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Pastor Scott Markle

Independent Fundamental Baptist
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Pastor Scott Markle last won the day on April 20

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About Pastor Scott Markle

  • Rank
    Abiding in Christ
  • Birthday 08/13/1971

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    http://www.shepherdingtheflock.com

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    Male
  • Location:
    Melvin, MI
  • Are you IFB?
    Yes

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  • Bio
    My name is Scott Markle, and I have served the Lord my God and Savior in pastoral ministry since 1992. I have served as the pastor of Melvin Baptist Church, a small country church in the Thumb area of Michigan, since 1998. I have been joyfully married to my beloved wife Kerry since 1993; and we have been blessed of the Lord with two sons, Padraic and Westley.

    My life-verses are Philippians 3:8 and John 15:4-5. "Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ." "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine: no more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in, and I in him, the same bringeth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." The burden of my life is to pursue "the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord" and to walk daily abiding in Christ, and Christ in me.

    Concerning all my ministry, it is the burden of my heart to exalt, not myself, but the name of Jesus Christ and the truth of God's Word. It is my burden that Christ must increase, while I must decrease. Therefore, I maintain the policy that my name, as the author of a book, must remain smaller, while the phrase, "For the Glory of the Lord," must stand larger above it. Thus far the Lord our God has graciously allowed me to self-publish three books and a three booklets, as well as to produce a line of Scripture memory cards, which all can be purchased at my website: www.shepherdingtheflock.com. In addition, I maintain a monthly Bible study blog at that website.

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  1. Saved in 3 tenses?

    Sister Rose, First, when the Lord God states in Ezekiel 18:4 that all souls are His, He means more than that He is the Creator of all souls. He also means that He is the sovereign authority over all souls, such that He is the one who shall judge all souls according to His own will. Second, when considering the usage of the word "soul" in God's Word, we must remember that the word basically refers unto the essential personhood of a person. Even so, the word "soul" is not always employed as a technical term for the inner-man, intangible soul of a person. Sometimes the word "soul" is simply employed with the meaning of "person." As such, in the contexts of "death" and "life," the word soul could be employed concerning a person's physical death or life in relation to this world; or it could be employed concerning a person's spiritual death or life in relation to fellowship with or separation from fellowship with God. Concerning Ezekiel 18, I would contend that the word "soul" is employed in relation to a person's physical death or life. The word "soul" is found within three verses in Ezekiel 18, as follows: Ezekiel 18:4 -- "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die." Ezekiel 18:20 -- "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." Ezekiel 18:27 -- "Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive." From these verses we understand that the judgment of death will be administered upon the soul that sins against the Lord God, but also that repentance of sin can save a soul alive from that judgment of death. However, the matters of death and life are mentioned all throughout the chapter, and are generally referenced simply in application to the person as a person (wherein personal pronouns are employed, rather than the word "soul"). In Ezekiel 18:5-9 a listing of righteous behavior upon this earth is presented; and then the conclusion is given at the end of verse 9, "He is just, he shall surely live, saith the LORD God." Even so, this appears to be a reference unto the physical life of this righteous person, that he shall not experience the judgment of physical death, but shall surely remain physically alive. Furthermore, the whole of Ezekiel 18:5-9 is grammatically and contextually presented in direct contrast to the statement of Ezekiel 18:4. In Ezekiel 18:10-13 a listing of unrighteous behavior upon this earth is presented for the first man's son; and then the conclusion is given at the end of verse 13, "He shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him." Even so, this appears to be a reference unto the judgment of physical death for this unrighteous person, specifically because of his unrighteous ways. In fact, it is worthy to notice the reference unto "his blood." In Ezekiel 18:14-17 a listing of righteous behavior upon this earth is presented for the second man's son; and then the conclusion is given at the end of verse 17, "He shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live." Even so, this appears to be a reference unto the physical life of this righteous person, that he shall not experience the judgment of physical death due to his father's iniquity, but shall surely remain physically alive. In Ezekiel 18:18 this above son's father is referenced again with a short listing of his unrighteous behavior; and then the verse concludes, "Lo, even he shall die in his iniquity." Even so, this appears again to be a reference unto the judgment of physical death for this unrighteous person. In Ezekiel 18:19-20 we find the truth that fathers and sons shall not bear the iniquity and judgment of the other, but that they shall live or die according to their own righteousness or wickedness. "Yet say ye, Why? Doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him." It is worthy to notice in these verses the direct contrast between a person surely living for his righteousness and a soul dying for his unrighteousness. Even so, this appears to be a contrast between physically living and the judgment of physical death. In Ezekiel 18:21-23 we find a promise of forgiveness for those unrighteousness individuals who would turn from their unrighteousness, "But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?" Again, this appears to be a promise that such a repentant person shall not experience the judgment of physical death for his unrighteous ways, but shall remain physically alive specifically because of the righteousness of his repentant heart and ways. Indeed, the Lord our God herein indicates that it is His pleasure, not for the wicked person to die in his iniquity, but for the wicked person to repent and live. In Ezekiel 18:24 we find a pronouncement of judgment upon those righteous individuals who would turn from the righteousness unto unrighteousness, "But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die." Again, this appears to be a reference unto the judgment of physical death, specifically because of this person's trespasses and sins. Finally, in Ezekiel 18:25-32 we find the Lord God's response unto the complaint of the Israelites that He was not being fair in this matter, "Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? Are not your ways unequal? When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? Are not your ways unequal? 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 ye." Yet again, this all appears to be a reference unto the judgment of physical death for unrighteousness and unto the promise of physical life for repentance. Indeed, this conclusion to the chapter continues the same principles of death and of life as we find throughout the entire chapter. Thus it is worthy to notice the interchangeable usage of the word "soul" with the personal pronoun references unto the person. Even so, as I stated near the beginning of this posting, I myself conclude and contend that this entire chapter concerns the matters of physical death and life, and that the usage of the word "soul" simply refers unto the person in this life upon the earth.
  2. Does 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 teach the sign gifts have ceased?

    Brother David, It appears to me (although I cannot provide substantial proofs thereof) that the apostle Paul is employing a hyperbolic extreme in order to make his point concerning the absolute importance and necessity for charity (godly love toward one another) in the administration of spiritual gifts. It appears to me as if the apostle is saying -- Although I might possess and administer the spiritual gift of tongues-speaking unto the nth degree, including the ability to speak even with the tongues of angels, but do not have charity, all of my tongues-speaking is become worthless, "as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal." My evidence for this position is that it appears to follow with every point that the apostle makes within 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 -- 1. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels . . . ." 2. "And though I have the gift of prophecy . . . ." 3. ". . . And understand all mysteries, and all knowledge . . . ." 4. ". . . And though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains . . . ." 5. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor . . . ." 6. ". . . And though I give my body to be burned . . . ." The first of these points is that under question. The second and third of these points is a definite Biblical possibility for the apostle Paul. The fourth of these points is possible for the apostle, but I am not aware of any recorded indication that he ever removed a mountain. The fifth of these points is also possible for the apostle, but I am not aware of any recorded indication that he ever actually did this. The sixth of these points appears to be the least probable for the apostle. Although he did pour out his life in a martyrs death under persecution for the sake of Christ, I am not aware that it was through the means of burning. On the other hand, if it might be demonstrated that the apostle did in fact engage in all of the other activities, then this would provide evidence that he also engaged fully in the first activity. Such is my best response at the present time. I pray that it was of some help.
  3. Does 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 teach the sign gifts have ceased?

    Concerning 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 - The Primary Point 1 Corinthians 13:8 begins with the declaration, “Charity never faileth.” The remainder of the verse then presents the contrasting truth, “But whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.” The nature of this contrast indicates that this truth concerns the matter of longevity in usefulness and importance. This then is the primary point of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 – that the motivation of charity (of godly love toward one another) in the administration of spiritual gifts is more important than the administration of the gifts themselves. The evidence for this truth is that the usefulness and importance of charity shall never fail (shall never come to an end), even throughout the eternal future. On the other hand, the usefulness and necessity of these spiritual gifts shall indeed come to an end (whenever that end might be). As important and useful as the administration of spiritual gifts may be for the body of Christ, the church, the motivation of charity is “a more excellent way.” (See 1 Corinthians 12:31) Yeah, although we may “speak with the tongues of men and of angels [a reference unto the spiritual gift of tongues-speaking], and have not charity,” we are “become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:1) Furthermore, although we might “have the gift of prophecy [a reference unto the spiritual gift of prophecy], and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge [a reference unto the spiritual gift of special-knowledge];” and although we might “have all faith,” so that we “could remove mountains [possibly a reference unto the spiritual gift of miracles], and have not charity,” we are “nothing.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:2) Finally, although we might “bestow all [our] goods to feed the poor [possibly a reference unto the spiritual gift of helps],” and although we might “give [our] body to be burned, and have not charity,” it profits us absolutely “nothing.” (See 1 Corinthians 13:3) In fact, 1 Corinthians 13:13 concludes this passage with the declaration, “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Among the three great spiritual characteristics of faith, hope, and charity, the greatest of these three concerning the matter of longevity in usefulness and importance is charity. In the essence of His eternal character, 1 John 4:16 declares that “God is love.” However, there is no declaration of Scripture which indicates that the essence of God’s eternal character is faith or hope. Furthermore, although the characteristics of faith, hope, and charity are all absolutely necessary for our godly walk in this life upon the earth, when we in the eternal life to come within the eternal presence of the Lord our God, we will no longer need the characteristics of faith and hope. Indeed, by their very definitions, faith and hope will no longer be needed. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Romans 8:24) On the other hand, the Biblical characteristic shall continue throughout the eternal future. Just as godly love existed in the eternal past between the Persons of the triune Godhead, even so godly love shall ever continue to exist between us believers and the Godhead throughout the everlasting future of the perfect, heavenly fellowship. So then, as we study the doctrine of cessation within 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, if we lose sight of the truth that charity (godly love toward one another) is “a more excellent way” even than the administration of spiritual gifts, then we will have fallen short of the primary Biblical truth that is intended through this passage. Let us take heed that we not fall short.
  4. Repentance What is it?

    Uh oh, can of worms time.
  5. When Did Jesus Die

    Brother "Swathdiver," I do not mind at all. In fact, I would find it a privilege to receive and consider your timeline spreadsheet (although I may not necessarily agree with all of it). The following is my public email address (which I do not mind posting here): shepherdingtheflock@earthlink.net Brother, I understand. For the sake of information, I used the word "since" because that is the specific English word that is found in the King James translation of Luke 24:21 -- "But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done." In this context the word "since" means "after in time." However, when I ask my questions using the word "after," I commonly received the complaint that the verse does not actually use the word "after" and thus that my questions are faulty questions. From my perspective, those who hold to a Wednesday crucifixion and who hold to three precise 24 hour periods in the grave would numerically require the following timeline: 1. Wednesday -- Crucifixion 2. Wednesday 6pm - Thursday 6 pm -- First day after the crucifixion 3. Thursday 6pm - Friday 6pm -- Second day after the crucifixion 4. Friday 6pm - Saturday 6pm -- Third day after the crucifixion 5. Saturday 6pm -- Resurrection (precisely the conclusion of three 24 hour periods in the grave, so able to be considered as the precise conclusion of the third day of three days, as well as precisely the beginning of Sunday, the first day of the week) 6. Saturday 6pm - Sunday 6pm -- Fourth day after the crucifixion However, I do not wish to assume this timeline for anyone; therefore, I am compelled to ask. Basically, I am seeking to know if you hold this timeline, such that Saturday (unto the precise moment of 6pm) is the third day after the crucifixion, which would then logically and numerically make Sunday the fourth day after the crucifixion (according to your position).
  6. Saved in 3 tenses?

    Sister Rose, First, I would present the correction that it does not say that everyone's spirit will go "to be WITH God." Rather, it indicates that everyone's spirit will "RETURN unto God." Being WITH God is a more relational statement. Returning unto God simply indicates the authority under which everyone's spirit returns. Second, I would explain that this verse simply teaches that every human individual's spirit will return under the authority of God for the Lord God to judge that spirit as HE chooses. I would further explain that the Lord God's judgment of that spirit occurs in the very instant of death so that there is not truly any time lapse between death and hell or death and heaven respectively.
  7. Does 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 teach the sign gifts have ceased?

    Concerning 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 - A Thematic Outline As I indicated in my previous posting, the primary intention of 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 is to demonstrate the inferiority of spiritual gifts in relation to the superiority of charity (godly love toward others) as the spiritual motivation for the administration of spiritual gifts. Thus 1 Corinthians 13:8 begins with the declaration, "Charity never faileth." Throughout all of eternity charity shall continue, for the Lord our God Himself IS characterized by love eternally. In contrast to this, 1 Corinthians 13:8 further indicates that the spiritual gifts of prophecy, tongues-speaking, and knowledge shall at some point come to an end. Concerning this truth of cessation, the outline of 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 would be as follows: 1. The Declaration of Cessation (1 Corinthians 13:8) "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away." 2. The Explanation of Cessation (1 Corinthians 13:9-10) "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." 3. The Illustration of Cessation (1 Corinthians 13:11) "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." 4. The Description of Cessation (1 Corinthians 13:12) "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
  8. Does 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 teach the sign gifts have ceased?

    Concerning 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 - A Contextual Introduction As I stated in my previous posting, this passage is located within the most extensive Biblical teaching concerning spiritual gifts, since that teaching extends throughout 1 Corinthians 12-14, including the "charity" teaching in 1 Corinthians 13. Indeed, all three chapters are about the matter and ministry of spiritual gifts. Even so, I would present a contextual outline for the entirety of these three chapters, as follows: 1. The Singular Divine Source for the Diversity of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthian 12:1-11) 2. The Importance for the Diversity of Spiritual Gifts within Christ's Body (1 Corinthians 12:12-18) 3. The Importance for Unity in the Administration of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:19-27) 4. The Divine Order of Importance for Different Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:28-31) 5. The Importance of Charity in the Administration of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 13:1-7) 6. The Superiority of Charity in the Administration of Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 13:8-13) 7. The Superiority of Prophesying over Tongue-speaking for Edification (1 Corinthians 14:1-12) 8. The Superiority of Clarity and Understanding over Tongue-speaking (1 Corinthians 14:13-25) 9. Biblical Regulations for the Administration of Prophesying and Tongue-speaking (1 Corinthians 14:26-40) So then, the passage under questions and its teaching concerning cessation is located with point six of this outline -- The Superiority of Charity in the Administration of Spiritual Gifts. Thus whatever the teaching of this passage concerning the cessation of prophesying, tongue-speaking, and knowledge, its primary intention is to demonstrate the inferiority of these spiritual gifts in relation to the superiority of charity in spiritual motivation.
  9. Saved in 3 tenses?

    Indeed, there are many who so misconstrue fellowship passages as salvation passages; and when they do, they end up packing more into the requirements of salvation than Biblical repentance and faith, either more to obtain salvation or more to maintain salvation. Praise the Lord. There truly is nothing better in all of eternal existence than to grow deeper and deeper in you fellowship with the Lord your God and Savior. NOTHING WHATSOEVER AT ALL BETTER!!!! Yet that growth in fellowship definitely requires a growing depth of faith, for within this life faith in the Lord our God is the very foundation for fellowship with the Lord our God.
  10. Saved in 3 tenses?

    Sister Rose, In order to understand an answer to these questions, we must somewhat understand both the difference and the connection between the human spirit and the human soul. I myself believe that a human individual upon this earth may be described as consisting of three basic parts -- the spirit and the soul and the body. I believe this based upon the statement of 1 Thessalonians 5:23 -- "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Note: This verse also indicates that God's work of salvation and sanctification which ultimately leads unto glorification encompasses the whole human individual, including spirit and soul and body.) Based upon how the idea of "soul" is used throughout Scripture, I believe that the human "soul" IS the very essence of the human person. I further believe that the human soul is given a body in order that the human soul may interact with the physical world, and that the human soul is given a spirit in order that the human soul may interact in fellowship with God. (Note: Yet because in the lost condition the human spirit is dead to God "in trespasses and sins," an unsaved individual CANNOT at all in any manner experience the spiritual life and fellowship of God, until that individual is spiritually regenerated through faith in Christ as Savior.) On the other hand, although I believe that the human soul and the human spirit are separate parts of the human individual, I also believe that these two parts are so closely connected within the human individual that we humans cannot truly distinguish the precise dividing line between them. In fact, it requires the precise sharpness and discernment of God's own Word itself to distinguish precisely this dividing line between them. Even so, Hebrews 4:12 declares, "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." As such, I believe that the human spirit, by whatever spiritual character it may have, ALWAYS has a level of influence upon the human soul. For an unbeliever that human spirit is utterly sinful in its character, and thus has a continual influence of sinful corruption upon the human soul. Furthermore, since the unbeliever also possesses "the flesh," the sinful principle of selfishness within the soul, the unbeliever only experiences sinful influences from within at any and every given moment. However, the case of the believer is different. For a believer the human spirit is regenerated, being created after God "in righteousness and true holiness" (see Ephesians 4:24), and thus has a continual influence of godly direction upon the human soul. Yet a believer also still retains "the flesh," the sinful principle of selfishness within the soul, which ever influences the believer toward selfishness in contradiction to the godly influence of the believer's regenerate spirit (which is indwelt by Holy Spirit and which stands in perfect union of godly influence with the Holy Spirit). For this reason a believer ever experiences a raging war within between the godly, righteous influence of the Spirit and the ungodly, selfish influence flesh. (See Galatians 5:17) With the above in mind, let us consider your questions: Indeed, our soul must be "saved" in order to go unto Heaven; and the Lord God accomplishes this "saving of the soul" through the work of sanctification. Ultimately the Lord our God will perfect this work of soul-sanctification at the moment of the believer's death, thus granting that perfectly sanctified soul-spirit entrance into His presence in heaven. Furthermore, the Lord our God completes this work of perfect sanctification at that moment because the believer is in Christ through faith and because the believer is thereby a regenerate child of God at the level of the spirit. The believer's spirit is "dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (See Romans 6:11) Therefore, the believer IS a child of God; and as a child of God, the believer shall be made perfectly like unto Christ (see 1 John 3:1-2) and shall receive a heavenly inheritance (see Romans 8:16-17; Galatians 4:7; 1 Peter 1:3-5) (Note: 1 Peter 1:3-5 directly connects this promised inheritance with our eternal security.) So then, although a believer might walk in "soul-death" within his or her daily walk upon the earth, that believer ever remains spiritually alive at the level of his or her regenerate spirit. Furthermore, although a believer might walk in "soul-death" within his or her daily walk upon the earth, that believer's soul will be made perfectly sanctified and alive (having "the flesh," the sinful principle of selfishness, completely removed) at the moment of death and entrance into the heavenly presence of God. It is true that a believer cannot depart from God at all whatsoever on the level of his or her regenerate spirit. Thus it would be true that a believer could never "ultimately' depart from God at THAT level. However, I believe that a genuine believer can indeed depart from God in a complete lifestyle of rebellion at the level of his or her soul's character and life's conduct. Such a believer would be one who himself or herself "shall be saved, yet so as by fire," as per 1 Corinthians 3:15. As such, from human observation such a believer would appear to have completely departed from God unto some manner of selfishness, worldliness, and ungodliness. However, the truth which is more important is that because the regenerate spirit and the indwelling Holy Spirit resides within the New Testament believer, the Lord our God never disowns His child and never departs from being the heavenly Father of His child. (Note: Even in the parable of the prodigal, there is no indication that the father of the prodigal disowned his son from the father-son relationship.) Indeed, the Lord our God will depart from walking in moment-by-moment FELLOWSHIP with his disobedient and rebellious children; but the Lord our God never departs from His own faithfulness as the Heavenly Father of His children or from His own responsibility of discipline against His children (see Hebrews 12:6-8).
  11. Saved in 3 tenses?

    Concerning the Parable of the Prodigal Son & the Older Brother (Part 3 of 3) It is possible to consider and apply the truth of this parable as a singular unit of its own, and thereby to separate it from the context of Luke 15 as a whole. In such a case, an individual could focus upon the father-son relationship that is presented within the parable, and could view the parable as speaking concerning the relationship of God the Father with His dear children, that is – with those who are His children through faith in Christ. Even so, the prodigal son would then be viewed as representing believers who go away backward from the Lord our God through a complete lifestyle of worldliness; whereas the older brother would then be viewed as representing believers who go away backward from the Lord our God in heart attitude while maintaining faithfulness in religious practice. In addition, the primary truth of the parable would be that there is a way of spiritual return and revival through repentance for backslidden believers, and that such repentance is required equally for both a lifestyle of utter worldliness and an attitude of selfish hypocrisy. Yet within this consideration and application of the parable, the question might arise how a genuine child of God might be “dead and then alive again” and might be “lost and then found,” as per Luke 15:24, 32. First, it is important for us to recognize that these statements are made as figurative statements by the father himself within the parable. So then, we may ask – In what way was the prodigal “dead” and “lost” to his father? Certainly it was not because the prodigal had physically died or necessarily because the father had no idea where his son had gone. Rather, it was because their relationship of fellowship was broken (“dead” and “lost” to the father) when the prodigal departed to the far country. Second, we must understand the essential meaning of “death” as presented through God’s Word. We ourselves have the tendency to think of “death” as a cessation. The lungs cease breathing. The heart ceases pumping. The brain ceases processing. The body ceases functioning. The person ceases living. Yet God’s Word does not present “death” essentially as a cessation, but more so as a separation. While physical death does mean that the person ceases living in this life, it does not mean that the person ceases living and existing altogether; for the person in the form of soul-spirit continues to “live” and exist in the life to come. Thus God’s Word defines physical death as the moment when the soul-spirit separates from the physical body. This principle of separation also defines the second death, the lake of fire. (See Revelation 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:8) The second death is eternal death. It is not a complete and eternal separation from God altogether, for God Himself IS present in the lake of fire. First, the Lord our God is infinitely present, and thus present even in the lake of fire. Second, the lake of fire is a part of creation, “prepared for the devil and his angels” (see Matthew 25:41); and as the One who sustains all creation, the Lord our God is present to sustain the eternal existence of the lake of fire. Third, the lake of fire is the place wherein the Lord God’s infinite wrath is “poured out without mixture” (see Revelation 14:10-11) and thus the Lord our God is present there in the eternal outpouring of His wrath. So then, in what manner is the lake of fire a separation? When Revelation 14:10 indicates that God’s wrath is poured out in the lake of fire “without mixture,” it means that His infinite wrath is not at all in even the smallest manner diluted by God’s goodness, grace, mercy, love, kindness. This is the eternal separation of the second death, the lake of fire – a complete and eternal separation from any experience whatsoever at all in God’s goodness, grace, mercy, love, and kindness. This principle of separation also defines the spiritually lost condition of the unsaved, who are “dead in trespasses and sins.” (See Ephesians 2:1) This means that they are the children of sinful disobedience and spiritual darkness (see Ephesians 2:2, 5:8), being separate from the family of God. This means that they are without Christ as their Savior, without hope of a heavenly home, and without God as their heavenly Father. (See Ephesians 2:12) This means that they are completely separated “from the life of God” through the spiritual blindness of their hearts. (see Ephesians 4:18) Their spirit is dead. This does not mean that their spirit is non-existent. Rather, this means that on the level of their spirit, they are completely dead to God in sin. They are completely separated from any spiritual ability to have spiritual fellowship with God the Father. So then, is there a Biblical manner in which the children of God might experience spiritual deadness? Speaking to the children of God, Romans 8:12-13 gives answer, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” At the moment of faith in Christ for salvation, a believer is regenerated at the level of the spirit. The old spirit, that was spiritually dead to God and completely “corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (see Ephesians 4:22), is crucified with Christ and removed; and a new spirit, “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (see Ephesians 4:24) replaces that old spirit. Even so, at the level of the spirit, the believer is a new creation in Christ Jesus, such that the old spirit is completely passed away, and the believer’s spirit is completely made new. (See 2 Corinthians 5:17) Yet while living upon this earth, the believer still retains his or her sinful flesh, the principle of selfishness within the believer’s soul. (See Romans 7:17-18, 23) Thus every single moment of this life a war rages within the believer’s soul. This war rages between the believer’s regenerated spirit in union with the indwelling Holy Spirit and the believer’s sinful, selfish flesh. (See Galatians 5:17) Indeed, this war rages over controlling influence upon the believer’s soul, encompassing the motivations of the believer’s heart, the thoughts of the believer’s mind, the feelings of the believer’s emotion, and the decisions of the believer’s will. (See 1Peter 2:11) Even so, when a believer walks after the influence of his or her sinful, selfish flesh, that believer experiences a spiritual deadness in his or her daily walk. (See Romans 8:13) On the other hand, when a believer walks after the influence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, that believer experiences abundant spiritual life in his or her daily walk. (See Romans 8:13) However, the spiritual deadness that a believer experiences when walking after the influence his or her sinful, selfish flesh is not on the level of the believer’s spirit, but is only on the level of the believer’s soul. The believer’s regenerate spirit is created after God’s own likeness in perfect righteousness and holiness, whereby the believer is a partaker of the divine nature. (See Ephesians 4:24 & 2 Peter 1:4) In addition, the believer’s spirit is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. (See Romans 8:16) This regenerated spirit cannot be corrupted by sin, and thus cannot experience spiritual deadness. However, the believer’s soul still needs to be transformed unto the perfect character of Christ through the process of sanctification. (See Romans 12:2 & 2 Corinthians 3:18) Thus the believer CAN experience sinful corruption in the character of the soul and CAN experience spiritual deadness at the level of the soul. This spiritual deadness would be defined as a separation from the moment-by-moment fellowship of God at the level of the believer’s soul. (See 1 John 1:6) Indeed in the realm of a believer’s daily walk, that believer could become “dead” and “lost” to the fellowship of God the Father. Yet there is a way back to the fullness and abundance of God’s blessed fellowship. That way back is by means of broken hearted repentance. Even so, the parable of the prodigal son and the older brother could be viewed and applied in order to communicate this principle of repentance. In conclusion, I would list the four realms of “death” as follows: 1. Physical Death – impacting an individual’s physical life upon this earth, being the separation of the soul-spirit from the body. 2. Eternal Death (the second death) – impacting an individual’s whole person for eternity, being the separation of the individuals from any part in God’s goodness, grace, mercy, love, kindness, so as only to experience the judgment of God’s infinite wrath forever. 3. Spiritual Death – impacting an unbeliever’s spirit (and thereby also the individual’s soul), being the complete separation of the individual’s spirit from the life, family, and fellowship of God, so as to be the children of sinful disobedience and spiritual darkness. 4. Soulish Death – impacting a believer’s soul (but not the believer’s spirit), being a separation from the blessed and abundant fellowship of God in the believer’s daily walk (but not a separation from the believer’s family relationship with God). It is worthy to notice that in every one of these cases, the foundational cause for the “death” element is sin. Even so, James 1:15 declares, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth for sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” This principle is a spiritually universal principle that affects both believers and unbelievers. In fact, in its context James 1:15 was written to believers concerning their daily spiritual walk.
  12. When Did Jesus Die

    Then, Brother "Swathdiver," you will be compelled to view my position on the entire matter as wrong also. In response, I would ask you the following questions: 1. Can you provide a single verse of the New Testament wherein the word "early" is clearly used for the evening hours of the day? 2. According to your position, what all precisely would be encompassed as the third day since (after) the crucifixion? 3. According to your position, when precisely did the third day since (after) the crucifixion end? 4. According to your position, what all precisely would be encompassed as the fourth day since (after) the crucifixion?
  13. When Did Jesus Die

    Actually, the problem is even bigger than that; for in Luke 24:20-21 the two disciples on the road to Emmaus stated, "And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done." Now, their communication with our Lord Jesus Christ as they journeyed to Emmaus occurred during the afternoon on Sunday. Thus the entirety of Sunday, including the afternoon thereof, has to be recognized as the THIRD DAY (not the fourth day) since (from, after) the crucifixion. From my perspective, it is numerically impossible for the entirety of Sunday to be the THIRD DAY since (from, after) the crucifixion if our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on Wednesday. (Note: It is an interesting fact that the truth that our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected "the third day" (see Matthew 16:21; 20:18-19; Mark 9:31; 10:33-34; Luke 9:22; 18:31-33; 24:6-7; 24:20-21; 24:46; Acts 10:40; 1 Corinthians 15:3-4) is presented in the New Testament almost twice as often as a reference to the truth that His resurrection and the events related to the resurrection were "the first day of the week" (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; 20:19). I wonder then if one of these two truths is more significant than the other in relation to the timing of our Lord Jesus Christ's resurrection?)
  14. When Did Jesus Die

    No I do NOT. As I have presented earlier in this thread discussion (here), I cannot find a single occasion in the New Testament wherein the word "early" (and the Greek word from which it is translated in Mark 16:9) is used for the evening hours of a day, but can ONLY find that when the word is used in the New Testament for the time of a day, it is ALWAYS used for the MORNING hours of the day. (Note: I DO acknowledge that the Jewish 24 hour day began at 6pm of what we would consider the previous day, so that their viewpoint of a day began with the first watch of the evening, ran through the four watches of the night, and then extended from morning to evening.)
  15. When Did Jesus Die

    The Scriptures themselves teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected the first day of the week, which was Sunday. Furthermore, the Scriptures themselves teach that the day on which our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected, that is -- Sunday, was itself the third day since (from, after) His crucifixion (NOT the fourth day since). Finally, the Scriptures themselves teach that our Lord Jesus Christ was resurrected early in the morning hours on the first day of the week (Sunday). Even so, I am compelled to reject as incorrect any position that contradicts these specific points of Scripture. I would agree that Mary Magdalene came to the tomb twice, the first time with the other women and the second time alone. On the other hand, I am not aware of any indication that Peter went to the tomb itself more than once.
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