Want Some Answers ???Christadelphian's
>>I can see why you make no reference to the comments by Bertrand Russell ….I doubt very much whether you will put that part of my letter on your website…..negative connotations…… smear a person……. Baptists must have been a cult too…… Keep on using the term if it makes you feel better….. Athanasian Creed a product of inspiration…. be said of the Nicene Creed ……that they would have killed him if they could……<<
Good to hear from you. However there are many verses and comment in my emails you overlook, and TWICE now. Two can play that game!! If you want me to quote you and comment, you need look at what we both say (be RELEVANT... concise.... don't WASTE words). Web-space is limited.
I stand by my use of the word 'cult'. As I said, they "deny all the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. And their, ' belief system blinds their eyes to what the bible says and denies them the joy of coming to know Jesus Christ as Saviour – ie they don't enter the kingdom of God. A VERY serious matter!!". It doesn't make me "feel better" knowing Christadelphian's are a cult. A "serious matter" you need to face.
>>Your notion that the Holy Spirit is "God the Holy Spirit" (a term which unsurprisingly does not appear in the Bible, like the word Trinity): Luke 11:20 Matthew 12:23<<
That's interesting. You were the one who used the phrase 'God the Holy Spirit' FOUR times. I wondered why. I could answer all your comments/verses and explain where Christadelphianism is wrong (as I did with both your first and second emails). And we could go on battling forever exchanging mail, but what good would it do? As said at the very beginning, we will NEVER agree. Why?
"You will be unable to understand scriptural truths, hostile and unwilling to believe since you don't have the Holy Spirit ….the difficulty I have with your brief exposition is that all your differences with my thesis relate to a spiritual problem... you suffer a disadvantage not having the Holy Spirit to understand the bible. I shall struggle to convince you about anything, and doubt you will listen. "...ye shall receive THE GIFT of THE HOLY SPIRIT. For THE PROMISE is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, EVEN AS MANY AS THE LORD OUR GOD SHALL CALL" (Ac.2.38-9)
The personality of the Holy Spirit, Christ, the Father, human soul, Satan's existence are all known by spiritual revelation from scripture. Those WITHOUT their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit will walk in the dark regarding spiritual realities.
I realize this is hard to understand, but the Bible says, "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). The Holy Spirit is the teacher who reveals the 'truth' and instructs (Jn.14:16-17, 26). Until you obey Jesus and are reborn of the Spirit (Jn.1:13 3:8) you won't grasp the 'deep things of God' (1 Cor.2:10) and your understanding of God's Word suffers. Yes God's people have difficulties understanding God's Word at times, but what chance do you have?
The only way to be God's child is to be born into God's family. "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God" [Jn.1:12-13].
If you refuse, then you live in a state of disobedience to what God commands. You must be born again. Jesus said, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again." [Jn.3:6-7]
We all need this spiritual birth (not a religion of rules with 'I hope' salvation). If you do not have "the Spirit of Christ" you are not a child of God but unregenerate and lost in sin. "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].
All who receive Christ as their Saviour have the Truth. The "truth" is a Person not a system of Christadelphian doctrines. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me". When you come to Christ and accept Him as your Saviour, you have received 'the Truth'. You obviously deny Jesus is the truth. So what is the truth? You will answer with more Christadelphian doctrines.
The Bible says, "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". I have received the Holy Spirit, "another Comforter, (He guides into all truth) "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him". But I know Him; for He dwells with me and is within [Jn. 1:17, 14:6,16-17]. Have YOU received the Holy Spirit in a spiritual rebirth? No!! But you love Christadelphian doctrines and follow them instead.
I am really interested in what you say. But suspect you are unable to focus on this matter without trying to convince me (once again) how nice sounding Christadelphian doctrine is. I won't hold my breath.
Kind regards. Mark
Greetings Mr Smith, (a much better reply),” Hos.1:7, “But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord, their God....”. (This is God speaking of Christ). The Lord has a Son. Note, Ps.2:7, “I will declare the decree The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.” Gen.1:1,2, says God created and the Spirit moved upon the waters. Gen.6:3 “And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man....”
>>Dear Mark, You write that Christadelphians are a nasty little cult. You seem to be getting upset. Next you will be saying that we are the sect that is "everywhere spoken against." (Acts 28:22)<<
There is a big difference between Christadelphianism and Christianity. You shouldn't try to imagine Christadelphianism fits into Ac.28.22. The 'sect' in Act 28.22 had the Holy Spirit, spoke in tongues and gifts of miracles. Christadelphian's have none of this.
>>You say I am making personal attacks on you. I am attacking your unverifiable claim that you have the Holy Spirit which gives you the capacity to understand scripture.<<
I wrote, "cults always attack people personally". Just go BACK and READ your comments to me. Notice how you make it personal -- "your apparent unwillingness to deal with…. You have so far failed…. Why is your approach so different… Until you give me a specific… I notice in your… the devil is preventing you… you are in league with the devil… with Satan, then so can you… clear that you and he deny…. It suits your agenda… I note that you have… you use the term… why you like to … with all your interpretations … I mock your claim… Your claim rests on…. If you have… claiming that you … that you quote… What proof can you… that you have... belief that you… that you know… you are saved… You refer to …. that you do… with your interpretation… then you would…. disagreed with your … same about you... You seem to be … because you have… even if you had… that you cannot… contrast you claim… that you cannot…. which you can't… Your claim is based on your own subjective feelings…. of your claim that you are… erroneous claim… If you do not… then you are…." 'Whether this is a personal I leave you to judge'."
God's Word clearly states those without God's Spirit don't have the same 'capacity to understand scripture'. Not my claim but scriptural teaching. I quoted many Scriptures, they are not 'subjective feelings' but God's promises. The Gospel cannot be separated from God's promises. But in the end, regardless, you must rewrite every verse at variance with Christadelphianism.
>>With regard to personal attacks, this is what you said to me: Notice Satan is sarcastic, cynical, negative, critical, suspicious, reflecting his own egotistical, selfish nature in all that he says and does. Not like you? I do not mind if you wish to address me in this way. Whether this is a personal attack on me I will leave you to judge. Please feel free to continue in this vein if it gives you satisfaction. Doubtless the Holy Spirit will give you guidance in this matter. If you wish to call me a "pestilent fellow" (Acts 24:5), I shall have no complaint.<<
My comment about you 'not' being like Satan 'was tongue in cheek and aimed at provoking a response (which it did)'. Cults can't avoid been pestilent fellows to Christians (proven by their words). But since you take it personally I shall delete my offending comment :)
>>I can see why you make no reference to the comments by Bertrand Russell and Professor G. C. Field. I doubt very much whether you will put that part of my letter on your website<<
Re., Russell and Field. As said, space is limited, there's NO room. I rarely edit, but side-track and I have no choice. I reply to most comment, more than I can say for you.
>>If you look at the 1660 statement of faith of the English Baptists which appears in the earlier editions of Crosby's History of Baptism, you will see a considerable degree of convergence between their beliefs and those of the Christadelphians. I guess the 17th century Baptists must have been a cult too. Keep on using the term if it makes you feel better.<<
Yes they were small, rejecting church state government, infant baptism, and so were regarded as radical. If they taught the same gospel as Thomas, certainly they would be a cult. England in the 1600s was Calvinistic, Anglican, Presbyterian, Quaker, Baptist and Puritan, not Christadelphian. The 'Basic Beliefs' of the Baptists regarded - "men and women who had experienced personal spiritual regeneration were the only fit subjects for baptism". (Shelley, B. L. (1995). Church history in plain language (Updated 2nd ed.) (p.249). Dallas, Tex.: Word Pub.). As far as I know, they did NOT reject main stream Christian doctrines as Christadelphian's and JW's.
>>Your notion that the Holy Spirit is "God the Holy Spirit" (a term which unsurprisingly does not appear in the Bible, like the word Trinity):<<
The word Christadelphianism doesn't appear in the Bible either. But 'God the Holy Spirit' is another way of saying 'the Spirit of God' and 'God's Spirit'. Trinity is not there either, but the doctrine is. Each of the persons of the Trinity serves the others as all defer to one another: The Son says what He hears from the Father (Jn 12:49–50); the Father witnesses to and glorifies the Son (Jn 8:16–18, 50, 54); the Father and Son honour the Holy Spirit by commissioning Him to speak in their name (Jn 14:16, 26); the Holy Spirit honours the Father and Son by helping the community of believers. Like Father and Son, the Holy Spirit is at the disposal of the other persons of the Trinity, and all three are one in graciously being at the disposal of the redeemed family of believers. You won't agree with this and we know why.
>>But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. Luke 11:20 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Matthew 12:23. The Spirit of God (or Holy Spirit) was Jesus's instrument to do miracles. Elsewhere the performing of miracles was described as being done by his word. When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: Matthew 8:16. Psalm 33 describes the creation events of Genesis 1 as being performed by the word of the LORD. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Psalm 33:6. Job uses the word spirit to refer to God's act of creation. By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens. Job 26:13 The word spirit is also used in reference to creation in Genesis. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters Genesis 1:2 The performing of miracles is described in Exodus as being by the finger of God. Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God: and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said. Exodus 8:19. The Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, speak. Ezekiel 11:5 The word of the LORD came upon me Ezekiel 12:17 So we have: Finger of God = Spirit of God (or Holy Spirit) = word of the Lord. If this is wrong, then Jesus obviously used different agencies to cast out devils. Sometimes he used the Holy Spirit, and sometimes he used the finger of God, and sometimes he used his word. God used his spirit to create the heavens and earth, and he also at the same time used his word. So he used two different agencies to carry out the act of creation. It seems curious that "God the Holy Spirit" is described as being the "finger of God." How can one part of the Deity be the finger of another part of the Deity? Judging from your previous comments, you may well regard this as mocking the Holy Spirit.<<
As I said, without the Holy Spirit you cannot understand the bible or spiritual realities. Nothing you have mentioned here has changed a thing concerning those verses, or denied the personality of the Holy Spirit. You used many verses, words and built a poor argument saying nothing, and I can't respond to what's not there.
The personality of the Holy Spirit is proved from the fact that the attributes of personality, as intelligence and volition, are ascribed to him (Jn 14:17, 6. 15:26 1 Cor.2:10, 11; 12:11). He reproves, helps, glorifies, intercedes (Jn.16:7-13 Rom.8:26). He executes the offices peculiar only to a person. The very nature of these offices involves personal distinction (Lk.12:12 Acts 5:32 15:28 16:6 28:25 1 Cor.2:13 Heb.2:4 3:7 2 Pe.1:21). His divinity is established from the fact that the names of God are ascribed to him (Ex.17:7 Ps.95:7 comp. Heb.3:7-11) and that divine attributes are also ascribed to him, omnipresence (Psa.139:7 Eph.2:17-18 1 Cor.12:13) omniscience (1 Cor.2:10-11) omnipotence (Lk.1:35 Rom.8:11) eternity (Heb.9:4). Creation is ascribed to Him (Gen.1:2 Jb.26:13 Psa.104:30) and the working of miracles (Mt.12:28 1 Cor.12:9-11). Worship is required and ascribed to him (Isa.6:3 Acts 28:25 Rom.9:1 Rev.1:4 Mt.28:19).
>>However, you are the one who mocks God, by blasphemously putting forward the notion that the Godhead is Tri-une, a notion which even many Trinitarians admit cannot be directly supported by scripture.<<
Even in the OT the trinity is suggested. Many times God is a plural noun Gen.1:1,26 3:22 11:6,7 20:13 48:15 Isa.6:8. Also, Gen.11:7 is concerned with the tower of Babel and the Lord is going to go down to see. The verb “come” is plural and this requires a plural speaker. The speaker is speaking to two or more. “Come let us go down....”. Also, Lord is distinguished from Lord. Gen.19:24. “Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven
While the trinity is suggested in the OT it's taught in the NT. In the baptismal scene we see the Trinity clearly Mt.3:16,17. Christ is being baptized, The Father is speaking, and the Holy Spirit is descending. John depicts the trinity quite clearly Jn.14:16,17. In this text we see Christ asking the Father to send the Spirit. Mt.28:19 mentions all three in the baptismal formula for the church age. Peter clearly mentioned the trinity, 1 Pe.1:2. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you.” Paul also mentions the trinity in one of his prayers, 2 Cor.13:14. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
We can see the Trinity in the creation, if we draw a number of passages together. When we view creation, who done it?
1. The Spirit: Gen.1:2
2. The Word: Jn.1:1-14; Heb.11:3
3. God Through Christ: Eph.3:9
4. The Son: Col.1:15-19
5. God By Christ: Heb.1:2 (Christ upholds all things. Heb.1:3)
6. The Father And The Son: Prov.30:4
7. The Father For His Pleasure: Rev.4:11
To reject the implications means we will 'mock God, by blasphemously putting forward the notion that the Godhead' is confusing. A notion which 'cannot be directly supported by scripture'.
>>Is the terminology of the fourth century Athanasian Creed a product of inspiration? Does the terminology of the Athanasian Creed appear in the New Testament? The answer is an emphatic no. The same can also be said of the Nicene Creed. Are these creeds the product of the Holy Spirit? Is the Apostle's Creed a product of the Holy Spirit? If so, why does it not refer to the notion of a Triune God, and why did the Holy Spirit wait until the later creeds were written before introducing this notion?<<
The creeds are not inspired as scripture. They are put together by humans and suffer according. But they are a good way of stating 'the terminology' of the NT. When heretical doctrines crept into the church the Holy Spirit and creeds have withstood them.
br> Constantine motivated Christians to the study scripture and state what it says to stop radicals teaching division in his Empire. The creeds are reactions to teachers of heretical doctrine. And the product of scholarly research by the best brains of the church in that day. Bible experts and theologians were paid and fed and given the best materials, (manuscripts, texts) available and spent hours in study. I believe the Holy Spirit guided their understanding. The end result was creeds that can't be improved on. Yet they resulted because of the disbelief of a few. For example as early as 200AD "Sabellius formulated a false doctrine of the Trinity, called “Sabellianism”, teaching that the trinity was a manifestation of forms rather than of essence; there were not three persons in the Godhead, but three manifestations, denying separate personalities" (A Chronology of Biblical Christianity. Dr. R.C. Wetzel. AGES Digital Library 1995). The church rejected Sabellianism. For someone who boasts of 'several degrees', have you have not read widely on these matters, just Christadelphian literature.
>>The Apostle Paul received bitter opposition from the Jewish religious leadership after his conversion to Christ, as we read in the Acts of the Apostles. We read that they would have killed him if they could. If he had been preaching that the God of the Bible was a Trinity, then they would have been absolutely outraged. You can be certain that they would have levelled such a charge against Paul. They did not do so.<<
Paul clearly referred to the deity of Christ. In a number of places he wrote that Jesus was none other than God Himself. He called Christ the creator of "all things" (Col.1.16). Also, "For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body" (Col 2:9). How clear is that? In Eph 1:2 the deity of the Christ is made clear by associating Him parallel with the Father. In Tit 2:12-13 Paul says, "great God and Savior Jesus Christ". This is one of the strongest statements of the deity of Christ in the NT. If I said that you would call me a heretic, when Paul says it you will explain it away.
The deity of Christ has always been the foundational teaching of the Christian church, from the apostles onwards. All the literature you read from the Christadelphian's will be bias, they will tell you only what they want you to know.
But I am not surprised you have difficulty understanding the trinity doctrine. Even the man with the Holy Spirit must search the deep things of God. In fact, God is a Spirit, which makes it even worse for the natural man to understand God.
>>If Jesus is God, then presumably you must believe that Mary is the Mother of God, and support Mariolatry. To be a Trinitarian and not support Mariolatry is illogical. Furthermore if you believe in mainstream Christianity, then you presumably accept the idea that salvation is only possible within the Catholic Church. They are the largest of the mainstream Christian churches, and they believe that salvation outside the Holy Mother Church is impossible.<<
Just read my website for what I believe. You know what I believe about salvation. Don't worry about Catholics, etc., Christadelphianism only offers a weak 'hope', worry about that.
>>You contend that Christadelphianism teaches "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." This is utter nonsense. Isaiah 53:10 says "It pleased the LORD to bruise him." This does not mean that God took pleasure in the suffering of His Son. On the contrary it angered Him, and the Jews suffered terribly in AD70 as a consequence. The verse means that it was part of God's purpose that His Son die on the cross. It pleased God that His Son willingly lay down his life and subordinated his will to that of his Father.<<
In the Trinitarian doctrine, Isaiah speaks of God on earth in His Son, on the cross suffering for sin. In Christadelphianism doctrine, the father, who had a "located existence….in heaven" (p.79 Christendom Astray. R,R) looks down to see an innocent man die for guilty people because he wanted him to die. That's horrible.
It cannot be said of any mere man, "he is the perfect manifestation of God the Father". No man could claim anyone who has seen him, "has seen the Father". No mere man can expect honour from everyone as 'they honour the Father' (and make sense). So why say these things? You replied,
>>because his Father has given him authority over mankind. If you work on a landed estate as a labourer, then from your standpoint, the authority of the lord and master of the estate is indistinguishable from that of the son and heir. The father gives authority to the son. But in the relationship between father and son, the authority lies with the father. Being the perfect manifestation of his Father does not make him "God of God, Very God of Very God." Where in scripture does one read that sort of gobbledygook?<<
But the scriptures go further than just saying "authority over mankind" and working as "son and heir". They say, "In him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily". This can't be said of just a 'son or heir'. The scriptures go even further -"who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power" (Heb.1.3).
The words "all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" and "very image" of God's "substance" remove the idea of merely 'master, heir or son'. Hence the words "God of God, Very God of Very God". This was written for Arius who believed Jesus was God, but only in a secondary sense.
Since God will not 'give' His glory to another (Isa.42.8) how can Christ be "the perfect manifestation" of God, unless He was God? These words don't mean similar or "like". So when Jesus said, he that had seen Him, had "seen the Father" and then expect the same honour as "the Father" this indicated deity. Or scripture is reduced to 'gobbledygook'.
>>Jesus is called God. Yes he was. Jacob wrestled with an angel (Hosea 12:4), but said he had seen God (Genesis 32:33). The angel was the manifestation of God. Is the angel part of the trinity? God's name was in the angel that led the children of Israel through the wilderness (Exodus 23:21). It is not just Jesus who has borne the name of God.<<
Yes in the bible He is clearly "called 'God'" and you refuse to "honour" Him for who He is, because of John Thomas. He is called "Mighty God" (Isa.9.6) and so is Jehovah (Isa.10.20-21). How many Jehovah's are mentioned in Gen.19.24? If 'all things are possible with God' (Mk.10.27), then it's possible He could come down to earth and manifest Himself to men in the form of a man (Gen.18.1-5,13 32.24-30 cf 35.1-3 9-13 Ex.24.9-11 Isa.6.91). Did men actually see and touch Him? (Gen.16.13 18.1-5 32.24-30 Ex.24.9-11 Isa.6.1-9). Moses saw His back (Ex.33.18-23) Abraham His feet (Gen.18.1-4). So in the light of that, who visited Abraham (Jn.8.56-59)? He was no mere created angel. So who was the one who visited Jacob (Gen.32.30 cf Ex.3.6)? Since the "God of Jacob" is the One with whom Jacob wrestled and later identified in Ex.3.6 as God, who could He be (Gen.35.2-13)? The logical answer is Christ in His pre-incarnate glory.
I accept that the word Elohim is used at times in a figurative manner to describe a godlike function (Pharaoh, judges, or Satan 2 Cor.4.4) but they are never said to be God by nature. We are never told to bow and worship them, pray to them, or place our faith, hope, trust, and love in them. Nor are divine characteristics attributed to them. Nor do they take the divine name (Jn.8.58-59).
>>No matter how you wrestle with the doctrine of the Trinity, it cannot give you anything but an all-powerful, all-knowing, immortal, untemptable God going through the pantomime of pretending to grow, pretending to learn, pretending to overcome weakness, pretending to struggle with temptation, pretending to pray for help, pretending to receive strength through angels from a part of himself, pretending to receive commands and instruction (from himself), pretending to obey and submit his will to a co-equal part of himself. To get around this, and to make Platonic philosophy fit Scripture, trinitarians talk of his "divinity" knowing something at the same time that his "humanity" did not know it; of his "divinity" being all-wise at the same time his "humanity" was learning; of his "divinity" being all-powerful at the same time his "humanity" was struggling against weakness.<<
Apparently you can be clever and dumb. You understand and can't understand. Some of your criticisms even contradict your argument. No sooner we read you can't understand and then, you know it all. Very strange indeed. Scripture establishes this doctrine and it originates from scripture, taught in the early church. It doesn't originate from me.
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Phil.2.7-8). What Paul is saying here is that Christ was not just 'like' or just a 'reflection' of God but that He was essentially God before He came into this world. All that the Father was the Son was, (Greek – morple essential nature of thing or person – morphe theou). So He laid aside His rights as God to take on flesh (humanity) and fulfil the redemption plan.
As for 'Platonic philosophy'. Do you know what you are talking about? Don't just read your CD books and blindly accept them, they rewrite ecclesiology. As I said, those attacking the trinity doctrine in early church history (ie., Sabellius, Arius, Macedonius) didn't argue it was Platonism or Greek philosophy, but they differed only in Scriptural interpretation. Tertullian (185-254) leader in the Christian church who lived in Carthage (Africa) miles from Greek (Platonic) influence, in his writings he attacks Gnostic heretics and Platonism as anti-Christian.
>>At one time in England it was a capital offence to oppose the doctrine of the Trinity. Isaac Newton was forced to conceal his anti-Trinitarian beliefs for that reason. Who was responsible for that? Christendom, or what you call mainstream Christianity. Trinitarian Christendom has the blood of innocent men and women on its hands. By being part of that system, you have that blood on your hands. One day, that system will be given blood to drink (Revelation 18). It is in your interest to abandon it.<<
Seventh Day Adventists are also brilliant at mud throwing and re-writing ecclesiology. Regarding the Sabbath they not only can have Sabbatarians fearful of judgment, but even in tears thinking they may have broken the Sabbath. Be careful when reading Christadelphian literature it can have the most appalling bias. This is how converts are locked into the doctrines of John Thomas, by threatening God's judgment if they believe anything else. They are guilty of the very thing they accuse of others. There is no freedom in Christadelphianism to believe anything else other than what Thomas/Roberts taught.
There are 'anti-Trinitarian' websites that have the most shocking lies and distortions about ecclesiology and regardless of what the bible says. I read one that offered an article titled "Jesus Beloved Messenger of Allah".
If Jesus was not God in the flesh, its goodbye Jesus - He was so deceptive in what 'he' said and fooled many, he's likely mad. It's goodbye bible, it cannot be inspired, it's so deceptive and fooled millions. It's goodbye salvation, Jesus was only a good man, prophet, or even sinner, with a sad ending. We can only 'hope' all will be well. It's goodbye God and Christianity, it's doubtful God has spoken to man, who is he anyway? So I would likely 'abandon' it for 'drink'.
>>You write that it takes a revelation by the Holy Spirit to understand the doctrine of the immortal soul, trinity and devil. The pagan Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks must have had a revelation from the Holy Spirit, as they were immortal soullists. Moslems believe in an immortal soul and a devil. They must therefore also have had a revelation by the Holy Spirit. Anthony Buzzard of the Atlanta Bible College (http://www.mindspring.com/~anthonybuzzard/aboutanthony.htm) agrees with me on the mortality of man and the trinity, but agrees with you on the devil and present day possession of the Holy Spirit. So the Holy Spirit has obviously revealed to him the truth about the devil and the Holy Spirit, but for some reason decided not to reveal to him the truth about the soul and the trinity. Odd that.<<
Ever read A.Hislop's book the 'Two Babylon's? Christadelphian's often selectively quote parts of this book and fool people. Hislop documents numerous bible doctrines (some even Christadelphians believe) and says, “All these have existed from ancient times while overlaid with idolatry….” (p.18 The Two Babylon's A.Hislop). He does not revile Christian doctrines, or reject them because of pagan traditions, but builds a strong case that Satan has been imitating spiritual realities in paganism for a long time before God even acted in history.
Herbert Lockyer is another bible scholar who studied pagan rites, incantations, prayers, and bible doctrines etc. He found the doctrine of the immortality of the soul was found in ancient records, ie Indian, Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, Roman, African, American-Indian, etc. He traced the fact that men have believed in the soul surviving death even from the days of Noah. Almost instinctively within man there is recognition of the truth of this bible doctrine.
But while pagans believe similar things to Christians they don't have authoritative information to confirm the reality of their belief. They warp, distort and corrupt the belief with their ideas. The bible is a reliable source of information proclaiming God's revelation on all belief. However, it also claims that the Holy Spirit is the Teacher and Counsellor who reveals the 'truth' of God's Word (Jn.14:16-17, 26). Also that, "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). So obviously I would not expect you (who boast not to have the Holy Spirit) or others without God's Spirit to understand or correctly believe as the bible teaches.
>>I do not often agree with anything the Church of England says, but they were spot on when they wrote the following in 1945 in their book Towards the Conversion of England: The idea of inherent indestructibility of the human soul (or consciousness) owes its origin to Greek, not to Bible sources. The central theme of the New Testament is eternal life, not for anybody and everybody, but for believers in Christ as risen from the dead.<<
Liberalism is at home in the Church of England, they deny fundamental doctrines as well as some you insist. They also are affected by Darwin's naturalism and have an outward empty religion that attacks the bible.
The reason why the annihilation doctrine is untenable is because the NT is written in Greek and doesn't have any Greek words saying 'death is extinction'. Not only did NT characters (Jesus, Paul) believe man had a soul which survived death, but check any Greek dictionary on the words death, life, hell, God, soul, spirit, devil, etc and you will find how foreign Christadelphianism is to biblical truth. You have yet to discover this fact.
As I wrote, 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 NT. Christadelphianism is not supported by bible scholars, because they know better. You have been fooled into accepting a fraud.
>>I guess your position must be that the Anglican authors of Towards the Conversion of England Church of England do not have the Holy Spirit but that the pagan Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks and Moslems do have the Holy Spirit. The newly appointed Anglican Bishop of Durham Tom Wright has written a book (For All The Saints?), in which he questions the immortality of the soul. He says the concept of the soul as a pre-existent and immortal entity has little basis in the New Testament and is instead derived from the teachings of Plato. Does the Bishop of Durham have the Holy Spirit?<<
In Christianity there is a range of views of various doctrines and freedom to disagree. But no freedom in Christadelphianism to believe anything other than what Thomas taught. I have never met a Christadelphian who disagrees with Thomas on his fundamental doctrines, but there are Christians with various views on doctrine. Christians don't escape the effects of the curse (Gen.3) sickness, death, evil, problems, disagreements etc. But for any who desire to study scripture and seek God's revelation on spiritual issues, the Holy Spirit is indispensable.
Does the Bishop have the Holy Spirit? Maybe, maybe not. As I said, "The Lord knows those who are His" (2 Tim.2.19). The bible indicates we are all sinners needing repentance and the new birth. Been an Anglican doesn't give anyone the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again." [Jn.3:6-7]. The Holy Spirit enters the human heart, by the new birth.
>>I take your point about the word katargeo in Hebrews 2:14. However if your personal devil's power has been nullified, then he was made impotent from the point of the crucifixion onwards. Your use of the term "spiritual death" is purely your own invention. The devil has the power of death because it leads man to sin, and the wages of sin are death. This is a literal death not a spiritual one.<<
I quoted the Believer's Bible Commentary by MacDonald & Farstad. It said, "Destruction means the loss of well-being rather than loss of being… 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."
The term "spiritual death" is not my "own invention". "But now Christ has so far destroyed him who had the power of death that he can keep none under the power of SPIRITUAL DEATH; nor can he draw any into sin (the procuring cause of death), nor require the soul of any from the body, nor execute the sentence upon any but those who choose and continue to be his willing slaves, and persist in their enmity to God." (Henry.M. Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: vol.1 (Heb 2:14). Peabody: Hendrickson).
So the Hebrew writer says 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. In Adam, all are spiritually dead to God and need a spiritual birth (as Jesus said) but Satan now can't keep anyone spiritual dead to God any longer. Or require the soul of any but those who continue to be his willing slaves in enmity against God. Satan was defeated by Christ death and God's children share the triumph (Lk.10.18 Ac.26.18 1 Jn.3.8).
>>I had no idea that Satan was permitted to enter heaven and freely talk to God (Job 1). Particularly as God is "of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity." (Habakkuk 1:13). How He therefore had a conversation with this evil being is difficult to imagine. Job saw his sufferings as coming from God (Job 2:10; 19:21). The satan (adversary) of Job was equipped with divine power to inflict this suffering in the same way that Paul blinded Elymas with divine power (Acts 13:11). You say that Satan is a spirit and does not therefore become non-existent. In which case, his destruction as prophesied in Revelation 20 is impossible.<<
The rest Ha.1.13 reads, "….Wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace". Since God is so pure and holy, and cannot look on iniquity Habakkuk asked how God can suffer whose who “deal treacherously" and keep silence. All such questions are easily solved by a consideration of God’s ineffable mercy, which leads him to suffer long and be kind. So we shouldn't imagine God doesn't see when evil men do wrong and He can't talk to them.
Satan did have the "conversation with" God (Jb.1.6-12 2.1-7). Just because it's "difficult to imagine", doesn't deny the fact. You still say an evil man did have a "conversation". So you just believe what Thomas taught.
Job knew nothing about Satan's "conversation" with God. And that "all that he had was in (Satan's) power …. so Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord" (Jb.1.12) and inflicted Job. He didn't know and apparently Christadelphians don't want to know. How can we believe there's no devil, when you people deny the clear meaning of scripture? Otherwise we will have a sinner argue with an angel about the dead body of Moses (Jude 9).
I accept God has power (Ac.13.11). But FOR YOU to blame God for what happened to Job (contrary to scripture) because "Satan" is not supposed to exist is disgraceful. Why not just believe the bible as written? (Jb.1.12-19 2.6-7).
>>The source of sin is human nature, or more precisely its lusts as James 1 makes clear. Paul echoes this when he speaks of the law of sin which is in his members (Romans 7:23). He talks about the battle between the spirit and the flesh in great detail in Romans chapters 6 to 8. No mention there of a supernatural devil as the source of sin. It is the flesh (i.e. human nature) from whence comes the motivation to sin. This is why in Galatians he says we must crucify the flesh. If sin is caused by your personal devil, then Paul's failure to mention it in these chapters, when he is thoroughly analysing the problem of sin is a considerable oversight on his part.<<
Yes for Christians there is a battle between "Spirit" and "flesh". But Christadelphians are in the flesh, not the Spirit. "For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace …… the mind of the flesh is enmity against God" (Rom.8.5-7). While you call the flesh 'the devil', John describes a supernatural devil, "the great dragon … the old serpent… is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him." (Rev.12.9). Rather 'difficult to imagine' human sinful nature in heaven and then 'cast down to the earth' don't you think?
Do you call your "lust" the 'great dragon'? Peter warns of the devil going about like a "roaring lion" to "devour". Does human nature "walk about" (1 Pe.5.8)? I suppose when James warned to "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (Ja.4.8) this means that old lust, called 'he' comes and goes. And at the temptation when the devil left Jesus was that his lust leaving? After just having a talk to himself?
You say Satan's not "the source of sin". John & Jesus differ, and said the "devil sinned from the beginning" and deceived "the whole world" (1 Jn.3.8 Rev.12.9). We read of the "children of God" and the "children of the devil" (1 Jn.3.10) do they crucify themselves?
>>A fleshly minded person minds the things of the flesh, and a spiritually minded person the things of the spirit. This is effectively what Christ said to Peter in Matthew 16:23: thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Peter was looking at Jesus's impending death from a human and not a divine standpoint, hence Christ's rebuke. Peter was thus guilty of being fleshly minded at that time. If Christ's rebuke was directed at a personal devil, then it would make no sense. Why would such a devil savour the things of men, and why would Christ rebuke it in the hope that it might savour the things of God? He rebuked Peter in the hope that Peter would come to savour the things of God, which he did.<<
But by your own insistence you do not have the Holy Spirit. You cannot 'savourest the things of God'. How you can talk of a 'spiritually minded person' minding 'the things of the Spirit' is ridiculous. Just empty words from those who have no experience.
So if Satan is not a created being, then ultimately Christadelphians blame God for man's sin and God must have caused man to sin. You reply,
>>This does not help your argument. If you are correct in saying that Satan was created by God, then one could still blame God for causing man to sin, as he created the being that causes man to sin. The Bible teaches that man has an evil, sinful nature as a result of Adam and Eve's sin. The earth is cursed as a result of their sin. Out of all this suffering and pain God is preparing a glorious future for those that love him (Romans 8:20-23). I am absolutely amazed that such reasoning could be accepted in a Master's thesis.<<
Either way you blame God for sin. God also created Adam, and he sinned. So logically Christadelphians must blame God for Adam's sin. The Genesis account of the Fall indicates the temptation came from the 'serpent' (that doesn't exist). Yet he speaks, thinks, questions, is clever, lies, twists and deceives. So God speaks to Adam and Eve and then, to a non-existent evil one. He gives a punishment to each and even the non-existing serpent. 'I am absolutely amazed that such reasoning could be accepted' by anyone.
My Thesis. Even common sense argues the existence of a devil. The evil in his world is not just 'bad nature' but also an influence and power that controls human nature. Not only does the Bible say so, but it's even permissible to talk of an ultimate evil. This evil exists outside of, and regardless of man. Something's (regardless of circumstance) always wrong or evil. To this you reply,
>>This is simply assertion. There must be a devil because common sense says so. One hundred years ago some people probably said: man will never fly to the moon because common sense says so. Again how such reasoning can be accepted in a Master's thesis is unbelievable.<<
Just as 'common sense' says there must be a God, an ultimate good, so primitive tribes untouched by civilization have believed in the existence of an evil spirit. So it's not improbable for 'common sense to say so'. But I wouldn't expect them to be totally correct in their 'reasoning' and belief without the bible. They (like Christadelphians) wouldn't know that the evil spirit sinned against God (2 Pt.2:4; 1 Jn.3:8) was cast out of heaven (Lk.10:18) Cast down to hell (2 Pt.2:4 Jd.1:6). And is the reason for evil on earth (Gen.3:1,6,14,24). That he perverts God's Word (Mt.4:6; Psa.91:11,12) opposes God's work (Zech.3:1 1 Thes.2:18) hinders the gospel (Mt.13:19 2 Cor.4:4) Works lying wonders (2 Thes.2:9 Rev.16:14) And even assumes the form of an angel of light (2 Cor.11:14). These things would be hard for them to 'accept', without God's Word and Spirit.
>>It is also strange that a thesis which is basically a polemic against a religious group could be accepted as an academic thesis. I do not question your right to write anti-Christadelphian literature. You have a perfect right to do that if you wish. What I find strange is how such a piece of work can be accepted as an academic thesis. The following questions arise: From which institution(s) did you receive your degrees? Who supervised your thesis? Who examined your thesis? What are the religious affiliations (if any) of your supervisor and examiners?<<
I answer these questions here. Why do you expect people to jump to your demands? All kinds of materials are submitted to learning institutions worldwide and 'accepted'. You won't be pleased to know the thesis is in demand.
>>The fact that bible scholars do not support Christadelphian teaching is of little relevance. Theologians differ on all sorts of issues, so the fact that they disagree with Christadelphians means little. I can imagine that you would have little agreement with Anthony Buzzard, although he thinks he has the Holy Spirit as well. The Pharisees had a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament, but they were utterly ignorant of its true meaning.<<
This is amazing. No scholar of the original languages will support the doctrines John Thomas. And you couldn't care less, what a mistake - believing what lacks scholarly support. The only way I can agree with Christadelphians is become a clone of Thomas and Roberts.
>>I get the impression from your website that you celebrate Christmas. If this is the case, then why? There is no biblical basis for Christmas. It is of pagan origin, and there is no command to celebrate Jesus's birth.<<
Amazing how you sidestep the real issues. Anything but face-up to what the Bible says. You can't even obey the simple instructions of Jesus about the new birth, yet so concerned about the rightness or wrongness of other peoples observances. Your priorities are wrong. We can write letters for months and it could prove nothing, if you are eternally lost and we never discussed the most important issue – how to become a child of God.
>>Of course one is saved by grace. There is no other way a sinner can be saved, because if the LORD marked inquities, then no one would stand (Psalm 130:4). That does not mean once saved always saved.<<
A contradiction! No sooner do you say 'saved by grace' than you add works. Christadelphians say salvation is possible “only if we walk the path”. That is the Christadelphian path of doctrines, baptism etc. It MUST be the Christadelphian path and no other.
Christadelphian's don't teach salvation by God's grace and never have. THEY say who will, and won't be saved. Turn your back on THEM, and they will say you have LOST your salvation!!
Christadelphian's are locked into the error of “Synergism”, the teaching they cooperate with God in their efforts for salvation. All cults are synergistic and teach God's grace, combined with human effort is required for forgiveness of sins. Telling them, this is an error, is almost a waste of time because they haven't even started on the Christian pathway. They are out to work their way to God by keeping faithful to the doctrines of their sect and obeying what they are told to believe. They never feel right with God, never have the power to live as they should and reject the very Holy Spirit that must enter their heart to wash clean and regenerate. They have never repented; they rubbish scripture and the Holy Spirit who says they must be reborn.
>>If after accepting Christ, you sow according to the flesh you will reap according to the flesh (Galatians 6:8). Therefore the flesh must be crucified (Galatians 5:24), and you must give diligence to make your calling and election sure (2 Peter 1:10). The present tense is used for eternal life as "God calleth those things which be not as though they were" (Romans 4:17), as eternal life will definitely be bestowed on the faithful at Jesus' appearing. That is when the reward comes, as Paul taught (2 Timothy 4:8).<<
But you haven't 'accept Christ', you have accept Christadelphianism. And 'sowing according to the flesh' is failing to obey Christadelphianism. It's quite funny having you mention these verses when (for you) they are loaded with dozens of hidden conditions that must be added. Not to make 'the election sure' but just to have weak 'hope'. A hope that can NEVER be sure and certain, because one might have slipped up and not followed Thomas and Roberts as one should. All your quotes are just meaningless garb and empty. You started your Christadelphian road by trying to fill the 'memory' with Christadelphian doctrine. Without this you can't be baptized and that's only the start of the list of conditions.
>>Being once saved always saved is a very attractive doctrine. I can see why some ex-Christadelphians are happy with your belief system. On Monday you could sincerely repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and therefore be saved and have eternal life. On Tuesday you could reconsider things, and become an atheist, but you would still be saved, because once saved always saved. A saved atheist. I don't know how that fits in with the verse God is not mocked, and I am not sure how it glorifies God.<<
I entered this world as a little child in the flesh, as part of Adams descendants. I also have human parents, and all my life will be their child. Nothing can change that. So with God's family and the new birth, we start as babies and need to grow. It's possible (God forbid) to have a saved soul but wasted life. But still remain His children and part of the family. Yet evil living might suggest to others, we were never converted, and make us doubt the reality of our confession.
But if you are not born into His family as a little child, you won't have eternal life (Jn.3.36). 'Jesus called a little child to him, and set him in the midst, And said, truly I say to you, Except you are converted, and become as a little child, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven'. (Mt.18.2-3). God's children have certain characteristics, they are different, they love the Lord and each other. They serve not to earn salvation but because they love Him. They are not perfect and make mistakes, but they are His children and He never forsakes them.