of Life by faith in the finished work of Christ minus any human merit which cannot be meritorious.

      Stephen I pray you trust in Jesus Christ work on your behalf and not a process involving your merits.

      • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 4:41 am #

        * Our disagreement not Are disagreement. I have no idea why I typed that and did not catch it.Maybe I need sleep.

    • rascott247 November 11, 2016 at 4:33 am #

      Luke 20:38 For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him.”

      God considers all believers to be living not dead and all unbelievers to be dead not living. The dead are judged the living shall not come into judgement

  9. Stephen James Schneider November 11, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

    Somber Remberance Day, everyone!

    Let’s all take the time to truly think about the sacrifice of those who laid there life down, and those who continue to risk life and limb, in wars around the globe, to ensure the rights and freedoms we all sometimes take for granted, instead of being appreciative of each and every day.

    Let’s also remember Jesus, God made flesh, who (along with God the Father and His Holy Spirit) so loved the world that He died a brutal, ugly, agonizing death on the Cross to defeat the greatest enemy of mankind, sin and its power over us, and by being ressurected, won the greatest war that has been ever fought, the war over the mortal souls of all humanity!

    • Manny1962 November 11, 2016 at 11:19 pm #

      Amen, so many have given their lives, but what many forget is the second component of the tragedy when warriors perish……….their families back home. How many children without mothers and fathers, how many men without their wives, how many women without their husbands? War is truly devastating for all involved, from the greatest to the smallest everyone suffers. Until The Lord returns, it will be a trademark of these last days. Somber day indeed.

      • Stephen James Schneider November 12, 2016 at 3:32 am #

        Yes, Amen!

        I completely missed that in my comment, so I thank you, thank you for pointing it out

        War is truly devastating, I agree! I imagine that this is why one of the 4 Horsemen is called War.

        It will be so nice when war and all the death and hardship are finally done away with. Only our Heavenly Father knows the appointed time, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later!

  10. Stephen James Schneider November 29, 2016 at 5:22 am #

    Reposted due to chronic lack of “reply buttons”:

    Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    Stephen J S,

    When 1John5:16 speaks of a sin unto death it is not referring to salvation. John is referring to physical death. Remember the passage that says we should confess our sins to one another that we might be healed? The sin John is speaking of here in verse 16 is not covered by this evidently.

    But, we can see that John still considers this person a brother because he says “If any man see HIS BROTHER sin a sin…..” This verse does not refer to a Christian losing their salvation.

    And while Christians who act hypocritically sometimes are an offense, they are not the cause of someone rejecting Jesus. This comes from their love for darkness because their deeds are evil. They do not want their deeds to be exposed so they reject the light that is Christ Jesus. John3:19,20

    Blessings:-}

    • Amy Spreeman November 29, 2016 at 11:52 am #

      Hey there, Stephen, the reason you don’t see a lot of your posts in the past week is, are you ready? There are 89 of them waiting in my queue! 89!
      Seriously, when I scroll through recent posts, all I see is page after page of your comments. And many of them are very lengthy, requiring readers to scroll forever to get to anyone elses’ comments. I’m not trying to be a big meanie or a control freak, and it’s not that I don’t enjoy your comments – it’s just that the volume is way over the top. Forums are supposed to be conversations, my friend. Let’s try to keep the daily posts down to about 5 – 7. Sound good? Thanks for understanding.

      • Stephen James Schneider November 30, 2016 at 7:44 am #

        Hi Ms. Spreeman:

        Thank you for getting back to me. Not a problem — I can do 5-7 posts per day. In this forum thread especially, I certainly agree that my posts are excessive. It is startling how much misinformation about the Roman Catholic Church some folks posted in this thread, which needed to be corrected. I read the white paper on Catholicism and there were several inaccuracies. How often are these white papers revised and is there a way to submit corrections or clarifications?

        I hope that your saying that “it’s not that I don’t enjoy your comments” means you’re enjoying my posts as I try to word my posts in a way that is enjoyable to read despite the length/volume and that invites positive criticism and feedback. How am I doing? Other than the length/volume.

        I don’t take your comments as you being a “big meanie” or “control freak”. Your request is quite reasonable and I apologize if I went overboard. What can I say? I see something that’s incorrect and I feel compelled to say something — to try to correct the mistakes.

        It’s not that I don’t see most of my posts. It’s just a few that have gone “bye bye” that I was curious about — the modified post that did show up in the comments to Ms. Walsh’s article about whether Christians should judge others and then disappeared again, and the post responding to Edwitness’ first post on Muslims that had several website links for either he or others to read.

        Oh, I think that I’ve figured out the problem with the computer code of the website that is causing the “reply buttons” to not show up. They display properly for new posts, responses to those posts, and responses to the responses. However, responses to those responses to responses to new posts cause a problem due to the indenting each time. If you set a limit (maximum) to the indenting so that tertiary (or greater) responses post at the same indentation as the secondary responses, that should resolve the problem.

        I’m trying to break my posts into bite-sized chunks so that people can respond to each chunk rather than being so overwhelmed that they don’t respond. That’s where “reply buttons” are most important.

        Oh, if I repost someone else’s post that didn’t have a “reply button” as a new post, does that count as one of my 5-7 daily posts? I’ll assume that those don’t count unless you let me know otherwise.

        God bless you and keep you!

        • Amy Spreeman November 30, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

          LOL! Yes, it counts!
          Thanks for understanding.
          Love,
          The Big Meanie

          • Amy Spreeman November 30, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

            Also, Stephen, I ask that you please not push the Roman Catholic apologetics here. I don’t mind you commenting and having dialog, but future posts defending the RCC won’t be getting my thumbs up, if you know what I mean.

          • Stephen James Schneider December 2, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

            Hi Ms. Spreeman:

            Not a problem. I can certainly count reposts as well, although (if I’m correct about what in the computer code for this website is causing the “reply buttons” to NOT show up on the tertiary or greater responses) it wouldn’t be necessary to repost other folks’ posts in the first place. Just a matter of setting a maximum value for the indentation of the posts which is a simple enough fix. I hope you’ve’ already forwarded that to your tech support. And, if either yourself or Ms. West is your tech support, that you’ll take care of the fix as soon as you get a chance.

            Have you noticed that, so far, I posted (I believe) 0 posts a couple of days ago, 3 posts yesterday, and this makes 3 posts today?

            You’re hardly a “big meanie”. As I’ve already said, your request is quite reasonable and I’m only too willing to comply. In any event, I’m assuming you meant “big meanie” in a light-hearted, joking manner.

            Oh, do I assume correctly that we’re counting from midnight to 11:59 P.M. each day?

          • Stephen James Schneider December 3, 2016 at 3:16 am #

            Hi Ms. Spreeman:

            As I mentioned to Manny1962 in one of the posts above, I leave apologetics to people far smarter and more knowledgeable than myself. While I certainly feel compelled to correct someone when they say things about the Roman Catholic Church that are wrong, and even moreso when they say something derogatory about the original Christian denomination (to which I belong), I can reluctantly comply with your request. O.K., no more defending my denomination against misinformation, lack of research, flat out lies, and derogatory statements. Got it!

            If you have been monitoŗing other forum threads in which I have had to correct others about things they incorrectly feel are true about the Roman Catholic Church, you’ll have noted that it has generally taken only 1-4 posts,and then ONLY because I’ve been breaking the information into smaller, “bite-sized” chunks that folks can respond to one at a time rather than being overwhelmed by a longer post.

            The reason that there are as many posts as there are on this forum thread are twofold:

            Reason no.# 1:

            There was an ENORMOUS amount of incorrect information, dubious claims, and misconceptions expressed in THIS forum thread, far moreso than in your white paper on Catholicism (RCC), which I now assume you have no interest or intention of correcting, and other forum threads on which I have posted.

            Reason no.# 2:

            rascott247 did ask about how God the Father brought me to His son, and it was a very unusual route that took nearly 30 years and the use of not even one biblical verse. My testimony, something that I’ve found is sorely lacking on these forums — I would be interested in reading your own testimony as an article, for example, or about other people’s journeys in faith — did take an enormous number of posts to tell.

            So, O.K., the next time Manny1962 or someone else states something bogus about the Roman Catholic Church, I’ll just post something like:

            “Manny1962 [or whomever], you are wrong about what you just said, but I won’t explain why because Ms. Spreeman has requested that I not correct people who post anything about the Roman Catholic Church or its teachings that is incorrect, misguided, or derogatory.”

            I can do that. And I will. 🙁

          • Stephen James Schneider December 3, 2016 at 3:37 am #

            One comment that you have made, that “salvation is by faith alone by grace alone” actually REFUTES your statement. Faith and grace are two different things. Salvation can be by faith ALONE or salvation can be by grace ALONE or salvation can be by faith AND grace, but the dictionary definition of the word “alone” means “by itself”, as in the one and only thing it refers to.

            And that’s BEFORE you factor in obediance [John 3:36] AND baptism [John 3:5] AND (as Edwitness has correctly pointed out) love for God AND (like all relationships) time to happen.

            Your statement that “salvation is by faith alone by grace alone” is simply NOT SCRIPTURAL, NO MATTER HOW MUCH you WANT TO BELIEVE it is! It’s not even a valid sentence with respect to the English language. One CAN CORRECTLY say that “grace is given FREELY by God THROUGH faith alone”, but that is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DOCTRINE.

            In the white paper on Catholicism (RCC), it is stated that the Roman Catholic Church DOES NOT teach that “salvation is by faith”, which IS INCORRECT. Yes, it does, because THAT IS Scripturally sound! I doubt it would interest you but the ONLY verse that has the words “faith alone” in the ENTIRE Bible is James 2:25, and they are IMMEDIATELY PREFACED by the words “NOT BY”.

            This is BECAUSE Jesus is BOTH man AND God!

            Of course, I should NOT have pointed out that the Roman Catholic Church does teach “justification by faith” because that is defending that terrible and evil denomination, isn’t it? Oops! But I will get better at not saying anything with a bit of practice.

            Finally, I would refer you to Acts 17:10-12:

            “10 The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas to Beroea during the night. Upon arrival they went to the synagogue of the Jews.11 These Jews were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with all willingness and examined the scriptures daily to determine whether these things were so. 12 Many of them became believers, as did not a few of the influential Greek women and men.” [New American Bible]

            This is what you’ve claimed that this website was and is based upon. Focus on those words “fair-minded”, “received . . . with all willingness”, and “to determine”, which means they were open-minded, teachable, and able to abandon beliefs that were shown to be Scripturally incorrect for beliefs that were actually Scriptural.

            And that would include beliefs on salvation and/or the Roman Catholic Church. Darn it! Oops again! C’mon, Stephen, you can bite your tongue and tie your hands behind your back better than that! Roight, focus now, my boy, where was I going with the Bereans. Oh, of course:

            The question becomes: Are you a true Berean or are you not?

            In the meanwhile, I will comply with your request under protest to God.

            And . . . that makes 4 posts for Saturday, December 3, 2016.

          • Edwitness December 3, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            When you quoted Amy you said “salvation is by faith alone by grace alone”. And then proceeded to make some argument to oppose this statement. But, that is not the statement that those who believe in sola fide use. That statement is “saved BY grace alone THROUGH faith alone IN Christ alone. Something that rcc is in complete disagreement with. And is easily seen to be the fact by for one thing the teaching that some men go to purgatory.

            Blessings:-}

        • Stephen James Schneider December 4, 2016 at 6:07 am #

          Hi Edwitness:

          Yup, you’re right, I did misquote Ms. Spreeman’s comment in the first sentence of the 8th paragraph of the Berean Research White Paper on [She who is not to be mentioned by myself, but whose first initial is a “R”], which reads:

          “The Christian will recognize that these condemnations of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone stand in DIRECT CONTRADICTION to Scripture and amount to an anathema upon the Gospel itself.”

          So, at this point, as I have been asked by Ms. Spreeman to not clarify anything to do with [She who is not to be mentioned by myself, but whose third initial is a “C”], I am unable to comment on your 5th-6th sentences.

          Now, I am aware that the phrase “faith alone” appears in only one verse in the Bible, James 2:25 (as mentioned above), but am not currently aware of any Bible verses that use the phrases “grace alone” or “Christ alone”, and so I would appreciate if you let me know: what are these verses?

          After all, sola fide (whatever that means) or not, if the doctrine that we are “saved by grace ALONE through faith ALONE in Christ ALONE” is a teaching from the Bible, then you should HAVE NO PROBLEM quoting the verse or verses that state this, right?

          God bless you and your family, my friend.

      • Stephen James Schneider December 4, 2016 at 6:37 am #

        Hi Ms. Spreeman:

        I just wanted to check and see how many of my posts are currently in your queue now that I have been limiting my posts to 7 or under, including reposts, as requested?

        At this point, I am assuming that moderation of a post can only be done by temporarily removing the post from whichever forum thread they were posted on, and I was wondering what the moderation process involves? I have tried to be respectful throughout my posts and so wanted to ask if you could contact me by e-mail about any post that you perceive to be offensive and let me know which part was offensive and why?

        Oh, I don’t think I mentioned that the main reason I use “Ms.” before your and Ms. Walsh’s names is because your user names are real names, and I was raised to be respectful, NOT that I’ve always been successful at this. If Manny1962 or Edwitness were first and last names, I would be referring to them as Mr. Manny1962 and Mr. Edwitness as well — figured I’d just clarify that. Personally, I prefer Stephen (although I’ve grown very fond of “Stephen JS”, as Edwitness has nicknamed me). I may be 50, but Mr. Schneider makes me feel my age.

        Oh, btw, I was wrong about the “reply buttons” affecting tertiary responses (ie. NOT showing up) to new posts. It’s actually the quadrary (4th tier) responses that do not display “reply buttons”. So, 3 indents are not a problem computer-code wise, but 4 indents causes a problem. If the 3rd indent is set as the maximum indent limit, so that every response after the 3rd response would be indented 3 indents, people could then carry on a discussion indefinitely with each response properly displaying a “reply button”. Anywho, I hope that helps. There’s nothing like a good back and forth discussion, but those tend to involve more than two people replying twice only to someone’s initial post.

  11. Stephen James Schneider November 30, 2016 at 5:14 am #

    Reposted due to lack of “reply buttons”:

    Edwitness November 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    Stephen J S,

    I am sure you have heard the axiom “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”, right? Well, it is very true. It is the belief system that those who reject Jesus have that we Christians hate. Not the person. Jesus died for them because He loves them. And so should we.

    Blessings:-}

  12. Stephen James Schneider November 30, 2016 at 6:23 am #

    Hi Edwitness:

    OK., let’s tackle this in reverse. After the axiom, you explained that:

    “It is the belief system that those who reject Jesus have that we Christians hate.”

    The problem I can see with this statement is that many of the people posting on the Berean Research forums would define “belief systems that those who reject Jesus have” as any belief system that is different from their own.

    It is even more so with any Christians that believe different doctrines! “Never mind that they accept Jesus as the Son of God and that He died on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins, they believe differently than we do, therefore they are NOT TRUE CHRISTIANS.”

    You’ve committed the same mistake yourself stating that Christians who don’t believe as you do “worship a false god” like those (gasp!) misguided Roman Catholics! — never a mention that you yourself could have a few doctrines wrong.

    I swear there are days that Jesus must be laughing Himself silly!

    There are very few belief systems that reject Jesus. Other faiths may not recognize what we understand to be true — that Jesus is God (as part of the trinity) — but that’s hardly the same as rejecting Jesus.

    Indeed, most religions hold Jesus in high regard as a teacher, sometimes a prophet. The Quoran, for example, states that Jesus was a great prophet and that Mary was the mother of a great prophet, and that Christians are the closest to the “people of the dome” (ie. Muslims). Buddhism teaches that Jesus was a truly enlightened man, and is an example of enlightenment to strive for, similar to Buddha himself.

    • Edwitness December 1, 2016 at 1:10 am #

      Hey Stephen J S,
      The belief system I am describing is one that ultimately rejects Jesus. This means that the person has believed something like “Jesus is not God”, or “Jesus is not the only way to heaven”, or “Jesus died to make men Gods”. It always, always, always centers on WHO Jesus is and what He did to set us free.

      Mormons, jw’s, rcc, word of faith, etc….. all claim to believe in Jesus, right? But, they all have one or more of these as their foundation. No matter how much they proclaim Jesus as their savior, they have believed in a Jesus that is not the Christ because of who they say their Jesus is and what really saves us.

      The other religions, Bhudism, Hinduism, etc…. that admit to what the Christian would define as idol worship are not in the same category as these I previously mentioned. Because they do not believe Jesus is the way to heaven. They believe in all sorts of idolatrous practices that have nothing to do with Christianity.

      The doctrines that flow out of these belief systems is idolatry. Which is what the Christian hates. Not the person believing in a false god. But, the idol itself. And if you can’t differentiate between the person and what he believes then that is a problem you must ask God to remedy for you. Because Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners, right? This means He loved the sinner, but hates the sin. Because of what it does to us. It enslaves us.

      But, he who has the Son is free indeed. So, the axiom is true then. That the Christian loves the sinner, but hates the sin.

      So it is much more than just those who believe differently than we do. It is that they believe in a different God. And their words will prove it if you can listen to what they say with a discerning ear.

      Blessings:-}

      • Stephen James Schneider December 3, 2016 at 2:34 am #

        Hi Edwitness:

        O.K., I’ve got to say that you really love that “idolatry” arguement, but you need to reread Romans 1:22-32 with more care. Romans 1:22-23 refers to idolatry, NOT Romans 1:24-32, which describes what God let happen DUE TO the idolatry. Now whether we refer to this relationship as being the relationship between “cause” and “effect” or the relationship between “transgression” and (passive) “consequence”, Romans 1:24-32 is not the same as the idolatry of Romans 1:22-23.

        Btw, wouldn’t Romans 1:28 suggest that mankind does have an inherent sin nature? I agree whole-heartedly that nobody is born with a sin nature, as no infant has sinned, so can an inherent sin nature be developmental or does it have to be inherited? Everyone ends up with one, with the one exception in the (give-or-take) 40,000 years since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. Something to look up in the dictionary.

        When you state:

        “Because they do not believe Jesus is the way to heaven. They believe in all sorts of idolatrous practices that have nothing to do with Christianity.

        The doctrines that flow out of these belief systems is idolatry.”

        As I’ve just explained: No, they’re NOT. That is wrong! Let’s NOT forget that idolatry is anything that is MORE IMPORTANT than God in someone’s life, NOT something that is directly ASSOCIATED WITH GOD! That’s the First Commandment and that’s ALL idolatry is and ever was. And the First Commandment is a part of the Mosaic Covenant. For Gentiles and Christians who either were NEVER under the Law or HAVE BEEN FREED from the Law (in the case of Jewish Christians), THE one and ONLY commandment by God in reference to idolatry is found in Acts 15:23-29.

        Gentiles are NOT to eat meat that has been SACRIFICED TO an idol. Notice that there is NOTHING mentioned about the USE OF IDOLS!

        Whoa! What? No way! Yup, it’s true, STRAIGHT FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT!

        Obviously, idols of any OTHER GOD [small-case “g”] than God is to be avoided by Christians, as it is for Jews and Muslims, since THAT TYPE OF IDOL is a result of people “though they knew God, they did not honour Him or give thanks . . . ” [Romans 1:21] This would include some forms of Hinduism, but not all, as well as Pantheism (Nature worship).

        However, WHAT THE SCRIPTURES DO SAY is that icons and iconography that is (related to) of God Himself is ENTIRELY ACCEPTABLE to God. There is no sin being committed. NO LAW, NO SIN! And no trespass (transgression) either!

        MIND-BLOWING, ISN’T IT?

        Not only are the doctrines that flow out of these belief systems NOT idolatry for Gentiles, but neither are different interpretations of WHO Jesus is and WHY He died for our sins upon the Cross idolatry for Christians. Different interpretations of God DOES NOT MEAN different God.

      • Stephen James Schneider December 3, 2016 at 2:57 am #

        In the forum thread on Bridal Matrimony, you pointed out correctly that people get the physical and the spiritual confused. Professing Jesus is about doing so with your spiritual mouth far moreso than with your physical mouth, something most Christians fail to factor in.

        LET JESUS DECIDE who is among His flock and who is not. He knows the hearts, minds, and souls of people, and ONLY GOD can render perfect judgements. So don’t be so quick to count out everyone belonging to another religion as S.O.L. when it comes to Heaven. Professing the name of Jesus involves far more than just using the name Jesus; it’s living in His example — following His teachings, and living the values of a Christian. I believe that includes someone who is doing so without being consciously aware that they are doing so. Their soul knows even if they don’t, and Jesus knows what our souls know.

        JESUS DECIDES whether people who consciously believe that “Jesus is not God”, or “Jesus is not the only way to heaven”, or “Jesus died to make men Gods” were professing Him with their every action despite their lack of understanding — in accordance with His values. And He will decide whether they will be allowed to enter Heaven or not. That’s not for us to say because that would require us to be arrogant enough to think we know the mind of God (Jesus). We may have the mind of Christ, but that is NOT the same as fully understanding His mind.

        And I’m NOT talking about works. Works cannot save us. It is the human heart, mind, and soul that professes Jesus or denies him, NOT the physical brain or vocal cords. God does NOT see things the way we do. He sees spiritually and His ways are higher than our ways!

        Keep in mind that, as an imperfect and flawed human being, that your interpretation that:

        “they have believed in a Jesus that is NOT THE CHRIST because of who they say THEIR Jesus is and WHAT really saves us”

        is based on YOUR INTERPRETATION of Scripture. It may be that you are right in your interpretation, but you also may be wrong. Jesus will let us know when we stand before Him in judgement. Feel free to get “stuck” or entrenched in your interpretations if you feel that will please Jesus, but I prefer to strive to be like the original Bereans and remain teachable, while adhering to each and every biblical verse.

        Oh, and “Jesus died to make men God” is a DOCTRINAL matter that does NOT pertain to salvation but to 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, but check out Ms. Spreeman’s 3 posts above. Sorry, but I can’t go into further detail with respect to C—o— Cat—— par—a– 4–.

        God bless and keep you and your family, my friend.

        • Edwitness December 3, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

          Stephen J S,
          We know how a person is saved. This is why we can know whether or not they are saved. Because their beliefs do not agree with scripture for some reason.
          As for those who have never heard the message of the gospel, Rom.1 gives ample reason for them possibly being saved. Or not.
          But, as for those who have a working knowledge of the Bible, here is the explanation that addresses them.

          rcc’s believe that works + grace are necessary for salvation. They do not even believe they can KNOW they are saved in this life. They even believe that what Jesus did on the cross was not enough to save mankind completely. They invented the doctrines of purgatory, penance, indulgences, etc…. partly for this reason. Greed and control are the others.

          Mormons believe that they will become Gods through a process they call eternal progression. They also believe that Jesus, who began as a spirit child in heaven like the rest of us(they say), then became a man, ultimately became a God through this process. And like rcc’s, they also believe that salvation comes only through works + faith.

          JW’s do not believe that Jesus is God, nor will He ever be. They believe He was just a man with a special anointing. And like rcc’s and mormons they too believe that salvation only comes to us through faith + works.

          I hope you see that there is no way for those who believe that salvation comes by works of any kind can be saved. Rom.10:9,10 and Eph.2:8,9.
          It is possible however, to attend a church that teaches these things and not believe them yourself. And in this case a person could be saved in spite of their church affiliation. But, the question is why? Why would someone attend a church that teaches a different method for salvation than they themself believe? They wouldn’t if they knew any better, right?

          So the answer is to get our understanding straight with the Bible, not some church, as far as salvation goes, and then attend a church that most closely reflects that understanding.
          What other “interpretation” could someone possibly reach when they read this?
          “For BY grace are ye saved THROUGH faith; and that not of yourselves: IT IS THE GIFT of God:
          NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”

          Works do not save us nor do they keep us saved.

          Blessings:-}

          • Stephen James Schneider December 5, 2016 at 2:53 am #

            Testing, testing, 1-2-3:

            O.K., Edwitness’ post above is a response to a response to a responce to a new post (or repost) and so has been indented three indentations. So, now let’s check if a response to his post, making it a response to a response to a response to a responce to a new post (or repost) displays a “reply button”, as it will be indented four indentations.

            Roight then, here goes . . .

        • Stephen James Schneider December 5, 2016 at 3:20 am #

          Hi Edwitness:

          Take a look at the post directly above this one. Due to a glitch in the computer code of this website, it’s best to use the “reply button” on my post dated December 3, 2016 at 2:57 A.M., and NOT the “reply button” on your post dated December 3, 2016 at 7:06 P.M.

          O.K., let’s see how well I can do responding to your post while still abiding by Ms. Spreeman’s two requests, as I said that I would:

          When you stated:

          “We know how a person is saved. This is why we can know whether or not they are saved. Because their beliefs do not agree with scripture for some reason.”

          I agree with you completely that those who have NEVER heard the message of the gospel or those who have heard it but were not convinced by it, probably because they did NOT believe that the Bible is Scripture, will CERTAINLY NOT be a part of the First Ressurection or be among the souls that have been “born from above” (and so have NO NEED of the First Ressurection).

          With Romans 1:22-32, I point out again that Romans 1:22-23 is NOT the same as Romans 24-32, as I explained in a different post. As well, the list of urges and actions in Romans 1:24-32 are those of unbelievers as a collective whole, and CANNOT be said to apply to each and every unbeliever. Each person, because they have free will, is different (individual) and will have some of those urges and actions, but it would ONLY be a VERY WICKED individual that would possess them all.

          I’m NOT certain about the fate of unbelievers in the Second Ressurection as I explained to rascott247 in one of his early posts in that very cool discussion that you had with him about sin, the Law, Adam and Eve, etc., as what he said in that post did NOT make sense with respect to God who is flat out minimum 250-1000 times as merciful as he is wrathful. After all, at the Second Ressurection, there would be absolutely NO unbelievers with Jesus “seated” on the “Great White Throne” right in front of them.

          I am still waiting for your explanation on a few biblical verses that I asked about, so I am unsure of whether you have applied 1 John 4:1 to what you “know” about how people are saved. Nor do I know whether you consider 1 John 4:1 to apply only to those Christians who do NOT ascribe to the same doctrines that you do. So, do you apply 1 John 4:1consistently to yourself and what you believe, as I do.

        • Stephen James Schneider December 5, 2016 at 3:35 am #

          I can’t comment on your second paragraph as Ms. Spreeman has asked me NOT TO, except to say that your first three sentences in that paragraph are incorrect, although you MAY be correct (at least in part) with respect to your 4th-5th sentences in that paragraph.

          I don’t know enough about Mormans or their beliefs to comment , but as the Book of Morman does teach polygamy, they are definitely NOT following Scripture on at least that one doctrine. As to whether their belief in Jesus would place their doctrines under the purview of 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 or whether those doctrines would be just cause in Jesus’ view for them to be denied salvation, I am NOT qualified to decide. I would have to read up on Mormons on Wikipedia and other reliable websites — do some legitimate research — before venturing a guess.

          With respect to the Jehovah Witnesses, your second sentence is incorrect. They believe that the Archangel Michael was and is Jesus. When I next pay rent, I can ask them about their take on the “faith + works” doctrine.

          When you said:

          “I hope you see that there is no way for those who believe that salvation comes by works of any kind can be saved.”

          As you already know, you, Manny1962, rascott247, and others have convinced me that, as you stated, one cannot be saved BY WORKS, but that does not mean that salvation apart from works can save you either. [James 2:20] Works play an important role in salvation and MUST be present (“good fruits”), but it is NOT BY THEM that we are saved. Thus, you are partially correct on this one since you have said in other posts that you believe the “Once saved, always saved” doctrine, which does contradict James 2:20,John 3:36, and others.

          And this ________________________________.

          • Edwitness December 6, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith WITHOUT the deeds of the law.”
            Rom.3:28

            And again “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
            NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”
            Eph.2:8,9

          • Stephen James Schneider December 7, 2016 at 7:14 am #

            Hi Edwitness:

            As you know, I don’t pick and choose which biblical verses to follow and which not to follow. As you do, I consider them all Scriptural. More than that, I recognize the crucial importance of interpreting EVERY verse in context with EVERY OTHER verse. Do I assume correctly that you feel likewise?

            Romans 3:28 confirms what we both understand: that we are justified by faith. Where we differ in our opinions is whether it is acceptable to add the word “alone” to Scriptural verses that do NOT have the word “alone” in them. For me, that is adding words to Scripture which both Moses and John made clear was NOT to be done, at least in reference to the Mosaic Covenant and the Book of Revelation. I figure it’s a good standard to follow with any other biblical verse.

            Take a look at Romans 3:31.

            In any event, the Law refers specifically to the Mosaic Covenant (as you know) and it is important to remember that the letter to the Romans was written to a church that was predominantly Jewish Christians and who had therefore lived under the Law prior to converting to Christianity.

            As I stated:

            “Works play an important role in salvation and MUST be present (“good fruits”), but it is NOT BY THEM that we are saved.”

            So, totally consistent with Romans 3:28. The works (“good fruits”) that I speak of are NOT the kind that Ephesians 2:8-9 speaks of, but rather are the kind of works that Ephesians 2:10 speaks of. The point is that any “tree” (Christian) that DOES NOT produce “good fruits” gets chopped down. Does that sound like a Christian that enters Heaven?

            These Christians start out being saved (“born again” or “born anew”) but salvation is NOT ultimately received because of the lack of “fruits” (or worse “bad fruits”) that results from their faith. But ONLY IF that’s what Jesus decides. They MAY still be allowed to enter Heaven, but Jesus’ hands are NOT tied behind His back simply because someone has faith.

            That’s where John 3:36 comes in. It states that we are justified by faith and obediance — two different things. Obediance to what? God, Jesus, the Bible, and MOST DEFINITELY Jesus’ teachings. Mark 12:28-34 is only one of the numerous teachings that tell us Ephesians 2:10 works MUST flow from our faith in Jesus’ death and ressurection. It’s important to differentiate between the two kinds of good works (“good fruits”).

          • Edwitness December 10, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            You make the same mistake as snooop1e does. You don’t see the different covenant those Jesus said those things to as the reason that applied to them and not to us.

            You said “The point is that any “tree” (Christian) that DOES NOT produce “good fruits” gets chopped down. Does that sound like a Christian that enters Heaven?”

            Who was Jesus speaking to when He said this? What covenant were they under? Is that the same covenant we are under?

            Answer these correctly and you will see the error in your statement/question I quoted from you above.

            Have you ever noticed that Jesus told the apostles, and specifically Peter, that when they were following Him they had not been converted yet? Luke22:32- “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: AND WHEN YOU ARE CONVERTED, strengthen thy brethren.”
            These were Jews under the law. They were under a conditional covenant. None of them were born again until AFTER Jesus rose from the grave. His death gave power to the New Testament. Until then Israel was still under the law.
            The law is conditional. Grace is not.

          • Stephen James Schneider December 7, 2016 at 7:40 am #

            Whoops! I should clarify that when I said:

            “These Christians start out being saved (“born again” or “born anew”) but salvation is NOT ultimately received because of the lack of “fruits” (or worse “bad fruits”) that results from their faith.”

            I should have said instead that:

            ” . . . but salvation is NOT ultimately received because of their faith NOT producing “fruits” (works) or worse producing “bad fruits” (Unchristian behaviour and actions)”

            Not producing “good fruits” (good works) is disobediance despite faith, and this faith can NOT be credited with righteousness or worse is debited with lack of righteousness. The need for obediance in addition to faith is another reason that “alone” should NOT be added to any biblical verse.

        • Stephen James Schneider December 5, 2016 at 3:43 am #

          However, to claim that Christians who believe that works are partly what they are saved by CANNOT BE SAVED is incorrect! They will be corrected by Jesus on this doctrine as per 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, but (as those verses state) they will still be saved by grace through faith AND (NOT works, but NOT faith or grace either). Again, there’s more involved.

          In my 11th paragraph in my post above, I did point out that Romans 10:9-10 speaks of belief and confession, but that this may refer to the spiritual mouth rather than our physical mouth, just as it DOES refer to our spiritual heart and NOT our physical heart beating in our chests. God (Jesus) is a spiritual being, NOT a physical being, after all. It is easy for we humans to read Scripture too literally. Is that the case here? I don’t know. No person can say with definitive certainty BECAUSE we humans are imperfect, flawed, VERY capable of making mistakes, and believing things (doctrines and interpretations) that are wrong are actually right. God knows and God alone.

          DID YOU NOTICE that Romans 10:10 states that we are justified by belief and saved by confessing (professing)? For Paul, it seems that “justified” and “saved” are indeed DIFFERENT things! This does have a contextual implication on other verses where Paul uses either of the two words “justified (justification)” and “saved (salvation)”. If we use these words as synonyms, which (for Paul) they are CLEARLY NOT, we end up misinterpreting what he is saying whenever he uses these words. Useful to know, yes?

          • Edwitness December 6, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

            Stephen J S,
            They have already been corrected By Jesus through the teaching of the apostles. Especially Paul. Works nullify faith. Rom.4:14,15
            “For if they which are of the law be heirs, FAITH IS MADE VOID, and the promise made of none effect:
            Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.”

          • Stephen James Schneider December 7, 2016 at 8:02 am #

            Hi Edwitness:

            Correct, but refer to my above posts from today. Again, your reference is to the Mosaic Covenant, but never mind that. What I am saying is that someone BELIEVING that salvation is by faith and works HAS NO IMPACT on the FACT that salvation is by grace through faith, and NOT by grace alone through faith alone.

            The question of salvation is NOT what Christians believe; it is the quality of their faith. Doctrines, correct or incorrect, is what 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 talks about, and therefore CANNOT affect salvation. The ONLY EXCEPTION is the foundation of Christianity, “Christ, and Him crucified”. EVERY OTHER DOCTRINE, no matter how significant, is still what is built upon that foundation by a Christian denomination or individual Christian and is NOT a part of the foundation itself.

            Misinterpreting WHO Jesus is doesn’t affect a Christian’s faith that Jesus died for our sins and was ressurected, nor will it affect one’s salvation, provided that the foundation is what a Christian builds upon.

        • Stephen James Schneider December 5, 2016 at 3:53 am #

          Ephesians 2:8-9 is something I now truly believe and ___________________________, but DID YOU NOTICE that these verses state:

          “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is NOT of your own doing; it is a gift of God, so that noone may boast.”

          and do NOT state:

          “For by grace ALONE you have been saved through faith ALONE by Christ ALONE. And this is NOT of your own doing; it is a gift of God, so that noone may boast.”

          So, where do those 3 “alones” come from, Scripturally speaking?

          Keeping with the facts that God is three “persons” in one, and that Jesus is BOTH man AND God, how can you then say that the belief NOT stated by Ephesians 2:8-9 IS SCRIPTURAL, unless there is a different verse that says that what you are claiming is what the Bible teaches. If so, what is that verse?

          And that brings us to a variation of your questions:

          “Why would someone belong to a church (including? CARM or this Sola Fide) that teaches a different method for salvation than what the Bible teaches? They wouldn’t if they knew any better, right?”

          Roight, waiting on that verse or verses . . .

          God keep and bless you and your family, my friend!

  13. Stephen James Schneider November 30, 2016 at 6:41 am #

    On to the axiom. Yes, I’ve heard this axiom, but “hating the sin” leads inevitably to prejudice against the sinner. How can it not?

    Consider your post on Muslims dated October 31, 2016 at 8:37 A.M. where you stated:

    “If the god of the muslims is the same god as the RC, as the catechism says, then neither have the true God. The god of islam is the moon god. That is why they have the moon over their abominations they call mosques.”

    This sentiment isn’t just hating the sin that you INCORRECTLY claim they are committing, but certainly shows no love of the “sinners”. If you haven’t yet started researching this belief of yours from ALL SIDES of the question (as per 1 John 4:1), then why are you not following what Scripture is telling you that you are supposed to do?

    Out of interest, how long have you believed this whole “Allah is a pagan moon god because nearly-the-same name was ONCE LONG AGO a reference to ilah, a pagan moon god” fallacy anyway? Who in the world taught you this nonsense?

    I do hope that you aren’t blaming the Muslim community for the actions of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist extremists who brought down the World Trade Towers on September 11, 2001! Or the henious activities of ISIS!

    ISIS “soldiers” crucified a Roman Catholic priest a few months back. Do I hold all Muslims responsible for these reprehensible actions by radicalized Muslim extremists? Why would I? I empathize with them having to deal with being lumped in with the “crazies” who are killing in God’s name.

    I feel pity for the tragically-misguided zealots who committed this murder. I feel sympathy for the priest, his family, his friends, and his parishioners. And I place it all in God’s capable hands to judge and sort out. Hate doesn’t even blip on the ‘ol Christian radar.

    There are extremist Christians running around blowing up abortion clinics and extremist Christians who are trained snipers shooting doctors (because they are researching gene-splicing) in their living rooms with their wives and children home at the time! Look it up if you don’t believe me! Just type “extremist Christians” into your favorite search engine and start reading.

    There is nothing to be gained by letting hate insinuate its way into your mind and soul. Of course, sin is wrong, but it’s God’s place to deal with along with the sinners. Every Christian should denounce sin, but it should be out of love rather than out of hate. As Paul instructed “with great understanding and patience”, NOT with hate and condemnation.

    It would not surprise me in the least to learn that this axiom was inspired by Satan. There’s nothing like a bit of hate to create a chink in a Christian’s defenses (spiritual armour). Any little weakness will do!

    • Edwitness December 1, 2016 at 1:39 am #

      Stephen J S,
      You asked “Out of interest, how long have you believed this whole “Allah is a pagan moon god because nearly-the-same name was ONCE LONG AGO a reference to ilah, a pagan moon god” fallacy anyway? Who in the world taught you this nonsense?”

      The answer is the archaeology of the region has shown this to be true. Check it out for yourself. Here is some of what you will find.

      “Thousands of inscriptions from walls and rocks in Northern Arabia have also been collected. Reliefs and votive bowls used in worship of the “daughters of Allah” have also been discovered. The three daughters, al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat are sometimes depicted together with Allah the Moon-god represented by a crescent moon above them. The archeological evidence demonstrates that the dominant religion of Arabia was the cult of the Moon-god.

      The evidence reveals that the temple of the Moon-god was active even in the Christian era. Evidence gathered from both North and South Arabia demonstrate that Moon-god worship was clearly active even in Muhammad’s day and was still the dominant cult.

      According to numerous inscriptions, while the name of the Moon-god was Sin, his title was al-ilah, i.e. “the deity,” meaning that he was the chief or high god among the gods. As Coon pointed out, “The god il or ilah was originally a phase of the Moon God.” The Moon-god was called al- ilah, i.e. the god, which was shortened to Allah in pre-Islamic times. The pagan Arabs even used Allah in the names they gave to their children. For example, both Muhammad’s father and uncle had Allah as part of their names.

      The fact that they were given such names by their pagan parents proves that Allah was the title for the Moon-god even in Muhammad’s day. Prof. Coon goes on to say, “Similarly, under Mohammed’s tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allah, the Supreme Being.”

      This fact answers the questions, “Why is Allah never defined in the Qur’an? Why did Muhammad assume that the pagan Arabs already knew who Allah was?” Muhammad was raised in the religion of the Moon-god Allah. But he went one step further than his fellow pagan Arabs. While they believed that Allah, i.e. the Moon-god, was the greatest of all gods and the supreme deity in a pantheon of deities, Muhammad decided that Allah was not only the greatest god but the only god.”……….

      Blessings:-}

      • Stephen James Schneider December 6, 2016 at 2:00 am #

        Hi Edwitness:

        Yes, I’m familiar with the information that you quoted since it’s all info that was in that article you suggested I check out in your post dated November 16, 2016 at 3:04 A.M. by searching for “Allah moon god archaeology of the middle east”.

        So, good, that’s one article. What are the other articles you have read on the subject of Islam, Muslims, and who Allah is? How many articles have you read confirming what you believe? How many articles have you read contradicting what you currently believe?

        C’mon, you’ve quoted 1 John 4:1 to me, and I’ve researched every subject that you have said I had wrong. So, now it’s your turn.

        If you haven’t yet started researching this belief of yours from ALL SIDES of the question (as per 1 John 4:1), then why are you not following what Scripture is telling you that you are supposed to do?

        Namely, testing ALL spirits (beliefs) including your own.

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