R E Taet
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R E Taet
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6:54 PM - Mar 12, 2008 #11

InterestedSister wrote:
Elders are given a double portion of the Holy Spirit so that they can feed and protect the church.


I have heard this many times but I have never heard it backed up scripturally. I have searched my self but cannot find any reference to a double portion
of the Holy Spirit being given to anyone. Where in the Bible does this come from? All I can find is that Elijah asked that Elisha's spirit (not the Holy Spirit) be doubly upon him:



2Ki 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before
I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

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R E Taet
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4:55 PM - Mar 13, 2008 #12

I did some more searching and found this verse, which is the closest I can find: (though the verse does not deal with the Holy Spirit.)


1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and
doctrine.
At first glance it looks like it could possible support the idea of a double portion of the Holy Spirit, the context as well as the word
"honor" negate that. Verse 16 talks about helping widows out financially/materially, and the verse 18 talks about how "The laborer is worthy of
his reward." The word "honor" is defined as: "From G5099; a value, that is, money paid, or (concretely
and collectively) valuables; by analogy esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself: - honour, precious, price, some." For
example this greek word refers to money in 1 Co 6:20 - "ye are bought with a price".




The "double honor" is in reference to financial and material help, or respect being given to the elders for their work in "the word and
doctrine".
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InterestedSister
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12:50 PM - Mar 14, 2008 #13

You bring up an interesting point, R E. I agree that "worthy of double honour" provides no support for this expression or concept.




The book of Acts, however, indicates that the apostles had a practice of laying hands on brethren who were chosen for special service. Acts Ch. 6 contains an
account of the apostles ordaining seven men to take care of the Greek widows in the church. These were believers who already were "full of the Holy Ghost
and wisdom" (vs. 3). That is, they already had the Holy Ghost indwelling. The apostles laid their hands on them as part of this ordination. One can
extrapolate from this that, if the apostles deemed it necessary to lay hands on men appointed to oversee charitable disbursements, how much more needful for
men appointed to shepherd the church?




Both of Paul's letters to Timothy refer to his experience of receiving the Holy Spirit through laying on of hands (I Tim. 4:14). In the second letter
Paul specifies that he was the one who laid hands on Timothy (II Tim. 1:6). I think that people (myself included) have just assumed that Paul was referring to
Timothy's ordination, although, now that I go back and read, one could argue that that is not necessarily the case. I looked in Acts and found that Paul
was one of the apostles who brought the gospel to Timothy's city, so one could argue that he is referring to him laying hands on Timothy at the time of
Timothy's baptism, not at his ordination. We know that Paul was the one who ordained Timothy as elder of Ephesus (I Tim. 1:3), so Paul could also be
referring to his ordination. That's how I would read it, anyway.




To me, the foundational support for this teaching is in Acts, and semi-bolstered by Paul's letters to Timothy. What do you think, RE?




The expression "double portion" is probably unique to the ACC.




That said, I just wanted to mention that I think that Elisha's request for a double portion of Elijah's spirit was actually a request for a double
portion of the Holy Spirit that was dwelling in Elijah. I'm not very well-versed in the Old Testament, but it seems as though that'show people
referred to the Holy Spirit at that time (II Ki. 2:13-15).




IS
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Whinberry
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6:02 AM - Mar 17, 2008 #14

Hello RE and InterestedSister,


I believe it is a rarity to find authentic spiritual authority in the modern church as was in the time of the first apostles, and that some Bible verses such
as 1 Tim 5:17 above are sometimes quoted in order to "keep order" in fellowships where the order is anything else but Godly. It is a sad thing that
these times we are in would cause us to ask ourselves whether or not the leadership in a fellowship is leading according to the guidance and the instruction of
the Holy Spirit: too often they are not.


We are warned that "perilous times will come" when leaderships will be anything else BUT Godly (see 2 Tim 3) such that what results is the "form
of godliness but denying the power thereof"


If there is laying on of hands outside of the Lord's instruction, there will be no result, no following power, no signs. The KIngdom of God comes not in
words but in power, and we have become altogether too wordy in so many places, and altogether powerless. It seems almost as though, if we keep talking long
enough, no one will notice that anything is amiss.


One thing that I know the Lord detests is nicolaitanism, or power over the laity, which is power in the flesh, and not in the Holy Ghost. This is what I mean
by the abuse of 1 Tim 5:17, where those who have no genuine spiiritual authority attempt to lord it over the true flock of God.


We have to be warned that these things are already happening, and get free of the institution which has false teachers, false doctrines, and preaches another
Gospel.


Love, Whinnie
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InterestedSister
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1:52 AM - Mar 18, 2008 #15

Hi, Whinnie.




Are you certain that "Nicolaitanes" is actually intended to be an indictment of the concept of a laity, or hierarchy within the church?
"Nicolaitanes" either refers to followers of someone named Nicolaus, or a situation in which people are conquered. In the case of the former,
breaking down the meaning of the name Nicolaus will obviously shed no light on the particular doctrine that these people held. In the case of the latter,
"conquer the people" can be interpreted as a number of different things.




Perhaps you can think of others, but the only scripture that I know of that uses similar language -- about people being conquered -- is II Pet. 2:19:




"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of
corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."



I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "keeping order", but the complaint in II Peter is against people who gain a following by perverting
the concept of liberty in telling people they have the freedom to do the things they want to do. II Tim. 4 speaks of teachers who will attract "itching
ears" by catering to the lusts of the people. Is this what you are talking about?




Ironically, "Nicolaitanes" could be a warning against overly-authoritative leadership, but it could also be a warning against the non-leadership that
is so fashionable these days. I totally agree with you that false Christianity poses the greatest threat to the Church. It always has, and always will.




Take care,


IS
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Aaron
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10:46 AM - Mar 29, 2008 #16

IS, I'm going to ignore whether the issues of haircut style and pants are so shallow that they even qualify as "good works", and leave that up to "Confused" to decide.

Let's make our positions clear. I am teaching that salvation comes by grace through faith. To my knowledge, you have always taught that salvation comes by works. "Confused" will have to step up to the plate of responsibility and decide for himself which of these two teachings is in line with the Bible. Either it is by Christ's righteousness that we are saved or it is by our own righteousness. But this I know: we cannot choose both.
Eph. 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Eph. 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph. 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph. 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph. 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph. 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In this passage, it is clear to me that the order of events in a person's life is:

1) he is spiritually dead in sins
2) he is made spiritually alive by God's grace through faith ("spiritually alive" means: no condemnation, saved, in possession of eternal life)
3) he is made into someone who does good works
4) God brings glory to himself—not so much by the person's good works—but by showing the greatness of God's grace in choosing him

Of course God wants good works in our lives, but it is an error to say that these works earn us eternal life. They have nothing whatsoever to do with receiving eternal life; they can only come after we already have eternal life! Good works in a believer come as a natural out-flowing of being spiritually alive and living in fellowship with God. Even then, we must remember that good works are, in comparison to God's righteousness, filthy rags, and it is only God's grace that maintains our standing as a child of God.

However, our righteous deeds are far from being unimportant, as they have everything to do with our future position in Christ's kingdom. This isprecisely what the verse you quoted refers to:
Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.(II Cor.5:9-10)
While this verse is absolutely true, it is not directly applicable to confused's issues. His is a question of salvation and becoming a child of God. The judgment, or bema, seat of Christ refers to the throne of Christ in the millennial kingdom, and is referring to the distribution of rewards to (resurrected) believers, NOT to the judgment of sinners. This is basic eschatology (unfortunately something that's not taught well in the ACC). For someone who is a child of God, he will never again face any judgement that leads either to eternal life or eternal death... believers already possess eternal life, and the down payment is the Holy Spirit. When we come before the millennial throne of Christ, we, as believers, may be ashamed because we were not faithful... and may be disappointed when we're assigned the job of garbageman in the kingdom. Or, we may be thrilled because we're made governor of ten cities. It all depends on how faithfully we lived during this mortal life. But, eternal life is eternal life and we'll do those garbageman duties with happiness and eternal thankfulness that God chose us to be His child.

To sum up, the question at hand (the answer "Confused" needs) is: how does one become a child of God. The only answer I've found that's consistent with the whole of scripture is that salvation comes through grace alone, and that it is received by faith. To gain entrance into heaven, you must have the righteousness that is given to you by Christ (through faith). To trust in your own righteousness is to reject Christ's sacrifice (you're essentially saying to God: "what Christ did on the cross wasn't good enough to save me, so I have to add my own righteousness, which is better than Christ's").

Aaron
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3:18 PM - Mar 30, 2008 #17

Hi Aaron,




Scripture is clear that salvation comes by grace through faith, but could you perhaps clarify what faith is? I mean, is faith, according to your version of
Christianity, entirely reducible to a mental exercise? I don't think it is. It seems to me that the whole person (body and soul) is the object of
salvation, and the assent God seeks from us in faith is not only the assent of our minds or our souls, but also of our entire being. I am amazed (and slightly
embarrassed) by professing Christians who seem to think that the work of the Spirit is divorced from faith? Please allow me to point you to a version of an
assent to faith which Jesus Himself holds up to us, and notice how "work-oriented" this profession of faith is:




And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down
to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash
his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed
his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.




Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would
have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.




And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto
thee. ...




Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with
tears, and wiped them with teh hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss; but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head
with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for
she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. ...




And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. ...




And he said to the woman, Thy faith
hath saved thee; go in peace.






Jesus states that the woman's faith has saved her, but where does this woman make this proclamation of faith? Where does she say the so-called
"Sinner's Prayer"? Where does she recite the magical formula, "I accept you, Jesus, as my Lord and Savior." No. The faith is
expressed by the works she displays. The woman DOES things. She weeps, she washes, she anoints, she kisses. How dare she work like this?! How dare Jesus
demand this charity of us for our forgiveness and salvation?!
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InterestedSister
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1:39 PM - Mar 31, 2008 #18

"To my knowledge, you have always taught that salvation comes by works."



Aaron, I do not believe that salvation comes by works. I believe that by works a man is justified, and not by faith
only. So did the apostles.




If I believed that salvation comes by works, I would believe that Gentile converts need to be physically circumcised and observe Jewish feasts (see Galatians).
I would believe that salvation is only offered to Jews who have tried to keep the Law (see Romans 2 -4), or only begrudgingly to Gentiles, rather than freely
to all. I would believe that Jewish believers have an advantage over Gentile believers in the kingdom ( "What advantage then hath
the Jew?"
Ro. 3:1) That is the idea that Ephesians 2 is speaking against.




When we read Eph. 2, we need to logically connect verses 4 through 10 to the surrounding verses to understand what Paul is saying. Verses 1-3 state that under
the New Covenant there is no real difference between unregenerate Gentiles and unregenerate Jews. It speaks of the pre-conversion life:
" . . . who were dead in trespasses in sins . . . Wherein in times past ye walked . . . Among whom also we all had
our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh . . . even as others." Paul is comparing believing Jews (the "we") to
believing Gentiles (the "ye"). Conversion through belief in Christ -- believing in and obeying the things He said one must believe and do, rather
than the things the Mosaic Law and Pharisees said one must do -- results in the blessings of verses 11-22. But "not of works, lest
any man should boast"
in verse 9 is a reminder of the "Not of Works" doctrine that is outlined more specifically in Romans ("Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God" 2:17). This book
explains how and why the God of the Jews is displacing them in favor of a new people -- the Church -- in which anyone who believes in Christ and His
message can partake.




"Not of works lest any man should boast" is not a statement that the works our Lord commands (humble ourselves, repent, be baptized, forgive
your brother, turn the other cheek) do not impact salvation. It states that one's previous life does not impact salvation. Works of the Law do
not impact salvation -- specifically, the fact that Gentiles have no works of Law does not impact their salvation. "For in Christ
Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature"
Gal. 6:15. After all, Abraham didn't have any works
when God chose him, per Ro. 4.




Abraham was a kind of prototypical Christian. In concert with the conclusion that "a man is justified by faith without the deeds of
the law"
(3:28), Romans 4:1-3 reminds us that Abraham's works did not merit God's acceptance of him (4:3). While men who work earn a wage,
it is obviously preferable to receive that wage without having to work for it:


"Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that
justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man . . ."
(Ro. 4:4 f.f.)


Rather than resenting this system because it negates their law-keeping efforts from birth, Jews should consider it the blessing that David said it is.




Unfortunately, people misread Ro. 4:4 as a universal endorsement of unmerited rewards. It is not. Merited rewards have a place in
the kingdom.
Paul makes this observation about merited rewards to Timothy, "The labourer is worthy of his
reward
" (I Tim. 5:18). And the "reward" of Heaven is what men will receive in exchange for bearing persecution for Christ's sake:
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before
you."
(Mt. 5:12)


The (unmerited) reward reckoned of grace that Ro. Ch. 4 describes is acceptance (becoming God's child). It is offered to people who have not
served God at all, "to him that worketh not" (4:5). That is the only way God could offer
salvation to the whole world (Ro. 4:11-12, 16). What Romans Ch. 4 does not discuss is living as a child of God.




There is a difference between becoming a child of God, and living as a child of God. God's acceptance of me as a sinner in exchange for my faith was
unmerited. The life I had lived to that point had no bearing on me receiving His grace (Thank God!). But now that I am a Christian, if I do not walk worthy
of the vocation wherein I am called, if I do not lay up in store for myself a good foundation against the time to come, I will not lay hold on eternal
life (I Tim. 6:19). The Bible casts Heaven as a generous payment for the labours Christians do on this earth. Unbelievers will not receive this reward, no
matter how hard they work. Believers would have no hope of Heaven either, had it not been Christ's sacrifice. In this way, the eternal life of believers
is a gift, conditioned on our service. The parable of the unprofitable servant in Matt. 25:14-30 demonstrates this concept: Three men are given talents. The
two that use them, that work with them enter into the joy of their lord. The one that does nothing is cast into outer darkness. All were freely given
talents, but only those who worked received a reward. This is why John warns the believers,




"Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." (II Jn.
8
)
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InterestedSister
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6:20 PM - Mar 31, 2008 #19

I also need to point out that I Tim. 6:19 does not say good works are needed to "lay hold on a good job in Heaven". It says
good works are needed to "lay hold on eternal life". I have heard of this distribution of rewards teaching you believe in before, but I have never
seen it supported in scripture. The judgment seat of Christ is exactly what Peter is referring to when he warns (I Pet. 4:17-18),



"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the
gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"




This statement disproves the notion that being saved depends only on Christ's work on the cross. If it did, the saving of the righteous would be assured,
rather than scarce. This verse also ties the judgment seat of Christ to deciding whether or not believers gain entry to Heaven. Could you share some verses
that state that the judgment of the Church is actually for reward distribution in Heaven?




I understand that some of this is not directly applicable to Confused's situation, but I felt it important to present the other side in response to your
statement that "trusting that Christ's work on the cross is all you need for God
to accept you into heaven with open arms."
Thank you for allowing me to.




Have a good day, Aaron,


IS
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