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Rick Bates
Rick Bates
Charlestown, R.I. US
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Recent Posts
NeoCalvinism
by Anthony C. - Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:52 AM
The Nick-name Calvinism
by Pilgrim - Sat Oct 23, 2021 4:06 PM
Natural Theology
by Anthony C. - Fri Oct 22, 2021 11:47 AM
Wilderness Wealth
by NetChaplain - Fri Oct 22, 2021 10:57 AM
Your opinion please
by Johan - Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:03 AM
True of False
by NetChaplain - Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:26 PM
NeoCalvinism Tom Sat Oct 23, 2021 7:18 PM On another thread I started, Anthony mentioned
NeoCalvinism.
I am starting this thread because my question
is not in keeping with the other discussion.


Anthony mentioned NeoCalvinism and it got me a bit curious.

Lately in discussions, NeoCalvinism, have been
brought up fairly often in discussions, particularly
about how we as believers should be responding to
Government Covid mandates etc...
At first when they mentioned it, I thought
they were talking about “Theonomy”. However, I soon
found out Theonomy had nothing to do with
what they were talking about.Though it seemed to be related.

However, most of it was going over my head; so I dropped
out of the discussion.

I thought perhaps, by bringing it up here. Someone could shed some light on the subject.
2 111 Read More
The Nick-name Calvinism Tom Fri Oct 22, 2021 4:32 PM Would you say anything to someone who refuses to be called a Calvinist under any situation; but agrees whole heartedly with the doctrines of grace?
They go about saying when we affirm the nick-name Calvinism/Calvinist like it or not we are going against Scripture. No theology or doctrine should be named after any man; regardless of the reason.
As far as they are concerning it is wrong to consider oneself a Calvinist.
They make a big deal about it, as well.

Tom
7 210 Read More
Wilderness Wealth NetChaplain Fri Oct 22, 2021 2:57 PM All reborn eventually realize the invaluable paces in the Father’s school of learning, which is most understood through traversing its difficulties, hardness and trials. We white-knuckle the paces initially, but progressively learn that the lessons are rigged, for none of them can escape the pre-planned work of the Father to be beneficial “to” our “good” (Ro 8:28). Thus each trial encountered, whether white-knuckled or not, is used by Him to teach us to entrust all to Him (1Pe 5:7). Being presently in the residences of this wilderness earth and in heaven (Eph 2:6), believers are assured of the Spirit to progress in appropriating the supplies above, to strengthen their walk below.
NC




Wilderness Wealth



The longer you are in the wilderness as a Caleb, with an actual acquaintance with Hebron, the more truly and really does your heart make ready for possession, as well as being enriched with the durable nature of the Father’s mercies to you here. “Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell” (Deut 8:4). Hence, the longer one is on the journey, the more marvelous the unchanging character of His care and ways with us.

The wilderness was immensely different to Caleb and the rest of Israel. He was not in the land, he was traveling on to take possession, but of a country known, not only by report, but where he had been; and as he travelled on, he was learning that the very same care of provision made for him at the first, remained fresh and unworn up to the last.

Each year your heart is deepened in the care of the Father in the wilderness, and has a brightened consciousness of your heavenly possession, which becomes more enjoyable to you, while heaven is more and more within your reach. You can say, “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God” (Ps 92:13). You are blessed with the upper springs and the nether springs, and they increase simultaneously. It is as I enjoy the upper springs that I am conscious of the nether; as I eat of the corn of the land, so do I practically partake of the manna; as my heart is occupied with the glorified Lord Jesus, so are my steps here in His life and grace on earth.

The less you have from earth and the world, the more you are in the wilderness; and it is in the wilderness, and in the absence of natural supplies, that you know the Father’s care, and that the knowledge of heaven brightens. If you lose naturally, you gain spiritually as to both. The more the wilderness is the wilderness, the more the Father’s resources are made known to you. The moment we gain from the earth or man, we are losing the wilderness, and with it the divine comforts of it.

If I have nothing but my Father, I am in the wilderness, and I am supremely happy. It is the admixture of the old and new wine which occasions our ups and downs here. The wilderness is having all our resources in the Father on earth, and without any check in heaven. I might retire from the world politically and positionally, and yet enjoy the things that are in it; and inasmuch as I do so, I am not in the wilderness in the true sense of the word, nor enjoying the Father’s provisions for me when in it.

The Father will take care that my needed comfort shall not be impaired, nor my natural force abated. The more all my springs are in Him, the more I really enjoy heaven, where all my springs shall be in Him, with everything to cooperate and nothing to distract or hinder. It is only as you are thus truly in the wilderness that you are in the joys of the Father, or are able to discern what is of Him all round you.

If I am in the light I know what light is, for it aids me; and I know darkness, for it opposes me. “He that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man” (1Co 2:15). It is not that you have spiritual knowledge, but that you are spiritual, living on divine springs; and then you can determine like test-paper the reality of each, and you seek it too. You know nothing but as you have been in it; you cannot know the heavenly but as you have been in it; and you cannot discern in another what you have not known in yourself. You may see what you have not known yourself. You may see more in another than in yourself, but you could not see it at all if it were not, in some measure, in yourself.

- J B Stoney (1814-1897)







M J Stanford online devotional excerpt for October 22


TRUE SANCTIFICATION


“OF HIM ARE YE IN CHRIST JESUS, WHO OF GOD IS MADE UNTO US. . . SANCTIFICATION” (1 COR. 1:30).

If we keep in mind that the Lord Jesus is our Sanctification, the seemingly difficult subject will clearly unfold for us day by day.

“But yet you are sanctified. Sanctification has nothing whatever to do with the extinction of evil in the flesh. That idea, begun with Pelagius, revived by Thomas a’Kempis, handed down through Jeremy Taylor, the French and Dutch mystics, Wm. Law and John Wesley, has passed into other communions where they have no notion whatever whence it came.” -W.K.

“GOD HATH FROM THE BEGINNING CHOSEN YOU TO SALVATION THROUGH SANCTIFICATION OF THE SPIRIT AND BELIEF OF THE TRUTH” (2 THESS. 2:13).
http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/
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Natural Theology 2 Tom Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:23 AM I started another thread last week called ‘Natural Theology’. I would like to continue along the same lines with a more recent dialogue.

Quote
Here is a short dialogue illustrating why one must assume something outside the text in order to gather the meaning of the text. Namely, God as He reveals Himself through nature. Otherwise, the claim "I hold to sola Scriptura" is meaningless—
Presups: God is this way.
Others: No, God is that way.
Who has the true knowledge of God?
Presups: We do, because the Bible tells us so.
Others: No, we do, because the Bible tells us so.
Who has the right interpretation?
Presups: We do, because regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
Others: We do, because regenerated by the Holy Spirit.
What means does the Spirit use to bring you to a correct understanding of the Bible?
Presups: We are regenerated by the Holy Spirit!
Others: God Himself as He speaks through His works and provides us with basic first principles allowing us to know, read, and speak intelligible things, of which the Scriptures are preeminent.
The key take-away: We must appeal to authority *outside* the self (metaphysics) rather than an alleged innate reality (epistemology) in order to justify our approach to Scripture before other men. Otherwise, the universal claim of both Christian and heretic is, "We believe the Bible," and no one gets anywhere.
I will be criticized for saying this. But remember, even James White appeals to rules of grammar, textual theory, and a host of other things when interacting with Shabir Ali, Bart Ehrman, and everyone in between. What are those rules but first principles preceding our approach to Scripture itself?[/quote

He went on to say the following:

[quote] Special Theology assumes Natural Theology. Authority would be unintelligible as a concept apart from natural revelation.

He goes even further by saying that both:
Quote
Natural Theology and Special Theology, have equal authority.

I am not assuming this person believes that Natural Theology can lead anyone to Christ; I have yet to ask him.

Thoughts

Tom
1 107 Read More
Your opinion please Johan Mon Oct 18, 2021 4:36 PM Good day everyone! It is quite a long time since I have posted something here. I have been extremely busy over the last almost 24 months.

Recently I noticed something in the weekly newsletter of a local church that made me wonder whether someone can write something as if Christ Himself has dictated the words to the author. The background to my question is the following invitation of the two pastors in this church to the congregation:

Quote
To you, a beloved member of the Reformed Church Potchefstroom-The Bult
These are our words as teachers, shepherds, and servants of the congregation: We are
thankful that the lampstand of the congregation has been giving its light IN, ON and
BEYOND the Bult for the last 10 years. We know that some of you have been part of
the congregation for all ten years and that you also remember a time before The Bult. We
also know that some of us only know this congregation, as she was before Covid, and she
had to continue to be salt and light even in the pandemic. We share in your thankfulness
for the grace of our Lord in Jesus Christ.

During this year’s Focus Season, we listened to Him who holds the seven stars in his right hand
and walks among the seven golden lampstands (Rev 2:1), who is the First and the Last, who
died and came to life again (Rev 2:8), who has the sharp, double-edged sword (Rev 2:12), the
Son of God, whose eyes are like blazing fire and whose feet are like burnished bronze (Rev 2:18),
who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars (Rev 3:1), who is holy and true, who
holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can
open (Rev 3:7), the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation (Rev 3:14).
We listened to what the Spirit is saying to the congregation.

Now we want to hear from you, and your family, and your Small group: What would the Lord
say to us as a congregation or how do we as a congregation look in the eyes of the Lord?
What would He commend us for? Where have we failed or neglected his commands and
therefore need to repent? We are looking forward with great expectation to receive a letter
from you with your answers to these questions. Answer one question or answer them all, share with us what you heard from the Spirit in this time.
We hope to compile these answers into a letter or bundle of letters to The Bult congregation.

Until we hear from you, we will continue to live in our shared hope in the fulfilment of the
Sevenfold promises to the overcomers. We also look forward to the day on which our Lord
Jesus will return. With love from house to house, to everyone who is part of our heavenly
Father’s household here on the Bult.

Signed by the two pastors to whom the letters should be addressed.


Now, I have seen one of the letters written to the pastors and it is the style of the letter that made me wonder what is going on. Unfortunately, the letter is in Afrikaans and it makes no sense to quote it here. The letter starts with "Thus says He who hanged in your place on the cross, Who conquered death, ... He that holds your right hand, and surrounds you with His love so that no virus, no corruption in government and poor service delivery (by local government) can separate you from His love. "
The letter then continues with sentences starting with "I know you in these strange times", "I know that you honestly try to walk in My footsteps as your Saviour to still be the church". "I see that in humbleness you ...." The letter ends with "But I have a few things against you....." Clearly "I" means Christ.

I was just wondering what authority the author of the letter has to formulate it such as if Christ has revealed these things to him or her personally. You will note that in the letter by the two pastors they write "share with us what you heard from the Spirit in this time". What if, say, there are 20 letters, all saying different things. Does the Holy Spirit work in this way? Surely the pastors or church council can ask these questions but I don't think any member has the right to answer as if it is Christ Himself who speaks in the letter.

Btw, this church ordained women as elders and consider what we see in secular society about the role of women as part of the general revelation and that Scripture should be read and interpreted in the light of what happens in society.

I hope my question is clear.

Johan
3 226 Read More
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