April 8, 2012

Mark DeYoung vs. the Gospel, pt. 2

Posted in Mark DeYoung tagged , , , , , at 4:00 AM by chriswadams

Recently, I had an email discussion with a man named Mark DeYoung, in response to some things I had written to Ken Lokken. This is my response to DeYoung’s first email.

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To: Mark DeYoung

From: Chris Adams

January, 23, 2012

Re: Fw: Demon possesion; a few thoughts

Mr. DeYoung —

Well, I have to hand it to you Mr. DeYoung, at least you have the integrity to include some discussion of Bible verses with your e-mail. Ken Lokken flat out refused to discuss any verses that I offered, then offered me exactly one verse, and even that one I had to drag out of him. Anthony Buzzard refused to discuss even one verse. Let’s see if you fare better than they did.

First, discussing Deu 18:15-16, you wrote:

“So in this passage the Jewish people would understand that the “one” Moses was referring to was a human being, simply a man.”

Well, this is both wrong and right at the same time. SOME of the Jewish people were expecting that the Messiah would be “simply a man”. But the remnant, like Abraham (Joh 8:56-58), Job (Job 19:25-26) and Isaiah (Joh 12:37-41), were expecting a Messiah who was more than human; one who was God in the flesh.

Next, on Psa 2:7, you wrote:

“Nothing in this says that this is the essence of God.  Your jumping through hoops to make it say that.  In fact the definition of “begotten” according to Strong’s #H3205  יָלַד yalad {yaw-lad’} A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage. In this case the “causatively to beget” is the part that is applicable.”

Actually, it is the whole definition of ‘yalad’ that is applicable, including the “causatively to beget” and “specifically to show lineage”. God was proclaiming that the Messiah would be his “Son”. Now let’s look at what happened when Jesus claimed to be “the Son of God”:

Joh 5: (18) Because of this, therefore, the Jews lusted the more to kill Him, for not only did He break the sabbath, but also called God His own Father, making Himself equal to God.

Joh 10: (33) The Jews answered Him, saying, We do not stone you concerning a good work, but concerning blasphemy; and because you, being a man, make yourself God.

You are definitely correct to say that the Jews (at least some of them) were expecting a merely human Messiah. But that isn’t what Jesus claimed to be, and the Jews knew it. Note that in claiming to be the “Son of God” the Jews understood that Jesus was not merely claiming to be a ‘ “mighty hero” or “divine hero, reflecting the divine majesty” ‘ as Brown-Driver-Briggs put it in their lexicon — he was “making himself equal with God”.

Of Psa 110, you write:

“God didn’t promise that He in human flesh would appear or be born for that matter”.

True. Which is why that isn’t the point. The point is that David referred to his son as his Lord. I addressed this in my previous correspondence with Ken Lokken, which I linked to, below. Jesus’ own question to the Pharisees, and my question to you, is: “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

In your discussion of Isa 9:6, you quote from several commentators, and while I don’t endorse any of them, the first one had some interesting points. Grotius says that “not all Trinitarians understand the verse as a reference to Christ only” — in other words some Trinitarians refer the verse to both Hezekiah AND to Christ. Further, he says that “This passage is acknowledged … to relate in the same manner, but in a more excellent sense, to the Messiah.” Saying that the verse refers to BOTH Hezekiah as a type of Christ, AND Jesus as the anti-type, in no way detracts from the truth that Jesus is “the Mighty God”.

As for the word “god”, yes, it is definitely used to refer to some people, such as in Psa 82:6, as the quote from Brown-Driver-Briggs demonstrates. But since you quoted next from John Calvin, let’s see what he had to say on Psa 82:6:

“Christ, with the view of rebutting the calumny with which the Pharisees loaded him, quoted this text, John 10:34, 35, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” By these words Christ did not mean to place himself among the order of judges; but he argues from the less to the greater, that if the name of God is applied to God’s officers, it with much more propriety belongs to his only begotten Son, who is the express image of the Father, in whom the Father’s majesty shines forth, and in whom the whole fullness of the Godhead dwells.”

Again, I am no more endorsing Calvin than Grotius, but it does show what Calvin REALLY thought of the use of the word ‘god’ in Psa 82:6.

As for Calvin and Servetus, please refer to my article about them.

Of Luk 2:7, you wrote:

“there is no mention of a God-Man in this passage!”

Well, no kidding. But what there is in this passage is mention of Jesus’ humanity, a point that is essential to the Gospel. He is both God and Man, and is therefore able to “lay his hand” on both (Job 9:33).

Of Joh 1:1 you wrote:

“The text simply reads, “In the beginning was the word,” not “In the beginning was the Son.””

True, but here’s what the verse does say:

Joh 1: (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So in what way was the “Word” both with God and at the same time, the Word was God? And in what way was this “Word” (who both was God, and was with God) “made flesh and tabernacled among us”?

As for calling you on the phone, I prefer to keep this exchange written. This format is much more conducive to thinking, logic, and study.

Finally, I notice that you have this in your signature:

“Proverbs 22:3, A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

That’s a very appropriate verse, Mark. And I must warn you that you are going on in your simplicity, unaware of the danger to your soul. You do not believe in the deity of Christ, and therefore, you do not believe the Gospel. You are lost, and your deeds are evil. Again, the Gospel is:

The gospel is God’s promise to save His people, giving them all the blessings of salvation from regeneration to final glory, conditioned exclusively on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, totally apart from the sinner’s works and efforts. It reveals the righteousness of God – how God is just to justify the ungodly based on the work of Jesus Christ alone. The gospel is not merely the fact that Jesus lived, died, and rose again, considered apart from the purpose of these truths, which were accomplished to establish a righteousness for all whom Jesus represented.  [Gen 15:5-6; Psa 103:2-12; 130:3-4; Isa 1:18; 45:21-25; Jer 33:14-16; Mat 1:21; Joh 3:16; Act 13:32-39; Rom 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 4:5-8,13-25; 10:4,15; 1Co 15:1-8; 2Co 1:20; 5:21; Eph 1:3-2:22; 3:6; Col 1:5; 2Ti 1:1,9-10; Heb 10:4-17]

I urge you to repent and believe it.

=======================================

For more information, please see:

The Christian Confession of Faith

Gospel Atonement

Essential Gospel Doctrine

An Open Letter to a Jehovah’s Witness

April 1, 2012

Mark DeYoung vs. the Gospel, pt. 1

Posted in Mark DeYoung tagged , , , , , at 4:00 AM by chriswadams

Recently, I had an email discussion with a man named Mark DeYoung, in response to some things I had written to Ken Lokken. This was our first round of emails; my response will appear next week.

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From: Mark DeYoung

To: Chris Adams

January 20, 2012

Re: Fw: Demon possesion; a few thoughts

Christopher,

I find your position interesting to say the least.

But the Scripture you are using out of context.  In this email I’ll address your first web link Scriptures that were cited.

Deut. 18:15-16  The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;  (16)  According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

In this first passage cited, “the one that shall be like me” (NKJV) Is Moses, not God.  Look at verse 16 for this clarification, the Hebrew people didn’t want to hear the voice of God again, because they feared death at hearing the voice of God.  Check out the story in Exodus 19, the children of Israel are at the base of Mt. Sinai when God speaks to them and they tell Moses to speak to God and ask him to only speak to and through Moses, because they feared death.

So in this passage the Jewish people would understand that the “one” Moses was referring to was a human being, simply a man.

Psalms 2:7  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

Nothing in this says that this is the essence of God.  Your jumping through hoops to make it say that.  In fact the definition of “begotten” according to Strong’s #H3205  יָלַד yalad {yaw-lad’} A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage.

In this case the “causatively to beget” is the part that is applicable. Causatively caus·a·tive/ˈkôzətiv/ Adjective: Acting as a cause.  Noun: A causative suffix Synonyms: Casual – Factitive

This definition was supplied by Dictionary.com

Literally God said I will cause Mary to become pregnant!  Any Jew would reject the idea of a baby sired by God.  This is idolatrous in nature that flourished in every society around Israel, and which Israel took part in throughout it’s history. 

So your premise once again is faulty on Psalms 2.

For Psalms 110, I’m going to show the whole chapter… Psalms 110:1-7  A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.  (2)  The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.  (3)  Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.  (4)  The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.  (5)  The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.  (6)  He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries.  (7)  He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

God didn’t promise that He in human flesh would appear or be born for that matter.

Once again the Jewish people would have taken this to speak of a man, a human being, look at the story of Melchizedek, the fellow was a human being!  This is what the Jewish people would have understood. You will find it in Genesis 14.

Once again, no God-Man here, just a human, but a special act of creation!

Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I hope you do not mind I just use some quotes from some widely accepted authors to answer this, and yes there is a good bit of detail on this one.

Ancient and modern Jews, as well as others, believe the text describes a mortal human ruler. They have included in its reference Judah’s King Hezekiah, the son of Ahaz. The following quotations show that not all Trinitarians understand the verse as a reference to Christ only. Many of them accept a possible application initially to Hezekiah and ultimately to Christ. They refer to “Hezekiah, who was very unlike his father Ahaz. This passage is acknowledged, not only by Christians, but by the Chaldee interpreter, to relate in the same manner, but in a more excellent sense, to the Messiah” (Annotationes ad Vetus et Novum Testamentum, by Hugo Grotius, a Dutch Arminian Christian, 1583-1645).

Whether applied to Hezekiah or to Christ or to both, the title “Mighty God” does not, of course, identify the person as God the Father (nor as “God the Son”). Jesus is certainly not his own Father! Others in the Bible are called “gods” because God the Father Himself conferred that title on them. The term “Mighty God” is defined by the leading Hebrew lexicon as a “mighty hero” or “divine hero, reflecting the divine majesty” (Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament by Brown, Driver and Briggs, p. 42). 

This mighty hero is “a warrior and defender of his people, like God himself” (The Catholic Study Bible, p. 888). It is interesting that the Protestant Reformer John Calvin, who was responsible for the execution of the unitarian scholar Michael Servetus, gave the following reasonable and Scriptural explanation of God’s appointment of other “gods”: “‘I said you are gods.’ Scripture gives the name of ‘gods’ to those on whom God has conferred an honorable office. He whom God has separated to be distinguished above all others [His Son] is far more worthy of this honorable title…The passage which Christ quotes [in John 10:34] is in Psalm 82:6, ‘I have said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High,”’ where God expostulates with the kings and judges of the earth, who tyrannically abuse the authority and power for their own sinful passions, for oppressing the poor, and for every evil action…Christ applies this to the case in hand, that they receive the name of gods, because they are God’s ministers for governing the world. For the same reason Scripture calls the angels gods, because by them the glory of God beams forth on the world…In short, let us know that magistrates are called gods, because God has given them authority” (Commentary on the Gospel According to John, by John Calvin, pp. 419-20).

I’m not sure you listed Luke 2:7, but folks there is no mention of a God-Man in this passage!  There isn’t even any mention in the rest of the chapter!

Luke 2:7  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

I know this is the smoking gun so to speak for Trinitarian thought, I was raised knowing this in the Independent Baptist church, but I will qt great lengths go on to refute this idea and give an answer that would be acceptable to the Apostle John, who rested on the shoulder of Jesus, the Christ. You will see my response at the end of the reciting of the verses.

John 1:1,14&18  (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14)  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  (18)  No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

The text simply reads, “In the beginning was the word,” not “In the beginning was the Son.” The substitution of “Son” for “word,” which for millions of readers appears to be an automatic reflex, has had dramatic consequences. It has exercised a powerful, even mesmerizing influence on Bible readers. But the text does not warrant the switch. Again, John wrote: “In the beginning wasthe word.” He did not say, “In the beginning was the Son of God.” There is, in fact, no direct mention of the Son of God until we come to verse 14, where “the word [not the Son] became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory of a unique Son, full of grace and truth.” Until verse 14 there is no mention of a Son. The Son is what the word became, but what is the word?  

Imagine I told my child, “Our car was once in the head of its designer, and now here it is in our garage.” The child might respond: “How could that car fit into the head of the designer? It would be too big.” Fair point, but based on a large misunderstanding. The application to our problem in John 1:1 is simply this: The fact that the word became the man Jesus, the Son of God, does not necessarily or automatically imply that Jesus, the Son of Godis one-to-one equivalent to the word before Jesus’ birth. What if the word, the self-expression of God, became embodied in, was manifested in, the man Jesus? That makes very good sense of John 1:14. It also avoids the fearful, never-resolved complexities of Trinitarianism by which there are two or three who are fully and equally God. If our theory is right, John will have been speaking about a preexisting divine Purpose, not a second divine person.

 It is commonly known to Bible readers that in Proverbs 8 wisdom was “with [Hebrew, etzel; LXX, para] God.” That is to say, God’s wisdom is personified. It is treated as if it were a person, not that Lady Wisdom was really a female personage alongside God. We accept this sort of language, usually without any confusion. We do not suppose that Prudence, who is said to be dwelling with Wisdom (Prov. 8:12), was herself literally a person. When the famous St. Louis Arch was finally completed after several years of construction a documentary film announced that “the plan had become flesh.” The plan, in other words, was now in physical form. But the arch is not one-to-one equivalent with the plans on the drawing board. The arch is made of concrete; the plans were drawn on paper.

Here is a very remarkable and informative fact: If one had a copy of an English Bible in any of the eight English versions available prior to 1582, one would gain a very different sense from the opening verses of John: “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. All things came into being through it, and without it nothing was made that was made.”

  “All things came into being through it [the word],” not “through him.” And so those English versions did not rush to the conclusion, as does the King James Version of 1611 (influenced by the Roman Catholic Rheims version, 1582) and its followers, that the word was a person, the Son, before the birth of Jesus. If all things were made through “the word,” as an “it,” a quite different meaning emerges. The “word” would not be a second personexisting alongside God the Father from eternity. The result: one of the main planks of traditional systems about members in the Godhead would be removed.

 There is more to be said about that innocent sentence: “In the beginning was the word.” There is no justification in the original Greek for placing a capital “W” on “word,” and thus inviting readers to think of a person. That is an interpretation imposed on the text, added to what John wrote. But was that what he intended? The question is, what would John and his readers understand by “word”? Quite obviously there are echoes of Genesis 1:1ff here: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…and God said [using His word], ‘Let there be light.’ ” “God said” means “God uttered His word,” the medium of His creative activity, His powerful utterance. Psalm 33:6 had provided commentary on Genesis: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made.” And so in John 1:1 God expressed His intention, His word, His self-revealing, creative utterance. But absolutely nothing in the text, apart from the intrusive capital letter on “word” in our versions, turning word into a proper noun, would make us think that God was in company with another person or Son. The word which God spoke was in fact just “the word of God,” the expression of Himself. And one’s word is not another person, obviously.

Sensible Bible study would require that we attempt to understand what “word” would mean in the background of John’s thinking. Commentators have long recognized that John is thoroughly Hebrew in his approach to theology. He is steeped in the Hebrew Bible. “Word” had appeared some 1,450 times (plus the verb “to speak” 1,140 times) in the Hebrew Bible known so well to John and Jesus. The standard meaning of “word” is utterance, promise, command, etc. It never meant a personal being — never “the Son of God.” Never did it mean a spokesman. Rather, word generally signified the index of the mind — an expression, a word. There is a wide range of meanings for “word” according to a standard source. “Person,” however, is not among these meanings.  http://www.focusonthekingdom.org/articles/john1.htm

Christopher I hope you don’t mind the copy and paste, but why should the wheel be reinvented?  Right?

I have quite a bit to do today, well, the rest of the weekend for that matter, I hope this sampling of the first  few passages you had listed proves if anything that Jesus was a special act of creation, but fully human, but minus the shared essence of the Father.

Now if you would like to call and discuss this further by phone or Skype, let’s set up a time that we can do that!  Or anyone for that matter that is listed in the CC’ed section.

I would love to chat!

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For more information, please see:

The Christian Confession of Faith

Gospel Atonement

Essential Gospel Doctrine

An Open Letter to a Jehovah’s Witness

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To: Mark DeYoung

From: Chris Adams

January, 23, 2012

Re: Fw: Demon possesion; a few thoughts

Mr. DeYoung —

Well, I have to hand it to you Mr. DeYoung, at least you have the integrity to include some discussion of Bible verses with your e-mail. Ken Lokken flat out refused to discuss any verses that I offered, then offered me exactly one verse, and even that one I had to drag out of him. Anthony Buzzard refused to discuss even one verse. Let’s see if you fare better than they did.

First, discussing Deu 18:15-16, you wrote:

“So in this passage the Jewish people would understand that the “one” Moses was referring to was a human being, simply a man.”

Well, this is both wrong and right at the same time. SOME of the Jewish people were expecting that the Messiah would be “simply a man”. But the remnant, like Abraham (Joh 8:56-58), Job (Job 19:25-26) and Isaiah (Joh 12:37-41), were expecting a Messiah who was more than human; one who was God in the flesh.

Next, on Psa 2:7, you wrote:

“Nothing in this says that this is the essence of God.  Your jumping through hoops to make it say that.  In fact the definition of “begotten” according to Strong’s #H3205  יָלַד yalad {yaw-lad’} A primitive root; to bear young; causatively to beget; medically to act as midwife; specifically to show lineage. In this case the “causatively to beget” is the part that is applicable.”

Actually, it is the whole definition of ‘yalad’ that is applicable, including the “causatively to beget” and “specifically to show lineage”. God was proclaiming that the Messiah would be his “Son”. Now let’s look at what happened when Jesus claimed to be “the Son of God”:

Joh 5: (18) Because of this, therefore, the Jews lusted the more to kill Him, for not only did He break the sabbath, but also called God His own Father, making Himself equal to God.

Joh 10: (33) The Jews answered Him, saying, We do not stone you concerning a good work, but concerning blasphemy; and because you, being a man, make yourself God.

You are definitely correct to say that the Jews (at least some of them) were expecting a merely human Messiah. But that isn’t what Jesus claimed to be, and the Jews knew it. Note that in claiming to be the “Son of God” the Jews understood that Jesus was not merely claiming to be a ‘ “mighty hero” or “divine hero, reflecting the divine majesty” ‘ as Brown-Driver-Briggs put it in their lexicon — he was “making himself equal with God”.

Of Psa 110, you write:

“God didn’t promise that He in human flesh would appear or be born for that matter”.

True. Which is why that isn’t the point. The point is that David referred to his son as his Lord. I addressed this in my previous correspondence with Ken Lokken, which I linked to, below. Jesus’ own question to the Pharisees, and my question to you, is: “If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”

In your discussion of Isa 9:6, you quote from several commentators, and while I don’t endorse any of them, the first one had some interesting points. Grotius says that “not all Trinitarians understand the verse as a reference to Christ only” — in other words some Trinitarians refer the verse to both Hezekiah AND to Christ. Further, he says that “This passage is acknowledged … to relate in the same manner, but in a more excellent sense, to the Messiah.” Saying that the verse refers to BOTH Hezekiah as a type of Christ, AND Jesus as the anti-type, in no way detracts from the truth that Jesus is “the Mighty God”.


As for the word “god”, yes, it is definitely used to refer to some people, such as in Psa 82:6, as the quote from Brown-Driver-Briggs demonstrates. But since you quoted next from John Calvin, let’s see what he had to say on Psa 82:6:


“Christ, with the view of rebutting the calumny with which the Pharisees loaded him, quoted this text, John 10:34, 35, “Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” By these words Christ did not mean to place himself among the order of judges; but he argues from the less to the greater, that if the name of God is applied to God’s officers, it with much more propriety belongs to his only begotten Son, who is the express image of the Father, in whom the Father’s majesty shines forth, and in whom the whole fullness of the Godhead dwells.”


Again, I am no more endorsing Calvin than Grotius, but it does show what Calvin REALLY thought of the use of the word ‘god’ in Psa 82:6.

As for Calvin and Servetus, please refer to my article about them.

Of Luk 2:7, you wrote:

“there is no mention of a God-Man in this passage!” Well, no kidding. But what there is in this passage is mention of Jesus’ humanity, a point that is essential to the Gospel. He is both God and Man, and is therefore able to “lay his hand” on both (Job 9:33).

Of Joh 1:1 you wrote:

“The text simply reads, “In the beginning was the word,” not “In the beginning was the Son.””

True, but here’s what the verse does say:

Joh 1: (1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So in what way was the “Word” both with God and at the same time, the Word was God? And in what way was this “Word” (who both was God, and was with God) “made flesh and tabernacled among us”?

As for calling you on the phone, I prefer to keep this exchange written. This format is much more conducive to thinking, logic, and study.

Finally, I notice that you have this in your signature:

“Proverbs 22:3, A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.”

That’s a very appropriate verse, Mark. And I must warn you that you are going on in your simplicity, unaware of the danger to your soul. You do not believe in the deity of Christ, and therefore, you do not believe the Gospel. You are lost, and your deeds are evil. Again, the Gospel is:

The gospel is God’s promise to save His people, giving them all the blessings of salvation from regeneration to final glory, conditioned exclusively on the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, totally apart from the sinner’s works and efforts. It reveals the righteousness of God – how God is just to justify the ungodly based on the work of Jesus Christ alone. The gospel is not merely the fact that Jesus lived, died, and rose again, considered apart from the purpose of these truths, which were accomplished to establish a righteousness for all whom Jesus represented. [Gen 15:5-6; Psa 103:2-12; 130:3-4; Isa 1:18; 45:21-25; Jer 33:14-16; Mat 1:21; Joh 3:16; Act 13:32-39; Rom 1:16-17; 3:21-26; 4:5-8,13-25; 10:4,15; 1Co 15:1-8; 2Co 1:20; 5:21; Eph 1:3-2:22; 3:6; Col 1:5; 2Ti 1:1,9-10; Heb 10:4-17]

I urge you to repent and believe it.

=======================================

For more information, please see:

The Christian Confession of Faith

Gospel Atonement

Essential Gospel Doctrine

An Open Letter to a Jehovah’s Witness