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Welcome to the Mail Room for Present Truth Magazine! This is where we post some of the interesting email which we receive from our viewers. All of our viewers are invited to E-mail us your comments and views and we will post these for all to consider!


Calvin, Luther, and Arminius on Election
8/22/2019

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your clarifying reply. It is much appreciated.

I will do further study so that I can learn to better distinguish and articulate how those who represent the Council of Dort's view of God's gracious "regeneration" of the unbeliever which precedes faith.  But then on the other hand I also want to be able to distinguish it from the Arminian view of God's gracious "prevenient" or "preceding" quickening call of the Spirit which also precedes faith and repentance.  

The one major difference seems to be that in the view of the Council of Dort the "regeneration" of the Holy Spirit is always irresistible while the view of Arminius himself was that this "regeneration" of the Holy Spirit which most of his followers call "prevenient" or "preceding" grace is resistible. I suppose that those of the Dort persuasion would view this as a return to Pelagianism or at least SemiPelagianism. But having read some of what Arminius wrote he would deny this appellation as not fairly representing his views.

It seems to me that the issue could be perhaps solved by clearly defining the meaning of the "meritorious" cause of salvation and clearly separating it from the "instrumental" cause of Man's salvation.

The "meritorious cause" being 1.) the humiliation and incarnation of our Lord, 2.) His sinless life lived as the Second Adam, 3.) His suffering for the sins of the world in our place, 4.) His atoning death on the cross to propitiate the wrath of God and make atonement for the justice of God in our place, 5.) and then the intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven mediating the merit of His blood for the benefit of His repentant believing saints on earth.

This salvation work of our Lord was promised to mankind and then accomplished outside of us and without any of our works since the beginning of the creation and is revealed to us through the proclamation of this "foolishness" as the apostle Paul describes the gospel of Jesus Christ. "In Christ" God has accomplished the eternal salvation for the entire world.

The "instrumental cause" of salvation for fallen mankind on the other hand is being actively accomplished through the gracious work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts of the disobedient children of Adam who are dead in trespass and sin and without hope before God. This work upon the human heart is not in any way meritorious, because it must always have the imputed merit of our Lord added to it for it to be acceptable in God's sight.

This instrumental cause is our Lord's convicting all the world of sin and righteousness and judgment before the throne of God. Some call this the "second use of the Law" to bring the knowledge of guilt to all of mankind. The Holy Spirit uses both sides of the sword of God's word for the salvation of humanity. He smites with the Law of God to bring the knowledge of sin to mankind. Then He graciously "smites" us with the other side of His sword with the gracious proclamation that God Himself in the person of His Son the Lord Jesus Christ has come into the world, lived a sinless life, and died as an atoning death for the sins of all the world. Christ so loved the world that He has paid the sin debt for all the world.  

And not only that, He then offers the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life to all who will respond to His gracious offer of salvation. This offer of free salvation to all is attended by the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in "regenerating" or "preceding" or "prevenient" grace to all the world!! Those who harden their hearts in unbelief and willful hard-hearted sin are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, calling God a liar, and God then hardens their hearts in unbelief. But those who hear the invitation of Christ and the Holy Spirit to come unto Christ and partake of the water of life freely given are given the free gift of faith and repentance and are baptized by the infilling and seal of the Holy Spirit.

In this sense, faith and repentance are not "meritorious", but rather "instrumental". The Holy Spirit quickens and makes alive those who believe the report of the gospel proclamation. The Spirit enables whosoever will of the lost sinners this world to hear the proclamation of the Good News and accept the invitation to repent and believe in Christ as their Savior and Lord. Those Spirit-enabled sinners who repent and believe will joyfully submit to baptism in water and joyfully partake of the Lord's Supper which continually proclaims the Lord's death till He comes again in power and great glory.

I guess that I am doing my best to harmonize the differences between Luther and Calvin. But I may be antagonizing both schools of thought in the process. I frankly believe that Luther did some back-peddling on the "bondage of the will" when he saw how some were distorting what he was trying to articulate. He clearly also believed that the offer of salvation was truly open to all the world and that the Holy Spirit's enabling grace attended the proclamation of the life-giving message of the Gospel. Luther was certainly enlightened about the work of the Holy Spirit upon the hearts of the lost human family. Mankind is truly dead in sin, but the Holy Spirit is able to call back to life all those who are willing to hear His voice of invitation. Even the dead can hear His voice, not only on the resurrection day, but in the daily call to faith and repentance in the market place of the gospel. I know that I did when I was without God and without hope in the world as a teenager till I heard the life-giving invitation of our Lord Jesus Christ calling me to the foot of the cross.

Blessings to you and yours in Christ,
Bill Diehl,
www.PresentTruthMag.org

Fallbrook, Ca.

Was Luther a Calvinist?

Bill, I'm going to trash that whole latest thread from your friends, not even enter into a discussion of free will / bound will, predestination. A Missouir Lutheran won't sanctifiy anyone from any other church on this subject.  Largest fight we Lutherans ever fought with each other here in the New World: “The Predestinarian Controversy.” Just so you know.
Under the Mercy,
Dr. Rosenbladt (17 Aug. 2019)
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Rod, Thanks for filling me in on the issue within the Missouri Synod. I had no Idea.
Bill
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Bill,  a couple of details: 
LCMS: “Predestination means choosing; leaves much unanswered, but we are on side of  monergism  (“Election means choosing; God does 100% of that choosing!)  Other Lutherans: “God elects intui fide  (“in view of foreseen faith”). Those are the 2 views.  Then became a conflagration.  Other Lutherans charged LCMS with being Calvinists.  LCMS charged other Lutherans with being Arminians.  BOOM! 

I switched from “other Lutheran” to LCMS, but not just on this single issue. My synod was giving into the Biblical critics, losing its great view of Scripture! Enough!  You get the idea. 
Under the Mercy,
Rod
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Hi Rod,
We both as evangelical Christians would always want and attempt to be faithful to the word of God as the Holy Spirit gives us wisdom to rightly interpret His word.

I have read many many discourses and discussions of soteriology from both the Reformed perspective and from the Lutheran perspective.

Regarding how the Missouri Synod Lutheran Christians and the Presbyterian Reformed Christians interpret God's word, from my reading of the respective literature, I have come to the following conclusions and invite any corrections that others may offer to clarify,

1.) Both believe and teach that salvation of sinners is "monergistic" by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ alone as revealed in God's word the bible alone for the glory of God alone.

Salvation is not "synergistic" as the Pelagians and Semi-pelagians teach. Lost mankind is not by nature free to choose to call upon God for salvation, nor seek after holiness and acceptance with God. By nature mankind is self-righteous, loves sin and unrighteousness, and hates the one true Creator, Savior, and Law-giver God who is revealed to us in His word, the bible.

2.) Both believe and teach it is the Holy Spirit who brings conviction of sin and guilt to the heart and mind of the sinner. (through the second use of God's Law)

3.) Both believe and teach that the Holy Spirit by God's unmerited grace alone empowers the preaching and proclamation of the gospel message that Christ has died on the cross to suffer and die for the sins of the world. By God's unmerited grace alone God has laid on our Lord Jesus Christ the guilt and punishment for the sins of the world. This message is proclaimed through the preaching of the gospel and also by the administration of the Lord's Supper and baptism of repentant believers.

4.) Both believe and teach that the Holy Spirit by God's unmerited grace alone genuinely invites all the world to repent and trust in Christ as their Savior and Lord.

5.) Both believe and teach that the Holy Spirit by God's unmerited grace alone gives faith to all who will believe the gospel.

6.) Both believe and teach that the Holy Spirit by God's unmerited grace alone gives repentance to all who will believe the gospel.

7.) Both believe and teach that by God's unmerited grace God justifies, pardons, and forgives all sinners who through the convicting the power of the Holy Spirit call upon Christ to save them from their sins and to grant them eternal life.

8.) Both believe and teach that justified sinners receive the unmerited gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to be born again to a lively hope and assurance of forgiveness and eternal life.

9.) Both believe and teach that all truly justified forgiven believing Christians, through the unmerited gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, will begin the life-long experience of sanctification and begin to walk in the newness of life and obedience to God's Law. (the third use of the Law)

10.) Both believe and teach that it is the Lord Himself by His unmerited grace alone who gives the power for the believer to remain in the faith till the end of his life or until the Lord comes again in glory at the Last Day to save the living believers and raise from the dead all believers who since the beginning of the world have called upon the name of the Lord and have died in faith.

Both of these streams of grace are monergistic in that fallen mankind is totally lost in sin and trespass and that salvation thus always proceeds from God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. God seeks after His elect to save them. His elect never seek after God to be saved as in the Pelagian and Semi-pelagian streams of thought. 

However, so far as I can discern, the only soteriological "difference" between the two streams of Lutheran and Reformed Christian teaching comes with regards to whether or not God has sovereignly granted that all who hear the word of God in the gracious proclamation of the gospel invitation are able to resist this genuine call or not to resist this genuine invitation. 

In the Reformed stream of thought, no genuine believer will ever turn away from Christ and fall away from repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Lutheran stream of thought, genuine believers can and sometimes do turn away from Christ and fall away from repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In the Lutheran stream of thought the genuine offer of salvation that is preached and proclaimed through the power of the Holy Spirit is resistible and able to be refused, because God has sovereignly chosen to allow sinners to resist God's redemptive love and offer of forgiveness and eternal life. All the world is totally lost in sin, but by the grace of God He has chosen to offer salvation to all the world with the freedom to resist this offer.

In the Reformed stream of thought the genuine offer of salvation that is preached and proclaimed through the power of the Holy Spirit is not resistible, because God in His foreknowledge has sovereignly chosen His elect to whom He will give faith and repentance. Therefore by default God has chosen those to whom He will not give faith and repentance. All who are saved by God's grace are saved by God unmerited election to salvation. Those who are lost are lost because they were not elected to be given faith and repentance. In other words, All the world is lost in sin, but by the unmerited grace of God He has chosen to save some.

This is the conclusion that I have reached through much reading and praying for understanding of these two streams of salvation teaching from Luther and from Calvin and their respective followers. Any clarification that you or your associates may offer would be much appreciated.

Blessing in Christ and with very highest regards,
Bill Diehl, editor
www.PresentTruthMag.org

Fallbrook, Ca

The Origin of Satan

Hi Ralph,

Let me begin by pointing out that most expositors who look at the Bible's many texts dealing with Satan, see that there are certain facts that seem to stand out.

!.) These texts indicate that there definitely was a rebellion among the angels of God sometime in ancient history wherein a third of the angels rebelled.

2.) The rebellious fallen angels had a leader in this rebellion which is identified with the "serpent" or "dragon" and called "Satan" throughout the Bible..

3.) After the creation of the universe, this enemy of God tempted and caused the first man and woman to disobey the specific warning and command of the Lord and thus enter into this rebellion which is called "Sin" or lawlessness.

4.) All through the bible it is very clear to most expositors that this "Satan" or "deceiver" is the leader of all the apostate religions of our fallen world since the Fall, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel and beyond.

5.) The history from Genesis to Revelation recorded in the bible depicts this warfare between the rebellious demonic forces of darkness and the loyal forces of light who seek to warn and call those people who are aligned with these rebellious forces to repentance and obedience towards God.

6. This Satan, because of his unremitting hatred of God and His kingdom, was the ultimate being responsible for the temptation and crucifixion of our Lord on the cross.

7. The bible clearly teaches that the forfeited life of Christ on the cross has made provision for the forgiveness of the sins of the entire world. This provision for forgiveness is possible, because Christ's death has provided a substitutionary atonement and propitiation for God's broken Law. Those sinners who hear and respond to the proclamation of the word of God and the Holy Spirit's invitation to call upon the name of Christ and repent of their sins are then reckoned as forgiven of their trespasses. Their names are then recorded in the Book of Life when they come to repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

8. God understood from the very beginning of time when He began to create intelligent loving loyal beings (angels and mankind alike) that there was the possibility that they could choose to rebel and disobey His will and Law. This fact of love's freedom is at  the very basis of the definition of "love". Love must be free to reciprocate that love or on the other hand be free to not love and not submit to the bonds of love and loyalty. Love can never be dictated or coerced even by a loving Creator God. Love must be a choice, not a mandate.

9. Christ was not caught unaware that Adam and Eve could possibly join with Satan in his rebellion. Christ did not place them beyond the possibility of joining with Satan in his rebellion against the rule and Law of God. After they were deceived into believing the lies of the Tempter, Christ immediately promised them that He Himself would come into the world to be bruised and suffer and die in their place as the Lamb of God who would atone for their sins and ultimately crush the head of the Serpent. This is the entire meaning of the record of Old and New Testament history recorded in the bible.

10. The bible knows of no such thing as God predetermining sin by either Satan or the human family. Sin was the result of God's "foolishness" to allow His created beings to either love and serve Him or hate and rebel against His love and fellowship. God has no pleasure in the death of the unrepentant hard-hearted sinners in this world. He has made ample provision for the salvation and forgiveness of the entire world. His offer of salvation from eternal death is open to all who will believe His promises in Christ, repent of their transgressions, and allow the Holy Spirit to write His Law upon the hearts of all who call upon His name for salvation. From the time of the Fall of Adam unto this very day, all repentant sinners who trust in the promises of God will, at the time of their conversion from sin unto life, have their names written in the Book of Life.

11. Those passages found in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 indeed do refer to the kings of Babylon and Tyer as you have accurately demonstrated. However these kings are under the rule and control of the Prince of this World and they represent in principle the kingdom of Satan who is the actual ruler of these kingdoms which are in rebellion against the God of heaven and His kingdom. God is using these kings as a "type" or "metaphor" for Satan and his kingdom.  The descriptions given in these passages give us some of the details regarding the origins of Lucifer's rebellion in heaven and the pride that arose in his heart which eventually lead to his fall from loyalty. He was eventually cast out of heaven completely when he and the principles of his rebellious kingdom were fully exposed at the cross of Calvary . Christ is now the legal head of the human family and Satan has been a defeated foe since the resurrection and enthronement of Christ in heaven. Christ and His church are merely awaiting in earnest expectation for the final gospel proclamation to all the world which will give the Antichrist a deadly would from which he will never be healed.

12. I hope that these few points outlined will perhaps allow you to re-think your understanding of what the bible actually means by "foreknowledge" and "predestined" and "from the foundation of the world" and "before the foundation of the world".  Calvin and Luther were truly powerfully used of the Lord to begin the Protestant Reformation against the misrepresentations, falsehoods, and deceptions of the Papacy. We are able to stand upon their shoulders and perhaps see a bit more clearly than they were able discern.  The God that is described in the pages of the bible did not pre-determine who would be saved or lost. He did not pre-determine that Satan would be a leader of a rebellion in heaven. What God allows is far different that what He had pre-determined . He predestined that He would save all who trust in Him as their Lord and Savior from sin through the offering of Himself in the person of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The future is open to all the world as to the possibility of the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Whosoever will call upon the name of Christ will be saved. God in His sovereignty and grace has opened the gates of heaven to all who will believe. Prayer changes things and the future is open to all for eternal life or eternal death.

Blessings to you and yours in Christ,

Bill Diehl
www.PresentTruthMag.org
Fallbrook, Ca

Distortions of the Gospel Message
8/19/2019

Hi Ralph,

The distortions in the teaching of "unconditional" election and the distortions of eternally burning in "hell fire" of the unsaved have hindered many many precious souls from coming to Christ. 

The false teachings of a "Limited Atonement", "Irresistible Regenerating Grace" for the so-called pre-elected, and "Unconditional Election" are total misrepresentations of the true gospel of our Lord. 

He wept over Jerusalem because of their resistance to the drawing of the Holy Spirit to embrace Christ as Savior and Lord.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! Matthew 23:37-38

Many mistaken teachers fail to distinguish between the "meritorious" cause of ones salvation and the "instrumental" cause of ones salvation. Christ in His sinless life and atoning death on the cross fulfilled all the demands of God's Law for the salvation of all the world. He alone merited the salvation of the world.

However, the Holy Spirit calls upon all the world to respond to the gospel invitation of forgiveness and eternal life. If one does not resist this call, He enables us to heed the call to personal repentance towards God and personal faith in Christ as ones Savior and Lord. This Holy Spirit-enabled response is called the "instrumental" cause of our salvation.

God desires that all would be saved, but He does not force anyone to repent and believe the gospel.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

When a sinner hardens his heart against the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit withdraws and the sinner is hardened in unbelief. God has predestined from the beginning of creation to offer the gift of Christ in the gospel to all the world, but He has also predestined all who refuse to repent and refuse to believe to suffer the wages of sin which is punishment and then eternal death. In light of this true gospel message, the gospel invitation is to, "choose ye this day whom you will serve." "Whosoever shall call upon the Lord shall be saved". Christ calls and He also enables all to believe. He bids us all to come and He enables us all to repent and believe.

The Holy Spirit reproves all the world of sin and righteousness and judgment.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. John 16:7-11

He then, through the proclamation of the gospel, invites all and enables all who are guilt-laden to come to Him for forgiveness. In the gospel call He offers to give the forgiveness of sin and eternal life to the repentant believing sinner who calls upon the name of Christ. The Holy Spirit also begins to write the holy Law of God upon the hearts of all who believe, to give deliverance, not just from the penalty of sin, but also from the power of sin as well. This is the New Covenant promise.

 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: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 8:10-13

Thus the Holy Spirit: 1.) reproves all of sin, 2.) invites all to come, 3.) if they do not resist His invitation and call, He enables all to repent and believe in Christ , 4.) writes God's Law.upon the hearts of all who believe. The work of the Holy Spirit is not "irresistible". Men and women can and do resist the call and the invitation of the gospel.

This is the true everlasting gospel message that is to be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.

Praise God from whom all blessing flow!!!
Praise Him all ye creatures here below!!!

Praise ye the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!!!

Bill Diehl
www.PresentTruthMag.org

Fallbrook, CA

The Kiss of Death
1/21/2018

Hi William A.,

In the last days of the final conflict between light and darkness, truth and error, a modern-day "Judas" will again betray the Savior with what appears to be a kiss of friendship, but in reality the kiss of friendship is a kiss of betrayal, a kiss of death.

In these final days of earth's history we see and hear these smooth-talking so-called "Christian" teachers who claim that they only want to "improve" upon the meaning of the word of God, but in reality they are in the process of destroying the very foundation upon which the word of God rests. As the Psalmist has said, " If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Psalm 11:3 The final assault of the enemies of God's word will be upon the truthfulness and reliability of God's word and His holy Law. The enemy within the church of the living God appears as a great benefactor wanting only to "enlighten" and "clarify" the word of God. And so the "Judas" of today comes to us pretending to have great light and truth, but this kiss of friendship is actually the kiss of death.

He that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? Luke 22:47-48

Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.  And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. Matthew 26:48-50

The false teachers of today claim that the Genesis account of the six days of creation and the fall of Adam and Eve is merely symbolic and not to be taken as literal history. The idea that the Lord has actually created the universe in six literal days so recently as a mere 6,000 years ago and then rested on a literal seventh day called the Sabbath is scoffed at as lunacy. With a cunning smirk they belittle the idea that sin and suffering and death came into the world because of the "simple" act of disobeying and doubting the word of God. The idea that the world was originally created as a beautiful garden called Eden and inhabited by a literal couple called Adam and Eve is ridiculed and compared to believing in a flat earth or that Santa Claus lives in the north pole.  These "teachers" claim that God is a God of "love" and that He would never punish or condemn any of His children to suffering and death by excluding them from an imaginary "Tree of Life" merely because they were tempted by Satan and had sinned against God.  

"The world is ancient", they claim. They pompously boast, "Suffering and death have always been with us as we have evolved slowly over billions and billions of years into the marvelous people that we are today".  They repine, "A loving God would never destroy the entire world's population by a mythical world-wide "flood" in Noah's day and save only eight people in an imaginary boat called an ark." They claim that the flood mentioned in Genesis was merely a "local" flood that the "ignorant" and "superstitious" author of Genesis imagined was world-wide. The fossil record and the massive erosion found all over the face of the earth are claimed to be the result of evolutionary "Progressive Creationism", not a devastating judgment of God upon a lawless God-despising apostate world.

The final stage has been set for the near total deception of the world by the Enemy that first appeared in the garden. What he could not achieve in his temptation of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, he will accomplish in his grand and final temptation of the world's end-time generation. He will personify himself as the benefactor of the human family just as he did in tempting Eve. All the world that loves the final lie of Satan will fall at his feet and worship him as the savior of the world. But the apostle Paul warns us: 

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what restrains that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12

Satan's final temptation of the world will be identical to his temptation of our Lord in Gethsemane, only this time with overwhelming success. Christ says of this world,

" But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.  I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive ." John 5:42-43

With amazing success the great deceiver Satan will pander to the world, "Fall down and worship me and I will give you all the kingdoms of the world" . He blasphemously repeats his edenic lie, "You shall not surely die. You shall be like God knowing (determining) good and evil. You don't need to obey God's Law and worship Him as the Savior, Creator, Law-giver, and God.",  He slanders, "The God of the bible is the cause of all the suffering and pain in the world, because He is evil and always punishing and judging the world."  The deceiver boasts, "I am the loving kind god who never rebukes, never criticizes, and never chastens those who live out the "rainbow" of diversity in their expression of sexuality." He pleads, "Trust me. I accept you just the way you are. There is no need for this silliness called 'repentance'.  I and all of my followers justify everyone and are completely forgiving and kind without any hint of unpleasant do's and don'ts."

He admonishes the world, "You must help me to rid the world of ignorance and superstition among those who claim to preach about God's law of Ten Commandments and about a Jesus who died on a cross to pay for the penalty of transgression. These know-it-all 'legalists' teach that the wages of sin is death. But the truth is that there really is no such thing as death. Death is only the final evolutionary step towards becoming a god."

The deceiver enlists the entire world to help him to cleanse the world of those who so pompously claim that they are the only ones who have the "truth" and exclude all who don't accept their version of the truth. So he repeats the lie of the murderous Pilot who mockingly asked, "What is truth?" thus inferring that there is no real absolute truth but only the varying "opinions" of what constitutes truth.

But all is not lost. The true Jesus of the bible still reaches out to all the world to "come unto Me all you who are heavy laden" with guilt and fear of the final judgment Day. Christ has paid the penalty for the sins of the world.  He promises that He will save from condemnation in the final judgment all who are calling upon His name in repentance towards God and faith in His sinless life and atoning death the cross of Calvary. The provision has been made for all the world to be saved. The true Christ of the bible says to all,  

Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon Him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.  Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live . Ezekiel 18:30-32

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; Romans 3:23-25

....as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:19-23

Blessings and honor and glory to all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ as the true Savior and Lord of all the world,

Bill Diehl, editor
www.PresentTruthMag.org
Fallbrook, Ca.

 

Repentance Towards God and Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
11/13/2018

Brother George,

We must keep in mind the fact that in Romans, Colossians, and Galatians Paul is defending the atonement of our Lord on the cross as the "meritorious" basis of a sinner's acceptance with God. The Gnostic-leaning Ebionites of the first and second centuries who claimed to be Christians actually opposed Paul by denying the need for the atoning substitutionary death of Christ on the cross and they also denied His eternal divinity as the Son of God. They wanted to teach that sinners are justified before God solely on the basis of their success at keeping of God's Law and had no need of a substitutionary sinless atoning Lamb to approach God. 

The truth is that only Christ as the divine virgin-born second Adam was able to be justified before God on the basis of His success at perfectly keeping the Law of God from His conception, infancy, and on to adulthood. He alone of all the sons and daughters of Adam never sinned and never fell short of the glory of God. Christ alone never sinned and never needed "imputed" righteousness as we fallen sinners do to approach the throne of God. That is why we as repentant sinners can only approach God "in the name of Jesus Christ" and "for His sake" we are accepted by God through faith in His sinless life and atoning death on the cross.

Repentance towards God and faith in the atoning death of our Lord on the cross are the "instrumental cause" of our personal acceptance with God, but never the "meritorious cause". In other words, without faith and repentance no sinner can approach the throne of grace. The Holy Spirit gives us sinners the "prevenient" or "preceding" grace to personally repent and come to Christ.  This drawing of the Holy Spirit to faith and repentance is able to be resisted, but if the sinner does not resist the drawing and wooing of the Holy Spirit, he will be drawn to the foot of the cross in repentance and faith in Christ's atoning blood shed for the remittance of sin. Those who accept the gospel invitation and who do come to Christ will be forgiven and filled with the indwelling Holy Spirit to begin the life-long battle against willful sin and unbelief until the coming of the Lord in glory. The "new covenant promise" is that God will daily forgive us of our sins and begin to write His holy Law upon the heart of the repentant believer. Sanctification is the work of a life-time even until the coming of the Lord on the last day.

Bill Diehl www.PresentTruthMag.org

 

A Review of Desmond Ford's book, Genesis Versus Darwin
11/15/2018

Hi Clifford G.

The publishers of Spectrum and AToday are leading their Adventist readers down the garden path to a total denial of even the basic teachings of the Bible. They put a humanist "interpretation" on every single teaching of fundamental Christian doctrine including the Genesis account of the six-day creation of the world. They even put their false humanistic interpretation upon the Christian doctrine of the vicarious penal substitutionary atonement of our Lord on the cross. To the liberal Adventists with their low view of the Bible, theistic humanism is the direction they wish to see the Adventist movement take and become "enlightened" enough to embrace.

I just finished reading Desmond Ford's book, Genesis Versus Darwin . He completely rejects the literal six day creation account of Genesis 1-11 and the chronology and historical events described therein, including the literal account of the Fall, the world-wide flood of Noah, the tower of Babel and the later account of Jonah as mere theistic allegory. He agrees with the secularist "scientific" community's time frame of 3 billion years of "God directed" progressive creation of the so-called lower forms of life and the final appearance of human beings (Adam) millions of years later. According to him this means that death and suffering have always been a part of the so-called "life and death" paradigm of life. For Ford, Genesis is merely a metaphor and therefore completely compatible with secular paleontology, geology, and anthropology. However, his explanation of the imagined billion year old geologic column has been completely blown out of the water by the geological events surrounding the 1980 volcanic eruption of Mount Saint Helens. This event laid down a "geologic column" in a matter of a couple of days not millions of years.

Throughout the book, Ford expresses his pity for the poor benighted Adventists like Ellen White who take Genesis history as literal history.  Unfortunately many if not most of the Adventist educators in academia are leaning this way albeit covertly in many instances. I debated an anthropology professor at Loma Linda, Dr. Sterling, a few years ago who openly advocated progressive creationism and theistic evolution as "fact" and that Genesis must be taken as metaphor and allegory. These people all claim to defend "sola scriptura", but then claim that the reader must allow for an "interpretation" that allows for the so-called "ignorance" of "early Man". Thus, Adam and Eve are metaphor. The sinless / deathless Garden of Eden is a metaphor. The satanic Serpent is a metaphor. The Curses pronounced by God are mere metaphor. The 24 hour day of the six day creation is mere metaphor representing billions of years.

Our Lord asked, "When the Son of Man appears will He find faith in the earth?"-----not among the followers of the likes of Desmond Ford and the other false prophets of the Antichrist ecumenical movement. If they do not repent, they will all be deceived by what they propose to be "the Spirit Ethic" that is breathed upon them by the Spiritualism of Satan's masterpiece of deception.  

There will only be two classes of people in the coming crisis. The one class will be those who worship the true Christ who is in the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary pleading the benefits of His shed blood before the holy Law of God for the justification of His repentant people. These will receive the final seal of God's approval. The other class will be worshipping a false "christ" who himself claims to be a god who can over-rule the clear teachings of God's word and put in its place the lies and misrepresentations of the Prince of Darkness. These will receive the final mark of the deceiver, the apostate "liar from the beginning".

Soon Satan himself will make his final appearance to deceive the whole world and if possible even the very elect of God. God bless the Seventh-day Adventist movement and the message of the 3 angels of Revelation 14. Here are they who keep the commandments of God and put their faith in the blood of the Savior for their forgiveness and acceptance before God's holy Law. On the Last Day, they will look up at the splendor of their coming Savior and say, "Lo, this is our God. We have waited for Him and He will save us!!"

Bill Diehl www.PresentTruthMag.org
Fallbrook, Ca.

Biblical Creationism
1/3/2019

Hi Philemon,

The Institute for Creation Research and Answers in Genesis were the modern day pioneers in the young universe creationist movement. But now the Creation Ministries International ministry is becoming very prominent also. Interestingly enough they are all indebted to a Seventh-day Adventist, George Macready Price's efforts and his encouragement of Dr. Henry Morris to start his pioneering ministry in San Diego at ICR and its great museum there at its headquarters. These ministries are all dedicated to exposing the impossibility of Darwinian evolution including "theistic evolution" that most of the major denominations have embraced including Roman Catholicism. The fourth commandment of the Sabbath is our Lord's emphatic "No" to Darwinism in all of its iterations.

The Sabbatarian reform movement arose providentially and contemporaneously with the Darwinist movement of the 19th century. Satan's masterpiece of deception will ultimately unite all of the religions of the world and precipitate the final fall of spiritual Babylon that arose from the ancient Tower of Babylon built by Nimrod, the grandson of Ham. The message of the three angel's of Revelation 14 is seeing its final fulfillment in our very day proclaiming the everlasting gospel and demanding 1.) that all the world is to give glory to Him who made heaven and earth and the sea and the springs of water, 2.) that Babylon has fallen and become the hold of every unclean doctrine, 3.) and warns all against receiving the mark of the Beast.

Revelation 14:6-10 Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth -- to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people -- saying with a loud voice, "Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water." And another angel followed, saying, "Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, "he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.

The Seventh-day Adventist movement has yet to fulfill its mandate to finish the Reformation, but it will ultimately fulfill its divinely ordained mission as the final remnant who keep the commandments of God and put their faith in Jesus. The great time of test has come when all will be called to stand in the final Hour of Judgment by God's unalterable standard, His Law. Only those who plead the merits of Christ will be able to stand in that Day. Christ is both Savior and Lord of all the world. If He is not both in our lives, then He is neither. The Law of God and the Gospel of Christ must always be distinguished, but never separated. The Law drives us to Christ to be justified by faith in His blood, and then Christ points us back to His Law and says, "if you love Me, keep my commandments." Those who have ears to hear, let them hear. 

Ezekiel 12:1-2 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: "Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.

Bill Diehl, www.PresentTruthMag.org
Fallbrook, Ca.

The Final "Mark of the Beast"
4/11/2019

Hi George,

All through the bible from Genesis to Revelation, the Lord teaches us that He is continually separating believers from unbelievers, the repentant ones from the unrepentant ones. There are those who call upon the name of the Lord and whose names are entered in the Lamb's book of life. On the other hand there are those who have never called upon the Lord for forgiveness and who remain outside of the grace of God and under His just wrath having never received the grace and mercy that faith and repentance bring to repentant believers.

Every generation throughout history has had its particular "testing truth" which separates those who seek to follow the Lord from those who reject the Lord and refuse to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.

Examples of this separation of the wheat from the chaff would include-----

Faithful obedient Abel and unfaithful disobedient Cain, 

Faithful and obedient Noah and the unfaithful disobedient people of his day who refused to enter the ark,

Faithful obedient Abraham and the unfaithful disobedient apostates who built the tower of Babel,

Faithful obedient Moses and the children of Israel and the unfaithful disobedient Pharaoh and most of his people in Egypt, 

Faithful obedient Daniel and the unfaithful disobedient Belshazzar who was weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Moving on to the New Testament we find the faithful obedient apostles and Christians who obeyed Christ and followed Him when He called, but we also find the unbelieving unfaithful Jewish leaders who refused Christ, crucified Him, and shouted that "we have no king but Caesar". 

Such examples could be given scores of times from the era of the first century church, through the dark ages, through the middle ages, through the Reformation, and on down to the final days in which we live. There has always been a "separating" of the repentant obedient faithful from the unrepentant disobedient unfaithful. Every generation has had its "testing truth" for that generation, and for each individual person in that generation.

There has always been "present truth" for each generation which separated the wheat from the tares, the believers from the unbelievers, the repentant from the unrepentant. In our day the great testing truths of God's word center around the harmony of the Law of God and the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ has his eternal His Law and the Enemy has his counterfeit law. Christ has His true gospel and the Enemy has his false gospel. Christ teaches the truth of the resurrection of the body and the Enemy teaches the natural immortality of the soul. Christ teaches that He created the universe in six literal days and the Enemy teaches that all life evolved from lifeless matter over billions of years. Christ teaches us that the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord and the Enemy declares that the first day is the sabbath.

So we see that every generation has its testing truths that separate the "Israel" of God from the "Babylon" of Satan, the faithful Elijahs from the unfaithful priests of Baal. This is the whole purpose of the "pre-advent" judgment also sometimes called the "investigative" judgment. Christ is giving His final call to come out of the world and into His ark of gospel safety, out of the confusion of the Enemy and into to the full truth of God's word. The testing truths for the final generation do not involve " foot washing"," "tithe paying", "eating ham", or "wearing jewelry". The "final test" for our generation will be, as it always has been since the garden of Eden, over the full authority of the Bible as truly being "every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God".

The Law of God and the Everlasting Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ will be the central issues in this final test in the eternal struggle between the word of God and the word of the Enemy who was a liar from the beginning. The Enemy teaches that Man is naturally good and immortal. The Lord teaches us that we are naturally sinful, dead in sin and always needing and calling upon the forgiveness of God and the covering of Christ's sinless life and atoning death on the cross to be acceptable to God . The enemy teaches that his word and his Sunday sabbath are the mark of obedience to him as the so-called "god of this world".  Christ teaches us that His Law and His seventh day Sabbath are the sign of repentance and obedience to Him as the Creator, Law-giver, Judge, Redeemer, and Savior of this world. This is the true meaning of the pre-advent judgment of the world. This is the true meaning of the Seventh-day Adventist movement.

Blessings to you,
Bill D. www.PresentTruthMag.org
Fallbrook, Ca

Symbolism in the book of Revelation
4/25/2019

Ron,

It is the numbers "31/2", "7", "12", and "144" should be understood as metaphor in the description of the messianic kingdom prophecy of the book of Revelation. 

Elijah withheld the rain from the apostate kingdom of Jezebel for a literal 3 and 1/2 years at the end of which he defeated the priests of Baal and Jezebel was destroyed.

Our Lord Jesus Christ invaded the kingdom of darkness, subdued the demonic forces, laid down His life for the sins of the world and arose triumphant from the grave and was enthroned in heaven in 3 and 1/2 literal years of His ministry.

However, Christ and His church in the apocalyptic literature of Revelation wage spiritual warfare for a symbolic metaphorical "3 and 1/2 years" of  warfare with the kingdom of Satan---the "Beast", the "Image to the Beast" and the "False Prophet" sitting upon the "throne of the Beast".  

The spiritual conflict between Christ and the kingdom of Satan called "Babylon" which is depicted in the first 20 chapters of Revelation has ended when the reader arrives at chapter 21 of Revelation.

The perfection of Eden has been restored, symbolically called the "New Jerusalem". The kingdom of Christ and the redeemed in Revelation are symbolically called the "144,000" inhabitants of the kingdom. The redeemed are represented as comprising "12,000" from each "tribe" and are called the "Bride of Christ", the new spiritual "Israel". The symbolism describes "12 tribes" of "Israel", 12,000 from each "tribe", 12 gates into the city, 12 foundations of the city, with the names of the 12 apostles written upon the 12 foundations,. The size of the city is depicted as 12,000 furlongs in all directions of width, length, and height being a perfect eternal unassailable impregnable city wherein there would be no sin or death or defilement of any kind. There are 12 monthly kinds of fruit harvested from the restored Tree of Life that was originally found in Eden before the fall of Adam.

Christ in Revelation 21 as the Lion of the tribe of Judah has conquered the kingdom of Satan and has made His enemies His footstool. All opposition to Christ's kingdom as depicted in the first 20 chapters has been crushed by the armies of heaven by virtue of the sounding of "seven trumpets" which have sounded throughout the entire symbolic "1260 days" of the Christian era. The opening of the seven seals of the Everlasting Covenant has poured out the curses of the covenant upon all who refused to bow to the Lordship of Christ.  While on the other hand, Christ has poured out of the seven blessings of the covenant upon all the sealed servants of Christ who called upon the name of Christ for forgiveness of sin. They have been covered with the righteousness of Christ's blood which ratified the everlasting covenant.  
So is the wonderful description of the New Jerusalem symbolic?? That is for the reader of Revelation to decide. You seem to feel it is to be taken literally. I on the other hand take it to be metaphor.  When we stand of the "sea of glass" before the throne we will know for certainty. However, we can be sure that eye has not seen, nor ear heard the things that have been prepared for those who are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.

Bill Diehl

The "Gospel" According to Bob Brinsmead and Tom Durst
5/27/2019

Now that there is so much so-called "love" floating around in these emails from Tom and Bob, according to them, all that really remains to solve all the world's religious and philosophical "raison d'etre" problems is to just do away with that nasty Judeo-Christian Bible altogether which Robert Brinsmead has so artfully done in all of his imagined philosophical profundity. To paraphrase him, let's just worship the "Goddess of Reason" and forget about all those horribly unwholesome fairy tales about i.e.: the "wrath of God" against sin, Noah's world-wide flood destroying the wicked unbelieving unrepentant antediluvians, Satan's rebellion in heaven and mankind's sinful selfish fallen nature as a result of joining in league with the Father of Lies, the concept of guilt, justice, punishment and mercy requiring the legal satisfaction of a self-sacrificing loving God Himself having to suffer the punishment for mankind's transgressions of God holy Law, daily heartfelt sorrow and repentance for sin, the final judgment and destruction of all unrepentant sinners who reject God's free offer of forgiveness of sin through faith in the forfeited life of Christ on the cross.

Yes, according to these gentlemen all the problems of the world could be solved if only we could stop with the conflict over that wicked world of "Christian Theology" as taught in the bible and join in with the "cum-by-ya" groupies and enter the beautiful imaginary Age of Aquarius. You know, "It takes a village" after all, and there is nothing really worth arguing about, because we really can't know anything about the meaning of life. Make love not war. Words and the definitions for words are not worth arguing about, because there is no real revealed Truth other than death and taxes. God has never spoken and so there is nothing to listen to. Just the take the word of Bob and Tom and let's all have a big communal hug and a juicy kiss on the cheek. I'm OK and you're OK. We're all OK!! No need for that nasty command from the Apostle Paul, "Rebuke them sharply!!" Let's just turn on, tune in, and drop out!!!!.  

There is no eternal truth according to Bob B. There are no child molesters, kidnappers, bank robbers, con artists, alcoholics, drug addicts, drug dealers, rapists, prostitutes, pornographers, murderers, extortioners, cheaters, or liars. There is no such thing as Adam and Eve, the sinless and deathless Garden of Eden, Satan, guilt, sin and righteousness / right or wrong / truth or error. Crime and punishment and guilt are merely man-made paradigms. All the injustice in the world since the beginning of time has been caused by those wicked anti-social big-mouth theologians like Noah, Jonah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude, and of course let's not forget about that ultimate deceiver Jesus Christ Himself whose life and words are recorded and written down in those deceptively disgusting "four gospels", (except of course His words found in the imaginary postulations by the mendacious Jesus Seminar and the Jesus Project ). 

According to Bob and Tom all the violence in the western world throughout history has been caused by all the wicked sectarian Christians fighting over mere words. (Tom and Bob must have forgotten about what Christ has said about the "wheat and the tares growing together until the final separation at the Judgment Day. Oh my mistake. That saying of Jesus is not really found in the original "Q" document is it?) So let's just sit back and love each other with a smile, a hug, and a hearty "Cheers". After all, we all have an "immortal soul" and when our friend the Grim Reaper comes to each of us in our "near death experience", then we will all be illuminated as we merge into oneness with the great Buddha in the sky.

Let's just throw out those archaic old books on Christian cosmology, soteriology , Christology , eschatology , hamartiology , anthropology, eclessiology , and epistemology ,  Then we can all get along and join up into one happy family. No more need of the advice and rebuke as found in the seven letters to the churches in Revelation. No more need to read the warnings of Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude to contend for the faith once delivered to the Christian believers. While we are at it, why not just burn the Bible along with all of those goofy books on Theology.

On second thought, why not just open the Bible and accept it for the Theology that it teaches and believe that the Creator God who was the maker of heaven and earth in six days has spoken to us in these last days not only through His servants the prophets, but in these last day has spoken to us through His Son, the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ who lived and died and arose again for our justification and forgiveness of our sins and the free gift of eternal life through faith in Him.

Bill Diehl, www.PresentTruthMag.org

What is the "Mark of the Beast"?
May 27, 2019

Hi Ralph,

I didn't know whether to send you that email today or not. Just took a chance that it might interest you. Ralph, all false doctrine can be termed "the mark of the beast" in that Satan is a liar from the beginning and he uses false doctrine to blaspheme the name of Christ and deceive the world by misrepresenting and distorting the character of God and the teachings of the word of God.

--Is the lie of Purgatory a Mark of the Beast and the false prophet?? I believe it is.

--Is the lie of "the intercession of the saints" a Mark of the Beast?

--Is the teaching of Papal infallibility a Mark of the Beast?

--Is confession of ones sins to a so-called "priest" who is addressed as "Father so and so" a Mark of the Beast?

--Is teaching that sinners must be sanctified before they can be justified and forgiven a Mark of the Beast?

--Is teaching that the holy life, love, and sanctification of believers is the meritorious cause of ones acceptance before God and eternal life the mark of the Beast?

--Is the teaching of celibacy and lighting of candles and doing repetitions of "our Father's" or "Hail Mary's" as penance for sin a mark of the Beast?

--Does the Papal claim to be the "Vicar of the Son of God" on earth a Mark of the beast?

--Does distorting the epistles of Paul into lawlessness and / or teaching that God's holy Law, the ten commandments can be tampered with to teach that 2d commandment can be eliminated qualify as the mark of the Beast?

--Does teaching that the fourth commandment can be altered to eliminate God's memorial as being the Creator and to having created the heavens and the Earth in six literal days and resting on the seventh day of the week and then to change the wording of the commandment to commemorate the first day of the week in honor of the resurrection of our Lord from the dead constitute a mark of the Beast?

--Also along the same error can the 10th commandment be divided in two commandments so that there can still be a total of 10 commandments constitute a mark of the Beast?

--Is teaching that mankind is naturally immortal and that death is not really death but rather a release to "be with the Lord" and "be in a better place" a false teaching and a "Mark of the Beast"? Satan said to Eve, "You will not surely die but you will become as God". Only those who are raised in the first resurrection at the Second Coming of Christ will be granted to eat again from the fruit of the Tree of Life and receive the gift of immortality.

I could also mention other false doctrines which could be labeled "the Mark of the Beast" that are being advocated by many so-called Protestant groups:

Irresistible Grace, Limited Atonement, False baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking gibberish in "tongues", Progressive Darwinian Creationism, Universal Legal Justification, the Moral Influence view of the cross which denies the need for legal atonement for sin, "one saved always saved"-ism, Existentialism, and many forms of outright Antinomianism from the pulpits of churches.

Does all this mean that those who embrace these false teachings of Satan are totally lost? Not at all!!!! It means that our Lord gives all of us time learn the truth and to repent of the errors and sins of ignorance. Times of past ignorance God winks at but He is now calling all to repentance and calling all to come out of the "Babylon" of the Antichrist's false doctrines. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and before the end of the world He is finishing the restoration of the gospel truths that the apostles proclaimed without all of the distortions of the False Prophet and the Image to the Beast. The Protestant Reformation is a movement of "restoration", not innovation. The Reformation will advance till the end of time and those who love the truth will come up to the conflict and do battle with the Prince of Darkness and expose his demonic lies.  While the modern day priests of Baal are trying to call down fire from heaven, the modern-day "Elijah's" are loudly proclaiming, "Choose ye this day whom you will serve!! Whether the true Lord Jesus Christ of the bible or the false distortions and lies of the Antichrist of the Prince of Darkness." Come out of her my people that ye be no a partaker of her sins!!

That is the message of Present Truth Magazine. There are many false teachers in the land who are being called to come over to the Lord's side and turn away from the modern-day Baal worship which worships a popular somebody, but not the Lord Jesus Christ of the bible.

Blessings,
Bill D.

 

Clouds Without Water
May 28, 2019

Tom,

Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the true order of salvation that is the only God-ordained method to reach the wicked heart of mankind. Even the story of Scrooge that you like to quote followed this method to bring about repentance. Before one can proclaim the love of God, one must first be confronted with the terrible truth about the  wrath and horrible punishment of God that awaits the sinner when he or she will face the final judgment to answer for every wrong word, evil deed, and hateful thought and attitude. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, not the love of God. Old Scrooge who you like to talk about was shown the terrible life of selfishness that he had been and still was leading----hurting innocent people wherever he went, grinding down even the poor defenseless widows and the fatherless and cripples. He was trembling in his boots as he beheld his past as revealed by the Ghost of Christmas Past. This revelation is the first work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of unconverted worldly sinners living without God and without hope of salvation. The first work of grace is fear of punishment and eternal death.  Only this first work of Grace can bring about the second work of Grace : repentance towards God and faith in the sinless life and atoning of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross of Calvary. This two-fold work is called Prevenient Grace or Preceding Grace. Without this work of the Holy Spirit there can be no salvation from the fear of condemnation and eternal loss. In that precious Christian song Amazing Grace we sing----

Amazing Grace, How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now am found
T'was blind but now I see T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear
And Grace, my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

You and Bob Brinsmead lost this fear of God's wrath and justice, because you were duped by the lies and distortions of false teachers and humanism's false antinomian lawless appeal as they twist and distort the statements of the Apostle Paul into just the opposite of what he was teaching. Bob still imagines and thinks he has the corner on understanding Paul's so-called rejection of the first, second, and third use of the holy Law of God. That's why he still wants to debate others on Pauline theology even though he totally rejects all that Paul, the other apostles, and Christ Himself taught. The humanists grasp at straws and try to promote a false christ as found in the mythological "Q" document as the only authentic record of Christ's teachings. Bob knows all of this and he willfully and knowingly distorts Christ into a mere Jewish humanist who only taught love and acceptance of everyone without any threats of hell and eternal death. Then Bob libels and labels those who are faithful to the truths of the bible as being judgmental, unkind, and unloving when in fact it is you and he who are leading others into the broad way that leads to destruction. But you and Bob like to gnash, gush, and gloat about how God never entreats, judges, condemns, warns about hell's punishment. You two guys are both clouds without water....

....which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet.  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 2 Peter 2:15-18

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you (Pot-Luck Lunches??), feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withered, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. Jude 1:10-13

The Lord in His mercy has allowed you both to live on because of the prayers of those who truly love you both never giving up and hoping that you will heed the divine warnings of your imminent doom and repent and turn back to the true gospel as found in the word of God and forsake the Satanic lies and blasphemies that you guys are spewing out.

Your true friend in Christ,
Bill Diehl

"Blotted Out and Nailed to the Cross"
8/14/2019

Hi Cliff,

Colossians 2:13-14 And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

In Christ the condemning list of the charges against us or legal indictment (Greek: chirographon) has been blotted out and nailed to His cross where He suffered under the curse of the Law for our sins. Now since Pentecost, He reigns as the Judge of the world to deliver and save all who come unto Him through faith in His sinless life and atoning death. In the proclamation of the Good News that in Christ there is now no condemnation, all the world is being called unto the courtroom of God. All are being judged for either eternal life on the one hand, or eternal death on the other. There is no escape from this judgment hour message. The fate of all is being determined as all the world is called into the judgment hall of God to "behold the Man" All the world is being asked, "what think ye of this Man?".

In the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the final day of judgment becomes a present day reality. To those repentant sinners who believe and call upon His name, confessing Him as their Savior and Lord, their faith is "counted for righteousness". All must face their life's record through the conviction of sin and righteousness and judgment which the Holy Spirit brings to the conscience of the guilt ridden sinner, as he stands before the holiness of God's holy Law. As the Spirit of God brings conviction, those who do not resist this conviction and this drawing of the Holy Spirit will cry out, "What must we do to be saved from the just wrath of God?"

It is only through faith in the shed blood of Christ that the sinner can find forgiveness, have his conscience purged and cleansed, and find the rest and peace that faith in the blood of Christ alone can bring. Those who repent of dead works and believe, have their names written in the Lamb's "Book of Life" and receive the seal of God's approval in Christ---- the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Because of the incense of Christ's righteousness, God can look upon the forgiven and justified sinner and say, "This is my beloved son / daughter with whom I am well pleased." The believing repentant sinner is accounted as being as righteous as Jesus Christ Himself!!! Because He is worthy, we are reckoned as worthy in the merciful reckoning of God. By faith we have a legal adoption into the family of God and so long as we abide by faith under the covering of the blood of the everlasting covenant, the verdict of acquittal on the final Day is assured.

Our faith in Christ is built upon "better promises" than our mere good works and promises to "obey and live". Our faith and assurance is built upon the oath and promise of God Himself who cannot lie that everything that the Law demands has been met in the Person of Jesus Christ, the One Mediator between God and man. He ever lives to make intercession for us by the incense of His perfect righteousness. With the apostle Paul, we can bear witness that we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is power of God unto salvation for all who believe. In the Gospel is revealed God's way of putting sinners right with Himself. It begins in faith in Christ's blood and it ends in faith in Christ's blood at the coming of our Lord. Whosoever trusts in the blood sprinkled upon the door post of his heart has the verdict of life and has passed from the sentence of death unto the verdict of life eternal. "He who is justified by faith shall live".

To all who believe, the Spirit of God is poured out into our hearts and with all the joy of the condemned criminal who has been pardoned and set free from the punishment that he so justly deserves, we cry out with tearful gratitude in praise and thanksgiving and joyful singing. Truly those who have sat in the darkness of the prison-house of sin have seen a great Light and give all the praise and glory and honor unto the Lamb who sits upon His throne. We have been brought to completion in Christ and find our true Sabbath rest in His finished work of redemption on the Cross.

"The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day,
and there may I, though vile as he, wash all my guilt away.

The cleansing stream I see, I see!! I plunge and oh, it cleanses me!!
Yes, praise the Lord, it cleanses me, it cleanses me, yes, cleanses me."

Even so come Lord Jesus. Amen

Blessings to you and yours
Bill Diehl, www.PresentTruthMag.org

On the Origin of Satan
8/182019

Hi Ralph,

Let me begin by pointing out that most expositors who look at the Bible's many texts dealing with Satan, see that there are certain facts that seem to stand out.

!.) These texts indicate that there definitely was a rebellion among the angels of God sometime in ancient history wherein a third of the angels rebelled.

2.) The rebellious fallen angels had a leader in this rebellion which is identified with the "serpent" or "dragon" and called "Satan" throughout the Bible.

3.) After the creation of the universe, this enemy of God tempted and caused the first man and woman to disobey the specific warning and command of the Lord and thus enter into this rebellion which is called "Sin" or Lawlessness.

4.) All through the bible it is very clear to most expositors that this "Satan" or "Deceiver" is the leader of all the apostate religions of our fallen world since the Fall, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel and beyond. These false religions all misrepresent and malign the truth about the Creator / Redeemer God of the bible and His plan for the salvation of lost mankind. 

5.) The history, from Genesis to Revelation, recorded in the bible depicts this warfare between the rebellious demonic forces of darkness and the loyal forces of light who seek to warn and call those people who are aligned with these rebellious forces to repentance towards God and faith towards Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of the world.

6. This Satan, because of his unremitting hatred of God and His kingdom, was the ultimate being responsible for the temptation and crucifixion of our Lord on the cross.

7. The bible clearly teaches that the forfeited life of Christ on the cross has made  provision for the forgiveness of the sins of the entire world. This provision for forgiveness is possible, because Christ's death has provided a substitutionary atonement and propitiation for God's broken Law. Those sinners who hear and respond to the proclamation of the word of God and the Holy Spirit's invitation to call upon the name of Christ and repent of their sins are then reckoned as forgiven of their trespasses. Their names are then recorded in the Book of Life when they come to repentance towards God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

8. God understood from the very beginning of time when He began to create intelligent loving loyal beings (angels and mankind alike) that there was the possibility that they could choose to rebel and disobey His will and Law. This fact of love's freedom is at  the very basis of the definition of "love". Love must be free to reciprocate that love or on the other hand be free to not love and not submit to the bonds of love and loyalty. Love can never be dictated or coerced even by a loving Creator God. Love must be a choice, not a mandate.

9. Christ was not caught unaware that Adam and Eve could possibly join with Satan in his rebellion. Christ did not place them beyond the possibility of joining with Satan in his rebellion against the rule and Law of God. After they were deceived into believing the lies of the Tempter, Christ immediately promised them that He Himself would come into the world to be bruised and suffer and die in their place as the Lamb of God who would atone for their sins and ultimately crush the head of the Serpent. This is the entire meaning of the record of Old and New Testament history recorded in the bible.

10. The bible knows of no such thing as God predetermining sin by either Satan or the human family. Sin was the result of God's "foolishness" to allow His created beings to either love and serve Him or hate and rebel against His love and fellowship. God has no pleasure in the death of the unrepentant hard-hearted sinners in this world. He has made ample provision for the salvation and forgiveness of the entire world. His offer of salvation from eternal death is open to all who will believe His promises in Christ, repent of their transgressions, and allow the Holy Spirit to write His Law upon the hearts of all who call upon His name for salvation. From the time of the Fall of Adam unto this very day, all repentant sinners who trust in the promises of God will, at the time of their conversion from sin unto life, have their names written in the Book of Life.

11. Those passages found in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 indeed do refer to the kings of Babylon and Tyer as you have accurately demonstrated. However these kings are under the rule and control of the Prince of this World and they represent in principle the kingdom of Satan who is the actual ruler of these kingdoms which are in rebellion against the God of heaven and His kingdom. God is using these kings as a "type" or "metaphor" for Satan and his kingdom.  The descriptions given in these passages give us some of the details regarding the origins of Lucifer's rebellion in heaven and the pride that arose in his heart which eventually lead to his fall from loyalty. He was eventually cast out of heaven completely when he and the principles of his rebellious kingdom were fully exposed at the cross of Calvary. Christ is now the legal head of the human family and Satan has been a defeated foe since the resurrection and enthronement of Christ in heaven. Christ and His church are merely awaiting in earnest expectation for the final gospel proclamation to all the world which will give the Antichrist a deadly wound from which he will never be healed.

12. I hope that these few points outlined will perhaps allow you to re-think you understanding of what the bible actually means by "foreknowledge" and "predestined" and "from the foundation of the world" and "before the foundation of the world".  Calvin and Luther were truly powerfully used of the Lord to begin the Protestant Reformation against the misrepresentations, falsehoods, and deceptions of the Papacy. We are able to stand upon their shoulders and perhaps see a bit more clearly than they were able discern.  The God that is described in the pages of the bible did not pre-determine who would be saved or lost. He did not pre-determine that Satan would be a leader of a rebellion in heaven. What God allows is far different that what He had pre-determined . He predestined that He would save all who trust in Him as their Lord and Savior from sin through the offering of Himself in the person of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The future is open to all the world as to the possibility of the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Whosoever will call upon the name of Christ will be saved. God in His sovereignty and grace has opened the gates of heaven to all who will believe. Prayer changes things and the future is open to all for eternal life or eternal death.

Blessings to you and yours in Christ,
Bill Diehl
www.PresentTruthMag.org
Fallbrook, Ca

Jesus Believed in Genesis and the Old Testament History

To Bill G, 9/13/2017

Jesus himself taught that the events of Genesis in the Old Testament were literal history. He affirmed its historicity and truthfulness. Adam as a literal person is mentioned by the writers of the New Testament seven times. For instance, Jesus taught that Satan was in the garden of Eden and was a liar from the beginning.

John 8:42-47 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil , and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Jesus quoted directly from Genesis and taught that marriage was an institution begun in Eden and that Adam and Eve were true historical persons.

Matthew 19:4-5 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female , And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

He taught that the tree of life that was in the garden of Eden was literal and that it would be restored in the end to the church.

Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life , which is in the midst of the paradise of God .

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Jesus taught that the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a literal punishment of God.

Genesis 19:28-29 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain , that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in the which Lot dwelt.

Matthew 11:23-24 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom , it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment , than for thee.

Jesus taught that Noah was a literal historical figure and that the Noahic flood was literal.

Matthew 24:36-39 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away ; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Jesus taught that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were actual historical figures to whom God actually spoke.

Matt 22:30 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.

Jesus taught that the Scriptures cannot be "broken" referring to the Old Testament.

John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

Jesus taught that Abel was a true historical figure who was murdered by his brother Cain.

Matthew 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

Jesus taught that the Sadducees were in error because they did not know the Old Testament. Thus declaring the scriptures authoritative.

Matthew 22:29 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Jude teaches us that Cain was a literal person and that Enoch was the "seventh" generation from Adam.

Jude 1:11-14 11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; 13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Christ and his apostles did not regard these persons and events merely as symbolic metaphor, but rather he spoke of them as true historical narrative. If one claims to believe that our Lord was the incarnate Son of God and the Savior and Lord of all, then one must regard the writings of Moses and the prophets as recording true actual historical events just as he in fact did.

Now regarding your mentioning of the tree of "knowledge of good and evil". I think that you may misunderstand what this temptation of Adam and Eve entailed.

In the Garden of Eden only God as the Creator, Lawgiver, Judge, and King had the exclusive divine prerogative to "know" or "discern" or determine good and evil, right and wrong, sin and righteousness. Adam and Eve knew about good and evil because God had told them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. But they, as created subjects of the King, were not free to determine what was right or wrong, good or evil. In taking this determination upon themselves they were setting themselves up in the place of God as the divine Lawgiver and Judge. The creature was usurping prerogatives which belonged only to the Creator.

After taking of the forbidden fruit, God said that now "man has become like God" in that man had taken upon himself the role of a judge of what is good or evil. This simple act of disobedience was in essence an act of high treason and rebellion against the office of the King, Lawgiver and Judge. Man had set himself up as judge in the place of the divine Judge/Lawgiver. Thus God the Judge decrees that Man can no longer be allowed to live forever as a "god" thinking that he can be the determiner of good and evil, right and wrong. The rebellious human family now had rejected the Lord as the supreme Judge and had determined to do what was right in its own eyes. Man had allied himself with God's supreme Enemy and had taken upon himself the role and prerogative which only God had the right to assume. Man had attempted to usurp the throne of God. Jesus Christ alone, as the Supreme Judge, has the right to "know good and evil".

The Hebrew noun da'ath and the Hebrew verb yada' are used as knowledge and to know respectively.

Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:8-9 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath — discernment, perception, wisdom) of good and evil .

Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat 17 But of the tree of the knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath — discernment, perception) of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Verb yada' : Genesis 3:4, 5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing (Heb. verb yada' — to discern, perceive, distinguish, discriminate) good and evil .

Verb yada' : Genesis 3:22 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know (Heb. verb yada — to discern, perceive, distinguish) good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Verb yada' : 2 Samuel 19:35 35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern (Heb. yada' — to discriminate or distinguish between) between good and evil ? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?

Hebrew shama, byin, and yada used as synonyms:

2 Samuel 14:17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern (Heb. shama' — decide a legal matter as a judge) good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.

1 Kings 3:6-11 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern (Heb. byin — to distinguish) between good and bad : for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern (Heb. shama' — to decide a judicial case as a judge "hears" a case) judgment ;

Very best regards,

Bill Diehl, Jr
P. S. Any suggestions or improvements regarding my translation of the Hebrew would be welcomed.

Teaching Darwinian Evolution and the Moral Influence View of the Atonement

Dear Cliff:

The fact is that those who are so ardently pushing evolution down the throats of the Christian community as Ervin Taylor is will eventually forsake faith in Christ as Savior. In fact most who are embracing evolution and who yet continue to call themselves "Christians" have already diluted the definition of the life and death of Christ to a mere moral influence and a mere model for good moral living. The Biblical emphasis of Christ dying to propitiate the justice of God for all repentant sinners is ridiculed as a barbaric remnant of old myths about appeasing angry gods. Paul the apostle is viewed by these humanist "Christian" evolutionists as merely a product of the ignorant superstitious times in which he lived. Thus they reject all that Paul taught about the Biblical teaching of the vicarious atonement of the Son of God upon the cross of Calvary for the sins of the world. Paul's epistle to the Romans on justification of death-deserving sinners by God's unmerited grace through faith in the blood of Christ is relegated to the trash heap of "old world" religion.

The truly frightening thing about this teaching is that it is secretly held by most of those who are in high places of the seminaries and universities and administrative positions in the majority of the Protestant denominations today. It is no accident that the "theistic" evolutionists, women's liberationists, the moral influence theologians, and the "Christian" humanists all unite to oppose the clear word of God and reject the gospel that the apostles preached to all the world. They cleverly twist the scripture and give it a "new" and "more enlightened" meaning. Rejecting the Genesis account of the seven day creation and the world wide flood as being a divine act of judgment upon the antediluvian world is only the tip of the iceberg of a disaster that is quickly bearing down upon the evangelical Christian believers. When the foundations are abandoned, the rest of the building will quickly crumble and fall. Our only refuge in these times is to trust only in the word of our Creator and Savior who calls all repentant sinners to be justified by the unmerited grace of God alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ who died in our place upon Calvary as revealed in the Bible alone.

Let the world ridicule and jeer and label the word of God a mythology of by-gone era. When the Son of Man comes will He find faith in the earth? Believe the word. Trust only in the blood. Be filled with the Spirit of truth.

The enemy of truth is already a defeated foe. All those who love a lie will perish with him who was a liar from the beginning.

Your brother in Christ, Bill Diehl, 8/24/2013

Was the Christ of the New Testament a Mere Invention of First Century Christian Zealots?

Dear Bob,

You have made a very valiant effort to lay out your case, but it remains none the less only pure conjecture and is only one of many extrapolations which might be offered. Having said that, I want to point out again that you are, in my opinion, attempting to construct a historical narrative which is based almost entirely upon speculation as to how the apostles interacted among themselves during their association with Christ and after His resurrection and ascension into heaven. 

As we both attempt to reconstruct the events of the era we must continually remind ourselves that we are working with only bits and scraps of historical information. Some of the sources are very reliable and some are not so reliable. The historical "facts" that you refer to and piece together to compose your history are very open to conjecture as you may or may not admit to or realize. Your case is very convincing to your mind and you are amazed that others just cannot seem to buy into the picture that you are painting.  (The same can be said of the effort to reconstruct a cogent creation cosmology which fits with the objective data that we have today.) It is not the data necessarily that are offered in these disputes but rather the extrapolations that some attempt to draw from the extant data.

In the topic under discussion now however we are dealing with an attempt to recreate a history of the period after the passing of nearly 2000 years. So to be very blunt with you, after looking at the data that you propose to bring to the table to support your thesis, I must still come to the conclusion that you are attempting to make a strong case for your historical narrative with data that does not quite support your picture as neatly as you imagine. Getting back to my statement above that it is very difficult to recreate a narrative as to how the apostles interacted with one another during and after Christ's mission and ministry, those who endorse your thesis may be overlooking some very plausible possibilities which would throw a wrench into their historical narrative gears.

For one thing (and I am indulging in pure speculation here in my narrative) the disciples during and after Christ may have been taking copious notes, sort of like your "Q" document of which there may have been many similar. This was a very prevalent practice among any disciple/teacher group who thought that they were involved in a seminal historical happening in their day, such groups as the Essenes, and followers of Socrates, Aristotle, and all the major philosophical and religious "movements" of history. They all had their devoted followers who collected the sayings and historical material of their teacher and attempted to preserve them for future generations. The four gospels all have many similarities and many dissimilarities, but the general testimony is in quite amazing agreement. One witness may add some features or sayings that he remembers which the other witnesses may have either overlooked, forgotten, or remembered in more detail, or occurring in a different order of time.

We are dealing with events which took place over a three and one half year period. One witness may have remembered three persons healed on an occasion while another witness may have recorded only one person healed on the same occasion. We must always remember that these witness were not bound by the same exacting standards that are demanded of historians today. It is the general theme of the accounts that were important in the minds of the writers and generally speaking even the synoptics and the Johannine gospel are in general agreement. So what I am getting at is that to state that the gospel accounts are very disparate, disingenuous, and written down much later than conservatives like me would admit to and written as pseudopigraphical documents in the second century is really an imaginary narrative which ignores much more plausible explanations in my opinion.

As a matter of fact in my opinion the narrative that you put forward depends upon a large conspiracy of first century very dishonest witnesses who are deliberately bearing a false witness in order to invent a Messiah who never really said all that is recorded, never was pre-existent God in the flesh as He stated that He was, never was resurrected from the dead as He said that He was, and never really said that He was going to judge the living and the dead at the end of the world as He said He was going to do. And this is only a small sampling of the sayings of Jesus which must be discarded or modified or reinterpreted in order to substantiate your narrative.

So the bottom line in our discussion is that your narrative rejects the historicity and teachings of the vast majority of the extant Christian documents called the four gospels and the epistles of the apostles as inventions of overly zealous followers of a Christ who never in reality existed except in the minds and imaginations of the zealots. As to the Jewish Christian / Gentile Christian controversy that you bring up, I have mentioned previously that much of the controversy was caused by an unorthodox group of messianic Jews who came to be called Ebionites. They rejected the divinity of Christ as incarnate God and they rejected the vicarious atonement of Christ on the cross which all of the apostles taught and were agreed upon. This Ebionite group was the "circumcision party" of apostates which all of the epistles of Peter, John, Jude, and Paul warn about as being enemies of the claims of the true Christ and the true teachings of Christ. I have detailed this history previously which you may have brushed aside as a false narrative, but it is one that is much more in line with the biblical account than your narrative in my opinion.

Although I have responded only in a general way to your proposed narrative and much more could be dealt with on an issue by issue basis, I offer this response to your "case" which I hope you will consider. Not to mention that my faith in the Christ of the bible promises blessedness and eternal life to all who call upon His name as Savior and Lord while your narrative offers nothing but an imagined universalism and peace based upon only the hopes and speculations of rather dubious sources. Your friend and loving brother, Bill D. 12/4/2013

Dear Bob,

To reply to you proposition that the response of Jesus to the opponents to His messianic claims was always serene and without indignation and never with "retributive justice", I would say that because you limit the truth about Christ mostly to the so-called Q "source" that was supposedly "taken over" by Matthew and Luke, you seriously limit the full revelation of Christ's life and teachings as depicted in the rest of the material contained in all four gospels and the epistles.  In my opinion, with which I am sure you disagree, this is where the full witness of the reality and meaning of Christ's life and ministry, death, and resurrection from the dead is unfolded.  The New Testament is a trustworthy witness. The attempt by the modern scholarly community to reconstruct how the gospels came into existence is an absolutely futile exercise. The data is so sparse and lacking that any attempt to reconstruct an accurate account as to how they came into being is only hypothetical conjecture at best and so nearly worthless as a noble and honest historical pursuit.

But there will always be those who will try to come up with a proposed explanation and even invent prejudicial and unwarranted conclusions. An assertion with which I am sure you will take issue. I realize that you feel that the majority of the New Testament is merely a made-up mythological construct derived from the wishful hopes and aspirations of His deluded Jewish followers rather than the true "historical" Christ. This attempted search for the so-called actual  historical Jesus as distinct from the miraculous  biblical Jesus is a futile effort in my opinion. It depends upon a historical construct which exists only in the minds of certain agnostic scholars and is based upon an unshakable belief that the New Testament apostolic account is an imagined messianic conspiracy invented by His deluded Jewish disciples (again, in my opinion).  

Your historical construct depends upon an unfounded "certainty" that the complete gospel account of Christ's life and death and the witness of the apostles was merely a "cleverly devised fable", i.e., wishful messianic thinking rather than historical fact. But as I have stated in previous emails, the testimony of the eyewitnesses of the events of Christ's life and teachings is either truthful or that of wild-eyed lunatics. The fact is that either Christ died on the cross of Calvary and then arose from the dead or He didn't.  This is the testimony of the apostolic witness. They were either liars or truthful. 

If Peter, James, and John had not actually witnessed the transfigured Christ and the resurrected Christ, it is very doubtful that they would have been willing to face the threats and assaults to life and limb which they endured. There really is no in-between position. You have chosen by your own admission to "doubt" the truthfulness of the New Testament witness. John, however, at the end of his gospel avows that his testimony is absolutely true. Yet you still seem to cling to some hope that there was in fact a "Jesus" in history who was more of a Gandhi-like "Hindu" or "New Age" passively unconditionally forgiving mystic guru rather than an altogether Jewish prophet whose attitude to sin, righteousness, justice, forgiveness, and covenant love were reflective of that of the Old Testament prophets like Noah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and John the Baptist.  

Your depiction of Christ, if you would really take a step back from you assertions, is much more wishful thinking than the Christ who is fully depicted in the New Testament account. The God of the bible (and even of the imaginary "Q" document) is the creator/redeemer God of justice, fatherly loving kindness, mercy, hope, faith, and yet He is also the God who withdraws His blessings from those who align themselves with lawlessness and wickedness and the Enemy of righteousness.

It is this kind of biblical world view and moral ethic which actually works in the real world. In the real world sin and suffering and death are a real tragedy not merely some "karma" that must work itself out. History is a life and death struggle with eternal implications. There must be a moral reckoning at the end of the road and will not merely end with a whimper and a puff of smoke. If God is unknowable and has not made Himself known, then God is dead and Man is dead as well and there is no meaning to the concepts of love, hate, kindness, evil, beauty, sympathy, human / inhuman, hope and faith, good and bad. This brings us back to the Jesus of the bible, not merely to the "Q". Christ is also recorded to have said, "What does if profit a man if he should gain the whole world and yet lose his own soul." and "fear not him who is able to merely kill the body, fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell". This is the God that Jesus revealed to His followers, not the eternally smiling "Buddha" who is always forgiving even those who seek no forgiveness and manifest no remorse and repentance.

Your brother and friend, Bill Diehl 12/3/2013

Is Baptism by Immersion, Observance of the Lord's Supper, and Submission to the Ten Commandments Necessary for the Believer?

Dear M:

In our gospel proclamation of Christ, we must not only give the proclamation of the gospel, but we must also give the invitation for all to personally repent and believe in Christ as Savior and Lord of ones life. The bible teaches us that while the blood of Christ is the meritorious cause of our justification, the word of God also teaches us that faith and repentance are the instrumental cause of our justification before God.

Acts 20:20-21 20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house, 21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thus, Paul taught that the Lord is both our Savior and our Lord. If He is not both then He is neither . He delivers us not only from the guilt of sin, but also begins to deliver us from the power of sin in our lives. While we must deny the false teaching of "Baptismal Regeneration" and "Transubstantiation", we must affirm that if the repentant believing sinner refuses to be baptized and observe the Lord's Supper then he is not truly following Christ as his Lord.

The same is true regarding the believer's life in sanctification. Any believer who refuses to live his new life in Christ in submission to God's moral Law, the Ten Commandments, is following a false "christ" and is rejecting the true Christ of the bible. The repentant believing sinner is justified before God by faith alone in the atoning death of Christ alone. But true faith in Christ is always followed by good works and yielding ones life to obedience to all of the commandments of God.

Luke 6:46-49 46 " But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? 47 "Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 "He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 "But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great."

Blessing to you in Christ, Bill D.

Interpreting the "Mysterious Numbers" of Daniel

Dear Bill at www.PresentTruthMag.org,
How do you interpret the symbols of the Old Testament book of Daniel? My friend thinks that Antiochus Epiphanes is the "Little Horn" of Daniel 7 and 8. What do you say?
J. L. from Canada

Hi J.
Here is my very brief and condensed explanation of Daniel:

Daniel's prophecy was completely fulfilled by our Lord Jesus Christ in His virgin birth, sinless life, atoning death on the cross, and His ascension into heaven where He reigns and judges the world as King of kings and Lord of lords. The New Testament is the full and complete explanation of all the prophetic promises of the Old Testament.

Daniel 2 was fulfilled by Christ. Daniel is shown that four great kingdoms would rule over the nation of Israel until the final establishment of the messianic kingdom of God. The "rock" which struck the "great image" at its feet was fulfilled by the establishment of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. His kingdom commenced at His baptism in the Jordan River . He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, and gave Himself as an offering for our sins.

Mark 1:14-15 Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

After His glorious resurrection, He ascended into heaven and began to reign over the entire world seated upon the throne of David as our Mediator, King, and High Priest after the order of Melchisedek.

Colossians 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Daniel 7 was fulfilled by Christ. Christ's kingdom has been established and has cast down all other thrones and principalities. The "Son of Man" has been given "dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Christ's judgment of the nations began at His ascension. (see also: Rev. 4 and Rev. 14) Satan's kingdom in the form of Rome in alliance with the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem is the "little horn" which made war with Him while He was on earth, but is taken away and totally destroyed in AD.70 with the destruction of Jerusalem.

In the proclamation of the gospel to all the world, every nation, tribe, tongue, and individual is being judged by the gospel for the verdict of either "life" or "death".  The justification of repentant sinners is by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the sin-bearer for the sins of the world. In God's merciful forgiveness and acquittal of the repentant believing sinner, the verdict of the final judgment day is rendered in the present. Today is the day of salvation. The justified believer who trusts in Christ as his Savior and Lord to the end will not be ashamed at His coming in power and great glory when the unbelieving world will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming.

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. Daniel 7:9-11

Daniel 8 was fulfilled by Christ. The taking away of the "daily" by the "little horn" was fulfilled in the crucifixion of our Lord. Christ is the "daily". Rome through her representative, Herod the governor of Palestine in conjunction with the Sanhedrin is the "little horn" of Daniel 7 and 8. In Daniel's apocalyptic symbolism, Christ is the "sanctuary" or temple which was "cast down". He is the "truth" which was cast to the ground. He is the "daily", the sin offering, which was "taken away". The "sanctuary" was "restored" to its rightful state at His resurrection (Dan. 8:14 ).

And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed (restored). Daniel 8:9-14

Daniel 9 was fulfilled by Christ. The "seventy weeks" is a play on the "seventy years" of Jeremiah. Just as literal Israel would be restored at the end of the seventy years of captivity, so God's spiritual kingdom would be restored and commence at the end of "seventy sevens". In the last "week" of the seventy weeks, Christ "finished the transgression", "made and end of sins, made "reconciliation for iniquity", brought in "everlasting righteousness", He "sealed up the vision and prophecy", and He was "anointed" as Messiah. He "confirmed" or ratified the covenant and then He was "cut of" by His atoning death on the cross. In the last week of the prophecy the despicable sin of the Sanhedrin in conjunction with Rome as the "desolator" against the Messiah would be punished by the destruction of their holy city Jerusalem.

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.  And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. Daniel 9:24-27

Daniel 10 thru 12 was fulfilled by Christ . These chapters depict the great historic struggle to bring about the kingdom of God against the wishes of the evil kingdoms of this world as they make war with each other and the "prince of the host", Michael, the ruler (Hebrew: chief or great prince) of the angels. But in the "last days" Michael prevails over His enemies. Gabriel tells Daniel that at the "time of the end" all these things will be accomplished. The "time of the end" and the "last days" began at the incarnation of the Son of God. Then the faithful remnant of Christ will endure a time of trouble such as never before (see Dan 12, Matt 24). 

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.  And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days. Daniel 12:1-13 KJV

Daniel's book was sealed up until the "time of the end". The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has completely unsealed the book of Daniel. The "time of the end" began with the proclamation of the inauguration of the kingdom of Christ by the angel Gabriel to Zacharias, Elizabeth, and the virgin Mary. It is Gabriel who sealed up the book of Daniel and it is Gabriel who unsealed the mystery of Daniel's prophecy! The "knowledge" which shall be increased is the revelation of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ which has been hidden through the long ages of the Old Testament times. The "mystery" of the gospel was fully revealed in Christ. Daniel is told "blessed is he that waiteth". Who will understand the meaning of these mysterious symbols in the prophecy of Daniel? All of these mysterious numbers have now been fulfilled in Christ. 

Antiochus Epiphanes was not and never was a fulfillment of Daniel. This was the traditional interpretation of the Pharisees of Christ's day, but they were completely wrong about the restoration of the temple by the Maccabees as being the fulfillment of the "restoration of the temple". The leaders of Israel should have humbly accepted the rule of Palestine by the Greeks, the third kingdom that ruled over them. God clearly told them that four kingdoms would rule over them and that the fourth beast, Rome, would reign over them until the "judgment was rendered in favor of the saints". But the proud Jewish nation rebelled against the clear word of God through the prophet Daniel that four kingdoms would rule over them.

It is the fourth beast that placed the "abomination" not the third beast. It is the fourth beast and his "Little Horn" which cast down the temple (crucified Christ). It is the fourth beast and his Little Horn which made war with Christ for 3 and 1/2 years or 1260 days at the end of which Christ was crucified. The New Testament witness is clear that Christ's ministry lasted for 3 and 1/2 years or 1260 days. At Christ's resurrection the "temple" was restored (Dan 8:14 ), the judgment was set and the kingdom and the greatness thereof was given to the saints (by faith). In His atoning death, burial, and resurrection Christ pulled down the pillars of Satan's kingdom and exposed him for the liar and murdered that he was from the beginning. Christ's everlasting kingdom was forever established at His resurrection and the hour of God's judgment of the nations began (Dan 7, Rev 4, Rev 14). The judgment of the world was initiated at the anointing of our Lord Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. His sinless life, atoning death, and glorious resurrection was the commencement of the "last days" and the "hour of his judgment (rule)" (see Revelation 14:6ff).

And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: Revelation 14:6-10

Babylon fell at the enthronement of Christ as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. All who repent and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord are sealed in the Lamb's book of life. Those who reject the Lordship of Christ will receive the "mark of the Beast".

Rome is the fourth kingdom in the prophecy of Daniel. It is symbolized as having ten horns (a number of completeness) because Rome was an empire which was composed of many subservient conquered kingdoms over which Rome placed its own loyal governors. It is the Roman Empire in conjunction with the province of Judea ruled by Herod and the Sanhedrin (this constitutes the "Little Horn") which "stood up against the Prince of princes" (Daniel 8). It is Christ who fulfilled the final "week" of Daniel 9. The "abomination of desolation" was the crucifixion of our Lord by Rome in conjunction with the rulers of Jerusalem . That which was "determined upon the desolator" was the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. It was Rome which caused the "sacrifice to cease". Christ, after He "confirmed" the covenant for 3 and 1/2 years, was murdered by the "Little Horn". Rome thereby desecrated the "temple" and "caused the sacrifices to cease" in crucifying the Lord. It is Christ who said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." It is Christ, the "second Adam" who repaired the breach caused by the fall of the "first Adam". It is in Christ that all of the prophetic promises of God have reached their final "amen"!!

Finally Rome destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70. The "abomination of desolation" standing in the "holy place" spoken of by our Lord in Matt 24 was fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies of Titus. The Lord thusly identifies Rome , the fourth kingdom, as being the "desolator" which not only cuts off the Messiah, but also then destroys the holy city after its rejection of the Messiah.

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains....Matthew 24:15-16

I hope this brief explanation of the book of Daniel will give you some insight as to how to understand its mysterious symbolism as a shadow and precursor of the full revelation of the "mystery" of God in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. This mystery is fully disclosed in the New Testament witness. But Gabriel tells Daniel, "Only those who are wise will know what it means!!" Daniel 12:10 NLV.  

And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God : but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. Mark 4:11-12

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery , which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: Romans 16:25-26

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery , even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. Corinthians 2:6-10

....he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will , according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him. Ephesians 1:6-10

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; Colossians 1:26-27

Your brother in Christ,

Bill Diehl

The "Purpose Driven Christian"

Bryan,

The problem with those who focus on the fruit of Christianity as does Rick Warren is that one ends up with the social gospel which minimizes doctrine rather than a doctrinally focused evangelical objective gospel of justification by faith which bears all of the good fruit which one sees revealed in the Christian world today. Rick Warren minimizes doctrinal differences and emphasizes what he believes are values that Christians all hold in common.

This is the very essence and basis of the ecumenical movement. Who can argue with so-called good works that Rick Warren is promoting which focus on the so-called purposeful faith life of the believer? It's like criticizing motherhood and apple pie or someone like Mother Teresa!! The fact is however that the first and foremost "purpose" of the Christian believer and the Christian church is to proclaim and emphasize the doctrines of the Christian faith which are rooted and founded in the primary doctrine of Justification by Faith alone of lost sinners by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone. Justification before God is by faith without works.

If one carefully reads the Bible, both Old and New Testament, the primary emphasis is on faithfulness to doctrine which will bear the very fruit that Rick Warren is so passionate about. To focus on "works" is to focus on Man and how Man is to find meaning and purpose to his life. This puts sanctification before justification and leads invariably to a minimizing and eventually to eliminating the focus on the finished work of God in Christ as ones central witness and proclamation. The final end in all of this "finding ones purpose" in life will end in a bankrupt humanism falsely called "Christianity". The end result will be pantheism .

The focus of the Christian message is our forgiveness and acceptance with God and eternal life because Christ has fulfilled all righteousness for us in His doing and dying upon the cross of Calvary. To proclaim any other "gospel" than justification by faith alone will end in worshipping Antichrist, and those who proclaim this "other" false gospel will to all outward appearance be seen as an "angel of light". It is a pity that you like to quote from so many humanists in your response. You even attempt to put forward Ellen White as one who would endorse Rick Warren and his emphasis. But Ellen White's primary and supreme emphasis was on doctrine which bears the fruit of obedience to the entire revealed will of God in the Bible alone. This is the emphasis of the Bible as well. Truth always bears the fruit of righteousness. Ignoring truth and/or minimizing truth as Rick Warren does will lead to worshipping of a false Christ and turn Him into a "popular somebody" like Santa Claus. All the world worships and loves a Santa Claus, but the world hates the true Christ of the Bible.

Bryan, you have fallen prey to a false teacher of a false "gospel".  As one minister of the gospel to another I urge you to repent and have your eyes anointed with the eye salve of the gospel of the Bible and buy the true gold tried in the fire that the shame of your nakedness does not appear when Christ shall come again to reward every man according to his works. What is the work  of which God approves? It is the proclamation of the finished work of Christ and Him crucified. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved by faith alone without works. Proclaim the cross and the doctrines of Christ then good works will follow. Good works of service to our fellow man do not give one purpose in life. One cannot balance a stick on ones finger by focusing on the finger. One balances the stick by focusing on the top tip of the stick. In other words one who teaches the truth of the bible is focusing on the word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ who justifies the ungodly sinner who repents and trusts only in His shed blood for his acceptance with God while he awaits the happy day of Christ's coming in the clouds of heaven.

I would suggest that you read more of Martin Luther rather than Rick Warren and his veiled humanism. Luther would have strongly reproved Rich Warren and exposed him as a blind leader of the blind.  Your faithful brother in Christ, Bill Diehl, http://www.presenttruthmag.org/

A challenge to change your understanding of salvation.

Dear Bill Diehl,

Righteousness is not by repentance but belief. Gen 15:6. Did Abram repent? No he believed God!
Salvation is not by law keeping or ten commandments or any commandment but  belief.

Dear Vic,

Faith is always inseparable from repentance.  It is therefore utterly inconceivable that a believer can wear the Father's robe while despising His Law. Faith is always inseparable from repentance, which is sorrow for breaking the Father's commandments.

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:20-21

He said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:12-13

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth , more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Luke 15:7

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him. Acts 5:30-32

Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? Romans 2:4

Justification is a law term. It means "setting one right before the Law." A. H. Strong, Systematic Theology, p.856. It is the Holy Spirit who empowers the proclamation of the good news of Christ's atoning death to all the world and it is the Holy Spirit who empowers the invitation to all the world to believe and repent. Faith without repentance is not biblical faith. One of the primary works of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment —

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: John 16:7-8

so that we who are by nature dead in trespass and sin might call out, "What must I do to be saved?" Without this drawing of the Holy Spirit none of us would ever be drawn to the foot of the cross with groans of repentance for our sins.

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. John 12:32

Thus it is impossible that true faith in Jesus Christ can be a mere mental assent to the truthfulness of the gospel. True faith says, "Christ loved me! Christ died for me! O wretched man that I am! It was my sin that crucified the Son of God. Lord be merciful to me a sinner!!"

...and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

God has not left the church to define "sin" by the vote of the congregation! Sin is clearly defined in the word of God as being "transgression of the Law" (John 3: 3, 4) .

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."

Paul tells us that "by the Law is the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20 -23) .

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin . But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"

Sin must never be defined as merely some nebulous man-made opinion as to what constitutes right and wrong . The Holy Spirit uses the holy Law of God to define what constitutes sin. The Holy Spirit exposes our sins, causes us to tremble in condemnation, and then through the proclamation of the gospel invites us to flee to Christ to be justified by faith in His perfect doing and dying for us on Calvary.

No antinomian can claim to be a biblical Christian. The essence of existentialism is that everyone does "what is right (or wrong) in his own eyes" according to his own "feelings".

Judges 17:6 "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

Neither man nor angel has the authority to tamper with the holy Law of God. Paul tells us "I had not known sin. . . except the Law had said 'thou shalt not. . .'"

Romans 7:6, 7 "But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."

Those who claim that the Law of God no longer functions for Christians to show us our sin, define righteousness, and reveal the will of God for the believer have forsaken the New Covenant . It is in the New Covenant that God promises to "write the Law" in the heart of every repentant believing Christian. The greatest "abomination of desolation" among us today is the teaching of "lawlessness" from the pulpits of certain circles within the church today.

While some teach that the Law of God has been dispensed with for the believing Christian, others teach that God's Law can be tampered with and altered. Some within the church have reached forth and dared to tamper with the holy Law of God, the Ten Commandments. With chisel in hand these antinomians have blasphemously claimed to have the authority to entirely delete the second commandment from the Decalogue! So as not to be left with only nine commandments, they have cleverly divided the tenth commandment and re-chiseled it into two commandments. Thus they can still claim that there are "Ten" Commandments.

Their tampering with the holy commandments has not ended there however. The fourth commandment which urges us to "remember" to worship the Creator of heaven and earth has been changed from its seventh day memorial of the six days of creation to rather become a first day memorial of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today we can hear this falsehood echoed throughout most of the professing Christian churches.

The scriptural gymnastics that some employ to attempt to prop up this unscriptural alteration is truly amazing. By misusing Paul's dispute with the Galatian and Colossian Ebionite judaisers, they try to make Paul out to be an enemy of the Ten Commandments! The apostle Paul's controversy with the gnostic Ebionite judaisers was not due to their wanting to keep the Ten Commandments! His complaint was that they were using their efforts at Law-keeping as the basis of their hope of eternal life rather than faith in the sinless life and atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ. They were in effect denying the atonement of Christ on the cross as heaven's appointed means to reconcile God and Man and replacing it with the keeping of earthly ceremonies and a ridged ascetic moral code just as the Pharisees had done. They saw Christ as a mere angelic gnostic messenger sent to show us how to advance through the divine mysteries to attain to the perfection of divine holiness. In so doing they failed to grasp the true depths of their fallen sinful condition on the one hand and the immaculate unblemished holiness demanded by the Law of God on the other hand. Only the sinless spotless life of the divine Lord Jesus Christ could offer to God a righteousness equal to broadest demands of God for holiness.

Paul's gospel proclaimed the sinless Christ and His shed blood on the cross as our heaven-sent Substitute . The judaisers saw Christ merely as our example to follow in order to attain to eternal life through copying of His life and offering this inward holiness of life and moral attainment to God. Thus Paul sharply denounced them as being "under the Law" for salvation.

Without a thorough understanding of the historical background to these epistles, many have departed from the true apostolic faith once delivered to the church and have fallen into grievous antinomian errors. Anticipating this apostasy, Peter gives us this solemn warning in 2 Peter 3:14-18—

So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this (the Day of the Lord), make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort , as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Christian regards,

Bill Diehl, editor

www.PresentTruthMag.org

Copy of Ellen G. White's letter to J. Bates regarding the "Shut Door"

Sirs:

Have you ever read EGW's letter to Joseph Bates dated July 13, 1847? She tells him that the Shut Door Doctrine is valid based on her visions. She taught it for 7 years. By 1851 she and James realized that the Shut Door wasn't going to fly, so they had to replace it somehow. That is where the Sanctuary Doctrine comes from. She simply exchanged the Shut Door for the Sanctuary. I photographed that letter that proves she was a fraud. If you'd like a copy let me know.

Skip

Dear Skip,

Even though the early Advent believers were immature in their understanding of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation and should never have begun to set dates for the coming of the Lord, there are some important lessons to be learned from the history of the great disappointment that they endured. For one thing those who rejected the proclamation of the soon coming Savior to judge the world were not merely mocking the humble yet immature faith of these Advent believers, they were mocking the very idea taught in the word of God that one day He would judge the world by the standard of His holy Law, including the Sabbath and the creation account outlined in the Sabbath commandment.

These believers had an intense longing to see their Savior. Yes, they were wrong in their understanding of Daniel 8:14 but they were right to proclaim the gospel and the second advent with their great zeal. This aroused a world-wide interest in the bible, the gospel, and the second coming of Christ. Just look at what happened to those denominations of Christians of that era who rejected what eventually became the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Most of them eventually rejected biblical creationism and began to adopt a Darwinist approach to the doctrine of origins: Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and Congregationalist all eventually embraced Darwinism. Their colleges and universities which were once great defenders of the word of God and the gospel became cesspools of secular humanism and outright atheism.

Other groups began to embrace Dispensationalism with its fantasy of a secret rapture of the church, a restoration of the nation of Israel in Palestine, and a literal seven year tribulation period. Did the Lord "close the door" to these movements  and "open the door" to a new movement which fully endorses and restores all of the apostolic truths of the bible just as the apostles taught in the bible? I think so and I see this Seventh-day Adventist movement as a valid movement raised up by God to finish the full restoration of the truths of the bible which the apostate false church of Rome has blasphemously sought to destroy.

Is there still some immaturity in the message of the Adventist movement? Absolutely, but the basic truths of this movement will be embraced by all who will live to be saved on the last day.

Hope to hear from you again,
Bill Diehl, editor www.PresentTruthMag.org
Julian, Ca.
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Original Sin?

Hello Present Truth Magazine,

Could you please explain why Adam and Eve's sin was so serious as to cause God to issue a death decree upon all of humanity?

George M.

Dear George,

In the Garden of Eden only God as the Creator, Lawgiver, Judge, and King had the exclusive divine prerogative to "know" or "discern" between good and evil, right and wrong, sin and righteousness. Adam and Eve knew about good and evil because God had told them not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.

But they, as created subjects of the King, were not free to determine what was right or wrong, good or evil. In taking this determination upon themselves they were setting themselves up in the place of God as the divine Lawgiver and Judge. The creature was usurping prerogatives which belonged only to the Creator.

After taking of the forbidden fruit, God said that now "man has become like God (us)" in that man had taken upon himself the role of a judge of what is good or evil. This simple act of disobedience was in essence an act of high treason and rebellion against the office of the King, Lawgiver and Judge. Man had set himself up as judge in the place of the divine Judge/Lawgiver. Thus God the Judge decrees that Man can no longer be allowed to live forever as a "god" thinking that he can be the determiner of good and evil, right and wrong. The rebellious human family now had rejected the Lord as the supreme Judge and had determined to do what was right in its own eyes. Man had allied himself with God's supreme Enemy and had taken upon himself the role and prerogative which only God had the right to assume. Man had attempted to usurp the throne of God. Jesus Christ alone, as the Supreme Judge, has the right to "know good and evil".

The Hebrew noun da'ath and the Hebrew verb yada' are used as knowledge and to know respectively.

Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:8-9 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath discernment, perception, wisdom) of good and evil .

Noun da'ath : Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat 17 But of the tree of the knowledge (Heb. noun da'ath discernment, perception) of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Verb yada' : Genesis 3:4, 5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing (Heb. verb yada' to discern, perceive, distinguish, discriminate) good and evil .

Verb yada' : Genesis 3:22 22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know (Heb. verb yada to discern, perceive, distinguish) good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

Verb yada' : 2 Samuel 19:35 35 I am this day fourscore years old: and can I discern (Heb. yada' to discriminate or distinguish between) between good and evil ? can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should thy servant be yet a burden unto my lord the king?

Hebrew shama, byin , and yada used as synonyms:

2 Samuel 14:17 17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern (Heb. shama' decide a legal matter as a judge) good and bad: therefore the LORD thy God will be with thee.

1 Kings 3:6-11 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern (Heb. byin to distinguish) between good and bad : for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern (Heb. shama' to decide a judicial case as a judge "hears" a case) judgment ;

Very best regards,

Bill Diehl, editor


Angels intermarrying with women?

Hello Friends,

Thank you for the work you've gone to to put all that information on your web site.  I haven't read it all yet so maybe my question is answered there.  If so, please just point me to it.  So here goes:  

In your "Don't believe" column number 66  (Teaching that angels were once able to have sexual relations with women and produce a race of super-humans is a serious departure from the word of God.) is the one I wonder about.  Who then were the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men"?  What was the sin that the Sons of God did against the people and against the animals too?  And where did the giants come from? Thank you for taking time to consider my questions,

Marj Hansen

Hi Marj,

I must ask your indulgence for not answering your email sooner. I can now take some time off to attempt to give you some of the reasons why we here at Present Truth Magazine believe that the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis 6 were not angels who produced a race of antediluvian super-humans.

Genesis 6:1-5 Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

We believe that the key to understanding what is meant in Genesis 6 is found in Genesis 4.

Genesis 4:1-26 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the LORD." Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, but He did not respect Cain and his offering.And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. So the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth."

And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear! "Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me." And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.

Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD and dwelt in the land of Nod on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. And he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son -- Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad; and Irad begot Mehujael, and Mehujael begot Methushael, and Methushael begot Lamech.

Then Lamech took for himself two wives: the name of one was Adah, and the name of the second was Zillah. And Adah bore Jabal. He was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal. He was the father of all those who play the harp and flute. And as for Zillah, she also bore Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every craftsman in bronze and iron. And the sister of Tubal-Cain was Naamah. Then Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."

And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, "For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed." And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the LORD.

This account of the events in the life of Cain after he killed Abel is given in the bible in order to show us what direction Cain and his progeny took. They became totally alienated from the Lord and ultimately became completely lawless and apostate. It is at verse 26 that we are told that it is only through Seth, faithful Abel's equally faithful replacement, that "men began to call upon the name of the LORD".

We must keep in mind that it was only faithful Abel who brought a sacrifice which was "acceptable" to the Lord. This animal sacrifice was acceptable because it pointed in faith to the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ, the promised "seed" of Eve who would crush the serpent's head. It is through the line of Seth that the knowledge of the one true God was kept alive in the antediluvian world. In these passages we are shown the two distinct lineages which were being developed.

As the account progresses in Genesis 5 we are shown the development of the lineage of Seth, while the lineage of Cain is ignored. Then we come to chapter six where we see that the entire earth is now densely populated and of all the inhabitants of the earth only Noah is remaining faithful and he alone "finds grace in the eyes of the LORD". It is apparent that even the majority of the Sethites had forsaken the worship of the LORD.

It is within this context that we are told that--

"There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart." Genesis 6:4-6. 

With the background and context of this passage in mind, we must understand this passage. God is showing us that the "sons of God", who should have never intermarried with the pagan children of Cain, were now taking wives from unbelievers and joining with these "daughters of men" in their apostasy. The fact that there were "giants on the earth in those days" should not surprise us at all. The antediluvians were not the ignorant, half evolved prehistoric cave men which modern anthropologists would have us believe them to be. These people lived to be nearly 1,000 years old. They were only a few generations away from Adam and had not suffered from the effects of degeneration and genetic decay from which we suffer today. They were still vibrant, healthy, immensely intelligent and physically near perfect specimens of humanity. It should not shock us to learn that these people were "giants", not only in their capacity to sin and commit evil, but also in their physical appearance. It is only after the flood that the life span and the vitality of the human race began to diminish. These people were still magnificent in stature and ability.

The account here tells us that--

"Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown. Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." Genesis 6:4-5

We can speculate from this passage that it is very probable that the ancient mythological legends about "god-men" had their basis in the lives of these evil apostates who were totally corrupted in their lives and actions and causing unimaginable suffering and warfare upon the pre-flood peoples. The mythologies of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were very likely developed from the oral and written traditions which developed and were handed down through the post-flood apostates who came from Noah's son, Ham and then Cush, Mizraim, Canaan, Nimrod, and the apostates who built the tower of Babel.

These giant peoples still survived even unto the days of the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. Here is a listing of the biblical accounts in the days of Moses and Joshua and following generations:

Numbers 13:32 -14:1  And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, "The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature.  "There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight."

Deuteronomy 2:9-11 "Then the LORD said to me, 'Do not harass Moab, nor contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.' "  (The Emim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim . They were also regarded as giants , like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim.

Deuteronomy 3:8-13 "And at that time we took the land from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were on this side of the Jordan, from the River Arnon to Mount Hermon '(the Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir), "all the cities of the plain, all Gilead, and all Bashan, as far as Salcah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan.  "For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants . Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabbah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit.  "And this land, which we possessed at that time, from Aroer, which is by the River Arnon, and half the mountains of Gilead and its cities, I gave to the Reubenites and the Gadites.  "The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to half the tribe of Manasseh. (All the region of Argob, with all Bashan, was called the land of the giants .

Joshua 12:4 The other king was Og king of Bashan and his territory, who was of the remnant of the giants, who dwelt at Ashtaroth and at Edrei,

Joshua 13:12-13  " ...all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and Edrei, who remained of the remnant of the giants ; for Moses had defeated and cast out these. Nevertheless the children of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maachathites, but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.

Joshua 17:15-18  So Joshua answered them, "If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants , since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you."  But the children of Joseph said, "The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel."  And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph -- to Ephraim and Manasseh -- saying, "You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, "but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong."

2 Samuel 21:15-22  When the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David and his servants with him went down and fought against the Philistines; and David grew faint. Then Ishbi-Benob, who was one of the sons of the giant , the weight of whose bronze spear was three hundred shekels, who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David. But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to his aid, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, "You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel." Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant . Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature , who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant . 21 So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. These four were born to the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

1 Chronicles 20:4-8 Now it happened afterward that war broke out at Gezer with the Philistines, at which time Sibbechai the Hushathite killed Sippai, who was one of the sons of the giant . And they were subdued. Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver's beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, with twenty-four fingers and toes, six on each hand and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him. These were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his servants.

And so from looking over the biblical context of Genesis and other passages, we have drawn our conclusion that:"Teaching that angels were once able to have sexual relations with women and produce a race of super-humans is a serious departure from the word of God."

If you have any questions don't hesitate to email me and I will do my best to answer.

Bill Diehl,
www.PreesntTruthMag.org
Suite 132
4650 Dulin Road
Fallbrook, CA.92038
Phone: 760.728.3333


Reply to an email from a Seventh-day Adventist minister

To Dxxxxxx,

If the gospel of justification by faith alone had been embraced whole-heartedly in the 1970's, the truth about Ellen G. White's borrowings and doctrinal changes and the truth about the erroneousness of the 1844 dating schema would have had no real damaging impact upon the viability of the SDA movement. The good news about the imputed righteousness of Christ would have carried the day even unto the Last Day.

As it is today, the church members are shocked as they are beginning to understand that the following "Adventist Distinctives" are not actually taught in the Bible:

  1. False: Literal foot washing before observing the Lord's Supper.
    True
    : Christ our Lord was speaking metaphorically when He told His apostles to "wash each others feet".
  2. False: Mandatory tithe paying as a test of fellowship and salvation,
    True
    : Offerings are voluntary in the Christian era. There is now no scriptural demand for Christians to donate any specific amount or percentage of 10%.
  3. False: The investigative judgment began in AD.1844,
    True
    : Christ our Lord began judging the world by the proclamation of the gospel since Pentecost. Repentant believers are "sealed" in the Book of Life the moment they repent and believe. As long as one continues to daily repent of sin and continues to trust in Christ as ones savior, the verdict of forgiveness will continue to be rendered for the repentant believer in Christ through justification by faith in the sinless life and atoning death of Jesus Christ. Those who refuse to repent and trust in Christ will be shut out of the kingdom of God and be destroyed in the final punishment of Satan and all those who rebel against the Lordship of Christ.
  4. False: Christ entered the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary in AD.1844,
    True
    : Christ entered the most holy place of heaven at His ascension, not in AD 1844. The "2300 evening and mornings" of Daniel 8:14 are to be interpreted as apocalyptic figurative prophetic language for the "restoration of the Temple", the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, not to be taken as a literal 2300 years from 457 B.C. to A.D. 1844. The true "restoration" of the temple took place at the bodily resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and will again find a fulfillment at the second coming of Christ when all things will be "restored". The "Temple" spoken of by Daniel prefigured the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt (literally: tabernacled or pitched His tent) among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:14
  5. False: All Christian-era date-setting like 1844 and 538-1798.
    True
    : Apocalyptic numbers are to interpreted symbolically as eras not literal dates or literal years. The "1260 days" etc. of Revelation represent the Christian era from Pentecost to the second coming of Christ not 1260 years from AD 538 to AD 1798. Satan and his kingdom makes war with the church from Pentecost until the second advent. (See Rev 12)
  6. False: The "three angles of Revelation 14" began to sound in AD.1844.
    True
    : The "Three Angel's" proclamation of the "everlasting gospel" and the "hour of His judgment", the call to "come out of Babylon", and the warning not to receive the "mark of the beast" began to sound in the apostolic era by the Apostles and the early Christian church. The "sealing of the 144,000" began at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out and "sealed" the believers in Christ. The seal remains upon the believer so long as he continues in repentance towards God and faith in the blood of Christ as the meritorious basis of his acceptance with God and assurance of eternal life.

    "Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

    In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14

    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30


  7. The term "144,000" (see: Rev.7 and 14) is a symbolic apocalyptic term for spiritual Israel—the Christian church. "Babylon" represents the apostate religions of the world, including the pantheon of the Roman Empire and later on in time, the Papacy which supplanted the throne of the caesars in Rome. (See Rev.13)
  8. False: The United States of America as being the lamb-like second beast which erects an "image to the beast" of Revelation 13
    True
    : The first "beast" of Revelation 13 represents the Roman Empire of John's day. This first beast receives a "deadly wound" (the fall of the Roman Empire) but the wound is "healed" when the Papacy supplants the "throne" of Rome. This is the great apostasy and "falling away" that Paul warned the early church would come after that which restrained it would be "taken out of the way". The false doctrines of papal Rome are an "image" of the doctrines of Mithraism and the pagan mystic Gnosticism of the Roman empire. Papal Rome pretends to speak for Christ as His "vicar" and to outwardly be very "lamb-like" but is inwardly a ravenous wolf and a painted sepulcher full of dead men's bones. Her doctrines are the doctrines of devils because she teaches justification by infused righteousness rather than by imputed righteousness by faith in the doing and dying of Christ alone. Papal Rome is the prophesied Man of Sin in 2 Thess. 2.
  9. False: Spiritual gifts such as the visions and dreams of Ellen White are inerrant, of "continuing authority", and can be used to determine doctrine.
    True
    : Non-apostolic spiritual gifts are not canonical and must be measured by the bible only. They are not of equal authority nor are they inerrant as the Bible is. Just as we must not despise spiritual gifts, we must not consider them to be of equal inspiration or authority with the Bible. Ellen White never claimed to be inerrant nor as equally inspired and authoritative as the Bible. .
  10. False: Christian should practice 1-0 or 1A-0 Selective Service pacifism which forbids the use of deadly force to defend ourselves, our families, or our country in a just war.
    True
    : The word of God does not forbid the use of force to defend ones self, family, or nation against unlawful aggression. Christians who practice total pacifism are ignoring the historical context and thus the true meaning of Christ's sermon on the mount (Matt. 5).
  11. False: The clean/unclean Levitical food laws are binding upon Christians.
    True
    : The apostles never urged these food laws upon the Christian community. The vision of Peter and the unclean foods was to let him know that no one is considered unclean in God's sight because of what he eats. The Jews considered any uncircumcised Gentile who ate unclean food as being an unclean person outside of God's covenant.
  12. False: Wine in the New Testament is grape juice only and the apostles forbad any believer to drink fermented wine.
    True: The new testament only forbids drunkenness and admonishes believers not to "tarry long" when drinking wine.
  13. False: No jewelry wearing for Christians.
    True
    : Modern translators of Peter's and Paul's epistles recognize that these verses should be translated with the addition of the word "merely". That is, women should not merely beautify their outward appearance but also their inner spiritual person with the attributes of a Christian character.
  14. False: There is a "close of probation" for the believer in Christ before Christ comes.
    True
    : Christ's mediation of His imputed righteousness for the believer continues until He comes again in the clouds of heaven. The Christian is justified by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone until He comes again. He ever lives to make intercession for His saints and they are always accounted righteous by faith alone until He comes. However, there will come a time when those who have rejected Christ as Savior and Lord will no longer be able to be saved. The door of mercy at the very end of time will be closed to all who refuse to repent of their transgressions of God's holy Law including the seventh day Sabbath and believe in the true Christ. They will no longer be able to enter the "temple" of Christ and be saved just as the door of the ark was closed to all who rejected Noah's message. See Revelation 15:5-8 for instance:

    Revelation 15:5-8 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
  15. False: There is a period of time, called the "time of Jacob's trouble" just before Christ comes again, when the intercession of Christ's imputed merit will no longer be necessary for the remnant "perfected" sinless believers.
    True:
    The believing community is sinless only in the merciful reckoning of our Lord through faith in His sinless life that is imputed to them. The believer can never say that he is sinless until Jesus comes again. Sanctification is the work of a lifetime and will not end until we are in heaven.
  16. False: The "blotting out of sin" is a special or "final atonement" for the people of God which is different than the forgiveness of sins.
    True
    : There is no difference between forgiveness and blotting out in the word of God.
  17. False: The "latter rain" is a second blessing of the Holy Spirit which restores the character of God's people to the original innocence of Adam before the fall.
    True:
    There is no scriptural basis for this teaching of sinless perfection before Christ comes. This teaching was popular among the Methodists of Wesley's era and some of the early Adventists incorporated it into the Adventist eschatology. The "latter rain" fell at Pentecost when the church began to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. This is the "promise" of the coming Comforter which Christ promised to His church. The "early rain" represents the pre-Christian old testament era with its shadows and types until the coming of the perfection (maturity) of the gospel era when Christ fulfilled all of the covenantal promises of God.
  18. False: There will be sinless perfection for the "final generation" called the 144,000 before Christ comes.
    True
    : There is no difference between any of the generations of Christians past, present, or future. All are justified by faith alone before God and His holy Law. The group called the "144,000" in the book of Revelation symbolizes the entire Christian community, spiritual Israel. There are no special groups among the redeemed community. All are reckoned righteous by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Jesus Christ our Lord alone. There is only One who was without sin, Jesus Christ. His righteousness is imputed to all repentant sinners who put their faith in Christ's atoning death upon the cross.
  19. False: The "Last Days"—the "time of the end"—began in AD.1798.
    True
    : The apostles called the Christian era the "last days" when the full "mystery of God" had been revealed. There was to be no further new truth or "new light" revealed to the Christian church. The apostles had the entire gospel message and we can only seek to "restore" that message to its apostolic purity, but we can never add to it in any way.

Adventists feel betrayed by the leaders in which they had been placing their confidence. Members are leaving in droves since 1980. The very truths that Adventism was raised up to restore are now spoken evil of because of the sins of the SDA leadership, especially the Ellen G. White Estate, which has resisted and hedged up the way for the truth to be taught to the Seventh-day Adventist members.

These reforms in Adventist teaching are absolutely necessary in order for a true revival of primitive godliness to take place among the advent people. Then and only then will the people of God in other folds begin to take the Seventh-day Adventist movement seriously and join this God-ordained movement to restore the bible and only the bible as the Christian's rule of faith.

Seventh-day Adventism is not a cult, but some of the Adventist doctrines tend to be cultic. However, the essence of the Adventist movement is true historic Protestant Christianity.

The Adventist movement in its truest evangelical expression (as God intends this movement to be) will be a "restoration" movement rather than an "innovation" movement. Just look at the true essence of Adventism:

  1. Adventism uplifts the "Third Use of the Law" which is so important in this lawless diabolical age in which we live.
  2. Adventism uplifts the "Second Use of the Law" which is so important as a schoolmaster to lead us to Christ to continually be justified by faith in His sinless life and atoning death on Calvary.
  3. Adventism re-establishes the glorious truth of the resurrection of the dead at the Second Coming of Christ as the hope of the believer rather than the Grecian view of the "immortal soul" which lives on after death.
  4. Adventism affirms the virgin birth of Christ and His unique incarnation as fully God and fully man. Christ is the "second Adam" in that He succeeded where the first Adam failed.
  5. Adventism is a necessary bulwark against the prevailing error of antinomian Dispensationalism which is sweeping the evangelical Christian world today and foolishly focuses on the Zionist events in the middle east, a rebuilding of the Levitical temple, and a "secrete rapture" of the church. Dispensationalism also erroneously teaches that the Law of God, the Ten Commandments, is done away for the Christian believer. Adventism restores the truth of the first, second, and third use of the Law for the Christian. All of the Protestant reformers affirmed all three uses for the Law.
  6. Adventism uplifts and restores the Sabbath commandment as a memorial to Christ's having created the universe in six literal days. The Sabbath is God's emphatic rebuke to the abomination of Darwinian evolutionism.
  7. Adventism affirms the Biblical truth of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden as the origin of sin and suffering and death. This truth is denied by all forms of Darwinism.
  8. Adventism affirms the existence of a real fallen angel named Lucifer who became Satan along with one third of the angelic host.
  9. Adventism affirms a literal world-wide flood which destroyed the lawless unbelieving antediluvian world and the saving of Noah and his family by God's unmerited grace.
  10. Adventism affirms the vicarious atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ in that He is the Seed of the woman who has fulfilled all the righteous demands of the Law for us so that in Him repentant sinners are accounted sinless and righteous in His sight even unto the coming of the Lord.
  11. Adventism is a warning and a witness that God is about to destroy all the world and all who refuse to repent, believe the gospel of Christ, and allow God to write His law upon their hearts through the indwelling Holy Spirit.
  12. Adventism affirms that God will totally annihilate sin, Satan, and all unrepentant sinners at the final judgment rather than an eternally burning fire in unending pain and suffering.
  13. Adventism as a true child of the Reformation is an ongoing rebuke to the abominable errors of Roman Catholicism.
  14. Adventism is a rebuke to modern day Spiritualism which seeks to contact and communicate with the dead.

In essence then, Adventism as God intends it to be, is God's final warning to all the world to repent of their transgressions of God's Law including the seventh day Sabbath of the fourth commandment and be justified by His unmerited "grace alone" through "faith alone" in the sinless life and atoning death of "Christ alone" as revealed in the "Bible alone".

This is the essence of true Adventism which Ellen G. White intended for the movement to be. Her vision was for Adventism to be the foremost voice in all the world to uplift the sinless, crucified, and risen Savior to all the world. She never intended her writings to become so prominent in the Advent Movement as they are today as the "twenty eight fundamentals" and the recent Sabbath School Quarterly portray her writings to be. It is time for the Seventh-day Adventist movement to take off the "training wheels" of Ellen G. White and become all that the Lord intended this movement to be. Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Solo Christo, Sola Fide.


From the United Kingdom

Christian greetings

You say that the Law reveals sin or the power of sin. Ok, I can understand how sin is revealed by the Commandments but I seriously don't see how sin is revealed by the Sabbath commandment.  Where in the Bible does it show how the 4th Commandment reveals sin?  Paul talks about the condemnation of the Law.  In what way does the 4th Commandment condemn a person?  Where is that found in the Bible?

If Jesus fulfilled the spirit of the law how did he fulfill the spirit of the Sabbath?  Again where is that found in the Bible? Thank you,

Brian


Hi Brian,

The first four commandments of the Ten Commandments show us how to love God and show us our duty to worship Him according to His will. This is the will of God that we keep His commandments. The Sabbath commandment which was instituted at the close of the creation week tells us that God rested on the seventh day. He declared that the Sabbath was to be a memorial to His having created in six days. All who worship the Lord in accordance with His word will also rest with Christ on the seventh day. When we rest from our work on the Sabbath we are given a day which was set aside to spend the entire day with our families as a holiday to fellowship with fellow believers in worship and joyous relaxation together.

You ask, how does disregarding the Sabbath day condemn a person. Those who willfully and high handedly disregard the day which He has blessed as a memorial to His creative power are refusing to enter into the worship which He has commanded. God is the Lawgiver and He alone has the authority to set the limits and obligations of man. For a person to say that he can disregard one of God's expressed commandments is to set aside what God has ordained.

You ask, how did our Lord Jesus Christ fulfill the spirit of the Sabbath. The unbelieving Jewish scribes and Pharisees continually accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath by healing on the Sabbath. Jesus answered that it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. He also said that the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath and that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Christ was continually showing the true spirit of Sabbath keeping. The unbelieving Jews however were revealing the true hardness of their hearts in their lack of kindness and mercy and true worship of the Creator. We are to worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth. Thus to disregard any of the Ten Commandments in a willful disregard of the commandment is to worship a god other than the creator redeemer God of the holy bible. Satan is the lawless one and those who rebel against God's Law are joining in Satan's rebellion and are of the same spirit of lawlessness.

In closing we want to make it clear that no one is justified before God by obeying God's holy Law, but those repentant believing sinners who are trusting in the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Christ will submit to the work of the Holy Spirit in writing the Law of God upon the tablets of the heart. The born again believer will delight in God's Law in the inward man.

Christian regards,
Bill Diehl, editor
www.PresentTruthMag.org


Regeneration and Repentance

Dear Present Truth Magazine, to quote your "denial" #6 on the front page of your web site:

"6. Any teaching which declares that repentant sinners must be sanctified or regenerated before they can be justified is a serious departure from the word of God."

Come now, Bill. Are suggesting an unregenerate sinner can repent?

You have created a "false dilemma". Just because repentance can not merit heaven does not mean repentance is not required for justification in the final judgment.

Let's not confound the legal requirement with the moral and conclude no moral requirement is necessary for salvation.

The reformation clearly distinguishes between the meritorious cause and the instrumental cause of salvation. And they don't use one to deny the other.

Bill Sorensen
2/17/2006

Ed: The link that is associated with "regenerated" above will clarify what we mean by "regeneration" not being a prerequisite for justification.


Costly Grace

Bill, You have published the chapter on costly grace by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. All the Christian radio stations spout the other kind of grace. You don't have to do anything to be saved except show up for church on Sunday morning . . and, oh, give us 10% of your money. I know that as Dietrich says that after all, in the end, we are saved by grace. But I also know that one does not experience the true blessings of God unless he spends a whole life seeking him with all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and all his strength. I think that unless people are motivated to take up the call of discipleship, they are being sold short. So why are all the ministers selling their followers short? It's so dreadfully sad. . .evil. I want to do something to help change this.

I am Catholic. Somehow people are being sold short on this side too. All the people caught up in busy work and experiences. God needs people who seek him endlessly and keep their eyes fixed on him.

Tom 2/18/2006


I Cannot Tolerate Your Lies!!!

Dear "Present Truth," I don't know what kind of a church group you are, but I do know your statements about the teachings of my Traditional Catholic religion (especially the Council of Trent) are so totally distorted that they constitute a complete fabrication or, in other words, a lie. In no way, shape or form do we believe in the "inherent goodness of man," let alone that as a basis of salvation.

It must be pointed out that the Roman Catholic Church in the 2nd Vatican Council completely changed our religion, forcing those of us who believe in the older religion (the Gospels, of the Salvation of Jesus on the Cross) to leave. Anything you see in the post-Vatican II "modern" Roman Catholic Church and Papacy does not represent the Gospel of "Salvation" by the BLood of Jesus Christ, which it is quite obvious you people do not believe in, i.e. that there is only true Salvation by the cleansing Blood of Jesus Christ. Therefore, you are not "saved" regardless of your claim to being "Christians" by your denial of the Cross of Jesus on Calvary as an actual "Substitutionary Sacrifice" or "Atonement" for all human beings as "SINNERS", which also you obviously fail to believe, that human beings are all "Sinners" and have completely fallen short of the Glory of God.

You see, we only have the true Gospel, that mankind are all sinners, thus requiring the 2nd person of the Godhead, named Jesus Christ, to come into the flesh in order to die as the only complete and total Sacrifice to God the Father for the sins of mankind, and only through faith in JESUS, then following the commandments of JESUS (to be baptized, to confess our sins, to follow a life where JESUS sanctifies us) can we reach heaven. And whatever you people believe is a bunch of bunko baloney, because outside the Cross of Christ there is NO SALVATION under any other name under heaven.

So now you know how to be saved. Don't ever say I did not tell you.

P. S. The only possible motivation for your telling such total lies about our Council of Trent doctrines has to be to make your own heretical religion sound like the "truth." There is only ONE TRUTH, that Jesus died for sinners. By that standard, let God be true and all men, including your heresies, be liars. I cannot tolerate your lies!!! Our true Traditional Catholic religion (pre-Vatican II, Council of Trent) believes all men are sinners, separated from God. You do not have the true writings of Trent, nor the true doctrines of our church. You are under the Protestant heresy and no doubt a multitude of other heresies. The Protestant heresy is that the Bible is a matter of "private interpretation." I'm sure if we knew of your heresies, the list couldn't fit into one room. Thus the usual arrogance of alleged "Christians" who never bother to confess their daily sins to anybody, yet condemn True Catholics for confessing before a priest, to hide the fact they are completely ignoring the Bible, allowing their sins to get worse and worse until their death, claiming it's between "them and God". I know because all the so-called "born-agains" around me are doing drugs, using prostitutes, alcoholics, blasphemers, hate-filled, etc. They never go to church, yet brag of being "saved" and allegedly knowing the Bible. I do not know of one alleged "born again" that attends church. I do know of adulterous born-agains and drug addict born-agains though who pour their stinking booze on the face of a picture of the Lord Jesus I gave them to try to get a little God into their pathetic lives.

I guess I should apologize. I just hate hearing such flat-out lies told to attack my beautiful Catholic religion as printed on your web site. However, you are whatever you are and will continue to tell whatever lies and wild stories you feel necessary to further your cause, I am sure! PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO MY LETTERS!!! I have blocked you from my E-mail as a precaution.

Oia'i'o,
Maulena Oke'a
2/15/2006


False Gospel?

Hello brothers and sisters in our same Master and perfect Savior, Christ Jesus. It seems you've left out some things (and added another) to the gospel statement at the top of your page.  Here's some good news:  Paul clearly states the gospel to believe and the confession to confess for righteousness and salvation and he even explains it in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 and in Romans 10:9-10.

So, of course, this is the most fundamental thing I could write to you about, and it's necessity is the reason, loved brothers and sisters in our same God, Jesus, that I'm bringing this up.

The top of your page says that believing that Jesus lived a sinless life is part of the gospel.  Of course this is an important point (and maybe even needed), but it's not part of the gospel as far as I've been able to find in God's Bible.  So you added that one.  You changed the point of Jesus' death by only saying that Jesus death is atoning - but the Bible's wording is better, because it says that "Christ died for our sins" and "according to the Scriptures", adding the important Scriptures clause, and subtly taking away the knowledge that it was God's PURPOSE to died for the PURPOSE of atoning our sins (and not that His death just happened to atone, which I don't think most people, when reading what you've written down here, are subverted by it, but the language you use tends toward this other meaning).

Lastly, and perhaps the worst and perhaps the most obviously deviating part of your statement is leaving out God's burial, and His resurrection on the third day, according to the Scriptures,  and all the credible list of credible witnesses who sited Him and even communed with Him after His resurrection.  And you left out the part about confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus to be saved, which Paul clearly states in Romans 10:10 is the very thing, along with belief (which he here specifies that belief is of the resurrection), that leads to salvation.

In sum, you added the fact of Jesus' sinlessness to the gospel that God told us through His servant Paul, and you left out from it Jesus' burial, resurrection on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and the long list of witnesses who saw Him after His resurrection.  You also leave out confessing with your mouth the Lord Jesus to be saved.

THIS IS IN FACT PERVERTED GOSPEL LOVED CHRISTIANS - RUN FAST AWAY FROM IT. AS SOON AS YOU UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS.

Jeremy Bickel
12/14/2005


From Uganda

Hi Mr. Bill,            
I heard about you from Pastor Lubuto and since then we have studied the web site. Much as I have some few things I did not agree with you like deliberate on clean and unclean foods. But I have so much liked your good approach to justification by faith. I struggled with being good enough and things never worked out. I work as a nurse and I had worked for the SDA church for many years. It so happened that I became pregnant and I was burned from service and I was thrown out. I also felt I had failed my God, employers and I so much wanted one day to get married but the chance never came my way. Its bitter to be neglected by the church you love.              

When I read your presentations and we studied them over and over hope came back. I felt happy to know that still God loves me despite failing him and my unfaithfulness. I want to lead a victorious life. I still have problems with being a single lady and at a time I want so much make love. I will try to avoid where I can. Thanks you for giving the hope again.             

I love the SDA church but association with the present truth has given better hope for eternity.
Ester
12/14/2005


In Home Bible Class

Bill,
Hi, my name is Rich Stevens and I live in White Bluff, TN. I have started a bible study in my home and I was doing some research on line about Faith Righteousness. I was instantly taken to Present Truth Magazine. I want you to know that I really appreciate the things I have read, and am thrilled to know that there are others out there that believe. I haven't read everything, but I am moved beyond words to be able to find this type of information/teaching on the internet. Thank you so much for what you do. How can I receive this magazine either in print or e-mail format. Please let me know.

Again, thank you for the work you do in Christ,
Rich Stevens
10/08/2005


Thanks For the Web site

Bill, when the world gets me down, I think of you often and realize we are only here for a short time and that I need not be discouraged because in the long run, Jesus is coming back to execute judgment and everything gets turned around down here. You bless more people than you probably will ever know.

Thanks.
George Martinet
08/11/2005


Amazing!

I have just come across your web site. Amazing! How come I've not seen this before? Absolutely enlightening material and excellent reference source. Is there somewhere I can go to find more about the background and persons involved?

When I'm in a better position, I'll certainly give some financial support.

Sincerely,
Kevin Ferris
07/03/2005


Good News For Uganda

To the people of God,

I am Adam and I love to know more about God. One of these day I met a man on the street giving out tracts and he gave me a tract called "Have you heard the... Good news! Your sins are Forgiven!!". After I read it I wanted to get more to study but I could not find him anywhere. Good enough the tract had a web site where I have got this E-mail address and I would like to know if you have any representative in Uganda? Please give me his address such that I can contact him or her, if not then help me in any way you can.

Yours truly,
Adam
01/12/2005


Ghana E-mail

Please I want to receive the magazine which you publish. A friend of my told me how good the magazine is and I know it will help me to grow in Christ. Thank you.

Mr Samuel A Marh
Tema New Town, Ghana.


Can God Forgive All Kinds of Sin?

Sir: I've believed in Jesus since I was small but in the last year and a half I've been a sinner and it reads in the bible that adulterers will be judged.  So, are you saying that any sin, no matter what degree of sin, can be forgiven?  I used to walk a straight line and I judged so many for doing the same and then I fell in love with someone with whom I should have never even spoken to other than in passing and this has torn me into a million pieces and I no longer know who I am and I do not talk to God because like Eve, I fear him and I am ashamed.

09/07/2002


Literal Translation of the Bible

Sirs: Having been a Christian for some 30 years... and a Methodist for about 40 years... I have run into a statement that has thoroughly stumped me.  A daughter of a Theology Professor at Emory University is a member of our church and has hit me with this statement, "I don't mind a Bible Study if it isn't based on a literal translation of the Bible and its Verses." Huh? She furthered her explanation by saying she didn't believe the Bible to be inspired, but that it was written by ordinary people just like you and me. 

How on Earth do I address this?  Do you have an article already housed in your archives I could refer to?

Leslie Thomas
September 10, 2002

Dear Leslie, This is a common opinion of those who endorse "Christian existentialism".   Here is an excellent article that you will really enjoy which attempts to explain the error of this school of thought.  God bless you as you lift up Jesus as Savior and Lord. Your servant in Christ, Bill Diehl.


The Devil's Ministry

Now we know the source of your ministry — the Devil himself! You have refused to respond as to why you keep your denominational affiliation from those visiting your web site, so it is clear by your silence you are all sons of Satan doing his bidding on earth! — It seems painfully obvious who your father is, he was a deceiver from the beginning and the truth is not in him. Aping your father you are trying to deceive those people who go to your web site by failing to indicate your denominational affiliation or if not officially affiliated that, you are doctrinal fellow-travelers with the Seventh Day Adventists. This is wholly demonic in nature, you are afraid if you tell people who you are they won't read your teachings and be thus deceived and contribute money to your so-called ministry. Shame on you all for lying by omission!

Rev. David R. Miser
New Song Ministries
08/15/2002


Their "Worm" Never Dies

Dear Sirs or Madam:

In your article concerning hell. when you quoted Mark 9:44-48 you did not mention the part about "Where their worm never dies". If that is not referring to the man then what does it mean?

Thank you for an answer.

Bill Scudder
08/16/2002

Editor. The phrase which our Lord uses in Mark 9:44-48 , "where their worm never dies" is referring to the worms that eat the dead bodies of those who rebelled against the Lord and refused to believe and repent of their sins.  There may be a foot note in your KJV translation which clarifies the meaning of the word "worm" as being the maggots that eat the dead bodies of the enemies of God. Our Lord is quoting from Isaiah 66:22-24   "For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD. 24  And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." 

These texts are not referring to an "immortal soul" as the "worm" that does not die. The "worm" being referred to are the worms that are eating the dead bodies of the lost. See also Isaiah 51:7  "Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my Law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings.  8  For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation."   And Isaiah 14:11  "Thy (Lucifer) pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of thy viols: the worm is spread under thee, and the worms cover thee." Here again worms are used to describe the fact that the enemies of God will die and their bodies consumed by worms. "Worm" is not used to mean an immortal undying soul. The Lord in Mark 9:42-44 is using a double analogy to describe the condition of the lost, i.e. worms eating the dead bodies of the lost and also the eternal fire of God to burn up the lost in "gehena".  Gehena was the term used for the garbage dump that was located outside of the city of Jerusalem which burned the rubbish of the city and the smoke from this heap arose continually and the fire never went out as the rubbish was consumed.  The people hearing Christ use this term understood what He was referring to.

The phrase "eternal fire" is also used to describe the fire that fell upon the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Another term which our Lord uses to describe the fate of the lost is "cast into outer darkness". 

I know that this reply is very brief and that there are many texts to consider regarding the terms which the word of God uses to describe the fate of the lost. The main text to consider is the account found in Genesis regarding the fall of man and his expulsion from Eden.  When Adam was warned not to eat of the forbidden fruit, he was told that if he ate the fruit he would surely die.   An angel was stationed at the entrance to Eden to keep Adam and Eve from eating any longer from the tree of life and thus live forever.  Also note that in the earth made new after the resurrection of the redeemed, God's people will once again eat of the tree of life in a restored, sin-free, deathless universe.  I hope that this reply clears up some of the meaning of the texts that you mentioned. God bless, Bill Diehl


Baptism to Be Saved?

Sirs: Does it say in the bible that it is necessary for one to be baptized in order to be saved? or is it by grace alone thru faith alone? — I was wondering this because I grew up in grace thru faith; but now I am at college and this church say you NEED to be baptized to be saved. Thanks a lot.
Greg
01/15/2002

Dear Greg, No one is saved by being baptized by immersion, but all who are saved will be willing to obey our Lord's command for all believers to be baptized by immersion.  Baptism is a public demonstration that the believer has put his faith in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.   He is publicly witnessing to all that he has now turned from the old man of sin and is now living in the new life of the Spirit. The burial in the water represents death to our old life of willful sin and disobedience while the coming up out of the water represents our being born again to a new life of willing obedience. 

The same could be said of observing the Lord's supper.  No one is saved by observing the Lord's supper, but all who are believers in Christ will be willing to partake of the elements symbolizing the blood and body of our Lord given for the redemption of the world. 

Also let me point out that no one is saved by observing the two great commandments to love our Lord with all our hearts, minds, and souls, and strength; and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  But all who are saved will be seeking through the strength of the Holy Spirit to fulfill all the Ten Commandments of the Lord which the two great commandments summarize. 

In other words, we are not saved by any of our works, but all who are saved will be seeking to live in obedience to every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.  Being baptized, observing the Lord's supper, keeping God's commandments, and filling our lives with good deeds never saves us, but the saved man will be always seeking to be a faithful obedient servant of Christ.

If the college you are attending says that baptism is necessary before one can be saved, then this is not in harmony with the gospel truth of justification by God's unmerited grace alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ.  This false view of baptism is called "baptismal regeneration" and is a false view of baptism which is identical to the Roman Catholic view of baptism. 

If I have not made the matter clear to you brother, please get back to me again, because this is a very important matter for all Christians to understand.  God bless you. BD., editor


Tithing Mandatory For Christians?

Sirs: Is 100% of tithe money only meant to go towards pastor wages?  Can tithe ever be used towards evangelism materials, or does God say that it has to be paid by "offerings" only and never tithes?
With Warm Christian Love,
Tony Valentino
01/13/2002

Tony, There is no mention in the New Testament as to how gifts to help the gospel should be used.  The early Christian apostolic church was never mandated to pay tithe as the Israelites were under the Levitical law in the theocracy of Israel.  Offerings under Christ are totally free will and never by mandate.  

Those who mandate that Christians MUST pay tithe are misusing the word of God and placing a law upon Christians which the apostles never demanded.  Please read Paul's counsel regarding giving for the Christian church members. The same is true regarding dietary laws.  If a believer tithes and observes the dietary laws this should be only between the individual and God.  We should never judge what another gives or what another eats. God bless you brother, BD.


The Shaking of Adventism

I am not accustomed to writing a response to anyone else's criticism of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but I feel the urge to do so now.  I just pray that I can, for once in my life, express myself so that my true convictions can be known!   

I came across your Web Page by accident, while looking for some answers to other information about our church's history and divisions.  The link to your page was a long way past the first page of links and so I feel that I was lead, so to speak, to find the above mentioned book and then read the "Conclusion" part of it. It was refreshing to find someone else who feels that the church and/or members are acting in the way that the author described!  I have become pretty discouraged as of late by the various attitudes as were described!  

I've tried discussing these same issues with members of my church's Board of Directors and have always been met with a cold shoulder by the people who I hoped would discuss those same issues with!  So, after several failed attempts, I finally stopped, not knowing where to find answers to my questions.   

I  want to thank you for publishing the articles that are presented on your Web Page, and you can be sure that I have printed them out and will distribute them to other members of my church.  Since I am the Librarian of our church, I have a great position to do so!  I know that others will welcome these articles as well, as they kind of give a large amount of validation to my thoughts and beliefs. Thanks so much and I know that God will continue to bless your efforts in spreading the truth to those who are truly seeking it!    Sincerely . . .

Jean
6/2/2001


A Thank You

I truly thank God for His faithfulness. These articles have ministered truth to my soul. For I too have suffered much confusion from current day Pentecostal / Charismatic (Word of Faith) error. The Word of God is so rich when I look to Christ and His finished work at Calvary. I thank God for His Goodness and Immutable purposes. Keep on preaching the truth! The LORD bless you and keep you.                                            

Malcolm A. Hawkins
Vallejo, CA
5/29/2001


A Thank You

The Lord graciously brought me to Himself sometime in the spring of 1972. In combination with various Christian witnesses, the meditation of scripture AND in particular the written magazine of Present Truth as it related the doctrine of justification by faith (I believe one of the articles was written in part by Martin Luther or quotations from him) my eyes were opened! Over the years I have often wondered about your group and still want to know about Mr. Robert Brinsmead and Mr. Geoffrey Paxton—are they still living and what are they involved in? I am indebted to their labors as well as those active behind the scenes. Thank you. By His grace ALONE                                   

Raymond Froehlich
5/28/2001

Editor: Around 1990 I felt that it was a shame that the publication was not continuing and I decided to post all of the Present Truth Magazine journals on the internet in 1996.  I had to sell my house to raise the money to do it but have never regretted the cost involved with the web site.  Many, many have been blessed by the material that is on the web site.  It is email like yours that make it all worthwhile to me. 


Who Are You?

Dear PT, I was amazed to stumble across all the old Present Truth material you have assembled, including the letters to the editor, and posted on the net. Your web site doesn't make it clear exactly who you are -- can you clarify?

It also posts material written and broadcast by Bob Brinsmead, who I had heard no longer professes the beliefs that he promulgated in Present Truth. Am I incorrect in this? It would be good to hear from you. Yours sincerely,

Peter Gadsby
Australia
5/27/2001

Editor: I was involved with Present Truth Magazine from 1965 onward. Bob B. abandoned the gospel in 1980 when he came under the influence of existential humanism and abandoned "sola scriptura". I still consider him my friend. Through his teaching he lead me to Christ when I was only 21 years old.


Perfect Love

I have just read the article "A Review of the Awakening Message" by Robert D. Brinsmead.  I have to say that while he presents a logical argument against the doctrine of entire sanctification, he has also failed to realize the Biblical teaching of entire sanctification.  Wesley's teaching that Holiness, or sanctification is a "second work of grace" is true. He was merely reawakening the Church of the Biblical teaching.  God did not intend for man to live in sin.  Thus, He sent His Son to atone for our sins--Completely.  If we say the sacrifice on the cross did not completely atone for our sins (forgiving and completely cleansing) then we are saying Christ's sacrifice is meaningless. 

While God is perfect to forgive and cleanse, we also hold this "treasure in earthen vessels."  Because we are human and not divine we will always be prone to sin.  Christian perfection does not mean that we become perfect as God is perfect, but that our love toward God becomes more perfect (we fall deeper in love with God). John Wesley did not "invent" this theology.  He merely brought awareness to what the Bible teaches about being pure and holy.  We cannot be pure and holy unless God removes the inbred sin nature within our hearts.  Just a few thoughts and comments.

Rodney Birch
Library Director
Vennard College
5/23/2001

Editor: Thanks for your recent email and comments.  The word of God certainly urges us to be entirely sanctified to Christ through obedience to the faith.  Every true Christian who is trusting only in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ for his acceptance before God is seeking to overcome every wrong word, thought, and deed in his life that is contrary to the will of God.  Those who are not seeking entire holiness of heart and soul and deed are not Christians.  Wesley never claimed to have attained to the state of sinlessness of character however.  Those who claim to be as sinless of heart as our Lord Jesus Christ are not. 

If one defines "entire sanctification" as living without sin then there is no such thing as "entire sanctification".  We all sin and continually fall short of the glory of God.  Thus we all continually need to trust in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ for our acceptance with God and the gift of eternal life.   I am sure that you know that there is still sin in your life as there is in mine, but we as Christians hate our sin and we repent daily and continue to trust only in the perfect righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ to reckon us sinless before God. 

Thus we can say with the apostle John that anyone who is sinning is of the Evil One.  This is so in the sense that anyone who is committing high-handed, continual, willful disregard for the Law of God, the Ten Commandments, is not a saved person.  This does not mean that Christians never sin.  There is a sin that is unto death and there is sin that is not unto death.  Willful, high-handed, continual, and deliberate disregard for the commandments is sin unto death.  The sins of falling short of the glory of God which Christians commit and which are continually confessed before God are not sins unto death.  Every true Christian prays the prayer for forgiveness and trusts in the perfect righteousness of Christ and thus his sins are not imputed to him and he is a justified and continually sanctified believer.  But while we are continually being sanctified, none can say that we are "entirely sanctified" or that we have perfect love.  We press on towards the mark but do no claim to have attained the mark of our high calling in Christ.


Back Issues for the Library

Dear Mr. Diehl:

The Presbyterian Church of America Historical Center seeks to document the larger story of the conservative Presbyterian movement of the 20th century. Your magazine, as I can attest from my own college years, was one of many instruments used of the Lord in the resurgence of the Reformed faith in the latter half of the twentieth century.  Thus it is appropriate that we have among our holdings a collection of issues of Present Truth Magazine.

I am writing you in search of two things.  One would be some sort of history of the magazine and its founders.  If this is already posted on your site, please let me know and I will simply download it. Otherwise, think such a history would be a great addition to your web page, and an account of God's working that I would very much like to preserve.

Secondly, I would like to ask if any back issues of the magazine are still available?  While I see that you have posted the content of many issues, for archival purposes the original printing is preferable for a number of reasons.  Per your listing of the volumes, we have here numbers 2, 5, 10, 14, 18, 27 and 32.  I seem to remember once having issue #3 as well, but gave it away long before I was blessed of the Lord to come into this work as an archivist.

If you can't help me on this last request, I certainly will understand. Hopefully should you ever come across extra copies in years to come, you might remember us.

Blessings in the Lord,

Wayne Sparkman, Director
PCA Historical Center
12330 Conway Road
St. Louis, MO
March 15, 2001

Dear Brother Sparkman, I have not forgotten your email to me from March 15, 2001.  Last month I came into possession of a substantial number of original issues of Present Truth Magazine.   I would be glad to send any issues that I have here for your archives as you requested.  Just let me know which issues you would like and I will send you what I have.... God bless you in Christ Jesus as you contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Bill Diehl, editor. 05/17/2002


Old or Young Universe?

Dear Bill, It was good to meet you at our recent meetings in Loma Linda. I read with interest your explanation of the time prophecies.  I didn't have a clear view of your interpretation.  Is this a generally accepted understanding of the time prophecies by "evangelical Adventists"?  Or are there variations?

You mentioned that Des Ford has given up the literal creation and short chronology.  I don't want to bother him directly.  Could you explain his view of  the origin of man and the fall?  Was there a long period of creations and destructions before God came in and created man?  What is the significance of the weekly Sabbath to him?   Why is he so insistent on keeping the weekly Sabbath?   If you aren't sure, I can ask him directly. I have his email address.

Just a word about whether the whole universe was created 6000 years ago or not.  I have no problem with believing that there was a gap between the original universe of Gen. 1:1 and verse 3 when God fixed up this world.  Mars might be an example of a dormant world  ready to be fixed up for habitation.   As to the fourth commandment, "For in six days the Lord created heaven and earth and the sea and all that in them is"--this does not have to be an all-inclusive term for the whole universe.  On the second day God created the sky and called it "heaven" (v. 8)--the same word as in verse 1 (shemayim).   So there is a greater and a lesser meaning of "heaven."  On the third day He created the dry land which he called "earth" (aretz)--again there is a large meaning of "earth" as the whole world, and a smaller meaning, dry land.  When He created the dry land, the waters gathered into the seas.  So when the fourth commandment says "In six days the Lord created heaven and earth and the sea and all that in them is," it is referring to the sky, the dry land, the sea, and all the life in them, the work as described in days 2, 3, 5, and 6 of creation.

Just a thought.

I don't have a lot of time for reading long documents, so have mercy.  We do need to be patient with each other where our understandings of Scripture vary.

My best to you.
Sincerely,
Bea
4/18/2001

Editor: I have read Ken Ham's (Answers in Genesis) discussion of Genesis 1-3 and he seems to be able to show very conclusively that the Bible teaches a 6,000 year old universe. The "gap theory" cannot be supported either from the text or context of Genesis.


Name Calling?

I wish you would refrain from using such pejorative terms as "immature" to describe the majority view of the Seventh-day Adventist Church concerning the interpretation of Daniel 8:14. If you have ever dealt with evolutionists, you will discover that the main part of their method of countering creationism is to use disparagement and mischaracterization of the wisdom, intelligence, and even honesty of creationists. You are using exactly the same methods. This is especially inappropriate, because your position is wrong, and rests on scholarship that can be persuasively refuted.

The only reason why anyone sees 1150 days in Daniel 8:14, is because they are trying to make the Bible text fit their preconceived theory that the prophecy of Daniel 8:14 was fulfilled in the career of Antiochus Epiphanes. As I write this, I am referring to an article by Dr. Siegfried J. Schwantes, in the book Symposium on Daniel, which is Vol. 2 of the Daniel and Revelation Committee Series, edited by Frank B. Holbrook, and copyrighted in 1986 by the Biblical Research Institute. 'Ereb Boqer, the expression used in Daniel 8:14 that is translated "days" in the KJV, and evening-mornings in some other translations, is not a term that is used in the Bible to refer to the daily morning and evening sacrifice (the tamid ). The word tamid is not in the text, and the way the tamid sacrifices are usually referred to throughout the Bible is "morning-evening," not "evening-morning."

In the Bible, Genesis particularly, "evening-morning" is the formula used to refer to a day, which consists of the dark portion of the day followed by the light portion, reckoning from sunset to sunset. Furthermore, the words are singular in number, therefore must be taken as a unit. It is contrary to the grammar of the text to try to make it apply to morning sacrifices and evening sacrifices. The only reason why anyone tries to interpret this in such a way, is so that they can manufacture evidence to support the idea that the number given, 2300, should actually be divided into half, so it can more easily be made to fit the Antiochus Epiphanes interpretation. By the way, you should be concerned about the origin of the Antiochus Epiphanes interpretation. This view is a part of the preterist interpretation of Daniel, which was invented by a Jesuit scholar in an attempt to counter the Protestant interpretation which identified the Papacy as the Little Horn of Daniel 7. Actually, it goes back even further than that. This interpretation was originated by the Maccabees, in an attempt to give scriptural legitimacy to their assumption of power.

Jewish tradition glorifies the Maccabees, but the prophecy of Daniel 11:14 characterizes them as "the violent ones among your people," and exposes this very subterfuge by predicting that they would "lift themselves up in order to fulfill the vision, but they will fall down." Their false attempt to wrest the time prophecy of Daniel 8:14 to support their claim to power is actually predicted in this prophecy of Daniel 11:14. So by taking up the interpretation first enunciated by the Maccabbees, you are perpetuating the self-serving, Bible-wresting propaganda of the Maccabeean thugs (who, remember, are the ones who ultimately sold out Israel to Rome).

Ron Lambert
4/15/2001

Editor's reply: We at Present Truth Magazine reject the Maccabean interpretation of Daniel 8. Here is a link to an article on how to interpret Daniel.


H.M.S. Richards or Des Ford?

Hi Present Truth Magazine. I think you are mistaken in your efforts to discredit the significance of 1844.   I still like HMS Richards much better than Desmond Ford.

Gerry C. Wagoner
4/15/2001

Editors: The date, October 22,1844, is not to be found in the Bible. No matter how one may try to manipulate the meaning of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation.  For anyone to write a book entitled "1844 Made Simple" is to either knowingly or unknowingly seek to perpetuate an immature view of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation upon the purchased possession of Christ, the Christian church.  It is one thing to do so ignorantly and immaturely as did the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism, but it is quite another thing to do so today with the advance in understanding of the apostolic gospel of the New Testament. 

All that the pioneers of Seventh-day Adventism affirmed as beginning in the year October 22, 1844, in actual fact began at Pentecost.  This includes the sealing of God's people, the hour of God's judgment, the day of atonement, the last days, the latter rain, the high priestly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, the "1260 days" of the church's fleeing into the wilderness, and the "ten horned Beast" of pagan Rome followed by the "Little Horn" or "Image to the Beast" of papal Rome making war against the church and the gospel of Christ.  Daniel 8:14's  "2300 evening and morning sacrifices" until the temple is "restored" refers to the restoration of the apostolic gospel and the evangelical church that was cast down by the "Little Horn" of papal Rome.  The Protestant Reformation, which is still a work in progress, perfectly fulfills this allegorical prophecy of restoration.  

The entire Messianic era is symbolically portrayed in Daniel and Revelation as the final "3 and 1/2 times" or "1260 days" or "forty two months" of the final week of the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 when the "desolating prince" places the "abomination of desolation".   This "Desolator prince" makes war with the "Messiah the prince" until the "consummation is poured out upon the Desolator".  The conflict between the Messiah and the Desolator is symbolically portrayed as reaching a climax before the end of the 1260 symbolic days.   Thus Daniel 8:14 is symbolically pointing us to the restoration of the spiritual Temple of the church and the full truth of the gospel prior to the end of the allegorical "1260 day" era, NOT to a literal date in the year 1844. 

As our Lord's ministry was for 3 and 1/2 literal years, the church must minister the gospel to the world for "3 and 1/2" symbolic years clothed in sackcloth while fleeing from the wrath of the Dragon who seeks to destroy her (see Rev. 12).   These apocalyptic time periods are symbolic and allegorical in nature and are not to be taken as literal periods of years such as from AD. 538-1798 or from 457 BC. unto 1844 AD.   The only literal time period given in Daniel is the "seventy-sevens" from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gabriel is the angel who gave this time prophecy to Daniel and it was Gabriel the angel who announced its FULFILLMENT to the priest Zacharias and the young virgin Mary.   Zacharias was told by Gabriel that his wife would give birth to John the Baptist who would herald and prepare the way for the appearance of the Messiah.  The virgin Mary was told that she would give birth to the Anointed One, the Messiah Himself. 

Christ's ministry from His anointing in the Jordan River until He was "cut of, but not for Himself" lasted for the first half of the final "seven" of the prophecy. Then we see that it is in the second half of the final seven that the Desolator sets up the "abomination of desolation" in the temple until the final "consummation which is determined is poured out upon the Desolator".   This final "3 and 1/2 years" of the "seven" when the desolating Little Horn power makes war with the people, the temple, and the truth of the Messiah is applied by the New Testament as a symbolic term for the Christian era when pagan and papal Rome would make spiritual warfare with the church of Christ. 

Pagan Rome with its armies put and end to the temple in Jerusalem in AD. 70 thus fulfilling Christ's prediction that, because of Israel's rejection of her Messiah, Rome would desolate the temple and the city as "the abomination of desolation".  Then after the fall of the Roman empire, papal Rome, which supplanted the imperial Roman empire as the "Desolator", "healed the deadly wound" that Rome suffered in the fall of the Roman Empire by placing the throne of Rome inside the church itself.  The apostle Paul, in 2 Thess 2, refers to the removal of imperial Rome which "restrained" the full-blown appearance within the Christian church of the one referred to as the "Man of Sin".     

Thus the papal "pontiffs" now sit upon the old throne of the Roman Caesars, but now call the throne "the throne of Peter". The "seat of the Beast" has become the "seat of the false prophet" who sits in the Temple of the church claiming to speak for Jesus Christ. This is the apostate one who is in fact the Antichrist, the Desolator who has assumed the false identity of spokesman or "Vicar" of Jesus Christ.  

The extreme historicist schema that applies the "1260 days" as a literal 1260 year period from AD.538 to AD.1798 is over-literalizing the historical method of Biblical interpretation.  This over-literalizing also applies to the application of the "2300 evening and morning (sacrifices)" of Daniel 8:14 to a literal time period from 457 BC. to AD. October 22, 1844.    The Bible is just NOT teaching that these prophecies are to be interpreted as anything like traditional historicists attempt to do.  The "day for a year" principle (which is valid for the "Seventy Sevens" of Daniel 9 since this is an obvious play upon the "Seventy Years" of Babylonish captivity of Israel prophesied by Jeremiah) is being overly applied to the "Forty two months" and the "1260 days" of John's book of Revelation.  

The New Testament has allegorized the final half of the final week of Daniel the ninth chapter and applied it to the Messianic era beginning with the "anointing" of the church at Pentecost unto the ending of the Christian era when the gospel invitation ceases at the end of the age as the "two witnesses" lie dead in the streets of spiritual "Sodom".   Revelation 11 is NOT referring to the French Revolution and Revelation 13 is NOT referring to the Unites States of America.  The "ten horned Beast" and the "image to the Beast" is referring to pagan and papal Rome respectively for the allegorical era of the "1260 days" of the "abomination of desolation".  

In other words, the "seven heads" of the ten horned beast refer to the rule of the Caesars while the "eighth head" (Rev 17) refers to the "false prophet" of papal Rome after the seventh head receives a "deadly wound". The "falling of the stars" and the "dark day" and the "Lisbon earthquake" are NOT to be found in the book of Daniel or Revelation and it is time that the historicist school of prophetic interpretation comes to realize this and admit to the fact that we have been immature in our understanding of these prophecies.  The goal of Present Truth Magazine in wishing to see a clear break with the immaturity of the past is NOT to undo or destroy the influence of the Advent movement in its outreach and warning to the world.  It is only after a complete and thorough reformation of this movement away from the immaturity of the past that real headway will be made in accomplishing the high calling to bring the evangelical gospel to the world.   While we are urging the world to reject the false teachings of the Man of Sin, it is obvious to many within Adventism that this movement has its own work of reformation to accomplish.  This reformation will EVENTUALLY be accomplished with or without this generation of Adventists. God bless the Seventh-day Adventist movement. Editors. 


Not Being Fair

I am disappointed beyond words by your rather insensitive and unfeeling comments to and about Cliff Goldstein, and for many reasons. First, and foremost, Cliff is a brother in Christ. You may or may not agree with his theology or his eschatology. But to de facto assign "immaturity" to the views of someone with whom you disagree is not the best way to win them over. Frankly, your arguments are diminished in my own eyes by the way in which you state your case. I sincerely hope you find a better way to bring forth your points moving forward. Second, you appear not to have taken Cliff up on his offer of sending you his latest book and reading it for yourself before passing judgment. Cliff is one of our best writers, and one of the best in or out of the Adventist Church. The devotional he gave at the "Westpoint of Evangelism" in Simi Valley last December was one of the best talks that I've heard in ages; it was sheer poetry in its phrasing, utter logic in its presentation and pure gospel in its message.

I say all that not to build up Cliff, per se, but to suggest, again, that this is someone whose views merit serious and respectful consideration . You may agree with him. You may disagree. But to dismiss his work out of hand -- which your e-mails to Cliff seem to do -- is, to me, rather foolhardy and does not reflect the maturity and depth of thinking that you have shown in so many other situations. I believe, as many do, in the 1844 message. It helps me understand a great deal about Bible prophecy that had confused me previously. And while I would prefer that everyone see the verity of this message, I am not going to ram it down anyone's throat. I am certainly willing to entertain respectful discussion and review of these points. And I would hope, overall, that God will be far more kind to me in any of my failings than, frankly, some of your messages have been towards what you perceive to be Cliff Goldstein's errors.

Whatever your final thoughts on the doctrines taught and affirmed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Bill, you very much need to take a break, take a deep breath, and consider seriously whether or not your approach to those with whom you disagree is in keeping with the Gospel message you so fervently proclaim. May God guide your heart in this matter. Respectfully,

Mark Kellner


A Cult?

Prior to going to your site, I was on a Christian site that was discussing whether or not Seventh Day Adventists were a cult.  Someone had replied, and in their reply, your site address was listed.  I was intrigued by this person's reply, so I went to your site, and have been reading extensively for the past three hours. My question, are you a Seventh Day Adventist and if so, why has Ellen White's teaching not been mentioned? I do agree with much, if not everything, I have read thus far.  I belonged to an SDA church a few years back and their teachings relied heavily on the writings of Ellen White.  I always felt very uneasy about that, in fact, it was one of the reasons I left SDA. I would much appreciate a reply.  Thank you in advance for your time! Yours Truly,                      

Cindy 
2/24/2001

Editors: Please read "This We Deny" on the front page of the web site—Denial # 69-74. From this editor's observations, most Seventh-day Adventists have come a long way since the days of their pioneers of the19th century. Their heterodox "1844 doctrine" is seldom taught to the members any more and Ellen G. White's writings are no longer considered "inerrant".


Invisible Church?

Dear Friend. You must know Ty Gibson and Bob Jorgenson? Am I right? They believe in this visible and invisible church nonsense also. There are only two churches, Satan's and GOD'S. You are either in one or the other. This nonsense is from THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, A.T. Jones exposed this years ago and so did Martin Luther.

Pastor Les Balsiger
10/13/2000


Literal Genesis Creationism?

Sirs: Could you please let us know if you at Present Truth Magazine accept the literal Genesis account of creation?

Regards, Tom
California 5/19/2000

Editor: Tom, those who deny the historicity of the Genesis account of creation are offering a metaphorical interpretation which is completely theologically unsatisfying and reflective in content of those liberal Protestant theologians who have taken over the mainline denominations which were once the main stay of Biblical gospel teaching. It only takes one or two generations of "metaphorizing" the Genesis account of creation until the entire apostolic Pauline gospel is reduced to a mere ecumenical humanistic moralism and social gospel as we see today in the Wesleyan, Calvinist, and Lutheran religious streams today.

It seems like a very small and insignificant departure from the "faith once delivered to the saint" to allow an allegorical or parable interpretation of the Genesis account to be taught along side of the evangelical gospel, but with the passing of time this small departure from the word of God will widen more and more and become like the proverbial snowball rolling down a hill which gains in size and momentum as it rolls along. Who would have guessed 100 years ago that the mainline evangelical denominations would today be openly advocating Neo Darwinian evolution and millions of years of death and suffering as the means that  "God used to create all the life on Earth"? Who would have guessed that they would be advocating a humanistic moralist view of why Christ died on the cross and deny that our Lord Jesus Christ was the eternal creator God incarnate? Who would have guessed that the truths of the Bible would be so compromised so as to allow all the mainline Christian denominations to seek reunification with the unbiblical and mythical religion of Papal Rome? How do they all fit Darwinism into the Christian message? By declaring that God at some point in the evolutionary process put an "immortal soul" into the evolved human animal and thus made man in the "image of God".

Where did all this departure from the faith begin? It all began with the denial by the leaders of these denominations of the literalness of the Genesis account of creation, the fall of man, and the entrance of sin and death as found in the Bible. Without this historical foundation for the Christian faith, the entire structure falls down like the tower of Babylon. With the first question of whether the Serpent in the Garden was real comes the next question of whether the Devil and his demons are real. Then the next question is whether the Garden was real or even if Adam and Eve were real!!!

It is for this reason that the seventh day Sabbath will be a test of loyalty for the entire world in the last days. The Sabbath is the linchpin which holds together the entire foundation of the Christian plan of salvation. Without a literal six day creation of which the Sabbath is a memorial, there can be no meaning to the message of the salvation of death deserving sinners by the unmerited grace of God alone through faith alone in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ alone as revealed in the Bible alone.

The Protestant Reformation will push onward and be brought to its conclusion regardless of those who wish to compromise on the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Give it the label of "fundamentalism" or whatever some choose to call it, without a firm stand upon the literal creation account of Genesis, the Christian message will lose its power to save and will open the world to the deceptions that will shortly overtake all the peoples of the world who love a lie rather than the truth.

The challenge as to whether the Bible account of creation is "scientific" and the suggestion that it is merely "theological" in nature like Paul's epistle to the Romans is not a new challenge. The simple answer to this challenge is that the Bible account is "scientific" if by that term we mean that the Genesis account relates literal events which factually took place in time and were recorded by God's prophets historically and accurately.

Of all the four "solas", Sola Scriptura is the most fundamental and important of all. Without a high view of the Bible and the Genesis account of creation, Sola Fide, Sola Gratia, and Solo Christo become mere sentimental drivel of a by gone era and something to be looked back upon with a warm fuzzy glow like the belief in Santa Claus.

This sentimentalism is the mind set of many former Christians who have given up faith in the word of God as it reads. Many have lost their firm hold upon their faith in the Bible as the true word of God and the Protestant movement as the final restoration of all the truth that the Antichrist has cast to the ground. They have become so involved and distracted by the politics and side issues within their religious communities that they fail to see the forest because of the trees. They so pick and pick at the immature theological and character flaws of the pioneers of the Protestant movement that they faint along the way and lose their faith. They fail to see that there is within this movement a God ordained purpose being fulfilled. The true evangelical gospel of Jesus Christ is developing and being proclaimed just as surely as within the Jewish nation of the first century God was moving and acting to bring forth the everlasting gospel to take to all the world.

Most of the Jews never knew that the day of their visitation had come and gone without their having even recognized its passing. They were so involved in the distractions of the day and the politics of the day and the popular personalities of the day that they did not notice that the day of their visitation had passed. Their humble unrecognized Messiah had come to them born in a stable and recognized only by uneducated shepherds and despised Gentile pagans coming from distant lands with their gifts and worship. Their King proclaimed to them the free gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of their sins, but they chose Caesar as their only king and elected to nail this "imposter" who claimed to be God to a cross. When Jerusalem their holy city was destroyed thirty years later they were amazed and never knew why God had finally forsaken them. They had allowed their false prophets and false messiahs to drown out the simple gospel message that had been proclaimed throughout their city by an unpopular "sect" that was despised by the liberal Sadducees who called them "fundamentalists" and the conservative Pharisees who called them false prophets of "cheap grace".

The comparison of the literal creation account of Genesis to the medieval error of the flat earth as the center of the universe is ridiculous and is a mere straw man argument. The fact is that the Darwinian theory of origins and the big bang theory are on shakier scientific ground than they have ever been. The scientific community is frantically seeking to prop these theories up with more and more incredible mathematical gymnastics and distorted interpretations of fossil finds, but their mythologies are sounding more and more like drowning men grasping at straws. The very labels with which these secular humanists are painting the young universe Biblical creationists are falling back upon their own heads as events like the eruption of Mt. St. Helens are blowing to pieces the revered theories of all the cosmologists in archeology, geology, anthropology, biology, and physics. With each new discovery of the scientific community the simple historical account of Genesis 1 11 becomes more and more believable and logical to the honest inquirer after truth. God Himself is verifying His word and is confounding all the pride and unbelief of the world's great men of science falsely so called.

In the final days of this earth every lie of the Enemy will be exposed and God's word will be validated as true for all men of true faith and then the end will come. There will be no fortress of lies in which to hide. The walls of Jericho are and will continue to come tumbling down. God is looking for men and women of faith who will join the march around city whose foundations are lies and whose founder is the father of all lies.

Bill


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