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Date Posted:26/03/2006 3:59 PMCopy HTML

Has anyone been keeping up to date on the Brissie RF forum? Ian Thomason ( to spend some time there but every time things get a bit tuff for the RF posters his posts get moved to a private debating section that you've gotta be a member to see. This only happened again a couple of days ago. (the topic was the Holy Spirit. Last time it was numerics)It's been a good read. Happy to post some of the stuff here if anyone's interested (I saved the good ones)
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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 5:15 PMCopy HTML

RF - "What exactly is your point Ian? You ask a question that is obviously loaded, and then blow your own trumpet about how good & well educated you are. You sound very much to me like a man that is laying a trap and waiting for the unwary to fall into it. If you know what salvation is, why ask the question."

Ian - The point to my original question (and which no-one has engaged yet) was to generate some thoughtful discussion on what should be a very important subject to all Christians. As for me introducing my qualifications, I did so to provide a little context, and to indicate that I don't approach Scripture in a shallow or na?e fashion. And whilst I believe I know the answer to the specific question that I posed, I'm still interested in engaging with RF-ers in discussion as there's no reason that I can't learn from another person's perspective. 

RF -  Ian either maintans a website or has in the past with another ex RCI member that is dedicated to opposing the teachings of the RF RCI doctrines. He has also been a regular contributor in the past to a forum in or some such website. I have tangled with him before, and as much as he claims to be honest in his motives for doing what he's doing, I don't believe he is.

Ian - It's true that I'm involved in a website that provides a different perspective to Revivalist doctrines, such is common knowledge. It's also true that I was once involved in discussions at certain counter-Revivalist forums. What you failed to mention; however, was that I was banned from said forums for taking certain "key-players" to task over personal and hate-filled attacks against RF & RCI personalities. When I was active on such forums, I restricted myself to discussing Revivalist doctrines. I never once engaged in personality attacks against Revivalist pastors (in fact I publicly defended several against attack a number of times), nor did I engage in "much-raking" against the Revivalist organisations themselves. Now, as for our previous interaction, perhaps you can tell me your name, and I'll search my memory to see if I can recall you ;o)

RF - "His posts are very manipulative, and appear to be designed to provoke people into giving answers they would not normally give."

Ian - Hardly. I ask questions that seek to tease out theological understanding.

RF - "His responses make him sound like he is God's gift to the unlearned masses."

Ian - You're welcome to hold whatever perspective on me that you wish. However, might I ask you a few questions in an attempt to ascertain your own degree of "learnedness"? Can you read Scripture as it appears in Hebrew and Greek? Can you lay claim to knowing--in intimate detail--the histories, cultures, geographies and social circumstances that underpin each of the 66 books which combine to make up our Protestant Bible? Have you spent years studying the broad range of subjects which are fundamentally necessary to claiming a truly informed opinion on the "ins-and-outs" of the proper and responsible interpretation of Scripture? I'd suggest that your answer to each and every one of these questions would be ?no'. Your sole claim to biblical "understanding" hinges on a capacity for speaking in "tongues". Well, I have this particular gift as well. But as I was also given the gift of teaching, I undertook the labours necessary to exercise such a gift responsibly. Does this necessarily make me any "smarter" than you? ?No'. But it does allow me to answer ?yes' to each of the questions that I posed above ;oP

RF - "Ian, if you're happy in your present state, then go away and be happy. If you are not (which it sounds like you might not be) then in your quest for knowledge go and attack the JW's or something."

Ian - I'm more than happy in my present state, but why should I possibly want to go and ATTACK the JW's, or any group, for that matter? Why should I not seek to engage in scriptural discussions with fellow believers?

RF - "You sound like you have made a god out of "orthodoxy"! Goodness, next you'll be telling us the Catholic church is Christian."

Ian - The word 'orthodoxy' means 'correct worship' in Greek. Even a cursory reading of Scripture would indicate that such is the only kind that's pleasing to God. But to put your mind at rest, I worship the Christian God and him alone, and then with my mind as well as my mouth. And finally, to respond to your Parthian shot, the Roman Catholic Church has as much claim to the title "Christian" as does the Revival Fellowship. One significant difference between the two groups; however, rests on the fact that you fellows have been in the business for about 9 years. The Roman church for about 1,946 years ;o)

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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 7:55 PMCopy HTML

RF - "...I do not know how referring to the spirit as a 'it' is a negative thing.. the holy spirit is reffered to by a few ways not he or whatever you said.. it even refers to the holy spirit as the comforter."

Have you ever referred to your father as "it'" Chances are you haven't, because you understand your father to be a person having an individual identity, as someone to whom you can, and do, relate. When you refer to God's Spirit as 'it', you indicate that you *don't* view the Spirit as a person having an individual identity, and as someone to whom you can, and do, relate. The impression that you give is that you see the Holy Spirit as something of an impersonal 'force', a little like spiritual electricity. The New Testament, however, *doesn't* present such a view.

The Greek word for 'spirit' is in the neuter gender. So, according to the grammatical Rule of Concord (which applies to Greek equally as it does to English) the correct third person singular pronoun used to refer to the Holy Spirit *should* be 'it'. But we *don't* find this to be the case in the NT. The various NT authors 'broke the rule' by using the Greek third person singular *masculine* pronoun, 'he'. They did this intentionally (with Greek it is impossible to do so otherwise), and they did so to demonstrate that the Holy Spirit has an individual identity, is personal, and is someone who we can, and should, relate to. I'd suggest that you have a closer look at the various examples where the Holy Spirit is referred to in the NT, and notice this time around that the pronouns 'he' and 'him' are used.

You also mentioned that the Spirit is referred to as the Comforter. If I can ask you to check John 14:10-18 again for yourself, you'll notice several things. First, Jesus placed himself in a coordinate relationship with God, the Father (verses 10, 11 and 13). This is one of many direct claims that Jesus made to being God. Second, Jesus stated that he would pray to God (the Father) to send *another* Comforter. The first Comforter (one can't have 'another' without a former) was Jesus himself. Now is Jesus an 'it'' So Jesus was equating the Holy Spirit with himself (notice particularly, verse 18), and given that Jesus claimed to be God, then he was making the same claim for the Spirit as well. Third, Jesus also (and significantly) refers to the Holy Spirit by the third person reflexive singular *masculine* pronouns 'him' and 'he'. Given that Jesus doesn't use the neuter form 'it', why do you?

RF - "...that is like saying to me.. you calling the holy spirit the comforter is negative.."

Not in the slightest. In the passage that you pointed me to, Jesus gave the Holy Spirit personality, something you seem to wish to deny him.

RF - " you say.. refering to the holy spirit as tongues is negative.. sorry your incorrect..!"

Well...actually I'm not. The Holy Spirit is nowhere in Scripture referred to as the gift of tongues. I think what you've done is misunderstand what Acts 2:38 states. "Then Peter said to them, 'Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." As I mentioned in my response to Nick a little earlier this morning, in the Greek: "tou Hagiou Pneumatos", functions as a *genitive of apposition*; the 'gift' that is promised by Peter consists *of* the Holy Spirit himself. What you've done, is assume that the gift refers to the sign of 'tongues' that was mentioned in relation to verses 2 to 13. It doesn't, and grammatically it can't.

RF - "...Jesus said that true worshippers "must worship God in the Spirit" (John 4:24) The only Bible clarification for this is given in 1 Corinthians 14:14 where Paul identified that praying in the Spirit was praying in tongues. "...If I pray in an unknown tongue my Spirit prays."

Again, I have to say that what you assert simply isn't correct. To begin with, you've inserted a word into the verse, which the verse *doesn't* contain: 'the'. What John 4:24 *does* state is: "God is a Spirit (notice the capital 'S' in the KJV): and they that worship him must worship him in spirit (notice the KJV uses a lower case 's' this time) and in truth." The word 'Spirit' in the first part of the verse functions as what is known as a 'qualitative predicate nominative', that is, it's equal to the subject in the passage (which is 'Theos', or 'God'). The second occurrence of the word 'spirit' doesn't function in the same way hence the translators put the 's' in lower case. Worshipping in 'spirit and truth' simply refers to worshipping in a manner that is pleasing to God. It *doesn't* refer to the Holy Spirit, or to 'tongues'. The grammar of the passage in both English and Greek makes this plain.

Finally, you referred me to 1 Corinthians 14:14. Again, I think you've misunderstood what Paul implied. For starters though, I notice that you've capitalised the 'S' in spirit in the verse, whilst the KJV presents it in lower case (indicating that it *doesn't* refer to the Holy Spirit). But did you notice that Paul specifically stated that when he prayed in tongues, it was *his* (i.e. Paul's) spirit and NOT the Holy Spirit which prayed? The word 'my' as it appears in the Greek is the singular genitive possessive pronoun. This pronoun simply *can't* refer to the Holy Spirit, my friend.

In summary, I believe that you've read your theology into the various verses that you've pointed me to in defence of your views, rather than reading what the author (who is ultimately God) had to say. You've not proven your case.

God bless,


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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 7:59 PMCopy HTML

RF - "...Signs will follow believers- we know this from Mark 16. One of them is the ability to speak in a language never learned, with various purposes. And Ian, you will suggest that not all who are believers (this confirmed with the infilling of the Holy Ghost) do speak in tongues, correct?"

or starters, if you're going to use Mark 16 as a defence for your position, then you will need to be consistent in your application of what that particular passage teaches. Verse 17 clearly states that the following signs - plural - will be evidenced in Christian believers: (1) the casting out of demons, (2) speaking in tongues, (3) the handling of snakes, (4) the drinking of poison without ill effect, and (5) the healing of the sick. Now to claim that this passage is a promise of supernatural abilities that are given to *all* believers, *all* the time, is to assert that *all* believers will need to give evidence of ?proofs' 1, 3, 4 & 5 *all* the time as well. It's no good to hang your hat just on number 2 in the list, which also happens to be the least objective and provable from a strictly supernatural perspective. So, to put this another way, if you claim to be a believer, and you pray for someone to be healed, then the ill person *must* be supernaturally restored to health *every* single time, or your clearly aren't a believer. Such is the logic of your position based on ?tongues'. Unfortunately for your position, the NT record sets us straight that such wasn't the case at all (with respect to either the healings or the ?tongues').

The only other viable option available to you, the one that I personally subscribe to, understands the Mark 16 list in the Greek text to describe what are known (grammatically) as ?categorical plurals'. If you like I can explain why the Greek text indicates this to be the case, but for the time being I'll summarise by stating that the signs describe ?categories' of the miraculous that will typify believers as a *group*, as distinct from non-believers as a *group*. This position also fits perfectly well with Paul's explanation in 1 Corinthians 12 through 14, that different believers have been and are given different spiritual gifts (in line with his analogy of the Church as a body).

RF - "...My question is simple- how do you know you have recieved the Holy Spirit?"

Quite simply: because God said that he would give to me the Holy Spirit *when* I believed in Jesus Christ. God can't lie, ergo, God kept his promise.

RF - "...Maybe a more important question, how do you know you havn't?"

This question is just as simple to answer. Jesus stated that the unregenerate would be known by their fruits (see Matthew 7:15-18). Similarly, Paul provided us with a list of spiritual fruit (a list of many presented as a singular), the evidence of which would clearly demonstrate the indwelling of God's Spirit in the lives of the regenerate (see Galatians 5:22-26). As I've quipped many times before, "bad root, bad fruit".

RF - "...Asking is a nessesity of recieving. But just because you've asked, it dosn't mean you've recieved. If I ask you for $100, it dosn't mean i've got it. But when you've given it to me i'll know it. And i'll give you my bank details if you like!"

I wish I could spare you the semolies! But to be serious again, where your analogy falls over is in you having levelled the asking of God to fulfil a *promise* he made, to that of one human being making a request to another human being. The two, quite simply, are not the same. God swore by himself to keep his promises, we human beings may make requests of all sorts to each other without any surety of them being answered whatsoever.

RF - "...Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?"

And this is perfectly true (because it's in the Bible) ;o)

RF - "...Persistance in asking is something Jesus told us to be prepared for-Luk 11:5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; Luk 11:6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? Luk 11:7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. Luk 11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. Luk 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

Did you happen to notice that this entire pericope is framed within the context of Jesus teaching his disciples the efficacy of prayer? Jesus was *contrasting* the petitions of humans to humans to those of humans towards God. This, Phil, is the crucial point! The entire matter rests of God's being faithful to his promises. It's also important to appreciate that Jesus was using a Rabbinical interpretative method known as Qal Wa'homer, or arguing from the lesser to the greater. The context of what Jesus was talking about was God's dependability in meeting concrete human *physical* needs (see verse 3). Jesus then used the physical as a launching pad to the dependability of God meeting our deepest *spiritual* need - redemption and the restoration of a right relationship with God, the Father.

RF - "...I believe that Jesus whole intention in this conversation was to prepare us for the persistance we would need if we desired to recieve his Holy Spirit."

And I think when you read Luke 11:1-13 again, you will find that the context of the passage doesn't support your view. Further, that it actually mitigates *against* what you would teach.

RF - "...In the end, its not me or you or pastor whoever or priest whats-his-name who declares wether you have been filled with the Holy Ghost. Its God."

Agreed. Given that God alone does the ?filling', it remains God alone who is the judge of who has, or hasn't, been so filled.

RF - "...The speaking in tongues experiance is Gods confirmation."

Not according to Scripture, it isn't.

God bless,


P.S. This is a good conversation that we're having, and I thank you for it.

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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 8:02 PMCopy HTML

RF - "...Jesus could do no mighty work in his own town (Mark 6), was Jesus suddenly an unbeliever? No!"

Ian - Jesus had recently inaugurated his ministry. Jesus was also fully God. Can you hazard a guess the "why's" and "wheretofores" for Jesus not performing many miracles in his own hometown? I'll give you a hint: it has to do with a fulfilment of biblical prophecy.

RF - "...To claim that one can have Jesus inside and *not* have power over sin sickness and satan is to believe in a flaky Jesus!"

Ian - "...Sorry, but that's quite a leap in logic. So you're telling me that you've never sinned since becoming a believer, and that every time you've been sick you've been miraculously healed?"

RF - "...No it's your leap of logic. I'm saying that all that have Jesus inside have all the abilities listed in Mark 16, I'm not saying that they never fail to fully use what they've got, which is the conclusion you've jumped to."

Ian - Sorry, Nick, but that doesn't wash (at several levels). First, the miracles listed in Mark 16 are referred to, and function as, *signs*. They are not referred to as *gifts* (which one may choose, or may choose not to exercise). Second, if you wish to claim that *all* Christians are to manifest sign number 2 ('tongues'), then *all* Christians must also manifest signs 1 through 6. The context of the pericope refuses any other position. Third, you said that people who profess to be believers but who don't have power over Satan, sickness and sin must believe in a *flaky* Jesus. So I'll ask you again: since becoming a believer, are you claiming *never* to have sinned, and that *every* time you've been sick, you've been miraculously healed? If the answer is 'no', then apparently you believe in the same *flaky* Jesus that you claim of others, given that you clearly lack the power you believe to be necessary.

And so far as what Mark 16 *actually* teaches, I've addressed this topic in a separate post in this area of the forum.

...Brother, the specific sign of the New Covenant was Jesus hanging on the cross"

RF - "...The fact that Jesus died on a cross doesn't mean that anyone in particular has entered the New Covenant. The business of making signs of crosses or wearing them has more to do with babylonian mystery religion that the new covenant."

Ian - As for your first line, tell that to the thief on the cross. However, the point that I sought to make was this: the *sign* of the New Covenant was Jesus physically hanging on a cross, and *not* 'speaking in tongues'. But who said anything about the physical act of crossing onesself? It certainly wasn't me. Finally, as for what you suppose to be 'Babylon mystery religion', I think you'd gain more benefit and insight from studying the history of Christianity than you would Woodrow's book. Incidently, he wrote a sequel to that particular book. In it, he refuted his former position, and explained all of the errors that he had made by failing to check the veracity of his principle source (which was Alexander Hislop's, "The Two Babylons"). Woodrow's second book was an act of repentence, and something of an apology.

God bless,


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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 8:06 PMCopy HTML

Hi, guys.

Given that Mark 16 has been appealed to recently, I thought I might just expand on what I believe this passage teaches and why.

I hope this post helps to explain my position a little more clearly.

Mark 16:16-18 is often used to defend the idea that *all* Christian believers *will* (perhaps, must?) speak in tongues to demonstrate that they've been saved. But as I'll try to show, this is just one of many biblical passages that demonstrates that those making doctrinal rules on matters like this *must* be able to understand the Scriptures in the original languages. Relying exclusively on an English translation (especially a very old one) just doesn't ?cut the mustard', because English often uses ambiguous statements to translate what are concrete positions in Greek! Further, I've no interest or intention whatsoever of calling into question whether or not this passage was originally written by the author of Mark's gospel. The answer is basically moot in any case - the Christian Church has accepted the ?longer ending' (which is simply one of four ancient endings it has accepted, by the way) as being canonical and therefore authoritative.

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (KJV)

What I'll try to do below is explain (as simply and concisely as possible) the significance of the Greek grammar and syntax of this passage.

First, the entire passage from verses 16 through 18 describes one rather lengthy conditional clause, hence the "...he *that*...and *is*...shall *be*..." and so on. Next, each time the English pronoun ?they' appears in the above passage, it points back to the two Greek words that lie behind the translation, ?he that believeth'. These two words define the *subject* of the subordinate conditional clauses that follow - the people who believe, or Christians. Third, the different Greek words that the KJV uses ?they' to describe are all: future aspect, active voice, indicative mood, 3rd person plural verbs. What results from this particular combination of grammatical data, matched with the fact that we have before us *conditional* clauses, is crucial to a proper understanding of the intent of the passage. It's crucial because this specific combination of grammar and syntax defines what is known as the use of the ?Categorical (or ?Generalizing') Plural'. And the reason that this sort of plural (which in our case is the six instances of ?they') is used is that it more easily yields itself to a *generic* notion: the focus is more towards the action, than the ?actor' (i.e. "this is the *kind* of person who does this"). In simple terms, the 'Categorical Plural' is used to define one group or class as being separate to, and distinct from, another group or class.

So what's the significance of all this grammatical mumbo-jumbo to Mark 16, you may ask?

Well, many people mistakenly assume two things about Jesus' words at the beginning of verse 17, based solely on how the passage *appears* to them in English. First, that the future tense is a *promise* rather than a *prediction*; and second, that it's a promise to *all* believers. But however strongly someone might like to wish this to be the case (especially when this passage is used as an important ?proof-text' to defend a particular doctrine on ?salvation with signs'), the grammar and syntax of the Greek text contradicts, and dismisses, this mistaken view. It simply isn't possible. So what this passage teaches isn't that *all* believers will ?cast out demons through to healing the sick' at all. In other words the stress *isn't* on the idea of promises given to believers (presumably in order to strengthen or validate their faith); it's on the *authentication* of Christianity in order to establish it's *validity* as being from God before an unbelieving world. What this passage properly teaches, then, is that *some* Christians *may* speak in tongues, others *may* cast out demons, others *may* be involved in the other supernatural effects that are described; but these effects are simply one part of what it is that demonstrates the *uniqueness* of the Christian *Church* as a *group*. The effects, therefore, aren't *individual* promises, they're *corporate* predictions.

As an aside, the use of the KJV translation in this instance will cause confusion, if for no other reason then it starts the passage with: "*He* that believeth..." This gives the impression that the focus is *individually* appropriated and directed, and a present reality. But the two Greek words that define the subject actually have something of an *indefinite* force, and a clear future intent, which is why the majority of English translations use the words: "ANYONE who believes", or "THOSE who believe", or "WHOEVER believes", or something similar.

In closing, Mark 16:17-18 doesn't mean what you're probably certain it means at all. I'm perfectly happy to discuss the issue further, but I'll expect that everyone who chooses to do so will be prepared to take the discussion to the underlying Greek text, where the author of this passage was *explicitly* clear. This isn't an issue about what you *may* think the KJV says on the matter. At stake is what the Greek text *does* say.

God bless,


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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 8:30 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Guys.

John 3:1-8 is often appealed to by RF pastors as a proof-text which supports the notion that baptism by immersion in water, followed by the Holy Spirit, will lead to 'tongues' (which, to the RF, equals 'being born again'). But how many pastors and 'folk' have read into this passage their own beliefs, rather than letting the passage inform and shape their beliefs?

I'd like to briefly comment on this passage, even though it was discussed rather briefly in a previous thread in the 'open' forums. My corrective comments there were removed, because what I had to say apparently disturbed the faithful. I now open the meaning of this important text, and my understanding of it, to discussion in our private forum.

First up, we need to know a little about the way John wrote if we're to grasp what he sought to record. One of the literary devices that he frequently crafted into his Gospel was that of the ?misunderstood statement'. Jesus says something but the hearer doesn't quite catch the meaning, which then allows Jesus to expand and further develop both the point he originally intended, along with the theology underpinning it. The current passage is just one such example (another one which is related by theme and content to this one, is to be found later in the discussion between Jesus with the woman at the well).

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, 'How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?' Jesus answered, 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of [the] Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.'" (John 3:3-8, KJV)

I've recently been accused of using Greek as something of a weapon. My aim, it's apparently thought, has been to make the simple difficult! So what I'll do this time around is keep the Greek to an absolute minimum, and explain the most important features as simply as possible. When I do refer to Greek, I'll use such familiar 'helps' as Vine's Expository Dictionary and Strong's Concordance. Not because I rate them particularly highly, which I don't, simply because it's not likely that any of you will have access to more detailed and scholarly lexical reference aids.

Now to begin at the beginning. Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to be born 'from above'. The Greek word he used was 'anothen' (Gr. 509, 'anothen': 'from above'; by analogy 'from the first'; by implication 'anew.' KJV: 'from above, again...'). Nicodemus, being more than just a little 'obtuse', understood Jesus to be referring to the word's secondary meaning, and 'heard' Jesus say, " must be born 'again'." Jesus had sought to distinguish between the 'natural' state of man from the 'supernatural' or regenerate state (see verse 6). He even pointed out that the 'natural' man wouldn't even be able to perceive ('see' Gr. 1492 'eido': ...'to see [literally, or figuratively]; by implication [in the perfect only], 'to know') the Kingdom of God. To Jesus the Kingdom, and it's implications, was completely beyond the grasp of un-spiritual people.

It's very important to recognise at this point, that the entire passage uses puns based on Greek wordplays to bring out the meaning intended by Jesus, so it's just about impossible to try and explain this passage without referring to the underlying Greek text at key points. You guys will just have to accept what I say at this point, grin and bear it.

After Nicodemus proves, categorically, that he's still in the 'natural' (i.e. carnal) state - see verse 4 - Jesus goes on to use his misunderstanding to further develop his theme and message. He says to Nicodemus (who is identified as 'THE Teacher of Israel'), that a 'natural' man simply can't enter into the Kingdom of God unless he's been born of 'water' and 'wind'. The first part of the pun is that both water and wind come from 'above' (i.e. 'anothen', which we've already covered). As just about everyone knows, 'wind' and 'spirit' are the same word in Greek (which forms the second part of the pun - yet further confusion based on a natural inability to perceive the proper context of Jesus' message). We know that Jesus meant to liken the Spirit to 'wind', because he describes how it 'blows where it wants', but I'm getting ahead of myself a little.  The principle point is that Jesus emphatically declared that a person must be born from above, and that only such people would 'understand', given that only such people were truly 'spiritual'!

So what exactly does the reference to 'water' and 'wind' mean? Well, it certainly *isn't* baptism, but it certainly *is* a reference to the Holy Spirit. The Greek phrase 'hudatos kai pneumatos' forms what is referred to in Greek grammar as a 'hendiadys' - a construction where two words express the one intended referent (you'll also find this technical word explained in a good English dictionary). A hendiadys involves the second of a pair words explicitly pointing back to, and reinforcing the first word. In English our passage should be translated, " water, which is Spirit." (and it is this factor which frames the third part of the pun, as Jesus is now referring to (1) the fact that the Spirit also comes from 'above': 'anothen', and (2) that as 'wind' he is also likened to 'water'). When Jesus said this, the penny should've dropped for Nicodemus. But it didn't.

Can we rightly expect that Nicodemus would've somehow made a link from Jesus' words to the rather unusual practice of non-proselyte Jewish baptism that John the Baptist had recently introduced? I'd suggest that it isn't likely, and further, that it's quite anachronistic for modern Christians to presume such to be the case. Remember, Nicodemus was referred to by Jesus as 'THE teacher of Israel'. Further, Jesus was talking to him about the *Kingdom of God*, a subject which was VERY well known, and anticipated, in the Judaism of the time. Given Nicodemus' position, Jesus was fully justified in *expecting* him to make the obvious theological link to a number of very prominent Old Testament passages that dealt with this specific theme - the clearest among being: Isaiah 44:3-5, and (especially!) Ezekiel 36:24-28, along with 37:9-10. But Nicodemus altogether missed the plot! But he's not been alone in this ;o)

Now as part of my reading, I noticed in one of the articles published at this site, that pastor Brad Smith has continued an old RCI error in appealing to the "...hearest the sound thereof..." of verse 8 as a direct reference to 'tongues', and that this 'tongues' should be taken as being the voice of the Holy Spirit! But all of this is silly nonsense, and isn't to be found anywhere in the text (more so, the imagination). Appeals to meaning Strong's Concordance invariably fall over at this point, and for several reasons. First among them is that the meaning of the *text* has been directly subordinated to a perceived *theology*. Further, Strong's is wholly inadequate in expressing the complete range of meaning for the Greek words 'phone' (Gr. 5456) and 'akouo' (Gr. 191) in the first place. For example, Strong's reference for ?phone' is but a scant four lines long. Bauer's Lexicon - the academic standard - by contrast, devotes an entire column and a half to this word, and quotes scores of references spanning the Greek translation of the OT, the NT and to sources contemporary to the NT. What comes to light as a consequence is that the word has a far broader range of meaning than Brad Smith claims, or than Strong's infers. For example, the word also could be used to refer to music produced by instruments (Plato's Republic 3. 397a).

This meaning has carried across into the NT as well (e.g. Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 14:7, and Revelation 8:13). So contrary to Brad's claims, John 3:8 is NOT the only occasion where 'phone' has been translated as something other than 'voice' at all. But even if one wishes to maintain that this is the word's principle meaning, the claim that ?tongues' is meant can be disqualified in any case. The fact is that attention has been directed to the wrong word! I now refer you all to Vine's Expository Dictionary, s.v. 'HEAR, HEARING' on pages 534 and 535 in my handy Nelson's edition (1997 ed). Vine is a little more useful, and honest, a reference than is Strong's when quoted by the non-Greek reader; as he provides a useful measure of the grammatical information needed to ensure that the proper context is maintained when ?wheeling-and-dealing' with biblical texts. But he also expects a little more understanding on the part of the reader as to the way language works as well. In our case, Dr Vine discusses several passages, highlighting the very *real* difference in meaning that a difference in grammatical case causes. He describes the difference in outcome that results should a genitive case appear in contrast to the accusative, by commenting on an apparent contradiction between Acts 9:7 and 22:9. Upon which, he states: "The former indicates a hearing of the sound, the latter indicates the meaning or message of the voice (this they did NOT hear)."

I will now quote what he has to say about our current passage: "In John 5:25, 28, the genitive case is used, indicating a "sensational perception" that the Lord's voice is sounding; in 3:8, of hearing the WIND (my emphasis) the accusative is used, stressing the "THING PERCEIVED." (my emphasis). The point missed by Brad Smith in his article, the point missed by RF apologists the world over who seek to 'prove' the un-provable from our passage is this: 'akouo' (Gr. 191) doesn't automatically mean to hear something AUDIBLY at all! It can also mean to 'perceive' SPIRITUALLY, and this is precisely what was intended by Jesus in John 3:8!

Nicodemus was 'earthly' and 'natural'. Consequently, he didn't have the insight that comes from being spiritual. He completely missed what Jesus was saying to him because he was looking at the matter from a purely natural angle. You fellows, might I add, have done precisely the same thing!

John 3:8 *doesn't* teach baptism by water followed by the Holy Spirit will lead to the 'voice' of 'tongues' at all. What it *does* prove is that natural, unregenerate man will invariably and completely miss the point that Jesus made between earthly/natural understanding, and spiritual/supernatural perception. Consider this: Nicodemus probably expected to hear a 'voice' tooWink.

God bless,


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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:26/03/2006 8:39 PMCopy HTML

Ian - Communications and tongues

Well, communication (properly defined) involves the conscious act of exchanging information/data. When one of the parties engaged in the act has no idea of what is being said/transmitted, then it's quite reasonable to suggest that communication has ceased. So people who assume that babbling in 'tongues' is the highest form of prayer to/with God are quite mistaken, and are without biblical support for their view. Prayer as such is described consistently in the NT, involves active engagement between a supplicant and God. Prayer in 'tongues' is passive engagement at best. In stating as much I would also aver that the use of 'tongues', for those who have been gifted with this ability, certainly has its place. However, I believe that Revivalists tend to'oversell' the benefits, and so impoverish their prayer lives by giving preference to this form over the many other forms that involve more in the way of active engagement. Of course there's also the very real question of whether every Revivalist actually has an 'authentic' tongue to begin with.

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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:14/06/2006 8:44 AMCopy HTML

"Too be quite this is probably the most spiritual conversation I have had. Just out of curiosity what church do you asociate with and what is your thoughts on tonges?"

I live in country Victoria, and for the past 6 years I was in communion with a local non-denominational community church (about 80 people: a mix of Baptists, Brethren, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodists and the odd Pentecostal). But earlier this year our family began to fellowship with the local Baptists (about 600-700 people), mainly due to them providing a far greater range of church-based social activities/interractions for our two teenaged daughters than was possible and available at our former church. However I don't wear the Baptist label, and nor do I necessarily subscribe to several of their theological distinctives. We certainly agree on the fundamentals, but there's sufficient room to manouever with respect to the incidentals. Further, I also try to maintain a 'whole-of-church' perspective, and my own ministry and Christian involvement spans across a range of denominational and non-denominational contexts (for example, I lecture in biblical studies and exegetical theology for an evangelical theological college based in Sydney, and I've recently been approached to do the same at an Assemblies of God Bible college as well).

Now, as for my thoughts on 'tongues', in general they're positive. For example, I believe I exercise an authentic form of the gift myself, from time-to-time (about 5% of my prayer time). Where you and I would likely differ in our opinions of the subject can be briefly summarised as follows:

1. Revivalists would teach that 'tongues' is the automatic and mandatory sign of having received the Holy Spirit. In other words, you fellows view the phenomena as the upper case 'G' gift OF the Holy Spirit, given to the individual to effect salvation. My reading of the Greek NT clearly demonstrates to me that this is a mistaken position, that the gift of the Holy Spirit in salvation is the Spirit himself. My own understanding (which is also the historic Christian position held since the 1st century, BTW) is that 'tongues' is a lower case 'g' gift given BY the Holy Spirit to an individual, and then principally for the benefit of the Church.

2. Second, although related to the first point, Revivalists teach that the phenomena described by Luke in the book of Acts is the same as that described by Paul in 1st Corinthians. Again, I disagree, noting the marked differences between the two expressions in form, function, purpose and substance. I would also point out that the Revivalist experience of 'receiving the Holy Spirit' shares nothing at all in common with what Luke describes as happening to the 12 apostles in Acts 2, Cornelius and his household in Acts 10, or the 12 followers of the Baptist in Acts 19. They just don't match up in either the generalities or the details.

3. Next Revivalists teach that 'tongues' is a gift that must be possessed by every Christian in order to be considered Christian. I disagree fundamentally with this position, as I see it having no basis whatsoever in what Scripture teaches. Consequently, I propose that you fellows are guilty of reading Scripture through your experience, rather than your experience through Scripture. Further, my own rather considerable pastoral experience of former Revivalists reinforces this. There have been many who have confided to me that they 'made-up' their 'tongue' in order to be accepted. Such have included houseleaders and others of longstanding, all of whom had frequently exercised their 'gift' publicly, and have had it 'interpreted'. This fact calls into question the validity of not only the ?tongue', but also the supposed ?interpretation'.

In summary, I fully accept the biblical reality of 'tongues', in it's proper place, but I seriously doubt that it's the place promoted by your fellowship. Every biblical reference that Revivalists have put forward to demonstrate the supposed validity of their views on this subject, can be clearly and decisively shown to be teaching something quite different. So the gravest charge that I would make of Revivalists is that they have subordinated Scripture to experience as the principle measure of assessing 'truth'. In effect, the Bible ranks second to one's 'experience' in the various Revivalist assemblies
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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:17/06/2006 9:57 AMCopy HTML


Good morning, NJA.

"The media here in England keep saying that the bible says the devil was born on this date."

No doubt.

"It's like some people in the media are deliberately spreading this mis-information."

Yes, just as some people in certain groups continue to deliberately spread misinformation of precisely the same sort but about a particular denomination ;o)

"*Here is wisdom*:- Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is *the number of a man*; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.'"

First, given that the word 'man' in the Greek text of the passage is anathrous, another way to translate the verse would be, ' is the number of man', (i.e. without the 'a'), as the lack of the article infers that the word 'anthropos' should be understood as qualitative. This is why the NIV renders the passage: "This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is MAN'S number."
Your fellowship's take on just who is 'The Beast' misses the mark grammatically (never mind theologically), and can be dismissed outright. The noun 'man' in verse 18 appears in the genitive case and singular number, and NOT in the nominative case and plural number. Put simply, if we are to infer that it's number refers to an INDIVIDUAL human being, then it can only refer to ONE individual, and not to EVERY individual who may fill the certain religious office that you no doubt had in mind. In other words, find an individual pope and name HIM. The grammar of the Greek text doesn't afford you the luxury of making a sweeping reference to the entire papal OFFICE ;oP

"If you read Revelation 13 and know any history you will know what man's name / titles have the value 666 and you will know what people have known for centuries that those that refuse to worship with this religious system will be persecuted when the beast is in power. Which religious organisation is pushing for a European Union and political power elsewhere in the world?"

Right, and you will no doubt reach the conclusion that you infer when you read Revelation 13 through the Revivalist's illegitimate and tendentious (or if you prefer, 'idiosyncratic'?) interpretative lens, coupled as it is with a less-than-complete understanding of Western Church history. But if you actually understood just what the passage meant to the Christians of Asia Minor during John's day (those to whom it was directly written), and if you actually understood precisely how Jewish Apocalyptic was interpreted, and if you had an adequate understanding of Church history in all it's glory; then it's certain that you wouldn't find 'hidden' references to the Pope and the Roman Catholic system hiding behind every arcane reference in this particular book.

"Spiritual wickedness in high places".

To be certain. Perhaps the only thing that's just as bad is biblical ignorance in low places.

God bless,


Good morning, Phil.

"I'm happy to admit the numerous and obvious failings of the Revival Fellowship. But i'm tasting your fruit and it don't taste real good."

Then please, take another bite (but hold your nose this time, if you have to) ;o)

"People like the prophets in the old testament, and Jesus and the apostles in the new testament, had a lot to say about religion, but they also had the power, love and sound mind straight from God to back it up."

So are you claiming that I lack: love, power and a sound mind? And what of you and yours?

"You, however, just appear to be a sarcastic know all. You've made numerous true points, but who cares? Is it honestly motivated by love?"

And this dismissive comment of yours 'who cares?' pretty much sums up the wrong attitude to take. You acknowledge, first, that the RF has numerous and obvious failings. You then acknowledge, second, that I've made numerous true points in my posts. But you then cap these admissions off with the derisive, ?who cares?' Well, if you'll indulge me for a brief moment, I'll tell you who cares, when you fellows clearly don't: first, God; second, me. God cares because these are issues having eternal significance and consequence. I care for precisely the same reason.

Now, as for appearances, I fully accept that there are times when my commentary runs perilously close to sarcasm. Guess what? I'm human too. And as the saying sometimes goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't hold it's head under until it drinks", even if you really would like to sometimes! ;o) But am I a 'know-it-all'? I leave that to you to judge. Do I know in detail the subjects about which I comment? Ditto.

Finally, I suppose I could challenge you in the same way that you've challenged me. Am I motivated by love? Well, I've encountered what I honestly believe to be significant biblical and spiritual error. I've three basic options in front of me: (1) turn a blind eye and let those in error reap the consequences. (2) Engage with those I believe to be in error empathetically (the whole, 'been-there-done-that' thing), by demonstrating why I see things differently to them, and why I think they have the wrong end of the stick. Or (3) get on board the 'hate-train' and go for broke running down my former associates on web forums which are notorious for their muck-raking activities.

Guess which of these three options I've chosen to do?

God bless, Ian

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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:17/06/2006 10:24 AMCopy HTML

My name is Evert. I see that I can post comments about the Website. I am a member of the Revival Fellowship Holland. I have posted a reply in the Topic: Non-doctrinal issues / Dead sea scrolls. I found a few disturbing replies from one named Thomasson, an ex-RCI member. In my reply i advised to keep the public forums apart from members of the RF. This because a lot of rubbish is being posted by ex-RF members and non-believers or pentecostals. This can be really confusing for newborn of 'weak' members of the Revival Fellowship as you can imagine. Now I read that you have made a change in oktober last year but I still read posts from Thomasson after that date which ofcourse contains anti-RF statements. I also was able to make a post after registration without waiting for verification. This means everyone still can make posts and when you find out it might be too late.

Appearently there are a lot of people that spend a lot of time trying to convince people that what we believe isn't correct.

I hope you will find a 'safe' solution for this matter so members of the RF can enjoy the information on the forums instead of being confused..


What you claim I do with respect to your fellowship, members of your own denomination do from the platform and from their homes week in and week out about others. For my part, I attempt to remain honest by holding myself accountable, given that I'm required to publicly justify my comments here.

In any case my aim isn't to run down the RF, it's to discuss Scripture--as it alone remains for me the standard by which all dogma and doctrine should be judged. You, of course, are completely free to refute anything that I write by appealing to the same authority. And if what you believe so passionately is actually true, then you should be able to conclusively establish the same beyond doubt. You shouldn't need to have me 'muzzled' in the vain hope that the issues will simply go away, as I assure you they won't.

It's true that I don't necessarily see things the same way that you do. That doesn't automatically make my views correct, but by the same token, it doesn't automatically guarantee your own.

"He that answers before listening--that is his folly and his shame." (Proverbs 18:13)

God bless, Ian

"Your words look like all you are trying to do is run us down... look what you write."

I know full well what I write, and I do so in an effort to demonstrate where certain opinions part company with Scripture. But if I was really interested in ?running you down', as you put it, then please rest assured that I could do a far more devastating job of it than anything I've written at this forum. But I'm not even slightly interested in doing so. I'd rather continue to challenge you to approach Scripture with an open and enquiring mind.

"Are you really saved?"

Yes, I am.

"Please there is no room for that here. Your arguements go nowhere and almost account for nothing for us."

I wouldn't be so sure. My comments lead much further than you clearly think, and they account for more than you give either me, or others, credit.

God bless, Ian

Good morning, Walesman.

"I must agree with Josh, Thomason. Nearly everything you have said on these posts, has been written in such a way as to cause strife and havoc. You do not present your self as someone who is truly interested in learning but as one who seeks trouble."

I disagree. If what I've written has caused 'strife and havoc', as you've put it, then it would be due to you fellows being unable (or unwilling) to address those points of mine which indicate flaws in your own theological positions, and misunderstandings that you've made with respect to Scripture. Further, I've only ever appealed to the biblical texts in stating my views. You fellows have the same Bible as me, and you claim to be able to interpret it correctly, so...

But as for me learning from people here, believe me when I say that I'm more than willing to do so. But only when I see evidence of teaching that warrants my close attention.

"I also agree with jhamlet and his quoting of II Timothy, by responding to your provocations, we do bring on further strifes."

Hamlet clearly misunderstood Timothy, and so has quoted him completely out of context. This happens quite a bit when people attempt to shore up weak arguments by appealing to biblical texts wrested from their proper contexts (it's a widespread failing among Christians generally). Unfortunately, we Christians have, in the main, embraced the sloppy habits of shallow reading and biblical proof-texting, as the alternative?diligent Bible study?takes considerable time and effort before one can harvest responsible results.

"Proverbs 10:12 reads "hatred stirreth up strifes, but love coverth all sins". I belive it is obvious that you are not falling into the 'love' catergory here. you have made it very obvious that you do not harbour any kind feelings toward us. So please, take your hostillity elsewhere, and let us fellowship in Gods name in one accord."

Were it not for the fact that I actually cared about the people in your fellowship, I wouldn't be engaging with you as I have. Now you fellows make the bold claim to preaching a pure and unadulterated gospel message, something you maintain that the bulk of the Church at large does not. We've access to the same Bible, and given your fellowship's claims, you chaps/ettes should be able to categorically rip whopping great big holes in my arguments, rather than the reverse apparently being the case.

When it gets right down to the basics, this is an issue about truth, and not opinion. I seek to "preach the truth in love", the love of this passage being the ?ardent and passionate concern for the spiritual welfare of others.' What I don't do is sit in an ivory tower somewhere, surrounded by a coterie of fellows who believe just as I do, sniping anonymously at people in churches different to my own, and running them down as deluded non-Christians.

God bless, Ian

Hello, there

Well it seems it has been your turn to stir up a bees nest. Thomason, In some regards i agree in others i dont. Walesman, If we dismissed every one just coz they have said things wrong or said things in a way that we dont agree with doesnt that make US non-chistians? becuase the bible says that we are to rebuke with the wisdom of the spirit so should we not do this?

Thomason, Plze do not misinterept me, i'm not siding with you on this matter, however i agree, if we live in the spirit should not the spirit then be able to guide us?

"Are you saved" wot a standard question, if you do a bible study everyone here would come to the relization that you not saved until you are led by the spirit. i've conferred with a number of pastor on this matter lately so if anyone wants to know more then i could always give you their names?

Hi, Josh.

"Are you really saved ?" Thomason.. i wasnt asking you that question.. i was giving an example of what you say.. you question our salvation.. and there is no room for that here."

I'm not sure that I've actually asked any of you whether or not you are 'saved', but the question would be a reasonable one nonetheless (see 2 Corinthians 13:5 for starters). What I have asked is whether anyone here has any views on 'salvation' as a state, one way or the other. It's clear to me that no-one has really thought about the subject in much detail before I raised it as a discussion point.

God bless, Ian
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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:17/06/2006 10:50 AMCopy HTML

Hi, guys.

I'd like to pose a very simple question (but in two parts):
Part 1: "What does it mean to be 'saved'?"
Part 2: "What is the context of 'salvation' from a biblical perspective?"

What I'm asking is whether you have actually looked into (in depth) the Bible's teaching about what constitutes salvation as a *state* and not what steps you might think are necessary in order to become 'saved'.

Hamlet - "2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes."

So am I to take it that you believe a discussion about the extent and the means of salvation is either (a) foolish, or (b) unlearned?

I find such an position in a professing Christian to be interesting. Very interesting indeed.

God bless, Ian

Hi, PJN.

"How about you inform us instead of playing games?"

Games? All I'm trying to do is discuss a subject that *should* be of interest to all Christians(the biblical teaching on salvation as a state rather than as a simple goal). But for whatever reason, it doesn't seem to be of much interest to you guys. The impression that you're actually presenting, is that you're afraid to discuss *anything* that might involve a little theological reflection beyond the strictly superficial.

In any case, my experience of Revivalists is that, as a group, you're mad keen to share your beliefs with others. Well, here's an excellent opportunity for you to do so. Finally, this isn't going to be a discussion about 'tongues', but I think I've said that a couple of times already ;o)

Blessings, Ian

Good morning, PJN.

You said:
"What does it mean to be saved?

From saved means:
a) To rescue from harm, danger, or loss.
b) To set free from the consequences of sin; redeem.

What is the context of 'salvation' from a biblical perspective?

b) from above

Your turn Ian."

Thanks. For starters, words function as signs as well as concept markers, so ?' probably isn't going to be of much use to us in this discussion, certainly not as much use as the biblical material itself will prove to be.

Next, whilst the biblical concept of ?salvation' certainly includes the notions that you've listed above, importantly, it goes way deeper and is much broader. For example, ?salvation' is grounded in Scripture's teaching about ?mercy' and ?peace', but then from God's perspective rather than from our own. Most people tend to forget the ?God' angle, given that we're basically selfish creatures, and tend to view things from simply the one perspective: our own ;o)

In my initial post I mentioned that the biblical concept sees ?salvation' primarily as a state rather than as an event. The definitions that you provided above tend to indicate that you view the matter in the reverse, more towards the ?event' end of the scale than the ?state' end, so I'd suggest that you've not answered (b) as well as you think. Now ?' used the ?R' word (redeem) above. This is important, so can you please explain for me your understanding of what ?redemption' means, given that this leans towards the ?state' bit that I've been harping on about. Your doing so will advance this conversation no end.

Thanks, your turn again.

Blessings, Ian

Good morning, Evert.

You wrote: "In short what we believe: To be saved you need to repent, be baptized by full immersion and receive the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. (Acts 2:38 , Mark 16:15 t/m20) (Romans 8:9)"

Yes, I understand that this summarises your fellowship's methodology about how one ?becomes saved'. But remember, and as I've mentioned a few times now, this discussion isn't about 'becoming saved'. It's about the biblical concept of 'salvation' as a state rather than as an event.

"To stay saved: walk in the Spirit as an overcomer. So...that's settled then."

You think the above comment settles things? Hardly.

For starters, you've clearly spelt out your fellowship's belief that ?salvation' can be lost. In other words, according to you the ?state' of salvation is more transitory than it is permanent. To put this bluntly, the ?down-payment' of the Spirit doesn't function as much of a guarantee at all (see Ephesians 1:12 & 13).

"It has no use to have endless discussions with either unbelievers or ex-members of the RF or who-ever."

Only if you're not open to the possibility that people outside of your small circle of belief might actually be able to teach you something about Scripture ;o)

"It's better either spend time getting saved or when you are saved, look for others that want to be saved. It's very easy...God will confirm with signs following if you are preaching the Gospel.(Mark 16:20)"

Can I ask you this: what makes you so sure that you're already in the ?saved' state, Evert? Is your assurance based on what Scripture teaches or is it based on a personal experience that you *once* had? And, if you wish to claim the two are one and the same, then given what you've already asserted above, just what assurance do you have that you're currently ?saved' right NOW? If you were to sin in even the slightest degree (by an act of commission or omission), and if you were to then immediately die, what would be your final state? If you stop to consider the logic of your position for a moment, then you really can't be sure one way or the other. When taken to its final conclusion, the logic of your position teaches a continual striving through personal effort in the vague (perhaps vain?) hope that at the end of things, you just might make it. In short, ultimately, you function as your own saviour, Evert. Now is such a position biblically defensible?

"Spending endless time dicussing topics is a waste of your precious time I recon."

Discussing Scripture is a waste of time? How so?

"I always ask the person that wants to know about salvation to pray for the Holy Spirit. That saves a lot of time discussing."

A request that I'd ask you to fulfil for me: could you please provide me with a single Scripture that supports the notion that people pray for the Holy Spirit in order to be saved? Just one would do.

"You can't explain how an apple will taste also! You can have a big discussion about it of course...but you will never now how it will taste unless you try it."

Agreed. But do you presume that you're the only person who has ever tasted an apple? It seems to me that you do, and further, that you alone are qualified to pass judgement on its taste. But here's a thought to ponder: what if you've been led to believe that you've been eating an apple, when in fact, what you've really been savouring is an orange all along?

"For visitors: Ask God for the Holy Spirit and you will be answered without discussion and will speak in tongues. (Seen it always happen!). Don't get caught in thoughts and ideas of someone else..there are thousends of them!"

Interesting dogmaticism. But to be biblical and correct, we need to determine just what Scripture teaches about any given subject (not what you might think, or what I might think). We've not yet come close to establishing your views (or mine, for that matter) best line up with the Bible yet?hence this current discussion ;o)

"The bible is not a book to discuss but a manual to do!"

Do you think it's as simple as that? Then why is it that millions of people read the ?how-to-do' manual for themselves, and still do things completely differently to each other? Perhaps if they spent a little time discussing it first... Don't be afraid to join in the discussion, brother. We all stand to learn something or other.

God bless, Ian

Hamlet - 2Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

I hope you'll excuse me for saying so, but I don't think you really understand the intent of the passage from Timothy that you continue to quote as something of a mantra.

God bless, Ian

Evert -
"Do you think it's as simple as that? Then why is it that millions of people read the ?how-to-do' manual for themselves, and still do things completely differently to each other? Perhaps if they spent a little time discussing it first..."

Praise the Lord that He made it simple so that everyone can be born again without education!

The problem with the majority of the world is exactly the apparant need to discuss things first.

By doing what God asks from you, you will experience signs and wonders but with discussing you will experience headaches..

I have noticed that you like to keep everything concerning the gospel theoretical. I am sure you won't see much sign and wonders in your own life then.

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.


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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:17/06/2006 11:03 AMCopy HTML

Evert - Just wondering - why on earth do any of us, including admin, want to keep fellowshiping and discussing things with Thomason who is indeed an ex-Revival member ??? especially on a site like this ???

Good morning again, Evert.

(I said) "Do you think it's as simple as that? Then why is it that millions of people read the ?how-to-do' manual for themselves, and still do things completely differently to each other? Perhaps if they spent a little time discussing it first..."

(You said) "Praise the Lord that He made it simple so that everyone can be born again without education!"

A nice attempt at a redirection, brother, but you didn't respond to my question. Now here's the interesting thing, with respect to the simplicity of the gospel: there are hundreds of millions of people 'out there' who read the Bible for themselves, and, without any tutoring at all, respond to the simplicity of the gospel message about trusting in Christ. And then there are an infinitesimally smaller number of others, who've had a message presented to them that's based on only one or two carefully selected proof-texts, but further, texts which requires the addition of words that aren't found in ANY Bible text in order to clarify the apparently 'obvious' meaning: "...with the evidence of speaking in tongues." Isn't it remarkable that no-one in your fellowship is ever "born again without education", as you so aptly put it?

"The problem with the majority of the world is exactly the apparant need to discuss things first."

And as I've just pointed out above, the only ones that really NEED to have the requirements for ?salvation' discussed (read, 'spelled-out' in detail) beforehand, belong to your fellowship and those very few others that preach the same message. Have you ever wondered why this remarkable level of ?coaching' is necessary for you fellows, when the gospel is so plain and simple that even the simplest among the untutored can grasp it?

"By doing what God asks from you, you will experience signs and wonders but with discussing you will experience headaches."

Then I ask you again: why is it that a straightforward reading of the Bible doesn't lead one to adopt your conclusions about the requirements for salvation?

"I have noticed that you like to keep everything concerning the gospel theoretical. I am sure you won't see much sign and wonders in your own life then."

You misunderstand my intent then, Evert. First, I simply expect that a 'salvation message' must be based on what the biblical texts actually state, and then without the imposition of interpretative machinations (such as the need to append non-biblical statements such as "...with the evidence of speaking in tongues"). Second, I've seen more significant wonders in my life than simply hearing myself repeat, "yabba dabba dooo" over and over. Of far more importance to me then the 'spiritual fireworks' that you rate so highly, is the fact that I get to see Jesus miraculously changing lives on a daily basis.

"Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven."

Yes. That's precisely the point, isn't it, Evert? And I marvel that your chosen quote above was preceded by verses 15 through 20?itself an extended discussion concerning the very fact that it's the nature of the 'fruit' which betrays the 'tree' from which it springs. And the context to all of this is sharpened by the verse following your quote, verse 22: "Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'" This sounds a little like you, Evert, harping on about ?signs and wonders'. But precisely how did our Lord answer these claims to fellowship with him? Verse 23: "Then I will tell them plainly, ?Go away from me, I NEVER knew you.'" Did you notice, Evert, that in spite of the 'voice gifts', in spite of the miraculous 'signs and wonders', Jesus said that he NEVER knew them. Never implies precisely that, brother.

Perhaps you should reflect on this for a while? And once you have done so, we can get back to discussing the subject of this thread, which is salvation as a state rather than as an event.

God bless, Ian


Long time, no hear.

"Just wondering - why on earth do any of us, including admin, want to keep fellowshiping and discussing things with Thomason who is indeed an ex-Revival member ??? especially on a site like this ???"

Well, for starters, I'm an overcoming Christian. So there's no biblical reason for you not having fellowship with me. Second, as Proverbs so aptly puts things, "iron sharpens iron", and when this occurs, there'll always be a few sparks! However, the results are well worth the friction (both for you and for me). Third, I'm actually one of those dull and stodgy trained 'biblical scholars', so I'm in the unique position here of being able to introduce a plethora of important contextual material, stuff that's fundamentally necessary for sound Bible interpretation, but which you fellows aren't really capable of adducing for yourselves (even with a Strong's Concordance or Vine's Dictionary). Fourth, this site was actually established with forums that are open and public. My posts are in keeping with the 'rules and regs' that Admin has laid down here. When he believes I've over-stepped the bounds (even when I think otherwise) he can, and does, remove my posts to languish in the 'private' area ;o)

But the fact that I'm an ex-Revivalist Christian ought to warrant two things with you: first, I was once where you are now and believed then as you do now. But my relationship with Christ hasn't diminished since adopting a more orthodox faith, it's moved in completely the other direction. This clearly stands at odds with what you've probably thought would be the case with people like me. Second, I'm in a minority of ex-Revivalists who don't wish to ?slug' your church by engaging in hostile polemics and 'muck-raking'. If that was my desire, then I'd have a ready and receptive following at the well known ?anti' web forum, and I could 'let loose' to my hearts content! Clearly my heart ain't in that sort of stuff. Further, I'm in a minority of one, by being a former 'Revivalist' who can actually read and exegete Scripture in Hebrew and Greek, and further, who has acquired the range of associated and complementary biblical and theological studies skills needed to put forward a truly informed opinion. Not a boast, simply a fact.

Now I've noticed that a few of you fellows have recently begun ?playing the man' rather than the ?ball'. This topic is supposed to be about teasing out the meaning and importance of salvation as a state rather than as a goal. I'd suggest that you fellows either get with the program and engage, or sit on the benches and watch. We have a saying in my vocation: ?Lead, follow or get out of the way!'

I think it has applicability for the current situation.

God bless, Ian


"Well it seems that everywhere i turn on this site everyone is trying to get they view point across instead of the spirits, they are also not listening to the posts of others very well at least."

Wrong, brother. The Holy Spirit wrote the Bible, ergo determining its meaning is to determine His meaning.

"To be trully saved you must be one with the spirit, guided and taught in all things, the spirit-led will be able to do things that so far only the pngers have been able to."

No, becoming 'one with the Spirit' isn't a Christian teaching. What you're promoting in stating this is pantheism. Had you said, ?led by the Spirit', then you would have been on slightly more orthodox ground. Second, I imagine the 'pngers' you referred to above should be read 'angels'? If so, then again, you're sliding very close to promoting another error, this one known as the Colossian heresy (the name relates to the thrust of Paul's teaching in his letter to the church at Colosse). Not a good start, brother.

"Thomason you seem to want a serious convo with someone fromt the RF, well, i must say i would look forward to it."

Okay, and please don't take offense to me asking you this, but given the nature of your posts to date, do you really think yourself ready for some serious theological engagement?

"Why? Well it's simply an experiment, if i feel the spirit move whilest talking to you then i'll know that wot you are saying at the time the spirit moves is correct but if i dont then i'll know that your no better than wot you are trying to make the RF out to be."

Well, your comment above certainly answers my question! For what it's worth, I'd rather that you played matters a little safer (albeit noting your apparent ?gift' for an incredibly developed level of spiritual discernment) by checking what I have to say against something a little more objective than your feelings?the Bible for starters.



Hi again there Thomason,
it seems you have been misreading me
"pngers" does not refer to "angels" it infact refers to the Papua New Guniean Brethren

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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:06/07/2006 11:26 AMCopy HTML

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Wow! Can I ask you two questions? Have you ever met Ian Thomason? Are you a Revivalist?L

Ian Thomason has his own website called That site should be enough to inform you of Ian Thomason's real intents and purposes. I for one support Ian's brave efforts at addressing serious RF abberation of Holy Writ. Perhaps the RF should consider that Ian's life is a remarkable demonstration that one can leave the RF and succeed in going to much higher places in God and obtain outstanding recognition. Perhaps you should enquire of him personally of the reason he was forced to leave the RF or RCI as it was then known. What a tragedy it would have been had Ian remained shackled behind RCI/RF erronous theological and legalistic walls.

absolutely anonymous
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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:03/06/2010 3:23 AMCopy HTML

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It is not plain at all.  Just because the word "spirit" is not capitalised does not indicate that it is not talking about the Holy Spirit.  The translators would not have been spirit-filled, therefore, how could they have known when to capitalise "spirit" or when to leave it in lower-case ?  1 Corinthians 2:14 - (14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Now how do you know that the translators would not have been "spirit-filled" and why would you think they weren't?

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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:04/06/2010 4:29 AMCopy HTML

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big girl

if you want to slap my wrist do it here. i don't get involved in that discussion stuff at the bottom of the forum.

you said "no one is stupid, frog." that's about as sensible as saying "obese people aren't fat." in other words it was a kind of stupid comment to make. of course some people are stupid. here's my perspective on the issue: what "ex-member" said was stupid and the way he said it made him look stupid. if he wants to prove differently the he should stop making stupid comments and start making intelligent ones.


 "A "PROFOUNDLY vulnerable" wheelchair-bound disabled woman was told she would die a horrible death unless she handed her life savings to cult leader Rocco Leo. "

This is a quote from today's advertiser. She handed her money over to him. Lots of people do lots of unwise things in the name of religion. There are a thousand people with a thousand different beliefs all from the same bible. Calling people stupid who believe a certain teacher is not going to help anyone.

All I'm saying, Frog, is that it is much more interesting and effective to discuss your different beliefs with a bit more patience. Why challenge if there are any more 'stupid people with stupid explanations waiting in the wings' ?
Its boorish and bullish, not smart.

PS, why don't you want to engage in the chat box? This just clutters up this thread.
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Re:Ian's discussions with various Revival members

Date Posted:05/06/2010 1:39 AMCopy HTML

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hi all.

i must be reading a different thread to a couple of other people here. when i read the actual statements ian made in full, they make perfect sense to me: ...
as i understand things ian can actually read greek. it looks like he pointed out some grammar stuff to explain his view above. i'm pretty certain that "ex-member" doesn't read greek and the only argument he can put forward is that the translators of the KJV weren't tongues speakers and for that reason alone they couldn't possibly understand what the passage means!!! am i the only person who thinks this is a very stupid argument?!!! i would have thought being able to read and translate greek into english was what counted. the other "guests" opinion that ian didn't appreciate the CONTEXT properly also seems farfetched. given that he bangs on about CONTEXT so much i doubt ian wouldn't have considered the CONTEXT fully himself.


Frog's absolutely right... it's a very stupid argument, and is made by nearly every member of that very stupid church.
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