All graphics and images are copyright of A True Church
Last updated 5-03-11
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 11:45 PM
I'm curious, have you ever seen this site, www.firstplumbline.net? The site has a page on you, and the person claims to have e-mailed you. They also have Phil Johnson's folly ("articles") posted.
The site says,
"though it is good to expose false teachers, Darwin Fish has gone one step over the mark, Darwin Fish openly states if people do not agree his teachings that he believes they are absolutely essential then we are going to hell." (http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/atruechurchintro.html)
Since "[your] teachings" = exactly what the Bible says, what this person is saying is, that it is going "one step over the mark" to believe 1 John 4:6; John 3:18; Revelation 21:8; etc..
The site says, "Darwin should re-look his theology" (ibid.), yet this website teaches directly against true theology (Jesus, John 1:1; 14:6) Himself.
For example, he says,
"The scriptures never refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Godhead) as ‘gods’." (http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/mechanics.html)
Clearly this man does not know the Gods (1 John 2:4), nor what the scriptures refer to them as.
Thou shalt not revile the gods (Exodus 22:28 KJV)
Also, he says,
"Moreover, it is significant that the Hebrew adjective of singularity (one) is used with the plural noun God (Elohim)." (ibid.)
He apparently missed the significance of Joshua 24:19 and the adjective of plurality used with the plural noun.
He also says, speaking of God,
"He did not send His Son Christ Jesus to save you from your sin, he died to save you from his wrath" (http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/godhates.html, bold added)
This opposes Matthew 1:21/1 Timothy 1:15.
He also says,
"John 1:18 cannot mean God was never seen" (http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/mechanics.html)
So John 1:18 cannot mean EXACTLY what it says ("No one has seen God at any time")???
The site says in their "about us" section,
"We believe in the unity of the Spirit (the unity of God's people and not Ecumenical Unity). I do not accept unity on any ground other than that which is Bible-based." (http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/aboutus.html), yet it is clear that this guy is on the broad way. He says,
"Billy Sunday was a great Street Evangelist in his day. Though I don't agree every thing Billy Sunday stood for, I do agree with this; [he then quotes Billy Sunday]" (http://www.firstplumbline.net/html/godsjudgement.html)
Besides the fact that Billy was clearly on the broad way (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Sunday, under "Religious views"), he speaks well of him (Luke 6:26) saying he was a great Evangelist in his day, and doesn't even agree with everything he stood for. Clearly he does not believe in Ephesians 4:4-5, but rather, accepts one he doesn't agree with as a great Evangelist!
This false teacher and his website is indeed wicked. May the Lord repay this man according to his works (2 Timothy 4:14) and render to him what he deserves (Psalm 28:4; Revelation 21:8).
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:32 AM
Subject: Re: site
Yes, I have seen that website. It's quite ironic that he says,
"The scriptures never refer to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Godhead) as ‘gods’."
But then immediately in his next paragraph, he contradicts himself by writing,
"Moreover, it is significant that the Hebrew adjective of singularity (one) is used with the plural noun God (Elohim)."
Plural noun? Hello! Isn't "gods" a plural noun? Elohim is overwhelmingly the most common word (minus a few exceptions, e.g. Exodus 15:11; Daniel 11:36) for "gods" in the Hebrew Bible (e.g. Genesis 31:30, 32; 35:2, 4; Exodus 12:12; 18:11; etc.), and as our report reveals (www.atruechurch.info/heisholygods.html), it is used for the true God in clear plural contexts (plural adjectives, plural verbs, etc.). He unwittingly contradicts himself just two sentences after claiming God is never referred to as "gods," by pointing to the fact that God is referred to as gods via the plural noun for God (Elohim).
Of course, the Hebrew makes no distinction between lower and upper case "gods" and "Gods" as the English does. Context dictates that in the Hebrew. Perhaps, he is trying to say scripture never refers to the Godhead as "gods," but would concede that it does refer to the Godhead as "Gods"? I doubt it, since that is not orthodox Catholic and Protestant theology. Such a view is typically seen as anathema (www.atruechurch.info/heisholygods.html, V. An Unholy Creed).
From: Patterson, D'Elaine
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 5:01 PM
This question is for Dr. David Jeremiah. If he is not the one answering this question then advise.
My bible study group is in the process of doing a study on the "Nooma" series hosted by Rob Bell. I have just been informed that he may be a false teacher. Now our church here, supports Rob Bell with respect to having his series of studies in the church library. What I mean about a false teacher is that he questions the bible and God. I need to know if perhaps you know Rob Bell and what he is about and if my concerns are right. I don't agree with everything that Rob Bell says in his sequence of studies. I am asking 3 highly qualified preachers and you are one of them.
Can you let me know as soon as possible for I don't want to continue listening or coming to these bible studies when they are listening to Rob Bell if what he says is not right.
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 11:22 AM
To: Patterson, D'Elaine
Subject: Re: question
Rob Bell is a false teacher. This is well illustrated via his most recent book, Love Wins. Note what the publisher says about this book by Rob Bell:
Now, in Love Wins: Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell addresses one of the most controversial issues of faiththe afterlifearguing that a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering. (www.harpercollins.com/books/Love-Wins-Rob-Bell/?isbn=9780062049636)
They say Bell argues "that a loving God would never sentence human souls to eternal suffering." This is completely contrary to the doctrine of Christ (e.g. Matthew 18:9; 25:41-46; Mark 9:42-48; Luke 12:4-5). 2 John 9 says, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God."
You may also note Bell's video for the promotion of this book - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODUvw2McL8g&feature=related (by the way, Gandhi was a leader in the false religion of Hinduism).
Finally, Dr. Jeremiah is a false teacher (2 Peter 2:1). You can see our report on him and how he, like Bell, also "transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ" (2 John 9). Please see www.atruechurch.info/drjeremiah.html. I also suggest you read www.atruechurch.info/savednot.html.
If we can help any further, please let us know.
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 1:05 PM
Subject: insect feet
In Leviticus 11:20-23, the Bible speaks of incests on "all fours". Scoffers point to this to show that the Bible has error, since insects have six feet.
How would you respond to such?
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 1:33 PM
Subject: Re: insect feet
Well, I dare not show partiality for God (Job 13:7-9a). I will note a few things about the passage for you though.
1. The word translated "insects" (שֶׁרֶץ [sherets]) is not a technical term for insects. It's a term that is translated "creeping thing" (e.g. Genesis 7:21) and is also used for the mole, mouse, lizard, gecko, etc., (Leviticus 11:29-30 "creeping things") and is even used for sea creatures (e.g. Genesis 1:20 "abundance"). Moreover, the word translated "flying" in Leviticus 11:20 is a very general term that is used for a flying creature as here in Leviticus 11:20, or for birds as in Leviticus 11:13, which, by the way, in that context includes the bat (Leviticus 11:19), which also walks on four. Funny, the KJV translates Leviticus 11:20 with, "All fowls that creep going upon all four . . . ". I've never seen that! But, hey, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
2. The "all" in "all four" in Leviticus 11:20 is not in the Hebrew. A more literal translation of the verse would read like this:
Every flying creeping thing that walks on four is an abomination to you.
3. Leviticus 11:21 notes some having "jointed legs above their feet with which to leap" and names the locust, cricket, and grasshopper in the next verse. These walk on four (or some may argue six) and have two legs that are obviously designed specifically for leaping. So, here the "six" legs are implicit in the text with the mention of the locusts, cricket, and grasshopper.
3. It's obvious from the text that God's view of the locust, cricket, and grasshopper (which we know has six legs and feet) is that they walk on four.
From: Gregory Horning
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2011 5:36 PM
Subject: Fw: protest events
I stumbled onto your website while looking for neutral/honest criticism of MacArthur’s study notes. Diffucult with a figure like MacArthur, open criticism of whom would be professional suicide in some circles.
I have familiarity with Master’s with many family members and friends having attended the school.
Honestly, a lot of what is contained on your site seems like a big stretch (e.g., a valid standard that only your church has been shown to meet since the cannon) but there’s a lot that resonates with me too (e.g., the sense that a lot of church leaders [esp. popular ones] say and do biblically indefensible things and don’t accept challenge). I do sense “I’m personally offended” vitriol in your content, but don’t think this invalidates any true thing you say.
And, even if everything said about you by “them” is true, I’m stunned at the notion that anyone associated with Master’s/Grace Community leadership would do something like creating a mirror site including a pic of “Darwin in a goofy pose” (caption replaces image due to browser settings) to mock yours.
Even if everything you said was totally false, I can’t see Jesus putting a stamp of approval on that action. Would Jesus support having a Satan-is-stupid day? I strongly doubt it.
I was curious if you videotape any of your protests to protect against libel or if you have the other side of the argument regarding physical handling/detaining of your wife. Also, which (if any) of the criticisms from Johnson's mirror site are accurate (e.g., that one of your followers abandoned his wife and child and took posessions from her as an acceptable action in your church)?
From: Darwin Fish
To: Gregory Horning
Sent: Fri, March 18, 2011 4:59:46 PM
Subject: Re: protest events
"open criticism of whom would be professional suicide in some circles."
Having been at that church for about 12 years (and at the college the first year of Mac's presidency) I am well experienced in that darkness, having heard little to no criticism of his doctrine the entire time (and especially hearing no particulars, like who and what). They keep a lid on those things quite well. In fact, we have video (1994?) of them encouraging people to throw away our packet of information, as they clearly wanted people not to even read the material. This is something here we do just the opposite. Any criticism of me is openly discussed, and actually wanted (Proverbs 12:1). I'd love to see a rebuttal of www.atruechurch.info/heisholygods.html
"Honestly, a lot of what is contained on your site seems like a big stretch (e.g., a valid standard that only your church has been shown to meet since the cannon)"
I understand why you say that, because I myself (Titus 3:3) was under the same delusion, the essentials lie (www.atruechurch.info/savednot.html). The way is not that narrow, according to conventional wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:18), but it is, according to Christ (the Bible). This narrow way (Matthew 7:13-14) has been the way of truth (2 Peter 2:2) throughout the centuries. It is nothing new upon our arrival.
"I do sense “I’m personally offended” vitriol in your content"
I suspect you are sensing that, "Indignation has taken hold of me Because of the wicked, who forsake Your law." (Psalm 119:53)
"I’m stunned at the notion that anyone associated with Master’s/Grace Community leadership would do something like creating a mirror site including a pic of “Darwin in a goofy pose” (caption replaces image due to browser settings) to mock yours."
I'm glad for it and thank God for it (1 Thess. 5:18). As you illustrate, it is somewhat self-condemning/exposing. Also, the Gods have used it to save a few. They have also used it, no doubt, to help condemn many.
"I was curious if you videotape any of your protests"
Please see our video section (www.atruechurch.info/video.html).
"if you have the other side of the argument regarding physical handling/detaining of your wife."
I don't know if you have seen this yet, but check out this page (if you haven't) - www.atruechurch.info/ourside.html
"which (if any) of the criticisms from Johnson's mirror site are accurate"
You'll have to be specific. There are twists to Johnson's stories, so it just depends on what you're talking about as far as how accurate it is.
The wife abandonment story: The truth is, the wife abandoned her husband and moved in with her mother for a few months. They were in the process of moving, and on the very morning the moving van arrived to move their possessions, she informed her husband she was not going with him. She ended up coming back to him and they are happily together to this day.
From: Mark Schilling
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 8:35 AM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: thank you
all sarcasm aside, you're joking right? I mean this is a joke right? are you just an attention grabbing sensationalist? You can't really be THAT egotistical and self righteous to believe that you and your 50 people are the only ones that get it. You say on your site that you can't name another true believer? Do you really think God sent his Son into the world for 50 people. I say this with all sincerity, YOU need a Revelation of Grace. I believe in repentance, sanctification and the pursuit of righteousness but at the end of the day it's all filthy rags and the only hope of salvation we have is the shear grace of God. All of us are vessels of clay and so to discount people because of their flaws in character or even doctrine would mean you would have to add Peter to your list. Forget about Peter you would have to add most of the characters of the Bible, save Jesus, because they are ALL flawed and saved by grace through faith. I'm not where I want to be in faith, character or understanding of the Word but I wake up and ask Jesus for my daily bread die afresh to my flesh to strive to obey God's Word and will in all I say and do. I have acknowledged and repented of my sins, declared Jesus as savior and Lord been baptized. But i get the feeling you'd find a way to undermine God's work in me and find a way to be critical and disassemble my faith. I really would like to know how I'm seeing it wrong. If you really believe I have a wake up call coming I would fully expect YOU as a follower of the way have your feet shod with the readiness to show me the errors in my way. I look forward to hearing back from you Darwin,
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Thursday, March 24, 2011 10:10 PM
To: Mark Schilling
Subject: Re: thank you
No, I am not joking. It's not a laughing matter. You are seriously deceived and lost, and on your way to hell; and you will find out sooner or later. I hope for you, sooner, before it's too late.
For an example of your deceived and lost mind: You fault us with words that would condemn Noah. You wrote,
"You can't really be THAT egotistical and self righteous to believe that you and your 50 people are the only ones that get it."
How about saying THAT to Noah: "You can't really be THAT egotistical and self righteous to believe that you and your 7 people are the only ones that get it."
Noah was right, the only one right. He and his family were "the only ones that get it," and the rest of the world perished (Genesis 6 & 7).
It's evident you believe a similar thing could not happen again. This delusion of yours is not from Scripture, but rather your own deceived mind. Scripture actually depicts such a similar kind of thing is soon to come, in which very few are saved (Matthew 24:36-39 "took them all away"; Luke 17:26-30; 18:8 "will He find faith on the earth"; 2 Timothy 4:3-4 "turn their ears away from the truth"; etc.). [By the way, saying we know of no other does not equal (as you falsely accuse) we believe we are the only ones.]
Another example of your lost state is this question. You wrote,
"Do you really think God sent his Son into the world for 50 people."
What a foolish question. You are so bent against the truth (us, who proclaim it, 1 John 4:6), you can't think straight. Even though it is explicitly stated that we believe the Bible, you ask this. John 3:16 is not unclear. The book of Acts is not unclear (thousands are saved). You are so deceived you can't even understand the simple wording in our very first paragraph that declares any and all who reject the truth of the Bible go to the lake of fire. We believe that. And you ask us this foolish question, "with all sincerity". You are sincerely deceived, so deceived, you can't conceptualize where we are coming from. We have nothing on our website to indicate we believe such a stupid thing. But you ask, not because of what we have said, but because of your perverted mind that has twisted what we have said into foolishness.
Here's another example of the delusion that is upon you because of the doctrines of men (i.e. false Christianity): You wrote,
"You say on your site that you can't name another true believer?"
You think that is a problem. That's a problem for you, not us. You think it's a problem not because that is a problem Biblically, but because of the wicked influence upon you (false Christianity) that has gotten you to this perverted mindset. Where in the Bible is that a problem? Give us one verse that teaches such a thing is an indication of anything bad. Elijah (1 Kings 19) thought he was all alone (1 Kings 19:14). God didn't condemn him for it (as you do). He simply told him he wasn't alone (1 Kings 19:18).
Another example: You wrote,
"I believe in repentance, sanctification and the pursuit of righteousness but at the end of the day it's all filthy rags and the only hope of salvation we have is the shear grace of God."
So what! A false teacher would say these same things. Many of them do. You have missed "secretly" (2 Peter 2:1) and "unnoticed" (Jude 4). You haven't noticed.
You also wrote,
"I have acknowledged and repented of my sins, declared Jesus as savior and Lord been baptized."
This is so simple-minded. I suggest you read Matthew 7:21-23. They claimed likewise, and went to hell.
In your first email you mock us in the light of our exposure of Satan's men. We document, not only there on our home page, but also in individual reports, how these men do not abide in the doctrine of Christ (2 John 9). So you oppose us (who speak the truth) and support ministers of Satan (as in 2 Corinthians 11:13-15). It's clear whose camp you are in. You are among those who "profess to know God, but in works they deny Him" (Titus 1:16). We proclaim God's Truth. They proclaim lies (we document them). So, you oppose us (the truth) and conceptually support them (the liars). It's a classic case of 1 John 4:6.
We write of the false Christianity you are caught in at www.atruechurch.info/savednot.html. Your statement about doctrine well fits the essentials lie we discuss on that page, and it is evident you have believed that false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9). False gospels lead to nowhere but hell, because they get you to be "unbelieving" as Revelation 21:8 declares, and as 2 Thessalonians 2:10 says, "they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
What I have pointed out above is typical. You are not unique. We see people like you all the time, because there's a lot of them. As Jesus said, "there are many who go in by it" (Matthew 7:13), and as Peter wrote, "many will follow their destructive ways" (2 Peter 2:2). You have swallowed a false Christ and a false gospel.
Finally, for your soul's sake, I suggest you attempt to find a single Scripture we don't believe, and/or anything that is not Biblical on our site, and show us (from the Word) how it is not Biblical. Perhaps, via this (by the grace of God), you'll see we do proclaim His Truth (John 14:6), and you'll "escape the snare of the devil" (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
May the Lord have mercy on you.
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 12:02 PM
I have already been aware of this page,
but I want to ask you, is the section that is said to be written by a former member of your fellowship really written by a former member? Also, I am curious, what is your response to their argument of you being in violation of 1 Timothy 3:6 ("not a new convert/novice")?
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Friday, March 25, 2011 5:08 PM
Subject: Re: question
Yes, that is one section of a lengthy letter written by a man named Andy Stout back in September of 2000. He was a man who came to us in January of 1999, and in December of 1999 married a young girl in our church (I have since heard they are now divorced). In April of 2000 he was exposed as a wicked man (before the church, which we documented on tape), but appeared to repent (acknowledged the truth), so he continued with us until the end of August of that year, when he left. A couple of weeks later he wrote us that letter. He also deceived his wife (who formerly saw he was wicked just a few months prior) and her family at the time, and they left also. They wrote a similar letter, claiming they weren't following Andy, but their letter reads like his.
I indeed acknowledge, as my bio states, that I was lost (along with the rest of us) that first year I was teaching in my sister's home (1993). We were caught in the false Christianity that prevails, but we were also in the process of rejecting aspects of it as we went (James Dobson identified as a false teacher, rejection of Psychology; rejection of Christmas, etc.). The whole reason it started was because my brother-in-law and sister could not find a church they believed was faithful to the Word. They were quite correct on that!
When we started, I was no novice according to broad way standards (Bible college, etc.), but the way of truth, I did not know. So, Biblically, come 1994 when we did reject the broad way (particularly the "essentials" lie) and embraced the way of truth, I was indeed a novice (to the way of truth). But, neither I, nor anyone else knew it.
By 1998 when we saw the truth of John 10:5, I was no novice to the way of truth. I had been living it and preaching it for four years. We all acknowledged that we were lost during those years we were in false Christianity. I did not think, as Andy claims, I "must have gotten saved sometime after 1998." That's an invention of his own deceived mind.
Core to Andy's deceit is that he makes a standard that God does not make (Matthew 7:1-2). He claims a person must approach God with a particular understanding and confession (in this case, "as a false teacher needing forgiveness") that Scripture does not demand. Christ's example in Luke 18:13 is not good enough for him.
Finally, to this day, there is no time in which I have believed God would have me quit. Early on (1993-1995) I often wanted to quit, but I could not do so with a good conscience before God. Throughout this whole time (to this present hour) we have not had anyone to lead us in the way of truth. Had we, I am certain, had I seen myself as a novice, I would have resigned from any kind of leadership role. But, we didn't have that privilege. Moreover, I was ignorant of what was going on at the time, and I think that was all by the grace of God. He has saved us via all this, and continues to save us (Proverbs 2:1-12).
Moreover, God can raise up a "novice" if He so chooses. Paul was a "novice" to the way of truth, but God appointed him to be an apostle; and he began to preach immediately (Acts 9:20). Now, no doubt, what happened to Paul was indeed miraculous, and I am not saying my situation is like his. Yet, it is evident God used my sister's family, in asking me to teach, and the subsequent years of study (Proverbs 2) and trials, to lead us into the way of truth. And, sadly, to this day, we see no other doing so.
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:44 PM
I just read your blog entry regarding being a novice to the faith and leadership. That brought up yet another question (shocking, no?).
I see the term "pastor" used by people all over the place, I see "elder", "bishop", "evangelist", and as I have mentioned in past emails, I have even seen people who claim to be apostles (even females).
I have also seen churches (sic) that have plural elders, and the one preaching is under the authority of those "elders".
Does Scripture have a specific model laid out? For instance, where is "pastor" mentioned as the one(s) leading the congregation rather than "bishop" or "elder", or is it all semantics? Does your church have others serving as deacons or elders?
Thanks for your time!
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 3:36 PM
Subject: Re: novice
Elder, bishop (more literally, overseer), and pastor are all synonyms. You can see this in 1 Peter 5:1-2 where all three are used (elders, shepherds [i.e. pastors], overseers). Titus 1:5-7 also uses elder and bishop (overseer) synonymously.
It's evident from the Word (e.g. Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14) a plural of such leadership is ideal. Yet, there is no condemnation upon a lack thereof. James 3:1 puts a caution on such a role, and both 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1 give qualifications. Presently, we have no other than myself. We are quite small in number, so this should not be surprising. In the future, there may be more leadership, or there may be less (Luke 18:8). I fear the latter (as in Acts 20:29-30).
From: Jared McCormick
Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2011 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: Where is Christ?
I was just now going through my inbox cleaning it out. You asked, Why did God waist his time on Saul?
Who is to say that Saul was never saved?
He was anointed by God. Not on his own merit. I know that you are well acquainted with David and Saul both, and their relationship. Saul was trying to kill David. But at least he was doing it before David's very own eyes. If you ask me, David's recorded sins far outweighed Saul's.
Can you give me some kind of biblical proof that Saul or anyone else that committed sin never was saved by God?
And how does God save someone then drops them like a bad habit because of their own actions?
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2011 9:24 AM
To: Jared McCormick
Subject: Re: Where is Christ?
"And how does God save someone then drops them like a bad habit because of their own actions?"
That's exactly what God did with Saul.
God gave Saul a new heart and gave him the Holy Spirit in 1 Samuel 10:9-10.
Saul disobeyed the Lord in 1 Samuel 15, and as a result, God rejected Saul from being king (1 Samuel 15:23, 26), took the Holy Spirit away from him (1 Samuel 16:14), and gave him an evil spirit (1 Samuel 16:14 KJV). After this, Saul continually and unrepentantly hated his brother David (1 John 3:10-15) and was literally a murderer attempting to kill him. God eventually killed Saul via suicide (1 Chronicles 10:14 "he did not inquire of the Lord; therefore He killed him").
Bryan Keith (email@example.com) asked several questions about masturbation. Most of his questions and the answers are listed below.
"Does, 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, instruct a single person to marry or masturbate if they cannot exercise self-control?"
Neither. It instructs the church to "let them marry".
"If it is to marry, then is teaching an unmarried person to masturbate, instead of marrying, adding to the scripture (Proverbs 30:5-6) of 1 Corinthians 7:9?"
It certainly is, and our article teaches no such thing. If you think it does, please give us the quote so we can correct it.
"do you condemn others for adding to scripture (Luke 6:37)?"
Yes we do, time and again, as Scripture does (Proverbs 30:5-6).
"Is it written, in Romans 14:1-13;21, that a believer is not to judge or cause another believer to stumble concerning disputable matters of faith, even matters such as what to eat or to drink or which day(s) is/are sacred or anything else"
The "disputable matters of faith" in Romans 14 are matters of one's own conscience before God (see verses 22-23). If they are left to one's own conscience, they are "disputable" and not to be judged (as both parties are told not to judge, see verses 3-4, 10-13). If they are matters of doctrine (teaching others), then they are a matter of life or death, heaven or hell, as these same issues are addressed as matters of doctrine (the faith) in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 (eating) and Galatians 4:10-11 (days).
In 1 Timothy 4:1-3 Paul addresses two doctrines (forbidding to eat certain foods and to abstain from marriage) of those who have departed "from the faith" and follow "doctrines of demons." So, in Romans 14, when left to one's own personal conscience (not doctrine), we are not to judge. When it is a matter of doctrine, we judge it as "doctrines of demons."
Likewise, in Galatians 4:10-11 Paul says, "I am afraid for you" because "You observe days . . . " etc.. In Romans 14, when left to one's own personal conscience, observing days is no big deal (Romans 14:5-6). When it becomes doctrine, as it was in Galatians, it's a matter of heaven or hell, that's why Paul was afraid for them, because they were being taught a false gospel (i.e. false doctrine, Galatians 1:8-9).
"In light of, 1 Corinthians 7:8-9, would not masturbation be one of these disputable matters?"
Indeed, as a matter of personal conscience. If it was taught as doctrine, it should be contended (Jude 3) for what the Biblical view is.
"If someone, who is not married, were to adhere to your teaching and during masturbation think of another person in a sexual nature, would they not end up committing fornication?"
Of course, if they were lusting for that person (similar to Matthew 5:28).
"If so, have you not led them to stumble/sin, especially if according to their faith they had previously refrained from masturbation?"
No, because we have a whole section in that article addressing such wickedness. If they did so, they would be rejecting what we have taught.
"Is it reasonable to believe that someone who previously refrained from masturbation, because it was an area of weakness in the past, might again be tempted if someone is teaching them that it is alright to do so because God is silent on the matter?"
God is not silent on the matter, or on any matter, that Scripture does not condemn (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23; Titus 1:15). That person, if they believed God, would find it quite liberating, because God puts no such prohibition on man anywhere in the Word.
"What about a previous alcoholic, would it be edifying for them if they were encouraged by someone to drink because scripture does not condemn it?"
Again, if they believed what the Bible teaches on that subject (www.atruechurch.info/alcohol.html), they would find it quite liberating (2 Corinthians 3:17), and since they would have the Spirit of God, they would have self-control (Galatians 5:23) and would be able to drink in moderation.
"Would it be edifying for a previous alcoholic to have another person of faith drink around them (Romans 14:21)?"
That depends on the conscience of the ex-alcoholic. If he is weak in his faith/conscience (as described in Romans 14), then no. That's why Romans 15:1-2 goes on to say that those who are strong in the faith are to "bear with the scruples of the weak" . . . "leading to edification." In other words, the strong in faith are to not be offensive in the matter, that they might build the others faith and bring them to the point where the weak brother's conscience lines up with the teaching of the faith. Of course, all along the weak brother must acknowledge the teaching of Scripture on the matter. That's how he could not judge those who are strong (Romans 14:3). Nonetheless, the weak brother is encouraged to get his conscience in line with the teaching of the Word, so that he is comfortable (in conscience) on the matter.
"Is it written, in Galatians 5:22-23, that self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit?"
Indeed it is.
"Is masturbating an indication of self-control or is abstaining from masturbation and controlling your sexual passion an indication of self-control?"
Neither is necessarily an indication of self-control. Only when one views masturbation as a sin does it indicate to one's mind a lack of self-control. Moreover, one can abstain from masturbation and still lack self-control. Married couples are explicitly told they lack self-control (1 Corinthians 7:5). That doesn't mean they masturbate.
"Is masturbating, of the Spirit or of the flesh?"
Neither, specifically. "Whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). If you give to the poor, but not from faith, it is sin. If you plow a field not from faith, it is sin (Proverbs 21:4).
"Do you think Jesus masturbated?"
The Bible doesn't say (Proverbs 30:5-6).
"Do you think Jesus had control over His sexual passion or did He “burn with sexual passion” (1 Corinthians 7:9)?"
No doubt, Jesus had self-control over His sexual desires (Galatians 5:23). Burning with sexual passion is never identified as sin. It is simply noted as having strong sexual desire, as 1 Corinthians describes it as literally, "to burn" (Greek infinitive; "with sexual passion" is not in the Greek). Such temptation Christ certainly experienced (Hebrews 4:15). The sexual desire is not sinful in itself.
"Is it possible for a person of faith to consider or believe that masturbation is a lack of self-control?"
Yes, if they are ignorant of the Word on the matter.
"Do you think that, Romans 14:21, leaves room for something like masturbation, when it says “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak?”"
This is not something that would be practiced with any brother present. Paul is not addressing abstinence from eating or drinking when the brother is nowhere around. 1 Corinthians 10 deals with this very same subject matter, and there it shows that it has to do with anyone present. See 1 Corinthians 10:23-33. See also 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
"Therefore, is masturbation disputable?"
Only when talking about one's own conscience before God.
"If God is silent in scripture as to whether masturbation is good or evil, should a person of faith be silent on the matter also (in so much as not judging others concerning disputable matters)?"
God is not silent on what He is silent on (1 Corinthians 6:12; 10:23; Titus 1:15).
"Is it written, in Luke 6:37, do not judge and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned, forgive and you will be forgiven?"
Yes. For a Biblical understanding of that passage and others like it, please see www.atruechurch.info/judging.html.
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 10:23 AM
Subject: emtying self
In Philippians 2:7, Christ is described as having "made Himself of no reputation", and the marginal notes in the NKJV I read says "emptied Himself of His privileges". Is that a literal rendering or is that the opinion of the translators?
What does that phrase mean in the Greek, and thus, what does this verse teach?
On a different note, is it wicked to serve in the military? Some claim that it is, but did David not serve as a leader of the Israelite military?
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2011 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: emtying self
The Greek word for "made . . . of no reputation" is also found in the NT in Romans 4:14 ("made void"); 1 Corinthians 1:17 ("should be made of no effect"); 9:15 ("should make . . . void"); 2 Corinthians 9:3 ("should be in vain"). It is actually well defined in the passage itself. Paul notes Christ was "in the form of God" and "did not consider it robbery to be equal with God". In other words, it was appropriate to be equal with God. Nonetheless, as it says, He "nixed" this (made it void), took the form of a bondservant, came in the likeness of men, and humbled Himself, even unto death on the cross (Hebrews 12:1 "shame"). Obviously, from other passages it is evident Christ did not "make void" that He was still God while on earth (e.g. John 5:18; 8:58; 9:35-39; 10:30-39; etc.).
Regarding the military, the Lord trained David for war (Psalm 144:1). The Lord Himself is a man of war (Exodus 15:3). John the Baptist did not instruct soldiers to stop being soldiers, but rather to be content with their wages and to not oppress (Luke 3:14). Cornelius was “a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment” (Acts 10:1) and he was a godly man (Acts 10:2).
Yet, serving in the military can be to the peril of the one who serves, if he is deployed in such a way as to have nothing but wicked people around him (Psalm 125:3; Proverbs 13:20; Ecclesiastes 7:7; 1 Corinthians 15:33). In the U.S. military that's all that exists (to our knowledge) including, and especially, the chaplains (false teachers).
From: James Newton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2011 3:02 AM
Please pass this along to Pastor Darwin.
I have a few things to say. John 3:17-18 says "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." And Romans 8:1 and 33-34 say "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" and "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." In Romans 10:13 says "ANYONE who calls on the name of the Lord WILL be saved."
Now, in James 4:11-12 , it says "Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?" And in Acts 10:15, we see that it is said, in a vision from God, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." Though literally talking about animals for food, it was a metaphor for the Gentiles - who Peter would soon see are accepted by God just as the Jews were and are.
Now, on your website you condemn many evangelists, preachers, etc. and their congregations to Hell. Why? You say because they follow the wide path. Yet, Jesus said, in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." and in Romans 10:13, we are taught that anyone who calls on His name will be saved. By saying that you must enter the 'narrow gate,' you are implying that salvation is by works, but Ephesians 2:4-9 teaches us that "because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ ... it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." So then, entering the narrow gate must be calling on Jesus in search of grace, not avoiding mainstream teachings. This is not my opinion. This is simply logic. You are condemning many people to hell by claiming that because they listen to a prosperous preacher, or perhaps ARE a prosperous preacher. There is a big difference between the broad gate of destruction and the prosperity God pours out on his faithful servants. We see time and time again throughout the scripture, that those who believe and follow, are blessed by God in ALL they do! Genesis 39:3 says "...the lord gave him (Joseph) success in everything he did..." And that's only one example. God's blessing is directly proportional to our obedience which is even shown in Deuteronomy 11:26-28 which says, "See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the lord your God that I am giving you today;the curse if you disobey the commands of the lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known." Salvation is the gift, or blessing, of God for believing in and calling on the name of Jesus. Prosperity of ministry is the blessing of God for obedience throughout and beyond the process he sets before you if He chooses to call you into ministry. By condemning the people you have, you are not only condemning them to hell, but also judging the works of God.
I kindly and lovingly encourage you to prayerfully reconsider many of your positions on Christianity, especially your views regarding salvation.
I look forward to hearing from you.
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2011 8:38 AM
To: James Newton
Subject: Re: Correction
Thank you for the email. You wrote, "By saying that you must enter the
'narrow gate,' you are implying that salvation is by works,"
Your words apply to Christ, since He is the one who said, "Enter by the
narrow gate:" (Matthew 7:13-14).
You wrote, "entering the narrow gate must be calling on Jesus in search of
grace, not avoiding mainstream teachings. This is not my opinion. This is
Logic is not the standard for truth. The Bible is the standard for truth.
You fail to understand Christ's words in John 14:6. He is the Truth, and no
one gets to the Father but through the Truth. Thus, if you are in falsehood
(as Revelation 22:15 warns), you will not get to the Father.
It's obvious from your email that Truth (Christ) does not matter to you,
since we prove in our reports on the false teachers how they teach against
the Truth of the Word of God.
From: James Newton
Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2011 11:54 AM
To: Darwin Fish
Subject: Re: Correction
I understand that they apply to Christ. I believe your interpretation is incorrect. The narrow gate would be calling on the name of Jesus as Romans 10:13 says. Nothing else will get you saved. He didn't say understanding Jesus. In other words, He didn't say salvation comes from understanding the Way, the Truth and the Life. If this were so, who would be saved?
I do believe the Bible is the standard of truth, but I also believe that Jesus is it's author. Can you point to anywhere in the Bible that says you must first understand My Written Word to be saved? Because in Romans 10:13, we are told to CALL on the Truth, not understand it. For His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).
You say that you will not be saved if you are in falsehood. If Jesus is the Truth, then wouldn't being in falsehood refer to not being in Jesus? Calling on Jesus is the only truth we are scripturally required.
You wrote, "He didn't say salvation comes from understanding the Way, the Truth and the Life."
Does not Proverbs 9:10 declare, "the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding"? Is not Christ the Holy One? Thus, is not the knowledge of Christ understanding, according to Proverbs 9:10?
What does it mean then when it says, "A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead." (Proverbs 21:16)? Or, what does it mean when it says, "Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it." (Proverbs 16:22)? Is there more than one source of life (John 7:38)? Doesn't Proverbs 14:33 say, "Wisdom rests in the heart of him who has understanding"? If Christ is wisdom (as 1 Corinthians 1:24 says), doesn't this mean then that "Christ rests in the heart of him who has understanding"? Thus, does not understanding and Christ go hand in hand? Likewise, Proverbs 10:23 says, "a man of understanding has wisdom." Does this not equal, "a man of understanding has Christ"? Proverbs 10:13 says, "Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding." Does this not equal, "Christ is found on the lips of him who has understanding"?
Why does Proverbs 9:6 say, "Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding" if understanding is not necessary? Is not the "way of understanding" the way of wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24), the way of Christ? Is there another way that brings life ("live" as it says)?
Proverbs 4:7 commands, "Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding." Why does Proverbs 4:7 say it this is the principal thing, but you claim there is no need for it? Is there something more important than the principal thing?
You asked, "Can you point to anywhere in the Bible that says you must first understand My Written Word to be saved?"
Job 28:28 says, "to depart from evil is understanding." If you don't depart from evil (i.e. understand) you will perish. Acts 17:30 says God requires "all men everywhere to repent." In other words, God requires all men everywhere to depart from evil. That equals, God requires all men everywhere to understand. That's why Proverbs says:
Proverbs 2:1-5 - "My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding; Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding, If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God."
Proverbs 3:13-18 "Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her. Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, And all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, And happy are all who retain her."
"Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, . . . " (John 8:43-44)
I believe we have possibly been arguing for the same point, but explaining ourselves in seemingly contradictory ways, or perhaps just misinterpreting each other.
Please allow me to explain what I believe and tell me if you agree.
Yes, you must have understanding - understanding that we are wrong, that we have all sinned, that we are undeserving of God's love, grace and mercy, that there is no truth, wisdom, good, etc. apart from God, and understanding that Jesus Christ is the only way to turn from wickedness and to God. This understanding is a gift of God, as we see in Matthew 16:13-17, that gives us the knowledge and wisdom to turn away from sin, to Jesus. However, this understanding can not save because we can still choose to "wander from the way of understanding" (Prov 21:16) and because we can choose to "depart from understanding, unto evil" (reciprocal of Job 28:28). This gift of God, understanding, is just God's way of opening our eyes to the choice set before us: "life and good, [or] death and evil." (Deut 30:15) So, by understanding we learn of the choice to repent, and by repentance and acceptance of Jesus as our lord we are saved.
Happy Easter by the way!
We don't celebrate Catholic holidays (Easter; 1 Timothy 4:1-3).
So, what truth, then, must younknown and understand to be saved?
The trust (faith/belief/understanding) must be in the Word of God, every word (Matthew 4:4), as Abraham believed and was accounted righteous (Genesis 15/Romans 4). Those who have this trust manifest it via true doctrine (2 John 9; John 14:6 "Truth"). Those who claim to have this faith, but in reality do not, manifest it via false doctrine (2 John 9; 1 John 2:3-5; John 8:47; Matthew 7:21-27; Revelation 22:15; etc.). And so, the Savior and the Standard is the Word of God Himself (Hebrews 4:12-13).
So is faith that Jesus died for our sins and was raised by God enough? I raise this question because in Acts 2, 3,000 people heard the message of Jesus Christ, accepted it and were counted as believers.
In Acts 2 Peter did not tell anyone to believe solely Jesus died for our sins and was raised by God. He told them to be immersed into Jesus Christ, who is "both Lord and Christ". This immersion is exactly equal to "The trust (faith/belief/understanding) must be in the Word of God, every word (Matthew 4:4)". Jesus is the Word of God (Scripture, John 1:1; 10:35 "word of God/Scripture"; Revelation 19:13; Hebrews 4:12-13). Thus, Peter was telling them to believe what God has done and said (Acts 2:14-39) and to put their trust in His Word, as he quoted from the OT three times.
To make sure I understand you, are you saying that following true doctrine comes by believing or that believing comes by following?
After looking over the email I sent you, I respectully request that you do NOT reply back.....It is obvious, through your use of Greek and Hebrew, that NO ONE who isn't educated in Hebrew and Greek can even possibly argue with you and your translations. Therefore, it only goes to show that you want us to trust YOU and only YOU in regards to what the original Greek and Hebrew says.....
Take a look at the first footnote at the bottom of the article (www.atruechurch.info/heisholygods.html). There it records John Wesley, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, and a Jewish commentary for examples of others acknowledging this is what the Hebrew says. You can google those references for yourself and see the quotes from them for yourself. There are also other ways as well to check for yourself, even if you do not know Hebrew (or Greek). If you want more help on that, let me know. I can point you to other resources.
I appreciate any criticism on the article (if you have any). I certainly want people to be convinced from the Bible, and I certainly want to be corrected if there was something wrong. Trust in the Word (not in me) is the only thing that will save the soul (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
God says, "They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him" (Titus 1:16).
While we are in this topic(I will be responding fully to your email, I just have a quick question), you say that God hates everyone, but what do you believe is the reason He would sacrifice His son if He hates us so much?
From: Darwin Fish
Sent: Thu, Apr 28, 2011 11:23 pm
Your question implies sin on your part. There is no Biblical mandate to prove such a thing, unless you have a manmade standard (Matthew 7:1-2; 15:8-9), and that standard would be sin (Proverbs 30:5-6). When things are lawful (Titus 1:15), there is freedom to do or not to do. It is not a matter of need. Your question is like asking,