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Friday, December 28, 2007

Exegesis




New Testament exegesis by Gorden D. Fee is a straight forward work that describes the process of exegesis that some moderate mainline Protestant churches use. I use it as a reference along with my Patristic sources.


The one set of books I want in this regard is Charles Kannengiesser "Handbook of Patristic Exegesis: The Bible in Ancient Christianity"







It is my firm belief that Biblical exegesis must never be seperated from the history of exegesis as seen throughout the history of the Church.

For what the Bible says in the 21 century was said in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10nth, 11nth, 12th, 13nth, 14nth, 15nth, 16nth, 17nth, 18nth, 19nth, and 20nth centuries as well.



JNORM888
Friday, December 21, 2007

My response to Saint and sinner at triablogue

to saint and sinner

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2007/12/metaphysics-of-freewill.html

And where did Augustine get it?



He got it through multiple false revelations of scripture.
Just like in 1914 the oneness pentecostals began with a false revelation of scripture.
The BIBle tells us to test the spirits and Augustine never did that.
Instead of holding on to the Faith that was handed to the Saints! He invented his own teaching.
It wouldn't be called Augustinianism if it didn't come from him
.


"He said that he derived it from Scripture despite the previous tradition. I think that we could admit that Augustine was a great theologian and that we were influenced by him simply because he made great points."


He had a couple revelations that changed what he believed. And those new ideas were against what the Christian Faith always believed and past down.
Augustine may be seen as a great theologian in the western Church, but he is seen as a man with alot of theological errors in the Eastern Church.
You were influenced by him because Both Luther and Calvin tried to go back to some of his harder teachings that were rightly discarded by the Western Church.



"Of course, we would say that early Christianity was heavily influenced by Greek philosophy as Alister McGrath has pointed out."




Early christianity was not heavily influenced by Greek Philosophy....no more than Saint John was by Philo.

If you read Philo(a Jewish greek philosopher) and the Gospel of John you will see how John relied on Philo.

Was it a heavy influence? No! But his ussage of "Logos" is similar to Philo's.

Saint Paul was also influenced by Greek Philosophy. Now was he heavily influenced by it? NO! But he did use it for the good of the Church.

Some Early Christians used Greek Philosophy the same way Saint John and Paul did.

You have Saint Justin Martrye, Clement of Alexandria (who is not called a Saint by the Orthodox)

And Origen (who was declared heretical in the 6th century)

Most of the Early Christians were Against Greek Philosophy.

"Great is the error that the philosophers among them have brought upon their followers."
Aristides (125 A.D.)

"One of the Philosophers asserts that God is body, but I assert that He is without body. One of the philosophers asserts that the World is indestructible, but I say that it is to be destroyed."
Tatian (160A.D.)

"But now it seems proper for me to demonstrate that our philosophy is older than the systems of the Greeks."
Tatian (160A.D.)


Tatian didn't seem to be "heavily influenced" by greek philosophy.


"Heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy."
Tertullian 197 A.D.)

"[The philosophers] knocked at the door of truth. But they did not enter." Tertullian 210 A.D.

"The Philosophers are the Patriarchs of all heresy."
Tertullian (200 A.D.)

Tertullian seemed to be against Greek Philosophy.


"It has been handed down to us in the sacred writings that the thoughts of the Philosophers are foolish....Therefore, there is no reason why we should give so much honor to philosophers."
Lactantius (304A.D. to 313A.D.)

Lactantius was the school teacher of Constantine's son and he didn't seem to be heavily influenced by Greek Philosophy.

Also Origen....who was influenced by Jewish Greek Philosophy had this to say about the issue.


"We testify of certain Greek philosophers that they knew God, seeing "He manifested Himself to them," although "they did not glorify Him as God, neither were they thankful, but became vain in their imaginations; and professing themselves to be wise, they became foolish." Origen (248 A.D.)


Also Clemant of Alexandria who also was influenced by Greek Philosophy had this to say about it.

"Well, be it so that "the thieves and robbers" are the philosophies among the greeks, who before the coming of the Lord received fragments of the truth from the Hebrews prophets. They claimed these as their own teachings, without complete understanding of them."
Clement of Alexandria (195 A.D.)


Most of the ones who were influenced by Greek Philosophy tried to use it to help convert the Greeks to Christianity.

But most of the early christians rejected Greek Philosophy.



Whatever you got from Alister McGrath in regards to this issue was wrong. I been reading the ECF's for 9 to 10 years now.

So I know what they had to say about the issue. And I've been reading them mostly in my protestant years.

If anything it was Augustine who was heavily influenced by Plato and John Calvin who was influenced by Aristotlian logic.

So the Greek Philosophy finger pointing can go both ways! If you didn't know.....the greek Philosophers were all over the place in regards to the issue of "Free will". Many were Determinists!!!!




"So, I would suggest that we each argue our points from Scripture to decide between the two positions."



Nope! I will argue with every tool. When the Arians couldn't get anywhere from Church history, They wanted to only argue their point from scripture as well.

We will look at both scripture and history for I can't have you using the BIBLE as a smoke screen for your theology.




Where's your argument?




It will come in time.





JNORM888

Do Arminians structure their theology around the Liberterian Freedom of the Will?

At another blog some are trying to infer that Arminians structure their theology around "the Liberterian freedom of the Will".

And they do this dispite being corrected on the issue.


Arminian theology is structured around God not being the Author of Sin. It is based on the Love of God, and His free Grace.


Yet some look at this as some type of tactic to get around the issue. This is no tactic. And as long as some continue to ignore what Free Willers really believe then the false accusations and strawman arguments will continue.




JNORM888

Triablogue: The metaphysics of freewill

Triablogue: The metaphysics of freewill

This is from the comment section of "The Metaphysics of freewill" on the triablogue site. What I am posting is my second response. IF you click on the link it should take you to the post where all the comments are at.


Genembridges comments are "italicized".



And what we are saying is that, no matter how you cast it, you are still going to get back to LFW being a rationalistic plank around which the system is structured. Running to the love of God is just an ethical objection that gets to the same place, so it only backs the question up one step. Libertarianism is, as I pointed out, fundamental to Arminianism in a way that compatibilism is not in Calvinism. We don't structure our theology around compatibilism.


I could say the samething about Calvinism and Determinism.
Determinism is a rationalistic plank around which the system of Calvinism is structured. Running to God's sovereignty is just an objection that gets to the same place, so it only backs the question up one step.

Determinism is, as I pointed out, fundamental to Calvinism in a way that Free will is to Arminianism.

We all know that compatibilism is soft Determinism and Calvinism has a hard deterministic side.

So yes I would agree that Calvinism is not limited to soft determinism. But Determinism in and of itself is fundamental to Calvinism.

You can't have Calvinism without it.




Olson also tries to draw a distinction using this principle between "Arminians of the head" and "Arminians of the heart" in that same book. As reviewers of that book have pointed out,that's a useful way of him getting to rule out many Arminians with whom he might disagree, like Episcopius, Van Limborch, etc. For these men, it always got back to LFW. See, for example, Episcopius, Opera Theologica 1.9. These men denied things like the innate knowledge of God in man. Episcopius spoke of such a thing as first notions which compel the mind to assent, "if anyone is willing to be in any way led by reason.


No one said Arminianism was a monolith. Yet, in saying this about Arminianism you are making it seem as if Calvinism is monolithic and that is far from the truth.

You have hard determinists and soft determinists. You even have Hard determinists that believe God is the author of sin in which the WCF(westminister confession of Faith) says is something God is not.

So calvinists disagree among themselves. And yes.....I have debated both Hard Determinists as well as Soft Determinists.....so I know that you guys do the samething that Olsen does in his book.

Why is it ok for Calvinism to have more than one system of thought on this issue, but it's not ok for Arminians and other free willers to have different schools of thought on this same issue?

You want to put us in a little box and give us rules of what we can and can't believe.

But the truth is....if you refuse to take us at our own word about the issue then you will always build a strawman argument.




Well of course not, we wouldn't expect them too, but on the contrary, that's a very common thing for them to say from their pulpits. I've interacted with many, and heard many a sermon. I'll also repeat myself yet again, I was taught systematic theology by a classic Arminian using the work of Thomas Oden as a base text, so it isn't as if I am unaware of what they teach. I've also interacted
with my fair share in many forums. They bring up their synergism and when we point out that they are making grace quantitative and not qualitative, they point to UPG as doing the lion's share of the work, which, of course, proves our point for us. We can substitute any set of numbers, as long as grace gets more than 50 percent, but the end result is the same




Every group has some form of "folk theology". and I might be wrong, but I think Thomas Oden is a modernist/liberal. I like his Ancient christian commentary series. but all the people I quoted were "conservative Arminians".

A classical Arminian is someone that believes in original sin and total inability. They are more likely not to say some of the things you said above.

Also Synergism has always been a part of christianity. Even when Augustine changed into a Determinist in his older years/ later writings.

Synergism still wasn't destroyed. The western local council of Orange still tought a certain form of synergism.

So in my mind the Calvinists depart even from western creedal orthodoxy. You guys embrace the hard monergism of Augustin that was constantly rejected by the western Church.

The Eastern Church never embraced those things. So what you are fighting for is a make believe system that had it's roots in Augustine. The Christian Faith never came from Augustine.


Also grace is both "quantitative as well as qualitative"

It is both. It is not an either or thing.

It is a both and thing.



We are aware of this, and we are also aware that Augustine is not our rule of faith.

Some Calvinists I talk to online believe that Augustinianism is nothing more than Calvinism before John Calvin. I think the Jansenists are a better representative of Augustine's later works/teachings.

The people who wrote the book "why I am not an Arminian" believe that the council of Orange supported a moderate form of Augustinianism whereas Calvinism stayed true to Augustine's harder teachings.


So to say you don't follow Augustine is not really true. You may not follow him on "every issue", but you do follow him on alot of issues.

Calvinism would not exist if it wasn't for Augustine changing his mind in his older years. You owe him alot, but then again you are a Reformed Baptist.

I don't see how a Baptist can be "Reformed"......A baptist can hold to the 5 points of Calvinism, but holding to the 5 points in and of itself doesn't make one "REFORMED".

You might think "scripture" is your rule of Faith. But you are only fooling yourself if you truely think that. The BIBLE didn't fall from the sky. You look at scripture with the lenses of a JOHN CALVIN and through him Augustine.

I hope I didn't hurt your feelings when I said that I didn't know how a Baptist can be Reformed. I was raised Baptist. My congregation were a mixed bunch of "Calvinistic"(because I don't want to say the word "reformed" when talking about Calvinistic Baptist) and "Arminian".



Care to try to mount an exegetical refutation of Reformed theology's action theory? Let's try, for example, to determine where in Scripture we find libertarian action theory. This is necessary for the Arminian to show. As a species of libertarian yourself, please, do for us what no other has been able to do.

It is implied in scripure. That is if we are talking about "REAL CHOICES."

But we can talk about this latter.



We are also aware that you replace Augustine's "speculations" with the speculations of others. We've been over this many times with the Orthodox on this blog."

I disagree. The Faith was handed to the Saints. Augustine's "peculiar" doctrines were noval.

The doctrine of Free will was always tought in the CHURCH. The fact that "christian determinism" has it's roots in Augustine is evidence that "we" are not the ones with the "speculations".

At least on this issue.

In the Protestant World those who fight against "Dispensationalism" always use the tactic that it began in the Protestant Churches in the 18 hundreds.

You guys do this to show that it's scripture interpretation was a noval one and most likely not true.

I'm using the same tactic you guys use on them.

Yet it's ok if it's used against "Dispensationalism" but when this same method is used against you guys it's "foul play".



Good for you. Where's the supporting argument that explains its meaning? Why does one man believe and not another given the constraints of LFW?

What are your beliefs in regards to Adam and Eve having free will? How were they able to choose? How were they able to fall?

Are you a Determinist when it comes to pre-fall ADAM and EVE? Or are you a LFW in regards to pre-fall Adam and Eve?

My answer depends on your answer.



Of course, I am not one who equates Semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism. Rather, I characterize it as semi-Augustinian, so this is irrelevant to my position. That said, when Calvinists characterize Arminianism as semi-Pelagianism they are doing so at the functional level, for they cash out at functionally the same place.


I could say the samething about calvinists and Fatalists. On the functional level they cash out at the same place.



JNORM888
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My critique of WOTM Radio's segment about Eastern Orthodoxy

This is the post I made some months ago about WOTM Radio's podcast segment about Eastern Orthodoxy. I sent WOTMradio a modified email of what's posted here. A friend from HolyCultureradio told me about the podcast they had about it and she just wanted me to check if what was said was accurate:



He has somethings right but most of what he's saying is wrong. He doesn't understand what's going on. He is trying to look at it from his Western mindset. So even the few things he got right was twisted because he doesn't have a clue of the context and what's going on.


I'll post streams, quotes from books, and other things later. For now I will just say.


1.) We believe God is both "Transcendant" as well as "Immanent"

Transcendance means God is unknowable....meaning God dwells outside of Time and space and that there will alsways be a part of God that will always be unknowable.

The form of theology that comes from this is what we call "Apophatic theology" ....God is not this and God is not that.......ect.

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apophatic_theology



Immanence means God is dwelling in time and space. Or that God dwells within Creation itself. This means we will be able to know "something" about God. It means we can know God in some form. This is where Catophatic theology is formed from. It is formed by what we know of God in "time and space".......God is this and God is that......ect.

Some examples of what we can know about God would be such things as "epiphanies", "Divine Revelation", "The Incarnation", Knowing about the Godhead through creation, as well as knowing God through His Grace/graces which is Something we would call Divine energies.......ect.

Orthodoxy just knows that we will never know "ALL" of what God is in His "entireness". God is Infinite whereas we are finite. This is all we are saying. Knowing God in his true essense is impossible for God is Infinite. No matter what name we give to God we will never be able to describe Him fully. Why? Because He is both understandable as well as incomprehensible all at the sametime. However, In Apophatic theology there is a practice of knowing God in a way that can't be described by words. So in either form whether apophatic(the negative) or Catophatic(the positive) we believe that we can know God in some form. We just believe that we can't know Him in all His fullness......for God is Infinite.

The jews knew God but they didn't know God at the level that we know God today. The Angels know God but they won't know God in the way we will when we are glorified. Also at the level we know God now is only partial. We will know God at a higher level when we are glorified, but even then we won't know God in his fullness for He is Infinite. We believe that for Eternity we will be knowing more and more about God and learning more and more about Him .....Everyday for Eternity will be like a new day in learning about His Vastness.

I hope I didn't loose you by saying all this. Eastern Orthodoxy embraces both Catophatic as well as Apophatic theology. Right now I embrace more of the Catophatic school of thought in Orthodoxy because it is what I'm use to,.......because I come from a Protestant background.

Alot of the bhuddist converts I know embrace more of the Apophatic theology in Orthodoxy because it's probably what they are more use to coming from that background.


Both schools exist in Eastern Orthodoxy. One balances the other.


2.) Also the Eastern Christian mindset when it comes to learning is different from the Western Christian mindset. I will use the college example. When it comes to learning, Eastern Orthodoxy would be more about Labs than class lectures.

Whereas Western Christianity is more about class lectures than labs.

Eastern Christianity believes that one learns more from hands on experience. Whereas western Christianity believes that one learns more from text books.


Anotherway of saying this is .......Eastern Christianity believes that if you want to learn about a Lion it would be best to be locked in a cage with one instead of reading a book about one.


This is what it comes down to. If you "say" you know something.... well how do you know you know it? And how can we know you know it? To us the whole person(mind, body, and soul) must know it. ......Or else you are just lying to yourself as well as to others.

We can see this in 1st John

1 John 3:18
Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Most christians before the printing press had to "Hear" the word of God and memorize it and ponder on it in their hearts. That is how they learned the word of God back then. Eastern Orthodoxy still stresses "hearing" the word of God, because that's the way it's always been for 2,000 years. Now in modern Times we do read the scriptures more......especially converts like myself. But hearing the word of God and pondering on it is almost a lost art in the west.


I believe 1st John 3:18 was saying the samething as James when James wrote about faith plus works. James is really talking about "words" plus works.......or words plus true faith.

In like mannor we "know" something not by words alone but by "experiencing" what we say. This is true faith.



3.) In regards to us being gods.....well we were made in God's Image. We are His Images. And as christians we are united with God's Son as well as With His Holy Spirit. And One day we will be glorified.

So yes we are gods in some sense of the word and we will be gods when we are glorified.

God became man so that man could become divine.

God forever partook of our nature so that we can forever partake of His. All the classic christian greats that I know believed this. It's not talked about much in todays World. It's not Mormonism.....the fact that he said that only showed his ignorance of the topic.



4.) It is true......we are not Pantheists. We are what is called PANENTHEISTS

It goes back to God being both Transcendant as well as Immanent. We believe that All of creation dwells within God.

God holds it all together within Himself.

Colossians 1:17
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

This does not mean that the creation is a part of God. That is another misconception. It just means that creation dwells in God. ...Like a fish dwelling in the Ocean. The fish is not part of the Ocean.....they are two different things. Likewise, creation is different from the Creator. This is why I believe God controls everything......and I mean everything...... And this is also why I understand synergy the way I do.



5.) Our understanding of Justification is tied to our doctrine of theosis. Justification and Sanctification are two sides of the same coin. When you have one you will see the other.

They are really "simultaneous".

In debates people like to put one in front of the other but it doesn't have to be that way. For when you are Justified you are also at that same moment "set aside"




6.) Almost everything in Orthodoxy is filled with Scripture. The same is true with Icons. In many ways it's nothing more than scripture in painted form. If we can have scripture on audio tapes and C.D.'s then why can't we have it in Movies, Paintings, and plays as well?

But I guess you can call it a commentary to scripture because they are Theological in content......They explain alot of passages. So Icons in Eastern Christianity are Theological works. And then you have Icons that are historical works as well.



http://audio.ancientfaith.com/lectures/stmoses/frjerome1.mp3


and



http://audio.ancientfaith.com/lectures/stmoses/motherkatherine1.mp3



6.) If you look at the rule of St. Vincent of Lerins it is Scripture first and the fathers as a commentary to scripture second. Well it's a bit deeper than that but that's the general rule. Scripture didn't come down to us in a vacume.

http://www.holycultureradio.com/foru...ad.php?t=21721



"From the Commonitory of St Vincent of Lerins (4th Century)"


"1. I have continually given the greatest pains and diligence to inquiring,
from the g
reatest possible number of men outstanding in holiness and in
doctrine, how I can secure a kind of fixed and, as it were, general and guiding
principle for distinguishing the true Catholic Faith from the degraded
falsehoods of heresy. And the answer that I receive is always to this effect;
that if I wish, or indeed if anyone wishes, to detect the deceits of heretics
that arise and to avoid their snares and to keep healthy and sound in a healthy
faith, we ought, with the Lord's help, to fortify our faith in a twofold manner,
firstly, that is, by the authority of God's Law, then by the tradition of the
Catholic Church.






Also for the most part we don't have statues. The Russians might have some, but for the most part we are statueless. We mostly have paintings/Icons.


So they were wrong when they said "statues everywhere". If anything it would be paintings on the wall.

Most Prots in Eastern Europe don't understand that if they are going to do anything like have a T.V. ministry or something like that then they are going to have to have the Orthodox involved.

What they need to do is follow the example of T.B.N. (the Trinity broadcasting Network in Eastern Europe)


People don't understand that every group under the sun are rushing to convert people overthere. so I don't have a problem with the Orthodox pushing their weight around in order to preserve Orthodoxy.

However, I don't believe in violence and stuff like that.






Ft. Patrick's Journy, Ft. Guilquest's journy as well as Ft. Gregory Hogg's should help you understand Orthodoxy a bit better. Orthodxy isn't perfect but it ain't bad either.





http://audio.ancientfaith.com/lectures/faithoffathers/frpatjourney.mp3



and

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/specials/me2007/seminar3_pc.mp3


and


http://audio.ancientfaith.com/illuminedheart/ihhogg091607.mp3






JNORM888

Triablogue: Time, tense, and freedom

Triablogue: Time, tense, and freedom


This is the post and conversation at Triablogue about Liberterian freedom. The posters over there keep making fun of Robert, but their arguments don't really refute anything.

All they seem to do is make fun of the one they disagree with.


But then again they claim to have answered his objections in the past. I know from my own dealings with Calvinists that what might seem like a refutation to one isn't one to another.


Alot of times I feel that some Calvinistic rebuttals just are not "sufficient" enough so I'll repeat myself.

This happens on alot of issues.

With this issue it all boils down to the posters context of "actualizing contraries simultaneously"

I thought Rob did a good job, but Steve thought he did a bad job because he didn't stick to his modal.



Each side should try to understand what the otherside is saying. This is why defining ones terms is absolutely necessary.



JNORM888
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Church Father are you?




You are Origen!

You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears.


You’re Origen!

You do nothing by half-measures. If you’re going to read the Bible, you want to read it in the original languages. If you’re going to teach, you’re going to reach as many souls as possible, through a proliferation of lectures and books. If you’re a guy and you’re going to fight for purity … well, you’d better hide the kitchen shears.

Find out which Church Father you are at The Way of the Fathers!

Interesting. Eastern Orthodoxy doesn't see Origen as a Church Father. He was declared heretical in the 6th century. However, alot of what he had to say was in agreement whith orthodoxy.



JNORM888

HolyCultureRadio's new direction in deleting it's Theo board

HolyCultureradio is an underground Christian rap/hiphop music website. It is a Protestant Website with a Reformed bent.

http://www.holycultureradio.com/forum/


The owner of the site thought the theology section caused to much division on the boards so he closed it down. I just wish I had a 30 day notice for I had over two thousand theological unsaved posts.


Oh well.......I wish the site well in it's new direction in being a music site only. I just wish I had more time to save some posts.




JNORM888
Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Nicolaitan Error

Another post salvaged from HCR's Theo board.



Quote:
Originally Posted by seal

Does anyone have any ideal of what the Nicolaitan error was
Christ hated? Please give your information and but preferably not all links (BC
). I think it should be a good discussion...Grace and Peace,seal




It's good to see you back in the theo boards.



Quote:
"The Nicolaitans are the followers of that Nicholas who was one of the Seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. The Nicolaitans lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these persons is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John. It shows that they teach that it is a matter of indifference to practice adultry and to eat things sacrificed to idols."


Irenaeus 180 A.D.




Quote:
"I do not aim at destroying the happiness of sanctity as do certain Nicolaitans in their maintenance of lust and luxury."


Tertullian 207 a.D.



Quote:
"Nicolas has been a cause of the widespread combination of these wicked men. He was appointed by the Apostles as one of the seven for the diaconate. However, he departed from correct doctrine and was in the habit of inculcating indifference as to both life and food. And when his disciples continued to insult the Holy Spirit, John reproved them in the Apocalypse as being fornicators and partakers of food offered to idols."


Hippolytus 225 A.D.



Quote:
"Christians do not eat the food that is consecrated to idols, for they are pure."


Aristides 125 A.D.




Quote:
"The apostle concludes from the fact that "an idol is nothing in the World" that it is injurious to use things offered to idols. And he shows to those who have ears to hear on such subjects that he who partakes of things offered to idols is worse than a murderer. For such a person destroys his own brethern, for whom Christ died....It has been clearly shown that we are forbidden to take part in these festivals, when we know the difference between the table of the Lord and the table of demons."


Origen 248 A.D.




Quote:
"Abstain from things offered to idols, for they offer them in honor of demons."



Apostolic Constitutions (compiled around 390 A.D.)



King Neb's responce to me:

"I think Jnorm's defense is disputable. A better way is to keep things in the text and be content with going no further than the text. Based on the overall theme of Revelation (battle of covenants) and the parallels to the teaching of Balaam and all that entails, i think the best answer is Judaizers."



Seal's responce to me:

Yo,Good stuff Jnorm.... Glad to be back on the Theo boards. I'm a bit rusty b/c I'm getting fat and stuff due to the my wife eating more and me eating with here...LOL...


Anywho, what about Nicolaitans believing in a ONE MAN Authority over the Church.... Elders/Pastors being superior to those of the congregation instead of fellow brotherhood... This is one of the main reasons they were hated by Christ.

Matthew 23:8-11

"Be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even
Christ; and all ye are brethren .... Neither be ye called masters: for one is
your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your
servant,"



Proof:
In the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ, it is both "the deeds" and "the doctrine" of those in the two "churches" specified (Revelation 2:6, 15). The Lord demands repentance on the part of those who hold and practice these things and He threatens drastic punishment if they do not obey Him: "Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth," (Revelation 2:16).



Quote:
The name, Nicolaitanes, is a compound word
which is composed of three Greek words, and which, because of being a proper
noun, is transferred instead of being translated into English. As thus
transferred, it is subject to the laws of Greek construction in regard to
ellipsis, contraction and phonetics.



The Greek words used in its construction are first: "Nikos," of which we use the English equivalents instead of the Greek letters, as we shall also of the other two. Nikos is defined as "a conquest; victory; triumph; the conquered; and by implication, dominancy over the defeated." Another transferred name in which this term is used is "Nicopolis," i.e., Niko - conquest; polis city. Hence, the city of conquest, or city of victory. Also "Andro" -- "nikos;" a man of conquest, of victory

The second term used in the name under consideration is "laos," -- people, another use of which is Nicolas, which is transferred and is composed of Nikoslaos and means one who is "victorious over the people," the letter "s" being, in both words, the nominative case ending, which is retained only at the end of the word to denote the case, while "a" short and "o" short are contracted into "a" long.

http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/nicoltn.html


So many people over look this important tenet of Church Government and how important it is that people know what form of Government their church holds to. Christ hated the Nicolaitans for this very reason, they exalted a MAN over Christ authority over his own Church. A big no-no and it's scary how many church governments many are in that follow the Nicolaitan error.


Your thoughts Jnorm...Grace and Peace,
seal



My responce to King NEb:

You can't divorce the text from the community of believers. The Bible was meant to be kept, copied, and read by the church.

To ignore the body of believers is to live in a fantasy land.

You will end up with the same problem that the higher critics have. Everyman will come up with their own theory of what they think it means, instead of submitting to what it actually means.

All you are doing is reconstructing history and changing it according to what you think is right........the higher critics do the samething.



Revelations 25


'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds
you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out
of its place--unless you repent. 6'Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds
of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7'He who has an ear, let him hear what
the Spirit says to the churches To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the
tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'



This doesn't tell us what the error was.


Revelation 2:14-16

14'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who
hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block
before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts
of immorality.

15'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the
Nicolaitans. 16'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will
make war against them with the sword of My mouth



This text tells us what the errors were. It was eating meat sacrificed to idols and acts of immorality.

This was the samething the early christians were saying! The Nicolaitans were still around for some time after the book of Rev was written.

Do you think all the Nicolaitans died before Irenaeus and Hippolytus wrote what they said? do you think they stopped existing once the book of Revelations was written? Do you think they vanished from the earth once Saint John died?


I refuse to live in fantasy land.


Quote:
"Nicolas has been a cause of the widespread combination of these wicked men. He was appointed by the Apostles as one of the seven for the diaconate. However, he departed from correct doctrine and was in the habit of inculcating indifference as to both life and food. And when his disciples continued to insult the Holy Spirit, John reproved them in the Apocalypse as being fornicators and partakers of food offered to idols."


Hippolytus 225 A.D


This is saying the samething Revelations 2:14 is saying.


Quote:
"The Nicolaitans are the followers of that Nicholas who was one of the Seven first ordained to the diaconate by the apostles. The Nicolaitans lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. The character of these persons is very plainly pointed out in the Apocalypse of John. It shows that they teach that it is a matter of indifference to practice adultry and to eat things sacrificed to idols."



Irenaeus 180 A.D.



He said the samething Revelations 2:14 was saying.






My responce to SEAL:


That understanding doesn't come from the Bible itself nor the church fathers.

It is something patched together. However, From the account of the Church fathers .....Nicolas was a real person, and his followers were called "Nicolaitans".

Lutherians are called Lutherians because of Martin Luther. Nestorians are called Nestorian because of Nestorius. Arminians are called Arminians because of Arminius. Novationists are called Novationists because of Novation.

Calvinists are called Calvinists because of Calvin( I know many on the board will disagree with this because they never read anything from John Calvin.....but that doesn't let any off the hook for you were influenced by someone who was a Calvinist....wether R.C. Sproul, Piper, Clark, Van-Til, Charles Hodge, Spergion, J. I Packer, Grudem, Jay Adams, John Knox, Beza, Hoeksema, Feral, Johnathon Edwards.......and it goes back all the way to John Calvin. How many Arminians read the works of Arminus? Not too many!!! So it doesn't matter if you never read the works of John Calvin)


We all know names have meaning, but all you were doing was breaking up a persons name in greek......well the name of his followers in greek.


I already know that Prespyterians don't like the Episcopal system of Church government. When I tried to join a PCA church back in 2001, I read in the folder of new members class(that might not be the right name, but it was for those who were seeking to join the church) that "ignatius" was an anti-christ.

Now they called him that because they thought he was the one who started the episcopal system of government.

I dissagree with them, but that is what I saw in the new members handbook.


I never joined the PCA. I told the elder who was over it that I changed my mind. (because I was dumped by the girl I was going to marry)

This is the PCA church I tried to join back in 2001

http://eastwoodchurch.org/content/index.php

They are good people. I like them alot. I learned alot about Calvinism from that experience(from 2000 to 2001). The PCA's at this church are mostly into Jay Adams.

Alot of my college friends still go there.

Polycarp was the Bishop of Smyna and Jesus only had good things to say about them so I doubt if the error of the "Nicolaitans" had anything to do with "Episcopal" Church Government. Especially when Rev 2:15 tells us what their errors were. .....not to mention the confirmation by christians who lived shortly after the death of the Apostle John.





KING NEB's responce to me:


Fantasy land?

Norm, the only fantasies going on here is you implying that there is ONE official answer on this issue from the ECFs and that the words of the ECFs are infallible. It’s also a fantasy to say I ignore the community of believers.

Let me make this as simple as possible. I make a distinction between the “word of God” and the words of the ECFs. Do you?

Regarding the Bible, I don’t ever go into it questioning whether it is true or not. It is true. I know it is true. I believe it is true. I don’t question that. What I question is, “what does it all mean?” That is the work of exegesis. Understood?

Not the same with the ECFs. Not only do I go in questioning what they mean, but I also question whether what they say is true or not. The words of the ECFs are not canon. They are not the word of God. ECFs make mistakes. ECFs can do bad exegesis. Understood?

And all works of the ECF are to be judged by the Word of God. The Word of God takes precedence. Furthermore, truth is not determined by a majority voice. That is a logical fallacy. I know you don’t like logic, but that’s not my problem. Truth is God’s Word – pure and simple.

Also, I reject your idea that we can just make the Bible say whatever we want. No we can’t. Logic places boundaries on what we deduce from the propositions. But again, I know you don’t like logic, but that’s not my problem.

You can’t make “he was buried” mean “he had his hair cut.” Logic dictates that you can’t. You may believe the Bible is that ambiguous, I don’t. You create a Fantasy Land by rejecting logic.

Now, concerning the Nicolaitans specifically. I don’t deny that part of their error was eating idol food and committing immorality. I never questioned that. That’s what the Bible says so that’s what it was. What I question is your portrayal that the group John is talking about had something to do with the Nicholas in Acts 6.

YOU are living in a fantasy if you think there are no disputes over the question of who started the group.


From McClintock and Strong:


A sect of Nicolaitans is mentioned in Revelation 2:6, 15; and it has been
questioned whether this Nicolas was connected with them, and, if so, how
closely. The Nicolaitans themselves, at least as early as the time of Irenaeus
(Contr. Her. 1:26, § 3), seem to have claimed him as their founder.

Epiphanius, an inaccurate writer, relates (Adv. Hear. 1:2, § 25, p. 76)
some details of the life of Nicolas the deacon, and describes him as gradually
sinking into the grossest impurity, and becoming the originator of the
Nicolaitans and other immoral sects. Stephen Gobar (Photii Biblioth. 232, p.
291, ed. 1824) states — and the statement is corroborated by the recently
discovered Philosophumena, bk. vii, § 36) .

— that Hippolytus agreed with Epiphanius in his unfavorable view of
Nicolas. The same account was believed, at least to some extent, by Jerome (Ep.
147, vol. i, p. 1082, ed. Vallars, etc.) and other writers in the 4th century.
But it is irreconcilable with the traditionary account of the character of
Nicolas, given by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iii 4, p. 187, Sylb. and apud
Euseb. H. E. 3:29; see also Hammond, Annot. ol Rev. 2:4), an earlier and more
discriminating writer than Epiphanius. He states that Nicolas led a chaste life,
and brought up his children in purity; that on a certain occasion, having been
sharply reproved by the apostles as a jealous husband, he repelled the charge by
offering to allow his wife to become the wife of any other person, and that he
was in the habit of repeating a saying which is ascribed to the apostle Matthias
also that it is our duty to fight against the flesh and to abuse (paracrh~sqai)
it.

His words were perversely interpreted by the Nicolaitans as an authority
for their immoral practices. Theodoret (Haeret. ‘ab. 3:1), in his account of the
sect, repeats the foregoing statement of Clement, and charges the Nicolaitans
with false dealing in borrowing the name of the deacon. Ignatius, who was
contemporary with Nicolas, is said by Stephen Gobar to have given the same
account as Clement, Eusebius, and Theodoret, touching the personal claracter of
Nicolas. Among modern critics Coteleriu:, in a note on Constit. Apost. 6:8,
after reciting the various authorities, seems to lean towards the favorable view
of the character of Nicolas. Professor Burton (Lectures on Ecclesiastical
History, lect. 12, p. 364, ed. 1833) is of opinion that the origin of the term
Nicolaitans is uncertain, and that ‘though Nicolas the deacon has been mentioned
as their founder, the evidence is extremely slight which would convict that
person himself of any immoralities.’

Tillemont (H. E. 2:47), possibly influenced by the fact that no honor is
paid to the memory of Nicolas by any branch of the Church, allows perhaps too
much weight to the testimony against him; rejects peremptorily Cassian’s
statement — to which Neander (Planting of the Church, bk. v, p. 390, ed. Bohn)
gives his adhesion — that some other Nicolas was the founder of the sect; and
concludes that if not the actual founder, he was so unfortunate as to give
occasion to the formation of the sect by his indiscreet speaking. Grotius’s
view, as given in a note on Rev. 2:6, is substantially the same as that of
Tillemont.”




There are a number of other commentators on the ECFs who have pointed this out. Norm, are you now going to ignore these “community of believers” and their points and act like there are no problems? And does me acknowledging that there is no clear cut univocal answer from the ECFs now make me a higher critic and history twister? Please.


Norm, show me from the Scriptures that deacon Nicholas started that group.





SEAL's responce to my post:

It was actually from the article that I posted... That's the guy who broke the name down from the Greek. I'm not sure what you're actually intending to deal with up above.

Ignatius eh...Heck I believe them... Espicopal Gov't is overtly Heretical.

(in talking about Ignatius. He quoted a bunch of stuff from Ignatius, much of it didn't have anything to do with the topic at hand)This guy was overtly Catholic with an erroneous premise. And in Episcopal Gov't they create superiors just like Ignatius was promoting above. 100% Unbiblically Certified.

(in responce to what I said about Polycarp)Polycarp had plenty of issues. And it's clear that you consider the Early Church Fathers infallible almost exhorting them amongst the status of scripture.Does anyone else have info on the Nicolaitan error?Grace and Peace,seal



My responce to King Neb:


Quote:
Fantasy land?


Sometimes it seems that way. I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. If I did I'm sorry.


Quote:
Norm, the only fantasies going on here is you
implying that there is ONE official answer on this issue from the ECFs and that
the words of the ECFs are infallible. It’s also a fantasy to say I ignore the
community of believers.


I never said there was only "One" official answer on this issue from the ECF's. Quote me where I said that.

I never said that the words of the ECF's were infallible. Please quote me where I said that.

I know you don't ignore Gordan Clark, but you seem to ignore those that either knew an Apostle or knew someone that did.


Quote:
Let me make this as simple as possible. I make a
distinction between the “word of God” and the words of the ECFs. Do you?


You don't like the ECF's. You like Gordan Clark and Aristotelian(pagan) logic.


And yes I make a distinction between the two. I use the fathers as a commentary. I am only dogmatic about an interpretation when most of the fathers...if not all of the fathers agree on a passage of scripture.
I do choose sides when they don't. However, I am tolerant of other interpretations with similar
wieght/strength.



Quote:
Regarding the Bible, I don’t ever go into it
questioning whether it is true or not. It is true. I know it is true. I believe
it is true. I don’t question that. What I question is, “what does it all mean?”
That is the work of exegesis. Understood?


I never said you were like the "higher critic" in "everyway".



Quote:
Not the same with the ECFs. Not only do I go in
questioning what they mean, but I also question whether what they say is true or
not. The words of the ECFs are not canon. They are not the word of God. ECFs
make mistakes. ECFs can do bad exegesis. Understood?


So you are a higher critic when it comes to the ECF's. I'm a moderate to low critic when it comes to the ECF's.



Quote:
And all works of the ECF are to be judged by
the Word of God. The Word of God takes precedence. Furthermore, truth is not
determined by a majority voice. That is a logical fallacy. I know you don’t like
logic, but that’s not my problem. Truth is God’s Word – pure and
simple.



So basically what you are saying is "your own personal judgement of what the bible is saying" is used to judge the works of the ECF's. That's basically what you're saying. You refuse to see that what you are saying is that one's conscience is the infallible authority.

It is your opinion of what the scripture says that seems to be the driving force.

You believe the scriptures are saying that the "Nicolaitans" were most likely "Judaizers"

Uhm, where does the Bible say that? It doesn't say that! You are making the Bible say that. .....just like a puppet master makes a puppet say things.
The Judaizers didn't like eating unclean foods with the gentiles.....so why in the world would they want to eat unclean food sacrificed to idols?
Come on man! I would rather agree with what one of the early christians said about it than that. I mean....at least they were closer to the source.....so if anyone would know.....they would!



Quote:
Also, I reject your idea that we can just
make the Bible say whatever we want. No we can’t. Logic places boundaries on
what we deduce from the propositions. But again, I know you don’t like logic,
but that’s not my problem.


You just did by speculating that the bible tought the "Nicolaitans" were "Judaizers".Anybody can patch things from the Bible together. And when people do it they come up with different conclusions.
Also logic doesn't just deal with "deductions". It deals with Induction as well.
Now you disagree with the theory of "inductive logic", but other people agree with it. So who's to say who's right and who's wrong?

Does the Bible say "Deduction logic is the only form of reason that limits Bible interpretation"?

No! So where are you getting this from? Not scripture!!!You blame me for making the ECF's equal to scripture. Now I know I don't, but I can make a claim that you make "Deductive logic equal to scripture".

I use logic...infact, everybody does. I just know that Logic has it's place.



Quote:
You can’t make “he was buried” mean “he had
his hair cut.” Logic dictates that you can’t. You may believe the Bible is that
ambiguous, I don’t. You create a Fantasy Land by rejecting logic.


Paul doesn't seem to care about your deductive logic.

1 Corinthians 9:8-12

8Do I say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't
the Law say the same thing? 9For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not
muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is
concerned? 10Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for
us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do
so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11If we have sown spiritual seed among
you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12If others have
this right of support from you, shouldn't we have it all the more?



Some passages are ambiguous. However, what might be ambiguous to somebody else might be clear to me.Peter did say that "some" things are hard to understand.

2 Peter 3:16

He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them
of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand,
which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to
their own destruction."


I never said "all scripture" was ambiguous. The book of Revelations has some things in it that are hard to understand.




Quote:
Now, concerning the Nicolaitans specifically.
I don’t deny that part of their error was eating idol food and committing
immorality. I never questioned that. That’s what the Bible says so that’s what
it was. What I question is your portrayal that the group John is talking about
had something to do with the Nicholas in Acts 6.


Wether Nicholas had something to do with it directly or indirectly doesn't really matter. Either way the finger is pointed at him.


Quote:
YOU are living in a fantasy if you think there are
no disputes over the question of who started the group.


It depends on the dispute. The idea that the Nicolaitans were "Judaizers" would fit in the area of fantasy.

Why? Because you don't have early christian support for that idea. Now if you did then I wouldn't call it fantasy.

The same is true when it comes to the idea that the Nicolaitans's error was the formation of Episcopal church government. This too is fantasy.

Where is the early christian support for such an idea?
If it lacks early christian support then it's too speculative, and most likely false.



Quote:
From McClintock and Strong:A sect of Nicolaitans
is mentioned in Revelation 2:6, 15; and it has been questioned whether this
Nicolas was connected with them, and, if so, how closely. The Nicolaitans
themselves, at least as early as the time of Irenaeus (Contr. Her. 1:26, § 3),
seem to have claimed him as their founder. Epiphanius, an inaccurate writer,
relates (Adv. Hear. 1:2, § 25, p. 76) some details of the life of Nicolas the
deacon, and describes him as gradually sinking into the grossest impurity, and
becoming the originator of the Nicolaitans and other immoral sects. Stephen
Gobar (Photii Biblioth. 232, p. 291, ed. 1824) states — and the statement is
corroborated by the recently discovered Philosophumena, bk. vii, § 36) . — that
Hippolytus agreed with Epiphanius in his unfavorable view of Nicolas. The same
account was believed, at least to some extent, by Jerome (Ep. 147, vol. i, p.
1082, ed. Vallars, etc.) and other writers in the 4th century. But it is
irreconcilable with the traditionary account of the character of Nicolas, given
by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iii 4, p. 187, Sylb. and apud Euseb. H. E.
3:29; see also Hammond, Annot. ol Rev. 2:4), an earlier and more discriminating
writer than Epiphanius. He states that Nicolas led a chaste life, and brought up
his children in purity; that on a certain occasion, having been sharply reproved
by the apostles as a jealous husband, he repelled the charge by offering to
allow his wife to become the wife of any other person, and that he was in the
habit of repeating a saying which is ascribed to the apostle Matthias also that
it is our duty to fight against the flesh and to abuse (paracrh~sqai) it. His
words were perversely interpreted by the Nicolaitans as an authority for their
immoral practices. Theodoret (Haeret. ‘ab. 3:1), in his account of the sect,
repeats the foregoing statement of Clement, and charges the Nicolaitans with
false dealing in borrowing the name of the deacon. Ignatius, who was
contemporary with Nicolas, is said by Stephen Gobar to have given the same
account as Clement, Eusebius, and Theodoret, touching the personal claracter of
Nicolas. Among modern critics Coteleriu:, in a note on Constit. Apost. 6:8,
after reciting the various authorities, seems to lean towards the favorable view
of the character of Nicolas. Professor Burton (Lectures on Ecclesiastical
History, lect. 12, p. 364, ed. 1833) is of opinion that the origin of the term
Nicolaitans is uncertain, and that ‘though Nicolas the deacon has been mentioned
as their founder, the evidence is extremely slight which would convict that
person himself of any immoralities.’ Tillemont (H. E. 2:47), possibly influenced
by the fact that no honor is paid to the memory of Nicolas by any branch of the
Church, allows perhaps too much weight to the testimony against him; rejects
peremptorily Cassian’s statement — to which Neander (Planting of the Church, bk.
v, p. 390, ed. Bohn) gives his adhesion — that some other Nicolas was the
founder of the sect; and concludes that if not the actual founder, he was so
unfortunate as to give occasion to the formation of the sect by his indiscreet
speaking. Grotius’s view, as given in a note on Rev. 2:6, is substantially the
same as that of Tillemont.”



It is true that Clement of Alexandria said those things. I skipped over him on purpose. I don't recall what Ignatius had to say about the issue.. I'll have to re-skim his letters. But Epiphanius said he gradually sinked into impurity. I don't know enough about Epiphanius to know how accurate he was or wasn't. Nor do I know why they believed he wasn't accurate...maybe it's because he believed in something they didn't....who knows. I like Clement but I sided with the others on this issue.


Your view had nothing to do with what Clement of Alexandria had to say about his character, so what's the point?


Quote:
There are a number of other commentators on the
ECFs who have pointed this out. Norm, are you now going to ignore these
“community of believers” and their points and act like there are no problems?
And does me acknowledging that there is no clear cut univocal answer from the
ECFs now make me a higher critic and history twister? Please.



It should be obvious I didn't side with Clement. You don't hold Clement's view. Therefore I don't have to defend why I believe Nicholas was the "direct" founder. However, If I recalled what Ignatius had to say about it then I would side with him since he was a personal disciple of Saint John.....and that carries much weight.




Quote:
Norm, show me from the Scriptures that deacon
Nicholas started that group.



The Bible is quiet about the issue. But when you add what the early community of believers had to say about the issue combined with scripture then the picture would look something like this:

Nicholas of Acts chapter 6 was either

1.)"directly" the founder of the Nicolaitans. As seen by Epiphanius, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, and Jerome.

or

2.) "indirectly" the founder of the Nicolaitans as seen by Clement of Alexandria, Ignatius, and Theodoret.


Whatever the case, both sides agree the Nicolaitans of their day saw Nicholas of acts chapter six as their founder.


You came strong on this one Neb. Good stuff! I'll have to reread some of the other fathers about this issue.







My responce to SEAL,



Quote:
It was actually from the article that I posted...
That's the guy who broke the name down from the Greek. I'm not sure what you're
actually intending to deal with up above.


I was dealing with the idea that the "Nicolaitans" were followers of Nicholas.
It's up in the air whether or not Nicholas fell into the error himself or if what he said was miss understood by those who claimed him as their founder.
But what your man did was patch something together. I think it was way out in left field, but that is my perspective.


Quote:
Ignatius eh...Heck I believe them... Espicopal
Gov't is overtly Heretical.



Acts chapter 1


"15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the
disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and
twenty,)
16Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled,
which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which
was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered with us, and had
obtained part of this ministry. 18Now this man purchased a field with the reward
of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his
bowels gushed out. 19And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem;
insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to
say, The field of blood. 20For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his
habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let
another take."



The word "Bishoprick" is "episkope". It seems Biblical to me.The Apostles were the first Bishops homey!


Quote:
This guy was overtly Catholic with an
erroneous premise. And in Episcopal Gov't they create superiors just like
Ignatius was promoting above. 100% Unbiblically Certified.



I disagree, but your Prespyterian so you have to say that.


Quote:
Polycarp had plenty of issues. And it's clear that
you consider the Early Church Fathers infallible almost exhorting them amongst
the status of scripture.



WOW! I thought Polycarp was a Holy man. What bad thing can you say about him? I mean whatever you say about him you gotta say about the Apostle John because John discipled him

I don't consider the Early Church Fathers infallible. I use them as a commentary. I mean it's only right to use Polycarp as a commentary to Saint John's works because that was his pupil.
Ignatius was another disciple of Saint John, so he should also be used as a commentary to John's works.
It's common sense.


Quote:
Does anyone else have info on the Nicolaitan
error?Grace and Peace,seal


To be honest,
I think you, Neb, and myself pretty much said everything there is to say about the issue.I maybe wrong about that, but what else can someone say?I mean, the Bible doesn't say that much about it so anything one might say .............will be "speculative" at best.




Related links (from phatcat's blog):
Were the Nicolaitans Quasi-Catholic? (On Rev 2:6,14-15)




JNORM888


I belled out after this post. Phatcat and Seal went back and forth after this. I think Phatcat did a very good job on this topic.

SEAL is a new Calvinist. He only been one for about 3 years. King NEb is a full Preterist Calvinist and he is extremely good.. He runs a full pret website as well.

PhatCat's convo with Crossover about the scriptures he posted

Originally Posted by Crossover
PhatcatholicRomans 11 prooves my point, because those who
were cast out werent even believers to begin with



How can you say that? The image is one of branches on a tree, like actually on the tree. A branch can't be broken off unless it was connected to the tree to begin with. Also, vs. 23 says that God has the power to graft them in again. In other words, you can be grafted in, fall, and then be grafted in a second time. Being grafted in "again" means two separate moments of being connected to the tree. Verse 23 would make no sense if the branch was never connected to the tree to begin with, or if once it was connected it never fell off. See what I mean?


Quote:
Both 1 Corinthians scripts have nothing to do wih salvation.



They most certainly do! In 1 Cor 9, the race is life and the prize is salvation. Thus, life is seen here as requiring perseverence, running the race to the end. But, there's no need for perseverence in the OSAS worldview. Also, look at what Paul says vs. 26-27. Does that sound like a man who believes in an assurance of salvation? Of course not! Even Paul, a man of great wisdom and holiness, knew that he could lose the race if he wasn't careful (note that when you are disqualified from a race you are inelligible to receive the prize).

As for 1 Cor 10, this is Paul's message to everyone who believes that his salvation is already secure. Take heed my friend, lest you fall. Why fear a fall if you have an assurance of salvation?



Quote:
The verse from Galations is telling those who think they are jstified
by the law are not jsutified because only faith justifies.



But, there's more to it than that. Notice he says to not submit "again" to a yoke of slavery. This means that they were once slaves, they aren't now, but there's the risk that they could become slaves again. This risk does not exist in the OSAS worldview. This passage also speaks of being "severed from Christ" and "falling away from grace." You can't do either one if once you're saved it's a done deal.


Quote:
Most of the ones from Hebrews we've already thouched on, the others
have no bearing on this convo.



It's amazing to me how you are able to just dismiss these passages with a wave of the hand. Read them closely my friend. They are damning to the OSAS position.

As for 1 Tim 4:1 and 1 Tim 5:15, do you think it's possible for an honest-to-goodness Christian to "depart from the faith," "give heed to deceitful spirits," "stray after Satan" and yet not lose his salvation? Paul is referring to actual Christians in the churches that Timothy is in charge of. Christians are doing these things, and they can fall away if they're not careful. 1 Tim 6:10 is another example.


Don't tell me, "Well they must not have been saved to begin with" b/c it doesn't hold. You can't "depart from the faith" unless you were of the faith to begin with. In vs. 6 Paul refers to them as "the brethren." They are his true brothers in Christ.


Heb 3:12 says that a christian can actually fall away from the living God. There's no room for that in OSAS


As for Heb 4, read verses 1-11 again. The previous chapter tells us what the author means by "the rest." He is quoting the Father's words in the OT regarding the Promised Land, which is for us symbolic of salvation. He is saying that some can enter into God's rest but then, by disobedience, fall from this rest. There's no room for that in OSAS.

As for Heb 6, I'm sorry, but anyone who has "been enlightened," "tasted the heavenly gift," is a "partaker of the Holy Spirit," and tasted the goodness and power of the word of God is saved as far as I'm concerned. I don't see how he couldn't be. They've tasted the heavenly gift for crying out loud. What do you think the "heavenly gift" is, a fruit basket? The people in question here were truly united to Christ and then they fell


Also, note that "apostacy" itself presupposes former membership. You can't fall away from something that you were never a part of. The author says that they must be restored to repentance "again." What is "restoration" but the return to a former state?


Heb 10 rejects OSAS as well. Look at it again:

Heb 10:38-39 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.


The righteous are shrinking back. Not the quasi-members of the Church, or the pretend or make-believe members of the Church. No, we are speaking here of the righteous. When you shrink back, you are destroyed (vs. 39). The righteous are shrinking back and being destroyed. There is simply no room for that in OSAS.


Quote:
James 5:19-20 is talking about falling into carnality. If it was
talking about a loss of salvation, then it would be a direct contradiction to
Hebrews 6, assuming hebrews 6 was talking about loss of salvation also
.





Well, first of all, James 5 is talking about a loss of salvation b/c James says that wondering away from the faith equals death to the soul. "Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death" (vs. 20). So, this passage is definitely relavent.

Now, it may appear that this passage contradicts Heb 6. After all, Hebrews says that any person who falls away cannot be brought back but James says that he can be. But, there is in fact no contradiction here. That's b/c apostasy is more pertinacious than falling into sin or false belief. Apostacy is a total repudiation of Christianity, not just a lapse in one particular area.

Apostasy also implies persistence and stubbornness. As long as someone willfully separates himself entirely from the Church and willfully keeps himself in that state, he cannot be saved. But, when this person who had previously separated himself entirely from the Church then has a conversion of heart or is compelled by his brother to return again to the Church, he will certainly be forgiven and reconciled. "A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise" (Psa 51:17).



Quote:
The first script from 2 PEter has nothing to do with loss of
salvation.




It honestly blows my mind how you can say that. Read the 9 verses leading up to vs. 10. Peter is referring to people who have "obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (vs. 1), to he who "was cleansed from his old sins" (vs. 9). Why warn them of a fall from this state if such a fall was not possible? Why bother "confirming your election" if your election is already secure? OSAS makes no sense in light of this passage.


Quote:
The second one is in the same boat as Hebrews 6, you can look back in
this convo to see what we've sadia bout that.



Peter specifically says that a person can "escape the defilements of the world" and then become entangled in them again (2 Pet 2:20). This escape can only take place when we are saved by the grace of God.


Furthermore, people can "know the way of righteousness" and then turn back from it. They truly knew it, not in some intellectual sense but in an experiential way. They knew it by experiencing it. You can't "turn back" from the direction you've been walking if you're not actually walking, or not walking foward.


Quote:
From 2 John, just read the verse right after that and you'll see what
I would have to say about that.



When John says, "Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God" he doesn't mean that the person never had God to begin with. He means that the person loses God as soon as he becomes unfaithful. All this verse does is prove my point b/c it shows that you can have God and then lose him. "Having God" is salvation, right? What else could it be that they have "worked for"? (vs. 8)


Quote:
Revelation 2...on the surface this would seem to proove your point.
But look a little deeper. Let's break this into parts.1. The command (repent).2.
The threat (or else I will remove you)See, the command is repent, and the threat
depends upon the filling of the command. If the command isnt filled, the threat
will be. BUT, you'll notice, that if the command isnt followed, then they were
never saved to start with, because if you never repent, you can never be saved.
So if they dont repend, they were never saved to start with.



Where does it say that? Nowhere does it say that they were never saved to begin with. If that were the case then they would not have a lampstand. Their lampstand is their salvation. When you fall and don't repent, God takes it away. You lose the salvation you once possessed. It's all very clear in this passage, and I think you know that b/c you can see how it proves my point.


Finally, you never responded to Rev 22, which I think is one of the clearest passages against OSAS. Look at what it says again:

Rev 22:19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

There's pretty much no way of getting around that one, from what I can tell. These people have a share in the tree life and God is taking it away. If that doesn't mean that they are losing their salvation, I don't know what does.

Pax Christi,phatcatholic

PHATCAT's posts about falling from grace salvaged

These were the links I couldn't post from Phat's links from HCR's theo board.


I don't know if this derails the conversation or not, but I wanted to provide some more verses that speak against OSAS:

Rom 11:20-23 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.


1 Cor 9:24-27 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Well, I do not run aimlessly, I do not box as one beating the air; 27 but I pommel my body and subdue it, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.


1 Cor 10:6,12 Now these things are warnings for us, not to desire evil as they did. 12 Therefore let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.


Gal 5:1,4 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.

1 Tim 4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,


1 Tim 5:15 For some have already strayed after Satan

Heb 3:12 Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.


Heb 4:6,11 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience

Heb 6:4-6 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.

Heb 10:38-39 but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him." 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.


Jas 5:19-20 My brethren, if any one among you wanders from the truth and some one brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

2 Pet 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall;

2 Pet 2:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.

2 Jn 1:8 Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for, but may win a full reward.

Rev 2:4-5 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Rev 22:19 and if any one takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

Can You Lose Your Salvation?

This is a repost of a thread from a board that got deleted. I salvaged what I could.

Streetsermons asked:

http://streetsermonz.blogspot.com/

"A few weeks ago I heard an Elder whom I highly respect teach that it is
possible to lose your salvation. I personally believe that once God saves you,
you are sealed to the day of redemption and your name cannot be erased from the
Lamb's book of life. However, I wanted to start this thread and ask for Biblical
support of BOTH points of view. I assume most on this board believe once saved
always saved - and if you fall away you were never saved to begin with, as I
believe. Before I get into an in depth study I wanted to build with my fam on
the board and see what points you may have, backed up by the Word of course."



Doc spot added


1 John 3 ESV
4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is
lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is
no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning
has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you.
Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous.



Doc Spot continued to say:
The KJV says that you cannot sin if you're born of God. There have been times that i gave my flesh an inch and it took a couple of light years from my walk, but i never turned back completely as the Bible says as a dog to his own vomit. From experience i can tell you that you can be under the misconception that you're saved because you have faith in God or you believe in God, His virgin birth, death, and ressurection. i'm speaking from personal experience that I spoke in tongues and was "slain in the spirit" as a unbeliever. i had a form of godliness (2 Tim 3)

No matter what statement of faith you take

No matter what superstar or backwoods pastor gave you the sinner's prayer

No matter how different you felt after hearing that song

You have to be born again. You have to be born of God. (John 3, I Peter 1)

In my observation of the churches of today and type of preaching that is done i've noticed these that speaking of salvation as being something you have to worked out is not popular (Phil 2).

So my answer is No you cannot lose your salvation. The desire should be knowing if you are.


Phat Catholic said:

"StreetSermonz....you may be interested in two posts I made in a thread from a while back. The first one (here) lists scripture passages that speak against OSAS. The second post (here) is my response to someone who didn't agree with the passages that I listed.I hope that helps.Pax Christi,phatcatholic"

The links won't work for the Theoboard was taken down. I assume he said the samething in his blog

the link to Phat's blog is

http://phatcatholic.blogspot.com/



The Black Calvinist(who also goes by the name G.R.A.C.E. Preacha) said:

There really aren't any passages that say you can lose your salvation.

The problem is, most people who approach the Bible don't do so covenantally, so they misinterpret warning passages (which are real) as referring to only believers, when in fact, they are speaking to the visible community of faith, which is a mixed group (believers and unbelievers). The warning passages hold true for those who 'fall away' (seed that falls on the stony ground, sprouts up for a while, has no root in itself, eventually whithers), while they also serve as part of the means which God uses to keep those in the sheepfold persevering in faith (1 Peter 1:5, John 10:27-29).

'No one' includes you

The rest of folks who approach from some sort of covenantal framework but believe a true believer can lose their salvation, usually go to the other extreme and deny obvious passages like the last 2 listed. If the scriptures say 'no one' can snatch you out of God's hand, no one includes you. If the scrips say that true believers are kept by the power of God, then it can't be by your own strength and good deeds that you are 'staying saved'. Kept by God doesn't mean kept by God and me.

His website is

http://theologicallycorrect.com/



Streetsermons responded to black Calvinist:

"word, great points Doc and Kerry. My thoughts exactly. As you might suspect, Hebrews 6:4-6 was used - "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.""

Another point I heard is that if God is going to spew out the lukewarm saints out of His mouth, that means they were part of the Body. My point was, just because they are part of the physical body of Christ, doesn't mean they are part of the spiritual body and are saved. Many people will do signs and wonders, preach and teach, and even evangelize in the Name of Jesus, but that doesn't mean they are saved.

Also, if you are saved by grace and not by works, is it possible for a work to take away that salvation and bring you back into condemnation?Any other scriptural points?


shekinahsmoke said:

Ask Charo Washer.



I said:

One of the Arminian blog's I chat at was talking about this a couple months ago.

http://arminianperspectives.blogspot.com/


or to my blog
http://ancientchristiandefender.blog...chapter-6.html/

I edited my post for I originally gave three links. I gave two on here for one of the links was from the theoboard.


Black Calvinist's responce to my post:

Or.... you can just read your Bible.

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. (Hebrews 6:9, emphasis mine).The things mentioned in vv. 4-6 don't belong to salvation.Case proven. The Bible is its' own best interpreter.....

The problem is that some folks don't read more than a few verses and try to misformulate doctrine off of it.



My responce to Blackcalvinist:

The things that belong to salvation is "perseverence".

Meaning a continuance in all the things mentioned in verses 4-5 plus other things.

Hebrews 6:10
"10God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have
shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want
each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your
hope sure."


Hebrews chapter 10 seems to be saying the samething

"23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is
faithful. 24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and
good deeds. 25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of
doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day
approaching."


What was started in Hebrews chapter 6 verses 4-5 must last to the very end.



Ras said:

I haven't read any of the responses but I will next. But looking at Jesus' parables(Mark 4, Matt. 13?), I believe the Holy Spirit can work in a non believer (which we call fruit). But a true believer will continue to transfer into Christ image. And that spiritual growth differs from person to person (30, 60, 100)

Look at the parable of the sower, Mark 4. There was fruit (belief) and some growth. But when tribulation came, it proved they were not his. A believer will continue to grow despite tribulation. I think some sides just fail to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit can work in unsaved people. And bring growth. But a truly saved or as a tulip people like to use elected person will continue to grow.


RAS posted again:

"I believe in once elected always elected. But at the same time I do believe the Holy Spirit can work in the life of a non believer, which may appear that a person has lost their salvation. I've seen many people show spiritual fruit (and I don't believe that in all of them that this was their work to change themselves. In some cases it is human effort.)"


BlackCalvinist responded to RAS:

Exactly. Except, the unbeliever in these passages (matthew 13) doesn't bring forth FRUIT....he brings forth FOLIAGE (leaves....).

Think of it this way.... we see things growing out of a tree, we think "Oh, the tree is alive". Both leaves AND fruit grow out of a tree. But the unfruitful tree is not saved in any of these passages.

Speaking of trees (and I knew this would come in handy one day), my ex had a tree growing outside of her home. She and I started dating back in the late fall (right after Thanksgiving of 05'). Well, when the Spring hit, we started noticing leaves coming in on the other trees....except for this one.

Even some of the other 'slower' trees finally had a few shoots.

Nothing from "deadtree" as we called it.

Eventually, the HOA called it in and had it chopped and made into mulch.


"Deadtree" had grown pretty large. Apparently, it had leaves in the past (in fact, I remember leaves on it from the previous year). A few birds even made their home in it (as evidenced by the bird poop on my car many of the times I visited). Looked just like every other tree. Branches. I even saw the 'buds' where leaves were supposed to start growing in.

Spring cames, leaves never came. Early summer came, leaves never came.

Phil. 2:12-13 make it clear - we work because God works in us. We persevere because God keeps us and enables us to do so.

Not a hard issue.

Problem is, people make it a hard issue when they have issues with the concept of anyone else but themselves being the final determiner of their salvation (people either deny the exhaustive foreknowledge of God, make salvation dependent on something we would do in a hypothetical future, limit God, deny God's ability to keep folks, say that God values human free will above His own desire to save people, etc.....).

As complicated as some of these discussions get, they're really simple. It's when people choose to disbelieve for whatever reason, that it becomes a complicated issue.

Any child can understand "God keeps me from falling away from Him and gives me strength to stay with Him, He's changed my desires so that I now love good and hate evil and He's made it so I won't turn from Him (1 Peter 1, Phil. 2 and Jeremiah 32:40 respectively)".

The issue gets complicated when we begin to make excuses for our friends who may have 'spoke in tongues' beside us and we just KNEW they were Christians....now they claim atheism or something....

May the Lord continue to enlighten the eyes of His people to see more truth in this area.
Grace.



RAS responded back to Black Calvinist:

that's dope with the follage, leaves stuff. Never heard that before.




I responded with:


What about a tree that bore fruit and stopped? This is where the real disagreement is anyway.

John 15:6"

"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries
up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are
burned."


So what about those who once "produced fruit" then stopped?



Rob said:


Please don't forget about the parable Jesus spoke of in Luke 12:42-48. Please consider verse 46. The Greek word for "servant" in this passage is indeed "duolos", check your lexicon. We can't say this was a servant who never was a servant.

Luke 12:42-48
42And the Lord said, "Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his
lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in
due season?
43Blessed is that servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so
doing.
44In truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he
hath.

45But if that servant say in his heart, `My lord delayeth his coming,' and
shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink and be
drunken,

46the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him,
and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him asunder and will appoint
him his portion with the unbelievers.


47And that servant, who knew his lord's will and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48But he that knew not and committed things worthy of stripes, shall be
beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be
required; and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the
more.



RAS responed to me with:

"where does it say that they once produced fruit?"


Doc spot said:

It's speaking of dry branches not fruit. Dry wood burns better.


Black Calvinist responded to Rob with:

"Covenantally, all of Israel were servants of God, but all of Israel weren't saved, nor were they all considered to be saved. Servant doesn't denote salvation. It denotes covenant relationship and covenant responsibility, but not salvation. This goes back to the first convo we had on this topic when I asked you what a covenant was.....If a person gets 'covenant' wrong, they'll misread a lot of scripture....."


Street sermons asked another question:


"have another point.In Jesus' parable about the 10 virgins, 5 stored up oil and were prepared for the LORD's coming, the other 5 weren't. All 10 were described as virgins - living holy lives. Only 5 actually obeyed the Master's command (stored up oil) - the other 5 procrastinated, and when it came time to enter into the joy of the LORD, only those that were prepared were allowed in. So it seems as if we do have a choice. This goes back to a question of much debate on this board - is our freewill greater than God's sovereignity? It is obvious that we can only obtain our salvation by faith. We can only persevere by faith. Faith is a gift. So does God force His salvation upon us and therefore keep us? Or does He give us the opportunity to put the faith He gave us into action, and if we don't exercise that faith we won't receive the promise of eternal life? Would the latter then make faith a work?
(Vic PLEASE dont' erase this thread...)"



Black Calvinist responded to Streetsermon with:

Well, first I'd challenge your understanding of what the whole meaning of the virgins represents in this passage.

Jeremiah 32:40.

If faith is a gift, it's not something you do OR maintain.

Of course, if understood covenantally, it's not a major problem. All of the virgins were servants. They all had the same covenant responsibilities (get oil for your lamps). Five chose to, five did not. The result was the curses of the covenant falling upon those who disobeyed (the foolish virgins) and the blessings of the covenant falling upon those who obeyed (the wise ones).

This passage doesn't deal with regeneration, election, predestination or directly with perseverance. It deals with the responsibilities of the visible (covenant) people of God toward Him and the results of their disobedience.

Remember - the visible church (covenant people of God) is a mixed multitude - believers and non-believers (see Matt. 13 for the parable of the tares and the wheat). They will be separated at the end of time, but for now, both live up and grow up together.

If faith is a gift, it's not something you do OR maintain.



I responded back to RAS with

It is implied in alot of places.

Revelation 2:3-5

"3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown
weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you
did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand
from its place."



These christians did persevere, and endured hardships in Jesus Name, yet they have forsaken their first love. Jesus told them to repent or else He would remove their lampstand from them.

We know from scripture that God will enforce His warnings. As seen from Genesis 2:17

Genesis 2:17
"but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."



It is also implied in Galatians


Galatians 5:3-5

"3Again I declare to every man who lets himself be
circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. 4You who are trying to
be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from
grace. 5But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for
which we hope."



if they never produced fruit before then why would Paul say they "were running a good race"?

Galatians 5:7
"You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept
you from obeying the truth?"



I would like to ask you a question. Are the fruits of the Spirit visible in a persons life?



Shortly after I posted this the whole theo board was shut down. I answered some of the other comments on other posts in my blog.




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