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Which god is the true one and how can we tell?

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    #31
    Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
    Doesn't the Bible answer this? In Corinthians 13 8:12 Paul suggests there will be a time to move past miracles. In Ephesians 4:7-13 it says that miracles will cease when there is 'unity of the faith' which some take as the creation of the Bible. Zechariah 13:2-4 is blunt that anyone who performs miracles or prophecy after this date does not do it in the name of the Lord.

    There are very few other faiths that predicted miracles would stop before they actually did, and where it was the people performing the miracles who predicted it would end. Also, if you read Acts 14:7-10, you will see that miracles only happen if you have faith. The man who was healed had faith he would be healed, and Paul healed him. How many people have that degree of faith nowadays?
    A cessationist!

    God bless,
    William
    Comment>

      #32
      Originally posted by William View Post
      A cessationist!
      No, but I am familiar with the viewpoint. I just don't think God does things without a reason, and with some of the sceptics I know Angels could be proclaiming the second coming from the clouds, the world's sick could be spontaneously healed and God rain mana from the heavens worldwide, and they'd be pointing upwards yelling "Alien Invasion!" (or complaining the special effects were shoddy and they could see right through them). Big miracles aren't as likely to reach people now as they were in the past.

      I know someone who spent considerable time talking about ways Elijah's Baal-test could have been rigged: glass in the pyre to focus sunlight, treated wood, people on a mountain top nearby using an Archimedes burning mirror to focus heat (they'd need very good aim...) a chemical fuse he triggered in the pyre when he built it and then just waited for the fuse to show signs of igniting (they are notoriously unpredictable). Miracles were a message and if none of those messages would be understood now, why wouldn't God move to something that would be, personal miracles, or other things?
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        #33
        Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
        Also, if you read Acts 14:7-10, you will see that miracles only happen if you have faith.
        Do they really?

        Watch this:

        Comment>

          #34
          Originally posted by ChatterBox View Post
          No, but I am familiar with the viewpoint. I just don't think God does things without a reason, and with some of the sceptics I know Angels could be proclaiming the second coming from the clouds, the world's sick could be spontaneously healed and God rain mana from the heavens worldwide, and they'd be pointing upwards yelling "Alien Invasion!" (or complaining the special effects were shoddy and they could see right through them). Big miracles aren't as likely to reach people now as they were in the past.

          I know someone who spent considerable time talking about ways Elijah's Baal-test could have been rigged: glass in the pyre to focus sunlight, treated wood, people on a mountain top nearby using an Archimedes burning mirror to focus heat (they'd need very good aim...) a chemical fuse he triggered in the pyre when he built it and then just waited for the fuse to show signs of igniting (they are notoriously unpredictable). Miracles were a message and if none of those messages would be understood now, why wouldn't God move to something that would be, personal miracles, or other things?
          Cessationism is not anti-supernatural, nor does it deny the possibility of miracles:

          When it comes to understanding the cessationist position, the question is not: Can God still do miracles in the world today? Cessationists would be quick to acknowledge that God can act at any time in any way He chooses. Along these lines, John MacArthur explains:

          Miracles in the Bible [primarily] occurred in three major periods of time. The time of Moses and Joshua, the time of Elijah and Elisha, and the time of Christ and the apostles. . . . And it is during those three brief periods of time and those alone that miracles proliferated; that miracles were the norm; that miracles were in abundance. Now God can interject Himself into the human stream supernaturally anytime He wants. We’re not limiting Him. We’re simply saying that He has chosen to limit Himself to a great degree to those three periods of time.

          Cessationism then does not deny the reality that God can do whatever He wants whenever He wants (Psalm 115:3). It does not put God into a box or limit His sovereign prerogative.

          But it does acknowledge that there was something unique and special about the age of miracles and miracle-workers that defined the ministries of Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, and Christ and His apostles. Moreover, it recognizes the seemingly obvious fact that those kinds of miracles (like parting the sea, stopping the rain, raising the dead, walking on water, or instantly healing the lame and the blind) are not occurring today.

          Thus, cessationists conclude that:

          The apostolic age was marvelously unique and it ended. And what happened then is not the normal thing for every Christian. The normal thing for every Christian is to study the Word of God, which is able to make us wise and perfect. [It] is to live by faith and not by sight.

          Source: What Cessationism Is Not | The Cripplegate
          God bless,
          William
          Comment>

            #35
            So... Does cessationism invalidate the purpose of petitionary prayer? Why would we pray for healing or help in desperate times if God no longer (or hardly ever) does miracles anymore?
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              #36
              Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
              So... Does cessationism invalidate the purpose of petitionary prayer? Why would we pray for healing or help in desperate times if God no longer (or hardly ever) does miracles anymore?
              Why would someone petition the Lord, does the Lord change His mind? That is, if God is sovereign and has ordained everything that comes to pass? But to answer your question petitionary prayers can and should be made, not in spite of God's sovereignty, but precisely because of it. If we had a god who did not hear, know, and ordain all things, our prayers would be of little use (e.g., 1 Kings 18:27).

              Also, I believe your question of healing does not distinguish between ordinary means (modern medicine) or supernatural healing. The question to me then is whether God uses supernatural miracles today or ordinary means.... . and on the subject of miracles how do you define a miracle? An event that occurs outside the explanation of science? Should a person pray for supernatural healing, medicine, or wisdom in a doctor? I'll leave that up to you to determine, but personally, when I pray for healing I pray the doctors be given wisdom to find out what is wrong, and to fix the problem. People are instruments of God's working and are the ordinary means He uses, just as God uses people to profess the Gospel.

              I for one am a cessationist because I believe "certain" spiritual gifts have ceased. Namely, tongues, apostleship, prophecy, and miracle healing have ceased at the completion of Scripture and the building up of the church 1 Corinthians 13:8. But the question of supernatural healing isn't as clear in Scripture, but where are the people that can supernaturally heal blindness or the paralytic? As far as I am aware only the ordinary means are proven fact today.

              But as for miracles, I believe they can happen and often do, for every time a person is regenerated is a miracle in itself. The very act of regeneration goes against nature.

              God bless,
              William
              Comment>

                #37
                Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
                What I'm pointing is that we need proof. I don't see a better proof than the Baal test that Elijah did. Just bring the Pope and an Islamic Imam, make two altars (one for Yahweh and the other for Allah), bring offerings and have them pray. The altar where fire strikes is the altar of the true God.
                We don't need proof. We need faith. If God caves in to such demands and just shows Himself, where does faith come in?

                Besides, even if God did choose to reveal Himself in such a way, there would still be deniers. Some would claim that it wasn't really God who made the fire, or that it was a magic trick. Some wouldn't care even if they thought God did it. They still wouldn't choose Him.



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                  #38
                  Originally posted by thisnthat View Post
                  If God caves in to such demands and just shows Himself, where does faith come in?
                  Where did faith come in in the times of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Enoch and Jesus, when miracles used to take place?
                  Comment>

                    #39
                    Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post

                    Where did faith come in in the times of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Enoch and Jesus, when miracles used to take place?
                    Performing miracles would indicate that one already believes, yes?

                    I think there is a difference between a miracle taking place (of God's choosing) and demanding that one take place as a sign of proof. A big difference and one we are warned against in the Bible. We are not to "test" God in that way. Faith is believing without proof, and we can only be saved by faith. How is it faith if you demand proof?



                    Comment>

                      #40
                      Originally posted by thisnthat View Post

                      Performing miracles would indicate that one already believes, yes?

                      I think there is a difference between a miracle taking place (of God's choosing) and demanding that one take place as a sign of proof. A big difference and one we are warned against in the Bible. We are not to "test" God in that way. Faith is believing without proof, and we can only be saved by faith. How is it faith if you demand proof?


                      And what is the purpose of demanding a miracle or sign today? To validate belief or unbelief?

                      I believe you're aligned with Jesus' teaching on this matter, thisnthat:
                      • Matthew 16:4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

                      Jesus already produced the greatest miracle and sign known throughout history. Yet people continue in their unbelief despite so many people's eyewitness testimony in the Gospel Record. The “sign of Jonah” would turn out to be Jesus’ greatest miracle of all. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead would be God’s chief sign that Jesus was Israel’s long-awaited Messiah and establish Christ’s claims to deity.

                      God bless,
                      William
                      Comment>

                        #41
                        Originally posted by Theodore A. Jones View Post

                        "there are no realistic ideas on how salvation can be obtained." beg to differ sir, "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13
                        I am not sure what he meant by "realistic," but the "idea" is actually very simple; complete obedience to God. This way is not easy, and few are able to overcome their ego and gain true salvation. Anyways, my response to Theodore is from 1 Peter 4:18 in which it says "And if the righteous scarcely be saved..." implying that even of the righteous, few are saved.
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                          #42
                          Originally posted by William View Post
                          despite so many people's eyewitness testimony in the Gospel Record.
                          How many testimonials? As far as I know, only John and Matthew wrote about seeing Jesus resurrected. Peter inferred to it in his epistle. Luke and Mark never witnessed it, nor did Paul. So, that's 3 written testimonials. That's not really a huge number, considering that over 500 people allegedly witnessed it. Did the other 497 people not know how to write?
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                            #43
                            I'm not sure how many people saw Him after He arose, but I know there were more than the ones mentioned above. Thomas had to touch the wounds..What about Mary Magdalene?

                            Maybe not everyone wrote a separate account, but it makes sense that they would have told other people. I would have told everyone.

                            How many testimonials would it take to equal "proof"?
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                              #44
                              Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
                              How many testimonials? As far as I know, only John and Matthew wrote about seeing Jesus resurrected. Peter inferred to it in his epistle. Luke and Mark never witnessed it, nor did Paul. So, that's 3 written testimonials. That's not really a huge number, considering that over 500 people allegedly witnessed it. Did the other 497 people not know how to write?
                              2 Corinthians 13:1
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                                #45
                                Originally posted by Lucian Hodoboc View Post
                                nor did Paul
                                Paul saw him. That is why he became a follower of Jesus.

                                But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank. (Acts 9:1-9
                                Clyde Herrin's Blog
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