Bible Discussion Thread

 
  • Tony Russo on Romans 3:4
    The text about faith in Christ is not true to the Greek which is plain to read in the original language. reads, "By the faith of Christ. Nestle, 1904, Westcott and Hort 1881, Scrivener's 1894, Tischendorf, 8th Edition 1872, and many others are clear in translating this verse the same. It is inaccurate and misleading to use a translation that promotes the faith of a believer in place of the faith of Christ. This error is also found in the translation of Galatians 2:20 "And the life I now live by faith in Jesu Christ." This last phrase, by faith in Christ can only mean one thing, it means, I am living my life in Christ by my faith. By THE faith OF Jesu Christ, I now live the life of total surrender by the faith of Christ. Therefore, I do not march and grow toward victory, I now live in Christ in victory. I approach our Father through the faith of Christ. He is our Advocate and Mediator before the Father. Of Him alone did God say, "With Him, I am well pleased." We please the Father when we come to Him in the faith of Christ. Example, A father puts money in a bank for his son. The money is under the son's name. He does not have the money himself but he has access to it from anywhere in the world. In a similar way, the faith we need to save us is not within us. It is found at the right hand of God and we draw on it "in Jesus name." Acts 3:16: "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."

    This faith Of Christ takes us to complete dependence on Him through His faith. He offers the secret of Christian victory over the flesh, the world and the devil, His own faith, for us.
  • Tony Russo - in Reply
    Hi, Chris and Rick. I am only going to place English for each text I previously sent in the Greek. Romans 3:22, "Da pisteoos Ieesou Christou," "By THE faith of Jesus Christ," OR, "the faith that comes through Him."

    In Acts 3:16, The faith which is from (Or BY HIM)." "to onoma autou kai hee pistis hee di autou. If this verse were to read "Faith IN Jesus" rather than "Faith BY Him," the only way to translate this is, "OUR faith in Jesus Christ," healed the man!



    Galatians 2:20 reads in the Greek, "Ho de nun zoo en sarki en pistei zoo tee tou Huiou tou Theou." Translators have often used their own theology which can drastically change the true intent of the inspired writers of Scriptur. For instance, look up the Greek for "torment" in Rev 20:10. The English robs God of His mercy and goodness in this last act with the lost. What word do you find in the Greek? Have you traced it? Let me know what you find. You will be amazed at the wealth of meaning the translators took from us!

    I have experienced a profound faith from Christ. Only He could say, at the tomb of Lazarus, John 11:42, of the Father, "I know You always hear Me." My faith has grown to know our Father always hears me if He hears it from the Son!

    He is called our Advocate in 1 John 2:1. He defends us before the Father as High Priest, who offers His own life and merits on the sinner's behalf. Heaven has given us the gift of faith, Ephesians 2:8-9, to know, believe and trust ourselves to the High Priest. This is the only way to the Father that pleases Him. We dare not come to Him in our faith. Otherwise, we are entering the Most Holy Place in our own name and dishonor His Holiness. Death waited for anyone who came into the Holy Place except for the High Priest. It is the devils lie telling us we can become as gods!

    Leviticus 16 has also given me further insight into what was required by the nation of Israel as they worshipped God on the Day of Atonement. On who did they place their faith?
  • Chris - in Reply
    Thank you Tony for your further comments. Just taking up your question now on Revelation 20:10, which I neglected to do earlier for lack of comment space.

    "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."

    Noting your brief comment on this & what I can see of the word "vasanistirio" or, "basanizo", it speaks of 'torment, torture, examining by torture'. However, you've written, "The English robs God of His mercy and goodness in this last act with the lost." I assume you mean the English usage of the Greek word, so I would be intrigued what this word means to you, in line with the Revelation verse.
  • Tony Russo - in Reply
    Hi Chris-Here's my understanding of the Greek word for "torment," in Revelation 20:10. First, I have read this passage many times (who doesn't read Revelation many times?) This is what struck me. Why are the wicked raised from the dead? Haven't they been previously judged at this time? What is God's purpose in casting them into the Lake of fire? Most all believers have family members and close friends who we thought would be in the kingdom. Why do the righteous in the Holy City have to see people we love about to face their eternity in the fire?

    As you pointed out, the word in Greek is ""basanisthesontai." Strong's NT 928. It is associated with NT 931, a "Touchstone." It is also related to the ancient word for "testing," This where I saw the full impact of Rev 20:10. Their torment is related to testing them. Jesus says in Rev 3:18, "Buy of Me gold tried in the fire."

    In 1 Corinthians 3:10-14, Paul refers to this time of testing by fire. It will reveal "every man's work," as to the person's true character. And only precious metal will survive the fire. In ancient Greek, NT 931, "Touchstone" was a "Lydiam stone" used by assayers to determine the value of certain metals (gold and silver). As the assayer pressed the metal against the stone, it would leave a streak that determined its value. Luke 20:17, Jesus mentions that He is the "Stone" Israel rejected. The Geek word for stone is, "Lithos," or Lydiam, the stone used by assayers."

    My question at this point was, "Why does God test the lost in Rev 20:10? He knows who are His and those that don't belong to Him. Therefore, the testing must be for the redeemed! The only scenario I see is that God wants the redeemed to know why their loved ones are not saved. He does not want the saved to raise the question of, "Will the possibility of sin ever occur again in the New Earth? Basically, this testing time demonstrates that the lost do not want to follow or worship Christ. CONTINUED...
  • Tony Russo - in Reply
    Chris, Crazy thing--I used the Greek for all of my texts and after I pressed submit, all of the Greek was erased. I lost the evidence for our discussion. I will attempt to get back to you when I figure out what happened. Thanks. Also, what is your theological background? I just retired from ministry after 30 years.
  • Tony Russo - in Reply
    CONTINUED ON REVELATION 20:10 . The righteous will witness false believers rejecting the testing of the Stone. The fire will witness that He has not made a mistake in judging the lost. If He could make a mistake about someone's salvation among the lost, the fire could have no effect on them, the fire cannot destroy the gold of redemption which is in Christ. I can understand the horror and grief as the redeem see that there is no possibility for loved ones to be saved. As terrible as this testing is, God has made clear that He judged correctly. Then He wipes away all tears from our eyes, and we leave behind all that we experienced in this world of sin, For God also wipes away our sins. Jeremiah 31:34



    "And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD : for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD ; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

    When God chooses not to remember something, it cannot exist anywhere. What a God!
  • Chris - in Reply
    Thank you Tony. In reference to Revelation 20:10, the "torment" being used for 'testing', in your understanding, does this 'testing' continue eternally without any finality to their judgement? Or does the verse more fully speak of that eternal torment received is the result of them being found guilty & deserving of their punishment. I became confused when you also referred to Jeremiah 31:34: are you speaking of the saved whose sins are already forgiven by virtue of Christ's death, or for some type of redemption for the unsaved?

    And then to the "touchstone" & the connection to the "cornerstone". Though the same Greek word for Stone is used, I see a different application, where Christ is seen not as the 'testing' stone but as the very stone that forms the joint for connecting the two walls together, & is being rejected as useless (as was the rejection of the lord of vineyard's son). And the chief priests & scribes correctly perceived "that he had spoken this parable against them".

    And then when we come to Revelation 20:10, where the "devil is was cast into the Lake of Fire, where the beast & the false prophet already are", I don't understand this to be a testing time for unbelievers. Their judgement is seen in Revelation 20:11-13, when the Books are opened & according to their works, were deemed guilty & not found in the Book of Life. Their judgement & punishment are now eternal. Those who belong to Him, through His Son, have been eternally secured, & their only judgement is in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, where rewards are given to those who have built their Christian lives well on that One Foundation & sadly with shamefacedness & loss to those who have dishonoured Him in their lives.

    There's more to share, but I feel that I may not have fully comprehended your understanding, so will leave it for now.
  • Tony Russo - in Reply
    Hi Chris, Hi, the "torment" being used for 'testing', in your understanding, does this 'testing' continue eternally without any finality to their judgement?" On Jeremiah 31:34, I am referring to Micah 7:18-20 refers to the remnant of God, "Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." The wicked have no part nor have another opportunity for redemption. The "testing" is given by God for the redeemed sake. God's judgment is final. It is not a testing time for unbelievers, but for the saints to know why our loved ones are not with us.

    The "stone" referred to in Mathew 21 was used for joining two walls together, you are correct. Also, I see Matthew 21:24 emphasizing the result of rejecting the stone that crushes them. This is the way I view the Greek Lithos, Strong NT 928 and NT 939 in both Matthew and Revelation 20:10. Since the wicked are raised from their fiery grave, why do they need a second judgement? Have they not been previously suffering under the flames of eternity, some for thousands of years?

    This is not a testing time to see if the lost get another chance at salvation. When the Books are opened, there will be no doubt why the lost are lost. We will be able to read the facts for ourselves. I cannot understand Revelation 20:10 and the raising of the wicked for any other reason.

    I enjoy our study together. "Iron sharpens iron." Please continue to share your thoughts on the subject. Or any other topic of interests you may have. Blessings!
  • Chris - in Reply
    Hello Tony. Thank you for your further clarification; previously I wasn't clear as to how you were viewing these passages. If I may explain my understanding:

    a. Jeremiah 31:34 & Micah 7:18-20. I believe we see these passages differently. In both passages, I see a new Covenant God made & now brings in for Israel. This is not the New Covenant in Christ's Blood which avails for all men, but another Covenant that is different from the Mosaic ( Jeremiah 31:31,32) (& by inference, the Davidic) - a Covenant which will be unconditional (v32); it will include a change in their hearts, fellowship with God, knowledge of God, & forgiveness of sins (vv33-34). In Truth, all this avails for them through the Messiah of God, Whom they rejected & crucified; & so they go the same way as the Gentiles who reject God's Offer of Salvation. Yet, there will be a day in the Millennium, when they will finally acknowledge the One "Whom they pierced" & God will confirm this Covenant made to them & their sins will be forgiven. And also with Micah 7:11-20: God will fulfil His Promises to Israel, to Abraham, & to the fathers of old (v20). These verses also speak of that special time of forgiveness & blessing to the House of Israel.

    b. Revelation 20:10. This verse aligns with Revelation 19:19,20; that the beast & his false prophet were first cast into the Lake of Fire. And Revelation 20:10 shows that Satan also joins them there & their torment will be eternal. So, I don't understand, "Since the wicked are raised from their fiery grave, why do they need a second judgement?" Which 'raising' are you referring to? And which 'wicked'? But if you're referring to vv 11-15 (Great White Throne Judgement), the Books were opened & their names were not found therein - & those dead were raised to judgement, including the finality of death & hell, were all likewise consigned to that eternal flame.

    So I sense that our interpretation of these passages may differ, which I'm happy to pursue.
  • Fred Scanlan - in Reply
    Satan can do nothing without the will of God. While having this wisdom, one may begin to understand the works of God that they are past our understanding. We pray His will be done!

    That salvation, He has provided through the Son, will be according to His glorious nature, and what we need to know He will provide through the knowledge of His Son. Desire the sincere milk of the word that u may grow thereby! F.E.S.
  • Chris - in Reply
    Hi Tony. In reference to your Greek words, were you using the actual words with their characters, inflections, etc.? This Site has a potent word checker that obliterates anything not found in its knowledge base, or so I gather. Though I think that using simple English characters might solve the problem.

    I have no theo. background, just a believer who loves the Word of God & endeavours to use it correctly as given. I had a short itinerant ministry (via a Mission organization), serving in Karachi, Pakistan (amongst both the Church there & Muslims). After a forced departure, I went into India & engaged in a couple of ministries, chiefly assisting an (Open) Brethren evangelistic group, training up young assembly folk (boys & girls), equipping them to reach out to different parts of India. Of course, my focus was on evangelism training for outreach to Muslims, and we also had brothers who were ex-Hindus, who taught on ministry to Hindus (the predominant target group). When not giving training, I kept the accounts of that Mission. All this took place between the years 1988 to 2003.

    That was very gratifying to read your comments on the "faith of Christ". The brother that can be most useful on the Greek applications & meaning, comes on here every week, so maybe if he sees this thread, he will add very profitably to our thoughts. For me though, I can only use the Greek Lexicon to find the word, its meaning, & its use in Scripture. However, I do appreciate your highlighting this important Truth; and we see it also clearly here: "And be FOUND IN HIM, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through THE FAITH OF Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith" ( Philippians 3:9). He has to be the Source of our Faith, our Righteousness, our Joy, & our Hope. Our Rest & our Power to live must only emanate from His Being & what He has accomplished for us. If our faith grows weak, Christ is not the problem, but our shaky walk in the Spirit is.
  • Chris - in Reply on Romans 3:4
    Hello Tony. I think of Ephesians 2:8, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God". We see here that the "Gift of God" is the whole: Grace & Faith. Both are needed from Him to receive His Salvation: the Gift of Grace & the Gift of Faith.

    However, I couldn't place which verse(s) you were referring to. Both Romans 3:4 & Galatians 2:20, do not reveal what you suggest. Unless you were thinking of Galatians 3:26; Colossians 1:4; Colossians 2:5; & there may be more. I doubt if the apostle intended to infer that this was a faith generated by one towards attaining Christ, rather that the Gift being given & now existing in the believer, from which comes his varied expressions of that faith.
  • Tony Russo - in Reply on Romans 3:4
    Hello Chris, You are correct about Romans 3:4, I gave a wrong text! Thank you for your comments. Some may read our thinking as a difference in semantics. Time for the Greek. Romans 3:22 reads in the KJV, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe." By faith of Jesus Christ in the Greek reads, , "By THE faith of Jesus Christ," or the faith that comes through Him. In Acts 3:16, "The faith which is From Him" is, " " If instead the phrase reads "faith IN Jesus Christ'" it could only mean OUR faith in Jesus Christ. Galatians 2:20 reads in the Greek, , . Translators have often used their own theology which can drastically change the true intent of the inspired writes of Scripture. For instance, look up the Greek for "torment" in Rev 20:10. Tell me the actual word.

    I have experienced a profound faith in Christ. Only He could say, at the tomb of Lazarus, John 11:42, of the Father, "I know You always hear Me." My faith has grown to know our Father always hears me if He hears it from the Son! He is called our Advocate in 1 John 2:1. He defends us before the Father as High Priest, who offers His own life and merits on the sinner's behalf. Heaven has given us the gift of faith, Ephesians 2:8-9, to know, believe and trust ourselves to the High Priest. This is the only way to the Father that pleases Him. We dare not come to Him in our faith. Otherwise, we are entering the Most Holy Place in our own name and dishonor His Holiness.

    Chris, my understanding has given me a freedom of absolute surrender to Christ I never experienced. It certainly does not distract my belief in the gospel. I no longer look at my faith to speak to the Father. I now speak to Him through the faith of Jesus. I never have to say again, "I wish I had stronger faith." I do have it! It is my faith in His faith for me!
  • Rick - in Reply on Romans 3:4
    Hi Tony Brother read your commentary and scripturally right on faith is the bridge that spans the casim between the natural man and God that faith is Jesus Christ. When someone says I need more faith not true we were given the faith of Jesus Christ when we were born again. Now over time we will get better in believing action on the scripture and understanding and walk but that is in the category of carrying what the spirit wants us to do. That's why technically there was no spiritual faith in old testament because it says in Galatians before faith came, spiritual faith came on the day of pentecost which is the faith of Jesus Christ. The word pistis could be translated faith or believing there are times when it was translated faith before pentecost when it should have been believing.
  • Earl Bowman - in Reply on Romans 3:4
    Amen and Amen Brother Rick!



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