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Thread: The Grreat Commission warning

  1. #16
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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by ServantoftheKing View Post
    In Rev 14:6-8, two angels are seen. The first is seen flying in midheaven carrying an eternal gospel to all nations and tribes. The second one follows and says, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great."

    Babylon the Great drinks of God's wrath at the pouring out of the 7th bowl in Rev 16, when the 7th angel pours out his bowl and shouts, "It is done!"

    Could this mean that there is an angel sent by God to carry the gospel to all nations just before the seventh bowl is poured out? Jesus never said in Matt 24:14 that the church accomplishes the Great Commission before the end. This is just a possibility to consider.
    An angel is a messenger, and in the start of Revelation we see the angels connected with the churches. So I see this as the picture of the church taking the gospel to the whole world.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Jonah 3:2-4;
    2 "Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.
    3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.
    4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."
    EXACTLY, nowhere is Jonah preaching "Repent..." it is a simple message of "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." This is the sum total of what Jonah said as recorded in scripture for his preaching.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by ServantoftheKing View Post
    In Rev 14:6-8, two angels are seen. The first is seen flying in midheaven carrying an eternal gospel to all nations and tribes. The second one follows and says, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great."

    Babylon the Great drinks of God's wrath at the pouring out of the 7th bowl in Rev 16, when the 7th angel pours out his bowl and shouts, "It is done!"

    Could this mean that there is an angel sent by God to carry the gospel to all nations just before the seventh bowl is poured out? Jesus never said in Matt 24:14 that the church accomplishes the Great Commission before the end. This is just a possibility to consider.
    The gospel of Christ is not given to spirits to preach - only men. Our Lord Jesus forbade the demons to tell Who He was. You see, both demons and angels, which are spirits, where around from the time of Adam and know Who Jesus is. They do not preach faith but sight. But the "Everlasting Gospel" is something else. And what it is is revealed in the verses you propose - Revelation 14:6-7;

    6 "And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
    7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."


    This does not refer to Christ's Person and Work. It refers back to all men of all ages,
    18 "... who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."
    (Romans 1:18-23).

    The issue of the Great Tribulation is a final act of IDOL WORSHIP. And it takes place in a Temple that should have been for God in Jerusalem. Revelation 13:14-15 tells;

    14 "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
    15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."


    By the way, when I am able to corner somebody long enough to preach the gospel, I usually start with this point. Do you think that 2 trillion galaxies with all their matter and energy and laws came out of nothing? Science teaches that something cannot come out of nothing. If so, there must be a Creator. And if so you are a Created Being and are owned by the Creator. And if you are owned by a Creator should you not inquire what He requires of you? That is, I start with the "everlasting gospel" to force the listener to consider God and His CREATURE. Then, if the listener has any honesty, I can change over to the "Good News" of fallen and discarded men REDEEMED for a purpose.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    EXACTLY, nowhere is Jonah preaching "Repent..." it is a simple message of "Yet forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown." This is the sum total of what Jonah said as recorded in scripture for his preaching.
    OK. I concede. But tell me, as an intelligent man and a man who knows language. If two men are drowning in a torrent and I shout to them that ten yards away floats a large log. And three years later we meet and drink a few beers to commemorate that day, what other end is possible than they swam the ten yards and survived because of my message? Our Great God, Master of language, can tell an outcome in very elegant language, especially when the "Word of the Lord" in Jonah 1:1-2 was;

    1 "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
    2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me."

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    You wish to go into semantics again??
    You CANNOT argue it was a message of repentance because people repented.
    Yes, that is exactly what I'm arguing! If God sends a prophet with a declaration of judgment, and repentance results, then obviously God intended the message of judgment to become a message of repentance!

    That's precisely what Jesus was doing in his own day. Like Jonah he was declaring imminent judgment against Israel for all of their wickedness. But he also intended to bring about repentance in those who received his message of repentance.

    Jesus, in fact, compared his message to the message of Jonah.

    Matt 12.39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here. 42 The Queen of the South will rise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to listen to Solomon’s wisdom, and now something greater than Solomon is here.

    Notice how much like Jonah's message this is! There seems to be no mercy and no repentance in the message. But we also know that the message of Jesus contained the Gospel, or "good news," of salvation, for those who would repent.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory
    You CAN say it is a message of repentance IF the message is "repent". This however is ENTIRELY absent from what God asked Jonah to say, or what Jonah said, and even more Jonah wasn't going to say it because He knew that God would relent IF the people repented and that was NOT what Jonah wanted.
    Why do I have to repeat myself? I told you that this was *God's* message of repentance--not Jonah's! Jonah did not want, and was concerned about, possible repentance among the Ninevites. He knew what God was like! So God did in fact intend repentance, and He did intend Jonah's message of judgment to also be a message that brings repentance. To say otherwise is pure obstinacy on your part!

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory
    Now God ALWAYS wants repentance and for none to perish - that is who God is, so yo could argue that God telling him to take a message of disaster was in the hope tha they would repent. This does NOT change the FACT that Jonah's message did NOT offer the hope a message of repentance would bring.
    Word games? I already explained this.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory
    I can agree on things which are ACTUALLY found in scripture.
    When we read in Revelation about various disasters that will happen, the purpose is also that people will repent, but we are told they will not.
    So though God wanted them to turn in repentance the message that Jonah was to give did NOT contain the offer of repentance.
    I'm not playing your word games! I already explained this. God used a message of judgment to elicit repentance, which is exactly what happened. Jesus also brought a message of judgment to Israel, which was quite real. But it also was a warning to God's People to repent from the very sins that would bring upon Israel great judgment.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory
    If you want to change the meaning of the word "gospel" to mean what non-Christians choose to change it to, then that is up to you.
    You are now being quite ridiculous. I already acknowledged that "gospel" means "good news." And I claimed, quite plainly, that I was using the word "gospel" as a synonym for "message." If you want to play word games, that's your choice. I'm not interested.

    Jesus' *message* was one of judgment and one of repentance. It was also one of salvation. What this meant, in a practical sense, is that salvation comes by repentance from the very sins that bring judgment.

    I could talk about salvation in the Gospel all day long. But that's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about the context in which Jesus' message of both judgment and salvation took place.

    And this was in the context of an evil age. Men could only be saved by repenting of their evil. The "good news" was that Jesus unbound men from the legal condemnation of sin. But this still required that we repent of our sins, or not have Christ's atonement apply to us at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory
    I am using it in the meaning given it in the Bible, which is how I prefer to use words. It means we can ALL use the SAME terminology as it is found in scripture.
    I agree (notice I agreed!) that the Good News contains an element of judgement. Without that judgement the good news is actually meaningless. The good news is "this judgement which is going to happen, don't worry I have taken the judgement on myself!".
    For the Jews, and in fact for MOST people, the idea of judgement was KNOWN and accepted. Everyone held that world view. It is only in modern times that people have questioned it, and some refuse it.
    Actually, Christians and nonChristians in all ages have recognized man's inhumanity to man, or "evil." The human conscience is a universal reality, even though it can become seared.

    This is why the message of Christ resonates with all. All men recognize their internal sin, unless they harden their hearts to it.

    Judgment wasn't just taken from Man by Christ's death. It becomes meaningful to us only when we repent of our sins. That is precisely how we embrace Christ's atonement, by repenting of our evil.

    And that was my whole point. The context for salvation is the repentance from sin, which then allows us to avoid certain judgment.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Trivalee View Post
    I agree with your view on both Jonah's commission to Nineveh and Jesus Christ' warning of impending judgment on Jerusalem. In both cases, even though judgment and doom were prophecied, God still had an eye out for those willing to repent. This is more evident in the exchange between Jonah and God in the last chapter of the Book of Jonah. In a classic case of mans' idea of judgment, Jonah couldn't conceive why Nineveh was spared irrespective of their repentance and was indeed, "angry" with God for backtracking on his promise of destruction (Jonah 4:1).

    God's mercy is also mirrored in his saving of many of the 1st-century believers living in Jerusalem at the time the city fell in 70 AD.
    Thanks brother. Sometimes the confirmation is very, very welcome!

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    But ENTRY into the Kingdom is by rebirth and Baptism (Jn.3:3-5), and rebirth is by FAITH in Jesus. But I'm probably missing the point. Would you care to post the scriptures that cause the question. Thanks.
    In my view, yes, salvation is by rebirth. But baptism is purely symbolic of our salvation. It is an initiation ritual, a public declaration of religious conversion. Rebirth comes by faith in the word of God, which offers eternal life by the free gift of Christ's atonement.

    With you I was just explaining that repentance in Nineveh could indeed serve to lead to eternal life, once Christ had atoned for the sins of all men. It depends on what individuals repented by faith in God. If men repented only to avert disaster, but not out of love for God and His righteousness, then salvation was not had.

    The problem with ForHisglory has to do with his rejection of my use of the term "Gospel." I was using that term as a synonym of Christ's *message,* and not strictly in the sense of it being the "good news" of salvation. Certainly, "gospel" has that meaning, and can be used in this way. But the word "gospel" can also be used as a synonym for Christ's *message* as a whole, which I'm arguing has to do with both judgment and repentance from sin.

    My argument is that the primary focus of salvation comes in the context of an evil age, which men must repent of, or be lost in their sins.

    The other aspect of Jesus' message, which has to do with the benefits of salvation, is another subject for another time. My focus here was primarily on the context of this being an evil age, and with our need to repent of sin in order to qualify for salvation. It also had to do with salvation being not so much a barometer of how long it will take until Christ Returns, but more, the idea that salvation is now universal for all nations and all ethnicities, rather than just aimed at Israel.

  8. #23
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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    OK. I concede. But tell me, as an intelligent man and a man who knows language. If two men are drowning in a torrent and I shout to them that ten yards away floats a large log. And three years later we meet and drink a few beers to commemorate that day, what other end is possible than they swam the ten yards and survived because of my message? Our Great God, Master of language, can tell an outcome in very elegant language, especially when the "Word of the Lord" in Jonah 1:1-2 was;

    1 "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
    2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me."
    You would have pointed them to a log of salvation. Jonah cried AGAINST Nineveh and did not offer a log.
    A closer picture would be two people sitting in a room, and there is an electrical fault which is smouldering away. This will become a fire and they will be burnt to a crisp, you shout out "Fire! Your room is going to burn down"
    If they listen to you, they might then look and see the smouldering wire and so do something, or they may look around and not see any fire (for it is not visible to them) and so reject your words and so be caught out.
    By sending Jonah, God was telling them that they were about to be destroyed. It was then down to how they viewed Jonah (and by extension his God). Then they had to look at themselves and they had to come to the conclusion to repent.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    Yes, that is exactly what I'm arguing! If God sends a prophet with a declaration of judgment, and repentance results, then obviously God intended the message of judgment to become a message of repentance!
    And if they didn't repent then would you argue that God intended the message of judgement to not become a message of repentance?
    We KNOW the character of God, so we KNOW He wants everyone to repent.
    However in this case He did NOT send Jonah with a message of repentance. he sent Jonah solely with a message of disaster. I would far rather stick with what is stated in scripture than make up my own narrative which then leads onto another claim which is one step removed again, and so on.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    In my view, yes, salvation is by rebirth. But baptism is purely symbolic of our salvation. It is an initiation ritual, a public declaration of religious conversion. Rebirth comes by faith in the word of God, which offers eternal life by the free gift of Christ's atonement.

    With you I was just explaining that repentance in Nineveh could indeed serve to lead to eternal life, once Christ had atoned for the sins of all men. It depends on what individuals repented by faith in God. If men repented only to avert disaster, but not out of love for God and His righteousness, then salvation was not had.

    The problem with ForHisglory has to do with his rejection of my use of the term "Gospel." I was using that term as a synonym of Christ's *message,* and not strictly in the sense of it being the "good news" of salvation. Certainly, "gospel" has that meaning, and can be used in this way. But the word "gospel" can also be used as a synonym for Christ's *message* as a whole, which I'm arguing has to do with both judgment and repentance from sin.

    My argument is that the primary focus of salvation comes in the context of an evil age, which men must repent of, or be lost in their sins.

    The other aspect of Jesus' message, which has to do with the benefits of salvation, is another subject for another time. My focus here was primarily on the context of this being an evil age, and with our need to repent of sin in order to qualify for salvation. It also had to do with salvation being not so much a barometer of how long it will take until Christ Returns, but more, the idea that salvation is now universal for all nations and all ethnicities, rather than just aimed at Israel.
    Your difficulty with ForHisglory and me is that you enter un-Biblical concepts into your opinions, and then need quite a few posts to defend them. While I uphold your right and freedom to do so, we will never get far in the discussion. Again, in your posting above you propose "salvation" for those of Nineveh by WORKS. This discussion immediately hits a brick wall as salvation and entry into the Kingdom are by FAITH. The WORKS that predate FAITH are from a rotten Tree, no matter how "good" they are. WORKS that follow FAITH are those ordained by the Lord via the indwelling Holy Spirit. God will definitely stay execution if a heathen city repents IF THIS WAS HIS COMMAND, but the way to salvation from eternal retribution and entry into the kingdom are set in cement. They are by FAITH in the WORK of a Man Who met God's requirements. You cannot save yourself one wit, even by a near faultless life. You come from a bad tree and you can NEVER produce fruit that God accepts. You need a change of nature. Nineveh proved this.

    And because you would rather give opinions without considering scripture, you can never appreciate the absolute importance of Baptism. I will not go into it, because you have heard it before and dome nothing, but I will name them for you.
    1. It is a COMMAND. Entry into the kingdom AFTER rebirth is by OBEDIENCE. The Christian who cannot keep the first command of the Lord is not fit for the Kingdom (Matt.7:21)
    2. It qualifies a Believer to enter the Kingdom (Jn.3:5)
    3. It replaces Circumcision for the inheriting of the earth (Col.2:11-12)
    4. It purges the conscience so that old transgression do not burden one's walk with God (1st Pet.3:21)
    5. It puts the past behind us. All God's called-out ones were "flood-crossers" (Josh.24:2-3, 14; 1st Cor.10:1-11)
    6. It joins the vile flesh in Christ's death so that God can deal with Christians as if they were relieved of the flesh (Rom.6:1-4)
    7. It qualifies a Christian to be raised like Christ (Rom.6:5)

    Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but the day you start reading God's Words and letting them dictate your understanding, you will not have to walk in your own conflicting opinions. Your postings will then never again be void of scripture. Am I being pedantic? Let Psalm 138:2 answer. Does it not set an unfathomable value on God's Words?

    "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    You would have pointed them to a log of salvation. Jonah cried AGAINST Nineveh and did not offer a log.
    A closer picture would be two people sitting in a room, and there is an electrical fault which is smouldering away. This will become a fire and they will be burnt to a crisp, you shout out "Fire! Your room is going to burn down"
    If they listen to you, they might then look and see the smouldering wire and so do something, or they may look around and not see any fire (for it is not visible to them) and so reject your words and so be caught out.
    By sending Jonah, God was telling them that they were about to be destroyed. It was then down to how they viewed Jonah (and by extension his God). Then they had to look at themselves and they had to come to the conclusion to repent.
    I can't see how our analogies differ. The ultimate Picture that Jonah sets forth is Christ, from Galilee, going to the Gentiles after being three days and nights in Hades (Matt.12:40; Jn.7:52). It sets forth, in PICTURE, the condemnation of God, the threat of retribution, and the way out. You were correct in saying the word "repent" does not appear. I agree, but maintain it is implied.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    I can't see how our analogies differ. The ultimate Picture that Jonah sets forth is Christ, from Galilee, going to the Gentiles after being three days and nights in Hades (Matt.12:40; Jn.7:52). It sets forth, in PICTURE, the condemnation of God, the threat of retribution, and the way out. You were correct in saying the word "repent" does not appear. I agree, but maintain it is implied.
    The difference is that you have Jonah giving a "threat" of retribution and a way out. However Jonah did not give a threat, but a statement of what God was going to do. Further Jonah did not offer a way out, made no mention of repentance, and it certainly is not implied. The opposite is implied as Jonah complains that He knew God would relent if they repented, so Jonah was not the one offering them that option. So the Ninevites did what was required by God, though Jonah had not preached this to them. They did as Paul noted in Romans, responding on what they knew and had heard.
    Jonah was prophesying during the reign of Jeroboam II (1 Kings 14:25) and it is noted in that passage that God did works for the people of Israel, which those of Nineveh may have heard about. This is around 775 BC.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory View Post
    And if they didn't repent then would you argue that God intended the message of judgement to not become a message of repentance?
    We KNOW the character of God, so we KNOW He wants everyone to repent.
    God did in fact send Jonah with a mind to bring repentance to Nineveh! Yes, Jonah did see God's benevolent character even in the message of judgment God had given to him for Nineveh. He *knew* this message of judgment could also be a message of possible repentance. That is my whole point. Why argue over words, brother? It seems we are actually in agreement.

    Jonah 4.I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity... 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

    Quote Originally Posted by ForHisglory
    However in this case He did NOT send Jonah with a message of repentance. he sent Jonah solely with a message of disaster. I would far rather stick with what is stated in scripture than make up my own narrative which then leads onto another claim which is one step removed again, and so on.
    Have your way, brother. Jonah's message was one of judgment. But I would be negligent in speaking for all the facts if I neglected to say that Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. And I therefore call this a "message that led to repentance." If you want to just be argumentative, that's your choice.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    God did in fact send Jonah with a mind to bring repentance to Nineveh! Yes, Jonah did see God's benevolent character even in the message of judgment God had given to him for Nineveh. He *knew* this message of judgment could also be a message of possible repentance. That is my whole point. Why argue over words, brother? It seems we are actually in agreement.

    Jonah 4.I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity... 10 But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

    Have your way, brother. Jonah's message was one of judgment. But I would be negligent in speaking for all the facts if I neglected to say that Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah. And I therefore call this a "message that led to repentance." If you want to just be argumentative, that's your choice.
    I am not being "argumentative" I am highlighting that in Jonah's case he ONLY preached a message of judgement, yet God used this to bring repentance. We can be afraid to preach judgement, yet God uses it.
    We however need to adapt our message to those who we are preaching to. Some know about judgement and so do not need this preaching as much, and need to hear more about forgiveness.
    Others don;t understand repentance and need that preaching more.
    The good news we bring though is that though there is judgement, through repentance and faith in Him, there is forgiveness and restoration and a new relationship.

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    Re: The Grreat Commission warning

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls View Post
    Your difficulty with ForHisglory and me is that you enter un-Biblical concepts into your opinions, and then need quite a few posts to defend them. While I uphold your right and freedom to do so, we will never get far in the discussion. Again, in your posting above you propose "salvation" for those of Nineveh by WORKS.
    This is untrue, or at best misleading. To say someone is "saved by works" is a catch phrase used by Protestants against Catholics and other religions who separate Faith and Works. But I have *never* separated Faith and Works! And this doesn't take a book for me to explain that.

    On the other hand, if you, like ForHisglory, suggest that Faith can be divorced from Works, you will have to answer, like him, to what James said.

    James 2.26 faith without deeds is dead.

    This is hardly "unbiblical," brother! But you, like Luther, apparently have a problem with it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    This discussion immediately hits a brick wall as salvation and entry into the Kingdom are by FAITH. The WORKS that predate FAITH are from a rotten Tree, no matter how "good" they are.
    Sorry, Faith, and the Works of Faith, that predated Christ's atonement, were valid. And so, the Works that accompany Faith in that time period are as valid as Faith itself, because Faith requires Works.

    I've never said that Faith and Works before Christ can themselves achieve final atonement--only Christ can do that. But true Faith, which includes Works, are what attains to Christ's final atonement.

    For example, Abraham's Works in the OT era were acceptable before God, but did not accomplish final atonement, which only Christ could accomplish. But his faith did recognize and benefit from the atonement that Christ would accomplish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    WORKS that follow FAITH are those ordained by the Lord via the indwelling Holy Spirit. God will definitely stay execution if a heathen city repents IF THIS WAS HIS COMMAND, but the way to salvation from eternal retribution and entry into the kingdom are set in cement. They are by FAITH in the WORK of a Man Who met God's requirements. You cannot save yourself one wit, even by a near faultless life. You come from a bad tree and you can NEVER produce fruit that God accepts. You need a change of nature. Nineveh proved this.
    Speak of your own "tree," brother! You may come from a "rotten tree," but I do not. I was created by the holy God, who only does good. Man was created in His image, and not to originate from a "rotten tree!"

    Yes, the sin nature now permeates us, and you may legitimately refer to this as a "rotten tree." But that isn't who God created us to be. And we can still do good. Our good works cannot accomplish for us eternal atonement, but our faith, together with its good works, can indeed attain to the atonement Christ worked for us. We do this not by accomplishing the works of atonement that Christ himself did, but rather, by choosing to live the way he did. We choose to benefit from the atonement he provided for us.

    To say people, therefore, could do nothing good in the OT era is obviously false, since God created all men in His own image. He created us to be like Him, to do good. Sin has permeated us, and we have a tendency to do evil, as well. But the important thing is to choose not just to do good works, but to also become like Him. This is part of the process of salvation--an appeal to a future atonement for our sins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    And because you would rather give opinions without considering scripture, you can never appreciate the absolute importance of Baptism.
    This is your regular lie and sin, brother, indicating, falsely, that I do not consider Scripture. I know Scripture backwards and forwards, and regularly refer to it. Just because I don't quote it repetitively, or quote it out of context, does not mean I don't quote it! Prayer is good, but repetitive prayer is bad, according to Jesus. And so, just quoting Scripture to appear "biblical" is not good. It's best to explain what it is saying, if we think we really know what the sense is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    I will not go into it, because you have heard it before and dome nothing, but I will name them for you.
    1. It is a COMMAND. Entry into the kingdom AFTER rebirth is by OBEDIENCE. The Christian who cannot keep the first command of the Lord is not fit for the Kingdom (Matt.7:21)
    2. It qualifies a Believer to enter the Kingdom (Jn.3:5)
    3. It replaces Circumcision for the inheriting of the earth (Col.2:11-12)
    4. It purges the conscience so that old transgression do not burden one's walk with God (1st Pet.3:21)
    5. It puts the past behind us. All God's called-out ones were "flood-crossers" (Josh.24:2-3, 14; 1st Cor.10:1-11)
    6. It joins the vile flesh in Christ's death so that God can deal with Christians as if they were relieved of the flesh (Rom.6:1-4)
    7. It qualifies a Christian to be raised like Christ (Rom.6:5)

    Far be it from me to tell you what to do, but the day you start reading God's Words and letting them dictate your understanding, you will not have to walk in your own conflicting opinions. Your postings will then never again be void of scripture. Am I being pedantic? Let Psalm 138:2 answer. Does it not set an unfathomable value on God's Words?
    Baptism does not save you in the sense of removing pollution/sin from you! It is a public demonstration of the conscience, which alone can cleanse one in a ritual. Do I have to quote it for you?

    1 Peter 3.21 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.

    It does no good to simply quote Scriptures if you can't read them right! Here, Peter plainly says that the ritual act of baptism *does not save you!* The salvation aspect of ritual baptism involves the *conscience.* Baptism cannot save you because it's just *water!*

    But you think that somehow the water adds value to the conscience when in reality it was just an initiation ritual designed to publicly confess Jesus. As he said: "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven." (Matt 10.32) It is not the act of baptism that saves, but rather, the act of confession. Baptism is purely a ritual utilized to make this public confession at the beginning of conversion.

    1 Cor 1.17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

    But you apparently want to empty the cross of Christ of its power? By pushing the ritual act of baptism as a means of salvation you are emptying the cross of its power! It is Christ himself who brings salvation, and not the waters of baptism! Baptism metaphorically saves us by representing, symbolically, what Christ is doing on the inside of us! It is our conscience that cleanses us--not material water!

    But if you want to go on insulting my position as "unbiblical," you would be wrong. You are just disagreeing with my interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walls
    "I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."

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