Return to Home Page
Welcome to the Mail Room for Present Truth Magazine! This is where we post some of the interesting email which we receive from our viewers. All of our viewers are invited to E-mail us your comments and views and we will post these for all to consider!
Teaching Darwinian Evolution and the Moral Influence View of the Atonement
The fact is that those who are so ardently pushing evolution down the throats of the Christian community as Ervin Taylor is will eventually forsake faith in Christ as Savior. In fact most who are embracing evolution and who yet continue to call themselves "Christians" have already diluted the definition of the life and death of Christ to a mere moral influence and a mere model for good moral living. The Biblical emphasis of Christ dying to propitiate the justice of God for all repentant sinners is ridiculed as a barbaric remnant of old myths about appeasing angry gods. Paul the apostle is viewed by these humanist "Christian" evolutionists as merely a product of the ignorant superstitious times in which he lived. Thus they reject all that Paul taught about the Biblical teaching of the vicarious atonement of the Son of God upon the cross of Calvary for the sins of the world. Paul's epistle to the Romans on justification of death-deserving sinners by God's unmerited grace through faith in the blood of Christ is relegated to the trash heap of "old world" religion.
The truly frightening thing about this teaching is that it is secretly held by most of those who are in high places of the seminaries and universities and administrative positions in the majority of the Protestant denominations today. It is no accident that the "theistic" evolutionists, women's liberationists, the moral influence theologians, and the "Christian" humanists all unite to oppose the clear word of God and reject the gospel that the apostles preached to all the world. They cleverly twist the scripture and give it a "new" and "more enlightened" meaning. Rejecting the Genesis account of the seven day creation and the world wide flood as being a divine act of judgment upon the antediluvian world is only the tip of the iceberg of a disaster that is quickly bearing down upon the evangelical Christian believers. When the foundations are abandoned, the rest of the building will quickly crumble and fall. Our only refuge in these times is to trust only in the word of our Creator and Savior who calls all repentant sinners to be justified by the unmerited grace of God alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ who died in our place upon Calvary as revealed in the Bible alone.
Let the world ridicule and jeer and label the word of God a mythology of by-gone era. When the Son of Man comes will He find faith in the earth? Believe the word. Trust only in the blood. Be filled with the Spirit of truth.
The enemy of truth is already a defeated foe. All those who love a lie will perish with him who was a liar from the beginning.
Your brother in Christ, Bill Diehl, 8/24/2013
Was the Christ of the New Testament a Mere Invention of First Century Christian Zealots?
You have made a very valiant effort to lay out your case, but it remains none the less only pure conjecture and is only one of many extrapolations which might be offered. Having said that, I want to point out again that you are, in my opinion, attempting to construct a historical narrative which is based almost entirely upon speculation as to how the apostles interacted among themselves during their association with Christ and after His resurrection and ascension into heaven.
As we both attempt to reconstruct the events of the era we must continually remind ourselves that we are working with only bits and scraps of historical information. Some of the sources are very reliable and some are not so reliable. The historical "facts" that you refer to and piece together to compose your history are very open to conjecture as you may or may not admit to or realize. Your case is very convincing to your mind and you are amazed that others just cannot seem to buy into the picture that you are painting. (The same can be said of the effort to reconstruct a cogent creation cosmology which fits with the objective data that we have today.) It is not the data necessarily that are offered in these disputes but rather the extrapolations that some attempt to draw from the extant data.
In the topic under discussion now however we are dealing with an attempt to recreate a history of the period after the passing of nearly 2000 years. So to be very blunt with you, after looking at the data that you propose to bring to the table to support your thesis, I must still come to the conclusion that you are attempting to make a strong case for your historical narrative with data that does not quite support your picture as neatly as you imagine. Getting back to my statement above that it is very difficult to recreate a narrative as to how the apostles interacted with one another during and after Christ's mission and ministry, those who endorse your thesis may be overlooking some very plausible possibilities which would throw a wrench into their historical narrative gears.
For one thing (and I am indulging in pure speculation here in my narrative) the disciples during and after Christ may have been taking copious notes, sort of like your "Q" document of which there may have been many similar. This was a very prevalent practice among any disciple/teacher group who thought that they were involved in a seminal historical happening in their day, such groups as the Essenes, and followers of Socrates, Aristotle, and all the major philosophical and religious "movements" of history. They all had their devoted followers who collected the sayings and historical material of their teacher and attempted to preserve them for future generations. The four gospels all have many similarities and many dissimilarities, but the general testimony is in quite amazing agreement. One witness may add some features or sayings that he remembers which the other witnesses may have either overlooked, forgotten, or remembered in more detail, or occurring in a different order of time.
We are dealing with events which took place over a three and one half year period. One witness may have remembered three persons healed on an occasion while another witness may have recorded only one person healed on the same occasion. We must always remember that these witness were not bound by the same exacting standards that are demanded of historians today. It is the general theme of the accounts that were important in the minds of the writers and generally speaking even the synoptics and the Johannine gospel are in general agreement. So what I am getting at is that to state that the gospel accounts are very disparate, disingenuous, and written down much later than conservatives like me would admit to and written as pseudopigraphical documents in the second century is really an imaginary narrative which ignores much more plausible explanations in my opinion.
As a matter of fact in my opinion the narrative that you put forward depends upon a large conspiracy of first century very dishonest witnesses who are deliberately bearing a false witness in order to invent a Messiah who never really said all that is recorded, never was pre-existent God in the flesh as He stated that He was, never was resurrected from the dead as He said that He was, and never really said that He was going to judge the living and the dead at the end of the world as He said He was going to do. And this is only a small sampling of the sayings of Jesus which must be discarded or modified or reinterpreted in order to substantiate your narrative.
So the bottom line in our discussion is that your narrative rejects the historicity and teachings of the vast majority of the extant Christian documents called the four gospels and the epistles of the apostles as inventions of overly zealous followers of a Christ who never in reality existed except in the minds and imaginations of the zealots. As to the Jewish Christian / Gentile Christian controversy that you bring up, I have mentioned previously that much of the controversy was caused by an unorthodox group of messianic Jews who came to be called Ebionites. They rejected the divinity of Christ as incarnate God and they rejected the vicarious atonement of Christ on the cross which all of the apostles taught and were agreed upon. This Ebionite group was the "circumcision party" of apostates which all of the epistles of Peter, John, Jude, and Paul warn about as being enemies of the claims of the true Christ and the true teachings of Christ. I have detailed this history previously which you may have brushed aside as a false narrative, but it is one that is much more in line with the biblical account than your narrative in my opinion.
Although I have responded only in a general way to your proposed narrative and much more could be dealt with on an issue by issue basis, I offer this response to your "case" which I hope you will consider. Not to mention that my faith in the Christ of the bible promises blessedness and eternal life to all who call upon His name as Savior and Lord while your narrative offers nothing but an imagined universalism and peace based upon only the hopes and speculations of rather dubious sources. Your friend and loving brother, Bill D. 12/4/2013
To reply to you proposition that the response of Jesus to the opponents to His messianic claims was always serene and without indignation and never with "retributive justice", I would say that because you limit the truth about Christ mostly to the so-called Q "source" that was supposedly "taken over" by Matthew and Luke, you seriously limit the full revelation of Christ's life and teachings as depicted in the rest of the material contained in all four gospels and the epistles. In my opinion, with which I am sure you disagree, this is where the full witness of the reality and meaning of Christ's life and ministry, death, and resurrection from the dead is unfolded. The New Testament is a trustworthy witness. The attempt by the modern scholarly community to reconstruct how the gospels came into existence is an absolutely futile exercise. The data is so sparse and lacking that any attempt to reconstruct an accurate account as to how they came into being is only hypothetical conjecture at best and so nearly worthless as a noble and honest historical pursuit.
But there will always be those who will try to come up with a proposed explanation and even invent prejudicial and unwarranted conclusions. An assertion with which I am sure you will take issue. I realize that you feel that the majority of the New Testament is merely a made-up mythological construct derived from the wishful hopes and aspirations of His deluded Jewish followers rather than the true "historical" Christ. This attempted search for the so-called actual historical Jesus as distinct from the miraculous biblical Jesus is a futile effort in my opinion. It depends upon a historical construct which exists only in the minds of certain agnostic scholars and is based upon an unshakable belief that the New Testament apostolic account is an imagined messianic conspiracy invented by His deluded Jewish disciples (again, in my opinion).
Your historical construct depends upon an unfounded "certainty" that the complete gospel account of Christ's life and death and the witness of the apostles was merely a "cleverly devised fable", i.e., wishful messianic thinking rather than historical fact. But as I have stated in previous emails, the testimony of the eyewitnesses of the events of Christ's life and teachings is either truthful or that of wild-eyed lunatics. The fact is that either Christ died on the cross of Calvary and then arose from the dead or He didn't. This is the testimony of the apostolic witness. They were either liars or truthful.
If Peter, James, and John had not actually witnessed the transfigured Christ and the resurrected Christ, it is very doubtful that they would have been willing to face the threats and assaults to life and limb which they endured. There really is no in-between position. You have chosen by your own admission to "doubt" the truthfulness of the New Testament witness. John, however, at the end of his gospel avows that his testimony is absolutely true. Yet you still seem to cling to some hope that there was in fact a "Jesus" in history who was more of a Gandhi-like "Hindu" or "New Age" passively unconditionally forgiving mystic guru rather than an altogether Jewish prophet whose attitude to sin, righteousness, justice, forgiveness, and covenant love were reflective of that of the Old Testament prophets like Noah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and John the Baptist.
Your depiction of Christ, if you would really take a step back from you assertions, is much more wishful thinking than the Christ who is fully depicted in the New Testament account. The God of the bible (and even of the imaginary "Q" document) is the creator/redeemer God of justice, fatherly loving kindness, mercy, hope, faith, and yet He is also the God who withdraws His blessings from those who align themselves with lawlessness and wickedness and the Enemy of righteousness.
It is this kind of biblical world view and moral ethic which actually works in the real world. In the real world sin and suffering and death are a real tragedy not merely some "karma" that must work itself out. History is a life and death struggle with eternal implications. There must be a moral reckoning at the end of the road and will not merely end with a whimper and a puff of smoke. If God is unknowable and has not made Himself known, then God is dead and Man is dead as well and there is no meaning to the concepts of love, hate, kindness, evil, beauty, sympathy, human / inhuman, hope and faith, good and bad. This brings us back to the Jesus of the bible, not merely to the "Q". Christ is also recorded to have said, "What does if profit a man if he should gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul." and "fear not him who is able to merely kill the body, fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell". This is the God that Jesus revealed to His followers, not the eternally smiling "Buddha" who is always forgiving even those who seek no forgiveness and manifest no remorse and repentance.
Your brother and friend, Bill Diehl 12/3/2013
Is Baptism by Immersion, Observance of the Lord's Supper, and Submission to the Ten Commandments Necessary for the Believer?
In our gospel proclamation of Christ, we must not only give the proclamation of the gospel, but we must also give the invitation for all to personally repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord of ones life. The bible teaches us that while the blood of Christ is the meritorious cause of our justification, the word of God also teaches us that faith and repentance are the instrumental cause of our justification before God.
Acts 20:20-21 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thus, Paul taught that the Lord is both our Savior and our Lord. If He is not both then He is neither . He delivers us not only from the guilt of sin, but also begins to deliver us from the power of sin in our lives. While we must deny the false teaching of "Baptismal Regeneration" and "Transubstantiation", we must affirm that if the repentant believing sinner refuses to be baptized and observe the Lord's Supper then he is not truly following Christ as his Lord.
The same is true regarding the believer's life in sanctification. Any believer who refuses to live his new life in Christ in submission to God's moral Law, the Ten Commandments, is following a false "christ" and is rejecting the true Christ of the bible. The repentant believing sinner is justified before God by faith alone in the atoning death of Christ alone. But true faith in Christ is always followed by good works and yielding ones life to obedience to all of the commandments of God.
Luke 6:46-49 46 " But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? 47 "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 "But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."
Blessing to you in Christ, Bill D.
Interpreting the "Mysterious Numbers" of Daniel
Dear Bill at www.PresentTruthMag.org,
How do you interpret the symbols of the Old Testament book of Daniel? My friend thinks that Antiochus Epiphanes is the "Little Horn" of Daniel 7 and 8. What do you say?
J. L. from Canada
Here is my very brief and condensed explanation of Daniel:
Daniel's prophecy was completely fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ in His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death on the cross, and His ascension into heaven where He reigns and judges the world as King of kings and Lord of lords. The New Testament is the full and complete explanation of all the prophetic promises of the Old Testament.
Daniel 2 was fulfilled by Christ. Daniel is shown that four great kingdoms would rule over the nation of Israel until the final establishment of the messianic kingdom of God. The "rock" which struck the "great image" at its feet was fulfilled by the establishment of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. His kingdom commenced at His baptism in the Jordan River . He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and gave Himself as an offering for our sins.
Mark 1:14-15 Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
After His glorious resurrection, He ascended into heaven and began to reign over the entire world seated upon the throne of David as our Mediator, King, and High Priest after the order of Melchisedek.
Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Daniel 7 was fulfilled by Christ. Christ's kingdom has been established and has cast down all other thrones and principalities. The "Son of Man" has been given "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Christ's judgment of the nations began at His ascension. (see also: Rev. 4 and Rev. 14) Satan's kingdom in the form of Rome in alliance with the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem is the "little horn" which made war with Him while He was on earth, but is taken away and totally destroyed in AD.70 with the destruction of Jerusalem.
In the proclamation of the gospel to all the world, every nation, tribe, tongue, and individual is being judged by the gospel for the verdict of either "life" or "death". The justification of repentant sinners is by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sin-bearer for the sins of the world. In God's merciful forgiveness and acquittal of the repentant believing sinner, the verdict of the final judgment day is rendered in the present. Today is the day of salvation. The justified believer who trusts in Christ as his Savior and Lord to the end will not be ashamed at His coming in power and great glory when the unbelieving world will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming.
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. Daniel 7:9-11
Daniel 8 was fulfilled by Christ. The taking away of the "daily" by the "little horn" was fulfilled in the crucifixion of our Lord. Christ is the "daily". Rome through her representative, Herod the governor of Palestine in conjunction with the Sanhedrin is the "little horn" of Daniel 7 and 8. In Daniel's apocalyptic symbolism, Christ is the "sanctuary" or temple which was "cast down". He is the "truth" which was cast to the ground. He is the "daily", the sin offering, which was "taken away". The "sanctuary" was "restored" to its rightful state at His resurrection (Dan. 8:14 ).
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed (restored). Daniel 8:9-14
Daniel 9 was fulfilled by Christ. The "seventy weeks" is a play on the "seventy years" of Jeremiah. Just as literal Israel would be restored at the end of the seventy years of captivity, so God's spiritual kingdom would be restored and commence at the end of "seventy sevens". In the last "week" of the seventy weeks, Christ "finished the transgression", "made and end of sins, made "reconciliation for iniquity", brought in "everlasting righteousness", He "sealed up the vision and prophecy", and He was "anointed" as Messiah. He "confirmed" or ratified the covenant and then He was "cut of" by His atoning death on the cross. In the last week of the prophecy the despicable sin of the Sanhedrin in conjunction with Rome as the "desolator" against the Messiah would be punished by the destruction of their holy city Jerusalem.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9:24-27
Daniel 10 thru 12 was fulfilled by Christ . These chapters depict the great historic struggle to bring about the kingdom of God against the wishes of the evil kingdoms of this world as they make war with each other and the "prince of the host", Michael, the ruler (Hebrew: chief or great prince) of the angels. But in the "last days" Michael prevails over His enemies. Gabriel tells Daniel that at the "time of the end" all these things will be accomplished. The "time of the end" and the "last days" began at the incarnation of the Son of God. Then the faithful remnant of Christ will endure a time of trouble such as never before (see Dan 12, Matt 24).
And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. Daniel 12:1-13 KJV
Daniel's book was sealed up until the "time of the end". The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has completely unsealed the book of Daniel. The "time of the end" began with the proclamation of the inauguration of the kingdom of Christ by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, Elizabeth, and the virgin Mary. It is Gabriel who sealed up the book of Daniel and it is Gabriel who unsealed the mystery of Daniel's prophecy! The "knowledge" which shall be increased is the revelation of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ which has been hidden through the long ages of the Old Testament times. The "mystery" of the gospel was fully revealed in Christ. Daniel is told "blessed is he that waiteth". Who will understand the meaning of these mysterious symbols in the prophecy of Daniel? All of these mysterious numbers have now been fulfilled in Christ.
Antiochus Epiphanes was not and never was a fulfillment of Daniel. This was the traditional interpretation of the Pharisees of Christ's day, but they were completely wrong about the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees as being the fulfillment of the "restoration of the temple". The leaders of Israel should have humbly accepted the rule of Palestine by the Greeks, the third kingdom that ruled over them. God clearly told them that four kingdoms would rule over them and that the fourth beast, Rome, would reign over them until the "judgment was rendered in favor of the saints". But the proud Jewish nation rebelled against the clear word of God through the prophet Daniel that four kindgoms would rule over them.
It is the fourth beast that placed the "abomination" not the third beast. It is the fourth beast and his "Little Horn" which cast down the temple (crucified Christ). It is the fourth beast and his Little Horn which made war with Christ for 3 and 1/2 years or 1260 days at the end of which Christ was crucified. The New Testament witness is clear that Christ's ministry lasted for 3 and 1/2 years or 1260 days. At Christ's resurrection the "temple" was restored (Dan 8:14 ), the judgment was set and the kingdom and the greatness thereof was given to the saints (by faith). In His atoning death, burial, and resurrection Christ pulled down the pillars of Satan's kingdom and exposed him for the liar and murdered that he was from the beginning. Christ's everlasting kingdom was forever established at His resurrection and the hour of God's judgment of the nations began (Dan 7, Rev 4, Rev 14). The judgment of the world was initiated at the anointing of our Lord Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. His sinless life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection was the commencement of the "last days" and the "hour of his judgment (rule)" (see Revelation 14:6ff).
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: Revelation 14:6-10
Babylon fell at the enthronement of Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All who repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are sealed in the Lamb's book of life. Those who reject the Lordship of Christ will receive the "mark of the Beast".
Rome is the fourth kingdom in the prophecy of Daniel. It is symbolized as having ten horns (a number of completeness) because Rome was an empire which was composed of many subservient conquered kingdoms over which Rome placed its own loyal governors. It is the Roman Empire in conjunction with the province of Judea ruled by Herod and the Sanhedrin (this constitutes the "Little Horn") which "stood up against the Prince of princes" (Daniel 8). It is Christ who fulfilled the final "week" of Daniel 9. The "abomination of desolation" was the crucifixion of our Lord by Rome in conjunction with the rulers of Jerusalem . That which was "determined upon the desolator" was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It was Rome which caused the "sacrifice to cease". Christ, after He "confirmed" the covenant for 3 and 1/2 years, was murdered by the "Little Horn". Rome thereby desecrated the "temple" and "caused the sacrifices to cease" in crucifying the Lord. It is Christ who said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." It is Christ, the "second Adam" who repaired the breach caused by the fall of the "first Adam". It is in Christ that all of the prophetic promises of God have reached their final "amen"!!
Finally Rome destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. The "abomination of desolation" standing in the "holy place" spoken of by our Lord in Matt 24 was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies of Titus. The Lord thusly identifies Rome , the fourth kingdom, as being the "desolator" which not only cuts off the Messiah, but also then destroys the holy city after its rejection of the Messiah.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains....Matthew 24:15-16
I hope this brief explanation of the book of Daniel will give you some insight as to how to understand its mysterious symbolism as a shadow and precursor of the full revelation of the "mystery" of God in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This mystery is fully disclosed in the New Testament witness. But Gabriel tells Daniel, "Only those who are wise will know what it means!!" Daniel 12:10 NLV.
And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God : but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mark 4:11-12
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery , which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Romans 16:25-26
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery , even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. Corinthians 2:6-10
....he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will , according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. Ephesians 1:6-10
Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; Colossians 1:26-27
Your brother in Christ,
The "Purpose Driven Christian"
The problem with those who focus on the fruit of Christianity as does Rick Warren is that one ends up with the social gospel which minimizes doctrine rather than a doctrinally focused evangelical objective gospel of justification by faith which bears all of the good fruit which one sees revealed in the Christian world today. Rick Warren minimizes doctrinal differences and emphasizes what he believes are values that Christians all hold in common.
This is the very essence and basis of the ecumenical movement. Who can argue with so-called good works that Rick Warren is promoting which focus on the so-called purposeful faith life of the believer? It's like criticizing motherhood and apple pie or someone like Mother Teresa!! The fact is however that the first and foremost "purpose" of the Christian believer and the Christian church is to proclaim and emphasize the doctrines of the Christian faith which are rooted and founded in the primary doctrine of Justification by Faith alone of lost sinners by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone. Justification before God is by faith without works.
If one carefully reads the Bible, both Old and New Testament, the primary emphasis is on faithfulness to doctrine which will bear the very fruit that Rick Warren is so passionate about. To focus on "works" is to focus on Man and how Man is to find meaning and purpose to his life. This puts sanctification before justification and leads invariably to a minimizing and eventually to eliminating the focus on the finished work of God in Christ as ones central witness and proclamation. The final end in all of this "finding ones purpose" in life will end in a bankrupt humanism falsely called "Christianity". The end result will be pantheism .
The focus of the Christian message is our forgiveness and acceptance with God and eternal life because Christ has fulfilled all righteousness for us in His doing and dying upon the cross of Calvary. To proclaim any other "gospel" than justification by faith alone will end in worshipping Antichrist, and those who proclaim this "other" false gospel will to all outward appearance be seen as an "angel of light". It is a pity that you like to quote from so many humanists in your response. You even attempt to put forward Ellen White as one who would endorse Rick Warren and his emphasis. But Ellen White's primary and supreme emphasis was on doctrine which bears the fruit of obedience to the entire revealed will of God in the Bible alone. This is the emphasis of the Bible as well. Truth always bears the fruit of righteousness. Ignoring truth and/or minimizing truth as Rick Warren does will lead to worshipping of a false Christ and turn Him into a "popular somebody" like Santa Claus. All the world worships and loves a Santa Claus, but the world hates the true Christ of the Bible.
Bryan, you have fallen prey to a false teacher of a false "gospel". As one minister of the gospel to another I urge you to repent and have your eyes anointed with the eye salve of the gospel of the Bible and buy the true gold tried in the fire that the shame of your nakedness does not appear when Christ shall come again to reward every man according to his works. What is the work of which God approves? It is the proclamation of the finished work of Christ and Him crucified. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved by faith alone without works. Proclaim the cross and the doctrines of Christ then good works will follow. Good works of service to our fellow man do not give one purpose in life. One cannot balance a stick on ones finger by focusing on the finger. One balances the stick by focusing on the top tip of the stick. In other words one who teaches the truth of the bible is focusing on the word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ who justifies the ungodly sinner who repents and trusts only in His shed blood for his acceptance with God while he awaits the happy day of Christ's coming in the clouds of heaven.
I would suggest that you read more of Martin Luther rather than Rick Warren and his veiled humanism. Luther would have strongly reproved Rich Warren and exposed him as a blind leader of the blind. Your faithful brother in Christ, Bill Diehl, http://www.presenttruthmag.org/
A challenge to change your understanding of salvation.
Dear Bill Diehl,
Righteousness is not by repentance but belief. Gen 15:6. Did Abram repent? No he believed God!
Salvation is not by law keeping or ten commandments or any commandment but belief.
Faith is always inseparable from repentance. It is therefore utterly inconceivable that a believer can wear the Father's robe while despising His Law. Faith is always inseparable from repentance, which is sorrow for breaking the Father's commandments.
And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:20-21
He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:12-13
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth , more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7
And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47
The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him. Acts 5:30-32
Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4
Justification is a law term. It means "setting one right before the Law." — A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p.856. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers the proclamation of the good news of Christ's atoning death to all the world and it is the Holy Spirit who empowers the invitation to all the world to believe and repent. Faith without repentance is not biblical faith. One of the primary works of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment —
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:7-8
so that we who are by nature dead in trespass and sin might call out, "What must I do to be saved?" Without this drawing of the Holy Spirit none of us would ever be drawn to the foot of the cross with groans of repentance for our sins.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44
And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32
Thus it is impossible that true faith in Jesus Christ can be a mere mental assent to the truthfulness of the gospel. True faith says, "Christ loved me! Christ died for me! O wretched man that I am! It was my sin that crucified the Son of God. Lord be merciful to me a sinner!!"
...and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
God has not left the church to define "sin" by the vote of the congregation! Sin is clearly defined in the word of God as being "transgression of the Law" (John 3: 3, 4) .
"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
Paul tells us that "by the Law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20 -23) .
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Sin must never be defined as merely some nebulous man-made opinion as to what constitutes right and wrong . The Holy Spirit uses the holy Law of God to define what constitutes sin. The Holy Spirit exposes our sins, causes us to tremble in condemnation, and then through the proclamation of the gospel invites us to flee to Christ to be justified by faith in His perfect doing and dying for us on Calvary.
No antinomian can claim to be a biblical Christian. The essence of existentialism is that everyone does "what is right (or wrong) in his own eyes" according to his own "feelings".
Judges 17:6 "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes."
Neither man nor angel has the authority to tamper with the holy Law of God. Paul tells us "I had not known sin. . . except the Law had said 'thou shalt not. . .'"
Romans 7:6, 7 "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Those who claim that the Law of God no longer functions for Christians to show us our sin, define righteousness, and reveal the will of God for the believer have forsaken the New Covenant . It is in the New Covenant that God promises to "write the Law" in the heart of every repentant believing Christian. The greatest "abomination of desolation" among us today is the teaching of "lawlessness" from the pulpits of certain circles within the church today.
While some teach that the Law of God has been dispensed with for the believing Christian, others teach that God's Law can be tampered with and altered. Some within the church have reached forth and dared to tamper with the holy Law of God, the Ten Commandments. With chisel in hand these antinomians have blasphemously claimed to have the authority to entirely delete the second commandment from the Decalogue! So as not to be left with only nine commandments, they have cleverly divided the tenth commandment and re-chiseled it into two commandments. Thus they can still claim that there are "Ten" Commandments.
Their tampering with the holy commandments has not ended there however. The fourth commandment which urges us to "remember" to worship the Creator of heaven and earth has been changed from its seventh day memorial of the six days of creation to rather become a first day memorial of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we can hear this falsehood echoed throughout most of the professing Christian churches.
The scriptural gymnastics that some employ to attempt to prop up this unscriptural alteration is truly amazing. By misusing Paul's dispute with the Galatian and Colossian Ebionite judaisers, they try to make Paul out to be an enemy of the Ten Commandments! The apostle Paul's controversy with the gnostic Ebionite judaisers was not due to their wanting to keep the Ten Commandments! His complaint was that they were using their efforts at Law-keeping as the basis of their hope of eternal life rather than faith in the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were in effect denying the atonement of Christ on the cross as heaven's appointed means to reconcile God and Man and replacing it with the keeping of earthly ceremonies and a ridged ascetic moral code just as the Pharisees had done. They saw Christ as a mere angelic gnostic messenger sent to show us how to advance through the divine mysteries to attain to the perfection of divine holiness. In so doing they failed to grasp the true depths of their fallen sinful condition on the one hand and the immaculate unblemished holiness demanded by the Law of God on the other hand. Only the sinless spotless life of the divine Lord Jesus Christ could offer to God a righteousness equal to broadest demands of God for holiness.
Paul's gospel proclaimed the sinless Christ and His shed blood on the cross as our heaven-sent Substitute . The judaisers saw Christ merely as our example to follow in order to attain to eternal life through copying of His life and offering this inward holiness of life and moral attainment to God. Thus Paul sharply denounced them as being "under the Law" for salvation.
Without a thorough understanding of the historical background to these epistles, many have departed from the true apostolic faith once delivered to the church and have fallen into grievous antinomian errors. Anticipating this apostasy, Peter gives us this solemn warning in 2 Peter 3:14-18—
So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this (the Day of the Lord), make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort , as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Bill Diehl, editor
Copy of Ellen G. White's letter to J. Bates regarding the "Shut Door"
Have you ever read EGW's letter to Joseph Bates dated July 13, 1847? She tells him that the Shut Door Doctrine is valid based on her visions. She taught it for 7 years. By 1851 she and James realized that the Shut Door wasn't going to fly, so they had to replace it somehow. That is where the Sanctuary Doctrine comes from. She simply exchanged the Shut Door for the Sanctuary. I photographed that letter that proves she was a fraud. If you'd like a copy let me know.
Even though the early Advent believers were immature in their understanding of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and should never have begun to set dates for the coming of the Lord, there are some important lessons to be learned from the history of the great disappointment that they endured. For one thing those who rejected the proclamation of the soon coming Savior to judge the world were not merely mocking the humble yet immature faith of these Advent believers, they were mocking the very idea taught in the word of God that one day He would judge the world by the standard of His holy Law, including the Sabbath and the creation account outlined in the Sabbath commandment.
These believers had an intense longing to see their Savior. Yes, they were wrong in their understanding of Daniel 8:14 but they were right to proclaim the gospel and the second advent with their great zeal. This aroused a world-wide interest in the bible, the gospel, and the second coming of Christ. Just look at what happened to those denominations of Christians of that era who rejected what eventually became the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Most of them eventually rejected biblical creationism and began to adopt a Darwinist approach to the doctrine of origins: Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and Congregationalist all eventually embraced Darwinism. Their colleges and universities which were once great defenders of the word of God and the gospel became cesspools of secular humanism and outright atheism.
Other groups began to embrace Dispensationalism with its fantasy of a secret rapture of the church, a restoration of the nation of Israel in Palestine, and a literal seven year tribulation period. Did the Lord "close the door" to these movements and "open the door" to a new movement which fully endorses and restores all of the apostolic truths of the bible just as the apostles taught in the bible? I think so and I see this Seventh-day Adventist movement as a valid movement raised up by God to finish the full restoration of the truths of the bible which the apostate false church of Rome has blasphemously sought to destroy.
Is there still some immaturity in the message of the Adventist movement? Absolutely, but the basic truths of this movement will be embraced by all who will live to be saved on the last day.
Hope to hear from you again,
Bill Diehl, editor www.PresentTruthMag.org
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Hello Present Truth Magazine,
Could you please explain why Adam and Eve's sin was so serious as to cause God to issue a death decree upon all of humanity?
In the Garden of Eden only God as the Creator, Lawgiver, Judge, and King had the exclusive divine prerogative to "know" or "discern" between good and evil, right and wrong, sin and righteousness. Adam and Eve knew about good and evil because God had told them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.
But they, as created subjects of the King, were not free to determine what was right or wrong, good or evil. In taking this determination upon themselves they were setting themselves up in the place of God as the divine Lawgiver and Judge. The creature was usurping prerogatives which belonged only to the Creator.
After taking of the forbidden fruit, God said that now "man has become like God (us)" in that man had taken upon himself the role of a judge of what is good or evil. This simple act of disobedience was in essence an act of high treason and rebellion against the office of the King, Lawgiver and Judge. Man had set himself up as judge in the place of the divine Judge/Lawgiver. Thus God the Judge decrees that Man can no longer be allowed to live forever as a "god" thinking that he can be the determiner of good and evil, right and wrong. The rebellious human family now had rejected the Lord as the supreme Judge and had determined to do what was right in its own eyes. Man had allied himself with God's supreme Enemy and had taken upon himself the role and prerogative which only God had the right to assume. Man had attempted to usurp the throne of God. Jesus Christ alone, as the Supreme Judge, has the right to "know good and evil".
The Hebrew noun da'ath and the Hebrew verb yada' are used as knowledge and to know respectively.
Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:8-9 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath — discernment, perception, wisdom) of good and evil .
Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat 17 But of the tree of the knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath — discernment, perception) of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Verb yada' : Genesis 3:4, 5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing (Heb. verb yada' — to discern, perceive, distinguish, discriminate) good and evil .
Verb yada' : Genesis 3:22 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know (Heb. verb yada — to discern, perceive, distinguish) 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:
Verb yada' : 2 Samuel 19:35 35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern (Heb. yada' — to discriminate or distinguish between) between good and evil ? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?
Hebrew shama, byin , and yada used as synonyms:
2 Samuel 14:17 17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern (Heb. shama' — decide a legal matter as a judge) good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.
1 Kings 3:6-11 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern (Heb. byin — to distinguish) between good and bad : for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern (Heb. shama' —to decide a judicial case as a judge "hears" a case) judgment ;
Very best regards,
Bill Diehl, editor
Angels intermarring with women?
Thank you for the work you've gone to to put all that information on your web site. I haven't read it all yet so maybe my question is answered there. If so, please just point me to it. So here goes:
In your "Don't believe" column number 66 (Teaching that angels were once able to have sexual relations with women and produce a race of super-humans is a serious departure from the word of God.) is the one I wonder about. Who then were the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men"? What was the sin that the Sons of God did against the people and aginst the animals too? And where did the giants come from? Thank you for taking time to consider my questions,
I must ask your indulgence for not answering your email sooner. I can now take some time off to attempt to give you some of the reasons why we here at Present Truth Magazine believe that the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6 were not angels who produced a race of antediluvian super-humans.
Genesis 6:1-5 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
We believe that the key to understanding what is meant in Genesis 6 is found in Genesis 4.
Genesis 4:1-26 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD." Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."
Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."
And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son -- Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.
Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. Then Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."
And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed." And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.
This account of the events in the life of Cain after he killed Abel is given in the bible in order to show us what direction Cain and his progeny took. They became totally alienated from the Lord and ultimately became completely lawless and apostate. It is at verse 26 that we are told that it is only through Seth, faithful Abel's equally faithful replacement, that "men began to call upon the name of the LORD".
We must keep in mind that it was only faithful Abel who brought a sacrifice which was "acceptable" to the Lord. This animal sacrifice was acceptable because it pointed in faith to the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, the promised "seed" of Eve who would crush the serpent's head. It is through the line of Seth that the knowledge of the one true God was kept alive in the antediluvian world. In these passages we are shown the two distinct lineages which were being developed.
As the account progresses in Genesis 5 we are shown the development of the lineage of Seth, while the lineage of Cain is ignored. Then we come to chapter six where we see that the entire earth is now densely populated and of all the inhabitants of the earth only Noah is remaining faithful and he alone "finds grace in the eyes of the LORD". It is apparent that even the majority of the Sethites had forsaken the worship of the LORD.
It is within this context that we are told that--
"There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart." Genesis 6:4-6.
With the background and context of this passage in mind, we must understand this passage. God is showing us that the "sons of God", who should have never intermarried with the pagan children of Cain, were now taking wives from unbelievers and joining with these "daughters of men" in their apostasy. The fact that there were "giants on the earth in those days" should not surprise us at all. The antediluvians were not the ignorant, half evolved prehistoric cave men which modern anthropologists would have us believe them to be. These people lived to be nearly 1,000 years old. They were only a few generations away from Adam and had not suffered from the effects of degeneration and genetic decay from which we suffer today. They were still vibrant, healthy, immensely intelligent and physically near perfect specimens of humanity. It should not shock us to learn that these people were "giants", not only in their capacity to sin and commit evil, but also in their physical appearance. It is only after the flood that the lifespan and the vitality of the human race began to diminish. These people were still magnificent in stature and ability.
The account here tells us that--
"Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:4-5
We can speculate from this passage that it is very probable that the ancient mythological legends about "god-men" had their basis in the lives of these evil apostates who were totally corrupted in their lives and actions and causing unimaginable suffering and warfare upon the pre-flood peoples. The mythologies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were very likely developed from the oral and written traditions which developed and were handed down through the post-flood apostates who came from Noah's son, Ham and then Cush, Mizraim, Canaan, Nimrod, and the apostates who built the tower of Babel.
These giant peoples still survived even unto the days of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. Here is a listing of the biblical accounts in the days of Moses and Joshua and following generations:
Numbers 13:32 -14:1 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."
Deuteronomy 2:9-11 "Then the LORD said to me, 'Do not harass Moab, nor contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.' " (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim . They were also regarded as giants , like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.
Deuteronomy 3:8-13 "And at that time we took the land from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were on this side of the Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon '(the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir), "all the cities of the plain, all Gilead, and all Bashan, as far as Salcah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. "For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants . Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit. "And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, and half the mountains of Gilead and its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and the Gadites. "The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh. (All the region of Argob, with all Bashan, was called the land of the giants .
Joshua 12:4 The other king was Og king of Bashan and his territory, who was of the remnant of the giants, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei,
Joshua 13:12-13 " ...all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants ; for Moses had defeated and cast out these. Nevertheless the children of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maachathites, but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.
Joshua 17:15-18 So Joshua answered them, "If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants , since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you." But the children of Joseph said, "The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel." And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph -- to Ephraim and Manasseh -- saying, "You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, "but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong."
2 Samuel 21:15-22 When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant , the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, "You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel." Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant . Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature , who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant . 21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
1 Chronicles 20:4-8 Now it happened afterward that war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines, at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Sippai, who was one of the sons of the giant . And they were subdued. Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, with twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.
And so from looking over the biblical context of Genesis and other passages, we have drawn our conclusion that:"Teaching that angels were once able to have sexual relations with women and produce a race of super-humans is a serious departure from the word of God."
If you have any questions don't hesitate to email me and I will do my best to answer.
Julian, Ca. 92036
Reply to an email from a Seventh-day Adventist minister
If the gospel of justification by faith alone had been embraced whole-heartedly in the 1970's, the truth about Ellen G. White's borrowings and doctrinal changes and the truth about the erroneousness of the 1844 dating schema would have had no real damaging impact upon the viability of the SDA movement. The good news about the imputed righteousness of Christ would have carried the day even unto the Last Day.
As it is today, the church members are shocked as they are beginning to understand that the following "Adventist Distinctives" are not actually taught in the Bible:
Adventists feel betrayed by the leaders in which they had been placing their confidence. Members are leaving in droves since 1980. The very truths that Adventism was raised up to restore are now spoken evil of because of the sins of the SDA leadership, especially the Ellen G. White Estate, which has resisted and hedged up the way for the truth to be taught to the Seventh-day Adventist members.
These reforms in Adventist teaching are absolutely necessary in order for a true revival of primitive godliness to take place among the advent people. Then and only then will the people of God in other folds begin to take the Seventh-day Adventist movement seriously and join this God-ordained movement to restore the bible and only the bible as the Christian's rule of faith.
Seventh-day Adventism is not a cult, but some of the Adventist doctrines tend to be cultic. However, the essence of the Adventist movement is true historic Protestant Christianity.
The Adventist movement in its truest evangelical expression as God intends this movement to be will be a "restoration" movement rather than an "innovation" movement. Just look at the true essence of Adventism:
In essence then, Adventism as God intends it to be, is God's final warning to all the world to repent and be justified by His unmerited "grace alone" through "faith alone" in the sinless life and atoning death of "Christ alone" as revealed in the "Bible alone".
This is the essence of true Adventism which Ellen G. White intended for the movement to be. Her vision was for Adventism to be the foremost voice in all the world to uplift the sinless, crucified, and risen Savior to all the world. She never intended her writings to become so prominent in the Advent Movement as they are today as the "twenty eight fundamentals" and the recent Sabbath School Quarterly portray her writings to be. It is time for the Seventh-day Adventist movement to take off the "training wheels" of Ellen G. White and become all that the Lord intended this movement to be. Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Solo Christo, Sola Fide.
From the United Kingdom
You say that the Law reveals sin or the power of sin. Ok, I can understand how sin is revealed by the Commandments but I seriously don't see how sin is revealed by the Sabbath commandment. Where in the Bible does it show how the 4th Commandment reveals sin? Paul talks about the condemnation of the Law. In what way does the 4th Commandment condemn a person? Where is that found in the Bible?
If Jesus fulfilled the spirit of the law how did he fulfill the spirit of the Sabbath? Again where is that found in the Bible? Thank you,
The first four commandments of the Ten Commandments show us how to love God and show us our duty to worship Him according to His will. This is the will of God that we keep His commandments. The Sabbath commandment which was instituted at the close of the creation week tells us that God rested on the seventh day. He declared that the Sabbath was to be a memorial to His having created in six days. All who worship the Lord in accordance with His word will also rest with Christ on the seventh day. When we rest from our work on the Sabbath we are given a day which was set aside to spend the entire day with our families as a holiday to fellowship with fellow believers in worship and joyous relaxation together.
You ask, how does disregarding the Sabbath day condemn a person. Those who willfully and high handedly disregard the day which He has blessed as a memorial to His creative power are refusing to enter into the worship which He has commanded. God is the Lawgiver and He alone has the authority to set the limits and obligations of man. For a person to say that he can disregard one of God's expressed commandments is to set aside what God has ordained.
You ask, how did our Lord Jesus Christ fulfill the spirit of the Sabbath. The unbelieving Jewish scribes and Pharisees continually accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing on the Sabbath. Jesus answered that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. He also said that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Christ was continually showing the true spirit of Sabbath keeping. The unbelieving Jews however were revealing the true hardness of their hearts in their lack of kindness and mercy and true worship of the Creator. We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. Thus to disregard any of the Ten Commandments in a willful disregard of the commandment is to worship a god other than the creator redeemer God of the holy bible. Satan is the lawless one and those who rebel against God's Law are joining in Satan's rebellion and are of the same spirit of lawlessness.
In closing we want to make it clear that no one is justified before God by obeying God's holy Law, but those repentant believing sinners who are trusting in the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ will submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in writing the Law of God upon the tablets of the heart. The born again believer will delight in God's Law in the inward man.
Bill Diehl, editor
Regeneration and Repentance
Dear Present Truth Magazine, to quote your "denial" #6 on the front page of your web site:
"6. Any teaching which declares that repentant sinners must be sanctified or regenerated before they can be justified is a serious departure from the word of God."
Come now, Bill. Are suggesting an unregenerate sinner can repent?
You have created a "false dilemma". Just because repentance can not merit heaven does not mean repentance is not required for justification in the final judgment.
Let's not confound the legal requirement with the moral and conclude no moral requirement is necessary for salvation.
The reformation clearly distinguishes between the meritorious cause and the instrumental cause of salvation. And they don't use one to deny the other.
Ed: The link that is associated with "regenerated" above will clarify what we mean by "regeneration" not being a prerequisite for justification.
Bill, You have published the chapter on costly grace by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. All the Christian radio stations spout the other kind of grace. You don't have to do anything to be saved except show up for church on Sunday morning . . and, oh, give us 10% of your money. I know that as Dietrich says that after all, in the end, we are saved by grace. But I also know that one does not experience the true blessings of God unless he spends a whole life seeking him with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength. I think that unless people are motivated to take up the call of discipleship, they are being sold short. So why are all the ministers selling their followers short? It's so dreadfully sad. . .evil. I want to do something to help change this.
I am Catholic. Somehow people are being sold short on this side too. All the people caught up in busy work and experiences. God needs people who seek him endlessly and keep their eyes fixed on him.
I Cannot Tolerate Your Lies!!!
Dear "Present Truth," I don't know what kind of a church group you are, but I do know your statements about the teachings of my Traditional Catholic religion (especially the Council of Trent) are so totally distorted that they constitute a complete fabrication or, in other words, a lie. In no way, shape or form do we believe in the "inherent goodness of man," let alone that as a basis of salvation.
It must be pointed out that the Roman Catholic Church in the 2nd Vatican Council completely changed our religion, forcing those of us who believe in the older religion (the Gospels, of the Salvation of Jesus on the Cross) to leave. Anything you see in the post-Vatican II "modern" Roman Catholic Church and Papacy does not represent the Gospel of "Salvation" by the BLood of Jesus Christ, which it is quite obvious you people do not believe in, i.e. that there is only true Salvation by the cleansing Blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, you are not "saved" regardless of your claim to being "Christians" by your denial of the Cross of Jesus on Calvary as an actual "Substitutionary Sacrifice" or "Atonement" for all human beings as "SINNERS", which also you obviously fail to believe, that human beings are all "Sinners" and have completely fallen short of the Glory of God.
You see, we only have the true Gospel, that mankind are all sinners, thus requiring the 2nd person of the Godhead, named Jesus Christ, to come into the flesh in order to die as the only complete and total Sacrifice to God the Father for the sins of mankind, and only through faith in JESUS, then following the commandments of JESUS (to be baptized, to confess our sins, to follow a life where JESUS sanctifies us) can we reach heaven. And whatever you people believe is a bunch of bunko baloney, because outside the Cross of Christ there is NO SALVATION under any other name under heaven.
So now you know how to be saved. Don't ever say I did not tell you.
P. S. The only possible motivation for your telling such total lies about our Council of Trent doctrines has to be to make your own heretical religion sound like the "truth." There is only ONE TRUTH, that Jesus died for sinners. By that standard, let God be true and all men, including your heresies, be liars. I cannot tolerate your lies!!! Our true Traditional Catholic religion (pre-Vatican II, Council of Trent) believes all men are sinners, separated from God. You do not have the true writings of Trent, nor the true doctrines of our church. You are under the Protestant heresy and no doubt a multitude of other heresies. The Protestant heresy is that the Bible is a matter of "private interpretation." I'm sure if we knew of your heresies, the list couldn't fit into one room. Thus the usual arrogance of alleged "Christians" who never bother to confess their daily sins to anybody, yet condemn True Catholics for confessing before a priest, to hide the fact they are completely ignoring the Bible, allowing their sins to get worse and worse until their death, claiming it's between "them and God". I know because all the so-called "born-agains" around me are doing drugs, using prostitutes, alcoholics, blasphemers, hate-filled, etc. They never go to church, yet brag of being "saved" and allegedly knowing the Bible. I do not know of one alleged "born again" that attends church. I do know of adulterous born-agains and drug addict born-agains though who pour their stinking booze on the face of a picture of the Lord Jesus I gave them to try to get a little God into their pathetic lives.
I guess I should apologize. I just hate hearing such flat-out lies told to attack my beautiful Catholic religion as printed on your web site. However, you are whatever you are and will continue to tell whatever lies and wild stories you feel necessary to further your cause, I am sure! PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO MY LETTERS!!! I have blocked you from my E-mail as a precaution.
Hello brothers and sisters in our same Master and perfect Savior, Christ Jesus. It seems you've left out some things (and added another) to the gospel statement at the top of your page. Here's some good news: Paul clearly states the gospel to believe and the confession to confess for righteousness and salvation and he even explains it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 and in Romans 10:9-10.
So, of course, this is the most fundamental thing I could write to you about, and it's necessity is the reason, loved brothers and sisters in our same God, Jesus, that I'm bringing this up.
The top of your page says that believing that Jesus lived a sinless life is part of the gospel. Of course this is an important point (and maybe even needed), but it's not part of the gospel as far as I've been able to find in God's Bible. So you added that one. You changed the point of Jesus' death by only saying that Jesus death is atoning - but the Bible's wording is better, because it says that "Christ died for our sins" and "according to the Scriptures", adding the important Scriptures clause, and subtly taking away the knowledge that it was God's PURPOSE to died for the PURPOSE of atoning our sins (and not that His death just happened to atone, which I don't think most people, when reading what you've written down here, are subverted by it, but the language you use tends toward this other meaning).
Lastly, and perhaps the worst and perhaps the most obviously deviating part of your statement is leaving out God's burial, and His resurrection on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and all the credible list of credible witnesses who sited Him and even communed with Him after His resurrection. And you left out the part about confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus to be saved, which Paul clearly states in Romans 10:10 is the very thing, along with belief (which he here specifies that belief is of the resurrection), that leads to salvation.
In sum, you added the fact of Jesus' sinlessness to the gospel that God told us through His servant Paul, and you left out from it Jesus' burial, resurrection on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and the long list of witnesses who saw Him after His resurrection. You also leave out confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus to be saved.
THIS IS IN FACT PERVERTED GOSPEL LOVED CHRISTIANS - RUN FAST AWAY FROM IT. AS SOON AS YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.
Hi Mr. Bill,
I heard about you from Pastor Lubuto and since then we have studied the web site. Much as I have some few things I did not agree with you like deliberate on clean and unclean foods. But I have so much liked your good approach to justification by faith. I struggled with being good enough and things never worked out. I work as a nurse and I had worked for the SDA church for many years. It so happened that I became pregnant and I was burned from service and I was thrown out. I also felt I had failed my God, employers and I so much wanted one day to get married but the chance never came my way. Its bitter to be neglected by the church you love.
When I read your presentations and we studied them over and over hope came back. I felt happy to know that still God loves me despite failing him and my unfaithfulness. I want to lead a victorious life. I still have problems with being a single lady and at a time I want so much make love. I will try to avoid where I can. Thanks you for giving the hope again.
I love the SDA church but association with the present truth has given better hope for eternity.
In Home Bible Class
Hi, my name is Rich Stevens and I live in White Bluff, TN. I have started a bible study in my home and I was doing some research on line about Faith Righteousness. I was instantly taken to Present Truth Magazine. I want you to know that I really appreciate the things I have read, and am thrilled to know that there are others out there that believe. I haven't read everything, but I am moved beyond words to be able to find this type of information/teaching on the internet. Thank you so much for what you do. How can I receive this magazine either in print or e-mail format. Please let me know.
Again, thank you for the work you do in Christ,
Thanks For the Web site
Bill, when the world gets me down, I think of you often and realize we are only here for a short time and that I need not be discouraged because in the long run, Jesus is coming back to execute judgment and everything gets turned around down here. You bless more people than you probably will ever know.
I have just come across your web site. Amazing! How come I've not seen this before? Absolutely enlightening material and excellent reference source. Is there somewhere I can go to find more about the background and persons involved?
When I'm in a better position, I'll certainly give some financial support.
Good News For Uganda
To the people of God,
I am Adam and I love to know more about God. One of these day I met a man on the street giving out tracts and he gave me a tract called "Have you heard the... Good news! Your sins are Forgiven!!". After I read it I wanted to get more to study but I could not find him anywhere. Good enough the tract had a web site where I have got this E-mail address and I would like to know if you have any representative in Uganda? Please give me his address such that I can contact him or her, if not then help me in any way you can.
Please I want to receive the magazine which you publish. A friend of my told me how good the magazine is and I know it will help me to grow in Christ. Thank you.
Mr Samuel A Marh
Tema New Town, Ghana.
Can God Forgive All Kinds of Sin?
Sir: I've believed in Jesus since I was small but in the last year and a half I've been a sinner and it reads in the bible that adulterers will be judged. So, are you saying that any sin, no matter what degree of sin, can be forgiven? I used to walk a straight line and I judged so many for doing the same and then I fell in love with someone with whom I should have never even spoken to other than in passing and this has torn me into a million pieces and I no longer know who I am and I do not talk to God because like Eve, I fear him and I am ashamed.
Literal Translation of the Bible
Sirs: Having been a Christian for some 30 years... and a Methodist for about 40 years... I have run into a statement that has thoroughly stumped me. A daughter of a Theology Professor at Emory University is a member of our church and has hit me with this statement, "I don't mind a Bible Study if it isn't based on a literal translation of the Bible and its Verses." Huh? She furthered her explanation by saying she didn't believe the Bible to be inspired, but that it was written by ordinary people just like you and me.
How on Earth do I address this? Do you have an article already housed in your archives I could refer to?
September 10, 2002
Dear Leslie, This is a common opinion of those who endorse "Christian existentialism". Here is an excellent article that you will really enjoy which attempts to explain the error of this school of thought. God bless you as you lift up Jesus as Savior and Lord. Your servant in Christ, Bill Diehl.
The Devil's Ministry
Now we know the source of your ministry — the Devil himself! You have refused to respond as to why you keep your denominational affiliation from those visiting your web site, so it is clear by your silence you are all sons of Satan doing his bidding on earth! — It seems painfully obvious who your father is, he was a deceiver from the beginning and the truth is not in him. Aping your father you are trying to deceive those people who go to your web site by failing to indicate your denominational affiliation or if not officially affiliated that, you are doctrinal fellow-travelers with the Seventh Day Adventists. This is wholly demonic in nature, you are afraid if you tell people who you are they won't read your teachings and be thus deceived and contribute money to your so-called ministry. Shame on you all for lying by omission!
Rev. David R. Miser
New Song Ministries
Their "Worm" Never Dies
Dear Sirs or Madam:
In your article concerning hell. when you quoted Mark 9:44-48 you did not mention the part about "Where their worm never dies". If that is not referring to the man then what does it mean?
Thank you for an answer.
Editor. The phrase which our Lord uses in Mark 9:44-48 , "where their worm never dies" is referring to the worms that eat the dead bodies of those who rebelled against the Lord and refused to believe and repent of their sins. There may be a foot note in your KJV translation which clarifies the meaning of the word "worm" as being the maggots that eat the dead bodies of the enemies of God. Our Lord is quoting from Isaiah 66:22-24 "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."
These texts are not referring to an "immortal soul" as the "worm" that does not die. The "worm" being referred to are the worms that are eating the dead bodies of the lost. See also Isaiah 51:7 "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my Law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. 8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation." And Isaiah 14:11 "Thy (Lucifer) pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee." Here again worms are used to describe the fact that the enemies of God will die and their bodies consumed by worms. "Worm" is not used to mean an immortal undying soul. The Lord in Mark 9:42-44 is using a double analogy to describe the condition of the lost, i.e. worms eating the dead bodies of the lost and also the eternal fire of God to burn up the lost in "gehena". Gehena was the term used for the garbage dump that was located outside of the city of Jerusalem which burned the rubbish of the city and the smoke from this heap arose continually and the fire never went out as the rubbish was consumed. The people hearing Christ use this term understood what He was referring to.
The phrase "eternal fire" is also used to describe the fire that fell upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah. Another term which our Lord uses to describe the fate of the lost is "cast into outer darkness".
I know that this reply is very brief and that there are many texts to consider regarding the terms which the word of God uses to describe the fate of the lost. The main text to consider is the account found in Genesis regarding the fall of man and his expulsion from Eden. When Adam was warned not to eat of the forbidden fruit, he was told that if he ate the fruit he would surely die. An angel was stationed at the entrance to Eden to keep Adam and Eve from eating any longer from the tree of life and thus live forever. Also note that in the earth made new after the resurrection of the redeemed, God's people will once again eat of the tree of life in a restored, sin-free, deathless universe. I hope that this reply clears up some of the meaning of the texts that you mentioned. God bless, Bill Diehl
Baptism to Be Saved?
Sirs: Does it say in the bible that it is necessary for one to be baptized in order to be saved? or is it by grace alone thru faith alone? — I was wondering this because I grew up in grace thru faith; but now I am at college and this church say you NEED to be baptized to be saved. Thanks a lot.
Dear Greg, No one is saved by being baptized by immersion, but all who are saved will be willing to obey our Lord's command for all believers to be baptized by immersion. Baptism is a public demonstration that the believer has put his faith in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He is publicly witnessing to all that he has now turned from the old man of sin and is now living in the new life of the Spirit. The burial in the water represents death to our old life of willful sin and disobedience while the coming up out of the water represents our being born again to a new life of willing obedience.
The same could be said of observing the Lord's supper. No one is saved by observing the Lord's supper, but all who are believers in Christ will be willing to partake of the elements symbolizing the blood and body of our Lord given for the redemption of the world.
Also let me point out that no one is saved by observing the two great commandments to love our Lord with all our hearts, minds, and souls, and strength; and to love our neighbors as ourselves. But all who are saved will be seeking through the strength of the Holy Spirit to fulfill all the Ten Commandments of the Lord which the two great commandments summarize.
In other words, we are not saved by any of our works, but all who are saved will be seeking to live in obedience to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord. Being baptized, observing the Lord's supper, keeping God's commandments, and filling our lives with good deeds never saves us, but the saved man will be always seeking to be a faithful obedient servant of Christ.
If the college you are attending says that baptism is necessary before one can be saved, then this is not in harmony with the gospel truth of justification by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ. This false view of baptism is called "baptismal regeneration" and is a false view of baptism which is identical to the Roman Catholic view of baptism.
If I have not made the matter clear to you brother, please get back to me again, because this is a very important matter for all Christians to understand. God bless you. BD., editor
Tithing Mandatory For Christians?
Sirs: Is 100% of tithe money only meant to go towards pastor wages? Can tithe ever be used towards evangelism materials, or does God say that it has to be paid by "offerings" only and never tithes?
With Warm Christian Love,
Tony, There is no mention in the New Testament as to how gifts to help the gospel should be used. The early Christian apostolic church was never mandated to pay tithe as the Israelites were under the Levitical law in the theocracy of Israel. Offerings under Christ are totally free will and never by mandate.
Those who mandate that Christians MUST pay tithe are misusing the word of God and placing a law upon Christians which the apostles never demanded. Please read Paul's counsel regarding giving for the Christian church members. The same is true regarding dietary laws. If a believer tithes and observes the dietary laws this should be only between the individual and God. We should never judge what another gives or what another eats. God bless you brother, BD.
The Shaking of Adventism
I am not accustomed to writing a response to anyone else's criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but I feel the urge to do so now. I just pray that I can, for once in my life, express myself so that my true convictions can be known!
I came across your Web Page by accident, while looking for some answers to other information about our church's history and divisions. The link to your page was a long way past the first page of links and so I feel that I was lead, so to speak, to find the above mentioned book and then read the "Conclusion" part of it. It was refreshing to find someone else who feels that the church and/or members are acting in the way that the author described! I have become pretty discouraged as of late by the various attitudes as were described!
I've tried discussing these same issues with members of my church's Board of Directors and have always been met with a cold shoulder by the people who I hoped would discuss those same issues with! So, after several failed attempts, I finally stopped, not knowing where to find answers to my questions.
I want to thank you for publishing the articles that are presented on your Web Page, and you can be sure that I have printed them out and will distribute them to other members of my church. Since I am the Librarian of our church, I have a great position to do so! I know that others will welcome these articles as well, as they kind of give a large amount of validation to my thoughts and beliefs. Thanks so much and I know that God will continue to bless your efforts in spreading the truth to those who are truly seeking it! Sincerely . . .
A Thank You
I truly thank God for His faithfulness. These articles have ministered truth to my soul. For I too have suffered much confusion from current day Pentecostal / Charismatic (Word of Faith) error. The Word of God is so rich when I look to Christ and His finished work at Calvary. I thank God for His Goodness and Immutable purposes. Keep on preaching the truth! The LORD bless you and keep you.
Malcolm A. Hawkins
A Thank You
The Lord graciously brought me to Himself sometime in the spring of 1972. In combination with various Christian witnesses, the meditation of scripture AND in particular the written magazine of Present Truth as it related the doctrine of justification by faith (I believe one of the articles was written in part by Martin Luther or quotations from him) my eyes were opened! Over the years I have often wondered about your group and still want to know about Mr. Robert Brinsmead and Mr. Geoffrey Paxton—are they still living and what are they involved in? I am indebted to their labors as well as those active behind the scenes. Thank you. By His grace ALONE
Editor: Around 1990 I felt that it was a shame that the publication was not continuing and I decided to post all of the Present Truth Magazine journals on the internet in 1996. I had to sell my house to raise the money to do it but have never regretted the cost involved with the web site. Many, many have been blessed by the material that is on the web site. It is email like yours that make it all worthwhile to me.
Who Are You?
Dear PT, I was amazed to stumble across all the old Present Truth material you have assembled, including the letters to the editor, and posted on the net. Your web site doesn't make it clear exactly who you are -- can you clarify?
It also posts material written and broadcast by Bob Brinsmead, who I had heard no longer professes the beliefs that he promulgated in Present Truth. Am I incorrect in this? It would be good to hear from you. Yours sincerely,
Editor: I was involved with Present Truth Magazine from 1965 onward. Bob B. abandoned the gospel in 1980 when he came under the influence of existential humanism and abandoned "sola scriptura". I still consider him my friend. Through his teaching he lead me to Christ when I was only 21 years old.
I have just read the article "A Review of the Awakening Message" by Robert D. Brinsmead. I have to say that while he presents a logical argument against the doctrine of entire sanctification, he has also failed to realize the Biblical teaching of entire sanctification. Wesley's teaching that Holiness, or sanctification is a "second work of grace" is true. He was merely reawakening the Church of the Biblical teaching. God did not intend for man to live in sin. Thus, He sent His Son to atone for our sins--Completely. If we say the sacrifice on the cross did not completely atone for our sins (forgiving and completely cleansing) then we are saying Christ's sacrifice is meaningless.
While God is perfect to forgive and cleanse, we also hold this "treasure in earthen vessels." Because we are human and not divine we will always be prone to sin. Christian perfection does not mean that we become perfect as God is perfect, but that our love toward God becomes more perfect (we fall deeper in love with God). John Wesley did not "invent" this theology. He merely brought awareness to what the Bible teaches about being pure and holy. We cannot be pure and holy unless God removes the inbred sin nature within our hearts. Just a few thoughts and comments.
Editor: Thanks for your recent email and comments. The word of God certainly urges us to be entirely sanctified to Christ through obedience to the faith. Every true Christian who is trusting only in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ for his acceptance before God is seeking to overcome every wrong word, thought, and deed in his life that is contrary to the will of God. Those who are not seeking entire holiness of heart and soul and deed are not Christians. Wesley never claimed to have attained to the state of sinlessness of character however. Those who claim to be as sinless of heart as our Lord Jesus Christ are not.
If one defines "entire sanctification" as living without sin then there is no such thing as "entire sanctification". We all sin and continually fall short of the glory of God. Thus we all continually need to trust in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ for our acceptance with God and the gift of eternal life. I am sure that you know that there is still sin in your life as there is in mine, but we as Christians hate our sin and we repent daily and continue to trust only in the perfect righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ to reckon us sinless before God.
Thus we can say with the apostle John that anyone who is sinning is of the Evil One. This is so in the sense that anyone who is committing high-handed, continual, willful disregard for the Law of God, the Ten Commandments, is not a saved person. This does not mean that Christians never sin. There is a sin that is unto death and there is sin that is not unto death. Willful, high-handed, continual, and deliberate disregard for the commandments is sin unto death. The sins of falling short of the glory of God which Christians commit and which are continually confessed before God are not sins unto death. Every true Christian prays the prayer for forgiveness and trusts in the perfect righteousness of Christ and thus his sins are not imputed to him and he is a justified and continually sanctified believer. But while we are continually being sanctified, none can say that we are "entirely sanctified" or that we have perfect love. We press on towards the mark but do no claim to have attained the mark of our high calling in Christ.
Back Issues for the Library
Dear Mr. Diehl:
The Presbyterian Church of America Historical Center seeks to document the larger story of the conservative Presbyterian movement of the 20th century. Your magazine, as I can attest from my own college years, was one of many instruments used of the Lord in the resurgence of the Reformed faith in the latter half of the twentieth century. Thus it is appropriate that we have among our holdings a collection of issues of Present Truth Magazine.
I am writing you in search of two things. One would be some sort of history of the magazine and its founders. If this is already posted on your site, please let me know and I will simply download it. Otherwise, think such a history would be a great addition to your web page, and an account of God's working that I would very much like to preserve.
Secondly, I would like to ask if any back issues of the magazine are still available? While I see that you have posted the content of many issues, for archival purposes the original printing is preferable for a number of reasons. Per your listing of the volumes, we have here numbers 2, 5, 10, 14, 18, 27 and 32. I seem to remember once having issue #3 as well, but gave it away long before I was blessed of the Lord to come into this work as an archivist.
If you can't help me on this last request, I certainly will understand. Hopefully should you ever come across extra copies in years to come, you might remember us.
Blessings in the Lord,
Wayne Sparkman, Director
PCA Historical Center
12330 Conway Road
St. Louis, MO
March 15, 2001
Dear Brother Sparkman, I have not forgotten your email to me from March 15, 2001. Last month I came into possession of a substantial number of original issues of Present Truth Magazine. I would be glad to send any issues that I have here for your archives as you requested. Just let me know which issues you would like and I will send you what I have.... God bless you in Christ Jesus as you contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Bill Diehl, editor. 05/17/2002
Old or Young Universe?
Dear Bill, It was good to meet you at our recent meetings in Loma Linda. I read with interest your explanation of the time prophecies. I didn't have a clear view of your interpretation. Is this a generally accepted understanding of the time prophecies by "evangelical Adventists"? Or are there variations?
You mentioned that Des Ford has given up the literal creation and short chronology. I don't want to bother him directly. Could you explain his view of the origin of man and the fall? Was there a long period of creations and destructions before God came in and created man? What is the significance of the weekly Sabbath to him? Why is he so insistent on keeping the weekly Sabbath? If you aren't sure, I can ask him directly. I have his email address.
Just a word about whether the whole universe was created 6000 years ago or not. I have no problem with believing that there was a gap between the original universe of Gen. 1:1 and verse 3 when God fixed up this world. Mars might be an example of a dormant world ready to be fixed up for habitation. As to the fourth commandment, "For in six days the Lord created heaven and earth and the sea and all that in them is"--this does not have to be an all-inclusive term for the whole universe. On the second day God created the sky and called it "heaven" (v. 8)--the same word as in verse 1 (shemayim). So there is a greater and a lesser meaning of "heaven." On the third day He created the dry land which he called "earth" (aretz)--again there is a large meaning of "earth" as the whole world, and a smaller meaning, dry land. When He created the dry land, the waters gathered into the seas. So when the fourth commandment says "In six days the Lord created heaven and earth and the sea and all that in them is," it is referring to the sky, the dry land, the sea, and all the life in them, the work as described in days 2, 3, 5, and 6 of creation.
Just a thought.
I don't have a lot of time for reading long documents, so have mercy. We do need to be patient with each other where our understandings of Scripture vary.
My best to you.
Editor: I have read Ken Ham's (Answers in Genesis) discussion of Genesis 1-3 and he seems to be able to show very conclusively that the Bible teaches a 6,000 year old universe. The "gap theory" cannot be supported either from the text or context of Genesis.
I wish you would refrain from using such pejorative terms as "immature" to describe the majority view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church concerning the interpretation of Daniel 8:14. If you have ever dealt with evolutionists, you will discover that the main part of their method of countering creationism is to use disparagement and mischaracterization of the wisdom, intelligence, and even honesty of creationists. You are using exactly the same methods. This is especially inappropriate, because your position is wrong, and rests on scholarship that can be persuasively refuted.
The only reason why anyone sees 1150 days in Daniel 8:14, is because they are trying to make the Bible text fit their preconceived theory that the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 was fulfilled in the career of Antiochus Epiphanes. As I write this, I am referring to an article by Dr. Siegfried J. Schwantes, in the book Symposium on Daniel, which is Vol. 2 of the Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, edited by Frank B. Holbrook, and copyrighted in 1986 by the Biblical Research Institute. 'Ereb Boqer, the expression used in Daniel 8:14 that is translated "days" in the KJV, and evening-mornings in some other translations, is not a term that is used in the Bible to refer to the daily morning and evening sacrifice (the tamid ). The word tamid is not in the text, and the way the tamid sacrifices are usually referred to throughout the Bible is "morning-evening," not "evening-morning."
In the Bible, Genesis particularly, "evening-morning" is the formula used to refer to a day, which consists of the dark portion of the day followed by the light portion, reckoning from sunset to sunset. Furthermore, the words are singular in number, therefore must be taken as a unit. It is contrary to the grammar of the text to try to make it apply to morning sacrifices and evening sacrifices. The only reason why anyone tries to interpret this in such a way, is so that they can manufacture evidence to support the idea that the number given, 2300, should actually be divided into half, so it can more easily be made to fit the Antiochus Epiphanes interpretation. By the way, you should be concerned about the origin of the Antiochus Epiphanes interpretation. This view is a part of the preterist interpretation of Daniel, which was invented by a Jesuit scholar in an attempt to counter the Protestant interpretation which identified the Papacy as the Little Horn of Daniel 7. Actually, it goes back even further than that. This interpretation was originated by the Maccabees, in an attempt to give scriptural legitimacy to their assumption of power.
Jewish tradition glorifies the Maccabees, but the prophecy of Daniel 11:14 characterizes them as "the violent ones among your people," and exposes this very subterfuge by predicting that they would "lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down." Their false attempt to wrest the time prophecy of Daniel 8:14 to support their claim to power is actually predicted in this prophecy of Daniel 11:14. So by taking up the interpretation first enunciated by the Maccabbees, you are perpetuating the self-serving, Bible-wresting propaganda of the Maccabeean thugs (who, remember, are the ones who ultimately sold out Israel to Rome).
Editor's reply: We at Present Truth Magazine reject the Maccabean interpretation of Daniel 8. Here is a link to an article on how to interpret Daniel.
H.M.S. Richards or Des Ford?
Hi Present Truth Magazine. I think you are mistaken in your efforts to discredit the significance of 1844. I still like HMS Richards much better than Desmond Ford.
Gerry C. Wagoner
Editors: The date, October 22,1844, is not to be found in the Bible. No matter how one may try to manipulate the meaning of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. For anyone to write a book entitled "1844 Made Simple" is to either knowingly or unknowingly seek to perpetuate an immature view of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation upon the purchased possession of Christ, the Christian church. It is one thing to do so ignorantly and immaturely as did the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism, but it is quite another thing to do so today with the advance in understanding of the apostolic gospel of the New Testament.
All that the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism affirmed as beginning in the year October 22, 1844, in actual fact began at Pentecost. This includes the sealing of God's people, the hour of God's judgment, the day of atonement, the last days, the latter rain, the high priestly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, the "1260 days" of the church's fleeing into the wilderness, and the "ten horned Beast" of pagan Rome followed by the "Little Horn" or "Image to the Beast" of papal Rome making war against the church and the gospel of Christ. Daniel 8:14's "2300 evening and morning sacrifices" until the temple is "restored" refers to the restoration of the apostolic gospel and the evangelical church that was cast down by the "Little Horn" of papal Rome. The Protestant Reformation, which is still a work in progress, perfectly fulfills this allegorical prophecy of restoration.
The entire Messianic era is symbolically portrayed in Daniel and Revelation as the final "3 and 1/2 times" or "1260 days" or "forty two months" of the final week of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 when the "desolating prince" places the "abomination of desolation". This "Desolator prince" makes war with the "Messiah the prince" until the "consummation is poured out upon the Desolator". The conflict between the Messiah and the Desolator is symbolically portrayed as reaching a climax before the end of the 1260 symbolic days. Thus Daniel 8:14 is symbolically pointing us to the restoration of the spiritual Temple of the church and the full truth of the gospel prior to the end of the allegorical "1260 day" era, NOT to a literal date in the year 1844.
As our Lord's ministry was for 3 and 1/2 literal years, the church must minister the gospel to the world for "3 and 1/2" symbolic years clothed in sackcloth while fleeing from the wrath of the Dragon who seeks to destroy her (see Rev. 12). These apocalyptic time periods are symbolic and allegorical in nature and are not to be taken as literal periods of years such as from AD. 538-1798 or from 457 BC. unto 1844 AD. The only literal time period given in Daniel is the "seventy-sevens" from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gabriel is the angel who gave this time prophecy to Daniel and it was Gabriel the angel who announced its FULFILLMENT to the priest Zacharias and the young virgin Mary. Zacharias was told by Gabriel that his wife would give birth to John the Baptist who would herald and prepare the way for the appearance of the Messiah. The virgin Mary was told that she would give birth to the Anointed One, the Messiah Himself.
Christ's ministry from His anointing in the Jordan River until He was "cut of, but not for Himself" lasted for the first half of the final "seven" of the prophecy. Then we see that it is in the second half of the final seven that the Desolator sets up the "abomination of desolation" in the temple until the final "consummation which is determined is poured out upon the Desolator". This final "3 and 1/2 years" of the "seven" when the desolating Little Horn power makes war with the people, the temple, and the truth of the Messiah is applied by the New Testament as a symbolic term for the Christian era when pagan and papal Rome would make spiritual warfare with the church of Christ.
Pagan Rome with its armies put and end to the temple in Jerusalem in AD. 70 thus fulfilling Christ's prediction that, because of Israel's rejection of her Messiah, Rome would desolate the temple and the city as "the abomination of desolation". Then after the fall of the Roman empire, papal Rome, which supplanted the imperial Roman empire as the "Desolator", "healed the deadly wound" that Rome suffered in the fall of the Roman Empire by placing the throne of Rome inside the church itself. The apostle Paul, in 2 Thess 2, refers to the removal of imperial Rome which "restrained" the full-blown appearance within the Christian church of the one referred to as the "Man of Sin".
Thus the papal "pontiffs" now sit upon the old throne of the Roman Caesars, but now call the throne "the throne of Peter". The "seat of the Beast" has become the "seat of the false prophet" who sits in the Temple of the church claiming to speak for Jesus Christ. This is the apostate one who is in fact the Antichrist, the Desolator who has assumed the false identity of spokesman or "Vicar" of Jesus Christ.
The extreme historicist schema that applies the "1260 days" as a literal 1260 year period from AD.538 to AD.1798 is over-literalizing the historical method of Biblical interpretation. This over-literalizing also applies to the application of the "2300 evening and morning (sacrifices)" of Daniel 8:14 to a literal time period from 457 BC. to AD. October 22, 1844. The Bible is just NOT teaching that these prophecies are to be interpreted as anything like traditional historicists attempt to do. The "day for a year" principle (which is valid for the "Seventy Sevens" of Daniel 9 since this is an obvious play upon the "Seventy Years" of Babylonish captivity of Israel prophesied by Jeremiah) is being overly applied to the "Forty two months" and the "1260 days" of John's book of Revelation.
The New Testament has allegorized the final half of the final week of Daniel the ninth chapter and applied it to the Messianic era beginning with the "anointing" of the church at Pentecost unto the ending of the Christian era when the gospel invitation ceases at the end of the age as the "two witnesses" lie dead in the streets of spiritual "Sodom". Revelation 11 is NOT referring to the French Revolution and Revelation 13 is NOT referring to the Unites States of America. The "ten horned Beast" and the "image to the Beast" is referring to pagan and papal Rome respectively for the allegorical era of the "1260 days" of the "abomination of desolation".
In other words, the "seven heads" of the ten horned beast refer to the rule of the Caesars while the "eighth head" (Rev 17) refers to the "false prophet" of papal Rome after the seventh head receives a "deadly wound". The "falling of the stars" and the "dark day" and the "Lisbon earthquake" are NOT to be found in the book of Daniel or Revelation and it is time that the historicist school of prophetic interpretation comes to realize this and admit to the fact that we have been immature in our understanding of these prophecies. The goal of Present Truth Magazine in wishing to see a clear break with the immaturity of the past is NOT to undo or destroy the influence of the Advent movement in its outreach and warning to the world. It is only after a complete and thorough reformation of this movement away from the immaturity of the past that real headway will be made in accomplishing the high calling to bring the evangelical gospel to the world. While we are urging the world to reject the false teachings of the Man of Sin, it is obvious to many within Adventism that this movement has its own work of reformation to accomplish. This reformation will EVENTUALLY be accomplished with or without this generation of Adventists. God bless the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Editors.
Not Being Fair
I am disappointed beyond words by your rather insensitive and unfeeling comments to and about Cliff Goldstein, and for many reasons. First, and foremost, Cliff is a brother in Christ. You may or may not agree with his theology or his eschatology. But to de facto assign "immaturity" to the views of someone with whom you disagree is not the best way to win them over. Frankly, your arguments are diminished in my own eyes by the way in which you state your case. I sincerely hope you find a better way to bring forth your points moving forward. Second, you appear not to have taken Cliff up on his offer of sending you his latest book and reading it for yourself before passing judgment. Cliff is one of our best writers, and one of the best in or out of the Adventist Church. The devotional he gave at the "Westpoint of Evangelism" in Simi Valley last December was one of the best talks that I've heard in ages; it was sheer poetry in its phrasing, utter logic in its presentation and pure gospel in its message.
I say all that not to build up Cliff, per se, but to suggest, again, that this is someone whose views merit serious and respectful consideration . You may agree with him. You may disagree. But to dismiss his work out of hand -- which your e-mails to Cliff seem to do -- is, to me, rather foolhardy and does not reflect the maturity and depth of thinking that you have shown in so many other situations. I believe, as many do, in the 1844 message. It helps me understand a great deal about Bible prophecy that had confused me previously. And while I would prefer that everyone see the verity of this message, I am not going to ram it down anyone's throat. I am certainly willing to entertain respectful discussion and review of these points. And I would hope, overall, that God will be far more kind to me in any of my failings than, frankly, some of your messages have been towards what you perceive to be Cliff Goldstein's errors.
Whatever your final thoughts on the doctrines taught and affirmed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bill, you very much need to take a break, take a deep breath, and consider seriously whether or not your approach to those with whom you disagree is in keeping with the Gospel message you so fervently proclaim. May God guide your heart in this matter. Respectfully,
Prior to going to your site, I was on a Christian site that was discussing whether or not Seventh Day Adventists were a cult. Someone had replied, and in their reply, your site address was listed. I was intrigued by this person's reply, so I went to your site, and have been reading extensively for the past three hours. My question, are you a Seventh Day Adventist and if so, why has Ellen White's teaching not been mentioned? I do agree with much, if not everything, I have read thus far. I belonged to an SDA church a few years back and their teachings relied heavily on the writings of Ellen White. I always felt very uneasy about that, in fact, it was one of the reasons I left SDA. I would much appreciate a reply. Thank you in advance for your time! Yours Truly,
Editors: Please read "This We Deny" on the front page of the web site—Denial # 69-74. From this editor's observations, most Seventh-day Adventists have come a long way since the days of their pioneers of the19th century. Their heterodox "1844 doctrine" is seldom taught to the members any more and Ellen G. White's writings are no longer considered "inerrant".
Dear Friend. You must know Ty Gibson and Bob Jorgenson? Am I right? They believe in this visible and invisible church nonsense also. There are only two churches, Satan's and GOD'S. You are either in one or the other. This nonsense is from THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, A.T. Jones exposed this years ago and so did Martin Luther.
Pastor Les Balsiger
Literal Genesis Creationism?
Sirs: Could you please let us know if you at Present Truth Magazine accept the literal Genesis account of creation?
Editor: Tom, those who deny the historicity of the Genesis account of creation are offering a metaphorical interpretation which is completely theologically unsatisfying and reflective in content of those liberal Protestant theologians who have taken over the mainline denominations which were once the main stay of Biblical gospel teaching. It only takes one or two generations of "metaphorizing" the Genesis account of creation until the entire apostolic Pauline gospel is reduced to a mere ecumenical humanistic moralism and social gospel as we see today in the Wesleyan, Calvinist, and Lutheran religious streams today.
It seems like a very small and insignificant departure from the "faith once delivered to the saint" to allow an allegorical or parable interpretation of the Genesis account to be taught along side of the evangelical gospel, but with the passing of time this small departure from the word of God will widen more and more and become like the proverbial snowball rolling down a hill which gains in size and momentum as it rolls along. Who would have guessed 100 years ago that the mainline evangelical denominations would today be openly advocating Neo Darwinian evolution and millions of years of death and suffering as the means that "God used to create all the life on Earth"? Who would have guessed that they would be advocating a humanistic moralist view of why Christ died on the cross and deny that our Lord Jesus Christ was the eternal creator God incarnate? Who would have guessed that the truths of the Bible would be so compromised so as to allow all the mainline Christian denominations to seek reunification with the unbiblical and mythical religion of Papal Rome? How do they all fit Darwinism into the Christian message? By declaring that God at some point in the evolutionary process put an "immortal soul" into the evolved human animal and thus made man in the "image of God".
Where did all this departure from the faith begin? It all began with the denial by the leaders of these denominations of the literalness of the Genesis account of creation, the fall of man, and the entrance of sin and death as found in the Bible. Without this historical foundation for the Christian faith, the entire structure falls down like the tower of Babylon. With the first question of whether the Serpent in the Garden was real comes the next question of whether the Devil and his demons are real. Then the next question is whether the Garden was real or even if Adam and Eve were real!!!
It is for this reason that the seventh day Sabbath will be a test of loyalty for the entire world in the last days. The Sabbath is the linchpin which holds together the entire foundation of the Christian plan of salvation. Without a literal six day creation of which the Sabbath is a memorial, there can be no meaning to the message of the salvation of death deserving sinners by the unmerited grace of God alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone.
The Protestant Reformation will push onward and be brought to its conclusion regardless of those who wish to compromise on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Give it the label of "fundamentalism" or whatever some choose to call it, without a firm stand upon the literal creation account of Genesis, the Christian message will lose its power to save and will open the world to the deceptions that will shortly overtake all the peoples of the world who love a lie rather than the truth.
The challenge as to whether the Bible account of creation is "scientific" and the suggestion that it is merely "theological" in nature like Paul's epistle to the Romans is not a new challenge. The simple answer to this challenge is that the Bible account is "scientific" if by that term we mean that the Genesis account relates literal events which factually took place in time and were recorded by God's prophets historically and accurately.
Of all the four "solas", Sola Scriptura is the most fundamental and important of all. Without a high view of the Bible and the Genesis account of creation, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, and Solo Christo become mere sentimental drivel of a by gone era and something to be looked back upon with a warm fuzzy glow like the belief in Santa Claus.
This sentimentalism is the mind set of many former Christians who have given up faith in the word of God as it reads. Many have lost their firm hold upon their faith in the Bible as the true word of God and the Protestant movement as the final restoration of all the truth that the Antichrist has cast to the ground. They have become so involved and distracted by the politics and side issues within their religious communities that they fail to see the forest because of the trees. They so pick and pick at the immature theological and character flaws of the pioneers of the Protestant movement that they faint along the way and lose their faith. They fail to see that there is within this movement a God ordained purpose being fulfilled. The true evangelical gospel of Jesus Christ is developing and being proclaimed just as surely as within the Jewish nation of the first century God was moving and acting to bring forth the everlasting gospel to take to all the world.
Most of the Jews never knew that the day of their visitation had come and gone without their having even recognized its passing. They were so involved in the distractions of the day and the politics of the day and the popular personalities of the day that they did not notice that the day of their visitation had passed. Their humble unrecognized Messiah had come to them born in a stable and recognized only by uneducated shepherds and despised Gentile pagans coming from distant lands with their gifts and worship. Their King proclaimed to them the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of their sins, but they chose Caesar as their only king and elected to nail this "imposter" who claimed to be God to a cross. When Jerusalem their holy city was destroyed thirty years later they were amazed and never knew why God had finally forsaken them. They had allowed their false prophets and false messiahs to drown out the simple gospel message that had been proclaimed throughout their city by an unpopular "sect" that was despised by the liberal Sadducees who called them "fundamentalists" and the conservative Pharisees who called them false prophets of "cheap grace".
The comparison of the literal creation account of Genesis to the medieval error of the flat earth as the center of the universe is ridiculous and is a mere straw man argument. The fact is that the Darwinian theory of origins and the big bang theory are on shakier scientific ground than they have ever been. The scientific community is frantically seeking to prop these theories up with more and more incredible mathematical gymnastics and distorted interpretations of fossil finds, but their mythologies are sounding more and more like drowning men grasping at straws. The very labels with which these secular humanists are painting the young universe Biblical creationists are falling back upon their own heads as events like the eruption of Mt. St. Helens are blowing to pieces the revered theories of all the cosmologists in archeology, geology, anthropology, biology, and physics. With each new discovery of the scientific community the simple historical account of Genesis 1 11 becomes more and more believable and logical to the honest inquirer after truth. God Himself is verifying His word and is confounding all the pride and unbelief of the world's great men of science falsely so called.
In the final days of this earth every lie of the Enemy will be exposed and God's word will be validated as true for all men of true faith and then the end will come. There will be no fortress of lies in which to hide. The walls of Jericho are and will continue to come tumbling down. God is looking for men and women of faith who will join the march around city whose foundations are lies and whose founder is the father of all lies.
Return to Home Page