Want Some Answers ???
Two particular cults hide, misled and deceive [Jehovah's witnesses and Christadelphians]. So which are you? You replied,
>>Why do you try and put me in a pigeon hole, is it so you can dismiss what I have written as cult brainwashing and so ease your conscience? I am a disciple of Christ Jesus, I follow the teachings of Christ Jesus<<
Why avoid answering the question? Obviously you are Christadelphian and never accepted Christ as Saviour. They claim to follow “Christ Jesus” but are NOT God’s children [Mt.7:22-23]. They claim to interpret the Bible correctly but are only clones of their sect. Why should I have a troubled "conscience" regarding the erroneous doctrines of Christadelphianism? It's sad you trust them regardless of your "conscience" and the Bible.
Your mind is made up, none can change it. Others see the light but you won’t. Why not be honest about your sect instead of hiding it? This indicates you ashamed of them. If you only tell half-the-story it appears dishonest. So what are the other 'conditions' necessary for salvation? So far its - ‘baptism, commandments, effort, works’. How many more? You replied,
>>You should know the difference between earning and receiving a gift by now<<
What has this got to do with the question? Why avoid the question? Christadelphian's contradict themselves about “earning and receiving”. And insist everyone MUST follow their doctrine to earn eternal life, and then insist it's not ‘earned’ but given by grace. Do you think I was born yesterday? The Christadelphian way of labouring is NOT God’s way [Rom.4:4]. The saved are whose who do “not work” but “trust in him” [Rom.4:5]. So which ‘church’ provides the only true baptism? You answer –
>>The only true baptism is the one laid down in the Bible, so any church that provides the one laid down in the Bible.<<
But you don’t really believe that and it's proven by your VERY next paragraph. It's not the baptism 'laid down in the Bible' but the 'baptism' according to your sect which you regard as the 'only true baptism'. Your group believes baptism in “any church” is wrong. They insists baptism must be performed by you people and that's the “only true baptism”. And, that ‘church’ must ‘believe the truth’ as you people define truth. So if I'm baptised and keep all the commandments, does that guarantee my salvation? You answer -
>>If you believed the truth when baptized then yes.<<
Your last letter indicated salvation is not guaranteed. You really don't believe what you say here because to you salvation can be lost if one fails to remain loyal to your sect. So there can be no guarantee of salvation. You said one can only have "the promise". Is this another ‘condition’ for salvation? Candidates MUST believe all the ‘right’ Christadelphian doctrines before God accepts their baptism. They must reject all the ‘wrong’ doctrines of Christendom as Robert Roberts taught. He said imbeciles couldn’t be saved for they are incapable of indulging in the intellectual exercise of baptism and candidates must be 30 years old. And that baptism does NOT guarantee salvation; it only makes a person ‘a lawful candidate’ for salvation.
In your doctrine man is left precariously to be his own saviour. His ultimate acceptance with God depends on the character that develops. You people deny the validity of all baptisms other than your own. My question number five was - Do you have the Holy Spirit? Is the Spirit a Person or a 'it'? You answer -
>>If I had the Holy spirit wouldn't I be able to do all the miracles that those disciples could do that had it, heal the sick cure the blind, etc., can you do all these things?<<
This reveals clearly the group you follow. And a two fold ‘condition’ for salvation and correct baptism. This is Christadelphianism, and reflects the bitter animosity shared by both Thomas and Roberts to historical Christianity [‘Christendom Astray’ R. Roberts pg.86].
Christadelphianism is unique regarding the transitory early church gifts and permanence of the Holy Spirit. There is nothing in the Bible indicating the Holy Spirit would be withdrawn when the miraculous gifts ceased. And the NT is fill of examples describing an indwelling Spirit within believers.
Jesus said, “and shall be in you……forever” [Jn.14:17-18, 23]. John wrote, “Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart” [1 Jn.5:10]. That is, the Holy Spirit dwelling in the body of the believer. Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body” [1 Cor 6:19-20].
Paul warns, “grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” [Eph 4:30]. Indicating an ever abiding presence and the seal or guarantee of redemption. And if Christadelphianism is the ‘modern revival of apostolic faith’ [as it claims] why doesn’t it abound in miracles and the indwelling Spirit? Note this –
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God DWELL in you. Now if ANY man have NOT the Spirit of Christ, he is NONE of HIS”. [Rom 8:9] Why should I regard the interpretation of anyone who doesn’t have God’s Spirit? The Spirit reveals what Christ taught! [Jn.16:13-15]. And so, Is the Holy Spirit a Person? You answer -
>>Holy means separte Spirit means xxxxxxxx<<
The ‘Holy Spirit’ is impersonal in any legalistic religious system. And where do I find “xxxxxxxx” in the Bible? Why did you go "xxxxxxxxxx" ? What does that mean? Buy a Dictionary of Greek NT words, look-up the words Holy Spirit, Counsellor, Christ, eternal life, death and God. And you will see why Bible scholars of the Greek reject the doctrines of Christadelphianism.
You have no understanding of spiritual things. This is what happens when people without God’s Spirit try to understand the Holy Spirit. You need to be “born of the Spirit”. 'Except a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God' and all that pertains to it. The Soul, Angels, Holy Spirit and spiritual things are all invisible to the natural man. He’s born blind ['color blind'] to the spiritual world. Only through the 'second birth' of the Spirit can one get their second sight. The spiritual-sight enables one to see, and know the spiritual world and know God.
The Holy Spirit has the characteristics of personality. He has life [Rom.8:2 2Cor. 3:3]. He’s not a doctrine but real, alive, active, intelligent and thinks [1 Cor.2:10, 11]. He has a mind [Rom.8:27].
Not just powerful, but has compassion, understanding and purpose [Isa.11:2 1 Cor.12:11]. He has self-consciousness: (will - volition) 1 Cor.12:11. He knows Himself — is conscious and has life and exists. He has emotions [Eph.4:30] love [Rom.15:30].
He’s recognized as a Person by Christ who called Him a Comforter and Helper [Jn.14:16]. Terms depicting a person. Christ would have chosen other terms if the Spirit were a force or power. Only a person comforts and helps as God. Christ also used personal pronouns. Jn.16 “Him” (7 times), “He” (8 over times), “He, himself” (13 times). He's referred to with personal pronouns by other authors of Scripture. Pronouns are masculine not 'neuter'.
He has actions, speaks and communicates. If communication, then many other things are indicated. Will, ability, intelligence, etc. [2 Sam.23:2 Ac.8:29, Rev.2:7 Rom.8:26]. He Guides: particularly Christians, whether Bible study, or finding God’s will [Rom.8:14]. He calls and commissions: Only a being with personality can accomplish these things in another beings life [Ac.13:2 Ac.20:28].
He commands [Ac.8:29]. This requires planning and authority. He dwells in believers: Only a being with personality can dwell with another being. Jn 14:17 “...and shall be in you.” He Teaches: Personality is required of any teacher. The Holy Spirit has the ability to teach which indicates, will, intelligence, and ability to communicate — all qualities of personality. Jn.14:26. These are not abilities of a power or force.
He Reproves [Jn 16:8]. Sends [Ac.13:4] Forbids [Ac.16:6,7]. Empowers [Ac.1:8, 2 Pe.1:21]. Testifies [Jn.15:26,27]. And treated as a person. He can be vexed [Is.63:10]. Vexed means to annoy or disturb so we should treat Him as a person. How can any part of God be ‘it’?
He can be grieved: One can’t grieve a force or power but can grieve a person [Eph.4:30]. He can be lied to: Ananias and Sapphira tried to lie to Him but failed. To know a lie requires intelligence. On the other hand, no normal person would attempt to lie to a power or force [Ac.5:3].
He can be resisted [Ac.7:51] Note the result of resisting the Spirit is being stiff-necked. He is to be obeyed: It is inconceivable to think that we would obey anything less than a person. Acts 10:19-21 tells us that Peter was told to go meet some men and he followed the instructions. Acts 16:6ff Paul is guided and commanded by the Spirit. I asked is God a Trinity? You replied –
>>1 Tim 2:5 "there is one God"<<
So you answer ‘no’. Christadelphianism makes rejection the Trinity another ‘condition’ for salvation. There is only "one God" in relation to "all men" [1 Tim.2:4] (the Greek's had many). But the mention here is "one" in essence and purpose and common to all [Is.45:22 Ac.17:26]. "Paul was entrusted to preach this to every creature, (Mk. 16:15) and the doctrine of Christ's mediation. He was appointed to be a teacher of the Gentiles." Note, (from Matthew Henry's Commentary).
What does the word ‘elohim’ (God) mean? It’s God – plural. In order to express the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit Gen.1:26 KJ 3:22 RSV]. God has a plural nature – called Father Son and Holy Spirit – all distinct personalities all designated God (‘Eloah’ is singular). This is difficult to comprehend but its what the Bible reveals and the closest the finite can come to explaining the infinite mystery of the infinite. It’s even harder for those who don’t have the ‘Helper’. I asked ‘does man have a body, soul and spirit? You replied,
>>1 Thess 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.<<
Why mislead? Why not be totally clear? Christadelphians have their own spin on the words ‘soul and spirit’. They believe man is just a clever animal. Or why do you believe man is a tri-partite being, but not God? Christadelphian’s insist the doctrine of the immortality of the soul must be rejected or there is no salvation [another ‘condition’]. Do you disagree and side with mainstream Christianity? So must these doctrines [trinity etc] be rejected for eternal life? You replied,
>>If you know the truth and reject it will you receive eternal life?<<
"Truth" is important, but it’s not the method by which God saves. The way to God is through Jesus not a doctrinal formula. Christadelphianism emphases doctrinal allegiance rather than Christ Himself. You know about Jesus rather than actually know Him which He desired [Jn.17:1-3]. He wanted all not just to know about Him, but to know Him personally [1 Jn.17:1-3].
Christadelphianism regards "truth" as a number of doctrines required to be worthy to receive eternal life. Contrary to Jesus - “I am the way the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me”. ‘He who has the Son has life.’ So the Truth is a Person [not as system of doctrine]. Jesus did not just claim to be teaching the truth, He claimed He was the truth [Jn.14:9]. He who has received Jesus as their Saviour has received the truth. People don’t become Christians after years good deeds or study. They become Christians when they receive Jesus [the Truth] as their Saviour [repent and believe].
How? By humbling yourself and asking Him into your heart by a simple prayer – “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner in need of your forgiveness. I know Christ died on the cross for my sin. Thank you that He died for me. Please come into my heart and life and make me one of your children. I want to live to please you and I ask that you help me to. Make me new and give me the courage to tell others that I know you as my Lord and Saviour. Amen”
The truth is – you can’t save yourself – the truth is God has provided the only way of salvation through His Son. This is why you haven't received the Holy Spirit yet have read and studied the Bible. This humbling before God and this prayer results in the new birth. Don’t ignore this! It’s the most important prayer to pray. The difference between heaven and hell.
So where is God’s true body of believers on earth today and what is their name? You wrote,
>>Rom 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, 1 Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free. Going from these quotes the true body of believers must be those that are baptized into Christ.<<
Avoiding the question again? I asked who are these people who have 'the truth' - are they Christians? I can understand why you don’t want to be known as a Christadelphian but want to pretend to be a Christian. Because you realise to defend Christadelphianism means conflict with Scripture over and over. I don’t have a problem with these Scriptures but the doctrinal baggage that comes with Christadelphianism that twists verses like these. You wrote,
>>Thank you for your last letter. I still find that you teach contrary to the scriptures,<<
Christadelphians are a small group with strange doctrines regarding scripture. Having you say this is encouraging. You wrote,
>>you said in a previous letter that man was for God and not God for man but this is opposite to what you teach. You teach that God has bend over backwards to give mankind eternal life, he sent his son that had to suffer torture and death so that mankind's sins could be forgiven, yet man does not have to do anything but believe that Jesus is their saviour, if this is not teaching that God is for man then I don't know what is!<<
This is confusing. Can you clarify what is said? But certainly God has provided the means necessary for salvation. Man should repent, believe and accept the Saviour, you have yet to obey and respond. You wrote,
>>You have God putting in all the effort. You also have potential murders and harlots receiving eternal life, you will say no, because they would not be true Christians, but that would be a contraction, because you have said there are no commandments to keep it doesn't matter what you do you are already have eternal life, so to murder or steal etc. would be acceptable because it is not breaking any commandments as there are none! How absurd!<<
Yes God has indeed ‘put in all the effort’ [Ps 3:8; 37:39 Jer.3:23] even when we were 'dead in sins' [Eph.2:1]. Those who are 'dead' can do nothing. With creation God simply spoke and it came into existence but redemption required a tremendous cost [1 Cor.6:20 1 Pe.1:19]. The god of Christadelphianism has a man (Jesus) killed to make him feel better, his mercy cost him nothing. And yes, even murders and harlots can receive eternal life (1 Cor.6:9-12). There’s no sinner God can’t save. God forgives the worst - to break one law is to break them all [Jas.2:10]. It does matter what Christians do [whether love, steal, murder etc] but salvation is founded on what God has done, not on what they do. You confuse fruit and deeds of faith with the saving work of the cross.
Salvation is God's purpose [2 Tim.1:9]. He’s willing to give it [1 Tim.2:4]. It’s by Him alone [Is.45:21,22; 59:16; Acts 4:12]. Christ is the Captain of it [Heb.2:10], the Author [Heb.5:9]. He died to save [Jn.3:14,15 Gal.1:4.792]. It’s not by our effort [Rom.11:6; Eph.2:9 2 Tim.1:9 Tit.3:5]. But His grace [Eph.2:5,8 2 Tim.1:9 Tit.2:11], His love [Rom.5:8 1 Jn.4:9,10], His mercy [Ps.6:4 Tit.3:5], His long–suffering [2 Pe.3:15] and through faith in Him [Mk.16:16 Acts 16:31 Rom.10:9 Eph.2:8 1 Pe.1:5]. You wrote,
>>The truth is that God has made a way for mankind to have their sins forgiven but he requires some effort from mankind, he requires obedience to his will for that gift to be received. This is the correct way, this keeps the correct order of things, God as supreme being and man as the creation.<<
This is contrary to Scripture. Answer my last letter and explain this - "He saved us [past tense] NOT because ANY works of righteousness that we have done but because of HIS own pity and MERCY by [the] cleansing [bath] of the NEW BIRTH [regeneration] and renewing of the Holy Spirit" [Titus 3:5]. No matter how ‘correct things’ may sound, for salvation, whether rite, rules, conditions, actions, or commandments they will corrupt the gospel. "For it is by grace you HAVE BEEN saved, through faith--and this is NOT from yourselves, it is the GIFT of God - NOT by works, so that no one can boast." [Eph 2:8-9]. You wrote,
>>Philip 2:12-14 "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings:"<<
Paul’s not teaching good works can earn salvation. Throughout his writings he emphasizes that salvation is not by works but by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There are two explanations of this passage, both more scriptural than what you suggest.  He’s saying to workout the salvation that God has placed within. God has given eternal life as a free gift and this should be lived out by lives of practical holiness.  The salvation here may mean the solution of their problem at Philippi. They had been plagued with squabbles and strife. So Paul gives them the answer to apply the answer by having the mind of Christ.
The salvation spoken of then, is not that of the soul but a salvation from that which would hinder the Christian from doing the will of God. A deliverance from evil. Salvation has many meanings in the NT - ie from prison [Ph.1:19] bodies from the presence of sin [Ph.1:28] the meaning determined by the context. Only in this sense we must do our part and God will do His. But that does not apply to the forgiveness of sins or the new birth. Redemption is the work of God alone. You wrote,
>>You teach another Gospel<<
Yes very different than Christadelphians. We have two very different Gospels. The gospel I teach is that - “God justifies through faith” [not our ‘effort’] and this is, “the gospel is the power of God [not the effort of man] unto salvation to every one that believes”.
Christadelphianism does NOT teach the gospel of the grace of God, but "another gospel". The word gospel means 'good news' your message is not good news. It's the error of "Synergism", the teaching that we cooperate with God in our efforts for salvation. You are synergistic for you teach God's grace, combined with our efforts makes forgiveness of sins possible. You wrote,
>>I pick up from your comments that you think I hate you, which I don't, I quote "You might well hate me" all I can conclude from that is if you think I hate you because I am trying to point out true scripture, and that you therefore hate me.<<
I made the comment on the bases of Gal.4:29 "At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now". Obviously you might well resent me because I have had a spiritual birth and a freedom in Christ you don't have. I believe the Gospel is wonderful, I serve a wonderful Saviour, you have the burden of a religious system I don't have [Gal.5:1 Ac.15:10]. That's why you continue to twist my comments around and apply them to me. It's typical for those in cults to despise evangelical Christians. Note these cultic characteristics -
 Antagonism. Intolerant of other belief. Extremely hostile to mainstream Christianity.
 Isolationism. Closed mindedness ‘we alone are right’. Claim to teach truth neglected by the ordinary churches.
 Propagandism. With the aim to claim ‘we alone are right’, win converts, discredit others.
 Perfectionism. The feeling of superiority to others. A perverted sense regarding sin.
 An extra-source of authority. – from their literature and leaders. Which are regarded as the ultimate authority, always right, never wrong.
 Justification by grace is questioned. The Gospel is flavoured with the doctrine of the sect. Because all who differ are mistaken, none can be sure of salvation unless their group is followed.
 Exclusive community. They alone are God’s chosen. The church/world is ignorant without their message. Last defenders of true doctrine.
 Eschatology governed. Special dates or events after the Apostles. It’s called into existence by God .
 Distinctive terminology. Double meaning of words and terms, has it own gobbledegook.
Jesus said "All men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." [Jn.13:35]. An easy way to determine who is really His disciple and who is not. You wrote,
>>You failed to comment on the fact that Jesus taught his disciples to pray for forgiveness of their sins, is this because it does not fit in with your idea that all mankind's sins are forgiven at the conversion and so no longer need forgiveness?<<
There is one bath but many washings [Jn.13:10]. All sin is forgiven when I believed [Eph.1:7 4:32 Col.1:14 3:13]. But in order to develop the fellowship I have with my heavenly Father I confess my sins to Him when I fail [1 Jn.1:9]. Every regenerated person has two natures; one received by natural birth – wholly and hopelessly bad; and a new nature received through the new birth, which is the nature of God Himself. The believer still has the old nature and struggles with it, and feeds the new nature. The new nature grows in prayer, Bible reading, Christian fellowship, worship, baptism, obedience, and confession of sin. You wrote,
>>Your knowledge of the Bible is very shallow, you fail to see the true spirit of the word, you have not studied the Bible to find the truth, you have studied a religion of man's making and then tried to make the Bible fit that religion, this is exactly what you condemn in others! Regards Erica<<
Which "religion" have I studied? Apparently your shallow knowledge of religion is the reason you write and condemn others for not following ‘commandments’. All human attempts to be reconciled to God are religion. The gospel is the exact opposite. God Himself acts and moves towards men. The Biblical way is not a religion. Christadelphianism on the other hand clearly has a religious system of ‘conditions’ rules, commands, and human ‘effort’ to reconcile with God. Like a Eight-fold Path to earn something.
Religious people are trying to work for salvation by good works. True some have made their Christianity into a religion. But true Christianity is different from religion. Religion attempts to reach up to God, Christianity is God reaching down to man. Religion is man’s ultimate search for God; Christianity is God’s search for man. True Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship, a focus on One Person. In all sects, cults and heresies their leaders point a way to God, but in true Christianity Jesus points to Himself as God. Christ has brought God down to earth religion tries to bring man up to God. I pray you come to know the Saviour.