[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How do you deal with cults, the ones who knock on your door?

by Antonio da Rosa

I am wondering how you all deal with the Mormons and JWs who come to your door. Some people kindly say that they are not interested. Others invite them in and offer them tea.

What do you do?

The Mormons and the JWs, I think, have marked my house; they don't come around here anymore. I have actually called the phone numbers on the Mormon commercials to ask for a free book of Mormon (they send missionaries out to deliver them). I have had many visitors of both cults come to my house. It always pleases me to have visitors from these groups. The Mormons are always young, usually about 18-22. But the JWs always seem to be older folks. Mormon young adults are encouraged to do a 'mission' which is a 2 year stint. JWs, as one of their obediences to the gospel, have to do regular door-to-door canvassing or visits to other JWs.

I love inviting them in and offering them refreshments. I truly want to hear what they have to say. Why have they come to my house? What message do they bring? I usually have a few questions for them as they give their presentations.

After they are done I ask them to return the favor and allow me to share something with them. I try to keep it simple. I tell them that Jesus Christ has made an absolutely certain promise to immediately impart irrevocable eternal life as a free gift to all who simply believe in Him for it. I like to share a couple of verses from John to show this. After that, to give a greater understanding that eternal well-being is received only through simple faith in Jesus, I love to show them verses like Romans 4:4,5; Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; and Romans 11:6.

I keep from any quarrelling. I am hoping to plant seeds that the Holy Spirit can use to draw these people to Jesus. I will entertain any questions that they may have, still, keeping it simple. Invariably they bring up James 2:14ff. I have very concise and easy to understand answers to this passage.

At the end, I like to ask them if they wouldn't mind allowing me to pray for them. I have never been turned down. I also allow them to pray if they so choose, and they usually do. In my prayer I like to briefly hit on the simple points I gave during my sharing time with them.

I invite them back, and thank them for coming. I have had Mormons come back a few times, but the JWs do not return. Unfortunately, they do not come around anymore. I like to take their names so that I may pray for them later.

There are unfortunate practices by some modern fundamentalists who take such opportunities to condemn those who go door to door. This is tragic. I ran across such an illustration of this in a quote from Lou Martuneac's book, 'In Defense of the Gospel'. This is Lou's suggested way to deal with cult members:

"Many times, I have had representatives of these cult religions at my door seeking a dialogue with me. The only dialogue they receive from me is this, “Jesus is equal with God the Father and as long as you regard Jesus as less than God, I can tell you from the authority of the Bible, you are dead in your sins and on your way to Hell!" (p. 172).

This in your face condemnation is awful. I surely hope that none of the readers of this blog would consider doing such a horrible thing. This type of behavior does indeed steer men from the water of life.

During the latest GES Southern California Regional Conference, I heard a speaker discuss his evangelism with a Mormon missionary. This man invited the Mormon to study the book of John. He was pleased to come every week. Yet it was soon that this man's mission was over, and he returned to New York. The teachings from the book of John could not get out of his head. He decided to drive all the way from New York to California so that he could be around the teaching he had heard previously. In time, this Mormon became convinced that he had irrevocable eternal life simply by believing in Jesus, and now attends church with the evangelist.

Has cult members come to your house? How have you dealt with them? Are there any ways you have thought of to improve your next visit with them?

Let me know!

Grace and peace to you all,

Antonio da Rosa

41 Comments:

  • Great post, Antonio. I am sorry to hear about Mr Martuneac's approach.

    I read a really good article about witnessing to cult followers many years ago.

    It argued that one should follow the approach of fictional detective, Lt. Columbo.

    He always visits the rich and glamorous villain in his beaten up car and scruffy mack and comes across as gullible and naive. The villain thinks she has him fooled.

    But at the end of every episode of the show, after the villain has given him her alibis, he says,

    "That's great. That all makes sense. But there is just one thing that I can't get out of my mind. There is just one last question I need to clear up."

    That question is always the question that that the villain cannot answer.

    Likewise, when we deal with cult followers, we need to come across as gentle and meek.

    We have to appear to be sincere and interested.

    Then when they have given us their distortions of the truth, we ask that last question from the Word; the Biblical truth that they can never explain away.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matt

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, September 21, 2007 4:00:00 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger fg me, at Friday, September 21, 2007 4:30:00 AM  

  • 2 John 9-11 Whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God: he that abideth in the teaching, the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any one cometh unto you, and bringeth not this teaching, receive him not into your house, and give him no greeting: for he that giveth him greeting partaketh in his evil works.

    Antonio:

    You are very fond of the writing of the apostle John.

    Please explain how you justify, "I love inviting them in and offering them refreshments," with the biblical command to refrain from this behavior?

    fg

    By Blogger fg me, at Friday, September 21, 2007 5:00:00 AM  

  • fg_me I can’t speak for Antonio but to explain my own actions I find the key to understanding these verses is in the meaning of the verb transliterated as meno and translated here as “abide”. Strong offers this definition:

    “A primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): - abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), X thine own.”

    I understand these verses to refer to those who are apostate and not an instruction contrary to our call to be hospitable.

    (Rom 12:13 KJV+) Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.

    (1Ti 3:2 KJV+) A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    (Tit 1:8 KJV+) But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

    (1Pe 4:9 KJV+) Use hospitality one to another, without grudging.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, September 21, 2007 5:08:00 AM  

  • Antonio,
    What a great post from you! I wish you would share more insights into your personal way of doing things. You really are a wonderful guy. ;~)
    I think your approach is commendable.

    I have talked with JWs several times before. I invite them in as you do. What I always do is ask them about thier Bible. I ask them if their Bible is really different from mine. I read John 1 with them and point out how their version says "the Word was with God and the Word was a God." (I can tell you would not appreciate this approach!) But I have always believed that if we lift up Christ for His awesome person, He will draw men to him. I have not pursued these people like you have. I have always sent them away with a challenge about how that we - who believe in the one true God - are not polytheists and so there is a problem with viewing Jesus as "a god." I don't know if that is right or wrong, but it is how I have seen fit to do. I would never do what is advocated in the quote in your post.

    The LORD appreciates you, I am certain! God bless you, brother.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, September 21, 2007 5:08:00 AM  

  • FG Me,

    The early church met in private homes. Inviting people in to the house hear most likely has reference to church meetings.

    You surely do not think this means that one could not invite an electrician into the house if he rejected the deity of our Lord?

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, September 21, 2007 6:48:00 AM  

  • "church met in private homes"

    One in the same in NT times.

    JW is known to reject the deity of Christ, this is far different than an electrician scenario, which is a ridiculous comparison.

    When you let the JW in you are letting him in for the express purpose of giving his heresy a hearing to get a chance at witnessing to him. When you let the electrician in you are getting some work done on the home and nothing else. Again, a ridiculous comparison.

    The only concern someone might have about an electrician in the home is whether he is a union member or not.

    Oh, and how about those sensitive little people in your home that you just exposed to the heresy of Christ denying JW's?


    fg

    By Blogger fg me, at Friday, September 21, 2007 7:06:00 AM  

  • The only concern someone might have about an electrician in the home is whether he is a union member or not.

    hahahahahahaha! That one is funny, fg me. rotfl

    Children can get a real education from listening to mom and dad witness to the lost and deluded.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, September 21, 2007 7:11:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    Great post! Do you have any thoughts on 2 John 9-11? I was walking down the street a couple of hours ago and met two Mormons who started talking to me. I was surprised when they presented a way of salvation suspiciously similar to Lordship Salvation! Anyway, they asked could they come and speak to me at home so I said OK. Hopefully I'll get the chance to tell them about the free gift of eternal life. But 2 John 9-11 is troubling me a bit now.

    God bless,
    Andrew.

    By Blogger Andrew, at Friday, September 21, 2007 9:24:00 AM  

  • "Children can get a real education from listening to mom and dad witness to the lost and deluded."

    Who do you think the Devil, through his willing JW accomplises, will be trying to "educate" and "delude?"


    fg

    By Blogger fg me, at Friday, September 21, 2007 10:02:00 AM  

  • fg me,
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    By Blogger Rose~, at Friday, September 21, 2007 10:54:00 AM  

  • Interesting comments everyone!

    I heard an interview once on Focus on the Family with a former JW turned Christian. I can't remember the lady's name but one thing God used to show her the truth was the scripture where Jesus as a baby was worshiped by men and angels. She begged Christians to take time to share the gospel with JWs when they come knocking.
    There can be a danger of speaking to cult members and we should not take that lightly. I made the mistake as a new Christian of talking to two JWS, a husband and wife. They came back every week for awhile. I thought I could help them, but I underestimated the enemy and they ended up causing doubts in my mind about Christ's deity that haunted me for some time. The Lord finally brought me through that terrible time and gave me the victory about Christ's deity.

    I think that mature believers should try to speak to them and have mercy on them because they are so blinded by Satan and will perish without the real Christ.

    My friend's husband talks to JWS because even though it is unlikely but not impossible for an older JW to change their view, a younger person is usually with them and God could use you to open their eyes.

    One day two men drove up and I was home alone. I did not invite them in but went out onto the porch to speak to them. My husband came home when we were almost done talking.
    I told them briefly what I believed and explained to them that Jesus is God and is to be worshiped and that it will do them no good to believe in a Jesus who is a created angel and not the real Jesus. Only the God-man Jesus can save someone.

    We had a respectful conversation and I have prayed for them since that time.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at Friday, September 21, 2007 11:09:00 AM  

  • Andrew,

    I would have to agree with Matthew.

    The letter is addressed to a church, as every commentator I have read agrees: "to the elect lady and her children".

    The text in question is a command to the church as a whole. vs 10, "If anyone comes to you [plural: the church] and does not bring this teaching do not receive [2nd person, PLURAL, present active indicative - you, the church, do not receive] him into your house."

    At this time there were travelling 'Christian' teachers who lived off their itinerate teaching. The churches were not to allow them into their home fellowship, recompense them, or give them shelter or food.

    John was exhorting the church leaders to ban the unorthodox from their pulpits. Giving a heretical teacher credibility by permitting him to speak to the Christian sheep is a precarious invitation. The Christians were even forbidden from extending the customary kiss on both cheeks or wish the heretics success on their future journeys.

    The text is talking about the churches that met in the homes (cf. Rom 16:5 "Likewise greet the church that is in their house"; 1 Cor 16:19 "Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house"; Col 4:15 "Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house"; Philem "to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house). We are not to give an inch or tolerate any false teachers, or give them any approbation whatsoever in our assemblies. We are to completely distance ourselves, as a church and in our fellowships, from participating or having any tolerance of these false teachers.

    The truth taught by John needs to be acknowledged by today's pastors who may be approached by leaders of non-Christian groups to unite in special partnerships. For instance, an offer to switch pulpits may be made. Another method is joining with a number of other churches in an ecumenical partnership. The Christian pastor should always be wary when the leaders from the LDS, JW, New Age, Christian Science, etc. churches want to unite.

    But are we not to show mercy and grace and love, being hospitable, to those who have been decieved into false teaching? Shall we not, who are spiritual, invite such ones into our house and show them the love and teaching of Christ? No bible verse, properly understood, forbids us from loving deceived men and women, and giving them the hope of Jesus Christ, and this within the confines of our home.

    I wonder if Lou and fg me would be so cold and offensive to their muslim neighbors, who have highly erroneous views about Jesus. Would they be inhospitable to them? Would they rebuke them, as Lou does to the JWs and Mormons who come to his door?

    Would Lou and fg me not invite their atheist, humanist, Mormon, JW, or Muslim neighbors over for dinner?

    So much for friendship evangelism.

    The JWs and the Mormons are not to be tolerated in any sense when it comes to Christian assemblies. Does this verse tell me that I am not allowed to have these cult members into my house and give them the words of Jesus Christ by which they may know that they have eternal life?

    Jude, speaking of deceived by false teaching unbelievers, says:

    Jude 22-23

    23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
    NKJV

    These Mormons and JWs have been deceived into false doctrine. Shall we not, with sobriety and caution, save them, pulling them out of the fire?

    I do not suggest that any baby Christians engage in religion with anybody who is not part of their assembly. Do not talk to the Mormon, JW, Muslim, Catholic, etc.

    Yet do not hide behind 2 John 9-11. Who are going to win these people? Because they are false teachers does it mean that Christ did not die for them, or does not love them? Cannot these people be won, saved, and pulled from the fire?

    "Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account of the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 21, 2007 3:25:00 PM  

  • Matthew,

    I love watching Columbo. It the article that you reference would be a good read. Do you still have it?

    I loved this:

    "Likewise, when we deal with cult followers, we need to come across as gentle and meek.

    We have to appear to be sincere and interested.

    Then when they have given us their distortions of the truth, we ask that last question from the Word; the Biblical truth that they can never explain away.
    "

    Great stuff!

    By the way, have you got any knocks on your door? If so, who and what happened?

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 21, 2007 6:17:00 PM  

  • KC,

    Thanks for dropping by. I have to agree. 2 John is not talking about hospitality in one's own home, but approbation and tolerance of heretics in one's church.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 21, 2007 6:18:00 PM  

  • Rose,

    I kind of like your question about the bibles. I am not against speaking as to Jesus' deity. I would do so with honesty, clarity, simplicity and integrity. Yet I would not allow it to become contentious. Soft, persuasive and simple words have effects on people long after they leave the home. They will see my love, yet also the firmness of my convictions.

    If there would come an impasse, I would discuss and talk about something else. Many times people get the impression (I am not talking about you, just people in general), that they must get through their whole gospel message. I am content to show them the absolutely free gift that Christ offers and discuss whatever comes up, or they allow me to bring up.

    I am planting seeds, and leaving an impression in their mind of someone who is confident, secure, and psychologically balanced. They are probably used to very authoratarian teaching and cultic practices by their superiors. I want them to see a huge contrast between the way I practice Christianity and the way their associations do.

    All of these things coupled together:

    love
    confidence
    non aggression
    simplicity
    good answers
    genuine concern
    and the truth

    will be impacting upon these people. They will leave my house having experienced what true Christianity is all about. And the things heard and seen and felt will leave impressions that will not subside very easily in their minds.

    I deeply enjoy talking to JWs and Mormons about the deity of Christ. But I equally love to talk about Christ's compassions, teachings, miracles, and evangelistic words.

    There are many things we can present the objects of our evangelism with that when believed can soften unbelief in other areas.

    Often one is not born again the first time he hears an evangelistic presentation. Do you ever remember reading where I referenced something called the Engels Scale? It goes from -10 to 0 to +10

    -10 being rank atheist, 0 being appropriation of eternal life, and +10 being highly spiritual.

    Many people who we talk to can be far away, or close to 0. But if I can get someone a few notches closer, or exert my effort trying, I will be pleased. In that way the Holy Spirit has something to work with in the individuals.

    Thanks for your blessing, sister!

    Your forever brother,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 21, 2007 6:31:00 PM  

  • VA susan,

    Thanks for your comments.

    My brother used to be a missionary with "Mormonism Research Ministry", an evangelical mission board and ministry that targets the Mormon people.

    I remember being a new Christian and going over to his house. One day when he was gone (I was over spending the night to go to church with him) I picked up the book of Mormon. I had never read anything out of it before. I began to read.

    Doubts about God and the Bible swelled over me. It took me two weeks to get out of that mode.

    Since that time I have studied Mormonism in some depth and found its numerous errors. I have been strengthened in the faith by the Holy Spirit, study of the Word and good teaching.

    I no longer am swayed back and forth by my weak walk and knowledge. I like teaching others how they may come to the same point and I like discussing the Bible with those who have been decieved into false hopes.

    Thanks again for your visit,

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 21, 2007 6:38:00 PM  

  • Bro. Antonjio,

    You said, "I am planting seeds, and leaving an impression in their mind of someone who is confident, secure, and psychologically balanced. They are probably used to very authoratarian teaching and cultic practices by their superiors. I want them to see a huge contrast between the way I practice Christianity and the way their associations do."

    I like this bro. Antonio! Very persuasive arguments!! I must admit, that I have since come to believe as you & bro. Matthew do regarding the "house" of 2 Jn.9-11 meaning "church" of that day. I also agree with you & Susan about not encouraging new believers to dialogue with these people. Waiting until more maturity comes is wise I believe.

    By Blogger David Wyatt, at Friday, September 21, 2007 7:10:00 PM  

  • David,

    thanks for your thoughts.

    I'd like to picture, as these deceived people (I especially have a heart for the 18-22 year old Mormon missionaries!) leave my house, that they are regarding themselves as on the outside of a real relationship with Jesus peering inside, and desiring what they see.

    These 18-22 year old kids have been decieved into a cult. They are as sincere as they can be, having been brought into this system by their parents and inculcated by their superiors. They are young, and impressionable. Many of them have a heart for God and desire to please Him.

    Look at it this way:

    You can be used by God in His plans to draw these young men into a relationship with Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ! You can be used by God to turn these kids from darkness to light. Days, weeks, even years down the road, what you plant may be watered by someone else, only to be harvested by another.

    We must have compassion on these fellows! I am broken over them.

    There is a 19 year old at my work who is a Mormon. I work with him just about every day. He is going on a mission to Romania in December for 2 years. I have befriended him, and sought to plant seeds. He knows my opposition to the LDS. But I have not been confrontational, impolite, or offensive. My heart breaks for him. He is young and full of energy for pleasing God in the conception that he has of Him.

    What is worse, is that he is seeking to teach others in another country of his errors.

    Would you pray that I might plant some more seeds that might take a hold of his heart? Would you pray that other meaningful and spiritual Christians might have an impact in his life?

    His name is Cody.

    Imagine this young boy coming to your door and you treating him as Lou Martuneac has suggested. What a tragedy...

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 21, 2007 8:29:00 PM  

  • Antonio, the article was written in 1994. I do not have it any longer and it is probably not online either.

    We almost never get cult followers knocking on our door.

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, September 22, 2007 1:53:00 AM  

  • Thanks for your comments Antonio. They are very helpful.

    God bless,
    Andrew.

    By Blogger Andrew, at Saturday, September 22, 2007 2:51:00 AM  

  • Thanks for posting, Antonio da Rosa! (name portuguese: Antonio da Rosa!
    Good luck
    Have a good weekend

    By Blogger david santos, at Saturday, September 22, 2007 9:58:00 AM  

  • Hello,

    So nice to come to your blog. I appreciate your article about sharing with those in cults. I have also endeavored to do so when given the opportunity. I think that there ARE times when we need to kindly send them away. And I think you are being fair in your comments leaving plenty of room for us the readers to make decisions for ourselves as to what is appropriate.

    All witnessing situations should be under the control of the Holy Spirit He does the work, He directs!

    I agree we should be careful for protecting our children...

    If we are NOT at the maturity level we will know and though we can learn from the experience we should take warning if we feel afraid, confused, or overwhelmed in any way.

    If we know we do not have time or it is a clear imposition... like young children would be neglected in someway or an important obligation would not be met if we took the time.

    Sometimes I am not in the mental or spiritual frame to be as sensitive to the Holy Spirit and I refrain from sharing ~ not because I don't care for their souls but because I know mine is not able to be apart of the work at the time. Make sense?

    Also if we are not clear about having liberty to let them enter our home we certainly can stand at the door for a few minutes.

    I have done so many times as well as used resources that they could ponder after our brief interaction.

    Here is an excellent article. http://www.feasite.org/Foundation/fbcmormonism.htm

    I think if we read what you are saying we can see clearly that the Lord Himself has grown you into the position that you are in to be able to be used regularly with reaching these people.

    I think we do have a christian responsibility to know what they believe and what the Bible teaches.

    I could go on with more personal testimony ie the only 'bible' we had for sometime in my home growing up was a JW addition! My mom was into scientology, JW and various other cults at one time or another.

    Please continue to encourage us about these matters. I believe it is very profitable to be able to stand in all circumstances for Christ.

    I do think we need to be wise not to wish these ones godspeed! Never let them think you believe they are doing the work of God... but you can still be kind.

    Jacinda

    By Blogger jacinda, at Sunday, September 23, 2007 3:06:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio, you have made me rethink my own way of dealing with cults. Your interpretation looks sound to me and your hospitality is wonderful.
    I had two JW's come to my house about two weeks ago. The one was an older man, and he had a young boy with him. I was out in the yard watering. The young boy first asked me if I believed in evolution or a divine creator. I said I believed the later. This answer brought a big smile on the boy’s face. Then he asked if I believed that the Bible was from God. Of course he was all smiles again. So far it was going real easy for him. I asked them if they new there was a book in the Bible that was written especially for evangelism. This brought a blank star and really no answer. I quoted John 20:30-31 and then quoted many other verses from John showing eternal life was a gift offered freely. To this the older man quoted James 2:17 faith without works is dead. And went on to tell me faith without works would not save me. I then tried to explain the word "save" in James. And then he said if that is so then what is James talking about. That's when I tried to explain the bookends (what does it profit). To this he told me anyone could get the bible to say anything you wanted it to, and that I was twisting the scriptures. This probably brought a smile to my face thinking of their new and approved version. I finished by telling them the road they were on leads to hell. That the message they were sharing was a works-salvation message that could save no one. The man then put out his hand to shake mine. What instantly came to mind was "I can’t shake his hand this would look to be agreeing with him." I just said goodbye as they were going.
    Antonio you have changed my mind on how to share. I think your right on, and a very good example of Christian love. I would like to hear your quick and easy explanation of James.
    blessings alvin
    PS. I'm looking forward to my next visit from the cult's. They will see my "new and improved version" thanks to you! I think I will do a better job of listening to their side also before I give my side.

    By Blogger alvin, at Monday, September 24, 2007 11:09:00 AM  

  • How do you square most of Rev 3, with the numerous references the risen Jesus makes to "My God" and "My Father", particularly in verse 12, with the doctrinal view that Jesus is God? Are you not a little concerned that this doctrine renders the inerrant word of God inconsistent, dare I say contradictory?

    I and my heathens will go stand over in the corner awaiting your response.

    By Blogger Chris, at Friday, September 28, 2007 8:55:00 AM  

  • Chris,

    can I ask you 2 questions, and then I would love to discuss the deity of Christ issue with you. Please answer these short questions and I will be as verbose as you desire in answering your question concerning Rev 3 or anything else for that matter:

    1) What church, sect, or denomination are you?

    2) Do you believe that one is eternally secure through simple faith in Jesus Christ, apart from any works, ordinances, rituals, etc? In other words, Do you believe that men and women are eternally saved through faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing (= apart from works)?

    Please answer these two questions and I will be happy to answer your question.

    I look forward to a good discussion,

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 28, 2007 1:59:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    I was raised a Catholic, fell away after a theological run in with my priest ( he admonished me for reading the bible and pointing to contradictions between the bible and the catechism), attended some non-denominational churches, Calvary Christian churches, and for the last 4 years have been an off again on again JW.

    I believe that the free grace theology is a wonderful idea but ultimately does not square with other bible teachings. I believe that when an interpretation of a bible passage yields contradictions elsewhere in the bible, the problem is not the bible, its our interpretation. I believe that you are obligated to adopt an interpretation of the bible that does not render other passages contradictory.

    I believe that free grace runs counter to bible passages that talk about enduring to the end, works perfecting faith, commands to preach the good news to the entire inhabited earth, etc.

    The doctrine of the Trinity is of special interest to me because it is a vestige of Romanism and codified outside the canon of the bible. Distinctions of orthodoxy or cultish leanings are uninteresting to me. Christinity itself was considered a cult. Arius and Athanasius were engaged in a struggle for whose views would become orthodox. The struggle was not resolved with a meeting of the minds, it wasn't resolved theologically, it was resolved judicially. Unfortunately, this acretion produces inconsistencies that are not easily resolvable, if resolvable at all. So in the interest of providing a practicle demonstration of your post topic, how would you witness to me? How does one square this doctrine with so many passages that seemingly contradict it?
    Respectfully,
    Chris

    By Blogger Chris, at Friday, September 28, 2007 2:39:00 PM  

  • Chris,

    I would say a few things. These bullet points would be more thoroughly discussed:

    1) The analogy of faith. This is a foundation of belief spanning many core doctrines that have been learned through considering the simple affirmations of scripture (the milk).

    2) Scripture does not interpret scripture.

    3) We are to interpret the ambiguous, unclear, and more difficult passages in light of our analogy of faith which we have arrived at from the simple assertions and affirmations of scripture.

    Next I would show you the simple affirmations and assertions of scripture that deal with eternal salvation by faith alone in Jesus alone. (this is only a very small cross-section)

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    John 5:24
    "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    John 6:47
    Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

    John 11:25-26
    Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

    Acts 16:31
    So they said,"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."

    Rom 5:1
    Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

    Gal 2:16
    knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

    Gal 3:7-8
    And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith,

    1 Tim 1:16-17
    However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.


    Next I would show you the simple affirmations and assertions of scripture that show that eternal salvation is apart from works:

    Romans 4:4-5 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

    Rom 4:16
    Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed

    Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace.

    Galatians 2:15-16 …knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

    Galatians 2:21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

    Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    2 Timothy 1:8-10 God… has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

    Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.


    And then I would conclude by showing you the simple affirmations and assertions of Jesus Christ Himself that state that everyone who simply believes in Him through His promise, whereby He guarantees eternal life to all who trust in Him for it, are eternally secure, and have irrevocable eternal life (in other words through a simple act of faith alone apart from works):

    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life

    John 3:18 He who believes in Him is not condemned

    John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life

    John 4:10, 13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."… Jesus… said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

    John 5:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    John 6:35, 37-40 And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst… All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    John 10:9 If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved

    John 10:28-29 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.

    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

    What Jesus has said, He has promised, He has guaranteed! According to Jesus, who is God in the flesh and cannot lie, the one who has simply believed in Him for the gift of eternal life:

    1.shall not perish
    2.has eternal life
    3.is not condemned
    4.has everlasting life
    5.will never thirst
    6.will never hunger
    7.shall not come into judgment
    8.has already passed from death into life
    9.will never be cast out
    10.will never be lost
    11.will be raised up at the last day
    12.will be saved
    13.is held eternally in Jesus and the Father’s hands
    14.cannot be snatched out of Jesus’ hands
    15.cannot be snatched our of the Father’s hands
    16.though he may physically die, he will live eternally
    17.shall never die (the most emphatic construction: double negative (ou me) – no, not ever, never! even into eternity, see Greek!

    I would conclude by telling you that God loves you, and commended His love for you in this, while you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you. He died for your sins, each one, from the day of your birth until the day of your death.

    He offers you the absolutely free gift of eternal life. You only need to receive it by believing in Him for it. He guarantees that all who simply believe in Him have as a present, irrevocable possession, eternal life.

    Rev 22:17

    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely
    NKJV


    Thanks for your interaction. I am happy to continue.

    Antonio da Rosa

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 28, 2007 4:31:00 PM  

  • LOL

    #2 should read:

    2) Scripture does not contradict Scripture

    By Blogger Antonio, at Friday, September 28, 2007 6:37:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    So if I can read between the lines, what you are saying is one's Christology has no bearing on one's salvation?

    You do draw the distinction between the works required under the law covenant, which is what Paul was often admonishing the Christian congregations about in his ministry, and the works that Christians undertake perfecting their faith under the new covenant?

    Chris

    By Blogger Chris, at Sunday, September 30, 2007 9:59:00 PM  

  • [How do you square most of Rev 3, with the numerous references the risen Jesus makes to "My God" and "My Father", particularly in verse 12, with the doctrinal view that Jesus is God? Are you not a little concerned that this doctrine renders the inerrant word of God inconsistent, dare I say contradictory?]

    I read something about this in Arthur Pink's book Gleanings From Paul. It is too long to quote all of it, but here is part of it. I hope it will be helpful. I will try to find more material on this for you.

    (1)In regard to His human nature. Being a creature (a body hast thou prepared me (Heb. 10:5)
    Christ was subject to God.
    (2) In regard to His human nature being predestinated to union with His divine person. Goodwin said, 'Christ as man was "predestinated"
    (1 Peter 1:20) as well as we, and so hath God to be His God by predestination, and so by free grace, as well as He is our God in that respect.
    (3) In regard to His well being Goodwin again said, 'God is the Author and immediately the matter of Christ's blessedness (as He is man) and therefore blessed be God as the God of Christ, who hath "blessed Him forever" as appears in what follows: "God thy God hath annointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows".(Psalm 45:2,7)
    ...God must be the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to be the God and Father of His people whom He chose in Christ.

    ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at Monday, October 01, 2007 9:37:00 PM  

  • Matthew,

    As to your villian vs Columbo analogy I would like to know what unassailable showstopper of a question you would fire at me that would reveal me for the charlatan that I apparently am?

    Chris

    By Blogger Chris, at Tuesday, October 02, 2007 1:27:00 PM  

  • Chris, I have'nt seen you in ages.

    You might recall our discussion on posession of eternal life.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Wednesday, October 03, 2007 12:12:00 AM  

  • Yes Matthew I do recall our exchanges. I also remember them to be somewhat unsatisfying, not to offend or anything, its just a different point of view.

    Matthew 24: 13-14 tells us that those who endure to the end will be saved, which is often interpreted to be referring to the end of the Jewish covenant in 70 CE. But vs 14 refers to witnessing unto all nations before the end coming. Clearly this could not be confused with 70 ce because all nations had not heard the message of the new kingdom. This is a prophecy for our day. How does your FG theology fit into this concept of endurance? And, if you do not endure, then what?

    Possessions can be taken away. The nation of Israel possessed a favored relationship with God. They possess it no longer.

    Christians work to perfect their faith. We want our master to find us doing the work upon his return. We are faithful and discreet slaves. Our works though, do not purchase our salvation. That is only by God's grace.

    Christian works are very important. How would one be identified as a Christian? A whole book of the bible is devoted to "Acts of the Apostles" read "Works of the Apostles".

    And just who is going to preach the good news to the entire inhabited earth? To all the nations? Christians are. Is this not work? You seem to think that we think we are in a saving work. Saving ourselves. Not true. Only to those who receive the message and act on it, is it a saving work.

    And I've had this discussion before with you but this word Cult, I pretend to not be offended by it, but I can't help it. It is a smug accusation on the part of the "Orthodox". Cults, in the common parlance, worship a man. They sometimes do evil things, like commit mass murder or suicide. We do not worship a man. The Catholics worhip the Pope, the Mormons (we are so often lumped in with them) worship John Smith, the North Koreans worship their leader Kim. We worship God! How is this a cult by any definition?

    You say we are a cult because we do not accept that Jesus is God. How does FG square with that? We accept him as the Redeemer, the Messiah, The Son of God. The Law Covenant proscribed blood sacrifice and prefigured the sacrifice of Jesus. There are 3 parties to a sacrifice. There is the one to whom the sacrifice is offered, there is the one making the sacrifice and there is the one that is being sacrificed. If the one being sacrificed is the same as the one to whom the sacrifice is offered or is offering, the sacrifice lacks meaning. So given that we believe in Him, and the One who sent Him, how does the Free Grace theological position see it?

    YOURS IN CHRIST,

    Chris

    By Blogger Chris, at Wednesday, October 03, 2007 10:50:00 AM  

  • Not to interrupt the conversation, but Chris asked, "How does your FG theology fit into this concept of endurance [i.e., of Matt. 24]?"

    You will find Free Grace treatment of that issue here:
    http://www.faithalone.org/journal/2002i/anderson.pdf

    By Blogger Solifidian, at Wednesday, October 03, 2007 11:34:00 AM  

  • Hello again, Chris,
    I tried unsuccessfully to post here a few times yesterday, but my posts would not enter.
    Here is a portion of the text from the same book I quoted from before. I think this part deals more directly with your question.

    Arthur Pink Gleanings from Paul Pp. 116-117

    God our Covenant God
    When the Deity is said to be ‘the God’ of any person, He is his covenant God. Thus, after the first covenant described in Genesis, we find Noah speaking of ‘the Lord God of Shem’ (Gen. 9:26), for through that son God's covenant with Noah was to be accomplished. Later, He became known as `the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' (Exod. 3:6). These patriarchs' names conveyed the covenant blessings and consequently redounded to praise and blessing to God. Thus Noah exclaimed, `Blessed be the LORD God of Shem.' Later, as in a parallel case, the Prophet Jeremiah declared, `Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt ... Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel' (Jer. 16:14; 31:31). So we may say that, under the fuller revelation of the gospel, God has said, `I will no longer be known as the God of Abraham, but as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and I will be owned and adored as such.'
    `Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.' This unspeakably precious title views God as He is related to us in Christ, that is, to Christ as the covenant Head and to His elect in Him; He was, is, and ever will be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus. We question whether there is here any direct reference to the miraculous begetting of our Lord. Rather do we consider that He is contemplated in His mediatorial character, that is, as the eternal Son invested with our nature. In view of our Lord's own utterances it is abundantly clear that He owned the Father as His God. `I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly' (Psa. 22:10).'l delight to do thy will, O my God' (Psa. 40:8). On the cross Christ owned the Father as His God (Matt. 27:46). After His resurrection He spoke of the Father as `my God' (John 20:17). Enthroned in heaven, Jesus Christ still declares the Father to be His God four times over in a single verse (Rev. 3:12). Though God the Son, coequal and coeternal with the Father, Christ assumed the form of a servant.

    Hope that is helpful.

    [Antonio,
    So if I can read between the lines, what you are saying is one's Christology has no bearing on one's salvation?]

    I know you did not ask me, but I wanted to say that I do believe that proper Christology has everything to do with one's salvation.

    If the Lord Jesus Christ was not the sinless God-Man but was instead a created angel, He could not have saved a single sinner. Jesus had to be made a true human and not an angel. (Hebrews 2:17) He had to be an infinite person and only God is infinite. He had to be born of a virgin without a sinful nature and had to live a perfect and sinless life, keeping all of God's commandments in order to be the spotless Lamb of God. Since He is infinite, His suffering on the cross for sinners as the God-man had infinite value. Christ welcomes sinners and promises to save all who come to Him in repentance and faith.

    Acts 4:12
    And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

    There is strong proof for the deity of Christ. Are you familiar with the Granville Sharp rule? If not, check out this article.
    http://www.aomin.org/GRANVILL.html


    Things that are only true of God are true of Jesus and things only God can do, Jesus did. Jesus is called the Alpha and Omega, the Judge, King, Savior, and Creator. He has power to raise the dead. He commands the wind and the waves, drives out demons, heals the sick and forgives sins, things that only God can do. He is worshiped and adored by angels and by men and is worthy of our praise.

    Since this subject has gone to the bottom of the page now, I doubt that many more here will be commenting on it.
    If you would like to continue this discussion over on the forum where I usually post,Doctrines of Grace, you would be welcome to post there.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at Wednesday, October 03, 2007 7:11:00 PM  

  • Susan,

    A couple of things here that are worth mentioning. And thanks for the reference to Granville Sharp rule. Unfortunately, the article doesn't sight the manuscript being analyzed. Was it a 10th century document or a 3rd century document? It makes a difference when applying the gramatical rules.

    In your quote we read, "Though God the Son, coequal and coeternal with the Father, Christ assumed the form of a servant."

    This is an often used phrase, also "fully God and fully Man" that has been elevated to the level of scripture but is nowhere found in scripture. I believe it has its origins in the Council of Nicea, which attempted to codify the issue of Jesus as God, outside the canon of the bible.

    Jesus is often quoted as saying My God, My Father, Him that sent him, throughout the Gospels, but nowhere is Jesus quoted as saying "I am God".

    I refer to Rev 3 because here we have no fleshly human speaking. We have the resurrected Jesus speaking. We don't have the Jesus on the cross, fully man, crying out to God, dying and in excrutiating pain, utterly forsaken. We have the risen Jesus, reunited with God, no longer a fleshly being, no longer fully man and still referring to God as his Father. This requires no gramatical forensics, no extra scriptural gymnastics.

    As to the Free Grace position on one's Christology, Antonio posted numerous scriptures pointing to a simply belief in Jesus Christ, for instance;

    John 6:47
    Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

    John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life

    John 5:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    I and my Brothers and Sisters believe all of these scriptures. We believe in Him and the One who sent Him. How are we not offered God's grace? Where does it say in these scriptures that you must believe that Jesus is God?

    By Blogger Chris, at Thursday, October 04, 2007 10:27:00 AM  

  • Chris,

    you do not believe those scriptures.

    Unless you can say that you are CERTAIN that you have everlasting life simply by faith in Jesus for it, apart from any works, obligations, rituals, perseverance, etc., you do not believe those verses.

    To believe in Jesus for eternal life precludes one from relying also on works.

    I would that you did believe those scriptures, then you would know certainly that you had everlasting life that could never ever be lost.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, October 04, 2007 10:34:00 AM  

  • "To believe in Jesus for eternal life precludes one from relying also on works."

    Antonio, your statement indicates that you have not read my comments. The phrase,"relying also on works" is your assessment of my position.

    Antonio, we are simply engaged in a work, as you are in this blog, in your ministry, in acts of Christian kindness to people in need. Matthew gets up in front of a congregation and shares his views on the Gospel. Both of you likely witness to people on the street. Each of you don't engage in these "works" because you want to be saved, you do it because you are. If you were to stop engaging in your Christian works, your ministry, your acts of kindness, and proceeded to engage in activities of the world, all the while claiming that you still believed, would your activities demonstrate that you truly do? Of course they wouldn't. You must endure in your faith, demonstrated by your actions.

    The question is, does your ministry, your Christian works, your acts of kindness indicate that you do not truly believe the promise of eternal life? In your case, you believe that your works are consistent with this promise, and yet you also believe that my works (ministry, charity, acts of kindness) are somehow inconsistent with it, despite my professing the opposite. What basis do you have for asserting this?

    By Blogger Chris, at Thursday, October 04, 2007 11:59:00 AM  

  • [We don't have the Jesus on the cross, fully man, crying out to God, dying and in excrutiating pain, utterly forsaken. We have the risen Jesus, reunited with God, no longer a fleshly being, no longer fully man and still referring to God as his Father. This requires no gramatical forensics, no extra scriptural gymnastics.]

    Hi Chris,
    Jesus and His Father enjoyed a relationship of love and communication before the creation.
    Jesus went to heaven in His resurrected body and He is still the God-Man, even in heaven. He is no longer the suffering servant as he was when He was on the earth, but is exalted. After He rose from the dead, He ascended to Heaven and lives there in his glorified body, seated at the right hand of the Father where He intercedes for the saints until His return.
    -------------------
    Acts 2:33
    Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
    -------------------
    God is still His Father. He will return to earth one day in that same glorified body.
    -----------------
    Revelation 1:7
    Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
    ------------
    [This is an often used phrase, also "fully God and fully Man" that has been elevated to the level of scripture but is nowhere found in scripture. I believe it has its origins in the Council of Nicea, which attempted to codify the issue of Jesus as God, outside the canon of the bible.]

    Colossians 2: 8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily 10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

    John 1: 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    [Jesus is often quoted as saying My God, My Father, Him that sent him, throughout the Gospels, but nowhere is Jesus quoted as saying "I am God". ]
    Jesus’s “ego eimi” statements were actually a claim of His deity.

    John 8:58: ESV: Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple. ' (Gr. ego eimi)".

    When Jesus said “I Am” the Jew’s reaction was to pick up stones because they believed He had blasphemed. The ego eimi statement points back to the time of Moses at the burning bush where God identified himself as “I Am That I Am”. Jesus was declaring himself to be Yahweh.

    The ego eimi is used by Jesus elsewhere too. This is the most dramatic one.
    John 18:4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, "Who is it you want?" 5 "Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "I am he" [ego eimi] . . . 6 When Jesus said, "I am he" [ego eimi], they drew back and fell to the ground.
    This was a declaration of His deity again.

    In Hebrews, Jesus is identified as the Son and also as God. These are not conflicting statements as you think. They are both true. The Father is the one who is speaking in that part of the text.
    -------------
    Hebrews 1:3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

    5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

    “You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you”?

    Or again,

    “I will be to him a father,
    and he shall be to me a son”?

    6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

    “Let all God's angels worship him.”

    7 Of the angels he says,

    “He makes his angels winds,
    and his ministers a flame of fire.”

    8 But of the Son he says,

    “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, {His eternality and His deity}
    the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
    9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has anointed you
    with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”{God is His God even though He can rightly be called God}

    10 And,

    “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands;
    11 they will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment,
    12 like a robe you will roll them up,
    like a garment they will be changed. [1]
    But you are the same,
    and your years will have no end.”

    13 And to which of the angels has he ever said,

    “Sit at my right hand
    until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?
    --------------

    In the OT we see the same thing:
    -------------

    Isaiah 9: 6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
    and the government shall be upon [4] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called [5]
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
    7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
    on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
    with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
    The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
    ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at Thursday, October 04, 2007 8:47:00 PM  

  • Susan,
    Thank you. These scriptures do not confuse me, they affirm my belief that Jesus is Almighty God's son. His deity is without question. John 1 is clear on this. Perhaps it is me who is confused about the Trinity Doctrine. I've always interpreted it to mean that Jesus is Almighty God. Now that I know that the doctrine does not mean that, there really is nothing further to debate. Thank you.

    You obliquely refer to our belief that Jesus was an angel in his prehuman existence. Actually we believe that he was likely the Archangel Michael, based on 2 vs of the bible. The first is Jude 1:9 which is the only reference to a named Archangel in the bible, Michael, and then we have 1 Thes 4:16 which is describing our Lord's return, also describing him as with the Archangels voice. So it makes sense that if he were an angel, he would be chief among angels or the Archangel Michael.

    Chris

    By Blogger Chris, at Friday, October 05, 2007 12:07:00 PM  

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