“For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.”
King James Version (KJV)
Ann Hering's comment on 2020-05-04 02:40:25:
The tares are Israel who DID NOT believe that Jesus was The Christ (Messiah) of God.
The wheat are Israel who DID believe that Jesus was The Christ (Messiah) of God.
At the harvest of the world, at the end of the Tribulation, angels are the reapers, tares are gathered and burned, wheat are left.
The Rapture is a Mystery revealed to Paul for the Body Of Christ, both Jews and Gentiles, who believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, by grace through faith.
Two different programs!
Jesse's comment on 2020-05-02 21:12:30:
First of all, thanks for responding.
Okay, your definition of betrayal makes perfect sense to me. I can see how it would relate to being betrayed by a friend. However, if I were to place Judas in the category of friend or true believer, I would say friend, but with extreme hesitation.
I would say Judas exercised his "free will" to be evil the entire 3 years of Christ's ministry. If Judas was ever a true believer or friend, Jesus never mentioned him in a positive way. In fact, the only time Jesus makes reference to Judas, he calls him a devil. Doesn't sound like much of a friendship to me! And I highly doubt that Jesus would ever call a true believer a devil.
Of course Judas was part of the group that Jesus chose, but calling him a true believer does not fit. A true believer would not steal from the group. Judas did.
If Judas exercised his "free will" to leave the faith as you are saying, the bible says he showed remorse. He was so remorseful that he even tried giving the 30 pieces of silver back. And the remorse was so unbearable that he killed himself. If he was that remorseful for exercising his "free will" to betray Christ, why didn't he use his "free will" to ask Christ for forgiveness?
Jesus chose Judas because he needed an evil person to fulfil the prophecy given in Zechariah Chapter 11 Verse 12. Jesus knew ahead of time that He would be betrayed. And He knew it would be Judas when He chose him.
It's such a blessing for me to know that Christ knows what I'm going to do tomorrow and every day of my life after that. He even knows the day I'm going to die. He knows! I don't have a clue what my days might bring, but He knows, just like He knew it would be Judas who would betray Him when He chose Judas.
Chris's comment on 2020-05-02 17:00:50:
Jeff, I perfectly understand your need to spend time with the family & therefore no immediate comment is expected.
Just to offer a quick response to your comment: I fully agree that all of Scripture, including the Gospels & Jesus' instructions, must be considered, when dealing with any issue. However, I always keep one thing in mind when I refer to Scripture pre-Cross/Pentecost: whoever Jesus was talking to or whatever teaching He was giving, was of course to let His hearers know the Father's Mind & Will, but we bear in mind, that the Holy Spirit had INDWELT none of His disciples. I know this point can be argued, but the Gift was UPON them, e.g. in their ministry of healing, casting out demons, etc., as a temporal measure, & as an extension of Christ's ministry on Earth & their position as disciples.
It was not until Pentecost, that they were endued "with Power from on High" to begin a true life as Christians & to labour even to sacrificing their lives (except in the case of John), for the Name of Jesus. So any reference to 'perseverance' pre-Pentecost, I consider as one's effort without the help & Power of the Holy Spirit within.
Now, at the references to it post-Pentecost, then 'perseverance' is still an 'effort' by the believer (Heb 6:4-6), but now we not only have the Spirit's convicting & help in 'setting our hearts right' immediately, but also a reminder to the believers tending to slacken off, that they need to get back to correct thinking & personal discipline. They would not lose their salvation, but they stood to become spiritually destitute & deserving of God's dealing with them (Heb 12:3-11) as a result. I think that where the problem appears between us, is the fact of God's eternal Seal upon us & the subsequent Spirit's indwelling which removes the possibility of a soul being lost forever. Yes, our choice to remain true or depart is still there, but the Spirit simply can't permit that to occur & His Work aligns with our spirit to persevere.
bob Hilt's comment on 2020-05-02 14:55:58:
Why is when the rapture / resurrection a hotly contested thing? It was not even debated until 200 years ago.
Jesus tells us plainly in Matthew 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed (weeds) tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. (first the tares WEEDS get gathered, the wheat last) could it be any more plain than this?
Matthew 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Jeff M -- Follower of Christ's comment on 2020-05-02 03:34:33:
Jesse, thanks for the comment. Forgive me if this reply is short, but this is my family day, so I don't have time to write something long. You said, "He can't be betrayed by one of his own." Yet, this is the very definition of being betrayed. A person is not betrayed by an obvious enemy, but by someone who was his friend. Judas Iscariot exercised his free will to leave Christ. I believe he was a true believer, because in Matthew chapter 10, he was one of the disciples listening to the instructions of Jesus to go out and heal the sick and drive out demons. Judas was evidently given that power, which isn't given to non-believers.
We can freely choose Christ when we first believe, and after we become Christians we don't become robots. We're free to persevere or free to leave the faith. It's a sobering thought.
Jeff M -- Follower of Christ's comment on 2020-05-02 03:18:59:
Chris, thanks for the reply. I can't take the time to answer all of what you said right now, as this is my only day to spend with my family. My only reply would be to focus on the statements of Jesus in the Synoptics, which are very clear. People often start with Paul, or the Book of Hebrews, and these letters have some very difficult-to-understand sayings. Jesus, however, warns again and again that we must persevere. As you have said, we must use deductions sometimes, and I can say there is no need to warn someone to persevere if that person is incapable of NOT persevering.
Mishael's comment on 2020-05-01 21:04:11:
Angela: I Googled Revelation Time Charts. Lots and lots. Pick one from a preacher that you trust. Most likely each one varies from the other.
A great teacher was Grant Jeffreys
Chris's comment on 2020-05-01 17:18:40:
(from previous comment)
And I could add another verse that could give more support to those who believe that our salvation could be lost: Heb 6:4-6. As you know, it refers to the 'believer' who falls away (turns his back to God) having once partook of Salvation, the Word & the Holy Spirit. When we examine this portion (& hopefully using the light given & not diluting with human logic), we understand that after the Hebrews writer rehearsed with the believers the things they had learned, he wanted them to go onto 'perfection' = greater maturity, leaving behind the "milk of the Word & to receive strong meat" (Heb 5:12).
The writer adds verses 4-6 (I suggest, in parenthesis) reminding them of those who MAY have been a part of their company (this group's presence there is not certain, from the reading), who had received the Light from the Word, partaken of all that was taught to them or given to them & behaved nobly, but afterwards chose to reject all that they heard & received, they had placed themselves (by choice) in a position of no further opportunity for salvation (v 8). One might think that this understanding is an attempt to force the Eternal Security belief. However, the Writer goes on in v 9, "But beloved (the Hebrew Church), we are persuaded better things of you, & things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak": i.e. "I don't believe you are fake believers as those I've just described, but are genuine, who are maturing in the knowledge of Christ". My apologies for the paraphrase, but I want to emphasize my understanding here. True believers are secure in His Love & they can never be rejected by our Loving Father, nor can they ever choose to reject Him. And sadly, the Church is filled with both types, but it is the Lord Who remains our Judge of our hearts, not us. And sadder still, the Church often fails to preach Phil 2:12, so many enter into a false sense of security believing that "saved now means I can do whatever I like". A damnable teaching.
Chris's comment on 2020-05-01 17:13:49:
Jeff, your reply is very much appreciated. Jesse has echoed my understanding about Judas Iscariot's position, in that he, as all the disciples of Jesus, were just ordinary carnal men who followed the Lord & subsequently, at Pentecost, were baptized with the Holy Ghost & became 'Christians'. I could never give the Christianity label to anyone pre-Pentecost.
Re: "wouldn't a believer...". This was not intended to be an expression of my 'human logic' but one of deduction based on Scripture. Let's face it, we all have to make deductions/judgements on what we learn, or else we would be no better than robots, which just regurgitate (& maybe by use of mathematical calculations) what is fed into them. So I won't labour that point further.
And speaking of Judas: not only he, but all of the disciples could have walked away from the Lord, but the Lord knew that they wouldn't, except Judas, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (Jn 6:20), as Jesse pointed out. And I appreciate the Scriptures you cited: they are very precious & relevant; none of them are 'dismissed'. And I refer to them now:
Mt 6:15: true. How can we expect God's forgiveness, if we fail to show forgiveness to others? A genuine believer will always forgive, or at some point (soon) experience that change of heart.
Mt 24:13: I believe in the 'perseverance of the saints'. In another thread, I had written about remaining true to the Lord despite all that may be thrown upon us, even to the point of laying down our lives (which Peter as a carnal, unsaved man failed to do, but after his salvation & at his martyrdom, he demonstrated a glowing testimony of his unswerving devotion to the Lord Whom he first denied). Our salvation & faith are proven, not only by the works that follow us (Js 2), but also how we finish the race. The true believer will live a fruitful life & never deny the Lord.
Rev 3:5: fully agree (as per comment for Mt 24:13).
(see following comment).
Jesse's comment on 2020-05-01 11:49:50:
I might be intruding in your conversation, and please accept my apology. But you have stirred my curiosity on something. You mention Judas walking away from his salvation. Someone else in another post said that Judas was a Christian. I have never heard anyone refer to Judas as being a Christian, or saved for that matter. In John 6:70, Jesus said have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
Jesus did not choose Judas Iscariot to become evil. He chose him to be part of His ministry because he was evil, because the scriptures must be fulfilled that He be betrayed, And He can't be betrayed by one of His own. There has to be a demon in the camp! Judas was evil the entire time, and only Jesus knew it.
But I'm still impressed by how after three years, Jesus can announce to the disciples at the Last Supper that one of you will betray me, and none of the disciples knew who it was.
You would think that after three years, if Judas Iscariot is a demon, you would think that the others would have noticed something strange about him during that three year period and say "I knew there was something weird about that guy!"
But they didn't know. He talked like them, acted like them, and looked like them. They couldn't notice any difference over three years. You would think maybe over a month that he could deceive them for a whole month, but three years?
That is scary! That's why believers in the body of Christ, even in our day, in the last days, we must trust and go by the Word of God not by appearances.
Jeff M -- Follower of Christ's comment on 2020-05-01 03:50:38:
Chris -- Thanks for the reply, and thanks for being civil. I still have to disagree with what you said. When you began your defense of your views with, "Wouldn't a believer...", I couldn't help but think that this is not how we must, as Bible-believing Christians, defend a position. When we hold a doctrine to be true, we must not use human logic or, "Don't you think that ___?" We must appeal to Scripture for our views, and Scripture alone. And Scripture, in fact, gives us an example of one who DID walk away from his salvation, after knowing Christ face-to-face. That person was Judas Iscariot. He knew our Lord, talked with our Lord, and walked with our Lord, yet he chose to reject Jesus and go his own way...As for the verse I cited from 1 Corinthians, maybe you disagree with what I said, but I wonder how you can dismiss these very clear verses:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:15)
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (Matthew 24:13)
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelation 3:5)
There are other verses I can provide, if you're interested. The clear testimony of the Bible is that we must persevere in the grace of God, otherwise we will be lost. No one can snatch us out of God's hand, but that doesn't mean that we cannot walk away from him. Quite frankly, the fact that OSAS is so popular in America, scares me, because it is making people take their salvation lightly.
Chris's comment on 2020-05-01 00:01:24:
Jeff, I had for the longest time fully believed that a believer could lose his salvation, whether by choice, or being found no longer worthy of this high calling. When I then first understood my security in Christ, that which God cannot un-seal me from & my changed life being filled with & led of His Holy Spirit, I knew that there was absolutely nothing that could separate me from Him. It has been suggested that a believer can still choose to depart. But my question, would a believer ever want to or give it any consideration? Wouldn't a believer NOT deny the One Who purchased him, even willing to go to his death (as so many before us did, happily marching onward to the burning stake). If a believer is not prepared to lay down his life for the Lord, then some self-examination is in order, to see whether the Faith of Christ is his blessd possession. How many would be like Peter (Mt 26:75) facing death.
So after what is said above, I refer to 1 Cor 9:27. I know that this verse is sometimes used to show Paul's fear of losing his salvation if he didn't persevere with all diligence in the faith, but is that the meaning of the Scripture? He speaks of bringing his body (with any remnants of its affections & lusts) into subjection (making it a slave instead of vice versa). And if he failed to do so, then after speaking of the victory that his hearers can have in Christ, he himself should be a castaway (Gk. adokimos = not standing the test & being rejected). Now, if 'rejected' means 'loss of salvation' to you, so be it. But I see in Paul's application, that he is actually speaking of him becoming a hypocrite & one unworthy of the high office of an apostle. And this is the thing he feared: that he would displease his Lord & shame Him in his ministry. I almost see a connection with Acts 20:28, when Paul sent for & spoke to the Ephesian elders, "to take heed unto yourselves (lead circumspect lives) & to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers...".
Jeff M -- Follower of Christ's comment on 2020-04-30 05:18:19:
I totally agree with you that the Bible is filled with verses warning us of the possibility of losing our salvation. Even the Apostle Paul recognized that he could be LOST in the future if he wasn't careful. We see this in 1 Corinthians 9:27, which says, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." Our Lord Jesus Christ also told us that the person who perseveres to the end would be saved. A decision made one time during an altar call doesn't exempt a person from following Christ for the rest of his or her life. I believe that the "Once Saved, Always Saved" doctrine is very dangerous, and has no support in Scripture.
Dayalan's comment on 2020-04-29 00:39:08:
According to Leviticus is it good to avoid forbidden to the follower of God.
Jesse's comment on 2020-04-28 11:34:02:
What and awesome and powerful testimony, Amen. I can sit and read that all day and be blessed by it each time!
Jesse's comment on 2020-04-27 22:44:15:
Can you please answer my questions I asked you before I respond to more of yours?
Ronald Adams's comment on 2020-04-27 22:14:14:
Who is the hunter Kiefer
james brooks's comment on 2020-04-27 22:05:14:
Rod the gospels are the story and life of JESUS CHRIST.Paul,s Epistles were to the seven Churches scattered through out Asia Minor,Greece and Rome.The Gospel is for JESUS CHURCH throughout the WORLD.Those who believe in Him.FOR HIS SHEEP>THE ones who hear HIS VOICE and follow Him.And I want to mention this to Adam;Try to be obedient because it,s the right thing to do.Christ was obedient to His Father.Be an imitator of CHRIST.You try,and try again,keep trying.In Ephesians 6:1 children are told to obey their parents.Shouldn,t we try to obey our Heaven Father even more?Be CHRIST like He obeyed His FATHER by the finish work on the cross for us.(all for us).GOD BLESS.
Adam's comment on 2020-04-27 22:01:08:
>You say you can be tempted to sin and the Holy Spirit can convict you, but you can still choose to sin?
Absolutely, that's the definition of freewill. If you believe a Christian is incapable of being tempted and sinning then you don't believe in freewill, which defeats the whole purpose of life on earth and Jesus dying on the cross for you so that you have the opportunity to CHOOSE whether you want to follow Him or not, and if you do then you everyday make the same decision on whether you want to continue to follow Him. It's not a one time task that you check off your list then go back to being in the world. It's a life transforming decision that requires regular discipline. If avoiding sin was automatic then why do Christians struggle with sin so much both in the Bible and today? Paul described his struggle in Romans 7:19. If he was incapable of sin then he wouldn't struggle. If followers couldn't sin Jesus wouldn't have warned his disciples so many times to avoid sin and be obedient and wouldn't have taught them or others so many lessons.
>a true genuine believer cannot live a lifestyle of continuous sin, the lifestyle they lived prior to salvation. It's impossible.
If impossible then why does it happen so often? It sounds like if someone sins beyond a certain point then you don't believe they are a Christian. Why is that? Who do you think is a Christian then? Is someone who repents, confesses, believes Jesus is Lord, is baptized and follows Him a genuine-enough Christian? What if they later turn from Christianity, were they suddenly never a 'genuine' Christian then? Since you don't know anyone's future actions can you ever be 100% sure of anyone being a 'genuine believer'? I believe the Bible is clear that anyone can be saved and can start their journey to follow Jesus and are a Christian. They still have freewill though and some later turn away. Maybe you've never met them but some Christians do this. Hebrews 6:4 Hope this helps.
Adam's comment on 2020-04-27 21:39:04:
Hi Jesse, I appreciate your time in sharing your perspective. My interest is how someone justifies the once saved, always saved belief when so many scriptures do not appear to support that idea. I'm a Christian saved by grace and I believe Christianity is an active religion involving following Jesus, which requires pursuing Him, not standing still or running the opposite way. I also believe in freewill just like the Bible says and believe that Christians can commit blasphemy and there are examples of that happening today in addition to those in the Bible. I believe there's a dangerous trend where people are told in some churches that it's ok to not try, to not obey Jesus, to not care, that it's ok to sin as much as they want with no consequence.
For instance since Hitler attended mass while growing up and may have accepted Christ during that time before he became an atheist, and this OSAS teaching would say his later actions are all covered by grace according to this teaching. The Bible says most people will go to hell Matthew 7:13 and there's currently 2.5 billion claiming to be Christians and if they all made it in that would be a very wide gate. A % don't follow Jesus anymore and love committing sodomy, fornication, lust, drunkenness, murder, and variety of sins. Some do this because they believe a teaching that says they'll already go to heaven so their sins don't matter. So, I think souls will be lost due to the OSAS teaching which doesn't seem to be from God or supported by scripture. All other questions seem to be distractions from this important salvation issue. I believe exactly what Jesus says that many will be surprised they learn they won't go to heaven: Matthew 7:13. The audience Jesus spoke to was both non-Christian and Christian, but that specific verse was talking to people who believed they were a Christian follower and thought they would be saved. James 2 explains this.