When to Divide and When to Unite, and The Failure of the Secular Gospel

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Dr. Brown discusses questions of doctrinal purity and unity in light of his recent visit to Pastor Jim Staley’s congregation, then shares insights from a famous German theologian about the wrong response to secularism and also catches up on the latest news. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

 

Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: It still comes down to that old dictum: on the essentials, unity.

 

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: The solution for reaching a worldly world is not to become worldly like it but to call it into something completely other through the power of the gospel.

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This week, Dr. Brown is offering an incredible resource package containing Jonathan Cahn’s The Mystery of the Shemitah book, DVD, and CD interview with Dr. Brown on the Line of Fire radio program. These 3 mega-popular resources will only be packaged together for a limited time for the discounted price of $30, postage paid (US Only)! Order Online Here!

Other Resources:

What Questions Would You Ask Pastor MacArthur?

Monday’s Musings and Thoughts on False Hebrew Roots Teachings

Dr. Brown Speaks with Steve Camp about What Makes Someone a Heretic, and Dr. Brown Takes Your Calls

46 Comments
  1. Dr. Brown,

    Enjoying your broadcast so my question concerns your topic of when a church is to divide or stay united among protest denominations the number of Churches are endless which makes it difficult for my wife and I especially since I converted from islam. The way that I have tried to look at it is like an upside down pyramid which means that at the lowest and most basic tier of the pyramid we have the basic beliefs and without that tier there is no Christianity. I believe at that tier to be considered Christian one must believe in the diety of Christ the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, the sacrifice of sins on the cross, and salvation is by grace through faith. I also realize my argument is faulty due to the fact that one can believe all of those things yet still believe in homosexual marriages being blessed by God. So in your opinion what should be the basics that all Christians should believe without divinding on to be considered Christian.

    if anyone else would like to answer I would much appreciate it.

    Blessings

  2. I’ve actually known people who did not accept the deity of Messiah (but did believe Messiah was the only agent of Salvation) who I believed were saved and had the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  3. That being said, I’ve also seen people who did not accept the deity of Messiah who did not seem to be saved or have the gift of the Holy Spirit.

  4. and this is what confuses me as well I believe in the deity of the Messiah and Church history constantly affirms it I believe it is an issue that cannot be disputed through scripture at the same time there are some unitarians that hold to their views that seem to have the gifts of the Holy Spirit

    Thank you for your comment Dan1el

  5. Also I believe I should add that I do not believe cessationism and continuationism are issues that should divide that Church I have many cessationist friends who I believe are saved if anyone would like to discuss this with me I would welcome the discussion and Dr. Brown thank you for the opportunity to discuss issues such as these on your website if please let me know if any comments offend anyone.

  6. I just want to say that if it can be proven from Scripture that a person cannot be saved apart from believing (not only that Yeshua was/is Messiah but also that) Yeshua is God, then I would just have to reject what ever judgments I had made (that these people were saved) and say that they were not saved.

  7. Funny how it is sometimes. I might talk to somebody about Jesus being the Son of God, and I don’t think they are really hearing me as to what that means, while at the same time, they were telling me about Jesus being God, and I wasn’t sure about what they meant while they were saying that.

  8. I believe we can united regardless of doctrinal differences, when we are together against abortion, the gay agenda, the undermining of the constitution, or anything contrary to godliness.

    I think of David how there were men of Belial in his company as they were a band of brothers fighting the enemy, though it may have been for different motives, reasons, or while having different perspectives on things.

    I Samuel 31:22,23:
    Then answered all the wicked men and men of Belial, of those that went with David, and said, Because they went not with us, we will not give them ought of the spoil to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away, and depart.
    Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the Lord hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand.

  9. I went with Benny Hinn’s ministry on about a week-long tour of Israel in 2002.

    We didn’t really spend much time with him, but at one point while everyone was having breakfast at a hotel we were staying at, Benny Hinn walks right past us and starts chatting with some of the people I had been speaking with–and the presence of Jesus was so REAL and so POWERFUL I was shocked. I probably looked like I was starstruck (was probably standing there with my mouth hanging wide open), because he seemed to shake his head in disapproval at me when it time for him to baptized me (it was my turn at Yardenit); however, in all honesty, it had nothing to do with Benny Hinn and everything to do with the presence of Jesus. I mean, it was literally like Jesus was standing right there with him. I was just shocked.

  10. From what I gather, only a basic belief in Jesus is necessary for salvation. But, then, nothing is heresy, if we do not “divide over the issues.” This “mere Christianity” view strikes me as problematic. We need to be able to be definite about orthodoxy and heterodoxy. Our very souls are at stake. If a certain doctrine is not correct, then it comes from Satan. How can that be good? We have to lead people out of error, that is our duty.

    Also, regarding this Shemitah business: How do we know these events which took place were not planned to coincide with certain dates on a calendar? If my birthday is tomorrow, and a party takes place tomorrow, does this mean a prophecy has been fulfilled? Has anyone thought about this? I mean, seriously.

  11. Noelle,
    I would disagree that “if all that was necessary was a basic belief in Jesus, nothing would be heresy.”

    You know why?

    Muslims, for instance, believe in a “Jesus”, but their “Jesus” isn’t our “Jesus”. Why? Because their “Jesus” is not a Savior, doesn’t reconcile anyone to God, isn’t the promised Messiah (though they call their “Jesus” “Messiah”, from what I gather, they do not mean it the way we mean it).
    Their “Jesus” isn’t God’s Son (since, according to them, “God has no Son”–the very mark of the spirit of antichrist [1 Jn 2:22]), didn’t even die on the Cross (and even if their “Jesus” did end up dying on the Cross, it could never have been effective with regard to our needs of atonement and reconciliation).
    All of those points, and we haven’t even gotten to the issue of whether Jesus must be considered God or not (personally, I think there is evidence for both sides but that the evidence weighs far more heavily toward Jesus being God).

    In other words, there are plenty of salient doctrines that are vital when it comes to the question of whether their “Jesus” is the real Jesus Who atones for our sin, and saves from sin and wrath on sin by Grace through faith.

    I could be wrong (I do not primarily study this aspect of the faith), but it seems that getting people to believe Jesus is the Messiah is more important than getting them to believe He is God. If it really is that important, I figure that the grace they accept through accepting Him as Messiah (and all those important points of doctrine that come along with that) is going to teach them and convince them about that truth.

  12. I think you made my point for me, Daniel, with all due respect. If you don’t be believe that Christ is God, you cannot be saved. You seem well meaning. Please reconsider your position. You have to know this for sure. I will pray for you.

    Peace.

  13. It is the same Jesus I will present to them, even if I do not insist that He is God. I don’t think His essence will change if I say, “Look, just believe He saves from sin, etc.,”. Just because I don’t insist on it doesn’t mean it isn’t true; they just may not be able to hear it at the time.

    What is a better response?
    “He IS God! You don’t want to believe? OK.” or “That part is contested by some. The main thing is that you believe He is Messiah.”
    (Of course, I’m talking about evangelizing to Jews.)

  14. Noelle,
    Here’s the way I look at it: I know Jesus; what ever “name” I have for Him is not going to change Who that Jesus is.

    Also, Jesus says to be cunning like serpents.

    I don’t think I made your point for you since I never discussed Scriptures that demanded you believe He was God; and, as I said before, I know people who deny His deity who seem to be both saved and to have the Holy Spirit.

  15. Daniel,

    I will leave you with this: if Jesus is not God, then he cannot be the Messiah. It would be deceptive to preach to Jews that he is the Messiah but not necessarily God Almighty. The Messiah the Jews are awaiting is going to be a man. But Christ the Lord is not merely a man. You have to make a distinction. Otherwise, you are leading them to a false savior. Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I AM you will die in your sins.” You must believe that Jesus is God, or you will not inherit eternal life. This is fundamental. You cannot preach the Gospel and deny this foundational precept of the Christian faith. This illustrates my point about dividing over the issues. We have to divide. If we do not, then we cannot separate the sheep from the goats.

  16. Noelle,
    The problem with that line of reasoning is that I have met people who do not accept the deity of Jesus and who seem to be saved and have the gift of the Spirit. If God is being merciful to them, who am I to dismiss that?

    In context, “sheep” and “goats” comes down to the fruit they had borne.

    Of course, I respect your right to disagree–especially being this is such a tenuous subject.

  17. Noelle,
    Actually, you should be “shrewd like a serpent” whenever it is possible (meaning when ever it isn’t sinful or compromising salvific truth) if it will lead to someone being saved from God’s wrath.

    For instance, there are Muslim Imams who get saved, and then pretend to continue to be Imams in order to win other Muslims to Jesus.

  18. Noelle,
    You actually misquoted Scripture (“unless you believe that I am”) to suit your needs; what it says is, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I AM HE you will die in your sins.”

  19. Noelle,
    The Samaritan woman at the well [Jn 4] didn’t get a crash course is the deity of Jesus before she started leading people to Jesus; she was simply convinced Jesus was a prophet, and then was told by Jesus He was the Messiah.

  20. Also:

    John 8
    58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

    This is the culmination of the dialogue…the point that was unequivocally being made. Messiah cannot save anyone but Himself unless He is YHWH…the only true deity. His sinless life cannot cover everyone’s sin unless He is YHWH.

    Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

    Y’shua the man is the son of YHWH…YHWH in human flesh. He is still YHWH and must be to be our savior.

    Joe 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

    Ac 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Ro 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Paul and Peter are quoting Joel who very specifically says that we must call upon the name of YHWH to be saved. Confessing that Y’shua is “Lord” is more than saying that He is master. We must call upon the name of “the LORD” (YWHW) to be saved. We are not calling upon YHWH’s name if we do not believe that Y’shua is YHWH.

    Shalom

  21. After listening to this broadcast and being accosted by Amy on the April 8th thread, I feel I should address a few things.

    Let me start by quoting from one of Dr. Brown’s books:

    “Now, this has often been interpreted as a
    divine command for Peter to eat treif (i.e.
    unclean food), but the text says nothing of
    the kind. Rather, as Peter was soon to
    understand…”God has shown me that I should
    not call any man impure or unclean.” (Acts
    10:28b). but that is not the point I want to
    emphasize here. Rather, it is Peter’s earlier
    response to the visionary command to kill and
    eat unclean animals…If his Master and Teacher
    had revoked the dietary laws, as some have
    understood Mark 7:19, surely Peter would have
    understood, especially if Peter had been a
    primary source of mark’s information.”-Dr. Michael Brown, in “Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus”, volume 4, says this of Acts 10:9-16 on page 27-275:

    Dr. Brown has no problem with believers eating unclean animals. He also realizes that the passage in question does not give us permission to do so. He knows that we are not allowed to take symbolic language literally.

    Dr. Brown indicated to the caller, Scott, that there is no instance in the New Testament where gentile believers in Messiah kept the dietary laws. This seems like a good argument until one realizes that there are no examples of them not keeping them either. It is an argument from silence. There is no example in the New Testament of believers eating anything unclean, but we cannot say that this proves that they didn’t. It is a two way street. If the latter does not prove that they didn’t eat anything unclean, the former does not prove that they did. So the argument is a straw man.

    Now here is what we do know. There is no mention in the New Testament that we should not commit bestiality. Does that mean that the commandment of YHWH against such does not apply? NO! There is no mention in the Epistles against taking YHWH’s name in vain. Is it still a sin to do so now? YES!

    2 Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
    1 ¶ I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    Paul instructs Timothy to get his doctrine, instruction in righteousness and good works from the Old Testament and to teach those that he has been intrusted with from it lest they turn to fables. The time has come when we do not want to endure the sound doctrine that Paul told Timothy to teach. We detest YHWH’s law instead of loving it like David, the man after YHWH’s heart, did.

    There are many instances in the NT that tell us to not let any corrupt thing come from our mouths. Surely blasphemy and taking YHWH’s name in vain is against this. We know for sure because of YHWH’s previous commandments. There are also many time that the NT tells us not to be unclean. Eating unclean animals makes us unclean according to YHWH previous commandments. It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the only scripture that the early believers had was the Law and the Prophets. And according to Messiah, it was not going to have the smallest change until heaven and earth pass away.

    Mt 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    And just to make us not think that somehow His fulfilling what was written about Him in the Law would cause it to pass away, He told us that our position of authority in the kingdom of heaven would be given us according to how dedicated we are to keeping every detail and teaching others to do the same. Messiah is the greatest in His own kingdom. He would be disqualified from this position if He taught us to not keep all of YHWH’s commandments. If He told the Apostles to teach us to not do all of YHWH’s commandments, then they will also not be great in the kingdom. But Messiah said that they would be on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel.

    1Jo 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    Uncleanness still matters right up till the very end.

    Re 22:10 And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.
    11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
    12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
    13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
    14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    Keeping YHWH’s commandments comes with great reward.

    Ps 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
    8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
    9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
    10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
    11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

    Jas 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    Shalom

  22. As far as what Jesus meant when he said that we must believe that he is (Jesus saying I AM) seems to me that we must believe who he and everyone else who believed in him said concerning who he is, such as the son of David, (the Messiah) the son of man, (the Christ) the son of God, again the Christ, or Messiah.

    It seems to me that along with who he is, comes all that he is, and all that that should mean to us, which is everything the word says, him being the Word of God himself, the maker of heaven and earth.

    It all comes together in him. We need it all, but we believe whatever we have received and keep on going, no matter where we are at.

    Some people will communicate that as God of God or some people in some other ways. But we do want to know and believe him by all that he is.

  23. Bo,
    Several things I am convinced of pertaining to Peter’s vision of Acts 10, one of which is that though the Lord did command Peter to kill and eat what was presented to him in the vision, this wasn’t a type of command that was to be taken immediately literal as if he was to actually grab hold of what was lowered down to him from heaven and actually take a knife to those things, and prepare them for literal eating at that very time, and another thing I am convinced of is that the Lord was taking down some something that separated Jews and Gentiles. (see Eph 2:14)

    I am also convinced that the Lord Jesus was about the work of the gospel at that time, something he was always about doing while he walked the earth.

  24. Just like the weather. You may stay inside next to the fire and read a book. Bo might be out snow boarding and living life large! Someone might watch some tv, my point is that all of us have experience the day by the weather that was given. Someone might think the other is wasting the day because they live it so full- but, life is an experience at all levels. In religion some of us live it full! and we tend to look at the others as limited, however in an an ever lasting life isn’t all relative?

  25. Ray,

    Ac 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

    There is no doubt that the wall of partition has been taken down. Peter tells us what was made ineffectual…Jewish oral law. He says that it is unlawful for a man that is a Jew to keep company with one of another nation. YHWH’s law does not say this, but the oral law of rulings of the Jewish leaders does. YHWH taught Peter through the vision that he should not call any man common or unclean. He did not learn from the vision that no animal was to be called unclean. As a matter of fact the last book of the Bible confirms that there are still unclean animals.

    Re 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

    If there are no unclean animals now, then the point being made in Revelation is meaningless. Paul uses very specific words in Ephesians 2 about what has been broken down. The enmity between Jew and gentile has been broken down. There is nothing in YHWH’s law that creates this enmity. The Jewish rulings of which Peter referred certainly did.

    Eph 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
    15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

    Paul uses the Greek word dogma which is not what YHWH’s ordinances are called. The word dogma in the Septuagint, almost without exception, refers to a human edicts.

    Mt 21:33 Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
    34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
    35 And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
    36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
    37 But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
    38 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
    39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
    40 When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
    41 They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
    42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
    43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.
    44 And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.
    45 And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

    Messiah spoke of taking the authority away from the Jewish religious leaders and giving it to others. The Apostles are who it was given to. Peter learned that he was not under the traditions of his forefathers. Paul refers to these Jewish laws in Galatians.

    Ga 1:13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it:
    14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.

    But he rejected them when He came to Messiah. He also continued to keep YHWH’s law and proved it to tens of thousands.

    Ac 21:21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
    22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
    23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
    24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

    Paul didn’t eat swine flesh or rats. He continued to keep YHWH’s law, but he stepped out of the Jewish traditions that kept a wall up between Jews and gentile believers. He makes himself quite clear about YHWH’s law still being in effect.

    Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    It is interesting that the very first commandment to mankind was a dietary prohibition. It is also interesting that last book of the Bible tells us who will get to eat from the tree of life.

    Re 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    So we can continue to decide for ourselves what we want to eat, or we can subject ourselves to YHWH’s dietary laws. When we make up our own rules, we are being our own elohim instead of bowing our knees to YHWH. We are still eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil when we do this. Eating from that tree still prevents us from being able to partake of the tree of life.

    Ge 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
    23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
    24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

    Those Cherubims are not keeping us from the tree of life. They are guarding/keeping the way of the tree of life. We keep ourselves from the tree of life by not walking on the narrow path to the tree of life.

    Mk 7:20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
    21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
    22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
    23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

    It is not the unclean animal flesh in and of itself that defiles us. It is what is in our hearts when we disobey YHWH’s instructions. It is covetous to desire/lust after things that YHWH has forbidden. It is prideful to think that we deserve to eat what we want. It is foolish to disobey the wisdom of YHWH. We deceive ourselves when we are readers/hearers of YHWH’s word on unclean animals and doers of that word.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    Shalom

  26. There is much blessing in keeping Kosher, circumcision, Shabbat- we just need to be patient with those who have not discovered the blessing to the degree that we see it.

  27. True Daniel, the ESV doesnt Italicize things so you have no way of knowing was is or isn’t in the Greek/Hewbrew. It’s one thing I appreciate about the KJV is that they let you know.

    But check the Greek and you’ll see that “he” is not in the greek.

  28. There is a false sense of relief in self deception.

    1Sa 15:13 And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
    14 And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
    15 And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
    16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
    17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
    18 And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
    19 Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
    20 And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
    21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.
    22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
    23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

    King Saul had this problem. He was rejected from being king. Those that refuse to keep YHWH’s commandments will not rule and reign with Him either. Those that skip out on a few small ones will not be great in the kingdom.

    Mt 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    That is the problem with deception…you do not know that you been tricked. When we do not put the things we read in scripture into practice, we end up deceived into thinking that we have done YHWH’s commandments when we have actually ignored them.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

    Shalom

  29. B Warkentin,
    OK

    John 8
    24εἶπον οὖν ὑμῖν ὅτι ἀποθανεῖσθε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν· ἐὰν γὰρ μὴ πιστεύσητε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, ἀποθανεῖσθε ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν.
    -http://www.academic-bible.com/en/online-bibles/novum-testamentum-graece-na-28/read-the-bible-text/bibel/text/lesen/stelle/53/80001/89999/ch/b975341c657c5b936c95c25fd1440bf5/

    They translate “ego eimi” as “I am he”.

    I am not a scholar of Greek, but the people who translate the Bible are. I’m not saying their translations are necessarily 100% correct 100% of the time (there are times I, with my little bit of knowledge, disagree with the translators of the ESV–e.g., I believe Ro 4:1 “according to the flesh” addresses the method Abraham “found” “justification” [i.e., “works of the Law”] and not his being anyone’s “father”), but I couldn’t debate with them (about it why they translate “ego eimi” “I am he”) because translation of language is not “one for one” (there are so many linguistic–perhaps, at times, to the accidental exclusion of Scriptural–contexts that are being taken into consideration when translating).

    I bought Bill Mounce’s “Basics of Biblical Greek” a while back. On the back, it says that he was at the head of the translation of the NT for the ESV. Since his site (http://www.billmounce.com/beliefs) says he is a trinitarian, this was a trinitarian who translated “ego eimi” as “I am he”.

  30. Dan1el,

    Do you think that they would have tried to stone Him at the end of chapter 8 if He was only saying “I am he” instead of “I am” (vs. 58)? Don’t you think that He was claiming that He is YHWH?

    Shalom

  31. That is a good point, but an even better point is that they DID NOT pick up stones to stone Him when He said “ego eimi”. Why not? Why did they ask, “WHO are you”? It would also be useful to find out WHO it was He had been telling them He was “from the beginning” (John 8:24I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning.)

    And, as I said before, nowhere was the deity of Messiah spelled out for the Samaritan woman (she believed He was a prophet, and then was told He was Messiah). The main thing being stressed with her was that she “knew the truth” [Jn 4:18] (i.e., that she was a sinner–“Come, see a man who told me all that ever I did…” [Jn 4:29]), yet this woman was already a sort of “evangelist” leading people to Jesus.

  32. Bo,
    As to the interpretation of the “ego eimi” of John 8:58, I have no idea why they would choose to interpret one “I am he” and another “I am”; I have seen endless arguments about this on language forums.

  33. There are two sides to this: 1) there is controversy around interpretations, and 2) I think I have met people who do not take Jesus as God yet who I think are saved and have the Spirit.

    You could say that I just have something I believe, but I’ve also seen God ANOINT people to preach the pre-trib rapture. Why is that when it is UNBIBLICAL? Because it is partially Biblical (people are not going to “fly away”, but they will be “hidden away” when the time comes). I’ve seen Calvinists and Arminians who know God. How is that?

    The thing is that God is not affirming everything the person believes, only the parts that are true, and is leading them into ever increasing truth.

  34. Dan1el,

    I have no problem with Messiah saying “I am He” in the first instance. It can be translated either way. The second instance does seem to only make sense as “I am.” “Before Abraham was I am he” does not make linguistic sense. I have no problem with someone not believing Y’shua is YHWH while reading John 8 until we come to verse 58. Then it seems like enough information is in front of us to know the truth about Him. Couple that with the things I wrote in post 21, which is just a small sampling of Y’shua being YHWH passages, and there seems to me to be no option, but to believe that Y’shua is YHWH.

    I agree that we are a path that is supposed to lead to more revelation. I think that path should be short in learning that Y’shua is YHWH. It does not take long to read 8 chapters in John. 🙂

    Shalom

  35. John 20
    28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
    29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
    30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
    31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

    What is it that John wanted us to believe? If Y’shua is Lord and God, He is YHWH and Elohim.

    Shalom

  36. Bo,
    LOL Yeah, I agree if we have some knowledgeable people around us it shouldn’t take us too long to understand Yeshua is somehow God.

    I can also imagine that the mercy of God can reach to people who believe, for instance, the things about Messiah I mentioned in post #11 yet do not believe Messiah was God.

  37. Should we wonder what Moses might have said to someone if they said to him that they don’t think they need to watch what meats they eat, since it’s only a matter of food, but what about if there were people in the church at Galatia who talked about what a joy it is to eat only certain meats, and keep all the days, and keep track of the moons, as if Paul never in his life could have known what in the world he might have been missing?

  38. Ray,

    1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

    Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

    Ro 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    1Jo 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

    De 30:11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off.
    12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
    13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’
    14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.

    Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah…
    33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    Anyone that thinks that YHWH’s law is bondage, does not have it written on their heart. They do not want to do it. If YHWH’s commandments are too difficult for you or if they are grievous to you, you simply need to come to the cross and realize that Messiah died because you had broken YHWH’s law. You need to allow YHWH’s law to be written on your heart and enter the New Covenant instead of continuing in the bondage of sin. For sin is the transgression of the law. Messiah and Paul told us explicitly that those that sin/break YHWH’s law are in bondage, no matter how free they feel.

    Shalom

  39. Isn’t it something how Paul never wrote the church in Galatia about how wonderful it is to observe days, and months, and years, and eat only certain meats, and the importance of circumcision, or about what joy it all brings?

    Was he missing something? Had he not been around?

  40. Ray, of course he knew all about it. He knew the messiah in time and history! He knew the end game of this life. What point is all this discipline but for the end game.

  41. Ray,

    Actually, what is interesting is that people do not read what Paul really wrote. They start with an assumption against keeping YHWH’s commandments. Then when they read Galatians, they think that Paul is against keeping YHWH’s law. He isn’t. He kept all his life.

    It was rumored that Paul taught against the law. Paul proved this to be false by showing that he continued to keep the law. He proved it to believers that were zealous to keep the law. Yes, believers that were zealous to keep the law. Yes, believers. If it was wrong to be a believer that was zealous to keep the law, Paul would have been man enough to refuse to prove that he continued to keep the law. He would have rebuked them for being zealous to keep the law. But he didn’t. He proved to them that he was still keeping the law and not teaching against it.

    Ac 21:20 And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law:
    21 And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs.
    22 What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come.
    23 Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
    24 Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

    What was Paul accused of? Teaching everybody against the Jews and the law. Paul was not a replacement theologian. He was also not someone that believed that the law had been voided. He did not teach against Israel and against the law. He didn’t even teach against the temple. He was in the process of ritually purifying himself and offering sacrifices in the temple.

    Messiah had died over 30 previously. If Paul thought that the sacrifices were nothing because of the death of Messiah, he would have not done this. He would have stood against it.

    Ac 21:27 And when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him,
    28 Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place.

    So what did Paul prove? He proved that Messiah did not do away with Israel as YHWH’s chosen people, that Messiah’s death did not render temple worship obsolete, and that YHWH’s law was not voided because of Messiah making a new covenant.

    Ac 23:1 And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

    What did Paul have to say of himself? He had always lived in good conscience before YHWH. What did he say would be against having a good conscience? Turning from YHWH’s commandments.

    1Ti 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
    6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

    The end, or goal, of keeping YHWH’s commandments is real love and faith and maintaining a good conscience. Paul does not say that if our conscience doesn’t bother us when we do not keep the law that it is a good conscience. He has something else to say about that.

    Tit 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.
    15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
    16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
    1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:

    So the commandments of men turn us from the truth so that we believe that it is fine to break YHWH’s law. It defiles the conscience. It ruins our doctrine, our idea of good works, our version of what is abomination, and our makes us think that we are obedient, when we are not. It is a commandment of men that YHWH’s law is no longer applicable. Paul tells us this explicitly.

    2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
    1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
    2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    Timothy was supposed to get his doctrine, his instruction in righteousness and his idea of good works from the scripture that he knew from his youth. The only scripture that he knew from his youth that would make him wise to salvation was the law and the prophets. He was supposed to teach those in his charge out of the law of YWHH. This was the doctrine that he was supposed to teach.

    But our “church” world does not want to hear of it. It has fulfilled Paul’s prophesy in heaping teachers unto themselves that will encourage them in what they want to believe. Their itching ears do not want to keep YHWH’s commandments. They do not want sound doctrine. They want fables about how they will not be judged according to their works. They want to make themselves abominable by consuming unclean animals. They want to have good emotions about people instead of really loving them. They do not want their consciences to bother them when they break YHWH’s law.

    Ac 24:11 Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship.
    12 And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city:
    13 Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.
    14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets:
    15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
    16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

    So Paul can truly say, “Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me.” None of it was true. He did not teach against the law. Paul wrote Galatians before he wrote to Titus and Timothy. He wrote Galatians before his trial and before he proved that he continued to keep the law. He said that he did not break or teach men to break YHWH’s law. He maintained a good conscience.

    To be continued below:

  42. Continued from above:

    So it is quite obvious that Paul did not mean Galatians to teach against the law or Israel or the Temple. Because if he did mean it that way, he was a liar and a hypocrite…and not a true apostle.

    To Paul, Israel has not been replaced. Gentiles have been grafted into Israel.

    Ro 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid…
    Ro 11:11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

    To Paul, the law does not stand in the way of receiving YHWH’s promises.

    Ga 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid…

    To Paul, the law defines what things are sin. To break it, is to sin.

    Ro 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law…

    To Paul, the law is still good, just, holy, and spiritual.

    Ro 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
    13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid.
    14 For we know that the law is spiritual…

    To Paul, we may not break the law/sin even though we are under grace. If we continue to break the law, we are slaves to sin instead of to servants of YHWH.

    Ro 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
    16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

    To Paul, the law is not cancelled by our faith in Messiah…it is made to stand. Our faith should make us obedient.

    Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    To Paul, we have died to sin. We have died to breaking the law. Grace is supposed to produce righteousness, not cause us to ignore YHWH’s instructions.

    Ro 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

    The above passages are Paul’s clarifications. The “God forbid”s are the strongest language possible. He uses it so that we will not misunderstand what he means. So why does the “church” misunderstand Galatians?

    It has something to do with not being taught out of the law and the prophets. It has something to do with a heap of teachers that tell us what we are used to. It has something to do with commandments of men being taught instead of the commandments of YHWH. It has something to do with believing fables. It has something to do with not being doers of the word, and especially YHWH’s perfect law.

    Ro 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

    Jas 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
    23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
    24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
    25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

    So Ray, I guess that you just misunderstand Paul and thus Galatians. For Paul says in Galatians:

    Ga 4:18 But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.

    Those believers that were zealous for the law were zealous in a good thing. Paul says that the law is good. He says that we are to get our doctrine, instruction in righteousness, and idea of good works from it. Paul would have rebuked those zealous believers if their zealousness was a bad thing. Now that Paul is not with us, it is still good to be zealous for the law of YHWH.

    Shalom

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