Want Some Answers ???Christadelphian's
Dear Mr Smith
I appreciate your comments but there are issues I couldn't agree with. In answering this email, unfortunately I am "pulling the cart before the horse". You will be unable to understand scriptural truths, hostile and unwilling to believe since you don't have the Holy Spirit. While I can't convince you, I know Someone who can - 'God the Holy Spirit'. But keep in mind, salvation is by far the most important subject to discuss. Get that doctrine wrong and you're lost for eternity. Give this serious thought, don't trust John Thomas but Jesus Christ. You wrote,
>>WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE DEVIL? Hebrews 2:14-15 These verses tell us that Jesusí death destroyed the devil. As the Crucifixion took place around AD34, then the devil was destroyed at that time and no longer existed. The devil was clearly still no longer in existence when the book of Hebrews was written. If the devil is still in existence, then presumably those who were through fear of death all their lifetime subject to bondage are still subject to bondage?<<
Note the word 'destroy' used in Hebrews. "Destruction here means the loss of well-being rather than loss of being. It means to nullify or to bring to nothing. Satan is still actively opposing the purposes of God in the world, but he received a death wound at the cross. His time is short and his doom is sure. He is a defeated foe." (Believer's Bible Commentary MacDonald & Farstad. (Heb 2:14). So Hebrews is saying since the devil's power with death was broken (see also 1 Jn.3.8). He can't keep anyone under the power of spiritual death. Or require the soul of any but those who continue to be his willing slaves in enmity against God. Satan was overcome by Christ's death and God's REAL children share the triumph (Lk.10.18 Ac.26.18 1 Jn.3.8).
The problem with Christadelphianism is it has no Greek NT scholar that supports it's doctrines. The Greek word for 'destroy' never means annihilation (or cease to exist). See any Greek N.T. You have been fooled into thinking the bible says something it doesn't.
>>If the devil is still in existence, then he was presumably re-created some time after the book of Hebrews was written? If so, by whom? And why did God permit the devil to be re-created? Is he (the devil) now located in Pergamos (Revelation 2:13)? Where was he before he went to Pergamos? Why did he have to relocate to Pergamos? If he is no longer in Pergamos where is he now? Is it now safe to visit Pergamos? As you have the Holy Spirit you will presumably know?<<
He wasn't "recreated" because he wasn't annihilated. Spirits don't become nonexistent (2 Cor.4:18). The bible says Satan still exists at the end of time (Rev.20.10). Where is he now? 'Going to and fro in the earth' (Jb.2.2). His goal is to remain concealed and fool you into thinking he doesn't exist. He controls the world ďthe ruler of this worldĒ (Jn.12:31 2 Cor. 4:4 Eph. 2:2). The Bible says, ďThe whole world lies under the sway of the wicked oneĒ (1 Jn.5:19). And he goes about "like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" (1 Pe.5:8) He's the "prince of the power of the air" who works in the hearts of the children of disobedience. Those who don't have the Holy Spirit are easily blinded, taken captive and easily influenced by him. Without glasses from the Holy Spirit you will never see these things in bible.
>>The Bible tells us that the devil tempted Judas Iscariot to betray Christ (Luke 22:3). The devil therefore set in motion the whole process that led to Christís crucifixion. This was a rather strange thing to do, given that the crucifixion resulted in the devilís destruction (Heb 2:14-15). I thought that the devil was fiendishly wise. Why would the devil do something that would result in his destruction? If you say that he did not know that the crucifixion would result in his destruction, then he cannot be as wise as you say he is.<<
I didn't "say he" was "wise". He's corrupt, not wise. If you quote me, supply a reference. The Bible does say he is 'cunning' (2 Cor.11.3 Eph.6.11) but he doesnít know the end from the beginning. As seen in Job's story, Job didn't 'curse God' so Satan was wrong (Jb.1.9-12 2.1-6).
>>He must have known what the crucifixion would accomplish, as he was extremely knowledgeable of the scriptures as his temptation of Christ demonstrates (Matt 4:6). He would presumably have been aware of Psalm 22 which foretells Christís crucifixion. He would presumably have been aware of Isaiah 53 which says that Christ was to be put to death as an offering for sin (verses 8, 10). The devil must have had a pretty good idea that Christís sacrifice for sin would have had adverse consequences for him. If he is fiendishly clever then he must have known. So why did he tempt Judas to betray Christ? Was the devil feeling suicidal?<<
Yes he knows the bible, but not all knowing. Didn't know what Job would do (Jb.1.9-11 2.4-5). He knows scripture but doesn't obey. He knows good, but doesn't do it. "The Bible tells us" he exists (1 Ch.21.1 Pas.109.6 Zech.3.1,2 1 Pe.5.8,9 Rev.12.7-12 Jb.1.6-12 2.1-7). Jesus regarded him as a real being (Mt.4.1-11 Lk.4.1-13) Paul did (2 Cor.6.15) Peter (1 Pe.5.8-9) and John (Rev.12.10) thousands of bible scholars, millions of Christians, why don't you?
John Thomas was born at a time in history when it was said science explained life better than the bible. The days of Charles Darwin. Science was supposed to have all the answers. Thomas was influenced by all this, that supernatural beings, spiritual things, the devil, trinity, God manifest in the flesh, etc, were regarded incompatible with reality and science.
>>it is a strange logic to state that ĎGodís consentí is given for Satan to Ďholdí people under his power. It is obviously unscriptural. The Bible would never say such a thing, would it? Job 1:12 2:6. Strange logic indeed. It seems to me that there are three possible explanations: 1. God is making a mistake 2. The author of Job is making a mistake 3. You are making a mistake. Or to be more accurate, the Holy Spirit which guides you is making a mistake. So what is it? 1, 2, or 3?<<
For someone who believes Satan doesn't exist, you select the wrong passage. We read Satan is spoken to, he talks, walks, thinks, acts and his power is undeniable and clearly seen. It doesn't matter how many "mistakes" you accuse, if Satan doesn't exist, then you blame God for what happened to Job. To you God - makes the mistake. It's nonsense for Christadelphians to say, 'Job's sufferings were inflicted by God at the encouragement of a man'. It was Satan who took away Jobís wealth and children (1:13Ė19).
>>Incidentally, wasnít it nice of Satan to agree to Godís request to save Jobís life?<<
No its more significant God allowed Satan to temp Job, rather that Satan 'agreed'. Satan merely 'went forth' (1.12 2.7). Since Job remained faithful, it proved Satan didn't know all things and his boast was wrong. The whole story warns to be careful by thinking good works saves us when only God can. Notice Satan is sarcastic, cynical, negative, critical, suspicious, reflecting his own egotistical, selfish nature in all that he says and does.
>>So we have God suggesting to Satan that he torment Job but not kill him, with Satan agreeing to this, Satan tempting Judas Iscariot to betray Christ so leading to Christís crucifixion which resulted in Satanís destruction, which Satan being extremely clever knew would happen. Then about 30 years after Christís crucifixion we have Satan setting up headquarters in Pergamos. Well, thatís really clear.<<
As I said, Satan is clever but not all knowing. The wicked are always in confusion, their own wickedness blinds their eyes to the truth. I don't dispute biblical events but note you are prone to mocking and twisting bible verses when not agreeable. Or are you just making fun of the bible record? Like skeptics and atheists.
>>In the section dealing with the devil in the chapter of your dissertation on Christadelphian doctrine, you state the following: They believe that this is exactly what Jesus did, when he "partook of flesh and blood" to "destroy him that hath the power of death, that is, the devil". (1 in.3:8) You have quoted from Hebrews 2:14, but give the reference as I John 3:8. How could you make such a mistake when the Holy Spirit guides you in the study of scripture? Did you make the mistake, or was it the Holy Spirit?<<
I can correct 'mistakes'. The Bible indicates making mistakes is not a moral issue, like breaking God's Law. Scripture recognizes a difference between moral error and intellectual error (one is sin the other human frailty). The Holy Spirit doesn't stop human frailty. But having the Holy Spirit does make a person a Christian (Rom.8.9) the proof one is saved.
The Holy Spirit is the Teacher and Counselor who reveals the 'truth' of God's Word (Jn.14:16-17, 26). "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2:14).
Until you are born of the Spirit you won't grasp the 'things of God' (1 Cor.2:10) and your understanding of scripture suffers. Don't live in disobedience to what God commands. You must be born again (Jn.1:13 3:8) only the enemy (who you donít believe exists) urges you to disobey. The biggest mistake ever, is ignore the command to be born again.
>>IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL What happened to Lazarusí immortal soul? See John 11 1. Lazarus dies. 2. His immortal soul goes to Heaven 3. Lazarusí immortal soul enjoys the Kingdom of Heaven 4. Four days later Jesus decides to bring Lazarusí decomposing human body back to life. 5. After spending four days in Heaven, Lazarusí immortal soul has to return to earth to rejoin its human body It must have been very frustrating for Lazarusí immortal soul. There he was enjoying the Kingdom of Heaven, thinking it was going to be there for eternity, only to find that four days later he had to rejoin his human body and presumably wait several (possibly many) years until Lazarus died again in order to be able go back to heaven again. Lazarusís immortal soul must have been wondering why Jesus did that. Was Jesus doing Lazarusís immortal soul a favour by bringing Lazarusí human body back to life? Did God inform Lazarusís immortal soul that he was only going to spend four days in heaven?<<
Yes perhaps Jesus did cry for Lazarus, having to go through death again. But was Lazarus resurrected, or 're-created'? There is a difference. If at death he ceased to exist, he had to be re-created, because nothing would survive death. But the Bible says he was resurrected (Jn.12.1). While you mock the idea of a soul surviving death, Jesus indicated it does survive (Mt.10.28 22.32). Jesus describes another Lazarus who died and his soul survived. Even wicked survive death in a conscious existence (Lk.16.20-31).
>>THE TRINITY And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Mark 10:17-18. God the Son obviously does not understand the nature of the Godhead. He seems to think that only God the Father is good. God the Son has clearly made a mistake. Even though God the Son was given the Holy Spirit without measure, it would appear that God the Holy Spirit has obviously not informed him that he (God the Son) is also good. Why has God the Holy Spirit not informed him? I presume that God the Son must be good in the way that God the Father is. Am I wrong?<<
In addressing Jesus as Good Master, he meant no more than a respectful greeting to a religious teacher. The same attitude you have. Jesus was not just another good teacher. So He seized on the words ďGood Master". "Why callest thou me good", only God is good. Jesus did not refuse the title of God, but used it to test the manís faith. Was the man willing to confess Jesus as God? Apparently not, but there are other occasions where Jesus is called God (Jn 1:1; Phil 2:6; Tit 2:13; Heb 1:8). Jesus doesn't deny He is God (Jn 8:58; 10:30; 11:25) or good (Mk.10.20) only men do that.
>>Hebrews 5:8-9 Let us re-write this verse in accordance with the Trinity. Who in the days of God the Sonís flesh, when God the Son had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto God the Father that was able to save him (God the Son) from death, and was heard in that he (God the Son) feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he (God the Son) obedience by the things which he (God the Son) suffered; God prayed to God who was able to save God from death. God heard God because God feared God. God learned obedience by suffering.<<
What you are doing is misreading scripture and confusing yourself. Some verses refer to His humanity while others primarily to His deity. Some to His Son-ship while others to the fact He is the Father from all eternity. Confused? Of course you are. Not your fault but Christadelphianism, I have done their bible study lessons and read their books too. They mess your mind up.
When it refers to "the days of his flesh" its His incarnation. He took on Himself the nature of man, with the trials and distress of human nature. He set aside majesty and the glories of heaven and was obedient to the predetermined plan from eternity. So you need to realize His manhood is in view. Because He was both God and man, you should "honour the Son as the Father" (Jn.5.23). Don't confuse or twist verses that refer to manhood or deity.
>>Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; Isaiah 53:10 Let us re-write this verse in accordance with the Trinity Yet it pleased the God the Father to bruise him God the Son. So God bruised God, and this pleased God.<<
Once again you are confusing yourself between Christ's humanity and deity. Much about the trinity doctrine you are unable to understand without God's Spirit, or do you really want to understand? Even though the Bible clearly says "God was manifest in the flesh" (1 Tim.3.16). And He was 'made flesh' (Jn.1.14) Confusing to you?
I find the trinity doctrine more satisfying and scriptural than what Christadelphianism teaches. It has the Father (with a human body) sitting up in heaven sending an innocent man to die for the guilty and the father takes pleasure in watching him die. What a HORRIBLE belief.
>>1 Corinthians 15:24-28. Let us re-write this verse in accordance with the Trinity. Then cometh the end, when God the Son shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when God the Son shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For God the Son must reign, till God the Son hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For God the Father hath put all things under God the Sonís feet. But when God the Father saith all things are put under God the Son, it is manifest that God the Father is excepted, which did put all things under God the Son. And when all things shall be subdued unto God the Son, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto God the Father that put all things under God the Son, that God the Father may be all in all. So basically, God is at the end going to make himself subject to God.<<
The problem I have with cults is they 're-write' verses for their doctrine. So the Bible is not the authority. Words don't have their plain simple meaning. Don't assume your re-writing is accurate, it's only opinion. As Peter says, "they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction." (2 Pe.3.16).
When 1 Cor.15.28 says "The Son will be subject", the issue is one of function, not who is greater. Just as the incarnate Son was subject or subordinate to the Father to effect eternal redemption at His first advent (cf Jn.5.19 8.42 14.28). So this refers to the time when the Son, as man, ceases to exercise any distinct dominion and God will be all in all.
At the first advent "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (1 Cor.5.19 Col.1.20 Rom.5.10) "by the death of His Son". Christ was appointed by God for this task. The Son is creator-God (Jn.1.1,2 Heb.1.1-3) equal with the father (Jn.10.30 14.9) and "in the father and the father in Him" (Jn.14.11). Since He is the eternal Word, the expression of all God is in His Divine Being upholder and heir of all things (Heb.1.1-3) when He sits on the Throne, He is God.
>>Isnít it obvious how logical the Trinity is? How can anybody doubt that it is scriptural?<<
No I don't expect a person without God's Spirit to understand who God is. And human 'logic' is a weak alternative compared to scripture. It's amazing how men with their natural reasoning think they can grasp and explain the infinite, all powerful, all knowing God. But I know what you are saying and have read it all before. The fact is, 'in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily' Col.2.9). In the Godhead there are distinguishable persons. The father is always the father, the Son is always the Son. But what will eventually happen with you, is you will have a bible that doesn't make any sense and a faith that is not worth believing.
>>PAUL OR LUKE OR THE HOLY SPIRIT GETS IT WRONG And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Spirit. Acts 19:1-2 Disciples in Ephesus who managed to believe the gospel without receiving the Holy Spirit? Impossible. Disciples who did not even know the Holy Spirit existed? Impossible. How could they not know about the Holy Spirit Ė after all it is part of the Tri-une Godhead? They were worshipping God and reading the scriptures, and they obviously did not know that God was a Trinity. Paul regarded these people in Ephesus as disciples. Did Paul get it wrong? Or did Luke made a mistake when he wrote Acts 19:1-2? Or, as he was inspired by the Holy Spirit when he wrote Acts of the Apostles, then did God the Holy Spirit make a mistake? Somebody has clearly made a mistake.<<
They didn't have the New Testament or know Paul's teaching, they only had John's baptism and limited knowledge. Those who believe, worship, (or even read the Bible) without God's Spirit are just religious people. God seeks worshippers who worship 'in spirit and in truth' (Jn.4.23).
Note the question - 'Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed? (Ac.19.2-3). If not why not? They did go on to receive the Holy Spirit (Ac.19.6). This is contrary to Christadelphianism. Note what John wrote, 'They that believe on him should receive for the Holy Spirit was not yet given' (Jn.7.39). In other words, the Holy Spirit was part of the new birth and receiving sins forgiven. So Peter says, 'Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is unto youÖ.even as many as the Lord our God shall call' (Ac.2.38-39).
So "Paul, Luke, the Holy Spirit" did not "get it wrong", John Thomas "got it wrong". He read his own ideas into the Bible, don't make the same "mistake" and follow him. The NT indicates receiving the Holy Spirit is vitally important to becoming a Christian, yet Christadelphian's refuse. Clearly a blunder!
>>PETER MAKES A MISTAKE But when Peter was come to Antioch, I (Paul) withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. Galatians 2:11 Paul says Peter was in error. But Peter was an inspired apostle who had the Holy Spirit. How could Peter make a mistake if he had the Holy Spirit? But Paul makes it clear that Peter was in error over a certain issue. So if Peter could be in error even though he had the Holy Spirit, then others could also be in error. What do you think?<<
Just because Peter had the Holy Spirit didn't mean he would never make mistakes. For Christadelphian's to rubbish the Apostle Peter is really arrogant. Sure he had the Holy Spirit but made mistakes (Gal.2.14), so what. The Holy Spirit 'guides into all truth' not a faultless humanity.
Without the Holy Spirit you are dead to God, blind to the plain simple meaning of scripture, powerless the obey God, walk in darkness, and will never enter the kingdom of God. That's the difference in following the teachings of John Thomas or the Bible. You decide, don't make the biggest mistake of all - trusting Christadelphianism to save you. 'Jesus said, I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me' (Jn.14). Don't re-write or twist scripture, think about the plain simple meaning.
>>AND FINALLY In your thesis you refer to Elpis Israel as being a three volume exposition of the book of Revelation. It is no such thing. You have confused Elpis Israel with Eureka. As noted above, you also confused Hebrews 2:14 with 1 John 3:8. Do you think you have got anything else wrong?<<
Thanks for mistakes I can correct. Tell me all my mistakes. Continue your research. Do a proper scripture study instead of blindly accepting Thomas and Roberts, or you make the worse possible mistake.
Now your second email. I mentioned the difficulty I have with your criticism of my thesis relate to a spiritual problem.
>>I beg to differ. The difficulty you appear to have with my exposition is your apparent unwillingness to deal with the specific points that I raise. You have so far failed to refute these specific points. This contrasts with the Lord Jesus Christ who was always to refute specific points put to him by the Pharisees etc. Why is this? Why is your approach so different from that of Jesus? Until you give me a specific answer, I can only speculate. It may be that you desire to do so, as the Holy Spirit in you can presumably deal with any specific point that someone might raise. I notice in your correspondence with other Christadelphians that you deal with specific points that they raise. So why the difference?<<
Obviously I have addressed your 'specific points'. But the difficulty still remains. As I said, the devil's existence, the human soul/spirit, the trinity, and the Holy Spirit (as a Person) are all matters that require spiritual vision. Mortal man cannot fully understand spiritual things. When we are born into this world we are born spiritually blind. God's Word reveals our fallen state and need for repentance, a Saviour and rebirth.
Those who have never had their eyes opened to spiritual realities will always 'speculate' in darkness. That is the problem 'Christadelphians' (& JW's) have when reading the Bible. Without the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit they are at a disadvantage.
>>It may be that the devil is preventing you from doing so. He is fiendishly clever, even though he was destroyed by Christ's crucifixion, for he came back into existence and set up his headquarters in Pergamos. It may even be that you are in league with the devil. We have seen from Job that God was in league with Satan, as proved below: Job 1:12 Job 2:6 We can also see from the scriptures that Paul was in league with Satan. Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:20. If God can be in league with Satan, and Paul can be in league with Satan, then so can you..<<
I think Christadelphians say and believe some crazy unbiblical things, your comment proves that. I'm not surprised you jump to criticize. Christadelphians have nothing but criticism for mainstream Christianity. Their founders John Thomas and Robert Roberts (who were never Christians) reject every major doctrine of the Christian faith and hated Christianity.
I mentioned the only way to become a child of God is to be born into God's family. If we refuse, then we live in a state of disobedience to what God commands.
>>Obeying commands sounds suspiciously like works and a denial of the doctrine of salvation by grace. Paul was also guilty of the same thing. He wrote to the Thessalonians: And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we COMMAND you. 2 Thessalonians 3:4<<
The 'command' comes from "Jesus" not me. "Jesus said, You must be born again". "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit" (Jn.3:6-7). The Holy Spirit gives new life. "You must" means you only have two options, obey or disobey. But you are not ready and still hostile. The Holy Spirit needs to convict of your need. Christadelphianism can't save you can't save yourself. You are not to blame, Thomas when he listed his beliefs regarding 'the gospel of THE HOPE' substituted an alternative to repentance of the heart. He taught after baptism, a person receives both repentance and remission of sins. He was wrong; unrepentant and unregenerate people should not even be baptized.
To say Paul denied 'the doctrine of salvation by grace' is not true. He taught that God's people are "justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (they are) justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Ro.3.24,28).
It's Christadelphianism that teaches salvation according to works. That one can lose salvation - that without their version of baptism one can't be saved - that believing there is a devil, immortal soul, trinity etc means one can't be saved - that one must work hard, pray, study, believe the right doctrines etc all life. And only then one can hope to be saved.
You hope to be saved, and receive eternal life. I enjoy these things now and have the certainly of them from the bible.
>>Look at the number of times that Paul uses the words commandment or command in his epistles. His emphasis upon commandments, which you share (as proved by the quotation from your letter above), makes clear that you and he deny the notion of grace. This may be because Paul is in league with Satan as proved by 1 Timothy 1:20, and therefore you might be also. Question: Is Demas saved? Regards<<
As I said, it was Jesus who said you must be born again to enter the kingdom. Don't worry about Demas, are you saved?
If you are NOT 'born again' you can study, read, work, go to church, keep the law, hope and think you are ok, even pray you are, but itís all for nothing. ALL are spiritually dead in trespasses and sin and need to be made alive to Christ [Eph.2:1]. All need an awakening to their lost hopeless condition, not the doctrines of a sect. The Good News is that Christ's sacrifice on the cross covers all sin - past, present and future. This is what the Gospel is all about.
Salvation is described in Christadelphian literature and on the Christadelphian webpage as a life long process; the new birth is not mentioned. Salvation is ďonly if we walk the path of self-denialĒ (the webpage). There are heaps of hidden conditions required, designed to keep you locked in Christadelphianism.
You need to follow Jesus Christ, not a religion. I follow a Person who has given eternal life already in His Son (1 Jn.5:13). Jesus said ďI am the Way the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by MeĒ (Jn.14:6). He is the Way (the way is not a religious system). He is the Truth. The truth is not a nice collection of nice doctrines. Having Ďcorrect doctrineí (according to manís thinking) doesnít mean you have 'the Truth'. Salvation is in a Person. When you come to Christ and accept Him as your Saviour, you have 'the truth'. And Heís the Life - eternal life (Eph.1:7 Jn.11:26). Christianity is all about a Person not a religion.