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#446102 Seeking God

Posted by Bro Berry on 23 July 2013 - 12:50 PM in Theology

It is often said that the Holy Spirit is responsible for drawing a person to Christ, that some how He will enter the heart of a person who God has some how seen has been chosen for salvation. This teaching fits right in the doctrine of John Calvin for he taught that a person can do no good on his own, that he is depraved and without intervention on God's part will in no way receive salvation. Calvin called it "irresistible grace" where a person is elected to salvation by God and they have no choice in the matter.

I have some questions to ask if a person believes this doctrine.
1. Is the action of the Holy Spirit direct or in-direct?
2. What is the means by which the Holy Spirit accomplishes His conversion?
3 Are there any bible examples of a person being converted by the Holy Spirit?

#446101 Why is Satan bound for a thousand years?

Posted by Bro Berry on 23 July 2013 - 07:04 AM in Theology

Why is Satan bound for a thousand years?

Your question comes from a passage of scripture found in the book of Revelation, let's examine the verse in context to see if there is a answer.

Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

It's important to remember two things when reading the book of Revelation;

1. Whatever interpretation we come up with had to be understandable to the people John was writing to. It makes no sense to have a interpretation so far removed from the time and place of John's audience that what they read would not affect them.

2. Because of persecution the book is full of symbols that would have been understood by John's audience but not by the Roman government.

The apostle John is on the isle of Patmos experiencing one vision after another concerning things pertaining to the church, Jerusalem, and the world at large.

In verse 1 he sees a vision of an angel coming down from heaven with a key and a chain in his hand. We must determine if these are symbolic or if the angel is holding a literal key and chain.

Verse 2 helps us to realize that what we are reading must be symbolic, so what would be the meaning of a key and a chain? Let's determine that first then we'll get to the 1,000 years.

A key is used to lock or unlock something, a chain can be used to restrain, the angel is showing us symbolically that the Devil is bound. What possibly could bind Satan that his power could not be used? The gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:16 says the gospel is God's power to save. Satan can not defeat a person who obeys the gospel.

We must understand the 1,000 years to be symbolic as well. Numbers mean something in this book, if 10 means a complete number then 10 to the 3rd power indicates a very long period of time.

Verse 6 gives us a clue as to what the number 1,000 might be as well.

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The period of time Christ is to reign is 1,000 years as well. If we can find out when Christ will reign we can find out about the number 1,000.

Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
Eph 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

God gave Jesus power and authority over all things after his resurrection. He is seated at the right hand of God ruling and reigning on his throne right now. How long will he reign?

1 Cor 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

So there you have it, the Devil is bound by the gospel during the time that Jesus reigns over the church. Does that mean Satan has no power at all? No, we know he does have power but he cannot overcome unless a person chooses to allow Satan into their life.

I hope this helps

#446077 Baptism: A Clear Conscience

Posted by Bro Berry on 16 July 2013 - 04:10 PM in Theology

Thank you Bro Berry, this is a nice summarized set of verses on baptism.

What are your thoughts on Jesus getting baptised in the River Jordan? Even though he has no sins, he set the example in the symbolic process of baptism that we follow. I think this shows that he is our participative representative, showing that he was made exactly like us and experienced temptation like us Heb 2:17-18; Heb4:15. Empathy and the ability to be tempted was an important characteristic of a high priest. See also Romans chapter 6 for the importance of us identifying with Jesus as our representative, in contrast to Adam in 1 Cor 15.

Thank you sir, as for my thoughts on Jesus being baptized it goes like this.

Jesus was sinless and did not need to repent as did others that came to John's baptism. But Jesus did need to come and be baptized for two reasons that I see in scripture.

1 To fulfill all righteousness. John's baptism was divinely ordered from heaven, if Jesus refused baptism he would have refused a command from God.

Luke 20:3 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:
Luke 20:4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?
Luke 20:5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?
Luke 20:6 But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

2. That Jesus would be manifested to the world. Prior to Jesus being baptized he was Joseph's son, but God told John upon whom he saw the Spirit descend on and remain would be the Son of God.

John 1:30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
John 1:31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
John 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
John 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
John 1:34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

#446055 Baptism: A Clear Conscience

Posted by Bro Berry on 11 July 2013 - 08:10 PM in Theology

I was told in one of the other forums that my post was hard to understand and that my point was hard to grasp. I removed the scriptures and just explained it in my own words.

I am trying to show the connection between the blood of Jesus and a clear conscience. Perhaps if I explain and not use scripture it will make better sense.

Before Jesus came the only way man could atone for his sins was through animal sacrifices. Once a year on the Day of Atonement the high priest would take blood into the holiest place and offer for the people. Every year there was a remembrance made of the sins committed giving the worshiper a sense of guilt. He was never able to have a clear conscience because every year he would have to do that.

But now because Jesus has come and one time offered his body as the ultimate sacrifice, paying the debt that was owed and freeing us from the penalty of sin. Man can now have a clear conscience because Jesus remembers our sins no more.

Baptism is how the bible tells us to appeal to God for this clear conscience, according to scripture that is the only way to contact the saving blood of Jesus to atone for our sins.

Again I apologize for making this hard to understand, I hope this clears it up.

May God bless

#446050 Baptism: A Clear Conscience

Posted by Bro Berry on 11 July 2013 - 11:53 AM in Theology

Whenever I subscribe to a Christian forum I always see a large number of posts concerning if baptism is necessary for salvation. As some of the regulars know on this forum it gets a lot of attention.

I wanted to be sure I had the right understanding of this very important subject so I began a study of what the Old Testament says about baptism first. I found it hard to believe that the Jews of the first century had no clue what baptism was, since they had been doing ceremonial washing for centuries. For example;

Leviticus 14:8 And he that is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, and shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean: and after that he shall come into the camp, and shall tarry abroad out of his tent seven days.
Leviticus 14:9 But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean.

There are many more passages that detail how a person who is unclean was to present himself before the Lord clean (Leviticus 16:23-28, Numbers 19:7-8, etc)

The washing's of the Old Testament are connected with these passages in Hebrews 9, let me explain;

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

When the tabernacle was made there was a veil separating the holy from the holiest, the high priest (after washing to be clean) would take blood for the sins of the people into the holiest to offer to God.

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

The Holy Spirit lets us know that arrangement was not entrance into the true holy place (heaven) but was a shadow of good things to come. At that time gifts and sacrifices couldn't clear a persons conscience because every year on the Day of Atonement the people had to remember their past sins and go through the
same procedure again to be clean.

Hebrews 9:11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Hebrews 9:12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

But Christ has come and shed his blood to atone for our sins (by grace we are saved) making it no longer necessary for a priest to stand between us and God, Jesus is our High Priest now.

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The Old Testament requirements of offering bulls and goats, sprinkling ashes and I also believe those ceremonial washing's would only make a person clean on the outside. In order to cleanse our conscience of dead works we needed the blood of Christ to remove the guilt of sin forever. With the possibility of bringing our sins up again gone forever (instead of annually like the those of old) we can serve God with no fear of punishment.

Question; how does baptism in this new dispensation relate to what I am saying? The answer is found in 1 Peter 3:17-21

1 Peter 3:17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

Peter's discussion of suffering for righteousness sake is exemplified first by Jesus' suffering and victory.

1 Peter 3:19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.

His second example is the suffering endured by Noah while the ark was being prepared who again gained the victory of being saved along with 7 others from his family.

1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

Peter then says to those saints who are suffering persecution that they will also be saved because they have appealed to God to cleanse their conscience through baptism. Why baptism? Because that is where the Holy Spirit tells us the blood of Christ is for those that have repented and turned to Jesus for salvation. We read that in Romans 6 and Colossians 2.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

God has taken the Old Testament understanding of baptism just being for purification of the flesh to a higher level and made it for purification of the soul.