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Akriboo
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Date Posted:25/03/2008 9:06 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Ian,


PleaseConsider has been a great wealth of information which is provocative and indicative to its name. Indeed, I Have now come to view things in a different way...for this I thank you!


There are however a couple of matters that I need you to clarifying for me:-


1. (a) Is the Philip mentioned in Acts 8 the same Philip mentioned as one of the Apostles in Acts   1:13?
(b) Does verse 5 tie in with the ‘scattered' mentioned in the preceding verses?

I realize that Acts 8:1 states, "...they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles" However, it appears to me that there is reference to Philip the apostle in verse 5 by the use of the word ‘Then' to begin the verse.

Not only so, but further in chapter 8 Philip has a miraculous encounter and departure with/from the Ethiopian Eunuch. The miraculous was of such a dramatic extent that he just vanished and reappeared at a different location. To me, this would compliment your exegesis of Acts 2.  

 

2. Your exposition states, "However, the passage makes it very clear that the object of Simon's belief was not Jesus. Rather Simon had placed his ‘saving belief' in the power to perform the ‘signs and miracles' that he had witnessed in Philip[1][14]. The context of the later rebuke by Peter supports this hypothesis".

Having respect for you, I am more than happy to accept the word ‘hypothesis' as highly probable in the light of established facts rather than a mere assumption or guess, yet looking at the English, I can not establish the fact that, "...the object of Simon's belief was not Jesus" without a shadow of doubt. It is not very clear to me!

"But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.  Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done."  (Act 8:12-13) [Emphasis mine]

This indicates to me that Simon believed "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" not on the miracles and signs that he had witnessed. Yes, the miracles and signs amazed Simon, but that only occurred after he believed on the name of Jesus Christ and was baptised.

 

3.       When Peter and John arrived at Samaria, how did they know that the Holy Spirit had not fallen upon the Samaritan believers? What are your thoughts about it?


4.       How did Simon himself know that he had not received the Holy Spirit (yet everyone else did) and had to ask if he had to pay for it? What are your thoughts about it?


5.       What happened between Act 8:17 and Acts 8:18 for Simon (and the apostles) to know that the Holy Spirit was given? What are your thoughts about it?


6.       Your exposition states, "The truth is, we really don't know." If that is the case, then can it be that the Samaritans manifested the ‘languages of the gentile world' (ie. Could they have spoken in very specific ‘tongues')?


Many thanks and God bless

Akriboo



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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:25/03/2008 12:18 PMCopy HTML

Hi, Akriboo.

PleaseConsider has been a great wealth of information which is provocative and indicative to its name. Indeed, I Have now come to view things in a different way...for this I thank you!

You're certainly welcome. But please remember (I almost said 'consider') that I'm only half of the team that's responsible for the site. Drew Dixon deserves more than his fair share of kudos too, given that the thing was his idea to begin with, that and the fact that he was the webmaster responsible for all the hard work! All I had to do was write a few essays Innocent

There are however a couple of matters that I need you to clarifying for me:-

1. (a) Is the Philip mentioned in Acts 8 the same Philip mentioned as one of the Apostles in Acts 1:13?


Short answer, 'nope'. The Philip of Samarian fame was an Hellenic Jew, the same Philip who was appointed to be one of the 'Seven' proto-deacons (see Acts 6:5). The Apostle Philip, however, was a Galilean (note John 1:44)

(b) Does verse 5 tie in with the ‘scattered' mentioned in the preceding verses?

Short answer, 'yep'. The Philip of Samarian fame, as I just mentioned, was a Hellenist, as was Stephen, another member of the 'Seven' (all of whom were Hellenic Jews). When Stephen preached his scathing denunciation of the religious leaders of the day (Acts 6:8ff), the leaders kind of developed a hatred of Hellenist-Jewish-Christians, hence the 'scattering'.

I realize that Acts 8:1 states, "...they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles" However, it appears to me that there is reference to Philip the apostle in verse 5 by the use of the word ‘Then' to begin the verse.

I don't see it that way.

Not only so, but further in chapter 8 Philip has a miraculous encounter and departure with/from the Ethiopian Eunuch. The miraculous was of such a dramatic extent that he just vanished and reappeared at a different location. To me, this would compliment your exegesis of Acts 2.

The Philip who was 'angelic-ported' was the Philip of Samarian fame, and not the apostle.

2. Your exposition states, "However, the passage makes it very clear that the object of Simon's belief was not Jesus. Rather Simon had placed his ‘saving belief' in the power to perform the ‘signs and miracles' that he had witnessed in Philip[1][14]. The context of the later rebuke by Peter supports this hypothesis".

Having respect for you, I am more than happy to accept the word ‘hypothesis' as highly probable in the light of established facts rather than a mere assumption or guess, yet looking at the English, I can not establish the fact that, "...the object of Simon's belief was not Jesus" without a shadow of doubt. It is not very clear to me!

First, thanks very much for your kind words, and the show of support. Now, the reason why I used the word 'hypothesis' is, well, that's all it is, a working idea of mine and not an established fact
Wink The entire tenor of the record of events leads me to strongly posit that Simon's faith was shallow at best, but importantly, was likely to have been based more on the 'signs-and-miracles' that he witnessed, than on the person of the Saviour, per se. Still, my exegesis of the text wasn't predicated on this working hypothesis of mine; consequently, the results don't stand or fall on the theory (novel though it is), and that's the important thing! Laughing

"But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done." (Act 8:12-13) [Emphasis mine]

This indicates to me that Simon believed "the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ" not on the miracles and signs that he had witnessed. Yes, the miracles and signs amazed Simon, but that only occurred after he believed on the name of Jesus Christ and was baptised.

Sure. The picture that Luke intended to paint was that Simon's outward 'show' of belief was not any different to the rest of the Samaritans. Such is the nature of belief, it's really hard for anyone but God to 'prove' Wink

3. When Peter and John arrived at Samaria, how did they know that the Holy Spirit had not fallen upon the Samaritan believers? What are your thoughts about it?

Well, given that you've read my stuff, and seen how I've interacted with TBerry, you'll probably realise that I limit myself to what the text actually states. Sometimes I have to tease-out the implications a little, but when all is said and done, exegesis is all about making sense of what's actually there! When the text itself is silent on a matter, I try to be as well Innocent

4. How did Simon himself know that he had not received the Holy Spirit (yet everyone else did) and had to ask if he had to pay for it? What are your thoughts about it?

Well ...

5. What happened between Act 8:17 and Acts 8:18 for Simon (and the apostles) to know that the Holy Spirit was given? What are your thoughts about it?

Again ...

6. Your exposition states, "The truth is, we really don't know." If that is the case, then can it be that the Samaritans manifested the ‘languages of the gentile world' (ie. Could they have spoken in very specific ‘tongues')?

And that's pretty much the fact of the matter: we simply don't know. But, given that you've been patient with me, I'll 'cave-in' and give you another 'working-hypothesis' of mine Laughing It's my personal opinion, based on the theology that Luke seems to present on the matter, that what happened at Samaria, what happened at Cornelius' place, and what happened with the followers of the Baptist at Ephesus, may have been a replication of the complete range of phenomena that took place at Pentecost. Can I prove it? Not by a long-shot! Would I stake my life on it? 'Nope'. Did my theory colour my exegeses of the respective passages at all? Not even a wee bit Smile

Many thanks and God bless

And to you, too.

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:25/03/2008 1:00 PMCopy HTML

 

Hi Ian


Thanks for your thoughts and gems of wisdom.


"Sure. The picture that Luke intended to paint was that Simon's outward 'show' of belief was not any different to the rest of the Samaritans. Such is the nature of belief, it's really hard for anyone but God to 'prove' "


Makes me wonder whether I believe in Christ for who He is or for what He can do for me? At present, I am in a bit of a quandary about who I am, what I believe and where I stand in Christ. There are so many misconceptions and conflicting doctrines that I am beginning to question even the most fundamental things, such ‘baptism of the Holy Ghost' which I once took for granted.

I really hate myself at the moment, because I feel as though I may have in the past led many astray by what I preached and just wish that I had kept my big mouth shut!


"Well, given that you've read my stuff, and seen how I've interacted with TBerry, you'll probably realise that I limit myself to what the text actually states. Sometimes I have to tease-out the implications a little, but when all is said and done, exegesis is all about making sense of what's actually there! When the text itself is silent on a matter, I try to be as well "

 

Good lesson for me!!

 

It's my personal opinion, based on the theology that Luke seems to present on the matter, that what happened at Samaria, what happened at Cornelius' place, and what happened with the followers of the Baptist at Ephesus, may have been a replication of the complete range of phenomena that took place at Pentecost. Can I prove it? Not by a long-shot! Would I stake my life on it? 'Nope'. Did my theory colour my exegeses of the respective passages at all? Not even a wee bit


Another good lesson for me. Okay to have personal opinions, but not as doctrine.


Many thanks Ian and many thanks to Drew as well! I still have a few other papers to read and no doubt there will be other questions.


Bless you both


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:26/03/2008 12:55 AMCopy HTML

Akriboo: Makes me wonder whether I believe in Christ for who He is or for what He can do for me? At present, I am in a bit of a quandary about who I am, what I believe and where I stand in Christ. There are so many misconceptions and conflicting doctrines that I am beginning to question even the most fundamental things, such ‘baptism of the Holy Ghost' which I once took for granted. I really hate myself at the moment, because I feel as though I may have in the past led many astray by what I preached and just wish that I had kept my big mouth shut!

          _____________________________________________________________________
Akriboo,

Please excuse me for butting in on your conversation with Ian but I really felt the need to share my heart with you. Whilst it is a good thing to examine yourself and to look long and hard at why you believe what you do, don't ever hate yourself. Jesus loves YOU with an awesome love, regardless of how confused you may be feeling right now. You're quite right, there are many beliefs, doctrines, religions to 'choose' from but the Jesus of the Bible is the same Jesus of today - He never changes and He loves you for who you are. He sees your confusion and He will lead you through it if you let Him. So many people turn away from God completely after the RF experience and my heart breaks for those that do because it wasn't God that hurt them and yet they kind of blame Him for the hurt and confusion they experience (just an observation, not saying you do) It's very sad! I found that turning to the Word of God and praying for guidance helped me to heal quickly and I've found comfort and a lasting peace over these last 15 months since leaving RF.

It's not a bad thing to begin questioning everything we were taught - in fact we need to question, examine and investigate to get to the truth. This forum and the Please Consider site can be very helpful to start the journey.
I'm sure we've all regretted the fact that we preached the 'RF version' to others but we only did what we believed was right at the time. I've made up for my earlier 'sins' by now sharing the simple gospel message with many people and showing them the love of God. I pray that you will find peace and that the grace of our wonderful redeemer washes over you.

God bless, Urch x

Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths.
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:26/03/2008 9:50 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Akriboo.

Thanks for your thoughts and gems of wisdom.

You're welcome.

Makes me wonder whether I believe in Christ for who He is or for what He can do for me? At present, I am in a bit of a quandary about who I am, what I believe and where I stand in Christ. There are so many misconceptions and conflicting doctrines that I am beginning to question even the most fundamental things, such ‘baptism of the Holy Ghost' which I once took for granted.

Sure. And given the recent discussion, well, I suppose the entire foundation upon which Pentecostal groups have built their 'baptism in the Spirit' nonsense is looking rather shaky!
Wink

I really hate myself at the moment, because I feel as though I may have in the past led many astray by what I preached and just wish that I had kept my big mouth shut!

Yep, but everyone has at some point. Just move forward.

"Well, given that you've read my stuff, and seen how I've interacted with TBerry, you'll probably realise that I limit myself to what the text actually states. Sometimes I have to tease-out the implications a little, but when all is said and done, exegesis is all about making sense of what's actually there! When the text itself is silent on a matter, I try to be as well "

Good lesson for me!!

A good lesson for everyone, I'd suggest.


It's my personal opinion, based on the theology that Luke seems to present on the matter, that what happened at Samaria, what happened at Cornelius' place, and what happened with the followers of the Baptist at Ephesus, may have been a replication of the complete range of phenomena that took place at Pentecost. Can I prove it? Not by a long-shot! Would I stake my life on it? 'Nope'. Did my theory colour my exegeses of the respective passages at all? Not even a wee bit

Another good lesson for me. Okay to have personal opinions, but not as doctrine.

'Yep'. Old Lloyd Longfield had a number of freaky personal opinions, on a range of issues. Well, they soon became doctrine, and look at the mess that resulted!
Undecided

Many thanks Ian and many thanks to Drew as well! I still have a few other papers to read and no doubt there will be other questions.

No worries.

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 6:59 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Urch,


Please excuse me for butting in on your conversation with Ian but I really felt the need to share my heart with you.


Don't worry about that...you're never butting in and I am glad for your words.


Whilst it is a good thing to examine yourself and to look long and hard at why you believe what you do, don't  ever hate yourself. Jesus loves  YOU with an awesome love, regardless of how confused you may be feeling right now. You're quite right, there are many beliefs, doctrines, religions to 'choose' from but the Jesus of the Bible is the same Jesus of today - He never changes and He loves you for who you are. He sees your confusion and He will lead you through it if you let Him.  So many people turn away from God completely after the RF experience and my heart breaks for those that do because it wasn't God that hurt them and yet they kind of blame Him for the hurt and confusion they experience (just an observation, not saying you do) It's very sad! I found that turning to the Word of God and praying for guidance helped me to heal quickly and I've found comfort and a lasting peace over these last 15 months since leaving RF.


Thanks for your encouraging words, I really appreciated them. I don't in the slightest bit blame God, but in confusion feel like throwing my hands up in the air and saying "what the heck is this all about?" If I fellowship at AoG, then they too are misguided, if I fellowship at Revival...they too are misguided, if I fellowship with the Catholic Church...they too are misguided (as they also have Pentecostal meetings). It just seems confusing at the moment.


Didaktikon is quite right though...just suck it up and move forward (used a little literarily license) as we all have gone through it at some point.


It's not a bad thing to begin questioning everything we were taught - in fact we need to question, examine and investigate to get to the truth. This forum and the Please Consider site can be very helpful to start the journey.
I'm sure we've all regretted the fact that we preached the 'RF version' to others but we only did what we believed was right at the time. I've made up for my earlier 'sins' by now sharing the simple gospel message  with many people and showing them the love of God. I pray that you will find peace and that the grace of our  wonderful redeemer  washes over you.

God bless, Urch x


Thanks...you're a dear and a blessing!!


God bless

Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 7:00 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Ian (and whoever else want to ‘butt' inJ),


Reading your ‘Revivalist dogma and the book of Acts' paper a couple of thoughts come to mind:


•1.       On page 17, last paragraph you state, "However, a reading of the passage immediately demonstrates that nothing presents of baptism as mandated exclusively by "full immersion"


Does not the word ‘baptised' as used in Acts 2:38 "baptizo" in Greek (Strongs 907)? The definition (in Strongs) is ‘to make whelm (ie fully wet)'. This would indicate to me that full immersion is most likely than not thus in a way mandated as a standard.


•2.       Not too sure how to comprehend (or perhaps interpret) your thoughts on Acts 2:38 from pages 19 to 21.


My understanding is perhaps summed up in the last sentence, "...a person who has repented, and has been baptised, has received the gift that is God's Holy Spirit. On this issue Peter is perfectly clear." [Emphasis mine] In this statement I get the impression that the Holy Spirit will not be given until the ‘one two process' is followed. Does not this align with Revival teaching to some extent? a) Baptism is vital to salvation and one is not saved (or received the Holy Spirit) until baptised? b) If one does not ‘submit to being baptised', then they have not repented and as such the Holy Spirit will not be given, hence salvation is not achieved?

 

•3.       "...Acts 2:37 was not the response of Jewish men desiring to "convert". After all, they were already Jewish and, therefore, had no need to "convert". What we witness recorded in verse thirty-seven is the cry of men who were in fear for their lives and for their nation. Spiritual salvation was the furthest thought from the minds of men who believed themselves already saved by virtue of their Jewish-ness. To the contrary, they were in mortal fear of God's immediate judgement falling upon them and Israel." (page 18 line 10)


Reading the text and applying my new learnt principle of grammatical-historical exegesisJ, what was Peter preaching? Was he not preaching Christ Jesus and Him crucified and raised from the dead? Was not the intent of the message to show that just being the children of Abraham is not enough...now God has raised this Christ to be the ‘way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) and salvation is only through Him? "Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart..."

 

It appears to me, and in keeping with attempting to ‘establish what the various biblical passages meant to the original audience as intended by the author', that the audience were not thinking of the perceived impending judgment on them and Israel, but indeed the need to "convert" from Judaism to Christianity and belief in Christ whom they crucified for salvation...hence "...said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "What shall we do?"" i.e. for them to be spiritually saved.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

God Bless you Ian

 

Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 8:23 AMCopy HTML

Hey, again.

Reading your ‘Revivalist dogma and the book of Acts' paper a couple of thoughts come to mind:

•1. On page 17, last paragraph you state, "However, a reading of the passage immediately demonstrates that nothing presents of baptism as mandated exclusively by "full immersion"


Does not the word ‘baptised' as used in Acts 2:38 "baptizo" in Greek (Strongs 907)? The definition (in Strongs) is ‘to make whelm (ie fully wet)'. This would indicate to me that full immersion is most likely than not thus in a way mandated as a standard.

Short answer, 'nope'. As I mentioned in the 'endnotes', baptizo does not connote, lexically, the concept of immersion, only bapto does, and bapto is nowhere used in the NT to describe baptism. Strongs, quite simply, is wrong. There you go (many 18th and 19th century works were guilty of what is now known as the 'lexical fallacy': assuming that a word's lexical root, and therefore its etymology, somehow equalled its proper meaning)
Innocent

•2. Not too sure how to comprehend (or perhaps interpret) your thoughts on Acts 2:38 from pages 19 to 21.

My understanding is perhaps summed up in the last sentence, "...a person who has repented, and has been baptised, has received the gift that is God's Holy Spirit. On this issue Peter is perfectly clear." [Emphasis mine] In this statement I get the impression that the Holy Spirit will not be given until the ‘one two process' is followed. Does not this align with Revival teaching to some extent? a) Baptism is vital to salvation and one is not saved (or received the Holy Spirit) until baptised? b) If one does not ‘submit to being baptised', then they have not repented and as such the Holy Spirit will not be given, hence salvation is not achieved?


Again, 'nope'. I addressed why in the essay. Further, baptism is not necessary in order to be saved. I've covered this ground about a million times elsewhere in this site, so I'm not going to go over the same ground again (... and again ... and again) now. I'm sure with a little judicious searching you'll be able to find my thoughts on the issue scattered throughout this forum, and also at 'PleaseConsider'
Kiss

•3. "...Acts 2:37 was not the response of Jewish men desiring to "convert". After all, they were already Jewish and, therefore, had no need to "convert". What we witness recorded in verse thirty-seven is the cry of men who were in fear for their lives and for their nation. Spiritual salvation was the furthest thought from the minds of men who believed themselves already saved by virtue of their Jewish-ness. To the contrary, they were in mortal fear of God's immediate judgement falling upon them and Israel." (page 18 line 10)

Reading the text and applying my new learnt principle of grammatical-historical exegesis, what was Peter preaching? Was he not preaching Christ Jesus and Him crucified and raised from the dead? Was not the intent of the message to show that just being the children of Abraham is not enough...now God has raised this Christ to be the ‘way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) and salvation is only through Him? "Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart..."


I think you may need to go back and review what I wrote. Now as I've also mentioned, again about a million times, context is key to exegesis
Laughing When we read the chapter, we discover that 2:14 onwards is predicated on the reaction encapsulated in 2:13. In other words, Peter was describing the 'whys', 'whats', and 'whos' of what had just taken place, within the context of Judasim! He explained to the crowd precisely who Jesus was, and then from their own Scriptures. Now to grapple with this issue you'll need to understand a little about the Jewish concept of 'Messiah', and it's relevance to Jews. As I stated in the essay itself, there was nothing in the Judaism of the day which hinted at the need for Jews to 'convert', spiritually. Being Jewish was more than adequate to enjoy the Jewish covenant promises--Messiah included. Further it helps to understand that the 'salvation' bit in 2:21 is a quote from Joel 2:28-32, and 'salvation' in the Jewish context wasn't understood as it is in the current Christian context. In the Jewish context it was corporate preservation that was in mind, and not individual spiritual advancement Wink

It appears to me, and in keeping with attempting to ‘establish what the various biblical passages meant to the original audience as intended by the author', that the audience were not thinking of the perceived impending judgment on them and Israel, but indeed the need to "convert" from Judaism to Christianity and belief in Christ whom they crucified for salvation...hence "...said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "What shall we do?"" i.e. for them to be spiritually saved.

Yes, no doubt. But then again, you're reading back into the passage your western Christian connotations with respect to 'salvation' (and Christianity) though, aren't you? Further, I don't think you've given adequate attention to the historical context behind the writing of the book of Joel
Innocent So I'd wager your views on this and similar matters would shift a little were you to undertake some study into the 1st century Jewish contexts that underpin this matter. As an aside, did you know that there was no such thing as 'Christianity' for the first couple of decades post Pentecost?! 'Christians', after all, understood themselves to be Jews, and their faith to be in complete and full continuity with Judaism (hence the struggle over issues of adherance to the Law when gentiles were first incorporated into the community). In reality, 'Christianity' didn't 'begin' until roughly AD 65, and the implications of this have significant ramifications on how we interpret a number of key events, and texts! Wink

Looking forward to hearing from you.

And now you have
Laughing

Blessings,

Ian

P.S. As the old Scottish proverb goes: "...many things in the Bible I see, most of them put there by you and by me."
Wink
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 8:56 AMCopy HTML

 

Yes, no doubt. But then again, you're reading back into the passage your western Christian connotations with respect to 'salvation' (and Christianity) though, aren't you? Further, I don't think you've given adequate attention to the historical context behind the writing of the book of Joel So I'd wager your views on this and similar matters would shift a little were you to undertake some study into the 1st century Jewish contexts that underpin this matter. As an aside, did you know that there was no such thing as 'Christianity' for the first couple of decades post Pentecost?! 'Christians', after all, understood themselves to be Jews, and their faith to be in complete and full continuity with Judaism (hence the struggle over issues of adherance to the Law when gentiles were first incorporated into the community). In reality, 'Christianity' didn't 'begin' until roughly AD 65, and the implications of this have significant ramifications on how we interpret a number of key events, and texts!



Ahhh, me thinketh that the proverbial penny has now dropped...I see now about the context you referred to.


Back to re-reading with a new set of glasses.


See you soon


Blessing to you


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 9:19 AMCopy HTML

 

Said that I will see you soon...


Yes, no doubt. But then again, you're reading back into the passage your western Christian connotations with respect to 'salvation' (and Christianity) though, aren't you?


Correct!! But how do you detach from previously conceived ideas? Must try.


Further, I don't think you've given adequate attention to the historical context behind the writing of the book of Joel


Correct...again!


So I'd wager your views on this and similar matters would shift a little were you to undertake some study into the 1st century Jewish contexts that underpin this matter


Any suggestions where to start?


As an aside, did you know that there was no such thing as 'Christianity' for the first couple of decades post Pentecost?! 'Christians', after all, understood themselves to be Jews, and their faith to be in complete and full continuity with Judaism (hence the struggle over issues of adherance to the Law when gentiles were first incorporated into the community). In reality, 'Christianity' didn't 'begin' until roughly AD 65, and the implications of this have significant ramifications on how we interpret a number of key events, and texts!


To follow your suits, short answer is ‘nope' (will look into it though (amongst all the other things)).



God bless


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 9:25 AMCopy HTML

Akriboo,

There you go, so you now see that there's much, much more to exegesis then simply knowing the word exists! Wink

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 9:34 AMCopy HTML

Didaktikon

Now I've definitely been caught out...big time. Back to some study and research.

God bless


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 9:53 AMCopy HTML

Akriboo (and others),

As an aside, if your pastor isn't capable of interpreting God's Word after the simple fashion that I've tried to model here, then what assurances have you that he is actually speaking God's truth when he opens up the 'cow-hide' every week? Are you allowed to ask questions (even during the sermon when doing so is most relevant)? Are you allowed (I'd prefer, 'encouraged') to discuss the content of what's preached? Or challenge the preacher to back up his views?

If not, why not? Could it be that the man with the Book knows that he lacks the skills, knowledge and attributes needed to "rightly divide the Word of truth"? Undecided

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 11:32 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Ian,


Are you allowed to ask questions (even during the sermon when doing so is most relevant)?


Do you think the above statement may be in conflict with "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Co 14:40 )?  From these posts and your much appreciated guiding hand, I have come to learn that one's perspective on relevance may be totally wrong (as evident by my posts) and in fact at odds with the true nature of things (as evident by your posts) and/or even perhaps totally irrelevant to other/s.


Perhaps to disrupt a sermon, I feel, may be out of order...after all, is there not a time and place for everything?


For me, I would prefer to walk out of the meeting and then take the matter up with the pastor afterwards. It may be that Jesus' words "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother (Mat 18:15) applies in this instance


Bless you Ian


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 12:35 PMCopy HTML

Are you allowed to ask questions (even during the sermon when doing so is most relevant)?


Do you think the above statement may be in conflict with "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Co 14:40 )?  From these posts and your much appreciated guiding hand, I have come to learn that one's perspective on relevance may be totally wrong (as evident by my posts) and in fact at odds with the true nature of things (as evident by your posts) and/or even perhaps totally irrelevant to other/s.


Yeah, I'm sure it wouldn't go down well to 'raise your hand' and ask a question during a Revival 'talk', like we do in school. My students remember very... VERY little if they remain passive and listen to me 'talk' and they learn even less if I don't know my subject properly in the first place. Funny how Revivalists call their sermons 'talks'... certainly dont' want to be affiliated with the religious words such as 'sermons' etc.

Perhaps Ian is alluding to the way that the bible is 'studied' at Revival churches in general. A man stands in front of a passive audience for 35 to 45 minutes and talks, without interaction. Members follow along with their KJVs and made sure that what is being said matched up verbatim and go home and read the same passages in the same light, then pray over it in a language they don't understand... voila... Revival exegesis. This passive environment certainly isn't peculiar to Revival, but at least in the more informed broader circles of churchdom, interactive and informed study is encouraged and available.
[LINK SiteName=Mothrust: Movies and Modern Myth Target=_blank]http://aintchristian.blogspot.com.au/[/LINK] Be nice, for everyone that you meet is fighting a harder battle - Anita Roddick
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:27/03/2008 10:31 PMCopy HTML

 

Good morning MothandRust,


It is good to get your views as well and appreciate your post.


Yeah, I'm sure it wouldn't go down well to 'raise your hand' and ask a question during a Revival 'talk', like we do in school. My students remember very... VERY little if they remain passive and listen to me 'talk' and they learn even less if I don't know my subject  properly in the first place.


I agree with you...I have read somewhere that people (in general) only retain about 25-30% of what they hear.  Following a sermon/talk/message (whatever you want to call it makes no difference) with your bible is certainly displaying good active skill and increases the percentage of retention as now audio and visual factors are introduced.


Indeed knowledge of subject matter is important, but it appears to me that all denominations profess that they know their subject matter. Whether a preacher from Aog, Revival, Salvation Army, JW, Seven Day Adventist...they all claim to know their subject matter. And indeed they all have followers.


With all due respect and no malice intended, how does one know what is the correct subject matter if they are students? If you were a teacher in a class room, does the student say to the teacher, "you don't know what you are talking about?" How does the student know what is correct and what is incorrect to challenge the teacher with such words?


Yes, students do raise their hands to ask questions, but I believe (and I can only go by why I used to ask questions at school) that is for clarification about the subject matter delivered.


Case in point, at school they teach evolution. I and many others believe in creation and a designer. Which subject matter should we believe in? As a student, is it acceptable to disrupt the class with confrontation? Is this the way to win over a person with opposing views? To me no!


I would rather take that person aside and have a one to one conversation and thereby fulfil "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother (Mat 18:15)


Funny how Revivalists call their sermons 'talks'... certainly dont' want to be affiliated with the religious words such as 'sermons' etc.


The AoG fellowship I attend now, and indeed since leaving Revival all assemblies I have attended (including Church of Christ), have called their sermons ‘talks'. I do not have an issue with the word talk/sermon/message or otherwise...to me it is the intent, and that is to deliver a talk/sermon/message etc.


Perhaps Ian is alluding to the way that the bible is 'studied' at Revival churches in general. A man stands in front of a passive audience for 35 to 45 minutes and talks, without interaction. Members follow along with their  KJVs and made sure that what is being said matched up verbatim and go home and read the same passages in the same light, then pray over it in a language they don't understand... voila... Revival exegesis.  This passive environment certainly isn't peculiar to Revival


Perhaps that is the case, and I dare say that it is the case in the major majority of churchdom, including the Catholic Church. I grew up at a Christian Brothers Boarding School and attended Mass more times that I can count. Not once did anyone stand up in the middle of Mass and challenge the sermon giver. Indeed, that practise has never ever been encouraged, and in fact discouraged.


Again pre Revival I have attended many dominations and not once have I ever witnessed a challenge to the sermon giver


interactive and informed study is encouraged and available.


I would be very much interested in hearing the views of others in relation to this as I have not experienced this kind of practice (Are you allowed to ask questions (even during the sermon when doing so is most relevant)?) as yet...that is challenging (or should I say ask questions) the sermon giver during their sermon/talk/message.


MothandRust, how I view this (and indeed I am open to correction and learning) is that God's thoughts and ways are not the same as man's ways and thoughts. I believe that my God is a God of order (just have a look at creation) and as such I believe that "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Co 14:40 )? applies in this case.


God bless you MothandRust


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 12:05 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Akriboo.

Are you allowed to ask questions (even during the sermon when doing so is most relevant)?

Do you think the above statement may be in conflict with "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Co 14:40 )? From these posts and your much appreciated guiding hand, I have come to learn that one's perspective on relevance may be totally wrong (as evident by my posts) and in fact at odds with the true nature of things (as evident by your posts) and/or even perhaps totally irrelevant to other/s.

'Nope'. What was being addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:40 has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of asking questions during a sermon. Again, context is key. But more on this later
Wink

Perhaps to disrupt a sermon, I feel, may be out of order...after all, is there not a time and place for everything?

"Yes', there certainly is, and the sermon is both the time and the place. Sadly though, we've been conditioned over the centuries to give credence to the quip sometimes heard of preachers in Anglican pulpits: "four feet above contradiction". But it wasn't always this way. Consider the following: the original apostles were all Jews. The way in which Christian services were conducted at the time, derived directly from the Jewish synagogue service. There, a 'preacher' would stand and read Scripture to the assembled masses. Then he would sit, to exposit the meaning of the passage to the faithful, asking questions of them, and inviting questions in return! The principle aim being to teach, to exhort, to rebuke when necessary, and to encourage towards greater faithfulness.

For me, I would prefer to walk out of the meeting and then take the matter up with the pastor afterwards. It may be that Jesus' words "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother (Mat 18:15) applies in this instance

Sorry, but Matthew 18:15 has nothing to do with the subject either (what you've just done, again, is 'proof-texting')
Wink A person who presumes to stand before a congregation and preach is accountable not only to God, but to the congregation as well! If he errs, the error must be corrected immediately lest the people leave having a faulty perspective on an issue. Speaking for myself, when I preach, I always make time for questions at strategic points throughout the sermon, which I then invite from the congregants. I'd rather people properly understand what I'm teaching, which is the whole point of preaching to begin with, than be ofraid of interrupting me. And if they need me to explain a matter in greater detail, intra-sermon, so as to properly understand the subject matter then so be it Laughing

Blessings,

Ian
email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 12:25 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Akriboo.

Are you allowed to ask questions (even during the sermon when doing so is most relevant)?

Do you think the above statement may be in conflict with "Let all things be done decently and in order" (1Co 14:40 )? From these posts and your much appreciated guiding hand, I have come to learn that one's perspective on relevance may be totally wrong (as evident by my posts) and in fact at odds with the true nature of things (as evident by your posts) and/or even perhaps totally irrelevant to other/s.

'Nope'. What was being addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:40 has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of asking questions during a sermon. Again, context is key. But more on this later
Wink

Perhaps to disrupt a sermon, I feel, may be out of order...after all, is there not a time and place for everything?

"Yes', there certainly is, and the sermon is both the time and the place. Sadly though, we've been conditioned over the centuries to give credence to the quip sometimes heard of preachers in Anglican pulpits: "four feet above contradiction". But it wasn't always this way. Consider the following: the original apostles were all Jews. The way in which Christian services were conducted at the time, derived directly from the Jewish synagogue service. There, a 'preacher' would stand and read Scripture to the assembled masses. Then he would sit, to exposit the meaning of the passage to the faithful, asking questions of them, and inviting questions in return! The principle aim wbeing to teach, to exhort, to rebuke when necessary, and to encourage towards greater faithfulness.

For me, I would prefer to walk out of the meeting and then take the matter up with the pastor afterwards. It may be that Jesus' words "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother (Mat 18:15) applies in this instance

Sorry, but Matthew 18:15 has nothing to do with the subject either (what you've just done, again, is 'proof-texting')
Wink A person who presumes to stand before a congregation and preach is accountable not only to God, but to the congregation as well! If he errs, the error must be corrected immediately lest the people leave having a faulty perspective on an issue. Speaking for myself, when I preach, I always make time for questions at strategic points throughout the sermon, which I then invite from the congregants. I'd rather people understand, which is the whole point of preaching to begin with, and if they need me to explain a matter in greater detail, intre-sermon, so as to understand, then so be it Laughing

Blessings,

Ian

In a normal learning  situation this makes complete sense  we learn by questioning.It works for scientists.
But sadly RFers are not encouraged this way, as the leaders know how shallow their knowledge of scripture really is. They just want to keep the people in ignorance.
Ask questions? how novel!
"Try not to burn the toast"
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 2:04 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Didaktikon,


Let me start with saying that I really enjoy interacting with you and love the way you string your words together (the emotion icons as well). You have a lot of wisdom and knowledge.


'Nope'. What was being addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:40 has nothing to do whatsoever with the issue of asking questions during a sermon. Again, context is key. But more on this later.


I am trying to view things in context and do realise that the quoted passage was not referring to the current subject but with exercising the Spiritual Gifts in the church. I have been led to believe that the letter to the Corinthians was (amongst exhortation) addressing issues that were contrary to Paul's teaching/intent.


However, does not teaching in scripture apply and flow onto other areas as well? For example, the parable of the prodigal son. Does this apply only to a person who has left home, comes to his senses and returns? Or, does it also apply in a wider range of circumstances?


Does not, "God is not one who likes things to be disorderly and upset. He likes harmony, and he finds it in all the other churches" (1 Corinthians 14:40 The Living Bible) similarly flow and apply to a wider range of circumstances? Do you think that it would apply in the circumstance mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:1718? That is: God likes harmony and things to be done decently and in order.


I am trying to put everything in context and perhaps I am going around it the wrong way and not seeing something that is important (or perhaps the nose on my faceJ).


There certainly is, and the sermon is both the time and the place. Sadly, we've been conditioned over the centuries to give credence to the quip sometimes heard of preachers in Anglican pulpits: "four feet above contradiction". Consider the following: the original apostles were all Jews. The way in which Christian services were conducted at the time, derived directly from the Jewish synagogue service. There, a 'preacher' would stand and read Scripture to the assembled masses. Then he would sit, and would exposit the meaning of the passage to the faithful, asking questions of them, and inviting questions in return! The aim was to teach, exhort, rebuke and encourage.


I do see your point and agree with you wholeheartedly. I am not too sure though whether the Jewish tradition of teaching has translated to the Gentile churches? Were the Gentile churches taught this way in the beginning and somehow lost its methods over the centuries/years? Perhaps you can help me out here Ian (or others).


Sorry, but Matthew 18:15 has nothing to do with the subject either (what you've just done, again, is 'proof-texting') A person who presumes to stand before a congregation and preach is accountable not only to God, but to the congregation as well! If he errs, the error must be corrected immediately lest the people leave having a faulty perspective on an issue. Speaking for myself, when I preach, I always make time for questions at strategic points throughout the sermon, which I then invite from the congregants. I'd rather people properly understand what I'm teaching, which is the whole point of preaching to begin with, than be ofraid of interrupting me. And if they need me to explain a matter in greater detail, intra-sermon, so as to properly understand the subject matter then so be it


Sorry mate, don't understand what you mean by ‘proof-texting'. I agree with you that "the error must be corrected immediately lest the people leave having a faulty perspective on an issue." As with you, sadly I too have seen much uncorrected error emanating from the platform.


Having said so, I am still unsatisfied that the best option to correct such error is interruption unless such a system is already in place. This type of teaching system I have never experienced and I certainly do admire (and quite frankly long for) such methods as you have instituted. As you will be aware, change needs to come from the top down.


Bless you Ian


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 2:25 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Cruel Twist


In a normal learning  situation this makes complete sense  we learn by questioning.It works for scientists.
But sadly RFers are not encouraged this way


I am not too sure whether today's churches are a normal teaching situation. Perhaps I am fellowshipping in the wrong church, but even our own AoG church does not encourage this method of teaching. I am not sufficiently convinced as yet whether even the Catholic Church does as well.


leaders know how shallow their knowledge of scripture really is. They just want to keep the people in ignorance.

I am not too sure whether your statement reflects the true position. I am an eternal optimist and see the good rather than the bad in an environment. Yes I now know that some leaders are deficient in knowledge of the scriptures, but I also see that they really believe what they preach and only want to do what is right...that is, to bring as many to the Kingdom of God as possible.


If you may entertain me somewhat and excuse my folly, are not ‘RFers' saved? At what stage do they receive the Holy Spirit? (Leaving aside their doctrine). Is it not when they repent and give their life to Christ? The crux is repentance and belief in Christ...what ever happens afterwards then becomes matter of doctrine and interpretation thereof. Do we not all bow the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings...the Alpha and Omega? Do we not all say ‘Amen' to the body and blood of Christ during communion?


Ask questions? how novel!


Indeed! It would be novel for me as I have never been in such an environment...perhaps at home fellowship groups, but not in church during the communion meeting.


Many blessings to you Cruel Twist


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 2:41 AMCopy HTML

Hey, again.

Let me start with saying that I really enjoy interacting with you and love the way you string your words together (the emotion icons as well). You have a lot of wisdom and knowledge.

Well, some might disagree with you
Wink

'Nope'. What was being addressed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:40 has nothing to do whatsoever with the issue of asking questions during a sermon. Again, context is key. But more on this later.

I am trying to view things in context and do realise that the quoted passage was not referring to the current subject but with exercising the Spiritual Gifts in the church. I have been led to believe that the letter to the Corinthians was (amongst exhortation) addressing issues that were contrary to Paul's teaching/intent. However, does not teaching in scripture apply and flow onto other areas as well? For example, the parable of the prodigal son. Does this apply only to a person who has left home, comes to his senses and returns? Or, does it also apply in a wider range of circumstances?

The "thrust-and-parry" of the matter is that Scripture is, bye-and-large, 'occasional' in nature. By this I mean that each book was written by a biblical author to address a specific circumstance, situation or need. In other word, Scripture is only Scripture when considered in context! Consequently, one can't simply 'lift' discreet elements from their many contexts (historical, social, cultural, geographical, theological, etc), and 'slap' them down elsewhere, willy-nilly (a la Revivalism), and go: "see! This teaches that!". What this means for us, in practice, is that we need to (by first understanding the range of contexts at work in a given text) find the principles that are timeless, to then apply them to our particular circumstance, situation or need. This is to complete the hermeneutical circle, of which exegesis is simply one step (the second one, actually)
Laughing

Does not, "God is not one who likes things to be disorderly and upset. He likes harmony, and he finds it in all the other churches" (1 Corinthians 14:40 The Living Bible) similarly flow and apply to a wider range of circumstances? Do you think that it would apply in the circumstance mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:1718? That is: God likes harmony and things to be done decently and in order.

Sure, but what's "decent and orderly" for you, might not be "decent and orderly" in another context, such as ( for e.g.) African Christianity. The error you've made is to naively assume that one's own context is the same as 'THE' biblical context. Here's a hint, it isn't
Innocent

I am trying to put everything in context and perhaps I am going around it the wrong way and not seeing something that is important (or perhaps the nose on my faceJ).

Hmmm. What do you think?
Kiss

There certainly is, and the sermon is both the time and the place. Sadly, we've been conditioned over the centuries to give credence to the quip sometimes heard of preachers in Anglican pulpits: "four feet above contradiction". Consider the following: the original apostles were all Jews. The way in which Christian services were conducted at the time, derived directly from the Jewish synagogue service. There, a 'preacher' would stand and read Scripture to the assembled masses. Then he would sit, and would exposit the meaning of the passage to the faithful, asking questions of them, and inviting questions in return! The aim was to teach, exhort, rebuke and encourage.

I do see your point and agree with you wholeheartedly. I am not too sure though whether the Jewish tradition of teaching has translated to the Gentile churches? Were the Gentile churches taught this way in the beginning and somehow lost its methods over the centuries/years? Perhaps you can help me out here Ian (or others).

Well, Paul didn't suddenly invent an entirely new way of doing things simply because he missioned among gentiles! Consider, the Jewish synagogue had 'elders' and 'deacons', so too did Paul's gentile churches. The Jewish synagogue worshipped with singing and the exposition of the written word. So too did Paul's gentile churches. I trust the picture is becoming a little clearer?

Sorry, but Matthew 18:15 has nothing to do with the subject either (what you've just done, again, is 'proof-texting') A person who presumes to stand before a congregation and preach is accountable not only to God, but to the congregation as well! If he errs, the error must be corrected immediately lest the people leave having a faulty perspective on an issue. Speaking for myself, when I preach, I always make time for questions at strategic points throughout the sermon, which I then invite from the congregants. I'd rather people properly understand what I'm teaching, which is the whole point of preaching to begin with, than be ofraid of interrupting me. And if they need me to explain a matter in greater detail, intra-sermon, so as to properly understand the subject matter then so be it

Sorry mate, don't understand what you mean by ‘proof-texting'. I agree with you that "the error must be corrected immediately lest the people leave having a faulty perspective on an issue." As with you, sadly I too have seen much uncorrected error emanating from the platform.

See my comments above about lifting discrete elements of Scripture from their contexts (both immediate and mediate), and wielding them as if they were 'self-contained-truths'.

Having said so, I am still unsatisfied that the best option to correct such error is interruption unless such a system is already in place. This type of teaching system I have never experienced and I certainly do admire (and quite frankly long for) such methods as you have instituted. As you will be aware, change needs to come from the top down.

Sure. But in order to effect change, one needs to first appreciate that change is actually necessary. Sitting back and supporting the "status-quo" simply because it's "comfortable" and hoary with age probably isn't always the best option.

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 3:11 AMCopy HTML

Akriboo,

If I may, I'd like to briefly comment on a part of your discussion with 'Cruel Twist':

If you may entertain me somewhat and excuse my folly, are not ‘RFers' saved? At what stage do they receive the Holy Spirit? (Leaving aside their doctrine). Is it not when they repent and give their life to Christ? The crux is repentance and belief in Christ...what ever happens afterwards then becomes matter of doctrine and interpretation thereof. Do we not all bow the knee to Jesus Christ as Lord of lords and King of kings...the Alpha and Omega? Do we not all say ‘Amen' to the body and blood of Christ during communion?

Are RF-ers saved? I think such is not only a very interesting question, but a very relevant one too! Clearly you presume that they are; however, I'm not quite so certain that salvation is a universal (or even an automatic) by-product of one's involvement in Revivalism! Consider: is Revivalist 'repentance' actually biblical? Is Revivalist 'belief' in 'Christ' actually biblical? Do Revivalists actually bow the knee to Jesus Christ as LORD (intentionally upper case, have a think why) and King?

I have quite a bit of experience of a good number of people who were formerly Revivalists in very good standing, often for many years, but who discovered sometime after leaving Revivalism, that they were NEVER converted in the first place!

A sobering thought!

Blessings,

Ian
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 7:26 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Didaktikon


Well, some might disagree with you


I would rather look at it as many will agree with me; others have not quite reached an appreciation of your wealth of knowledge...but give them time!


The "thrust-and-parry" of the matter is that Scripture is, bye-and-large, 'occasional' in nature. By this I mean that each book was written by a biblical author to address a specific circumstance, situation or need. In other word, Scripture is only Scripture when considered in context! Consequently, one can't simply 'lift' discreet elements from their many contexts (historical, social, cultural, geographical, theological, etc), and 'slap' them down elsewhere, willy-nilly (a la Revivalism), and go: "see! This teaches that!". What this means for us, in practice, is that we need to (by first understanding the range of contexts at work in a given text) find the principles that are timeless, to then apply them to our particular circumstance, situation or need. This is to complete the hermeneutical circle, of which exegesis is simply one step (the second one, actually)


I do apologise...I was viewing "context" in a macro perspective analysing whole systems of beliefs characterised by the view that a whole system of belief must be analysed rather than simply its individual components.


I guess my next step is identifying "the principles that are timeless". Once identified, then the separation of micro and macro contexts are more focused...have I got it right?


Sure, but what's "decent and orderly" for you, might not be "decent and orderly" in another context, such as ( for e.g.) African Christianity. The error you've made is to naively assume that one's own context is the same as 'THE' biblical context. Here's a hint, it isn't


I see the logic in that! And to be really honest with myself, that is exactly how I applied this principal to my thought patterns.


Well, Paul didn't suddenly invent an entirely new way of doing things simply because he missioned among gentiles! Consider, the Jewish synagogue had 'elders' and 'deacons', so too did Paul's gentile churches. The Jewish synagogue worshipped with singing and the exposition of the written word. So too did Paul's gentile churches. I trust the picture is becoming a little clearer?


Eventhough I see your point and line of direction, how do we reconcile ourselves to this passage, "Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight.  (8)  There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together.  (9)  And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead". Acts 20:7-9 


I now see that in context, this set of events has nothing to do with how a church should actually be operating, however, (please let me know if I am ‘Proof-texting' again) it appears to me that Paul was also ready to adapt to new set of values...can we not do the same?


See my comments above about lifting discrete elements of Scripture from their contexts (both immediate and mediate), and wielding them as if they were 'self-contained-truths'.


Slowly starting to see through the many years of fog. Still, not out of the woods yet!


Sure. But in order to effect change, one needs to first appreciate that change is actually necessary. Sitting back and supporting the "status-quo" simply because it's "comfortable" and hoary with age probably isn't always the best option.


Well said!


Are RF-ers saved? I think such is not only a very interesting question, but a very relevant one too! Clearly you presume that they are; however, I'm not quite so certain that salvation is a universal (or even an automatic) by-product of one's involvement in Revivalism! Consider: is Revivalist 'repentance' actually biblical? Is Revivalist 'belief' in 'Christ' actually biblical? Do Revivalists actually bow the knee to Jesus Christ as LORD (intentionally upper case, have a think why) and King?

I have quite a bit of experience of a good number of people who were formerly Revivalists in very good standing, often for many years, but who discovered sometime after leaving Revivalism, that they were NEVER converted in the first place!

A sobering thought!


Indeed. But as chievous as you are, you have loosened Ms Pandora! Have we not all received the Spirit of adoption? How can we not call on Him who adopted us: Abba, Father unless we have received His Spirit to cry out these words?


I guess this is another subject that I would like to expound with you more at a later stage.


May God continue to bless you Ian


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 9:27 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Didaktikon


Just coming back to our previous thoughts, you mentioned "Sure. And given the recent discussion, well, I suppose the entire foundation upon which Pentecostal groups have built their 'baptism in the Spirit' nonsense is looking rather shaky!" in your post dated 26/03/08.


Luk 3:16  "John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." [Emphasis mine]


Is this not a principle that is timeless? Christ had not yet commenced his ministry and John speaking and acting through the Holy Spirit, baptised in water for repentance and remission of sin. In context, (I do hope that I've got this right), John was directing his speech and actions toward a target audience/group.


However, because Christ had not yet commenced his ministry, then John's words, "...He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" is referring to a future act to be completed...would this not make it timeless?


Pentecostal genre does seem to align with ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit'. Unless of course there is a major difference between the words ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit' and ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit'. To tell you the truth, I am not sure which of the two Pentecostalism use.


Yes, no doubt. But then again, you're reading back into the passage your western Christian connotations with respect to 'salvation' (and Christianity) though, aren't you? (Post dated 27/03/08)


What did the Jews believe about salvation in their time...was it freedom for Roman authority and thereby gentile domination? You pointed out that they believed that they were already saved due to the Jewish covenant promises and conversion was not an issue, so there must have been something else that Peter said that caused the ‘prick their hearts'


Further, I don't think you've given adequate attention to the historical context behind the writing of the book of Joel So I'd wager your views on this and similar matters would shift a little were you to undertake some study into the 1st century Jewish contexts that underpin this matter. (Post dated 27/03/08)


Can you point me to a reference book?


As an aside, did you know that there was no such thing as 'Christianity' for the first couple of decades post Pentecost?! 'Christians', after all, understood themselves to be Jews, and their faith to be in complete and full continuity with Judaism (hence the struggle over issues of adherance to the Law when gentiles were first incorporated into the community). In reality, 'Christianity' didn't 'begin' until roughly AD 65, and the implications of this have significant ramifications on how we interpret a number of key events, and texts! (Post dated 27/03/08)


Act 11:26  "And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch."


 

It appears to me that the word ‘Christians' was coined back then, (I presume roughly AD 65' as you mention), but the principle and act of becoming a Christian there from beginning. I was taught in RF that the work Christian in Greek was Christos ian = the anointed ones.


If that is the case, then anointed ones would have been overtly manifested long before AD 65.


Bless you


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 10:44 AMCopy HTML

Yo Akriboo,

I'm following your discussion with Didaktikon with great interest.

I'd like to butt in re your comment that 'I was taught in RF that the work Christian in Greek was Christos ian = the anointed ones.'

Ian no doubt can explain this as someone who is highly proficient in koine Greek, but since he might not get back here for a few days, I thought I'd chime in. In brief the RF definition seems to be a nonsense.

I think of the word 'Herodian' as an analog. The root of 'Herod' means, I believe, heroic. Yet Herodians weren't 'heroic ones'. Rather they were followers or supporters of (the?) Herod(s?) and his(their) regime. Similarly, 'Christians' was coined to describe people who were followers of the Christ.

All the dictionaries I've read support the above, and I've yet to come across a dictionary that even vaguely comes close to the RF idea. I've never seen any other Pentecostal group express that defintion, though theologically it would suit them down to the ground. As far as I'm aware it's a furphy that's as credible as the idea that the rhetorical questions at the end of 1 Co 12 are to be answered 'yes' ... which, sadly, I also heard LRL preach.


PS I think you might be confusing the biblical 'baptism in/with the Holy Spirit' with the (in my view unbiblical) common Pentecostal and RF idea of 'baptism in/with the Holy Spirit'.
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 11:16 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi RFote


Glad that you could join us. I am really interested to hear from others as well as I know that collectively there is much knowledge for me to glean from.


I've yet to come across a dictionary that even vaguely comes close to the idea and I've never seen any other Pentecostal group express that defintion, though theologically it would suit them down to the ground. As far as I'm aware it's a furphy that's as credible as the idea that the rhetorical questions at the end of 1 Co 12 are to be answered 'yes' ... which, sadly, I heard LRL preach


So typical to what I have now come to expect and believe and for this, I hang my head in shame that I was just a sheep and not conducting an in depth research about the true nature of things. Having said so, I did (in my early years with Revival) do a quick search, but came up with something different to what I was taught.


As you can appreciate, at the time I thought that these were indeed men of God who faithfully preached the word and despite having this deep seated feeling that indeed it was a ‘furphy', I was willing to say that fault lays with me...hence my acceptance.


Thanks for confirming my feelings!


I think of the word 'Herodian' as an analog. The root of 'Herod' means, I believe, heroic. Yet Herodians weren't  'heroic ones'. Rather they were followers or supporters of (the?) Herod(s?) and his(their) regime. Similarly, 'Christians' was coined to describe people who were followers of the Christ.


Very good analogy...I understand rather well now. Once again many thanks for your wisdom!


PS I think you might be confusing the biblical 'baptism in/with the Holy Spirit' with the (in my view unbiblical) common Pentecostal and RF idea of 'baptism in/with the Holy Spirit'.


I may be, so please correct me if I am on the wrong track. Baptism with the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2 was only for the Apostles. I see and accept this now.


However, my thoughts is that there may also be a baptism with the Holy Spirit open to others as promoted in Pentecostalism because of what John the Baptist said to the people in Luke 3:16.


Again, I may be on a different direction to you and would very much like to hear your thought...is there a difference between biblical baptism with the Holy Spirit and the unbiblical common Pentecostal?


Please be patient with me as I am only new in AoG and so still unfamiliar with their doctrine. Are you promoting that Pentecostal baptism in the Holy Spirit is understood by them as a replica of Acts 2? If that is the case, then I agree with you that it is unbiblical.


However, my question to Ian was heading in the direction of Luke 3:16 rather than Acts 2.


May God bless you RFote


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:28/03/2008 12:30 PMCopy HTML

PS I think you might be confusing the biblical 'baptism in/with the Holy Spirit' with the (in my view unbiblical) common Pentecostal and RF idea of 'baptism in/with the Holy Spirit'.

I may be, so please correct me if I am on the wrong track. Baptism with the Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2 was only for the Apostles. I see and accept this now.

However, my thoughts is that there may also be a baptism with the Holy Spirit open to others as promoted in Pentecostalism because of what John the Baptist said to the people in Luke 3:16.

Again, I may be on a different direction to you and would very much like to hear your thought...is there a difference between biblical baptism with the Holy Spirit and the unbiblical common Pentecostal?

Please be patient with me as I am only new in AoG and so still unfamiliar with their doctrine. Are you promoting that Pentecostal baptism in the Holy Spirit is understood by them as a replica of Acts 2? If that is the case, then I agree with you that it is unbiblical.

However, my question to Ian was heading in the direction of Luke 3:16 rather than Acts 2.

Since you ask ... I see 'baptism with the Spirit' as one of a number of terms in the bible for the same experience of receiving the Spirit, although there can be times of 'greater intimacy' with the Spirit such as Acts 4:31. I'm not a formally qualified bible teacher though, so I'd follow through on where the conversation with Ian leads.


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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:29/03/2008 3:00 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi RFote


The momentum I am attempting to generate with Ian pivots on this orientation...we enter the ‘imagination station' and translate to the banks of the river Jordan. There we are captured by a man clothed in camel's hair and standing in the waters of the river Jordan saying to the gathering multitude (who were both Jewish and gentiles (Roman soldiers)), "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"


At this particular point of time, Jesus had been born, but had not commenced His ministry nor was He know as the Messiah, Saviour or Christ. The Holy Spirit had not as yet descended on Jesus as His time had not come.


Amongst the preaching of repentance and the kingdom of heaven, the people became to wondering whether John was indeed the promised Christ. John knowing what they were reasoning stated, "...I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier that I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Luke 3:16)


Who was John talking to when he made that statement? If indeed we take context into the equation, then it can not have been the Apostles...they have not been chosen nor commissioned as yet! The only reasonable conclusion is the multitude that came to the banks of the river Jordan to hear John the Baptist and be baptized by him.


It is further reasoned that there must be a ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit' open to all people (and not only to the Apostles as evident in Acts chapter 2). This would seem to align with Pentecostalism of today.


Conceded that the terminology may be incorrect, but the fact remains that there is a ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit' not exclusive to the apostles only. I am not implying that this ‘open baptism with the Holy Spirit' is a replica to Acts 2, but if there is a correlation then that too must be explored.


I hope you see my point RFote, which I am sure that Ian will adequately address.


God's blessing be upon you RFote


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:29/03/2008 3:49 AMCopy HTML

Hi, Akriboo.

I'll have to limit myself to a few short points; I've a considerable amount of work to do at the moment, and my engagement at the forum is currently proving to be a distraction
Frown However, you can have confidence in heeding the advice provided by RFOTE; he's far more capable at theologising than he often credits himself being! That and the fact that we have covered much of this territory between us, already Wink

Okay, first point: the meaning of the word "Christian". For starters, it comprises the noun, "Christos", and the adjectival termination, "ianos". The noun itself points to Jesus as the Christ; the adjectival termination, quite simply, means "followers of". Hence "Christian" means "followers of (Jesus) Christ". Further, the term is never used in a positive sense in the NT, in each of the few examples where the word is found, it appears as a slur. This is in keeping with its original form, which was probably "Chrestian", or "followers of Chrestus". There's an article that I've written and that is available at 'PleaseConsider', which explains all of this in a little more detail.

The momentum I am attempting to generate with Ian pivots on this orientation...we enter the ‘imagination station' and translate to the banks of the river Jordan. There we are captured by a man clothed in camel's hair and standing in the waters of the river Jordan saying to the gathering multitude (who were both Jewish and gentiles (Roman soldiers)), "Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!"

At this particular point of time, Jesus had been born, but had not commenced His ministry nor was He know as the Messiah, Saviour or Christ. The Holy Spirit had not as yet descended on Jesus as His time had not come. Amongst the preaching of repentance and the kingdom of heaven, the people became to wondering whether John was indeed the promised Christ. John knowing what they were reasoning stated, "...I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier that I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire" (Luke 3:16)

Who was John talking to when he made that statement? If indeed we take context into the equation, then it can not have been the Apostles...they have not been chosen nor commissioned as yet! The only reasonable conclusion is the multitude that came to the banks of the river Jordan to hear John the Baptist and be baptized by him.

It is further reasoned that there must be a ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit' open to all people (and not only to the Apostles as evident in Acts chapter 2). This would seem to align with Pentecostalism of today.


You've made a couple of very common interpretative errors, based mainly on the fact that you've seen in the passage only what you expected to see. First, you've failed to appreciate that John quite explicitly said, "baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire." You've honed in only on the first part of the statement, the "Holy Spirit" bit, and have completely ignored the second part, the "and fire". The second bit is quite significant, and for several reasons. Next, you've automatically assumed the Pentecostal position, quite possibly without even realising it. Understand that Pentecostalism bases its "tongues-speaking", which it considers to be "the evidence of having been baptised in the Spirit", on Acts 2. I think I've already demonstrated that such a position is extraordinarily weak, exegetically, given what Acts 1 and 2 actually states! Third, for whatever reason, you've chosen to ignore Paul's very clear statement that, "for in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13), and it appearing as it does immediately before 12:27-31! Oops, there goes the "tongues" crutch, again
Laughing

Conceded that the terminology may be incorrect, but the fact remains that there is a ‘baptism with the Holy Spirit' not exclusive to the apostles only. I am not implying that this ‘open baptism with the Holy Spirit' is a replica to Acts 2, but if there is a correlation then that too must be explored.

There is, but it isn't what you think it is
Innocent

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:29/03/2008 5:47 AMCopy HTML

 

Akriboo


Hi Ian, Sea Urchin, MothandRust, Cruel Twist, RFote, and others


I am pretty much confused at the moment and have decided to keep my mouth shut and do a full read of all the articles in PleaseConside.


I do apologise Ian if I have taken much valued time from you as I know that you must have gone through this theology hundreds of times with each new visitor/s.


Since Revival (and perhaps somewhat whilst still in Revival) I came to the realization that Revival unduly centres its relationship with the sign rather than the Giver...Jesus Christ. This and many other doctrinal issued caused me to leave the organisation.


I do understand your observation and see the nexus between Simon in Acts 8 and Revival. I have been challenged by good theology and am gracious enough to admit that I was wrong and adopt the clear, concise and effective theology you promulgated.


Thus, I have much reading to do and hopefully I will be in a much better position to understand.


Over and out


May God continue to bless you all...keep up the good work and don't be discouraged by the ‘Macadamias' out there.


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:29/03/2008 6:56 AMCopy HTML

 

Hi Ian,


Just one last post...


Third, for whatever reason, you've chosen to ignore Paul's very clear statement that, "for in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13),


I didn't choose to ignore this passage, but didn't perceive that it was relevant. I say this because John the Baptist did not have the scriptures in front of him to be able to refer to 1 Corinthians.


I see that John the Baptist was saying to the people you will be baptised, not Jesus will be baptised and you by belief in Him will be automatically be baptised in Him.


John was directing his words to a specific target audience and was referring to that target audience.


I realise that I have much to learn, but I do not choose to ignore scripture...I did this once in Revival, and never again!


Thank you for your help and assistance. I will always cherish our conversation. This does not mean that I will not post again, just need some time to read all of PleaseConsider.


Bless you my friend


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:29/03/2008 8:50 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Akriboo.

I thought I'd very briefly comment on one point that you made, for no other reason than to stimulate your thinking a little; and then I should probably leave the issue alone for a bit Wink

Third, for whatever reason, you've chosen to ignore Paul's very clear statement that, "for in one Spirit we were all baptised into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13),

I didn't choose to ignore this passage, but didn't perceive that it was relevant. I say this because John the Baptist did not have the scriptures in front of him to be able to refer to 1 Corinthians.

I think you have completely missed my point. It seems to me that you're a little 'hung-up' over the fact that Luke recorded John the Baptist talking about "baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire". The very same Luke who wrote Acts, and who very specifically commented on the baptism in the Spirit (but not the fire) that the apostles enjoyed. The very same Luke who Scripture records as a sometimes companion of Paul, the apostle who wrote 1 Corinthians (hence my quote of 12:13)! It's all linked!

Do you think, then, that one can ignore Paul's comments because they might not seem relevant to the issue currently under discussion?! Now Paul very clearly stated that all Christians are baptised into the Body of Christ by the Spirit at conversion. And only a very few verses later, he categorically states that not all Christians have the gift of tongues!

In short, there are no biblical grounds for presuming anything approaching the Pentecostal doctrine of a baptism in the Spirit with "tongues".

Context, context, context Laughing

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:29/03/2008 11:05 PMCopy HTML

 

Ian Ian,


Many thanks for your reply. I do appreciate you taking the time out to set me on the correct path. I only wish there were more people like you who would do that...how true is Didaktikon as a namesake!


I think you have completely missed my point.


I do apologise my friend but this is a circular statement. Please ruminate (avoided using the word ‘consider') over this:


Mat 3:11  "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire".


Mar 1:8  I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."


Luk 3:16  "John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."


Joh 1:33  "I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'"



It seems to me that you're a little 'hung-up' over the fact that Luke recorded John the Baptist talking about "baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire". The very same Luke who wrote Acts, and who very specifically commented on the baptism in the Spirit (but not the fire) that the apostles enjoyed. The very same Luke who Scripture records as a sometimes companion of Paul, the apostle who wrote 1 Corinthians (hence my quote of 12:13)! It's all linked!


You see Ian, I chose to be accommodating and only mentioned Luke as we were on the topic of Acts and thus same author.


However, all the Gospel writers refer to a future act of baptism...two with fire, and two without. I did not deliberately leave out with fire, I am not too sure how to tie it in. Is it a real fire, or is it symbolic to the burning of sin?


Do you think, then, that one can ignore Paul's comments because they might not seem relevant to the issue currently under discussion?! Now Paul very clearly stated that all Christians are baptised into the Body of Christ by the Spirit at conversion. And only a very few verses later, he categorically states that not all Christians have the gift of tongues!


I don't want to ignore Paul's comment, but superficially, we have four Gospel writers in agreement and a conflicting comment from Paul. I want to learn why! But before this could be explained, I need to know why the four Gospel writers are in agreement and refer to a future baptism in the Holy Spirit when consensus has it that is not the case. I am not sufficiently convinced as yet...hence my questions.


Please rest assured that I don't place any emphasis on ‘tongues' nor am I convinced that it is the evidence of being baptised in the Holy Spirit. All evidence aside, it appears to me that remaineth a baptism in the Holy Spirit that is open to all (every single person) and not only exclusive to the apostles etc.


In short, there are no biblical grounds for presuming anything approaching the Pentecostal doctrine of a baptism in the Spirit with "tongues".


Again, ‘tongues' and Pentecostalism aside there seems to me sufficient evidence to suggest that there is a baptism in the Holy Spirit open to everyone. Once we establish that, then is there a manifestation? If there is, what is the manifestation? Etc.


Many blessings to you my friend and guide.


Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:30/03/2008 3:50 AMCopy HTML

Akriboo,

I still don't think you understand what I'm on about Smile There is no conflict between the gospel authors and Paul at all; Paul simply made explicit what was implicit with the gospel authors. Again, context is key (think about it for a bit and I'm sure the penny will 'drop' once more)
Wink

Blessings,

Ian
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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:30/03/2008 11:31 AMCopy HTML

Holy Ghost and 'fire'
 

Fww, My bit as I see it;

Reading the scripture quoted, in its context from the ESV and NIV, I find that John was addressing a very wide audience, Pharisees whom the words of John must have cut deep and those that where in expectation of the coming Messiah. It talks of the purging of the wheat and the dross is burned up. The "fire" was a symbol of judgment.  Not perhaps the judgment of the day of Lord, as Jesus said "I come not to bring peace but division" but the fire of the Spirit renews the people of God and consumes the wicked as chaff.  Do we not become the wheat at conversion? I cannot see any conflict with Paul's statements.

brolga

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:30/03/2008 12:20 PMCopy HTML

 

Hi Ian,

 

The point that I have missed all along is this:

 

Prophesies of Mat 3:11, Mk 1:8, Lk 3:16 and Jn 1:33 have been fulfilled in John 3:16 and affirmed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:13.

 

The stumbling block equated to my perception of terminology and the misguided application thereof hence ‘explicit' and ‘implicit'.

 

I see your point quite clearly, and based on that I do now align myself with your theology.

 

Wow, what a relief to finally understand! However, if I'm still on the wrong track, please let me know.

 

It has been a very great pleasure talking to you. I now will get to your articles and hopefully I will read them with context in mind. It is difficult though as this is a new dimension to my understanding.

 

May God keep on blessing you.

 

Akriboo

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Re:The Spirit and Samaria – An exposition of Acts chapter 8

Date Posted:31/03/2008 8:41 AMCopy HTML

Akriboo,

Bueno! Laughing


Mathetes duo,

I concur Wink

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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