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Let me try again.
I have a question which I posed in the past and I believed you may have answered but I could never find the audio portion where this took place. So I will pose it again. Here is the heart of my question. Both you and James White are scholars and both are men of prayer. Through prayer God can enlighten us as to specific applications of Scripture for our personal lives as well as show us connections in Scripture we might not have seen before so as to clarify its meaning and implications. In this way God meets with us in Scripture. But if you and Dr. White come to opposite conclusions on the issues surrounding Calvinism, what does this say about the guiding hand of God when opposite conclusions are reached? Should not men of rich prayer lives who both earnestly seek the Lord to clarify His Word be guided to the same conclusions?
I will extend this discussion even further to include your Jewish debating partners who seem to sincerely love and be dedicated to the Lord. Yet when they go to prayer and ask to be led into truth (as I assume sincere men of God do) why do they not come to the same conclusions you do about Jesus as Messiah? After all there are stories of Muslims to whom Jesus revealed Himself, so why not to your debating partners?
To take this yet further, after reading Volume 5 of ANSWERING JEWISH OBJECTIONS ABOUT JESUS, I am astounded at how earnest prayerful Rabbis could have come to such wrong conclusions in the Talmud. Here again, dedicated study combined with dedicated prayer to a wrong turn.
Having been trained in science, I tend to base most things on the objective. But as I read men like A. W. Tozer there appears to be a rich subjective aspect found only in prayer, an aspect that he believed breaths life back into a church that otherwise has become lifeless doctrine. But the fact that so many can be led so wrong while believing they are communing with God, makes me wonder how much stock I should put into this aspect of the Christian life. I’m finding the role of prayer a bit confusing these days. Norman Geisler has said that prayer is not the way we get our will done in heaven, but the way God gets His will done on earth. But if we cannot hear God clearly then how can this be? Can you help me with this?
Awesome, awesome, awesome question. I have struggled with the same question for years and have not found an adequate answer. I keep ahold of my faith but continue to ponder this very same thing. Thank you for posting it so eloquently.
The following is an article I posted on city-data.com/forum almost 3 years ago:
ARE DENOMINATIONS IN KEEPING WITH GOD’S WILL?
Many people in our day are convinced that, “If you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and accept Him as your personal Savior, you are saved, and that there is nothing you can do to cause you to lose that salvation.”
But our Savior Himself made high expectations of those who would be His true followers. In the 14th chapter of John, He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” also “Whosoever forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple,” Luke 14:33. In Acts chapter 5, St. Peter said that God gives the Holy Ghost to “them that OBEY Him.” So we must repent and have a mind to obey Christ if we are to receive His Holy Spirit, and I believe that Spirit gives us the power to resist committing willful sins. We know that we are prone to make mistakes every day, but that, “If we confess our sins , he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” I John 1:10.
St. Paul wrote to the Corinthians “That ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment,” I Cor 1:10. Now we know that Jesus told His Apostles, “He that heareth you heareth me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me” Luke 10:16. He also said, “He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me, and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me,” John 13:20. Also we know that Jesus personally struck Paul down on the road to Damascus and that St. Paul declared his credentials in several of his epistles that he was called of Christ Jesus to be an Apostle.
Jesus also prayed to his Father in John 17:11, that his followers should be one as He and the Father were one.
So if we are to be obedient to Christ and also to take heed to all the admonitions of His Apostles, it seems like an impossible task. But if we truly have the Holy Spirit, then He does the work in us, and we have nothing of which we can boast. According to Jesus, ”When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do,” Luke 17:10.
Does it make any sense that denominational differences are looked upon as being perfectly normal in our day, with people generally believing that almost all “conventional denominations” are branches of the Christian church and that all who have accepted Jesus Christ as their “personal” Savior are assured of going to heaven when they die.
Do we really believe that our all-wise, all-powerful Father in heaven looks down on this earth and approves of all those who claim to have been called of Him to preach the Gospel, even though they are often preaching things that are exactly opposite of what others are preaching.
I personally believe that Jesus gave the perfect formula for solving this gross confusion when he said in John 7:17 that, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” I believe that if we have truly repented and pray earnestly for Christ and His Father to show us any area of our life where we are not doing His will, they will show this to us and give us the Holy Spirit. That Spirit will make it possible for us to be obedient to them, which is impossible for us to do if we have a carnal mind. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 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” Romans 8:7-9.
Jonathan Edwards wrote in 1851, “I am come now to the last distinguishing mark of holy affections that I shall mention: XII. Gracious and holy affections have their exercise and fruit in Christian practice. . . John 15:14, ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’. . If the old nature be indeed mortified, and a new and heavenly nature infused, then may it well be expected, that men will walk in newness of life, and continue to do so to the end of their days. . . Some may be ready to object against what has been said of Christian practice being the chief evidence of the truth of grace, that this is a legal doctrine, and that this making practice a thing of such great importance in religion, magnifies works, and tends to lead men to make too much of their own doings, to the diminution of the glory of free grace, and does not seem well to consist with the great gospel doctrine of justification by faith alone. It is our works being the price of God’s favor, and not their being the sign of it, that is the thing which is inconsistent with the freeness of that favor. . . It is not the worthiness or loveliness of our works, or anything in us, which is in any wise accepted with God, as a balance for the guilt of sin. Thus we are justified only by the righteousness of Christ, and not by our righteousness.” (A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections; Worcester edition.)
We know that Jesus said, “Not everyone that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father in heaven” Matt. 7:21. .Jesus made it perfectly clear that, “He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings” John 14:21 & 24. And as we said, He told His Apostles that if we hear them we hear Christ Himself, so we are expected to have no divisions among us, as St. Paul admonished the Corinthians.
We certainly acknowledge that Christ has had true disciples in all ages of time since His crucifixion and resurrection, but I believe that, as the time of His return to earth draws nearer, He is calling for those who have truly repented and whose primary goal in life is to do God’s will, that we lay down our denominational differences and follow Him. I believe we should be careful not to judge others too harshly, since they must answer to their maker and not to us. But I firmly believe that if we are truly doing His will, Jesus promised us, “We SHALL KNOW of the doctrine whether it be of God” or whether we speak of ourselves.
If the reader sees anything in this document that is not backed up by scripture, you would do me a favor by bringing it to my attention.
May 5, 2010
When the audio file comes out I’ll listen, but now I’ll say, I’ve heard this argument applied to self defense. Christians saying, well women learning self defense so they can fight off rapists shows a lack of faith in God to protect them, because God is able to send angels to save them.
But King David had tremendous faith in God, and he fought all the time. Judaism would say that we don’t rely on miracles. The Jewish story about how everyone had to get into the Jordan until the waters reached up to their nose, before the miracle happened, to teach the moral of how we are to act first.
There’s even some evidence that the disciples took staffs around with them when they preached the gospel.
Though I know the other gospels seem to disagree.
One could say that if one doesn’t carry a gun, they’re putting the Lord to the test, but that’s just as ridiculous as saying having a gun shows a lack of faith.
I don’t normally chime in on these things, but I must ask the question of whether Jesus would have carried a gun if they had them?
His kingdom is so much different than the worlds and if we are citizens of His kingdom, we should embody the same kind of example.
God/Jesus gave authority to man to carry out capital punishment via the weapons of the day whether that be stones, swords, etc. And this authority was given to the men and women of Israel, everyday people.
“If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed”
17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. …
21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. ….
23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.
If you live somewhere where you have reason to be concerned about crime, this would be similar to legally carrying a weapon to defend your family, even when running daily errands to the store.
When the caller asked you about the lunar Sabbath, it sounded like you weren’t aware of the heresy. Were you using wisdom choosing not to give that false doctrine air time, or have you not come across it?
It claims that the seventh day Sabbath is Satanic, because it is Saturn worship, and that the Israelites never kept the seventh day Sabbath in the wilderness, but instead kept the seventh day Sabbath according to the new moon, so that every moon, the weekly Sabbath cycle was resynced up to moon.
It’s a form of antisemitism and replacement theology.
The idea is that the Jews are sons of Satan and that the seventh day Sabbath idea came out of Babylon like the evil (in their mind, not mine) Babylonian Talmud.
Unfortunately, this false doctrine has been infiltrating the Messianic movement more and more in the last decade. 🙁
It has absolutely nothing to do with the Jewish practice of saying a blessing over the new moon and drinking a cup of wine.
The people that embrace it often are sacred namers, with names like (Yahueh, Yahushua).
Some of them say Yeshua didn’t exist until he was born by Miriam.
Many of them deny grace and are actively trying to earn their way into paradise based on their own goodness.
Based on how you answered, it sounded like you didn’t know this, but again, it could have been you were being wise by not giving it any air time on national radio, but I felt compelled to let you know about it just in case you didn’t know.
שלום וברכים בישוע אדונינו.
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