Friday, September 23, 2016

On the theory of predestination, again...

by Diane M. Hoffmann


A lot of people believe this theory of predestination (otherwise referred to also as election, the sovereingty of God in who will be saved or not, etc.), which was established centuries ago and kept alive through various denominations up to today.

Many denominations have disagreed with this theory over the history of the church, including the founder of the Methodist church, John Wesley who came on the scene during the 1700’s.

I was conducting Bible studies in my home a couple of years ago and among the people who came, there was one man who actually believed this theory to the point of giving up on His own salvation. He was most concerned and disturbed over it.

He actually believed that there was no point for him to go one way or another in response to the gospel message because he said that it didn’t matter -- if God had predestined him, then he had nothing to do for salvation either way.

But this is a lie of the devil… that is not true, what he has to do is accept, repent and receive the free gift of salvation that is already implemented from the foundation of the world for every man, woman and child in the world.

As we have seen in a previous article on this blog about this issue of predestination, there are several scriptures that are used by some people to either back up or refute the theory.

However I recently was reading the book of Romans, again, and came across another passage of scripture that confirms the argument against this issue. Hence this article on the subject again.

Romans 8:29-32:

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

“Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

“He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us ALL, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”

Now we have to go back to the scripture that says:

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance.” (11 Peter 3:9)

With this, we know that God does not want one to perish, but ALL to come to repentance.

What was the ministry of John the Baptist who preceded Jesus’s appearance? He was a voice in the wilderness crying out to ALL, “Repent and be baptised”.

Now the Gospel came first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. The Jews were the ones who were chosen by God through Abraham and his descendants… and the Gentiles were the rest of the non-Jews people.

As far as God goes, the whole world is made up of 2 camps: one saved and one unsaved.

Now, the predestination before the foundation of the world is this:

Before the world was created God foreknew everything and everyone.  He created the world then He created the human race by first creating Adam and Eve.

Through His foreknowledge, He already knew that Adam and Eve would fail – the Fall.

But He created them anyway, so the whole world subsequent to Adam and Eve, individually.

Through His foreknowledge and wisdom, He created a way to redeem Adam and Eve and the rest of the human race: through the plan of Redemption (Salvation).

That’s where the predestination comes in…

God saw ALL the world to come and made them ALL predestined for Redemption – the plan, the means (Christ) and the human race.  We are all predestined for Redemption.

Can you imagine if God had not specified that? ALL would not know that they were predestined for Salvation.

As each and every one accepts, repents and receives the free gift of salvation through the preaching and hearing of the Gospel, he/she is redeemed. Once saved, all are then conformed to the image of His Son.

In the Garden 

God put Adam and Eve in the garden and gave them everything they needed to live. They were then saved, i.e.: connected spiritually with God. God walked with them and talked with them in the Garden.

It is said that in the world there are some 28,000 species of trees… even if we take that down by 50%, we’re left with 14,000… and even if we take that down by another 50%, we have 7,000 trees that would have been in the Garden.

And God said to Adam and Eve, “of all the trees you may eat, EXCEPT the one of the knowledge of good and evil”… so you know the story, you know what happened – they fell into temptation and ATE of the one tree that they were not allowed. They disobeyed God and therefore died spiritually, representing the whole of the human race who would have done the same in their place.

As a result they were expelled out of the Garden into a fallen world – out of the saved camp into the unsaved camp.  And so was mankind thereafter.

The blood of an animal had to be shed to redeem them. They had to bring blood sacrifice in order to keep them covered before God UNTIL the ultimate Lamb of God would complete the full redemption.

When Jesus came by way of God’s incarnation from His spirit world to the human world, the gospel of Redemption was preached and explained.

As people responded to the message of Redemption and repented, those in the unsaved camp were brought into the saved camp. And so it has been since Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and continues to be until now, and will continue until He comes back in His second coming.

In His foreknowledge, God also knew who would come to Him, accepting, repenting and receiving His redemptive plan and therefore knew who would be conformed to the image of his Son…

So there is no such thing as God saving some people and others not, as my friend was so erroneously led to  believe and now condemns himself to a most miserable life.

We can be assured of the availability of God’s Redemption and Grace but we must repent and receive it individually as presented in the Word of God.

Hebrews 10:22-23, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;” Hebrews 10:22-23, (KJV).

That is the Blessed Assurance that is promised in the goodness and faithfulness of our Great, Faithful, Graceful and Merciful God, the Creator of the universe. /dmh

Blessings,

.-------------------------------------------------------------------

Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.

Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
Just released by Xulon Press, a div. of Salem Media.
To watch the Video Trailer:
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YLZYLGNX

Order a copy of
"24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
for yourself or as a gift for a friend,
at:
Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Xulonpress.com,
Your Local Book Store,
(in Campbell River: North Island Inkjet-Christian Corner).
or
from this site direct through PayPal...
See See this page...
 

.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Do Christians Have to Keep the Jewish Feasts and Follow the Jewish Calendar?

by Diane M. Hoffmann

There's an increase of conversations going on about Christians having to keep the Jewish calendar, sabbaths and feasts. What's going on? Is Christ's work on the cross not sufficient?

It’s good to understand the Jewish calendar and to know that today’s Christian year 2016 is the Hebrew year 5776, (5777 as of October 3, 2016) because that shows how close we are to the pre-millennialism that places the second coming before the prophesied Golden Age. 

Some might ask here, so are we still 224 years before the second coming of Christ? (Difference between 6000 and 5776). 

No, because the Jewish year is 360 days whereas the current calendar is 365.  If you divide 6000 by 365, you get 16.43836, and 5776 by 360, you get 16.0444 – it is spot on with a 0.393912 discrepancy of whatever historical time variances. 

Christ’s return is close folks! 

In the meantime, the feasts and ordinances of the Old Testament are no longer part of the waiting for the first coming where God sent His son to die on the cross to effect the brand new covenant…

It's good to understand the feasts. But we are saved by grace through faith only. Any works added is to degrade the sublime sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Remember, Christ is God who came in the flesh the first time as a servant. When He comes the 2nd time it will be as the Conqueror, the Lord of Lords and King of kings.)

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (11 Corinthians 11:3)

"But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, 'Behold the days come, saith the Lord when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.'(Jeremiah 31:31)...For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts..." (Hebrews 8:6-8)(Hebrews 8:10). /dmh


Blessings,

.-------------------------------------------------------------------

Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.

Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
Just released by Xulon Press, a div. of Salem Media.
To watch the Video Trailer:
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YLZYLGNX



Order a copy of
"24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
for yourself or as a gift for a friend,
at:
Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Xulonpress.com,
Your Local Book Store,
(in Campbell River: North Island Inkjet-Christian Corner).
or
from this site direct through PayPal...
See See this page...

 







Thursday, July 28, 2016

Does A Misplaced Comma In Scripture Change Where You Will Go When You Die?

by Diane M. Hoffmann

(Scriptures quoted from the King James Version)

On a recent radio interview about my book “24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today”, the host brought up an issue not often thought up by Christians.

That issue is about the statement of our Lord in Luke 23:43, where he told one of the two thieves, crucified along with Him that day, who believed on Jesus and repented:  “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

The complaint on this by some people is that the comma should be after the word ‘today’ rather than before it, making it to mean that he would be in paradise only at another time, not immediately.

This of course can only appear as such to those who believe in “soul sleep” and some as well who do not believe in paradise as an immediate and literal place where the dead in Christ go to.

A quick search reveals that most Christian Bibles show the comma in that place (before the word ‘today’) in Scripture, all the way back to the King James of 1611 Bible, and also the Matthew Bible of 1535, as well as all subsequent versions (except for specific ones that moved it purposefully to support their interpretation and belief.)

Those who believe in either the soul sleep, or that there is no hell, believe that we do not live after we die the physical death. However, we are not only just physical but we are immortal as well. We are body, soul and spirit. A soul is immortal and lives forever.

Others believe that when we die we do not live immediately after but sleep until such time as we will be brought back to life at a later time to be with God (in Heaven) IF we are worthy of it.

However, we are worthy of the next life with God only because of one thing: our BELIEF in the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the cross which makes us righteous before God, and the understanding that Christ is God Himself who came in the flesh to redeem us -- each one of us, one individual at a time.

Those who believe there is no hell need to see that Jesus talked about hell more than anyone else in the Bible – who are we going to believe: Jesus or others?

The Bible is clear that we live (spiritually, in a new immortal body) the moment we die physically.  

Mark 12:27, "He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err."

Matthew 22:31-32, "But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

There are many different words in the Greek and Hebrew for sleep, die, live, etc. and all are specific to the context of the passage of scripture. Sometimes sleep means ‘to rest’, other times sleep (different words in the original language) means deceased. To die means to expire, to finish life… The word used for Saul when he died (1 Chronicles 10:6) is “mooth” which is the word used for all other individuals referred to as passing away in physical death”.

“Slept” as in “and David, (Solomon, Roboham, etc., etc.) slept with his fathers” uses the same word in the Hebrew “shaw-kab”, where as when it refers to sleeping as in resting it is “yaw-shane”, except for one or two occasions when these are interchanged, but the context of the passage makes the meaning clear.

Paradise:

As for paradise, it is used only 3 times in the Bible, and it means, a park, an Eden, a place of future happiness.

Luke 23:43, “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Jesus was there also until His resurrection. He also visited hell during that time (1 Peter 3:19) but this is for another article.

2 Corinthians 12:14 “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter”. (And the whole rest of the passage speaks of living).

Rev. 2:7 – the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God…

Rev.6:9: 

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:

10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?

Doesn’t sound like they’re sleeping to me.

Rev. 20:4-6: 

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection (i.e., of the righteous, in Christ): on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

This takes us to another issue of the first and second resurrections which, again, needs a whole other article – for another time.

Let us look at another passage of Scripture that speaks of the immediate life after death:

Luke 16:19-31

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. \dmh

Blessings,

.-------------------------------------------------------------------

Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.

Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
Just released by Xulon Press, a div. of Salem Media.
To watch the Video Trailer:
http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=YLZYLGNX

web site: http://24hotpotatoes.blogspot.ca/



Order a copy of
"24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
for yourself or as a gift for a friend,
at:
Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, Xulonpress.com,
Your Local Book Store,
(in Campbell River: North Island Inkjet-Christian Corner).
or
from this site direct through PayPal...
See See this page...