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So it's not biblical, So what? part 2

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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
And now I've set James (the abstainer) off about 'new wine' being non-alcoholic all over again. Noooooo!!!!!! Please don't respond James!




Hee! Hee! Hee!

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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Chris,
He lacks the inner confidence to place himself within a sinful environment while on God's business, and rely upon God's Grace to keep him undefiled.
I think you've hit the nail on the head - confidence -- and on far more than just this issue. And really, James isn't alone in this, so I'll take it to a more general level.



People who place a great emphasis on laws (ten commandments, church, etc) or works are demonstrating both a lack of faith in God (as Beth Moore puts it -- they don't believe the God they profess to believe in) and a low spiritual self-esteem. They look around at their physical life, like Peter did the waves, and start fearing. But unlike Peter, they don't cry out to Jesus, they start thinking of what it is they can do themselves. And it's based in unbelief. I think some key points of unbelief are:



"Whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."



"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world."



"All sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter."



"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand."



I could give more more, but the point's made. All of us have heard the exceptions they've used to counter these examples that are really nothing more than a display of unbelief. They just don't/can't believe that being a Christian could be as simple as loving God and others from within, there's got to be more to it. And so they devise all "things" they have to do, either to complete the job God is insufficient in completing or to somehow prove to God theat really are "Christians," appearently not believing that God can even look into their hearts and souls. Maybe the motivation is even worse, to prove to others or the "pharisee reason" to show others just how Godly they are.



Their countering of the above examples really are nothing more than rationalization, something mankind is very good at. To try and convince themselves (sometimes even others) that their disbelief is somehow justified. It's really sad when they interpret the bible through their rationalizations and change the very word of God and even God himself. Beth Moore refers to this as "lessor-God" theology. I'd like to share some of her words from her book, Believing God:



"We somehow want to neatly package God and make everything about Him explainable. We decide that what's not explainable is not plausible. We try to make God behave and fit into our textbooks. We decide we will only believe what we can humanly reconcile. All attempts to take away the mystery and wonder that surround God leaves Him something He is not. All human attempts to define God cannot help but minimize Him. If we can come up with a God we can fully explain, we have come up with a different God from the Bible's. We must beware of recreating an image of God that makes us feel better. If man places his faith in a god he has recreated in his own image, has he placed his faith in God at all?"



And that brings me to my final point. The more faith we place in laws, works, and whatever else "we" do, the less faith we have available for God and what he can do.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Angie,



To answer your post from Thurs, Sept 7th 2006 - 6:25PM;



You seem to have answered it for yourself, but there one statement you made that sounds rather pompous:



you wrote:
"But of course, you've made it plain that you wouldn't be caught dead in a place where sinners are."




Please tell me where there is any place, on earth, where people are, that there are no sinners.



As far as I know of, there is no place, on earth, where there are no sinners. knowing that, your statement is rendered innaplicable and...rather foolish.



There are sinners everywhere, even in your house and mine. I'm a sinner...how 'bout you? Or are you above that now that you "have Christ in you"?



Paul had Christ in him too, and yet he claimed to "die daily". Why?



Could it be that he understood the battle we all face every moment of every day with the forces of darkness. Their urges, and temptations, their coercions, and attempts to lure us off the straight and narrow path.



If you have been washed in the blood of Christ...are you still a sinner (note: I did not say "are you still wilfully sinning")?




And as far as "appearing pious and holy"; If you truly are pious and holy, in your heart (uh oh, there's that word, which you, in a good Christian manner, hit me over the head with), then why would you have a desire to appear any other way?
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James,
Or are you above that now that you "have Christ in you"?
I can't speak for Angie, but, as matter of fact, I am above all that. Now, let's look at why I am, through Paul since you brought him up and get to the heart of what he's really saying.



First, let me make it clear that I am NOT saying that I don't disobey God (which is all that sin really is), what I am saying is that disobedience doesn't define who I am nor is it my master. Recall Paul's words:



Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Rom 6:16-18)



Now, before you mention some mumbo jumbo about a "license to sin," I'm very much aware of Paul's words:



What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Rom 6:1-2)



Yet, we will face the "flesh" in us every day, but the difference is that we have within us a power -- Christ's Spirit -- that not helps us overcome that "flesh," but to cleanse us when we blow it. And it by this Spirit I define myself, not by the flesh of my former self.



The people we are talking about are those who do not have Christ's (God's) spirit within them and thus are defined by and slaves to their sin. These are most assuredly the people Christ went among, both where they lived and worked. In other words, he went to them, instead of demanding they come to him in some fancy tabernacle.



Do not try and tame the Lion. He was not some good Pharisee worried about becoming "unclean" by associating with those nasty "sinners." He had the power to make them clean. Now, while we don't have that power, we most certainly have that power in us to protect us and we have the message of who does have that power. "Go into all the world" seems pretty clear to me.
Paul had Christ in him too, and yet he claimed to "die daily". Why?
Based on your follow on sentence, you seem to be equating this to some kind of daily reaffirmation of being in Christ. However, in context, it's a reference to daily suffering and persecution. Compare it to Rom 8:36.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
...but there one statement you made that sounds rather pompous...


No, the term is "tongue-in-cheek" as I mentioned to Ron earlier (who, by the way, did a super job of responding to your assumptive post). I meant that comment to be ironic considering all your goings-on about where you can and cannot go to reach the lost.



And, no, I don't wallow in the idea that I'm a sinner just hoping to make it into heaven. I'm not perfect, yet I know I'm being perfected. My confidence is not in myself or my capabilities to be "holy"; rather, it's in Christ's promise that He would faithfully complete the good work He started in me.



All kidding with you aside, James. Give some serious thought to this next question:



Are you more joyful when you feel you've obeyed all the rules you "know" you're supposed to obey than you are with the knowledge that Jesus died for you and was raised up by the Father to show that His sacrifice was sufficient to deal with with the entirety of your and my sin problem?



I'm not asking this as a trap. Actually, I really don't want you to respond to it in this forum. I would encourage you, however, to give it some consideration privately.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Ron,

you wrote:
"People who place a great emphasis on laws (ten commandments, church, etc) or works are demonstrating both a lack of faith in God...



The more faith we place in laws, works, and whatever else "we" do, the less faith we have available for God and what he can do."




James chapter 2



"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law." Peter is referring to the law written on the stone tablets (which are now written in our heart and mind)



"So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty...What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" The two go hand in hand, because our works give evidence that we are truly converted



"Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? Abraham did what he believed was God's will, and if it is God's will for Abraham, then it should be God's will for Abrahams seed also



"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only...For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James,



So much junk here, I don't know where to begin. Well, let's start at the beginning.
You quoted: For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law."
Well, I don't keep the law. Unlike Jews and SDAs, I'm not bound to the first covenant, but to the second covenant--in Christ, where faith is the "requirement." This is really more of a concern (or should be) to you law-keepers.
Peter is referring to the law written on the stone tablets (which are now written in our heart and mind)
First, I thought we speaking of James, not Peter? In any case, where does scriptures say this? It doesn't, this is solely your assumption. Besides you've never truly addressed what all was on the second tablets. Quote Dueteronomy all you want, I've already responded with quotes from Exodus which you've ignored (I guess as being unbiblical).
You quoted:"So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty...What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
We really have to wonder what the biblical James was getting at, because the answer to the bolded question is YES, not no as James infers.
The two go hand in hand, because our works give evidence that we are truly converted
Evidence? To whom? God? Give me a break.
You quoted: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Here's where we really have wonder about the biblical James. He assumes a positive response to the bolded question, but the answer, according to scripture is no, Abraham was not justified by works. Consider:



After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir." And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: "This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be." And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Gen 15:1-6)



This was justified Abraham in the eyes of God, long before Arabaham even knew of Isaac. Not enough? How about this:



"What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness." (Rom 4:1-3)



I don't know what else to say, except that James was wrong. And scripture clearly shows that.
Abraham did what he believed was God's will, and if it is God's will for Abraham, then it should be God's will for Abrahams seed also.
And this has what to do with this discussion?
You quoted:"Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only...For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
By far, the greatest issue I have with James is his faith/works statements. On one hand, we have: "For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law" (Rom 3:28). And on the other, we have: "You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone" (James 2:24).



Much of the confusion is because James is saying different things -- verse 24 is not saying the same thing as verse 22:



"You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;" (v. 22)



Thus, if we group specific verses that appear related, we get two entirely different messages. Let's look at the first one:



Jam 2:17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Jam 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

Jam 2:22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works;

Jam 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.



This message appears to be describing the role of works in sanctification, which is clearly commentators address in their explanations of this passage. Louis Berkhof, a Protestant theologian, stated:



"When Paul says that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law (Rom 3:28), he plainly speaks of another sort of work than James does, but not of another sort of faith. Paul speaks of works wrought in obedience to the law of Moses, but James speaks of works done in obedience to the gospel. Both are concerned to magnify the faith of the gospel, as that which alone could save us and justify us; but Paul magnifies it by showing the insufficiency of any works of the law before faith, or in opposition to the doctrine of justification by Jesus Christ; James magnifies the same faith, by showing what are the genuine and necessary products and operations of it."



The simple fact is -- that's not what James said. He did not say "sanctified," he said "justified." The Greek word for sanctify is "hagiazo," which he did not use even once. The Greek word for justify is "dikaioo," which he used several times in fact. And now we turn to the second message:



Jam 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

Jam 2:20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

Jam 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

Jam 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.



This message very much conflicts with Paul.



Thus, if take the whole passage in context, as we should, we face a dilemma. Either James made an erroneous word choice or else he is in fact teaching a doctrine different than Paul. So perhaps the passage from James should be left out of discussions on the role of works. Paul gives a much clearer picture of the role of works, than does James, especially in light of Christ's words on works:



Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." (John 6:28-29)
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Ron,



you wrote:
"Unlike Jews and SDAs, I'm not bound to the first covenant, but to the second covenant--in Christ, where faith is the "requirement.""




The "second covenant" is made with Jews...and only Jews.



also I wrote:
"James is referring to the law written on the stone tablets (which are now written in our heart and mind)"




You wrote:
"where does scriptures say this? It doesn't, this is solely your assumption."




scripture does say this:



2 Corinthians 3:3 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."



Whatever was written on those tables of stone, i.e. God's law, is now written our hearts.



Hebrews 10:16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;"



Circumcision of the heart (Romans 2) is the conversion and conviction experienced by true born again believers, those who have placed their faith in the Lord entirely, for "the just shall live by faith". This was an old testament Jewish teaching long before Christ was born.



Faith and works do go hand in hand. If a drunkard and wifebeater claims to have been converted and born again, but continues to drink and beat his wife, has he truly been converted? Of course not! Evidence that he is truly born again and converted is a change in his lifestyle and behavior, in other words, his "works" will change to more closely represent Christ. This is a no brainer Ron, I don't even see why you are even arguing the point. I think it's because you'd rather throw out the book of James because it does not fit with your theology. But it coincides perfectly with the writings of Paul...and the writings of Paul coincide perfectly with the teachings of the old testament. The same Holy Spirit that inspired the old testament writers is the same Holy Spirit that inspired the new testament writers, and that Holy Spirit does not contradict himself.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James,



Your answers are getting stranger all the time.
The "second covenant" is made with Jews...and only Jews.
The covenant in Christ is made with only the Jews????? I guess that leaves all of us "Gentiles" out. Darn the luck.
You said: "James is referring to the law written on the stone tablets (which are now written in our heart and mind)" (Actually you first said Peter).



I said: "Where does scriptures say this? It doesn't, this is solely your assumption." (I was referencing the bolded statement)



You responded: 2 Corinthians 3:3 "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart."
Umm, didn't Paul write 2 Corintians?



And second, where does this verse mention that the contents of the tablets were what was written on hearts.



And third, do you even have a clue as to what this verse is even talking about? ... or did you do a search engine search for "tablets of stone" and this one popped up?
you'd rather throw out the book of James because it does not fit with your theology.
Where did I say that? All I'm saying that James made a statement counter to what both Moses and Paul said and maybe we need to question the validity of that. Throw out the entire book? By no means! The third chapter on the tongue is excellent (something you need to read) as well as chapter 4 (which you ignore as well).
those who have placed their faith in the Lord entirely, for "the just shall live by faith". This was an old testament Jewish teaching long before Christ was born.
Yes, it was, exemplified by Abraham, but obviously one they didn't follow much and led to the need for the law. Beyond that, I'm not sure what you're getting at except to ignore most of what Paul says about faith and only picking those verses speaking about obeying law and doing works your search engine finds (and you talk about me throwing things out to fit my theology)?
Evidence that he is truly born again and converted is a change in his lifestyle and behavior, in other words, his "works" will change to more closely represent Christ. This is a no brainer Ron, I don't even see why you are even arguing the point.
I'm arguing the point because this not what you're talking about nor mean by "works." You solely mean Saturday Sabbath keeping and you know it. A change in one's lifestyle and behavior as an outpouring of faith is what we've been arguing all along. But according to you, that's not good enough. You've also got observe Saturday Sabbath or else you will "align yourself with the forces in opposition to God and to the Sabbath."
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
 woodsong (chinook)



Jam 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?

Jam 2:20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?

Jam 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

Jam 2:25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?

Jam 2:24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.




We know from scripture, (if this the the same James that Paul claims elsewhere to have disagreed with), that Paul and James saw things slightly differently or placed different emphasis on certain aspects of 'faith' and 'works' or even defined the terms slightly differently.



It seems to me that what St. James is saying is something like this:



What good is it if someone claims to have 'faith' but does not use it?



Can that kind of 'faith' save anyone?



Can't you see that unemployed 'faith' is useless? Faith not acted upon is mere intellectual assent not the kind of action that God expects from people who truly believe.



Didn't Abraham actually do something because of his faith?



Didn't Rahab actually risk her life because she believed?



You see that the only real way of knowing if your 'faith' is real faith and not just foolish foundationless belief, is if you act on it.



Now here we have a James who by all the evidence I can amass about his attitude to faith is a person who just does not have the ability to launch himself out entirely upon God's mercy and grace but would rather feel the security he gets from knowing he has followed the rules as he sees them.



Unlike Rahab the prostitute, James is so concerned to be 'righteous' before God' that he is unable to act on the notion that God no longer hold him accountable for his sin even though he is still responsible for it. It is all on Jesus' account for those who have faith.



A perfect case of 'faith without works'. Works being defined as the action that necessarily follows on from truly believing the Gospel.



Unfortunately James does not have faith in the Gospel. He still remains convinced that he must supplement the work of Christ with works of his own in order to obtain God's pardon and attain eternal life.



Love Chris.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Ron,



you wrote:
"The covenant in Christ is made with only the Jews????? I guess that leaves all of us "Gentiles" out. Darn the luck"




"ye do err, not knowing the scripture"



A Gentile is no longer a Gentile when he is converted. When he has a circumcision of his heart. When he begins to have faith. At that time he becomes an adopted child of God, one of the seed of abraham, a spiritual descendant of Israel (Jacob)...ergo...a Jew. Not by bloodline, but by adoption.



This teaching continues to elude your understanding. People can find doubt if they wish to find doubt, or they can find understanding if they truly search for it. You doubt what scripture teaches...how sad for you.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Chris,



you wrote:
"James is so concerned to be 'righteous' before God' that he is unable to act on the notion that God no longer hold him accountable for his sin even though he is still responsible for it. It is all on Jesus' account for those who have faith...



...He still remains convinced that he must supplement the work of Christ with works of his own in order to obtain God's pardon and attain eternal life."




Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."



Matthew 12:36 "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."



Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."



Revelation 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."



We are saved by grace, but we are judged by our works.



This is a sore subject with many Christians. To think that they will be judged by what they do...or don't do. That means we have to be on our toes and walk on eggshells constantly. No way, they say. It's better to just be free in Jesus and live by grace and not acknowledge that we will have to give account of our actions...or inaction.



But the bible is clear: Salvation is by grace and grace alone. Nothing we do will gain us salvation. But if you have truly embraced the saving grace of Christ's sacrifice, and have been genuinely converted to HIS way, then the things you do, i.e. your works, will demonstrate that conversion.



Yes, we must be on our toes, sober, and vigilant, for the devil is stalking around like a lion, seeking whom he might devour.



And yes, we must continually assess and reassess our lives, attitudes and behavior, to ensure that they are in line with the mind of Christ. Paul said; "I die daily", because he followed his own teaching to "pray without ceasing". He constantly looked to the cross, to Christ, for guidance, because he knew that without Christ, he could do nothing, but through Christ, all things were possible.



I live by faith in Christ. I rejoice in the saving grace of the Lord, but my faith does not stop there. With the power of God's Holy Spirit in me, I exhibit that faith in the way I behave and the things I do, and don't do.



God knows all things, and He is the only one who knows the hearts of man, but when His angels come to "gather together the elect from the four corners of the earth" at the resurrection of the righteous, how will they know who to gather? Will God just arbitrarily tell them who is or who is not saved? No, by their works they are judged, and the angels see the works of every man. The angels do not know the hearts of man, only God knows that, but when the angels watch over us, they see whether or not we are truly converted.



We have a duty to God, who saved us by the sacrifice of His son, and that is to live as Christ lived, and be as Christ was, and walk as Christ walked...and that requires effort on our part. Salvation is a free gift, but man can reject that free gift, and the evidence that it is rejected is the non-conformist attitude and rebellious behavior displayed by the unjust and filthy.
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James,
A Gentile is no longer a Gentile when he is converted. When he has a circumcision of his heart. When he begins to have faith. At that time he becomes an adopted child of God, one of the seed of abraham, a spiritual descendant of Israel (Jacob)...ergo...a Jew. Not by bloodline, but by adoption.
I am not a Jew and never will be one, figuratively or literally. You are dead wrong. That is precisely the nonsense that Paul spent the entire book of Romans arguing against. It might help if you read the entire book rather than doing a search engine search for words like "law," "commandment," "stone," etc.



And by the way, neither am I a gentile. If you want to refer to yourself by the derogatory name given to non-Jews by another religion, go right ahead. As for me, I'll stick with "Christian."
We are saved by grace, but we are judged by our works.
That too was argued against by Paul, most notably in Galatians, and this:



"For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw -- each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." (1 Cor 3:11-15)



Now, given that your foundation is built upon EG White, not Christ, plus your insistance of "justification by works and Saturday sabbath-keeping," I'd be really concerned if I were you about be judged by my "works." Ashes to ashes may take on new meaning. Or maybe "crispy-critter."
That means we have to be on our toes and walk on eggshells constantly. No way, they say. It's better to just be free in Jesus and live by grace and not acknowledge that we will have to give account of our actions...or inaction.
How blatantly you deny the teachings of Christ. The bolded is precisely what he taught, as does Paul. No, you'd rather be "carnal, sold under sin" and a slave to the law (of sin).
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Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James:

Once again...you've outdone yourself...in terms of non-contextual wresting of Scriptures. That's what happens when one uses a search engine with no discernment.



You quote passages in Mathew 5, 12, and 16....problem is that 5 has no bearing on the topic at hand, and 12 has no bearing on salvation, unless you're going to contradict yourself (and scripture) by claiming that justification comes by 'words' rather than by the blood of Jesus Christ. Chapter 16, once again, unless you are actually denying your previous statements, is NOT about 'salvation' being solely due to 'works', but instead, the 'gaining or losing of one's soul is tied to the previous verses, where one faces a choice to follow Jesus or not to follow Jesus, and it is THIS 'work' that is spoken of.



You REALLY do need to wean yourself from blind search engines....or else develop some understanding of hermeneutics.



Your quote from Revelations as well reveals a complete lack of context. The passage talks about 'BOOKS' being opened, and, yes, people being judged by their deeds as recorded in those 'books'. However, it ALSO speaks of the 'Book of Life', and the criteria for the 'lake of fire'....ie; damnation, however you conceive that to be....was whether or not one's name was found in the 'book of life', and not based on 'works'.



Quote:"But if you have truly embraced the saving grace of Christ's sacrifice, and have been genuinely converted to HIS way, then the things you do, i.e. your works, will demonstrate that conversion."


Funny, both Jesus and John totally refute your statement, and, by them, you stand condemned.



Quote:"Paul said; "I die daily", because he followed his own teaching to "pray without ceasing". He constantly looked to the cross, to Christ, for guidance, because he knew that without Christ, he could do nothing, but through Christ, all things were possible."


Wow! All of that out of 'this'!!!

Quote:"1Co 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die."


Now, the clear context, which you characteristically ignore, is that Paul is speaking of physical danger and harm here, with his comment about 'dying daily'...ie; being in constant danger. Yet...you derive all of your imaginings previously quoted from this passage. Isn't 'adding' to the Scripture some sort of a sin? Isn't there some pretty terrible judgments of God pronounced against people who do this?



You have no excuse, because your misuse of this verse has been addressed by some of us...and ignored by you in the past...yet, here again, you're spewing the same old ignorance out once more. Shame on you!!!!



Quote:"God knows all things, and He is the only one who knows the hearts of man,"


Then how come YOU, of all people, presume, over and over, to judge peoples' hearts...mine, Ron's, and others? Did someone promote you without telling us? Are YOU God?



Quote:"how will they know who to gather? Will God just arbitrarily tell them who is or who is not saved?"


You HONESTLY can't envision that the very Angels of God can recognize the Spirit of their Lord and Master who is enthroned within each of His 'elect'???? Silly boy...it is time to put aside childish imaginings and enter into truth!



Blessings,

Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Chris:

Quote:"Can't you see that unemployed 'faith' is useless? Faith not acted upon is mere intellectual assent not the kind of action that God expects from people who truly believe."


To rephrase (I think) what you said....James (the 'Biblical' one) is not about the 'grace' versus 'works' controversy....or about 'saving' works at all, but about 'dead faith' (or, mental assent, which isn't faith at all) versus 'saving faith', which does imply action.



Seen in this light, it drastically diminishes the perceived problems between James (the 'Biblical' one....the 'Praize' one has so many 'problems' that they are irreconcileable) and Paul.



Blessings,
Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
sojourner (pilgrim)



Yes! That is what I think too. Both about the possibility that this interpretation goes a long way toward reconciling the Biblical James to the Biblical Paul. Also the difficulty still remaining with respect to the unbiblical James we all know and love.



This possible interpretation struck me as I read what James (the biblical one), wrote concerning unanswered prayer. He thought it was a matter of not being single minded about what we are praying for. I wondered if perhaps he had similar views about 'faith', i.e. true faith is 'single mindedly confident in God's promises to the extent that one can act upon it, like Abraham did'.



Remember how Abraham said to his servants as he and Isaac set out up the mountain with the firewood on Isaacs back, 'wait here, WE will return'.



Now that, in view of what he knew was going to take place, is FAITH and to be prepared to go through with what he had been instructed to do showed absolute confidence in God's ability to 'raise Isaac back to life if necessary, in order to make it possible for Abraham to have descendents through Isaac as God had promised.



So even what James calls works in connection with Abraham, turn out in fact to be demonstration of an extreme act of faith in the trustworthyness of God, not just an act of 'Law conformity and obedience', which proved Abraham 'righteous', like the SDA's would have us belive.



Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Walt and Chris,
Yes! That is what I think too. Both about the possibility that this interpretation goes a long way toward reconciling the Biblical James to the Biblical Paul.
I thought I addressed this in my discussion on James and his works vs faith statement. But to reiterate, while your interpretation (which is also stated by many commentators) makes sense, there's a number of things to keep in mind.



First, with Paul we have a multitude of his epistles to determine his position on saving grace vs sanctifying grace, but with the biblical James, we have only ten verses to determine his position. Even reading the entire epistle doesn't shed addition light. As I understand it, justification is the declaration of salvation. That is, salvation is where we're taken from -- a bondage under sin -- and justification is where we're delivered to -- a right-standing with God. They go hand-in-hand and are both the action of God. Sanctification is what we do with that initial standing. With the biblical James, it comes down to that he never refers to sanctifying anything, he only uses the word "justification." So when he asks, "Was not Abraham justified ..." we in honesty need to answer "no," contrary to his inferred "yes."



Second, the biblical James doesn't help matters by saying two different things at the same time. Verse 22 does not say the same thing as verse 24, even though they generally use the same words. We're basically getting two messages. So what do we do? Well, we can't do what we keep telling others not to do, that is, taking verses out of context. But what is the context? That's difficult to determine exactly, especially given his two apparent messages. To me, though, it points to a discussion on justifying works over faith or grace.



What we have here then is an erroneous word choice, a doctrine contrary to Paul's (and Christ's) teaching, or even, as Martin Luther once pointed out, a case where James was too succinct, and could have done with more explanation. So what do we do? Contrary to the internet James' flippant remark, I have no intent of "throwing James out of the bible." But neither can I consider this passage, as Paul puts it, "profitable for teaching." This is perhaps the most noticeable passage supporting my belief that the bible is not the "dictated" Word of God, but a work of mankind, "inspired by God," containing not only the inerrent and infallable Words of God, but the errent and fallable words of man in some cases as well.
Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Ron:

Note that I said 'DIMINISHES' contradiction...not 'ELIMINATES' it. LOL!

Blessings,
Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
OK Ron, I'll admit to being old and slow. But I have finally come back to answer some of the things you brought up in your post of 8/28/06, 3:57am.



Lets start with who wrote what. I ask you why you seemed to spend no time analyzing Ex.34:27. Your answer:
"I skipped over it because I was focusing on who did the writing, which is contained in verse 28, which you skipped over."


Lets go back to Ex 34:1 for a moment.
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou breakest."




If God said that HE was going to write the same words on the second set of tables that were in the first set, then I think I must belive God.



Now lets skip down to Ex.34:27&28
"And the Lord said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenent with thee and Israel.



And he was there with the Lord fourty days and fourty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenent, the ten commandments." (Also see Ex.31:18, Deut.31:9)


What we find here is the fact that Moses wrote what God told him to write, the commandments that we commonly call the Law of Moses. It took him fourty days and fourty nights to complete the task. To me that says that there were two sets of "commandments" that Moses brought down from the mountain top. One that was put into the Ark of the Covenant, and one that was placed beside the Ark.



I know both you and Walt had other questions, but I'll have to come back a little later with those. I'll do my best to get back this evening. Right now the old body needs a little break.



Respectfully your brother in Christ,

Doc



Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Countrydoc:

Quote:"What we find here is the fact that Moses wrote what God told him to write, the commandments that we commonly call the Law of Moses."


The problem is that the only 'we' that calls it the 'law of Moses' with the special definition of 'ceremonial law'...as opposed to the 'Law of God' with the special definition '10 commandments'....is the SDA and affiliated groups.



Quote:"To me that says that there were two sets of "commandments" that Moses brought down from the mountain top. One that was put into the Ark of the Covenant, and one that was placed beside the Ark."


In my view, a far more accurate and truthful way of putting it would be to say that 'God's Law' (also called the 'Mosaic Law', or the 'law of Moses', or just 'The Law' was written in full, including the Decalogue...twice, in the 'book of the law', and the Decalogue was also written separately on two tables of stone.



Or: THE FULL LAW was placed in the Book of the law. The Decalogue was placed in BOTH the 'book of the law' as well as on tablets of stone.



OR:

The Decalogue was placed BOTH IN the Ark, AND in the Book which was 'beside' the Ark.



Even among ancient Jewish Commentators and Rabbinical writings, there was some ambiguity as to exactly what was meant by 'beside the Ark'. Some thought it might have been a 'pocket' on the outside of the Ark, others thought it was in a separate, small chest beside or in front of the Ark, still others felt that it was actually INSIDE the Ark, 'beside' the stone tables. Be that as it may, the Decalogue was in BOTH places....thus destroying the false distinction that the SDA tries to make between the two.



Blessings,

Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
Walt,



Wow! All that response to my post and yet not one ounce of scriptural support to validate your answers. But I guess your eisegetic viewpoint is enough for you.



God Bless you Brother.
Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James:

Quote:"All that response to my post and yet not one ounce of scriptural support to validate your answers."


Once again I gave you more credit than you obviously deserve. I assumed that you're 'knowledge' of Scripture was broader than it apparently is. So...let's start over...

Chris had said:

Quote:""James is so concerned to be 'righteous' before God' that he is unable to act on the notion that God no longer hold him accountable for his sin even though he is still responsible for it. It is all on Jesus' account for those who have faith..."


To which you posted 3 scriptures...presumably 'proving' in your eyes that Chris was wrong.

1. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."



Now, presumably you seem to think that this 'proves' that our 'works' justify us or something. But...when one takes in the 'CONTEXT' of the verse, it means nothing of the sort. instead, it's the culmination of several verses that speak to visibility and transparency...letting our 'light' shine. Verse 13 likens His Disciples to 'salt', but it must be effective (salty) salt, and not tasteless.



Verse 14 calls them the 'light of the world', and likens them to a city on a mountaintop, which simply can't be hidden...it is visible to all.



Verse 15 likens them to a lit lamp (as in lit by His Word, Spirit and light)and states that a burning lamp isn't hidden, but instead is put up high....on a lampstand...to enlighten all those around.



Now we get to verse 16 (your fav) which carries on the theme of light being meant to illuminate and reveal, not be hidden. 'So'...or 'thus' (in like manner) let YOUR LIGHT SHINE, so that those around will see their/our 'good works'...our lifestyle, our lives......and be so struck by it that it causes them to glorify God Himself for it. Nothing here about works for salvation, or works or judgment, or works before favour...they already possessed the 'light', and as a result, they/we're to reveal THAT LIGHT WE ALREADY HAVE to a dying world around us. Hidden, it's useless...as flavorless salt is, light is meant to be seen.)[/blue]



Now we move on to #2.

Quote:"Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."


Now...is 'THIS' speaking of 'word' salvation? Or...is it, when taken in context...which you ignore, speaking of the 'words' that the Pharisees 'spoke' when they blasphemed by claiming that His miracles were done by the power of Beelzebub, a euphemism for satan...or, more literally, referring to a pagan 'god'...literally the 'dung-god'...or 'sh-t god'. He is not speaking here, in context, of believers, or the judgment that we all understand we'll have...that of our 'works' for reward...but instead, He is speaking of the words that they spoke, the words that will condemn them on that day.(verses 32-35) Amazing..and YOU accuse ME of Eisegesis!!!



Let's go to #3, okay?

Quote:"Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."


Once more...sure sounds impressive...that is, IF you just use a search engine and no discernment.



Do you think it might have something to do with what Mathew records just a few chapters earlier..and in many other places as well?

Quote:"Mat 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."


I'm not sure that eternal damnation (or anihilation) can be categorized as 'reward'. So, none of us would disagree that our 'works' are 'judged', or weighed in terms of rewards....this passage in context simply doesn't give any hint of final or eternal salvific judgment.



Quote:"Revelation 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."


Once more, we have a 'soundbite' without context. This seems to be your trademark.

First, nobody in their right mind bases 'doctrine' on apocalyptic writings, that is not its purpose.



Second, let's look at the verse before, to try to restore 'context'.

Quote:"Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."


Okay, we know that there are a number of 'BOOKS', and there is some form of 'judgment' of people based on the contents of these books, presumably their life deeds.



However, it is NOT THAT which determines their eternal destiny. Let's look at verse 15.

Quote:"Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."


EVERYONE'S eternal destiny depends on a whole different criteria...whether or not their name is in the 'book of life'.

How did they get their names in this 'book of life'?



Quote:"Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

"Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."


These names are 'written in the book of life' long before any of us were born, lived, sinned, or died. And, THAT is the basis for our destiny....God's Sovereignty, not our 'filthy rags'.



Quote:"That means we have to be on our toes and walk on eggshells constantly."


I REALLY feel sorry for you and your eggshells...if THAT'S your twisted caricature of a 'father'. I also feel sorry for your OWN children, if that's how THEY have to interact with THEIR 'father', in fear and 'eggshells', lest they fail to measure up and be turfed out.



Quote:"Salvation is by grace and grace alone. Nothing we do will gain us salvation."


Make up your mind...either it's by 'grace' or it's by 'works'. Paul made it perfectly clear that the two are diametrically opposed, and you've already claimed that we're 'judged' by our 'works'. If your works determine your eternal destiny...then it is those very works upon which your 'salvation' rests, and not 'grace' at all.



Quote:"Paul said; "I die daily", because he followed his own teaching to "pray without ceasing". He constantly looked to the cross."


Quote:" 1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."


Now, once more (this is getting tiring), let's look at the CONTEXT!

Quote:"1Co 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?"

"1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die."


These are the two verses that sandwich your 'prooftext'. Nothing here at all about 'praying without ceasing'....or 'looking to the cross to Christ, for guidance, because he knew that without Christ, he could do nothing, but through Christ, all things were possible.'



Instead, Paul's talking about being in 'jeopardy', and verse 32 clarifies that it is physical harm he's speaking of, whether speaking literally of 'wild beasts' (as in the arena), or metaphorically as in those who opposed him, often physically. Look how many times he was beaten, stoned, left for dead, etc.



The rest of your post doesn't rate any commentary, containing as it does [b]not one scrap of scripture'.



I'm under no illusion that this will be acceptable to you, since anyone with discernment will have 'gotten it' from my previous post, and anyone without understanding or discernment won't get it no how.



Blessings,











Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James:

Quote:"All that response to my post and yet not one ounce of scriptural support to validate your answers."


Once again I gave you more credit than you obviously deserve. I assumed that you're 'knowledge' of Scripture was broader than it apparently is. So...let's start over...

Chris had said:

Quote:""James is so concerned to be 'righteous' before God' that he is unable to act on the notion that God no longer hold him accountable for his sin even though he is still responsible for it. It is all on Jesus' account for those who have faith..."


To which you posted 3 scriptures...presumably 'proving' in your eyes that Chris was wrong.

1. Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."



Now, presumably you seem to think that this 'proves' that our 'works' justify us or something. But...when one takes in the 'CONTEXT' of the verse, it means nothing of the sort. instead, it's the culmination of several verses that speak to visibility and transparency...letting our 'light' shine. Verse 13 likens His Disciples to 'salt', but it must be effective (salty) salt, and not tasteless.



Verse 14 calls them the 'light of the world', and likens them to a city on a mountaintop, which simply can't be hidden...it is visible to all.



Verse 15 likens them to a lit lamp (as in lit by His Word, Spirit and light)and states that a burning lamp isn't hidden, but instead is put up high....on a lampstand...to enlighten all those around.



Now we get to verse 16 (your fav) which carries on the theme of light being meant to illuminate and reveal, not be hidden. 'So'...or 'thus' (in like manner) let YOUR LIGHT SHINE, so that those around will see their/our 'good works'...our lifestyle, our lives......and be so struck by it that it causes them to glorify God Himself for it. Nothing here about works for salvation, or works or judgment, or works before favour...they already possessed the 'light', and as a result, they/we're to reveal THAT LIGHT WE ALREADY HAVE to a dying world around us. Hidden, it's useless...as flavorless salt is, light is meant to be seen.)[/blue]



Now we move on to #2.

Quote:"Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."


Now...is 'THIS' speaking of 'word' salvation? Or...is it, when taken in context...which you ignore, speaking of the 'words' that the Pharisees 'spoke' when they blasphemed by claiming that His miracles were done by the power of Beelzebub, a euphemism for satan...or, more literally, referring to a pagan 'god'...literally the 'dung-god'...or 'sh-t god'. He is not speaking here, in context, of believers, or the judgment that we all understand we'll have...that of our 'works' for reward...but instead, He is speaking of the words that they spoke, the words that will condemn them on that day.(verses 32-35) Amazing..and YOU accuse ME of Eisegesis!!!



Let's go to #3, okay?

Quote:"Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."


Once more...sure sounds impressive...that is, IF you just use a search engine and no discernment.



Do you think it might have something to do with what Mathew records just a few chapters earlier..and in many other places as well?

Quote:"Mat 10:42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."


I'm not sure that eternal damnation (or anihilation) can be categorized as 'reward'. So, none of us would disagree that our 'works' are 'judged', or weighed in terms of rewards....this passage in context simply doesn't give any hint of final or eternal salvific judgment.



Quote:"Revelation 20:13 "And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works."


Once more, we have a 'soundbite' without context. This seems to be your trademark.

First, nobody in their right mind bases 'doctrine' on apocalyptic writings, that is not its purpose.



Second, let's look at the verse before, to try to restore 'context'.

Quote:"Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."


Okay, we know that there are a number of 'BOOKS', and there is some form of 'judgment' of people based on the contents of these books, presumably their life deeds.



However, it is NOT THAT which determines their eternal destiny. Let's look at verse 15.

Quote:"Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."


EVERYONE'S eternal destiny depends on a whole different criteria...whether or not their name is in the 'book of life'.

How did they get their names in this 'book of life'?



Quote:"Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

"Rev 17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is."


These names are 'written in the book of life' long before any of us were born, lived, sinned, or died. And, THAT is the basis for our destiny....God's Sovereignty, not our 'filthy rags'.



Quote:"That means we have to be on our toes and walk on eggshells constantly."


I REALLY feel sorry for you and your eggshells...if THAT'S your twisted caricature of a 'father'. I also feel sorry for your OWN children, if that's how THEY have to interact with THEIR 'father', in fear and 'eggshells', lest they fail to measure up and be turfed out.



Quote:"Salvation is by grace and grace alone. Nothing we do will gain us salvation."


Make up your mind...either it's by 'grace' or it's by 'works'. Paul made it perfectly clear that the two are diametrically opposed, and you've already claimed that we're 'judged' by our 'works'. If your works determine your eternal destiny...then it is those very works upon which your 'salvation' rests, and not 'grace' at all.



Quote:"Paul said; "I die daily", because he followed his own teaching to "pray without ceasing". He constantly looked to the cross."


Quote:" 1Co 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily."


Now, once more (this is getting tiring), let's look at the CONTEXT!

Quote:"1Co 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?"

"1Co 15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die."


These are the two verses that sandwich your 'prooftext'. Nothing here at all about 'praying without ceasing'....or 'looking to the cross to Christ, for guidance, because he knew that without Christ, he could do nothing, but through Christ, all things were possible.'



Instead, Paul's talking about being in 'jeopardy', and verse 32 clarifies that it is physical harm he's speaking of, whether speaking literally of 'wild beasts' (as in the arena), or metaphorically as in those who opposed him, often physically. Look how many times he was beaten, stoned, left for dead, etc.



The rest of your post doesn't rate any commentary, containing as it does [b]not one scrap of scripture'.



I'm under no illusion that this will be acceptable to you, since anyone with discernment will have 'gotten it' from my previous post, and anyone without understanding or discernment won't get it no how.



Blessings,











Quote Reply
Re: So it's not biblical, So what? part 2 In reply to
James,



I would like to add just one comment to Walt's post:
You quoted:"Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works."
Paul gives excellent commentary on this:



1Co 3:11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

1Co 3:12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw--

1Co 3:13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done.

1Co 3:14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

1Co 3:15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.