122 Comments

The Papacy is The Antichrist!

The London Baptist Confession of 1689 and the Westminster Confession both identify the office of Pope, within the Roman Catholic Church, as antichrist. Many modern evangelicals have lost sight of the reason for The Reformation and think Vatican II brought Rome closer to Protestant soteriology. This is a sadly mistaken conclusion, as Rome has never refuted The Council Of Trent, which proclaims damnation on all who hold to salvation by grace alone by faith alone in Christ alone. To this day, Rome proclaims an infused grace from their false Christ that empowers the Catholic to work his spiritual birth by his own efforts.

Below is a snapshot of the Preface to a 50 page booklet by J.A. Wylie wherein he documents the biblical case that proves the perspective in the two confessions noted above. The complete booklet can be found here. May the blood-bought saints of the living God stand firm on His Word, for the glory of the Lord Jesus.

About Manfred

Reformed Baptist, married to one woman since 1978, enjoy camping, motorcycle riding, solid books that assist in understanding the Word of God, fellowship with the Lord's saints, and some classical music. A wretch saved by grace, with nothing to give my Lord except my sin.

122 comments on “The Papacy is The Antichrist!

  1. Then is the Roman Catholic Church the Great Whore?…Or do we look for another?

  2. Mickey – I don’t see how one can read Revelation 19 and come away thinking something other than Rome is being described. The activity of the Roman Catholic Church fits the description to a T. Who else can fit the profile?

  3. Wylie’s booklet is interesting, and shows just how far the Kirk has declined. If a Church of Scotland minister were to write something like this today, he’d be roundly condemned throughout the Kirk. Even the “evangelicals” (for the most part) would say he’s too rigid.

    As to precise identification of “the” Antichrist, it depends on one’s theological / hermeneutical perspective. Because I understand the events of Revelation 4-22 to be still in the future, I see the Roman Catholic Church as >an< antichrist, a forerunner of the Harlot of Revelation.

    Islam teaches that Jesus will return and unite "Christianity" and Islam, teaching Christians the truth of Islam. I suspect the Harlot will be a union of Islam, the RCC, and apostate Protestantism, with significant New Age and hyper-environmentalist influences, a sort of religious conglomeration with enough elements from each that "everyone" can accept it — one-world religion to complement one-world government. I think it will be led by someone claiming to actually be Jesus, not merely His vicar on earth, and telling people that all religions got some things right and some things wrong.

    Whatever one's view of prophecy, we don't have to identify the RCC as "The Antichrist" to know what it is. It is evil, teaching a false gospel, claiming divine authority, exalting its own traditions, telling us to call men our father, etc, etc. The same spirit animates both the antichrist of Revelation and the RCC. We don't have to know exactly how it fits in eschatology to know what it is and that it is to be separated from, avoided, warned against, and never condoned in any way.

  4. Manfred is in it great to note that while we’re busy pointing fingers on the Catholic Church the great whore the more we can acknowledge that God is in control of this. “For God is the sovereign Ruler of all creation that determines all of this”, as i quote you.

  5. Amen – the Lord omnipotent reigneth! And this is why, no matter what tribulation we face (and all who would live a life in Christ Jesus will face tribulation), we should – as did the Apostle John while on Patmos – trust God and testify of His reign, soon return, and victory over all of His enemies!

  6. Manfred: One flaw, and here is why I don’t believe the RCC is THE Antichrist, or the Whore: it identifies the whore as Babylon the Great, a real place. In most of the instances where God brings judgment on people through a nation, he uses Babylon. There IS a Babylon right now, and is in the position to becoming a significant economic powerhouse in the near future (I predict 5 to 10 years).

    Rome was around when Revelation was written; why not call it Rome, or the false church, or anything that did not specifically refer to something else entirely?

  7. 072591 – Revelation is an apocryphal book, which is to be taken symbolically except where we are told to take it at face value. Just as Sodom is oft used in Scripture to denote a very sinful group deserving of God’s wrath, so is Babylon oft used as a symbol of a culture or city or group that boasts of itself against God. The description in Rev 19 and other places in Scripture show too much in common between “Babylon” and the RCC and antichrist and the Papacy to be swept aside by a futurist view of Revelation.

  8. Jesus identifies the Antichrist in John 5:43, and the second and third generation disciples of the Apostle John (Irenaeus and Hippolytus) wrote adamantly that they were handing down exactly as they were taught the “rule of faith” from the Apostles. They spoke very specifically regarding where the Antichrist was to come from, exactly as Jesus indicated. Read their writings.

    The Harlot Babylon is explained in an article written just as the Gulf War was getting underway, if you care to accept it: http://www.voiceofelijah.org/library/02_JAN_1991_(web).pdf The truth certainly hasn’t changed since then.

    Paul wrote of destroying speculations, and by God’s grace, it will be so before Christ returns, just as Malachi indicated. The warnings were clear regarding our own private interpretations; will we humbly to God’s Word as He demands?

  9. ChristopherV – It’s been a while, but I’ve read some stuff from the Voice of Elijah. No thanks.

  10. Certainly your choice Manfred. Sharing is as far as it goes.

  11. ChristopherV – that group and the article you cited suffer from interpreting the Bible through the lens of current events.

    For those who have commented in disagreement – have ye read the booklet by Wylie? I pray you do, as he makes a credible case from the Scriptures.

  12. Manfred, with all due respect, you’ve just contradicted your point. Wylie interpreted the Bible through the lens of his current events. Irenaeus and Hippolytus wrote that they were discipled as Jesus instructed His disciples, one generation from the very John who was given the Revelation. They were adamant that they were instructed correctly, and that the churches planted by the Apostles shared a unified faith. They understood who the Antichrist was to be, as they were taught, making a credible case from the Scriptures. God was faithful to leave a testimony from those first two centuries after Christ ascended. We can choose to speculate if we want to, but that certainly isn’t warranted from Scripture. That’s all I have to share. Thanks.

  13. ChristopherV – Wylie interpreted the Bible and saw what everyone saw, the country of Rome morphed into the cult of Rome and became the Roman Catholic Church. By this, he interpreted historical events by the lens of Scripture.

  14. Found this most interesting collection of statements attributed to various popes, lining up with the notion that the papacy is antichrist: http://www.thechristadelphians.org/htm/articles/Prophecy/Prophecy_01.htm

    Also, I found chapter 25 of Wylies’ book most informative and illuminating.

  15. Well if She is the Great Whore and Mother of all Harlots, then what came out of her but 50,000 daughter denominations of laity clergy divide/deeds of the Nicolaitans, as well as whoring with the world “esus franchises.”(not to be confused with true called out saints of Christ Jesus and the congregations of saints not goats wherever they gather.)

  16. Many of the harlot daughters can be identified by their participation in a family therapy session called catholics and evangelicals together, where they learned how to better get along with their estranged mother. These are dark days we live in. The pope sits among the temple of God (visible Church) and delcares that he is God. Utter blasphemy that will be destroyed by Jesus Christ at the splendor of His coming. I am far more swayed that the final pope will be the man of lawlessness (though there have been many anti-christs in romes history) than a liberal, muslim,etc.

    Matthew Henry on Revelation 17:

    Rome clearly appears to be meant in this chapter… She is named, from her infamous practices, a mother of harlots; training them up to idolatry and all sorts of wickedness. She filled herself with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus. She intoxicated herself with it; and it was so pleasant to her, that she never was satisfied. We cannot but wonder at the oceans of Christian blood shed by men called Christians; yet when we consider these prophecies, these awful deeds testify to the truth of the gospel. And let all beware of a splendid, gainful, or fashionable religion.

    and for those who prefer Wesley over Henry:

    And on her forehead a name written – Whereas the saints have the name of God and the Lamb on their foreheads. Mystery – This very word was inscribed on the front of the Pope’s mitre, till some of the Reformers took public notice of it. Babylon the great – Benedict XIII., in his proclamation of the jubilee, A.D. 1725, explains this sufficiently. His words are, “To this holy city, famous for the memory of so many holy martyrs, run with religious alacrity. Hasten to the place which the Lord hath chose. Ascend to this new Jerusalem, whence the law of the Lord and the light of evangelical truth hath flowed forth into all nations, from the very first beginning of the church: the city most rightfully called ‘The Palace,’ placed for the pride of all ages, the city of the Lord, the Sion of the Holy One of Israel. This catholic and apostolical Roman church is the head of the world, the mother of all believers, the faithful interpreter of God and mistress of all churches.”

    But God somewhat varies the style. The mother of harlots – The parent, ringleader, patroness, and nourisher of many daughters, that losely copy after her. And abominations – Of every kind, spiritual and fleshly. Of the earth – In all lands. In this respect she is indeed catholic or universal.

  17. In light of a couple of verses, I am more cautious now than before to conscribe the Pope/papacy as the figurehead, agency of the spirit being, the antiChrist, who is discussed in many places in Scripture.

    It does seem to me that Rome bears the markings of the fruit of this antiChrist as do many other fruit bearing entities around the world. I can speak to a bit larger sway seeing I have been to about 30 countries on all seven continents over the last 50 plus years and observed the fruits of the antiChrist spirit at work in the world today.

    Here are the two places in Scripture I would point too that gives me some caution and to suggest the brush is much larger than to conscribe the antiChrist to just the RCC as manifested all over the world since her inception on the world stage so many centuries ago:

    2Jn 1:7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Rev 18:21 Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “So will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will be found no more;
    Rev 18:22 and the sound of harpists and musicians, of flute players and trumpeters, will be heard in you no more, and a craftsman of any craft will be found in you no more, and the sound of the mill will be heard in you no more,
    Rev 18:23 and the light of a lamp will shine in you no more, and the voice of bridegroom and bride will be heard in you no more, for your merchants were the great ones of the earth, and all nations were deceived by your sorcery.
    Rev 18:24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on earth.”

    I say this because of the “work” of the “beast and the false prophet” who clearly are working their spells upon the hearts and minds of the world populations even in these days.

    Yes, there seems to be a narrow conscription in Scripture to “a” figurehead, an agent, the antiChrist. The papacy seems to “fit” that conscription.

    I think, though, that may be overly simplistic.

    Anyway, that’s where I am at at this time in the debate. I do not hold to this dogmatically, as some; and am open minded enough to consider any additional evidences to the contrary.

  18. Throwing my hat into the ring…

    From what I understand about the RCC, Babylon, the Whore, the AntiChrist, etc., coming from my Amillennial perspective, it’s my position that the antiChrist about which we’re speaking is an allegorical mish-mash of many things. Things such as: the “visible church,” the “world” system (i.e. Babylon) or “Vanity Fair,” and all things opposed to Christ and His “invisible” church.

    I don’t believe in a literal 666 mark on the forehead or hand either. I believe this is, again, symbolic language indicating that people who have this ‘mark of the beast’ both think (forehead) and act (hand) according to their individual association with being part of Babylon or the Whore or the AntiChrist.

    Do I believe the RCC (Papacy) is THE AntiChrist? No. I believe they are AN AntiChrist….just like any other false religion.

    Just a few thoughts.

    Todd
    Texas

  19. I think Wylie makes a good point and then sort of undermines it. Christ is a Person. So is the man of sin, the antichrist. The papacy is not a person. If we are talking about a person, which pope is it?

    There is no doubt that the “mystery of iniquity” is working in the RCC, but unless we are going to see the man of sin as an institution rather than a person, it’s hard for me to see how we can say he has come yet.

    I believe he is a person, is still to come, and will almost certainly take the position of pope (along with a lot of other things).

  20. But the whole world wondered after the beast and have drunk from the cup of wrath. We have antichrist as in the plural ie those who deny Christ and perhaps in the singular as either the beast of the end times or his prophet, the first and second beasts of Revelations. Is not the “antichrist of end time the eighth kingdomto come?
    9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits,
    10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while.
    11 “And the beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction” (Revelation 17 NASB).
    Rome was the seventh Kingdom which existed in John’s time of course, so the end time Antichrist is still to come. From my own understanding the end time Babylon is this not Rome an amalgamation of all the other seven kingdoms ie Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia and Greece and Rome at the time of John. Personally i am inclined to think the latter day Babylon is the kingdom of the end time antichrist which is the United Nations New world Order not Rome. I dont believe this dogmatically of course but it seems more likely a candidate than Rome and that is still not say the end time antichrist or the two beasts can’t come from Rome.

  21. Don’t think of the papacy as a human institution. It is an office of Satan – the occupants of which have all been his servants. Have you we disagree read all of Wylie’s short book? Does not chapter 25 make sense?

  22. Alexander Hislop presents perhaps the best argument I have ever read in his “The Two Babylons”, not just providing profuse evidence that the Harlot is the RCC, but describes in numerous ways her spiritual origins clear back in Babylon, and how it ties all indigenous religions together in their basic beliefs. Which in and of itself explains much regarding the spiritual virus that already resides worldwide, waiting to explode out of it’s semi-dormancy.

    I believe the Lord has given us in His word all the info we need regarding both the Harlot and Antichrist. And for good reason, since He warns His people to come out of her so that we are not caught in her judgments (Rev.18:4). It’s important to keep the Harlot and Antichrist as separate entities, yet certainly linked. She is a corporate entity (Harlot as opposed to Bride) identified with a specific city (Rome). He is both a system and an individual, which has a specific identifying spirit (“the spirit of antichrist”). Since Jesus Himself told us to take heed to Daniel’s vision, and so much of the last book of His word is given to describing the two entities, we would do well to put serious study into this.

  23. All of the other seven fallen Kingdoms were also the office of Satan and of course no one is denying Rome was/is the most powerful one of the previous six. Rome lost its empire a long time ago and the reformation and printing of the Bible did it much damage despite the Jesuits. No previous Kingdom ever managed to rule all Nations and this still includes Rome and we know the last Kingdom of the Antichrist will rule all Nations “which is to come” which can only be the one world Government and religion from the United Nations, this in my view will be the Antichrist Kingdom and the last Babylon to take its last stand in rebellion against God. The whole world against God. Don’t get me wrong Rome has been and will continue to be major player but i thinks its the UN we have to keep our eyes on in the end times more than Rome. The orchastrated anti christian movement toward theosophy and the new age and a one world religion and Government from my observations and readings is coming from the UN not Rome.

    Of course brethren Rome supports Satan’s One world Government as they still ruled by Satan, see http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/vatican-calls-for-one-world-government-really/ My point is though this is last Kingdom which will be far more powerful than Rome ever was and fulfil prophesy not Rome itself.

  24. @Todd, I’m with you on this one (and mostly with Manfred as well). The anti-christ is just that, those who are against Christ. Certainly the reformers saw the RCC as this fulfillment, but we can see many many fulfillments over time for an anti-christ. As Manfred points out the second we start trying to use Revelation as a road map to the future, everything falls apart. Newspaper eschatology and prophecy fulfillment leads many way off course. Where I would differ from Manfred here is labeling the RCC or papacy as THE antichrist as opposed to AN anti-christ.

    In His Grace,
    -atg

  25. Why single out the RCC as the harlot? .Is there any difference between Catholic false doctrine and pentecostal false doctrine, or any other “protestant” false doctrine for that matter.I don’t think so , they are all false teachings that are drawing in believers and spewing spiritually dead people out the other side.Imho , the “harlot” has her hooks firmly placed in every mainstream church, after all ,there are only two types of people, those who are for Christ , and those who are antichrist, and whether folks believe it or not, there are many antichrist types sharing the same church pews.

    BTW Todd , your comments @7.46 are right on, I couldn’t agree more.

  26. So, did Jesus miss the good old USA all together? The greatest “christian” nation in the history of christianity? We sent more missionarys then all other nations combined. We have “in God we trust on our “common denomination” the one denomination the whole world (currently) believes in. We graduate more preachers, more teachers, more choir directors and more evangelists then ever before… So! How are we left out of the bible? ….OR…..Are we looking at things the wrong way?
    Anyone care to think about our being part of the Babylonian beast system? Did we start as a sheep and are we ending as a dragon? When our monetary/military/corporo-facist system goes down (perhaps quite soon in fact) and being the world’s reserve currency, could our fall be cataclysmic in nature? 1.46 quadrillion of toxic debt globally, and each American’s piece of the American debt pie being somewhere near $300,000 per person! Hmmm…
    Oh, and my dream in 2007 of Hop Sing owning the Ponderosa, and Pa Hoss and little Joe working for him being closer to reality then ever before!!!
    What a co-incidence that a lion with eagles wings, and later the wings being removed from the lion can you see from the British Lion and Our American bald eagle, being seperated a while back…
    Also, don’t forget that our Federal Reserve is neither federal nor have there EVER been any reserves, for it creates fiat debt from thin air…and by the way it is a private corporation with stockholders sitting in one of the 3 soverign citystates in the world. Can you name them? I will for you, the city of London, a soverign banking citystate within the town of London England, where sits roughly half of the foreign stockholders in our Federal Reserve. Another is in the District of Columbia known as Washington DC! They run the military/political/corporate/ military machine for the world. And last but certainly not least is Rome, the center of the Mother of all Harlots!
    WOW! And this beast system of systems sits on many waters too!!!

  27. Manfred, I’m only seeing 18 chapters, not 25. Am I missing something?

  28. Mickey, I’m not sure where you are going with all that, but the dispensational newspaper prophecy has no Biblical basis. These things you describe are not supported by the Bible, but by a man made system created to explain the news of the day. The Bible is doesn’t describe the days we live in or the USA in anyway other than the eternal struggle of good vs. evil. If we spend time searching for the USA and the news of the day, we miss the whole picture of redemptive history of Eden to the New Jerusalem (Eden restored) set forth in Genesis all the way through Revelation as one complete and beautiful picture of God’ redemptive plan for His children because we are too busy trying to find that one verse that might sound like something that happened in the news today.

    In His Grace,
    -atg

  29. Jon Gleason – and anyone else who was wondering the same thing: Drat those Roman numerals! Must be part of the work of antichrist! Or perhaps my quick glance and not recognizing what I was seeing :-) Chapter XV (15) is what I meant to refer to. Thanks for pointing out my error, so that others might be rightly informed. Blessings in Christ.

  30. I fully understand and agree with what you say ATG, but you don’t see what I see nor understand what I am saying, but just hold on, the next year or so will bear much of this out for us all…

  31. Mickey, my friend, I am sorry to disagree with you so strongly. You can’t be in agreement with me if you are saying that in the next year or so we will see Biblical prophecy come to fulfillment. I oppose this assertion greatly, with respect. The Bible gives no indication of anything you could attached this statement too. I don’t need to “see what you are seeing” – this sounds like some sort of special divine revelation! Is this your intention? Every generation since Christ has thought that He was just around the corner and the end was just a couple years out. Unless I have totally mischaracterized your position (apologizing in advance if so), I don’t see how this is much different than what Harold Camping has been claiming for years.

    in truth and love,
    -atg

  32. Don’t focus on any individual Nation such as the US or Rome as the “beast system” it’s world wide already, if you have the eyes to see as all Nations all have drunk from the cup of wrath via the United Nations and its Pagan new age philiosophy. Consider, it does not matter who you vote for, we can already observe as fact the same anti christian one world Godless pagan policies being implamented the world over. The same agenda world wide is happening before your very eyes. Satan’s last stand, all Nations against Saints and God as the final rebellion fulfilling Bible prophesy. Please i beg you, observe what is happening in reality the world over in biblical context, the same agendas WORLD WIDE happening before your very eyes. Come soon Lord.

  33. Harold Camping?!?! Ouch!!! LOL No I am not predicting the day or the hour, ATG, and I never have either! LOL
    Do I need to remind you of scriptures that point to our seeing how late things are, for example? Many, would point to the re-establishment of a physical Israel for as a fulfillment of prophecy. This would be an example of a prophetic fulfillment which should cause you to rethink your statements above I would imagine.
    Anyways, brother I appreciate you, and am in agreement with you concerning your first post and the news verses biblical truth. Unfortunatly, it would merely take folks to begin in earnest to question why He hasn’t shown up yet and that folks have been saying He will, to fulfill today more biblical prophecy as well, right? Then there is the messy little “New World Order/One World Government” crowd working day and night through such things as the U.N. and Agenda 21 to fulfill again biblical prophecy in our time. Oh and don’t forget a single financial currency system to prevent you from buying or selling. I would call your attention to the “SWIFT” system, already in place and used to shut down any nation who won’t play ball, by preventing them to engage in international trade via currency exchange. And finally, for example, while we havn’t seen much tribulation for the believer here, there have been more, um, witnesses (martyrs) for their stand for Jesus in the past 100 years then in all of the past 2,000 years combined! So, brother, as you should be able to see just from these examples, you may want to consider another look at what you wrote regarding seeing the fulfillment of biblical prophecy in our lifetimes…
    Did you know that John the Baptizer, Jesus’ own cousin, said he knew his calling but did not know Messiah…till he did, as God revealed. So, until God reveals? We can’t see.
    Now, let me see, wasn’t there something about in the last days folks would be cold, hard, uncaring, lovers of self, lovers of flesh…”As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be…” “Great falling away…” Many false christs/annointed ones…How many examples would convince you that, yes, you can actually see biblical prophecy being fulfilled before your eyes, without having a evening news eschatology?
    Just saying…

  34. Mickey, I don’t know of any properly interpreted Bible prophecy passages that describe what you list above. Nothing is any different or worse today than it was 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago, or 2000 years ago. The only way to connect your list of items above is to take a hyper-dispensational interpretation of Revelation and Daniel and Matthew 24, all of which I would seriously argue are incorrect interpretations of the books and passages. You mention we need to earnestly question why Christ hasn’t returned. I would propose that we need to earnestly question why some believe that a Tim Lahaye Left Behind pretrib/premil theology rules in the American evangelical churches today. I would encourage you to do a thorough study of the roots of John Nelson Darby’s Dispensational theology and the reasons behind it and what this theology forces as a framework that all scripture has to be squeezed, squished, molded and forced into to fit the Dispensational framework.

    As brothers, we can disagree on this and lovingly challenge each other on it, but certainly is not a dividing factor. I came from Dispensational roots and left that theology behind (pun intended) because scripture has shown me some amazingly beautiful things through a more covenant or new covenant theology. :)

    In His grace,
    -atg

  35. Thanks for clearing that up, Manfred. Roman numerals, Roman Catholic Church, Roman bishop, it all fits together. :)

    I’ll give a few thoughts on Chapter 15. First as to naos, temple, it is used of the Jewish temple, believers, the temple of God in heaven, even the temple of Diana. So the argument based on this word is not well-founded. It could well refer to a reconstructed temple in Jerusalem. I’m not saying it must refer to that, simply that Wylie hasn’t proved anything with it. I do find it hard to believe that “temple of God” refers to the apostate RCC, though.

    Second, “Moreover, no one-man Antichrist, or Antichrist whose reign is to last for only three years and a -half, can fulfil the conditions of Paul’s prophecy.” I certainly would not agree. The mystery of iniquity was already and still is working. Wylie has wonderfully demonstrated that the RCC has always been about power, which prepared the groundwork. I believe the man of sin, an individual man, will either assume the papacy and all its power or all of that power will be at his disposal. If he quickly convinces both Muslims and Catholics that he is Jesus returned, he’ll have all the religious power he needs. And modern technology (television, Internet) makes that very feasible. Wylie asked how he could exhibit his lying wonders. This is no longer a problem. Exhibiting his lying wonders on television broadcasts around the world, saying the right things to Muslims and Catholics, he could very quickly convince them to put their power at his disposal.

    Similarly, evil people are always striving for centralisation of political power — the EU is one example. The more centralisation, the more feasible it becomes for one person to claim it and use it. Furthermore, it is increasingly practical for that power to be used efficiently. Technology (weaponry, surveillance, communication) is far advanced from Wylie’s day. Almost every purchase I make in Britain is recorded on CCTV. Everywhere I drive is recorded on camera. All of this surveillance and technology can easily be leveraged if someone has the political power and will to do it. How much further did this progress with 9/11? All it takes is a really good crisis or two — and the news media is always stirring up crises. What will they do with a real crisis?

    The world has changed in so many ways since Wylie wrote. Yes, the Antichrist certainly could be a single man. Furthermore, his argument that the Antichrist “could not make his first appearance full-grown” is not well-founded. If he claims to be Christ returned to earth, as Muslims and Catholics expect to happen sometime, he certainly could appear suddenly.

    Wylie’s point that he was working in Paul’s day is not sound. The mystery of iniquity and the man of sin are not necessarily the same thing. One could be a man, the other the wicked spirit that will empower and direct him. The man of sin does not have to be alive and working for the mystery of iniquity to be working. Wylie has conflated two things that are not necessarily the same.

    In the last half of the chapter, Wylie effectively demonstrates a strong similarity between Antichrist and the papacy. There’s no question about it. The papacy is >at least< a manifestation of the working of the mystery of iniquity working in preparation for the man of sin. Every pope is an antichrist, by their own words. The question is not whether they are antichrists (Wylie shows clearly that they are), but whether their institution is The Antichrist.

    From a practical perspective, there's not a sliver of difference between our understanding of it. You (with Wylie) see "the Antichrist" as an institution, the papacy. I see him as a single man who will probably be a pope (or at least have the power of the papacy at his disposal). But we both clearly see the papacy as being driven by the power of wickedness which drives the man of sin, characterised by the same evil, exhibiting similar characteristics. Whether the institution of the papacy is the man of sin, or whether it is merely a forerunner preparing the way of an individual, it is to be rejected and warned against. It is either the man of sin himself or the mystery of iniquity that now works. We respond the same to it either way.

    But I don't see anything in Chapter XV that compels me to choose Wylie's view on it. He ably demonstrates a connection between the papacy and the man of sin, but not an identification. His case undoubtedly looked much stronger before the technological advances of the last century.

    As usual, this is too long. :)

  36. Your mis-reading me, as I am actually Amillennial in my eschatology, and am well aware as to how asleep modern churchianity is with regards to Darby, and Scofield. I did not say I question His return either. Perhaps a slower more thoughtful reading of what I am saying will be of benefit to you, brother. Here is another scripture fulfilled in front of those today who have eyes to see.

    Jeremiah 5:30-31
    King James Version (KJV)
    31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

    Till each of us count our past religious training as dung, like Paul, and then understand the Lord is our Shepherd/Pastor/Teacher, and His Word in context is text book, and the Holy Spirit our Guide/Elder/Teacher, we will trade one dead man’s eschatology for anothers, and fail to understand Christ’s teaching about obeying the teaching that lines up with His Word, but not following the practices of the traditions of the elders, as taught by preachers today.
    Here is an example:
    Ephesians 4:11-14
    New King James Version (NKJV)

    11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,

    Do you see these which men now call offices? They are functions! Have we come to the fullness of Christ yet? (some would say yes as we have the completed cannon of scriptures) Scripture is complete, yet the fullness is not yet realized, thus these functions all remain, but not in a laity clergy divide system of doing church, only the pastor remains, unless he is a pastor teacher according to most! Evangelists are occasionally put up with, primarily because they are state certified preachers, yet when you look at these offices er functions, their purpose WAS to disciple the saints, so that THEY would go out and accuratly preach the Good News! But today the traditions of men have us bringing in the “lost seeker” who then gets a preachen to. With an alter call. Thus the fellowship of the called out saints becomes a building to go to and hear preaching when the gathering was to “one another” so that saints could be made mature, not a blender of the goat with the sheep, calling in tares to overwhelm the wheat, which also is a fulfillment of Jesus’ teaching on how Satan works.
    IF I were to accept denominational labels, I would be pigeon holed as Amil. and Reformed, and a Calvinist. But because I sit at His feet, and learn from Him, His way, through scripture in context, and revealed by an un neutered by the traditions of men Holy Spirit, His Word is not made of no effect in me. I simply conform myself to His Word as revealed by the Holy Spirit, as He promised would happen. I cannot follow another shepherd, who mixes for example the Solas, with Challies, and then quotes a mystic occult quasi Catholic named CS Lewis. Nor will I allow that poison to be fed to my family! We had one child for example in a conservative christian school for years, till we got tired of undoing all the carnal habits she picked up from her friends…all pastors children, then having got her back on track, sending her to a conservative christian college to learn engineering,she was tracked by Carnegie Mellon C mites program through the christian school from first grade due to her 90% national test scores. And what a hell hole that christian college was, now on a list of emergent schools tracked by another website, thanks to my testing the curriculum in the bookstore, plus the pastor/teachers choices and harrassment of her through her 4 years there. She is out, and was the first to gain a job in her field prior to graduation, even though several graduated with higher honors, including one student who did nothing, oh but his daddy, a church elder hired the professor/pastor teacher away from the university starting immediately after graduation…hmmm
    Now we homeschool our son, who at 14 can hold an intelligent conversation with his co-op teacher(pastor of a local 501 (c)(3) corporate worship center and reformed he was trained! This son can also back his positions with scripture such that the preacher had to modify more then one class on church history, which was nothing more then the history of christian religion and tradition.
    Till one counts all that religious training dung and submits to Him as Lord, yes even of our training and discipleship, one can only see what his annointed clergy paints for him, and usually can’t even see that but hey the pastor has a degree so he must be right, thus here is another fulfilled prophecy, blind guides and blind leaders of the blind!
    I pray and sound the watchman’s warning to all who have eyes to see and ears to hear, but are asleep to wake up and trim your lamps, because an untrimmed lamp gives poor light if any light at all, keeping your oil full (picture of the Holy Spirit in us) for foolish virgins go and buy their oil from those who sell for a profit their annointed(less) teachings due to their elevating themselves and claiming they have truth and the Holy Spirit is neutered today.

  37. Having been part of an independent, premil, pretrib, dispy Baptist church for most of my life (it was “left behind” about 15 years ago), which taught me the elements (regularly, I might add) of the “hyper-dispensational interpretation of Revelation and Daniel and Matthew 24…incorrect interpretations…a Tim Lahaye Left Behind pretrib/premil theology” (as ATG so eloquently states), it wasn’t until the Lord plopped me into a Reformed Baptist church in Holland, MI and I was shown and studied the aspects of amillennial eschatology.

    Believe me, I wanted NO PART of amillennialism. I came to it, not with an open mind, but kicking and screaming. But I did listen. Thank the Lord, I had an excellent Pastor (Mark Chanski) who, verse-by-verse, precept-upon-precept, line-by-line, debunked my presuppositions. Our study took almost three years, but upon its completion, I had softened and moved toward the Reformed position. Honestly, and I know this sounds a bit strange, the amil belief actually makes more sense to me than that of opposing position. I believe it’s the correct belief, and the most “in line” with the whole of Scripture.

    Jack Van Impe, Tim LaHaye, Perry Stone, David Jeremiah, Jimmy DeYoung, and yes, even Dr. MacArthur (and others) who consistently “beat the drum” of dispensationalism, and “What’s goin’ on over there in Israel?” and “It’s gonna become a one-world government!” and “Surely Sadaam Hussein was THE Anti-Christ.” and “The Romanist organization is the Whore in Revelation.” and “The Jews are moving back into Israel to rebuild the temple.” blah, blah, blah….distract from the one thing needful. They tend toward perpetuating the myth of dispensationalism, and they get people wrapped around the axle about “end times.”

    The fact of the matter is this: if a person hasn’t been made a lover of Christ and/or a do’er of the will of God, then none of all that matters!

    Todd
    Texas

  38. So true Todd!
    I was gently lead there by the Holy Spirit as well, and He did it through revelation of the Word in context for me as I counted all my past religious training as dung and cried out Lord I will conform to you please show me Truth! And He continues to do just that. Cudos to your undershepherd as he functioned as an elder discipling you to now go out and preach accurate Truth!

  39. Well, I wasn’t going to enter this convo since I’m not in agreement with your position of amillennialism.. The belittling of anyone who truly believes the Holy Spirit has led them to believe contrary to what you believe the Holy Spirit has led you to believe is debatable. I agree with John MacArthur and Jimmy DeYoung..

    I don’t care for people like Perry Stone or Jack Van Impe.
    I believe what I believe because I believe the Holy Spirit has led me to believe that the word of God teaches the Pretrib position…

    I believe also that we should interpret Scripture –even the Book of Revelation according to the “golden rule”.
    “When the plain sense of scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate context, studied in the light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, indicate clearly otherwise.” Dr. D.L. Cooper

    It certainly does NOT mean that we do not recognize figures of speech or symbolism we DO.

    When it comes to the Book of Revelation it is safest to study the “images” used in Revelation with how they are used in other books of the Bible (scripture interprets Scripture) to come to the proper meaning .To see how that imaginative language is used elsewhere in Sacred Scripture. it is not right to treat poetry as historical narriative or vise versa for example.
    The date of a view has no necessary connection with the truth of the view
    The part must be interpreted in the light of the whole
    We should not impose a model on Scripture but should derive it from Scripture
    The literal method is the correct method of interpreting Scripture
    The “literal interpretation” is the one that takes the text “in its most obvious and natural sense”
    The correct meaning is generally what the original audience understand by it Literal is not the same as literalistic.
    The Bible uses symbols and figures of speech
    Typology is an important part of biblical interpretation
    The Old Testament is often the key to understanding the New Testament
    “Ideas have consequences

    Please don’t attack me simply because I don’t believe in your position–I’m not going to believe in your position because I believe your position is false. and I don’t want to have a discussion on who is right who is wrong and why. I just simply accept that you believe what you believe and I believe what I believe the word of God actually teaches…It’s a non-essential to our faith

  40. Fascinating how we all can keep complaining and pointing fingers at what God has under control. For how can Satan be stupid enough to think he has a stand against God.
    In the end God is pulling all the strings and we’re all puppets believing we have a say…

  41. David – You err in a most serious fashion in thinking men are puppets. The Scripture is VERY CLEAR that man is responsible for his actions, while under the rule of God – as either saint or reprobate. The puppet analogy is borderline heresy.

  42. So Manfred, are you trying to say that if God has not chosen me as one of His elect i have a say? for why else would i respond if not by the will of God?

  43. David – being chosen by God for redemption IS a solo choice of God’s, bringing about a monergistic work of regeneration by God, wherein one is given a new nature which loves – rather than hates – God and responds in joy and praise; choosing to walk in the Light. That this act of redemption is monergistic does not make men puppets – certainly not “at large” as posited by your earlier post.

  44. I’m no puppet, David! I willingly surrender my corrupt free will to His Will be done daily! Though I stumble occasionally, they are fewer and farther between thanks to Christ in me and my desire to surrender to Him and conform myself to His Will. Certain eschatologies however do lend themselves quite nicely to sleeping virgins, both wise and foolish who need to WAKE UP and trim their lamps for our redemption draweth nye, but not before tribulation that is the patience and perserverence of the saints, as Satan is to be released for a little while and bring his wrath upon the elect, which we shall who remain overcome by the blood of the Lamb and our testimony…all in God’s plan to purify and make ready those who have eyes to see and ears to hear!

    Manfred, your growth under your undershepherd Voddie and the Word in context, as revealed by the Holy Spirit is both evident and refreshing! I appreciate you brother!

  45. So then we must go to meaning of words in context…
    Solo?, Monergistic?
    Please explain how you see any pluralism in these words?

  46. For any of ya’ll who want to better understand why folks hold to the amill position, here’s the last message in a series by Kim Riddlebarger that works out the implications of Rev 20: http://links.christreformed.org/realaudio/A20101119-Amillenialism.mp3
    You can find all 28 audios in this series (as well as lots of other beneficial stuff) here: http://kimriddlebarger.squarespace.com/

  47. David – There is no pluralism in those words and I have not suggested there are. There is a narrow line between the truth of God’s monergistic work in electing and saving men and the heresy that men are puppets.

  48. Manfred i can also use your logic and state that you believing you have a say about the dominion of God is in error or heresy as you so antiquely state.

  49. David – where do I state that I have a say about the dominion of God?

  50. Manfred are you not complaining of the Catholic Church?
    Is this not you having a say about what God has willed?

  51. For God’s people to work for the building up of His people (which is the mission of the local church) and to fight against false teachers (which is commanded by God for His people in several epistles) does not constitute “having a say about what God has willed.” We only know His will by studying His Word. We do not – by following His Word – establish the will of God.

  52. Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

    Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
    30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
    31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

    To identify, avoid, and warn against false teachers and great error is hardly “complaining” or having a say about what God has willed.

  53. Jon i can also use these verses to say you are the one causing division among those who believe they are following Christ.
    I can also argue that you have gone further than just identifying, avoiding, and warning by accusing them of being demonic like a Pharisee would do.
    But please continue…

  54. Linda and Others,

    In gentleness and love, please don’t assume I am attacking you based on your comments. I want to reassure you that no one will attack you or thinks less of you for your position. Many of us who have come to a view of Covenants and Amil came from a pre-trib dispensational background. I want to offer the following to you…not trying to convince you, but just information:

    All of our positions on end times is dependent on our “framework” of theology that we impose (all of us do, we just have to admit which one we prefer) on scripture.

    I impose what I would call a “progressive covenant theology” on scripture because I am not in full agreement with covenant theology. This framework doesn’t allow for a pretrib rapture because it believes in only 1 plan of redemption: all believers in Christ regardless of race. It believes that Christ is Israel, and the land promises are kingdom new jerusalem promises, ect. They all flow from the covenants and the single plan of redemption from Eden to the New Jerusalem for the elect adopted children of God (believers).

    I would assume based on your comments that your would hold to a dispensational theology framework, similar to John MacArthur, which requires a pre-trib premil end times. The starting point of the frame work assumes that there are 2 plans of redemption: 1) jews, and 2) gentiles separately. In order for the 2 plans of redemption to come together at the end, the rapture is required and the reinstitution of the temple, anti-christ ruling, 7 year tribulation, etc are all required to make the 2 plans of redemption work with the Bible text.

    So what it comes down to is where we start in our presuppositions and our assumptions that lead us to our position on end times. How we read every scripture verse depends on this starting point framework. Typically we have our framework from who we were taught by…like our parents or pastors or whatever. Rarely do we investigate and determine this position from a comprehensive study of Genesis through Revelation.

    One of my biggest concerns (and cautions) with Dispensational theology is that it is fairly recent and came from John Nelson Darby’s interpretation of 2 redemptive plans and it went on and on and created the rapture and other ideas that are common in the “Left Behind” view. It came to the USA under Ryrie and Scofield and has been since labeled as the “fundamental position”. Today, we have many like MacArthur who is progressive dispensational and doesn’t hold to 2 plans of redemption, but holds onto other pieces of it still like the rapture, which I just cannot understand.

    Are there separate plans of redemption for God’s people? Are the Jews under 1 plan and Gentiles under another? Why would the temple sacrifices be reinstated if Christ was the fulfillment of the passover lamb? Why would the temple be rebuilt if Christ was the fulfillment of the temple and we are not the temple with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?

    All questions and many more that must be answered in my mind.

    I hope this helps clarify my position and that in no way you feel attacked – just dialogue and conversation here.

    may Christ be more glorious in our eyes every day,
    -atg

  55. David, salvation by church membership is demonic in all its forms…Hello?!?!

  56. Mickey, you have me totally confused on your position. I can’t see how what you described in your posts align with an Amil theology.

    In Christ,
    -atg

  57. You are a good brother ATG, and I appreciate you.
    There are 2 ages, this age, and the age to come. Thus this age will end, and with it sin will be cast out, and all who are anti Christ will be with it, along with the Satanic and demonic as per scripture. We are currently in the last days, which actually started with the Holy Spirit being poured out on all (elect and born from above) flesh. A day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as a day to our Lord. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, plus the hills, plus the cattle and hills numbered 1001 even unto everything is His. Thus, a thousand year reign means a long time reign…now 2,000 plus years. But He will return as the Lion of Judah having stated, “When I return, will I find (the) faith?” At some point the fullness of the gentiles will be complete. Nobody knows the day or the hour except the Father. It will be like the days of Noah, and also I imagine very much like the days of Calvary, where from a flesh standpoint, christianity and Christ will again appear defeated. Yet He will always reign and we will be and even now are victorious in and through Him! As you noted prior, He will restore all things to the way it was before the fall, which we both look forward to. Amen!?
    I am “Amill” and I do see the absolute Truth in His Word, as well as clearly seeing that Truth coming to fruition in our lives! It has to happen in someones lifetime you know! LOL
    I see nothing really in physical Israel today but what the modern equivilent of the synagog of Satan and their money changers have conspired to do. We are the temple of the living God, and the number 666 is the number of (the fullness) man. Today, all signs point to man worshipping himself as a god, or as god, whether it is in apostate christian denominations, the new age, eastern mysticism, panthiesm, panenthiesm, occult, kaballah ad noseum. Coexist is the order of the day, yet our Lord came to divide…Truth from error! We see some things differently, but we appear to serve our Lord Jesus Christ with passion. There are signs of the times that are clear to see, and need no force fitting as in days gone by. Do we have a year? A decade? A century? or more till He returns? Only the father knows, and I really don’t care nor worry, but I do look forward to that day. Revelation, and all the scriptures point to Jesus as Lord and Savior and He never wasn’t in control. I, like Paul, am confident in what I have entrusted to Him! I am elect, yet have no idea why, from my standpoint the only thing I deserve from God is an eternity in the lake of fire. Yet He redeemed me, so all I have, and all I am is His.

  58. Mickey, well I’m glad we are on the same page. I must have misread what you were saying. Sounds like we have some differences in some areas, but what matters above all is the glory of Christ and we know He is coming back to get us…whether in our lifetime or not, He is coming back and I can’t wait! :)

    In His Grace,
    -atg

  59. It’s truly sad that Christians, and I believe there are true brothers and sisters in Christ in both Amil and Premil camps, cannot agree on what the Scriptures say regarding what is given to us by God in His Word. I happen to disagree with the Amil position, not that it is any threat to what I was “taught” by “premils” (actually I was raised Amil, and in a very Liberal church as well), but because I do not see the Amil position sufficiently supported by Scripture. Having voiced that much, I will not press the point further, because it only leads to strife. Nor should Amils press their view why they think a “premil” position is unsound or “poor hermeneutics”. Suffice it to say let each man be convinced in his own mind on these things before the Lord, and not think oneself more “learned” than another with a contrary view. Let love prevail. And let us humbly seek the Lord’s guidance as we study His Word, casting aside all presuppositions as we do so. Kind of a bummer, tho. I do like end times study, and it would be nice if we all believed the same about it.

  60. RS – I encourage you to read this post: http://defendingcontending.com/2011/07/07/%E2%80%9Cproblems-with-premillennialism%E2%80%9D/

    There should be no division between Christians on these secondary issues, but we should encourage one another to never quit growing in knowledge of the Lord and His Word.

  61. atg said “In gentleness and love, please don’t assume I am attacking you based on your comments.”

    No, I don’t have that kind of animosity from any of you because your love for the truth and for Jesus Christ and my love for the truth(the essentials that is) and Jesus Christ is waaaaayyyyy more important than our differences concerning our stance with pre, mid, post trib. Most of this is trivial compared to what is most dear and most important. People coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, People being freed from the bondage of sin that has held them prisoners and defending the faith that was once for all given to the saints is priority in my life as I’m sure yours.

    I just wanted to let my voice be known where I stand. But it is pointless to debate these issues as I’m well aware of all the tertiary arguments from all sides… It’s fruitless and just as quickly as I’ve made my stance known,,,, I’m out of this debate..

    NOne of it changes my love for any of you who are genuine brothers and sisters in the faith… May God richly bless us to know His love for each other regardless of our stance ~

  62. Thanks Manfred. I appreciate the kind referral. But with all due respect, an Amil (such as yourself as I understand, or in this case perhaps the referred author) pointing out the problems of a premil position would hold about as much weight as a premil pointing out the problems of the Amil position due to each coming from their own particular bias (I’m familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of both sides and their standard arguments). Shades of Calvinists vs Arminianists each pointing out the other’s problems (even with Scripture) hasn’t convinced either side for some 400 or so years. I will stick with just studying what the Scriptures say. But I do appreciate the encouragement to never quit growing in the knowledge of the Lord and His Word.

  63. RS, I commend you on your post at 2:02 pm and strongly second that. We need to let this go and not push our opposing views on those who disagree. Love will let us do so, pride will make us continue to try and prove our ‘view’ is the only right one.

    Many blessing to you

  64. David, if you were Spirit-led, you would not say “please continue” to someone that you thought was being divisive.

    We evaluate by Scripture, not by if people “believe they are following Christ.”

    As to “demonic”, I Thess. 4:1 talks about doctrines of devils. Such terminology is not divisive, but Biblical. The following verses list several such doctrines, including forbidding to marry (which the RCC does to priests) and commanding to abstain from meats (Catholic teaching on Lent).

  65. Manfred, how about we do something here that seems to have never been done?!?! Any person wanting to participate, and we have a grid of why I believe each eschatology. Only scripture being used and only scriptures that define our position? Those can be for the position only, and later, if this goes well, perhaps we can add scriptures that we see that turned us from our prior position. For example many were pre-trib. . then went to say pre-wrath, or mid trib. But to start only those scriptures that are supporting our individual positions. We can do this in the spirit of educating upon the positions and not indoctrinating, leaving the Holy Spirit to work unhindered? Posting only positions that meet the criteria, and letting folks ammend those that don’t meet the criteria, or refuse to try? I believe we can trust the Lord to lead, in all of this without the usual issues that would arise!

    Can anyone else here support my request simply by posting an amen? Perhaps with minimal other verbage (i should listen to myself right? LOL) except to frame the suggestion more precisely? Not ecumenical but spurring one another on to studying scripture!!!

  66. Mickey Merrie:

    What you are proposing may be an interesting session for mature Christians in a closed meeting, but on a public forum, to which the gamut of deceivers have access (in which the Holy Spirit does not reside), it is very unwise. It’s inviting disaster on a number of levels. I will not participate. There are other, more effective ways of “spurring one another on to studying scripture”.

  67. Pan-millenialism anyone?……..However it all “pans” out in the end will be fine (but only if you’re reconciled to God), and it’s because we know THE ONE Who is in control, controls, reigns, and governs.

    Todd
    Texas

  68. To all,

    I have been pondering the responses to this discussion and I find it fascinating and frankly inconsistent. If we were talking about election vs. arminism it would be a battle of truth vs false doctrine…or the same with spiritual gifts it would be right doctrine versus dangerous doctrine…but with this it is sudden ho-hum, everyone’s opinion is valid and lets not oppose our views. Why is this? This is very strange for me. (I know I am now inviting the missiles to be launched) :)

    Our eschatology comes from our interpretation of scripture. Our eschatology comes from our belief in who God is and how He will redeem his people. I think this is vital important and no less of an area need serious discussion and pursuit of the revealed Biblical truth as any other major section of doctrine.

    Whether we have a covenant theology leaning framework or a dispensational leaning framework it affects how we view Christ, Israel, the law, the church, the future, the resurrection, the new Jerusalem, etc.

    In order to believe in the rapture we have to sort out how God will redeem his people. Do we believe in 1 people & 1 plan of redemption? Or do we believe in 2 people and 2 plans of redemption? I think it we should pursue the truth vigorously here and not allow it to fall into a wishy-washy everything goes relativism place in the corner of our theological position. It stems from the foundation of our theology.

    In His Love,
    -atg

  69. atg – if you were close, I would hug ya!

  70. I have gone from a pre trib postion to amil now but its not 100% dogmatic. I think observing the times is more important as Jesus, the prophets and the apostles gave us signs of his coming and the lord tells us many times to watch using parables. If we don’t watch or dismiss the signs we are open to deception and his coming as a thief in the night when we are not ready or asleep. The most important thing i learned in trying to understand Revelations is thats is not written in a linear way but sems to contain seven parallel opening and closing visions told from different perspectives with new information given each time see http://www.ukapologetics.net/08/sevenparallel.htm

  71. Agreed ATG. I see one Ekklesia all saved by and through faith in Christ Jesus. By faith in His coming as Messiah, and through faith in His finished work. This is what scripture teaches. It also teaches 2 ages, this age and the age to come.
    Isn’t it the commonly understood practice to allow the clear passages, to interpret the less clear, and the simple passages to interpret the complex?
    Why do so many want to take the symbolic and make it a literal interpretation, and take the literal and make it a symbolic interpretataion?!?!
    What is simple and clear? “My kingdom is not of this world.” It is spiritual.
    He reigns now. We who are in Him reign with Him.
    The demons are reserved in chains for everlasting judgement.
    They will be loosed for a little while.
    At he final trump, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and WE THAT REMAIN will be caught up to meet Him.
    A day is as a millennium of years, and a millennium of years is as a day to God.
    He owns the cattle on a millennium of hills…and the hills, and the 2nd millennium of hills.

  72. atg,, it’s extremely important to have the correct view of eschatology. I’m not ho hum about it. I am extremely passionate and full of joy with what I believe God’s word actually teaches..

    With that said when it pertains to a non-essential ( it’s not an essential to salvation),,when I see a discussion is going to be fruitless it’s best for a prudent man to keep his knowledge to himself. —-Pro 12:23 “A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.”

    I just have learned over the years that you and I cannot change the other persons’ views. This is something that has been debated many times in my life and always it ends unproductively and sometimes can turn out ugly. It’s just wisest to let this be in the LORD’S hands and pray for the other person and pray for ourselves.

    I will not waste my time debating with anyone here knowing that you are just as ardent in your stance as I am. It’s just not good and we also have to consider like RS said that it’s not wise to debate a non essential on a public forum where non-believers come. The wisest decision is to pick and choose your battles wisely.

    God bless you

  73. Manfred – I’d take it. Thanks, brother.

  74. I have a question I want to ask regarding the book of the Revelation to John. Has anyone in here posting on this matter of the antiChrist ever done or had done one or both of these two things?

    Rev 1:3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.

    One, have any of you “read aloud the words of this prophecy”?
    Two, have any of you ever listened to the book of this prophecy read out loud to them?

    Based on that foundation clearly established there, Rev. 1:3, I don’t suppose you have nearly the sense of the book of the Revelation to John until you have both experiences?

  75. Michael, Funny you should ask. In my church, we began preaching the book of Revelation a couple weeks back. During the sermon on the first three verses, we were told exactly that and encouraged to read the whole aloud as family worship. This we did in my house, covering each of the 7 parallel stories per evening, with each reading a portion each evening. It was very good!

  76. Manfred,

    I have been studying Scripture since 1975. I don’t handle either the Hebrew or Greek in any depth though I can study both as well as studying the Aramaic version from Lamba’s Pershitta.

    What amazes me is the fact that each time I read or listen to the Word of God I see something new and living. Nothing confusing just new and living. Well after so many years never once did my mind “open” up to verse 3 until about a year ago when I began listening to the Audio Bible. One day I started walking from my front porch at home down the street and through a park listening to the book of the Revelation. I had been listening to the book for about a week, once a day. I would start my walk and start at Revelation 1. Seven times I did this day after day. My walk was just long enough so that when I got back home I was finishing up at the word “amen” at 22:21. But on this particular day as I started listening that verse “jumped” out at me and I just stopped and started over again. The second time a thrill came over me. Now I listen to the audio book of the Revelation about once a month. I have not as yet just read it outloud. I am getting ready to do so.

    My point is listening audibly to the Words of the Prophecy are making more sense and there are several things that stand out to me that are different each time I listen.

  77. Quote
    With that said when it pertains to a non-essential ( it’s not an essential to salvation),
    end quote
    My question is how can any part of scripture be regarded as non essential , I believe this is a gross missrepresentation of Gods word. How can one understand salvation without understanding election ?, or how can one separate the doctrine of Sovereign grace from the day of the Lords judgement on the wicked.?. The bible comprises of many intricate intertwined themes, get one wrong and it throws the rest off balance. I agree with ATG , we should be contending for the truth on all matters. Unity at the expense of the truth is no unity at all

  78. Ray said -”My question is how can any part of scripture be regarded as non essential , I believe this is a gross missrepresentation of Gods word. How can one understand salvation without understanding election ?”

    eschatology is simply not an essential to salvation because the Bible defines what the essentials are and what they are not.

    This is not a misrepresentation of the word of God at all..There are many people who have their eschatology wrong that are saved. “if you are really saved you shouldn’t be denying the essentials as so many self-proclaimed Christians do. The essentials are the foundational, “can’t miss” things of the Bible, such as how the exclusivity of Jesus for salvation is noted over 100 times (not just John 14:6).”

    As the saying goes, in essentials – unity, in non-essentials – liberty, and in all things – charity.

    Eschatology itself has nothing to do with salvation

    Who Jesus is IS an essential. If a person does not hold to a correct view then they cannot be saved-Jesus said so..-Jhn 8:24 “I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins.”

    Essentials are—

    “1) The deity of Christ-John 10:30,John 20:28 etc
    2) Salvation by grace-Ephesians 2:8-9 (NOT by works)
    3) Salvation through Jesus Christ alone-Acts 4:12,John 14:6
    4) The bodily resurrection of Christ-1 Corinthians 15:14, John 2:19-21
    5) The gospel-1 Cor.15:1-4, Galatians 1:8-9
    6) Monotheism-there is only one God. Exodus 20:3, Isaiah 43:10, 1 Cor.8:5-6
    7) The Holy Trinity-While the concept of a “three-in-one God” is not represented by a single verse or passage, it is described frequently throughout Scripture–Matthew 28:19, 1 Cor.12:4-6
    8) the essentials of Christianity would not be complete without the ingredient that binds everything together—faith. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). As Christians we live by this verse with the understanding that we believe in a God we cannot see. But we see His work in our lives and all around us in His creation. We do all of this through faith because we know that faith pleases God. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).”
    –from Gotquestions.org

    We cannot deny not even ONE of these and be a Christian. If we miss one or deny one of these essentials then we are not Christians according to God’s word..

    Mormons, JW’s, Catholics, New Agers, Muslims, Modalists all deny at least ONE if not 2 or more of these essentials and thus are not Christians as defined by God’s WORD….

    Hope this helps and not hinders you

    .

  79. Quote
    As the saying goes, in essentials – unity, in non-essentials – liberty, and in all things – charity.
    end quote

    I don’t where this saying originated from , but it’s most definitely not from the bible, in fact , the notion that we can all hold on to our own eschatology [ or soteriology] with such diversity and respect for each others views is just nonsense. Its Gods word , it has a singular interpretation , not a multiple interpretation.

    Quote
    Eschatology itself has nothing to do with salvation
    end quote

    Linda, by your own admission you agree with John Macarthur regarding the pretrib position , I’m assuming that you also follow his position on premillenialism , but are you aware that Mac holds to dual gospel position ? , and thereby preaches a false gospel. Eschatology has everything to do with salvation , for no less reason than different eschatological views portray Christ in various ways, mostly in relation to the sovereignty and deity of Christ. The Jesus of premillenialism is not sovereign because he must return to plead his case with the Jews. That is not a portrayal of an almighty and victorious saviour, but one who is not able to save his people. There is one plan of salvation for one group of people, not two plans for two groups of people, which is what dispensational premills believe.

  80. Thanks Ray for your comments at 8:53. This has been a wonderfully interesting thread for me.

  81. “Eschatology has everything to do with salvation”..

    and I was trusing in Jesus this whole time, thanks for helping me to redirect my focus to the right place. By your logic any believer that doesnt have a perfect understanding of every biblical truth must trust in a false Christ?

    -Jim

  82. That’s why it called defending contending! LOL

  83. Not sure where this will go; anyway, here I go:::>

    I would posit some verses to make a point.

    One seems to make plain the essentials “fresh out of the shoot” for the earliest members of The Church. If the Word cannot be broken and God does not change and is Eternal, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I suppose this is the essential fruit of the Faith once delivered to the Saints for the rest of us in each of our generations?

    Act 4:32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.

    Everyone who believed were of one heart and soul.

    A second thing has to do with being of one heart and soul and then dying in Faith not sin when, we too, will pass out of this temporal zone, out of our temporal house to occupy our Eternal Abode? It seems from this singular verse, much is made ado about so much, so little is passed by as not essential so much so we write off those who don’t go along with our own understanding of the essential doctrines of Life?

    Who knows better about this problem among men?

    God.

    And the righteous shall live by Faith, the very same we live by, this Faith once delivered to all the Saints; and this Faith affords salvation to the simple minded, of little intelligence and then to the very highly educated scholars among us who have attained to the highest degrees of intelligence and comprehension and then to everyone of us in between?

    Now, consider this verse:

    Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.

    There certainly are a variety of ministries.

    Maybe because of the complexities of simple minded people in relationship to the highly intelligent among us, learning to walk together clothed with humility for the edification of one another, building each other up in love by the same gift of Faith, these Words of Gracious Wisdom might be an essential that applies then?

    Jas 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.

  84. “I don’t where this saying originated from , but it’s most definitely not from the bible, in fact , the notion that we can all hold on to our own eschatology [ or soteriology] with such diversity and respect for each others views is just nonsense. Its Gods word , it has a singular interpretation , not a multiple interpretation.”—gotquestions.org like I stated in my statement but I failed to place this under quotes–My apologies

    As for your belief that eschatology has everything to do with salvation—your statement is false, unbiblical, and your thinking is warped…
    gic

    Show me where in God’s word that eschatology is an essential…Please show me in Ephesians 2:8-9 where Eschatology fits in to Salvation… Please show me where Jesus held the thief on the cross to having the correct theology. Please show me anywhere where God holds anyone to getting eschatology correct or you are lost and bound for hell..

    As for you accusing John MacArthur of preaching a “false gospel”, I along with many respectable and reputable godly men/women have never heard of him preaching a false Gospel… That’s a very tall order you’ve accused him of doing and I would ask that you back up your assertions with proof according to God’s word

    John MacArthur is a very sound biblical teacher and most Christians(genuine believers) have found him to be very biblically sound as I have as well. He preaches the Gospel, he preaches the word of God and he defends the faith that was once for all given to the saints. There are many even here who don’t agree with John’s theology but they are one with him in CHRIST. They agree with him with the essentials…

    I’ve no further to say to you since your accusations are conspicuously false and you don’t speak from God’s word but are speaking from your own bias and opinion of even salvation which is extremely important… You have added to Salvation which God’s word clearly speaks against as WORKS –we cannot add anything to the finished person and work of Christ at the CROSS…
    ___________________________________________
    correction—”Please show me where Jesus held the thief on the cross to having the correct theology.”–I meant to having the correct eschatology~
    __________________________________________
    ugh one more correction—”There are many even here who don’t agree with John’s theology but they are one with him in CHRIST. ” I meant to say eschatology not theology
    __________________________________________
    Dear Manfred, as you can tell when you read my latest 3 posts I made some errors in my post and then tried to correct them with these last 2.. Please if you will, If it is okay with you, REMOVE THEM -the last 3 and this the 4th and I will correct my main statement and post it later…I just don’t want to cause any misunderstanding or confusion because of my errors that I didn’t peruse well this morning

  85. You can be wrong on some things and still be saved. I’ve been dong that (being mistaken more or less frequently while saved) for over 45 years. But I see no Biblical basis for some doctrines being non-essential. The Bible just doesn’t say that. “Non-essential” implies optional. Obedience isn’t optional, and neither is truth. We can’t pick and choose on either obedience or truth.

    But we still should be charitable towards true brethren who differ on some doctrines, because true brethren can indeed honestly differ on some of them. And we should also seek to recognise where differences may, in fact, be merely disputing about words to no profit.

    Whether the papacy is “an” anticrhist or “The” Antichrist makes not a sliver’s worth of difference as to how we relate to the RCC. People of a dispensational persuasion have held both views, as have non-dispies. Perhaps there are limits to the profitability of that question.

  86. Jon Gleason thanks for bringing this back on topic~~

  87. Linda
    Perhaps a little less time spent on got questions.org , and little more time in scripture might be beneficial. The bible tells us to test all things , not some things , or just the things we want to disagree with , but all things , so that is why , when J Mac says the following;
    Quote
    And then Israel is going to receive salvation, look at 13:1, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” God’s going to wash the nation from its sin.

    First, they’re going to cry “My Lord and my God,” when they see Jesus. They’re going to realize it was God they pierced. And then God’s going to turn the fountain loose and wash them and pour out His Spirit.
    end quote

    then naturally I go searching the scripture and what I find is that when Christ returns , he returns in judgement , and moreover , a judgement that begins in His house.!.For goodness sake , compare what Mac is saying to the word of God , he is clearly preaching a false gospel to national Israel, he is a false teacher, he is no better than John Hagee.You really have to explain why Mac believes that for the majority of sinners , salvation is by faith , and yet for the Jews , he believes that salvation is by sight. Count them , he is preaching TWO gospels, and they are not one true gospel , and one false gospel , they are both false by virtue that one is false. What really puzzles me is that if God is not a respector of persons ,why do people like yourself continue to defend the man and not the gospel.

    Quote
    Show me where in God’s word that eschatology is an essential…Please show me in Ephesians 2:8-9 where Eschatology fits in to Salvation… Please show me where Jesus held the thief on the cross to having the correct theology. Please show me anywhere where God holds anyone to getting eschatology correct or you are lost and bound for hell..
    end quote

    I am not adding to salvation , far be it from me , I am all too well aware that we are justified by the finished work of Christ, but the bible also speaks plainly of the the day of our redemption when the Lord returns, a day that will be the culmination of the timeframe and order that God has set down for the redemption of His people.

    Ephesians 1:13
    In whom you also trusted , after that you heard the word of truth , the gospel of your salvation ; in whom also after that you believed , you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise .
    Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession , unto the praise of his glory.

    Luke 21:27
    And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.And when these things begin to come to pass , then look up , and lift up your heads , for you redemption draweth nigh.

    The day when the Lord returns will be the completion of His redemptive work in his people, so what does eschatology have to do with salvation , well you judge for yourself.

  88. Ray, Mac is teaching that when they see, they will believe — just like Thomas did. Certainly, there is room to disagree with what he is saying, but it isn’t a false gospel. It’s still faith, just like it was for Thomas when he saw the risen Lord. The Lord didn’t tell him, “What you have isn’t faith because you saw Me.”

    Are you saying that it isn’t real faith if someone sees? I guess, then, we can consign all the apostles to hell. Who’s teaching a false gospel now? I think you need to rethink this one.

  89. HEY! Who’s attacking Linda?

    Todd
    Texas

  90. Jon.
    When Christ returns , everyone who is alive on earth will witness his coming. Will there be time for the reprobate to repent ?

    1 Cor 15:52
    In a moment , in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound , and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

    Those who know the Lord wait for His coming , this is our hope . As for the unrepentant , they won’t even see it coming, till it ‘s too late.

    Quote
    Are you saying that it isn’t real faith if someone sees? I guess, then, we can consign all the apostles to hell. Who’s teaching a false gospel now? I think you need to rethink this one.
    end quote

    That is an appalling strawman argument, they were apostles for the very reason that they were chosen by Christ to follow him and to witness his life . They were priveledged to have been chosen for that purpose.

    Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for , the evidence of things not seen.

    Yeah, i’ve thought it over , and I’ll go with the bible on this one . Thanks.

  91. It’s not a straw man at all. The apostles saw. The apostles had faith. Their faith went beyond what they saw, but they saw. Therefore, your characterisation of J Mac’s teaching as “salvation by sight” is absurd.

    Thomas saw and believed. It was still faith. It went beyond what he saw. He saw a risen being, and believed that He was Lord and God.

    Mac teaches that the Jews will see and believe. It will still be faith. It will go beyond what they see. They will see One coming in power and might, One who was pierced. They will believe that He was pierced for them, and that He is Lord and God. You can’t “see” that, you’ll have to believe it, whatever you see. But if someone does believe that, they will be saved. It’s not salvation by sight.

    Will there be time for the lost to repent? That depends on how one understands the Scripture. But that’s a side issue to the question of whether Mac is teaching a different gospel.

  92. Quote
    It’s not a straw man at all. The apostles saw.
    end quote

    Of course the Apostles saw Jesus, but there were countless more that saw Jesus in his day and did not believe, and to this day , they still don’t recognise Jesus as the messiah.

    Quote
    Mac teaches that the Jews will see and believe. It will still be faith. It will go beyond what they see. They will see One coming in power and might, One who was pierced. They will believe that He was pierced for them, and that He is Lord and God. You can’t “see” that, you’ll have to believe it, whatever you see. But if someone does believe that, they will be saved. It’s not salvation by sight.
    end quote

    Its no salvation at all, read this passage slowly and repeatedly and tell me where you see Jesus returning with salvation .
    2 Thess 1:6-9
    Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you .And to you who are troubled rest with us , when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed with His mighty angels.
    In flaming fire …taking ….vengeance … on …them …that …know …not …God, and that …obey … not .. the …gospel… of …our … Lord Jesus Christ.
    Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.

    You are of course free to indulge yourself in the fanciful imaginings that Mac is propogating , but again , i’ll go with the bible on this one as well.

  93. Jon, like Ray, I am having a difficulty with yours and MacA’s dispensationalism teachings in light of these verses:

    Joh 7:14 About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching.
    Joh 7:15 The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?”
    Joh 7:16 So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.
    Joh 7:17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
    Joh 7:18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
    Joh 7:19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me?”

    Php 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
    Php 3:21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

    Heb 9:27 And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,
    Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

    Rev 1:7 Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

    Jesus’ admission to those Jews who were trumpeting the “glories” of God that they don’t even keep the law and the Apostle Paul’s words that it is Christ Who is transforming our lowly body and from the book of Hebrews it is written that it is those so transformed by Christ in this lifetime who are the ones looking for Christ to “eagerly” return all in contrast to those who are the ones that God showed Jesus who in turned showed John to show us that are “not” transformed are the ones who will “wail” on account of Him when He finally returns to separate the goats on His left from the sheep on His right. The reality here is what both God and Jesus are doing. They are saving Their people from their sins.

    Either our salvation is basis works or it is not. Either our salvation is basis the justification Christ secured for us or it is not. Either we are saved by a Savior or we will be judged on the last day as unrighteous according to the Law that no one can keep!

    To make the conclusion that when Jesus returns these Jews will immediately repent is unacceptable.

    Jesus Himself said this about that then and what He said back then is the same today:

    Joh 5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen,
    Joh 5:38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.
    Joh 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,
    Joh 5:40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
    Joh 5:41 I do not receive glory from people.
    Joh 5:42 But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.
    Joh 5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him.
    Joh 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
    Joh 5:45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope.
    Joh 5:46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.
    Joh 5:47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

    Here again is a final Word from Hebrews that seems to me to discount your argument along with what Ray has been saying and the previous verses I commend you to consider with these:

    Heb 9:11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
    Heb 9:12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.
    Heb 9:13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,
    Heb 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
    Heb 9:15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

    Our salvation comes by the Faith once delivered to the Saints, not by sight!

  94. Gentlemen, Mary Magdalene was not an apostle. She saw the risen Christ and believed. It was not “salvation by sight.”

    Cleopas. Saul / Paul on the road to Damascus. In all probability James the half-brother of Christ was one who believed only after seeing the resurrected Lord. John at the empty tomb. The women who saw the empty tomb and the angels. These all saw physical evidence, and a sovereign God used it to work faith in hearts.

    It simply is not a different gospel to say that God will deal with the nation in the same way He dealt with Saul outside Damascus. He saw, and then he believed.

    No time for belief after seeing? That’s an eschatological question, not a soteriological one. I’m not going to spend any time on this site arguing that Mac is right on the prophetic timetable. I’m not particularly interested in that debate.

    But as to what he is suggesting for the nature of Israel’s salvation, it is no different than the nature of Saul / Paul’s salvation. He saw the resurrected Lord, realised he was fighting against the Saviour, believed and repented, and was saved. That is exactly what Mac is saying. It isn’t “salvation by sight.”

  95. Jon – When Jesus next comes to the Earth, it not be for sin, but for judgment. When next men see Jesus, it will be too late for anyone to be saved. He will return when the full measure of the elect have been saved. He will return to gather His chosen ones and judge the world. Mac is wrong in this matter – read what John MacArthur teaches in his footnotes on the passage of Zechariah 12:10 in the MacArthur Study Bible:

    “God, in His own perfect time and by His own power, will sovereignly act to save Israel…Israel’s repentance will come because they look to Jesus, the One whom they rejected and crucified, in faith, at the Second Advent.”

  96. It’s unfortunate that this has become such an issue on a public forum, which has nothing to do with one’s salvation, and in which true brothers and sisters in Christ are in both camps. There is ample Scripture to support the truth of the matter, but as long as there is disagreement on “secondary issues” (that is, topics which have no bearing on the doctrines of the Faith, or of the nature and character of God, or of the supremacy and inerrancy of Scripture, or of how one is restored to fellowship with his Creator), it should cause us to quietly, and prayerfully re-examine the Scriptures to see what they say (not yielding to the best argument on what others say they say). To press one’s own views, claiming another brother is wrong because his “understanding” doesn’t align with our “understanding” on such secondary topics smacks of pride and elitism. And to publicly stand adamantly on one’s view (on secondary issues) against another believer only provides fodder for those who would say “look at those Evangelicals, always bickering, never able to agree on their own Bibles”.

    Rather than press our own views, would it not be more appropriate to study the Scriptures quietly on our own to show ourselves approved unto GOD?

  97. RS – Rome teaches a false Christ and a false gospel which leads many astray and can save no one. How is that secondary?

  98. RS,

    Jesus did say and it was recorded He said, this:

    Mat 10:34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    I find it more noble and honorable to engage in these sorts of debates, especially when we can come to see clearly what these Words from Psalms 149 mean:

    Psa 149:1 Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the godly!
    Psa 149:2 Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
    Psa 149:3 Let them praise his name with dancing, making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
    Psa 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
    Psa 149:5 Let the godly exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds.
    Psa 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands,
    Psa 149:7 to execute vengeance on the nations and punishments on the peoples,
    Psa 149:8 to bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron,
    Psa 149:9 to execute on them the judgment written! This is honor for all his godly ones. Praise the LORD!

    I am not sure we are to shy away from conflicts or controversies in this life? Jesus surely didn’t. The Psalmst surely indicates we are going to be in a conflict with those adversely opposed to the Truth in every nation.

    Why should we then not engage others as long as we are respectful to others when we engage them in the debate?

    What does it matter what the world concludes or a novice finds as fodder?

  99. Quote
    “It simply is not a different gospel to say that God will deal with the nation in the same way He dealt with Saul outside Damascus. He saw, and then he believed.”
    end quote
    Amd who has seen Christ in the last 2000 yrs except that they have “seen” Christ by faith?.There is only one gospel that was delivered to the saints, the very same gospel that still saves sinners today.
    Ephesians 2:17
    And came and preached peace to you which were afar off , and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

    Jon , the scripture renders Mac’s gospel a different gospel, there is one gospel , by one faith for all of Gods chosen , be they of Jewish origin or otherwise, today is the day of salvation , tommorrow may well be a day too late.

  100. Manfred: I wasn’t referring to exposing truly, scripturally verifiable false gospels, since such things have a definite impact on one’s salvation. I was referring to several directions this thread has now taken into secondary issues which have little or nothing to do with the Faith once delivered unto the saints.

    michael: Iron sharpening iron and serious discussion on all Biblical topics is a good thing. But the place for that is in a home, in a church, in private one on one email, on netcam, or over coffee (where you won’t be overheard by those who are ignorant, gullible or hostile to the Gospel). Why? Because we dare not bring reproach upon the name of Christ to the world. It brings Christ shame to appear as argumentative, headstrong, proud, arrogant (whether in truth we are or not) to the unsaved or ignorant, since we are representing Christ in this world by our speech and behavior.

    Proverbs has a great deal to say about wisdom and discretion. Ecclesiastes refers to a time and place for everything. It is not bravery to swing one’s sword indiscriminately, maiming everyone within swinging distance, including one’s fellows. Nor is it cowardice to hold one’s peace when one may (perhaps) win the argument but not satisfy the righteousness of God. I believe it was Linda who referred (quite wisely) to picking our battles. During Jesus’ (unjust, illegal) trial, Jesus could have read them all the riot act. He could have given them an extensive rundown of all the Scriptures pertaining to Him, His Messianic credentials, His lineage, etc. But He remained silent. He certainly had the knowledge, and authority. But He remained submissive to the Father’s direction and will.

    In an emerging christendom that is being turned against the Biblical apologist, against the true Christian who’s heart’s desire is to defend the truth from error, by clever deceivers who accuse all (true) Bible believers as foolish, proud “hate mongers”, in their quest to “reform” Christianity into a more inclusive, “deeds not creeds” contemplative spirituality, we need to be very careful not to play right into their agenda with our public disputing over secondary issues.

    That was my point. Not shying away from disputes or controversies. And not refraining from addressing vital truth and error. But where and how we conduct such discussions for the good name of Christ and the benefit of His Kingdom is as vital as what we discuss.

  101. RS,,, I’m wholeheartedly with you. It shows a person’s maturity level really a person’s pride

  102. Hasn’t DefCon been down this road before concerning attacks against John MacArthur? Isn’t this charge against him now just as serious?
    That attack was dealt with by DefCon, yet this one by Ray seems to continue on and on. Is someone at DefCon going to step up to the plate and deal with this? Jon has addressed this accusation, and it has fallen on deaf ears; the attack continues.
    RS is right on target concerning how we should speak to {and of} one another. This blog doesn’t have a reputation for letting anyone continue on in their opinions and cyber attacks on anybody, I urge you, do NOT let this continue to slide down the slippery slope it’s headed. To continue to be divisive and unloving has never been tolerated here, let’s keep to that high standard set by our Lord.

    This thread needs to get back on track and deal with the topic at hand…
    Lyn

  103. Unworthy1,

    Are you primarily concerned because Ray has stated: “MacArthur preaches a false gospel”?

    I disagree with Ray in that he goes so far as to say MacArthur is teaching a false Gospel. He is not preaching a false gospel in my opinion because MacArthur is on the money completely with his doctrines of grace, election, predestination, saved by faith, etc.

    However, in my estimation of scripture and other fine teachers, MacArthur is flat out wrong in his eschatology. His pretrib rapture view is something that can’t be supported with the Bible and is rooted in dualistic redemption (2 plans of redemption – 1 for ethnic jews and 1 for the gentile church). These roots are not biblical. MacArthur doesn’t hold to the dualistic redemption, but he still holds to pretrib rapture, which is a theology of J.N. Darby who developed the rapture to make his dualistic redemption theology line up chronologically. MacArthur is awesome typically, but I don’t agree with him on this position. He can’t be right about everything. All men have flaws in their theology and in this case MacArthur’s Theological Framework of dispensationalism forces his hand with O.T. interpretation, covenants, and eschatology. I only use his commentary material in my studies where it doesn’t deal with eschatology of O.T. types/shadows/fulfillment.

    I do think though that Eschatology has been tossed into the “secondary issue” pile a little too deep. I think it is somewhere between a primary and secondary issue. It has everything to do with our framework which heavily influences the way we preach and interpret all Bible passages.

    In the love of Christ,
    -atg

    —————————–

    Linda & RS,

    I would agree that the way we talk to each other and treat each other may be a sign of pride and immaturity. However, to say that earnest discussion over important doctrinal distinctives is prideful and immature is going a little to far.

    We must treat each other with love, gentleness and respect. We must also vigorously debate these topics and challenge each other in our understanding of the Word and WHY we may hold a particular view.

    In the love of Christ,
    -atg

  104. Manfred, I am not disputing here his eschatology. I have said so several times. I am refuting the accusation that he teaches a false “salvation by sight” gospel.

    The quote you provided: “God, in His own perfect time and by His own power, will sovereignly act to save Israel…Israel’s repentance will come because they look to Jesus, the One whom they rejected and crucified, in faith, at the Second Advent.” That says they will “look to Jesus IN FAITH.” Eschatology aside, that is salvation by faith, in response to the sovereign working of God.

    ATG: As to your question about unworthy1′s “primary concern”, you’ve absolutely nailed mine. I keep responding to the “false gospel” claim and all I get back is arguments about eschatology.

    All:
    If you say Mac is teaching “salvation by sight”, you also say he is lying about what he teaches, since he (in the quote Manfred provided) said they would be looking “in faith.” If you are right, he is not only an apostate false teacher but a wilful liar.

    This website posts Mac sermons all the time. It is inconceivable to me that someone who believes Mac teaches a different gospel would want to be here. There are multiple ways I disagree with him. But if I thought he really taught a different gospel, my only participation here would be to refute his false gospel, to plead with the site admin to stop featuring him..

    If you think he teaches a false gospel, why are you even here?

  105. Unworthy
    From where I am observing the content of this thread , I see more than a few people willing to defend a man rather than defend the truth of Gods word, and to me , that is a form of idolatry. Let MacArthur defend himself.

    Quote
    To continue to be divisive and unloving has never been tolerated here, let’s keep to that high standard set by our Lord.
    end quote

    Matthew 10:34-35
    Think not that I am come to send peace on earth :I came not to send peace , but a sword.For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

    Sorry Lyn , but the sword , the word of God , is going to divide.There’s no unity in a popular concensus, only in full agreeance with the scripture.

    Quote
    This thread needs to get back on track and deal with the topic at hand…
    end quote

    Point taken , the spirit of antichrist is not always as blatantly obvious as the RC church .

  106. atg, eschatology IS a secondary issue and that is again as I said before,, not essential to salvation which is WHY it is a secondary issue in the first place. YES I agree that it has everything to do with our view of the urgency of sharing the gospel our view of Holy Scripture etc.
    My problem is with the false views that you hold along with many others and especially the false arguments and misrepresented views of attacking those of us who hold to the pre-trib view-it
    s quite disingenuous and IS the tearing down of brothers and sisters in Christ. These are the same straw-man arguments such as Darby that have been used for example,
    the Pre-trib view is very Scriptural and it began all the way back with Paul in the bible, I can read it all in the word of God so clearly, I was NOT taught from Darby and didn’t even know him or who he was when My mother showed me from again (the word of GOD) the blessed hope in 1 and 2 Thessalonians, One of the greatest JOYS in my life when I was first saved was the sheer joy and excitement of knowing Jesus is going to take his bride home before the Tribulation, –we are gong to meet the Lord on clouds in the air –I would appreciate that we argue and point out the positions we believe are taught straight from the word of God
    the serious error I see is the Church replacing Israel and not being able to make a distinction that God has made a land covenant with Israel–exodus 32:13, that has YET to be fulfilled/ the other serious error is that God has turned (aside)from the Jews to the gentiles UNTIL the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.-Romans 11:25.. –many have become conceited just like this verse states since they have the wrong view according to scripture

  107. @John, I will stand with you in agreeing that MacArthur is NOT preaching a false Gospel.

    @Linda, I want to directly respond to a couple of items. We are not tearing you or others down by disagreeing. You’ve already called me prideful, immature, holding to false doctrine, and conceited for disagreeing and asking you to look into the history of the position a little more.

    I mean this in all sincerity and gentleness. Keep in mind I was all in on Pre-trib/Dispensationalism for many years…You need to spend a bit more time in your study of the history of pre-trib eschatology before claiming that it goes all the way back to Paul. I’ll agree that claims can be made that early church thought can include a “historic Pre-millennial” view, but not a pre-tribulational dispensational view. Its just not there. Historic Pre-Mil is a position that can be supported Biblically.

    Specifically, the 1 Thes 4 passage relating to the rapture is always preached out of context. There is plenty of evidence of this out there by teachers who teach from the other perspective. entire books by very smart dudes have been written to deal with these differences. I can send you some to listen to just so you can see it for yourself.

    You didn’t have to know Darby to fall under his teaching influence. Darby influenced Ryrie, Scolfield, and Schaff and others who were massively influential on the USA churches in the early 1900′s. You or your family might have even had a Scolfield study Bible floating around. I went to a church that basically required that we use a Scolfield Study Bible. In regard to this I can give you a link to a series of well researched messages that deal directly with the history of Pre-trib Dispensationalism and how it got to America and how it entered the American fundamental churches. I would encourage you to listen to these and decide for yourself.

    In regard to Israel and the Church, you have misrepresented our position. We are not saying that the church replaces Israel, we are saying that the Church is the fulfillment of Israel. We believe in a nation of israel (ethnic jews) and a spiritual israel (the elect believers). Romans 9-11 show that not all of Israel is Israel (jew vs believer) and not all abraham’s seed is a descendent of abraham (jew vs believer), and the gentiles will be grafted into israel (spiritual family of believers) and some Jews will be cut off, but can be grafted back in when they are believers. This has never been about the church replacing Israel. I agree, that would be bad theology…we don’t believe that.

    And finally, the land promises belong to spiritual Israel and not the ethnic jew israel…thus the land promises are not related to a fulfillment on earth regarding a piece of land, but relates to the New Jerusalem that is coming at the return of Christ. Israel’s promised holy land is the return of Eden, the return to paradise, the New Jerusalem prophesied in Ezekiel and Revelation.

    All I ask is that you ponder through these things and consider listening to the history of the Pretrib/Disp view. It is our responsibility to know WHY we believe what we believe…and I don’t agree that you can just say “because I read it in the Bible”…because I say that as well. We obviously are reading things differently. So one of us is less right than the other. ;)

    In the sincere love of Christ,
    -atg

  108. My concern is the accusation against MacArthur teaching a false gospel. I believe Jon has spoken well in his comment concerning this matter. There was a time when DefCon would not allow a true man of God to be falsely accused, it seems now if you do not hold to the a-mil view, you are not saved and/or a false teacher. As Jon correctly stated, there are sermons and articles posted here from John MacArthur, and yet, someone is allowed to attack him and charge him with a serious accusation of preaching a false gospel. No one has full knowledge of God’s word, but to accuse a man like MacArthur who has been solid in his presentation of the Gospel for decades is inexcusable. We do not have to agree with everything he teaches, but we certainly should agree he does get the Gospel right because there is no biblical evidence to support that he teaches an accursed gospel.

    Ray, you claim MacArthur should defend himself, have you tried contacting him?

    Those from every camp concerning end times need to remember humility and love when discussing this issue; we can agree to disagree and leave it at that. While we argue with each other over this matter, lost souls are stepping into eternity without Christ.

    Perhaps DefCon needs to re-post http://defendingcontending.com/2011/10/15/retraction-of-the-john-macarthur-post/

  109. Lyn: I wholeheartedly agree with you. And as far as the accusation goes that we are defending one man (MacArthur) over or instead of the Word of God, that is completely untrue, unfounded and ill conceived.

    Linda: I encourage you to stick with what you know the Scriptures say, in prayer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, over and above what ANY man or group of men say.

  110. Macarthur already defended himself. He said they will look to the Lord in faith. Now we have accusations of idolatry. Ray, there’s way to much hero worship of preachers in evangelicalism. But rejection of slander and idolatry are not the same thing.

    No one here is saying it is ok to teach a false gospel, so you can drop the “defend the truth of God’s Word” vs. “defend a man” argument. What is being rejected is your false characterization of what Macarthur has said. If he really said salvation by sight instead of salvation by faith, you’d have lots of allies. He didn’t say that.

  111. RS, I agree with your plea for civility. However, your last comments sounds like you are supporting a relativist perspective on the scriptures. Is this your intent? Do you believe that each person’s particular interpretation is more valid that centuries of God given and gifted theological giants (on all sides of these issues)? Are we to trust our own depraved minds rather that take the multitude of counsel and volumoumous resources to aid in understanding the scriptures?

    If we are to stick with our own interpretations regardless of what any man says, we’ll continue to make the same mistakes and misinterpretations that have happened for thousands of years.

    Can you clarify your intent in this regard?

    in the love of Christ,
    -atg

  112. atg,,I love you as my brother in Christ although I dont know you personally because from your writings and your defense of the faith once for all given to the saints and your sound doctrine, we both agree on the ONLY true gospel. I apologize for calling anyone names/ I don’t apologize for what the bible says in calling people, conceited
    You are assuming that I have not studied the Pre-trib position very well and the Post trib or even the mid trib./ I have studied them all quite extensively on and off for as long as Ive been saved approximately 15 years now. I have to admit that I’m not articulate in this area
    all I can say is we will have to agree to disagree

    My main concern was what unworthy was concerned about / I am having trouble getting used to my little keyboard for my laptop so Im just going to withdrawal out of this for now

  113. From page 93 of John MacArthurs book ” Hard to Believe”

    quote
    “Salvation isn’t the result of an intellectual exercise. It comes from a life lived in obedience and service to Christ as revealed in the Scripture; it’s the fruit of actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile…The life we live, not the words we speak, determines our eternal destiny”
    end quote

    Sorry folks , that is not the gospel.

  114. Ray: Before taking one small quote on a subject Mac has written extensively about, I strongly urge you to read his “The Gospel According to Jesus”, and his “Faith Works, The Gospel According to the Apostles”, Therein you will see he does not teach a Gospel of works. According to his Theology, he is in on way promoting salvation by works. He is drawing a distinction here between our fruit displaying whether or not we are truly saved, rather than salvation being solely a matter of words, or an intellectual exercise.

  115. “The contemporary church has the idea that salvation is only the granting of eternal life, not necessarily the liberation of a sinner from the bondage of his iniquity. We tell people God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their lives, but that is only half the truth. God also hates sin and will punish unrepentant sinners with eternal torment. No gospel presentation is complete if it avoids or conceals those facts. Any message that fails to define and confront the severity of personal sin is a deficient gospel. And any ‘salvation’ that does not alter a lifestyle of sin and transform the heart of the sinner is not the salvation God’s word speaks of.” J. MacArthur, from ‘The Gospel According to Jesus” pages 73-74

    MacArthur is hammering home the doctrine of regeneration with this statement, which is exactly what Christ did with Nicodemus, ‘Ye must be born again’. Christ also spoke of those who sin being slaves to sin, and Him being the one who frees from this bondage {John 8: 34,36}. When God regenerates a dead sinner, their lives will indeed be altered {2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15}. They will indeed have their heart transformed by the power of God {Ezekiel 36:26-27}. Christ Himself commanded sinners to repent repeatedly in the Gospels {Matt. 4:17, Mark 1:15, Luke 13:3,5, Luke 24:47}

    To live a life of obedience as well as repentance is indeed evidence one has been regenerated. Ray, you seem to be all over the place with your attacks on MacArthur, first his end time view is proof he’s a false teacher, you pull verses out of context and use them to defend your accusations against J. M., and now you claim by quoting him from his book ‘hard to believe’ that he doesn’t preach the gospel. You need to repent of your false accusations against a brother in Christ, you have absolutely no solid biblical evidence for this very serious charge against J.M.
    Allow me to confront you biblically on your accusation, ” Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.” 1 Tim. 5:19
    J. M. is an elder of a church in California and should be confronted just as the Apostle Paul says: of 1 Timothy 5:19 Matthew Henry comments “There must be an accusation; it must not be a flying uncertain report, but an accusation, containing a certain charge, must be drawn up. Further, He is not to be proceeded against by way of enquiry; this is according to the modern practice of the inquisition, which draws up articles for men to purge themselves of such crimes, or else to accuse themselves; but, according to the advice of Paul, there must be an accusation brought against an elder. 2. This accusation is not to be received unless supported by two or three credible witnesses; and the accusation must be received before them, that is, the accused must have the accusers face to face, because the reputation of a minister is, in a particular manner, a tender thing; and therefore, before any thing be done in the least to blemish that reputation, great care should be taken that the thing alleged against him be well proved, that he be not reproached upon an uncertain surmise.”

    I will leave it at that.

  116. Ray, I have a question. Do you have that book, or did you pick up the quote from someone else? The thing is, there’s an ellipsis in the middle of the quote, so it appears something has been left out, and we don’t have the context here. I don’t have the book, myself.

    On its face, that quote appears to be teaching salvation by works. If that is really representative of his teaching of what the Gospel is, he is false. So I’ll give you that. If you started this discussion with that quote instead of your “salvation by sight” stuff, I’d say you have a point — there’s something of concern in that quote.

    Now, I’ll give you my take on Macarthur. In general, he’s very sound, but he seems to occasionally overstate his case, especially when refuting error. And I believe he has, in tackling the error of easy-believism, sometimes overstated his case to the point that he sounds like he is teaching a works salvation. When I see all that he has written, I don’t believe he really does believe (or teach) a works salvation, but I do think he occasionally says things that sound like it. It is wrong to do so. It diminishes the clarity of the Gospel.

    I simply can’t understand saying that he teaches “salvation by sight.” I certainly can understand someone who reads excerpts of his writings saying he teaches works salvation. I don’t believe it is an accurate evaluation, but I understand why someone would take him that way.
    ***
    Unworthy1, to be fair, when a man writes something, it is open to criticism. One does not have to go through a formal face-to-face accusation in regard to one’s writings. They stand or fall as to whether they reflect Biblical truth. We’re not talking about an accusation of moral failure. This is not about Mac personally, but about what he is teaching. I don’t think Ray has a solid case in the matter, but it is as legitimate to critique Macarthur’s teachings in this forum as it is to critique Joel Osteen’s.

    The problem is not the forum, but that the first accusation did not reflect what Macarthur actually said, and the second needs to be taken in context.

  117. atg: I understand I’m relatively new here, haven’t commented much, so you may not have a solid fix on what all I believe. So I respect your request for clarity. And I will answer you in complete honesty, and as briefly as possible, and hope it is received in the spirit of brotherly love in which it is given.

    First, so there’s no misunderstanding, my plea was not just for civility, though that was certainly part of a much wider concern. We can certainly be very civil, yet still not rightly represent Christ to the world. Elaborating on this would be redundant, so I urge you to revisit what I already said in previous comments on this thread.

    You asked: “…your last comments sounds like you are supporting a relativist perspective on the scriptures. Is this your intent? “

    No, I am not, and no it is not. I do not believe in a relativist, nor subjective perspective on the Scriptures. That is utterly foolish and leads to disaster. What I said was to “ stick with what you know the Scriptures say, in prayer under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, over and above what any man or group of men say.” That is, the plain and clear teachings in the whole of Scripture are to be held as the final authority in all spiritual matters, OVER AND ABOVE the teachings of any man or group. Paul in Gal. 1:8 encouraged the Galatians to test his own teaching against the Gospel that they had already been given. The Bereans were commended as more honorable for searching the Scriptures for themselves to see if what was being preached was true (Acts 17:11). It is by the Word of God, and it alone, that we will be judged (Jn. 12:48). And there are many others places I could give in Scripture which places the authority of God’s Word over and above the words of any man.

    You asked: “Are we to trust our own depraved minds rather that (sic) take the multitude of counsel and volumoumous (sic) resources to aid in understanding the scriptures?”

    No, I don’t believe that either. But your question presents an either/or scenario based on a faulty premise. Here’s why. As new creatures in Christ, though we still struggle with a fallen nature, we now also have a new nature, and we’ve been given God the Holy Spirit to reside in us and guide us into all truth (Jn. 16:13). Scripture clearly states we have been given the mind of Christ (1Cor.2:16). Not that we always yield to it! But we have been given it, and are expected to yield to it. This is all foundational. So to say we are to trust our depraved (fallen, unregenerated) minds I most certainly reject. To say we have nothing but depraved minds after salvation, and thus unregenerated minds devoid of the guidance and influence of the Holy Spirit, or that we do not have the mind of Christ, I also reject. On the contrary, the born again Christian, having had the eyes of his heart enlightened (Eph. 1:17-18), having been given the mind of Christ, having been given the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself and His truth to us as we read His Word, is now by God’s grace, fully able to understand the Word which He has given, at the rate which He determines, for our healthy growth in Christ (2 Pet.1:3, Eph.4:13).

    Can we benefit from the ministry of other members of the body as an AID in understanding the Scriptures? Most assuredly! Have I appreciated how men of God through the ages have testified to the truths of Scripture, and have articulated the Faith once delivered unto the saints? Absolutely! Have I been encouraged by the likes of Spurgeon, Owen, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, MacArthur and others? Absolutely…in so far as what they say is in complete accord with the Scriptures and testified by the indwelling Holy Spirit. Have I used the works of Greek and Hebrew scholars as an aid to understanding the sense of Biblical words, or the works of historians and archaeologists as an aid in understanding Biblical cultures, religions, and economies? Absolutely. But Biblical doctrine and Theological truths dare not be FOUNDED upon, nor DICTATED by, nor BUILT upon the Theological arguments and reasonings of men, but by what is clearly and plainly taught in the whole counsel of the Word of God. For if we were to form our foundational beliefs on the interpretations of men (what they say the Scriptures say), then we would be no better off than Roman Catholics, who base their beliefs on more than 1600 years of the interpretations of men. Many of the individual arguments of their “scholars” sound very Biblical, and appear to be built Scripture by Scripture. But the end result is a religious system that runs contrary to the whole counsel of the Word of God. If what we believe is based upon the consensus of men, then we are in effect raising the doctrines/teachings/interpretations of men as an authority above the Word of God. In doing so we often “see” the Scriptures through the “spectacles” or framework of our chosen “scholars”, interpreting and deciding what God is saying according to the consensus of such men. Once that happens, the natural tendency is to accept as “truth” that which conforms to the presuppositions we have placed our faith in, and reject as false that which does not so conform. Church history bears abundant evidence of the resulting divisions brought upon the body of Christ because of this, and the voluminous “Christian” cults that have so formed. And that is exactly the error that is happening at places such as Mars Hill Church in Seattle today.

    But as we follow Christ in obedience to what He has stated in His Word, God gives us the growth, at a rate He determines for us individually, in the knowledge of Him and His Word, for the purpose of conforming us into the likeness of Christ. It is a supreme insult to God the Holy Spirit, and an act of dangerous folly, to discount or neglect the guidance and understanding which He freely offers and which only He can give, concerning His own words, in favor of the interpretations of fallible men who are as prone to error as we are. We would do well to heed the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11). Because in the final analysis, when we stand in judgment for all eternity, the Judge of all creation won’t be basing His judgment on whether or not our beliefs conformed to the consensus of men (even if they are revered as “scholars”). He will judge us on whether or not we heeded His Word, which He gave us eyes to see and a renewed mind to understand ,under His guidance.

    Hope that clarifies. And I hope we can be in agreement on this.

  118. RS, Yes, we are in agreement on this. I am glad you clarified. My intent wasn’t to suggest that any men are the foundation of doctrine and truth. On the flip side, we must never find ourselves on an island with an interpretation all to our own or reject the guidance of the men God has gifted as teachers and theologians for the sake of our own interpretation because it makes us happy and justifies our position. I’m sure you would agree with this.

    Thank you for your clarification.

    in the immeasurable riches of Christ,
    -atg

  119. This is really a mystery babylon indeed

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