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[PART FOUR] The Flurry of Wings: Deceived By Angels
The Moody Church ^ | Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer

Posted on 01/01/2011 3:20:55 PM PST by wmfights

As of this writing, Hollywood has produced more than three dozen films, made-for-TV movies, and series featuring “heavenly beings.” Roger Ebert, film critic not noted for his commitment to the Bible, wrote “These scenarios are all wrong, wrong, wrong from a theological point of view (which is the only one worth having about angels). All the authorities agree that God created angels before the beginning—before there was earth or sea or sky, or men and women.” Say it again, Roger!

We do not expect theological accuracy from Hollywood; indeed, sometimes even respect and decency are lacking. Thus in the movie Michael, John Travolta portrays the biblical archangel as a slob; a brawling, promiscuous, but supposedly lovable, slob. Covering his wings with an old trenchcoat, Michael joins three tabloid journalists on a journey to Chicago. Along the way he seduces women and he spends a night in jail.

Obviously, this scenario is much more akin to the fallen angel, Lucifer, than it is to Michael, the archangel, the “prince who protects” the children of Israel, and who fought with the devil over the body of Moses. Hollywood has it wrong, very wrong.

My concern is not with such gross distortions of angels, however. Something much more sinister is taking place with this new angel fad, something that ultimately is more damaging than trash television or blatant, liberal theology. I refer to this: that millions of evangelicals are accepting the “Touched by an Angel” TV series as good viewing for Christians everywhere. People who should know better are looking upon this show with approval.

If you are not acquainted with the TV program, “Touched By an Angel,” the basic formula as stated by the producers is this: “The angel meets her assigned human at a crossroads in his or her life. The angel (by the power of God) performs a miracle to bring that person to a point of decision or revelation. He or she, by their own free will, then takes life-changing action.” Note 1

Thus, in virtually every episode a troubled person is helped, perhaps there is a physical healing, or an emotional barrier overcome. Sometimes the needy person might be facing a personal crisis in his or her marriage or with the children. Whatever the situation, an angel is used by God to resolve the crisis, proving that there is a spiritual dimension to the world, and that God Himself stands at the ready to help us by sending angels to those who least deserve or expect it. Each show has a “feel good” ending, since a crisis has been resolved, and the troubled person has turned a corner, setting out in a new direction.

Why do I object to this harmless story line? The answer, briefly put, is that the show is loaded with theology, a cultural theology that reinforces the prevalent views about man and God. Through its pleasing portrayals of needy people, helped by heavenly messengers, it lobs a grenade at the heart of the Christian Gospel.

A False View of Human Nature

First, it assumes that people are basically good, rather than sinners who stand in desperate need of God’s saving grace. The show avoids concepts such as sin and the total depravity of the human race. Everyone has good within, waiting for it to be unleashed. Indeed, one of the show’s actors says that “there might be an angel in everyone of us, waiting to do a miracle.”

The show reinforces the prevailing cultural myth that sin is never the problem we face, rather it is always a feeling of disconnectedness, a need for knowledge about how God’s help can be enlisted. Thankfully, an angel comes to help in a crisis, and there is relief knowing that at last one has made contact with God.

The Bible teaches that an understanding of our sinfulness is central to our understanding of how we must approach God. If we don’t know how bad off we are in the presence of a holy God, we will try to access Him in ways that He despises. Thus, a wrong view of man always leads to a wrong view of God.

A False View of God

In the television series, the Almighty can be contacted by anyone who has the good fortune of connecting with an angel. Like Cain, who thought that God could be approached in any creative way, the show teaches that ordinary people, if they have enough ordinary good will, can have contact with God, without a mediator, without a sacrifice, without blood.

It follows that the show has no place for Christ, neither His cross nor His resurrection is necessary for us to make contact with the “powers that be.” Angels are waiting to help us get connected. They are more approachable than God; thus, it is possible to be in touch with the spiritual world without appeasing God.

“But” you protest, “it does not claim to be a Christian program, but is committed to presenting a generic faith, showing that there are people who believe in God; and that angels are real beings just as the Bible says.” But the point cannot be made too strongly: The view of human nature portrayed in the series is not biblical and therefore the God the show portrays is not biblical either. It reinforces a destructive cultural stereotype.

What do we make of the angel stories; the reports of angels intervening to help people? Before we answer that question, we have to cover an important bit of biblical data to put matters in perspective.

Sorting Out the Facts

All angels, whether good or bad were created by God. They are independent creatures, not recycled dead people as Hollywood often portrays them to be. In many movies, angels are presented as deceased humans, who earn their wings by good behavior. That is a human idea found nowhere in the Bible.

We must affirm that there is a great deal of similarity between the evil angels and the “elect” angels, as Paul calls them. Thus, it is not possible for us to always distinguish the good angels from the bad ones. It is simply not wise to navigate the metaphysical landscape without a map, a guide that lets us call these angelic beings by their correct designation.

Satan is presented in the Bible as having a keen intellect, a full complement of emotions and a will by which he rebelled against God. Although at one time he stood in God’s presence, orchestrating the praise of all the angelic host, he chose his own path in the cosmos. As a result, he is on a forced march to destruction, enroute to his final destination of torment and humiliation in hell.

Unfortunately, he did not fall alone, but took a percentage of the angelic host with him (perhaps 1/3 according to Revelation 12). At any rate, he has a multitude of helpers that do his bidding, and that seek to extend his kingdom. These helpers are known in Scripture as demons.

When Jesus was on earth, Satan mustered all of his powers to try to divert the Son of God from His calling. He tried to kill the Christ Child when Herod slaughtered the children under two years of age in the environs of Bethlehem. Since the plan failed, he tried to get Christ to sin in the desert; later he continued his opposition, but Christ decisively defeated him on the cross.

Satan was unsuccessful, of course. Facing the cross, Christ said, “Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (John 12:31).

The Similarity Between Good and Bad Angels

It is not always possible for us to tell the difference between good and bad angels. The evil angels are willing to make as many concessions as possible to deceive the unwary. The angels of darkness turn themselves into angels of light so that people will be confused about their real identity.

1. Evil angels are willing to mouth solid, evangelical doctrine. When Christ was in the synagogue in Capernaum He met a man with an unclean spirit, who, when confronted by Christ cried out, “What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are — the Holy One of God!” (Mark 1:24). This demon, in effect, could sign an evangelical statement of faith that affirmed that Christ was Jesus of Nazareth, “the Holy One of God.”

What is more, demons confessed that Christ was the Son of God. “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” (Mark 5:7). These are the words of a demon responding to Christ’s command to leave the demented man. These demons, could, in effect, sign an evangelical statement of faith that affirmed that Christ was “The Holy One Of God,” or “The Son of the Most High God.”

Of course demons do not make such admissions willingly, or gladly. But when in the presence of Christ, or when attempting to deceive others they will confess to the truths of sound doctrine. Yes, they are capable of appearing and quoting “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord” if the words will deceive one of their victims.

2. Evil angels will duplicate the miracles of Christ. Paul warned that Satan would come with “all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Not every miracle is from God; not every beneficial intervention comes from the good angels. Evil angels will do all the helpful miracles they can if it serves their long-term goals, namely diverting people from the purity of the Gospel of Christ.

A man who was healed from a serious disease in a so-called healing meeting, discovered that he inherited “demonic darkness”, that is, a persistent sense that he now had an evil presence near him. When he rebuked Satan, the emotional and spiritual cloud left him, but his disease returned. We should not be surprised that healings occur in all the religions of the world. Satan is willing to give something that appears good in exchange for blind allegiance.

3. Evil angels use “super apostles” who present themselves as experts in spirituality. They convincingly lead people to believe that all people have, within themselves, the power to find God; they can have direct contact with God by following the right techniques.

These apostles invite people to come to God “just as they are” not to be cleansed and forgiven, but to be accepted on the basis of their own merit as humans. They are to come to receive the help they deserve. God delights to make contact with His creatures, if only they will desire it. “Come one and all” and “come in your own way.” And so we come once again to the grand lie: anyone can make contact with God without a mediator, without a God-appointed sacrifice and without blood.

Any television program that promotes such a view of man and God is an assault on Christ and His work on the cross. Any insistence that good angels are party to such a portrayal is deception. The good angels know the difference between true spirituality and the false. They know what it takes for man to worship God. They also know what happens to those who think they can do it all in their own way.

Telling The Difference

So the question is: how do we interpret the dramatic rescues, the healings and the help given to people who are in desperate straits? What do we say about the accounts of ‘divine interventions’ of heavenly beings that make everything turn out just right, regardless of what people believe about Christ? Think through the following:

1. God’s good angels are given assignments limited to the people of God. They are not sent indiscriminately to all men and women. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Thus, we have the function of angels defined for us in Scripture. If angels are ever sent to those who refuse to accept Christ and therefore “will not inherit salvation,” we have no account of it in Scripture.

2. God’s good angels participate in acts of judgment for the unconverted.

Yes, angels are sometimes sent to the unconverted, but only to judge them. We think immediately of the angels that visited with Abraham had the responsibility of executing judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. Angels did help Lot escape the city, but only because he was a believer in Jehovah and therefore a “righteous man” (2 Peter 2:7).

Repeatedly, in the book of Revelation, angels are directly involved in executing the judgment of those who have not come under the protection of Christ’s sacrifice. For example, in chapter 14 a succession of angels comes announcing judgment. One warns that if anyone worships the beast “he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb” (Revelation 14:10). The angel that followed announced the impending judgment and the next angel executed it.

Read carefully, “Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying ‘Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe’” (v.18) Then notice what this angel does.

“So the angel swung his sickle to the earth and gathered the clusters from the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God” (v.19). Later in the book, an angel invites the birds in midheaven to eat the flesh of kings, commanders, and mighty men (19:17,18) now that God has destroyed them in judgment.

Needless to say, the program “Touched By An Angel” does not feature angels coming to execute the wicked. These Hollywood angels are always doing good deeds, even for people who might not be particularly religious; even for people who do not believe in Christ as Savior and are not “heirs of salvation.” These popular representations of angels are not good angels, but angels of another sort.

3. Evil angels have all of the essential powers of good angels. Therefore evil angels perform many similar assignments as those of good angels for their evil master, Satan. Think of the awesome “victory” (albeit temporary) Satan wins when millions of people mistake his intervention into human lives as the intervention of God and His angels!

Remember, Satan’s goal is not to create as much misery as he can on planet earth; he is willing to do some good things while keeping his eventual goals in sight. His primary objective is to spread false doctrine, to reinforce the idea that God can be approached directly without a mediator, an acceptable sacrifice and blood. He does not mind if people believe in God, in supernatural occurrences and miracles. Indeed, these serve his purpose very well.

If you are a Catholic, Satan will appear as Mary; if you are a Protestant, he will appear as Christ and if you are a Hindu, he will appear as Krishna. Now that Princess Diana has become a international icon and a religious symbol, reportedly there are sightings of her, too. Satan will take whatever form expected to keep people shielded from the Gospel of Christ. It is naive to say, as some do, that these stories must be the work of good angels because the miracles are good and beneficial. We must boldly say that “good” miracles can be done by “bad” angels.

The famous spiritist, Emanuel Swedenborg recognized the difficulty of distinguishing good angels and bad. After years of spiritism, he wrote, “When spirits begin to speak with a man, he ought to beware that he believes nothing whatever from them; for they say almost anything...they would tell so many lies, and indeed with solemn affirmation, that a man would be astonished...if a man listens and believes, they press on and deceive, and seduce in [many] ways.” Note 2

Please do not forget the great sin of our time: the belief that God can be approached without a mediator, without an acceptable sacrifice and without blood.

Only the full biblical message can combat the rampant spirituality of our times; a spirituality that is a substitute for the Gospel of Christ. The fear that Paul had for the saints in Corinth should be ours today, “But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Millions are deceived by angels whose presence preaches “another gospel.” As Paul warns, “But even though we, or an angel in heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).

Let us remember that angels do not always get their theology straight!

Notes 1. Quoted in Citizen, Dec. 1997, p. 7. 2. Quoted in John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Channeling, (Chattanooga: The John Ankerberg Evangelistic Association, 1988), p.8.


TOPICS: Charismatic Christian; Evangelical Christian; General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: angels
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Remember, Satan’s goal is not to create as much misery as he can on planet earth; he is willing to do some good things while keeping his eventual goals in sight. His primary objective is to spread false doctrine, to reinforce the idea that God can be approached directly without a mediator, an acceptable sacrifice and blood. He does not mind if people believe in God, in supernatural occurrences and miracles. Indeed, these serve his purpose very well.

If you are a Catholic, Satan will appear as Mary; if you are a Protestant, he will appear as Christ and if you are a Hindu, he will appear as Krishna. Now that Princess Diana has become a international icon and a religious symbol, reportedly there are sightings of her, too. Satan will take whatever form expected to keep people shielded from the Gospel of Christ. It is naive to say, as some do, that these stories must be the work of good angels because the miracles are good and beneficial. We must boldly say that “good” miracles can be done by “bad” angels.


1 posted on 01/01/2011 3:20:56 PM PST by wmfights
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To: Amityschild; Brad's Gramma; Captain Beyond; Cvengr; DvdMom; firebrand; GiovannaNicoletta; ...
Ping

Last in the series on Angels.

2 posted on 01/01/2011 3:23:06 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights

Links to parts 1, 2 and 3 might be helpful.


3 posted on 01/01/2011 3:39:00 PM PST by null and void (We are now in day 709 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: null and void
Links to parts 1, 2 and 3 might be helpful.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2648462/posts?page=1

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2649084/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2649537/posts

I hope this helps. I thought the message was really good.

4 posted on 01/01/2011 3:44:05 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights

I still like Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


5 posted on 01/01/2011 3:48:34 PM PST by XEHRpa
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To: wmfights

Thank you. It’s been a very good series.

Interestingly, I run across the mentality quite frequently that anything supernatural that is good MUST be from God and to be believe unquestioningly.

That is so dangerous.

For all the emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit with speaking in tongues being the primary focus, I wonder that more people don’t ask for the gift of discernment. I’d think it would be eminently more useful.

Above all else, I want to know what is from God and what is not so I don’t end up deceived or falling into error.


6 posted on 01/01/2011 4:13:13 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: wmfights
An excellent article but this caught my attention:

Judgment belong the the Lord Jesus. Angels could execute the judgment of God such as the example of the Angel of Death with the Egyptians or the angel sent forth to bring the plague during David's time. Usually angels are messagers sent to both believers and unbelievers (such as being sent to the shepherds or to Balaam). Clearly they were not sent for judgment but for pronoucement.

Also, there is a least one case in scripture where an angel gave instructions to the unsaved Cornelius to send for Peter who would show him the way of salvation. While the angel did not bring the gospel to Cornelius (a right reserved for us), he did tell him who he was to contact to receive salvation.

7 posted on 01/01/2011 4:13:23 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: metmom
For all the emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit with speaking in tongues being the primary focus, I wonder that more people don’t ask for the gift of discernment.

It sure does show that Solomon was a pretty smart guy to begin with.

8 posted on 01/01/2011 4:19:48 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: HarleyD

Were not the angles sent to judge Sodom and Gomorrah ? and angles sent to rescue Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrah ?


9 posted on 01/01/2011 4:20:29 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: wmfights
" rather it is always a feeling of disconnectedness "

Isn't this the excuse we have been hearing from the MSM, the Obama Administration, and Obama for the reasons why he is failing, and why they lost the last election ? because they believe that their efforts of " Communication " was lacking, that they were not " Connecting " or by their " DISCONNECTEDNESS " is why they failed.... in other words ? they refuse to admit that they were wrong, that they have sinned....
10 posted on 01/01/2011 4:30:41 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: HarleyD
An excellent article but this caught my attention:

Yes, angels are sometimes sent to the unconverted, but only to judge them.

It's an interesting point. I think that he means in their capacity to carry out a decision all ready determined by God.

From the message: Repeatedly, in the book of Revelation, angels are directly involved in executing the judgment of those who have not come under the protection of Christ’s sacrifice.

HD: Also, there is a least one case in scripture where an angel gave instructions to the unsaved Cornelius to send for Peter who would show him the way of salvation. While the angel did not bring the gospel to Cornelius (a right reserved for us), he did tell him who he was to contact to receive salvation.

Angels brought the message to the shepherds that the Savior was born as well. In both cases they relayed a message, but did not act in any other way.

11 posted on 01/01/2011 4:32:55 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: American Constitutionalist
Great point!
12 posted on 01/01/2011 4:36:28 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: null and void; wmfights

Here they are without HTML so you can just click on them.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2648462/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2649084/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/2649537/posts


13 posted on 01/01/2011 4:41:42 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: American Constitutionalist; HarleyD
Were not the angles sent to judge Sodom and Gomorrah ?

Maybe this answers it, the Angels will minister to "heirs of salvation" and carry out God's judgment on those that are lost.

14 posted on 01/01/2011 4:42:47 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: metmom
Thanks, I guess my “analog” is showing. :-)
15 posted on 01/01/2011 4:52:26 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights

No weaseling around it — unfallen angels sometimes DO get a broader role towards unbelievers than Lutzer allows for. As a “Fightin’ Fundie” I object to presuming more broadly than the bible, but I object to presuming more narrowly than the bible too. If God knows ahead of time at some point who is going to ultimately accept Christ (I am deliberately avoiding the Arminian-Calvinist debate about the details) then God can send angels to help those people while they are still unbelievers without introducing anything not already stated in his Word.

A story line which elaborated this wouldn’t fit into a neat 30 minute or 60 minute show, however.


16 posted on 01/01/2011 5:49:55 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: wmfights
1 John 4 (New International Version)

1 John 4

On Denying the Incarnation

1 "Dear friends, DO Not believe Every Spirit, but Test the Spirits To SEE Whether they are From GOD, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is HOW you can RECOGNIZE the Spirit of God: Every Spirit that Acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the Flesh(Human) IS from GOD, 3 but every spirit that does Not Acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5 They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood."

A False Angel can not declare Christ became Human(Divinity became Flesh).

Never!

I have read books about Protestant and Catholic exorcisms. One of the final confirmations for the possessed victim is to declare that Christ came in the Flesh. When this happens the exorcists know the fallen spirits(Angels) are truly gone.

I have encountered my friends wife who is a spiritualist spellcaster to make a long story short. She was trying to tell me she was a christian. I told her she is not. I also told her I would prove it to her. I challenge her to say the Apostles Creed which declares 1 John 4. She wanted to prove me wrong. She stuttered as an unseen force would not let her. Then I made it more specific. Did Jesus Christ come in the flesh. Simple. She could not profess it at all in any way with words that mean the same in the personal proun. " I declare Christ came in the Flesh" A true encounter.

Also " If you are a Catholic, Satan will appear as Mary"

Maybe a false apparition never the real apparitions.

Of the real ones Mary recites the Apostles Creed( Christ came in the Flesh)

If 1John 4 is not true you might as well throw out the Bible. Which I would not do or recommend!

Praise Jesus and as the angel spoke Hail Mary!

17 posted on 01/01/2011 6:09:36 PM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: wmfights; Joya

Thanks &

Happy New Year.

= = =
Later


18 posted on 01/01/2011 6:25:15 PM PST by Joya (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house...)
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To: wmfights
First, it assumes that people are basically good, rather than sinners who stand in desperate need of God’s saving grace.

IMHO, a very poor choice of words and easily confused meaning.

Sin is simply missing the mark of God's Plan. The argument first asserts an assumption of good, then corrects the quality of 'good' with the quality of 'sinner'.

These are 2 entirely different sets of criterion.

Good and evil are one set of qualities, which might be attributed to Satan's Cosmic or Worldly system of thinking and living,....while sin simply the the missing of the mark of God's Plan for every believer in our thinking and living.

The quote implies as association of sin with evil and good with Godliness, which might be a consequence in some situations, is not the root of the distinction between the two criterion.

We start instead with God first, not man. Then consider the effects of missing His Plan or sin, and then through faith in Him, are also led to conclude that evil or good may be parlayed into evil whenever it it outside His Plan, i.e. sin. The consequences of that sin, be it an act of human good, independent of God and His Will, or an act of evil independent of God's Will, and that act will ultimately lead to even more sinful circumstances, unless one uses what God provides for us to escape that slave market, namely faith in Christ.

19 posted on 01/02/2011 2:42:58 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: wmfights
The Bible teaches that an understanding of our sinfulness is central to our understanding of how we must approach God. If we don’t know how bad off we are in the presence of a holy God, we will try to access Him in ways that He despises. Thus, a wrong view of man always leads to a wrong view of God.

IMHO, another poor choice of words to capture the proper meaning.

Man doesn't have to be an expert about sin in order to have fellowship with God.

God provides everything necessary for our relationship and fellowship with Him. All we have to do is face Him, and confess our sins, known and unknown to Him. Repentance is a turning back to God or the dual or the argument, turning away from that which is away from God. It is better to keep our focus on Him in all things, so it is much simpler to instead think of repentance as turning back to Him, instead of focusing on something or anything other than Him as the object of our emotion and rejection.

Instead we focus upon Him, or face Him, then communicate to Him our confession of having missed the mark with Him and His Plan.

He doesn't require us to perform an audit of all or thoughts, but if we so choose, ONLY while facing Him, then he is also sure and just to forgive us those sins. Once we are back in fellowship after returning to Him and confessing those sins and He justly and surely forgives, then He might by His grace further sanctify us as we walk by His Word in our thinking.

20 posted on 01/02/2011 2:55:10 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck; HarleyD
If God knows ahead of time at some point who is going to ultimately accept Christ (I am deliberately avoiding the Arminian-Calvinist debate about the details) then God can send angels to help those people while they are still unbelievers without introducing anything not already stated in his Word.

This may well be the explanation for Angels going to the Shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus Christ, or the example noted by Harley D. I think a constant might be that in these rare examples the individuals ultimately were saved.

21 posted on 01/02/2011 10:55:50 AM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: johngrace
A False Angel can not declare Christ became Human(Divinity became Flesh).

Then why did the following happen?

What is more, demons confessed that Christ was the Son of God. “What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” (Mark 5:7). These are the words of a demon responding to Christ’s command to leave the demented man. These demons, could, in effect, sign an evangelical statement of faith that affirmed that Christ was “The Holy One Of God,” or “The Son of the Most High God.”

22 posted on 01/02/2011 11:01:43 AM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: wmfights
They did not declare in the personal pronoun like a believer can Say" That I believe Jesus Christ came in the Flesh" . They are recognizing Christ but not as a believer. They are already judged. For you to know a believer or an angel from God to say " I believe" .

"1 John 4 (New International Version)

1 John 4

On Denying the Incarnation

1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

Notice the very words A Spirit(Singular Confession) verbatim cannot acknowledge =

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God"

Otherwise what do you think that means? Acknowledge! I have personally encountered it myself.

I know. I have seen it. It's amazing!

23 posted on 01/02/2011 12:25:35 PM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: HiTech RedNeck; wmfights
If God knows ahead of time at some point who is going to ultimately accept Christ... then God can send angels to help those people while they are still unbelievers

I'll have to go back and read the series. Angels are an extremely interesting topic but one in which there isn't a whole lot of info on. All I can say is that I doubt if they like being pictured as fat little babies with wings. Never picture anyone in caricature who is carrying a flaming sword-that's my motto.

Angels generally are messengers to carry out God's will either through word or deed. I believe the gospel message is given to believers to share with unbelievers. We (believers) have been appointed to help others come to a saving knowledge, although we don't fully recognize or appreciate the power and authority of God's word which we have. The gospel, strangely enough, does not seem to be given to angels to share with unbelievers (e.g. Cornelius). God seem to have set tasks and appointments for each of His creatures.

24 posted on 01/02/2011 2:10:39 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: American Constitutionalist
Were not the angles sent to judge Sodom and Gomorrah ? and angles sent to rescue Lot out of Sodom and Gomorrah ?

That's a good question. As far as judging Sodom and Gomorrah I would say no. As far as rescuing Lot out of Sodom, I would have to say that wasn't their primary mission although they did not destroy the place until after they got Lot out of there. Please note what the scriptures tell us:

There were three "persons" who visited Abraham. Of those three, one says ""Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,". God judged Sodom and Gomorrah. The two angels who traveled on to Sodom were only the deliverers of that judgment. The angels' mission was to destroy the place according to God's will.

It was Lot who went out to talk his sons-in-law into leaving the place, although they refused (Gen 19:14).

It should be noted that Lot tarry and it was only because of the Lord's mercy that the angels forced Lot and his family out.

It was because of the Lord's mercy that Lot was spared. I don't wish to make the angels sound cold but it probably wouldn't matter to the angels one way or another if Lot was consumed.
25 posted on 01/02/2011 3:53:36 PM PST by HarleyD
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To: HarleyD
"It was because of the Lord's mercy that Lot was spared. I don't wish to make the angels sound cold but it probably wouldn't matter to the angels one way or another if Lot was consumed. "
Can Angels make independent decisions on their own ? the reason why I asked, if they were the Good angles, they don't have the capacity to be cold whether or not Lot say in Sodom or not, they had to obey GOD's command, so ? since it was God's MERCY that saved lot, so to, the angles had to deliver the message to LOT of God's mercy and their assignment..
26 posted on 01/02/2011 7:29:37 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: johngrace
I have had people, while talking to them, seem normal, claim, but, when I mention the Holy Spirit, or the Trinity... it's like a rabid dog with it's fur coming up on it's neck like ruffled feathers....

27 posted on 01/02/2011 7:38:25 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: wmfights
How could those spirits that encounter Christ deny that he was in the flesh, when he was right there in front of them ?
It just proves all the more , that ? Jesus Christ is the Messiah, GOD in the flesh, he was right there, in front of everyone... how could they deny that he came in the flesh ?
Can the devil ? or even demons lie ? speak lies while GOD is right in front of them ?
Are not the demons ? the devil forced to speak the truth when they are being judged by GOD ?
Does not the bible tell us that a day is coming that every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.
The devil and demons may try to lie to us, but, they can never lie to GOD in his face.. is that a correct assumption ?
28 posted on 01/02/2011 7:45:47 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: wmfights
1 Timothy 4 (King James Version)

1 Timothy 4
1. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2. Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3. Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

4. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

5. For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.


From the:
God's Word Translation:

1 Timothy 4

A Prophecy About the Last Times

1. The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons.
2. These people will speak lies disguised as truth. Their consciences have been scarred as if branded by a red-hot iron.
3. They will try to stop others from getting married and from eating certain foods. God created food to be received with prayers of thanks by those who believe and know the truth.
4. Everything God created is good. Nothing should be rejected if it is received with prayers of thanks.
5. The word of God and prayer set it apart as holy.


The writer makes a point that the HOLY SPIRIT expressly says that in the latter days that there will be those who will depart from the Christian faith, that their consciences will be seared with a hot iron.
There will be those who will teach lies, doctrines that there are many ways to GOD APART FROM having a Mediator, and APART FROM JESUS CHRIST's GRACE.
There will be those who teach that the law brings justification alone without Jesus Christ fulfilling the law.
They will teach that it's by your own merits, works, that man can bring themselves to GOD.


What is the message of the Gospel ?
What is the Christian faith ?
What is , the , TRUTH ?

Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ IS the TRUTH.

What was it ? what the writer of Hebrews meant in Hebrews chapter 10 verse ( 26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins ) .... a interesting portion of the bible indeed.
Sin willfully, not obeying the truth.
The truth is the Gospel message that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and not themselves.
That's the truth and the Gospel message.
Sinning as in, not obeying the truth, Sinning as ? rejecting the Gospel message of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH.
Sinning ? as in ? Rejecting that there is only salvation of our LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.
Have to read this book in context.
The writer was writing to the Hebrew Christians who have Judisers come in who claimed they were Christians ( that's who Paul talked about in Galatians about " those who sneaked in " .
They were teaching that those Christians still had to observe the law to be saved, APART FROM JESUS CHRIST.... Saint John called them ANTI-CHRIST.
Saint John said that even though they went out among us, they were not apart of us.
For GOD so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so every believes in him, should not parish, but have every lasting life.
A HOLY GOD sent Jesus Christ as our supstitude sacrificial sacrificed to take our place in the seat of GOD's judgment so we won't have to.
God sent Jesus Christ, GOD in the flesh to atone for our sins so we can stand before GOD spotless and clean.
Jesus Christ saves us by grace through faith in HIM .
That is the Christian faith, that is our mediator's message and finished work.
Those who teach a works based salvation have departed from the faith, for if salvation was by works, then, it's not salvation by faith.
They have seared their consciences by the need to atone for their sins by works.
There minds are always consumed by sin, because they remind everyone and themselves of sin, and not grace.
The more they are consumed in their mind of sin, and the thoughts of sin, they act on their sin, and because their works of sacrifices of bulls and goats can not atone for their sins, no wonder they are a miserable lot.
They also trample the blood of Jesus Christ underfoot because they don't see that his blood as HOLY and Eternal, they consider it as common as the blood of bulls and goats.

29 posted on 01/02/2011 11:59:48 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: American Constitutionalist

Great Post


30 posted on 01/03/2011 12:25:18 AM PST by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: American Constitutionalist
Typo Corrections:

Sorry folks, it's late and my eyes are not great..

( *** Sinning ? as in ? Rejecting that there is only salvation in our LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. *** ) ....

( *** For GOD so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believes in him, should not parish, but have ever lasting life. *** ) ......


A seducing spirit will try to cause you to divert from Jesus Christ and from the way of salvation GOD has made ONLY in OUR LORD Jesus Christ...
Deceivers will try to take away from the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ and his victory in his Resurrection.
A seducing spirit and deceivers will take attention away from GOD, take away from the GLORY of GOD and put it on themselves, put the attention of their own works, merits, self righteousness ( not Christ's righteousness ) to gain their salvation..
Seducers and Deceivers will come and flatter you with their own vain glory, their own wisdom, their own philosophy.
Works based salvation put's the glory on man, and a Grace based salvation through faith in Jesus Christ puts the GLORY ALONE IN GOD.
Those who trust in their works and merits trust in their own sacrifices of bulls and goats.
They have departed from the Christian faith ( or never was a part of the Christian faith at all ) for if ?? it was a salvation based on man's works, merits, man's self righteousness only ?? then, it can't be said that it is a salvation based alone by grace through faith ALONE in Jesus Christ's work on the cross.

The truth and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that a HOLY , JUST, RIGHTEOUS GOD came in the flesh , JESUS CHRIST to save sinners, and not themselves , for sinners can not or nor can they never be able to save themselves..
31 posted on 01/03/2011 1:14:31 AM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: Cvengr
The works based salvation people are the " Faith Departers " ..
Departers from the faith that Jesus Christ saves ALONE by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.... they have departed the faith....
How can it be ? if it is salvation by works, then it can't be salvation by faith, and we know, that the Bible tells us that it's a salvation BY GRACE THROUGH FAITH IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ALONE !!!

Happy New Year !!

Oh, yeah, the " faith without works ( verb ) is dead " ....

Without action , acts ( verb ).. ( motion, action, labor ) , or action, faith just stands there, no life.
Like a pump that pumps water, or ? if someone, or GOD gives you something....

FREELY GOD GIVES !

FREELY WE MUST TAKE ( i.e. taking, a verb, action ) .

Suppose you have a gift you wanted to give to your loved one.
You want to give it freely, but ? it's NEVER a ( ** RECEIVED GIFT ** ) until a action ( working, motion, verb ) is taken by the other person to take it and receive it...
32 posted on 01/03/2011 1:39:03 AM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: American Constitutionalist
There doesn't appear to be any evidence in scriptures of angels making independent choices. There are several cases where demons (anti-angels if you will) suggesting to God courses of actions (such as Job, the lying spirit of Ahab, or the demon possessed man asking to be cast into the swine). However, you won't find angels being so persumptious. They wait for God's command and, once given, act upon those orders.

The problem Christians have is that we fail to be fully obedient to God. It is our "choices" that always gets us into trouble. The angels appear to understand this. If God gives an order, it is to be obeyed because it is 1) the right decision, and 2) it is the perfect decision.

33 posted on 01/03/2011 2:23:05 AM PST by HarleyD
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To: Cvengr
Yes, we will hear those who say " well we should preach about the law and sin " .... yes of course !!!


Look at them and say " well, well, let's talk about the sin in YOUR LIFE ! shall we ???? " .....


Jesus said " he that is without sin, cast the first stone " ..... that should sum it up rightly ... right ?


Yes, when we preach and teach about the law, and sin, we should preach and teach that the law or for the law came to show us how sinful and rebellious mankind really is .... OPPS ... someone's pride and arrogance won't let them admit this .....
All of us were born into sin, for we can not, and never can we escape this reality, but, ONLY IN AND THROUGH THE SAVING GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD WHO SAVES US !

The law is to show mankind how sinful and hopeless we really are without Jesus Christ.
The law points to the fact and need that we needed someone to save us.
The law points to Jesus Christ who FULFILLED every righteous demand GOD placed on us.
When reading the law, or the whole Bible, there is a blooded, sacrificed bloody body of Jesus Christ.
There is a scarlet red line that says SACRIFICE !
When we have the knowledge of the TRUTH of Jesus Christ,
Then we can look at the Old Testament and see the PASSOVER.
We can see the passover lamb who takes away the sin of the world...
Yes, let's talk about sin.
Let's talk about how wretched mankind really is.
How lost mankind really is.
How mankind's condition is totally hopeless.
How mankind was dead in our sins and trespasses in front of a HOLY GOD.


BUT !!!!!!

Jesus Christ came,
for Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ...
WE PREACH ABOUT SIN AND THE LAW, but, then, we give people hope and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that Jesus Christ saves sinners who could not save themselves...
As the book of Ephesians says ( BUT GOD ! WHO IS RICH IN MERCY for his great love wherewith he loved us ).......

THERE IS HOPE FOLKS IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD !!!

Ephesians 2

1. And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3. Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.


Romans 8 (King James Version)

Romans 8

1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4. That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

5. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

6. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.



What are you walking after folks ?

After the law of the spirit of life in Jesus Christ through faith in him ?

Or the carnally minded way of the law in the flesh ?
For the law in the flesh was weak, but, the law was fulfilled in us through Jesus Christ who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit in faith in Jesus Christ.
Those who walk in the flesh can not please GOD, for without faith, you can not please GOD, but, expect GOD's rightful judgment on you.
However, someone's pride and arrogance will cause them to be blinded to the truth of the Gospel message of our LORD Jesus Christ, because they reject the plan that it is only by GOD through his son Jesus Christ that saves sinners and not themselves....


What is your hope of your HOPE ?

HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST ALONE ?


Or by your own self efforts and works ?
34 posted on 01/03/2011 2:43:46 AM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: American Constitutionalist
Typo correction :

These old eyes are not great writing this late...
Sorry folks for the typos....

Jesus said " he that is without sin, let him cast the first stone " ..... that should sum it up rightly ... right ?
35 posted on 01/03/2011 2:47:38 AM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: American Constitutionalist

I agree.

Though . . . evidently angels had some capacity for choice . . . else there’d be no fallen angels.


36 posted on 01/03/2011 4:12:20 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: johngrace

INDEED.

They will say THEY CREATED Jesus, Buddah etc.

Hideous.


37 posted on 01/03/2011 4:13:49 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: American Constitutionalist

Some of us seem to cause such responses by walking into a room or having our screen names appear under an otherwise mild post.


38 posted on 01/03/2011 4:14:59 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: American Constitutionalist; wmfights

The Scriptural testing of the spirits according to whether they confess that Jesus is God, CAME IN THE FLESH, died for our sins, rose again etc.

is, imho, the test mortals are called to make, discern as OUR safety criteria.

OF COURSE, ALL CREATION must be truthful in God’s express Presence. imho.


39 posted on 01/03/2011 4:20:18 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: American Constitutionalist

BTW, your posts would be easier on my eyes with more white space.

Certainly the Biblical criteria for Salvation is FAITH IN CHRIST.

I don’t think it’s as easy for one to lose one’s Salvation as some Armenians sp? seem to think.

To some degree, all sin is willful.

As Scripture indicates, we all sin in this mortal life.

Ongoing confession, repentance etc. is to be our way of life.

. . . if we confess our sins, HE IS FAITHFUL TO FORGIVE US AND CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.

PRAISE HIS NAME, THANK GOD FOR THE BLOOD OF JESUS.


40 posted on 01/03/2011 4:26:28 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: American Constitutionalist

Agreed.


41 posted on 01/03/2011 4:29:37 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: American Constitutionalist

INDEED.


42 posted on 01/03/2011 4:31:02 AM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Quix
LOL!! That's funny!

Amen to your posts on this Thread. Praise His Holy Name! Praise Jesus!

43 posted on 01/03/2011 9:04:08 AM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: Quix
Also John3:16= 1 John 4 = 2 peter 3:18 = Revelation Chapter 22!!!!!!

LUB with Jesus in Jesus in Our walk with Him!

AMEN! AMEN!

44 posted on 01/03/2011 9:13:37 AM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: Quix

Jesus, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast!
Yet sweeter far Thy face to see
And in Thy presence rest.

No voice can sing, no heart can frame,
Nor can the memory find,
A sweeter sound than Jesus’ name,
The Savior of mankind.

O hope of every contrite heart!
0 joy of all the meek!
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
How good to those who seek!

But what to those who find? Ah! this
Nor tongue nor pen can show
The love of Jesus, what it is,
None but His loved ones know.

Jesus! our only hope be Thou,
As Thou our prize shalt be;
In Thee be all our glory now,
And through eternity. Amen.


45 posted on 01/03/2011 9:29:28 AM PST by johngrace (God so loved the world so he gave his only son! Praise Jesus and Hail Mary!)
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To: American Constitutionalist
The devil and demons may try to lie to us, but, they can never lie to GOD in his face.. is that a correct assumption ?

I don't know.

The rules are different for Angels. They can not be redeemed so the fallen are lost forever and know it. They only have the power that God allows them to have, for example Jesus Christ tells an Angel to bind Satan and thrown him in the pit and it is done. Satan can't resist. So I'm sure if they are told to tell the truth they must.

But it seems to me that they can do all kinds of things to humans that are lost.

46 posted on 01/03/2011 3:11:06 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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To: Quix
" Some of us seem to cause such responses by walking into a room or having our screen names appear under an otherwise mild post. "

You mean like ? ( THE FOOL hath said in his heart, there is no GOD ) .... ?
BTW ? how can they have greater knowledge than GOD if they think and know that there is no GOD ? have they not made themselves greater than GOD when they say that there is no GOD ?
I always thought that Atheists don't believe in GOD/gods....
47 posted on 01/03/2011 3:11:06 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: American Constitutionalist

INDEED.


48 posted on 01/03/2011 3:14:30 PM PST by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Quix
" BTW, your posts would be easier on my eyes with more white space.
Certainly the Biblical criteria for Salvation is FAITH IN CHRIST. "

Yes, I know, I know, a gentle rebuke... I sometimes use it to emphases on what I am saying, sorry.. I get lost in the enthusiasms.
49 posted on 01/03/2011 3:16:18 PM PST by American Constitutionalist (The fool has said in his heart, " there is no GOD " ..)
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To: American Constitutionalist; Cvengr
1. The Spirit says clearly that in later times some believers will desert the Christian faith. They will follow spirits that deceive, and they will believe the teachings of demons.

I believe these will be those that never believed in the sufficiency of the Cross. IOW, the Holy Spirit was not indwelling them although they "played" at being a Christian. Don't forget Jesus Christ promised the Holy Spirit would be with us always.

They will teach that it's by your own merits, works, that man can bring themselves to GOD.

Now you've moved into the never ending battle with RC's and EO on one side and Evangelical Christians on the other.

50 posted on 01/03/2011 3:19:16 PM PST by wmfights (If you want change support SenateConservatives.com)
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